Monday, 18 April 2011

Big Day

Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new era. After staying at home with my toddler since his birth, I am set to go back to work.

It doesn't sound like a big deal - people get new jobs and go to work everyday. Heck, when I think about it, I've been in the working environment longer than I've been a parent. But there is something terrifying about returning to work after more than three years off.

I am filled with self doubt. Huge chunks of me fear that I'm not good enough, that I'll let someone down, that I've forgotten to live in a world where my day isn't spent centred around my son.

The thought of leaving my child for long periods of time fills me with the kind of guilt I thought only was saved for truly evil deeds.

Feelings of pride have been extinguished by those who see only the benefits for themselves. I am doing this for me, not for others and what they may gain by me returning to work.

All I want to hear is 'congratulations' or 'good luck', or the very best 'I'm so proud of you'.  Instead all I've heard is hardship or greed.

Among the negative feelings is a burst of excitement that grows with every passing minute. I will stay confident and believe in myself. I will succeed. I will ignore the doubt.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Don't Say The Word Contest

My fabulous fellow Wench, Rain, did something very cool on her blog the other day.

She posted a challenge that she took part of - write a 500-700 word story about a werewolf without ever saying 'werewolf' in any way.

Sounds easy? Try it! You must tell your readers what you are talking about without saying the obvious - and yes, that includes shifter, any latin or other language.

I loved the challenge and tried to post my take on it in her comments box, but it was obviously too long!

We decided to link blogs. So, if you fancy doing the challenge, keep the link going! Post it on your blog and let us know!

Read the original post here.
Here is my take:

Never Say Werewolf


She stared at me; eyes challenging with a hint of superiority – the kind popular girls seem to perfect by the tender age of seventeen. I squirmed under her gaze; ironic given the fear I have long been accustomed to.
            Try as I might, tonight had been unavoidable. Stupid photography professor insisting on night shots. Usually I loved the class. It suited my personality to remain on the periphery of society without being under the damaging stare of those who could learn too much. Yeah, I loved the class. Until we were assigned partners on this assignment.
            Cara Walker, so hot she makes steam look frosty and all around badass, had the stellar idea of capturing tonight’s full moon…a night I preferred to spend as far away from civilisation as possible.
            I told her to stay away from me – warned her I wasn’t safe to be around. Something in her glare even made the beast inside me terrified to defy her.
            We drove in her car to the lookout where she said we’d get the best shot. My fists clutched the edge of my seat as I forced down the animal rising in my throat, clawing at my insides to be set free.
            There had never been reason to keep it inside before – never reason to try. Maybe I could do it. Maybe I could stop the inevitable from happening.
            It feels worse outside as though the frame of the car kept the moon from penetrating my skin and awaking the beast. Oh, it was awake now alright, and it wanted to run.
            Things always feel different when I give in to the urge, simplistic; eat, hunt, run. I couldn’t hunt here, not with Cara around. What if I didn’t remember who she was? What she was?
            My stomach plummeted as I met her gaze. My warning hung in the air around us, mixing with the stench of animal seeping from my skin. Her eyes laughed at me, looked at me like the freak that I was.
            For a heartbeat her gaze softened and I dared to believe she not only saw the skin that often felt easier to wear than the one with the face of a boy.
            In that heartbeat my tender grasp on my rigidly held control slipped. I felt it dart away from me and no matter how hard I tried to get to get it back, it was gone.
It was coming.
It was here.
My bones cracked, the sound distant in my ears as the pain ripped my body apart. I buckled, collapsing on all fours as my spine arched into a new shape. My groans turned guttural, finally no longer even sounding human. With human hands I tried to hide my snout before the paws fell from my face and whine rolled past my muzzle.
Eat
Hunt
Run
The smell of fear hung in the air. It tasted different, not familiar. It tasted delicious. The hungry snarl amped the fear and I watched the girl stand before me – not moving, not running, not trying to hide.
She stretched out a hand and the hunger disappeared from my belly.
I crouched low to the ground, wanting to run from her and wanting to stay all at once. Her hand shook before it stilled and she touched my snout.
The girl smiled and sat and ran her fingers down my flank. Unease slipped from my blood, acceptance taking its place. 

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Contest!

Jennifer Laurens, author of awesome reads such as Heavenly and A Season of Eden and the much anticipated Overprotected, is doing a fab giveaway on her blog!  Click the pic to get the link and comment to win!

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Monday, 11 April 2011

Book Review: ARC Divergent by Veronica Roth



Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (3 May 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0007420412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007420414
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 starsee all reviews



One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. Do not fail…
Thrilling urban dystopian fiction debut from exciting young author.


In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) – each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives.
On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family’s group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance with a super-hot boy, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly “perfect society.” To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.



If there were a ten star rating, Divergent would get, oh, say a million.

Divergent is one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. Not the best dystopian, not the best romance, not the best YA, not the best thriller. The Best.

As with all dystopian novels, Divergent is thought provoking. It takes an in depth look into the actions of humans; their thought process, their decision making and the choices that affect the children of generations to come.

Veronica Roth paints a vivid picture of a world that isn’t such a far cry from ours. Her character, Tris, can be identified with by a wide range of people – those who long to be strong or selfless, those who don’t quite know where they fit.

Tris herself is a strong character, stronger than she gives herself credit for. Her journey is vivid and awe-inspiring; so well written I found my heart pounding along with Tris’s and spent a big chunk of this book sitting on the edge of my seat.

The tension rises with every page turn, the situations harsher, the consequences direr. I lost myself in this novel, devouring enormous amounts of it at a time; so much so that when I had to return to real life, it took a few blinks for Tris’s world to dissolve before my eyes. Just as I think I can take no more, Roth diffuses the tension and reminds her readers that Tris is still a teenager and has fun with her friends. One page I am biting my nails to the quick, the next I am wearing a goofy smile induced by one of my favourite characters ever written, Four.

So many aspects of this book drew me into its heart. The struggles Tris must go through, the guilt over her family, blossoming romance and new friendships and bitter betrayals made this book and instant hit with me.

I am sure to re-read this book often and I can’t wait to fall in love with it all over again. 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0007420412/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wencwrit-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0007420412

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Saturday, 9 April 2011

NicNac Published


My awesome fellow Wench over on the Wench Writers blog has been published! Go check out her incredibly moving memoir at The Cuckleburr Times.

Nic is an amazing writer and deserves a wealth of success. This is the first the publishing world has seen of her, and it will not be the last. Pay her a visit, leave a comment, and bask in the glory that is her debut!

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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

Ashlyn: A lonely society princess living in New York City. Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard. Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector. Daddy thought I'd be safe. He thought I'd never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever. Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin. Daddy was wrong.

Check out the fab book trailer for Jennifer Lauren's newest book, Overprotected





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Friday, 1 April 2011

Dejection, Dejection, Dejection



When I first heard the phrase 'crisis of confidence', I associated it with Tom Cruise and his cookie cutter movies. Top Gun, he's a fighter pilot until he has a crisis of confidence and he can't be a fighter pilot anymore. Days of Thunder, he's a race car driver until he has a crisis of confidence and he can't be a race car driver any more. Cocktail, he's a bar tender until...you get the picture.

I never understood the phrase until I realised it applied to me.

Recently my confidence took a battering, and I'm not even all that sure why. One or two minor things happened yet it made me look at my work as though it was a fearful thing. I dreaded reading anything back, terrified it would be crap. As for actual writing? Forget about it.

My fellow Wenches over on the Wench Writers blog know of my knock of confidence, and awesome as they are, didn't entertain my dejection, told me not to be daft and get on with it. But this isn't the type of feeling that goes away by someone else's approval - it can only be cured by your own.

People can tell you till they're blue in the face that you have talent, but until you believe it for yourself, nothing will change. As of this post, I am still unpublished. When I started taking my writing seriously in 2009, I knew it would be a long hard battle. But this is the first time I entertained the notion of failing.

This isn't a pity post, more a curious post. Have any of you taken a battering? How did you get over it? DID you get over it?

Sigh. Until next time. Fingers crossed I find my mojo again!

Pxx

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