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Dorlana’s Writing Diary (9th entry)

The Trouble with Scarecrows _3 Final (large) copyThe Trouble with Scarecrows (Book 2 Trouble with Men) –  I have my cover and my official summary/blurb , and a few days ago, I received my final galleys. But every time I get my edits back, I find tons of things to change – from commas to entire paragraphs. It’s not as much as the last one, but it seems never ending. So this is what I’m focusing on right now. After I’m finish with this round, I will send it back to my editor, and then I think the next thing I’ll receive is a PDF copy, and that one should be the actual final time to read through and edit little things (too late for anything else) before it goes on presale. So it’s getting to the exciting part of my – and the book’s – journey. (*clears throat* BTW, Book 1 – The Trouble with Snowmen is available now on Amazon. :)

Young Adult Fairy Tale Inspired Novel: Right now, I’m rewriting and expanding the last quarter of the book. On the last update, I had 39,000 words. As of today, I have 43,400, which is good considering I already have the rough draft. My goal is 50,000 – so I still have a long ways to go.  And, like any other story, doubts are swarming in my head: I’m never going to finish this one. (I began it like 5 years ago.) Is the concept strong enough? Are my character’s well developed? Should I be working on something else instead? (I already know the answer to that one though – I can’t. I must finish this one!! I just have to.)

Love and Laugher,

Dorlana

Writing Diary #8

Writing Diary #7

Writing Diary #6

Writing Diary #5

Writing Diary #4

Writing Diary #3

Writing Diary #2

Writing Diary #1

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East of Eden – January’s Book and Movie Review (And Giveaway!)

east of eden movie picQuick Book/Movie Summary:

Novel – 1952 – by John Steinbeck  (Summary From Amazon): Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Movie – 1955Directed by Elia Kazan – Screenplay by Paul Osborn (Summary from IMDB): In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam.

Book/Movie Club Set Up:

Our group (women ages 23-47) pick a book that has been made into a movie. We read the book and then get together for thematic food, to discuss the book, and then to watch the movie.

On the menu:

Each of us are to bring either a drink, dessert and/or appetizer and it is fun to use the storyEast of eden book club spread for inspiration. This month, we changed it up a bit by doing a wine & cheese theme. Below is the spread.

Appetizers: We ended up with ten different cheeses including, Gouda, Asiago, goat cheese, Fromayer D’Affinois. Plus prosciutto, salami, sesame crackers, pita chips, crostini, fruit, and more.

Drinks: assortment of red and white wines

Dessert: French twist, brownies, cookies

Thoughts about the Book:

At 600 pages I was a little afraid of this book. But as it turns out, after the first chapter, it swept me away – however, it did take me up to the day before we met to finish reading it. And furthermore, only one other person in our group made it through the entire thing. A couple of people made it half way through, one made it to 100 pages, and one person couldn’t get very far at all because she kept falling asleep –

The two of us who did finish the book, loved it. Steinbeck is a master story teller. He created very vibrant characters on both ends of the good/bad spectrum. The story of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were woven throughout the book and came full circle in the end. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel and highly recommend it.

Thoughts about the Movie:

The movie was only inspired by the last part of East of Eden – One main important character, Lee, was removed and his inspirational speeches were given to other characters. The beauty and monstrousness of Steinbeck dynamic character Cathy/Kate was watered down. I was disappointed because I was really looking forward to the movie.

The highlight of the movie was, of course, James Dean. Although we all respected his acting because it was so James Dean (And the character he played in this movie was compared to the one in Rebel without a Cause), we also made fun of his overacting – his erratic movements and teenage angst were a bit amusing. So, you know, there was a lot of laughing during this drama.

Interesting Discoveries:

 It was the only film (major roll) that was released during James Dean’s lifetime. And he was nominated for best actor, academy awards 1956.

Other’s considered for the role of Cal (James Dean’s character) were Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Paul Newman.

There may be a new movie in the works and it will star Jennifer Lawrence as Cathy/Kate – There is word that it will be two movies so that it will have both generations – so excited to hear this! I will be waiting on this movie – I’m wondering who will play Cal – What big shoes to fill …

 The Girly Discussions:

east of eden book coversJames Dean, James Dean, James Dean …

We didn’t care for Abra’s bangs – (I didn’t care for Julie Harris as Abra at all.)

The actors who played the Trasks Twins (James Dean and Richard Davalos ) looked more like brothers than they were portrayed in the book. In the novel, they were complete opposites.

Some thought Aron was pretty handsome himself.

Was James Dean’s hair grey in this movie? It looked grey in several scenes.

 

The Group’s Average ratings:

Book: 4 glasses of wine out of 5

Movie: 2 glasses of wine out of 5

The bottom line:

Read the book, and, if you love it and decide to watch the movie, just be aware that it is not the same story, but I think it is still worth watching – the cinematic classic of the 50s won a lot of awards and James Dean’s performance is what made him a star.

Next month’s Book and Movie:

The Martian by Andy Weir

Extra:

I have decided to giveaway (US only) my copy of East of Eden (The middle book in the pic above) so someone else can experience this classic tale. If you would like to read it, comment on this post on my blog, and I’ll draw a name from all who commented on January 31, 2016 – I will post the winner on Feb 1st.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

Free Fairy Tale Inspired YA Novel: The Princes of Tangleforest

What if the school’s misfits discovered a way to use mind control in order to become the popular group?

Free  January 7-11 2016

The Princes of Tangleforest by Dorlana Vann

The Princes of Tangleforest by Dorlana Vann

The Princes of Tangleforest

(Inspired by the classic fairy tale Rapunzel )

by Dorlana Vann

 ages 12+

Skater and reformed geek, Tanner Dobbs, soon learns that his new school, Tangleforest High, is ruled by the Princes. This group of brains used the techniques of Neuro Linguistic Programming to “persuade” the student body that intellectuals are cool, with an added bonus suggestion: “The Princes are the smartest and therefore the most popular.”

Julia Webster used to be part of the Princes’ crowd until they became obsessed and increasingly dangerous to themselves. Now she finds herself an outcast from her former “nerd” friends as well as the students who had ostracized her since elementary school. She’s worried when new kid, Tanner, is invited to join the Princes. She figures Tanner hides his smarts in order to fit in and worries that the popular status the Princes offer, even though geeky, might entice him.

When Tanner catches a glimpse of his golden-haired neighbor, Poppi, he thinks perhaps the Tangleforest community isn’t so terribly bad. But after climbing up to her window, he discovers she is locked in her bedroom by her wicked witch of a grandmother. Unfortunately, his only chance of saving the princess may be to become a nerd prince.

The eBook is Free January 7 – 11, 2016
Amazon (Kindle)

Amazon.co.uk (Kindle)

Amazon.de (Kindle)

Amazon.fr (Kindle)

About The Princes of Tangleforest:

My favorite story starter formula is fairy tale + supernatural element. The Princes of Tangleforest combines Rapunzel + mind control. Mind Control: During my research, I came across a Neuro Linguistic Programming book, Frogs into Princes. It fit perfectly in name and theme – and would actually be a great subtitle for The Princes of Tangleforest. BTW Frogs into Princes is a fascinating read.
Rapunzel: The Princes of Tangleforest was inspired by The Brother’s Grimm version of, “Rapunzel.” However, it is not a retelling of the classic. Instead, I’ve taken certain aspects of the fairy tale and mixed them with contemporary characters and setting. There are some obvious connections to the original story but also a few “Easter eggs” to discover.

  

Cover Reveal: The Trouble with Scarecrows – (Trouble with Men Book 2)

I’m thrilled to share the cover for the second book in my Trouble with Men series :  The Trouble with Scarecrows. The contemporary romance will be released in April of 2016.

The Trouble with Scarecrows _3 Final (large) copy

 

Book 1 – The Trouble with Snowmen is available now at Amazon.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

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