a little post named “random”

Have you ever just wanted to write for the sake of writing?

Nothing planned. Nothing plotted.

After a long day of pounding out papers and scratching out math equations, just you and your thoughts winding out slowly onto the page, forming little splotches of black on white.

The itch comes every once and a while for me. A little itch to be wild and dreamy with some prose; to make some words purr with my wandering ponderings and watch them stretch out and then curl up before the fire.

Maybe EvEn BREAK the RUles and cApitAlIzE in STRANGE wAys

like I use to get away with.

Well, the itch has come today, and I’m afraid I will indulge myself in satisfying it with a scratch.

I might ending up sounding a little philosophical. I might end up sounding a little poetical. Maybe silly. Who knows, but are any of those bad things?

Already I’ve made some alliteration for the sake of alliteration. I’ve sprinkled in some personification and metaphors, and stirred in a tasty verb or two.

Art is easy to compare to soup.

You dump in a little of this and a little of that, like Amelia Bedelia baking up her lemon meringue pie, and then watch the colors swirl. Add a pinch of seasoning, and take a deep breath of the spicy smell.

You make mistakes. You learn to differentiate the walnuts from the pecans, the salt from the sugar, and the vinegar from the water. You learn there’s a reason they tell you to stir your concoction and that there’s a reason they say to set timers on ovens.

There is something unmatchable about learning from trial and error. It is personal and it is physical, unlike that advice found on scraps of paper books. These lessons learned have scars to prove it.

Well this past month was Camp NaNoWriMo and I learned a few things.

When you have a complicated time-traveling plot that twists and turns on itself, you might want to plot it out in greater detail before diving straight in.

Who knew my six pages on the workings of time-traveling would not be enough? Maybe I should have written more than half a page on the actual plot?

I reached 23,000 words about two and a half weeks into April, but the story was falling apart. There was also a lack of unique creativity that I was trying to go for. Plus I had yet to discover how it would end. Though that is typical when I start a project, at 23,000 words in I usually want to know before continuing. I brainstormed and brainstormed and brainstormed, but I could not work it out.

At that point, I was going to essentially burn it to ashes and then throw those out the window, but my oldest brother was visiting for the week and we began talking about it. Suddenly, explaining the plot, I began questioning my decision: Wait, what am I thinking? I love this story! I love these characters! Why give up on them??

Well, thankfully, said brother came to the rescue and gave me a good picture of what happens in my story, giving insight and blowing my mind!

Yes… a picture. Literally.

img_0837

There, doesn’t that clear everything up?

One of my other brothers saw it sitting out the other day and asked, “Were you guys just destressing?”

No, I promise that graph makes sense to me.

Two words: Time travel.

So, at the moment, instead of throwing out the lovely, tangled manuscript, I will lock it up and wait for it to gather some dust, and until then I will work on fleshing out some timelines and charting the plot.

I also want to brainstorm different ways to tell the story. I was having trouble telling such a complicated plot through my third person narrative. (Maybe time to try the fun of rambling in my character’s personas?) Well, I have a couple ideas up my sleeves.

Beyond all that, I discovered that even the worst of times can be turned into great art!

Frantically finishing finals” is an amazing alliteration, don’t you agree? 😉

Now they are officially done! *throws confetti*

…but I have some math to catch up on. Sooo… *gathers up confetti to save until that glorious day of true freedom*

But! Tuesday was the one year anniversary of The Flabbit Room’s Ildathore project. *throws confetti again*

I might say something more about my writing family, but it would end up being a mix between sappy sentences and a incoherent jumble of inside jokes.

So, instead let me delight over my Google drive folders which I discovered can be colored!

 

ALL THE COLORS

 

Isn’t that just amazing??

Well, fare thee well, friends! I wiLL REturN neXt wEEk for mor chicken fun.

~ tA-Ta-fOr-NoW! ~

 

Tags Galore!

In an age of needing to write 3000 words per day on a novel, tags come in handy for blogging. Thanks Ariel for the well-timed taggings!

Both of these tags are focused around characters, and so let’s dive right in!

 

Tag #1  – The Heroes of Legend

Rules:

  1. Very graciously thank the blogger who tagged you. (Thank you Ariel! :)).
  2. Answer the following ten questions in the tag. Images of your characters are encouraged, but not necessary.
  3. You may only use Original Characters (OCs) for this tag. As expected.
  4. Characters from fairytale retellings are not allowed. Because then that would be too easy.
  5. Explain why your character matches the description, because if you don’t, that would not be fun.
  6. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Do not hurt your little babies in this process.
  7. Link back to Merie’s blog post where she started the tag.
  8. Tag a few other bloggers to play this game too! (And make sure they’re writers… because if you tag a non-writer to do this one, it would be really awkward.)

Can I first comment on how glad I’m not given an exact number of bloggers to tag? I’m very grateful. Trying to find eleven people who haven’t participated yet is always the hardest part. xD

The Questions

1. Who is a character that is most likely to be turned into a frog (and then thrown against the wall because of additional obnoxiousness)?

I’d say this depends on who has the ability to turn people into frogs. First person to come to mind though, would be Matthew, a bratty street kid from my first (and unnamed) fantasy novel, which has been retired to a cardboard box in the back of a dusty (virtual) closest. He’s the kind of kid that doesn’t understand compassion, and tries to be sassy and clever.

Yes, indeed. Quite annoying.

2. A character that could probably persuade a man–sent to kill them on pain of death– not to kill them, through charisma or charm alone (or manipulation, whichever way you take it)?

Ooooh. I’d say Arvia as a child. Just too sweet and innocent.

3. Who is that kind of person who waves around a weapon (or other sharp pointy object) everywhere they go, regardless of their skill in handling it (which is to say, probably quite doubtful)?

That would be Chris from my novel, Beyond the Will. He would have no idea how to use a weapon – any weapon – but to order to stay on top of things, he would fake it until he makes it.

Or until he fails.

4. Who can endure the most pain with a stoic, completely neutral face (maybe s/he’s dancing)?

Are we talking emotional or physical pain? 😉

I would say Charlie, from my WIP, 51. She is stubborn, optimistic, and stable enough. It’s the pain of others she would not be able to endure.

5. Who is most likely to pull off a Hua Mulan and face a trial as one of the opposite gender if need arises?

Oh, um. Hmm.

6. A character who would be quickest to obey a talking cat when it demands them to buy it a pair of boots?

That would be Arvia as a child again. Arvia lives by the sea, free to wander, dance, and sing. If a talking cat showed up, she won’t even consider doubting it’s existence.

7. Who would be willing to do anything– absolutely anything– in order to rescue someone s/he loves (includes killing innocent foxes and asking the moon for help)?

Ethan, from the aforementioned, unnamed fantasy novel. No spoilers, but he does a lot to rescue his little sister. 😉

8. A character who seems to stubbornly not die no matter what you put them through (if you haven’t tried the Big Bad Wolf, now’s the time)?

Ha.

I’m going to pick Matthew again. This poor kid… He actually was created because a couple years a friend of mine asked me to put her brother in my book and kill him off as a joke. xD

I said sure! I can do that. Sounds fun!

So I planned to have him 1) betray everyone 2) live a miserable life filled of loneliness and guilt and then after a good amount of that 3) I’d eventually kill him off.

But then Matthew stubbornly refused, turned out nothing like my friend’s brother, and did all the wrong things. He wouldn’t go where I told him, and much less betray my main characters (at least at that time… it just wasn’t his way), and then he insisted on getting dragged along on the journey. (And pretending he didn’t want to. ;))

So, yeah.

He’s still alive.

For now. 😉

9. Who is the terrifyingly malicious, extra-megalomaniacal, wildly unpredictable Queen of Hearts/Bluebeard villain (the kind that makes you want to run and hide)?

My cliched villains of my first full length book: again the unnamed fantasy novel. I promise I didn’t copy the Nazgul. At least not consciously.

“The Riders,” dressed in black, rode black horses and could turn into black vultures.

And, believe me, not those kind of vultures that sit around and sing about friendship. 😉

10. Who is a character that is the terrifyingly placid, blood-freezingly calm, monotone-voiced villain that is Every Fairytale Villain in History Incarnate (the kind that makes you want to run and hide)?

I don’t think I have a single monotoned villain. They either hiss, or yell, or shriek, or roar. And sometimes whisper. But never monotone.

 

Tag #2 – The Star Wars Character Tag

Rules:

1. THERE ARE NO RULES.

Oh dear. The paradox.

2. Refer To Number 1.

Thank you kindly.

3. There is one absolute rule: You MUST use your own characters (OCs) for this tag. (Brownie points if you add pictures of your characters.)

Hmm. I’m getting such mixed signals here… no rules? Rules? Rules that say there are no rules?

4. The Sorta Rule: Scream a huge thank you to whoever tagged you for this whilst treating them to a pizza dinner at your favorite pizza chain.

Oh dear, now, I’m really trapped….

5. The Kinda Rule: Include This Link In The Post So That The Penny Can Read Everyone’s Answers To This Smol Strange.

6. The Rule That’s Not Really A Rule But It Would Be Great: Include the graphic and tag at least three Jedi or Sith Lords.

Tagging Jedi? This is getting harder and harder. xD

Heading
Requested Graphic ;P

Okay! Let’s get started with the questions!

 

1. Who’s Your Obi Wan Kenobi? (sassy, a great mentor, but can be a bit strict)

Closest I can think of is either Walter, from 51, or Seth from The Unnamed Fantasy Novel. Walter would be pretty strict and a great mentor, but not as sassy as Seth, who would be a worse mentor, due to anger and disgust issues toward the kids he’s stuck with. (Don’t judge him… one of those kids is Matthew.)

2. Who’s Your Leia Organa? (feisty, incredible comebacks, and does their own thing)

Allie. One of the twins in Paper Adventures. She’s got quite a spirit and likes to tease her brother endlessly.

3. Who’s Your Finn? (overeager, adorable, a cinnamon roll)

Yes, I’m about to compare Finn to my villain’s pet. 😉

Doodle Pup is definitely overeager and adorable. He’s the companion of the villain from my novel Paper Adventures, which is taking a break from the editing stage at the moment. He’s not exactly a dog, but a simplistic cartoon of a dog (meaning a oval with four stick legs) who is green and wears both a tie and a top hat.

4. Who’s Your Padmé? (kind, loving, but also kick butt)

Charlie again. Very kind and loving, but also spunky and sarcastic, with a fierce passion for justice and for protecting others.

5. Who’s Your Count Dooku? (deliciously evil, extra, and sick burns)

A certain character from 51. 😉

6. Who’s Your BB-8? (too cute, everyone loves them, can do no wrong)

What if I go with Arvia’s baby brother, Adrian, this time? xD

7. Who’s Your Yoda? (underestimated, extra, and wise)

This was the hardest question yet.

I’m going to go with Erath from my short story, Into The Forest. She’s pretty young, but don’t let that misguide you. She filled with a surprisingly amount of strength and courage.

8. Who’s Your Anakin Skywalker? (bratty, rebellious, whiny)

*coughs*

Matthew.

Remember him?

9. Who’s Your C3-PO? (always worrying, gives depressing information, constantly wailing)

Miss Agnes from my novel, Beyond the Will.

She has got to be one of my favorite characters to write. She gets away with saying things I couldn’t.

Agnes’s lips pressed together tightly and she set her cup down. “Chris, right?” He nodded. “You’re here for the funeral?” He nodded again. “Well, thank goodness that man’s gone. The world’s a better place now.”

Chris coughed uncomfortably. “I… I never met him.”

“Of course,” she snapped. “Any good parent would keep their innocent little child away… though it didn’t seem to help in your case. I assume you got your piggish, sugar-gobbling tastes from him too?”

^ case in point ^

 

10. Who’s Your Luke Skywalker? (hero, has been through a lot, has their share of flaws)

Zebulon, another character from my Camp NaNoWriMo project, 51. He has his flaws for sure and has been through a lot (though nothing compared to what is up my sleeves muhahaha). No spoilers, but his past actually has a lot to do with the story. 😉

 

And that’s all of the questions. Now for passing them on to others!

I tag…

Dekreel @ Inky RambleBeast

N.C. Stokes @ Weird As Usual

and

Bethany @ Shastin’s Notebook

 

So, I’m actually going to add a question to whichever tag(s) you choose to take. Have you ever written a friend/family member/acquaintance into your story? Why? And how did that go?

If busy (or simply in the mood) feel free to say we’re playing two hand tag and that I only managed to catch you with one. 😉

Until next Friday!

~ evelyn ~

2019 Camp NaNoWriMo Update // week 2

I had this strange moment of realization this week.

All day I had been curling up in my cardigan to work on school in the freezing basement, but then, when I was called to help bring in groceries, to my surprise I stepped outside only to find it sunny and warm.

I guess spring has finally come. 🙂

Over this past weekend, my family took a trip to Philadelphia to watch my older siblings compete in the National College Mock Trial Competition. I decided to pack no school, and brought some books to read and then my laptop for some NaNoWriMo writing.

Long car drives are the best, in my opinion. It’s just fun family time to cruise the country, listen to music, and play those car-trip games, that range from writing poetry to keeping track of license plates spotted to reciting Shakespeare lines.

Or it’s a nice time to just read a book. 😉


 

{stats}

Day 5: 1314 words

Day 6: 964 words

Day 7: 1727 words

Day 8: 1261 words

Day 9: 887 words

Day 10: 697 words

Day 11: 1783 words

 

That leaves my overall word count at 14,480 while I should be around 19,000 words. Hopefully I’ll catch up over upcoming Easter break! 🙂


 

{poetry}

I couldn’t pick out a favorite sentence written this week, but I have another small poem to share. I picked this one out because the world is finally waking from winter. The trees seemed to blossom over night and the grass is suddenly green again.

Change

Sweet summer slips into the Fall.

Fall drops to make way for the snow.

But winter turns into the spring,

So not all change is bad, you know.


 

I hope you have a wonderful day!

~ evelyn ~

2019 Camp NaNoWriMo Update // week 1

A week has passed and I’m back!

Besides having a sore throat and only getting in 61 words the first day, NaNo has been going pretty well! I made up for the slow start the next day and have been keeping up for the most part.

I actually started writing this novel before I decided to use it for Camp NaNoWriMo, so I had 3271 words already so technically the rough draft for my novel, 51, is currently 9118 words long. However, that doesn’t count towards my 50,000 in a month goal.

This means I have to constantly practice my subtraction skills, but on the bright side! I’m getting faster at deducing 3271 from a given amount. 😉


 

{this week’s stats}

Day 1: 61 words

Day 2: 3307 words

Day 3: 1954 words

Day 4: 525

Today: none yet, but hopefully lots. (:

Total: 5847 words

 


 

{favorite sentence written this week}

With what I have so far with this project it was hard to choose a favorite. Last year for NaNoWriMo I had too many options to pick from. Snippets of dialogue like “Some people are better observed from afar,” and “The buttons are calling,” fought for that special award.

But this week, no sarcastic or eccentric characters have been released into my main character’s life.

Yet. 😉

Anyways, here’s what I picked out: “Like dust that blows and settles, so can a life be stirred with the winds of change.”


 

{life}

I got another plant! Actually three new ones.

img_0503
From left to right: Priscilla, Ferdinand, and Isabella

I also volunteered at my local library for the first time!

It was strangely relaxing. Just me shelving books in a quiet building for an hour and a half. A very a nice break little break from the rush of school and NaNoWriMo.

I even had some extra time, so I picked up and read through The Letters of Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien.

It was amazing and so sweet. 100% recommended. 🙂


 

{poetry}

And finally, April is national poetry month, and so I thought I would share some with you.

I’d say that my poetry typically falls under two different categories: thoughtful and serious, resulting from when I sit to think something through, or silly and playful, inspired by something I’ve experienced with younger siblings.

My Shadow falls under the latter category, and I wrote it last year, when I experimented a lot with limerick-type patterns.

I hope you enjoy!


 

My Shadow

There is a little person,

Who follows me around,

Both day and night,

Both left and right,

Without a single sound.

 

I tried to hide away from him,

And underneath the bed,

But with the light,

It was still bright,

And so he followed where I led.

 

I hadn’t given up yet,

I’d lose him in the woods,

Ran back and forth,

Both south and north,

But he was quick and good.

 

Giving up and very mad,

I showed him to my mother

But she just sighed:

And then replied:

“Timmy dear! Sam just likes his big brother!


 

Camp NaNoWriMo // of goals and projects and lessons learned from the last time

April is approaching.

I can see the light of summer break at the end of the tunnel and the chapters left in my school books are decreasing, but then here comes Camp NaNoWriMo.

For those you don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where writers go nuts, trying to write an entire novel in 30 days.

The key difference is that for the “camp” you get to set your own goal. Whether it be only 5,000 words or writing for a certain amount of hours each week, you get to pick.

Despite the fact that the first two weeks of April are pretty packed with school projects, and even a trip out of town, I want to challenge myself and thus decided to try for 50,000 words again.

I barely made it in November (mainly because I ran out of things to write ha) but I made it nevertheless, had fun, and learned a lot.

Despite popular belief, professional authors don’t just sit down and write their perfect prose or brilliant plots first try. There is always that terrible first draft – or that “sloppy copy,” as my grandma says – that ends up being drowned beneath a pile of notes and edits.

I had struggled for so long with understanding that. I would stare at the screen in frustration, trying to pound out just one sentence to satisfy the standard I set. I would reorganize the words, then delete them, then type them all back again. It was both exhausting and depressing.

However, when you have only thirty days to write the entire thing, suddenly the time to be picky disappears. If I was going to survive NaNoWriMo I knew I was going to have to throw perfectionism out the window. It forced me to do it.

And I went from spending a year and a half on a first draft, to twenty-five days.

Now, I hope to pull it off again!

For Camp NaNoWriMo,  I will be writing (and I thought I was never say this) a sci-fi, time-traveling novel. Or at least I will be attempting to. 😉

The idea behind it all started when I was writing some quick flash fiction in November (during NaNoWriMo, in fact) and then I began wondering what it would be like emotionally for someone to actually be a time-traveler.

A few hours later I had typed up a total of six pages on the topic. Six pages of me just musing about it.

A nice little, six-page plot bunny.

Thankfully, once all the ideas that had been bouncing around my head were neatly outlined in a document, I was able to set it aside and get back to work on my NaNoWriMo project and focus without another distraction.

Since November, though, I have continued to brainstorm, flesh out characters, and sketch a plot as the sudden late-night inspirations hit. I scrawl them out on a scrap of paper I had been using as a bookmark or in the margins of my algebra homework.

The past couple weeks, I have been compiling them in preparation for Camp NaNo. Now my character notes filed in easy reach, and my scribblings on the plot points translated and typed from a gleeful mass of names and verbs into something legible.

So here I present for your scrutiny, a mock cover and blurb for my (hopefully) soon-to-be written novel, 51.


 

51_Mock Cover_2

Zeb was going to change the world.

He was on his way to the largest, most elite school of science, prepared to discover cures, build machines, and ultimately help those in need.

But the day before he was bound to leave, his father was shot by a man who vanished without a trace. And left in his hand was the note:

“No one lives past fifty here.”

 


 

Camp NaNoWriMo, here I come.

Until next week!

~ evelyn ~