jenniferkoliver: (Wolves | Wolfwomen)
Tomorrow I board a train and head to Winchester for the Winchester Writers' Conference. I'm no longer nervous; there have been weeks to be nervous, and I am all out of nerves. By now, the Author, the Agent and the Editor (walked into a bar. Sorry, it sounds like the start of a joke) will have read my first chapter and I'm dying to hear if it's working. It feels like the right time to start sending out my novel to first readers, and that's exactly what I'm doing. Chapters 1 − 3 went out to my writing group a couple of days ago. Perspective, I do not have it any more. ;) But gosh, I'm actually enjoying editing through the second draft, tightening the bigger things like voice (which is so important to me when reading books) and character motivation. I don't enjoy editing short stories, but I seem to thrive editing novels. Who'd have thunk it?

Mostly I've been writing and editing to The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack, by Hans Zimmer. I wish I could do with words what Zimmer does with music. I feel like I could sit and peel back layer after layer of his scores and keep finding new twists and turns. Atmosphere is another one of those things I latch onto when I read a book, and Zimmer knows atmosphere. He's incredibly inspiring.

Speaking of awesomeness, yesterday I finished reading The Raven Boys, the first book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved this book immediately, so much so that I decided it was one of my favourite YA novels before I was even a quarter way in. The blurb makes it sound way more romancey than it is, though there are the beginning glimmers of a romance. It's more about the magic and mystery and intricate platonic relationships, and I highly recommended it.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman, was lovely, entertaining, dark and charming. As expected!

Beetlebum, by Blur.
jenniferkoliver: (Wolves | Blah Blah Blah)
Tomorrow I'm heading to Southampton for a few days to spend time with one of my best friends in the universe, [livejournal.com profile] davidrcooke. A change of pace and scenery is nice once in a while. I'm hoping to get a bit of writing and editing done while Dave's at work, and I'm sure the salty Southampton air will be a refreshing shift of atmosphere. I love being near the sea.

Speaking of Dave, a couple of years ago he gave me this amazing notebook for my birthday, under a cut to spare your friends pages ) Because of the blank pages, I think I'm going to keep it as a mixed media book, and paste artwork and images into it, as well as snippets and notes and ideas. It'll probably be exclusive to my current novel (weirdly, I still can't bring myself to name the title here on my blog! Maybe one day, if I actually sell it...). I've already started collecting pics to print out, once I get hold of a new printhead for my Kodak. Anyway, best friends give the best gifts, because they are already the best gift of all.

Reading YA fantasy The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater ([livejournal.com profile] m_stiefvater). It's about carnivorous water horses and an annual race held on the fictional island of Thisby. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. I'm a quarter way through, and already caught up in the strong character voices and beautiful prose. It's a totally different idea to many other YA books out there.

Johnny Dombrowski - an illustrator I found on Tumblr, whose artwork is rich and colourful, mixing boldness with a slight blur that gives some of his pieces a dreamlike quality. His concepts are interesting and unique.

Endlessly, She Said, by AFI.

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Jennifer K. Oliver

March 2017

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