Alethea Kontis

Snakes & Snails

I began writing this bog post on April 29th, in the main lobby of the Best Western Westminster, less than an hour after the WRW Retreat officially ended. A few of the Mermaids convinced me to stay on a few extra days with them, to work on my massive pre-book-tour to-do list in solitude and sisterhood.

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I have my spoon, and I’m all set to dig my way out of Shawshank. The adventure I’m about to embark upon is a massive undertaking of my own creation, but I am equal to the task because I AM AMAZING.

I am also a mess.

I feel like I’m completely coming apart at the seams. I managed to hold the AWESOME together until last night at dinner, when Robyn Carr told us that everything was going to be all right.

I’ve always said that if I could go back in time to tell my teenage self anything (apart from “Boys…
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Happy Mothers’ Day!

For Mothers’ Day, I asked my beautiful mother to write a guest post for me on my blog. I thought it would be something cute and fun for everyone, and it wouldn’t take up too much of her time.

I had no idea what a big deal this would be.

I mean, I’ve been blogging for almost a decade. It’s like riding a bike. But while Mom’s an avid reader and frequent commenter, she reminded me that it’s a completely different situation when you’re on the other end of that post.

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Write a guest blog? Sure. How hard can that be?

Now, what shall I write about?

Since nothing immediately popped into my head I decided to consider some of the suggestions made by others. Hmmmm, “35 things” you do not know about me? Interesting – since everyone knows that my special number is “35”. (Well, maybe you don’t know.  I use that number as often as possible. …
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Pervasive Sexual Innuendo

As promised last month, when I got off on a Hunger Games tangent, this is my actual, intelligent post about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The King of Hearts recommends beginning at the beginning, and so I shall.

So this novel I wrote (Enchanted) comes out next month, and the reviews (which I read) are pouring in from every direction. These reviews are all over the place–from one star to five stars–but that’s good. I don’t want everyone to love my book. I want some people to love it and some people to hate, because that sparks a conversation, and conversations make the world go round.

But this post is not about reviews. This post is about sex.

One reviewer on Goodreads (who shall remain nameless only because I lack the energy to hunt it down), mentioned that she couldn’t even finish Enchanted because of all the pervasive sexual innuendo.

Now,…
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Team Katniss

So here’s the deal. I had this great post all ready to write about “insta-love” in YA novels (my new favorite term), followed by an actual, intelligent discussion of Team Edward and Team Jacob.

And then The Today Show ticked me off while I was at the gym (again…why can’t they change the channel?) and I decided to write up this fanatical little rant about The Hunger Games. As the film comes out this weekend, it seemed fitting. (And hell yes, I’m going to see it on Sunday.)

I loved every book in this trilogy. Loved them. It still bugs me that they’re written in first person present tense (if you ever have the urge to do that, PLEASE DON’T), but they are gorgeously written and incredibly fun…which is how it became this huge, colossal entity. (Unlike Twilight, the popularity of which still baffles me.)

What the Hunger Games is NOT, is a trilogy of romance novels. Sure, there are romantic elements in it,…
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On The Quality of Skin

I’m going to begin this blog post the way I hate people starting emails: with an apology.

I am sorry. I was wrong.

I have, in the past, on numerous occasions, stated vehemently that I do not read reviews for my books. Yes, I will skim through them if my editor sends them to me, because she has taken the time to collect them and copy them and mail hard copies to me, and ignoring her hard work would be a disservice. But I do not want to be one of those people who checks Amazon or Goodreads every day hour minute for affirmation. I do not want to yell and scream and tilt at windmills because some reader called me out for something they obviously misconstrued, or gave me one star in revenge because I cheated during the sixth grade spelling bee. I do not want to be weeping in a ball on the tiles in my…
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Write What You Know

“Write what you know.”

Ugh.

I hate this cliche bit of writing advice. I first heard it as said to Jo March in Little Women, and then again and again as I dove into the deep, Olympic swimming pool of the writing world.

The trouble with this advice, as with all cliches, is there’s quite a bit of truth in it.

Which is so annoying.

How does one write about magical worlds and special girls with secret powers and evil queens and glittery unicorns when one lives in THIS world? I mean, look around. This world is full of dirty clothes and dirty dishes and traffic jams and bathroom scales and taxes. Taxes, for goodness sake.

Ugh. No way.

The work around this (for me) was to make my life magic. This sounds impossible, but it’s really not. What do you want your forte to be? Become the expert in that field. Vampires? Steampunk? Space Flight? Mermaids? Look…
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Happy Solstice!

I love this day of the year. THIS, more than January 1st, is my New Year’s Day.

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, followed by the longest night. (Thus the Yule Log, to light the darkness and keep evil spirits away.)

But what this means ultimately is that after tonight, THE DAYS START GETTING LONGER.

Winter is so difficult. Many of us love the darkness (especially those of us who suffer from migraines), but it’s tough to fight those Circadian Rhythms that tell us to be tired when it starts getting dark outside. It feels like 10pm, but it’s only 6:30. You know what I’m talking about.

Then there’s SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and the general depression that the holidays bring to a lot of people…its a tough time of year, folks.

Today I would like you all to take a minute to yourself and light a candle. If you don’t have a candle handy (silly person), then sip a…
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Do You NaNo?

Welcome to November 1st, my watery denizens. You know what that means!

Yes, in writerly circles, November 1st marks the advent of NaNoWriMo— National Novel Writing Month. In short, those who sign up (I believe you can still sign up today) pledge to attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

I’m not sure why November was chosen as opposed to say, August, when there are no Holidays and people are expected to go to parties and shop for the holiday season of their choice…but that wasn’t up to me.

My handle on NaNo (as it is affectionately called) is Princess Alethea. I will also be tweeting some of my progress and writing sprints under the #NaNoWriMo hashtag.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2005, and I have yet to get to 50,000 words. But I still participate every year, and I am still proud when I look at my word count come December 1st.

Now, there are…
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Semantics by Alethea Kontis

“What are you doing out here?”

It had taken him long enough to find her. Holly felt Jacob’s touch on her shoulder but did not turn around. Time was too fleeting. She wanted to revel a little longer in the chill of the dark Spring night, the giggle of the creek below her, the crunch of the grass under her feet. Charlie’s mind hadn’t gotten the grass quite right yet.

“I was scolded for talking to the children,” she said. “So I came out to catch fireflies by the water.” She scooped up a lightning bug that had rested on the branch beside her, serenely blinking like an empty street on the day after Christmas. Holly remembered Christmas, and the little girl who had dreamed about it once. Holly had taken her name.

“Technically it’s not catching when you don’t chase them,” said Jacob.

“Technically it’s not chasing when they wait to be found.” Even after so long,…
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#amwriting

There’s a hashtag on Twitter for authors who are writing: #amwriting.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been #amwriting lately, and it’s gone to my head. I need to cut it out. Get with the discipline. Have some accountability.

“Good lord, this sounds like Weight Watchers,” I say to myself at this point, which may sound a lot like what you’re saying to yourself right now.

Sometimes I get annoyed when writers post their word metrics. But why? I can read them or ignore them, at my whim. What’s important is that the writer is WRITING, and those metrics hold them accountable to not only themselves but the rest of the world.

And so, for at least the next month, I challenge you to come along with me and post your word metrics. Be honest. Be realistic. Do it every single day. Remember — even six words is better than nothing. Just like climbing those stairs is better than sitting on…
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