Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Reviews by Priscilla the Great!

So my grades in English class are not so good right now.  Apparently, taking the words of Emily Bronte and rapping them to the music of a Black Eyed Peas hit does not make a good poetry project. Who knew? Thankfully, Mrs. Talendy is letting me redeem myself. I have to read ten books over Christmas break and write blogs about them. Yeah, I know, TEN WHOLE BOOKS! And I can’t even count comic books!

Anyway, I decided to go ahead and get started. I need to knock these books out if I want any chance of having some fun this break. I got two books done this weekend so I’ll talk about them now.

I started small with a little book called Bloated Goat by Manley Peterson. Here is a description from Amazon:

When Granny Hammy finds Bloated Goat face down in her front yard's drainage ditch, her grandson Cocky Doodle thinks nothing of it. In fact, he says that’s just another normal day for his best friend. But when they discover that Bloated Goat has little black Xs for eyes and is even more bloated than normal, they realize it is much more serious.

Come join the trio on a humorous adventure filled with jewel thieves, a despondent wolf, an alligator gangster, a kingdom of hungry mushrooms, a shocking skunk wedding, and a mysteriously powerful chameleon known as Crazy Ned.

But don’t take my word for it. Read the following fake quotes for more convincing words:

"This is one the funniest books about bloated goats and talking animals I've ever read." - A random, imaginary kid

"If I was stuck on a deserted island with nothing but this book, I'd probably read it at least once." - An important kid, possibly your best friend or son or daughter

The description alone made me want to read this book. I love the made up quotes.  Bloated Goat was a quirky little kid’s story where the animals talk to you. Literally, they talk to you the reader. It was like Ferris Bueller meets Open Season. I read it to the twins for their bedtime story and they laughed so hard milk squirted out of their noses. Which is odd because they’re both lactose intolerant.

Anyway, the next book I read this weekend was Firefly Island by Daniel Arenson. Here is a summary from Amazon:

King Sinther, his flesh made of stone, tyrannizes the enchanted Firefly Island. Swords and arrows break against him. Armies crash before him. All of Firefly Island, a land of magic and mystery, suffers under his cruelty.

But one girl, a simple slave girl, has magic that can stop him. Whatever Aeolia feels, she can make others feel: joy, sadness, hunger... even pain. If she hurt herself and shared the pain, she could hurt the mad stone king.

Can Aeolia escape King Sinther's assassins, defeat him, and save Firefly Island?

Now I’m not normally too into fantasy. I’m more Star Trek than Lord of the Rings if you know what I mean. But I really liked this book. It transported me to Firefly Island and I felt Aeolia’s pain…which was exactly what her powers were. Good job, girl. Anyway, definitely go pick this up from Amazon as soon as you can.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Success for a New Novelist!

A couple of years ago when I started on TheNextBigWriter, I started reading a story that I fell in love with- Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson. It was still in the process of revisions but even then I knew it would eventually be published. During the past year or so, I've been following Sybil's journey to market her book and get it published. Well, it finally happened!

Priscilla the Great was picked up by a publisher, and is now for sale on Amazon! I'm so excited for her! She has put in so much work throughout the entire process, and is truly an inspiration to me.

What's even better is that as part of her marketing plan she is going on a blog tour and will be making a stop here to do a guest blog on December 23rd! While you're waiting you can check out an interview with her here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Plodding Along

As excited as I am with my revisions, I really feel like I've just been plodding along. I finished Nano and even though I had the words to win, I didn't really feel like a winner. Nothing like last year when I finished Songbird. So when I started tackling the revisions to Raven's Mark (Evolution of Janie) I was already in a funk.

So far, I've managed to get to chapter 4 with revisions and I already know I have another round to do, because the feedback I've had from my reviewers on the first three have pointed out things I knew and was dreading. Restructing parts of the first chapter, to establish setting sooner., working on sentence structure to build sentence fluency and decrease the choppy phrasing, which although commonly found in YA is not how I want my work to read. The part that's really killing me though is reducing all of my repetitive words, and ideas.

My first major revision of Raven's Mark was drastic, I pretty much massacred the thing and it came out three hundred percent better. The round I want to know that at the end I've got it solid. That it really will be ready to send to agents. I still have my hopes for the two agents with my original partials, but at this stage I'm moving on. I refuse to just put this piece on the shelf. I will get this story in shape. Even if it takes me forever to do!

On my iPod:

"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars