Friday, May 31, 2013

May Writing Update and Character Post 2

Firstly, My writing update.

Since I finally laid my hands and money on a new computer, I have done quite a bit of writing this month.

The Ankulen: Finished writing draft 2, and have typed up all but the last twenty notebook pages into the computer. I have a few people lined up to critique it next month, through NaNoCritMo and the June Crusade. (Note: Anne-Girl posted today that she only has five participants, and she needs and even number, so if you have a book that's has at least 10,000 words, please sign up! It doesn't have to be completed, just have 10,000+ words)

I have also finally set foot in a craft store and found something that will do for the jewel on Jen's Ankulen. I'll have to rewrite the descriptions of it in the book, but that's no big deal. I'm saving that for July. Fun.

My Kingdom for a Quest: I decided to try writing it by hand because I was stuck and thought that restarting it might help ... I've written a page and a half. Sigh. I love all of the scenes in this book, but stringing them all together so that it works is a challenge. Sew was easy to write. I had to pull a few teeth for Take ... But Kingdom is like pulling fingernails! Sigh. I will get it written. But ... maybe after I have The Ankulen out of the way.

The New Division: I finished the 100 for 100 challenge with about 1,000 words to spare. Not the most spectacular word count of the bunch, but I was satisfied. I haven't pulled the book up since, though, mostly because I let myself finish during a lull scene. Alistaar and Melisza are arguing in the library about whether or not it would have been better for Tabetha and Jaqob to stay at the human orphanage. On another note, while I've been cataloging the books in our personal library, I've found a whole slew of oddly-spelled names that I plan to use. Yes, I constantly look out for oddly spelled names.

Behind the Rainbow: V and I are now off of the big pillow and headed towards the rainbow that has books sticking out of it. I now need to get us into the library, and talking to Otis. I love Otis, he's so funny. (And for anyone who's watched Barbie of Swan Lake, Otis was inspired from the librarian there whose real name I've forgotten. Kathlenea, the other librarian, is also inspired from Swan Lake, but the connection is very complicated and I don't feel like explaining.)

Worth of a King: I've written the first chapter, and Obsidia has selected her future husband. The ball is now in Jack's court and I can't wait to read what she's going to do with Aiden.

Water Princess, Fire Prince: I have been stuck on this book for several months now. On the computer, I have been at Andrew's breaking point. In the notebook, it's been Clara's. (Yes, Andrew breaks much sooner than Clara, mostly because people recognize his inadequacy and he sees the effects much sooner.) However, while the computer is still grinning at me with a "You're never going to get me written" smirk, I think I have finally broken through on the notebook. Now Clara is a ice statue, and Andrew is watching a girl jump off a very high balcony. Fun.

And that's about it, other than the fact that I tried to cut my finger off the other day with a pair of scissors, so typing has been a bit painful. Don't worry, my finger's all right. I only cut a small v into it, and I had the presence of mind to apply pressure until my sister could get me a bandage. Very little bleeding, and not until I had the bandage on it.

I wonder if I'll get a scar ... that would be cool.

Now, I have another post for Miss Jack's Character contest, which she's holding in honor of the release of her next book, A Stretch of Loyalty. I've had the opportunity to edit the first few chapters, and it's quite good so far!

The characters I'm going to talk about today are the ones I told her I would talk about. The reason I didn't before is that I remembered that I had lent my copy of their book to my church library, so I had to go check it out to reread it.

Yes, I lend books to my church library. My Gma is the librarian, so ... I store a good number of my books in her library.

My seven book box set of The Chronicles of Narnia is one of them. (Mostly because, when I have them on hand, I read them too much, and if I read them to much, I begin basically cloning his books, and that is not a good thing.)

Please note, there will be many spoilers in my examination, and if you haven't read this book, I do not suggest that you continue.

My copy looks like this. It's very shiny.
Many people say that The Horse and His Boy is the one book that doesn't belong in the series. I disagree. It's the only one that's truly all about Narnia. It was the first one that I attempted rewriting (I wanted to make a stop-action film using my Madeline Dolls, and I didn't have two Pepitos. I had to Madelines, though, so she got the part of Shasta/Cor and Corin. It never came to anything though, and was soon replaced by The Giraffe, the Witch, and the Tunnel Tube ...)

The Horse and his Boy is a story of salvation, and Shasta and Aravis are the two who must be saved. (Bree and Hwin are too, but I'm not a huge fan of horses, so I won't talk about them.)

But their backgrounds are very different. Though he doesn't know it,  Shasta was born Cor, crown prince of Archenland. He was kidnapped at birth and has been raised instead as a fisherman's son in southern Calormen. Of course, a better word would be slave, but Shasta is unaware that Arsheesh is not his father. It is only when he discovers that his life is a lie, and that he really belongs up north, that he decides to make a run for it.

Aravis, on the other hand, she's a born and bred Calormen - a Tarkheena, which means she has a pedigree to prove it. She's quite happy with her life, too ... but she ends up with a wicked stepmother, and even that's not so bad ... until she's betrothed to Ahoshta, who is way older than her. He may be powerful, but to a 13-or-so-year-old-girl, well, marrying a 90-year-old man is not her idea of romantic. So she decides that Calormen is not all it's cracked up to be, and when she finds out that her horse is native to Narnia, she decides to run away.

Shasta belongs to Aslan already, he just doesn't know it. Aravis belongs to Calormen. She has no business going north, and yet, when she does, she is accepted. Not only that, she later becomes the queen of Archenland.

I love how the two of them play off of each other, and I think they are the ones who taught me to love the "Bitter enemies turned lovers" plot twist. He's humble, hardworking, simple, and awkward. She's proficient, smart, athletic, and arrogant. She doesn't think much of him, and he is put off by her haughty ways. But they become a team, each realizing that they need the other if they're going to get to Narnia. When Aravis is attacked by the lion right before they reach the Hermit's house, it's Shasta who goes back and tries to save her.

And that's the moment that she realizes that, though he may be simple and common, he's brave.

I think they're one of the inspirations for Clara and Andrew's relationship. Subconsciously.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Must I believe it?

Via Pinterest

And it is May and I didn't post snippets in April. Oh, well. I didn't write too terribly much back in March. However, my fingers decided that they really liked to tap during April, so I have quite a bit to share here.
Take was published, after I added a few new scenes, and I reached nearly 30,000 words on the computer version of The Ankulen. (Fun fact: That was Sew's original length), although I'm now at over 64,000 words. I am now officially halfway finished. I think. I made good progress on The New Division, and I finished the first chapter of The Worth of a King. 

Snippets are hosted by Katie at Whispering of the Pen

I nodded. “Well that’s what it looked like anyway. Know what? I think I’d like to go investigate the rainbow – let’s go!” I started jumping towards the edge of the huge pillow.
“Kendra!” Kathie exclaimed. “Don’t fall off the edge.”
I turned to my sister and rolled my eyes. “I wasn't planning on falling off the edge.”
“Don’t jump either,” she grouched.
“Fine. Then I’ll climb. You coming with me? If not, I’ll just have a merry little adventure without you. It’ll be such fun!”
-  Behind the Rainbow

 Oh, Briar Rose, dearest, dearest Briar Rose,” (Joan) declared, as she glided over to them. “I have been searching all over for thee!” Her hands were pressed to her chest, and plight was written all over her face.
Hello Joan,” said Rosamond, smiling. “What is the matter?”
Oh, Briar Rose!” cried Joan. “Is it true? Must I believe it? Did we really sleep for an hundred years! I cannot believe it! My mind rebels at the thought!”
- Do You Take This Quest?

 Tisha sank down on a nearby rock, and Chris took off the pack he was wearing and began setting up camp. I picked up a rock and threw it into the brook.
Don’t do that!” Tisha exclaimed with sudden energy.
I froze, then turned to her. “Why?”
Tisha’s eyes flew back to her feet. “You’ll disturb the Water Babies.”
My eyebrows went up and my mouth fell open. Before I could say anything, however, Chris threw a rock into the brook. “Not in Babble Brook,” he said, not hiding the bitterness in his voice. “Not anymore."
- The Ankulen

Of course I said elves,” said Pharick. “What do you think you are? A human? Those round-eared creatures are the stuff of legend. No, you’re an elfla, just as your brother and I are elves.”
“But, sir,” said Alistaar, deciding that he would take no more of his sister’s belittlement. “Where we were raised, humans are not legend. Humans raised us – elves were the fairy tales.”
“You were raised by humans!” declared Pharick, turning to look at him in surprise. “Are you sure?”

“Well, they called themselves humans, and they weren’t anything like us,” said Alistaar. “And since there were so many of them, it would seem unlikely that they all gave themselves rounded ears just so that we wouldn’t suspect their deceit.”
- The New Divsion

Milady, please, put down the book, I need to do your hair.”
Princess Obsidia of Dialcia sighed and slid an embroidered bookmark between the pages of the book she was reading. “I don’t know why you can’t do my hair while I read, Julie. I don’t move as much.”

“You move more than you think,” said Julie, as she began running a brush through Obsidia’s thick black hair. “And King Ossian wants you downstairs at once.”
-Worth of a King

As soon as I was close enough that jumping would not prove injurious, I let go of the pillow and propelled myself downwards. Grinning up at my much slower little sister, I shouted, “Come on in, the water’s great!”
“Kendra!” V shouted back. “There isn’t any water.”
I glanced around myself and feigned a sigh of disappointment. “You’re right. We landed high and dry. Oh, I hope this isn’t a desert! What if there’s no water at all! We’ll die of thirst!”
V was now on the ground and glaring up at me. “Cut. It. Out.”
- Behind the Rainbow

Even at a run, it took a few minutes before I was out from under the castle.
Yes, there it was, plain to see, a castle suspended by chains attached to the four largest trees I had ever seen.
Wow.” That was the only word I found myself capable of saying.
It looked pretty much like any castle you might find in a book of fairy tales, if you ignored the fact that it was fifteen feet off of the ground. High wall, higher towers, tiny windows. It was quite the impressive sight.
- The Ankulen

He will make a good servant … he’ll do work around the city… no good for studies … cursed Harshan …Pharick’s words floated through Melisza’s head as realization crashed into her. “You’re … you’re a servant, aren’t you?” she asked, her voice trembling.
The girl glanced up for a second, her eyes rebellious, then returned her glare to the floor. “Yes my lady. I am a Harshan. I … deserve no better.”
“Oh … I’m … I’m sorry …” Melisza mumbled, unsure what to say.
“No you’re not,” said the Harshan girl. “You are a Lilna. You aren’t cursed. Which dress would you like to wear?”
- The New Division

He didn't stop until the ground started shaking.
What's that?” (Derek just told me that if I write that his voice was edged with fear, he'll never forgive me. So I won't. Draw your own conclusions.)
That's Blue,” I explained, as I tossed a legless frog back into the river.
That's Blue?” Derek turned to me in disbelief.
Yup,” said I. “Did I forget to mention that Sir Steve's dog is as big as a house?”
As big as a …”
Give or take.”
- The Ankulen

The walk downstairs seemed to take forever. Why did the Choosing have to take place during the heaviest part of the day? The weight of the her future was already crushing, without the effects of noon.
Oh, she knew why – the heaviest part of the day was also the brightest, and such an important affair as the choosing of a future husband must always be done in the light, so that any deceit might be avoided, but still. Walking down halls was torture at noon, even if you were wearing the lightest dress in your closet.
- Worth of a King

Once on the ground, I started skipping again. Derek followed at a quick walk, and the looks he shot me clearly communicated, Girl, you are crazy!
I'm in a skipping mood,” I explained.
I can tell.”
- The Ankulen

 “Had we known that we would all fall asleep,” said Madeleine, “most of us would have done many things very differently.”
True, true,” said Joan. “Now that I think of it, if gloves were to be spotted, it would be a lot easier to conceal stains – dost thou not agree, Maddie?”
Madeleine drew her paint-stained hands from behind her back. “It would be nice – wouldn’t it?”
- Do You Take This Quest?

What do you want with us? What have you done Melisza and Alis –.” Tabetha’s demands were cut short when a sudden burst of light from a silver object the Dizalay held in her hand connected with her shoulder, causing pain to dance through her body. She fell to her knees, but her eyes stayed fixed on the Dizalay’s face.
“You stain their names by uttering them, cursed Harshan,” the Dizalay said, her voice calm. She walked confidently towards Tabetha, the silver object pointed towards her the whole time. “From now on, you are to only call my grandchildren by their titles – Dizalay and Nalish.”
- The New Division

Ah, then you are uninterested in the surface means that princes like to impress the ladies with?” questioned Ossian. “I suppose it comes of letting you read far to many impractical books, no?”
“Oh, but you yourself says to never judge a person by his words alone,” said Obsidia, “and three weeks is too short a time to ascertain the character of one person, let alone ten.”
- Worth of a King

Dizalay,” said Tabetha, taking a step forward, and curtseying to Melisza. “Do – do not press the issue. It will only make things worse.”
“Yes, dear,” said Liya. “For once a Harshan speaks well. Abide by the rules. Never let a Harshan feel equal to yourself. It never ends well.”
“But …” Melisza began, but, seeing the unbending look in Liya’s eye, her gaze fell to her feet. “Yes, Grandmother.”
- The New Division

Friday, May 24, 2013

Trying something new ...

Hello there, folks. I've decided to do something new today ... 

You see, I've been very busy of late, mostly typing projects, so I haven't had time to type up a proper blog post ... so I tried out vloging instead.

Monday, May 20, 2013

P - Polystoikhedron

P - Polystoikhedron

I've been waiting for this letter since I started the alphabet. You see, I finally am able to reveal the name of the monster that has been eating Jen's imagination.

The Polystoikhedron.

Actually, I can't take credit for the name. It had been eluding me during the planning stage, so I did what I always do when I'm stuck.

"Mom! I need a name for a creature that eats imagination."


"In this book I want to write, the main character abandoned her imagination when she was seven, and eight years later, she comes back to discover that this creature's been eating it in her absence. But I need a name for it."

"I'll think about it."

A few days later ... 

"Mom, do you have a name for the imagination eater yet?"

"I do - and an appearance for it, too."

"Cool! What is it?"

"Do all your chores and I'll give you the first letter."

So we played the letter game for a few weeks, until someone erased the whiteboard where I was keeping track of the letters. Then I begged my mom, pretty please, could she just give me the rest of the letters and tell me what it looks like.

So she did.

The word she actually gave me was Polystoikhydra, but after hearing her reasoning behind it, I changed it.

Here's how I described it in The Ankulen:

Swimming towards us was the largest and most horrid creature I had ever seen. What little I could see of the body was scaly and reptilian, reminding me of a snake. The most noticeable feature, however, was its head … or rather … heads.
There were hundreds of heads, each attached to a snake-like neck. The number wasn’t the worst part, though.
The heads attached to the necks were human.
Young, old, men, women, light skin, dark skin – each head was differed, save for the expression of utter despair it wore.
- The Ankulen.

You see, Poly means "Many" stoik is a respelling of stoic, and the hydra is a muti-headed beast in Greek Mythology. However, this creature doesn't have multiple hydras it has multiple heads, so I changed it to hedron, which is latin for face (I was studying Geometry at the time).

It is pronounced Pol-lee-stoe-ick-hee-dron

The Polstoikhedra (the plural form) are not creatures that you want to meet, and you especially don't want to find one in your imagination. They're almost impossible to defeat. To Jen's knowledge, no one has fought one and lived to tell the tale. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Several really cool announcements!

Today I am going to make a few announcements. I know that my last post was an announcement post too ... but, I have more lovely announcements!

1. This is the 400th post on Knitted by God's Plan. Wow ... Excuse me a moment while I get all teary and all that ...

2. I wrote the ending words of The Ankulen into the notebook yesterday. Oh! That ending! Please excuse me again while I get all teary ...

Okay, not really. I don't get teary unless it's the ending of Les Miserables (sp?) which I watched for the first time the other night. Wow. What an ending.

But still, I did finish the second draft of The Ankulen. Now to just get the last 20,000 words or so typed up into the computer before the first of June so that I can get it sent off to some critiquers.

3. (Drumroll please ...)

I now have the go ahead to reveal the big Secret Project I've been hinting about.

It is called ...

The Worth of a King

What's so special about it? Well, you see, it isn't just my book. I'm coauthoring it with Miss Jack Lewis Baillot, author of Haphazardly Implausible - which I really need to review over at O.Scarlett ...

You see, we were talking about our strengths and weaknesses as authors, and we discovered that she writes boys very well, and I write girls. "We should write something together" said I. "That's a good idea!" said she. And so we started plotting.

The Worth of a King is about a pair of twins who were separated at birth. I'm writing the girl, Jack is writing the boy. It's going to be full of family and fun and political intrigue. My favorite part is that it's going to take place in a hollow sphere world - which is something that I've wanted to write about for a long time. 

We have a pinboard that you can look at to see some of our visual inspiration. (Although I'm the only one who's actually pinned ...)

It's going to be fun! 

And don't forget to participate in Bookania Day! Robin and Robert are anticipating your interviews!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Announcing a party ...

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before or not, but Robin and Robert's birthday is June twelfth ... a little less than a month away. I won't tell you my reasoning behind my giving them that date, but suffice to say, it's a date that I remember. (And, if I remember right, I think it was June that Robin first came to me while I was folding laundry. Might have been late May or early July though ...)

So ... since I needed a good day to release the print version of Take that gives me time to acquire the cover (Cousin Tenya hasn't finished the full cover yet. I only have a front, but no back.), I selected their birthday. 

And ... since I'm a self-publisher, I need to do this thing called promotion. And, in order to promote, I need ya'll's help.

I'm going to have a party on the twelfth, Bookanian themed. Rizkaland, Ooladada, Rowa ... Colluna ... Findwan ... none of them will even be allowed to be alluded to on my blog. It will just be Bookania.

Firstly, take one of these two buttons, whichever one you like better, and stick it on your blog somewhere. Link it to this post. I tried making one of those handy little boxes last night but ... grr ... it would not cooperate.

Notice the bottom left-handed cover ... It's a short story that I'll release on the twelfth!

Now, for the fun part. Notice the word "Interviews" in both of the buttons? Notice "Prizes/Giveaways?" Well, just having a party on my blog isn't going to cut it when it comes to the big-scale promotion I'd like to do.

Normally, do blog tours where they're interviewed and they do guest posts. And I may still do that ... but ... the twelfth is Robin and Robert's birthday, of course ... so they deserve to be spotlighted. If you would like to interview the pair on your blog, contact me, either through my email on my FAQ's page, or through this comment form. Send your list of questions (no more than ten, though, or Robin might take offense at your attempts pry into her life) and at what point in the books you'd like for them to answer from. Pre-sew, post-sew, or during. (If during, please state which chapter!). I'll have the interview back to you, as well as pictures and links, by the eleventh.

Interviewing the pair will earn you two points for the giveaways ... but there'll be more ways as well! For instance, posting a review of Sew or Take sometime in the preceding week will earn you two points (three if it's detailed) Reviewing Prior will earn you an additional point or two. (For those of you who have read an unfinished version of Take, please contact me and ask for the PDF of the final version!)

I'll also be posting several games, maybe even a quiz. I haven't settled on the nature of all the prizes yet ... but they're all going to be juicy!

(And if you want to interview me, or have me guest post, I'm still willing to do that, too. Just, after the twelfth!)

I'm excited - are you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

N - No Color

Via Pinterest (She just need glasses and
her hair pulled back in a ponytail.)
N - No color

Last week I either
a) Forgot that I hadn't done "n"
b) Forgot the "n" precedes "o" in the alphabet.
c) Decided to rearrange the alphabet to suit my own whim.

I'll let you decide.

N is for no color. That's what it's like when Jen finally finds her missing imagination. Gray. The dead grass is gray. The cloudy sky is gray. The water, the dirt, everything. Gray. Even her friends are gray.

You see, when she was seven, she learned that color came from light ... and decided to take it a step further. In order for something to have color, it must have come in contact with colored light. The color lasts for about twenty-four hours.

In the caves, light is provided by either glowbeetles, which give a bluish-green light, or by luminous gems, which can be any color. Therefore, everything is one color.

Above ground, light is provided by the sun ... and turned into color every morning as it passed by the rainbow, which is a permanent feature in the eastern sky. Let's just say that sunrises in Jen's imagination put ours to shame.

However, the rainbow was one of the first things to be eaten. There's color underground ... but that's the only place.

In the first draft, Jen retained her color when she entered her world. But I later discovered that I wanted her to be able to blend in with her people, so, in draft two, not only is she gray, she's the grayest thing there is.


Oh, and stay tuned tomorrow for a big, huge Bookanian-themed announcement!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Characters in Costume - Lillillil

I'm joining in on a link-up thing called Characters in Costume. Basically, you dress up like a character (if your an author, make it one of you own) and tell your readers about said character.

Since I couldn't fine any working picture of Lillillil online for my monthly character encounter, I decided to dress up like her. Actually, I'm not 100% sure that I have the correct clothing ... but then again, I don't think she has a status quo when when it comes to her clothing.

(Oh, and her name is pronounced Lil-lil-lil.)

Lillillil is a Silion Princess from my work-in-planning Silivock. Silivock is the name of their world/planet, and it's part of my sister's SciFi/Fantasy world. According to V, it's in the Andromeda Galaxy. Silivock is inhabited by three very different people groups, the Silions, the Alivocks and the Ridlers.  

Silions are the ones who don't like to do anything that make sense. They're Range Empaths (they can project and read emotions) and touch Telepaths. Alivocks are pretty much their complete opposites. They don't do anything unless it makes 100% sense, and even then, they must make double sure. They're Range Telepaths and Touch Empaths.

Ridlers are the lowlife of society. They're similar to humans when it comes to how much they like to make sense ... but telepathic and empathetic communication is poison to them. Since they live in a world where almost everyone is tele/empathetic, they don't often live very long lives.

As Silivock opens, the Alivocks and Silions have not been on speaking terms for about a thousand years. In fact, both are convinced that the other group has ceased to exist.

Lillillil is the fourth daughter of the Silion King, and when the Silions capture an Alivock teacher/explorer, she's the one who begs his life to be spared, claiming that she has fallen in love with him. He is then made her tutor.

This is her jumping off of a cliff. She's "testing" Rikkard (the Alivock) to see if he "loves her." Supposedly, if he doesn't love her, he'd let her fall to her death. Since he catches her, she claims that means that he does.

Yes, she's a typical Silion.

And this is her begging Rikkard to "teach her to be sensible." And, no, I still haven't figured out what she means by that.

The hair style is the important part of the costume, for all of the Alisili (the general name for the inhabitants of Silivock) girls wear their hair in braids. Ridler wear one braid straight down the back. Alivocks and Silions get a bit more complicated. Alivocks have two or more braids spouting from the same ponytail, and Silions take their braids and loop them up so that the tails form a bit of a fountain.

Here's a bit better of a picture.

Lillillil fancies herself an inventor. She's trying to invent the computer, and she convinces Rikkard to help her.

Here she is trying to install the computer into a tree ...

I asked her why, and she replied that it was because popcorn grows on trees.

And I have no idea what she's trying to do in this picture.

So, that's Lillillil. I'm looking forward to writing about her when I get around to it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Eleven is a funny number ...

And ... I got tagged with the Elevensies again! This time it was by Evy Cartyr, from Wonderful Things; Abby, from Dolls, Books and Things that Matter; and John from Planet Earth Turns Slowly, and Melody from The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls.

Evy's Questions:

1. What are some of your favorite period drama movies?

At the moment, I'll say the BBC David Copperfield is my favorite, but, truth be known, I haven't seen enough to form a list of favorites. 
(Gasp - isn't this the person who's a die-hard classics fan? No, that's my character, Clara, who's also a die-hard "the movies always ruin the books" person. Of course, I don't watch very much TV, since I don't have the time for it. When I do watch, I prefer DVD's that I can stick into my computer and watch at x1.5 speed)

2. Do you have a craft you enjoy (knitting, sewing, cross stitch?)

I love knitting and crochet - I even have my own knitting business if you would like to scroll down to the bottom of the page and examine the Facebook links. I dabble in cross stitch, and I occasionally attempt sewing by hand, but I have long since discovered that the sewing machine goes too fast for me.

3. If you went camping would you take a camper or a tent?

I've done both, and I really don't have a preference.

4. Have you ever written a book?

Yep. And then I published it and wrote another ... and another ... and another. I like writing books.

5. Have you ever read a book more then once?

(Firstly, the grammar police in me would like to point out that it's than, not then)

Yes, I have. Mostly the books that are on my personal shelves. However, I only reread my favorite parts, so I have never read a book straight through more than once. 

6. Which historical figure would you like most to meet?

Ehh ... why do people ask such questions??? Maybe Mulan. I would like to know her real story.

7. Which historical figure do you imagine you are most like?

I used to think I was a second Laura Ingalls Wilder, but now ... oh, I don't know. I'm someone.

8. Do you have a favorite band/ singer?

I like the Isaacs, a Family Christian Bluegrass band - I've even been able to listen to them live - TWICE!!!

9. Which holiday is your favorite?

I'm not a huge fan of holidays. I mean, it's all build-up ... and then it's over. Not that I don't like them, they're fun ... I just wish they wouldn't become over.

10. If you were accidentally locked in a building for the night, what building would you like it to be?

Why, the Library, of course!

11. Do you have any nick names?

Plenty of them. Buglet, Ladybug, Kenj, Elsie, Jump rope, that crazy girl ... as long as you don't call me Ken, I'm fine.

Abby's Questions: 

1. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64? (Beatles song... not something creepy).

Uh ... I really don't know how to answer this question. Um ... Jump rope?

2. What was the last movie you saw in theaters?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I believe. Yes, it has been a long time since I last was in a movie theater.

3. If you could paint your room one color what would it be?

Sparkly purple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. What would you do if you won $50,000 (and could keep it ALL without giving any of it to the government)?

I would first buy a really nice laptop with a touch screen, and I would get Microsoft Word back (NEW COMPUTERS DON'T COME WITH WORD!!!!!!) and maybe one of those voice dictation programs. Then I would buy a nice supply of my books, and be able to sell autographed copies. I would donate a large sum to Compassion (As it is, 25%  of the royalties on my books goes to their clean water fund), and maybe get myself a sponsor child. I'd probably put the rest in the bank, to gather interest, and I can buy more books as I run out/publish more. 

5. Do you know who Carol Burnett is?

She's that scratchy voiced lady who's in Thoroughly Modern Millie right?

6. Would you like a Jelly Baby? (See picture up above.)

(I don't feel like carrying over the picture from her blog ...)
Sure, if one is offered.

7. Do you have baby names picked out for when you get married and have kids?

A few.

8. If so, what are they?

Well, my first daughter will be named Timothea LeAnne, and my first son will be Richard William. After that, I don't really care.

9. What do you think classifies a classic as a classic?

If Clara will read it.

10. Are you reading more than one book right now? If so, how many?

(Thank you for using than instead of then!)

Yes, I am. At least four.

11. What books are you reading right now?

On my shelf is currently Tears of a Dragon and Gregor and the Code of Claw. I'm not reading them very fast, since they're both the last books of their series, and I don't want them to end. I'm also reading a book on my Android and one on my Kindle, but I forget which ones. And then there's a few books that I recently bought at are our library's annual book sale ...

John's Questions: 

 1. What Cartoons do you like?

Blues clues ... Winnie the Pooh ... I don't know which others ... Dora the Explorer's fun ... (I have two younger siblings under the age of ten, most of what we watch is kid shows)

 2 Do you like cats?

I can't say that I don't. They're better than dogs, that's for sure.

 3. do you read lots of books at once or just one?

See the last two questions asked by Abby. Such describes my life.

 4 Do you watch the Merlin show?

No, but it's one of the shows that I would probably watch if I did watch TV shows.

 5. The Doctor Who show?

No, nor do I plan to. Although the old episodes sound intriguing ...

 6. Sherlock show?

No again. I don't have access to TV shows, and my life is busy enough even without them. 

 7 Do you swim or sink like the Titanic?

I can swim rather well, (took several years of lessons as a kid) but I don't get to swim very regularly, so I'm out of practice.

 8 do you have a real job? Is it scary?

I babysit for my aunts, if that counts. And, yes, it can be scary ... just me ... with all those precious little cousins who are about to drive me crazy ...

 9 have you read Redwall? or any of the books?

Oh! Now I remember! Redwall is the book that I'm reading on my Android! I haven't gotten very far. Honestly, I find the concept intriguing, and I've read and loved several similar books, but I'm having trouble getting into it ...

 10. Do you like picnics?

 Sure! If they're at a picnic table.

 11 do you like ants at picnics?

I would rather they not come.

And ... Melody's questions!

1. Have you ever ridden in a tractor?  Or driven one? 

My grandfather has a tractor, so I rode it quite often as a kid ... once he let me steer ... but he took it back when I was about to drive us into a pile of tires. I haven't been allowed the controls since.

2. Have you ridden a motorcycle?

Nope, I haven't. Several of the men at my church rides them, though.

3. What is your favorite national park?

Maybe Fossil Ridge in Texas ... is that a National park?

4. Who is your favorite Contemporary Christian Music artist?

This guy. I don't know who he is, but his music is free, his voice is great, and his theology is ... wow. Go, listen. I'll wait.

5. Mexican, Italian or Chinese food?

Despite the fact that China is going to be the villain of my League of Royals, I love Chinese food. I haven't had any since the last time I went to see the Isaacs, back in March, if I remember right ... my dad went on a mission trip to China as a teenager, so he knows a bit of Chinese. Listening to him talk to the workers is humorous. And it is against my religion to take out my silverware until dessert (because sometimes I get cake, and you can't eat cake with chopsticks)

6. Favorite type of cookie?

Why, a fortune cookie, of course!

7. Favorite fast food place to eat?

I'll go with Taco Bueno, the answering service for Taco Bell. (actually, they're both good, but I don't get Bueno as often, so it's more of a treat.)

8. Do you have a green thumb?

Not really ... but that doesn't mean I don't try! I actually have a nice little herb garden.

9. Do you prefer to write or type in a chair or at a desk?

Uhh ... I really don't see the difference ... I mean, you need a chair and a desk to type ... don't you?

However, I personally prefer my bed ... despite having four desks in my room. (We just moved my school desk into my room because we're rearranging the schoolroom)

10. How many states have you visited?

Over twenty ... but I'm not sure of the exact number, it has been a while since I last had a long trip.

11. What international capital city would you most like to see?

Berlin, Germany.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

O - Old Woman

Via Pinterest. Completely the wrong setting,
but close enough.
O - Old Woman

In Do You Take This Quest? I had the old man. In The Ankulen I have the Old Woman.

I think the Old Woman was inspired by the Good Magician Humphrey in Xanth (a series by Piers Anthony that I enjoy), but I don't really remember. I had started chapter three, Jen had found her Ankulen, and was in her imagination ... but then I went ... uhhh ... what happens now? Chris? Do you have any ideas?

Chris, being the nice character that he is, suggested that they go visit the Old Woman, and I, being the clueless author that I was, thought it a great idea.

(Yes, I pantsted much of The Ankulen. I sometimes wonder how it managed to make sense at the end. Although, that may have a good deal to do with my decision to rewrite the whole thing)

In Xanth, Humphrey is the Magician of Information. Whenever someone decides to go on a quest (i.e. a new book begins) they decide to go to him to learn what they need to do. He charges a year's service in exchange for the question, but most are willing to pay the price.

The Old Woman in Jen's imagination is similar. She knows everything there is to know about Jen's imagination, and more about her Ankulen than any of the other imaginary friends. Whenever they decided to go on a new adventure, Jenny, Tisha, and Chris would go to her to ask what they needed to do. (A note, whenever I refer to the younger Jen, it's Jenny.) Unlike Humphrey, however, she doesn't demand service!

Monday, May 6, 2013

CE Electronics - Lillillil

"Where is it ..." I mutter, glancing at the ad in my hand for the third time, then back at the row of computers. "Are they out? And this was a really good deal!"

"Hello, firstborn, may I help you?"

I whirl around to face the speaker ... and, well, she's dressed as one of the workers at Office Depot ... but there's something about her that is most definitely not human. Maybe its the shape of her eyes, or her height (or lack thereof) ... or maybe it's the fact that, somehow, I think I can feel her emotions.

Right now, she's extremely excited.

"Um, firstborn?" I ask. I know that it's rude to stare, but ... she's not like anyone I've ever seen before.

"Well, you are a human from Earth, are you not?" she asked, lifting an eyebrow as her emotions shift to curiosity. "And Earth is the firstborn of creation, making the humans the firstborn of all who serve Yova. The fear of Yova is about you, how is it that you don't know this."

That's when I notice her name tag. It reads Lillillil.

"Wait ... are you the Silion Princess that Elsie told me about the last time I visited the Library?" I ask. I have no idea how she would have hoodwinked her way here, since her time is before the Alisili develop space travel, but ... then again. She's a Silion. They follow their own rules.

"Well, I am a Silion, and I am a Princess," she confirmed, tilting her head to one side. "But I don't know about Elsie or this Library. Is Elsie a human like you? Or is she a Silion? Perhaps an Alivock?"

"Uhhh ... she's half Silion ... and half ... only she knows. She's not a drop human, though."

"Oh, so you know about Silions!"

"Yes, I do. I simply never expected to meet you, Lillillil, and especially not here."

"Oh, well, I never expected to come here, to visit the humans. But these computers! I'm going to invent the computer, you know."

"Yes, I do know," I said. "Or, at least, that's what Elsie claimed."

"And you're looking for a computer?"

"Yep. Mine broke in December, and I need a new one, so I can write your story."

"My story?"

"Elsie is telling it to me and wants me to share it with the humans, but I need a computer again to write it. I had the money for one - but they seem to be sold out."

"How much do you have?"

I told her how much, and reminded her that, in the human world, we have to pay a tax. She nods, then scans down the aisle, landing on a yellow tag. "Look, firstborn, this one is only 235! You can afford that, can't you?"

I quickly rush over to her and examine tag myself. It's a clearance tag for a much more expensive computer - one that had been way over my price limit. I smile. This will do perfectly. I call my dad over to look at it, and when I turn back to Lillillil, she's gone.

And yes, folks! I have a new computer! It's a Lenovo, and, according to my dad, that's the company that bought out IBM. I got the last one available, and for way under my price limit. Last night, dad and I swung by Walmart after church (mom wanted fried chicken for supper) and I found the cutest mouse. (My old mouse died several months before the computer did) so I'm on top of the world! (especially since I typed nearly 5,000 words into the Ankulen, and wrote a couple hundred into the notebook yesterday)

Oh, and I'm sure you're interested, my new computer is named Black Violet. She's black, you see, and I chose a purple color scheme for the inside. Her keyboard makes the most productive sound when I type.

And, before I forget, if thou wishest to join in with the Character Encounters, just hop over here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Get your Novel Critiqued in June!

I'm just stopping by to tell you about two really good novel critique swaps in the month of June!

1. NaNoCritMo
NaNoCritMo is a trial run of something that will be, hopefully, something bigger in September. It is run by Lily J. an aspiring author who reviewed Sew a few months ago. The sign-up list is pretty thorough and simple to navigate. You can have up to four people critique your novel through this. (However, the flip side is that you'll have to critique a book for every critique that is made of yours) The deadline for sign-up is the 7th.

2. The June Crusade
Writer's Unite

From what I've heard, last year the June Crusade was basically NaNo in June, this year, she had decided to think a bit outside of the box. It is run by Anne-girl, and the sign-up is shooting her an email with the proper information in it. You'll only get one critique here, but she will require that you comment on other people's blogs, and guest post twice on the blog of the person you critique. (The flip side is that you get more comments and two guest posts on your blog.) The sign-up deadline is the 20th.

So, think it over, and join in if you can. I've signed up for both, and will receive three critiques for The Ankulen. Since I so far only have about 29,000 words typed up, I'll be having a personal NaNoTyMo until then. (And it's proving to be a 70,000+ word book. Wish me - and my fingers - good luck. And watch for my CE tomorrow - I have good news to share. Oh, and a very silly hairstyle ...)

Friday, May 3, 2013

M - Megan

Via Pinterest
M - Megan

The Megan of draft one was seriously underdeveloped. She just followed Jen around, acting timid until about chapter eighteen where she makes an offer ... and then she becomes slightly more developed.

In draft two, however, she really bloomed. She and Jen become instant best friends, and she even stood up to Derek on numerous occasions. As I'm tying up the last few loose ends in Chapter 25 and the Epilogue, she hasn't quite decided about whether or not Derek will make a good brother, but she adores Jen.

With both of Jen's adopted siblings, their backstories were basically nada in draft one. But with two, let's just  say that I now know the fate of their parents, and even a few younger siblings. In fact, the pair's backstories ended up being quite vital to the plot. (And I have no idea what I how I got to the end last time without discovering the identity of Megan's dad!)

Unfortunately, their backstories contain plot spoilers, so I can't tell you about them. Popcorn! Derek doesn't even let me say everything I know in the book! (If I ever decide to write a sequel though ... I will pull some people from his past to haunt him.)

Megan is childlike in many ways, her outlook on life, her awe of Jen's imagination, and her faith in Jesus. She loves dragons, especially good dragons, and is disappointed when she finds out that Jen doesn't have any good dragons in her imagination, a problem that Jen promises to rectify when possible.

Let's just say, she has become one of my favorite characters.
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