Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Ride in the Forest

And now it's time for Chapter 11!

Don't forget that answering the questions at the end of the post can win you a free paperback copy of My Kingdom for a Quest. Also, I'm holding a Blog Tour from February 14-21, and you can sign up your blog by clicking the appropriate tag at the top of the page.

Also, I have a goodread's group set up for fans of Bookania, and over there, I'm asking for questions for me and my characters to be answered here on my blog. (Though if you aren't on goodreads, you can email them to me, but it's not quite as fun. Honestly, I'm not sure why any book-loving body wouldn't be on goodreads. It's like Facebook, but with books instead of politics.)

 Anyways, the commentary.

This one seems quite typical of a fairy tale. I wonder how this girl will be rewarded ...

Madeleine in the Forest
And now we have finally come to the chapter where Madeleine is, at long last, found! Or, something like that. Robin wakes  up (I wonder how late in the morning) to see herself painted on the wall.

At least, it looks like her. 

Climbing out of bed to investigate, Robin realizes that the painted girl has lighter hair than she does, and blue eyes besides. It's Madeleine, she quickly realizes. Madeleine had painted herself into the mural.

And, then out in the sitting room, she notices that the girl painting the optical illusion is also Madeleine. Intriguing, and this is clearly the reason why Doranna said they looked like Locksleys - she looks a lot like her long-lost aunt.

Books and Pants
Two more things I'd like to note before we move on to the library. First of all: Robin is given pants this morning. I'm not exactly sure how they had them on hand (perhaps they made them for her). I had a reason when I wrote this scene, but it never came out during the scenes where it would have been necessary, and it now conflicts with what I now know of the cast and world.

They're still very old fashioned.

And second: The books. Apparently, this Skewwood forest (if only they knew where to find it!) had been a hot spot for fairies.

In the Library
Robin eventually gets frustrated with the books, and wanders away to the library where she finds a lot of books about math and birds. And then she finds a collection of short stories and decides to try it.

As she sits down to read it, Doranna and Rosamond enter, declare it a good book, and ask her if she's had banana peels (breakfast). I also let Doranna call her Wren. This was supposed to be important later in the book ... but it didn't happen. 

And so she's reading along while she waits for her banana peels to arrive, really enjoying the story, and then she comes to the end. And a thick black line.

Punch Line
I'm proud of this scene. You see, it was the first pun to make its way into the Bookania - even though the bag cat got screen time first. I'd already decided to change the title to Sew, It's a Quest, and with puns on my mind, I'd been folding laundry, and the idea popped into my head. It was so brilliant that I had to run and tell my mother at once.

My sister loved it, and wanted to steal it for one of her books (at the time she was attempting a story about a pair of siblings whose father was an inventor, and he managed to invent a time machine that sent them back to King Arthur ... she never finished it), but I put my foot down and told her it was mine, all mine, and she could go find her own great ideas.

And that, folks, is how puns got into Bookania.

And then they get invited on a ride through the forest.

First of all - Doranna's horse's name. I just love all of the names I gave the horses in this book, but Doranna's horse does hold a place in the mathematical part of my heart. (Just as Snow holds a place in the contrary part) Supplementary. I think you guys may be intrigued to note that the horse that Casperl rides in later chapters is named Complementary ... even though I never got around to stating it in the text.

(And in the next book, you learn that Eric's horse is named Champion, and Madeleine's is Splatter, and later in this book you meet a horse named Cocoa. Is it possible to name a horse in Bookania without it starting with a C or an S? I'm honestly not sure.)

Gills - I mean Gifts
Yes, I make fun of Doranna's speech whenever possible. One of the benefits of being the author and suffering from the same affliction.

Anyways, the conversation turns to gifts and fairies, and we learn some interesting things, such as:

1. The side affect of a gift is weaknesses in other areas.
2. That's why Doranna can't keep her words straight.
3. Rosamond has a terrible sense of direction as a result.
4. The fairy who gave Doranna math-smarts is named Malina.
5. There is a very sad story associated with Malina.
6. Doranna has invited them to a ball.

They Rode along the Path ...
This was a line that was edited out in the rewrite. You see, halfway through this conversation (though I don't remember exactly where), I hit a brick wall and couldn't figure out where I was going ... and so I just wrote that ... and stared at my blinking cursor for about an hour.

I knew where I wanted to go, I just didn't know how to go.

And I was doing NaNo. I had to keep up with my word goal!

So my mother had a brilliant suggestion. She told me to skip forward to where I was inspired. So that's what I did. I skipped over the rest of this chapter, over the whole ball scene (which was important for reasons I'll discus in my next commentary post, but I simply had no clue as to how to write) and to what is now chapter 13. I think I had a vague idea for another chapter in there, but it didn't happen.

This was my first experience with the leave a note and skip forward technique.

I did later come back and finish this chapter during NaNo when I hit a road block later on. However chapter twelve waited until after NaNo was finished to get written.

Madeleine's Signature
Once the whole ball and gift issue is sorted out, Robin steers the conversation back to Madeleine and asks why she pained herself in two of her murals - and learns that she was actually in all three!

It's her signature. An interesting one, to be certain.

Favorite Quotes

“Oh, that brook,” said Doranna, “’Fairly Funny Short Stories’ a favorite among many. I hope that thou dost enjoy it. Hast thou had banana peels yet?”
Robin looked up quizzically at the two girls. “Breakfast,” Rosamond whispered.
“Uh, no, actually,” answered Robin, “I was wondering where it was served.”
“No matter,” said Doranna, and pulled a cord near the door. When a young boy answered, she said, “Banana peels for our fiend, Princess Wren.”

“Thou getteth the lime punch,” the girl exclaimed gleefully. Robin looked up to see that both of the girls were regarding her with quite amused looks on their faces.
“The what?” Robin asked, as soon as she could move her jaw to speak. At least the pain wore off fast.
“The punch line,” said Rosamond. “It showeth thee when thou understandeth what is funny about a story or joke. They can be quite painful if thou getteth it very well, as thou apparently did.”
“You didn’t tell me that the books in here were dangerous!” Robin exclaimed, the pain now completely gone.

“A ball,” said Robin, crinkling her nose, “You mean like the type you dance at?”
“But of course!” said Doranna. “Thou dost not think we mean the type you ring in towers, do ye not?”
Robin rolled her eyes. “You don’t ring balls. You ring bells.”
“Is that not what I just said?” said Doranna, “We’re having a bell.”

Discussion Questions
1. How do you think they managed to have pants for Robin (I'm frankly a bit stumped on this one)?
2. Have you ever had to skip over a section of your writing (I call it Margaret Mitchelling)?
3. What would you name a horse?
4. Any favorite lines?


  1. 1. Hmm, I was thinking that perhaps the pants belonged to Madeleine, who also enjoyed climbing trees or something, and that's why they were lying around (and fit Robin, who apparently takes after her great-x-aunt.

    2. Yes! I don't like doing it, because I often forget to come back and finish what I was working on before... or I lose my train of thought and can't figure out where I was going with the part I left.

    3. Hmmm, horse names. I'm partial to names like Snake Dancer and Thunderbolt, but if I had to pick a name that reflected my personality, it would probably be something word-oriented, like Wordsmith or Quill or Flight of Fancy.

    4. It's not a favorite line, per se, but I LOVED the punch line bit! :) Made me laugh out loud!

  2. The punch line bit was one of my favorite scenes.

    2 (because I'm out of ideas this morning). Yup. Usually I do it when my characters are traveling or spending a lot of time in one place. I skip over it and add in the details later.
    3. I would name a girl horse Willow and boy horse Raven (but only if she were gray and he were black). Poppi is a fun name too.

  3. 1.) Maybe they got one of the pageboys to loan her a pair of his trousers. Or perhaps it was customary in castles and great houses to have a change of clothes ready for guests--of either gender--at all times. If so, the servants probably just assumed because Robin was a girl, she'd want a dress (ha!)..and quickly learned otherwise.

    2.)Oh, I do it all the time, Dahling. I used to be strictly a chronological writer, but then my cousin told me she wrote things as they came to her, and I tried it...and now that's pretty much how I roll. It can be very freeing (no need to try and keep it in your brain until you plough through What Happens Before), but it can also be a bit choppy.

    3.) Horse names...hmmm.... It would depend on the horse's color, temperament, character, whatever. Mainly color, I think. Such as Moondust for a shaded grey horse, or Sundance for a palomino. Patches would work for a paint/pinto, Moonbeam for a white horse, Midnight or Obsidian for a black horse.
    Lightning would be given to a swift horse, and of course there are names that relate to nature, music, poetry, etc. All sorts of good names out there!

    And it's been a while since I read the book, so I can't remember any favorite lines at the moment. *Shrug*

    God bless, and happy writing,

  4. 1) Casperl had a spare pair that got shrunk in the wash, so the servants gave it to Robin.

    2) Yes. It's how I'm writing my current WIP, in fact.

    3) Maybe The Doctor. Or Aragorn. Or Rose. Or anything else that struck my fancy.

    4) Again, any of Doranna's.


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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