Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So lately, I've been struggling with a perfect character. The thing is, I don't want him to be perfect.

But what can I do to change him?

Basically, he is the older brother of my MC, and his main goal is to protect her, keep her safe, and give her the life he could never have--that and, of course, search to the corners of the earth when she runs away. I almost feel like he cares about her too much. So, I have made a personal list of bad character traits I am going to apply to him.

I think it's important to keep our characters real and give them flaws--because we want them to be relatable, and people are not perfect.

So, that's my goal for the next week. Have you this issue? Was there anything that helped you with it?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Spooky Awesomeness

OK, so this is Taylor Swift singing Safe and Sound, which was done for The Hunger Games movie.

By the way--for those of you who asked, the movie has been rated PG-13.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The mystery of character

Hi! Leslie here. Wow! I am actually keeping up with my posts! Well, anyway, today I am going to talk about characters. You know, that person you came up with, the one your whole story revolves around, that person who you are giving life to. It can be really tricky to get a person to stay the way you want them to. For example, take my main character, Dana. She started out as a grown woman who was outspoken and a little crazy but a genius all the same. Now, she has turned into a sixteen year old who is an introvert and very quiet. I did not do that on purpose. She turned into a completely different character. There is another author who wrote the Bayern series who talked about a character of hers who managed to get from being a minor character to having his own book. (Shannon Hale talking about Razo) There is a warning in this as well. As much as letting your characters develop is a good thing, you need to be careful to keep them consistant. A character who is constantly jumping from one type of person to another is often confusing. One tip I learned is to write your book in parts, comparing each part to the ones before. I hope this helps!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beastly--A Book Review

Beastly, by Alex Flinn 

Quote: "I'm not frightened of you, Kyle. I'm frightened for you."

Kyle Kingsbury has got it all. With his dad being a news reporter, he has access to riches that are practically un-limited. Sure, it might make it so he only sees his dad--on the television aside--for less then ten minutes a day, but isn't money all that matters?

Plus, Kyle is beautiful. As in, practically every girl in his private high school (the best New York City has to offer, of course) is drooling over him. But his current girl is Sloane--hot, popular, seductive Sloane. He gives her what she wants, and she gives him what he wants. And, of course, all of his other friends come from the group of "cool" people.  But they are just superficial, bratty, selfish bullies.

And so is he.

Kendra, the ugly school witch, knows this. She has been observing him his whole life, and has decided it is time for a change.

As a prank, Kyle invites Kendra to go to a dance with her, planning to show up with Sloane and leave Kendra mortified.

Yet Kyle's maid doesn't buy the exact flower that Sloane demanded, and Sloane refuses it. So Kyle gives it to Linda, a dork he would've otherwise ignored or had been cruel to, yet slipped two petals into his pocket before he gave it to her.

Kendra doesn't get upset, only angry. She tells Kyle that there will be consequences.

Kendra's words haunt Kyle as he goes home to his apartment. Even though it is the middle of the night, Kendra is there in his room, wide awake.

She tells him that she is sick of him only thinking of outer beauty. Sick of him using his beauty to bring others down.

Kendra turns him into a beast--fur, claws and all. But because of the two petals that he kept from Linda's rose, she gives him two years to make a girl fall in love with him (and for him to fall in love with her), and if she kisses him, the spell would be broken. She also gave him a magical mirror that allows him to see anyone he wants, wherever they are.

He tries shaving--it doesn't work. He kisses Sloane in the dark, so she can't see him--it doesn't work. His dad takes him to surgeons and doctors around the world--they tell them that it's hopeless. No surgery could ever fix him--he has to fall in love.

Embarrassed, Kyle's father stashes him away in a mansion and leaves him with a blind tutor and Kyle's maid as caretakers, never bothering to visit himself.

Kyle Kingsbury decides to change his name to Adrian King to help put his past behind him. He does tutoring lessons with Will, his tutor, reads and discusses books like crazy, and he watches people. Every day on the fifth floor on his house, Adrian sits on an old couch and stares at people going about their business from a window.

And Adrian discovers a love for something he never thought twice about before: roses. Will shows him how to care for them, and together they plant a beautiful garden, where Adrian often spends his time. Where he expresses himself. Where he can be himself.

He looks into the mirror more and more often, staring at people.

Eventually, he stumbles upon Linda. He watches her read. Feed her sick, drug addicted father. Be helpless when he, in a drunken state, tried to beat her up. Watches her as she studies so that she can continue going to her school on scholarship.

And one night, he gets a visit from her father as he attempted to rob his house to get drug money. Then, to save himself from getting arrested, he offers Adrian his daughter: Linda.

Adrian greedily accepts her as payment and spends the full next week buying her everything she could ever want in time for her arrival, convinced that she is the one. Books, clothes, decorations. . .

But when she shows up, Adrian is in for a shock.  She hates him, and rightly so.

Yet, over the months, everyone watches as all of the remains of Kyle Kingsbury's shell of ice melt away, revealing Adrian King.


Linda's dad sounds abusive and is an abuse scene is described somewhat vaguely. Kyle is described as hearing someone's bone break behind him as he pulled himself away. There is some violence in the scene where Linda's dad breaks into Kyle's house. Adrian is described as going through the subway, not caring if he harmed anyone in his way. Towards the end, Adrian fights someone is a scene that is described in a way that, though isn't gruesome in any way, I wouldn't reccomend younger children to read. 

Sloane is described as trying to grope Kyle in front of a huge party ( and this is refrenced to later). Kyle also uses his mirror to view camp shower houses. Sloane braggs to Kyle about how she would be wearing a dress with very little material. There are things that reference to Kyle and Sloane having pre-marital relations. 

Kyle (or rather, Adrian)'s relationship with Linda is touching. He realizes that he can't win her over with material objects, nor can he seduce her. He becomes her friend, and slowly more. He learns to be delicate with her, and learns what true love is. How much better it was that way then before.

He talks to her and gets to know her. He reads what she reads, does what she does. Adrian does whatever he can to be close to her--to show her that he isn't completely a monster.


Sloane and Kyle are referenced as drinking at Sloane's apartment when her mom isn't home. Linda's dad is shown many times as being a drug addict and as being drunk. 


Well, obviously, Kendra is a witch. Normally, I would mind this a lot more then I did with this book, because it was meant to be a modern-day Beauty and the Beast, and there was a witch in that. But she still is there, and is definitely something to be wary of.

There are some great morals in this book--looking at the heart, past what someone looks like.

There are some uses of swear words, more in the beginning of the book then towards the end. I can't pinpoint exactly how many of each one, but they are there.


I LOVED the romance between Linda and Adrian. I love how they bond with the roses, I love how he respects her space, how he tries to connect with her. . . it's inspiring. All of it.

Though there are some inappropriate things towards the beginning, but Alex (the author) doesn't get overly graphic; and they show just how deep into sin Kyle was, just how amazing his transformation was. I don't mind it because it contributes to the story and is necessary later on, but I also believe that there should be some cautions.

My over all rating is .....

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 

I think that, though it is an excellent read, it definately belongs in the YA genre--as in, I wouldn't reccomend it to those under 12 for obvious reasons. And, if you are under 12, you should seriously get some parental permission first--maybe have them read this review.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Music and my muse

Hey y'all! Leslie here. So at this very moment I am listening to My Deliverer by dc Talk. It started me thinking about music and my use of music while I'm writing. Whenever I write I always have music from somewhere; usually on my iPod. My playlist contains a mix of pop, 80's tunes(Liz teases me about that particular genre), christian, rock, even a tiny bit of rap and classical. The reason for the large variety? I love the way that the different genres become my muse. When I write a fight scene, i usually break out the minor chords and Lotd of the Rings soundtrack. If its a sad tear-jerking part, bring on Lo Que Mas or Kryptonite or some slow minor music. Of course when I want people to laugh, I turn to happy music like Who's in the House by Carman. I've noticed other authors who give part of their success to the bands in their playlist.
So do I have a true piont to this post? I guess its that music is powerful. My (rather strong) imagination is sparked by music. A really good song can start me pretending. It inspires me to write. What do you do when you write? What is your muse?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Likes and Dislikes

Not that I'm surprised, considering that I am indesicive about most anything, but I can't make up my mind as to whether or not I like snow.

So, I am going to make lists of my pros and cons.


1. It makes Winter special. It reminds me of all of the amazing things that I can look forward to over the Winter--Christmas, going to Snow Camp, seeing family. . . It's a symbol of something special.

2. Snow is something special in and of itself. There are so many things you can do with it! Whether it be making edible treats, forts, snowmen, snowangels, having a snowball fight--it's an awesome substance with which you can be creative to no end. Plus, you can go sledding on it.

3. It gives me an excuse to drink hot cocco like crazy! I'm a big fan of Swiss Miss. :)

4. Being a photographer and one who likes to sketch, the artsy side of me really likes it. I love taking pictures of it, and I have a sun  room at my house where I could literally sit and stare at each individual, unique snowflake fall on the ground all day.


1. Am I the only one that has ever wished that snow didn't have a temperature??? I would like to say that I spend every day during the winter being creative and doing all of the things mentioned above, but truth be told, I'm lazy. I hate having to put on all of my snow gear (and having to take it off once it's wet) just because snow is cold and  I have to stay warm. I also hate how snow always manages to slip its way into my gloves so that then my hands are freezing.

2. I'm home-schooled, so I don't normally get snow days--I only get school off when its Summer, which feels like an eternity away when there is still snow on the ground.

3. I am suffering from this reason as I am writing this--sickness. I don't think that the reason why I'm sick right now is because of the cold weather, but I've gotten plenty of things that I can blame on the cold. There is so much more of a chance of getting sick over Winter then any other season. It drives me insane, because I hate getting sick.

So, with the pros and cons, what is my actual opinion?

To be honest, I love snow; I just wish Winter only lasted one month as opposed to three or four. :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


It’s the last day of January there is almost no snow where I live. It’s ridiculous! Though, I’ve come to realize why I don’t like winter. For one thing, because I’m homeschooled, I don’t get snow days. Another thing is, it’s too cold to do anything. Those who have seen Phineas and Ferb have probably seen S’winter. In that episode, Phineas and Ferb use a snow cone machine and a whole lot of fans to make a mountain of snow. They were able to play in the snow in the middle of summer. When I go outside to play in the snow, I throw a few snowballs or make a fort and then I come in to drink hot chocolate. It is simply too cold to do anything fun. When it comes to winter, I’d rather stay inside staying warm than to go outside and freeze. That is why I am actually enjoying the shortage of snow where I am. When I go outside, it is still cold, but I’m only outside to get in my car or something. I don’t actually have to do anything. I can just enjoy my heated seat. Ahhhhh….

William Shakespeare

Monday, February 13, 2012


This is our 100th post!!!!!
So, to celebrate, we are doing a special week this week. For the first time in a while, we will have a theme (all  appropriate entries for this will be published).

And the theme is. . . Snow!

What do you love about it? Why can't you stand it?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Lesson to be Learned

I posted those commercials on Monday for a reason.

To be honest, I found that the ones I posted were some of the few that were actually appropriate. You may disagree with me, but I prefer a story line over watching a people walk out in provocative clothing.

I find that this often happens with books, too.

We focus so much on drawing people in with something "romantic", gory, or otherwise shocking scene, that we forget that these are supposed to be people we can relate to.

Sometimes, it's the sweet, meaningless things in books that people can relate to most. The strange habits of a character, the way their eyes glisten, the way they appreciate things. . . Simple, yet a lot of writers use those same small habits to make a major difference later on in their books.

I personally think that we, as writers,  need to have the simple stuff so that then, later on, we can add the big things.

What makes this character irritated? What makes him/her smile? How do they respond to other characters?

So, what I'm asking you is this: Are you taking the time to make your characters unique?


Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Commercials

In case you missed the Super Bowl last night, here were my three favorite commercials. . . 



1. This one is my favorite!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Ok, I just realized that I haven't posted since January 18th.


I'm seriously so sorry about that. I've been really busy lately, and haven't had as much time to post. But that will change--now. From now on, I promise to post a LOT more.

So, without further ado. . .

Remember when I talked to you about that contest at Scribbles and Ink Stains? Yesterday was the final day for entering, but I encourage you to check out the wining stories later on. Anyway. . .

Here is the story I sent in. Tell me what you think!


I looked into the eyes of the person that I could never stand to look at before.The person I had hated; the person I had wronged. The person I always thought was ugly and fat. The person that threw up everything she ate because she didn’t feel good. The person who I had seen spent countless sums of money at beauty parlors to try to make herself look decent. 

The person who thought that outside beauty was all that mattered, and that thought that was what everyone else thought, too. The person I had always been disgusted with.

Yet then, I looked at her with new eyes.

She had a lovely form, dark auburn hair, and beautiful brown eyes.

She didn’t have any make up on then, and I honestly thought she looked better without it. 

Actually, she stood a little taller than the last time I saw her, prouder almost.

But those weren’t the only changes in her.

She became a Christian. God had been working in her soul, teaching her things. He taught her that God looks at the heart, and that she didn’t need superficial beauty.

I grinned and turned away from the mirror.