Thursday, March 15, 2012

Moving over to tumblr!

Hello all!  Just writing this last post to let everyone know that I'm discontinuing this blog & moving on over to tumblr, so you can now find me there:

Or, of course, on Twitter: @Kari_FicFanatic

Hope to see you there!


Sample chapter from my original novel

So I've been working on my original novel lately, & I've been so pumped to get back to it that I added an introductory chapter to the beginning, which I thought I'd share with you all. I'd like to state that I haven't finished the novel (it's probably about 2/3 complete) & I haven't even started looking for a publisher, but I plan on doing just that very soon.

Oh, & for my TWP readers, I still plan on actively working on that still, but for now I have no future plans to write any more fanfiction since I want to work on my original stuff. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the sample chapter from my novel:

Chapter One: Goodbyes

She was nineteen when she discovered that she was pregnant with her son, Dalton.

She was twenty when she lost him.

It didn’t rain the day of his funeral—a word that she despised; there wasn’t so much as a damned cloud in the sky to mourn his loss with her. The rain would have been a welcoming sight indeed, offering the illusion that the sky had opened up and poured out its grief for the tiny boy that had so recently been buried in the earth—her baby boy that had never had a chance at life.

But it hadn’t happened that way. Instead of standing in the rain, Fallon O’Malley found herself gazing out at the clear, sapphire sky over the southern West Coast, studying the way the white crests of the waves kissed that sky, the way the tourists and surfers littered the golden shore and dotted the water.

Oblivious. It was all completely oblivious to her pain, to the fact that a tiny baby boy, who’d been dead before he’d ever even breathed his first breath, her Dalton, was dead. The sob worked its way up in her throat, but she forced it back out of fear that if she began to cry she might not ever stop.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Teaser: The Waiting Place Chapter 18

Hello, everyone!  I hope you're all having a great week, & if not, at least tomorrow's Friday! ;)

Anywho, here's a little excerpt from Chapter 18 (Chapter 19 counting the prologue) of The Waiting Place that I hope you'll enjoy.  Please keep in mind that the chapter isn't nearly complete, but I'm hoping to have it completed & posted within the next week:

She tucked her head down and picked up her pace while passing scattered handfuls of gossiping students dressed in casual weekend attire that littered the passageways—including one hot and heavy couple tucked into an alcove behind a suit of armor, hands invisible beneath each other’s clothing.

They paid Hermione no mind as she passed, which suited her just fine. Ordinarily, she wouldn’t have hesitated to scold the couple and to exuberantly deduct house points, but she’d never felt less inclined: Her own intimate experiences were all too fresh on her mind, and she felt the heat rising in her cheeks as she became aware of the dull ache that still lingered between her legs despite the potions she’d been given at the hospital. The ache that she didn’t actually want to go away, because it was proof undeniable that it had all been real. That it had actually happened.

Her heart speeding up as she realized quite abruptly that she’d reached the closed double-doors to the infirmary, she took a calming breath, pulling the doors open just enough so that she could slip inside the semi-darkened hospital wing. Her heart seemed to stutter in her chest when she immediately caught sight of a small, all-too-familiar group of redheads, and the unmistakable head of black hair belonging to Harry, clustered around the single occupied bed.

A knot formed in the pit of her stomach as she caught a glimpse of his prone form in the gap between Fred and Ginny, and the only thing she could think was, It’s his birthday. He was poisoned on his birthday, and I wasn’t here.

Hermione made the decision then and there to trust her heart—to choose faith over logic and to trust that she’d somehow misinterpreted what she’d seen outside Trelawney’s classroom.

And she realized, quite suddenly, that she’d known it all along.

There was no going back after this moment.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

FFn profile updates for the month of 2/12

2/28/12 - New blog post: KariAnn1222's (Rather Obvious) Guide to Fanfic-Diving/Reading that Doesn't Make You Wanna Pull Your Hair Out:

2/20/12 - Posted a short review of the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire:

2/12/12 - Finally got around to reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Wrote a review here:
I've been busy as of late, but it should interest my readers to know that I've begun Ch. 16 of The Waiting Place (Ch. 17 counting the prologue) and should probably post by the end of the week. In the meantime, you may read a small excerpt here:

2/6/12 - Moved my profile's updates for the month of 1/12 to my blog, where I also post fanfic recs, book recs, the occasional movie rec, and other randomness:

Also, I cleaned up my profile & sent my removed "fanfic pet peeves" to my blog.

Got Twitter? Follow me for status updates on my writing and more: @Kari_FicFanatic
I don't always auto-follow, but I do follow back those that I notice mentioning/addressing me more than a time or two.

Book review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Book review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

I’ve always been a complete sucker for a good ghost story, so when I discovered that the movie, The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, is based on a novel, I had to check it out (Please be aware that the following review contains spoilers from both the book and the film.):

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill is set in, presumably, the turn of the 20th century England and tells the story of young London lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who travels to a remote corner of the countryside to settle the estate - which consists largely of Eel Marsh House - of old, recently deceased Mrs. Drablow. Before he even arrives in the little market town of Crythin Gifford, Kipps gets wind of rumors and whispers of a dark history surrounding Mrs. Drablow and Eel Marsh House, which he immediately dismisses, in his arrogance and youth, as nothing more than the peasant hearsay and old wives’ tales of uneducated, superstitious townsfolk. However, after just one day at Eel Marsh House and a series of unexplained events, Arthur Kipps becomes a believer.

While I admit that it took me a few pages to get into this novel - the descriptions, while lovely, tended to go on unnecessarily - once I got past the introductory chapter, I was swept away by Susan Hill’s prose and drawn into her setting of a quaint yet haunting - not to mention haunted - English countryside. I was particularly fascinated by the gothic descriptions of Eel Marsh House, tucked away on a remote and isolated island in the marshes, and only accessible by a narrow channel and only when the tide recedes, which added greatly to the eerie quality and suspenseful tone of the novel.

Readers should be warned that while the novel proves itself a satisfying read for fans of a good ghost/haunted house story, the ending is far from a happy one - but I personally felt that it was fitting to the tone of the story, and even added a little twist that set it apart from your average ghost story.

Contrasts between the novel and film:

Like any book-to-movie adaptation, the movie-makers were prone to creative license, although whether to improve the story or merely lengthen it - the book was really more of a novella - or both, I’m not sure, but I personally felt that the changes were, for the most part, improvements.

The most notable differences:

1. At the beginning of the film version, Arthur Kipps is a widower and the father of a young son, while in the book, at the time that he makes his fateful journey to Crythin Gifford, he’s merely happily engaged and hasn’t yet started a family. This comes full circle at the end of the novel, however, when he marries his fiancĂ©e and has a son; and while the endings to the movie and book are quite different yet similar in certain respects, I personally preferred the novel’s ending.

2. The film puts more emphasis on the idea that when the woman in black is seen by someone, subsequently a child in Crythin Gifford dies a horrific, untimely death; whereas, in the novel it is mentioned as almost an afterthought and is significant to the ending only. Also, on a similar note, the filmmakers invented the idea that the child is manipulated into killing his/herself by the woman; in the novel, the child in question is merely involved in an accident or succumbs to an illness.

3. In the film, Kipps gets the idea to recover the remains of Jennet Humfrye’s son - who was never recovered from his muddy grave in the marshes surrounding Eel Marsh House, where he drowned some sixty years earlier - in order to reunite mother and child and, hopefully, put the woman in black’s soul to rest. In the novel, by contrast, the child’s body was recovered shortly after his drowning and thereafter given a proper burial, so therefore Kipps had no cause to make any such attempt.

There were more, subtle differences between the film and the novel, but those I mentioned are the most obvious. Over-all, I found both the book and movie to be satisfying in their own rights; well worth a watch and a read if you’re a fan of ghost stories, but I’d recommend reading the book first. ;)


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Book review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This is really more of an overview/my final thoughts about the entire Hunger Games trilogy, so please be aware that it may contain spoilers, just in case you’re anything like me. (I HATE being spoiled; I even refused to read the synopses on the covers of the second two books because I wanted to be surprised.)

While I felt that Mockingjay was an adequate and over-all enthralling final installment in the series, for reasons that I can’t accurately convey, I mostly felt…dissatisfaction as I was reading the novel. I believe that feeling mostly stemmed from my longing for some real interaction between Katniss and Peeta (the precedence set in the first two novels), yet I can’t deny that the fact that the author kept dangling that in my face is what kept me reading at a feverish pace - but that craving ultimately wasn’t satisfied until the very end of the novel. (And yes, I’m totally aware that I was reading from a romantic rather than literate standpoint. I can’t seem to help myself.)

Katniss: I’ve gotta admit that I often found the heroine difficult to relate to and her behavior baffling. One minute she’s arguing with Gale over the necessity of taking an offensive strike in war or attempting to sacrifice herself for others, and the next she’s shooting unarmed citizens or agreeing to a Hunger Games to be held for the children of Capitol officials. And the Gale/Katniss/Peeta triangle reminded me a bit too much of the Edward/Bella/Jacob triangle from Twilight. (I was totally Team Peeta, obviously.)

Having said that, I also appreciated the refreshing complexity of the character: Human beings are a jumble of conflicting and confusing thoughts and emotions, and given the turmoil/tragedy that Katniss was put through again and again, I believe that someone not as strong might have truly been driven insane. While there were moments where Katniss was on the brink of madness, she always bounced back and proved herself the consummate survivor - and my ’shipper heart loved that she ultimately needed her dandelion in the spring to survive.

Although the books were often brutal and unapologetic (which I actually appreciated), the last lines before the epilogue made my heart melt: “You love me. Real or not real.” “Real.” Just the right touch of fluff to balance things out, rather than an overdose of cheesiness that made me want to vomit on my shoes. Although, I’ll definitely be seeking out some well-written fanfiction of the more adult nature, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way. ;)

Final thoughts about the trilogy as a whole: Simple yet lovely writing, intricate characterizations, infinitely creative, with edge-of-your-seat twists at every turn. The newest Harry Potter? I don’t know about that. To me, that’s like comparing apples and oranges: Both have their individual qualities that make them special.

Happy reading!