Monday, September 30, 2013

To Which I Celebrate

*Passes around cookies and cupcakes*

What am I celebrating exactly? FREEDOM!!!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Okay, sort of but not exactly.

In truth, I’m celebrating the end of EDITING. Yes, editing. I’ve mentioned my endeavor of the terrifying world of editing here for the past few months I believe. And, at last, I am DONE. Which makes me feel free.

Secrets of Camelot CoverSecrets of Camelot is the book I’ve been editing. And I say editing but, honestly, there was probably a good deal more rewriting than editing during the process. *shudders* This book is the first in a series called Legends, Thieves, and Dragons which is about, you guessed it, legends, thieves, and *le gasp* dragons! I have yet to start the second book. . .one thing at a time, yes? We’ll see what next year brings. For now I’m just beyond relieved to have Secrets of Camelot at least a little readable, enough for my beta readers anyway.

This book came into being in March of 2011 and the first draft made it to “The End” by August of that year if I remember right. I think deep down I always knew someday I’d write an Arthurian Legend story. The legend has always fascinated this medieval lover. Who isn’t in wonder at the tales of the Knights of the Round Table or the Holy Grail or the Once and Future King? I get excited just thinking about it! Being a writer, my own rendition of the stories was bound to pop up eventually. And so Secrets of Camelot was born.

After it was written I left it alone for a while, but I loved the story so much I knew I’d come back to it. When this year rolled around I decided it was time to return. The problem was. . .the story needed WORK. Lots of it. It seems I’ve advanced as a writer a good deal since the day that book was written. Oh, all the flaws! Makes me shudder just thinking about it. But I couldn’t give it up. I want this story to be told. It feels as though it’s wrapped around my heart, there to stay. So, with a deep breath, I delved into the world of editing/rewriting, something I’ve feared for a very long time.

I’d love to say it went smoothly but. . .well. . .it was a challenge. BUT being one who has cowered at even the mention of rewrites for far too many years to count, I was pleasantly surprised to find I could actually do it. Challenging though it was, it wasn’t impossible. I feel like I’ve stepped into a new phase of my writing. Because, let’s face it, if one is to be a writer one must learn to edit and rewrite. And now I’ve proven to myself I am capable of it, as much as I dislike it. Heh.

For the majority of the year I’ve steadily worked on editing Secrets of Camelot, and last Saturday night (Sep. 28th) I put the last few finishing touches on it. And then I did a little leap for joy. I was FINISHED. For a while it felt like I would never be done. But now I am and it feels liberating!Thief

Now, honestly, I’m not sure how great the book is. I fear the pacing is off, it’s too slow, and perhaps not as exciting as it should be. It’s hard for me to judge though. I’ve just spent too much time with it. For now I’m just going to step back from it for a while. If later I feel the need to do another rewrite (meep) then so be it. But I’ve done what I can for the time being and I’m just happy with that.

So what’s next? NANOWRIMO!!!!!!! Now that I’m finally done with Secrets of Camelot, I am free to start plotting for NaNo. And boy am I excited. When fall starts rolling around it always gets me wired up for NaNo in November. October is my NaNo prepping month and I’m already swelling up with anticipation to start outlining and getting ready. Be prepared for a lot of NaNo talk for the next couple of months. Hope you guys don’t mind! *grins*

But for today before delving into new things I’m celebrating the completeness of old ones.

And for fun, here’s a little snippet from Secrets of Camelot for you since I’ve been rambling about it so much.


With a lunge to the side, Arthur avoided his opponent's blade by inches. He swiftly turned around and thrust his own sword. His rival blocked, making their weapons strike with a clang. The blades scraped loudly together as they pulled apart. The challenger sent a slash at Arthur's abdomen, who managed to jump backwards in time before it sliced.

For a moment the contenders halted, studying one another through the slits in their helmets, weighing their options. Arthur nearly lost his footing when his opponent charged unexpectedly. He managed to regain himself though and meet him halfway; they clashed blades once more.

His rival slashed ruthlessly, keeping him on the defensive. Arthur began backing slowly, holding up his sword to block the oncoming blows. As one came striking towards his neck, he ducked and rolled on the ground. He jumped up behind the competitor and slashed. Unfortunately, the combatant turned around in time to block. He pushed Arthur back and took the offensive role once more.

Arthur breathed heavily as the adversary slashed mercilessly, pressing him farther and farther back. When he thought he finally had an opening, he slashed his blade towards his opponent's ankles. It was a mistake. The challenger leaped up, causing Arthur's blade to slide across empty air, unbalancing him. His opponent took advantage of this, giving Arthur a hefty push against the chest wish his boot. Arthur's balance failed him completely and he crumpled to the ground on his back. Before he could even move, the tip of the enemy's blade was pointed at his neck.

"Match!" Both duelers turned their heads to find a knight holding up his hands. "Lancelot is the victor," he called.

The rival pulled away his blade and instead held out a hand towards the Prince. Arthur grabbed it and let the person haul him back to his feet.

Knight and SwordArthur's opponent chuckled goodheartedly as he pulled off his helmet revealing a head of dark hair, short and mussed. The tall male's large blue eyes glanced over at Arthur with mischief. "I thought you almost had me for a minute there."

Arthur slipped off his own helmet, sweat dripping off the ends of his hair. He shrugged. "You're a tough opponent to beat."

"I wouldn't be so sure. Don't forget you bested me yesterday."

"Those are very rare occasions."

"You are improving, Arthur," a new voice interrupted as a strong hand clasped Arthur's shoulder.

Arthur looked up beside him to see Sir Ector, one of the greatest knights in Camelot and Arthur's trainer since he could hold up a blade. "I'm trying, sir. But I doubt I'll ever be able to match Lancelot's skill."

Sir Ector gave his shoulder a tight squeeze. "You must remember Lancelot has two years of training above yours. Your skill still surpasses any I've seen for someone of only fifteen. I daresay you'll have outdone Lancelot in only a matter of a few years."

"Always glad to see your full confidence in my potential, Sir Ector," Lancelot said dryly.

Sir Ector snatched at the young man and locked his head under his arm, mussing Lancelot's hair with his other hand. Lancelot cried out and flailed his arms in attempt to get free. Laughing heartily, Sir Ector let him loose. He smiled at both the boys as he settled. "You both have a talent I have not seen in a long time and it is my honor to be your instructor."

Arthur smiled softly while Lancelot let out a wide, gleaming grin.

"Now then," the knight clasped his hands together. "I believe that is plenty of training today, boys. We'll resume same time in the morrow. Lancelot, get those swords put away if you will. And your armor looks like it could use a good polishing."

"Yes, sir." As Sir Ector walked away, Lancelot gave Arthur an amused grin. "He always has something for me to do."

"I heard that!" the knight shouted over his shoulder.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Embracing the Fall

Hot Summer days are slowly being swept up by the wind. The green of leaves are transforming into vibrant oranges and reds. Gloves, scarves, and boots are being donned. Pies are baking, pumpkins are being picked, hot drinks are brewing. There’s a curious smell of excitement in the air, mystery. And with a sudden expectant thrill, one realizes: Autumn is coming.

Calendar announcing Autumn

Fall is the best! Slowly, but surely, these miserably hot days are working their way towards crisp, cool air, and what a thrill it gives me!

I had a very pleasant summer. I finished writing a book, got a lot of editing done, swam a good bit, and just had an all around nice, lazy time. But when fall approaches, that laziness in me packs its bags and is replaced by an invigorated readiness to DO. A whole new sense of life awakens inside me. Perhaps it’s the invigorating cool air. Whatever it is, I absolutely love fall!

Bench in water

Whether you’re curled up in your favorite spot sipping on hot cider reading a book or out jumping in the fallen leaves, autumn has it all.

I plan on fully embracing this next month, filling it with lattes and boots and scarves and opened windows and pictures of the changing leaves and blankets and books. I’m going to take my laptop outside with a latte in hand and plan my novel for NaNoWriMo. And I’m just going to ENJOY this beautiful coming season God has blessed us with.

Embracing the fall with vigor!

On the tire swing

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homeschool Tag

Jessa Bri, over at her blog Freckled Adventures, is doing a homeschool tag! I highly recommend you go on over and check out her delightful blog, she’s a fantabulous person. And if you are/were homeschooled join on in with the fun tag! Having been homeschooled all my schooling days I could not help but do it myself.

1. You must be currently enrolled in homeschool or a homeschool graduate.
2. Answer all the questions in a blog post of your own.
3. Comment
here on my blog to let me know you have done a post.


Are you currently enrolled in homeschool or are you graduated?
This oldie here has been graduated since 2010. On the one hand, it’s nice to be done; on the other hand, I kind of miss my schooling days.

What is (or was) your favorite school subject? English/Grammar without a doubt! Always the best part of the day. Ironically though, I wouldn’t say I’m all that great with grammar. But I still loved it. And, strangely, I’ve always rather liked Math.

Do (did) you usually finish school before lunch? Oh, there were plenty of days I did, especially in the early years, but as later years came on there was way too much to do to get done anywhere near lunch. Plus it doesn’t help that I’m not exactly an early riser. Eheh.

Do (did) you get a recess? We were certainly allowed recesses, but being the weird person I am I rarely allowed myself breaks. I just wanted to get it done. Then I could have all the recess I want, right?

Snow days? Snow? What is that? In all seriousness, snow is so rare here, when it did snow we most certainly took off from school! Snow is greatly celebrated in my part of the world, even just a few snowflakes. XD

What subject(s) do (did) you get the best grades in? Math.

Are (were) you one of those students who follows (followed) a schedule, gets (got) all your assignments done on time, and does (did) the optional activities? Or do (did) you not really care how and what gets (got) done? Oh, I’m absolutely a schedule follower. I’m a bit OCD when it comes to schedules (okay, I’m a bit OCD in general). I always did each subject in a certain order everyday, usually the hardest first to get it over with and so it would get easier as the day progressed. I also hated procrastinating when it came to school so I usually got everything done on time. After graduating I seemed to have formed into a procrastinator though. . .whoops. Procrastinating is a trait of a writer though, so it’s not my fault. *grins* Anyways, optional activities? Mmm. . .I didn’t really do those much. I actually was one of those crazies who kinda liked school, but when one sees the word “optional” one usually translates it to “not necessary”. Or is that just me? *cough*

This was fun reminiscing my school days. Thanks for the neat tag, Jessa Bri!

Last Day of SchoolPic taken on my final day of school.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Newest Endeavor - The McGuffin Book

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned how a new story had snagged me by the throat and insisted I write it? Well, I have given in. For the most part. In truth, I’ve barely written anything in it save for a couple of paragraphs, but it has taken a home in my brain and does not appear to be leaving anytime soon. That’s okay though, I’ve already fallen in love with my two main characters and the idea of writing this story intrigues me. I’ve mainly been planning my characters and making a pinterest board for it and just having a fun time thinking about it. So, since it has taken over my brain and will probably be a project I’ll be working on for a while, I thought I’d ramble a bit about it.

My brain, or perhaps it’s my muse, or both, has seemed to taken upon itself to grab my hand and forcefully drag me out of what I call my writing comfort zone. Medieval fantasy is absolutely my comfort zone. That’s simply what I write and I never thought I’d ever attempt something new. Then The Avriot happened. A steampunk story. A steampunk, time travel story with no medieval-ness or fantasy in sight. And I. . .I actually enjoyed writing it. A lot. Something that wasn’t fantasy. Craziness! Still, it certainly wasn’t a conRainy Streettemporary novel so it was acceptable. The idea of me writing something modern would appall anyone who knows me well.

But then one day I got this image in my head of a girl wearing a hat and holding a suitcase standing on a street in London. That’s when all my beliefs of me never ever writing anything contemporary crashed around me. This book was going to be written. It had to be written. It seemed I had no choice in the matter.

My silly brain, though, can never think realistically (which is perfectly acceptable when you’re a fantasy writer). This book would indeed be written in the real world and in modern times (definitely a first for me) but that didn’t mean it had to be realistic? Riiiight? Of course not! “Why can’t there be mythical creatures and fantastical adventures and evil fae organizations?” said my brain. And thus The McGuffin Book series was born, and the first book, The Sign of the Shy’re, is well on its way to being, uh, written in.

                                              The Sign of The Shy'Re

"Don't come looking for me. I just need time to myself."

These were the words twenty-two year old Emery Garnett reads on a letter signed by her mother when returning to their small flat one afternoon that changes her life forever. She knew without a doubt that her mother would never desert her like that. They were all each other had, neither one would ever abandon the other. When Emery finds a strange symbol carved into the wall that had never been there before she begins to deduce there has been foul play. Someone had kidnapped her mother, but no ordinary captor, this was something mythical.

Ever since Emery was a child her mother told her of a fantastical experience she and her brother had when they were young. The world was full of secrets, things in the shadows no one ever knew existed. Now it appeared as if one of those things came out from hiding and took her mother away.

It didn't go over well when Emery claimed to the authorities that she believed mythological creatures kidnapped her mother. With no one to turn to, Emery remembers her alienated uncle, the only family she had left and the one person who might believe her. So, packing her bags, she travels from Cardiff to the heart of London to seek out this uncle she has never met.

Dominic McGuffin proves to be a strange man, and not an easy one to get along with. But when Emery convinces him to help her find her mother, his sister, they are swept into an otherworldly adventure across the hidden places of London, discovering that fairytales and myths are far more than just stories.


I can tell already Emery and Dominic are going to be exceedingly fun characters.

EmeryPeppy, sassy, and sarcastic sum up Emery well. She’s a happy-go-lucky gal and a good friend to have, if you don’t mind her speaking her mind that is, or her talking in general, because she never can seem to keep quiet for long. And she tends to have far too much energy.

She’s a stubborn, fiery girl that never lets anything get in her way. After her mother goes missing, she takes it upon herself to solve this mystery, no matter how many people mark her off as mad. Overall though, I’d describe Emery as cheerful. She loves to laugh, is always smiling, and clings on to hope even when there isn’t much to hold on to. Just the kind of person her uncle needs in his life…Dominic

Dominic. . .well, let’s just say he dislikes people in general.

Unlike Emery, it takes great effort to get him to speak, especially due to his habit of blatantly ignoring human beings in general. He tends to be bored with life and irritated by everything around him. He could care two cents about what people think of him, but does not hide what he thinks of others. Insults are the most common things to come out of his mouth.

To make up for his almost complete lack of emotions, he's incredibly smart, a very quick thinker, and a deep observer.

He has an almost impenetrable wall around him. One can only hope Emery can crack it at least a little. We can’t blame Dominic too much though; his life has not been one of ease.

They’re going to have quite an adventure together, these two.

Writing something modern will certainly be a new one for me, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think Emery and Dominic will keep me on my toes enough to keep me interested for a long time.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Every Good Word Writerly Tag

First off, let me wish you all a happy Labor Day! Hope you’re all enjoying this Monday. Can you believe it’s already September? Because, frankly, I can’t. o.O

Now then, just recently a new blog for writers was launched by Meghan Gorecki called Every Good Word. If you’re a writer you’re absolutely going to want to check out that place. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

I’m a bit late to the party, but over at the site in order to get to know each other they put up a writerly tag for everyone to fill out. I didn’t see it until just a day or two ago (I’ve been a bit behind on reading blogs lately) but I just had to participate, late or not.

Every Good Word Link-Up

  1. What was your first-ever piece of writing?
    That would be a story called “Samantha” about a 9 year old girl and her horse Misty. Originally, the girl was me but then I changed her name to Samantha. Yeah, it was bad but that’s what started it all so I’m still fond of that silly little story.
  2. How old were you when you first began writing?
    I was 9 (which you probably guessed from the first question). It was during the summer and I would go outside almost every evening to write that little book. I’ve been obsessed with writing ever since, although in the past 3 years I’ve become much more serious about it.
  3. Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term.
    My current short term goal is to finish fully editing Secrets of Camelot. My long term goal, as many others have said, is to get a multi-book contract with a publishing company. That is something I very, very much want.
  4. Do you write fiction or non-fiction?
    Fiction alllll the way! Unless you count my silly, little blog posts, but even they’re a struggle. I’m just naturally a fiction gal, writing reality is tough for me. Lol.
  5. Bouncing off of question 4, what's your favorite genre to write in?
    Fantasy! I know that’s a surprise. Hee. You guys should know by now fantasy is my life. Then again, I’ve never really tried any other genres until here very recently, but I just can’t seem to stay away from fantasy for too long. And I’m talking epic, medieval fantasy with gleaming swords, chivalrous knights, magic forests, magnificent castles, fair elves, fire-breathing dragons, etc. I just LOVE it!!
  6. One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began.
    Goodness, this year has taught me so much with writing! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned this year with writing is to just keep going until you’re finished. Up until the last few years, I never stuck with a project and thus I have far too many unfinished things collecting virtual dust in the dark places of my laptop. But lately I’ve been pushing myself to actually get things done. Set goals, give yourself a time-limit, and just get it done. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.
  7. Favorite author, off the top of your head!
    Only one? Boo. Okay, Bryan Davis. He weaves the most fascinating and intricate plots I’ve every read. (Also, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. *cough* No, I didn’t just throw in two more people, shhhh.)
  8. Three current favorite books.
    O_O Can I make it 50 favorite books instead? Erm… Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire Series by Bryan Davis, Lords of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. (Yes, that is sorta kinda 4, but more like 3, different series and not books, but I love series and I have to put them all together instead of choosing individual books.)
  9. Biggest influence on your writing {person}:
    That would be my dear, dear friend whom I fondly call Celti (you know who you are, girl). Even though I haven’t known her long, I’d not be nearly as far along right now with my writing if it were not for her constant encouragement and support. I don’t know how I ever got on without her.
  10. What's your go-to writing music?
    Oh my, well, I have an odd taste in music sometimes. For writing it always has to be instrumental, I can’t work with lyrical songs going. Usually I resort to soundtracks, from LotR, to Narnia, to Peter Pan, to Tangled, you name it, I ADORE soundtracks! Also video game music. Yep, odd I know, but there are some amazingly perfect writing songs out there. Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and The Legend of Zelda music is the absolute BEST. I also love anything Celtic. Basically anything pretty and instrumental that works with whatever I’m writing at the time.
  11. List three to five writing quirks of your's! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc.
    - I can’t write with other people around. I just can’t delve into the story unless I’m completely alone (that doesn’t count my little companion Navi the poodle though).
    - I tend to write better at night, though I usually get most of my writing done during the afternoon.
    - I absolutely cannot write unless I have music going that fits with the scene. Silence just doesn’t work.
    - Often I make the facial expression my characters are making. Sometimes it’s on purpose to figure out how to describe the expression, but other times I just do it unintentionally. Something about writing out a facial expression makes my face form into it. It’s odd. (See? There’s a reason I write alone.)

  12. What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you?
    To me, writing means experiencing things I never could in real life. It means meeting fascinating people, even if they’re not what most would call “real”. And it means putting my very heart and soul into words and, hopefully, using the ability God has given me to shine His light in the world.

Have a blessed week, friends!

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