Thursday, April 27, 2017

Camp NaNo Update #2 (Week 4) // I WON CAMP NANO + Eating Ice Cream at Midnight

I have a very important announcement to make.

Wait for it...

Oh come now, don't scroll. CAN'T YOU BE PATIENT?

*clears throat*


*scratches head*

...What was I going to say again? *taps chin thoughtfully*


I HAVE WON CAMP NANO!!!! Yes, you read that right. The same person who was complaining last week about being behind has now hit 30k for the month! This is a pretty momentous occasion for me because last Camp, I set a goal for 30k and didn't end up hitting it. BUT THIS TIME I CONQUERED THE BEAST.

I kind of went crazy the past ten days, as you can tell. XD

And you know what? I finally fell in love with my story. It took me a while--most of the month actually--but it finally happened. The plot is moving in directions I never expected (pros of being a pantser, hehe), and I'm LOVING my characters so stinkin' much. Not gonna lie, I miiiiight like them more than the ones in my previous novel. (Don't look at me that way, Lieutenant Bradshaw.) They are so much fun to write, and they seem to have more depth this time around. Perhaps that's a result of using first person? *shrugs*

I'm still playing around with different POVs right now, but so far, I'm finding that doing two first-person POVs feels really natural for my story. However, that might end up changing later. We shall see once I edit it. ;) I really appreciated all of your guys' feedback, so thank you so much for that!

Now to explain the other part of the title. Prepare for epicness. *smirks*

So last Friday, I determined to write 5k in one day. This used to be nothing for my NaNo-conquering self, but that was back in November when I had glitter running through my veins. Somehow, though, I STILL MANAGED TO WRITE 5K. This bumped me up from 13,000 words to 18,000 words in one fell swoop.

I was warring in my hangouts group with my buddies (because that's basically the only way I can write), and when I hit 5k, my amazing friend Julia got this brilliant plan: why don't I sneak downstairs in the dark to get ice cream?

It took some convincing and motivational squirrels, but I did it. 

It could have been more epic if my sister hadn't still been up and had the lights on (thanks, sis :P). But I ended up sneaking downstairs, turning the lights off on her, scampering back upstairs, and then coming down again to raid the freezer in the dark. *laughs*

It was birthday cake ice cream SO OBVIOUSLY I HAD TO DO THIS. My cat about tackled me because she was so happy to see me, but overall, my mission went well. 

(I ended up bouncing off the walls at midnight sooo yeah, thanks, Julia. XD)

SO YES. I wrote 25k in 10 days and won Camp NaNo. I'm honestly so excited right now! My novel isn't done, but I'm thinking about trying for 10,000 more words this month (wish me luuuck) and then maybe finishing my novel next month? EEP. It's coming along really well, and I'm very pleased with it so far.

With all that rambling out of the way, I'll bestow a couple snippets upon you. Never fear, I will share more in the future. ;)

~ ~ ~

Exhaling a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, I retraced my steps and headed back home. I glanced up at some of the businesses as I passed. The florist, the bakery, the café . . . none of them had positions. Probably not worth trying them again.

“What’s the matter? Your bookshop-destroying friends not show up?”

Oh yay. It’s him again. 

I shot him my most menacing glare, which was not-that-menacing. Felix gave me an impish smile in return. Darn him.

“And you call me nosy,” I muttered.

Felix had parked his killing machine in front of the café and was looking at me with his usual judgmental look. This time, however, his annoying side seemed to be making a bit of an appearance.

“Need a ride?”

“I have legs, and I’m perfectly capable of using them.”

“To walk in the street, you mean,” he shot back.

Of course he would never let me live that down. Shaking my head, I tried to walk past him, only to feel his hand dragging me back to the car.

“Thought we could talk about that job position again,” he said, jerking his head toward the car.

I narrowed my eyes. “You said that was closed.”

“I also said that the sidewalk was for pedestrians, but you didn’t seem to heed that.”

“Would you please stop talking about that!”

He grinned in satisfaction. “Ah, the lady does know how to say please. I’m surprised that you have any traces of proper etiquette.”

“You’re impossible.”

 “I prefer to say that I’m impossibly brilliant.”

That just furthered my justified lack of regard for him. He had to be some kind of idiot to think I’d work for him.

“Well, thanks so much for your consideration, but I think I’ll pass,” I said, gritting my teeth in what barely counted as a smile.

His eyebrows went up so high I thought they would fly off his face. “You’re refusing my job offer?”

“You didn’t necessarily offer. Besides, I thought you would rather die than hire someone who would destroy your precious, immaculate bookstore.”

He strolled around to the other side of his vehicle and hopped into the driver’s seat. “Putting words in my mouth. Unsanitary habit.”

~ ~ ~


I dusted off the cover of my notebook and glanced around me. Peri was deep within the bowels of the store, causing more destruction, undoubtedly. Her penchant for organized books was driving me insane.

With her out of sight, I untied the leather cord binding the journal together and cracked open the spine. Taking a pen, I turned to an empty page and jotted some notes in it.

The sound of a low-pitched growl made me turn my head. I smirked. Pizzicato had somehow forced himself out of his home into the main part of the store and was glaring at me from beneath his fuzzy brows.

“What is it?” I asked, ignoring him and turning back to my writing. He made an annoyed squeak, demanding my attention.

I huffed and slapped the journal shut, tying it closed and sliding it back in my desk’s hidden compartment. Blast this hedgehog. He never lets me get anything done. I picked up the spiky fuzzball and set him on my desk. “Are you hungry?”

At that, his countenance perked up. A little hedgehog-grin emerged on his face, and he nodded just slightly. I reached behind me to open the minifridge that I kept stocked with strawberries, jelly, and yogurt—Pizzicato’s favorite treats.

Sliding out a carton of yogurt, I peeled off the lid and set it in front of him. He attacked it, licking up the thin coating of yogurt so fast it was a wonder he could even breathe.

“I don’t know why I bother keeping you around. My grocery bills are excessive because of your unstoppable appetite.”

He paused just long enough to glare at me. I shook my head and chuckled.

Just then, Peri poked her blonde head around the corner of a bookshelf. “I’ve got a pile of books for you to sort through.”

“I thought that was your job,” I said, eyebrows raised.

“I’m not the one who has so many books hoarded that it would take an army just to count them.”

“It’s called collecting, Peri. Everyone should own too many books for them to count.”

~ ~ ~


The other man pulled a pistol out of his jacket and pointed it loosely in our direction. Not aimed directly at us, but his message still rang loud and clear. He was in charge, and we were stepping into dangerous territory.

“My name is Marc Widells, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, Peri.” He swung the gun around his index finger, smiling as he flipped it in circles. “And I’m not used to being cheated.”

All the air in my lungs seemed to vaporize. My lungs constricted painfully, and I tried to make myself speak in an even tone. “I’m sure we would be able to work something else out.”

Marc chuckled again. Somehow his laugh seemed even more dangerous than the weapon in his hand. “I’m afraid that deals aren’t always the answer, Peri.”

Felix stepped in front of me then, his arm protectively shielding me. “Stop beating around the bush and be out with it, Mr. Widells.”

Marc pursed his lips and cocked back the pistol. Click. “Let me make it absolutely clear to you.” He stepped one foot closer and pointed the gun directly at Felix’s chest. “You’re in my house, and you’ll play by my rules.”

Heart beating faster, I placed my hand on Felix’s back, trying to gain strength from him. Instead, all I felt was even more fear. He was just as terrified as I was.

In the low lighting, I could still make out the triumph lighting up Marc’s expression. He glanced back at me with a wicked grin. “You have ten seconds to gain my interest.”

~ ~ ~

*casually leaves you hanging there* #sorry XD

How goes Camp NaNo? JUST FOUR MORE DAYS LEFT, PEOPLE. Have you ever had ice cream at midnight? And what is your opinion on my characters? (I'm quite adoring them myself.)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

10 Truths and 2 Lies Results + Ramblings + Sunshine Blogger Award

The results of 10 Truths and 2 Lies were, uh, rather interesting...

Apparently I made the questions too hard?? Because literally no one guessed the two lies. I feel a bit bad because I didn't even know they were that hard. SORRYYYY. If it makes you feel better, even my sister and bestie couldn't get the answers right. #ouch (Don't worry, I actually think it's quite hilarious that I could trick you all mwahahaha.) I wish I could give you all a prize as consolation, but sending out fifteen prizes is a little too much stress for me. XD

SO. I guess I'll try this again sometime but make it slightly easier? Ahem. *coughs*

The two lies are actually:

5.) I used to wear contacts. (Gosh, no. The thought of putting things in my eyeballs terrifies me. *shudders* I got glasses when I was 11, though.)

8.) My biggest fear is spiders. (Haha...I am terrified of them, but needles are my number one fear. I'm absolutely a mess when I go to the doctor's.)

Some of you said you wanted to hear the story behind the other I might explain that in a future post if you're still interested. ;)

// In Which I Ramble //

- Apparently I reached 500 followers on Pinterest a week or two ago. WOW. I've had my account for two years now, so it definitely didn't happen overnight. But my aesthetic boards have been infinitely more popular than I thought they would be, and they've probably contributed about 130 followers in the past two months. IT'S CRAZY.

- I'm still behind on Camp NaNo, but I reached 12k last night! Still 8k behind, but I'm hoping to change that over the weekend. This week has been uncharacteristically slow since my psychology class is done (HALLELUJAH), so I'm using that extra time to add to my word count a little.

But for some reason, I'm finding it so hard to write this novel. I can't get seem to get the plot moving, and it feels awkward writing in only one point of view for some reason. I just feel like it's not totally working out?

In fact, I wanted to ask your guys' opinion on something: what do you think of dual first-person POVs? (In other words, having two characters use first-person.) I have mixed feelings about it myself, but I feel like this story is just not working as it is. First-person feels natural for one of my main characters, and yet, I really feel like the other one needs his own POV. Should I switch to third-person and do POVs for both characters? Should I do dual first-person POVs? Should I stick with what I have now? I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW. I would really appreciate your guys' honest opinions!

- I got a Kindle Fire this week, and I'M LOVING IT. Seriously, it's the best. I've had my iPad for almost five years now, so it's nice to have a newer tablet where I actually have space to install Spotify and Pinterest apps. And the best part? It was free. My orthodontist gives out these tokens for things like wearing the t-shirt they give you, arriving on time to your appointment, taking care of your teeth, etc. So I saved all my tokens to get the Kindle Fire! I maaaay be a little in love. <3

- I'm way ahead in my reading challenge this year, thanks to spring break. I've already read 25 books, and I'm really hoping I can continue this pace. Most of the books I've read have been really good, too, so that's a plus. (Though I'm really not sure what to think of the one I'm currently reading. The MC is driving me a little insane. -_-)

// Sunshine Blogger Award //

My sweet friend Tracey tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Award about a month ago, and I couldn't resist doing it. After all, this is Sunshine and Scribblings. ;)

Basically, I just need to answer the questions, ask 11 new ones, and tag 11 people. Ready? Let's do this!

(Found on Pinterest.)

1. What's the most addicting app on your phone? phone doesn't have any apps on it since it's a TracFone (look that up, kids ;)). However, I refer to my iPad as my "phone" because it is essentially a lot like an iPhone. *shrugs* 

I'd have to say that Spotify and Pinterest are my favorite apps, by far. I just got them on my Kindle Fire, and I use them a lot now. Also, I quite like Color Switch, even though I'm not addicted to it. I only play it occasionally now, but it's pretty fun.

2. What's a song that speaks to your life right now?

Oh, look! An excuse to use my Spotify app. *cough*

*pulls up playlists* Carry Me by Urban Rescue (aka one of my favorite groups ever) has really been speaking to me lately. I also have an entire playlist of music from this month that I've been listening to basically 24/7.

3. Do you have a book or movie that's your "happy place"--a fictional world into which you retreat when you need a breather? What is it?

ALL OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIE, PRECIOUS. Those movies give me all the warm fuzzies of being home in the Shire, and the characters are like family. <3

(Found on Pinterest.) Isn't Frodo's smile sweet??

As far as books are concerned, probably The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall. This series has quickly become a favorite of mine, and I always feel so happy when I read them. 

4. What's a book you were (or are) looking forward to so much you're scared to read it, for fear it won't live up to your expectations?

A few examples come to mind. The Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl and any Ted Dekker books. At this point, I have now read three Goldstone Wood books, andddd...I was really disappointed.

I don't know why, but I just don't like them. It is a painful process for me to read one. And the worst news? I bought most of the series when it was discounted so I'm stuck with them. (No, I'm not giving them away because they still cost $20 on sale. *faints*) I feel like there's something wrong with me because I don't like them, and it's frustrating. But hey, at least their covers are photogenic. :P

I still haven't read a Ted Dekker book yet because there's so much hype surrounding them, and I'm honestly scared I'll have the same reaction as I did to Tales of Goldstone Wood. I will read one soon, though, because Dekker is the keynote speaker at Realm Makers. 

5. If you had to have all of your past memories wiped except for one day, which day would you choose to remember?

WHY THE HARD QUESTIONS? Ugh...let's see here.

I would have to say either the day I finished my first novel, Moonlit Mirror, or the day I went back to Disneyland for the first time in nearly 8 years. Those two days were both amazing. <3

6. What question would you like to ask one of your favorite authors?

To Wayne Thomas Batson: WHEN WILL BOOK THREE OF THE DARK SEA ANNALS COME OUT?? *clears throat* (I've been waiting for years and haven't heard anything. #ineedmorebooks)

To C.S. Lewis: Would you have written more about Susan? I'd like to believe that you had more to say about her.

To Jane Austen: Did you ever laugh out loud while writing your novels? (Come on, they're brilliant and hilarious. I've gotta know.)

7. If you had to describe yourself as one of the four seasons, which would it be?

Just going to say it, I love this question. 

I'd probably say I'm the most like fall. I can be warm and colorful and expressive, but also reserved and cool.

8. What's your personality type? (Myers Briggs, DISC, whichever test you prefer.)

I'm an INFJ. (And I'm 99% introverted. Yeahhhhh. :P)

9. An envelope containing $500 shows up on your doorstep. On what do you spend it?

Well, if that happened, I'd probably be a little weirded out. (Because that just feels like ransom money or something. XD) 

I'd be that boring person and save most of it. But I'd definitely spend some of it on books. Obviously. *nods*

10. Would you rather be trapped in a lamp, a tower, or an enchanted sleep?

OOH, these are really creative questions. I'd have to say either a tower or enchanted sleep. In the tower, I could do stuff like write, read, blog (assuming there's wifi up there XD), and play violin. However, in an enchanted sleep, I could dream all kinds of crazy stuff, which is always fun. 

11. Which Disney villain(ess) do you find the most scary?

Clayton from Tarzan is mildly terrifying, as is Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog (though I've only seen that movie once and don't remember it that well). Probably one of those two, although I was always freaked out by the scene in The Great Mouse Detective with Sir Rattigan in the clock. THAT WAS FREAKY, OKAY?

My Questions

1. Do you like to read an entire series at once or spread out the books over time?
2. Would you rather be stuck in the past or the future?
3. Have you ever had dream re-runs? (In other words, the same dream twice. XD)
4. What is your favorite vacation you've ever taken?
5. Do you like to chew gum? If so, what is your favorite flavor?
6. If you found the entrance to Narnia, would you tell anybody? Who would you take with you if you did?
7. Waffles, pancakes, or neither?
8. Do you use the Shift key or the Caps Lock key every time you capitalize something? (Odd question, but it's something I always wonder, haha.)
9. What is one smell that never fails to make you happy?
10. Have you ever been rollerskating?
11. You've gone into hiding and have to conceal your identity. What new alias would you adopt?

My Victims

Christine || Musings of an Elf
Miss March || Sunshiny Corner
Morgan || Turning the Page

(I actually followed the rules this time and tagged 11 people! Aren't you proud??)

Thanks so much for the tag, Tracey! It was loads of fun to do. ^_^ Oh, and to all those I tagged: don't worry if you don't want to do the tag/never get around to it. Believe me, I of all people certainly understand. XD

Well, you made it through this post. *gives you cookies* Any advice on my novel's POV problem? What is your MBTI personality? 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Camp NaNo Update #1 (Week 2) // Traveling + I'M SO BEHIND

(I'm just going to admit that I totally forgot about posting today like ooooops.)

HELLO, ALL. I have been meaning to do a Camp NaNo update but...well, life has been crazy and writing has gone out the window.

As you may or may not know, my goal for Camp this month was 30k. That equates to writing 1k a day, which means I should be at 13k right now. HAHAHA...nope. Currently, I'm hiding behind my measly 5,207 words and feeling like a total writing failure. :P

For some reason, Camp is always way harder for me now than regular NaNo. We always seem to have a trip planned, and I end up not writing at all while I'm gone. *headdesk* It's so frustrating, and I wish I could figure out how to motivate myself/find the time and space to write. But...I just can't.

UGH. I'm in a hard place right now, guys, and I'm trying to remind myself that it's okay. I'll get over this slump hopefully when I get back from our trip.

Anywayyyy, now that I'm done sharing some of my struggles, would you care for a couple snippets? I only have 5k to choose from, so don't expect anything that great. XD

~ ~ ~ 

I began picking my way through the stacks of books, careful not to knock over any of the precariously high towers. A bright blue binding to the left snatched my attention. Curious, I bent over and removed it from the shelf. Something skittered across my hand, making me yelp and drop the book in surprise.

“I would really appreciate it if you didn’t drop any priceless antiques on the floor.”

I jumped again and whirled my head to face the source of the voice. Looking annoyed, a young man of about twenty years observed me from his position leaning against a shelf. His hair was a color I had never seen before. It was neither red nor blond nor brown . . . rather, it was stuck somewhere in the middle of the three. He observed me with a critical eye, looking me up and down with disdain.

Feeling uncomfortable beneath his gaze, I felt color flush my cheeks. Great, make him think you’re blushing. That’s really smart.

I cleared my throat and glanced at the blue-bound book on the floor. “Sorry about that. Something startled me. I thought maybe a mouse was hiding in the book.”

A look of offense crossed his face. He scowled at me and picked up the book. “That mouse was Pizzicato. Maybe he wouldn’t have startled you if you had the sense to not disturb his home.”

“Who’s Pizzicato?”

He rolled his eyes. “Haven’t you read the sign?” When I didn’t give a reply, he continued, “Pizzicato is a hedgehog, and if you had bothered to look at the sign before you burst in here uninvited, maybe you would have known that.”

I bristled. His rudeness was beginning to make me angry, and I felt my fists clench involuntarily at my sides. “Well, excuse me, but the sign didn’t exactly say ‘watch out for hedgehogs hiding in the bookshelves.’ Maybe you should keep a better watch over your pet instead of letting him run rampant in a store.”

Smirking, he said, “Pizzicato is not my pet. What a horrifying idea.” He slid the book back into its position on the shelf and wiped his hands off on his pants. Squinting, he regarded me again. “What do you want anyway?”

Biting back a bitter response, I said, “I’m looking for the owner. There was a job posting in the window that I was interested in discussing.”

“Ah, so you do read. How shocking.”

I crossed my arms, tempted to shove him into one of the bookshelves and start a book avalanche.

~ ~ ~

Finally, I saw a figure zipping across the lawn between the schools. With his surprisingly long legs and unzipped jacket, I could already tell it was my brother. I felt a smile tug at my lips. My little squirt of a brother would be taller than me soon, but I wasn’t quite ready to admit that.

He bounded up the stairs, taking them two at a time even with the slippery surface. Panting, he shook the water droplets from his dripping brown hair. “I sure hope you brought your umbrella for once.”

I ignored his question and motioned at his unzipped jacket. He hurriedly zipped it up, shooting me a look that clearly said he wasn’t happy.

Starting down the steps, I held my hand above my head like a visor, hoping that would at least somewhat protect my glasses from becoming splotched with rainwater. Nothing was worse than having blurry vision from a pair of splotched glasses.

Quentin raced behind me, pulling ahead and jogging backward to stare at me. “Hey, did your legs shrink or something, Peri? ‘Cause it’s pretty easy to beat you nowadays.”

I snorted. “Sure it is, Tinner.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “You promised you wouldn’t use that nickname anymore.”

“Well, maybe I wouldn’t if you didn’t act like an idiot half the time.”

He rolled his eyes and took off in a run. “Last one home has to eat the leftover casserole!”

Just the thought of that burnt ham, asparagus, and potato casserole sent me flying down the street, splashing water on my brother’s face as I passed him.

“Bon appetit!” I called over my shoulder.

~ ~ ~ 

*coughs because my snippets seem really lame*

Well, that's really all I have for you right now. Sadly, Camp NaNo is just not working out for me right now. I'm over 8k behind, and I doubt I'll be catching up that much until after Easter. :P If you want to keep up with my wordcount, stalk me over here and send me emails telling me to write. XD

How is writing going for you all? If you're doing Camp, is that going okay? Also, what is your opinion on sibling relationships in books? I personally find them a ton of fun to write. ;)

(P.S. You still have time to try to win a special prize from yours truly! Just check out my 10 Truths and 2 Lies post here.)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

10 Truths and 2 Lies

By the time you read this, I'll be on the road heading on vacation. (Care to guess where I'm going??) And since I knew I would be gone on my typical posting day, I decided to do an easier post.

Today I present to you...10 Truths and 2 Lies! 

If you're wondering, "what the heck is that?" then allow me to explain. Nadine Brandes did this on her blog a couple weeks ago, and she opened it up to other people to do as well. Basically, it's just what it sounds like: I state 10 truths and 2 lies about myself, and you have to guess BOTH of the lies. You only get one try so make it count! :) The person(s) who correctly guesses both of the 2 lies will receive either a corner bookmark OR a copy of one of  my own art pieces.

So? Shall we get this show on the road?

1.) I've never broken a bone.

2.) I've seen dolphins in the wild.

3.) I slammed my head in a car door before.

4.) My least favorite season is spring.

5.) I used to wear contacts.

6.) I've ridden in an ambulance.

7.) I used to have a pet cricket.

8.) My biggest fear is spiders.

9.) I've lived in four different states.

10.) I get carsick.

11.) I've been in a dust devil.

12.) I hate tomato sauce. actually take way longer to pick these than I thought. #fail

Here are the choices for your prizes. You could have a drawing of Frodo, Mary Poppins, or a surprise. OR if you want a corner bookmark, you could have a fox, heart, or a surprise.

Have at it, friends! I wish you all the luck in the world. ;)

Which ones do you think are lies? Leave your guesses in the comments below! I'll respond to comments/email winners once I get back from vacation after Easter.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Say Hello to My April NaNo Novel! (And Goodbye to My Sanity...)

I don't know how this happened...BUT GUYS IT'S ALMOST APRIL. (Totally not freaking out right now.)

And you know what April means? CAMP NANO, OBVIOUSLY. For those of you who don't know, there's an event called NaNoWriMo during the month of November. The idea is to write a whole novel, or 50k words. (But my novel ended up being 105k so #oops.) Anyway, they have Camps during April and July that allow more flexibility. Basically, you can pick any word count you want and do whatever writing stage you want--editing, first drafts, thirty-first drafts, whatever. IT'S AWESOME.

Of course, being the completely sensible person I am, I decided, "I think it will be fun to do Camp NaNo even though I have no time and will probably go insane." So logical, I know.

AND I HAD TO DECIDE THIS LIKE A WEEK BEFORE APRIL. *facepalm* This happens every. single. time. I just started plotting two days ago and have barely gotten any progress I guess I'll be pantsing it again. O.O

I chose 30k as my goal for April. Doable, considering I wrote 3 times that much in November. BUT IT'S STILL TERRIFYING. Because my writing has been basically nonexistent since December, and I have so much work to do outside of writing. (Someone please remind me why I'm doing this??)

Well, I've already rambled way more than I should already. *coughs* Care to hear about my new novel? I don't know much about it, but here you go. XD It's completely different than my previous novel in that it's contemporary, but fantasy elements still managed to sneak in? (Don't ask.)

Meet The Scent of the Sun!

Why does the sun only shine on certain people?

When Peri's father left her six years ago, he took her heart with him. Peri doesn't know what's worse: feeling the emptiness inside her or watching her mother become a shell of her former self. And when a tragic car accident takes her best friend's life, her aching scars are ripped open again.

Life has never been easy for Felix. Mistakes in his past built walls between him and those he loved. Desperate to escape an ill-formed bargain with a faerie lord, he flees to the world called Earth. There he goes into hiding, opening up a bookshop and finding himself trapped in a little New England town. But time is catching up with him, and if he doesn't find a way out of his bargain, he's as good as dead.

Together, Peri and Felix must discover the scent of the sun . . . even if that means crossing worlds.

~ ~ ~

YES, THAT IS A SYNOPSIS YOU JUST READ. I'm so ridiculously proud of it, even if most people don't think it's that impressive. :P And if you couldn't already tell, this is going to be a very feelsy story. 

I've also been keeping both a storyboard AND a playlist secret from everyone the past two months. It's been realllllly hard to not show you all, but I wanted to wait till Camp started. SO HERE YOU GO. Feast your eyes on my storyboard and playlist!

Don't you love how many songs I found with "sun" in the title? It's perfect. ;)


Annnnd now my storyboard and all the aesthetically pleasing stuff. 

aes// sweaters. dusty books. vinyl records. scuffed-up boots. windblown hair. frost. rusty porch swings. plaid. smell of books. crackling fires. hot air balloons. messy handwriting. cereal bowls. cold nights. dead leaves. glasses. 

I promise I'll make some aesthetic collages soon. Because those are so fun, and I definitely need some. *nods*

Soooo yeah. I don't know what else to say about my story because I don't know very much. XD BUT I'M SO EXCITED FOR CAMP NANO. It's going to be stressful and crazy and awesome.

By the way, if you want to make sure I'm actually doing things, you can stalk me here and shout at me to write.

WISH ME LUCK, PEOPLE. I have the feeling I'm going to come back next week crying out for help. XD

Thoughts on my novel? And are you doing Camp NaNo? If so, what's your word count goal? WE CAN DO THIS, I TELL YOU. *eats cake nervously as time ticks by*

p.s. I just reached 50 followers on Google Friend Connect a week ago! EEP. You guys are the best. <3

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Writing Tags Galore

WELL THEN. This isn't awkward. Not at all. Because I totally didn't procrastinate doing these tags for like six months or more, nope.


HELLO, PEEPS. I am back today with a giant post full of writing tags! I have about 1,939 tags to catch up on, but I figured grouping some of them together (and maaaaybe bending the rules a little bit) would be okay.

SO. Let's get on to the first tag, shall we? (Thanks, Jonny, for tagging me. :D)

// The Wisteria Writer's Tag //

Rules (more like guidelines anyway)

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (In case you didn't hear me the first time, THANKS. XD)
2. Answer the ten questions asked. 
3. Add ten (writing or book related) questions of your own. (Skipping this because it would take me foreverrrr to come up with new questions)
4. Nominate people. 

1. Which of your writing projects is your favorite and why? 

Ummmmm...well, I've only written one real novel so far. XP But I've started a few other writing projects and began a completely new novel just last month (which, by the way, I've gotten like NO progress on -_-). I also wrote a lot of "books" when I was in middle school, but those are horrendous and should never see the light of day.

SO. Before I go off on a huge ramble, I guess I'll just say Moonlit Mirror. That book was seriously loads of fun to write. (I'm also in the middle of a short story that has been seriously THE BEST to write. Hopefully I'll share that with you all soon!)

2. Can you share some snippets from your favorite project? (and no you cannot say no to this IT IS MANDATORY) 

*defies you and says no* 

*coughs loudly* I'm sorry, I don't think I quite heard you there.

*glares at Jonny for asking this question* Okay, well, lemme see what I can salvage here.

~ ~ ~

(Snippet from the old version of Moonlit Mirror. Enjoy the sneak peek of what it would have been like had I stuck to the original.)

James glanced up at the sky. Thick clouds broiled in the heavens, threatening to drench him once again. Of course, he should not have expected anything different. He was in London, after all.

   He turned into a narrow street lined with brick homes. There was no need for him to search both sides of the lane, for he knew exactly where he was headed.

   A giant knot formed in the pit of his stomach as he stopped in front of the largest home on the street—his father’s home. The oak tree still stood in the same spot, its branches reaching towards the house with spindly fingers. Leftover leaves from autumn lay strewn across the lawn, their withered shapes only a ghost of their former glory. And then he saw it.

   Mother’s rose garden.

   James swallowed hard, the knot in his stomach twisting itself into a German pretzel. The garden was still there, though by the looks of things his father had not trimmed it in years. The red flowers grew rampant, practically taking over the entire yard. Thorns gouged the sides of the house, and he could see furrows in the shutters from where they had scratched. Some of the roses had died, their blushing beauty faded into a dark, crusty shell. His father had forgotten it.

~ ~ ~

(And finally, a snippet featuring everyone's favorite lieutenant. XD)

Charlotte soaked in the warm beams of light, letting the wind play with her hair as she leaned against the railing.

Perhaps she could get used to the sea life.

Lieutenant Bradshaw walked by then, swagger in his step. She groaned. If getting used to the sea life meant getting used to him, she didn't think she would want to ever get used to it.

"Hello, love."

"Miss Davidson."

He raised a brow. "Oh, we're back at this again, are we?"

"It's your fault."

He grinned and stared at her, gaze unnerving. She fidgeted and edged away from him. "You seem to be back to your old self again," she observed.

Opening his arms wide, he pasted an innocent look on his face. "Was I ever not? I don't know how you could ever wish for something different than my present magnificence."

She groaned and rolled her eyes. "You make me sick."

3. What is your favorite tense (past, present, future) and voice (first, third; I don't think it's actually called that but I'm using that word because it makes sense to me and I can't think of the right one. XD) to write in?

My favorite tense is definitely past tense. It used to drive me crazy when I saw first-person present tense in novels. Seriously, I could. not. stand. it. 

However, I discovered one book early this year--my first book of 2017, actually--and it COMPLETELY revolutionized my thoughts on present tense. Now it doesn't bother me much at all. In fact, I actually...kind of enjoy it? It has to be done right, though.

As far as voice is concerned, I miiiiight like third-person the best? But I like first-person a lot, too. I feel like it's easier to delve more into the character's personality when it's written in first-person for some reason. *shrugs*

BUT YES. Third-person past tense is my favorite.

4. When is your favorite time to write?

I'm assuming you mean time of day and not time of year. (Because yes, NaNo is basically the main time of year I write now. #oops) 

I like writing at night the best probably. It's nice to write uninterrupted in the late hours of the that's when my creative juices tend to flow the most. 

(And I also am like a zombie in the morning and basically do not want anything to do with life until 10 am. Needless to say, morning isn't an option. XD)

5. What is the most unpleasant thing you've put one of your characters through? (random note but this question stems almost entirely from a Camp NaNo April conversation in which we discussed why it's good to be mean to your characters. XP Yup, I still remember it.)

Wouldn't you like to know? *cackles evilly as my characters cry out for help in the background*

Okay, okay. I could spend a long time listing all the unpleasant occurrences...but one situation that sprung to mind was the time I had the characters sail right into a maelstrom and one of them fell over the side and was almost sucked in and basically had a very bad day. XD

6. Are you a more character-driven writer or a more plot-driven writer?

Character-driven, all the way. Creating characters is definitely my favorite part about writing (well, outside of the food and sarcasm). I'm a bit weak where plot is concerned. Seriously, just take a look at my first draft and you'll see.

ACTUALLY DON'T. Nobody's eyeballs shall view that carnage.

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

*coughs* *points at answer above*

I haven't technically tried much plotting yet? But I feel like pantsing is definitely more up my alley. I'll let you know for sure once I give plotting a chance.

8. What is your favorite word processing system to write in and why do you like it? (SCRIVENER FOR THE WIN)

I just use Word because it's free for students at my campus. (That's one good thing about college, folks. XD) Plus I know what I'm doing and it makes sense to me, which is a rare and beautiful occurrence when it comes to technology.

9. If you were left on an abandoned island with the last character you wrote about, how would that go for you? (I know it's super original but unfortunately not from me. XD I pulled it off a meme.)

Welllll...the last time I really wrote was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (I wrote a little two days ago but that was mainly touch-ups.) SO LEMME THINK FOR A MINUTE.

Okay, okay...the last line I wrote was spoken by a character named Steel from a short story I'm working on. And how would it work out for me with him on a deserted island?

10. What is your favorite writing resource? (this could be a blog, website, newsletter, writing book, that one pet who listens to all your writerly ramblings, anything basically XP)

A pet dragon obviously. What else would I use?? (In all honesty, though...probably myself. *smirks*)

~ ~ ~

AND NOW...on to the next tag! *raises sword high and charges ahead*

I was tagged by both Christine and Tracey for the Writer's Life Tag. Thanks a million, dears! Sorry it took like...10,042 years for me to get to it.

// The Writer's Life Tag //

Don't look at me like that, I'm not deliberately excluding the rules. THIS TAG HAS NO RULES, I SWEAR. #trustmeplease 

Write-fuel: What do you eat/drink while writing?

Lol, I don't eat or drink while I write, though I always have water at my desk. I'll stop and take a sip every once in a while, but it's something I have to consciously remind myself about. Sometimes I'll motivate myself with snacks, but that's mostly during NaNo. (I totally didn't live off Reese's Cups and pretzels during November. Noooope. ;P)

Write-sounds: What do you listen to while writing?

The sound of my brilliance being pounded into the keyboard. (Or my characters screaming for help in my mind. Take your pick.)

Because yes, that answer is much more interesting than "I can't listen to music while I write." XD

Actually, I have discovered that ambient music/relaxing white noise is helpful while writing. I like putting on the 10-hour loops from this channel and listening to rain sounds as I type. 

Write-vice: What’s your most debilitating distraction?

I'm just going to go with the flow here and say it: THE INTERNET. It is seriously a problem. I always find something else that "needs" to be done, whether it be scrolling through Pinterest, checking the weather,  or looking up whether you can get sick from eating old whipped cream (yes, I actually googled this :P). 

Write-horror: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while writing?

Welll...I accidentally dropped my computer once on the tile floor and lost all my pictures and documents ever but besides that, nothing much. XD

(Okay, to be fair, that was before I started really getting into writing so I didn't lose anything major. I mostly mourned the loss of the photos.)

Write-joy: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you while writing, or how do you celebrate small victories?

Best thing? I think finishing the first draft of Moonlit Mirror was probably the best writing experience I've ever had. It was just so fulfilling having my first real novel finished. IT WAS THE BEST. Also, I love all the love and support I get every time I post snippets or info about my writing. You guys are seriously the best. <3

As for small victories, I like to reward myself with a) candy, b) internet, c) books, and d) sleep. Those are the ultimate rewards, people. XD

Write-crew: Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?

No one should be communicating with me while I'm writing. This is a no-no, okay? (Unless it's a word war on MyWriteClub...and even then, I usually just write.)

However, I have a HUGE support group for my writing in general. My awesome friends from my writers' Hangout (who hacked my blog and wrote this post) are the best. I honestly don't think I could have won NaNo without them. I also keep in contact with Tracey, though not as often as I wish I did. She's the one I talk to one-on-one about writing the most, and she's a real godsend.

Outside of them, of course I have all of you guys! All my lovely blog readers and commenters are frabjous. You don't know how much all your support means to me. <3

Write-secret: What’s your writing secret to success or hidden flaw?

Can we skip this question? 'Cause I don't think I am really one to offer any "secrets to success." XP

As far as writing secrets are concerned, I guess just making writing a habit. Now, this is something I really need to work on, since it's been far too long since I've followed a consistent writing schedule. However, I find that it's much easier to write when I'm doing it consistently, whether that be every day or three times a week or whatever. Setting a schedule and continuing to write on a regular basis is important. (Listen to this advice, Mary. THEN MAYBE YOU WILL ACTUALLY GET THINGS DONE. *glares at myself* XD)

Oh boy, I can think of plenty of flaws. But I'm just going to say it now: inconsistency. *points at the paragraph above* Yep, I'm guilty of being a "seasonal" writer who only writes during certain times of the year. It's a problem, and I'm trying to amend it. But gosh, it's so hard. I never want to write when I'm supposed to. -_-

Write-spiration: What always makes you productive?

I promise I'm not trying to copy you guys...but just like Tracey and Christine said: goals. Goals are seriously what get me motivated. For instance, those graphs that track your word count during NaNo are the MOST MOTIVATING THINGS EVER. I'm obsessed with updating my word count and watching the bars climb higher. XD

Also, rewards such as candy motivate me. I'm an incurable sweet tooth. ;)

Write-peeve: What’s one thing writers do (or you do) that’s annoying?

Just one thing? *chokes* I have a snarky voice inside me that always critiques my annoying habits. XD

Okay, so outside of literally everything I do...I have to say that writers who don't use the Oxford comma really annoy me. GUYS. It drives me crazy. I know it's technically "correct" to not use it, but like...why would you not??? It's a huge pet peeve of mine. Sowwy.

Write-words: Share one sentence from a project, past or present.

Here's the first line from my short story that's in progress. Hopefully it intrigues you. ;)

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

WELL, FOLKS. I did it. I caught up on multiple tags at once! *collapses because it's 1:38 am as I type this*

I'm not tagging anyone because hey, why start following the rules now? (I never have. XD) But if you want to snag one of these tags, by all means, go ahead. Just leave a link to your answers in the comments so I can check out your posts! 

What's your favorite tense to write? Any favorite writing snacks? Also, which snippet of mine did you like the best? (All of them...right?! ;D)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Word about Beauty and the Beast

Note: I wrote this as tactfully and honestly as I could. So please don't think I'm aiming this post at anyone or that I'm "attacking" anyone's beliefs. Honestly, I'm doing just the opposite. :)

~ ~ ~

*takes a deep breath* Okay, so I've been debating about whether or not I should actually address this issue...but I feel like this is something I really need to say.

In case some of you haven't heard (which is nearly impossible, the way the media's been flaunting it), Disney decided to make the character LeFou gay in the new Beauty and the Beast movie.

Needless to say, this decision has created quite a commotion, especially amongst Christians. A lot of people--many of whom I know--have actually decided not to see the movie at all because of this. On the other hand, a lot of liberal newspapers are lauding this as the best decision Disney has ever made. You know, in the name of diversity and whatnot.

For me personally, it's something I've been thinking about...a lot. Not gonna lie, I was really upset when I found out. Like really. upset. Part of it may be the fact that I was already having a pretty bad day at the time, but even weeks (I think??) later, I'm still unhappy with it.

The thing is, this wouldn't even be an issue if they hadn't gone out of their way to make it one. I think that's what bugs me the most about the whole thing. Chances are, if the director hadn't made a point of saying LeFou had this "great gay moment" or whatever, no one would even know about it. It's subtle enough that it could just be construed as LeFou admiring Gaston--just like in the animated version. In fact, the composer of the movie's score, Alan Menken, actually said that. He was talking about how ridiculous this whole thing was and that he always saw LeFou as looking up to Gaston. He blames the journalist from a gay magazine for creating an issue out of it. (source)

Like I said, this is something I've been thinking and praying about for a while. I feel like some Christians who are boycotting it are (perhaps unintentionally) shaming other Christians who decide to see it, while other people are saying that those who avoid seeing the film are narrow-minded and stuck in the past.

BUT GUYS. Does this have to be something we "shame" people about? In the end, what we choose to do is a matter of conscience. I know of some Christians who have decided to still see it--and that's totally fine. If they don't feel convicted not to see it, then that's okay. That's their decision, between them and God.

I think most Christians can agree that they aren't thrilled about this decision. (Most but not all.) However, it really isn't something that we should judge people about if they choose to still see the film. I've seen some people actually telling other people that they probably shouldn't see the movie now because of this...and that just makes me a little irritated. Because yes, I don't approve of this decision. But that doesn't give other people the right to command my conscience. 'Cause, guys--it's a matter of conscience in the end. If we feel convicted not to see it, that's fine. But if not, other people should respect that decision.

One other thing I wanted to point out is that just because we see a movie with something like a gay character in it doesn't mean we approve of it. Seriously, how many Christians do you think have seen movies with language in it? Does that mean that we support the use of bad language just because we saw the movie in theaters? Not at all. I'm very sensitive to language in movies and books, yet even I have seen a couple movies in theaters that had language in them. However, just because I saw the films doesn't mean I approve of all the content.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is this: let's give each other some respect. I'm still really disappointed about the producer's announcement, but I haven't decided whether I'm seeing the movie or not. My family is leaning towards not seeing it, but I just haven't felt convicted not to. However, whatever my decision may be in the end, we as Christians can agree on one thing: we are brothers and sisters in Christ and nothing can change that.

Let's remember to love each other. And hey, if I end up seeing Beauty and the Beast, I'll let you all know how it is. ;)

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
~ Ephesians 4:3-6 ~

WELL, I DID IT. I posted about something controversial. *coughs nervously* What are you guys doing? Are you still planning on seeing the movie or not? (And please tell me you're not offended because that's the exact opposite of my intentions!)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Book Review: A Note Yet Unsung {Tamera Alexander}

Well, look who's actually posting a review. *cue chorus of gasps* YES, I KNOW. It's been six months since I've reviewed a book and that is utterly shameful.

I am here to amend that today, this time reviewing A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander. (Aka the book with the most GORGEOUS cover ever. *strokes it*)

AHEM. I guess you'd like to know what it's about? That's generally a good thing. *shoves blurb in your face*

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the new maestro at the Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed when the conductor--determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music--bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's youngest orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head, he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city's new symphony hall. Even more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music--his dying father. As Tate's ailment worsens, he knows Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he's robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women's hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history--but the hearts of men.



WOW. This book was SO good! When I started reading it, I wasn't entirely in the mood for it. However, once I got past the first 60 pages or so, I was so immersed in the story that it was painful to put the book down.

Since lists are so much fun, let's go ahead and divide my thoughts into a list, shall we?

Things I Liked

  • Look, somebody has to say it...TATEEEEE. Oh my goodness, Tate Whitcomb was by far the best part of the book! I absolutely fell in love with him. <3 He can be short-tempered and irritable at times, but he's really a great guy overall. He just has a lot of problems weighing on his mind, including composing an ENTIRE symphony, dealing with the stresses of being the new, young conductor of an orchestra, and lots of personal issues (which shall not be named because spoilers). POOR THING. I just want to hug him throughout the entire book. Because the way he treats Rebekah?? Suffice it to say, the two of them are darling together. I just love how sweet he is with her (um, most of the time...hehe). 
  • Tate's family was wonderful. I just loved his family so much! It was amusing seeing how adorably awkward Tate was when introducing them to Rebekah. XD And the genuine love they had for each other is just so heartwarming.
  • All the violin and music-related stuff! I'm a violinist myself so I really appreciated all the music in this book. Rebekah and Tate both play the violin, and I love that. I'm not sure if non-musicians would enjoy it as much? Maybe it just appeals to me because I deal with music all the time anyway. But yes, all the music was splendid! (And I love that the author actually has a playlist of all the songs mentioned in the book on her website. :D)
  • The setting! I really liked the "refined southern feel" of this book. It takes place in Nashville in 1871, where there are mansions and concert halls and even donut shops (where Tate takes Rebekah <3). It has a very charming feel to it overall. ^_^
  • The writing style was so gorgeous! I positively adored Tamera Alexander's writing style! Too often the writer is either too descriptive or not descriptive enough. But this author struck the perfect balance. The writing was rich and evocative, yet engaging enough that I didn't get sucked into a black hole of descriptions. (That has happened before. XD) 
  • Rebekah. I can't believe I haven't mentioned her yet! She was SUCH a great character! It's not often that I find myself rooting for both main characters so much. She was a good blend of gentle and sassy. I loved her determination and strong will, combined with a gentleness of spirit. I think that female characters often end up on either side of the spectrum, which aggravates me. But Rebekah broke the mold, being an independent young woman who still knew how to be a lady.
  • TATE AND REBEKAH. Have I conveyed how much I love them??? EEP. They were the most darling couple! You don't know how much I wanted them to just GET TOGETHER. (I'm not telling you if it happens or'll have to read the book to find out. ;))
  • Alllll the cookies and donuts and cakes. YUM.
  • THE ENDING. The last few chapters were so darn good. I cried happy tears during one scene. :')
  • Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this! I loved that Tate and Rebekah's relationship was not based on physical attraction so much. Sure, looks had a part to play in it, but I appreciated that they each wanted the other person to achieve their goals. They were genuinely attracted to their personalities and character, rather than just their physical appearance. 

Things I Didn't Like

  • Some of the dialect got a little old...there's only so much of that I can take in a book.
  • Not enough time in the donut shop. Yes, this is a legitimate concern. XD
  • I honestly can't think of much else. It was a really wonderful book!

Overall, I LOVED this book! Even though it was the third book in the series, I didn't at all feel disconnected or confused. The series is written in such a way that it seems reading them out of order works fine. That being said, I enjoyed this book so much that I just have to read the other ones now. :)

And content-wise, it was very clean! There were a couple kisses exchanged, and I believe one or two of them may have been described more than some people would like. But I thought most of them were sweet. Rebekah's stepfather clearly has...ahem, a thing for Rebekah. It's not dwelt on very much, but yes, it's worth mentioning for sensitive readers. I definitely would recommend it to older teens, probably fourteen and fifteen on up.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

4.5 stars!

In case you're wondering, you can find the book for sale here on Amazon. 

I seemed to have gone a little overboard on my review...oops. I guess that happens when I need to ramble about a really good book. ;) So tell me: do any of you play musical instruments? And have you read any books that involved a lot of music?