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The Hunt for Elsewhere – Now Available for Purchase!

At long last, my book is finally finished and on sale! The Hunt for Elsewhere by Beatrice Vine is available in both paperback and eBook formats. You can purchase a copy at the following links:

In Paperback OR for the Kindle
In Paperback OR for the NOOK
For your computer or other portable device
For the iPad: You can search for the book in the iTunes store!

It’s certainly been an interesting journey. Now, onto the next story!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Hunt for Elsewhere – Sorry for the wait!

I’ve been absent for a long time, and I’m so sorry, but the time I was absent was dedicated to re-writing my book, re-writing my book again, sending it off to an editor, and re-writing it yet again. It is now in the stages of polish, and I will send it out for book reviews this weekend. I thought I would have been done by late last summer, than by the beginning of December, but I was wrong. Rookie mistake.

Anyhow, I would much rather push the publication date and get my book in fit shape than send it out so-so. As it is, I’m not completely happy with the story, but I am satisfied with it.

The timeline now, assuming everything goes well, is as follows:

1.) Send manuscript out for book reviews this weekend.

2.) Reviews will be received 2-3 weeks after submission.

3.) Final retouches to book cover.

4.) Submit to Amazon for print and eBook. Book should be available approximately 7 days after submission.

5.) Submit to Barnes & Noble for availability on the nook. Submit to Smashwords for availability on other electronic platforms (may take up to 2 months).

Dear god, I hope this goes according to plan. This whole thing has been emotionally exhausting!

 

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The Hunt for Elsewhere: Progress Report

I have made it to chapter twenty of The Hunt for Elsewhere. This means I am getting close to the finish line. I have the end of ACT II and ACT III to go. Thank goodness. I made it through the morass that is the second act.

For the moment I would like to express some concerns. The story is the way I want it to be, but I have strong misgivings as to whether or not anyone would actually be interested in reading it. My reasons for these concerns are three-fold:

1.) My characters are animals. Aside from children, do any young adults or adults read stories about animals anymore? I’m a little scared I’ve chosen an outdated type of storytelling, and if not, that this method is stereotyped as not serious reading. The only young adult to adult readers I can imagine being remotely interested are those who are into anthro or furry, which, unfortunately, carries some negative connotations. Mind, I don’t care if someone identifies as a furry or not, but I am concerned about the consequential public perception of the book.

2.) The animals and the situations they find themselves in are an allegory for human nature and human society. I’m very self-conscious that my… ‘commentary’ on religion, politics and relationships might be too on-the-nose. I consulted my significant other about this, and he assured me that a classic like Animal Farm was very much on-the-nose as a commentary on communism. Nevertheless, I don’t want this story to be preachy so much as I want it to be honest.

3.) Tone. I try to shift between humor and drama, but I wonder if the shifts are too drastic. I don’t want the reader to be thinking: What am I reading? Is this supposed to be a Disney movie or something like Watership Down?

I am pleased, however, with my characterizations and the budding friendship my two main characters share. I know I will go back for revisions, but I think my characters are being sculpted as I had envisioned them before I began writing. I think this is the one aspect of my novel that is strong. Not perfect, but strong.

As for the quality of prose, it vascilitates from methodical to just right to melodramatic (or ‘flowery’).  Again, this is what revisions are for. I’m wondering if I should have someone read my first draft raw before I reread my work and make preliminary revisions. There are pros and cons to both methods, and I am undecided.

Just recently, I needed to go back to something relatively easy, so I finally wrote another chapter to the fanfic, Two Stools. As usual, I felt incredibly guilty afterwards (like an addict that needed one more hit), but it was very nice to write something without worrying about the details and quality. Too bad that the fandom is dying out. I don’t think I have many readers. Oh, well. At least, its a calming exercise.

Comments or thoughts from anyone are appreciated.

 

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Restaurant Recommendation: Crustacean

First, I’d like to start of by saying that I do LOVE Los Angeles. As some of you might know, Los Angeles and I have had a love-hate relationship for a while. There is love because of the great weather and the seemingly endless variety of people, food, drink, shopping, arts, and entertainment. There is also hate because of the high cost of living, shitty traffic, and of course, that gorgeous haze of downtown smog. Overall, though, I’d have to say I love this place far more than the trivial annoyances make me want to hate it. Of course, it also helps that I’m deeply in love with someone who enjoys experiencing Los Angeles with me, whether to fly a kite, sun bathe at the beach, or share some bourbon on the rocks at a bar while munching on appetizers.

And the creme de la creme of Los Angeles is, predictably, located in Beverly Hills (although some of you might argue for Santa Monica, Brentwood, South Pasadena or Malibu – your mileage might vary).

Located at 9646 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, I present to you, Crustacean.

As you enter the front doors after leaving your car with valet, you see an approximately 10 to 11 foot high aquarium with a waterfall running down the glass surface. Then, you walk through this:

If you look closely at the floor, there is indeed an aquarium embedded between the tiles.As you “walk on water” you can watch koi swim beneath you. Here is a closer look:

After going through the bar, your host or hostess will lead you through the main dining area. There you may have to cross an Asian wooden bridge to make it to the staircase leading to the second floor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any good pictures of the main dining area online.

The whole area feels very much like being on the set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There are all sorts of Asian motifs, including a giant drum and bamboo fans mounted against the walls. These fans, in addition, are connected to a gear system that moves the fans backward and foward, increasing the luxurious feel of the restaurant.

Crustacean’s signature dish, one guaranteed to ALWAYS be fantastic, is their Roasted Garlic Crab. Not their Drunken Crab, not their Cracked Roasted Garlic Crab, their ROASTED GARLIC CRAB. Order anything else, and the experience just isn’t the same. You want the crab whole (not cracked) to preserve the juices inside the shell before eating. As for Drunken Crab, unless you like the taste of sake on your seafood, I would advise against it.

Granted, there are people out there who don’t like having their food stare at them. I have to say this:

Respect the crab. Look at him in the eye and thank him for giving up his life for your joy. I’m serious. Don’t be a pussy. Man up, and eat that motherfucking ecstacy on a plate. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

On the side, you also must order their specialty Garlic Noodles. A colleague of mine described the noodles as essentially perfect garlic bread in noodle form. They are highly addictive, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I can easilly eat the garlic noodles alone for dinner.

I know. It’s deceptively simple looking. You won’t believe how much flavor they pack into these seemingly innocent noodles.

The service at this restaurant is nothing short of exquisite. The waiters pull your chairs and “prepare” your crab. By “prepare,” I mean that they turn over the crab shell and place a little bit of the garlic noodles inside (like a bowl). The juices from the crab then soak into the noodles, adding to the rich flavor.

Next, if you’re wearing something nice, the waiters will politely offer a bib which they will tie around your neck for you. They come to your table frequently, to remove empty crab shells, refill your drinks, and so forth. The waiters are positively lovely. Very professional, kind, and polite.

Now here’s the doozy: the price. One person can easily spend over $80.00 at this restaurant, and that would include the crab, the garlic noodles, an alcoholic drink, and dessert. This is a pricey restaurant, not bad relative to other Beverly Hills venues, but still expensive. Nevertheless, I can say without hestitation that dining here is worth every penny.

In short, if you like seafood, this place is sure to induce foodgasm. It might take you a couple of hours to recover. It certainly took me a while to stop smiling like a crazy person and professing the urgent need to cry. Yes, it’s nirvana. There’s nothing else that can succinctly describe it.

Scale: OMG I CAN DIE NOW -> Pretty Awesome -> Good -> Okay -> Yikes! -> RUNAWAY!

FOOD: OMG I CAN DIE NOW
DRINKS: Good
SERVICE: OMG I CAN DIE NOW
PRICE: Yikes!
AMBIANCE: OMG I CAN DIE NOW
WAIT TIME: Pretty Awesome

Disclaimer: None of the pictures above are mine. As usual, I took them from Google images. Yeah, I know. I really should start bringing my digital camera wherever I go.

SITE: http://www.anfamily.com/Restaurants/crustacean_beverlyhills/displaypages/homepage.html

 

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Original Novel: Brief Synopsis

For those of you who have asked me about what my novel is about, thank you so much for your support. As I’ve mentioned to another poster, I don’t want to give out too much away as talking about my stories lowers my motivation to write them. In addition, I’m also concerned about plagiarism or idea theft as I have not completed my novel, and therefore, have not sent the story to be copyrighted. Without copyright protection, I can lose my story. I realize I don’t have many followers on this blog, but I’d rather play it safe than sorry

However, I will be using this blog to discuss my writing process and the novel’s progress without giving too much away. Once the novel is completed (and it better be by the end of this year, or I’ll eat my hat), I will also use this blog to promote the book as well as provide a brief summary. At that point, the novel will have been sent to the Library of Congress as well as the Writers’ Guild of America.

I will give this much away:

1.) It is a young adult novel that will also hopefully appeal to adult readers.
2.) The characters are forest, farm, and urban animals, and yes, they talk.
3.) The main characters are a fox, a wolf, and a crow.
4.) The story focuses on friendship, family, loss, and what it means to become an adult.
5.) The story takes place in numerous locations through the United States.

I hope I’ve captured your interest. I am now working on Part II, and as predicted, it’s proven difficult after the completion of Part I.

Thank you for following me! I hope to see you again soon.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Original Novel: End of Part I on the Horizon

I don’t know if this counts as a milestone or not, but it certainly feels like one for me. I am now working on the last chapter of Part I of my childrens/young adult novel. No, it’s not Part I as in Part I of a trilogy, it’s simply Part I of the novel itself. Yeah, I know. Big whoop, but let me explain.

I spent the greater part of the end of March wrangling with writer’s block and hiding in fear that this project would once again hit the garbage bin barely forty pages in. Fortunately, I confided in my significant other, who advised that I keep the parts I felt boring, but necessary short and sweet, and keep moving faster toward the parts I looked forward to in my outline. You’d think this solution would be common sense, but it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything in prose. In screenplays, you can cut in the middle of a scene and jump somewhere else to move the action along. Novels? Honestly, I’d rather not push the “experimental” envelope since I’m just a rookie/wannabe writer. I don’t have the credentials to play hardball without looking like a pretentious ass.

Oh, wait. Too late.

So here I am, on the last chapter, and feeling very worried this chapter won’t be excuted the way I’ve imagined it. And I’ve imagined it enough times to recite the dialogue out loud. OCD, but true. I’ve already begun creating the most critical scene. It’s the part of the novel I’ve been aching to write for the longest time. It needs to be written. It has to be written, and yet I feel reluctant to step off the edge of the very precipice I’ve created and let the real ride begin.

UPDATE: It’s finished. Time to bring out the big guns.

 
 

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Bar Recommendation: 31Ten in Santa Monica

31Ten in Santa Monica is literally located at 3110 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Despite the fact that its name should make locating this bar a piece of cake, it is actually hidden towards the back of a building, where you need to climb up a few steps to get to the main entrance. It looks like this:

I realize that aside from the lush flowers, it doesn’t look like much. But once you get inside, 31Ten looks like this:

And this:

And this:

The best time to go is 8:30PM on a Saturday. The reasons are two-fold: 1.) You will get in immediately and avoid an increasingly huge line waiting outside. 2.) You will get in immediately and avoid an increasingly huge line waiting outside.

I’m not kidding. At 8:30PM, things are just warming up. You’re guaranteed to get the food and drinks you want in a timely manner, and you’re probably going to enjoy having a bar stool to rest your tush on for an hour or two. Once the clock strikes 10:00PM, though, it gets extremely crowded and the bar will need to remove all the stools to make room for more people. And honestly, I can see why this venue is growing quite popular among the Los Angeles nightlife.

Tucked away in Santa Monica, it is surrounded by boutique stores, authentic cuisine restaurants, a plethora of hotels, bars, and pubs, and it is within walking distance from the beach. Although most of the bar consists of a patio, it boasts an indoor area, numerous heat lamps, a pretty huge fire pit (See that blast of light surrounded by trees and located to the center-left side of the 2nd photo? That’s the fire pit). I was there last weekend, when the winds were particular nippy and the ocean breeze wasn’t helping. Once I stepped inside 31Ten, I had to take my jacket off and I regretted wearing a turtleneck as opposed to a little black dress like all the other ladies.

As for the bar, they have wonderful specialty cocktails (such as a white sangria) and a wide selection of wines and beers. Their menu is very good, but I would have to say that the best deal is their $10.00 Margherita pizza. Not only is it delicious (the cheese and sauce are amazing), but the pizza comes in a pretty good size for the price. The other tasty appetizers, however, run small especially during happy hour. In example, grilled tuna sliders come as only two pieces during happy hour, and three pieces during normal hours. The size of these pieces? Probably 2.5 inches across! Granted, it is an appetizer, but for $8.00 it’s a bit steep. The main entrees on the menu include such fair as steak and seared scallops. These are on the pricier side, but the taste and presentation, along with the ambiance, justify the price.

The atmosphere is great: wonderful club and lounge music played at just the right volume, lovely trees and flowers, and romantic candlelight everywhere. This is a perfect place for couples to stoke the “fires” and dance, and for singles to snatch-up a number or two. But like I said, you may want to come a little early to avoid waiting to get past the bouncer.

Scale: OMG I CAN DIE NOW -> Pretty Awesome -> Good -> Okay -> Yikes! -> RUNAWAY!

FOOD: Pretty Awesome
DRINKS: Good
SERVICE: Good
PRICE: Okay
AMBIANCE: Pretty Awesome
WAIT TIME: Okay

DISCLAIMER: Photos are not mine. I poached them from Google images.

Site: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&biw=1259&bih=818&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tlif130262997549310&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=31+ten+santa+monica&fb=1&gl=us&hq=31+ten&hnear=Santa+Monica,+CA&cid=11851669825389052391

 

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