Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Liebster Award 2017

I usually set aside the third week of the month for Tuesday Tales, but I've been nominated for the Liebster Award!! Thank you so much to The Manic Writer Shannon. I was shocked to see that in the comments. It's good to know people actually stop by here lol.
Here are the rules for the Liebster:
  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
  • Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
  • Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions
    So, I won't waste anymore time. Let's get into these questions!
    1. How did you get started writing? Back in the 1st Grade, they handed out blank books for us all to tell a story in. I told a weird biography/fiction about my older sister lol. But after that, X-Men: The Animated Series came out, and I loved those characters and the stories so much that I tried to do a teenage version for about 7 years. I keep trying to revamp it, but we'll see what happens.
    2. What do you love most about being a writer/blogger? I love when fresh new ideas come into my head and I can actually execute them into something tangible on "paper." It's exciting.
    3. What do you hate most about it? When the well is dry. lol I don't know if it's because of my age, because I remember writing down countless ideas as a teenager, but now, maybe because the many directions adulthood pulls your mind, the ideas don't flow as well as they used to.
    4. If you don’t write full time, how do you manage your writing time and still feel productive? When I have down time at work, I try to sneak in some writing. Wherever or whenever the ideas come, I try to hold onto them long enough for me to write them out.
    5. What helps you organize your writing work the most? Organize? What is that word? Is it real? ;) I'm a pantser, so there's almost no organization when I write. Whatever comes comes, no matter where it falls in the plot.
    6. Name your inspiration. Another author you look up to? A teacher who encouraged you? Someone else? I discovered Octavia Butler in college, and just to read some of the things she said made me feel great to know it wasn't just me who was thought to be weird for writing speculative fiction. I also look up to N.K. Jemisin; her writing has changed my life and made me so hopeful!
    7. If you are having trouble settling down to write what is your go to so you can make it work? See question 4. lol
    8. Do you write at home or away from home? If away, where? I write wherever I can.
    9. Do you let family read your work? I used to. I'm not sure that they're all that interested anymore.
    10. What is your favorite book? Why should I read it? Read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Read the whole trilogy! The Broken Kingdoms is my favorite of the three books, but sometimes you need context, so start at The Hundred.
    11. What one piece of advice would you offer to someone who just discovered they want to be a writer? Keep writing and start learning.
    Questions I have for my nominees:
    1. What was the first thing you remember writing?
    2. What was the first book you remember reading?
    3. What are you currently reading?
    4. Do you like movie adaptations of books? Why or why not?
    5. (Might be a trick question, but you never know) Was English your favorite subject in school?
    6. What was your very first blog post about?
    7. How has your writing evolved since your first story?
    8. Name an author you couldn't live without reading.
    9. Where is your favorite place to read?
    10. Where is your favorite place to write?
    11. When it comes to writing/blogging where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
    And now, my nominees...
    1. The Book Babe
    2. Stephen Tremp
    3. Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    4. Jackie @ Bouquet of Books
    5. Sarah @ The Faux Fountain Pen
    6. EdgyAuthor Heather Holden
    7. Diana Wilder
    8. Molly Blaisdell
    9. Joyce Alton
    10. Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption 
    11. Donna McDine!

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    Wednesday Words: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Wish my sister and I the best of luck and fun as we're off in a couple more hours to audition for Wheel of Fortune in NYC!

    It is the second Wednesday of the month, which means time for me to share with you all what I am reading this fortnight (is it always a fortnight, no matter the time of day?). So, sometime in the next couple of hours while on a train, I plan to crack open Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

    I'd heard of this book most of my college years, and I've heard a lot more of it since Trump was elected. When I saw it was becoming a TV show, I was intrigued. My sister has read the book and watched the episodes currently aired on Hulu. When my cousin, who almost never watches anything, started watching it and commenting her shock, I knew I had to start watching, too. So, after episode 3, I said, "Screw my To-Read list, this is the next book I read!"

    So it shall be. And now, I'll share a few lines from a random page. There are 311 pages in this novel, and Random, fortunately, chose page 49. I don't want to be caught off guard but also don't want too big of a spoiler. Hopefully, this page is near one of these 3 episodes. lol

    *flips to 49* Ah, it's the end of a chapter.

    The hall is dusky, this is a man, his back to me; he's looking into the room, dark against its light. I can see now, it's the Commander, he isn't supposed to be here.

    Ah, yes. Just enough to intrigue and not spoil. I wonder how far into the narrative this is. I can't wait to find out!

    What are you reading this week?

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    IWSG: I've Never Quit, But...

    It is the first Wednesday of the month, where we insecure writers throw our doubts into the wind and discuss our insecurities, give a little encouragement, etc. Visit Alex J. Cavanuagh, founder extraordinaire, and stop by the official website to join the fun!

    This month we were asked if we have ever quit.

    I've never stopped writing. Writing is something that has always kept me going. Just thinking about never pursuing a career in writing or not writing at all hurts my feelings.

    But though I haven't quit, I've thought sometimes that maybe I'm not someone who will get published, or with the luck I've had in the past with CPs, those are signs that I should give up. When those thoughts pop up, I counter them with the thought that these are just obstacles I have to get over. This past year, I had a great experience with pitches and a full edit letter on my manuscript. Things may not be moving as quickly as I would like, but they are still moving, so I just have to do my part. :)

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    Wednesday Words: My Lady Jane

    Happy Hump Day!

    It is the fifth Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another Wednesday Words, where I share with you all what I'm currently reading.

    Last week I started My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. I met Jodi during last Fall's DVPit, and we've become good friends since, so I've heard about this book quite a lot. I've had it on my Kindle for quite some time, and I'm glad I finally got to it!

    I really like historical retellings, and MLJ has gone beyond my scope of those. Do they call it historical fantasy? I'm not sure. Either way, from the first page, I have laughed at least every other. It's witty, fun, and even at the sadder moments, there's comic relief soon to follow. Also, why don't people like redheads?! *huff*

    There are 491 pages in the Kindle edition, and Random.org has chosen page 118, which is 24% of the way into the book. So, let me backtrack to see what happened there.

    Last time, the change had been sudden, just a burst of light she hadn't expected, and when she'd finished blinking away the sparks, her husband had been a horse.

    Oh, right, I forgot to mention. If you know a little about King Henry VIII and his line, instead of the persecution of Protestants, in this story, magical animorphs called EÐians (pronounced EE-thee-uns, or something near it) are the ones being persecuted. I could see the Prologue play out so clearly, too. If you like comedy and twists on history, definitely pick this up.

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    Final Fantasy Friday

    Happy Friday!

    It is the last Friday of May already, so that means I am bringing you some Final Fantasy obsessions.

    So, the thing they tell you about Final Fantasy XV is that it's a game about friendship and brotherhood. Yada yada yada. What they DO NOT tell you is how fricking depressing it is!

    I'm two chapters away from the end (tired of doing side quests, so I'm just gunning it until I'm not strong enough to beat something and have to go do a couple side quests), and here is a list of things that have happened to me: Noctis, Prince of Lucis.

    1. My father, the king, is assassinated (I knew this already because Sean Bean is the English voice actor, and he dies in everything, but still).
    2. Our country is taken over.
    3. I find this all out by reading a newspaper that says my father, my fiance, and I have all died, so when I call home, they're like, "Well, your dad is dead."
    4. When I finally get up with my fiance, she gets stabbed, and the Hydrean Leviathan drowns her! (See R.I.P. My Fiance for the graphics.)
    5. My guardian/chef is blinded in battle.
    6. My guardian/trainer acts like I'm being a spoiled brat and not manning up. (Bitch, my dad and my fiance have died in the span of like, a week!)
    7. My best friend gets kidnapped by the man who killed my fiance (oh, and he also kills my fiance's brother!).

    I can't imagine what else happens! And this chapter I'm currently in trying to save Prompto (my best friend), it's SO dark and scary! Rogue robots are jumping out and grabbing me, then exploding, daemons are popping up, and the murderer is taunting me over a loud speaker every few minutes.

    I can't take it!

    But anyway, here are some screenshots I took. lol

    Have a great Memorial Day Weekend! Hug a soldier, think of those who died for freedom. <3

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    Tuesday Tales: Hidden Facts with Ghuli

    It's the third Tuesday of the month again! This has been a long four weeks. For a second I could neither remember what I posted last month nor think of anything to post for this one. Then, I remembered Q&As and went to searching. I stumbled upon these Character Development Questions. One that struck me that a few of my main characters from Fractured Princess could answer was: What facts about your characters do they prefer to keep hidden?

    Let's start with Ghuli and see how far we get.

    Oh, my. Well . . . There is a part of me that I have unfortunately kept hidden even from myself. To explain how I've done it will be a very long story. Just know that deep within me lies a fearsome temper. I wish it were blind, blackout anger, but it is an anger throughout which I am always conscious, therefore I always remember. While it is rare for anything to anger me so strongly, when it happens, it is quite disastrous.


    I hope I created a bit of mystery.

    This is as far as I'm getting today (the evening before this is posted). I just finished the Once Upon A Time season finale and learned Jennifer, Ginnifer, Josh, et freaking al aren't returning for the seventh season, so I'm beside myself. I also have to rewatch because I wasn't paying attention to the little girl in the Enchanted Forest. *sigh*

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Wednesday Words: Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

    It's the second Wednesday of MAY, can you believe it?! That means, it's time for Wednesday Words, where I share with you what I'm reading and/or writing.

    I've actually been doing a little writing in my series for Fractured Princess. I have another CP from the AQC, and he's helped me see little things that had been plaguing me but I needed confirmation. I'm glad I went back to AQC. It had been a while. I'm also trying to write in Divided Princess, and I found myself writing even more for what will either open the third act of DP or the first act of Broken Princess, what I'm calling the third book if it comes down me writing one. I now understand why Natalie Whipple only gave us two Transparent books. lol

    I've also started reading L. Penelope's Song of Blood & Stone. Here is the AMAZING cover.

    I've been waiting to read this for so long. It was the Winner of the 2016 Self-Publishing Ebook Award for Best Fiction, which is so cool. I'm really enjoying it so far. Here is a little more about it on Goodreads.

    There are 252 pages in the Kindle version, so let's see what Random.org wants me to share with you all....Page 206 (Come on, man). Yeah, I definitely just spoiled something for myself. Maybe I'll forget by the time I get there.

    "What have I done, Usher? The woman I love in the dungeons. Allowing the refugees to be sent back. What does this make me?"

    "It makes you a prince."

    Well then! What are you reading this week?

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    IWSG: It's Already May?!

    It is MAY!

    It is also the first Wednesday of the month, where we insecure writers throw our doubts into the wind and discuss our insecurities, give a little encouragement, etc. Visit Alex J. Cavanuagh, founder extraordinaire, and stop by the official website to join the fun!

    This is that time of the year where time flies. It's not only May already, it's also 6PM now, and I usually do these in the morning or the night before. But I was busy with work. Blugh. So, this will be quick.

    I hope those who did the A to Z Challenge enjoyed themselves and made friends. I enjoyed my vacation but had a cold, and then came back to mayhem, so I need another vacation. I'm two weeks away from applying to a job in the IT Department and praying they give me the job and the midpoint salary. Patience isn't my best virtue, but I'm hanging on.

    How's everyone else doing?

    Friday, April 28, 2017

    Final Fantasy Friday: RIP My Fiance!

    It's the last Friday of the month, which means it's time for Final Fantasy Friday!

    Also, I enjoyed my vacation but got hit with my allergies and a cold, so I need another vacation where I can sleep through the night without not being able to breathe. I wanted to play a little more of FFXV before I left and didn't get to, but I did get to spend some time on it when I got home.

    Most people who run out and by these games spend the weekend or a whole week or so playing it. I have a some semblance of a life, so I don't have that luxury. Thus, the portion of the game I finally got to play was spoiled for me by fans weeks ago: my (Noctis's) fiance, Lunafreya, dies helping me retrieve Leviathan, long story short a summon. The papers say Luna died drowning, but I witnessed her get stabbed by a shady NPC we'd run into a few times! My sister, who was watching, was just as shocked as I was!

    First off, Leviathan had an attitude. I guess because she was asleep and Luna woke her, but I needed her to chill. The battle was quite scary, as she kept diving in and out of the water and coming straight for me with her mouth agape! I actually screamed and then laughed at myself.

    Secondly, the visuals in this game are just everything. Here is the saddest cutscene since Tidus's death/disappearance in FFX. Notice the different shifts, first the atmosphere, then Noct's shift from young Noct to current Noct. It's so wild! The scene is also very reminiscent of Aeris's death in FFVII. The homages!

    I have a few more chapters before I finish the game. I might be done with side quests for now, lol. That's where most of my hours have been spent! I just want to get to the end, so I can play the DLC for Gladio!

    Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    Tuesday Tales: Creation Stories

    I am most likely just waking up on Cruise Day 3, but vacations don't stop blog posts! Because of scheduling. lol

    On the 3rd Tuesday of the month, I have shares stories, character conversations, and poems from the world of my manuscript. Way back when I started writing Fractured Princess, my goal was to write a standalone book, no sequels, no prequels, nothing. Just one story. THEN, I started writing little short stories based on stories Ghuli had read. Then, I had an idea for a prequel. And THEN, ideas for a sequel popped into my head. Stupid gears turning in my head.

    As I work on the plot of this story, which is coming much easier than the first one, I am begrudged to say, I also developed three origin theories for the world of Teorre. They open the sequel, so I thought I would share them with you all.

    The Falcon Origin

    (This theory is also from where we get the story of the Dove’s Tail Constellation)

    Before we began, Teorre was uninhabited, devoid of any structure or natural resource. Above Teorre floated the Energy, which kept the planet turning in the skies. As time passed it by, the Energy decided it wanted to do more with the planet. And so, the Energy split itself into parts.

    A portion joined Teorre and began to create earth and stone out of the surface. Next, it cracked the earth and filled the void with water for nourishment. The sun above further nurtured the wet earth, and plants began to grow. Pleased with this, the Energy molded the plants into different shapes and sizes, colors and textures.

    Another portion wanted to live among these new plants and reshaped itself into falcons. They flew above and oversaw the land, living among the trees when they needed rest. As time passed, some of the falcons decided they wanted to walk among the land. And so, they reshaped themselves again. Their feathers fell off, and their bodies grew tall, their legs long. They became the First.


    The Quickening Theory

    Before we began, Teorre was uninhabited, devoid of life but made of solid earth. Within Teorre, willing it to move and remain in the air, was the Energy. It pushed against the surface of Teorre as a growing child within its mother, stretching the planet until it finally began to crack. As the Energy met the air, it melted in ecstasy and burst forth from its lifeless prison. It fell back to Teorre as the first rain, rose again and fell again, until the cracks in the earth filled with water.

    The earth, delighted in this interaction with Teorre’s Energy, began to soften and grow life. Some stood still, except to grow tall and blossom with the sun’s rays. Others moved around on the surface, happy to stay close to their creator but wanting to explore the reaches of the land. Others dwelled in the waters of Teorre’s Energy, wanting to be within the rain that caused their creation. Others wanted to roam the air above the earth and water, and so they flew about, happily returning to their parents when they grew tired.

    And when Teorre’s Energy was happy with the children it had made, it created again: the First People, to watch over all its older siblings. Teorre’s Energy, tired from all it had done, returned to its now-open prison within the earth, to rest there until their children needed it again.


    The Crystal Formation Theory

    Before we began, the sun was young, and Teorre floated around it, uninhabited, but encrusted with minerals and elements. As the sun grew, its energy desired more room to grow and settled around the atmosphere of Teorre. Heated by the sun, the energy began to react with the minerals and elements, and crystals formed. The energy gravitated to these crystals and gained more sentience and cognizance by dwelling within them. Through the crystals, the energy decided to shape the other elements into different creatures and plants, into air and into water it envisioned through each different crystal it inhabited.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    Wednesday Words: The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin


    It is time for Wednesday Words! On the 2nd Wednesday of the month, I share with you all a piece of what I'm reading.

    This week I am reading N.K. Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate, the sequel to The Fifth Season. The latter won the Hugo, and this one is nominated for one this year. I'm only 80 pages in and can see why. It's already so good. Visit my thoughts about The Fifth Season in my posts below.

    Wednesday Words: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

    Wednesday Words: A Final Look into The Fifth Season

    Long story short, the world is still ending, but let's see what else I can show you and hopefully not spoil anything too major for myself. There are 391 pages of the story (I see why Goodreads says that, even though there are 434. There's an appendix and extras), and Random.org has chosen page 245. Let me brace myself for a spoiler.

    "No one touch me," you say softly. "No one speak to me." Without waiting to see if they understand, you plunge into the obelisk.

    Not too spoiled, and now I can't wait to see why I (Essun) am doing this again! When Syenite did it in TFS, my soul's jaw dropped.

    I am on vacation next week, but I will most likely schedule Tuesday Tales early. I have an idea of what I want to share with you all. Hint: It's the opening to my next book in The Broken Chronicles (series name still pending because of this, The Broken Earth series).

    What are you reading this week?

    Wednesday, April 5, 2017

    IWSG: Good Luck, A to Z Challengers!

    It is already April! I can't believe it, can you?

    It is also the first Wednesday of the month, where we insecure writers throw our doubts into the wind and discuss our insecurities, give a little encouragement, etc. Visit Alex J. Cavanuagh, founder extraordinaire, and stop by the official website to join the fun!

    This month, most of you are doing the A to Z Challenge. For those who aren't and don't know about it, every day in April (except Sunday) is a new letter. You can write on anything for the letter of the day. Most people come up with themes, and many preschedule their posts, but you can wing both. I recommend not, but you might be better at time management and energy than I am. Last year was my last go at the challenge for a while, but I was proud of myself. I started prepping in 2015 and was scheduling posts by February 2016! And because my theme was Final Fantasy, I really didn't feel like I was working. I was gushing about my favorite pastime!

    For those of you doing it this year, I wish you the best of luck! Have fun, and make friends!

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Wednesday Words: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    It's time for another installment of Wednesday Words, where I share with you a piece of what I'm reading! I'm very excited about this book. I pre-ordered it, and then watched as it was released, and my book hadn't shipped yet. When it finally did and arrived in 1 day, here was my reaction:

    I was super excited. If you don't know anything about this book, you've been living under a rock. Just google Angie Thomas, and you'll get at least one interview. You can also follow her on Twitter at @acthomasbooks. This book remains #1 on the NY Times Best Seller List for YA Hardcovers for the third week in a row! I really hope we can throw up a 4 when the new list comes out.

    A little bit about the premise, Starr, a young black girl who lives in the hood but goes to a predominately white prep school witnesses the murder of her childhood friend by a cop. So much inspired Angie to write this, and it's a very important narrative today. I spent most of Monday reading it while my manager wasn't around, so I've actually read further than I usually have. I need to brace myself for more, because I know this book will only get deeper as I go.

    That said, let's see what I shall share today! Random.org chose page 305 of 464, so I hope there are no spoilers.

    *reads the first couple of lines, laughs*

    I'm thinking, please don't let him sing. Please. But there's this familiar boomp . . . boomp, boomp, boomp.

    "Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down," Chris raps.

    This is funny for so many reasons.

    Have you picked this book up yet? You need to.

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Fast Five Friday: Express Yourself Edition

    Okay, well hopefully this isn't too confusing. Happy Friday! It's the 4th Friday of the month, and this is the time I have set aside to answer the questions provided by the Cover Girls, Dani and Jax. As there are five weeks in March, I have 5 Express Yourself questions to answer, so I'm going to do them in Fast Five form.

    And away we go!

    Feb 27 - Mar 3  Queso/nacho cheese, guacamole or salsa?  Um, all three, thanks!

    Mar 6 - 10  Share some photos of your writing space. Oh crap, I don't have one!

    Mar 13 - 17  Name a late-great someone you wish you could have met. Selena

    Mar 20 - 24  What's your favorite type of sandwich? A burger. Does that count?

    Mar 27 - 31  What was the last show you watched? Legion on FX

    Answer these if you like! It's always fun to see what others have to say.

    Have a good weekend!

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    Tuesday Tales: Constellation Stories

    Happy Tuesday!

    It is the third week of the month, and that means it is time for Tuesday Tales, where I set aside time for character takeovers, short stories, and the like. This is a fun one, because it deals with a little of the world building of Teorre in my manuscript Fractured Princess. I love astronomy and constellations, and in my previous rewrite, I was able to incorporate some of that love into my story. I also wanted to somehow show the constellations, so I used Google to see if there was a constellation creator, and lo and behold, there's an entire website dedicated to MIT projects. So, I chose Constellation Creator by mandostop1, who provided a non-cartoonish and easy to use to program. Below are two constellations and their mythology stories, as Ghuli tells Andyrsn.

    The Dove's Tail

    [This is also a basis for one of Teorre's origin stories.] “Well, before any of our races lived on Teorre, there were doves. They used to fly all about the mountains and trees and stopped only to sleep. One day, when a dove decided he was hungry, he swooped low to nibble from a mysterious white cherry tree. He had never seen a tree like it, and he wanted to see how the cherries tasted. They were so sour on his tongue that he fainted right where he was. When he awoke, he realized his legs had these strange, flat things at the end where his dove’s feet should have been. His talons were short and soft, and there were five on each of these new feet. In fact, he realized his legs were longer. His wings had molted, and these long, gangly limbs were in their place. His beak had become soft as well, and when he tried to call for help, his voice was deep and alien to him. “He needed to see what he looked like, and he knew a lake was near, so he ran to it, jumping and flapping his arms the entire way, hoping he could still fly. When he reached the lake and looked inside, all that was left of his dove self were the feathers on his back and his tail. He was the first person of Teorre. Teorre’s Energy became the first scholar by writing him in the stars there.”
    The Fox and Falcon

    A baby fox, stranded by its mother, was wandering aimlessly in the woods, starving and crying for help. A mother falcon who had just lost her own young, came upon the fox and took him under her wing, and she raised him as her own.”

    My favorite constellation is Orion. Do you have one?

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Wednesday Words: Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

    Middle of the mornin' to ya!

    The 2nd Wednesday of the month is the day I've set aside to share with you what I am currently reading!

    I forgot to schedule this post, and it's mostly because I'm currently struggling through this book. I read Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower many years ago, and I was underwhelmed by it. Because I usually love her writing, I decided to finally pick up Parable of the Talents, a continuation of the story told by Lauren Oya Olamina (the mc from Sower) and her daughter later on. I will say, it's a very timely read, with many parallels to what is currently happening in the country. Other than that, there's a good chance I won't finish this book, but I'll keep trying.

    Also, the Kindle cover is gorgeous.

    There are 394 pages in the Kindle edition. Random.org has chosen page 192, so let's see what we find there.

    No answer. She couldn't talk, but she would have made a noise to let us know she was there.

    I'm only 70 pages away from this, and things are calm where I am. Now I have to keep reading to see what happened!

    What are you reading this week?

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    IWSG: I've Spent the Month Doing A Major Revision

    Brought to us by Alex. J Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group
    It is already another month. Happy Ash Wednesday to those who celebrate!

    With the new month comes another Insecure Writer's Support Group blog meeting! Hello. :) This is a safe place for us writers to come together and vent our insecurities to others who are doing the same thing. Visit our Master Ninja, Alex Cavanaugh sensei, and the group's websites to join in with us!

    Life update: I started a new blog that's more like a diary for my regular life. If you're interested in it, poke by to see me at Confessions of a Girlchild.

    Writing update:
    Way back in October when I got flooded with agent/editor likes during DVPit on Twitter, the amazing Jodi Meadows offered to look at my first few pages for me. We started talking, and I ended up being a sensitivity reader for her next book, Before She Ignites, and she also offered to look at my complete manuscript in the new year.

    And boy, did she! For the first time, I received in depth, line-by-line feedback and an edit letter that laid out the plot points of where my manuscript was falling flat. If you have followed me, you know I've had a hard time getting CPs, and when I did, they didn't even stick long enough to finish reading the book for one reason or another. So with every revision, I've had to rely on myself, which was frustrating. I put my all into looking over the work of others, so when it's not reciprocated with the same dedication, I always feel like it's something I've done, or that my writing is just THAT bad that they can't even finish it. I also feel bad for being frustrated because at least 3 of the people whom I had handed my manuscript to had personal problems they had to deal with, and I don't want to judge their coping abilities based on my own (2016 was garbage), but I'm a "push through when you have responsibilities to other people" kind of person. So, it's been hard.

    That said, I spent many hours looking at Jodi's notes, reading, revising, deleting, adding, just making Fractured Princess something that will hopefully make some agent finally send me an offer. I finally have pitches and queries worthy of "I want to see more," and now I hope the manuscript is also up to snuff. Wish me luck.

    The question for the month:
    Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

    Yes. I tried to revamp a story I wrote in my childhood, based on X-Men. I couldn't really develop a plot for it, and it was a lot of backstory, so I don't know if I'll pick it up again. It might get absorbed into another story idea I have. We'll see.

    See you soon!

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Final Fantasy Friday: A Month at the Carnival

    It's the last Friday in February, and so that means it is time for:

    This is the day I have set aside to shoot the breeze about blog memes, when available, and my Final Fantasy obsession. As you know, this year I have started playing Final Fantasy XV. This game is an experience. I'm almost sure I'm not even halfway done, and part of that is because of the ability to do side quests immediately, a first in the whole franchise, and also partly because at the end of January, a DLC (additional downloadable content) was added known as the Moogle Chocobo Carnival!

    Think of it as a state fair. One of the cities in the game received a huge festival makeover, and you could do everything from fishing, to playing games, to helping little kids retrieve their balloons. Each night at about 8pm fireworks started going off for hours (probably about 20 minutes IRL), and if you racked up enough coins, you could buy a voucher to spend a night in the hotel and get a front row seat to the fireworks show. I took a lot of pictures but forgot to share them, so I can't access them right now.

    Here are a few of pictures I shared on Twitter of Noctis and his dream guide Carbuncle riding the gondola through town.

    You could change Noctis's clothes, so here he is being casual.

    Look at the detail!

    You could skip the scenic route, but sometimes, I just liked to look around.
    Items you acquired through the carnival rolled over to your regular game, so I tried to get as many items as I could. I had a lot of fun, and now that the carnival is gone, I need to dive back into the real game. People are dropping spoilers on Instagram! *sigh* The price of not having the luxury of playing all day anymore.

    It's a beautiful day in Delaware, so I hope the same goes for wherever you are! Get outside and have a good weekend!

    Monday, February 20, 2017

    It's my Blogoversary!

    Happy Blogday to Me!

    I know it's Monday, but I just checked my Timehop, and today marks 4 years since I started blogging!

    First off, I'm surprised I'm still doing it. I struggled quite a few times, but changing my posting schedule to suit what fits my time has helped me to keep going. Thanks to everyone who has read over the years!

    To commemorate my 4th Blogoversary, I thought I would highlight 4 posts from my original blog, The (old) Write Mage, where I wrote 400 posts about movies, music, books, life, awards, etc. I did the MOST on that blog. No wonder I burned out.

    My very first post, in which I was sending out my first 45 pages of Fractured Princess, then Save the Queen, and synopsis to Tom Doherty & Associates:

    The post where I decided to change my MC Ghuli from white to black:

    The post where I admitted I started writing not because of books, but because of TV:

    The post where my short story was PUBLISHED!:

    I wish I were famous enough to give something away lol. If you want not-so-expert advice on queries or your first five pages or whatever you want...I guess you can ask? lol Ooh, or anyone who leaves a comment, I'll just use Random.org like I always do. That makes more sense.

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

    Saturday Sketch: Brodie's Tattoo

    Happy Saturday!

    So for my last Tuesday Tales, I had Brodie talk about her and Cyan's tattoos, but I also realized I never drew hers. So Thursday, I sketched it up. I posted it on Twitter, but here it is anyway! I learned I could draw an eagle. :)

    Have a good weekend!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    Tuesday Tales: The Sprite Child's Epic

    It's been an interesting and long few days for me, so I thought I would let myself not think so much for this post.

    One of the goals I had for Fractured Princess was to make other pieces of it available in some story form or another, short stories, prequels (hadn't thought of sequels, but then my darn mind betrayed me). I want to flesh out a children's book from the story: The Sprite Child's Epic. It's been a while since I opened this document, but I loved writing this one scene, so here it is for your enjoyment, hopefully. It's mainly dialogue.

    Talking to the Trees

    Lenne trembled as she rubbed her eyes with her fists. Surely, she was not seeing what she was seeing. Sir Willa was looking at her and speaking to her, without her imagination. She lowered her hands and looked at the holes in the tree staring back at her.

    “S-s-sir Willa?” she gasped.

    “’Tis what you call me, my lady,” he answered. “I must say, ’tis a simple name and a lot shorter than my real one.”

    “W-what is your real one?”



    “You see? I was nearly two decades old before I could say it myself. Sir Willa is much easier. My real name means Spirit of the Green Willows of Teorre. I am the father of all the green willow trees.”

    “All the green ones? Are there other colors?”

    “Oh, my yes, Little Lady Lenne. Come sit.”

    And right before Lenne’s eyes, Sir Willa tied a bundle of his switches together and made a hammock for her. Wide-eyed and slack-jawed, Lenne approached her friend who just this afternoon had not been able to do any of these things himself. The fly perched itself between Sir Willa’s eyes as he spoke.

    “Now, there are two other kinds of willow trees, but they are across the northern waters, and also far south on another land. Their parents are Teospriesellocalla and Teosprieselloabbi, the Spirits of the Blue and White Willows of Teorre.”

    “Blue and white trees?” Lenne raised her brow high in astonishment.

    “Teorre is very interesting outside of your little home, my lady.”

    “You keep saying Teorre. What is that?”

    “’Tis the world on which we live. Quite simply, it means, the earth. Only those of us sensitive to this side of it know its name, and now you are here, so now you know it, too.”

    “This side. What is this side? I saw myself asleep, yet I was not asleep, but standing away from my body.”

    Sir Willa’s long mouth curved upward. He was frowning. “You were bitten by the faeriefly then.”

    “The what?”

    “The faeriefly.” One of Sir Willa’s switches bent upwards and pointed to the glowing fly still sitting between his eyes. “Her magic is a fickle thing. She bit you and accidentally split your living body from your dream body. We must find a way to get you back into your living body before your Papa notices.”

    “Oh dear, he will think me dead!”

    “No, no. You are still breathing, Little Lady Lenne. You are just sleeping very deeply. You must see Teosprilacca. She can help you get to where you need to go first.”

    “First? I cannot just wake up?”

    “’Tis not that simple, my lady. You need a magic more controlled to help you. For that, you need to go to the Crystal Bearers. They are the most powerful people on Teorre.”

    “Crystal Bearers? You mean there are others on this land?”

    “Not this land, but the land across the northern waters. Teosprilacca will take you.”

    “Teo…Do you mean Lady Kwakwa?”

    “Yes, and you may want to call her Lady Lacca when you see her. She does not like your name for her. She says ducks make that noise.”

    “Oh dear…And the Beauterfleas? Do they not like their name either?”

    “Butterflies are vain little things. They love that you call them beauties.”

    “Oh, good.”

    Wednesday, February 8, 2017

    Wednesday Words: Final Look Into The Fifth Season

    Happy Hump Day!

    I have about 80 pages left in N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, and what a ride it has been! For a second, I thought to myself, "I can't wait to buy this," somehow thinking it was a library book. I definitely bought this book. Anyway, it's dark and twisty, and I love it. I can't wait to read more of her books. She's awesome!

    So, now that I've nearly finished the book, let me use Random.org to share a few lines from page 354. Hey, I was just there. A very poignant and currently relevant conversation happened, so here is a little of it.

    She comes into the house and leans against the wall next to the door, crossing her arms and her ankles. "We aren't human."

     "Yes. We. Are." His voice turns fierce. "I don't give a shit what the something-somethingth council of big important farts decreed, or how the geomests classify things, or any of that. That we're not human is just the lie they tell themselves so they don't have to feel bad about how they treat us--"

    I am so close to the end and have yet to figure out how it ends...for the last time. I'll most likely tweet about it, and a Goodreads review is coming soon!

    What have you read these past few weeks?

    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Insecure Writer's Support Group

    Brought to us by Alex J. Cavanaugh-sensei
    and the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

    Happy February!

    Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created to provide a safe place for us writers in our darkest hours. That was a flair for the dramatic, but why not. ;)

    I'm going through a small bout of writer worry, having my manuscript out there in the world with agents and editors. I'm still hoping for the best, but I will always feel (and know at this point) that more work needs to be done on Fractured Princess. Either way, I am claiming positive vibes on this. Wish me luck.

    This month's question is an interesting one, so let's dive right into it!

    How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

    I'm doing a lot more analyzing than I used to. I still get great enjoyment out of a good story, but I never seem to take off my editing glasses. Back when I was teenager just writing stories, it didn't faze me, but such is the life of someone always critiquing others' work and having their own critiqued.

    How about you all? See you soon!

    Friday, January 27, 2017

    Fast Five Friday!

    All week, I was waiting to get to today's post and forgot to schedule it. I can't with myself sometimes.

    It's finally time for Fast Five Friday again! Each Friday, the Cover Girls, Dani and Jax, ask us fun questions that anyone who wants to participate can answer in list form. Visit their page which will also take you to their individual pages to see what their fast fives have been. I have a month's worth of questions to look through, so let's see what we have.

    Jan 6: 5 things you didn’t get done in 2016 but plan on doing in 2017?

    Lose weight
    Find a job I'm happy with
    Snag an agent
    Buy a guitar
    Go out more

    Jan 13: If you could only have 5 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

    Thin crust pizza
    Sweet potatoes

    I find it hilarious that one of our Jan. 6th answers was lose weight/get in shape, and then the Jan. 13th question is about food. hahaha

    I hope everyone has a good weekend! I've got a lot to do, but I also plan on getting my Final Fantasy XV Chocobo Carnival on. lol

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Tuesday Tales: Character Tats!

    It feels like it's been ages since an actual Tuesday Tales. I've been using Gotham's Character Questionnaire for several of these, and a question about scars made me think of Cyan. So, we're catching Brodie to tell us about their tattoos!

    Brodie: You know, I often forget I have one, honestly. It's a tattoo of my eagle, the messenger falcon my sisters gifted me when he was still in his egg. It goes across my shoulder blades. I suppose it's because none of my siblings have any tattoos, but I was unaware that placement matters, pain-wise. A tattoo carved into the skin above your bones is highly unpleasant.

    Cyan's tattoo is Trollic tradition, a commemoration of his first battle wound. A wild elk charged Ghuli when she was little, and he fought it off. The location of the tattoo shows where he was injured--the elk bit into his neck and gored his arm with its antlers. It is also designed in the shape of antlers because of the elk. He was the youngest hulktroll to receive a battle tattoo.

    I might actually draw Brodie's tattoo. It never crossed my mind to. I think I can draw an eagle...? lol Are any of you inked up? I have my zodiac constellation on my ribs (which was torture).

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Wednesday Words: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

    Happy Hump Day!

    I'm trying to start the year off right with my reading, so I've cracked open N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, which I bought at least six months ago now. I'm really excited to read this and have a lot of her work I still need to read. Y'all know how I feel about The Inheritance Trilogy (and just in case you don't, here you go lol 1, 2, 3 posts about the series).

    The Fifth Season is the first of the Broken Earth series (I should probably change my series name now lol), and in the first 90-some pages that I've read, I'm so ready to read more. Others thought so, too--it won a Hugo! The first words you see when you open the book, an excerpt from the book itself, leaves quite an impression:

    But this is way the world ends.
    This is way the world ends.
    This is way the world ends.
    For the last time.

    So, let's peek in on this book somewhere to see what else is going on. There are 498 pages, but Random.org is giving me the last pages, and I refuse to ruin this for myself, so let's go between what I've read. 1-90. Random.org gave me 7. Much better.

    Lastly, he reaches up. For power.
    He takes all that, the strata and the magma and the people and the power, in his imaginary hands. Everything. He holds it. He is not alone. The earth is with him.
    Then he breaks it.

    Reading this again, and having gotten even slightly as far as I have, I now understand what this scene entails, and I'm SO ready to pick this book back up!

    What are you reading this week?

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    Insecure Writer's Support Group

    Brought to us by Alex. J Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group

    Happy New Year!

    I hope everyone enjoyed themselves however they do over the holidays. I walked/jogged my first 5k this past Sunday. I hope to add a little more jogging the next time, or figure out how power walkers do it without their shin muscles cramping up!

    Writing/reading/etc.-wise, I'm starting off the new year co-hosting the querypalooza Become An Agent with SC Author. I've never co-hosted anything, but I think I can do it. I'm currently pretending like I'm a query expert and am posting tips for the event. I'm also hoping to actually make my Goodreads goal this year, so wish me luck!

    Now for the first IWSG Question of the Month of the year! ha

    What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

    Ironically, it was all over the December newsletter, so no offense to those who said it, but I hate this "rule" more than anything: Write daily.

    This can make writers feel like they're not writers or not going to make it just because they DON'T write daily. Things happen, life happens, and it's not an excuse when they do. If you can write thousands of words a day, then good for you. If you open your laptop and happen to just stare at the screen for hours and nothing comes to mind, that's okay, too. Try again the next day. Instead of telling people to write daily, just tell them to keep writing. It's way less pressure and a lot more encouraging, in my opinion.

    One goal I have in 2017: Get back to reading other people's blogs! So see you tonight!