Friday, August 30, 2013

Ankulen Update

I have decided that I'm done with my world building posts. Sure, I know of more worlds that I could do (Droon, Rin, The Realm, Frell, Biddle ... Colluna, Silivock, Ooladada, The Land of Magic ...), but I'm down to the crunching time, and these posts are taking from my precious posting time. I'm sure all of ya'll understand!

Keep doing your own posts, though, and I'll keep putting your names in my hat. (I have a physical hat this time! No random name generators!)

The Ankulen is coming along quite nicely now. I have my proof copy, and I'm going through and doing a spit and polish at the moment ... since some of the wording can be quite ... awkward. If any of you out there remain who are editing for me, I ask that you get your edits to me soon so I can add them in.

Also, at the moment, I only have three Ankulens for the "Hall of Ankulens" that I will have for my blog party, mine, Jen's and Jack's. So anyone else out there who has done any world building at all, please send me a picture of a piece of jewelry on you (face isn't necessary unless it's a nose ring, and I highly doubt that any of you will pull that stunt on me), and a list of any or all of your worlds. A link to your blog(s) would be nice, as would a tagline for each of your books. (So that this isn't just a boring list of names and pictures.)

A tagline is something like this,

Bookania: "A Fairy Tale land in a book."
Rizkaland: "Where the rainbow flows like water."

If any of your worlds has its own link, you can send me that, too. If not ... I can always go hunting for tags on your blog ... (I'm a resourseful person like that.)

I haven't put together a quiz yet, but if any of ya'll know a good website where I can build a "what character are you" quiz for free, I would highly appreciate it. It's not necessary, of course, but it'd be nice.

Jen says that she's still open to interviews, though if she doesn't get any, I am crunching for time, so if she doesn't get any, I probably won't miss them. If you do want to interview her, please remember that she doesn't know that she's a character, and I will remove or tweak any and all questions that would enlighten her as to that fact.

Well, I need to get back to editing. I just spotted a dangling participle.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Memorable Worlds: The Land of the Fallen Rainbow

The Land of the Fallen Rainbow

My Experience with this World: 

I was doing my school work one day, and discovered a story on the back of my school list. I read it about six billion times that week. (I must have been particularly bored of my school work!) Problem was, there was only one page of it - and it promised WAY more to come. It was the story of a girl named Shasta who had been born with crooked legs, but through countless surgeries, was now able to walk and run like a normal girl. However, now that she's among normal children, she has discovered that's she's an outcast. She was overjoyed when her teacher assigned writing a story as homework, because she used to be really good at it ... but once she got home, she discovered that she now has a MAJOR case of writer's block. While bemoaning her fate, she heard a knock on her closet door, and when she investigated, she found a little man - a dwarf!

And there the page ended. I spent the next year or so wondering what became of Shasta and who that dwarf was and what he was doing in her closet. Luckily, I'm the sort of person who can survive cliff hangers ... so I wasn't scarred for life by the experience.

Eventually, I discovered that it was my mom's book, and I begged her to let me read the rest. Eventually she let me, and I sat down at her computer to read and enjoy all of Shasta's wonderful adventures ...

And discovered that she had only written the first six chapters. Talk about cruel and unusual.

I then began all sorts of crazy ploys to get my mom to finish writing the book ... including a play with my cousin and I ... but nothing worked. At last mom handed me the file (via dropbox) and told me everything shew knew of the thing and said that I could do whatever I wanted it with it.

So I turned it into a trilogy, wrote about a page more ... and got writer's block myself.

Ah ... such is life. Someday I'll get the book finished, and published, and everyone will love it as much as I did when I found it on the back of my school list.

Or we can hope.


The origins of the Land of the Fallen Rainbow are uncertain. Mom doesn't know, and I haven't come up with a plausible answer. A name for God hasn't come up either.


So far the Land of the Fallen Rainbow is mostly unexplored. What is known, however, is that there is a shifting dessert whose borders are never constant (and it's full of animate plants called Purple Plinktoos - it's a very good idea to stay away from them), a mountain range full of caves and caverns, an ocean ... and at least three forests. Blue forest, which has blue trees that get VERY tall in the center (or else people shrink when they're within the woods, it's unclear which) and it't not a good idea to fall asleep there since you're like as not to never wake up, Song forest, which is bright and airy and cheerful and full of yellow-leaved trees, and the Zaver Forest, which is kinda like Mirkwood ... only darker.

The Land of the Fallen Rainbow is so named because everything is a bright, bold, unusual color. There are two suns, one orange and one red, (making this a geocentric world) but the jury's out on whether or not there are moons. The color comes from nine special gems that reside in the heart of a mountain. Once a year, both suns are in just the right position so that the light penetrates strategically placed holes in the mountain, and everything bursts into color. These are the Nine Gems of Virtue and they are also responsible for keeping harmony and unity between the diverse peoples who live in this world. The gems are known as follows:

Love: Represented by a Ruby
Joy: Fire Opal
Peace: Sapphire
Patience: Pearl
Kindness: Tourmaline
Goodness: Emerald
Faithfulness: Diamond
Gentleness: Moonstone
Self-Control: Amethyst

I'll let ya'll guess as to my reasoning behind those jewels. Some are obvious (I'm sure) but I'm not giving away everything about the book yet ...

The way in and out of this world is through closets, via the Golden Line.

Peoples and Culture:

Now THIS is where I've had fun plotting. You see, for each of the jewels, there's one people group that is affected more than any of the others. (And there are other groups, but I haven't met any of them yet)

Love is embodied by the Alatians. They live in the ocean, and are kinda like mermaids, only they have legs instead of tails. They have big feet, however, and their hands are completely webbed. They do not have hair, instead their bodies are completely covered in scales, blue and greens for the females (so that they blend in better in the green water and blue caves where they live) and oranges and reds for the males. Males are also quite a bit larger than the females. They make their clothing out of woven seaweed. They have both gills, which are connected to their mouths, and lungs, which are connected to their noses. Because their mouths are connected to their gills, they cannot speak the common tongue. They understand you, but unless you know what they're humming, two way communication is impossible. They have a very close-knit community, most of them living in their capitol city of Atlantis (which is built into the caves under a good-sized island).

Joy is represented by the Sunsingers, who are a birdlike who live in Song forest. I actually made them up for my Narnia fanfiction, but I'm a firm believer in recycling characters from fanfiction for stuff I can actually publish. Sunsingers have feathers instead of hair, and they make their clothing out of their molted feathers (and the feathers of birds for decoration). They are tall and bony, and have hollow bones. They don't have wings, so they can't fly, but they can glide short distances. They live a very haphazard life, playing in the trees, eating the fruit ... whatever they feel like. They are a very happy people, but not very serious.

Peace is represented by giants, but I haven't gotten around to develloping their culture at all.

Patience is the dwarves. As Shasta describes the one she finds in her closet:

His clothes looked like they had come from one of her story books about old England. He wore a red pointed hat with red and turquoise feathers sticking in the top. He had on a brown shirt and a red vest, turquoise pants and strange brown boots, obviously homemade. He had a large round face, small black eyes, a very large nose, and a wart on his left cheek. His face and hands were like leather. His hands were small and fat, she wondered how he used such small hands. He was half as wide as he was tall, and as he removed his hat, she noticed that his dark black hair was pulled back into a pony tail, and would have been considered much too long by her mother’s standards. He was a perfect little dwarf, just like the ones pictured in her books.
- Nine Gems of Virtue

I haven't encountered any female dwarves yet, so I don't know about them. I do know that dwarves have good vision in the dark, and they make good tutors, interestingly enough. Well, they do if they decide they like you. They can be quite gruff at times ... or at least, Flewder can, but he has some ... issues. (Sorry, can't tell you what his problem is, beyond the fact that he's blamed for the feud between the elves and dwarves, and has therefore been declared an outcast in both communities.)

Representing Kindness are the Glimmers. These are small, fairy-like creatures who live in Zaver forest. Their wings are made of light. They are very ditsy, but if you can keep them on task, they make excellent guides through the dark depths. Their ruler is whichever one of them can keep a thought the longest.

Lanyi represent goodness. Lanyi are sort of a cross between fauns and centaurs. Like fauns, they have the bottoms of goats, but like centaurs, they have six limbs instead of four. Their names (or at least the names of all of the ones that I've met) all begin with El - Elroi, Elrene ... you get the idea. They look younger than they actually are, for instance Elroi, the first Lanyi Shasta meets, looks eight at the most, but he's actually forty-three and is married with two kids. (Adorable things, they are!) Lanyi like to help people, and they have houses positioned near places of danger so that they can give their assistance to weary children. They are assisted by the Lairies, who are like fairies ... only human sized. I'm not sure yet if Lairies represent a gem or not ... They could represent faithfulness, because I haven't settled on something for that ... or maybe gentleness ...

Self-control is represented by the elves. They are much like Tolkien's elves, tall, long-living, and wise. Because they are so wise, they are often looked to for leadership in times of crisis. They are led by the Elder Elf. All elves love history and story telling, and the children's favorite game is enacting stories they have heard or making up new ones together.

There are also a few human villages, but I have yet to decide whether or not they will represent a gem. There is also a wizard named Homgloff. Intermarriage between peoples is not allowed, and not possible.

(Folks, don't read me wrong, I do enjoy reading about blending people groups like elves and humans and such, but I take a more realistic approach when I'm writing. I do have books where it happens, but they're the exceptions, not the rule.)

Again, I'm going to let ya'll guess as to why I selected the peoples for the gems.

What I like about this world:

The COLORS!!! This is a land of the FALLEN rainbow, so naturally everything is colored weird. I also love the wide variety of peoples and creatures that this world has. (trust me, I had barely even scratched the surface. I only talked about the sentient peoples). 

What I don't like:

The fact that mom hasn't written anything more.

What I learned from this world: 

That my mom is a good writer! (Although reading over it just now ... it's a bit awkward ... but I'll polish it up for her eventually.)

Playing with color is FUN!!! This bled into both Rizkaland and Colluna.

I've mentioned this before, but without this book, The Ankulen would not exist. It was because of that play that my cousin and I attempted to do of this play that prompted us to change into what is now the Ankulen. Also, The New Division got its first breath of life from this book. I had stumbled upon an idea that simply would not leave me alone - what if a girl wasn't allowed to cut her hair because she was a weird creature from another world? After reading mom's book, I decided to also give the girl, who was now named Tabitha, some writer's block for the beginning, then ship her into another world where she discovers that she's an elf and that the random boy that she's been trying to write about is real - and her brother!

Yeah, it's changed a lot since then, but without Nine Gems of Virtue's initial breath of life, it would not be what it is today.

I've also discovered that trying to write in someone else's style is HARD!!!

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Writing Tag!!!

I interrupt my regularly scheduled world-building posts to do a writing tag/linkup, because ya'll know how much I like them.
This one is hosted by Meghan Gorecki as part of her launch for her new blog, Every Good Word. Go check it out, since it looks like she's having lots of fun over there. There's even a giveaway filled with all sorts of writerly goodies.
  1. What was your first-ever piece of writing? I don't remember. It was probably either a fairy tale retelling or a story about my crayons, though.
  2. How old were you when you first began writing? When I was four, my kindergarten (I got tired of preschool early, so my mom went ahead and put me in kindergarten a year early) book had me write several stories. Most of them were based on a fairy tale I had heard recently (I distinctly remember one about the Ugly Duckling) and a few were about my crayons. I didn't start writing serious until I was ten or so and I needed to write a script for a play that some friends and I wanted to perform.
  3. Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term. I would like to have The Ankulen polished and published by September 5th, so I think that counts as short term. As for a long term goal ... Well, I'd like to have the first five books written for my top-secret series written within the next two years. I'm really excited about this one, and I plan to write book one for NaNo this year. (That's the current plan at least ... we all know how NaNo goes ...)
  4. Do you write fiction or non-fiction? I'm more of a fiction writer, but I do some non-fiction on my blog, and my mom wants me to do some non-fiction to publish.
  5. Bouncing off of question 4, what's your favorite genre to write in? My comfort genre is fantasy, either Christian allegory (think Narnia) or fairy tale retellings (some things just don't change ...).
  6. One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began. Rewriting is fun! Actually, this is a relearn, since I used to do it on a regular basis ... but I got out of the habit. But now I remember how much I like it, so I shall be doing more of it! 
  7. Favorite author, off the top of your head! C.S. Lewis. If it wasn't for his Narnias, I might not be the author I am today.
  8. Three current favorite books. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis, Emma by Jane Austen, and ... I'll go with Scarcrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum.
  9. Biggest influence on your writing {person}: I shall take Meghan's answer of my mom. My mom wanted to be an author herself once upon a time (I have her writing in my possession), so she has been very encouraging of my own writing. And, seriously, people who say that mom's can't be your editor haven't met mine! She is definitely my worst critique.
  10. What's your go-to writing music? I don't write very often while listen to music, but I do have a playlist on my MP3 player with Mozart, my Isaac's CD, and some music from Songs From a Broken Heart. (SFaBH's music is all free online ... just search the name, their music is all really good, and theologically inspiring.) 
  11. List three to five writing quirks of your's! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc. My quirks ... hmmm ... let's see.
    1. I'm dyslexic/ADHD, so when I'm wiring a very exciting or emotional scene, I'll get an energy build-up and end up running out the door for what my family affectionately calls my "outburts"
    2. Most of my heroines have hair similar to mine so that I can make sure that their hairstyles are possible.
    3. I very rarely write down my plans for a book, no mater how detailed the plot is in my head.
    4. I love making up new words.
  12. What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you? Michelangelo once said that every stone already had a sculpture within it, all he had to do was chip away at it and discover what it was. I take the same few with writing. Every blank word document and notebook has a story in it, all I have to do is chip away and discover it.

On another note, I received the proof copy of The Ankulen on Saturday (and I only ordered it on Wednesday, oh how I love CreateSpace shipping times!), and am now going through doing a through line-edit making sure everything sounds perfect. It's such fun!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Rizkaland


My Experience with this World: 

The Rowa was my first world, but Rizkaland, my second, was the one that taught me to have fun while world building. While the Rowa was inspired by Middle Earth, Rizkaland was inspired by Narnia.

When the first of the new Narnia movies came out, I went to go see in on the big screen with my family. This was the last time that we've been able to go to the theater, but ... oh well. Later, my sister, a friend (who shall henceforth be known as Maggy because that is her Rowan name) and I were hanging out at my grandparents house and we were talking about the movie. She had seen it recently, and had also fallen in love with it, though she hadn't read many of the books. (I had read every single one by that point.)

Since all three of us were into acting, we had a Brilliant Idea. There were a few issues that I had with the new movie (the scene involving the fox and the tree annoyed me, as did the fact that S and L sent a messenger to P and E to tell them that Aslan was dead - Edmund wasn't supposed to know that Aslan died for him!!!), so we decided to do the Natural Thing.

Write and perform our own play.

We had a few Problems, however. We were only three girls, so we would have to pull strings and find more friends to play the other parts. However, guys were hard to come by (and making Maggy's younger brother play every male part was not an option) so we changed every part we could to a girl. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy became Petra, Susie, Edna, and Lulu. We didn't have lion or beaver costumes, so Aslan became a giraffe named Jeptha (no relation to the Biblical character) and the beavers became horses (because we did have those costumes). We didn't have a faun costume, so Tumnus became an elf named I-is. (It later changed to Ritis when I was studying Egyptian mythology.) The White Witch became the Snow Witch. Since we were going all out and changing everything (so much for making a book-accurate production, Kenj) we decided to change the name of the world. Instead of Narnia, we named the country the sisters were going to go save ...


Eventually, however, my mother took me aside and informed me that Narnia was copyrighted and I couldn't just plug new names into the plot and call it my own. I had to change ... everything. She told me to stay away from watching or reading anything Narnia related for at least six months, and for the same amount of time, not write on, or even think about Arcaland. (Whose name, she kindly pointed out, was far too similar to Archenland.)

I'll admit that I did cheat a little and I only waited about five and a half months, but ... I'm an impatient person. My head was full to the brim with all sorts of interesting NEW ideas that I'd been gleaning from the other books I'd been reading. The first thing I did was change the name. Not a drastic change, but the word needed a new first syllable. Maggy wanted "Rishcaland," it sounded too much like rickshaw to me. So we did Riscaland. Later, I was playing around with my brother's leap frog alphabet refrigerator magnets, and I decided to get fancy with the lettering. And so it became Rizkaland.

I then decided to change the Snow Witch into a Lady Dragon who made it summer instead of winter (so that no one could go go school). I decided that a giraffe was a bit ... undignified, so Jeptha became a Jaguar. (Because, I reasoned, had Biblical events occurred in the Amazon Rain Forest, jaguars would have been used in place of lions.). I also finally decided to get fancy with the physics. Narnia was a flat world. What could I do to Rizkaland ... Oh, I know! Let's make it a cylinder.

What followed were three scripts in quick succession. Unfortunately, I'd make a huge change before I was finished, and I'd have to start over every single time. I was pretty satisfied with the last version, but we finally decided that making this a play just wasn't going to work. I started writing it in book format.

Rizkaland has worn many faces and held many stories. At one time, every book I was working on at a time was somehow connected. Bookania actually threw me for a loop when I created it, because I had no idea how it might connect to my beloved world. Rizkan characters make cameos in The New Division and in The Trilogy of Secrets. At one time, my pen name was to be Sandra Elizabeth Ned__ (sorry, it's my last name backwards, and I'm not sharing the whole thing with you), a very complicated character who I eventually discovered belonged to a four-dimensional world. I have since removed her and replaced her with a far less complicated Laura. (Though Sandra may or may not make an appearance in another book someday)


The following is the summery of the legend Jeptha's Hill, which is the story of Rizkaland's creation, as summerized in Water Princess, Fire Prince.

In the beginning, Jeptha and His Father, whose Name is beyond speech, made Rizkaland.
When they had finished, they sent for eight humans from another world to rule their new world. Their names were John, Jane, Ralph, Violet, Michael, Michelle, David and Helen. To these children, Jeptha entrusted the rule of the world. These children were given helpers – the Elves. Shanner was the first, and Fnae was his wife.
John and Helen were given charge over plants and the crawling creatures of the earth. Ralph and Jane were given charge over fire and the lightning. Michael and Violet were given charge over the seasons and the weather. David and Michelle were given charge over the rocks of the earth. They were made kings and queens. Shanner was given the Book, which gave advice and prophecies. He was given instructions to record the legends as they occurred, starting with this very one. He was called the Bookholder.
Rizkaland might have been perfect, were it not for the fact that, with the eight children came Queen Amber, the Lady Dragon, and her husband, General Granite.
Amber and Granite came from another world than the eight. First they came from Luna, a dying world. Amber was the queen of a people well-schooled in magic. Granite was the General of a people devoted to war. Theirs had been a marriage of politics. Soon after their marriage, they had discovered the truth, and they were the first in centuries to turn their backs on the wickedness of their people and return to Him who we call Jeptha. When the world was destroyed, they were rewarded for their faith by being given a new world, called Lintooalintae.
They ruled this world wisely and in fear of Him who we call Jeptha for many years. But from their own world they had brought some of the evil magic, unwittingly. They both possessed a cloth, which keep them from aging, and healed them of all sicknesses and wounds that are not instantly killing. Soon evil corrupted them and they turned their backs on Him who we call Jeptha.
When Lintooalintae was a dying world, they fled it to come to Rizkaland in an attempt to possess it. Jeptha refused them it, giving it to the eight children instead. Amber and Granite flew off in a rage and possessed the islands instead.
But it was not in Jeptha’s plan for Amber and Granite to rule all of the islands. He sent for ten more children from the same world from whence came the eight. These children were Klarence, Andrea, Ansul, Isabelle, Theodore, Renae, Aaron, Lucy, Steven, and Jenna. They were given rule over the island Klarand, named for Klarence and Andrea, who ruled the heart of their island. Klarand was the fifth island, which limited Amber and Granite to only the rule of the last island, which is called Amber’s Island.
In order to purge Amber and Granite from their island, each child was given a choice of ability from Jeptha .King Klarence chose the bow. Queen Andrea chose gymnastics. Prince Ansul of Upper Klarand chose martial arts. Princess Isabelle of Upper Klarand chose the sword. Prince Theodore of Lower Klarand chose knowledge. Princess Renae of Lower Klarand chose the needle. Prince Aaron of Ea Klarand chose tracking. Princess Lucy of Ea Klarand chose the horse. Prince Steven of Wea Klarand chose running. Princess Jenna of Wea Klarand chose swimming.
With Jeptha’s help, the Ten purged Amber and Granite from their Island.
The children were given the order to never seek Amber and Granite out, or they would regret the results greatly. Most of them were able to ignore the fact that they existed at all, but John was an impatient and curious individual, and could not resist the temptation to know what happened to them. He and Violet snuck away one day, mounted their steeds, a pair of hinequas, and flew to Amber’s Island.
It was a trap, and Amber and Granite soon had them trapped in their dungeons. They might have perished there; had not Jeptha himself came to their rescue. John and Violet were given their freedom, but in exchange, Amber extracted a promise that she would someday have the rule over all of Rizkaland. Jeptha promised her fifty years, if she could Rizkaland of all its rightful rulers. And, at the end of it, they would have a fearsome battle where they would battle a boy and girl who looked just like them in almost every detail. If they could beat these two, they could rule Rizkaland forever.
For many years, the Eight and the Ten ruled their country and island wisely and well. Then they disappeared without trace, and were never heard from again.

Their children took their thrones, and Shanner and Fnae’s son took his father’s place as Bookholder.


I have drawn maps of Rizkaland, but I can't find any of them at the moment, and I'm not in the mood to draw up a new one. It's a simplistic enough world, however, so explanations won't be too hard.

As I've already mentioned, Rizkaland is a cylindrical world. It's proportions are about those of a 32 oz. can of Tomato Sauce. Short and squat. (I cook a lot of spaghetti, yes, I think in terms of tomato sauce cans.) No one has ever been to the top of the sphere, so no one knows for sure what's up there. (Personally, I think it's Jeptha's country.) No one can get to the bottom because it's submerged in an ocean of fire.

Flowing down from the top are seven Rivs, which are like rivers, only wider. Each holds water of a different color (See here for my post about Rizkan Water), and they are named after the musical notes. RivDo is red, RivRe is orange and so on and so forth until we get to the violet RivTi. These Rivs separate the mainland and the six islands.

The mainland (which is roughly twice the size of Klarand, the largest of the islands), is called Rizkaland, and the world is named after it. (Henceforth, to avoid confusion, it shall merely be "the mainland") In the center of this country is Loray Kastle, which is built around Jeptha's Hill. According to the long version of the legend that shares the name, Jeptha stood on this very hill as he made the world and commissioned the Eight's rule of the mainland. At the moment, I can't think of any other important locations on the mainland.

You might think that the mainland comes before the islands ... and I thought so too for the longest time ... but I recently discovered I was wrong. If you're counting by the colors and names of the Riv's, there are actually two islands that precede it, Amber Island and Klarand. Amber Island is the habitation of Amber and Granite, the Lady Dragon and her husband. Not a nice place to be. Klarand is the largest of the islands, and since its setting of Water Princess, Fire Prince, I've had to spend more time traveling in it, and have therefore become acquainted with the inhabitants.

Klarand is divided into four sections: Upper, Lower, Ea, and Wea. (There is no magnetic field in Rizkaland, so directions go by different names.) In the center is the Kastle, which is built into the Mountain. Since Klarand is only separated by a very crossable RivRe from Amber Island, it therefore must always been on its guard, giving the Kastle the feel of a Medieval fortress while Loray is more Grecian/Fairyland in in appearance. Each of the four sections has a smaller castle/fortress of its own. Just up of the Upper Kastle is the Waterfall, from which RiWa flows (what we would call rivers and Ri's in Rizkaland), and several miles down from the Lower Kastle is the Firefall, from which flows RiFi, which is the only Ri containing fire, and one of the few that travels up rather than down.

These two, RiWa and RiFi, travel to the Mountain, into which they disappear. Inside they form one Ri that is the only known mixture of water and fire - and a very dangerous Ri indeed. No one knows  where it goes, just that it exists.

The only other islands that has been developed in any extent are Chinok Island, Rintae Island, and the Isle of the Talking Beasts, but I don't know enough about any of them to tell you much. Rintae Island is the first after the mainland, and the smallest. Chinok is the second, and the Isle is the last and has a rather junglistic environment. I do not know the identity of the island between Chinok and the Isle. I just know that it exists.

Oh, before I go, I'd like to mention some more of my really cool physics in Rizkaland. First of all, tree leaves only turn green in fall. Otherwise they're any other color in the rainbow. I tell you Prince Theodore's reasoning for this, but it's a long and boring lecture and I don't rightly understand it myself.

Also, there are several ways to travel very fast in Rizkaland. Firstly, you could try a Door. These aren't actually doors, but rather doormats that can be placed anywhere and all you have to do is stand on one, say a certain password, and you'll show up on its counterpart doormat wherever it may be. However, these only exist on the mainland, though I'm not sure why. In Loray, there is a huge room full of these doormats so that anyone, anywhere, has access to the castle at all times.

The other travel method are the Hills. In the heart of every island (including Chinok, though the inhabitants don't know it) there is a replica of Jeptha's Hill, about half its size. These are mostly used as places of worship, but they are also modes of travel between the islands to the mainland. Klarand also has a replica hill about a quarter the size of the real thing in each of its smaller castles.

Peoples and Culture:

There are two main peoples in Rizkaland, the humans and the elves. There is also a selection of Talking Animals of My Own Creation, but they mostly stick to their own isle.

With the exception of the Isle of Talking Beasts, humans rule every single island. (And with the exception of Chinok, every island gives its allegiance to the mainland.) The elves, almost without exception, do not mind this arrangement. They are a more spiritually-minded people, and prefer to be the prophets and priests rather than the kings. Also, unlike your traditional elves of Tolkien lore, they possess neither super-human intelligence nor strength and skills. They have great memories, especially those in the immediate family of the Bookholder (more on this to come), but while they are good at storing facts, putting this knowledge to practical use can evade them. Physically, they are delicate creatures, none of them gaining a height of more than five feet. An overweight elf is a rarity that is almost unheard of. They do have pointed ears (can't change everything, now can I?) but it is a very delicate that can be overlooked if your not looking for it.

To compensate for their weaknesses, each has a special gift. Some can run fast, some can breath underwater, some can fly, and so on and so forth. Many gifts are common, such as lightening-quick fingers (very handy for sewing and other detail work), others are rare, such as healing touch. These gifts are given to the elves in the form of a small wooden box about the size of a quarter on an elf-child's twelfth birthday. Once the box is opened, they will wear the box around their neck for the rest of their lives. (This is thanks to a type-o that Miss Jack posted on Facebook once. I told her that she inspired me.) Elves age slower than humans, so a twelve-year-old is closer to the age of eight, and eighteen is more like thirteen. They do not reach maturity until they age of twenty-five. The average life-span of an elf is 140-150 years, as compared to the human lifespan of 80-100, which is better than their earth life-expectancy, but still not as great as the elves.

The only elf of great importance in all of Rizkaland is the Bookholder. As mentioned in the legend of Jeptha's Hill he is in possession of a special Book that contains prophecies, orders, and advise from Jeptha himself. He is the only one who can read it, but anyone, day or night, rich or poor, small or great, has access to him at any time, since his quarters are only just down the hall from the Hall of Doors (which is, as you may remember, just a big room full of doormats). He is also the keeper of the legends. In Rizkaland, the word legend has a different meaning than it does in our world. Here it is a story based on fact by we have no idea what of it is real and what isn't. In Rizkaland, every word of every legend is undeniable, set in stone fact as recorded by the Bookholder of its time as told to him by multiple eyewitnesses. Even if he himself was an eyewitness, he will have others at hand to verify facts and fill in details. A shorter version of the legend will written down first, followed by a much longer version that includes all the details. A Bookholder has the best memory of any elf, as it is his job to recite the legends at important events (usually the short version, but on very special occasions, it might be the long version), and every Bookholder has a storytelling voice that is impossible to ignore.

Also important are the daughters, and at times, greanddaughters of the Bookholder. These are called Bookdaughters, and like the Bookholder, they have amazing memories and magic storytelling voices. However, once they have had their eighteenth birthdays (another important birthday, but I won't say why for the sake of time), they are also prophetesses in their own right. In hours of great importance when the Book is not on hand, they will sometimes speak prophecies. However, they are usually unaware of what they say when they do so, so they are also used when a prophecy is private and only one person needs to hear it.

The eight kings and queens on the Mainland each has a gift like the elves. However, while each elf has his own personal wooden gift box that stays with them their whole life and is buried with them, the royal boxes are made of silver and are passed down from parent to children. They close upon their death, and whichever of their children who can open it becomes the next king or queen. A spouse is then chosen for the chosen heir with the box of the surviving parent, which also closed. Once a new king and queen are selected, they are crowned, tied together, and everything goes on business as usual.

There are no marriage ceremonies in Rizkaland (actually, they may exist in Chinok, but I've already mentioned that Chinok doesn't follow the rules). Instead, they have tying ceremonies. The young man and woman travel to Jeptha's Hill or one of the replicas, where their hands will be tied together with special leather cords and left to spend the night just them and Jeptha. By morning, the cords will disappear to sight, though they can be felt by the tied parties for several hours after that. This is actually an engagement ceremony, but it is as serious as our marriage ceremonies (and perhaps mores so, since divorce is an unthinkable crime). Marriage is a private affair. Humans must be at least sixteen before you can be tied however, and usually they only permit that young age in the case of the kings and queens. (Elves wait until they are twenty-five). If either of the chosen heirs are younger than sixteen, they will be tied together with normal ribbon as a symbol that they will be tied someday, which will happen on the younger's sixteenth birthday. If this date is near enough, they might just wait to hold the ceremonies then.

Marriage between elves and humans is not permitted, for it would be unproductive. (There are actually, two exceptions to this rule, but the humans were very special, but I can't go into that at this moment as it's an important plot point for a future book.)

There are two languages spoken in Rizkaland (three if you count the language of the Chinoks). Most people use English for everyday use. But for special occasions of grave important, they use Rizkan, which was my second attempt at making up my own language. (My first was Kendrish, but Rizkan has absorbed most of that childish language, so it really doesn't count) It is an unchanging language, but not a strict one. Its chief charm is how it's written. Unlike our language, where we write every word individual, spaces are only used between sentences. Like so:

SheaTuaWintinArka. KlillyNoahaJin? AkAkTanaJinTanaJin!

(Those are actually the only three phrases that I can say off the top of my head. They mean "We will never retreat" "Did you win?" and "Attack, attack, to win, to win!" I can also say Yefae (yes) and Nalow (no) but the words of greeting and farewell have slipped my mind. I do know, however that greetings and farewells are always accompanied by the placing of a fist over their heard. A person will also lower their head slightly when addressing someone in command over them. This is to say that their rule. The person in command will look in whatever direction up is, as to say that they gain their rule from Jeptha. If they are disoriented and don't know which way is up, they will glance towards the sky.

Of course, before I go, I shall talk about some of the animals I made up for this world. There are a few animals that nearly identical to our own animals, and go by the same names, but most are very different.

My favorites are my four types of horses. Truth be known, all of them were actually created with the Rowa in mind, but they've all migrated to Rizkaland. (Truth be known, my sister and another friend of ours Gardenia by her Rowan name, helped me come up with a two of them.) First is the Rowanda. Rowanda means, literally, Rainbow Horse, and it is a fitting name, as they come in any color in the rainbow. They are also very, very fast, and can leap very far. It's not an exaggeration to say that one can run around the whole of Rizkaland for it's morning run.

Second are the Hinequas (pronounced hen-ee-KWA, but I haven't learned what it means yet, perhaps Wing Hoof). They are magnificent winged horses, and they only come in the colors silver, gold, bronze, copper, and white. Once in a while there are reports of black ones, but this is rare. They can, um, fly. Very well, and carry up to two passengers.

Third are the Harandas, which means Horned Horse, which is fitting since they all have a single spiral horn in the middle of their foreheads. Like the Rowandas, they can come in any color, but they tend to be the deeper shades (so much color that they are almost black until the light hits them just right and they ripple with color) or so white with the faintest drops of color. Harandas love running, but they don't have the speed of the Rowandas or Hinequas. However, if they need to get anywhere very fast, they can blur themselves to anywhere they have been before. In fact, it is hairs from the tails of hinequas that make the Doors work.

Fourth are the Kiallas, which means phantoms. They are nearly invisible, appearing to be made of pure glass. Occasionally there is a colored tint to them. I really don't know anything else about them.

My other favorite animal is the Quaggleshump. It's a large bird about twice the size of a condor. It resembles a pelican, but is bright purple and has what looks like donkey ears. They are quite ridiculous, but has quite a tasty meat. I've been told it tastes like chicken. It is possible to ride them, but very few are intelligent enough to know what do do with a rider.

The king of the Isle of Talking Beasts is a very old centaur who goes by simply the Centaur. It is unknown if he has another name or if he is capable of dying.

What I like about this world:

The fact that is so well developed. I have lived so long in this world that visiting is like coming home for a holiday. I love all my crazy physics, all of my adorable animals, and most of all, the stories set against its backdrop. It's also a changing world. In book two, the eight rulers of the mainland will be reduced to six, and in book four, it will be raised to ten. Even Amber, the villainess, only lasts for the first two books (whereupon I shall have to seek new villains).

What I don't like:

The fact that there's still so much left that I don't know. It's frustrating. Who or what lives on that next to the last island? How big is it? Does popcorn grow there? (I've already discovered that they don't have chocolate or bananas ...)

What I learned from this world: 

Have fun! Take risks! If I want to have water in all seven colors of the rainbow, I can! Elves don't have to be superhuman. I can put type-os to use! History is a fluid, changing thing. Timelines can be valuable.

Oh, and time travel can be fun too. There is some in this world. So can cameo appearances in other books.

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

On another lovely note, I should be receiving my proof copy of The Ankulen today! I'm so excited!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Xanth


My Experience with this World: 

When I came up with the punny title of Sew, It's a Quest for my (then) newest and freshest plot idea, I immediately told it to my mother. She liked it and declared it much better than my previous idea of "The Needle and the Sword," and thus the title was set in stone never to be changed.

She also told me I needed to read the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. I'd seen other books of his come into our house, all with a strict "Kendra, you are not to read these" orders on them, so I was wary to say the least. But mother ILL'd two three-in-one copies of the first six books and handed them to me, so I opened them up and started to read. Then I started to laugh.

I have since managed to put my hands on and read through book 11, though I do plan to ILL twelve as soon as I finish reading my current book (Eye of the Oracle by Bryan Davis. Very good book, though I knew it would be since I've read his first series and loved it). I have also played around on a really cool fansite, but I don't know what happened to it because I can't seem to find it anymore. Ah, well. Reading all of Humphrey's answers to the questions people asked him was funny while it lasted.


The origins of Xanth are shrouded in mystery, but every few books or so, a layer is pulled back and you get to see a bit more of the picture. So far I have discovered that the world itself became magical when the Demon X(A/N)th lost in a very complicated contest and as punishment, had to encase himself in stone until a mortal came along and released him. While in this "sleep" his magic leaked out into the peninsula under which he hid, making everything, well, magical. And punny.


This is the map in book four, and I found it online somewhere, but I forget where.

This particular map resembles Florida, but in truth, Xanth can resemble any peninsula. The author happens to live in Florida, so it's only natural that its most common representation is his own state. The land border of Xanth connects to anywhere there is a natural peninsula, and travel across it can be quite random. Natives can always get back to where they belong, but those from Mundania (the real world) have no assurance of ending up in Xanth if they cross, and they could end up in any time period.

There are many, many important landmarks in Xanth, and I could probably fill this whole post with them. However, I will not. I will just talk about the most important spots.

First there's the Gap Chasm, which makes travel from north to the south (and vise versa) very difficult. First of all, it's very deep, and while there are bridges, some of them are a bit ... crazy. One, for instance, is a one-way bridge, and once you go across it, it disappears. Second, there is a dragon in it ready to eat any unsuspecting traveler that stumbles into its lair. Third, no one can remember that it exists. There's a forget spell on it, you see, so once you get too far away from it ... you just forget.

Also important is Good Magician Humphrey's Castle. Humphrey is the magician of Information (more on this in the culture part) and if anyone has a question that they can't seem to answer on their own, they can go there and if they're willing to give up a year's worth of labor for his cause, he'll answer the question. Not always to their satisfaction ... but, he'll answer it. (In rare occasions, he'll waive the year of service, but this is, well, rare.)

And then you have Castle Roogna. It's named after the king who built it, and is very old, but is picky about being the seat of power. It lay empty for a good many years, but in book one of the series, the main characters stumble upon it and it doesn't let them leave until they promise to bring back a king to rule in it.

Connecting these lovely spots are all sorts of trails and roads that wind through jungles, swamps, rivers, lakes, mountains ... and anything else that might show up.

Peoples and Culture:

The inhabitants of Xanth are as varied as the land itself. We have humans, who emigrated from Mundania in waves. The emigrants themselves are perfectly normal, but any child born in Xanth has a magical talent. It can be anything as useless as making a spot appear on the wall, to the ability to turn invisible, to being able to turn other people into animals. Every talent is unique, however. Those with especially powerful talents, like those able to turn people into animals, are called magicians, unless they're girls, in which case they are Sorceresses. The King of Xanth is always a magician, and they aren't always of a line.

And then there are the Centaurs, who don't wear clothing (what is it with centaurs who don't wear clothes? It's ... embarrassing!), but do find magic ... obscene. They mostly lived down on the big Centaur Isle at the lower tip of Xanth, but a few live around Castle Roogna and some other colonies. There are a few who have talents, but most of them try to hide them. They prize knowledge and rationality, and frown on anything that steps out of the normal scheme of things.

There are also ogres, who are strong and stupid. Amusingly, they speak in rhyme (if you can understand them). "Me think me stink!"

There are also any other type of fantastic creature that you might have heard of before. Elves (the little sort), goblins, harpies (both some pretty foul creatures who you might want to steer clear of), nymphs, fauns ... you name it, Xanth has it. Not only that, but there are also a LOT of crossbreeds, for in Xanth, as long as two creatures are similar (and if they're not, if there's a love spring involved), they can, um, have a kid together. 

What I like about this world:

The variety and puns. You never know what to expect when you open up a Xanth book. There is a slight formula, (they always begin with a visit to Magician Humphrey's, and there's always some sort of serious romance involved.) but a book might begin with Grundy deciding to go find Princess Ivy's pet dragon, but end with him rescuing Rapunzel by doing a role-play scenario for X(A/N)th to show how the poor demon can improve his chances of winning his games.

I also like the fact that ever so often, a fairy tale shows its head. Like Rapunzel. The last book I read had Sleeping Beauty in it. (And also, possibly, the best love triangle I've ever read. The guy in the picture, you see, is a prince, and the first girl needs to marry him because the alliance is necessary for her people. The other he broke a spell on, and because of that, she must marry him or she'll die. He likes the first girl, because she's very pretty, but he hasn't known girl two long enough to make a verdict on that. The first girl doesn't love him, she's older than him, you see, but she's willing to go through with the marriage if it'll help her people. The second does because of the spell. Complicated like that.)

What I don't like:

There is a Good Reason why my mother won't let me read any of the author's other books. Piers Anthony likes to, um, spice up his books a bit. Xanth is borderline when it comes to what I'll read. They never show anything worse than kisses and girl's legs, but the topic of "how to summon the stork" (which is, in Xanth, a real stork) isn't avoided, either.

What I learned from this world: 

I learned that puns, even bad puns, can be quite fun. Also, if you're going to do a long series, they can be very random and haphazard.

The world most obviously affected by Xanth is Bookania. My first Bookanian pun (the punch line), you see, was not contrived until after I had read a few Xanths. Bookania is also a long-haul series that can be a bit ... random.

However, my other books have had influence. The Land of Magic, for instance, is a world packed with lots of random you name it, you have it creatures. Also, the inhabitants call the normal world "The Land of Ordinary."

Even The Ankulen has had influence, for I suspect that the Old Woman that Jen visits was distantly inspired by Humphrey. Distantly.

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Dolennar


My Experience with this World: 

I forget how long ago it was, but I had just put Sew, It's a Quest on a "Free for a few days" spin, and was looking at my author page, specifically at the "Customers also bought books by" list and the name Molly Evangeline jumped out at me for some reason. I clicked it and was further intrigued by the gorgeous covers on her books - and the fact that she was a christian author with both fantasy and historical fiction - my two favorite genres.

But - alas! - I did not have the money to buy any of them, so I contented myself with adding her blog to my late google reader, and read the posts that she posted occasionally.

Then came a bright and sunshiny day when she posted a "Free Books for Reviews!" post. Since it was back when my mother and I were managing at least a post every other day on the O.Scarlett Blog, I jumped at the chance. I asked for the first of her fantasy books, she sent it to me, I devoured it and wrote my review. Then I asked for the second book and repeated the process. Unfortunately, the third book wasn't out, so I had to ask for the first of her historical fictions instead.

Eventually, however, she did release the third book of her Makilien Trilogy, and since she gave it an introductory price of a mere 99 cents, and I happened to have that in my Amazon Gift Card balance, I bought it without a second's glance. I devoured in a day and I must say that it is probably the only time I can confess to having a book read within forty-eight hours of its release.


Truth be known, I don't think that was ever addressed. For certain the world was created by Elohim, but I don't remember an actual, detailed account.

I happen to know that these books were inspired by Middle Earth, so its no surprise that they have a very middle-earthy feel.


This came off of Molly's official site for the book, and I actually have it as one of the pictures that my computer rotates through for its wallpaper.

As you can tell, there are a LOT of forests, and a LOT of mountains. However, Molly managed to make every single forest different than the one before, and every single mountain range, again, different. Eldinorieth is a light, airy forest that, though large and there are some not-so-nice creatures lurking in it they're only there because Zirtan, the dark lord, stationed them there to capture the unsuspecting travelers.

Darrow Forest, on the other hand, is think and dark, and has an altogether different sort of tree. It's under the shadow of Zirtan's fortress, so while there are good people there, you're not likely to meet with them unless you stumble into their distrustful clutches.

There are several cities that are rather important. Reylaun, a village under Zirtan's control, is where the first two books begin. It's small, but surrounded by high walls and no one is allowed in or out without permission.

And then you come to Elimar, the elven city, which is, perhaps, the place with the least influence from Zirtan. It is rolling, grand and impressive, yet homey at the same time. And then there is Minarald, which is a fortress, but it's really a very nice place too, though I'd personally prefer to live in Elimar.

Peoples and Culture:

Humans are the majority in Dolennar, and they live most anywhere. Their lifestyles and cultures vary from simple-minded villagers who live in Reylaun to the Robin Hood-like community who live in Darrow Forest. They are easily led astray by the lies of Zirtan, but many stay true to Elohim.

Then there are  the elves, who mostly live in Elimar and the surrounding area. They live incredibly long lives and are peaceful creatures, but if called on to fight for their freedom and the honor of Elohim, they don't hesitate. In all of history, no elf has ever been deceived by Zirtan's lies.

Occasionally, there is intermarriage between elves and humans. The children of such unions are long-lived, and they usually resemble their father's people.

There are intelligent dragons in this world. They're large, powerful creatures, but since they've become objects of human fear, they were hunted. As  a result, all but three of them have removed themselves to a very hard to get to place.

And there are also the goblins and shraikes, but I don't know enough of their customs to talk about them. They're, for the most part, followers of Zirtan.

What I like about this world:

I loved the fact that while, on the surface, this is a very simplistic world, when you dig deeper, there is actually quite a bit of variety. It has the heart of Middle Earth with the clearer allegory of Narnia, and really, I don't think I can give a book higher praise.

What I don't like:

I have no complaints when it comes to the world itself. I loved the series, and enjoyed immersing myself in the world Molly has created. I had trouble connecting with the main character, but this delightful world more than made up for that.

If I must make a complaint, it's that we only get three books. I'd really, really like to see Molly write more books, though I know that, at the moment, she's working a six-book series set in a world called Illyon, which, quite frankly, sounds even better than Dolennar, so I suppose I shall have to forgive her.

However, I may have to indulge in my desire to write my own sequel someday. There is a certain younger sister of the main character who I'd love to see have a story of her own.

What I learned from this world: 

The lesson I learned from this world is really quite profound, though I suppose that you may laugh at it when I tell it to you. I learned that just because a book is fantasy doesn't mean that it has to have magic. Simple, right?

But truthfully, until I read this book, I don't think I had ever encountered a fantasy world that did not have some form of magic in it. I definitely hadn't written one. Now, however, while I can't confess that all of my books are magic-free (they most certainly are not!) there are many that are at least mostly magic free.

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Memorable Worlds: The Rowa

The Rowa

My Experience with this World: 

Here we have another one of my own worlds. The Rowa.

The Rowa is my oldest world, the one I cut my teeth on, and it has, perhaps, changed more than any other world I've ever written. It has also had the the most varied array of adventures in it. I don't remember where the name came from, but I do remember, quite clearly, the morning when I walking into the school room and announced it to my mother and sister. They accepted it as good and we have never looked back.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, the Rowa was inspired by Middle Earth. My sister and I were obsessed with hobbits, and wanted to write books about them ... but they were, of course, copyrighted, so we made up our own short, hairy-footed peoples called Elvings. They, unlike hobbits, were more adventurous and liked trees.

The main characters of our stories never changed. It was always Tiger Lilly and Mary Gold Bunnitoes. Friends and relations came and went, but we never changed ourselves.

Off the top of my head I can recall three different "sets" of stories that have been set in the Rowa. Originally, our stories were basically our own lives and antics set in this psedo-medieval world. When we got a little brother, so did Tiger and Mary. When we decided to set up a top secret girls-only club with a friend of ours (who will be mentioned again when I talk about Rizkaland, just a heads up!), Tiger, Mary, and Maggie had the same brilliant idea. The only one of those stories that I finished was the Christmas one.

Eventually, however, we tired of those plots, and I began my stick and herb obsession. V must have become interested in the hobbit again. (We had possibly found the old cartoon video and watched) since we decided to go back to our roots and retell The Hobbit.  To say the least, it was interesting, since it involved four elving girls (all of whom were still very young things) instead of old Bilbo, magic sticks (I'm not going to begin to tell you what all they did), pocket knifes (For cutting herbs), and a contest to see who would be the next kings or queens of the Rowa.

That was during our "act out the stories" heyday. It was fun, I'll give it that ... but eventually it went back where it belongs. In a drawer (or perhaps the trashcan, since I have never found the notebook), not to be thought of again until I wrote this post.

The adventure that Tiger will eventually officially take is Infiltration, which was my NaNo of '11. Surprisingly enough, Mary actually wasn't a main character. I blame that on the fact that she lost her sense of adventure and hid with the goats most of the time. I tried to include her more, I really did, but some of the other characters stole the limelight. I will rewrite the book (hopefully next year) and I do plan to draw her out better.

But Inflitration is not the only book that will be set in this world. Tiger's daughters have informed me that they are planning a sequel that involves lots of underground tunnels, and my sister has kidnapped a few of the elvings to take to the stars. It's really quite interesting.


Originally, I thought this world was in a separate universe, but my sister informed me that it was not so. In truth, it's part of our universe, and shared our creation. (Err ... pretty much.)

However, Rolimbo was an uninhabited world until ten elves from one of my own world, and ten very short women who had *cough* forgotten *coughcough* everything about themselves except their names. They get married and live happily ever after.

Wait, you say, you just called it Rolimbo! Yes, I did!

You see, the elvings (as they were now called) came from fallen parents, and they were, as a result, fallen, so many of them turned their backs on Yshew (what they call God). Eventually, Yshew got fed up with this and cursed the non-believers (though the how of the cursing is forgotten - it is assumed that it meant that they all died, but there is evidence to suggest that this isn't so). He grew a special Hedge around a good-sized section, and all of the believers went to live there. He gave them Rings of Faith to mark them as His. Since then, the part inside of the Hedge is called The Rowa, and the part outside called Limbo.


Geography is not an important element to any of the three books. I really don't know the slightest thing about it, other than what I have already said in the origin part. There aren't even any really cool physics craziness, thanks to my sister insisting that it existed in our own universe. I wanted it to be a inverted sphere world inside our own, but, no. It's over in the Andromeda star system.

Peoples and Culture:

The only inhabitants of this world are the Elvings.  They're half elf, half something else, though there are traces of human DNA in them. This is through the elf side, but I can't tell you how because it's top secret!

There are, however, two different types of elvings, the Rowans and the Limboians (who are, contrary to popular belief very much alive on the other side of the Hedge). The Rowans have a very utopic life. All of them serve Yshew with all of their hearts, for if they fail to believe, they do not get their Rings of Faith on their 24th birthdays. Actually, if you count by Limboian years, they're actually 48, and they only look 12. Complicated, I know. One of the side effects of the Rings is the fact that it extends the life of the wearer. I have done up a nice lengthy post here about all of the ins and outs of Rowan culture, so I shan't say anything more.

Limboian culture, on the other hand, is very different, and actually not unlike our own. Since they don't have those really cool rings, they have put all of their efforts into making up for it with technology. They have cars, telephones, guns, even Hedge Destroyers IX6's! However, none of this truly satisfies them. They choose to take out their anger and dissatisfaction on the Rowans, who are blissfully unaware of their existence, by sending specially trained "Infiltrators" through the Hedge to destroy the faith of the Rowan children who have not yet received their Rings of Faith. Many are successful.

What I like about this world:

Well, obviously I like this world, or otherwise it would have crumbled into non-existence years ago. I love those Elvings. They're such fun, you see. I especially like their Rings, whose original purpose was only as a means of telepathic communication. They're still used for that, but they're now so much more.

What I don't like:

The fact that it must be set in a normal world with normal physics. I don't mind having real plants - I like that part of it, actually. Makes Tiger's herbalism lectures actually informative. But I wanted this world to be an inverted sphere inside of our own globe, the bridge between being the rainbows you can actually catch. You can still get there by catching rainbows ... but now you're travelling several hundred (thousand?) light years across the universe, rather than a few hundred feet.

She did this to Ooladada, too. She's a very frustrating sister, honestly. I should never have let her get addicted to Star Trek. It was a very bad move all around.

Also, I'm finding it frustrating the fact that Infiltration hasn't put itself together properly. As I told my mom, "Why is it that my new stories, Bookania Quests and The Ankulen, flow properly and without any major hiccups ... but when I sit down to write anything set in the Rowa, it just ... fizzles?"

What I learned from this world: 

To take chances and don't be afraid to be weird. The best stories are those whose authors aren't afraid to step out of the box and do something NEW. Besides, if it's too weird, all you have to do is bury the notebook in your backyard and never even think about it again.

And since I don't have a map of The Rowa, I'll share the working cover art for Infiltration. 

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Ankulen Cover Reveal!

We come at last to the day we've all been waiting for!

The day I post The Ankulen's table of contents! There aren't any spoilers in any of these, just some really nasty teasers. Don't be afraid to read them all. They're fun!

Prologue: In Which I Tell My Life Story as Homework
1. In Which Chris Shows Up and He and Tisha Confuse me
2. In Which I Acquire a Flashy Bracelet
3. In Which I Discover that My Imagination is Gray
4. In Which We have Frog Leg Soup for Supper
5. In Which I Help a Little Boy
6. In Which I Agree to Help Mermaids
7. In Which My Hand Gets Stuck at a Bad Time
8. In Which I Go Home For Lunch
9. In Which I Decide to Lone It
10. In Which I Meet a Jilted Knight
11. In Which I Encounter a Strange Castle
12. In Which I Discover Disturbing Things About Chris and Tisha
13. In Which I Dream
14. In Which Derek and Megan Become My Traveling Companions
15. In Which I Fix a Few Things
16. In Which Questions are Asked and Answered
17. In Which I Visit Queen Tailya and Ask the Old Woman for Advice
18. In Which Megan Makes an Offer and Derek Doubts
19. In Which I Have a Building Project
20. In Which We Party
21. In Which I Catch the Polystoikhedron and Derek Surprises Me
22. In Which We Are Given Swords of Light
23. In Which We Put Up a Good Fight, but I Still Get Eaten
24. In Which I Am Scarred for Life and New Friends Abound
25. In Which I Get a Few Happily Ever Afters
Epilogue: In Which My Life Does Not Return to Normal

Wait ... you didn't come here to read the table of contents (delightful surprise though it was)?

Ah, then you must have come to see my new author photo which my sister helped me get at VBS last week.

Kendra E. Ardnek  is the eldest daughter in a homeschooling family of four. She has been making up stories since an early age and published her first book, Sew, It's a Quest, when she was sixteen.
When she isn't writing, she's usually knitting, crocheting,  making swords out of paint-stir sticks, or looking up random facts. You can follow her writing adventures on her blog.

That's the Bio that's going on the back of the book. Delightful, isn't it?

Wait ... that's still not what you're here for? You want to see the cover? Oh, fine, I'll show it to you. I guess I did promise, didn't I?

This is the Kindle cover. The print will look a bit different, but I'm still fighting out issues with that one, so I'm not ready to reveal it yet. (Incidentally, I haven't been able to order the proof, either.)

Those are my arms on the cover. I couldn't find a redhead to pose for me. I did have a friend who, while she has more freckles than I do, doesn't have a terrible lot of them, and I did have her pose, but the pictures didn't come out well either had our freezer in the background (not a good background) or her arm was bent at an angle that looked weird.

So I had my mom take a picture of my own arms. I ran it through my special effects blender and here we are.

You can head over to Goodreads and mark it as to-read, if you like, since I've created a page.

Anyways, now that I have a cover, I can now reveal more about the blog party! (Including the button!)

Here it is in all it's glorious beauty. Feel free to steal it and post it on your blog. Link it to this post. I have, unfortunately, still not discovered that secret of making those code boxes.

We're going to have lots of fun, with a giveaway for a two e-copies of The Ankulen, a mad-lib, a "which character are you" quiz if I can put it together, a world-building activity, and other fun! There are two events that require prior involvement from you, my lovely readers.

First, I'd like to do a show of Ankulens. Ankulens are, you see, special pieces of jewelry that are capable of bringing imagination to life. Jen's is a bracelet, mine is an amethyst ring, my sister's is a pair of earrings. Just send me a picture of your "Ankulen" on you, (faces are not necessary unless its a nose ring and I seriously doubt that any of you have one of them), your name, whether you're a guy or a gal (if I don't already know already) and the name of one or ten of your worlds. Oh, and a link to your blog if you have one. (If you don't have a blog, don't worry about it.)

Second, Jen is looking for some blogs to interview her like I had Robin and Robert do. If you're interested in having her over to your blog, just email me.

My email's on my FAQ page, or you can use the Contact Me page on my Official Website.

And before I forget and this post becomes WAY too long, I had some of my friends posting the cover arts on their blogs and I gave them each the option of asking me a few questions about the book. Jack apparently didn't see the email telling her to ask me questions, so she has some trivia instead. They'll be posting over the course of today and perhaps tomorrow, so check back if they haven't posted yet.

Miss Melody Muffin
Kiri Liz
The Notebook Sisters
Miss Jack Lewis Baillot
Lily Jenness

I also have a post on my mom's blog, and I pan to post on my sister's sometime today if I can figure out her google password. Oh, and Eowyn may be posting something, too!

Oh, and keep entering the world-building giveaway! I currently have six or seven entries, and all but two of them belong to Jack! I'm looking forward to seeing more of those lovely entries, and we only have half of August left!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Underland


My Experience with this World: 

My experience the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins actually predates my reading of the books. My mom read them, you see, and thought they were good, but they didn't really interest me. However while we were plotting together, it just kept coming up as an example - usually when we were plotting my Rizkaland Legends.

So, at long last, I hunted them down and started reading.

I read the first three pretty quickly, and I loved them, but for some reason I had trouble getting through book four and book five went back to the library virtually untouched. I have no plans of getting it back out. I read enough of it to know what happens and that's good enough for me.


Underland itself is about as old as earth itself, since it IS part of earth. However, the human colony was established when the Duke of Sandwich marched a group of men down, made alliances with the inhabitants, and started building.


I don't think that a map exists of Underland, and I've definitely never seen one, so I have no idea what it looks like. I know there's Regalia, the human capitol, which is built mostly of stone. Beyond the city there are all sorts of strange places and caves and underground water systems. There's even a frightful forest full of carnivorous plants.

Really, this isn't the friendliest vacation spot.

Peoples and Culture:

There are humans down in the Underlands. They mostly live in the capitol city of Regalia, but there are other colonies, such as the Fount, and even a few loners who somehow manage to survive on their own. Because they live underground where there is no sun, they have pale skin, silver hair, and violet eyes. Humans who fall from the world above are called Overlanders.

Then there are the rats (or Gnawers, as they're called down there), who are mean, vicious little creatures. Wait, did I say little. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to deceive you. All of the non-human creatures down in Underland are HUGE! But, anyways, the rats are mean creatures, for the most part, they don't like the humans, consider them intruders. The humans don't like the rats either. There are a few nice ones, such as Ripred.

And then there are bats, or fliers. They are close friends with the humans, flying them around. Some of them form close friendships, and will have a special bonding ceremony in which they basically declare that they'll risk their lives for the other no mater what.

And there are the Crawlers, or giant cockroaches. They're very resilient, but looked down on the other peoples.

What I like about this world:

The realism of this world is quite unique. Most books that I've read that involve a world under the surface of the world are magical realms and have a sun and a moon and other delightful things like that. But Underland is real. There is no sun. It's dark. It's scary.

What I don't like:

Suzanne Collins is best known for her Hunger Games trilogy, and there are themes that both books share. I'm not a huge fan of books where everyone dies. That's a big reason why I haven't read the last book of either series.

Also the prophesies, a major plot devise in this novel, get old after a while, though the one in book four is cleverly done.

What I learned from this world: 

As I mentioned before, this book was one of my mom's big "examples" when we would talk plot about my books. It primarily influenced my Rizkaland Legends.

Also when I read it myself, I found it influencing my own book The New Division, (which, interestingly, a prequel to the Legends, in a way) especially when it came to the character Liya, the grandmother of two of the main characters.

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Percy Jackson's World

Percy Jackson's World

My Experience with this World: 

My mom used to be very by the book and structured with our homeschooling. We used official curricula books from various Christian companies such as Rod and Staff, Christian Liberty Press, and Alpha Omega. About six years ago, she decided to try something new - for history at least. Instead of using curriculum books that rehashed the same history year after year, we'd start at creation and read books, both non-fiction and historical fiction, until a subject was exhausted. Me being me, I went slower than my sister, since I wanted to soak up every last bit of history I could get.

When we went to the library, she would give us a huge list of books that were about the historical period we were studying, and turn us loose.

When we got to Greek history, The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan was on the list. It looked interesting, so I picked it, and The Demigod Files up and brought them home. (Actually, my sister picked up one of them, but I don't remember which and she found it boring so it ended up in my box.)

I really enjoyed them, but anyone who's read the series knows that The Demigod Files is supposed to be read between books 4 and 5, so I had a lot of dots to connect. So back to the library I went and picked up The Sea of Monsters and I preceded to devour.

It wasn't until after I finished the first series that I realized that it was famous (but that did explain why it was so hard for me to get a hold of some of the books). I have, however, read every single book of the sequel series that have come out thus far, including the Demigod Diaries, but I have not seen the movies, and I'm not sure I want to. I would like to read the Egyptian series, but haven't gotten around to it yet.


See my post on mythology.


Percy Jackson's America looks exactly like normal America ... to the mortal eye. To clear-sighted mortals and demigods and other creatures, it looks ... different. For instance, Mt. Olympus is at the top of the Empire State Building (600th flour) and there's a door to the Underworld in a building in California. Random other places in the U.S. are important, but I can't call them off the top of my head.

The two most important locations (other than Mt. Olympus and the Underworld) are Camp Half-Blood in New York and Camp Jupiter in California. The first is for Greeks and the second is for the Romans. Both train young demigods for battle against the monsters, though in rather different ways. Camp Jupiter is also connected to New Rome, which is basically just what it calls itself.

However, we normal humans are blissfully unaware of all of this because of the mist, which translates anything out of the ordinary into something ordinary to our eyes. If that makes any sense.

Peoples and Culture:

Most of the main characters of Rick Riordan's Greek/Roman series are about demigods. They have one human parent, and their other parent is a Greek/Roman god/goddess. Each has special abilities depending on who your godly parent is (for instance, Percy is the son of Poseidon, and can manipulate water, talk to fish and horses, and has perfect bearings on the sea), and usually has ADHD and dyslexia. (Hum ... I have ADHD and dyslexia ...) However, they also have a strong "scent" that attracts monsters.

And then you have the fauns/satyrs. Hope that you find a satyr, not a faun, since they're more responsible.

And there's naiads and dryads. And Chiron and the other centaurs.

And we can't forget about the gods and goddesses. Who are constantly fighting.

And the monsters, all of whom want to eat the demigods.

What I like about this world:

The way that it is layered in and around our own world. I am, quite honestly, kinda out of touch with the modern world, so I really respect any author able to wrap epic adventures into the world around us.

I love how much care and research that is obviously put into these works. I have to admit that I raised an eyebrow at Annabeth being the daughter of Athena in book 1, but once it was explained in book 4, it made sense and I let it be. I've spent a good deal of time researching mythology myself, and I can't help but grin every time a new one pops in. I especially enjoyed it when Echo and Narcissus showed up in the latest book. I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but one of the Cloud Sprites of Bookania is named Echo.

And, of course, I can't pass by this lovely book without mentioning the coolest thing of all. The author's name.

Rick Riordan.

First of all, Rick is, I'm fairly sure, short for Richard, and I would have been named Richard had I been born a boy, and thus it is one of my favorite names. (I have, oh, four or five guys named that so far. I may have more tomorrow, check back.) And Riordan has to be the most perfect name an author can have. You see, it means bard. BARD! As in those travelling singers/storytellers of days gone by. Can any more fitting name for an author exist?

What I don't like:

Greek mythology is contradictory to Christianity, so there is a caution there. Also, since these books are about the results of the gods giving babies to humans they're not married to ... so, exert caution there too.

What I learned from this world: 

It is possible to layer a world into the natural, normal world. Not only that, but it's fun, too.

I haven't done this with any of my worlds, yet, but with all these weird ideas that I have in my brain, you never know.

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.
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