Archive for July, 2014

The-Writer

 

Goodness, sounds like an impossible feat, doesn’t it? I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to make a writing log, I wanted to do something to time myself, to see how much I wrote, what were the best lengths of bursts for me to write in, etc. I got a nice, regular composition notebook and wrote “Writing Log” on the front of it with green sharpie, so I could feel official. 

So, I’ve only been doing it for one day, but I noticed something pretty awesome. Keeping a log like that actually helped! Seeing my writing, the numbers, on a chart? Well, it made a difference! Not only holding myself accountable, but being able to see my progress on a paper as I went… there was something about it that inspired me to write more, to write faster, to write better. Allow me to copy my log for you below so you can get an idea of what I did.

 

July 29th Writing Log

Start time, 8:30PM

8:30-8:45 – Warm up Free writing, 1,000 words.

8:45-9:00 – Word Sprint, 1,247 words.

9:00-9:15 – Free writing, 750 words.

Break from 9:15-9:20.

9:20-9:30 – Free writing, 820 words.

9:30-9:45 word sprint, 1,200 words. 

Word total: 5017 Words

Writing Time, 1 hour, 15 minutes.

 

So, you can see that I managed to accomplish quite a bit of work during that time. I was able to see what strides I did, what writing bursts were the best. Allow me to explain that free writing is writing that I could do while taking a break at any time to chit chat with friends, to browse facebook or tumblr, etc. Word sprints were writing without stop, without checking anything, without anything else going on. I gave myself a small break in between to completely close down the document and look at something else. I am hoping that, by keeping this log, not only can I accomplish quite a bit of writing… but I can establish a pattern of what works best for me, what doesn’t, what times I write the most, etc. 

I think that, as writers, we should look at our writing like anything else. People often times pay attention to when they are most productive, how they manage things the best, etc. We should do the same! We should hold ourselves accountable for word count, for how much we work, for the amount of time we slack off and get distracted, etc. If we could do that, we’d get more done. More than that, if we could establish a pattern of what worked best for us… think of how much more we could get done?

That’s my tidbit of advice for the day – try keeping your own writing log journal. If you have, if you have thoughts on it, or anything else, drop me a comment! I’d love to see what you think!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Advertisements

The Laughing Corpse
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Heh, so I’ve gotten to where I post my reviews to Goodreads first, because it gives me a nice picture and tags >_> who, me? Too lazy to keep uploading pictures before I post these things… never! So, here’s my review for the Laughing Corpse, book two of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.

Another great development in the Anita Blake series. Honestly, I have a distinct and utter love for the first books in this series. I find that Anita’s witty banter, the way that she interacts… and moreover the crime/solving the case element of the story make for something action packed as well as suspenseful.

I haven’t read this series in over four years, so going back and doing my re-read, review is already a real pleasure. I remember why I adored the series so much – Anita is such a brilliantly colored up character. She’s not perfect, she certainly has flaws. She’s independent as hell to an almost fault, she’s a bit on the hateful side towards the undead (for now!), and she’s an all around bad ass that you can’t help but to love.

So, let’s see… to get into this book a little bit… I love the story. I love the element of Dominiga as well as Harold Ganor. I adore it when there is more than one villain to focus on in a series. I love the fact that they’re both their own version of the big bad in different ways: Dominiga because she knows she’s extremely powerful, she knows she can do evil… she’s certainly done it and will admit it as long as there’s no one around to tell her otherwise. Ganor is a completely different kind of evil – he’s evil in the sense that he has the money to be, he has the power to be through that money. It’s two primarily different people… but they come together as the same kind of evil because both the corruption of power and the corruption of money have taken them down the same road.

Again, the crime element of this story was an intense read. A rampaging, flesh eating zombie? Shudder just a little bit – there were some pretty graphic descriptions, so I’d be careful reading this if you had a weak stomach. Still… it was amazing, and it made it even more satisfying to catch the bad guy in the end. Also, props to LKH for giving me a moment of actually feeling PITY for the monster at the end of the novel – I won’t spoil anything. Read it yourself.

A moment for me to fangirl here over Jean-Claude. I love him. He’s a great character. He’s cocky, he knows he is sexy… but especially here in these first novels you see he’s hungry for power… but that there’s a part of him that already really cares about Anita.

Just… I love it. I love this series, I think it’s great. I know it’s a bit of a stray from my usual YA reviews, but still. :3 5/5 stars, and onward to Circus of the Damned!

(this review will also be posted to my blog – https://authoramandamccormick.wordpress.com – that offers reviews, honest opinions, and writing advice!)

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Guilty Pleasures Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Guilty Pleasures… oh, my Goodness… what can I say about this book. First of all, this isn’t my first read-though, and I doubt it will be my last. I started reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series when I was in Middle School (way too young, I know, I know.) I fell in love with the characters, the writing, the entire world that Laurell K. Hamilton had to offer. Though I’ve had my ins and outs with the books, I’ve never wavered in the fact that the characters that she created, the world that she spins… it’s pure gold. So, to get things started with this review, I’ll say first and foremost that the story is done in first person. Some people don’t like that, and it’s understandable. However, I love being in Anita’s head. We get to see how clever she is, how quippy… we get to see when she’s angry, when she’s frightened, when she’s sad. Even when she hides those emotions from the outer world, we get to see them in full fledged and amazingly descriptive color. I love it. I love Anita Blake as a character, and I adore the fact that I get to take the ride of this book with her. The basic concept of the book is Anita Blake, Animator, Vampire Hunter… is hired by the vampires to solve some local murders that have been happening. In the process, she’s caught up with assassins, other animators, and the Master of the City who puts ‘scary little girl’ through its paces. It’s an amazing novel, from start til finish. There is violence, there is death, there is humor… and there is a tiny little glimpse at romance to come. It’s amazing. The plot is really well done, and there just isn’t a slow part in it for me to complain about. The character development, of course, is mostly Anita in this book. We learn about her, what makes her tick, who she cares about… why she cares. Why she does what she does. The other character (Jean-Claude, Edward, Phillip, Nikolaos) are all really well done. You get attached, you get upset… you pick your favorites and you cross your fingers that you will see them in the following novels. All and all, Laurell K Hamilton is just a word smith. The wit, the humor, the amazing way she can spin a phrase. I don’t have a bad thing to say about of this book. 5/5 Stars, you better believe that I’ll read it again. If, for some reason, you haven’t gotten into this series go ahead and pick it up. Read it. Devour it. Love it!

View all my reviews

Until next time, guys… keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

So, before I start this, I’m going to link my review of the first novel of this series, Splintered. I’m linking it because this is going to be another spoiler free review, and a lot of what I feel about this book is that it’s one of those middle things that is going to lead to a fantastic, amazing, epic third novel.

17449197

That isn’t to say that this has the middle book syndrome. When I say middle book, I mean like the delicious white stuff in the middle of an Oreo. It was a wonderful book! I’ve seen a lot of people who seem to dislike the fact that Alyssa’s character seemed to have taken two steps back. You know what, I’ll give them that… but I think that it was intentional and inspired – it’s going to make her changes in the third book all the more evident. Also, the fact that she’s taken a step back, is afraid, is indecisive… makes a lot of sense. She just came out of Wonderland, out of a traumatic situation, and everything she knows is changing, is threatening to be ripped away… not to mention the teenage drama that all teenagers deal with. 

Okay, let’s try to get a brief little intro/synopsis for this book though, spoiler free. 

A year after her travels in Wonderland, Alyssa has chosen to remain in the mortal world with her mortal boyfriend, Jeb. However, when she learns from her childhood friend, mentor and possible love interest Morpheus that Wonderland is in trouble… what will she do? Refusing to help only leads to a world that she thought she had escaped from coming into her human life in a big way…

 

There, nice, short and to the point. Gyah, this book is fantastic.

I do miss the characters of Wonderland, I will give people that. But I still loved seeing this side of the world… and seeing Morpheus in this world.

Oh. My. God. Morpheus, marry me now. 

A.G. Howard, you did such an amazing job. So much thought, depth, emotion and feeling was put into this character that I’m honestly latched on. He’s amazingly developed, layered, complex, evolving… and just astounding.

Honestly, the entire plot let up to a wonderfully frustrating cliffhanger that is going to kill me until 2015. I cannot wait for the third book. And aauuughhh, some of the little twists and snippets… oh, say GLIMPSES OF THE FUTURE *squeals* in here… amazing. Astounding. Need. More.

The novel has the same kind of language, beautifully crafted… and even though it does move a little slower than the first (what with being in the real world and not getting changed by zombie flowers and all), I think that it was perfect, astounding… amazing. Wonderful. What are you waiting for? Why aren’t you reading this? You already read Splintered because I demanded it of you, didn’t you? Because I told you how awesome it was? Well, read Unhinged!!! Do it! It’s wonderful. 

10/10! Honestly, this is one of my new favorite series, and will be the first books that I have discussions over when I start vlogging. Somehow… somehow I will obtain an ARC copy of Ensnared… >_> And then if the love triangle ends with Alyssa and Jeb, I will have a huge sob fest. xD The end.

OH! And can I PS on how freaking GORGEOUS this book is without its dust jacket. *Squeals* Over and out now for probably one of the most chaotic, fangirling and yet honest reviews without spoilers that I could give!

 

Until Next Time, keep reading and writing.

Author Amanda McCormick

400000000000000924083_s4

So… Splintered by A.G. Howard. Oh, my Goodness. I really wasn’t expecting it going in, but I can honestly and truly say that out of the vast majority of books that I’ve read over my life, out of the thousands of stories that I’ve drank down… this is honestly on my top 3 list of favorite books. I was so completely delighted and shocked by it, amazed and enthralled with the story! It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever read, and I’m only just managing to tear myself away from reading the second novel Unhinged to write this so that I can sing the litany to the book gods in praise of this book.

I’m going to try to be as unspoilerish as possible with this review, but I really and truly think that each and everyone of you, dear readers, should pick this book up asap and drink it down like a mad cup of tea. 

So, first of all… the writing style is actually really captivating. The language and descriptions are beautiful, and it’s fast paced and easy to keep up with. The entire book is that way, the plot is fast paced, the characters wits and developments are fast paced. It’s wonderful. It’s beautifully written… it’s astounding.

So… to give you a nice little synopsis of the book, our main character Alyssa has been hearing the bugs and the flowers talk since puberty – she’s related to the Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and it’s a thing that all of the females in her family are a bit crazy. Her mother is on that list. However, which she finds out that there is more to the Alice story than meets the eye, she gets sucked into the REAL Wonderland, along with her best friend and longtime crush Jeb… lured by the wings of a moth. There, she finds out that the stories that Alice told were childsplay… and she’s thrown into a torrent in an attempt to break a curse and save her family.

>_> <_< Yeah. Amazing.

Okay. Now, allow me to say something a few times.

morpheus. Morpheus. MORPHEUS! Oh my freaking GOD Morpheus. My. Favorite. Freaking. Character.

Oh my God. I love him. He’s amazing. He’s astounding. He’s wonderful, he’s charming. He’s… mmm mmm mmmm! I won’t give anything away about who he is… but hoshit. I love him.

Alyssa and Jeb are great characters as well, along with the others that we meet throughout the book. The character development, and us seeing Alyssa embrace the madness of Wonderland throughout the pages? Astounding. Honestly. I can’t speak the praises of this book enough without giving anything else away. Just get it. Read it. Pick it up. Buy it. You won’t regret it!

10/10 stars. 100/10 stars. I love it! GO GET IT! What are you waiting for?

(Check out my review for the second novel, Unhinged HERE!)

 

Until next time, Keep reading (Splintered ^___^) and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

I won’t use your last name, in case you don’t want it out on here. However, I just wanted to let you know that today I received your presents. Just three books from my amazon wish list, but the note that you included and just the fact that you purchased them when we haven’t spoke was extremely touching. I’ve honestly been in a bit of a funk for writing since I lost all of my books a few days ago. Anyone who loves books can understand that… however, getting this gift from you and just feeling touched that someone reads my blog and enjoys it enough to care about my emotions? It means a lot.

So, I know this is a short blog, but I’ll be getting back to regular blog posts starting tomorrow. Until then, I just wanted to give out a personal thanks to Jessica, who was sweet enough to make me smile when I was feeling pretty down. ❤

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

So I’m having a bit of a heartbreaking moment here. Those of you who know/talk to me know how much I love books… and you also know how much I’ve been wanting my books back from Kentucky since I moved 3 years ago. About a month ago, my sister in law boxed up the ones that meant the most to me and mailed them to me. Today the most man arrived with a ripped, torn box and a note that said, “We care. We’re sorry if this inconveniences your day.”

There was no insurance on the package because the woman at the post office refused to issue it to my sister-in-law on the basis that it was pointless.

Some of those books are literally irreplaceable, out of print… and what’s worse is the fact that a lot of them are extremely sentimental to me. Some are gifts from my mother, who you all know is extremely ill, others from friends and family… it’s just heartbreaking and devastating. Anyone who knows how it feels to lose valued and sentimental possessions understands. I just wanted to share this with you guys, because you’ve always been so supportive – I feel like I get a lot of the positive thoughts and support from this community. A lot of you are so amazing and compassionate and caring ❤ I really appreciate you all. I feel like such a ninny for crying over books… but… yeah. Anyone who writes, reads, or has a special possession would understand.

For those of you who have already asked if you can help… I do have an amazon wish list that I can send you, as well as my paypal (deathsrequiem07@yahoo.com) listed on my page. I’m gonna basically take today and mope around and cry some more and then try to get back to schedule tomorrow. My sister-in-law (who is crying as much as I am) made a go-fund-me. I’m just kind of…. at a loss and miserable over this. 

Again, with everything that’s been going on (the move, my mother, and now this)… thank you so much for how much you guys have been here for me. You have no idea what it means to me.

Honestly though, I post this as a precautionary tale. If the post office tells you not to worry about insurance? Don’t listen. If they tell you that your box will be just fine and you don’t need to buy a new one/split it into multiple boxes? Don’t listen. v.v Be careful with your precious things. 

So, Day 7 of my 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge (that totally isn’t consecutively posted… because I can’t help myself.) This is also the 3 time that I’ve started this post… but for some reason I haven’t finished it. 

 

Day 7: Create a superhero. Have he/she save the day.

Superhero… hrm.

(more…)

I was talking to my friend earlier about writing, and how it’s something that seems to be a lot harder than people give those of us who are actually and actively trying to make it as a career give us credit for.

cartoon-writerI’ve probably written a blog about this before. I’ll probably write a blog about this again. You can’t be a writer and seriously want to make a career out of it if you don’t do two very vital things: (more…)

So, as part of the 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge I am supposed to write a story with the following:

Day 6: Start your story with: “He glanced at his watch impatiently…”

Sorry about the back to back posts guys. I’m trying to get caught up on my writing while I’m at the local game/card shop. I should have my internet back tomorrow, so I can get back to regular posts.  I miss all of you and your witty conversation that we have!

(more…)