Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CE School Shopping - Andrew

Via Pinterest
There are only two times of the year when I like going shopping: the after Christmas sales because then I can buy nutcrackers and ornaments for my ceiling (Yes, I have Christmas ornaments taped to my ceiling. It's quite pretty, actually.) and during the Back to School sales.

That's when I can get lots of pencils and notebooks cheep.

As I'm wandering up and down the aisles, trying to convince myself that I can survive just a few more weeks until prices start to drop like lead and I can get ten-packs of notebooks and 20+ boxes of mechanical pencils for pennies on the dollar, a seven-year-old boy comes hurling towards me pushing a buggy. I don't have time to step out of the way, and his head of brown curls is down so I'm sure he doesn't see me, so I put out my hands and stop the buggy.

"I think, young sir," I say, "that you really ought to watch where you're going."

His head shoots up and he regards me with an almost frightened expression, his blue eyes wide. He starts backing away, taking the buggy with him. A sixteen-year-old guy stops him. "Do you have anything you would like to say, Parker?" he asks in a warning tone.

The boy lowers his head. "I'm sorry ma'am. I won't do it again."

I contain my laughter and keep a straight face. "That is a noble plan, good sir, and I shall forgive thee." I turn to the older boy who, despite having bright red hair and green eyes, is clearly Parker's older brother. "I have a younger brother about his age. They can be handfuls, can't they?"

The guy's face relaxes somewhat into what is almost a smile and he rumples the boy's hair. "Yeah ... they can be." He looks familiar, and I wonder if he might be another one of my characters (they've being showing up at the oddest times of late) but I don't have any redheads with younger brothers. In fact, the only redhead I can think of off the top of my head is Andrew, but Andrew's the youngest of his family.

"My name's Kendra," I say, deciding that an introduction is in order.

"I'm Andrew," says the guy, then he nods towards his younger brother. "You've met Parker." Then he points over his shoulder towards a ten-year-old and a thirteen-year-old who are comparing lunchboxes further down the aisle. "And those are my other brothers, Kyle and Josh."

"Oh ... I see," I say, trying to keep from frowning. The names are right ... but Andrew's the youngest ... isn't he? "So you're taking advantage of tax-free weekend?" I ask.

"Of course," Andrew says. "Are you?"

I shrug. "For some things. I'm homeschooled, so I can survive until everyone is in school and the crisis is over and they start lowering prices."

"I'd like to be homeshooled," Parker pipes up.

"And you know why we aren't," says Andrew.

"Mrs. Rinolds can teach us," Parker declares.

"Go find yourself a lunchbox," Andrew orders, whirling his younger brother around and giving him a small shove in the direction of their brothers.

"You're no fun, Andrew!" Parker declares. "I wish I had a fun brother like Kevin."

I saw Andrew wince and I know that the words struck him hard. "It's not easy being an oldest sibling, is it?" I ask, knowingly.

"Especially when your dad's usually in his laboratory and your mom's ..." he trails off, and I realize that he IS my Andrew. I just had his birth order wrong.

"Well, my life isn't as bad as that," I say, shaking my head. "Though I can imagine. If it's any consolation, I've a feeling that your life is going to change for the better shortly." He gives me a confused look, so I add, "I'm also an author, Andrew Stevenson." Then I turn on my heel and walk away, leaving him utterly confused. Poor guy.


Check out the button on the sidebar for more character encounters!

Character Encounters - August 2013

I know I'm posting a day early and all that, but I have August booked with world building posts, so I'm sure ya'll will forgive me.

And our location this month is ... (insert drumroll)

School Shopping

Basically, wherever you go to shop for your back to school stuff like pencils and notebooks, or even curriculum if your parents are that sort of person. If you aren't personally still in school, you could be tagging along with a younger sibling or cousin or other such relation. (or a friend's younger sibling/cousin/whathaveyou)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Q and A Ankulen Vlog

Okay, and here it is, as promised, a vlog where I answer questions about The Ankulen.

And to reiterate what I said at the end, during the month of August I will be running a series of posts about various worlds (Such as Middle Earth, Narnia, Dinotopia, The Land of the Fallen Rainbow ...) that have influenced my own worldbuilding. Anyone who does such a post themselves (Just make sure you include in the post what it's for) and comments somewhere on my blog with the link will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of The Ankulen, though I cannot say at the moment whether it will be physical or a PDF. It will depend on how my finances are looking come September 5th. (Thanks Jack for this lovely idea)

As a result, I will be posting the character encounter tomorrow, and there is a possibility that you will see two posts out of me on some days.

On September 6th, I will be holding an Ankulen themed blog party (I'm babysitting on the fifth, and I don't have internet at my aunts house). As always, there will be a drawing for a PDF file of the book that day too, so if you don't win the first, you'll have a second chance. I will be putting together another Q and A vlog, so please send me more questions (whether by email or comments, I don't really care). And there will be a show-off-your-Ankulen post, for which I'll need you to send a picture of you wearing a piece of jewelry that you don't mind being called your Ankulen, (mine is the ring that you see in the video) as well as your pen name and the name of your world.

More details will be coming as soon as I have them, since I don't have a button put together. I want something to do with the cover art and - gasp! - I don't have a cover art yet. (Can you hear the frustration in my voice. The photo editing program that my cousin gave me is giving me fits, and I can't come up with a good picture. I'm about to take a water hose to my driveway and MAKE myself a stream (which was my original conception.)

Auf Wiedersein!

Monday, July 29, 2013

V - Very Different

Via Pinterest
V - Very Different

About a year or so ago, I was hunting down reviewing blogs to see if any of them would be interested in reviewing Sew for me. The blogs I contacted I added to my reader so that I could keep up with them. Of course, I also read them.

One of the reviewers said something about one of the authors she read that I think is one of the highest compliments an author can be paid. She had reviewed about three or so books by this author (Sarah Beth Durst. I've actually read one of her books, Out of the Wild. It was a very interesting spin on Fairy Tales) and what she said was basically this:

"Every time I read one of Sarah's Books, it's like reading a completely new author."

You see, every budding author wants to write a book that is different from every other book that has ever been written in the history of writing. And since you're a new person with unique perspective on life, that's actually not very hard to do.

But what happens when you have finished book one and must embark onto the treacherous waters of book the second? What happens then? No longer has there never been a book written by you. Most readers don't want to read the same book just with names changed. They want to embark on a completely new journey. (They don't mind so much going on a journey with the same people, though. Family reunion, you know?)

So my aim as an author is to write like Sarah. Not her style, of course, but the fact that every book she writes is new, fresh.

Do You Take This Quest? though it was in the same series as Sew, was a very different book. The protagonists were different, offering a very different perspective. (Though, I do suspect, Madeleine did have some POV in Sew, I can't prove it, though.) The goal was different, and so was the pacing. Sew took place over the course of nearly four months, Take was crammed into a mere three weeks. Sew had no villain, only a time constraint. While there was a time constraint in Take, (as well as an overdose of thyme) a human villain was introduced.

And you can expect The Ankulen, which has no connections with Sew in the least, to be very, VERY different. There are a few puns (Sir Erran of Tree) but they aren't going to punch you in the jaw. Fairy Tales are alluded to, but they don't run around. The main characters are modern day, and have completely different ideals. I tell it in first person, not third. The villain in this book was a monster that is eating Jen's imagination. While romance was a huge theme in my Bookanias, it's barely hinted at in The Ankulen. Sure there are three kisses, but two of them are between Jen's imaginary friends (on her orders after she declares them married) the other between Jen's parents. There is one scene that is kinda romantic (and oh, so sweet) but again, it's between Jen's friends ... and she cuts it short.

I decided that now was about as good a time as any for me to announce my presence. Stepping into the chamber, I cleared my throat. “Hey,” I said, “I know this is a perfectly romantic scene and all that, and I hate to interrupt, but I'd like to talk with the two of you for a minute.”
- The Ankulen 

So ... anyways. I'm not the sort of writer who writes the same book over and over again. Oh, and the Vlog will be posted tomorrow and I have a few announcements that I'll make.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sleepover With Clara

For the most part, I have well-behaved characters that do what I want them to. However, there are days when they disagree with me ... and just stop talking and I get a severe case of writer's block.

So ... what I do? Well, for girls at least, I invite them over for a sleepover. (Haven't quite figured it out for my boys, but they're usually the more cooperative gentlemen, so it has never really come up.)

One book that I've been suffering such a writer's block with has been Water Princess, Fire Prince, the culprit being the Water Princess, Clara. So ... I invited her over.


Via Pinterest

"Oh here's a good sign. Pride and Prejudiced is missing its cover. You must read it a lot Kendra."

I didn't even glance at the blonde girl "condemning" and/or "perusing" my bookshelf. I had invited Clara over for some much-needed character/author bonding time. Instead, it had turned into me sitting on my bed scribbling in my notebook while she inspected my bookshelf.

"And what's this? Eregon? You have Eregon? Why on earth do you have that book?"

"Because it was only a dollar at my library's book sale the other week. I had been planning on reading it some time or another anyways."

"And the King's Quest companion book? Do you even own that game?"

"I do, actually. The problem is, I no longer own a computer that will run it."

"And ..."

Even I have a limit when it comes to how much insult my literary tastes can take. Before she could condemn another one of my precious books, I threw a pillow at her. "I'm the one who reads them, you don't even have to look at them."

Clara stiffened, then whirled around to face me. "Oh, but it is a fact universally acknowledged that an author, in possession of a book, will allow it to affect her own writing. I don't wish to be contaminated."

"Ah well then, I'll turn you into a gullible innocent like David Copperfield's mother. I'm sure you'll love being influenced by her."

"I'd prefer Peggoty." 

"Then you'd lose your good looks. And then what would Andrew say?"

"I couldn't care less about Andrew."

"Ah, but there will come a time ..."

Clara decided to ignore my words and instead stalked over and snatched the notebook out of my hands. "'Then I will honor you,'" she read aloud in the most annoying voice she could muster. "I placed the broken ends of the Necklace against my Ankulen's gem ..." She flung the notebook onto my desk - which was as far away from me as possible. "Honestly? You invite me to a sleepover and spend the whole time writing Jen's book? Wow! What a way to make a character feel loved and appreciated!"

"Your book isn't being particularly cooperative at the moment." I thrust my pencil into my ponytail, then hopped to the floor so that she could no longer glare down at me."On the computer, I'm stuck on Andrew's breaking point. In the notebook, yours is giving me trouble."

Clara tilted her head to the side and narrowed her eyes. "Why do I have a bad feeling about this?"

I shrugged and leaned against the bed post at the foot of my bed. "It may have something to do with the fact that Amber is going to turn you into an ice statue at the end of the scene."

"What!" Clara sprang forward. "You can't do that! I'm the Water Princess! If I get turned to ice, what will happen to Klarand, and Rizkaland itself."

I grinned, feeling, for once, in charge of the situation. "Fortunately for you, the Fire Prince will be there. He'll melt your frozen heart."

"And what about the rest of me?"

"That goes without saying, Clair."

"Why do I still have a bad feeling about this?"

"Maybe because you don't trust me to make everything turn out right in the end?" I suggested. "Your bad feeling is groundless. I'm perfectly capable of pulling off the wonderful happily ever after I have planned for you and Andrew. Oh, and for Klarand and Rizkaland, too."

Clara's eyes were slits now, accenting the fact that she was one-forth Chinese. "Then why aren't you doing so? Why are you working on Jen's book and not mine?"

Sighing, I allowed myself to sink back down onto my bed. "Because, at the moment, The Ankulen is my priority. I'd like to have it out by September. And I'm stuck on your breaking point, I've told you that."

She frowned, allowing her glare to slacking the slightest bit. "And when do you plan to publish my book?"

I shrugged. "Honestly, I don't know. You and Andrew have been with me almost as long as Petra and Summer and Ashna. You're the constants in my life. I enjoy writing about you, having you there to be written about. I'd love to see you in the hands of my readers ... and yet ..."

"I'm a constant in your life?" Clara questioned, her expression becoming confused.

"Yes, Clair, you are. I have so many plot lines I plan to write, so many characters I like to spend time with - but most of the time, it's you and Andrew who I'm thinking about. Either that or Maryanne."

Clara snorted and rolled her eyes. "Maryanne is ridiculous."

"The two of you have more in common than you care to admit," I pointed out.

"I have nothing in common with that ... that insane princess. Can you hop on one foot indeed!"

"Well, for one, you both are good with weaponry - especially swords - and you both love to show off."

"Maryanne has no regard for safety precaution!"

"Admitted, but ... you both become queen for countries you had never even heard about until a few months before the crown is plopped on your heads - though she accepts her position much more gracefully than you do."

"She's given a choice!"

"And you would have left the Klaranders and Rizkans to suffer while you run back to your own home? I know Andrew considered it ..."

Her eyes hardened into a glare again, this time directed at the floor. "No ..."

"Really, the only difference I see is that she likes me and you don't."

"Well, you let her have her way!"

"That's because she always suggests good ideas - like running away from home. Anyways, I didn't bring you here to discuss her, but you. Why are you refusing to like Andrew? What's so bad about him?"

"He's a wimp, that's why!" Her snap of a reply is faster than it should be, causing me to raise an eyebrow.

"Okay then, so that's settled. How about we take a different approach? Is there anything about him that, if his wimpiness were to suddenly vanish, you do like."

This time, she doesn't answer at all.

"Oh, come on! Surely there's something you like about him. He's got cute freckles, you have to give him that."

"They barely mask the fact that he's a wimp."

"You know what I think your problem is?" I suddenly realized. "Your problem is that liking him would make you vulnerable - and you don't like being vulnerable."

"Who does?" she snaps again.

"Clara, there's nothing wrong with being vulnerable, not when you have people you can trust as your shield. You can trust Andrew. He's a good guy - I made him up just for you. And I think you've already noticed that when you aren't condemning him and telling him he's basically worthless, when you let him be a hero ... then his wimpiness goes away."

I know that I've struck a chord with her, for she suddenly whirls away and flings herself onto the bed. "You know what, it's late, and I like to get up early. I'm going to sleep. Don't kick me." She curls up into a ball at my feet, and I know that she won't say another word to me for the rest of the night. Sighing, I turn off the light. I need my sleep too.


And you know what? After writing that, my writer's block went away! I finished chapter 28, and then chapter 29 (which I had been looking forward to writing for some time) just flew out of my pencil. Haven't gotten the computer talking to me again yet, but that's Andrew's problem, not Clara's.

Know what? I think I need to do one of these with Robin. She's not talking to me at the moment.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

U - Underground

Via Pinterest
U - Underground

I possibly could have found a better word for U, but it was unlikely. As it is, I really don't have much to say.

A small portion of the book takes place underground. First they go to the Old Woman's cave, which has low ceilings and Jen declares them completely uncomfortable.

Later, Jen and Tisha hide in a random cave whilst Chris is fighting a dragon. During this time, the two have a deep and heartfelt (cough, cough) conversation about physical appearance and rules. I didn't describe this cave.

And then Chris and Tisha hide in the Labyrinth after they lose Jen and think her dead. (Don't ask me why they thought that. They weren't thinking clearly, I guess) The Labyrinth is one of my favorite parts of Jen's imagination, and it will get a short story eventually. It may even factor into the first one I plan to release ("The Sun Jewel Adventure").

But after that, they make the playground their home base, and we don't go into any more caves (well, Jen goes back to the Old Woman's, but that doesn't count.)

So ... There's U. Short, sweet and ... U.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Actually Finishing Something in July 2.4

And it is time for Actually Finishing Something in July once again. 

How goes progress?

Ehhh ... Not so good. I've been working on a lot of non-writing related projects this week and when I do pull up a word document, I spend way too much time just staring at it blankly. Haven't found notebooks terribly inspiring either. I did get my friend's book edited finally, and sent to her, though. Oh, and Gma gave me some more edits on Sunday and I've added them in. 
And I did finish and send chapter three of Worth of a King to Jack.

Snippet-time! Share a snip or two from your weekly writing.

Due to the fact that I wrote very little in the last week, this is very hard. But let's see what I can do ... 

 Doranna soon found herself in the garden, book in hand, as she watched for any prince to come and try his luck at rescuing her from her enchantment. One was making the attempt. He still at the gate, but hadn't given up yet … so she supposed there was hope.
Boredly, she allowed herself to examine the prince between fleeting glances from her book, knowing that he was doing the same to her. Being a magic mountain, she could see anything at the bottom just as clearly as the book in her hands. He could do the same for her.
He was a handsome young man, she had to admit, as far as princes went. His brown hair was almost black with sweat, and his muscles bulged as he attempted to lift the gate. When their eyes met for a moment, she noticed that his were a rich chocolate brown. She didn't recognize the colors he wore as belonging to any country she knew, but … he had been so long, it could be a completely new country.

But it really didn't matter what he looked like. What mattered was whether or not he could get past the three challenges that Malina had set in the path. For the three thousand five hundred and forty-seventh time, she wished that the challenges weren't nearly so impossible, but she quickly reminded herself to be thankful that they were there at all.
- Woodcutter Quince.

 "I don't think that Delaney will be a bad husband," said Obsidia, slowly. "He is King Ossian's heir, and I am my father's only child. We will keep the royal line intact this way."
"But not through the line of a son," said Queen Adelaide. "It will be considered Ossian's line from now on, even though your blood attempts to purify it."
"It is not my fault that I was born a daughter," Obsidia pointed out.
Queen Adelaide turned her daughter a long, hard stare. "Had you been born a son, King Ossian would have had you killed. It did not surprise me that he chose his son to marry you. I suspected it from the day you were born."
Obsidia tensed for a moment, then shook it off. "But that is how things are done in Dialcia. We shouldn't question them."
- Worth of a King

Instead my thoughts returned to the two friends I had left onshore. It didn’t feel right to run off and have an adventure without them. I should have had them by my side, Chris to protect us, Tisha to …
Tisha to laugh with, talk with, share all my darkest secrets and deepest fears with.
I almost let go of Mynna’s hand at that thought. Was I really thinking of Tisha as my friend? Tisha? My bitter rival and unwanted sister?
I forced the questioning thoughts aside. Tisha was my friend. My imaginary friend, strange though that idea was. It wasn’t her fault that she was more beautiful than I … it was mine.

I was the one who had come up with her. I was the one who had made her beautiful. Long blond hair, blue eyes, and a perfect singing voice were all my idea. I had been jealous of my own imaginary friend. It was ridiculous.
- The Ankulen

Do you have a Pinterest inspiration board, or other
collection of images, that inspire your story? If so, share one or two of them with us.

I love my pinterest board, and of course I'll share a few pictures!

Via Pinterest
For The Ankulen. Reminds me of the Polystoikhedron.
Via Pinterest
For Worth of a King, The twins' royal parents before they were born and the father assassinated.
For some odd reason, this picture makes me teary. Those two are so obviously in love and yet I know ... he's going to DIE!!!! And you can tell from the snippet what it's done to her. She's such a bitter character to work with.
Via Pinterest.
For "Woodcutter Quince." No explanation necessary.

How would the main character of your story react if he or she were introduced to you?

Well, Jen, the main character of The Ankulen, has already met me. Frequently - we go to church together and I give her writing tips and am getting the book published for her. She has no idea that she's actually a figment of my imagination, though.

If Obsidia, my MC of Worth of a King, were to be introduced to me, I think she would be a bit condescending. She's a princess, after all. She has better things to do than associate with peasants ... such as read. Wait, Kendra - you write books? May I read them?

And if Casperl were to meet me, he would act all shy and gentleman-like, and we'd part with barely ten words said between them, since I can't talk to anyone until the conversation is started.

Introduce us to one or two of the secondary characters in your story. 

Since I've introduced you to most of my Ankulen cast already, and I don't have authorization from Jack to do a character reveal for Worth of a King, I shall have to do one from "Woodcutter Quince"

Ehh ... let's see. Oh! How about Casperl's mother?

Casperl's mother (who is unnamed, though I know the names of both of her siblings ...) lives in the middle of Black Forest with her husband, a woodcutter. And, while Black Forest is a spooky place and not many people live there willingly, it's not her location that grieves her - she loves her husband enough to live anywhere he does - it's the fact that she and her husband have no children. So, when her brother shows up on her doorstep with a child for her to raise ... well, it's an answer to her prayers!

If one of your characters (you choose who) were allowed to choose a super-power, which power would he or she most desire? 

I just asked Derek from The Ankulen, and he says he wants the power of reading. I'm not sure what he means by that.

We're nearing the end of this summer challenge! Is the completion of your goal in sight?

Well, The Ankulen is shaping up nicely, and I now have everything I need for the cover (I just need to build it) so it's on schedule for its release. Other stuff ... well, I don't think "Woodcutter Quince" will be done, Casperl's only three at the moment. He won't rescue Doranna until he's twenty-four! (And I have just revealed his age during the events of Sew, Take, and Kingdom.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Original Script!

I believe that I've mentioned that The Ankulen was originally a play that I was going to perform in my backyard with my younger  cousin. Well, the other day, I was digging around in my notebook drawers (I have two, and they're both full to the brim) and ran across the original script. And, to my surprise, I discovered that before the script, I had written some of it in book-form. So I thought I'd share with you the original openings.

Book form: 

  Fifteen-year-old Jennifer (Huh ... when did I change the spelling of her name?) sat by the side of the stream that cut through her parents twelve acres. In her lap was an open sketchbook, with an unfinished pencil drawing of a dragonfly. (Oh ... so she was originally an artist. Interesting!)
  Her attention, however, was not on the book, instead she was gazing at the rippling water with an almost black look on her face.
  Brown Stream was what her parents called it, and what she herself did now, but years before, back when she was seven, it was never Brown Stream. Some days, it hadn't been a stream at all, but a mighty, rushing river, perhaps the Nile or the Amazon.
  Those were the days, she thought to herself, back before her then-best friend and next-door neighbor, Christofer, had disappeared. (Not her brother. Her friend) Since then, Jen had never quite been able to craft those fanciful stories that the two of them were continually doing.
  She peeled off her shoes and socks and waded into the stream. Oh, the stories the two of them used to come up with! Her mom had assigned her so many story assignments since, but to no avail. Her knack for stories had disappeared with Chris, which made her wonder, had the talent all been his?
  No, she was sure it wasn't, for back then she had been able to flour (???) even Chris at times. No, her now-lack of imagination was from other cause.
  In the middle of the stream she paused, something had caught her eye. She bent down to find that it was a golden ring the size of a bracelet. On one side, her name was written, on the other, Chris's.
  "Duck!" a voice suddenly yelled, and Jen, of course, instinctively did so. A stick whizzed over her head, and disappeared into the trees.
  "It's safe now," the voice assured her, "I killed the dragon." It was the voice of a young boy, and sounded vaguely familiar.
  "What dragon?" Jen asked, turning to face her "rescuer."
  "The big, horrible, green, scaly one that was about to eat you," the boy said, as her eyes fell upon him. Jen thought there was something familiar about him.
  "Who are you?" she asked, stepping out of the stream on his side.
  "Sir Christofer," the boy said, taking off his newspaper hat and performing a bow. "And what is the name of the fair maiden I just had the honor of rescuing?"
  Jen smiled. Why not play along?
  "Princess Jenifer," (So that's where I switched!) she said with a curtsy.
  "Where did you get that!" Sir Christofer suddenly exclaimed.
  "What?" Jen asked.
  "The Ankulin," he explained. Jen realized that he was talking about the ring.
  "I found it in the stream," she said. "Why?"
  "I can use it to find my friend, Jenny," he said. "I lost her eight days ago."
  Now this was freaky. "What happened to her?" Jen asked.
  "We were arguing over how to fight a dragon," Sir Christofer explained. "And she stormed off. I haven't seen her since."

And here is where I evidently realized that, since it was supposed to be a play, I ought to write it in script form. Cast was me as Jen, my cousin as Chris, and my sister, V. Kathie, as Tisha.

  Jen: (sitting by a stream, has an open notebook in her lap, but isn't paying attention to it. Instead she is staring ahead with a frustrated look on her face.) I'ts no use! I just haven't been able to make up stories since Chris disappeared. (throws down the pencil and takes off her shoes and socks, and begins wading across the stream, the notebook under one arm, and the shoes dangling from her other hand. The pencil is now thrust into her hair. About halfway across, she stops, bends over, and picks up the Ankulin. Chris enters, she stands. Her attention is on the ring.) Christofer ... Jennifer ... that's weird.
  Chris: Duck! (Jen does so, and he shoots an arrow) It's safe now. I killed the dragon.
  Jen: (standing up) What dragon?
  Chris: The big, horrible, scaly, green one that was about to eat you!
  Jen: Who are you?
  Chris: (Takes off newspaper hat, bows) Sir Christofer. (Puts hat back on, straightens.) And who may the lovely young maiden I just had the honor of rescuing be?
  Jen: (Rolls eyes in amusement.) Princess Jenifer. You can call me Jen.
  Chris: You can call me Chris. (Jen sits down and begins putting her shoes and socks back on. He catches sight of the Ankulin.) Where'd you get that?
  Jen: What?
  Chris: The Anklin. (points)
  Jen: Oh, that. I found it in the stream just now. Why?
  Chris: I can use it to find Jenny!
  Jen: Who?
  Chris: My best friend. I lost her about a week ago.
  Jen: What happened?
  Chris: We got into a big argument over how to kill a dragon. She stormed off, and I haven't seen her since.
  Jen: (looks slightly amused.) Really? (face straightens) That's too bad. Maybe I can help you find her.
  Chris: Will you? I would like that. Could I please have the Ankulin?
  Jen: (Shrugs) Sure. (hands it to him)
  Chris: (takes it, closes eyes.) Find Jenifer. (turns around a few times, and begins walking towards Jen. Jen moves out of way, he changes direction and continues in the direction she is now in. This happens a few more times, finally he opens his eyes.) That's funny. The Ankulin can't seen to be able to decide where Jenny is.
  Jen: Maybe I'm messing it up, since my name is Jennifer.
  Chris: I don't think so. It's only set to find my Jennifer, and it's never messed up before. Unless ... (eyes brighten)
  Jen: Unless what?
  Chris: Unless you're Jenny under a spell to make you older.
  Jen: Okay, that's too far. No, I got to fifteen the normal way.
  Chris: (holds up one finger) But maybe you have a forget spell on you that rewrote your past.
  Jen: You've got some imagination, but I don't think trying to make me your friend will make me her.
  Chris: Oh, I know that! I'm just saying that you could. Anything's possible in the Land of Imagination.
  Jen: Is your friend real or imaginary.
  Chris: Oh, she's real. If she was imaginary, I wouldn't be having so much trouble finding her. All I would have to do is imagine her found, and she would be.
  Jen: And how would she be me?
  Chris: You could have imagined yourself older.
  Jen: (shakes head and rolls eyes) Okay, I told you that I would help you find Jenny, not that I would be Jenny. (suddenly drops notebook, and when she picks it back up, it is revealed that she has a picture of Chris pasted on the cover.)
  Chris: See! That proves you're her? Why else would you have a picture of me?
  Jen: (doesn't look at the pic) That is a picture of my best friend Christofer, not you. I have it on my notebook to see if it will inspire me to write, as I haven't been able to make up stories since he disappeared, which was eight years ago. (glances down at her notebook, does a double take) You do look like him!
  Chris: She! Wait - you've lost your imagination? No wonder you couldn't see the dragon. You probably also can't tell that we're on a boat in the middle of a mighty, rushing river.
  Jen: Really? Where are we going?
  Chris: Wherever the river takes us.
  Jen: And where is that?
  Chris: I really haven't decided yet. Where do you want to go?
  Jen: Where I can find the answer to all this craziness.
  Chris: I like that idea. If that isn't tied to anything in reality, that's we're going. If it is, we'll to somewhere that can lead us in the right direction.
  Jen: Sounds good. (Walks closer to the audience) I can't believe that I'm doing this! Where did this kid come from? And why does he look like, sound like, act like, even have the same name as Chris? He's funny though ... guess that's why.
  Chris: Oh, don't fall off!
  Jen: I won't. (rolls eyes)
  Tisha: (Comes on) Hey Jen, I don't think that's homework.
  Jen: Oh, sure it is! He's trying to get my imagination back so I can write my story. Oh, and there's an ugly, purple dragon behind you.
  Tisha: A what? (turns around, screams)
  Chris: (grabs bow and arrow) Duck! (Tisha ducks, he shoots, then reaches for her hand and helps her aboard the 'boat') You're lucky I was here to shoot the dragon that Jen couldn't see.
  Tisha: It was right there. How could she not see it? Who are you?
  Chris: I'm Sir Christofer, an old friend of your apparent friend, the Princess Jenifer. Who are you?
  Tisha: Letitia, but you can call me Tisha if you want. What do you mean, old friend?
  Jen: (drawing Tisha aside) Today is a very strange day. (Shows Tisha her notebook) the only evidence I have against these two being one and the same is that he, (taps picture) disappeared eight years ago. Used to live in the same house you live in now.
  Tisha: (blinks, then shudders) that is freaky.
  Jen: I know.
  Chris: You know, that dragon just now proved one good thing.
  Jen: (rolls eyes.) And what's that?
  Chris: You've only lost the part of your imagination that allows it to influence you, but you can still influence it. (Hah! The opposite of what happened int the final version!) 
  Tisha: Say what?
  Jen: He keeps saying things like that. I don't get him.
  Tisha: How did you get into this mess?
  Jen: I don't know.
  Chris: Jen didn't speak of the dragon because it was there, it was there because Jen spoke of it.
  Tisha: You mean Jen put the dragon there?
  Chris: Not intentionally, but yes, she did.
  Tisha: How?
  Chris: This is my and Jen's land, our imaginary kingdom. Everyone has one, but we're able to collaborate ours, and make it real. We can do anything we can think of, and make anything we want.
  Tisha: Where are we now, and what are we doing?
  Chris: We're on a river -
  Tisha: I can tell that, what's the river's name?
  Chris: I don't know. I haven't bothered to name it yet. Got any ideas, Jen?
  Jen: Agua?"
  Chris: Sounds good. We're on the mighty river Agua, on a quest for Jen's imagination!
  Tisha: If it weren't for the fact that I'm sitting in a boat in the middle of a river, I'd think he was crazy. As it is, I think I'm crazy.
  Jen: I think we all are. (a mischievous grin spreads across her face. Suddenly, Chris and Tisha are flung to the side, into the "river")
  Chris: Jen! What did you do that for?
  Tisha: How'd you stay in the boat?
  Jen: What boat? I'm sitting on the side of Brown Stream.
  Chris: Jen, you're not making things easy.
  Jen: I know. (she grins.) Oh dear, it looks like there's another dragon. (Tisha turns around and screams)
  Chris: Jen! Will you cut this out? This is serious!
  Jen: I'm having too much fun.

And that is where the insanity ended. The rest of the notebook is filled with scribblings for other books, including Bookania and The New Division, as well as the play Unforgiven which also was never performed, though it did get written all the way through. We just couldn't find enough actors. I also have a few of my weirder writings in here, but we won't go there.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Of Books, Bucket Lists, and Dinner Parties.

Over at The Book Chewers, they're holding weekly book-themed linkups.  Now I wasn't able to get last week's done last week, but I asked nicely, and they told me that I could do it this week instead. And I'm also doing this week's because it looks fun, too.

The theme of last week's was the impossible bucket list. Basically, a list of literary-themed things that you would like to do, but probably never will. (Please note, I read a lot of obscure books, so if you have questions pertaining to the origins of some of these, do ask and I will tell you where they came from)

1. Find Narnia at the back of my closet. (It will likely be the one where I keep my scarf collection, since my other closet isn't walk-in-able.)
2. Build a spaceship and fly to the Mushroom Planet
3. Fly with air-pirates over the Deepwoods.
4. Visit Castle Roogna
5. Understand the Starlight Barking.
6. Ride a dragon with Billy and Bonnie.
7. Read one of the books that Willow wrote
8. Fall into Underland and ride a giant bat
9. Discover my Savvy.
10. Get past the Good Magician Humphrey's challenges and ask him a question. 
11. Help Druet discover the Heart of Acrea.
12. Shoot Susan's bow.
13. Be adopted by Banderbears
14. Listen to Saaski play the bagpipes.
15. Discover the crown jewels with Maria
16. Dance with the fauns in Narnia
17. Talk with Ents. (They'll probably think me hasty, but ... oh, well.)
18. Watch a pfifltriggi work with metals on Malacandria
19. Be given the ability to speak with unicorns in Luster.
20. Travel with the Dragon and dwarf to unenchant the frog prince. 
21. Be caught by a Fairy Tale in the Wild.
22. Travel on a giant peach.
23. Find the Castle in the Attic
24. Visit Elimar with Makilien
25. Live with wolves with Julie.
26. Tour Paris with Madeline
27. Wash windows with the giraffe, the pelican and the monkey. 
28. Listen to the Oompa-loompa sing.
29. Watch Charlotte weave her web.
30. Conquer my fears in Chanticleer.
31. Debate with MacPhee
32. Fly on the Back of the Northwind.
33. Listen to the cricket sing
34. Fly to Neverland and visit Pixie Hollow
35. Attend the Princess School
36. Charm ogres with Ella and Charm.
37. Try to pass the Princess Test
38. Survive the fire swamp with Wesley and Buttercup
39. Travel with Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion.
40. Confuse Trolls with Bilbo
41. Make wishes with the Tsamiad (It's mispelled ... )
42. Fly on the magic carpet with the Phoenix
43. Travel with the Magic Tollbooth
44. Purify the Cove with Destiny and Jake.
45. Visit Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Upsidedown House.
46. Defy gravity with Claidi
47. Travel in the Glass Elevator
48. Read the Neverending Story.
49. Have a fairy touch me and become visible. (And watch her change her clothing!)
50. Call Captain Hook a codfish. Not very nice, I know, but he deserves it.
51. Ride in Captain Hogan's Submarine
52. Protect Prince Lachlan
53. Ride in the Magic Tree House
54. Go on an adventure with the Sage.
55. Wield a sword of Xiagaria
56. Save the world with logic.
57. Solve crime with Sherlock
58. Trick the Gnome King
59. Climb the mountain with Rowan of Rin.
60. Argue with Quint
61. Watch William Tell shoot his Arrow.
62. See the Everburn.
63. Solve mysteries with the Boxcar Children
64. Visit the paradise of Perelandra

And ... I could go on, I really could, but I shall stop there and to on to do this week's challenge. The Dinner party!

1. What are we eating?

Pancakes (From Nate the Great)

2. Who's cooking?

Nate's mother.

3. Who's funding this dinner party?!

Pippi Longstockings!

4. Invite a villain. (Be careful.)

Count Rosencross from the Peleg Chronicles

5. Who's likely to make a scene if the food is late?

The Lost Boys, led by Peter Pan. Let's just say, once they get bored, no one else will be.

6. Party feels a bit tense. Who's the comedic relief?

Walter from Dragons in our Midst. He'll come up with some sort of joke, probably having to do with Dragons and/or Excalibur. 

7. Someone's monopolising the conversation. Who's the hero at this dinner party?

The Sage from The Princess and the Sage. He's talking around everyone's heads and confusing everyone. 

8. Who wishes they weren't there?

The Princess from the above.

9. Who's the couple more interested in each other's gorgeous eyes then the food?

Caspian and Ramadu's daughter from Narnia.

10. Aw, someone's pet is eating food off the guests' plates. What's the creature and who's the owner?

That would be Andromeda's cat, Pickles, from Andromeda's Moon.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

T - Trilogy of One

Via Pinterest
T - Trilogy of One

You may be asking yourself - why in Bookania is this post entitled Trilogy of One? Isn't that another one of Kendra's WIP's? Isn't she going through The Ankulen? Aren't the two books completely different?

My answers. Yes, yes, and no.

You see, if it wasn't for The Trilogy of One, it's very likely I wouldn't have The Ankulen today. (Or the New Division, but that's another story.)

About four or five years ago, I found the first page of The Nine Gems of Virtue (book 1) on the back of my school list. I had no idea who wrote it, or what it was about ... but the story of the little girl who was having writer's block with a school assignment ... even though she had once been able to craft stories so well ... well it stuck with me. Later, I found out that it was my mom's writing, and convinced her to let me read it the rest of the book ... or at least the six chapters that she had written.

I loved them! I wanted mom to write more!

So ... when my young cousin and I were playing with our new stage (actually, it was part of a fancy mattress, but we weren't complaining) and were trying to come up with a play, I suggested we do my mom's book. I would play Shasta (even though I was now three years too old for the part) and Grub 1 would play Flewder (even though he was about ... sixty or so years young).

And we had the loveliest little start. I was sitting on the stage, my notebook in my lap, and I would be scribbling away most dutifully ... and dutifully tearing out pages and hurling them at the wall ... and then I would hear a knock at my closet door (actually, *cough, cough* the door to the plastic playground castle, but again, we weren't complaining) and I would open it to find the little dwarf, who would inform me that he needed my help, then I would throw some things in my backpack, and we would step through the door ... and ...

Run out of plot.

Okay, truth be known, that was only the first chapter and mom had written five more, but beyond that point, we would need more actors ... and those were a precious commodity in those days (something we did complain about). We had to cut it short.

My message of "Mom, I want to know what happens to Shasta and Flewder next" would have been clear. But ... this was also to entertain, not just for me to embarrass my mom into writing more of her book.

So ... we decided that that would be the prologue into the official play, which would open in a very similar way. I, who was now Jen, would be sitting on the side of a stream, with a notebook in my lap (why waste a perfectly good prop?) with a horrid case of writer's block. Then Grub 1 (now called Chris) would appear, and the two of us will go on a delightful little adventure.

The problem was, now we needed a script.

We never did preform that play, since we could never settle on a good ending that made sense and would work for our very limited repertoire of props and special effects. The idea, however, wouldn't go away, and eventually I started writing a rather different version.

But I'm not done with what The Trilogy of One has to do with The Ankulen.

You see, as I was writing, I discovered that there were other Anka and Anku out there. Jen was not the only person with an Ankulen, not the only person capable of bringing her imagination to life ... and a few of these other Anka and Anku show up in the course of the book. And some of them refer to the books that they are writing.

And since I'm a person who, if she gets and idea, I'll want to write it, I decided to give these Anka and Anku some of my own stories. The two books that are referred to the most are 300 Dragons (basically, whenever you hear a certain redheaded character talking about dragons, she's referring to this book's world) and ... The Trilogy of One. In fact, some of the characters from those two books are seen fleetingly during the climatic chapter!

Oh, and don't forget, I'm going to do an Ankulen-themed vlog, and I still need questions to answer, so ask what thou wilt!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Actually Finishing Something in July 2.3

And Katie has once again posted her questions for Actually Finishing Something in July. 

Were you able to meet (or exceed!) your goal this week?

Eh, I dunno. I did get The Ankulen to my Gma on Wednesday, and yesterday she handed me the the first half with her corrections, which I typed up this morning. I have not yet found a freckled-armed girl. However, I am working on putting together an Ankulen-themed vlog, and I'm looking for some questions to answer.

Unfortunately, I did not get as much done as I would have liked on "Woodcutter Quince."

On a completely unrelated front, I pulled up The New Division the other night and wrote about 1,800 words without breaking a sweat. That's saying something when you take into consideration the fact that I was lucky to get 250 words out of it during the 100 for 100 challenge. I think I have the characters out of the lull. Poor Melisza, Tabetha and Jaqob, though. (But not poor Alistaar. At the moment, I really would like to give that guy a whack upside the head. Unfortunately, I can't do that for several more chapters, at least)

And I finished chapter 29 on the notebook version of Water Princess, Fire Prince, while babysitting my cousins the other day. Poor Andrew. Right now, he's injured.

Where did you get the bulk of your writing accomplished? In the quiet of your room, outside on the patio, on the bus?

Well, if I'm on my computer, I sit at my school desk. Otherwise, I scribble wherever I chance to be sitting, whether it be in the car, sitting on the couch ... in a kid's car seat.
Share a couple of your favorite snippets!

 “Ah, there you are, Harshan,” said Alistaar, barely glancing up from the book he was reading. Jaqob winced inwardly at the degrading term and careless way that his former friend used with it, but he allowed no outward show of hurt feelings. “I suppose that this means that reading time is over?”
I have been sent to prepare you for tonight's ceremony,” said Jaqob, simply.
Alistaar shut his book and carefully laid it on the table as he stood up with a self-satisfied smile. “Yes, the ceremony. Well, my garments are laid out on the bed. Fetch them here.”
But it was oh, so hard to hide the hurt.
- The New Division. 

 “Any other princess,” said Maria, as their mirth died down, “wouldst be in tears after spending … how long has it been? Fifty? Sixty? Seventy years trapped in a castle caught in time. But thou, Princess Doranna, thou art a wonder.”
“Seventy-seven years and three hundred and three days,” said Doranna, automatically. She sighed. “Verily, it hast been far too long. I tire of my confidence, yet my only other option is unthinkable.”
“Well, thou never knowest. Today just might be the day that thy true prince gets past the challenges frees thee,” said Maria, encouragingly.
- "Woodcutter Quince"

Andrew's reflection were cut short when a large snake slithered onto their path. Its eyes glowed red, its fangs dripped with venom ... and it was headed straight for them.
He froze. Sure, escaping was a good idea ... but sliding down the snake's throat was not.
The Water Princess's sword cut short his thoughts. It also cut the snake short, effectively depriving the monster of its head.
"I think," said she, wiping the blade clean on the snake's back, "we should stay on our guard."
"Yeah," said Andrew, swallowing and tightening his grip on his own sword. "I guess that's a good idea."
- Water Princess, Fire Prince.

 “But …” Apple began.
Jenny?” said Pecan, “is that you?”
I laughed. “Of course it's me. You two get down here and give me a hug. I haven't seen you in eight years!”
Instantly, they were on the ground, arms around my waist. Walnut, not to be outdone, joined the group hug.
Apple was the first to draw back and look up at me. “You're back, Jenny. It really is you.”
I rumpled her curls. “Of course it's me, sapling. Walnut did tell you I had returned, did he not?”
She hung her head, and Pecan drew back awkwardly. “Yes … yes he did,” she admitted.
It has been so long since you were last here – we wanted to believe, we really did …” Pecan trailed off.
But it seemed too impossible,” finished Apple.
I placed a hand on each of their shoulders, lowering myself so that I was at their eye level. “I understand why you refused to believe – but you had Walnut's word, he had seen me with his own eyes.” I bit my lip, then added, “You believe because you see, but blessed are those that believe who have not seen.”
- The Ankulen

 “He [Alistaar] thinks you're better off here as servants, but I …” began Melisza.
We are,” said Tabetha, suddenly, though in elvish. “Don't fret for us. We have friends among the Harshia now, and our work isn't too hard.”
Melisza turned to face her friend, blinking in surprise. “But …”
Do not let your thoughts dwell on my brother and me,” said Tabetha, shaking her head. “We are cursed Harshia, and not worth your notice. You are the Dizalay, and your thoughts must be for the bettering of the Lilnia.”
- The New Division

 “Nay, I shalt not bury thee nor shall I ever!” declared Doranna, staring up at the painting that sat opposite her bed. A painting of Grumadam, the Evil Enchanter, the ugliest man she had ever laid eyes on, and the worst mannered.
With a sigh, she hopped out of bed and marched over to the painting. She stuck out her tongue at the hideous man, then pulled her chalkboard over to cover him. She knew that it would only last a few hours before it rolled back again, it always did, but she hated having that man's eyes on hers … even if they were only paint.
- "Woodcutter Quince"
Have you introduced a new character into your story? Tell us about his/her personality. 

No new characters in The Ankulen, as auditions for that book have closed.

In "Woodcutter Quince" I discovered that Doranna's maid is named Maria, and that she has a sense of humor and is not at all in awe of her princess mistress.

No new characters in Water Princess, Fire Prince, unless you count Amber's mindless minions that Clara and Andrew were fighting.

I met four new people in The New Division. First, Rochelle and Markus, Melisza and Alistaar's cousins, and then Padriac, the Lilnia overseer, and Poll, the self-proclaimed leader of the Harshia servants. The first three haven't presented clear-cut personalities yet, but Poll (pronounced "Paul") is a show-off and a flirt.
List the favorite foods of your main characters.

Jen likes frog leg soup ... well, her imaginary frog leg soup. Otherwise, she likes spaghetti. I really don't know when it comes to the rest of The Ankulen's cast.

Clara likes anything healthy.

Doranna must have been reading The Phantom Tollbooth, since she just informed me that she would like to try some Division Dumplings.

Introduce us to the antagonist in your story. Does he/she prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter?

There is no clear-cut villain in The New Divison, and even if there were, they don't have peanut butter in Coluna.

Amber, of Water Princess, Fire Prince, is a several thousand year-old woman whose human form is stuck at the age of sixteen. She is capable of turning into a fire breathing dragon. As Amber, she never comes into contact with peanut butter, but as Xspoiler, sorryX she prefers crunchy. Yes, she has another name.

The Polystoikhedron is the villain in The Ankulen. It doesn't eat peanut butter. It eats imagination.

And finally Grumadam, is the mostly-absent antagonist of "Woodcutter Quince." You can read about his nefarious deeds in this fairy tale. I think he would prefer creamy. Easier on the teeth.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...