Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Museday [3]

This is an artist whose radio hit had me dancing and singing every time I heard it.  I had to hear more and found today's track.  So who and what is it?

Today's Muse is...Tigerlily by La Roux.

I absolutely love La Roux's song Bulletproof so I went in search of more.  I came across this song and it instantly fit part of my current story.  One of my characters sort of pulls my MC into this world that is a dangerous, tantalizing, and frightening all at the same time.  I love that this song is from the point of view of the hunter who is basically taunting/teasing the hunted.  The song has a great atmosphere that really expresses the strange feeling of the world my MC steps into for a while, as well as they mysteriousness of the person pulling her into it.

The video below shows the lyrics while the song is playing.  It's catchy and different so please take a listen.  Enjoy!   ^_^



Monday, May 30, 2011

Simply Divine [2]




I love photos -- the strange, the poignant, the humorous, and the beautiful -- so I figured every Sunday I would do a photo post of seven images I rounded up from the interwebs.  This is my take on the awesome meme Daily Dose, hosted by Holly of Good Golly Miss Holly.





This week's Simply Divine features images from my trip to the 
Tennessee Renaissance Festival, taken by me or Captain Italian on my phone. 
^_^


 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I


 Frozen Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake on a Stick


 My one and only bulls-eye at the archery stable.  Can you see it???


 The girls playing Critter Catapult.  Who knew vaulting beenie babies at buckets was so much fun?


 Captain Italian trying on a $500 black and red leather pirate coat.


 The best pirate wenches at the fair!


 The beautiful and stormy sky over the human chess board and jousting field.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What Happened This Week [2]

What Happened This Week is a new weekly meme where I will bullet point things I encountered in my week.  Expect randomness.  ^_^

So this is a double dose of WHTW due to A LOT happening and completely knocking me off my schedule.

  • I walked/jogged 7 miles on the 14th.  Then the memories of what happened May 15-20 were completely wiped from my mind by the events of the days following.

  • I attended the Tennessee Renaissance Festival in Arrington, Tennessee, on Saturday the 21st.  Lots of fun was had despite getting completely soaked.  Huzzah!

  • At the TRF, I ate frozen, chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick.  No lie.  And yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.

  • The dance/tumbling class I helped teach with my sister ended.  I will miss the girls but not the sweat/bruises!

  • I found out that I would be spending the entirety of my wedding savings on a financial emergency that popped up. 

  • Due to no longer having any money to pay for my wedding, Captain Italian and I scrambled to change plans. We were able to get our deposit back from our church (which is also helping us with chairs) and my aunt is allowing us to have the whole thing at her house (she has a lot of yard).

  • I utterly befuddled my father when he suggested we move the wedding back six months (in order to save up more money) and I responded with "I hate the number 2 and refuse to be married in 2012, which was a stupid movie!" So we moved it up from November 19th to August 14th.

  • I searched for a long, white summer dress to go with my now outdoor and informal wedding and found NOT A ONE in my entire town.

  • I checked the actual bridal shops in the area and found a dress that was extremely reasonable and perfect for our summer wedding.  The lady agreed to hold the dress for more than a week so I could gather the money to pay for it.  Awesome, right? (It gets better.)

  • My sister and I found gorgeous bridesmaid dresses at a very, very low price.  Then my sister handed me my mail and told me to open it.

  • I opened my mail.  Despite not usually getting a tax return, I got one this year.  For more than half what I had saved for my wedding.  And Captain Italian, who was supposed to have gotten nothing also, got more than he makes in a week.  There was a lot of happy dancing and squeeing.

  • I paid for my dress IN FULL the very next day after finding it.  Then Captain Italian took me shoe and jewelry shopping and I now have those as well. 

  • We still have several things to pay for, but we are no longer wondering how we will manage.  And this may sound weird, but I am very thankful it all happened this way.  I always find out how little my faith is during events like this, and God always proves he is greater than my worries, struggles, and fears.  I really wanted an outdoor wedding but thought we needed the extra time to save up.  But in the end I get the outdoor wedding, have fewer expenses as well as the money to pay for them, and get to praise God for what he's done for me.  ^_^

So what happened to you this week?

Giveaway Highlight: 1000 Followers/Birthday Giveaway

Tiger over at All Consuming Books is having a 
1000 Follower/Birthday giveaway!
There are several awesome prizes for multiple winners!
But hurry! Contest ends May 31st!
Enter HERE!

Shadowspell (Faeriewalker)EntwinedShade (Shade, Book 1)Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires, Book 9)
The Disunited States of America (Crosstime Traffic)TimelessDivergent (Divergent Trilogy)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday! [3]

Sorry I've been MIA this week, but a lot has been going on!
I will be back on track this weekend!

Book Blogger Hop 

Welcome blog hoppers!
I haven't been answering the questions but so many of my new followers mentioned it 
I figured I better this time!  
(I also will go back and revise my first two BBH and FF posts 
to answer the questions from those weeks!)


FFQ: How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

WQA:  I probably listen to 2-3 audiobooks a week, and maybe read one hard copy.  I listen to books way more than I physically read.


BBHQ:  Which book-to-movie adaptation have you most liked?
Which have you disliked?

WQA:  I generally don't have many qualms with book-to-movie adaptations and try to enjoy them separately from the books.
I thought the Lord of the Rings trilogy was the best adaptation ever (because even where things were changed, they still made sense within the scope of the fantasy world and Tolkien's style).  
The one b-to-m adaptation I remember absolutely hating was The DiVinci Code.  Neither of those examples are YA, but I generally enjoy YA b-to-m adaptations despite all the details that get left out.


If you enjoy what you see enough to follow, please also 
 "Like" the Writer Quirk Facebook page!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quirk Update

Hey quirks! Posts today and tomorrow will be delayed due to I am on my way to the Tennessee Renassaince Festival! I will share pictures and catch up with all the comments and my new followers as soon as I can! Have a great weekend! ^_^

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday! [2]



Book Blogger Hop 

Welcome blog hoppers!


FFQ: Can you tell us five quirky habits or things about you?

WQA:  I didn't choose the name Writer Quirk for no reason!
1.  I really, really dislike the number 2.  Just typing it is icky.
2.  I've had my knee go out of place four times.
3.  I did 1,001 burpees this past March.  If you've never heard of a burpee, look it up.
4.  If/When I have children, the names Ireland, Sicily, Poet, and Writer will be on birth certificates.
5.  I tried to nickname myself once.  Captain Italian (aka my fianc√©) still makes fun of me for it.
 
BBHQ:  If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world from a book, which book would it be from and what place would it be?

WQA:  That's super easy.  It would be the magical world of Harry Potter.  I would love to spend the day exploring Hogwarts and all the magical shops mentioned in the books and meeting all the witches and wizards and fantastical creatures.


If you enjoy what you see enough to follow, please also 
 "Like" the Writer Quirk Facebook page!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Working Writer Wednesday [2]

Working Writer Wednesday is a weekly meme based on the Wannabe Writer meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  Pretty much the same as last week.

My current problem(s):  I'm still not getting enough written, this week due to the time drain that real life is.  I also am having those voices screaming, "THIS IS ALL DRAGON DUNG!!!" which is not all that helpful.

Sarah's ???:  Thoughts on e-publishing books? 

My answer:  Though I know the traditional publishing route can be long and arduous, I prefer it to e-publishing if you are really wanting to sell your work to the reading public.  I know there are those authors out there who have been discovered through their e-published or self-published works, but the numbers are minimal to those who get an agent and have their work shopped to publishers.  And from what I have read over the two years I have been writing seriously, self-pub road can get expensive if you plan to travel to do signings or promotions, or market your work.  Also, I would not want to have my book out in any kind of public print without a professional editor going over it.  If you are self-publishing, either you don't get that or you have to pay out-of-pocket to get it.

If you just want to see your book in print (or e-print) and aren't worried about sales, do it.  But for me, I would only e-pub if I had done absolutely everything I could to get that MS published traditionally.

My ???:  I saw a question in the book blogosphere recently about weird character names and I was wondering what you guys think.  Do you like strange/odd/unusual character names (or nicknames) or do you prefer more normal names?  Does it bother you as a reader if a name is too weird or too generic?

That's it for this time!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Museday [2]

This is one of my absolute favorite singer/songwriters and one of my absolute favorite songs.  I could listen to him sing this song all day long.  So who and what is it?

Today's Muse is...Let It Be Me by Ray LaMontagne.

I found about about this amazing artist (whose last name I cannot pronounce) by listening to Pandora.  This particular song is my most favorite of his, though he has many, many good ones.  Not only is it beautiful and have this peaceful yet serious ambiance, it also fits a particular future character of mine.  Specifically, this song exemplifies the feelings this character has for my MC.  Unfortunately, I don't get to write about him until book two, and where this song would play in the background of an important scene isn't until book three.  So right now I use this song to daydream about my two favorite characters finally finding one another.

The video below shows Ray LaMontagne playing this in a studio.  I literally fall asleep listening to this it is so amazing.  Definitely makes me dream up stuff for my characters.  Please take a listen!  I hope you fall for it as much as I did and do every time!  ^_^




Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giveaway Highlight: 500 Followers Giveaway from Gripped into Books!


The team over at Gripped into Books is having an awesome 
500 Followers Giveaway!
They are giving away some AMAZING prize packs (pictured below).

To enter, go HERE.





Happy 1st Blogoversary! We Have Winners!

Thank you to all my followers for a great first blogoversary!
And now for the important stuff!

The winner of the
Happiness quote book and $15 BAM gift card
is...

  Ashley @ Bookcase Siren!


The winner of the
Believe quote book and $15 BAM gift card
is...

  Onge!

YAY!  Congratulations Ashley and Onge!
You should have received an email from me
with details on how to receive your prizes.

Thanks everyone!

Simply Divine [1]





I love photos -- the strange, the poignant, the humorous, and the beautiful -- so I figured every Sunday I would do a photo post of seven images I rounded up from the interwebs.  This is my take on the awesome meme Daily Dose, hosted by Holly of Good Golly Miss Holly.

























 

Unless otherwise noted, all images found at

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Happened This Week [1]

What Happened This Week is a new weekly meme where I will bullet point things I encountered in my week.  Expect randomness.  ^_^

  • I held my very first blogoversary giveaway in honor of the first year of Writer Quirk!  Contest ends today at 8:00PM (CST) so enter here before it is too late!
  • I found out my newest cat, Ula (oo-lah), is very hard to photograph...because she's a ninja.
  • My friend's daughter (who shares a name with one of the most famous YA heroines out there) now greets me as "Shawena!" which is super cute.
  • Bubble therapy is awesome.  Most of my money this spring/summer will go to buying bubble supplies.
  • I ran the outside mile route at work this week and it was amazing.  I did two miles in half an hour (pretty good for someone with bad knees, shin splints, and extra junk in the trunk).
  • I watched several episodes of One Piece.  And laughed.  A lot.
  • I joined in the Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday and it was great!  Welcome to all my new quirksters!  ^_^
  • I spilled a glass of water on my iPhone and it is perfectly fine.  Thank you OtterBox.
  • I left my iPhone on the roof of my car and drove it nearly a mile before realizing where it was.  It was still exactly where I had laid it because the rubber of the cover had a nice grip to it.  Thank you OtterBox...again.  (Can you see why I have the heavy duty case on my iPhone?)
  • I stumbled up on this book cover and I love it!!!  It is one of the most beautiful and evocoative covers I have seen in a while.  I literally stopped and was like, "Wow."  I hope the book inside is as good! 

So what happened to you this week?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Giveaway Highlight: Carolina Valdez Miller Divergent Giveaway!

Carolina Valdez Miller is giving away a SIGNED copy of DIVERGENT!

Giveaway ends 5/19!

Enter HERE!


Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday! [1]



Book Blogger Hop 

Welcome blog hoppers! Thanks for visiting!

 
And don't miss my 1st Blogoversary Giveaway 
which ends tomorrow! 

Fatman Returns [18]

Unlike previous Faturdays, which occurred every Saturday, I have decided to declare the 13th of each month as Faturday the 13th.  Fatty has missed being the star of these photo posts.  So much so, he seems to have turned into a bit of a monster.  ^_^


HAPPY FATURDAY THE 13TH!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Working Writer Wednesday [1]


Working Writer Wednesday is a weekly meme based on the Wannabe Writer meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process: I completed my 67,161 word rough draft of my novel Vital during NaNoWriMo last year.  Since then I have changed a bunch of stuff which necessitates the writing of a new rough draft, which is going more like a rewrite than a first draft.  I have completed six chapters for a total of 25,908 words.

My current problem(s):  I feel like the writing is taking an agonizingly long time to accomplish.  I've been working on the rewrite/new draft for almost two months.  While I like where everything is headed, I feel like I need to go NaNo on myself and just write the darn thing.  The process now, though a gazaillion times more productive than before NaNo, feels a little too much like how I "wrote" before.  The difference is I am persevering where before I just gave up after chapter 2.  I'm thinking I am going to attempt to NaNo things up a bit.  My goal is to get finished before Camp NaNoWriMo opens so that I can do that in the summer/fall for the sequel.

Sarah's ???:  Can you write a novel in 4-6 weeks? 

My answer:  Yes!  I did it during National Novel Writing Month.  Of course, this is based on word count, and we aren't talking about a completely finished, publishable novel, either, but a novel nonetheless.  I wrote about 52,000 words in four weeks, then the last portion of 15,000 words in another week to complete my story arc.  So about 5 weeks total.  But be prepared to spend any time not necessary for things like using the bathroom, eating, working, showering, and sleeping for writing.  In fact, I think I did a few of those things while writing.

My ???: Who do you let read your work and how often do they report on what they read?  What do you do if you are getting enough feedback?  Currently my crit partner (who is my friend, Meg, from Myth-illogical), my sister, my fianc√©, and five beta readers have access to my novel.  But only Meg has really given any timely, in-depth feedback.  This is probably due to the fact that Meg and I have a system of swapping chapters and such (as she is also a YA writer), so we give and receive on a semi-regular basis.  My other readers, however, are just readers, and casual ones at that, so they are more focused on daily life than reading my novel, which is totally understandable, though frustrating (and makes my AWS flare up - and I apologize for my overuse of commas just then. >.<).  So, is there anything to do?  Should I try to find more readers?

That's it for this time!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Giveaway Highlight: May Showers Giveaway!

Madison over at Locket Stories has a list of awesome reads up for grabs.
Go check it out!  You won't be disappointed!
Enter HERE!

(And here's the list, so you can start salivating.)  

^_^

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Red Glove by Holly Black
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Museday [1]

I'm thinking most of my features will be posted bi-weekly, so we'll see how that goes.  One of the new ones is Museday, which is where I take a Tuesday post to highlight something that inspires me in my writing.

Today's Muse is...Magic by Colbie Caillat.

This song is really just a beautiful love song in the effervescent sunshine style of Colbie Caillat.  What makes it muse-worthy for me is that fact that she calls it Magic.  I've not talked a whole lot about the plot of my WIP, but magic is a big deal.  Plus, the feelings Colbie describes in her song fit a relationship my MC will have in a future novel, a relationship I am so ready to get to writing!  So this song keeps that dream alive of (finally!) getting my two favorite characters together and helps me visualize some sweet moments they might have later on.  Not to mention my MC will actually be able to feel her LI's magic, which is mentioned in the first verse.  The song is just too good to be true.  Except that is it!  ^_^

And while I love the original version by Colbie Caillat, I can't help but share this cover made by one of my favorite actresses and hopefully soon to be signed singers, Skyler Day.  Enjoy!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Giveaway Highlight: A Bloody Magical Contest

Hey quirks, check this out!
Natalie C Parker is giving away three awesome prize packs over at her blog!
To enter, go here.

Also, check out this amazing trailer for one of the prizes, 
Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway!!!

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED
That's right, quirksters!  A week from today is the official blogoversary of Writer Quirk.  To celebrate, I am giving away not one, but two prizes!  Why?  The simple answer is that this is both a writing and book blog, so I thought two prizes were better than one.  The details are below!

Prizes (2):  A $15 gift card to Books-A-Million inside a cute book of quotes.  I chose "Happiness" for readers, because if reading didn't make us happy, we wouldn't do it!  Then I chose "Believe" for writers, because you really have to believe in yourself to keep going!  However, you can win either, as I'm sure everyone can apply the inspiration in both books to his or her own life.


Rules:  To see the complete list of rules, click here.

Dates:  Enter from today (Sunday, May 8th) to 8:00PM (CST) Saturday, May 14th.

Winners:  Two lucky followers will be chosen using Random.org on Saturday, May 14th, after the contest closes.  An email will be sent to each winner at that time and the winners will be announced in a post on Sunday, May 15th.

Entry:  All you have to do is click on the link below and fill out the form.  There are also many opportunities for extra entries.  Thank ya'll for celebrating my blogoversary with me!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Living with AWS #1: Annoying Writer Syndrome

If you are a writer, or know one, or have happened upon one in the wild, you may already know about Annoying Writer Syndrome.  Maybe you call it something else, but the symptoms are usually the same no matter the moniker.

Have you ever met someone with AWS?  Do YOU have AWS?  Here are some common symptoms:
  • Using words like "moniker" or other unnecessary language that shows you read dictionaries and/or thesauruses.
  • Knowing the correct way to pluralize "thesaurus."
  • Being unable to spell "pluralize" without spell check, though knowing it is, indeed, a word.
  • Thanking God for spell check, grammar check, and the digital font of knowledge (the internet) on a regular basis.
  • Asking questions only a best friend should ask of a new acquaintance due to new acquaintance's interesting job, history, name, accent, etc. and then at first chance writing it all down to save for your next WIP.
  • Squeeing over any info relating to books, authors, book-to-movie adaptations, merchandise, etc.
  • Knowing what "squeeing" is.
  • People watching.  Unabashedly.
  • Eavesdropping on conversations in public.
  • Setting up a sign near you warning people that anything they say or do in your presence may be preserved for posterity in a work of fiction (or possibly non-fiction).
  • Using alliteration every chance you get.
  • Carrying your laptop/writing utensils with you like a talisman.
  • Haunting a public place with said talisman.
  • Always ordering the same thing at said haunt and sitting in the same three seats (depending on availability).
  • Tipping the waitstaff/baristas extra because they have to see you so much.
  • Not having any "free time" because writing is definitely not "free time" and reminding your friends of this every time they mention it.
  • Turning any conversation about books to your own work.
  • Turning any conversation about movies to books to your own work.
  • Hinting to someone you have a "turned-to-your-work" conversation with that maybe they would like to read your work.
  • Alternately telling yourself you are awesome and are horrible at writing, and having mood swings based on your own encouragement/discouragement.
  • Reading agent/editor/publisher blogs and articles and having the great desire to bang your head on a wall to rid yourself of this demented dream, then gushing to your friends/family about how important it is to follow your dreams no matter how difficult and how you are doing that.
  • Having a blog and not blogging.

Well, that's a start.  You may wonder, if you have never met someone with AWS, how are these things annoying? To find out, please return for Part 2 in the Living with AWS blog series - Why There Is No Cure - to be posted soon.

If you are living with or know someone with AWS, what are the symptoms you encounter?  Are there ones you would add to the list?  Please let me know, so we can warn the public about this annoying atrocity of an affliction!

Sincerely,
Shalena
Living with AWS (and forcing everyone around me to live with it, too!)