Christmas Character Tag: Teague & Meridian & Co.

The awesome Sarah @ Dreams & Dragons tagged me for her original The Christmas Character Tag waaaay back when, and I didn’t get around to it at the time. But I figured, what better time to do it than now? 😉 Thanks so much for the tag, Sarah! ❤

I’m featuring the characters from my WIP The Other Half of Everything: Teague and Meridian, and Teague’s siblings (Ivan and Lulin). Because I’ve been focusing on my steampunk book and Tare lately, and these characters were feeling left out. 😉

And because I’ll take any excuse to let Teague and Meridian take over my blog. 😛 Though this time Ivan and Lulin are joining in the fun.

The first several answers are the characters answering the questions directly, and later it moves on to something more like impromptu scenes I wrote just for this post’s questions.

Consider it kind of like my little Christmas present just for you, my dear bloglings! 🙂

Enjoy!

Rules

1. Acknowledge the person who tagged you. Thanking them is nice, but not necessary. You can be annoyed at them if you like. (Though, if you’re annoyed, why are you doing the tag anyway?)
2. Pick your characters. I advise having several, though not too many. They can all be from the same story, or they can be from different stories. If they’re from different stories, make sure to specify who’s from the same story.
3. Answer the questions. This should be self-explanatory.
4. Tag people. If you want. Don’t tag more people than you have characters in the tag. If you don’t want to tag anyone, you can do that too.
5. Listen to your favorite Christmas song. Because putting the effort in to write a post deserves a reward, my friend!

About the Characters

For those joining us new or who need a quick refresher:

Teague Aurelius: 23. An extremely absentminded author of fantasy who lives in the top floor of a huge old house, where all his rooms are filled with books. May or may not travel to the worlds he writes about.

Meridian Brownley: 17. Narrator of the book The Other Half of Everything (and slightly unreliable, at that) that I’m writing. Housekeeper for Teague. Plays violin and cooks. Doesn’t care about reading. Can’t stand writers. Or fantasy. (Awkward.)

Ivan Aurelius: 21. Black sheep of the family. Doesn’t get along with Teague. Has spiky blond hair and wears black leather and spikes.

Lulin Aurelius: 19. Sometimes playful and seems younger. Other times seems far older than her age and is carrying a secret. Peace-maker between her brothers. Her hair is a white pixie-cut, because of course.

Onward to the…!

Questions

1. If any of your characters are from Earth: what are some of their Christmas traditions? If your characters aren’t from Earth: does their world have an equivalent to Christmas, and if so, how do they celebrate it?

Teague: What an interesting question. What if we do both?

Ivan: We haven’t done a lot with it here in awhile. And that’s… just fine with me. >.>

Lulin: Oh, stop pretending! Anyway, we used to do decorations and all the usual stuff. And in the other worlds there would sometimes be a sort of midwinter feast if we were there around that time — so that was nice. ^_^

Meridian: I usually bake. With Gran. But not really any traditions.

2. Which of your characters gets the most into Christmas? The least? Who gets annoyed at the commercialization, and who doesn’t care because it’s CHRISTMAS?

Lulin: CHRISTMASSSSS!!! *dances around and puts up garlands and gives everyone Christmas sweaters*

Meridian: Hmph. Commercialization. And… yeah. I’m not the hugest Christmas person. The only thing that’s the best about it is the baking.

Ivan: *folds arms and coolly pretends not to care* It’s okay. I guess. *surreptitiously steals cookies*

Teague: *reading* *bewildered* Christmas? What were we talking about? Are there books involved?

3. All the characters try to decorate a Christmas tree together. What happens?

Lulin: More tinsel!

Teague: We could build a tree out of books instead.

Ivan: Guess who can put the most ornaments on the fastest without breaking any.

Meridian: Everyone! Stop! I’m doing it. It has to be perfect.

Everyone: But you don’t care about Christmas!

Meridian: It still has to be perfect!

(Dear reader, we draw a veil over the remainder of this scene and leave you to imagine it, because the chaos is immeasurable.)

4. What’s each character’s favorite Christmas song?

Teague: Silent Night.

Meridian: Any of them that are pretty but played just instrumental so I can hear the melodies.

Teague: Oh. Yes. The musician. You would be like that, I suppose.

Meridian: *wrinkles her nose* At least I didn’t say “none of them.”

Lulin: Carol of the Bells! And Drummer Boy! And… All of them!

Ivan: Last Christmas.

Lulin: What??

Ivan: I’m kidding. I hate that one too. Jingle Bell Rock.

Lulin: DON’T YOU DARE.

Ivan: But with real rock.

Meridian: Why am I not surprised.

5. Can your characters agree on a Christmas movie to watch together? What happens if they try?

Lulin: Elf! Or It’s A Wonderful Life…

Meridian: I don’t really care. Maybe there’s some good cheesy Hallmark movies. Or… not.

Ivan: *groans* Spare us. I’ll be watching Die Hard.

Teague: *mildly* That’s not a Christmas movie.

Ivan: It is so!

Teague: I don’t see why anyone would watch a movie when they could be reading instead… *pulls out long list of Christmas books he intends to read*

The list unfurls and rolls across the floor. Everyone stares at it.

Meridian: Bye. I’ll be baking.

Lulin: *looks at Ivan* Muppet Christmas Carol?

Ivan: You wish.

Teague curls up on the couch to read.

Lulin turns on the Christmas Carol movie.

Ivan pretends he’s not watching but really is.

Delicious smells start wafting from the kitchen…

6. Your characters are going to a White Elephant Gift Exchange; what kind of gift does each one bring? (Or, because I had a different question here originally and forgot to change it before it started circulating, if you prefer you can answer: “Speaking of which, who cries at Christmas movies?”)

Meridian: I don’t care if the rules say not to bring food. I’m bringing stuff I bake. Or some music albums…

Lulin: Something pretty!

Ivan: What if yours goes to a guy?

Lulin: Honestly? I really don’t care. Something pretty.

Ivan: I’m not going so I’m definitely not giving anything.

Teague: There’s only one answer to this, as to most, questions: Books. Possibly one of the ones I wrote…

Ivan: *facepalms* Don’t inflict them with that.

Teague: *coolly* You already said you’re not going, so you don’t have a say in the matter.

(Alternate question “who cries at Christmas movies?” Everyone points at Lulin. She smiles weakly.)

7. What’s each character’s favorite Christmas treat?

Teague: I’m honestly not picky… But chocolate is probably the best, on general principles.

Lulin: Gingerbread! And peppermint hot cocoa.

Meridian: You’re honestly going to make me choose between foods?

Ivan: Candy-canes.

8. Who among your characters likes eggnog? Who thinks it’s disgusting?

Lulin: *wrinkles nose* Eggnog is weird.

Ivan: It’s awesome. Be quiet.

Teague: I haven’t the faintest idea how I feel about it. I’ve never noticed what it tastes like.

Meridian: How could you not notice? It’s gross!

Ivan: Fight me.

Meridian: I think I will.

Lulin: Um…

Teague: Children. Please.

Ivan: What did you just call me??

Lulin: *quickly* Who wants a candy-cane?

9. Who’s meeting who under the mistletoe? Who’s catching those people and teasing them about it forever?

Meridian eyes the mistletoe hanging in the doorway to the Teague’s living-room. “Who put that up there?”

Lulin’s innocent blue eyes stare out from her face framed in a white pixie-cut. “Nobody?”

Meridian grumbles under her breath something about plants belonging outdoors and returns a moment later lugging a ladder usually used to reach books. She pauses.

Teague leans in the doorway reading a book and apparently not paying attention to anyone.

Meridian sighs and leans it against a nearby bookcase. “Teague. Move,” she says. “I need to put a ladder there.”

“Mm?” Teague doesn’t look up.

Meridian waves a hand in his face.

Lulin walks casually behind her and “accidentally” knocks into her. Meridian crashes into Teague, who drops his book and catches her instead, looking down into her eyes.

“Oh, hello, Meridian,” he says with a smile. He looks up at the mistletoe above them and then back at her with laughter in his eyes that indicates he knew right where he was standing all along.

“No you didn’t — !” Meridian begins.

Ivan can be heard snickering around the corner and Lulin gives a peal of merry laughter.

“Fine,” Meridian relents. She pecks Teague’s cheek. “Merry Christmas. I guess.”

Somebody needs to stop being so mushy,” Ivan calls loudly.

“Oh, shut up,” Meridian says fiercely.

Teague smiles and leaves a kiss on her forehead, murmuring, “Merry Christmas, my Meri.”

10. Who makes all the Christmas cookies and other treats? Who eats all the Christmas cookies?

“I don’t trust anyone else to do the baking,” Meridian says firmly. “I’m doing all of it. Now shoo until I finish.”

“I can help,” Lulin protests mildly.

“You’re just covering for Ivan,” Meridian says, snagging his leather-clad wrist as he reaches toward the platter of cookies.

Ivan yelps. “I was just going to taste it!”

“You can taste it when I finish.” Meridian is remorseless and continues mixing batter.

Teague wanders through the kitchen with his face in a book, grabs a cup of tea and somehow drinks it without looking at it or spilling anything.

Meridian turns around from checking in the oven and sees an empty spot where a cookie had been a moment before. “Ivan!”

“It wasn’t me! So!”

“Then is there a cookie gremlin because something took it.”

Ivan points at Teague, who is retreating with his face still in a book and doesn’t appear to realize what’s going on around him.

Meridian looks to Lulin for confirmation, but she just blinks wide-eyed at her and won’t give up either of her brothers.

“He’s far too distracted to properly steal a cookie,” Meridian accuses, hands on hips.

“Mm?” Teague puts in as he disappears around the corner and calls back, “Delicious cookies, by the way. You’ve outdone yourself.”

Meridian blinks after him.

Ivan gives a told-you-so smirk, then sighs. “How come I can’t get away with stuff like that?”

Meridian gets a dangerous gleam in her eye and starts to follow Teague. “Who said anyone’s getting away with anything?”

Ivan snags a cookie from the plate and says through munches, “Teague being an unwitting accomplice is still the best thing ever.”

Lulin pulls more cookies out of the oven and smiles innocently. “Talking of best things ever, I’m going to enjoy watching Meridian go after you in a minute.”

Ivan gives her a shifty look and grabs another cookie. He slinks quickly out, to the accompaniment of Lulin’s chuckle and Meridian somewhere in the house going off loudly at Teague whose faint murmurs are difficult to hear.

11. Who stays (or used to stay) up late waiting for Santa?

Lulin and Ivan both point at Teague.

He blinks. “What? I didn’t.”

“You always stayed up all night Christmas Eve,” Ivan says.

“Reading,” Teague protests. “And I always do that. You just don’t want to admit that the two of you used to.”

“A lot of stranger things than Father Christmas are real,” Lulin says. “I’m only saying. What about you, Meridian?”

“Nope.” The answer was a little too quick to be strictly true.

“Grinch,” Ivan says haughtily.

“Speak for yourself!”

12. What would each character say Christmas isn’t Christmas without?

“Family,” Lulin says at once.

Teague hesitates, and doesn’t look at Ivan, but agrees. “Family.”

They look at Meridian.

She coughs. “I was going to say baking but now I sound like a shallow jerk.”

Lulin smiles. “Not at all.”

“I just don’t remember having a family. Other than Gran,” Meridian says.

“No siblings like these two terrors.” Lulin throws an arm each around her two brothers.

Ivan squirms and tries to escape the hug. “Candy-canes!” he says quickly, answering the question. “Aaugh. Leggo.”

Lulin just hangs on, laughing.

Teague smiles, one arm around his sister, and reaches out his other arm to pull Meridian into the group-hug. “Now you do,” he says softly.

And Meridian smiles back at him.

Thanks for reading! ^_^ I’m not tagging anyone but feel free to steal this for your blog if you like! Sorry I haven’t been around as much (I’m afraid NaNo more or less killed me and I’ve been recovering and busy. XD) — but I do have some fun posts planned after I finish relaxing this coming week. Merry Christmas! ❤

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#WIPjoy: The Other Half of Everything

(images found on Pinterest, other than the title banner in the middle)

As you may or may not be aware (depending on whether you follow me on Twitter or not), I took part in this month’s #WIPjoy challenge, which was great fun! ^_^

I really enjoyed sharing all my answers to the prompts in one handy spot, here on my blog, when I did it last October for The Siren and the Skyship, so I’d like to do that again!

This month I featured The Other Half of Everything, and I thought y’all might enjoy another glance at that work-in-progress of mine, so here you go…

#WIPjoy (Work In Progress Joy) is a writing meme hosted by Bethany Jennings @simmeringmind

WEEK 1: INTRO

Day 1: Introduce your MC & their story

Meridian: 17, no-nonsense, unreliable narrator. <3’s music. Zero patience for Teague.

Teague: the other MC; writer, bookworm, Hero.

Their story: Fantasy world(s), unexpected romance, Teague’s broken/quirky family. Humor, snark, DWJ-esque.

(mock “cover” made by me from images on Pinterest)

Day 2: About you! List 5 things you value

  • Fantasy
  • Heroism
  • Truth
  • Humor
  • Happy endings

About me: Fantasy writer, reader, blogger, punctuation enthusiast (freelance copyeditor/proofreader), Tolkienite, Diana Wynne Jones fan, avid bookshelf organizer, secretly an otter. ^_^

Day 3: A line that’s attention-grabbing

But, I reasoned, it wasn’t the end of the world. It could be worse. Teague could have been an axe-murderer instead of just a writer. I’d live with it. I’d have to.

Day 4: Your main writing goal this year

I’m more doing Dreams than Goals, but some of the main ones are: finish another novel, expand writing platform (newsletter/social media/website), and maybe go to Realm Makers. Here’s a list of my 2018 writing dreams.

Day 5: Your MC’s greatest yearning

Meridian yearns to change the world with music.

Teague… well… who knows what he wants, vague man of mystery that he is…

(Okay, you never heard this from him, but he wants to fix his estranged family relationships and save a couple worlds…)

Day 6: An aesthetic/visual for the WIP

WEEK 2: PRIDE AND JOY

Day 7: Your writing victories of 2017

Wrote 86K (30K in short stories), 5 whole short stories, started a new novel I love, won NaNo for 8th time, NEW PLOTBUNNIES, wrote in my writing journal every week, 116 blog posts.

Day 8: Your strengths as a writer

I have strengths? O.o (JK… *cough* >.>)

I like to think a dash of humor, elegant writing, fun characters, and snappy dialog, are my strengths.

Anyone who’s read anything I’ve written: What do you think my strengths are? I’d love to know!

Day 9: A line that makes you grin

[How about THE WHOLE THING?? Ahem.]

“Pardon me, Miss Meridian, but did you live under a rock your whole life?”

“No, I lived under you,” I shot back. “Which is clearly the same thing.”

Day 10: A character friendship you love

Teague and Meridian. I LOVE their dynamic/snark (but pleasant too… kinda). He annoys her. XD And they’ll fall in love. OBViously. Especially since they don’t know it. Both will deny EVERYTHING if you ask ’em. 😉 *evil author is evil*

Day 11: Has this WIP made you cry?

Not yet. *cue ominous music* I’m writing snippets out of order, so I haven’t been in the mode/emotional. Anytime I think about Teague & his family problems I cry a little inside though. (And then I laugh/smirk/fangirl because I love them.)

Day 12: 5 things you like about this WIP

  • TEAGUE. Can’t describe him
  • Involves a writer (see above) + bookishness
  • Fun + banter (love writing/re-reading!)
  • ALL THE FANTASY. (Spoilers, sweetie. But fantasy worlds…)
  • The “feel” (Diana Wynne Jones-ish but not) + characters/relationships

Day 13: A magical moment in the story

“What happened?” I asked Teague, meaning: “how did you end up locked in an invisible enchanted prison-thing?”

“I made a Wind Chaser angry.”

“And how on earth did you go about doing that?”

“It must have been my charming personality.”

WEEK 3: BOLD CREATIVITY

Day 14: A poem about/from your WIP

No poetry in it as yet; anything serious would be spoilers.

Random/silly thing:

It horrified (or slightly bothered) Teague
To find Meridian and Lulin in league
About his lack of a good memory
But he quickly forgot and went back to his tea

Day 15: Your best tip for writer’s block

Turn on a timer and try writing just until it goes off, and see if you don’t find that you’re writing after all…

Day 16: (1) A line that feels daring

[Drawing a blank, so have this one.]

“Well, what’s wrong with him?” Gran asked.

I grasped about for the right words and couldn’t find them. “…Everything!”

I didn’t know the half of it.

Day 16: (2) Other creative outlets you enjoy

Wait, there’s something other than writing? O.o

Sometimes: graphic/web design, sketch, color, crafty things [origami/knit/crochet], play a line on piano/pennywhistle.

But who has time for that when there’s books to read/write??

Day 17: Your WIP described as a food

A coffee-cake, mildly brownish and demure and coffee-flavored at first, so it’s tasty; but when you cut it open, there’s a whole new world of a hundred different colors and flavors inside…

Day 18: 3 songs that inspire me (for The Other Half of Everything)

Touch the Sky (Brave)

Walls (After the Morning – Cara Dillon)

Into the Open Air (Brave)

(First: the wonder of worlds; other two: Teague & Ivan… ‘Scuse me while I go cry.)

Day 19: Doodle an image from the story!

I… er… haven’t drawn anything for this one, so have my very first fan-art, from my dear friend Skye Hoffert, instead. (It’s Meridian and Teague and it makes me happy. ^_^)

Meridian and Teague (art by Sky Hoffert)

Day 20: How is writing this WIP brave?

My first novel in first-person w/ unreliable narrator + nothing like me. Writing out of order. Throwing away all story conventions & doing what I want. Aspiring to be a bit like Diana Wynne Jones. Dealing w/ dark things but a fun story.

WEEK 4: CHARACTER TAKEOVER!

(Character takeover week is my FAVORITE! :D)

Day 21: MC: your favorite holiday

Meridian: Bonfire Night.

Teague: National Read a Book Day.

M: IS there such a thing?

T: I haven’t the faintest notion, but there ought to be.

M: You could look it up.

T: Too much work… *goes back to reading*

Day 22: Antagonist: your side goals

I’m skipping this one since my antagonist(s) are… erm… in the works. >.> Which is to say, I’m having a hard time pinning them down. -_- (Anyone have villain tips? *cough*)

Day 23: A line of dialogue

A series of loud thumps proceeded from the direction of the kitchen. Then silence.

“I don’t want to know what that was!” I called.

“Remarkably wise of you,” Teague called back.

“I still don’t want to know what that was!” I warned.

“That’s probably for the best.”

Day 24: MC: describe your work day

Meridian: I go upstairs & clean house/make food for THIS guy so he won’t burn the house down.

Teague: *blinks absently* Work? What’s that? I don’t work; I ART. *reads/writes/makes money on scribblings*

M: No idea how he gets away with that. -_-

Day 25: Sidekick: a day your life changed

Lulin: Classified. Sorry, sweetie. *smiles*

Me: You could —

L: If I told you, I’d have to kill you. Politely… But you’d still be dead = unpleasant for both of us. So. Classified. ^_^

Me: … The problem with questions like this… -_-

Day 26: Antag: do you relate to the MC?

(I’m using Ivan for this one; he’s slightly antagonistic, though not villainous.)

Ivan: No.

Me: I didn’t mention if said MC is Meridian or Teague —

Ivan: NO.

Me: (He kind of does because — )

Ivan: SHUT UP.

Day 27: Main Character: a memory about family

Meridian: I don’t really remember my parents, but one of my mother playing the violin I play now. Gold music and sunlight in her hair.
Teague: My siblings & I on some adventure. NOT the dragon one. (Me: Too late.) Very well, that one. Fun times…

WEEK 5: VISION

Day 28: How do you hope to publish?

AHAHAHAHA.

Ahem.

I have no clue yet. Hence the insane laughter. (Hope you enjoyed that, by the way, because it’s all the answer you’re getting, unfortunately… Come back in a century or two once I know. *tips hat* Good day…)

Day 29: Who do you write for?

Teens, twenty-somethings, and those young at heart, who enjoy a good fantasy tale with a dash of humor and elegance and (I like to think) a unique twist on a thing or two, and don’t want to worry about content or an agenda. Just a good ol’ enjoyable story. 🙂

Day 30: A line about hopes or goals

Teague sighed as if he carried the burden of the world on his shoulders. “My new life goal is to turn you into a bookworm. Preferably of fantasy. Read this.”

“Why would I want to read a book?” I protested.

“Because I am selflessly lending it to you.”

Day 31: Where to find you (link day!)

Still working on that official website; stay tuned. 😂


What do you think? Comment below — I’d love to chat! Thanks for reading! ^_^

Behind the Scenes: Writing Tag

behindsceneswritertag

I was tagged by Madeline @ Short and Snappy and Abi @ Rambling Writer quite some time ago for the Behind the Scenes Writer’s Tag (here and here) — thanks ever so much to both of you! ^_^ (And everyone, do check out their blogs!)

I may have done this one or something like it before but I honestly don’t remember so I’m doing it regardless. XD Because who doesn’t enjoy a look behind the scenes at how writers write? And it seemed an appropriately writerly kind of post for NaNo. 😉

Here we go!

1. Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

I don’t eat while I write because I can’t multitask like that. XD I don’t even usually drink a hot drink because if I’m writing I forget about it and it goes cold… (And I don’t have a Meridian to remind me about it like Teague does; not that he notices…)

2. When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?

Usually at night. Unfortunately. *cough* It makes for some late nights, I’m afraid… But it seems to be when my brain wakes up enough to be creative.

3. Where do you write?

At my laptop at my desk in my room, usually. Sometimes on my bed or in my big chair though.

4. How often do you write a new novel?

Bahahaha! *collapses from laughter* Um. Yeah, I’m just going to pretend this question is hilarious in order not to get bothered by it. XD I’ve written 3 complete novels so far, over several years, and they were all at random intervals and took totally different amounts of times. There is no “usual” with this odd duck of a writer.

5. Do you listen to music while you write?

Sometimes, if I remember to turn it on (see above snacks question).

6. What do you write on? Laptop or paper?

Laptop if it’s actual writing. My writing notebook if it’s notes or small amounts of plotting.

7. Is there a special ritual before/after you write?

I usually have to be in my room with no one around, and the doors closed, with no distractions and some idea of what I want to write. …This suddenly explains how little I get written. O_O A revelation, I tell you! Moving on… I sometimes turn music on, or go find my plotting notes for that bit, or read the last part I wrote. Other than that, not really.

As for an afterward ritual… not in particular, unless it counts to get up, stretch, stare at the clock as if it’s gone insane because where on EARTH did all that time go, and wander off to get a drink and possibly find some poor soul and make them read my latest scribbles. 😉

8. What do you do to get in the mood to write?

I only wish I knew. >.> I’ve discovered walks are helpful, though. Also going to bed, because that’s when my brain wakes up and wants to keep me awake and make me go write when I want to sleep, because it’s helpful like that…

9. What is always near the place you write?

My laptop? Maybe my notebook and pen. And my phone? Or a glass of water? I don’t know, not always anything particular. *shrug*

10. Do you have a reward system for your word count?

Not usually. It tends to be its own reward, I guess. 😉

11. Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

I usually have to play the entire scene out in my head a time or two before I can write it.

I also have discovered a helpful phenomenon which is something I call “draft-zero scene-plotting” wherein I just scrawl out the rough scene and dialog without punctuation/capitalization/proper sentences, in order to get the scene down on the page in its roughest form, so that I can then elaborate on it and flesh it out into real writing. That way I don’t have to worry about being “perfect” at first. It’s sort of an extreme sort of plotting, crossed with a very sloppy first draft technique. I don’t use it all the time, but when I do it seems to work wonders.

Speak to me, writers! What are your writing habits? If you’re doing NaNo, how are you doing? (Three weeks down, guys! We can do iiiit!) Did you enjoy this peek behind the scenes? Feel free to take the tag and do it yourself!

Return of the Ishness! {March 2016}

We will just ignore the fact that while I was trying to write this post I got distracted looking at Sherlock pins on Pinterest for far longer than I would care to admit. Yep. Because That Would Never Happen. John-est. Honest. Never.

Ahem.

Anyways, THAT was a sidetrack. But HI! Hello everyone! ^_^ I’m… trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s April? Say what?

I’ve also kind of… forgotten to post over here. *shifty eyes* I’ve been posting bookish things on my book blog, so it vaguely slipped my mind that I hadn’t posted here in awhile, what with not having life/writing things to say. But I am back! 🙂

And now that we’re a week into April *cough* it’s time to look at what happened in March…

ishness

WRITING

R&RThe month started off with the Rooglewood Press announcements, putting a bookend on my first writing contest, which was definitely an interesting experience! I’m very glad I wrote The Rose and the Raven and glad I entered; and actually, now, glad I didn’t win. I’m not ready for that kind of pressure, that kind of being-edited, and it’s quite clear that my somewhat whimsical, more fantasy retelling would not have fitted with the selection that was finally made…

Anyways! I learned a lot about writing and cutting words and editing under a deadline and all that good stuff. 🙂

Now that this chapter of my writing is closed for now (I’ll likely go back to the story and re-edit/add some eventually but not right now), I feel ready to focus on something else! …What that something else will be remains to be seen, though. 😉

OHEcoverAs far as what I actually wrote in March, I wrote a bit of The Other Half of Everything for later on in the story (Teague and Meridian are so fun to write…).

I also finally edited the horrendous bits of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood that I wrote during NaNo (they were a mess) and wrote a bit more of that, officially finishing Part 1 of KW2! *confetti* (We’ll just ignore the fact that it’s passed 60k and only allegedly one-third done… *cough*) But that was a HUGE milestone for me! I’ve been trying to get to that point for a looong time. Very excited about that! Though… my characters are not. Ahem. Tare may or may not be verrry done with me right now. >.>

20160321_175410

I printed out Part 1 as a reward/incentive

And as per usual, there’s a lot of plotting of various books going on. I changed the title of my epic fantasy series from The Starrellian Saga to The Princes of Starrellia (because… er… there are many characters of a princely variety… And I like the sound of it). I’ve been working a bit on that.

I also have a new-ish book knocking at the back of my brain to be let in, which is actually a combination of several different ideas I’d had before (namely a sci-fi/mind thing, an alleged Doctor Who fanfic which I’m taking the germ of the story and just making it an original, as well as a steampunk time-travel thing, another time-travel thing involving books, and another vague idea featuring a very special library). This new/old story is called The Library in the Stars and it’s still in fledgling state, especially since I haven’t sorted out exactly how all the threads fit together, but I’m excited to see what happens with it.

libraryinthestars

So that’s what’s going on on the writing front for me! I’m still a bit writer’s-blocked and having a hard time focusing. I consequently decided to spend much of March reading instead.

Speaking of which . . .

READING

march2016reads

Again, these are in reverse-order of when I read them, because it’s from my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

I read 13 books in March which is… a lot for me.

What a mix! Some Moomin books (a fun, hilarious children’s fantasy series originally written in Swedish); a couple of Regency books; two utterly different fantasy books set in modern-day Ireland (Blood Ties and Skulduggery Pleasant); a time-travel book; a collection of essays on writing; a splendid Beauty and the Beast retelling from Melanie Dickerson of which I got an ARC and hope to review soon; and another Diana Wynne Jones book, featuring centaurs and a Sci-fi/Fantasy Convention and tons of wackiness.

I will likely post a reading roundup on my book blog soonish… (I know, I know, I still haven’t posted my roundup for February. *cough* It will happen, it will…)

ON MY BOOK BLOG

I took part, slightly, in March Magics, which was quite fun, most notably listing the books by Diana Wynne Jones that I’ve read so far. Yay!

WATCHING

I got to see Thor: The Dark World again (yay!) and greatly enjoyed being able to actually see the faces and what was actually going on due to not having a bunch of fog between myself and the screen. Thor and Loki together are the BEST. XD

I also finally saw The Guardians of the Galaxy, which everyone and their Groot have been telling me to watch ever since it came out, and found it extremely odd but quite fun and sometimes hilarious.

I also saw Megamind, which… again, quite weird but more fun than I’d expected.

(Are you noticing a trend? Lots of superhero movies…)

And I pretty much finished watching Jeeves & Wooster. SO fun!

But most of all, I saw the first season of an original fantasy webseries, Ren: The Girl with the Mark, by the people who made the Lord of the Rings fan-film prequel, Born of Hope, and I loved it! Now they just need to do a second season! O_O (Seriously though, they need to. NEED!!!) In case you are wondering, it was AMAZING and I have very definite opinions on if you should watch it or not. (Hint: YOU TOTALLY SHOULD.)

ren

MUSIC

Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that I got to see my favorite singer in concert this March for my birthday? Hearing Loreena McKennitt live on stage was MAGICAL. ❤ (If you’ve never heard her gorgeous Celtic music, you’re missing out.) Loreena herself was so lovely — charming, witty, insightful, and gracious. I just love her music so much, and it was so immersive live! So many emotions with that amazing music — one moment achingly beautiful, another hauntingly sad, and the next laughing at one of her jokes. It was so much fun, so gorgeous, and I was utterly enchanted. An incredible experience that I’m so thankful to have had the chance to have. ^_^

LIFE

‘Twas an interesting month, was March.

I kind of struggled through the Rooglewood announcements and other involved things (though I’m over that one now, thankfully! :)), Daylight Savings Time (argh! I still have not recovered. -_- *shakes clock because surely it must be incorrect*), a lot of various writing self-doubts (thanks very much for all the support on that! I love you guys! ❤ ), and a bout of writer’s block, which is lurking still, slightly…

But aside from that, the rest was really an amazing month. 🙂 I read a lot of fabulous birthday books (and a few review books), saw Loreena McKennitt, enjoyed my very first Twitter Party (for Diana Wynne Jones. It was SO FUN!) and generally… lived. Which is good, I guess. 😉

I’ve also gotten back into listening to Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor, since it’s handy to have something to listen to while exercising, and I had wanted to get back to listening but hadn’t found an excuse. So this is awesome and I’m very excited to get caught up on some of his awesome (free!) podcasts and lectures on Tolkien and Faerie & Fantasy and other works of literature. 🙂 Corey’s a really awesome guy, both funny and really interesting, to listen to. I always have great fun with his lectures! ^_^

tolkprof

APRIL THINGS

*ignores fact that we’re already a week into the month* Dunno what my plans are for this month besides all the reading I need to do. I’ll (hopefully) have a few book reviews popping up over here soonish!

I am not, in fact, doing Camp NaNo, but for those of you who are, I wish you the best of luck, you awesome people! YOU’VE GOT THIS! I do however hope to figure out what writing projects to work on and get some writing done all the same… but we will see. *fingers crossed*

That was my March! How was yours? Any plans for April? I hope you’ll have a wonderful month! 🙂

(Not?)Valentines: Teague & Meridian (Beautiful People)

BPvalentines

Beautiful People is a monthly linkup for writers with lovely questions to help figure out our characters, held by Cait and Skyejoin in if you like!

This month’s Beautiful People is out… and this edition is a Valentine’s Day themed one, because character couples. Yayness!

I was trying to figure out who to pick for this… (A lot of the questions don’t seem to fit well with my Silver Forest couples, and I’d have to pick one of the bajillions from that, which sounded like a difficult task…) But I wasn’t sure if I could use Teague and Meridian from The Other Half of  Everything, because they’re not really a “thing”. Yet.

But I do want to figure them out more, so I ended up picking them all the same. (You knew I would…)

They’ll be assisting me in answering the questions. (Ha, like that’s a good idea…)

(For those who don’t know, Teague is a twenty-something year old writer fellow and Meridian is the eighteen-year-old heroine of my story The Other Half of Everything, which is still in snippets-all-over-the-place stage, and a mix of genres: contemporary, possibly in England or some version of it, with world-hopping and fantasy involved.)

OHEbannerfinal2

Now we begin… Let the bickering commence! Bwahaha.

(It’s going to be long. Just a warning.)

If you want the short version, it’s: a) Meridian griped, b) Teague was oblivious, and, c) the author was too amused for her own good.

QUESTIONS

1. How did they first meet?

OHEcoverTeague: Oh, you know. The usual. Eye contact was made (admittedly not much of it), words were said (admittedly I don’t recall all of them). We met because she knocked on my door. I remembered to answer it. She really ought to have been impressed over that, you know, but she wasn’t…

Meridian: I applied to be his housekeeper from the advertisement he had posted. Because I needed the money for college and it was a job which wouldn’t require me to drive anywhere because Gran has the car all the time. Since he lives on the top floor of the big old house I live in one of the apartment-like parts of, it was a simple job, right there, all I had to do was climb the stairs. …Lots of them, but still, just stairs. And I do know how to be a housekeeper because Gran is particular about that sort of thing. *shrug* Of course, if I’d known what would come of it, I would not have applied.

Teague: *for a miracle, hears her remarks — or a least most of them — and grins*

Meridian: *suspiciously* What are smiling about?

Teague: *quickly returns to ordinary vague expression and looks alarmingly innocent* Nothing.

2. What were their first impressions of each other?

Meridian: That he was a lot younger and more goodlooking than he should have been. *realizes how that sounds* I mean… I thought he was going to be an old man! Because of the advertisement and the name and… an elderly man used to live up top and… Anyways, that; and that he was extremely absentminded. And infuriating. Still is, actually.

Deborah: What about you, Teague? What was your first impression of Meridian?

Teague: Er… I’m sure I had one…

Meridian: *shakes head* …Yeah, I know, but if you did, you forgot it. And you kept forgetting my name.

Teague: *throws up his hands* I forget everyone’s names!

Meridian: Make that: you forget everything.

Teague: *twitches an eyebrow with a vaguely dramatic kicked-puppy look* Not true. I remember some things.

Meridian: *challengingly* Like what?

Teague: *makes noncommittal Hmm-ing noises* …Something. I’m sure. I just don’t remember what…

3. How long have they been a couple?

hugDeborah: *elbows both of them out of the way and hastily answers this one* Erm… strictly speaking, they’re not. And… won’t be, officially, for quite awhile. But I don’t care because they’re adorable all the same. I’m answering this one because Meridian would exclaim that they’re not a thing, and Teague would just cluelessly go “hmm?” soo… sometimes the author can be more useful about answering these things… >.>

4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?

Teague-ishMeridian: *blinks* Ummm… Did I miss something?

Teague: *tilts head* What’s stress? What’s disagreement? Secrets are the natural way of the universe, or if they aren’t, they ought to be, because people make fusses over things when they learn them, so they shouldn’t until they’re ready. Which they rarely are. “To die would be an awfully big adventure.” *aside to Meridian:* That’s from Peter Pan, by the way. Not that you would know, not being a reader… Judging. In case you didn’t notice.

Meridian: *drops face into hands* *groans:* Can we just have another question please…?

5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc… and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

meridianagainMeridian: He has no food quirks. Or, rather, he has one very enormous one which is this: He quite simply doesn’t food.

Teague: *mildly* Really, Meridian. You and your grammar…

Meridian: Fine! He doesn’t eat. Because he forgets to. Because he’s too busy reading or writing or whatever it is that he does. Which is why I cook. It’s a miracle he didn’t starve to death before he hired me.

Teague: *nods complacently* *then unexpectedly says:* She eats croutons.

Meridian: *sends Teague a startled look* What?

Teague: She likes to eat plain croutons out of the bag instead of putting them on salads. Like chips. And when she’s focusing on something like leaning over a batch of something she’s cooking up, she has a little crease between her eyebrows and impatiently pushes her hair behind one ear with her little finger when her hair gets in the way — actually she does that all the time. And she always flickers a look sideways to the left when she steals a taste of batter or whatever it is, as if checking to make sure nobody sees it, and she likes marshmallows in her coffee even though people think its childish, and you can tell she’s always humming inside her head because of the way she moves to the tune.

Meridian: *blinks very wide eyes* Um…

Teague: *smiles faintly* See? I notice things… sometimes.

Deborah: *beams and squirms and aren’t they adorable asdfgklakjdljljlkd*

6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?

Meridian: There isn’t one. And even if there was, nobody would care because nobody would know, because I certainly would never admit to liking him… Even if I did. Which I don’t.

Teague: Are we talking about theoretical scenarios, then? Because theoretically, yes, nobody would care enough to disapprove, really… My sister Lulin thinks that anything involving me actually interacting with other humans is a good thing. I can’t imagine why.

Meridian: *curiously tilts her head* What about Ivan?

Teague: *stiffens* *short bark of laughter with almost imperceptible touch of bitterness* He wouldn’t care either. Definitely. No caring. *Teague’s face becomes extremely vague and distant and uncaring as if he’s forgotten the entire thing already*

7. What would be an ideal date? –> evening spent in each other’s company

williamblakequotedoorsDeborah: *surreptitiously changes word from “date” to something less specific, to avoid their suspicious remarks*

Meridian: *wrinkles nose* If it was an ideal evening, it wouldn’t be in his company… but okay, probably we’d be somewhere far away from his books and writing and I’d be playing my violin and instead of being off in his own head, he’d actually be paying attention to me. Not that I can imagine why I’d want him to? But… well, he never does. So. *folds arms*

Teague: If it was ideal, I’d be writing, and she doesn’t care to be around when I’m doing that… Can’t imagine why. But if I wasn’t writing, then there are two options. No, three. 1: we’d go questing together. It might take more than an evening… 2: we’d walk under the stars and talk. 3: we’d sit in my study and she’d read aloud to me one of the books I’ve written.

Meridian: You are vain, you know that?

Teague: Hmm. Of all the things you’ve accused me of being, that one’s never come up before… I must be branching out.

8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?

bookpilesMeridian: We’re opposites. Mesh perfectly? *laughs* Nope. I fight a lot, and he… ignores!

Teague: *blinks absently and doesn’t answer* *then seems to wake up momentarily* Wait, you fight a lot…? With who?

Meridian: *rolls eyes* No one, apparently.

Teague: *frowning* How can someone fight when the other person doesn’t respond?

Meridian: *throws up hands* They can’t! That’s why it’s so annoying.

Teague: I don’t know why anyone would want to… *shrugs*

Meridian: He doesn’t even notice when I’m angry at him.

Teague: *blinks* You were angry at me? When?

Meridian: This is what I’m talking about.

Teague: *scribbles a note somewhere because he forgot entirely that he was being interviewed or even talked at, and had a sudden inspiration from a story which demanded his attention*

9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?

portalarchwayDeborah: *cough* Editing it again… >.>

Meridian: Best? Um… there haven’t really been any. Worst? Well. That time. *gives Teague a hard stare*

Teague: *protestingly* I thought you would like going there.

Meridian: Well I didn’t.

Teague: *sadly* I observed.

10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?

notthatcomplicated

Meridian: I’m his housekeeper, he’s my employer. The end. It’s not a relationship.

Teague: Technically speaking, you do know that that is a relationship, of a sort…

Meridian: Oh, right. He’s not my employer. He’s a dictionary. *glares*

Teague: *blinks mildly* Inaccurate. Dictionaries are boringly factual. I’m a writer, remember?

Meridian: How could I ever forget?

Teague: Precisely. That’s my job. *half grin*

Meridian: As for where we see ourselves in a few years: I see myself, hopefully, studying at university, far from here. Can’t speak for him. Teague? *nudges his shoulder when he appears not to hear*

Teague: Hmm? Oh. Let me think. I see myself…. *trails off with a dreamy absentminded private smile and forgets to say it out loud… unless it was intentional*

Meridian&Teague

Well, there you have it. One of the longest and most off-topic Beautiful Peoples of ever. They kinda ran away with me. Because that’s what they do. 😉 Hope you enjoyed it all the same. 😛