Friday, 1 September 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT // author website, newsletter + CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY

In case you missed the title:



*screams into the abyss*

I spent aaaages trying to work out what in the world to write in a blog post about a new website, but in the end I'm just going to wing it completely.

So without further adobehold the website:

Now if anyone actually hangs around this blog post any longer, THERE'S STILL MORE.

I'm starting a monthly newsletter. (*more screaming*) You can sign up for it on my website 'contact' page or the sidebar of the blog (the website blog, not this one). So basically just head on over there right now and check it all out.

This post is going to be fairly brief because I don't want to bore you and repeat myself. I have more details on the post I did on the website. (I suggest you read that one too because it covers some important details that I've probably completely forgotten to say in this one. xD)

BUT THE GIVEAWAY!!! I'm giving away the winner's choice of Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood #1, Anne Elisabeth Stengl) or A Wish Made of Glass (Ashlee Willis). Both of these book are five-stars from me (though some later ones of the Tales of Goldstone Wood are even better—looking right at you, Veiled Rose) and I hugely enjoyed them.
If you already have BOTH of these books, ENTER ANYWAYS. If you win I'll email you and, depending on costs, maybe we can work out another book. *fingerguns* IT'LL BE EPIC, 'KAY? JUST DO IT.

This giveaway is open internationally. And yes, it'll be in paperback copy for the winner.

You excited yet?? (If you're not, shhh don't ruin my dream :P) Here's your entry tasks!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


But Jane—does this mean your mistymaiden.blogspot blog is going to be...abandoned???

I'm sorry to say, folks, but yes. This blog will drift into silence, but I am absolutely not going silent myself. I have a blog on the website which you can all stalk (or follow, if you're civilized xP) and I'll be posting weekly still. AND if you've tagged me for something or other, HAVE NO FEAR. I will still do it. It's just been carried over from this blog to the other, so you'll have to look there for when I'll do the post.

You guys are all epic. Thank you for hanging around here. Every single person who reads this blog (even if you've never commented!) really means sooo much to me. *group hug*

NOW GO. Complete your tasks and enter the giveaway. Have fun. :D (Also, I promise that I'm not all scary and official now. I'm still exactly the same as I was before. :P)

Have you read Heartless or A Wish Made of Glass?
Which would you choose to have sitting on your shelf?

Monday, 28 August 2017

3 Ways I Use MBTI for Characters // because lists and letters are fun

The words 'Myers Briggs Personality test' has haunted me basically from right at the beginning of my blogging life. People randomly used letters to describe their personality. People asked me what 'MBTI' I was and for all I knew that might've meant 'massively bouncy tiny iguana.' 

It was actually only this year-ish that I really bothered to work out what this mysterious thing actually was.

Each of the older half of the family took the test. I almost gave up halfway through because I was bored, BUT NO. I persevered until the end. (And that was the day that I discovered that I was an extrovert. And it absolutely made sense, I'd just never considered the fact that it was even a possibility. I thought I was just hyper. xP) 
For anyone who was wondering and doesn't already know - I'm ENFP. For anyone who is still as clueless about the Myers Briggs test as I used to be - yay I'm not the only one. Go check it out. :P

But since my personal discovery of these mysterious four letters and the meaning they have, I've found them really intriguing and actually quite useful when it comes to characters. And that's what we're going to talk about today.

How does the MBTI help me with characters? Well, there's multiple ways I find it useful, but let's go with three...

1: It's an easy way to describe a character if asking for personality advice

No one's the same, obviously, but it can really be quite useful to be able to ask an ENTP friend (for example) about how they react to situations and how they think and show emotions, as research for an ENTP character. I've done this multiple times and it has absolutely helped with the realistic aspects of the characters I've done it for. I don't copy off everything they say (and I often try get as many of that 'type' as I can to see a lot of points of view) but it really good to have that inside perspective on how they see things.

2: Researching in general

If you look up 'angsty characters' you'll get a huge variety of posts and articles.
If you look up 'INTJ characters' it narrows down the search and in a matter of moments becomes at least 50% more applicable to said character.

I've used this tactic multiple times too and it really does help weed out the less related articles.

3: Doing the test from their POV is actually a really good experience

Whatever test you're doing (there's a fair few out there), there are always questions that honestly just don't relate to your characters and their situations. BUT it can be really interesting to work out what would so-and-so do in that sort of a place? How would he react? It's just another way that I've worked out some teensy little details about my characters that really do help me know them better as an overall person.

Bonus - the MBTI of some of my characters!! Because you definitely wanted to know this. (Shh, don't argue. Of course you wanted to know.)

Rogue Escarlate and co.
- Will Escarlate: ENTP
- Ben Kit: INFP

A Sprig of Green
- Braden Argo: ISTJ
- Michayla: another INFP

Adventures of Lando Erif
- Lando Erif: ISFJ
- Titus Kanter: ISTP
- Thomas Kanter: ISFP
(Interesting note: the twins were 1-3% off identical in everything but the thinking/feeling section which they were 10% apart in. So - very similar.)
(Also interesting note: all three of them start with 'IS' which is interesting. Although Lando was close to 'IN.' *strokes chin thoughtfully*)

And there you have it! Keep your eyes open for a BIG and IMPORTANT and EXCITING post this Friday. *looks mysterious*

Do you use MBTI for your characters?
What are some of the benefits you've found?

Disclaimer: I'm absolutely not advertising this test or site or anything. I've just used it in the past and have found that it can be somewhat useful. :P

Friday, 25 August 2017

I PRINTED MY BOOK!!! // A Sprig of Green gorgeousness

[warning: this blog post contains much screaming in caps. I apologise in advance for any hearing problems you might sustain]


YES YES YOU READ RIGHT. I printed out a real life actual book copy of A Sprig of Green. *flails and more screaming*

How did this happen??
Well, the story is that Alice (one of my older sisters) is normally my brainstorming buddy and she reads all my books as I'm writing them and everything. And she's great at it. But for this one I wanted to give her a surprise. A birthday surprise.

So I didn't let her read it. Instead I had the epic Krystal reading it for me instead (many hugs and thanks to her because she was so amaaazing <33). And then I enlisted my other older sister, Clare, and she made an epic cover for me and I scraped through the novella roughly to try get rid of as many typos as I could. Then I uploaded it all onto lulu and clicked order.

AND THEN IT CAME IN THE MAIL JUST IN TIME. Two days before Alice's birthday, I got the book.

I was excited. Very excited. MUCH FLAILING HAPPENED, GUYS. I'm sure you can imagine it. xD

Flailing is still happening actually. :P MY BOOK SMELLS WITH THAT 'NEW BOOK' SMELL. I CAN HOLD IT. I CAN HUG IT.

(Once again, thank you SO MUCH Clare for taking such amaaazing photos. <3 <3 <3)

Then we break through the clouds and the light explodes down on us, illuminating a world of white, misty clouds and endless horizons...

I know now. I made my choice a long time ago, and there’s no going back. 
I’m going to help Michayla change the world.

Also, yeah this post has, like, two hundred words and two gazillion photos (closer to 300 words and 10 photos but shhh that's beside the point), but PICTURES TELL A THOUSAND WORDS EACH. So win-win. xD

SO WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO PRINT YOUR BOOK??? (because you tooootally should, guys. Really. )

Monday, 21 August 2017

More Tags // revealing the secret of how I smashed NaNo 2016

Let me tell you a story.

One day, I did a tag. I tagged Sarah. Sarah tagged Ralraymee. Ral tagged me.

And then one of the other people that Ral tagged did the tag and tagged Ral back and then. You'll never guess it.

She tagged me again.


I did not sign up for this. *shakes head slowly* But anyway. :P

Thank you Ral for tagging me (both times) (and sorry for taking so long about getting around to doing this), everyone go check out her blog. She's only fairly recently started up again, but if you activate ninja skills you can stalk all her posts. *nods*

I shall now proceed to skip the rules and go straight on to the twenty questions (double tags shouldn't be allowed. xP) from Ral.

1. Can you share with us a Snippity Bit of a story you are currently writing/have written?

Nooo. You've already gotten enough Agent Kit snippets. Let's do something different. Time for stalking all my other story ideas and finding a nice little snippet.

I am a prince, therefore I must rescue the princess.

I must also have an over-protective mother, a father almost as stubborn as myself, and a name long enough to make a dragon cringe.

That’s just how it works.

No one asks questions. No one steps aside from tradition. No one protests that it jolly well gets boring after five centuries of the exact same thing. Over and again.

Cliché, am I right?

If one looks back through the history books, it’s all just repeating itself. Handsome prince, damsel in distress, tall tower. Toss in a couple of assassinations, wars, and on-the-side romances, and that’s the entire history of the country.

I can near enough recite it in my sleep.

And for me it’s all going to be the same.

“It’s what I did, and my father before me, and his father before him and—”

“His father before him and so on and on and blah blah. I get the picture.” I drape my hand off the side of the reclining lounge, trying to ignore my father.

Oh yes, I didn’t mention that because I’m a prince, I’m also a rebellious, stubborn son.

Again, that’s just how it works.

To be entirely honest, this one makes even less sense to me, because surely the fathers would have rebelled by now and slapped some sense into their sons. But no.

Not that I’m complaining.

2. Is there a funny writing experience you've had? If so, what?

a) I am a master of funny (do not question me here. *solemn nodding*)
b) how could I choose one thing??

Okay so let me pick one random thing. Last year in November - aka my first ever time of doing NaNoWriMo - I was doing some word wars. LISTEN CAREFULLY. This is where I tell you my secret of how I won NaNo in nine days.

I was doing word wars with some peoples on an online forum. Then one other girl and I decided to spice things up a little.

Next word war, we typed with our toes.

And then our thumbs.

And then our noses.

By the time we got to typing with our elbows, one of the others on the forum said 'do you think we could do a normal word war? Because I'm kinda doing this for NaNo.'

Then both me and the other girl said 'so are we.'

And I won NaNo in nine days so OBVIOUSLY IT'S A GOOD THING TO DO. Go. Word war with your nose, my friends. It makes things far more interesting and I highly recommend it.

3. What's your favourite thing to do to your characters?

Torture them

Of course.

And then cry over them.

And then do it again.

Ahh, the writer's life.

4. Is there a time you've gotten so angry at something that happened in a book you stopped reading? If so, what book/what happened?

No. I've never been so angry that I stopped reading (I've been bored and stopped reading a shameful amount of times though). I've had times when I was very grumpy, but I kept reading because I was holding onto a hope that it wouldn't be too bad. (spoiler alert: it was that bad)

5. What genre is your favourite to write in? (Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-fi)

Why do people like asking me this question? xD

I like playing around with a lot of different ones and I love them all for the different story opportunities that they have. 
- I love dystopian because cool inventions, explosions and fun stuff like that. 
- I love sci fi because -again- cool inventions, interesting planets, creative social structures. 
- I love contemporary fantasy because DRAGONS and also REAL LIFE. 
- Steampunk is cool because allll the gears and biplanes and old-style clothes and much fun stuff. 
And the list goes on and on. I SHALL NEVER CHOOSE A FAVOURITE.

I've never actually written anything solely for comedy. BUT this is me, and as I mentioned, I'm the master of funny (and humble about it, too :P). All my stories turn out funny without me trying. (Except maybe A Sprig of Green because it turned out mostly feelsy.)

6. What's your WIP story about?

WELL LOOK AT THAT I did a handy little blog post on this exact question a few weeks ago.

7. Is there a book you tried to read but got too bored? If so, which book?

*more coughing* Among many others *cough*

8. Is there a time you realised too late you spelt something wrong?

Is there a time in any writer's life when they HAVEN'T spelt something wrong??

Ahem. Yes. Yes there certainly is. But that's okay because I don't even bother with typos in my 1st drafts and I don't usually do anything with my writing that's irreversibly set in stone if there's a mistake.

9. Is there a time you hated something that you've wrote? If so, please share :D

HA. HAHAHA. I love this question. I repeat my former answer: Have any writers NOT, at some point in time, hated what they wrote??

Because if you are that writer, please may I talk to you. Either you're delusional, or perfect.

Yes. Of course. I've gone through stages of hating every single novel or story or anything that I've ever wrote. True fact. But I get over it.

10. (Last one, phew) How do you get your ideas?

It's like this. For me, ideas are like ninjas. They stalk me, they see me right when I'm least expecting them, and then they pounce down from behind. They are merciless things.

FIRST TAG DONE, WOOT. And now for tag number two.

1. Do you draw your characters? *hint hint*

Let me get one point straight.

I am not an artist.

At all.

BUT STILL. Because you asked, let me show you some amazing pictures that the epic Sarah S-B drew of my characters because she's an amazing artist and friend and you all need to see her drawings.

Please say hello to the Ginger Ninja and the Green Trident. Two characters from a superhero story of mine. That isn't written yet. But shall be. One day. Hopefully. xD

And this adorable one is Ben Kit and Brinley. Brinley is actually Sarah's character, and she and Ben met in a character chat a while back. Good fun. (about 90% of the character chat was basically the scenario shown in the picture. xP)

Now go check out Sarah's blog to stalk more of her amazing drawings!!

2. Is there some strange thing you do to help you write? If so, what?

It's not really that strange as such, but I have specific musics for each WIP to get into the feel of it. I also avoid having the internet open (other than maybe a youtube playlist) while writing otherwise it's too big of a distraction.

3. Is there a time you've been interrupted while reading/writing and gotten so bored of reading the same thing over and over again? If so, what book?

I'm not entirely sure what this question means? Other than begin interrupted and rereading half the page to find out where you were up to. And eh. I don't normally get that badly interrupted.

4. Does your main villain have any special 'connections' with the main character? (Eg: Epsilon, Star Wars, ect)

For Agent Kit - if he did, I wouldn't say. Because spoilers.

For all my other WIPs - same answer. I shall not impart the spoilers.  *mysterious smile*

5. Is there a time you've never seen a plot twist coming and it surprised the living daylights out of you?

First of all. I had no idea that other people used the term 'living daylights.' I assumed that was a weird thing my family does. BUT NO APPARENTLY NOT. I am impressed. (Now I just need to discover whether it's Australian slang or just an odd figure of speech.)

And yes. Yes I have had that happen. Someone please help me find my daylights. Five cents reward for anyone who catches them - living preferably. Dead daylights don't work quite as well.

6. 3 worst books you've EVER read.

You do not need me to list these. Trust me. I will start ranting if I do and no one needs that.

If you're really curious, stalk my goodreads. (although note - sometimes my star ratings aren't what you should go off because I used to rate them...oddly. Which ended up with some books that I really didn't all...somehow sporting three shiny stars. Also going off my two books that I've rated one star - one book I didn't like, the other I was just bored by and apparently bored enough that I slapped it with a one-star. xD)

7. 3 BEST books you've read.

THIS on the other hand, I shall answer. Maybe. If I can choose only three books. I'm going to stick with fiction books.

1: A Time to Rise - Nadine Brandes
2: Veiled Rose - Anne Elisabeth Stengl
3: Resistance - Jaye L. Knight

And just so you know, I spent about half an hour trying to choose those books. Other than A Time to Rise. That one I wrote immediately. *throws Nadine's-fan-forever confetti everywhere*

8. Your character and their friends have to go on a looonnnnggg journey. Monsters attack. What does the main character do?

Ben considers himself a bit of a ninja. He would probably charge in to protect his friends, get thwacked by a monster and then Will would actually save them all.

This is basically the rough summary of the whole of Agent Kit. :P

9. One of your favourite things you've ever written.

I can't choose.
How could I choose something like that.
I protest.

My favourite story that I've written is probably A Sprig of Green but that said it's battling with Rogue Escarlate and co. because I honestly love those characters so much and I've been working with them for over a year and they're just such a part of my life. So yeah.

I tried to choose. I really did.
I also failed. Oh well.

10. (Last one, phew *sighs with relief*) Your character has the opportunity to kill the super-ultra-evil-villain BUT. He's unconscious, he doesn't have a weapon, he's severely wounded, someone else beat him up. Would your main character spare him (for now) or straight-up kill him?

One thing that I shall say here - Ben would never kill the villain. There's one scene in A.K. where he almost kills a man (it was slightly different originally but I'm changing it in the rewrite) and it leads on to a huge traumatic stuff and let's just say that Ben's goal is to stop anyone from getting killed. 

Not killing people is also a big part of his overall character arc and stuff.

He wouldn't kill someone who was about to kill him, let alone someone who was unconscious and bleeding. He would try save the villain if he was like that.

And there we have it. I come out with yet another tag post (are you tired of them yet??) and more collages and snippets from YET ANOTHER story idea. I have enough story ideas to keep me going for almost a decade.

What's your favourite thing to do to/with your characters?
(face it though, writers are all horribly cruel and we torture our preciouses.)
Do you like making aesthetics/collages for your characters/WIPs?
(I'm not the only person obsessed with this, riiiight??)

Friday, 18 August 2017

Character Karaoke Tag // a post-ful of folk songs

Apparently it really is the tagging season at the moment. I've got half a dozen (okay okay, slight exaggeration there) draft posts of tags I've been tagged for just...sitting around until I can fit them in. Even I'm impressed.

It's beginning to get to the point where I'm just picking my favourites and whichever one I like the sound of best and deciding to do it, and then getting tagged for another interesting-sounding one before I even finish writing that post.

Quinley - Adventure Awaits - tagged me a little bit ago and this time it's a whole tagful of music, so I couldn't resist. If you like music YOU SHOULD HAVE FUN.

I'm a music person. I play five different instruments (flute, violin, piano, guitar and ukulele). I also like listening to music.

HOWEVER. Because it's about characters, I immediately turned to Agent Kit to answer them via Ben.

Ben is not a music person.

He doesn't listen to music. He doesn't play music. He certainly doesn't sing (and if he did, everyone would hurry to ask him to shut up). And also, the first question is about my character's wedding day. Ben is fifteen. Needless to say, I have not planned his wedding. AND SO BEHOLD. I'm going to snatch up a completely different character. Or rather, character couple.

Please welcome Kip Paxton and Karissa Tarley.

*cue me being super predictable and having an aesthetic picture ready for them*

Before we get into the questions though, I have a super cool story. The faceclaim I have for Kip Paxton is Roo Panes. I came across him and he was just perfect to what I'd pictured Kip to look like (and all other writers can relate to the excitement that gave me, I'm sure). So I then went and looked up the owner of this face, to find some more photos. And then I discovered that he's an English folk-styled songwriter. YES YOU HEARD RIGHT. And his songs are so. cool. They fit with Kip and Karissa so well and it's insane how perfect both the songs and the face are. Needless to say I still haven't gotten over how epicly cool it was with those 'coincidental' discoveries.

I don't believe in coincidences like that. I honestly found it such an awesome reminder of how God cares about even the littlest things. Little things like finding a faceclaim for my character and music to fit him as well.

ANYWAYS. Right into the questions now.

It's your character's wedding day. What song plays during their first dance?

I think Kip would just go for whatever Karissa said, and she'd firmly insist on something fun and folk-y. I feel like Hewlett's would totally be something that would fit.

What song(s) describe your protagonist(s)?

Kip's is definitely Ran Before the Storm - Roo Panes. It's perfect for him. Particularly further on into his story.

Karissa doesn't have a particular song that fits her. But as a couple their music is all bouncy and folk-y and fun. I just love listening to it. Some of my favourites:

As you can see. Much folk-y-ness and lots of The Fretless. (If you've never listened to The Fretless before YOU MUST. I love their music.) My personal favourite though, is Wing Commander. It's got a brilliant name (because if you didn't notice from the aesthetic collage, Kip has a biplane) but it also just sounds so cool and I can really see it paired with Kip and Karissa so nicely.

Any instrument players or characters with ties to music?

Kip can play guitar, but doesn't really do it much. Karissa spends a lot of time with folk music playing on a radio-ish thing. (Their genre is steampunk so...this totally makes sense. xD)

Go-to songs, for battle, romance or intense scenes?

It honestly depends what I'm writing.
If I've got a battle/fight scene in Rogue Escarlate or Agent Kit, it's usually Bourne soundtracks.
In A Sprig of Green the one fight-ish scene (easiest chapter to write in the whole novella XD) was just the same music as the rest of the book. Halo soundtracks (I think it's a game maybe? or is it a movie? I honestly have no clue, I just like the music) or John Dreamer (I think he's the composer) are the main songs though.
If it's a superhero story. WELL AHEM. Obviously Spider-Man: Homecoming soundtracks. (Or other superhero movies, but, y'know, Spiderman is the best.)
Kip and Karissa haven't really had any intense or battle/fight scenes written about them, so I actually don't know. But their romantic music would be just some cool folk-ish songs by (can you guess??) The Fretless. :P

So there you have it. Basically a huge dump of Roo Panes and The Fretless music. xD *scrolls up* Actually no. It is a complete dump of those two, I didn't have anything else. THAT JUST SHOWS HOW PERFECT THEY ARE. *bestows pizza upon the wonderful musics*

I can't think of very many people who haven't done this already/already been tagged. *squints uncertainly* I honestly don't know because I've tagged people a lot recently (people have tagged me a lot recently) and I don't want to bother anyone.

Basically, if you want to do this, please consider yourself tagged. (and if you do it, poke me in the comments and I'd love to read your post!!!) You can say that I tagged you and everything. I have tagged you. And here are the questions (with a little addition from me if you don't have any character couples) if anyone wants to use them:

It's your character's wedding day. What song plays during their first dance?
(optional replacement for above song/question: What song/s do they play as background music on their birthday?)
What song(s) describe your protagonist(s)?
Any instrument players or characters with ties to music?
Go-to songs, for battle, romance or intense scenes?

Now pardon me. I'm off to listen to some more folk music because I love it so much.

Do you like finding songs that fit your characters/story?
What music do you think fits you??
(or that you just really like, or whatever. *shrugs* I just want to have all the music recommendations. :P)