Music for the Camping Writer

Well, I’m running short of time to finish Camp NaNo and there are many words to write yet. But during one of my writing breaks, I thought I’d keep up my Monday-posting streak!

So, for your listening pleasure, here are some of the songs and melodies I’ve been listening to for inspiration as I type away at my Camp stories.

Planxty Amblade Cruso – Kate Price
Theme-song melody for my current WIP “Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood”.

I’m not sure entirely why it’s the theme-song for it, but I got the CD it’s on for my birthday, which was around when I was doing a lot of the brainstorming for this story, and it sounded similar to a lot of the music I used when writing the first book, “The Owl of Kedran’s Wood”, so it sort of twined itself to the story and now it just is part of it. Also it seems to sound a little wintry; but that might just be me. I’m listening to that one all the time — it’s so inspirational to my story.

After that, in no particular order:

Gaelic Morn
A friend linked this to me years ago as good instrumental inspirational music for writing, and I’ve continually gone back to hear it over and over since then — it may be the thing I play most on Youtube. Heartrendingly beautiful. ❤ (Okay, so the picture’s weird. But I got over it. ;))

Let it Go“Frozen
Let’s face it — this is here because it’s constantly stuck in my head, so I have to go watch it…

End Credits“Braveheart” soundtrack
Mostly 1:40-3:10. GORGEOUS.

Prince of Persia soundtrack

‘Nuff said. 😀

Touch the Sky“Brave” soundtrack
This is just so awesome! I love it.

Noble Maiden Fair“Brave” soundtrack
This has to be one of the most beautiful things ever!

Cover of The Lord of the Rings themes by The Piano Guys
This. This is the best. I discovered it during NaNo last November and have never tired of it. It’s amazing to watch.

And there you have it, a few of the songs and tunes that have been jangling away in my head as I write! Hope you enjoyed!

Do you listen to music when you write?

Welp, back to the Campgrounds. 😉


Sunflower Award

(I’m always a couple centuries behind on this sort of thing that goes around the interwebs, but here I am anyway…)

The lovely Lauriloth of Musings of an Elf awarded me the Sunflower Award — thank you Lauri! You’re the best!!

For the record, she has one of the most AWESOME blogs in the blogosphere, so be sure to check it out and follow her! 🙂

Without further adieu . . .


1. Share 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions set by your nomination blogger
3. Nominate 11 bloggers
4. Set questions for the nominated bloggers.


1. I’m horrible at coming up with random facts about me. (Oh wait, that’s a fact!)

2. I love to knit but have never progressed further than making bags, scarves, and other square-ish things.

3. I should be writing my Camp NaNo novel right now. (But this is funner!)

4. I love to take walks but I rarely remember to actually get out.

5. My favorite fruits are strawberries and apricots. Yum.

6. Cover anything with chocolate and I will eat it. (Pretty much…)

7. I have over 700 books in my room at the moment.

8. I have 58 stories on my list of “official stories written/currently-writing/to-write”. (This shows how crazy I am.)

9. I love talking in parentheses. (As can be seen above…)

10. I enjoy writing things in Tolkien’s Elvish alphabet (Tengwar) with calligraphy pens.

11. My favorite number is 17.


1. Would you rather have the ability to fly, turn invisible, or have perfectly clean teeth where you never have to brush them again? (Of course I’m serious.)

This is actually way harder than I thought it would be. The teeth one is the most practical, of course. Being invisible would be really handy for writer inspiration… think of all the places I could go and the people I could hear talking! *mischievous grin* I might have to go with flying though, especially because I think it would feel weird to be invisible. (Though I wouldn’t want anyone to SEE me flying… that would be awkward. Especially if I had wings. I guess the real answer is to fly invisibly. ;))

2. Do you have a water buffalo?

Yes. *pauses to absorb weird looks from audience* . . . Okay, not really. But I’m part of an online group where each member receives among other things a virtual pet water buffalo. Mine is named Frazzle because he stood in an electric storm when I got him…

3. Do you have a pet of any kind? (Siblings count. Juuust kidding! ;P)

I have a cat named Callette, named after a griffin in “Dark Lord of Derkholm” by Diana Wynne Jones. My cat Callette is the sweetest most adorable thing ever, except when she’s sneaking into my room when she isn’t allowed. She also steals the sunbeams to keep herself eternally youthful and beautiful. *nods seriously*


4. What advice would you give to that poor old woman who lives in a shoe?

Stay calm? Um… Try to enjoy those little ones before they grow up. It’ll happen. (I think… Though since it’s a nursery rhyme, maybe they’re eternally young? Fun fact: I’d never read a “retelling” of the old woman in the shoe until reading The Magician’s Boy by Susan Cooper last week. It was a very fun book.)

5. Favorite song? (Yes, I know I’m evil.)

Not evil at all! Unless you’re counting melodies and music from soundtracks, in which case I’d be entirely doomed (too many favorites there!). My favorite song though is definitely “Never-Ending Road” by Loreena McKennitt.

6. If you had to change your first name, what would you choose?

Probably something like Eileen.

7. Cake, pie, ice cream, or cookie?

Now THIS question is evil! Ack. Can I answer “all of them”? It really depends on which particular cake, pie, ice cream or cookie we’re talking about… Probably ice-cream, if it was really creamy and either chocolate or strawberry… If it was winter though, I’d probably go with something not so cold. (Yes, I think this through.)

8. What are three simple little things in life that make you happy?

Curling up in a sunbeam for a nap with Callette sitting on top of me. Listening to beautiful Celtic music. Disappearing into a really good book for hours on end, forgetting about everything else.

9. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are your top three things on it?

I actually don’t have a bucket list… I should make one! So on my non-existent bucket-list my top three items are: 1: make a bucket list. 2: finish writing a novel in the next year. 3: read all the retellings of Twelve Dancing Princesses that there are in the world (this might not be feasible… but bucket lists don’t always have to be, I think? *is not an expert on bucket lists*).

10. What’s your favorite fairytale?

The Twelve Dancing Princesses! (see above…)

11. Who’s your favorite fictional villain? (It can be from a book, show, movie, or whatever.)

This is REALLY hard. I’m not sure. Do villains who aren’t entirely villainous count? If so, maybe Guy of Gisborn in the BBC Robin Hood. Or villains that I wish weren’t villains? Then probably a certain person in the book “Entwined“. *cough* Or villains that are the scariest ever? In that case, probably Darth Maul from the first Star Wars movie, or Colonel Tavington from the film “The Patriot”. Or I could just pick Loki for most of those reasons…

11 Questions for the Nominees:

1. What’s the last sentence you wrote in a story?

2. What was the last movie you watched?

3. Do you have a favorite quote?

4. Favorite food?

5. Have you ever seen a shooting star?

6. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three books, which would you bring?

7. In real life, which appeals to you more: futuristic, modern, or old-fashioned?

8. In fiction, which appeals to you more: futuristic, modern, or old-fashioned? (Other worlds count.)

9. What’s the strangest thing hanging on your wall in your room?

10. What’s your favorite bird?

11.  Robin Hood or King Arthur?


I tag these wonderful ladies. Their blogs are amazing, so be sure to check them out as well!!











Obviously you don’t have to do it if you don’t want/don’t have time, but I’d love to see your answers! 🙂 (Alternately, give the questions to one of your characters and have them answer on your blog.)

This was so fun! Thanks again, Lauri! ❤

Back to Camping . . .

A Writing Road’s Beginning

As I mentioned, March 1st marked my 7-year anniversary of writing. I had actually been writing for awhile before that, but that was when I got serious about it.

I remember it vividly…

On that day, I was at Barnes & Noble, and I had brought along the printed copy of the 45 or so pages that formed my first real “book” at that time, and a pencil to make notes on it while I was waiting.

I don’t know what it was about that day…

Maybe it was the story itself, sitting there all nicely printed in my hands, waiting for me to decide what to do with it now that I was stuck.

Maybe it was the fact of being surrounded by books — all that inspiration, those pages between covers that form magical doorways to other worlds.

Maybe it had something to do with the memory of one Fourth of July when I was talking to a random lady and mentioned a story I had started once and given up on. She said that she too had started writing a story when she was young, about fairies, but had never finished. She regretted that, and told me I should go back to that story of mine and, no matter what, to finish it. (That was what made me return to it in the first place. I’m deeply indebted to her, whoever she was.)

Whatever it was, that first day of March in 2007 was the day I decided to be a writer.

That was when I took my pencil to my printed story-attempt and marked everything I needed to change or delete. I made the decision then and there that I was going to rewrite the story and actually finish it. And I did.

I’ve been a writer ever since.

For all you writers out there, when did you start and why?

Awesome Book Release!

I was so excited when I saw THIS POST that I just had to share it!

A good blogger friend just published her marvelous Cinderella retelling, Alyce (which is free on Kindle until April 9th)!

Sarah Scheele is a great writer with a delightful dry wit, and this story is an original version of Cinderella with fantastic twists that are very unexpected. I also found it to be hilarious. Love it!

And check out the amazing cover…

Seriously, it doesn’t get any more gorgeous than that. ❤

Also free for a couple days is Jurant, a sci-fi story she wrote that’s just incredible.

I reread it yesterday and ended up accidentally staying up till 2 a.m. because I had to finish it (and I’d even read it before). You’ll want to check that out as well! It also contains one of my all-time-favorite fictional characters . . .

And for the matter of that, Alyce too has a marvelous cast! I’m currently having a lot of fun rereading it.

Happy Monday!

Story Anniversary

Things that are making me happy today —

The smell of freshly-mowed grass.

SPRING! (it’s here, people!)

Celtic music.


And of course . . . writing anniversaries!


April 5th, 2012, was a special day for me…

On that day, two years ago now, I embarked on a new adventure that took me places I could never have imagined. On that day, I wrote the first words of my contemporary fantasy novel, “The Owl of Kedran’s Wood”.


Summary: Sinister creatures called Wildlings are lurking in the woods by a small town and the members of the local Chess Club take it upon themselves to do something about it. But that is before the arrival of shape-shifting Wildlings who can look like humans, and the sudden appearance of a shady character in a black leather jacket, calling himself Tare. The Chess Club are caught up in a swirl of dark mystery and must find the answers to the secrets of Tare and the Wildlings — before it is too late.

I had never written anything modern before, so it was a totally new thing for me, and on top of that I had not much of an idea of where it was going — I was mostly “pantsing” it, and I’m a plotter by nature. So that made two different things. It was a weird experiment, and I figured it would be a fun little story that I would write in a few months, finish, and move back to my previous projects.

Boy was I wrong.

It quickly took over and consumed my writing life.

Funny how books do that to us writers, isn’t it? 😉

I had a blast with the story — which is an odd combination of scary adventure and lighthearted humor — and fell in love with the characters. Timid Lavender, fiery Ivy, placid Mr. Larch, hilarious Baz, strong but laid-back Adrian, and adorable fluffy white puppy Small Occasion. And of course the dark, mysterious, all-important black-leather-clad Tare.

Six months later, I was nearly 80 thousand words in and took a break for NaNo… Just short of a year after starting it, I wrote “The End” on that monster of a 105,000 word novel. At a year and a half after starting, I had finished editing it. And last month, just short of two years later, I started writing the sequel. I have just finally admitted — as of yesterday — that it is NOT going to be a mini-adventure-novella, but rather a full-fledged novel.

I’m now planning a trilogy and am extremely excited about it.

Who would have thought that such a small step of starting a random story, would set me off on such a marvelous journey? That the characters would thus entwine themselves so deep in my heart? They have to be one of my favorite casts to write about. “The Owl of Kedran’s Wood” was going to be a standalone novel. But I just loved the characters too much to let them go and by the time I had finished it, I knew I would be returning for more adventures with them.

AND, to mark the anniversary of the first book, last night I finally started Camp NaNo, picking up where I left off a month ago on chapter one of book 2 in the Kedran’s Wood Trilogy, “Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood”. There’s an excerpt here if anyone’s interested… Hopefully many more fun words await!


But! I won’t be much of a writer if I don’t stop scribbling this blog post and get back to my Camp writing! So cheerio for now. 🙂