One Down, More to Go || novel celebrations, considerations, and introductions

Let’s ignore last week.

Because skipping out on blogging to go on a field trip is nothing in comparison to my news of this week.

Are you ready for it?

It’s kina big.

Just kinda.

Are you ready? Okay here it is:

I have finished 51.

Wait.

Say WHAT

I’m DONE?!?

…and in the meantime all the rest of you are wondering why in the world it has taken this high schooler to finally learn how to count to 51.

No, its not because I’m homeschooled (thank you very much)

It’s because “51” is the title of what use to be my W.I.P. (which work-in-progress for those wondering).

Though to be honest it’s still a work-in-progress, but we’ll get to that later.

For now, confetti! Balloons! Cake!

In order to celebrate I will be ranting, rambling, and well. More rambling. Gifs.

And watching hobbits celebrate my great feats.

All that jazz.

But first, for those lost: 51? The initial seed of an idea was planted last November when I needed a break from NaNoWriMo (you know that thing where you write 50,000 words in a month) and so asked a writer-friend for a short story prompt so… I could write even more…?

I know it doesn’t make much sense, but wait until you are cranking a couple thousand words a day for the same project.

You get kinda tired of it. Especially the end of the second week. (Which is the point you decide that there are dragons in your world.)

NoNaWriMo in seven words:

Well I wrote a couple thousand words of a short story that felt more like a novel. I started plotting. I wrote a couple pages on how time-traveling might work and how it would effect users. By the end of those pages, I had met my characters. They had brought to me their problems, which I prodded and poked and plotted from.

Since then it has grown. It has had its highs and lows. Things developed and changed. Including the method of story-telling.

All until last week. I finished at the personal-award-winning length of over 75,500 words (what a big plump rabbit that plot bunny has become!).

It’s an experience.

Everytime I finish a novel, I sit back and stare as I try to swallow the fact that I just wrote “the end,” and I think, “Wow, maybe I do know how to do this writing-thing…”

And then I close it and step away. An hour later it hits me. When I’m scheduling maybe. Or passing the computer. Or unconsciously hurrying through chore because of those 1,000 words waiting to be written. Suddenly the mindset is shattered.

There dumps that all confusing but amazing sense of joy, sadness, relief, fear, and confidence. And then that renewed energy.

All of a sudden, it is done. I did it and as comma-depraved and pitiful the prose is and as sagging as the plot proves to be with every chapter, it is mine. All the sweat and mental circles I ran, the sleepless nights I poured into it, the long afternoons squinting at the pixels blinking back at me. All the scrawling’s in my school notebooks. All the holes I must have drilled into my wall as I sat at my desk oblivious of humanity and the schoolbooks before me.

But wait…

Done?

Actually done?

And that original fondness and excitement you had for the characters? It was never lost, merely muddled with the day-to-day grind. And you will no longer visit them.

At least not like this. Not like how it’s been.

It will never be the same with them.

All those problems they brought you have meddled away your summer with. And they’re less of a jerk for it too.

Maybe it will never be the same, but I will be returning. After a break I plan to edit a lot, starting with all those filler {ELEPHANT}s and {helicopter flight check?}s that I stick in when I don’t have time to research. And that I forgot about until handing it to a friend.

I always finish a novel with renewed vigor. When I sit down to write I find myself pulling out the upbeat tunes to dance through as I rip apart pages and scribble with red pens. Or something like that. 😉

Well summer is now gone. Fall has already arrived with all its luggage: Shorter days. School. Cold. Flaring colors.

And then another revelation rocks my little universe.

NaNoWriMo is just two weeks away.

And yep.

I’m doing it.

How could I not? Last year was fantastic and after spending almost the past year just on one novel, skipping from section to section, rewriting, and overthinking sometimes, I feel like a good rush of new words and ideas, and that feeling of defenestrating perfectionism and care. Kidnapping a couple new characters and also holding my inner editor for ransom.

Look sometimes you just have to write a random novel and that’s the truth.

*and everyone says amen*

I felt quite lost the other day realizing I have no idea what I was going to write. That since of complete loss. Overwhelming nothing-ness. There is a huge difference between a new chapter in a book, and starting a new book. Facing that blank white page with no history.

Suddenly all that confidence about knowing what I’m doing?

Out the window.

And suddenly I’m sitting at the computer wandering what the temperature is outside.

Where is inspiration when you need it?

Well, after waiting for a sudden creative revelation to hit for a week I gave up only to be most pleasantly bombarded by Eden.

How can you say no to her inspiring bubbliness? Or the prodding by a couple other people I had kinda convinced to do NaNo in the past hundreds of flocks of other eager writing friends. Well she came up with some ideas, which I absolutely loved and twisted together into something I hope will be digestible.

And so now the minor dumping…

Short Teaser

She was born without wings. He was born deaf. And the man was cursed, but he was not born that way.

Hopefully that mini dwarf blurb left you with a couple questions. (Or at least made you want to know more.)

Winged people a norm?

…and now thinking about it, I’m starting to grow extremely excited, scared, and about ten other emotions.

Want to hear more?

What else this novel will include*

  • outcasts
  • fog monsters
  • towering treehouse mansions
  • old maps
  • pirates
  • locked sea chests and riddles
  • angry mobs
  • a quest (to what though I have yet to discover)
  • magical ship with no crew

{*Disclaimer: This is by no means a complete list and is in fact only a list by the author. It has yet to be pitched to the characters. It is very much subject to change. Thank you. 😉 }

Extra Fluff

I tried my hand at making character collages/inspiration-boards…

Cora:

Salar:

And Azo:

And with that I think my introduction is complete-

Wait… I need a title?

You’re saying most books have titles? And ones not just randomly pulled from the number of playlists I have on Spotify? *cough51cough*

Okay confession. I’m terrible at naming books especially when I have no idea what they are about especially out of thin air.

I promise 51 is firstly: not about aliens. And secondly: relates to the story. And thirdly: no I don’t have 51 playlists anymore.

(Don’t look at me like that. You go count your playlists. They multiply like rabbits.)

Well, we will work on that one.

WELL

And that’s that.

You think the party is done though? Never. 😉

Chalice tagged me for this really cool music tag so return next week for another dose of ramblings, this time about music.

Prepare to be drenched.

Until next time, let the joyous hobbits dance!

~ evelyn ~

**all gifs extracted by my personal crew of dwarves from the mines of giphy**

All the Summer Vibes // hiking, writing, reading, and that glorious sunburn

I’m a very crafty person.

No, no. Not that kind of crafty.

Despite what gossip my character have been spreading, I am not a crafty villain scheming up plans of horror and pain. Maybe.

I mean ‘crafty’ as in, I like to take little string and sit for a couple hours looping it on sticks to try to make hats and scarves.

However, during the school year with school. And school. And more school. I only have time for sitting and translating Latin sentences and learning that the Romans defeated the Gauls.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Oh and that the sailors refuse to pray.

So when I finally finished that last math test and ‘summer’ was here, I pulled out my supplies and dove into the world of waking earlier, living at my desk in the basement, and having my family point out the paint stains on my hands I had missed or the bits of thread I had forgotten to brush off my shirt.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

cause I am obsessed with bullet points

#1. Quilting

I’ve always been interested in quilting, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago I made my first quilt.

Okay, actually it was about five years ago and it was so tiny my doll would even have trouble using it.

Not that she got the chance because I didn’t finish that quilt until two months ago when I pulled it out again.

In the meantime, somewhere in the past five years I did patriciate in a crazy quilt day workshop and came out with a finished mini quilt, but, while I learned a lot, in the end, it was still mini.

Well after pulling the first quilt out and finishing the binding at the beginning of this summer, I took in the stack of scrap fabric in our craft closest and the bundle of batting and, remembering a book I had once read at the library, decided to try my hand at making a bigger quilt.

I picked the Log Cabin pattern, because I really loved the examples in the book and it seemed perfect for left-over fabric, since really all I needed was two-inch wide strips.

Originally I sorted out these little stacks of fabric: one blue themed, one pink themed, brown, green, yellow, etc., thinking I might be able to squeeze out three or four squares out of each.

Out of the blue stack of fabric, I was able to make twenty 11 inch(ish) squares: perfect for a baby blanket size.

Shows you how much I know about estimating.

I’m that person who always scoops left-over food in a container that is way too big.

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setting out the squares

I sewed the squares over three days, trimmed them and pieced them together another, and then, after a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some backing and edging, began the actual quilting process (which I should hopefully finish today.)

It was a lot of fun piecing together, and I’m starting to now eye the stack of pink fabric in the closet. (:

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When the back of your stitching creates a perfect treble clef! O.o

#2. Jewelry Making

I began making earrings about a year ago when my sister and a friend organized a craft day at our house.

They’re really fun and fairly easy to make. The hardest part is looping the wire. Especially since I was trying to use the wrong kind of pliers to do it.

Imagine my joy when my grandmother gave me the right type (and more beads!)

To illustrate the immediate affect:

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They’re amazing, thank you GranAnnie! ❤

So I’ve been making tons of earrings lately.

My homeschool co-op community has a craft fair each December so I’ll probably bring my growing stash of earrings.

Or I might decide to keep them all muahahaha

If only I had more ears. 😉

img_1623
owls! and everyone goes “awww”

It’s really cool being able to make things that I know will be used. Gone are the days of braiding hundreds of random strands of rainbow colored craft yarn I found.

It’s doubly neat to be able to make those things I’ve always wanted. Whatever style of earrings such as ones with beads partially wrapped in wire.

Then last week my mother was out running errands when she noticed a small artisan shop in our downtown that is opened only a couple times a month.

She stopped and looked around and decided to take me that afternoon for inspiration and ideas.

Such as quilled paper earrings:

img_1656
setting them out to dry

 

#3. Writing

Yes!

Despite what this post has so far implied I have been writing this summer. I’ve been continuing my attempts to capture everyday, little things in a fresh new way, and have been plowing away at 51 usually late in the evening or early in the morning. I’ve found over the past year that those are the most productive times for me.

When people ask whether I’m a night owl or morning bird, me: “Um…both?”

Who said owls aren’t birds… 😉

51 has been going well though.

A week or so a writing friend mentioned during a conversation about names how they once read somewhere about a writer using elephant in all caps as a place holder in the rough draft stage.

So of course I had to steal borrow the idea.

 

ELEPHANT in the Room

 

Who knew Zeb had such big pockets?

Or that he was that strong. 😉

As a technical update: 51 is at 21,651 words and maybe through one fourth of the story written.

The good news is, I have the ending planned! and written shh don’t tell anyone.

Now I just have to fill in the rest of the middle… 😛

 

#4. Reading

I’ve been reading a nice amount of books too. A lot of revisiting for old favorites, but also some new ones.

Current book I’m reading?

The Mollhill, Vol 3!

It’s my first one to read and I’m really enjoying it.

Basically, for those who don’t know, it’s a collection of poetry, art, essays, stories, and recipes from The Rabbit Room, a community of Christian artists.

img_1548-1

Also! I was forced to join joined a local book club started by a writer-friend.

The first get-together that I have been able to attend yet will be tomorrow. Book for that meeting?

The Book Thief!

I’m excited. (:

#5. Hiking & Swimming

 

Summer did not feel truly feel like summer until last week when we finally went swimming.

It had been a full year for me because of the craziness of moving and settling in and life.

But after spending a day splashing in the sun, and I came home and collapsed on my floor, limbs aching and with raisins for fingers, and my shoulder burning with the most glorious sunburn, it was suddenly summer.

I had never realized how nostalgic that feeling is…

I’ve also gone on a couple hiking trips. The most notable one was with my Dad a couple Saturdays ago. We packed some water, books, and hammocks and hiked up to a private little overlook. There we spent a couple hours swinging lazily in a mossy clearing, swatting flies, and (for me) reading Canterbury Tales.

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When I said it was mossy, I meant it was mossy.

This gorgeous clearing gave an entirely new meaning to the common phrase “the forest was carpeted with moss.”

 

#6. Sketching and Painting

And one of the other things I’ve been doing quite a lot is experimenting with is mixing ink sketching with watercolor.

As you can see, I’ve only been doing little simple projects of things I’m familiar with. (i.e. plants, elephants, and my school drawers)

And finally…

#7. Prepping for school

And here we are at the end.

My first day of class with my weekly homeschool co-op is three weeks away, so I’ve pulled out the brick of biology flashcards, put tabs in my math book, and sped up in my reading of the literature books I will be writing papers on through the year. (Right now it’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And I thought the first part of the book was weird…)

I’m surprising excited for the school year as a whole. This year focuses on British literature, I’ll be studying paintings, music, and art in general, more Team Policy debates, and more Algebra and Trigonometry.

 

Which finally brings me to a quick note about one last thing that’s been going on around here: my brother’s wedding!

I am suuuper excited about my (soon-to-be) new sister! She is just soooo amazing and fun! And just… well I probably could write another five paragraphs about it but I better not. (:

I must say it’s weird growing up though. (Any one else agree out there? *raises hand* Anyone?)

Well, because of this joyous occasion of amazingness but also the busyness that comes with it (did I mention it will be held in our backyard?), I am not going to promise a post next Friday.

Maybe I’ll throw out a poem or something, but we’ll see. (:

What time of day is best for writing for you? How has your summer been? Are you prepping for school yet? What will you be studying?

~ evelyn ~

 

The March of the Typos

Typos.

You’ve got to love them.

Especially when they prowl in the paragraphs of your most important papers.

I view it as a blessing when I’m required to read it one more time before the whole class: It’s my last chance to spot that little monster and cross it out.

I’ve had my fair share of typos as I am sure every writer has.

When the words start pounding in my head and flying out my fingers, the scene of the story playing out before my eyes, I can hardly keep up with myself or my spelling lessons. I have no time to check myself and soon the squiggly red lines are blurring until they disappear behind my character’s surroundings.

When I first started editing my very first competed novel, I came across many a misused comma.

There is a great satisfaction to surfing through pages and pages of manuscript and adding those little missing punctuation marks, but after a certain amount of time, as the sun sets in the west and my eyes grow weary and my hands cramp up from crossing out everything.

It is in those moments typos no longer are those embarrassing mistakes, but suddenly my greatest friends, entertaining me when I most need it.

I even began writing them down.

So today, you get a glimpse into what crazy things sometimes pop out of my fingers.

Welcome to my rough draft world, where my character gallop away on their hoses and the air is filled with humility!

First up we have some brilliant prose dug up from the one and only, Unnamed Fantasy Novel of my childhood:

“The chickens squawked widely.”

What profound wisdom is this?

Meaning their range was wide?

I’ve never payed attention to the pitch of squawking chickens, but now I will have to notice.

Very intriguing.

 

“The first raised his head and stared at Ethel, screeching, as his boy started to shrivel and shrink until it was a black feathery creature: A vulture.”

Yikes… I feel sorry for his boy.

Poor kid.

 

“Behind, in the courtyard, yelling arose and then something began to thudded below in the streets.”

 

This sentence is actually pulled from the same scene as the last two…

When it rains, it pours, my friends.

 

“Ethel could barely see his shadow stop and pull something from a self.

Wow, is this stranger a magician? O.O

Or is he just a guy reaching into his pockets?

And will Ethel ever really know?

 

“I have brought you breakfast and a new dress, since the one I dressed you in the first day was too big. It was the only one we had at the moment,” she chattered setting everything she held on the self, along with items from the stool.”

What can I say?

I’m a person of habit.

 

“Dried herbs dangled from strings off the low rafters, fragmenting the room with a mix of strong smells.”

I mean.

It works

 

“He held out the plate and Ethel accepted it sullenly. The rice and rice smelled good. He handed her the fork too.”

Rice and rice guys.

You heard it here first.

Best dish ever.

 

“…The Riders: Two black dots drifted amidst the blue ribbon that snacked into the horizen’s grasp.”

Wow… just.

Wow.

Blue ribbon snacked into a horizen’s grasp?

Is English even my first language?

And what is up with these descriptions?

All I can picture is a small mythical rodent nibbling on a blue ribbon.

I promise I don’t describe things this way any more.

 

“Seth grabbed the boy’s shoulders with venomous and leaned forward.”

Wait… so was Seth secretly a venomous creature? Like a snake? 😮

I mean the other guy’s boy turns into a vulture sooo

The things an author doesn’t know about her characters until it happens.

And that’s fun and all, but even more recently as I combed through my first set of twenty chapters from 51, I found stuff:

“Stay with my Zeb,” she whispered. “Don’t you dare faint now.”

Woah, woah, woah.

Charlie, my dear.

Don’t go to fast here… you’ve only known him for 24 hours.

That was supposed to say me

And then a few lines later Zeb asks Charlie:

“How much father?”

 

Can their situation here get any more confusing?

 

Charlie nodded. “I’m sorry… I know it hurts and I quash we were closer.”

Well apparently.

Wait…

There’s even more.

“They limped on and Sarah and she dumped the paper bag into the trash.”

Look.

I don’t even have a character named Sarah.

Talk about random people showing up in scenes.

Well, Sarah, you got your little debut in the middle of no where, may we return to the story?

 

“Zeb looked down at his tights where the bloodied strip of white was tied around his tattered jeans. Where had that come from?”

Oh totally.

Ballerina tights are so Zeb’s style, guys.

Like totally.

Yeah…

No.

That’s supposed to say “thigh.”

So where did those random tights come from, Zeb? Do tell. 😉

 

 

The Liebster Award 2.0

And the saga CONTINUES!

Thank you Mary for tagging me!

For a refresher, here are the rules again:

  • Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.
  • Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you.
  • Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nominations.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.

And here I am already trying to brainstorm 11 people I can tag when Mary managed to tag 22 people. O.o

Anyways, on to Mary’s Questions!


 

#1. Who is your favorite Marvel superhero and why?

Loki!

What? He’s not a superhero? Hmm.

Bucky then!

He isn’t either?

Okay, okay. Captain America or Spiderman. 😛

 

#2. What Hogwarts house are you in, and why?

I have not read Harry Potter (…and the crowd gasps…) but! I do have some friends who have.

According to their judgement, I would be in the Ravenclaw house, which apparently is the best one. 😉

For those who are as clueless as I was:

There are four houses of Hogwarts that the students are sorted into. Here is an overview:

  1. Slytherin. This is for very cunning, “whatever it takes” kind of people.
  2. Griffindor is all the brave/hero sorts, the confident ones.
  3. Hufflepuff has all the sweet laid back types: small and innocent.
  4. And Ravenclaw is for the more focused and studious types. 

Shout out to aforementioned friend (you know who you are!) who gave me a quick crash course on this. (:

 

#3. If you could spend one day hanging out with one character in a book you’re writing or wrote, who would it be and why?

Arthur from my WIP, 51.

I started on version 2.0 (or 1.5? since I didn’t finish the first one…) and was realizing how much I want to better understand his character. Perhaps hanging out with him for a day would explain a lot.

 

#4. Out of all the superpowers out there, which one would you want to have? And why?

Is having an unending store of wisdom considered a super power? xD

Cause honestly that’s what would be the extremely helpful. If not, then the ability to fluently speak every language on Earth. That would be pretty helpful too.

 

#5. What inspired you to start your blog? 

My longing to write consistently, to own a place to scrawl thoughts, and to see my words live in the daylight.

 

#6. What is a book or book series that you would recommend to anyone?

I thought long and hard on this one and then it hit me, and now I feel bad I did not think of it earlier.

The Bible!

(duh… 😛 )

 

#7. If you could go into your own world that you wrote or are writing, where would you go to first and why? 

I would go to the Urlynwagh of the Anielian Dwarves. It is the very heart of their deep underground world: a large cone room with walls slanting to the base, covered in paintings, history, and old inscriptions etched from centuries of ancestors. It is there one may find the Dwarf counsel gathered in their battle armor, or the ancient Elders in their solemn garb. I’d love to listen to their arguments and cases, and the wisdom of their luvoren.

Then I would travel through the city to the castle and sit and hear the songs of the largest and most famous verhona played by the most skilled and aged musicians.

Maybe after that go visit a ynwalu trainer above the caves in the fresh mountain air, or try to discover what the trifelines actually do in their spare time…

 

#8. What food do you absolutely LOVE the most, and what food do you loathe to the ends of the earth?

This is a hard question to answer. Thanks to those ole green bean wars of my young childhood, I am not a picky eater, and on the other side there are so many tasty things in the world, and the majority of them reside happily in my mother’s kitchen via her amazing talent of creating delicious meals.

I’d say my mother’s homemade bread and white chicken chili are high on my list along with the grits casserole she makes. (I always request it for my birthday breakfast…)

Speaking of breakfast foods, her pancakes and waffles are the best I have ever had.

Red peppers, bagels, and grape tomatoes are also great.

Did I mention that my mom’s homemade salsa is from heaven?

I could keep going. xD

Just the other day my family was discussing how we love being in the “I Love Mom’s Cooking Club.” It’s amazing guys.

Anyways, as for something I dislike… Hmm. Ranch dressing comes to mind. It has a weird after-taste for me. And I’ve never really been fond of Ketchup either.

I hope condiments apply for this question…

(And I told you guys I don’t rant about food. Ha.)

 

#9. Which of the four seasons (summer, spring, fall, winter) is your favorite and why?

Oooh. Um. Hmm.

Did you just ask that? Really?

Summer is so beautifully, toasty hot. Days spent in the sun and bare feet squishing fresh green grass between toes. And the satisfaction of surviving another year of school and tying it up in a bow.

Fall is spectacular with all the trees turning red, brown, and orange, then carpeting the roads in their hair. It’s cool again and perfect for quiet, peaceful walks of awe.

And then winter is beautiful because they are the days curled up inside in a thick sweater by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate, listening to Christmas carols, and watching the snow cover the backyard in yards of brilliant white icing.

And the beauty of spring comes from the end of winter, as you wake up one morning to the sound of birds and open your windows to the sun and realize there’s a batch of flowers waiting beside your door step.

Sooo

Does that answer your question? xD

 

#10. What is the biggest goal you have in life right now

That I can think of off the top of my head?

Well, it would probably be the goal to start over and write an entire first draft for 51 by August.

Or maybe not dying during Driver’s Ed this summer.

Yeah.

One of those.

#11. What is the one thing you love doing most in life?

How can I narrow it down?

Well…

Experiencing life with people I love.

Creating something beautiful for a fellow human.

Telling a story that touches a soul.

Watching young children.

Watching people grow up.

Geeking out over books with other writers.

And finishing a trigonometry problem and actually getting the answer right.

 

 

Now 11 random facts about me.

 

– I love music and currently I have 34 playlists on Spotify. (Is that too many?)

– Apparently, I am a first alto.

– My earliest nightmare I remember included me being kidnapped by a troll and taken to his treehouse. (Someday I’ll turn it into a story…)

– Ey, guys!! I am officially a professional artist! This week was the first time I was paid for my work.

– Now I am currently brainstorming what to do with three empty canvases.

– My name is a combination of the name “Eve” and “Lynn” so it means “life and light.”

– I have named a villain once after a name my parents were considering for me if I had been a boy.

– This summer is going to be a combination of reading, writing, pulling weeds, learning to drive, and hoping to start a small calligraphy business.

– I have discovered writing a note to a friend with a dip ink pen late in the night is lovely.

– I’ve been to 29 of the 50 states of America.

– I cry at the end of Toy Story 3 because the baby doll in it looks just like the one I’ve had all my life.


 

Well, now time for some tagging.

I tag…

  • all those tag thieves prowling around out there (I promise I won’t look if you steal it…)
  • anyone who has not done this award yet (Does this species even exist anymore?)
  • any fellow Ravenclaws (High-five guys!)
  • any book characters out there who feel up to the challenge of hacking into their writer’s blog and posting (Muhahaha.)

 

And your 11 questions.

– What type of music do you enjoy? How has your music tastes grown over the years? (And how many playlists do you have??)

– What is one of the weirdest/scariest dreams you’ve ever had?

– Where is your favorite place to do homework? What about reading or writing?

– How many draft posts do you currently have for your blog?

– What is the worst experience have had in your writing life? (Or written life for those characters who are answering here. 😉 )

– Where is the weirdest place or situation you’ve found inspiration for a story?

– What was the last book/movie that made you cry? (Unless you’re one of those people who never cries…)

– What is a recent piece of insight you found that you really appreciated?

– What is something deeply satisfying that happened this week?

– What are you looking forward to this summer?

If you had to pick one of your characters to haunt you the rest of your life, which would you pick? (Or for characters… which of your acquaintances would you love to go haunt your writer for you?)

 

And ten points for a bonus question! Who started the Liebster Award? Whoever they are, they’re a genius and they’ve taken over the blogging word with their self-multiplying device.

I’ve always wondered who is behind it all…

Well, friends, this is the end, but I’m curious. Does anyone else dislike Ranch Dressing and Ketchup? Or am I the only one?

 

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 ~