Saturday, July 30, 2016

Reflections on the Month of July

Ah, the time has come for my overview of this past month. *shakes head* Time has really been going fast. I can hardly believe that it's gone already. Summer is halfway over. *cries*

But, enough of that. Here's what's been going on for me this month:

Well, obviously Independence Day happened. S'mores, friends, and fireworks. We've been having a lovely summer here, some rain (typical Western Washington *rolls eyes*) but enough sunshine to keep even me happy.
My younger siblings and I had some swimming lessons, which was nice because I can now say that probably I could swim to save my life now. That fact was uncertain before. It was fun to brush up on some of the strokes and dives, and relearn how to breathe under water. (Namely, don't do it.)
As I write this, my parents, Sarah, and David are enjoying the company of Sarah's husband-to-be in Georgia for a week, and Margaret and I have been having a blast watching all the kids at home. Our schedule so far looks like this:
Day one:
Wake up very tired since the travelers left to catch a plane flight at 2 in the morning.
Drink coffee and eat breakfast while still half asleep.
Go to store and buy ice cream, toppings, and candy.
Clean house.
Watch movie.
Have lunch.
Drink coffee again.
Make pizza.
Invite company to share it with.
Watch movie.
Go to bed *cough* a little on the late side.
Day two:
Wake up at eight thirty.
Drink coffee
Pray for Grandpa Eddy who went to the emergency room because of severe chest pain.
Eat pop tarts for breakfast.
Have water balloon fight.
Make French bread for future meal.
Eat leftover pizza for lunch.
Go to park and library.
Eat dinner.
Visit Eddy grandparents
Watch movie
Go to bed. (On time this once because I'm so exhausted)
Day three:
Wake up.
Drink coffee.
Eat breakfast.
Clean house.
Go to a birthday party of my flute teacher's twin girl toddlers.
Have fun.
Come home.
Realize your blog post was scheduled for today and go check for comments.
Have dinner.
Watch movie.
Go to bed. (Possibly late again.)
We'll see when Mom and Dad decide to leave us in charge again. ;)
Besides THAT, my month has been pretty normal.

Guys, I got my goal accomplished! *cue multiple gasps of astonishment* Yeah, I read over ten books this month!! However, since I was thrown off on my monthly book review schedule, I will be doing two in August. One for "The Tinkerer's Daughter" and one from the books I read this month.
For Sarah's wedding, she's having old books tied in ribbon as the centerpieces during her reception, so we got a whole box of old books. And I've made my way through a few this month, and hope to do more next month.
The Loser (by Elizabeth Allen)
The Black Symbol (by Annabe & Edgar Johnson)
Pursuit in the French Alps (by Paul-Jacues Bonzon)
Wu, the Gatekeeper's Son (by Eleanor Frances Lattimore)
Dragon Prows Westward (by William H. Bunce)
The Sword in the Tree (by William Goldman)
Prince Rabbit/The Princess who Could Not Laugh (by A. A. Milne)
Watership Down (by Richard Adams)
Besides those, I read Dare, Deny, and Defy by Tricia Mingerink. Three books I've been wanting to read for quite awhile. :)
Because I was invited to join a cabin in Camp NaNo this month, I've gotten a lot, a LOT, of writing in. Ready for the word count?
38,049. And that's only counting what I wrote in "The Princess & I". So, over all, counting blog posts and comments, and random typing in other stories, I've probably written over 40,000 words this month!! :D
In other news, I'm excited to report that my book "The Princess & I" is now over 60,000 words long and I'm hoping to complete it next week! *hyperventilates*
Then, of course, comes all the editing *sigh* and sending it off to alpha/beta-readers and more editing.
I'm hoping to have both "The Princess & I" and "Alice & Alyssa" published by the time I enter college. Which is January of next year. Pray for me...and my fellow editors, bless them. ;)

Favorite Quotes in July:
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Favorite Blog Posts:
Goals Reached:
1: Keep writing 100 words a day
3: Write five chapters in "The Princess & I"
8: Read at least ten books
As you can see *hides face in embarrassment* I only managed to accomplish three of the eight goals I set for myself last month. Obviously I did end up biting off more than I could chew. *sigh* Better luck this next month, I hope. :)

Goals for August:
1. Finish writing "The Princess & I"
2. Edit both "Alice & Alyssa" and "The Princess & I"
3. Write two poems
4. Read at least ten books this month.
5. Write two book reviews
And, that about wraps it up! How was your month? Anything exciting happen? Did any of you do Camp NaNo? If so, what was your word count? The list of books I read should be up there now, so go vote or forever hold your peace. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Hey all! *waves excitedly* Guess what?
*pause for effect*
That's right! Today, ladies and gentlemen, I am bringing you a TAG. And, as is one of my goals for this month, I'm posting it WITHIN the month that I was tagged! *cue applause* A shout out to Eve Estelle for tagging me! Thanks Eve!

As expected, here are the rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the ten questions asked.
3. Add ten (writing or book related) questions of your own.
4. Nominate ten people.

And here are her questions!
1. What current story or book are you working on?
Mostly, I'm working on "The Princess & I" since I'm doing Camp NaNo this month (Which has proved to be both challenging and hilariously awesome!) And since that book has the best planning behind it. I'm hoping (but don't get your hopes up too much) that with the added push from Camp NaNo, that I'll finish writing "The Princess & I" this month...but we'll have to see.
2. What is your favorite genre to write in?
I mostly write fantasy, so I suppose that's my favorite.  After all, your imagination is the only limit when it comes to fantasy. I really wish I could get better at writing historical fiction, because I really love reading that genre. I'm working on it... :)
3. Have you been published? If not, do you plan to be?
Yes! I've self-published my book "The Silver Flower" and I'm working on self-publishing another book by the end of this year! After that, hopefully more will soon follow and I'll become a famous author and win all sorts of medals and honors and...ok, so none of that will probably happen, but one can dream, right? Come on.
4. Which aspect of writing are you best at (mood, theme, plot, etc.)?
I can do mood. Usually. And themes are good. I'm horrible at good plots though. We're working on that. Hard. ;)
5. Which part could you improve upon most in your writing?
As I mentioned above ^^^ I'd like to improve my plot structure.
6. Do you prefer to write fiction or nonfiction?
Fiction. Although I love poetry and blogging which is all nonfiction. So I like both I guess. ;)
7. Do you remember the title of your very first work?
"The Adventures of Dan & Kathryn". Basically a story about two homeschooling siblings about my age at the time (which was seven/eight) that had all sorts of crazy adventures including getting kidnapped and lost in a forest.
8. Are you typically a planner or a pantser (a.k.a NOT a planner)?
Definitely a pantser. I'm TERRIBLE at planning out my books. Everything I write from the title to the plot twists are completely on the fly. "Alice & Alyssa" had a completely different ending "planned" but I changed it half-way through writing it. Just because I could. *cue evil laughter* You know, why not have your character end up breaking his leg? Why not have a character end up being evil when he's/she's thought to be good by everyone around them (including yourself)?
9. What is your definition of a "successful" writer?
A writer who can bring characters, plot, and setting into beautiful harmony to create a story that will keep their audience captive and help their readers grow and mature through reading. 
10. What would you say to someone wanting to be an author?
 Write. Just write. And read. A TON!!! Particularly the great classics of literature like the Bible, "Moby Dick", "Uncle Tom's Cabin", "The Chronicles of Narnia", "The Hobbit" & "The Lord of the Rings", "Anne of Green Gables" (the whole series preferably :), "Little Women", "Ben Hur", "The Scarlett Pimpernel", "Tom Sawyer" (& "Huckleberry Finn") etc..
And, you know what, don't give up when you realize your first story is terrible...because all authors (at least the ones I'VE read about) start out with horrible stories that don't make sense as a whole or where all the characters act the same why or are total clich├ęs.
So write, read, and above all else...DON'T GIVE UP!!

And here are my questions: I may have stolen borrowed a few from Eve. Don't judge.

1. What was the title and basic plot of the first story you ever wrote?
2. Which of your characters would you say is the most like you?
3. Which of your villains is your favorite?
4. What first inspired you to write?
5. How many stories (short or long) have you actually COMPLETED?
6. Have you ever had a book keep you up all night (like past midnight...not literally ALL NIGHT)? If so, what was it's title?
7. Any top favorite book(s) you would like to share with your beloved followers?
8. Any words of wisdom from your experiences in writing? Please. We need to hear it. :)
9. Planner or panster (a.k.a NOT a planner) when it comes to writing?
10. What current story or book are you working on and what is it about?

And here is who I tag:

Emily from The Imaginary World of Emily McConnell
Jonathan from Fishing for Ideas
Abigayle from The Left-Handed Typist
Faith  from Stories by Firefly
Bethany from A Great God and Good Cocoa
Aiden from Story Forger
Amanda from Scattered Journal Pages
Hannah from Furious Ever Afters
Ellie from The Other Side of Reality

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Silent Blade Blog Tour

I am thrilled to present you with a review of this FABULOUS book written by a dear friend of mine, as well as an interview with her! I was so blessed to be able to make the acquaintance of this wonderful, godly young lady last summer, and we have become even better friends over the months that followed.

When I first heard about this story I was so excited! As you probably all know by now, I have a weakness towards anything that has to do with the British Isles, and Ireland has always held a special place in my heart. Not only is their accent AWESOME (do I hear an Amen?) but they have beautiful music, and live in the midst of beautiful scenery. And this was where Jesseca Wheaton chose to have the setting of her medieval novel "The Silent Blade".

>>The Review:<<
Obviously, I may be a bit bias since she is a friend of mine. :)
But, I will endeavor to keep it as unbiased as possible. Bare with me. (Oh, and watch out for spoilers...I may or may not warn you ;)
The Cover:
( I LOVE THE COVER!! I mean, really? Isn't it AMAZING?!?!)

The Summery:
Eira has no greater desire than to see her life returned to what it once was—before her older brother Kevin’s sudden disappearance four years earlier. But the simple life she hoped for seems unattainable; on the contrary, her life is about to get all the more complicated.
When she suddenly finds herself and Willem, her twin brother, taken captive by someone who claims to be Kevin’s enemy, things go from bad to worse. It soon becomes clear that she and Willem are to become bait in a trap set for Kevin, and Eira knows she must try to warn him. But how, when she herself is a captive?
As mysteries of the past are unveiled, and loyalties are revealed, Eira realizes how precious her friends truly are. And when mortal danger threatens those nearest to her, will she be able to trust God with the lives of her friends and family?

The Characters:
For me, characters always play a big part in how much a given story is liked by me. :) And in "The Silent Blade", Jesseca does a fabulous job creating loveable (while still believably human) characters...and her villains...*shudders*. A few of my favorites include her main character Eira (after all, who doesn't love a girl who can't dance to save her life but can swordfight along with the best of 'em?), Eira's brother Willem (funny, loveable, and kind to all whether enemy or friend), and their friend Casmir (well...more than a friend to some...*coughcough*). Oh, and the hero of the story, namely Eira's oldest brother Kevin is basically someone that everyone wishes was THEIR older brother. He's so kind and protective and *hugs self* Ah! I love them all!

The Setting:
Ireland, as I mentioned above, has always held a special place in my heart...I love their rich history, and their beautiful music and scenery. Really, sometimes I wonder why I haven't written a book about characters who live in Ireland yet...well, I know what's next for me after finishing "The Princess & I" and "Beyond the Galaxy"! :)
Jesseca does an excellent job describing her various settings, and I love the way she paints the village where her main characters live as well as the woods they frequent *cough* for a large chunk of the story. (See? Aren't I doing so well not giving spoilers?? ;P)

The Plot:
Jealousy. Revenge. Trickery. Love. War. Peace. And the holy law: to "bless them that hate thee and love them that spitefully use thee and persecute thee". I admired Jesseca's ability to weave all those things throughout her story to create a beautiful picture of Christ-like love Kevin gains towards those who would do anything to hurt the people he holds so dear. The journey is a hard one for him, and one where he often has to struggle inwardly between his desire to have his own revenge towards those who hurt his family, and his equally strong desire to do what is right and forgive his enemy. It's a journey you'll take yourself as you submerge yourself in Jesseca's story: Kevin's struggles will become yours, Eira's frustration will cause you to frown, Willem's jokes and Casmir's teasing will bring a smile (and a laugh more often then not) to your lips.
It's amazing. :)

My rating:
Definitely five stars over all. :) Sure, her writing might not be as good quality-wise as C. S. Lewis's, J. R. R. Tolkien's, or Jane Austin...but really, who wants to be an exact copy of one of those authors? Everyone has to start somewhere, and she has certainly started off on the right foot. Her writing holds a lot of potential, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!! :D

>>The Interview:<<
Me: What was the title and basic plot of the first story you ever wrote?
Jesseca: I believe it was called "My special Pony." I wrote it when was 11, and it was about a girl who had dreamed about having a horse for her entire life, and her wish came true when they moved to the country. 

Me: Which of your characters would you say is the most like you?
Jesseca: In The Silent Blade or just overall? In TSB it'd be Kevin. We're both the oldest, and we both tend to struggle with being over-protective of our family and letting others down. 
If you mean in any of my stories, then I'd have to say Micah from A Question of Honor, my current WIP. He's probably the character I have written that is the most like me. We both enjoy helping others, making sure their needs are met and making sure everything runs smoothly, but we don't like talking about ourselves or letting anyone know what we're thinking. 

Me: Which of your villains is your favorite?
Jesseca: Oh, Erich Essler from the same WIP as Micah! He's really, really, bad and creepy and all that, but at the same time, there's such a sad story behind it all. He's one villain who has literally hurt me as I'm writing more then any other. He is so awful, but his story is just.. yeah. I'll stop talking about it. ;P 

Me: What first inspired you to write?

Jesseca: When my dad was first diagnosed with cancer a few years back, I kinda turned to writing as a way to get away from everything. That was when I realized just how much I loved it!
Me: It is pretty awesome, huh? ;)

Me: How many stories (short or long) have you actually COMPLETED?
Jesseca: Oh, goodness! Umm, let me think. I'm pretty sure I've completed 30+ on my own, and then quite a few others I wrote with friends and completed. :) 
Me: *applauds* That's better than me! I think I may have only completed around fifteen or so. It's hard for me to keep focused on one story long enough to complete it. Don't ask me how many stories I've started and never finished...I think it's probably more than a hundred at this point. XD

Me: Have you ever had a book keep you up all night (like past midnight...not literally ALL NIGHT)? If so, what was it's title?

Jesseca: Oh, so many! I'll only give you a few of the most recent ones...
Remembrance by Theresa Breslin
A couple of Sarah Sundin's books
The Truth Seeker by Dee Henderson 
The Rescuer by Dee Henderson
Where Shadows Lie by Talia Rising
Echoes of Titanic by Mindy Starnes Clark
A Night Divided by Jenifer Nielson
Songbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer
Defy by Tricia Mingerink
With Ever Letter by Sarah Sundin
And... yeah. I shall stop now. Don't even ask how many nights I stay up with a book past midnight. ;P 
Me: Tsk, tsk. Really Jesseca, you know, we authors need our sleep! ;) Just kidding. I'm guilty of staying up past midnight myself. :) Aren't we all?

Me: Any top favorite book(s) you would like to share that have inspired you (and might inspire others)?

Jesseca: Right now I'd have to say Remembrance by Theresa Breslin. It's not a Christian book., but it's very clean, and written in a style similar to Anne of Green Gables. Just the raw reality and the emotions she showed made me see WWI through very different eyes. It wasn't a sweet, light book. It was heavy, and some of the themes it dealt with were really thought-provoking. So yes, if you can get your hands on a copy then read it, and be prepared to never look at war in quite the same way.
Me: Hmm...I'm going to have to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation! Always on the lookout for more good reads!

Me: Any words of wisdom from your experiences in writing? Please. We need to hear it. :)
Jesseca: Share your work! Let someone you trust read through it and critique it, and then when you feel it's ready, find some people you don't directly know to read through it.  Not only will it improve your writing, you'll be able to get go know other fellow readers/writers. And of course, since they don't know you too well and aren't personally connected with you, they'll be more honest in their feedback. 
Me: Ooo...good advice! (Take heed all ye authors!)

Me: Planner or panster (a.k.a NOT a planner) when it comes to writing?
Jesseca: I'm more of a plotter. I like to have an idea of where I'm going, what Biblical principal will be woven in through the story (and what verses I'll use), what the characters will go through, etc. Of course, a lot changes as I'm writing, but I like to have at least a small idea of where I'm heading! 

Me: What current story or book are you working on and what is it about?
Jesseca: I'm getting to realize that this is a popular question. ;)  Currently I'm
working on a historical-fiction novel set in WWII during the Battle of Britain. It’s currently in the 2nd re-writing/editing stage. It's my "special" novel, and I've learned a lot through writing it, both in ahistorical context and through my writing it, it's brought me closer to the Lord.
At times I feel like the book and characters have become a part of me...sometimes I'm not sure how good that is. ;)
Me: If you had to be stuck for a whole day with one of your characters...which one (or two or three) would you choose?
Jesseca: Thank you for adding that "two or three" in there!!!!! Otherwise.. I would have just ignored the "one" in the sentence and listed two or three anyway. ;P 
Me: I know the pain of having to narrow it know, "do unto others as you would have done unto you" and all that. ;)
Either David, Micah and Gil from A Question of Honor,  or Kevin, Eira and Casimir from The Silent Blade
The first three just because they're so funny and thoughtful and then they could take me flying and then I could go spend the rest of the day at the hospital with Micah. Flying and medicine--now THAT is a perfect day!
The 2nd three..well, because they're all so awesome. And I could learn sword-fighting. Or at least make all three of them laugh with all my clumsy attempts with the sword. ;) 

Me: Which villain would you be able to tolerate for a whole day?

Jesseca: Erich Essler. Because while he is super cruel and mean and all that, he does still have a  conscience. And...well, I can't say much more without giving away the plot of the story. ;P 

Me:  What's the longest book (word-wise) that you've written?
Jesseca: A Question of Honor. It's finished, and around 65,000 words. But.. once it's edited, it may end up becoming quite  a bit longer. ;) 
Thanks so much for having me, Rebekah! :) 
Me: You're very welcome! You know how much I love asking questions. B-)
 >>About the Author:<<
Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.
Now you all need to go over to her blog and check out her book!

If you want to win free stuff, enter this giveaway!

Also, if you're interested in hearing less bias persons give THEIR reviews of this book, you'll find their posts throughout the blog tour:

Wednesday, July 20th
Mikayla The Bubblegum Ballerina --Review
Blessings Counter at Counting your Blessings One by One --Author Interview
Ivy Rose at  Lakeside Publications --Review, Spotlight
Mallory Beth at Renewed by Grace --Review
Thursday, July 21st
Lydia Dyslin at Through the Wardrobe --Review
Rebekah Eddy at Rebekah’s Remarks --Review, Interview
Abigayle Allison at The Left-Handed Typist --Review, Spotlight
Friday, July 22nd (Publication Day!!)
Blessings Counter at Counting your Blessings One by One --Review
Rebekah Ashleigh at Rebekah Ashleigh --Spotlight
Amanda Tero at  With a Joyful Noise --Review, Interview, Spotlight
Deborah O’Carroll at The Road of a Writer –Review, Spotlight
Kaitlyn K. at Prairie Gal Cookin’ --Review, Spotlight
Bethany R. at A Great God and Good Cocoa --Review, Spotlight
Deborah C. at Reading in June --Spotlight, Review
Emily at A Purpose and a Promise --Spotlight, Review
Saturday, July 23rd
Kellyn Roth at Reveries--Review, Interview
Jason McIntire at Elisha Press--Interview
Natasha H. at Looking Through my Lens --Review
Faith P. at Stories by Firefly --Review, Interview
Monday, July 25th
Jesseca Wheaton at Whimsical Writings --Blog Tour wrap-up post

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Novel Idea: Character Pictures (Actually Yes, I Mean PICTURES This Time)


Yo homies! 'Sup?

Ooookaaaaay. I have no idea where that came from. *shakes head* My mind does the WEIRDEST things sometimes.


How's your Saturday been so far? I've been enjoying the aftereffects of being able to sleep in for the first time since the beginning of this month. Our church's VBS was this Monday through Friday, so I've been being kept on my toes trying to get all my writing/reading/sleep in every day. Most times I have to pick two of those three and be happy with that. ;)

But now, without further ado: here's the next ANI post!

The Prompt:
This week, choose some pictures that describe one of your characters. You can use pictures of your character or pictures that describe him/her (or both!). Have fun with this – don’t overthink it! Hopefully it’ll be a nice break from actually writing and help you learn more about your character at the same time!

Again, I couldn't chose just ONE character (horrors!) so I settled on my personal top ten favorite characters... AND an antagonist. Just because. :) Bonus points for those who like the bad guy characters. ;)

Megan (from "The Princess & I")
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Nicole (from "Ocean Mist")
Image result for Teen Girls with Auburn HairImage result for Teen Girl with Strawberry Blonde Hair

Kyrin (from "Beyond the Galaxy")
the below pictures were based off of the above 
rough sketch I drew myself some time ago
when I first started writing this book
Image result for teen with dark hair 

Malcolm (from "The Princess & I")
Image result for medieval guy with dark hairImage result for medieval guy with dark hair
Chrystal (from "The Princess & I")
 Image result for Beautiful Medieval Princess DressImage result for Beautiful Medieval Princess Dress
William (from "The Princess &I")
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This picture is so perfect for his character I really didn't have to bother finding any more. ;)

Dillon (from "Ocean Mist")
Image result for Teen Male Blonde Hair Image result for Teen Male Blonde Hair

Laeli (from "Beyond the Galaxy")

the below pictures were based off of the above 
rough sketch I drew myself some time ago
when I first started writing this book
Image result for girl with shoulder length hair Image result for Teenagers with Shoulder Length Hair

Alice (from "Alice & Alyssa")
Alyssa (from "Alice & Alyssa")
Image result for teen girl with brown hair

Annnd...the bad guy. :)
Neil Ferrick (from "Beyond the Galaxy")
Image result for middle aged guy with gray hairImage result for middle aged guy with gray hair
With a beard or without? What do you think?

Hope those pictures helped give you a better idea of what my mind thinks my characters look like.
Do you think any of them fit the character really well? Do you think some of them don't? What do YOU think my characters look like?
(Send me a link in the comment if you can find a perfect picture to "describe" any of the above characters...I'm always on the lookout for more!)

And, for those of you concerned, the poll has closed for which book I'm reviewing this month and the decision was made. I will be reviewing "The Tinkerer's Daughter" by Jamie Sedgwick.
Keep an eye open for that post! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

All About ESFP (a.k.a "The Personality Tag")

Just for fun, I'm doing a post about my personality. Everyone loves learning about other people's personalities, right? And to make it even more fun, I'm making it into a blog tag! Ya know, just 'cause I can. ;)

1. (optional) Thank whoever nominated you/Post the above button
2. Find two favorite quotes for your personality type
3. Name three favorite movie characters that have your personality
and one weakness in your personality that you're trying to change (or more if you really want to)
4. Tell us a little bit about your personality
5. Have you ever taken a personality test? If so, which one?
6. Tag three to five people

>>Here's my two favorite ESFP quotes:

>>Three favorite movie ESFP characters:
Pippen from Lord of the Rings
Po from Kung Fu Panda
Soren from Guardian's of Ga'hoole

>>One thing I struggle with as an ESFP:
I tend to be unfocused: Anything that requires long-term dedication and focus is a particular challenge for ESFPs like myself. In academics, dense, unchanging subjects like Math *cough, cough* are much more difficult than more dynamic, relatable subjects like reading or writing. The trick for us ESFPs is to find day-to-day joy in broader goals, and to tough it out with those tedious things that must be done.

>>A little bit about the ESFP personality:
We tend to be:
Bold – ESFPs aren't known for holding back. Wanting to experience everything there is to experience, people with the ESFP personality type don't mind stepping out of their comfort zones when no one else is willing.
Original – Traditions and expectations are secondary to ESFPs, if a consideration at all. ESFP personalities love to experiment with new styles, and constantly find new ways to stick out in the crowd.
Natural Actors/Actresses – Not stopping at mere outfits, ESFPs inject artistic creativity into their words and actions, too. Every day is a performance, and ESFPs love to put on a show.
Practical – To ESFPs, the world is meant to be felt and experienced. Truth is stranger than fiction, and ESFPs prefer to see and do than to wax philosophical about "what-ifs".
Observant – With all this focus on the here and now, on doing and acting, it makes sense that ESFPs are naturals when it comes to noticing real, tangible things and changes.
Excellent People People – More so than things though, ESFPs love to pay attention to people. They are talkative, witty, and almost never run out of things to discuss. For people with this personality type, happiness and satisfaction stem from the time they spend with the people they enjoy being with.

>>Have I taken a personality test? If so, which one?
Yep. I took one on 16 Personalities...which is where I took all of the above information...except the quotes and movie characters. Those were thanks to Google. ;)

>>And now for the people I tag!! ^_^
Sarah from A Well-Cultivated Mind
Margaret from Preparing for the Ultimate Career
Jesseca from Whimsical Writings
Jonathan from Fishing for Ideas
Jody from Slightly Decaffeinated Ramblings about Stupid People
Faith P. from Stories by Firefly
Bethany from A Great God and Good Cocoa

In other news, before I end this post, my giveaway ended a couple days ago, and I finally have a chance to post the winner!

And the winner is....

*drum roll*

DEBORAH C. !!!!!! Congratulations! :D :D :D

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Novel Idea: How It All Began

Hey all! Time for my weekly ANI post! Hope you're enjoying reading these as much as I've enjoyed writing them! Nothing like an awesomely random subject to get those creative juices bubbling. ;)

The Prompt:

This week, tell us about some of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?

My first very first story was "The Adventures of Dan & Kathryn". I started writing it when I was seven, and finished when I was eight. I remember the characters very well, actually, I still have the first draft on printed paper in my drawer up in my room. When I'm disgusted at how my current story is going, I go and look at that first book to remind myself that IT COULD BE A LOT WORSE. XD The main characters' names were Dan and Kathryn (I know, who would have guessed?? ;) and their siblings were Sally, Ted, and Martha. They had two dogs, Sam and Gertrude (shortened to Gerty), and later when the two dogs have puppies, they keep one of them in addition to the two they had and name her Kate. Later in the story, Kathryn is given three horses (the author's wishful thinking played a big part in that) and she names them Lightening, Ginger, and Sugar.

No, I'm not still writing it. It's so hopeless, I doubt I'll ever even try to make it better. However, it was a good exercise in writing when I was younger, and I'm proud I wrote it. Maybe, at some point when I'm a really famous, best-selling author *cough* it'll be put into print and I'll get a ton of money from it. Highly unlikely, but hey, one can dream, right? ;) Here's a short excerpt from it:

            Everything was a hubbub in the Forester home. A missionary family was visiting them from China!
           Sally cleaned the bathrooms, Ted vacuumed, Martha washed the windows, and Dan and Kathryn dusted.
           Finally, Mr. Wilder drove himself and his family into the Forester's driveway and was welcomed warmly by the hospitable family.
            Sally and Kathryn made an immediate friendship with Lily, Ted played cowboys and Indians outside with the boys while Martha busied herself with Sara and Nathan. She showed Sara where the dolls were and Nathan where the balls were.
                  Soon enough, Mrs. Forester called Dan and Kathryn in to set the tables for calzones and salad.
            After they had eaten, Mr. Wilder told them many stories about their exciting trip to and from China and how the Lord had provided for all their needs.
                  After that, the boys played some board games and the girls played "house" while the parents talked.
           Soon it was time for the Wilders to leave, so the children picked up their mess and with a "hope to see you all again soon" the Wilders climbed into their van and rode away.
                With a sigh, all the tired kids, parents, and dog went to bed. For once, grateful for sleep, they went to sleep immediately.

           The next day, life went on. Kathryn helped Dan with taking care of the dog. Breakfast came and went with the usual routine. Chores were finished, school work accomplished. Lunch and what follows arrived. Kitchen clean up was completed. More chores, and of course quiet time were ticked off in record time. Dinner was eaten, devotions were made, and bed came again.
               So, although the Foresters had no guests for awhile, life still went on as usual. 

As you can see from reading that, my early writings (doesn't THAT make me sound professional? XD) were heavily influenced by my life as a PK. ;) Hopefully you can also tell that my writing has come a LONG WAY from that first story. :P
I did learn one very valuable lesson from the writing of "The Adventures of Dan & Kathryn": it is possible to have too many characters. :) It started with two main characters, but then you add three siblings, plus a family of eight who are friends with your characters and show up a lot in the story, plus a villain and his family of four...not to mention the parents and the gets very confusing and a lot of characters start acting the same. From then on, I stuck to five characters or less in order to be able to focus on unique personalities and avoid falling into stereotypes.


The first story I really considered worth the time I took writing it was "The Mysterious Five and the Search for the Lost Dinosaur Bone". I started that book when I was eight, and finished it when I was ten. I also have a typed and printed copy of that story, and although you can definitely tell I wasn't very experienced when I wrote it first, I think it has some potential, and I probably will end up editing it and publishing it as a short story.

The main characters were seventeen-year-old Seth (the narrator, or as I call them "the 'I' person") and his four siblings Rachel (15), Amy (14), Adam (11), and Kenneth (10). Here's a short snippet (edited for easier reading)of what I wrote when I was eight:

             Early in the morning, I awoke to Rachel violently shaking me by the shoulder.
            “Seth!” she whispered urgently, trying not to wake the other two boys next to me. “Wake up; I have something important to say.” Having had all the grogginess shaken from me, I sat bolt upright, nearly upsetting the cot which I shared with the other boys.
            “What is it?” I replied as Rachel gasped for breath. (I could tell she had been running.)     
            “Seth,” she finally gasped out, “our triceratops leg bone is GONE!” She gave especial emphasis on her last word, and made me jump. Kenneth and Adam stirred in their sleep, and Adam grunted before his breath evened out again.
            “Have you told Uncle?” I asked once I had sufficiently recovered my composure after the shock.
            Rachel shook her head.“No, I haven’t, He hasn’t come into the museum yet. Remember, today the museum doesn’t open, it’s Saturday.”
           I looked at her in disbelief. “I can’t believe it! Have you told the other kids?” Again Rachel shook her head. “Good, let’s keep it that way until breakfast. I’ll tell them all then. Wake up Amy and the boys, and let me have some quiet time to think. Thanks.” After Rachel woke the boys, (With much groaning and lamentations from Adam), I sat and stewed in thought.
            Soon, a little too soon, Rachel came in to say that breakfast was ready, so I left my musings reluctantly, and went to the table rehearsing my speech in my mind, over and over.
            It took a while for the noise and chatter to die down some, but it did at last, and I stood from my chair. All eyes were riveted to me; I did not usually stand in the middle of a meal. I cleared my throat and began:
            “Brothers and sisters, I have just this morning heard the dreadful news that our prized triceratops leg bone has mysteriously disappeared. Thankfully it’s Saturday, because I will need all of your help to return it to our museum. I hope that we will be able to find it before our Uncle sees it missing. I’m afraid that would kill him. Are you willing to help me in the search?” All heads nodded, though Rachel looked a little unsure. I continued, “Wonderful! So here’s our next plan of action. Kenneth, you are going to come with me after breakfast, to help me look for clues. Rachel, you are to stay here with Adam and Amy. Are your orders understood?”
            All my siblings nodded again, although Adam looked a bit disappointed at being left out of the action. I sat down again, and breakfast continued. Kenneth sat with his eyes on his plate. A look of puzzlement was on his face. Smiling inside, for his expression was rather comical; I asked him what was bothering him.
           He looked up, startled, from his musings.“Oh, I’m just puzzled about this robbery. Why did they take something from our museum, I mean, there are so many others...why ours?” This question I could not answer.
            “That is what I want to find out next, let’s hurry up and go.”
             Kenneth gave me a quick nod, and gulping down his breakfast in a manner that was so unlike his usual that I was almost worried for his health; pushed his chair back from the table, and pulled on his boots.
            In no time at all, we were hurrying across the back yard lawn, still wet with dew. Kenneth pushed open the double doors; the squeaky hinge seemed deafening in the still morning air. Almost stealthily, we tiptoed through the museum, the hollow thump, thump, thump, of our feet adding to the eeriness.
            Suddenly, Kenneth froze in his tracks. I followed his example and stopped.
            “What?” I whispered.
            “Someone’s in this museum and is coming our way,” was his reply.
            “I don’t hear anything. Perhaps you were mistaken,” I said, speaking with much more confidence than I felt.
             Kenneth shook his head.“No, I am positive I heard footsteps coming our way. Listen close, then you might hear it too.” 
            Since he insisted, I tilted my head in a way to catch all possible sounds, and held my breath, listening. Yes, now I could hear it to, faintly.
            “It’s just our echo I think,” I said.
             Kenneth looked at me reproachfully. “If it was our echo, it would have stopped by now.”
             Embarrassed, I felt my ears turn red.“I-it might be Uncle Devon,” I stuttered, trying to think of another possibility.
             Again, Kenneth shook his head.“If it was Uncle Devon, the footfalls would be heavy. These footfalls are light; perhaps belonging to a girl.”
            “What! A girl!?” I replied in a loud whisper, “Impossible! The only girls that possess a key to the museum are Rachel and Amy, and they are at home exactly where I told them to be.” I paused. “You don’t think they’d disobey me would they?”  Kenneth assured me that they would not disobey me. “Then what on earth would a girl be doing here?” I declared triumphantly. Kenneth shrugged, motioning me to be a little bit quieter. I was louder with that statement then I had intended originally to be.
            “Let’s hide anyhow and see who it is, maybe this is the clue we’re looking for. Come on, let’s hide behind this.” I followed Kenneth, and we managed to wedge ourselves between the wall of the museum and a suit of armor before the person came.

What did I learn while writing it? You can't edit a book enough. ;) Sorry all you aspiring authors out there. No matter HOW MANY TIME YOU EDIT A BOOK, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MISTAKES. Granted, the more you edit it, the less mistakes there will be, but there's no way to get out all the mistakes. Even your beloved alpha and beta readers won't catch everything. They aren't God. For which I'm sure they're very grateful. ;)

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