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.

Rude.

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

“Ookay?”

“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.

“Sorry—”

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?

LONG WINDED ANSWER:

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.

SHORT ANSWER:

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?

OR

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.

AND NOW FOR TAGGING PEOPLES
- 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)
JUST TALK TO ME ABOUT ALLLL THE BOOKS.

Friday, 23 June 2017

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

One week left until Camp NaNo kicks off. Are you ready? *cough* I'm not. But I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone considering my renowned preparedness for everything. (particularly blog posts like today's *awkward laugh*)

But anyways. Today I have the first half of a story for you all. I've mentioned it before in all its random-first-line-ness, so the very beginning might be familiar to some. The ending, however, is as yet unfamiliar to me. BUT I'LL DEAL WITH THAT ANOTHER DAY. :P

So, on to the story!


The cocoa bean jumped onto the road.

“Er, do cocoa beans normally do that?” Titus asked with a frown.

The bean jumped again, bouncing along the black gravel surface.

Thomas straightened his tie. “I dunno,” he said, squinting after it. “But not as far as I’ve heard.”

The twins were leaning against the school fence, chewing the remains of their lunch. All the other year seveners were playing soccer but neither team wanted the twins—they had a reputation for accidentally kicking the ball in the completely wrong direction. Thus they were alone and waiting for the bell to go off, when the bean started acting oddly.

“It’s almost like it’s alive,” Thomas mused, brushing the crumbs off his uniform.

At that moment a familiar figure came dashing down the street, running as if his life depended on it. Which, in fact, it did.

“Lando?” Titus stared in astonishment.

A second later, a dark shadow swept across the school ground and a frying stream of flames scorched the road around Lando. The twins looked up, gaping as they saw the dark dragon diving toward the ground.

“Great smelly socks—” Thomas choked.

Lando emerged from the fire entirely unscorched. He dived to the side as the dragon swooped low, scraping its claws along the road.

Titus exchanged a glance with Thomas and they scrambled up and over the fence, ignoring the now-tolling bell. Titus dropped to the ground, stumbling as a swoosh of air heaved him backward into the fence again.

Flames seared across the ground and Titus jumped to his feet again. The dragon plunged down out of the sky on top of Lando “Watch out,” he yelled, but it was too late.

Lando disappeared beneath the huge dark green wings and the dragon soared upward again. With Lando clutched in its claws.

“No, help,” Thomas yelped, jumping toward the dragon too late to do anything other than land flat on his face.

“Come back here right now.” Titus dashed forward as the dragon swooped toward another street. “Or else I’ll call Sir George.”

The dragon obviously had never met Sir George, so the name didn’t baulk it at all. It just kept on flying.

Titus paused beside his twin and hauled him up from the ground. “Come on. We need to save Lando.” From whatever freakish random attack was happening now. 

Surely Zana couldn’t have gotten back from her ReLocated island that fast?

Right?

Thomas rubbed his hand across his face and shook his head, holding onto Titus’s arm. “I don’t like the ground.”

“I don’t blame you.” Titus started running, dragging Thomas with him. “Come on.”

He pounded across the road, heading for the street that the dragon had plunged down. A billow of smoke exploded out of the street and Titus staggered, slamming his shoulder into Thomas by accident.

“Whoa what—” Titus stopped, clamping his hand over his mouth.

Not good.

“Not good,” Thomas voice his thought.

“No kidding.” Titus gulped in a deep breath and sprinted forward into the grey cloud. The smoke stung his eyes, but he could see the street clear enough as the grey started to drift away.

It was empty.

No sign of a dragon. No sign of a Lando.

No sign of anything at all.

Titus gaped at the emptiness. No dragon could fly fast enough to disappear like that. It must have just gone down another of the streets. He started to step forward but a sudden blast slammed into him and he stumbled back, Thomas yelling out beside him and ending up face first on the ground again.

With a thud, a girl appeared, landing lightly in a superhero-crouch.

“I wish I could do that,” Titus mumbled to himself, watching in awe.

The girl spun around, her hands instantly raised to a defensive position. “Thomas?” She lowered her hands, straightening. “What are you doing?”

“I was going to school. Until Lando came running along the road chased by a maniac dragon.” Titus shook himself back to attention. 

“And anyway, I’m Thomas.” Thomas grumbled, rolling up to his knees from the ground.

Scarlette Broome raised her eyebrows. “Should’ve guessed you lot were involved somehow.” She tipped her head and looked down her nose at Thomas. “What are you doing on the ground?”

“Just casually chilling out, as per usual.” Thomas stood, brushing his uniform off.

“You knocked him,” Titus explained, stepping forward. “The safety force-blast to clear the area before you can Net travel cleared us both backwards.”

“Ah.” Scarlette shook her head. “Next time, try not to get in the way.”

“I didn’t try this time,” Thomas protested hotly.

“Anyway. I actually have stuff to do. Sir George sent me after a dragon and I’d better get it before anything happens to anyone because of it.” She turned away from the street, heading toward the school.

“Whoa, whoa, hold it right there.” Titus scrambled sideways to block her path. “Lando just got kidnapped by a dragon right here, so chances are it’s the exact same one as what you’re looking for.”

Scarlette’s eyes narrowed around the corners, surveying him closely. “Is this a joke?”

“No,” Titus assured her at exactly the same time as Thomas did the same.

She looked between them both. “Okay.” Propping her hands on her hips, she pursed her lips. “Give me a good reason to believe you.”

Good reason? Why did girls always need good reasons before they did anything?

“Because Lando isn’t here now. So that proves that he was taken,” Thomas tested.

“Not buying that one, Titus.” Scarlette shook her head firmly.

Titus bit his lip, desperately wracking his mind to think of something to convince her with. He could just leave and who cares if she helped or not. But where had Lando gone? By now the dragon could be anywhere.

Then he noticed Scarlette’s jacket, tied around her waist by the sleeves. And more specifically, he noticed that the pocket was moving.

It flinched and wiggled next to her leg like something alive.

He only vaguely heard his twin trying to convince the girl that she was getting their names mixed up. The corner of a piece of packaging appeared, jerking outward a little way.

“I don’t even care if you’re Thomas or Titus—Okay fine. From now on I call you both Kanter and if you don’t answer to that, then it’s your problem.” Scarlette huffed loudly and started to turn away. “You’re wasting my time with your stupid pranks.”

The chocolate bar slipped all the way out of her pocket.

But then, instead of falling on the ground like any normal chocolate would do, it flew straight toward Thomas’s face.

He yelped and slapped it away and Titus lunged forward, snatching it in his hand before it could escape. “Ha. Gotcha.”

The chocolate almost slipped from his hands again, as if it was being tugged by some invisible force. Like a magnet.

Scarlette turned around, her frown turning into a look of indignation. “That’s my chocolate bar,” she protested, starting toward Titus. “How dare you take that.”

Oh wait. Not good. Grumpy girl. How did one deal with a grumpy girl?

“No, no. It’s not what you think,” he tried to explain but her glare left him stumbling into silence.

“Give that back.”

The chocolate bar jerked from his hand and went flying right past his ear and Titus turned, throwing himself after it. He just managed to get the edge of the packaging between his fingers and grab a hold of the rest again.

“What in the world are you doing?” Scarlette demanded, standing over him.

“The chocolate. I think it’s attracted to the dragon in some way. That’s why the cocoa bean was bouncing so weirdly. It’s like the dragon has some magnetic force only it pulls cocoa toward itself,” he was thinking aloud now, feeling the pull of the chocolate in his hands.

There was a moment of silence and then Scarlette cleared her throat. “Yep. You’re definitely as crazy as I always thought.”

But…if the chocolate bar was pulling toward the dragon, then it could lead him to Lando. Titus scrambled to his feet, shooting Thomas a glance. Instantly he knew that they both had worked out the same thing.

He started running, following the pull in his hands. “Come on!” 

Thomas ran after him, keeping pace just behind.

“Hey you two. Come back here right now and don’t you dare run off with my chocolate bar,” Scarlette screamed behind them.

Titus ignored her, staggering and taking a skidding turn to the right as the chocolate jerked sideways.

“Don’t make me run, boys, or you will regret it,” Scarlette’s voice went slightly dimmer as buildings rose up between them, but still considerably earsplitting.

Titus followed the steady tugging in his hands, almost running into walls and crashing against unexpected dumpsters as they sped through streets that he hadn’t even realised existed.

Then he stopped just in time to avoid smashing straight into a door.

Thomas stumbled into him from behind and he went forward another pace, bringing his hands up to protect his face from smashing into the wood. The chocolate bar slipped from his grasp and evaded his snatching fingers, skittering up the wall as if gravity didn’t exist anymore.

Scarlette skidded to a stop at the same time as her chocolate disappeared through a cracked-open window.

Titus sucked in a deep breath, taking a step back and looking up at the building. The wall were nets of cracked and peeling paint, and at least three storeys high. Spiderwebs draped off the top corner of the door right in front of him.

“Well. No one lives here, obviously,” Thomas said, his voice startlingly loud in the eerie stillness.

Scarlette’s shoes scuffed the ground as she stepped back. “I’m not sure if you guys read very much, or even watch any movies, but this looks like the exact sort of place where the supervillains hide out and kidnap the unsuspecting heroes that are stupid enough to walk in the front door.”

Titus swallowed hard. “But if the dragon’s in there, then Lando must be in there too.”

“And we’ve got to save him,” Thomas added, his voice croaking hesitantly over the words.

Scarlette shook her head again, shoving her hair behind her ears. “I don’t like it.”

“I’m going in.” Titus stepped up and set his hand on the doorknob. “If anyone is game, feel free to follow.”

“Of course,” Thomas and Scarlette said at the same time.

Scarlette glared at Thomas. “Don’t you dare start saying the same things as I do, Kanter.”

Titus turned his back on them both and twisted the doorhandle.

And then, with a crash that could’ve been heard by a deaf old granny a hundred kilometers away, the door exploded.

- - -

And there you have it, an almost late (seriously guys, I was this close to running out of time and you almost got this posted tomorrow, but backdated to today. :P) installment ALL ABOUT FOOD AGAIN.

I wasn't even hungry this time, I promise.

Are you excited for Camp NaNo?
(who isn't??)
Do you like chocolate or nay?

Monday, 19 June 2017

Camp NaNo 2017 // Fellowship of the Keyboards // what am I writing?

For those of you that have been around for a while (a year at least) you might remember my post last year by the name of 'The Fellowship of the Keyboards' and thus may be experiencing a random flash of déjà vu.
And here we are again and it's a full year later. And the Fellowship of the Keyboards has free spaces again. (if you're interested in this, shoot me a message on Camp NaNo (Jane Maree) or comment here or whatever. Just contact me in some way and we can sort stuff out and woot you could join the fellowship) But this time I'm not going to rave on about how epic the cabin is because you've probably all heard it before. Because I have a certain habit of repeating myself. Ahem.

Today I'm going to be -sort of- organised and randomly, spontaneously join in a Camp NaNo Countdown linkup whatsit. Spontaneously as in, I decided five minutes ago that ohey I'll do this thing actually.

But before I ramble on for too long, I'd best get to the actual point.



I'm going to be writing a story called A Sprig of Green. It's sci fi, and sort of fairy tale retelling-ish? Nothing specific though, it just has random hints of lots of random different stories.

I think.

I DON'T KNOW ACTUALLY.
I need to plan some more about this or else July will come upon me like a dragon and eat my vegemite - jars and all. And then I'll have nothing left for lunch.

But I am hoping to have some brainstorming sessions with friends to see what we can come up with.

A Sprig of Green was actually originally a short story. But then I ended it, gave it to my friends to read and promptly received requests that I write the rest of the novel. (note: most of these requests included broken hearts and sobbing and lots of caps, so I could hardly deny them) And I myself was rather curious to know more about the story. And therefore more is coming.

I have worked out some vague parts. Friendships, betrayals, backstory. All that fun stuff. And honestly I'm really looking forward to seeing where this story will go.

It has a hugely different protagonist than Rogue Escarlate. She's a smol dark-skinned girl with springy hair and very low self esteem and very high sense of determination and loyalty. I also have half-baked plans of an ally character to go with her. And if he works out, it'll be a split POV, first person, present tense novel. WHICH I'M EXCITED ABOUT because I love exploring different ideas and styles and ways of writing and I haven't done this one yet. New things just excite me and I'm very hyped about this one. I think it'll be just the experimental creative change my brain needs. (It's sci fi, so not as big a change in setting as I was originally planning for, but I think the characters and 1st person/present tense thing will make a big difference *nods*)

And WOOT. I'm going to randomly slap a snippet on you BECAUSE IT'S FUN AND I LIKE DOING IT. (even though somehow it also terrifies me at the same time?? Humans have very strange brains.)

“See look, Michayla.” Mother takes my hand, splaying my fingers open and gently placing a thin blade of dead grass on my palm. “Just imagine that as a bright green, and covering this entire plateau.”

I stare at the grass for a moment and then lift my eyes up to the red-brown clay of the plateau in front of me. For a flash, I can see it swaying with green stalks in my mind. Then a puff of wind brushes the grass off my palm and a cry slips between my lips.

Mother pushes to her feet and snatches the grass back from the playful grip of the breeze. “Don’t worry.” As she smiles, her teeth flash pale against the brown skin that matches mine. “I’ve got it safe.”

I run forward a few steps and wrap my arms around her waist, nestling my face into the fabric of her skirt with a happy sigh.

“I’ve got you safe too, Michayla.” She crouches again and pulls me onto her lap, pressing her lips briefly against my forehead.

“For always?” I tip my head back to look up at her.

“For always.” She nods and I lean back against her.

Safe. For always.


Are you in a cabin yet?
(if not and you'd like to join the Fellowship YEET. Shoot me a comment or something and I'd love to have you)
What are you writing?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Lando Erif - an off-side story :: Don't Get Into a Staring Contest With the Mountain Dudes

Early mornings. Video calls to the other side of the world. Critiquing, brainstorming, writing tips giving, theme assisting.

Basically this week has been crazy.

But today I'm dropping in here with a proof that homeschooling is the best. This is how the story goes.

One day, my history book told me that I had to write an essay about the cold war. I was feeling uninspired, so I asked my teacher/mum/most-wonderful-mother-in-the-world if I could write it in story-style instead. And she said "okay, as long as it still has the information in it that it needed and everything." (or something along those lines)

So I wrote my cold war essay, as if Lando had written it, and it was so much fun. Wherefore I am going to share it with you today.

Hope you enjoy this surprisingly educational Lando story...essay...thing.


The Cold War – told by Lando Erif

You remember that history lesson you had on the Cold War?

Neither do I.

It never made much sense to me really. Two countries threatening each other but never actually doing anything? Just why?

And besides, what’s the fun in that?

I know, I know. Nuclear bombs, what’s more exciting than that?

Dragons for one, but I guess I’m biased.

Vegemite sandwiches are surprisingly exciting too, though you wouldn’t know it unless you knew me.

But I suggest we keep it safe, and I’ll stay as the anonymous author of this Cold War story.

This is my point of view on the whole thing.

I can’t guarantee much historical accuracy.


It all started with a dude called Usa.

And another dude called Ussr.

Usa was big and strong and half the world loved him.

Ussr was big and strong and half the world loved him.

It was really just asking for trouble.

They used to be best bros and had great times smashing things together, but then they started getting a bit full of themselves.


They were hanging out in Europe having fun cleaning up after the Second World War. It was a big job, lucky they were both big guys.

I guess they were getting a little tired and all, and probably sick of having people mix up their names. It finally got on Ussr’s nerves.

Usa was being an idiot, playing around and tossing aeroplane wrecks around for fun. He turned to his friend, flexing his muscles. “I’ll bet I’m stronger than you now,” he taunted, balancing a navy ship on his thumb.

Ussr glared. “You do, huh? Try me.” Without waiting for Usa’s answer, he stomped away toward Russia.

“Hey guys!” he yelled, storming up. “I’m the greatest.”

Naturally they all believed him.

I don’t blame them. I mean, what can you say when a super-powerful dude comes crashing into your country? It’s either obey him or run away screaming.

Unfortunately, running away screaming wasn’t much of an option. Ussr was strong, and he didn’t want anyone running to Usa for protection.

He was the greatest.

It wasn’t long before Usa heard what was going on.

“Seriously man?” he asked, strolling over to Russia in five minutes. “You think that’s super?”

“You come any closer and I’ll blast you with my nuclear powers,” Ussr threatened.

As you can see, the friendship went downhill fast.

“Hahahaa, nuclear powers. I like that. Like you’ve got any nuclear pow—YIKES!”

Ussr pulled out a handful of nuclear bombs from his jacket pocket, waving them under Usa’s nose

Usa did the only sensible thing.

He ran.

Back in America, he started plotting. Ussr had tons of those bombs but he wasn’t the only one who could make them. And Usa had an even better plan.

He lay low for a while, building up his nuclear bombs and his minion armies and his strength by eating plenty of French fries.

Finally he was ready to make his big move.

After eating one final plate of French fries, he stepped over to Europe again.

“Hey peeps,” he grinned at the European countries. “I got me a plan.”

And before you could say ‘pass the fries’ Usa created Nato.

Nato was a big guy.

As big as Usa and half on Europe combined. Lucky thing, because he was made to totally smash Ussr, and Ussr weren’t no midget.

“He’s perfect!” Usa yelped. “Come on, bro,” he said. “Let’s go blow some heads.”

Naturally Ussr saw them coming.

A guy like Usa must be hard to miss, but Nato?

He was like a walking Eiffel Tower.

No, scrap that, he was like a walking mountain.

Ussr sat in his fortress for a moment longer, letting his enemies approach. He chuckled evilly.

They had no idea.

In that time Ussr hadn’t been idle.

He may have been eating a couple of famous Russian pancakes, but mostly he’d been playing with bombs.

As Usa and Nato stormed through Germany, he decided they’d gone far enough.

“Go get ‘em, Warsaw,” he said, waving his hand casually.

Suddenly some super-fast something crashed down in front of Usa and Nato. A massive wall cut straight through Berlin.

Now that is some super-fast wall building.

Usa totally freaked. “What’s going on?” he yelled, watching all the terrified little people scurrying about on the streets. “USSR! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU COME OUT NOW OR I’LL BLAST YOUR FACE.”

Technically that doesn’t make sense but hey! He didn’t have much time to think up a response.

If I’d been Ussr, I would’ve run for my life. But Ussr just did his evil laugh (mwahahaha) and strode up to the fuming Usa.

“Hello Usa,” he said, spinning a long bomb between his fingers. “Who’s this midget you’ve got with you?”

Usa’s eyes widened. Nato’s eyes narrowed.

“I am no midget,” he rumbled.

Have you ever met one of those massive guys who make the ground vibrate when they talk?

Nato was like that.

Only it was a full on earthquake.

Dude, he was terrifying.

And no one likes being called a midget by their enemy.

Nato pulled a fistful of bombs from his pocket, glaring at Ussr.

Things were about to get nuclear.

Even Ussr quailed back.

I don’t know what would’ve happened then, but Warsaw chose that moment to return to his master for a nice tasty reward.

When he materialised out of nowhere, everyone jumped.

Ussr regained his confidence. Usa quaked in his boots.

“It seems, Usa, that while you were distracted a while back, you missed a major development.” Ussr gestured upward to the towering Warsaw. “Please meet Warsaw Pact. Warsaw, say hello.”

Warsaw grinned widely with a ‘hi enemy, wanna die?’ kind of look. “Warsaw says hello.”

If you thought Nato’s earthquake voice was bad, Warsaw’s was totally nuclear.

All the humans shrieked and ran for cover. The bricks of the Berlin wall trembled and Warsaw almost wrecked all his hard work. The ice in Switzerland melted off the mountains, and everyone in Hungary stopped being hungry.

It was like an explosion.

A nuclear explosion.

And he’d only said hello.

Yup. Things totally just went nuclear.

“Where did that thing come from?” Usa demanded, trying to stop his knees from knocking together too loudly.

“This.” Ussr patted the huge guy’s shoulder (man, you’d have to either be very brave or very crazy to do that. I’m thinking Ussr was a bit of both) “This is my military alliance with East Europe. Surely you must have noticed him before?”

“I didn’t eat that many French fries,” Usa protested.

Meanwhile, Nato and Warsaw were looking each other up and down.

That, to begin with is more than I could do. I’d just have to look up and up.

Next to Warsaw, Nato looked like nothing.

If Nat was a mountain, Warsaw was Mount Everest.

No kidding, the guy was huge.

Those French fries must’ve been really good, or Usa would’ve noticed him earlier.

Things could’ve gotten messy just then, but Warsaw had just built a massive long wall at light-speed. That’s gotta be tiring.

He didn’t feel much like bashing things just then.

And Ussr hadn’t given him his medal for breaking the wall-building world record.

“Warsaw hungry,” he rumbled, causing half of the Spanish population to start speaking Latin. With that, he turned and strode back toward Russia.

“Uh, time for a tactical retreat, Nato,” Usa suggested, backing away slowly.

Leaving a few minion armies behind to clean up the mess, they returned to America. Usa sank into his chair, ordering a tableful of French fries. “Phew, that was close.”

Nato just stood, glaring across the ocean at Warsaw.

Warsaw looked up from his lunch and grinned a ‘hi enemy’ grin again.

As I said, the guys were massive.

This went on for quite a while. Warsaw and Nato over-sea glaring. Ussr chuckling evilly in his fortress. Usa drowning his woes in French fries, hoping for a brilliant break-through plan.

Every now and then the now-arch-enemies would stretch and head off to taunt and threaten each other with bombs and nuclear explosions and broccoli soup.

Little minion armies grew bigger, and got glaring lessons from Nato and Warsaw. Unfortunately they had to stand a little closer together for their presence to be quite as foreboding.

Meanwhile, neither Nato or Warsaw had blinked.

After such a long time they couldn’t give up, no matter how sore their eyes were getting.

This was a matter of strength. There was no giving in.

But come on, you complain, didn’t you say something about wars? This isn’t a war. And I don’t see anything cold about it.

You’ve got a point. But I’m getting to the cold right now.

Ussr, living in Russia as he did, woke one morning with a really bad case of Autumn flu. His nose started running like mad and his throat was like he’d swallowed a handful of sand.

The worst thing?

He couldn’t do the evil laugh thing anymore because it hurt too much.

It wasn’t long before he got bored.

He quit his fortress and started glaring around Europe. He noticed that Warsaw wasn’t as big and scary as he used to be.

The minions in some-Czech-place-with-a-really-weird-name were misbehaving. They’d even tried to stop some army tanks in some town called Plague.

Or Prague.

I forget which.

You get to pick.

“What, no!” Ussr shouted, getting a really bad coughing fit. “You’re meant to be on OUR side…cough...What’s the deal with that?”

It was a catastrophe that called for immediate action.

“Come Warsaw,” Ussr coughed. “We need to…cough…go…cough cough…Czecho…cough…slovakia…cough cough.”

The two headed off, storming down on Czech in a whirlwind of used tissues.

“What do you…cough…think…cough cough…” Ussr gave up trying to talk, waving his hand at Warsaw to finish.

“Warsaw says, what do you think you are doing?”

His voice might’ve gotten a little quieter than before, now that he was only an ordinary mountain, but it was still scary.

The Czechs checked themselves and ran away screaming.

Warsaw was saved!

But the little rebellions kept chipping away at the mountain’s roots.

He kept on glaring at Nato, but now they were eye-to-eye.

Ussr was getting even more worries now. His cold hadn’t gotten any better and he’d used up Warsaw’s entire supply of tissues.

This was bad news.

He had to get more tissues, but only Usa and Nato had any.

Time to start being scary again.

Ussr and Warsaw stormed across Europe. In Britain an annoying little Peace Pledge Union popped up, but Warsaw totally squashed it.

In half an hour they had reached Cuba.

Nato had seen them coming, of course.

It was hard not to when you’re having a years-long staring contest.

Usa heard his bro’s grunted warning and glanced up from his French fries. When he saw Ussr and Warsaw he went completely nuclear.

“RIGHT. THAT’S IT,” he roared so loud the entire world heard him.

All of Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia and everywhere-else-I-haven’t-said-yet held their breath.

“MINIONS! SMASH THEM!” Usa commanded.

What could they do but obey?

I mean, what would you do if a giant guy with smoke pouring out of his ears in mushroom clouds told you to do something?

Me? I’d take the broccoli soup any day.

When Ussr saw the Nuclear-Usa and Nato charging south he was so terrified he fell into the worst coughing fit yet.

“Warsaw…cough cough…I suggest…cough...tactical…cough cough cough…RUN!”

Warsaw agreed and all his minion armies used their own bombs to blast their Cuban fort out of existence.

A tactical retreat (that looked an awful lot like running in terror) was made, and the world let go the breath they’d been holding for a very long week.

Nuclear war temporarily avoided.

And so Nato and Warsaw went back to their staring contest, Usa stopped eating French fries and headed over to Europe so he could keep a closer eye on Ussr.

Ussr? He sulked in his fortress, blowing his nose on bed sheets because his cold still hadn’t gone away.

This could have continued for who knows how long, but luckily for you and me, it didn’t.

Maybe Usa and Ussr just tired of the whole war thing, or maybe Nato and Warsaw talked them into it (because after 40 years their eyes must have been roasted).

Somehow, the two arch enemies met up. Ussr explained, very nicely, about his unending cold, Usa sat nodding sympathetically and…BOOM.

They were best buddies again.

Finally Warsaw blinked and then dissolved into 15 mini Warsaws. Nato went to the optometrist because he was pretty sure he’d gone far-sighted after all that staring.

Usa shared his French fries with Ussr forever onwards.

And Ussr’s cold disappeared like something blown up by a nuclear bomb.


And so it became known as the Cold War, although my teacher assures me it’s not because the USSR had a cold and ran out of tissues, but because there was no actual fighting.

I told her, whatever, but there sure was broccoli soup.

She disagreed on that fact too.

Staring contests?

Another nope.

I ask you, what’s the fun in that?


- end -

AND THERE is the best example of my creative essays that I do for school. Homeschooling is the best and there's no way you can disagree with that.

Disclaimer: I also do write actual essays, but that isn't anywhere near as interesting and only this one really deserves mentioning. Although at some point I might post one of my LotR essays that I have to write for my literature course. (YES. I'm doing a course on LotR. WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING BEING THE BEST??)


Have you ever done some creative writing instead of an essay?
(I can't be alone here, right?)
What's your favourite subject for school?

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Reluctant Godfather - Allison Tebo // Blog Tour

You know those times that you pick up a book, read the first page and just know you're going to enjoy it?

Quite recently, I had one of those wonderful experiences. And I wasn't let down at all. The book -as you have probably guessed by now- was The Reluctant Godfather, by Allison Tebo. I was very privileged to be given a free copy of the book to review, and can I just say that I'm very glad I accepted. Because a) free books can never go wrong xD and b) keep reading to find out why :P

So today, I'm participating in the blog tour in honour of this quirky, funny, Cinderella retelling.



What were my thoughts on this book? Glad you asked.

It was VERY GOOD INDEED. Five. shiny. stars.

First off, the characters. Oh goodness yes the characters. *hugs them all very tightly* (*except for the nasty ones*) They all had arcs and growth through the story that was done so. well. And for a Cinderella retelling, you might think there's only so many options available. BUT NO. These characters are not typical or cliche. Not at all. Let me explain.

-Burndee is sarcastic and grumpy and NEAT. <3 I loved him right from the very first moment because yess it was so cool and unique.

-Ella is sweet and seems naive until she shifts and you get to see a thoughtful deeper side of her that is just beautiful and real.

-Prince Colin admittedly wasn't my favourite, but I still really enjoyed him anyway. I would've liked it better if I'd gotten to see more of him, because as it was I was slightly unsure of the twists and turns of his character and personality.

-And Cynthia and Portia and de Ghent and all of the rest. They were all really well done and written in such a realistic and believable way.

This is a Cinderella retelling so of course there's romance. I'm mostly 'eh' about romance in books, but I know it can be done well. But in The Reluctant Godfather I really enjoyed it. It was done perfectly and I have absolutely nothing to protest about. Except [SPOILER] (highlight text to read) - maybe the very last scene after "they" married? I don't know but it just seemed a little bit forced and didn't quite fit as perfectly as it could have. But hey, I can deal with that. -

I really loved the entire writing style. I absolutely adored the snarky humour and I actually laughed aloud at least once. Basically all the cliches that had a chance in this story were tipped right upside down. For starts, it's a fairy godfather. A smart prince who is actual real and human and won't just toss his life away to any random beautiful lady who has a small foot. A Cinderella who is sweet and hard working and yet is different than every other retelling I've read.

And I have to mention the plot twists. Admittedly, I guessed the main twist waaay before it happened, but that's not too unexpected. And it was still really cool and basically the whole climax had me on edge and giggling and frustrated all at the same time.

Overall, this was a wonderful, easy read. And the main character bakes pastries and cakes. YOU CAN'T GO WRONG THERE. Trust me. Read this and you won't regret it.

Recommended for everyone. It doesn't matter whether you like whimsical fairy tales or not. Think about the grouchy baker, okay? And the cakes and pastries. It'll be great, I promise.


- - -

- the book -




A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.

- the author -

ALLISON TEBO is a Christian homeschool graduate in her mid-twenties, who works part time as a sales associate for a major transportation company.  A graduate of London Art College, Allison pursues avenues in cartooning and illustrating as well as singing and voice acting.
In her spare time she writes and blogs at www.allisonswell.com.

It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kinds of people, by writing clean, classic fun.

Her faith in Christ directly influences all she writes about — or does not write about.  Whether the story possesses a strong message or is simply fun and imaginative fiction — her desire is to bring honour to God and to provide quality stories for everyone to enjoy.


- - -


- the giveaway - 

Allison is also hosting an amazing giveaway on her website - prizes including a signed paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather.

Unfortunately this is ONLY OPEN TO U.S. RESIDENTS. 
(So all fellow Aussies (and other 'international' places) don't get your hopes up. Come visit me and I'll lend you my copy instead. Maybe we could even forge Allison's signature and pretend it was signed? The options are unlimited.)

But for you lucky American peoples, hop over -this link here- to look at the amazing assortment of things Allison has all for free.


- - -


“You humans certainly have your hearts set on being happy, don’t you?”
- Burndee, The Reluctant Godfather

- - -

Are you all ready to give this book a closer look now?
(if not PLEASE SPEAK TO ME AND I WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND. You're welcome, in advance)
Are there any of 'those books' that you've read and fallen in love with at first sight?
(such romance. Love at first sight. xP)