Thursday, July 24, 2014

Your Elving Name

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Tiger Lily Bunnitoes. Zinnia Moustail, Snap Dragon Skunkail. White Oak Eaglewing. Eucal Lyptus Snakeskin.

If you've been paying any attention to the names of the characters in the Rowa, you have probably noticed that there's a bit of a pattern to them. A plant and an animal.

So that's your challenge. Come up with an elving name for yourself.

It's not hard, first take your favorite flower (or tree or bush if you happen to be a guy, though I don't think there are any of those on my blog), and call that your first name. You can divide it of you want - like Tiger Lilly or Mary Gold, or it could be one word, like Daffodil or Gardenia.

Then find an animal that kinda sums up your family for your last name. For instance, my own last name spurs a joke that we're rodents without tails, so the bunny was a natural choice (even though I don't think rabbits are technically rodents) and why toes? Well, on my dad's side of the family, short tendons in ankles are pretty common, which means we have a LOT of tiptoers (I'm not one, but I got lucky.) So we became Bunnitoes.

So have fun! Comment below with your name and if I like it, you might just make a cameo in Infiltration when I get around to rewriting it - or else the sequel!

Tips from a Young Writer - The Mid-Goal

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Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had a series of blog entries called "Tips from a Young Writer" and they were actually quite popular ... if you compared them to the popularity of the other posts I was doing at the time.

So I've decided that I will revive them and post twelve more - one for each day of this party.

Today, for the Rowa, it's the Mid-goal.

Mid-goal? I hear some of you ask. What's that?

Well, it's a plotting device that I noticed somewhere in the writing of The Ankulen and I have used in almost every one of my books. And I searched books of writing advice, but the closest thing I've found anyone else talk about is the pre-climax (or something to that tune) which, though it's similar, has it's differences. A pre-climax is usually an echo of the official climax, the big difference being the fact that the hero fails.

The mid-goal is broader than that. And it's something that I have employed in all three of my published books, and in Infiltration. I've seen it in other books, too, so I know it's not just me. So what is it? Well, in the simplest terms possible, it's a pivotal event or a second goal for your characters to achieve that will completely shift the focus of the novel and on which the ultimate goal and climax of your book relies. Usually, it's something of a climax in it's own right, but it doesn't have to be that intense. Sometimes it's the goal advertised on the back of the book! In Sew, it's when Robert discovers Rosamond's true identity. In Take, it's when they arrive at the castle. In The Ankulen, it's when Jen gets her memories back.

What about in other books? Well, in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, it's when Milo and his gang receive permission from the Mathemagician to rescue Rhyme and Reason. In Heartless by Anne Elizabeth Stengl, it's when the Dragon shows up. In The Fellowship of the Rings, it's when Frodo and the ring arrive at Rivendell.

A mid-goal can be either a positive event or a negative event, it can be subtle or overwhelming, but any way you slice it, it must shift the focus of the novel (even if its only slightly, as is the case of Sew) and it must present your characters with a choice. Do they continue with their quest? Or do they go home now? Does your hero continue to pursue the girl? Or do they part ways? Also, something must be achieved, whether by the hero, the villain, or the author, it doesn't matter, but some goal must be reached, a journey finished, or a secret discovered.

Does a book have to have a mid-goal? No. Many books (especially shorter books) keep the same theme, feel, and goal straight through. Can it have more than one mid-goal? Yes. Many books (especially longer books) have two or even three shifts in focus and goal.

So tell me about the mid-goals you have in your books. How about in books you've read?

The Elving

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I've already posted the first chapter of Infiltration, back in the December following it's writing, and I don't have any other writing from this story that is, at all sizable ... except for a short story that I posted a year and a half ago for Christmas.

So I'm going to share the third story idea that my sister and I set in this world - The Elving. I think we were going to turn this into a play, we had a script started, though it didn't get past a few pages.

The play began with two sisters - Mary Gold and Tiger Lilly Bunnitoes, and their two best friends, Gardenia Catclawe and Mag Nolia Eaglewing (Maggy for short). Tiger was an herbalist, her sister a goatherder. Tiger, as the oldest, was about twenty-six (thirteen by our aging ... though this was before elving years were equal to two of our own and they aged at a quarter of the rate at which we age.) and Gardenia, the youngest, was about twenty one. I think ...

They'd been living their lives happily and uneventfully when a wizard came to town and invites them on an adventure to help some dwarves reclaim their homeland.

Except that after this point, the dwarves disappear from the story.

Tiger was, apparently, visited by the wizard a year before, and he gave her four items "One to read, one to conceal, one to use, and one to give away." In other words, a book, a stick (which was actually a PVC pipe painted brown that used to be the pole for my banner that I had made in a Medieval times-themed summer camp.), and two pocket knives, one of which had been given to Mary.

Adventure is agreed to, and off they start. Somehow, with the dwarves disappeared, the quest became a contest to see who would be the next rulers of the Rowa ... and our main opponent was Tiger and Mary's cousin, Jonathan. He didn't factor into the story save as someone that we could be better than.

The stick's purpose was revealed! You see, it was no ordinary PVC pipe - it was magic! (and the book had been its instruction manual) I could put things inside of it - houses! land! Possibly even planets! - and then pull them back out when I needed them. There were also sticks inside of it for the other three.

The girl who would have played Maggy never found out about this story, but Gardenia did get involved. However, she didn't care much for dwarves, magic sticks, ruling the Rowa, and had never read the hobbit (despite the fact that her father loves the series ... she actually went with us to see Desolation of Smaug in 3D because her dad was the only one who could take V and I, and I REALLY want to see it on the big screen ... she didn't like it ... but that's a story for another day), but she did like horses.

So, somehow, we stopped adventuring for a while and started breeding horses. And we didn't come out with results like the appaloosa, Lipizzaner and Arabian ... it was more like the Hinequa, Rowanda, and Ookleck. And we kept trying to one-up each other with the abilities of our animals. Yes, your Rowanda can run faster than any other living thing, but my Ookleck can turn into any living thing. Yes, but my Hinequa can turn into any living thing, and any non-living thing. My Rowanda can be any color in the rainbow. Yes, but my hinequa has spots on its hindquarters to tell you how many of them exist in the world. My Ookleck doesn't even look like a horse in its proper form. It looks ... weird.

I'm not sure how we were going to solve whatever dwarf-related problem we were solving, but I do know that at the end of it, we were going to win the contest. Mary was going to move into a mountain, Tiger into the tallest Redwood ever grown, and Gardenia and Maggy ... I have no idea. Maybe they were going to live with us.

And that's the type of story my sister and I would come up with in our free time. Hope you enjoyed!

Party Game: Tag

What's a party without some games?

Certainly not a proper blog party.

I've planned several games for this event, and today's is tag. The rules are simple. Just copy-paste the questions below onto your own blog and answer them. Include a link back to this post and

1. How long have you been blogging?
2. Which of the books on my WIP list intrigues you the most?
3. You're stuck on an island that has no sign of other people. What five items would you like to have with you in this event?
4. Someone gives you a thousand dollars. What do you do with it?
5. Is there any book that you wish you had written? (Not because of the money involved, but because you love idea so much you wish it was yours)
6. What is your favorite fairy tale?
7. Describe Kendra in seven words.
8. What is your opinion of popcorn?
9. How many different crafts can you do?
10. How long have you been following my blog and how did you find me?

There we go, not so difficult. Make sure you link back to this post, and give me a link to your post in the comments. Feel free to tag other people and tell them to answer these questions.

Now, games aren't any fun if there aren't prizes involved - and this is why I ask you to post a link to your post in my comments - so I'm going to draw one of your randomly from my proverbial hat, and you'll get to read Infiltration! (Unless you happen to already have it, and in that case, we'll negotiate) I'll draw the winner at the end of the party, so you have until then to get your post up.

Have fun!

Welcome to the Rowa

Welcome to the first day of my blog party. Five years ago, my mom and I, having finally decided on a blog title and obtained a good header picture, did up a few blog entries, and I promptly became a very irregular blogger. At the time, I was blogging because I thought it was cool, but I didn't know what I was blogging about. I wanted to blog about my life, but I don't have an exciting life. Also, I didn't have a computer of my own, and that's always a deterrent to regular blogging.

Today, we're visiting the Rowa, the first of my worlds. I've mentioned before that this world was created as Middle Earth fanfiction. My sister and I wanted to write stories about hobbits, but hobbits were copyrighted, so we developed the Elvings.

I have set many stories in this world, short stories that were basically an idealized version of my own life (Only surviving example here), to the one that was The Hobbit, but with four young elving girls instead of Bilbo, no ring ... but sticks ... mine was a PVC pipe painted brown, to Infiltration and its sequel Future Flames. Technically, the world is now part of the Mikada universe, and I'm debating whether or not I want to market it as such. I probably will.

It's primary influence has been Middle Earth, but it has been colored by so many different things. I know that Little House on the Prairie was a large influence, particularly on clothing and the fact that children call their parents Ma and Pa. I was studying the medieval era in school during the plotting of Infiltration, and I naturally wanted to show off what I had learned, so the technology and much of the day-to-day life was based on that of Medieval peasants (though much better off), influence largely taken from a documentary called "Tales from the Green Valley"

I had a Left Behind obsession at one point, and I was especially intrigued by the marks given to the Christians, and I'm sure that's what set me on the trail of using the Rings as marks of faith for the Elvings. (Although the Rings themselves came from a cheap plastic ring that my sister had and wanted to work into the story somehow.) The idea of there being some sort of mark by which one can be sure of another person's salvation or not just fascinates me.

A lot of the culture came from my own life. I wanted to include a friend whose dad was a pilot, so I developed the Eaglewings - a family whose main occupation was riding eagles and delivering messages. My love of herbalism had many effects, and I'm sure there were other influences ... but my brain isn't working at the moment.

So pull up a chair by the fire. We're a simple folk here. We like a little bit of adventure, but not too much. We believe that we should follow Yshew with our whole hearts, and any other path is unthinkable.


Welcome to the party! Please remember that I'm holding all sorts of giveaways (details here), so that if you feel like drawing fan art, writing a review, or anything else fun related to my books, go right on ahead.

Also, swing by Miss Melody's blog today for an interview with Tiger Lily!

I've turned on the "ask the author a question" feature on Goodreads, and I'll be answering any question that anyone asks me on my facebook page, or tweets at me @KendraEArdnek.

And I've turned off comment moderation so that anything you post will be posted IMMEDIATELY. But I've turned captcha back on. Sorry, don't feel like going around deleting spam, so ...

Anyways - have fun!
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