Your Story is Interesting, Trust Me

Almost everyone assumes their life is boring. They didn't go on an epic there and back again adventure; they didn't solve a mystery; they haven't ridden dragons.  Something I have just now learned (seriously like 5 minutes before I began writing this post) is that everyone's story is interesting and exciting in its own way.

Recently I have had a few opportunities to just listen to people share things about their life.  One lady was in a band and met a whole bunch of famous people.  Another was in the military during the Cold War.  Someone attempted to ride a horse really far.  My grandfather rode dirt bikes and claims to have gone to school with a ton of famous people (though everyone knows he is joking). :D  If you take the time to listen, you will discover that there are jewels to be found in the stories of others.

Sometimes I think my life is pretty boring.  Recently I found and read my many journals from my childhood.  I find myself so interested reading what really went through my head.  It was so much more than "and we ate dinner".  That is history.  That a moment in time captured onto a piece of parchment.

Not only can we learn about the world and other people my simply listening, but we can also use these to inspire our stories.  If you write historical fiction, what better way to learn about the time period than hearing about it from someone who lived then?

Okay, enough of my rambling.  I just felt like I needed to talk about my revelation.  :)  So remember, listen to people.

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!
-Alea Harper


The Isle-World Chronicles - Episode 1 - Captain Antoinette

LOGGED FROM MARS 11/27/8549 15:34.

There is a legend that is thousands of years old.  For most adults, it is just a bedtime story to tell children.  A lot believed it when they were young.  Me, well...I never grew out of it.  It has become my life's passion to record what truly happened during the age of the Isle-Worlds.  I am Historian Bartholomew Archer.  May I present to you: The Isle-World Chronicles.


Lightning battles were illegal.  Even so, Nova Rae watched one from her family’s Isle.
Her father shouted behind her.  “Get in the shelter!”
Lightning flashed.
Thunder rolled.
“Where’s Brighton?” worry wrinkled through her face.  She wasn’t going inside without him.
“He’s still in the Southern Hemisphere.”
“I’m going to find him,” she walked away from her father.
“Nova Rae Fire, come back here.”
“Not until my brother is safe!”  Nova Rae clenched her fists and continued walking towards the other Hemisphere.
“He will come.  Don’t worry.”
Nova Rae stopped and turned back around.  “What if he doesn’t see the lightning battle up there?” She pointed at the lightning in the dark sky.
“Our Isle is pretty small, he can probably at least hear it.”  Another crack of thunder.  “The battle is getting closer.  Come inside.”
Brighton ran up and shouted, “What are you doing out here!  There’s a lightning battle going on!”  He grabbed her arm and the three of them entered the Core.


Their world shook with another loud roll of thunder.
“Who do you think would risk getting thrown in prison for the lightning battle?” Nova Rae whispered, too afraid to speak in a normal voice.
Brighton took her hand. “Pirates."
I gulped.  “The same ones that took mum?”
He shook his head.  “I don’t know.”
Their father looked down.  Nova Rae knew talking about their mother hurt him too much.


Nova Rae stepped out of the Core.  Her spirits fell.  Their home was gone.  Nothing but smoking rock.  Their world was destroyed.  Tears rushed to her eyes.
"Our home," she whispered.
Brighton's arm slid around her.
"I'll check the other Hemisphere," her father said.
Nova Rae did not respond.
Her father brought a dark cloud with him on the way back that choked any hope that was left.  "Gone."  He ran and embraced them.
Nova Rae closed her eyes to take in the warmness of her family.  A footstep sounded behind her.  She opened her eyes.  Her muscles tensed.
"What was that?" she whispered.
"What?" Brighton asked.
Nova Rae left her brother and father.  She turned around.
"Mom," she said.  Her mother wore a blood read hat on her head and sailor's clothing.
"I hope my little lightning battle didn't hurt any of you," her mother smiled a little.
Nova Rae backed into Brighton.  He looked just as surprised as she felt.
"Your lightning battle?" Brighton's eyebrows raised.
"You're a Space Pirate?" Her stomach turned over.  "You can't be."
"I am."
Nova Rae clenched her teeth.  It couldn't be true.  Her mother had always hated pirates.
“The three of you are coming with me.”
She betrayed us.


Captured by her own mother.  Tears slide down Nova Rae's face.  Maybe she shouldn't even call her 'mother' anymore.  She tried to readjust her position, but the ropes binding her to the mast did not let her.
"Am I dreaming?" she asked.
Brighton said, "I think this is real life, Novie."
She groaned.  "Everyone okay?"
No response from her father.  "Daddy?" she prompted.
The pirate-mother waltzed down the stairs to the mast.  Something about that gleeful smile her mother wore made Nova Rae's stomach twist.
"I have talked to my crew and they have decided to let you go free if you join them," her mother said.  Just like Peter Pan.
"Antoinette," Nova Rae heard her father whisper.  Her mother took out a knife and cut the rope.
She knew in that moment, she was not going to be a part of Captain Antionette's crew.


Nova Rae gazed out of the circular porthole into an endless sea of black with specks of light that glittered.  Sometimes they would pass a cloud of Space Fog.  Even less often would it be tinted with blues or purples.
She had never seen any of this from the Isle that was her family's home.
Her hammock swayed.  There was no way to escape a sailing ship.


How do you like the Isle-World Chronicles so far? 

I am going to be out of town for the next couple of weeks, so the next episode will be after I get back.
Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!
-Alea Harper


Warning: The Writer Madwoman is Returning

Greetings, my dear readers.  I hope you have been having a fantastic summer thus far.  :)  

April was a pretty crazy Camp NaNoWriMo.  I umm...did not succeed...  But Camp happens twice a year!


I'm very excited for this Camp!  This means I will be writing like mad.  Only I will be editing.  I am going to try something extremely ambitious.

I am going to edit 50,000 words.  That means almost my entire novel.  Eep!

How many words are you going to strive for?  Will you be editing as well?

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!
-Alea Harper


My First Thoughts on Publishing

Greetings, dear readers!

Every author (and some writers) has had their first thought of publishing sometime in their lives.  Though I am not yet an author, my first thought of publishing came at the age of 9.  Here is a page from my diary on it:

"I'm the author of a book called Two Best Friends!  When I grow up I want to get it published!  Maybe I will at age 11.  I put it in my collection of short stories."

Obviously I did not get it published at 11.  But it was still a thought of publishing and it is that type of thoughts that create aspiring authors.


Growing Your Audience

I remember the days when my corner of the Internet had a small 5 followers.  Those people would be myself (yes, I follow my own blog), my grandfather, my mom, sister, and a couple of friends.

Now I have a total of 50 followers!  28 on Google Friend Connect, 4 on Bloglovin', and 18 by email.  I don't know exactly how I have so many followers, but I think I have a pretty good idea.

Pictures like this will enable you to pin the post to Pinterest.
1. Professional-looking design.  When I first started this blog, it looked very...umm...bad.  I used what Blogger provided and that was it.  My second design was better.  I created some graphics to use. My third design (you're looking at it now, unless you are reading this in your Inbox) is the best!

2. Utilize Pinterest.  I have gotten so many pageviews from pinning my posts to Pinterest.  

3. Comment on other blogs that have to do with what you are blogging about.  If I am reading the comments on a blog that I like, I might look at some of the blogs of people commenting.

4. Follow other blogs.  If you follow me, I will look at your blog and most likely follow it back.  I'd say other people might do the same things.  I can only speak for myself though.

5. Tell people.  The person you tell might want to look at it!

Those are all my tips!  I hope this helps you in your blogging endeavors!

And a special thank you to all of my followers!  You are the reason I keep blogging!

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!
-Alea Harper


A Serial Story for Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings

Greetings, dear readers!

I am going to start a serial story on the blog!  I am calling it

The Isle-World Chronicles

The idea sparked from this picture, just to get your feet wet.  :)

I will post an episode every Saturday (Lord willing) until the season is finished!  I will post the cover this Saturday along with a preview of the story.

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!
-Alea Harper


Favorite Screen Characters Tag

I was tagged by Jaye L. Knight to do the Favorite Screen Characters tag!  So here are my top 10 favorite movie/TV characters... (These are in no particular order.)

1. Jaime Sommers (The Bionic Woman) - Who doesn't love a girl who can run up to 60mph?

2. Legolas (Lord of the Rings) - Does a whole bunch of cool stuff in Lord of the Rings.  :)

3. Aragorn (Lord of the Rings) - A true hero.

4. Rose Tyler (Doctor Who) - She's Rose Tyler.  Need I say more?

5. Fred (Big Hero 6) - I am totally jealous of the writer who wrote him.

6. Hiro (Big Hero 6) - His character development is amazing!

7. Casey (Tommorrowland) - One of the most realistic characters I have seen in a movie.

8. The 9th Doctor (Doctor Who) - He.  Is.  Awesome.

9. Josh (God's Not Dead) - He does what God calls him to do, even when it is extremely difficult.

10. Alyson (Mom's Night Out) - Incredibly hilarious.

I am not going to tag anyone this time, so if you want to do it, go ahead!


My First Mission Trip!

I went on my first mission trip last week!  The only reason I posted last week was because I scheduled them to post beforehand.  :) A very handy feature Blogger provides.  Lol.

The mission trip was local, but we got to sleep at our church!

What did I do on this mission trip?
- I worked on a homeless shelter's farm.
- I weeded at my church.
- I got an area ready to be mulched.  (Not as easy as it sounds.)
- I sung at a nursing home.  (In a group.  I can't sing by myself.)
- I listened to AWESOME and moving sermons.

Doesn't that sound awesome???

The t-shirts were great too!!!

So why did I choose to go? Because I love Jesus.

I was so blessed by this opportunity!  If you ever have the chance to go on a mission trip, GO.

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!
-Alea Harper


Bible Verse Sunday

"And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'" 2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV


Changing My Blog Look

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I am changing the look of my blog!  I think it will be much better than it is at the moment.  :) But if for the rest of the day it looks messed up, it is because I am working on it.  Thanks for understanding!

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!

Does Your Main Character Need a Hobby?

Does your character sit around bored all day because you can't think up anything for him to do?

The answer is simple: Give him a hobby.

"But what hobby do I give him?" you ask.

I never said choosing a hobby was easy.  I should know.  Just a little while ago I realized my MC needed a hobby.  That was not an easy decision.  In the end I decided she would like to ________.  Sorry, no spoilers.  :)

Here is a loose guide to choosing the right hobby.

1. Think about who your character is.  Are they outdoorsy?  Would they like to do art?

2. How will their hobby affect the rest of the story?

3. Think about the time period of the book.  It wouldn't be very logical for a character in medieval fantasy to like to play videogames!  (Unless of coarse it was a book set in medieval times with modern technology.)

4. Choose the hobby!  Here is a list of some hobbies: http://www.notsoboringlife.com/list-of-hobbies/

I have a poll up on my blog about revamping the appearance of my blog.  Faithful followers, it is time to voice your opinions!


On Book Covers

They say not to judge a book by its cover...but I know I do.  So when I set out to make a book cover, I knew I wanted it to look awesome and professional.  Sure, it was just for fun (it almost wasn't just for fun, but that's another story) but I wanted it to be AWESOME.  :)  Here's how I made it...

1. I found an image that I could use without copyright infringement.

2. I edited the image.

                    a. I cropped it.

                    b. I converted it to black and white.

c. I found a website that colors black and white images called colorizephoto.com.   Here is the finished product. (Minus the Sword)

3. I needed the cover of the book to show a girl reaching for the blade of the sword, which corresponds with the main plot of the book.  The image I picked has a girl reaching, but no sword.  So I added one in.

4. I combined the image of the girl and the sword together into one image.  (The picture above.)

5. I took the image over to Pixlr.com and added filters and stuff like that. :D

6. I picked out a font or two over at the epic website www.dafont.com.

7. I went over to Microsoft Publisher and put it all together!

And here is the finished product!

And there it is!  That's how I made my just-for-fun cover for Death Like Sleep, now Part 1 of The Clockshifter!


The Unfortunate Demise of Characters - Writing the Death of a Character

"What?!  Why is Alea writing about death?"  you ask.  "Uh oh.  This means one of her characters is going to die..."

*Smiles innocently*  Today I am going to talk about character deaths.  I know it is a pretty depressing topic, but it seems to happen a lot in books.  *Raises hands in the air* I am just saying...

Every emotional reader has cried over the death of a character.  I know I have numerous times.  (I won't give spoilers, no worries.)  I think this is a good thing.

"You shouldn't have to mourn characters!" you say.

It shows I care about that character.  I care about the book.  That is just what the author wants.  They want us to feel what is happening in the book.

So why do authors kill characters?  (Please note there are propably more than just these few)

1. To make it realistic.

2. To set it apart.

3. To annoy the reader.  (Honestly some authors are heartless and kill the character for absolutely no reason.)

4. It causes a turning point in the main character's life.

5. It makes the story more powerful.

6. The author is sick of writing the series so he/she kills EVERYONE.

Yeah, you get the point.  The good part is, I trust my favorite authors (Jaye L. Knight, Nadine Brandes, and Anne Elisabeth Stengl) with the lives of characters.  They don't kill unnecessarily.  Which brings me to another point for you to know as a writer:


(Yes, that is me as a reader talking.)

What I am saying is it is okay to kill a character, just make sure there is a good reason.  :)

Thank you for listening to my rambling and pleading.  You may carry on with the rest of your lives now.

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!


Interview with Nadine Brandes + "A Time to Speak" Cover Reveal

I have had the honor of doing a live interview with author Nadine Brandes!  She has one book out right now and another book on its way to being out!  Before I show you the interview, here is the cover for A Time to Speak.

Isn't it so pretty?

Without further ado, here is the interview:

Welcome, Nadine!  Thank you so much for agreeing to visit my little corner of the internet!

 It's a very pretty corner, if I do say so myself. I adore elvish forests.

Thank you very much!  So, when did you start writing?

This might sound like a cop-out, but I really think I was born to write. I made my first journal when I was 7 years old and started documenting my life from then on out. I've always thought and processed life in terms of stories. It wasn't until I was a teenager when I decided I wanted to write a full book. Then in college I decided to write seriously and go after publication. Frankly, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to write.

Seems like most authors were born to write.  :)  What has been your greatest resource along your writing journey?

Hmm...I'd have to say my greatest resource -- aside from prayer -- is actually a person. Jeff Gerke is a writer and editor and the former owner of Enclave Publishing (my publishing house!) back when it was Marcher Lord Press. I met him at a writer's conference as a teenager and then attended his classes every time I returned to that conference. He remembered me and always gave me great advice and ended up offering me my first contract. Now that I'm published, I frequently shoot him e-mails asking for advice or just general questions. He's been a fantastic mentor (and I'm not sure he even knows it!) So...what can others take away from this? Probably this piece of advice: go to a writer's conference (even if it's small) and don't be afraid to meet people! Especially the "professionals" because you never know how they'll help you down the road. :)

That's an excellent piece of advice, Nadine!  Do you listen to music while you write?

I do! I put together a new playlist for each book, and even organize the songs according to scenes. I'm one of the weird authors who listens to music with words. I can't do soundtracks because they connect me to strongly to a different movie, so then I start picturing that. I noticed this problem with my first book (not published.) I'd be listening to Lord of the Rings music and suddenly I'd be writing an epic battle scene or wistful traveling when it didn't even fit the story! Ha! So, I learned my lesson. Besides, I get a lot of inspiration from lyrics as well, and -- oddly enough -- they don't distract me.

I usually can't write with words.   Do you find yourself a lot like any of the characters in A Time to Die?
I'm definitely like Parvin. Or, at least, I was. She was built from a lot of questions that I wrestled with as a teenager. And, while there are definitely differences between her and me, she goes through struggles that I did when I was younger and I wanted to capture that because I figured there might be other readers who asked the same questions I did.

I have found that characters in books have parts of their author in them.  :)  What do you do when you aren't writing?

I think every book reflects a bit of its author. :-) When I'm not writing, I'm usually editing. I have my own editing business and there's yet to be a day that felt like work. Other than that, hubby and I like to be adventurers. We travel the world when we can (or just travel around in our small valley) and I read every moment I can! Some other odd things I like to do is hunt for morel mushrooms (in the spring) and huckleberries (in the fall) and we make our own vanilla extract! Occasionally selling it at farmer's markets.

Yum!  I bet it makes good ice cream.  :)  At what age did you become a Christian?

Yes, the ice cream is delicious! (We also make homemade ice cream every summer in July.) I was very blessed to be raised in a Christian home. My dad is now a pastor and my mom either homeschooled us or put us in Christian private schools. But it wasn't until I was 17 that I really understood what it meant to have Jesus as my personal Savior. I didn't really have a deep relationship with Him yet, though I did believe in Him. So at summer camp I re-dedicated my life to Him and it's been a wonderful journey of growth and friendship every since. (Though not without its trials!) *grin*

Homeschool rocks!  :)  This is a little bit of a random question.  Have you ever tried a tutorial from the Internet and had it backfire?

Well, we all know that Pinterest is deceptive. Everything on there looks beautiful, but if you try it yourself....*wince*. One Christmas I saw this gorgeous picture of colored ice balls made by filling water balloons, adding food coloring, and letting it freeze, then taking off the balloon. Sounds simple, right? Uh....NO. They didn't freeze all the way through and the color bled out, staining the porch. Ha! But it was worth a try. Also, all those pictures of stunning hollowed out lightbulbs filled with flowers and things? Have you ever tried to hollow out a lightbulb? It takes forever! I guess to answer your question in short: YES...I've had more backfires than successes, but I still enjoy DIY things. (Like vanilla extract!)

I have had a DIY from Pinterest not work either.  Lol.  I agree, Pinterest is deceptive.  What is your favorite movie snack?

Well, aside from the oil-buttered popcorn that I inhale with jalapenos (seriously...try it with jalapenos), I'm a sucker for over-priced cherry ICEEs (not the over-priced part, but the ICEE part.) The only problem with these is that I have a tiny bladder (too much information?) and can never make it through a full movie if I have an ICEE! Still...I get them anyway. *grin*

Popcorn is the best!  :)  Most authors like either coffee or tea.  Which do you like better? 
TEA! Not just any tea, but genuine British Yorkshire tea (you can order it online) with milk and sugar. I also drink it while having shortbread on special writing days. I used to love coffee and I'm a complete geek when it comes to /making/ coffee (I was a barista for a long time, trained in a cafe in England! Doesn't that sound exotic?) but then I discovered I am lactose intolerant. Unfortunately, they just don't make lactose free Hazelnut creamer. *sigh* I was introduced to "proper" tea when in England...and I've been a goner ever since. I also love chai, which is a tea-based drink.

Wow!  That sounds amazing.  Favorite book and author?
Well, since we're on the topic of things I'm geeky about...I'm a total Harry Potter super-nerd. Those books are what made me want to write fantasy and science fiction. My favorite author is Jill Williamson -- she writes Christian fantasy (and was an Enclave author at one time!) I've yet to read something by her that I didn't like. Oh! Oh! You didn't REALLY think I'd give just one favorite, did you? Marissa Meyer is growing on me as a favorite author. I've read only her first book, Cinder, which is a dystopian fairytale retelling of Cinderella and it's amazing.

I like Jill Williamson too!  And the final question: If you had one year to live, what would you do?

Well, this is the answer that I hope everyone eventually arrives at after asking themselves that question. I'd....do exactly what I'm doing right now. I'd write what I felt God called me to write. I'd spend quality time with hubby and family, doing ministry. Granted, I'd probably add a few things -- like writing letters to family or jotting down my life story but for the most part, I don't ever want to feel like I am doing something I shouldn't be, or spending my time the way I shouldn't be. If I'm pursuing God the way I believe I should be, and I'm obeying Him in the things He calls me to, then I should be content dying in a year without changing too much of how I live. I should be content dying tomorrow, even.

Thank you so much, Nadine for joining me today!  I will be looking forward to the next book in the Out of Time series!

Thank you so much for having me, Alea! It's been a pleasure to be a guest on your blog and to let you (and the awesome readers!) into a bit of my world. :) Book two (A Time to Speak) comes out in the fall! All updates come through my newsletter.

And that's it, folks!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as i did!  Until next time, tally ho!

About Nadine

Nadine Brandes learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen.
In Kindergarten.

Cool, right? She dealt with ink splotches before even knowing how to spell. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life -- like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

Nadine is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination.

When she's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, Nadine is out traveling, finding new music, and pursuing active life.

Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released Fall 2014 from Enclave Publishing.


Want to Read a Book? Here's a List!

Are you out of books to read?  Well, fortunate for you, I have a very very long list.  :D  Just keep reading.  This is in no particular order, except that the top 3 are my favorite.

The Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight
     - Resistance
     - The King's Scrolls
     - (Coming Soon) Half Blood
     - (Coming not soon enough) Samara's Peril
Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes
     - A Time to Die
     - (Coming not soon enough) A Time to Speak
Tales of Goldstone Wood Series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
     - Heartless
     - Veiled Rose
     - Moonblood
     - Starflower
     - Dragonwitch 
     - Shadowhand
     - Golden Daughter
     - Draven's Light
The Makilien Trilogy by Molly Evangeline
     - Truth
     - Courage
     - Trust
The Pirates and Faith Series by Molly Evangeline
     - The Pirate Daughter's Promise
     - Every Tear
     - A Captain's Heart
     - Finding Faith
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (this is my childhood right here)
     - The Mysterious Benedict Society
     - The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
     - The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma
     - The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
The New Recruit by Jill Williamson
The Daystar Voyages by Gilbert Morris
The Seven Sleeper Series by Gilbert Morris
Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen
Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
5 Glass Slippers from Rooglewood Press
The Quest for Truth by Brock Eastman
     - Taken
     - Risk
     - Unleash
Elsie Dinsmore Series by Martha Finley (some are free on Kindle)

That's all I can think of right now, but I am positive there are more!  :)  I hope this helped some!  

I also have a very exciting post to share with you tomorrow so stay tuned!
Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet!


A Whole New World - Creating A Unique Setting

We all know Tolkien was a genius at creating a setting for his books.  This place is known as Middle-earth.  Perhaps you have heard of it?  When it was written, it was unique.  Nothing like it.  Now, we see little copies everywhere with different names.  Are those copies as effective on the reader?

I don't think so.

Now I am going to move to another example of an amazing setting that has no world (or universe, really) like it.  Tales of Goldstone Wood.  This world is still in the fantasy genre, but the setting is oh so very different from Middle-earth.  More just...magical.  If you haven't read those books, read them to see what I am talking about.

So how do your setting be different from Middle-earth (if it's fantasy), or any other setting that has "been done"?

1. Make a consious effort to not use anything that has been done.  Don't try to twist it to make it your own.  Actually make something completely original.  Study up on other books in your genre and know what not to put in your storyworld.  If you write dystopian, read everything you can get your hands on and stay away from the cliches you see.

2. Know the time period your world is based on.  Every world has a little piece of earth in it.  I find it is mostly a time period that has happened in earth's history.

3. Make that time period have a twist.  If you are writing medieval fantasy, why not let them have something from another time period?  If you are writing futuristic dystopian, make them have some kind of older technology that ties them down, maybe they don't have wireless headphones.

4. Add a piece of Earth to the world.  You could make the culture based off of two Earth cultures combined.  You could have a city named after a city on Earth.

5. This one is more of a bonus.  I know that in my writing, I always like to hide a reference to my favorite books in there.  But I always give that reference a twist so that if the author reads it, they don't think I stole something from them.  Hehe.  So if I like you as an author and you are reading this, know there is most likely a reference to you in my books.  :)  What I'm mostly saying here is that if you want to reference something from another book, like a name or something, try to give it a twist.  For instance, if your favorite character's name is Justin and you want to reference him, you could name a character in your book Justice.  See, discreet.  *Grins*  That is not an example from my book.

Tally ho!  Cheery bye!  Until we next meet.  :)


Bible Verse Sunday

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:8-9


On Editing - How to Make it Bearable

I have a confession to make.  I hate editing.  I mean, why can't my writing just be perfect the first time around?  The truth is, it can't.  If you are like me and don't like editing, then here are some tips I have found that have made editing a bit more bearable.

1. Take it one sentence at a time.  I take each sentence and I ponder it.  Does it sound good?  Can I make this word stronger?  How would my POV character say this?  Does this sentence fit?

2. Listen to music.  Music makes almost anything bearable, at least for me.  As long as it is just instrumental.  Soundfuel is an epic website for finding music to write or edit to in almost any genre.  As I write this I am listening to the Celtic Midsummer's Dance playlist.

3. When line editing, try not to dwell on the fact that you are sick of your story's plot.  Believe me.  I understand this.  There are some books I can read over and over and never tire of it.  Not so with my own book.  I know my characters and my story better than anyone.  I know how the hard to pronounce names are pronounced correctly, I know the darkest secrets of my character, and I have pondered over that one plot twist oh so many times.  Again, one sentence at a time.

4. Remember that you are making your story better!  No offense, but first drafts are almost always awful.  They are full of butchered words, improper grammar, adjectives, dialogue tags, and other stuff that makes it not very good.  Editing is what helps!

5. Get excited over that one fantastic line.  There will probably be one line that you change or add while editing that will make you go, "Wow.  That is an awesome sentence."  Get excited over that milestone!

6. Edit with someone.  Editing wars are fantastic!  What is an editing war?  Well, it is like a word war.  You and another person (or people) start editing at the same time for a certain amount of time.  At the end, you compare how much you got done.  It also helps me to be able to tell someone who understands that I just wrote a fantastic line or ask them if something sounds all right.

7. Set goals.  If you're like me and don't like editing, you are most likely putting off editing.  So set goals for yourself like "I will edit every day for 15 minutes for a month."

Do you like editing?  Do you have any tips!  I don't have comments enabled on my blog right now, but fear not!  They are hopefully coming soon!  If you want to share your tips, feel free to do a post on your blog about editing!

While I am on the subject of editing, I will take a quick moment to update you on my book.  First of all, I am not going to self publish it.  I have also decided that the story would work best if I combined the first book (Death Like Sleep) and the second book (The Clockshifter) into one novel.  I have finished the rough draft and have begun the process of editing.  The third book in the supposed-to-be trilogy is no more.  If you want to find out more information on this, you can go to the top of the blog and click the "My Books" tab.  Or you could just click here.  :)


Writing Has Ruined the Way I Watch Movies

Yes, you read the title right.  Writing has completely ruined the way I watch movies...and read books for that matter.  How has it affected the way I watch movies?

1. I marvel over epic plot twists.  Though I get sucked into the story and real life disappears, sometimes I get jerked out of the story by a moment of epicness, such as a brilliantly executed plot twists.

2. I freak out over foreshadowing. Yet again, I get jerked out of the story with a realization like this.  Usually it is a bad thing when that happens to a viewer, but that happens to me all of the time now.

3. I get upset when I find they used an idea from a favorite book of mine.  I actually do.  When I watched the movie Tomorrowland, I got really upset when I thought the plot was changing in a way that made it like one of my favorite books, A Time to Die.  Thankfully, it ended up not being the same.

4. I get extremely upset when the filmmakers "stole" one of my ideas.  This has actually happened to me...sort of.  The trailer basically was the plot of The Clockshifter, my current WIP.  Thankfully when I watched the full movie (how could I not when they potentially took my idea!), it was very different from my novel.  What movie was that?  Well, I wouldn't want to give too much away would I?  :)

5. I go crazy over amazing character development.  I have one movie example: Big Hero 6.  Watch it and you will see what I mean!  The characters are what made the movie.  A+ for Disney!

I used to be able to sit down and be pulled into a movie, not leaving the story until the end.  Now I find that is not the case.  Am I complaining?  Of coarse not!  I am studying the art of storytelling.  Maybe I will write just as good plot twists, forshadowing, and character development as I see in the movies.

I was inspired to write this post by reading Melody's thoughts on Tomorrowland.


"Starflower" Review

About the Book
When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

My Review
This book is possibly better than Moonblood, which has been my favorite book so far in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series.  Starflower, or Imraldera, is awesome.  A couple of things she did brought me to tears.  Like when _____________________________________.  I won't spoil it for you.  And Eanrin is amazing as I mentioned in my review of Moonblood.  Please, please, please read this series!

About the Author

Anne Elisabeth is the award-winning author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a series
 of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style. She is married to the handsome man she met at fencing class and lives with him, a gaggle of cats, and one long-suffering dog in NC.