Thursday, May 25, 2017

Forgotten Films // Animated Treasures Everyone Needs to See


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

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

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

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


// 1. The Great Mouse Detective //


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

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

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

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

// 2. Tarzan //


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

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

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

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

Totally me. *nods* (Pinterest)

// 3. Balto //


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

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

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

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

// 4. Meet the Robinsons //


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

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

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

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

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// 5. A Bug's Life //


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

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

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

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

// 6. The Adventures of Tintin //


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

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

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

Also, can I please have a dog like Snowy?

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


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

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

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

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// 8. Oliver and Company //


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

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

// 9. The Fox and the Hound //


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

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

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// 10. La Luna //


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

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

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

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


Thursday, May 18, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

/ / /

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

/ / /

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


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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

|| L A T E L Y ||

Watching:

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

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

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

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

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Writing:

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

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

Eating:

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


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

Listening:

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



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

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

Reading: 

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

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

Feeling:

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

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

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


|| S U M M E R   R E A D S ||

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

New Reads:

Black // Ted Dekker


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

Counted With the Stars // Connilyn Cossette


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

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


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

Prophet // R.J. Larson


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

Emissary // Thomas Locke


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

The Returning // Rachelle Dekker


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

The Magnolia Story // Chip and Joanna Gaines


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


The Voyage to Magical North // Claire Fayers


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

Castle in the Air // Diana Wynne Jones


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

A Spy's Devotion // Melanie Dickerson


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

The Mysterious Benedict Society // Trenton Lee Stewart


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

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


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

Sense and Sensibility // Jane Austen


Because Jane Austen. Need I say more? ;)

A Tale of Two Cities // Charles Dickens


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

Not By Sight // Kate Breslin


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

The Blue Umbrella // Mike Mason


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

Rereads:

Masters and Slayers // Bryan Davis


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

Paper Crowns // Mirriam Neal


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

The Penderwicks // Jeanne Birdsall


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


The Hobbit // J.R.R. Tolkien


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

Chasing Jupiter // Rachel Coker


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

~ ~ ~

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

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


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Camp NaNo Recap {apr. '17} // feat. My Dead Brain + SNIPPETS


Camp is over.

I'm still trying to figure out how the month of April went so fast. I was gone for 10 days, during which I probably wrote about 2,000 words. *coughs* So I only had 5k at the midpoint of the month.

That's when craziness happened.

As you might know, my wordcount goal was 30k. I turned into a wordnado (a word tornado--totally legit word, autocorrect) and ended up hitting my goal on Tuesday, the 25th. Obviously, 25k in 10 days was where I hit my limit, right? I couldn't go crazier than that.

HAHAHAhahaha...nope.

I had the ingenious idea to hit 40k. You know, I could handle 10k in 5 days. Why not?

WELLLL...I didn't exactly stop there. Two nights before Camp ended I decided to try for 50k. Yes, that's right. I wrote 13k in two days and did a full NaNo.

*pants* Needless to say, I'm rather exhausted now. Camp NaNo is over, and I won with 51,268 words.


(I totally didn't write 7,000 words on Sunday, nooope. *laughs at my mess of a story*)

There's no way I would have expected this. I thought I wouldn't even be able to reach my goal, much less add 20k to that. I wouldn't have made it without my friends who were always willing to war. (Jesseca, Faith, Savannah, Julia, Angela, Clara, Hannah...YOU ALL SAVED ME.) But somehow I survived and lived to tell the tale.

The craziest part is that I've determined to finish this novel this month. It's currently over 55k total, but I have no idea how much longer it will be. Maybe 30k more? I'M HOPING IT DOESN'T END UP BEING 100K OTHERWISE I'M DEAD. :P

Anywayyy. Pray for me, friends. Because I'm already feeling my dead brain revolting.

Now. I did say something about snippets, didn't I? *sighs heavily at my manuscript* I have a feeling I'll regret this buuuut here you go.

(Actually, I regret nothing. This story is a MESS but less messy than I thought. I LOVE IT. <3)

(My first collage for this novel! I'm rather pleased with it.)
~ ~ ~

PERI

“Get carsick?”

I switched my attention to Felix. With the sun sinking beneath the horizon, the reddish tint in his hair was much more pronounced. It surprised me how much like a chameleon his hair was. His gaze was directed at the road—thank goodness—but he still seemed to be watching me out of the corner of his eye.

“No,” I said. “I just . . . don’t like cars.”

He snorted. “That’s really explanatory. Care to elaborate?”

“No,” I barked, this time in a much sharper tone. I was too distracted by my queasy stomach and escalated heart rate to want to divulge any of my emotional trauma stories, especially to him.

“Now, now, no need to be touchy.” He made a turn, a little sharper than I thought necessary. I gripped the armrest like my life depended on it. Which it probably did.

“So, Miss Car Hater, do you have a resume?”

“Stop using those nicknames,” I ordered.

Felix’s mouth dipped up in a half-smile. “What nicknames?”

“You know, ‘miss nosy,’ ‘miss car hater,’ that sort of thing. It’s annoying.”

This time the smile was clear as the red in his hair. “Oh?”

I thought of a million ways to murder him, none of them very pleasant or very legal. Also, it would inevitably cause the car to crash, which was probably a bad idea.

~ ~ ~

FELIX

Peri turned over a book on my desk, peering at it curiously as she flipped open the cover. “What is this? I’ve never seen this book in your collection before.”

My heart leaped into my throat as I realized what she was reading. Bounding toward my desk, I snatched the journal out of her hands and hurriedly hid it behind my back. “Er, that’s rather confidential.”

A teasing glint sparkled in her eyes, and I knew I was done for. She stood and tried to sneak a peek behind my back. I moved away before she could see it.

“What are you hiding, Felix?” she asked, grin tugging at her lips.

Narrowing my eyes, I backed against the wall, trapping the book behind me. “What concern is it of yours, miss nosiness?”

Her eyebrows shot upward dramatically. “We’re back to the nicknames, are we?” Smirking, she crossed her arms. “You know, I could get quite violent if you continue to persist with those dreadful names.”

Tilting my chin up, I dared her to try. “You haven’t stopped being violent since the day I met you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Come on, I didn’t even punch you till the second day we met.”

“My apologies for exaggerating so much.”

~ ~ ~

FELIX

Taelon cocked his head, stared at me for a split second, and then continued pacing the room. “I’d wondered where you went, friend.”

Friend, I scoffed. He was the last person in the world I would call my friend.

Forcing a laugh, I said, “I’ve always preferred the solitary life. It’s quiet here.”

“Quiet and hidden, you mean,” the faerie replied. His pale lips twitched slightly.

Peri’s hand suddenly gripped my arm. A quick glance at her expression told me she was afraid.

Taelon tapped his polished shoe on the floor, then drew something out of his coat. I flinched and got ready to duck if necessary. However, when he pulled his hand back out, he simply held a piece of parchment, rolled up and tied together with a red ribbon.

He rolled the paper across my desk, where it came to stop next to my inkwell. I bent over my desk to pick it up but recoiled when I realized what was actually tying it together. That wasn’t a ribbon. It was hair.

My blood pumped faster through my veins. Cold anger surged through my entire body. This lock of hair was obviously intended as a warning. Taelon knew it because he stood across from me with a grin on his face.

“The crow will come, my friend,” he whispered. With that, he started toward the door. Something stopped him before he made it. Pausing, he glanced back at Peri. “I’m sorry, but I never asked your name, my dear.”

Her hand tightened around my arm. Voice strained, she replied, “You never told me yours.”

He chuckled, a sound similar to that of a snake. “You will know it soon enough.” Turning back to the door, he pulled it open and let the wind push it closed ominously.

Peri now turned wide eyes in my direction. “Who was that?”

I didn’t answer. I was too busy staring at the ground. Because on our freshly swept floor lay the jet-black feather of a crow.

~ ~ ~

FELIX

She smiled then—a real smile. The kind where you’re so happy that you can’t help but show all your teeth in one wide, toothy grin. She threw her arms around me, and I froze, suddenly at a loss as to what to do.

This was called hugging, I believed. Nobody had ever done it to me before, and I felt more than a little awkward at her gesture. She seemed to notice because she pulled away and cleared her throat, blushing.

Well, this is not uncomfortable at all, I thought, glancing at her and feeling my own cheeks growing hot. I shifted in my seat and tried desperately to change the subject.

~ ~ ~

PERI

I hurried down the porch steps, leaving him sitting there alone. The swing squeaked as he stood and raced after me, catching up faster than I liked.

“Now what’s wrong?” he asked.

I didn’t bother turning, not wanting him to see my face. Instead, I began rubbing more heat into my arms. Of course, I forgot my jacket again.

He sighed in frustration, muttered something, and stripped off his own jacket, handing it to me. I looked at it like it was a piece of moldy cheese.

“Just take it,” he barked, thrusting it into my hands.

I shoved it right back at him. No way was I wearing his coat. I’d have to be suffering from hypothermia to even consider it.

The veins in Felix’s neck were bulging just slightly. He squeezed the lapel of his jacket so hard that I was surprised it didn’t rip. “You’ll freeze if you don’t take it.”

Putting on a fake smile, I said, “Oh, don’t be dramatic, Felix. Isn’t that what you told me before?”

He kicked a rock across the sidewalk. Muttering, he shoved his arms back in his coat and jammed his hands in the pocket. “Of all the impossible females.”

~ ~ ~

PERI


“How much further is it?” I asked.

He rolled his eyes, a bit of the Felix I knew making a cameo. “Do you have to be so nosy?”

“It’s called being curious,” I said with a smirk.

“Maybe you should take up better hobbies, like stamp collecting. That’s far less aggravating when you’re trying to drive.”

I shook my head and tilted my chair back a little, just because I knew it would annoy him. Sure enough, he glanced over at me and glowered.

“Stop bending the seats out of shape,” he commanded.

“The seats were meant to be lowered.” Still, I moved the seat back to its original position, though I muttered a little about it under my breath.

The road began to steepen. Instinctively, I grabbed the armrest. We climbed higher up, my heart rate climbing with the road.

“Is it just me or is the air thinner up here?” I asked, not entirely kidding. My lungs felt like they were being squeezed a bit due to my anxiety.

He snorted. “Mountain air is thinner, but it’s not thin enough for you to act so dramatic.”

~ ~ ~

*grins because I love my characters* They're kind of difficult to manage, but hey, you do what you can for your babies. ;P


How did Camp NaNo go for you all? Did you meet your goals? And what's your favorite snippet? (I love anything with Felix basically. #Felixismine ;D)



(P.S. HAPPY STAR WARS DAY! I actually finished my college classes already--HUZZAH--so I can properly celebrate this year. *pulls out all the movies*)

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*

*coughs*

*scratches head*

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

OH YES.

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*

(Pinterest)
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. 

(Pinterest)
(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. ;)

~ ~ ~
PERI

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.”

~ ~ ~


FELIX

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.”

~ ~ ~

PERI

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 ones...so 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?


Wellll...my 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?