Saturday, December 31, 2011

Writing Goals for the New Year

[ ] Put more excerpts of my books up on my blog.
[ ] Edit The Silenced early on in the year.
[ ] Publish The Silenced for the Kindle and Nook.
[ ] Write the next book in the series The Privileged.
[ ] Edit and publish the book for the Kindle and Nook.
[ ] Write the finally book of the series.
[ ] Think of another idea for a Young Adult novel.
[ ] Finish writing my Novella in January.
[ ] Edit and publish my Novella for the Kindle and Nook.
[ ] Write everyday this year without exceptions.
[ ] Get more followers on my blog.
[ ] Post more blog posts at least 2 to 3 a week.

I know it's a long list but I have never been more excited
and motivated to type posts, write books, and connect
with the writing world. Good luck to all the other authors
out there.

R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top YA Books of 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta 
Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon 
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick 
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa 
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Indelible by Lani Woodland 
Heros til Curfew by Susan Bischoff 
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Divergent by Veronica Roth 
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand 
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins 
Inheritance by Christoper Paolioni 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Iron Quill by Shelena Short 
Daimon by Jennifer L'Armentrout 
Delirium by Lauren Oliver 
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong 
Desires of the Dead by Kimberley Derting 
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore, James Frey, Jobie Hughes
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

What are your top book picks for 2011?

R.J. Ropsen

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top YA Book Covers of 2011


R.J. Ropsen

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mysterious Beauty

A vast woodland of giant greens
slowly sweetly pitter patter
drip, drip,
their wet soft markings tumble
towards a gentle terrains embrace
here they fall asleep for eternity
embracing their surroundings
with an echoing symphony


A grand explosion
of colorful delight explodes
boom, boom
goes blue orange yellow
celebrating an unorganized joy
colliding caressing and complete
they throw a mysterious sparkle
across an untamed wilderness


A glowing circular light
emits shadows into the darkness
swish, swish,
it glistens across golden strands
creating a beauty unseen and
untouched by nature
then finally the radiance crashes
changing its light to collide
softly with the land below


A golden sliver
emits a faint glow
splash, splash
the glass land reflects the sliver
into the sky and the ensuing
darkened forever
the only one knowing is the man
sitting quietly on his wooden perch
forever hoping that the world will stay

You are,

All those beautiful things to me like
the vast woodland of giant greens,
a grand explosion of delight,
the glowing circular beam,
and a golden sliver shining faint
you’re an unseen rare beauty
that masterpiece of amazement
that I can’t help but see
in the sun, the moon and the rain

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Favorites of Christmas

There are a lot of things to love about Christmas time.  Here
are some of my favorite things I enjoy during the holiday

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
Even a grumpy Grinch can fine love in the holiday season.

A trip aboard a train where you are taken all the way to the
North Pole.

Short Video
The Spirit of Christmas
A magical story by Nancy Tillman made into a short video.

The Who Song
The song at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas
welcoming in the Christmas day.

Christmas Lights
There is something special about driving around at night
looking at the lights. 

Outdoor Activity
Ice Skating
Nothing says the holidays more then skating on an outdoor
rink on a cold winter day.

Hot Chocolate
After a cold day outside a nice hot cup of cocoa warms
you right up.

Fresh Pine Needles
A freshly cut tree standing in the living room brings on the
nicest smell of pine needles.

Christmas Book Tree
Why not make a Christmas tree from your favorite books?

Spending Time With Family
There is nothing more special during Christmas then spending
time with family and enjoying every moment of it.

What did you enjoy about the holiday season this year?

R.J. Ropsen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Great Christmas Stories

The Magic of Christmas

   Christmas is a magical time of year lights dazzle the streets, stockings
hang by the fire, and warmth fills the air. There are many things about the
Christmas season that can be enjoyed too. The heat of hot chocolate
after a cold winter day, sitting by the fire letting the snow melt from your
clothes, and curling up in bed to read a great Christmas story. Christmas
stories can be just as magical as the Christmas season. Here are a few I
have enjoyed over the years. I hope you enjoy them too.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Synopsis: Take a ride aboard the polar express. There you will journey to
the North Pole.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Synopsis: Meet the Grinch a person who hates Christmas and tries to steal
it from Whoville.

The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel
Synopsis: Join Henry and his father during the depression as they try to sell
Christmas trees in Manhattan.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Synopsis: Teeka tries to train reindeers for Santa's upcoming flight but finds
there antlers tangled. Everything is going wrong. Can Teeka get the reindeer
ready in time?

The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman
Synopsis: The Spirit of Christmas comes like always that year. There were
lights outside, tinsel on trees, and ornaments hanging but something was
still missing. What could it be?

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Synopsis: Peter wakes up one day to find snow outside. He quickly puts on
his  snowsuit and wanders out to enjoy everything about the new fallen snow.

Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne
Synopsis: A rocking horse is discovered under the Christmas tree. A little
boy hops on and goes on magical adventures. Soon he forgets about the
horse and it gallantly waits for a new owner up in the attic.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by  Susan Wojciechowski
Synopsis: Jonathan Toomey, a great woodcarver, is alone for the holidays.
He had lost his family along time ago. This Christmas a boy and his mother
have a special request for the carver. Can they help bring joy back to his life?

A Christmas Carol (picture book) by Charles Dickens
Synopsis: Four ghosts visit a grumpy old man in hopes that he can discover
the true meaning of Christmas.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner 
Synopsis: Have your ever wondered what snowmen do at night? So did one
young child and he might have been right.

Just like these wonderful stories I hope you too have a magical Christmas!

R.J. Ropsen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In My Diary(2)

Two Month Story

   It is hard to imagine I have only been doing this a little less then
two months now. When I was younger I wrote occasionally but
never as much as I have now. I started my first novel called, The 
Silenced, and finished writing it. Now all I have to do is wait for
it to be edited. Hopefully I will be able to publish it as an eBook
no later then  February. The prologue of, The Silenced, is on my
blog under the tab with the same name. It is in third person while
the rest of my story is in first person. You can check it out if you
are interested.

   Last week I started a new writing project. I had a different idea
for a story and have decided it will be a novella. That means I am
going to take a little break from writing the next two books after, 
The Silenced, which will be in the Egret trilogy. The novella is an
entirely different project for me. The story is not in the young adult
genre that I prefer. Instead it is an autobiography and I have
started writing it already. So far I am enjoying it.

   Two months ago I decided I wanted to be an author and have
written more then I ever have. I really enjoy everything about it so
far too! Hopefully others will enjoy my writing enough that I can
make more of a career out of it. For now I will work and write
and work and write because every new word means I  may be
closer to my goal. I know it won't be easy but I am in it for the
long haul.

R.J. Ropsen

Saturday, December 10, 2011

EBook Formatting

   I recently was helping a friend format an ebook. I have never done
this before, and used the internet as a major resource.While searching
the web I came across an amazing website! Step by step, the website
went through how to format an eBook for the kindle and nook. For
people who are visual learners like me, there were three videos that
showed the process. Better yet, all of the tools they suggested for
formatting the eBook were free!

   Using the website I was able to format the ebook in a little under
eight hours which I didn't think was that bad since I was learning how
to do it; I even added pictures and links to the book. Now with the help
of the website I am confident I could format an eBook in a couple of

   A few days ago, I put the eBook I formatted up on the kindle. Once
I put it on amazon, it published the eBook within 10 hours without any
 publishing issues.  Here is the book I formatted, Walk On. Check out
the formatting by "looking inside" to see if you like that type of formatting.
(Page breaks aren't shown in the preview)

   Why pay someone to format your eBook, or submit it to a site that
takes some of the profit when you can do it yourself! Look at this
website, and try formatting your eBook today!

 R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inspirational Quotes for Writers

    Sometimes writers find it hard to write. Or other times they feel a little
defeated. Here are a few motivational quotes that I enjoyed. Maybe they
can help you pick up the pen and scratch away again.
"Easy reading is damn hard writing."
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the 
only secret."
-Matthew Arnold

"Wake the happy words." 
-Theodore Roethke

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, 
but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." 
- Robert Charles Benchley

"Writing is rewriting... If you fall in love with the vision you want of 
your work and not your words, the rewriting will become easier." 
- Nora DeLoach 

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we 
are unable to say."  
-Anaïs Nin

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written 
yet, then you must write it."  
-Toni Morrison

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
-William Wordsworth

"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the 
fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."
-E.L. Doctorow

"Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new 
-Baltasar Gracian

"Becoming the reader is the essence of becoming a writer."
-John O'Hara

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to 
get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say. " 
-Sharon O'Brien

"Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your 
editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."  
-Mark Twain

 "Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure." 
-Natalie Goldberg  

"If you wish to be a writer, write."

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to 
the dark place where it leads." 
Erica Jong  

"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter."  
-James Michener

“Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of 
being great.”
- Cher

"This is for writers yet to be published who think the uphill climb will 
never end. Keep believing. This is also for published writers grown 
jaded by the process. Remember how lucky you are."
- Terry Brooks

"When asked, 'How do you write?'I invariably answer, 'one word 
at a time.'”
- Stephen King

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
- Agatha Christie

R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Challenged Books

   Throughout the years there have been many Young Adult books
that are challenged. If a person or group does not agree with the
viewpoints of a certain book they may challenge the book in question.
They may go to libraries or local schools advocating for the books
removal and access to the public .
   I believe that authors have the freedom to write about anything
while readers have the choice to read any book they want. ALA has
two lists of books that people most frequently challenge, one from
1990-1999 and one from 2000-2009. Some of these books I have
read and really enjoyed. Which ones have you read?

Challenged books I have read:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman
Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

My score:
1990-1999= 13/100
2000-2009= 15/100 28/200

Score Scale
1-10 Challenged Book scaredy cat.
11-40 Getting braver.
41-70 You eat them for breakfast.
71-90 Nerves of steal...
91-100 The ironman/ woman of Challenged Books!

Check out the lists to find out where you rank.
1990-1999 Challenged Book List
2000-2009 Challenged Book List

R.J. Ropsen