Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo

Sometime last night, I was typing away it my WiP.  I think I've told you all a little bit about it, but here's the info according to my Camp NaNoWriMo page:

Kyro, a space cadet and son of the star fleet commander, is at the top of his class with only one year of training left.  He's ready to get his year of apprenticeship under his belt and move on with his career.
Kyro thinks he's ready for anything, until he meets his mentor, the only female lieutenant in the whole fleet.  Her unorthodox methods and lack of regard for regulations throw the stiff jointed cadet into a tail spin.
My Ackilly is Killing Me! is a children's novella geared toward boys in grades 3 through 6.

So anyway, I was typing and I knew I was close to my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 30K.  Like a few hundred words close.  And then . . .
Yep!  I won Camp NaNoWriMo last night!  My current WiP, My Ackilly is Killing Me, isn't quite done, but I have added more then 7K during the month of April.

On a side note, Lilly (who blogs here) and I are cooking up a pretty awesome event for you all (if you are younger then 21 and have a finished fist draft of a novel.)  It will take place in August and September.  If you want in on some more details before we get all set up (which will hopefully happen later this summer)  you can visit this Facebook group.  I'm one of the Admins, so if I recognize you, I'll be sure to add you.  

That's all I have for now.  How's you writing going?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, April 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo Week 3

Howdy from the land of lot of words!  Aka Camp NaNoWriMo.

I had what might be the greatest moment of an unpublished writer's career.  This:
That's right!  On Wednesday I finished the first draft of a novel.  Pardon me whilst I go scream in joy. 
(*EEEPP!*)  Okay, I'm back.  So yes.  I have finished the first draft of my second novel.  It's complete at 98K.  I would really like it to be less then 70K.  The plan is to move some scenes from this novel to my first novel in the series and see if that helps balance them.  I would really like for them to be within 10K of each other.  And the first book in the series is about 56K.  However, there is at least one character and one sub-plot that needs to be cut, so hopefully we'll be fine.

Now, I know what you might be thinking.  "But Sarah, you're only two thirds of the way through Camp NaNoWriMo.  Did you reach your goal or what?"

To that, I will say that "No, I didn't reach my word goal."  Fortunately, for me, I've hand another project on the back burner for a while and it's now time to make that project the focus of my writing attentions.  It's a Sci Fi Star Trek style.  I'm hoping it will be about 35K.  Right now it's at 8K, so I have a ways to go.  But if I write a little over a thousand words a day for the rest of April, I'll be well on my way to finishing it.  So, no rest of the weary just yet.

I will also be well on my way to me new and improved monthly goal of 35K.  I know. It keeps getting higher.  The thing is, I wrote so much on my last week with the novel I just finished (over 11K), that it was only going to be about 500 words a day to meet my goal.  Sticking with the 1K a day will push me harder, which is why I decided to do it.

Alright, that's it for now.

Keep on writing!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Glass Girl Book Review

I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw the cover for Glass Girl, I knew I would love it!

Glass Girl was the second book to be released in the indie line of Playlist fiction, and it’s really giving me hope for future Christian fiction.  This book was so far removed from the peachiness that normally dogs Christian fiction.

Glass Girl follows Meg, a shy caring girl.  The book picks up not long after the tragic death of Wyatt, Meg’s charismatic older brother.  Her family, trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, decides to relocate to the other side of the country, from Philadelphia to a tiny town in the middle of ranch country in Wyoming.

Meg begins to recover from the tragedy, starting at her new school with a clean slate.  She meets Thanet, Tennyson, and the dashing young cow-boy Henry.  None of them know of the heartbreak that haunts her and she starts to put her life back together.  Unfortunately, the move does nothing to help her mother deal with her grief.  Meg finds herself with a mother who is spiraling into a black hole of depression and grief.

I found this book to be very well written.  The author did a great job with the characters and the romance between the polite country cowboy, Henry, and withdrawn, city-girl, Meg couldn’t be cuter or more heart rending.

I love the way Laura Kurk dealt with forgiveness on so many levels, looking at both forgiveness of self and people some might consider unforgivable.  The way she handled grief was also amazing.  The analogies she drew between Meg and glass were breath-taking!  I loved the way Meg started out thinking she was a glass girl because she was easily shattered, and then learned that glass could actually be incredibly strong and hold up under immense pressure.

I also really liked how sweet and just generally supportive Henry was.  I loved that he wanted to show Meg her loved her the good, old-fashioned way!  I’m so sick of boy+girl duo falling madly in love with each other in the first fifteen pages and having passionate make out sessions as soon as the opportunity presented itself.  Trail rides and picnics and loaned jackets and walks to the front door are so much more romantic and refreshing in the current YA market.

One thing I didn’t love was the Christian aspect of this book.  I know that I hate peachiness, and I’ve very thankful that Christian fiction authors take such great care to avoid it.  However, I wish this book had gone a little bit deeper at looking at how Meg had turned away from God after he allowed what he did to happen to her brother.  And then, when she starts to heal, looking at her coming back to God with the loving leadership of Henry.  I also didn’t quite understand why such a stellar Christian guy would be so seriously dating a girl who clearly didn’t believe the same things that he did.  As a Christian teen, I didn’t quite see how someone like Henry would okay with dating someone as blatantly non-Christian as Meg.

That being said, I loved Glass Girl, and would strongly recommend it to any high-school age girl or older.  The sheer amount of touching moments, paired with sad beets and unmatched realness had tears running down my face on and off for the whole book.   Sometimes I didn’t even know why I was crying, except that I just felt for and cared about the characters so much!  I cannot wait for Perfect Glass, the next book in this series.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update

Howdy from the land of tents, s'mores, and words!  I come bearing smokey clothes in need of much washing.
In case you didn't know, I've been holed up in my cabin with the wonderful Emily, Katelyn, and Bethany writing words.  It's been pretty amazing so far.  I'v decided to up my goal to 30K because a K a day is totally doable for me.  That being said, yesterday I was feeling more then a little bit discouraged with my somewhat lacking 4.5K when it should have been 7K.  Fortunately for me, yesterday was Sunday and in the second longest stretch of my writing career, I wrote 2.8K yesterday, bringing me back on track!
So I'm pretty happy with the way my novel stats are doing right now (although I haven't written yet today):
Though my cabin stats could be looking better:
Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo?  If so, how's your writing going?  And if not, are you still writing this week?  How much have you written so far in April?  And if you'll pardon me, it's time for morning fire back and Camp NaNo and I'm late already.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Teens Can Write Too! Blog Chain

Hi!  (How's that for an into?)
Because I'm a horrible person, I didn't realize I'd been assigned a date for the Teens Can Write Too! monthly blog chain.  So this post was supposed to be written on the 6th instead of now.  I'm greatly sorry and many apologies.
The prompt for this month's blog chain is
"What is your ultimate goal as a writer?"

I guess I would say that my ultimate goal as a writer would be to WRITE.  When I first started writing, I was 12 and I didn't do it to become the next NYT best-seller or the youngest girl on the USA Today top 150 Books list.  I did it because I loved stories, and I had such a thirst for them that my library just couldn't satisfy.
So far, in the over 150,000 words I've written, I have submitted 0 words for publication.  Would I love to be published someday?  Absolutely!  But right now I know that I need to get better, I need to build more diligence  and learn how to tell great stories.
So yeah, I guess my short term goal is to learn to tell great stories that keep people up long after they should have gone to bed.  The kind with characters so alive, you can't help bu write fan-fiction and fantasize about the characters other adventures.  And my ultimate goal is to get those stories that I love to other people that love them.  If it ends up that only five people really connect with the stories I have to tell, that would be awesome.  And if Donald Maass and John Green and Cassandra Clare connect with my books too, well . . . that would be awesome too!

Thanks for having me on the Teens Can Write Too tour!  I had a wonderful time.  Hope you enjoyed my post.  Short but sweet was the goal.
Check out the rest of the tour!
27th – http://bloodoverithaca.wordpress.com/ 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Writer-ly Meme

Okay, so maybe I just made this up from something I saw somewhere else, but either way, I'm a fan.  Feel free to re-post and share.

Have a lovely day!

P.S. if you want, you can head over the the contest on this blog.  Mine is one of the entries, but it shouldn't be a popularity contest, to just pick your favorite 15 or so.  The contest is supposed to go live sometime today. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Complicated Book Review

So, as you might now, I'm not a huge fan of book reviews.  However, I do post them occasionally  and today is one of those occasions.  Yeah!

Book Review by Sarah Faulkner

It's Complicated by Laura L. Smith

I’m always a little bit wary when it comes to Christian Fiction, and even more so when it comes to Christian YA.  After all, what better place to lead people to the Lord than in their teens.
I’m pleased to say that books such as It’s Complicated are slowly changing my opinion of Christian YA fiction, and I couldn’t be happier.

This book follows four college freshmen as they try to navigate the stress, responsibility, and drama of college. It more specifically deals with the challenges Christian teen girls encounter when dealing with boys.

Each roommate, Hannah, Kat, Palmer, and Claire, faces a different problem—or sometimes more than one—with the boys in their lives.  Hannah just wants to get a nice boyfriend to start off her freshmen year right, but it seems all the hot boys on the college campus are spoken for.  Well, all except the two which are chasing Kat.  She hardly has time for school and soccer practice, and certainly isn’t looking to add a boyfriend to the mix even if she knew which boy she’d choose.

Palmer on the other hand, is perfectly content with her high school boyfriend, although being at separate colleges is putting some strain on her relationship.  Until her boyfriend starts putting on the pressure for her to go farther than she’s really looking to go.

Petit little Claire just wants to survive her year without being noticed or losing her scholarship.  After a brief summer “flirtationship” turned into something much darker, the last thing she’s looking for is a boyfriend.
The interactions of these four girls with each other and a slew of hot college boys will have you turning pages, laughing, and crying.  The way these four girls find their strength in God without the book turning “preachy” is truly a breath of fresh air.

However, this book does deal with some mature content and the pressures girls in relationships often face.  If you’re looking for a book for your middle-schooler, I would encourage you to keep looking.  If you’re an upperclassman high-schooler or college girl, though, this book might be exactly what you need to read.  As a high-school girl myself, I can say that this book was a really worthwhile read and it just might change the way you look at relationships.  I think this would also be a great book for Moms to get a glimpse of what their teen girls are facing the world of “Boy.”

Laura Smith did a wonderful job with voice of this book.  The tone sounds just like older teenage girls, which I think some YA authors struggle with.  The point of view shifts were sometimes confusing, but other than that, I really, seriously loved this book and can’t wait for the next one in the Status Update series.