Thursday, December 14, 2017

Introducing....Lady Lilliwen




I'm going to start with a big huge thank you to my 41 (!) followers and all my blog readers, because I HIT 10,000 VIEWS THIS WEEK!!!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!




As an extra token of gratitude, I'll share another snippet from SOI before I delve into the main event (Lady Lilliwen already gave me her permission, so we're good).

“What do you think this one is like, Eirwy?”
The Princess Eirwen got up from her chair, setting aside her embroidery work. She laid her hand on her sister’s shoulder as she looked at the approaching woman.
“From the looks of her gown and her figure, I say that she will starve us out.”
“Oh Eirwen!” Her middle sister Gwen gasped. “How can you say so? If Mother heard you say such things…”
“Mother isn’t here, Gwen.”
Gwen lapsed into silence as their 6 year old sister Mairwen grasped her arm and directed her attention out the window again.

Eirwen viewed the rest of the parading ladies with some disdain. To her, they were just little pinpricks of light. They were not the bright sun that her mother was.


Can someone please explain to me why in the world fictional step-mothers are regarded as such an evil?

I mean, every single blasted fairy tale has them as being evil and jealous. To the point when children hear that they are getting a step-mother, they make attempts to sabotage things.

Now, I know that not every woman is an angel from heaven.

But come on....

When a mother dies, it leaves a hole. A hole that cries to be filled.

I think Danielle can agree with me here:





Now, why is this?

Because the mother is considered by many Catholic writers to be the "heart" of the family.

It takes a special kind of woman to take a family that has had it's "heart" torn out of it, and reconstruct it again. It takes a strong woman to take children of her husband's and support them through their life struggles without the benefit of knowing them since they were conceived.

I think it's time to rebel against this stereotype of the evil second wife/stepmother. The one that comes in and destroys her new family upon entering.

With that....please let me introduce to you a new character from Seeds of An Orchard Invisible...

Lady Lilliwen 



Lady Lilliwen is the half-sister of my antagonist, Ceinwen. Lilliwen is a legitimate daughter of a baron of Cymru (Wales), while Ceinwen is illegitimate. Thus, Ceinwen acts a sort of lady-in-waiting to Lilliwen. Lilliwen makes friends with Eirwen fairly early on, and it is she that her father plans to marry. Unfortunately for them, Ceinwen...hem....interferes.

This post-climatic scene takes place after Lilliwen returns from a rather unexpected journey, and Ceinwen gets her initial desserts. I believe it really captures Lilliwen's character when she's faced with the worst.


He caught sight of his lady, whom he loved with great devotion still. Immediately his face crumbled into sadness. “Lil-Lilliwen.”
She kneeled before him and offered him her hands in an act of homage. “My lord. Tis well that you chose your daughter before me.”
He gripped the gentle hands tightly. “Lilliwen….I have wrought a terrible evil against you and against my house.” The great king of Glywysing cast his eyes down into his lady’s beautiful blue-green ones. “I can offer little to you in retribution for the shame and sufferings that I have brought upon you. If only…” His voice cracked into silence and he averted his face.
Lilliwen rose and placed her face close to Aneirin’s as his grip weakened. She placed her left hand on his right cheek as she whispered softly, “Shh, beloved. It is all right…I forgive thee from my heart. I hold nothing against thee.” She fervently kissed his other cheek as he embraced her.
He stepped back after a minute, and raised his hand to his beloved’s cheek. “It will be months, maybe seasons before the annulment can be granted. Will you wait for me, beloved, unworthy though I am?”  
Lilliwen gave him a beautiful smile and nodded. He thanked her with a kiss to the forehead and left.
Lilliwen turned to Eirwen, with her eyes shining and a kind smile. “Come, love. Walk with me.”
Eirwen laid aside her work by the window and followed Lady Lilliwen out to the Queen’s Garden.
As they stepped out into the sunshine, Lilliwen turned to look at Eirwen again. She quickly grew alarmed as she noticed Eirwen’s eyes were dark and her face was grim. “Eirwen, dearest, what is it?”
“Nothing.”
Eirwen’s clipped tone revealed to Lilliwen that it was more than nothing behind that scowl.
“Eirwen…are you sure that it’s just nothing?”
“Yes.”
“Eirwen…tell me please.”
“No.” Eirwen crossed her arms, as if trying to keep the clawing mass of emotion inside of her.
Lilliwen spotted a bench and motioned Eirwen to sit on it. “What is wrong, dearest?”
Eirwen’s eyes begged for the tears to be released. Words started jumbling in her brain and then spilled out of her mouth entirely without her consent. “Why..why did you…forgive him? He deserves…I would have…thrashed him good!”
“Thrashed who, Eirwen?” Lilliwen’s voice betrayed her shock, but she remained standing.
Eirwen's scowl seemed set in stone. “You know who. He doesn’t deserve you after what he’s done. He and that witching wh-”
Eirwen!!” Lilliwen’s shocked face broke Eirwen’s reserve even faster.
“She has hurt him grievously! She doesn’t deserve life or forgiveness, she deserves a hearty smite! And he has hurt you even more grievously! Don’t tell me that he hasn’t! I know he has!”
Lilliwen gazed at the daughter of her heart with pity and tears. “Two people have been wronged today, dearest…why drive them against each other? Oh Eirwen….what dragon has thee in his clutches?” Lilliwen reached to wipe the angry tears falling on Eirwen's cheek.

Eirwen gazed at her with burning heart and quaking hands, then broke away from Lilliwen’s gentle embrace towards Queen Heulwin's garden. Lilliwen saw wisdom in keeping counsel in her heart and a silent prayer on her lips.

So....what do you think of her?

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's Happening with SOI???



Hello all,

Sooooo......*shuffles feet back and forth*

I decided not to enter Seeds of an Orchard Invisible (SOI) into the Rooglewood contest.

The main reason why....is because it's not completed yet.

Ideally, I should have been working on edits this month before sending it off. However, due to a rather disastrous Camp NaNo (writing wise, not anything else wise) and a even more disastrous term in graduate school, SOI is still in that messy first draft state. It's not even a completed first draft. 

Just like I said in this post, this WIP isn't going to die, though.

I'm just taking a lot slower than I originally had thought.

Right now, I have two official alpha readers (Lia and MK) who have been busy cringing at what Ceinwen has been doing and adopting my rogues. (The latter I wasn't quite expecting, but okay!!!)

Now, because I'm not entering SOI into Rooglewood....

I get to share every single detail about it.

With all of you.

Which means....

More character stuff (BP, possible interviews, etc.)

and more importantly.....

More snippets.



“I hear, Eirwen, that you have been down in the kitchen.”
Subtle gasps were heard among the ladies in the company and their servants.
So that was what it was about, eh? “Yes, my lady. Cook has been ill, and the food must be prepared, no matter what hands do it.” Eirwen caught the now-familiar scent of wood smoke, even stronger here than in the kitchen. Surely the manservants didn’t stock the fireplaces with green wood also???
Ceinwen smirked. “It must be…tiring work, isn’t it?”
Eirwen smiled. “Sometimes, yes. Bu-”
Eirwen’s grin was washed out in a moment when she saw Ceinwen's threatening gaze.
“I’ve been hearing some horrible tales about you, Eirwen. How you steal money for the servants and embroider their stockings and flirt with gardener’s boys! Such conduct in the eyes of the royalties of the world is abominable.”
Eirwen eyes began to glaze. Far away, a voice announced two men of high distinction. As if rooted, Eirwen’s gaze was fixed on Ceinwen as she seemed wrap herself in the haze of the smoking hearth, making her more druid-like than ever before.
“You are due some humiliation, fair princess. Oh, your ears are scarlet now, but wait till the butcher’s bloody hands are finished with –”
Coughing and spluttering, a large dark-haired man stumbled into the large room, interrupting Ceinwen’s softly-spoken rant. Recovering his poise, he bowed respectfully to the company.
Ceinwen, not bothering to return the gesture, whispered under her breath as he passed. “Really, Aneirin! Couldn’t you have been a bit more…dramatic, regal even, when entering company such as this?”
King Aneirin, coughing and directing a steady threatening gaze at Ceinwen all the while, said hoarsely, “Woman! There was a curtain of SMOKE before me…” He trailed off as the smoke curled around him again, worsening his coughing fit.
Undaunted, she continued, still softly. “Well that is no excuse! Smoke gives such and air of mystery, and it reveals you at your best advantage…”

“Oh, so it matters not if I’m able to BREATHE afterwards….” King Aneirin accepted Eirwen’s tumbler of water, Eirwen noticing that he didn’t even look at her or Ceinwen.





How Eirwen’s horse managed to miss all of the trees must be attributed to Eirwen’s guardian angel. On and on through the densely overgrown woods, the black hooves tore. Eirwen’s fright and pain only drove the poor animal faster.
Her father’s last words to her reverberated through her brain. Over and over, as if stuck, she saw the flash of scarlet, her father’s body dropping like a sack from the war stallion’s back. An awful sinking feeling invaded her. Was her father, even now, viewing his last minutes here on Earth?
Several minutes later, the passion of Eirwen’s fright was superseded by barbs of pain as her leg started to throb unmercifully. Eirwen, sensing her horse was tired, slowed him to a stop cautiously. As she stopped before the entrance of a dirt path, the change in light disoriented Eirwen, and her head began to swim.
A dark shadow descended from the trees. Eirwen fought to concentrate as her vision threatened to blur further.
“Halt…oh wait. You are halted.”
Eirwen’s eyes cleared a minute to see a short dark-haired person aiming an arrow straight at…her horse’s knees? Eirwen frowned and shook her head slightly to clear it again. Yes, she had been right. What was more, his armor was ill-fitting and had seen better days.
“Who are you?”
“Can’t you tell?”
Eirwen looked him up and down.
“You don’t look like a man to me. Neither do you look like a dwarf either.”

“I’m a…I’m a rogue.”



The first is an add-on from Camp NaNo, and the second one is a newish one. Newish in that I haven't shown it to anyone besides my alphas.

I plan on introducing a new character from SOI to you readers very soon *wink wink* I think you'll like her :)

Sooooo.....I'm dying to know.....what did you think of the snippets? Please chat with me! 

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Animation Tag (GIFs, anyone???)

AHHH!!!!

Ah yes! The tag in which I squeal about my favorite animated movies and characters. As well as overload you with a whole lot of GIFs.

(hey, what can I say. You can't talk about animation without using some animation, now can you??).

MovieCritic tagged me for this right around Thanksgiving time. Thank you, dear! This was a super duper fun tag to do :). 

Ze Rules: 

1. Thank the person that tagged you (done!) 
2. Answer ze questions.
3. Tag at least one person.

So, without further ado, let's get this show on the road!!! 



1. Who's you favorite animated heroine?

At risk of being accused of copying, I have to say Rapunzel.


via GIPHY

She has long hair, some of my favorite costumes, a great personality, and she's got as many hobbies as I do. Hence we are kindred spirits. 


2. Who's your favorite animated hero?

Heehee, only the most perfect hero on the planet :).


via GIPHY

No one comes close, admit it! 


3. If there was to be a sequel(or even a third, fourth, or fifth part)(and I don't mean like Frozen Fever and Tangled Ever After, those short movies, but a real one) of an animated movie, what would you like it to be about?

An actual sequel of Tangled would be nice....

It would start off after the wedding (or include the wedding, why not?). 

We find out there is a plot against the throne of Corona (Stabbington brothers again? Another kidnapping, perhaps?) 

Eugene, and his Snuggly Duckling pals go undercover while Rapuzel goes above cover to resolve said plot. (Accidental meeting?) 

Bonus points if Maximus and Pascal cause mayhem and if there are little Rapunzel/Eugene lookalikes around *wink wink*. 

4. Which couple from an animated movie do you think is highly underrated? 

Hercules and Megura. 


via GIPHY

Let's put it this way: 

Meg wanted to seduce Hercules by her feminine wiles (Hades had or had not had something to do with that...). 

He didn't fall for it. He maintained himself by replacing the fallen strap and maintaining his distance. He didn't do anything to her until she backed off and let him lead

In some ways, Meg is like a modern feministic woman. She likes independence and is very clever. But, she's not immune to the admiration that a true hero often evokes. 

And they sacrificed themselves for the other. Meg sacrificed herself by shoving Hercules from the falling column (thus being crushed by said column which broke the horrible deal with Hades). Hercules went down into the Underworld to save Meg's soul from Hade's grasp. If that isn't a sign of true love, I'm not sure what is. 

And yet, this romance isn't as well celebrated as many of Disney's other romances. 


5. Which couple do you like most?

This one:


via GIPHY

Telling you why would take way too long.


6. Which song is your favourite?

I wake up to this song very morning. 




7. And if you should choose a song that didn't immediately come up in your mind but is still a favourite, which one would it be?


or maybe....





8. What animation movie did you first think you wouldn't like, but eventually you did?

Honestly, no animated movie comes to mind. Most animated movies I was eager to watch, unlike a lot of live-action movies for years. 

Maybe the closest one that would answer this question would be The Emperor's New Groove. It wasn't until a little ways into the movie that I started to appreciate it. 

Mainly because of these two: 


via GIPHY



9. Which two do you always consider as a couple, even though they are not a definite couple, but almost no one else does? 

All of my ships became couples.

I honestly don't remember any other ones.

(I mean, I've heard of the Elsa/Jack Frost bit, but I haven't seen the movie with Jack Frost, sooooo)

10. Which girl from an animated movie has the best hairstyle(s)?

Rapunzel - for best style with long hair


via GIPHY



and 

Anna - for best bed-head ever. 


via GIPHY



11. Which is the best dress?


File:Merida disney.png
Wikipedia


Merida's dresses are my favorite of all the princesses. They are simple, long, flow-y, and high. They don't hinder her (except that really tight one that she rips during the archery contest). Her dresses are also range between blue and green turquoise colors, which I really like on her. Of all the princesses, I would wear Merida's dresses first.

12. Which sidekick is the best according to you?

Ugh.

I can't decide between

Mushu

via GIPHY

Bartok

via GIPHY

or Kronk.


via GIPHY


13. What's your favorite Disney princess movie?

My favorite animated Disney princess movie is most definitely Tangled.


via GIPHY


14. What's your favorite animated movie (no Disney princess movies included)? 

Well thanks for eliminating about 2 thirds of my favorite animated movies.....

Well, I'm just going to have to go with this movie....


via GIPHY

Which they just made into an epic live person musical....


via GIPHY



15. What is your Disney personality?



Here is a link to the test.


16. Which animated girl do you think looks most like you(in looks, not in character)?

The closest one would probably be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. 


Wikipedia


17.  Which fan theories do you think are true? (you know, those things on Pinterest that say...for example: That Elsa and Anna are Rapunzels cousins, and that Tarzan is Anna and Elsa's brother or that the oldest girl from Despicable Me is maybe Riley's mom from Inside Out)?

I would not be surprised if Rapunzel was Elsa and Anna's cousin (however the family genetics work....) or if Anna really was born with super strength. 

My favorite headcannon though is the one that is floating around Pinterest that states that Gaston cornered the egg market in Beauty and the Beast. 


18. What animated movie did you expect much of, but turned out to be much worse than you originally thought? 

Minions. I thought they were cute at first, but when I watched the movie I hated it. Half of my brothers and I didn't finish it, it was so bad....just the way that they skewed good and evil really made me cringe.

I TAG: 

Karyssa Norton @ No Coffee, No Can Do
Lila @ The Cheapskate Bibliomaniac
Madeline @ Tower of Joy

Hope your enjoyed the tag!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Movie Book Tag

Hello all!

Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels created this tag not too long ago. As she had left it open for other people to take, I decided to help myself. 

 
Thank the person that tagged you and link back to the original creator (Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels). 
Answer all eight questions.
Tag at least two other bloggers.

And now, to the questions! 

1. Books or movies, which are better?

Well, I like books better in general, but movies help me to remember the details (cause I see them). The book usually has a much better story though. Movies tend to scrap things in favor of time.


2. What book needs to be made into a movie RIGHT NOW?

This is a really hard question to answer.....

I've mentioned in a previous tag that I really wanted to see a movie adaptation of Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I still stand by that, and I also want to see Runner Up (Leah Banicki), Marcia Schuyler (Grace Livingston Hill), and Stars Collide (Janice Thompson) on the big screen too.

3. What movie adaption of a book has disappointed you the most?
Anne continue.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story was loosely based on Rilla of Ingleside. Having read the book several times (it's one of my favorites), I was severally disappointed in how they changed the story. That book deserves much better.

4. What movie adaption of a book has made you throw confetti and walk away extremely happy?

I greatly enjoyed the 1982 movie adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982 film dvd cover.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

Even if it didn't follow the book exactly, this movie crew did the book justice. I greatly enjoyed how the actors/actresses played their respective characters.

And come on....I think we can all agree that we girls swoon when we hear these words:

"Sink me!"


5. What movie adaption of a book have you seen, but never read the book it's based on?

The Princess Bride.

Image result for the princess bride
Source: Wikipedia

I've never actually read that book, though I hear that it's really really good.


6. What book have you read, but never seen the movie adaption of?

Johnny Tremain.
After looking at the Wikipedia page, it looks like it remained true to the book (of course I can't judge that until after I watch it)

Johnny Tremain poster.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

Johnny Tremain is still one of my favorite books, even though I read it in intermediate school. It would be really cool to see it up on the screen.

7. If your WIP was turned into a movie, who would play the main character(s)? 

Oh brother! I have several WIPs, give me a second to figure this one out...

Since I've actually been working on Rose of Culmore again (for the first time since June...), I decided to go with that WIP (and because I don't want to repeat answers from Caoimhe or Seeds of an Orchard Invisible).

So my main characters are named John Callaghan and Rose O'Neill.

If Dean Butler was about 3 decades younger and had dark hair, he would be a good fit for the role of John Callaghan. At least judging from his role as Almanzo Wilder in the Little House on the Prairie TV series.

And, come to think of it, if Scarlet Johansson is probably a good fit for Rose O'Neill, but I would prefer someone a little, um, softer and gentler. Just can't think of anyone!!!

*sigh* The difficulties of casting....

8. When the credits roll after the movie adaption of the WIP you discussed above, what song will be playing? 

Well......considering that the end of the movie would be John Callaghan relating his story to a poet/songwriter, (and it's not like I didn't base the story off this song or anything)....the ideal song that would play in the credits would obviously be....

"The Maid of Culmore"


I decided to use this version instead of the Celtic Thunder version because this one is gentler, like a true reminiscence (or memory).  

I TAG -

Sarah Rodecker @ Pen of a Ready Writer

Lilah @ The Singing Writer


Have fun!!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Liebster Award 2.1 - With Thanks

Golden Circle Basic


Hello all!

I was nominated again for the Liebster Award by the wonderful Sarah Rodecker @ Pen of a Ready Writer!! For those who don't know her, she is the co-founder of Order of the Pen, which is a Facebook/email group also devoted to clean YA. Please go check her out, she is a fantastic writer!

Instead of spotlighting another blog, I'm going to follow Sarah's example and give statements of appreciation. Especially since this is Thanksgiving and all.



Lia ~ My dearest sister, no matter how much praise I've given you, you deserve more. Thank you for being the sister I never had.

Mary Katherine ~ Thank you for being a listening ear when I have plot troubles. And for the dry humor in all of your posts :).

Gray ~ Thank you for starting the #RebelliousWriting movement. This movement means a lot to me, and I hope to serve for years to come :)

Anna ~ Thank you for those wonderfully beautiful deep posts. They always make me think of the world in a different light.

Melissa ~ Thank you for creating the "Questions to Ask When..." series. World building is always something that I struggle with, and these are going to help so much!

Audrey ~ Thank you for your uplifting and inspiring blog posts :)

Clare ~ Thank you for your wonderful reviews of movies. They are my favorite posts of yours, and your rating system is the best!

Lila ~ Thank you for your humorous blog posts. You always bring a smile to my face :). 

Faith ~ Thank you for being a blogger that isn't afraid to speak her mind. I highly respect you for that.

Abby ~ Thank you for helping me out with those formatting issues with the Book Scout Bulletins I had earlier this year. You sacrificed a lot of time for me, and I greatly appreciate it so much.

Keturah ~ Thank you for taking on a certain project of mine after I was forced to abandon it :).

Ivie ~ Thank you for being a crusader and also not being afraid to speak your mind :)

Ceci ~ Thank you for being an unapolgetic fangirl and an awesome-sauce blogging buddy!

Belle Anne ~ Thank you for creating a wonderfully clean opera! I love the opera style, but I haven't listened to many because most have such...well... dirty plots. Here's to your success!

Lucy Agnes ~ Thank you for your wonderful posts about books and writing! My favorite of yours was "Define Favorite Character", most assuredly.

Jane Maree ~ Thank you for allowing me to join the Fellowship of the Keyboards for July Camp NaNo and for being an awesome cabin leader!! It was a wonderful introduction to the NaNo world :).

Quinley (Tes) ~  I always look forward to seeing your comments on both my blogs. Thank you for being such great NaNo and blogging buddy!

MiddleEarthMusician ~ You've been a cheerleader for me. Thank you also for being such a great NaNo buddy!

Julian ~ Thank you for that 10 post series on drafting, and the Shared WIP posts this year. I greatly enjoyed both of those series and I knew it took a lot of time and coordination.

And last, but certainly not least:

Sarah Rodecker ~ Thank you for this nomination (again!), and for creating another organization for clean YA. With more people making waves and more young people speaking out, we can create change :)

To all of my American readers, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why all the Romance?

Hello all!

Gray Marie Cox recently put out a discussion post on her blog, Writing is Life, about romance in YA. I couldn't believe the timing, I had this post sitting here in my drafts for a couple days trying to get my thoughts together. What better motivation to finish it!!

Now, for the record, I love a good clean romance story. It is, in fact, my favorite reading genre. I have my own fleet of "ships" for various books and movies.

But...in the YA genre, is romance toted a little too much??

I believe that it has something to do with our culture and traditions.

Image result for picnic
Source: Wikimedia Commons (Russavia)

Since our grandparent's time (and even before), a lot of couples chose their spouses around the age of 16-25. The classic romance tale of the high school/college sweetheart was based in millions of couples' true stories. The circumstances are all unique, but it has proven timeless. It is still considered a mark of success if you marry and establish a family before 30.

But, as a result of that, it is now embedded into our culture that the age that YA aims for (15-30) is the prime dating age. The culture says that you should be thinking about choosing a spouse and getting your happy ever after (after a few handy dandy conflicts of course).

So it really shouldn't be a surprise that romance plot lines tends to dominate in this age-range. However, it has become much more noticeable in very recent times to the detriment of all other human interactions.

So what happened? Why is romance so much more prevalent?

Well....

As they say, "First comes love, then comes marriage, and then the baby carriage". Except that the order has been horribly mangled up.

All those horrible things that happened during high school in the 90s-00s are now permeated into the middle schools. And I do mean everything....
The worries about looks, boys/girls, and clothing starts...in elementary school. It seems that the goal of our world is to strip innocence from young boys and girls as soon as possible.

In fiction, romance is seen as a stabilizing influence from a bad family influence. Siblings? Conflict points to the 10th degree. Friends are only there to support the MCs as they have relationship drama. Current fiction trends uphold the happily-ever-after that leaves an eternal high note for the reader.

While every human wants a happily ever after, it doesn't come to some people. A human romance is not going to lead to eternal happiness. Everyone that has been married probably knows this already. If the goal is unending love, how does a finite human fulfill that?

Has our society become so lovesick and sex-crazed that we have forgotten to be human? I believe so.


Remember, the end of the story is supposed to bring resolution to conflict. A human romance doesn't always resolve conflicts - half the time, it creates more.

I've personally see friends who wound up meeting that special someone and they pull away. In reality, this is when friendships really matter. A romance, especially if it leads to marriage, is a big change for a person. That support network of friends and a stable family influence can really smooth that over. Let's also have more stories that go on after the marriage

A lot of people may say that we don't need "goody two-shoe" stories like that, that they're boring, etc. Looking at the bad fruits that current popular YA literature as well as other cultural influences, I say we need more of it, and quickly.

If not, our generation will be swept from the proverbial bed of roses to one of burning thorns.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

P.S. My AMA went live yesterday! Here is the link:
https://frugallyfancyfarmlass.blogspot.com/2017/11/one-year-blogoversary-ama-answers.html


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Ocean, She Plays

Gulls cried over her head.

Ciara's heart was heavy, her mood oppressively dark. She felt that her miserable past was bearing down on her, with a stench ten times worse than any Carolina salt marsh.

She had to get away. A change in air...that is what Mrs. Goodhill always recommended for Ciara's girlish miseries.

A gentle roar made itself heard. Ciara then knew that the tide had come in unannounced. At the same time, the sun reappeared from behind a small cloud, sending a large swoop of oppressive heat upon her.

That settled it.

Ciara threw off her stockings, boots, and stays, leaving only her manly shirt and womanly skirt. She hid these articles in her camp, and made her way towards the beach, with the fresh sea air as her guide. 

In no time, she was on a deceivingly narrow strip of beach. Ciara knew that once the tide went out, the beach would be much wider. But that didn't concern her much. She looked upon the wide expansive ocean, fixedly on the narrow line between sky and sea.

In her mind, she flew over the rippling blue waves to a large dark galleon ship bearing the standard of her homeland. At the bow, she could see the billowing white shirt, and waving black hair. 

She longed for his tight embrace. She craved the tender caresses that he had placed on her face.

But he was an ocean away.

The vision dissolved into the air, emptying her mind and rending her heart. The ocean's roar deadened into a soft croon. It seemed to whisper to her: come lonely one, play with me! 

Ciara, with a child-like smile, started toward the waves. Her bare feet stepped lightly into the velvety soft wet sand.

The water rushed forward to greet her, warmly curling around her ankles as Cockles used to do.

Ciara walked still further forward. Happy to have a playmate, the ocean leapt forward to her knees with gentle force. Brief bursts of cold sea soon softened into a warm blanket-like feel.

Giggling softly, Ciara pushed deeper, up to her thighs. She felt the pull of the water away from her, the sand beneath her rubbing her feet in it's mad rush to follow.

She saw the wave, as high as her chest, forming to bear down upon her.

She closed her eyes and mouth and plunged into the ocean's embrace.

She emerged, deeply gasping for breath. The ocean had deceived her, not all the currents were warm and welcoming. The cold clung to her in a tight embrace, invigorating her muscles but squeezing her lungs painfully.

The warm sun, however, softened the cold sting, and soon, the ocean was playfully shoving Ciara's back and stomach as she bobbed along.

She learned to anticipate each wave to keep above the swell. The water currents danced around her legs and through her skirt - a delicious sensation. She felt little shells brush past her, but she did not pay any heed.

Soon tiring of the tamer waves, she moved along the coast in search of the breakers. Finding a shallow shoal, she let the waves tackle her again and again, shrieking in delight as they barrelled into her. When bigger waves hit, she plunged into the murky water. The burning salt water in her eyes and mouth soon put an end to this pleasure. 

Her feet once again touching the bottom, she looked down to see them. To her surprise, she could not see anything in the water - the sand being so fine that it obscured everything. But this was a little matter to her.

For hours, she bobbed there in the water, the ocean's caresses soothing away her past cares, worries and unhappiness. She breathed the salt air deeply, and found new games to play with the waves.

But when the shaking in her chest grew stronger, she knew it was time to leave her new friend. The ocean was loathe to let her go. It kept sending warm currents lapping around her to change her mind. Reluctantly, Ciara emerged from the water. Her skirt cloyed tightly to her, further hampering her wobbling walk.

Ciara felt bereft and empty again. She shivered violently as the wind tore off the warmth of the waves.

She stopped.

She barely felt the presence of an arm, as it wrapped a sun-warmed blanket around her shaking shoulders.

She stumbled and landed against a now-soaked.....shirt.

Eyes wide, she slowly looked up.

Dark hairs covered the strong chin.

The playful blue eyes looked into her own. She became fully aware of both his arms now tightly hugging her.

Her breath came in a sharp gasp, "Colin!!!".  



So...where did this come from???


After all, Miss Catherine Hawthorn is supposed to be on vacation this month. And any writing that she was going to do was going to be on Seeds of an Orchard Invisible, right?

Spoiler alert: this isn't a snippet from SOI.

I have discovered that an Atlantic coastal vacation is not the ideal environment to weave a story set in medieval Wales. After all, how can you write about medieval castles when palm trees are literally outside your window??

But....my muse needed some exercise. And the ocean wanted to play.

Seeing the ocean again reminded me of my pirate-y WIP, Fair Winds. Now, I don't really talk about Fair Winds here on the Rebelling Muse because....well.....cause I don't work on it.

Fair Winds is a "novel" in that it is made up of two novellas - Fair Winds: Sassy Devil, and Fair Winds: Fallen Angel. I had created the plot bunny for Fallen Angel in my college creative writing class, but had become so fascinated with a main character that I delved into her backstory. Thus, Sassy Devil was actually written first. It has gained note, in that it is the only completed draft in my entire "collection" of writings. It still needs to be redrafted and have more threads run through it, so it probably won't be published any time soon.

Fallen Angel got sadly neglected...until this afternoon.

One of the greatest writing advice ideas that I have picked up is to base your writing off of your own experiences and emotions of your personal life. No one knows your thoughts, feelings and experiences better than yourself.

Now, granted, I had not totally intended to weave my November sea bath into a story.

Now, I'm sure y'all's eyes are popping at the words "November sea bath". But it's true!

I had gone onto the beach previously this week, and had let the water run over my feet. I was totally surprised at how warm the water was....in early November!!!

Yesterday afternoon, it was over 80 degrees on the island that I'm currently on. Perfect day to go in the water. Even though there were plenty of heated pools around, I LONGED to go into the ocean.

In a word, it was exhilerating!

Okay, I admit I stayed in only a half an hour tops. There is only so much motion I can take, and there were some POLAR currents running around in there. (I guess I should have known that...after all, IT IS NOVEMBER FOR GOODNESS SAKES)

After I dragged myself out the water and found my towel, I knew I had to capture the sights, smells, sounds and emotions that went with this experience. I wanted it to be even more indelible in my memory by writing a "journal" entry about it. 

And I needed to write a blog post because...I was overdue for one and had no idea what to write about and you haven't had a chance to see any new writing stuff...

So I started with writing some really loaded metaphors into my phone's notepad, in the heat of the moment as they say...

The Ocean, She Plays.

The sand dissolves between her feet.

The pull and the push of the incoming wave.

The icy shafts of the first waves took her breath away and invigorated her soul.

The warm blanket feel

Velvet sand

fine sand obscures the view

little shells brush past the legs


The Ocean, She Hugs.

She winds around the ankles, a little warm cat.

She greets you like a dog, happy she is to see you, jumping around your knees.

Playful shoves at your stomach, your back.

When up to your chest, she tackle hugs you.


Being a seamstress, I compare my writing process to sewing a garment. Pieces are cut out of fabric and then stitched together. My metaphors, word banks and plot bunnies are the "pieces" cut out of my imagination, and the rest of my writing is the many seams to connect them all together.

Basically, I inserted all of those ideas and emotions into one character's mind instead of mine and stitched a story together. 


via GIPHY

Believe me, I wish it was this easy as this cat makes it out to be.

Sooo....what else has been going on?

Well, between getting out of grad school (and fighting with them over money) and my new room reno project, I was unable to complete Ivie's challenge *sad face*. I kept a log, intending to publish it after the last day, I'll include it below:


10/1 & 10/2 - no progress on SOI. Was writing essays. Bleh.

10/3 - wrote for about 30 minutes. Less than 200 words, I forgot to keep track.

10/4 - tunnel vision. Don't ask.

10/5 - 615+ words. Nearly 2 hours of writing. Making up for lost time :).

10/6 - ?? words, a lot of copy pasting going on tonight.

10/7 - what r words....

10/8 - another two hours, another 500+ word day.

10/9-end of month - WITHDRAW FROM UNIVERSITY PERIOD OF CRAZINESS..that is now extended into R&R.


YEAH.

Hence the silence. Sorry guys!

(someone needs to invent a pause button for LIFE).

Now that the ice is broken, maybe my muse will be more willing to go back to Wales.....

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine