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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!

The Next Fairytale Contest!!!

I am so excited to participate in the cover reveal for the next Rooglewood contest! Are you ready? Well, here it is!

***

Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their third fairy tale novella contest—

Five Magic Spindles 
a collection of “Sleeping Beauty” stories




The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Sleeping Beauty,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?

All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

***

I am so excited about this collection! There are many awesome possibilities to explore with the Sleeping Beauty story. What if Sleeping Beauty were the villain? What if it took place in modern times WITHOUT magic? What about ye olde gender-swap and the story became Sleeping Handsome instead? Geez, now I'm looking forward to summer of NEXT year just so I can read all of the epic stories that haven't even been written yet!

So what do y'all think? Do you have any ideas bouncing around in your brain yet? And most importantly, on a scale of 10 to 10, how excited are you? I think I'm somewhere around a 98, but I could be underestimating myself there. :P

Be sure to check back later today for the start of a fun tagging game! ^_^