Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Devious Plotting

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On Saturday, Anne-Girl posted her plotting style, and how she thought that, though it's not a good idea to copy other authors' styles, it is a good idea to read and study them, and use what you like of it.

Which got me thinking ... what IS my plotting style? How do I go from a plot bunny showing up with a shiny (and impractical) idea to a story ready to be written? Honestly, this isn't something I often give much thought to because I don't usually write it down.

So after some thought, I think I've nailed down a few things that I feel are important to my plotting.

1. The initial spark. This can be anything, from a random line I hear my sister say, to a random thought that pops into my head, something I read and I want to write their book ..., an idea my mom has and doesn't have the time to write herself ... (honestly, my mom gets a lot of those)

2. Casual dating. I usually don't write down the spark, since I get so many in a day, and my WIP list is already so long, I need to put it though some sort of test. If the idea keeps coming back and pestering me, I may be onto something, if it doesn't ... well  obviously it didn't really have the makings of a story.

3. Tell my mom. Actually, this step is optional, or it may occur later on in the process. Once I tell her, we may or may not spend long hours talking about plot and characters.

4. False starts and snippets. At some point or another in a book's journey, I will pull out a random notebook and start writing random conversation and scenes between random characters, and try to write an opening scene.

5. The breath of life. This is when I stumble upon a character, thought, theme, something that turns the story idea into something living, breathing, alive, and maybe even heart-wrenching. This is when I realize what the story is truly about.

6. The end. I'm a panster. Too much of an outline kills my inspiration. But I do need to know where the book is going. If I don't, the book is going to meander here and there and maybe to the moon, and it probably won't make any sense. Also important is the mid-goal. I like to have two goals in my books, conscious or not, one of which is reached about half-way through, and the second at the climax. For instance, The mid-goal of Sew, It's a Quest was for Robert to find out who Rosamond is, while the end-goal was the twins finding their Fairy Godmother (as well as a certain swordfight). For Take, the mid-goal was to get them to Winthrop Castle, and the end-goal was to have the wedding. You get the idea.

7. Determine my POV's. I don't need to know every character when I start my book, but I do need to know everyone who will have a POV in the book. This means up to six characters. Or once in a crazy while ... twelve! Sometimes I'll do up character profiles, determine their personality types, their likes/dislikes ... other times, I just pin down a name, a basic goal for them, and an appearance.

And then I start writing!

These may be done out of order, and sometimes I'll write a summery of sorts. With my NaNo novel this year, I've gone as far as to write out an entire table of contents (though none of the chapters have names, not sure if they'll get any - we'll see how it goes come November), with POV's and brief descriptions. However, that's not my normal reunite. This year's book has twelve characters, and each gets two chapters in their POV, so I needed to know who gets their chapter when for optimum suspense. And no, you're not getting anything more than that out of me!

Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm Shy ... That Makes me an Introvert, Right?

Everyone knows that friendly, outgoing people are all extroverts and the socially inept people hiding in corners and in their bedrooms are all introverts. And to an extent, that's true.

When strangers meet my sister and I, they will automatically label V as an extrovert and me the introvert. She's the one who'll walk up to a complete stranger and ask them anything and make a new friend in seconds ... while I hide behind her and try to gather the courage to say an awkward "Hi!"

But truth is, she's an introvert, and I'm an extrovert.

And when we tell people this, they don't often believe it.

But whether one is introverted or extroverted is not determined by how easy it is for them to talk to people, contrary to popular belief, but rather how much they NEED to talk to those people. In fact, it is my extroversion that makes me so shy.

You see, when I was a little kid, I was very outgoing. I could talk to anyone - and talk their ears off. And when V was little, she was possibly the clingiest baby there ever was. I have this insatiable need to talk to people, to connect and make new friends - and if you're my friend, you're my best friend. (I had at least five best friends at one point ...)

But I have an introvert mother, grammy, and younger sister. They drummed into me that talking to strangers is bad. Also, I soon learned that people judge by first impressions ... and their first impressions of my rambling on and and on about things that weren't important to them weren't very favorable. I sounded like an egomaniac. Or insane when I started rambling about my made up people in my stories. So I stopped talking. I pulled inward.

At the same time, my sister, being an introvert, is not as dependent upon other's opinions of her. She's a good listener, which is what other people want. She has a bright sunshine smile that just draws people to her. And she's not just any type of introvert, but an INFJ, the Myers-Briggs Counselor. And Counselors have this natural desire to draw people out, help them reach their full potential. But it drains her.

The real test of introvert/extrovert isn't how easy it is for them to talk to people - that's something that is learned. The real test is what they're like after they talk to people.

When I talk to people, no matter who they are, whether they're a new acquaintance or an old friend, I get an energy buzz that's akin to eating too much sugar. When V talks to someone, especially someone she doesn't know, it drains her energy.

Case in point, last Sunday was our church's annual fall fest. We had a huge party (around 70 people, which is a really good crowd for our church) and had fun talking, eating, and hopping around in burlap sacks. There were some new faces that various members had invited to the occasion. V, being her normal, friendly self, talked to most of them, showed them around, while I hung out with the little kids. (For some reason, I don't find little kids as intimidating as my own peers.) Once V had properly broken someone in, I would sneak up on them, she'd introduce me, and I'd talk to them some myself.

When we got home, V crashed almost immediately. (It didn't help that she had to go to work the next day. Yep, she's got a real job. While I'm stuck babysitting and writing books.) I on the other hand, bounced off the walls for some time, played some computer games, read a book, and some other stuff that I don't remember because I couldn't possibly go to sleep after talking to all of those people.

I think that's why I like all of you on the internet. I can stalk your blogs for some time, determine how similar your interests are to mine, and then comment on them to let you know of my presence. But those of you who do comment on my blog, and I comment on yours ... I consider all of you my best friend. Because I like people. People are awesome.

I just wish they weren't so scary.

Via Pinterest
3. Younger Hidden aren't usually allowed in human society. They are physically adult (even if they were babies in dragon form ... but in that case, they spend most of their time sleeping or eating), but they're still mentally children. And they're used to a more violent form of play.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


How many people out there watch Barbie movies?

Well, I do believe Kiri has mentioned watching them once (a song post, one of the songs was from one of the movies), but other than that ... anyone else?

I have watched most of the Barbie movies ... and have written sequels for Nutcracker and Swan Lake. I own the Clara barbie. (Mostly because I LOVE nutcrackers. Didn't like Barbie's rendition very much - Sugar Plum PRINCESS???? Honestly? - but I did hunt down and get Clara barbie. Wanted a Nutcracker Ken, too ... but by the time the prices dropped after Christmas, all we could find were the dark skinned ones ... and I wanted them to match. So she's spent the last however many years it's been since I got her only and lonely ... well I did get her a best friend when I was thirteen - part of my birthday cake - but she was missing her Nutcracker - well she had my entire Nutcracker collection to hang out with but ... still. Except my Grandma got me a really nice Prince Ken for a project of mine, so she's happy again ... I'm rambling. And overusing elipses. Hey - maybe I should introduce you to them someday!)

Tabetha in my birthday cake. she must have gotten really cold in that cake, because her legs have been permanently blue ever since.
One of my favorite parts of Barbie movies are the outtakes/gag reel/bloopers. Barbie is animated - that means there aren't any REAL bloopers (unless you count the really weird ones on Shrek the Third where all the animation was goofing up - or that one for the Lion King where they took the messed up lines of Simba's actor and animated them ...), but they add bloopers, they script them, voice them, and animate them. It's hilarious!

And no, I'm didn't come here to talk about Barbie Movies, Nutcracker Kens, and Barbie Bloopers.

No, I came to share some bloopers of my own.

The following are from Sew, It's a Quest, and I wrote most of them back towards the beginning of summer when I was bored. I was going through my purse (honestly, I carry WAY too much stuff around in my purse - three notebooks, at least one of my published works, random paper, some books for me to read, and often Andrea Android), and discovered my bloopers when I was pulling out the Worldbuilding notebook to make up some interesting creatures for my Sci-Fi NaNo (Yes, folks, be excited! And I am overusing parentheses now ...). Not sure why I put bloopers with the worldbuilidng, but sometimes my brain is weird.

I have included the chapter title so that everyone with the book can pull it out and compare to the original.

Chapter 22:
Robin: (Whirling on Eric) What are you doing here! Skewwood forest is no place for a Quince! I mean Prince! Doranna! (Storms off)

Chapter 2
Robert: (Shakes head) Never mind. I have - (Reaches into pocket, face goes blank) Wait ... where's my list?
Robin: (Eyes widen in mock disbelief) What? You lost your list? I don't believe it!
Robert: (On his knees looking under every shrub and bush) Not helping Robin!
Robin: I suppose such a momentous occasion calls for - hey, maybe I could let you borrow my list!
Robert: You lost your list.
Robin: Weeeeeellll .... (Sees paper on the ground behind him) Ah, there it is! You dropped it!

Chapter 3
Robert: (In a loud whisper) Robin! Robin! Wake up! (pulls away pillow to find Robin ... missing) Robin? (Flying pillow hits him in the side of his head)

Chapter 22
Eric: (Catches snake, but it slips out of his hand) Ahh!
Robin: (Jumps up) Did it bite you! (panicking) Oh! Eric, Speak to me! Are you hurt? Are you -
Eric: Robin. I'm fine. (Picks snake back up) It's a cloth snake on a string.
Robin: Oh. I knew that.

Chapter 9
Doranna: Then I wilt have him - do I have to say dismantled? It sounds so barbaric!
Casperl: It's what the script says.
Doranna: But why not dismayed? Or dismounted? Or dismalled?
Robin: I like dismantled.
Doranna: (Sighs) Then I wilt have him dismantled.

Chapter 10
Robert: (Takes a few steps toward Madeleine's painting. Suddenly stops and and puts out hand) Where's the wall again?
Robin: (Rolls eyes) Keep walking!

Chapter 16
Robin: I've a feeling you know which of these trees are the best for climbing. Which is your favorite?
Maid Marian: That one. (points) Why?
Robin: Nothing. (Suddenly sends Maid Marian's sword flying towards the tree. Hits it - but sword then falls out)
Robert: Weren't you supposed to get her sword stuck in the tree?
Robin: Oh, hush.

Chapter 3
(Various members of cast and crew surround a tree ... staring at Auroren stuck in said tree)
Random swordsman: Weren't you supposed to get MY sword stuck up there.
Robin: Yep.
Director: Well, get it down. We'll rerun the scene.
Robin: How? I'm an actress - not a stuntwoman. Climbing telephone pole trees are not in my contract. (Spins on stunt double) Wren - you get it down!
Wren: (snorts, shakes head) Uh. Nope. Not in the script, not in my contract, either.
Robin: Well then ... where's a ladder ... someone call a fire truck! Um ... send in the monkeys!

So ... what do you think? Should I write up more and post them another day? Do my other three books? Fire Robin's actress and get one that isn't so stuck-up?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Just Another Sci-Fi Novel ... and Mermaids

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I have mentioned here and in the comments of other blogs that I am doing the first book of my Secret Project for NaNo this year, and that this book is Sci-Fi. I've also mentioned that I am really, REALLY excited about writing this book.

But it's my secret project ... and after hiding last year's project (My Kingdom for a Quest) under the rug and not letting anyone know anything about it (unless you happened to be my friend on NaNo, and then you could see my profile page), I'm not sure I'm willing to do a repeat.

So I've decided that I'll share a few things. Such as the working title. Just Another Sci-Fi Novel. 

This is not the official title, but I did consider it for a good while (Along with The Next Great Sci-Fi Novel, though my mom said THAT sounded a bit pretentious). It is in no danger of becoming the official title (which is what happened to The Ankulen) because I have a much better title already picked out. But I can't share the official with you yet ... so ya'll will get the old working title instead.

And I'll also share a book description. Not THE book description that will find itself on the back of the official book, but this book has several layers (kinda like an onion) so I'll show you ONE layer.

Captain John C. Douglas has been waiting for the command of own starship (and the heroic adventure said starship would entail) since childhood. But the U.S.S. Ingenuity is a diplomacy vessel ... and his first mission is to escort an alien princess half-way across the galaxy so she can marry an alien prince. But since this is a book, they know that all is not as it seems and they'll be faced with assassins, explosions, and threats to human civilization as we know it. Wait - they don't know this is a book ... well, scratch that. This will be the most boring diplomatic mission in the history of boring diplomatic missions.

Fun, right? I've been doing a lot of plotting and character developing the last few weeks, and I'm really ecited about the whole affair. Oh, and if you want to buddy me on NaNo, my profile's here. Don't know when I'll get around to buddying you back ... but I'm sure I will eventually if I know who you are.

Random fact about Kendra: During '11, she got addicted to Roleplaying in the NaNo forums, and as last resort to get her to stop, her dad had to block it on our WiFi. Therefore, I cannot pull up any link containing "nanowrimo" at home, and must therefore update my word count at the library, church, or my Grandma's house ... and I'm never sure when I'll get the chance to take my computer to said locations. (This also means that if you have nanowrimo in your blog post titles, I probably won't be able to comment. Sigh. 'Tis a sad, sad life I lead.)


Via Pinterest
Hello, Jen here! Kendra's letting me use her blog to talk about MY NaNo Novel. Actually, it'll be more of a novella, since I'm aiming for only 20,000. (Kendra's rules ... not sure of her reasoning, but she says I'll be lucky to get 10,000 ... so anyways ...)

Anyways, since everyone seemed to like my mermaids, I'm going to cash in on a plot I planted back when I was a kid. In case no one noticed, Mynna is the youngest of seven mermaid sisters - sound familiar?

Ever since I first thought her up, I've looked forward to giving her legs and letting her marry a valiant knight- once she grew up of course. She was only thirteen during the events of The Ankulen, but Kendra's taught me several time-jumping techniques, so that isn't really an issue. Thirteen is only three years away from sixteen.

I haven't settled on a title, unlike Kendra. (By the way, Kendra's Secret Project is REALLY cool. Yes, she's told me all about it. It's a benefit of being a real-life friend of hers - she's very open about what she's writing.) She thinks I should give it a punny title like The Mermaid's Tale but I think that's a bit cliche ... so I'm open to ideas!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Better Rainbows

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Hello folks! I'm here with the snippets I promised ya'll on Monday. (Hum ... just found out that I'm technically spelling ya'll wrong. It should be y'all, but my brain rebels at the sight. So I shall continue with the misspelling since spellchecker isn't taking offence.)
Actually, some of these aren't from the last month or two, but not much that I've written the last month or two isn't snippetable. But I don't think ya'll will mind. Have fun, and I hope nothing is too insane.

   “That's what started it,” said Mr. Dially, sighing. “Go tell your mother that it's safe to come in. Roxanne Jade, put that rock down – what have we told you about injuring your brother?”
   Roxanne sighed and let the rock she had pulled out of the wall and was discreetly levitating behind her drop to the ground. “I wasn't going to hurt him. He's too quick.” She nodded with satisfaction to see that her brother was already gone.
   “And there aren't any trees, or even roots here for him to fight you back with,” Mr. Dially pointed out. “You've made this entire room out of inorganic substances.
   Roxanne jabbed a thumb at the stack of papers, “He could have given me a paper cut.”
- HaV Achademy "ROCKS"

The young man seemed about to say something else, but at that moment, Bark came running up with an exclamation of, “Girl! Girl! Foun, Girl! Fight!”
Aoril turned to Bark, raising his eyebrows. “You've found another one and she's fighting you?”
Bark shook her head, almost violently. “Fight!” Without warning, she fell over backwards, her hand pressed her hand over her shoulder. “Girl, fight!”

She means the girl is injured,” Stardrana translated, realizing what Bark meant. “She uses fight to mean … almost everything.” Bark rewarded her guess by jumping to her feet, nodding and hissing a yes.
- Half-Hidden (Formerly titled "300 Dragons."

At last we came to a stop and he motioned to a shelf of books. "These books are the only books in our library that were written on Earth, and yet speak of this world, of Ooladada.”
“Ooladada?” I repeated. That was a fun word to say.
“Yes, that is the name of this world.”
I wrinkled my nose as I examined the books, slightly disappointed to find that the spines wore neither authors' names, nor titles. “Ooladada,” I repeated, consoling myself with the taste of the funny word.
- Behind the Rainbow

 “Did you hear the news, Tabetha?” Annah whispered a few days later as the two were harvesting Ylia berries in a field just south of the Lilnia city. Their ever-watchful overseer was nearby, but he rarely payed attention to conversations as long as their work didn't slow.
What news?” Tabetha asked.
There's a Takkig among us – a real, live Takkig!”
Tabetha's hand wandered briefly to her concealed necklace, before she forced it back onto the task at hand. “Really? Who?”
Annah shrugged. “No one knows. The elves discovered a Koyer among themselves and the Koyer has a twin sister here. That's all we know.”
Are you sure this isn't just a rumor that someone made up? A Takkig and Koyer among slaves? Mortha's related to them, but that's …”
Trust me, I have my doubts too,” Annah agreed. “But this actually has a ring of truth to it. A Koyer and Takkig among us would be a disgrace, and the only reason a Harshan would make up the story would be to raise us to anger. We're being told to keep quiet and to carry on as if we don't know.”
So you think it's the truth?”

What else is there to think?” asked Annah, with a shrug. Tabetha wanted to ask more, but that shrug meant that Annah was done talking about it.
- The New Division

At last we arrived at the Rainbow and discovered that it was, indeed, books that I had seen stuck in it.
“You know something, sis,” said I, folding my arms over my chest and just taking in the beautiful sight, “I like our rainbow better.”
V frowned. “Better than what?”
“Than other rainbows. Other rainbows have pots of gold at the end – but who needs gold. Books are way better.”
- Behind the Rainbow

     “Hey dad!” Riley exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. “Mom wants to know if it's safe to come in.”     Mr. Dially glanced up from his papers. “Does it look safe?”     Riley cocked his head to the side as he considered their father's face. “Looks like Rox already took care of your make-up from this morning.”     “Yep,” said Roxanne, “I did.”     “What are you doing back already?” Riley asked, turning to her, “I thought you were going to make the best of it and savor your last day of freedom?”     “What freedom?” she moped. “We're Supers, we don't have any freedom. Neither do civilians, but at least they think they do.”
- HaV Academy "ROCKS" 

 "There's no way that we'll be able to get out of here!" Gavin moaned.
"That's what you think. That's what everyone thinks. But I tell you, there's always a way out of every sticky situation. You just have to be observant and look for it." Leo frowned as he set his now-empty bowl to the side. "It's too bad that Mordreth doesn't have any pretty daughters for us to charm. Only that good for nothing Kew, and I really do not see him helping us. And Prince Arthur's gone, of course, so that's out of the question."
"If Prince Arthur were here," said Gavin, dryly, "We wouldn't be in the dungeon!"
- My Kingdom for a Quest

Monday, October 14, 2013

No Coffee in Rizkaland

Rachel Heffington of Inkpen Authoress has begun a new link-up called Chatterbox, akin to the Snippets of Story that Katie hosts (and I shall be posting mine the day after tomorrow) and similar to my own Character Encounters. (She also compares it to Beautiful People, but I've never actually done BP, so I can't say that for certain.)

The theme of Chatterbox is showing your characters through conversation. She assigns a theme, and you have your characters talk about it. (Sorta like how I assign a location and you meet your character there.) Who knows - it may even find its way into your book!

This month's theme is coffee ... a topic that none of my characters have ever given enough thought to warrant a conversation. But I've worked through my list of characters and came up with a cast and setting that is at least somewhat logical for such a conversation. So here goes ... Clara and Andrew on coffee. (Told from Andrew's POV, so Clara will be referred to by her title, Water Princess, which is how I keep it straight in my head whose POV I'm using in the book.)

"They don't have coffee here in Klarand."

Andrew's head shot up from the tiny fire to see the Water Princess staring down at him. Even after blinking several times, he still could only come up with one word for his response: "What?"

She smirked as she sat down cross-legged on the other side of the fire. "They don't have coffee in Klarand," she repeated. "In fact, it doesn't exist anywhere in Rizkaland."

He blinked again, glancing helplessly towards their sleeping friends. "And you'd ... like some?" he guessed.

She made a face, and he instantly knew that he had guessed wrong. "Coffee is disgusting, and terribly bad for your health."

"Then ... why'd you bring it up?" He found it almost impossible to even think with her staring at him like that.

"Because we've already discussed how Rizkaland doesn't have chocolate, and coffee follows naturally from that." 

"That was five days ago."

She smirked again. "We've been busy, but now we aren't. So we can continue the conversation."

Andrew glanced towards the dead-end wall along which she had been pacing like a wildcat for the last three of those days. "I've ... noticed."

Her gaze followed his to the wall and a growl rumbled in her throat. "I don't like inactivity."


"Which is why coffee is not a good thing for me. You think I'm bad now - I'd be a monster if people gave me coffee."

"Except that you don't like it."

"Precisely." She was silent for several seconds, then turned him a sharp look. "So, do you like coffee?"

He looked down at the fire in an effort to avoid that sharp look. "Not plain, but with ..."

She snorted. "Exactly, you have to add SUGAR to make it taste good. And do you know how unhealthy sugar is?"

"I've heard."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Most Wonderful Person in the World?

Anne-Girl over at Scribblings of my Pen and Tappings of my Keyboard just released her newest book, Queen Mother, free to read for anyone who wants to. Naturally, I have read it, and it's really good. A few rough spots still, and it didn't end quite how I wanted it to, but it was a wonderful story nonetheless, nice and twisty, and heartstring-pulling ...

Now, in honor of the release of this lovely little story, she has issued a tag. Not just any sort of tag, but one about mothers. And not just any tag, but the mothers of our own writing. (does that make sense? I'll pretend it does.)

I have surveyed all of my lovely little stories, and realized that ... I have a LOT of mothers who I could answer questions about. Obviously there's Queen Charlotte of my Bookanias and Jen's mom ... but there are also mothers in my WIPs, Mrs. Liano of The Trilogy of Secrets, Daffodil and Petune of Infiltration, Queen Blanche of Half-Hidden, Clara's mom in Water Princess, Fire Prince, Mrs. Bigwig of Part of the Family, Queen Adelaide of Worth of a King, Shasta's mother in The Trilogy of One ... and that's only scratching the surface! Jane, Michelle, Sarah, Xially, Tante, the two mothers whose names I don't yet know in The New Division, Ilana, Rebicca, Roxanne, Lady Roxanne, Fiona, Tabitha, even Robin and Clara themselves! (Yes, I've worked with them as mothers. Quite interesting, actually.)

So you see, I've quite the selection of mothers, some of them better suited fo rher job than others, but all of them playing very important roles in the characters of their children, even if they only make cameo appearances in one or two chapters. (Which is pretty much what most of them do.)

Since I'm sure most of you want to hear more about Charlotte and Jen's mom, I'll do them. Oh ... wait a second ... there's a sword being pointed at my neck. Clara has just demanded I add her mother. Typical Clara.

So ... three moms. So I'll be bending the rules a bit ... so why not bend them a little bit more? Instead of just outright answering the questions, I'll let these lovely ladies answer the questions themselves. C, of course is Charlotte, E is Jen's mom, and I is Clara's. Sorry, I'm not quite ready to reveal the names of those two. I know what they are, but I don't feel like telling them.

And I don't have pictures of either C or E, but I do have one I drew of I.

And now you see where Clara gets her sword-love.

So, without further ado ...

Well a mother...a real mother, is the most wonderful person in the world.

1. What do you think she would think of the statement used as the title for this post? (Which I, Kendra, has copy-pasted above)

C: I suppose it's quite a sweet saying.
E: I agree whole-heartedly.
I: Not quite accurate. It should be "To BE a mother, a real mother, is the most wonderful THING in the world."

2. How many children does she have? What are their names? Ages?

C: A son and a daughter, Robert and Robin. They're twins and almost eighteen.
E: Jenifer is my only natural child, she's fifteen. But my husband and I also adopted a boy and a girl, Derek (who's sixteen) and Megan (fifteen). And then there were Chris and Tisha ... but they turned out to be Jen's imaginary friends. That was weird ...
I: *Snorts* I say it'd be. *sighs, and fingers a locket* I've just got my Clara. She's almost sixteen.

3. Could you say she "plays favorites"with her children? If she only has one what is her favorite thing about her child?

C: I do not play favorites.
Me: No, can't say that you do. You alienate both Robin and Robert equally.
E: I don't think I play favorites. I mean Jen may be my only natural daughter, but that doesn't make me love her any more than I do the others.
I: I ... only have Clara. I suppose my favorite thing about her is how eager she is to learn new things.

4. Would she adopt a child in need if she could?

E: Without hesitation! Having grown up in the foster system, I know how bad it can be. I wish I could adopt every motherless child there was ... but I suppose that isn't possible ...
C: I am a queen, I hardly have time for my own children. I would try to find a mother for the child, however.
I: I probably would, if it were offered, but I don't know ... I tried fostering for a few months, but couldn't handle it. Jane (an old friend of hers) said that some women can raise a child that's not hers, like E up there, but I'm evidently not one of them.

5. What does she consider her greatest accomplishment?

C: Becoming queen of Locksley.
E: Jenny getting her imagination back.
I: Ousting ... I mean, the day Clara bested me at swordplay. Sure we were only only doing single swords, and she hasn't quite mastered dual swords yet, but still! My baby's growing up!

6. If she could change one thing about the world what would it be?

C: I would find Charlene.
E: I would make sure all children have loving homes.
I: I would have not had that accident I had as a teen. I'm almost certain that's the reason I can't have any more children.

7. What was her favorite activity as a child?

C: Embroidery
E: Making up stories.
I: Swinging on the trapeze. That's actually part of how I fell in love with Clara's father.

8. Give this mother a theme song { cannot be "your mother and mine"}

Me: I ask that I may skip this question. My repertoire of songs is very scanty, and I therefore cannot think of any, even though I have been pondering this question for several days now.

9. If she could go one place where would she go?

C: I'm content with where I am. I have no desire to travel.
E: I'd like to go to Europe and visit some of the old castles. Either that or go spelunking.
I: I'd like to go to Rizkaland - I mean, that world that Kendra talks about my daughter going to sounds interesting, and as a mother, I would like to know about the places my daughter goes ...

10. Is there anything more important to her than being a mother?

E: Certainly not!
I: There's nothing better than being a mother.
*They both look at C expectantly*
C: I'm a Queen. I have many very important duties!
I: *rolls eyes* Oh, don't give me that one. Even when I was - I mean, even if I were a queen, I'd never place it above my children. Kids come first!

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Question of Character

First off, on Friday, Kiri Liz was kind enough to let me take over her blog last Friday. You can go Here, to read my guest post, about how I like my fairy tales retold.

Now, onto the topic of this post.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I've been plotting a series about writing. Yes! About writing! I'm aware that it sounds all pretentious and everything. I mean why should I, who's only completed six book, and published four of them, have the audacity to think that I have knowledge to impart to other budding authors! I might lead them astray!

Well, bear with me. I've got a really unique idea for this project, and I'm sure all of you will be quite pleased with it. Even all of you tried and true and much more experienced authors.

Anyways, speaking of all of you experienced authors (and even you not-so-experienced) I'd like your input. Don't worry, I'll make sure you're cited in the back of the book.

Via Pinterest

The first book will be about characters, which I know all of you, even if you've only written one book, have had experience with. Just comment below with your favorite bit of advice, or ten bits of advise, perhaps your favorite book or blog posts about characters.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CE Kitchen - Push au Kim

I make the best spaghetti in the world. I know this for a fact because my dad's used to be the best in the world, but mine is now better than his. Simple logic, right?

I'm in the kitchen, fixing spaghetti. I'm at that point where the meat is simply simmering and I'm not ready to add tomato sauce and spices, and I've only just added the noodles, so I pull out a book and sit down at the table to read. A book about logic, incidentally.

Actually, it's about how to defend your faith against the attacks of unbelievers, particularly evolutionists. It's good so far, and I've learned some pretty interesting tricks. Mostly involving logic and how logic only works in a Christian worldview.

I read a page or two, then hop up to stir the meat and the noodles, fishing one of those wiggly "worms" out for me to taste. I know it's far from done, but I'm like Clever Gretel from the fairy tale. If I'm not reading ... I'll start snacking. I guess I'm a little better, since Gretel didn't have reading to rescue her. She just ate.

Replacing both of the lids, I turn around with the intent of returning to my book ... but standing at the end of the table, blocking my route to my book, is a man. He's short, maybe six inches taller than me, with oriental eyes, hair done in the traditional Chinese fashion (Mostly shaven save for a small circle of hair which is long and braided), wearing catskins and ridiculously fancy books, and holding ... two dead rabbits.

Well, at least I think they're rabbits. They've been skinned and all that jazz, so it's hard to tell ... but I've seen dead, skinned rabbits before, so I'm pretty sure.

"Um ... hello Push." I stammer. "I didn't hear you come in."

He holds out the meat. "I catch rabbits, you cook. I take to rich man, he make you good husband."

My eyebrows go up. "Seriously?"

"You good cook, he like food. You make good wife."

"Push, I'm only eighteen!!!"

He tilts his head to the side as he contemplates my words. "Yes, you little old, but I no tell. You cook, he like food."

Before he can set the rabbits down on my nice clean table, I pull down the huge meat pan off of the top of the frig and set it on the table. "Okay, I'll admit that Rosamond married at sixteen ... but Robin was eighteen!"

"As I say, you little old."

"And one of Robin's daughters doesn't marry until she's twenty-one!"

"She very old."

I swallow, trying to contain my irritation. Sure, Push is one of my favorite characters, and sure I'd like to get married ... but his timing is very bad. "Okay, so you're telling me you're going to take this meat to a random rich guy and tell him I made it and he'll marry me?"

"Yes, you smart, author, you understand plan."

I sigh. "He'd probably hire me as his cook ... You'd better praise some of my other qualities while you're at it ... such as my looks. I have the perfect hair, after all." My hair is currently in a Robin knot, but I pull it down and shake out in demonstration.

He examines me critically for a few moments, then shakes his head. "You hair nice length, but it too frizzy, too pale."

I smooth down the frizzest part, the "halo" around my face, and shrug, "Okay, so I'm not a perfect geisha ..." I glance at my arm. "I bet my skin's too dark, too."

"Far, far too dark. I tell him to keep you out of sun."

"Anything else wrong with my appearance?" I ask, annoyed. It's one thing to be insulted by female characters, but male ones ... "Too short? Big feet?"

"You too tall, and feet far, far too big. But I no tell. He eat rabbit, he marry you."

Okay, feet I can understand. "I'm five foot one - on tall days. That's short." I fold my arms over my chest. "So I'm ugly ... better sell me on my great personality, then. You know, I always look on the bright side, have a great imagination - I love writing ..." I turn back to the stove to check the meat and decide that it's time to add the sauce, so go hunting for the can opener.

He shakes his head. "We no tell him that."

"I'm great with kids?" Can opener found, I open the first can of tomato sauce and pour it into a bowl, then strain the meat grease into the can.

"You good play with kids, you no teach them no be seen, no be heard."

My eyes flick back to the rabbits, my annoyance rising even higher. "Where did you get those?" I ask, adding the sauce to the meat and opening the second can.

He looks offended. "I Push au Kim, mighty hunter. I trap them - very cunning!"

"They'd better not be my sister's pet rabbits." The second can is dumped into the meat and I begin shifting through the cabinet for spices. Popcorn - we're out of paprika. Oh, well. We've done without before.

He shakes his head. "Rabbits no pets."

"They'd better not be." I add oregano and garlic salt, stir it in, and put the lid back on, allowing it to simmer while I turn my attention back to the noodles. They're ready for straining, so I go find the strainer. "Look, I'm making spaghetti right now, and my family's about to come over and we'll eat supper. Your timing's bad. Come back tomorrow and pester me."

He grabs the rabbits and gives me a disdainful look. "I go ask Kathie - she be grateful." With that, he's gone.

"Honestly! Well ... there goes my chance of ever marrying a Chinese guy ..." I laugh. "It's a good thing he's one of my favorite characters - many of the others would NOT have gotten away with that."

Character Encounter - October 2013

It seems only yesterday that I was contemplating doing up a link-up to help other authors develop their characters and (cough, cough) attract readers to my blog. Yes folks, shameless advertisement! I finally decided on Character Encounters, but kept forgetting to set up my first post. 

At last, on the second of October, I wrote up a post, found a linky, and posted it, telling everyone to meet their character at the library. Besides myself, three people joined. I was quite pleased with the results, so I did it again the next month. Only one other person took part, but I was competing with NaNo, so I guessed that it was too much to hope for to get anyone else to participate. I had a good turnout in December and so on and so forth.

And now it's October again! A month away from NaNo. I know what I'm writing - do you?

Anyways ... 

Where shall we encounter our lovely (and not so lovely) characters this month?

The Kitchen

To my knowledge all of you live in houses with kitchens ... if you don't, well maybe you're at a friend's or your parent's house. 

So, just be in a kitchen, either cooking or being awkward - maybe fetching something forgotten ... whatever. Just have fun.

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