There are lots of places I’d love to visit, so I was trying to think of something unique for this blog hop. And that’s when I thought of this.
I would love to spend a week (or whatever) living in a castle. A real castle that is hundreds of years old. I’m not picky, there are many castles I would try, but I can’t list them all. So here are a few. Oh, and I’m not going off interesting history or anything, I’m just going off looks. And I’m pretty sure they aren’t really open for tourists to live in, but I can dream. This is the Dream Destination Blog Hop after all.
All these pictures came from a website and were taken by different photographers. Go here to check them out.
One of my top picks:
Chenonceaux in France. Built over a river. Is there anything cooler than that? No! The setting is one of pure relaxation. This place is gorgeous. And I actually got to visit it years ago. Of course that was probably a 3 hour tour. I want to stay at this place for a week. Perhaps a month. Or more.
Can you imagine sitting under a tree, looking up at this place and writing? I could. And I’m pretty damn sure I’d love it.
Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany comes a close second. This is so totally beautiful, sticking up above the trees. And sleeping up in one of those spires… a dream come true.
Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Look how tall this castle is. I so want to go up into those spires, or that little balcony right in the middle. Definitely cool.
Chambourd in France. Can you say ah-mazing. This place is gigantic. You could get lost in it for days. This too was a place I once got to visit, but I’m sure we saw like oh—5% of the chateau because again… it’s hute!
Alcazar in Spain. This place is stunning. And look what’s behind the castle. Even more stunning beauty. (If you can’t really tell from the picture, it looks like snow capped mountains.) Would love to go here.
Strecno Castle in Slovakia. Sure this place looks like it’s just ruins, so maybe a weeks stay would not work. But look at those rocky cliffs and all the trees. Think of all the ghosts possibly roaming around. I’d love to visit this place.
Bodiam Castle in England. A fortress. Stocky and imposing. Awesome.
What an amazing opportunity it’d be to visit these places and sit and write. And write. And write. They totally fit my definition of a dream destination.
So what about you? What’s your dream vacation spot? And have you ever been to any real castles?
Welcome to the Big Reveal
I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
have a new question for them.
. Where do you usually write? What’s your ideal setting to write in?
I have a home office, and to write I really need everyone out of the house. I don’t mind background noise like the washing machine, but I can’t have people around at all. Not even if they’re being quiet. My favorite thing, though, is to take a writing trip away somewhere and hole up and be alone for a couple weeks.
I usually write in either the rocking chair in our living room, or at the dining room table. (Both spots are close enough to plug in my laptop.) It’s rarely quiet when I write, usually there are kids running around, interrupting me. My ideal setting would be . . . hmm, can I say a cute, quiet cottage in England just because that’s somewhere I’d like to go? The spot doesn’t really matter to me. I just need more time.
I currently have my own writing office tucked in one end of the house away from all the chaos. I know, spoiled much? Music is a must! The M83 station on Pandora is my favorite, although I’ll also build playlists for certain books. And Diet Coke. Always Diet Coke. My dream is to one day have my own, private, secret garden with a water feature and rustic walls and planters surrounding me…overflowing with fragrant and sprawling greenery. Sigh.
I don’t really have one place I write, it changes a lot. One thing that doesn’t change is that it has to be quiet. If it’s noisy at all I can’t concentrate. My dream place to write wouldn’t be anything fancy, it’d just distract me. I’d be thrilled to have some place comfortable and quiet, wherever that may be.
Julie Sondra Decker
I’m lucky because my favorite setting to write in is the one I’ve actually got. It involves sitting at home at my desk using my desktop computer. I need silence–no music, no annoying noises outside, and there BETTER not be anyone trying to talk to me. (I live alone so usually that’s not a problem.) I usually do have a drink to sip on but I don’t eat while writing. (Sometimes I forget to eat all day.) Ideally in the future I might like to do some writing on a porch, though, if I ever have a house with an open-air screened-in porch (and a laptop computer, which I don’t own). It’s really refreshing to be outside with a coffee and bright light and a breeze.
I usually write in my bedroom, on my bed. It’s the most comfortable place in my house, so it’s where I always go to work. Setting depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes I need music or the background noise of the TV, but if I’m writing something with lots of emotion, I need quiet. The best place I’ve ever written was in a hotel bar, overlooking the sea. If I could write there always, I’d be VERY happy!
I have a home office space. For editing I need silence and for drafting and revising I listen to my favorite music. I have water or Coke on my desk most of the time. I’d love to write in a cabin by a lake and mountain one day. That would be a great view.
Where do you write?
I’m having technical difficulties w/my blog, so I apologize if the home page looks weird. Waiting for support to return my e-mail.
If you haven’t read any Kelley York books yet, you’re totally missing out. She writes emotionally charged contemporary young adult novels that you must read. She has a new story coming out this winter, and you should definitely add it to your to-read list.
All London Noble wanted out of her senior year of high school was anonymity. The complete opposite of Jasmine, her emotionally unstable baby sister, London has worked hard to stay out of the spotlight.
Then she discovers that Wade, one of the most popular guys in school, is gay like her and their new-found closeness based around their shared secret has half the student body convinced they’re hooking up…and a lot of girls aren’t happy about it. Rumors are flying about “Dirty London” and her inability to keep her clothes on, and London is pretty sure she’s developing a crush on the only girl who sees through it all.
If she could admit why stealing boyfriends is the last thing on her mind—not to mention find out what’s going on with Jasmine and her rapidly disappearing psych medications—her life would be a much brighter place. But if her and Wade’s truth gets out, and if she doesn’t find a way to help her sister, London faces losing a lot more than her obscurity.
Release date: February 2014 (tentatively)
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Kelley York was born in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, step-daughter, and cats, while fantasizing about moving to England or Ireland. She has a fascination with bells and animals, is a lover of video games, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or to at least write about them.
Kelley is a sucker for dark fiction. She loves writing twisted characters, tragic happenings, and bittersweet endings that leave you wondering and crying. Character development takes center stage in her books because the bounds of a person’s character and the workings of their mind are limitless.
I’m having technical difficulties w/my blog, so I apologize if the home page looks weird. Waiting for support to return my e-mail.
I thought this Pitch Wars Mentee Bio Bloghop thing looked kinda fun, so I figured I’d better jump right in. Check out Dannie Morin’s site for the linky list of other participants.
For Pitch Wars I submitted my young adult novel, VARYING DEGREES OF BLAME. And yes, it is complete, around 56,000 words. It’s a dual point of view, told by a boy and a girl. There’s some romance, but that’s not the story. There’s bad parents… and there’s good parents. There’s a girl who is motivated to avoid the mistakes of her mother. And there’s a boy who grows and learns how to forgive.
So if any of the mentors I submitted to stop by, here is why you should pick me.
1. I picked you, so obviously I have good taste.
2. I wrote my story for NaNo. That’d be NaNo 2012, so don’t worry, it’s been critiqued and revised before you. And I so want to add my name to that NaNo page where it shows published NaNo books.
3. I’ve written more than 1.4 million words (in novels) and I’m ready for that next step. (Agent. Publisher. Movie Rights. Becoming the next JK Rowling, except for contemporary young adult.)
4. I am very open to hearing all your comments and suggestions. Even though I’ve written a bunch and have queried 2 other novels, I am quite aware that I do NOT know it ALL. And I’m always wanting to learn more.
5. I hate querying, and I would be forever thankful to you if you help me find an agent via this contest so I don’t have to query.
6. I think it’d be so cool to be a Pitch Wars Mentor. And being chosen by you, and then picked up by an agent and publisher would be the best way to assure an invite for me to be a mentor for Pitch Wars next year.
7. And last but not least, I’ve got a terrific story with characters I love, and I want the world to love them too.
So those are a few reasons why you should pick me.
Now on to the more boring stuff which you can probably find on other pages of my site, but I’ll summarize right here.
-I mostly write contemporary young adult. I’ve also done some new adult/adult, but have always stuck to contemporary.
-I like writing about people with problems. But I like happy endings too.
-I am also a mom.
-I am also a civil engineer. (Hence the Literary Engineer title)
-I have a husband, a dog, and 2 kids.
-I love to write. (Yes, big surprise.)
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out some of the other mentees by clicking on the link above.
A few weeks ago I talked about cleaning up my Kindle, including getting rid of stuff I’d gotten for free, but now know I’ll probably never read. And I did some organizing by creating several collections (folders).
-Short stories/novellas (because when I want something short, it’s easy to find)
-Books on writing (it’s good to reference these every once in a while)
So proud of myself. But also kicking myself for not doing this long ago.
Now on to Goodreads. I look at reviews of course, but I haven’t used it much other than my to-read and read list. And really, I just add books to my to-read list, I don’t have them in any order.
But now I’ve realized I should be using GR to categorize books I want to read, because I so often forget what’s waiting to be read. So I set up a folder to show these to-read books
-Books I can get at the library, whether e-book or real.
-Short stories/novellas on my Kindle
-Novels on my Kindle
-Books (real) I own
This will help me better keep track of what’s available, because my to-read list includes many books that aren’t currently available to me. (Mostly because I’m not ready to buy them, cause you know… I got too many books waiting to be read and don’t need to buy more.)
So do you use the categories on Goodreads for more than just to-read and read lists? What categories have you set up?
I apologize if the blog looks goofy. I’m trying to figure out why this is happening.
Today I’ve got someone fun here to talk about writing novellas versus novels. Rachel Schieffelbein just released her second novella, Run for the Roses, a super-sweet fun story that takes place during a horse showing competition.
So I’ll turn it over to Rachel now, and then you can see more about her story at the end. Welcome Rachel.
Suzi asked me to talk some about writing novellas, what I like about them, which is easier-novels or novellas, and other such things.
First off, as far as which is easier, I think it just depends on the writer. For me writing novellas and short stories has been easier, I like to keep things focused and get to the point. But I know others who have a hard time keeping their word counts short enough for novels even, so it all depends.
I’m not going to lie, one of the reasons I enjoy writing novellas is that they are faster. There’s never any instant gratification in the world of writing, but novellas get you there faster. It’s like knitting a washcloth versus knitting a blanket. Sometimes you just need a project you can finish.
I do have a few novels I’m working on as well, and it has definitely been fun filling out the characters and storylines a lot more. When you have characters you love, it’s really nice to get to spend more time with them. But I will continue writing novellas and short stories as well, when I’m just not in the mood to knit a whole blanket.
I wrote one NA novella, but right now it’s just sitting, tucked away into a deep dark folder on my computer. Sometime it may see the light of day, when I have time to get there. But I think I’d enjoy writing novellas. Just haven’t had any ideas except for that first one.
Thanks, Rachel, for stopping by. And now, here’s all the info on Rachel’s newest release.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Run for the Roses by Rachel Schieffelbein
Published by Swoon Romance
Abigail Conrad has spent her whole life training for one goal: to win the roses at the Arabian Youth Nationals. She’s given up friends, a social life, and doesn’t have time to even think about guys — much less date!
Now that she’s headed off to college in the fall, it’s her last chance to be a Youth National Champion, and she won’t let anything distract her from that dream.
Except maybe Chase, the older brother of Abigail’s biggest rival. He’s charming, funny, and possibly Abigail’s biggest problem. How can she focus on riding when her mind keeps wandering to Chase’s green eyes and confident smile?
With her dream on the line, Abigail had better learn to fight her growing attraction to Chase, or she might end up losing the roses and the guy.