Monday, February 28, 2011

Two Birds, One Stone (Or Post)

Trisha at W O R D + S T U FF has been kind enough to give me another award, The Stylish Blogger Award. You may remember that I have already received this award, but who's to say that I can't fulfill the requirements all over again? What are those requirements? Here's a refresher.

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 or so recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Sounds easy enough. As a matter of fact, I've already completed number one. XD So on to number two. For this requirement, I'm actually going to kill two birds with one stone. The seven things I'm going to list are going to be things from my Crusader Challenge post. Afterward, I'll reveal the lie.
  1. Yes, I eat my apples upside down (and to clarify, the apple is upside down, not me).
  2. Yes, I have a problem with staring off into space. Sometimes people get in the way.
  3. Yes, I do have eyes that look crazy (they're each a different color).
  4. Yes, I love the feel of paper.
  5. Yes, I cannot stand to see anyone stabbed.
  6. Yes, I really am afraid sometimes that I have no feelings.
  7. Yes, I am OCD (I'm certain that I do).
So what's the lie? I DO NOT speak quietly. At all. I'm actually very loud. Lizzie swears she's going deaf because of it. A lot of you picked that. Do I seem like the loud kind of person?

OMG! We're to number three already? Well, we're just moving right along now, aren't we? I don't know if I'll have fifteen blogs I want to award (that haven't already received it) but all the blogs I do pick have certainly earned it.
  1. Teralyn at A Writer's Journey
  2. Michael Offut at SLC Kismet
  3. Charity Bradford at My Writing Journey
  4. Stephanie Skeem at The Writing Garden 
  5. Angela Scott at Whimsy, Writing, and Reading
Now, I'm off to perform duty/requirement number four. Here's to hoping we all have a wonderful day.

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Across the Universe

    Note that this review may contain spoilers.

    This book was an impulse buy (a lot of my books are). When I happened to come across it at Wal-Mart, I had never heard of it. But I was in a book-buying mood and it sounded interesting...

    Exposition: This book is from two different points of view: Amy's and Elder's. In the beginning, we're really just learning a little bit about each of them. There is one difference however. With Elder, we're learning about his day to day life (on a spaceship 250 years into the future). With Amy, the life she knows is about to end. She is being frozen (so she can travel on said spaceship and survive until they land).

    Rising Action: The main conflict in this story is the fact that someone is unplugging the 'frozens'. This signifies that the rising action should revolved around the characters finding out who this person is, right? And as they find out, so should I, right? Wrong. I knew who it was as soon as they were mentioned on page 25: I know perfectly well there had been another Elder, one between me and Eldest. He died before I was born, but Eldest never talked much about him before. It did take me a while to figure out that the other Elder and Orion were the same person but I still figured it out way before the climax.

    There were actually many aspects of this book that were predictable. I just knew that Luthe was going to attack Amy and I had a feeling that Harley was going to go through the hatch and launch himself into space. This didn't make it a bad story (but then I'm one of those people who you can tell the end of a movie to and I'll still watch it just to see how it got to that), it was told wonderfully and I loved connecting all the clues in my head.

    Climax: A thousand things seemed to happen in these few pages. Amy takes out the wires to the water pump (the one that distributed Phydus to the whole ship), Elder learns he is a clone, Eldest dies, Orion reveals himself, Orion gets frozen. But the one thing that really made me perk up was the small bit of foreshadowing. And that's when I knew. I knew why Amy didn't fit in with the other unplugged frozens. I knew that Orion hadn't meant to unplug her dad. I knew that Elder had unplugged her. He confirms my thoughts soon.

    Falling Action/Resolution: When Elder tells Amy what he did, at first she is angry. But then she realizes that Elder is the only one who hasn't deceived her is some way. In the end, with her words ("Will you stay with me?") I would like to believe that she forgave him.

    Prompt #8: If you think again, you might be disappointed.

    I am finally allowed to sit in the waiting room’s hard plastic chair. They put me through so many different scanners and tests; I lost track after number four, the polygraph.

        I assume my normal slumped position but this chair is not made for slouching. Forced to sit up straight, I try to distract myself. My eyes scan the room, purposely skipping over the door across from me. Sterile, white floors, too close walls, and a picture of him. So much for forgetting why I’m here. A sigh flutters past my lips.

        The receptionist’s beady eyes bore into my skull as if she too can read my thoughts. I turn and my eyes lock on to hers. She shifts her position but doesn’t look away. The piercing ring of a phone breaks through the uncomfortable silence but she doesn’t look away. It’s not her job to answer it. All she has to do to earn her pay is watch me, the offender.

        “Offender #23,045,” the booming voice seeps over the room from the overhead speaker. I look down at the cheap band of plastic they attached around my arm, breaking eye contact. 23,045. Each digit glares at me accusingly.

        I rise to my feet. Biting my lip, I once more check the numbers, hoping they’ll read differently. 23,045. One deep breath to steady myself, then I throw my hair over my shoulder and stride across the room. The doorknob is cold, unforgiving metal burning against my fingers. I glance back at the woman behind me; her eyes refuse to leave me. Grinding my teeth, I twist and push. The door opens too quickly for my liking.

        Once I step inside, I realize how dark the room is. The curtains are drawn, the main light off. Dim lamps glow around the room. My eyes blink rapidly, trying to adjust. A voice comes from the back of the room, “Shut the door.”

        I do. Its quiet snap makes it final. I’m here. In his office. Anger wells up until I can taste it, just like it always does when he is brought up. Eyes squeezed shut, I remind myself that now is not the time. I have to be calm, cold, like ice.

        The deep silence makes the place seem deserted. But I know better. He’s just hiding behind his high, high chair back, trying to frighten me. I wait, my fingers clenched so tightly they start to go numb. A pale arm snakes around the side, pointing, “The couch.”

        The fair skin disappears from sight again as I peer into the corner. The vivid red fabric is almost invisible amongst the shadows that hang on it like cobwebs. In fact, the blackness lays upon it so thick that it looks almost faded. However, that could not be true. He would never allow it.

        My steps are small, not even a fourth of my usual stride. The long strands of carpet tickle the sides of my feet through my sandal straps. My breath seems louder and louder as I venture closer and closer to the sofa until I’m near enough to touch it.

        My fingers trail down the arm and come away with dust on the tips. A frown crinkles my forehead, but I perch on the edge of the center cushion anyway. Because I know I have to. And it sickens me. I take a deep breath and promise myself that I will not let him hear any of my thoughts, I will not think anything twice.

        Several long moments pass. Neither of us moves, but that’s fine by me. Maybe we’ll just stay like this forever. We’ll stay like this, and nothing bad will happen. The idea has just flown through my mind when the chair turns to face me. I can’t stop the gasp that escapes my throat.

        He is nothing like I expected. His face is youthful, smooth and healthy looking. Bright blue eyes crinkle as he sees the look on my face. I’m sure it’s hilarious. He’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. And I hate him even more for it.

        “Do you know why you’re here?” his voice is softer than before.

        I hesitate before answering, wondering what he wants me to say, “Because you intruded into my private thoughts?”

        His eyes seem to catch fire. He leans toward me and I resist the urge to shrink into the couch. “You look on me with disdain and disgust. Yet you do not know what it’s like to be me. I did not choose this. I would give it up if I could.”

        “Then why am I here?” I ask him but he talks right over me.

        “Half the time I don’t know which thoughts are mine. And then, when I do, I have to listen to hundreds of little mundane details. I know things about people no one should know. And I hate it!” He’s up and pacing now, like a caged lion, a beautiful, gleaming lion.

        Panic fills me as I realize what I just did. Beautiful. He is beautiful. I stare at the floor as his footsteps stop. He heard me.

        “Of course, there are also advantages to this ‘gift’ of mine,” his voice is light, low.

        I glance up and his eyes are right there, gazing at me. My breath catches as he takes a step forward. “For instance, you are here. And I know it’s fine that you are here because I heard a certain thought of yours. A thought you probably thought would be nothing to me.”

        My mind is racing trying to figure out what he’s talking about. I must look confused for as he takes his next step he says, “I see you don’t remember. Let me refresh your memory. It was two or three days ago and you saw a couple pass you in the street. You were envious of them.”

        I really need to get a boyfriend. The stupid line bounces off my skull. I freeze as I realize what he’s getting at, why he asked for me. My eyes focus on his face again and it’s almost right there. Oh my God.

        Another step and he reaches out his hand to brush the stray strands of hair from my face. I know I should move but somehow I can’t. His eyes catch mine and they won’t let go. He watches me carefully as he brings his lips down to mine. Oh my God.

        A smile flits across his face, “I am your God.” Then his words melt into a kiss and I don‘t mind that he listened in.
    For some reason, I had a really hard time writing this short story. It was just pushing at me and the words wouldn't come out right. I've been working on it since Wednesday and I just finished it today. It went a lot better today than it has all week. I see no difference in my mood or anything else however.

    Question: What do you think affects your writing?

    Thursday, February 24, 2011


    tap, tap, tap
    A deep breath through the nose
    click, click, click
    Head lulling against the chair back
    rustle, russstle
    Eyes shut tight like little doors
    crinkle, crinnnkle
    Sounds fading into the background

    The symphony roars
    tap, tap, tap
    Fingers strumming against wood
    click, click, click
    Pends popping open and closed
    rustle, russstle
    Soft pages bending over
    crinkle, crinnnkle
    Note passed from hand to hand

    Shutters snap open; eyes wide
    Spine snaps straight; legs rising, standing
    Hand splayed wide; arm stretched out
    "Give it here."

    I felt like doing a poem with sound, with life. So I started thinking, my life is filled with noise. And what is the origin of most of that noise? School. With this in mind, I began to craft my poem (craft, that's a poetic word, right?). I started this poem out as a student, falling asleep, but half way through decided to make it the teacher. I think it turned out better as of such. Could you tell it was the teacher (the ending probably gave it away)?

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    A Girl Who... (AKA My First Crusader Challenge)

    Have you ever met a girl who:
    • Ate her apples upside down
    • Looked like she was staring at you (but laughed as she promised she wasn’t)
    • Had eyes that should have belonged to the March Hare and his floppy rabbit ears
    • Happened to bloviate occasionally but never really meant it (it came of frustration and shock)
    • Loved her family (and not just because she had to) and all her friends (seriously, who wouldn’t?)
    • Spoke quietly to where you almost couldn’t hear her
    • Had a fetish for paper (always rubbing it between her fingers)
    • Couldn’t stand to see someone stabbed (the blood dripping off the blade is fine though)
    • Feared she had no feelings (even though fear is a feeling)
    • Had an endless supply of answers until someone asked what the hell fuliguline meant
    • Was extremely OCD (her friends say it’s really just being very organized but she doesn’t believe them for a second)
    • Sent out this massive text because she couldn’t think of any character traits (and didn’t want to brag)
    To: [various friends]
    From: [Brooke R. Busse]

    What is one of my best character traits?

    From: [various friends]
    To: [Brooke R. Busse]

    You always strive to do your best -L

    All of the above. (more seriously) Brooklynn is kind, because she just is. -R

    You’re imaginative -C

    Ur smart…FREAKY smart -K

    Your smart but still really fun to be with and ur a great friend -H
    I don’t either because one of those bullet points is a lie. Wanna take a stab at which one?

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse

    I've been wanting to read this book for a while now. It's written by a YouTuber named Kaleb Nation who, I have to say, is awesome. (Check him out here.) He started this book when he was 14 (the same age I am now, imagine) and worked on it for six years. Six years! That's some dedication. And if he worked on it for that long, I figured it had to be amazing...

    Exposition: The prologue is a great starter for this novel. It raises many important questions. What's going to happen to Clarence? Why does Emry send Bran away and why does the woman want him? Why did the woman shoot Emry? Who is this trigger-happy lady anyway? And who's that little girl? All these questions make you want to keep reading.

    The first chapter starts eight years later in the city of Dunce where there hangs a sign that reads: no gnomes, no mages, etcetera. You are introduced to the Wilomas family (Sewey, Mabel, Balder, and Baldretta), Rosie Tuttle who does their housework, and, of course, Bran who has lived with them since Sewey found him in the Third Band of Dunce's vault. All of these characters have their own quirks and aspirations. Sewey often gets tickets for speeding, Balder watches too much television and Baldretta is always eating something, Mabel is deathly afraid of sickness, Rosie wants to be put in the newspaper, and Bran is good at drawing. All of these things make them individuals and realistic. We have a nice opening, believable characters, and a firm setting. So far so good.

    Rising Action: More characters are introduced: Shambles, Astara, Adi, Polland, Joris. More questions start to pile on. Who sent Shambles to find Bran? Who is this Mr. B that Rosie is receiving packages from? And then, after Bran performs magic to stop a truck from crushing him and Rosie, there are even more questions. Who is this man that Bran keeps seeing? Who leads Bran to the room of magic books? And what is so horrible about the Farfield Curse?

    It takes quite a while for any of these to be answered. The questions just keep piling up without any answers to balance them. This makes the middle seem a little tedious. You want to know what's going on but you're not getting any answers. But then, what I like to call 'The Harry Potter Effect', where everything seems to fall into place and all the little details make sense, occurs. Mr. B happens to be Sewey's brother Bartley who Sewey has cut out of every picture in the house. Baslyn is the name of the man that Bran keeps seeing. Astara turns out to be the little girl from the prologue. Elspeth is the name of the woman who shot Emry. And Clarence and Shambles turn out to be the same person. The full horror of the Farfield Curse is exposed; they kidnapped mages and regular people to reap their magic and minds to animate the bodies Baslyn has created to build an army to overthrow the Mages Council. It all starts to fit together at last.

    Climax: Baslyn is getting ready to kill Bran and Astara. They're tied to chairs, the floor is rigged to explode. The whole shebang. It seems that they could not get away, except that Joris took the batteries out of the magecuffs and Shambles has come to the rescue. Baslyn ends up fighting Bran on the helicopter landing outside the window (did I mention they're at the top of a tower?). It looks like Baslyn's winning; he throws the necklace at Bran. Bran realizes that his mother didn't want to be evil; she regretted her decision, and the necklace is her symbol of that. This is the personal climax. The public climax is when Astara and Bran manage to take down Baslyn. But while they're attending to Shambles who has been injured, Baslyn gets back up and hits the button for the explosives. Shambles sacrifices himself to save them and to kill Baslyn once and for all. This climax is well built and full.

    Falling Action/Resolution: In the end, they revisit Emry Hambric's grave and bury the note she left Clarence/Shambles long ago. Oh, and Mr. Rat (who earlier in the story tried to sell Sewey magic papers) has to scrub sewers for two weeks. The end.

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Prompt #7: It's an inanimate object. Inanimate objects don't have feelings. ESPECIALLY not this one.

        That pill bottle is staring at me again from where I left it on top of the dresser. The artificial light glares off its empty, white surface, hurting my eyes, but I can’t look away. To do that would be to lose. And to lose would mean I would have to take one, one of those itsy bitsy capsules that will roll down my throat into my stomach and somehow “fix” my brain.

        That’s the deal I’ve made with myself.

        It impresses upon me that I have control over my medication. Will I take it today? Maybe. Or maybe not. It’s up to me.

        Even though it’s not.

        Judge says I have to take it. When he said that, I asked him how he could do that to me. He looked me in the eye and said, “Easily.” It makes me want to cry, picturing that cold look in his eye.

        But I don’t.

        I don’t cry, because that’s something I can control. And control is everything. Just ask the Judge. He knows all about it.

        The sun is starting to come up and it’s coming through my window. The pill bottle shines brighter. And I want to blink. My eyes get down on their knees and beg me to blink; they’re burning alive they say. But my brain yells at me. I didn’t know that such a small three-word command could be so impossible to follow. DO NOT BLINK! Simple.

        I blink.

        No! No, no, no! It’s not fair! I let the tears fall now as I grasp that wicked bottle in my hands. The lid has a little smile inscribed into it; it stole that from me. I stare at it for a long time, wishing I could snatch it back. When I can’t take that torture anymore, I open the bottle, my hands shaking.

        And there they are.

        The smooth blue pills rest at the bottom of the bottle, stacked on top of each other, jostling for my attention. How eager they are to destroy me. I spill out a single one into my hand. It rests in the center of my palm, an ugly discoloration. I jiggle it around, stalling. As I watch it move this way and that, I get an idea.

        You can’t take a pill without water.

        I take slow steps to my kitchen; ballerina type steps, lining them up toe to heel. My assassin rests in one hand, its container grasped in the other. The tile is so cold under my feet; my toes may freeze off before I get there. I don’t care. I should care though, because this teeny, tiny little abomination? It will make it where I won’t care about anything.

        I get to the kitchen and turn to the cups. I test every single one in my hand. This one is too wide, this one feels strange, this one is too tall.

        My selection, in the end, is a shot glass.

        I plop the lonely pill into the cup and trudge to my bathroom, taking the cursed pill bottle with me. There’s water in the kitchen, of course, but I’m going for later rather than sooner.

        I’m engulfed in a deep, deep blue when I walk into my bathroom; it’s much prettier than the speckled blue that’s sitting in my glass. Blue was calming to me once upon a time. Now, it just reminds me of the monsters that I’m forced to put inside.

        I splay it all out on my spotless countertop, setting it up carefully. I turn the facet and clear water gushes out instantly. The pill falls onto the small tiles surrounding my sink. I push the shot glass under the water. Then I notice it out of the corner of my eye.

        The pill is rolling.

        It captures my attention, entrancing me. I feel hypnotized; I can’t move, I can’t look away.     It falls right into the sink, spinning around and around the porcelain racetrack. My eyes widen as it gets ever closer to the drain.

        It’s on the edge. It wobbles. Then it falls.

        And it’s gone.

        I smile big enough to crack my face. It’s like watching all my troubles melt away. It’s wonderful, exuberant, amazing, insightful. It is so absolutely perfect. A glow I have not felt for a long time wells up in me.

        Then the pill bottle catches my eye. It’s staring. Again.

        I deflate like a balloon; I can even hear the air leaving me. I sag like a puppet with its strings cut; I think I hear the snap.

        Then the anger swells up inside.

        The anger is scary. The anger is mean and hurtful. The anger is controlling, consuming. The anger is unstoppable. The anger is wrong.

        I know that.

        But I don’t care.

        I grab up my pill bottle, my evil, twisted pill bottle. My grip is so tight the lid pops right off. I look again at the rocky, blue mountain inside.

        And I laugh.

        Now, it is at my mercy. I will give it none.

        The pills sense this and they start to shake, shake, shake. It makes a rattling noise when they hit the side. Giggles fly up and out.

        What should I do with them? I look around.

        The sink catches my eye.

        A grin splits across my face. It’s a genius plan. They’ll just follow their brother.

        I poise my hand over the sink, tilting my hand by degrees. I want them to feel my terror, my dread. More giggles.

        I catch sight of myself in the mirror as the first pill comes to rest on the edge of the bottle opening. My hair is wild, my eyes crazy.

        My left hand slams into the glass.

        It rains down around me, reflecting a million surfaces. I pay no attention to the tiny cuts and bruises left behind. My gaze is back on the pill bottle.

        One more millimeter and the first victim falls.

        I can’t resist turning it completely upside down. The pills stream down like rain.

        It goes on and on. When the flow slows, I give the bottle one more shake.

        The last one falls.

        “You lose.”
    My inanimate object is the pill bottle. I picked it because my main character is bipolar. Bipolar people often don't like to take their medicines because it makes them feel sluggish and empty (at least that's what TV would lead us to believe). Their emotions are often so extreme that regular emotions don't feel like emotions to them.

    I also tried out a different style for me, the lines and paragraphs are much shorter than usual. I used a choppy technique to portray my character's feelings. What did you think of it?

    Thursday, February 17, 2011


    Smooth under my sensitive fingertips
    Dark ebony tones pleasing to the eye
    Grains that swirl together like chocolate
    Endless pockets to store and hide secrets

    A masterpiece from the depths of
    a novel,
    a fairytale,
    a dream

    Craftsmanship fit for the gods

    So what do you think it's about? I think it's about a desk (yeah, I'm nerdy). I also think I've grown to like writing poems that no one can figure out. (My mom finished reading it: "So what's it about?") It makes me feel smart because I know already. It took me a lot of thinking to get this poem just right (even without using the word desk) and I'm proud of it. It's short (like someone I know) but I don't mind. It's just like it's supposed to be, and that, is that.

    P.S. There sure are a lot of parentheses in that post, aren't there? (Sure are.)

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    I Almost Drowned in a Grocery Store

    And I would have too, if Lizzie hadn't woken me up. Though I may have been able to escape. I'll never know. (I also won't know why Christine's name was announced at the end, but then, that may have just been some stupid thing my brain threw in.)

    Of course, (as you've probably guessed by now) this post is about a dream. And, because I finally remembered (quite vividly) one of my dreams, I'm going to share it with you. In story form! -cheers-

    We're in a store; not big enough to be a department store, not a Wal-Mart. It's just a store. We're looking for someone, a big someone. How is he so good at hiding?

    We look everywhere, running up and down aisles, until we find him. He looks scared, nervous, but he leads us willingly enough to where we want to go.
    It feels like there is a glass between us and them. We know we have to move forward, though. That's what we came here for. So we step over the threshold.

    The ghosts are regal; their ladies in fancy, hoop dresses, the men in suit and tie. They cluster around small tables were once they laughed. The most solemn figures sit at their head, the king and his queen.

    Slowly, we cross the room, careful not to touch. It's as if we aren't there. No eyes follow us behind the royals' thrones where we dare to venture.
    As we stand there, gazing at the ghosts, she does it. My counterpart pops the crowned head before us. It's silly but the man told us that it's the only thing to do, and he knows them best. I take a deep breath, waiting.

    The king screams, horrible screams. He calls for blood, and he screams. We run like rabbits but the floor is covered in boiling water. Other screams join the first as the water rises.

    We head for an exit but we can't get through. Strange men on the outside hold them tight. The water builds to our waists as we run from exit to exit.
    People are pounding on windows, panicking. The ghosts are dooming us to their demise. I spot one last glimmer of hope, a simple staircase. We sprint to it, passing a ghastly hand pouring more water into the growing ocean.
    We're almost there. If only it's unlocked! Please, please, be-
    And that was how it ended. I will never know how it ends (unless, of course, it's a reoccurring dream -fingers crossed) and unfortunately, neither will you (blame Lizzie). So why did I show it to you? Because I wanted to see if it was exciting, if it was a good story.

    You see, it gave me an idea (as I'm sure it was intended to, my brain plots against me). Right now, it is very small. What you just read is about all I have. But it will grow. I know it will, because these things tend to happen to me. And I don't know whether to be grateful for them or not. I already have THE SWITCHERS, THE LAST TEAM, and HEIRS TO ESIO. Plus, I've had this duet rolling around in my head that I've saving for NaNo (I wonder if I could combine this with that, hmmm...). It almost makes me want to scream. So before I even consider writing a much longer piece of writing from that, I want to know, do you think it would be worth it?

    Question: What do you think about getting inspiration from dreams (excluding Stephanie Meyer)? Do you ever get ideas from your dreams?

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Eye-kwa or I-kwa?

    Today I finished labeling all the countries for HEIRS TO ESIO. I'm making progress on this project even if it's not my top priority.

    Of course, my naming venture is not over even if I have completed a big part of it. I still have to give all my characters new last names (read: if you have any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated). But, for now, I'm satisfied with what I've come up with. And I would like to share it with you all.

    As you can see (I hope) on the map, not only do I have my countries but I have a key to who lives where. Therefore, I'm going to share with you a little history about each country and the characters who live there. Enjoy (and if you don't, you really should tell me). Note: this is only the information I have so far.

    1. Kroka (pronounced croak-a) is the largest country in Esio. And that's pretty much all it has going for it. Besides one mountain, a few miles of forest, and a stretch of coastline (notice how they've managed to obtain a piece of everything), Kroka is pretty empty. The land wouldn't even be considered prairie; it's regular grass that seems to go on forever. Despite all this, Kroka is bustling with people. It's because of this that Bartemeus thinks so highly of himself. He considers his country to be the best and, while there's nothing wrong with being patriotic, his ego is quite inflated.
    2. Maetrium (pronounced may-tree-um) is a rather diverse land. It's whole length stretches along the coast, it has quite a few mountains, and even a good junk of the forests. I find my characters much more interesting though. Ivy will actually be one of my three point of view characters (and no, he's not a girl). In the fourth (or perhaps third) book in the series, he falls in love with Natiley Green who becomes possessed by the Earth Elite, Musifa. He also has to deal with his sisters (the three of them are triplets), one of whom has multiple personality disorder (poem here). So not only is she Stream, she's also River, Brook, and Sea Sea.
    3. Dizora (pronounced di-zor-a) is a country of mountains. Violet holds great pride in that. She's a lover of heights, spunky too.
    4. Vakprin (pronounced vac-pr-in) is also a country of mountains but the people fear them and stray to the few areas that are at a normal sea-level. Something lives there, and they're not nice. And it's those things that take Trixelle, Soney's younger sister. Of course, it's a horrible tragedy but the Council is relieved. The law states that a country should only have one heir unless a birth is multiple. Soney's mother is extremely protective of him and hence, he stays behind in Esio instead of going to the America with many of the other heirs.
    5. Bez (pronounced like it looks) is Esio's smallest country, and not only that, their royal line has been tainted by non-magical blood. Which is, of course, where Christopher got his name. And he is looked down on for it.
    6. Antella (pronounced an-tell-a) is the home of The Lady. Always has been, always will be. The Lady is beautiful, and no matter what her name, she is always called The Lady. And the present Lady doesn't like having a little Lady around to compete with. Which is why she agreed to let Kindle be a Hidden, one of the heirs sent to America who doesn't know they're a heir. Kindle is also one of my POV characters.
    7. Forox (pronounced for-ox) is completely covered by forest and there's more animals than people. Of course, Tamia can talk to animals like she can't talk to people. So she's fine with that.
    8. Jarzma (pronounced jars-ma) is a land both of trees and prairie. The prairie is rich with precious gems while the forest is rich with lumber. Jarzma is very profitable. Of course, Sofia doesn't care about that even if Tofa does. At birth, the Council wanted to separate the two of them; send Sofia to America and leave Tofa behind. Sofia refused to go without Tofa however, so they both got to stay.
    9. Carshai (pronounced car-shay) is all prairie and all gems. Everyone in the royal family from the king and queen themselves to the butler has the name of a jewel. Amethyst (or Amy) is not very outspoken, as a matter of fact, her magic is to blend into the background. And she's a worrier. One of her main worries is Christopher. Does he like her? Is it wrong that she likes him?
    10. Iqua (pronounced eye-kwa) is cold and icy though its king and queen aren't (even if it's heir is). After Lusio is sent away, the two long for the comfort and joy of children. So they break the rules. So the Council sends their two boys (possibly twins) off to be Hiddens.
    11. Defleur (pronounced de-floor) is Esio's only island. Many on the mainland don't know much about it. It is considered a dark, almost evil place. If only they knew that its queen didn't just die; she became the fifth Elite. And not only that, Rosalind wears the rock containing her mother's soul around her neck.
    So did you enjoy it? Do tell. Did you not enjoy it? Tell that too. I'm also considering my third POV character. I'm trying to choose between Sofia, Tofa, and maybe Soney. Which do you think would produce the most conflict? I'm sorry to cut this off so short -chuckles- but I've got a lot of blog posts to read. Oh, and editing too. XD

    P.S. I should probably write my articles ahead of time so I have time to edit them too. But I feel when I don't, it's more me. What's your opinion about editing posts?

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Imagine the Potential

    When an idea first starts out, it is tiny, maybe even microscopical. But, no matter the size, every idea has potential. And that potential can only be reached by implementing your idea. Which is exactly what Rachel at Rach Writes did with the Second Writers' Platform-Building Crusade. It is a prime example of how your imagination can help the people around you.

    The purpose of the Crusade is for writers to help to build the Internet platform of other writers. Just imagine the things we could do if we all banded together like that! Why, we could even take over the world. -evil laughter- I'm sure that's not what Rachel had in mind, but right now, we're talking about the potential of her idea. And it is in large portion and growing larger all the time.

    Now imagine what would happen if you joined in this Crusade. I won't paint you a pretty picture; I'm pretty sure there's no need. (The deadline is midnight tonight so don't spend too much time imagining!)

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Prompt #6: Well, you certainly picked a fine time to go all happily ever after.

    The Frog Prince had always been my favorite story ever since I was young. My mother read it to me so many times, she didn’t even need the book anymore. She knew it by heart and so did I. My older brother made fun of me for it. He said it was a girl story. That doesn’t hold much ground once you learn he’s gay.

    That story implemented in me the lesson to always be courteous to frogs, specially the talking ones. Which is why I picked that dried out frog off the sidewalk, carried it to my home, and gave it some water. And that is why when it said, “Thank you.” I said, “You’re welcome.”

    We introduced ourselves and she decided to stay. I had a suspicion it may have had something to do with the never-ending supply of flies that originated from my habit of leaving the windows open. For the first few days, her eyes followed me everywhere. She didn’t speak another word not even when I spoke to her.

    When I got home from work on the fourth day of her stay, my old copy of The Frog Prince was sitting on my coffee table. I frowned; it had not been there when I left. The mystery was soon solved however when I spotted the frog. She sat on my book -right on the face of the princess- waiting. I greeted her as I had everyday, not expecting a reply.

    “How was work?” she asked, as if she had asked it every day.

    Staring, I slowly replied, “It was okay. My boss is getting grumpy. He wanted my new story two days ago.” At that time I was a reporter of sorts, more of a writer really. I wrote a  column for a popular magazine for kids. I enjoyed my job if not my coworkers.

    She blinked her bulbish eyes, soaking in that piece of information. While she did so, I set down my briefcase and loosened my tie, trying to act nonchalant about the whole thing.

    “I have an idea,” her words were slow and carefully pronounced. She was a very well-mannered frog. “Since you rescued me, you deserve payment.”

    I protested but she talked right over me, “You need a story. I will give you a story. A story much better than this one,” she stomped her webbed foot on the cover.

    I was interested then. Was there really a story better than The Frog Prince? If so my career would skyrocket. I could move on to a bigger and better job, with people who understood me. I accepted her offer and we got down to business right away.

    My pencil was poised over my notepad as I leaned forward eagerly from my position on the couch. She remained on her perch as she told her tale; the sound of her words mixing with the scratching of my pencil, “Once upon a time, because isn’t that how most fairytales start, there was a prince who got himself turned into a frog. I’m not sure how he managed that for I never did ask and he never did tell me. He was touchy about it, but then, he was touchy about a lot of things.

    “He was not well accepted in our community. The others thought him evil and wrong because he had not always been a frog. I, however, found him charming. I showed him our ways, taught him how to fit in so he could have a new life. I loved him, and I thought he loved me.

    “There came a day when I was by myself. The prince would often mope and at these times I could not stand him. I swam about in my favorite stream, enjoying the cool water and the peace. An object fell into the spring suddenly and soon followed a little girl. She cried and wept and sobbed for her lost plaything, that wrenched golden ball.

    “I was upset, I will admit. I was enjoying myself, minding my own business, and this pampered child ruined it, and now she would not leave! I knew what she was; her stylish clothing made it apparent. A mean thought welled up into my mind and to this day I regret acting upon it. I told that girl I should retrieve that ball only if she would take me to her castle and love me. I don’t know why I did it, perhaps I thought she would never agree and she would go home, dejected. That did not happen. She agreed.

    “True to my word, I got her her ball. She however was not true to hers. She ran away with her precious toy and left me behind. I told the prince of this later, never dreaming of what he would do. For as I’ve stated before, I thought he loved me.

    “The next morning I could not find him, no matter where I looked. For days I worried over him, wondering at his fate. Then I heard the news. The whole countryside was raving over it. The princess was to be married and to a lost prince! I think it was a codfish who first told me the story of the frog prince.

    “I knew what had happened. My prince had gone to the princess stating that he was the frog who had assisted her and insisting she keep her end of the bargain. The princess, being a human, could not tell the distinct differences between frogs and, as of such, believed him. His curse had been lifted over the time he spent with her. He was human again and had no need of me.

    “So they got married and lived happily ever after,” she stopped there with the most bitter expression you will ever see on a frog.

    I stared, my eyes wide, not believing this twist. My favorite story was a lie! The frog prince had been turned from a misfortune hero to a lying, traitorous scumbag. I managed to splutter out one question, “What did you do?”

    She blinked and a toadish smile crossed her face, “I went to the fairy that had turned him into a frog. It took me some time to find her for the story of The Frog Prince did not specify her name. It turns out she was very fond of frogs and she was eager to help.

    "With the lessons that she taught me, I snuck into the castle. And after I had turned them both into flies, I ate them.”

    Wisely, I left that last detail out of the story I turned in to my boss.
    I don't feel as happy with this story as I have with my others. I carried across my point pretty well but I feel like there's something missing, like I've done something wrong. I won't worry over it too much though, I get that feeling a lot as you probably know by now.

    Question: What do you think of my fairytale spin-off? How do you feel about spin-offs in general?



    Who am I?


    I can't decide


    The world goes by...


    ...seen through four sets of eyes.

    Another character poem. This one about Stream from HEIRS TO ESIO (I've decided to do series in capital letters). She currently doesn't have a last name because I'm changing it, and that's not the only thing. It came to me that it might be interesting if she had multiple personality disorder. It adds conflict and interest. Plus, her personality has always varied anyway. So far, I have names for all four personalities and the basics of each. I'll be working on her along with everything else for HEIRS.

    Question: What do you think of MPO? Do you think it's interesting when a character has it, or do you think of it more as a clique?

    Thursday, February 03, 2011

    Prompt #5: You can't be 'the one' if you're dead...right?

    Everyone knows that our world is dying. Everyone knows that there is only one person who can save it. Everyone knows, but nobody cares.

    Nobody cares because we’re all dead already. Nobody cares because the person who will save us is alive. Nobody cares, but the believers.

    The name says it all, they believe. They believe in the rebirth. They believe that the savior of the earth will save us too. They believe that it’s possible for us to breath again, for blood to pump through our veins. I don’t even remember what that feels like, let alone if it ever happened to me. But I believe.

    That’s why I’m here. That’s why I finally made the decision to come. Because I believe.

    The gaping hole reminds me of a mouth as I stare down into it; the jagged rocks like sharp, pointy teeth. It looks like it’s starving, like it’s ready for a feast. It will get one, when the savior comes.

    I can’t look away for that very image burns in my mind. Where I look, the stones are not simply brown  but a tar-like red, the color I imagine blood to be. The abyss is not empty; a body rests at the bottom. Its limbs are twisted in an array that I have seen on many spirits but it looks horrible on the solid, fleshy figure.

    I back away because I can’t stand to look at it anymore. I know it’s not real, but it could be, will be. I knew this would happen; I knew I would see something horrible. Looking over my shoulder at Noah, the uncertainty shows on my face. He smiles, but I can see the impatience in his eyes. It has taken him a long time to persuade me to come here.

    I take a deep breath and look again. This will strengthen my belief, I tell myself. I am the only believer who has not seen this place. I repeat this, over and over, until I don’t see the vision anymore.

    This small victory makes me smile and again I turn to Noah, “I’m ready to go down.”

    This time the smile lights up his whole face, making his eyes crinkle. I love that smile; it displays the true Noah, the one I know. “I knew you could do it.”

    Putting my hand in his, I nod toward the steps, “Lead the way.”

    He does happily. As we walk down, I evaluate our movements to distract myself. Heights are another issue I have, even if I am dead. We move at the same pace even though Noah is taller than me. Really, he just looks taller than me because he floats and I don’t. He assures me I’ll get the hang of it eventually but I don’t really know if I want to. Walking on the ground makes me feel normal, like I’m still affected by gravity.

    This place makes me shiver, even though Noah’s with me. I’m not cold, I don’t get cold anymore. I think I’m scared, really scared. I haven’t felt like this for a long time, maybe not since I died. I don’t understand why I’m affected like this; I’m the only one.

    Noah squeezes my hand. He’s excited and doesn’t sense my terror. This is usual. His own feelings are so strong, he rarely notices mine. I don’t know if this should bother me, but it doesn’t either way.

    My foot hits the ground before I even realize we’ve reached the bottom. I look around; it’s unusually bright for such a closed in place. It reminds me of the long hallways in the sanctuary but they don’t make me feel so tiny.

    After I’ve made my general observation, I look at Noah. He’s watching me closely, judging my reaction. He does this a lot. Half the time he doesn’t give me any attention, the other half he’s paying too much. Dropping my hand, he suddenly appears motionless, “Feel free to explore.”

    I nod and instantly drift away. My fear aside, I am curious. What makes this place special? Why was is chosen for the rebirth? Why does it make me feel this way; why only me? They are questions I’ve always thought but never voiced. People would think I was doubting the cause, that I didn’t believe.

    I decide that I want to feel this place, to know its shape. I approach the opposite wall and suddenly the world seems to slow down. My feet are moving, but my mind isn’t. I see my hand reaching out, my fingers bending forward, but I don’t feel them doing so.

    The world catches up fast though when the tips of my fingers brush the wall. My brain explodes once my palm is laid flat against the rock. My nails dig into the clay as the sensation runs through me.

    I open my eyes when it’s over, never realizing that I shut them. I feel like all my questions have been answered, the doubts swept out like cobwebs. I feel almost hyperactive.

    I’m by Noah now; I moved faster than I ever had. His eyes sweep me up and down, “How do you feel?” He speaks slowly, like I won’t understand.

    My eyes flicker left and right, “Fine. Wonderful. Energetic. Alive.” I saver the taste of the word in my mouth.

    His smile again, “Then that means it worked.”

    I laugh and jump and clap, all at the same time. The sound echoes around us, louder than it should be. Everything is so clear now, so lively. I grab Noah’s hand, rushing back up the stairs, eager to look again with my new perspective. More echoes come back at us in the form of our footsteps.

    I rush to look over the edge once we reach the top. My happy expression melts off my face; I can feel it sliding. The energy leaves my limbs. The vision is back. This time it’s much more horrific. The blood shines in the sun and the body faces upwards; I can feel its dead eyes staring.

    Leaning farther than is safe, I can feel my heart pumping as I squint to make out the face. A gasp escapes my lungs as I recognize it; it’s me.

    I’m turning to tell Noah when it clicks. My heart? A gasp? That’s not right, I’m dead. I’m dead, right?

    Now, I’m falling and my heart is beating faster and faster, roaring in my ears. Noah is getting smaller and smaller and I’m screaming louder and louder, “I’m alive!”

    This is my second one in present tense. I don't know if it's smart to write them in present tense right now because soon I'm gong to have to rewrite all the pieces of Thinking of You that are in present tense. However, I am still satisfied with this story. Here's to hoping it doesn't come back to bite me in the butt.


    The bridge softly
    under my feet.
    Gaping holes stare
    at me,
    accusing foolishness.
    They know, just like
    I know, that this
    is wrong,
    this is unsafe.
    Flinching at their
    angry stares, I
    look back then
    my friend is
    disappearing into the
    swirling fog.
    My steps are quick
    and sudden. I don't
    want to lose her.
    Faster and faster,
    I can't find her.
    The bridge seems
    endless; the fog
    is taunting
    me, laughing.
    Breathing makes
    more fog to
    trap me
    and wrap me
    Wait! I see her,
    at least a shape.
    One more step and I


    Did anyone notice how I tried to make the poem look like the bridge? No? Darn. This poem was actually inspired by something in my life for once. When I go to Lizzie's house, we have to walk her dog. Sometimes her parents tell us to walk him at the park behind her building. This requires crossing a bridge. Being the paranoid person that I am, I always imagine one of the boards breaking, and me falling.

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011

    1 + 3/2 = 9?

    According to mathematics, no. According to literature, yes. More specifically, it is my literature (if you can call if that) that says so. I have just completed Chapter Nine of The Lullaby. The scene that occurs in this chapter is basically the same scene at the end of chapter one of the first draft. With this knowledge, you can safely say that the first nine chapters of the rewrite equal the first chapter (and prologue) of the first draft. I just turned 3,048 words into 13,371. That's an added 10,323 words!

    To be fair, I did use pieces of chapters two, five, and nine (that's what the 3/2 stands for) for inspiration. Those excerpts equaled 1,682 words. This makes the total added 8,641. The number isn't as big but it's still pretty impressive if I do say so myself. Hopefully this amount of inflation will continue to happen and I can reach my goal of 70,000 words since this is an added requirement to my first ledge.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have just completed Chapter Nine. I've finished four chapters since the year started. That is the good news. The bad news is I had trouble writing the last two. Chapter Eight took me forever; I just wasn't feeling it. At the end, however, I felt satisfied. The same thing happened with Chapter Nine except it only took me two days to write. The first day started out well then I started to doubt whether I was doing good, whether the chapter was important. Lizzie's always telling me that when I start to doubt myself is when things go bad. So I stopped. Today went much better and, again, I feel satisfied with the results.

    I seem to have this problem a lot. The only way I can seem to cure it is to reread what I've written. I can also have others read what I've written and hope that they say it's fine. That is what I'm going to do now. So enjoy these two excerpts.

    Chapter Eight excerpt
    Tilo blushed and looked away from her. He mumbled something about ‘his mother said’.

    “If your mother’s so important to you, why aren’t you with her?” her voice went south, becoming ice cold. The whole room flinched; mothers were an almost forbidden topic.

    At first Cassie thought Tilo wasn’t going to answer and then he simply said, “She didn’t trust me. She thought I would end up here, among your kind.”

    Cassie assumed that by ‘your kind’ he meant street rats. “So, how did you end up here, among our kind. Where are you from?”

    “It is a place you have never heard of,” he examined his hands, avoiding her eyes.

    “Try me.”

    A sigh escaped his huge lungs, “I am from a place called Syng.”

    Cassie glanced out Acorn out of the corner of her eye. She shook her head; she hadn’t heard of it either. “Okay, you’ve got me. Where is it?”

    “I do not know where it is from here.”

    “Which continent is it on? Africa, Europe, Asia, any of this sounding familiar?” Her interest was spiking now.

    Tilo just stared at her blankly, “I told you, I am from Syng. Not any of those other places.”

    “What is Syng? A city? A country?”

    He looked up at the ceiling, resting his chin in his hands, “It is many things but the word you are searching for is universe. Syng was the first universe created by Tam; this place we are now, it is the second.”

    They all stared at him. Mitch was the only one of them who seemed to appreciate the story; the rest stared in disbelief. Cassie didn’t say anything. She knew of things like this. The boy was making up a story to cope with his life.

    He continued, “Before Tam created Syng, there was nothing. Just complete black emptiness. Then Tam began to sing; the high notes were for mountains and the low ones for valleys. He made everything: rivers, trees, the wind, through his voice. With his last few notes, he crafted himself a wonderful, brilliant body of stars.

    “Tam took care of his world, making it more beautiful and diverse. He began to feel lonely; the grass could not speak. Deciding he wanted someone he could sing with, he created ten beings. They were the Giants. He made them immortal and large, like himself. He gave them their names: Tela, Thorn, Tess, Temp, Tick, Tock, Tina, Telle, Teresa, and Timo. They gave him a name too, the one he has now, Tam.”

    Tilo’s eyes had turned glassy as he told the story. Mitch gazed up at him in wonder; he wore the same expression he got when Acorn told him fairy tales. At Tilo’s pause, Mitch darted in a question, “You weren’t in the story. Ain’t you a Giant, Tilo?”

    The statement caused the other boy to flinch. Again he scanned the room. Cassie did too, wondering how bad it looked to an outsider. She had been meaning to work on removing the shambles to the surface.

    “Tam made many other things besides the Giants,” Tilo’s voice sounded scratchy now, as if he was emotional. “He loved creating new things. The Dwarves, the Elves, the Dryads, the Nymphs, the Sea Serpents were just a few of his projects. One day he got a new idea; an idea that itched at him, that wouldn’t leave him alone.

    “He gathered the Giants for, being his first companionable creations, they were still his favorites. His farewell speech did not reveal all of his intentions. He told them he was going to make a new world, a new universe. He promised to make passageways between the two places so they could still see and meet with him. After carrying out this promise he left.

    “That is when he made this universe. You humans call it Earth. He decided to stay here, to watch. Separating out his body, he made what is now your night sky. No one has heard from him since. When he made the tunnels, he did not remember the Giants’ ever growing size. Soon the way was too small for my kind. The other creatures did not know where to look; he told only the Giants of his plans.”
    There was another pause. This time it was Cassie who asked the question, “What does any of this have to do with you or us? You haven’t been in the story at all. We’re supposed to be getting to know you, to know if we can trust you not some Teca or whatever her name was.”

    Tilo glared at her, “Tela is my mother. I am the only Giant not directly created by Tam. It was thought impossible for a Giant to give birth to another. I knew I was different but I thought they accepted me. I found out recently I was wrong.”

    Everyone in the room seemed to be hanging on to his every word. “I still don’t get what the point is,” Cassie wasn’t falling for it.

    “Syng is a pure place. We know how to take care of our land. There is no pollution. We would like to keep it that way. The other Giants believe, however, that I am going to bring humans to Syng and let them destroy it. They do not trust me. They never have. Do you get now why I had to leave?” He was angry; his words coming out through ground teeth.

    “Not entirely. Why do they think we would destroy your world?” Cassie was playing along with the story, searching out what he was hiding.

    “Isn’t it obvious?” Acorn answered before Tilo could. “He said there’s no pollution in Syng but Earth is an entirely different story. And do you know where it all comes from? Humans.”  She tapped herself on the chest matter-of-factly.
     Chapter Nine excerpt

    She looked around, realizing that she was on her own except for a tropical bird that circled overheard. It surprised her; Sanders had been keeping a close eye on both her and Jyde. She scanned the horizon with a trained eye. There had been no time, or need according to Sanders, to explore away from the tunnels, but now that she had some free time, she might as well.

    She found what she was looking for almost immediately. Taking one more quick glance toward the tunnel entrance, she started on her way. A breeze ruffled her hair, making her laugh out loud. She was tired of the stuffy, suffocating tunnel air. She was made for open spaces, high spaces, not dirty, confined ones.

    Her walk became an uphill trudge soon enough. She was glad of the exercise and welcomed the aches on the back of her calves. Her laughter remained on her face in the form of a smile. It grew bigger when she reached the top of the cliff.

    She peered over the edge, her toes almost hanging off. The rush made her dizzy, made her smile yet again. It reminded her of home, of the tall towering trees that supported most of her country’s towns, of where she wanted to be. She closed her eyes, tilting her head into the wind, imagining one of the towering beasts before her. It was another week before she would see one in person.

    Why did her mother send her in her place? Another thing Prestelle could not seem to understand. It couldn’t be the sickness; Evaline was not one to let such humanly weakness stop her. When she had asked the question aloud to her mother, all the answer she got was, “We’ll just see how it turns out.”

    Opening her eyes, she sighed. She couldn’t stay up here forever; they were going to notice she was gone soon. The thought of listening to Sanders complain about it made her nose wrinkle in distaste. She seriously hoped that her mother was not gypping for her to fall in love with one of the princes. It sounded exactly like something Evaline would do. She knew she meant well, but Prestelle hadn’t been able to stand Sanders since they were small children and Jyde, he just wasn’t her type.

    With those heavy thoughts weighing her down, she took one more look beyond the cliff’s edge. A sharp intake of breathe made her teeter. She took a hasty step back as she evaluated the scene. The Prims stood there with Jyde and Sanders. One of them, she thought it might be Silence, turned his head suddenly, spinning his cat-like ears, as if he had heard her. Surely he couldn’t have; their hearing wasn’t that good.

    The Prims appeared to be leaving. She watched as Juniper and the third Prim, Milos, shook hands with Sanders and Jyde. Silence simply nodded. The two humans stepped away, giving the Prims plenty of space for their take off. They wasted no time.

    Their almost transparent cloaks made the Prims look more like bats than felines but they were very useful. They were extra sensitive to the wind, only needing a small wisp to keep the user airborne. Prestelle had learned about them through her schooling but she had never seen one used. The launching technique was strange; the Prims didn’t have to run or jump from a high place. Their powerful leg muscles were sufficient.
    Prestelle watched as they leaped into the air, spreading their arms. The wind quickly caught them up. Her eyes followed them as they disappeared from the exact beach that the Giant had. She noticed a fourth speck in the sky; it was the bird from earlier. It followed the Prims out to sea.

    When she could no longer see any of them, she turned to leave. Unconsciously she said her thoughts aloud, “So that’s how it’s going to be.”