Friday, March 30, 2012

Learning from The Doctor: Spoliers with No Spoilers

Spoiler about me, and I promise this post will have something to do with writing:

I have an obsessive personality. Studies have shown... Ok, no studies have been done on me.

Maybe there should be... *runs and hides under the bed*

I get super into things like books, TV shows, food, treats, and the list continues far to long to measure. Well, it could be the size of a good street block or two, but who's really got their measuring tape out tracking the length of my obsessions, anyway?

If you are then that's just creepy-beyond-I'm-going-to-call-the-cops-on-you creep-tastic.

Well, my most recent obsession is DOCTOR WHO. This BBC show is great, brilliant, magnificent. And who can resist the English accent? Or David Tennant or Matt Smith, right? Not me!

I started watching the first season a mere three weeks ago and am now on the sixth one. *feels sheepish* Call me crazy. Well, I am a little crazy but in an I'm-creative-and-I-love-it kind of way.

Now this is the Doctor Who that aired in 2005. Not the old school ones in black and white or anything. I can blame this entire obsession on my boss, though. She occasionally talks about Doctor Who which brought upon me this possessed infatuation. I found myself bored one Sunday night, logged onto my Netflix account, typed in Doctor Who, and I've been watching the show ever since. And somehow I'm still productive... Don't ask me how. haha

I bring this up because we could learn a lot about creativity from The Doctor. Watching this show has shown me that from the quirkiest, dumbest, most fantastical, and amazing things, a story can be spun. As in the first episode, of which is way beyond stupid, it uses mannequins as the antagonists. Yes, they come alive and start attacking London. (FYI: you sort of have to get through the first season to really get into the meat of the show)

Then there are the Weeping Angels that transport people to another time if you look at them and then turn your back. *Whatever You Do, Don't Blink* 

And there are little guys called the Adipose that are formed from human fat. They are super cute. I'd like to have one as a pet--twisted, huh? Well, I've got plenty of fat around my tummy to make one. haha

Anyway, keep your mind open. There are ideas all around, even ideas that The Doctor couldn't weave like you could--CAN!

Do you get obsessive over books, movies, TV shows, food, etc...??? Or are you a Doctor Who fan? If so, what's your favorite episode?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writer's Woes

As a writer, I've gone through the roller coaster of ups and downs. And many times, for that matter. I know all of you writers can completely understand and empathize. Lately, I've been feeling the lows of author-hood. There are so many hats I've got to wear, so many things to do, and lack of confidence in my words that it could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. And by golly, my patience is waning.

Who knows how I'll feel tomorrow... Right?

I'm gonna be honest here: Writing isn't fun and games all the time. So often, I feel down in the dumps like all the hard work will never pay off. But then I write a great scene, and my confidence comes back. I smile and feel like the "King" of words again. Forgive the play on words.

I guess the point I'm getting at is I'm exhausted with all I've got to do--work, writing, social networking, socializing, sleeping, eating, etc...

But. And this is a huge-tastic BUT! (No play on words intended here)

The thing is I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE UP!

There has been many times I've dropped on my butt and said, "This is it. I'm caving. I'm done." 

Did I? Obviously, nope. See this is how people get published, go the distance, run the race all the way, eat all of the pie, etc...

My point here is DON'T GIVE UP! You're almost there--one word, sentence, paragraph, page, chapter, book away from finishing. When you feel like it's too hard, scratch your head, get a drink of water, and turn on your computer again. Type some words and get back into the game--the fun and games of writing. 

If Julia King (me) can do it----> anyone can!

What are your tips to overcome the woes of writing? Or friends, you can just vent out your frustrations to me. I'll listen.   

Writing. Jewels.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger. The Games. Begin.

I'm going to watch The Hunger Games movie tonight. Yes, and I've had a ticket for over a month now. Haha Anyway, I'm excited to see how the movie pans out. If it's good. Up to par with the book. Gives justice to the story. And if it shows all sorts of gore. Man, that book was a bit graphic.

This got me thinking about the time I saw the first Harry Potter movie. Now, this could be thought of as showing off right now, but... Okay, I'm totally showing off. I saw the first Harry Potter movie while I lived in England. I nannied for a family while there. We went to the midnight showing. It was super awesome and neat to say I was in ENGLAND where the author is from when I first saw it.

Well, I hope I like The Hunger Games movie as much as I enjoyed reading it. But if anything, it'll be a great Friday night hanging out with my sister.

Are you going to see The Hunger Games? Did you like the book? What was your favorite part?

My favorite part was when Katniss sings to Rue. So special. It brought tears to my eyes. For sure.

Writing. Jewels.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reading Habits

The other day, I visited the lovely Julie Glover's blog. She answered the following questions from a tag. I decided to take a stab at them, too. 

If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?

There's a series called Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. It is a middle grade fantasy and is brilliant. It's about these two kids who end up spending time at their grandparents house. While there they find out that it's a reservation for fantastical creatures like witches, faeries, trolls, etc... If I could have all of the fun characters in tow, I'd love it all the more. Sigh.

Do you read in noisy or quiet places?

It depends. I'll read cuddled up in my bed all toasty warm or on my lunch break in the hall. Yet, I do go on what I call "Reading Walk-a-thons". The name of it explains all. It's not as hard to walk and read as you'd think. :D I also will read while I workout at the gym. Helps me to get through the agonizing experience. haha

What was the first book you ever read?

Oh, this is a tough one... I can't think back that far. I'll say the first book I read and really liked was "The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks." It's playful, fun, and great for kids (and kids at heart ---> like me).

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Religion aside, it would have to be Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love this book tons.

Favorite Author?

Ok, I'm gonna shake things up a bit. Normally, I'd say Ayn Rand, but J.K. Rowling is the author who got me reading (Well, to be honest, it was Stephenie Meyer). But, Rowling turned out to be a stepping stone to get me excited about reading. It only took a few more years before I was gobbled up by words.

Do reviews influence your choices of reads?

I don't read reviews. At. All. I don't want them to influence if I like or don't like a book. I may ask people I know if it's good or about content. But, in general, I steer clear from reviews.

Fiction or Non-fiction?

Fiction in. Non-fiction out. I like living in make believe worlds. Plus, Non-fiction books don't grasp my attention. I tend to fall asleep reading them. No offence to Non-fiction writers.

Have you ever met your favorite author?

I've met many an author but not Ayn Rand, J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. But I've met Kiersten White, Ally Condie, Shannon Hale, Beth Revis, Andrea Cremer, Brandon Mull, Brenna Yovanof, and Elana Johnson. And I've seen Scott Westerfeld speak (haven't actually met him--total bummer). It's fun to meet authors. It's just fun to be around authors. Such great energy.

Audio books or Paperback?

Both. I always have an audio book playing in my car while I drive around. Thanks to the local library. I do this to multi-task. I have so many books I want to read that this helps me to scratch them off my list quicker. However, I do listen to many that I've already read or own.

Classic or Modern Novels?

I read both. Not classic as much as I should. I try, though. I do read a lot of genres from MG to Adult. I don't stick to just one genre. I tend to read more YA than anything because it's what I write.

Book groups or Solitary Reading?

I've been in a book club before, but I'd rather read as I wish. If I had more time available, I'd enjoy book groups more. For now, I'm a solitary reader. Not to say that I don't talk to friends who've read them before, especially if the book is awesome.

If you could invite three dead authors to a dinner for four, whom would you invite?

Jane Austen, Ayn Rand, and William Shakespeare. Great authors. Why not have an evening with them. Plus, I'd be the talk of the town for having brought them back from the dead. Nice.

Now, what are your reading habits?

Writing. Jewels.

Friday, March 16, 2012

WIP Name Title Revealed

I figure it's time to reveal the name of my WIP. For some reason, I hold off on the big here's-the-name-of-my-book announcement for a while. I think it's because the project is my baby. I like to have all the books control in my hand, so I keep her hidden for a while.
Now, I've gotta be brave and let her go, at least her name. I'll for sure let the pretty princess go on submission sometime this year, though. *crossing fingers*

Until then, all you get is the name of my book...

*drum roll please*


Yes, a simple one-syllable name with more meaning than meets the eye when it's placed in the context of what my WIP is about. I have the other names of the books in the trilogy picked out already. You'll find them out later. I can't wait to write those books, that's for sure.

How do you go about releasing the name of your book? Right off the bat? Wait for a while? Or not tell anyone until it's actually published? Do tell...

Writing. Jewels.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I've Been Tagged: Lucky 7 Meme

I was tagged by the lovely Shannon Duffy to post 7 lines from my WIP.

Here are the rules:
  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines-sentences or paragraphs--and post them as they're written. No cheating
  4. Tag 7 authors
  5. Let them know
It sort of doesn't make much sense being taken out of context but cute none-the-less. Anyway, here you have it...

          Before any of us could say anything, Megs ran back into the room, holding a large silver box.
          “I have to show you something, Gen!” She pushed my plate away from me. The box was plopped down in front of me with a heavy thud. “Oh, sorry, are you done with your dinner?”
          “Yes, I’m done. It was delicious, Erin.” I gazed at the beautiful mother across from me and smiled.
          “My pleasure,” she replied.
          “Back to me, now.” Megs pulled something out of the box. I was sort of scared it was gonna be a huge hairy spider or, uh, a pet turtle or something. Finally, after all the suspense and dramatics, the cute fourteen-year-old placed a bunch of DVD’s in front of me. She giggled the whole time, muttering to herself incoherently.

I hope you enjoyed it, friends.
And now for the tagging. I've chosen the following people to share their own lines from their WIP.
  1. Kristin Lynn Thetford
  2. Yelena C
  3. S.B. Bowers
  4. Julie Glover
  5. Elise Fallson
  6. Nick Wilford
  7. Daniel Noyes
Happy posting!
Writing. Jewels.
PS: Here's a Happy Birthday shout out to my big brother, Jim Bob Bubba Gump (not his real name, I promise). :D

Friday, March 9, 2012

Deep in the Abyss of Revisions

Over the past couple weeks, I've been back in the thick of revisions. I commenced the necessary evil with an optimistic attitude boiling in my veins (that totally sounded contradictory, huh?). After a week and knowing I had to add more content in the middle and working on some plot holes my CP pointed out, I felt beyond overwhelmed. With that, I caved and took a day off, crawling in my bed after work and sleeping off my frustrations.

I played the avoidance card. Grrr, Julia. Grrr. Bad me. *slap slap slap* 

I headed home one night with the same plan to sleep. But, I came to the realization that I couldn't hide from my book anymore. If I want it polished like one of those cars that people wax with a diaper, then I have to crack out the whip and edit.

Of course, I stopped off at the nearest Sweet Tooth Fairy and got me some cake bites--six glorious little pieces of scrumptious heaven. I had to have some kind of present to myself while editing. And, ohhh, were they delicious beyond divine.

*Nummy to my tummy*

Anyway, I've had my ups and downs since. But I'm loving what my WIP is becoming--shinny with sparkles like a vampire. LOL I love the feeling of finishing a chapter and knowing it's better than it was before I tackled it head on. It's just a matter of getting me in front of my laptop and doing it. Some tunes and munchies help me through, though. Nice. This weekend will be focused on my book for sure!

How do you handle editing/revisions? Do you love them, hate them, or have a love/hate relationship with them? If you're revising/editing, how's it going?

Writing. Jewels.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Second Campaigner Challenge: The Nova

I'm posting twice today because this is important. hehe

I've been participating in the I'm a Platform-Building Campaigner Challenge hosted by Rachael Harrie. She opened up her Second Campaigner Challenge. For it, I've written a 200 word flash fiction using Prompt 5 (the picture above my flash fiction). And I wrote it in a genre not my own. Sadly, I missed the first challenge, yet still posted what I wrote for it after the challenge closed. You can find it here.

Anyway, for the rules, click on this link (the rules are lengthy--easier to have you find them through the link). :D

The contest closes on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 11:59PM. Feel free to like mine on the linky list. I'm #54!

Without further explanation, here's my flash fiction:

The Nova by Julia King

The drug seeped into my human veins. My thoughts relaxed into The Nova. It swirled with shades of amber, crimson, and sage. After waiting thousands of years in multiple life-forms, my last reincarnation allotted me rest in this blissful heaven.
For some reason, the misted form of The Nova disappeared. My desire to reach this existence dissolved into blackness. Panic rose and made me quake. I exerted all my power to bring the peaceful whirls of light back, but nothing happened.
With a rush of adrenaline, my eyes flicked open, back in human flesh.
“What’s happening?” I howled at the doctors, as the heart I never wanted to feel again rammed against my chest.
His face spread with guile. “Since you’ve been to The Nova, your intelligence carries its force. Fueled by all those who die, we, your gods have the power to go back.”  
“You lied!” Angry tears flowed from my eyes.
With brute force, the other doctor dug a syringe into the flesh of my arm, stinging me with heavy, hot fluid.
“Goodbye, River. You’re no longer needed.”
My intelligence drifted into the air, being breathed in by the doctors.
No rest in The Nova. No thought. Gone…

Good luck to all who enter! *hugs* Check out what they've written, too!

Writing. Jewels.

My New Obsession: Downton Abbey

A couple weeks ago, my dear friend suggested me check out Downton Abbey. She spoke so highly of the show I couldn't resist but trying it on for size. So on President's Day I had the enitre day off from work.

*claps hands* 

I decided to do nothing all day. Absolutely nothing. And I deserved it.

By the end of the day, I'd finished the whole first season and the first episode of the second. I laid in my bed with the laptop perched by me for at least 5 of all of those episodes. Lazy but totally worth it. I'm completely up to speed with all episodes now.

My take on this show is it's a period piece soap opera. You know how soap operas are, something seems to be resolved then another twist in the story occurs to shake the plot up a bit more. Oh, and that happens in every episode. But, it's so much better than those daytime, cheesy soaps.

Here's the thing, the writing is brilliant. The concept is corageous and inventive. The dresses are gorgeous, not to mention the hot men gracing the screen (ie: Matthew). It's amazing that with so many characters wrapped up into a community, they're so well developed with their own joys, problems, and skeletons. I feel like I know them all personally.

Now, I have to mention which character's are my favorite:

Bates is my Downton Abbey crush. I've liked him since he played a role in "North and South." He's so sweet especially to Anna. Oh, poor, poor Bates. How I love him.

For some reason, even with all of Mary's faults, I still adore her.

The house dog, Pharaoh. He's so cute that I want to hug him and take the fluffy little friend home. Dog's are my favorite animal so I automatically have to like the dog.

Carson is loyal, absolutely loyal. I'd have him as my grandpa any day.

Anna will always do what's right. She may just be my favorite character for that fact.

Are you obsessed with Downton Abbey? Who are you favorite characters? When did you start watching it? Are you angered to have to wait for a long time to watch season three? Do you think you'll start watching it now?

Writing. Jewels.    

Friday, March 2, 2012

And The Winner Is... Flash Fiction Style

I hosted my very first Flash Fiction Contest. To sweeten the deal, I'm giving away a $25 gift card. It's time to announce the winner and share their flash fiction with you.

I enjoyed reading them all and appreciate those who entered. You all did a fabulous job and are talented writers. Unfortunetely, I can only choose one person.

So the winner is...

Patricia Marquez 

Congrats!!! I'll contact you with details on how you'll get the gift card.

This short story seaped into my blood, causing my chest to become heavy and my breath to slow. I felt like the world had faded away, leaving me alone in the thick of the words.

Without further adieu, I share it here:

Hunter's Moon by Patricia Marquez

Once upon a time the citadel had been a place of life. High marble arches, winding roads filled with stalls and every fruit under the sun a sweet scent in the air. The cherry blossom trees had peeked from above the tall walls that sealed its citizens safely within.

But the Hunter's moon changed all of that.


They'd watched their protector, the knights. They'd all been lined up along the great wall, ready to become the final barrier into their city, if she didn't make it.

But it was all for show. If it got past her, that would be it. The end. They knew it. She knew it.

Her cape, the vermillion that only one of her station wore, had covered her small frame. As always, she looked deceptively small, vulnerable even. But not her companions. They stood at her side, yellow eyes and snarling mouths, tamed by nothing but a touch of her hand, bodies alert and waiting just like Little Red.

Under the moon, a pale, pearl like globe in the night, the Shadow had stretched up and up, covering the forest in black, determined this time, to finally wipe out the spark of wilful strength that defeated it over and over.

But not tonight.

It was under the Hunter's moon that Little Red and her army walked into the shadowy lines of the trees, her head held high, wisps of golden hair escaping her hood. Her most trusted friend was at her side, always at her side, predatory tread matched to her steps, the others following just a little behind.

That was the night Little Red didn't return from the battle.

That was the night the darkness hooked her heart, a sinuous thread of poisonous malediction that infected her.

And Little Red said yes.
Congrats again! Patricia, I will contact you shortly!

Writing. Jewels.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Month of March Goals

I usually don't post on Thursdays. But, hey there on this fine day. Anyway, I've seen a few people posting their monthly goals on their blogs. I think sharing them with the blogshere will help me accomplish them. Well, it's my turn to make goals now. And achieve them.

*woot woot*

I will report back at the beginning of April with my success stories and share my April goals.

March Goals:
  • Finish another round of edits/revisions of my WIP and hand it off to CP's
  • Participate in the second I'm a Platform-Building Campaigner Challenge
  • Finish reading Forest Born by Shannon Hale
  • Read Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
  • Go see The Hunger Games on March 23 at 8:30PM (yes, I've already got tickets)
  • Have a supercool St. Patrick's Day party. It's my favorite holiday. :D
  • Not go crazy while waiting to hear back from editors as my book, FÉLICITÉ FOUND, is on submission
Now, what are your month of March goals? And do you already have you tickets for The Hunger Games movie in hand? Are you counting down the days to see it, too?

Writing. Jewels.