Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Finals Week!

I love December.

Christmas season has to be the best, with all the decorations and cookies and parties.  It's always a fun time for me and my family, and I enjoy it every year.

But there's one part I don't enjoy - finals.  I took my last test this morning, and I have to admit, it was not a fun last three days.  So, since my classes end a week or so before everyone else, I thought I would take a minute to wish everyone luck.

As much as I do like school (because I'm weird like that, no shame), tests aren't fun.  For anyone.  So, if you're taking finals over the next week or so, feel free to leave a comment and I'll pray for you.  Cause we probably all need some prayers this time of year...right?

I'm hoping I can start posting more once my break starts at the end of this week!  I know I haven't been the best lately...since it's been about four gets in the way, I suppose.  So frustrating.

Abigail :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Random Grammar Post

Which looks right?

A. I didn't know who I could trust.

B. I didn't know whom I could trust.

The first looks right but the second is actually grammatically correct.

Go figure.

Friday, May 31, 2013

What Star Trek Taught Me About Science Fiction

Note: no movie spoilers will be included in the following post.  And if you don't enjoy science fiction, feel free to skip over this post :)

So I went and saw Star Trek: Into Darkness with my dad a week or so ago.  It was great and I really enjoyed it, so if you haven't seen it and enjoy action movies, I would definitely recommend it.

But it got me thinking.  Most good movies do, because I like to take my opinion of it and, as a writer, use it to my advantage.  Simply put, if I enjoy a movie, I try to pinpoint why  I enjoyed it, and use those strengths and ideas to improve my writing.  If I didn't like or, or didn't like some aspects of it, I'll figure out why those scenes or ideas damaged the overall plot, and I'll try not to bring that out in my writing.

However, this movie got me thinking for a whole other reason.  Before I launch into my explanation, let it be said that I'm a die-hard science fiction fan. I love it.  It's probably my favorite genre to both read and write.

There are multiple science fiction series out there that have succeeded, and all for a good reason.  The main series' that come to mind are Star Wars and Star Trek.  These two major series have had tons of books and movies and TV episodes that stemmed from their basic concepts.  I thought it for a while, and realized it's just because there's so much to tell.

For example, Star Wars is about an entire galaxy.  Sure, it generally follows the life of the Skywalker family, but it can be easily expanded.  With an idea and concept that big, it's not difficult for hundreds of books to be written about it.  But each book doesn't tackle every character and every conflict.  No, instead it narrows down to smaller plots - usually with one main villain and one main objective.

Science fiction concepts are so large, but books have to narrow down the plot.  It's tempting, while writing scifi, to try to describe what happens to everyone in the world.  That's why I think the most important thing to remember when writing is tell what needs to be told to move the story along, and nothing more.  The viewer/reader doesn't need to know everything - just what's important.

At the same time, you can't underexplain.  I had no previous knowledge of Star Trek before seeing the two new movies, and I was able to completely understand most of the movie.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have to find a balance.  If you tell too much, the story will get too complicated and confusing, and if you tell too little, it will be too confusing in a while different way.

Balance is extremely important in writing, and I guess that's what I'm learning through this whole process :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Random Blogging - Gas Stations

Uh, yeah, please excuse the random title.  It was all I could think of while trying to write a blog post because I really really need to blog more...But instead of trying to make excuses for how crazy life is or whatnot, I'll just try to come up with something worth reading.  And that may contribute something to your day, but I know that's a long shot.

First things first, I had my first experience at a gas station in my car by myself.  It wasn't as much scary as humiliating because I honestly had no clue what I was doing.  Well, I mean, I knew how to pump gas because I've done it before, but as far as all the logistics and everything else about a gas station?  Yeah, well, my attempt was most definitely a fail.

I forgot which side of the car the gas tank was, and when I realized that I had the wrong side, after I'd already turned the car off and gotten out, people had already noticed.  Yeah.  I'm sure I looked amazing, searching the wrong side of my car...

So, after pulling around the station about ten times, I finally found a spot with the tank on the right side.  But after I swiped my card and attempted to pump gas, letters flashed up on the screen saying that this pump was out of gas, which I didn't even know was possible.

So I was onto my third pump, hoping this time I'd finally get it right.  But of course it couldn't be that easy.  Even thought it worked, the latch on the handle of the pump was broken, and I had to stand there holding the trigger down the entire time.  Finally, I had filled the tank with gas.  Then my receipt wouldn't print, which I guess isn't that much of a big deal, but it frustrated me.  So when I was fumbling around trying to find the "print" button, I accidentally hit the "assistance" button for handicapped people.  By this point I was running twenty minutes late, so I got in my car and hurried off before causing myself to become victim to any further embarrassment.

 And because of this ordeal and traffic, I got home a half-hour late, thus making myself late to my soccer game.  Yeah.  Guess I'm just that amazing, that I can't even go to the gas station without having a problem.

And I'm sure this will be funny someday, but it sure wasn't two days ago when it all happened.

Too bad real-life experiences don't translate well into writing, right? Because this story, as hilarious as it may be, probably wouldn't be that entertaining in a book.  Oh, the irony...

Anyway, since I had so much fun writing this post, I'm going to start a new thing just called "Random Blogging" where once a week I just get on and talk about whatever is going on, whether it's a funny life story or something that I want to talk about.  I don't even know.  Guess the only way is to try it and see what happens, right?

- Abigail

Monday, May 6, 2013

Team Novel Teen Blog Tour - Storm by Evan Angler

In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.
Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

In Storm, Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it’s difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren’t sure if Logan’s sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis’ army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation—and the world—the weather has become less stable and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.

I really did enjoy this series, and I felt that this book was the best of them all.  The multiple points of view didn't distract me in this one, as I felt that the author only wrote about the characters most important to this story.  In fact, it was neat to get inside several of the character's heads and see what they thought about everything.

The best part about the final book is how much the characters have grown and changed.  It's always great to look back at book one and see the differences in personality and actions.  Many questions I had from the previous book were answered and that was satisfying.

There were several things that I didn't care for, however.  One was the backstory from all the different characters. My opinion of it was that if I already heard it from one person,  I didn't need to hear the same story again.  The other thing is that the book just....ended.  I guess there was a resolution, but it felt like I needed more answers! I needed a sudden turn of events.  Maybe it's just me, but that annoyed me more than anything.

But in conclusion, this is a great book and I really enjoyed it.  I know the Swipe series is written for middle-grade readers, but I'm a teen and it still captivated me, even though the characters were all about thirteen.  If you haven't read this series yet, pick it up and give it a try!  You won't be disappointed.

Fun stuff:
Evan Angler's blog:
Book Trailer:
Buy Storm on Amazon:
Link to my review of book one, Swipe
Link to my review of book two, Sneak

Other reviewers:
ADD Librarian • Blooming with Books • The Book Fae • Book Nook 4 You • Bookworm Reading  • Christian Book Review Blog • Christian Bookshelf Reviews • CTF Devourer •  Jill Williamson • Labor Not in Vain • The Life of a Teenage WriterThe Maniacal BookwormOh, Restless Bird • The Ramblings of a Young AuthorRealm of HeartsShadow Writer WorldA Slightly Nerdy BookwormWho YA Reading?Worthy2Read

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Sneak by Evan Angler by clicking on the links above, and check out for more information about Team Novel Teen. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers, however, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.