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Friday, 21 September 2018

Current WIP: Week Three

Hello, and welcome to my third current WIP update!

So, how was your week? Did you get much done? Did you meet your goals? Did you have a to-do list full of stuff like I did? I put together a to-do list every Sunday, and cross things off as I go.

It's a great way to keep track of everything. A way to keep a handy record with dates. 

Here's my w/c for this week:
  • Monday: 46,293 (added 3043w) 
  • Tuesday: 50,301 (added 4008w) 
  • Wednesday: 54,473 (added 4172w)
  • Thursday: 58,206 (added 3733)  
  • Friday: 61,529 (added 3323w)

I'm really happy with the progress. Monsters is turning out to be quite the ride. It's dark, emotional, twisted, and infused with mythology.

This is a story that's been swirling inside my head for months. It came to me after seeing a really cool artwork someone shared on Twitter. One picture, one question, and my muse was buzzing. I remember taking a bunch of notes so I wouldn't forget, because I was planning/working on a pretty intensive revision for a different project.

So as soon as I decided this was going to be my next project, and started writing, I got swept up in my original idea. But now, the story's original vision has twisted into so much more.

I'm loving every moment of this first draft, and can't wait to see where it all ends.

Actually, speaking of The End, I have two possible endings in mind. The problem is that I like both. So I wrote them down, and I'll let the story decide which one suits it best.

There's been quite a bit of that in this story.

At the beginning of the week I took notes all the way to the end. But then, when I actually sat down the sequence changed. Some of my notes were irrelevant. I plucked things from here and put them there, and vice versa.

THIS is why I'm not a plotter. It's why I take a bunch of notes, spend hours thinking about the story, and just go with the flow.

I'm not sure how many more words it's going to take to get this done, but I'm excited about the snippets playing inside my head like a movie. 😊

Asides from writing, I read another excellent book this week. We've been walking a lot. Caught up on some washing. And enjoying the fact winter is finally over.

Oh, have you seen the CAPTAIN MARVEL trailer yet? I'm SO ready.

Anyway, that's it for this week.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

THE WEIGHT OF A THOUSAND FEATHERS by Brian Conaghan

'Child experts will tell you that I'm way too young to carry such a burden of responsibility on my tender shoulders. But really, what do they know?' 

Who is Bobby Seed? 

 He's just your average sixteen-year-old – same wants, same fears, same hang-ups. Dull, dull, dull. 

 But then there's the Bobby Seed who's a world away from average. The Bobby Seed who has to wipe his mum's backside, sponge her clean three times a week, try to soothe her pain. The Bobby Seed whose job it is to provide for his younger brother, Danny, to rub his back when he's stressed and can only groan and rock instead of speak. 

 That's Bobby Seed. Same, same, same, yet different, different, different...



This is a surprise YA book I received from Bloomsbury Australia and didn't know anything about. But as soon as I picked it up, I got swept up in all of the emotion.

Bobby Seed is an average teenager going through the same stuff as other guys. Except, he's not so average. He might be young, but he's not carefree. His mum is sick, so he's a carer. And then, there's his younger brother. And cleaning, washing, dusting. Not to mention homework and tests.

At least he's got a trusty best friend in Bel. She's always there to help. Although, things aren't straightforward with her either, because she might want to be more than friends.

When Bobby starts going to a young carer's peer-group meeting and is introduced to a bunch of kids in similar situations, he realises he's not alone. He gets some well-deserved time away, even if he can't help but feel guilty and misses his mother. 

And then there's Lou. The guy with a vintage Vespa, the guy who stirs some pretty intense reactions in Bobby. Suddenly, everything gets more complicated, but nothing's as bad as his mother's unexpected request...

O.M.G. 

This book was an addiction I picked up earlier this week and couldn't put down. I intended to read the first chapter to get a taste and ended up reading over 50 pages!

Bobby's narrative hooked me into the story right away. His complicated life kept me turning the page. The banter between the characters--especially between Bobby and his mother--was SO good I couldn't help but cackle. 

What I found so amazing about this story is how the writing style dragged me through all the heartbreak, all the hardships until I felt like I was on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Yet, before I could get too upset, the humour picked me up and made everything so much lighter.

The characters were another thing that I loved. Bobby is such a nice guy, but has his own faults. Bel is a great friend, even if she has her own agenda. Danny is such a sweetheart, and so much smarter than everyone thinks. Lou, well, he was a good dose of good guy, bad guy, and totally messed up guy. A good example of how such a serious experience alters a young life, changes a person forever.

I thought the poems were a nice addition, too.

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers is such a fantastic story about one teenager's journey through the super tough life of a carer. His devotion and determination, and just how he deals with the harsh reality he's been dealt is admirable. What Bobby and his brother face would destroy a weaker person, and that ending is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

I absolutely adored everything about this book. The characters got under my skin, the story led me down a dark path, the very sad consequences affected me deeply, and it made me laugh out loud so many times.

Plus, after finishing the book, I realised just how awesome the title is!



The Weight of a Thousand Feathers, July 2018, ISBN 9781408889121, Bloomsbury YA

Friday, 14 September 2018

Current WIP: Week Two

Welcome to my second WIP update! 

So, how are you today? How's the week treating you? Here in Oz, it's finally starting to feel like spring. There was quite a bit of rain last week and we even had a freak hailstorm on Friday night, but this week has been mostly blue skies and lovely temperatures.

I say mostly because it was overcast this morning. But it didn't take long for the sun to make an appearance.

Anyway. Asides from catching up on the washing and updating my files + photos, I've been working on my WIP. I'm at the stage where I'm totally caught in the frenzy of getting the story outta my head. When all of the pieces are slowly slotting into place and I'm getting good word counts done. 

Even when I didn't really feel like writing because this week was draining my energy, I still hit my daily word count goal. I'm just too into the story to put it aside.

Besides, that's what the weekend is for. 😜

Anyway, here's my actual w/c progress:
  • Monday: 26,242 (added 4091w)
  • Tuesday: 30,437 (added 4195w) 
  • Wednesday: 34,513 (added 4076w) 
  • Thursday: 39,471 (added 4958w) 
  • Friday:  43,250 (added 3779w)

There you have it. Monsters is going very well. Very well, indeed. I'm really happy with how the story is unfolding. The creepy factor keeps intensifying. The complications are reaching twisted proportions. The family drama is totally disturbing.

I passed 100 pages. Crossed 40k words. And I'm pretty sure the halfway point has come and gone.

But I've now reached that point where I need to grab pen & notebook, sit down and start taking notes. It's time to brainstorm my way to The End. Everything is going down, the characters are heading into dangerous territory, and the downward spiral has already begun.

There's still quite a bit of story to tell, but I need to write everything down so I don't forget anything.

Asides from the novel I'm writing, the other day while I was walking, the beginning of a story idea I've had sitting in my Idea Files hit me. Love it when that happens!

Well, that's it for this week.

Hope you all have a great weekend!



Wednesday, 12 September 2018

THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY by John Everson

Rumor has it that the house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won't stop Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. Because while the witch may have been dead... she doesn't intend to stay that way.



Well, it's time to review my last Flame Tree Press ARC. This is one of the horror titles I was looking forward to reading because I love the cover, and I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. 😁

When Mike's friend asks him to help make the abandoned house by the cemetery safe enough to have crowds of people go through it's doors and many levels on Halloween, he's not sold on the idea.

Turning a place that is rumoured to be haunted by a witch into a haunted house attraction during October doesn't appeal to him, but it appeals to the group of people who are going to decorate and run the place.

But then Mike meets the attractive Katie. She's eager to help and keeps him company while he works. So he's determined to keep coming back to finish the job. No matter what...

So. Okay. 

Like I said before, I was excited about this book. It started out well, I was totally into it and really enjoyed the first two parts. I especially loved the way Part One ended because it was so cool. It confirmed something I'd suspected, and to have it revealed in such a shocking way was great.

My main problem with this story turned out to be Mike. While I liked him quite a bit while he was working on the house, I had a lot of trouble with how he deals with a certain revelation. It just didn't seem right. Didn't fit the way his character was unfolding. Makes him seem like a bit of a moron who finds out something absolutely ghastly, but doesn't care. As long as the sex is good, he goes along with anything and everything.

Yeah, that really bugged me. Although I got the feeling he was lonely and heartbroken, I never got the impression that he was stupid. He was level-headed, so I had a hard time accepting his whatever attitude about all the gross stuff he sees and does just because he wanted to be with Katie.

I mean, I know love/lust can make people blind but this was a bit much.

The story is told in multiple POVs, which was a great way of giving the book a fun angle. I got a real kick out of all the horror movie references, and how creative the crew was in setting up the different scenes inside the house. 

BUT, there were too many POVs thrown into the last part. Some turned out to be too random, while others just weren't deep enough. The balance in the first two parts was thrown off during the last act. And that's when the story lost me.

Also, there was another pesky thing that bugged me. A character mentions "an Australian movie about killer sheep". The movie Lon is talking about is called Black Sheep, and is actually a movie made in New Zealand, not Australia. I know it's a tiny thing--more of a pet peeve--but I'm a stickler for horror movie references.

The House by the Cemetery is an entertaining and different take on the haunted house trope. It's got quite a few disturbing revelations, a nice setup, some crafty horror references, and leads the reader into quite the gorefest. But for me, the last act lets it down.

I love a good splatterfest as much as the next horror freak, but this one was too flimsy. In the end, I didn't feel bad for the victims, didn't care who lived or died, and eventually lost interest in the villain's quest. Plus the ending was pretty meh, IMO. 

It's a shame because I was sure I would love this.





 
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