Day 3 (My First Zero)

MAY 4TH — 0 WORDS

It’s only the 3rd day of NaNo, and I already have a zero. Yippie!

I had a hair appointment. On those days, I like to sit under the dryer with my kindle. Afterwards, I usually go straight home. Instead, I had to detour to Ranson. I was invited to a dinner party, and it would’ve been rude if I declined the offer.

I thought that once I reached home, I could start Trapped: A Novella. I’m used to writing late anyway, so no problems. Right? Wrong…that idea went down the drain when it was very late at night and we were still in Ranson. In the building, I moved to a corner in the back of the room to read my kindle. Rude? Maybe…but my day had to be productive somehow. What better way than to work on my book reviews.

Since there was no way of getting back home before the midnight deadline, I hung out at the Race Track, expecting to watch the Mayweather fight. Apparently, the place doesn’t show fights anymore because no one shows until the main event. It’s a waste of money to order those packages, including matches no one cares about. I had fun regardless. I watched people on the dance floor. It’s especially interesting to see the crowd of guys standing in circles with their cups of beer, just staring at the ladies dancing, probably wishing someone would dance with them. Hello, just ask. You never know.

Am I disappointed that I had a zero word count? No, because I know I’ll make it up eventually.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Triceratops By Marcus Gorman

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

A story of musicians, writers, painters, and alcoholics.

Set in New York City, Henry & Charlotte — two twentysomethings who never thought they’d see each other again — reunite for three short weeks filled with art, music, and liquor that cause them to rethink their relationships, their pasts, and their futures. Told from both Henry and Charlotte’s perspectives, Triceratops speaks to a generation of readers raised on nostalgia, sitcoms, antidepressants, and iPods.

16112760I loved this 8 part, no chapter book. I loved the author’s writing style, and I thought he was very talented with characterization and voice. Since he was very descriptive, I could picture this as an IFC or Sundance movie. But on the other hand, Henry and Charlotte (plus the other characters) were quirky, cool, witty that I could also picture the story as a Judd Apatow movie.

  • It was pretty intense when Xavier killed himself in front of Charlotte. She has to find a place to stay, and runs into Henry. They had hooked up once on the west coast. Henry had a crush on Sophia, and Noah had a crush on Charlotte. As a reader, I really enjoyed all the scenes where Henry and Charlotte hung out. I liked that she was very sarcastic, keeping him on his toes while he was the sensitive guy type. As a reader, I was really invested in their friendship, even hoping they may get back together again.

My favorite lines: 1) “There’s no honor in being a cockblock.” 2) “We need the what-the-fuck factor. Its power knows no bounds.” 3) “Confusion is a powerful weapon.” 4)  With Xavier, we can be silent for days and not have it be some kind of relationship red flag. Because it’s not a relationship. We hang out, we fuck a lot, I stay over but don’t live here, and neither one of us says anything about our goddamn feelings.

It was cool that Charlotte had complete knowledge of sitcoms. I enjoyed the references of taking it old school. As you can probably tell, she was my favorite. The story was told through Henry and Charlotte’s first person point-of-view. My favorite scenes: 1) when Noah confesses his feelings to Charlotte 2) when Henry and Charlotte first meet in New York 3) the stealing-the-painting heist 4) finding out Shelby and her boyfriend’s secret 5) the ending 6) all the scenes with the older female neighbor who loved Xavier but could care less about Charlotte.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Syd & Marcy By Beaird Glover

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Marcy practices to be a great actor, but she isn’t pretending to kill people. Is the murder an audition for Hollywood, or is it reality? When a ruthless detective is pitted against two self-centered scammers on the lam, it’s hard to tell whose side to be on. A femme fatale and her boyfriend are too wild to trust, but they just don’t know any better. According to the Old South, they must be punished. The frenetic ride takes off that is not only Syd and Marcy’s escape from Memphis to the backwoods of Mississippi—it’s also a darkly comedic escape to Southern Gen X nihilism in a black Mustang on a dark road getting darker. Featuring a conflict between the Old South and the New, and written in a facile and succinct prose, Syd and Marcy spirals frankly through the realities and illusions of a culture on the rails.

17314768I enjoyed this 20 chapter book. My favorite lines: 1) “You ever heard about the wrong place at the wrong time? That’s where you at.” 2) Her Hollywood smile did not fade and she giggled with appreciative modesty that passed as flirtatious approval.

The opening was pretty intense with Marcy killing the guy behind the counter. From there, I knew it’d be a wild ride. When they arrive in Mississippi, the story really got interesting. There were plenty of colorful personalities, a.k.a. batshit crazies. Syd’s uncle had married his own daughter Sardis and kept her chained in the shack. Litton and Blaine were three-dimensional. Just because they work for the law doesn’t necessarily make them the good guys. I enjoyed the twist of the private eye became obsessed with catching Syd and Marcy while the sheriff could care less that the couple may or may not have murdered someone in his town.

My favorite scenes: 1) when Sardis gets loose and runs away 2) when the private investigator handcuffs Syd and Marcy in the back of the car to return them to Mississippi 3) when Marcy escapes her home in Tennessee 4) the bank scene

It was a very fast read, and I was entertained all the way to the end. Do they live their dreams and make it to Hollywood? You’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 2 (Stalling Should Be My Middle Name)

MAY 3RD — 1,232 WORDS

I sat in front of my computer for a couple of hours. Don’t pat me on the back. Don’t congratulate me. I wasn’t productive unless you count playing spider solitaire, checking my email, staring at my submissions tracker as something important. Plus, it didn’t help that I was in one of those moods where I wanted to sing loudly off-key, really feeling the music blasting from my iPod, instead of concentrating on the computer screen.

At 11 PM, I made myself type. I took that hour to focus on the doctor scene, taking no breaks. I stopped at an interesting spot–Finia just found out Miki’s betrayal. I’m motivated to continue my story the next day. So far 1,000 words a day has been a breeze. Hopefully, it stays that way.

Other things occupied my mind:

  • I’m excited about my New York City trip the first of next month!!!!
  • I received my business registration today!!!! I can officially start my business as: DREAM SNATCHER PRESS

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 1 (Cool As A Cucumber)

MAY 2ND — 828 WORDS

For May, I’m participating in NaNo. Instead of a 60,000 word novel, I’m writing a 30,000 novella in 30 days. That means only 1,000 words a day. I may be facing this challenge alone, so I hope I’m motivated to get past the 2nd week blues. We’ll see.

I’ve received a lot of feedback about how I should expand on my short story Trapped. Finia and Miki’s past will be explored as well as the aftermath of their therapy sessions. Since I had so much fun writing a thriller, I’m making this story a thriller or suspense. It’ll depend on how dark and twisted I want to make it. Right now, I can see Miki doing despicable acts if he doesn’t get his way. Poor Finia. Poor Jahlin.

I participated in NaNo last year (in April), so I know what to expect. That’s why I was cool as a cucumber today. Zero word counts will be okay. Lower word counts will be okay. So no rush. That’s why I enjoyed my zumba class at Gold’s Gym and watched TV before starting. Oh my goodness, I was worn-out. My eyes kept drifting close and I had a headache. I was tempted to just have my 1st day be a zero word count, but my motivation caused me to turn on my computer.

  • I’m trying something different. Instead of writing in a notebook first, I’ll be typing on the computer once I get home from work. And I won’t print off the pages as I go; I’ll just wait until the end. I’m a busy bee–probably stupid of me to begin a stressful, but fun, challenge at this time–so I better do my other obligations in the mornings.
  • Book reviews, critiquing other writers’ work, blogging, social media, editing my other stories, formatting my debut book, beta-reading for other writers, etc. etc. etc. etc. take up the majority of my time. Which I’m not complaining. The day in the life of a writer 🙂 On Tuesday, I successfully formatted One By One into a PDF file and emailed it to my kindle. It took me all night to read it over. I was excited to see it as a real ebook! To see it with pages instead of as a continuous screen on a computer! Formatting was perfect–my author photo even transferred to my kindle. Yea!!! Hopefully, it’ll be easy to download to Createspace and Amazon. Keeping my fingers crossed. Anyway, I noticed only a few typos that I need to fix in my Word document, then I can upload.

I started my NaNo story at 9 PM; I reached Chapter 2. Finia just found out that she may be pregnant. She’s flabbergasted. If only she knew what else is in store for her…I focused a lot on her surroundings, practicing to be better with describing setting elements. I have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to describe characters’ physical details. I enjoyed what I wrote, not even taking any breaks. I reached Chapter 2 where Finia and Miki are waiting at the doctor’s office. Miki, that manipulative bastard. He’ll be fun to write for. No comment of if he’s based off a guy I used to know. I don’t want to get sued 🙂

Since I was really tired, I ended up stopping early to go to bed. Once my head hit the pillow, I was knocked out. I couldn’t even finish watching the end of Braxton Family Values. Oh well, good thing reruns are always on.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby