Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Hi, guys! It's Elizabeth. Yeah, I haven't posted in a while... I'm really, really, really sorry about that. Really.

Anyway, I just want to update you guys on what I've been doing writing-wise in the last few weeks. I've started on a new project via NaNoWriMo (I don't have time to explain it, but for more info check here).

Except, I'm doing the young writer version. It's for those 18 and under. I personally prefer it because you can set your own goals and the site just looks a whole lot cooler. I've set my goal to 30,000 words (which I have to do by the end of November). I know my limits, my life is crazy enough as it is, I just don't have the time to do the full 50,000.

But, thus far, I have been keeping up with it. I'm currently at 6,156 words. I'm trying something a little bit different this time, though.

I normally tend to lean towards YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi, but this time I'm doing something that would probably be considered YA Contemporary.

What about you guys? Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo/have done it in the past? Have you ever had a time where you've changed genres?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

Man-o-man... Another month. I am such a horrible procrastinator. I apologize to all those who read our blog. Oh, well. Unfortunately, I have no idea how I am going to keep up with this... The rest of October is busy... Onto other topics, I am going to continue my choose-your-adventure at some point. I am trying to get ready for Nanowimo and that will include typing all of the work I have written into the computer. I have it all on a notebook right now. So I am probably going to continue Lein after November.

So lets talk about writing. How do you like to write? I mean this in many different ways. What do you plan? Where do you like to write? What kind of atmosphere do you like to write in? Music? Food? A cup of tea or coffee? Do you fly by the seat of your pants or do you write out a detailed plan? For me, I like to have a rough plan, music, tea and relative quiet. I think that it allows me to focus on what it is I am writing. Do you think that it effects what you write or your style? Think about it. If I am writing a ominous scene, then I dispense with the tea and turn on Fireflight. If its romance, berry tea, and some Taylor Swift or Owl City, and for action I go with some TobyMac and Manic Drive. So what do you like to do? Do you have a writing time everyday? Do you have a spot you go to?

Sorry for the short post... I'll do my best to keep on posting this month.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Deception Peak

Quote: "Ian bowed his head and nodded, stepping off the boulder. The seriousness of their situation gnawed at his bones. His stomach twisted into knots. They could die out here; stranded in a world they knew nothing about.""

Summary: Remember when I interviewed the author of Deception Peak, Dianne Gardner? If not, then click here.

Teenage Ian Wilson follows his father through a portal into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. 

But separation from his father puts Ian in peril as he’s abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and forced to find his courage. 

As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm and learns of a greater purpose for his being in there. (Taken from here.) 

Violence/Romance: Both are present, but nothing is that graphic. Various characters have relationships with the opposite gender, some more intense than others--but nothing gets out of hand. There is a dragon which shoots fireballs. Characters get injured, occasionally severely. They also get knocked out on a  few occasions. The dragon creates visions to lead people astray, and those scenes can be a little spooky (at least to me). 

Spirituality: Ian stays with a group of people called the Meneks for a while, who worship the dragon and call it their master. If the dragon sets their town on fire, they determine whom it is mad at and in turn either keeps a close eye on them or banishes them. They need to fight to keep it content with them.  Whereas, the Kaemperns (people rejected by the Meneks) believe in a god that typically takes the physical form of wind, and they also pray. There are prophesies in the book, as well as a voice that randomly appears and sings songs. 

What I liked: I love how, in this book, the main relationship is that of Ian and his father. So often, positive, real, and admiral parent-child relationships are forgotten in books. Sure, they both have their issues, but they love each other despite them. There is forgiveness, and people try to regain trust. Serious    efforts are made to maintain relationships, and characters are consistently persevering towards their goals. There is also a lot of inner meaning. 

What I didn't like:

Rating:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Adventures of Lein ~ Part 4

The response is c) Visit the Dragon pens.

Lein walked from the dining room to the Dragon Pens. Just before she had been told to take the tray to the Dragon Master, she had overheard Marta tell one of the stable hands that a carriage was coming in. Since the Pens were right next to the stable, where she could meet whomever was arriving. When she got to the Pens, she almost jumped out of her skin as a hue tail nearly missed taking off her head. Lein carefully walked over to the door of the stables just as the carriage arrived. Marta, preparing to greet the guests, pushed Lein closer to the door of the carriage. The guilded door opened. A fat man stepped out. Marta curtsied.
   "My Lord Naylor, greetings and welcome to the hall of the Dragon Master."
   "Yes, yes, where is Rorak? I must see him now woman! Take me to him."
Marta stuttered for a second and then lead him away with a red face and a "T-this way, sir." Lein giggled. Marta was a stickler for protocol. Lein already knew this after only three hours of service. All of a sudden, a young man walked out of the carriage. He was tall and thin with brown hair. For some reason, his eyes were closed as he stepped out. He was muttering something about gears and wires. Lein gave him a wary glance that he missed because his eyes were closed. Lein saw that he had blue eyes when he tripped and almost fell into a stall. He righted himself and looked straight at Lein. Her heart beat one painful beat as he looked at her.
   "Who are you?" He asked.
   " What does it matter to you?" Lein asked.
   "Just wondering. It is customary to learn the name of a pretty girl."
Lein blushed.
   "Well, it doesnt matter. Good bye."
The boy grinned. "Well, my name is Mark. If you wanted to know."
Lein huffed and walked away. As she sat outside the kitchen, she heard the two assistant cooks gossiping about the visiters.
   "Did you hear about the guests? That there is the Lore Master. Thats some title!"
   "And that young man with him?"
   "Thats his apprentice. Now, he'd make you a fine catch. Power and looks!"
They laughed and Lein almost walked into a post. He was the Lore Apprentice?! She had been so rude! But he had been annoying, right?

                        What should she do?

a)Go apologise to Mark
b)Run to her room and refuse to come out
c)Find a rotting fish to give as a gift
d)Slap Mark the next time she runs into him

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Adventures of Lein ~ Part 3


I got a tie from my voters, a) and b), so I chose to use option b) Take the food to the Dragon Master.

Lein walked down the beautifully decorated hallway. There were lustrous tapestries of red and gold hanging on the wall. She walked into the third door on the left and saw a magnificent dining room. The ceiling was at least twenty feet tall with designs of red, gold and purple. The Dragon Master motioned for Lein to bring the tray towards him. He was speaking into a bowl of water where the image of the Master of Animals was rippling.
      "I am telling you Orinn, stay away from the Master of Trees! He is nothing good. I have been reading the ancient scrolls to see if there is precedent to dismiss the Master of a territory. I have had no luck so far."
Lein frowned. She had never heard of a Master being dismissed.
      "Well Rorak, He has given me only the kindest of greetings and has gifted me with many things, even the jeweled compass."
       "The Jeweled Compass!? He has it?!"
       "I have it now. I am bringing it to you at the next meeting of the Masters."
Lein's face went pale. The Jeweled Compass was a magical item that supposedly told the future path of the user.
        "And have you picked a new Dragon apprentice? Ever since Erron died, you have been sulking in that palace with that dragon of yours and you keep refusing all the ones that the counsel offered to you."
        "I need to find The One."
        "Ha! The One. That is an old wives tale! There is no One."
The One! The mythical Master of Dragons who would bring peace to the world. He or She was the awaited hero of the land. All of a sudden, the Dragon Master saw that Lein was still in the room.
        "I must go. I will see you at the meeting. Good Bye."
He waved his hand over the bowl before Orinn could say anything more.
        " Thank you for the meal, Lein. Please do not let yourself be bothered by the affairs of a Dragon Master."
         Rorak began to eat.

What should Lein do?

a) Leave to explore the palace
b) Stay and ask the Dragon Master about his conversation
c) Visit the Dragon pens
d) Take a nap

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Adventures of Lein ~ Part 2

Here is the next episode! (A bit early I admit)

The response:
d) Say Nothing

Lein did nothing. The Dragon Master frowned.
"Can you speak?"
Lein gulped and held her mouth closed. Nervous energy made her limbs tremble and sweat bead on her forehead. The threatening man in the background held up a short sword and said
"I dluoc ekam reh klat."
The Dragon Master looked at him.
"No, Fiel, we do not need to use force on such a youngling. If you do not tell me why you are here, however, I will have to assume that you are a thief and we will have to take you to the counsel and have you prosecuted"
Lein started. "No! Please, I can't go to jail!"
"Then tell me why you are here."
Lein took a breath. "Iwasjusttryingtowashthewindowinthedragon'spenandIfellthroughthtewindowandthenthebigmancameoverandhitmeintheheadandthenyoucameinandIwasscaredandIcan'tgotojailbecauseIamalreadyonthestreetsandmyparentsaredeadandIamLeinSvensdaughter."
The two men stared at her.
"Well since you didn't come here to steal, I suppose there is only one thing to do. Fiel, say hello to my new servant. Then you can untie her."
Lein stared. According to the laws of the land, any orphan on the streets was the responsibility of whomever found them first. Lein had been hiding that for a while. So Fiel untied her and took her to a beautiful room where another servant gave her new clothes and some food. When the Dragon Master called for her she was assigned to carry his tray of food. She was left alone in the hall with enough food to last her a week and no one to stop her from leaving.

 What should she do?

a)Run away
b)Take the food to the Dragon Master
c)Sit down and eat all of the food and then refuse to move
d)Try to find the dragon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Adventures of Lein

So today I was thinking, why don't I try writing an interactive story. I am going to try. Now, as an interactive story, I need you people to help me out! Every time I post, I am going to post a part of the story and end with a choice for the main character. Your job is to pick what to do next. Post your choice in the comments. Now, let the adventure begin!

Lein was not a pretty girl. At least, not in the land of Eilsel. She was short and had brown hair. Her eyes were a grey blue that looked like a storm. In Eilsel, she was considered the least of all. She was a servant to all and master of none. Not that beauty would get her out of this mess. She was currently tied to a chair in the house of the Dragon Master. A man was yelling at her in some foreign language.
"Ohw era uoy? Yhw era uoy ni eht Nogard S'retsam esuoh?"
She grimaced and tried to understand.
At that moment, another man walked through the door, dressed in a red silk tunic and golden pants.
"Stand down, Fiel. She is not going to harm me."
Lein sucked in a breath. It was the Dragon Master himself. The Dragon Master was the Lord of the land. He and the six other Masters lead Eilsel. There was a Lore Master, a Water Master, a Tree Master, an Animal Master, a Fire Master and a Herb Master. The Dragon Master was the most powerful of all. He could control magic. He also had a dragon. Each of the Masters had a particular power. The Dragon Master bent over and looked at her.
"So, little one, What is your name and why are you in my house?"

What should she do?

a) Lie like a madman
b) Tell him that you are Lein Svensdaughter and that you fell though a window while you were cleaning it (the truth)
c) Laugh at his robes
d) Say nothing

Let the voting begin!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


So, Liz and I just got back from a christian music festival and I sat down at a computer to look at the blog and I realized that it has been an entire month since our last post! I feel so bad! So here is my post for you.

First off, have any of you ever gotten chills from listening to music? Like a certain song that just touches your soul? While I was at the Casting Crowns concert, I had one of those moments. They played City on the Hill.
Here is the song if you haven't heard it before.
It really spoke to me. While I was thinking on that, another song came to mind. It is an older song, but if you know me, you know that I love ALL music regardless how old it is. Its called One Tin Soldier.
So it might be a little bit of an old anti war song, but it is so similar to the Casting Crowns song. So, think on these and let the music speak to your soul.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Interview with Dianne Gardner

   I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate this blog's birthday than an interview. 

   I "met" Dianne last year through WriteOnCon, when she let me read the book she was writing so that she could get a YA's take on it. 

   I loved (and still do love) her book, Deception PeakSince WriteOnCon she has finished her book, as well as the next two books in the trilogy, and has signed with Hydra Publications. The first book will be coming out this September. 

        When did you start writing?

I think everyone likes to say they started writing when they were young, and I did. I mostly wrote poetry, and a lot of it, when I was younger. Writing helped me to express myself when, as a teenager, I felt no one understood.  But I didn't start writing an actual novel until last year. 

         Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write Ian's Realm?

Well, I have 9 grandsons and I'm really sympathetic to the struggles they go through as young teenagers. I wanted to write a book that would help them know they aren't alone, and that there are those who understand the trials of growing up. I also think that while the world is filled with books written that specifically target girls, there aren't enough books written that young men would like to read. Ian's Realm is an adventure fantasy and both boys, and adventure loving girls enjoy it. 
If you had to describe your book to me in three sentences or less, what would you say?
This is so hard. It takes almost a year to write a novel and to sum it up in three sentences you know you have to leave something out. But here goes:

Teenage Ian Wilson follows his father through a portal into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But separation from his father puts Ian in peril as he’s abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and forced to find his courage.  As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father he meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm and learns of a greater purpose for his being in there. 

          Ian is your main character. What are some of his strengths/weaknesses?

Ian's young and fairly timid, trusting his father to take care of things. He's naive, but is put in a position where he has to learn who he can trust and who he can't so he's forced to grow up. His strength is that he's a quick learner and he's honest. 
Is Ian purely fiction, or is he based off of someone you know?  
I think there's a little bit of Ian in all of us. I know I feel like him in some ways, and I'm sure others who read the story do too. Sometimes it takes getting tossed into the ocean in order to start swimming, and that's basically what happens to young Ian. All through the series he's growing up, maturing, making mistakes, and suffering the consequences of them, and then learning from them and becoming a better person. 
What has your favorite part of writing your series been?
Oh, I just love delving into my characters, getting to know them, sending them on adventures, giving them circumstances that are really hard to get out of. I love the twists and turns of writing, putting in surprises in the story that gives the novel a whole new dimension.
What do you do when you aren't writing?
I'm an artist, oil painter and portrait artist. I teach oil painting in my studio. I also do free lance writing and editing.

If your house was on fire, and no one was in the house, what one thing would you grab on your way out?
That's hard. If I had time I'd take my computer but I doubt if the house was burning down I'd have a chance, so I'd probably grab a painting or two off the wall and run. I'm sure the cat would be out the door before me.

Finishing a whole book is hard--let alone a trilogy! What has kept you writing?
Passion. I thought I was fulfilled when I was painting, but now that I am doing both I can't believe how much story telling is inside of me. I love being able to write the kind of stories I like reading.

 If you could say anything to adolescents pursuing a writing career, what would you say to them?
Learn the craft. Learn the foundation i.e. grammar, spelling, how to structure a story. Take workshops and learn everything you can. If you really want to be good, you need to know the basics. Its the same thing I tell my art student. You can't paint outside the box until you know where the box is. Learn the rules. You'll have plenty of time in life to break them. 

I hope that you all enjoyed the interview! To view Dianne's blog, click here. I'll post some more things on her book once it gets closer to the release date, so keep reading! 



Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Year!!

On June 24th, 2011, Leslie and I had our first post ( Welcome )! I had all these plans for last week. I was going to re-design the blog, and I had some great ideas for posts.

Unfortunately, I left for camp that exact day for nearly a week, and literally had no time to post. So, we will be celebrating in full next week.

That said....

This blog is a whole year old!!

I'm still brainstorming ideas for next week--if you have any, please write them in the comments! :)


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cellos and Lightsabers

I know that I (Leslie) do not post videos often, but this one is totally worthy to be on our blog. As a violinist, I can appreciate the depth of this music and the hilarity of this. By the way, I found this on a blog called This Page Intentionally Left Blank. If you like our blog, go check out his! It is totally awesome! Here is a quote from his post on this video.
"For the music nerds:  Notice how the dark side cellist always plays minor.  Yup, all of his themes are minor, even the ones originally written in major.  If you can’t tell that easily, skip ahead to two minutes and thirty seconds into the video and listen carefully.  Very carefully."

So, enjoy! I will make an effort to post more but in between my job (lifeguarding at a camp) and other summer stuff, it may not work. Any way, have an awesome summer!!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Love Triangle: My Theory

It seems like every book has one. But what is it with them? I mean, everyone knows that they are no fun in real life, so why do we have the urge to write about them?

This is my theory: 

The author of a book with a love triangle in it has likely participated in one during his/her life. Whether he's the one that had to choose between two people, or she's the one that got left out, or he's the one that found true love and had to let the other go, they've likely all experienced one. So, to let out the pain/joy/anger/peace, whatever, that they went through, they wrote about it.

The way I see it, authors and their characters are sort of like actors in a play. When I'm in a play, I tend to merge the character with myself. Sure, I read the lines from the script, but I say them in my own way. I make them my special. I think that, while the characters are definitely different from us authors, they merge with us. They have their own lives, but each one has a sprinkle of our personality traits in them. 

So, in my theory, if an author has experienced a love triangle, then one will likely appear in their book. Your thoughts? 


Friday, June 15, 2012


Sorry I haven't been active this past week. I'm home-schooled and just got done with my schoolwork a few weeks ago, and have been slacking a lot since. Anyway...

I, like anyone, have always had issues with who I am. My name, my body, my past, my talents/lack thereof...    everything.

I was talking with a young boy a week or so ago, and he told me a few of his insecurities. This little boy, he is very small for his age--and he's embarrassed about it. People pick on him, and no one believes how old he really is. He doubts his worth because of his size.

I explained to him that he is perfect, just the way he is. He doesn't need to be bigger, he doesn't need to have some other persons shape/abilities. Because, then, he wouldn't be him. I told him that he should be proud of himself for who he is, not sad over who he isn't.

I practically slapped myself in the face when I got home that day. I had just lectured him on something that I myself struggle with. It's so much easier to say than to do.

I try to keep this blog book related--but if you can't have confidence in yourself, how can you be proud of anything you write?

I know you're not going to read this post and have your problems fixed. You won't walk away from your computer screen feeling 100% confident in yourself--but can you at least know that you are who you are? If you were supposed to be someone else, you would be them. But you're not--you're you. And you were made for a purpose. 

And, please, respect that the same is true of other people. That boy that I mentioned? He gets teased all the time at his school about who he is, and that is just wrong.

Everyone is special, everyone is unique. Live like it.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mythological Creatures and our Perceptions of Them: Zombies

What exactly is a zombie? 

This is what I personally think of.... 

I've also been told that I look like a zombie when I wake up in the morning (probably true). 

Basically, a zombie is a dead person that is not wholly dead, but partially alive (definitely  sounding like me in the morning ;)). 

They don't control themselves--they are so empty that they don't even have a will of their own, and they are typically inhabited by some evil spirit/demon/person, etc. 

Honestly, if they really existed, I would feel very bad for them. Going through life having no control over yourself, not being able to talk... yet still being alive and having to suffer through it all. 

It's a sad existence, really. 

What I want to know, however, is this: why have they practically disappeared?! It seems like now it's all vampires and werewolves. I think zombies could make a really interesting twist to any story. 

What are your thoughts on zombies? Why do you think they have disappeared? 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Just listen....

I realized that it's been a while since I've put a music video on here, and even though they aren't exactly book related, they're nice sometimes.

This song is called Little Wonders, by Rob Thomas. It's been one of my favorite songs lately, and I hope you enjoy it! :)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mythological Creatures and Our Perceptions of Them: Vampires

There are many things that may come to mind when one thinks of the word vampire. Perhaps you think of them as being beautiful, strong, smart and wonderful (ahem, Twilight...). Maybe you think of them as terrible creatures that sleep in coffins and do nothing but kill people. Or maybe, they're just normal people  that have an unusual diet and that happen to be practically immortal.

Maybe this is what comes to mind....

Or maybe you picture him....

Isn't it funny how two people can think of one creature and picture completely different things? Personally, I think it is really cool--because, since they don't exist, we can let our imaginations run wild with them. That's why I love mythological creatures; you can go crazy with your perceptions of them.  

What about you? What do you picture for vampires? 


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Alvin C. York born on December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, TN. A blacksmith, York was drafted into the army during WWI. While serving in the 82nd Infantry Division, he took command and captured a total of 132 German soldiers. York was promoted to the rank of sergeant and received the Congressional Medal of Honor. His heroic story was told in the film Sergeant York. He died in 1964. Taken from here.  

This bio really just skims the surface of Sergeant York's life. When he was first drafted for World War 1, he didn't want to kill  due to his Christianity--he believed that Christians were to make peace and not to kill. Nonetheless, he went and served in Company G, 328th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Infantry Division at Camp Gordon, Georgia.Training for war made him uneasy, because he didn't believe in it. 

He talked with Captain Danforth, his company commander, and Major Buxton--who were both Christians themselves.They showed York verses from the Bible, and gave him a ten day leave to visit home. 

He went home; he thought, and he prayed. 

God showed him that the only way to truly make peace was to protect, and that God calls His people to defend their fellow man, and the things that He has given to us. 

So York fought... and he became a hero. He saved lives, and he was one of the many, many people that fought to defend our country. 

And there are still people fighting today, here and now. People that are giving their lives so that we can keep ours.  

Thank you, all who have served (and are serving)! Happy Memorial Day! 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dirty Dishes

My mom and I both do the dishes (and both of us will claim we wash more than the other). I use the dishwasher we have, but some dishes are just to dirty to put in there. They need to be scrubbed to be clean.

I can't tell you how many times I've taken the lazy road and, instead of washing the dirtier dishes, I put them in the dishwasher anyway just to make my life a little bit easier. 

But why do I do that--seriously?! 

Because I'm making a mess that someone (be it me or my mother) will have to clean up. 

There are some parts of books that are more tender--that need to be scrubbed just a little more than others to shine. Some aren't meant to shine. 

Like a plastic cup--it's easy to clean, but it's not really shiny or anything like that. A saucepan, however, is hard to clean--yet, when it's clean, it shines bright and catches your attention. 

Some scenes are just meant to glow, but they only will if we give them the proper attention they deserve. If not, then it won't look right--it will look dirty.  

Some things are truly worth the effort, because if you put it into it, it will shimmer. :) 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Have you ever used them? I love metaphors! For me, it takes writing to a whole new level--because I'm writing about something I'm zealous about, and re-creating it so that it becomes even more meaningful and deep to me personally.

I personally like writing metaphors about my faith in God. Some people like other things. It's just such a way to make things that were already important so real to us.

It makes me really think about what I'm writing. Sometimes, I involve them in small ways throughout a book, and others the whole story is a metaphor.

Take Lord of the Rings, for example. It's an incredible book, but it also means something. Tolkien's world of Middle Earth reflected his faith.

What about you?  Do you like using metaphors? If so, what do you like writing them about?


Monday, May 7, 2012

Something New

Generally my creativity grows a lot during the spring, and I try a lot of new things.

Consider music, for example. It  has always been something I have had a lot of interest in. I love listening to it, and I love watching others make it. Yet, I had never been able to make any on my own, due to a mediocre at best singing voice and no music lessons. 

I figured that I was thirteen and that most people that played an instrument started out at like five. Which, in some cases, is true.....but it is not absolute. There are plenty of people that start things later then others and still do very well in them. 

So, over the past two months, I have been taking piano lessons every other week. And now, though I'm at a beginner level... I'm playing. And it sounds good

I encourage you to actually try that thing you've been thinking about for a while. You might like it... and you  just might be good at it.

Have you ever had a time where you tried something new? Are you still doing it?  


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Do you procrastinate? I most certainly do. My posting at 9:30 PM is proof of that.

I don't know why  I have a tendency of being lazy, even when there is work to be done, but I do. Now, I realize fully that this isn't healthy and that I am in full power of stopping, but the thing is I don't want to stop.

Procrastination is fun! But just because something is fun doesn't mean it's good for us. In fact, sometimes it's quite the opposite.

I am home-schooled, so I basically can be done with school when all of my books are done. There are some years when I will get filled with motivation and have most of my subjects done by mid-May. Yet, there are other years (such as this year) when I will procrastinate so much that it won't be done until the end of June. And once I'm done with school, I can procrastinate away--so why do I do it during the school year, when I should be working?

If it doesn't benefit us and constantly gets us into trouble, why do we do it? Your thoughts?


Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zenith

Zenith means the highest point of a mountain. Let me paint you a picture...

You did it. You finished your novel, and your book is published. It is a New York Times best seller, and one of the best selling books in existence. Millions have read your book and cherish and love your characters. You got everything you ever wanted! Right.....? 

But, what then? What are your other goals, your other dreams? Are you so poured into your writing that, when and if things happen, you have no goals left?

Writing is wonderful, but it's not all there is. Even if you are not, by the worlds standards, overly successful with writing: There are more adventures, more things in life to look forward to, more reason to hope.

Life... Life is a climb. You go up, and you go down. You are energetic, you are tired. You are weak, and you are strong.

But there's always gonna be another mountain, 
I'm always gonna wanna make it move, 
Always gonna be an uphill battle, 
And sometimes I'm gonna have to lose, 
Doesn't matter how fast I get there, 

Ain't about how fast I get there, 
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side, 
It's the climb.... 

-Miley Cyrus


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yird

Yird means to bury.

When is it time to decide that some ideas just. don't. work? 

I've quit one project about half a year ago, because I realized it didn't work. I, being only 13, need more experiences in my life to truly write some situations with the quality they deserve. So... I'm waiting. I'm doing things that I can write, characters I can relate to.

And maybe, in a few years, I will know what it's like to do those things. But for now, I'm happy writing stuff that's... well.. that's me. 

What about you? Have you had times similar to mine, where you just had to leave something behind?


Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xenomorphic

Xenomorphic. I bet you haven't heard of that word before! Actually, I hadn't either until this morning. It means something that has a form that is not it's own.

What makes your characters act..well... different? 

And I don't just mean different from other characters, I mean different from themselves. I'm not even talking about typical mood swings, emotions, etc; I mean what makes them completely change their character?

For me, at least, it is generally a tragedy, but it can really be just about any life-changing event... Things that make me (us) never the same.

Because, once we go on an adventure, we can never come home. It just simply isn't the same place. The people have changed, the place has changed.... and whether we want to admit it or not, we change.

Take The Lord of the Rings, (the book!) for example. Frodo goes on a long journey. He sees people die, he sees war. He sees beauty, too... Elves, love, and loyalty. But once he saw those things, it was impossible for him to go back to his old life at the Shire.

You can never come home.  


Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for What?! Are you crazy Leslie?

Ok, this is going to be interesting. I am going to take you on the crazy mental process called "Leslie's Train of Thought". I was thinking about the letter W and what to post on. At first, the name of this post was "W is for Water". Why? Well I was just pondering the other posts I have been doing and I realized that we have been posting on complicated topics. So I thought about simple things. (like Water)  Then I thought about the song, Simple Song by Miley Cyrus. (I usually dont use Miley Cyrus in any type of... anything, but this is actually relevant) There is one line that I really like.

Somebody push it away

Cause all I wanna hear

Is a simple song
Miley Cyrus
I think that is what I feel called to write about today. In our books, we find the need for more. More plot twists, more love triangles, more of anything that will set our books apart. Maybe sometimes we just need to push all the complicated stuff away and go for simple. One book that I love, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a reletively simple plot. Now I am in no way saying that this book is a simple, 1 dimentional story, quite the contrary, it is full of amazing stuff that you see as you read into the book, but it is not full of soap opera drama or crazy things. It is a plot that all can read and love. It is simple. So, I say, make sure that you have depth, but not to be too crazy. Sometimes all I want to hear, is a simple song.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vacancy

He makes me feel so wonderful. When I'm around her, everything changes and I feel like I can really be myself. 

We, as authors, strive to show what our characters think, feel, and do when around other characters. And there's nothing wrong with that.

But what are characters like when they aren't around those characters? After all, if one character is practically the crutch for another person, won't the person stumble when they are alone?

I dare you today to not only show what characters are with this other person, but show what they are without them. It adds a lot of depth to any book.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Unrealistic

If you look at any Disney Chanel TV show, you can see what I am talking about. There are unrealistic scripts with unrealistic characters. Confused? Well, how about I give an example. Lets take the show Ant Farm. It is about middle school kids going to high school because they have a gift. Each of them is a genius in a different way. (eg. Photographic memory, gifted musician ect.) This show irks me. All of the authority figures are portrayed as idiotic. In real life, parents and other authority figures are smart and we are to respect them. The situations that come up in these TV shows are simply unrealistic. I do not like unrealistic plots or characters. I think a good piece of literature is relateable but just different enough to create interest.
Your thoughts?

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tacenda

Essentially, tacenda means things that shouldn't be mentioned. I think that sometimes, writers (and people in general) go a little overboard on what needs to be said, or what a certain age group can handle.

Let me give you an example. I was at a Christian weekend camp, and the pastor was giving a sermon. They started talking about Jesus' death, and to explain it thoroughly, they played a long (I want to say 10-20 minute long) clip of The Passion.

Now, for those of you who don't know, The Passion is a movie emphasizing on Christ's last human hours. And it's rated R--for good reason. It does a great job showing what really happened then, but it is very gruesome.

I would say that it would probably be appropriate for people 16+.  So, if it was just a high-school weekend, it probably would've been fine.

But there was more then just high-school students there. There were 6th, maybe even 5th, graders there--most of which were covering their eyes and looking the other way.

They weren't getting the message of "Wow, Jesus went through all of that for me--He must really care." They were getting the message of, "Oh my goodness, please turn this off before I throw up!!"

Sometimes, I think it's best to keep it simple. Try dropping small, yet clear, hints to your point--minds mature enough to pick up on it will get your meaning, but those too young for the message will skim right over it.

Christopher Paolini, for example, does an excellent job at this.

I hope that you found this useful!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Skinny

We all see the examples of "the perfect body". All the models, movie stars and celebrities seem to be these super thin creatures who are almost impossibly good looking. I am so annoyed that I care about how they look and that I compare myself to them. I do not want to be like them, yet I find myself doubting how I look because I will never be like that. I feel that I am not pretty at all. There are so many others like me that feel like they are not beautiful because we do not all look like a stick figure. It hurts. The "perfect body" is forced upon us all the time. On TV, in schools, even in books there is this belief that everyone will have skinny legs and flat stomachs. I believe that a character who has a perfect body is not as relateable to the common girl. Instead of getting ingrossed in the story, they will obsess over how the character looks. Now, I may be wrong, but I find myself doing that. I challange us all to reject the unabtainable "norm" and embrace being different with the way we write. Your thoughts?


Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Randomness

I have been told by many a people that I am very random (in both good and bad ways). Some (ahem) claim that my ideas are absurd and unrealistic. Others find them merely entertaining.

What I want to know, however is this: What is wrong with the occasional random idea? I realize that ideas can't always be strange and silly, but honestly, isn't life random in and of itself?

Like, how Leslie said in her "Q" post, one of her characters has a strange thing with garlic bread where it will show up in random places, dragging him to new levels of aggravation.

So what if it's random? Use it!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quidditative

quidditative = quirky; eccentric

I am almost positive that none of you have ever heard this word before. To be honest, I looked up "obscure words that begin with the letter Q" and this word was on a huge list of Q words! When did anyone have time to come up with that?! It was pretty cool. Well anyway, I really love this word. It describes me to a t. (Liz agrees;) ) Because of this word, I chose to give one of the characters in my book a strange "thing" with Garlic Bread. Shocking, I know. So far, he has burnt it and eaten it with a spicy taco. Later, he is going to be assaulted by a man in a garlic bread costume and have a dream where he is eaten by garlic bread. Oh, if anyone has any good ideas about how else I can use garlic bread, please leave me a comment with your idea. (Liz, you are not allowed to post any crazy ideas from two in the morning!)

What does this have to do with writing? It is an awesome way to flesh out your characters. Giving them a quiddity of some sort can make a character more relateable. If you want, send in some quirks that you think are good ideas!

Here are a few more words that begin with Q!

quiddity = unique essence; eccentricity

quat = a pimple; an insignificant person

quatch = a word; a sound

quadragesimarian = one who observes Lent

quadragenarian = a person between 40 and 49 years of age

quomodocunquize = to make money in any way possible

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Pessimistic

Though I try hard to rebel against very immature this side of me, there is a large portion of me that is a major pessimistic. I'm always terrified that things are going to go wrong. I'm scared of the dark.

I've had things stolen, heart broken, and have seen loved ones suffer (who hasn't?).

When I get on a roller coaster, I always look at the loops and wonder if the staff secured my straps enough, wondering if I will fall off and die.

But... I don't.

Yeah, it can be a rough ride and your head can hurt. You may be uncomfortable in your seat, or unable to stop screaming when it goes through all of the things normal for roller coaster, but not so common for our everyday lives. It's exhilarating, and  in the end, you're glad you did it (most of the time), and found that it wasn't as bad as you thought.

You see, that's where the other side of me comes in. The other side knows that, even if bad things will happen, it's all a small part in the bigger picture.

I know that I don't need to be afraid of the dark, because I know that it doesn't have the ultimate power. I don't need to be afraid of my past--because I have so much of my future (however long it may be) ahead of me.

In a way, this relates to writing. Sometimes we stop because someone has criticized our writing and claimed that it's not good enough. Some of us will go through dry spots where we simply don't know what to write. But why should that make us scared to write again? Because, you know what, if we spend so much time being pessimistic about the future, we'll be at the same place fifty years later.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Omega and Omicron

 Do any of you have trouble coming up with names for places or things? (I know that Liz did a post on people names, but this is for inanimate objects or places.) I have trouble with it. 

I was trying to create a killer rollercoaster and couldent come up with anything. So, I looked up the name Terror of the Skys in Latin. I really like dead languages. Well, it turned out to be the Terror Caeli. I really liked that, so I did the same thing for another object, a Vox Eruditio Fabrica. It basicly means a voice of learning. 

If you are having trouble with names, just put the literal description or an atribute of the thing and translate it into a different language. If you want to be crafty, use a language that few will know. You could also use a well known language. So do you have any ideas for names? Tell me in the comments.


Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Nature

Have you ever had the ever-present case of "Writers Block"? My guess is that you have. Here is a little tip that I have found to be rather helpful when I am experiencing a lack of inspiration.

Go outside! Let the wonders of nature inspire you. It's spring! Flowers are blooming, trees are getting their leaves... stare at something until your imagination is revived. It works.

For those of you that have been following for a while, you will know that I am a photography freak. I haven't posted pictures on here in a while, and considering the topic for today is "Nature", some pictures fit in quite nicely.

Here are some of my latest shots:

*Please note: These pictures are ones that I have taken the time to take and edit, so please do not use without permission.* 

Which one is your favorite? 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Meaningful

One thing--for some reason, my post for "L" ended up being behind "K".  Just in case you were wondering, I do not have my alphabet mixed up.

Anyway, on with the post. Has there ever been any section of a book/movie where one of the characters stood up and gave a motivational speech, and you have had hope from it ever since? I know I have.

I think that it is very important that every book has one of these in some shape or form. Because, in the end, these passages can really encourage people (myself included) in their everyday lives. And that's BIG. I mean, sure, it's great to give people entertainment and all, but that pleasure is only temporary. When you have something that's really meaningful, it has the potential to change lives.

Here is one of my favorite meaningful movie speeches. Are there any that you find inspiring? Why? Tell me in the comments!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kiss

Kisses. Kisses. Kisses. Kisses. 

They surround our books, our movies, our music, and so much more--they surround our culture. 

But I have to ask--is kissing really the best way to build a (book) believable relationship? They are an expression of love, but how do they fit if the love isn't there in the first place? 

I cannot tell you how many movies I've seen (and books I've read) where these two people just randomly kiss, when you didn't even know they cared for each other in the first place. 


They start out taking the time to get to know the couple, but then, once that foundation is laid, all the romance is is kissing. 

So, I guess this is what I'm trying to say--are your characters ready to kiss? 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

L is for Lets Pretend its J and Call it Justify

I know, I cheated. Oh well.

Battle scenes, romance, friendship.... they add a lot to a story--if done correctly.

Why is your MC head-over-heels in love with this other person? Why am I going to believe their love? Why are other readers going to believe it?

Why does one character hold a grudge over another?  How is it justified? 

I find that often, the author knows everything in their head--why this character is angry, why they are in love, why they are good friends. In fact, they know it so well that often, they forget to put it in the literal book.

That happened a lot with my previous project. I knew how important my MC was, but I didn't take the time to explain it to my readers.

So tell me, why? 


J is for Jellybeans

In honor of Easter, I am going to post on jellybeans. I love those little doses of flavored sugar. JellyBellys are some of the best ones there are. They are different kinds of sweetness. I mean, what is a dessert without different textures and flavors? Its the same with books. When you have those nice moments for your characters, make sure that they are different. For example, a coffee flavored jellybean has a hint of bitter along with the sweet. Bittersweet moments are some of my favorite moments in a gripping book. Another flavor is cherry. I find it so incredibly sweet that they are almost hard to eat. Giving a character a fluffy, almost overly sweet moment can really bring out good qualitys in your characters, as long s you play it right for your character. Well, from the land of sweet goodness, Have a blessed Easter week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Intricate

Characters are like people. They are unique, they are intricate.

What makes them scream? What makes them laugh? What makes them cry? What is the person that they just can't stand?

I think sometimes we--myself included--forget just how fragile people (and, therefore, our characters) can be. I  know many people, including myself, that will be laughing one moment and crying the next. Because they have so many little pieces that make them just who they are, it doesn't take much to make their emotions sway from one way to another. Sometimes, even one word will completely change their attitude--perhaps it will bring up a past memory, or something that they are scared will happen in the future.

People aren't simple, and neither is a true, realistic character.


Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hand-Made

Is it just me, or is there just something special about making something with your own two hands? I tend to be very artsy, so now, I can look back and see all of the things I've made--art projects, sketches, paintings, jewelry, tool-boxes, bird-houses, cabinets, pillow-cases, hats... there's so many things!

I find that I'm much better at some of the things then I used to be. Like now, instead of putting plastic beads on a string and tying a knot, I make it with wire, crimp beads, and glass beads--and it looks really good! Of course, I still have a lot of room for improvement, but I'm getting there.

But I don't take pride in it because it looks cool--I take pride in it because it's something I made with my own hands, and how those hands have improved at making things.

In my opinion, it's the same way with writing. I'm not proud of it because sometimes it sounds good, I'm proud of it because it's something that I wrote.  And even if it doesn't always end up sounding all that good, I'll stand by it and be proud, because I wrote it. 

Just like you should be proud of what you write--not because it might sound good to an agent/other reader (whose opinions can always change), but because you wrote it, and nothing can ever change that.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Good

So,  I talked about Destruction for D, but are you making sure that good things happen to your characters, too? When was the last time when they got a day off, or got something they really wanted?

I think that, though characters (like people) need to suffer, they also need to be blessed--because, hey, who's going to want to read about someone who only has near death experiences?

What's your MC's happy moment?


Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Fairytale

Jenna looked out her window, wondering if that day was going to be the day that some prince would come and sweep her off her feet to take her away to his castle.

Her parents had continually told her that he would come soon. Jenna was betrothed to a Prince that lived in a land very far away. But Jenna was getting anxious.

That day, however, her beloved Prince Joshua did come—just not in the way she expected. Jenna was expecting him to arrive in some splendid fashion with trumpets and carriages, with rich velvet robes and gifts.

Yet, Prince Joshua came in the form of a servant, and hardly anyone recognized him. In fact, those that did were his fellow servants.

Prince Joshua didn’t come that way because he had a lack of money, but because he wanted to test Jenna’s character, to see if she only loved him for his wealth. 

One day, when Jenna was out walking in her gardens, a carriage came out at her. Jenna’s feet locked in the middle of the road, just shocked. She was going to die.

But Prince Joshua came out and pushed her out of the way, allowing the horses to trample over him, killing him.
Jenna rushed over to his side. The moment that she actually looked at his eyes, she realized who he was. “No! How could I have not recognized you? Prince! Come back to me!”

Jenna started sobbing, her tears pouring over his dead face.

She screamed until her lungs ached so much she could barely whisper. Some of her brothers came over and carried him back to the palace, distraught that they hadn’t recognized him. 

The whole royal family was terrified that the king would come and wipe them all out for not recognizing him and taking good care of him, for Joshua was the King’s only son.

But, because of Joshua’s sacrifice, the King forgave them.

Two days later, Jenna was once again out in the garden, when Prince Joshua appeared to her, and this time he 
didn’t look like a servant. His face was glowing, and he wore cloaks of bright white. “Jenna.”

Jenna ran up to him and cried at his feet. “How are you here? Why did you die?”

Prince Joshua looked at her tenderly. “I am here because death doesn’t confine me. I died for you—now that I’ve died, you can be forgiven.  If you believe in what you have seen—my death and resurrection—you can come live with me in my Kingdom after you die. Your faith will be tested, but take heart: For I have overcome the world.”  


Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Elemental


Elemental By Emily White

Quote: The moment I let go of my control, the pain vanished, replaced by hunger--for what, I didn't know yet. All I did know was that every cell in my body ached to devour. (Ella)

  Just because seventeen-year-old Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn’t mean she should. But she wants to. For ten years--ever since she was a small child--Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.  Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories? Is Ella the prophesied Destructor... or will she be the one who's destroyed? (From Emily White's Blog)

 Ella is beaten and bleeding in the beginning of the book and is wounded later as well. The descriptions are not graphic. A woman is killed in a fire that Ella creates. In one part of the book, one man tries to force himself on Ella when he is killed by her. Meir describes the deaths of his family and is hurt quite badly at one point. One person is burned badly and is in a coma. A ceremony is described that involves burning skin.
Ella and Calien kiss a few times. Their feelings for each other involve a need but nothing happens.

There is a god named Manoo who has to devour someone to keep in power. There also is a god, El, who seems to oversee all.

I really liked this book. It had a si-fi feeling but still had fantasy in it. It drew me in and I just had to finish it.
I think that the idea that there is a plan to this world is my favorite part.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Destruction

Say you glance at a newspaper/magazine, for just long enough to read all of the top headlines. Which type stand out the most?

I don't know about you, but for me it's not the ones that are happy and cheerful, it's the ones that talk about complete and utter chaos.

Because they're interesting. Because they could be life-changing. They can leave you thinking, and can stay in your head for hours (or longer).

It's the same way with books.

I'm not going to remember something where there was no I-can't-believe-that-just-happened moments in it--there needs to be something in there to shake it up. You never knew what you have until it's gone.

For me, at least, I find that the times I care about the characters most is when they're either dead or badly injured (mentally or physically) and can never be the same--because, then, I realize just how much I loved them and therefore just how much I miss them and hope in vain that they can be restored to what they used to be.

Don't. Be. Afraid. To cause mass destruction in your book! Destruction happens in real life, why shouldn't it happen in books?!

So, tell me in the comments--what's the big chaotic moment in your book?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Courageous

No, this is not about the recent movie, although the soundtrack by Casting Crowns did have a bit of influence. It would have been about the movie if I had seen it! Because I haven't, however, I am using my own take on being courageous.

I have had a streak of funny luck lately. I have been seeing, listening to and hearing about movies and books like Courageous. (eg. Facing the Giants, The Blind Side ect.) They all seem to have a common theme. They all are about being courageous. Facing the Giants shows courage. The coach of a football team makes a commitment to trust in God in all circumstances. The coach is at risk of losing his job, his house is falling apart, his car breaks down constantly and he and his wife are unable to have kids. He is falling into the trap of failure. Yet, when things are at their worst, God sends a man to give this coach a message. It gives him the insiration to make a resolution.

Grant Taylor: I want God to bless this team so much people will talk about what He did. But it means we gotta give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm askin' you... What are you living for? I resolve to give God everything I've got, then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me."

So Grant (The Coach) is courageous in his goal to give God his best in all things. More examples? Take The Blind Side (one of my personal favorites) A woman named Leigh Anne takes in a black kid named Michael who is the son of a drug addicted woman and lives on the streets but was accepted into a private christian school. The courage in this movie is the courage that Leigh Anne shows in accepting Michael.

Elaine: [talking about the Tuohy's Christmas card photo with Michael in it]
Elaine: He looks so big compared to you like Jessica Lange right next to King Kong
[amidst chuckles]
Beth: Hey, does Michael get the family discount at Taco Bell? 'Cause if he does Sean is gonna lose a few stores.
Leigh Anne Touhy: He's a good kid.
Elaine: Well, I say you make it official and just adopt him
Leigh Anne Touhy: He's going to be eighteen in a few months it doesn't make much sense to legally adopt.
[they all stare at her]
Sherry: Leigh Ann, is this some sort of white guilt thing?
Elaine: What would your Daddy say?
Leigh Anne Touhy: Um... before or after he turns around in his grave? Daddy's been gone five years Elaine. Make matters worse you were at the funeral, remember? You were Chanel-ing that awful black hat? Look, here's the deal, I don't need y'all to approve my choices alright, but I do ask that you respect them. You have no idea what this boy has been through and if this becomes some running diatribe, I can find overpriced salad a lot closer to home.
Sherry: Leigh Ann, I'm so sorry, we didn't mean to...
Elaine: No, we didn't really.
Beth: I think what you are doing is so great. Opening up your home to him... honey, you are changing that boy's life.
Leigh Anne Touhy: No, he's changing mine.
Elaine: [snidely] And that's great for you. But, seriously, Leigh Ann, aren't you worried for Collins? I mean, she's a beautiful white girl, and he's a big, black boy.
Leigh Anne Touhy: Shame on you.
[gets up]
Leigh Anne Touhy: I'm getting this. [she leaves]

A bit longish, but one of the best quotes from the movie. Leigh Anne is showing God in her actions; she has the courage to stand up for Mike.

How about one last example. This one is not from a movie. This example is real. It is something I see all the time. Well, I see different things about it. What I want to see is Christians being courageous. Sometimes you see people like Tim Tebow who honor God in front of the world. Those people are the ones who will risk embarrassment or worse to honor their God. I want to be one of those people. There is another side to this though. Unfortunately, the best example I see of this side is at a camp I love to go to. In this camp, people are not showing God in what they do. There are power games and drama from people who are christians. It seems like they are just saying they believe in God but are not courageous enough to honor God in all they do.

Well... Here is my challange to you. I know I don't post very much Bible related stuff, but this verse is a good beginning to my challange. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9
My challenge is to be courageous. I am going to try to let God show in all that I do. Particularly in the book I am writing. I want God to show through me. Good luck and God Bless!