Thursday, October 23, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Because the best thing for someone who can't concentrate is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Also, it's a habit. I've participated since November 2010, and even though that's the only year I won, I figure I'll just keep trying. Someday a complete, decent piece of writing might find its way out of me.

What is NaNoWriMo? In a word: Motivation. It challenges writers to take their noveling aspirations to the next level. Throughout November, participants scream, cry, and bang their heads against walls all in the pursuit of reaching their goal of 50,000 words (that's approximately 1,667 words per day). Even with the screaming and head banging, it’s a lot of fun.

Reaching the word count in the 30 days is an awesome feeling, but the main goal of NaNoWriMo is to give participants the opportunity to just write without considering edits and other hang-ups that tend to stall or even kill the writing process. Check out the list of published NaNoWriMo novelists.

Be brave and take the challenge of NaNoWriMo 2014. You won’t be doing it alone. Throughout the month receive pep talks from authors and NaNoWriMo staff, meet local participants at write-ins, and, of course, get that novel written!

The writing whirlwind begins November 1.

(The indented portion is from a blog I originally wrote for work. It still absolutely applies.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Trying to get back into blogging. Continuing with Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Book links go to WorldCat. Why WorldCat? It shows if the book is available in a library near you (libraries, yay!) and lists various retailers.


Because I am Furniture by Thalia Charles
Party Games by R.L. Stine
The False Friend by Myla Goldberg (eBook)
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes (eBook)


The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pakkenen

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
(Dorothy Must Die Series, #1)
HarperCollins Publishers, 2014
464 pages
2 out of 5

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Somehow I managed to finish this novel, but honestly if it had expired before I finished, I was in no mood to borrow it again. After finishing it I realized part of the problem is that it's from Full Fathom Five. If you aren’t aware, Full Fathom Five is the company James Frey (Million Little Pieces) created as a cash cow post his disgrace. The company hires “authors” but retains the copyright to the works. Had I realized it beforehand, I probably wouldn't have read it at all.

It also seems Mr. Frey is not at all interested in the editing process. That was the worst thing about this book, in my opinion. There was information dump, repetitive bits, and other eye-rolling moments that should have been removed or condensed. It was all tell and hardly any show. Furthermore, story lines are completely forgotten during certain parts, and characters disappear only to reappear when it’s convenient. Granted this is a fantasy building on Baum’s Oz series, but it didn’t feel like Oz.

I’m not one who cares about profanity in novels if it fits the situation and characters. The profanity in Dorothy Must Die feels thrown in for the simple reason of making it seem like an edgier teen novel. I find it hard to believe that Munchkins, even disenchanted, tattooed ones, run around saying “f*ck.” Anger and frustration can be shown in other ways.

Overall, I think it’s an interesting premise to show a power-hungry, magic-addicted Dorothy, but the execution was awful. This book is almost 500 pages, but it definitely does not need to be.

There is a sequel and a prequel (cha-ching) available, but I have no desire to read anything else in this new Land of Oz.

Full disclosure: I borrowed this eBook from my local library.
More on Full Fathom Five.