Friday, October 20, 2017

Two Tag Special!

Hello all!

Thank you all for your support and prayer these past few weeks!! They are much appreciated.

On a personal note, I will be taking a much-needed vacation throughout much of November. I'm not taking an official hiatus, though. I'm going to use blogging to unwind, but my blogging will be rather intermittent.

Also, I am hosting an Ask Me Anything for my first blogging anniversary on my personal blog, Frugally Fancy. If you would like to contribute, you can either comment on my post on Frugally Fancy, or just leave them in the comment box on this post.

With that, onto the two tag special! 





I was tagged by MiddleEarthMusician. Her post is here, you should check it out! 


1. What's the name of your WIP and of your MC?


The name of my WIP is Seeds of an Orchard Invisible. The MC is the Princess Eirwen of Glywysing, heir to the throne after her father's disastrous second marriage. 


2. What gave you the inspiration for your MC?


Ummm....several things. Eirwen's main flaw is one that I share, but she shares many characteristics from her fairy tale predecessor, Snow White. 


3. What genre is your WIP?


Fairy tale re-telling. 


4. Is this your favorite WIP so far? If not, which one is?


No, this one isn't my favorite. My favorite is still Caoimhe. This one has given me so much trouble over the course of it's existence....*glares*


5. How would your story go if you were the antagonist?


Very badly.

I kid.

My character would be totally bent out of shape in making Eirwen obey my wishes and making her father obey as well. And I would probably...um...really mistreat my sister, Lilliwen.

And..this question provides an almost perfect segue to this next tag...




#1: Give credit to the creator of the tag, Kate
#2: Give credit to the one who tagged you. I got tagged by Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee. You can view her post here.
#3: Tag at least two people.

Heehee. I'm not sharing this one. It's sitting right here..unprotected, no alarm systems, no nothing. It can run away to where ever it wants to go. I did modify the questions from the original version. 


Because....




via GIPHY




1. How many characters do you typically kill per book? Do you feel any remorse about this?


What, me? Kill characters?


Nah. I plead innocent of any murders or deserved killings that happen in my stories. Mother can't help it if her children fight, but she often has to help clean up the mess. *glares at bad characters*

2. Do you prefer to use mass destruction or more personal torture?


I've been known to use personal tramua rather than mass destruction. Mass destruction has too many innocent victims. I prefer to have the guilty ones pay.  


3. Are you more like Loki, who perpetrates great evil with a creepy grin, or Darth Vader, who secretly weeps whilst destroying the world?

Oh, I am most certainly Darth Vader. Perpetuating evil is not my strong point...now if you want emotional manipulation, that's another story. Moms are great at guilt tripping *wink wink*


4. What is the most dastardly crime you have ever committed as a writer?

I have had a female character watch her father be mortally wounded from an arrow while on horseback. 


I have confused the emotions of several female characters. 


I have thrown another female character from one world to another. 


My male characters seem to escape without too much trauma though. Charmers, all of them *glares at male characters, who shrink in terror*. 


5. What kind of chocolate do you most like to devour as you burn things? White, milk, semisweet, or dark? 

Dark chocolate. Though semisweet and milk are close seconds. If I burn anything, though, it tends to be inanimate and woody. Everything else stinks too much. 

6. What is your villainous title? You may not have “Evil Overlord” because that one’s mine (Kate's).


I don't like that title anyway, you can keep it, Kate. 

The best shall remain unnamed. I have no title. Though Overprotective Mother would probably be the closest. 

7. Which of your characters would actually be a match for you if you were to duke it out one on one?

Keitha from Caoimhe would be the most likely. I mean, come on! She trains Shield-Maidens! Most of the other ones either wouldn't dare to cross me. They know better.

8Which character, in all the many books you have undoubtedly written, is most likely to be your Archnemesis?
That would most likely be either Ceinwen from Seeds of an Orchard Invisible or Haisthilt from Caoimhe.

Ceinwen would really get my goat. She's really mean.

Haisthilt controls an army of Giselberts and is a giant stalker. #Creepy.

9. Do you wear a cape? Face paint? A mask? Special underpants? Or do you hide in plain sight… like Moriarty? Give me details!

Hide in plain sight. Everyone assumes that I'm a soft-spoken person that doesn't do much and then BAM. They get a shock out of their life when I show the true colors.

10. How do you react when you have to kill off a character that is dear to you? 

I get the sinking feeling, the watering eyes, the works. I feel pity for the rest of the characters, really. I mourn with them. Unless it's a villain. Then it's "serves you right" and move on. 


11. If you had to choose a fictional villain (from book, movies, etc.) to describe you, who would it be? Why?


Those fictional parents that don't allow teenagers to do whatever they want. I told you overprotective mother suited me well...


12. Do you believe in killing off main characters, or are they your precious babies whom you cannot even fathom laying a hand upon? 


Haven't you figured out by now that I embrace the title of angelic writer? 

*get sword* I will defend my babies with my life. 

13. Have you ever tried to resurrect a fallen character? Or do you let the sleeping skeleton lie?

What is this evilness you speak of? Mothers are never evil to their children. 

I can't resurrect a dead body, though I can easily take a character out of hiding. I'm no goddess but I'm no demon either. If the character is dead, the character is dead. No two ways about it. 


14. When a character dies, do you describe it in cringey detail, or do you prefer to say “SPLAT! He’s dead”, and be done with it? 



Just the facts, ma'am. I say what happened and what the other characters saw, and no more. So...I'm more of a "splat" person.


via GIPHY


As you can tell, I'm certainly NOT an evil writer. I don't endorse sadistically killing and torturing characters. I'm too much of an empathetic person. If there is torture and killing in my stories, there is a just reason or it's used as a stumbling block for the hero. It's not as "fun" but I've seen the dark side and I'm not going back *shudders*. I'm a mommy to my characters - respected (mostly), stern (to my bad children) and supportive (to my good children).

That's it! Talk to y'all soon!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Update on the Muse (III)

Hello all!

First things first, big hugs to everyone who have prayed for me/supported me after I spilled my heart out in my last post!! You guys mean the world to me, and I'm sure that your prayers have been answered.

Because, I'm relieved to tell y'all that things have gotten better.

The day after I wrote that post (Tuesday) I met with my academic adviser. After several minutes of tearful conversation, we mutually decided that it was better for my emotional health that I withdrew from the university.
I immediately set out to do on Wednesday, intending to fully leave by the next week. The transition so far has been very smooth and uneventful, even with the really short notice. I'm finishing the last few meetings tomorrow, and tying up loose ends so I can move out this weekend - a full 3 days before I originally estimated. In the meantime, I've been saying goodbye to friends, professors at the History department and the staff at the historic site that I volunteered at this summer. I will miss them all dearly :( .

However, I will say that I don't regret my decision. I've never felt so....FREE.

As a result of this upcoming weekend craziness, I will be taking a mini-hiatus until Monday. I plan to do a lot after that - answer a tag, write more of SOI, resurrect Frugally Fancy....maybe even get to a few of those little stories that I keep hinting at....who knows!

I've reached the bend in the road...where will it lead?

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Monday, October 9, 2017

6 Signs that You're Burning Out



Hello all,

I really feel the need to share with you this post. It was inspired by a recent case study that's been going on for the past couple of months.

6 Signs that you are burnt out: 


1. You have no desire whatsoever to continue the project. 

And when I say that you have no desire, I mean that you have no desire. Nothing, not even failing the project, can get you motivated. Your brain literally REFUSES to function.

2. You have frequent spells of crying, anger, frustration, etc. 

Or, worst case scenario, you end up with all three at once.

3. You do anything to avoid the project.

Like... to the point when you drive out of the state once a week for an entire day. Literally. 

4. You feel that the project is a total waste of your time (or worse, money).

This is the worst feeling ever. This is when the doubting thoughts really start rampaging through.

5. If you try to perservere, you feel ten times worse. 

You still feel the obligation to try to finish, even if it means finishing badly. But the mental fog is increasingly difficult to pierce, and your body is steadfastly refusing to apply itself.

6. The quality of your work decreases. Drastically. 

And when I mean drastically, I mean like a drop from A grade papers to C grade papers kind of drastically. 

Okay.

Enough pretending.

Remember that I said that this was inspired by a case study?

That case study has, unfortunately, been myself.

No, the project is not Seeds of an Orchard Invisible. It's graduate school.

Let me explain.

Most of you know that I graduated college this past may. Well, I was starting to feel the beginning signs of burnout then but I chalked it up to plain senioritis. Summer job would fix that. It did before.

The next few months was taken up with a very intense summer internship up in a brand new state...another 8 hours from my house. In that internship, I was doing some very tedious and detail-chocked research as well as learning to interpret historic agriculture in a totally different time and setting that I was used to. As time dragged, my research was becoming very boring, and I was starting to lose focus. I pushed myself to do the very best I could, and wound up impressing my boss with the quality of my work. 

Less than a week after my internship ended, I moved again...this time to a neighboring state to the one that I worked in. Still, it was a new state again, the 5th I've lived in the past year.
My workload tripled over time. I started a new job that I quickly hated. I tried to work more on family genealogy and started volunteering at the place I worked this summer. Both provided mental releases, but that burnout that started in May was growing...exponentially.

End of September rolls around. My interest in my schoolwork is waning very fast, and my retention is dropping even faster. I started having crying jags on a regular basis and bungling simple assignments. When I started having crying jags at work, I knew I had to do something.

I met with the chair of the History department, who is my supervisor. We tried to work out a few solutions. However, things spiraled very quickly out of control the next week. After receiving a particularly deserving bad grade on a paper that I had slapped together, I had a full emotional breakdown - to the point that I shouted to my family over the phone that I wanted to quit and come home right then and there.

I haven't felt like I needed to quit something with this intensity ever since I was eleven. That time, eleven-year-old me was being made to teach 4-year-olds how to do simple dance steps. The girls would want to do anything but learn the steps - most of the time, they wanted to talk. I'm not a talker, I'm a task doer. That experience has taught me that I'm not cut out to be a teacher.

Now, this isn't my first case of severe burnouts - one happened in sophomore year of undergrad. That was strictly just being overwhelmed. I had a nit-picky professor (very similar to a current professor that I have now) that gave me heck over papers. I responded to his challenge and won. But that took a severe toll on me mentally. Scaling back on involvement on campus and a summer job cured that case of burnout.

This time, this burnout is so severe that it's causing me to have a depression. Looking back, I realize that I haven't had a true vacation in at least three years. Three years of intense working and studying has taken a major toll on me mentally and now physically.

That's why I've been scaling back on my Rebellious Writing stuff. That's why I had such a blogging summer, and now am scaling back on that. I'm not worrying whether SOI actually makes it to Rooglewood or not. Never fear, it will be written. But I need to gain some mental stability before that happens. 

I'm in the process of attempting to get a temporary leave of absence from the university. Whether it turns permanent or not will depend on my mental state and the employment options that I have.

I apologize that this post turned from informative to ranty/emotional. I didn't intend for this to be as personal as it came out to be. This is the first that anyone, besides certain family members, have heard of this. But it's time that I acknowledged that I'm hurting. After all, it's the first step to healing, isn't it? 

Please pray for me, y'all.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Liebster Award 2.0

Light Dotted




Hello everyone! I'm back again, this time with a tag post!  

The reason why I call this Liebster Award 2.0 is because I've already done one other Liebster Award and it is nothing like this.....

The Rules: 


  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  5. List these rules in your post
  6. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post. (They might not have ever heard of it!)
  7. Post a comment in the comments of –> the award post <– so your post and blog can be viewed.
For this award, I've been nominated by my favorite Aussie blogger, Melissa Gravitis! Her posts on Quill Pen Writer about character development and world building are excellent, you must go and check them out!


I must say that Musings of an Elf  is my favorite blog of all time. It's one of the first blogs that I followed when I set up my blogger account. I never hesitate to click on the latest post from Christine Smith. Her posts make me laugh, and give me good advice at the same time. Christine herself is a very supportive person, and always ready to lend some encouragement to a newbie. I must give credit to her for giving me the confidence to blog-publish one of my first short stories The Snow Dancer of Iclyn.

Now for the nominations....

I nominate:

Mary Kate @ Sarcastic Scribblings

Any Rebellious Writing teammate that has not been tagged by anyone yet.


On a personal note....

Seeds of an Orchard Invisible (SOI) is coming along rather slowly. Please keep me in your prayers, I've been hitting some really rough patches with school. Grad school is nothing like college, and I'm not adjusting very well.

On November 19, 2017, I'm going to be hosting my first blogoversary on my first blog Frugally Fancy. As part of the celebration, I'm doing an Ask Me Anything post. If you would like to contribute, please leave a comment on this post!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Revealing...




Hello all!

After months of frustrations and getting no where with The Apple in the Snow, I made the decision to scrap everything except for my characters and half the plot.

That meant scrapping...

My title.
My theme
My aesthetics (aka my Pinterest board)
My soundtrack (Spotify playlist)

In the middle of my grad school chaos, I've been attempting to reconstruct this story. And I think I've got it!

Behold! It is time to reveal.....




Eirwen’s core is slowly rotting…..
From infancy, she has only desired to be a good and kind queen to her people of Glywysing. But a scandalous marriage by her widowed father sows seeds of anger in her heart. An anger that, in a kingdom about to rebel and a castle full of scarred hearts, could be advantageous or disastrous.
When a hunting party trip turns deadly, Eirwen is forced to flee into a decaying orchard. But she doesn’t leave those invisible seeds behind….
Will Eirwen cut through the undergrowth of her heart or will an invisible orchard hem her in?  


The Cast of Characters: 

It is the same as the Apple in the Snow, with the addition a couple of new characters. One is too minor to mention, and the other would cause some spoilers. Hence I will not reveal them right now. 

I did slightly change Eirwen's character, and gave her some new faults. 

The Title:

So, I found this really really nice Welsh proverb that really got me.

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible  

After examining my new theme, I thought that this proverb really was a really really awesome metaphor.

The Theme: 

I think that this is where I struggled the most before. Who knew that theme was so important?? 

As you can kinda see, there is a strong theme of interior anger vs. meekness. It's definitely something that I know about - and struggle with. After looking through my notes, I realized that my previous theme of avoiding bad company was really weak for the kind of story that I was dealing with. 

I'm also trying to weave some actual Welsh legends from the Mabignon, so we'll see how that goes.  

The Aesthetics: 

I did wind up getting rid of my private AITS board, saving the few images that I wanted and starting a new private one. Instead of trying to find Snow White images, I concentrated on finding character aesthetics, Welsh scenery and language/quotes, informational posts about medieval poisons.....

The Soundtrack: 

Like the Pinterest board, the old Spotify soundtrack also got axed completely. Before it was fantasy music with an overwhelming saturation of Welsh music. I think most of those Welsh songs were from much later than what I was writing in. Whoops. 

The new soundtrack now has a growing mix of fantasy, some Welsh songs and actual medieval music. It's currently shorter than my old one, but that may change :).


Soooooooooo........what do y'all think? Do you like it? 



Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine Hawthorn

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hamlette's Tolkein Tag 2017 (as told in GIFs and Pinterest)

Join the Party HERE
Hello all!

I'm participating in Hamlette's 2017 Tolkien Blog Party!!

My long dormant LOTR fandom love got resurrected during Camp NaNo. It was kinda inevitable. I mean, my cabin was called The Fellowship of the Keyboards for a reason.....

So, on to the questions!

1. How long have you been a Tolkien fan? 

Since high school for sure.

I still haven't seen many of the movies - it's mostly been limited clips and pictures. I've heard mixed reviews - book purists really hate it and movie people love it. So...I don't know if I want to watch them or not.

I love the books, but I haven't read them in a while - I don't have my own copy yet. A problem that I hope to rectify soon.

That being said, I do like to read LOTR trivia, take LOTR quizzes, etc. So I guess I'm a full member of the fandom.

2. Has your love of Middle-Earth affected your life? 

Yes, in a positive way. It has connected me to some amazing bloggers, and has connected me deeper to my Faith.


And has been responsible for my shieldmaiden obsession. If I ever could be a fictional character I would be....


via GIPHY

(asdkfsorjeosdckdnowthsdncls. This GIF. Where has this GIF been? I LOVES IT).


*start shameless plug* You have to check out Joseph Pearce's lecture series on the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings if you are interested in the Catholic parallels to LOTR and the Hobbit. Seriously, you do. It really helps to understand Tolkien's symbolism. *end shameless plug*

3. If you had to take the One Ring to Mordor, which character would you choose for your sole companion? 

Samwise Gangee probably. I'd get pretty high strung if I was carrying that thing, I need someone really loyal by my side.


via GIPHY
Me. So. Me.

4. Which is scarier, Shelob or Balrog? 

Shelob.

*spiders aren't that scary are they?*


via GIPHY


via GIPHY

AH, YEAH.....No comparison.

5. Which two towers do you think Tolkien was referring to in the title The Two Towers? (i.e. Orthanc, Barad-dur, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, or Minas Tirith). 

I would say that the two tower that Tolkien referred to were Minas Tirith (as the stronghold of Gondor, that figured in a lot into the story) and either Orthanc or Barad-dur (I know I keep spelling it wrong, I can't find the silly symbol) as they are "dark" towers under Sauron's control.

(Interesting note: When looking up the names of these towers (as I was terribly rusty), I found that Tolkien did an original drawing that featured Minas Morgul and Orthanc as the "two towers". I guess Tolkien had his own ideas....)

6. Whose wardrobe would you like to have?

Eowyn's. That is, as long I can sword fight in a skirt knee-length or longer.

I mean, come on! Look at these costumes!

7. What do you think an Ent Draught would taste like?

I thought originally it would be like sugar water.

Knowing Tolkien though, that doesn't seem very likely.

So, I'm going to say that it's a sweet and crisp drink. Maybe like an Amaretto Sour x10.

(For those who are under 21, an Amaretto Sour is a cocktail made mostly with Amaretto liqueur and a citrus juice. Sweet, tangy, and crisp. My favorite.)

8. Where in Middle-Earth would you like to live? 

I'd like Hobbiton if it wasn't living in holes. I have a slight claustrophobia problem, so dark holes would not go over too well with me. That also eliminates the Orcs and Dwarves kingdoms too.

I'd probably live in the kingdom of Rohan. (oh my, that obsession with Eowyn might be a bit bigger than I thought....)

9. Do you have any Tolkein-related opinions that surprise other people? 

I've heard that Tolkien really didn't like females in his story. Which explains why he didn't have that many and why they weren't involved in the story all that much. (Tauriel is not an original Tolkein character. That is strictly a Peter Jackson addition - sorry Tauriel fans).

To which I say, excuse me Mr. Tolkien, but do you realize the power that we females can wield? We're not just some background support system. Without the females, your story would collapse.

10. List up to 10 of your favorite lines/quotations from the books or movies.

 
That's everything! Definitely go crash the party. Have a few Ent-Draughts (or Green Dragon drafts, if you prefer).

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Hi, I have Tourettes....and I'm not Evil"



I was outside of my dorm building this afternoon, reading a book for one of my graduate classes. My little picnic table was off the beaten path in the center of a grassy area by a parking garage. I should mention that this table doesn't border any sidewalks.

It was a rather quiet afternoon. Perfect for studying.

I stayed there for over an hour, just reading. Not sure how much I actually retained, but I knew I was going to read it again later.

Then...off to my right (by the parking garage) I hear a shout - a shout that was coming towards me.

"Hey (name I missed), I'm going to make a new friend!" 

Odd. That's not a phrase I remember hearing a lot. Especially on a college campus.

I look up from my book, and a young African-American man (about my age) is climbing on the bench besides mine. I wasn't really startled, given what I had just heard, but I must say that I was surprised - and maybe a little nervous. Why did he want to meet me?

He said to me, in a very cheerful voice, "Hi, I'm (name). I have Tourettes...and I'm not evil."

I don't remember tensing up, but I must have, because I smiled and relaxed my shoulders.

He asked my name and we proceeded to have a pleasant conversation. It turns out he had already attained his bachelors and was on his way to getting his doctorate (at least, I think that's what he said. It was at the same time that he mentioned getting his black belt in martial arts). We ended our conversation by his mentioning that his favorite holiday was Halloween and that he was looking forward to it.

After he left, the only thing that I could think of was...

"Wow. That guy was very brave, and he will make something of himself." 

That young man is going to bring about more change than any activist for physical or mental illnesses. Because he's living proof that his disability didn't get in the way of attaining success - in classroom or out.

Now, I must confess, when I was younger, I was very afraid of people with a physical or mental disability. As I've grown older and met more people, I realize that I shouldn't focus on their disabilities, but on their humanity. As I've had more positive experiences with people with disabilities, that fear has diminished to nothing. I just never realized it until I met this young man.

As I sit here writing this post, it just occurred to me - why isn't more positive experiences with mentally or physically ill people present in fiction?

What about the people that have friends, best friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, husbands/wives that have these illnesses? Why aren't they present in books as being positive influences?

From my brief experience with him, I saw a young man grow in confidence, and come to think of it, so did I.

Let's keep that trend going.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Time for the Apple Seed to Die



Hello all,

For those who have been hanging around this blog for a while, you know that one of my current WIPs is destined for the Rooglewood Five Poisoned Apples Contest. It was also my July Camp NaNo piece. Yes, I'm talking about The Apple in the Snow.

And you probably know that since my disastrous Camp NaNo, I've been really really frustrated with that story. Nothing seems to be falling into place. The flow has been shut off. No sparks of imagination in the whole work, really.

And I have come to the conclusion that the definition of the term "fairy tale re-telling" is really misleading.

Most people define fairy tale re-tellings as dropping characters or themes from classic fairy tales in new settings or time periods.

But in reality, a fairy tale re-telling should be thought of the same way as a makeover on a room in a house. Some people only change minor things - a paint color, rearranging the same furniture, etc. And there is nothing wrong with that, especially if you are on a limited budget. But it decreases the "wow" factor. It's not really all that fresh. It's just the same stuff that has been shifted. Boring, right.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Now, lets say you want to put a little more effort and money into that makeover. You add tiles to the walls to feature some knick-knacks you have. You repaint the room a totally different shade than the previous one. You get brand new decor, different curtains, possibly even change out the furniture. If you really get ambitious, you can knock out a few walls or change the flooring.

The result is a really fresh, really different, HGTV-worthy room that is totally unrecognizable from the original. It's still the same "room" that you started with, but you've jacked it up. Some elements from the original are still there, but they aren't as noticeable until someone points it out.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My point is, I need to stop telling Snow White's story and tell Eirwen's story instead. The apple seed needs to die before an apple tree can spring to life.

This is one of the reasons why Spotify and Pinterest were not working as well for me this time as with other stories. The images and music pieces that I had for Apple in the Snow had their own story attached to them already. It was like taking salvage parts from wrecks and making a modern art sculpture with them.  

This is probably also why my characters are also really flat. Trying to tell a German tale in Wales is not working because German characters don't live in Wales. That's like trying to re-use chartreuse chairs in a room that you repainted sea green or something.

And maybe I'm forcing my muse to create this story. It was one of those ideas that I was really mixed about trying for - knowing my muse does not cooperate under deadlines. I also felt as if I was going with the flow with so many other bloggers also participating in the contest.

Does this mean I'm giving up on my WIP?

No.

Because I'm a stubborn little authoress, and dad-burn-it, this story is going to be written. I know that there is still some salvageable parts from that trainwreck of a NaNo piece I created in July. It just needs a new title, new characterizations, a major plot surgery, new aesthetics, and a new soundtrack.

Will it get done before December?

Maybe.

But honestly, that's not really important to me right now.

The important thing is that Eirwen's story gets told. The right way.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Brief note

Hey y'all,

I have to take a quick hiatus starting today (8/22) till Monday, (8/28).

I've got some personal business to take care of....mostly preparing to enter grad school. I'll still keep up with reading everyone's posts as best I can, but comments will be sporadic at best. And my posts that I was planning on doing are going to be pushed back.

In answer to your comment, Sarah, I'll search out those modesty interviews again and give you the links to them. I have them saved somewhere, I just need to find them.

See you again in a week!

Scribbingly yours,
Catherine

Monday, August 14, 2017

I Play Tag Catch-Up Part 2: Summer Party with Cookies!



Hello all,

Be forewarned....this post is going to be very, very long as well.

This is Part 2 of I Tag Catch-Up! The tags featured in this post are the Summer Fun Tag, The Cookie Book Tag and the Real-Life Blogger Party Tag.

Ready to go? I am! So, let's be off!



Tag #1: The Summer Fun Tag

Lila Red @ The Cheapskate Bibilomaniac tagged me for the Summer Fun Tag, which was created by Mikayla @ Making Music for the Maker. You can view Lila's answers here. Thanks for the tag, Lila!

Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag at least three people.

Questions:

1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?

I've actually been called this outside of my family as well but one nickname that my family calls me is "little lady". Every other nickname my family calls me is classified information.

2. What's a weird habit of yours?

Acting out my daydreams when I'm alone (or I think I'm alone). Not sure why I do it, I just do.

3. Do you have any strange phobias?

I have a terrible fear of rats and mice. One of my worst nightmares was someone shoving a dead rat in my face. Seeing a live rat or mouse paralyzes me, a dead one makes me shudder like this:


via GIPHY


4. What's a song you secretly love to blast out when alone?

"That's What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction.

Yes, I know. It's One Direction.

This is the only song that I like from them. But honestly, this song helped me through some really bad periods of low self-confidence. The song itself is good, and that's what counts for me.

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

When people talk about authority figures (especially bosses) behind their backs about what they do wrong, why their actions seem stupid to them. Honestly, even if I agree with some of those points, the fact is...the boss is in charge. Often times, there is a reason why he does the stuff that he does. Have a little understanding, people!!!

6. What's one of your nervous habits?

Playing with my hair. I do that when I'm agitated.

7. What's a YouTuber that always makes you laugh?

I don't watch YouTube that often - most of my YouTube watching is watching music videos.

8. What's your first stuffed animal and what's it's name?

Just an ordinary bear named Teddy  :)

9. What's a drink you always order from Starbucks?

I'm not a coffee drinker, so I don't get stuff from Starbucks.

10. Do you have any weird body skills?

I used to play fiddle fairly often, and I have a terrible time using my pinky finger to play notes.

Why?

When I press the string, the one joint in my pinky finger flattens out, so my finger doesn't remained curved like it's supposed to. And I can't get it to not do that.

11. What's your favorite comfort food?

Macaroni and Cheese, by far. Second would be ice cream.

12. What is a phrase or exclamation that you always say?

I say "geez Luigi" a lot. It's a phrase that I created on the spur of the moment at one point, and it's remained in my vocabulary.

13. What is one thing that you used to wear when you were younger that you would never wear now?

Pants and shorts (by themselves)

I fell in love with modesty and dressing femininely when I was 16. After hearing a lot of interviews with Christian guys about what they see and feel when they see a woman in pants, and reading a lot of books and articles, I decided that I was not comfortable wearing pants in public.

Honestly, I don't really miss pants and shorts. I find that I'm cooler when I'm wearing skirts in the summer. I get much more respect and chivalrous behavior from men. I will wear sweatpants at home if I'm not feeling well, as well as shorts under my skirts (jeans if I'm working very laborously). Otherwise, it's long skirts for me.

14. What did you want to be when you were younger?

A veternarian. Then I found out I would need to be in school for 8 years, and there were a lot of things in the job that I was not comfortable with. So I went for agriculture instead.

15. How tall are you?

Let's put it this way...I'm short, but not that short. Short enough to have short girl problems. Nuff said.
16. What are five ways to gain your friendship?

1. Keep me in the loop. Always. I don't care if it's a minor detail or if it doesn't concern me 100%. Just tell me. I'll probably need that information at some point anyway.
2. When I ask for help, show me but don't do it for me. Let me do it while you're talking to me. And I'll always stop and make sure that I'm doing it right, so don't lie if I'm doing it wrong.
3. Actively take interest in what I say. I'm more likely to be the listener in any given time. I don't really mind that, but when I want to talk about something, I wanna talk about something!
4. Please don't swear or make obscene gestures in my presence or hearing. I'm a lady, and I don't take that kind of stuff very well.
5. Stick with me through the storms. It's one thing to share the joys, but another to share the sorrows. If you're still here after my sorrows are done, you're a friend. Period.


Now...to tag people.....

ohhh are you guys hungry? I've got some tasty books cookies down below!


Tag #2: The Cookie Book Tag

Yesss, this delicious tag!!! Faith/Florid Sword @ A Writer's Song tagged me for the Cookie Book Tag. You can see her answers here. I was watching the blogosphere go crazy with this tag, and I hoped I'd get it!

Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Showcase books with the following descriptions.
3. Tag how many people you want.

Chocolate Chip - A book that never gets old

Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith

from Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE
A couple of years after graduating college, Joan Sanderson finds that her life isn't really going anywhere. She has a good job and loves taking care of her family; but that isn't enough. She has no social life, and no boyfriend since Roger the Rat dumped her. When a new doctor, coupled with a rambunctious puppy dog, moves next door; she finds out what she has been missing...

This book was one of my first Kindle finds, and it is still one of my absolute favorite books. Joan's and Ken's romance is one of the best romances that I've seen written in a contemporary piece.

Dutch Snowballs - A book that gives you an unexpected surprise

Runner Up by Leah Banicki

Runner Up by [Banicki, Leah]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Tired of being on the sidelines when it comes to dating, Hannah Parker is finally stepping out looking for love. She lands a spot on the hit TV show Soulmate, and she falls for Anthony Capricchio - the dream guy of any girl with morals. But with 24 other women on his heels, will Hannah even have a chance with him? 

Ok....that plot twist in there was totally mean. Just as mean as the plot twist in Frozen. NOT JOKING. I WAS ROOTING SO HARD.....
And seriously, that much drama over a TV show? Turned me off watching shows like the Bacherlor and the Bacheolorette, that's for sure. But maybe that was the point....

Molasses - A book with a character that gets into a sticky situation

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson.

Every Bride Needs a Groom (Brides with Style Book #1): A Novel by [Thompson, Janice]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

In a small towns, there are a lot of "givens". Katie Fisher counted on one "given" too far when, acting a false hint, she applied for a bridal contest from Texas Bride. When her boyfriend leaves her high and dry to chase new dreams - coincidentally hours before she wins said contest - Katie is in a pretty bad bind. How is she going to explain to the wedding dress designer - and her pro basketball player son - that she doesn't have the groom? 

Ladies...assuming that the guy is going to propose is a really bad idea.....just saying. But how she gets out of this jam is absolutely adorable.

Oreo - A book dealing with light and darkness.

Draykon by Charlotte English.

Draykon (The Draykon Series Book 1) by [English, Charlotte E.]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Could one little gem cause so much trouble? 

The discovery of istore by an introverted jewelry collector named Llandry sets off a series of murders and a lot of people desperate to get at the beautiful stones. But is there a deeper connection - one to the long-lost race of drakoni? 

Not only does this book have different realms, each one has unique characteristics. Some are literally light, some are literally dark. Besides that obvious analogy, there is some really shady stuff that happens in the book - the mystery around the istore especially. This book is a great fantasy book - chock full of fantasy creatures from ortings to drakoni. For my fellow fantasy readers!

Sugar - A book with a super sweet villian

Dr. Horatio vs. the Six-Toed Cat by Virgina Smith

Dr. Horatio vs. the Six-Toed Cat (Tales from the Goose Creek B&B) by [Smith, Virginia]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

A quick read deserves a quick introduction. Serving as a prequel to a book series called Goose Creek B&B, this book provides plenty of small town laughs as a girl introduces her fiance to her parents and the town vet tries to stop an epidemic of six-toed cats. 

I tell you...this question really floored me. You know how many books I had to scour through to choose one for this question???

Anyways.....

The title kinda gives it away a bit....in this particular book, there is a 6-toed male cat that is creating dozens of litters left and right. And the vet (Dr. Horatio) is getting fed up with dealing with crazy cat ladies freaking out over their precious kitties sporting extra toes. Hence, we have an elusive, very sweet villian to deal with.

Monster - A book that confused your emotions.

The Crown and the Crucible by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella

The Crown and the Crucible (The Russians Book #1) by [Phillips, Michael, Pella, Judith]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

A simple country girl leaves her ancestral home in order to serve in the castle of a Russian princess. But while the two girls are learning from each other and uniting in friendship, political revolution is threatening to pit family and friends against each other. Will their friendship stand it? Will their respective brothers be alive at the end of it all? 

Ok....what really confused my emotions about this book was the romance between the Prince Sergei and the maid Anna. Gah....I kinda wanted them together...but the class differences really stuck out. The fact that it was genuine attraction and not an impure one really made it worse.

Warning: This book has a minor infidelity plotline with Tsar Alexander.

Snickerdoodle - A book that makes you laugh

Pink Flamingoed by Steve Demaree

Pink Flamingoed (Book 1 Aylesford Place Humorous Christian Romance Series) by [Demaree, Steve]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

When he moves in an old family home, Brad intends on making it his writer's retreat. That is, before he gets roped into helping with the Christmas caroling, a neighborhood joke involving a pink flamingo, and a beautiful girl next door. Before he knows it - boom! - he's interwoven into the Aylesford Place social life :). 

I guess that as a humorous Christian book, I would certainly hope that this book would make me laugh....

This book is one of those really light reads that I tend to read if I'm having a bad day. There really isn't much of a plot per se, as it is a collection of neighborhood vignettes with a loose timeline. There is a romantic plotline that ties up the book rather nicely.

Peanut butter - A book with a nutty character

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

Stars Collide (Backstage Pass Book #1): A Novel by [Thompson, Janice]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

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?

Kat has a grandmother who has Alzheimers. The way that it is presented provides several laughs, eyebrow raises, and "okay....."s from the reader, guarenteed. Her quirk of dressing as classic movie stars (and quoting them like a pro) endured her to me in an instant.

Now I wanna re-read all of these books.....

Hang tight with me guys! I've got one last tag to go!! 



Tag #3: The Dream Real-Life Blogger Party Tag 

This was an open tag created by Abby @ Up and Downs. Thanks Abby, this one looked like a lot of fun! You can check out her post here.

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag 5 people.

1. Name the venue for this party!

The South Carolina coast or the Sea Islands. In a Marriott resort.

Marriott resorts have a LOT of amenities, great service and activities. They're my favorite hotel chain, but the timeshare hotels are even better.

And the Sea Islands have forests, beaches, and still have access to some metro areas :).

2. List 3 foods that need to be present.

 Chocolate fountain, complete with strawberries and other fruit.

 Hamburgers. All-American food, and it's my favorite party food.

Macaroni salad or a mac and cheese dish. Maybe I should have said macaroni dish....

(Though I'll admit, those shish kabobs almost made it on there. Don't they look AWESOME??)

3. Dance Time! List 5 artists/bands for your party mix tape.

I'm going to slightly alter this question to "What songs would you put in?". Because I'm not one that looks at artists, I look more at songs. (Same way I look at movies and not actors.)

"Cotton Eyed Joe" by Rednex - seriously my favorite line dance ever.

"Cha Cha Slide" - another one of my favorite dances. And yes, I can go all the way to the floor.

"Y.M.C.A" by Village People - I forgot half of the hand motions that go with this song, but I like the message of it!

"On Top of the World" - The Peter Hollens/Mike Thompkins version is the best.

"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars - Every party needs an uplifting song :)

4. What three activities would we mostly engage in?

1. Talking to each other! Us introverts may take us a minute, but we'll pull ahead of the extroverts in no time with all the like-minded peoples.

2. Real-life tag posts...AKA ICEBREAKERS!!!

3. Snapping tons and tons of photos!

5. Describe a collaborative post that you would do at a party.

I honestly would do a vlog with several blogging buddies. Because why not? They're already there!!!

6. What habits or interaction qualities would you notice?

I notice a lot of things...would I pay attention to them would depend on what it is.

I'd notice who was listening and who was talking the most though.


I've finished all the tags (thank heavens)....except to tag people! 

FOR ALL TAGS - It is open season again. Take one, take all, it's your choice!! 

I know...I'm taking the easy route. But, as I explained in the last post, with everybody finishing up summer, I don't want to add any more blogging to everybody's to-do lists.

Hope you enjoyed my tag posts!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I Play Tag Catch-Up Part 1: Character Tags




Hello all!

Be forewarned....this post is going to be very, very long.

My apologies, but it was either that or several separate tag posts! All of the tags in this post and in the next one came to me during Camp NaNo, hence they were made to sit in the waiting room while *other* stuff got done first (cough cough Rebellious Writing cough cough).

The tags that will be featured in this post are: The Dual Character Inquistition Tag, The Character Karoke Tag, and the Of Rising Authors tag.

Onward to the first stop!



Tag #1: Dual Character Inquisition Tag

So Rachel @ R's Loft tagged me for the Dual Character Inquisition tag an embarrassingly long while ago. You can view her answers here. And Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer tagged me again during the last week of July. You can view her answers here. Thank you both!! Sorry this has taken so long to put up!

Rules:
1. Pick 2 characters (hence the dual in the name)
2. Include pictures of them. (At least one of each)
3. Answer the questions (hence the inquisition in the name)
4. Tag at least 3 bloggers

The Characters:

You'll probably recognize these two!



Yes, these are two of my characters from "The Apple in the Snow"! This is Eirwen's father, King Aneirin and her stepmother Ceinwen.

The Questions:

1. Who inspired these characters?

They were inspired by the Kings and Queens from various Snow White stories, but a lot of individual characteristics (like Ceinwen's green dresses) were inspired by Pinterest.

2. What is their weapon of choice?

Aneirin's weapon of choice is his longsword. As a Welsh king in the Middle Ages, he would obviously lead his armies into battle.

Ceinwen's best "weapon" is probably her tongue. Nuff said.

3. Have they been physically violent with someone? What instigated it?

Well, Aneirin has been in some nasty battles when his kingdom of Glywysing was invaded by the Danes, so yeah, he's been physically violent. Does he like it? Not in the least.

Ceinwen doesn't harm people physically. Her method of warfare is emotional manipulation.

4. Are they more of a rule-follower or a rebel?

Aneirin is definitely a rule-follower. He's also the kind of person that will give the person the inch, if you get my meaning.

Ceinwen is more of a rebel. She believes that the world revolves around her desires, so if the rules doesn't suit her, she doesn't follow them.                    

5. What kind of child were they? Curious, wild, quiet, devious?

Aneirin was a quiet child. Eirwen was kind of like him as a child.

Ceinwen was definitely a devious child. She was always trying to manipulate her family and friends into doing what she liked and getting what she wanted.

6. Where would they go to relax?

Aneirin's favorite place is the forest that borders the Perllan, which is a decaying apple orchard that is attached to the castle. It's a quiet place to escape to when Ceinwen gets on his nerves.

During the story events, Ceinwen insists on building a water feature in the middle of the late Queen Heulwin's garden. It is here that she relaxes.

7. Do they have a temper?

Aneirin does have a breaking point, but you really really really have to push him. And then you better clear out for a few days.

Ceinwen sure does! Being a rather self-centered young lady, she does not like it when her will isn't fulfilled.

8. Would they be more likely to face their fears or run from them?

Aneirin, after gulping a few times, will face his fears.

Ceinwen will collide with them head on.

9. When they are upset, do they turn to other people or do they isolate themselves?

Aneirin, like most men, will isolate himself to calm down.

Ceinwen, like most women, will seek out Sarnai or another one of her maids and vent to them.

10. 3 things about where they live (broad or specific).

They live in a stone castle.

Their living quarters are on complete opposite ends of the castle. Ceinwen never took Queen Heulwin's bedchamber - Eirwen inherited it after her mother died.

The castle has an extensive garden layout - which include the Queen's gardens, the kitchen gardens, the herb gardens and other gardens....

So, who do I get to tag.....find out at the end of this post!

Onto the second stop!



Tag #2: The Character Karoke Tag

Anna @ A World Through Her Heart tagged me for the Character Karoke Tag a few weeks ago. You can view her answers here. And I'm sneaking some bonus questions from Juls's post here. Thank you both!

For this tag, I'm going to switch it up and talk about another one of my WIPs, temporarily named Caoimhe. You can find out more about it on my page "My Muse's Works in Progress".

Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag any number of people.

It's your OTP's wedding day. What is the song that plays during their first dance?

If the OTP from my book ever made it to the present day, this version of I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz would probably be their wedding song.


But, as they probably will not leave Alldermaere, I think that this song would be better suited for their "couple's dance".



What song(s) describe your protagonist?

The song that best describes Caoimhe is the song "Wunderkind" by Alanis Morissette.


Now do you recognize it?? LOL.

Any instrument players or characters with ties to music?

Aderyn, a good friend of Caoimhe's, is a really great singer. There are probably some families with other ties to music, but I don't know just yet. Caoimhe has tried to pick up a musical instrument during her education, so far it hasn't been going well.

Go-to songs for battle, romance or intense scenes?

I have a lot of songs for intense/battle scenes, but I'll give my four favorites here:

A Warrior's Fate by Antti Martikainen



Falls of Glory by Brunuhville



Song of the Lonely Mountain - both the Peter Hollens and Neil Finn versions.


Wolf Blood by Adrian von Ziegler. This one is the one that I use a lot for writing Caoimhe.



I have different songs for romance. I'll give three here:

Birth of Love by Brunuhville



White Rose by Peter Crowley



Bound by Adrian von Ziegler



What song matches the first scene of your book?

The first scene is Gail being a typical teenager, being on her devices and IMing her best friend Maeve Carwyn.

I think that the perfect song for that scene is the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips.

I'll put the Peter Hollen's version, as I like it better.


If your book was made into a TV show, what song would be the intro?

The introduction or theme song of Caoimhe would be Adrian von Ziegler's song, Prophecy.



This was the very first song of Adrian's first 2-hr Celtic compiliation, and the first song of his that I had ever listened to. It was listening to that 2 hr playlist for the first time that my muse really went loose for the first time - creating the story of Caoimhe in the process.

If you received a call from an agent saying you're being published, what is your celebratory song?

My celebratory song would be The Call by Regina Spektor


If you're wondering why this song is familiar, it played at the end of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I love this song a lot, and it captures a lot of my sentiments if I ever got my book published.

As for tagging...please be patient, I still have one more tag left today!


Tag #3: Of Rising Authors Tag

I was double-tagged for this tag too! Middle Earth Musician (a fellow cabinmate of mine from NaNo!) tagged me for the "Of Rising Authors" Tag. You can view her post here. Jane Maree (my cabin leader!!) also tagged me on Monday, so her questions (the ones that didn't match MEM's) will be included as bonuses. You can view Jane's answers here. Thank you both!!!

I'm switching back to "The Apple in the Snow" for this tag, so here we go!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag 4 people.

The Questions:

1. Do you listen to music as you write?

Yes, I love to listen to music as I write. It's great for capturing the emotions that I want. Biggest problem usually is that the song is too short.

2. If yes to Q1, what genre? (Bonus: Lyrics or no lyrics?) 

It depends on what I'm writing. Celtic is a favorite for most of my works.

Lyrics sometimes help, sometimes don't. Like I said, it depends *shrugs*.

3. What song do you think is your WIP's theme song?

It's called Y Gog Lwydias (a Welsh song, translates to The Grey Cuckoo). The lyrics don't really have much connection to the story, but it's such a pretty song and it gets me in the mood to write The Apple in the Snow.

This is the closest one that I managed to find on Youtube. I like the Sian James version much better.



4. Who is the MC in your current WIP?

In my current WIP "The Apple in the Snow", the MC is named Eirwen. As I've probably explained to death now, she's the princess and heir to the throne of Glywysing. In the story events, she is just about to celebrate her age of majority (which is 18). With this big birthday coming up, she will take on her full duties as the female co-rule of Glywysing.

5. What is their (MC's) deepest, darkest fear?

Eirwen fears that she will never be a good queen to her people, that she'll fail. She feels that she is not prepared to take on her full responsibilities, in spite of her numerous talents.

6. What is your favorite scene that you've written in your WIP?

Writing the beginning snippets was my favorite, so far anyway.

7. Do you enjoy writing from a child's, teen's or adult's point of view?

Ah....

I've only really written from a teen's point at this point. So I'm kinda biased toward that. I'm experimenting with young adult though, we'll see how that goes.

8. Do you prefer first or third person point of view?

Third person, most definitely. I write in a more omnipotent style, which doesn't really work in a first person story.

9. What writer do you think handles action scenes the best?

Hmmm....that is a good question.

I'll probably go with J.R.R. Tolkien. His action scenes are gripping.

10. What is the best book you've read about writing and who wrote it?

Ahhh....I've actually not ready any books about writing except for my English textbooks. And believe me, I can skip those.

Bonus Question from Jane: Do you like to write from all genres, or do you stick with one? 

Umm, I'm kinda in the middle on this one.

There are genres that I won't touch (dystopian being the main one).

But I have been experimenting with multiple genres - historical, contemporary and fantasy.


So now, I've finished all the tags....except to tag people! 

FOR ALL TAGS - It is open season. Take one, take all, it's your choice!! 

I know...I'm taking the easy route. But with everybody finishing up summer, I don't want to add any more blogging to everybody's to-do lists.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Tag-Catch-up!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine