Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


Finally, it is time to say goodbye to 2008. It was a good year, but it seemed to drag on. Now, for the next six months I will think it's January, just as I have for the last... every year since I was born. Don't ask me why this happens, it just does. Maybe it's because the first half of the year goes by too quickly, while the second half seems to take two years to pass.
I have some New Years resolutions for 2009. I don't normally make New Years resolutions, but this year I have some that I fully intend to keep.
  1. Send a query letter to an agent and pray they pick me up.
  2. If #1 works out, get a book published with help from my agent.
  3. If #s 1&2 happen, become the most fan friendly author in existence.
  4. Get in good enough shape to actually do something on my expensive BMX bike.
  5. Finish writing the last two books in B1's series.
  6. Start writing another series.
Those are my New Years resolutions. I will report throughout the year about whether I keep them. Hopefully I will. Have any New Years resolutions of your own? What are they? I'd love to hear some feedback on this.
Happy New Year, everyone!
 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Something Rotten Chat Recap

The Ally Chat for Something Rotten has just finished, and boy, was it hectic. There were about thirty plus readers asking all sorts of questions, it was a little hard to follow.
Some of my questions got answered, which was way cool. I really can't wait until the next book is announced and then the chat that will follow. I love chatting with authors. Here's one of my questions that got answered:

For Ally and Alan: Would you ever consider posting your query letters for your first books on your blogs?
Alan's answer (I can't remember exactly how it was worded): I've been working on advice for unpublished authors, that's a great idea. (or something along those lines. It was about half an hour ago and I've read a bunch of other things since then, so it's a little fuzzy)


In other news, after visiting the Nelson Literary Agency (Ally Carter's agent) website and reading tips on submitting manuscripts I have decided to start working on my query letter for B1. Orchid is about halfway through reading it, Twenty-One has finished it, Six is yet to start it, and I'm still waiting for my parents to read it.
I was a little nervous about people reading B1, not because there's anything bad in it, I was just afraid they wouldn't like it. Twenty-One seemed to like it a lot, except for the cliff-hanger ending (I love writing cliff-hangers). Orchid seems to be enjoying it.
I now have a printed copy of it, which will make it a lot easier to convince the other three to read it (reading things on the computer is hard on the eyes). It's a lot longer on paper than I thought it would be. I'll try to post some pictures soon.

Well, that's all for now. I have to go play Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution (and work on my query letter).

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Sample of How My Mind Works

You already know my mind is eclectic, now you get a short view of the many wheels spinning in there.

The other night I was online while my sister watched an episode of Dr. Who. I looked up at the TV just in time to see someone attempt to shoot Dr. Who, but their plan was foiled when some girl dove in front and took the shot herself. This got me thinking about how things would have turned out had she not sacrificed herself (even though I think she ended up living in the end). It made me think of how important one person's life could be to other people and how the natural course of things would change if that person died before they were supposed to. As with a few other occasions of strange thought chains, it spawned a new book idea. Weird, I know.

I'd love to tell you more about my new book, but sadly I cannot.

Well, now you know a little bit about my creative process. I'll probably revisit this subject sometime in the future.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Can't Wait for Necropolis

A few days ago I was on Barnes & Noble's website searching my favorite authors to see if there were any new books listed that I hadn't heard about on their personal sites. I think I may have screamed a little when I searched Anthony Horowitz and saw that Necropolis, the fourth book in the super awesome Gatekeepers series, was listed to come out in April. APRIL!!! That's only four months away!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!

I've been waiting to read Necropolis since I finished reading Raven's Gate. It's really exciting because Necropolis is the first book Anthony Horowitz has ever written where the main character is a girl. Scarlett (the girl in question) played a small role in the last Gatekeepers book, Nightrise. I'm really interested in finding out what her powers are because they haven't been mentioned yet.

"As the fourth novel in the spellbinding Gatekeepers series begins, the world is under the greatest threat it's ever known. The evil corporation Nightrise has amassed an immense amount of power . . . and the devastating force of the Old Ones is about to be unleashed around the globe. To stop this from happening, Matt and three of the Gatekeepers head to Hong Kong--not just the modern city of skyscrapers and wealth, but the secretive underworld beneath. In Hong Kong they will meet the final Gatekeeper, a girl named Scarlet, whose fate is inextricably joined to their own...."
I will definitely be getting Necropolis as soon as it comes out. It would be an understatement to say I'm really, really, really, super excited to read it.
Though I must admit that I prefer the U.K. cover to the American one. Actually, other than Raven's Gate (in hardback), I prefer the U.K. covers for all of them. But then, I'm just picky about things like that.


Update: forgot to mention that I put the American cover above. You can see the U.K. covers for all the books by clicking here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Christmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways, Part VI

It's Santa's Unhappy Helper! Isn't she cute?!
Merry Christmas Everyone! This post concludes The Christmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways. I hope your holiday turned out better than theirs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Christmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways, Part V

Rudolph tears down the symbol of his oppressor.Come on, Rudolph, tell us how you really feel. *sarcasm*

That's it for the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer figurines. Tomorrow, the very first Christmas Chibi to be posted on this blog.

Merry Christmas Eve. Happy other holidays.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Chistmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways, Part IV

He sees you when you're sleeping... You better watch out.
(btw, the little girl [not a doll] is going into the bag)
Tomorrow, Rudolph joins us to tell us what he really thinks about Christmas. Merry Christmas, and happy fill in holiday here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Christmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways, Part III

Hermie practices experimental dentistry on his "volunteer".
The dark side of misfit elves.

Tomorrow, Santa isn't so jolly. Happy Holidays.
 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways, Part I and II

He really was evil in the end. Run, little woodland creatures, run!
Yukon always envied Sam's silver watch, and he would do anything to get it.
Tomorrow, Hermie the Elf turns to the dark side. Happy Holidays.
 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

50, Something Rotten, And An Online Book Club

Hiya people.

Big news. This marks the 50Th post to be published on Dahlia's Eclectic Mind. I'm so happy! It was October 21 when I got my Blogger account and started work on the layout and whatnot for DEM. I remember it like it was yesterday... not really, but it seemed like a good thing to say just then.

Anyway, on to the other topics mentioned in the headline.
Something Rotten by Alan Gratz is based on Hamlet. It's a really fast read. It was available for free online for a while, at which point I read about half of it. I never would have heard of this book without the help of one of my all time fave authors, Ally Carter.
Horatio Wilkes is a very funny character, dropping a sarcastic one liner every third sentence or so. Once I started reading Something Rotten I found myself a little addicted and unable to put it down.

"Denmark, Tennessee, stinks. The smell hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it's not just the paper plant and the polluted river that's stinking up Denmark: Hamilton's father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large. Why? Because nobody believes that Rex Prince was murdered. Nobody except Horatio and Hamilton. Now they need to find the killer, but it won't be easy. It seems like everyone in Denmark is a suspect. Motive, means, opportunity- they all have them. But who among them has committed murder most foul?"

I definitely plan on getting Something Rotten when it is released in paperback in January. I could probably read it again, which I hardly ever do. I really can't wait to read the next Horatio Wilkes Mystery, Something Wicked.

Now, moving on to the third order of business. The online book club.
Wonderful and talented author Ally Carter is starting an online book club. The first book to be discussed is, surprise surprise, Something Rotten by Alan Gratz. The discussion will take place on December 30, 2008. You can find out more here.
I participated in the Test Chat with authors Ally Carter, Alan Gratz, Kelly Parra, and Sara Zarr, and about thirty readers the other day and it was really fun. I loved having the opportunity to ask authors about writing. I'm really looking forward to the book club discussion on the 30.

That's all for now. Happy holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Instant Holiday Classic

Ah, it's that time of year again. The holidays are just around the corner. I can't wait! It doesn't matter what holiday you celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, you are sure to love the Jolly Boots Of Doom song from the Invader Zim episode, The Most Horrible Christmas Ever. In my mind, it's an instant classic. Watch the video below and you'll likely agree.



Starting December 20, in honor of the "Most Horrible Christmas Ever" episode, I will be posting pictures from a horrible Christmas of my own making, which I have titled "The Christmas That Went Wrong In So Many Ways". The series will be ended with a hand drawn Christmas Chibi on Christmas Day.
Happy Holidays readers. I'll be back soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Finished! (for now)

I finally finished editing B1 today. Still haven't fixed the mistake with the red car that was black. I'll get to that later. Anyway, here are the stats for B1 pre-edit and post edit:

Pre-edit:
  • 84,666 words
  • 245 pages
  • 60 days to write
Post edit:
  • 84,946 words
  • 245 pages
  • 42 days to edit (probably only a week, but it was spread out a lot)
I'm going to take a break over Christmas and start the second round of editing in January. Hopefully it won't take as long as the first round of editing. People are waiting to read it and they're getting impatient. It shouldn't take too long (I hope).

I'm going to start working on a soundtrack for the book, which I will post here. It will probably be mostly alternative, metal, rock, and classical. Actually, that's probably all it will be. It's really the only music I can stand.

Anyway, I've spent a lot of time reading on the computer recently, so I'm going to end this post here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!

What have they done to Avatar: The Last Airbender? I was just on Distant Horizon (who got the news from Entertainment Weekly) and I read what could quite possibly be the worst news in the whole wide world (of cartoons).

*deep breath* Okay, as I'm sure you already know there is going to be an Avatar movie, scheduled for 2010. A few months ago they had open casting for Aang (the Avatar, for those of you that haven't seen the show). That was all fine and good. Getting someone new would likely be better for the movie in the end. Look at Harry Potter. Well, according to Distant Horizon the actors who will be playing Sokka (one of my favorite characters) and Katara (eh, not so much) have been chosen.

So, playing Katara is Nicola Peltz (never heard of her) from Deck The Halls (never heard of it). She looks nothing like Katara! The only thing they have in common is that they're both girls!

It.
Gets.
Worse.

Playing Sokka is... Jackson Rathbone. They got a bloody Twilighter to play SOKKA!?! What is wrong with them?!?! Are they... *grr* I'm so mad I can't even think of what to accuse them of being! Whatever it is, it interferes with brain function.

But that's not even the worst of it. Believe it or not, that's only the semi bad news.
Get ready for it. I suggest you sit down for this.

Jesse McCartney is negotiating the role of Prince Zuko. I can't even think of anything to say to that except... WHAT?!?!
(above: Katara, Aang, Zuko (background), Sokka, Momo (lemur). Do you see the madness now?!)

I fear for the Avatar movie. I thought 2010 was going to be a really good year for movies, but it appears I was wrong. *sigh* Why? I knew nothing good could come of M. Night Shyamalan directing the movie.
Again I ask, why?!?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Editing News

Hey people.
Yesterday I resumed editing the book that will now be known as B1 (book 1). It was while I was somewhere around the fiftieth chapter that I realized I made a mistake earlier in the book and made a car black in one scene when it is red every other time it is mentioned. For some strange reason, I have yet to change that mistake.

Anyway, I have now read 69 chapters (short chapters) and I still don't hate it. I feel that there may be more emphasis on two of the characters relationship than I intended but things always seem sissier to me than they really are (I very much dislike sissy things). I think I have added over 200 words on forgotten words alone. Not very surprising since my mind tends to move faster than my fingers (mind you, my fingers aren't very slow).

As soon as I finish this post I'm likely to go back and edit the rest of the book. I think I'm over 2/3 of the way done, so I should be able to finish by tonight. After I finish editing it once, I'm going to read through it again just to make sure I didn't miss anything I wanted to change before I hand it over to my best friend (with much fighting involved).

Story wise, it seems to progress fairly well. Like I said in a past post, I thought it took too long to get going when I was writing it, but I was wrong there. It doesn't appear to slow down much (in my mind, anyway), so I don't think readers will lose interest too easily. I think I've managed to give the characters their own voices. Each chapter is narrated by a different character and I managed to change my writing style for each person just enough that they all sound different (some notice how people look more, others notice the scenery more, some use a bunch of references to get their point across, etc., etc.).

So, yeah, that's how the whole editing thing has been going. I'll try to write about something more interesting in my next post.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Really Awesome Series...

So why did it take me so long to finish? I don't really know either.
Anyway, I started reading the Midnighters series by Scott Westerfeld earlier this year. I finished the first two books quickly, unable to put them down, but for some reason it took me months to finish the third one. It was really good! I wish there were a fourth book! I don't want the series to be over!


"The five teenage Midnighters of Bixby, Oklahoma, thought they understood the secret midnight hour—until one morning when time freezes in the middle of the day.
The noise of school stops. Cheerleaders are frozen in midair. Everything is the haunted blue color of the midnight hour.
As the Midnighters scramble for answers, they discover that the walls between the secret hour and real time are crumbling. Soon the dark creatures will break through to feed at last . . . unless these five teenagers can find a way to stop them."


Dess is definitely my favorite character. The sarcastic ones tend to be my faves, I love sarcasm (I did list it as one of my interests). If I had the choice, I would want either Dess's or Jonathan's powers (though only if they weren't restricted to midnight, on Jonathan's that is). Before finishing the book (even though I already knew how it ended) I wasn't really sure there could be a fourth Midnighters book. But now that I've read it all for myself I totally see the possibilities. But it could end up not being as good as the first three since the series has been declared over by the author. You can't force a story out of someone if it's not meant to be (wow, did that sound as lame to you as it did to me?).

Anyway, I've said all I can about the book without giving anything away. I suggest that you check out the Midnighters series. It's really good. Also be sure to check out Scott Westerfeld's other YA series, Uglies.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's a Guitar Hero Miracle!

What's the miracle, you ask? I'll tell you! No I won't, I just like teasing you (kidding). :D

Guitar Hero: On Tour came out this summer and I was really excited about it, but I was worried that the Guitar Grip wouldn't fit my old DS model. I was right, but wrong at the same time. So, here's the part about the miracle...

GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR COMES WITH AN EXTENSION FOR THE ORIGINAL DS!!! I was so happy when I found that out. I had been holding off on getting it since it came out, but my friend recently got one which is how I found out about the extension.

I looked everywhere online for more details about the game, but I couldn't find any information about whether or not it fit the older DS. The extension is really easy to install, according to the instruction booklet. All you have to do is undo two little screws, change the cartridge pack, and put the screws back in.

(left to right: Nintendo DS Lite, Guitar Hero: On Tour guitar grip with extension, orginal Nintendo DS)
So, if you have an original DS and want Guitar Hero: On Tour, go get it. This is excellent news for old DS-ers as GHOT is a really fun game. To get a full list of songs for the game, click here.
Trust me on this, Guitar Hero: On Tour is well worth the money and I recommend it to all gamers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Free Rice, Free Kibble, Free Kibble Kat...

What about free chocolate? Just kidding.

FreeRice.com, FreeKibble.com, and FreeKibbleKat.com are awesome sites for donating food to people and animals who need it.

I personally like Free Rice the most. It has a bunch of different trivia games, and every correct answer donates more rice to the United Nations World Food Program. There are games for vocabulary, art, language, math, and geography. It's really fun, somewhat addictive, and for a good cause. What more could a person ask for?

Free Kibble and Free Kibble Kat have a daily trivia question. Answering the question correctly will donate kibble and cat food for cute, fuzzy, adorable, hungry animals in shelters. These too are very good sites.

I shouldn't have to write anymore about these sites to get you to visit them. In fact, I don't even know why you are still reading this. You should be donating rice and kibble. Get going! Shoo!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Searching For New Authors?

I don't know about you, but I always have trouble with this. It's mostly due to my extreme pickiness (I practically redefined the word). I recently discovered a website (with help from Meg's Diary) that is specifically made for finding new authors based on the ones you already like.

So, after you've read every book by your favorite author a million times, head on over to Literature Map and see who they recommend. Unfortunately, the site doesn't have any info on the authors so you'll have to search their books on another site, like Barnes & Noble or Borders.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll see you next time with something new (to this blog) and (somewhat) interesting.



P.S.
Click the days on the Christmas Calendar. I won't tell you why, just click them. XD