Q – Quotes

a-to-z-letters-qAnother quick pause in my A to Z Challenge theme to bring you another cool blog tour.  This guest post includes another of my obsessions, quote.

Let me introduce you to Rebecca Berto.

Favorite quotes for writers and readers

We social media addicts are suckers for a good quote. From our favorite books. One of those inspirational pictures on Facebook. The right quote can make your day, and being the social media junkie I am, I have my favorite ones from books and writing in this guest post to get you going.

As the author of Drowning in You, I have many favorite quotes and snippets, but these are others I’ve collected and I hope they resonate with you, too.

I know. You’re welcome. Here you go:

“First drafts are like falling in love; you think everything is great. Second drafts are like marriage; you see all the faults.”

— Rebecca Berto

I came across these from Tweeters and still I cry, “YES!” when re-reading:

“Overly describing a passing character is like hiring a decorator for a hotel room you’ll only be staying the weekend.”

— @PureText

“Female PoV characters notice more facial expressions, male PoVs typically notice posture more.”

— ‏@RayneHall

And then there are my favorites from awesome authors that make me LOL:

“i have never regretted staying home with a book. i have often regretted having conversations with people.”

— @TaherehMafi

“I’m listening to that Mariah Carey song ‘Always Be My Baby’ because I need to unlock my inner-high school angst to write this book.”

— @MirandaKennealy

And, my bookish addicts, these are some from my favorite books:

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“He’s like a drug for you, Bella.”

— Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse

“The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss. Because if you’ve never felt anything when someone’s kissed you, then no one’s ever really kissed you. Not the way I plan on kissing you.”

— Colleen Hoover, Hopeless

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


DrowninginYouOn book quotes, I truly love those that are about love, but also the struggles in life. Drowning in You is the type of book that will take you on a journey of love and pain. I hope you can find a favorite quote from the novel as I have, too!


Camp NaNoWriMo Participant Interview Morgan Hyde

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.
Err… is this a bad time to admit I’m actually writing this for Camp NaNoWriMo? Which just happens to also be in June (and August!)? I hope not. I think both Camp NaNo and JuNoWriMo are awesome. Anything that gets people writing is!
Anyways, for my unspecified June novel writing challenge, I’m doing a rewrite of a YA fantasy story that began life during NaNoWriMo 2010. It’s called We Who Are About To Die (WWAATD), and I’m on my fourth full draft. This June, I’m making some of the biggest changes so far, re-focusing the story on my protagonist, and her personal growth. WWAATD is set in a world similar to ancient Rome, in a land with an insane king who has established blood sacrifice as the state religion. The story follows Renata, a wealthy farmer’s daughter, who tries to rescue her cousin from the High Priest, and ends up convicted of treason and sentenced as a gladiator. She must then learn to fight and face the loss of friends in the arena, eventually gaining the strength and skill to figure out how to save her cousin.
Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?
Nope. I’ve done NaNoWriMo three times in November, and this is my third Camp NaNoWriMo. Plus I’ve done Script Frenzy three times (once doing a movie version of WWAATD), and FAWM (February Album Writing Month) for the past three years as well. As a procrastinator, and someone who works well in high pressure situations, these challenges are an amazing resource to give me the motivation and community support that helps me finish projects. I’ve kind of become addicted!
What did you learn from the last challenge that is helping you with Junowrimo?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from all my ‘creativity with a deadline’ challenges is that the quality of my writing & storytelling drops as I speed up. But I’ve also learned that I can mitigate this loss of quality by having a rough plan in mind. For example, despite huge plot changes since draft #3 of WWAATD, I knew what a lot of the key story points would be ahead of time for this draft. I’m filling the time between the key points very differently, but (spoiler alert) I’m still killing off her boyfriend, and she’s still going to successfully rescue her cousin.
As well, albeit indirectly, participating in NaNoWriMo 2011 helped me figure out what needed to happen for this draft. In December, I posted in the forums, opening up WWAATD for critique, and to my surprise and delight, plenty of people were interested in reading it. The feedback I received from them was invaluable in shaping the changes I decided to make for this draft. Truly, one of the best things about NaNoWriMo-style events is the community. 
What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day?
My last exam (I’m a graduating senior in high school) was last Friday, so I’ve been writing 2000 to 3000 words per day since then in an effort to catch up. But I was extremely far behind before that, and I’ve been lazier than I should have (sleeping in, relaxing, enjoying NOT studying), so I’m still WAY behind. I’ve generally been writing in two separate sessions: one immediately after breakfast (around 11am) and one in the evening, sometime after 10pm.
Did you do any planning for Junowrimo? If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?
I didn’t do any planning specifically for this challenge, but I had accumulated plenty of notes and ideas for this draft, since I originally planned on finishing it this spring, not starting it in June! I basically had the existing drafts, a few specific major changes I knew needed to happen, and a general idea that the story needed to centre more on my protagonist. In writing this draft, as I make all sorts of changes (including a POV change to first person), I can feel the story becoming so much better than before, and that’s incredibly rewarding.
Although I didn’t have a detailed plan before June started, I’ve ended up with one since then, mostly by accident. Because this is June, and I was in school for most of the month, I wrote a lot during my spare, and so I decided to keep my novel in an Evernote note, accessible from my computer and online at school. This is a big change from my past habits of handwriting and later writing in Scrivener. As it turned out, having my entire novel in one document really helped me plan. When I wrote something that I wanted to reference later, I just added a line about it further down the page. When I got an idea for more plot, same thing. In this way, a novel plan now nearly 500 words long grew organically just below the text of my novel. It’s easy to change, easy to reference, and really helping me stay on track.
What is your word count as of June 28th?
32 000 words. I’ve never been this far behind so close to the end; I’m generally one of those annoying people who writes roughly 1667 words a day without fail and wins a day or two early. This month, I will be lucky to reach 50k. I’m still aiming to finish, but whether I win or not, I’ll be proud of what I’ve accomplished and happy to have a lot more novel than I did on June 1st.
We will forgive Morgan for not being a part of JuNoWriMo.  Any of us who take on the challenge to write 50,000 words in a month are all on the same side of crazy.  
Good luck with the rest of the challenge, Morgan!
For more information about Morgan, please visit her blog and follower her on twitter.  
Blog: onelifeglory.blogspot.ca
Twitter: @Amethystars

I Hope It’s Worth the Wait

Manners Pen Chameleon Birthday Thermometer

“I hope it’s worth the wait.” Emilynn said to John before he boarded the plane.  “It will be. Trust me.” John gave her a kiss.  It was a ‘I am going out for milk’ kiss, not a ‘I will be in Africa for 6 months’ kiss.  This was all new for us.

When he first told her about his plan, she was supportive.   She had to be.  It was the first time he had actually had the courage to do what he wanted.

Emilynn and John had grown up together.  They were elementary school sweethearts.  As long as she had know John, he had always been concerned with what others thought.

His friends used to tease him because he was the first one to get serious about a girl. So, he would down play their relationship in front of them.  But, Emilynn knew the truth.  John loved her since the second grade.

His mother thought he was to young to be so serious about a girl, so their plan to get married after high school were postponed.  “What was the hurry anyway, right?” John said. “We will be together forever.”

His dad wanted him be able to take care of himself before taking on a wife, so he enlisted in the army and the wedding was put off again.

It pained Emilynn to watch John change his own thoughts and beliefs much like a chameleon changed his colors to blend in with his environment.  John just wanted to please everyone.  He didn’t want to stand out.  He didn’t want the people he cared most about to be disappointed in him.

That was why this news was such a shock to everyone.  When he told his mom she went and got a thermometer to make sure he wasn’t sick.

The pressure from his family and friends and probably a little from Emilynn had been building up for a while.  The pressure finally forced John to take some time to decide what he really wanted for himself.  Why that had to happen all the way in Africa, Emilynn wasn’t quite sure.  But, it was what John needed to do.

John had told Emilynn on her birthday.  He was so excited.  Emilynn couldn’t help but be happy for him.

He had given her a pen.  “What is this for?” Emilynn asked.

“Write me.” He said.  He thought he was being clever.  They both loved the movie Say Anything, but John never did quite get the significance of why Diane gave Lloyd the pen.

She couldn’t fault him, though.  It would have been bad manners on her part.  He was trying.  And, she knew he needed this.  So, she was going to be supportive and wait. Wait for him to come back as the man she knew he wanted to be and not the man that everyone expected him to be.

Emilynn had been waiting all her life for John.  She was banking on the real him being worth the wait.

My Weekly Update – Just Write!


It was really all about writing last week.  I have been debating whether to release any excerpts from my WIP from Junowrimo.  But, it just isn’t ready yet.  Or, to be honest, I am not ready,yet.  However, to avoid being labeled a big tease, I will give you a little insight into my first novel.

Tentative Title:  I’m Coming Home

Main Character’s Loves and Hates:

Sydney Smith (I know, I really need to change her name.  This isn’t an autobiography. May change it to Emilynn) – More on her description later.

Loves:  writing, traveling, tattoos, mexican food and days where no one telling her what to do or asking her to do stuff for them.

Hates:  Negative people and people who make statements about people that sound like a compliment, but are actual an insult.  Ex: When Sydney ask her boss, Linda what she thinks for the new guy she meets, Linda said, “John is really friendly, he flirts with everyone.”

John Alexander Osha, IV – think of Bryan Greenberg’s character in Prime mixed with Jude Law charm (without the English accent)

Loves: computers, playing golf, watching basketball, hip hop and cute girls with tattoos

Hates:  Girls who don’t realize how amazing they are and people who have an over exaggerated sense of themselves.

Linda Ryder – Picture a mix of Chris Everett Lloyd’s athleticism on Kim Zolciak from Real House Wives of Atlanta body.  Fake hair included.

Loves: expensive stuff, young men, and being famous

Hates:  Buying things on sale, procratination in others (has no issue doing it herself), and people who don’t give her credit.

Trina Watson – Picture your best friend who always tells you the truth.

Loves: her cousin, telling the truth and alcohol which she can’t have because she is 5 months pregnant.

Hates:  Sydney’s boss, Linda

Alex James Ryder – good looking guy who doesn’t think he is (don’t you hate those types).  A voice of reason; clean cut golf pro type.  Addias golf shirt and pants by day.  T-shirts and cargo shorts by night.

Likes:  teaching golf, playing golf, talking about golf, watching golf, his friends and the F – word

Hates:  people who are dishonest and people who take life too seriously

Setting: New Orleans, Louisiana – specifically at a golf course and in several locations in the French Quarter

Genre:  I have no idea.  I do know it is not science fiction or horror. Two people fall in love in the midsts of some funny  situations and someone doesn’t want them to be together.  You tell me?

 Ok, that is all that I am authorized to reveal at this time.  Maybe more next week.

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

I decided to base a short story on my novel for Writer Wednesday Blog Hop that I may or may not incorporate into the story.  I received some great comments in regards to that story that I want to share.

Nicole had this to say – “Great post!!! And God I could relate. To the feeling she had about wanting to feel special to the early morning walk. I loved it!!
Anna said, “Your story gives me such a good feeling, almost like something beautiful is about to happen.  And of course, something does… I think I would love to read your novel if this is just an excerpt from it:)”
*I told Anna, she gets the first copy.  
Check out Carrie and Anna‘s take on the same photo prompt.  

Thanks so much for the great feed back.

New Followers

I wanted to say thank you to my new followers as well.  Go check out their sites, there is some great stuff out there in the blogesphere – the first time I have used that word.

Jenny Falls
Lime Bird Beth
The Phantom M-pire
Robert Medak
Wendy Lu
Ross Gale
Talin or Fali
The Phantom Child
Heaven for Earth
Maggie Mae
Texan as Kitchen

This Week’s Schedule

Monday – My Interview with JuNoWriMo host and participant – Anna Howard
Tuesday – Movie Quotes
Wednesday – Writer Wednesday Blog Hop
Friday – General Blog Post
Sunday – My Weekly Update

*And be sure click the Sydney Aaliyah Writes page for daily updates on my JuNoWriMo progress.

Let Me Tell You Why I’m Exhausted

Top 5 Reasons why after the week I had, I am Exhausted:  

  1. I am exhausted because for the first time in my life I wrote over 20,000 words of pure unadulterated creative fiction from my mind in 7 days.
  2. I am exhausted because instead of going to sleep at a decent hour, every night this week, I stayed up late to write.
  3. I am exhausted because in order to keep up with my peeps and tweeps, I have to communicate on “social media” at some ungodly hours.
  4. I am exhausted because my mind is constantly racing about what I am going to write about for the next 20,000 words of pure unadulterated creative fiction in the next 7 days.
  5. But, really, I am exhausted because one of my collegues took me to a jazz club last night And even though I was exhausted, I stayed for all 4 sets.  Whitney Houston, Anita Baker and Babyface songs with a jazz twist, I had no choice.  I had to stay.
CJW – Cigar, Jazz & Wine

And, to be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about this week. If being exhausted is the price I pay for doing what I love, then YAWN and bring it on.    

Quick Shout out to my new followers from a week ago:

1 EarthUnited
EM Castellan
Empty Coffee Cups
Anabel Mikolay
Sisi’s Blog
Hanna Pot
Elisabeth Crisp
Champagne Whisky Cigar
Life Coach Marie
Wonderful Cinema
Fu Only Knew

I will gladly continue to be exhausted for your reading pleasure.

FYI, by the time you read this, I will be asleep.  Talk to you tomorrow. I really am exhausted.