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Showing posts from July, 2014

BB Villain: A Prince is Born

Newel glided silently down the familiar halls.  It had been a long time since he entered the family chambers of the royal castle -- perhaps not since he had moved to Northumber.  It was strange how it stirred old feelings.
      He remembered hiding on these stairs or behind that closet.  He remembered watching his father with hope and trepidation.  He remembered the awe with which he regarding Alton.  And he remembered his mother.
     The memory of his mother made a strange tugging at his heart.  How he loved her!  What would he not have given to have her hold him to her bosom one more time!  How safe she had always made him feel!
      He could almost see her walking down the hall toward him.  In his mind, he could see her dark hair pinned up in queenly elegance.  He could hear the rustle of her gown.  He could smell her sweet perfume -- a scent that he had been unable to find since.  Newel's eyes glazed over and he could almost hear her voice.  "Newel," she woul…

Secret Project Update

Hi!  As many of you know, I am working on a secret project: a story that I am trying to keep mostly a secret until it is done.  However, being able to post updates and snippets and characters on this blog really helps me stay motivated as I write.  Posting something about my project on here is sort of a reward for the work that I put in behind the scenes.  And so, even though my project is a secret, you still get to know little bits and pieces about it.
     My update today is that my secret project now has about 6,500 words in it.  It is more than that if you count the two false starts (where I started writing and then scrapped the project as a dismal failure) or if you count the character development that I have done on the side.  But the story itself, as it stands, has 6,500 words so far.
     Six and a half thousand words may not sound like much, but I am so early in the story that I am half-afraid that, by the time I am done, it may be longer than I intended.  But, I will s…

An Iron Rod in a Desperate Fist

Lord Ives is the external villain in my secret project.  He is an oppressive and harsh master.  In his mind, there is such a gulf between himself and his inferiors as to make their lives worth nothing.  He treats his dogs better than he treats his servants.
     With such a mindset, any appearance of servants trying to bridge his perceived gulf makes him incredibly angry.  With his dominant personality, he believes it his duty to squelch anything that looks like an uprising.  But there is also an intensity in his reaction that is almost like a panic.  It's as if he feels his position to be shaky and he is terrified to have it challenged.  He seems to believe that he would lose all that is dear to him and that he would fail countless generations of ancestors if he were to allow servants to do anything other than abject submission to his will.
     His servants, perhaps, do not see this.  They only see a master who is eager to ferret out any perceived rebellious attitudes, who…

Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag

Attention, folks, I have an announcement to make: Jennifer Freitag is planning to release her book, Plenilune, in October of this year.
     I cannot say that I have read the entire book and recommend it (you will have to research it and make your own decision as I will J ), but I have read some of Jenny's work and can say that she is incredibly talented with story-telling.  There is a reason she is known as The Penslayer! 
Plenilune is a planetary fantasy, which I knew nothing about until I read Jenny's definition (you can see her post here).  Essentially, I would summarize it as a story taking place on a planet whose normal rules and laws of order differ in some ways from our own. 
     So the long and short of this post is to let you know about Plenilune's release date and to recommend that you check out the author's blog: The Penslayer.  I will leave you now with Plenilune's synopsis:
The fate of Plenilune hangs on the election of the Overlord, for which Ruper…

Meet Decellus

Here is another of my characters from my secret project.  His name is Decellus.  He fought beside the king in the Seven Year War and has become the person whom the king trusts most.
     Decellus is not originally from Leramay but from a country called Ricge.  As a boy, he was raised as the son of a gentleman.  As a youth, preparing for his future career, he wavered between a political and a military career.  Then civil war broke out, making the decision for him as all semblance of oratory government was swallowed up in the war.  There was no time for training -- there was a battle on his doorstep.  With the typical eagerness of an active young man, Decellus joined his family and neighbors in fighting against the rebels.
      But the rebels were stronger than anyone thought.  In barely three years time, they swept over the country, crushing the current powers.  Decellus found himself in a country that did not want him.  His family was gone, his home was gone, his friends were g…

Princess Taralia of Nephtar

     What shall be done with a beautiful princess of a poor country?  Send her to marry a prince from a rich country!  With this in mind, Princess Taralia is sent along with Nephtar's ambassador to visit the powerful country of Leramay.  Using as many arts as she can muster, it is her job to woo him into a marriage.  Her country depends on it.
      Things seem to be going well.  To her secret delight, the prince she is sent to win is a handsome, charming, young man.  And, while there are numerous other women seeking the same goal, Taralia has the advantage, since she came with her ambassador, of living in the prince's castle in the guest rooms reserved for foreign ambassadors.  With such hope in front of her, Taralia and her ambassador find extra business to detain them in Leramay for as long as necessary.
      But the prince disappears as soon as his father arrives home.  How can a woman woo a prince who is nowhere to be found?  Growing desperate, Taralia begins her own searc…

Tips for Shoppers: Whose Fault is It?

One of the things that I suppose is frustrating for shoppers is that the chain between them and the source of their troubles is too long.  This is why many of them can only see the person in front of them.  And it is for this reason that the poor cashier gets blamed for everything.
     Cashiers get blamed for long lines at the checkout when perhaps it is due to poor scheduling practices held by the management.  Or perhaps it is because somebody did not show up for work on time.  Or perhaps it is merely because every shopper in the county decided to descend upon the checkout line.  [For your information, we cashiers are fully convinced that the shoppers do this to us intentionally.  In fact, we believe that you shoppers gather in the back of the store and syncronize your watches for this purpose.]
     The temperature of the store is another thing that gets blamed on the cashier.  Believe me when I say that this is unjust.  To this day, I do not know where the thermostat regulato…

BB Villain: Anything Alton Can Have, I Can Have

The weight of the cloak over his shoulders gave Newel a sense of security.  He pulled it tighter against himself as if withdrawing into the safety of its recesses, and the movement caused the gold chains around his neck to clink soothingly.  Newel needed all the comfort he could get on this auspicious day.  He hated large gatherings.
     The castle banquet hall was crowded.  People were everywhere, gathered around the tables with smiles on their faces.  The air was thick with the savory scents of cooked meats and delectables, as well as the perfumes of ladies.  Newel could hardly move without having his elbow jostled by a passing nobleman.  And the noise of happy chatter droned about him.
     At first, Newel could not distinguish words in the hum of talking voices.  But gradually, he was able to focus on one group at a time and discern their words.  Most everyone was talking of the wedding they had attended that morning -- the wedding of King Alton and his new bride.

BB Villain: The Cloak of War

Newel, Duke of Northumber, stood by the window, staring over the lawn of his estate.  The great stone mansion had been his home for two years.  He had moved into the Northumber estate soon after the death of his mother.  It was not far from the castle that had been his home hitherto -- perhaps an hour's ride on a good horse.
     A servant appeared in the doorway. "They are assembled, your Grace," announced he.
     Newel surveyed his servant with a dissatisfied air.  Pomplin was his name.  He seemed faithful enough, but the man was an absolute bore with no warmth about him.  Newel wanted a plain servant with no fuss about him, but he hadn't counted on such a morose dimwit.  Serving was all the man was good for.  He had no imagination and a complete inability to think outside of Newel's orders (or so it seemed to Newel).
     "No matter," Newel thought to himself, curling his lip into a scornful grin.  "That's all I need him for."  Ne…

Joy's Q&A: Day 4

So, folks, please join in the fun of the second last day of Through the Looking Glass Literary Blog Party. . .
"The Modern Novel"
(or general fiction questions)
1. Who are your most-well-loved authors of the mid to late twentieth century (. . . 1930s-1980s)?
I have a lot in this window.  I like
Margaret Sidney
Lee Roddy
Albert Payson Terhune
James Herriot
Paul Hutchens
Janette Oke and Arleta Richardson
     -- although they wrote about older times so I am not sure if they count as "modern"
some of Beverly Cleary
Barbara Robinson
some of Walter Farley
Alfred Ollivant
Jean Craighead George
Corrie Ten Boom
Brother Andrew (God's Smuggler)
Jack London (no, I don't agree with his philosophies at all, but I enjoyed his books)
Eleanor Porter
Stephen and Janet Bly
oh, my, the list goes on...!  I'll stop now.
2. Your favourite authors of the twenty-first century?
I haven't read as many here.  But I've read Katy Pistole, Jenny Freitag, Rachel Heffington, E…

Bound and Freed

She was a captive under a twisted leader; her life was worse than death.  Then One came and gave His life in her place.  He rescued her and defeated the twisted leader.  Now she is free.  
     But, now, there is no place she would rather be than with Him.  She pledged her life to Him, binding herself to Him for eternity.
    She is both:
bound and freed

July Chatterbox: Foreign Relations

"Did you see the ambassador from Arandia?" Chauncey asked as he swung open the door and entered the kitchen with a light step.  He balanced a silver tray on one hand as the door shut behind him with a bang.
     Grimm looked up from his papers and glared at Chauncey for his irritatingly light-hearted tone of voice.  "Why wouldn't I have seen him?"
     Chauncey laughed lightly as though Grimm had made a good joke.  "True -- he would have been hard to miss," Chauncey admitted cheerily as he set his tray down and transferred its load into a wash basin.  "Such brilliant colors!  I've never seen anyone wear so bold a combination of yellows and oranges, purples and blues, greens and reds!  And with gold edging on everything!"
     "Ridiculous outfit," Grimm snorted, rattling his papers in disgust
     "The colors were so cheerful...I don't see how anyone can be glum around them," Chauncey said, polishing his tray …

Not Forgotten

Greetings, readers!  This is a quick note to let you know I have not forgotten you.  More interesting posts are coming up soon!  Thanks for your patience.  :)

A Picture Inspires a Thousand Words

Sometimes a picture is the start of a story... ...sometimes a picture carries you through the middle of the story (the part that is neither the beginning nor the end)... ...sometimes a picture helps you create your finale. Do you use pictures when you write?

Talk to Me: Willie

Greetings!  I recently discovered a new blog and she has a linkup event wherein your characters write your blog post.  Today I am making Willie from BB write the post...except I am doing the typing.


I'm Willie.

That's what people call me.  Willie.  Yeah.

My author's typing for me.  Because I can't type.  And she can.

<awkward pause>

I'm friends with Curt.  I like Curt.  Curt lets me go places with him.  He's really good at everything.  I'm not good at anything.  Sometimes Curt is mad at me.  Because I mess things up.  But I want Curt to like me.

I want Emma to like me, too, but Emma likes Curt.  Emma used to be nice to me.  She's in the store.  I like the store.  It smells nice.

<another awkward pause>

One time I did something mean to Belle.  I did it because Curt did it.  And I wanted Curt to like me.  But Belle cried.

I don't like it when people cry.  It makes me sad.

I was so upset because I made her cry.  I did.  Why d…

Beautiful People: Willie from BB

This is now the second month since the return of Beautiful People, and I will be joining in this month.  I picked Willie from my BB project.  Enjoy!

1) What’s their favourite food? (Bonus: favourite flavor of chocolate!)
     Willie loves bread -- fresh baked bread.  He could eat it all day long.
2) What do they absolutely hate?
     He hates bad feelings: sadness, anger, hatred, strife, shame.
3) What do they enjoy learning about?
     He tries to learn how to do things like Curt does.  He's never succeeded, but he likes to try.  Plus he always liked counting in math, and he loves to hear about how things work in a store.
4) Who is the most influential person in their life?
     Curt...and maybe Emma and Belle.
5) What is their childhood fear?
Being lost...all alone.
6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?
     Being good at something.
     Maybe also marrying a certain person...
7) What is something he is impractically afraid …

The White Tennis Shoes

It was a mystery to Kalynn how other children kept their tennis shoes white.  Rachel had kept her tennis shoes white for 6 months...and she actually wore them.  The only way Kalynn knew to keep shoes white for more than 10 minutes was to leave them in the closet.  No matter how she studied the problem, she still could not understand how Rachel and her friends did it.      "Maybe they are not doing the same things that you are," Kalynn's mother suggested.
     It was possible.  Kalynn didn't pay much attention to Rachel and her friends.  Perhaps they found a way to be more careful.
     The day came when Kalynn outgrew her old tennis shoes, and her mother bought her a new white pair with purple edging.  They were beautiful, and Kalynn eyed them admiringly.
     "I hope they stay white," Kalynn said.
      The next day, Kalynn went to spend the day with her friends.  In the car on the way, she looked dubiously at her new white shoes.
     "I'm g…

Joy Q&A: Day 3

Once again, I am taking part in Joy's tag by picking through the questions.  I am sorry to leave so much out, and once more I direct you to Joy's post to see the fullness of her event.  But I haven't seen much of Sherlock Holmes (although now I feel I should) and so I don't know the answers to several of her questions.  But here I have-a-go at the ones I can:

1. How many Sherlock Holmes "books" have you read?

3. Have you read any of Agatha Christie's novels or watched any of the adaptions of her works? (Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, etc . . . ) If so, which of her books/stories is your favourite?
I haven't read her novels but I have watched a few episodes of Miss Marple.  Not sure about a favorite...

5. What are your general sentiments regarding mystery fiction? Are you an avid reader, do you read it occasionally for fun, or do you try to avoid it? As a Christian, how much do you enjoy and appreciate this genre? Mystery fiction need not be …

She Really Needs A Name

Dungeon is under the knife -- meaning the book is in the process of being critiqued and corrected.  I asked a friend to read it for me, and she is awesome.  For too long, I had stared at my book -- knowing that there were multiple things that needed fixing and not quite knowing how to go about it  -- or knowing what to do but then second-guessing myself.  I needed help...either that or perhaps another 5 years of maturity under my belt...and I didn't want to wait 5 years.
    It's incredibly humbling to see all the red scribbled over my manuscript...and even more humbling to know that the critique is absolutely right.  But that's not the strongest feeling that comes to me as I read through her red marks.  The strongest feeling is

     That may sound odd to say, but it is true.  The fact that she puts her finger right on these nebulous things that have been bothering me feels really good.
     Here's an analogy: let's say you have a knot in your back -- y…