Monday, 27 February 2017


[WARNING: this post includes screaming in caps, snippets and long winded explanations of I-forgot-what about half way through explaining]


The title speaks truth.

I am finished.
(as of today)

So wait on. What novel was I actually writing?? Glad you asked.

I was actually working on what was Monsieur Scattlocke and completely rewriting it, changing the genre, setting, characters, plot, all of the above. 
Several of the most significant changes are a) it's now called Rogue Escarlate because I completely got rid of the French bits and welp can't really keep the Monsieur in the title if it's not in the book, right? b) IT HAS A THEME THAT'S ACTUALLY HALF DECENT AND I'M HONESTLY RATHER PLEASED WITH. c) it fits with its sequel a ton better. d) I'm a lot more happy with how it is and way more enthused about it.

Good good. I hope I didn't lose the plot of that a-d list too rapidly.

Just in case you didn't get the point... *cue me spending an hour or so making a random aestheticy collage*


This novel was not easy. Actually it was probably one of the hardest I've ever done. Particularly about three/four weeks back, I was really really struggling to keep going. I wasn't happy with my word count. I wasn't happy with how many chapters I had. I wasn't happy with how little words I was managing per day (aka 1k).

Then one day I did something that I probably should've thought of sooner. During my morning Bible reading I stopped and started praying. I listed off all the things that were dragging me down, the things that were feeling like burdens. Every single one. Then I took a deep breath and committed them all to God. 
Maybe my novel wasn't going to be as long as I wanted it to be, but that was okay. God would do what he wanted for me. 
Maybe I wasn't writing as much per day as I wanted to be, but that was okay. God has a plan for everything.

And I really believe that God was using that time as a lesson to me. He's so awesome and good yet somehow we still forget that when struggles are weighing us down until we feel like we're just going to snap we can go to Him and He's there ready to take our burdens.

And you know what? Not only since that prayer have I felt an amazing sense of peace and that He has a plan that He's working out in me. But that day that I prayed about my word count? I wrote five times as much as I had other days. And dude, that was not me. That was all Him.


As you hopefully gathered, my novel didn't turn out anything like the length I was hoping for BUT I'm cool with that. It might be only about half as much as I would've wanted really and yet God's taught me a beautiful lesson through it and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Wherefore here are my chapters and word counts and stuffs.

I ended up with the full word count being 56,135 words, and thirty-one chapters.

Aaaand my scrambled thingamy of a synopsis which I really should try edit/rewrite before revealing it to your eyes but it's late and I finished my novel and I don't really care. :P

Two thousand, five hundred, and fifty-six days exactly.
Seven years of running from the Great Federation’s Agents didn’t leave much time for much else but running. That’s what an outlaw does.
Run. Or get caught.
Will preferred running.
And so he ran.

William Escarlate has spent his life running through the grasping fingers of the authorities. Escaping from the capital Moscow, he manages to slip beyond the borders of the Great Federation, only to find himself embroiled with another country’s rebellion. England is in the middle of a political struggle, gangs riot in the streets every second day, danger lurks to anyone who would step outside their door. 

Will is drawn into a gang of outlaws, fighting to regain his footing in a new country. It isn’t long before his hunters catch up with him, and he can never stop running if he wants to keep his life. Dodging agents for week after long week, he begins to hope that he might just have a chance of freedom after all these years.

But no one can escape the Great Federation forever.
Eventually everyone is caught.

SO YEAH. That's my synopsis at the moment. I think I'm actually going to change the seven years thing or else Will's age because I messed somethng up in my rewriting BUT THAT'S MARCH'S JOB. shh don't tell me that March is, like, a day away


GOOD QUESTION. Now...what is next??

Every now and then I feel like my writing plans for this year are slightly insane...but really. They are. They are insane. (I'm hoping to write at least three books and rough edit two and fully slam bang red pen edit one other. As I said. Insane.)
That said, my hopefully-completable-in-the-near-ish-future plans are more along the lines of

- Plot out Operation Flint! Aka the third and final book of my trilogy. I'm actually really excited for this because more Ben and Lexi and Jonathan and eep yes. And then I plan to write Operation Flint in April Camp NaNo. Which shall be epic fun.

- Sketch a rough edit over Rogue Escarlate. Mainly grabbing the typos, and adding in a few more scenes of a character that I forgot existed for most of the book.

- Once that's done I'm going to hand it over to my epic sister Clare and run away screaming as she cackles evilly and scribbles red pen all over it. Hopefully I might be able to get to that point by the end of March. Hopefully. GOSH THIS YEAR IS DISAPPEARING SO FAST ALREADY. I can't handle this.

- Yes yes official beta reading will happen eventually. I don't want to give out any dates but I desperately hope it will be this year. *screams into the abyss*

- I also want to try find time every week for some reading because I'm waaaay behind and I'VE ONLY READ FOUR BOOKS THIS ENTIRE YEAR AND THAT IS SHAMEFUL. Last year I'd read twenty-six books by this time and four isn't even comparable to that. But I really like reading and it's good for me to chill a bit and do something I enjoy and to keep that inspiration coming along nicely.

- And on top of all that, I want to keep up with my school work and being an epic big sister (and little sister hopefully too :P) and not shut myself away but to actually Live.

Phew. I would be daunted but...God's got this even though I don't.


I think my favourite chapter would probably be the climax because it has hopefully character arc and theme and making the 'right' choices and ironic poetic justice.

Not sure if that made sense to anyone else but anyway.

Favourite character is SUPER easy because BEN ALWAYS. Not sure why but Ben is just the best. He's probably my top favouroitest character I've ever written. I can seriously do so much when he's around though, and I pretty much never feel like I'm not sure about something with his personality.

And also, he doesn't like tomato soup, but tomato soup likes him. *wise nods*


So here goes!!

And since few days ago I got tagged for this writing tag by Gray, I thought that this would be a perfect post combo and boom yes it worked out quite well. (Thank you very much Gray!)
(also note, Gray is a brand new blogger and has already gotten some great writing posts so you should go check them out) So this whole post is some sort of mishmash of me rambling and some sort of tag that got lost off the cliffs of insanity. 

(and for those people that noticed, I accidentally posted this half of the post, like, when it was half written and not properly done and I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER CLICKING PUBLISH??? I just clicked save. I'm sure. But anyway. Ignore that post. This one is the right one. *face palm* Oops.)

Except...that means...I have to show you my unedited first draft of a scene.
And it also means I somehow have to choose a scene?? Good luck with that.

Okay brace yourself. I'm going to throw snippets at you now.

- - -
“How did you do that?” Will couldn't move, everything frozen in the whirling thoughts and theories darting through his mind.

Ben shifted. “Well, uh, I hit that one, and then I hit that one and then I kicked him.” His lips lifted in a smile. “And hey, looks like we’re even now.”

“What?” The frown creased his brows tighter.

“You saved me, I saved you. Even.” The boy paused then shrugged. “Or not. Never mind me.”

“That’s not how you’re meant to use a gun, you know.” Will looked him up and down.

“This is generally not what you do in the middle of a street riot, you know,” he replied instantly.

An explosion came from right nearby and the boy stumbled a pace, almost tripping on a loose brick. Will caught his arm. “Don’t crack your head open, preferably, kid. I’m not finished talking with you yet. Now come on.”
- - -

-not sure I mentioned but Will kinda gets motion sick which can be interesting-
- - -
In reply the car serged forward, wheels spinning for a moment before gripping and skidding forward. The police scattered, diving aside with shouts of warning. Will braced himself, and the car slammed through the doors, smashing them into flying shards.

“This is insane,” Kins panted hard, steering the car straight down the hall, scraping the sides against the too near walls.

The front doors of tinted glass came speeding toward them far to fast. Will twisted, covering his face in his hands. The sound came like an explosion, shattering glass scattering across the sides of the car and onto the floor of the building. A chip cracked in the windscreen but it remained intact.

Kins whirled the wheel, turning onto the main road and speeding faster. Will’s stomach lurched, and he wrapped one arm around it, the other hand pressed against his firmly shut lips.

“That way!” He pointed frantically as Kins almost missed the turn off to the route back to the base.

Kins slammed on the brakes so hard that Will’s head knocked forward, forehead slamming into the roof. Stars spun in front of his eyes. Kins looked up anxiously. “You okay?”

“Just look where you’re going.” Allan yelped, grabbing the steering wheel as they almost crashed into the side of a brick wall.

“You can also go slower,” Will managed through his teeth, not daring to say more in case something came out that he didn’t mean to.
- - -

- - -
A small smile tweaked the corners of Ben’s mouth and Will shook his head. “What’s the point of being infamous if it doesn’t gain respect?”

“I have full respect for your infamousness.” Ben’s face was completely blank.

Will grabbed him into a headlock, rubbing his knuckles into the top of Ben’s head. “Oh really?”

“Ow,” Ben yelled, struggling and bursting  into laughter. “Lemme go.”

“Full respect, eh?”

“No.” Ben slapped at his arms, choking against the laughter. “I have no respect at all actually.”

Will released him, ruffling a hand through his hair. Ben ducked away, a wide grin transforming his face. “That’s better,” he said, satisfied. A moment later, he realised he was smiling.

Maybe that wasn’t such a strange thing after all.
- - -

- - -
Will rolled up the sleeves of his blue and green shirt, brushing a bothersome strand of hair from his eyes. He looked across the table at where Ben was sitting, his eyebrows going upward questioningly at the grimace on the boy’s face. 

Ben wrinkled his nose, mouthing something. 

A frown creased his brow. ‘What?’ he mouthed back.

Ben’s lips moved again but he still couldn’t make sense of them. He lifted one shoulder in a helpless shrug. He returned his attention to his bowl, waiting for the pot of soup to come down the line. When it came he reached in picking up the small tin they used as a ladle and dribbling the thick liquid into his bowl. Ben grimaced again from across the table, blanching slightly.

“Something wrong?” Will asked softly.

Ben leant forward as he passed the pot along. “Can I have your slice of bread?”


“I don’t like tomato soup, remember.” He grimaced. “It’s, like, the height of gross.”

A smile broke across Will’s face and he nudged the bread from the edge of his plate over to Ben. “Sure.”

“Thanks.” Ben scrunched his nose again. “I don’t know how you eat the stuff.”

“I guess we’re just tougher than you.”

Ben snorted. “Or I’m just better educated in the art of eating food that actually tastes nice.”

Will swallowed a mouthful of the soup. “If it makes you feel better to phrase it like that.”

The boy sniffed, grimaced, and took a bite of the bread.
- - -

And I just realised that practically all of those snippets are Ben moments. OH WELL. XD I'm keeping them there anyway.

I'm very proud of that last one. See look. They're doing a practical thing called eating. This is an unfortunately rare occurrence in my books.
On that note they didn't actually get any further than the snippet shows because SURPRISE. Something action happened and they never got to finish. 
But hey, Ben mentions food in the climax! That's got to count for something.

Well. this is probably one of my longest rambly posts in a while. No guarantees that any of it made sense although it was written before midnight. (yay me for being super speedy and whipping up this half decent smash of a thing to throw at you)
*gives pizza to anyone who actually read the whole entire thing* GOOD JOB IF THAT'S YOU.

Has God been giving you any lessons through your writing recently?
Feel free to share some snippets from your novel!!
What are your writing plans?

Friday, 24 February 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day I Fried my Birthday Cake (Pt. Two)

Two days ago I realised something interesting. Today I'm posting the second half of Lando's birthday on the same day as another birthday.

Or anniversary, whatever you want to call it.

Because today, one year ago I met someone. Someone amazing. Someone I spent time with practically every day.

Someone called...Livia.

Aka my violin.

Yup. One year ago today, I bought my violin. (yes, my own money. Hence I still have a very small amount remaining. Buuut it's growing. Slowly.) It's still another week (or two?) Until I've been having lessons for a whole year. And I'm up to grade three and it's so cool. *flails*

Anyways. To the point. Lando story part two coming right up. In which people can get knocked out by pizza because this is a Lando story and weird things happen okay.

:: Part One ::

I’ve never blown out the candles with fire before. 

Unfortunately the cake, wonderful though it was, hadn’t been designed to withstand a stream of flames pouring over it. So it did the natural thing — it turned into a charcoal lump.

I stopped blowing with a gulp. Not good. Then realised that I was surrounded by astonished relatives who’d just watched their cousin/nephew/distant relative incinerate his birthday cake by breathing fire.

A strangled yell from the other side of the table sent a jolt through me. Titus was struggling with Zana Bradford, and she looked like she was getting the upper hand. Relations seemed to suddenly comprehend what they’d just saw and the screaming and yelling commenced.

Well. This was interesting.

Thomas had disappeared, trying to reach his brother. All the guests didn’t seem sure what they were trying to do, and I wasn’t really either. But I was sure of one thing. Zana was punching one of my best friends in the face.

I grabbed the fried lump of cake and hurled it across the table at the strange girl who’d ruined my party. It bounced off her head and she jolted up, her death glare pinning me down.

Before I realised what she was doing, she threw a piece of pizza, top speed, at my head, and I only barely had time to duck. A grunt from behind me made me spin around, just in time to see my Dad collapsing on the ground, unconscious. I’m going mad, my Dad was just knocked out by pizza. The crash of a smashing plate made me jump and I remembered that there was no time for standing around.

I dived under the table as Zana vaulted over it. Titus was groaning on the ground, blinking and gasping. “Stay there,” I gulped, before dashing through the crowd of screaming people.

They were never going to come to my birthday again. I’ll admit, I wasn’t so disappointed by that thought.

I had to lead this mad Zana person away from all the guests. I didn’t want people dying on my birthday.

Zana snarled behind me, and I risked a backward glance. She was shoving through the people without a paused, throwing pizza and crackers at my relations at random. These became deadly projectiles and everyone they hit either collapsed without a sound or screamed even louder. But they served their purpose, clearing a path, through which she had a perfect view of me.

“Lando!” I heard my mum’s yell above the other noises, but I kept running. My only chance was to get this girl somewhere safe. Safe for everyone but me.

And hopefully her if I was lucky.

I leapt over the back gate and into the small park beyond, hearing my pursuer even closer now. I began to hope that I could reach the relative security of the Park Ranger’s house, but before I could take that thought too far a pastry thumped the back of my head and I stumbled and fell.

With a hiss, Zana was over me, threatening me with a sword lengthed stick. I didn’t doubt for a second that it would cut just as well. “So,” Zana drew the word out, an exultant look on her face. “At last, Lando Erif, I have longed for this day for years.”

“W—what do you mean?” I asked, breathing heavily, trying not to go cross-eyed watching the end of her stick.

“No doubt your parents have kept you in the dark about my identity,” she purred, pacing slowly around me, her smile twisting her lips ruthlessly. “I would if I had been in their position, I suppose,” she considered.

I swallowed. This would be a nice time for you to come, Thomas. I gulped mentally. “So…enlighten me?” I said, trying to keep Zana talking.

If she was talking maybe she wouldn’t kill me. And that seemed like a very good idea.

She laughed, tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder. “I am the famous Zey Nabra D’feord. Fairy of destruction and...” she paused then tilted her head to one side. “Several other things.”

Fairy?” I repeated disbelievingly. Yep. Definitely going mad. I knew it all along. “Aren’t fairies meant to flutter around in the garden and make dew and flowers and that kind of thing?”

Zana Bradford (Zey Nabra D’feord, or whatever) scowled and the tip of the stick wavered closer. I held my breath. My bad. I probably should have thought to phrase that better.

“Or…maybe not?” I managed to get the words out of my tight throat.

“No,” Zey Nabra replied, her voice a menacing snarl. “I think you’ll find I’m a very different kind of Fairy.”

“Yeah,” I agreed hastily. Time to change the topic. “Sooo,” I searched around for more inspiration. “Should I know you?”

“Bah,” the fairy said. “Your mother and I had quite a feud for a while over a house. She foolishly meddled in the affairs of Fairies. It is wasn’t for her that house would have burnt to ashes.”

I was starting to connect things. “Right, so you set fire to a house, being the fairy of destruction, and Mum, being a firefighter, did her job and put it out.”

“Correct,” Zey Nabra smiled evilly. “And I was not amused. Not in the slightest. So I made her pay. Or rather, I made you pay.”

“You made me—What?” I asked, my forehead twisting into a frown.

“I thought it would be a nice little comeback to curse her only son,” she said sweetly. “A reminder of that day.”

“Wait…” I blinked. Curse…her son. My mum’s son. That meant me? “You cursed….me?

“Slow on the uptake, are we.” She nodded, rolling her eyes. “I wasn’t sure if it was you that I’d cursed so I had to check, that’s why I waited until the cake. I’m very certain it was you,” she smirked. “You see…after these years I’ve decided that I wasn’t harsh enough with my curse, so now I’m going to kill you.”

The casual way she said it sent shivers down my arms. “Um…right.”

I movement near the fence caught my eye, a flash of auburn hair. I kept my eyes on Zana, hoping desperately that she wouldn’t turn around. A thought struck me. “Hold it, so it’s your fault I can’t blow out my candles?” I asked, heat spreading through my body.

She didn’t get time to reply. I rolled to the side and jumped to my feet, grabbing a stick of my own. An old fairy tale Mum used to tell me came to mind. ‘If you make a fairy bleed, she must go back to her palace or she dies. It’s the best way to defeat the bad ones.’ I swung my stick at the girl, hoping to finish things then and there.

But my opponent wasn’t any ordinary opponent, this one was a fairy. I’d fought Dragons before, and saved half the world from exploding, but this was harder. Zey Nabra was fast, very fast. Even with my fire breathing skills I would have been dead meat unless Thomas was there.

He dived right in, swinging a broken chair leg like a club at the back of her head. She ducked, spinning to face him and retreating a few steps as I came at her again. The fairy’s stick chipped bits off my stick and I knew it’d snap in another second or so.

Things weren’t looking good. Time for a bit of fire breathing.

“Duck!” I yelled to Thomas, and blew flames over the fairy.

When I ran out of breath I doubled over, gasping and staring at the charming smile Zana was directing at me. 

“I am, as it happens, also the fairy of heat,” she said primly. “Did I forget to mention that?”

Well darn.

I slashed my stick at her. Fairy of destruction and heat, what chance did we have? Stick equals pathetic. Fire equals hot. And clearly it was no use.

Realisation shocked down my spine in a shiver of cold, and I almost failed to dodge Zey Nabra’s swiping stick. “You know that not all fire is hot, don’t you.”

It didn’t make sense, but mum’s usually knew what they were talking about.

Maybe…maybe I could breathe ice fire?

“Ow!” Thomas yelled as Zey Nabra ducked and my stick hit his shoulder. He stumbled backwards and tripped over his laces, falling flat on his back.

Everything seemed to switch into slow motion, Zey spun on Thomas and her stick-sword began to descend towards him. Now or never.

I filled my lungs with air and, closing my eyes, hoped vaguely that I wasn’t about to fail big time. 

An ice cold shot up my throat and a gush of blue…flames? Ice? Whatever it was flooded over the fairy, and I took my chance, slashing forward with the stick at Zana.

The very point cut her right arm. Actually, to be honest, it was more of a scratch, but it was good enough anyway. A screech echoed from Zana’s lips and she dropped her stick, clutching at her arm. Thomas scrambled to his feet, backing out of reach.

“How did you know?” Zana shrieked. 

“Oh, just a story Mum used to tell me,” I replied carelessly, wondering why my whole body had gone numb. “Apparently you aren’t actually that much different than the fairies in those books.”

Zey Nabra D’feord began to shimmer and fade. “I’ll return someday, Lando Erif,” she cried, her face a picture of rage. “And when I do—”

A stick swiped through her already disappearing form, vaporising her completely. Titus flashed a grin. “Thought I might lend a hand,” he commented, tossing his stick to the side. “Although you seemed to have things mostly under control without me.”

He had a large purple bruise forming along his jaw, with clashed strangely with his wide smile, but other that, he didn’t look too bad considering he’d been tackling the Fairy of Destruction and Heat.

Make that the evil Fairy of Destruction and Heat.

I was about to return his grin when a sudden wave of cold struck me and I gasped, doubling over and hugging my arms to my chest. As I moved, tiny ice crystals fell off my t-shirt, tinkling over my bare toes that had impulsively turned blue.

“Are you okay?” Thomas asked anxiously.

No, not actually.

“I think I need defrosting,” I gasped.


And happy birthday to Lando. Hopefully his next birthday is a little bit better. (In case you wondered, he spent the evening roasting marshmallows over a fire pit because marshmallows and fire = good idea when you need defrosting)

Who wants to see Zana return again in more stories?
(if no one does, then sorry because I've already written some in which she does :P)
Are there any story requests??
(throw 'em all at me guys)

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day I Fried my Birthday Cake (Pt. One)

So originally I wanted to save this story until the date that Lando's birthday actually is (17th of June, in case you wondered) but that was just way too far off so I decided to just plonk it in here so you can meet the 'friend' of Fate's that he mentioned last week.

Because said friend comes up several times in other stories.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Lando, making half his life pretty crazy. He doesn't even get a breakfor his birthday...

Sometimes breathing fire sucks. Especially on birthdays.

My twelfth birthday was going brilliantly, until the birthday cake. Well, to be specific, just before the birthday cake.

I was grabbing a drink with Thomas when I noticed her. A random girl who I’d never set eyes on before.

What was she doing at my birthday party? Wasn’t it bad enough that all my annoying cousins had come (luckily the not so annoying ones had come too), and now a total stranger just comes and crashes the party. I could barely believe it.

“Something wrong?” Thomas asked, adjusting the paper party hat on his head with a dignified expression.

I shook my head. “Nah, just one of my cousins that I don’t recognise,” I said, shrugging it off.

“Don’t worry, I do that all the time.” His grin widened. “Although mostly it’s just our cousins confusing Titus and me. I just don’t get that, we don’t even look the same. But it is rather fun.”

I nodded and turned to go back out the door. I walked straight into the strange girl biting back a yelp of surprise. I muttered gestured for her to go ahead and pass, shuffling back a few paces.

She looked at me, eyes widening. “Oh no, you’re the birthday boy, you’d better go first.” She flashed me a strange smile, tossing her gold-blonde curls back over one shoulder.

“Uh...thanks,” I said, pushing open the screen door and walking past.

Thomas followed me and we headed off the find Titus. I glanced back at the girl just before we rounded a corner out of sight and my heartbeat quickened. In another few steps I pulled Thomas to the side.

“Did you see that look she gave me?” I asked him urgently. “It looked like she wanted to kill me.”

Thomas’s eyebrows creased into a frown. “Why would she want to kill you? As far as I know, only Sir George has reason for that. At least, he likes to think he does.”

“I don’t know why she’d want to kill me,” I hissed, glancing over my shoulder. ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

“Hey, there’s Ti,” he pointed and we raced over.

Titus was walking along the morning tea table, picking off all the food that fancied him. He looked up as we approached, grinning widely. “Did your mum cook all this stuff?” he asked.

I nodded. “It took her ages, I told her we didn’t need quite this much, but she wanted to make it special,” I replied, biting into a piece of pizza.

“I like you’re mum. She’s great.” Titus bit into a scone enthusiastically.

“I’ll tell her you liked it,” I told him.

Thomas fell upon a sausage roll and began devouring it rapidly. I was about to ask why he was in such a hurry when a cold feeling at the back of my neck made me turn around.

The girl was staring at me again.

I nudged Thomas and he followed my gaze. His forehead wrinkled.

The girl seemed to notice our prolonged interest and she flashed me that same charming smile. I smiled back uneasily but she turned away and disappeared. I blinked, was it just my imagination or had she just vanished into nothing? 

I had a very bad feeling about this.

Titus regarded us with his head tipped to one side. “Did I miss something?”

“Rather,” Thomas answered. “That girl keeps following Lando and giving him the death stare.”

“Hmm,” Titus considered. “Who is she?”

“That what I want to know!” I said, irritated by the strange girl’s disappearance. “I’ve never seen her before in my life!”

The twins exchanged a glance. Ever since the day when they’d run into my apartment chasing a dragon they’d been my best friends. If I had to face down that random girl, I would at least be glad they were there too.

“Nearly time for the cake, Lando,” a rumbling voice interrupted our thoughts.

I smiled up at my dad. Being a wharfie he was one of the biggest men around and he never failed to stand out in a crowd. Despite his tough look, he was a really nice guy, although Titus and Thomas always got nervous around him. “Cool,” I replied. “Where’s Mum?”

“She’s putting the candles on the cake,” he said, gesturing towards the house. He turned to the twins, “How are you going?”

“Er...great,” Thomas stuttered. “Yeah...great.”

“I see you bought a new house,” Titus added.

I tried not to grin, as Titus stammered into silence, ducking his head.

“Yes,” my Dad said dryly. “Well, I’ll go see if Rayna needs a hand and then I’ll call for cake.” He ruffled my hair. “See you soon.”

He left and Titus heaved a sigh. “Your Dad’s scary,” he said nervously.

My snorts of laughed turned into a yelp as the strange girl materialised beside me.

“Hi,” she introduced herself casually, as if she hadn’t been glaring me seconds before. “I’m Zana Bradford.”

“Ah, hi,” I replied, trying to place her foreign accent. “I’m Lando.”

“I know.” Although she was still smiling, Zana’s eyes still held traces of that death stare.

I edged away nervously, wondering if it would be polite to ask her to leave me alone.

“CAKE!” My Dad’s bellow ceased all conversation for a moment as people recovered from the inevitable momentary deafness.

“Yum,” Zana said, turning away. “Oh, Happy Birthday,” she added over her shoulder.

I stared after her, shaking my head slowly. “Something’s really not right about this,” I muttered.

“C’mon,” Thomas said. “We’d best go find this cake.”

Mum came hurrying up to us as we made our way towards the table. “Lando! I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” she paused, studying my face. “Are you alright?”

I hesitated. “Fine except there’s this strange girl who keeps giving me this creepy stare,’ I said slowly.

Mum froze, blood draining from her face. “Do you know what her name is?” she asked.

“Zana Bradford,” Titus chipped in.

“D’you know her?” I asked eagerly, hoping for a logical explanation.

My Mum frowned then lifted on shoulder in an uncertain shrug. “Hopefully not,” was all she said. She looked at me steadily, “You know that not all fire is hot, don’t you?” 

“Umm...” I screwed up my forehead.

She shook herself. “Time for cake,” she said. She seemed to be making an effort to cheer up, but I saw a veil of worry behind her smile.

The birthday cake was a masterpiece of tastiness, I could tell just by looking at it. Mum had poured hours into making and icing it, choosing my favourite recipe and everything. 

Such a pity all that effort got wasted in the end.

All my cousins, uncles, aunts, and random distant relations gathered around as my Dad lit the candles. With a grin at me he started off a loud chorus of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

I smiled awkwardly, not sure exactly where to look, until Zana pushed to the front.

She stood on the opposite side of the table, and now she didn’t even try to hide her stare. Our eyes locked together, and I only half listened as Dad led the ‘hip hooray’s. I almost fell on the cake as he shoved me gently in the back. “Gonna try blow ‘em out this year?” he asked into my ear.

I winced inwardly. Here I was, on my twelfth birthday, probably the only kid who has never succeeded in blowing out their birthday candles. 

I mean, seriously? It was super embarrassing to fail every year and so I’d given up on my tenth birthday, and just put them out with my fingers. 

At least now I knew why I couldn’t blow them out. I nodded, surely I could do it this year. 

Ha ha. If only I hadn’t tried. 

I leant over the cake, took a deep breath and blew.

In the previous years when I couldn’t blow out my candles it was simply a matter of the candles completely ignoring my annoyed puffing and continuing on flaming for all their worth. In comparison it was quite harmless and unembarrassing.

This year’s attempt got top marks for epicness.


(This one was really hard to work out where to stop, so I hope this was a good place)

There you are, introducing Zana Bradford. She's kinda a weird character...but anyway. I've used her for a lot of random ideas.
(emphasis on the random)

Do you have any idea where this is going?
(yay, I do this time :P)
Have you ever had any awkward stories from your birthdays?

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day the Shopping Center got Repairs (Pt. Two)

Considering we left off with a crowbar in the ribs, I think I shouldn't ramble on for too long because you all want to hear about how he got impaled, right?

Right. I'm sure you do.

All you useful people gave me no helpful ideas last week for how I should finish this - except one. So I've taken that one and made it into something hopefully decent and completely random and we'll see how this goes. (I thought it was a cool idea, personally :P)

Warning, this is also quite short because ergh I ran out of ideas and it didn't reach the 1k mark so...yeah. Hopefully it'll be good enough anyways. There was only so much I could do after the crowbar.

:: Part One ::

Why did he even have a crowbar in the middle of a shopping center?

Luckily for me, a trolley crashed into me from the side at the same time, so the crowbar only half impaled me.

Yeah okay, bad choice of words. It did actually impale me, but it felt like it.

Useful tip of the day: don’t try this at home.

I landed on my back on the escalator, red stars blinking in front of my eyes. Maybe it was tactical flee-in-terror time. Before I could heave myself up, the escalator dumped me on the floor at Fate’s feet.

“That's better, give me the proper respect I deserve.” Fate pulled himself straighter, looking haughty.

“Hold it-- no!” I scrambled back out of reach of the crowbar. “Dude, why did you do that?”

His eyebrows arched upward. “You asked for it, worm.”

Okay, maybe I looked a bit like a worm, lying on the floor, but that was going a bit too far. I pushed to my feet, one arm clasped around my choking ribs. “Now you listen to me,” I started, before the fire in my chest stopped me from going any further.

“No, you listen to me.” Fate stepped closer, slamming his crowbar down on the floor.

Smashed glass, bent trolleys, items of food lying around from mum's shopping, dints in the floor. This was just getting worse and worse.

“I have a friend who’s mentioned you before.” Fate shifted forward a pace. “She’s had an encounter with you before I believe?”

I closed my eyes, pretty sure I knew who he was talking about. That was the weirdest birthday ever. And coming from me, that’s pretty weird.

But hey, no one died.

Fate stepped closer again, his crowbar moving dangerously.

I crawled backward hastily, my elbow knocking against a loose lemon, probably from our overturned shopping trolley. The yellow fruit rolled toward the fairy, bumping against his foot.

Fate bent down, picking up the lemon and glaring at it like some personal enemy.

Like he was looking at me, actually.

“Please don't make a ‘when fate hands you lemons’ pun,” I managed. “It’s so lame.”

“I expected more of you, boy, after what I’ve heard.” He switched his gaze to me, eyes flashing. “But now I find that you are nothing but a boy. Foolish enough to try save a small girl you don’t even know. Foolish enough to think to take on Fate with your bare hands. Bah.” He stepped closer, and I tried to move away, only to the glass front of a shop right behind me.

Fate twirled the crowbar in his hand as if it weighed a quarter of what it actually did. “I will crush you, little boy.” His hand tightened on the lemon. “I will crush you like this.”

I swallowed hard, watching his fingers tightening around the lemon. Okay yes. It didn’t look like much fun. Not that the lemon was complaining very loudly.

Then the bruised skin of the lemon cracked and a squirt of juice fountained upward, hitting Fate perfectly in the eye.

He let out a howl, dropping the lemon to the floor. The crowbar went flying and I threw myself sideways out of its path, feeling the floor shudder beneath my hands and knees as it landed. A web of cracks broke across the glass display window.

Fate reeled backward, hands clutching at his face. “Lemons,” he screeched. “Why?”

“What in the world?” I gasped, the pain in my chest almost disappearing as his antics distracted me.

“Lemons!” He staggered into the escalator, falling on his face as it moved under him, dragging him up to the second level of the shops.

I gaped as he disappeared from sight, moaning ‘lemons’ every few seconds. His voice came distant from the next level. “Darn you, allergies.”

“Well.” I dragged myself to my feet, arms wrapped around myself. A footstep came behind me and I turned, ready to see mum.

A man in uniform, stared down at me and fear twisted in my gut. He glanced at the trolleys piled up through the glass, and then at the crowbar on the floor. “Where is your mother?” he asked, voice cold.

I stared for a moment and the gulped. “You don’t think I did this, right?”

His eyebrows went up. “I don’t suppose it was a little fairy.”

“Wait, what? It wasn’t me though,” I protested.

It kinda was a fairy.

“Lando.” Mum’s voice came from behind me and the back of my throat went dry.

“The shopping trolley guy was a fairy,” I blurted, turning and looking at mum desperately.

The corners of her eyes creased anxiously. “Are you hurt, Lando?”

“Um…crowbar in the ribs—” I didn’t get any further before Mum’s face darkened in anger. I stammered silent.

“Ma’am, if you are responsible for this child—”

She turned on the stiff man. “Did you hear that? My son got attacked with a crowbar. I do not expect to be forced to pay any compensation for this.”

The man stopped, looking startled. “Please, I didn’t mean—”

“You will hear more of this, don’t you worry.” Mum wrapped her arm across my shoulders. “Come on, Lando.”

I let her lead me away toward the car park. “I was just trying to save this kid from getting squashed,” I explained.

She tsked and hugged her arm protectively around me. “I know. You’re not getting in trouble for this.”

I glanced up at her, knowing there was more to come from the tone in her voice. “And who is?”

She narrowed her eyes. “That Sir George is going to hear a piece of my mind.”

My mouth formed into a shape of surprise. Figures. Half of me really just wants to go to hospital.

The other half really wants to see Sir George’s face when mum starts at him.


Voila! A brand new Lando story!

Okay, so Fate mentioned a 'fairy friend' of his, and Lando's birthday came up too. On that note...guess what you get to hear about next week!

(Thank you Angela for the brilliant lemon-squirt-in-the-eye idea, I don't know what I would've done if you hadn't given me that wonderful inspiration :P)

Did this end at all how you were expecting?
(because, man, it wasn't really what I had in mind. Although, I had absolutely nothing in mind, so that might have something to do with that.)
What characters would you like to see more of in other stories?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Infallable Writer's Guide - Theme

Why is theme important? What even is theme?

A lot of writers have asked those questions. (including myself) but recently I was talking about theme with some other writers online and one person said, "I don't think my novel has a theme."

This really interested me and as I thought about it later on I saw the obvious fault. Yes it does have a theme. Maybe the writer didn't know what it was, but every. single. story. has a theme.

The real question is: What is my story's theme.

So obviously this post is my thoughts on that topic, because I have brilliant experience in these areas of greatest knowledge and etcetera. (Or actually I'm just in the middle of Kingdom Pen's Theme Mastery course which is super super epic and amazing (aka everyone go buy it as soon as it's finished) and this is my ramblings and thoughts and notes from several of the lectures.)

But what does theme do?

A good question. Theme sets the stage for the entire story and the underlying message. A theme shows, where a message tells. (it's the show-don't-tell thing again, I know) There's three things about your story that you should know. Its Theme, Focusing Question and its Message.

First off, it's important to know that a theme is different than a message. The message is more a moral point of the story, but the theme is the idea and belief behind that. And a focusing question is the thing that joins those two things together.

For example, I might have a story with a theme of Hope and Light. My focusing question is How do you find hope in the darkness? Moving along to the message, I just have to answer that question.

Problem being, there's more than one answer. I could answer 'don't run from failures, accept and work through them' or 'trust in the Power who plans all.'

The answer could also be to ignore the darkness, or pursue life's enjoyment, or smother the hopelessness with fleeting hope in drugs/alcohol.

Obviously this isn't the sort of message I want coming through in my story. Nonetheless I can use those bad answers.

Maybe my character starts off ignoring the darkness, locked in his own little world and trying to keep everything else out. At some point then he's going to come face to face with a darkness too big that he can't ignore it any longer and he runs. 

After that, he realises that ignoring something doesn't make it disappear. Then he's got to find a different way to find hope in the darkness. He could choose to accept the past, and work forward.

So how can I find out my story's theme?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

There's a bunch of questions you can answer that will help with that one. Take a look at your protagonist. 

1: Have they wrestled over any issues/sin habits? (what strengths and flaws do they have?) 

2: How does your character change over the course of the story? (what do they learn?) 

3: What are the most emotional parts of your story? (why is it emotional? What is your character struggling with?)

Take Fred for example. Fred starts off his story with a terrible temper. Over the course of the story he learns to stop snapping at people and care. An emotional point is when he loses his temper and almost killed his friend who was trying to help him.

We can see from this that Fred's story might have a theme of kindness or self-control. Note here that a theme is not: 'you must have kindness and self-control to get anything from life.' A theme is a broad topic, the general idea based in the very core of your story -kindness and self-control.

A good Focusing Question strikes at the core of who we are. How do we find hope in the darkness? Deep down inside there's a patch of that darkness desperately wishing for hope.

That can be hard, to address those hidden places in ourselves, but the more you understand yourself, the deeper and more rich your theme will be.

Another thing I know I've struggled with is whether my theme and story is 'Christian' enough. I've never mentioned God, and I don't know how to without being preachy. But that's just the thing.

Christians write Christian Fiction naturally 
-even if God isn't explicitly mentioned in the book. 
Our faith will show through the theme.

And that really struck home to me, because I feel like I get it now. I don't need to tell that in my story. My theme worked out in practice through the story will show it.

Don't forget, the goal of literature is to teach and delight. Without the teaching, it's pointless and time-wasting. But without the delight it's like an essay, or a sermon. There has to be a balance of both aspects to create a beautiful, unforgettable story.

So there we are. My thoughts and notes on theme in stories. (Seriously though, go check out everything Josiah has to say about theme. He puts it so much better than I do -and I learnt pretty much everything I've written here from his stuff) I'm pretty sure this turned into an incoherent mess but...oh well.

What are your thoughts on Theme?
(do please tell because I really want to know more about it)
Also, I recently helped a friend -Antontella Rose- start a blog, so go check it out immediately :)
(and she's planning to start a choose-your-own-adventure story some time *rubs hands eagerly*)

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day the Shopping Center got Repairs (Pt. One)

Now, before we start, just a quick run down on the Australian dictionary in case anyone didn't know.

Shopping trolley = exact same thing as a shopping cart.

Crowbar = not a small thing about two feet (foots?) long with a hook at the end. I'm talking about a big long metal pole that'd take your toes off if you dropped it on them. Like a fencing crowbar or something. Whatever it might be called, it really hurts if it hits you.

But you're going to have to keep reading to find out what crowbars have to do with anything... *mysterious looks*

This story is thanks to Clare - she's been nagging me to write it since about the beginning of August last year...cough cough. But I've finally got to it! Hope you enjoy.

[small note: the guy in the picture is not Lando. Just making that clear, in case anyone didn't realise.]

I’ve been told I have bad habits.

Sometimes it’s fine, like forgetting to change my socks, or walking into the corner of the door every time I try get into the house.

Other times it ends badly.

Like choosing the worst day to help my mum do the grocery shopping.

In my defence, I never claimed to be able to see the future, so I could hardly help it if I did make mistakes every five minutes or less.

Mum pointed to the shelf. “A packet of rice, please.”

I grabbed it in my arms, dumping it in the shopping trolley. “How much food do we need?”

She gestured again. “Pasta.”

Stepping over, I pulled several packets off the shelves, snagging my favourite jar of pasta sauce as I went.

“And that’s it.” She folded the shopping list and shoved it in her pocket, steering the trolley over to the checkout and paying.

“So mum,” I started. “Are you absolutely certain we needed to buy that much broccoli?”

“Absolutely, and nothing you say will change that.” She looked down at me as I dumped the last bag into the trolley and stood back. “We’re having broccoli soup for dinner.” She poked my arm with her forefinger. “And it’s nothing to pull those faces about.”

“Okay.” I tried to stop grimacing as she pushed the trolley away from the checkout and back toward the escalators.

I followed behind her, tapping my fingers on my leg in a random rhythm. As we passed the bakery, I sucked in a deep breath through my nose, lingering for a moment before hurrying to catch up again.

Mum tossed me the car keys without warning and I only just managed to catch them before they hit me in the face. “I’m going to see if I can find some dishwashing liquid, you take these to the car and wait for me there.”

I grabbed the shopping trolley as she released it and it started veering off course. “Sure thing.”

She nodded. “Be careful please?” Her expression was pained for a moment. “I don’t want to hear anything about a first aid emergency.”

“Mum, we’re in the middle of the shopping center. Nothing’s going to happen.”

Haha. As if that ever worked out in my life.

“Good.” She slapped my shoulder and walked off into the store on the side.

I waited until she was out of sight before starting off again at a brisk pace. The lettuce in the trolley bumped against the side and I stopped, shifting it over a way so it didn’t rattle.

As I paused a man strode past me wearing the bright orange shirt of a shopping trolley collector. Something tingled in the back of my neck as he brushed past, the hairs on my arms prickling.


I shrugged and kept going again, humming a tune I didn’t even recognise under my breath. People moved past in their own worlds, not really noticing anyone else’s existence. I pushed the trolley toward the escalators to get up to the second storey car park.

Looking up as I approached, I spotted a little girl standing at the base of the escalator, looking around as if she were lost. Something moved in the corner of my vision and my gaze flicked up. The same man who’d brushed past me was pushing a stacked line of trollies down the escalator.

All well and good as it should be.

Apart from the fact that the trolley wheels weren’t clicked in and the line of them were gaining speed every moment and bounding down the escalator.

Also that the trolley man didn’t look the least bit worried and he didn’t look much like a human after first glance.

He looked more...fairy.

Now before you roll your eyes, I’ll have you know I’ve had dealings with fairies before, and it’s not the flutter-in-the-garden sort of fairy I’m talking about. More like Imma-whack-you-over-the-head-because-why-not.

Trust me, it’s not fun having one after you.

I could see it play out in my head, that fairy wasn’t going to stop just because a kid got in the way and no one else seemed to be noticing. I let go of the trolley and ran.

The fairy seemed to start pushing faster and I surged into a sprint. Everything was so close, the girl looked up at me running at her and opened her mouth. Before she could scream I slammed into her, knocking her out of the way.

A trolley crashed into my leg and I rolled forward, the rest of the line scraping past and barely missing flattening me into nothing.

I gasped for breath, my eyes going wide as the trollies plowed into the glass window of a shop, the shattering explosion crashing through the everyday bustle of the shopping mall.

The girl’s high-pitched shriek pierced from behind me and I whirled around, almost falling over at the volume of the scream.

“Hey it’s okay!” I reached forward, trying to comfort her but she turned around and started running, wailing as she went.

Well. That went down well.

A footstep came behind me and I turned again, stumbling back a pace as a fist blurred past my face.

The man glared down on me, at least a head and shoulders taller than I was. His eyes glowed like a dragon’s.

Yep. Definitely fairy.

I backed off a step. “Okay but that wasn’t very nice,” I started.

He stepped after me. “How dare you move between fate and my target.”

“First off, if your name is Fate I’m going to laugh.”

His eyes narrowed. “It is.”

To be honest, I didn’t actually feel at all like laughing. “Well...I’m Lando, and you should probably work on managing your anger problems.”

“You do not know what you speak of, ignorant fool,” he snarled.

“Hey! I protest.”

“You have brought doom on yourself, young boy.” The fairy’s eyes flashed, his sharp voice interrupting me. “Everything you set your hand to will fail, and all dreams will crumble to ash before your eyes.”

“Okay man, but seriously. Don’t cremate your chickens before they hatch. Unless you want an omelette, but that’s beside the point,”

Cremating chickens? What was I saying?

I shrugged him off, hoping I looked more careless than I felt. “You sound like a lot of fancy poetry and everything, but that doesn’t make a lot of difference.”

That was just before the crowbar hit me in the ribs.


Sooo how do you think this one will end?? (This is a legit question because I actually have no idea as I haven't written it yet)