With the beginning of December comes the end of NaNoWriMo and the beginning of deadlines. Last month and this month have been HUGE writing months for me. I love reading more than life, but my true calling is writing. I love untangling words and letting them pour out of the deepest parts of my soul. I love imbuing descriptions and ideas with my emotions. I just love love love writing.NaNoWriMo was kind of a flop for me. I won, but just barely. I did plot a lot of my WIP though and I'm really excited about it. I've started two other WIPs in the past and both only got to about 30k before I got bored. They were sprawlingly drafted and I just got so frustrated with them being awful during first drafts. In my current WIP, Madly, I'm still inspired. I've been sitting on the idea since (March?) and new inspiration keeps flowing. I'm starting to get the hang of understanding how to connect all the elements together and just getting it out of my head. Even if I don't finish Madly, it's taught me a ton about how to draft and I just want to share the story. I did get to 50k with NaNo and my goal is to finish it by January 10th so I can say that I've written a book before I turned fifteen.I don't really like disclosing to people in Tampa that I'm working on a manuscript because nobody really would take it seriously. The other day at a chorus performance, a girl heard that I was involved in the publishing and writing community. She tried to pitch me her book and people were just giving her crazy looks. People usually react like that when you tell them. It's like, unless you've finished one or published one, it doesn't matter. Especially if you're my age and have a passion for it. People tell you that it's great that you're doing it, but they don't wholeheartedly believe in it.Anyways, the reason I'm writing this post isn't because of Madly or NaNoWriMo. It's about short stories and poetry and other shorter works. There are so many writing competitions coming up for me and one major one that I'm really interested in entering. I've entered writing contests before and I've won a ton of them (I don't mean to sound full of myself in saying this, but I've won or been a finalist in every contest I've entered in the past two years, which has been quite a lot) and I'm ridiculously nervous.I've been getting into poetry recently, mostly due to Amy McNamara and her excellent book Lovely, Dark, and Deep. I read that she was a poet and you could definitely tell that it influenced the novel. I absolutely fell in love with her writing and her wording and was interested in getting into poetry. Another reason is because of Interlochen. The first exposure that I really had to poetry was Shel Silverstein when I was younger and the excerpt from one of Rilke's poems in Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Many of my favorite authors are poets but I wasn't really interested.After reading Lovely, Dark, and Deep, I asked Amy for poetry recommendations and she gave me an amazing list. I stalked Goodreads and the Book Depository for hours, unsure which books to start with. One of the things that I noticed about my personal style was that I really enjoyed synesthesia in poetry and interesting phrasing. I love verbs paired with ideas that they aren't really supposed to go with, and personification. I love the type of writing that you find on blogs like this one and adore lots of description.The first poetry book I actually read was The Poetry of Rilke translated by Edward Snow and it is excellent. I mostly read it in one go, but if I didn't have much time, I'd read a poem at a time. I really enjoy his description and he has a very calming voice to me. When reading poetry, I've also been getting into writing poetry.Two of the contests that I'm entering involve poetry and poetry suits my writing. I'm a very lyrical writer (at least, I'm pretty sure, judging by my personal appraisal of my voice and what others have said) and enjoy using lavish description. I struggle a bit with being concise because I tend to write very long, flowery works. That's something that I really need to work on, but my description and emotion is one of my strengths.One of the contests is my school's Poetry Jam. It's this Thursday and I'm attending. A poet will be there. We're going to workshop, polish our poems, and then perform them. The poems will be judged by guest judges and the student with the highest score will represent my school in the District Poetry Jam. I really want to be the representative, even though I'm a freshman. Also, Starbucks is providing coffee for us - score! I'm really nervous because I can't decide which poem to perform and I really want it.I'm using Poetry Jam as an opportunity to polish one of my poems for Interlochen.Interlochen. The real reason I'm terrified this month, and writing so much.For those of you who have no idea what Interlochen is, it's a prestigious boarding school for the performing arts in Interlochen, Michigan. Their creative writing department is supposed to be amazing. Also, it's a community of teenage artists who are just as passionate about their art as I am.I got the packet for Interlochen in the mail a few weeks ago. I was aware of the school, but I heard of the scholarship and was thinking about applying. It took some convincing for my parents to even let me go for the scholarship, but I'd beat myself up if I didn't even try. I like my school now, but nobody else is as passionate about anything as I am. I just want to have the option to look at it as a serious possibility. Since it's really expensive and my parents are already wary about looking at boarding schools, it would be the only way that I could seriously look at the school. I told my parents that I was going to enter, and if I was announced as a finalist in January, I'd talk with them about the school. I have a friend whose older brother attends and he is in love with the school. It just sounds incredible.I'd really like to improve my writing. I have a few questions about the school and how much of my writing would change, but first I have to enter. The portfolio requires 3-4 poems (I'm writing four) and prose adding up to less than 5,000 words. I'm pretty sure I know which pieces that I'm entering, but some of them are just ideas that I actually have to write. The rest, I have to revise. The Poetry Jam will be a great opportunity for me to polish my poems and see what I need to work on before giving my portfolio to critique partners to look over and give feedback on. I just really want to at least be a finalist. The school is still just a vague possibility, but I'd like for it to be more concrete and that's the way for it to happen. It's ridiculously competitive and I want this so badly.I really love writing and words take up my life. I don't just love words. I need them.Wish me luck! I've been really absent on the blog recently and I feel SO guilty about that. I've been writing and stressing and working on other things but I'm trying to be more on about that. I'm going to work on Interlochen and poetry jam and several other contests that I'm entering. Excuse me while I go panic. Let me know if y'all want to see any of my work and I'll post it on the blog when I'm done polishing it! Interlochen portfolios are due on December 15th and I'm absolutely terrified. Love y'all!Grace
Hey y'all!I am SO excited to reveal this cover. Gabrielle from The Mod Podge Bookshelf emailed me about it and I completely fell in love. Some Quiet Place will be published on July 8, 2013 by Flux. You can check it out on its Goodreads page and on Kelsey's Twitter! After seeing the cover and reading the synopsis, I really can't wait for the book! I also can't wait long enough to show y'all so here you go!
Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel. Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth. Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself. And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.
Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Honestly, this cover is stunning and the synopsis sounds EXACTLY like the type of book that I love to read. This is gorgeous and it sounds gorgeous and this one is DEFINITELY on my TBR list. I love the colors and the leaves - it's such a stunning contrast with the dark sky behind her. I love how she almost seems to be melting into the ground and I love the font and pretty much EVERYTHING about this cover.What do y'all think?
Hey y'all!So last night was the The Evolution of Mara Dyer launch party. I was supposed to introduce Michelle Hodkin, and I was so excited. It was incredible and convinced me more than ever that this is what I want to do with my life and that these are the type of people that I want to be around. I absolutely adored it. Michelle Hodkin was awesome before, but she was such a sweet, encouraging, and inspiring person that I couldn't help but love her. Can I please do this every night? It's like BEA all over again. I loved it so much that I hate it ending.The Event:So I got there around 5:30 because it started at 6. I had a little notecard intro written out and business cards ready. It's so exciting for something to be happening in my hometown. I've heard that Tampa has a lot of writers, but not a lot of YA writers. Talking to them on Twitter can't possibly compare to meeting them in person. I fall in love with their personalities. I met another blogger, Jenna of Making the Grade! It was great to meet her.Michelle Hodkin got there only a few minutes after I did. For me, one of the best parts for me was being able to talk to her beforehand. She has a fascinating background and graciously answered questions. Then we went over to the YA section of Inkwood and exchanged book recommendations. Talking books was so much fun!I was supposed to introduce Michelle but it was such a small group. I don't really know what happened in the end but we just kind of segued straight into the signing. I was bummed about not being able to speak because I was really excited but the amazingness of Michelle Hodkin more than made up for it.She started off by reading the carnival scene from Evolution (I'm actually reading it at the moment but I haven't got to the scene in the book!) and it was absolutely captivating. I was completely absorbed and Michelle was such a great reader.Then we started the Q&A. I was in the back of the room (a mistake, but oh well) and was able to ask her a few questions. I also tweeted from the event and was able to pull up questions that I had written on my phone. We asked about publishing, her inspiration, Mara, social media, and more. It was riveting and I was just so fascinated by her as a person.After the Q&A, we continued to the signing. Inkwood spoils me and gave me an ARC to get signed. I bought a finished copy and got that signed, then I also brought my battered ARC of the first book since it was one of the first review copies that I ever got. Michelle wrote something about Noah in it that makes me blush whenever I see it.Unfortunately, the signing had to end and I was so sad. I wish it had gone on forever. I miss being around authors and bloggers and sometimes I feel so disconnected from that part of my life. The release party was the best. It was very intimate and other than BEA, was the first signing I've ever gone to. I'm more determined than ever to work in this business so I can be around these people and talk books all the time. I definitely want to meet Michelle Hodkin again and I hope Inkwood starts holding more YA signings.'I'll hopefully be reviewing The Evolution of Mara Dyer on the blog soon. I'm on page 152 of it right now and am in love! I also tweeted last night from the event with some information about it.Last night was definitely worth it. I loved talking to Michelle so much and even though I didn't technically get to introduce her, Inkwood showered me in goodies and I loved her talking.In other words, I loved it.The Book:
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.She can’t.She used to think her problems were all in her head.They aren’t.She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.She’s wrong.In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?
The Evolution of Mara Dyer was released yesterday on October 23, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. It's complete at 544 pages and is the sequel to the bestselling The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I reviewed the first book here. I'm currently about 150 pages into the book and am absolutely LOVING it so far. Inkwood also sent me home with some other books too, but y'all will have to wait until my In My Mailbox on Sunday to see them!If you couldn't make it, I missed you, but if you did, it was so great to meet y'all. Michelle Hodkin is a goddess and after last night, I can't sing her praises enough. Inkwood did an awesome job of hosting and I hope I get to do something similar again soon! I loved last night!