Tuesday, August 26, 2014

School's Back From Summer

The fall semester started yesterday. I'm such a nerd; I love the start of school. New beginnings. Blank notebook paper ready to be written on. Crisp textbooks I might have already peeked into. Fresh thoughts running through my head about what I'll learn and how it'll help shape my career. I might have even started a notebook just to write down career ideas, because I kind of have something in mind that is a little innovative. I think. I hope. I'm eager to explore it, either way.

I'm taking the next required library science course for my masters, which is about communication and technology. I used to think I knew a lot about technology. I knew a fair amount about computers and software. But new computers kept coming out, and they got small enough to be in a phone. And I didn't get a smartphone until ten months ago, so I'm still learning a bit about those. And I'm on social media, but I don't really know how to use it like I should. I neglect accounts for long periods of time, or just "lurk" instead of interact. I didn't know the definition of Web 2.0 until I read the course description... and I'm still not sure I really know.

My other course is Literature for Children and Young Adults, which, yay! I took a children's lit course as an undergrad because the school only offered one. This LS program offers many more, which is my concentration. I get to read 18 children's/young adult books for this course. I get to keep a review blog for those books, and instead of using a particular tag on this blog, I got excited for a fresh start. There's not much there yet, but you can check out How I Feel About Books throughout the semester. I think it's a blog I'll keep up as well; maybe I'll use it as a professional portfolio.

Will also started school yesterday. He's taking graphic design courses at the same school I went to for my degree, and is actually getting the same degree - print production. He'll be done with his coursework in a flash, because he already has an art degree, meaning his general courses carry over, and his art classes count as electives. All he has to complete here are the graphic design courses that will teach him the background, terminology, and software. He has one morning class, and the rest are in the evenings, which is nice because I can do my classwork online while he's doing his at school.

Baby T did not start school yesterday, thank goodness. I am nowhere near ready for that day. I love having him at home with me way too much to let him go. Which isn't to say he's not learning - we read to him every day and talk to him all the time. He "talks" back, and seems to enjoy some of the books more than others, which shows he's listening. He's learning to grab things and seems to realize his hands and feet belong to him. That might not be school-learnin', but it's plenty for him. And me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OVERPOWERED

If you haven't read Cheyanne Young's POWERED, you need to do so right now. Part two is available, and it's good.

I was lucky to be a beta reader for POWERED, so I was excited to read OVERPOWERED and share it on the blog. Cheyanne made up a world where humans are the basic beings. Supers have more power, and some Supers become Heroes after training. Get it? Supers are Heroes? Every time I made that connection in the book, I had to chuckle. I think the world Cheyanne created is witty and well-done; some books are too over-the-top, but this world is believable, and easy to imagine. Since I usually read "realistic" fiction, being able to believe the futuristic Super world was really important to me.


If you haven't yet read these books, be aware of minor spoilers ahead!


In POWERED, Maci Might became a Hero after a long struggle. Over time, her light hair turned dark, signaling evil blood. At the end of the book, she finds her twin - who has light hair. After Maci's boyfriend tests their blood, the twins realize Maci is actually evil, though she was raised in a good environment and acts good. Maci and Nova partner up in OVERPOWERED to try and figure out how humans have gotten Heroes power and take it like a drug.

I feel like my Goodreads review sums it up: Cheyanne Young does it again - writing a book that's light, funny, and suspenseful. This is the second installment of the POWERED trilogy, and I'm eager for the third. I really love Cheyanne's writing style, and the suspense isn't hokey to keep readers interested - it's well done and important to the story. The world she created is so vivid, I can picture the Supers in the cities and the transportation system. A lot of made up worlds can be over the top, but the world of humans, Supers, and Heroes is very well done.

I highly recommend you check out Cheyanne Young's ebooks. I've read more of her YA books and love them. Her characters are realistic and the stories pull you in. Start reading now - she's going places.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Writing Life (and writing vs. life)

Last week, I met with my writing partner for the first time since January. She came to my house to meet baby T and Will (I figured "my boy" and "the baby" would get a little confusing as the babe grows into a boy...). She had edits on an old story for me, and I had edits on something new for her. Will brought in a piece of flash fiction so she could get a sense of his writing style. We talked about what we'd be writing next. 

She wants me to write about my pregnancy and/or birth. Which I'm fine with. I didn't enjoy pregnancy but I don't mind talking about prenatal depression. And I loved the birth, so I'd like to write about that. But I don't know what the story would be. 

I want to write stories. I used to have so many ideas that I couldn't finish one without starting another. Now I don't have ideas, and I can't pick up where I left off on older story bits. I'm not even writing nonfiction, lately. It's frustrating, but I feel like there's an easy solution - I just can't reach it. 

I wish I was writing more, but I can't complain. My writing partner, after meeting my family and touring the house, said "Looks like you're living the dream." And I am. I'm spending time with baby T and loving every minute of it. I'm watching him learn and reading about what I can do to enrich that process. I'm taking advantage of the break between semesters to read for fun and be with Will. I'm starting to cook again, and not worrying about clean floors and dusty shelves.