Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

1280x720_pride_prejudice_zombies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that this blogger will totally, utterly, and completely love anything that has anything to do with Pride and Prejudice. After watching Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle spar as Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in the BCC adapation as an eight-year-old, I was hooked. It can be a modern retelling, a sexy continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship post marriage, even a very loose adaptation, if it’s related to Pride and Prejudice I will like it. And after watching the adaptation I thought I was least likely to enjoy two days ago at an early showing, I can officially say the streak holds strong. Because even though I do not like zombies or fighting scenes or blood, this movie was SO MUCH FUN!  Continue reading

Top Ten Historical Settings I Love

toptentuesday

I’ve been through many, many historical fiction phases. In high school, this was probably my main genre especially anything about the British monarchy or Russia. When I would get nervous (so like 85% of my day) I would often calm myself down by trying to recite both royal lines. Total dork! Then after college I got into a big historical romance novel phase. I’m not reading a ton of historical books right now, but here are some of the settings that I used to adore, and will probably get obsessed with again at some point. Continue reading

Starting Over on a Manuscript

FullSizeRender

Hi friends! I’ve been back in New York for about ten days, but so much has happened. A history-making blizzard. A visit from my college roommate. Dinners with friends. Dance parties (plural). Two post-graduation job interviews. And (most importantly!) my first notes and meeting with my thesis advisor, the fantastic Jill Santopolo who is a pretty prolific author and editor. The notes were copious and the meeting went really, really well but …

together we made the decision to start completely over on my manuscript with a lot of changes to the plot/characters/timeline/conceit of the story. I know these changes will be for the best, but, man, it’s hard to look at 275 pages you’ve been working and reworking for a year and think about throwing most of them away.

Today, marks the beginning of me trying to write a new chapter one. It’s so strange, because in some ways I know my main character, Riley, so well from the last year+ we’ve spent together and in other ways the changes I decided to make to her personality/history make writing from her perspective a completely new beast.

It’s hard. But writing is supposed to be hard.

It’s exciting. And writing is supposed to be exciting.

Wish me luck!

 

Bookishly Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira

21018154I was really excited to get my hands on an ARC of Bookishly Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira. The book was released earlier this month and I think it will appeal to lots of YA book lovers for one reason -it’s all about being in love with books. Genius! There are things I loved about the book and things that bothered me. To be totally honest, the formatting of the ARC was really wonky, which I think could have messed up my reading experienced. But I’m trying not to let that biased me. But before I give more of my opinions, here is the book blurb: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing? Continue reading

Top Ten Recent(ish) Middle Grade Reads

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday! It’s a freebie for Top Ten Tuesday and I’m talking about middle grade books! I don’t know if its because I’m in a writing program for kids or doing some freelance curriculum work aimed at middle school students or just that there are so many good middle grade books out, but I’m getting into these books a lot. Here are some of my favorites from the last year or so. Let me know what you think! Continue reading

Another Perfectly-Timed Letter from FutureMe

Really needed this today friends. Still in California and totally freaking out about the semester ahead (in a really nonproductive way). Seriously, if you aren’t using FutureMe you definitely should be. Here’s what arrived in my inbox this morning to save the day (or at least my sanity):

Dear FutureMe,

Tomorrow you are going to turn in the first draft of your thesis. Chill out girl. Everything is going to be fine. You worked harder than you might of, but not as hard as you could have … that is literally almost always true. You also had a lot of other things to deal with (which is also always always true) and you are doing a great job.

Try to celebrate your accomplishments going into this next step of school. Who knows what will happen … but that is exciting because it means lots and lots and lots of really awesome, cool things could happen.

You are still in school. School and writing should be your focus.

You’ve created such a fuller life for yourself in New York than you’ve had since college. Seriously, think of the friends and activities and events you’ve built into your life. Great job!

It’s okay to be scared and nervous … you are undertaking big things and big dreams. It would be silly not to be nervous about them.

It’s also okay to set the fear and anxiety at the door for the semester (as much as you can) and just really try to enjoy the end of this process as much as possible.

I know you will lean into every opportunity you have.

With much self love,

Alison from a month ago