Ready. Set. Write! (Week 4)

RSW is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, and Erin Funk. You can sign up on the linky at any of the host blogs every Monday. Remember to encourage other participants too! For more info on RSW and a link to the lovely buttons, go here.

I almost missed today's update post, but I forced myself to do it (better late than never) just to keep me responsible!

1. How I did on last week’s goals
Better than last week! I added 2 stanzas in my 3rd POV (the first time it is making an appearance) and added/revised a few lines in the older sections. I also started reading one of the verse novels, specifically Francesca Lia Block's Psyche in a Dress.

2. My goal(s) for this week

  • Write another stanza
  • Work on making the 3 POV voices distinct
  • Finish reading the verse novel.

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.
Light feet. I have known such tender treads.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week.
Time for writing. It was much busier for me this week since I had a few more social activities than usual, and I had beta notes to write up for a friend.

5. Something I love about my WiP.
Crafting 3 different voices while also indulging my poetic side. It's fun flirting with language, but it does mean I have to work harder to make the 3 POVs sound distinct from one another.

How did you do this week?


World Cup Wednesday!

Welcome to World Cup Wednesday, AKA Alz is Jon Snow and Knows Nothing!

For 'tis true, I know very little of soccer (or sports in general) except that the World Cup is some kind of international soccer (or football as the rest of the world calls it) shindig and a bunch of teams kick a ball around.  Exposure to Krispy and her Sister as well as some general tutoring from the latter has enabled me to grasp that there's some kind of point system and elimination that goes on based on it.  Other than that, the only other thing I know is that Uruguay's team has a member who is overly fond of biting people, which doesn't seem like either a good idea or good sportsmanship to me.

So in celebration of things that I don't really understand beyond "Alz, USA is still in the World Cup and so is Germany and they're going to fight it out on Thursday", have more World Cup Pup Loki!

It's about a cup?  And a world?  Does the cup hold the world?  Can I drink from it?

I've got German Shepherd genes so that means my ancestry is German, right?

I can totally kick this ball and catch it in my mouth!  Can I play in the World Cup?

What about you?  Are you following the World Cup or are you as lost as I am?  Regardless, I'll be cheering for Team USA 'cause, you know, USA USA USA!


Ready. Set. Write! (Week 3)

RSW is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, and Erin Funk. You can sign up on the linky at any of the host blogs every Monday. Remember to encourage other participants too! For more info on RSW and a link to the lovely buttons, go here.

1. How I did on last week’s goals
Kind of bad, to be honest. I didn't start any of the verse novels, and I didn't really write a new stanza. I revised what I had, so I wrote a few new lines and broke the stanzas I had up a bit. Still have not looked at the Cinderella story.

The only good thing from this is that part of my failure this week is because I rediscovered a short story I never finished, and I messed around with that.

2. My goal(s) for this week
In a word, FOCUS. In more concrete terms...

  • Write another stanza
  • Look at the Cinderella novel
  • Start one of the verse novels

Bonus: if I must tinker with that short story, then the goal is to finish restructuring it, so that I can finally finish writing it.

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised
One word to sum up what I wrote/revised? GRASPING. Felt like I was having a hard time saying what I wanted to say and teasing out scenes. Lots of images and words, but nothing I could hold on to.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week.
By far, FOCUS (which incidentally was my One Word Resolution word for 2014). So many distractions in life and also just in my creative mind. I'm messing with every story BUT the one I should be messing with.

5. Something I love about my WiP
It's definitely a challenge! Frustration aside, I am still excited to be trying this vastly new thing. I've never written anything remotely long or even that narrative in verse, so it's daunting but cool!

BONUS: World cup pup Loki! We cheered for USA this weekend. That final goal from Portugal at the end really sucked though. Next opponent? Germany! I think someone asked last time what we were going to do when USA faces Germany (since the Sister is usually a team Germany fan), and my answer to that is USA USA USA! (We do love chanting that.) Nothing like international sports to really get the patriotism going. ;)


What's Up Wednesday (37)

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!


I'm beta-reading a fantasy for a friend, and I'm supposed to be reading one of the verse novels I borrowed but... I was approved for an e-ARC of Sarah Maas' HEIR OF FIRE. So I kind of started to read that instead because I couldn't resist!


The verse novel! You can see my progress with my last RSW post: Ready.Set.Write! Week 2.


Other than my fellow Ready.Set.Write! cohorts, I'm pretty inspired by OK GO's newest music video. I don't know how these guys consistently come up with such quirky, cool, creative video concepts, but they do.

(You might recall, the Sister and I had the pleasure of being in one of these cool videos. The vid for "End Love.")


Again, lots of things, especially since I haven't been doing WUW every week.

1) We saw our long-time musical love JASON MRAZ with Raining Jane last Wednesday at UCLA (the Sister's alma mater), and we had pretty sweet seats because of the contest the Sis won. I think the concert will be airing as TV special sometime this summer. The show was INCREDIBLE, reaffirming our love for him. His voice is just...there are no words, and I am so excited for his new album.

Jason Mraz and Raining Jane at Royce Hall for the Artists Den. [Photo/ Sister]

2) The Sis and I also attempted to go to a special screening & panel for TV show SLEEPY HOLLOW at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, but alas, we didn't get in. At least we got this picture to show for it.

3) We went to my friend's "pig party." It was a double-graduation BBQ party thrown by her family for her and her sister because both of them graduated (she finished her Masters; her sister finished her Bachelor's). We called it a pig party because of the whole roast pig! Enough to delight Seneca Crane!

This is how Asians party.    [Photo/ Sister]

4) Going back to that last Disneyland visit... We sported our Blackmilk leggings (my Cheshire cat ones and the Sister's new mermaid leggings), and it was the best because upon entering the park, we heard a guy exclaim, "Those are sick leggings."

5) Speaking of Blackmilk, their Instagram recently featured the Sister's Star Wars Day picture because she was wearing her BM AT-AT dress. The pic got a lot of love, but people also noticed her amazing AT-AT necklace.

That's the one I commissioned co-blogger and very talented ALZ to make! She shares her crafting skills here sometimes, but in case you have any doubts as to her amazing-ness, here's another thing she made at my behest!

A necklace inspired by the gold band Loki has on the chest piece of his armor!

6) We've seen a couple of movies.
  • Edge of Tomorrow: excellent action, time-travel fun times! Not to mention, Emily Blunt is a total badass. The editing was perfection, so that none of the groundhog day repeated parts ever got boring or tedious.
  • The Fault in Our Stars: very faithful to the book. I watched it literally 3 hours after I finished reading the book (my first read). The book didn't make me cry (books very rarely do), but the movie certainly squeezed a few tears out of me. In my defense, 3 hours is not a lot of recovery time, so I was way more amped for the Feels going into the movie than I would've liked.
  • 22 Jump Street: Hilarious, lots of meta-humor. Not quite as good as the first because I think the 2nd relies almost too much on meta-humor, but since I love that, it was still great for me. Also, the ending credits are *incredible.*
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hello unexpected amount of Feels! Just as good as the first (if not better) with *gorgeous* animation. I usually hate 3D, but I think this is one of the few movies where it's worth it. The flight sequences are just breathtaking! Moving story, lots of dragons, TOOTHLESS, oh and did you know Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is in it? The second his character opened his mouth, the Sis turned to me & said "Jon Snow knows nothing!" (Kind of true even in this movie!)

7) The 2014 World Cup is happening! I'm not actually a soccer fan / I know very little about it. BUT the Sister does get into it when the World Cup comes around. Other than the USA (of course), her team is Germany! Apparently, our little World Cup Pup agrees.

So yeah, Monday was a good day for them. (Spoiler: Germany AND USA won their games!)

What's up with you?


Ready. Set. Write! (Week 2)

We're supposed to keep things short and sweet for these RSW posts this year. So here goes!

RSW is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, and Erin Funk. You can sign up on the linky at any of the host blogs every Monday. Remember to encourage other participants too! For more info on RSW and a link to the lovely buttons, go here.

1. How I did on last week’s goals
Not bad! I wrote my stanza and tinkered with the existing ones a bit. I also thought a bit about how the POVs are supposed to go together, but still not sure. I didn't have time to revisit the Cinderella novel, but I do think I've finally figured out how to write a short story I abandoned years ago. I know, procrastination brain can do wonders for other projects...

2. My goal(s) for this week
  • Write another stanza
  • Look at the Cinderella novel
  • Start (and maybe finish) reading one of the verse novels I borrowed for studying craft

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

And in the air, there is not so much /a roar as a buzz - the electricity of wings.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week.

Not so much time, but finding the energy to write!

5. Something I love about my WiP

It allows me to indulge my love of lyrical prose and really play with the language. I'll have to tone some of it down, of course, and one of my POV characters isn't "pretty prose-y" at all. So it's a good balance and good practice.

How are the rest of you doing on your goals? Good luck this week!

BONUS: World Cup Loki! He and the Sister are cheering for Die Mannschaft (the Team) aka Germany today (and USA, of course)


Name That Book: Similar Book Covers Version Answers!

Awright, peeps.  It's time to find out how well you did on last week's edition of Name That Book Krispy normally gets them all but I managed to stump even her this time on a couple.  Here we go, first covers on the left and similar covers on the right!

1. Prophecy by Ellen Oh 

2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
Shadows Cast By Stars by Catherine Knutsson

3. Exodus by Julie Bertagna
Unwind by Neal Shusterman

4. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

5. Possession by Elana Johnson
Pure by Julianna Baggott

How did you do?  Just scrolling down my Goodreads, I've spotted a few more cover lookalikes, so there will likely be another version of this coming in the future.

In the meantime, wish Krispy luck on her Ready. Set. Write! verse-novel project.  I didn't even nag her about it today but rest assured, I will nag her about it tomorrow.  I'll just be puttering around in the meantime with a couple of projects, as per usual.  WRITE, KRISPY, WRITE.


Ready. Set. Write! (Week 1)

Hello, lovelies! This Monday post is a little off-schedule, but I think for the summer, we will switch our schedule from Wednesday/Friday to Monday/Wednesday with the occasional Friday post. Why?

Well, I'm participating once again in Ready. Set. Write!, a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, and Erin Funk.

RSW is about promoting goals and accountability wherever you're at in your writing - drafting, revising, planning, polishing, etc. The little difference this year is that check-in posts will be on MONDAYS and are meant to be BRIEF. You can sign up on the linky at any of the host blogs every Monday. Remember to encourage other participants too! For more info on RSW and a link to the lovely buttons, go here.

So today's post is about setting goals for the whole of the intensive but also for Week 1.

1) The story I am most in love with right now is my verse story, so I'll mostly be working on that this RSW. I'd like to have half of it written by the end of this intensive, but I do realize this is me being optimistic. I've never written anything long in verse, and there is still much I have to work out about the 3 POVs. I have the general shape of the story, but I don't know yet how it should unfold within the 3 view points. Not to mention, when I write poetry, it's about constant revising while I'm writing and also after.

2) My Cinderella story has been languishing since last NaNoWriMo, but I still think it has the best basic groundwork. So when I'm not working on the verse novel, which I won't be all the time (poetry is a slippery thing for me), I think I'll tinker around with this again. Getting half a rough draft of this done would be amazing.

3) Read at least 2 books a month. I was reading a book a week last year, but as I've mentioned previously, I've been in a reading slump almost since the beginning of the year. And this is not for lack of good books! So I want to ease my way back into reading with a relatively low goal. (Plus, I'm a slow reader, so this actually isn't that low of a goal for me!)

4) Sleep more. No seriously, my sleep schedule has been all over the place this year.

Goals for this week specifically: write another stanza of the verse story; brainstorm more on how the 3 POVs are supposed to fit together. Open up that Cinderella story and figure out where I'm at there.

Looking forward to checking in with all of you! Good luck!


Name That Book: Similar Book Covers Version!

It's time for another round of Name That Book!  This time it was inspired by scrolling through my Goodreads and noticing similarities between different covers.  There are, of course, tons of covers in girls in fancy dresses in various drowned/dead/dying or sexily-looking-over-the-shoulder poses, so I decided to skip those for now (maybe that'll be another round in the future).

The way it'll go this time is thus: I'll post the cover of one book along with the description of a second book that has a similar cover.  Have at ye!


1. This Spanish-based fantasy series features a princess who is the Chosen One.


2. This dystopian novel features a world where Native people's blood provides a cure for plague


3. In this dystopian, if you're between ages thirteen and eighteen, your parents can choose to donate all your organs are to different people.


4. In this American-Western-inspired fantasy, a girl considered an unlucky child moves to the frontier with her twin brother and learns that maybe she's a special snowflake after all.


5. In this dystopian, privileged humans live inside a protected dome while outside live the unfortunates who became fused with whatever random objects (or people) were closest when the apocalypse struck.

Try to remember those covers!  I tried to use some less immediately giveaway-y clues for the descriptions since my original description for #1 was as obvious as giving a clue for Lord of the Rings by showing Sauron with the One Ring on his finger.  Also, I think most of the covers are pretty much the same between hardback/paperback.  I think.  I'm pretty sure.

Take a look and give a guess!  And in the meantime, celebrate the fact that it's Friday.  Whee!


What's Up Wednesday (36)

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!


I'm actually focusing on reading a friend's manuscript. I am a terrible beta though because I have been so tired and busy this past May that I've not finished it yet. Must finish soon.

I also just started THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Hope to finish by this weekend so I can see the movie. Yay for double-crying?


Nothing. :( Buuuuut, I hope to turn that around some this month. July is the second Camp NaNoWriMo session, but I don't know if I'll be able to participate since July is SDCC month. Luckily for me, Jaime, Alison, Erin, and Katy are back with their summer writing intensive READY. SET. WRITE!

I had a lot of fun participating last year and checking in with everyone. So I hope it'll help me back in my writing game this time. Hope you'll join in too!


The success of the Reading Rainbow kickstarter!

Reading Rainbow was such a fun part of my childhood, and it was incredible to see that it meant the same to a lot of other people too. The kickstarter project is great, and it was fully funded in a day! They already have over $3 million pledged to them last I checked.


Some fun things I've done since last I updated:

1) Saw Hozier in concert and absolutely loved his music. Gah, I need that record now.

2) Puppy play dates! Loki got to go run around full speed at a park with my friend's dog. The next day, our cousin brought Loki's best friend Sadie over to play too! BUT she also brought her new puppy Ollie!

Ollie is a German Shepherd, Doberman mix.

Loki had fun with Sadie but spent most of the play time with Ollie trying to figure out what the heck he was. He seemed confused by the idea of a "puppy."

3) DISNEYLAND. We've gone twice in the last 2 weeks of May because I won a 2-day Park Hopper that had to be used within that time period. The first trip was fun but kind of frustrating because it was a Saturday and it was GRAD NITE, which meant a lot of teens and generally TONS of people. Long lines and crowds made the day difficult, but we salvaged it by trying a bunch of food (we normally don't eat much during a Disney day - no time!) that we read about on Buzzfeed and Food Beast.

We wore our Blackmilk Death Star dress & R2D2 swimsuit.

Our second trip was much better, though it was still a Grad Nite weekend. Less people though and less schools, so we were able to hit up our favorite rides more than once. Plus, whereas everything went kind of wrong for us the first time around, everything went right for us this time!

The biggest thing about this Disney trip for us was the new CARS LAND at California Adventure. The last time we were at the park, it was still under construction (as was much of CA Adventure since it was getting a facelift). It was a new experience for us, and we loved it. The 1940s-era California Adventure main street was quaint, and we adored CARS LAND. It looks just like you walked into a little desert town on Route 66.

Here's a few more photos. Yes, we wore a bunch of our Blackmilk items (Death Star dress, R2D2 swim, Cheshire cat leggings, mermaid leggings), and it was cool because a number of people asked about them. We overheard one guy exclaim: "Those are sick tights!" Yes they are!

Aaand tonight, I will hopefully be going to see my long-time musical love Jason Mraz with my even bigger Mraz fan sister!

Ack, can you believe it's JUNE?! Where is 2014 going???

What's up with you?