Sunday, October 31, 2010

Three things that made my week

Before November (and NaNo) gets here I wanted to share three things that made my week, er, weekend.

1- Someone I betaed for said, "Oh my God Jenn, the feedback you sent me is amazing!... I just want to bang my head on the desk and scream 'you're right!' at the top of my lungs."

That's the kind of stuff that makes me feel really good. I'm helping someone.

2- Finding out a friend will be signing a contract with an agent. And it's for a story I absolutely loved. G-d only knows what I'll do when I actually get an agent, because I get so excited for my friends I squee very loudly (thus scaring the kids). And jump up and down. And squee. Did I mention I'm squeeing?

3- Reading agent tweets about my crit partner's upcoming book. I may be jealous. Then again, I'm so happy for her; I don't think jealously has any room.

And yes, I did just stroke my own ego. And no, I don't need anyone else to ;)

To end Halloween:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Controversial books and schools - can there be a solution?

I went away for the weekend and read blogs, something I seldom have time to do. I read blogs about book banning and censorship and then read the comments. My friends can tell you how heated it got. I sent some links to my husband and proceeded to talk for hours with him about his opinions. He tends to lean towards conservative and I tend to lean towards liberal, although we both sit squarely in the middle.

I've thought of a solution that might work and wonder if it's been considered in the school districts. (Let me say up front, I homeschool and am an assistant librarian in a public library. Just want to throw that out there so there's no confusion.)

What about a signed permission slip for middle school and/or high school? A list of books could be placed on it, sent home to the parents and filed with the library. Some middle schoolers have the kind of situations that take place in Ellen Hopkins' and Laurie Halse Anderson's books happening in their own life. Others don't, and it may be too much for the younger kids. Plus the really (I can't think of an appropriate, non-judgemental word here but am going to take a stab at it) conscientious parents can opt out if they don't want their child reading it.

If you know of sites where compromises have been suggested, please link in the comments. Also, let me know your opinion. I'm really curious. Do you think a solution can be reached?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Book review: Firelight

I'm at the beach with two of my crit partners and one them brought a bunch of ARCs with her and Firelight was one of them. Don't worry though, it has been released so you can rush out and buy it.

First, the cover. I'm so shallow, I'll admit it. I do buy a book because of it's cover and this one is awesome. It's so puurty.

My first book has dragons in it so I've always had this fondness for them, and here is a book about a girl who is a dragon, strike that, a draki. It starts off in the very beginning with a nice action scene and she gets to meet the LI.

The voice is very nice. I did tire a little of the inner monologue about how her dragon is dying but if I were this girl, I would worry constantly about it too, therefore I understand. And that's just a thing about me, I get bored so easily. The supporting characters were developed nicely.

The love interest, Will, is so hot. He's got the whole thing about him where he hunts her kind and doesn't date the girls in school and then in comes Jacinda and he's drawn to her, which is familiar and I was about to be disappointed until it was all explained. Then I wiped the imaginary sweat off of my brow in relief. It was very believable and didn't go all emo.

The ending leaves a lot open for the next book. All in all I enjoyed this and devoured it in one sitting. I definitely recommend it. And let me add in a small note-I could tell with the love scenes that a writer of adult books wrote it and as an adult, I really liked that part of it. So thanks, Ms. Jordan for wanting to write a YA.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Writing compliments

What is the best compliment you've ever received as a writer?

Mine came a few nights ago when I read my current WIP, Mountain Escape, to my husband. Now, he has been there for me through ALL of my books and ideas. He's listened not only to what I've written, but what I've read, plus some of the beta reads I really liked. He's listened to me rant about banned books and other stuff. He's heard the whole publishing spiel about how it all works. And he's still married to me, lol.

This has been going on for well over a year. Of course, throughout the course of our fifteen years together he's also had the reader's digest version of health, herbalism, horses, and everything in between. I think it takes a really good man to put up my ramblings, especially when I start talking about what my character's would like as if they were real. (This confuses some of my friends, they're like, "Who?")

So I read him parts of Addie's story. At one point he said, "Should I feel really bad and depressed? This is terrible." YES!! Then at another point he started laughing and said, "Wow, how can you insert humor into that terrible scene. That's amazing." Double Yes!! He laughed where he was supposed to, was horrified at the appropriate time and actually liked it!

When I got done he stood there for a few minutes and just looked at me. Then he said, "I'm impressed. Your writing continues to get better and this one is great. You'll definitely sell it."

Now, that is high praise from my husband. He only says what he means. I learned a looong time ago not to ask a question that I didn't want an honest answer to.

What is your best writing compliment?
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