“Iiiin Summerrrr!” (Olaf Award)

So this may sound like I’m talking about how my summer was and wondering how it’s almost September (I am actually wondering that… How IS it almost September!?) But in actuality… I’ve been given the Olaf Award (twice!) so I thought it was about time for me to do it.

From Other Half of the Story — thank you Vandi Liz! ❤ — and, quite a long time ago (*cough*), from Christine Smith, formerly known as Lauriloth, of the brilliant blog Musings of an Elf – thanks Lauri! (Everybody go read her blog because it’s one of my absolute favorites and is always so lovely and whimsical!)

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Rules:

1. Answer the award questions.

2. Pass the award on to however many bloggers you choose, using the same or your own questions.

…Except I’m going to just say anybody who wants to do this can, so feel free to take the questions and answer them in the comments or on your blog. 🙂

This tag is apparently mostly for Disney animated films… And… well. Okay, I’m going to be honest. I haven’t seen many of the classic Disney films. And even when I do see any I don’t think specifically “Disney”. I’m one of those people who takes movies as movies and doesn’t think overmuch about the company/brand that is putting it out. Except maybe Pixar. Or Dreamworks. But, again, I don’t always notice and sometimes get them mixed up and sometimes they’re Disney too and just… I don’t pay attention.

I know, I’m weird.

So I actually looked it up and found a list of Disney animated films (the truth comes out! *crawls away to hide under rug*) so I could see which I’ve seen. And I’ve seen about a dozen of the recenter animated ones, and only like six or seven of the older cartoon ones. …Yep. But that being said, I’m going to do it anyway because it looks like a lot of fun.

So here we go! Answers and pics! (yay Pinterest!)

Questions:

1. What is your favorite Disney movie of all time?

Does Prince of Persia count? Ahem. If we’re going with animated films, which we seem to be, I guess I’d have to say Tangled.

2. Of the three newest Disney films (Tangled, Brave, and Frozen), which is your favorite?

Frozen was great. I loved the Brave setting/music. But Tangled is my second-favorite animated film ever (after How to Train Your Dragon), sooo… Tangled.

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3. Do you tend to prefer Disney films made prior to the 2000s or those made more recently?

Well, considering the fact that I’ve only seen half a dozen that were made before then… I guess the recenter ones.

4. Who is your favorite character in Frozen?

Kristoff, definitely! He’s kinda-sorta-totally-awesome. (Plus he’s like the only one to ever ASK her if he can kiss her. Which was just adorbz.)

5. Everyone loves Disney music. Any movie whose soundtrack you particularly enjoy? Limit yourself to three.

I’m just going to go with Brave’s soundtrack. Because… just… WOW. That music was INCREDIBLE. ❤ (And I’ll admit I find myself humming Frozen songs a lot as well…)

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6. In your opinion (similar to Question #3), has the quality of Disney’s film-making decreased as time has gone on, or has it only improved?

I don’t knooooow. *flails* Like I said, I don’t have much to compare. The originals have a classic… well… original feel (shocking, I know) but I do enjoy the newer animation. So probably the new ones. But maybe if I see some more of the older films I might change my mind…

7. Favorite Disney couple?

Flynn and Rapunzel. They’re basically perfect. (Maid Marian and Robin Hood are adorbz as well.)

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8. Favorite Disney sidekick?

Um. Mike Wazowski, or Doug — SQUIRREL! — or Finn McMissile. (If any of them count as Disney sidekicks.)

He’d probably be really put out if he heard me call him a sidekick. But I’m only saying that because he’s awesome.

9. What is the worst Disney film you’ve ever seen?

The Black Cauldron. Hands down. *shudders* It was HORRIBLE. It took one of my favorite book series ever, mashed them together and totally wrecked everything. I think it’s the worst book-to-movie adaption I’ve ever seen, ever. Just… no. Never, ever watch that thing, people — and if you have, then please do me and yourselves and everyone a favor by reading the actual books it was “based” on so you know what really happened — The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, starting with The Book of Three.

Read this book to counteract the ill effects of watching Disney’s version of “The Black Cauldron”

10. Lastly, what is one lesser-known Disney film you’d recommend?

Huh. I don’t know if I’ve SEEN any lesser-known ones… I naturally loved the latest three princess-y movies, and I also loved Monsters Inc. and the prequel, Robin Hood, and Winnie the Pooh to a point (the books were better), Cars 2 was a lot of fun and so was Ratatouille. So… all of those. Watch them if you haven’t. 🙂

Sunflower the Second

Firstly I’d like to mention that Ashlee Willis‘s awesome book The Word Changers is on sale right now, ending tomorrow (August 22)!

So if you don’t have a copy of it yet hurry on over to Amazon where you can get a Kindle copy for only $0.99 – what a deal, right? (or a Nook version, if you’re a Barnes & Noble sort of person.)

I really loved the book and highly recommend it! (my review is here) Seriously, read it. You’ll not regret it. I loved that thing so much. ❤

Okay, on to the main post.

Shantelle of A Writer’s Heart tagged me with the Sunflower Award a good while back (yeah, it’s been a long time… >.>).

Although I’ve done it before, I thought I’d just go ahead and answer her questions for fun, leaving out the random-facts-and-tagging-people thing because I’ve run out of facts and I already tagged most people. 😉

So I give you Sunflowers, Round 2!

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1 What is your favorite book (or one of them)?

The Lord of the Rings. After that, there gets to be too many favorites jostling each other for second place…

2 What is your favorite book genre?

Fantasy. Specifically, fantasy set in a medieval fantasy world; and if you want to refine it further, I’m partial to YA and childrens’, fairytale retellings, and Christian/allegorical fantasy, when it’s done right.

3 Do you prefer winter or summer?

Hmm… Where I live, summer means blindingly hot, degrees in the three-digits. And in the winter, though it sometimes gets cold, it basically never snows, so it’s just cold for no reason… So I’m really not sure. Spring or Autumn! 🙂

4 Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

J. R. R. Tolkien. (He was historical, riiight?) Because he wrote my favorite book and lots of other fabulous things and overall just had a lot of really great things to say. (As well as his fiction, I really enjoy his Letters, and his essay On Fairy-Stories, and highly recommend them!)

5 A few movies you enjoy…?

The Lord of the Rings, Prince of Persia, The Avengers, Inception, How to Train Your Dragon (and HTTYD 2!), Tangled… The list goes on but I’ll stop there.

6 Do you like cake or pie better?

It depends on the cake or pie! Maybe cake. If it’s a moist chocolate one with delectable frosting… (Now I’m hungry!)

7 How would you rather read, on kindle or with paperback?

Hardback. XD But yes, actual printed pages are my reading mode of choice. I’ve recently started reading ebooks on my computer on a Kindle app, and after a lot of that, though I enjoy the books themselves (often very much!), I’m getting tired of reading on a screen and not being able to hold the book, or put it on my shelf with the rest of the books I’ve read this year when I finish it… I’ll always be a physical printed word person!

8 Who are two of your favorite authors?

J. R. R. Tolkien, and… Well, I usually have my top-five but if I had to pick two… Ack, it’s so hard. Right now I’ll pick Diana Wynne Jones because I’ve been reading her lately and she’s absolutely brilliant.

9 If you could live in any time period (past, present, or future) what would you choose?

Hmm… that’s hard. I wouldn’t want to do the future. And although a few time periods in the past appeal to me, I’m not sure I would actually want to LIVE there. I have a quote by me that I wrote down once when I was particularly fed up with something or other: “I hate living in 21st-century America! …But I have a feeling I wouldn’t survive anywhere else!” Heehee… So it would probably be a tossup between now and sometime in the late 1700s because of the clothes and the muskets and carriages and ships and things. (I’m writing a few stories set in worlds whose time periods are loosely based on 18th century Europe.)

10 Which do you like best, bright colors or pastels?

Probably pastels, I suppose… I’ve never been too into really bright colors.

11 Are you more of a casual type, or do you like to dress up?

In everyday, I’m a casual type. A plain shirt and a plain skirt usually do me, and I’ve never been too fussy about my appearance. However, I do LOVE to dress up in costumes and things when I get around to it!

***

Thanks so much for the tag, Shantelle! 🙂

Be sure to check out her lovely blog, y’all!! She reviews books and does other awesome posts. ❤

Story Snippets & Pictures

I haven’t officially said anything about my Camp NaNo since July ended, so I’m here to do just that. Yes, I won! *there is a sound of trumpets and a rain of confetti*

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I worked on three different stories and passed my widdle-bitty 10k goal for a grand total of 11,177 words. ‘Twas a good month, and although to some it may not sound like much, I’m still quite pleased with the chapters I got written.

Which brings me to the main point of this post: Snippets! Today you get some tidbits from each of the stories I was working on in July.

Oh, and the other point of the post? I joined Pinterest. Heehee. I couldn’t stay away any longer. Much fun and pinning and late hours online ensued. I’m having the time of my life setting up my story-boards for my various works-in-progress! So much inspiration. ❤

My profile is here in case you’re interested: http://www.pinterest.com/deborahocarroll/

Here are the pin boards for the stories I’m featuring today:

The Invisible Mask

Underground Rainbow

Kedran’s Wood Series

On with the show. Half a dozen snippets from my Camp NaNo writing. Hope you enjoy!

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     “So, Bremask,” Kenneth said, turning to his friend and breathing a cloud of white breath on the cold air. “Was there any particular reason you wanted to go riding?”

Bremask kept his great black horse in check without apparent effort, sitting easily astride with his dark caped greatcoat flapping behind him in the wind. “Not particularly.” He shrugged. “I thought it would do you good if I could lure you out of that stuffy house of yours.”

“It’s not stuffy,” Kenneth said.

“Isn’t it,” was all Bremask said.

“If you don’t like visiting me, you needn’t come.”

“If I did not like visiting you, I certainly would not come, and you know it.”

~ The Invisible Mask

***

     “And what are you doing these days?” Declan asked. “If I might ask about the nature of your ‘business’. Robbing carriages now?”

Artren grinned. “Not all is as it seems, my friend. That highwayman venture was mostly for the benefit of that untrustworthy fellow who conked you on the head. And there was no robbery involved in the end, as you may recollect.”

~ The Invisible Mask

***

     “Swine,” Declan muttered under his breath.

Artren laughed and reached into his coat. “Now, now,” he reprimanded teasingly. “He’s not all bad. As a small compensation for your cousin’s infamy, he gave this to me to pass on to you.” Artren tossed a small clinking bag across the sofa to Declan, who caught it in one hand deftly but with surprise.

“Really?” Declan asked suspiciously.

Artren nodded, crossing his ankles and putting both hands behind his head. “It’s the truth.”

Declan tilted his head sideways. “All of the truth?”

The corner of Artren’s mouth quirked. He winked but said nothing.

~ The Invisible Mask

***

URcover3     Ellerion laughed his rumbling purr of a laugh, without the screech behind it. “And what would you ride then, Lord Achnor?” He purred the r‘s and there was mockery in his deep, dark voice.

“You know I’m the best and fastest of all my kind.”

“Which is the only reason why I haven’t fed you to the Lake-Coiler long ago,” Achnor snapped, shaking back his dark hair with the blond streaks from his face. “Now shut your beak and fly.” He dug his heels into Ellerion’s flanks as if he were a horse.

With a growl and a mighty beat of his gleaming black wings, the great shadowy Griffin leaped into the air and swooped off with his rider.

~ Underground Rainbow

***

KW2coverP     Baz was startled. “You had a mother?”

Tare groaned and ran a hand over his face. “Seriously, what is it with you guys? Always shocked if you learn I’m normal in some way. Like I’m not human or something.”

“Well sometimes it’s hard to remember that.”

Tare groaned again. Baz realized maybe he took this in a bad way, like they thought non humanness was bad. Really, they just saw him as the opposite of normal. That kind of not human.

“Don’t get me wrong, we mean that in a good way.”

“Is that so,” Tare said skeptically.

“Yeah. We think you’re really cool.”

“Cool,” Tare repeated absently.

“Yeah. You know. Really awesome.” Baz paused and was met with a vacant look. “Come on, you can’t seriously not know you’re cool,” Baz exclaimed.

Tare just looked at him.

~ The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

***

     “Adrian.”

Adrian paused on the sidewalk and swung around, looking for the source of the quiet voice. There was nobody in the yard.

“Adrian,” the voice said again.

“Baz?” Adrian said, glancing cautiously around. “You hiding someplace?”

“It is not the boy.”

Adrian’s eyes narrowed and he made an incredulous face at the empty snow-paved yard, turning again, trying to figure out where the sound came from, since none of the directions seemed to work. “Baz, are you fooling around? Because I must say you’re doing a better job than normal.”

“Where is my voice coming from,” the voice said.

Adrian blinked, swinging around a third time. Where was it coming from? It was disorienting.

“Everywhere,” he responded.

“Correction: nowhere. It is in your head.”

Well. This was new.

~ The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Q&A With Tare: Part 2

So, finally, here is the second half of Tare’s interview!

(The first half is here if you missed it.)

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1. When was the first time you wore a black leather jacket? Why did you choose that as your constant clothing item?

“I don’t know; a long time ago. I was probably 13 or something. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Still does, actually. Durable, good for all occasions and all weather . . . and lots of room to keep stuff in. I don’t think about it much, it’s just… what I wear.”

2. Do you have a regular barber? (If so, he or she does a very good job, just so you know.)

“Not really. This may be a good time to add that I don’t think about my hair an awful lot. (And… thank you… I think?)”

3. What’s your general worldview?

Tare folds his arms. “What is that even supposed to mean? I’m not about to dump my entire brain to you, thank you very much.”

Jacket4. Any mortal enemies?

“Oh-ho. Getting into deep waters, are we? Yes, I have had mortal enemies and probably often will from time to time. The key word, though, is mortal.”

(Author whistles innocently in the background.

Tare glares at her. “What does that mean?”)

5. What kind of music do you like?

“I’ve never been very into music. I don’t like loud jarring music but calm music is dull. So I have no idea.”

6. Have any favorite musical instruments?

He gives a sideways look. “Not . . . really. Violins are probably above reproach, though. Unless someone has no idea what they’re doing and playing it badly. So never mind.”

7. Car, truck, or van?

“None? If I had to pick, I guess a really big truck or a really little car, depending on what I wanted a vehicle for (stealth, for example). Vans are dumb unless you want to cart around a lot of stuff or people. I’m not generally in that line of activity. Besides, if I had something with lots of seats, the Chess Club would probably want to follow me around everywhere, and just… no.”

[Aside from the author: The Chess Club is what the other main characters of the Kedran’s Wood series call themselves. They’re slightly in awe of Tare, even though he doesn’t know it. On the whole, he views them rather like overgrown puppies: bungling, pestering things — annoying but harmless.]

insnow8. You like to read, right? What kind of books do you read?

“Yes. And the kind with pages.”

(Author gives Tare a look.)

“Fine. Old books. Anything that’s good.”

9. Do you like dragons?

“Depends on the dragon. Evil dragons, no. If they’re good, I’m open to discussion on the subject.”

10. Do you like kittens?

Tare throws his arms out to either side. “What is it with these questions? I have nothing against kittens. How’s that?”

11. What are your thoughts on Baz?

Tare shuts his eyes. “You don’t want to hear them. And nor do I, for that matter . . .”

[Note from author: Baz is an extremely happy-go-lucky character, full of pranks and humor, and he consequently annoys Tare to no end. Carry on.]

12. Do you really like being alone all the time?

Tare looks thoughtful for a moment but whatever is going on in his head is quickly shaken away and he makes an ‘It’s sounding pretty good at the moment’ sort of face. “Next question.”

quote13. Were you an only child?

He drums his fingers. “Yes.”

14. Do you even have parents?

“No. I did once though. Obviously.”

15. What’s your full name?

“Tare is short for Tarragon, if you must know. As for the rest… I’m not giving that information out at this point in time. So don’t ask again.”

16. What (in your probably-not-humble opinion) is your best quality?

Tare gives his author a hard stare. “Excuse me.”

(Author: “Don’t look at me! I didn’t say it that way. Just answer it.”)

Tare sighs and runs his fingers through his hair. “I don’t know. I probably don’t have one. Or… I can fight really well. Does that count? If you want something less obvious… Well, I don’t give up. Ever.” A shadow crosses his face and his dark blue eyes stare off into nothing. “I had to learn that in order to survive.”

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17. Worst quality? (Yes, I’m asking you to expose your flaws. >:D )

“Worst?” Tare raises one cynical eyebrow like a question mark. “Not sure if I know, and even if I did, I’m not sure I’d tell it. But one thing that probably counts as a flaw is that I don’t do people. I just… No.”

(Author coughs, trying to conceal laughter.

Tare says dryly, “I suppose you’ve all gathered that by now.”)

18. Pet peeves?

“Didn’t I already answer this one last time?”

(Author: “Nope, that was ‘biggest’ pet peeve.”)

“Well then. Besides people asking me questions… People prying into my affairs, getting in my way, trying to kill me, and—oh: asking what my pet peeves are.”

***

And there you have Tare’s interview completed! Hope you enjoyed! 🙂