Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My how time flies...when your not writing.

Last weekend was nine weeks since I had written anything new. I finished revising act one, then nothing. Every night for two weeks after that my fingers hovered over my trusty keyboard and nothing. Nothing except cutting words, over 20,000 in fact.

Lets not think about how many hours it took to write those 20,000 words (30-40) that at one time I thought were poetic, beautiful and necessary. But guess what, they weren't. Okay...moving on.

So I cut a 1/4 of my novel out, not a problem, just rewrite it. Let's think, what should I write? After all I've read every  "how to" book lately to help me hone in my craft. I am a novice after all. Let's see what have I learned? Don't use adverbs, show don't tell. Don't fill in with back story, flash backs or dreams....don't do this....make sure to do that..... AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

So while trying to follow all the rules I ended up following none, because I wasn't writing. I felt overwhelmed. Now I'm not saying a person should not read books to help themselves, because I have learned a lot of valuable information form these books. I just need to take them in moderation.

Now here is the kicker, even though I wanted a break from my story and the work, I was miserable not writing. After a few days the voices in my head  my characters wouldn't shut up. I'm not really sure what I've learned from my little hiatus, if anything, but back into the trenches I go. Before writing this post I added over 1600 words to my manuscript. Man, I forgot how good it felt and remembered why I started writing in the first place.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Collection or obsession?

The energy in the theater had a life of it's own. Movie patrons were bursting at the seems with excitement. People were laughing, munching popcorn, seats were sparse and it was only 10:00 am!
Like millions of others, my anticipation could barley be contained, yet a dark cloud kept creeping over my head. The realization that is has finally come to an end.

Part two starts off with the exact scene that ends part one, then dives into action without missing a beat. I've read The Deathly Hallows twice but the technique in which the movie was filmed kept my anticipation at a high. I was amazed at how captivated the audience was, no one stirred or fussed or got out of their seats.

I went to the first showing, opening day because that is when all the die hards go. I knew that every person in the theater was just as excited as me. We laughed out loud, clapped, cheered, and several times I heard sniffing as people dabbed the tears in their eyes. Yes I was one of the tear dabbers.

About half way in I realized something. It's not only the story that I covet and love, it's the feeling that I get when watching.  The directer slipped in a few tributes to the first films, that reminded me of how I felt when it was all new. For me this film was a roller coaster of emotion and a ride I never wanted to end.

Now in my opinion, the person who really stole the show was Alan Rickman as Professor Snape. He did not get  very much screen time but he owned that role. The flashback scene was ripping and Mr. Rickman showed Snape's tragic and undying loyalty to the one and only person he ever loved, with expertise. This movie is epic. If you skip it you'll be missing out.

There is one last thing I need to do to finally put my Harry Potter obsession to rest. That is to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Fl. I plunked my first quarter into the "Send Kriston to the Harry Potter theme park" fund.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Menacing and the Magical

Having just seen The Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, I found my inspiration for this post.


Mermaids are like beautiful maidens form the waist up, with the tail of a fish below. They carry a comb and a mirror, they are to be seen combing their long beautiful hair and singing with irresistible sweetness on a rock beside a sea. 

But mermaids have a darker side. They lure young men to their death and their appearance presages storms and disasters. According to such beliefs they not only bring misfortunes but also provoke them, and avidly seek human lives, either drowning men or devouring them.
(From The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures

So what is the moral of this story? Things may not be what they seem. What do you take from it?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book review....Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Flap copy description

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

So I have to admit, I have never been drawn to "dystopian" stories. There's no magic, faeries or demon slaying and the thought of a dismal future in a post apocalyptic/anarchy setting has never been to my liking. But recently there seems to be a number of them popping out at me and an employee at my local Borders recommended it. I originally bought Divergent from Audible to listen to on my iPhone. I love it. In fact I love it so much I went back to Borders and bought the book to add to my collection of favorites.  I am reading it now to make sure I didn't miss anything and wanted to recommend it as soon as possible.

This book is written in first person, present tense which is something I have not come across a lot. Coming from that point of view really gets you deep into the characters head and in the "now". I think it helps add an urgency to the events as they happen.

Tris is a  great character. She is strong and independent (I love strong female leads!) and very likable. I found myself cheering for her from beginning to end. Coming from a person who is afraid of everything, it was fun reading of her daring feats and bravery. I would not say this is a love story but there is a romantic story line weaved through the chapters in which I enjoyed. Parts of the story were a little hard core and the romance gave it a good balance.

Now be warned, there are a few violent scenes, nothing offensive according to my standards, but there was one thing that I found unnecessary. There is also a scene toward the end that contradicts a couple of previous scene's that are pretty major. I don't know if I just missed something but it left me a tad confused. But I enjoyed the story so much it was easy for me to over look.

Over all, I love this book and Veronica Roth has spun a tale to be proud of. The character growth and pace of the story are spot on. Pay attention to her folks, I have a feeling she's going to have a lot to offer.
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