Know the Novel pt. 2 // Within the WIP

Hey all! Wow…so November is almost over already? I don’t know how that happened…but here we are I guess. This is a little late getting out, but I thought I’d still join in the second part of Christine’s Know the Novel anyway, because why not? Let’s get into the questions!

How’s the writing going overall?

I’d like to say it’s going great, but…that would be a lie. 😂 I jumped on board to participate in Christine’s FallFicFrenzy and I was super excited and pumped about it! The first week was pretty smooth sailing. Me and my family went up north for a weekend retreat and I even brought my laptop and got a decent amount of writing done up in the boonies! 😂

But things started to happen. Life started changing for me. I quit my job, namely, which was creating a lot of stress. I don’t even know why it felt like there was no time for writing. I probably should’ve scheduled my time better during that early period, but it just didn’t happen and by the time Nov. 15 rolled around, I had only gotten a small part of my initial goal finished. Which I was still happy with, and I’m still working on Mr. Awake and it’s going well. It just didn’t quite work out for me to fully participate in FallFicFrenzy how I wanted to. But I’m excited about future writing challenges the FicFrenzy Discord group is thinking up!

What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

It’s really been the characters for me so far. I just love these characters so much. Their interactions. Their quirks. Their backstories. It’s just been so fun exploring that and discovering more about them, going deeper than I thought I would, delving into these characters lives.

What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?

Daryl is a blast to write. He’s my main character, and I’ve just been loving his ‘can’t-leave-well-enough-alone’ spirit. He just wants to help people and the world is trying its darnedest to make that difficult for him. But he’s working against the odds!

Has your novel surprised you in any way?

Oh, for sure. There was one character in particular (I won’t say because spoilers 😉) that I had NO IDEA had such an interesting backstory. So that was fun to figure out.

Have you come across any problem areas?

I think the better question is: are there any areas that aren’t problem areas? 😂 But actually, yes, there have been quite a few problem areas. Some huge, gaping plot holes (like, hey, I need to decide what the conflict of my novel’s going to be, whoops), and other subtler, less-noticeable-but-still-there issues (like, why is that even happening, what was the purpose of that scene/interaction). Editing this one will be a blast…

What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

The fact that I actually have made decent progress on it! I haven’t worked on another novel in so long since the publishing of Imprint, it feels like I’m stepping into a totally different, new, scary world with this story. But I’ve been loving it and it’s been coming along very nicely.

If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’d like to say I’d be as cool as Daryl, but I’d probably be more like Serena, a woman Daryl meets early on in the story. She’s pretty level-headed, smart, and picks up on things really quick.

I don’t know that I’d take any different courses of action, honestly. I don’t really like books where the characters make dumb decisions. Obviously, there can be other factors at work that play into decisions made, like high emotions, etc., but I’m talking about purely dumb decisions. It’s so frustrating watching characters flounder about not because of the actual things at stake in the story, but because of something dumb they did. It feels like a stupid way to force conflict.

End rant. 😂

Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

Here’s the first few lines:

The suddenness of the red splatter on his coworker’s lab coat made Daryl feel dizzy.

He steadied himself against the smooth white wall of the lab hallway. “What happened?” Daryl said breathlessly, swallowing back his disgust.

Stacey’s eyes were wide. “I-I didn’t have a choice.”

Annnnnd some other fun snippets:

The phone rang.

That would be Jason. Please no, Jas. Not now.

Daryl ignored the ringing, holding his face in his hands.

This is the last thing I needed.

I never should’ve gone on that stupid cruise. What good did that do me?

Absolutely none.

Flopping miserably on his couch, Daryl shut his eyes, willing his phone to shut up.

He groaned as his brother’s voice came through the voicemail. “Daryl, if you don’t pick up the phone right now, I swear I will personally drive to your apartment and confront you in person.”

Tony sat up, fiddling with his glasses. “You have the heart of a hero, Daryl Meredith. It’s a shame you’re powerless.”

“You’d best watch your back, Tony. Now that Starry Eye has seen what you’re doing, you won’t get away with it.”

Tony smirked. “I already have.”

Daryl turned to leave.

“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” Tony called.

It took all of Daryl’s strength not to burst in and destroy Tony’s entire office. He glanced back with a look of warning. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

“Quoting the Bible to me? I hadn’t realized you were religious, Daryl.” Tony raised an eyebrow. “I can do that, too; judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Disgusted, Daryl marched out of the office, a fire burning in his chest. Control yourself.

Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)

I feel like all of these happened just within the first week. 😂 As for typos, not technically a typo, but apparently looking back, I totally forget to finish a scene I was in the middle of writing. Just. In the middle of it. Literally mid-question. I was outta there. 😂

I haven’t derailed too much from my outline, but there have been a few relatively big changes that I think will affect the story going forward. It’s always fun figuring out chunks of your outline have become virtually useless. 😂 And no dead characters! Yet, anyway.

And, funny you should ask, I almost did change to a different project. But not a project I’ve had planned or anything. I had a plot bunny come up mid-FallFicFrenzy that would. not. leave. me. be. I couldn’t get rid of it. It hung out for nearly two weeks before I hastily scrabbled some notes down in hopes that it would stay away while I tried to work on the actual, fleshed-out, ready to write project I’m working on. It’s still lurking around, unfortunately, but it is an idea that I want to explore more eventually…

Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!

So, I usually write in my bedroom at my desk or on my bed in the afternoon. I’ve had great writing sessions at night, but afternoon is my main time of day. I love the idea of writing with others, I should try it sometime! I usually just write by myself, though. I don’t usually eat or drink when I write, except for maybe water or occasionally tea. I’m currently infatuated with candles, so I have been lighting candles when I write, or just whenever I’m in my room.

Music is a staple when I’m writing, but sometimes if I’m having a hard time focusing, I’ll go without for a bit, and that usually gets me back on track. When I set out to write, I try to ignore all possible distractions. I don’t use my phone, but I do leave my internet on on my computer so I can listen to YouTube music or “quickly” look something up…which, if I’m being honest, I get way more distracted looking up very specific facts I need to know for a throwaway line than browsing social media. I will spend a good twenty minutes trying to find the information when I could’ve been, you know, just moving on with my life and continuing writing? 😂

Well, there you go! I hoped you enjoyed this part two and getting a little peek into my process. Are you currently writing anything? Participating in NaNo? I’d love to hear about your writing journey in the comments below!

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Know the Novel Pt. 1 // Introducing Mr. Awake

Hey guys! I am SO excited to announce the project I’m going to be working on for Fall Fic Frenzy (an awesome writing challenge being hosted by the lovely Christine Smith)! This story has been in the back of my mind for so long now and I’m hyped to finally get it down on paper.

If you want to join in this challenge, you can follow this link to join the link-up. And if you want to join in Fall Fic Frenzy, instructions to join the Discord server are in the same post.

Alright, let’s go!

What first sparked the idea for this novel?

I don’t really know, honestly. I just really have a soft spot for superhero stories and this just kinda happened. Daryl is a side character from another story idea of mine that I’ve had stuck in my head for so long and he’s kinda developed an entire backstory…there’s a lot of suspense, drama, keeping of secrets, and just general confusion and tension. 😂

Share a blurb (or just an overall summary)!

Daryl is a computer scientist working for one of the most renowned laboratories in the U.S. But when something awful happens and people are not who they seem, Daryl must put on an old face in order to stop a new foe. Going solo for the first time, Daryl navigates the dangerous life of a vigilante while also trying to protect (and connect) with the people he loves.

I mean, it’s kinda vague 😅 And it doesn’t mention all the superheroics and relationship drama and weird human/hybrid experimental villains…but that’s for the reader to find out, right? 😂

Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects of the setting?

For the most part (except at the very beginning) it takes place in New York City. It’s such a colorful, dazzling, and also dangerous place and it just seemed to fit. It’s been a lot of fun thinking of scenarios with the myriad of options in New York, from alleyways to skyscrapers to gas stations to subways. It’s a big place and it’s easy to get lost in it, both physically and mentally.

Tell us about your protagonist(s).

As aforementioned, Daryl is a computer scientist and also secretly a superhero by blood. But he stopped fighting crime after the other half of his duo wanted out. So now he works as a researcher at a prestigious lab. But once stuff starts a-happening and Daryl sniffs a lead, he feels he can’t just let the bad guys get away with it. He has a really strong sense of justice and right and wrong and he’s not easily swayed. He’s also just really sarcastic and dry and is so much fun to write 😂

Who (or what) is the antagonist?

credit goes to kinomatika

Man…there are a lot of antagonists 😂 There’s the main ones, Tony and Saundra, the heads of New Wave Labs and also secretly supers. And there are all of their messes 😅 They’ve been experimenting on (often times unwilling) victims and splicing their DNA with animals and forces of nature. Daryl has the fun task of figuring out why the heck they’re doing this.

credit goes to cameronmark

What excites you the most about this novel?

I think I’m most excited because of Daryl. I just love him as a character! He’s trying to do right, but emotions clash and secrets must be kept and it’s S T R E S S F U L.

Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?

It’s a standalone, but it’s set in the world of a trilogy idea I have. It’s kind of a prequel, in a way.

Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plantsing?

I am usually a plotter all the way, but this time I’m only using some rough scene notes I have written on Post-Its. It’s new for me, but it’s also kind of freeing being able to just follow the story where it goes. I just hope I have enough to go on so I don’t flail once I hit the the middle blues 😅

Name a few unique elements in this story.

  • A TV-headed game show host supervillain, among other weird and dangerous human/hybrid creations
  • A charismatic scientist who happens to use his charm to get away with crimes
  • Unique superpower system involving scars and colorful auras
  • Early 2000s nostalgia

Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

The story is set in the same world as another idea of mine, so the aesthetics are similar to that idea.

That’s all I’ve got! I’m super pumped to finally get this idea down and into a rough first draft! Are you participating in Fall Fic Frenzy? Or maybe NaNoWriMo? Let me know down below!

Imprint Release Day // IT’S FINALLY HERE!

I’M FREAKING OUT. AGH. IT’S RELEASE DAY!

I feel like I’ve been working on this book for way too long, and I am SO HAPPY that this project of mine has finally been released to the world!

Can she survive the deadly chase?

Like so many bookworms, Paige Turner loves escaping into the world of stories. However, unlike other bookworms, she can literally escape into the world of stories through the ink on the pages.

When two strange men set out to kidnap Paige and her friend Markus, she is terrified. So used to hiding from her problems in the world of books, Paige doesn’t know what to do when the trouble begins to spill into her real life. And when the danger looms and threatens the safety of her family, she realizes that terrified or not, she must fight back. And to do that, Paige and Markus must use the gifts to discover why these strange men are after two innocent teenagers.

But the truth turns out to be far stranger than fiction, and it twists their entire world upside down. Can Paige find the strength to battle her anxiety and use her extraordinary gift…or will she lose everything and everyone she ever cared about?


If you want to read more about my publishing process, the negatives and positives of self-publishing, subscribe to my newsletter, where you’ll received a code to access the archives (including my most recent letter about Imprint’s release) plus a code for a free short story collection!

Links to Buy

I CAN’T BELIEVE MY BOOK IS OUT! Feel free to freak out with me in the comments, and then be sure to order a copy immediately after 😉 Thank you to all you guys, who support and encourage me! Your excitement and enthusiasm is invaluable! 💖

Imprint Cover Reveal

HI GUYS! WOW I have some exciting news (which you probably already guessed from the title of this post)… IT’S COVER REVEAL TIME!

I have been working on this creation for what feels like forever, but it’s finally finished and I’m so excited to share it with you!

This cover was a real challenge for me. I went back and forth a lot on the concept and design of it for so long. I am a huge perfectionist, and it felt like nothing I did could ever be exactly what I wanted. Even with a degree in graphic design, it felt like I kept hitting a wall so many times, over and over again. I debated hiring someone to design it for me; I got so, so close to having someone else do the cover, but financial issues and creative differences kept pushing back. It was so infuriating, because as a graphic designer, I had a vision in mind, but I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

So I finally pulled my family in and asked for their help. After I clumsily explained the general vibe and idea I had in my head, my sister drew up a beautiful concept that I immediately knew would be the one. It was simple, but still conveyed the type of meaning that I wanted. It was perfect.

And now, I’m happy to finally present this cover to you! Drum roll please…

And here we are!

I could not be happier with how this turned out! It works so wonderfully with the story, and I love the the simplicity of it. I’m so grateful for the help of family in a time of frustration and need! ^_^

Blurb:

Like so many bookworms, Paige Turner loves escaping into the world of stories. However, unlike other bookworms, she can literally escape into the world of stories through the ink on the pages.

When two strange men set out to kidnap Paige and her friend Markus, she is terrified. So used to hiding from her problems in the world of books, Paige doesn’t know what to do when the trouble begins to spill into her real life. And when the danger looms and threatens the safety of her family, she realizes that terrified or not, she must fight back. And to do that, Paige and Markus must use the gifts to discover why these strange men are after two innocent teenagers.

But the truth turns out to be far stranger than fiction, and it twists their entire world upside down. Can Paige find the strength to battle her anxiety and use her extraordinary gift…or will she lose everything and everyone she ever cared about?

So tell me, what do you think? I’d love to know your opinion on this cover! Let me know in the comments down below! And don’t forget to mark your calendars: Imprint releases August 1st!

Imprint Book Tour Sign-Up! // Come Join the Fun!

GUYS. I have some INCREDIBLY EXCITING NEWS: BOOK TOUR SIGN-UPS ARE HAPPENING NOW.

There are a bunch of different things you can sign up to do (if you’re interested, of course), like a cover reveals, author interviews, release day posts, and ARC reviews!

If you’d like to join the fun and celebrate Imprint releasing soon, feel free to sign up using this link.

I am SO EXCITED to be moving forward with this project and am SO EAGER to get this book out into the world.

I hope you join me in revealing this book to the world! Just follow the link to sign up and support me! 😁 Oh, and May the 4th be with you! 😉

Exciting News! // My New Newsletter

Hey guys! What, two posts in one day? What is this madness? Or should I say…March madness? 😉

This is just a short one though, as I’d like to let you all know that…

I have my own newsletter now!

That’s right! I’ve finally taken the plunge and I’ve started up my own newsletter. I plan to send out letters once per season (winter, spring, summer, fall) with occasional special updates in-between. In the newsletter, you can expect to read about my writing and publishing journey, general life happenings, and thoughts and opinions on the stuff I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to. Plus when you sign up you get access to a special page on my author site where you can find a collection of three short stories I wrote!

That most certainly doesn’t mean I will be leaving the blog! I still plan to post once or twice a month. You can’t get rid of me that easily. 😉

You can sign up for that using this link! I want to thank all of you who have been following this blog for so long. I appreciate all of you and I hope you’ll join me on my writing journey!

BIG NEWS! // Exciting Announcement!

Hey guys! I have some MAJORLY EXCITING news to bring you today! Let’s get a drumroll…

The Office Drum GIF

I’m going to be self-publishing Imprint this year!

Hopefully summer time! But we’ll see. AGH my very first book, finally going out into the world! The thought it both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. 😀 I’ve been working on this story for so, so long now, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally all coming together, as Kronk would say.

Jesse Ling meme oh yeah kronk emperors new groove GIF

So to celebrate, I thought I would answer some questions about what writing this novel has been like and what exactly this book is about! (I like to think it’s gotten easier to explain my novel to people over the years, but I’d be lying if that were true. XD)

So what is this story about?

Fairytales are not what they seem…

Paige Turner, an anxious young bookworm, has been able to travel into her favorite stories ever since she could remember. She never imagined it would get her into trouble. She is nearly kidnapped one day by a magical man, and things only get more complicated from there. And soon, in spite of her best efforts, Paige and her friend Markus are caught up in a deadly chase against a vengeful wizard. As Paige and Markus hop back and forth between the worlds of books and reality, she finds out that maybe the world of fairytales isn’t all that it seems. And if she wants to survive, she’ll need more than just book smarts.

What inspired you to write Imprint?

The idea started a looong time ago, back when I was just starting to discover that I loved writing. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to travel into stories and books, and when I started to think about writing seriously, this was the first of my ideas I decided to pursue.

It’s really interesting, actually, since usually the characters come to me before the story, but in this case it was the opposite. I had an idea, but no characters. That was a challenge in the beginning, but I’ve grown to love all my Imprint characters dearly.

Who was your favorite character to write?

It really varies depending on the time period I was writing it in! I really, really love writing my main two, Paige and Markus (his dialogue is so fun XD), but I also love my two reaper boys Celthic and Zyke. It’s so hard to choose just one!

But if we’re basing this on how naturally and easily they were to write, I would have to say Markus. He just flew onto the page with his big personality and easy dialogue.

What have you learned from writing this book?

The first draft will most likely look nothing like the finished product. This story went through so many revisions that it is unrecognizable from the first draft I wrote back in 2015. I’m so glad that I learned this, because when I first started out, I was under the impression that the first draft would be mostly done. Sure, I might need to change a thing here and there, fix a few things, and call it a day.

Animated GIF

That is not the case. XD

And being a mix of a perfectionist, a procrastinator, and a person with a lot of self-doubt doesn’t help either. It definitely makes for an…interesting writing process. But I can honestly say I’m very happy with how it turned out.

What was the hardest part of the story to write?

I have a very hard time with beginnings and endings. I can’t tell you how many times I rewrote the beginning because I just wasn’t happy with it. And the ending. Ugh, it took so. many. tries. until I got what was in my head down on paper (and that was after I finally even figured what I wanted the ending to be).

Animation Falling GIF

How long did Imprint take to write?

From its conception to the final product, it took about eight years.

What Incredulous GIF by MOODMAN

An insane amount of time, I now realize.

I’ve already started working on the second book, and I can tell it’s definitely not going to take quite as long. XD I think part of having such a long process was that I was (and still am!) learning a ton.

When I first started out, I didn’t have any experience with writing a story. I didn’t know anything about structure or flow or tone (if I’m honest, I still don’t really have a good grasp on it). But this novel, this whole trilogy, actually, has been the greatest writing course I’ve ever taken. And reading articles and books and blog posts (a lot of them from all of you!) about writing have been invaluable.

What kept you writing?

I considered giving up on this project several times. Tucking it away for a couple years at a time only to drag it out and look at it and fall in love all over again. It was probably the characters that kept me stayed on this story for so long.

I found so much of a connection with Paige, who has an anxiety disorder. I know what it feels like to go through what she goes through in this story.

I love Markus’s sparkling wit and unabashed humor. He’s the guy friend I never would have thought I wanted.

I love Celthic’s inner struggle and frustration with his life.

I love Zyke’s sarcastic quips that hide his desperate need for approval.

They’re all so interesting and unique in their own ways. And I realized I couldn’t just discard this story. It’s stuck around this long for a reason. No going back now. So here we are. 🙂

I’m so excited that I’m finally going to get to share this story with you all! It’s been a wild journey, and I know it’s only just the beginning. Tell me, what are your writing goals this year? I’d love to hear about them down below!

2021 Silmaril Awards // The Winner of the Most Epic Hero Award

You approach the large theater hidden in the folds of the dark forest, wrapping your cloak tighter around your shoulders to fend off the autumn chill. As you draw closer, you hear laughter and merriment coming from inside. A ceremony is about to commence, and you don’t want to be late.

You pick up your pace and quietly slip into the echoing amphitheater. Hundreds of people have already filled the seats, all talking and laughing with each other. You find an empty seat in the back, hoping no one will notice you.

The red curtain on the stage begins to lift as the lights dim. Everyone falls into a hush as a spotlight falls on a man standing alone on the platform. His posture and expression command attention. He holds a faded scroll in his hands. You know him to be Strider.

“Welcome to our annual ceremony, friends,” he speaks to the audience. “We’re glad to have you here. I’m sure we are all eager for the ceremony to commence, so I will begin without further delay.” He unravels the scroll and begins to read.

“Let us begin. Our fifth place winner is a man who always has a clever quip at the ready, a man who some might consider rather pessimistic, but a man with a good heart, who cares for his friends and family. Our hero, Nick Beasley.”

You see a furry figure rise from the audience, and you crane your neck to see more clearly. It appears to be a Minotaur-like beast, sporting a shabby coat and vest. Horns protrude from his maned head, while a tail swishes behind him as he walks up to the stage. He doesn’t look thrilled to be in this position.

“I was really hoping I wouldn’t be looking like this for the ceremony,” Nick mutters. “But isn’t that just the way it is.” He reluctantly takes a small bow as the audience gives an appreciative round of applause.

“Thank you for being willing, all the same,” Strider says. “You may return to your place.”

The beast lumbers off the stage, muttering under his breath. You can’t tell what he’s saying, but it sounds disgruntled.

“Thank you, Nick,” Strider says. “And now our fourth place winner. This is a man who has been through many trials. He is as mysterious as he is noble, and despite his troubled mind he continues to push onward, even when his past…well, enough of that. Please welcome, Artham Wingfeather.”

You see a winged man rise, his expression stoic. He slowly approaches the stage, and you notice his fingers end in talons. “Thank you,” he says quietly. He dips into a simple bow to the audience’s applause.

“Thank you for being here, Artham,” Strider says with a smile. “You may be seated.”

The man returns to his seat without a word, but a quiet smile on his face. You can’t help but feel he has been through much more than any man should.

“Our third place winner, we can all agree, is a friendly soul. He is not only good-natured, but quick on his feet, of a sharp mind, and takes his responsibilities very seriously. Our hero, Will Treaty.”

You see a young man leap from his seat and quickly make his way to the stage, waving at the audience as he does. “Thank you all for supporting me,” he says as he approaches Strider. “It’s an honor to be here.”

“We’re all to pleased to have you here, Will.” Strider turns to the audience. “Everyone, please give our hero a round of applause.”

The audience breaks into a hearty applause for Will, a few whoops even being heard. Will bows deeply and then hurries off the stage.

“A fast one, he is,” Strider comments as the audience dies down. “And now, our second place winner. This young man displays a deep selflessness that is hard to come by. He would do anything to protect his family and is unafraid to take charge and be the leader his siblings need. Let us welcome, Janner Igiby.”

You see a young boy stand and make his way to the stage. You note that he is tall and lanky, all elbows and knees. He approaches Strider with a quiet confidence. “Thank you for having me,” he says with a bow.

“Thank you for being here, Janner,” Strider says. The audience needs no encouragement as they break into applause for the boy.

“You may return to your seat,” Strider says, gesturing to Janner. “Thank you.”

The young man returns to his seat, and you notice that he is sitting by Artham Wingfeather. Perhaps they know each other. The thought makes you smile but you don’t have time to reflect, because Strider clears his throat.

“And now, the moment we have all been waiting for. There is only one nominee left. Can you guess who it is?” Strider smiles.

The audience begins to chant. There is so much noise you can barely tell what they are saying. But you manage to pick out the name:

Zero! Zero! Zero!”

The amphitheater vibrates with excited energy, and you strain to see the winner in the commotion. A man with spiky white hair and frigidly pale skin emerges. He looks intimidating, with his piercing gaze and blank expression.

“Is all this really necessary?” the man says as he approaches the stage. He crosses his arms and glances out into the audience before looking to Strider. “I don’t think this is necessary.”

Strider just laughs as he hands Zero the gold medallion.

“It appears the people have spoken,” Strider says with a grin. “You are the most epic hero of the 2021 Silmaril Awards.”

As the crowd wildly claps for their winner, Zero’s face remains emotionless as he accepts the medallion. But you can tell the man is secretly shocked he was chosen. Maybe he isn’t as cold as he first seems?

Strider pats Zero on the shoulder and gestures for him to return to his seat, where you see that he is sitting with two other men, both with smirks on their faces. Zero ignores them.

“And now, we have come to the end of it.” Strider takes a bow. “I am always so grateful to host this award, and I thank you all for coming to the ceremony. We appreciate all of you. To heroes!” he adds with a shout and a raising of his fist.

“To heroes!” the audience returns, raising their fists together.

“To heroes,” you say in a whisper, smiling to yourself. You rise to leave, quickly, before the mad rush of people.

Hiding under your cloak, you exit the theater into the cold breeze of the forest. You smile up at the moon as the leaves crunch under your boot steps. Maybe someday, your character will be awarded the most epic hero medallion. Who knows? Anything is possible. 😉

Thank you to all of you for participating and joining in the fun this year! This wouldn’t be possible without all of your support. Give yourself a round of applause! And feel free to congratulate Zero in the comments. I’m sure he’ll love it… 😂

Plus, be sure to head on over to Sarah’s blog tomorrow to see who the winner of the Most Majestic Ruler award is!

The Jolly Genre Jubilee Tag + lots of GIFs

graphic by Kenzie

Hi guys! This week, I’ve decided to take on Kenzie’s newest tag, the Jolly Genre Jubilee Tag! I love the name so much 😂 I’m really excited to get into these questions, so let the GIF-filled fun begin! But first:

Rules and Regulations:

  • thank the blogger who tagged you, and leave a link back to their blog
  • leave a link back to the creator of the tag >> (I mean, technically this bit is optional, but I’d really appreciate a link back, especially if you enjoyed the tag!) [I’ll kill to birds with one stone by thanking you Kenzie, for this awesome tag!]
  • answer the questions honestly, and include at least one (1) gif of a pelican >> it’s in the rules, folks. you have to do it.
  • tag 3+ friends to do the tag on their own blogs! >> and make sure to give them cookies. because that’s always fun.

What is your favorite genre of fiction to write?

Without a doubt, it is definitely fantasy. But not the epic kind. I’ve found that I enjoy urban fantasy and magical realism more than the orcs and goblins type of fantasy. There’s something about reality and fantasy mixing that makes so many amazing, crazy, extraordinary things seem possible. And the AESTHETICS THO.

Hungry Food GIF by Rosanna Pansino

What genre would you NEVER get caught writing? . . .EVER.

This is really hard, because I don’t ever like to rule out the possibility of writing something. I’m honestly open to nearly every single genre! But…okay, you’ll probably never catch me writing a horror. I don’t think I could do it. I’m down with adding some scary to my stories, but a full-on horror novel?

GIF by Zack Kantor

What fictional genre feels most like home to you?

This is a hard one! I’ll probably say fantasy again, just because it’s what I’m most familiar with writing and it is very special to me. But if we were talking about reading, I probably would’ve said historical fiction. It’s so cozy and comforting! I’ve always wanted to write a historical fiction novel, but the facts and dates and just general knowledge about a specific time period I would need is insanely daunting to me 😳

Bird Pelican GIF by John-Robert
me being crushed by the responsibility of all history

If you could transform your real life into any genre of your choosing, which would it be?

A magical realism life would be pretty cool. Just some soft little magic vibes. It’d be nice. Or something heavier like the Raven Cycle books would be interesting. Kinda scary, but way cool ✨👻

What genre does your real life most resemble at the moment?

Right now, it’s kind of feeling like a coming-of-age story. A lot has been changing for me in my life and my family, and sometimes it feels like too much to handle. It’s a time of growing and facing new challenges head on, and I never feel as cool as the main character 😅

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What’s a genre you’re interested in writing, even though you’ve never written it before?

Party Oldschool GIF by The Brass Harpies

I would LOVE to someday write a steampunk story. I have a vague idea of one in the back of my head, but I’m afraid if I let it percolate too much I’ll have to actually write the thing 😂 You don’t see a lot of steampunk books on the market, which is sad because steampunk is SO COOL. I’d love to contribute something neat to the genre.

What genre is your most recent plot bunny, and where did it come from?

Um…kind of hard to explain, honestly 😂 This happens a lot, where I come up with ideas that don’t really fit nicely into one, two, or sometimes even three genres. But I’ll try. My most recent idea is kind of a mix of science fiction, fantasy, and thriller where a reality-warper is asked to assist the military against fighting a chaotic force of nature that wants to consume the earth. But things aren’t as they seem, and our reality-warper friend realizes something much darker is actually going on. Yes, I know that’s vague but I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s been on my mind for weeks now and I STILL can’t properly explain it 😂

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How many genres have you written thus far in your writing journey?

Genres that I’ve actually written in, like as in WIPs or finished pieces…have actually really only been urban fantasy. My Ink Press trilogy I’m working on publishing (hopefully sometime soon!) is an urban fantasy story. Last year I started writing the first book in my superhero trilogy Cause and Effect, but only about 30 pages of a first draft are done.

As for ideas and concepts I’m working on…oh boy. There are a lot 😂 Fantasy, science fiction, and superhero are the main culprits, which more sub-genres than I care to admit 🙈

Homer Simpson Reaction GIF by reactionseditor
just me hiding from all my plot bunnies don’t mind me

And now! I tag some friends 😊:

This tag was so fun! Thanks again to Kenzie for creating it and for tagging everyone who wants to participate! Now tell me about what genres you typically write or want to write in. I’d love to hear about what you’re working on right now!

Realm Makers 2019

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during Mr. Batson’s continuing session | picture credit goes to Mary!

AGH SO REALM MAKERS HAPPENED. AND IT WAS AMAZING. I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know if the wonder that happened in those three days could be summed up in a post.

But I guess I’ll try. XD

Thursday I went to the pre-conference about writing series by Robert Liparulo which was SO interesting. I learned about the different types of series, the pros and cons of writing a series, how to plan a series, and how to market a series. It was all so informative and it really helped me, since I’m planning on publishing my first books as a trilogy! I also got to meet with some friends who also went to the pre-conference for lunch, which was SO FABULOUS.

After that, there was an opening welcome and keynote given by the RM faculty and Brent Weeks, which was hilarious and also very encouraging!

Friday was a whole whirlwind of sessions and electives and I loved ALL OF IT. I learned about writing my Christian worldview organically into my writing (Morgan Busse did this class and it was my absolute FAVORITE CLASS of the entire conference, she did SUCH a great job), I learned about writing fairytale retellings with C.J. Redwine (which gave me waaaay too many plot bunnies, if I’m being honest XD), and had a great time in Wayne Thomas Batson’s continuing sessions about balancing life and writing. It really convicted me and made me realize I need to be better about juggling everything.

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on our way back from a quick Starbucks break | picture credit goes to Christine!

I also got to hang out with some AWESOME friends! Seeing all of my friends from last year, and also some new faces was THE BEST. I wish I could’ve devoted all of my time to talking and hanging out with all of them, but I had to settle with sitting together during sessions and eating meals together. It was so magical, seeing everyone again. I LOVE YOU GUYS. <333

And then, of course, there was the big Awards Dinner, which is ALWAYS a blast! I must have taken a hundred (blurry, of course) pictures of everybody in their costumes. This was probably my favorite part of the entire conference, honestly. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time, and when I got back to my hotel, my cheeks hurt.

For this year’s dinner, I decided to dress as a favorite cartoon character of mine…Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls! I was sure hardly anyone would know who I was (and I did get mistaken for a Camp Half Blood resident more than a few times XD), but I was pleasantly surprised by how many people came up to me and complimented me on my choice! I even had one of the waiters bringing food to the tables come up to me and ask me where Mabel was. XD

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from top to bottom // Mary as Steampunk Ariel | Tracey as Tris Prior | Christine as Kuzco | Josiah as Phoenix Wright | Savannah as Peggy Carter (though that photo does NOT do her gorgeous outfit justice)

Saturday was the big day. At least for me. XD I decided I wanted to pitch my novel Imprint to Linda Howard at Tyndale publishing this year and my appointment actually went really well! I did flounder a bit, struggling with what to say and feeling all of my nerves strain any sense from brain right out my ears…XD But Mrs. Howard was very nice and understanding, and after talking with here, I would really LOVE to work with her. She was so kind and told me all about Tyndale’s publishing process and she even asked for more chapters of my novel! I WAS ECSTATIC TO SAY THE LEAST.

Before said pitch took place, however, I was a ball of jittery nerves. I could barely eat anything and when I had to leave mid-class (Jill Williamson’s worldbuilding session, which I was a bit bummed to miss 😦 to get to my appointment, I thought I was going to pass out from my body shooting so much adrenaline into my veins. I could barely hold my pencil and when the time came I had to take several deep breaths to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest. I wasn’t hardly as nervous as my body would have me believe I was. But my body does betray me, often times during stressful situations. XD As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about and it went very well.

After another amazing session (Ronie Kendig’s class about capturing your reader’s attention, which was absolutely fascinating), and a wonderful closing keynote by Brent Weeks, I went out to Panera with my buds one last time. It was such a great time and I ALREADY MISS ALL OF YOU SO MUUUUUCH. Then we all went to the book festival together and I had to say my goodbyes. It was so SAD. Thank goodness for the internet, so we can all keep in touch!

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from top to bottom // Lisa | Skye | Christine

That last day of Realm Makers was one of the best days of 2019 for me. It was such an incredible time and Sunday morning, it felt like reality just came crashing back down on me. It felt so weird, that it was just…over. But I’ll never forget it. ^_^

Vacation wasn’t entirely over for me just yet though. Me and my family got to go a bit farther down Missouri to Branson, where we got to visit the College of the Ozarks (a college I’ve been considering attending, and now after visiting, I am SO AMAZED by and interested in) and stay at the Keeter Center, which is a hotel run by the students of the college! It was incredibly nice and I’ve never stayed in such a nice hotel. I really felt like a country hick, amazed by everything in the room. XD

After staying there for a few days (going to Silver Dollar City and the Butterfly Palace), we topped off our final day in Branson by going to see Samson live at the Sights and Sound Theater! IT WAS SO AMAZING GUYS. I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT WAS. You should seriously consider going to a production there. The tickets aren’t the cheapest, but IT IS WORTH IT.

After all that craziness, we drove home. And now I’m back and just now getting over the exhaustion. XD It’s going to be tough going back to work and the drudgery of ‘normal’ life, but I think I might surprise myself. It’s always a good feeling getting home from an adventure. 🙂

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the gang at Panera | picture credit goes to Jenneth!

That was my experience at Realm Makers, very, very briefly summed up. I could go on and on about what went on that past weekend, but we would be here for ages. XD I miss all you Realmies dearly! I hope we get to see each other again soon! And those of you who didn’t attend this year…I WISH YOU COULD’VE BEEN THERE. It really was a magical time!

New Until Next Time!