The Other Half of Everything

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In my last post, I introduced the Aurelius siblings, and today I thought I’d say some more about the actual book they inhabit.

whimsyThe Other Half of Everything is set partially in our world in a vaguely modern time… I haven’t decided the exact location. But there is also a good deal of hopping over to fantasy worlds, which I’m very much looking forward to. In spite of what may sound like somewhat dark story-arcs for Teague and his siblings, I actually intend for the book to be fairly whimsical and humorous.

Although the Aurelius siblings are the ones who I’ve introduced, the main character of The Other Half of Everything is Meridian, who is very different than I am, and is going to be very interesting to write. I’m currently thinking of writing the book in first-person from Meridian’s point of view (which would make this my first book that wasn’t in third-person) but I haven’t decided yet. I think of the book as being primarily Meridian and Teague’s story.

Here’s a little (okay, long-ish) blurb-like bit about the story, and then, to get a further peek into it, some snippets, yay!

I also have a PINTEREST BOARD for it.

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Summary

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Meridian

All Meridian Brownley wanted was a job to help pay for college. Instead, she found an unwanted adventure when she became the housekeeper of the top floor of the enormous old house she had lived in all her life.

Everything she found there was unexpected (except the dust). Mr. Stottleshaw was not at all the white-haired old man who everyone along the street had not seen go down to his mailbox in thirteen years and was vaguely suspected of being a magician (which was nonsense). There was nothing very glamorous or mysterious or magical at all about the upper floor, although there was certainly an unusual amount of papers, and even larger quantities of frustration to be had.

Meridian avoided writers like the plague, which was unfortunate, as that was what Mr. Stottleshaw turned out to be — although that did not even seem to be his name. He was in fact Teague Aurelius, a young and extremely absentminded writer, who sometimes got lost in his stacks of books and papers, forest of sticky-notes, and armada of looking-glasses. He had very odd relatives who would drop in at the most inopportune times, and a bad habit of forgetting to eat unless Meridian cooked for him. And an even worse habit of disappearing for days.

Until one time, he took Meridian with him.

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Snippets

spiralstaircaseThe phone rang, a long, forlorn, wailing noise that seemed to echo through the rooms as if it was being abandoned. I soon found out why.

“Aren’t you going to answer that?” I asked him on the fourth ring.

“No.”

I paused, somewhat shaken at his flatness of tone. “But… if someone’s trying to get a hold of you…” I began.

He didn’t even look up, but interjected absently, “If they really want me to pay attention they can email, or text. Or write a letter,” he added as an afterthought.

I never wrote or typed anything if I could say it instead, and found it annoying when people insisted on texting and especially not answering their phones. “What if they want to talk to you?”

“Then they can come to the door,” he said, unperturbed and still not looking up. “I answer that. Most of the time.”

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Eventually, after the phone had rung repeatedly at intervals and been ignored by Teague every time, I lost my patience and answered it, looking directly at him so he would get the hint. “Hello? Teague’s residence—how many he not help you?”

***

booksandmirrorWhy do you have all these looking-glasses?” I found myself asking out loud as he passed one time.

I felt like I had cleaned a dozen already and was not looking forward to the nightmare of who-knew how many more.

“So that I won’t forget I exist,” Teague said.

I eyed his face, waiting for him to smile at his own joke. And then I realized he was being serious.

***

“Well… What are you writing?” I tried.

“Novels, naturally,” he said, in a way that seemed to imply that there was positively nothing else in the world that could be written.

I noticed that he had used a plural. “How many?” I asked.

“I haven’t the slightest idea,” he said unconcernedly. “As many as want to be written, plus several that don’t.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Thank you again.”

“I am not complimenting you.”

fantasyworldTeague smiled his absentminded smile—I was beginning to wonder if he had any other kind—and answered calmly, “Maybe you don’t think you are, but you may be wrong. When two people think opposite things about something and one person says something derogatory about the other… it can amount to a compliment. Compliments are slippery things.”

His logic was equally slippery, and, I thought, inaccurate, but I could not figure it out enough to argue. I shook my head and gave up. “I will never understand you.”

Teague’s vague smile widened as he walked dreamily to the next room, saying, “And that is the highest compliment of all.”

Beautiful People: The Aurelius Siblings

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I’m linking up with Beautiful People, a questionnaire for characters, hosted by Sky @ Further-up-and-Further-in and Cait @ PaperFury, for their Sibling Edition! If you’d like to join up for the writerly goodness, head on over to either of their blogs and sign up with the linky!

For these questions, today I’ve chosen to feature three siblings from my latest attack-plot-bunny that I’ve mentioned a couple times

I’d better tell the title now as well since it’s rather hard to talk about something when it’s still “the mystery book that Deborah is obsessed with but won’t tell us about”. 😉

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The Other Half of Everything

May I introduce the Aurelius siblings from my latest attack-plot-bunny, “The Other Half of Everything”: Teague, Ivan, and Lulin.

(pictures from pinterest)

Teague Aurelius

Ivan Aurelius

Lulin Aurelius

I thought about having the characters answer the questions themselves, since that’s always very fun. But Teague and Ivan refused to be in the same room… facing the same direction… answering questions… about each other. And Lulin saw no reason why the burden should fall on her to answer for her stubbornly thickheaded older brothers. So I’m afraid I’ll have to do the answering today…

The Aurelius Siblings

1. What is the first memory they have of each other?

Teague remembers Ivan’s laugh when as a baby he crawled the vast reaches of the kitchen floor; and soon after Lulin was born, her first smile lighting up a world that did not know what it had been missing. Ivan remembers Teague breaking his fall when he fell off a particularly high and frightening bed; and Lulin in pink trying to master the art of crawling up stairs. Lulin remembers her and Ivan drawing on each other with pens; and Teague holding her up to a looking glass to see the tiara on her head.

2. Describe their relationship in 3 words.

Lulin’s toward both brothers: loving, lost, heartbroken. The two brothers’ relationship toward Lulin: caring, playful, distracted. Teague and Ivan’s relationship: strained, broken, angry.

3. What kind of things do they like to do together?

They used to walk the worlds together… Until their other brother died. Now Ivan and Teague actively avoid each other, and if they end up in the same room the only things likely to occur are a) ignoring, and b) arguing. Ivan and Lulin take walks or see movies together, if he’s in a good mood and if she’s on speaking terms with him that particular day. Lulin and Teague will sit and talk, or read to each other, or she’ll play her cello while he writes.

4. What was their biggest fight?

Lulin still fights both of them a tiny bit sometimes and Teague and Ivan used to fight all the time back when they lived together… But their biggest three-way fight was the one they had after their other brother’s death, and was the fight that tore them apart and ended in them all leaving and going separate ways, to each be broken on their own.

5. How far would they go to save each other?

Teague and Ivan would go to the ends of the worlds and back for their little sister, and Lulin would do the same for them. Teague says he’s washed his hands of Ivan… but if push came to shove he’d do anything to save his brother, even if he won’t admit it right now. It’s never occurred to Ivan that his older brother might need saving someday — if it did, he’d say he hates Teague and it serves him right; but the next second he might step in recklessly and do whatever he had to… if he was in the mood…

6. What are their pet peeves about each other?

Ivan’s recklessness, rebellious streak, and recent inclination toward drinking. Lulin’s lightheartedness, tendency to distract herself with pretty things, and how she keeps trying to get them to reconcile. Teague’s habit of putting on an absentminded front, burying himself under a vague emotionlessness, and how he disappears into his writing, and takes a position of leadership without consulting them about it. And all of them are annoyed at each other’s stubbornness…

7. What are their favorite things about each other?

Both brothers like Lulin’s playfulness and alternating spunk and sweetness, the way she always has the right thing to say to make them smile… or used to; and the way everything is somehow almost okay when she’s around. Lulin and Ivan both like how unshakable Teague is, his quiet strength and intelligence… though Ivan would never admit it these days. Lulin likes how Ivan will pay attention to her and share in her playfulness at times. And Teague liked Ivan’s previous openness and boyish ability to live life to the fullest, which is a much-needed reminder for Teague, who can forget such things when he’s busy being the leader with others, or the writer on his own. Right now though, Teague’s and Ivan’s favorite things about each other are on hold… they secretly miss each other, but the rift runs too deep to be bridged, or for them to admit it even to themselves.

8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?

They have fair hair — but of varying shades (Teague’s sandy-brown, Ivan’s yellow-blond and spiky, and Lulin’s a startling white), and each have the same indecisively colored eyes, grey-blue-green. They’re extremely stubborn. And they have a pull toward adventure that none of them can ignore for too long.

9. Who has the strongest personality?

Each of the three has similarly strong personalities, although quite different from each other’s; Teague’s might be the strongest, though often hidden behind his absent front. But perhaps the personality stronger than any of theirs was their other brother’s before his death, who was a heroic, charismatic, head-on, all-around outgoing person, with a touch of Teague’s leadership, Ivan’s recklessness, and Lulin’s playfulness. Without him, each of their personalities seem to be missing something… to have a hole that is taking a long time healing.

10. How does their relationship change throughout your story?

I can’t really say yet, since the story is still in its fledgling stages… I do hope that they will come to accept each other… That they will realize they’re broken on their own and need each other… That the brothers will again look after Lulin as they used to… That she will learn it is not entirely up to her to look after them… And especially that Ivan and Teague will be reconciled, and learn to look after each other and be brothers again.

That’s what I hope, anyway. But we’ll have to see.

Because with such stubbornness in the Aurelius family, who can say what will happen when this fledgling story grows its feathers, takes wing, and soars from the nest of this writer’s mind to the ever-waiting paper…?

777 Writing Challenge – Heartseeker & KW2

Claire M. Banschbach tagged me for the 777 Writing Challenge awhile back, so I thought I’d do it! 🙂 Thanks for the nomination, Claire!

And thanks Shantelle for letting me know! 😉 By the way, everyone — on a writing related note, Shantelle is looking for beta-readers for a Cinderella-ish novella, and I know from reading another of her works that she writes beautiful stories! ❤ So if that sounds up your alley, do drop by her lovely blog!

Anyways, back to all the 7’s…

777 Writing Challenge

The rules of this challenge are as follows: you go to page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post, and tag 7 bloggers to do the writing challenge themselves on their own blogs with their own WIPs.

I’m interpreting “lines” as “sentences”, even though I’m not sure if that’s exactly what it meant…

And I’m working on two books, so here is a snippet from each!

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The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Lavender blinked several times. “Tare knows someone?”

“More importantly: someone knows Tare?” Baz said.

“Are you sure about this?” Ivy asked.

Jake nodded vigorously, and Marie said, “Yeah. We thought it was weird that someone would ask after him randomly. Especially since, before that, I wasn’t entirely sure if this Tare person really existed.”

“Oh, he is verrry existent,” Baz said. “You don’t even know how much he exists. …When he’s here, that is.”

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Heartseeker

It was a tumultuous mixture of heartrending emotion with aching sorrow at the core, shattering her, and the only thing she could think to do with it was to run up these stairs and speak with Prince Haldon.

She reached the top, where she barely paused to catch her breath before flinging the door open. She stood in the doorway, breathing hard. The room was unusually dark, for the evening was getting on and only the last rays of sunset shone through the westward window, and a single candle burned in a holder on a table across the chamber by a canopied bed.

In a chair halfway into the room, facing away from the window, a figure sprawled. The darkened room made it hard to see him, and Princess Evanna only got a vague impression of dark clothes and long dark hair. His face was in shadow, and he did not turn the whole way to look at her—indeed, he gave no movement or impression that he had even noticed her.

***

So there are the snippets of the day — I hope they were at least a teeny bit interesting! I had so much fun doing this! Thanks again for tagging me, Claire! ❤

And for the last part…

I Tag:

Lauri

Sarah

Tracey

Jenelle

Lisa

Cait

Kelsey

(Y’all obviously don’t have to do it if you don’t want. 😉 And I don’t think any of you have done it before… but if you have, sorry!) Alternately, anyone who might be doing Camp NaNo, you could use your Camp story! 😀

And anyone reading this: if you’d like, feel free to snag the tag yourself and do it on your blog!

If you do it, let me know in the comments so I can read your beautiful words! 🙂

March Ishness

Greetings, dearest bloglings!! (Is that a word…? Pft, if not, we shall make it one!) I have missed y’all! ❤

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been around here much this last month… I’ve been trying to step back from the internet a bit in order to get some stuff done. So here I am with a bit of a March overview!

Here’s some of the ishness I’ve been up to of late.

For one thing, I had a birthday (I’m old now…), and I also “celebrated” my 8-year Writing Anniversary. In other words, the anniversary of the day I decided I was going to finish my first book and be a writer. (I once told that story here.)

Other than that, I’ve been . . .

Getting excited about these books coming out:

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England Adventure, Heidel, and Out of Darkness Rising

And also The Penderwicks in Spring — which I have on hold at the library and am dying to read as well! So many awesome books came out in March! I’m going to devour them as soon as I can. ❤ Speaking of which…

Reading

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see my Goodreads Reading Challenge

I finally finished reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series! Sooo fun! And Chrestomanci himself is the BEST. ❤ The Pinhoe Egg, which wrapped up the series perfectly, may be my favorite book of the year so far! *flail*

Though Frederica and the book I’m editing are up there too… 😉

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Editing

I did a whole lot of work on editing my friend’s lovely book… Not quite done that, but I’m this close to finishing! It’s so exciting to see it coming together! ❤

Writing

Not much on the writing front in March… I’m a little burnt-out, methinks, and have been stepping back from that a bit as well, giving it a rest. That said, I did get a little bit of writing done, and a bunch of plotting.

I wrote nearly 2,000 words of snippets, some for my Kedran’s Wood series, but mostly for my latest story idea, which is still haunting me and refusing to leave.

I also did a bunch of brainstorming on that one (because the characters are insisting they’re all messed up and broken so they made me write out backstories and relationships and I’m like GUYS THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LIGHTHEARTED THING. SERIOUSLY. *headdesk*), as well as for a possible candidate for this year’s NaNo — a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling!

And my contemporary-fantasy Kedran’s Wood series decided to inform me that instead of having only 3 books, as it did in February, it now has 4, plus a prequel, plus a couple of short stories between the books. Oh yeah. That’s a thing that happened…

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Plans for April

Sooo… what’s up for this month?

Well, for one thing, I’m not doing Camp NaNo. That may come as a shock to some (I did both Camps last year and the year before, after all, and have been doing the November one every year for 5 years…).

I kind of really want to do Camp, especially when so many lovely friends of mine are doing it this time, but… I really feel like I need to step back from writing challenges for a bit, and try to rediscover writing because I WANT to write, not because some graph somewhere or some challenge I committed to says I SHOULD. I absolutely love NaNo, and Camp NaNo has helped me to write several things I’ve loved getting into, but I decided not to do it this time.

For those of you who are doing Camp NaNo, though — AWESOME! Best of luck! Write on, intrepid writers/campers! You can do this!!!

Anyway, I’m not making many plans this month… I’m going to finish my editing and then see what else happens. So to be honest, I don’t know what April’s going to look like.

…Though I have hopes that some of it will look like this. 😉

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All the yummy books I want to devour!

***

How about you?

How was your March? Do you have plans for April?

Are you doing Camp NaNo (and why/why not?)?

I want to hear! Share all in the comments!! 🙂

February Ishness

My doings of February…

Was sick almost all month. A flu and then a cold a week later. Which as you might imagine did not do much for my wanting to be productive…

Went to a library sale…

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Read (mostly contemporary books). Which is weird for me…

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Wrote nearly 6,500 words. Which may not sound like much but it’s more than I usually do in a month. I worked on a few different things, but mostly Tare (who is now vaguely mad at me because he hates nightmares).

  • A bit of progress on Heartseeker.
  • A (very long) chapter of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood, which hit 40k words.
  • Hawkeye fanfiction.
  • Some random snippets, including some for my new idea I mentioned in my last summarizing post.

Made progress on editing my friend’s lovely book. But am not finished yet. (Finished the first round, though.)

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EDIT: Oh! And I discovered “Leverage”. Thanks to Christine and Cait for getting me into it. I have seen two seasons and it is awesome (Robin-Hood-like con artists hurray!). Eliot is the best ever. Just sayin’.

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So there’s another round of monthly Ishness.