Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Writer's Tag

books.quenalbertini: Attractive publishers cloth bindings with gilt detailing late 1840’s early 1850’s:

(I shamelessly stole this tag from Cait. Wahaha. I always knew I'd make a good thief. After all, my first movie crush at the age of five was on Aladdin's dad in Aladdin and the King of Thieves not to mention Han Solo and Robin Hood and Flynn Rider so maybe it's just fate. But then again I'm pretty sure she offered the tag to anyone who wanted it, so I guess it wasn't very scoundrel-y of me after all.)

1. WHAT GENRES, STYLES, AND TOPICS DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?

Genres:

     I can't say I'm overly fond of sticking to one genre, but generally I go historical. I can't help it. But I really like sci-fi and one day I hope to write a bunch of classic-style adventure stories in all their melodramatic, swashbuckling glory. Think Captain Blood, John Carter, or Zorro. (Or Robin Hood, of course)

Styles:

     ALWAYS past tense, except for one tiny bit in The Wulver's Rose which was (gasp!) in the present tense. I generally don't like anything else. I alternate between third person and first person depending on the book, because they can be used for such different effects. And I do love multiple, large-cast POVs.

     I also feel like I need to warn you I have the Victorian penchant for really long sentences that would make Dickens proud.

Topics:

logical and bookish ladies
moral and admirable gentlemen
lots of dancing
also sword-fighting/pistol-dueling/knife-stabbing/poison-drinking
thieves (SEE)
other aspects of Victorian crime
period-correct ideology (hey, at least I try)
fairy tales
close family (especially sibling) relationships

     I know that these are generally more surface topics and probably aren't entirely what the question is asking, but I don't see myself as a topical writer, so I didn't know any other way to answer it.

2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?

     I have it on good authority that I wrote "A Cat Called Love" when I was 3ish.

3. WHY DO YOU WRITE?

     I could go with something profound, but as I've gotten older I'm acutely aware of the one thing that keeps me writing: I'm in charge of my stories, and I won't mess them up. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, but I've been disappointed so many times with book and TV series that have ruined themselves, either through gross out-of-character lapses, shoe-horned-in political statements, or an inclusion of "okay" immorality. Sometimes, the culprit is just a really stupid and misguided plot. But guess what? I never have to worry about scriptwriters ruining my stories or characters in the third season! Isn't that fabulous? Other people can't mess up your favorite stories if you write them yourself!

Image result for roll safe meme


4. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?

     In the mid-morning after I've gotten ready for the day, which is really inconvenient since I get all of my best ideas while I'm snuggled up in bed at midnight.

5. PARTS OF WRITING YOU LOVE VS PARTS YOU HATE?

Love:

     The outlining, the planning, the naming--the time when the plot is coming together and it's beautiful.

     Writing a paragraph that flows beautifully and realizing that it's actually a piece of good writing and no, it's not just my imagination! (This is rare but it's lovely when it happens)

     Writing finis at the end and looking back with satisfaction that, first draft or not, I finished a novel!


Image result for proud of myself gif

Hate:

     Okay, do you know that feeling where you suddenly just don't like anything fictional and find it unsatisfying? I don't know if I'm describing this well, but in every story I hit a point where I just don't care about anything or anyone in it. It seems dull and lifeless and pointless, and I get depressed and in a funk and don't feel like reading any other books or watching any other movies, either. It's terrible while it lasts (which thankfully isn't for long) but it generally happens at some point with (most) every book I write.

     Also, this usually happens during the first, second, third, and all other subsequent rounds of editing, so maybe that has something to do with it.

     The overwhelming and oppressive jolts of self-doubt are also a downer.

6. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITERS BLOCK?

     I take a walk and watch a movie or a TV show. If chocolate is in the house, I usually sneak some of that, too. (see, thief)

Image result for stealing chocolate gif

     To be honest, writer's block is usually a sign that I've just been working too long and fried my brain-- that is, it's a clue I need to take a writing break.

7. ARE YOU WORKING ON SOMETHING AT THE MOMENT?

     "So are you writing anything right now?"

     I get that question a lot, and my answer is the same every time:

     "I'm always writing something."

8. WRITING GOALS THIS YEAR?

1. Finish January Snow and my Little Mermaid retelling (both of which are novellas)
2. Work on my poor neglected historical novel, Grande Complications (formerly titled Philippa, if you've stuck long around this blog)
3. Begin the first draft of my next piece of historical fiction, which I'm attempting to write in the style of an actual Victorian novel (what am I doing someone stop me)
4. I also want to at least attempt a classic-style adventure story, but we'll see how that goes.

     And there I end the writing tag! I know that this blog has been filled with a lot of tags, but now that school is almost over for the summer I should have more time to actually write posts! Then again, with all of those writing goals, you might be lucky if I have the time to just post a cat video.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

With Blossoms Gold Now Available!

     It's here! With Blossoms Gold is now up here on Createspace, and it should go through and be on Amazon within a day or two.


Monday, April 17, 2017

5 Things I Thought I'd Love (But Didn't)

The Novels of the Brontë Sisters

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In which you can totally see that Branwell painted himself out of the picture, which I completely understand. I've done the same thing.
     After I was introduced to Jane Austen’s novels, Charlotte Brontë’s works seemed the next logical step. But the fact remains that even if I can appreciate some things about books like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights or Agnes Grey, the Brontës and I aren’t exactly kindred spirits. They tend to irritate me. That being said, I did (sort of) enjoy reading Villette for class this semester, so...I guess they get better on multiple readings? I don't think I'll ever love them, but I can at least admit that some of their writing is very good.

This raspberry and rosewater truffle from Godiva.

Image result for raspberry rose godiva truffle

I thought the rosewater flavor sounded so elegant and refined.

No. It tastes like perfume. One of the grossest things I have ever put into my mouth.

Don’t do it.

The Emily of New Moon Series


     I have always loved Anne of Green Gables, and L.M. Montgomery continues to be a favorite author. I thought I’d love these books, given that they are about a writer. But…I don’t. Even if Emily and I share some very distinct personality traits, I find her annoying. Even more annoying is the love story. I WANTED TO PULL OUT MY HAIR. I just…don’t like Emily. AND IT ANNOYS ME THAT I DON’T.

But what can ya do. :/

Ever After

So many pretty clothes in this movie, though.
     I have a vague (but perhaps false) memory of watching this movie at a young age. However, I didn’t rediscover it until later in my late teens, and I wondered why on earth I hadn’t thought to watch it earlier. I mean, fairy tales + Renaissance? Why on earth hadn’t I watched it before? Excited that there was a movie I was sure would become one of my new favorites, I watched it…and felt very much let down. I didn’t hate it exactly, I just felt indifferent to it. And the ending kind of ruined it for me, more of a “haha the stepmother gets it” rather than the forgiveness that I think, quite frankly, makes the new Disney version of Cinderella better. Ever After might be the more serious, realistic movie of the two, but it makes the core of the story lose its impact. Not that the movie is entirely bad (I mean, the scene where Danielle picks up the prince makes me laugh, after all. And the scenery and “feel” of the movie was one that helped inspire With Blossoms Gold) but it’s not one I feel the need to re-watch.  Definitely “meh” for me. I would be more specific with my complaints, but it’s been a few years now since I watched it. I just remember being disappointed.

Sleepless in Seattle


     I am not one for chick flicks, to be honest. I’ve only seen a few, and I’ve liked even fewer. One of those in the latter category is You’ve Got Mail. Since I enjoy that one so much, I thought I’d like Sleepless in Seattle, too. Everyone always lumps those two movies together and I just assumed if I liked one, I’d like the other.

Nope.

     Other than the fact it had a lot more content issues than You’ve Got Mail did, I just…didn’t enjoy the story line? The two leads barely interact, and I felt like I was waiting the entire movie for the “good part” of the film that never arrived. Really the only positive thing I can say about it that it’s the only movie I’ve seen Meg Ryan in where I like her hair. I get serious hair envy over that French braid of hers. Why couldn't her hair have looked like that in Kate and Leopold?

Anyway, life is full of disappointments, and thankfully these were generally pretty frivolous ones. Anything you thought you'd love but ended up...not liking?

(Also, hopefully I will have a post of things I thought I'd hate, but didn't. That should be more uplifting, true?)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

With Blossoms Gold Winners!

The giveaway is over, and our winners are:

Emily Smith
Ekaterina Yodis

Congrats! You'll be receiving emails from me shortly!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

With Blossoms Gold Giveaway!

   
     It's almost time for With Blossoms Gold to bloom in paperback!  Originally I had planned to release this book on the 2nd (That is, today) but there's been a slight delay. It shouldn't be a long one by any means (maybe a week or so) but to make it up to you, I'll be giving away TWO paperback copies of With Blossoms Gold, to be sent as soon as they are available.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!
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