Category Archives: rêveur

A Second Chance at a First Encounter.

This is the story/art journal I sent in for The Sketchbook Project’s Fiction Project.
The prompt was: A message from a past self.

The book has officially been digitized and is online now. Yay!
You can see it here: {A second chance at a first encounter.}

The message to myself: Quit avoiding life. Get out there and try something.

Because I do chicken out…of a lot of things. I blame shyness and being insecure…and my over-reactiveness to being shy and insecure. I stick my foot in my mouth often.  (Ask Jackson Rathbone…to this day, I swear I’m on a list.)

The images are reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz (the movie). Black and white indicate a blah life, but trying something new, meeting someone new, has brought a whole new spectrum to my world. But, it does take time to acclimate, which is why the colors are greyed and become clearer over time.  Putting myself out there would be something big, but my color my world in many splendiferous ways.  (Yes, I know that’s not a real word. I use it all the time, though.) The story is told through the email from the future (the typed parts) and the voices of what might be (the handwritten sayings in quotes). In my head, it would be a short film with a voice over narrating the current timeline, keeping the black-and-white-to-technicolor-theme. (The pizza place image I drew was totally influenced by the movie Before We Go. I’m telling you,that brilliant piece of art is going to stick with me for the rest of my life.)

Just wanted to share that it’s out there.

I’m posting my scanned images below the jump…in case you don’t feel like perusing the link.

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Filed under a story, art journal, having fun, rêveur

Bookstore observations:

Books. They line every shelf, every aisle. As far as the eye can see. Well, except the cafe. The scent of new books fills my nostrils and my heart speeds up. I’m on a hunt for something to fall in love with. Something to read and cherish and mark in and love until the pages are broken and worn. This particular hunt is for that perfect RomCom.

I’ve read other RomCom-y almost stories…

I loved this back in its fic days… The first fic I have ever read, the book series is excellent, too.

The paperback version I own was given to me from Fics 2 Flicks. If they hadn’t sent it my way, I would have NEVER discovered this lovely gem.

And they are fantastic and on my favorites shelf in GoodReads. But they’re too Eromedy for what I’m searching for. (Eromedy is a term I made up when I wrote Life Imitating Art. The author in that story called her tales Eromedies…and I use it all the time now. It’s Erotic Romance meets Romantic Comedy.) Not that there is anything wrong with these stories, but I want something sweet and endearing and not all about the sexy times.

I have a few of those. Much like the books above, I own multiple incarnations of them or the entire series or both. They sit on my shelves and on my kindle. I pull them out on occasion to read through my favorite parts that I’ve bookmarked and/or highlighted. Much like the line in What’s Your Number?, the movie, each thing brings a patter to my heart, a smile to my lips. I love these books.

A few of my Absolute Favorites:

What’s Your Number?

Originally titled: 20 Times a Lady

Both by Karen Bosnak. One is a movie tie-in cover. I own both–in paperback and kindle–because I just love the story so much!
Did you know, in the books, the main character’s name wasn’t Ally Darling? It was Delilah Darling. Anyway…

Between the Lines  series by Tammara Webber

Boomerang series by Noelle August (a collab Veronica Rossi & Lorin Oberweger)

I don’t know what I loved most about these books. The drama. The humor. The story. They just snatched my attention and I couldn’t put them down until the last word was read, at which point I refused to put them down.

These are the types books I went hunting for.

I stalked my shelves first. I tend to hoard books like a squirrel readying his nuts for the winter. I buy them based on the appeal of the cover and a quick scan of the blurb. A few of my favorite books have been discovered with that process (see, The Night Circus). I got excited when I spotted:

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

I pulled it out and went for the description first. Read, read, read, and slowing down and…bummer. This turns out to be more Chick Lit than RomCom. I’m just not in that mood.

So I took to the web. GoodReads has lists and lists and I went straight for the RomCom list. Book after book. Found one that was highly rated and was supposed to be Cinderella meets Falling Down. Just off the pitch alone, I was had. And I got Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman on my kindle and read and read…all the way to 30% when I realized: CHICK LIT! NO! The break-up was inevitable…it just wasn’t working out. It’s not the book, it’s all me. Maybe I’ll pull an Ally Darling and try again in the future, but for now…

I have sadly found, a lot of Chick Lit is lumped into the RomCom categories. I don’t want a woman empowered  because she found her life path in a life of suckage, I want ROMANCE AND COMEDY! GET ME JAKE ADAMS!

(Take that back. I want COLIN SHEA more)

Now, I got excited when I came across The Nanny Diaries on Amazon and Goodread’s RomCom Lists.

And I truly adore the movie, so I thought, why not? The book and the movie align here and there, as it should. But the book took the more Nanny approach to life where the movie went all Harvard Hottie. And I wanted so much for Harvard Hottie to be the story. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, it was just not enough in the Rom to balance out the Com in the story. *heavy, slightly saddened sigh*

It wasn’t getting any better.

A friend (hi, kiTT!) recommended:

A Nicholas Sparks novel. (Found a copy at the bookstore!) It’s on my TBR list and bookshelf, but I’m worried it’s way too DramRom (Dramatic Romance) rather than RomCom…

While I was at the store hunting down that Sparks book, I searched for more RomComs…I’ll take anything movie related, television show related, or just a great, sweet story like it never before touching the screens of the world. I found the romance section and I was thrilled and full of hope. But as I walked through the books, my heart started breaking. These books had shirtless cowboys and southern belles, guys with long hair, historical tales, a dude in a kilt going by the name Outlander. Uh…somehow I wandered into the wrong place. None of them were for me. Totally out of my league and not really my type at all. Even if the shirtless cowboys did snag a peek of my attention…I’m no longer hanging at Billy Bob’s. Time to go.

So I wander past the graphic novel aisle, stopping to consider Saga book 5 and Captain America (The Winter Soldier, Civil War, and the so very heartbreaking, The Death of Captain America…Pass. I think I’ll save my breakdown and ten boxes of tissues for the movie, thank you) and enter the generic fiction shelves. I found a ton of Chick Lit, traditional fiction, a row of Stephen King, a shelf of Gillian Flynn…and oh, look! Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin (the current read)! All I needed was Something Blue. They didn’t have that, but they did have Baby Proof on my TBR list… but that’s total Chick Lit. Ugh. Okay…There were some Sophie Kinsella novels, though the one I’m searching for:

may just have to come in Kindle form. *heavy sigh* Shelf after shelf was not even close to anything I want to read right now.

I go across the main aisle and search the YA section…because I do love me some YA reads more often than not. Twilight barely exists anymore, only occupying a third of a shelf. Sad. But that’s not even RomCom genre. Shelf after shelf. Much like fiction, I notice groupings. There is a section of dystopian love where The Hunger Games and Divergent run into The Maze Runner.  They aren’t bad, but I am sort of tired of reading about heroines who conquer all. Then there is the strong heroine in the contemporary fiction. BTDT. Random fiction, a lot of which I have read already. And much like the fiction section, I am realizing RomCom seems like an antiquated notion these days.

When did it go against the rules for a basic love story to exist? Does it really matter if a girl falls for a guy or vice versa or guy for a guy or girl for a girl? Because it seems like if a girl falls for a guy, she broke some law and the universe will come to a halt. I’m not saying have the MC be a weak little thing and give up her life for the football captain or whatever…even if I do love me some Sixteen Candles  and Jake Ryan types. I’m feeling like any fluff and fun that used to be so easy to find has just fizzled into nothing. And if the guy falls for a girl, he’s seen as weak. And if the guy falls for a guy, then it has to be about him dealing with it instead of just being in love. And same with a girl for a girl…UGH. WHERE ARE THE STORIES OF LOVE WITHOUT A LIFE-LESSON-DRAMA TO GO WITH IT?

Which truly concerns me. Because those are my stories. I love the not-life-lesson-drama and the heart and the fun. I adore the moment someone admits their feelings. I love the chase and typically the happy ending no matter the cliché. I’m a sucker for such things. I’m DYING to read a story like this. I’m on the verge of writing a story like this. Which bring me to the next concern…

If they are so out of sync with the world these days, would it get published? Would it be worth a write? That’s a major thought…one that makes me pause and think of all the sci-fi, the dystopian, the stories of strength and virtue…is a RomCom just nothing in the world of publishing now? Because I know I am hard pressed to find a good RomCom-y movie these days. (Which I can’t wait to see My Fair Dude! Wish it was a book!)

I hope I’m just overthinking again. Because something in my gut is yelling at me to write this story.

In the meantime, I did pick up one book (that hopefully fits this love story idea) since I recently acquired the companion story on my Kindle and I was desperately searching for this one:

I just hope it’s as cute as the book jacket summary reads.

And PS… I totally bought the second one just because of the cover alone. (I have a weird book/page art thing. I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to that obsession.)

So to any of my readers, followers out there…if you can recommend a GREAT ROMCOM, please do. Comments, email, twitter…tumblr…any of them. I am desperate for a new love! I can only Colin Shea for so long… (going on five years now…Who am I kidding? This will probably last for an eternity.)

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Filed under author woes, book boyfriends, book covers, books that speak, keeping entertained, love story, on the book shelf, rêveur, read, romance can't be antiquated, romcoms are my peeps, the fangirling has made it here, write, writing wishlist

69 is a test? Okay.

I was over on Epic Reads’ blog and was reading about this theory to use when you don’t know what book to choose to read. (see the post here ~~~> {Epic Reads: The 69 Test} Supposedly, 69 is where the action is at. Outside of a teenage guy’s mind, that is. Read the page, snippets or otherwise, and if it speaks to you, you might read the book.

I had never heard of that. Usually, I read the back of the book, inside of the book jacket, or online description and think… “Oh, that sounds good. I’ll read it.” or “Nah. Next.” Who knows what books I’ve missed by just doing that…I mean other than ones that didn’t excite me from the get go.

So just for fun, I’ll try it out with a few of my favorites:

“No one seemed concerned about Edward, though I explained over and over that he was the hero — how he had pulled me out of the way and had nearly been crushed, too.”

~Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

“The finished clock is resplendent. At first glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black clock with a white face and a silver pendulum.”

~The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

“He stares at me, and I don’t look away. He isn’t a dog, but the same rules apply. Looking away is submissive. Looking him in the eye is a challenge. It’s my choice.”

~Divergent, by Veronica Roth

So, does it work? Keeping in mind that these are just a tiny snippet of the page from the hardback copies (unsure if the digital or paperbacks are different…mostly because I’m too lazy to check right now.) I think it’s mixed.

Twilight already had a major event or two happen by this point, although I would wonder, had I not read this book a million times, what exactly did Edward do and why no one seemed to notice.

The Night Circus seems a little boring. That being said, the continuing lines go on to describe how magical this clock is as it transforms into something completely different. A night and day comparison. Honestly, though, if I hadn’t already read this book, I wouldn’t be intrigued enough to read it just from page 69 alone.

Divergent still gets me! Okay…page sixty nine begins in the middle of a sentence, so I would definitely go back to the beginning of it and start. And it would hook me as Tris, is being so snarky to Four. (This moment is at their first meal after the Choosing Day ceremony.) And it would hook me enough to want to know why Tris is being so snarky and her friend, Christina, thinks she has a death wish.

So, let me try this with a few books I haven’t read yet… Again, these are from the hardcover and the “Remastered Full-Color Edition” respectively.

“Sharp rocks dig into S.’s skin as he rests on all fours beneath a pier, coughing seawater.”

~Ship of Theseus, by V. Straka

~which is actually S., by JJ Abrams

“Of course she’s not there, but that doesn’t get me down. I’m still optimistic she’ll arrive.”

~House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski

S. is a difficult book to put to this test, because this is a book that is a story within a story. What that snippet comes from is the book by V. Straka… Not the annotations of these other characters from the JJ Abrams part of the book. And the whole story within a story has a feel of Inception to me, and that’s why I chose this book to read.

The House of Leaves is so difficult to determine from just that small piece. The page begins in the middle of a thought, but as this book is the most confusing book to read (according to the reviews on Amazon), it’s undetermined if following that sentence/thought would be helpful. Then the part where the snippet came from was in the middle of this guy’s dream and after dream experiences. It leaves one lost…so if it’s something you want to make sense of, you’ll read it. And if it’s so confusing you’ll never find your way out, you might skip it.

And lastly, I am going to try this with a few stories I’ve written…mostly out of my own curiosity to see what I’ve done and if it’s any good.

“Slow motion waves throughout the room as his hand reaches for the door knob, progressing frame by frame. Intense fear takes control immediately. The surge forces me through McClane, slamming the door shut.”

~Human Touch, a YA romance with a paranormal twist

 

“Everything I had been afraid of happening, was actually happening at that moment. I knew I couldn’t stay there. I managed to get up and stumble my way down to the gym floor. I brushed past Edward quickly as I made my escape.”

~It’s Been Ten Years, the first fanfic I wrote

“I ran my fingers through my hair as Sable came into view. Sitting with her… Well, fuck me sideways…”

~Life Imitating Art, an eromedy

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a little bias about my works. Human Touch is pure genius. I guess if I didn’t feel that way from my snippet, I’d have no business querying my story. Even if you all hate it, I love it. And I would read it. Probably pure bias on my behalf.

It’s Been Ten Years…oh, sigh. That little fic o’ mine. I look at it and love it because it got me back into writing. I look at it and cringe, because I know I can write better than that. I look at it and still think it’s mine no matter what. I own her. So, would I read it? I don’t know. Bella is running from Edward, while Jasper is holding Alice back from killing Edward. Very soapy. And, as it turns out, I do like a good sudsy drama from time to time. But off the snippet? I probably wouldn’t give it a read.

Life Imitating Art. That is the first line on page 69. The first moment my main character, an author,  sees the hottest man on the planet, even if he is her new editor that drives her mentally insane because he’s um-something years younger than her and thinks he knows it all when it comes to editing a book. Oh, something like this, to me, if I’m in that mood to read that kind of story…Yeah. Off that one line, I’d so read the pages bald. Again, I am sure there is a lot of bias in that statement.

I guess for me, I am either a make-up-my-own-story-that-I-want-to-read sort of person, or I really do prefer to judge a book by its cover–the images, colors, and synopsis. I think jumping into a page–69 or otherwise–is quite a dangerous thing. Especially for someone who hates spoilers…and what if the best thing of the book is happening on that page in that moment. It would suck to know that ahead of time.

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Filed under books that speak, on the book shelf, rêveur, read

I love some books to death.

What do I do with a book I really love?

I destroy it. In a sense.

Back when I was younger, I tried my dernedest to not bend the spines on my paperbacks. Pet Sematary and Misery were perfection when you looked at the spine, but to look at the covers…they were torn, barely surviving with the bends and so very loved. Back to the Future and Ferris Bueller books, too.

But then for a long while I just didn’t read but the random Stephen King book and some comics…mostly nerd into hero stuff. *sigh* But most stories just didn’t grab my attention.

Until I came upon a little movie I wanted to see. And this movie was a book before. But like I do, I wait until I see the movie before reading a book. Just because I know I’ll hate the movie…and I get character voices so I don’t have to listen to my own drone on and on as I read…The movie was Twilight. Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone has such a love/hate thing for that movie/book series. I don’t care what people say; for me, it opened a world.

I read those four books in four days. And of the four, my favorite is…

Something about Eclipse spoke to me. I can’t explain it. I could read that book every day and never get tired of it. There’s all sorts of back stories…so much going on in the story itself…Jasper got to have a voice. It made me want to read…and note…and draw…

It’s the first one I’ve actually loved to the point it’s falling apart. You could probably ask what page what event happened, and I’d flip through and find it through all my notations…and if I couldn’t find it, I’d make sure to mark it.

And then I saw a book at Costco. The Night Circus. It could have been the black and white cover or the premise, but something told me to buy it. It was added to my book collection. And one day, I was bored and decided to read it. And fell in love with a story that is just so different…and unique. And because I refuse to destroy a hardcover, I found a paperback version and removed all the pages to get the thoughts and feelings I had for this book. It had to be something different. Just like that story.

I’ve done art journaling on some of the pages. Others I have used ribbons and clear letters to convey the illusions going on in the story. Then there are the dimensional aspects of making something 3D with the words of the pages, my favorite being the Wishing Tree… I took the pieces of art–keeping them all with the black, white and red theme of the story–and put them into the hardback so as you read the story, you experience it visually as well.

one side of the card…

the reverse side of the card

close-up of the Eiffel Tower standee

front side of the postcard

reverse side of the post card.

I was thinking that when The Night Circus art is all said and done, I’d leave it somewhere for someone to find…to read for themselves and experience it as something not done before. (Yes, I know about S by JJ Abrams now…should have worked quicker on this.)

And now it’s Divergent‘s turn. I don’t know what it is about the trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, & Allegiant) that really just got into my head. I don’t know why I am so OBSESSED with Four/Tobias Eaton. I don’t know why I just adore everything he says. I do know, I love this book to pieces, although it doesn’t quite reflect that love yet. This is my art journal book. I’ve been underlining and doing notation like Eclipse, but I’ve also been drawing images and quotes like The Night Circus…And when it’s all said and done, I hope to have every page in color, the spine barely able to hold on, and the cover so loved and worn like a favorite sweater on a cold winter day.

choosing day – the bowls of the five factions.

There are many, many other books I have liked. Some I’ve loved. They’re even on my favorites list…but I only own one copy or they don’t evoke the need to notate, quote, image…And I can’t wait to meet the next one in this Bookish Love Life I’m living. What book will have me buying every format so I can keep one pristine, one read, and one über loved into pieces…being held together with rubber cement and rubber bands.

What books do you love beyond all others?

FOURGASM ALERT!!!— Next Tuesday…Four will be out! (Parts of the Divergent series told from Tobias’ POV!!!) I’m so dying. One week from today!

Books:
Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Divergent – Veronica Roth

art journaling supplies:
Faber Castell water color pencils and color pencils
pens – G2, Sharpie
Stencils – Christy Tomlinson, Balzer Designs, Crafter’s Workshop
stamps – Graphic 45, Pink Paislee, CTMH, Making Memories
stamp ink – Staz On in black, red, & grey
paints – Claudine Hellmuth, Twinkling H2Os
Washi tapes – Michael’s

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Filed under art journal, books that speak, having fun, inspiration, rêveur, read

Call me a rêveur…

rêveur – French noun for dreamer. Not French adjective for dreamy.

I am a dreamer. I think the majority of authors/musicians/actors/artists are. Without those dreams and imagination, stories would take you nowhere, repeating facts and random blather from your everyday life without a purpose, a deviation, something to make you hope for.

But, I am a rêveur in another sense. I am one of those people who have been enchanted by The Night Circus. (by Erin Morgenstern)
The following opinions/review/art are my own and belong to no one else.

So, I read this book a few weeks ago, and became enchanted. The characters, the story… it just kept you reading until you knew the final outcome. It left you wishing for more, although, you know there really is nothing left to say.

I would love to write like Erin Morgenstern. Her words are like poetry, her worlds imaginary grounded in realism. Just amazing.

Now, I understand that writing in her style isn’t me. I’m a talker and by association, my characters are talkers. My stories lie within the dialogue over the descriptions. I did read so many reviews (after I finished the story) and was sad to see that so many people didn’t love her descriptions. Without them, the story would have been boring or so confusing you wouldn’t know what was going on. She literally painted a picture in my mind with her words; I was almost there with them in the rings.

I know one other author (hi kiTT) who writes with such poetry… I am amazed every time I read something of hers. An honor and privilege. The writing always amazes me… and makes me a smidge jealous…

 To write like that… It’s something I dream about.

Poetic words dancing across a page, giving you the images of what is really there. Feelings and emotions that spur on the characters and you experience that through them. I know I can write. I know I can tell a compelling story (unless you all have lied to me). I know my words can bring about feelings and thoughts, but what I say never feels like it’s the poetic justice I’m looking for. Again, I think it’s a style thing and I am very comfortable in the style with which I write. I’ve been told it’s unique, and I don’t want to lose that.

What about you all? Are you settled with your style? Any advice on growing and trying out other styles of writing? Random thoughts?

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