Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Annabeth's War is Available Now!!

A short while ago, I was given an opportunity to proofread a novel, and I enjoyed it very much. Now, I am so excited to announce, it is available on Amazon ($10.95), and on the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords ($3.99)!

Annabeth's War was written by Jessica Greyson, and is a delightful, uplifting book. I found myself just reading through, wanting to see what happened next--before remembering I was supposed to be watching for grammar. Hehe!

I recommend it for readers of all ages. Christmas present, anyone??

Isn't this cover simply stunning? It's a lovely representation of a novel worth reading!
Here's something extra fun! 

Two of my favorite bloggers (Jessica and Katherine Sophia) have teamed up with a book and bracelet giveaway. Click the picture for more info (and as a special treat, there's also an author interview)!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fairy Tale Examinations #2

(Not sure what this is all about? Check out the first Fairy Tale Examination)


A damsel in distress is locked in a tower, and her prince comes to rescue her...hmm, I sense a lack of originality here. Still, a wonderful story could be told using a seemingly cliche plot.

A husband and wife (we aren't given names) are having the daughter they've always wanted. Pregnancy craving? Rampion.

I looked it up, because I'm not incredibly familiar with herbs.

Does this seem tasty to you?
Now, I realize it's food, but it looks like a flower. I wouldn't eat it.

This is a dramatic pregnancy craving: "If I can't eat some of the rampion, I shall die."

Something makes me seriously doubt that. But then, I shouldn't judge. Perhaps there is some rare fever, and the only cure...is more rampion.

Her husband gets her the forbidden plant. She wants more, so he goes back, and is caught by an enchantress. He may have all the rampion he wants, if she can have his child. He agrees.

Okay, so he was terrified...but still. It doesn't seem to me he wanted this daughter as much as he claimed to at the beginning.

The moment the daughter is born, the enchantress names her Rapunzel and takes her away.

Hey, look! Someone who actually has a name.

More to the point, the parents don't seem to fight this. At all. "Oh, you want my baby? Here ya go. That rampion was so worth it!"

When Rapunzel is twelve, the enchantress locks her in a tower, with no stairs and only a small window.

How did she get her into it? We're not meant to know.

What we do know is that when little miss enchantress decides to visit Rapunzel, she says:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair to me.

Wait, wait, wait. A twelve year old has hair long enough--and strong enough--to replace a ladder.

When I was fourteen, I cut my hair for the first time. It was to my waist. It wouldn't work for a ladder--and I had two years on this girl!

Also... Ouch.

A prince hears Rapunzel singing. He comes every day to listen, until one day he sees how the enchantress gets up. 

So, basically, he's stalking her voice.

The next day, he uses the same phrase, and Rapunzel lets down her hair. She's shocked it's a man.

Did she think the enchantress had a nasty cold?

Rapunzel calms down, he asks her to marry him, and she says yes--because "she saw that he was young and handsome." 

At least she's honest about the reason...

Rapunzel tells Dame Gothel (the enchantress gets a name now) she's heavier than the prince, so Gothel cuts her hair and banishes her to the desert.

Well, that wasn't a kind thing to say...but it's also a bit of an overreaction on Gothel's part.

Gothel attaches the hair to the tower and tries to capture the prince. He dramatically jumps out of the tower, and is blinded by thorns.

Okay, I was under the impression that this tower was 20 feet tall. A little thorn-induced blindness is the only result of a jump from that height? What about broken bones? I broke my leg from a jump of only three feet!

He wanders in agony until he comes upon Rapunzel and her twins. Her tears (of happiness, I presume) return his sight, and they return to his kingdom and live happily ever after.

Apparently, a wedding happened in the tower, since by this point the story refers to Rapunzel as his wife. I'm not sure how, considering it was only ever the two of them in there, but okay.

I'm not even going to comment on the tears-heal-blindness thing.

I'm curious; what fairy tales leave you scratching your head?

Monday, December 3, 2012

After NaNoWriMo

You know this from my last post, but I feel it's worth repeating.

NaNoWriMo is over!

Okay, so it actually wasn't that exhausting this year.

Although I would like nothing more than to edit Tomatoes Don't Judge (my NaNo story) right away, I'm restraining myself for the sake of another novel.

For anyone who has read Shrouded Jewels, you know that it ends on a not altogether satisfying note. I did this on purpose.

I had a couple of reasons, but the relevant one today is that it was my way of opening the way for the sequel.  As Fairydust Settles follows Mical and Davey as they deal with the consequences of their decisions. There are disappointments, temptations, and even a murder!

I'm in the process of editing/rewriting it now, and plan to make it available as soon as possible.

And now, for something completely different...
(5 points to the first person who gets that reference!)

A dear friend recently got me hooked on gifs. They now rank among the things that make me . . . smile. Yep.

You can expect them in the majority of my posts from here on out. Whenever I see a good one, I say:

A quick note on them: Please don't take my posting of a gif as my recommendation for the show. Here is the breakdown of the gifs I find:
50%: I don't know where they came from.
20%: I do know, but have no interest in seeing it.
30%: I've seen at least one episode.
Of those I've seen, some I recommend, some I do not. If you're curious about one, please ask!

Friday, November 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Days 21-30

NaNo ends today! Although I made it to 50K earlier in the month, my goal was to finish my story by today--and I did. I wrote those lovely words, "the end," a couple days ago. (Usually I don't actually write them, but it felt fitting this time.)

Word Count:
Yes; quite.
Excited it's over!
Hours of Sleep:
Too many! Something like 10.
Cups of coffee:
1, starting on 2.
Today's Snippet:
(Robbie is meeting Kara's dad for the first time.) 
He clasped his hands in his lap and watched Robbie for a moment. "Your parents are Joe and Ella Blake, correct?" 
Robbie nodded. "You know them?" 
"I know of them," Mr. Reinhart clarified. "I know that they are decent people. I know of you, too." 
Robbie shifted in his chair, wishing he could fidget more than just the occasional movement of a leg or arm. 
"I see that you anticipate what I am going to say," the man said, unflinching in his eyes' hold on Robbie. 
"I have made mistakes, sir." 
"Yes. Have you finished making these mistakes?" 
Robbie's eyes lifted until he met those of Kara's foster father. "No, sir, I am afraid I will always make them." 
"Well!" The man smiled. "An honest answer." 
Robbie shrugged. "It would be foolish to lie." 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Things That Make Me . . . Thankful

This seemed appropriate for today... Honestly, this list is extensive, more is added to it every day (my celebrations), and I'm sure you'd be bored near the beginning--so I'll try to keep it short.

Things that make me thankful:
  • Family and friends
  • Hugs
  • Thilly little insights
  • Time and motivation to write--at the same moment
  • Kind words
  • Coffee
  • Unexpected beauty (sunsets are a particular favorite)
  • Evidence of Papa's Love, for me and for others
  • Chocolate (might be connected to the previous one...)
  • Sleeping in
  • Reading
  • Dancing
  • Freshly baked cookies
  • Demonstrations of selfless love, especially toward strangers

What are you thankful for, today and always?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Days 14-21

Word Count:
Pretty much. This past week I've been focusing on things other than my story, so it's nice to get back into it--and I'm excited about how the ending is turning out.
Joyfully content.
Hours of Sleep:
Cups of coffee:
Today's Snippet:
(The Blakes and Kara are camping.) 
Robbie’s head appeared in a nearby tree. “You people don’t pay attention much, do you?” 
Kara looked up. “What are you doing up there?”  
He wrapped his legs around the branch and tipped himself backwards, until he was looking at her upside down. “Care to join me, Kars?”  
She couldn’t help but laugh, though she hid it quickly.
Robbie held out a hand, as if he would be strong enough to lift her from that position. It was very tempting for her to pull him down as proof that he couldn’t.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Celebrations: Writing Room

Today I'm Celebrating...

Besides the obvious (see previous post), today I'm celebrating my new office/writing room!

Jane Austen wrote at a table this size. Sometimes, I do too.
Recent happenings in my house meant we had an empty bedroom. Since my room wasn't an ideal place for both my desk and my bed, I now have an office for the former!

I have an obsession with a collection of candles.
This was also a chance for me to free up some of my shelf space. Funny--my room doesn't look any less cluttered...

Yes; those shelves are in the shape of check marks.
I love my desk.

What are you celebrating?

NaNoWriMo, Day 13: WON!

Word Count:
You betcha! I was hoping to "finish" today. My story isn't done, and I'll write the end before November ends, but now I can worry less about word count and more about content.
Joyful and celebratory!
Hours of Sleep:
I don't actually know...I think it was around 8.
Cups of coffee:
2...considering a 3rd.
Today's Snippet:
(Robbie hurt Kara and is getting ready to go apologize to her.) 
His dad told him that was part of becoming a man: being able to face your mistakes and admit that you had been wrong. 
If that was the case, Robbie would almost rather remain a boy.

NaNoWriMo, Day 12

Word Count:
Very! I was aiming for 45K and didn't really believe I'd make it to that--especially since a large portion of the day was taken setting up my new office! (Which I am very excited about. I'm dubbing it my writing room. As soon as I get a new chair, that's where I'll be. All the time. Goodbye, world!)
Happy, and sleepy. I'm two of the seven dwarfs!
Hours of Sleep:
Cups of coffee:
Today's Snippet:
(Kara is writing a letter to Robbie, which she never intends to show him. "Because I won't understand my feelings until I see them in writing.") 
Love can’t be one sided. It can be, I guess. There’s a term for it; I can’t think of it right now. I had always hoped that I would never have to experience it.
Then you showed up, and now I am in danger of that very thing. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Days 8-11

It's been a busy weekend with not much time to write until after midnight last night--so I got a little behind with these posts.

Word Count:
Somewhat. I was aiming to reach that before midnight, but I didn't. But both Saturday and Sunday I passed the minimum 1,667 so I'm happy enough.
Hours of Sleep:
Usually around seven
Cups of coffee:
Between half a cup and three cups. I try not to have more than three.
Today's Snippet:
“Robbie, wait,” his dad called to him, his tone urgent.  
Robbie turned back to face him. “What is it now, Dad?” 
“Your pants are falling down! It’s a good thing I stopped you, or boy would you have felt embarrassed in front of all your friends!” 
Robbie rolled his eyes. “See you later, Dad.”  
“I have a belt you can borrow…”
“Goodbye, Dad.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Day 7

Word Count:
Very! I was aiming for 27K and I made it. Take that, NaNo!
Happy! And my Pandora station is singing love songs to me again, so I can't help but smile. I can't write during them, but when I don't have to write, they're fun.
Hours of Sleep:
Seven...but it was weird hours. Like, 3am to 10am. Weird. Thank you, election results, for keeping me awake. So nice of you to end late... haha.
Cups of coffee:
Today's Snippet:
(This is a flashback to when Kara was around ten years old. Some girls from school decided to give her a makeover. I haven't decided if I'll keep it, but...it's there for now.) 
Kara squirmed in her seat a little as one of the other girls started brushing through her hair. 
“How did you get a stick in here?” She laughed. “It doesn’t really matter. I just wasn’t expecting it!” 
Kara blushed. “I don’t know.”

NaNoWriMo, Day 6

Word Count:
Somewhat. I was initially aiming for 25K, but I needed a break after yesterday....and I know I can easily hit that tomorrow.
So sleepy. But that has more to do with the current time than anything else.
Hours of Sleep:
I don't actually know this.
Cups of coffee:
Three.... I discovered the most amazing coffee ever. It comes from Ikea. Get some, people. Dark roast...simply perfection.
Today's Snippet:
“Can I ask you a question, Kara?”  
She glanced at him. His tone held sincerity, but she couldn’t help teasing him more. She may as well have fun as she got to know this strange family. “That was a question in itself,” she said, “so I don’t know why you felt the need to ask permission for it--while you were already asking it.”
“Okay…can I ask another one?” 
“And, again, you just did. If you want a third, I suggest you just ask it, or you may find I won’t be quite so willing to hear it.” She laughed lightly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Day 5

Word Count:
Content, and ready to relax with a movie.
Hours of Sleep:
I think it was seven.
Cups of coffee:
TOO MANY. I had 3. And hot chocolate. Don't judge.
Today's Snippet:
“When you’re right and I’m wrong, you’ll know. I was taught that being able to admit when I’m wrong would make me happier. So you’ll be right, and I’ll be happy. It’s a win-win situation.”
Kara rolled her eyes. “You are ridiculous.”
“You’re right.” Robbie grinned, and his eyebrows went up as his chin tilted down. “See what I did there?”

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Day 4

Word Count:
Yep. I definitely could have written more, given time, but since my only chance to write today was in the car (where half the time words and my stomach don't mix well), a little under 2K is enough.
Sleepy. So sleepy.
Hours of Sleep:
I think it was around 8, but it feels like fewer!
Cups of coffee:
About half a cup... Maybe that's why my answer to the above is what it is...
Today's Snippet:
(Kara is an author. As an author, she goes through days when writing just plain stinks.) 
She focused in on the page once again. She had only written two words. 
This is pathetic. Does every author struggle this much? 
She wasn't even sure if she wanted to keep those two words. She sat and stared at them for a moment. There seemed to be nothing terribly offensive about them, so she decided to let them stay. 
Time for the next two. If only all writing happened two words at a time, it might not seem so overwhelming to her.

NaNoWriMo, Day 3

Word Count:
Yes! I wasn't expecting to get more than a few hundred words today, because I only had an hour or so to write.
Hours of Sleep:
Cups of coffee:
Just one. I was tempted to get another, but resisted. Aren't you proud??
Today's Snippet:
(Robbie's family is gardening...it's early spring. They see Kara walking and call her over.)

“Come on and help us,” Robbie called.

She shook her head. “It’s too cold for that.”

“Aw, come on. Don’t be a spoil sport. Think of how much you will love having a tomato plant that has your name on it!”

She shook her head again. “I don’t much care if a tomato plant is named Susie Mcgee on a day as cold as today is.”

“Where are you from, that you think this is cold? It’s decent today!”

“You have a very strange definition of decent when it comes to the weather.” 

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Day 2

Word Count:
I am! I was aiming for 7K, and I still have time to write before it's family time.
Hours of Sleep:
Cups of coffee:
Almost a full, LARGE coffee. Yummy.
Today's Snippet:
(I just had to bring this word into it!) 
“Honey, did you say ‘thilly’?” 
“Yes, darling, I did.” 
“Why? Why not just say ‘silly’?” 
“Because I didn’t mean silly. I meant thilly.” 
Robbie shook his head. “Thilly is just silly with a lisp, Dad.” 
Joe put a hand over his mouth. “I can’t believe you would say such a thing.” 
He crossed his arms. “Is it not?” 
“Of course not! Thilly is sillier than silly. It is a completely separate word.”
“That’s not a thing, Dad.” 
“It will be—when people start using it more.” 
Ella shook her head. “Stop trying to be Shakespeare by making up your own words. He’s not an ideal role model. Especially with all those accusations of plagiarism and such. That isn’t something to portray as edifying in front of your children.” 
“Yeah, Mom. Davey and I are still young, impressionable children, and now we’re going to think plagiarism is okay, because Shakespeare did it, and Dad wants to be Shakespeare because he made up one dumb word. That’s definitely going to happen.” 
“Now, see, Ella? That’s an example of something thilly.”

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

Word Count:
I was aiming for 5K...but I'll take it. Maybe I'll get to 5K before sleep tonight!
Cups of coffee:
Just one!
Today's Snippet:
(Ella, Joe, Kara, and Robbie are weeding.)
She looked over at Kara. “Yes—that’s perfect. See, Joe? She pulled it right from the bottom, and got the whole thing. That’s what you should be doing.”

Joe’s mouth opened in pain. “You…you killed it. Kara, how could you kill it?”

“You’re kind of tree huggers, aren’t you?”

“Dandelion huggers. And sometimes chickens. Chickens get squirmy when you try to hug them. Trees, though? Not really.”

Ella giggled. “Joe is just silly about dandelions.”
“And Ella is just silly about chickens.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Young Love?

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."
- Pride & Prejudice, chapt. I

Recently I heard, repeatedly, that the marriage age is rising. People are waiting for their careers to take off before saying "I do."

That, at least, is what the statistics say. I find it hard to believe. Most of the people I was friends with in college are married now. And most of them either just graduated or are still in college. Some married at 18. All are well below the 25+ age the statistics cite.

I've grown up believing that waiting was the mature thing to do. Wait until I graduate, then wait until I have a job, then wait until I'm independent, and living on my own. And then, and only then, I can think about marriage. To marry or even date before that point would be irresponsible.

That's what my parents instilled in me, and why I am so resistant to the thought of marrying young. Is it mature and responsible to wait...or selfish? Am I waiting, as I've said, because relationships take energy that with my growing business I would be unable to give? Or am I waiting because being single is easier? I have only to think of myself, and not of the happiness of another, after all...

I doubt I'll change my stance. I don't feel ready, and I've always trusted that when the time was right, Papa would let me know. Still, it's something to think about.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Things That Make Me . . . Passionate

Today marks the first of my "Things that make me..." blog series. I'll post these lists periodically...just for fun. Let me know if you have ideas for the next one!

Things that make me passionate:
  • Seeing others in action
  • Undeserved Pain
  • Brokenness
  • Our Papa
  • Blessings...and a lack thereof
  • Poor grammar (especially spoken)
  • Hatred
  • Love
  • Those unaware of Love
  • Unacknowledged beauty

For those who are curious . . . here is what I am most passionate about:
  • Our dear Papa
  • Ending human trafficking
  • Adoption (especially older children or those with special blessings)
  • Love
  • Finding a cure for ALS
  • Ending abortion
  • Grammar (sometimes)

Thank you to my beautiful Istiepants for today's list suggestion!

Fairy Tale Examinations #1

The Princess and the Pea

Now, I love these stories--really. Still, I think it's time to face it: Fairy tales are thilly. For those who don't already know, thilly means "Sillier than silly." I can't think of a better description than that for The Princess and the Pea.

Enter our prince. Let's call him Fred. Many young ladies wish they could marry Fred.

Why? Well, he's a prince. Apparently, they don't need another reason.

He doesn't want to marry these ladies, because they aren't princesses.

This seems to be his only requirement in a future spouse.

This is well-known, so many young ladies pretend to be royalty, in hopes of winning his hand.

Is everyone in the fairy tale world desperate?

He doesn't want to deal with fake princesses anymore. One final princess (let's call her Sally) didn't get that memo, so she shows up. They offer her a room, with a bed piled high with mattresses.

40 of them, by my count. Imagine it. 40 mattresses wouldn't fit in my entire room.

She says nothing about this. 

Is she used to sleeping in places where rolling over could result in serious injury or death? Perhaps princesses are only allowed in towers.

Unbeknownst to Sally, Fred's mother has placed a pea under her bed. Under all 40+ mattresses.

Was this a common experiment? Also, Fred's mother seems to have an unhealthy involvement in his choice of a spouse...

In the morning, Sally complains that she couldn't sleep at all.

Here she is, accepting a room from strangers gracious enough to offer it, and she complains.

Fred realizes that only a princess could be that sensitive, and decides to marry her.

Hold on. She's worth marrying because she's whiny and sensitive? Oh boy, Fred...you got yourself a keeper here.

Let's not even get into the fact that they've known each other...what? Not even 24 hours? Even ignoring that completely, this is ridiculous.

They are married, and live happily ever after.

I sense sarcasm in this ending. At least, it would be there if I were the author!

I'm curious; what fairy tales leave you scratching your head?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thilly Little Blessings

My philosophy is that there are little blessings everywhere, if only we will look. I consider them things to celebrate.

I'd be lying if I said this last week was easy for me, but it was filled with blessings.

My friends have been wonderful; proving, yet again, how much they care about me. I have been given more hugs and kind words than I either expected or deserved.

Papa (my term of endearment for God) has shown kindness, by keeping cramps and (most of my) crankiness away, in spite of it being "that time." Cramps have been getting worse each month--or at least seem to be--so this is a major blessing.

Rivershore Books, my publishing and editing business, has been going well, and keeping me busy.

Finally, a huge thank you to Shabby Blogs for my new blog layout. If any of you find yourself in need of a new background or header, be sure to check them out! The pictures are all adorable, and all available out of the goodness of their hearts.

What are you celebrating today?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Can God Use Autocorrect?

Okay...I don't have an iPhone; I'm a Google girl, and have an Android. More people recognize Autocorrect than Swype, though. They're similar.

The question remains. Can our Papa use a phone's word guess? I like to think He can.

Last night we found out my grandma wasn't doing well, and this morning we learned that she went in her sleep. (We're okay. It hasn't hit us, probably...but I do feel Papa's peace.)

This has been coming for a few days, so I'd asked for prayers as my grandpa loses his love of more than sixty years.

I wanted to let some friends who had been praying know, so I sent some texts: "Thank you for praying. Got the call she's gone now."

No matter how many times I wrote it, my phone changed the word gone to home.

I love that.

We think she was a Christian, but we weren't sure. If Papa can manipulate phone texts, that means He's letting us know she was, and she's now with Him. In spite of the fact that gone and home are simply easily mistaken for the other on my keyboard...I'm clinging to that.

She's home now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guess Who's Back!

Hello, dear readers!

First, I am so sorry for letting this place die. Thank you, followers, for staying around!

I have decided to revive this as my unofficial (but, still sort of official) author blog. I'm always in the middle of writing something...this is the place where I'll talk about my works in progress, the struggles I'm having, successes, excerpts of happiness I come across...excited yet? I am.

Let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like me to share about...and please share with your friends!

If you're interested in following my more professional blog (I would appreciate it!), you can find me at rivershorebooks.blogspot.com. There are book excerpts, Rivershore Books news, Grammar Days, behind-the-scenes about writing, character interviews from my books, and (the best part) guest bloggers!

My co-author here, Addie, has a new blog as well! Read her wonderfully worded insights at finnabealightbearer.blogspot.com

Thank you all so much! You are loved and appreciated by us both. I look forward to sharing my writing journey with you, and learning how you are doing with your own projects!


P.S. Please note that the URL of this blog has changed: Thilly-Little-Nothings.blogspot.com