Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Says Adios

So I have decided to leave blogspot. Love the friends I've made here, but dual-blogging is not good for me. You can stalk me here from now on: www.livejournal.com/users/seeyouupside

However, before I go, I'm leaving you with a poem I wrote for Creative Writing:


It is fairy dust that guides me in
and leads me away into the garden of words and wisdom
bright colors light up the sky and I spin until I’m dizzy and my head aches
Though your words are magic, floating around your lips like cigarette smoke
I still see Los Angeles and drunk crowds of girls
their shirts too tight and their skirts too hiked up

It is the fairy-folk that seduce them
Glittering eyes and invisible wings
their lips taste like fire, delicious to the soul, burnt to a crisp
my head is pounding when we walk into the club and
music bounces off one ear and out the other
you say its usual
I don’t believe you

One of them - their eyes dolled up in silver eyeshadow
Makes a pass at me and I may have felt myself blush like a school girl
cooties are one thing, this is another
Leading me, fingers entwined like branches
I am a tree, stable, but not tonight

Tonight I am someone else
not sure who she is or who I am
but she is full of life and smiles and arms outstretched like
she owns the world
Gold glitter falls on top of her like autumn leaves in a pile waiting to be picked up
no one picks me up

I am on the floor breathing
Fairy faces lean in towards me and I know
I know this is the end as I know it
their lips graze mine
kisses like juice of fruit spilling down my chin

Monday, March 29, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Expresses Her Love for T.H. Mafi

So once upon a time, I stumbled onto Twitter stalked Victoria Schwab's Twitter (sorry, Victoria) and saw that she was excited about some girl she was tweeting (conversing?) with on Twitter. So I went to this girl's Twitter and found out it was T.H. Mafi , whoever that was. I saw she was repped by Amy Tipton (also Victoria's agent), but since I didn't know her I thought it'd be sketchy to say, "Hi! Congrats!" So I went along with life.

Then a week or two later, her blog came into being and I clicked on it. I am such a stalker. I found her blog entry to be really funny. As in really, REALLY funny. I was dying to know what got her Amy. Or how Amy came to be her agent. I nagged. T. H. Mafi (whose real name I will not dispense here, but her first name is totally Tahereh), who said she'd think about telling me. THINK ABOUT TELLING ME? So I nagged her some more. Then I followed her on Twitter. Then I read her blog some more and giggled.

One day, Tahereh wrote a blog entry about how writers were all wonderful. And I was having a sad day. I was writing Novel/WIP and I was thinking it was weird to be this excited about a novel and how well I was writing it and how clearly this was messed up and it was a dream and I was seriously, seriously awful. (Talk about a run-on sentence.) I read her blog, and laughed. Then I cried. It was something I needed at that very moment and Tahereh gave it to me.

Tahereh's blog is so funny that I get tears in my eyes every time I read it. Because I am laughing so hard. Please go read today's post. It is her query! FINALLY! I nagged and nagged until she finally did it. :D Her book sounds so great -- funny and unusual.

P.S. Once Tahereh came to my area of the world and we tried to meet up. Like really tried. But someone had conferences to go to and a short trip here and it didn't work out. I may have sniffled about this. My roommate looked at me weird. But I am vowing to meet her for real one day. Because I'm betting she is as funny in real life as she is on her blog.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Writes An Open Letter to Her Boyfriend


(*If you don't know, James Franco and I live together under YA Elevensie author Carrie Harris's bed.)

Dear James,

I know we live together and everything, so this means we should be honest. I hope this doesn't hurt your feelings. I never meant to. This is only for the your good and the good of mankind's.

Your writing sucks.

I know you're getting your Master's in Fine Arts at NYU for Creative Writing, and I am SO proud of you for this, but...that story in Esquire? Not cutting it. It sounds like a freshman in an undergraduate 101 class wrote it, not you, my handsome, hot boyfriend. And I know you think that I shouldn't talk because I'm not in your class and I don't know what other people wrote (and you probably think my writing sucks), but I just wanted you to know.

You can do better.

So listen, James, the next time you want to submit something like that to Esquire or anywhere else, let me read it first. Let me edit it. Let me give you my comments. Let's fix it before it's "shit" as Michael says in the short story.

I love you and because of that I'm willing to tell you this. You can write better, you can do better, you can be better. I know you have it in you to rock the short story world with your awesomeness and I have no doubt you will. But for right now? Please sit in a 101 course and see how your short story is similar to some of the students' works there. You need to observe to learn. All writers observe (and you know this), but I don't think you've ever observed that class. You need to work harder, push yourself and open yourself up.

By the way, I'm still mad you won't give me an ARC of PALTO ALTO. Stop hoarding them. Its not nice.

Love,
Rachel

P.S. When are you going to ask me to marry you? Its getting to be a while now!

Friday, March 26, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Finishes

I feel like I am light years ahead of everyone right now and I am totally not sure why.

I wrote this entry up originally at 2 AM, two hours after I completed (yes, completed) my WIP. It is untitled and therefore I have no idea what else to call it except 'WIP.'

It is not my secret idea of awesome, which was about Zelda Fitzgerald. (That is still on the back burner, waiting for its turn.) No, this WIP is a contemporary YA completed in 5 (or 6? I am not very good at mathematics) weeks. Yes, 5 weeks.

It took me 9 months to write The Rose Kingdom, so for me to write my next/second novel (which was actually my sixth novel idea at the time) in 5 weeks is crazy AWESOME!!!

I have no idea what I am going to do to celebrate, but I promised myself (and Alex Bracken) I'd be out on the hunt for her novel BRIGHTLY WOVEN in stores. So after classes today, I think I'm going to do that. And then write a five-page paper. Ick.

The song that REALLY represents this novel to a tee is 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' by Coldplay. I found the lyrics when trying to figure out why the lyrics on someone's blog sounded so familiar, and then I listened to this song on repeat for like eighty bazillion hours as I wrote a few scenes.




I am so beyond proud of myself, and I know that sounds cheesy but I really don't care. I worked with a few jotted ideas and then ran with it. I never outline, but in this case I semi-needed to because it was an unusual timeline. The characters are wonderful (and a bit creepy, if I say so myself) and I had a hard time leaving the 'writing' part of them.

But now I look forward to edits. :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Is Tagged

I was tagged by Steph for this meme, so I guess I have to do it. Hehe.

I like- the feeling of sunshine on my face
I like- dance parties
I like- when good things happen to good people
I like- reading good books, curled up on my dorm couch
I like- good music
I like- to write
I like- the YA publishing industry and how those I've met are so willing to help me and want me to succeed
I like- getting ARCs in the mail
I like- sleepovers with my high school BFF
I like- the fact that I am going to London in 54 days! I've never been outside the country
I like- sweet tea from the South (I'm the North :-P), chocolate, and my grandma's cake
I like- my English class and my Creative Writing class this semester

I love- sunny days where I can wear sundresses

Today was- (It has just started but I'm guessing it will be -->) long.

I hate- my Spanish class, and that my Jewish History course is too hard for my liking
I hate- when someone I know is sad and I can't fix it
I hate- a lot of things that happened in the past
I hate- ketchup
I hate- waiting
I hate- prejudice
I hate- racism
I hate- the smell of eggs

I (secretly) like- . . . being tagged in memes.

I love- that I am doing extra work for Spanish AND I'm allowed to redo a paper for my Jewish History course, and that I'm changing my major.

I tag:
- Kristin
- Sumayyah
- Tahereh

Monday, March 22, 2010

YAY!! WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL NEWS!!

Please go congratulate S.J. Maas (Sarah) on her book deal to Bloomsbury. She just sold her novel QUEEN OF GLASS (a YA fantasy retelling of Cinderella as an assassin) to Bloomsbury Children's USA. :-)

You can see the full post here: http://sjmaas.livejournal.com/371175.html

In Which Our Heroine Reviews SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce

Today I am reviewing SISTERS RED by Jackson Peace. SISTERS RED is her second novel (her first is AS YOU WISH), and it is delightful. :-)

Thank you first off to Little, Brown's booth at ALA MidWinter for providing me with this advanced copy. This book is not a final copy, and the official release date is June 7, 2010.



The summary of this book comes from Amazon.com:
Scarlet March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?


SISTERS RED is an urban fantasy retelling of the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. Told in interchanging point of views from both Rosie and Scarlett, it is the story of two sisters, who hunt the Fenris (or werewolves). The novel is well paced, and the reader learns about the world throughout the story.

Both sisters are distinct in their personality, and it was never an issue or too confusing as to who was speaking (even when I didn't look up at the chapter change). Scarlett is the older, more protective sister, who is constantly obsessed with the hunt for more and more Fenris. Rosie, on the other hand, wonders about what it would be like to do things on than hunt the Fenris and stay out of town -- what it would be like to have a life. The sisters are wonderfully drawn, and to be honest I do not recall ever reading such a wonderful sibling relationship in recent urban fantasy YA.

I'd have to give this book 5 out of 5 stars because SISTERS RED stole my heart with it's retelling and the sibling love. Please read this when it comes out. I found it EVEN BETTER than AS YOU WISH. :-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Makes A List

Because I am really, really boring and have nothing to blog about (except I am SLOWLY making headway on my WIP), I am making a list instead.

A LIST OF THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I AM 100:

- Graduate college
- Go to graduate school
- Live in two states other than the ones I have already lived in
- Buy a pair of Michael Korrs flats
- Buy an Oscar de la Renta dress
- Meet Adam Brody
- Marry James Franco
- Write a book
- Get an literary agent
- Publish a book
- Party in Hollywood
- Be happy
- Be successful
- Have an internship
- Read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's and Jane Austen's works
- Write another book
- Write a book after that one
- Get a freaking job
- Stop spending so much money
- Never, ever buy an e-book unless its necessary (like trees die or something)
- See the movie GONE WITH THE WIND
- Read the rest of Chronic-what-cles of Narnia
- Try to finish Lord of The Rings (try #5), as in get past page 40
- Reread The Hobbit for the twentieth time
- Stop listening to Lady Gaga for a week
- Use a CD player for all of eternity
- Talk about Polly Pocket and other things little children don't get
- Go to London
- Go to Australia
- Stop the addiction of milkshakes
- Stop blogging so often

Friday, March 19, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VLOG BUDDY!!

Today is KBott's 20th birthday and I made her a celebratory vlog.


video

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Appreciates The Sci-Fi



It's the fourth day of Author Appreciation Week and it's AAW creator Heidi's birthday. Happy Birthday, Heidi!! Anyway, today I am appreciating Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, the creators of the middle-grade series ANIMORPHS.

ANIMORPHS was a science fiction series about five teenagers who fought the world -- or well, the United States -- against parasitic aliens. These aliens crawled up and into your ear and then took over your brain. However, to the normal eye you would not notice this change. At all.

Can we talk about *creepy*?

Yeah.

Despite, the creepy awesomeness of the Yeerks (the aliens in ANIMORPHS), Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant created an awesome world. It was our world with CDs and mall trips and video games, but at the same time it wasn't. It took place in an unknown state in the United States, making it anywhere.

The books were everything good YA should be (and this was middle grade!): dark, funny, sexually tensioned, scary and powerful. Katherine, Michael and the ghostwriters brought a series of -- well, there is only one word for it -- awesome.

Although the characters never got "older," I did as the series went on so I pretended the characters did too. According to a timeline on some website I forget where, the five teenagers began as age thirteen and ended the series at age sixteen or seventeen. The series had 54+ books and held my attention for mostly all of them.

Not only did the series rock, there was a television series in the late '90s AND there was talk of a movie. But the best talk ever is that Scholastic is reissuing the series in 2011 with brand new covers. Word on the street is that they're 3-D!

Katherine and Michael and the series got me interested in writing. I have over 30 saved documents on a 1997 Gateway computer of Animorphs fan fiction. And after that came more fan fiction. And then eventually original writing. And then back to fan fiction. And then more original writing. But all in all, I owe it to these folks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Appreciates The Blonde



Today is the third day of Author Appreciation Week (created by the awesome Heidi R. Kling), and for today's post I'll be talking about the blonde. And I'm sure there are a lot of blonde writers out there, but I'm specifically talking about one.

Sometimes, I call her Tall, Blonde and Handsome, but mostly she's known around the world as S.J. Maas.

Yes, that's right -- around the world.

And she's not even published by a house (yet).



S.J. Maas (or Sarah J. Maas) is a twenty-four-year-old author, whose epic fantasy YA trilogy, QUEEN OF GLASS, is on submissions to editors now. She wrote the trilogy when she was sixteen-years-old and posted it online. It gained a 1,000+ fan base and she has fans from all over the world including, but not limited to, the United States, Canada, the Philippines, and South Africa.

She began querying agents in 2008 and landed one in January of 2009. Between writing and rewriting and revising her trilogy, she wrote four other books. She also got an adorable puppy, who I call "puppy" even though it has a name. And she got engaged.

But to me, Sarah is more than an author I appreciate and admire and I know will take the world (that she hasn't already taken) by storm. She's a friend. I e-mailed her in 2008 to tell her QoG inspired me to write (when I really wanted to tell that at 13 I hated her because she had like 6000+ reviews on her story and I had 1), and somehow it formed into a friendship. She puts up with my crazy e-mails and my whining. Occasionally, we send each other packages. Sarah has helped me though crazy amounts of stuff and I can't thank her enough for it. I appreciate that she puts up with me and that she allows me to be a part of her life. I appreciate that she is willing to listen to me babble on and on about things I worry about and reassure me about things. I appreciate that she wrote during college and understands the struggle between going out or staying in and writing. I am so grateful that Sarah is a part of my life. <3

If you haven't heard of her, please go check out her blog. :-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Appreciates The Young Writers



It is the second day of Author Appreciation Week, created by the ultra fabulous Heidi R. Kling. Woot woot!!!!

Today, I am appreciating four young authors. They make me believe I can do anything - including going to school and write and have a social life oh and maybe a job and also read on subways and go out into the wilderness with wolves. :-P

First off, we have the lovely Hannah Moskowitz (who besides looking like me) is Jewish and goes to college. Your mom goes to college. She wrote her novel BREAK when she was fifteen or sixteen, got an agent, landed a deal -- all before she was eighteen years old.



(Um when I was sixteen, I was complaining how I couldn't write novels and how the cute boy didn't like me. Clearly, Hannah is better than me. ;-))

She has another book coming out this summer and a third coming out I believe in 2011. I think. Correct me if I'm wrong. She is also fiercely honest with her opinions and curses like a sailor. She makes me believe its okay to curse in my novel. A lot.

Next, we have the absolutely adorable Kody Keplinger, who hails from the South. Or the Midwest. Okay, wherever Kentucky is. She wrote her book, THE DUFF, when she was seventeen, got an agent at seventeen, and then got her book deal that summer. So basically she is like quicksand. Now you see, now you don't. (...Okay, fine that analogy sucked.) What I mean is she is like lightning. (Okay, I'm gonna stop with the bad analogies.) Besides rocking in the writing department, Kody is in an honors program at Ithaca, wants to be a literary agent when she grows up AND accepts that I dance really badly on vlogs for her.



Kody's book THE DUFF comes out in September, and her second book (some secret project she won't divulge even though I've done a lot of "Fineeeeee" whines and "I'll wait...I guess") comes out in 2011. Then she has a third book in 2012. That girl is crazy fast, I swear!!

The third young author that I am going to appreciate today is the lovely Kristin Briana Otts. She wrote this crazy awesome dystopian YA called CITY OF SHADOWS. She got her awesome agent the summer after freshman year of college. She is also my vlog buddy and has hilarious romantic issues. Which are hilarious. Anyway, Kristin is also semi-okay with the fact that I call her K.Botts and IM her like mad.



Kristin's book is about to go out on subs. Hopefully. In the meantime, she is writing a contemporary novel called SEVEN about a murder mystery in a Colorado town. It is awesome. It will rule the world, I swear.

And finally, the fourth author I am appreciating today is Alexandra Bracken. Alex wrote her novel BRIGHTLY WOVEN when she was a sophomore and junior in college. She then got an agent and a book deal and did all of her edits/revisions while in college. She now works as an editorial assistant in a big, awesome, sparkly children's department at a very cool publishing house in New York City.



Alex and I also got to meet (which was cool, but not the point of this paragraph). I got to hold the ARC of her book in my hands. I did not get to take it. I was okay with at the time. After that, I realized I wasn't too happy with not having the ARC. (Ha. Who likes getting teased?) ;-) But who cares now! Her book debuts from Egmont USA on March 23rd. Which is next week. Which is AWESOME.

I admire all four of these young authors because they made it even though people may have told them they were too young or not experienced enough. I admire them because they wrote when they were in college and got agents while in some sort of schooling and are changing what is perceived as young writers' writing -- that yes, some young writers are skilled and can make it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Appreciates Michelle Zink

This week is AUTHOR APPRECIATION WEEK, created by the ever fabulous Heidi R. Kling, and it lasts all week. I'm going to try to do an AA post every day, but honestly it depends how much homework I get. (Yes I am back at college. Adios, spring break.)

For today's AA post, I am going to be talking about Michelle Zink, the author of Prophecy of the Sisters and the upcoming Guardian of the Gate.



I got to meet Michelle a few days before her book (PotS) released and it was the coolest thing ever. Why? Because I love meeting authors, and getting to read books early. But besides that, Michelle recognized ME from Twitter. It wasn't like I was another face on the long line, waiting to get a copy of PotS (maybe I was!); no, she recognized my face.



Michelle's novel Prophecy of the Sisters blew me away. Although it was similar to Libba Bray's series about Gemma Doyle (at least, time period wise), Prophecy of the Sisters focused on twin sisters, who are wrapped in a Biblical prophecy. Oh, not to mention their dad just died. I honestly can't wait for the sequel, which comes out this August, and the third book coming out in August 2011.

Not only does Michelle write, she is advocate for believing in your dreams and doing what you want. If you look at her Twitter, she is constantly supporting teens, librarians, and others to do what they want no matter what anyone else says. She hosts an Open Mic on her blog, where commenters post their writing and get feedback on it. Michelle interviews teens and answers questions from them when they need advice.

So happy Author Appreciation Week, Michelle! :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Reviews MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess

Woo hoo!!
My second book review!!

MISTWOOD, a high fantasy young adult novel, comes out from HarperCollins/Green Willow on April 27, 2010. I am very, very thankful for the HarperCollins booth at ALA Midwinter 2010 for giving me this advanced copy. It is not a final product.



MISTWOOD's summary comes from Amazon.com:
The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes. Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat. Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court...until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.


MISTWOOD is a high fantasy novel that reminded me a lot of GRACELING by Kristin Cashore. Both books have rich settings that I was immediately pulled into.

Without giving anything away, MISTWOOD tells the story of Isabel, a supernatural, immortal creature that can change shape (from animal to nature), who is found in the woods by the current prince, who is about to take the throne as king. But the thing is Isabel doesn't remember any memories of her past. In fact, it seems she can't even Shift.

While Isabel struggles with her memory, she is confronted by the prince's sister, who doesn't trust her, a few suspicious court sorcerers (and sorcerers in training!) and trying to not stand out during court dinners. Murders, kidnapping, attacks and spells are just a few of the things seen in MISTWOOD.

Leah Cypess does a great job of having Isabel learn about her past at different times, and I loved that there was hardly any romance in this novel. I know thats strange (I do love a good romance), especially since this is a female dominated novel, but it was a really nice change of pace. I was waiting for some kissing and may or may not have gotten any, but I have heard Leah is writing a second MISTWOOD book so I am hoping for more action in the coming year(s).

Overall, I'd have to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed MISTWOOD, but felt that the last 100 pages were by far the best and most enticing pages of the entire novel. Nevertheless, I thought the world that Isabel lived in was fascinating and I can't wait to read the next book.

Friday, March 12, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Does (Another) Friday Five

Happy Friday, everyone!

1. I dance-vlogged again for Kody Keplinger. You can see it here. Go, watch, enjoy!

2. Ask me anything you want and I'll vlog it/dance it/answer it here...

3. I'm up to 28k in the WIP and feeling pretty good. My next writing goal is to get to 30k. Do you have any writing goals this weekend?

4. I'm having a write night with Steph, and I'm SO excited!! I love sharing snippets and asking random questions and IMing every hour or so.

5. News on the pub. front: Kody got her ARCs, Mandy Hubbard got her ARCs and Victoria Schwab is learning all about her cover. Woot woot!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Answers Five Questions

So, desperate for something to blog about (wow, that makes my life sound boring; I swear its not**), I asked (re: begged) Sumayyah to ask me five questions that I would answer on the blog.

If you have any questions, you'd like me to answer, ask away in the comments. Please! I love answering questions! :-)

1. If you could be a mythical creature, what would you be? How does this reflect your writing?

I'd be a unicorn. I love them. I mean, they sparkle and have a horn! What's not to love about 'em? Unless they're in the book Rampant by Diana Peterfreund, where the unicorns are evil and kill people.

And to be honest, I think unicorns are the opposite of my writing. I don't think they reflect my writing at all. Most of my best writing is dark, moody and angry, which is in contrast to the sparkly unicorns I adore.

2. What is the most epically heart wrenching scene you have ever written? Did you have to wrench your heart out of your chest to write it?

The most heart wrenching scene I've ever written was actually a poem I wrote in sixth grade. It was from the point of view of a mother, who came home from work to find her daughter dead from suicide. So, I guess to answer this question properly, the exact scene where the mother comes home and finds her daughter dead. And no, my heart was not wrenched out while writing it.

3. What is the song that embodies your writer's soul? Why?

The song that embodies my writer's soul (what is that? Sumayyah, I'm making you answer me on your own blog. Now, go!) is Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. I know that sounds crazy and probably should've been from one of my favorite bands (Death Cab for Cutie or maybe that Paperback Writer song from the Beatles), but whenever I hear BR, I want to get up and dance. And then write. Oh, and then walk down the street ridiculously like in Spider-Man 3.





4. If you were the reincarnation of a writer, which one do you think you would be?

In real life: F. Scott Fitzgerald. He's my writer-husband. Someone once compared a short one page story that I wrote to prose of Scott's, and I basically died right there.

In fiction: Josephine March. She's just so great! And she believes that she can live off her writing and be awesome, which was incredible for the time that she was growing up.


**I went to the Tim Burton art exhibit today. See, my life isn't boring! :-P

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Talks About Her Day

Hi, new followers! *waves*

I know someone of you are here because of my incredible (ha, very funny) dancing on Kody's blog. My challenge (besides reading 100 books in 2010 -- I just got up to #24 and #25 today!) is to dance to every song of her playlist for her new project, Project L. I made videos for her other songs on the playlist (i.e. that Veronicas song I can't name and that Ashley Tisdale one), but YouTube hated me and disabled my sound every time I tried to put them up. So they're on Facebook.

However, besides dancing to music, I write. Kinda. Well, most of the time.

Today, however I hung out with my guy BFF Dan and we went to Border's. Yeah, that's right. My guy BFF Dan and I spend time hanging out in Border's. (Don't worry we also do normal stuff like talk for hours and play with the Wii.) We spent about two hours in there. I ended up reading Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers as well as The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate. I liked them both. :-)

But truthfully, I read them as research.

My current WIP is what I'd like to call a mix between The Hate List by Jennifer Brown, Some Girls Are and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove.

And in order for me to really love my WIP even more than I already do, I needed to read those books. I needed to combine them in my head so I could figure out my little WIP. Enjoying those books is just an added bonus. Because I do love those books and I know my WIP is not completely like any of them, but yet it has qualities *of* them. Because nothing is a completely original idea anymore. (sighs wistfully)

So my question to you is: Do you read other books that are similar to yours when you're exploring/loving/writing your WIP? Or do you avoid the genre at all costs?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Reviews LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater


This is my first book review and I am going to explain this WITHOUT spoilers since the novel doesn't come out for a while. *takes a deep breath* Okaaaaaay, here we go...

LINGER (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)'s summary comes from Amazon.com:

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in LINGER, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past and figuring out a way to survive in the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, who own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves, and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. 

First off, thank you to the amazing Scholastic booth at ALA MidWinter 2010 for giving me this novel. This is an advanced reader's copy, which means it is not a final product. The book's official release date is July 20th, 2010

Without giving any spoilers, I want to say that LINGER was 200% better than SHIVER. It was told from the point of view of not just Grace and Sam, who were the narrators of SHIVER, but also Isabel, Grace's friend, and Cole, the new wolf in the pack.

 The characterization in LINGER was stronger then in SHIVER, and I really got to know all of the characters better. Maggie writes beautifully and every time I reread SHIVER and this time that I read LINGER, I truly felt like I was in Mercy Falls, Minnesota. I felt cold when the characters were feeling chilly and warm when they felt warm. 

I did think that this book needed more action. While Grace's difficulties with her parents continued, I didn't feel that this conflict was big enough to carry the story. I was on the edge of my seat with Grace's dangerous secret and I am rather eager to see what will happen in the third book, FOREVER. 

In all, I'd give LINGER 5 stars out of 5 because I felt that the writing and characterization was stronger than the previous book in the series and because I. Love. Cole.

That's right. Move over, Sam. For me, you've been replaced by Cole St. Claire. <3

Friday, March 5, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Does a Friday Fiiiiive

Friday Five! Oh man, I haven't done one of these in a while...

1. Spring break begins today! Woo hoo! This means going home, seeing the BFF, writing, reading for pleasure, and seeing my family. It also means eating decent food at home; no dorm food for a week! :-)

2. Its sunny today! Unfortunately its not warm enough to wear just a sweatshirt. I still need a coat. Grrr. Oh well. I can just pray for spring, right?

3. I got to 21,000 words in my WIP. I'm hoping to keep having this type of enthusiasm and speed for this project. I did have a moment of OMG-what-am-I-doing? but I think it was due to stress and midterms (which are thankfully now over).

4. I really like the simplicity of Blogger. Thanks K.Botts for introducing me to this website!

5. Yesterday, I bought the movies HEATHERS (I love the movie. Seriously! If you haven't seen it, please, please rent it!) for $7. I know it could be cheaper, but the usual cheap place only had it for $10 "on sale" and this $7 one was at Barnes and Noble. Plus I couldn't wait any longer. I need the movie in my life permanently. <3 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Meets an NYT Bestselling Author

First off, hi new followers! *waves* I'm still getting the hang of this thing. Thanks for following me and you all better teach me how to use this. Please? ;-)

Lately I've been full speed ahead with my writing (I got to 20k in 9 days, and usually takes me at least 3 months to get that type of word count), but last night I felt myself really annoyed with my writing. I was writing words just so I could fill a page. For now I've come to realize me and midterms AND writing don't mix, so I'm dropping my work-in-progress until Friday at 2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. I need time to focus on those essays I've been totally not putting off and relaxing...if I can. ;-)

A definite up was I went to a local Barnes and Noble's with a friend and met Jodi Picoult. Yup, Jodi Picoult of "My Sister's Keeper", "The Pact", "Nineteen Minutes" and her newest novel "House Rules." Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to her much, except to say I loved her books, but she did sign my copy of "House Rules." Which is very, very cool.



After the signing, my friend and I got lunch at the mall's food court. We ate, talked, complained about our upcoming English Lit. in-class essay, and then who do we see walk by us but Jodi! Like the good English-Creative Writing majors we are, we do some giggling and stalking. Then, she walks by us again. She turned toward us and I waved. Not only did Jodi wave back, but she gave me the biggest grin I've ever seen. I honestly felt like it was me who was the NYT Bestselling author. ;-)

Then after much window shopping/trying on clothes but not getting anything, we went back to our dorm and I went to study for my Spanish exam. I was pretty confident. I'd done everything I thought I could do in preparation for this test, and I went in knowing I studied and worked my butt off. However, coming out of the exam, I felt like I had done horribly. Now I don't know about you, but I feel there's nothing suckier than coming out of a test feeling like you did horribly.

Well, I went on Facebook to check if anyone had written anything on my wall because, well, Facebook is addicting like that. Lo and behold was this message from a friend. It made my night better. It erased the fact that I felt bad about my test. As corny as this sounds, it turned my frown upside down:

I just want you to know that I've been keeping up with your progress and I'm very proud of you. Whenever I think I can't do something I just think to myself "Rachel's making it happen and so can I." :)


*cue the crying*

In other news, I vlog with Kristin (who, by the way, more or less made me join Blogger by stating it was easier than Livejournal). Last night during a break from one my papers, I finally vlog responded. It includes a dance party. Don't believe me? Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TpQcEWaB8M

Alright, I have to go and write more of that paper.

<3

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Which Our Heroine Begins Her Blogspot Adventure

So I started this blogger journal because someone *cough* KBotts *cough* said it was easier than Livejournal.

Well...we'll see about that!

I'm testing this out. I've used Livejournal since 2005 and I felt I needed a change. Not that I don't love Livejournal...because I do. I really do.

Anyway...

I'm Rachel. *waves*

I'm a college student. I like celebrity gossip, books, boys IN books, my MacBook (are you sensing a theme here?), book conferences, sunshine, laughing and Twitter. I like writing too. Oh, and reading.

Besides being a college student, I somehow juggle writing. And throwing dance parties with myself A LOT.

Well, hi everyone! I should probably go back to IMing Kristin now.

-Rachel