Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Routine Blog Checking

I thought I'd take the time to write about a few blogs that I manage to make time to check on an almost daily basis (okay maybe not daily, but whenever I happen to be on). Are they the best blogs ever? You be the judge, but they keep me entertained enough that I feel the need to check them on the regular. Who knows? Maybe they'll become some of your regulars too... [links available through the blog headers]

Literary Rambles:  This is a blog I found almost a year ago. I'm sure a lot of people have heard of this one by now, but I used to be borderline obsessed with it---mainly because of the exhaustive list of literary agent profiles. Now that I'm leaning towards self-pubbing, I look at these a little less, but are the a valuable resource regardless? I think so. And, nowadays, Casey is regularly posting writing tips, reviews, (and seemingly thanks to her new partner) giveaways, you have an even bigger reason to stop on by the Literary Rambles site.

Words on Words by Maggie Stiefvater: This is Maggie's personal blog where she blogs about tea, travel, books, and promotional items. Whether or not you are a fan of her books, the site is entertaining if for nothing else than to see how a author promotes his or her own work well and the book events she covers.

Invincible Summer: Hannah is crazy entertaining. She promotes herself, talks about her writing style, and shows her book covers and thought processes. I'm a sucker for authors talking about how they write, and again, she's humorous. So, why not?

Nerd Girl Reads & Writes: I love this blog. I read it often, comment seldomly, but the love is still there. Becca is trying to become a published author and talks about her new projects, blog contests, giveaways, and tons of stuff relates to the writing world. I just like fresh perspectives and hearing about people with new ideas. Plus, she writes about music she likes, and I've gotten new good song selections from her. I'm a sucker for book meets music blogs (cough...)

The Story Siren: This is where I go when I'm looking for new YA. Kristi gives great reviews, and really, her blog is like THE shining example of how book blogs should be done. Good reviews, giveaways, relevant advertisements, author interviews: basically the baked potato with the works of the book blogging world.

Joyously Prolific: I'm basically in awe with how much Lazette writes. I read just because the sheer volume of it is nothing short of inspirational.

YA Lit Six: a bunch of YA writers (I think they're all YA, some MG too) take turns (each having a day) to write about something, get this, related to writing. Gotta love it. It's interesting to have so many perspectives attacking a subject I could (and sometimes do) read about all day.

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: I LOVE this blog. Sort of (Fully) addicted to it. Joe Konrath, who I've mentioned before on this blog, writes tons of posts about self-publishing. Hearing his stats is so impressive it's almost hypnotizing. Seriously. Read his blog often, regardless of whether or not you're into traditional or self-publishing.

My Blood Approves: Amanda Hocking's story [self-publishing (now also traditional)] is amazing. She's honest and likes a ton of stuff that I like, which is always a plus. Also a plus, I love her stories, which I encourage you to buy here)--I mean for what they cost they are completely worth it. She didn't become a millionaire from lack of talent.

Okay that's the list as it stands so far. I'll be sure to update it in future posts.

I'm leaving y'all with another song, because...that's what I do (as the last 2 posts demonstrate lol). I LOOoOOve this song, and hearing it on Syfy's Face Off (amazing) was how I heard it; so I figure I'd let you all have the same experience.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kindle as Krack Addiction

I have a lot of books in my To-Be-Read pile. A lot. A Whole lot actually. I could say that I have a desk, but in all reality I have a large pile of books that comprise what should be a desk (at least underneath where things with desk-purpose should be held). It’s almost intimidating. But, the problem lies in the fact that I’ve recently (as of January) purchased a Kindle, and now I’m kind of a Kindle freak. I am constantly looking on Amazon to find the next great book (YA usually). That’s not shocking, but what has changed is that now I’m looking for fantastical INDIE books. Almost primarily.

So, what this comes down to is that I’d love to add more books to my ever-growing To-Be-Read-On-The-Kindle (TBRK) pile. Here’s what I’ve gotten so far:

The Trylle trilogy [Trolls (non-traditional), romance, fairy tale-ish without the gag factor, soon to be movie] and My Blood Approves series [Vampires, romance, love triangles (I live for them)] by Amanda Hocking, who by now, I’m almost sure you’ve heard of. Hers is an amazing story. Read this immediately if you don’t know about her.

Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland [YA Zombies] is on the TBRK pile. Looks good. First pages sound good.

Just purchased Maid for Me [girl working as maid, romance suspected to ensue] by Kat and Eve Lieu, which has gotten pretty good reviews. I’ll let you know how it is.

Been reading Falling from Grace [Misfit female MC, Romance, angels, angst] for a while now, on and off.

Same can be said for Immortal [Vamps, romance, love triangle (sense a trend?)] by Lauren Burd. Pretty okay for what I’ve read as of yet, but for some reason once it turned to mostly action, I’m struggling a little with it.

And I bought a traditionally published book on the Kindle: Forget You [girl coming of age sexually, romance, amnesia] by Jennifer Echols. Eh, was okay. Her Going Too Far [angst, bad girl MC, cop/mentor love interest], though, read on my iPod actually, I dug truly.

And then there’s the list of books I’ve grabbed samples for but haven’t committed to yet:
            Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon
            Monster by Kate Licht and Noel i
            Tempest (Destroyers, Book 1) by Holly Hook
Trapped by Jack Kilborn and J.A.Konrath (READ HIS BLOG, seriously. Do It. Go on)
Jenny Pox by JL Bryan
Turned by Morgan Rice
Not What She Seems by Victorine E. Lieske
The Anti-Vampire Tale by Lewis Aleman
The Wicked Woods by Kailin Gow
Breathless by Heather C. Hudak
Breathless by V.J. Chambers
PULSE by Kailin Gow

If I turn those books into purchases, I’ll be sure to update you, and I’ll even provide a brief snippet category list/summary-but-not-really with them in these things [] as I did earlier*.

Wondering how I heard about these books? Well, the answer is various places, but I did just stumble upon a discussion of YA books (some of which I added and/or bought). It’s really interesting to read. Check it out here.

Let me know if you hear about a bomb-diggity (ha.) ebook on Amazon that I need to read in order to live (or enjoy myself for a while…you know, whichever.) by commenting below or emailing me. Pretty. Pretty. Please. Also, if you’ve read any of the ebooks in my should I purchase?/should I not? sample list, let me know if they’re worth their hard drive space.

*Hate the little [ ] tags? Want full reviews instead or more details? Email me or comment below and let me know, and I’ll rectify that if there’s interest.

And finally, I leave you with an Eisley song, in honor of them having a new album recently released. This song is from the first full album though, and I like it. For my friends, it was a little bit like a gateway drug into the Eisley awesomeness.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Inspire Me...well...some stuff does that may or may not be you...

Inspiration. One of my favorite things about being a writer (or sometimes pretending to be a writer maybe) is that we get inspiration from the most random of places. I LOVE (lloovvee) reading about how people get their ideas. It’s both an interest and mild form of procrastination to me. Almost can’t live without looking up author processes now. Obsessive, I know.

It’s crazy to me where the ideas come from. I know the answer to this question when answered by writers is typically “I was in the shower” or “It just came to me one day, go fig.” But I still love hearing about it. Even more so if they say, “I read this obscure song by this band you are going to love, and it helped me write my best-selling series on mermaids, aardvarks, and the like.”

What do I love the best? The dream inspirations. Now, that’s saying something because I love me some inspirations from songs, but dreams are just…sigh…they are where it’s at for inspiration for me. Even though it’s always upsetting when I say, “Of course, Bugs Bunny traveling the earth as my funky heroine’s companion” only to realize after the dream fog clears that…well…Bugs Bunny was in my dream and did most of the talking and the idea generally sucks. Not cool. Not a cool feeling at all.

But I have had some rock star ideas come from dreams, and I always feel like I’ve been hand delivered a blockbuster when the idea even after the fog seems flawless. I must admit, I might have it easier than some to pull from dreams seeing as my dreams tend to be pretty cinematic. I’m in; I observe; it comes to some kind of conclusion (unless I’m woken up).

So, I have to ask the big internet world out there: Where do you get your inspiration; what’s an inspiring song I can add to my growing collection; and do dreams turn into novels for any of you? Do tell in the comments section. 

And again, I leave you with a song that will always seem random (and typically is except for the fact that I'll like all the ones I post...). I was singing this song all of the time when I was a kid after hearing it once on the radio. I just now found it. So now you can too:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why books just do it for me

So almost needless to say, I shot myself in the foot by proclaiming I would be doing this blog thing every day. It’s been over a month :cough: and both of my previous blog posts were done in one day…that day being in early January. But there’s no need to dwell in the past, and I have been tweeting which should count for something.

I wanted to talk about why I love books. Pretty broad, I know, but the whole idea of experiencing a novel, feeling like you’re in it, and falling in love again and again with each character is an amazing thing to accomplish as a writer and a far more amazing thing to experience as a reader.

I jones utterly for good books. I’m a sucker for gritty romances with the standard brooding guy with a good heart. (But as a sidebar, I almost always hate something that’s in your face as a romance…I liked to be tricked into the story and stay for the romance, thank you very much…)

But the main reason I love books is two fold: the completely visceral reaction you can have with a book (CAN YOU HEAR ME, PEOPLE? YOU CAN BE THERE*…wherever “there” is) and the fact that reading is this private journey you’re on—typically just you—where you are the protagonist; you fall in love; you are almost killed on an island of teenagers trying to survive. It’s this completely surreal reaction to a new world you wouldn’t have had access to before, and you get access every time you turn the page.

And as a huge bonus, you can have a book buddy to say “OMG remember when he was all like ‘blah blah blah,’ I could have died.” And so your private experience of just you and the book is completely tweaked into you being able to gush something ridiculous with other people who have been trapped teenagers, spies, werewolves, or vampire lovers with you. It’s almost as if you all shared the same life experience and can now reminiscence about it together. Pretty kick A, if you ask me. (And P.S. I’d love more reading buddies. Discussing the book with people is half the reason I love reading, as you can probably now tell…)

Do you all experience gut-grabbing connections with books (if they’re good that is)? Which ones have rocked your socks to their toe cores? I’d love to read them and live vicariously if you’re up to sharing. Comment below! J

*Friendly reminder to said people. I’m not crazy enough to believe I’m actually there, but as long as it feels like it, I’m happy. Just so we’re clear…lol.

Now to leave you with a song that moves me, not to dance but to blast it loudly and croon along. It's "Say It Like You Mean It" by Matchbook Romance off of their album Voices, which, like I tweeted a while back, you should own in all seriousness. It's epic something huge.