Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Dangerously Large Tag

Well, Eldra over at her blog did a tag.  A wondrous tag.  A massive tag.  And, she challenged my guts.  Almost...a dare.  Check it out:  "I tag anyone with the guts to even attempt this massive tag."

Well, I couldn't stand NOT to do the tag, so here it is.  In all of its glory, or lack thereof.

1. What’s your word count?
50,971 words.

2. How long until you finish?
Ho hum. See next question.

3. If you have finished, how long did it take you?
One month. I did it for NaNoWriMo. :)

4. Do you have an outline?
Ha! Don't talk to me about outlines. I had one for about a quarter of the book, but it failed and I cast it aside, and ran the race without.

5. Do you have a plot?
If I have a complete novel, I may just have a plot. I hope so.

6. How many words do you typically write a day?
Typically? My writing is like the tide. 'Typically', judging from the last couple of months, I have done little writing, almost none.

7. What was your greatest word count in one day?
Somewhere above 5,000 words.

8. What was your least impressive word count in one day?
Does none count? If not...30 or so words.

9. What inspired you to write?
Reading. Tolkien.  I wished to craft stories like the ones I read, and it evolved from there; first came the short stories, then the multitude of failed novels, none of which had finished, and then, at last, I crafted a real novel.

10. Does your novel/story have a theme song?
*blinks* What? ...I'll have to think about that one.

11. Assign each of your major characters a theme song.
(OO) This could be tricky. Not sure how accurate this will be...
1) Edon Silversword: The Battle of Pelennor Fields (LOTR Soundtrack)
2) Sadai Strontar: "Man in the Moon" by Andrew Landers.
3) Knerath: "You Don't Own Me [Dear X]" by Disciple
4) Tanoath: No idea.

12. Which character is most like you?
Ooh...'tis a tie between Sadai and Edon. Edon is nearer to my age, with a lot of the same characteristics, but Sadai is much like me as well, being a historian who loved books.

13. Which character would you most likely be friends with?
Edon, undoubtedly. Possibly Knerath as well.

14. Do you have a Gary-Stu or Mary Sue character?

15. Who is your favorite character in your novel?
*headdesk* What a question. I cannot answer, for I show no favoritism. :|

16. Have your characters ever done something completely unexpected?
*cough* Yes.

17. Have you based any of your novel directly on personal experiences?

18. Do you believe in plot bunnies?
No, but I believe in plot rabbits. They work for Procrastination. *furtive glance*

19. Is there magic in your novel/story?

20. Are any holidays celebrated in your novel/story?

21. Does anyone die?
Yes. Duh.

22. How many cups of coffee/tea have you consumed during your writing experience?
A myriad. A multitude. ...Lots.

23. What is the latest you have stayed up writing?
Past midnight, at least.

24. What is the best line?
Haha, this should be interesting. Hold on a moment while I find it... "I suspect we shall have to go further in if we are to find a way out."  To which it is answered, "That's a terrible philosophy."

25. What is the worst line?
Well, it might be the worst line, but it fits. 'Twas spoken by a demon. "How are you doing today?"

26. Have you dreamed about your novel/story or its characters?

27. Does your novel rely heavily on allegory?
Not necessarily. *vague answer*

28. Summarize your novel/story in under fifteen words.
"Edon must warn the people of Arowdae and stop the Dreadman from releasing the Daske." 'Tis fifteen words. I refuse to shorten it.

29. Do you love all your characters?

30. Have you done something sadistic or cruel to your characters specifically to increase your word count?
Yes. Unashamedly.

31. What was the last thing your main character ate?
It wasn't described. It was 'a meal'. Lovely.

32. Describe your main character in three words.
Burdened. Destined. Champion.

33. What would your antagonist dress up as for Halloween?
He doesn't have to dress up. He's the Dreadman. People dress up as HIM.

34. Does anyone in your story go to a place of worship?
Yes. I believe so...

35. How many romantic relationships take place in your novel/story?

36. Are there any explosions in your novel/story?

37. Is there an apocalypse in your novel/story?

38. Does your novel take place in a post-apocalyptic world?

39. Are there zombies, vampires or werewolves in your novel/story?
I would rather be eaten than put those in my story.

40. Are there witches, wizards or mythological creatures/figures in your novel/story?
No, no, and possibly. MY mythology, or the world's mythology?

41. Is anyone reincarnated?

42. Is anyone physically ailed?
At times.

43. Is anyone mentally ill?
I wish. character gets close to it. I loved writing that part.

44. Does anyone have swine flu?
Nope. It hasn't yet crossed inter-dimensional barriers.

45. Who has pets in your novel and what are they?
Define pet.

46. Are there angels, demons, or any religious references/figures in your novel/story?

47. How about political figures?
Political figures? A king, yes. Advisor, yes.  Obama?  No.

48. Is there incessant drinking?
Nope. My characters are sober.

49. Are there board games? If so, which ones?

50. Are there any dream sequences?

51. Is there humor?
I hope so. :P Then again...not everyone has sense of humor. ;)

52. Is there tragedy?
You bet.

53. Does anyone have a temper tantrum?
How did you know?  I'm being serious...the answer is yes.

54. How many characters end up single at the end of your novel/story?
All of the ones that were not already married.

55. Is anyone in your novel/story adopted?

56. Does anyone in your novel/story wear glasses?

57. Has your novel/story provided insight about your life?
A little.

58. Your personality?
Perhaps a teaspoon.  Or a regular spoon.

59. Has your novel/story inspired anyone?
Considering that few have ever read sections of it--much less the whole novel--I don't think so. I hope it someday will. Hey! Readers! Help me out here. ;)

60. How many people have asked to read your novel/story?
A good number. Besides blogger folks, perhaps a dozen.

61. Have you drawn any of your characters?
You mean, stick figures?

62. Has anyone drawn your characters for you?
You mean, stick figures?

63. Does anyone vomit in your novel/story?

64. Does anyone bleed in your novel/story?

65. Do any of your characters watch TV?
What's a TV?

66. What size shoe does your main character wear?
No idea. Go ask them yourself.

67. Do any of the characters in your novel/story use a computer?

68. How would you react if your novel/story was erased entirely?
I would freak out. Be sent to the hospital. Hyperventilate. I'd reel into an extreme depression and go though a bout of writing famine. It wouldn't be pretty; this is the revised and *cough* abridged edition of my response.

69. Did you cry at killing off any of your characters?
I went through a brief period of heavy emotion. And then, nothing. So, no.

70. Did you cheer when killing off one of your characters?
This strikes me as an odd question...

71. What advice would you give to a fellow writer?
The more you write, the more you write, the better you write. Basically: the more you write, the more you tend to write. The more you tend to write, the better your writing gets; quality, plot, and all.

72. Describe your ending in three words.
I refuse. This is an outrage. It goes against every writerly bone in my body to give away the ending of my novel. Besides...I'd have to describe it in seven words.

73. Are there any love triangles, squares, hexagons, etc.?

74. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least stressful, 10 being the most) how does your stress rank?
Right now? Eh. Why am I even answering this? 5, perhaps. I don't know.

75. Was it worth it?
Check back next time, and you'll find out.

I hereby tag any and all who dare set foot on this blog and view themselves as a writer: if you have time, do this tag. Triple dog dare. :|

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I've Been Up to Lately...

I admit, I have not worked upon my novel for quite a long time. G. K. Chesterton, in his book 'Orthodoxy', talked about a fancy he often has for writing a romance, about an Englishman who 'discovers' England under the impression it was a new island in the South Seas.

So it is with my novel: I often dream about writing and revising and rewriting my novel. However, the words that come after Chesterton's statement apply to me as well; "I always find, however, that I am either too busy or too lazy to write this fine work."

For me, it is undoubtedly the former. The curse of a busy life has crowded out my writing (and, as you can see, my blogging).

However, I have had some time to read, sneakily popping open my Kindle light at night to read Chesterton, or grabbing some free books I find. (Huzzah for free Kindle books!) Here's a list of what I've been reading lately:

Imaginary Jesus, by Matt Mikalatos: A hilarious, not-quite-true story about a guy who finds out his Jesus (robe, sandals, and all) is fake. A good, lighthearted novel with some intriguing allegory. And near-death (near-Jesus?) experiences thrown in for some spice.

Worth a read.  Run to the Kindle store, folks: it's still free.  They have a Kindle app for PC and Mac, so it should be fairly easy to just read it on you computer in your spare time.

'Tis one of those laugh-out-loud books.

Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton:  Ah, yes, Chesterton. I have recently (in the last couple of days) developed a taste for him. Sarcastic, confusing, humorous, with some great philosophical insights, Orthodoxy is worth a read. 'Tis confusing at first, but if you keep looking for quotes you'll eventually get into it and enjoy it immensely. I'm about halfway through. :)

This one's also free on Kindle, since it's a classic.  Great, great book.

And very quotable. Haha.  I'm driving my friends and family crazy.  "You know, Chesterton once said..."

The Scarlet Pimpernel:  Daring escapes, the upheaval of the French Revolution, and a mysterious man known only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. While sometimes the mystery seemed painfully obvious, it was a good read, dotted with colorful descriptions (and sometimes colorful language :P), betrayal, and intrigue. And the concept of the Scarlet Pimpernel was genius.

Also free on Kindle, LOL (and then as I end the refrain...).  *blinks*  What?  You don't get it?  *facepalm*  Obscure reference to Cyrano de Bergerac.  Pay no attention to..!  *cough*  My apologies.

The Count of Monte Cristo: Another classic--I had read Alexandre Dumas before, but his use of words floored me again. He spends pages, at times, describing persons, places, or things with great color.

 The Count is a complex character, bent on revenge, gifted with a sharp mind and great knowledge, and as rich as a gold mine. Treasure, intrigue, unfair trial: I am not yet through with this massive book, but it is very good so far.

If you can get past a couple boring portions (which, seemingly, have nothing to do with the plot), this is a great book to read.

In the near future, I shall be reading Masters & Slayers, The Ale Boy's Feast (I was ecstatic when I ordered a pre-release copy of it through BloggingForBooks), Warrior, The Pendragon Cycle, and more. :) Also, I should be reviewing 'Summa Elvetica' soon, provided I have the time.

Well, I'm off again. Time is calling wants me back. (Obscure reference [again] to The Dreamhouse Kings.)

Au voir! Adieu! Farewell! Do not be eaten.

*disappears into the mist*

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Invasion of the Feechies WINNER!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elves and InfidElves!  I am pleased to present to thee the WINNER of the Feechie Invasion Giveaway!

However...some suspense.  (I hear that groaning...)

First of all, the answers to my tricky little Scripture references.  The first one was the only one solved. O_o  It seems I have to be less obscure next time...

1)  The Scripture is Isaiah 65:25, and the allegory is taken from The Binding of the Blade series. 

2)  The Scripture is Revelations 11:4-5, and the allegory is taken from The Oracles of Fire series.  (This was extremely obscure, and not really an obvious allegory: should the Oracles of Fire be injured, the person who harmed them dies.)

3)  The Scripture is Genesis 3:15b, and the allegory is taken from the Wormling Series.

Yeah, yeah, next time I'll try something easier. :P what's at stake?

A brand new copy of The Charlatan's Boy.  And a note from me.  Valuable, eh? ;)

So, who's the winner?  Truth is, I don't know.  But I'll find out.  *goes to*


*punches in variables*

*pushes the button*

The winner is....

(Yes, that is a turkeyduck.)

Congratulations!  Grab your mailing address and shoot me an email. :)  I shall soon have The Charlatan's Boy hurtling your way one way or another....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: The Keepers of Elenath

Evil is stirring in Elenath. A rapid chain of events: a righteous king's murder, a dark queen's seizure of the throne, and the stirring of ancient peoples opens a new chapter in Elenath's history. Dark powers seek to control all and a bare few stand against the sinister forces. At the center of the tempest lies Gwaeron, princess of Anirum. Secrets surround her true identity, and the strange gifts she is capable of are sought after by both sides of the silent war. Another evil haunting the land of Elenath; sweeping from the northwestern wasteland to Anirum's eastern coast is the dreaded eves fornost. Hearts of human, elf, etel, and gnome will turn for good or evil. And the worst is yet to come.

The Keepers of Elenath is Amanda Bradburn's debut novel, and though all debut novels have their faults, this was a particularly good one.

The beginning, though it kept me interested, led to a small bout of confusion as to who these people were and what was happening.  After that first bump, however, the ride smoothed out and the brick of the road was laid.  The description, especially, held my attention.  Bradburn did a great job in describing the essential aspects of each scene and yet added a unique flavor that I savored.

The characters of this novel were well done and fleshed out, as best could be done in a 300+ page novel.  I wished for a little bit more development in some cases, but I expect that it will be found in the next book (which I am looking forward to).  The characters stayed consistent, and I enjoyed watching them.  The villains were well done and never cheesy, which is always a challenge with debut authors.

Allegorically, this was also a good novel.  It wasn't an obvious right-in-front-of-your-nose allegory--though some aspects were clearly representing Biblical things such as sin, Jesus' sacrifice, etc.--and was very well done.

The plot was unique.  Though there was some cliches along the way (most notably the character of Lord Nordik--there were some strong similarities there to King Eliam in The Door Within Trilogy) it generally stayed unique and fresh.

The worldbuilding was where this book broke away from other debut novels, however.  It was the fantastic shining moment.  For the number of pages this book had, Bradburn fit an incredible amount of worldbuilding into The Keepers of Elenath; races (among which are the elves, the etels, the gnomes, and the lost shadowglyphs), kingdoms (ancient and new alike), and a generous summary of names, places, and races at the beginning of the book, which helped immensely.  I especially like the concept of the Keepers of Elenath.  Not the book, but the Keepers themselves.

All things considered, I greatly enjoyed this book, especially the description and worldbuilding.  While it had several flaws, the story--and the message behind the story--shone through.

Rated 8.7 out of 10.  Good stuff. :)

Giveaway Extended!

Hey all!  No, I have not been eaten by fire-breathing feechies out to get my hair and feed it to their, I haven't been eating weird food late at night.  Why?

So, anyway, the giveaway is still a go.  I've decided to extend it, due to the amount of participants as well as my lack of 'advertising' (I've been busier than a spring-cleaning pack rat these days).  The original date was Feb. 4th--I'm extending it to Febuary 14th. That will give us a full week. :)

For those of you out of the loop, I'm holding a giveaway of a brand new copy of The Charlatan's Boy, Jonathan Rogers' newest book regarding the phenomenon of feechies.  You can see my previous post if you want to join or just feel the water a bit.  And see if you can solve those verses!

Hoping the feechies won't catch me,