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. 馃槢 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聽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,聽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!

 

Author Interview with Kellyn Roth // Blog Tour

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kellyn Roth,聽who is launching the new covers of her novels The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective. She’s a great author and a lot of fun to interview!

聽First, a bit about her.

 

Kellyn Roth was born and raised in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon. Ever since she could talk, she’s had a fascination with words, always coming up with songs, poems, and stories. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time penning historical novels, several of which have been published.

WebsiteBlog 路聽Newsletter FacebookAmazon Goodreads

 

聽Let’s jump into the interview!

 

Welcome, Kellyn! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Kellyn Roth (obviously) –聽author, blogger, highschool student, country girl, princess, and lover of border collies, horses, books, and especially chocolate. I write historical fiction with dashes of Christianity. My favorite color is pink … like, soft pink, though. I also like red. And blue. And emerald green. *nods*

How long have you been writing? Did you want to be published from the start?

I started (officially) writing when I was about seven. I didn’t really think about publishing until I was eleven. So … I’ve been writing seriously for four (almost five) years, while I’ve been writing less seriously for eight or nine years.

Was there anything in particular that inspired The Dressmaker鈥檚 Secret?

Not really. To be honest, I came up for the idea when I decided to write a “little” story based on the backstory of one of my characters from a book I never finished writing but still made a lot of plans for.

Confused? If not, your comprehension abilities are amazing!

Who is your favorite character you鈥檝e ever written?

My favorite character has actually yet to appear in a published novel. Though her grandmother has (and no, you won’t be informed who that is).

Her name is Ruby Farjon. She was born August 15th, 1925, and she was based after me, though, to be honest, very little of me actually shows up in her. She’s sort of a fantasy of what I’d be like if I was boy-crazy (I hardly think about boys) and extraverted (*hides in a hole*). But she is very fun to write, just because she is spunky聽and sweet. Also, she has this trait where she is serious when she really needs to be that I like. Although, honestly, her ‘needs to be’ are few and far in between. 馃槈 She’s really not an amazing character … I don’t know why I like her so much!

Where do you go for writing help?

I have a couple writing groups who I can ask questions of, but generally I turn to Google first. Then my fallback is www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com. K.M. Weiland’s writing help blog is extremely useful, and it usually has what I’m looking for.

Do you eat/drink anything while writing?

Not usually. However, if I do, I usually get a glass of icewater. Not because I want to be healthy, but because I never drink water and therefore am always thirsty. 馃槈 But if I had a choice in the matter, I’d be eating all kinds of candy and chocolate and such while I write! (Yes, I am probably going to kill myself with unhealthiness … although I suppose I’m only dreaming about being unhealthy right now …)

What will you be working on next? Will you continue writing?

My next project is a historical fiction novel set during the 1850s, Once a Stratton. It’s about the Abolition, the Underground Railroad, etc. I’m perhaps 50% through it, and I hope to write the rest in July along with a novella called Interpreting Callie James, which is a sweet romance set in 1910. At some point this summer, I’m also going to begin my edits for The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3: At Her Fingertips.

Any final thoughts?

Thanks for interviewing me, Zane! It was wonderful to answer your questions and have you participate in my blog tour. <3

 

So. There will be a giveaway for Kellyn’s books right here, and here’s the rest of the blog tour schedule so you can come along for the ride! Make sure you check it out!

Tuesday the 20th

-Lana @ The Music of Words (book and character spotlight)

Wednesday the 21st

-Faith Blum @ Bookish Orchestrations (author interview)

-Josie @ Josie on the Go (reviews of TDS and IvIn)

Thursday the 22nd

-Tonya @ Literary Musings (reviews of TDS and IvIn)

-Leona @ Great Books for God鈥檚 Girls (review of IvIn, author interview)

Friday the 23rd

-Jordy @ Jordy Leigh (author interview)

Saturday the 24th

-May Everly @ Forever and Everly (author interview)

-Zane Jones @ Simple Impossibilities (author interview)

Sunday the 25th

-Dani Eide @ Perspective of a Writer (character interview and spotlight)

Monday the 26th

-Brianna Henderson @ Orthodoxy, Hobbits, and Tea (review of TDS and IvIn)

-Anika Joy @ This Journey Called Life (review of TDS and IvIn)

-Maddy @ Girls Living for God鈥檚 Glory (book spotlight)

Tuesday the 27th

-Heather @ Frozen Books Blog (guest post)

-J.C. Buchanan @ Beyond the Amethyst (review of TDS and IvIn)

Wednesday the 28th

-Jesseca Wheaton @ Whimsical Writings for His Glory (author interview, book spotlight)

-Jaylee Morgan @ Jaylee Morgan Writes (character interview and guest post)

Thursday the 29th

-Zielle @ My Homeschool Notebook (review of TDS and IvIn)

-Sarah Briel @ Penumbra Reviews (review of TDS and IvIn, author interview)

-Sel H. @ Hearth (author interview)

Friday the 30th

-Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger (author interview)

-Lainey @ Direct My Paths (reviews of TDS, character interview and spotlight)

-Dawn Dagger @ Dawn Dagger鈥檚 Official Blog (review of TDS, author interview)

 

Thanks for reading!

-Zane

 

 

I’m Doing Camp Nanowrimo

I wasn’t planning on doing Camp聽Nanowrimo. (If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically where you set a word count goal for yourself and try to meet it in one month. Mostly. Yup.)

But then I heard about聽the Five Poisoned聽Apples writing contest聽and since fairy tale retellings are like one of my favorite things ever,聽I聽came up with a brilliant* idea. So, I’ll be writing my first draft during Camp and hopefully editing the whole mess before December…聽O_o *cue nervous laughter*

*Brilliancy is in the eye of the beholder. The Association of Brilliant Authors (ABA) has not approved this statement.

So, Jonathan at Fishing for Ideas had this idea to do a Camp Nano Countdown linkup, where a聽Nano-related question is asked every week. The point of it is, in Jonathan’s words:

To make sure all of us are ready/prepared/not freaking out and to try and get us motivated to write aaalll the words during July.

It’s kinda too late for not freaking out, because I already am…聽 Anyway, there will be a question each week for the rest of June, and this is the first one.

What will you be writing?

*cackles nervously*

I’ll be working on a Snow White retelling for the Five Poisoned Apples contest. I have a pretty decent idea, and hopefully it’s actually as original as I think. I don’t have a blurb or synopsis yet, since I’m not quite ready to talk about it, but hopefully I will sometime… eventually… maybe… *hides*

Honestly, I have never really focused on word count that much, so I was kind of worried about what to set my word count at. I ended up doing 10,000, since the Five Poisoned Apples contest says in between 5,000 and 20,000.

For now, though, it’s pretty much top-secret. And by top secret I mean no one has even heard my idea. So… pretty secret.

Are you doing Camp Nanowrimo? What will you be聽writing?

 

 

 

 

beautiful people // june edition

I’m participating in the Beautiful People linkup again, and you can check it out here. In a nutshell, it’s where two bloggers (Cait from Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In) ask interview questions to help you get to know your characters better.

It was monstrous fun last time (book reference!!), so I had to do it again, of course. I’ll be answering the questions聽with my character聽Ryker Kane from my current WIP Project Supernova.

Ryker is fourteen years old, goes聽a high school that I haven鈥檛 named yet, and has a mostly normal life. He鈥檚 an average size, with dark brown hair, probably blue eyes, and pale聽skin.聽The features that stand out the most are the scars on his left cheek from the surgery after a car accident. He聽lives with his older brother Luke and has a fear of riding in cars. You can read my previous Beautiful People post with him here.

Since I’m tired of rambling and I’m dreadful at introductions, let’s get on to the questions! I’ll be doing this in more of an interview format like last time, but today I’ll be interjecting in italics.

1. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

I don’t do travel. If I can’t walk, I don’t go.聽My favorite place is home.

His parents died in a car accident. Cough, cough. Poor baby.

Stop pitying me. *scowls*

Sorry.

I did go to Niagara Falls once, though, when I was maybe six or seven, with my family. It was fun.

2. What’s one mistake you made that you learned from?

The biggest mistake I ever made was caring too much.

You gonna expand on that?

No. And you’d better not try.

3. What is your favorite subject in school? Or favorite thing to learn about?

Ehhh, social studies are okay, I guess. I like it when we get to read whatever we want.

Comic books, right?

Stop.

You’re pretty good at drawing cartoons.

Whatever you say, Miss Almighty Creator, ma’am. I guess you get to decide, don’t you? *scowls some more*

I have a name, you know.

4. What’s your favorite flower/growing thing?

I’ve never really thought about it, honestly.

Yes, he has. He won’t ever say it, but he likes watching butterflies and insects. So basically anything butterflies are attracted to.

WILL YOU STOP?

No.

5. Have you ever made someone cry? What happened?

Not answering that! I am not answering that, and you aren’t either, Zane!

Ha ha, you do know my name! And sorry, yes I am. He made a girl he聽barely knew cry. And it had disastrous consequences on all sides. I’m not going into details because #spoilers.

6. Would you consider yourself a reliable or unreliable narrator?

Reliable. I’m no liar.

Unreliable. You’re biased like everyone else, Ryker.

7. What do you dream about at night?

Who comes up with these questions?

He dreams about-

DON’T. Fine. I have nightmares. A lot. About.. stuff.

About the car accident.

I said don’t!

8. You’ve gone out for a “special meal”. What would you eat?

Homemade pineapple and ham pizza. And my mom’s dark chocolate聽brownies.

No comment.

9. What’s at least one thing you want to do before you die?

I… I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it. Why am I doing this interview anyway? There’s something for you to think about.

You’re doing it because I say so.

You’re not my mother.

Ah ha… I kind of am. Anyway, he’d like to see his comics published and make it through college, maybe settle down with a family.

I don’t like you.

Yes, you do. You just don’t know it yet.

10. Do you have any distinguishing or unique talents?

No, not really.

You should see the comics he draws. He’s an amazing artist, but he would never tell a soul.

STOP IT. STOP.

Okay, okay! The interview’s over, anyway. You don’t have to talk any more.

Thank goodness. I don’t know why I even agreed to this. Stupid, Ryker, stupid…

C’mon, don’t beat yourself up. It was fun.

If your definition of fun is “probing into other people’s past business that doesn’t concern you”, then sure! It was “fun”. Now this is my definition of fun. *charges Zane with a pillow from the couch and begins smacking her*

Help! Hellllpppp…. *grabs pillow and starts smacking back*

*scene fades*

 

That was really fun! I love doing these interviews, even if my characters find it torture. Hope y’all enjoyed it! As usual, feel free to comment below. 馃檪

Beautiful People // Parental Edition

^This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with the post ^

This is a link-up/meme/thing hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. I rephrased the questions so it was more of an interview format (I hope that’s okay?), but you can see the original questions here.

I’ll be doing it with two of my characters from my WIP Project Supernova.聽The main characters are:

Ryker Kane. He’s fourteen years old, goes聽a high school that I haven’t named yet, and has a mostly normal life. He’s an average size, with dark brown hair, probably blue eyes, and pale聽skin.聽The features that stand out the most are the scars on his left cheek from the surgery after a car accident. He聽lives with his older brother Luke and has a fear of riding in cars.

Katie Bird. She’s fourteen and goes to the same school as Ryker. She’s smallish for her age, has long, golden-brown hair, brown eyes, and a prosthetic leg. Even though she’s聽very extroverted and聽loves people, she’s somewhat shunned by her classmates because of her leg and her standoffishness. She has a secret that I can’t tell you and lives with her foster parents Dirk and Chryse.

  1. Overall, how good is your relationship with聽your parents?

Ryker.

They were killed in a car accident when I was eight. They were the best. *looks away*

Katie.

My parents have fostered me for聽over two years聽now. They’re everything I’ve ever wanted, and they’re trying to adopt me.

2. Do聽you know both your biological parents? If not, how do聽you cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected聽your life?

Ryker.

Wow, nosy. I guess I have to answer it, so… after my parents…聽died… in the car accident, I just kept going. I buried myself in schoolwork. My brother, Luke, took me in. He was barely eighteen and I figure it was pretty hard on him, but I didn’t notice. I was eight, and he always tried to look on the bright side, for me, I guess.

Katie.

I never met my dad. My mom kept me until I was five or six years old, and then she got arrested. I was put in foster care and was shuffled around through different homes until I was about twelve years old, and that’s when I met聽Chryse and Dirk.

3. How did your parents meet?

Ryker.

They met in college, dated for a few years, and got married.

Katie.

Are we talking biological or聽foster here? If we’re talking about biological, I don’t know, and honestly don’t want to. My foster parents聽grew up together and fell in love when they were teenagers.

4. How did you feel if you were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

Ryker.

My parents were good people. *scowls fiercely and refuses to elaborate*

Katie.

I didn’t know my biological dad, but it wouldn’t be a compliment if someone compared me to my mom.

5. What were your parents doing when they were your age?

Ryker.

Going to school?

Katie.

I don’t know and I don’t want to.

6. Is there something you adamantly disagree on?

Ryker.

We never disagreed, that I remember.

Katie.

*huffs* I haven’t seen her since I was five or six.

7. What did your parents find hardest about raising you?

Ryker.

Ummm… weird question. I was a pretty quiet kid. I never really caused any trouble.

Katie.

Ha ha! My biological mom never “raised” me. She was mostly… not there. I was kind of troublesome the first few years I was in foster care, so my foster parents probably didn’t find me easy to raise.

8. What’s your most vivid memory with your parental figure(s)?

Ryker.

Honestly the most vivid would have to be the car wreck. Everything before that is kind of a blur now. I do remember, when I was about four and Luke was fourteen, us all gathered around Dad, listening to him read The Horse and His Boy aloud.

Katie.

Something that she did a lot was leave me in a library and tell me to sit quietly and look at the books until she got back. I didn’t know how to read, so I just looked at the pictures. She always came back, until one day she didn’t. I sat and looked until it was time for the library to close. The librarians called the police and they couldn’t find my mom. I was put in a foster home after that.

9. What were you like as a baby/toddler?

Ryker.

Mom and Dad told me I was a good baby, that I was quiet and kept to myself. I was the same as a toddler, I guess.

Katie.

I don’t know, but probably trouble.

10. Why and how did your parents choose your name?

聽Ryker.

My full name is Ryker Theodore Kane. Ryker was the one name my mom and dad could agree on, because it’s popular but not too popular. Theodore is because of my dad. His personal hero聽was Teddy Roosevelt.

Katie.

My full name is Katherine Aline Bird, but I go by Katie. Katherine was a family name, I think. My birth mom probably just thought Aline sounded romantic.

Well, that was fun! Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please comment below : )

April // Recap

 

Life…

Various things that happened this month, not in any order because I am a scatterbrained person:

softball, softball, softball! (for my brother, not me ;D although I am Team Mom)

kept our friends’聽cute kittens聽馃檪

I turned fifteen. Yikes…

got baby chicks!!! They are the most adorable things. We got six total and their names are Sally, Hazel Rose, Priscilla, Trixie, and Attila the Hen. In case you’re wondering about the sixth, her name was Hazel (the first) and she died on us unexpectedly. 馃檨

Sally (above) and Hazel Rose (below)

finished school!!!! Mostly, at least… we have a bit of catchup to do.

had a piano recital. I was terrified. But at least I did all right,聽I think聽馃槈 Here are a few photos taken beforehand.

helped our grandparents move. I took this weird picture in a mirror that was propped up against my dad’s truck. It looks like a portal to Narnia or something.

Easter was lovely. Made Resurrection cookies with my family and also two rabbit cakes. They were delicious.

When my grandparents were moving, they gave us a box of jewelry. Hope put on a bunch of gold necklaces and said she was Mr. T/B.A. Baracus! 馃榾

probably lots of other things happened that I’m forgetting. But I can’t write them down because I forgot.

Reading…

 

Wow-ee, I managed to read 21 books this month. Most of them were: A. books that needed to be returned to the library, B. books to be read for little sister, C. both.

Favorites:

The Lunar Chronicles, of course! ALL OF THEM! They were just so good and I need the fourth one immediately. By far my favorites.

I am happy and proud to say that today I finished my very last library book. (Probably?) We won’t be going for a while, because last time we had massive overdue fees. Whoops.

Writing…

Congratulations to everyone who won Camp NaNo!!!

I had an irresistible plot bunny back at the end of March. I usually don’t have a problem taking a short break from my WIP if it’s just a short story, and that’s what this little rabbit聽said聽it was.

LIAR.

I said last month I was almost done. Well… I’m not. My so-called “short story” morphed into a monstrous beast. It’s going to be a middle grade/young adult novel. Somewhere in there.聽I’m hoping to be done by the end of this month (ish). Its code name is Supernova. And that’s pretty much all I can say about it.

I just love these characters so much, y’all.

Listening…

I’ve practically had these songs on repeat while writing all month.

聽Hero, by Family of the Year. if I had to pick a soundtrack to my WIP, this would be it.

I See Fire, by Ed Sheeran. This has practically nothing to do with my story but it gave me this really good feeling anyway? Oh well. My brain is not to be comprehended.

Anything by Lauren Daigle. She has such a聽great voice…

Anything by the Piano Guys. I just love their renditions of songs! So cool.

Blogging…

This month I:

said goodbye to march

ranted about what I thought about Emma Woodhouse聽in Dr. Suess form

posted some opening lines of my stories through the years

told my writing story

wrote some book reviews here and here

and totally missed my deadline on Saturday, but who’s counting?

 

Elsewhere:

Olivia at Important Nothings聽did the Blogger Book Tag!

Go Teen Writers had a great post about when you have “no time to write”.

Jonathan at聽Fishing for Ideas wrote a fantastic post about merging fiction with faith.

Hannah Heath posted some thought-provoking ideas about mentor characters.

Abbiee聽wrote an extremely relatable post about ridiculous things we ponder as writers.

Kate at Once Upon an Ordinary had some great tips on beta-reading.

Loving…

These hairsticks. I have thick, heavy聽hair that comes a bit past my hips, and hairsticks are my favorite way to put it up. I have other hairsticks but these are my favorites right now. They’re smooth and comfortable, sliding easily聽into my hair.聽Not to mention the聽fact that they’re pretty. 馃槈聽I’m thinking about buying another set – maybe these or these.

Eos lip balm. I didn’t think I’d like the round shape, but I love it! It’s super moisturizing and I use it all the time. I got the sweet mint scent.

This Month…

I’m planning to:

work on Project Supernova (I’m not setting a word count goal because I don’t really keep track of my word count anyway). I’m not sure I’ll finish but it sure would be nice if I did.

do #walk30days! I was inspired by Nadine Brandes to do this challenge. The rules are: take a walk every day. Take a picture every day. Post the picture every day. I walked this morning with Gracie-dog and it was pretty fun. 馃檪

write more blog posts, since we’re on summer break. I have an idea for a summer bucket list and that’ll probably be coming soon.

play the piano more for fun.

lots of other things that I had thought of and now I’ve forgotten. *smacks forehead…*

 

How was your April? Did you do Camp NaNo? How was Easter? I’d love to hear about your month in the comments!

 

My Writing Story

I started writing seriously when I was ten or eleven. By seriously, I mean: I had a binder. And I wrote in it. How much more serious can you get?

I had written a few stapled-together booklets (that were very heavily drawn from whatever book I was interested in) and illustrated them, but the urge to write – really write – struck at around age eleven.

I think my writing interest had been sparked by聽a skinny American Girl book called Writing Smarts聽that appeared from I-don’t-know-where. (It’s out of print. I don’t really recommend it…聽If you want a good writing book for children,聽try this one.)

I especially loved the mini character interview.

And it’s funny. Even then, I wasn’t as interested in reports and poetry. The sections of the book I kept coming back to were always about creative story writing.

Anyhow… In about 2013 I聽started writing in a large, pink patterned notebook/binder/thing. I scribbled my ideas practically anywhere, but that was where I tried to keep everything.

Then the idea for a time-traveling story hit (don’t even ask), and of course I had to have a binder for it. Complete with title. And hand-illustrated cover. And copyright (mostly warning my brother to stay away from my idea). I was obsessed.

I wrote maybe two or three chapters in it and showed them to a friend. Can you believe that me, the super secretive writer, willingly showed a friend her writing? Ha ha, me neither. That’s funny, Zane!

I didn’t keep on with it for very long, because…

I discovered something amazing.

I discovered that I could write on my computer. And it would look like a real book! (Minus the, you know, paragraph breaks.)

That was when I wrote my first story on my computer, in 2014.聽It was called “Florence” and I worked on it until it was a whopping 1,757 words long. It was heavily inspired by the current fantasy I was obsessed with: The Castle Corona. (Which, strangely, I don’t love anymore…)

I had a pen name. It was so cool. And don’t even get me started on how excited I was over the fonts.

I was in loooove.

And more stories followed, of course. Many, many more. I progressed as a writer. For example, I made the ground-breaking discovery that there are paragraph breaks between lines of dialogue.

I began outlining and researching聽my stories, if vaguely. By early 2015, I had started at least 37 stories (on my computer) and finished 14.

(I know this because in early 2015 I took a convenient inventory of my stories, marking them complete and incomplete. I’m too lazy to go count all of them now. Therefore, you will not be getting the numbers up through 2016 and this year.)

Sadly, I did show some of those to people. (Namely family and close friends, but still.) Dear, dear, some of them (who am I kidding, ALL of them) are a bit… cringe-worthy?

Let’s just say I didn’t know what editing was.

But… I kept writing. I kept growing. I kept improving, and I can clearly see that through the tangled mess of my abandoned stories my growth. Luckily, it was just a聽part of me growing as a writer. I had to go through all that to get where I am today.

My writing still needs improvement and I’m far from done growing (I hope).聽I’ll keep writing. Keep pushing on.

And keep sleeping. No one likes a cranky writer. 馃槈

 

What are some books that have influenced you in your writing? What’s your writing story?聽聽And does anyone else find it hard to write a blog post when siblings are singing the Mexican Hat Dance in the background? (Yes, this really happened while I was trying to write. Oh well…)

 

 

 

 

 

Beginnings

I’ve decided to do a post of first lines from my numerous stories/story beginnings/story stuff. A few warnings before we start…

  • When I first began writing, I had a “thing” for fairy tale endings, beginnings, and everything in between. “Once upon a time”, “they lived happily ever after”, etc. Later, I had an obsession with high fantasy (C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, etc.) and heavy accents that I knew nothing about (mostly influenced by聽Redwall books).
  • Also, I was heavily under the influence of a… um… a writing program that was… less than desirable? And it told me to use lots of modifiers! Lots and lots and lots! And never use the word said! So I didn’t. And my writing suffered.
  • Of course the fact that I was a beginning writer should not be forgotten. But I still shan’t put any of the really bad beginnings.
  • Oh. And I forgot to mention. I didn’t know what “editing” was until circa 2016.聽So prepare yourself.
  • Most of them technically don’t have names. When that happens, I just use the main character’s name as the document title, so that’s basically what I’ll do here.

These beginnings were written from 2014-2017.

 

聽“Once upon a time, there was a small, white cottage by a waterfall, and in it, there lived a girl named Raziela and her large dog, Jock.”

Raziela’s Story, finished, 2014

 

聽“Once there was a raindrop. Her name was Rae. She slipped down a window, unaware that she was spoiling some child’s picnic. She slid on, not knowing that two little boys were watching her.”

Raindrop Rae, finished, 2014

 

“It’s not very pleasant knowing that your grandfather was a deserter from the army.”

Dragon Tales, finished, 2014

 

聽“It was midday. As a hammer clanged in the forge, Eliot of Darsville pulled up a bucket of water from the well.”

The Seven Simons, finished, 2015 (this is actually the second version of this story I wrote.)

 

聽“My story begins, I suppose, on the day I was born, but since I don’t remember that, I’ll start with my accidental (and unfortunate, I might add) meeting with Prince Wilmet.”

Elwyn and Harlan, finished, 2015, second version (again)

 

聽“Calix stumbled over a stone in the rough road.

“Come back ‘ere, you young scoundrel!” A voice echoed through the streets.

聽Calix ducked into an alley and watched his pursuers run by. Safe, he thought.”

Calix, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“As Ardyth Forsyth raced down the road to Bushra, her skirt whipping around her legs and her braids catching in the wind, she bumped into a man and knocked him over. He was a strange man, his eyes wide, his hair mussed, his clothing disheveled.

聽‘Turn around, little missy,’ he said fearfully. ‘Believe me, you don’t want to go to Bushra, not right now.’

聽‘Why not?” Ardyth asked. ‘I’m on my way to see my aunt.’

聽‘She’s very likely dead,’ said the man, ‘if she lived in Bushra.'”

Ardyth, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“Bowan didn’t do anything. To be in jail, I mean. He was just a gawky, ungainly boy, too small for his fifteen years and scrawny as a rabbit in midwinter.”

Bowan and Eliana, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“Evian O’Raleigh was running away again. He ducked under a low-hanging branch and leaned against a tree, catching his breath.”

Evian, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“Fifteen-year-old Colin Timblin sat underneath the old oak tree whittling and thinking about the rumors around his village. The popular one was that the kingdom was being invaded by cats. He didn’t really care who ruled; to a farm boy, one king was as bad as the other. He and his mother would still live in poverty anyway, so what was the difference?”

Colin, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“Skye Ransom envisioned herself hurling a knife and it hitting dead center every time. This was her favorite fantasy, the one she most often hid in during the long, boring classes.”

Taratung, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“Sixteen-year-old Jorel Slyte woke up to the sound of gunshots and a pounding on the door.”

Jorel Slyte, unfinished, 2015

 

聽“The young girl looked around at her miserable surroundings, and clutched the tiny baby close to her chest. It was Christmas Eve, and nine-year-old Mary Fairfax had no place to spend the night.”

The Perfect Christmas, finished, 2015

 

聽“Rosie slipped away from the small crowd of people wearing their Sunday best. She didn鈥檛 want to talk to them. She wouldn鈥檛 talk to them. Their intentions were surely kind and good, but she wanted to cry, and she didn鈥檛 want anyone to see her doing it.”

Unnamed pioneer story, unfinished, 2016

 

聽“I slipped into an alley, clutching my satchel. As I knew all too well, the city of Ezei was infested with thieves, beggars, and pickpockets.”

Elle, finished, 2016

 

聽“My old violin sang the last notes of “Ave Maria”. I let the sound linger, then put down my bow. It needed an accompaniment, and the notes were twangy, but other than those tiny details, I thought my father’s violin sounded beautiful.”

Imaginary, unfinished, 2016

 

Oswell’s heart sank as he got the report card. The F’s stood out like sore thumbs. In a few of his worst subjects, like Maiden-Scaring and Fire-Breathing, he had F minuses.”

Oswell, finished, 2017

 

聽“I stood on the edge of the mountain, hopeless. The smoldering, water-drenched ruins of my once village hurt every particle of my pathetic being.”

Hanna’s Hope, finished, 2017 (coming soon!)

 

“It was my fault entirely, so that’s what I told the police.”

Ryker, unfinished, 2017

 

聽Did y’all like them? Which was your favorite? Do you think I’ve progressed in my writing? Tell me in the comments!

And yes… I’m a day late.聽 On the first week I had a scheduled “publishing date” too. Tsk, tsk. Sorry ’bout that.

What I Think Of Emma Woodhouse

A poem in the style of Doctor Suess // Expressing my righteous indignation at Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen’s Emma

 

I do not like her in a book

I do not like her in a nook

I do not like her personality

She would not win Miss Congeniality.

 

I do not like her here and there

I do not like her in her lair

If people heard the things she said

Behind their backs, they’d flush red.

 

Perhaps I’d like聽her with some kindness

Her biggest fault might be her blindness

Her prejudice could be much less

She’s worse than Miss Elizabeth*.

 

I do not like her matchmaking

It leaves my miserable head aching

From the times I’ve banged it against the wall

I do not like her, she makes me bawl.

 

Perhaps later in the story

She’ll fall in a different category

But until time can tell,

I do not like her. All is well.

 

*Bennet

 

I hope you were amused by my mini-poetical-rant. Seriously, am I the only person in the world who doesn’t like Emma Woodhouse? Pride and Prejudice was sooooo much better.

 

 

 

A Library Haul//What I’ve Been Reading

It totally hasn’t been over a week since I posted. You’re imagining it. Forget what you were thinking and certainly don’t scroll down to look at my previous post.

Oh, never mind.

Yes, I haven’t posted for eleven days. Sorry. Kind of.

The library might just be my favorite place… because where else would you get beauties like these (to follow)? Sarcastic reader: The bookstore, Zane.聽And I am totally not stealing an idea from Olivia. *Cough cough.

A random fact: I can literally feel my heart pounding faster when I come into a library and know I can check out as many as fifty beautiful stories. Although I usually stick with something more moderate like 15. Or 20.

And聽now it’s time for: Zane talking about the ones聽she’s read and hasn’t read and is looking forward to reading!… because I know y’all really want to read that! (Kidding… I’m kidding… But I really am going to ramble on about my books.)

First, my for-fun reads.

Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, by Lois Lowry. Ever since I read The Giver (which, by the way, was so fantastic that聽I cried), I’ve wanted to read the sequels.

Unfortunately, when I read Gathering Blue I was very disappointed. It’s not set in Jonas’s world, it’s not continuing his story (which I knew from the back of the book), and I didn’t really connect with the characters like I connected with Jonas.

I still want to read Messenger and Son, though. Because Gathering Blue ended on a unresolved note and I need to know what happens. To Jonas mainly. Because I didn’t really care about what’s her name. *Looks on Goodreads. Kira.

Also, does it bother anyone else that those covers don’t match? It totally bothers me…

I took out a few of the Whatever After series. Not the best fairy tale retelling series, and there are some things I don’t like about them, but y’all. I’m a sucker for fairy tales. Seriously.

I haven’t read any of these yet, but at least their covers match.

I got about three other for-fun books, and if I read them reviews on this blog/Goodreads will probably follow.

Then, of course I had to get some writing research(ish)聽books! Most of them are stories set in the time period I’m writing about, but then I got some serious factual ones as well. Some of the stories pictured here.

 

I’m currently reading:

Pie, by Sarah Weeks. Reading it for the second time, and honestly unimpressed. It’s quite dull. It’s one of my “research” reads, and I’m just… bored…

Emma, by Jane Austen. I’m having a hard time getting into it and every single character is annoying. Except for Mr. Knightley. I also have the ugliest cover ever. (That isn’t it.) Pride and Prejudice, people. Pride and Prejudice.

Yes, I really-and-truly am reading How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied, by Jess Keating. I only picked it up because we were in the car and I forgot to bring a book.

It has the wrong title entirely. It should be called: Middle School Drama, Family Drama, Mean Kids, and Many Other Problems. And – it’s written for twelve year olds. Sad. I’m glad I didn’t go to public middle school. The only reason I’m not giving up on it is so I can give it a critical review. Yes, I am a very mean person.

聽Is Emma boring to other people or is it just me? Do you have any thoughts on these books?

Hope everyone has a great week!

-Zane