Monday, May 30, 2011

Writing Stuff ~ A New Series In Blog Posts By Yours Truly!

When I hit twenty-four followers (I don't know why I picked that number, I just felt like it would be a good one) I'm going to start a new series in posting. It will be appropriately named "Writing Stuff". In those posts, I'm going to be discussing a lot of different elements in writing. I don't have my list set yet about what I want to do topics on, but here are the ideas I have so far:

1. The Golden Rules - How to show instead of tell
2. How To Create Well Developed Characters Through Outlining
3. Naming Your Characters
4. Outlining Your Plot (Including my favorite outline that I use in almost every book I write)
5. Which Person? Which Tense?

This is what I have so far.

What would you guys like me to add to this list?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Book Review: The Siren by Tricia Rayburn (Siren Trilogy, #1)

Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.

But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?

Title: Unless you have no idea what a siren is, then it's a pretty interesting title. For the rest of us fantasy and mythology lovers though, it gives away a lot about the mystery in the book. The majority of people though, I'm guessing, don't know what sirens are, so the title is just okay, in my opinion.

Cover: Gives the reader the feeling that something eerie is going to happen in this book. Lovely color scheme, and when you have the actual copy of the book, the girl's eyes and the title shimmer when you turn it into the light. 

Plot: If you're looking for something suspenseful, this is absolutely the book for you. Unlike a lot of YA books like this, the whole mystery of how Justine was killed isn't just suddenly revealed all at once. The author leaves us little clues to figure out what really happened all throughout the book, making it a really fascinating discover. This is the first time I've also even seen sirens used in a YA book, which really makes this stand out from other novels. Rayburn also puts her own unique twist on these creatures, but nothing so huge that it makes them into something completely different. The book is also not entirely romance, which made me happy, as I'm getting tired of seeing so many cliche romances in YA.

Characters: Nicely developed, although I feel like the author could have gone a little bit more in depth on Vanessa herself, rather than Vanessa with other characters. The relationship described between Justine & Vanessa is unique for teenage sisters and the author does a lovely job of getting that across to the reader loud and clear.

Setting: Being from New England (Massachusetts, but I have been to Maine several times), I'm happy to say Rayburn did a fantastic job of describing one of Maine's many beach towns.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
I would recommend this to anybody who is a fan of mermaids, sirens, or anything to do with the ocean. It's a great read and I would absolutely invest my money into the sequel when it is released.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Possible Summer Project?

I don't know how we got to the subject of it, but today, my friends and I were talking about "My Immortal". No, not that Evanescense song, but the worst fan-fic in the enitre universe. We were just joking around about it, giving silly impressions and what not.

As many of you already know, I have a youtube channel. So, I got the idea of maybe doing a two-part parody of it. Being bored in Theology class, I already started to come up with random, silly ideas for it. It would be a lot of fun to film, plus it would provide a good amount of entertainment for the part of the summer that I'm not busy. I'm still thinking about whether to do it or not and about who would want to do it with me, but it is something to possibly look forward to if you're a subscriber to Jenna & I's youtube channel.

Speaking of which, I'm going to be posting a new video on there sometime this week.

If you haven't read "My Immortal", it can be found here:

My Youtube channel:

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Sunshine by Robin McKinley is quite possibly the worst book I've ever read. I'm not exaggerating here-- it was that bad.

I bought it a few weeks ago with a gift card for that I'd got from my mom for some unknown reason thinking it'd be a good book. If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a sucker for a good vampire or horror story. When I read the pitch, I thought it was poorly written and a little cliche sounding, but decided to give the book a chance anyways. It had received some decent reviews, so I went ahead and bought it.

What a waste of nine bucks.

Really. In the first few pages alone there were so many random characters introduced that I found myself confused as to who was who and what their role in the story was. The author would introduce a character, tell your their whole life story, have him/her speak one line of dialogue, then never appear in the story again. This happened about five times. Another thing is that you don't even learn the MC's name until 50 pages or so in. When you finally learn it, you realize that her real name isn't even used once in the book. Her real name is Raven, but then it's Rae, but then it's Sunshine. That alone left me going, "Huh?"

What's worse was how every few pages, the author would have the MC complain about how she has to wake up at four in the morning to bake freaking cinnamon rolls. We get it, you aren't a morning person, but you like to cook. You can stop now.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody. It was just... Ick.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's a Friday night.

And tomorrow is supposidly the end of the world. Awesome. I jokingly told a friend of mine today that if the world begins to end, I'll convert to Christianity. That got a good laugh out of her.


I got a packet of stuff from the writing program I'll be part of this summer. It's two hours away from where I live in a place I've never been to. Only one of my friends from school is going, but we're not in the same group, so I don't believe I'll be seeing her that much at all. I cannot wait to go though-- it's going to be a blast. In the packet of stuff, there were things to sign up for different classes and courses. I picked one about getting out of my comfort zone when it comes to writing because it's something that I really need to work on. I'm also in another one focused on writing fantasy, horror, and supernatural stuff-- this is funny because those are all things IN my comfort zone.

Starting tomorrow, my life is going to be incredibly hectic. Between getting ready to end my sophomore year by studying for finals while hauling my French grade up to something my mom won't kill me over, vocal lessons, and other stuff that I'm sure will come up, I'm going to be very tired by the time the end of June rolls around.

One last thing... Last night, I went to my hair dressers and got this really cool feather hair extension. It's very pretty. I'll post a picture tomorrow, most likely.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Back to my roots.

I'm here to announce that I'm back on inkpop as an active member and ITW draft two has been uploaded.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stupid MS word...

So, here I am, happily typing up a chapter of Into the Woods draft two, when all of a sudden...

The word doc just decides to close out on itself. Ugh.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's always nice having a three day weekend.

Tomorrow is my Friday this week. Because this upcoming Friday is senior prom, everyone gets the day off from school (Woo-hoo!), so I'm looking forward to a nice, long, relaxing weekend before the teachers start rushing to finish up for the year so we can have time to review for finals. Hopefully I'll be able to make a new youtube video sometime this weekend, but I won't be at home for the majority of the time, so that may not happen.

I posted a new chapter of Morning, which brings us up to Chapter 3 (I did an extra one last night). So far, I've had mostly positive reviews, which makes me feel really good about this whole writing in verse thing. I've also thrown together a cover:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Progress is a good thing.

Chapter One of Morning is going up on tonight.

You should be able to read it at this link:

If you like sarcasm, teenaged agnst, sibling rivalries, stories about kidnappings, and bad boys, then you're going to LOVE Morning.

I'm very excited to be working on this right now because it's much different than what I normally write for a few reasons. First off, it's not fantasy and has nothing fantasy-like in it. That's right everyone, Jessyka's writing a book that's completely real life-ish. Secondly, it's written in verse. While it's still going to be first person, present tense (as all of my writing is), this is the first time I've ever written something I'm serious about in verse.

So, this is going to be one of two things:
1. Awesome and a really interesting read.
2. Absolutely awful.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Here's Something to Brighten Your Monday...

I stumbled across this on Memebase...

(It's a Rick Astley reference, for those who actually live in this century, unlike myself...)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Two Great Things In One Day!

First of all, a happy Mother's Day to you all! Hopefully you've all been nice to your moms today ;)

Secondly, I've FINALLY finished working on Chapter 5 of Into the Woods' second draft. Granted, it isn't the best thing I've ever written, there's always going to be time to go back and edit later. I'm very excited I've finally completed it though because this means I'm done introducing Shadow's POV and I can finally get into the jucier parts of the story. The rest of Part One should write itself out easily.

Here's a little excerpt for those who want to see:

Listening carefully, I realize just how loud he really seems to me. Coming from somewhere that was usually almost always bustling and filled with a constant din, this place seems nearly so silent that at times it makes me feel uncomfortable. What makes it worse is that there are only the four of us here and it always seems to be me that’s the first awake in the morning.  I could go on and on with the list of things that are so… foreign about living here, but I’d rather keep a positive attitude. However, I’m still not used to being able to lounge around in a pair of sweatpants for a good portion of the day without anyone saying something or casting me any not-so-friendly glances.

Like I said, the entire chapter is very draft-ish, so don't mind the sloppy sentence structure and what not.

I've also got a new video up on my youtube channel: the book review for The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. I'll post the blog version up sometime this week, but for now, you can see the review here:

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I've been in a variety of moods today.

This morning, I was tired and irritable as I usually am up until I have a cup of coffee in my hand. By the time Chemistry rolled around second period, I was just flat out bored and wanting to go home even though I'd only been at school for a little over an hour. When I got to lunch, I wasn't in a mood to talk to anyone. That mood has stuck, but has lessened up a little bit.

I'm usually a pretty moody person, but today was a litte... extreme in that sense. Oh well. Just one of those Thursdays, I suppose.

I hate to sound like every other teenager in high school right now, but I really want summer to come faster. Everything seems so boring now that drama club is over and I actually have time to do things other than be a tree.

Maybe I'll make another video tonight.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely
By Melissa Marr


Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

After seeing mixed reviews about this book everywhere, I finally decided to give it a read to weigh in my own oppinions on it. I'd seen reviews that were very positive and then some that were not-so-positive. After spending about three days reading through Wicked Lovely's 328 pages, I came to the conclussion that I feel that the book was only O.K.

Title: Being from Boston, when I see the word "wicked" I instantly think of the way it's used here as an adverb (Example: Oh, that was wicked awesome!) To me, something about the words "wicked" and "lovely" just doesn't sound quite right.

Cover: Very pretty. You can tell just from the cover that it's going to be a fantasy book. I love the colors. It caught my eye nicely.

Plot: While original, I found this story a little hard to follow. The author only gives out little pieces of important information throughout the exposition of the book, which can leave the reader slightly confused if one doesn't know all that much about fae legends and what not. Fortunately, I did know a thing or two, but if I didn't, I probably wouldn't have read past page 100. As stated before though, it is original as there aren't very many YA fantasy novels that have aspects of traditional fae legends in them. The fantasy aspect was captured very clearly here.

Characters: Ugh. Headache inducing. There were far too many minor characters, which ditracted from how the main characters were developed. It was a little hard to keep up with them all and left me confused at points. Some of the minor characters could have easily been done without.

However, I do appreciate the author's use of unique names!

Setting: Decent. The author did a good job interweaving the fae world with the human world.

Over All Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Wicked Lovely is an interesting and unique paranormal romance, but is not something that I would find myself rushing off to read again or buy the sequels to.

I really like this weather, oddly enough.

I normally don't like it when it rains, but around this time of year, I actually do for some reason. You might think that's strange, seen as how Spring has finally found its way to New England after what feels like forever and everyone is aching to be outside. I'd like to be outside too, don't get me wrong (I mean, have you seen how pale I am? I could really use some color!), but this kind of weather is just... Pretty. All of the plants seem so much greener in contrast with the gray sky and the bleakness of it.

Everything just seems more colorful.

  It makes me want to write.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Ever Post!

Hurray! The first ever post to my new blog.

My old one was just a mess, so I figured it would just be easier to start anew with this one. I do like the title of it very much, as it goes along with a lot of my writing. Anyways, I'm going to try and post something new here at least twice a week-- possibly more if I feel like it.