For all of you out there who started off the new year avoiding resolutions, I have some incentive for you. Participate in my 2013 ABC Book Challenge and at the end of the year, you can enter for a chance to win an Amazon or B&N gift card.
The rules? Easy. Pick a novel for each letter of the alphabet. That’s it. Twenty-six novels for 2013. Yes, you can ‘fudge’ some of those harder letters like X. You can make the rules more complicated like my list is entirely young adult titles. I also have a bunch of debut novels (to support those newbies). These are not requirements. You only need a list of books for each letter of the alphabet. They should be novels you will read in 2013, NOT novels you’ve already read. I’m holding you all responsible for being honest. If you cheat, the karma gods will catch you.
Once you’ve put your list together, post it on your blog, on Facebook, on a piece of paper (and take a picture). Add a link to your list in the comments section below.
Each month, I’ll check in and see how everyone is doing. No, you don’t have to read them in order. In November, I’ll post the specifics on how to enter for the gift card. On Jan. 1, 2014, I’ll pick a winner. Are you ready to get reading?
Here’s my list.
Another Little Piece June
by Kate Karyus Quinn
The Beautiful and the Cursed (May)
by Page Morgan
Clockwork Princess (March 19)
by Cassandra Clare
Dear Life, You Suck (March 26)
by Scott Blagden
Earthbound (July 3)
by Aprilynne Pike
Finale (Hush, Hush #4)
by Becca Fitzpatrick
by Michael Grant
Hold Me Closer Necromancer
by Lish McBride
Inferno: Chronicles of Nick (March 19)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Just One Day (January 8)
by Gayle Forman
by Amy Garvey
Leap of Faith (fall)
by Jamie Blair
The Murmurings (March 5)
by Carly Anne West
The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
Oathbreaker’s Shadow (June 6)
by Amy McColloch
Pretty Dark Nothing (April)
by Heather L Reid
Some Quiet Place (July 8)
by Kelsey Sutton
Rise of Nine
by Pittacus Lore
Shades of Earth: Across the Universe #3 (January 15)
by Beth Revis
These Broken Stars (fall)
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
by Neil Shusterman
by richelle Mead
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green
by Rachel Hawkins
You Against Me
by Jenny Downham
Dearly Departed: A Zombie Novel
by Lia Habel
That’s right people. The Mayan calendar simply ran out of numbers. Tolkien, on the other hand, knew what was in store for the fate of man.
Throughout history, we’ve taken comfort in the number twelve. There are twelve numbers on a clock. Twelve items in a dozen. Twelve symbols in the zodiac. Twelve is complete. The world didn’t end in 2012 because it’s a holy number.
Thirteen is odd. We all know that there were thirteen apostles at the last supper. That didn’t end well. Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit on Friday the thirteenth.
The story of the apostles is similar to another religious tale. Odin, king of the Norse gods, held a celebration one fated day. He invited eleven of his closest friends to join him, making the party twelve. Loki crashed the party, an unlucky thirteenth member, and Balder (another Norse god) ended up dying as he tried to boot Loki from the group. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Tolkien studied Norse mythology. He named his dwarfs in The Hobbit after popular Norse figures. Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Thorin Oakenshield, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori (Norse–Fíli, Kíli, Oin, Glói, Bivör, Bávörr, Bömburr, Dori, Nóri, Dvalinn, Bláin, Dain, Nain, Þorin Eikinskialdi), which add up to thirteen dwarfs.
Thirteen also comes up in the number of rings we see in LotR. There were originally nine rings for men (who turn into creepy hooded dead/undead guys). There were seven rings for the dwarfs and three for the elves, which equals nineteen. However, the elves don’t count because they hide their rings. Sauron recovers three of the dwarfish rings, leaving the number at thirteen.
The year 2013 is almost upon us. Tolkien knew our world would end. Peter Jackson knows it, too. Don’t believe me? The next installment of The Hobbit will be released December 13, 2013. Friday the thirteenth. Prepare for the Goblin Apocalypse.
Hi everyone. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. For everyone participating in NaNoWriMo, you’re nearly there–one week left. I’ve been busy writing, but that isn’t specific to November. Anyway, I wanted to share a site that I stumbled across over the break called HISHE (How It Should Have Ended). These guys are hilarious. We’ve been walking around all break saying, “I’m Batman.” Thanks to the guys for giving us some laughs.
The results are up and I’ve finaled in the Heartland Romance Writer’s “Show Me the Spark” contest. Yay.
Keep your fingers crossed for me. The winners will be announced on or near November 1st.
Now, on to more rewrites.
Today I’m posing a serious topic, possibly more serious than the presidential debate taking place in Denver tomorrow. What decade is better? The 80s or the 90s? Vote below…
The other day in class, my students started an “old school” conversation. The general consensus was that the 80s were WAAAYYY cooler than the 90s. Now, I liked the 80s. They were fun. I loved the big hair and bright colors. When I was a kid, I truly thought my prom date would look like Andrew McCarthy when I grew up.
The 90s were fun, too. Sure the grunge clothes and long hair gave our generation a bad rap. For my students who are too young to remember the AWESOMENESS of the 90s, here are some highlights…
In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Yes, without the 90s, there’d be no internet–take that Facebook. Love chatting with friends via text? Yup, that was invented in 1993 (first commercial text sent in 1995). Yahoo (1994), Amazon (1995), eBay (1995), and Google (1998) were all created in the 90s. In 1997, the first MP3 player is invented by Tomislav Uzelac–can you say iPOD? If you like WiFi, that was invented in 1998.
Top Grossing Movies of the 90s
- 1990–Home Alone & Ghost
- 1991–Terminator 2 & Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 1992–Aladdin & Home Alone 2
- 1993–Jurassic Park & Mrs. Doubtfire
- 1994–Forest Gump & The Lion King
- 1995–Toy Story & Batman Forever
- 1996–Independence Day & 101 Dalmatians
- 1997–Titanic & Men in Black
- 1998–Saving Private Ryan & Armageddon
- 1999–Star Wars: Episode I & The Sixth Sense
Do you see all of those happy, kid movies? The 90s weren’t all grunge. We like our puppies, lion cubs, and cowboy toys. We brought back Star Wars and we showed our hearts could go on. We brought you Leo and the kid who screamed when he put on aftershave. We fought aliens and meteors. We saw dead people and survived giant dinosaurs.
Most Popular Songs of the 90s.
- 1990–Vogue, U Can’t Touch This, Ice Ice Baby
- 1991–Enter Sandman, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Unbelievable
- 1992–Baby Got Back, I’m Too Sexy
- 1993–Jump Around, Two Princes
- 1994–Sabotage, Shine
- 1995–You Outta Know, Peaches
- 1996–California Love, No Diggity
- 1997–MMMBop, Wannabe, Fly
- 1998–Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), Gettin Jiggy Wit It
- 1999–My Name Is, Livin La Vida Loca
Everything from Nirvana and Tupac to Hanson and the Spice Girls. Come on, can Journey really compare to N-SYNC? Really?
But, now it’s up to you. Which decade did you like the best? Vote now.
It’s been a few days since I attended the Gold Conference. I learned a ton of information, but probably the best sessions I attended where given by Kirt Hickman (second year in a row). If you haven’t attended one of his lectures or bought one of his books on writing, Revising Fiction, you should.
Anyway, I don’t want to break copyright and go on about everything he said, but I’ll share one tidbit. At the conference he talked about how to make your blog posts more engaging. They should educate, entertain, or inspire your readers. They can be a behind the scenes (or deleted extras) from your books. I’m going to try to take his advice to heart. Today, this post is actually a video clip. About a year ago, I watched a YouTube video made by Corning called “A Day Made of Glass“. If you haven’t watched the video, it’s pretty cool.
Recently, they put out an extended version (below). Both of these videos are a big inspiration for my sci-fi settings. And they are simply cool to watch. Isn’t it fun to see where technology might be headed?
This weekend is the Colorado Gold Conference. I’m excited. This is the third year I’ve attended. Three years of seriously working on my writing. My first year, I was learning about the publishing process. My second year, I was trying to produce another novel (those inner voices were dragging me down). Now in my third year, I’ve failed a plenty. But I’ve had some successes, too. I’ve won a contest–yay (and placed second in a few more). My biggest success is that I’ve caught the eye of a pretty well known agent.
Now, I simply need to write a novel she can sell. No small order. Some people would’ve thrown in that dirt ol’ towel. I’m not there, yet. I’m at a crossroads, trying to decide if I should go back an rework one of my older pieces or should I start something new. Hmm. Decisions, decisions. What do you all think?
Another summer has come and gone. As a teacher, I started school this past week. The kids start tomorrow. You’d think after 12 years, I wouldn’t be nervous anymore. Will they like me? Will they make fun of my clothes? Will I forget my supplies? Will I make a fool out of myself? While some of those jitters are warranted (yes, they will probably make fun of my clothes), I really do hope I have it together tomorrow. I also hope I can remember some of their names by the end of the day.
I once had another teacher tell me if I ever stopped feeling nervous on the first day, I needed to quit teaching. I suppose that means I still care. There is hope for me.
This nervous excitement has spilled over to my writing. I finished one story over the summer and now it’s time to start another. What will I pick? Will my characters like me? Will the plotting work out? Will I get stuck in rewrites? Probably. But, the excitement of meeting new people, shaping new lives and creating new worlds, makes the whole process worth it. Both in fiction and in real life.
And that’s a wrap. Almost. I’ve finished writing The Fourth Wish. *drops balloons and confetti* I’d like to hang up my pen and call it a day, but the darn thing needs to be edited. One of my “wish list” agents asked for a partial. If I don’t want to miss the published author train, I’ve got to get busy. I guess I won’t start planning my vacation just yet.
Two weeks ago I attended Margie Lawson’s Immersion class up in Wondervu (the mountains west of Boulder). We spent five days from sun up to sun down working on our writing (okay, so we wandered to a bar or two, but we worked there, too).
Margie and my Suh-weet Success girls helped me revise my first three chapters (free from cliches and full of fresh, lively writing). They also motivated me to get this book finished before I miss the boat, again.
Then it was back to writing and I’m happy to report I’ve stayed on track this past week. Even though I had another vacation with the family up in Steamboat, I busted out nearly 9,000 words this week (so far) in between bike rides and boat trips.
Whew, now it’s back to Panera to get some real work done.