Thursday, January 31, 2013

End of January Writing Update

End of January and the question of the hour is ... How am I doing with my writing?

Well ...

Do You Take This Quest?
Still don't have it out. It's quite likely that it will be my birthday party before it's ready. *is about to pull out all of my hair* My Mom's going through it right now ... and well ... there's a reason I save her for last. There are days when I wish my mom was one of those moms who think that every word I write is a drop of golden honey ...

Don't tell her I said that though ...

The Ankulen
I'm sitting at over 16,000 words and am about halfway through chapter 7 and there are 25 chapters planned.  I've typed/formatted the prologue and first two chapters, and the prologue and chapter 1 have been sent to my Gma for editing purposes. She says they're very interesting. I'm really enjoying rewriting this book (which is more than I can say about my Take experience)

I have discovered that typing on an Android is not a fun experience  I'm somewhere between a third to half-way done ... and not sure how to get moving again. Grrrr ....

Book 3:
Sorry, still haven't mustered the gumption to pull it up and work on it.

Anything else?

Well, I did pull up Water Princess, Fire Prince and decide that it's horrid and I need to start over for the eightieth time. Sigh. I love the story, I love the characters ... but getting it started. Grrr .... Once Clara and Andrew meet, the story flows fine ... but ... Jumprope! ... It just sounds choppy until then, since I have to go back and forth between Clara in the Upper Kastle, and Andrew who's with a hunting party.

Umm ... I worked a bit on Behind the Rainbow, which I'm co-authoring with my sister, V. I've actually written this story all the way out all by myself, but she says that I'm writing it all wrong and that we need to add Dazy. I told her that I would rather bring Elsie and Elise along for the ride. She gave me a Look and told me that she isn't bringing Three of me along for the ride. Oh, well. At least I get to jump on a giant pillow.

And ... I don't think I've worked on anything else.

Next Month (February)
I plan to:
Publish Do You Take This Quest?
Continue writing and typing The Ankulen
Finish writing CinderEddy
Start writing Unforgiven
And start writing The New Division for the 100 for 100 thing I've signed up for. I only have to write 100 -300 words on this a day, so ... we'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A - Ankulen

Several of the author blogs that I have been following have been blogging through the alphabet with one or another of their books. I've decided to join the bandwagon and do it as well.

(If you want to know who, the ones I can name off the top of my head are the "Inkpen Authoress," the "Penslayer," and I think I saw "Scribblings of my Pen and Tappings of my Keyboard" doing one as well. I'm pretty sure you can find all three blogs on my sidebar.)

The book I've selected is The Ankulen (which I'm sure you've gathered from the title of this post.) The Ankulen is the next book on my publication list after Do You Take This Quest?, so you'll probably be hearing quite a bit about it in the months to come.

A - Ankulen

Pretty obvious, isn't it? I'm starting with the titular object that pretty much defined the series.

The Ankulen was originally a cheap, plastic, yellow bracelet that Gpa had given me one Sunday. (My grandpa is constantly giving my sibs and I strange things.) Amused, I put the bracelet on and wore it for the next few days.

At the time, Grub 1 (my cousin's online name) and I were trying to come up with a play for us to perform at the next family get together. Our last play had been well received, so we were encouraged by the success and wanted to continue our career. So when I came outside wearing the bracelet, we had the brilliant idea of adding it to the play. It soon became an important element.

I don't remember why I named the Ankulen what I did. It was quite likely just some syllables that I threw around, G1 liked them, and it was thus named.

When I novelized the play, I decided to change the appearance. Now it looks more like the picture above. Solid gold, big purplely-pink gem. It's also covered with a vine pattern, but I neglected to draw it in the picture.

Ankulen is pronounced an-koo-lin with the emphasis on either the first or second syllable. It really didn't matter which one. I used to care, but Microsoft Mary kept mispronouncing  it on my Kindle, so I've given up the fight.

So, what is the Ankulen?

Well, simply put, an Ankulen is a piece of jewelry that brings imagination to life. It doesn't have to be a bracelet, sometimes it's a anklet, a necklace, a ring, a pin, a key chain, or even a pair of earrings. My personal Ankulen is an amethyst ring, and my sister's are a pair of earrings. Jen, the main character of The Ankulen has the bracelet. Owners of an Ankulen are called Anka or Anku, depending on whether they're a boy or a girl.

So thou mayest, henceforth, call me Anka Kendra, if thou wouldst like.


Oh, and a question, since you guys seem to have liked my Rowa post, would you like me to post more often about my various worlds? I wouldn't go as long as I did with the Rowa, probably doing only one or two aspects of a culture/world a week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Rowa: A perfect world?

Attention!!! Due to the fact that I just got a job babysitting my cousins on Thursdays, my Birthday Bash has been moved to the 22nd.

The Rowa is my oldest world. I've been working with it, living in it, changing it, developing it since I was ... seven? Yes, I think I was seven.

It's gone through a LOT of changes, as This Story demonstrates. I've set many stories against its backdrop - some innocent, like the story above, some not so innocent. My main character (whose family has pretty much been my one constant) has had pretty much every adventure in the book, and has had skills ranging from cake making to herbalism.

However, as it now stands, the Rowa is my interpretation of what the Church would be like if it was pretty much isolated from the world (which is called Limbo). In other words, it a bit of a utopia.

And, since one of my school assignments is to design my vision of a utopia, I feel justified in presenting to you some world building.

Via Pinterest - The word "Rowa" means
Rainbow in the old Elven Tongue.
The Rowa is inhabited by elvings, which are half elf and half ... they don't know actually. All they know is that it isn't human. The Elves came from a dying world (Rizkaland, if you're interested) and the others ... they had no memory of where they came from. God is called Yshew, and there is a physical mark of whether or not you follow Him - the Rings.

The Rings showed up about a year or two after V and I came up with the elvings themselves. I don't remember whether it was V or me, but one of us had a cheep plastic ring and we wanted to add it to the book. We tossed around ideas for what the rings would do, (including growing plants) and we finally settled on communication. Basically, if Tiger wanted to talk to Mary, and Mary was out in the fields while Tiger was still in the apothecary, all Tiger would have to do is close her eyes, picture Mary's face, and wait for Mary to realize that Tiger is trying to contact her.

Since then, the Rings have become far more important, so important that I almost could have given Infiltration the title Ring of Faith instead. (Oh, grrr.... now I want to change the title ...) Elvings did not always have Rings. When the world was young, it was called Rolimbo, and there was no physical difference between those who follow Yshew, and those who don't. When Yshew built the Hedge, however, which divided Rolimbo into Limbo and the Rowa, He judged the Limboians - and gave the Rings to the Rowans.

With the addition of the greater importance, the Rings have acquired a few more abilities, such as being able to grow an Elving's name-flower or the leaves of their name-tree. The most important ability of the Rings is that it helps with an Elving's life-work. If an elving is an herbalist, it helps her to determine whether or not a particular plant has medicinal properties or not, if an elving is a Eagle Flier, it helps him not get lost. This is mostly done by changing the color of the gem, but some life-works also involve the heating of the gem (such as bakers). They also slow the Elving's aging to one-fourth the rate of the Limboians.

(Years, in the Rowa, are the length of two of ours. So if a Rowan tells you that he's 12, he only looks 6, but he's really 24)

The Rings come in two main categories: Rings of Innocence and Rings of Faith. They do pretty much the same things - communicate with family and friends, grow name-plants, and help with the life-work. However, they mean different things. The Ring of Innocence is given to a child by his or her ma or pa (usually ma ... um, yes, I was highly influenced by Little House on the Prarrie growing up ...) as soon as he or she is born. They will wear this Ring until their twenty-fourth birthday when their Ring fades and they are given the Ring of Faith, usually by their Pa. However, while the receiving of a Ring of Innocence requires only that your parents believe in Yshew, the Ring of Faith requires that you believe in Yshew.

If you don't receive your Ring of Faith, you're exiled to Limbo ... and is considered dead. Nothing lives in Limbo you see.

The Ring is worn on the ring finger of the left hand.

Naming in the Rowa is simple. First names are flowers for girls and trees or bushes for boys. Middle names only exist if the name is break-up-able (such as Mag Nolia, Tiger Lilly and White Oak) and in the early days of world building, it didn't even happen then. (Tiger was Tigerlilly for the longest time). Sometimes an elving will go by both, such as White Oak. Other times an elving will use a form of their first name as a nickname (such as Maggie). In rare instances (in my book at least) they will go simply by their middle name. Last names are handed down the same way ours are, and are based on the Animal Kingdom (Bunnitoes, Elkhyde, Skunktail, Beavertoothe ...). An Elving woman will change their last name upon their marriage.

Housing in the Rowa is divided into two types - hole and tree, as demonstrated above. All elvings prefer one or another, though they can tolerate either. It has been noted that Tree Elvings tend to be more adventuresome than their hole-preferring fellows. The holes can be used for generations (and there are some notable holes that are said to date back to the days before the division), but the trees are used for 50-100 years at the most. Any variety of tree is used, for the the Rings of the Tree-Builders are capable of growing trees larger than natural, and faster than normal.

Via Pinterest. 
Elvings choose their Life-work at a young age, usually before the age of twenty. If they choose the life-work of one of their parents, it's likely to be even sooner than that. Their Life-work is, in simplest terms, their occupation. It's what they do to help out their community. Some Life-works are common - such as the Farmers, Gardeners, and livestock keepers. Indeed, probably over half of the village is comprised of those. The Seamstresses, Builders (whether they be Hole-Builders or Tree-Builders), Bakers, Baxters, Teachers and the like.  Depending on the size of the village, there may be five to twenty of each of those. Then there are the rarer jobs, of which there are usually no more than two (the master and the apprentice) at a time. There are a few extremely rare Life-works, such as that of the Finder, who tend to be only one to every hundred villages. These include the Doctors, Herbalists, and the Scribes. No Life-work is looked down on. 

Most Life-work belong to just men or just women. Women's Life-works include Gardeners, Seamstresses, Baxters, and Herbalists. The Farmers, Builders, Bakers, Doctors and Scribes are always men. There are a few either-or's, such as Finders and Livestock-keepers, and some of them, such as Herbalists and Doctors, Bakers and Baxters, and Farmers and Gardeners, are merely different sides to the same coin.

There are a few Life-works that are family specific, such as the Scribes and Eaglefliers. The Scribe will aways hand down his Life-work to his eldest son, and all Eaglewing boys are trained as Eaglefliers.

Eaglefliers are the messengers. They are so-called because they ride eagles. (And they must be light-weight to do so, which is why the task is kept in the family.)

No one is paid to do what they do. They do it because they enjoy their Life-work, because of their love for one another, and because of their love of Yshew. The Doctor and Herbalist don't hesitate to cure anyone who comes to them sick, and the Farmers and Gardeners do not hesitate to share the food they grow with those who do things that are not food-related.

Children start school at the age of eight, where they learn the three r's. History is taught by the Scribe on Sundays, which is the day of rest. On that day, no one works (unless it is an emergency) and they instead gather at the Great Hall (the oldest, largest hole in the village, and whether they are inside or outside depends on the whether) to listen to the Scribe read.  Children graduate to fully study their Life-work at the age of twenty-four. How old they are when they are considered masters of their Life-work depends on the Life-work, but it is usually between the age of twenty eight and forty-two.

There is no king in the Rowa. Every village functions pretty much on its own. Neighboring villages tend to be friendly with each other, and the Eaglefliers fly constantly between them. Once or twice a year they'll meet with each other, and it's not uncommon for them to intermarry with each other. When another village is in trouble, surrounding villages will offer whatever help they can give.

Via Pinterest

Villages themselves are governed by a board of elders, which is comprised of every man over the age of sixty. The only exception to this is the Scribe's apprentice, and sometimes (in rare cases) the Scribe himself. Every elder has equal vote, but the Scribe's words carry more weight than the others. The Scribe is the keeper of the legends, prophecies, laws and such, and the recorder of anything important that may be decided. His closes equivalent in our world is a pastor.

If a man or woman refuses to work, they are first examined for their reason why. If the Elders deem their excuse faulty, they are denied the services of their fellows. If they are married and have children, their family is also denied services. If they continue to be stubborn, they will be exiled out of the village - though they are allowed to stay inside the Rowa. Their Ring, however, is discolored by a dye (kindly provided by the Herbalist) that marks them as lazy.

If an Elving is caught stealing, or is convicted of murder, the penalty is death. Executions are done by making the offender drink a painless poison (again provided by the Herbalist). This is not a often-used punishment, however, as offences are rare, as children are taught from an early age to abide by the ten commandments (though they don't call them that.) The ones who don't learn usually end up being the ones who do not get their Ring of Faith.


And that's pretty much everything. So, yes, that's my personal utopia. However, I do not believe that we will ever have anything that good in our world. We don't have a Hedge separating us from the world, nor do we have Rings to mark us as Christian. Limbo, which is, contrary to Rowan belief, still very much alive, is in a constant state of disorder.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I personally find it hard to believe, but my eighteenth birthday is next month. But, despite the fact that I don't feel eighteen (the joke in my family is that I'm seventeen going on eight), I still enjoy birthday parties, especially for important birthdays like this one when I'm technically an adult!

However, the bank's a little tight, so I can't have the fancy ball or costume party as I'd like so ...

I've decided to have my party right here on my blog! And you're invited!

(Doesn't matter who "you" are. If you're reading this, you're welcome to show up and take part.)

The date is February 22nd (not my real birthday, but, for privacy reasons, I'm not disclosing my real birthday on-line. I tell any site that shows my birthday that it's the 14th.) It will cover the whole day, but feel free to come and go as thou wilt. I'm not going to force you to be glued to your computer all day long.

The place is right here at Knitted by God's Plan.

What to look forward to (not everything's set in stone, however, and if you have ideas, feel free to shout them out to me)

QandA's (one with me and one with my characters)
Pictures of party food (such as cake and ice cream)
A Short Story about Robin and Robert's Eighteenth Birthday.
Some Party Games (I have a few figured out, but I'm open to ideas)
A GIVEAWAY for comment participation. (Prize ... I'm not telling at this moment, but here's a hint: I wrote it)

For the QandA, however, I need questions to answer. So ... for the next two or three weeks, feel free to email me, and ask as many questions as you want. Direct your questions to either me or any of my characters (there will be a post with both) and they can be as serious (such as what my writing area looks like) or a silly (such as why Robin likes to put swords into ceilings) or as random (such as what I plan to wear to my wedding) as you like. I will choose up to 20 questions for me to answer, and 20 questions for my characters to answer.

Gifts aren't necessary, but if you want to bring one (it can be imaginary if you'd like) I'll have a gift table set up. I'm working on an amazon wishlist if you want ideas.

I'll also have a button crafted within a few days, but I don't have it yet.

In the meantime, you can ooh and ahh over a cake done by the person I want to do my birthday cake!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Unused Genius from No Longer a Dream

Before Robin and Robert were the main characters of Sew, It's a Quest, it was titled No Longer a Dream, and told from the POV of the recently-awakened Sleeping Beauty, hence the title No Longer a Dream. However, about 6,000 words in, I realized that I was going about the story all wrong and I had to switch gears and tell it from the POV of the twins.

Changing the POV, however, called for some changes in plot as well. It also prevented me from using some pretty juicy tidbits.

So, I've decided to give you some of those bits that didn't make their way into Sew, It's a Quest.

Warning: If you haven't read Sew, these may contain some spoilers.

“The Red Horse,” read Robert, “Sounds good enough.”
“It’s the only inn in this town,” said Robin, with an annoyed toss of her head, “It’s the only one we can sleep in.”
“I guess you’re right,” admitted Robert. Robin gave an exasperated sigh and marched into the inn. Robert shrugged.

“Apliton,” said Robin, “Didn’t you read the sign as we rode into town?”
“I did,” answered Rosamond, “But I do not know where Apliton is in comparison to other places.”
“Twenty miles south of Charsburg,” said Robin with a roll of her eyes.
“Where’s Charsburg?” asked Rosamond.
“Come on!” exclaimed Robin, “Everyone knows where Charsburg is! That’s where the great tournaments have been held for the past couple hundred years.”
“Oh, they changed the name,” said Rosamond, “It used to be know as Cocklesburry.”
“You’re weird,” said Robin, “Has anyone ever told you that?”
“It is quite likely,” said Rosamond.
“She is right, you know, it was called Cocklesburry until about fifty years ago,” said Robert, “Didn’t you pay attention in history?”
“Oh look,” said Robin, changing the subject, “The innkeeper’s no longer busy, I’ll be back.” 

All too soon it was over. The young man, who had been watching the match with the most bored look on his face, stood up and said, “Couldn’t resist rescuing a damsel in distress, could you, Robin?”
The lad sheathed his sword and turned to face the young man. Rosamond noticed with a start that the lad was actually a lass!
“A lily like her can’t save herself,” said Robin, rolling her eyes, “He’d have been spilling her guts out all over the place if I hadn’t of come along. Then we would have all the wolves for miles around coming here, just you wait and see.”
“It seems to me that that’s not going to happen,” said the young man, with a sigh that indicated that this was an old argument. It was obvious that they were brother and sister, for they looked so much alike.
“Besides,” said Robin, ignoring her brother and juggling a bag of money that she had picked up, “rooms and supper for tonight, and these fine horses to ride. Oh, and a nice, hot, bubble bath.”
“You’re such a girl,” said the young man with a smile and shake of his head.
“And you’re such a boy,” said Robin, with mock scorn, “Not understanding the importance of a nice, hot, bubble bath.”

“I don’t like my hair in my way if I get into a swordfight,” she explained, “Complicates things. Besides, if it’s up, my opponent doesn’t have the temptation to pull it.” After some thought, she added, “Or my brother.” When she had finished, she tossed Rosamond the brush saying, “Here, you look as through you need this.”

“Thou know,” said Rosamond, after a long period of silence, “I heard once that Prince Eric was the best swordsman in the world.”
“He’d like to be,” said Robin, with a roll of her eyes, “He sends me a challenge every six months or so. He’s good, I’ll admit. But he just doesn’t get that I have to be the best. It’s not an option.”
“He’s invited us to his wedding even,” added Robert.
“It seems to me as though he wants to be humiliated in front of his own bride,” said Robin with a shake of her head.

“What a group we are,” said Robin, “The best swordsman, the best seamstress, and the best dancer, who also can play any instrument perfectly, and doesn’t have rare beauty.”
“Yep,” agreed Robert, “that’s us in a nutshell.”
“Nutshell?” said Rosamond with a inquisitive look, “I do not think one of us would fit in a nutshell, let alone all of us.” 

Once upon a time there lived a king. And, although he was one of the most powerful kings in the land, and his wife was among the most beautiful, they were sad, for they had no children.
When, at last, they had a daughter, it was, indeed a cause for great rejoicing. Wanting only the best for her, they invited all seven of the land’s fairies to her christening. In they came, Fallona, in red; Malina, in orange; Drayana, in yellow; Lufawna, in green; Kriasta, in blue; Yifinna, in indigo; and Sayenda, in purple. They were given places of the highest honor, and golden plates and utensils. 

Some of this I was able to twist into something I could use for Sew, and other bits ... sigh. I especially wish I could have used the bubble bath one, but it just didn't work in.The Nutshell almost got used, but it would have been much later when they met Agatha, and the line would have gone to Doranna to be corrected by Rosamond.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Writing Update January .5

Hola and Guten Tag!

Since we're about half-way through January, I'm here to talk about how I'm coming in the writing department. This month's projects are (according to my calender) The Ankulen, CinderEddy, Do You Take This Quest? and book 3.

So ... how are they coming?

The Ankulen: After piddling around trying to find time to type it out on a computer, I've decided to write draft two out by hand in notebooks. Jen is supposedly writing it in a notebook anyways, so I think that, by writing it out by hand gives it an authentic feel. I'm estimating myself to be around 7,000 words out of the 50,000 (at least) I want this book to have. Based on some percentages I ran, I'm right around schedule (based on how many chapters were in draft two and how many chapters I've written so far) for getting 50,000. Draft 2 has some radical changes from draft 1 already, since I'm only following the basic arch and the chapter titles that I have renamed and put in a handy-dandy list that I taped to the wall over my desk.

The thing I find most amusing about The Ankulen is that the main character is fifteen and I wrote it when I was seventeen. The main characters of Sew, Robin and Robert, are both seventeen, and I wrote that when I was fifteen. Just an interesting bit of trivia.

CiderEddy: I've been typing this out on my new Android (that I got for Christmas - Thank-you Uncle T. and Aunt H!) and am at about 2,000 words. There's still quite a bit of story left, though, so CinderEddy may be pushing the limit on short story length. I suspect Unforgiven will do some limit pushing as well, so I'm expecting this Short Story Collection to be quite a bit longer than the last one.

Do You Take This Quest?: For this one it's been mostly sit around and twidle my thumbs while I wait for my editors to get me my chapters back, then stay up late while I apply those changes. I'm hoping to have this out on the 25th Attention Editors! This means that if you're editing for me, I'd like you to get them back as quickly as possible - please?

Book 3: I've pulled it up a few times, but haven't done anything. I may scrap this document and start over. Sigh. I had to do that with both Sew and Take. It's not that I don't know where the story is going to go ... I do ... but the beginning ... ugh! the beginning. I have two chapter 1's and neither really works (though I love both of them!).

Lastly, Tears, Frogs and Laughter will be free for the next five days, so, while I'm trying to put my brain together and get something new written, you can enjoy something that my mom and I wrote together when I was sixteen.

Auf Wiedersein!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Story Saturday - ROCKS

For those of ya'll who don't know (which is probably most of you) I have a Figment account:

I don't do much with it, having formed it mostly so that I could comment on a friend's story. I did, however, write a few short stories so that my page didn't look empty when people visited. (Almost all of which were for some small contests - one of which won third place)

My mom, however, says that I need to share the stories that I wrote on my blog as well ...

So I've decided to do ROCKS first.

ROCKS belongs within part one of HaV Achademy, and is a glimpse into the world. According to Figment, it takes about four minutes to read. Enjoy!



ROCKS walks through one of the passages in her vast underground fortress. Her latest schemes and plans run though her head. Tonight is the night. Tonight everything is perfect. At last she will show that sniveling Plant Master that he was no master at all. She pauses before her mirror to make sure that her appearance is flawless.

Good. Her black jumpsuit is perfectly smooth, although, of course, since it is made of solid metal, it would be hard for it to wrinkle. Her metal mask covers her face completely, revealing only her  nose, mouth, chin, and stone gray eyes. Her black curls tumble down her back perfectly. Even her nails are perfect, as she had covered them with the same metal that she made her jumpsuit out of, and the stuff was unchipable. Her feet are shod with shoes also made of this substance.

A malicious grin curls her mouth upward. Tonight is the night.

She touches the stone wall, and it opens into a tunnel before her. Without even pausing to suck in a deep breath, she steps into the tunnel. After walking a good ways, she finds herself at the end of the tunnel. She then claps her hands, and the stone slab beneath her begins to rise, like an elevator, and the ground above parts to allow her dramatic exit.

She emerges in the center of the town. Immediately voices begin screaming. ROCKS' eyes are trained for only one subject at this moment, however. She soon lands on the face of a young woman who stares back at her, frozen in fear. With a snap of ROCKS' fingers, a stone column shoots out of the slab on which ROCKS stands, and wraps itself around the woman's waist, then starts pulling her towards ROCKS against the woman's will.

"So," said ROCKS, "we meet again, Willow."

"Stop ROCKS!" cries another voice.

Calmly, ROCKS turns to see the Plant Master standing there. A smirk curls her lip, as she fights down rage at the sight of the hero's green jumpsuit and cape, at his ridiculous mask that barely covered his eyes. He has no dignity to him. However, such is typical of the heroes. It is the villains who get the elegance. "So, Plant Master," she says, in a voice calmer than she truly is, "you think you can stop me? Think again."

By now, the woman called Willow is standing with her on the slab of rock. ROCKS claps her hands, and the slab of rock beneath her begins to lower again. The ground closes over them just as a vine tried to grab at them. "Sorry," she then says, in a mocking whisper, "too late," although she knows he cannot hear.

She leads her prisoner to her dungeon, and deposits her there, then returns to her room.


I remove my mask and close my eyes, as the villainy in me is once more buried. I hate that I am a villain, and that it is my brother against whom I must fight. I sigh. But there is nothing I can do about it. One cannot rebel against the HaV Academy and their schemes.

I take a deep breath and go to the garden that my brother has placed within my lair. When our masks are off, we are completely civil to each other. Indeed, as far as anyone knows, we never fight ...

But that's because we have to fight when our masks are on.

Quietly I pick sufficient food for Willow, then head to the dungeon and place the food through the wall. I do not allow her to see my face.

Then I head back to my room and change completely into normal civilian clothing. I then make my way through the tunnel that leads to the small home that my brother and I share. By now he, too is back into his normal clothing.

"I wish we didn't have to do these sort of things," I tell my brother.

"I know," he replies. "I know."

We both enjoy our powers, mine over the inorganic, his over the organic. But we hate that we have to fight each other, that we cannot stand the sight of each other in our masks. We hate that I must be a villain.

But there is nothing for it. We must live our lives like this until we have been replaced, and, at this moment, replacement is a long ways away.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

CE Fast Food - Derek

Via Pinterest
I'm at Whataburger. My Grandparents are taking me to their house for the afternoon, and apparently they have coupons for here. I get my drink and head over to where Grandma and Grandpa are already seated.

"Fancy Ketchup," remarks a guy as I pass the table where he sits across from a girl who looks familiar. He's examining one of the packets of ketchup with a critical eye. "How is it any fancier than the ketchup we use at home?"

"Frankly, I have no idea," the girl replies with a shake of her head. She glances up and her eyes meet mine. She breaks into a grin. "Kendra! Fancy meeting you here - of all places."

"Oh, hey Jen!" I reply, recognizing who she is. My mouth curves into a matching grin. "As fancy as ketchup?"

She laughs, but the guy turns to me with a scowl. "Do you know why it's called fancy?" he asks.

"Nope,"  I reply, glancing at Jen in hopes of an introduction. They don't look to be related. While Jen looks much like me, he looks more Hispanic.

"Kendra, this is my brother, Derek," Jen says. "Derek, this is Kendra, the author I told you about a few weeks ago."

His scowl deepens. "Oh, so you're one of them."

I nod. "I think I saw your name mentioned a few times in Jen's notebook, but I didn't realize that you were her brother. I thought ..." I trail off as I see Jen shake her head warningly.

"She let you read her notebook?" His eyebrow goes up, but the scowl does not disappear.

"A little bit," I answer.

"In exchange for reading her book," she adds.

"Huh," said Derek, leaning back in his seat, but not taking his eyes off of me. "Well, one thing you should know, Jen made up everything in that book, except for names and the fact that Megan and I are adopted. I keep telling her that she ought to change our names if she's going to use them, but she won't listen."

"It doesn't sound right if I don't use our real names," said Jen with a shrug. "Everyone who knows us will know that I'm making it up, and those who don't know us ... well, who cares about them." She leans forward and sets her elbow on the table and her chin on her fist, grinning up at him impishly. "Besides, I only use Megan's, mine and your real names."

"We can be thankful for small miracles like that, I guess," said Derek with a sigh.

I laugh. "Well, it was nice seeing you, Jen, and meeting you Derek, but I really need to get back to my own table. I'm hungry."

We exchange our good-byes and then part ways.


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Character Encounters - January 2013

I'm so sorry this is late! Between my computer being out of commission and the hecticness of Christmas, I completely forgot about this until the second when I suddenly looked up and realized I didn't have the Encounter done! 

And since I already had posts set up for the next two days, you had to wait for today.

So, anyways, now that Christmas is over, you're ready to get back into the swing of writing, right? So this CE is just what the doctor ordered.

Never forget to ooh and ahh over Kiri Liz's lovely button.
And this month's local is ....

A Fast Food Restaurant

I don't care which one, whether Wendy's or Burger King, just pick one. However, this may not be a buffet or a dine-in. I plan to make them a post later. If you don't usually go to a fast food ... well, be creative ... maybe you were at Walmart by the built-in Fast Food place or something.

Just make sure you have fun and that you provide a link to here so that your readers may enjoy it and that you put your link into the linky below.

Oh, and as an added bonus, a joke I made up!

Q: What do you call the son of the Burger King and the Dairy Queen?
A: Prince Cheeseburger.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Versatile Blog award.

Miss Melody Muffin has awarded me on her blog. Many thanks! Also Jack did a "all of my followers are awarded with this" thing, so I'll say that I'm doing her tag, too.

1. Must state the rules.
2. Thank the awarded and link back to them.
3. Must pass this award along to five other bloggers.
4. List their names with links to their award winning blogs.
5. Must notify the awarded bloggers by commenting on their blogs.
6. Share seven unusual things about yourself.  Something that not many people could say about themselves.

Okay ... seven unusual things ...

1. I have a scar on my throat from where a hot water heater attacked me when I was 7 or 8.
2. It's a joke in my family that, between length and thickness, I have more hair on my head than the rest of my family combined. And it's probably true.
3. I owe my writing career to Fairy Tales, Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. If it weren't for the fact that I wanted to rewrite them, I'd probably not be an author today. 
4. Oh, and my mother, too. She's the best mom an author can have - the sort that had had aspirations of writing when they were younger, but no longer has the time to craft with words.
5. Most of my main female characters have my hair in some way or another. Jen's is shorter, Robin's is darker, and Petra's is frizzier ... but it's all mostly my hair.
6. I could not whistle until I lost my first tooth
7. Colored pencils are my preferred art medium.

And I don't feel like tagging/awarding people. If you want to do this feel free, but I'm not gonna make thee.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Writing tag I found

1. When did you start writing?

I have been writing since I understood the concept. However, I didn't start writing seriously until the first Narnia movie came out and I decided that they did a terrible job. So when a friend suggested that we write and preform our own version, I thought it a great idea. And since I was the most adamant about the plot (as well as the eldest of the three of us working on it ... We were going to find more people to play the rest of the parts - honest!) I was elected to do the actual writing.

That play has slowly morphed into what is now The Rizkaland Legends. Very little of Narnia remains.

2. Do you have a soft spot for a particular character (come on, be honest!)?

Um ... let me think about this question ...


Her name is Maryanne, and she can get me to do anything she wants me to do. It's a good thing that she has (as a friend put it) a strange sense of fun, and loves it when bad things happen so that she can go on adventures.

I've worked with her from age one and a half to in her late forties/early fifties. She's fun at pretty much any age.

3. If you had to choose between reading and writing, which would you choose?

Oh, grr ... must I chose?
Probably writing. I'd go bonkers if I didn't write.

4. How often do you have to "rush off" to write down an idea before it evaporates?

I don't do this as often as I should ... which results in me loosing so much excellent stuff ... but, usually I just think on the good idea for several minutes to an hour (or all day long if it's really good) until it's crystallized and I don't think I'll forget it. It's not often that I forget something that is too terribly good.

5. Do you plot/outline your book or wing it?

I plot, but it's mostly in my head. I've been known to write down summaries, but that's not terribly often. I know where I'm going, but it's not likely that you're going to see where I'm going.

6. Are you a sucker for happy endings or do you leave your readers in misery?

And they all lived happily ever after ...

I love a good happily ever after - especially the sort that have a wedding or two involved. Sometimes they're a bit bittersweet, or more of a cliff hanger, but usually it's a happily ever after. Not always the happily ever after you might have expected ... but, still, a happily ever after.

7. How protective are you of your novel?

Not very.

Would you like to read over Infiltration or The Ankulen? Feel free to email me (You can find my email on my FAQ's page). Please note that what I'm offering are the rough drafts, and that they're both horrid (especially near the beginnings) and the final form will probably be nothing like what I have. Or, at least, very little like.

8. Plans for publishing eventually? Self-publish or traditional?

*cough, cough* Do I HAVE to answer this one?

9. Are you guilty of using the old cliche plot element? How are you trying to make it fresh?

Oh yes. I live and thrive on cliche. Princesses with RPS (rebellious princess syndrome)? Send 'em here. Knocking kids into magic worlds and telling them they have to save it? I've got several. Self inserts? I'm the master.

However, just because I use cliche doesn't mean that how I use it is cliche. For instance, I always make sure that my my princess has a good reason for rebelling (She accidently got her gift swapped with her twin brother, she caught RPS, her mother was secretly a dragon ...), and self inserts ... well, if they're handled properly, they're fine. Tiger, for instance, is the personification of one of my goals - she's an herbalist. I'd like to be an herbalist. However, I decided to draw the line and not give her my other skills (in early versions she was also a knitter and a baxter (female baker). Now Snap's the baxter ...) and I made sure that she had my flaw.

10. Tell a little about a character you are currently fleshing out.

Oh grr ... umm ... Lillillil or Rikkard ... Lillillil or Rikkard?

I'll do Rikkard. I want Lillillil to remain in mystery for a while longer.

Rikkard is an Alivock, which is a Vulcan-like people who live on the planet Silivock. Like Vulcans, Alivocks prize logic and knowledge, and are telepathic  Unlike Vulcans, they do not shun emotion. However, they feel that it can cloud judgement, so they merely let it have it's place - in privacy. They're also shorter, smaller, and have rounded ears.

Rikkard is a teacher. In specific, a high-thoughts teacher (a rough translation - the Alisili word doesn't translate well to English). This means that he is one of the smarter Alivocks - and for a people who Mensa is dumb ... well, that's saying something.

He's also an explorer, so he decides to make a trek into the unknown. Unfortunately he'll meet with the Silions (a people who prize spontaneity and fun. Physically they're just like the Alivocks, only they're more empathetic and, as I've said before, prize spontaneity. They're plenty smart ... they just don't always seem to use their smarts) and end up their prisoner. He ends up the private tutor to Princess Lillillil (who is convinced that he is in love with her. She's in love with him.) and hilarity ensues.

11. Which is the better chocolate? White, milk, or 75% dark?

White. And if they have peppermint mixed in ...

Let's just say, I got some of those candy cane Hershey kisses for Christmas, and I guard them things with my life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tips From a Young Writer - "On Thursdays we must eat cake!"

It's been forever since my last Tip. I have an excuse, though: My life has been crazy. Anyways, my  last two tips have been on World Building, and I think I'll cover the last part of world building today: Culture.

Culture is how your people live their lives and interact with one another. It governs their birth, their marriage, their death.

All in all, it's very important.

You can break Culture down into three basic parts: Religion, Politics, and Survival. However, these very often overlap or even combine. It can be used to govern their surroundings, or the surroundings may govern it. Culture is a very tricky thing.

I like to define the religion of my world first (Something I failed to do with Bookania ...) - I like to know how they view God. Now, they don't necessarily have to follow the true God, or even a God at all, or perhaps they "Have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof." You must decide. If they don't follow the true God, is there someone who does who can bring him to them? Why don't they follow him?

If you are going to do a parallel to Chrisianity, then I sujest that you study the Bible for clues as to how to do that. For instance, in Bookania,God is called the Author because of the verse where Jesus is described as the Author and finisher of our faith (as well as the fact that it went really well with the name Bookania).  In the Rowa, he's called Yshew, because the Hebrew form of Jesus is Yeshua (Which can also be translated Joshua, incidently.) Another common thing I see is forms of the name Elohim. A study of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers can give you ideas for worship traditions and festivals.

You'll also want to decide how you're going to handle Jesus. Will you do something similar to Aslan in Narnia, or will you simply use God. I've done it both ways. This is something I would pray over, and see how it would effect the plot. The Rowa doesn't have Jesus, only Yshew, but they do have salvation. The focus of Infiltration was the fact that the world is trying to infiltrate the church, and I concluded that to create a Jesus character would simply be confusing and distracting. In The New Division, however, I have Salv. The New Division is about how Jesus' death changed the division from Jew and Gentile to Believer and unbeliever, so having a Jesus character is important.

Once you have the religion mostly figured out, I would mess with survival. What do they have to survive and what do they need to survive. For instance, a people group in a desert would probably have a less advanced culture than someone who lived in a rich every-thing-you-need-is-provided valley. People in the desert have to devote more of their time to the gathering of food and water and the fending off of predators  and therefore don't have enough time to develop technologies and build long-lasting structures. The people in the valley would be in a highly contested-for location, and would have to build fortresses and the like to fend off enemies would would like that bit of real estate.

However, the opposite might be the case if someone in the desert people's history had managed to discover or invent something that would somehow make the desert fertile. Then they might have a more advanced culture as they strove to make all sorts of inventions and such to make the place as inhabital as possible. The people in the valley might not have any enemies to speak of, so they might just live in in thatch huts and eat berries all day long.

The last part is politics - how things play out among the uppity-ups. No society can exist without someone being in charge, so you must decide who is in charge. Will it be a king? A president? The oldest person in the community? What sort of laws do your people have to follow? Are there any strange ones? What are the punishments? Any of them cruel and unusual? Do you have a dystopia? This is something you must decide!

I, again, suggest a you read the aforementioned books of the Bible - especially if your people is Christian. I would also suggest a good look at the governments of the past. You can get a slew of ideas from there.

And that's all I have to say for now. If you have anything you would like to add, feel free to comment below. Also, if you have a topic you would like me to write about, feel to comment with a request for that as well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Writing Schedule for 2013

2013 is going to be, hopefully, a very busy year in the writing department. If all goes well, I plan to have four new books published. And, since one of my proposed progects is a collection of short stories, it will look like eight on my Amazon bookshelf.

So, here's my writing schedule. Whether or not I actually suceed in all of these is another story, but anyways ...

Apply edits petioned by editors and publish Do You Take This Quest?
Work on draft 2 of The Ankulen.
Write CinderEddy
Work on book 3

Finish draft 2 of The Ankulen
Write Unforgiven
Work on book 3

Begin the Formatted draft 3 of The Ankulen and start running it through my editors.
Write The Woodchopper Quince
Finish book 3

Continue work on The Ankulen.
Write Saffron's Even Bigger Plan.

Publish The Ankulen
Edit the short stories and begin their thek through my editors.

Edit short stories
Edit book 3.

Publish short stories
Format book 3 and begin its trek through editors

Edit book 3
Work on whatever I feel like working on.

See August

Publish book 3

November (NaNo):
Write either RPS, Silivock or book 4

Give my brain a break and make Cristmas preasents.

Of  course every bit of this may change, depending on how my nrain cooperates. However, if book 3 is not out by the end of October, I will stop work on it until January 2014. I'm not going to have a repeat of the Take drama. November is for NaNo and December will be my brain's vacation.
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