Journaling & Cluttered Minds


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There are so many books on my shelves, I literally don’t have a spot for another. This is where eBooks become useful. I have a cluttered personality which reflects in most of the things I do.

All my journals really consist of are random snatches of prose and quotes. They’re collections of words I stole from other people, occasionally melting them into my own work.

Will I remember any of these as an older person? Probably not. That’s why I’m writing them down. The words we read help shape us, and my collection of quotes will take me back in a very special way.

Are you a tidy person? Do you keep a journal? If so, what do you find yourself writing most?


“If you take a book with you on a journey, an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it…yes, books are like flypaper—memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.”

— Cornelia Funke, Inkheart

Ditching Elegy


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My sequel has reached 68k!

Dissonance is a short book; I cut about 12k in last year’s revisions, leaving 60k to proofread. The sequel will probably be 80-90k by the time I finish writing.

I’ve ditched the working title I had for years, Elegy–the plot is evolving like book 1 did last year. Maybe when I’m finished I’ll pick it up again, but the story seems too different!

My inner perfectionist cringes reading this draft; it’s hard to remember no one has seen it but me. I’ve only shared small excerpts with my best friends, no longer than 500 words.

Meanwhile I’ve been doing line edits for Dissonance on actual paper. I tried using an iPad program, but just can’t focus well on a tablet. It’s easier to revise sentences on real paper, writing in the margins.

Do you have advice on surviving first drafts? This is the first time I beat 40k in years for a new novel, and it’s tempting to edit from the beginning!

Hope you’re having luck with your New Year’s Resolutions!

Thoughts on 2014


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My New Year’s Resolutions are rarely carried out.

I wanted to put the book out in December and almost reached the mark. But even though I couldn’t publish on my 12/13/14 deadline, I made incredible progress editing. So my new goal is to publish on 2015. Perhaps without a strict date it’ll be less of a resolution, so I can’t ignore it.

Having spent all year editing Dissonance, I resumed work on the sequel. Typical of me, this is the third version. In July my Elegy manuscript made it to 60k. I’m not sure why I let it go, but no matter–the plot is better now. I have to remind myself that first drafts don’t need to be coherent. They just need to exist so you can edit!

As for reading, I’m torn about the Goodreads challenge. During much of 2014 I read a lot of words, later realizing I did not actually read them…breezing through a book does no story justice. From now on my goal for the Goodreads challenge is to know more stories, not to increase a number.

Closely related to these goals–I want to stop overthinking! Careful attention is useful when writing a book; in real life, it’s a curse. I’ll probably debate the pros and cons of this post before I publish it, looking critically at every word. That’s a habit I need to kick if I want to make progress.

My goals for 2015:

  • Publish the book!
  • Blog regularly, reply to comments, and make blogging friends.
  • Stop reading three books at a time. Each one should have its turn.
  • Read books in Spanish.
  • Write more snail mail.
  • Let go of unpleasant memories. This is a time to start over without letting things haunt.
  • Appreciate the moment, even if nothing is going on.
  • Drink more tea.

Happy New Year! What are some of your goals?

Blogger Recognition Award


This is another one of the blog awards I was nominated for a couple of weeks back. I saved it for later when I got Blogger’s Block! Thanks to Adriana, Heather and Alexa!

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The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and link to their page.

Give a brief story about how you started blogging and share some tips.

Nominate 15 other bloggers

Notify your nominees.

Brief stories are not my thing.

Brief stories are not my thing.

Brief stories are not my thing, but here goes. I started blogging…well, I can’t remember why. It was the closest I’d get to a real website at 13, I suppose, and looked really fun. I don’t think my blogs had any purpose for several years, not to mention I couldn’t stick to one URL.

I kept switching from Blogger to WordPress, confusing people. I even settled in LiveJournal for about a year, but looking back, I’m not sure what I liked about that platform. I was on a site called HomeschoolBlogger for a year, too, and met lots of friends on there. Finally I came back to WordPress and stayed.

Now I blog to look back on my words in a few years. I blog to say I wrote something, and I blog to give my writing platform a boost. It’s amazing that we can get messages out immediately, like a review or epiphany. I’m not sure why I started blogging, but I’m glad I did.

As for blogging tips, here’s one I ought to have followed all those years ago–try to keep one domain name. That way you’ll get more traffic over time. You might not see it at first, but it makes all the difference. I get an okay amount of pageviews most days without trying. Often I wonder how many more I’d get if I were using the blog I started with.

Also, always get around to answering comments. I know I’m usually late, but even if the guest never sees my reply, I’ll know I took the time to answer.

Finally, I learned to appreciate effective WordPress designs. They are kind of boring if you look at them from a cosmetic viewpoint, but many people read on tablets, making most sidebars irrelevant. Your main concern should be content and SEO. That doesn’t mean you should keep the theme bland, but there are benefits to everything. (Though I am still waiting for WordPress to create The Theme for me.)

I nominate everyone for this award, because I like hearing advice! Let me know if you do it!

Prose of the River-Dead


On November I filled a notebook with random prose. Something blossomed into a spin-off from my poem, The River-Dead. Maybe I’ll add to it later, but I thought I’d share. :-)


This current is strong:
‘Tis the vast River-Dead.
Here, young lives have been claimed
And the water has bled.

-

“Just take a step in,”
The boatkeeper once said.
“It’s a marvelous ride,
And your maiden’s ahead!”
Read More…

I stood near the fabled river-dead, folklore whispering in the back of my mind, stories of young men they claimed died in search of true love.

river-scenic-spotThere was a log cabin not far off; an old man stood chopping lumber in his yard. Maybe he knew stories my father never told. Maybe he could tell me one thing to make this feel like more than a body of water. I knew the stories, but did not believe; heard of the magic but did not see.

“Sir?” I called.

Lost in his task, he did not hear.

I took step forward and asked again, “Sir?”

He did not stir, mumbling words I could hardly make out. One thing I did hear—“Claimed by the river…gone…”

“Please, sir.” I raised my voice. “I’m a journalist, and maybe you can answer some questions …”

The man stiffened. “All your answers are over there,” he croaked, nodding to his right. “Drowned, they were. Dead in the river.”

to be continued

Reading Inkheart Again


Inkheart has long been one of my favorite books. It has a depth to it–for the willing reader, this book is easy to get swept away in. I believe that’s because of its length, and don’t understand reviews complaining it was too long.

Some books just aren’t meant to be finished in a day–many beloved classics are like this. And those complaining it’s not vivid–some books, when read in a rush, won’t sound how they’re meant to. If you didn’t find Inkheart vivid, perhaps you read it too fast. I went through a speed-reading phase earlier this year and now regret it.

Books aren’t meant to be speed-read. In a world where we get everything we want with little effort, I believe books are allowed to be long. They shouldn’t be criticized for length alone. Other books are long and nothing is going on–I understand the complaints there. But Inkheart was full of action from the very first page.

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The character of Dustfinger immediately captured my heart. He is so homesick, and will do whatever he can to get back. I loved the scenes where he played with fire. Elinor also made me smile, the lady who lives in a house full of books. I liked her awkward efforts to befriend Meggie, and mentally applauded her when she found bravery to stand up for herself.

It made me stop to wonder what I’d do if I were to meet my own villains. As an author, would I love them anyway–like the parent whose child does wrong? Would I be thrilled in such a situation, or relieved?

In my opinion, this book was not long enough! Thankfully I have Inkspell sitting on my shelf right now. Go find an old book you loved and give it another visit. Have a cup of tea and just immerse yourself. Trust me–it is a beautiful feeling!

How I Turned 21


For my birthday I got a new camera. And I love that thing. So I have pictures of what I did for my birthday this year.

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First, I spent my last Saturday as a 20-year-old in Barnes and Noble, where I finally bought books tumblr recommended to me (these are titles book bloggers always capture in their shelves.)

I came home with Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Starry Night by Isabel Gillies (the cover is really pretty!) and I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Also, on my nook I have purchased some epic collections–including a 35,000 page Complete Works of Charles Dickens, just 99 cents! I had to clear a lot of space on the eReader to make room for that. Also, the complete Shakespeare and an anthology of Russian literature. I can do light reading or very, very heavy.

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(Ignore the messy hair in my above excited photo.)

And confetti cake is just really pretty.

Especially with Christmas lights behind it.

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The very next day, I went with my family to a Billy Idol concert. It was exciting, especially when I got a signed drumstick! He was handing them out to the crowd, and I was lucky enough to get one.

For my 21st birthday, Billy Idol handed me a signed drumstick. That was the most epic part of my day. He even wrote the date on the drumstick–12/14/14.

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I don’t feel older, but there are three more books in my shelf and an epic signed drumstick. Next year will bring me more surprises; only then will I see how a new year changes me as a person.

I’m excited to have my book out and write a new one. Having spent all year editing, I can’t seem to get into the rhythm of writing another book with different characters. I have plenty of plots on hiatus; since Dissonance swept me away, I couldn’t finish the drafts.

It’s hard for me to write without editing. I forget that all a first draft has to do is exist. Even if the first draft sounds bad, I can’t fix something that doesn’t exist. Next year I want to write a new book, unrelated to my series. I’m excited for that experience.

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The above picture is Downtown Boise with beautiful lights in the trees. I had to share!

Thanks for following me throughout this year as I edit and work for a dream. I have several blog posts prepared (finally!) to breathe a bit more life into this place. It’s time to get a routine, because reading old blog posts is fun.

I hope December has treated you well so far!

Fall Into Fantasy: Evensong by Krista Walsh


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 17: Meratis Trilogy

Book One: Evensong

By Krista Walsh


Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel—summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.

When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created—and the woman he loves.
Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?

Buy it from: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes

Or add it to Goodreads

ABOUT KRISTA WALSH

Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, the serial collection Greylands. When not writing, or working at her day job, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Find Krista online: Website  Facebook  Twitter






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One Lovely Blog award


One Lovely Blog

 

I was nominated for this award by Heather and Alex. There are two other awards, but I will do them other days to keep activity on this blog. I love the questions!

Since I do not have 15 bloggers to nominate, I’ll add a few more facts.

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

List the rules and display the award.

Add 7 facts about yourself.

Nominate 15 other bloggers.

Follow on blogger the person who nominated you.

  1. I have constant insomnia. The kind where I’m awake for three hours straight staring at the clock. It was worse at the beginning of the year, but every now and then I still find myself in that agonizing position where my mind refuses to turn off. If you have any tips about that, I would love to hear them!
  2. There are so many books in my room that I can’t even rearrange them much. My room is a library with shelves on almost every topic, especially religion, YA novels, history, and classics. It’s getting so full that I’ve been getting more eBooks these days.
  3. I love to keep journals. It can be unnerving to put your thoughts on paper with ink, but this year I forced myself to keep going, even when the days were not lovely. I told myself, “Just imagine how satisfying it’ll be when at the end of the year you can read about your adventures!” So I did, and things wound up on those pages that I would never have imagined last December. It’s the first time I’ve kept my journal somewhat consistently throughout a whole year, and I have enough room for 1/3 of 2015.
  4. I speak Spanish fluently, and a friend of my mom’s recently gave me dozens of books in Spanish. It’s the perfect chance for me to get better at reading in a different category. I’d love to learn more words in Spanish.
  5. Upbeat music tends to bother me. These days I listen to a lot of acoustic “coffee shop” songs, because they keep my soul at ease.
  6. All the personality tests confirm that I am an INTJ, and overthink things by nature, such as peoples’ expressions and even silence. It isn’t very fun a lot of the time. I tend to pass harsher judgment on myself than I really have to.
  7. Because of #6, it’s hard to make new friends IRL. But the few friends I do have are precious to me.
  8. The Book Thief was the only movie that ever made me cry for days in a row.
  9. I’m about to turn 21, and can already feel the phase approaching where my birthday is no longer exciting. Oh well.
  10. I drink a lot of tea, and have recently discovered peppermint tea. <3 <3 <3
  11. I started watching House the month they stopped filming it. This is the story of my life–I’m always late.
  12. I dislike writing novels in first person.

I nominate Jennifer, Monique, Syd, Kate, Faith, Kristia, Anna, and Baird.

I don’t use Blogger, but I already check repeatedly from updates from these lovely people. :)