What do you think is the best YA novel of all time?

I have been following Entertainment Weekly’s quest in finding the best YA novel of all time very closely. I have voted and watched as incredible books were beaten by equally wonderful books and lamented as some of my favorites did not go on to the next round.

And we are now left with the Final Four.

Here’s what has me utterly mind boggled.

How do you choose between To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee which is one of the most profound and beautiful books ever written and The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling which sucked me in and made my imagination run wild, made me want to write. They are both incredible and influential in very different ways. They have both helped to shape and mold young minds and have been wildly popular with both teens and adults.

The second pairing that we have to vote bewteen is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – a wonderful, heartbreaking, and endearing account of the teenage years of one teenager who prefers to sit on the sidelines,  vs. The Fault in our Stars  by John Green, a tale of teens living their lives their own way instead of letting their illness define them or determine what they can and can’t do. I’ve read both of these books and let me tell you— they are both astounding, well written, and incredibly emotional. While The Fault in Our Stars is the newbie on the list, I have a distinct feeling that it will stand the test of time and be one of those important books that my children and hopefully their children will be able to read and relate to.

Quite honestly, I would be ok with any of these books winning the top spot.

So how did I vote (don’t hate me if you don’t agree)??

To Kill a Mockingbird vs. Harry Potter

I voted Harry Potter because I want to live in this world and stay there forever. The story of Harry Potter enchanted me from the moment I picked the book up. While TKM is one of my favorite books of all time and it brings to light issues that are still important to think about today, it did not hold that magic for me.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower vs. The Fault in our Stars

I voted for John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, not because I don’t love Wallflower, because I do. But there is something in the rawness of the characters that Green has written that makes me feel like I know them. This book is about very ill teenagers who are just trying to live their remaining days with dignity and enjoy the time that they have left. It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, it’s romantic. It has everything I look for in a great novel.

How would you vote???

NaNoWriMo Week 3- And well on my way!

Well, truth be told, I am not nearly as close to the actual end of my novel as I hoped I would be by this point in the month.

Today’s total word count goal is 31,666 and my current word count is 35,548.  While I am excited that I have managed to write something every day in the month of November and that I have somehow stayed ahead of the game, I have greatly been hindered by technology.

I thought about simply giving up yesterday, a day when literally nothing was going right. I had somehow turned off my alarm clock in my sleep and woke up with only a half-hour to get ready for work (so much for morning writing time) and spilled my coffee all over my desk immediately after getting to work.

But I went to the library on my lunch break and started typing and the words kept coming, and coming and damn, was I excited. I heard that little Dory in my head going-justkeepswimming

While my expression may have started out like Marlon’s, I went back to work in a great mood and excited once again about my novel.

NaNoWriMo has been a wonderful adventure for me thus far. It has been something that I never thought I would do and finish. Now that I look at my word count and see that only have 14,452 words left to write and a whopping twelve days left to do it in, I am thrilled. It’s too late to turn back now. If I stop now, I won’t be any closer to my goal of actually finishing a novel, and maybe someday publishing one.

The best part of this whole experience so far is that I have actually made myself write every single day. One day I only wrote 300 words or so, who gives a shit, I wrote that day. I’ve never stuck with a story idea for this long before and I am honestly so pumped about it that I think that even after the 50k has been written I will stick through this story til the end. I will try to revise and find crit partners to read it.

We are nearing the end of NaNoWriMo but the terrible doldrums of Week 2 are done, time for the upswing of Week 3, where things are falling into place and I feel like I am back on the upswing.

Good luck, friends! Let me know how your progress is coming along! And just keep swimming!!!!

 

 

NaNoWriMo Day 15- Half-way there

Today marks the half-way point of NaNoWriMo 2013, and despite the many, many obstacles I faced this week, I am still feeling very positive that I can do this.

The total word count goal for today is 25,000 words. I am currently at 28,121 words.

While I am still ahead of the curve, I was genuinely hoping to have over 30,000 by this point. However, as I said in my last post, my computer was giving me trouble.  Well, the shit hit the fan and my poor lap top died the other day. For real this time.

However there is a silver lining. I have been saving to the cloud and didn’t lose my novel at all. I can actually work on it from anywhere on Google Drive, which now that I don’t have a computer of my own, is awesome. I can work on it here and there whenever I get access to a computer for a couple of minutes here and there. Because of this writing has been a struggle for me this week. I am genuinely hoping that I can steal my boyfriends computer over the weekend here and there so I can plug away at it. I would love to have 35,000 words by the end of the weekend.

For now though, I would like to give my lap top one of these.

minionpunch

But I would love to give my novel one of these.

minionhug

Hopefully this weekend will be full of productive awesomeness. *fingers crossed*

NaNoWriMo- Week 2 Woes

bigreddot-kitty

Today is NaNoWriMo Day 12. Let me start off with telling everyone that Sunday and yesterday (Monday) sucked for me writing-wise. I felt much like the cat above, so excited and ready– but when I took the jump, I failed miserably. So miserably that my word count only grew by a couple hundred words both days.

What I am proud of myself for is writing every day for 12 days straight, even if it was only a 300 hundred words or so. I am also glad that I got ahead while I still could, which made sure my word count did not drop beneath my  WC goal for that particular day.

After two days of crocheting, watching a couple of movies, and in general not doing my job as a writer I feel so much more prepared to jump back into it today. The ideas are flowing and the words definitely want to come out. Even if all my brain can do is shit on the page, it’s better than nothing. I’ve written about 1,700 words today and I hope to do word wars today with a friend for a while to help get my word count up to where I would like it to be.

 

& just because I am curious and nosy….

What are some of your NaNoWriMo woes (if you are participating) or writing woes in general?

What are some things that you do when you have writer’s block to help alleviate that issue or when your brain feels like mush and you just can’t bring yourself to write?

 

Because we could all use a smile.

minionmaid

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo Day 9- NaNoThon!!!

 

Writing_Marathon_851x315_1

Yesterday was NaNoWriMo Day 9 and the NaNoThon.

I wrote A LOT yesterday and just so my brain didn’t feel like it was turning to mush, I intermittently worked on some crochet projects and cleaning that I have been meaning to get to for a couple of days now.

I tried to hire house elves… they never showed up.

Anyway. I began Day 9 with 15,459 words.My goal for the day was  15,000 words… so I started a couple hundred ahead.

And then a I wrote and wrote. And did a couple of word sprints with Tracy, then took a break to clean up my craft room and make it a more appropriate writing space (I needed one with less distraction and an actual desk to use), and then I tried a 1k in 30 minutes (and rocked the hell out of it), worked on a crochet project I have been meaning to get to, and wrote some more.

I wrote a total of 4,267 words yesterday.

Which brings my total to 19,726 (yayyyy). I wanted to do another quick sprint or so to bring me up to 20k….

But then the unthinkable happened… my computer wigged out and stopped working. And I did something like this…

WeasleysThatsRubbish

Except you know… with a few choice words.Ok I lied…  I basically word-vomited every swear word that came to mind of for about 10 minutes. And then thanked whatever deity I could think of that I have been saving to Google Drive. (whew!!!)

But my wonderfulamazingawesome boyfriend saved the day by running some tests and scans on it and viola! It worked.And I may or may not have done a happy dance that looked something like this. Yeah, I have mad skills (not really).

11dancing

After that whole debacle. I was so exhausted that I passed out. So I didn’t reach 20k for the day, but at least I saved my novel, my computer and my sanity.

With that, I am ready to begin Day 10 with some fabulous ideas and a hell of a lot of work ahead of me.

 

Have a fabulous day folks & happy writing!!! I will try to tell you about how Day 10 goes this evening or tomorrow.

Things I Wish Would Do Themselves During NaNoWriMo

Hello Ladies & Gents!

It’s Day 8 and 11:22 am where I live.

Today’s goal = 13,333. My current word count= 13,434.

So I am a little bit ahead (thanks to word sprints earlier in the week). But I’m struggling. Because when I go home from work I have a million things to do at work which leads me to my point today..

During NaNoWriMo there are just some things that should “do” themselves.

  • Like laundry. We all need clean clothes to wear to work (or even to wear around the house). I don’t mind throwing the laundry in the washing machine, but I don’t want to go back down to my basement an hour later and throw it in the dryer. It breaks my concentration and after that happens I have difficulty getting back into the swing of things. Someone needs to invent a machine that washes & drys laundry in the same machine. Or make a Doc Brown like contraption that moves it from one machine to the other for you.– do this and you will be my favorite person
  • And dishes. Those buggers that pile up in the sink and are like “Hahaha you don’t have a dishwasher. Hand-wash me bi*ch.” And I ignore them for a day or two. Until I realize that there are no clean forks or glasses and then I have to take time off of writing to go wash dishes. I am willing to hire someone to do my dishes for me until NaNoWriMo is over— just saying.
  • Cooking as well (I don’t think that I or my boyfriend have had a proper meal in a couple of days).
  • Lastly, just cleaning in general. My house looks like a bomb went off.

I have come to the conclusion that I just need house elves.

Houseelf
Yesterday was pretty horrible writing-wise. Luckily I started the day ahead because I only got 600 words finished in the writing time that I had allotted myself.

Today is going a bit better, I have already hit my goal for the day (the benefit of writing a lot earlier in the week) and I am looking forward to a lot of writing time tomorrow for the Writing Marathon! I am hoping to reach 20,000 words by the end of Sunday so that I can schedule my writing time for next week and not be so stressed that I won’t meet the deadline by the end of the month.
To be honest, I want to be finished with the entire first draft by the end of the month— and I know it’s going to be more than 50,000 words. I’m desperately trying to stay ahead.

How are all of you doing so far? I would love to hear about your NaNoWriMo experience 🙂

Writing_Marathon_851x315_1

NaNoWriMo- Day 6

Hey there ladies & gents!

Today is NaNoWriMo Day 6 and I am not going to lie to you, I am already feeling the pressure. I have had writer’s block, distractions up the arse, and I have fallen asleep at my computer.

But I have also had some awesome Google + hangouts with some friends where we have talked about our novels (what we love and what we struggle with), had word wars, and generally gave each other a ton of support. That is one of the best things I have experienced with NaNoWriMo, there is such a great community of writers here who all have one another’s back. We want to see each other succeed.

Over the weekend I was doing pretty darn well word-count wise. Monday however, I slacked a bit. It was the first day I was both going to work and working on my novel as well and I was having difficulty focusing on both.I caught up on Tuesday though, when my friend Tracy and I had word wars and I finished the day after writing over 3,000 words (and wow did my mind feel like a big pile of mush after that one).

Today I am feeling pretty darn positive. The word count goal for the day is 10,000 words and I decided to stop writing with 11,142 (not too shabby)!

If you are behind and or feeling the pressure, keep going— don’t let it get you down now. There are so many people out there routing for you and there are so many resources that will help you continue on your NaNo journey.

If you are looking for a writing buddy, feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website and shoot me a message. I love talking to people about their novels and their progress.

Katytastic has some great vlogs about writing and NaNoWriMo for those of you who like to watch! I have found her posts very informational and fun 🙂

Keep on keeping on, friends. Kick some NaNoWriMo ass.

kicking ass

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Day One

Sorry for my lack of posting lately. I have been in a serious slump and way overbooked myself between writing, reading, craft shows, my job, and life in general.

I needed to take a break from some of it, if only for a couple of weeks. But now I am back, and I have a new project for the month of November, NaNoWriMo!!!

I’ve never won NaNoWriMo, mostly because I lose steam half way through and become discouraged. This year, my friends, is different.

I woke up yesterday morning (on Day One) and greeted my novel like this:

preciousten

 

And how can it not make you happy to think of David Tennant/10 being so effing excited that you are doing NaNoWriMo and that you got up before the ass-crack of dawn to begin writing. (And it doesn’t hurt that he is adorable.)

Anyways, Day One was productive. I got 2,025 words written. Not as many as some people, but considering I worked all day I am pretty darn happy with it!!! Now on to day two! I will try to get in an update later on today for you folks after my craft show! Have a good one.

 

Stay tuned for my NaNoWriMo updates as well as some vlogs about my progress!