Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: What's the best book you've read this January?
Oooh, tough one when you look at everything I read last month...
I'm going to discount all the comics, which narrows it down to Pandemonium, Seraphina, and Teeth. Seraphina and Teeth are my clear favourites, but if I had to pick one... it'd be Seraphina.
It's just such a fun, refreshing YA fantasy, (whereas Teeth was a very dark read and quite ruthless with the emotions). My review should be up tomorrow!
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: Tons of writers are in the midst of NaNoWriMo, trying to stay inspired as we reach the dreaded middle. Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!
Which is rather convenient, given a new page appeared on my site last week designed to help out aspiring writers with motivational videos, useful reading material, and my own posts on things like what motivates me. So needless to say, I'll be gleefully diving through everyone's responses for useful things to add to my list.
Generally, for motivation, I find I just need the kick to remind me to get back to work -- Chuck Wendig's "25 Things" lists are great for this.
And for true, instant motivation, nothing beats suddenly figuring out a plot problem or being hit by a great idea for a story.
My favourite motivational book is "On Writing" by Stephen King. I haven't read "Bird By Bird" but I'm tempted to buy it -- any thoughts, blog friends?
Stephanie calls a 'Love List' a list of those ideas that sparked the fires of my mind. The Love List for ‘Rebel Against Heaven’ is not quite a happy and light as Stephanie's, which is probably to be expected when it's not a light or fluffy novel. But it's fun to remember all the things that stirred my passion for the story:
- Showing an extremely damaged, hurt and angry character fight to redeem himself. This is definitely one of the core concepts: a ticking timebomb of a guy who’s about to self-destruct and bring everyone else down with them.
- Nice suits
- English accents. Early draft Tyler was extremely posh, stilted middle class. Now he’s still middle class, but coarser and angrier.
- Angst. Lots of angst. Buckets of the stuff.
- Japanese Anime
- Christian mythology and the non-canon works that expanded the world (Dante’s Inferno, Paradise Lost and the Book of Enoch)
- Flying (and the theoretical science behind it)
- The ‘Murmuration’ video
- Complex romantic relationships and friendships, something different from the tired love triangle set-up.
- Lots and lots of My Chemical Romance songs. (I REGRET NOTHING.)
And here's the love list for the work-in-progress I like to refer to as ‘ giant robots and the girls who fix them’. It's bound to get longer (and, knowing me, darker) as the story evolves:
- A very different kind of monster
- Badass ladies doing male-dominated jobs
- RAF Kinloss
- Computers and the IT industry
- GIANT ROBOTS
- Scotland, the sea, and the Western Isles
- Scottish accents and Gaelic
- Creepy manipulative, controlling YA love interests getting the punch in the face they deserve.
- That self-assessing, self-dissecting part of being a teenager where you’re trying to figure out what defines you and how the rest of the world will see you.
Looking forward to seeing all the other love lists being posted today. :)
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: If you could be reincarnated as any fictional character, which would it be?
What about regenerated instead?
I've been waiting a long time for the BBC to bring in a female timelord, and I guess I'm stepping up to the theoretical plate now. Because if I could be anyone, anyone at all, you can bet I want to be the alien who can travel through time and space.
Now I can't wait to see what everyone else picks, especially if I'm going to be joined in the TARDIS by a few other timelords-to-be!
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: What Faction Are You? In honor of their Book of the Month, Veronica Roth's INSURGENT, we want to know which of the five factions in the DIVERGENT series would you choose? Here's a great breakdown of the five factions, and if you're on the fence, you can even take the quiz for a hint!
This one was a clear-cut choice for me.
- Back when I reviewed Divergent, I had trouble putting myself in the reckless, foolhardy Dauntless group's shoes, so clearly don't have the balls (or the lacking brain cells ;P) for that.
- I focus a lot on my own goals (WRITING WRITING WRITING) so I'm too self-centered for the selfless Abnegation.
- The quiz gave me Candor, and while I do love small doses blunt honesty I think I'd hate their tactless methods of deploying it.
- Erudite, land of the bookworms and intellects, is the one calling to my inner
Ravenclawself. But they focus on reading non-fiction, and my passion lies with fiction.
- So it was a clear-cut choice: Amity, the soft touches who think friendship will solve everyone's problems. They're basically the hippy faction, but they're also the only faction that encourages the creation of art. And without art, I'd go mad very fast.
Now I really want to go read Insurgent...
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: What was the best book you read in February?
This is, without a doubt, Veronica Roth's "Divergent".
I've actually been completely conflicted about this book--I got so immersed in the world that I over thinking elements, which meant I started over thinking my review, so I froze up and stalled and avoided hitting 'publish' on the review because I was blowing up everything out of proportion.
And that's how I know I loved it. I got ridiculously, unconsciously invested in the world.
I'll pop the review up tomorrow. :)
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday feature, YA Highway asked: If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?
This is a question that, due to my own over-thinking about branding and the future, I've already dealt with in small ways.
My original penname was just my full name, 'Emma Maree Urquhart', but for future books I'm shortening my penname to just 'Emma Maree'.
It's short, it's memorable, it makes a snazzy URL, it's easier to spell and pronounce than 'Urquhart' (Urk-hart), and it helps avoid any fussing about if I ever have to change my maiden name.
I wouldn't mind trying out a brand new name if I ever had to write anonymously, it would be kind of fun to create a new identity from the ground up. I think it would have to have either a nice ring to it, or a subtle pun there somewhere - most of my favorite pseudonyms do (Frank Quitely, for instance).
EDIT: Thanks to the lovely Colin in the comments, I've now decided my super-anonymous(/gender neutral) pseudonym is: M. Amaree. :D Ta-da!