Monday, March 23, 2015

Beautiful People - Marigold {March 2015}

Exciting news! I’ve officially. . . *pause for dramatic effect* started writing Burning Thorns! *trumpets and cymbals* I only meant to start writing it like a month ago but life exploded and here we are. I haven’t actually written anything since the end of November. o.o I was so starved for words my brain wailed like a stray dog in a steakhouse. But I am finally, finally, finally back to writing and it feels glorious! I’ve returned to the life I love. You know, that one where I ignore real life for fictional ones and call it work. It’s a good life.

Now that I’m comfortably spilling words all over the place again, I’m quite excited to do a Beautiful People of someone in my cast. I’ve been contemplating who shall receive the spotlight for a while here and finally settled on Marigold. You guys met her a couple weeks ago. You know, the bratty sister of my main character that I inexplicably fell in love with. Yes, her. I thought these questions would be good for her.

Beautiful People Blog Button

Obviously you want in on this BP action as well to answer the questions for one of your own characters. Of course you do! So you should go visit our ever gracious hosts Sky @ Further Up & Further In and Cait @ Paper Fury or just go straight to this month’s BP posts here or here and get yourself linked up. Simple as that!

Enough babbling! Let’s get to it.


~ Marigold ~

1. What is their secret desire?
For someone, preferably her father, to think she’s better than her sisters. Or at least notice her from time to time. But she would love to be thought of as superior. . .

2. What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story?
A certain moment right near the end where she finally receives the recognition she has so desired.

3. What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go to?
She’s quick to admit that she feels inferior and invisible, or more like complain about it, but it scares her to think too deeply about it, to wonder if maybe it’s because no one loves her. She pushes such thoughts away immediately any time they crop up.

4. Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why?
Not really, other than Gylmeth which is an enemy kingdom and it’d be too dangerous. Otherwise she’d happily explore anywhere new. She enjoys daring adventures.

5. If they were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)
Marigold is pretty materialistic, it’s not easy making her part with anything, especially things like dresses and jewelry. But if she had to part with it all but one thing it’d be a certain gold ring, the last gift she received from her mother before her dear mother passed on. (And that totally just popped in my head but I think it works perfectly with the story. It’s moments like this that make Beautiful People so great.)

6. What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?
See #1. And maybe #3. She doesn’t want to feel inferior ever again and to always be confident that she really is loved.

7. On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?
Probably to not only ever see what she lacks, but instead to realize her blessings. To understand that she doesn’t have to pretend to be like her older sister to be accepted. She can be loved and cherished just as she is.

8. If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?
Well, her wants and needs are two very different things. She would love more than anything to be a copy of her older sister Anya—regal, clever, confident, and in control of all her emotions. But as we just learned in #7, that’s not what she needs.

9. What is the most humiliating event of their life?
Probably when a certain character betrays her in the story. She gets mad at herself for allowing herself to trust them.

10. What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope?
On the shallow end of the spectrum, she loves fixing herself up to the brim with her finest clothes and feeling as regal as possible. But on the deeper, more emotional level, memories of her mother, the one person who treated her as an equal, always calms her and helps her keep going.

Wow, I just learned way more about this character than I ever knew. Thank you, Beautiful People! Don’t forget to join in. This edition lasts through the rest of March. Seriously, you should do it. These things are so helpful!

Have a blessed week, everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, Bloggy!

Blogger Birthday
On Saturday, March 14th, this little blog of mine turned 4 years old.

It blows my mind to really think I’ve been blogging for 4 years. I remember vividly the day I set out to make a blog, the headache I gave myself figuring out formatting and how to use a template, the realization that I really had no idea what to blog about. Those first couple years were slow. It took some time for me to settle into being a “blogger” and learning what it is I love to post about. My passion and seriousness about writing was just beginning to blossom when I first created Musings of an Elf. And this blog really helped it grow.

Whenever I was at a loss of what to blog about, I always came back to writing. I was a little hesitant and shy over talking about my writing; my own family could hardly pull from me any information about my stories. But if I was going to be a writer I had to actually, ya know, share my writing. So I thought I’d give it a go. Next thing I knew, writing was all I wanted to blog about. The more I blogged about it, the more I realized how much I love writing, how much I love to talk about it and discuss it with others and surround myself with all things writerly. A whole new network had opened up to me. What better place for a writer to let out her passion than on a site dedicated for writing?

Because of stepping out and talking about my passion, I met more writers, I grew as a writer as I made posts and wrote in different styles aside from just fictional stories, I discovered other writing blogs that have become invaluable to me, I’ve met some absolutely amazing people who share my interests. I had no idea on that day in March, 4 years ago, that the little blog I up and decided to attempt would become such an important part of my life.

Blogging is therapeutic to me. Sometimes I just have to ramble about something, and blogging allows me to do that. I can be myself and just have fun.

But this blog would be pointless without you guys—reading, commenting, putting up with my nonsensical rambles, and just being all around amazing followers. I cannot express my appreciation for every single one of you. The thought that someone out there actually wants to read all the silliness that passes through my head and down to my fingers. . .wow. There are no words. I mean, come on. I make posts about lemons and write letters to Time and you’re still here. You guys are amazing! And such an encouragement. I don’t even know what to say but THANK YOU. Thank you for following Musings of an Elf and offering so much support and love to this silly little aspiring writer. Whenever the wearying, discouraging work of being a writer gets to me, you always lift me back up. I love you guys!

I look forward to yet another year of blogging. Of pointless rambles and ridiculous posts and growing in my writing and meeting fantastic people. It’s going to be great!

Happy Birthday, Musings of an Elf!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Burning Thorns Cast

Since last week I shared why I want to write Burning Thorns and gave a peek of the style and feel of it, today I thought it’d be fun to get a look into the characters. Yes, I’m totally going to be one of those grandmothers who carries 20 dozen photos of her grandchildren around and shows them to every person she passes on the street. I love my babies, I make no apologies.

And yes, you’re probably going to be sick of hearing about Burning Thorns by the time this novel is actually written. I may apologize a little for that. But again, I love my babies, whether they be fictional people are unwritten novels. Don’t judge.

A couple weeks ago you got a glimpse of my Beauty and Beast characters via Beautiful People, but today I’m going to get a little deeper into them, and introduce a few more peoples. So without further ado. . .

~The Burning Thorns Cast~


RoseThe majority of the tale centers on my Rose girl. Way back when this story was just an idea and I was planning the original novella, I had thought Rose was going to be the quiet, mousy type. But then I decided NAH. Let’s make someone who would annoy the Beast! And thus Rose was born.

She’s a live wire. It takes a great deal of skill, patience, and not-so-subtle hints to get her tongue to stop. She could probably talk for eternity and still have things to say, though she’s not above letting others get a word in and lending an ear when the need arises. She loves to talk and listen and just in general be around people. Her favorite activity is laughing, and she does her best to coerce people around her to do the same. An aura of cheer clings to her and spreads wherever she goes.

Despite the many family issues she’s forced to endure, growing up has never been on her repertoire of things to do. She forever holds on to that child-like wonder, perhaps even as an escapist for her struggling home life. Unfortunately, this often results in naïveté. She always looks for the best in people, and thus finds herself too trusting for her own good. It doesn’t take much to confuse, trick, or manipulate her.

Overall though, Rose is a sweet, nurturing daydreamer who believes good can be found in everyone.

The DragonThe Dragon

I knew who my Beast was the moment I had my very first spark of a Beauty and the Beast idea. I never once questioned who he was or how he was to be portrayed.

The Dragon, in short, is a temperamental, selfish guy who spends far too much time alone. I mean, when you start pointlessly burning rosebuds and mumbling to yourself, you know it’s time to go find a girlfriend. Really.

Once upon a time, he was a charismatic soul who knew how to get people to do what he wanted, but after he brought a curse upon himself that caused him to grow deformities and sent a shadow on the world, he never let that charming, fun-loving boy out again. Regret gnaws deep within him. To avoid it, he shoves it down, down, down with layers upon layers of hate, feeding at the selfishness boiling inside. Hate rules his being.

Obviously, he’s not much of a people person. And people are not much for him either. Thus he lives in solitude in his enchanted castle in the midst of the Forest, the land of the fae. When a girl named Rose stumbles into his rose garden, the regret he’s tried so hard to shove away resurfaces, and he discovers maybe solitude isn’t what he wants. . .

Despite his many (and many more) faults, I adore my Beastie boy. There’s a lot more beneath the half mask and dark clothes he hides himself under. More than even he realizes.


SeliaSelia’s story ties into that of the Dragon’s curse. She is a fae that haunts the castle in the Forest and is the Dragon’s only companion for years and years and years, much to his disgust.

I won’t say much about her due to far too many spoilers revolving around her character, but I will say her story is a tragic one. A story that almost wants a prequel so it can be told, even though I’m determined this is going to be a standalone novel. I didn’t have much chance to explore her character and background in the novella due to a word count limit, so I’m looking forward to discovering her at a deeper level this go round.

She also may have to undergo a name change. I just learned there’s a Selia in The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale which is a pretty popular fairytale retelling so. . . >.> If anyone has a good idea for a name, please share! Changing a character’s name feels like taking away part of their soul to me, so I’m kind of stumped.




Larke is a brand new addition to the book. There was no Larke in the novella. While figuring out how I wanted to expand the story, a mischievous fae boy popped into my head and that was that. Technically he’s a villain, but I kind of love him. . .a lot. Per the usual, the characters that I don’t plan steal my heart, and the ones that tend to be the troublemaking, sarcastic, charismatic type, which Larke is. My poor heart really had no hope.

Larke is cocky, full of mischief, and has a snarky comment for everything, which he never holds back on. He oozes a playful charm that easily draws people in, but holding friendships is not part of his daily life. Manipulation and backstabbing is more his forte. He knows what he wants and will stop at nothing to achieve it, no matter the roadblocks that come his way. His favorite pastime is tricking humans, and to him bantering is a reason for living. It takes a lot to bring him down. His carefree, impish attitude sticks deep, though he'll hold a grudge to the end of his days. And as a fae he has a lot of days.

This boy causes a whole lotta trouble for my poor charries, and has fun doing so. Why do I love him so much? *shrugs* I’m a writer. Do I need another explanation? Crazy comes with the title.


AnyaAnya is Rose’s oldest sister, and I guess you could call her a villain as well. She can really only be thought of as sour. Jealousy toward her overly perky youngest sister turned into hate, which caused her to do terrible, terrible things to Rose.

Her entire outlook on life is to build herself higher than others. In her attempts to claw her way to the top, she's developed plenty of skills in blackmailing, charming, and manipulation, all of which she uses frequently. Her high and mighty attitude led her to detest silly and childish things. She has always been able to control her emotions, and calculates every move, word, and facial feature she expresses. As a result, she's learned how to easily read other people as well, which aids in her need of blackmailing.

Yeah, she’s not a pleasant person.

Her part in the book takes a much bigger as well as darker turn than in the novella. She plays a very dominant role in the plot, and though she’s malicious, her character intrigues me for some reason. She’s a fiery one, and attempting to keep a hold on her is going to be interesting.


As the middle child, thinking she’s inferior to her older sister Anya and out charmed by her younger sister Rose, Marigold feels cheated in life. I think the best word to describe her is “sulky”. Sulky over being the middle child of the three girls, sulky that everyone ignores her, sulky for never being chosen for anything important. These thoughts formed a very bratty attitude. She's an extremely needy girl, doing everything in her power to gain attention, whether that's getting into trouble or being as cute as possible, she'll do it all. It doesn’t take much to get her to do something just from her deep desire to be needed, and as a result, she’s easily manipulated.

Her downfall is her deep admiration of Anya. Anya’s regal demeanor awed her as a young girl, and ever since, she’s followed her older sister around like a puppy. She loves to laugh and have fun, but attempts to suppress these desires since Anya thinks they’re childish. Like Rose, she talks a lot, even if half the time no one is ever really listening.

In the novella this poor girl literally only had one line, so I never really knew who she was. During plotting the novel, I deeply explored her character and, despite her totally bratty-ness, for some reason absolutely fell in love with her. Sure, she’s stubborn, annoying, and selfish, but she doesn’t hold that maliciousness of Anya. She’s merely a naïve girl who wants to be acknowledged from time to time. She’s getting multiple points-of-view scenes in the novel, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about her larger role.


And that’s my cast. Together these people are going to learn a lot about what the cost of betrayal and sacrifice really is. I can’t wait to take the journey with them.

*folds pictures and stuffs them back in wallet* Grandma’s finished. You may resume your life now.

Ha! Just kidding. I’m going to hold you ransom for a moment longer, because now it’s your turn. I want to know about one of YOUR characters in your current writing project. Who’s your favorite of your cast? What’s he/she like? I never, ever get tired of discussing characters, so spill!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

“For who could ever learn to love a Beast?”

Burning Thorns Collage

Ever since I knew what fairytales were I’ve been in love with them. Fairies and mermaids and knights and princesses and castles and magical forests filled my fantasy loving heart before I had even grasped the concept of fantasy, long before Tolkien entered my world, or I stepped through that wardrobe into Narnia. Fairytales awoke the whimsy inside of me and introduced me to the enchanting worlds I know and love today. By the time I really got serious about writing, medieval fantasy had taken its grip on me. But here, some 13 years into my writing journey later, it’s finally time to explore my roots. To write of the things that first led me to my love of the otherworldly and whimsical.

Out of the countless fairytales known to the world today, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite. That picture of love transforming the hideous into something beautiful to me portrays Jesus dying on the Cross for us. Were we not ugly with sin before His love washed us clean? As G.K. Chesterton said: “There is the great lesson of 'Beauty and the Beast,' that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” Just as Beauty’s love transformed the Beast, so did Christ make us anew. It’s a beautiful story, a story I’ve wanted to tell for many, many years.

A few days ago I finished my outline for Burning Thorns, and I’m officially ready to turn what was once a simple Beauty and the Beast novella into a full length novel. This isn’t going to be a fluffy Disney princess story though. I adore those Disney movies, but for me they aren’t real fairytales. If you read the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, you’ll find the original fairytales are far darker than Disney ever portrays, often very creepy, perhaps a little too creepy. But maybe that’s the point. I believe fairytales are meant to prepare us for life. Life is a dark and dangerous place, is it not? Yet there is always hope to be had. And that’s what fairytales are about. They reveal people from all sorts of different backgrounds, struggling, learning right from wrong, experiencing love and loss. Fairytales are dark stories all weaved into life lessons. Eerily beautiful. And that’s what I want Burning Thorns to be.

Mine is a tale about darkness vs. light, about loss and pain and betrayal. About things beautiful and things terrible. Of sacrifice. Because love is about sacrifice, just as Jesus shed His blood for us, and life is a dark but beautiful place. After all, the stars shine brightest during the night.

These are the things fairytales have taught me, and these are the things I want to write about as well.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be more intelligent,
read them more fairy tales.
-Albert Einstein

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