Author Archives: Koreen

Update

January 2. Yes, that was my last post. September 18. Okay, so it’s been nearly a year.

I’ve ended a school year. Gone on another vacation. Started to teach my son to drive and started my youngest in middle school.

We’ve also just lived through one of the worst floods in Northern Colorado. It was scary and heart-breaking. It was also a good wake-up call. While I have been working on my latest novel, disasters help put our lives into perspective. What matters most?

Our families. Thanks everyone for the support, not just now, but everyday.

Our friends. You are all my inspiration. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

My writing. I will not let my fear of failure cripple me for another year.

It may be September, but it is never to late (or too early) to start something new, to set up new goals and to see those dreams realized.

2013 ABC Book Challenge

2013 ABC ChallengeFor 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

Gone
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

Cold Kiss
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

Unwind
by Neil Shusterman

Vampire Academy
by richelle Mead

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green

Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins

You Against Me
by Jenny Downham

Dearly Departed: A Zombie Novel
by Lia Habel

Hobbits and Vikings Predict the World Will End in 2013

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.

How It Should’ve Ended

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.

HERA Awards

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. :-)

Which decade was better–the 80s or 90s?

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.

A Day Made of Glass Part 2

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?

Crossroads

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 School Year

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.

C’est La Fin

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. :-)

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