Pages

Friday, November 13, 2015

NaNo Update 2: So Many Sighs

5,382. That is all I have written this month.

Well, that's not entirely true. I've written over 3,000 words in various college assignments. But still. 5,382.

Sigh.

I'm trying not to beat myself up over it. My main focus is college right now, and I try to keep that in mind. However, it is still very frustrating. Ya see, in the long run, Skull White is going to require so much more meaningful research than a 300 word essay analysis on some modern philosophy article. It's going to push my writing abilities so much more than a paper arguing that poetry combined with creative writing can be more powerful than poetry alone (though, admittedly, that was a fun essay to write). The research it requires is so much more interesting than reading page upon page on the various ways ice caps effect the climate.

But hey, I'm having fun writing it. And this weekend, my roommate and I are staying at my house, so I'll have plenty of time to write then. Hopefully. I should actually work on a paper and a project that are both due on the 17th but shhhh, I'm not going to think about that right now.

So. Would y'all like a short excerpt from Skull White? Keep in mind that it's a rough draft, I'm tired, it needs editing, blah blah blah, insert all the usual excuses.

***

David hated his earliest memory.

As a child, he had curiously asked the kinder people surrounding him what their earliest memory was and did they like it? Some pursed their lips thoughtfully, trying to dredge up some profound recollection with which to bless his listening ears. Others smiled nostalgically before launching into some rambling drama of dancing with their mothers in the drawing room or learning how to tie a knot with their father or licking a sugar cane while on a walk with their nursemaid. Pathetically naive, wholly dull, and so utterly meaningless.

If only he could have been so lucky.


***

David's such a grouch. XD Tbh, it's been so much fun writing in the Esprit world, but through the lens of David. It completely changes the feel of the world. Esprit was told mostly in Cecilia's POV, which is admittedly distorted because she tries so hard to see the good in everything and everyone, always making the best of a situation. The parts told in Pepin's POV were similarly distorted, but because he was in a constant state of denial. He tried to think of everything through the lens of ironic levity. 

David has a much darker mind and a much darker worldview. The feel of Skull White is a lot darker than Esprit, and it's mostly because of David's grim outlook. 

I love it so much. David is an ISTJ which is definitely more in my comfort zone that Pepin's ESFPness or Cecilia's INFPness. I definitely prefer writing TJs over FPs.

Well, enough about Skull White. Here's some fun stuff!

Current Obsessions

This Movie




This Song




This Book




This Trailer




This Youtuber




So how are y'all doing? ^_^

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Meet the Skull White Crew

This is just a quick post to introduce you all to the main actors in my new little pirate adventure. There's not going to be much description, just a picture, a name, and maybe a brief sentence. I might also say what role he/she would be in the original fairy tale version of the story, as long as it is not a spoiler.

David



The hero of the novel. He's haunted by his past (quite literally, actually) and copes by putting all of his energy into his plot for revenge. He takes the place of the Prince character from Snow White and the Prince character from The Little Mermaid.

Ginger Hood



Sassy know-it-all, jaded piratess (her word, not mine), and basically the embodiment of perfection (again, her word, not mine... though I do think she's pretty great). She is Red from Red Riding Hood and Rose Red from Snow White and Rose Red.

Chastity Jones



She's Snow White. Except, you know, she's slowly and painfully sacrificing herself to protect her mother from certain death at the hands of both her father and the Fee. No biggie. She's really weird, but David likes her. ;)

Lupe



An overly dramatic and amorous pirate, Lupe doesn't share his real name, doesn't talk about his past, and seems to have his own mission altogether... Lupe is the Wolf character from Red Riding Hood.

Philip Jacobson aka "Surgeon"



Esprit Pepin dubbed him Surgeon and Surgeon he has stayed. Most people don't bother to recall that his real name is Philip, and most people don't bother to find out why he is so obsessed with killing Fee... He is one of the Seven Dwarf characters, and I'll let you guess which Disney dwarf he's based on.

Pepin-Rene Marc Daviau



Professional dirtbag. He is the King from Twelve Dancing Princesses.

The Silver Fee



Yep, she's back and is a main character. She DOES take the place of a fairy tale character, but it's a spoiler. So... yeah, I'm sure you are all just ecstatic that she's back. I actually like her though. (GASP)

And finally... The Dark Fee



Girlish, vindictive, cruel, and condemning, she always leaves her victims feeling thoroughly creeped out and mildly disturbed. When she leaves them alive and/or human anyway. She takes the place of the Evil Queen from Snow White and Ursula from the Disney version of The Little Mermaid.

So there you go! I'll probably do more in-depth character posts whenever I find the time to do so. For now, I just hope you found it fairly interesting. I'm so excited about this novel!

So. How is NaNo going for you peeps? Or, if you're not doing NaNo, how is your writing? :D

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Bedtime Movie Tag

Hi everyone! I'm so glad to be blogging again! Hayden Wand did a very fun post on her blog and I thought it was a good way to revive my poor little dead blog.

1. A movie that kept you up all night.



Marathoning all of the Star Wars movies is literally the best thing ever. These movies seriously are some of the greatest films ever created. Oh, and by "Star Wars movies", I mean the original trilogy. Don't bother with the horrid fanfiction that is the prequel trilogy.

2. A movie that made you scared to sleep.



The Sixth Sense. Okay, for the record, I wasn't scared. This movie is just fascinating and thought-provoking. And yeah, so maybe it did make me a little nervous, but I wasn't scared.

3. A movie that made you go sleep.



To my utmost shame... The Princess Bride. I know, I know, falling asleep during this movie should be inconceivable. In my defense, I was eleven years old, I watched it for the first time at the end of a friend's birthday party and I was tired, AND her parents kept fast-forwarding scenes so the movie didn't make any sense to me. So... I fell asleep.

4. A movie that left you tossing and turning all night in anticipation for its release.



I was so excited for The Hunger Games that I stayed up nearly all night chatting with my friends online. I was not disappointed.

5. A movie that has your dream boyfriend/girlfriend ship of two movies.



I don't like crossover ships, but Crimson Peak has two of my favorite actors of all time playing love interests- Tom Hiddlston and Mia Wasikowski. Soo... Loki and Alice? Yes? No? Maybe? Have I completely lost my mind?

6. A movie that would be your worst nightmare to live in.



The Hobbit movies, hands down. It would be like living in a land that is so close to being paradise, and yet, everything has been distorted and twisted to fit the machinations of a money-hungry tyrant drunk on his own legacy. It would be fake and I would/do hate it.

7. A movie that reminds you of nighttime.



Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Most of the main plot twists take place at night, stars and darkness play significant roles in the tone and setting, the theme of pure, joyful light fighting back the void of depression... everything about this movie is so gorgeous and so ethereal. I love it.

8. A movie that has a nightmarish cliffhanger.



Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The entire movie had been a fun, adventurous romp... until the very end when it twists your gut into sadness and then makes you question everything because you are insanely glad to see the villain from the first movie again.

9. A movie you actually dreamed about.



Lord of the Rings. When I was twelve, I had this extremely vivid dream that went through the entire LOTR trilogy, and I got to live through it. I was very disappointed when I woke up.

10. A movie monster you wouldn't want to find under your bed.



A minion from Minions. Because I am so sick of seeing them EVERYWHERE.

If you would like to write your Bedtime Movie post, then consider yourself tagged!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NaNo Update 1: Of Outlines, Pinterest, and Wuthering Heights

Hello everyone!

It appears college has decided that I do not deserve the right to write professional and intelligent blog posts to trick people into thinking I have my life together. So alas, I must  resort to either abandoning this little blog throughout the course of the semester, or allow myself to let my true disorganized, distracted, and discombobulated personality be displayed for all to see. I chose the latter. You're welcome (or should I apologize in this instance? Idk).

Anywayy, this means that I will try to blog consistently (I'm hoping for twice a week, but it'll probably end up just being once a week) and it will be a whole lot of random. Hopefully, you find it interesting and get to know me a bit better. If not... sorry, I guess *shrugs*.

Kaycee Tidbit #1- Kaycee is not good at apologizing.

Writing

The obvious first thingamajig to discuss is NaNoWriMo! I am so pumped. Like, it's starting to be a problem. Like, instead of trying to find out the amount of daughter isotopes in Carbon 14 after 6,000 years, I'm obsessively writing the names of characters all over my notes and trying to decide what their middle names should be. (BTW, Carbon 14 is roughly 50% parent isotope and 50% daughter isotope after 6,000 years, and, to Pepin's immense amusement, Cecilia's middle name is 'Rahab'. Just thought you should know.)

I have also made a Pinterest board for Skull White. Enjoy!

https://www.pinterest.com/KayceeBrowning/skull-white/

My outline for Skull White is very different from the outline I made for any of my other writing. Ember Flame had no outline, Hail Frost originally had no outline but now has a very intensive one, Esprit de la Rose started with a brief outline, then gained a more in-depth one after I wrote the rough ROUGH draft of it. Skull White? There's not so much an outline as there is a basic premise and scenes that need to happen. I know the order in which the scenes go, but the connections are a bit blurry. So... I guess I do have an outline? I have no idea. I'm just going to have fun with it, honestly.

Reading

Currently, I am reading Wuthering Heights. I. LOVE. It! It is so passionate, so well-written, so thought-provoking, and so intense that I have great difficulty setting it aside to attend class. I think Gone With The Wind started my obsession with books with main characters that you don't have to like to love. No, I don't like Scarlett O'Hara or Heathcliff, but every time they appear on the scene I grin, settle down, and prepare for something to happen. I often find the actions of Rhett Butler and Catherine rather despicable, and yet, I still anticipate every scene in which they appear, and I still feel an odd sadness when the inevitable tragedy hits them. It takes an insanely amazing writing talent to create such characters, and Emily Bronte officially has me in awe of her.

Kaycee Tidbit #2- She might have a teensy weensy crush on Heathcliff just because he reminds her of Snape. Which... is probably not a good thing. But she doesn't care.

Obsessions This Week

I am currently obsessed with...

This quote.

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte


This article.

Why Dumbledore Went To The Hilltop

This poem.



This song.



This makeup.

Zelda Fitzgerald, 1920s


This TV show.



Aaaand this video. You're welcome (or should I apologize?).


Have a great rest of week! ^_^ I can't wait until November!

Friday, October 16, 2015

I LIVE!

Hi everyone! I'm procrastinating taking a quick break from studying for midterms (blech) to write this blog post!

I. LOVE. COLLEGE.

I have been here for more than two months now. Even though my home is twenty minutes away, I chose to live on campus. It is the best decision I have made in a very long time. Life is so great here. I love it.

I'm double majoring in English-Creative Writing and Anthropology-Archaeology. I'm planning to use those degrees to be an archaeologist, write novels and screenplays on the side, write for science journals, and maybe even be a museum curator someday! Fun stuff. My original plan was to major in English-Creative Writing and minor or major in Business or Communications so that I could be a web marketer. But then I came to the sudden realization that the thought of driving myself to a business office in nice clothes to sit in front of a computer screen and NOT be writing a novel was utterly and completely repulsive to me. Blech. Sooo... I have always been fascinated by archaeology. I adore science, but I dislike math. I love that archaeology includes both field and lab work. I love the traveling aspect of archaeology. I love that archaeology is both unpredictable and methodical. I just love it. My archaeology class this semester has been one of the best classes I have ever taken. All that to say, I am incredibly excited about this.



I just finished reading Brandon Sanderson's Shadows of Self. It is AMAZING! I will say, it is totally okay to read The Alloy of Law before reading the Mistborn trilogy, but you definitely need to have read The Mistborn Trilogy to understand a lot of the aspects of Shadows of Self. And you should either read The Stormlight Archives before or directly after Shadows of Self. And... it might be good to read Warbreaker and Elantris as well. The Cosmere is finally coming together!!! *fangirl squeal*

Okay, I'm done fangirling. Back to the semi-intelligible blog post...

As soon as I finish this blog post, I'm going to begin reading Wuthering Heights. I hear there's a lot of controversy surrounding whether this book is a romance or not, and something about a chap named Heathcliff, and then discussions on whether it counts as a feminist book like Jane Eyre. Well, I completely and utterly ADORE Jane Eyre, I love debates and controversy, and I don't like romances, but the fact that the 'romance' of this book is debated already proves that it uses a different plot from the billions of identical and boring novels that plague many a shelf of Barnes and Noble. I hope I like it.

Hail Frost is coming along depressingly slowly. But I do find time to work on it occasionally.

I considered working on it during NaNoWriMo, but Hail Frost needs more focused writing than the frenzied nonsense that happens during NaNo. Said frenzied nonsense is excellent for rough drafts, but is hardly appropriate for a third draft.

However, I am doing NaNoWriMo.

And I really didn't want to.

I really did not want to write this novel. Whenever the characters tried to perk up and speak, I would just snap, "No, go to your room!" and dash over to my favorite babies of Hail and Ember. Whenever the setting tried to creep into my mind, I would grab the nearest textbook (my geology textbook, more often than not) and try to drown out the creativity with endless lists of mafic plutonic igneous rocks. Whenever the plot started intriguing me, I would try to refute it by listing all of the reasons writing this story would be an incredibly stupid idea.

And yet...

Sigh. Here, just.... have a synopsis. Ugh. Stupid, stubborn, brilliant little story.

***

Skull White: Three fairy tale retellings set upon the treacherous seas

An enslaved pirate plots revenge against the sirens of the sea. A headstrong know-it-all tears the oceans apart to save her family. And at the midst of it all, a little mermaid searches for her past.

Skull White

David has plotted revenge against the Fee for his entire childhood. Upon his 21st birthday, he is finally given the chance to destroy the one who destroyed his future. His mission seems simple: lure a notorious pirate into a trap by kidnapping his daughters, steal an enchanted mirror, and then kill the Black Fee. But when David meets the sickly yet serene Chastity, he is thrust into a mystery and magic that treads far deeper than his past. Perhaps revenge is not what he has spent his life waiting for.

Blood Red

Growing up the daughter of a prostitute, sister of a witch, and friend of the cursed, Ginger learned early not to care too deeply. But when her family disappears, she forces her way into the netherworld of the Fee to save them with only the mysterious pirate Lupe as a guide. Will she prevail against the supernatural forces that want her dead? Or will the bloodlust of the Fee swallow her whole?

Sea Black

The White Fee is different. She has no feeling, no purpose, and no memories. She is ostracized by the others, left to wander the ocean alone. But when she rescues a skeletal captain from death, the Fee suddenly take a far more acute interest in her, attempting to quell the sudden coursing of emotion, ambition, and hope in the heart of White. For under the sea, grace can never be a part of the world.

***
...I'm actually really excited, even if I am still grumpy about it.

Why am I grumpy? Well, I really did NOT want to revisit the Esprit world again. That story is done, wrapped up, over and I didn't want to touch it anymore. Not out of lack of love, mind you, just because I wanted to move on. And yet... though it might have been over for Pepin and Cecilia and maybe even me, there were so many other characters that apparently had stories to be told. David, Ginger, Chastity, Lupe, and even the Black Fee are a great lot, and I can't wait to write their stories.

Oh, and Pepin and Cecilia? I KNOW Pepin makes an appearance, because duh, but I'm not sure if Cecilia will show up or not. I guess we'll see.

Can you guess what the three fairy tales are going to be? :)

Anyway... if anyone else is participating in NaNoWriMo, I would LOVE to do it with you. I'm on the adult site (because apparently I outgrew the YOUNG writers program... when the heck did that happen???) and my username is KayceeB (yep... I'm that boring). Add me as a buddy and I'll add you back!

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yorien's Hand

Once upon a time, teensy little baby Kaycee (I was 12) unwrapped a wonderful, magical book for Christmas. It was called King's Warrior and the story was as wonderful and magical as the cover. She was then handed Second Son which was just as wonderful and magical as King's Warrior. Soon after, she met the wonderful, magical, talented, lovely, amazing, and perfect author and the wonder and magic of Aom-Igh only grew.

Y'all, I have grown up with Kamarie, Oraeyn, Yole, Brant (I have had a crush on him but shhh I don't want to make anything awkward), Dylanna, Arnaud, Seamus, and all of the other incredible characters of Aom-Igh. And Aom-Igh! It's everything you would expect in a classical fantasy world, and yet, it is impossible to "expect" anything in this vibrant and fascinating story.

I'm 18 now. I have been waiting for this day for a very. long. time. and I am SO DARN EXCITED I CAN'T EVEN USE PROPER PUNCTUATION!

So. Without anymore of my rambling...

Yorien's Hand by Jenelle Schmidt



The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.

From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.

Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.
The Author


Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in North Carolina where the summers are too hot and there is never enough snow. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family storytimes. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

Check out her website HERE.

And now... a SNIPPET!

Finally, only Oraeyn, Brant, and Kiernan remained in the room. Brant laid a reassuring hand on Oraeyn’s shoulder and then turned to the story-teller.

“That was quite the tale, minstrel. I suppose you’ll be staying behind, or perhaps disappearing... again?”

A smile played across the minstrel’s face. “Oh, no, I think I shall be coming along on this adventure,” he replied. “I believe I will be able to offer some help, to you, Sir Brant, in particular.”

Brant grimaced and glowered. But Kiernan continued, turning his attention to Oraeyn. “Sire, please do be sure to pack plenty of food for the journey, for I shall sorely miss the palace kitchen while we are away, but such is the lot of heroes, and it is unbecoming to complain.”

***

I am so excited. I am so excited! I am so EXCITED!

Kiernan is the best. I'm not quite sure why he's the best yet, but I can't wait to find out!

If you haven't read King's Warrior or Second Son yet, go NOW and check them out HERE and HERE respectively. It will make your life better. Go. Now.

Thank you so much Jenelle for letting me be a part of this cover reveal! (the cover is GORGEOUS!) I can NOT wait to read Yorien's Hand, which I already know from obsessively reading the snippets over and over and over again will be wonderful and magical and perfect!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rambles

Hey everyone!

I'm sorry I have not been posting very often. The thing is... I'm moving into college on Friday! Woot woot! I'm extremely excited, but also extremely frantic. I just know I'm going to forget something vital, like deodorant or a razor or my peanut butter...

So yeah. I'm very busy. Hopefully, I'll pull together a more coherent and interesting post after I get settled, but I can't really make any promises. I really want to share more about Hail Frost, and the third Leverage book, and some Five Enchanted Roses experiences, and another Myers-Briggs post, and talk some more about college in general, but I'm just so busy. Ugh.

All that to say... I'm sorry for my absence. I'm sorry for the lack of comments I've been leaving on other blogs. I'm sorry for not replying to the recent comments on this blog. I'm sorry for the lack of sense I am sure this blog post is making. (Seriously. Read that last sentence. And I am too lazy to edit it, so it's just gonna stay. Sorry.)

I have been able to do other social media outlets every now and then, so if you want to know what's going on with little ol' me, check out my Twitter account (@KayceeBrowning3) and/or my Instagram account (@kayceebrowning).

Love y'all. Thanks for all of the support. Hopefully, I'll be blogging soon! :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Esprit de la Rose: Some More Fun!

Hi everyone! This is my follow-up post for the Five Enchanted Roses launch party! I'm just going to share some fun stuff that I ran out of time to share during my thirty minute slot, and give a more in-depth answer to a few of the questions.

Dream Cast



Jordana Brewster looks quite like Cecilia Lester.

Growing up can be a lonely affair, but especially when you are the half-Spanish daughter of a pirate living amongst stuffy and legalistic island dwellers. Add the death of your mother to the mix, and life becomes nigh-on unbearable. Desperate for a happy life, Cecilia coerces her father into ferrying her to London. But before they reach their journey's end, the Fee strike, determined to punish Captain Lester. Though she is combative and demanding, Cecilia's compassionate nature wins out and she attempts to save her father. Her plan goes awry, and she finds herself trapped aboard a cursed ship where she is the only hope for the inhabitants.

Her long black hair and shy but confident grin are the two most striking things about Cecilia, and Brewster captures both excellently. I've never seen Brewster in anything, but looks-wise, a younger Brewster would be perfect!



For the role of Captain Pepin, I have chosen Domhnall Gleeson 

A clever captain can avoid going down with his ship, but a ship will always follow the destiny of her captain. Pepin knows this all too well, and frankly, he'd much prefer the former fate to the latter, regardless of the consequences his actions will cause to those aboard said ship. Enigmatic, charming, and ironic, Pepin commands the cursed Rose with the help of poetically nonsensical phrases, threatening powers, and hidden secrets. His one ambition is to gain his freedom no matter what the cost. However, ocean paths are rarely so straight-forward. 

Gleeson looks exactly like Pepin. The red hair and cheeky grin are absolutely perfect, in my opinion. Also, this casting choice is the only place where Harry Potter crept into my story. While writing, I have to be VERY careful that what I am currently reading does not find it's way into what I'm currently writing. The same summer I wrote Esprit, I read the Harry Potter series for the first time. I paid very close attention to my writing to make sure I did not inadvertently copy anything, but, when watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Bill Weasley played by Domhnall Gleeson appeared and I went "Dude, that's what Pepin looks like!". 



Confession time: many of the themes from my stories come from internal snark regarding something-or-other. The Fee's physical appearance is no exception. The Fee are described as beautiful, nearly identical. The only truly differentiating thing about them is the specific color of their hair, eyes, and tail. This idea came to me after a day spent watching movies. Nearly all of the female leads, even though the movies were from completely different genres and times, looked similar. It made me irritated. Why is Hollywood so determined to press their idea of beauty on viewers? Why are they so determined to ignore the characterization and charm unique facial and physical features offers a story? And don't even get me started on the modeling industry. 

All that to say, if you Google the word “model”, though the images that appear will be different women, you will find that they look shockingly alike except for hair and eye color. However, since there are some inappropriate pictures that will no doubt pop up, actress Amber Heard looks quite like the Fee.



The appearance of the Rose's pirates were inspired by Howard Pyle's 'Flying Dutchman'. The creepy, soggy appearance of the sailors always gave me morbidly delightful shivers, and the glare of the man in the middle (presumably Davy Jones), helped me create the aura I wanted Pepin to have. If you ever get the chance, definitely buy a book of Howard Pyle's illustrations. They are excellent for story inspiration.

Of Pirates

There were a LOT of questions asking about the pirate theme of Esprit de la Rose and why I chose that. Well, I explained as best I could. I don't fully know the reason. I have always LOVED learning about pirates. I've always been a tad obsessed with pirates stories, legends, movies, and history. Still, I don't completely know why I chose this over my usual genre of fantasy (though there are fantastical elements in Esprit as well).

I DO know one of the inspirations for the Esprit de la Rose. It was too complicated to try to explain during the launch party, so I didn't mention it, but I believe it might have been the back-bone of everything Esprit stands for. 

I was watching the 'Behind-The-Scenes' extras for the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie once when I was probably around thirteen (yes, I'm THAT person), and Geoffrey Rush, the actor who portrayed Barbossa, said something about pirates that always stuck with me. I don't remember the exact quote, but he basically said that yes, pirates are incredibly exciting to read about, to watch, to fantasize about, but the reality of piracy was a very grim and terrible thing. They hurt other people, obviously, it wasn't just fun and games, but being a pirate would also be grim. Becoming a pirate meant forever ostracizing yourself from the rest of the world, it meant abandoning any hope for basic morality to be shown to you. It meant constantly battling betrayal, sickness, and a no-doubt early death without anyone who cared about you.

This surprised me. I had taken for granted the fantasy that a couple hundred years can give a reality. I remember wishing that someone would write a pirate story that was "real", not just exciting.

The pirates of Esprit de la Rose are faced with questions of morality, while the Fee, like the rest of society, looks down in judgment. I tried to tap into the "realness" of what being a pirate meant through the fantastical elements of the Fee's world. Perhaps that defeated the purpose, but it really was interesting to think about what would happen if a group of people, who have already basically signed away their right to be moral and to have proper justice, are forced to face a morally ambiguous dilemma posed to them by the people who will kill them if they make the wrong choice. And then, there are the added complications of the people who did NOT choose a pirate's life, but were forced into it. During the 1700's, many soldiers found themselves turned into pirates because, after whatever war they had fought in finished, their countries would simply drop them off and offer them no other means to support themselves. Several of the characters are forced into piratical situations through no fault of their own. It was interesting to see how they reacted to the moral dilemma. 

Thanks for reading! If you haven't yet, feel free to check out Five Enchanted Roses on Amazon. (click HERE). And don't forget to visit Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog for launch week interviews (click HERE).

Monday, July 27, 2015

Five Enchanted Roses: Launch Day!

It's finally here!

I am so excited and so pleased to share that Five Enchanted Roses releases today!



I am literally shaking with excitement.

Like, it's hard-to-write-a-paragraph-shaking because even my eyeballs seem to be shaking so I can't read properly.

So! Since I clearly am not going to be profound today... how about some info?

What exactly is in Five Enchanted Roses?



Well, the collection starts off with my retelling, Esprit de la Rose. To learn more about it along with an awesome giveaway, go check out Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog post HERE.



Wither by Savannah Jezowski follows, which introduces the world to the most eerily attractive Beast ever. Attractive as in, character/personality-attractive. Although... the pale skin and eye thing is pretty boss too... I'm just going to shut up now, shall I? It also has an epic story, a fascinating fantasy world, and plenty of immersive dialogue, but the characters are truly the Thing that makes the story soar into the heights of awesomeness. Corwin and Lilybet are so compelling I would not mind reading an entire novel of them doing nothing but shop for groceries. And seeing as Wither is far more interesting than grocery shopping, it makes for one incredible read.



Then comes Stone Curse by Jenelle Schmidt! Well, since I already dashed any reader expectations of profundity with my above paragraph, I'll go ahead and say that Stone Curse has the CUTEST PAIRING EVERRR!!!! OTP. Definitely my OTP of the collection. On a more serious note, Stone Curse manages to twist and turn the tale of Beauty and the Beast at every angle, from the plot, to the characters, to the motivation, to the themes, that it is astounding the tale is as readable as it is. It tricks you into thinking the original Beauty and the Beast tale had it all wrong, and Stone Curse is the correct version. The characters are amazing, and the fantasy world is simultaneously vibrant and comfortable.



Rosara and the Jungle King by Dorian Tsukioka! Of all of the stories, this is the one that, to me, felt least like a Beauty and the Beast story, and yet, it seemed the most "fairy tale" in the telling. The plot was very decisive; there was nothing vague left to the reader's interpretation. Like a fairy tale, it had a moral that seemed fairly obvious at first, but grows deeper and more complex with the more thought that is put into it. I loved this story, with it's zany characters, unique setting, and dire stakes. I need a prequel. And a sequel. In fact, I need an entire Rosara series. Now.



And finally, The Wulver's Rose by Hayden Wand. This story technically stays truest to the original tale while simultaneously filling in the gaps where the original is lacking. I say 'technically' because the genius of The Wulver's Rose lies in the fact that the focus of the story was changed from the original. Instead of being a story that centers on two characters, it draws in the added depth and emotion that a family always brings. I knew the ending to Beauty and Beast's story in The Wulver's Rose, but I did not know the fate of the families involved, which kept the mystery and plot compelling. The writing style is beautiful, bringing to mind the diction of Austen and Thackeray.

It's a pretty darn awesome collection, if I do say so myself. Be sure to take a peek at it on Amazon HERE.

AND, you are all officially invited to the Five Enchanted Roses launch party tonight! It starts at 7:00pm eastern time on Facebook. Check it out HERE!

Don't forget to check out Anne Elisabeth's blog every day this week! Each day, she's interviewing one of the my fellow authoresses. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on the chance to learn more about them and their stories! http://anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your support! I hope you have as much fun reading Five Enchanted Roses as I did working on my little piece of it. ^_^






Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Of Themes

Here it is! The final Ring Around the Rose! I'm feeling a bit sad, aren't you?



What are your thoughts on the themes in Beauty and the Beast? And which version of Beauty and the Beast is your favorite?

Beauty and the Beast has always been a story very near and dear to my heart. No doubt like many others, my first introduction to the story was Disney's interpretation of the classic tale, which also happens to still be my favorite retelling. Disney did an incredible job adapting the story to the screen, making is accessible for modern audiences, and staying true to- while also rounding out- the themes in the original.

I could go on and on about the various themes and my thoughts on them, but for the sake of your eyeball health (staring at a screen too long is bad for you, ya know), I'm going to focus on the theme that has affected me the most and how it is incorporated into Esprit de la Rose (don't worry, there are no spoilers).

Being Different

Before Annabeth Chase, Katniss Everdeen, and Hermione Granger, there was Belle. As a bookish, curious, stubborn little six-year old, seeing one of the Disney princesses act like me was so comforting. At six, my feelings were, naturally, shallow. It was nice to see a Disney princess with brown hair. It was nice to see a Disney princess who liked horses. It was nice to see a Disney princess who preferred books over princes. But as I reached middle-school, I began to realize why Belle was truly comforting.

It was because she was different. She was different from the town's folks; they sing an entire musical number about it. She was different from Gaston, who attempts to force her into his idealized version of what women ought to be. She was even different from the Beast, but that's okay, because he actually respects the things that make her different.

Her differences eventually bring her a much better ending than the rest of the townsfolk- she falls in love with a man who respects and loves her, she continues to be herself, and she lives in a great big castle with a library.

Keeping this in mind, little twelve-year old me would smirk. Ha, I'd think. Belle was different and smart and she had an awesome ending to her story. Just wait and see what the people who bully me think when I have an awesome ending and they don't.

Then you grow up some more, and you discover something much deeper and darker concerning being different.

The fact that Belle was different caused the towns people to mock her. She was isolated and friendless. She had no one to talk to. Worse, narrow-minded thugs like Gaston grew determined to destroy the things that made her different.

The fact that Maurice was different caused the towns people to mock him. He was ridiculed and cruelly treated. The people laughed as he was thrust into an insane asylum wagon.

The fact that Beast was different caused people to fear and hate him. They spread rumors and lies about him based on his appearance. They stormed his home and attempted to kill him. They took advantage of his mercy and still tried to destroy him.

Yes, Belle's story ended happily. But being different comes at a very high price. Eventually, you have to take a moment and ponder if it is actually worth it. Is it better to live under the illusion of happiness at the expense of being yourself, or is it better to be yourself for the chance of being truly happy?

The answer seems obvious, but it actually took me a long time to consider it.

I've made the right choice.

Being different- physically, mentally, and emotionally- is a major theme of Esprit. It was great fun creating a cast of characters with many, many different backgrounds, beliefs, personalities, and quirks, then essentially thrusting them into the same situation. Then all I had to do was sit back and watch the fireworks. In a more serious vein, the main theme of Esprit is grace. Why is grace necessary? Because we are not all the same. Grace is necessary for moral issues, like broken trust or backstabbing. But it is also necessary for more petty issues; I think cats are obnoxious, you love cats and are a bit annoyed at my opinion. In the latter case, grace is necessary because differences are necessary.

The villains, the Fee, of Esprit strive to make everyone fit into their little box. They want to rip away the differences, be it a difference in opinion, physical attribute, situation, anything. They despise different people.

I've learned to accept being different. I've learned to enjoy being different. I hope my thoughts on this particular theme come out in Esprit de la Rose.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Ring Around the Rose! Be sure to check out Savannah's post on Tuesday!

(I'm sorry for posting this on Sunday instead of Monday. Ya see, I have college orientation on Monday so I would not have been able to post it then. And I have no clue how the heck the little "schedule post" thingy is supposed to work.)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Stories and Pixar



We've got two questions again for this week's Ring Around the Rose! Yay!

What is the first story you ever wrote?



I wrote my first story when I was twelve years old. I was working through a high school curriculum called Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings. One of the sections explored the King Arthur legends and the effects it had upon Tolkien and his works. The main assignment was to select or invent a knight of the round table, and then write a story about him.

Before this, my mom had encouraged me to try writing. I was too scared to try it. I have always loved to read, and I felt that if my story was not instantly as good as all of the books I had read then I would not be a good writer. Basically, I thought books were the only things you could write and I knew I could not write a book. I had no idea short stories even existed until the knight of the round table assignment.

Short stories did not sound so bad.

The first character I ever invented was a sixteen-year old hothead named Javen. Javen was the squire of one of the knights, desperate to prove himself and become a knight like his mentor. When an enormous angry crow attacks Camelot and injures Javen's mentor, Javen leaps at the chance to finally gain King Arthur's attention. He would slay the beast and return to the castle with it's head!

Aaand, that's about all of the plotting I put into the story. I decided I would work out the ending as I wrote.

Javen ended up taking a wrong turn, falling into an oil well (...the heck???), fighting a troll, coming out of the tunnel an inconceivable distance from Camelot (maaaagic!),  taking a ship back to Camelot, getting shipwrecked on an island where three spunky princesses were being held captive, capturing a griffin and flying to Camelot with the princesses, hiking to the castle, finding the crow (who turned out to be Morgan le Fay), completely and utterly fails in his attempt to kill the beast (Katrina, the princess, kills it because girl power, duh), and then returns to Camelot where he and Katrina are knighted.

It was silly. It was inconsistent. It was bad.

It was one of the most fun, most memorable, most awesome 23,000 words worth of time spent at a computer.

It's funny thinking about this story, actually, because I can see the barest hint of the foundation of my writing voice. Thus far, all of the main characters in my stories- Javen, Julia, Ember, Cecilia, and Hail- are trying to prove something to someone. I have always loved plot twists that stem from the world-building, particularly the magic part of the world-building. I always write headstrong or forceful female characters.

A lot of writers say they look back and cringe at their old writing. Sure, there's a bit of that for me, but my old writing mostly just makes me smile.

...

And now for something completely different! (though just as awesome!)

Which Pixar movie is your favorite and why?



Monsters Inc. I had trouble deciding between Monsters Inc. and Monsters University, but in the end, the nostalgia factor won out.

My favorite movies are the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They have been my favorite movies ever since I was ten years old. But before I saw the trilogy, my favorite movie had been Monsters Inc..

Unlike many of my friends at the time, I loved the idea of monsters in my closet. I loved the thought that an entirely different world lived and thrived just beyond the shadow of my door. Even though I couldn't see it, even though I couldn't go to it, I loved the idea that it could be there. And maybe, just maybe, I could stumble into it.

I loved the world itself. I loved how much it felt like my world, but with some very drastic differences as well. It made me realize, as a kid, that everybody is the same. We just might have some little differences that lead to bigger differences.

I loved the story. I loved the humor. I loved Sully, Mike, and Boo. I loved the colors and designs of the monsters. I just loved it.

While I have enjoyed most of the other Pixar movies, none of them came close to my love for Monsters Inc. That is, until Monsters University.

I was extremely skeptical when this one came out. Actually, I didn't like the idea of seeing a movie mess with Mike and Sully. I just didn't want them to ruin it.

They didn't. Monsters University is not only an excellent and heart-wrenching movie in it's own right, but it also adds so much to the world and story of Monsters Inc.. The friendship between Mike and Sully, Randall's backstory, Sully's laid-backness, Mike's high-strungness. It evens makes the ending of MI more meaningful- that Mike is now the one to go into the rooms and get the energy. It makes me a bit sad how underrated MU is.

While we're on the topic of Pixar...

GO SEE INSIDE OUT! Seriously. It's amazing and adorable and awesome. Go see it.

So what about you? What was the first story you ever wrote? Which Pixar movie is your favorite and why? I'd love to know!

If you're interested in reading about other authors and writing and stories and things, check out these posts!

Savannah at Savannah Jay's Workshop
Jenelle at Jenelle Schmidt
Dorian at Dorian Writes
Hayden at The Story Girl
Grace at A Live Masterpiece
Heidi at Along the Brandywine

Be sure to check out Savannah's blog tomorrow to find out what her first story was about, and which Pixar movie is her favorite!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Other Authors

Welcome to this week's Ring Around the Rose! I've been especially excited about this one...



What famous author(s) do you feel your writing is most similar to, and why? AND/OR What author do you wish you wrote the most like?

Hehehehe *dons lab coat and rubs hands together* Let's get started!

First off, writing style. In both Ember Flame and Hail Frost, I have a particular writing formula that I try to follow. I've found that this formula holds the attention of middle-school aged readers (my target audience) the best, while also causing them to enjoy the story. At the beginning of a scene, I describe the setting as quickly and descriptively as I can, then I jump into action and dialogue. I don't really mention the setting again unless it is being directly used in the action or mentioned in the dialogue.

I started doing this because, as a middle-schooler, I often skimmed description, but read action and dialogue. Every middle-schooler I have asked about this has admitted to doing the same thing. So why write description that is not going to be read anyway? However, books need descriptions, so I try to keep settings as fresh and zany as I possibly can. That's why the characters in Ember Flame travel so much. In Hail Frost, there is still a fair amount of traveling, but the traveling takes place VERY differently than in Ember Flame. Most of the story also happens in Northern Barbaric, a land that morphs and transforms periodically, so that made the "crazy setting thing" rather easy for me.

A couple of years ago, I read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I absolutely loved it, and part of the reason I loved it was because I found that I hadn't been writing weirdly at all! Well, if it is a bit weird, at least I'm not the only one doing it! Each chapter of Of Mice and Men begins with a long, vivid description, then the rest of the chapter is mostly dialogue and action. Steinbeck did this so that Of Mice and Men could be easily adapted into a play. It made for an easily readable and engaging story. I hope middle-schoolers find Ember Flame and hopefully-soon-to-be Hail Frost the same.

As for story itself... I feel like Ember Flame is similar to the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson because of the crazy, kinda out-there world-building and I also think it is similar to Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles because of the large cast of characters and inter-related stories.

Who do I wish I wrote like? Well...

I wish I wrote like me. I've been writing for five years now, and I feel like I am just now starting to figure out who I am and what I write as an author. I try very hard not to copy others, but I also don't want to try to reinvent the wheel, you know what I mean?

I wish I could hold interest and build characters like J.K. Rowling. I wish I could write long paragraphs of dialogue as dramatically as Charlotte Bronte. I wish I had the world-building genius of Brandon Sanderson. I wish I had the poetic prose of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

But in the end, I wish most to simply write a good story. And that will only be possible, for me if I write as me. Not as somebody else.

*nods, snaps goggles onto eyes, and moonwalks out of the room, lab coat fluttering*

So what about you? Y'all know the drill, answer the question in your own blog post and then comment the link back here! Oh, and you don't have to have participated in the last few weeks of Ring Around the Rose. Feel free to join now! ^_^

If you'd like some tips of how to fend off hungry dragons, I suggest giving these posts a read.

Savannah at Savannah Jay's Workshop
Jenelle at Jenelle Schmidt
Dorian at Dorian Writes
Hayden at The Story Girl
Heidi at Along the Brandywine
Grace at A Live Masterpiece

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Hey Ferb! I Know What We're Gonna Type Today!"

Well. This is a bit awkward. It's only been... what... a couple of months?

Yo everyone! I'm (finally) back with another Myers-Briggs post!

Since I've made you wait this long... let's just jump right into it, shall we? Are you ready? Well then, welcome to the world of ENTP and INTP!



ENTP- The Visionary

"Hey Ferb! I know what we're gonna do today!" -Phineas from Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb. From like, every episode ever.

ENTPs are notoriously creative and curious problem-solvers. They see the word "impossible" as a personal challenge. They are quick to question the status quo, difficult to contain within set boundaries, and often pay little to no attention to the rules. One of my sources said that ENTPs not only think outside the box, they "trample the box underneath the heavy weight of their unconventional ideas". Unlike many of their Extroverted counterparts, ENTPs are typically fine with spending time alone with only their crazy ideas to keep them company, but they also enjoy sharing their ideas with others. ENTPs despise being controlled and are often unwilling to listen to any criticism.

INTP- The Thinker

"Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur's heir, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate." "The same blood flow through my veins. The same weakness." -Arwen and Aragorn from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (film)

Like the ENTP, INTPs are incredibly creative and ingenious. Unlike the ENTP though, INTPs don't often use their intelligence in an attempt to "stick it to the man". They simply love to think. INTPs are perfectly content to spend hours upon hours thinking of increasingly crazy solutions to problems they are not even emotionally invested in, just for the fun of it. INTPs are often considered one of the most intellectual of the Myers-Briggs type because they are usually very smart AND very creative. However, INTPs are so incredibly open-minded, they often second-guess themselves and their ideas. They have a difficult time settling on an idea long enough to implement it. They often have a low self-esteem and dislike socializing.

ENTP Fictional Characters

Phineas Flynn (Disney's Phineas and Ferb), Han Solo (Star Wars), Haymitch Abernathy (The Hunger Games Trilogy), Anakin Skywalker (Star Wars 1-3), Captain Jack Sparrow (Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series), The 10th Doctor (BBC Doctor Who), Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Marvel Comic and Cinematic Universe), Merry Brandybuck (Lord of the Rings trilogy)

INTP Fictional Characters

Aragorn (Lord of the Rings trilogy) Nico di Angelo (Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series), Kristoff (Disney's Frozen), Megara (Disney's Hercules), Mycroft Holmes (BBC Sherlock), Ferb Fletcher (Disney's Phineas and Ferb) Jane Foster (Marvel Comic and Cinematic Universe), Marlin (Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo), Maurice (Disney's Beauty and the Beast), Faramir (Lord of the Rings film trilogy)

What This Means In Fiction

Have you noticed a trend yet? I have, though I admit, it's not as obvious a trend as some of the fictional trends for other types.

ENTPs and INTPs are loners. In real life, they are often seen as different, and they do enjoy spending time alone with their thoughts, but in fiction, they are often portrayed as being completely out of sync with the rest of the world around them. This isn't demeaning to these types, on the contrary, they are often portrayed as being "above" the normal characters in the story- often due, in part, to their intellect, but also because most of them have a tortured backstory. Think of Han Solo, The 10th Doctor, and Dumbledore- all three are incredibly intelligent and charismatic, and yet, no one can ever really touch them. No one really knows them. As their stories progress, you learn more of why they are loners. It's a tortured backstory for all three of them. Also as their stories progress, certainly in the case of Han and the 10th Doctor and arguably for Dumbledore, they let down their guards and allow someone else to enter their world (Leia, Rose/Donna, and arguably Harry).

INTPs are portrayed as loners as well, but usually a different sort of loner than the ENTP. INTPs often are simply misunderstood geniuses. They become loners because of their "round peg in square hole"-ness. In real life, INTPs are often quirky individuals, but not usually to the extent as portrayed in film and literature. Think of Ferb. The show's been going on for, what, four seasons now, and Ferb is still inexplicably strange. Think of Mycroft, Sherlock's elder brother who is arguably stranger than Sherlock himself. Think of Maurice, who, just because he was a bit eccentric, gets accused of being mentally unstable.

INTPs often are given the tortured backstory as well. Some people might disagree with my typing Aragorn as an INTP, but I think it fits. He's intelligent and intuitive, he's quiet, he's a bit of an oddball (we just don't tend to notice because he's so epic, but he really is kinda weird), he's, in the films, indecisive about whether he ought to be King of Gondor because he feels irrationally guilty over the failure of Isildur. He's clever and quick to think of solutions to problems. I think it fits.

This is the only real trend I can find in ENTP and INTP fictional characters, and it certainly doesn't hold true for all of the characters of this type. Sometimes, they are fun, quirky, and inventive, just like their real life counterparts. Phineas if probably the most ENTP to ever ENTP, and he is completely lacking in tortured backstory. Jane Foster is completely okay with being a geeky, socially awkward, and somewhat shy INTP without having an epic destiny placed upon her shoulders.

All in all, I believe that any character can be given a tortured backstory. But if you give it to one of these types, they will likely become a loner in response to the pain. Whether that is interesting or cliche, I will leave to your discretion. It really depends on the story and character.

Have I Ever Written An ENTP or an INTP?

Two words. Hail. Frost. (so much aaaaangst!)

Common Cliches

The tortured backstory is a common literary tool. I think it is a useful technique... under certain circumstances. If you give a character an emotionally scarring backstory just for the heck of it, I think it then enters the realm of cliche. But if the backstory builds the character, if the backstory has an effect on the current story or character arc, if the backstory is properly dealt with, then I think it can be useful. Hail has a pretty bad backstory, yes, but most of it was bad because of his poor choices. In Ember Flame, he had to learn to let go of his self-pity and self-loathing. Most of his arc in Hail Frost consists of his defying the expectations of those around him. I don't have him relapse into a "woe is me, I'm a terrible person" thought pattern because he already dealt with it. I thought it would be more interesting to show Hail pushing through the skepticism and criticism of those around him. Does he prove them wrong or right?... Well, I guess you'll find out once I finish editing the book. >:)

But to use more concrete examples, there would be no Harry Potter without the Harry Potter backstory. The entire seven-book plot revolves around the bizarre occurrences on the night Harry's parents died. The lack of guidance and parents in Harry's life also made him a far more independent and defiant character than he otherwise would have been, while also giving him a maturity necessary to make a story about an 11 year old believable.

Megara would have no motivation or character arc if the tragedy involving her loser boyfriend hadn't happened. Unlike lots of LOTR fans, I am not upset with the changes made to Faramir's character in the films. Faramir, in the films, acts psychologically as a victim of child favoritism would. He is desperate to prove himself to his father while trying to fill an impossible gap left opened by Boromir. I love his quiet maturity in the books, but I also love his growing confidence in the movies. I think it added a lot to an otherwise rather boring part of the story.

If the backstory adds to the story, use it. If it doesn't, drop it. This goes for any type, but is especially vital for ENTP and INTP. Loner characters with a compelling backstory and emotional arc are fascinating, loner characters who are completely jaded and hate life for no good reason are obnoxious. Use the backstory wisely.

Relationships

Okay, funny story time! I'm an INTJ. I've not done a post on this type yet, but suffice these three words to explain: Evil Villain Mastermind. I'm not sure whether to be proud or annoyed. Anyway, I always research the best and worst romantic relationships for each type because I find that helpful in casting story characters. So far, INTJ has been on EVERY SINGLE list for the types I covered... in the "absolutely would NOT work category". But I was researching ENTP romantic relationships, and lo and behold, it said the best type for them was the INTJ! I was like, yay! Someone likes us! XD

In all seriousness though, ENTPs would romantically need someone who appreciates creativity and rebellion. They would need someone who would not attempt to control them, but who would attempt to bring their crazy ideas to life with perhaps some logic and rationality. Thus, INTJ and ISTJ are optimal romantic partners for the ENTP.

INTPs would need someone who would respect their ideas and give them plenty of space. They would need someone who would encourage them to come out of their shell, but who wouldn't push them to share "feelings". INTJs, ENTPs, ISTJs, and other INTPs would probably be best.

When it comes to friendships, ENTPs and INTPs would likely need extremely dedicated and probably rather quirky friends. Think of the misfit crew of Phineas and Ferb. Think of the bizarre passel of pirates who serve under Captain Jack Sparrow. Even the Fellowship was filled with rather strange and different people.

ENTPs and INTPs hate people who attempt to control them, or, heaven forbid, demean their ideas. They would likely want to stay away from most Feeling types, since Feelers would not understand their devil-may-care restless curiosity. They would probably want to avoid ESTJs and ENTJs- these types like to insist upon organization and also like to take control of every situation.

Closing Tidbits

I don't know if you could tell or not, but these two types are some of my ABSOLUTE favorites in literature and in real life. (And, okay yeah, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm really happy at least ONE type is totally cool with dating an INTJ). There's something extremely infatuating about people who pursue their passions, particularly intellectual passions, without giving a single care as to what the rest of the world thinks of their oddities or quirkiness. Honestly, I wish more writers would take the time to simply write an ENTP or an INTP without the added backstory- they are so incredibly fascinating on their own!

Questions!

Are you an ENTP or an INTP? What do you think about ENTPs and INTPs? Do you think they're better as loner characters, or should writers tap into their creative energy a bit more? Feel free to comment your thoughts below, I'd love to read them!

 Hmm... I just finished reading Prisoner of Azkaban aloud to my cousins. Soo... Harry or Ron? I'm voting Harry! (Sorry, Ron...)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Of Dragons

Time for the third week of Ring Around the Rose!



How would you go about talking a dragon out of eating you, especially if no weapons were available?


Y'all, I tried to think of something witty and clever to write in response to this. I really did. I considered discussing the various types of dragons found commonly in literature and how I would approach each of them. I considered writing a parody of the Bilbo/Smaug confrontation (from the BOOK). Heck, I considered writing an Alice in Wonderland-esque epic about the unknown sub-plot in Beowulf, the one where I took on Grendel's aunt's ex-husband.

But...

I've been nannying everyday for months, the stress regarding Esprit has turned me into a grunting thug, I had to take the ACT yesterday just cuz I'm homeschooled, crazy college stuff, AND I have the pleasure of being forced into an anesthetic sleep while a doctor cuts into my gums to remove FOUR wisdom teeth tomorrow.


So, all in all...

I would dash some paprika on myself...



probably eat some bizarre food for flavoring...



And then ask if his stomach has sound-proof lining and a nice corner to curl up in and hyperventilate.



LOL

(But seriously though...)

What about you? How would you go about talking a dragon out of eating you, especially if you did not have any weapons available? Tell me in the comments or, better yet, go write your own blog post and post the link in the comments! Feel free to use the banner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's question! If you'd like to learn about some awesome characters and their stories, check out the links below!

Savannah at Savannah Jay's Workshop
Jenelle at Jenelle Schmidt
Dorian at Dorian Writes
Hayden at Story Girl
Heidi at Along the Brandywine
Grace at A Live Masterpiece

Be sure to check out Savannah's blog tomorrow to find out how she would take on the dragon!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: There's Always Another Secret!

'Ello everyone! I am VERY excited about this week's Ring Around the Rose, so let's just jump into it, shall we?



If you could meet your favorite literary character, who would it be?

This question intrigued me because it doesn't exactly ask "who is your favorite literary character?" it asks "if you could meet your favorite literary character, who would it be?". Maybe it's just me, but I see those two questions as being slightly different. There are many literary characters that I absolutely adore, but I would not want to meet many of them for various reasons. I feel like the conversation would be awkward and stilted between me and Frodo (Sooo... do you ever miss the Ring?), I fear I would come across as incredibly insensitive and rude to Jane Eyre (Rochester is a wee bit insane, you know that, don't you?), and I might inadvertently find myself the object of Edmond Dantes' ire after our conversation (Mercedes seriously wasn't worth it, she's such a cow, you're better off without her). 

Soo... all that leads me to pick...


Elend Venture from The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson!

Elend is one of my favorite characters in all of literature, though relatively unknown. He's a nerdy, adorable, somewhat awkward sweetheart who grows into a rather grim, determined, kingly tyrant who doesn't want to be a tyrant. His character arc is one of the most impressive I have ever read, and possibly THE most impressive arc for a character that is not the protagonist.

Elend loves books to the point of rudeness. When Vin, the heroine, first meets Elend, it is because she accidentally stole his favorite hideout reading nook during a party. Elend has a geeky obsession with political theory, and is even part of a group of boys his own age who meets in secret to discuss theories and books. 

Elend first meets Vin while she is under the guise of Valette, her noble, party-going disguise used to infiltrate and spy on the ruling houses- including Elend's house, Venture. Unlike the other nobles, Elend begins to have his eyes opened to the errors and cruelties of his father, while also falling in love with Valette. What seals the deal in Elend's awesomeness is that even when Valette is revealed to be Vin, the waif Mistborn working to collapse the government that upholds Elend's lifestyle, he comes to her rescue and learns to love her even more. 

In the second book of the Mistborn trilogy, Elend's character arc grows considerably. I don't want to give away spoilers to those considering reading the novel (and you should absolutely consider it!), but I'll simply say that I love how author Brandon Sanderson takes common cliches and turns them on their head. You know the trope where the awkward, nerdy girl undergoes a makeover and suddenly she's really cool? Elend is that character, and he's totally a dude! Except, it is so much more than learning how to properly dress and comb his hair. He suddenly has the responsibility of an entire, fragile kingdom in his hand, and now he is forced to be the politician and leader he always loved reading about, but never truly wanted to be. And deep down, he not only feels like that nerdy, bookish boy, but he wants to go back to being him too. Only he can't. The fate of the world depends upon his leadership.

All in all, I feel like conversation with Elend would be both fascinating and easy. I love books, I love debating, I love being nerdy, I can be silly, I can be serious, and I absolutely adore Vin. We have quite a lot in common! 

So what about you? Which literary character would you like to meet? Tell me in the comments or, better yet, go write a blog post of your own and post the link in the comments! Feel free to use the banner!

Be sure to check out Savannah's Blog tomorrow to find out which literary character she would like to meet!

Favorite Fantasy World Posts

Thanks to everyone who participated with last week's question!


Jenelle at Jenelle Schmidt

Dorian at Dorian Writes

Hayden at The Story Girl


Monday, June 1, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Fantasy Worlds



Hello everyone!

It's finally summer. I don't know what that means in your area, but in NC it means the sun is glorious, the pools are open, most schools have finished, and there is finally an aura of freedom and exhilaration spreading throughout your soul instead of a stressful and ohmigosh-will-nine-cups-of-coffee-kill-me-can-I-even-study-with-that-much-caffeine-well-I-can't-study-asleep-here-goes-nothing mindset.

But those aren't the best parts of summer. Wanna know the best part?

The release of Five Enchanted Roses, of course! ;)

In preparation for the release, my fellow authors and I have decided to start a little game of tag to help everyone get to know more about the writers and the worlds of Five Enchanted Roses. Also, I would love to get to know YOU, epic readers, so by all means, feel free to participate! The rules are simple; answer the given question in a post on your own blog, then post the link in the comment section here. There will be a new question posted here at The Pink Cave every Monday for the next few weeks. Easy peasy, right?

Oh, and because we're a clever lot, we have taken to calling this game of tag 'Ring Around the Rose'. And today's question is...

If you could live in any fantasy world, which one would you choose?

This is so difficult! Should I choose the majestic vastness of Middle-Earth, or the stark grandeur of Roshar? The utter quirkiness of Wonderland, or the dark danger of Scadriel? The beautiful Narnia? Odd Aerwiar? Neverland? So many choices!



I thought through it all, and in the end, I'm going to have to choose the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hear me out on this one: while perhaps there is far less to visit in the Harry Potter universe- the only truly magical locations being Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and the Ministry of Magic- the fact is, the question said which one would I like to LIVE in, not VISIT. If it were a question of visiting, of taking a tour or whatnot, I would have said Middle-Earth in a heartbeat.

Don't get me wrong, LIVING in Middle-Earth would be epic as well. I might be a Hobbit. I would eat a bunch, have curly hair, and live in a hole, because I totally don't do that already. Or I could be an Elf! I don't think I could really pull of the ethereal regalness though. I think I'd fit in nicely in Rohan.

However, as much as it pains me to admit, I rather love the modern world. I need running water, electricity, and my laptop. And you know what? I'd also want to live an exciting, abnormal life. I don't think I would get that in Middle-Earth.

Very few people are Frodos or Aragorns or Gandalfs. If I were to pick Middle-Earth to live in, odds are I'd find myself a perfectly ordinary person who would stay in one place- Hobbiton, or Edoras, or Mirkwood. I would live an ordinary life. Granted, it would probably be pretty awesome. But I've always wanted more than an ordinary life.




 Living in the Wizarding World would, by definition, make me a wizard! (or a Squib, I suppose, but shhhh, I'm ignoring that...) I would have a wand and I would be magical. True, I would not be different from those around me, but the fact is, I would be different from what I am right now. Isn't that why we read books, in the end? To experience something different, to learn a different theme, to see the world differently? It's why, in Lord of the Rings, we read about the Frodos and the Aragorns of Middle-Earth. We don't read about what Rosie Cotton is doing. It's too similar to what we are now. In Harry Potter, we follow Harry's abnormal adventures, yes, but his school is drastically different from our own simply because Harry's genetics are different. He's magical. I would be like a Muggleborn student- constantly awed by the magic inside and surrounding me, even though it seems commonplace to many other students.

Although, when I think about it, isn't that how we ought to experience our own world?

Tomorrow, Savannah Jezowski, author of Wither, will be sharing which fantasy world she would like to live in. Be sure to check it out on her blog!