Promoting Creativity: April 2017 Edition

I’m so excited to be starting up with this again! And today I have an interview with a composer, which I haven’t done before!  Check it out and don’t forget to follow the links to check out more work by Luceil Rice.

1) Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’m an arranger/composer. I mainly rearrange classic video game songs with high-end orchestral samples. I’m also a nature photographer and a pen & ink artist!

2) When and why did you start?
I started arranging back in 2010 and composing in 2013.

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

I’m currently working on my first album ever! It’s called “Overcast.” It features a collection of my original songs.

4) What are some of your goals for the future?
I’d love to write more original music at a faster pace. And it would also be nice to get better at what I do!

5) How can we support you?
You can check out my YouTube channel “The Noble Demon,” and my patreon under the same name!  Links can be found here and here.

Camp Nano Day 28

18222237_1900626216817335_7005034150475253990_n.jpg

What do you do when you’re 30k in a novel and realize the entire story is in the wrong genre?  I don’t know about you, but I had a mini panic attack.

A Siren’s Tale is currently somewhere in the Fantasy genre, and as I was writing today it struck me that the story should be in the Surrealist genre.  I loved how the beginning is set up, it has a hazy quality as we see the main character, Mara, change subtly from a woman to a siren. But somewhere along the way I lost all of that and traded it for a very fact-like fantasy story. The beauty was lost and I got bored.  I’ve been complaining recently about how hard it’s been to write A Siren’s Tale, but I wasn’t sure why it was so hard.  Today it hit me. Only this realization has come a bit late in the game. I’m over halfway through the story and I’m afraid if I go back at this point that I’ll never finish it. Which is why I’m plugging on, hating most all of it, but looking forward to the editing very much.

It’s hard to stick to stories sometimes, especially when the perfectionist in me is screaming all day long about how terrible the writing is.  What are some of your tricks to silencing the inner editor?  Or, how do you stick to a story when it bores you?  Let me know in the comments how you get yourself to finish novels, I’d love for as much advice as I can get.

Been Here All Along By Sandy Hall

23854755

Goodreads Synopsis: Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.  

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

I knew I was going to like the book as soon as I started it. Been Here All Along is one of those fantastic stories that starts right out the gate with personality.  Gideon is at a school event and is complaining about and it was one of the most relatable things I’ve read. At one point he complains about being forced to clap at events like this saying, “I also dislike clapping. What are we, trained seals?” And Gideon and I instantly became friends. 😀

Been Here All Along is one of those short fluffy adorable reads that you want to pick up when you’re having a shitty day and just want to be reminded that the world isn’t all bad.  Despite only being 224 pages I thought it was well paced and well written. Though I could have lived without the POV jumps.

The romance between Kyle and Gideon is adorable. They get along so well, and it’s based on a foundation of friendship that’s just beautiful.  I also liked that they communicated well. It’s always nice when a story doesn’t use miscommunication or non-communication for drama points.  This is probably why I don’t read or watch a lot of romance, because this happens all the time.

Throughout the story each of the characters are developed pretty well. I had issues with the ex-girlfriend Ruby, but I wouldn’t say that’s because she was written poorly. More that she was just a terrible person and I couldn’t stand her.

In the end Been Here All Along was a great story, well worth 4 stars.  Has anyone else read this book? I’d love to talk about it in the comments. 🙂

 

Heir of Fire By Sarah J. Maas

20613470 (1)

Goodreads Synopsis: Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

This was the book that surprised me by being half decent and getting a three star rating. For those of you who don’t know, I undertook reading the Throne of Glass series because a friend recommended them to me. I’d read the first book before and it wasn’t really memorable, but gave the series another try.  And I ended up disliking most of the series, Heir of Fire is the one exception.

If you take out how unbelievably annoying and stupid Celaena is and her insane amount of angst, then this story is actually half decent.  There are a few characters in here that really made a difference to to the story.  The first is Rowan, who for most of the book I liked. Finally here was a character who doesn’t put up with Celaena’s shit and I really liked that about him. Though towards the end the actually became friends and then he decides she gets free passes again.

The other character that I loved, and actually continued to love till the end of the book is the witch Manon.  She is wonderfully written, she badass, smart and unlike Celaena knows when to actually keep her mouth shut and do what needs to be done. Without whining about it.  She’s an unbelievably strong woman, and in all honestly is what Celeana should have been.  I don’t have enough praise for this character here but that’s because I feel like I could write an entire essay on why she’s so good. I wouldn’t want to bore you all. 😀

So why didn’t this book get a higher rating, you ask? Well because in all, there just wasn’t quite enough to make it an amazing read. There were a lot of really weird sexist things going on with the Fae. All the talk of “mates” and being attracted by “scents” given off from females was just gross. Rowan and Celaena started to like each other, and come on a girl can only have so many love interests before it gets boring. Plus it ruined Rowan’s character.  They started doing weird wordless conversations in each other’s heads, but it wasn’t explained well so mostly I was confused.  Also Maas seems to have an obsession with the description word “purr” but then continually uses it wrong. I think I counted 9 times the word was used wrong.  And finally, again, I could call all the plot twists and “surprises” which made for a boring read. Everything was so obvious.

In the end, I liked the character of Manon enough to give the book a star just for her. Making my rating 3 stars exactly. No more, no less.

Camp Nano Day 24

17952749_1897290607150896_4978757093147622310_n.jpg

I haven’t had a chance to write much the past two days, my weekend was busy as hell. So there’s no better time than Monday to start the week off strong.  As of Friday I hit 25k in A Siren’s Tale!

The goals now are:

  • 30,000 words by April 29th.
  • 35,000 words by May 5th.
  • 40,000 words by May 11th.
  • 45,000 words by May 17th.
  • 50,000 words by May 23rd.

Which gives me roughly a week to write 5k, hopefully that’s enough time to allow me leeway.   I don’t want to stress myself, just push to get this story done.  If I finish on time then I will be able to take a 2 week break to let the 1st draft rest before continuing on to edits.

It’s now almost the end of Camp! Crazy how time flies. How are you doing this month with your writing goals?

The Serpent King By Jeff Zentner

22752127

Goodreads Synopsis: Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace. The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia, neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending- one that will rock his life to the core.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

I was unsure about this book from the start, since I tend to be wary of books with christian themes and or characters. But this book did end up being a 4 star book for me, though I still had mixed feelings even at the end.

I knew this would be an emotional read, and it definitely was. Dill’s character is realistic and easy to sympathize with. I related a lot to his struggle to become his own person, even if it meant hurting people he loved. He’s stuck trying between trying to do what will make him happy (and ultimately be healthier for him) and what his parents want him to do.   This is one of those books where it’s very easy to hate all of the antagonistic characters.  Both of his parents are terrible people, and it was hard to read at times because I can’t understand how people can be so disgusting to their own children.

Thankfully there were ups to the book. Dill has two friends who do their best to help and support him. Travis, his best friend, is literally this sweetest, funniest kid ever. I loved his friendship with Dill.  Lisa, the other friend, I actually hated. She was selfish, self-centered and spoiled.  Her story-line was hard to get through because I couldn’t sympathize.

I felt like The Serpent King ends in a fair place. In this sort of a story there’s no way you can have a 100% happy ending, and in the end Dill takes control of his life.