Promoting Creativity: A Monthly Blog Series

Today’s blog post is something I am super super excited for. Today starts something I will be doing at the end of each month for a year or so, hopefully longer.  Back when I wrote my list of things to do before I turn 21 I mentioned that I want to connect and support with more artists, writers, poets and all creative people. This is all about that.
People who have a dream are my favorite people, and as someone whose trying to make a living from my dreams I know how hard it can be to get yourself out there.   I will be contacting different people throughout this year and interviewing them, asking them about what they do and why they do. And also what you, me and hopefully all of my readers can do to support them.  I will also be creating a new page for my blog for this series, with my last interview and all the links, it will all be up there for a month so that you can go back to it if you forget who I’m promoting. Hope you guys enjoy!

So this month we have a fellow blogger, writer and friend Deborah O’Carroll, you can follower her on her blog, goodreads and pinterest.

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1) Tell us a little bit about what you do.

Mostly, I write. (Well… sometimes. ;)) All sorts of genres, but mostly fantasy. Epic Fantasy is my favorite, but I’ve gotten quite into Contemporary Fantasy of late, and I’m starting to dabble in fairytale retellings. Very excited about that! I mostly write novels (or… begin them, anyway), but I’ve been writing more short stories and even venturing into novellas of late.

When I’m not writing, you’ll find me curled up with a good novel (or dozen), engaged in miscellaneous studies, managing my writing group, editing other people’s books (or reviewing them), blogging, petting my cat (who is named Callette after a griffin in a book by Diana Wynne Jones), endlessly rearranging my bookshelves, or abusing parentheses and ellipses… (Bet you saw that one coming…)

2) When and why did you start writing?

I started writing when I was a very young little thing, because I thought it would be fun to write some of the story ideas I had in my head. It took a few years before I got serious, though. I’d say I’ve been writing seriously for eight-ish years now, and my reason now for writing is because I can’t not. I have lots of stories to tell! And they just won’t let me stop… 😉

3) Tell us about a project that you are currently working on that has you really excited.

I’m working on plotting the novel I plan to write in November for NaNoWriMo. This is a retelling of the fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which is my very favorite fairytale, so I’m excited to try my hand at retelling it myself!

My retelling is called The Silver Forest. I still don’t have the plot entirely worked out — hopefully that will come before it’s too late! I’m mainly working on character development currently… With twelve girls to differentiate between, I have my work cut out for me! And that’s even leaving out the rest of the colorful cast that I’ve got planned. I’m very much looking forward to what shenanigans these characters are going to get up to in the story! I also plan to juggle at least four romances, which is going to be interesting. I hope to focus at least a bit on all of the princesses, not just one or two, and I also hope to have the various heroes (ranging from a brooding fairy to a sweet prince, a rash soldier, and an enigmatic young gardener) be a big part of the story as well.

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Anyways, it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m having a good time plotting it, and very much looking forward to actually writing it, come November! (Now if only the plot would come together…)

4) What are some of your goals for the future?

Long-term, one of my goals has always been to be published. Now that there are so many different publishing options out there, I feel like it’s both easier AND harder, to get published now, than it ever was before. So one of my long-term goals is to look at all of the different paths of publishing and try to choose which one to pursue. That’s going to take some serious looking!

More immediate goals include finishing some of the novels I have at various stages of incompletion (totally a word, shhh), trying to turn out a decent draft of the Sleeping Beauty retelling novella I’m writing right now (which I’m calling The Rose and the Raven), and surviving this coming NaNo season — which is itself going to be quite a feat! NaNo always makes for a busy time for me… Some writers find dashing off a 50,000 word novel in a month to be easy, but I am not one of them. 😉

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5) How can we support you?

Well, since I don’t have anything published yet, right now I guess people can support me by following my blog, “The Road of a Writer”; keeping up with what I’m doing and so on. The support of my blog readers, and those who take a moment to comment especially, really keeps me going these days. 🙂 In a sense, I’m still very much at the beginning of my writing road, but knowing that there are people who care enough about it to urge me on, even when it seems like to be published is an unattainable goal (or at least so far off as to be fairly myth-like), is just so incredibly uplifting. I’m so thankful for my lovely blog followers! 🙂

It was really fun doing this with Deborah! I’m really excited to have her on my blog and I hope all of my followers check out her blog! 

Top Ten Tuesday: If You Like Historical Fiction

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And we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday! As always head over to The Broke and the Bookish to see where this all started. 😀

I admit this week’s TTT was a little harder for me, and so because of this I’m not doing exactly what I’m supposed to. So today’s theme was “If you liked Book X then here are 10 books just like it.”  I went through my goodreads read list over and over and I just couldn’t find something with 10 other books that seemed right.  So today you get: “If you enjoy reading Historical Fiction, here are 10 books I recommend.”
Enjoy!

  1. 84748    First on our list we have the Horatio Hornblower series by C.S. Forester. These books follow a young boy as he joins the Royal Navy, he starts off as a midshipman and slowly works his way through the ranks. It’s starts January 1794 and continues through most of Hornblower’s life.

2. 169762 This book has a really long title and it’s a really long book at 359 pages, but it’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T Anderson.  This is actually a duology. The main character is black and a slave, so obviously the book deals with racism, the book is set during the American Revolution. I loved this book because of it’s unique style.

3. 1078 Of course I have to have some of Pearl S. Buck on this list.  In my mind Buch is the queen of Historical Fiction. Not only are her stories extremely interesting, but I love that most of her books are set in Asia. She has a beautiful way of writing.  The Good Earth tells about the life of a farmer, starting from the day he gets married to his death.

4. 93521  Yes, another book by Pearl S. Buck.  This book is fabulous! Imperial Woman tells the story of the last Empress of China, Ci-xi.  She starts off as the concubine of the Emperor, but eventually takes his place as ruler of China. She was one badass lady. 😀

5.  409184 I read this book when I was a child, but I would love to find it again and read it again. Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm is a Middle Grade book, but honestly you just need to read it. No matter what your age is. Set in Washington in 1899, this story is about an only girl in a family of boys.  Amelia is funny and so so so likable, I love this story. Did I say that already?  This book tore my heart out back in the day. *wipes away tear*

6.  51114  I seem to love Historical Fiction set in Asia. 😉 Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama is set in China 1926. Pei is sent by her poverty stricken family to work in a silk factory.  I didn’t love this book as much as any of Pearl S. Buck’s books, but it was definitely an interpreting read.

7.  550998 Strangers and Sojourners by Micheal D. O’Brien follows a young woman named Anne who moves from England to British Colombia to be a school teacher. I love this book for a couple of reasons. First Anne is my type of woman, someone who never stops searching for meaning in her life, and second because the style of prose is beautiful.  This book is not an action book, or a book that moves from plot twist to plot twist. It’s a quiet book, some might say it’s rambley but if it is I say that’s a good thing.

8.  43944 Set on the eve, and contiuing throughout, the Nazi occupation of Paris, Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky is a different take on these historical events. It follows a number of different people, and a village that must learn to deal with housing Nazi soldiers.

9. 321552 What a book! The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone is a book about Michelangelo. At 776 pages this book is a bit lengthy at times, but well worth the read. Here the life of this famous artist comes to life in an entirely new way. I loved this book because it gave me a greater respect for Michelangelo. Sculptors are amazing people.

10.  19089 Middlemarch by George Elliot, man what a book! This book follows Dorothea Brooke an intelligent girl trapped by the constraints of her time. Again this is a story about a women who wants intellectual meaning in her life. This whole story is brilliant.

So there we are! 10 books I think you need to read. So have you heard of these books or even read some of them? Let me know in the comments and please put a link to your TTT because I want to read it. Have a great day!

Book Haul

So I was supposed to do a book review today, but I was lazy this week and didn’t end up actually finishing a book.  I did, however, end up buying some books this week from the Goodwill.

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Yay! Look at that, actual books. 😀  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time reading E-Books. It’s just not the same thing as holding an actual book in my hands.

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So here we have Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Curz.

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Women Without Men by Shahrnush Parsipur.

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The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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And this book is actually an ARC copy given to me by Blogger for Books. And it’s Secrets of Blood and Bone by Rebecca Alexander.
Have you gone book shopping recently? If so what did you get? Have you read any of the books I bought?

Snippets from the New Poetry Book

Today is just going to be a quick post.

This is a snippet from a new poetry book that I’ve started, it’s titled “mourn·ing – ˈmôrniNG”  

Empty House

the house is cold today

the cats are sleeping on the window sill

steam wafts

like a prayer unspoken

from my my mug

i slip on my slippers

i walk the empty hallway

i ask

can anyone hear me?

but no one

says a thing.

Short Story: Neverland

It is time for another sneak peek. At this point, both of us have finished the main drafts for all of our stories. We’re very excited as we move completely into beta reading and getting ready to revise for the final times on all of our stories. At this point we’re hoping for an end of October publishing date, so everyone be prepared for that, and wish us luck.

  Here is this week’s clip from my short story titled “Neverland”:

  She knelt on the alcove seat, unlatched and opened the windows, and leaned out over the windowsill. The busy city streets stretched out far below her, but she tried to ignore them. She took a deep breath and tried to imagine that the air didn’t smell like car exhaust and smog.
She leaned back in the seat, brushing back her blond bangs. Her eyes wandered up and down the city streets and over the peaceful darkening skyline for a full minute before they came to rest on the book that she had left on the windowsill. She traced the title on the front cover with her finger and smiled. Pride and Prejudice. Her favorite.

  This story is probably my second favorite that I’ve written for this collection (and my wife agrees). I actually wrote the beginning of this story (the first three pages or so) for a creative writing assignment during my first term of college two years ago. I went back to it about two months ago and was re-reading it and realizing that it wasn’t really a complete story, but I really liked the idea.
  The story follows a woman in her mid twenties who is struggling with the real world, the more-or-less recent loss of her mother, and the pain her father has caused her through his controlling ways. This story is basically about a time in which she realizes she needs to grow up and move on. The themes of this story are family love, unforgiveness/forgiveness, loss, and growing up.
  This is one of the more family-friendly, hope-filled stories for this collection.

Abi’s Note: To view the orginal blog post go here. 

My October is Getting Busy

I’m sitting here writing this blog post because I’m procrastinating. I should be writing a short story right now, because it’s due Oct 1st.  I keep telling myself it’s fine because I’ve already wrote the first draft, I just need to go back and make it perfect. Honestly I think I’m nervous…This short story isn’t just for me, it’s something that will be out on another blog.  I signed up to write a story for a blog, Pen and Muse. I guess I’m nervous because I’m writing in a genre that I’ve never written in before and I’m afraid that I’ll suck.

Anyone have any advice for beating nerves?