To new blog, or not?

Hi readers dear,

I am thinking about changing over to blogspot so I can have nifty fonts and such. Please see it here:

Alpina’s Quill Pen Blogspot Edition

….And give me you honest opinion!


This writer’s reading year.

Since everyone else is doing an end-of-year post on their blog, I’m going to do one. Haha. It seems I’m using cliches a lot lately, and it’s kind of fun.

I’ve read a lot of badly written books, and learned a TON about writing, to say the least. I’ve had friend troubles [boy troubles too, if you can call it that], I’ve made great new friends. I finally have a Bookshelf Big Enough to Hold Everything. And without further ado, I have read the following amazing works:

  • Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements – Whoa. Amazing amazing amazing. As I’ve said in an earlier post, this book has such a simplistic and realistic POV that it’ll blow you away. Not for younger readers, but y’know, not everything is. I’ve never really liked science fiction until I read this book.
  • RUTH in the Holy Bible – I kept reading the line ‘Intreat me not to leave thee…’ in My Friend Flicka, and I finally found it in the Bible: Ruth. A beautiful book. Very short and sweet.
  • ESTHER in the Holy Bible – I watched a movie called ‘One Night With The King’ which was VERY loosely based on Esther, and immediately went and read it. LOVE THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
  • The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff – though I’m not really into her other works, this happens to be the best music themed book I’ve ever read. I can also really relate to the narrative and the way the book flows… the main character in this book is very realistic. This makes my Top Ten.
  • Marika by Andrea Cheng – Though this writer has a very structured writing style, I still enjoyed this dramatic story about a Jewish girl in Hungary in WWII. The Lace Dowery is also a good book. I found both at the library.
  • Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls – This book was written for adults, but my dad bought it for me anyway. xD Though some of it is kind of depressing, I LOVED the narrative. [ROFL what’s new?] This book made me think a little deeper about my own characters and how they think. Pretty deep, even though it’s secular in a way.
  • Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School Series by Andrew Clements – Nautical, school story, hidden panels, ocean… what more could you want? Written very well.
  • The Red Blazer Girls (series) The Vanishing Violin by Micheal D. Beil – BRILLIANTLY HILARIOUS. There was almost too many characters in this book, but they were unique enough so the large enumeration was not a huge deal. I liked the Vanishing Violin a lot more than the first book, but that’s because it’s about music. xD And mystery!

There are many, many more books out there that rock, and I cannot wait to read them in the coming year.

Literary Awards Season

Yep, it’s that time of year, when everyone flips out over who wrote in a ‘poignant’ or ‘fantastic’ fashion in YA fiction. I’ve just recently started following the SLJ’s Newbery discussions and Horn Book Awards (though I trust Horn Books more) and I cannot believe the small range of books they consider. Yeah, go ahead and yell at me. I do tend to read Newbery Honors over Newly Published. I’m just utterly frustrated with their shortlists this year, because I’m a Penderwicks fan but #3 wasn’t as good as 1 & 2 (#1 should have won a Newbery three times over, personal opinion). Though many times very well picked, these awards annoy the heck out of me!


So alas, I think it is time to fully reveal what I have been hinting at for a month:

In 2012, I am starting an internet-based [Christian] Book Award blog. Anything YA/Teen will be considered, excluding Magic/Fantasy, because all of the other book awards are covering those genres, and other books need a little lime light. This isn’t going to be some highfalutin drivel about ONLY THE BEST!, I truelly want to make a list of great new books that READERS love. In a few days I will post a link to the blog which will outline the process, but here is an idea of how it will work:

  1. Readers everywhere will discuss recently published YA/Teen Fic [And maybe favorite books in history… who knows]. Jessica will make long rants about how fantastic The Red Blazer Girls are.
  2. Jessica will begin to compile the top contenders into categories…
  3. Readers will submit short essays on why a certain book rocks
  4. Jess will again compile the list with her crazy awesome Judges (already have 3 people interested)
  5. Repeat 1-4 until December 2012, when the nominations will wrap up. Snazzy award images will be made. Authors will be begged for an interview. It will rocketh.

Also, I must warn you that some of the categories will be judged based on Philipians 4:8 and I Timothy 4:12. Thus, why it makes it hard to put a Twi-blight section in. Sorry. This doesn’t mean that dark fiction is not allowed, it just means that books will have to mean something beyond ‘OMG, my boyfriend just killed my other boyfriend’ Et al.


Until then…. BREAK DANCE.


First off, this blog is a bit dry. Like a gourmet cracker. Though I hope I’m not as highfalutin as that. I think it needs some spice, and a little bit extra. So you’ll see that… very soon. LITERARY HILARITY!

© Jessica Verve


Secondly, I love Sky Sailing.

Please Remind Me

Please remind me firmly that I am not on the Newberry Committee. You have to be a librarian to be there, not a writer.

Please remind me that even though I find it humorous that people suggest books by saying “Because who needs Edward OR Jacob”, that doesn’t mean it’s any good when you read about the actual plot.

Please remind me that I’m the only person who thinks that My Friend Flicka is the best YA book ever written, because some peeple are into Chick Lit and Dystopian.

Please recall to my ears the sound of a story read well, and tell me when there is an actually GOOD audio book.

(A switch to 2nd Person) You aren’t a genius, so stop writing about them. (End 2nd Person Narrative)

Don’t forget to nag me about finding another writing contest–one that actually accepts YA writers.

(Switching back to 2nd Person) You silly goof, what are you doing with that character, sending it to college? No, no, that is not how highschool works. Just WRITE it, don’t analyze it. Analyzing is for boring people.

Can’t you make one stinking boyfriend character with a level head? You’re insulting. (End narrative again)

Please remind me that I am the only one annoyed with all theses books and poems about adult… stuff.


Thank you. *answering machine beeps*

*grins* I lost my first writing contest!

So here I was, writing a short story furiously to enter in the Writer’s Digest Your Story #38… and then I realized that the particular rules for #38 were for ‘The opening of a story, 25 words or fewer.’ Well, snap. A little fudging, and about ten tries later, and I had made an intriguing opener for a story based off of this photo prompt:

My entry had nothing to do with murder or prostitution, though, so unfortunately I didn’t make the Top Ten cut. It might have had to do with my writing and the fact that I fudged the rules, though. I prefer the first explanation.

Here I was, scouting the next sleazy paranormal movie with a crazy photographer and a blue-green tinted lens. ‘Stop the car!’

Not. This. Motel.

Copyright Jessica Verve, 2011

I’m laughing hysterically even though I should be sad… y’know, it isn’t that bad losing a writing contest… not as bad as I thought. No hard feelings to the winners. You get to be in Writer’s Digest!

It’s Frost Time

It will be long ere the marshes resume,
I will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred.

Nothing is more inspiring than a Robert Frost poem to this author. I could sip them like tea on even an Indian Summer day. But that is not always what happens; when I look for inspiration or a good verse to ignite the pen, the results sometimes cough like a diesel jalopy. I wish some one would give in and print all of these lovely anti-prose works in one volume. But now I exhale and type.

[Eh? Not so bad. Copyright Frost and Alpina. Seriously. I’m watching you, punk.]

Every writer needs help.

No one is perfect. Writers especially.


Right now, as a participant of NaNoWriMo who did not click the ‘Divorce your Inner Editor’ Button [eh, it’s got a different name], I am still having trouble with catching myself when I write something utterly repetitive or cliche. For instance, in my current novel [known heretofore as Deception] my MC is 15-16. She and her brother are constantly using the same adjective form, –ly. It drives me bananas, because I’m constantly looking for words other than completely or totally or seriously. Maybe they have a bit of a problem. Or maybe it’s me. Yeah, I’m honest enough to admit it’s my problem. It’s just easier to make them sound like that.


So stop blaming your darn characters and just ignore the cliches! OR, if your not a part of NaNoWriMo [we’re strictly prohibited from self-editing during November, even though we do], just think about how you could say it different—UGH, darn, I almost added ly. Okay. Okay. Let’s see….

…Just think about how you could put it across in a different fashion. Watch the news and take note of newscaster’s grammar if you don’t want to sound like a texting teenager.


Disclaimer: this method may not work if the newscaster doesn’t have a clue. Use some common sense.

Hello Writers and the like.

I am henceforth known as Alpina, though that is not my real name. It is a brand of typewriter that used to exist. The name was also inspired by the OC song ‘On The Wing’, though this doesn’t mean I’m a complete pop music bubble brain. I listen to jazz quite a bit. No offense to those strictly-pop fans.

This blog is a compilement of all the blogs I ever tried to make about writing. Some were never read, some were copied, and some were frequented by people on the internet that I did not want to be around anymore. So here it is… Alpina’s Quill. Or Aplina, which works just as well saying as it’s a typo. Writer’s have to be open to these things.

Happy NaNoWriMo month. :-]