Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top Book

I managed to read, cover-to-cover, never-read-before, 74 books this year.  I can't give you a top ten.  Sorry.  I really liked more than ten of them.  Closer to 20, you know.  But I do have a all-time favorite for the year.

Maid MarianMaid Marian by Elsa Watson.  Of all the fiction books I've read this year, this one has yet to be surpassed for another.  It's not a romance before you accuse it of being so, and it's not much of a retelling of the Robin Hood story.  But it's an awesome spin-off. 

More than anything, it's a historical fiction--which I love as much as I love fantasy.  Marian is a pawn in Queen Eleanor of Aquitane's game and suspects foul play.  She finds the notorious Robin Hood for help.  He has the resources to find out all of the Queen's plans.

The book has great worldbuilding, characters you just adore, and the history and the cutthroatiness of the time period. 

Politics is a nasty game in any century, apparently.  ;)

Sidenote:  Actually, Maid Marian didn't appear in the Robin Hood legends until, according to Stephen R. Lawhead (you knew he'd be mentioned!) the sixteenth century, and was one of the last characters to be added to the mix.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Brand Names

Yup, I'm a brand snob.  There are certain authors where I HAVE to get their next book even if it kills me.  They're the ones whom I trust to put out another Great Book.  They're the ones that, while they aren't perfect, are Great Ones. we are, my top 5 brand names/clusters:

Poison Study (Study, #1)#5  Maria V. Snyder

Genre:  Secular Speculative

Exposure:  My cousin read one of her books.  I got curious and bought my own copy of her debut novel, Poison Study.  I loved it.

Why She's a Favorite:  She's a totally kick-butt writer.  You love the characters, the plot, the world building, and all the other elements she incorporates.  Her characters can so kick Meyer's characters' butts.

#4 Wayne Thomas Batson/Bryan Davis/Donita K. Paul

Genres:  Collectively Christian YA Fantasy.  Mrs. Paul and Mr. Davis both write other genres, though.

Raising Dragons (Dragons in Our Midst #1)Exposure:  My mom bought me one of Mrs. Paul's books in eighth grade.  I read DragonSpell and loved it.  For Mr. Davis, a friend of mine read the first book, I was curious and read the series myself.  For Mr. Batson, well, he and Mr. Davis, for the most part, share a fan base.  I didn't know anyone else who read his books, but I grabbed a copy of The Door Within and enjoyed it.  He's way beneath my reading level (he writes for middle school kids, and I'm a college student), but I like his work.  But for the record, I've only read two of his books.  I'm still trying to get some of his other ones.

Why They're Favorites:  They can tell a good story.  They're Christian, so I don't feel so much guilt over reading them.  They're humorous.  They're just good, okay?

#3 Victoria Alexander

Genre:  Secular Historical Romance--chiefly

The Wedding Bargain (Effington, #1)Exposure:  My sister and mom are both avid romance readers.  My sister had a bad habit of leaving books opened out on the rocking chair's armrest.  They always fell over to rest under the coffee table, where innocent little me would pick them up out of curiosity.  Well, one of those books was The Wedding Bargain by Victoria Alexander.  (I don't remember if I read this during seventh or eighth grade, but it was one of those two years.)  Hercules and his Labors are mentioned in the front of the book.  Myth-geek that I am, I was interested.  However, my sister wasn't done with it and wouldn't relinquish it.  Instead, she gave me another book by the same author to read.  I liked it.

Why She's A Favorite:  She's funny and her dialogue is totally awesome.  Everything I've learned about dialogue, I've learned from her.  There's always a grand joke in romance books.  She excels at this.  She set my standard for what I would want in husband--added to the fact that he's a Christian man because none of the men in her books are, but anyway...

#2 Deeanne Gist & Cathy Marie Hake

The Measure of a LadyGenre:  Christian Romance--chiefly historical, although they both have a contemporary or two.

Exposure:  For Gist, my sister--big surprise!, and I don't remember exactly when--borrowed the book from my aunt.  I read it too.  Some years later, 11th grade, to be exact, I started on her other books and loved them.  For Hake, I saw the title Fancy Pants and I was interested. 

Why They're Favorites:  Christian romance, as a rule, usually isn't that great.  Love Inspired is a division of Harlequin.  Regular Harlequins, the few I've read, were great and had a great editor.  Love Inspireds are bad for typos and are generally boring, although they get a good one here and there.  I either feel sorry for the characters, or I can't stand them.  Either way, I don't like them.  Christian romance is too censored--not that there's anything to censor--but they beat around the bush too much. 

Fancy Pants (Texas Historical Series, #1)Gist and Hake proved that not all Christian romance stinks.  Mrs. Gist is grittier than most, and that's a large part of the reason I like her books so much.  Also, she respects history.  She'll tell you when she changes something in history and what it was.  She researches the period and customs widely.  Mrs. Hake is the same when it comes to history.  She's humorous and, while not as gritty as Mrs. Gist, she's good enough.  She can pick a title and, like Victoria Alexander, she's good for her dialogue and the grand romance jokes.  But I'll have to explain the "grand romance joke" in some other post.

#1 Favorite Author Of All Time - Stephen R. Lawhead

In the Hall of the Dragon King (Dragon King Trilogy)Genre:  Science Fiction, Fantasy, Conspiratorial, Thriller, Mythic History, etc

Exposure:  I caught the fantasy bug in seventh grade.  Later, in eighth, my mom bought me a copy of In the Hall of the Dragon King.  I loved it, and proceeded to finish that series and another of his before I finished eighth grade.

Byzantium (Harper Fiction)Why He's The Favorite:  Since that first book, and all the books throughout, although I didn't appreciate it then, the man knows how to end his books.  Even if there was another book in the series, he ended it so well, you just had to love it as a standalone.  However, in ninth grade, I read Byzantium, an actual standaloneIt's over 800 pages.  That was the book where, if I didn't like how it ended, I would have lost all respect for the man.  I would have gotten rid of all of my books by him...everything.

But when I reached the!  It was an awesome book.  I already loved his books, but that one was the determining factor.


Okay, I know a few posts ago, I talked about my favorite book, Nectar from a Stone by Jane Guill.  That's the only book she's written, so I can't actually call her a brand name.  I didn't forget and I haven't changed my mind or anything.  This is for the authors, not the books.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pre-Year End Thoughts

I can't believe 2010 just flew by like it did.  I have 2 more days left, so I won't say a number of the books I've read for 2010.  I gotta try squeezing in more.

My writing progress...well...I wrote.  I really don't know if I did good or bad.  I only did one book draft, and I'm still nitpicking at it.  BUT, I did a lot of VPs, poetry, and short stories.  I told you I was nicheless, and I'm glad I'm living up to that.  I submitted something for publication.  Now, I'm sitting on my hands waiting for a reply.

I doubt I've lost weight--if anything, I've gained. 

I started out the year reading my Bible everyday, but not so much now.  I've realized, though, that I do better reading something else, and then going back and checking my Bible.  You know how Christian nonfiction has verses in it?  Yup, that's where I learn 'em.
So, I think on my New Year's Resolutions for this year, I'll do my to-do list or something similar.

Even if I don't feel like it or don't know what to do, my daily activities SHOULD, although they won't be, reading, writing, and reading my Bible, and yes, reading my Bible does count for reading for that day.  Reading is reading.

I have an isssue with reading my Bible.  Everytime I read a little, I want to write about it.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's distracting when I'm trying to read more.

Reading normally, well, I don't have problems with reading everyday.  My problem with that is, well, I start reading certain books and never finish them.  Others, I read in a night ot two.  I need to finish reading several books that I've bad bookmarks in, literally, for years.  I still have some from this year that I started and never finished, but I doubt I'll finish them all before 11:59, December 31, 2010.  And then the log starts over!

Writing, well....  I'll try.  Lately, if I haven't felt like writing, I haven't.  I contemplated rewriting the first fifteen pages of Black Sight, but I don't want to.  I'm going to fix the documents in the computer and go from there.
So, here we are.  How this year, sort of went, to how I want next year to be.

Oh yeah, some benchmarks for 2010:
Senior Trip
I read my first Stephen King books this year
Something made it into the mail for publication
I started college
I started Long Ridge

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bah Humbug!

Okay, I'm gonna sound like a Scrooge, but I'm glad Christmas is over. 

(a)  I'm no good at buying gifts--please, just tell me what you want, and I'll get it.  Please, please, give me a list.  I'll go by that list, I swear. 

(b)  I'm broke.  Nine times out of ten, a gift from me will be paid for by somebody else.

(c)  WalMart and all the other stores are PACKED.

Anyway...  I walked away with some great stuff.  Stuff I needed, stuff I wanted, and stuff I didn't want, but appreciate. ;)

Vin loved my gift to him--which really excites me.  My godkids haven't opened their gifts yet from me yet.  I got them each a book, so I'm not entirely sure they'll like them.  But they can't say Nanny didn't get them anything.  Nanny got what she could afford to get them. Well, them and Vin, but I had a lot more money when I bought Vin's gift, and I had their birthday to worry about too.

The craziness is OVER.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Epic Worth

Okay, most of you guys know I read The Ragamuffin Gospel.  Well, about a month after I finished it, I gave it to a friend of my mom's and she read it.

Well, their Sunday school group just finished one book and they needed a new one.  Guess which one she chose?  Yup.

The Ragamuffin Gospel.

It's an awesome book.  It's powerful and will make you think.  The books for the others were passed out today.  The study starts the first Sunday after the New Year.

Also, I finished reading Patched Together, another book by Brennan Manning.  It's a parable/novella type thing.

The prose isn't dazzling, but the story is awesome.  I recommend both books.

Good day and God bless.

Finally Finals!

So the suspense doesn't kill you.  I had a 3.4 for this semester.

College Algebra:  C
General Psychology:  B
World Civ I:  A
English Comp I:  A
Art Appreciation:  A

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Final Exams

Okay, I've been done with exams since about 10:30 this morning.  However, none of my grades except my English Composition I have been posted.

I am a little nervous about my General Psychology and Algebra exams.

General Psychology?  Didn't I love that class?  I did.  But my brain froze on that test.  I had studied the things we missed in class the day before and that was it.  Plain and simple.

World Civ?  No problem.  There were only 2 questions that I was unsure of.  One of them I guessed with the answer I thought was right.  The other...well...we went over it in class.  It was in the study guide.  That word just wouldn't come.

English Composition I?  I made a 94, but since he curved the grade, I got a 99.  AWESOME.

Art Appreciation?   I should have made a 100.  I don't know, but I'm certain I did good.

College Algebra?  Well, I think I did well.  But you never know...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finals Week

I take my Algebra, General Psychology, and Art Appreciation finals today.  I'm so excited.  I survived my first semester of college.

I never ever ever ever have to take another math course ever again!  But I will say, I had a good teacher and I am actually leaving that class understanding and able to do most Algebra problems.  I learned.

I'm gonna miss General Pscyhology though.  I had the Instructor of the Year for MGCCC for the teacher.  Psychology is a BIG subject.  I want to take a General Psychology II class or something like that.

Art Appreciation...well...I like the class, and the teacher's awesome.  It was my first night class ever.  And it will probably be my only one.  For now, I'm sticking to all back-to-back classes.  Since I don't drive, it's better not to be waiting for a ride after just one class.

Okay, here goes.  Wish me luck!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Edit Throughs, Read Throughs, Write Throughs

So, I write a book.  I print out my book.  I take a pencil to it and mark the stuff I don't like.  I take the notes I made in the printed copy to the digital copy on my computer.  And once this process is over, it repeats from the printing step.

Okay, so I've done this for the second time now.  Combing through the story with a pencil (I HATE pens--they're so permanent) and make notes about what should be changed.

I decided to add a new exchange (something I could just insert into a scene after a certain occurrence), and a new scene entirely.  I've accomplished the former.  This new scene, while I know what I want it to accomplish, is difficult writing.  I've started some drafts on it, but it's not coming.

Okay, I've been hard at work editing Black Sight.  While I've taken out bits and rewritten them, I haven't written anything new, reallyEven the other novel on the back burner is a re-write from NaNoWriMo two years ago.  I just can't seem to wrap my head around the story.  I like the characters, and my idea for a plot is okay, but the actual writing...

Can we say, "Start over for the seemingly hundredth time?"

I think it's time to curl up with a book.  Goodnight and God bless.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Drops of Sunshine

"Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."
Proverbs 16:24

People always say to throw someone a smile or a kind word.  If you've ever been thrown a smile or a kind word, you understand better than anyone why it's so important.  That rush of warmth to your soul--even if it just lasts a moment--is one of the best feelings in the world.  Someone took the time to be positive.

I've had some experiences like that.  I just heard a bunch of positive things.

Speaking as someone who's really good at being negative and cynical, I appreciate the positive things.  It reminds me that there is still beauty in the world--people can still be as pretty as one of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Yesterday and today especially.  Everyone just seemed to be in a good mood.

I follow Natalie Whipple's blog.  Her posts about writing are great.  Really great.  Even if it wasn't today, it's still wonderful.  It's a natural part of life that has affected every girl whether they write or not:  crushes.

The Writing.Com newsletter came in today.  The author exchanged some of the words for "Winter Wonderland" and made it "Writer Wonderland."  It's incredibly cute.

Perhaps it's the spirit of the season.  Enjoy it.  Come the day after Christmas, well, the good moods are going to be depleted.

Monday, December 6, 2010


"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter."
— James Michener
'Excellent' is too nice a term.  But I certainly like rewriting, exchanging one scene for another, and editing more than the first draft writing, as odd as that sounds.

The last time I had a first draft for a novel was last year's NaNoWriMo, a little over a year ago.  I've written a few new short stories and poems in the past year, though.

With Black Sight, the whole thing was a rewrite.  I've been working on this story with multiple drafts/titles for five years.  This latest draft is the longest I've ever spent editing and refining it.  All the rest, I just started over from the beginning.

I've said before that I'm a short writer.  I'll try to tell the story in as few words as possible.  I did just that for Black Sight.  During the edits, I've found entire scenes that were all tell.  I'd circle it and put, "All telling, no show" in the margin.  Good way to turn a few paragraphs to a few pages.

In my edits, I'm not so much as taking out as adding in.  Sure, some stuff does get taken out and I replace it with something else, but it's mostly adding stuff in.  Things I forget to mention, mostly. 

I'm terrified of having deus ex machinas in my storiesI think I'd rather be predictable by showing the character has a sword and the reader make the prediction that a fight is going to happen, rather than the hero randomly getting into a fight and the sword come from nowhere.

Especially with a character like Naren.  He carries all sorts of odds and ends.  I had to make sure he packed everything before he left home.  (I sound like a mother, don't I?)  Naturally, this was done in the edits and not in the original draft.  (Not a very good one since that it was in a do-over.)

I've got a new theory for my editing process.  One read-through, I'm just going to worry about the plots and plot devices.  I have to make sure the problem is defined early and make sure the story ends once it's resolved.  The next, I'm going to worry about my characters.  Does that mannerism fit that character or should another character have that mannerism?  That'll include dialogue and what they look like, etc.  Finally, I'll do another read-through for world-building, setting, other little elements.

Okay, notice there wasn't a read-through for the grammar or anything like that.  Grammar will be checked in every read-through.

Will it work?  I doubt it.  But it's something I would do.  I'm an expert at thinking up things that'll never work.

Good day and God bless.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Faithfully Funny: Never Knew an Irony So Sweet

In my Christian crawl (because it's not a walk), I've had some foreheard slap moments, some moments when I wanted to stand up and walk in the other direction...

And then I've had some moments where I thought, "You're having fun up there, aren't You?"

Today was one of those days.

I don't write my prayers down anymore, so my memory is sketchy, but last night I prayed that, even if I didn't want to go to church, give my mom the drive to take us, or something like that.

I didn't want to go. I mean, I really didn't want to go. But since it was the 'right' thing to pray, I figured it wouldn't be so bad. When you find the verse about praying for something you know you need and should want, but don't want it, please tell me.

Anyway, this morning, my mom came into my room, and said, "Get up. If I can take y'all to the store later, I can take y'all to church now."

"Are you serious?" was my first thought. Of all the ones He could've chosen to answer, He picked that one?

I had to do a spiritual gifts test in my senior year. My highest was faith. I thought, well, if I want to be a writer, it makes sense. But looking at myself, I wonder how in the world I managed that. If God's favorite thing to say is, "I love you," then His second favorite for me must be, "Well, I'll show you, disbeliever!" Not in so many words, but you get my point.
He answered my prayer, didn't He? After I got over the shock, I admit that I laughed.

I've had other moments like this before. Several years ago, I remember praying that I was one of His stupidest sheep. Stupid sheep, stupid sheep.

At church the next morning, the pastor was doing a sermon on sheep. The first thing you need to learn about sheep, the pastor says, is that they're stupid.

I didn't feel so bad after hearing that. It was another moment of shock, and then laughing quietly to myself. I would've looked weird if I started bursted out laughing in the middle of the pastor's sermon.

And then was this other time (I promise this is the last one), when I said "crap" in front of my little brother and he repeated me. My mom was like, "I blame you, Jadi."
Next morning. Guess what the sermon was on.

Yup, you guessed it: watching what you say. We told the pastor after church, he said, See? God has a sense of humor.

Don't I know it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

That Familiar Nectar

I'll agree that the cover's not that much to look at.  But don't judge a book by it's cover--unless it's really old and has a pretty cover.

It's my favorite book that's not by my favorite author, if that makes sense.  I've read it five times (or the tally marks I made in the back tell me), and I started on it again last night.  I wanted something familiar and dear.  So I grabbed it off the shelf and started reading.

I found this book when I was in 10th grade, in the Limited Quantities cart in Barnes and Noble.  I don't remember if I saw the binding or the cover first, but it was the title that caught me.  Nectar from a Stone.

What could this be about?  So, I flipped it over on the back and read the synopsis.

Stephen R. Lawhead is my favorite author and that will probably never change.  His latest series at the time took place in Wales during the Middle Ages, in the 1090s.  This book is a few centuries later, in 1351.  So, it was a familiar setting.  I was interested.

I kept reading the back cover and after reading the first bits of it, I bought it, but I didn't read it right away.  I was working on several other books.  I even put it on my unread shelf--books stay there for months, even years before I even remember that I have them.

But not this one.  I thought about it a lot, impatient to read it.  Eventually, I took it off and re-read the back cover again.  I hadn't noticed before that, while it wasn't a romance, per se, there was a little romance in the story.

**Caution:  Adult Content**

The story opens up with Elise's husband raping her.  It's not explicit, but the reader knows what's going on.  He doesn't like the fact she has visions, doesn't like her gray eyes, and beats/rapes her regularly.  On this particular night when the story opens, he tries to kill her.

Before he can manage this, however, Elise gets a shard of broken glass and stabs him twice:  once in the groin, and once in the neck.  She doesn't kill him, but he's so close to it.  Elise is tempted to finish him off, but can't bring herself to do it.

Their house's only other inhabitant, Annora, comes into the room.  Elise feels guilty.  Surely as all Maelgwyn's sins damn him, she's convinced, murdering him will condemn her.  She actually wants to nurse him back to health or fetch a priest for last rites.

Annora won't have that.  She takes the sheet off the bed, strips Maelgwyn, and wraps him in the sheet.  Reluctant, Elise helps Annora carry the body of the almost-but-not-quite dead man to the river and put him in.  After, they pack up and leave.  They can't and won't stay.

Here, the story goes a little back into a few months before, to Paris, France.  Gwydion ap Gruffydd, a half-Welsh, half-Englishman, is in prison.  The book tells why, but I'm not explaining all of that, but consider the fact that this book takes place during the Hundred Years' War.  Gwydion's ransomed for a high price, and after plenty of mistreatment, he goes home, where his portion of the story eventually meets with Elise's.

It's not at all light reading, especially the first few chapters, which are explained in a nutshell above, but it's definitely WORTH the read.  It has a happy ending.  Really, with the dire beginning, there's no way to go but up, with a bunch of twists and turns and hills and valleys and murders along the way.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just Some Thoughts...

Yep, that's the old title of the blog.  But that's okay.  I have some thoughts that need airing.

I love writing, my characters, my writing friends, and this draft of Black Sight.  There is absolutely nothing I want more than to just write and write and write until I can't write anymore.

I still want to do my Long Ridge.  I'm not going to stop writing.  If I did, I'd probably be the worst you-know-what that's ever walked the planet. 

But I'm having second thoughts as far as persuing writing as a full-time career.  Yes, I still want to see Black Sight on a Barnes and Noble shelf, but that's a dream.  It's not really a goal.

Sadly, I need a way to pay the bills.  Writing seldom does this alone, if ever. 

I'm almost done with my first semester in college.  While I haven't learned anything that would eclipse my writing dream, my natural curiosity for anything and everything interesting has been fed.  I've been exposed to a World Civilization class--not unlike what I took in high school--and I love it!  I don't care that the instructor takes up the WHOLE time.  I love it.  Just like General Psychology.  I love that class.  My mom told me by the time Mrs. Mac was done, I'd want to major in Psychology.

Don't tell my mom this, but she is kind of right.  I so want to take more courses in Psychology, but I don't want to spend that much time in school.  My parents can only guarantee that I get an Associate's degree, nothing more.  Not saying that they won't pay, but they're not sure they can.  I need something I can do with a two year degree indefinitely.

Long Ridge is writing training and is supposed to help prepare me for publication and how to write for a select market.  It's freelance, though.  The short stuff, the magazine-and-newspaper-stuff.  Well, the market for short fantasy is nearly nonexistent, although the market for science fiction is booming.

I read different genres, thus I do the same with writing.  Or I'll at least try.  I love historical, but I can't quite bring myself to write it.  I tried once and it was awkward.  But I can do contemporary well enough.  So far, that was my favorite story that I've sent in to my Long Ridge instructor.  My current writing goals, other than editing Black Sight, is to perhaps break into the freelance market.  I haven't given up my seemingly unattainable dream of being a novelist, even if I'm only kidding myself.  It may be just a dream, but it's one I've had for years.  But my actual goal is to do the freelance.  It's writing.

Okay, recap.  Some things I've decided upon:
  1. I need a real job, one that'll support me--and, more importantly, my book habit.
  2. I'm going to focus on the freelance and just keep the novels as my own little pleasure writing.  The uncorrupt stuff.  Maybe once I've gotten some publication credits, I'll try to get Black Sight published.
Okay, so there's my thoughts.  No, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet.  I'm still here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm a car accident veteran/survivor.

May 9, 2008, my best buddy and I were on our way home from SHE-Event (A Rebecca St. James concert-type thing) when Amanda swerved.  We were going all over the road and finally, we jerk to a stop.

Yes, I thought.  Now we can get out of here and go home.

Bam!  The airbag deploys and my glasses break.

Oh crap, we wrecked.  Then I see the pole in front of us.

November 20, 2008, two years ago today, Amanda and I were on our way to school.  It was Thursday, and I was wearing my chapel uniform.  I hated chapel, which is why I remember it, probably.

Amanda swerves off the road and slams on the breaks.  We flip multiple times. 

We're gonna die!  We're gonna die!  I don't remember, however, if it was me screaming or her.  Somewhere at the back of my mind registered that it was kind of fun.  If I didn't think I was about to die, anyway.

The car stopped between two poles.  How we missed is a miracle.

It's kind of funny though.  Statistics show that you're more likely to get into a car accident if you're listening to country.  We were listening to Taylor Swift's Fearless album.  It had just come out.

People stress the importance of seatbelts.  If we hadn't been wearing ours, we probably wouldn't have survived.

At least my air bag deployed and was already deflated by the time we stopped rolling.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm not taking part of NaNoWriMo this year, as most of you know.  Truth is, I'm not doing much of anything this month that has anything to do with reading and writing. 

I'm still doing both, but I'm not making myself.  I'm doing it because I want to and not because I have to.  I've read 60 books cover-to-cover this year and reread 9 cover-to-cover.  Actually, I've done 10 rereads, but I'd read it for the first time this year and then re-read it a month or three later.  I marked when I read it, not when I re-read it.  I'll post a full list of all the books I've read this year and my ratings.  My favorites and the ones I didn't care for so much.

Instead of reading and writing, I've been worrying about other things:  what I eat, what I wear, and how my hair looks.  I'm in college and I think it's time I started caring about those things. 

The CMA's are tonight.  I'm so excited!  :D

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Printers and Patience

I finished another read-through of Black Sight today.  It's a total of 203 pages and I spread it out over my half-cartridge left of ink in my printer, and my new cartridge.  The cartridges I have print approximately 200 pages.  I got 136 off my old cartridge and got what was left on the new one.  There is a huge pile of paper sitting on my bed.

I'm handing this copy over to my mother with a red pen.

Now, I'm going to read someone else's published work and will call it a night.  My godkid's harping for the computer to play JumpStart or Hoyle or something.

Good night and God bless.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 1

I'm pleased to report I survived November 1 without striking blindly into creating a new novel that has had no planning.  (Not that I ever follow the plans that I do make.)  Instead, I've been hard at work editing Black Sight.  It's only 48,000-something words, close to 49,000.

I took a pen to the printed copy my mother and sister read.  While going chapter-by-chapter, I realized that I left out two chapters in the printed copy.  Oops.  So those two haven't been edited yet.  I had wondered where certain scenes were while I was going through it and editing, but thought perhaps I decided to take it out and I just didn't remember.  Wrong.

During my pen edit, I jotted notes like, "Don't forget to make sure you change this name, and make sure you do it in every chapter." and "Add explanation for this SOMEWHERE in the book."  Those are not word for word, but that's what they say in essence.  My real notes don't make sense.

There are other scenes that I just bracketed and wrote, "Rewrite" in the margins.

I complained to my mother yesterday (or maybe the day before) that I needed to learn how to drive and I needed to get a job.  I only go to classes twice a week (college student with a driving hang-up, who knew?) and that I needed something to do for the rest of the week.

My mother just told me to worry about my book and try getting it published and bring in some money that way.

Er, no.  It's okay to dream of making a million dollars for a great book, but that almost never happens.  And it probably won't happen to me.  I read Stephen King's On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft recently.  I knew this already, but in there, he says that if you're in it for the money, don't do it.  I mention this because SK is an authority on it and people respect something when they know an authority endorses it rather than just some random article.  So I'm not the first nor will I be the last to agree with it.

I have to be in General Psychology soon.  Have a good one, and God bless.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fluff the Ego, Please

Since I was emotionally high yesterday, I don't know if this is all in order, but this is all what happened.

I asked my sister if she liked the ending to Black Sight yesterday.  She and my mom both said they loved it.  It made sense and there is satisfaction involved in the ending, even if all of the options are less than ideal.

These were the same people that said trying to be a writer was a bad idea.  The same ones who told me I didn't have a future with it.   It felt, at times, that they were the least supportive people in the whole wide world when it came to this writing thing.

"You'll never make it."

"There's no money in it."  <-- That is true, but it shouldn't stop anyone.  There's no money in teaching anymore either, but teachers are some of the most revered people.
Oh, the gratification that they're the ones saying that it is good!  Now, I know they're family and they're supposed to say it, but remember my sister is the one that said it was stupid at first.

One of them, either my mom or my sister, asked me how I was going to support myself.  My sister said something like, "You can't do it by writing."  But then, "Well, actually, you could."

Oh, the satisfaction!  When people who have said one thing for years change their mind to the way you want it to change, there is not a better feeling.

Ha ha ha.  My ego has been fed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Books that Suck (You In) and Those That Don't

Any book-lover knows what I'm talking about when I say a book just sucks you in and you can't get out to save your life.  You hate putting it down.

My writing is seriously linked with my reading--which it should be.  But I don't know if it's supposed to go this far.  If I'm reading a really junky novel or sometimes a really good novel, I can't write.  They deplete my literary juices.  The bad one just makes me hate the words and the good one just keeps calling me back and I don't want to concentrate on what I'm writing.

Sometimes though, if I'm reading a really good novel, it does make me want to write and I don't want to read it.  My middle ground is finding some small paperback that is interesting, but not too interesting.  Then I can write for a little while, then read, then write...

I borrowed 'Salem's Lot from the Jefferson Davis campus library.  Perk had it brought in for me.  I don't feel like writing, and I haven't.

Happy Friday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

No NaNo This November.


Okay, that's out of my system.  I've done NaNoWriMo every year in high school.  Last year was my only successful year.  You could say I'm retiring a winner, but I really don't wanna skip it.

I'm a college student, give me some slack.  I have Long Ridge to worry about.  And that writing will count in the end.  It's not exactly for a grade, but I have to turn it in and my instructor tells me what I did wrong, and how to improve it.

Well, I'm taking on a new project, but writing isn't central to the project.  Don't worry, I'm not taking a hiatus from writing.  I wouldn't be able to function correctly if I did. 

Still, I'm already hating the idea of missing NaNoWriMo.  But it's okay.  It's not like I had any new ideas anyway.  Except the new project.  But I wouldn't change the project to fiction.  Maybe next year, if this year goes well.

Good day, and God Bless.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bad Reviews, Bad Names, and Bad Writing

Most of you know I finished Black Sight last week--or week before last?  Anyway, my mother read it.  She loved it, but had trouble with the names and their pronunciations.

Sigh...  Most of those names can be found in a baby name book.  The rest were from a name generator.

My sister's reading it right now.  She first told me it was stupid, and then she told me the first few pages weren't very interesting (my mom agreed) and that it was just okay.

I said I wasn't going to rewrite it, but I think I will.  There's a bunch of stuff I left out and a bunch of stuff that needs taking out.

Here's to rewriting.

Good night and God bless.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

If You Made It Revisited

Since Halloween is swiftly approaching, (a holiday I have never been allowed to participate in any way, shape, or form) I've been thinking of some sort of piece I could do.  Something creepy and stuff.

Well, in August of last year, I wrote, "If You Made It..."  It's a Vent Piece with the tagline line , "Dr. Frankenstein was bad at being God." 

Like any piece I've written that has anything do with God, a lot of people liked it.  I was kind of surprised though when it came to this one.  Surely comparing God to someone as awful as Dr. Frankenstein would be bad.

I'm looking it over now, a year older, but not much wiser.  I'm revising it, just a little, mind.

What's really funny is that the seed for this VP come from Van Helsing. 

Something Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein were talking about stuck with me.  Unfortunately, I don't have said quote burned in my memory, nor did anyone put it in the IMDB for me to copy-paste.

Anyway, what Dracula said to Dr. Frankenstein, as I said, stuck with me.  The idea germinated.  After turning this idea in my head millions of times, I had something.  Although, instead of focusing on the movie Van Helsing, I went back to the stereotypical idea of the Frankenstein story.

And here it is:

If You Made It...
August 25, 2009 (Revised October 16, 2010)
J. C. Verdin

Dr. Frankenstein was bad at being God.

The difference between God and Dr. Frankenstein: God actually loves what he created. Dr. Frankenstein hated his monster. He was afraid of it.

And people can be worse than that monster. At least the monster didn't know better. We do. But God will never stop loving us no matter what.

At least Dr. Frankenstein disappeared. God still shows Himself. Seriously, how many of you can go to an aquarium and think, "Hey, me and that fish have a common ancestor!" Come on, now. Have you seen some of the things they pull out of the sea? How okay are you with believing you are related to a crawfish?

As the creation (not the mutation) shouldn't we love the One who created us? If not love Him, can we respect Him? Reverence Him? Hey, this God didn't have to make us, but He did. The Monster had it figured it out.

The doctor couldn't control his creation and it led to his doom. Thousands of years after Creation, after the Fall, after the Crucifixion, God is still in control, even if it seems like there are more and more atheists, even if socialism takes over America, even if a thousand people are murdered. God allows it to happen.

Why? It's not just about one person. It's about everyone. That $20 you lost may pay someone else's phone bill. That person was killed in a car accident and other people got saved.

I don't know where it is in the Bible and I don't know the exact quote, but no matter how many bad things happen, God will use it for good. I know it's there, I saw the verse on VeggieTales (oh no, not them again!). It was the episode about Joseph. (I think it may have been Romans 8:28.)

Could the doctor handle the big picture? No, he could not. Just as the one creature he created got out of hand. God gave us free will, but He's still the Big Man Upstairs. Good night and God bless.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lunch, Personal Ads, and a Car Wash

Lacey and I usually leave campus for lunch.  Today, we really didn't know what to do.  Brilliant, Writer BFF suggests we go to the car wash.

For college students, we are kind of lame.  We laugh at mostly clean jokes and aren't wild or crazy on Saturday nights.  But that's okay.  We're responsible, matu--well, really responsible, good Christian gals.

Well, on the way to the car wash, Lacey mentioned she had responded to a personal ad and that she was meeting him today.

So, agonizingly lonely person that I can be, I started considering, jokingly, what I would ever put in a personal ad if I was ever brave enough or pathetic enough to put one in the paper.

"Lonely writer seeks companion."

 Not telling at all.  Then I added, "Height:  5'3.  Weight:  *hesitating* More to love."

Lacey added on, "Preferably male."

I laughed.  That too.

So, "Lonely writer seeks companion.  Preferably male.  Height is 5'3.  Brown hair and eyes.  Blind."

When I said 'blind,' my first thought was, "Oh man, someone's gonna take that seriously and think I really can't see."  I am blind, but I wear corrective lenses.  It sucks and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy--on second thought, maybe I would.

Lace and I had a lot of fun today.  After the car wash, we went to WalMart and Fred's.

Yeah, college girls gone wild.  LOL.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I haven't been spending that much time on Writing.Com lately.  Tonight, I spent some time reviewing people.  I'm hoping to get some reviews in return and I have, but...

I deleted a bunch of stuff in my portfolio.  Since I haven't been on as much, and I'm wanting to publish, I won't need as much space in my portfolio.  When it's time to renew (or even befrore, if I can), I'll switch to the cheaper membership.  It only holds 50 items.  I managed to get it to 40-something.  I took out a bunch of folders.  They made the second-largest (probably) percentage of items in my port.   So, My Vent Piece folder, while I left a bunch of them there, there's plenty missing and they're not divided my VP set anymore.

Change is good sometimes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The End

I finished Black Sight this morning.  Sort of.  There's a beginning, middle, and an end.  It needs an edit.  Badly.  It's nowhere near as long as I would have wanted it, there are parts I forgot to add.  But I'm waiting to do that.  I'm not going to look at it for a while and work on some other writing project.  I'm not re-writing Black Sight.  On that, I am adamant.  I'm tired of this story.  I love my characters, make no mistake, but I'm done.  Done.  Done.  Done.  At least for a little while.

My mother never read that story I printed out the first time or second time, or whatever.

I got another story I've been itching to work on, so I'll move onto that.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Double Epic Fail!

Yeah, you know how I was supposed to get 35,000 words for Black Sight.  Well, I looked at my planner today, the day after my deadline, and saw I had two goals.  One for Black Sight and another for the romantic comedy.

Okay, I've been stretching myself too far.  I have essays to write for English Composition for college, I have short stories or articles to write for my Long Ridge.  Then there's downtime pleasure writing.

Time to start making realistic goals, I guess. Or none at all for now.  I can't make my deadlines right now.

For the record though, I'm only a day late.  Yup, I got 35,000 words into my pen drive.  It's not all on the Black Sight Word document, but it's there.  As far as the romantic comedy goes, well, I haven't touched it in weeks.  I don't even have names for all the characters.  No worries, my main characters are named.  There's the first chapter on my  Since I have this insane dream to get Black Sight published, that one's not published.

So, you're up-to-date on my writing life.  Writer-Overload.  Red alert.  Red alert.

 The Romantic Comedy.   <--In case you're interested.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I made a personal goal to have 35,000 words by the end of this month.  I have a lot written out in my composition book.  Four 1,000-word drafts, and a little more.  They're part of a different part of the story that I wanted to add to this first half of the book.  Once I have this first part figured out, I'll work on the second part.

Since what's written in the composition book is a rough draft, it's not too far-fetched of me to think that I've only a few hundred words from reaching my goal.  Usually, what gets added to the computer is longer than what's in the rough draft.

Not last night, but the three nights before then, I spent the time right before bedtime writing.  I would try to do 1,000 words in a day.  Usually, I wrote a paragraph or two during the day, but the majority of the draft would be written that night.

Last night, well, I had school this morning and I was too tired.  I finished my 1,000 words earlier today.  I started on another draft, but I was in too bad a mood to continue writing.  I wrote all right.  Not for my story, though.  I made a vent fest.  That's enough writing for one night.

I'm going to have to add everything to the Word Document.  I'm typing it out and then adding it in, but anyway...

I'm going to be busy tomorrow.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Writer's Bible Verse and The Where-To-Turn Section

Okay, the Writer's Bible Verse isn't in every Bible.  One translation out of the billions and billions of translations has it worded like this:

Proverbs 15:31 (NLT) If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.

I have two quote books.  This was in one of them under "Criticism."  The words "constructive criticism" stick out at you, don't they?  I saw this the first time just thought about how applicable it was.

Of course, the verse means every part of your life, but since I consider myself a writer, well, yeah.  You get where I'm going with this.

I have this little crimson, Celtic-Cross decorated, Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).  In 11th & 12th grade, I was teased because some kid thought it looked like a Quran.  It's a Holy, well-used, red-letter edition Bible.

*Not a picture of my Bible, picture courtesy of  But that's the one I have.

I've had it for several years and the Where to Turn Section knocks me out.  Not only is it do I put this, in what sounds like a Everything Guide book.  I'm serious.  The word choice is that informal and that hip with the lingo.  Seriously.  Well, I guess if the Bible speaks to you, it's going to speak to you in your own language.

There's one Where-To-Turn that really knocked me out the first time I saw it.

"When you are bored...Psalm 103...726"

I'm serious.  That's really there.  If you look up Psalm 103, it's a praise and count-your-blessings psalm.  Of course I looked it up.  I had to know what they recommended for when you were bored.

Another of my favorites was:

"When you need to get your head on right...Philippians 4:8...1430"

My brain processed it saying, "When you need a good kick in the pants."  I can't figure out a good, formal, gobbeldygook for it, though.  Okay, it's not funny like "When you're bored" but the word choice just didn't...I don't know.  It wound up being one of my favorite verses though. 

"When you are tempted to look out only for #1...Luke12:13-21...1262" 

There are plenty of overbearing, "you're a dirty selfish sinner" mean ways to put that.  The verses is the story of the man who stored all his riches on earth and he died that night. 

Nothing can convince me God doesn't have a sense of humor, which is a whole nother blogpost.  It's a pleasant thought thinking that the people who set these Bibles up must have one too and can put it in how we speak nowadays.  I wondered if they thought/knew people would get a kick out of their word choice.

Good night, and God're going to go check those verses, aren't you?  Or going see what you're Where-To-Turn section, if your Bible has one, has in it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reasons We Write...And Why We Don't

Monday, I think, I printed out 111 pages of my unfinished novel.  I had reached what I hoped was a good stopping point.  My mother just so happened to find out.  She wants to read my story.

I have just a  little issue with that.

May 21, 2008, the Short Stories Newsletter from Writing.Com states the second top reason writers don't write: 

2. But what if my Mom reads my work?  I write Erotica. There, I've said it out loud. I'd probably shrivel up and die if my Mom ever read my Erotic tale, which is why I had it published under a pen name. You can't worry about someone else's opinions of the kind of writing you do, or you'll never start writing.

For the record, I don't write Erotica, never even tried.  I write fantasy, and my mother is not overly fond of that genre.  She and my sister primarily read romances.  I love romance too, even have a romantic comedy in progress because I love watching those and reading them is just as fun, but my favorite genre remains fantasy.  It's what got me reading after all.

So, when she told me she wanted to read it...well...The "bad idea" siren went off in my head.  Luckily for both my mom and myself, I've come to terms with the fact that she'll be reading it over the weekend.  I told my mom she could see it after I'd taken the red pen to it.  I'm hoping the red marks don't confuse her too much...There's so many...

Now for my "Why" Lists:
Why I Write:
1-Because if I don't, I'm a mean you-know-what.  (Ask anyone who was around me when I took that hiatus in tenth grade.)
2-These characters are giving me a story to tell.  (Why I began writing in the first place.)
3-I want to share a new spiritual idea and hopefully get some feedback and opinions.
4-Something funny happened and maybe it'll make other people laugh too.
5-If it's my diary, I just need a vent fest.

Why I Don't Write:
1-I've written an entire blogpost.  But when it came time to actually post it, I just clicked out of it.  It was too personal and I didn't want it all over the internet.  (Well, that was writing, it just didn't exist anymore.)
2-I've got writer's block.
3-I'm not reading anything so my literary juices are depleted.  I can't write if I'm not reading a good book.  I need literary stimulation.
4-The downside to reading is that I don't WANT to write and just finish out the book I started.  I can't even think about writing.
5-I have no idea what to write about, or if I do, I don't have enough to say to finish it out, so I don't.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Because I Just Love To Laugh At Myself...

My mother made us all go to church today.  I'd never been to a Methodist service before, so it was interesting.  Anyway, my dad and I needed to fill out a visitor card (My mom had been there plenty of times for Bible Studies.  She wasn't a visitor, technically.  My little brother, Vin, is too young to do that sort of thing.)  We sat in the very last pew.

I leaned over on the pew's cushion to get another visitor card.  I lost my balance and rolled off the pew.  My parents saw and while they didn't laugh, I could tell they wanted to.  Them and the people in the pew in front of us. 

After my little demonstration of clumsiness, I enjoyed the service, for the most part.  The preaching was probably the best part.  I didn't know the hymns they sang, so...yeah.

That's not the pew, but it's this sort.  The pews in this church had cushions that had been thrown onto the hard wooden bench.  My cushion kept slipping.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Opening Lines & Bars

Think back to your favorite song.  Do you think your eyes light up when you hear those first opening bars of music?

Most people know I'm a country music fanatic.  One of my favorite songs is "My Maria"* by Brooks & Dunn.  I love those first opening bars of music.  (I think that's why it's one of my favorites, actually.)  It's really upbeat and it's just a few notes.  Those few notes go a long way.

As far as opening lines go...

"Well, I love her/but I love to fish." - "I'm Gonna Miss Her"* by Brad Paisley <--One of my favorite opening lines to a song.

Okay, let's go to books now before I launch into all my favorite country songs.  Or songs of other genres for that matter.

*Neither of those YouTube links go to the official videos.  The official videos have advertisements.

In your favorite book, is the opening line your favorite part?  Or even the first scene?  An opening hook can make or break a book for me whether or not I'll read it.  Since books speak for themselves, here's some best-sellers/well-known classics' openings that I was able to pull from my bookshelf:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." - (like you honestly don't recognize this passage but it's from:) Genesis 1:1, the Bible (best-selling, classic, life-manual...)

"When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton." -(Again, do I really need to put where this one's from?) The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien, (classic, best-seller)

"Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lightened by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable." -Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson (classic)

"Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes." -The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander (first book of a best-selling series, may be considered a children's classic)

As a reader, some of my favorite books have these lines that just suck you into the story. Now, all of those may or may not be well-known works, but I tried to stick to the classics on my own 'read' bookshelves.

Some of my personal favorite openings that may or may not be well-known:

"Linderwall was a large kingdom, just east of the Mountains of Morning, where philosophers were highly respected and the number five was fashionable. The climate was unremarkable. The knights kept their armor brightly polished mainly for show--it had been centuries since a dragon had come this far east. There was the usual periodic problems with royal children and uninvited fairy godmothers, but they were always the sort of thing that could be cleared up by finding the proper prince or princess to marry the unfortunate child a few years later. All in all, Linderwall was a very prosperous and pleasant place.

"Cimorene hated it." -Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede (beginning of a bestselling children's series)
"'You, my lord, are a rake and a rogue. A scoundrel.'" -The Wedding Bargain, by Victoria Alexander (NYT Bestseller)

"I saw Byzantium in a dream, and knew that I would die there." -Byzantium, by Stephen R. Lawhead (I don't think this book was a best-seller, but SRL has others that were. This one just so happens to be my favorite standalone.

Well, lovers of books and reading, those are some opening lines that others or I thought were great.  How can you not love a book that begins like some of those do?

Friday, September 17, 2010

When Writing Is Therapeutic...And When It Isn't

Last night, I was in a particularly bad mood.  I'm one of those nighttime depressees.  Come daylight, I'm fine.  I cried and I didn't try fighting it.  {this is NOT easy for me to admit.  I hate crying, especially when I'm caught, but I needed the example} I knew I'd feel better once I was done.  And I did feel better.  At least a little.  After that, I got my notebook from off the floor, turned to a new page, and started writing.  It's a new poem, on my WDC.  "The Hunter."  It's not about what was wrong, not entirely anyway, but it was something I had been wanting to write.

I felt truly, deeply cleansed when I was finished.  It's short, and it was scattered.  When I created the item on WDC, I put the stanzas in the order I wanted them.

My best writer friend, Lacey, writes when she's in a bad mood and in need of therapy.  After a few sessions, she feels better.  Writing has proven therapeutic for many.

But what about when it has the opposite effect?

Back in July, when I first started the current draft, something odd happened.  It was a conversation between Naren (our protagonist) and Alandra (the antagonist).  Naren was annoyed.  Incredibly annoyed.  I started getting annoyed.  I was thinking, "Why doesn't Naren just kill her now and get it over with?"

Whoa.  Back up!  I was getting annoyed at what I was writing?  In hindsight, it makes sense.  I've cried (oh, dang, I'm just admitting to it a lot tonight, aren't I?) several times when I was writing.  Just ask my friend, Amanda.  She's caught me crying while I was writing!  When my characters were happy, I was happy.  When they were sad, so was I.  When they were angry, I was angry.  When they didn't know how to feel, neither did I.

I don't know if this is necessarily a good thing, though.  Yes, it's good that I can get under my characters' skins, but is it good for my feelings to be affected as well?  I'm supposed to feel better after a good write, not like I want to kill someone.

But I'm certain I'm not the only one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That Dreaded Peer Review

As you know, English Composition is exactly what it sounds like:  Compositions in the English language.  English, the hardest language to master.  English, the official language of the United States.

My English professor insists on taking us by the hand and doing this first essay step by step.  Most of us have been writing essays for years.  We don't like the slow pace, but we're not in any position to argue with a newspaper columnist.

Well, the few things that we have turned in, he's read aloud to the class.  Fortunately, he never named the writer.  Usually, the writer revealed herself.  (mostly girls did this)  Surprisingly, I did not reveal myself.  But I sit at the back of the class and no one makes an effort to turn around and look at me.

Today, we had to do a peer review.

"Peer review: n, evaluation of a person's work or performance by a group of people in the same occupation, profession, or industry."

I hate them.  I picked a lame topic and some student from my class got to read my lameness.  Luckily for me, the guy in front of me got my paper and he didn't mark it up all that much.  I also got to see what he was doing.  The paper I got was a girl's from across the room.

When I told my mother about the peer review, all she said was, "We'll, you're used to that."

It bothered me a little, but I didn't argue with her.  It was true, but it wasn't pleasant.

*definition taken from

Monday, September 13, 2010

THE 25,000!

Earlier this morning, I reached 25,000 words on my fantasy novel, Black Sight.

My goal is 100,000 words, double the size of a NaNoWriMo novel.  Do I have to get 100,000?  Not really.  If I can get the story across in 80-90,000 words, I'd settle for that.  But my little word count meter (yeah, I'm that dorky) that I fill in every 5,000 words goes up to 100,000. 

You've heard me talk about Naren before. (see previous posts if you haven't)  He's the protagonist in the story.

Here's a quick 2-sentence summary of the novel so you have an idea of what it's about and you'll be able to sleep tonight and not wondering what this is about:

Naren isn't so much an unlikely hero, as he is reluctant.  He doesn't have dreams of honor and glory, even though everyone knows he'd be really good at being a hero, which is why his witch of a great-aunt blackmails him into helping her.

Kamra, Naren, and Maros were my first characters once writing became my hobby.  That ^ was not the plotline nor was Alandra (our antagonist) the villian.  Kamra was the original central character, but Naren has more that could be at stake, thus, he stole the show.  That, and I did a background check on Naren and his background is WAY more interesting.  There's way more about Naren than Kamra and I wrote most of those when Kamra WAS the central character.

I'm one fourth of the way there! I'm halfway halfway there!