Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014’s Journey


In these last days of 2014, I can’t help but look back and count all the many, many gifts God blessed me with this year. We’ve had quite a few hardships come our way these past few years, but this year has been a much better one. The best one in a while, in fact. If there’s one thing I learned this year, it’s that God is ALWAYS with us. No matter what we go through or where we are in life, He’s there. Guiding us, caring for us, loving us. Always and forever. When I’ve struggled to find comfort and joy, His love has encompassed me, reminding me I don’t have to go through it alone.

I feel like this year really reminded me that, hey, life is a beautiful thing. And there’s joy to be found EVERYWHERE. I’ve hit a few milestones, experienced numerous exciting moments, and just had an all around lovely year.

I think we need a list. I mean, who doesn’t love lists??

This year I. . .

-After a torturous 2 year wait, started the year off right with BBC’s Sherlock season 3. FINALLY. (Now where’s season 4?)

-Had the opportunity three different times to stay with one of my very bestest friends of 14 years who woefully lives out of town. During which we fangirled obsessively over Sherlock, sniffed the majority of the books in almost every bookstore in town, and ate copious amounts of snickerdoodles.

-Participated in the precious Kiri Liz's Valentine Dear Love Blog Party.

-Saw Tim Hawkins live and laughed my socks off.

-Experienced my little sister driving for the first time. . .and in my car. o.O Okay, okay, I was actually very impressed and proud! (You know, after I recovered from a heart attack.)

-Did much squealing when one of my other besties had her first baby, the cutest baby girl you ever did see!

-Participated in my very first Camp NaNo in April and made my goal of 30k words.

-Said goodbye to 21 and turned 22 years old. O_O

-Got my very first SMARTPHONE. Whom I call Lola and love.

-Experienced the magic that is Baskin Robbins ice cream. I can never return to a life without it.

-Went to see Maleficent in theaters and FELL. IN. LOVE. It is now officially on my list of favorite movies. (Not that I have a physical list, but ya know. . .)

-Revisited Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and enjoyed it almost (emphasis on the “almost”) as much as the first movie.

-Wrote Fallen Matter, a dystopianish, sci-fi book (which is something I NEVER thought I’d write) and completely fell in love with it to the point that it took over my life. Seriously.

-After a lifetime of despising it, discovering I actually like reading and writing in first person.

-Joined a critique group of girls that has been one of the BIGGEST blessings in my life this year. You all know who you are. Love you guys! <3

-Wrote my first novella—a Beauty and the Beast story for the Rooglewood Press fairytale contest.

-Had the chance to visit the first house my brother and I lived in. Now that was special!

-With a few tears, said goodbye to Matt Smith, Doctor Who’s 11th Doctor. But excitedly welcomed Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. He’s an absolute perfect Doctor!

-Got the awesome opportunity of critiquing numerous novels by my super talented friends. Guys, get your novels published! The rest of the world needs them!

-Experienced the “fun” of sanding and putting polyurethane down on the floors. (Okay, hectic, not fun. But it was an experience. o.o At least our floors look better now.)

-Witnessed a fox just hanging around outside of my grandmother’s apartment. Foxes are one of my favoritest animals and I’ve always wanted to come across one and it was just THERE. Made my year!

-Took an impromptu trip where we found a secondhand bookstore as big as a warehouse and I got an almost replica of Legolas’s twin blades.

-Celebrated the birth of my other bestie’s precious, adorable baby boy! Two new babies. In one year. It was fantastic! <3

-Got to actually MEET my bestest internet buddy, writing partner, and fellow Tolkien lover Celti in PERSON. Coolest. Thing. Ever.

-Had a FANTASTIC time writing More White than Stars for NaNoWriMo and making a record of finishing a book in 22 days.

-Discovered the awesomeness that is the board game Carcassonne. Seriously, go check it out. My family is addicted.

-Shed a lot of tears in the Mockingjay Part 1 movie. Oh, how shall I survive part 2?

-Hit a big milestone of sending off my Beauty and the Beast novella to the contest judges. That’s the first time I’ve ever done anything “official” with my writing. Wow, so nerve-wracking! But now that the first time is done, maybe any future such experiences will be a wee bit easier.

-Visited Middle Earth for perhaps the last time in theaters by seeing The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. Tolkien’s stories shaped the Christine I am today, so that was a very emotional time for me. Bittersweet.

-Had an absolutely LOVELY Christmas celebrating the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

2014, you have been good to me. I feel as though I’ve made strides in my writing, discovered a lot about life, made some awesome new friends, and experienced God’s love time and time again. I still have a LOT of growing to do, but I’m grateful for what I have learned this year.

2015, you’re a new slate. Soon color shall splash onto your fresh pages and swirl into another year full of brand new adventures.

And I can’t wait.

Adventure Awaits You

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Life Worth Celebrating


It’s so easy to forget what this time of year means. I’ve struggled with it a lot this year. Our house has been a bit hectic lately in Christmas preparations. Amidst all the busyness and excitement, I’ve lost track of why we do this every year. Why we spend so much time buying gifts and decorating and cooking and meeting with family. But then it hit me.

It’s a celebration.

We put in a lot of preparation to celebrate the birth of a friend or family member, right? We want to celebrate the day they were born and spend that time in fun and laughter. Because we love them. And we want to show them our love.

Christmas is the celebration for the most Glorious Life of all. Our greatest loved one.

Jesus Christ came down on this Earth, humbled Himself as a baby, all to die. Die for us. His perfect life for our sinful ones.

We celebrate Him because we love Him. He loves us. Unconditionally, always.

So this year, as I enjoy the festive decorations adorning our house, share gifts with friends and family, partake in scrumptious ham and delectable desserts, bounce around to fun holiday music, I want to remember why. To remember that it’s all in celebration for HIM. The One who saved me. The One who humbled Himself so I might live. The One whose life is worth celebrating everyday.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

And a Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope each and every one of you have a memorable, blessed Christmas in celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Beautiful Books #3 - Let’s Edit This Thing!

How are we halfway through December? And how is Christmas almost here? HOW???

Time moving in hyperspeed aside, today I’m joining in on the third round of the Beautiful Books linkup, hosted by the ever fabulous Sky and Cait. This three-part linkup has been going on since October where they gave us fifteen questions about plotting our books. In November we discussed the writing aspect. And this month it’s all about that terrifying thing we call *whispers* editing. But that’s one of the millions of reasons why Sky and Cait are fabulous, they’re actually making the editing process enjoyable! See? Pure fabulousness.

Want to join in? Of course you do! You can answer these questions on any one of your projects, whether you’re planning on editing it soon or not. The questions are still helpful, not to mention fun! Here is Sky's post about it and Cait's right here. Either one will take you to the questions and the linky to join right up in all the excitement.

Beautiful Books Button

Now I know I’ve used the first two of this linkup to discuss my NaNo novel More White than Stars, but I’m gonna be honest with you. That thing isn’t going to get any sort of editing done for many, many years to come. That was the 5th book of a series, remember? Before even sort of thinking about rewrites I want to write all the books and there’s still two more to go. Then sometime after that I’ll start rewriting them in order, which means the first four get priority before More White than Stars gets any attention. So. . .yes. We’re talking many, many years down the road for the poor thing. But it’s written and I had a blast with it. I’ll come back to it someday, I will!

What does that mean for my writing now though? Remember Fallen Matter? The book I basically talked only about on my blog this year? Yep, it’s planning on dominating my life again. Come January I plan on jumping into a big ol’, major, overwhelming rewrite of it. What better way to prepare than join in on an editing linkup?

So let’s get to it! (Because I believe I’ve rambled enough. . .)

Fallen Matter Cover

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
Well, that’s a question. . . This book was a dystopian-ish, scifi novel, two things I NEVER thought I’d write. I’m a medieval fantasy kind of girl. So writing it was quite the experience. I had no idea what I was doing. And yet, in the end, it become one of my most favorite things I’ve ever written. I really liked the cast, and was rather proud of how the plot turned out. I think it was a lot better executed than any of my previous works. Erm. . .6 1/2? 7? Because while I do love it, I totally pantsed it and churned it out pretty speedily, so the quality is rather low. Not to mention it became way, way too long.

2. Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s Secrets of Camelot Coveryour plan?
I plunged into my first rewrite ever just last year with a book called Secrets of Camelot. I’ve been terrified of rewriting my whole life, but I finally took that step and. . .it wasn’t so bad. A lot of work, yes, but it was actually kind of fun seeing my mess of a story shape up into something mortal eyes can look upon without burning out of their sockets. Truthfully, it could use yet another rewrite, my writing has come a long way since then. But if nothing else, the experience finally proved to me that I can rewrite without falling into an early grave.

For that one I didn’t really do anything to prepare myself. I just told myself to take one sentence at a time, opened up the document, and began. This time though I want to be very serious about Fallen Matter and make it the best it can be. So the process is probably going to be. . .a lot. Reading through it, making notes, maybe even doing some outlining (scary thought for this pantser). It actually might be a while before I’m even ready to do the real rewriting. I don’t know, we shall see.

3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
An. . .erm. . .embarrassing length.


164,474 words.

Yeeep. And I want to cut it down to at least 100k. If I disappear some time next year, just know it’s because this rewrite killed me.

4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
*cackles* Definitely not pacing. XDDD I’m going to have to say plot. This one has a lot more twists and turns and surprises and connections and fewer clichés than all my other works. I was pleased with how it turned out, crazy long or not. Although there are also a few characters I can’t help but love.

5. What’s your favorite bit of prose or line from this novel?
Oh goodness. I really have no idea. Basically any time Cyrus or Lykan was around I was happy. (I may have favored them a teeny bit. *cough*) I really liked this moment between my MC Breighly and Lykan—

"So I take it you spent some time in this underground place?" Lykan asked.

"Elan and I stumbled upon it after you...um...I..."

"Stabbed a needle through my arm rendering me useless?" he offered.

Biting my lip, I averted my gaze to the scuffed white street. "Yeah."

"Yep, that was all good fun."

"Well, you deserved it," I shot back defensively, more trying to convince myself than him.

"I think we've been down this road before. We both seemed to have betrayed and helped one another equally so far. While we're currently even, we'll call it good until the next time we do something treacherous. Seems to be the pattern."

His words held a curious truth. "We're not the most trustworthy of partners, are we?"

"Keeps things interesting."

Lykan Nodding GIF

I think that sums up the majority of the book pretty well. . .

6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
As I said, the writing it pretty messy. Mostly the narrative. It definitely needs some cleaning up. And cutting. Good gracious, does it need cutting. Also, sadly, I wasn’t too wild about my main character Breighly. That’s not a good sign. I think she’ll need an overhaul in this next draft, I’m just trying to figure out how. Completely remaking a character is something kind of new to me, usually they just make themselves. Not sure how that’s going to work out.

7. What aspect of your book is your favorite?

The story is set in this city placed inside an impenetrable, inescapable cube basically. I sort of have this thing about people trapped inside certain areas (like in The Maze Runner, for an example, or the arenas in The Hunger Games). I don’t know why, I just find it a lot of fun. I think I had a bit too much fun making an entire city live inside this cube.

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
I actually think this story has some of the most human characters I’ve ever written. I was extremely pleased with all of them. But, as I said, Breighly wasn’t my favorite. She might be a bit. . .too human. I don’t know. Her personality just rubbed me the wrong way, but I’m not sure how to fix it because it makes sense why she is the way she is. But I want her to be likeable so. . .I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll figure out something.

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
I had so much fun with this book. I can’t even think of anything I would have really done differently. Sure, it’s messy, but I like writing messy first drafts. That’s when I discover the story, not make it pretty. I don’t have any regrets about that. I guess pacing it better would have been nice. But I was discovering the story, I didn’t know how to pace it because I didn’t know what happened next. So I don’t know if I would have done anything differently. For the first draft stage, that is.

10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?

Erm. . .let me explain.

See, when I started this book I had NO clue what was happening. Two words popped in my head I’m falling and that’s all I had. Two words, literally. I just started writing because I couldn’t get those words out of my head. When I was three chapters in, I still didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know who Breighly was, or where she was, or why, or anything about the cube, or that it was even a dystopian novel. Not an inkling of an idea. I’m a pantser, yes, but this was like ultra pantsing. Walking into a foreign country blindfolded sort of pantsing. So, to answer the question, EVERYTHING surprised me. Every. Single. Thing. Plot, characters, events. All of it. It was one shocking revelation after the next.

Boy, was it fun.

I don't write the story
11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?
I actually have quite a few things going on in this book. Two big ones are that life is a sacred thing and I covered a good bit on how deep God’s love for us is. But in almost all my books there’s a message of hope. I just can’t seem to write a story without hope burrowing into the root of it. But I’m glad it showed up in this book. Most dystopian books are so full of despair and hopelessness. I hate that that’s what this generation gets fed. I believe hope should always be clung to. As long as we have God, what does it matter how dire our circumstances are? This novel holds a lot heavier, darker stuff than my others, but it’s for that very reason I want the light of hope shining between the lines.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the message came across.

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
That’s a hard question. I think I like a good mix of both. I love, love, LOVE NaNo because it gets me actually writing and finishing a story. When left to my own devices I don’t always get things done. But it’s also a lot more relaxing writing at my own pace. Usually I set goals for myself, because if I don’t have a goal I’ll never get anything done. I’m also OCD, so if I do have a goal I’ll almost always force myself to make it no matter what. All that to say, it’s nice to write as it comes, but I do better under a bit of pressure.

13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
*blows a puff of air* I don’t knoooow. I’ve been thinking and thinking and I can’t come up with anything. I pretty much never read sci-fi, and have only read a teeny bit of dystopian. I just haven’t dabbled in futuristic stuff much. There’s also some light superpower-ish things going on in this novel, which is another thing I haven’t explored much of, save for Marvel movies and it’s nothing like those. And the fact that they’re trapped inside a city is another aspect to consider. Good gracious, I have no idea. I’m going to be evil and flip the question over to you. Have you read/watched anything that sounds like this? I’d love to know!

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!

Wait, no. That’s just in my head.

Usually I spend days on pinterest because I try to avoid it when I’m heavily working on a project. I’m a pinterest-addict. Once I’m on pinterest, it usually takes weeks to drag me off. So I kind of have to force myself away when I have lots of work to do. . . Also I just relish in the fact that I’m DONE. But I do not actually eat any relish because EW.

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
A little hopeful, a little curious, and maybe even just a little sad. But, definitely, with a longing for more. Because, after all, this is only the first of a trilogy. *grins*

To be honest, I’m exceedingly looking forward to January where I can dive right into the workings of rewriting. This is one of my favorite stories, and I really want to make it something worth reading. I’ve missed theses characters, a lot. I cannot wait to spend time with them again!

How about you? Have you done any rewrites? How do you feel about the whole process? (There’s no shame. The very word used to make me shudder. ‘Tis true.) Do you have any projects you’re in the process of editing or will be soon?

Monday, December 8, 2014

More White than Stars Snippets

Since NaNo is finished and I’ve been babbling about my NaNo novel since October, I thought I’d actually share a peek inside this book I’ve rambled on and on over. Hope you enjoy. ^_^

More White than Stars Book Cover


"You're going to have to have a pretty big foot to fill your father's shoes," the other said. He glanced Iavin up and down, eyes gleaming. "You might need some padding in those shoes."

Iavin just waited for the three's laughter to cease. This was nothing new. He had suffered jibes about his unfortunate height, or lack thereof, for the majority of his life. For many of those years he clung to hope that he'd eventually have a growth spurt. I mean, when one had a mother who was an elf, which were naturally very tall people, and a father that surpassed the greater part of Aerigethel's population in height, human though he was, one would expect to eventually gain a few inches. But four years ago when Iavin's eighteenth birthday hit and he still hadn't quite reached five and a half feet, he decided fate took pleasure in mocking him. That was nothing new.


"Are you hungry?" he asked her. He had no doubt she could go probably hunt down every living thing in the woods and have them all skinned and roasted before the hour was up, but there was no point in that. "My mother probably packed me enough food to last for the rest of our dragon rider term." He didn't mention she did that because she didn't think he was capable of hunting down his own.

Sayleth laughed at his comment. She could make no sound, but her mouth opened with a wide grin and her shoulders shook. Iavin liked seeing her face light up like that. He liked even more that he was the one to make it do it.


Iavin glanced around at the others who treated the white-headed boy as if he was the king himself. He obviously had some kind of power over these people. Maybe, hope of hopes, he could help. Iavin knew Sayleth needed care right away.

"Please!" he called to the boy. "My partner is hurt and everyone thinks we're here to cause trouble but all we're doing is looking for Princess Iraila because she was stolen except we can't look for her because we were taken at night but we didn't do anything, I promise."

Nemayn's mental groan resonated through his mind.

That went smoothly.

"Well, that was just plain rude of them, wasn't it?"

Iavin blinked. Definitely not the reaction he was expecting.

The boy turned to the knights and scowled. "That is not how we treat guests in Silhendait."

"But, Your Greatness, they—"

"Nope. I don't want to hear it. These are respected riders of Sivral and shall be treated accordingly. Sir Hegan," he motioned to a rider atop one of the purple dragons, "I want you to take the wounded girl to our greatest physician to be treated immediately. The rest of you clean this mess up while I escort Sir. . .?" He glanced at Iavin with a raised eyebrow.

"Oh, um. Iavin."

"Sir Iavin and the two dragons here to the castle."


"I'm Cael, by the way."

Iavin's thoughts were so heavy he barely caught the boy's words. "You're what?" he murmured, trying to pull himself back to the present.

"Cael. That's my name."

"Oh. Oh!" Focus, Iavin. "I'm Iavin."

Nemayn gently reminded him he already informed Cael of this.



"Fine," Cael huffed. "See if I ever save your lives again."

This was just too much.

"Save our lives?" Iavin shouted. He swerved around to face Cael, every muscle rigid with fury. "All you've done for us is imprison Sayleth, send your pet ice bird to freeze us from the sky, and drive us into these forsaken mountains where we're probably all going to freeze to death anyway. If that is what you call saving our lives then please, by all means, stop doing it."

The strangest sensation washed through his mind. Praise? He glanced at Nemayn watching him, eyes twinkling with amusement. She had never seen her rider stand up for himself like that. She liked it.

Well, I'm angry. And tired.

Really tired. He breathed a heavy sigh and it was as if all his fury blew out, leaving his muscles aching and mind too exhausted to bother being angry anymore. Instead a numbness took over.

"I really was just trying to help, Iavin," Cael said.

"Please just don't." Iavin lifted Nemayn's saddle and shoved past Cael. "Stop pretending to be my friend, because you're not." He heaved the saddle atop his dragon and kept his back to Cael while he strapped it on, but he could hear the boy's sigh.


Iavin hated Cael. He didn't even know it was possible to hate so intensely. Sayleth did not deserve this. Sweet, frail Sayleth, who was crippled by a maniac that wanted to use her energy to control all of Aerigethel. The thought boiled Iavin's blood.

He jumped to his feet and strode right for the single window on the back wall. With his bare hands, he tugged one of the boards put up there to assure they had no means of escape. It didn't even creak.


He stomped over to one of the small chairs, lifted it, and hurled it at the window, or tried. His feeble attempt at tossing it only sent it a couple of feet before it collapsed to the ground with a rattle, nowhere near the window. He kicked the wall in frustration but the moment the tip of his boot hit the hard surface he let out a yelp. He didn't take into account that the wall would be partially frozen.

Bouncing on one foot in attempts to shake out the pain from the other, he caught a flash of Sayleth. And she was laughing.

The heat in his cheeks distracted him from his injured foot. "Sorry," he muttered.

Still laughing, she shook her head and pointed at him.

He frowned, confused.

She gestured to the chair and then him again.

He looked at the collapsed chair and understanding slowly dawned on him. It probably was an amusing sight watching his weak attempt at smashing the room. Not exactly normal behavior for him.

All his fury leaked out of him in chuckles. He stepped over to Sayleth and settled down on the floor in front of her.

"I don't know what came over me," he said, still smiling in amusement over himself.

Eyes twinkling, she waved him off.


There was another gentle knock before the door slowly crept open and a white head of hair poked through the crack.

"You two awake yet?" Cael whispered. "Ah, good." He pushed the door all the way out with his foot and grinned wide. "I brought you breakfast." He knelt and slipped one steaming wooden cup through the bars onto the floor but kept the second in his other hand. "Iavin, you can drink yours on the way," he said, holding the cup up.

Iavin dug his nails into the cot. This was it. Cael was taking him to be tortured. To torment him until he had no choice but to agree to join the dark elves. Stretch his limbs until they broke. Beat him with burning iron rods. Cut out his tongue so he'll be a mute like Sayleth. Whip him with—

"I want to give you a tour of the city." Cael's voice swiped away the thoughts of doom.

Iavin blinked. "You mean. . .you're not taking me to be tortured?"

"Tortured? Why would I do that?"

"Because—" He bit his tongue. Giving Cael ideas was probably not the best plan. "I don’t know."

Cael breathed a laugh. "The things you think of, Iavin. Come on," he lightly shook the cup in his hand, “you're breakfast is getting cold."

Iavin's mind slowly came back to life. "What makes you think I'll go anywhere with you?"

"Don't you want to see the splendor of the forgotten region?"

"Not particularly. It's too cold."

"That's what the drink is for. Trust me, you'll like it."

"No, I meant the company is too cold."



Iavin followed him down the wide hall and examined the drink in his hand. The frothy dark texture didn't look like anything he knew the name of. He gave it a sniff and immediately jerked his head back. The overwhelmingly spicy scent brought tears to his eyes.

"Are you sure this stuff is safe to drink?"

"Of course," Cael said, leading Iavin down a broad set of stairs. "You're going to like it, trust me."

Iavin trusted him as far as he could throw him, and judging by his attempts at throwing the chair the day before, that wasn't very far. But he was thirsty, and since Sayleth didn't seem alarmed by the drinks, they probably weren't meant for harm.

Bracing himself, he inched the rim of the cup up to his lips and took a tiny sip. "Agh!" The cup as well as himself nearly hurled right down the stairway. He jerked to a halt and pounded his fist into his chest, pretty sure his heart combusted into flames. The drink burned all the way down to his stomach. He clawed at his clothes, sweat dampening every inch of him.

"Oh, I probably should have mentioned the first swallow is pretty powerful," Cael said, skipping over the last step to the ground floor.

"Powerful?" Iavin gasped. He stretched his collar away from his flaming throat. "I think I'm dying."

Cael waved him off with a flick of his wrist. "You're fine. The first sip of rioric always feels that way. But afterward it'll provide a pleasant warmth."

Iavin, still trapped in the middle of the stairway, reached the offending stuff far away from his smoldering body. "I'm not drinking this ever again."

Cael shrugged. "If you want to freeze that's none of my concern."

"I'd rather not burst into flames either." The worst of it seemed to have faded but he still took cautious steps down the remaining stairs.


Iavin wasn't sure which was worse. The talons piercing into his shoulders, the frigid wind buffeting him back and forth under the griffin's hold like a puppet, or the fact that two ice dragons were zooming straight for them.

Shouts came from below followed by a whoosh just past Iavin's ear. The griffin lurched to the side away from the second arrow, nearly sending Iavin's breakfast out of his stomach.

"Don't shoot at it!" Cael's voice cried. "You're going to kill Iavin!"

He was pretty much doomed anyway, but Iavin appreciated the gesture.


He shot for the door just a few feet down and threw it open. Sayleth's anxious face met him through the bars on the other side. She gestured wildly to her left at Daeomin, obviously sensing his pain and desperate to reach him.

Iavin fumbled with the lock, tugged at the bars, slammed his shoulder into the whole thing, but all it achieved was a forming bruise.

Nemayn stepped up, gently pushed her rider away, and ripped the barred door right off its hinges with a tug of her claws.

Oh, right.


He could never kill Cael. Whether that was a cowardly or noble decision, he didn't know. He just knew if it came down to it, he could never go through with it.

Which brought him back to the question at hand. What was he supposed to do?

He did have those chains, but not enough to detain Cael and all the dark elves. Maybe he could do a few? Cael and the biggest dark elves? Then swallow the key or something. He glanced down at the thing in his hand and grimaced. It was small, but that still seemed awfully uncomfortable. That'd be embarrassing. After all he went through, his demise would be choking on a tiny silver key. Really, it sounded exactly like the way he'd go.


"Who knows," Leiden went on, "we may all be legends. Youngest dragon riders in history to save all of Aerigethel!"

Darven snorted and gave his partner a playful punch in the arm. "Or the loudest."

More White than Stars Signature


I hope everyone’s first week of December has been a blessed one! <3

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My NaNo 2014 Adventure

Look at that. It’s December 2nd.




Well, I won’t complain. December is full of all sorts of excitement, it also means NaNoWriMo is officially FINISHED. *blows trumpets and consumes cake* This NaNo was a bit different for me, but quite a good one.

NaNo 2014 Banner

The beginning of the adventure took place in October, the time to delve into NaNo planning. This is when I make a thorough outline of my NaNo novel, polish the character bios, make a cover and other such fun things, catch up on all emails and life stuff, and this year I also had to edit my Rooglewood Press contest entry. My plate was full in October, to say the least. Then we decided to sand and redo our floors and have a mini vacation later in the month. Also our hot water heater and washing machine broke. Yeah, October exploded. Trying to outline my novel during all that took some. . .doing. It didn’t help that More White than Stars was probably the hardest one to outline yet. I was at a loss with this book.

More White than Stars Book CoverYou see, each book of the series follows a different pair of dragon riders (and that’s probably the 754th time or so I’ve mentioned that *cough*). Every book sort of does a reset, starting back from the beginning and following the adventures of the five pairs of riders. The last two books will be the finales, starting where I left all the other books and telling the story of all the characters. And since there’s five pairs of riders and More White than Stars was the fifth book that meant. . .this was the last book about an individual pair of riders and the next one will begin the finale. o.O

When I started this series back in 2010 the idea of finishing the individual books felt like an eternity away. Good gravy, time goes by fast!

Since this was the final book before starting up on the big ol’ finale I wanted to make it special, bigger than the others. But HOW? That was the question. Outlining started out slow. I had no idea where to take this book, hardly an inkling of an idea. I had the first few chapters outlined, which I was kind of excited about because I decided to revisit some old characters since they will be reappearing in the next book, but still I didn’t know where to take this story. I was scared it was going to be boring.

Cue Cael.Cael

My villainous white haired, blue eyed boy appeared out of absolutely nowhere and from then on the story soared. I had high hopes after that. (Because I was soaring which meant I was high up and. . . Ahem, never mind.)

All my desires to make this story bigger than the rest expounded far greater than I ever imagined. Just when I thought I finally knew the full plot of my main villain, Cael twisted it and turned it into something much, much more. The cliché world I had feared I created flipped over. The simplicity of this storyline I thought of so long ago became so much deeper. All because a white haired boy decided he wanted me to tell his story.

Outlining still proved to be a bit difficult as I attempted to untangle all the new intricate plots into the old. But by the end of it I had a story I could not wait to begin writing.

I finally got that chance when midnight hit on the night of October 31st. The second I wrote that first sentence I fell completely in love with my main character Iavin.

If Iavin had a list of the things he wanted to be doing at that very moment,
standing in the midst of the crowded ball room of laughing,
dancing, far too loud people would be at the bottom of the list.

From there things went pretty smoothly. There were definitely times where I didn’t want to be writing and had to force myself to stay seated and pump out those words, but those days were fairly few. What really helped this year was my newish taste for coffee. I now completely and totally understand why authors live off the stuff. For my whole life it’s been something I just couldn’t swallow. The bitter taste made me shudder. But sometime this year my mom and brother decided to start drinking it and I tentatively joined them. At first it was pretty awful, but with each cup I developed more and more a taste for it until eventually I actually. . .liked it. Miracle of miracles! Thus, this NaNo I was able to join thousands of others in over-coffee-consumption and I honestly don’t know how I survived my previous NaNos without it. It kept me alert and awake on those days I really just wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep the day away. Because, ya know, not much sleeping goes on during NaNo. I hardly went to bed before midnight once during it all. *cough, cough*

Christine's Coffee

Maybe it was because of that reason I kept accidentally writing in present tense. Um, what? I’ve never written anything in present tense, ever. And yet constantly throughout the month I kept finding myself writing in present tense for some weird reason and had to go fix it into past. It might be because I had my outline set out in present tense, and I was also rereading The Hunger Games trilogy throughout the month, which is written in present tense. Add that to mad writing, too much coffee, and not enough sleep and I guess my brain got confuzzled.

But overall most of the month was spent grinning at all of Iavin’s adorkable awkwardness, wanting to reach through the screen and hug Sayleth, and cackling at anything and everything that came out of Cael’s mouth.

"Your dragons? No. I like those two.
Even if they are a bit fiery." He grinned at his own joke.

Because this was the last book before the finale, I wanted to sort of lead up to the finale. This included bringing in all sorts of character from previous books, including probably my favorite pair of riders, Darven and Leiden, whose adventures I wrote about last NaNo. Having “my boys” return included much squealing and grinning and maybe a bit of jumping up and down. They didn’t appear until the endish, but boy was I happy when they did!

Those last few chapters were definitely a total blast to write. It gave me a taste of what the next book will be like when I finally get to continue the story and return to all the characters instead of resetting it. I was a happy writer and so immersed in the story I had a bit of a shock when it. . .ended.

See, last year was the first NaNo I ever finished my novel during NaNo. They’re always so terribly long I have to continue writing through December to finish it up. Last year I finished on the 25th and thought surely that was just a happenstance and wouldn’t occur again. But on November 22nd I was typing along and fwoosh THE END. What? There’s still a week of NaNo left! I’m done??

That wasn’t the only shocking part though. Each NaNo I set my goal for 100k instead of 50k because, as mentioned, my novels are LONG. I want to get them finished as soon as possible so I set that goal in hopes of at least finishing by Christmas. Every book of the series thus far has been over 100k words. I had estimated this one to be around 120k.

92,340 words and More White than Stars was done.

But. . .what? That’s under 100k words!

I teeny tiny OCD part of me considered writing in something else just to reach that 100k since I’ve done a double NaNo every other year. But then the more reasonable part of me that doesn’t come out as often as it should smacked some sense into my head. The final week of NaNo was going to be insane. I knew that, I knew that from the beginning and wondered how I ever was going to squeeze in writing time. Now I didn’t have to. Why oh why would I make myself write when I didn’t have to? I was done! I should be done. Once in a blue moon I listen to common sense. So I resisted and just enjoyed the fact that I finally wrote an (almost) reasonable sized book and was done with NaNo early. And it was a good thing too because, yeah, the last week of NaNo was quite the busy one. This was the first year I wasn’t writing something for NaNo to the very last day. It was a weird feeling, but kind of nice too. I think I needed that breather.

NaNo 2014 Stats Page

If I were to describe this NaNo in one word I’d probably say: Interesting. But in a good way. Cael kept me on my toes, I learned all sorts of things about this series and really delved deeper into the plot, Iavin was his adorable self, writing Sayleth as a mute proved to be a really fun challenge, I finished waaay earlier than I thought I would—yep, NaNo 2014 was a success!

I’m already looking forward to next year! This was a special year because, as mentioned (multiple times now, whoopsy), this was the last individual book before I can finally continue all those stories I stopped at the end of the other books, this one included. Next year I’ll be revisiting each of my dragon riders and delving into that finale I never thought I’d actually reach. Since there’s so much plot and tons of characters, the finale is planned to run through two books. But who knows? Maybe I’ll squeeze it into one and only have one more book left of the series. But. . .probably not. I’ve mentioned I write long things, right?

But it might not be a good idea to already be thinking about next year’s NaNo when this year’s has only just closed. *grins*

NaNo 2014 Winner Banner

NaNo 2014, you were pretty great. Thanks for the adventure!

Now I’m taking a break from writing for the duration of December and enjoying the holidays. We’ll see what comes of January.

What about YOU? How was your NaNo? Any writing plans for December?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It’s the Little Things

I’m thankful for. . .

Polka dotted umbrellaStranger’s smiles.

Polka dotted umbrellas.

The tapping of leaves falling on the rooftop.

Penguin socks.

The sound of a book’s pages turning.

Babies’ smiles.

Pink cell phone cases.

Those in between moments of sleep where you’re dreaming but half awake.

The smell of overturned earth just after a rain.


The smooth feeling of ivory under your fingertips when playing the piano.

Piano Fingers

When you find a song so beautiful it clutches your soul and brings tears to your eyes.

Open windows.

Fall Leaves Reflection

The reflection of fall leaves on water.

Goofy selfies with my sister in the car.

Bare footprints in the ground.

The delighted chaotic sounds of children playing.

Nonsensical late night conversations.

Freshly washed sheets.

Buying a new book.

The faint rumbling of distant thunder.

The imprint of pencil on fingers after drawing.

The pink and purple and orange glow of sunsets.

Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that can bring out the greatest joy—the sound of a loved one’s footsteps coming up the stairs, a child’s dimpled smile, a gentle breeze blowing through the window. God has created a beautiful world full of millions and millions of things to be grateful for. And I don’t want to miss them.

Struggles often blind my view of the beauty around me. I focus so much on dark things I forget that God’s light shines in every moment of every day. We just have to be willing to look for it and always keep our eyes on Him.

I never want to take for granted the tiny gifts in life God has blessed us with. I want to remember that no matter how dark life may seem, there’s ALWAYS something to be THANKFUL for.

1 Thessalonians 5 18

(Click the link for my original "It's the Little Things" post.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beautiful Books #2 - Discuss ALL the NaNo Writing

We have made it past the halfway point of NaNo, peoples! Just two more weeks to go. I can’t even believe it! If you’re still with me after enduring the loopy trigger my brain switches to during NaNo, bless you.

Today my post actually has a purpose and isn’t some caffeinated induced randomness my NaNo brain produces. Well, there will be some of that but at least it has a topic.

I’m joining in on Beautiful Books, a linkup designed by the ever lovely and brilliant Sky and Cait. What is Beautiful Books you may ask? Pure awesomeness! Beautiful Books is a three part linkup expanding through October, November, and December. During October they gave us 15 questions centered around plotting. This month the questions cover how the writing process is going. And next month we’ll discuss editing. It was originally created with NaNo in mind but ALL are welcome to join in, whether you’re doing NaNo or not. Which means you, yes you, right there in the purple hat, need to clickety click on over to Sky's post over heeere or Cait's thisaway and join up to this month’s fabulous linkup. Yes? Good? All right!

To the questions!

Beautiful Books Button

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?
Super well, actually! Last week I think I hit that “week two slump” a little bit. A few days I had to painfully force the words out. But thus far those days have been few. I still have a bit to go, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m building up to the climax which is always fun. Also some characters from previous novels have cropped up, included Darven and Leiden, the MCs from last year’s novel. If you were reading my blog during last NaNo you probably know how much I love meh boys. It has been a BLAST having all these old characters show up. Pretty much all of yesterday’s writing was me just sitting there grinning while I typed to see all these characters join up. And I’m also building up to the finale of the series, which will be the next two books. So, basically, writing is going GREAT. This book has really not given me many difficulties at all, which is a miracle.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

If Iavin had a list of the things he wanted to be doing at that very moment, standing in the midst of the crowded ball room of laughing, dancing, far too loud people would be at the bottom of the list. Actually, it probably wouldn't have made it to the list at all. But Iavin's list of wants and obligations were two very different things.

He tried standing in the corner as inconspicuously as possible. Being inconspicuous was kind of hard though when one is wearing a bright blue suit with gold seams that seemed to glow at every tiny exposure of light. And when the party was for you.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?
Oh yes, that’s the fun part!

My book cover. . .

More White than Stars Book Cover

Strictly made just for the fun of it, of course.

And some inspirational pictures. . .

Great White Dragon

Snow City

Dark Elf Attack

All found on Pinterest. The board for the whole series is HERE. Although I really need to expand it.

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
Indeed! At least for my main three.

IavinIavin, my awkward, adorable main point-of-viewer.

Sayleth is my white-headed mute girl and Iavin’s dragon rider partner.

CaelAnd Cael. . .well, Cael is the villain that likes to pretend not to be. Except he has extremely blue eyes and doesn’t have a weird dragon thing. Practically the one character in the series without a dragon. So naturally there’s one in the picture I found for him. >.>

5. What scene are you most excited to write?
Hmmm. . . I actually don’t have too many more to go, and have already written a lot I thoroughly enjoyed. There was one scene where Iavin and Sayleth were imprisoned alone together and Sayleth taught Iavin some letters in that world’s version of sign language, since she’s mute. It was a sweet scene. I pretty much like all the quiet, one-on-one scenes between those two. Also one-on-one scenes with Iavin and Cael. I enjoy exploring their friendship because they really are kind of friends even though Iavin keeps telling himself he hates Cael. It’s a pretty big mess.

I was also vastly looking forward to the point where Darven and Leiden reentered the picture, which happened Friday. Excitement on my part ensued.

But now I guess I’m just waiting in anticipation for the peak of the climax where tragic and fun things happen. *grins*

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

Iavin suddenly had an intense desire to have a conversation with her, a real talking conversation, just her and him. But the only way she could talk was with Cael around, and that was the last thing he wanted.

A memory came to him, a flash of when he first discovered Cael's treachery in that little shack outside of Ahredit. Cael had removed his hand from her and she made rapid motions with her hands in attempt to say something. Sign language, Cael had called it.

"Do you have a whole language with your fingers?" he asked.

Her face lit up and she nodded.

Encouraged by her enthusiasm, he asked, "Could you teach it to me? So we could talk. Without the dragons or…Cael, I mean." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I know you probably get frustrated with me when you're trying to tell me something. I'm pretty slow with figuring things out."

She firmly shook her head and then reached for his hand. He watched curiously her soft fingers bend his knuckles down and turn his thumb out. Making him hold the awkward hand position in the air, she then swiped a finger across the floor. Glancing down, he found a letter A drawn into the dust. Sayleth pointed to the letter and then his fist.

"A?" he said, shaking his shaped hand. "This indicates the letter A?"

Grinning wide, she nodded.

His heart thumped with excitement. He laid his palm back out flat and held it out to her. "More, teach me more!"

Since I just mentioned that scene and all.

7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
Not really. It’s surprisingly stayed pretty in sync with the outline. And since this is the fifth book of the series, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to this plot and world. XD It always feels perfectly natural returning to this series, like going back home. So I haven’t really experienced anything too shocking along the way.

Although there was a character death that I was NOT expecting. She wasn’t a big character or anything, but I had no plans on her dying whatsoever. I didn’t really have plans on anyone other than nameless soldiers and such dying. But there was a battle and Iavin opened his eyes and there she was having a sword thrust through her chest and I was just like, “What???” Quite a moment.

I was a bit surprised to see how fiery sweet, mild Sayleth can get. (Usually because of Cael.) And even Iavin has shown some backbone a couple of times. (Usually when Cael upsets Sayleth.) But I think the most surprising moment was when I realized Cael sees Iavin as a skittish puppy to mother and be amused over. *blinks* Yeah. Is that even possible? The antagonist mothering over the protagonist? I mean. . .

Cael patted his shoulder, eyes gleaming bright in the darkness. "Mhm. I know exactly what you meant. Come on now," he stood and grabbed Iavin's arm, "you really should be sleeping."


"We've got another full day of traveling tomorrow. You need your sleep." Cael pulled him to a stand, dragged him back to Nemayn, and practically tucked him to bed, carefully making sure Iavin's cloaks covered him sufficiently. "You sleep well now."

Iavin watched the boy walk off, not entirely sure what just happened but far too sleepy and cold to figure it out.


8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
You know, this book really hasn’t given me much difficulty at all. All the characters have been fantastic. They’ve just come so naturally on the pages, I really love them.

There was one section where the characters were traveling through the mountains and it really dragged on. I thought they were going to be in those mountains forever (Iavin did too actually), and I was really ready to move on to the next section. But I was also having a bit of a writer’s rut for a couple of days when I was writing that part, so that could have been it. Otherwise, this novel has been a dream.

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
Oooh goodness. How can I pick one? There are so many things I’ve loved about this book!

Again I think I’m going to have to fall back to the relationships. Iavin and Sayleth are so sweet. They make my heart swell. And Iavin and Cael’s relationship. . .well, you’ve seen. I’ve never written a friendship like that before and I’m having way too much fun. Sayleth and Cael also have a very interesting relationship that hurts my heart a little because. . .bad things went down with those two back in the day. But I really love seeing them react toward one another. It’s similar to Iavin and Cael in the complicated area, but Sayleth genuinely wants the best for Cael (and, really, he wants the best for her, or what his twisted mind thinks is the best) and it just gets so confuzzling and hurts my heart and I love it because writers are weird like that.

Also, I’ve really enjoyed the snowy aspect of the novel. There’s snow EVERYWHERE. The majority of the novel is set in a super freezing place. And, honestly, I can’t recall a time I’ve ever written about places in snow. I don’t know why, but most of my novels are in the summer or spring or just a place that doesn’t snow a lot. So this has been a new experience for me and I’ve really enjoyed it. Except I think half my word count is just used up of the words frigid and icy. Whoops.

Favorite character??? WHY. Uuuugh. I guess it comes down to either Iavin or Cael to be perfectly honest. But don’t get me wrong, Sayleth is my precious baby girl, I’ve just spent so much more time inside Iavin’s head, and Cael, well, he makes things interesting.

I’m really going to miss seeing the world through Iavin’s eyes once the novel is done. The pessimistic way he looks at the world is actually highly amusing for some reason. He has a very “Welp, I’m pretty sure I’m about to die” view about everything. The way he just accepts that he’s doomed and always expects the worst is somehow adorable. I love him so much. <3 And I think we all know my feelings on Cael. He’s just so complex and constantly shakes things up, and still somehow has a very bright outlook on life. And I really never know what is going to come out of his mouth next. I CAN’T choose between the two!

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and characters?
Er. . .not really. I shamefully never really create characters based off real people. Really, I don’t ever get to create characters at all. They just pop in my head and demand a story and I’m just like, “FINE.” Then I torture them and give them tragic backstories and they regret choosing me as their author. *smile, smile*

I like to pretend I have a pet dragon. Can I count that as life experiences?

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
I don’t listen to nearly enough variations of music, so I never can find any with lyrics that fit my stories or anything. But I do have a parcel of random instrumental songs I listen to while writing. Lyrical songs distract me too much, it can only be instrumental. Soundtracks are my best friends. Actually, most of the music I listen to while writing this book is soundtracks from video games. You’d be surprised how fantastic the music is in video games. The Final Fantasy X soundtrack is my favorite. Pandora is also my best friend.

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
Why are these questions so haaard???

Iavin is my adorable baby but that’s mostly because I’m always inside his head and forcing him into uncomfortable situations (did I mention he hates the cold? *grins*). If I was actually just hanging out with him, it might be a bit hard because I tend to do better around talkative people, and it’s easier to pull teeth than get him into an ongoing conversation. That would also make it awkward with Sayleth since she can’t talk at all.

But Cael. . .Cael is actually super easy to talk with, even when he’s imprisoned you and is trying to take over the world. But what can you do? I could really appreciate his snark and quirky sense of humor. We’d actually probably get on really well. (And I’m not just saying that because that’s the answer I wanted. *cough, cough* I genuinely took a long moment to thoroughly think this thing through.)

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
I actually haven’t allowed myself to touch Pinterest except for quick references or something since NaNo started. Once I’ve fallen inside the abyss that is Pinterest it takes me days to find my way out. So I’m trying my best to keep my distance. (It’s hard.) And I don’t like chocolate. (Try not to have a heart attack. I know it’s shameful.) Internet breaks definitely though.

But really, the main thing that keeps me writing is my overly obsessive self. I can’t seem to STOP writing. I set ridiculously high goals for myself and my OCD nature won’t allow me to fail those goals. So just seeing the words go up motivates me the most. I always start out with writing 2k words and not allow myself to touch the internet or much of anything until that goal is reached. So that really forces me to get the words written. After that, I only allow breaks every 1k words. Also, I would really love to finish this story by the end of the month and since my books are always so woefully long I just keep making myself pound out the words, knowing if I don’t there’s no way I’ll finish it in any decent amount of time.

14. What’s your favorite writing quote or piece of writing advice?
Oh goodness, there are so many I love I don’t even have a specific favorite! These three are on the top of the list though. . .

Write Bravely - Bill Stout

Shoveling Sand - Shannon Hale

Glint of Light - Anton Chekhov

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
Half of the time I’m grinning at all of Iavin’s doomed thoughts when I’m really not planning on making him get hurt all that much. . .you know, hopefully. And Cael does and says things that take me by such surprise I literally laugh out loud. Then I want to hug Sayleth and be her best friend. Now last night I did write a scene that genuinely really depressed me. It was referencing something that happened way back in book 2 that I still haven’t recovered from and it just reopened that wound. But then the scene immediately following had me giggling and grinning stupidly at the screen. So yeah, mostly it’s all been fun. But I’m also forcefully keeping myself from reading back through parts because whoo! I write bad first drafts, especially during NaNo. I’m just going to keep writing and enjoy the story, the state of it can be worried about later. *points to Shannon Hale quote above*

. . .

Overall? This NaNo has been very good to me, and I look forward to plunging through the second half of it and finishing up this book.

So let’s do it, NaNo’ers!!! And, tell me, how is YOUR NaNo going? Fabulously, I do hope.

Monday, November 10, 2014

You've just crossed over into…

For me, NaNoWriMo is kind of like the Twilight Zone where the rift between fiction and reality is a little fuzzy. Fiction starts feeling real and reality seems distant and hazy. When you spend an entire month stuck inside a novel it gets awfully difficult remembering those characters aren’t actually real, and those events didn’t just happen, and. . .did I remember to shower this morning? It’s a very dizzying time, NaNo.

The Twilight Zone

You may have tried to hold on to your sanity those first few days, but by the time you’re stepping into week two it has given up on you. Don’t worry, it’s so much easier to write when sanity isn’t bogging you down with its silly responsibility and common sense. You won’t miss it.

Mine went fleeing pretty fast (not that I ever had much sanity to begin with, but you know). I mean, when one writes 50k words in 9 days, there’s really no room for sanity.

NaNoWriMo 2013 Wordcounter (50k)


Yeeeah. My mind is swimming with words, words, WORDS and it’s a little hard seeing reality past them all. But who caaaares? NANOWRIMO. “Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

Now that I’ve hit 50k I’m just going to keep writing until I’ve reached “The End”. But being as how I’m only about halfway (maaaybe a bit past halfway, I’m not sure) I’ve still got a l whole lotta writing ahead of me.

Things are definitely going quite. . .swimmingly. (Hehehe. . .hehe. . .heh. . . Ahem.) It’s getting interestiiiing. Cael just did something *le gasp* NICE. And not out of manipulation, I’m pretty sure anyway. Just a genuine act of kindness. (I won’t tell you it’s his last one before horrible things happen. . .) And Iavin, my dear, sweet, shy Iavin, has actually shown some backbone. He even threw a chair out of anger! I mean, it only flew about two feet before plunking to the ground, but it was a good effort. Sayleth is also proving to be a lot more spirited than I thought she was. Cael has a way of bringing the rage out of even the mildest of people. . .

Basically, my days are entirely full of my novel. I literally sometimes have a hard time focusing on normal daily tasks because my mind is so heavily centered on my story I’m not even paying attention to what I’m doing. The Twilight Zone, I’m telling you.

But that’s okay. I kind of love it. Getting the opportunity to spend a month so heavily immersed in my novel that I feel as though I’m breathing the same air as my characters. . .ah, it’s a feeling that can’t even be described. It’s these moment that I realized why I love to write. Those moments when a character isn’t just a character anymore, but someone so close and connected to your heart you laugh when they laugh and cry when they suffer and long for their company when you’re not writing. Those times the words disappear from your eyes and instead you’re there, living right along your characters, feeling and seeing and experiencing everything they do. That moment you wake up and are so enthusiastic about your novel you almost skip breakfast just so you can dive right into writing.

Breathings of Your Heart

These moments are rare. Mostly writing is just a lot of staring blankly at a screen or painfully forcing those words out when you’d much rather be perusing pinterest. But, once in a blue moon, we get touched with a bit of magic, invigorating, beautiful, and it reminds us why we trudge up that tiring mountain.

Or, you know, you think you’re floating through the Twilight Zone and wonder why on earth you chose to be one of those mad writers.

But it’s all good.

Good luck on week two, NaNo’ers! This is usually when steam starts running out, but just remember why you write. Never stop reaching for the magic. It’s always worth it!

Today’s Writing Snippet:

"You know, ripping holes in someone's castle is considered rude."

Sayleth leaped to her feet and Iavin spun around. Nemayn was already crouched, ready to pounce at the white haired boy mere feet from her bared teeth.

Cael did not seem very concerned, despite the dried blood running down from his temple that served as a reminder of the last time he encountered the begrudged dragon. His clothes were also a little torn and streaked with stained blood. Whether it was his own or someone else's, Iavin did not want to know.

"Things aren't looking good out there," Cael said.

"For…who?" Iavin dared to ask.

"Depends on how you look at it." Cael took a hobbling step forward but Nemayn's warning growl halted him. "Careful there, girl, think of Sayleth. You already gave me a pretty bad blow." He rubbed at his temple, wincing.

Nemayn just responded with a warning snap of her teeth.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halfway There…?

NaNo 2014 Banner

Well, it seems NaNoWriMo has descended upon us! And, you know, it’s a totally good idea to reach the halfway point 4 days within the event. . .

NaNoWriMo 2014 Wordcounter (25k)

Right? Riiight? Because it’s not like I’ve lost hold of reality. Noooo. Hehehe. . .heh. . .heheh.


So maybe my OCD tendencies kick into hyperdrive during November and I can’t seem to stop making myself write. And yes, I hit the halfway point last night. But my goal for NaNo is not to reach 50k but to finish my book as quickly as possible. And since my books always end somewhere above 100k I have to really push those words out. And also I’M HAVING FUN.

My cast is just as delightful as I thought it’d be. Iavin slays me time and time again with his adorkable self.

Do you ever have those characters that you don’t need to flesh out and discover? Sometimes they explode from your brain with all the personality in the world and when you write them their thoughts pour from your fingertips as easily as your own. Iavin is one of those characters.

I’ve discovered beginning are usually hard for me to write. I’m always ecstatic to start a new story but then I never fully get into it until two or three chapters in. It takes a bit of time to get to know my characters, discover the world, get deeply into the plot, etc. But once I’ve established these things my love for the story blossoms. Thus, the first day or two of NaNo tends to be a bit of a struggle for me.

But this year the first day has been my favorite so far.

Almost the entire story is written from Iavin’s point-of-view, and looking at the world through his eyes is as natural as breathing. I didn’t have to experiment with the first chapter to get a feel of his character, it just flowed on the pages instantaneously and I can’t imagine tiring of him. His sweet, awkward, shy self makes my heart full. (Although I may feel a bit guilty slinging him into peril.)

Sayleth is also proving to be a delight. I was excited about attempting a mute character, but, to be entirely honest, also rather nervous. But my fears were for naught. The challenge of finding ways for her to communicate has been a blast. Plus, this is a fantasy, which means I’m allowed a few otherworldly tricks. *grins*

Then there are the dragons. Iavin’s dragon, Nemayn, is currently sneezing out snow she just sniffed into her snout. She’s kind of a total mess. While Sayleth’s large, white, male dragon, Daeomin, has a tendency to hide behind his tail. Watching an enormous dragon act like a skittish puppy is an amusing sight, let me tell you.

And Cael, well, his first words were: "By Ugrafel's beard, you people make a lot of ruckus." This was commenting on a pretty intense battle. Right now in the story he just said killing Iavin and the gang would not be beneficial to his state of being so. . .yeah, at least there’s that. Cael. What can I say?

All in all, the story is going pretty great. The beginning feels info dumpy and now I feel like I’m not giving enough info. I keep having to shove my Inner Editor away. I was heavily editing a novella just before NaNo started, so it’s taking me a bit to remember I have permission to write messily. It’s starting to sink in though. Actually, I think I’ve just about scared my Inner Editor away with all the atrocious writing. Um, success? Hey, it’s NaNo. What would NaNo be without a messy first draft? Right now I’m just enjoying writing the story. It can always be rewritten. That’s what NaNo is for after all, to pump out those words and get that first draft written, no matter how it turns out. So write I shall!

Speaking of which. . .I should probably be doing that now.

How is NaNo going for everyone?? Can you believe we’ve almost made it through the first week? We got this! *fistpump*

Today’s Writing Snippet:

Frowning, Iavin pulled his frostbitten arm up with his other hand and cradled it against his chest. "You did this to me. You sent your glacier— Erm, gwac—" Anger blinded his memory. "Your ice bird thing to attack us!"

"Now, Sii, that was not very nice," Cael scolded, turning his head to face the bird. "I sent you to persuade them to come down, not freeze the poor boy's arm off."

The bird ruffled its feathers and turned its beak to the sky, as if offended.

"I apologize on her behalf," Cael addressed Iavin again. "She can be a little overzealous. Come here, that arm looks ready to crack right from its socket."

Iavin had the same thoughts, but he wasn't about to let Cael do anything about it.

Cael breathed a frustrated sigh. "Don't be stubborn. I can fix it. Right, Sayleth?"

She turned sad eyes to Iavin and nodded.

Iavin hesitated, looking back and forth between the two, before shuffling forward. He supposed not much more damaged could be done to it anyway.

Cael shooed Sii off his shoulder. The bird crowed in indignation and clamped her claws down into a boulder where she watched everyone with her piercing white stare. Iavin eyed the bird warily but the pain of Cael grabbing his arm pulled his attention back to his doom at hand.

P.S. I apology for the randomosity of this post and for any future posts. I sort of threw my sanity out a window and locked it out on November 1st. I’ll probably let it back in come December 1st (maybe the 2nd). Until then. . .well, I’m just really, really sorry.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...