Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Does the Bookworm Say? ~ All About Thanksgiving!

Hi everyone, and welcome to the What Does the Bookworm Say? feature hosted by me, Thuy from Nite Lite Book Reviews, Crystal from Books Unbound, and Kimberly from The Windy Pages.

So today we're talking about Thanksgiving traditions and/or favorite Thanksgiving foods. I'll talk about both.

First, traditions!

I don't have very much family out here, so we always have Thanksgiving dinner with my great aunt. We used to go to her house and her and my mom would cook. But she's like 94 now, so my dad picks her up and brings her to our house. Recently, though, my parents bought a house in Henderson (the city just outside of Las Vegas, NV), so we eat dinner really early (like 3pm) and then head up there. I won't be going this year since I'll be spending the time after they leave with my boyfriend and his family.

Another tradition is watching the Detroit Lions play football on Turkey Day. I'm actually a long-time Lions' fan, so it'll be nice to watch them actually have a very good chance of beating the Bears. I mean Chicago is 4 and 6, so hopefully we don't choke. I love sitting around with my dad and watching the Lions play on that fateful Thursday.

My mom does most of the cooking. I help peel potatoes and do other odd jobs around the kitchen to help out, but in reality I don't do very much. I'm not much of a cook anyway; my boyfriend Kyle is definitely the cook between the two of us.

Okay, now food!

My mom usually starts with a little lunch. This year, she's making Manhattan clam chowder. We also always have deviled eggs, and omg they're so delicious!!!! Definitely one of my favorite holiday snacks. For the main event, we obviously have a huge turkey (I'm a white meat only kind of girl) that my dad carves with an electric knife. There's, of course, gravy and mashed potatoes and corn. My mom also usually makes some sweet potatoes with maple syrup. My mom also doesn't like to use sugar, so she never makes any pies or cakes, except pumpkin. I'm sure if I liked pumpkin pie, it wouldn't be too bad, but I don't. I know, people always look at me weird. I don't mind anything else that's pumpkin; I especially love pumpkin bread. There's just something about pumpkin pie that I can't get into. We also make a hot cider. No, it's not spiked, and that's probably a good thing because I'm going to have to drive soon after dinner and I'll already be in some form of a food coma. There's also stuffing, but I don't eat that either. I don't like celery, so I normally don't eat the stuffing. I might like other people's stuffing; I guess I'll find out when I eat my second Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend's family.

I'm sure there are some condiments I'm missing, but you get the gist. We're pretty traditional when it comes to the food served at Thanksgiving. But we don't have the greatest of traditions. When I tell people that we eat early and then drive to Vegas that same day, I definitely get some weird looks. It's why I'm staying this year after eating with my family so that I can just have a relaxing Thanksgiving with my other family, and slip into a blissful food coma.

What are some of your family traditions and foods on Thanksgiving? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 17, 2014

You May Be Wondering Where I've Gone!

I haven't posted very many reviews so far this month, and it's for good reason. Reason number one is that I interviewed for a job, got called back the next day about the background check and references check, spent time shopping for office clothes online, worried over whether I would get the job or not for a week, and then, finally, I got a call that they want to hire me! I start a week from today at SAGE Publications as an intern in the Digital Content department.

But when I haven't been worrying about getting a job, I've been writing almost non-stop to finish my novel. That means that I'm not reading very much and I'm not doing any other writing (AKA this blog) very much either. And since I'm neglecting you all so much, I thought I'd let you know how my writing is going.

Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy. I use a certain mythology heavily, but if I told you what that mythology was, I'd have to kill you. Some of you know because I know you and have told you, but otherwise it's kind of a secret.
Current word and page count (before full edits): 77, 734 words and 246 pages in Times New Roman 12 font, double-spaced. I'll probably end up making it more. I think it'll come from adding description and dialogue, but I may find that I need to add an extra scene as well. We'll see. 
There are ten POV's: I know that sounds a bit daunting, but it was really the only way I could tell my story and give it justice. The novel focuses mostly on a single person and the bulk of the book is from her perspective, but it's not all about her. I make that abundantly clear, not just through the multiple POV's, but through the words she's told by multiple characters as well. Also, two of the points of view will probably never be used again; they were (likely) a one-time deal. Well, one of them was definitely a one-time deal because of what happens in the scene, but the other has a chance for maybe one more scene in the second book. A few of the other POV's are only in there once or twice as well, but they're main characters so that could easily happen again in book 2 or 3. Also, the POV the novel begins with is the POV it ends with, and there's only one more scene from that person in the middle. So, it's not really ten POV's as much as seeing the story and its characters through other people's eyes, even if it's just for one scene.
I got a weird spell-check error: Because this is a high fantasy, there are a lot of words that aren't in the Word dictionary. Plus, there are always sentences that Word says are grammar issues, but I throw caution to the wind and go on a case by case basis. Word is usually wrong. But I apparently got to a point that so many words and phrases were "wrong" that I got a message that too many words were misspelled, so Word wouldn't be underlining what was wrong anymore. Umm, aca-scuse me? I've never even heard of that message before. So I took the time to go through it in spell check and added all the crazy words I was using into the doc's dictionary. It's actually nice; now everything's not underlined in red and I don't feel like Word is judging me for my word choice.
The most pleasant surprise about writing a novel: It was kind of amazing how some of the scenes came together. As bad as it sounds, I was thinking to myself, "How can I make this chapter longer?" I just started typing out some things, and then had a small epiphany that it could be connected to this and that and some other thing. The surprise for me was that, sometimes, this book just wrote itself. Like it took control of me, and not the other way around.
 My goal: By the end of November, I plan on having the manuscript completely finished (CHECK!) and all of my own edits done. I'm going to have a few people reading it, but now that I've completely finished it, I've got to move on to editing. I thought I'd already pretty well-edited the first half, but I was wrong. In realizing that a scene that will be needed in the second book didn't really fit the pacing, I turned it into a dream instead. I think I had to truly finish the novel and see how everything had played out to realize that the scene didn't make sense as reality; otherwise, she would've been way more freaked out than she actually was, and it wasn't time for her to freak out yet. Because that doesn't sound insane.

I believe writing is a low form of insanity. As writers, we literally make up entire storylines and characters, and in my case (and the case of many other YA authors) killing them off and putting them through a lot of pain. I wonder if it's therapeutic, and if a part of me dies with each character-death. I don't know, but what I do know is that this sucker is getting finished this month, and once I get feedback from some reader-friends, I'm going to find myself an agent and get my book published.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo (or NaNoFinMo, like me!)? Let me know about your progress in the comments!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Announcing the Falling For Books Read-a-Thon!

Hi everyone! So this is a bit of a last-minute thing that I'm putting together, but I thought it would be fun to have a read-a-thon during the Thanksgiving break. I know there's already a read-a-thon called Falling for Autumn Read-a-Thon, but it happened in September and I wanted to have one during the heart of fall. The Thanksgiving break is also the perfect time to read because, if you're not cooking on Thursday, then you have plenty of time to kick back and read in order to ignore your crazy family, and if you are cooking, you have the time after dinner and all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to veg out with a few good books. I'm hoping to meet my goal of having my novel completely finished and edited by the time the 27th roles around, and I want to celebrate!

The rules of the read-a-thon are pretty simple: you read as many books as you can from the 27th (starting at midnight) to the 30th (ending at midnight) of November. Novellas do not count, unless you combine three or more novellas to make one novel. I personally am going to be reading YA, but you can read whatever you want to reach the goal you set for yourself.

My goal: 3 books. I'm not a slow reader, but I'm not a speed reader either. And on Thursday, I'm pretty sure I'm going to two different Thanksgiving dinners, so I won't have much time that day to get ahead.

What I'm reading: Well, I obviously have many MANY options, so I'm just going to name a few that I have to choose from and I'll make a more executive decision when it gets closer: Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson, Get Even (Don't Get Mad #1) by Gretchen McNeil, Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu, Half-Bad (The Half-Bad Trilogy #1) by Sally Green, The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) by Heather Demetrios, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman, and any others I find in the depths of my Kindle.

If you also want to participate, please comment below with your URL and, if you want, the books you might plan on reading. Let's do this together!

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