27 November, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (99)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. I'm finding it hard to believe I've done this thing almost 100 times, though of course some established bloggers have been doing it for far longer than that.

Rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. I was ecstatic when I found out Arthur Conan Doyle's estate had allowed a Sherlock Holmes novel by someone other than Doyle to be written, because I'm a big fan of the original stories. I'm 70 pages in right now and Horowitz seems to be living up to Doyle's style, and the voice of John H. Watson, very well.

(I would call this a bland cover, but since Sherlock Holmes is such a famous character, I like the simplicity of just the title and fabric background. You certainly wouldn't want something distracting.)

Holmes slept in late the next morning and I was sitting on my own, reading The Martyrdom of Man, by Winwood Reade, a book that he had recommended to me on more than one occasion but which, I confess, I had found heavy going. I could see, however, why the author had appealed to my friend with his hatred of 'idleness and stupidity', his reverence for 'the divine intellect', his suggestion that 'It is the nature of man to reason from himself outwards.'

-p. 51

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Are there any other Sherlock Holmes fans out there? 

What are you reading now? Have you got a teaser from it?


-----The Golden Eagle

23 November, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update: Only One More Week Left

Hard to believe National Novel Writing Month has only one more week to go before it's over. Scratch that--November has only one more week to go. Good grief. October was just here, wasn't it?

(At least I'll be able to get back into blogging more in December. I feel like a terrible blogger for losing track of the recent posts of so many sites.)

But as for my NaNoWriMo progress:




71078 / 50000 words. 142% done!

71,078 words, total. I wrote 4,345 words today after about a week of writing just a few hundred to a couple thousand words, so feeling pretty good about that. I also just reached 100 pages in my Word document (8.5x11, no spacing, Times New Roman bold), which, though I know is less significant than word count since formatting can change, is a milestone I'd been hoping to reach.

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How's your writing coming? Reach any milestones lately?


-----The Golden Eagle

22 November, 2012

On This November 22nd

If you live in the USA, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!



And if you aren't celebrating Thanksgiving this week, may you have a great Thursday. :)


-----The Golden Eagle

20 November, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (98)

Teaser Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, is an event where participants post excerpts from the books they're reading.

Rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is non-fiction and from The Best Science Writing Online 2012 edited by Bora Zivkovic and Jennifer Ouellette. I mainly picked up this book because I follow BoingBoing and Maggie Koerth-Baker, who was published in this anthology, mentioned it in one of her blog posts. I was then further interested when I noticed Chad Orzel was one of the authors; I'm a fan of his after having read How to Teach Physics to Your Dog.

(It's hard to see when it's relatively small like this, but those periodic table-style squares on the cover actually contain the names of the authors included in the anthology.)

The flaw in this argument is assuming the body of water is characterized by only one parameter: its temperature. In general, there are other characteristics of the water that could be changed due to its heating: for instance, the amount of gas in solution; the presence of other solutes; the presence of convection currents; gradients of the distribution of the temperature of the container. Any, all, or none of these may in fact be the culprit, but it is important to realize that a body of water not in thermal equilibrium may have its behavior characterized by a number of different properties.
-p. 113, "Mpemba's Baffling Discovery", by Greg Gbur


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What was the last non-fiction book you enjoyed? What are you reading now?


-----The Golden Eagle

16 November, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest + NaNoWriMo Update

First, The Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest!

This event is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Matthew MacNish, and Andrew Leon.

The general idea (from a host's blog):
The bloggers we really miss...
and the ones we would really miss!

Do you have a couple blogger buddies who aren't posting as often? Those who've pulled back and seem absent from the blogging world? Do you have blogger buddies you are grateful they are still around and would miss if they vanished? Now is your chance to show your appreciation and spotlight them! List one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.


The bloggers I miss:

There are a lot of bloggers who have come and gone. Maybe it's the whole electronic format and people migrating from blogs to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites--in addition to living their lives outside the internet, of course--but a lot of the people who I originally met in the blogosphere have since stopped posting.

This blogfest stirred me to look at my sidebar's blogroll, and I found many people who haven't posted in ages . . . it's been so long for some that the domain names have expired, Blogger's removed their sites, and so forth. Sadness. These are just a few of the people I miss:

Josh Hoyt from The Blog That Helps You Diagnose Your Characters.
Elena Solodow from You're Write. Except when you're Rong.
Sarah Pearson from Empty White Pages.

(There are so many other cool bloggers I want to mention, too.)


The bloggers I would miss:

This is a bit more cheerful, as these bloggers are still around! I want to just give you my main Google Reader folder or something, but as I cannot, here are three bloggers I'd really miss if they disappeared (all have been long-time followers of The Eagle's Aerial Perspective, sticking around for at least a year):

Old Kitty from Ten lives and second chances.
The Dandy Lioness from Chai Tea and Quills.
Laughingwolf from ...paws and reflect.


**********

And for those here for just the blogfest: 

If you don't want to bother with the personal, fiction writing element of this post, feel free to scroll down to the comments (assuming you want to comment) and ignore this bit! (Hope no one minds I'm combining two unrelated things in the same post.)


As for my National Novel Writing Month update:


I won NaNoWriMo on Sunday! Well . . . not officially, since they don't verifying winners until the 25th of November. But I'm beyond the NaNo goal according to Word.

I almost finished on Saturday, the 10th, but after writing 11k last Friday I didn't really feel like typing out 8k the next day to hit 50k. So, I finished on the 11th. Today I've written 4,233 words, for a grand total of 61,045.

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Which bloggers do you miss, or would you miss? Know any of the people I mentioned? Ever visited a blog you knew before only to find it's disappeared off the internet?

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, how are you doing with the challenge?


-----The Golden Eagle

13 November, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (97)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish, weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Year Zero by Rob Reid, the same book I chose for the Did I Notice Your Book? Blogfest, back in October. Finally got a copy from my library. It's different from what I had expected from the blurb, but not in a negative way, so it's quite funny.


"The Townshend Line is the notional surface of a spherical region centered around the planet Earth," the androgynous, expressionless voice said. "It has a one-hundred-forty-four-light-year radius, and is the boundary of the most powerful force field ever created. It was built in 1978 to keep several trillion fans of The Who from storming the planet in hopes of attending one of the band's shows."
-p. 71

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What are you reading right now?


-----The Golden Eagle

09 November, 2012

National Novel Writing Month: In The Throes Of Week 2

Day 9 of NaNoWriMo. As promised, here's an update on my progress:



42,330 out of 50,000 words written. I wrote 11,041 words today, which is the most I've written in one day. Ever. The last record was 10k, and that almost two years ago. I am feeling quite satisfied and excited and a little tired from writing for over five (or was it six?) hours--though it wasn't all at once, and I'll admit I got carried away listening to Vivaldi instead of paying attention to the words a few times. But yeah, I'm  feeling a little triumphant from those 11k.

Fellow NaNoWriMo participants, how are your novels coming? Non-participants, what are you working on, either writing or otherwise? (Really, I'm interested.)


-----The Golden Eagle

08 November, 2012

The Big Smoke Blog Tour: Does Romance Equal Happiness In Fiction?

Today I have the honor of hosting Cally Jackson for her blog tour to spread the word about her new book, The Big Smoke. Take it away, Cally!

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Does romance equal happiness?

I’m a sucker for a good romance. Twilight is one of my favourite books and movies like Ten Things I Hate About You never fail to make me smile. But as much as I love stories like these, they make me slightly uncomfortable. Why? Because they seem to equate romance with happiness, and I’m not sure that’s a great message, particularly for young (and new) adults.

I know that those messages really affected me when I was a teenager, and consequently, I was slightly totally obsessed with finding 'true love' for myself. To prove my point, here are some real, live diary excerpts from when I was seventeen:

'Life just isn’t what dreams are made of. At least, not my dreams. The one thing that really scares me is, what if Billy [ex-boyfriend] is the best thing I’m going to get in life? What if it's all down hill from here?'

I've actually been dreaming about him [an ex-crush] recently, but it’s not really him. I mean, it’s him physically, but personality wise, it’s someone else. I guess it’s my made-up Mr Perfect's personality – someone I unfortunately haven’t had the pleasure of meeting…

The first kernel of an idea for a novel came to me in the same year I wrote those diary entries, and the idea was in the form of a lesson I wanted to teach myself. What was the lesson? That your happiness and life journey are your own responsibility, nobody else's.

Somewhere along the line, I realised that I'd totally bought into the message that romance equals happiness and it’s impossible to be truly happy without it. I decided then that I wanted to write a book that showed this wasn't the case. That book became what we now know as The Big Smoke.

Don't get me wrong, The Big Smoke is not anti-romance, but it attempts to demonstrate that if you have issues, they'll still be there whether you’re in a relationship or not. And in fact, if you get too hung up on being in a relationship, it can actually be an obstacle to happiness.

This was the case for me as a teenager, and it's also the case for The Big Smoke's main female character, Ceara. I have a feeling it may be the case for many other girls (and maybe guys) out there who love teen fiction too.

While The Big Smoke is about a lot more than just this one idea, the issue of romance and happiness is definitely at the heart of the story. I hope that my novel might make some teenagers question whether romance does indeed equal happiness and help them to realise that their happiness is in their own hands, nobody else's.

What about you? Do you think that fiction (particularly fiction aimed at teens) equates romance with happiness? Do you enjoy a good romantic read or would you prefer something more realistic? Or perhaps something that combines the two?

**********

More about The Big Smoke

Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb's desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn't finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it's just chance.

When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara's best friend withdraws from her, Seb's closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?


You can purchase a copy of The Big Smoke
• in paperback format from Cally's buy page (Australia and New Zealand) or Amazon (rest of the world)
• in e-book format from Smashwords (preferred digital supplier), Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Diesel and other e-stores.




-----The Golden Eagle

07 November, 2012

Defining The Genre Of A Novel: An IWSG Post


About the IWSG (from Alex J. Cavanagh's blog):
Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic.
Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

With the onset of the National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as it's called by a lot of writers, though I'd love it if someone told me why it's not shortened to the easier-to-type NNWM) I've been hammering away at my untitled project. And it's kind of undefined in other ways than just title: I'm not sure what genre it is.

My original intention was Steampunk; indeed, I think that with changes it could fall into the Steampunk genre. But while I'm describing the character's surroundings and interpreting them through her perspective (I've changed my main character's gender, too, because hey, everything else was up for grabs) I'm not giving it a ton of emphasis. This is hardly my normal method--I'm attracted to Science Fiction and Fantasy for its world-building, and then here I am, doing hardly any at all.

Does it bother me now that I can't see a defining factor in setting? Yes. Does it worry me in the long run that I have no specific category to fit my novel into? No. This is NaNoWriMo (NNWM! I tell you) and while I may not be sure if it's a Contemporary Science Fiction/Steampunk and Action/Adventure or actually a Steampunk novel masquerading as a rather Literary novel with an overdose of Action/Adventure (or maybe just a story about ninjas that's so stealthy it's invisible), I am going to keep writing the way I have been for the past 28,000 words. Because pigeon-holing can come later (or not at all) and I'm going to have fun with this first draft. It's not every month one has an official challenge to which to rise.

Do you have fun with your first drafts, or do you prefer the rewriting/revising/editing stages that come later? Ever had a project that didn't immediately tell you which genre it was?

Also: I'm sorry if I haven't gotten around to your blog in days, or even for over a week. I know I've replied to comments over a couple days old and Google Reader has exploded into the 1000+ posts state, with 600+ in the folder I frequent the most often. Basically, I'm spending hours writing every day for NaNoWriMo and I just can't keep up with everyone. I do promise to visit your blogs as often as I can this month and in December I'm sure I'll be back in force, assuming I escape the clutches of NaNo alive.


-----The Golden Eagle

06 November, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (96)

But first:

If you live in the USA, don't forget to vote!

Important things are on the ballot today, and every vote counts. Literally.

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This is a weekly, bookish meme where participants post about the books they're reading right now.

Rules for participating:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from The Free Lunch by Spider Robinson. I read Variable Star--a book by Robert A. Heinlein published posthumously that Robinson finished from an outline Heinlein had left--and really liked it, so I thought I'd try this one, which is entirely his work. It's rather interesting.

(Cheers to great artwork on book covers. I love this cover for its colorfulness and whimsy, and the fact the bottom of the illustration isn't blocked out by the author's name, which still gets nice real estate toward the top.)

He nodded . . . took a deep breath, and leaned over the side again.
   He saw nearly at once this time that they didn't really look a whole lot like maggots at all, really--not if you looked closely.
   For one thing, the countless trillions of swarming grains of rice below were not the pale yellow color his memory had imposed on them.

-p. 42


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What are you reading now?

-----The Golden Eagle

02 November, 2012

National Novel Writing Month Is In Full Swing

It's Day 2 of NaNoWriMo. For those of you who are participating, how're you doing? Typing away and wishing the internet would shut down so you can keep going distraction-free? Haven't started your project yet and are doing some last-minute brainstorming? Right on schedule, neither behind or ahead?

Me, I'm currently at 7118 words. I wrote over 5000 this morning which makes me feel fairly confident in my story (and the outline I'm using). I'm sure I'll be tearing out my hair somewhere around the 20-50k mark (always happens, I tell you) but for the moment, I'm enjoying my lead. Might even get some more writing done this evening, if I'm lucky. Or maybe I'll just work some more on the rather large hole in the middle section of my story . . .



What about you? If you're not participating in NaNoWriMo, what's your current project, if you have one?

(I'm planning to post status updates on my NaNoWriMo progress every Friday, by the way. If there's anything that will motivate me to keep writing, it's having to post my word count in front of an audience.)


-----The Golden Eagle