Friday, November 30, 2012

Handing Out Awards With a Little Character "Help"

Usually I do something special for my award posts. Some little story that portrays the awards and passes them on in an entertaining way. This time I'm not doing that. I really want to get this post done, but I don't have any especially creative ideas for doing so-

"I wish that had been the case when she sent us into an orchard of possessed trees," Zoie says.

"Yes. Or perhaps when she almost killed me by nearly dropping me into a horde of soldiers," Lico agrees mildly.


Ahem. Now as I was saying, I'm jumping straight to the awards. Firstly, Ella generously gave me two awards. For them I have to share seven things about myself-

"I for one think she owes us," Zoie interrupts again.

Lico makes a faint noise of agreement.

"I would like to share seven facts about myself with the blogosphere. I think I deserve that." Zoie's hands are on her hips, her fingers drumming against her sword hilt. "Don't you think she should give us that, Lico?"

"If that's what you would like," he mutters.

"Lico! Quit looking around. There's nothing here for you to steal. Unless..." Zoie looks my way.

Fine. Just tell them your facts.

"Thank you very much, ymmis." She redoes her bun then addresses the masses.

  1. I never wear baggy clothes. They're impractical and tend to hold water when you are thrown into a river.
  2. Food is one of my most favorite things. In fact, that Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award is looking very good right now. Lico, would you please remind me to ask the drafu for a strawberry tart?
  3. Speaking of, I have a drafu seed as a pet. I've been meaning to plant it, but I haven't found the right spot yet.
  4. I have banned white flowers from being planted around the castle. I do not wish to see them when I gaze out my bedroom window.
  5. I am not merely Zoie. I am Zoie the Fourteenth. It is a name of great expectations. All the previous Zoies have been memorable in their own right.
  6. Lico and I are always together. Of course, that's because we are bonded. It's a land dryad thing.
  7. You are not impressed, I see. Well, here's something that is certain to catch your interest. When I was four years old I started a war by refusing to kiss the air before saying a certain member of the Nouran royal family's name.

You've shared your facts now, Zoie. Please let me finish my post.

"We shall see," she says.

-sigh- I'm passing each of these awards on to one person. For the Versatile Blogger Award, my critique partner Steph Sinkhorn. For the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, Angela Brown.

The next award was presented to me by Trisha. Really though it should have been the other way around as she has been a much better commenter than I have been of late. However, I am working to fix that.

"Notice how she is more focused on that than editing our story," Lico interjects. "My dialogue really should be more eloquent."


I am supposed to pass this on to other great commenters. Of course, Michael Offutt is the best. He comments on almost every single one of my posts which is why I'm giving him this award even though he has already received it. I am also giving this award to Laura W., a fellow teen writer.

"Oh! Didn't she think my story sounded interesting?" Zoie asks.

Yes, she did. Now if I may?

"Do you remember the days when she used to be happy to talk to us, Zoie?" Lico asks.

"Like it was a mere ten days ago."


Lastly, Michael Offutt gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award. To accept this award, I must:

  • Thank and link back to the person who presented me with the award.
  • Answer the ten questions below.
  • Share ten random facts/thoughts about myself.
  • Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

So, Michael, thank you kindly for this award.

Lico snorts. "Of course you're grateful. That's why it took you six months to get around to telling him."


And here are the questions:

  1. What is your favourite song? I don't have one. I have many. On YouTube I have a whole playlist of videos that I listen to while I write. It contains over a hundred songs.
  2. What is your favourite dessert? Again, don't really have one. But chocolate almond is my favorite ice cream.
  3. What ticks you off? When people interrupt me while I'm reading a good book to tell me that the book is good. Also, when people talk to me like I'm an idiot.
  4. When you're upset what do you do? It depends what I'm upset about and the degree of my upsetedness. Sometimes I squeeze something, like a pillow, sometimes I have to scream or hit something, sometimes I just have to sit somewhere until I calm myself down.
  5. Which is/was your favourite pet? Well, cats are my favorite type of pet.
  6. Which do you prefer black or white? It depends on what we're talking about. Cats? Black, definitely.
  7. What is your biggest fear? Spiders in the shower with me. ;) Actually, it's the thought of what people can do.
  8. What is your attitude mostly? I'm generally upbeat or kind of indifferent in a thoughtful sort of way.
  9. What is perfection? Something that is undefinable because everyone views it differently.
  10. What is your guilty pleasure? I don't have one. If I take pleasure it in, I don't feel guilty about watching or reading or eating or whatevering it.

"Now I know why you write," Zoie says.

And why is that?

"Your characters are quite a bit more interesting than you are."

Is that so? Then perhaps you would like to provide three more facts to give us a total of ten in this post.

"I would, but for your audience's sake, I think Lico should try."

Lico frowns. "And why would I want to share things about myself with a potentially quite large group of people?"

Because I can do it for you.

His lips move in an almost curl. "Very well."

  1. Though I can walk and live on land, I must be close to running water at all times.
  2. My previous profession and now part time hobby is the, ah, finding and trading or selling of valuable goods.
  3. Most of the profit from those valuable goods goes toward tailored suits.

I have already mentioned four worthy blogs in this post. For a total of seven, I am giving this award to Kate Coursey at Weaving Colors, Trisha at W O R D + S T U F F, and Teralyn Pilgrim at A Writer's Journey.

This concludes my award post which means I'm finally caught up. There are no more obligations tucked into my draft folder. My blog will once again be in complete order as soon as I finish updating my labels!

"Does this mean you'll have more time for us? You know you're itching to return to our book. It's part of the reason we're bothering you so much," Zoie says.

I told you, next year! (Just between me and you, I think Zoie has gotten a little uppity since she- Damn. I've said too much.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Birth of a Novel 2012 - Objection Completion #2

I was too ambitious. I worried about this before I posted my goals on Monday, but I told myself that I would be able to handle it. None of them were that big. Turns out my concerns were founded.

    Last week's goals:
  1. Reach 30k on OBJECTION. I'm at 30,024 words. I'm starting to feel a bit better about this story. The next few scenes that I need to move my plot forward have started to formulate in my mind and, even though I know I'm going to have to rewrite this novel next year, that gives me a bit more confidence in it.
  2. Plan out THE SMILE FIXER. I now know basically how my most important plot points are going to be carried out. This was my major concern and my biggest decision. I've also started narrowing in on a particular setting. However, I still have quite a few things I want to know and kinks to iron out.
  3. Read through The Chrysalis Experiment stories and pick one to rewrite for the PERFECT FLAW anthology or come up with a new idea. Didn't get to at all. Don't think I'm ever going to either. While I do want to reread my stories, I don't think the anthology entry is a good idea right now. I'd rather focus my smaller project time on the projects I have started and enjoy already. There's always literary magazines and e-zines that take submissions for any kind of fiction all or most of the time. Forcing myself to come up with an idea that falls into a very specific category is not worth it.
  4. Write a summary for THE TRUE PRINCESS. Didn't get to at all.
  5. Read CALL OF THE WILD. I've read the first two chapters and am four pages into the third. I have 43 pages left.
  6. Catch up on 30/43 blogs. I've managed to catch up on 27/43 blogs. Obviously this means I didn't complete three of my intended blogs, two of which were, again, the high maintenance blogs. However, I'm still making steady progress so I'm not too worried or upset and I only have nine posts left on one of the big blogs so I should be able to knock that one off later tonight or tomorrow.
  7. Attach labels to 2010 posts. Again, it didn't take that long. While it's a bit of a monotonous task, it was also nice to see how my blogging style has evolved since then.

I didn't do completely horrible. I worked steadily on most of my goals throughout the four days. I just bit off more than I could chew. This week, I'm making sure that doesn't happen again.

    This week's goals:
  1. Reach 35k on OBJECTION. If I'm aiming for 50k with this story, which is how it's set up since it was supposed to be finished during Camp NaNo, and I want to finish before New Year's, I have to write 625 words a day. This keeps right on track with that.
  2. Finish CALL OF THE WILD by the time I go to bed on December 1st. I can do this, especially since those couple days are during the weekend. I would have added the next story in this anthology, but I'm reading another book I would also like to finish this week.
  3. Continue planning THE SMILE FIXER. I don't want to rush planning. Things always turn out badly for me when I do. As long as I'm working on it, I'm happy.
  4. Write first draft summaries for THE TRUE PRINCESS and OBJECTION. I added OBJECTION to the goal because I have an idea for the beginning of its summary. However, I just want to finish the rough drafts of these summaries. Perfecting them is usually what takes me so long.
  5. Catch up on 34/43 blogs. The only reason it's 34/43 instead of 32/43 is because the last two blogs haven't posted in the time I've been absent from the blogosphere. So technically, it's like I already finished them. ;) This leaves me with a count of two high post blogs to finish, two regular posters, and one semi-regular.
  6. Attach labels to posts from January to March of 2011. This isn't too much, 43 posts to be exact, and stops before the mass of posts published in April.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Birth of a Novel 2012 - NaNo #3 & Objection Completion #1

Today is not a Thursday, the day I usually post for Birth of a Novel. However, I didn't post last Thursday due to Thanksgiving and my being out of town. I'm back now though and ready to update you.

I didn't do as well with my goals as I did last time, but I still got a lot accomplished and am quite proud of these victories.

    Last week's goals:
  1. Write 3k for today. I wrote 3,019 words for a total of 53,448 words.
  2. Write 1k on Friday. I wrote 1,023 words for a total of 54,471 words.
  3. Write 6k on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I wrote 4,420 words, falling 1,580 words below my goal. However, on Sunday I wrote 6,112 words so I still partially met my goal. This gave me a total of 65,003 words.
  4. Write 2k on Monday. I wrote 2,149 words for a total of 67,152 words.
  5. Write at least 4k on Tuesday, continuing if close to the end. I wrote 6,014 words for a total of 73,166 words and completed the first draft of THE TRUE PRINCESS! The NaNoWriMo site's word count validator differs slightly with a count of 73,151 words. This disagreement has never happened to me before, but I still finished my story and still beat 50k so I'm not too worried about it. Word counters aren't all the same.
  6. Make at least one vlog. Go here.
  7. Catch up on 26/43 blogs. I managed to finish 24/43, only catching up on two of the four blogs I was aiming for. Neither of the two I finished were the "post everyday" blogs I talked about. However, I have made good progress with both of the remaining two.
  8. Attach labels to posts from the past two months. This did not take as long as I expected. I finished up through September in probably twenty minutes. Just two years worth of blog posts to go. Also, I changed the widget appearance from a list to a cloud as well as retitled the widget to fit in with my sidebar's "mountain" theme.

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, it's time for me to move on to other things. My biggest concern right now is finishing my first draft of OBJECTION before New Year's. I also have a few other, smaller projects I want to work on.

    This week's goals:
  1. Reach 30k on OBJECTION. Right now, I'm at 27,334 words. This means I have to write 2,666 words in four days. I can do that. Hell, I could do that in one day. My only concern is that OBJECTION hasn't been as easy to write as most of my other projects and I might not have planned out this middle part as well as I should have, but I will not let that stop me!
  2. Plan out THE SMILE FIXER. Essentially this is a rewrite of last year's The Chrysalis Experiment Prompt #2 story. At first I was playing around with this concept for the PERFECT FLAW anthology but ended up deciding it wasn't the one. I liked my ideas though so I'm still going to write it. I usually don't plan for short stories. However, this one is going to be a little longer and more detailed than my short stories generally are.
  3. Read through The Chrysalis Experiment stories and pick one to rewrite for the PERFECT FLAW anthology or come up with a new idea. As I mentioned above, I scrapped my original idea for my submission to this anthology. So I need a new one and soon. The deadline is January 8th.
  4. Write a summary for THE TRUE PRINCESS. These are always good to have and, even if it isn't perfect, it will help me with my pitch later. Summaries also usually drive home what my novels' main focuses are. Plus, it'll add to my Projects page. I already have a first line.
  5. Read CALL OF THE WILD. If you're friends with me on Goodreads, you may know that I've been reading a book called MORE STORIES TO REMEMBER since February. It's an anthology that was published in 1958. I'm about halfway through it and I would like to finish reading it by New Year's. Right now I'm on THE CALL OF THE WILD. It has a total of 59 pages.
  6. Catch up on 30/43 blogs. This means I will have a total of six blogs to read in four days. Three of them are pretty low key and, as I already said, I have made progress on the two higher maintenance blogs. I'm pretty sure I can do it.
  7. Attach labels to 2010 posts. I published 46 posts in 2010. It shouldn't be so bad. I'm going to get started on them as soon as I get this post up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why I Read Books Even When I Know the Ending

It's happened to you before.

You're checking out a book you're thinking about reading by looking at reviews, interviews with its author, and random fangirling posts on Tumblr. Then, just when you're starting to get really excited, you read it. That remark someone made without the SPOILER ALERT before it. That single sentence that ruins the whole book for you.

Or, you're out in public reading a book, a book you're completely enraptured with, and that one jackass walks up to you, their sentence starting with something like "By the way" or "Just so you know" and ending with crushed dreams.

In high school, books get spoiled for you all the time, especially the books assigned in English class. It happens as a result of everyone reading the same book at the same time and different people being at different parts of the book.

Often times it is accidental. Someone starts discussing a part of the book with you, not knowing that you have yet to get that far.

Sometimes it is not. Some such jackass of the kind previously mentioned comes up and straight tells you the end of the book. They carry that special twinkle in their eye, anticipating your outburst of anger.

Myself, I just shrug and turn back to my book. Why? Because I really don't care.

Perhaps this is because I read so many books where I can predict the ending very early on. However, there is something else that keeps me reading, both when I am told the ending and when I guess it.

The ending is just one part of the whole gloriousness of the story.

Think about it. How many books do you absolutely love solely for their ending? Can you even name one? You probably have many reasons for loving the books you really, really love. Consider them. I'm willing to bet they're things along the lines of elements carried throughout the story or the characters themselves or a scene in the middle of the book. The ending may be tacked on that list, but it is not the only thing.

Plus, knowing the ending and experiencing it are not the same thing. It's like spark noting Harry Potter and saying it was as wonderful as actually reading it.

Still not convinced? Here's another way of putting it.

We all know our lives are going to end in death. It's inevitable. It's set. We are born. We die. But you still want to experience the stuff in the middle, right? I thought so.

How do you feel about spoilers?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birth of a Novel 2012 - NaNo #2

Today marks the beginning of my second week of Birth of a Novel in its new format. I'm happy to report that posting my goals here in a clear fashion definitely helped me achieve them. All of them!

Also, before we dive into the official progress report, I would like to thank Lizzie for letting me spend the night at her house, even if I wrote the whole time, and for making sure I did write the whole time.

    Last week's goals:
  1. Reach 26k before I go to bed on Friday. I finished Friday off with 26,036 words.
  2. Write 7k on both Saturday and Sunday. I wrote 7,044 words on Saturday and 7,110 words on Sunday for a total of 40,190 words.
  3. Write 5k on Monday. I wrote 5,027 words for a total of 45,217 words.
  4. Write 2.5k on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I wrote 2,665 on Tuesday and 2,547 words on Wednesday for a total of 50,429 words!
  5. Make at least one vlog. I actually made two! Well, more like one and a half. Go here and here.
  6. Catch up on 20/43 blogs. I managed to completely catch up on 22/43 blogs, putting me halfway there.
  7. Decide on new labels for blog. I wrote a whole post about the process of doing this yesterday.

I reached 50,000 words! However, THE TRUE PRINCESS is far from finished. As I mentioned last week, this means this week's goals will also be mostly made up of word counts. I'm thinking I probably have 20k left to write and I want to finish before I leave for my grandparents' on the 21st to celebrate Thanksgiving. As such, my goals are aimed toward that.

    This week's goals:
  1. Write 3k for today. I already have a little over 1k with four hours left until midnight. It should only take me about an hour and a half to get the rest.
  2. Write 1k on Friday. My parents are going out of town for the night and I will probably not be anywhere near my computer after I leave for school in the morning. 1k isn't much, but I'll probably be lucky to reach even that.
  3. Write 6k on both Saturday and Sunday. These are going to be the days that really decide whether or not I finish in time. This is the really essential goal.
  4. Write 2k on Monday. This is a school night. However, it's also the first day of a two day week so I might not get a lot of homework. If that's the case, I may be able to write more.
  5. Write at least 4k on Tuesday, continuing if close to the end. This is the last day before we leave, but I can stay up later because I don't have to get up as early as usual the next day.
  6. Make at least one vlog. This continues my goal to make a vlog once a week during NaNoWriMo.
  7. Catch up on 26/43 blogs. I know four blogs doesn't seem like a lot, but two of those blogs are "post every day" blogs which means I have about sixty posts to read for each. Plus, I have words to write!
  8. Attach labels to posts from the past two months. After this, I'll start from the beginning of my blog posts, but this week I don't have a lot of time for labeling and these posts are freshest in my memory thus deeming them easiest to label.

I'm not going to be posting a Birth of the Novel post next Thursday since it's Thanksgiving. However, when I return home, I will write one for the days remaining in that week and update you on my (hopeful!) success with this week's goals.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I Decided on My Labels

One of my Birth of a Novel goals this week was to decide on my new blog labels. Labels can be used by readers to more easily find the thing they are looking for so keeping them organized is important. Laura Barnes states this often in her blog critiques. From reading these critiques, I have learned that some bloggers struggle with this so I decided to write a post describing my process in the hopes that it would help. :)
  1. Labels describe what your posts are about. Take the time to consider what you blog about, starting with the broadest categories then dividing those up into smaller and smaller topics. This will be the basis for your labels.

    If you want, you can create a diagram like the one below.
  2. On your Blogger dashboard, there is an icon with an arrow next to it at the top. If you click on the arrow and go down to "Layout" you can change the features of your Labels widget by clicking "edit" in the box that represents that widget. In the edit dialog box, there is an area marked "Show." This feature allows you to decide whether or not all your labels should be displayed on your Label widget and, if not all, which ones.

    Decide which of your prospective labels is important enough to be displayed and which ones, while you will still use them and have them show up on your posts, are not. Note that you do not have to use every subject matter you wrote down if you decide against it.

    If you are using the diagram, I suggest using different colored highlighters to help you with this.
  3. Once you have done step two, make sure all of your labels are named in a way that you like and that makes it clear to the reader what kind of posts the labels will lead them to.
  4. If you're just starting your blog, get to writing posts you can attach your labels to!

    If you've already got an established blog, you have a bit more work ahead of you. You can't just start using your labels for every post you write from now on. You must go back and rewrite the labels for the posts you have already written as well. I assure you, however, that the work will be worth it to have a more efficient blog.
I will be working on doing that last step myself in the next month or so.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Michael Offutt's OCULUS

Over the summer, I read Michael Offutt's SLIPSTREAM (go here for my review and here for the Goodreads page). I thoroughly enjoyed it and, since Michael is a wonderful follower and blogger, I am happy to spread the news about his newest book!

OCULUS by Michael Offutt (Goodreads)

"What is the oculus?"

Autumn has arrived in New York, and Jordan Pendragon is a freshman at Cornell University. Gifted in mathematics, he balances life as a research assistant with that of a student athlete.

But Jordan also has a quest. He must find the Black Tower, a monolithic edifice housing a thing that defines the very structure of the universe. Jordan believes it is buried somewhere in Antarctica under miles of prehistoric ice.

October finds Jordan earning a starting position with the Cornell hockey team. But a dark cloud gathers over his rookie season. Unexplained deaths, whispers of a cannibal cult, a prophecy, and a stone known only as the Oculus, cast a shadow over his athletic ambitions. It is the start of a terrifying journey down a path of mystery, murder, and to a confrontation with an Evil more ancient than the stars.

If you think this book sounds interesting, I suggest you check out Michael's announcement post in which he has included the short excerpt his cover revolves around. Also take the time to look through his blog while you're there if you've never stopped by before. It's worth doing.

As one last treat, Michael has put up one copy of OCULUS for giveaway on Goodreads! Enter before December 10th for a chance to win.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Birth of a Novel 2012 - NaNo #1

Last year during NaNoWriMo, I participated in the Birth of a Novel Blog Chain hosted by Charity Bradford (here, here, here, here, and here). This year I'm doing it again, but in a slightly different format.

Birth of a Novel isn't just solely focused on NaNo anymore. It has widened its spectrum to include any kind of writerly project. Due to this, not only will I be updating you on my weekly hopes and goals for THE TRUE PRINCESS, but on all of my ambitions for that week.

I feel like this will be extremely beneficial to me as I have quite a few things I would like to accomplish by the end of the year and this system will keep me on track to complete them in time.

Last year, I told you what my goals were in narrative form, but as I said already, I'm mixing it up a bit. I'm laying everything out in a list as I've seen others do.
  1. Reach 26k before I go to bed on Friday. That's a little under four thousand words from where I am now which is entirely plausible. I'm also hoping to catch the end of a virtual write-in which may help boost my word count.
  2. Write 7k on both Saturday and Sunday. I can do it as long as I stay focused. This will leave me with 40k.
  3. Write 5k on Monday. No school that day so again entirely plausible if I stay focused. This will put me at 45k.
  4. Write 2.5k on both Tuesday and Wednesday. If I make this goal, I will win NaNo on Wednesday!
  5. Make at least one vlog. One vlog a week is my goal for NaNo. So far I haven't failed. In fact, I've overachieved with two vlogs last week.
  6. Catch up on 20/43 blogs. As you may have noticed, I haven't been visiting blogs a lot lately. I just haven't been motivated to. However, I'm working to get back on track now, one blog at a time. I have to read posts for the end of August, the end of September, and then all of October, as well as any new posts for November. So far I'm at 11/43.
  7. Decide on new labels for blog. In an earlier post, I talked about the things I needed to do to clean up my blog. I've completed all of those things except for one award post and reorganizing my labels. I don't necessarily have to implement the labels, I just want to have them ready for when I can sit down and fix them.
As you can see, if everything goes according to plan, I should finish NaNo on Wednesday. If that happens, my goals for next week's Birth of a Novel will be of a much different nature. However, I have a feeling that THE TRUE PRINCESS might have more story in her than 50k. If that's the case, you'll be seeing more word count goals next week. We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Don't Reward Yourself for Doing NaNo, Make NaNo a Reward

You hear a lot of advice on how to motivate yourself to write, especially during NaNo season. It is often recommended that you punish yourself if you don't meet your goals or reward yourself if you do. However, have you ever tried making the writing the reward?

Before I continue, it would probably be beneficial to you to know that this method probably works best when you're ahead or more toward the end of the month when there are certain things you can't put off any longer.

It's really a pretty simple idea.

Say you've got some giant assignment that's worth thirty percent of your grade or you need to clean your whole house before the fam comes over for Thanksgiving or you need to do something for work (sorry for no specifics, teenager who's never had a job here). Basically, you have something that has to be done, but you'd rather be working on NaNo instead.

You break up that thing into smaller parts. At the completion of each part, you get to write so many words. Get is the key word here. Not have to write so many words. Get to.  This makes your NaNo something desirable as well as helping you complete tasks you may not necessarily want to complete. It's a win-win.

What are your NaNoing tips?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 16,204 Words

I love my novel.

That statement deserves its own line. It is a thought to be savored. I love my novel.

I don't know if it's a feeling I have ever felt so thoroughly. Of course, I adore all of my novels. Each of them brings me great joy and excitement, but I don't think any of them has ever brought me this much of those two things.

I have no idea what makes this story different. Maybe it's how the plot line formed so perfectly or how my characters developed into people so quickly, but I don't think either of those were lacking from my other stories. It's not even that I'm getting more words down. I'm not rushing to write anymore than I usually do though I do seem to always know what I'm going to put on the page when I sit my butt in this chair.

Still, I'm getting an itching feeling that this just might maybe possibly be the one.

To see if you agree with me, I'm going to leave you with a short excerpt of exactly 266 words. Keep in mind that it is a rough draft. Note also that the words "agts," "ymsir," and "geya" are gEyarian words, which means the second letter is pronounced first.

I have also included my latest NaNoWriMo vlog at the bottom of this post in case you were curious about the technicalities of my journey.
So Zoie looked over the banister down at the tree. She saw a most peculiar thing.

A man was rapidly growing from one of the lowest branches. Squeezing through the tiny stems could not have been comfortable because he was squirming terribly, thrashing about and hitting the trunk, which had caused the groaning noise Zoie had heard.

Deciding he was no immediate threat, Zoie leaned one of her elbows across the railing, her sword hanging down at her side and watched. It took quite some time before he was completely out, but he was still attached to the tree. He was grasping at the top of his head madly, his face swelling with the pressure of not making any noise.

Zoie decided it was time for her to move. Making sure she could not be seen from below, she moved to the stairs that curved along the outside of the building. She passed through the middle two floors while the man was still trying to detach himself from the tree. Her foot had just touched the tile floor of the bottom level when the man finally fell to the ground.

He jumped straight back up again, straightening the very expensive suit he was wearing. His back was to her and he did not even bother to look over his shoulder.

“aGts,” he breathed.

She touched the very tip of her sword lightly to his back, right between the shoulder blades. “Watch your language in my house, ymsir.”

“aGts,” he said again, much louder this time. He glanced over his shoulder at her and smiled. “Sorry, geya.”
(If you would like to see more, shorter excerpts, please remember to check out my Tumblr:

Saturday, November 03, 2012

11 x 4 Questions Finally Answered

Current NaNo Word Count: 8,509 words (full post on Monday)

Something we all know is that I always take forever at getting around to accepting awards and answering tags, that sort of thing. An example? I got two awards at the end of 2011. I got around to posting about them in May 2012. This procrastination is the reason I'm just now getting around to answering the questions I got tagged with during the Fourth Writers' Platform Building Campaign. And boy, are there a lot of them.

Carrie-Anne was the first to tag me. She left me with these eleven questions:
  1. What is your dream car? It could be either a current car or a classic or antique car. I don't exactly have a specific dream car, but I would like a rather large vehicle with a bench seat.
  2. Are you interested in illustrating your own books? Have you ever drawn pictures of your characters? I wish I could illustrate my own books, if just the chapter headers. While I can draw, I unfortunately lack the ability to visualize things. This makes it hard to draw things like my characters and settings.
  3. What is your favorite flavor of jelly? Grape.
  4. What animal would you most like to be? A brightly-colored poisonous butterfly.
  5. What foreign country would you like to live in? Ireland. It's where the leprechauns live.
  6. Do you prefer the countryside or the city? It depends. What am I doing there and who am I doing it with?
  7. What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? Chocolate almond.
  8. What character from mythology (any mythology) would you most like to meet? Pandora. Imagine her face when a 5'2" blonde girl comes up and slaps her.
  9. Do you have a favorite or well-liked name you haven’t used on a character yet? Rhine. Mostly because it's the name of the main character in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. Also because I think it would be a nice name if I ever have a daughter.
  10. What is your favorite amusement park ride? Any rollercoaster!
  11. Would you prefer to live on the beach, in the forest, in the mountains, or in the desert? On the beach.
Susan then gave me the next eleven questions.
  1. What is the name of the book you are currently reading? CLOCKWORK ANGEL.
  2. What type of music do you prefer? Favourite song? Country is my top choice, though I've been getting into more indie YouTube artists lately. No favourite song. I'm usually pretty bad at having favourites.
  3. If you could go anywhere in this world or a fictitious one, where would you go? I know it's clique, but who never wanted to go to Hogwarts?
  4. Do you currently have any pets? Yes. One dog and one cat that is missing. :(
  5. When do you usually set aside time to write? I'm definitely an evening/night writer though, if I have to, I will write anytime.
  6. What is the most interesting way in which you (or some other author) has killed off a character? Crushed by an elevator.
  7. Have you ever written a piece of fan fiction? If so, for which show/movie? No.
  8. Do you have a specific place in which you do most of your writing? At my desk. I know, exciting, huh?
  9. What is your favourite meal? What am I in the mood for?
  10. Do you have any non-writing hobbies? Does reading count even though it's considered very important for a writer?
  11. If you had a time machine, when would you go? To the library of Alexandria before it burned.
Ella made it a total of thirty-three questions.
  1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? The power to copy other people's superpowers. I can't be the only one who has one right?
  2. You are walking in a forest and you come across two different paths. As the poem by Robert Frost goes, the first path is one that appears to be worn and familiar. The other path appears new and unused. Which path do you take? It depends. Where am I headed? And am I in the mood for people, no people, new discovery, or calming routine?
  3. What is your opinion on love triangles? They don't bug me in stories like they do some people, but I dislike it when it's too predictable and you know who the person is going to pick. Love squares are more fun.
  4. What is your opinion on vampires, faeries, and werewolves being used in YA fiction? Love faeries. And I don't dislike vampires and werewolves. But maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing if we all cut back a little bit on them.
  5. What are some amazing books you have read this year (so far)? -pulls up Goodreads- THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ENTWINED, THE HATING GAME, FEVER, CINDER, and KING OF THE SCREWUPS.
  6. Which is more important in a novel: the plot or the characters? The plot with just a dash of character because while the plot entraps you and keeps you reading, those motions don't mean anything without the character's reactions to them.
  7. If you went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which of the four houses do you think you would be sorted into? Probably Ravenclaw. Though I would hope Hufflepuff. Pottermore tells me I'm a Slytherin. -.-
  8. What is one book and one movie you are looking forward to reading/seeing in 2012? Book: THE LAST GUARDIAN Movie: Gone.
  9. One book you would most definitely read again, and one book you would never read again? Would: PRINCESS ACADEMY Wouldn't: LEFT BEHIND
  10. What is your favorite comfort food? Cheddar pretzels. Maybe. Refer to set two's number two.
  11. If you'd been on the Titanic, would you have been: a) one of the first people to jump into the ocean, b) a person who waited and ended up in a small lifeboat, or c) someone who sunk nobly along with the ship? B.
Finally, Kadie was kind enough to leave me with a total of forty-four questions.
  1. What’s your favorite childhood memory? From the ages of about three to five, I lived in a trailer park in Alabama. My best friend lived one down from me. When we moved I had no way to keep in contact with her. We took a trip to Disneyworld when I was about eight or so. In order to get there, we had to pass through that Alabama town. We even stopped and ate dinner in it. And she was at that restaurant! That has always been so mind-blowing to me.
  2. If you could teleport from any Wal-Mart in the country to another Wal-Mart in the country, where would you go and why? (My husband and I have a great idea to place teleporters in every Wal-Mart in America and then charge people to transfer to another one… Now we just have to invent a teleporter. One day…) To the Wal-Mart in Buffalo, Missouri because it's so small it probably will never install the teleporter and then I would be stuck in limbo where I would have eternity to write all the books I'm scared I'll never have time to write.
  3. How many times do you brush your teeth in a day? One or two. Depending on how tired I am at night.
  4. What’s your biggest fear? The horrible possibilities of what people can do.
  5. How many times have you dyed your hair? Zero.
  6. What’s the absolute WORST book you’ve ever read? I don't think I have one. I have books I really liked, books I just normal liked, and books I didn't really care for at all. But I don't have a worst book.
  7. Where do you find inspiration? Various things. Usually, by chain reaction, thinking about one thing will lead me to an idea.
  8. Have you ever broken a bone? Which one and how? No.
  9. Chocolate or Caramel? I only like certain varieties of both. With caramel, it usually has to be hard. And with chocolate, it usually has to be paired with something else (like caramel). So I'll pretend this is a syrup question. Chocolate.
  10. Guyliner? Hot or not? (Besides on Johnny Depp, that’s a given.) Neither.
  11. What’s your birthstone? Amethyst.
Since this tag was created to get to know people during the Fourth Writer's Platform Building Campaign, I'm not going to be coming up with eleven more questions or tagging eleven more people. However, if you want to answer any of these questions in the comments, I would love to hear your answers!