Sunday, January 15, 2017

One-Year Blogoversary Party!



One year ago today, on January 15th, my blog was born. And although it's certainly been a challenge adding in blogging to my other life activities, I can honestly say that it's one of the best things I've done. Because of blogging...

// I met so many amazingly wonderful friends whom I cannot imagine life without. <3

// For the first time, I shared my writing with other people outside my family.

// My photography drastically improved.

// I was convinced to do NaNoWriMo and thus wrote my first "official" novel.

// I found a ton of fabulous books (my TBR is sky-high now--thanks, guys ;P).

// I discovered a lot of people who like Lord of the Rings as much as I do. (Hey, this was worth noting. XD)

// I branched out and tried new things, such as free verse poetry.

// As cheesy as it sounds, I found a place where I could feel comfortable in my own skin and really express myself in a way that I usually can't in person.

So I owe you all one HUGE thank you! All of you fantabulous people who read and comment on my blog are the reason Sunshine and Scribblings exists. Since I don't make friends easily in person, I feel incredibly blessed to know you all. Each of your comments sends a thrill of delight down my spine and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Your unflagging encouragement and support mean the world to me.

NOW. Enough of the sappy stuff. Let's get on to the celebration! XD


Music



What party would be complete without music? I've begun compiling a playlist for 2017, and this is the outcome so far. I figured you might want something to listen to while reading the post. ;)




Video



I HAVE AN EXTRA SPECIAL SURPRISE TODAY. Another video! And this time you get to meet my sister. :D

We did the Beanboozled challenge (which was awful/hilarious and revealed how wimpy my taste buds truly are XP). It was *cough* interesting...

Be warned, because this video is even longer than my first video. So don't feel obliged to watch the whole thing if you don't want to. (I still have no idea how to edit videos. Anyone have any advice?)




*shudders in memory of the spoiled milk jellybeans* Hope you enjoyed...heh. :P


Q&A



That's right, another Q&A! I know, I know...I'm so original. ;) 

I'm not sure when I'll actually get around to answering your questions (what with my hopeful hiatus soon), but feel free to fire away! I'll be open to questions up till I actually do the post. 

I have a little problem, though. I'm not sure if I should do it in vlog format or a regular blog post. What do you all think?


Giveaway



Last but certainly not least...I'M HOSTING MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!! I'm so excited to do this and have been looking forward to it since October or November. Yep, it's been a while. XD

Since I'm a poor little dragon, I decided to make all my prizes. They aren't perfect by any means, but I think their flaws somehow make them even more personal. This is my little way of showing you guys how much you mean to me. I poured a lot of thought and time into them, and even though they don't look "store-worthy," I'm still proud of my work.

Unfortunately, I can't afford international shipping costs so I'm afraid all my lovely Canadian, Australian, British, and other international friends won't be able to enter. SOWWY. :( Maybe next time I'll be able to do it.

ANYWAY. Here are the pics of my prizes! I'm giving away a knitted headband and cozy pocket thingy (I know, I'm so technical. XD), as well as several different corner bookmarks. *squeals*

My apologies for the dim lighting. Of course, it would rain on the one day I chose to do photography. *rolls eyes* (And nope, books and pens are not included. I doubt the library would take kindly to my sending you some of their books. ;P)


Hedgehog

Donut


Heart


Fox


Polar bear



Knitted bow headband
Knitted pen/pencil cozy
Me modeling the headband. XD

PHEW. That was a looooot of pictures. If you're interested in winning these gifts made by yours truly, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To all of you who have come alongside me over the past year, I'm so so so grateful to know you. You're the reason I do what I do--LOVE YOU ALL.  <333


Did you make it through this post (aka the longest post in history)? If so CONGRATS! You deserve the birthday cake I'm obviously eating. *shares some* Send me all your epic questions for my Q&A in the comments!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

remember the days



remember the days
when we would
watch the raindrops
race each other
down
the
window?
when cardboard rolls
were telescopes
and
plastic bags were
parachutes?
every day was
an adventure
rather than
a
chore
and even
the simplest things
had meaning.
where are those days
now?
they are locked
away in the
treasure chest
of memory--
reminding us
that it is
the little things
which bring the
greatest
joy.


So be honest--what did you think? I don't claim to be a poet, but I just wanted to experiment with some free verse poetry this month. Sorry for the random mid-week post. ;P

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello, 2017 + Recap of All the Epic 2016 Reads


Another year has passed, leaving behind mere wisps of memories. Although the rest of the world continues to hail 2016 as an atrocity of a year, I can't help but think of all the myriad ways God has blessed me.

2015 was an extremely tough year for our family. It started off with a scare that sent one of us to the ER. There were three car crashes. I went to the hospital and endured one of the scariest days of my life. There were other family problems as well. In short, it wasn't our brightest year.

Yet somehow, God gave us another year. A fresh canvas, just waiting for the Painter's touch. Yes, there were splotches and splatters along the way as paint dripped outside the lines. But every moment was planned by the Master. Every stroke calculated so that in the end, a brilliant painting would be unveiled. Each year, month, day, and second adding to the masterpiece. Those seemingly glaring "mistakes" were just shadows in the painting, adding depth and dimension.

All those hard times in 2015 were not without purpose. As difficult as the year was, I know God has a way of using even the most trying times for our good and His glory. And he certainly blessed me greatly in the following year.

2016 may best be described as a year of discovering my identity. Of course, it's easy enough to say that my identity is found in Christ; but 2016 pushed some deep, haunting thoughts out of the shadows and brought them to the forefront of my mind. I had so many doubts that year. Times when I wondered why God even bothered creating a mess like me. I was looking for my identity in anywhere but God. I looked to the world and its expectations, retreating from my Savior and saying I was "too busy" for Him.

So you may be thinking, "Why did you say you were so blessed in 2016? It doesn't sound like such a great year."

Well, if I'm simply looking at the surface of all these things, then yes, it was not the greatest year. But God has been trying to reach out and draw me closer to Him for so long, and I feel like 2016 was the breaking point. Yes, it was a difficult year emotionally as I struggled to find my identity; but it pushed me back to my Savior and for that, I am ever grateful.

And besides pointing me back to my Creator, 2016 was full of so many other good things.

// I started Sunshine and Scribblings and met countless amazing people whom I loved dearly.

// I wrote my first real book.

// I did NaNoWriMo for the first time...and wrote 90k. o.o

// I read 52 books, an accomplishment for this busy student.

// I grew even closer to my bestie. <3

// I saw Rend Collective in concert. (#yes)

// I garnered so many books that I have piles of them sitting on the floor of my room. (That may be a problem? But it's a good problem to have.)

// I spent over a week with my wonderful grandparents during the summer.

// I had the best birthday in I-don't-know-how-long.

// I survived my speech class and discovered that public speaking isn't as bad as I originally thought.

// I met an old friend of mine for the first time in almost 2 years.

All in all, I will say that 2016 was a good year. It was stressful and emotional, but there were so many good memories as well. God has indeed blessed me beyond measure, and He's given me a fresh start in 2017, the year I hope will be defined by a stronger relationship with Him.

Now for the second part of this post. I was tagged by my friend Kaitlyn for the 2016 Bookish Recap Tag. (Thank you so much, girl! ^_^) AND LOOK. I'm actually doing it right after I was tagged! #soproud (Actually, I was already planning on stealing the tag so that's why I'm doing it right now. *cough, cough*)


How many books did you read in 2016? (Exact if you know, or approximate if not.)


I read 52 books! And I'm quite proud of that fact. (One for every week, dontcha know?)


Did you set a reading challenge for yourself and, if so, did you meet it?


Now that I've joined Goodreads, I've discovered the beauty that is the yearly reading challenges. It keeps me on track and helps chronicle all the books that I read each year. IT'S EPIC. My challenge in 2016 was to read 50 books, and guess whaaaaat? I DID IT. YES. In fact, I read 2 extra. :)


What was your most read genre this year? Least read?


I don't have any fancy graphs to show this, unfortunately, but I do know just by glancing at my list of books I read in 2016 that fantasy was the overwhelming winner. As far as least-read...I guess steampunk? I only read one from that genre (Illusionarium, which was mindblowingly good). But there were other genres I didn't read at all so. *shrugs*


What's five of your favorite books from 2016?


OH MY STARS, WHAT A QUESTION. *bangs head against the wall* *groans in pain*

Okay, okay. Lemme think a minute, you cruel question-maker. 
















What's five of your least favorite books from 2016?


2016 was such a good reading year. Seriously, there were only 4 books that I rated 3 stars--the rest were either 4 or 5-star reads. O_O IT WAS A GOOD YEAR, FOLKS, I'M TELLING YOU.

Soooo...I can only give you the four books that I rated 3 stars. #sorrynotsorry













What new favorite author did you discover? (Not necessarily that the author is 'new', but that they became new to you this year.)


Pssh, what is this singular case you speak in? There were many favorites I discovered, not just one. If I had to narrow it down to three (I told you I'm a rebel), I would pick Sharon Cameron, Heather Dixon, and Diana Wynne Jones. Their books are masterpieces.


What's five of your favorite book covers from the year?


YESYESYEYESYES. I looooove book covers. *hugs them gently so as not to bend them* 






How many books did you purchase for yourself in 2016? (Exact if you know, approximate if not.)


Hahahahahaha...*chokes*

One does not simply count the books one has collected in a year. 

SERIOUSLY, I BOUGHT SO MANY BOOKS IN 2016, AND I'M NOT EVEN SORRY. Like...like I probably bought at least 50. o.o I'M NOT KIDDING. Thankfully, most of them were bought really cheap so I didn't completely murder my bankbook. *looks at exploding bookshelves* *chuckles nervously* 


What's the longest book you read in 2016?


Emma by Jane Austen was 474 pages, so it cashed in as the winner.


What's the shortest book you read in 2016?


The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry was only 32 pages...according to Goodreads. (It was actually waaaay shorter. Yeah, it was a very short story. XP)


What's your reading goal for 2017?


I'm going to try to up my reading challenge by a few books every year so this year's challenge is to read 60 books. *grins and raises book sword in the air* *which is totally a thing, don't doubt me, peasants*

<><><><><>

I know the rules say I have to tag people...but I feel like a lot of people have been doing yearly recaps and book recaps and such so I'm not going to tag anyone specific. But if you want to do it, by all means, follow in my pirating footsteps and steal it. (I'm such a good example--I learned everything I need to know from Jack Sparrow.)

Oh right...sorry. XP

Well, there you have my very much belated New Year's post. (I'm a wizard, though, so I'm never late, remember?) It's been such a wonderful year in terms of friendships, and I'm infinitely grateful to know you people. <3

Tell me: how was your 2016? Did you find any amazing new authors? (I always appreciate recommendations, even though I'm currently drowning in books...as usual. ;P) What was your favorite cover I showed in this post?


Friday, December 23, 2016

December Ramblings // 2 Days Till Christmas (!!!) + Upcoming Hiatus



Um, guys, somehow Christmas is the day after tomorrow AND I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. Like...aren't we still in October?!

This year has flown by fast. Probably the fastest year ever, I'm not even kidding. And amidst PNE (post-Nano exhaustion), finals, and Christmas craziness, I haven't had the time and/or motivation to write a real post.

I had all these grand delusions of writing a beautiful Christmas post and doing all kinds of Christmasy tags during December, and guess what happened? NOTHING. Zilch. Nada. *bangs head on keyboard* Once again, someone took out their Expectations Crushing Hammer and smashed all my plans into a million pieces. #awkward


So instead of scrambling to write a post that I really don't feel like writing, I'm just going to ramble for a bit. It's been a while since I've had an entire post of rambling. (Notice I said an entire post--you all know how much I ramble normally. ;P)

And yes, I realize I haven't replied to all your comments in an unholy amount of time...seriously, guys, you are the best. Thanks for commenting even when I fail at replying. <3 I PROMISE I WILL REPLY, THOUGH. My goal is to reply to most of them by the end of the year. *twitches because there are a looooot of comments*

Lately I have been feeling pretty stressed about blogging. Commenting, reading other blogs, writing posts, replying to comments...it's just piled up over the months and I don't think I can handle the stress much longer.


So in light of that, I'm planning on taking a month-long hiatus soon. I'm thinking the end of January since classes will be starting back up that month, and I really need to focus on schoolwork more next semester. During that time, I will hopefully be commenting and reading blogs some...but it will be very relaxed so please don't feel bad if I only comment every once and a while. Honestly, my brain just really needs to be away from the internet a little more. Hopefully I will feel refreshed and recharged when I return. :)


And as I mentioned in the beginning, THERE ARE ONLY 2 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS. What even?! Like...like...STOP MESSING WITH THE TIME MACHINE, PEOPLE. Thankfully, I finished all my Christmas shopping and have basically all the presents wrapped and under the tree. (By the way, am I the only one who LOVES wrapping presents? It's one of my favorite things ever. <3) I've been listening to Christmas music basically nonstop since November (no regrets), especially this playlist I compiled on Spotify.


AND GUESS WHAT. I got a new writing partner!


Meet Cleo, my octopus! Psst, I made her...I actually made a stuffed animal. *is very proud*

Accurate. It legit took 4 and a half hours to make. o.o

She sits on my desk by my computer and assists me with typing. Very handy to have a typist with eight arms. Or tentacles, if you want to be technical. ;)

Today I also finished my reading challenge for the year! That's 50 books...in the books. *cough, cough* I know, not that impressive to many of you people who read like 100 to 200 books every year, but this bookdragon doesn't have lightning-fast reading abilities. So that's a pretty big accomplishment for me.

I also have a new novel simmering in the back of my mind. Its tentative title at the moment is Trapped in a Star, and it's a Peter Pan retelling. Hopefully over the rest of winter break I can plot a lot of it out. I'M SO STOKED, GUYS. Because Peter Pan. <3


It's been so HOT where I live. LIKE IT WAS 85 DEGREES ON SATURDAY. *dies* Ughhhh. It took me forever to really get in the Christmas mood this year, partially because of the weather. *wishes for the thousandth time that I lived somewhere cold*

So that's it for my ramblings of the day. If you made it through this post, have some of the cookies pictured above. *takes one out of the photo and tosses it to you*

Merry Christmas, you lovely folks! Have a blessed and joyous time celebrating the birth of our Savior. ^_^

First thing's first: can you believe Christmas is almost here?! And what is your favorite Christmas song? (I obviously have too many to choose. XD)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Underrated Characters: Jane Bennet // Guest Post by Meredith

I have my awesome friend Meredith here today for a special post about...

*drumroll*

Jane Bennet! *cue groans from all the guys who read my blog* Hey now, I usually restrain my love of P&P for the sake of you guys, but I have to gush sometimes. ;) And this time I roped in Meredith to do it for me. 

Now before I bore you all to tears, I'll hand you over to Meredith. ^_^

<><><><><>

Hello to all of Mary's awesome readers, this is Meredith, come with a guest post about one of the most underrated characters in period drama, Jane Bennet (or Bingley, if we want to get technical).

Many people gush over how wise and well-rounded and witty Lizzy is, and for good reason, but I believe sweet Jane deserves a little more credit.

Pssst, scroll way down and look to the left because Mary (who apparently also likes Jane) has a picture of her on the right sidebar.

So here we are, three reasons to love Jane B(ennet/ingley).


1.) Rosamund Pike



Oh, dear. Only a few paragraphs into this and I've already tripped into controversial material. XD

I love P&P'95 and many of the casting choices therein, but I much prefer Rosamund Pike from the 2005 version. Nooo offense to die-hard '95 fans.




Anyways. Rosamund Pike, in my opinion, embodies the book-Jane. She's beautiful (a point Mrs. Bennet wears thin), mild, and well-tempered. *claps* In fact, I just miiight want her as a friend over Lizzy.

Plus, she has so many sweet lines in the '05 film,

"Yes. A thousand times yes."


or

"Can you die of happiness?"

DAWWWW.



2.) Morality 



This is up for dispute, but I think Jane is one of the most moral characters in the story. There are plenty of "moral" people, like Mr. Bennet, Lizzy, Mr. Bingley, etc.


But Mr. Bennet is often cold where Jane is kind to everyone. Lizzy is prejudiced where Jane always wishes to think the best of people. And Mr. Bingley is easily persuaded out of courting her, when Jane never was.


3.) Her Suitor



But I do like Mr. Bingley. I particularly like them together. Totes adorbz. :)



Plus, we can't blame him too much for "ignoring" Jane for a little while. If Mr. Darcy suggests something, you'd better listen up. ;)

Thank you for reading my quick rant about Jane. Now go do something Christmas-y or winter-y or cozy-y (like reading Pride and Prejudice) because it's that time of year, people. :)

(Let's forget how irrelevant and awkward that was. I'll just let Mary back before this whole post falls to chaos.)

<><><><><>

Come on, Meredith, your post was awesome! And don't you dare try to deny it. *narrows eyes*

Wasn't this post fantastic? I feel so honored to have Meredith on my blog. ^_^ (Thanks again, girl!) 

Now I must know. Who's your favorite character from P&P? And can you believe it's 10 days till Christmas LIKE WHAT.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NaNo Recap 2016 // I Wrote 90k and Finished My First Novel! (also snippets)


(Yes, the blog graphic is relevant...because I lost my marbles during NaNo. *cackles* Sorry, I couldn't resist. XD)

Waiiiiit a second. SOMEHOW IT'S DECEMBER 1ST. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? *squints suspiciously at calendar*

Ahem. Guys, it actually happened. I survived NaNo.

Not only did I survive but I actually had one of the most phenomenal months of my life. No joke. My first NaNo will forever go down as one of the best experiences I've ever had. (And yes, I said first...because no way is this going to be my only NaNo! IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN FOR SURE.)

In case you missed the title, I wrote 90k in November. 90,010 words. What even happened?! I thought 50k would be for sure impossible, but I almost doubled that. O_O Still in shock right now.

(I'm sorry, but even having never seen Sherlock,
I'm in love with this gif.)
AND AND AND. The biggest piece of news yet! I FINISHED MY NOVEL. MY FIRST NOVEL EVER.

*runs screaming into the sunset* (It's technically afternoon light right now, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.)

YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. I finished Moonlit Mirror (my official title now) last Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, with a grand total of 105,355 words. AHHHHH. THIS IS THE BEST FEELING EVER!!! I've written stories in the past, but they were never really full-length novels. So this is my first official novel, and I'm just...on the moon. Someone is going to have to rope me back to earth.

Actually no, don't do that. I rather like being on the moon. They actually accept my madness over here. And they have chocolate so #winning

I wouldn't have been able to even come close to winning NaNo or finishing my novel without the help of my lovely cabin mates. THEY WERE THE BEST. <3 We had the most absurd conversations and probably spent more time talking than writing BUT STILL. Love them all and wouldn't be at the finish line without them yelling at me to write and stressing me out with mad word sprints. Who knew I could actually write over 1,000 words in 20 minutes? Sheesh.

My final word count EEP. <3

I didn't plot this book basically at all till the end...and even then, it refused to follow the outline I had made. *glares at story* I can already tell that it will be a rebellious child when I edit it.  So many plot holes...and bad character arcs...and gibberish. *cringes*

All that aside, I'm just so glad to be done. I'm going to enjoy the fact that I have a complete novel under my belt and take some time off from writing. I even started a short story after my novel was done about one of my characters' adventures. (*waggles eyebrows* Care to guess who?) Turns out, even that short story is a mess and bound to be a lot longer than a short story. #oops

SO. Enough of my babbling...you guys want to see some snippets? Of course you do. *forces them down your throat* They're terribly messy and probably shouldn't be put on the internet for people to actually read, but oh well. I'm proud of my baby. *beams*

Le Snippets


She strolled over to the other side of the room and began to walk up one of the staircases. The room suddenly began to twirl around them, spinning in a full circle.

No, James realized. It wasn't spinning. It was peeling away. Layer by layer, the room began to break away, first taking with it one staircase, and then another, and then another. Soon, they were out on top of a turret of some kind, exposed to the elements.

James let out a cry and lurched back, feeling as if he were going to fall at any second. His chair was dangerously close to the edge of the roof.

Why do these things always happen to me? He put his hand to his heart and scooted even further away from the edge of the roof.

"Much better," Aunt said. She took the watch back out of her pocket and glanced at the face. Nodding, she turned back to them. "Sorry about the rough trip, dearies. Quite a few surprises here."

James nodded numbly, still recovering from the shock. It's official. I hate heights.

<><><><><>

Charlotte pushed the door open with a loud squeak. Inside were the same familiar staircases, but up above them hung a giant chandelier. Perched on top were a dragon and one uniformed man.

"Alexander?" James asked. "Is that you?"

The lieutenant was clinging to the chain that suspended the chandelier, glaring at them. "Don't just stand there, you idiots. Get me down from here before the dragon causes the chandelier to fall."

James exchanged a smirk with Charlotte. "How did you get up there, Alexander? Did your innate sense of direction mess you up again?"

If looks could kill, they would be in their graves. Lieutenant Bradshaw sent a lethal glare in their direction, daring them to laugh at his fate. "Just get me down before I shoot you."

James held up his hands in defeat and turned to Tom. "Any idea how to get them down?"

Tom shrugged. "Maybe the dragon can just fly down? At least, that's what I thought."

James turned back to the chandelier. It was Scarlin, he noted. The dragon afraid of heights.
"Scarlin," he called. "Can you fly down here?"

The black dragon's eyes were wide with fear. Her ears flattened against her head. "It's...it's so high, though."

I know how that feels, he thought.

He forced an encouraging smile on his face. "You can do it. Just remember, you have wings."

Charlotte rolled her eyes. "Thank you for that enlightening thought, James. I would've never guessed that without your information."

Tom laughed, but James just cringed, realizing how awkward that sentence really was. He glanced back up at the dragon. "Just pretend you're a foot off the ground."

"It's all right, dearie." Aunt suddenly walked into the room, wiping her hands off on an apron. "I'll get them down."

She yanked something out of the pocket of her apron and hurled it at the chandelier. James watched in horror as the light fixture began to plummet toward the ground.

Crash! It hit the ground with a powerful impact. Scarlin and Lieutenant Bradshaw stumbled off of it, both shaking.

Lieutenant Bradshaw turned and glared at Aunt. "You could have at least given us a little warning."

Scarlin was trembling violently. "Yes, or maybe not have thrown anything at us at all."

Aunt patted the dragon on the scales. “Sorry about that, dear.” She glanced at Alexander and grinned. “Only partially sorry for you.”

“No appreciation,” Alexander muttered

<><><><><>

Two more hours passed before James's hands began to feel numb from clutching the dragon's spines so tightly. He flexed his hands carefully, not wanting to let go of the dragon for long.

"James," Scarlin said.

He grabbed her spines again, already missing the security of having something to grip. "Yes?"

"Have you ever wondered what the island looks like?"

He took a breath. He knew what it looked like, which only made it more unnerving. "A human skull."

The dragon swallowed audibly. "A...a skull?"

"Yeah, but a friendly skull," Tom interjected.

"A friendly skull?" James asked, doubtful. "Tom, there's no such thing as a friendly skull," James said.

"How do you know? Have you ever met an unfriendly one?"

"I don't exactly have regular encounters with skulls.”

Tom smiled smugly, as if that proved his point. "See, you never know. You shouldn't cast judgment on all the poor, innocent skulls of the world."

"Oh, brother."

<><><><><>

"Charlotte, are you listening to me?"

Tom was staring at her, an expectant look on his face. "Oh, uh, sorry. What were you saying?" she sputtered.

He didn't appear offended at all. Instead, he launched right back into his discussion on cakes. "Red velvet is my favorite, but James never seems to make it."

"I made it the day before I left for the Royal City," James called.

Tom rolled his eyes. "Sure, but that one was too small. Mandlam got to it before I even had the chance to have a piece."

James shrugged. "You weren't fast enough."

Tom crossed his arms and pouted. "Well, my point is, you need to make red velvet cake again."

"We're a bit busy at the moment."

"Can't you just whip it out of nothing with one of your spells?"

"You're the magician's son. Why don't you just 'whip it out of nothing'?"

Tom frowned. "I guess it's not that easy. But still, you could at least try to make me some food. I'm wasting away to nothing over here."

'You just had an apple."

"But that was ten minutes ago! I need something to sustain me."

James sighed and waved his hands in the air. A pie appeared in his hand, steaming hot.

"Here." James tossed the pie across the distance between them.

Tom strained to grab the pie, but his grasp fell short. The pie tumbled to the water below, disappearing beneath the waves with a splash.

Tom stared after it, looking as if he might cry. "That was...my favorite kind."

Charlotte smothered a laugh behind her hand. "At least now some byrgon can enjoy a tasty treat."

Tom sighed. "Farewell, garkleberry pie. May you rest in pieces."

<><><><><>

Tom strode over to one of the openings and stuck his head outside of it. “Nice view.”

James jerked him away from the opening. “Do you want to kill yourself?”

“If he doesn’t, I would be happy to oblige,” Lieutenant Bradshaw said with a smirk.

“Do you hate everybody around here?” Charlotte asked.

The lieutenant smiled dashingly. “Only mildly, love.”

“Only mild hatred then. That’s a relief.”

<><><><><>

In a matter of seconds, the realm of memory began to spiral away, swirling in on itself like a vortex. All the colorful memories began to funnel down into a point somewhere far away, twirling around their bodies and whipping up a breeze as they went. Charlotte caught snippets of conversation as they passed, words of love and warmth. Each tale seemed to be knit together with love and pain, both of them simultaneously. Just a glimpse of the pictures filled her heart to the brim.

Pain and love. They went together. There was no solace from the pain outside of love, but no other way that love could seem so sweet lest it be paired with pain.

(*whispers* Enjoy my only serious snippet. ;P)

<><><><><>

“Can we call it something other than the skull rock?” Tom asked. “It seems like we’ve known the island so long that we need to give the rock a better name. It’s kind of rude to call it ‘skull rock’ just because it isn’t fortunate enough to have a name.”

James blinked, staring at his friend in amusement. “What do you suggest?”

Tom tapped his chin, pausing to ponder the question for a moment. Then he snapped his fingers and grinned. “How about Herbert?”

Charlotte raised an eyebrow. “Herbert?”

Shrugging, Tom said, “It looks like a Herbert to me.”

“How about we kill you and name the rock after your skull?” Isabel suggested.

Tom held up his hands. “Whoa, no need to get violent.” But he grinned anyway. “Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Besides the killing part.” He nodded. “You can name it Tom if you want.”

James rolled his eyes. “All right, its name is Tom, if that will get you to actually move forward.”

Tom threw a grin at James and marched ahead.

<><><><><>

He strode over to them and kicked Tom lightly in the side. He wisely decided not to do the same to Alexander.

"Don't touch my nuts!" Tom burst out, eyes flashing open in panic as he fumbled for the food in his pockets. Upon seeing it was just James, he relaxed and cocked a grin. "Thought you were the ravaging rodent rascals."

"Alliteration. I'm impressed."

Lieutenant Bradshaw stirred on his own, apparently awoken by Tom's outburst. He scowled at James and leaned back lazily. "What are you doing?"

"We're getting out of here,"

The lieutenant rolled his eyes, smiling at James like he was a child. "And how do you propose we do that, Mr. Magician?"

James walked toward the door and pointed at it. "Perhaps if you looked at something other than your own reflection, you might have noticed the door was open."

The lieutenant was not amused.

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(Annnnnd finally, I present to you a preview from my "short story." I'm sure you can guess who it is about. ;D)

“Well, thank you very much for the compliment. I see your manners are as horrible as your stealing abilities.”

   He couldn’t help chuckling. “Why, thank you. Nobody has ever referred to my thievery as an ability. It makes me feel privileged.”

  She whirled around to face him, her eyes drilling holes in his skull. “That was not meant as a compliment.”

   Shrugging, he suppressed another grin. “Keep telling yourself that.”

   The girl muttered something under her breath and looked as if she were about to kick him through the bars. At the last second, she pulled her foot back and crossed her arms over her chest, pretending not to be interested.

   He knew better. Grinning, he scooted dangerously close to the bars. Time to have a little more fun.

   “Aren’t you a little young to be a guard?”

   “Why do you keep asking all these nosy questions?”

   He held up his hands in mock innocence, his chains clanging noisily as he did so. “I can’t help it if I’m curious, love.”

   She wrinkled her nose in disgust and scooted further away from him, arms still crossed.

   “What’s the matter? Afraid I might charm you?”

   “The only thing I’m afraid of is whether or not I’ll have the strength to resist strangling you.”

   He felt a chuckle rise up in his throat and come unbidden. She was angry. Brilliant.

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*collapses because post is looooong* Ahem. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings on NaNo and very cringey snippets. :P Here, take some cookies for wading through the entire post. *hands you some*

For now, all I can say is: I BEAT NANO AND AM OFFICIALLY EXHAUSTED. Oh, and it's December so that means Christmas is coming up soon. *hyperventilates*

How many of you wonderful people survived? Anyone else cringing at their own writing? (Pssh, totally not me. *laughs nervously*) If you even got 1 word written, YOU ARE A WINNER. So go treat yourself to cookies. *shoves you away*


P.S. I promise I will get to all your lovely comments soon! I've been reading them all and taking great encouragement from them. So I'm not ignoring them at all. ^_^