Monday, January 16, 2017

Not Just Reading Books but Writing

Over the years, I've read a lot of books. I love reading. Once a book draws me in, I could sit all day and read it until I finish it. For the past few years, I had toyed with the idea of writing a book. I just couldn't decide what I would write about. Then of all days on the day of my wedding rehearsal, I was telling my bridesmaids about this idea I had about what I would do in a disaster. Then it hit me. That's what I could write my book about. This crazy idea of sitting down and actually writing a book didn't seem so crazy anymore. I had the idea and I could move forward now.

After my wedding and after getting some rest, I sat down and actually started writing my book. The first few chapters flowed easily and came naturally to me. It was like it had been in my head all along. Then about half way in the hard part came. I hit a major writers block. I knew how I wanted my story to go but I couldn't think how to continue. I didn't know how to get them to the end. It was the in between that was hard. I keep going though. I wouldn't write everyday because honestly some days I couldn't. I would be tired from working or I would have things I needed to go out and do. Then of course, I had my ornament business and traveling for work.

I started writing my book at the end of December 2015. Once June came around I was more than 50% to my final word count goal. Then I slowed down some. I had told the majority of my plot and just needed how to end the book. I wanted it to end on a cliff hanger but wasn't for sure how I really wanted it to end. So a few more weeks passed by on the calendar and I still hadn't finished it. Finally in November after Thanksgiving, I finished the book. I got to my final goal word count. What I'm learning now is that writing the book might have been the easiest part of this entire process.

At the start of December, I started looking into how to go about getting published. I know a lot of people promote self publishing but that's not the route that I would like to go. I want a company to buy my book and publish it. So I started the next step in making that happen. A lot of the big book publishers wont just take your book, read it and then publish it. You need to have an agent who can submit it to them so I started looking into literary agents. To get an agent you need to Query them. So you have to have a query letter, often a synopsis and your biography. So I started working on those items. Then finally I started submitting my work to literary agents.

It's been a month now I'm still in the process of trying to find an agent. I was told by someone I know who has a literary agent to query several and then query more as you get rejections. And yes before you ask.... rejections are very common. Currently, I've queried about 38 agents and I've got about 8 rejections. Thankfully the agents haven't been like YOU SUCK GIVE UP! They've just said my work isn't the right fit for them. So the hunt continues. I like to say that I have a lot of irons in the fire. Once of them is going to come out hot!

I know that this year, I will find a literary agent. Someone who believes in this book and knows that they can sell it. I want to get a literary agent, put the finishing touches on my book and sell it to a big publishing house and see my name on the front of a big in print! I can feel it! I know it can happen. Look at all the people who have written a book and got it published.

You have to ask. believe and receive. That's exactly what I'm doing! I'm believing that an agent is going to snatch my book up to get published. I'm ready to receive it! I'll keep you updated on the process. In the meantime, I'm just over here becoming my own Joan Wilder!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Two Movies for Tonight

 
Looking for something to watch tonight? Time is precious and you don't want to spend time searching for a movie to only be disappointed with it in the end. So that's why I've brought you two movies for tonight. The movies I review here give you an idea of what's good to watch any time you want to quickly get a movie and start watching it. This week I'm giving you two movies that are totally worthy of your time. 

The first movie...Snowden.

Honestly, I had no interest in watching this movie but my husband wanted to see it so we did. As I started watching the movie, I got more and more into it. When the real life incident was taking place, I remember it being on the news and I remember everyone saying what a criminal Edward Snowden really was. Besides that I didn't know a lot about what he had done and the situation. I watched the movie and was completely blown away. Not about what he did but how the media covered it. First let's talk about what he did. He took NSA information outside of the agency and shared it with the world. Yes, it was considered spying but no agent was harmed. Why did he do it? To expose the fact that the NSA and other agencies were listening in on Americans who weren't doing anything wrong.

The movie follows the personal life and career of Edward Snowden. It shows he came to the position that he was when he took the information outside of the agency. It also shows the life he was having with his girlfriend Lindsey Mills. It shows their worldwide romance and constant battle of him not being able to talk about his work at all with her. It also shows the real Snowden and his reasoning behind his actions.

I highly suggest watching this. If you only watched some news coverage or even if you feel like you knew a lot about the events, watch it. You might learn something or find an opinion on the subject. For me, it made me really look at the media differently.

The second movie...Tarzan.

This Tarzan is a new twist on the Legend of Tarzan. Set in the late 1880s, Tarzan has been living out of the jungle and in England with his bride Jane. When a man from America named George (Samuel L. Jackson) asks him to go to the Congo with him in searching of rumors he's heard of people being taken into slavery, Tarzan agrees. Tarzan quickly learns that his old rival Mbonga, has hired a high ranking British official Leon,  to bring him back to the Congo. What he'll get for delivering Tarzan is diamonds.

Jane is quickly taken hostage by Leon and separated from Tarzan. He must find a way to get her back. The only way is to trek through the dangerous jungle. Refusing to leave his side George follows him into the jungle is taken on the ride of his life. Tarzan enlists the help of every animal he's ever met to get Jane back. Meanwhile Jane and Leon on traveling down the river in the Congo getting closer and closer to Mbonga. You'll have to watch to find out if Tarzan can get Jane back and if they'll make it out of the Congo once again.

I thought this was an interesting twist on a story that's been told over and over again for the ages. I thought the interaction with the animals was life like and the scenery of the jungle was breathtaking.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

5 Streaming Finds

The winter break from cable television shows allowed us to catch up on some old favorites that came back for new seasons on Netflix and Amazon Prime. It also afforded us with the luxury of trying out some new shows. Here's five great finds that are available for your streaming pleasure. So if you find yourself sitting on the couch and having nothing to watch check out any one of these picks and you won't go wrong.

Amanda Knox
This is the documentary that Netflix put together. It features interviews by the major players in the real life story of Amanda Knox. Don't know who that is? Amanda Knox is an American who was studying abroad in a tiny town inside Italy. A few weeks into her study abroad her roommate (whom she had only known the time she was in Italy) was found brutally murdered inside their home. After a few days Amanda and her boyfriend (of only 5 days) were both arrested for her murder.

I remember her being on the news but I never really followed the trial or the story. When we sat down and watched the documentary, I instantly thought she was guilty. She does seem like she could be a psychopath (which she says in her own words) or she was cornered and labeled a killer when really she wasn't. As I watched I went from thinking she was crazy to just some young girl who was wrongly accused. Watch it and decide for yourself.

Paranoid

I can't remember if I'm mentioned this show but either way I'm giving it a plug. This was an 8 episode mini series centering around the murder of one woman in a smaller town outside of London. It turns out it doesn't matter where you are because small town crimes can lead to big time corruption. BBC has been turning out some majorly good television and this show is no exception. I'm hearing rumors their going to come back for a season two and I'm desperately hoping those rumors are true.

The Crown
 
Who doesn't love a little good British history? If you've followed the modern royal family over the years with Princess Diana, Prince Charles and all of his debacles or the fabulous Prince William and Kate then you will find this show on Netflix especially good. In The Crown, we see what it was like when Queen Elizabeth II came to be on the thrown and how she handled coming to power. This show is entertaining and historically correct in many aspects. I'm about half way through the season and it's great.

The Man in the High Castle Season 2
Streaming on Amazon Prime, season two just went live in November. To say that I was excited for it's release was an understatement. I have been waiting since last November for season two. I can't get enough. I might even read the book that the show is based on. While America is no longer America, citizens live in a world where we lost the war. Nazi's control the east coast and the Japanese control the west coast. However, there is a small resistance trying to bring America back to what it was.

I know Nazi's are bad but I desperately want Nazi Joe to be with Julienne Krane. I mean he can't be all that bad if he's upset with the Nazi government for killing innocent people?

The Fall Season 3

If you haven't watched season 1 or 2. Then stop reading this and go rectify that. Season 1 and 2 were great. Each episode was leave you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what was going to happen next. In season three.... honestly I was really disappointed. BUT it finished the show. We knew going into season three that this was going to be the final season and it was only 5 episodes. The five episodes put closure on all of the story lines but it wasn't highly entertaining like the previous seasons. I enjoyed it but I was sad it didn't have the same spark that the first seasons brought.

What are streaming? What should I add to my list?