friday5 for November 16, 2012

Let's be honest here, I haven't spent a lot of time around the web this week. When I haven't been busy with life things, my attention has been squarely on all things NaNoWriMo.

I'm not "on target" according to the 50k standard, but I am keeping a good pace and more importantly, I'm happy with what I'm writing.  It feels like it's going somewhere (most of the time) and as I knew would happen eventually (even as I navigated those first, scary, very-loosely-outlined chapters), my characters are now telling me what's up. Their voices are distinct, their motivations are clear and I have a very good feeling about where things are headed.

...But I'm not where I "should be" in terms of word count. At first I started to feel stressed about that, but then I re-read some of the NaNo posts I've linked to recently, and I reminded myself that 30-35k of a book I can polish into something publishable is worth far more to me than 50k of a book that goes off in the wrong direction and has no substance. There is absolutely a place for NaNoers (or Wrimos as we're apparently called) who are primarily concerned with quantity over depth, but I'm just not one of them (I say depth rather than quality because sometimes the quality/potential is evident--it's the layers nobody has time for). And maybe that means I'll never be able to "win" NaNo (at least not while I have a baby). I can live with that. I have my own goals for the month--and while one of them is to get a lot of words on the page, a more pressing one is to spend quality time with my daughter as I find my maternity leave disappearing before my eyes.

That's all a long way of saying I don't have my usual variety of links for this week's friday5 so instead, here's a rapid-fire publishing/nano edition of the friday5!

1. It's that time again--best book of the year lists are popping up everywhere. Amazon's Best Teen Books list has pointed out just how little time I've had to read for pleasure this year. I don't know much (anything) about batting averages, but I'm only batting 4 out of 20 (convert that into whatever makes sense, sports fans!). Do I get bonus points for having read the #1 book? No? Because John Green is amazing and how could anyone not read his books? Okay, fine.

2. Another great post by Beth Revis as she live-blogs a day in the glamorous NaNo life. Doesn't it feel good to know you aren't the only one shopping online when you should be writing? Hey, at least I'm chipping away at my holiday gift list...

3. Okay, this is only semi-publishing related, but Deadline is reporting that they're narrowing in on an actor to play Four in the Divergent film franchise. Going purely off looks (because I have no clue who any of these guys are), Jack Reynor is my top pick. Luke Bracey is second. Brenton Thwaites is not how I picture Four at all (that guy looks like he should be on the Disney channel) and Lucas Till is even further from how I picture Four. So Jack Reynor for the win!!! (even though I'm basing this solely on thumbnail pictures of these guys...)

4. Scholastic is being awesome by donating one million books to schools and libraries that were affected by superstorm Sandy. Very cool of them. Yes, moves like this are good PR, but that doesn't mean they aren't also good deeds. This is about getting books to kids. They can have all the good PR they want.

5. Of course I can't leave out my YA book rec of the week! For those who've read the first two books in Allie Condie's dystopian Matched trilogy, book three, Reached, is out (and somehow managed to make it onto that Amazon Best Teen Books list I mentioned above, even though the book had only been out for one day when the list was posted...). I haven't read these books (yet!) so I'm not really in a position to talk about book three excitement (yet!). Instead, let's take a look at Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara. You're probably learning by now that I'm a sucker for a gorgeous cover and oooh! look what we have here:
I'm not ready for real snow, but this I can get behind.
A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it. Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.

Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.
ummary from
Many of the reviews are calling it "lovely, dark and deep" so I guess the title did its job :) But seriously, I always think of myself as primarily a reader of paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian YA, but then I find myself drawn to contemporaries. Especially literary ones like this. The plot doesn't sound revolutionary, but when a story is beautifully told, it's worth hearing again. Plus, it's a debut and debuts are always worth a read--not only are you in a good position to discover a new favourite author, you're giving new authors the much needed support they've worked extremely hard for. Win-win!

Was this post actually shorter than a normal friday5? I'm pretty sure it wasn't... Oh well! Happy weekend!