Monday, February 28, 2011

Coming Soon: Chicago Ink

First of all, and before I get any further, go and enter the great giveaway contest at Hope Junkie. Because it's awesome. :) You can win some great books, including The Book Thief and Sara Zarr's Sweethearts.
I thought it was high time I updated with a little of my actual writing. (I think that's the reason I started blogging. I can't honestly remember! :D) And so I've decided to begin uploading chapters of Chicago Ink, a story I began writing a few years ago simply for fun, no pressure, that sort of thing.
In the heart of Chicago, trouble is brewing....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

RTW: Whadda Ya Know... About WIPs?

This week for YA Highway's weekly Road Trip Wednesday, the idea is to ask a question:

Although I'm not currently working on a major story or idea, I'd be lying if I said I didn't one day hope to get something into print. Publishing is a long and daunting process, it seems to me, and not a little terrifying.

But my problem seems to be centred more on one thing: I just can't seem to focus on one story long enough to write up a full draft. I have at least fifteen stories that I choose between. I write depending on what mood I'm in, rather like my reading. Do I feel like Fantasy? Tackling the Sci-Fi? Romance? Working on a Fanfiction? Believe me, I've got a semi-finished story in just about every genre.

So my question is this: How do you find that one idea that you feel confident enough about to actually say, yes, this is the story I one day want to hold in my hand as a published book? How do you decide which idea you want to become your official WIP; and how do you stick to it?

Image from here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fifteen Reasons Why Books Are Better Than Computers

So. First off, I have spent the last four days valiantly battling with a persistent little virus which turned up, uninvited, on my computer last Thursday. It was only thanks to the magical and miraculous articles of How to Geek that this computer un-savvy girl was able to successfully root the little bugger out. Sadly, not before it seems to have damaged my Sims game, forcing me to spend the next fifteen odd hours in a joyful re-installation coma. Naturally, I spent a lot of time waiting for virus scans to complete over the weekend, during which I composed the following, in honour of my pesky little friend. It was written during the brief intervals when I wasn't trying to rip my hair off my head patch by patch. Here's to you, you rotten little bugger, and may you rot in hell.

Fifteen Reasons Why Books Are Better Than Computers.

1.) Books don't take ten minutes to load and, when they're done, demand you do a full virus scan and reboot.
2.) Books never crash.
3.) You don't have to spend three hours a week backing up your books.
4.) Books don't require a plethora of different passwords in order to access them which, after you've entered them, you promptly forget, and spend the next three hours trying to recall.
5.) If books took over the world, the worst you'd be able to say would be that we'd all be incredibly verbose and intelligent. If computers took over the world, we'd only be able to communicate in ones and zeroes.
6.) A good book is hard to put down, but a good computer is impossible to pick up.
7.) You don't need to take a book to the repair shop if you accidentally drop it in the pool.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: The Castle of Otranto

The Otranto Observer:
Prince Squashed by Giant Airborne Helmet! Full News on Page Six!
Lord of Otranto Says - "Sorry, the Castle Ain't Mine!"
FULL Interview with Covergirl Isabella - "He was Never the One for Me!"
Love Advice from Star-Struck Pair! Theodore and Matilda Tell All - How YOU Can Find True Love in Just Ten Seconds!
Jerome and Hippolita's 'Faithful's Corner': Why Entering a Monastery's the Only Way to Go!
The Commoner's Chronicle: Bianca and her Fellows Tell Why THEY'RE the Ones Who Saved Otranto!

Phew. Sorry. With a novel like Otranto it's hard not to inject a little sarcasm into the reviewing of the book. In honour of Horace Walpole - father of Gothic fiction - I'm going to write this review with as many dashes - and breaks - as I possibly can.

It's not difficult to see why Otranto is still an important book today. As a novel it marks the beginning of a new form of popular fiction - the Gothic - which would never quite die down. Its ancestors are alive and well today - Just look at the shelves of any YA section in any bookstore in the world.

 So. It's an important book. It's pretty famous, too. Added to that, it's short, at a measly 100-or-so pages. It's a quick read, even if a little challenging. Otranto is a book I've long wanted to read but never found the time to. Mostly, it's due to laziness, but I decided now was the perfect time to take a dip into the pool of Early Gothic.