Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh yeah, did I mention?...

I got to meet HIM....


By the way.... "HIM"=Brandon Sanderson... only one of my FAVORITE writers EVER!! If you've never heard of HIM, do yourself a favor, drive to the library pronto and check something out. 

Better yet? 

Save yourself the trouble and hit up Barnes and Noble.... cause you're probably going to want to own his books anyway ( :

As a side note, I should point out my smile in that picture. I think I did a remarkably good job at it (smiling, that is), considering I just finished a nine hour work day PLUS a 4 hour wait in line to get our book signed (without breaks, mind you). I feel I should receive kudos for that ( : Haha. 

And here's the thing about Brandon... I like fantasy... but I'm not like a HUGE fantasy buff... know what I'm saying? I don't own season passes to the local renascence festival, and I won't be crushed if the epic-never-ending-I-didn't-know-where-to-stop-or-how-to-edit-my-plot-line Robert Jordan books never get made into movies. I just won't. 

But Brandon Sanderson takes fantasy to a whole new level. 

Example? Ever notice how most fantasy books bear a striking resemblance to Lord of the Rings

Yeah. I love ya Tolkien, but really guys? Lets let Tolkien be Tolkien. Which is EXACTLY what my man B-dawg does! Not a lick of Tolkien ANYWHERE! He is SO creative! The worlds and magic systems he creates are truly unique. And his strong female characters? Love 'em. 

Plus he ALWAYS gets me on who the bad guy is. 

Seriously. EVERY time. 

Needless to say, meeting him was FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC! Emphasis on the FAN... because--I'll be honest--despite all my attempts to come across as a calm, cool, collected admirer, I'm quite sure that in all my giddiness, I probably sounded like an excited groupie on steroids. Haha. 

(But so NOT funny when I think about it!!) 

Luckily, Brandon was very kind and looked past all my groupie faults. [relief!] He even spent a handful of minutes discussing agents and book writing techniques with me when I asked.

Now if that isn't a writer dedicated to his fans, I don't know what is!!

Oh... AND we got a signed copy of his new book!

[Bounces up and down in chair!]

Which, of course, I haven't started yet... but I have big plans for Thanksgiving weekend.

Whew! Now you know what I've been doing instead of my own writing: goo-ing and fawning over OTHER writers' work. Bahahahaha! No one said this job was easy ( ;

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Bloopers

And THIS, friends, is why we have critique groups...

To edit out our stupid, stupid, STUPID mistakes!! Bahahahahahahaha!! 

By the way, if you don't get why this is bad, THAT's GOOD!... It prolly just means you're out of the loop with middle school locker room humor.

You are very mature. Go ahead... pat yourself on the back.


So tell me... what stupid, oh-my-gosh-I'm-gunna-die-of-embarrassment writing mistakes have YOU made?! Spill it, peeps. I know I'm not the only one!! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Delicious Dark YA!

I fear I've fallen hopelessly behind on my blog life again. [sighs]. So much work. So little time to write. And blog. Booooo! 

On the bright side, it IS nice to be making the $$ again now that I'm out of school! [happy dance!]

Luckily, I have totally rock awesome blog fests to draw me back into the fray again! This week's Dark YA Blogfest topic is to cast a dark YA book, OR create a soundtrack. 

I chose to cast. 


I don't know. Perhaps because it seemed like it would require LESS brain power than creating a soundtrack. Bahahahaha! 

ANY-way! The book I chose to cast is: The Power of Six, by Pittacus Lore. 

Now before you get your panties all bunched in a knot, LET ME ASSURE YOU, I'm well aware that the first book (I Am Number Four, for those of you living under large rocks) has--in fact--been cast and made its way onto the big screen. HOWEVER, I'm not even sure if The Power of Six has even been optioned yet, let alone cast. (Someone please tell me I'm wrong!) And if it hasn't, some producer is missing out on some serious dough. In my oh-so-humble opinion, The Power of Six rocked the socks off I Am Number Four

And as far as casting goes, don't worry... I won't be messin' with the likes of John/Number Four (Mr. Pettyfer), who is, lets be honest, totally swoon worthy... 

OR Six (Teresa Palmer), who is so I'm-gunna-kick-your-freakin'-Mogadorian-trash kind of cool that--I'm not gunna lie--I kind of want to be her. Just sayin'.

But luckily, there are LOTS of other freakin' awesome to faces to cast for this much-anticipated sequel....

Seven/Marina: Odette Yustman (a newer actress, but she TOTALLY has the face for it, I think!)

Ten/Ella: Savanna Lewis (would prolly have to darken those pretty blonde locks to make her look Hispanic, but this girl is a kick butt actress!)

Hector: Armand Assante (I TOTALLY thought of this guy EVERY time Hector came up in the book! For those of you who are Chuck fans, he plays President Alejando Goya in a couple episodes with Captain Awesome and Elle. Woot, woot! Love me some Chuck!)

Nine: Matthew Lawrence (honestly, I don't even know if this kid can act, but I saw this pic and went--YES! Thats who I picture! Someone with kind of a long, oval shaped face with brown hair and a cocky look [sorry Matt]... and I don't even know if that's REALLY what Nine looks like in the book, but its what I see in my head, so we're gunna go for it!)

So there ya have it, that's my casting for the day! There are a few more characters that I probably could (and should) have cast, but this girl is getting sleepy... a long day + a long commute = grumpy Julie. Its prolly best to let me and my snuggly teddy and memory foam mattress be. (Haha) Consider my contribution to the Dark YA Blogfest done!! Yay! 

Not that the fest is over. Just that I actually did it. Yeah.

And seriously, if you haven't read The Power of Six... DO IT! I'm not kidding, it knocked the pants (or socks?) off I Am Number Four... which was also good, of course.... but still... the sequel totally rocked. And look... would this face lie to you? [Insert awesome Julie face] No!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Insecure Writer's Group: Moral Dilemmas

Wow... I must seriously be on a roll here. Two posts in two days? Hell is probably freezing over. Just so you know.

Haha. I'm a joker. 

Anyway, as the first Wed-nes-day of the month, it's time for the wonderful Insecure Writer's Group post! [Horray!] Although, unlike most of my posts, I have something to talk about this time that's a little less jovial than my normal oh-so-sarcastic self. This is because I really wanted to find something that I am truly, TRULY deep down and insecure about, rather than something I'm just kind of insecure about. I think this group can do a lot of good, but I don't want to be talking about superfical insecurities when the issues we SHOULD be hashing out are the hard ones! 

So as I was thinking about something I could talk about that just makes my skin crawl with insecurity, I came up with this:

I worry a lot when my writing isn't exactly in line with the "standards" "morals" "social norms"--whatever you want to call them--that I grew up with. Mostly because I worry about offending people who are close to me.

See, here's the thing, when I create my characters, I try to be true to that character. If my character is a no-good-dirty-rotten scum bag, well then, he's a dirty rotten scum bag and I'm gunna write him that way! Would I personally torture and murder a guy out of political motivations? Absolutely not. But would my bad guy? You better believe it! The problem is that some people find this aggression offensive, even when its purely fiction and does not reflect on my own personal views whatsoever. 

I guess you could say that I'm insecure about offending people close to me [I don't care about you strangers... haha! Jk!] But the bad guys have to be bad... know what I'm saying? 

How do you balance this issue? Trying not to be overly offensive but still getting your point across? I know the easy answer is to just say: "Poo on you! I don't care if you're offended or not!" But really? That's actually NOT the easy answer. Because then, you know, you're like the talk of the family reunion. And not in a good way. Familia exile for life. That kind of thing. 

Okay, so I'm being a bit extreme. But you get the idea. 

My point is, that this is a tough act for me to balance. And since I know some of you don't even worry about it, or have your solutions down to a science, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dark YA Blogfest!

Hellooooo, peeps! Its me again, and lookie, LOOKIE!! It hasn't been that long since my last post! Whew! I hope I didn't lose any stragglers there... 

So November marks the month of the oh-so-fabulous Dark YA blogfest, hosted by: Kelley York, Heather McCorkleChrista Desir, and E.R. King.Woot, woot! Three cheers for blogfests! Cause lets be honest... for those of us with crazy busy jobs, blogfests give us a reason to give some blog love every now and again ( : Its like having a deadline... I always work better with deadlines. So with no more gilding the Lilly... 


1. Put the I LOVE DARK YA badge on your sidebar or at the top of each of the posts you do for the fest. Make sure you link it back to the YAtopia linky sign-up.

2. Visit blogs of your hosts and other participants if you can. Interact. Make some friends. It’ll be more fun!
3. Your blog post needs to be up on Wednesday. You can post early if you want, but people will be hopping on Wednesdays.

The themes for this blogfest:

November 2nd: Blog about your favorite dark YA book(s). 

November 9th: Write a 500-word or less flash fiction piece inspired by this picture—


November 16th: Music and Movie Fun—Take a dark YA book and build a soundtrack for it or cast characters for a movie version.

November 23rd: #YASAVES—Blog about how a dark YA book made an impact in your life.

November 30th: Waiting on Wednesday—What dark YA book are you most looking forward to? 

On the final day of the blogfest, the hosts will each be doing a giveaway on their blogs. Any of the I LOVE DARK YA blogfest participants may enter. Sign-ups will remain open for the entire month of October. Thanks for joining in the fun! 

So this week, I'm to post my fav. Dark YA book. Aaaaaaand, I'll be honest... this is where I chew my fingernails, stare blankly into the audience and go "Errrrrr?" 

Cause I'm not sure what qualifies as Dark YA. 

I get dark. And I get YA. But it kind of seems to me like MOST YA is dark these days.... doesn't it? Hopefully I'm not missing any specific parameters on what does and does not qualify as dark YA. If I am, just nod and smile. Its what Hubbs does every time I say something blonde-ish ( :

ANY-whooo... moving on! Like many of you, its impossible for me to pick out an all time fav book. Even when you narrow the categories down to genre or a category--like, say "dark YA"--it's still tough. I like books. What can I say? 

In dire, life threatening situations (or during blogfests), I CAN, however, come up with a handful of favs. So, plucked among my handful of Dark YA favs (with no discrimination against my other favs whatsoever), this is the Dark YA book I've chosen to represent me:

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. 

For me, this book took creepy to a whole new level. Hubbs will tell you (because we often argue the merits of sword-and-dragon fantasy vs. real life fantasy), that I L.O.V.E. books that are MOSTLY real, with just bits of paranormalcy and fantasy thrown in. I like being able to imagine that crazy fantastic things can happen in our world of normalcy. And this book? Is just that: Realistically Creepy.... with a bit of paranormal love.

Did I mention creepy? Oh yeah. I'm talking serial-killer-stalking-and-killing-teenage-girls-in-small-rural-town kind of creepy. The bit of paranormal spice thrown in, is that the main character, Violet, can sense the dead. The killer and the body have identical "echos" that get stronger whenever she is close to either. 

Serial Killer? Girl who can sense dead bodies? You see where this is going. 


This book gave me chills. Probably because I watch too much Criminal Minds, but that's a problem for another day. 

I also adored the romance aspect of the book! (Notice the italics for emphasis? Haha!) What I loved was that Violet and Jay started out as besties. Their relationship was so real. And not that I don't adore the love-at-first-sight stories too... cause I do. But there is something so sweet and honest about two best friends discovering that they love each other.

[cue sappy music]

Plus, Jay is such a stinkin' sweetheart! Their relationship seriously melted me. 

What more can I say? Read it. Love it. I know you will ( :

P.s. Did I mention there is a sequel? [OH YEAHHHHH!]