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31 Jul 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk.  Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals and track your progress for Ready. Set. Write!


1) What I'm Reading
Still reading The Unicorn Crisis by Jon Rosenberg.  I'm only a few chapters in at the moment so I can't give you a proper opinion on it. All I will say is that I really am enjoying it so far.  The world is interesting, the characters are interesting, and I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

2) What I'm Writing
Overall goal for Ready. Set. Write!: Complete July Camp NaNo to finish off the story I started in April's Camp NaNo and decided to put aside for a bit of a chill out.  Also complete the round of edits I'm doing for Beast Inside.  I'd like the 2nd and 3rd edits which I'm doing back to back to be finished by the end of summer.

Weekly goal for 31/7/2013: Get up to 30k in Consequences.  Get into Chapter 26 for Beast Inside.

I finished Chapter 26 of Beast Inside this week so yay! I finally got round to sorting that out.  And overall I'm up to 31k for Consequences.

Weekly goal for 7/8/2013 I'll be away for a week without my laptop so I'll be leaving Consequences for now.  I just want to get Chapter 27 finished for next week.

3) What Else I've Been Up To
Watching more Inbetweeners and getting all the fiddly holiday bits sorted out.  Really not been up to much. Just chilling out at home.

4) What Inspires Me Right Now
Travelling.  I haven't even left yet but I think I've already got the travelling bug.  I love seeing new locations because it's one thing that really inspires me. 


I'll have to catch up on everyone's What's Up Wednesday posts next week as well as other posts so sorry if I haven't commented.  I will do next Thursday. :)

26 Jul 2013

Book Review: Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor

Alyss of Wonderland's rules has only just begun, and already those who prefer chaos to peace are threatening to destroy everything worth imagining. Trailed by newly appointed royal bodyguard Homburg Molly, Alyss is doing her best to keep pace with the non-stop demands of being queen while attempting to evade Molly for a few private moments with Dodge.

Alyss' life is a challenging mix of duty, love and tough decisions, and then a series of phantom sightings set fire to an urban myth of Her Imperial Viciousness' return and have everyone...Seeing Redd.

Has Redd somehow freed herself and her chief assassin, The Cat, from the confides of the Heart Crystal? If not, then who has resurrected Redd's brutal foot soldiers the Glass Eyes and set them loose to attack Wonderland on all sides?

Battles rage, looking glasses explode, and the Alyssians once again unite to defend White Imagination in this fast-paced follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The Looking Glass Wars.


If the possibility of Redd coming back is bad enough there is also a new villain bubbling up.  Quite a lot for new Queen Alyss to deal with.  And I have to admire how well she deals with situations.  She's young and inexperienced which she shows and everything is a new challenge for her.  But she keeps going, staying calm and focusing on her important tasks.  There's romance but don't let that worry you.  Alyss has enough to deal with right now so the budding relationship between herself and Dodge doesn't swallow up the whole book.

I'm still hooked on this world that Beddor has created.  It's a creative retelling but it feels like his own creationYou still get a sense of Wonderland that you know and love.  It's still quirky and eccentric, feeling new yet familiar at the same time.  I didn't stop to think once that Beddor was ruining the concept of Wonderland.  

The main action did seem like it was left until the very end with the book slowly building up to the finale.  There was Redd's journey back into Wonderland with the little army that she was creating.  A possible war within Wonderland brewing.  It took a while for everything to come together and that's when it attacked.  That's just a personal preference for me.  I like to see a bit of action in between the calmer bits.  Mix it up a bit to keep you on your toes and time to relax when reading it.

There's a secret which was obvious in book 1 that is revealed in the sequel yet I didn't think it was very well developed.  It felt like a filler sub-plot, not being very developed and there just for the sake of shocking any readers who didn't see it coming.  It wasn't the plot that I was interested in.


24 Jul 2013

What's Up Wednesdays

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk.  Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals and track your progress for Ready. Set. Write!

1) What I'm Reading
Got a few chapters into The Unicorn Crisis by Jon Rosenberg.  It's still really early to make any type of opinion on it.  But it's interesting, I already like one of the characters that have been introduced a lot, and I want to know more.  So that's a decent start. :)


2) What I'm Writing
Overall goal for Ready. Set. Write!: Complete July Camp NaNo to finish off the story I started in April's Camp NaNo and decided to put aside for a bit of a chill out.  Also complete the round of edits I'm doing for Beast Inside.  I'd like the 2nd and 3rd edits which I'm doing back to back to be finished by the end of summer.
 
Weekly goal for 24/07/2013: Chapter 26 of Beast Inside and Chapters 10 and 11 of Consequence.  Overall I'm on 19,324 words in the draft so I'll see if I can reach 25k by next Wednesday.

Finished Chapters 10 and 11 of Consequences as well as starting off Chapter 12 and overall reaching 25k in the WiP.  Definitely pleased with that progress.  I don't think I'm going to finish the whole story in time for July 31st so I'll just try and go for 30k by next Wednesday. 

I didn't get round to doing anything for Beast Inside so I still need to write Chapter 26.  Which is fine because this month I really want to do more with Consequences and get that finished so the duology is sort of completed for now and I can put them both aside for a while. BI already has a finished first draft.  These are the edits which I don't really want to rush through.

Weekly goal for 31/7/2013: Get up to 30k in Consequences.  Get into Chapter 26 for Beast Inside.

3) What Else I've Been Up To
I finished work for the summer.  YAY! Started the hols off with a lovely BBQ with all my family.  Parents, uncles, aunts, grandma.  It was a great day trying on my uncle's strange collection of hats and his Cyberman helmet.

But since it's been doing all the boring summer jobs in the flat.  Way too much sorting out to do.  And getting the little fiddly bits sorted out for Rome next week.

4) What Inspires Me Right Now
I've been watching special episodes of What A Load of Buzzcocks.  They've been doing compilation episodes.  Sort of the 'best of' certain years since it started in 1996.  I love the snarky, evil humour in it.  Especially if it's from the Simon Amstell years.  That sweet looking host with a razor sharp tongue and cheeky comments.  There's a story out there somewhere for this wickedly snarky character that's slowly being created in my head.  I'm sure they're going to keep developing and talking to me in my head until I give in and find a story for them. 

Behold the inspiration for a future creation: >=D


17 Jul 2013

What's Up Wednesday...

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk.  Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals and track your progress for Ready. Set. Write!

1) What I'm Reading

Supposed to be The Unicorn Crisis by Jon Rosenberg but I haven't been reading at all this week.  It's all been writing.  But it is my current reading book and I'll get back to reading at some point.

2) What I'm Writing

Overall goal for Ready. Set. Write!: Complete July Camp NaNo to finish off the story I started in April's Camp NaNo and decided to put aside for a bit of a chill out.  Also complete the round of edits I'm doing for Beast Inside.  I'd like the 2nd and 3rd edits which I'm doing back to back to be finished by the end of summer.

Weekly goal for 18/7/2013: Chapter 25 of Beast Inside, Chapter 8 and 9 of Consequences.  Try to write 5000 more words for Consequences.

Almost finished Chapter 25 of Beast Inside so I'll focus on the rest of that tonight.  Finished Chapters 8 and 9 of Consequences.  2697/5000 words written for the WiP so didn't manage to reach that goal.

Weekly goal for 24/07/2013: Chapter 26 of Beast Inside and Chapters 10 and 11 of Consequence.  Overall I'm on 19,324 words in the draft so I'll see if I can reach 25k by next Wednesday.

3) What Else I've Been Up To

Not much really.  Kinda tired from end-of-the-year jobs at work.  Lots of classroom sorting, profile making, etc.  Everyone's trudging through this last week.  There's something exhausting about the last few days of the summer term. Only thing I've done is go out to see Now You See Me.  A brilliant film about four different magicians/illusionists who are grouped together by an unknown person to use their shows to rob banks and people.  It's Robin Hood meets The Illusionist. Definitely recommend it.


4) What Inspires Me Right Now

I keep watching Ghost Adventures to stay inspired and get to know more about what ghost hunters do and look for.  As a result, I'm completely addicted.  I'm quite sceptical of what these ghost hunters find and I still take everything with a pinch of salt but I have to see Zak Bagans and co are quite amusing.  Definitely more entertaining than Most Haunted.

12 Jul 2013

Book Review - A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.


What Shut Out lacked in exploring the possible consequences of being sexually active, A Midsummer Night's Dream actually went in that direction.  Whitley is Keplinger's most controversial character.  I found her to be quite unlikeable but Keplinger was fine to make her face the results of her behaviour.  Still, I found the book to lack in certain places.

I know the author wants to show that all sexual behaviour and feelings are normal.  That teenagers should not feel like they're committing a horrible crime if they choose to have sex.  I do think as long as the teenagers are of age and being responsible, they should not be made to feel like they're doing something wrong.  But I feel Keplinger doesn't want to really push consequences on the characters who sleep around or don't use protection because she doesn't want to overall punish a person for the choices they make.  And that's where I think her sex positivity messages might get a little mixed.  I admire and congratulate her on being honest enough to portray all types of teenagers but I still think youths need to learn that sex isn't quite so casual and simple as it's made out to be.  It's a really big step and if you don't want to commit yourself in a relationship and want to have sex with multiple partners there will always be a result in real life. And while Whitley faces a consequence I felt it was wrapped up too neatly and not fully explored or developed.

Whitley uses guys for sex and sleeps around.  And as a result, later in the book, she is the target of slut shaming and almost gets herself into trouble.  I felt Keplinger really wanted us to stick up for this character but I couldn't exactly do this.  I can be quite harsh sometimes so when Whitley sees people treating her negatively I had to think 'good'.  She needed to learn that if she doesn't take herself and her relationships seriously, no-one else will.  She was a very silly and selfish character.  I'm not going to feel sorry for her because her behaviour has caused people to look at her in a certain light and she's upset by it. 

Whitley has a whole rollercoaster of issues.  The one night stand she has turns out to be the son of her dad's fiancee.  She feels her brother is too busy with his new family.  Her mother is self-absorbed in her new single life.  And her dad doesn't have much time for her anymore.

I felt the whole sudden new wife and family story was too much Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.  Not the most original plot.  The only difference was she was having feelings for her soon-to-be stepbrother.  While Nathan is by far the best Keplinger LI (he's geeky, he's friendly, he's nice and caring) I was really uncomfortable with the step brother and sister having feelings towards each other.  That's just my personal feeling.  I found it really awkward and icky.  I sorry, I can't help it.

I found the worst parent was in fact the dad who had treated both the mother and his daughter horribly.  Yet everything was wrapped up nicely with Whitley and her father.  She forgave him for everything he had done.  The mother... who was clearly suffering from being treated like crap to be honest by the father was still hated in Whitley's eyes.  She didn't care for her mother and hinted that it would be a struggle to save their relationship.  I didn't get at all how the mother was the problem parent and thought it was unfair for Whitley to still be hostile towards her.  I wasn't quite sure if that was generally Whitley's character, even though she had quickly altered her other faults, or if Keplinger disliked the mother herself.

For a character as damaged as Whitley I was surprised to see everything get sorted out in the end.  There were a lot of issues there and so much to fix that the changes she suddenly made didn't felt realistic.



11 Jul 2013

What's Up... Yesterday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk.  Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals and track your progress for Ready. Set. Write!

So yesterday was a bit of a hectic day.  After running from zombies on Saturday and doing Zumba yesterday I didn't have a lot of feeling left in my body to do anything when I got in.  So hence posting today.

1) What I'm Reading

Since last week I finished The Iron Daughter, Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankersley Cusick, and A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L.Stine.  I'm starting on The Unicorn Crisis by Jon Rosenberg.  Pete's just been reading his novels and recommended them to me so I'm giving them a try.  I think they're only sold on kindle so there isn't a book cover.  But there is a blurb:

Someone has summoned a Unicorn to a field south of Stratford-upon-Avon causing David Ash's day to go straight to hell. Now he has to confront shotgun wielding drug dealers, murderous strangers and psychotic fairies and all to find out who stole one of Oberon's personal pets. He better do it soon, or it will mean an all out conflict between The Fairy Court and The Hidden Academy. Worse, as back up all Ash can muster is a soap opera loving Welsh elf and an American Summoner who doesn't trust him one inch. This would be bad enough, but, as the mystery unravels, Ash forms a nagging suspicion that the heart of this problem lies in his own worst nightmare, the one he's been trying to forget for over a decade.

2) What I'm Writing

 
Overall goal for Ready. Set. Write!: Complete July Camp NaNo to finish off the story I started in April's Camp NaNo and decided to put aside for a bit of a chill out.  Also complete the round of edits I'm doing for Beast Inside.  I'd like the 2nd and 3rd edits which I'm doing back to back to be finished by the end of summer.

Weekly goal for 10/7/2013: Chapter 24 of Beast Inside and finish Chapter 7 of Consequences.

Both done and I also wrote a bit for Chapter 8 of Consequences.

Weekly goal for 18/7/2013: Chapter 25 of Beast Inside, Chapter 8 and 9 of Consequences.  Try to write 5000 more words for Consequences.

3) What Else I've Been Up To

I posted up my experience of 2.8 Hours LaterIt's my second year of participating and I absolutely loved it.  The sods got the zombies to hide and jump out at us this time.

I also started watching The Inbetweeners because everyone I know has been pestering me too.  Oh my god, the amount of times I'm hiding behind a cushion because the four teenage characters get into some right messes.  It's hilarious.  All four of them are so awkward. I can't find a promo for the TV series that will show in other countries but this clip is from The Inbetweeners film:


4) What Inspires Me Right Now

Zombies. I'm going to have to write a zombie WiP in the future. 

8 Jul 2013

Experiencing a Zombie Apocalypse...

... Is possibly the most terrifying experience you could have.  Especially this year at 2.8 Hours Later.  Last year some people complained that there weren't any surprises.  Last year you saw the horde, ran and dodged, and moved onto the next survivor.  You can't say the people who organise this don't listen after the tour so far.  They had zombies leaping out from nowhere, hiding and waiting for you to run towards them.  Ones that were on the floor moaning suddenly jumped up and raced towards you, screeching and snarling.

I did pretty well this year.  I was a bit silly and went to the event with a cold so I was feeling absolutely sick at the end of it.  But I've waited a year for this and I wasn't going to let illness stop me.  Proper survivor, I am. =P

Well, can't really say survivor. I was caught at the very last horde and got infected:

Rules to remember when in a zombie apocalypse:

1) If you have the chance, do some stretches.  I absolutely ached yesterday and felt very tempted to borrow my gran's walking stick.

2) Cardio.  It works.

3) If you have the chance to change into suitable wear don't wear denim shorts.  I have a huge red patch on my thigh and that's sore to touch and scratches all across.  Leggings, very baggy shorts or tracksuit bottoms are probably the best.

4) Trainers are the best footwear to have.  Apparently some idiots wore flip flops and heels to 2.8 Hours Later, an event that is 96% running.

5) Don't eat a huge meal before doing all of this running.  I almost paid the price for it yesterday after being tempted for tasty fish and chips.

I managed to get some videos this time and my friend did as well.  Ones where we get chased by a horde so the camera is very shaky and a few where we were being really nice and enjoying watching others get chased. ^^




3 Jul 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk.  Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals and track your progress for Ready. Set. Write!

1) What I'm Reading

I'm 82% in with The Iron Daughter so still reading that.  Hoping to finish it by the end of this week.



2) What I'm Writing

Overall goal for Ready. Set. Write!: Complete July Camp NaNo to finish off the story I started in April's Camp NaNo and decided to put aside for a bit of a chill out.  Also complete the round of edits I'm doing for Beast Inside.  I'd like the 2nd and 3rd edits which I'm doing back to back to be finished by the end of summer.

Weekly goal for 3/7/2013: Chapter 23 for Beast Inside.

Done. 

Weekly goal for 10/7/2013: Chapter 24 of Beast Inside and finish Chapter 7 of Consequences.

3) What Else I've Been Up To


Still pretending to be an Assassin on Assassin's Creed.  I just need to stop falling off buildings.  Zumba tonight.  Started watching the third season of The Walking Dead.  And getting prepared for 2.8 Hours Later this weekend.  Three more sleeps! =D

4) What Inspires Me Right Now


Since going to back to work on Consequences I need to keep the inspiration going so I've been recording Most Haunted for ghost hunting inspiration.  To be honest I find the show completely fake and I can't stand it when it's episode from Derek Acorah's time on it but it helps with writing about ghost hunters.  I also have Grave Encounters on in the background when I write.  The perfect film when you're writing about ghosts and investigating.