First Revision Complete!

I’m officially done with the first round of revisions for Phoenix.

I can’t even believe it.

Not too long ago I was posting about procrastination, issues with editing and my desire to not look at any of the ‘bad writing’ I’d done. I’ve decided to add a few more scenes to Phoenix, as she’s looking a little thin and a tad flat. I actually love what I’ve written so far.

I love Phoenix.

I love her emotional rollercoaster.

I love her want to protect the world.

I love that the suffering is all at her feet. I also, hee hee, love the sex scenes and passionate kisses because…what’s a romantic fantasy without good ole loving. I love it all.

The thing I love most about Phoenix is our relationship. Writer and written. Creator and creation. Drunken dictionary and word vomit.

I only have a few weeks left until I pitch and it’s glorious. I’m moving on to the second round of revisions after I write these scenes and, despite what’s going on in my life, I am write on track to finish before the deadline.

So watch out world! Phoenix is rising.

And rise she will.

 

Good Readdance,

Jade

 

 

P.S. A lot of my writing and hard work was done at a coffee shop. In that same vein, here’s a photo I took at a new coffeeshop. My friend bought me an antique book and made some banana bread. Both were amazing!

colleens present

Discouraging Doubts of Editing

I am a Writer…not an editor. I don’t pretend to be one. I don’t allude to being one.

I spend a lot of my time writing from the heart and getting the creative juices flowing. I’m a conversational writer and that structure doesn’t sit well with everyone. That’s fine! I’ve found my voice and I will use it. Unfortunately, that means mistakes will be made and therefore will need to be corrected.

They say to not worry about the editing or the grammar, initially.
JUST GET THE WORDS OUT! They say.

YOU CAN’T EDIT A BLANK PAGE! They yell.

See?

Yes, that’s all fine and dandy until you finally finish your WIP and you start the editing process and BAM! It’s riddled with creative run on sentences and misplaced commas.

People often think that being a writer is synonymous with having perfect grammar. It is not.

Honore De Balzac was an amazing storyteller. He was a French playwright and novelist. He spun relationships so well you thought these people were apart of your own family. As it stands, he was horrible at grammar and sentence structure. That was even after it’d been edited and translated to English.

That’s just one example.

Enter…procrastination. I finished Phoenix a few weeks ago. I wanted to give it a breather even though I knew I need to start editing and revising. I haven’t started either.

I know that apart of it is fear. As a writer who has been crafting stories since I was a young child, I always knew I would eventually publish. It was never a matter of if but when. That being said, writing a book knowing it would be published, for the entire world to see, is completely different than writing something because I’m obsessed with the story and it wouldn’t let me go.

I’ve written several books. Finished several books. However, Phoenix will be the first book, other than a previous college endeavor, that I will be officially publishing. Phoenix will be under J.B. Jemison. It will be the start of a very long and healthy career as an Author and that is daunting. Very. I can almost taste the fear and anticipate the heat of embarrassment. Not that it will happen, not that I want it to happen…that’s just what my brain does. So, my mind has translated it to heavy procrastination.

Fortunately, I am more than my fear. I am more than failure. I will succeed. The only way I can do that is to revise and edit Phoenix so it is ready to pitch. That is what I will be doing with my weekend, to start.

 

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Writing on Holidays!

The great thing for people that don’t really celebrate holidays, so…me, is that we can do whatever we want.

Yes, this may often times be the same exact thing that we do on our normal days off and that’s ok. For me, holidays are days off work that I can enjoy not feeling guilty. I mean, I wouldn’t anyway but this is a special case. I stopped celebrating holidays when I stopped really having an excuse to do so. I had no one to share them with and I enjoyed that time and a half pay that you get. Fortunately, I have found a job that still pays us for gov’t holidays. So I can enjoy an extra day off with no stress. Therefore, I shouldn’t have any excuse as to why I can’t write, right?

Wrong.

white sweater

The reason why I started the DWC was because I knew that I could count on myself to procrastinate. No more. I have distractions on holidays. I live far away from my old family and I don’t have a ton of friends that could guilt trip me into doing things or getting out of the house. My one writing friend actually came over so that we could go to Starbucks and write together. It was great. The fantastic thing is that I showed up a little late, sat my butt in the chair and started a 30 minute word sprint right away. I knew what I wanted to write and a new chapter was a fantastic place to start.

1530 words later, about 4 pages, and my creative writing juices were flowing freely. I felt very excited. I like days that I don’t have to write. I like to be able to get my keyboard up and running and do it because my mind whispers ‘hey, you, it’s time to write’.

Anyway, so here I am, on the cusp of the new Bachelorette episode and I’m writing another blog post. Now, I told you that I am trying to write more posts, and not just book reviews, and I’m delivering on that.

*Finger wiggles*

Happy Writtance!
Jade

P.S. What do you like to do on holidays? Do you spend the time with family? If you are a writer, do you carve out time to write? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

DWC: Daily Writing Challenge

I am freaking excited!

I am ecstatic!

Alright, so I spent the majority of my life…procrastinating. I know it. I’ve always known it. I think it stems from when I was a child and I would read like crazy and I would put everything off. I didn’t mind not getting anything done. I just wanted to escape the woes of the world and read the rest of my life away. I believe that this greatly instilled in me an sense of timelessness. Around me, I built a wall of  ‘I can do it later, right now I’m reading‘ and no one corrected me.

Now, as an adult, I find that I can be productive and do this. I often times put off things that aren’t as important to do things that are. This is funny because recently I watched a TedTalk (I believe) that said productive procrastinators are a thing!

One thing that I’ve found I do is write very spontaneously. I get the urge to write and I can bang out 10,000 words in one sitting. Then, I wouldn’t write for days, sometimes even weeks. That’s just crazy to me.

This past year, I’ve made some connections that have really made me think about my goals as a writer. I knew that if I ever wanted to achieve my dreams, especially within my time line, I would have to start taking things seriously. I know that I want to pitch my current WIP during PitchWars this August. In order to do that, I need to make some changes over the next few months and also for the future. I came up with DWC, logically named, the Daily Writing Challenge. Heehee.

I planned to do it for 30 days, to start. I’m currently in day 17. I am not just counting words written for my current WIP, Phoenix, though. I am also counting things that I write that are not so creative. Speeches, reviews, reports for school, etc. If I am using my brain to write, at all, I am counting the words.

To me, this helps keep the momentum going, especially on days that I can’t write creatively. It’s worked beautifully. Using Google Sheets, I’ve created a worksheet grid that shows how much I am writing every day. I have it filtered to add the sum of words everyday and also the average. I have written 20,805 words (that I’ve logged) so far and I have an average of 1,300 words a day. I know that to a seasoned writer, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but to me it’s amazing. Without NaNoWriMo in November (wrote 50k+) and CampNaNo in April (Wrote 15k+), I don’t usually get in that many words in a month.

So yes, I plan to write every single day and let the majority of words be on my current WIP. I plan to update more, write reviews more and to also update you all on DWC!

Good Writtance,

Jade

Modernizing Required Readings for Students

Heya!

So I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to achieve in the world of literature. My want to go back to college and finish my degree was more about accomplishing my own goals and learning new things. I hadn’t yet figured out what I wanted to do with my degree, specifically, besides writing bestsellers. I’ve even played with the idea of getting my Master’s or becoming a Professor but those are ideas that I have romanticized since I was a child. Things that I hoped I could achieve under the label of personal success. I’ve been reading, writing books and creating new stories since I was a young child, since before I could remember. Despite my detours in life, I always knew this is where I would land.

To translate that into academics, I want to delve deeper into the literary requirements of our youth. I remember being a young girl, inspired by big works like Shakespeare and George Orwell and also the smaller works like Summer of my German Soldier (Bette Greene) and Melusine. I always found it fascinating to read works by authors who lived long ago but realized that my fellow classmates did not. They were disinterested, flighty and annoyed. This made me really think about the works that were required and what I could do to make reading more appealing to those who would balk at the idea normally.

So I’ve realized the best way to go about this, as so far thought, is to modernize our required readings. I am a firm believer that the best writers weren’t only born 200 plus years ago. Yes, we can learn great things from our past but we can also learn a multitude of things from the present. We have hundreds of amazing writers here in this century and we need to recognize them. Do not take this as I am wanting to replace the genius works of the past. I want to give an alternative modernized literary option for teaching those students who squirm and fuss at the thought of reading outside of a text message. These are students who naturally hate reading. I want them to be able to pick up a book they can relate to and learn the same skills of tension, mystery and cultural appreciation.

Once I embark on this journey I am going to compile a list of required readings and find comparisons in the modern world of literature. I want to develop a list of books that will still teach life lessons, broaden horizons and open the minds of our youth. I will be blogging my path with this and will eventually make a static post of the comparisons that I’ve done so that you guys are updated!

I would really like some suggestions that could help me on this journey. I found a really great list on GoodReads but it’s 500 books long! That’s a great start and I will be breaking them apart, following a specific criteria, and choosing the ones I think can really transform literature. If you’ve read a modern or contemporary book that you think could rival the literature of old please feel free to let me know! Also, tell me the book that you think it parallels. This is going to be a great journey!

P.S. To make a clear distinction, I am talking about new and original stories; plays and novels written now, not revisions or rewrites of old ones.

Good Readance,

Jade

Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

I really loved this book! It took me a little longer to read it because I am going through midterms right now but I’m excited to say that I am a big fan of Andy Weir. Jazz is relatable, intelligent, unassuming and daring. I love the characters ability to think quick on her feet and to be ready for anything that comes her way. I definitely love this ‘living on the moon’ theme that Andy Weir has started. It gives you a sense of hope for humanity and inspiration for the future of science.

I would not mind at all seeing a movie adaption of this book. I’d like to see what city they would create, how they would form the hubs and what they would use as a basis for the Moon’s surface. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, even those who are not interested in science and discovery.

andy weir.png

 

I need to find other books written by Andy Weir, I have a feeling he might soon become one of my favorite authors. I was actually talking to a fellow reader the other day and they mentioned the comparisons with Artemis and The Martian. I hadn’t even noticed they were written by the same author, Artemis was recommended to me.

They actually said they didn’t like this book as much as they liked the other. I can say that the way the books are written is completely different. Jazz Bashara is very different than Mark Watney. First of all, she’s a criminal and he’s a genius who recognized his intelligence and used it. Jazz did not. She is very flippant and squirrely in comparison to Mark’s character. The pace of the book is different as in the Martian you spend most of the book following one character who is unable to talk to anyone else but himself. It’s a great comparison and I love to see writers switch up their voice and still draw the reader in.

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

 

Good Readance,
Jade

Link to Book

Hearing From You! My favorite people!

Questions!
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below! Please answer any of the questions below or feel free to ask any of your own.

giphy

What do you like to read?
What’s your favorite genre?
Do you like to write? If so, what?
Have you read any of the books I’ve reviewed? New or older posts?
What books would you like to see reviewed?
Do you like the posts not related to reading and writing? If not, what would you like to see?

Jade

Reading Black Authors

I recently read a book by a black author and I loved it. It had nothing to do with the author’s race or our connection through ‘blackness’. I never really cared what race wrote what book, it’s never had any bearing on my thoughts of the book. I have never wanted to limit myself and I refuse to let anything stop me from reading. If it’s a great story, I’ll read a book by any race.

Recently, I joined a facebook group for black women that love to read and it’s really blown my mind. The camaraderie, the honesty, and the uplifting comments really made me feel like I belonged. As an introvert, that’s a huge deal. Members posts the books they are currently reading or their views on an upload. So I chose one book they suggested to me, and I will be doing a review on it, but I really liked it and in turn I picked up 3 other books I saw posted to the group. Once you gain my trust, I might just start listening to you.

Sometimes I’m not too sure about the suggestions I get. Before, when I was just randomly asking out to the world, I’d have people suggest political books, which I’m not very fond of (Am I going to read Fire and Fury? I have no idea). I’ve had someone suggest I read overly religious books, fire and brimstone types, and I’m usually iffy on those as well. I can be a stickler, with no real guidelines, but usually I will pick it up and crack it open.

Whenever I ask for suggestions people want to know what I’m looking for and I can’t really answer that question. I tell them to just give me their favorites, nothing political, nothing religious but people like to push their favorites so…eh.

I love to read different genres. As a kid I started with Julie Garwood’s The Wedding and fell in love with romance. I went through phases of Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie and wild wonders like James Patterson’s Angel Experiment series and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I didn’t move into non-fiction and biographies until I got older. On Writing by Stephen King, Steve Jobs, and Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran were a few that I loved.

I can’t really choose an ultimate favorite genre because I’ve read so many books and I’ve loved so many that fit different criteria. I’m a big fan of mystery, romance, and psychological thrillers but I’m also an avid reader of paranormal romance, futuristic science fiction and oddball humor. I like to hear about different walks of life but I love it to be in story form. I’m not a fan of the fifth grade history book biography theme.

I am African American and I write but I never thought it was a big deal. There was nothing in my upbringing that told me black people can’t be writers. No one, other than those who told me to choose a career that was going to make money, told me I couldn’t succeed at being an author. I’ve been reading adult novels since I was seven and it never crossed my mind that people thought this was incredulous. I’ve never pulled up the authors profiles to check and I’ve never seen a “Written by a Black Author” sticker on any covers in Barnes and Nobles. Have you?

That being said, I do want to support my own people. I do feel that it’s important that they know we are reading their novels and are behind them 100 percent. Since joining this facebook group, I’ve heard about more black authors than ever in my entire life.  As a bibliophile and book addict I’ve obviously added a ton of novels to my To Be Read file. I’m very excited. Hopefully I will find more gems like Allegedly, a book by Tiffany D. Jackson. I have a few more on my list, suggestions from the group, and will be doing reviews on them here. If you have any thoughts on this or if it’s a thought you’ve had let’s chat!

Good Readance,

Jade

 

P.S. If you have any suggestions send ’em right over! Don’t be afraid!

Book Review: I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

 “Almost two years after someone snatched Alexandra “Zan” Moreland’s then three-year-old son, Matthew, from his stroller while his sitter dozed, Zan, a New York City interior designer who remains devastated, has been unable to trace her son. To make matters worse, somebody is using her credit cards to purchase expensive items just as she’s on the verge of landing a prestigious account for her fledgling business. Worst of all, evidence emerges that suggests Zan kidnapped her own son. Meanwhile, a priest is troubled by a woman whose confession reveals that a murder is being planned. Contrivances that prevent key information from reaching the heroine as well as characters without personality in the service of a plot with at least one major hole won’t please those who prefer their suspense firmly grounded in reality and logic.”*

 

It almost happened again. I almost let it happen again. It t’was the night before Christmas…just kidding. It was about 2am this morning and I started to read an e-book that was recommended to me earlier in the day and then I thought, Crap! I need to read those damn library books! So I went to the large stack sitting on my dinning room table and picked up I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark. I got into the book and it took me until, around, 4am to finish it.

I'll Walk Alone.jpg

I thought the book was pretty great, although there were some parts that really annoyed me. It’s already established from the first moment that someone is impersonating her and that most won’t believe it but she spends the majority of the book acting like a crazy person. She often asks herself if she really did have something to do with her son’s disappearance. Of course, I expected her to be upset, frustrated, exhausted and even a little unhinged but the dramatics was an unnecessary addition to the plot twist.  I feel as if we didn’t answer most of the questions (lotta worry, lotta call backs with no pay off; thinking of the Stephen King suspense method).

I am always a fan of hers but I definitely pay attention to each book as it’s own separate work. I must say, I did enjoy the plot twist in this one. It wasn’t as explosive as some of her other stories but I enjoyed it. I’d recommend this book if you just need something to curl up with or a quick read with a little suspense.

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but have plan to…let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Reading.

Jade

 

*Link to Book and synopsis: http://bit.ly/2CTpnPG

Book Review: Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan

Hey guys! So I have a weird review to write today. I was not really a fan of this novel. In my honest opinion, I would not recommend it for anyone to read. This is the first novel of the Shadow series and I believe the newest Christine Feehan novel.

I’m not sure if the reason I disliked the novel was because I just went through a victim and domestic abuse class or something else but it seems pretty logical. I spent almost the entire novel cringing at how often the relationship reminded me of Stockholm Syndrome, verbal abuse and uncontrollable behavior. Stefano spent most of the book threatening to chase her down if she tried to leave, threatening to tear anyone’s head off should they dare to look at her for too long or having his family members chase her around.

Hey, I understand that she was scared and that she needed to be protected but gosh…like, can a girl breathe? At one point, he even told her that she could feel free to speak her mind but it wouldn’t matter because he’d do what he wanted. I also understand that since the Fifty Shades of Grey women came out of the woodworks, “romance” authors are starting to make their alpha men even more controlling and strong willed. They have to feed into the fantasies of the women who want to be dominated, told what to do and forced to stay.

I am not one of these women.

Shadow-Rider

The actual story plot seems to have a very great foundation. It does seem like it has a lot going on, though. It’s as if someone took a jumble of ideas, narrowed them down to…100 bullet points and crammed them into one novel. I like the idea of shadow riding and using the tubes but…I’m not sure, its something about it that’s just…too much.

If you’ve read this novel, please let me know how you felt. Did you get the same vibes I did or were you completely taken away by the novel?

Tell me, tell me!!!

Jade