Adventures in Travel

I just got back from a pretty amazing trip,1 but as much fun as I had getting away from the snow, I’m not going to go into the vacation stories. No, see, something you should probably know is that I have interesting2 travel luck. And this trip had something very specific that caused a lot of trouble.

United Airlines.

Some of you have heard the story of my getting stranded on the East Coast a few years ago because of them. I was never going to fly with them again, but the folks I was traveling with insisted it would be fine this time around. And there was a plan! I would head down to Portland, meet up with one of my friends, and we’d meet up with another one at the layover in Chicago. It should be fine.

Except the flight was delayed by an hour. And the layover was an hour. But we were assured that we would make that connecting flight and got our seats bumped up so that we could get off the plane quicker and make that transfer. United said everything would be all good. We figured it would be fine.

We touched down in Chicago and immediately got in touch with our friend on the other plane. As we were taxi-ing around before stopping so we could get off, we found out that they had already given our seats away. We finally stopped and tried to get off as quickly as we could. Us and about four other people ran to the next gate to try and still make the flight.

We watched the plane leave.

Customer service was pretty miserable. While we were landing, there were customers with another flight with a short transfer who had been assured that the plane was waiting for them3 and we were told when we were ushered to the long line of United customers now stranded in Chicago from other flights that they never held flights.  I realize customer service front line folks have no control over anything, but it would certainly help if they weren’t all so damn smug about us getting stranded and missing flights after we’d been assured we would make them. Or if they didn’t all go for their breaks at the same damn time which meant that all of us who could have been put on other flights to make our trips missed those options.

And so we were routed through Houston. Three hours of flight, followed by three hours of sleep4 and we eventually made it onto a flight to Orlando. A day late, a day of parks missed, United unwilling to do a damn thing about the trouble. They offered food vouchers that don’t even work on their planes.

It’s a better ending than the last time, but I’m hoping this is the absolute last time ever with United. They may not have stranded me this time, but it’s clear that they are still absolutely terrible.

  1. DISNEY WORLD AND UNIVERSAL []
  2. terrible []
  3. I think they were heading to Denver? []
  4. With another couple hours somewhere in there of trying to figure out where our luggage was []

Looking Back, Looking Forward

So long, 2016! It was a less than wonderful year by all accounts, though some good did come of it. I did manage to finish off Tales from the Twisted Eden Sector, my first series! And I got a place, which is also exciting. On the less awesome side, I also burned right the hell out and did not accomplish even half of the things I wanted to in the name of actually taking it easy for once.

But with the old year done, it’s time to make a lot of new promises for the new year and come up with a ridiculous list of things I want to do that will completely negate the lack of things I feel I did last year. So here’s a quick rundown of what I’m planning for this year.

New Drafts

Aside from the two books for NaNoWriMo this year,1 I’ve already started working on the White Noise sequels. There will be two more in the series as far as I’ve planned, and you’ll get a chance to see your favourite dumbasses continuing to make excellent life decisions.

Publishing!

I have a two part series coming out at some point this year: City Without Heroes and Hero Complex. There will also be the next installment of the Looking Glass Saga, the title of which I cannot settle on at the moment.

Wattpad

I have a couple things I want to try out, but I’m not sure how they’ll work out. As such, I’m going to start using Wattpad to test the waters with a few story ideas and concepts I’ve been toying with, just to see how they end up doing. Follow me now and check them out as they come out!

Oh, and I may put out the first pass rewrite of City Without Heroes on there too.

Print Books

I’m going to be working on getting a lot of my books formatted for print in the new year, since it seems that people really like having a physical copy. I’ll be announcing those as I get them done, so keep an eye out!

Games

You know all the stuff I’d done so far on the game project? I’m scrapping it and starting from scratch. Watch that Facebook page for updates on how that’s going, though the goal for the year is to get the basics of it done. It shouldn’t be playable until next year at some point.

Taking it Easy

One thing 2016 taught me is that I’ve been working too hard to do everything, so I am going to try not to overexert myself so much this year and learn to give myself a break sometimes. Read more. Work less. Maybe get a cat. We’ll see how this goes.
Here’s hoping that the new year brings some good things for us all. Happy new year!

  1. Definitely going back to two books this year []

Timmy and the Fridges: A NaNoWriMo Story

Apparently a lot of people in my own region don’t even know this story, so it’s time to gather round to answer one of the questions of NaNoWriMo. What is with Timmy and those fridges?

The short version: It’s my fault.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo has many avenues to connect with people during the month, and one of those is via the IRC Chat rooms. In these chat rooms, there is a bot named Timmy1 and the bot was originally created right here in the Vancouver region by a user who… I don’t know if they want to be named.2

I believe the year was 2012, and I wanted to be ambitious and decided that writing two books in a month was a good idea. I may have gone a touch loopy. It all started at a New West write in about mid-month during a lot of people’s two week slumps. I was just starting book number two and someone was having problems with their book, and I, being the helpful genius that I am, asked if they had tried throwing a fridge at it. This suggestion went over very well and we all ran with it. But I wasn’t done with it.

Two things you should know about me: I am very annoying when I get an idea in my head and I don’t know how to let a joke die. Ever.

This advice continued for the month, to the point where it is now if one of my own books as a recurring plot point throughout the series.3 For the month4 it was sort of an in joke within Vancouver, and it was added to Timmy so we could continue to throw fridges at each other.

And that is how I ended up making my mark on NaNoWriMo. You’re welcome.

  1. His full name is There Are Some Who Call Me Tim, if I’m remembering right []
  2. If you’re reading this, let me know []
  3. Different coloured fridges and everything. That’s how you know if a fridge is ripe! []
  4. What was left of it []

Poll closed and a book released!

Thank you everyone for voting! It looks like we have a book for the year to write, and that book is…

I've been playing around with the cover a little. Let me know what you think!

I’ve been playing around with the cover a little. Let me know what you think!

Arcleo! It’s been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the story. Stay tuned for some excerpts.

But we’re not done yet, because I also have to mention that I have a book out today as well! I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for it1 and now the fourth part of the Looking Glass Saga is finally out!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00002]

Looking Glass Saga: Wandering Hearts

After an unsettling Christmas with Adrianna’s family, Alice returns to school and a much more normal problem than she’d ever had to deal with before. Adrianna likes a boy and needs a date for his friend if she wants to spend more time with him. Alice agrees, but soon finds she’s not ready for what that means.

The other side of the mirror and searching for Adrianna’s brothers becomes an escape from the life she’d dreamed of, even as she gains a new shadow while exploring Wonderland. She gains a shadow in a boy named Peter who has taken an interest in her and the things she can do. He is definitely not from around here and learns that where Wonderland ends, another world begins.

Check it out now on Amazon!

And now I’m going to go drown in Facebook notifications…

  1. Because I’m just that good at marketing and scheduling… []

Who Do You Publish For?

As I finish the last pass of edits on Wandering Hearts1 I have been watching a debate happening on one of the Facebook groups for YA authors. It looks like a few people took it very personally and it spiraled into a few different issues, so I’ve opted to stay out of it. On Facebook, at least.

The issue is one that will always come up in groups centered around writing and marketing. Do you write for the market or do you write what you want to write, regardless of the market? There were other things mentioned, such as quality and formula and repeated tropes and saturated markets, but this was the core of what I’ve been gathering from it.

To me, it all depends what you’re publishing for. Not writing, but we’ll get to that. If you want to make money off of your writing, then of course you write for the market. You use the same tropes and formulas that are popular at the moment and you churn out that thing that your audience is going to love. You figure out a large audience you can tap into and cater to them so that you will get the best chance, you make your covers look just like that thing they love and you write as many books as you can while you can ride that trend until they’re sick of it.

For some people, there is no conflict. They are already writing in popular genres, they love the tropes, they have the voice that their target audience is familiar with, all is well. For others, that is not the case as much. There were some saying they had been writing for the market and hadn’t written anything they enjoyed in a while.

Personally, I’m in that group that publishes the stories that don’t cater very well to the current broad audience. I like a reluctant hero that didn’t want to do it in the first place and by the end really doesn’t want to be here but still gets the job done. They have none of the romantic triangles and are very rarely saving the world so much as themselves and the people they’ve fallen in with. Alice is the closest I’ve come to a chosen one of any sort, but that’s not following the formula at all.2

But my goal has never been to make a lot of money publishing, or to make much of a name for myself. It was to prove to myself I could and to finally tell these stories and get them out there. And in the end, that’s what it all comes down to. Whatever you get into publishing for, pursue that to the best of your abilities and don’t worry so much about what everyone else is doing it for.

Although, if you’re looking to make a quick buck, I hear werewalruses are going to be hot next year.

  1. Out October 25th! []
  2. Why did I decide a 12 book series was a good idea? []

The 2016 Nanowrimo Poll

It’s getting close to NaNoWriMo1 again, which means it’s time to make the internet choose my novel once more! This is my eleventh year participating2 and another year where I cannot decide for myself what to write, so I’m leaving it up to everyone else. Because there’s only four options, you can pick your favourite two.

Looking Glass Saga: Beauty Sleep (Book 6)
With the end of Middle School approaching, Alice is getting ready to deal with her bet with the Bandersnatch. She’s done everything she can, but when her roommate, Adrianna, falls into a deep sleep and no one can wake her up, Alice has to put the bet aside. She hopes the answer to waking her up lies somewhere in Wonderland, but time is running out and if she doesn’t find it, Adrianna may never wake up.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00032]Arcleo
Mirabella knows she is a princess. She knows because she doesn’t want to be an innkeeper’s daughter. When a group of people come through the inn looking for the real princess of a conquered kingdom, Mirabella sneaks out to join them on their quest to fulfill the prophesy to retake the kingdom. The journey isn’t quite what she had hoped, full of danger and uncertainty, and she is not the only potential princess they’ve picked up in their travels.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00032]Sky of Butterflies
Deciding to try their luck on their own, Mateo and Serafina venture out of their orphanage and into the wide world outside, only to be swept up in a revolution. The robots have caught their world up in a tyrannical rule while the rich remain safe behind gilded gates. The kids, however, soon learn that the resistance is not all that it seems to be… and neither are they.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00002]Static
Roughly a year after the events of White Noise, Willow suddenly recovers from her vegetative state and takes Max with her, provoking H&R to try and deal with the situation. Harrison is not a fan of what that means and starts to learn just what H&R have been up to, the real reason of their research, and how far they will go to keep their research private. He still doesn’t know what Willow wants and still can’t quite remember what happened the last time he went into H&R.

NaNoWriMo 2016

  • Arcleo (59%, 36 Votes)
  • Sky of Butterflies (23%, 14 Votes)
  • Static (20%, 12 Votes)
  • Beauty Sleep (16%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 61

Loading ... Loading ...

Poll closes on my birthday, October 25th. Happy voting!

  1. National Novel Writing Month []
  2. Is it actually eleven? That seems like a ridiculously long time… []

Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt!

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!
Green Team

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are NINE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM–but there are also REDBLUE, GOLD, ORANGE, TEAL, PURPLE, SILVER, and PINK teams for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the green team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 3, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

I am hosting Lisa T. Cresswell for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Tanya Lisle
Lisa T. Cresswell is an archaeologist by day, young adult writer by night. She has a healthy addiction to books, coffee, and drama-free zones.

Find out more information by checking out her website or in the following places:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Everyone’s heard of Blackbeard, right? The terrible pirate? Hollywood staple pirate character? But did you know that Blackbeard was a real person named Edward Teach? I remember as a kid thinking he was just a cartoon-ish character and being amazed to learn he was real. You can read all about him on Wikipedia.  Born in 1680, he only lived to be about 35 or 40 years old because he was finally captured and beheaded in 1718. Perhaps because it was so long ago, he’s become the stuff of legends? Even his flag is kinda creepy.

The ghost of Blackbeard is the main baddie in my new novella The Color of Water. He was such delicious fun to write, re-imagined as a modern day biker. Here’s a sneak peek of my heroine, Samantha, unexpectedly seeing Blackbeard, aka Teach, on the streets of Beaufort ~

The summer sun was still hot enough to make me sweat, but it was cooling down as the shadows got longer. The rain had left steamy puddles along the sidewalks, but the sky was clearing just like Matt said it would. Seeing nothing unusual at the Queen Ann’s, I kept walking, turning down an alley to avoid all the tourists on Front Street. That’s where I saw them – a man and a woman having a hella fight in the alley. My heart jumped up into my throat when I realized it was Harley man – Teach.

I ducked behind a dumpster and tried to blend into the back of a building. It didn’t seem to matter to Teach and his lady friend because their screaming argument suddenly dissolved into a groping, kissing thing. I couldn’t stop staring at them. Teach’s beefy, tattooed arms wrapped the woman like an octopus’s tentacles, his fingers snaking through her God-awful, red-orange dye job. She didn’t seem to mind. She kissed him like she was starving and he was a steak dinner. After coming up for air, they stumbled back inside the building.

I saw the door was printed with ‘No one under 21 admitted’ as I hurried past. If he was going to kill her, he would have done it right there, wouldn’t he? I resolved not to tell Matt about it, since he obviously didn’t want me anywhere near Teach. I didn’t want to risk making him mad again. I picked up my pace, running a few blocks so I wouldn’t be late.

You can find The Color of Water in print and ebook on Amazon and Goodreads! Enjoy~

 

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Lisa T. Cresswell, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 35. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT

 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Jessie Costin!

Twisted Eden Sector Giveaway

In honour of the last book in Tales from the Twisted Eden Sector coming out, I’m having a contest and I wanted to let you guys know first! I’ll be giving away all seven books in the series, including a signed paperback copy of Syndicate and the currently unreleased final book, Legacy.
larger2

 

Think of it as an easy way to get it a week early! Good luck to all who enter!


Twisted Eden Sector Giveaway


Contest closes March 25th.

Liebster Award!

liebsteraward-image3

Big thanks to LeeanasCreativeBox for nominating me for this one! Definitely go check her out. So, let’s get to this!

LIEBSTER AWARD RULES:

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Display the Liebster Award on your blog.
Share 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers for the Award and have them answer 11 questions.
Let the other bloggers know you’ve nominated them.
Copy the rules into your post.


11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I have read Island of the Blue Dolphins about six times, but I don’t actually remember any of it.1
  2. I didn’t start really reading until one summer when I picked the biggest book I could find2 in the hopes it would take a long time to read it and then mom told me I only had a week.
  3. I didn’t start writing a lot until high school, when I got positive feedback on a short backstory I wrote for my character in a friend’s comic she was making.
  4. I made nine things for my Christmas tins this year.
  1. I am a marathoner when it comes to shows. I said I would watch Supernatural and I think I finished 7 seasons in two weeks.
  2. I have read the books for Game of Thrones and have not seen the series.
  3. I don’t have either cable or Netflix at the moment.
  4. I don’t actually live in Vancouver. It’s just the default location I give because no one outside of the Lower Mainland knows where my city is.
  5. I seriously considered moving to Ontario and starting over not long ago. Unfortunately, I blew all the money I would have used doing it on a trip out to Toronto and found out how damn expensive it is to get across the country.
  6. I have plans for a trip that would take me about a month and a half to complete and about $7,000. I don’t know if I’ll ever take it.3
  7. When I was younger, I wrote a lot of fanfiction. It is still available online because I can’t access the account.4

MY ANSWERS:

  1. What was your favourite toy when you were young?
    I had two stuffed animals that I loved. A pink teddy bear and a green bunny rabbit named Pink Bear and Bunny.
  2. Which band or musician would you recommend to the world?
    2NE1. I’m still on a KPop kick and I love these women.
  3. What is your all-time favourite TV series?
    Whose Line is it Anyway? I have a deep love of that show and it is great to get me out of a funk.
  4. If you could ban one thing in this world, what would that be?
    The question “What are you?” and all derivatives of it in the context of trying to figure out what race or ethnicity someone is, because I really hate it.
  5. You have to stay on an island Survivor-style for a whole month. You’re only allowed to take five things with you. What five things (not people) would you take.
    Tough. I think I’ll go with laptop,5 solar powered charger, a tent, a knife, and potatoes. I think I can figure out how to cook a potato on a deserted island.6
  6. Do you think there are aliens ‘out there’?
    Statistically speaking, probably. I don’t think they’re super interested in contacting humans, though, in the same way we’re not using a lot of resources to contact them.
  7. Which book do you read when you’re in a ‘there’s nothing to read’ mood?
    I usually try to read Sophie’s world again. One day, I will finish that book.
  8. Why did you start blogging?
    Originally, to post my stories up online. At least, that was the reason for my first site.
  9. Which of your posts are you most proud of?
    I don’t know if it’s on here, but I wrote a post about how writing your first draft is like running away from zombies. Always liked that one.
  10. Do people get your sense of humour?
    Not always. My references tend to be a little obscure, and not in the cool way.
  11. If you found Aladdin’s Lamp, what wish would you make?
    The final wish is always free the genie. The first would probably be for something lame like financial stability for the rest of my life. The second would be for my own magic powers.

11 QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

  1. What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
  2. What is your second favourite song?
  3. What book have you reread the most times and why?
  4. What’s your zombie apocalypse plan?
  5. What’s your go to snack food?
  6. What’s your favourite fiction genre?
  7. Ebooks or print books?
  8. Do you listen to any podcasts? Which ones?
  9. Do you read any comics and which ones? Any recommendations?
  10. How addicted are you to your phone?
  11. You wake up one day with the ability to raise the dead. What do you do with this power?

MY 11 NOMINEES:

I don’t know that many people out in the blogging world just yet, so here’s a shot at 11.7

  1. Aditi Pallod
  2. Busy Bri Covered in Pink
  3. Rantings Of A Third Kind
  4. officeboredomblog
  5. 2D’sworld
  6. Yellow Wolf Enlightenment
  7. MORGAN JT BLOG
  8. A Cooking Pot and Endless Tales
  9. Bun Karyudo’s Scribblings
  10. blabberwockying!
  11. MUSINGSOFAMAPLETREE
  1. I was in elementary school, so the memory is a little hazy. []
  2. The Sword of Shannara []
  3. I don’t think there’s a job out there that will let me take that much time off []
  4. And I don’t use that email account anymore. It doesn’t exist. No, I’m not telling you where those fics are. []
  5. With a whole lot of books about surviving on an island and some writing projects to work on pre-loaded onto it []
  6. If all else fails, I will overheat the laptop and boil the thing. []
  7. And who I think are also under 200. I’m not sure where to find that number. []

What do you want from me?

I am going to try to keep this blog relatively updated throughout the next year. Call it a resolution to tack onto that list of things I’m going to be doing in the new year that I’m going to genuinely be trying to keep up with. But I’m running into a but of a problem with that goal.

I have no idea what you want out of me.

I’ve thought of a lot of things, don’t get me wrong. Book reviews, previews and excerpts from upcoming books, talking about the industry or the writing process1 or just showing off some of the stuff that gets cut when I’m editing things.

I’d love to go into some of the backstory of characters that got a bit of a brush off in some stories or about that story arc that was originally there that got cut. There’s a lot of little things that never made it into some of the stories, but I don’t know what’s actually interesting to people.2

I could talk about the latest political thing that I heard or about some of the stories I have from when I worked in a comic shop

I could also go on more about the development process of making the game. Actually, I don’t think anyone wants to hear about the dev stuff. But I will definitely talk your ear off about the theory that’s behind some of it and give all of the previews about the plot and how it ties into the main stories.

But I’m not the one who is reading this blog. I’m writing it. You’re reading it.

So tell me what you want from me.

  1. Or even the rewriting or editing process, really []
  2. Or what’s going to be a spoiler for later at this point. []