The Interrogation Tag

Hello everyone! Recently, Olivia at Important Nothings and I came up with questions to ask Emma at Real and Official Matters. She turned it into a tag, which is why I’m doing it now! Thanks for the tag, Olivia!

Get to Know Me

What are 3-5 little-known facts about yourself?
  • Even though I love people and sometimes seem outgoing, I don’t like crowds or talking to more than a couple of people at once.
  • I have broken every bone in my left arm and my right femur. Also, I’m pretty sure I broke my toe (right foot, next to my pinky toe), because it doesn’t bend anymore. Lovely, right?
  • I read more middle grade fiction than YA and adult fiction. That probably explains why I don’t feel/act like I’m fifteen (sometimes I act older, mostly I act younger), like reading picture books, and am still hoping to get mutant powers and join the X-Men. (What? Okay, fine, I’m kidding… but you have to admit, it would be kind of amazing.)
  • I love listening to the Beach Boys and Elvis. Also a lot of random music from the 1950s and 60s. I’m actually listening to an Elvis song right now.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

I’d have to say either England or Germany, but there are so many places I think would be fascinating to visit. Those are just the first two off the top of my head.

What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

Well, obviously I love pretty much anything with chocolate. Even though I do have a sweet tooth, I also really like savory foods. Pretty much anything my mom makes is awesome.

I just really like food in general. And eating it.

Foods I don’t like…

  • Cabbage. Gross.
  • Plain milk as a drink. Also coffee and coke.
  • Sauerkraut. Bleh.
What are some of your hobbies?

Writing has gone a step beyond a hobby for me, so… I guess that doesn’t count. Some of my other hobbies are blogging, reading, bullet journaling (and regular journaling), playing piano, and occasionally crocheting, although I don’t do that as much as I used to. One of my favorite things to do with a group of people is English Country Dancing.

Tea or coffee?

Ugh, neither. Coffee is absolutely disgusting, and tea is mediocre. Mint tea is okay. I’ve honestly never really loved any drink except water.

Bookish Questions

Do you like movies or books better?

Books, certainly, but I enjoy movies too. (And since this is my blog and I can, I’ll just go ahead and dump a movie recommendation on you. If you haven’t watched Beyond the Mask, go watch it. Now. Seriously, one of the best Christian movies I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe ever. <333333)

There was one book/movie set where I liked the movie a lot better, but that’s a ramble for another day.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I’ll read most genres, but my favorites have always been historical fiction and speculative fiction. I’ve been reading more contemporary lately, though.

What are some of your favorite books?

Stop. STOP. Noooo… not this question! If you don’t like long book lists, you might want to skip this part. They’re in no order, of course, and obviously I must ramble about each one…

  • A Little Princess. Man, I loved this story the first time I read it… and the second… and the third… This may have been what sparked my soft spot for orphans and poor children. <3
  • The Giver. *sobs*
  • The Chronicles of Narnia. These books really shaped my writing. I will always love this series.
  • The Little House series. I read the first book at age four or five, and it really sparked my love of reading. These books will always have a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.
  • The Lunar Chronicles.
  • Pretty much anything by L.M. Montgomery. Her writing style is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read. Also, read her short stories. They’re amazing.
  • Pride and Prejudice. Enough said.
  • Dreamlander. The world building in this one was amazing.
  • Little Women. A classic.
  • The Princess Bride. There were some not-so-great parts in here, so I would recommend skipping the prologue and the epilogue. Ugh. But the story though.
  • The Trixie Belden series. This series just feels like nostalgic, 1950s, old-fashioned summer. <333

And that’s not even all of them. Sigh.

A fictional character (or maybe three) that you’d like to be friends with?

This is cruel and unusual punishment. ONLY three? Hahaha I don’t follow rules anyway.

Well… here they are. With some accompanying rambling.

  • Pat from Pat of Silver Bush. I don’t like change, and neither does Pat. I related to her a lot, and think we’d be good friends. 🙂 This one’s due for a reread…
  • Both Dan + Jim, from the Trixie Belden series. I just wanted to hug both of them when they were first introduced. Poor darlings. And plus, being a part of the Bobwhites? Win.
  • Rachel from Dancing Shoes. I just loved her and related to her a lot, okay? I need to reread this book. I loved it so much.
  • Shasta, from the Horse and His Boy. He had such a hard time and I just loved him so much and… yeah. (also SPOILER his name is SHASTA not COR. Shasta is so. much. nicer. and he will forever be Shasta in my mind. End of spoiler.)
  • Arietty from the Borrowers. If anyone needed a friend, it was her. Poor girl.
  • Laura Ingalls from the Little House series. Because she sort of fictionalized her life. Therefore this counts, right? Right??? Anyway, she is an absolute dear and I would have loved to have her as a friend.
  • Widge from the Shakespeare Stealer + Nat from Give Me Liberty because they are both alone in the world and one is an orphan and another is practically one and… yeah. Okay. (YES ZANE WE CAN ALL TELL YOU HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR ORPHANS AND UNFORTUNATE KIDS. YOU DON’T NEED TO GO ON ABOUT IT.)

To prove above point, six of the above nine characters are orphans. There. (And yes. Nine characters instead of three. I’m hopeless.)

Prettiest book cover that you own?

I don’t know why, but this one is really pretty and even though I didn’t love the book I might keep it anyway…

And this one I just think is cute? The entire story is actually really cute.

And I don’t own a physical copy of this book (yet!) but it’s just SO PRETTY. (It’s available for preorder here.)

Update: somehow I forgot to add these two gorgeous books. They’re recently acquired, so… I just… didn’t remember. :\

Writing Questions

What is your favorite writing snack?

Um, obviously chocolate. But I’ll just grab whatever food’s on the kitchen table and kind of mindlessly devour it while I’m puzzling through plot problems.

When did you start writing?

Technically, I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, but I never took it seriously until around age 10-12. I’ve been writing ever since.

Why do you write?

Because I CAN.

Ha.

Okay, fine, here’s the serious answer.

Writing is like breathing to me. I love it, even though sometimes it’s hard when the words just won’t write. I can’t imagine not writing.

Got it?

Good.

Moving on.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I write in a wide variety of genres. For a while I was obsessed with fantasy and it was literally the only thing I wrote (I’m not exaggerating here), but I’ve since branched out to other genres such as contemporary, historical, and different types of speculative. I still love fantasy, though. (:

I won’t be tagging anyone, but as usual, please feel free to take this tag for your blog! The questions are lots of fun to answer. You can even say I tagged you. ; )

Did you like this tag? If you could be friends with a fictional character, who would you choose? What are your favorite books? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. <33

camp nano update // week three + an announcement

Week Three of Camp Nano (and July) is over! Can y’all believe it?

It’s crazy to me that July is almost over and we’ll be starting school again. I am not completely enthusiastic about that… I mean, summer! I’m not ready for it to be over. But when I see the new school books I can’t help but be a little bit excited.

Anyhow, I’m here to bring you this week’s writing update, not to ramble on and on about summer.

Saturday, July 15: This was kind of a crazy day because we had a birthday party and I had a blog post due… which didn’t get published until Sunday because I couldn’t get a picture for the featured image and because #reasons. I ended up writing 530 words.

Sunday, July 16: 687 words written. Yet another crazy writing day because we had church for the first half of the day, and a church meeting in the evening. Of course, I also had to get my blog post published and my words written. Ahem… I absolutely was not trying to write during the church meeting…

Monday, July 17: We were at my grandmother’s house all day, and somehow I managed to get 601 words.

Tuesday, July 18: We had friends over, so we cleaned all morning. It was really fun to see Olivia again – she lives so far away! Also, my good friend Emma was over, who I see multiple times a week (usually). 😀 I managed 634 words.

Wednesday, July 19: Oh… haha. This was an interesting day. I was going to try to write 1k words, but… heh. The best laid schemes of mice and men. So, my mom and I went and helped clean someone’s house in the morning. Then, I really wanted to get a blog post up, so I wrote the whole thing and got it published – but by that time it was time to leave to see a baseball game with our youth group. So I wrote 607 words in the car. Not exactly 1k, but I’ll take it…

Thursday, July 20: I thought we had nothing to do Thursday, so since my 1k attempt on Wednesday failed, I was going to try again. (My highest word count in a day has been around 800.) Something unexpected came up, and we were gone until around two in the afternoon. Then, right after that, our friends invited us out on their boat, which was really fun. We were out until almost ten, got home around ten thirty, and then we all had to get showers. I did get 484 words in the car.

Friday, July 21: 503 words. I procrastinated all day and finally made myself write.

So, yeah. Kind of a crazy week.

The Announcement

Guys… I’ve been blogging for seven months exactly. I started out with only a few people I knew following my blog, and now I have 16 subscribers, ten of which I don’t know in real life.

That’s crazy!

Thank you all so much for commenting and following. Every time someone comments or subscribes it means a lot to me! [Translate: I have a squealing fit.]

And by the way, internet friends are totally real things. <33

Lots of love to all of you awesome people!

 

Beautiful People #26

Hello, folks! It’s time yet again for Beautiful People, and *gasps* it’s not about my characters.

It’s about me.

Hey, hey, calm down. Don’t run screaming into the sunset yet. This wasn’t my idea. It was *ahem* these people (Cait and Sky, I’m looking at you). So don’t get mad at me, okay? Okay.

Now that we’re not so furious about not being able to see into my characters’ lives (you have calmed down, right?… Right??), let’s look at the questions.

How do you decide which project to work on?

Hahaha. I don’t. An idea pops into my head and nags me until I write it down. So, my projects generally decide to work on me.

I usually work on something until 1) a new, shiny idea starts nagging me, or 2) the story thing just isn’t working. Recently, though, I’ve really been trying to focus and actually finish.

I’m currently working on a MG novel, a Snow White retelling, and a couple of pieces of flash fiction.

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Honestly, I haven’t finished that many projects. I mean, I’ve written some short stories and some flash fiction and one short MG thing (novel? novella?? It doesn’t matter, no one’s ever seeing it), but I never really kept track of how long it took to write them.

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Ehh, usually not. Sometimes I’ll listen to music. But, for the most part, I just need to make myself sit down and write.

What time of day do you write best?

Anytime after breakfast. Usually after lunch.

 

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Not really. When I first started writing, I basically copied the style of whatever series I was obsessed with at the moment. It was mostly C.S. Lewis-ish fantasy and positively dreadful fairy tales in the style of the Brothers Grimm (hahaha I tried).

Now, I can’t think of anyone I’m similar to. I mean, I’m sure there’s someone, but it’s the middle of Nano. My brain is shot. Sorry.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I can’t remember the exact reason I started writing, but I think it was probably because, from a very young age, I was immersed in stories. I loved them.

So, yeah.

The short answer is, I keep writing because I love it.

I don’t know what the long answer is.

😉

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

The Snow White retelling I’m writing right now. Just getting from one point to another is… just… *headdesk*

I don’t know if that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written, but it’s been a stinker.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I’d have to say no. I haven’t had any big, scary ideas lately, and I started tackling a pretty major project a few months back.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I didn’t… actually… make writing goals. O.o I know. I’m positively dreadful.

But my current writing goals for the year are:

Win Camp Nano and finish my Snow White project.

Enter the Rooglewood Press contest.

Work on Project Supernova.

Aaand… that’s it.

Describe your writing process in three words or a gif!

Painful.

Exhilarating.

Insane.

Are you doing Beautiful People this month? If you are, be sure to leave your link in the comments!

Can any of you relate to my writing process?

 

<3, Zane

camp nano update // week two

I’m back, with another Nano update! Sorry this was a day late, but the weekend was busy. This week was fairly good for writing, and I upped my goal (again) to 16,000 words.

My current word count is 6,786 words and according to the Nanowrimo website I’m right on track to finish by the end of July. Here’s my daily word counts.

Saturday, July 8: 571 words.

Sunday, July 9: 519 words.

Monday, July 10: 838 words!!! The most words I’ve written in one day so far! 😀

Tuesday, July 11: 540 words. Went a bit over my word count goal, but it was harder to write because it was Cow Day at Chik-Fil-A. If you don’t know what this is, it’s where you dress up like a cow and get free food – hurrah! We went for breakfast and dinner, so I did a lot of writing in the car.

Wednesday, July 12: 501 words. Barely made my word count. Went to our grandmother’s house in the morning and had a movie night with our youth group in the evening.

Thursday, July 13: 286 words. Ugh. My lowest day, partially because I was procrastinating and partially because we had a library program and then spent the evening with friends playing whiffle ball. 

Friday, July 14: 718 words. Baaarely.

Although most of the week writing was easy, these past few days I’ve been in a bit of a slump. I hit the midpoint and… it’s not pretty, let me tell you. Seriously. Nobody is seeing this first draft. *headdesk* I just can’t figure out how to get from one point to another!

And it’s way past bedtime and I still haven’t finished my daily word count. *runs off frantically*

I decided not to do a tag with this post, but hopefully there will be lots of tags and fun things for the rest of July! I may try to post twice a week, but don’t hold me to it.

I’ve been making small changes on the blog. What do you think of them? I’ve also been thinking about purchasing a theme. Do any of you WordPress users have any advice?

How is Nano going, for those of you who are doing it? And don’t you dare say “It’s going.” 😀

 

<3 <3 <3

Zane

 

 

The #VoicesOfYA Tag

Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a wonderful week. I was tagged by Lisa at Inkwell for the Voices of YA Tag (thanks Lisa!), which was created by Caitlin Lambert. You can find her original post here.

~RULES~

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Link to the original creator

  • Answer the ten questions

  • Tag at LEAST two other YA writers/bloggers

  • Share with the hashtag #VoicesofYA

Which I won’t be following all of because I am a #rebel. I’m using a hashtag… that counts, right? Right???

Anyway, here are the questions!

 

What draws you to YA?

In all honesty, I’ve only recently discovered YA. There are some things I like about middle grade (MG) a lot better, but I’ve really been enjoying YA lately since there are more characters my age and I can somewhat relate to them. I think I still prefer writing MG fiction, though. (And I’m not absolutely sure what is considered YA – I looked at a list on Goodreads and some of my childhood favorites were on there. So…)

 

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

Answer 1: I don’t like excessive outlining. Answer 2: I like having a plan. So I guess I’d call myself a mix between the two… a plantser?? ;D I usually have a pretty well-written-out idea of where I’m going with my story, but I don’t have a Very Specific Outline™ that has every single scene written out. I like some surprises.

 

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?

Well, I’ve been writing since somewhere between age ten and twelve. And as for the second question, not as far along as I’d like to be. 😉

 

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

I absolutely must have a piece of paper and/or pen. That’s pretty much it. Although I prefer writing on my Kindle and Bluetooth keyboard. And I do like some music on occasion.

Also, it helps if my brain is working properly.

 

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?

The one thing I would tell any young writer (or any writer at all, really) is READ, READ, READ, READ. Seriously! If you read a lot, you’ll have an inner sense of what works in a story and what doesn’t. It even improves your spelling. No joke.

 

What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)

Umm. Well. I usually don’t reel from plot twists because I *cough cough* usually predict them… So honestly, I can’t remember the last book that shocked me with a plot twist. Sorry!

 

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a bit of a rant about this one. I read the first four books in the series around three years ago, and stopped because I didn’t have the last book and it wouldn’t be coming out for a year and it ended in the most horrible place ever… Anyway. Suffice to say, I wasn’t happy.  Then I kind of forgot about the series and figured I’d keep an eye out for it at the library.

Finally I found a copy of the fifth book at a library. I read it. Enjoyed it. THEN I REALIZED THAT OH NO, #5 WAS NOT THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES. #6 WAS. AND #6 WOULD NOT BE OUT UNTIL THE END OF THIS YEAR. ALSO THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH PAGES FOR IT TO BE PROPERLY RESOLVED. Help.

Can we all just acknowledge what a horrible, horrible place Ms. Wood left off at??? Anyone? Anyone?

I know this is more of a MG novel, but I’m still looking forward to it. RANT OVER. Apologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one, obviously, since I recently read Ms. Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and enjoyed them very much. AND IT HAS SUPERHEROES. *dies* I want to love this one so bad.

 

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?

Cinder is a science fiction retelling of Cinderella. Dreamlander explores the concept “What if our dreams are real?” Both pretty unique! 🙂

Although I’m pretty sure Dreamlander isn’t a young adult novel, I thought it deserved to be included here anyway.

 

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I’m cruel)?

Honestly, I don’t really keep track of quotes from books. *blushes* But the one quote that has stuck with me the longest is this.

Courage, dear heart.

It’s from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, and I really love it.

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaptation?

Probably the Lunar Chronicles, although I’m sure there are dozens of others that I would love to see made into movies. Although whoever made it would probably blow it and leave out parts. Obviously there would have to be at least four movies in the series. 😛

 

And I tag… nobody, because I’m a rule-breaker. If you’re reading this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. You can even say that I tagged you. 😉

 

Did you enjoy reading this tag? What do you think about my answers? What’s your favorite quote from a fictional book?

camp nano update // week one

Hello all! Today I’m bring you an update on my Camp Nano progress. It’s been interesting so far, and I was lucky enough to be invited to a great cabin. I actually am making progress on my Snow White retelling, so that’s good.

I’m still sworn to secrecy by my ultra-secret writing organization (if I told you I’d have to lock you up) not sharing details about my retelling yet, so this may or may not be a dull post.

My writing goal for the month is currently 14,000 words, although I keep changing it. Compulsively. It’s weird. I’ll probably change it to 15,000 after I finish writing this post.

I haven’t been getting up early since I’ve been recovering from sickness, so I keep getting a late start and not writing until late afternoon or evening. 😛 That definitely is going to change.

So! Here’s a day-by-day update on my writing progress for my Snow White retelling.

~~~

Saturday, July 1

First day of Nano, therefore I was understandably excited. 330 words and a whole lot of new ideas.

Sunday, July 2

Second day! 399 words. My word count just kind of kept gradually increasing all week.

Monday, July 3

465 words. I’m pretty sure I upped my word-count-goal from 10,000 to 12,000 somewhere between Monday and Wednesday… But I can’t remember the day. Go figure.

Tuesday, July 4

I managed 531 words, even though it was the Fourth of July.

Wednesday, July 5

651 words. At this point, I haven’t even gotten to the first paragraph on my outline yet. Someone send help and chocolate.

Thursday, July 6

532 words. Upped word-count-goal to 14,000 and the Nano website is still telling me I’m going to finish early. *insert happy dance* Annnnd… no. I still haven’t gotten past the first paragraph yet. WORKING ON IT.

Friday, July 7

Finally getting some action. Wrote 451 words, barely meeting my goal. But we WERE gone a good deal of the day swimming, so I think 451 words is a perfectly reasonable amount. *nods*

~~~

Today I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write. (Except for in the car – with siblings playing ukuleles loudly and waving at random people. The answer to this is play Elvis and Beach Boys music through headphones and turn it up really loud.)

It’s eight o’ clock, I still haven’t met my word count goal, and instead of going directly to my writing when we got home I worked on this blog post. (It was mostly written, I just had to take a picture.) I’ll probably work on it as soon as I publish this post.

Well, that’s my update. I’ll (probably) be back with another update next week, maybe paired with a tag. I don’t know, I just feel like this wasn’t a very interesting post. (Also kind of [really] short.) Also, there will probably be lots of writing updates, tags, and a Beautiful People meme in the very near future. I keep seeing these awesome tags and I must do them allllll.

~~~

What did you think of this post? Was it interesting? Would you like to read a tag along with it next time? Do you even want another writing update? Tell me everrrrrythiiiiing in the comments.

Also, do you want me to stop asking questions? Tooooooo bad.

Do you like chocolate?

How about candy? Do you like candy or chocolate better?

I’ve been making graphics for my blog featured image thing. What do y’all think?
Okay, I’m stopping now. Farewell!

 

June // featuring assorted memories

June was kind of a strange month. I had a lot of plans, but some of them didn’t happen due to unforeseen illness – almost all month. And some of us still have it… So basically, we’ve hardly gone anywhere for three weeks. *sighs*

I had a bunch of spare time at home until I got sick, so I was extremely productive for two weeks or so, and then I didn’t quite feel like it. Luckily I’m feeling better now, and hopefully back to my normal, productive self. You should see my to-do-list for today. I ran out of room. 😉

Anyway, I’m not in the mood to do an ordinary recap today and they take forever to do, and Camp Nano started today, so… I’m just going to write down some of the good things that happened this month. *nods*

~ trying to learn a new English Country Dance with four girls ages ten and under and people painting our house and staring at us – yup that was fun~

~starting bullet journaling~

~more dancing with friends~

~watching about a million zillion bullet journaling videos~

~reading and writing practically nothing~

~plotting/outlining for camp nano~

~fun with the youth group (until we got sick and couldn’t do anything)~
~being pushed down the driveway in an old cart made with skate wheels~

~running outside in the middle of a rainstorm just because we could and coming in cold and soaking wet~

 

Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got. This month blogging may be a bit sporadic due to Camp Nano (!!!) (I’m panicking here!!), so please bear with me. Hopefully I’ll be posting some Nano updates throughout the month, and also I have at least one post prewritten in case of emergency. 😉 Also, I’m really hoping to just enjoy the remainder of summer while it’s still here.

 

What did you do this month? Have you ever tried English Country Dancing? How about bullet journaling? How’s your summer going?