Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Novel Update!

Just a little update for friends and family who I know are thinking, "Meg, you've been saying you were writing a novel for more than two years now. AREN'T YOU DONE?" (*weeps*)
To those of you who don't particularly care about this, no worries - a "real" blog post should be forthcoming sometime this week. ^_^

Where I am in the writing process: 80,920 words/ 22 Chapters. I'm in the process of tearing apart and re-writing the epic battle scene to make it more epic-ish.
I just finished a rough rewrite of Chapter 20 tonight. I need to do a rough re-write of Chapter 21 to finish said epic battle scene, and then a rough re-write of my final Chapter 22, which wraps everything up. Then will have to go back through and see if my epic battle scene is, in fact, epic, or if it still sucks. I am hoping for non-suckage. Because I may lose my dang mind if I have to rip this novel apart again.

My current problem(s): I'm bad at writing fight scenes, let alone epic battle scenes, so I am a bit nervous about these last few chapters.
Also, there's the small pressing deadline of me, you know, giving birth around the first week of April, after which I will have NO free time/sanity until the squirt has a regular sleep schedule, which I'm told could take a billion years.

The good news: If I can keep myself from dropping from exhaustion every evening after work , I very well may have this novel in publishable condition (or at least as close as I can get it myself without professional input) by the end of January.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Mythology Abridged: Creation/Destruction of the World

I decided to try out a new series of posts I've had in the back of my mind for a while: Abridged Greek Mythology. Because while researching, I've come across some stories that are too interesting/hilarious/horrifying not to share.

So, without further ado, here's the first installment. Unless otherwise noted, I read these original stories in "The Metamorphoses" by Ovid. Check it out if you're interested in Greek myth!)


When I first dove into this book, I hadn't realized how alike the Greek creation story is with the Biblical creation story. A lot of the imagery of the creation of the world is very familiar and there is some really beautiful imagery throughout this section. One favorite example of mine is the description of precious gems in the ground described as “Jove's (Zeus') treasures ... locked in night.”

The descriptions are especially wonderful where humans are concerned: Yet world was not complete: It lacked a creature that had hints of heaven And hopes to rule the earth. So man was made.

And: While other beasts, heads bent, stared at wild earth, The new creation gazed into blue sky.

SO pretty!

Immediately following is a story eerily similar to the Tower of Babel story from the Bible. Giants (later described as “lizard-footed”, which makes me think of dinosaurs, which would be kind of awesome) pull up mountains and stack them on each other in order to reach Zeus' throne and are rewarded for their trouble with a giant thunderbolt that knocks the mountains back down to earth and kills the giants. From this “blood-wet clay” is created a new race of man, one that becomes pretty much completely evil.

Some time after, Zeus becomes fed up with humanity's crazy evilness and decides to just kill everybody with a flood. (Sound familiar?) He calls a council of the gods and basically tells them, “People are disgusting. This one guy cooked me human meat. HUMAN meat. Do they think we're barbarians?!" He has had enough with these crazy humans. He's going to kill them all.

However the other gods are sad because if they kill off all the humans, WHO is going to bring them PRESENTS? Did Zeus think the animals were going to up and sacrifice THEMSELVES? Jeeze, Zeus. Really.

So Zeus reassures his fellow drama queen immortals that he will make a better race of humans because this current race is gross. And then, though Zeus kills all mankind, he is doing it with some mighty lovely imagery if I do say so myself:

Isis, handmaiden of Juno (Hera),In rainbow dress drew water from earth's streams, Replenishing the clouds.

And: “Open your locks and dykes, your streaming walls, and springs, Unleash the horses riding in foam through waterfalls and waves.” (Which I took to be a metaphor for the rolling waves, not actual dying horses falling over waterfalls, which would be horrifying and not lovely imagery at all.)

Oh! And also: Mermaids drifting with new-opened eyes, Gazed into cities that were walked by men.

So, you know, the world ended. But at least it happened poetically.

(Earth photo source:EveryStockPhoto)
(Zeus photo source: Me! At the Nashville Parthenon.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Not just your story

It's no secret that I am completely horrible at video games. I stress myself out trying to remember what button I'm supposed to push and more often than not I end up wildly smashing my fist against the controls. Not to mention, if all I'm doing is fighting, if I'm not moving the story along fast enough, I get bored easily and tend to turn off the game to do other things.

In all these years, there's really only one game that's ever held my attention (and not stressed me out) long enough for me to finish it: Final Fantasy X. I think I've actually played AND beaten the game three or four times since I was first convinced to pick it up when I was in my early 20s.

Even today I still think the cut scene graphics are beautiful, the characters are interesting and unique, and the storyline is entertaining. (Also, I may or may not have a fictional character crush on Auron.)

*pets him*

As much as I love this game, one line the protagonist, Tidus, says toward the end has struck me as wrong since I first heard it. (Actually, in Googling it to make sure I wasn't remembering this wrong, it seems like he says it, or a variation of it, several times.)

He claims that this is HIS story.

Yes, technically he is the main character of this video game. But that still seemed awfully shallow of him to say. Through the whole game we'd been shown that every single one of his companions had a history, a series of events that made them who they were. Their main goal in life was not to be Tidus' support group. They weren't there just to make him look good. They had their own lives.

It's been something that's stuck in the back of my mind as I've written my own stories. I want my "sidekicks" to feel like real people - like if my main character suddenly disappeared, they wouldn't just wind down like clockwork dolls, their source of power gone. I don't want them to just be background objects to fill in the holes of my main character's life.

Because I don't think that's realistic at all. Nobody wants to think of themselves as supporting cast to somebody else. We all have dreams and nightmares, hopes and fears.

This is everybody's story.

The interesting part is seeing what happens when those stories collide.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bring YA Authors to Your Town!

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books--TEN signed books in total! 

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to MY hometown! 

Because Cookeville, Tenn., is awesome.

Traffic is not as crazy as Nashville, so there's no stressful driving. It's a college town, so there's plenty of young folks around to appreciate a YA book signing. We have a library with a nice big conference room — that is also right next to a beautiful park. In addition to Books-A-Million, we also have several indie bookstores like FoxLeaf Books (which has an adorable dog mascot that comes to work with the owner each day), and Books and More.

Plus, we have like a MILLION restaurants, people. All on one street. It's called Restaurant Row. You do not have to drive the whole city looking for food - just drive down this one street, and you are set, my friend.

Also, our town has a Quidditch team. Enough said.

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest! 
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013, Here I Come!

The year 2012 was certainly a busy one. I spent countless hours working on my novel (that I'm praying I can finish up soon), had sinus surgery that gave me the ability to actually breathe through my nose again, found out I am pregnant with my first child and moved into my first ever house with the hubby. A lot of big stuff for one year! Here's a few things I hope to accomplish in 2013:


- Finish edits on WIP novel by February 2013.

- Start sending out query letters in February 2013.

- Start working on new novel idea (I'd like to get my 1st rough draft out by April, but not sure how realistic that is, considering my next point.).

- Not freak out about arriving baby due the first week of April. (Seriously, there's like a million and two things I need to know/make decisions about. It's nuts.)

- Actually keep track of the books I've read this year.

- Stop forcing myself to finish books I'm not enjoying.

- Meet more published authors (and get more signed books!)

- Find my waistline again once baby comes.

- Update my blog more.

- Take more photos.

- Take it one day at a time.

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