Archive for November, 2010

Happy Happy Friday!

This week was a very productive one for me. I finished up a great book earlier this week (the one in the sidebar) and picked up some awesome ones!  I’m also in deep into my rewrites for my novel Damaris as well as getting the Visual Adjectives Blog off the ground!  Yes, it was a good week!

If you’re new to Follow Friday, this is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View.  Make sure to check it out if you want to participate!

This week’s question:
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors include VC Andrews, John Saul, George Orwell, Madeline L’Engle, R. L Stine and Pittacus Lore.  I’m sure this list will continue to grow as I continue reading and discovering new authors!
What are some of your favorite authors?

I have to admit that I was a little leery of this movie when I first saw the previews.  Though the trailer looked wicked awesome, I have high expectations when it comes to movies about Robin Hood.  I’ve seen the original with Errol Flynn, the remake with Kevin Costner, as well as the comedic version directed by Mel Brooks.  So for me, I thought I’ve seen it all when it comes to telling the story and didn’t think this movie could give me a new unique spin the classic story.

Boy was I wrong!

Instead of starting the story when Robin Hood is already an outlaw, it takes you to the days when he fought in the crusades with King Richard.  King Richard wasn’t the noble and glorious king portrayed in earlier movies.  Robin Hood wasn’t all noble and valiant either.  Even the Lady Marian was more bad ass than in the Costner remake.  I also love the fact that King John was even more annoying and immature, while the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham took a back seat.   The storyline also went deeper than just King John being a greedy king and taking advantage of the peasants.  It involved stolen identities, traitors,  and a French invasion.

For lack of better words, this movie was more “real” and down to earth for me, taking a man who was basically a military deserter to a champion for the poor.  I loved the way Crowe’s character was morally challenged being thrown into a situation that truly put his conscience to the test.  Robin Hood was portrayed as imperfect, a real man with real flaws who was faced with tough choices in a situation so much bigger than him.

I may also add that I am a HUGE Russell Crowe fan and he gave the same stellar level of performance that he did in Gladiator. (And the fact that Ridley Scott directed this one helps too!)

Have any of you seen this movie?  What did you think?

Music is a huge inspiration to me when it came to writing this novel.  I literally have a playlist on my IPOD that’s filled with songs that evoke the words, feelings, and moods of my novel, depending on which part I’m writing.  The last one from the Prince of Persia went along perfectly with a romantic scene I wrote in Damaris. This time around, we’re going to take things up a notch with this video for the song Night by Disturbed.  I listened to this song a lot while writing this excerpt below because it takes about the mental changes my main character goes through.  Her connection to the Epsilian God Eros (the God of Fire, Lust, and Passion) manifests itself through her dreams.  This dream sequence is the last one she has before she realizes who she is and before the whole world of Epsilon is turned on it’s head!


She opened her eyes to find herself at the steps of Eros’s temple in the City.  At its entrance were two big golden urns, each one overflowing with flames.  Its smoke just added to the ominous fog that surrounded her.   Emerging from the temple entrance was the same figure in the red and gold cloak, its face still hidden.


It extended its arm out in front of it, exposing a dark, shadowing hand.


She was slowly walking up the steps, the fog slowly turning to flames.


She was just a few steps away from it now, its hand still a shadow.  The air was ablaze all around them but Damaris couldn’t feel its heat.

Damaris….it is time.

The voice was crystal clear now, it’s feminine voice strangely familiar. She took its hand and they both disappeared in the flames.


Photo courtesy of:

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:

Italy 1252. Inquisition. Accusation. Fear.  Torture. The guilty and the innocent dying for sins real  and imagined in the flames of the burning stake.  Neilsville, 1978. Peter Balsam has come to this  sleepy desert town to teach its youth, and finds a  mystery of mounting horror. Something is happening  to the young girls of St. Francis Xavier High  School — something evil. In bloodlet and terror a suicide contagion has swept the two… while a dark  order of its holy men enacts a secret medieval  ritual. Is hysteria manipulating these innocent children  into violent self-destruction? Or has supernatural  force, a thirteenth-century madness, returned  to… Punish The Sinners.

Favorite Parts of the Book:

The prologue was definitely one of my favorite parts of the book.  The pacing of the scene was like that of a really good horror movie, leaving you on the edge of your seat.  And then right when the “ax falls”, the first words out of your mouth are “Holy ****”.  I was definitely left a little scared, especially reading this part at night while home alone!

My second favorite part of the book was the ending.  The novel finished just as strong as the beginning, with such a feeling of disbelief. It was a finish I didn’t see coming and when I put it down it left me wanting to know more about what happens next, which could make a very good sequel!

Favorite Character:

I must say I had a love/hate relationship with Peter Balsam.  There were times I was rooting for him when he stood up to the “man” aka the Monsignor.  There were other times I wish I could go into the book and knock him upside his head for making stupid choices.  Either way, I felt connected to him and the author did a great job with his character development.

Now for the bad news:

My only complaint with the novel was the very middle.  It started to get sluggish with the storyline making it a little difficult to get through.  I understand that a story has to have it slowdowns but it should keep me interested all the same.  I wanted to get to the climax already and by the time I got to the last section of the book, the action picked up and slammed me with a great ending.  I think if it wasn’t for the middle of the book, I would’ve finished the novel a whole lot sooner.

Overall Review:

It’s a great thriller book with a storyline that isn’t for the squeamish.  I’m not talking about blood and guts, but rather very controversial topics like suicide and taboo sex that may leave the faint of heart just a little uncomfortable, especially when the whole book relies on the concept of the Catholic religion.  If you can handle that, then this is a good read for you!


If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you may have noticed that it’s been looking kinda…..dead.  That’s because I was suffering from a severe case of writer’s burnout.

To give you a little bit of history, I write and manage three blogs:  one for my fashion/beauty interests that I’ve had for over a year, the new blog for the self publishing company Visual Adjectives, and this one.  You already know I’m in the midst of editing my first novel and just recently began handling all of the social media for Visual Adjectives.  On top of all of that, I have a 40 hour a week day job plus a husband.  It’s amazing I kept it together for this long!  Usually I can handle everything rather well, my To-do lists and advanced scheduling my saving graces.

However last week was BANANAS and the last thing I wanted to do was write.  I had no new ideas, what I was writing was crap, and I just was so not in the mood!

I think every writer experiences burn out sometime in their careers and  it can seem so hard to break out of.  Not only are you stressed that you may be handling too much, you are stressed because you’re not writing and you know you should be.  You may see yourself as a slacker or even feel you’re not cut out for any of this.

You are cut out for this and no, you’re not a slacker.  You’re just burned out and the cure for this exhausting and stressful condition is this:

Do Absolutely Nothing

Take some time out and take a break.  Whether it be a day, two days or even a week.  Read that book you always wanted to read.  Take that road trip you’ve been meaning to take.  Stay in bed and watch mindless TV (that’s what I did over the weekend).  Your mind needs to chill and get rejuvenated.  We writers sometimes have to realize we are not the superheroes we may write about.  The same way your body needs rest after intense workouts, so does your mind.  I know it may be hard to do (and trust me, it took me to start feeling physically sick to take my own advice!) but it’s all worth it! 

After a two-day chill out period, I hit the ground running Sunday, going grocery shopping, getting my house in order, banging out a week’s full of blog posts for one of my other blogs, and practically devouring this book.  That was more than what I had done all week.  Today I’m a producing monster and I feel so good.  The ideas are flowing, my organizing A game is on point, and I’m not the crabby patty I was a few days ago!

So my advice for writing burnout is to relax, take a day or two off.  You (and your writing) will thank you for it!

What are your tips with dealing with writer’s and/or blogger burn out?


What you may have missed!

Hey Newbie Writers! Do you have your 2nd Story Yet?

Round One of Editing: Figuring Out Our Issues

Musical Inspiration: I Remain by Alanis Morissette


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