Books

Am I High? NaNo 2017 Update

Only one week of NaNoWriMo left, and I am dismally behind. But I’m not even upset about my poor word count. You know why? Because I’m finally writing again! It’s been so long, and it just feels so good to be back! I imagine this is what it must be like to be high. I’ll be going about my day, doing normal activities, and suddenly, an intense happiness washes over my brain. It’s almost like writing gets me high on words. And I don’t even have to be currently writing. My brain is just so full of words and worlds right now. Even though I’m not winning (and, let’s be honest, probably never will), NaNo definitely motivates me and helps me crank out those few words a day. Slowly but surely, I’m working my way through my manuscript rewrites, and it’s such a wonderful feeling! 

How does writing make you feel? Excited? Stressed? Or, if you’re not a writer, what is an activity that gets you high?

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Books · Writing

Reading, Writing, and Goals

There have been a lot of changes for me over the past year, but I am finally finding some time to do the things I love: reading and writing. I recently started reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, and I’m loving it so far! I know, it’s crazy that I haven’t read it before this, but my parents thought it promoted witchcraft, so what can I say. (I may be blogging about my thoughts on this when I finish the series). What is one book or series that a lot of people are surprised you haven’t read yet?

I have been trying my hardest to catch up on the massive to-read pile I have, but I somehow keep buying books that I now need to read… It’s becoming a bit of a problem. Fortunately, I have started listening to some books, so that’s been helping. There’s a fantastic website called LibriVox where you can find most public domain books free on audiobook. They are read by volunteers so sometimes they’re poor quality, but I have found quite a few great ones there, and am slowly making my way through the classics on my list. 

And now on to writing news…

It has been a long-time goal of mine to be a published author before I turn twenty. I recently turned nineteen, so that deadline is now less than a year away. I finished the first draft of Something More over a year ago, but there is still a lot of work to be done. It is still very rough, and I anticipate several more drafts before it will come close to seeing the light of day. I am hoping to have the second and possibly third draft done by the end of 2017. If all goes as planned I will be looking for beta readers early in the new year, so if anyone is interested please sign up for my newsletter to stay updated on that. 

I am participating in NaNoWriMo next month, but I will be rewriting Something More instead of starting a new project. I’d like to get the second draft done, but I’ll be away for the first week of November, so we’ll see how that goes. If you’re doing NaNo and you’d like to add me, my username is Lena_Kk

In other news, I just set up a Facebook author page, so if you’re on Facebook please check it out and give it a like! Lena Karynn Tesla – Author 

Books · Guest Posts

Guest Post by Zac Tyson

Today, I have a very special treat for you, for a very special reason. My lovely writerly friend, Zac, is launching his blog today! By way of celebrating (and getting the word out, because, he’s freaking awesome!), I have invited him to write a very special guest post for us, about his work-in-progress, These The Restorers. (Isn’t that a beautiful title? I’m in love with it! ❤ )
Before I lose all my dignity by openly fangirling, I’m going to turn it over to you, Zac! 😉

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“Gray. All is gray. Never anything more. We are cursed for eternity.”

These are the opening lines of my YA epic fantasy, THESE THE RESTORERS. A story of hope amidst grief, compassion amidst cruelty, grace amidst condemnation, determination amidst indecisiveness.

A lot goes into this story, and even though its unfinished, it’s deep. I’ve struggled on how to tie it down to one guest post (that wasn’t novel-length). So I’m going to cover TTR (which is how we will refer it from here on out) in three points: Characters, Plot, and Backstory.

BACKSTORY: In the land of Tierlin, color is vital to life. Called Tones, every color (red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white) works together in harmony to keep balance in the land. Every generation, one person is elected as representative for each Tone. Each representative claims a seat in the Gathering Chamber.

One select generation of representatives were constantly at odds with each other, thus causing the Tones to affectively keep balance. Eventually, the representatives disbanded the Gathering Chamber, breaking off into their own separate kingdoms to rule over.

The Tones retreated with their representatives, leaving parts of Tierlin colorless and without balance. These places became known as the Graylands. The inhabitants of the Graylands lost color in their vision and true life within their souls. Each separate kingdom desired the most power, to claim all the Tones for themselves; wars were started. Soldiers were made.

The armies often used the Graylands for their battlegrounds. Years passed by. The wars would never end, it seemed. The Tones would never reunite, and balance would never be restored in Tierlin.

PLOT: A Graylands inhabitant, Kaelan Talshear, has watched the Tone Kingdoms war her whole life. She’s seen too much death, destruction, brutality. All she wants is peace. She’s heard stories of times past when the Tones worked together in harmony. She longs to see color, to have purpose in her life.

When two warring kingdoms rip her home to pieces, Kaelan decides she’s had enough. She and her brother Arec set off on an impossible quest: to reunite the Tones and restore balance to Tierlin.

The plot thus far has been so fun for me. I’m constantly thinking up new ideas and dialogue. It might be the most fun I’ve had crafting a story! There’s one particular plot point I know future readers will hate me for, but…ahh…I delight in it. wrings hands together despicably

CHARACTERS: This is my favorite part! I love discussing my wonderfully frustrating characters.

There’s five main characters in TTR: Kaelan, Arec, Teague, Sohl, and Jensen.

Kaelan, from which TTR is told, is fierce and unexperienced, with a heart that longs for more than just survival. She aches for what her ancestors had–harmony, happiness, color. She knows her quest to restore balance in Tierlin is impossible, but that drives her all the more. She’s not one to be told what she can or can’t do.

Throughout TTR, she learns that the Tone Kingdoms are all not what they seem. She grows and matures in her quest, she learns, she hurts, she rejoices. She succeeds, she fails…but through it all, she learns what love and compassion truly are.

Arec is Kaelan’s older brother. He’s witty, charming, sensitive, and protective. Despite how close he and his sister are, he learns much about her he didn’t know. His heart is broken to see the war and destruction from the Tone Kingdoms. He longs just as much as Kaelan to see balance restored.

Teague is the daughter of the baron of Kingdom White. A quiet book lover who’s never stepped foot outside of her kingdom, she longs for the adventures she reads about. When she meets Kaelan and Arec, she begs her father to join them. Their quest is what she’s been seeking. But when her father calls her foolish and rejects her wishes, she realizes sometimes you must take matters into your own hands. In TTR, Teague learns what bravery, courage, and adventure truly are.

Sohl is an old friend of Arec’s. He left the Graylands years ago to hunt down the people who took him from his family in hopes to find them. He’s silent, with a decent sense of humor, courteous, but a little rough around the edges. He’d rather speak with his sword than his tongue. He and Kaelan aren’t too sure about each other when they first meet, but something (something heated and touching) eventually develops between them.

Jensen might just be my favorite character. He’s an 11-year-old orphaned street thief from Kingdom Yellow who knows his way around a knife. When he’s first introduced into the story, he’s untrustworthy, mischievous, and closed, but still has the whimsical spirit of a child. In TTR, he learns what trust and compassion are.

So there you have it! Everything you can know about TTR without revealing the whole story! 😉 I hope that one day, when this story comes to light, you’ll give it a chance!

Happy reading, booknerds!

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Zac Tyson is a YA and MG writer of speculative fiction. An avid reader and traveler of worlds, he spends most of his time talking to imaginary people, riding his pet dragons, obsessing over all things weird, and adventuring into the unknown. He also loves peanut butter and thinks he’s still a kid.

* * * * *

Yep, I’m amazed!! That was my first time hearing about it too, and wow, can we just take a moment to appreciate how amazing this is??? I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for this story!! 

Thank you, Zac!  

Books · Writing

Farewell, 2015; Welcome, 2016!

I can’t believe it’s been 2016 for over two weeks now! I guess time flies when you’re old… 😉 Anyway, I wanted to give you all a brief recap of 2015, and share some goals for 2016. I’m going to warn you, there will be many lists. That’s just how my mind works. Now let’s start with some 2015 stats:

  • I read fifty-eight books
  • I wrote over 25,000 words (I know that may not seem like a lot, especially to you 50,000-words-a-month writers, but it’s more than I’ve ever done before)
  • I reviewed fourteen books
  • I wrote forty-three blog posts
  • I gained sixty-three new followers
  • I sent out two newsletters

Alright, now that’s out of the way, on to the more fun stuff!

Of all the books I read, my favorite was probably, hmm… Ok, never mind. Let’s go with the top five.

  • Thy Kingdom Come, by Daniel Adorno
  • Holding the Future Hostage, by Tialla Rising
  • Richard III, by William Shakespeare
  • But Who Would Be Dumb Enough to Even Try It, by Enclave Publishing authors
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving Stone

These were all great books and I highly recommend them! (Except maybe The Agony and the Ecstasy, unless you’re a mature reader and really into Michelangelo).

A few other highlights of 2015:

  • I was accepted to my top colleges. Now for the decision-making…
  • I survived a five-day backpacking trip through the mountains, which included hiking half the night down a steep trail in the pitch black, and clambering down wet, slippery rock beside a roaring gorge. Yeah, not repeating that experience.
  • I also survived nine days of intense, college-level honors classes, studying the Socratic method.
  • I participated in two NaNo Camps and the November NaNoWriMo.
  • On a less impressive note, I got Twitter. Yay; follow me! 😀

Looking ahead to 2016: 

Well, as you may have guessed, I did not finish the first draft of Something More in 2015, so that will be my top priority for early 2016. As soon as I’ve accomplished that, I will commence work on the first draft of Book Two. I’d ultimately like to have the entire trilogy drafted by the end of this year. We’ll see how that goes…

I will also be graduating from homeschool in the spring, and attending college this fall.
* cue hysterical screaming *
On a more serious note, this will be a huge change for me, so I could really use any prayers you send my way.

 

I’ll also be sending out a newsletter soon, recapping 2015 in more detail, and giving a few more exciting peeks into what I have planned for 2016 (including an awesome collage of Something More inspired pictures), so if you haven’t signed up for it yet, now would be the time. I will also be hosting a giveaway (most likely an Amazon gift card) when I reach 25 newsletter subscribers, so tell your friends too.

 

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