Monday, 24 July 2017

#WIPjoy // A Sprig of Green

A day or two ago, Katie Grace did a #WIPjoy post all about her book Where Shadows Lie. IT WAS VERY COOL. Basically, I loved it so much that I decided to jump in and do a post of my own.

(If you don't know what #WIPjoy is, don't worry, I don't hugely either. XD Check out Katie's blog post though because she actually explains it. :P)

But loosely - it's a bunch of questions about your work-in-progress and I'm going to pick my favourites and throw some stuff around about my wee li'l novella A Sprig of Green.

Describe yourself and your WIP.

Me: an energetic, joke-teller, always looking for a laugh...Bare feet, outdoors, callouses on my left hand fingertips from musical instruments, always hungry. I don't even know how to describe myself. XD

WIP: A Sprig of Green, one young girl trying to save her father, one young man trying to save himself.

Your 1st inspiration for this WIP.

It started out because Kingdom Pen was having a Sci Fi themed month and I decided that I was actually going to submit something for once. So then in popped a random idea for a world with no plants and a girl who is looking for them. And it developed from there into a short story (which was then submitted to Kingdom Pen AND ALSO ACCEPTED and (after lots of edits) published *screams* READ IT HERE).

Would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week, or have your antagonist enter your own life for a day?

Can it be after the story is ended?? Because it has a happy ending and everything is all okay again, so I'D BE FINE WITH THAT PART. Before the story...not so much.

And antagonist in my life? No thank you, good sir.

What would your MC be like as an antagonist?

Okay so I have two MCs. Michayla -smol girl- and Braden -a young man. They are both VERY different characters.

Michayla would be the sweetest antagonist ever.

Braden would be confusing. He would have so many internal dilemmas that the hero/MC of the story just gave up and surrendered to him.
He's a fun character. (And technically is sort of an antagonist already, because 'antagonist' is the term for anyone who stands in the way of the plot, not necessarily the main villain.)

What would the antagonist be like as the MC?

VERY EVIL. He would be an exceptionally evil protagonist. XD Ruthless, willing to do anything at all (even deny his own family) to get to his goal.

A line you nailed perfectly.

I can't say that I nailed any line of this absolutely perfectly. BUT STILL. Some of the lines that I am the most proud of currently:

I am not worthy to be called a man.

- - -

Notes of paper money go fluttering everywhere like butterflies with broken wings.

- - -

There’s always another chance in the world.

- - -

“The first leaf means hope.”

Choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book.

Reading spot: outside on a warm (but not too warm) day, on the grass. Or, even better, a patch of clover.

Food: ohh this one is actually harder than I was expecting. *hums* How about honey jumbles (yes, I believe it's an Australian recipe (maybe?). Look it up and make them. You won't regret it.) because they're all happy and outdoors-adventure-y.

Drink: Chai tea. I can definitely see Michayla drinking chai.

Music: Rise, True Strength or Becoming a Legend - John Dreamer. Look them up on youtube if you've never heard them before. *hugs the music* But I'm also equally leaning toward having no music and just having the sound of birds and breeze in the background of reading because that also fits.

What's something you're still figuring out about this WIP?

I need to work out some details with Braden, and something *coughcough* slight spoilery detailish *cough* about him.
Also another character that I kinda ignored from about the midway point of the book. I need to work out what happens to them.
Plus a lot more, but those are the main important factors, I think. (Actually no, there's probably other super important things that I just can't remember right now. XD)

Would you rather: have tea with your antagonist, or be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours with your MC?

Tea is good. I'm not sure that having it with my antagonist would be good though. But still, I can imagine him being quite gentlemanly.
On the other hand, being stuck in an elevator with Michayla for three hours could be quite interesting. I feel like she has so many good thoughts on life and she's a very wise girl (though somehow naive at the same time?? I don't even know if that works, but she We could get into some very deep conversations. Braden and me stuck in an elevator...hmm not so sure about that one though. :P

And there I shall leave it! :D Hope you enjoyed some random odds and ends about A Sprig of Green.

Here's the full picture of all the questions. NOW GO AND WRITE A BLOG POST. I wanna hear allll about your stories. Yes please. Even if you don't have a blog/don't feel like posting, just answer some of them in the comments because I'm a curious blueberry and I want to hear everything. :P

Would you rather have tea with your antagonist or be stuck in an elevator for three hours with your protagonist?

Friday, 21 July 2017

Are Your Words Working? // lagging behind on goals and schedules

We're onto the twenty-first day of the month. Only ten more days left before August. Are you on target? Are those words working just how you planned them to be?

For me, I have to admit that the answer is actually no.

Now, I know it sounds bizarre. "But Jane, you finished your camp nano goal aaages ago and you finished your novella and what's wrong with all that??" And all that is completely true but I had (and still have) a few other things planned for this month, and it was all nicely scheduled out on my dry erase whiteboard calendar. (seriously though, if you don't use one of these, you need to try it. It's amazing.) 

I aimed to finish writing on the 15th - tick that box.
I aimed to have at least 25k - tick, again.
I also aimed to have a teensy bit of an easier time - and I think I can check that off too.

But then we get to the second half of the month.

I hoped to finish one of my critiquing novels on the 17th.
I hoped to finish the book I'd been given for free from the author to read and review.
I hoped to dig right in and get down to editing A Sprig of Green right away.
I hoped to finish my rough edits + synopsis.
I hoped to start on a beta reading novel so I had plenty of time to finish it before the end of the month.
Not even mentioning that I really really hoped to have plenty of free time to read the Road Rules book and prepare for my driving test.

None of that went according to plan. And looking at that list, I can honestly see why. I had unrealistic expectations. There was no way I was going to be able to do all that and school and life. I'm an overachiever sometimes and I like pushing myself and giving myself challenges. A lot of the time, I also overestimate myself. I simply cannot fit that much in. And adding to that, all the random things that just pop up unexpectedly and snatch away some of that precious time that I'm desperately trying to balance.

BUT. That's not where the story ends. We're only just getting to the best part.

I'm actually okay with this. I can see that I'm not up to the level I was hoping for, but that's okay. Maybe I don't need to be. I'm right where God needs me at the moment. Because when I'm here and I'm falling behind, I can look up and know that He's got a plan and, my goodness, it's better than ANYTHING I could ever come up with.

And sometimes it's in times like right now, when I stop and look at my goals and what I had hoped and planned to get done, that I realise that it really is better this way. I didn't finish a lot of those things because I was busy.

I was busy living.

So today, I want to encourage all of you, whatever you're doing - whether you're falling behind on goals, whether your striving insanely to reach them before you run out of time, or whether you're sitting right at the top and relaxing already. Whatever place you're at, stop and take a breath.

Take time to look up to God and just smile. Smile because what He's done. What He's doing. And what He will do.

Take a moment of every day and live.

How are your goals and plans working out?
Do you have any methods for keeping on track or scheduling out your plans?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Spider-Man Homecoming // warning: much fangirling

*starts humming the spider man theme*

One week ago, my dad took me to the movies to see Spider-man Homecoming and it officially earned a place waaaay high up on my favouritest movies of all time list. I absolutely and utterly loved every moment of it. 

So of course I'm going to do a blog post solely to flail over it.
This post is spoiler-less, so don't worry if you haven't seen the movie yet, you're all safe.


This movie and I started off on a good foot from the very first. Spider-Man has always been my favourite superhero. I watched the 2002 Tobey Maguire version a year or so back, and before that, I'm fairly sure that I read some comics too. Not the super originals probably, but I have a recollection of Spider-Man comics and absolutely loving them. So when I saw the Spider-Man Homecoming teaser trailer- well, it happened something like this:

Me: oh hey I'll watch this trailer. it's Spider-Man after all.
Me: *watches*

And for the past two months, my family can confirm that I have been going on about Spider-man...a lot. :P I'd watched every single trailer that I could find - several times over. I even quoted the movie before it was even released. I was hyped, to say the least.

The day when I was going to see it, I was so nervous. I was worried it wouldn't be all that cool. I was desperately trying to not imagine all the awful things the movie could be like. But as soon as it started BOOM. All worries were gone.


I have always loved Spidey so much because he's just so relateable, and Homecoming has done this in a super great way. HE'S JUST A TEENAGE KID TRYING TO WORK OUT LIFE AND HELP DON'T WE ALL RELATE??? I'm sure I do, anyway. 
And another thing Peter was so dyyying to get out of school and be spider-man again. THAT WAS SO GOOD. IF I COULD BE SPIDER-MAN I'D WANT TO DO IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Like...who wouldn't?! And he's my age. Not some college-going Superman or some billionaire Batman (or even the other versions of Spider-Man). He's just a kid like me, going through similar things to me (though I'm not spider-man, and I'm not in 'school' school - yay homeschooling XD but still, it's true) and I love that so much.

I'd watched a ton of interviews that Tom Holland (the actor who plays Peter/Spider-man, for those non-geeky people :P) did and once or twice I had a flash of concern of: 'wait, if I do this, what if I can't see him as Peter, but only as actor Tom Holland' BUT NO. It wasn't like that at all. Tom was Peter and the casting of everything was just so perfect.

Have I mentioned how much I liked the characters?? Peter was amazing. Aunt May was young and I really really liked that actually. Ned and Michelle cracked me up. (Michelle though guys, a female character who wasn't the love interest?? How cool is that?) And the villain was super well done. He made so much sense and was so real but so scary at the same time. (scary in a good way)
Gosh I just loved them all. No one felt flat or unrealistic at all.

Is Spider-Man a funny superhero? Hmm, let me think. UM YES. And Homecoming captured that perfectly. Even in the super intense epic action scenes, there's humour and comedy dropped in there. And it's not forced at all. It's just realistic. Because honestly, if I was in that situation YES. I'D DO ALL OF THAT. I'd be like "WHOA THIS IS SO COOL I'M A SUPERHERO - AVENGERS HERE I COME." And it's so quoteable and memorable.
(I have had several gif conversations with a friend in which I use solely Spider-Man gifs and I'm very proud of myself. xD)

And speaking of action, I was so in the movie. I was shivering with tension some of the scenes and I'm sure my heart almost stopped for a moment there with THAT PLOT TWIST. Not to mention that I was discreetly absolutely definitely not crying nope not at all in one certain scene. I just wanted to give Peter a hug because I could relate so much.

And, like the avid fan I am, I've now seen the movie twice. First time when my Dad took me and then I dragged both my older sisters along because I liked it so much and needed some more people to get my quotes and references. IT WAS JUST AS GOOD THE SECOND TIME. *shrieks and fangirls forever*

This is BY FAR my favourite Marvel movie (granted, I haven't watched a heap (*cough*two*coughcough*), but shhh that's beside the point. Silence peasant. XD) and way high up right near the very top of my favourite all-time. It's just so epic and cool and YES.

Help. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop flailing and fangirling over this movie.
Actually no, don't bother send help. I'm quite happy right as I am. xP

Have you seen Spider-man Homecoming??
(if you did, FLAIL WITH ME, you know you want to XD)
Are there any movies that you've been flailing over before they're even released?

Friday, 14 July 2017

Camp NaNo Update // inspiration, pizza, and snippets

WHY HELLO THERE. We're almost halfway through the Camp NaNo month, and I think this is the perfect time for a midpoint update and some pizza and hopefully maybe inspire some more words?
That would be a bonus anyways.

- My Novel Stats -

Chapters written: 20
Chapters remaining: 4
Current shortest chapter: 988 words
Current longest chapter: 3,548 (I think I'll be splitting this into at least two though)
Current word count: 29,152
Estimated completed word count: 35k (give or take a thousand words or so)
Estimated completion date: 15 July

And may I just say how proud I am of my cabin?? They're all doing so well, and having a great time. Shout-out to all you wonderful people in the Fellowship of the Keyboards. Your combined effort makes it a great cabin. (I might be a superhero, but I'm not that much of one that I could keep an entire cabin alive if no one helped :P)

In more conversational tones, my story has been going pretty well (and, as you can see, I reached my camp goal of 25k with ease on day #11). It's been behaving itself fairly decently and I've been enjoying writing it, that's for sure. The style of the story has been a nice break from Rogue Escarlate and all that - what with it being 1st person, present tense and the characters...rather different than Will and Ben and their crew.

- Inspiration -

Over the past half-month, I've had some random quotes or snippets that have drifted past me completely by 'coincidence' and yet they were always the perfect thing that I needed to keep pressing on. So I thought I might share some of them with you, and just maybe they'll inspire you too.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
- 2 Corinthians 12:9

Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God."

"We aren't called to walk in our own strength - we're called to walk in his"

"We're all on a journey. We're all working at it. We're all falling down and climbing back up again."

"I laugh a lot
for no good reason
I just catch myself doing it
and then I grin
and keep on laughing
cuz I'm happy
I'm blessed
and suddenly I'm laughing
for a good reason"
- Joy, Julia Ryan

I'm so blessed to have people in my life who say these amazing things, and I'm even more blessed that I have a God who is always there encouraging me along the way.

- Snippets -
(from A Sprig of Green - my Camp NaNo novella)

Please someone help.

My limping run slows quickly, but I get far enough away from home that I don’t recognise where I am. I lift my eyes from the blurring road beneath my feet, dashing one hand across my eyes and blinking around.

There are streets and buildings and people.

Greys and browns and blacks.

Why isn’t anything green anymore?

The hot road hits my knees and I cover my face in my hands, trying to hold back the tears between my fingers. My shoulders shiver and I hunch over as Venys’s words echo around in my skull.

Get out…you wretched freak…and never come back.

- - -

I extend my arm all the way and can’t lower her any further. “Now you need to swing and jump,” I call down, trying to swing my arm inward toward the balcony.

“I can’t.” Her fingers start to loosen.

“No—don’t you dare let go.” My heart starts thundering, echoing the clouding sky above. “I’ve got you. Just swing in and jump.”

Her fingers stop sliding from mine and I feel a sort of rush as she kicks her legs out and then swings forward. I let go, but she keeps clinging to me, starting to swing back out again. I grab at her hand, the unexpected weight throwing me off balance and starting to slide forward.

Michayla starts forward again and her hand slips away from mine. I topple forward, snatching at the edge of the roof to save myself. My elbows hit the hard surface and I scrabble for grip. I jam my fingers into a tiny gap and manage to stop my fall. My pulse roars in my ears, and I heave in shuddering breaths, my body suspended over nothing by only my own strength. Michayla might trust me, but I don’t trust myself.

“Braden,” Michayla’s cry comes from below. “Swing and jump. You can do it.”

I register her words, but my entire body is frozen up, immovable even if I wanted to. I can’t do this. What was I thinking?

A heave of cold air rushes over me and then the Raining starts.

The sky cracks open and water deluges down onto me. It’s only seconds before I’m soaked to the skin, and then my grip begins to slip.

“Braden!” Michayla screams over the roar of water. “Jump.”

- - -

I close my eyes, pressing against the inside wall of the pod. It’s going to be okay. I repeat it over and over to myself. Everything is going to be okay.

A scrape of fabric brushes against the outside of the pod and I cringe lower into myself, trying to hide in the foot space but there’s no cover anywhere. Someone swings up and pauses above me and I squint up. Braden’s eyebrows are arched above his dark glasses and I sit up instantly.

“Come on,” he says, beckoning to me. “I can get you out of the landing bay but after that, you’re on your own.”

I scramble up onto the seat. “Braden,” I know I’m begging, but I don’t care. “I need your help.”

He is silent for a few moments and then tips his head away. “I can’t.”

I reach up and catch hold of his sleeve. “Please. I can’t do this alone.”

Braden freezes and looks down at my hand on his sleeve, then he slowly pulls his arm away. “Okay,” the word slips like a soft breeze through his lips and I relax, the pounding in my chest lessening instantly.

“Thank you,” I whisper.

He nods, looking down for a moment before offering his hand out to help me from the pod. I slip my hand onto his palm; it’s cold and damp with sweat, but firm beneath me. I trust my weight against his grip and slide down to the ground, his hand steadying me.

“All right.” He nods his head toward the side of the huge room. “Everyone thinks I’m taking you in as a maid, so try to act like you’re old enough to work here.”

I nod, twisting my fingers together in front of me. How could anyone look at me and think I was old enough to work somewhere this important? I swallow, the back of my throat dry and scratchy. “I…I’m not sure I can do this,” I whisper.

Braden looks down at me and then shakes his head. “You have to.”

He’s right. I have to do it, for Father.

- - -

I think that in summary I can fairly well say that camp is going wonderfully for me, and I'm even getting time to chill and do other things. It's my most relaxed schedule since July last year, and I'm pretty happy that I can have a chance to do some stuff other than writing. (I should do that more often actually)

How is your writing going?
(any snippets to share?)
*hands out pizza to everyone* Keep on writing, guys!! :D

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Beauty of Poems // I bought my friend's poetry book!!!

You probably noticed in my vlog on Friday, that I read out a poem written by Julia Ryan. And not only that, but it was read out from an actual physical paperback book.

That, my friends, is because Julia Ryan has her AMAZING poetry available to buy.

Hence today you get a post with lots of beautiful photos (credit to my sister - obviously) and not very many words (I blame camp nano).

When I heard the news, I was so super insanely excited. I bought it that day. And YES, it was, like, a bit over twenty dollars (what with converting US dollars to AUD + postage) but that's the price I have to pay for about 80% of new books. And this was absolutely and definitely worth every cent.

"I laugh a lot
for no good reason
I just catch myself doing it
and then I grin
and keep on laughing"

"her laugh
it's changed
it seems a bit more open
almost a bit more
f r e e "

"I thought that books were
harmless enough
but I was wrong
they aren't just a bunch of words
printed out on paper
they play with your mind
giving you a sensation
of a world
you are yet to be a part of"

Poetry is such a beautiful gift. Reading through this was so amazing and I could honestly feel the realness that was behind each poem. Every poem has a story that shows just a little bit of the author's heart. The part of them that isn't often on display for anyone to see. 

That's one of the things that I love most about poetry and about songs and about writing. It's all like a little glimpse into a deeper person.

"you have to be brave
to let people in
to trust them
with your story
and heart
and love
you can't just run away
bc you are scared"

. . .

"be brave
trust in God
and then
my dear friend
you will find beauty"

I know that with some of my artistic creations (using words, of course, because drawing/paint = nooope) I pour my time and my energy into it and there is so much of me in the stories and the characters and the words and phrases. 

To be entrusted with reading someone else's story and heart should be just as scary as telling people yours. Because we're handling something that is so close to them that it should be frightening. And for me, it is. But in a way that makes me excited and so alive.

Because we've got to be brave, even if it doesn't feel like we can be. 

Check out the lovely Julia Ryan at her blogging corner of the internet to find out more about this wonderful person - and hop over to her poetry blog for some of her amazing works!!
Blog - The Barefoot Gal
Poetry blog(!!!) - Twilight to Dawn
and don't forget to check out her 'my poetry book' page and BUY IT NOW.

Do you like reading or writing poetry?
(if the answer is yes - shoo, off you go and buy Julia's book. If the answer is no. . . off with you and do it anyways)

Friday, 7 July 2017

July Camp NaNo // I interview some cabin members

One of the things I find fun about family, is that sometimes they jokingly agree to something when thinking that I'm not serious at all. And then when they discover that I was entirely legit, they can't lower themselves to back out. (looking right at you, Jess. :P)

So today I've got a vlog for you all featuring two members of my family (and my cabin). In which they have to answer the quiz questions or I will whack them over the heads with my notebook.

I would also just like to applaud their skills of talking on camera because it was me - the one who has done four vlogs so far - who started talking backward and inside out first. The others were actually decent. *applauds them*

Also notice: I'm not wearing a t-shirt. Finally. XD (I told you I owned other shirts. :P)

Tell me a bit about what you're working on for camp??
(pretty please?)
What's three quirky things about your characters?

Monday, 3 July 2017

Wisteria Writer's Tag // apparently it's tagging time

And after ages of silence in the tagging realm SUDDENLY TWO TAGS WITHIN A WEEK OF EACH OTHER.


This time it's the Wisteria Writer's Tag which is perfect because it's Camp NaNo and this should fit right in.

and yes I know they're Rain Lillies or something like that, not Wisteria, but shhhh. Still flowers. :P

Thank you to Brianna for tagging me! (everyone go check out her snazzy new blog)

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the ten questions asked.
3. Add ten (writing or book related) questions of your own.
4. Nominate people.

1. Why did you start writing?

Because my older sister started. And older sisters always do the cool things.
So naturally I copied her.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

2. What is your favorite book on writing?

Creating Character Arcs - K. M. Weiland
Also I won this in a giveaway and that was so cool because the giveaway hosts actually bothered to make the effort to send an actual paperback copy all the way to Australia. How cool is that??

3. Who's your favorite character to date?

How can I choose between all my precious babies??? YOU CAN'T ASK ME TO DO THIS.
I think maybe- BUT NO. I cannot do this. *curls up under a blanket and hides from the question*

4. What's your favorite way to write? (pen and paper, computer, typewriter, dictation, etc.)

Usually just computer/laptop, because that's the easiest and quickest. ALTHOUGH I do want to try a just pen-paper novel sometime because that would be super cool.

But can I just bring up that dictation is an option?? I WANT TO MEET SOMEONE WHO USES THIS METHOD. I could not possibly do that. Whenever I try tell a story out loud my brain goes on strike.

5. Plot first or Character first?

I have this thing called an obsession with theme and character arcs. Theme first. Always.
In plotting my Camp NaNo novel at last minute, I did it in the order of 
1) characters 
2) theme 
3) character arcs 
4) world building 
5) oh wait yes I also need an actual plot. 
(step five was completed 12 hours before Camp NaNo began)

6. Writing essentials? (coffee, a blanket, chocolate, etc.)

Basically the same list that I gave in my post last Monday. XD But just to change it up a little, another thing I like to have when writing (I've discovered this in the last week) is physical things. I printed out my face-claims for my main cast of characters, and it's been SO COOL. Also I did all my theme, character arcs, character profiles, world building, and plot stuff in one notebook. And that's been really good and I'm definitely doing it again.

7. Favorite quote about writing?

That has got to be one of my favourites. I think it's such an important thing to remember, and it's what I keep reminding myself as I'm writing my first drafts.

And right now I'm SURE there's some really really cool quote about writing that I have written down somewhere but I can't remember. So this'll have to do. :P

8. What's your current work-in-progress about?

OKAY YES. *grabs out handily written synopsis*
Actually no. I have no synopsis. Or pitch line. Or any of that stuff.

Basically it's a sci fi novella with hints of fairy tales, not very much green, a smol determined girl called Michayla and a stiff, logical and secretly insecure guy called Braden (who also happens to wear a suit and sunglasses constantly)
Oh yes and it's titled A Sprig of Green if I hadn't already mentioned that.

9. Music or silence?

It honestly depends on my mood. Usually I'm a very music-y person, and I've got playlists for all my characters. But then sometimes I just don't want to have music. And particularly editing, I'm not keen on having music. But again, it depends. Sometimes I like it with editing too.

10. What is the one thing you wish you'd known when you started writing?

Sometimes I think about going back in time, calmly placing my hand on my younger self's shoulder and saying: YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BE PERFECT, JANE. DEAL WITH IT AND KEEP DOING THE THING. YOU'LL BE FINE.

*bows* And then my younger self would be terrified and quit writing right away. So I'm not sure there'd actually be any point at all.

Time travel makes everything complicated.

Now I get to think up questions and tag people and ack isn't it exciting?? I'm actually following the rules. *cue shocked gasps from all the readers*

1) What inspired the idea for your current WIP (work in progress), and how long have you had the idea?
2) What are you most looking forward to about this WIP?
3) Have you ever dreamed about your characters?
4) How do you go about naming your characters?
5) Do you plan out your theme?
6) Do you discover the MBTI thing of your characters? (if so, what are the types of your WIP protagonists?)
7) Have you a favourite genre to write in? (or do you like switching it up randomly)
8) What is a big inspiration for you in writing? (a person, book, quote, scenery, ect.)
9) Are you competitive in your word counts, or more chill and relaxed?
10) Do you like sharing small snippets of your work? (*hint hint* :P)

(note to said tagged peoples: if you don't want to do this that's fine by me I only spent half the day thinking up these wasted ten questions ahem)

Sarah // Novus Papilio

Clare // Clare's Spot

Quinley // Adventure Awaits

And everyone else who I didn't mention because really I just don't want to make you feel obliged to do this because you mightn't want to. If you haven't done this before, please consider yourself tagged. Like, honestly. Do. Please. I want to see your answers. DO ALL THE ANSWERING, OKAY? :P

Or else you could just answer them in the comments, because I'm a curious person.

Do you make character or story playlists?
(drop me a link if you do!!! Mine are on my youtube channel: here)
What's your's or your character's MBTI??
(as I said, I'm curious. :P)

Friday, 30 June 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day I Banned Chocolate (Pt. Two)

FIRST DAY OF CAMP NANO TOMORROW. Who's staying up until midnight to write? *raises hand*

But anyway. I haven't really decided whether I'll be continuing Lando during the next month. At this point, I'm thinking not because I have quite a bit that's happening and no back up stories for if I forget to write one and not enough time to pre-write four week's worth. Basically you'll just have to wait until next Friday to see what happens. :P

For today, though, we have the second part of the story with the controversial name of 'the day I banned chocolate.' (I really just wanted to have everyone's reactions to me titling something like that. xD)
I hope you enjoy!

I don’t like chocolate.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re all thinking. ‘But Lando, how can you not like chocolate???

Honestly though. A) it doesn’t actually taste as nice as it’s made out to. And b) I’ve had some bad experiences.

After the shopping trolley incident, I’d hoped that I was finished with Fate for good. But apparently it was not to be.

Fate paced up and down in front of me, the bars of the cage around me making his long trench coat look like it had stripes. He’d been pacing for the last few minutes, ever since his dragon dropped me into the cage. And he still hadn’t said anything, and I was starting to get bored. Not to say a little nervous.

“Soo…” I ran my tongue over my teeth and shifted, fiddling my fingers together. “Why am I here?”

Fate turned on me with a growl. “Shut your mouth, you fool,” he snarled.


“You are here because I have a question to ask of you,” he continued anyway and I looked up again.


“Silence.” He glared at me and then continued pacing.

Well fine then. I crossed my arms over my chest and waited for him to continue in his overly dramatic villain-speech.

“My cousin is still missing.” Fate grabbed the bars between us, leaning toward me as far as he could.

“Oh.” A frown creased my forehead. “Should I know this cousin?”

“Zey Nabra,” he shrieked, his voice cracking and slipping into a very un-villainous tone. Recovering, he cleared his throat and returned to pacing. “Where did you send—Zana Bradford, as you call her.”

“I have no idea,” I replied in complete honesty. “We ReLocated her and—”

“LIES,” his voice broke again and he subsided into low muttering. “Ah. I know just the thing to make you talk.” He looked up at me and smirked, sliding his hand into his pocket

I tensed, waiting for him to pull out…whatever it was.

“I can see you shivering with fear already,” he smirked, leaning towards me.

“I am not,” I protested.

“Ha. Ha. Ha.” Fate shook his head. “You’re about to start, then.” He pulled his hand out of his pocket again, something clenched between his fingers. Sending me a half grin, he uncurled his fingers.

It was a piece of chocolate.

Well. That was slightly anticlimactic.

I looked up at Fate, scrunching my eyebrows. “Is it, like, a grenade in disguise or something?”

His eyes narrowed. “Of course not.”

“A gun? A magic spell?” I stared at the square of chocolate on his palm.

“No.” Fate shot me a scornful glare. “It’s chocolate.”

Was I meant to be terrified? Was there something about chocolate that was meant to make me quake in my boots?

I mean, sure I didn’t like it a heap, but it didn’t terrify me.

“I think I’m missing something…” I squinted at the chocolate and then up at Fate again.

Then the chocolate flew off Fate’s hand, right at me.

I threw myself flat on the ground, feeling the chocolate whiz past right over my head. Pushing up, I twisted over my shoulder. Fate’s dragon pounced on the chocolate.

Chocolate had dairy.

Dragons were intolerant to dairy, some worse than others.

Fate yelped and ran forward, waving his arms about. “No no no, you know that’s not good for you.”

Something bounced against the back of my head and I ducked, letting out a yelp as another chocolate bar bounded past toward the dragon.

“Hey, you don’t want to do this. Remember what happened last time?” Fate held his hands out toward the dragon, slowly advancing.

The dragon didn’t listen.

It ate both chocolate bars in one swallow.

I ducked behind my hands, tense and waiting. Something bad was going to happen, I knew it. But what?

Fate backed away rapidly, getting back and cringing down behind the other side of my cage. But still no crazy dragon. I looked at Fate and at the dragon and then lowered my hands.

“I kinda expected something bad to happen—”

I never finished.

The dragon spat a ball of fire at the warehouse door, exploding it into smithereens.

A blast of smoke swept over me and I clapped my hands over my mouth and nose, trying not to breathe it in. The dragon roared from the side of the warehouse and sent another fireball at the opposite wall.

I blinked rapidly as the smoke cleared, unable to hold my breath much longer. Fate stood from behind the bars, clapping his hands together as he looked toward the now-smashed doorway.

“Well well well,” he said slowly. I followed his gaze.

The twins stood, half crouched and shielding their faces behind their hands. And looking slightly singed.

“I’m honoured. So many visitors in the one day.” Fate stepped to the side and reached up, tugging a rope that hung just beside his head.

“Watch out—” I was just too late in my warning. A rope net snapped up around the twins, tangling them into the impossible trap.

“Hey. That wasn’t nice,” Thomas’s voice came from somewhere in the kicking pile of twins.

Fate ducked to a crouch as a ball of flames rushed past over his head. “I wasn’t trying to be nice.” He advanced across the floor and grabbed the net, dragging it, Thomas and Titus yelling protests inside, over to me. He dropped them, sniffing disdainfully as an unidentifiable foot kicked at his leg.

“Leave them alone.” I stood up, only just able to in the cramped space of the cage. “They don’t know the answer any more than I do.”

Fate turned on me. “Wait. Did I ask a question? Ohh yes, so I did.” He narrowed his eyes and glared down at me. “Then there’s only one option left.”

The twins stopped kicking, and for a moment the warehouse was silent.

Except for the rampaging dragon about to blow us all sky-high, but that was entirely beside the point.

Fate waited another dramatic moment and then smiled. “You are all caught in the snares of Fate, and Fate will oversee your demise.” And then he laughed.

Talk about over dramatic.

But it worked. I was worried. I’ve had enough experience with manic fairies to know that they will carry out their threats or die trying.

Fate straightened himself and lifted his hands, closing his eyes. “Prepare to meet your—”

“Fate!” A yell came from above and the fairy spun around. A blur swung down and smashed into Fate, sending him flying backward into my cage. The metal bars broke like cardboard when his back hit them.

My leg barely avoided the same fate.

Scarlette continued swinging over our heads and then she dropped, releasing the rope and landing neatly on the floor.

Fate scrabbled for a moment and then shoved up from the wreckage, turning to face Scarlette. “You will regret that, girl. I will destroy—”

Scarlette crossed the space separating them, flipping a pocket knife open with a twist of her wrist. “Say that again?”

The fairy stopped short, raising his hands defensively. “I wasn’t going to hurt them,” his voice changed to a more conciliatory tone.

She snorted. “Back up and put your hands flat on that wall there.” She pointed with the blade of the knife.

Fate moved backward slowly and then turned and pressed his palms against the warehouse wall. I held my breath, but he didn’t make any move. Scarlette stood behind Fate, watching narrowly for a moment.

Still nothing.

She snapped her knife shut and pocketed it. Brushing her hands together briskly, she turned back to me. 

“You three quite finished—”

“Watch out!” I blurted as Fate moved.

He clenched his fingers into claws and ripped a wooden board from the wall. Spinning, he brought it down at the back of Scarlette’s head.

She would’ve been dropped right then and there. If she’d been any ordinary Recruit.

But no one ever accused us as being ordinary.

Scarlette lifted her hands behind her head, catching the board before it hit. She ducked and twisted sideways, wrenching the wood from Fate’s grasp. And then in a beautiful swipe, she smacked it right in his face.

Needless to say, Fate collapsed.

I snapped myself out of the shocked freeze and clambered out over the remnants of the cage, hurrying to the twins. “You guys okay?” I grabbed at the weave of the rope net, trying to work out where the opening was.

“Yeah, we’re good.” Titus wriggled, and Thomas let out a yelp.

“You’re kicking my face,” he protested.


A fiery explosion almost knocked me back with the blast of heat and I looked up. Scarlette waves her hand. “Don’t worry! I got this.” She charged forward at the dragon.

I nodded, even though she wasn’t looking anymore, and turned back to the net. “There’s an opening somewhere.” I gritted my teeth and tugged at the ropes.

Another explosion and half of the warehouse wall started crumbling.

“Not good,” Thomas muttered from beneath Titus somewhere.

I finally found the opening and jerked it up, pulling the net far enough to let the twins get out. Titus rolled up to his hands and knees and scrambled out, followed closely by Thomas.

“Phew,” I said, shoving a hand through my hair.

But Thomas was already sprinting toward the dragon.

Scarlette wasn’t doing so well, and as glanced over, the dragon pounced on her, trapping her between it’s paws like the piece of chocolate. Thomas dived forward and shoved her sideways, ending up on his knees right beneath the dragon’s opening jaws.

On his knees with a squashed looking sandwich held in his hands above his head.

I stared, unable to look away as the dragon’s mouth opened wider above Thomas and started going down. Toward him. I started running, not knowing what I could do, but just running toward them anyway.

And then the dragon paused and —very daintily— took the sandwich between its teeth and gulped it down.

I skidded to a stop, panting. The dragon straightened, shook itself and then dived through the burning wall with a sweep of its wings.

Thomas staggered to his feet, wiping his hands against his shirt and looking like he was either going to start laughing or throwing up. Titus ran forward and grabbed his twin’s arm. “You okay?”

Thomas nodded, leaning against Titus’s shoulder. “Got rid of the psycho dragon.”

“I thought you were going to be eaten alive,” I blurted.

“No such luck.” Thomas grinned and bumped his fist into my arm.

Scarlette rose from her crouch, shoving her messy hair back over her shoulder. She gave Thomas a glance. “Well. I guess your weirdness actually turns out to be useful sometimes,” she said, her voice holding an admiration that was only slightly grudging. 

“Oh. Thanks. You never know when you might need a vegemite sandwich. I always carry one, although normally I eat it.” Thomas flushed. “Sorry about your chocolate.”

“I think I’ve been put off chocolate for a while actually.” She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. “It just doesn’t have the same appeal anymore.”

“I concur,” I agreed wholeheartedly.

- end -

So how was that?? I half feel like this story was a bit of a mess and half feel like it's just my brain that's a bit of a mess at the moment really.

Hard to tell sometimes.

Are you staying up for a midnight write to start of Camp?
(join me??)
Do you have any ideas for more possible Lando stories?

Monday, 26 June 2017

The #VoicesofYA Tag // an excuse for me to shriek over books + writing

Well it's been a while since one of these, hasn't it.

BUT WE'RE BACK. Tagging has come upon me again, this time by a certain Jonathan Trout (check out his blog: Fishing 4 Ideas) so many thanks to you. *gives pizza*

This time it's all about books so brace yourselves, my readers. I am about to begin. (and who knows when I will stop, once I've got going) (actually, I'll probably stop when it gets too late and I'm too tired so there you go, deadline for me)

What draws you to YA?

Well possibly because I am a young adult?? I'm sure there's some deep philosophical reason for this but I can't think of one for the life of me.
Also because adult books are a bunch of 'eh' and terrible content. And there's only so many middle grade books out there that are well written enough to hold my attention. (but if you were looking for recommendations, I definitely have several up my sleeve) So that leaves me with YA. So YA it is most of the time.

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

Normally I'm fairly plotted out. I do a bullet-point list of chapter-by-chapter short summary (like 'Gets kidnapped by russian mafia, bargain with them, gets released') for the entire thing. And plotting out character arcs and theme and alll the fun stuff.

Unfortuantely I haven't gotten time to do that for my Camp NaNo one yet -what with trying to finish my Rogue Escarlate edits- so eep. I'm trying not to freak out over here.

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?


Okay so when I was 10-11, I wrote these short stories about a little girl (apparently she was 5) and her dad and the plot line of every single one was: girl has a random thought - asks father a deep question - father grabs bible and reads a passage that answers it - girl goes off happily with this newfound knowledge.
I was very proud of those stories. (actually, reading back through them, there is one that is legitimately really interesting because it was written in the middle of when I was clearly struggling. It was basically a true story with names changed, and I'd almost forgotten the event itself, so it was almost like reading a diary entry five years later.)

Then a little bit after that, I wrote the most horrible, weird...thing. That was pretty much a retelling of The Man from Snowy River.

AND THEN (somehow this turned into me telling you about all the awful things I've written) I coauthored the unspeakable fanfic/cliche/plotless/horror that-must-not-be-named. BUT THAT'S OKAY because I burnt it dramatically in April this year and it shall never rise from the ashes again.

Then along came OYAN and The Bridge of Anskar and yeaaah. Also cliche. But hey, it wasn't too bad considering that Man from Snowy River parody thing. *nervous laugh*

And now I have a first-draft-trilogy and several other various stories and I'm pretty sure I can confidently say that I've improved.


About five years.

And where am I on my journey? I'm only right at the very beginning. I have barely begun to discover the twists and turns of this business. There's so much more that I haven't even started to learn.
I can't wait to continue on this endless journey.

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

a) Laptop
b) Fingers
c) Brain

Plus optional bonus chai tea and music (although chai tea does make it hard to type?? because it requires me holding the cup and one day I'm going to tip tea on my lap and shriek very loud - just a warning for all my family). Fingers and laptop are partially optional also, but they're preferable. Brains are not optional. JUST SO YOU KNOW.

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer, (OTHER THAN "don't give up"), what would it be?

Never forget who you're writing for.
Are you writing for yourself, because you like doing it?
Are you writing for the readers who will love it one day?
Are you writing it for the money you'll get when you top the bestseller's list?


Are you writing for the Creator of the universe, you gave you the gift? Are you writing to use that gift for His glory?

It shouldn't be a hard question to answer.

What book still has you reeling from its plot twist?

Two books:


Read them.
That is all I have to say.

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

Renegades - Marissa Meyer // I have a huge liking for the Lunar Chronicles and I love the idea of this book, so I'm definitely looking forward to it's release.

The Ship of the Dead - Rick Riordan // I have the first two books on my shelf so obviously they need number three. AND ALSO the Magnus Chase books are so funny. Almost funnier than Percy Jackson. *fangirl gasps* (and on that note, Percy is going to be in this one so yeet another good reason that I'm excited for this)

Exiles - Jaye L. Knight // I HAVEN'T ACTUALLY READ THE REST OF THE SERIES. I've read Resistance and the preview of Half-Blood and I loved them both and all the feels and so much epicness so yes. I am excited for this even though I probably won't be reading it for a while yet. :P

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise? 

NOTE: I'm really bad at 'premise's so just pardon any misconceptions I might have over the word, but if you have a good definition - tell me in the comments because I'd love to know. XD

Okay this one is hard. I've read so many books with quirky an unique concepts and choosing is super tricky. But just to pick two random ones:

Storming: biplane flier in a small-town meets steampunk flying worlds. It caught my attention easy.
The New Recruit: (I just wanted any excuse at all to mention this book really :P) A stubborn nonchristian becomes a member of a Christian...spy organsation? Cool. Very muchly so. 

What is your all-time favourite quote from YA?

Excuse me. How could I decide something like that?? *distant screams* I'm just going to go for a super memorable, feels-y one.

“KISS ME, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK!” - Code Name Verity (Elizabeh Wein)

It doesn't really make a super lot of sense by itself, but in the book it's heartbreaking. Trust me on this one. Or actually no, read the book and you'll see. It's not a romance. It's about planes and war and friendship.

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaptation? 

I'm assuming that this is an utterly perfect movie adaption. Of course. Humm, that's a tough question though.

Out of Time - Nadine Brandes
Ilyon Chronicles - Jaye L Knight
Storming - K. M. Weiland

I CAN'T DECIDE. *bookworm's brain explodes because that question is too stressful*

And with that, I complete my question-answering at last.

- now I shall just note that if you don't want to do this that's fine. I won't be offended. 70% guarantee that I will have forgotten anyway after about three weeks and won't even notice, but if you do do it, it'd be a pleasant surprise -

+ anyone else who wants to do this thing

Everyone else: GO CHECK OUT THEIR BLOGS. I'm eternally in love with Jem's owl, it's so cute. And Gray's posts are amazing (also she has the most cool curly hair, honestly). And Jess is my cousin, so I can personally confirm that she's a pretty cool person.

And look at this. I have a handy dandy list of the questions here for you to copy-paste as you will.

What draws you to YA?
Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?
How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?
What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?
If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer, (OTHER THAN "don't give up"), what would it be?
What book still has you reeling from its plot twist?
What books are you most anticipating for this year?
In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise? 
What is your all-time favourite quote from YA?
What book do you most hope will have a movie adaptation? 

And there we have it. I hopefully didn't bore anyone and you're all adding books to your TBR already like the good little minions you are.

Are there any books that left you reeling from the unexpected plot twists?
What's one of your favourite book covers?
(this is one of the questions that were sadly left out, obviously)