Monday, 30 April 2012

Blogspiration (8): Have you ever...

Blogspiration is a Brand Spankin' New weekly meme hosted by both GrowingUp YA and Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers and writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation and just a little SOMETHING.

Check out these gal's awesomeness:

I missed last week so I forced myself to make time for this. I feel better now :)

Have you guys ever read a memoir or story about someone who has had a life way more screwed up than your own? Been moved by the hardships and triumphs of others? Is there one person in your life, or whom you have read about that just made you stop and think that maybe this world isn't completely miserable after all?

I flew down to Melbourne for a random visit on Friday and whilst on the plane, I got to thinking (as per usual) about the various places I've been. It's always weird, the stuff I remember and the stuff I don't. There's no system or pattern to what my brain responds to or focuses on. So even though I wasn't actually leaving the country, I got to thinking about Fiji and my visit there last year.

Now, it's no secret around here that I'm constantly friggen busy. I whinge and whine about how hectic things are and WOE IS ME, I go to uni and work full time. I get an education and make decent money. What a horrible life I have!

In Fiji, it was like a whole other world. The villages are small and only some of them have electricity. Owning a car is a luxury that only a few have and the people there who actually have a job, put their heart and soul into it. Everyone is relaxed, there's no stress (which to me is a foreign concept), and everyone works on 'Fiji-time'.

It's so refreshing to be surrounded by a bunch of people who love life. Who value every single thing they do and actually LIVE LIFE without all the worry and concerns that smother the rest of us. They don't get to travel and see the things the rest of us take for granted. They are lucky to have one day off a week and they love it.

These couple of months I've found it so hard to focus on anything other than sleep/work/uni. It loops through my brain and I'm lucky to remember to eat. It was nice, to just have an hour to myself to remember these people that made me forget all the worries I had. Who welcomed me into their homes and shared their culture with me without even needing to ask. Who were SO FRIGGEN HAPPY every moment of the day. It reminded me that this craziness will come to an end and I should try to enjoy it while I can.

One of the friends I had there, was a scuba teacher at our resort and his day off, he came down to hang out with us. We all took to the pool and after about five minutes he turned to me and said, "This is the first time I've ever swum in a pool without working. I keep expecting someone to yell at me for slacking off." That one sentence right there, really put my shiz into perspective.

This week, the Fijians reminded me of true inspiration.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Blogspiration (7): The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn

Blogspiration is a Brand Spankin' New weekly meme hosted by both GrowingUp YA and Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers and writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation and just a little SOMETHING.

Check out these gal's awesomeness:

You’d think planning a wedding; I’d be all romanced out. So not the case. For some reason, I’ve been going through a stage where I can’t get enough of a good love story.

To clarify, I’m not talking about the kind of insta-love that has plagued my beloved young adult genre lately, or the 'love' in a smutty novel. I’m talking about the kind of love where two people fight and bicker and have nothing in common but just can’t stay away from each other. The type of love where they get to know each other so deeply and know all of the other person’s flaws but love them for it regardless.

 The type of love where you’re holding your breath, just waiting for the moment they both WAKE UP and realize what’s going on here. The teasing, and playfulness, and full on breathlessness of how much the love, that they don’t even realise they have, hurts.

I’ve been devouring books and TV shows and movies just like this lately. I can’t get enough of them and unfortunately, whenever I sense the insta-love forming, I’m so completely turned off by whatever it is that I can’t even finish. I’m sure I’m missing out on some good stories but I honestly just can’t be bothered.

So below, I have some of my old favourites. The ones I go back to when I just can’t find something new. They’re the ones I turn to when I need inspiration for my own writing.

Taken from VA graphic novel

Rose and Dimitri - Vampire Academy

The first is Vampire Academy. Rose and Dimitri just break my heart over and over. Richelle Mead had me holding my breath right until the last book and every time they talked about different parts of their lives, every time Dimitri gave Rose advice, every time Dimitri was surprised that Rose understood, every time they touched, kissed, joked around. Amazing.

My heart melts at this exact moment

Belle and the Beast - Beauty and the Beast

Next is Belle and the Beast. In the city of love, their hate turns to so much more. Belle doesn’t just lay down and let the Beast be a bastard, she sticks up for herself, she shows compassion to him when no one else does. She softens the monster and stands up for him against a mob. He gives her the world.

Love this episode
Brennan and Booth - Bones

Another favourite is Booth and Bones. These two make me lol on so many different levels. She’s so awkward. He’s such a tough guy. And these personas they’ve created for themselves are the first things to shatter when the other is around. Because they see each other for who they really are, not who they pretend to be.

Drool. Double drool.
Lois Lane and Clark Kent - The New Adventures of Superman

The old school episodes of Lois and Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman is one I’m currently rediscovering. It is so bloody cliché and contrived and SUPER DOOPER corny but the chemistry between Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher is amazing. I swoon over and over and over again. And his super-hunk body is only part of it.

Most amazing couple out
Eliza Bennet and Mr Darcy - Pride and Prejudice (BBC version)

And last, you can’t go past these two. I love Pride and Prejudice as a book, but the BBC adaptions is simply amazing. Mr Darcy and Eliza Bennet. Probably the greatest literary love ever written. You guys can keep Romeo and Juliet and I’ll take Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. And Pemberley; I will most DEFINITELY take Pemberley.

The thing all of these couples have in common is they all have flaws that their partners bring out and help them overcome. They don’t judge, they don’t make the other person feel bad, and they're not afraid to call each other on their bullshit. There is no power struggle because they both bring out the strengths within each other. And until they’re comfortable as an individual, their relationship can’t start. But the moment it does, clichés abound! The stars align, corny soundtracks start, fireworks explode in the heavens, and your heart skips a beat! 

There are plenty more couples out there but these are the main ones that stick with me from day to day. 

One day I hope to write characters so deep. To have people fall in love with them as much as me.

And with that, I'll leave you with an amazing quote from Baz Luhrmann's heartbreaking Moulin Rouge.

"The greatest thing, you'll ever learn,
is just to love,
and be loved in return."

So tell me, which literary loves have you lost yourself over?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Three months and still kicking!

You guys! I just realised what today is (a little slow of me, I know).

Black Friday. As in, Friday the 13th. Which makes it EXACTLY three months since I started my humble, little blog.

Black Fridays don't come around very often, but when they do, they're always pretty good to me. That's kind of why I started my blog on a Black Friday in the first place.

So, for this mini-milestone, I'm going to open up a question to you all that I've been stewing over for the last week. It's been uni holidays so I've actually been thinking about my writing. And that's allowed, okay.

I've just finished rewriting my first book (again) and now I need to give it some time to before I edit and write the dreaded query. Once I finally start querying again, I'll keep an updated tally just for shiz and giggles but until then, I'm left with the question;

What do I write?

There's four stories I have vying for my attention, and each of the characters and plot lines are at varying stages of development so below, I'll give you guys a brief overview of what I have. These are all young adult novels FYI, cos I'm kind of addicted to that shiz.

First is Addy. She's an Ellerwoman that works for the Court of Last Chances. It's her job to hunt down the humans the Court wants and deliver them safely. Most humans think the Court is a Utopia so she's never had a problem getting them there before. But then she meets Noah, who refuses, and the Court makes her choose between her life or his. This one would be an urban fantasy.

Second is Corvette. This one would be completing a rewrite that is long overdue. Corvette is a Banshee who finds out how to get into 'Death'. She hangs with the deathlings there, believing it is safer than being around humans. Then, a bunch of deathlings die and even though she's warned away from looking into it, she doesn't stop. So they take both the guy she likes and her best friend, and Corvette is left to chose which one she is going to save. This is paranormal/fantasy.

Third is Ebony. She's a witch. Jonathan is a Nephilim. The Nephilim (if you've read any of their history) believe the only way they can die and move on to heaven is to rid the world of witch's black magic. Ebony and Jonathan have been in love through the years but each time they meet, Jonathan makes her erase his memory of her. As you'd assume there's a lot of hunting both sides and fighting each other in this one. I'd say this would be paranormal. Probably.

And fourth is my newest idea. Jasmine and Jeremy are high school sweethearts but one day Jeremy disappears. No one hears from him except Jasmine. He shows up at her house whenever she's alone and every time she tries to follow him he disappears. The memory of the last time she saw him is woven throughout as she struggles to remember. There's lots of red herrings and mystery in this one. This would be my try at a thriller/mystery type of thing.

So what do you all think? Any of these ideas sound like something you've already read? Any of them grab your attention? Or are any of them just plain boring?

Please tell me even if you just hate the ideas because that will steer me off towards one of the hundreds of ideas floating around unestablished.

And happy Black Friday!

JK's casualty

When I woke up this morning, I had a lovely surprise message. JK Rowling's book had a title! And a release date for September THIS YEAR!


Happy Days!

Then I stumbled upon the synopsis...

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

Right. So.

I'm going to say it, this sounds boring. However it is definitely worth remembering that JK didn't set out to write another HP book and I'm glad it's something so different. I'm not glad it's about local politics and a potential murder mystery but that's just me.

Personally, I'll read this book to the end because JK really is just that great a writer. She could make anything amazing and believable and I'm seriously hoping this is no exception.

Would I have liked another fantasy? Hell to the yeah. But I guess she's defining herself elsewhere and I'm just going to have to roll with it. 

Scribble 'The Casual Vacancy' into September 27th kids! Way sooner than anyone could have hoped for I think.

But tell me, what do you guys think of the title and synopsis? And when it was released that JK was writing an adult novel, were you all picturing this?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Blogspiration (6): Time to keep rolling

So I haven't been thinking about much this week that doesn't concern work or uni. Quite simply, it's been pretty full on; I haven't even had time to procrastinate you guys!

So my blogspiration is a quote that jumped out at me today. I was at uni, chillin' in the dining hall as I waited for my next class. My eyes had long since gone blurry as I stared at the screen scrolling through with advertising. You know, the usual uni-type stuff. Office Works, Co-op Bookshop, and... Carlton Dry?

For those of you who don't know, Carlton Dry is a beer. Now, not only was it crazy that the uni was advertising it along with other study essentials, it also happened to contain this quote:

"Today is the start of the rest of your life.
But so is tomorrow."

Cool huh? Last thing I expected, but still cool. And that's when I realised that yes, I'm crazy busy at the moment. Yes, I haven't had much time for writing or friends or blogging or... well, anything. But that's totally cool.

You guys, it's time to not stress the small stuff. 

This busy craze will pass; I'll get back to writing and wedding planning and all that other shiz and I'll forget about all this stress. I can't wait to get back to my characters, I'm so bloody keen, but it can't be a big hurry. 

If I have a shit day today, who cares? Tomorrow I just get to start again. And man does that make it easier to get through the day.