Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Muse #26: Lift Yourself Up

Lift Yourself Up. Not exactly the most brilliant title ever, but I'm mostly centering on self-esteem. Things that make you feel like you are on top of the world.

And I mean, songs. Not things.

Anyway, let's start with the countdown. Unfortunately, I'm in too much of a hurry to get album pictures. Arg! I'm so swamped with everything I have to do.

Aye, aye, aye. Mamma mia! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our Journey So Far #24: Alex Steele's Chaotic Mind!

Hmm, what did I talk about last time? Sorry, excuse me while I check... Right, I talked about my February plans! Exciting stuff, really. =)

Let's just jump on in, okay?


Monday, February 23, 2015

Advice For Writers #25: At A Loss For Words

So what does one do when they are at a loss for words? Well, from my experiences, I go back onto Tumblr, spend ten hours on that site, and reblog everything I see. But I suspect that most writers probably won't waste half of their lifetime on there.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekly Muse #25: Why You Should Use Pinterest and Finding Inspiration

Hey, Alex Steele here today to talk about finding inspiration! This does fit both into Weekly Muse, where we try to help inspire you, and Advice For Writers, where we try to give awesome advice, but I decided for the sake of argument to just call it a Weekly Muse post!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our Journey So Far #23: Penelope Grace

Another busy month! Ahh... I wish I can do so many things, but I'm afraid I won't have time to do everything I want to do. But for this month, I'm going to be focusing on some certain things.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Late Valentines Tag

So, I know valentines is over and Grace and I don't normally do nonwriting related posts BUT this seemed like so much fun and I(Alex Steele) couldn't not do it! Plus, Rachel tagged everyone who saw the post and in my mind it's like a chain letter if you break it bad things happen!

This is a valentines tag created by Rachel @ Secret Scribblings, so...let's get personal!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Advice For Writers #24: How To Deal With Icky Feelings

Alex Steele here to talk about self-doubt. It's a big thing, and everyone does it, writers and non-writers alike and it's basically impossible to overcome. On that note, let's get started!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Speed... What?: Alex Steele


Hey all, Alex Steele here today! This is my questionnaire for Grace's Valentine's writer's critique partner matchmaking! Basically, everyone fills out the questionnaire, links it on Grace's post and then you visit other blogs and try and find people with similar interests! Hopefully, this leads you to finding some critique partners and writing friends!

(Grace: And I'm totally jealous by how you explained the matchmaking much better than I ever could). 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Speed... What?


Raise your hand, if you are single. (I'm raising my hand). Raise your hand, if you have a book boyfriend. (Actually, I have multiple ones, but I will raise my hand for this). Raise your hand, if you have a friend who is your critique partner. (I'm raising my hand). 

The purpose of this post, which is called "Speed... What?", is to help writers find potential writers and critique partners. 

So how are we going to do this?

It is sort of like a blind date. In the linkup below, you will... Ahh! I'm getting way ahead of myself. Let's get back to the beginning and do this step by step.

First of all, we are going to play a little interview. This set of questions will go on your own blog, and YOU will answer them. (And yes, I'll be playing, too!). 10 questions, here we go:

  1. What is the farthest stage of writing you're in? Remember that publishing (traditional or self-publishing is our goal! (Say... "currently writing first draft," "editing," "querying," "sending out to beta readers," or "published." You can say "it's complicated," if you wish). 
  2. Dog or cat? Or neither? 
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. What genres are you most familiar with? Or which genres are you writing? (Feel free to go forth and explain in detail!). 
  5. Greatest piece of inspiration? 
  6. Previous experience in writing? (If you don't have anything to say or admit, then you can simply tell us about how you got into writing. Or you can answer both questions). 
  7. Your goal! Your personal goal. Is it to write for yourself? Or is it to write for others? 
  8. Favorite food?
  9. Favorite song?
  10. And finally, what is the synopsis of your most favorite (or greatest) work? Don't be scared. We won't laugh (unless it is meant to be humor). 
So, please answer the 10 questions in your own blog posts. Use Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, your own website... Anything. Don't forget to link up with us so others can see your answers! 

Remember that we are trying to set you up with a potential critique partner. That means you will have to put up a way for potential critique partners to contact you. It can be email, Twitter, Facebook, and other ways.

And... One more thing. And this is crucial, so please don't skim over the next paragraph! 



There are some rules, of course. I'm going to put them in a list, so it is easier to read.

  1. Be polite.
  2. Don't harass people and fellow authors. If they are not interested, then they are not interested.
  3. You may exchange work, but no one sends spam! 
  4. Please stay safe, and remember the safety rules of surfing the Internet. (Yes, this might be a list of rules for teens, but even adults should review it). 
  5. Remember Internet etiquettes and the rules of "don't be a douche."
  6. Lastly, have fun. 
  7. If you have any problems, please contact me or Alex. Our email is at graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com. 

(If you're a little confused about how it al works feel free to comment below with questions and you can check out Grace's own post right here!)

Hopefully, you'll find a critique partner. If not, then you can always ask Alex or me, we may not have time right away, but we'd love to make new critiquing friends! 

That's it! Leave your comments and thoughts in the section below!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Speed... What?: Penelope Grace


Yay! So this is my answers to "Speed... What?" You can use this post as a guideline or example of how "Speed... What?" linkup posts should be like. Tomorrow, I think Alex Steele would be making hers, and it will be really awesome. 

Q & A:

1. What is the farthest stage of writing you're in? Remember that publishing (traditional or self-publishing is our goal! (Say... "currently writing first draft," "editing," "querying," "sending out to beta readers," or "published." You can say "it's complicated," if you wish).
That would be querying, which is The Lost Princess' current stage. However, I'm thinking of bumping it back to "editing." So it should be fun! 

2. Dog or cat? Or neither? 
How about both? I don't mind either (though I do have a very terrible experience with dogs, but I never let it get me down). 

3. What is your favorite book?
This is way too hard. Too hard! There are way too many books out there to name, and if I tried, just tried, my favorite books would be on a 100 book list in no particular order. But Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is always worthy enough to mention.

4. What genres are you most familiar with? Or which genres are you writing? (Feel free to go forth and explain in detail!). 
Gosh. Umm... I'm always in the Young Adult genre, just hanging around. In the subgenres, it is definitely YA Fairy Tale Retellings. That is the genre I'm most familiar with. Just love fairy tales.

5. Greatest piece of inspiration? 
It is hard to put this into simple words. But I will try.

Greatest piece of inspiration will be music. I just love songs from Florence + the Machine and Imagine Dragons. Rock and alternative is always my favorite, and I don't mind hanging out with pop music on a Friday.

6. Previous experience in writing? (If you don't have anything to say or admit, then you can simply tell us about how you got into writing. Or you can answer both questions). 
I'd never written for a newspaper, and I'd never been published (by a major publisher). 

I got into writing when I was 11 or 12. I never really liked writing essays (though I can do it), but I always had my head stuck in the clouds. Mom claims I should stop imagining and dreaming and focus on the real world, but I can't do that. I think I'm too much of a dreamer. And then I started putting down my imagination and dreams into words to never forget them. So that is how I got into writing.

7. Your goal! Your personal goal. Is it to write for yourself? Or is it to write for others? 
In the beginning, it was for myself. I just wanted to see a book written by me, out there. But I think I started realizing when I was about 15 that I could inspire other people. And I can take readers into places. Figuratively taking them inside of my head (ha, it is pretty much Wonderland in my head). And I can twist and play with things...

Okay, I'm getting way off-topic, but the basics is that... I used to write for myself, but now I'm writing for those like me. A sort of escape hatch from the real world, a sort of crazy and mad world that makes the real world clearer. Sort of like a reflection on reality. 

8. Favorite food?
When I'm hungry, I will think spinach taste good. But seriously, favorite food? Hard. Hard. Food is life. I think I'll go with Chinese dumplings, though. And Japanese sushi. And Korean BBQ. And Italian pasta. And... Okay, I better stop making you all hungry.

9. Favorite song?
See Numero Cinco. Florence + the Machine. The Black Keys. Imagine Dragons. Taylor Swift's 1989. Gavin Degraw. Basically, any songs by those artists. And I only scratch the surface. 

10. And finally, what is the synopsis of your most favorite (or greatest) work? Don't be scared. We won't laugh (unless it is meant to be humor).
I updated The Black Queen's synopsis. Hopefully, it is way better now than before. (Also, previous synopsis follows the first draft of TBQ. This one, the newer one, follows the second draft of TBQ. Fun stuff). 
"A game of chess has simple rules.

There are two queens, two kings, four bishops, four rooks, four knights, and sixteen pawns. They move in certain ways and predictable patterns. Two sides, fighting each other. Their war can only end in three ways: checkmate, stalemate, and draw.

But when it involves real people? It gets complicated.

Ashlina Four is a lowly pawn, just recently dead and killed by her despised grandmother. Caught in an unfamiliar land beyond death, Ashlina quickly finds allies: √Čric with his troubling duality and web of lies and truths, Warner who is changing for the worse, and Lola with her dangerous plans that will shake up the chessboard. All of them have secrets and agendas of her own.

She is haunted by nightmares. She is targeted by hellhounds, savage beasts intent on chasing her until she is gone permanently. She knows that none of her allies can be trusted completely. She knows that time is running out. But how can she run when her destiny is written in the stars?

The only checkmate is death."
That is it! 

Oh, yes. And one more thing. Contact info in case you are interested in working together. First of all, email: graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also message me via Grace & Steele's Facebook page. Try Twitter (handle: @PeneGrace). Or you can simply leave a comment on this page with your email address. 

And as the creator of this linkup, contact me at graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Happy Editing!


Weekly Muse #24: Love Is In The Air

Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Yay. And boo, for some people. Valentine's Day, for me, reminds me of all the makeout scenes I've written. I don't know about you, but I think there is something wrong there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our Journey So Far #22: Steele's February Plans

Alex Steele here today to talk about what I'm working on! So, last time I talked about A War Of Queens which I am currently working on outlining (mostly world building at the moment). At the beginning of January, I talked about how each month I was going to be focusing on one main thing at a time. In January, it was This World In Gray, which, I have since finished my list of revisions on and is now sitting on the side for a bit, going to be beta read soon and then...well we'll see!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #23: How to Revise Your First Draft Part 3

Part 2 is here.

So two weeks ago, I talked about beta readers. It is the second step of revising. As I'd said before, beta readers will open your eyes a bit more. Be careful not to pick those who care more about your feelings than your work. After all, they might sugarcoat the critique. And don't pick your enemies. They are not the most pleasant lot. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beautiful People #3: Valentine's Edition!

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Beautiful people is a meme created by Cait @ Paperfury and  Sky @Further Up and Further, This meme comes along once a month and it's all about writing! This month is focused on romantic relationships! Do check out this meme if you're a writer as it's lots of fun, you can check it out here!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Weekly Muse #23: Songs For Darker Fantasy

Alex Steele here with another music-themed muse post, what? It's what Grace and I do best! So, true story, I'm writing this when I should be revising... oops?

Today I'm going to talk about some songs that I think can inspire some nice darker grittier fantasy/paranormal/dystopian. These are just some bada** songs that are a bit darker and I feel like they could inspire some great characters (heroes and anti-heroes) in some darker fantasy.

Also, I feel like I need to place a warning here and that's that some of these songs and videos are mature (not PG 13) so listen to them at your own discretion.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our Journey So Far #21: Remodeling.

So. I'm rewriting TLP all over again. That is for sure. But there are a few other things I'm doing. And there are some things that I've finished recently. So, yay! 

I guess this is a cause for celebration? Yes?