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'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?! 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 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...


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."


"Can you die of happiness?"


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 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 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 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.


(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.


*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. ^_^

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Fall-Tastic Favorites Tag (In Vlog Form!)

(I probably should be doing a weekly NaNo recap of some sort...but eh, nothing interesting really happened so you get this post instead. ;P)

Well, would you look at that! I'VE BEEN TAGGED! Even more amazing than that is the fact that I'm actually doing the tag. WHAAAAT?!

Yes, believe it or not, this person actually does try to do some of the tags she's been graciously bestowed. (Most of the time I fail, but nuance.)

So I'm here today to do the Fall-Tastic Favorites Tag, which my beautiful friend Morgan tagged me for. Thank you muchly, dearie! ^_^ (Ironically enough, I'm doing this tag right after I changed my blog design for winter. XP)

I thought it would be fun to do another vlog because you all demanded that I do it under pain of death were eager to see another one. I'm even more awkward and rambly in this one, just so you know. *cringes*

Well, I hope you didn't die from the awkwardness. Good news, this video is actually relatively short. *pats self on the back* Only seven minutes long! You may have seen me glance to the side randomly at one point because I heard my mom come in the front door. XD (And don't ask me why the first part of the video is cut off--I figured it wasn't worth redoing the video just so you could hear me introduce myself.)


Sorry for the short post today. Apparently my mind is blank right now (because I hit 67k, good grief O_O). SO YES. Take what you can get.

What is your favorite fall flavor? (And do you pronounce caramel "car-a-mel" or "car-mel"? You obviously heard what I call it. ;D) What is your favorite candy? 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NaNo Week 2 Update // In Which There Is an Explosion of Snippets

As you could probably tell by my last post (compliments of my wonderfully insane hacking friends from my NaNo group <3), I reached 50k. I STLL HAVE TO TELL MYSELF THIS IS IN FACT TRUE. And now, believe it or not, we are over HALFWAY through NaNo. How did this happen?! 

I haven't written very much since I hit 50k (because of mountains of speech homework and a general lack of motivation :P), but I did hit 60k this week so yayyy!

See, barely any writing this week. *pouts* But still, 60k is cool. :D
AND GUESS WHAT. My story is still. not. done. I mean, seriously? It's over 85k now. *dies* It needs to end soooon. Otherwise I might kill my characters. (Or vice versa. XD) I'm expecting it to reach 100k at this point.

Fortunately, I did outline the rest of my book loosely, but it's taking a lot longer than I expected. I tend to dwell on scenes for too long, but I guess that can be fixed in editing. *cringes because editing will be very painful*

SO. Because I don't have a lot of time, I'm just sharing a bunch of snippets from my story. I actually have a love/hate relationship with them. They aren't as bad as I thought they would be, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm exhausted from writing this many words or because they're actually decent. (It's probably the former. XD) So read at your own risk.

Le Snippets

She glanced around the room, her vision obscured by ruffles of fabric and swirls of glitter from the gowns. Her gaze fell upon a lonely piano tucked away beside the staircase. To her surprise, no one sat at the instrument. The keys depressed by themselves as the piano played a haunting melody.

Charlotte shivered. Now that’s just creepy.

A hand clamped down on her shoulder, and she jumped. “Relax, Miss Davidson, it’s just me.”

She never thought she would be glad to the see the Lieutenant until now. Exhaling in relief, she allowed him to take her into the dance position. “How come the piano is playing by itself?”

He glanced down at her, eyebrows cocked. “Magic, my dear.”

“I’m not anyone’s dear.”

He flashed his pearly whites. “Apologies, love.”

Suffice to say, her relief had long since left her.

“So tell me, Miss Davidson, have you ever danced the valora?”

She shook her head, not yet willing to give him a verbal answer.

“Ah, then that would explain why you keep stepping on my foot.”

Charlotte smirked. “That’s not the reason.”

“Well, I generally don’t make it a habit of stepping on people’s feet during a dance. Just so you know.”

“You apparently make a habit of annoying people, it seems.”

He flashed a mischievous grin. “Do I annoy you, Miss Davidson?”

“Let me phrase it this way: having someone pull out my hair one by one would be far more agreeable than talking to you.”

The lieutenant still smiled. “I’ll take that as a yes.”


Tom sighed. “Oh well. I shall just starve then.”

James plopped a bowl of stew down in front of him. “Don’t be so dramatic.”

Tom disregarded him and dove into the food, chewing the food so fast that James wondered he didn’t choke.

“Thish ish sho good,” he mumbled.

James groaned. “Can you not talk with a mouth full of food?”

Tom hurriedly swallowed before scooping another giant bite of stew in his mouth. “You’re right, no time to talk. Musht eat.”

It took him a total of 38 seconds to eat the first bowl. (Tom seemed proud of his fact despite James’s constant reminders that eating food rapidly was not a useful pastime.) After eating six bowls of the stew, he finally settled down with the leftover carrots.

“Ah, well, that was a good snack.” He patted his stomach contentedly.


"So this is the Royal City?" Tom asked. He stood and stretched, gazing at the city ahead. He shrugged. "Not too impressive."

"You're only impressed with food anyway," James said.

Tom grinned. "Exactly." He ran ahead of James into the city streets.

"Wait up!" James called. He muttered a hasty apology to Brickle before scurrying off after his wild, hungry friend. He had probably spotted a sign for a restaurant or something.

"Tom!" He grabbed his arm and pulled him to a stop. "What are you doing?"

"Found a restaurant!" He smiled at him victoriously.

Ha, I knew it.

"I'm positively famished," Tom complained. I haven't had anything to eat in two hours."

James rolled his eyes and pulled open the door to the nearest restaurant. "Well, try not to wither away and die before we order."


Tom shrugged and wiped off his fingers on a napkin. “So what am I doing on the ship? The crew usually has to do something, right?”

James kept his gaze on the window, clutching the sill with tight fingers. He had already decided on the flight over what he would have to do, but he wasn’t sure how Tom would respond. “I’m going to have to smuggle you aboard.”

A grin made its way onto Tom’s face. “Really? Fantastic, I’ve never been smuggled aboard anything before!”

That response was more positive than he could have hoped for. James raised his brows. “You aren’t upset?”

“Upset? This is one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me!”

James shook his head in disbelief. Leave it to Tom to be happy about breaking the law.


James made to walk away, but the officer extended a hand. "Not so fast." He raised his eyebrows. "I want to see your friend."

James gulped. "Friend?"

The lieutenant smirked. "Don't play innocent with me. You know who I'm talking about. The redhead. I know you smuggled him aboard the ship somewhere."

Beads of sweat made their way onto James's forehead. He swallowed past the lump in his throat again, twisting the strap of his satchel. "I'm not sure I follow."

"Oh, really?" The lieutenant walked straight over to the glitter cargo hold and pulled open the trapdoor. He climbed inside and emerged dragging Tom by the boot.

"Then I guess we just have more rodents aboard the ship than I had thought previously," Lieutenant Bradshaw said, letting Tom flop down on the floor in front of James.

"Hey, what do you think you're doing?" Tom asked. He glared at the lieutenant and stood, brushing himself off and approaching James protectively. "I was taking a nap."

"Well, sorry to disturb you," the lieutenant growled. His expression said otherwise. "What were you doing in the glitter cargo?"

Tom raised his chin defiantly. "I got hungry so I decided to eat some."

The Lieutenant blinked. "That glitter isn't edible."

"Oops," Tom said. He appeared genuinely surprised and clutched at his throat.

"Tom, you didn't eat any, did you?" James asked. From the look on his face, James guessed he did. "I told you it wasn't edible!"

"I know, I just got really hungry and forgot."

Lieutenant Bradshaw started laughing, making the two of them stop and stare. When the lieutenant caught a breath, he said, "Expect to see your surroundings a lot better."

'What? Why?" Tom questioned.

"You may notice within a few hours that you start to...well, glow." The lieutenant smirked and walked away down the gangplank, leaving the two of them standing by themselves in shock.

Tom turned to James and grinned shakily. "I've always wondered what it felt like to eat glowing glitter." Then he gagged on the deck.


James felt his hair blow backward in the gust and stumbled back a step. The beast slithered closer, its fangs extended, ready for the kill.

He jumped to his feet and scrambled away just as it lunged for his neck. Tom raced up beside him, wielding a hand full of glitter. He shouted and threw it at the creature. The glitter turned into a swarm of birds and dive-bombed the byrgon. The creature whipped its head around, knocking the birds aside like harmless little flies.

James grabbed his friend's arm. "Do you have any more ideas?"

"Hold on, give me a second. " Tom was staring at the byrgon with wide eyes, fumbling with something in the pocket of his trousers.

"Here!" he shoved something in James's hand. A piece of pumpersnap was there.

James lowered his eyebrows. "What is this for?"

Tom shoved a piece of his own bread in his mouth. "Sorry, I just needed to stress eat."

The byrgon was just a few feet away and sliding closer by the second, mouth open wide as it eyed its prey. James threw the bread at the beast, closing his eyes and picturing it turning into an arrow. He opened his eyes and to his amazement, the bread had disappeared, replaced by a razor-tipped arrow.

Thwap! The arrow landed squarely in the beast's mouth. It choked and froze, gagging on the arrow. Then, with one last desperate squeal, the byrgon collapsed in a pile of slimy appendages on the deck.

James let his shoulders fall, feeling the tension leak out at last. Tom stepped up to the defeated byrgon and prodded it with the toe of his boot. The appendage twitched, causing him to jump back in fear.

James waited for the beast to suddenly roar back to life, but nothing happened. It continued to twitch every few seconds, its muscles apparently contracting.

Lieutenant Bradshaw raced up to them and stared wide-eyed at the fallen creature. Glancing between Tom and James, he asked, "Did you just...?"

Tom draped his arm over James's shoulder and grinned triumphantly. He used his other arm to nudge James in the ribs. "And you said my love of food would never come in handy."


They herded them all outside the little room and into the cool night air. James felt his stomach drop when he looked down. They were in a tree some three hundred feet in the air on a limb only ten feet wide. He gulped and forced himself to look away. Don't look down, he told himself. Just keep your eyes on the path ahead and focus on not falling to your death.

Fortunately for James, they made it across the tree limb to a much wider platform in the next tree. Unfortunately for him, they had to cross another one a couple minutes later.

He felt himself wanting to gag. I hate heights.

Tom edged up beside him as they crossed the other bridge. Grinning as always, he slapped him on the back. James's heart about leaped out of his body as he felt himself stumbling forward a step, closer to the edge.

"What's the matter, James?"

"You're the matter," he growled, still scared out of his wits from the near-death experience. "You should be more careful hitting someone on the back like that up here. I could've died."

Tom did not even miss a beat. No sign of remorse crossed his face, only amusement. "You're fine, James. Remember, this is just like the day you nearly fell off the dragon. Only this time it's actually a lot easier to fall."

"Remind me to kill you later."


Running a hand through his hair, jaw tight, Alexander stared at the starry sky. He held his compass up before him, glowering at it.

"I don't understand how we ended up here...or where ‘here’ even is."

James leaned against the railing and tried to catch a glimpse of the compass. "Does that work?"

Lieutenant Bradshaw glanced at him, staring him up and down. "Of course. Doesn't your head work?"

James shrugged off the insult, quite used to them by now. In fact, he would almost be disappointed if the lieutenant did not insult him. He kind of got the impression that he liked him when he did that.

"After all, Mr. Magician, you're the one who got us lost."

James smirked. "And you're the one who somehow managed to almost get us sucked down a whirlpool."

He rolled his eyes and pocketed his compass, placing his hand on the wheel. "I only wish I had the foggiest clue where we are."

"There's plenty of fog out there. That should help."

Alexander glared, not appreciative of the humor. "Just step aside, please. You're blocking my view."

James moved a quarter of an inch to the right.

The lieutenant mumbled something incoherent under his breath, giving James the vague impression he was not pleased.


James pushed against the railing and decided to head to bed. There was not much going on up here, and it was obvious the lieutenant did not want him around. Of course, he wouldn't mind just hanging around to spite him, but he was already tired.

Waving, he called back, "Good night, Alexander."

The lieutenant grunted. "Do you have to call me that?"

"You told me to."

"Well, then try not to say it in such an irksome way."

"It's not an easy task when I'm addressing you." James grinned and ducked below the deck before the lieutenant could strangle him.


Taking a hesitant step forward, Charlotte started after the strange woman. She jumped back in surprise as a shoe began crossing her path. It stopped suddenly, as if shocked by her arrival. The black boot began to hop along suddenly and hid away in a dark corner beneath the stairs. 

"Ignore the boots!" the woman called. "They aren't very sociable around new company." 

Charlotte turned the corner, coming behind the staircase...and finding herself in the same room she had been in before. She blinked, observing the maze of staircases that wound up onto the ceiling. 

No, this room was different. Instead of red carpet, it had royal blue. And there was a grandfather clock propped up in the corner, ticking in a strange rhythm that reminded Charlotte of her heartbeat. 

The woman was bustling around, balancing a silver tray and a butterfly net. "Oh, where is that blasted teapot now!" she exclaimed, waving her net around in the air ominously. 

A porcelain teapot suddenly darted past, nearly whacking Charlotte in the face. Tom had entered just in time for it to slam into him instead. 

"Catch it!" the woman shouted, pointing at Tom. 

He yelled and grabbed the pot around the handle. The teapot strained against his grasp, trying to escape. The lid flew off and hit Tom between the eyes. 

"Hey!" he said, rubbing his forehead. 

The woman hurried over and yanked the teapot from his hands. She smacked it on the side lightly with the palm of her hand and waved her finger at it. "I told you not to hit strangers in the face! It's very rude!" 

A squirt of tea flew out the spout into her face. 

She glared at the pot and put it in the net. "Just for that, I'm getting your brother out instead." 

The pot began to squirm in the net, trying to get out. It made what sounded like a whining sound, following by the clattering of its lid. 

"You had your chance. Now be quiet and let me tend to my visitors." 

The pot stopped squirming, but it let out one last drop of tea from its spout to indicate its displeasure.

<><><><><> that may have gotten a little out of hand. Be very afraid of my NaNo recap post. O.O

How are you faring? Is NaNo treating you well or are you feeling like a deranged pigeon? (I'm kind of a mix at the moment. :P) And what did you think of the snippets? Who's your favorite character in my novel?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

HACKED: she reached 50k - a guest post by her blogger friends

  Welcome everyone! Today we - her writing pal’s in a hangout - have overtaken Mary’s blog. She was the first one out of all of us to make it to 50,000 words. We all decided we wanted to hack into her account once she made it to 50k, and this is the result.


MARY!!! Oh my word. First NaNo for both of us and look what YOU did! Not only did you hit the 50K mark, but you blew it away. IN NINE DAYS. *is still mindblown*

Seriously. We were both sweating the #5k1day on November 1st. I had it done before lunch and YOU, my awesome glitter queen, doubled it. I think I can vouch for the rest of us and say that November 1 was our crazy insane writing day and then life crashed in. Vacation, school, blech. Somehow you and you alone managed to bypass LIFE itself and are now the reigning queen of NaNoWriMo 2016.


Why is this such a big deal? Other than merely astonishing yourself and now the rest of  the world with your fire fingers, you now have 50K for a book! Not just any book but THE book with glitter, cake, squirrel butlers, fairies, and all the things that we’ve been hearing about. So you’re doing the world a MAGNANIMOUS favor here. Because I’ve got news for you: we need your book. *cough* In a non-creepy way.

For all the times down the road when you feel SO done with this brilliant thing you are creating, don’t forget: we’re all counting on you and cheering you on every step of the way! On your own blog, no less! (Thanks for being so sweet about our subtle hacking ;P)

We all know that this creation of yours is gonna be nothing short of FRABJOUS and I am so thankful I’ve gotten to be a part of your journey so far. Be warned. Your book will change lives. And I’m pretty sure I can guarantee yours and mine will be among those.

O my jellybeans Mary HOW DID YOU DO IT??
How, I ask, HOW DID YOU WRITE 50K WORDS IN 9 STICKIN’ DAYS?? I’m so so so so sooooooooooo happy for yooouuuuu!! If you wrote like this all the time, I think you’d write 20 books in a year. That's a lot.

I’m like:
I’m like dying right now. Ugh. You killed me again. (remember that??? *wipes away happy tear*) As Abi said (and I quote) Your book will change lives. How, you ask? I don’t know. I know it changed mine. (AND I HAVEN’T EVEN READ IT YET!) You are so amazing! God has surely blessed you with an amazing gift; THE GIFT TO WRITE 50K IN 9 DAYS. So, we give you this celebratory post.
BRING OUT THE GLITTER!!! Isn’t glitter JUST the thing to celebrate with? Isn’t this post so random? Don’t we just all love you so much???
I just wanna say that YOU ARE SO AMAZING GAH! <3 <3 Anika out. *carefully sets mic on floor and strides off of the stage*

Wow. Just wow. I am utterly speechless, bc obviously. *proceeds to talk quite a lot with flailing throughout*
I mean, really. 50k so quickly! How even?

There’s only one logical explanation. You, my virtual sister, have achieved superhuman powers. *wink*

They say (‘they’ being up for discussion of course, as I do not have the exact quote) that the pen is the mightiest sword and while you’re over there going:
I’m like:

So congratulations and all that. PLEASE remember to eat lunch today, and go to bed before two in the morning. *reminds you to function*

And another thing; don’t you dare say that your book is an ugly mess (well, if it is, it’s a beautiful, creative mess). You already have several people demanding (nicely, mind you) to beta/alpha read about your glitter and squirrels when you finish. *flails*

I can’t wait to read this book because it’s got squirrel butlers, glitter, and apparently sass and that JUST SOUNDS AMAZING. You are a superhero. Like you doubled #5k1day THEN THEN THEN you went above and beyond every other day really.
*throws glitter*   *makes glitter cake*    *calls the unicorns to dance*
Everytime I see a squirrel I think of butlers.
Everytime I think of glitter well……
I imagine all of us winning NaNo and having a big party with cake and stuff.

Congratulations on winning my legolas loving friend!!! Thanks for all the fun wars and sprints in which we all tried to beat Jonathan. Lol. This was super long and I used a lot of gif’s but anyways.
*hannah drops microphone*

I can't believe it, I mean, I do believe it but you are literally incredible, I've been having so much fun doing Nano with you, (even though you crush me every time we sprint XD)  and I cannot believe you've already reached your goal, you're insane, but in like the awesomest way possible. please keep writing your book  because it sounds really awesome and I'd love to beta-read for you when it's done. XD


And btw don’t let Sarah tell you that you shouldn’t cry just cause you guys are twins because crying is perfectly acceptable okay.

WELL HEY THERE MARY BETCHA YOU’RE SURPRISED THAT WE’RE HIJACKING YOUR BLOG RIGHT?? *cue awkward coughing* Okay well maybe not. Buuuuuut even if there’s no surprise (which actually I brought a glitter cannon so there’s a small surprise) WE ARE STILL HERE. DOING SOMETHING OR OTHER. So the next obvious question is, what on earth are we doing?

Well, in short, we’re basically here to throw a giant party and tell you that YOU R.O.C.K.
Like somehow you’ve already written 50k? Superhero status=yours. (also the crown is yours, but not the throne sorry) You’re always super fun and bouncy and easy to talk to. You’re always ready to write and duuuuuuuude your snippets though. <3

We’ve been through a lot of wars (*winkwink*) together and you’ve nearly always been on the opposite side I think (ahem XP). But you’re still always a great friend and you’re not afraid to slap me when I need to be slapped. XD

Here’s to 50k! Congratulations from all of us! :D *glitter flies everywhere*

*blinks* *blinks again* YOU WROTE 50,000 WORDS IN 9 DAYS. 216 hours. 12,960 minutes. 777,600 seconds. AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN USE ALL OF THAT TIME. whhhhaaat even.
And. you were the one who’s document wouldn’t open right away!! Somehow, you beat us all, even though you kept on crying *points down at Sare cuz she’ll say something ‘bout that* that you couldn’t beat us in word sprints.

Girl. I think I remember that story of the tortoise and the hare? *realizes I haven’t written in days*

(forget that it’s not a hare. okay?)

*pushes jonathan out of the way* *gives Mary the throne* STILL CAN’T BELIEVE YOU HIT SUCH AN AMAZING GOAL. I mean, forgive us, we just HAD to hack you. ITS SUCH A BIG DEAL YA KNOW

Basically thanks for battling with us, being my substitute sister *laughs at sare’s glare*, constantly being there to word war with, annnnnnnd since everyone else is throwing glitter at you *explodes glitter at you*


MARY YOU’RE AWESOME!!! (Well, so are all the other NaNo participants/writers, but still. XD)  When I think of how fast you wrote, this comes to mind:

CONGRATULATIONS MARY!!!!!!!  So proud of you!!! <3
It was amazing getting to know you a little bit, and I hope to learn to know you better! :D

I am so unbelievably proud and astonished by your writing skills, Mary. Pretty sure I should also be scared -- 50k in ten days is NOT HUMAN and what kind of sacrifices are you making?? Are you even alive anymore??

You are going to do amazing things with your words someday. I just know it. Your blog never fails to make me smile, and I can’t wait to read your book someday and chuck it in people’s faces demanding that they buy and love the thing. xD

Keep going. You’re incredible, and just know that we’re all here for you whenever editing gets hard or it seems like your book is nothing better than a rotten pile of garbage. (which is a LIE because your book is better. unless the garbage has pizza in it. but your book would still be better so there.)

We love you and are so very proud of you! I feel so special to be a part of this thing for such an amazing writer like you. GO MARY. <3 I volunteer to be your personal writing cheerleader whenever you need it. *waves pompoms*


You. You...HOW. I AM IN AWE

MARY, YOU ARE AMAZING!!! *throws glitter*
I seriously don’t know how you survived this past week, and want to congratulate you. How even?! We were all freaking out about writing 5k in one day, then you wrote 10k instead!

Funny Pictures – 43 Pics:


(This was our reaction)
You were on fire! I had such a blast warring with you, and loved all the chats. (they were quite entertaining, don’t you agree?) We all had our times of craziness, but you exceeded it all by writing 50k in 9 days! I had to hide when I saw you were already done.
The Lord of the Rings + Legolas’ funny faces
It was madness. I still don’t understand how you did it.
For now keep up the hard work of finishing your novel -because it sounds amazing, and glittery. :)
Merry Christmas - Feliz Navidad - Bon Nadal - Happy Xmas #gif animado
And I want to read it now, so you gotta finish it.
(Now you don’t have to worry about not getting enough rest. You can sleep and eat like a normal person )

okay, legit girl. You wrote 50k in one day. WHAT EVEN. YOU ARE SO EPIC. *shakes you* yeahhhh, I did ask you to stop a lot I’M SORRY but you were kind of like a mad scientist or something. Ahem. anywayssss.

We are twins, okay, we both know it. Except for one thing. QUIT THE EXCESSIVE CRYING GURL.
I still don’t think crying is good for you (whatever Chloe the queen of knowledge and reality says) I READ A BOOK ABOUT IT ONCE OKAY. other than the crying thing, we are total virtual twins k but if you ever do cry in the refrigerator aisle i'll be there to give you a hug...and tell you to buck it up

btw i love how you trust me so much to like let me in your blog #ifeelgreat

I think the most insanely epic times were when you, Jonathan and I were sprinting. (forget about Julia she was way ahead, the first time anyways). IT WAS SO STRESSFULLY AWESOME. I’m sorry for the time i crushed i literally crushed you all...not rly *smirk*

thanks for sticking with me when everyone wanted my head off I MEAN PLZ you were my only comrade *hugs* It was epic, okay? You are such a fun person and totally a challenging sprinter. LIKE IF YOU STOP THIS BOOK I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN K *waves* <3333

p.s. i forgive you for the time you showed me the peanut butter cup you were eating when i was going sugar free for a week *dumps glitter of forgiveness on you*

p.p.s. did u eat?.....

  You finished your first NaNoWriMo – IN NINE DAYS. GOOD FOR YOU, writing queen! *hands you crown and shows you to your throne* I DUB THEE MARY, MASTER OF THE GLITTER WORDS. (and yeah, you totally get a throne - ignore Jonathan XD)
  You were SO UNBEATABLE during NaNo. THIS *points down at gif* was basically us whenever you wanted to war -


  Or sometimes THIS, as we glanced at your word count during a sprint and DESPERATELY HOPED WE WERE AHEAD FOR ONCE -

(because a legolas gif was needed, my elf-loving writing friend XD)

I was, to say the least, AH-MAZED when I found out you had written 10,000 words on the first day. YOU DOUBLED 5K1DAY. HOW EVEN. *is still in shock* *is not sure how this is possible* Like … which superhero did you switch places with. I’m still trying to figure it. JUST GO GET THYSELF SOME REST AND FOOD, MS. SUPERHUMAN, OKAY? Okay. *shoves all the ice-cream to you*
  I LOVE warring/sprinting/chatting with you - even when we all tell you to ‘STAHPPP MARY, YOU’RE TOO FAST’ - and hearing all about your EPIC novel *nods*. And stalking you. Stalking is always fun. BASICALLY BEING IN THE NANO ‘16 CABIN WITH YOU IS EPIC FUN-NESS (that can be a word if I want it to be *crosses arms defiantly*).  

  ANYWAYS. I’m rambling left, right, and center right now – but basically what I want to say is YOU DID SMASHINGLY, YOU MAGIC WRITING ELF! CONGRATULATIONS from all your writing buddies! :D *showers you in 1.7 tons of glitter* *lights the explosives*


YOU DESERVE ALL THE GANDALF FIREWORKS, MY (*cough*insanely talented*cough*) FRIEND! :D

Day 1: Mary wrote 10,013 words

Day 2: Mary wrote 4,330 words

Day 3: Mary wrote 6,928 words

Day 4: Mary wrote 5,026 words

Day 5: Mary wrote 6,773 words

Day 6: Mary wrote 7,005 words

Day 7: Mary wrote 4,005 words

Day 8: Mary wrote 1,662 words

Day 9: Mary wrote 5,015 words

 Though the 50k is now done, the novel is not, and we all want to encourage Mary to not give up. Writing is a gift, a challenge, and an adventure all in itself. So press onward, the journey is not done. We are all here encouraging you. (and we all want to read it. XD)

*whispers* plzzzzz