Monday, May 22, 2017

Bookish Book Lovers Tag

Hello all,

I must have stumbled onto some good band of elves Saturday-Sunday because I somehow have managed to double my pageviews in the space of two weeks. (HOW???? Seriously, I wake up Sunday with over 500 pageviews on the daily counter, all from the US, and all from the middle of the night.)

When I figure out where they went, I'll send them over to you guys.

Anyways, Melissa Gravitis has tagged me for the Bookish Book Lovers Tag (wow, that is a mouthful)! Thanks, girl! Please check out her blog here, she does some really cool stuff over there!

Ok, here are the rules:

1. Have to use the tag banner (which is above).
2. Answer the questions.
3. Use lots of book covers (cause texts are boring).
4. Tag your bookish friends!

Right then, simple enough. On to the questions!

1. What book(s) are you currently reading? 

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is one of Stevenson's lesser known books, but it has the same swashbuckling adventure style that Stevenson is famous for. This book takes place during the War of the Roses in England, and it follows the story of a squire (son of a knight) as he comes of age, rescues his damsel in distress and joins a rogue band that is targeting various corrupt knights.

I started The Black Arrow on Sunday. I found a kid's version lying around and was really intrigued, so I'm going to try the full version to see if I like it. So far, it's fairly good. Though it is true that you have to be somewhat familiar with Middle English and the context of the War of the Roses in England in order to fully understand what is going on.

296264
From Goodreads
Check Out the Book Here

2. What was the last book that you finished?

After a Fashion by Jen Turano.

This book starts off with a shop girl going to deliver some products to a spoiled rotten young woman, but then winds up in a scheme to impress a duke. An actress, a down-on-her-luck nanny, a high bred lady and a mischievous dog provide multiple opportunities to laugh as Harriet Peabody tries to escape the clutches of her horrible aunt and into the arms of Mr. Oliver Addleshaw.

I really really loved the characters in this book and the plot was fairly good too. This book really plays around with the idea of birth and rank, which is interesting since it takes place in New York.  The only thing that really annoys me about Jen Turano's works is that she has a few major historical inaccuracies in her plots, making it seem like the story takes place in multiple time periods at the same time (cue confused stares). But, she does have a very good sense of humor, so I guess that redeems her for now.

After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own Book #1) by [Turano, Jen]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

3. Favorite book you've read this year?

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot.

A vacation from her fast-paced big city marketing job is just what Kate Sherwood needs, at least according to her grandmother. So, off to rural Texas they go - to the old Christian resort in which her grandmother and grandfather vacationed over 50 years before. But the slow pace of the small town and the collapsing resort bother Kate a lot - that is until a certain "handyman" named Greg shows up to fix the window screen.

I had read some of Cabot's historical fiction works and loved them. So I was surprised to find that she had done some contemporary romance too. I must say, I was not disappointed. While the main plot line was a little cliche-ish, Cabot really put her own spin on the city-meets-country romance.

At Bluebonnet Lake (Texas Crossroads Book #1): A Novel by [Cabot, Amanda]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

4. What genre have you read most this year?

Historical fiction/romance. No surprises there, since that is my favorite genre to read.

One book that I really would recommend is one called Love's Rescue by Christine Johnson. It is one of the greatest historical romances that I've read in a while and a close second to At Bluebonnet Lake in terms of favorites this year.

Elizabeth Benjamin has been living with guilt in not living up to her parent's expectations. When her mother dies when she is away at Charleston, she returns to Key West, Florida to take her mother's place in her family home. But before she reaches the harbor, the ship is wrecked on the reef. Suddenly, Elizabeth is forced to confront her past, some secrets of her family's slaves, and the man she once wanted to marry.

Besides a great romantic plot line, this book also was not shy about touching on some of the harsh realities of slavery and the emotional turmoil that goes along with it. Without giving too much away, I must say that Elizabeth's mother must have been a saint for patience and mercy to deal with some of the stuff that she dealt with.

Love's Rescue (Keys of Promise Book #1): A Novel by [Johnson, Christine]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here


5. What genre have you read the least this year?

Fantasy. I've only read 1 fantasy book so far that I liked this year, which was Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Book 1 of the Inheritance Cycle series). The others that I acquired on Kindle were terrible, therefore they were banished.

A simple extended hunting trip turns life-changing for Eragon. After mysteriously finding a dragon's egg in the middle of an enchanted wood, a simple farm boy is dragged into a web of intrigue that is decades old. With the help of an old story-teller and his dragon Saphira, Eragon must transform from a bratty teenager to a hero in order to free his country from the dark forces of a Shade.

Yes. This book has a lot of bad reviews and the movie is bashed even more. Honestly, I don't think that this book deserves the amount of crap that it gets. Paolini created his own world with his own unique rules of magic, which is not easy. I liked the concept of the Dragon Riders and the Shade the best. In no way did I think this book was a knock-off of Tolkien, though it was certainly inspired by it.


113436
From Goodreads
Check Out the Book Here



6. What genre do you want to read more of?

High/Christian inspired fantasy. I honestly would love to see more books like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and other such works.

One that I really really like is Heart Song by Desiree Williams. Talk about elemental magic with a Christian twist!

Alanna, gifted with the power to manipulate natural forces, acts as a Good Samaritan to a grievously wounded young man by healing him. But this simple random act of kindness has huge consequences. Not only is she bound to the prince of the ruling kingdom, she is discovered by the Varkadon, who wish to destroy her before she can fulfill her destiny as Guardian of the Light.

If there was any possible way to combine elemental magic with a Christian worldview, this author nailed it. The only thing that I couldn't really reconcile was the soul-binding. I never really could understand that concept.

Heart Song (Heart Song Trilogy Book 1) by [Williams, Desiree]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

7. How many books have you read this year and what is your goal?

Goodness knows, and I have no goal. I read when I want to.

8. What's the last book you bought?

With money???

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.

Yes, I know I put it in here before, but that seriously was the last book I bought and that was several months ago. And it had been years since I bought a book before that. Free Kindle books have really spoiled me.

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle Book 1) by [Paolini, Christopher]
Of course, I had to add the other cover!
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

9. What book are you saving up to buy next?

Ohhhh gosh.
I have a LOT of books on my To Buy list, including the rest of the Inheritance Cycle series, several trilogies/series on the Kindle, LOTR, and the Chronicles of Narnia.

I also wanna get When Calls The Heart by Janette Oke. Yes, I wanna compare it to the TV show....though I'm kinda mad about hero's name is NOT Jack Thornton. #ElizabethandJackForever

Elizabeth Thatcher is a city girl that is moving out on her own into the foothills of the Rockies in order to become a schoolteacher. Not interested in marrying anyone, she guards her heart very carefully. But she is not prepared for a Mountie by the name of Wynn Delaney to steal her heart from under her.

When Calls the Heart (Canadian West Book #1) by [Oke, Janette]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

10. How many books did you check out on your last library visit?

This is embarrassing, but I haven't checked out any books from the library since I was in high school.

I do remember that it was around 6 books the last time though.

11. What's a book you can't wait to read?

Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer. A couple of my fellow bookish friends were fangirling over this one like crazy -- apparently the hero is a Darcy on steroids. If that isn't totally interesting, I don't know what is.

If you would like a review of this book, check out Mary Kate's post about it HERE.

Sylvester: or The Wicked Uncle (Regency Romances) by [Heyer, Georgette]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

12. What is a series that I would recommend to everyone?

 The Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Now, a lot of people have read the first book, Anne of Green Gables. But the rest of the books are also really good too. My personal favorite is Anne of the Island.

Anne is finally at Redmond College, earning her BA in English. She still has her fair share of scrapes to get herself out of, including rescuing a cat named Rusty and sharing loads of fun with her roommates Priscilla Grant, Stella Maynard and Phillipa Gordon. But Anne's heart is in danger of being spirited away - but will it be by the dashing Roy Gardiner or the steadfast Gilbert Blythe?

Why is this one my favorite? The question of Anne's heart gets settled after being dragged out for 3 books. Besides, as a recent college student I relate to the stories in this book a lot more.

Anne of the Island (Anne Shirley Series #3) by [Montgomery, Lucy Maud]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

13. Who's an author you're hoping will write more?

Amanda Cabot.

I mentioned before that I loved her historical romance novels. I think that she does a splendid job of maintaining historical accuracy but her characters are so relatable. My favorite of Cabot's writing is Summer of Promise.

Abigail Harding's sister Charlotte is currently expecting a baby while living with her husband at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. It becomes clear from her letters that something isn't right in Charlotte's world, so in true sister fashion, Abigail goes out to see her - not intending that her affianced heart be taken by a certain Lieutenant Ethan Bowles while she's out there.....

I really liked that the story started off rather platonic-ly before the romance started heating up. It's not often that you get a story in which the lovers become good friends beforehand. Of course with all the trouble that Abigail gets herself into, it's a good thing that she does have Ethan as a friend beforehand.

Summer of Promise (Westward Winds Book #1): A Novel by [Cabot, Amanda]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

14. A few books your heart adores?

Seriously? A few books?

Fine, I'll put three.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Obviously, I don't need to say what this book is about (if you don't know what this book is about, then shame on you), or why I like it so much. I've been a big fan of this book since I was in my early teens, and this one is my favorite Austen story.

Pride and Prejudice by [Austen, Jane ]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here
North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Margaret Hale is forced from her childhood home in the South of England when her father leaves his job as a minister in the Church of England. The Hale family makes their home in the North of England in a factory town, and Margaret has a tough time adjusting. Not helping matters is her father's new classics pupil, a factory owner by the name of John Thornton.

I got hooked onto this book by the BBC mini-series, and I must say, that I like the book better (only because BBC made Thornton look like a villain in the beginning and I didn't like that at all!).

North and South by [Gaskell, Elizabeth]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here
Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy are just your ordinary TV family sitcom couple. Comforting kids, reading lines, falling for each other in real life....
Wait, what?
Uh huh. The flame is sparking on the other side of the curtain. The trouble is, how to keep Kat's Grandma from hurrying the romance and keep the ever nosy press from helping her?

I love this book so much....this couple is so cute. The humor and the 'oh no' situations are enough to drive any blues away that you might have had. And it does give you an insight of what goes on during filming of a TV show (a lot more drama than what goes on the screen!).


Stars Collide (Backstage Pass Book #1): A Novel by [Thompson, Janice]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

15. What series' conclusion makes you sad?

I was really upset when I finished the Gallagher Girls series. I wanted Cammie's and Zach's story to continue....Though I wouldn't mind a rewrite of the 5th book. I really disliked that book. It was just...not right, didn't fit at all into the story line I thought. Plus the hypnotism and mind control really freaked me out. At least the sixth book fixed some of it, but still.

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls Book 5) by [Carter, Ally]
Ah yes...this one. Seriously needs a rewrite.
From Amazon Store
Check it out Here

16. What books are on your wish list?

I want to read The Ranger's Apprentice series. My other bookish friends have been clamoring me to read it. Apparently, it's similar to Lord of the Rings, so it must be somewhat good, right?

The Ruins of Gorlan: Book 1 (Ranger's Apprentice) by [Flanagan, John A.]
Book 1
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

Am I done? Phewy!

I tag:

Kat n Lia @ Catholic Girl Stuff

Mary Kate @ Sarcastic Scribblings (Because somebody loves tags.....)

Gray @ Writing is Life (that is, if she isn't sick of tags yet! Don't worry, I won't be offended if you pass, Gray)

Pip @ Pip and Lolly

Faith @ A Writer's Song

Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels


Man, I'm thinking that this is going to be my last tag for this May Tag Madness Month. My muse is getting bored. Hopefully that means that some stories (like maybe Rose of Culmore) will actually get written soon!!!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mystery Blogger Award

Hello all,

Soooooo....finally, I can calm down for a spell. Graduation went wonderfully and bittersweetly well (I still catch myself crying....but at least it didn't rain!) and I'm home for a little while.

But, before I delve too deeply into writing again, Mary Kate has nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award!!!! (Must be TAG season in the blogging world....)


The Rules:
1. Put the award/logo image on your blog
2. List the rules
3. Mention who nominated you and link to their blog. In my case it is Mary Kate @ Sarcastic Scribblings
4. Mention the creator and link to their blog (In this case it is Okoto Engima)
5. Tell the readers three things about yourself and answer the questions that the nominator asked you.
6. Nominate some people
7. Ask your nominees 5 questions

Three things about myself:

1. I tend to overstuff bins and suitcases, making them total cement blocks when lifting them.

2. I love the Latin language (even if the grammar is totally atrocious)
3. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in college 😂

The Five Questions:

1. What is your Favorite Book Character?

Rrrrrgggghhhh. You had to ask THAT one, didn't you?

One of my favorites is Rilla from Rilla of Ingleside. I love watching her grow up and fall in love with Lt. Kenneth Ford.
😍

2. List three books you've read more than 3 times.

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson
Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

3. What is your favorite book cover?
Mine has seen better days....but this book is still one of my favorites.


4.  What is your favorite place to write and why? 

Considering that my life right now is a constant shuffle, I write wherever I get the Call of the Muse. Though more likely than not, it happens to be my bed. Not totally sure why.

5. What snack food/drink do you eat while writing?

Candy and Chocolate are my two snackies for writing. Water is also very necessary.

This tag I open up to everyone! Here are your questions:

1. Favorite book/author as a kid
2. If you could redesign a book cover, which book would it be and why?
3. Best book to movie adaptation
4. Favorite reading spot
5. Best book series ever

Have fun!

Scribbingly yours,

Catherine

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Liebster Blog Award


Hello all!!

So...I have two reasons to celebrate today!

One.....I'm finally done with finals!!!

Two, the wonderful Gray Marie Cox from Writing is Life has tagged me for the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you, dear friend!

***********************************************

Here are the rules:

Link back to the person who tagged you
Answer the eleven questions
Tag eleven bloggers and let them know
Ask your tagged bloggers eleven questions


1. What is your biggest Pet Peeve? 

Being forced to wait before I can do something. I'm terribly impatient.....

2. What is one of your favorite things?

Just one????
Ok......
My Kindle. I got it after my main computer crashed when I was desperate for a device to access the Internet (I didn't have a smartphone), and have loved it ever since. 

3. Do you have a song stuck in your head? If so, which one?

I'm between songs on my mental playlist right now....that'll probably change later today

4. What is your favorite book that you've read this week? 

I just finished a Kindle book called The Crown and the Crucible. It's a historical fiction based in pre-revolutionary Russia (1870s). I really really enjoyed seeing the two protagonists (a princess and her maid) become friends. I will warn my fellow readers, there is some minor infidelity in it though. 

5. What is your favorite movie that you've watched this week?

Hmmm.....I'll have to say Sense and Sensibility, 1995. 

6. Do you have a favorite YouTuber? If so, who?

I don't really go onto YouTube anymore.....I only really used it to listen to music and that has gone down since I switched to Spotify (which I love by the way). 

That being said, I still go on occasionally to see the new stuff from Studio C, Peter Hollens and sometimes a fantasy artist or two. 

7. White, milk or dark chocolate?

DARK....though I'll eat any kind really. Dark chocolate helps me a lot more than the other kinds though. 

8. What is your favorite word? 

I have too many, and I make up others when one doesn't fit. 

9. Do you have a secret talent? 

I can take a tune and play it by ear on the piano or violin. 

10. Who is the first person that you think of when you think "weird"? 

Ack.....rather not say cause I'll get dirty looks. 

11. Would you rather be super famous or rich and unknown? Why? 

Much prefer to be rich and unknown. I'm not one for special treatment, or for millions of unknown people squealing when they see me. Besides, when I'm unknown, I can make much more of a difference in people's lives with my money (and get a few toys for myself). 

********************

Ok, let me scrounge through my reading list here....

I tag: 

Cordy @ Write On Cordy!
Katie Grace @ A Writer's Faith
Tracy Dyck @ Adventure Awaits
Audrey @ Audrey Caylin
Pip and Lolly @ Pip and Lolly 

Here are the questions: 

1. What is your favorite type of weather?
2. What is your favorite music genre? 
3. Hard candy or gummy candy? 
4. What is your favorite color? 
5. Tolkein or C.S. Lewis? 
6. What is your favorite period drama film?
7. Do you have a carefree or work-filled summer ahead?
8. If you could choose any country to go, where would it be? 
9. Would you rather go by horse-drawn wagon, boat, train or plane?
10. What is your favorite sea animal? 
11. What do you pull out of the fridge when you're feeling down (comfort food)?


Forgive me if I end up really quiet for a couple of weeks. Running between four states in the space of a month is gonna be a little winding......

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine



Saturday, May 6, 2017

May's Beautiful People!!!

PAPERFURY
Join the linkup! Link: http://paperfury.com/beautiful-people-24/
Hello all!!

After emerging victorious from Round One of College Finals, I decided to climb out of my posting slump...just in time for a new Beautiful People post!!!

This one had a parents theme....which was kinda difficult, because normally the parents are in the background with my stories. 

So I decided to pull up one of my *other* WIPs, a historical fiction that I'm starting to revisit again and do the parents of my protagonist and her sister. Enjoy!

*****************************************************************************

Leo and Jacinta Arlen - Parents of Ciara and Grace Arlen 





Leo Arlen 



Jacinta Garcia Arlen

1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents? 

Both girls have a very good relationship with their parents, and are extremely fond of them. 

2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

Both knew their parents, but Grace's memories are a little fuzzier than her sister's. They lose their parents in the beginning of the story, and it definitely affects Ciara more than Grace.  

3. How did their parents meet? 

Leo is a fisherman. One day as a young man, he ends up going out way too far on his little fishing vessel and somehow winds up on the northern Spanish coast - half starving and cold no less. A Spanish lass and her father were walking the beach when he landed, and they took him in. He was there in Spain for several months, courting Jacinta and eventually they married and they went back to Dover, England. 

4. How would they feel if they were told "you're turning out like your parent(s)"? 

Ciara is heavily criticized for being like her mother, so that statement will probably be met with a stony look if not an outburst of temper. Grace is hard to tell....she's too young.  

5. What were your character's parents doing when they were your character's age? 

At Grace's age, both would have been at school in their respective countries. At Ciara's, Jacinta would have just met Leo, and Leo would be just getting his first boat. 

6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on? 

Yes, the question between work and education for Ciara. Her mother wants her to be more educated, but her father is having struggles keeping his place up, and the men in the town refuse to help them (for reasons), so he wants Ciara to take on a heavier workload.

7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character? 

Grace was a model child, though she would steal food out of the pantry. Ciara would get into much more trouble though, and getting her out of it was often a trial.

8. What's their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)? 

For Ciara, it was one time her father came home unexpectantly from the sea with a large catch in a beautiful sunset. For Grace, it was her mother singing a Spanish lullaby.

9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler? 

Ciara was very curious baby. Grace, a rather sleepy one most of the time, unless she was around people because then she was the giggliest thing on the planet.

10. Why and how did the parents choose your character's name?  

Grace was named from Leo's mother. Ciara's name is more interesting. Jacinta had a very difficult labor with Ciara, and was very close to dying. But sheer Providence, an Irish midwife had just landed, and it was through her skill that the baby lived. Thus the grateful parents named the baby after her.

********************************************************************************
Unfortunately, I can't find a good snippet without giving away a ton of spoilers, since I wrote out a lot of the middle already. But....this BP really did help flesh out some of the background, so maybe I'll be able to write out some exposition for this story later. 

Hope your May is not as soggy as mine is! (I swear, if it rains all of next week and into graduation, I'm going to be soooooo mad!) 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine 


Monday, May 1, 2017

1000 View Celebration!!!!


Hello all,

So, I didn't expect to post today, but I about busted a gut this morning when I checked my Blogger stats this morning.

I'VE HIT A 1000 VIEWS ON THE REBELLING MUSE!!!!

To be exact, as of about 10 minutes ago, I've now got 1018. I really didn't expect to hit this many views in the 2 1/2 months I've been blogging here.

I'm so grateful to my 5 followers and all of you guys and I just wanna say....

Thank You!!!!!!

*gives everybody virtual cake to munch on and dances off in happiness*

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Plot Bunny Farm: The Writer's Tag

Hello all,

I found this great quote by John Steinbeck that I'm sure that every writer can relate to:

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."

Ain't that the truth...there are some days I wonder if I'm operating a plot bunny farm around here.....

Anyway...I have taken up The Florid Sword's call to do The Writer's Tag. Check out her post here!

(ahem....HERE.) 



1. What genres, styles and topics do you write about? 

Well, I'm only a beginning writer, so I've been experimenting a lot. My favorite genres to write in are historical fiction/romance, fantasy, and contemporary.

I write in a really episodic style. My muse works in a strange way, I think in vivid but separate scenes, complete with  sights, sounds and emotions. A lot of these scenes will have the same characters but completely random events and places. A lot of the time, I don't even know how they ended up being there, which results in some really creative plotting. As a professor once told me, the seams in my stories are very visible. Which is why I tend to stick to short stories because I can control that a little better.

My favorite POV to write in is third person omnipotent, but I've been trying third person limited too. I tend to write in a long, flowy, descriptive way that's really reminiscent of past writers. I also write in a heavily metaphoric way. Literally everything has a significance in my writing. Why I couldn't tell you. It just NEEDS TO.

Topics? I guess that means main themes?
Well, I've been experimenting with song retellings, quests, utopian world building, the many societal contexts of being feminine, and emotional maturity lately. 😎


2. For how long have you been writing? 

First work of fiction was created in late elementary school/early middle school, but it never really materialized into intelligible stories until late middle/high school (early teens).

I started officially writing as a hobby in my junior year of high school and have continued on and off since then. I've been blogging since mid November, but only started publicly revealing my stories since February with the creation of the Rebellious Muse.

If you would like to learn more, I have an entire post devoted to my backstory on how I got into writing.  

3. Why do you write? 

What began as child's play has now blossomed into an obsession for me. I have this driving passion to create worlds and characters, which I'm sure has been put there on purpose. I never planned on making money off of my stories. To be honest, until a couple of months ago, I never planned on sharing my stories at all....except with a very select group of friends (4 to be exact). The creations from my muse were really private for the longest time, not even my family knew that I wrote. But once I made the plunge into the blogging world, my muse cried out to be let out of the cave that I was keeping it in.

Writing has always been a passion, and it is now a full-time hobby. It's what I do when I'm totally relaxed.

And besides....somebody's gotta do something with all these blasted plot bunnies running loose in here.

4. When is the best time to write? 

I tend to write best at night or when it's raining outside. Sunlight really distracts me because it beckons me outside.

I'm not a night owl though. I used to be a very early riser until these last two years of college when I started writing more essays and picking up my fiction writing again. I've had to set a limit to shut it off at midnight so I can get a decent night's sleep.

I also have to have the energy. I discovered last summer that when I worked a full-time internship, I was often too tired to do much else after work, even if my muse did want to write.

So, a concise answer would be "When I'm awake at night."

5. What are the parts of writing do you love? What parts do you hate? 

I love initially creating the story from the plot bunny. Making that first outline is always fun. Making the characters is also really fun, but can be a challenge sometimes. And I love researching all the crazy details (even if they  keep me from actually writing the blooming story).

I hate editing. Every time I edit, I find another blasted PLOT HOLE. I swear, you'd think these plot bunnies would be a little neater around here.....

6. How do you overcome writers block? 

Music really, really helps. As a matter of fact, a lot of my plot bunnies come from listening to music. My short story The Snow Dancer of Iclyn was actually based off an instrumental song, and I have a list of composers and music artists on the sidebar of this blog that help me a lot.

Pintrest has also been a terrific resource. Whether I need just an image or a baby name, I go to my handy dandy Pintrest account. I seriously have a whole bunch of boards devoted to writing right now and have many more secret ones for images for story writing.

TV sometimes helps, but only as a starting point for my imagination (playing with characters, making up scenes, etc.)

7. Are you working on something at the moment?

This tag :)

No, seriously, I do have a couple of WIPs.

1. Shattered Chandelier. A Phantom of the Opera fanfiction that plays with role reversal and behind-the-scenes drama. Looking at being short-story length.
2. Laboure, Ancora Spei. As part of a school project, I have to create my version of a utopia. Its starting to blossom into a full novel idea. I've written some excerpts and got a plot going, we'll see how this goes....
3. Rose of Culmore. The song re-telling that I have been teasing about for the past couple weeks now. (Gosh...now you know the title! I REALLY got to get cracking on this story!)

I also have a couple of old WIPs that I'm still adding to:
1. A fantasy novel centered around a female warrior (Caoimhe)
2. A historical fiction novel centered around a female pirate.
3. A contemporary/Christian novel - needs a rewrite though....

8. What are your writing goals this year?

Considering I had no goals to start out with this year, I'm surprised that I can answer this question.

1. Participate in July Camp NaNo! I missed April's because of wrapping up college and I really really really wanted to participate. So, I'm going for the July one.
2. Finish "Shattered Chandelier"...and "Rose of Culmore".
3. Start reviewing publishing options....not sure if I'll get around to this one yet.
4. Be able to blog more often. I love blogging and school is keeping me from doing so.


I'll tag Lilah at Musical Writings and Mary Kate at Sarcastic Scribblings and anyone that has not been tagged yet :P

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top 10 Things That Make Me Banish a Book




Hello all,

I'm getting very close on commissioning a group of elite scientists to start looking for a cure for....

MOTIVATION DEFICIENCY

Terrible disease, I tell you.

Crippling, even.

Particularly when you have only 3 major projects left to do....in the space of about two weeks.

Oh....and set apart time for work, eating, sleeping. Not to mention preparing for finals....don't get me started there.

Add into that a very rebellious, very cantankerous muse, who is begging me to write....and when I give it attention, it has the audacity to switch gears.

"Oh...I wanted to write that retelling, didn't I? WELL I LIED. I wanna do....a tag. NO! Scratch that, a BLOG LINKUP!!! Like Mary Kate's linkup!!!"

I hereby apologize for my horrid muse's behavior. I'll humor it for now (because I know that I'll put it through A Deep Cavern of Misery later....*evil smirk*).

So...here we go! Another Top Ten Tuesday blog linkup! I really like this one, cause I'm really picky about my books. Like really picky. If you would like to join the blog link-up, please follow the link beneath the picture below. 



http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2017/04/top-ten-things-that-will-make-us_25.html

So...what makes me skip multiple chapters?

1. Sexual Impurity/Smut

I CAN'T STAND SMUT. Adultery, sodomy, and graphic sexual activity are also major turnoffs.

So much so that I will scour reviews to make sure that none of that stuff is in there.

I can't deal with sex in a book. I can't deal with people making out in a book. Physical stuff better stay behind closed doors, in veiled and sacred language, or not go farther than a kiss. It just makes me sick. I have a very vivid imagination, and I can usually guess what happens from the littlest hint.

I'm even uncomfortable reading about divorced-people and single parents romances, simply because of the traditional Catholic Church's teaching on divorce.

Besides, I don't need to be thinking about that kind of stuff!!!! I'm trying to keep myself pure before the Lord God, which is difficult enough as it is right now. I don't need it in the books I read either.

So...unless acts of impurity are condemned in the work, any instance/event that violates the 6th and 9th commandments automatically boots the work off my reading list.

2. Pagan witchcraft/Necromancy

I don't mind the occasional elemental powers, but spells and superstitions don't turn me on. I actually refuse to watch Dr. Strange and read Harry Potter because of that reason.

One that I recently banished was Miranda by Grace Livingston Hill. I liked her other two Marcia Schuyler books and I was excited to see this one come up on Librivox. But I couldn't take the couple chapters with the hypnotist. After those chapters, the rest of the book went downhill from there and I couldn't finish it. Definitely not one of GLH's best works.

3. Graphic violence and death. 

Like I said, I have a very vivid imagination. Seeing blood makes my stomach tighten and I can't stand to see dead bodies either. Like at all. Just no.

4. A historically inaccurate book

Thank heavens I haven't run into a lot of those yet, but as a budding public historian, I can't stand to see something not fit the historical facts. As a matter of fact, I believe that works of fiction can really help in teaching history, if they are done right. I really value writers that take the time to research the time period and fit their story accordingly, down to the language and customs. I can't stand it when they put a 21st century plot or character into Victorian costume. It doesn't work.

5. Evil has no consequences/The Idea behind the story

Yes. I am a very deep reader.

I haven't run into many of these either, but I can't stand to see evil win. It's not how that works. Books teach, even fiction. You'd be totally surprised what fiction books have been the basis for (starting revolutions, legal debates, etc.). What ideas is the writer promoting through their work? What subliminal messages are present?

6. Dystopia

As a melancholic choleric/phlegmatic mixture, stability is very important to me. Murderous totalitarianism, and exploitation of women and children don't sit well with me at all. Actually, a disorganized chaos of a society is enough for me to reject it, lets be honest.

7. Stupid, shallow, and selfish characters

I'm sure that this is a universal thing, but the characters need to have a unique story of their own. Selfishness is one trait that I really can't stand in a character though. Even if the story is well written, I have abandoned books because the protagonist was really selfish and arrogant. I guess it's because I can't tolerate selfishness in real life.

8. Heavily cliched plot line

Like with the characters, each story needs to have its own twist to it. Otherwise, its almost like plagiarizing an essay. It's not worth the paper it's written on.

9. Illogical plot line

Sorry guys, the story has to be believable. Sure, outrageous things can happen, and sometimes happen in a sequence, but it's the exception not the rule. Confused readers are never a good thing.

I've been guilty of having illogical plot lines in my stories and have been (justly) heavily criticized for them. So, I'll share the love. 💖

10. The price of the work

I know. This is really petty.

But I'm a broke college student. I can't afford to spend $20-30 for a book.

Kindle Bookstore is my best friend right now. Because authors will put out works for free for a limited period of time. So I can get a $16 book for free if I catch it at the right time. Sweet!!!

That's it!

As a reward...here's a hint for my re-telling: My story is based off of a traditional Irish folk song.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine



Friday, April 21, 2017

Catherine's Craziness: Update on the Muse

Hello all,

Wow. I haven't been on here in a while. Almost 3 weeks as a matter of fact.

I wish my real life would take a vacation. For a month. Seriously, I come back from a restful Easter vacation to find out that my workload literally doubled overnight.


via GIPHY


Well, I've decided to break that. Besides introducing a GIF for the first time, I decided to change my blogs look again to something a little softer than that loud sunset I had up before.

I did a complete redo (text, colors, etc) and I've added a couple of new gadgets - Successful Rebellions (otherwise known as my popular posts. I'm weird that way) and a labels gadget at the bottom. I also updated an old post (by update, I mean I changed the title and added a picture).

I'm working on getting some inspirational quote art up here too, but that may take a while.

Rest assured that my rebellious muse is still at work. As of right now, I'm working on another short story which I hope to publish in the next week or so.

Hint: Its a retelling of a story that has not been told.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Top Ten Fandom Linkup!



Hello all,

Ever feel like everything is dragging on with nothing really changing?

It's been that way in my corner of the world.

Literally almost nothing has happened since my last post. Except that I've started Season 3 of When Calls the Heart. Everything else feels like it's on standstill. Except my muse. Which is being forced to cool it's heels as I try to crank out another week's worth of short analytical essays.

So...I've been bored out of my mind.

Until I did my daily check of my reading list and found Mary Kate's TTT post (link here).

To join the link up, follow this link: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2017/04/top-ten-fandoms-were-part-of.html
This one looked like a lot of fun, and I believe that you can learn a lot about a person from the fandoms that they occupy. So here goes!

Honorable mentions: Lord of the Rings, Gallagher Girls, Disney Princesses. Couldn't fit them in as nicely as the others.

10. Phantom of the Opera.


This was one of my first "obsessions" that got the fandom label for me. I got "reluctantly" dragged into this fandom by my best friend when she made me watch the 2004 movie with Gerard Butler (still my favorite Phantom by the way). I found out the reason why the next day when her family gifted me the movie soundtrack :).
Honestly, the story isn't what does it for me. I actually don't really like the story to be honest with you. It was the cautionary tale lessons that I got out of it that have made me stick with it. In case you are wondering, I'm #TeamRaoul all the way.

9. Marvel


Another fandom she dragged me into.....
It all started with Captain America 1. Since then I've seen all the Captain America movies, both Avengers movies, and Ant-Man. And Agent Carter. She keeps threatening to have me watch the Thor movies as well as a few other ones.
But hey, what are best friends for? At least I'm not lost when we are fangirling...I mean discussing the movies.

8. Eragon


The first book of the Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini, which has also been made into a movie. I actually watched the movie before I read the book (I know, such a sin; but it was before I found out about the book series). That being said, contrary to a lot of book-lovers sentiment, the movie actually did a good job of adapting the book. I found that when I read it that the author dragged out some scenes unnecessarily. This one is not that big of a fandom, but I included it since I like the book and the movie.

7. Little House on the Prairie


I grew up with the books and when I was a teenager, I discovered the TV series. I loved the Ingalls family cast as well as the Olesons (Mrs. Oleson is still one of my favorites). The only thing that I didn't like about the TV show was how badly they messed up Almanzo and his relationship with Laura. I didn't particularly care for the actor either, for looks or for character. Trust me, go look at a photo of the real Almanzo Wilder, and you'll see why.

6. North and South


Another one in which I usurped the film before the book. (I plead innocent again...I was looking for a good period drama film and I stumbled across this mini-series.). While there are some major characterization flaws in the film that weren't in the book, I love both the book and the mini-series to pieces. The romance plot line between these two was featured as #3 in my Favorite Film Ships post (link here).

5. Star Wars


I'm enough of a fangirl of Star Wars to be super excited to actually see Rogue One with my brother over Christmas Break. I started with the first three (which my parents had on VHS) and actually surprising myself that I actually liked it (This was before I saw any Marvel, so I had no idea that I had a secret niche for some sci-fi). I haven't seen the prequels yet, but I have seen Episode VII (not sure if I regret that or not).

4. Chronicles of Narnia


Like LHOTP, I read these books as a kid, and then found the movies a lot later. I love that they are fairly close the books, and I love the cast like the dickens. I think my favorite is Caspian, though Peter is pretty close. I was really saddened when they stopped after the third movie, but I understand that Silver Chair is in the works....

3. Anne of Green Gables 


I read the first book for school, and read the rest of the books later. Since then, I've listened to audiobook versions, and have seen the all the Sullivan Entertainment movies (yes, including the crappy third one.) I love Meghan and Jonathan's characterizations of Anne and Gilbert so much. I tried to watch the PBS version, but couldn't get past the first few minutes because they messed up Matthew's temperament. My favorite book is Rilla of Ingleside, and I wish they had made a film version of it (despite the heart-stomping feels that are in it).

2. When Calls the Heart


This is ANOTHER one my best friend dragged me into, but this one is definitely the best one that she's dragged me into yet. I've been struggling to keep myself from searching memes and images from this show because I'm dreadfully afraid of spoilers. I don't think there is a couple that I ship harder than Jack and Elizabeth with Lee and Rosemary being a close second. Gosh...there are so many romantic plotlines and ships in that show, it's not even funny. Historic romance lover's paradise!

1. Jane Austen 


Let's face it. I own three Austen-inspired films (and looking for more), have seen most of the film adaptations, have seen a couple of mini-series, have seen a couple of spin-offs (Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved), have all of her books, have listened to audiobook versions of her books, and will not hesitate to save any meme from any version of Pride and Prejudice (though I'm drawing the line at the Zombies one). Short of owning a wardrobe of Regency dresses and going to Jane Austen events, I'm not sure how much further into this fandom I can get into.

That's it!

What are some of your fandoms?

Scribblingly yours,
Catherine


Monday, March 27, 2017

My First Beautiful People post!



Hello all, 

Honestly, I'm at that time of year in which I want to say screw it and go on an adventure (or start Season 3 of When Calls the Heart, I don't know.....) 

In some sort of conspiracy, things have been slow in my outside world. I know that won't last, so I'm taking my opportunity to relax in this calm before the storm (i.e. finals, graduation, start of a new summer job.....)

In this quiet, my muse has been really cantakerous. I've been bouncing between several projects, including a new short story that I hope to post soon. I also hit a slight slump in this blog as I work on some posts for Frugally Fancy. So...I started exploring other blogs to see what other writers were up to. 

And that's when I found this "blog meme" called Beautiful People for Writers. This month's looked really cool, so I decided I wanted to try it. 

The character I chose is one from a fantasy story that I'm in the middle of writing called Caoimhe. This story isn't even close to done.....I've only got the basic plot and the characters really figured out. I just need the motivation to actually sit down and write it all out....

*****************************************************************************
Meet Gail Duncan



What’s their favorite book/movie/play/etc.?

Well.....she never was one for books. Or the theater. Movies are a different story. So far, she hasn't gotten off her Marvel kick yet, so her favorite movie right now is Captain America : Winter Soldier. Though she's game to see any contemporary sci-fi movie. 

Is there anything they regret doing?

Not yet.......

If they were sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how?

Gail is a really bad patient....like really bad. The best shot of getting through to her is to have her best friend Maeve Carwyn complain to her all the time. Otherwise, it will take an army to hold her into her bed and feed her.

Is there an object they can’t bear to part with and why?

YES….she calls it her glitter-bug.
It's her entire social life. She's literally attached to it. Like almost every other person under 30.
Yeah….it's her phone.

What are 5 ways to win their heart (or friendship)?

1. Give clear instructions down to the letter. She can't stand it when she knows nothing and everyone assumes she knows everything. 
2. Be mindful where you touch her. Shoulders are the best call. 
3. Include her in the loop, always. She loves to know what going on the minute of. 
4. Give her choices. She doesn't like to hand over the reins that easily. 
5. Encourage her....a lot. Guaranteed rocket boost to performance.   

Describe a typical outfit for them from top to bottom.

Loose t-shirt, capri pants, strappy heels if she can get away with them. Not one for flats, is she. 

What’s their favorite type of weather?

Windy. She prefers a warm but strong wind. Doesn't like rain that much. 

What’s the worst fight they’ve ever been in?

Typically, she doesn't fight unless she's cornered. She prefers to sulk first. Though lately, her fights have taken a more bitter edge with them as time goes on...

What names or nicknames have they been called throughout their life?

Well....Gail is really a nickname for Abigail. Though lately, her father has been calling her tipsy-tot. *evil laugh*

What makes their heart feel alive?

Her heart is a heart of a warrior. Hearing war drums, and military music really gets her going. Riding her horse also makes her fly high. 


*****************************************************************************
And there you have it! 

And here....if you are interested, is a snippet from Caoimhe. 

*****************************************************************************
Gail could only attribute puppet strings to the fact that she could even get into the door when she arrived home at 11:30 pm. She had a splitting headache, which she couldn't figure out the cause. After all, the police only came by the party twice because of the noise! Was it the 5 Long Island Ice Teas that she drank upside down to claim Jerry from Bianca? Nah, had to have been the 3 hours of video games. Which was good, because that could be easily cured with a couple of Advil.

Mindlessly, Gail started for the kitchen as she not only changed songs on her iPod, but checked her phone for text and Facebook messages and pulled up a sci-fi book on her Kindle. Suddenly, she was sucked down into the carpet by a thing with ten legs….or was it a bag with a picture of a poufy plastic bag fort-like thing?

Must have been the iced tea. She didn't remember her parents owning such an object.
Gail disentangled herself from fort-like thing, and proceeded to crash headlong into some metal boxes. Gail groaned. Where were these monsters coming from?

“Oh, you're FINALLY home!”

Gail's right hand started twitching from fear as she looked up into her father's icy stare. This could not be good. Alan Duncan never stayed up past 9:30 pm, on account of the fact that he had to be at work at 5 in the morning.

“Let me guess, I'm groun...ded…right?” Gail wearily cleared herself from the metal boxes, and slouched her way up to a sitting position.

“Um, yes, that can be safely assumed, among other things.” He nodded briskly a few times in a knowing attitude, and continued. “Your mother will appreciate your help in packing tomorrow.”

“Packing? That means...va...ca…tion, right?” Gail felt accomplished that she managed a three-syllable word in her state.

Her father raised an eyebrow. “Why don't you find out tomorrow? Right now, I think that tipsy-tot needs some sleep.”

“Aw Dad, I'm not….that….tipsy…...” Gail stopped, realizing that she had given herself away, and gave up in defeat as her father half-dragged her to her room.

*****************************************************************************

Enjoy the spring weather! 

Catherine

Monday, March 20, 2017

Announcing.....A New Look



Hello all,

So...you may have noticed something new as you opened up The Rebelling Muse within the last 48 hours.

Missed it? Look above.

Yes. I figured out how to make a header.

How did I make it?

Not Picmonkey.

Not Canva.

Not even Photoshop.

I used......Microsoft Paint.

It was time consuming to create this header, and one for my other blog, Frugally Fancy. Mostly it was a matter of finding and resizing all the images in order to make them all fit.

I did use a tutorial to get started: http://www.21rosemarylane.com/2013/02/creating-header-for-your-blog-using.html. Once I had the dimensions, I was on my own.

This header was around 888 pixels long and 250 pixels high, which is a good size. You can change the pixel size of the canvas on Paint really easily (just click and drag the little squares on the edge of the canvas) To start with, I added the blog title via the text option onto the picture I wanted it on. I resized it to 250 pixels high using a resizing site (http://resizepiconline.com/en) and redownloaded the image so I could copy it into Paint. The rest of the pictures I simply resized and arranged how I wished them (saving the resized picture and copy-pasting them in is much easier to use with the selection tool on Paint).

I will say that a lot of photo images sites have their own quirks when changing images. The resizing site I used for a lot of my images only let me change the width (when what I really wanted to change the height). And you have to make sure that you have the images exactly right in Paint before clicking off them (minor adjustments become major headaches). But if you really don't want to put out any more online accounts and are willing to spend some time and effort, I would recommend using Paint to make your headers.

For this header, I used all free images found by Pixabay or Google Images (CC Search). I make it a priority to find public domain pictures whenever possible in my creative works, if not my own images.

The Title Picture
Since I am a writer, I looked for an image that conveyed that as well as give a little color. I saw a series of pictures similar to this one on Pixabay, and this one was my favorite.

The Ship
Besides the Ships post that I've done (http://catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com/2017/02/favorite-film-ships-other-romantics.html), this picture was really special since my one and only completed (unpublished) novella is a pirate-y sea epic.

The Mansion
My favorite genre of reading is historical fiction, and I have written some historical fiction pieces, so I thought this was a perfect symbol for that.

The Crocuses
You may have recognized these from my last story, The Snow Dancer of Iclyn. These were chosen more for an aesthetic color decision than for a nod to my story though.

Park Bench in Meadow
I love sitting outside (when it's nice out) when letting my imagination run loose. This picture seems to suggest a hiding place for a writer, especially one that likes to act out her scenes *snickers*.

Joan of Arc
Only downfall of free images is that sometimes it is super difficult to find what you want. As well as historic fiction and sea epics, I'm also experimenting with a fantasy novel. The main character is a young woman that becomes a Shield-Maiden (Tolkein's definition like Eowyn, not the historically accurate Viking Shield-Maidens). After long and fruitless searches through really crappy (and just downright inappropriate!) fantasy pictures, I finally found this one of Joan of Arc which is totally fine, since I admire her very much.

I thought about changing the theme on the blog too, especially with the new themes on Blogger now. But instead of changing the theme altogether, I found a new background image that I really like and have customized the theme colors to my liking.

Also for those that follow me, I have a new favicon. It's the seagull picture that I had on my first post.

What do you think of the new header and background? Yay, nay? Vote in the comments!

Keep smiling,

Catherine