Thursday, June 22, 2017

Introducing My July '17 Camp NaNo Project // Behind the Velvet Curtain


It's that time of year again! It seems like just yesterday that I was doing Camp NaNo...but it's actually been two months since it ended?? Somebody please explain this phenomenon.

In light of the fact that July and Camp NaNo are almost upon us, I've decided to introduce my project. YES, I'M DOING IT EARLY YAY ME. ("Early" as in nine days before July, rather than one. :P)

July Camp is definitely really special to me. Last July was my first time ever doing a NaNoWriMo event of any kind, and I completely fell in love with it. I had a FANTASTIC cabin (and I only knew, like, two of the people in there when I joined XD), and it really stirred up the creative juices for my story. I started a fresh draft of Moonlit Mirror with no clue what I was doing. And thus my glitter-coated, squirrel-ridden story began. ;)

As is my tendency, I didn't commit to doing Camp until about a week or two before. *rolls eyes* SERIOUSLY. We all know I'm going to end up doing it. :P My goal is a little lower this time around at 20k, mostly because I have two trips planned for July so it's going to be pretty busy. I might end up writing more than 20k? Or not? I honestly have no clue. I just decided to set it lower so there wouldn't be any stress. (HAHAHA that's a good one, Mary. No stress. Hilarious.)

AHEM. Anywayyyy, back to the main point of this post. *reroutes train of thought*

Would you all like to see what I'm doing for Camp?

Yes?

No?

Maybe?

*crickets chirp in the distance*

Oh well, you're going to find out even if you don't want to. :P

Behind the Velvet Curtain




Some curtains should never be lifted.


Adelia is counting down the days until she is finally free of her job as the magician's assistant. And when a young journalist rolls into town with the offer of a lifetime, she dares to hope her dream will be realized. The only thing that might shatter her hopes is the unusual mirror in her possession. When the mirror shows more than just her reflection, Adelia begins to wonder if legerdemain extends past the stage.

Life is determined to make Theodore bleed. One morning, he wakes up in an orphanage with no memory of how he got there. He runs away to join the circus and there discovers his two passions in life: the violin and performing. But with his impaired eyesight, he has no hopes of pursuing a professional career. He has no memory of his past and no prospects for the future . . . until a woman in an airship shows up at his door.

They say the world is a stage. But in the mist-shrouded society of England, some curtains should remain closed.


/ / /

*makes strangled squealing sounds* I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS STORY. I actually think the synopsis turned out great. And I'm not going to lie, writing synopses is so much fun for me. I don't know why, haha.

Technically, I "should be" editing Moonlit Mirror or finishing The Scent of the Sun (which I didn't finish last month as I planned). BUT WHO CARES. I got this story nugget, and I couldn't resist the temptation. :P

Behind the Velvet Curtain is the tentative title right now. I quite like it, but I'm not sure if it's totally what I'm looking for. It's going to be a historical/steampunk/fantasy novel...kinda difficult to describe. XD And and and! IT'S MY SNOW WHITE RETELLING!! Yes, I'm planning on entering the awesome Rooglewood Press contest. I know it doesn't seem very much like Snow White, but trust me, you'll recognize some of the elements from the story if you read it. ;)

I will hopefully be writing the entire novella during July, but I'm thinking about also writing another steampunk short story during July as well. Remember that one unnamed short story I've been posting snippets of on my blog? Well, it's done. And now I just want to write a bunch more and make a short story collection. If that happens, I miiiiight even open it up for beta readers. MAYBE. (By the way, my short story has a title now...and I sent part of it to an author for a critique. *dies* We'll see how that goes. o.o)

Aesthetic


aes// shadows. moonlight. velvet curtains. silver combs. white doves. lace. top hats. striped tents. cold metal. gilded mirrors. circus wagons. fog. stagecoaches. rosined bows. playing cards. waistcoats. buttons. phonographs. rain-streaked windows. clicking typewriters. smell of dust. 


This idea has just recently found its way to my brain, but I think that the plot is actually one of the most put-together ones I've concocted. (Note: plot is not my strong point normally.) I'm optimistic about this story, but we'll have to see how it plays out. It's kind of darker than my previous novels...but there will still be snark soooo yeah. ;)

Oh, and you can stalk my progress here, should you desire. I changed my username now, and I rather like it. *coughs*


What did you think of my synopsis? Do you enjoy writing synopses for your books? And are you entering the Five Poisoned Apples contest? YOU SHOULD. GO DO IT.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Cookie Book Tag //


(Ignore the fact that this picture was taken during Christmastime. I haven't gotten any cookie pictures since then. :P)

SALUTATIONS! I've been scraping for ideas the past few days (seriously, I was super desperate to come up with something), and I finally decided to do A Cookie Book Tag! I saw this on Shantelle's booktube channel last summer and it sprang to mind recently. This tag is genius, and you can thank My Bookcase and I for creating it. It looks so fun...because duh, cookies and books. 

THIS TAG WAS BASICALLY MADE FOR ME.

So here's how the tag works. There are eight different cookies, and for each cookie, I pick a book to match the description. Don't worry, it will all make sense once I actually stop gabbing and get to the tag. *coughs*

|| A Cookie Book Tag ||


Chocolate Chip // A book that never gets old


Just one?? *dies* I have so many favorites that I could read over and over again and never stop loving them. <3

To narrow it down to three, I'll go with Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal, Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. These are three of my FAVORITE books, and I literally just reread two of them this summer. If you haven't already, GO READ THESE BOOKS. *shoves them in your face*

Dutch Snowballs // A book that gave you an unexpected surprise



(I think these are the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey Kisses in the middle, just clarifying. ;))

I'm going to go with The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. There was so much hype surrounding this series that I honestly wasn't too excited about it. (I'm weird that way...when things are popular, I get rather skeptical, hehe.)

I'm happy to report that this book was FABULOUS. The entire series is, actually. There's sass and pirates and more sass and amazing characters and YET MORE SASS. Basically...read this for the sass, people. XD

Molasses // A book with a character that gets in a sticky situation 



Um...every book ever?? Hehe. I think one of the crucial parts of a book is making sure there is conflict with the character's main goals...which means there will inevitably be some sort of sticky situation. (Admire my alliteration mastery, peasants.)

But if I had to pick one, I would go with llusionarium by Heather Dixon. The main character basically has four days (I think) to find a cure to a disease that is wiping out the entire female population. He's thrown into another world, and suddenly he has to figure out a way to save both realities.

Annnnd he has a cocky airpilot with him, and that makes things even stickier. *coughs*

Runner-up would be Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I mean, the main character is turned into an old woman and has to figure out how to reverse the spell so I'd say that's a rather uncomfortable situation to be in.

Oreo // A book dealing with the light and the darkness


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It's a classic, guys. Lewis was a genius at allegory--which, by the way, is not one of my favorite types of fantasy--and he created a magical world that just feels like home. Not as much as Middle-earth, but still very homey.

Sugar // A book with a sugary sweet villain



*scratches head* I think this is supposed to mean a villain that pretends to be good but is actually evil? Or something like that?

In that case, I'll go with The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first one has this seriously messed-up person who fools everyone into thinking he's good...but is actually Very Evil. And Pride and Prejudice? You have Mr. Wickham--the guy who fools Elizabeth into thinking he's a "poor miserable soul" who had his life ruined by Darcy. *rolls eyes* Ugh.


Monster // A book that confused your emotions


By this point, I'm sure you've discovered I'm terrible at narrowing my choices to just one book. :P

Well, I've got two for you again: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde and Black by Ted Dekker. These are both books that I have very confused thoughts about. The Last Dragonslayer had a really disappointing ending, and Black was just...not my thing. But I still liked aspects of both books?? IT'S ALL VERY CONFUSING, HONESTLY.

Snickerdoodle // A book that made you laugh


I'm notorious for being the crazy person who laughs out loud randomly in her room while reading a book. Therefore, I have many books that make me laugh...a lot. But the first one that comes to mind is The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo. YOU GUYS. This book = alllllll the hilarity. There's a grumpy, sarcastic godfather who loves to bake. DOESN'T THAT SOUND AMAZING?? (Hint: it is.) I probably highlighted every other sentence while reading it on my Kindle.

In other words: THIS BOOK IS THE FUNNIEST THING EVER.

Peanut Butter // A book with a nutty character


I have a bit of an obsession with nutty characters. Probably because I'm as nutty as crunchy peanut butter.

There are lots of nutty characters in the books I read, but Lady Moon by Rachel Starr Thomson has some of the nuttiest. They are so. much. fun. EVEN THE VILLAIN.

I love this book so much that I gave it the honor of being the first book I ever reviewed on my blog. AND I REALLY NEED TO REREAD IT ACTUALLY. It's one of my faaaaves.

/ / / 

Now for the lucky recipients of this tag! I know that I'm a tag pirate who, whenever she does a tag, ends up doing one she WASN'T tagged for to begin with (*COUGH*), but I'm still following some of the rules here and tagging people.

Tracey // Adventure Awaits
Faith // The Writer's Song
Lisa // Inkwell
Laura // An Odd Blog
Jonny // Fishing for Ideas
Deborah // The Road of a Writer
Victoria // Wanderer's Pen
Savannah // Scattered Scribblings

As always, there's no pressure to do this tag. Feel free to do what I do and wait months...or years...or forever to do it. Unlike real cookies, A Cookie Book Tag never goes stale. ;)

Have you read any of the books on my list? What is your favorite cookie? And do you have any book recommendations?? I'M DESPERATE FOR GOOD BOOKS. *dramatically faints*


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Road Trip with My Characters //


In honor of summer, I have decided to do a fun post revolving around road trips. It's such an iconic thing to do during the summer, and I thought it would be fun if I could get some of my own characters involved in it. After all, who doesn't love a bunch of snarky characters thrown together in a car for thousands of miles? *coughs*

I'm going to be interviewing four different characters who will be going on a road trip together: Fiona (my steampunk short story), Lieutenant Bradshaw (Moonlit Mirror), Tom (Moonlit Mirror), and Felix (The Scent of the Sun).

Ahem. 

This shall be fun. *rubs hands together and cackles*

// Charrie Road Trip Summer 2017 //


Who drives on the trip?

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Me, obviously. After all, I have an innate sense of direction.

Tom: *snorts* 

Lieutenant Bradshaw: *glares*

Fiona: Wait, drives what? The airship? 

Tom: No, the dragon.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Don't you two know anything? We're taking a ship. That's the only way to go.

Felix: *rolls eyes* We're taking a motor vehicle, commonly known as a car. And since you three don't even know how to define it, I don't know how you expect me to put my life in your hands.

Tom: Oh well, I'd rather be in charge of the snacks anyway. 

*everyone groans*

What is your most essential item to bring on the trip?

Fiona: My aviator goggles. That is, if Steel didn't accidentally destroy them again.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Totally worthless item anyway. Applause for him if he manages to properly dispose of them.

Fiona: Don't make me pull out my pistol, please.

Felix: I would bring all my books. You all just have to promise not to damage them. 

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Of course we won't...

Felix: I have the strangest feeling you don't mean that. No idea why. 

Tom: Uh, why hasn't anybody mentioned food yet? 

Fiona: IS THAT ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT??

Tom: *grins* Of course!

Pick one song for your playlist.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: . . . 

Tom: . . .

Fiona: . . .

Felix: Oh please. Why was I thrown in a car with people from fantasy worlds? *facepalms* Just put on Beatles music. They need some culture.

What movie would you watch in the car?

Felix: Okay, remember how I briefed you all on movies? We watched a few together.

Tom: Ooh, ooh! I remember this! We watched Frozen!

*Lieutenant Bradshaw and Felix groan*

Fiona: Hey, I thought it was good.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Says the one who watched Brave. Twice.

Fiona: You just didn't like it because Merida has better upper body strength than you do.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: I choose to credit that comment to your inherent lack of proper eyesight. 

Felix: Can we get back to the original question? Please?

Fiona: *sighs* Fineeee. I would probably pick Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

Lieutenant Bradshaw: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Even if I look much more handsome than every single pirate in that film. 

Fiona: *makes gagging sounds in the background*

Tom: How about Moana? Or The Lego Movie? Or A Bug's Life?

Felix: Ugh, I can tell this is going to be a long trip.

What snacks would you bring?

Tom: YES. Finally, the question I've been waiting for! I'd bring pumpersnap bread, vargalot sandwiches, razzlebets, and roasted berklon. Oh, and cake! And what about some vrock? And--

Felix: Stop before you make me nauseous.

Fiona: I don't know what over half that stuff is, but I'm afraid to ask.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: *smirks* What about glitter, Tom? 

Tom: *sticks out tongue*

Fiona: I'd bring roasted chicken. That's my favorite.

Felix: There is absolutely no "road trip" food on this list. What about the potato chips and granola bars? And we could bring a cooler with some lemonade to drink.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: How about I get all the cake, and you three go beg on the side of the road?

What is your destination?

Tom: The Royal City! They have cake fights.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Decent idea, actually.

Fiona: OOH. Do they have pistols?

Felix: Let us pray they don't.

Tom: You know, we could also go back to the squirrel island. That was fun.

Felix: *raises eyebrows* Do I want to ask?

Fiona: I really don't think we want to know.

Felix: In terms of real destinations, I would say the Rocky Mountains or Mount Rainier. But do fictional worlds count? Narnia would be an ideal vacation spot.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: I'd much prefer to hop around various islands and thrill the residents with my charming personality.

Fiona: Somebody please get me a bucket to stick on this guy's head. 

How long is the trip? 

Tom: How about three months?

Everyone else: NOOOO. 

Felix: I think I'd go insane if the trip lasted more than four days.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Why, are you unable to contain your jealousy of my good looks for very long?

Fiona: I think four hours is the maximum I can last. 

Felix: If only Peri were here...

Tom: AWWWW.

Felix: The only reason I said that was because I want to see her as miserable as me.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: If she knows you, torture is already part of her daily life.

Fiona: *chuckles*

Felix: Oh, shut up. 

How would you pass the time on the way?

Fiona: By formulating a thousand different ways to murder Lieutenant Bradshaw.

Felix: Agreed.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: Oh, come now, that's not fair. I'm the driver.

Felix: Um, actually I am. So be careful what you say. 

Tom: I would look at all the different license plates! And eat.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: I would find ways to make myself look extremely dashing. Oh wait...I already am. 

Fiona: GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR RIGHT NOW.

Tom: Don't worry, Fiona, it's only 1,300 miles till we reach our destination. In the meantime, I can entertain you with all the magic skills James taught me.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: *glares* Absolutely not. I don't want you to end up blowing the car to bits or something.

Tom: No need to worry! James taught me everything he knows.

Lieutenant Bradshaw: That's precisely why I'm worried.

Felix: I know I'm technically the driver, but with all the bathroom breaks Tom takes, I will most likely get in some reading time.

Tom: See? I'm really helpful!

Lieutenant Bradshaw: *smirks*

/ / / 

Well, there you have it. Doesn't that road trip look fun? (Or dangerous. Take your pick. :P) 

Are you going on any road trips this summer? Which of these characters would you most want to have along for the ride? Should I do another post like this sometime?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Steampunk Short Story Pt. 2 // feat. explosions


Since the first part of my short story was so wildly popular (hey, I can pretend, can't I?), I decided to share the second part of my story this week! This is a bit of a longer section, but I hope you all like it. I'm currently working on finishing/editing my short story, so you may not get part 3 for a little while. JUST TAKE WHAT YOU CAN GET, OKAY?

It's still unnamed because darn it I have no idea what to call this story. It's just...so name-defying. Anyone have ideas? BECAUSE I NEED HELP.

(Oh, and go read the first part if you haven't already. Otherwise this probably makes zero sense...or it still might make zero sense, I don't know.)

/ / /

“Remind me again why I’m the one who has to unleash explosives from the highest point in all of Legeria?” I asked.

Steel sighed and leaned dangerously close to the edge of the stationary airship balcony. “Look, Fiona, I told you. You’re shorter so you’ll be less noticeable on the roof—”

“Thanks for the reminder.”

“­—and you’ve dealt with explosives more so you’re less liable to kill everyone.”

“Wonderful,” I said sarcastically. “It’s nice to know that I’m holding the lives of all the citizens of Legeria in my hands.”

“Hey, I’m the one who has to trust you to lower me from a rope into the castle courtyard. Knowing you, you’ll probably let the rope ‘slip’ from your hands as some kind of twisted retribution for my prank.”

I had to laugh at that. He knew me so well.

Blowing on his gloves, he nodded. “Ready?”

I raised an eyebrow and fingered the coarse fibers of the rope. “The question is. . . are you ready?”

Steel glared, producing a big grin from me. “Sometimes I really wish you were a boy so I could hit you.”

“That’s never stopped you before.”

His eyes glinted in amusement. With a low grunt, he sat himself on the ledge and dangled his legs over the courtyard below. He tightened the knot around his waist, gave me a thumbs-up, and dropped into the empty expanse of air.

/ / /

The sun was just beginning to set when I reached the castle tower, satchel full of explosives in hand. I collapsed against the wall, my heart still pounding wildly. That encounter with the air guard patrol had been close. I would have to be more careful next time I docked my airship in a private lot with giant “NO TRESPASSING” signs posted everywhere. Fortunately, the press badge Steel had forged helped me gain access to the main gate. It was astonishing what security would allow for a chance to be in a newspaper article.

What was even more astonishing was the fact that I had made it through the entire castle without being stopped. It seemed everyone was so occupied with the queen’s birthday celebration that security was more lax than usual.

“These explosives should change that,” I muttered, a smile tugging at my lips as I opened the satchel. There were so many firecrackers in there that the seams of the bag had begun to stretch.

I crouched behind the wall, positioning myself so I could see into the castle courtyard. Steel should be back in a few minutes, if all went according to plan.

After about ten minutes of rubbing my hands together and checking my pocket watch, I picked up the sound of voices in the courtyard. Craning my neck, I made out the forms of about fifty people streaming towards the center of the courtyard. The citizens were just beginning to arrive.

My gaze found its way to the sky once again. The sun was dipping lower beneath the horizon. It was almost time.

Another ten minutes passed as the rest of the people gathered in the castle courtyard. I noted an abundance of guards, who were still not paying attention to much of anything. I smirked to myself, scarcely able to believe how fortuitous this was. Any other night and the armed guard would be on high alert; but Queen Amelia’s birthday was a huge event, and they seemed to get lost in the festivities. After all, who would dare invade the castle on such a night as this?

I shook my head at the irony of it all as the queen herself strode into the courtyard, a score of guards flanking her on both sides. Straightening, I grabbed my pair of binoculars from my belt and peered through the glass, focusing on the queen and her attendants. There she was, dressed in a rich blue vest atop a flowing white dress. The front of the gown hit her knees, and the longer train billowed behind her in the stiff autumn wind. Her black boots were laced mid-calf. She was wringing her hands, covered in fingerless silver gloves, and forcing a smile. I frowned, confused by her expression. Usually the queen didn’t seem this distracted.

I shifted my gaze to the right. There was Falston , her advisor, his dark hair slicked back, sideburns and mustache neatly trimmed. He patted Queen Amelia’s hand, and bent over to whisper something in her ear. The queen shook her head just slightly and seemed to take a deep breath before moving past her chief advisor.

As Queen Amelia began her typical address to the people, I scanned the ever-growing crowd for Steel. Where was he? He was supposed to grab the keys to Aerick’s cell, snag a guard’s uniform, and wait for me in the courtyard below.

Just my luck that he got killed or something, I thought, a bit of uninvited worry filtering into my annoyance.

That worry morphed into near-panic as the queen neared her conclusion, much faster than I expected. It was almost time for the balloon launch. If Steel didn’t show up soon, I would have to set off the explosives and find Aerick on my own. There was no way I could break him out of prison without the keys Steel was supposed to get.

There! My heart skipped a beat, relief flooding me as I spotted an armed guard slip into the far reaches of the crowd, near the entrance to the inner court. He had made it.

His gaze casually surveyed the towers overhead. When his hazel eyes landed on me, he gave me a slight grin and nodded.

That was all I needed. The queen was done with her speech now, and it was time to act.

Glancing at the sky to make sure it was clear of aircraft, I hauled a fist-sized amount of firecrackers from the satchel and grabbed the pack of matches from my pocket. Striking one, I began to light each of the fuses, propping up the firecrackers against the wall and hurriedly moving down the line. Already the firecrackers were about to go off. I wouldn’t have enough time to light them all.

I snatched my satchel from the ground. I scurried toward the door to the inside of the castle and bolted through the entrance just as the firecrackers began to go off . The ruckus was louder than I expected, especially since I had made a point not to use the loud ones. Curious, I cracked the door open again. The sky was alight with fire, nearly blinding me.

Boom!

Blazing heat singed the hair on my arms as a ginormous ball of light exploded in the night sky. Stumbling back a step, I slammed the door shut and collapsed against it. My heart trembled in my chest, and my ears rang with the sound of explosions.

I’d been a pilot long enough to realize that was no firecracker; that was an airship.

But I hadn’t seen any airships! I had made sure there weren’t any in the sky beforehand. If that airship crashed, I doubted there would be any survivors.

I shook my head and tried to push the guilt from my mind. I need to find Steel.

Going back through the castle was even easier than the first time. Any guards that may have been in the castle beforehand had probably raced outside when they heard the explosions.

When I arrived at the entrance to the dungeons, deep within the castle, I spotted Steel right away. He was glancing around nervously, soot smeared across his cheek. He saw me, and the look on his face stopped me dead in my tracks.

I had never seen him so. . . distant. It was as if his mind were trapped in a different world. And the way he looked at me, you would think he’d never seen me before in his life.

Swallowing, I approached him cautiously and laid a chilled hand on his arm. He furrowed his brow and stared at my hand.

“Steel,” I whispered. “You ready?”

He blinked a few times, then seemed to snap out of his fog. He nodded and dug a ring of keys from his pocket. As he handed them to me, he said, “That was an airship.”

I took the keys, careful to keep my grip on the one that he was holding. Licking my lips, I twisted the key in the lock and let the door swing open. “I know. Did it. . . did it crash?”

“Are you kidding?”

I glanced at him, confusion taking over as he grinned widely. “Fiona, I didn’t know your firecrackers were that powerful.”

Now I was utterly flabbergasted. “What are you talking about? Did it crash?”

He rolled his eyes and pushed me forward a step. “Look, Fiona, there was an airship docked on the tower next to yours. It caused quite a show, but I doubt that ancient piece of junk could even lift itself off the ground, much less crash.” He winked and flashed me that annoying grin again. “I didn’t know you had that in you.”

I sighed, relieved that no one had been injured. But now I couldn’t resist smacking him on the shoulder.

“Ow! What was that for?”

“For letting me think something horrendous had happened. Seriously, by the look on your face, I thought the entire city of Legeria had been decimated.”

He shrugged and hurried down the steps to the actual dungeon. “You females are so confusing.”

“Well, this female just exploded an entire airship so you best not insult her.”

He coughed, looking a little uncertain as he noticed the pistol at my side. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

/ / /

Annnnd that's Fiona and Steel for you. AREN'T THEY PRECIOUS LITTLE MUFFINS? I'm...slightly fond of them. *coughs* (Even though they insult each other like 98.4% of the time. Which honestly makes them that much more endearing.)

Thoughts on part two? Would you like to see more? (The answer is obviously, "Whatever pleases you, O Glitter Queen.") OH AND CAN YOU HELP ME COME UP WITH A TITLE FOR THIS STORY? I am so lost right now.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Forgotten Films // Animated Treasures Everyone Needs to See


We hereby interrupt the regular broadcast of bookish/writing posts to bring you a post about another form of entertainment commonly known as movies.

It may come as a surprise to you, but I actually love movies. *gasp* (Actually, this is probably not a surprise at all but just go with it.)

Recently, I was thinking about all the movies I love that honestly don't get very much attention. Call it what you will...fate...destiny...nostalgia. (Totally how that quote goes. DO NOT QUESTION ME.) But I just wanted to give some forgotten films a bit of spotlight today. I'm sticking with animated movies in this post, but I may do another post like this with other movies sometime. ;)

Are you ready for this? I WAS BORN READY. (*chuckles hesitantly* I have no idea why I'm quoting everything today. :P) Just warning you, there will be lots of pictures. Here are ten forgotten animated films, in no particular order.


// 1. The Great Mouse Detective //


(Pinterest)
This was my favorite movie when I was little! I only know a few people who have seen it, which makes me sad. BECAUSE THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD. It's Sherlock Holmes with mice. Which obviously means it's the best.

I just love Basil and his *ahem* quirks. Olivia is the cutest, and when Toby comes in the picture? CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

(Pinterest)
It's a shame more people don't know about this movie because DUH SHERLOCK HOLMES WITH MICE AND EPIC VILLAIN THEME SONGS.

I haven't seen Sherlock, but I thought this was too fabulous
to not include. (Pinterest)
Oh, and let me know if the clock scene with Rattigan was mildly terrifying if you see it. I remember being freaked out by that, but I still liked it? #don'task

// 2. Tarzan //


(Pinterest)
I first saw this movie when I was...ten, maybe? And actually, I didn't care for it that much then. However, my friend showed me the movie again a couple years ago, and now I'm. In. Love.

The animation, the humor, the characters...gahhhh, this movie is the best. <3 Jane is actually one of my favorite Disney characters--and you gotta love her dad.

*laughs* (Pinterest)
There's also the small matter of the music. Oh my word, the music in this film is the best. Just...if nothing else, look up the soundtrack, okay?

I don't know what else to say except GO WATCH THIS MOVIE. (Oh, and my sister once said I was just like this elephant and IT'S PRETTY ACCURATE.) 

Totally me. *nods* (Pinterest)

// 3. Balto //


(Pinterest)
As you might remember from this post, I watched Balto again recently for the first time in ages. I have to say, this has got to be one of my favorite animated movies. It's a childhood favorite, but it's also the kind of movie that is just really, really good. I don't care how old you are. You NEED to see Balto.

You've got characters like Boris and Balto and Jenna. The polar bears. (I keep forgetting their names. XD) There's plenty of humor...usually in the form of Boris. Or the polar bears.

(Pinterest)
And there's also waaaaay more action than I remembered. THIS MOVIE IS KINDA INTENSE. But...in a good way. ;) And can I just say Balto and Jenna are adorable?

Balto is so awkward and adorable around her at first. I LOVE IT. (Pinterest)

// 4. Meet the Robinsons //


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This is the only movie on the list that I actually saw in theaters, but for as relatively new as it is, it's surprising how few people have seen it. 

Guys. This movie is HILARIOUS. And super weird. XD

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This movie involves weird families, a hilarious villain with a dream journal, time travel, and bowler hats. IT'S AWESOME AND YOU ALL NEED TO WATCH IT. 

Plus, it's actually surprisingly touching and feelsy. Can I just hug this movie forever??

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// 5. A Bug's Life //


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Of all the Pixar movies, this is one of the ones that tends to fall through the cracks. It's just...not remembered by a lot of people.

Somehow, Pixar managed to make a movie about bugs that I liked. I never thought I could like bugs before I saw this. XD (Ironically, one of my favorite characters is a spider. Which is really weird since I hate spiders usually.)

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Heimlich is basically my spirit animal. He's obsessed with candy corn and food in general. *thumbs up* And all the other circus bugs are hilarious. 

This movie is just a lot of fun. Even if you hate bugs with a passion, I can almost guarantee you'll end liking some of the insects in this movie. It's just a fact.

// 6. The Adventures of Tintin //


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For the second and last non-Disney animated movie on the list, we've got The Adventures of Tintin. Before seeing this movie, I had actually never even heard of the Tintin comics. (I still haven't gotten around to reading them, but they look really fun!) I had absolutely no expectations for the film...but it ended up being fantastic.

There's tons of action, brilliant animation, and AMAZING MUSIC. John Williams did the score, so I mean, it has to be good. 

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This movie just makes me happy, mostly because I remember watching it the first time while eating homemade ice cream. #yum The characters are really great, and I love love love the plot of this movie. IT'S GOOD, FOLKS.

Also, can I please have a dog like Snowy?

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// 7. The Emperor's New Groove //


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Three words: best gif material. This movie is the source of every hilarious gif on the planet. And it has a quote for every situation.

Basically, it's the story of how Yzma and her less-than-evil accomplice Kronk accidentally turn the emperor into a llama while trying to usurp the throne. Hilariousness ensues. The end.

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In short, you all need to watch this. It's weird, it's crazy, it's the best. There are even SQUIRRELS. And pinatas. And food.

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// 8. Oliver and Company //


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Can you tell I have a thing for animal movies? It's not obvious at all. *cough, cough* BUT THIS MOVIE. Eeeek! I haven't seen it in a while, but I saw it a ton when I was younger. It has the cutest cast of characters, and I may or may not have wanted to use this comeback all the time.

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This movie just has a fun, cozy feel to it. And, as per Disney style, the animals are adorable and awesome. I need a cat like little Oliver. Please and thank you.

// 9. The Fox and the Hound //


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*quietly sobs in the background* Oh my stars...this movie. It's surprisingly sad and touching and just everything that's wonderful. Todd and Copper's relationship though. *sniffles*

I don't care what anyone has to say, I'll always love this movie. 

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// 10. La Luna //


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I may be cheating a little on this one since it's actually a Pixar short. BUT HEY, I MAKE THE RULES HERE. *crosses arms defiantly*

I only recently saw this short, and it blew me away. It managed to touch my heart without using a single word in the entire thing. Just...I want to be able to tell stories like this. 

IT'S SO SWEET AND DREAMY AND MAGICAL. *hugs it* 

I may have almost screamed when I saw this. Tolkien + La Luna = happy Mary.
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Hope you all didn't mind a movie post! Tell me, have you seen any of these films? (Hint: you need to.) Anything to add to the list? And would you like to see another post like this in the future?


Thursday, May 18, 2017

My Steampunk Short Story Pt. 1 // feat. lots of snark


(We're just pretending that I've had this post planned out for ages instead of me scrambling to come up with an idea the night before. *coughs*)

Hello, everyone! I'm back with a different kind of post today. I've seen some people do this before on their blogs, so I thought it would be fun to try it out.

As some of you may or may not know, I've been working on a short story over the past several months. (Yes, MONTHS--I got distracted by my new novel. :P) It isn't quite finished yet, but I thought I might try posting a section of it every week or two--like a serial story, almost. That is, if you guys like this first part and want to see more.

I haven't edited it that much so hopefully it's decent. THIS MAY BE A TERRIBLE IDEA I DON'T KNOW. (Especially since I haven't finished the darn story and may end up changing things as I go. #whyamidoingthis)

Anywayyyyy, I'm just rolling with it and giving you the first part of my steampunk story, which is currently untitled. BUT IT HAS SNARK. So there. XD

/ / /

It was the twenty-third of September, and that usually meant someone was going to die.

Granted, nobody ever thought it was going to be them. It usually ended up being a criminal or a politician . . . which was essentially the same thing.

However, this year, the city council chose an all-together different victim: my brother.

My older brother Aerick was a cartographer. We usually worked together on our voyages to the surrounding sky cities, with me piloting the airship as he charted the various terrains. He was very meticulous about his work and never left any details out of his maps. In fact, his map-making abilities were so astute that the queen honored him with the esteemed position of head cartographer of Legeria.

So imagine my surprise when they announced that he would be the one to die.

They took him away during the night, a rather unconventional time for the council to pick the unfortunate winner. When I headed to our airship the next morning, I expected to find Aerick in his cabin, poring over his maps as usual. But what I found instead was a note on his desk, written hastily to inform me of his “sudden absence.”

I was so furious that I nearly decided to try out my new pistol on the entire armed guard of Legeria. It was almost a shame I didn’t because their uniforms could only be improved by my bullets.

I gritted my teeth and crumpled the note in my hand, not even caring that paper was expensive. Rearing back my arm, I thrust the ball of paper at the door . . .

. . . Just in time to hit someone in the face.

By the muttered expletives and the wild brown hair, I already knew who it was. I didn’t, however, bother apologizing. He deserved it for filling my aviator goggles with mud anyway.

After Steel had composed himself somewhat, he picked the paper weapon off the floor and threw it back at me. “What was that for, Fiona?”

I smirked and scooped up the paper. “Let’s just say it’s part one of Operation Get Revenge on Steel.”

Although his real name was Edward, Steel had earned his nickname from the steely-eyed glares he often gave me when I didn’t cooperate . . . which was most of the time.

Steel returned my smirk and plopped down in Aerick’s desk chair. He leaned back and propped his feet on the desk. “Come on, aren’t you ever going to forgive me for that? It was over a month ago.”

I swatted at his dirty boots, more annoyed than usual at him for messing up my brother’s office. Hadn’t he even noticed Aerick was gone? Insensitive, unobservant slob.

He cocked an eyebrow at me but didn’t press me to give an answer. Taking his feet off the desk, he glanced around the room. His brows furrowed as he turned to face me. “Where’s Aerick? Does he have the morning off?”

I sighed and angrily shoved the note back in Steel’s hands. He uncrumpled the paper, and I saw his jaw clench as he read.

“He's the execution victim?” he said, confusion and anger written in the lines on his forehead. “Why?”

I ran a hand through my knotted blonde hair, so much like Aerick’s. “It doesn’t make sense. Either Aerick did something to offend the queen when he entered her service or . . .”

“Or the queen’s gone mad,” Steel finished.

I swallowed, allowing his words to sink in. The queen had been acting odd lately. Well, odder than usual. It seemed her methods of justice had become skewed, and the mysterious death of the king had been shrouded with suspicion. Not only that, but she had banned sugar from the city. That was one of the worst crimes I could fathom.

Steel propped his head on his hand thoughtfully. “Well, I do know one thing for certain.”

I glanced at Steel, already knowing what he was going to say. He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. “We’re going to crash the queen’s birthday party.”

/ / /

Well? What did you think? I know I've been sharing a lot of my writing lately (SORRY) but I just kind of ran out of ideas and needed a quick post. (Plus, this story is a lot of fun and I wanted to share it.)


Would you like me to do a second part sometime? (I might chicken out and not share it because reasons.) Do you have any posts that you would like to see on my blog? GIVE ME YOUR IDEAS. Ahem...please. XD

Thursday, May 11, 2017

HELLO SUMMER // School's Out! + All the Books


(Hope you don't mind seeing photos that I actually took three summers ago. XD)

Heyyyy so guess what time of year it is? If you said springtime...you're technically correct. But where I live (aka the Most Humid Place on Earth), summer is basically here. Forever.

Because yes, our summer weather lasts 9 months of the year basically. :P

Most importantly, however, SCHOOL IS OUT! I finished my college classes and have been loving this break from school. For the most part, that is...I still have things I'm doing over the summer which Aren't My Favorite. Buuuut it's much better than being a full-time student, I'll give you that. ;)

This week, I decided to share with you what I've been doing/will be doing lately, in addition to my summer TBR. IT'S GOING TO BE FUUUUN.

|| L A T E L Y ||

Watching:

Guys, you know how long it's been since I watched a movie? I haven't seen one since January. That's right--almost FOUR months. o.o Wellll...it looks like I'll be making up for that this summer because I've already seen five movies. #oops

+ Balto. I haven't seen this in about six or seven years. OH MY HEART, it's such a sweet movie. <3

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+ The Parent Trap (1961). Another childhood favorite. It's just a fun summer movie. ^_^

+ Star Wars Episodes 4-6. Because duh, Star Wars. It was Star Wars Day a week ago so we ended up having a movie marathon over the weekend.

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Writing:

+ I've written almost 10k so far this month, which is a lot less than I hoped, to be honest. It's been so much harder to write the past week. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY. I guess I might have burned myself out the last two weeks of April when I wrote 46k? (That would make sense actually. XD) I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish this novel by the end of the month, but I plan to keep trying. 

+ I wrote my first poem in a month or so. You can read it here. ;) 

Eating:

+ STARBUCKS FRAPPUCCINOS. Yesssss! This whole half-price frappuccino event is the best! I can't stand coffee (sorry!), but the coffee-free ones are so good. I especially love the strawberry one. 😍


+ Ice creammmm. I promise I'm not a super unhealthy person, guys. XD But when summer break arrives, how can you not eat ice cream?? 

Listening:

+ My summer playlist. I just started it a couple weeks ago so it doesn't have much on it. Hopefully that will change as the summer progresses.



+ Unspoken. *screams* Okay, this might be one of my new favorite music groups. I seriously looooove their album Follow Through. I've listened to the first three songs so. many. times. 

+ Owl City. To me, his music just screams summer. Fireflies, Back Home, Strawberry Avalanche..all the fun summer tunes that make me happy. ^_^

Reading: 

+ The Ryn by Serena Chase. Um...I'm kind of bored so far with this one? I'm about 230 pages through the MASSIVE 500+ PAGE TOME and still nothing has happened that makes me want to keep reading. :P Ah well. I'll probably finish it anyway just to see if it gets better.

+ The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron. I just started this one last night and ohhhh my. It's already so good! I have the feeling I'll really get punched in the feels, though. *coughs*

Feeling:

+ Fulfilled. Last week, I had one of the best weeks in a LONG time. I got to write, read, express myself artistically, watch movies with my family, and just have a very very very productive, enjoyable week. I'm trying to make the most of this summer, more than I have in the past. That means less time on the internet and more time doing creative things like art and music and writing. 

+ Happy. No kidding, right? I might seem happy all the time, but ha, not really. I try to keep a positive outlook, but it's harder to be happy when I'm stressed over schoolwork. ;) So having this time to really recharge and relax has been a huge blessing. God knew exactly when I needed this. 

+ Nervous. I have a recital tomorrow (*panics*), and I've been a little overwhelmed with all the uncertainty regarding the future. It's so hard to make decisions about college/work/careers so yeahhhh. I'm just trying to remember that God's in control. What happens is all in His plan. 


|| S U M M E R   R E A D S ||

Because summer TBRs are always conquered. #notreally XD As you can tell by last year's summer TBR, I'm not the best at reading all the books I plan to. But hey, I can dream, can't I?

New Reads:

Black // Ted Dekker


I have been meaning to read his books for ages, so it's about time I tried them out. I just got this from the library and I'm SO excited to read it!

Counted With the Stars // Connilyn Cossette


Just got this from the library, too, and I'm drooling over the beautiful cover. <3

The One True Love of Alice-Ann // Eva Marie Everson


This looks like such a sweet story. It takes place during WWII, so yep, it's historical fiction. Turns out, some of my favorite books this year have actually been his fic. 

Prophet // R.J. Larson


A lot of my friends seemed to love this book, and I already have it on my Kindle. Gotta say, biblical-inspired fantasy isn't my first choice, but I'm willing to try it out.

Emissary // Thomas Locke


Hehe...yep, this was on my TBR last summer. I purchased it for only a dollar or two recently and GOODNESS that cover. *faints from the beauty* I actually haven't been reading a ton of fantasy lately (yes, you read that right), mostly because the few I've read have been Less Than Amazing. :P Hopefully I'll get around to reading this one, though. 

The Returning // Rachelle Dekker


Okay, the first two books in this serious? PHENOMENAL. I need the third book right. this. second.

The Magnolia Story // Chip and Joanna Gaines


I rarely read nonfiction, but this book looks so sweet! I've heard lots of good things about it from my buddies on Goodreads. ;)


The Voyage to Magical North // Claire Fayers


A middle-grade novel with pirates, magic, and a hilarious blurb? COUNT ME IN.

Castle in the Air // Diana Wynne Jones


BECAUSE YES THE FIRST BOOK WAS AMAZING. I need more Jones books. <3

A Spy's Devotion // Melanie Dickerson


I've owned this book for a while but just haven't gotten around to reading it. I generally like Melanie Dickerson's books quite a bit when I need a light read. ^_^

The Mysterious Benedict Society // Trenton Lee Stewart


Yes yes and yes. I started this back in November--which was a bad idea because NaNo--and I'm hoping to actually read the glorious thing soon.

The Two Towers // J.R.R. Tolkien


I liked FOTR okay (though it was *hides* a little boring), and I'm going to try the sequel soon-ish. Because I'm trying, really trying to get through this series. I love the movies, love The Hobbit book, but the LotR books? So far, they aren't clicking with me. We shall see. 

Sense and Sensibility // Jane Austen


Because Jane Austen. Need I say more? ;)

A Tale of Two Cities // Charles Dickens


Another classic, yay me! ;) I will hopefully read at least a few classics over the summer, including this one.

Not By Sight // Kate Breslin


More historical! It was a good deal at Half Price Books so I picked it up. Plus, a few of my friends have read and enjoyed it. 

The Blue Umbrella // Mike Mason


I randomly stumbled across this book the other day, and it looks SO QUIRKY. Hello yes, quirky reads are my faaaaave.

Rereads:

Masters and Slayers // Bryan Davis


This is probably my favorite Davis book, believe it or not. It's been a couple years since I've read it, and I hope to remedy that soon.

Paper Crowns // Mirriam Neal


I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It's the perfect summer, winter, fall, or spring read. Yep, read it every season of the year, folks. It's GOOD. 

The Penderwicks // Jeanne Birdsall


This is the epitome of summer happiness. I finished the series last month and feel myself needing another dose of Penderwicks during the summer. 


The Hobbit // J.R.R. Tolkien


My favorite classic ever. I ADORE THIS BOOK. *melts with happiness*

Chasing Jupiter // Rachel Coker


Gahhhhh, this book. It's one of the best books I've ever read. I plan on rereading it again even though I just read it a few months ago, partly because it's a perfect summer read and partly because it's just so feelsy and perfect. <3

~ ~ ~

Of course, chances are, I'll read a lot of completely different books this summer. I don't want to feel confined to this list, that's for sure. *nods* 

Are you guys excited about summer? What are some books on your TBR? Any recommendations? (I always love new books. ;D) Also, do you have any summer plans? I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT SUMMERRRRR.