Friday, May 27, 2011

Candor Week: No Bluntness Here

It's the end of week 3 of Debra Driza's Divergent Faction Challenge. Time to report on how the week went.

Speaking my mind doesn't always come easily or naturally to me. It can sometimes take a bit of prompting and nudging to get me to do it so that people aren't left wondering what I really think. I am getting better about it, but I can't say that I made any great strides this week. Candor definitely wouldn't be a faction I'd choose.  I wouldn't want to be as blunt or tactless as Candor can be, nor would I want to deal with it from others on a daily basis.

I think this week proved I'm not meant to be a Candor. 

When chatting with others turned to gossip, I didn't speak out against it. I didn't want to say it in a way that might put others off, or come off as a goody-goody or something. Instead, I simply smiled and listened to the conversation, being part of the group without joining in the gossip myself. 

Yeah, my Amity was showing. 

A Candor would have had no qualms about joining in and honestly sharing their viewpoint--and would have said it right to the face of whoever was being discussed, too. A Dauntless would have spoken up to say what they thought, or defend the one in question, or challenge the others to say it in front of that person.  Or something like that.

At least I looked the part of Candor and wore black and white most of this week! Who knew I had so many clothes with white, black, or both to create Candor style for a whole week? I noticed it seemed to be a popular color combination this week...or maybe that was just because I was paying attention. So, how did your week go? I can't wait to see how everyone else's Candor Week went.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inspirational People

"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal."

-Pamela Vaull Starr

This week's YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday topic is: who in your life has most inspired your writing. For me, there have been many people. Most of all my mom, who encouraged me to do the things I'm passionate about. My grandparents, who inspire me to achieve. The many authors like Meredith Pierce and Christopher Pike who captured my imagination with amazing tales. My role playing friends over the years, and all the ones who have given me feedback and encouragement--you guys included!-- since I have begun this journey toward writing my debut novel. And I can't forget my muse, who kept nudging me over the years to do this. She must have thrown an amazing celebration when I finally listened :).

I thank you all and wish you happy writing!

Who has inspired your writing? I'd love to hear about it, and can't wait to see what everyone else has to say on the topic.  If you write a post about it on your blog, leave the link here so we can check it out!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Divergent Faction of the Week Challenge, Week 2: Home In Amity

Out of all the five factions, Amity the peaceful would probably be where I would feel most at home. Actually, that's the faction I got when I took the Divergent Aptitude Test on Facebook. Of course, I'd want to be Divergent---but Amity would be my faction of choice.

Abnegation would be a close second choice, but I might not feel any more at home there than Tris did. Would I live my life not feeling good enough, selfless enough?  Sure, Dauntless is cool. Really cool. But not the life for me. I wouldn't want to jump off moving trains, or train in combat, or jump down 7 stories into a net. And risk being factionless if I couldn't keep up? No thank you! The fear landscape part of training sounds really intriguing, though.  I wouldn't mind Erudite--except for the rotten, evil criminal mastermind. Some vocal members of that faction are known for just complaining....and complaining...and complaining that Abnegation has the leadership power and nobody else does. That would get really old, really fast.  Not to mention, uncomfortable.  And finally, Candor.  The kind of brutal, blunt honesty that could be more hurtful than helpful would again be really uncomfortable to live with day in and day out.

For the Amity challenge this week--and I really love these weekly challenges and am sorry to have missed the Abnegation one--I wore yellow. It's not my color, really, but I do have one yellow shirt that I wore, and I have a yellow raincoat. It's been a really rainy week here this week! I drank apple juice.  I sang (actually acapella at a coffeehouse on Saturday, which was way more nervewracking than singing with my band). And I didn't just sing last weekend; I sang with the songs on the radio this week like I usually do. Oh, and I was generally friendly, peaceful and understanding. We had a training this week at work in team building, and it was fun to get to know the others at my table. We had to come up with a team name, which was the Spice Divas (combining Spice Girls and Divas)  and worked together well to get through the fun teamwork challenges.

So, there's my Amity week. Can't wait to read what everyone else did for this week's Amity challenge! I'm leaving my link here on the blog that inspired the challenge. Check it out and see what everyone else is doing!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Celebrate Successes

Celebrate successes  seems to be a theme in my day today. I had a training in team building at work--which was totally fun and full of great activities--and one of the final stages in team building involved celebrating successes along the way.  It gives encouragement and motivation to keep going and to reach for even greater successes. It's so important to recognize even the smaller gains along the way as well as to celebrate reaching the larger goals.

It's so appropriate, then, that today's YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt would be how we each celebrate reaching our writing goals, both small and large.  After I finish each chapter, I usually celebrate by sharing the accomplishment, either here, on my website, or on facebook.  I also mark it on my google calendar to display it on my website. It's great to be able to look back and see my progress! I also treat myself to more time watching TV or reading a new book. I've even treated myself to ice cream at Coldstone Creamery once or twice. When I finally finish a first draft, I'll probably celebrate with my husband by going out to dinner and a movie or something.  If and when I get an agent, and/or if and when The MirrorMasters is actually accepted for publication, the celebration would have to be something awesome, like a weekend roadtrip.

I recently wrote about some of my other writing goals, such as participating in writing contests and submitting short stories for publication. I'd also love to be part of a group blog.  When I reach those goals, I'll definitely be celebrating those steps along the way as I develop my writing career.  Maybe I'll branch out to other cool ways to reward myself--bubblebath and other bath and body products, a new pair of shoes, or a new book for my Kindle.

How do you celebrate those milestones along the way? I'd love to hear your ideas. If you blog about it,  leave a link to your post here so we can all check out what you've shared!

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Unexpected Award!

Thank you so much to A.M. Supinger at the Inner Owlet and Stephanie Diaz  for this wonderful award! What a lovely surprise :).  Per  the terms of accepting this award, I'm going to share seven things about myself and pass this award along to five newly discovered bloggers.  So, here we go!

7 Tidbits About Me:
1.  I was an avid role play writer.
2.  Going on cruises is my favorite way to travel. You just can't beat the dining, entertainment, activities, sightseeing in different ports of call...
3.  I experienced the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time this spring. Rode the Forbidden Journey, had a butterbeer, shopped, and ate at the Three Broomsticks--what an amazing time!
4.  When going somewhere new, I'm much better with verbal/written directions than with a map.
5.  Drawing is not one of my talents, though I wish it were.
6.  I'm an only child and always wanted a brother or sister.
7.  I'm pretty good at memorizing lyrics.

The 5 Awesome Bloggers I award the Versatile Blogger Award are:
1.  Elena Solodow at You're Write. Except when you're Rong.
2.  Katharine Owens at The Insect Collector
3.  Tracey Neithercott at Words on Paper
4.  Alison Miller at Left Brained by Day; Write Brained-All the Time
5.  Kris N' Kels at Take My Hand...And Follow Me

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oh, Celebrity, Lend Me Your Voice!

It’s time for another YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday! This week’s prompt asks: if you got to choose a celebrity narrator for your work in progress or your favorite novel, who would it be and why? The inspiration for the prompt came from the news tidbit that Cassandra Clare's CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS was partly read by Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl.  Awesome for her, having an audiobook! I have a special place in my heart for writers who started out writing fanfiction--especially Harry Potter. I still love writing fanfiction and role play but don’t make as much time for it as I used to.  My writing time basically gets devoted to The MirrorMasters and the occasional short story.

Audiobooks are a wonderful format for experiencing a story. Sure, I love to read, but I do have a bit of a commute to and from work. With no CD player, I tend to use my IPOD all the time in the car and absolutely love having a great new audiobook to listen to.  I just finished listening to the audiobook of Divergent, and it was amazing! The narrator really captured the voice of the main character, Tris, and did a great job making the story feel vibrant and real. That’s what a great narrator does.  

If I could, I would choose Soirse Ronan to narrate The MirrorMasters. I think she’d do a fantastic job capturing the feel of the story and portraying Leah’s voice.  Listening to her in the movie of The Lovely Bones, especially the parts with her voiceover narration, I thought she’d be a perfect narrator as well as an incredibly talented actress. She’d have done great narrating the audiobook of The Lovely Bones.

So, what celebrity would you pick to narrate your work in progress or your favorite book? If you write a blog post of your own about it, feel free to leave a link here so we can check it out!