Monday, July 31, 2017

End of July Camp NaNoWriMo!



Hello all!

July 2017 Camp NaNoWriMo has officially come to a close. This has been my first Camp NaNo experience - I had been hearing a lot about this event, especially over April. So I was very eager to participate this July :).

I must say, that this experience has been one of the greatest in my writing life so far.

I must give a HUGE shoutout to Jane Maree for allowing me to join her cabin The Fellowship of the Keyboards. After trying two different public cabins and being weirded out both times, I got brave and asked if it was ok to join hers. Very graciously, she offered a spot, which I will be eternally grateful for. And I would love to recognize Anna C.S., Ralraymee, MiddleEarthMusician, Quinley, Girl With a Dagger, Jess Penrose, Slisby, Clare of the Relinquished and all the other lovely cabin members! You guys and gals are the most awesome people ever! *hugs all around*

Best Moments of July 2017 Camp NaNoWriMo:

- Meeting my amazing cabinmates.

- This interchange (read from the bottom up):

- The major orc battle we had at the beginning of camp (that was so epically fun!!

- When Jess and Slisby accidently broke the cabin after an experiment in coding disastrously failed. 

- All the help we fellow writers gave each other. 

- Word warring with Jess and Ral

- My LOTR fangirlness got a chance to assert itself for the first time in a long time. 

- Getting to my *new* writing goal at the end of it all. 


What I learned:

- I now really like Welsh music. So much so, that in addition to my Apple in the Snow playlist, I now   have a playlist specifically devoted to Welsh music.

- My rebellious muse, working full time, volunteering, and writing on a deadline don't mix very well.         Camp has officially confirmed that I write best when I'm totally relaxed and that I need to                   prioritize my life better if I'm going to get any extensive writing done without shutting myself             off from my obligations.

- I'm a slower writer than I thought I was.

- I'm most assuredly a person that needs everything planned out to the nth degree.

- Word count goals are not the way to go. I got fixated on it at the last, seeing as how I hate having a     goal unfinished.

With that said, how did my writing go?

In a word, TERRIBLE.

I started with a goal of 10,000 words, knowing that that was the length of my previous novella and a good length for Rooglewood. I had mentioned previously that I wasn't going to write for the first day. That hiatus turned into 3 days of not writing at all, and sporadic writing for the rest of the week. Since I was also away from my computer, it was also very difficult to word count...

Once I got back into a regular routine, things went a little easier. In theory.

In the middle of the month, my draft trainwrecked.

I normally write in a mix of limited and omnipotent third person point of view - which is a disaster waiting to happen anyway. In order to make it easier to word count, I gathered up all the snippets I had written previously and stuck them all in one document. Some were limited, some were omnipotent, others I had no idea where I was going with.

The result was a horrible, terrible messy draft.

I had to take a step back and relook at my preparatory files. I outlined like crazy, but arcs still weren't lining up.

I turned to my playlists on Spotify and my Pinterest board. Neither helped at first. Both were expanded, which helped a little. I still wrote every three days or so, but it was definitely slow-going and I was getting frustrated with my story. It didn't help that I would only get to write during the evening hours after work or on my days off - when I wanted to (or needed to, in some cases) get other stuff done.

To cope with it, I made the promo video for Rebellious Writing, and also redid my blog header.

In the end, I decided to muddle through as best I could with what I had. I didn't want to scrap everything that I had worked on the previous weeks, knowing I wouldn't get that progress back again. In the last week, I decided to knock my goal down to 6000 words. In a way I feel that I've cheated, but circumstances were not looking favorable for a 10000 word document.

The final results


My story still isn't written in it's entirety. Now that Camp is over, I can safely start scrapping the bits that I don't want or don't work and start my second draft afresh. I do plan on taking a break from The Apple in the Snow until after August 11.

Why?

Because Rebellious Writing's website will be released on the National Book Lover's Day (August 9)!!!! There are a lot of little details that still need to be settled before then and I'll also be writing a post about the book scout program for #RW that will be published on August 11.

How did your Camp NaNo go (if you participated)? What was one of your "best moments" or "lessons learned"? Feel free to share! 

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Saturday, July 29, 2017

To the Lord of the Rings, Happy Birthday!

Hello all!

Today is the 63rd birthday of the granddaddy of all fantasy stories currently on the market.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Honestly, this is a pretty big deal to me - Tolkien being one of my literary heroes.

I first got introduced to Tolkien's work in middle school, when I had to read the Hobbit for school. His style of wording is definitely something that I could get lost in for hours. When I read Tolkien, I literally have to immerse myself in the story in order to fully enjoy it because it is super super rich in detail.

As a beginning fantasy writer myself, I've also taken a lot of lessons from Tolkien and his works.

The first was how to use my natural talent for metaphors to be the most effective in my stories.
You see, Tolkien was a very devoted Catholic, and a lot of his metaphors and partial allegories that ended up in the books were of Catholic origin. But he veiled them so well that unless you truly analyzed it on a deeper level, you wouldn't notice them as such. That's one of my favorite things about Tolkien as a writer. I've noticed that other Catholic writers - G.K. Chesterton and Flannery O'Connor especially - do the same thing. I'm always using metaphors in and out of my writing, Tolkien definitely helped me refine that.

(Note: For those who would love to explore the Catholic metaphors/allegories present in LOTR, check out these lectures by Joseph Pearce, as well as his other works on Tolkien. While the price may be a bit high, I can personally guarantee that these lectures are extremely high quality.)

The second was how to use mythology through a Catholic lens in my stories. Besides having Catholic metaphors, Tolkien was also a huge fan of Germanic and Norse culture, and used a lot of that in his works too!

The third was how to play with languages. Tolkien was a linguist - the man created languages for goodness sakes! Building languages is an often forgotten part of world-building - adding one often deepens the world and makes it much more realistic.

Indirectly, I also thank Tolkien for inspiring me to put much more effort into naming my characters. Instead of plain names, I'm now looking at names that mean something about or for the character, which I think deepen the story much more.

Speaking of characters....Tolkien has some of the best range of unique and distinct characters in a fantasy series.  

My favorite characters in Middle Earth are Eowyn, Arwen, and Aragorn (though Faramir is definitely growing on me).

Eowyn is definitely my favorite, though. I LOVE the concept of a shield-maiden so much! (so much so that I'm putting them in Caoimhe). I don't think that femininity is equal to 100% girly - I love love love strong female characters that can stand if needed to. I love heroines such as Joan of Arc, who fought for a greater good instead of just proving that they could do it.

Which is why I was shocked when I saw my results from the "Which LOTR Character are You?" test from Zimbio.

I took it twice - there were some questions that I was half and half on.



The results of the first test. Honestly, I don't know how much of a wild free spirit I really am, but everything else is spot on. I keep my family and friends very close - it always kills me when I know that they need help and I can't give it to them. And stubborn? Darn-tooting I am! I've been forging my own career path because it's what I love to do - and it's not a career that is known for stability or for making lots of money. But I do it anyway.



The results of the second test. This one is super spot on for me. As my little sister knows, I have a very soft spot for romance. I'm still waiting for my prince to come and take me to his castle. But that being said, I'm not one for lazing away in a tower (my growing student debt wouldn't allow that anyway!).


What about you guys? What lessons have you taken from Tolkien, if any? What LOTR character are you most like? 

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Prettying Up the Blog

Hello all!

So....a couple of things happened.

Firstly, I got tired to seeing the Farm Lassie profile in my sidebar. The profile picture didn't really fit the rest of my blog. Around the same time, the Rebellious Writing team was sending in profile pictures for the new website. I decided that it was time to look for a profile picture for Catherine Hawthorn.

I chose a public domain painting called The Missal by John William Waterhouse. Isn't it gorgeous?



After I changed the profile picture, I looked up at my header.

The old header


And looked back at my new profile. And back at the header, which was now screaming at my inner designer to be changed.

Therefore, I did.

The new header :)

I must have downloaded at least 100 free images in search of the right ones and driven myself crazy to make them all fit, but I'm in love with this header. As with my previous header, there a significance with each image.

The Center Image - Whomever the artist was that created this piece of art is an absolute genius!!! I saw it and literally gasped in astonishment. And the script font that I added seemed as if it was made for it.

Crocuses -  Seems I can't get rid of these, can't I? This was the only image that I kept from the old header. The original was also featured as the last picture in my story "The Snow Dancer of Iclyn" published here on the blog.

Berry Tea - A must-have if I'm going to be doing any extensive writing. Also a staple of almost all period dramas. And isn't that cup so pretty??

Sword - I wanted some sort of weapon to reflect my inner warrior as well as the fantasy genre. This medieval sword fit the bill nicely.

Castle - Obviously castle = fantasy. But that is actually a photo of Cardiff Castle in Wales. Somehow I don't think it was a concidence that I just happen to pick a Welsh castle while working on a Snow White retelling with based in Welsh culture...

Books - Every writer is also a reader. And thick books are all the better!

Ship - Remember the ship from the last header? This one is in for the same reason - in celebration of my first completed (non-edited) novella, Fair Winds, Sassy Devil. Since the rest of the header was so colorful, I decided to replace the spooky looking schooner with a pretty sunset-y one.

Violin - I love to listen to music while I write and work. Violin is some of my favorite, and I've even played the violin/fiddle for several years.

Film Strip - Thanks to my little sis, I have much more of an appreciation for film than I did when I was a little kid. I haven't done much movie or TV commentary here, but maybe that will change soon.

Now my inner designer is at peace with itself, I can get some sleep around here....

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

PS - I've just checked the stats, and my pageview counter is over 5000! Big shoutout to my 20 blogging buddies, and my viewers! *gives round of applause*

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rebellious Writing Promo Video

Hello all,

So.....

I did something really crazy.

The result is down below.




In case the embed doesn't work, you can view it on YouTube here.

If someone had told me that I was going to upload this thing at 1:30 am this morning (after a very long and very tiresome day at work), I probably would have said this:


via GIPHY


While I had been playing with images and sound bites for the past week, I didn't start mixing them until this weekend. The visuals were fairly easy (the effects were really fun to play with), but that soundtrack...oh my heavens. Where to cut, how to layer, how to time it correctly....

All in all, though, it was well worth it.

Feel free to subscribe to the Rebellous Writing channel, embed the promo video into posts, and share it via social media!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine


Monday, July 17, 2017

Turmoil

*sun rises and shines in the window*

*Eyes 1 and 2 awake*

Eyes: Hey brain. It's Morning. 

Brain: *zap-yawns* You sure, 1 and 2?"

Eyes: Positive.

Brain: *groans*

Brain: OK ALL YOU LAZY BONES, ORGANS AND SENSORS. GET UP. 

Brain: THAT GOES FOR YOU TOO, EMOTIONS. much as I would love to have you sleep a little longer...

*all the Bodily Senses shuffle or gallop in to their kind.*

Brain: Everyone here? *counts everyone* Where's Female? 

Stomach: I think she's a little tied up at the moment....

Brain: *groans* I swear, there's always something with Female....

*Brain reorganizes papers and clears throat*

Brain: Ok everyone, morning meeting. Today is DAY 1 of the Weekend, so I've got a long list of things that we all need to pitch in on. Eyes, you've got things to read. Ears, you've got music to listen to and send to me for approval. Feet, be prepped for another day of walking...

Feet: Not again, Brain!!! I've spent the last THREE DAYS doing nothing but walking and standing. Can't I get a break? Like skates or something?

Brain: Can't, I don't have any! You'll have to do without, sorry Feet. 

*Feet 1 and 2 go pout*

Brain: Anyways...where was I? Oh yes! One of the things we need to is to work on is Camp NaNo, so Hands, get ready...

Hands: Already itching to go, Brain!

Brain: Excellent! Now, Muse, what has Eirwen been up to lately? 

*quiet*

Fear: Oh no..don't tell me she's disappeared again! What if she never comes back? I'll be stuck with only 25% of my word goal done by the end of July! The story will never be done by December! AHHHH!! 

Brain: *glares at Fear*. Don't worry, I'll get her. 

*Brain finds Muse staring off into space*

Brain: Muse....

*Muse is still staring*

Brain: HEY MUSE! 

*Muse loses dreamy eye stare and looks languidly at Brain.*

Brain: Eirwen. I haven't heard from her in a day or so. What's going on? 

Muse: Eirwen? 

Brain: YES, EIRWEN. 

Muse: Oh, yes, Eirwen....which WIP would that be again....

Brain: *sigh* "The Apple in the Snow"....

Muse: Ohhh, that Eirwen!!!

Brain: Yeah.....

Muse: Hmm...haven't seen her around. 

Brain: You're supposed to be chronicling her! What have you been doing? 

Muse: Floating. 

Brain: Floating????  

Muse: Yeah..very relaxing, you should try it sometime, Brain. 

Brain: Forget it, I don't relax. 

Muse: Oh well, if you won't relax, then I won't work then! 

Brain: Muse....

Muse: Nope. Not gonna work. 

Brain: Muse, it's a perfect day to chroniclize! No pressing engagement, no work to do, can't you at least try???

Muse. NOPE. I'm just going to float today. 

*Brain slaps his forehead*

Brain: FINE. Be a rebel, if you must. I'll knock out a few more things wh...

Stomach: HEY BRAIN!!!

Brain: Yes, Stomach.....

Stomach: FEED ME. 

Brain: Always demanding, aren't you? 

Stomach: FEED ME RIGHT NOW, I'M EMPTY, BRAIN. 

Brain: FINE. Hands, go dig through the fridge, and see what you can find for lunch. 

*Hands come back with a container of spaghetti*

Stomach: NOT PASTA AGAIN, BRAIN. I'm tired of pasta! And sandwiches. And fruit, and crackers, and cookies! 

Brain: Well, what do you want then??? 

Stomach: How about steak...

Brain: Forget it! I just talked to the Wallet, it says NO. 

Heart: Oh Brain...can't you let him have his steak? 

Brain: Where am I going to cook it? I'm not fighting with thirty million people for an oven, Heart! 

Stomach: BRAIN...

Brain: Eat your Pasta. Teeth will help you. 

*Stomach takes pasta and digests it, grumbling all the while about boring old pasta*

Brain: Well....now that that is taken care of and Muse is still not behaving, I might as well set in motion some plans to go clean and shop for some necessities. Feet, you r-

*Terrible screaming and confusion as Female enters, all bedraggled*

Brain: Goodness me, Female, what-

Female: It's Aunt Flo...she's visiting again....

Bodily Senses: NO NOT AUNT FLO AGAIN...

Brain: Well, it's about time she showed up! She was supposed to arrive...49 hours and 15 minutes ago! What happened? 

Female: She had a dispute with the egg salesman again. 

Brain: Oh. 

Female: Yeah, so she's been giving me a terrible time, and tearing up my house besides. After I just finished redecorating too!  

*Temper comes in cruising, spikes and all*

Temper: Want me to put her in her place, Brain? 

Brain: Goodness, NO, Temper! I've had enough trouble trying to keep you from influencing Hands to strike someone yesterday and Tongue to insult anyone the past couple of days! You and Aunt Flo do enough damage SEPARATELY, I can't imagine the carnage that would occur if you two got TOGETHER. 

*Temper rattles off, none too happy*

Brain: Well, we'll have to do the best we can, but I want to accomplish SOMETHING today! 

Pain Receptors: Ow!!! Pain in Stomach and Head areas, Brain! ow. OW. OW OW OW Brain, do something!!! 

Brain: Female...

Female: She's on a rampage, Brain! Help me!!! 

Brain: Oh heavens, we've been through worse! Hands, get some Advil and some bread. That will placate her. Now, come on everyone, and let's get to doing something! 

Feet: I'm not moving. Female hurts too much. 

Eyes: No way. Pain Receptors in Head are going off. Not looking at a screen, no way no how. 

Muse: *still floating* 

*Brain groans in pure frustration*

Ears: Here's that Welsh music you wanted....  



As you can probably figure out, it's been a wee bit difficult to write recently. Hope you enjoyed this little dialogue sketch! 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Early Writing Tag




Hello all!

We all have those "stories" that we wrote as kids, whether we wrote them in the solitude of our rooms or with a group of friends. Some make us laugh and some make us cringe and wish they had stayed in our brains. But it's still fun to look over them again, isn't it?

Pip @ Pip and Lolly tagged me a while back for this really fun tag. I've been working on it in bits and pieces in between Life and Camp NaNoWriMo.

Here are the rules of the tag:

1. Thank the person that tagged you (Thank you Pip!!!).
2. Answer these two questions: what horrendous book(s) did you write as a child? What did you learn from it? The amount of "books" is up to your discretion!
3. Tag 5 other bloggers.

On to the questions!


1. Baby story. 

This one was probably the first story that I ever wrote. The ones before were oral stories or fake diaries.

I had a title, cover and everything. Do I remember said title? Nope.
And the "book" is probably buried somewhere in a box. Where it belongs.

Anyways, it was book telling about how I and my Girl Scout friends found a baby girl (I think I named her Liza) in our cabin at this camp and proceeded to somehow take care of her. I remember there being a football player involved, but I don't remember why (boyfriend idea??? I had to be about 12 when I wrote this....). The biggest thing that I remember is that I used a pager (yeah, tells you how old I am, doesn't it) to find out what the baby's name was and how old she was. I had to have thought that a pager was a secret knowledge decoder or something....

What I learned:

For pity sakes, look up what the heck the device is and what it's used for before putting it into your story!


2. A Heart of Gold

So...my best friend in middle school/early high school started writing a story called Double Helix. It was a contemporary story but she never got further than the first couple of chapters. I was the alpha reader for it while she was writing it, and it inspired me to write my own contemporary story - one a little different from hers.

It basically followed the story of a girl in French American family (the characters of which were originally stolen from a French immersion course I was taking) that adopted a golden retriever and some of the shenanigans that followed.

I will say that being an alpha reader and writing at the same time was extremely detrimental to the quality of my writing. I made the mistake of plagarizing my friend's manuscript (thinking that it was a good joke/imitation is the sincerest form of flattery). Needless to say, she was not happy with me.

Even though I actually never finished the story, I did attempt a re-write.

Here is the outline/synopsis of that re-write:
Celine Taylor is forced to photograph some animals from the animal shelter for an awareness fair sponsored by her school. Celine is afraid of dogs and doesn’t like going near them. But a Golden Retriever puppy at the animal shelter captures Celine’s heart. While the puppy’s ownership is being questioned, Rae the puppy leads Celine some wild adventures, including looking for a job, finding Celine’s missing boyfriend, and capturing a band of kidnappers.

Now as I look at the story again, there are still some good parts. It's definitely a clichish high school write still, but....


What I learned:

Never directly steal stuff from a work in progress or from anything else, for that matter.

Never copy off your writer BFF.

Never agree to be an alpha reader to an incomplete draft while working on of your own in the same genre.

If it needs a re-write, don't hesitate. Just do it. But save the previous drafts, so you can see your progression.


3. Diary Buck

This one was written in my early teens, but honestly, I still hadn't learned anything about being realistic yet.

I was inspired to start writing this one after going to a parade with my best friend, her brother and some of his friends. Some of the shenanigans of what happened afterwards, as well as stuff that happened to me in real life in the following months wound up in my story, but a lot of it was still a product of my imagination.

Basically, it was a take on the Swiss Family Robinson and Gilligan's Island (except at the time, I hadn't heard of Gilligan's Island). It was me, my best friend and two of the guy friends I mentioned, (one guy was actually written out and replaced with another guy later on in order to fit the circumstances of the time). We went hiking, supposedly for an afternoon, proceeded to get lost, and we had to survive somehow.
I had the craziest stuff lurking in everyone's backpacks. How-to books (I mean everything from farming to foraging, guys), cooking utensils, paper products, and then some. I also remember that we found all sorts of stray animals (dairy cow was the one I remember the most) as well as all sorts of abandoned houses and fields that we "gathered" from. We apparently were able to hunt deer and fish from the first couple of days, though I don't remember there being any guns or bows being carried. Apparently we were rescued over a year later by rangers who came upon us accidentally, and we had a double wedding afterwards with plans to go back to the site during the summers.

Yeah.

This was another one that I started editing before I finished it. It still exists in a notebook. Once in a while when my fingers itch to type, I pull it out and start transcribing it into a Word document (the pencil is fading and I want to save it).

What I learned:

Using reality as a base for a story really works!

Pencil doesn't last very well in notebooks. Computer is definitely better for keeping stuff.

4. My Carla Rosa series

This series of short stories was the perfect bridge from my immature high school writing into my current style of writing. A knock-off of Nancy Drew, this series featured an 18 year old detective/informant girl working with the Santa Barbara police force in the drugs department. In the series, there was a subplot featuring a romance between her and a police sergeant she worked a lot with, right on up to their marriage and birth of their first child. They were created in my high school creative writing class.

I loved the first story of this series so much that I used an edited version of it as my first "story" of my college creative writing class. My second favorite was the third one, with the second one being the really hated one of the bunch.

What I learned:

It was during the college class peer editing of the first CR story that I finally discovered one of my biggest faults in writing - my imagination was bending reality too far. I was unrealistic. The story wasn't believable. People are also apparently turned off by unrealistic stories.

That changed my writing forever. Since then, research has been an integral part of my writing. Whether it's studying the original instance or inspiration, or real places and events. And honestly, while my muse may still like to roam wild, I look back at my old style of writing and grimace a bit. I'll leave the unrealistic stuff to my daydreams.

That's it! 

Now....I'm bending the rules again.

It says in the rules that I need to tag 5 bloggers. Honestly, the bloggers that I want to give it to either have been given 30 other tags to do or are really busy with Camp NaNo.

So...the first five bloggers that comment on this post, consider yourselves tagged.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

P.S. For making it through this post, I'll give you another snippet of "The Apple in the Snow". Bonus points if you remember where this line came from!!!




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

BBC Classics and Writer's Wisteria Tags




Hello all, 

Since I'm all for knocking tags out in one shot, I'll put up the two tags that caught me in this post. 

The first is the BBC Classics Tag. Apparently, the story goes that BBC put out this list of 100 classics and said that people only have read a percentage of them. Mary Katherine @ Sarcastic Scribblings gave me a challenge to see how many I've read. I (fool-hardily) said that I probably had read more than she did, seeing as how I recognized a lot of the titles. Well, we'll see.....

BBC CLASSICS TAG


RULES:
1. Be honest
2. Put an asterisk (*) next to the ones you've read and a addition sign (+) next to the ones you've started.
3. Tag as many people as the books you've read (yeah right, that's not happening!) 

THE BOOKS
  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen *
  2. Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte *
  4. Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee *
  6. The Story of the Eye- George Batallie
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
  9. Adrift on the Nile by Naguib Mahfouz
  10. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 
  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott*
  12. Tess of the D'Uvervilles by Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller 
  14. Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco
  15. Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino 
  16. The Master of Go by Yasunare Kawabata
  17. Woman in the Dunes by Abe Kobo
  18. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  19. The Feast of the Goat by Marin Vargas Llosa
  20. Middlemarch by George Elliot 
  21. Gogol's Wife Tomasso Landolfi
  22. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
  24. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  25. Fredydurke by Gombrowicz 
  26. Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse
  27. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 
  30. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 
  31. Anna Kerenina by Leo Tolstoy + (audiobook)
  32. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair 
  33. Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain ++
  34. Emma by Jane Austen  *
  35.  Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe *  
  36. Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
  37. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  38. Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki
  39. Cosmicomic by Italo Calvino 
  40. The Joke by Milan Kundera 
  41. Animal Farm by George Orwell 
  42. Labyrinths by Gorge Luis Borges 
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
  44. A Prayer for Own Meaney by John Irving
  45. Under My Skin by Dories Lessing
  46. Anne of Green Gables- L.M. Montgomery *
  47. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  48. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes +
  49. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  50. Absalom Absalom by William Failkner
  51. Beloved by Toni Morrison 
  52. The Flounder by Gunther Grass
  53. The Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
  54. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen *
  55. My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  56. A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
  57. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens *
  58. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  59. The Idiot by Fodor Dostoevesky 
  60. Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
  61. Of Men and Mice by John Steinbeck 
  62. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  63. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman *
  64. Death on the Installment Plan by Celine
  65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
  69.  Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville *
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens 
  72.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
  73. The Metamorphosis - Kafka
  74. Epitaph of a Small Winner - Machado De Assis
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce
  76. The Inferno - Dante +
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola
  79. The Light House - Virginia Woolf
  80. Disgrace - John Maxwell Coetzee
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens *
  82. Zorba the Greek - Nikos Kazantzakis
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  84. The Box Man - Abe Kobo
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86.  A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  87. The Stranger - Camus
  88. Acquainted with the Night - Heinrich Boll
  89.  Don't Call It Night - Amos Oz
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery 
  93. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pychon
  94. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  96. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  97.  The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas + (never finishing it. I hated this book)
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare 
  99. Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  100. Metamorphosis- Ovid

Books I've Read and Started : 18. 


Ok, Mary Katherine, we tied.....




The second tag is the Writer's Wisteria tag. I snitched it off of Jane Maree's blog Maiden of the Misty Mountains. You can check out her post here.


Writer's Wisteria Tag

1) What inspired the idea for your current WIP (work in progress), and how long have you had the idea?

Which "current" WIP? 

I assume you mean my Camp NaNo one? 

Well....Rooglewood had a *small* influence in it. 

I've had the idea for about a month and a half now...ever since I heard about Rooglewood's Five Poisoned Apple's contest. 


2) What are you most looking forward to about this WIP?

Working with my amazing cabin mates *wink wink*


3) Have you ever dreamed about your characters?

How do you think they exist? 

😄

4) How do you go about naming your characters?

I love names with meaning. Most of my characters and places, especially in my fantasy works, have names that reflect one or more characteristic of that character. 

There are a couple ways that I go and find names for characters, places and even object names. 

One is an Internet site called behindthename.com. Whenever I'm looking for names from a specific country or region, this is the first site that I go to. They also have a search option for meanings. 

The second option is scouring through various baby name lists, including my board on Pinterest to find names. I've even found one for Elvish translations of normal baby names. My MC's name, Eirwen, actually came from a list of baby names related to winter. 

5) Do you plan out your theme?

I'm playing with a theme of avoiding bad company and have a few other ideas jumbling around my head. We'll see how it goes. 

6) Do you discover the MBTI thing of your characters? (if so, what are the types of your WIP protagonists?)

I used to be really into MBTI and using it to create characters. In the end, I started to feel really confined by it, as I was more concentrated on making my character fit the mold of the MBTI code. 

Instead, I just base characters off of people that I know or have observed. I'm a big people watcher and I love to figure out how people react. 

7) Have you a favourite genre to write in? (or do you like switching it up randomly)

I love writing contemporary, historical fiction and fantasy. Fantasy is starting to become more of my favorite, with historical fiction becoming a close second. 

8) What is a big inspiration for you in writing? (a person, book, quote, scenery, etc.)

Almost anything and everything can inspire me to write. Something absolutely totally random, such as observing a mirror on the first floor while being on a second floor balcony, can result in a story vignette that will later be put into a spy story one day. 

9) Are you competitive in your word counts, or more chill and relaxed?

I don't concentrate on the word counts. I want my story to make sense and to be complete. No matter how many words it takes. The only reason I had 10,000 word goal on Camp NaNo is because that is about the length of my one and only "finished" novella. 

10) Do you like sharing small snippets of your work? (*hint hint* :P)

When I have them to share :) 

As a matter of fact, I do have a very tiny one....

Now, I'm not going to follow the rules (somebody's got to be a rebel around here). Both of these tags are free for the taking, so go, have fun with them. 

Now to get to writing....

Scribbingly yours, 

Catherine

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cast of Characters: The Apple in the Snow





Hey y'all,

So, I'm being a bad writer and not working on my story on the first day of Camp.

I have a good excuse though. I have a major major MAJOR family event going on today, which requires all of my attention.

But, seeing as how it's the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo, I might as well do something for the occasion.

So, I'm going to introduce all of the major characters from my project entitled "The Apple in the Snow"!

(All of the avatars were created on this website: http://www.dolldivine.com/hobbit-and-lotr-dress-up-game.php. You seriously should go check it out, I love that the characters are so realistic!!!)


Eirwen, Princess of Glywysing:


For those who've read June's Beautiful People, you've already met this character.

Eirwen is the oldest child of King Aneirin and the late Queen Heulwen, and she is just about to reach the age of majority. She is an avid hunter, but she is also a very talented needlewoman. She desires nothing more than to be a good queen to her people.

There is an interesting legend surrounding her birth. Her mother was on her way to her ancestral home for her confinement. It was in the dead of winter, and snow had been on the ground for weeks already. The journey, as can be imagined, was very very rough. In the midst of a snow-covered field, Eirwen made her early appearance into the world. Thus, she was named for the white snow that surrounded her in her first moments.

Gareth, Prince of Ergyng:

Gareth is the son of King and Queen of Ergyng, a rival kingdom to the west of Glywysing. He has just reached the age of majority (21).


Gareth strives to be as chivalrous as his namesake, the great Sir Gareth of the Round Table.


Gareth has a very important mission tasked to him - he must make an alliance between the Kingdoms of Ergyng and Glywysing. His father doesn't care what kind of an alliance, just an alliance! Why it is of such importance, Gareth has no idea. Though he would much rather set up an expedition to the Farther Lands in search of the mythical dragon, he knows his duty is to his aging father and to his Kingdom.





Yes, I know. Its too big. But I can't make it any smaller....
King Aneirin and Queen-Consort Ceinwen of Glywysing

Aneirin is Eirwen's father, and the ruler of Glywysing. He is a rather soft, kindly father and ruler. He is no pushover, but he is willing to let people have the inch.

Ceinwen is his current wife. She is much younger than Aneirin, and is distantly related to Queen Heulwen, but from a lower family. She has a thing for green dresses, why nobody knows. Probably to match her cat-green eyes or something.

Why is Ceinwen Queen-Consort and not Queen? That is a story in and of itself.....

Aneirin is Welsh for noble, and Ceinwen is Welsh for very beautiful.


Sarnai, Handmaid to Queen-Consort

Sarnai is originally from a very far off land (An ancient province in northwestern China). She was brought to Glywysing as a conquest bride for a high chief that was a mercenary in the Germanic forces as a very young woman.

Now an aging widow, she is forced to remain in the Queen-Consort's household as a handmaid against her will.

Sarnai has extensive knowledge of plants and what they give. Her son, also in employ of the Queen-Consort frequently travels in search of unusual plants for his mother to study.

Sarnai is Rose in Mongolian.


Wulfstan, King's Huntsman, Glywysing

Wulfstan is a lower huntsman that is serving a debtor's service sentence in reparation for poaching crimes against the the lower townspeople.

Not pictured is his tamed wolf, which goes by the name of Ulf. While he doesn't look it, Wulfstan comes from Viking stock. He is a very fierce man, not one to meet in a dark alley.

Wulfstan's parents left him behind as a child in the woods. It was by hard scrabbling that he learned to survive them.

He knows how to be silent, and how to be loud.

He can blend very easily into the underbrush, and is a very deadly shot if need be.

Wulfstan is an Anglo-Saxon name, meaning "wolf stone".





Taliesin, Counselor to the King


Taliesin is one of the oldest counsel members and also a Chronicler. He is a minor character in the Apple and the Snow.

Every afternoon for several hours, he sits by a pool and writes out the Palace Chronicles. Underbrush around the pool hides him from view except his reflection......

Taliesin is the name of a 6th century poet or bard from Wales and it means "shining brow" in Welsh.


yes, this one is too big too. Oh well. 
Cadre of Rogues

I can't tell much about these guys without giving too much away, but suffice it to say that they are all teens in training to be knights (squires).

Archer with black hair and brown coat: Merrion. Name is a diminutive of another name.
Hooded dude with sword: Emrys. Name means "around the valley" in Welsh.
Freckle face with dagger: Yale. Name means "fertile upland" in Welsh.
Archer with black hair and green clothes: Cadell. His name means "little battle" in Welsh.
Flame-haired and flame-clothed guy: Brynmor. His name means "great hill" in Welsh.
Sandy haired and sandy clothed dude: Rhisiart. Welsh version of Richard.
Long chesnut hair and longsword: Gethin. His name means "swarthy" in Welsh.


In answer to everyone's question....yes there is a Welsh theme. 

Believe it or not, the two kingdom names are names of original medieval kingdoms in Wales, and the cities in which I've chosen are also Welsh cities. 

Welsh culture is not much different from other Anglo/Celtic cultures such as Scotland and England, but it's just different enough that it is interesting to me. Besides, when was the last time you saw a book influenced by Wales? 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine