My Misguided Fairy Godmother Muse

Once upon a time, there was a girl who started writing stories.

She spent several years scribbling away at them, going back and forth between a few different ideas and consequently not making much progress on them.

Then something strange began to happen. She began to have even more and more ideas for even more stories! What could this mean?

But, cheerily, she continued writing, and making notes for all the new ideas. She became obsessed with making lists of the stories, and developing titles for them, and designing mock covers for them, and writing out summaries of what they were about. She began to be more excited about “playing” with the stories than actually writing them.

Time went on. The list of stories continued to grow and grow and grow! But far from complaining, the writer was delighted.

She did so enjoy making those lists and writing those notes, you see.

Somewhere along the way, she began to notice patterns. Whenever she would take a break from working on her writings, whether on purpose to recharge, or accidentally due to busyness, she would suddenly get hit with all this inspiration — and, more often than not, that inspiration might include ideas for new stories.

Then the year of 2015 hit. The ideas were flying in left and write right. It began to get insane. The writer began to despair of ever getting around to writing all of the things, especially at the snail-like pace the actual writing was happening.

So the writer stepped back and analyzed this phenomenon.

That was when the writer discovered the presence of her fairy godmother.

Most writers talk of their “Muse”.

(very helpful…)

This writer realized that instead of a muse, she had a benevolent but misguided fairy godmother of inspiration. (Perhaps rather like Ophelia from Broken Glass by Emma Clifton…)

The writer realized that the fairy godmother muse freaks out whenever the writer is not making Story, knowing that the writer is happier when making Story. So the fairy godmother, thinking the writer is just tired of the old stories, quickly throws a bunch of new ideas at the writer to get her attention.

If you haven’t figured out by now, this writer is me. And this benevolent but misguided fairy godmother of my writerly brain/inspiration/muse is the cause of both my excitedness about having so many story ideas to write, and my despair over ever finishing anything, let alone all of them.

My fairy godmother muse, especially this year, is constantly going:

“STORY. STORY! YOU’RE NOT MAKING STORY. YOU’LL BE HAPPIER WITH SOME STORY. MAKE STORY!”

And hands me more and more storyness, shoving it into my brain and then beaming and watching happily as I flail around like a headless octopus and try to work on ALL OF THE STORY THINGS.

Unfortunately, my fairy godmother muse doesn’t seem to care if I’m actually making PROGRESS on said stories, i.e., actually writing them down…

As long as I’m flailing around doing plotting or brainstorming or making lists, she feels confident that she has been doing her job well and fulfilling her role in keeping her writer happy playing with stories.

To give you an idea of the insanity that’s underway, I’m going to share a list of the story ideas that have “clicked” this year ALONE.

The main ones are:

  • The Other Half of Everything (I think I’ve mentioned this enough…)
  • Darkling Reflections (Finished this one! Huzzah! …Yes, it’s a short story; I can still be proud.)
  • The Siren and the Skyship (swashbuckling sky adventuresome gender-swapped steampunk Little Mermaid retelling)

Five more stories in the Kedran’s Wood series (bringing it to a total of 8… so far; last year it was supposed to be a “trilogy”. Haha. Isn’t that just ADORABLE?)

  • Son of Kedran’s Wood – prequel novella
  • Return to McAllistair Mansion – short story (I wrote this one! I’s so proud of me.)
  • Mixup at Kedran’s Wood – novella between books 2 & 3
  • The Novelist of Kedran’s Wood – novel set after book 3, a double story
  • Celebrations at Kedran’s Wood – short story set after all of the planned books (thus far… *cough*)

As well as:

  • A modern Cinderella retelling about a writer, set during NaNoWriMo
  • An untitled fairy-tale mashup conglomeration retelling (RETELL ALL OF THE THINGS)
  • An untitled thing I’m currently calling “The Epic Book” which is vague but has some awesome ideas swirling
  • An extremely vague notion of an idea for a con/heist story that would be a companion to Underground Rainbow, starring the eccentric purple-haired artist (no, unfortunately this has no plot yet and I probably will never be able to make it work)
  • An idea for a nonfiction book about various things

And I also “made official” i.e. added to my lists because I had had ideas about them but was pretending they didn’t exist:

  • The tenth Starrellian Saga book
  • A sequel/companion novel to Heartseeker about the Bard and Trillum
  • An untitled Arthurian retelling which is going to be super cool

Not to mention my Sleeping Beauty novella The Rose and the Raven, which had been a vague idea for years but only just this year finally came together as something I could write… (But, again, having trouble CONTINUING… ya know?)

Yes. That is 16 (or 17 if you count The Rose and the Raven) stories, either from ideas from this year or “officialized” by listing them as stories to write. THAT’S JUST THIS YEAR ALONE. That’s not even thinking about the 30+ other stories from BEFORE the notorious 2015-when-all-the-stories-exploded-in-plotbunnies-and-said-write-us-or-we’ll-kill you. Sometimes I scroll through my list of 50ish stories and just go… “HOW EVEN.”

Sixteen new stories this year, guys. (So far…)

Can you see how insane this is getting?

Apparently there’s just no dealing with a benevolent but misguided fairy godmother of inspiration.

(And no, I don’t actually know whether you should be very happy for me or PLAYING A DIRGE.

It’s very confusing and I honestly can’t tell anymore.

Blame it on my fairy godmother.)

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The Other Half of Everything

DianaWynneJonesQuote

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.

OHEbannerfinal2

Summary

meridian2

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.

Portal1

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.”

SwirlStairs

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.”

Heartseeker Snippets – Part the 2nd

*drumroll*

Here by popular demand are some more snippets from my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel, Heartseeker.

…Seriously, I wasn’t planning on a Part 2 post. That first post of snippets was all y’all were going to get. 😉 Your quests requests have been heard!

(All pictures are from my Heartseeker board on Pinterest, except the cover, and therefore do not belong to me etc.)

Enjoy!

CoverHeartseeker

***

bardillustrationThe boy drew his knees up to his chin and folded his arms around his legs, watching the Bard; knowledge-questing eyes and ears ready to hear even beyond the words the Bard spoke.

The fire flickered and shadows danced about the dell, and the very trees seemed to be lowering their branches to listen as the Bard’s voice started to weave a tale in the darkness under the stars for his captivated audience of the single boy who had asked for a story.

“Once upon a time . . .” the Bard began.

***

Princess Evanna stood very still, taking this in. “But… why then do you lock yourself away?”

Prince Haldon looked away again. “I am heartless now, and so if I go out in the world I am sure to do more harm than good in it. That is why I do not come down.”

“Then you cannot be truly heartless, for a heartless man would not care if he caused harm.”

“You know nothing of the matter,” Prince Haldon growled from the shadows.

***

trillumTrillum got things done, though, and before Evanna knew what had happened or could protest, he had effectively gotten the next fellow down from Sir Kern and Sir Dagget kicked out of his chair and relocated further down the table so that Evanna could sit while she talked with the knights.

“Would you care to sit, my lady?” Trillum asked.

“Well . . . thank you, but you did not need to do that,” Princess Evanna said, sitting in the chair he had cleared.

Trillum said nothing but merely bowed slightly and went to stand behind Sir Dagget again.

***

“What a perfect morning to start an adventure!” Sir Kern said with a merry twinkle in his eye. “Pleasant and fair; just right to get underway in the right frame of mind. Do you not think so, my lady?”

Before Princess Evanna could answer, Sir Dagget grunted and said, “It will rain tonight.”

***

knight2“Ah, fighting talk is it, now?” Sir Kern laughed. “If we were not traveling in the company of ladies, I should have my sword out now and beat you soundly in a fight within five minutes.”

“Only if I accepted,” Sir Dagget said mildly. “More likely I should decide it was not worth degrading my noble sword in a fight with you, and should have Trillum take the fight for me and best you within a mere two minutes. Is that not right, lad?” He glanced behind at his white-haired squire, who had spoken not a word since they had started.

Trillum smiled a little, and only said, “Perhaps. But I should not wish to harm Sir Kern’s dignity.”

“This whole business gets worse and worse!” Sir Kern said. “Atop of the remark about my lack of wisdom, now it is presumed that I could not hold my own against a mere squire.”

***

Then he wheeled his horse around and paused facing the rest of the Shadow Folk, who had withdrawn a short ways in caution. The knight pulled his helmet off, and although he was facing away from Princess Evanna, she could see a head of dark golden hair, so that for a moment she thought it might be Reldin. But the voice was not right for the bard.

“You know me!” the knight said in a loud and rather angry sounding voice to all the Shadow Folk who stood as if gathering for another attack, but had drawn back a little more when he pulled his helmet off. “Now be gone this very moment, before I slay the rest of you!”

***

knight“Might I know your name?” she asked, for it was tiring to think of him always as “the strange knight”.

He looked down at her with his grey-blue eyes from his horse for a moment, expressionless, and finally said, “I am called Sir Durand.” He paused, before dipping his head and adding, “My lady.” He shook his dark golden hair out of his eyes and glanced around once more, scanning the area. “Now gather your people and let us be gone from here.”

***

“But broken or not, it is far better to have a heart than to not care. He was so… cold. And I think that coldness touches other people, and goes deep inside him so that everything he does is cold, even if he does not want it to be (for so he says, but I am not so sure).”

Prince Haldon had been very cold, as if touched with ice; it was not a cruel cold, only an indifferent one and just… frozen. Now that she had said that aloud, she realized: she wanted to bring warmth back to him. It was as if he had locked himself in a castle of ice and did not want to be freed from it because he had once been burned by warmth. She too had been burned, but she did not want the cold of the ice to replace the feeling of natural warmth.

***

riders“That is only a myth, my good captain,” Sir Durand said.

Princess Evanna looked over and found that he had been leaning against the rail behind her, apparently listening to her conversation with the captain.

“And what do you mean by that, sir knight?” the captain asked.

“I mean that it is not true.”

“Then you might have said it that way, for many myths are true.”

“Perhaps; but not this one.”

“And how do you know that, sir knight?”

“Because, my good captain, I know that it is not possible.”

The captain smiled a mysterious smile, a spark of good humor in his eye. “I have long since learned that there is nothing that is impossible.”

***

Reldin meanwhile had taken up his harp of dark polished wood that gleamed in the flickering light of the fire, and began softly playing on the strings, his fingers coaxing out silver notes to fill the hollow. Princess Evanna hoped it would not wake Sir Durand, but it did not seem to.

She closed her eyes and listened.

The bard did not sing, but only played a melody Princess Evanna had not heard before, that was both fast and slow, beautiful and wild, but filled her soul with calmness. It made her think of the golden place of light with flowers.

horseharpA wind rustled through the leaves overhead, stirring the branches. Princess Evanna opened her eyes and looked up, and saw the boughs of the trees she could just see above in the firelight, moving in the wind a little. Reldin too looked up, and glanced around at the forest in the dark outside the light, but continued playing the melody without looking at the strings as his fingers moved deftly over them.

Then Reldin began to sing, but they were words that Princess Evanna did not know, words that had no meaning to her in the language she knew, but at the same time held somehow more meaning than anything she had ever heard said in words she understood. It made the song still more wild and beautiful and calm.

She did not care that she did not understand it, she only wanted to listen to it forever, for it seemed to be made of light and warmth; the very feel she had been trying to express when she was speaking with Sir Durand about warmth of heart and coldness of heartlessness.

Heartseeker Snippets

So I’ve been meaning to post some snippets from my 2014 NaNo novel ever since… well… NaNo ended. So here they are at last!

Without further rambling, here are a few snippets from Heartseeker — hope you enjoy! ^_^

CoverHeartseeker

(cover by me; all other pictures in this post were found on Pinterest)

***

Prince Haldon turned his head far enough to look directly at her, and the dying sunlight tangled in his hair, highlighting it to bring out a brown hidden in the dark. His eyes now looked cold and his emotionless voice and expression suddenly meant something else.

61f12e35e3317ab88e3e9cf858708102“I will still marry you if you wish it, Princess Evanna. But you must know that I will never be able to love you. My heart was stolen, and I can love no longer.”

***

“Why should anyone want to live without a heart? Surely you remember that life was better when you could love and had a heart and—”

Prince Haldon interrupted her. “I remember a stabbing pain that could not be healed, a feeling of loss and sorrow and brokenness; chasing shadows. I do not know anymore why exactly I felt those things, but why should I want to go back to that? It is better this way.”

***

lady

Princess Evanna -ish

“But Evanna—oh!” Teriya broke off and stood up to chase after the two nearly identical fair-haired little lads of four years old who came galloping around the corner at this point. They must have escaped their flustered nursemaid and were reveling in freedom, whooping war cries and pausing at intervals to cross wooden swords in a mock fight as they went down the steps into the rose garden at a speed that was beyond the boundaries of safe.

Evanna laughed and followed after her sister in law to help catch the twins and keep them from accidentally murdering each other.

Teriya was very nice, if sometimes a bit preoccupied with her whirlwinds of twin sons, Evanna’s nephews—but then, who wouldn’t be? They were adorable little terrors, and kept her hands full.

***

castlemarket

Sir Durand at the Golden Castle

“And he fought Trillum.”

Sir Durand blinked dispassionately. “I did not harm him.”

“You knocked him off a cliff,” Sir Kern stated flatly, but without hostility now that the fact was in the past and Trillum was all right.

“It was unintentional, I assure you,” Sir Durand said shortly. “And as for fighting, if you recall, he attacked first.”

“Ah, so he did, the young hot-head,” Sir Kern said with a shake of his head, smiling fondly as if he was talking about a puppy licking someone’s face without an invitation.

***

“Are you all right, my lady?” Sir Durand asked.

She nodded. “Yes. The dragon dress—”

“The what?” Sir Durand demanded, pulling his sword out and standing in a fighting stance facing half away from her.

Oh. She had not mentioned that to him before, had she. Bother.

“I have a dress of dragon skin that almost nothing can pierce,” she managed to say above the din.

“You might have mentioned that,” Sir Durand said.

***

hawkfantasy

a certain hawk

Princess Evanna sat back quite suddenly.

“So what you are telling me,” she said after a moment of silence, “is that what you meant by sending me to a safe place by the sea sprites, was dumping me on a rock in the middle of the sea that a dragon lives on. Very safe.”

“Yes, it was very safe,” the Bard said patiently. “The dragon flies off to hunt at night, I happened to know, and knew that it would not return to the rock until after dawn, by which time I meant to come and fetch you. And besides that, nothing else would dare to approach the dragon’s rock, whether other predators or the sea raiders or any dangers that there could be, so I knew that until the dragon returned you would be the safest there that you could be anywhere at all.”

“Until the dragon returned,” Princess Evanna repeated.

***

harp

Reldin’s harp

Sir Durand looked much more himself. He instinctively reached for his sword, which was not there.

“I do not suppose we have any weapons between us,” he said with a sigh.

Princess Evanna shook her head.

Reldin did something with his gold arm band and a moment later held up a small dagger which he twirled through the air and caught again. “Does this count?”

“No,” Sir Durand said.

“Well then. Does my harp count?”

“No again.”

“In that case, we are what you at least would call weaponless,” the bard said.

“Fabulous,” Sir Durand said, running his fingers through his rumpled golden-brown hair.

***

Princess Evanna

Princess Evanna

Reldin glanced around at the shadow of the trees beyond the ring of light the fire cast on the stones. “There is something not right with the forest.”

“What do you mean?” Sir Durand asked–rather sharply, Princess Evanna thought.

“I mean,” the bard said, slowly and carefully, “that there is something not right with the forest.”

***

“There are troubles,” she said briefly.

“Is one of the troubles white tigers wandering the woods and attacking travelers?” Sir Durand said.

The Lady of the Forest blinked slowly at him and replied mildly, “It is not one of my troubles.”

“Well it was one of ours. If this is your forest, Lady, and you claim we are welcome, I thought you might like to know.”

Princess Evanna frowned at him.

***

a young prince Haldon (from pinterest)

a young Prince Haldon

“I still do not understand why you can not leave well enough alone and let him remain without a heart instead of meddling in his affairs. It is a lot of trouble for nothing, and I am sure he will not be grateful for it.”

Princess Evanna thought back and remembered Prince Haldon’s voice yelling after her as she ran down the stairs: “I do not want my heart back!”

As it had echoed down the stairwell then, so it echoed through her mind now, haunting like a ghost, and for a moment she thought Sir Durand was right.

But it was only the heartless Prince Haldon who would not be glad of a heart. Once he had it back, surely he would be grateful, for he would care again.

Surely.

***

[Pinterest Board for Heartseeker]

Beautiful Books 2: Writing Heartseeker (& snippets)

I keep meaning to tell about the story I’m writing this NaNo, and not managing it. And what better way than to answer some questions! So I’m linking up for the second round of Beautiful Books hosted by Sky and Cait.

(I know, I know, I didn’t do the first one since that was last month and I was too busy. But I might cheat and steal those questions to answer later if I find the time…)

And there will be snippets. Ish. Marked in blue. Because I feel like it.

And today happens to be the one-year anniversary of the day I first had the idea for this novel!!! So that works out. ^____^

But first, here is the cover, title, and blurb for my NaNo novel so that you will know what on earth (or in this case, elsewhere) I’m talking about!

CoverHeartseeker

Heartseeker
by
Deborah O’Carroll

Princess Evanna is betrothed to a prince who cannot love her, for his heart was stolen. So she sets out to find his heart and return it to him. A knight with many secrets grudgingly travels with her for reasons of his own; and what of the mysterious bard who seems, impossibly, to be following them? Evanna and her knight journey through a land filled with perils–of danger and beauty–and both must find their own hearts along the way. But at the end of the road, the failure of the princess’s quest may lurk in the shadows. For how can she find the heart of a man who may be heartless after all?

The Questions for Round #2: How’s The Writing Going?

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

That’s questionable. I don’t know how to answer honestly… In a way it’s hard, and I’m kind of struggling, because I don’t have it plotted and I don’t work well when I’m pantsing. I feel like there’s too much description and not enough dialog, there’s basically no humor which is startling because the last two things I wrote were almost totally humor-based. So that just feels… weird. I mean, a story that isn’t constantly making fun of everything but is actually kind of serious and beautiful and epic?? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. Ahem. But on the other hand, I’m having a good time returning to a medieval fantasy world after so long writing modern fantasy these days; it feels like I’m going home. And considering it isn’t plotted, it’s kind of amazing how it’s all coming together and actually getting written. So there are ups and downs.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

(Not counting the prologue because it started out kind of boring…)

Princess Evanna had come a long way to Cloud Peak Castle to meet her betrothed, and was having the hardest time in doing so.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

Since the cover is up there already… Have some pictures from pinterest:

knight1

riding2 boatbeach

standinthesky

unicornfight

treeatsea hands

And I have a whole pinterest board for it HERE.

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)

Princess Evanna

Princess Evanna (picture from pinterest)

(Except she doesn’t really have a star on her forehead, as far as I’m aware. But you know. What can ya do.)

And then Sir Durand himself, my dark mysterious knight with blond hair.

Sir Durand

Sir Durand (picture from pinterest)

Aaand I don’t have pics for the others. So describing it is.

Reldin the Bard – excerpts to describe him:

…a slight sheen of stubble along his jaw, and loose fair hair that curled around his ears, a light brown touched with gold… his ageless tanned face and golden eyes that seemed to see through everything.

He stood with his gold harp held in the crook of his arm, wearing a long fine looking blue-green tunic with long wide sleeves and gold embroidery twining intricately about the edges, and a white sash and cloak.

At times he looked very young, in his mid twenties perhaps, and at others as if he might be thirty-something or older. He might have been her brother’s age, or her father’s, or anywhere in between. And when he sang his songs or told his tales, sometimes he seemed as wise and as old as the mountains themselves, as if he had been around forever and seen everything the world held including its many secrets.

And then there’s also the squire Trillum.

A strange lad of sixteen summers with unusual white hair and ice blue eyes.

I like him. A lot.

Trillum and Reldin want me to write a sequel about them.

……

Ahem.

Yes, that’s a thing that happened. And I’ve only barely started the first.

But I’ve told them I miiiiight, which is the only reason they’re not running away with the entire book. (What are you talking about? Bribing characters with promises of sequels is totally a thing. Honest. *cough*) This story is about Evanna’s love-story and quest, not them, and I want them to remember that. I can always write a sequel about Trillum if he will behave. *eyes him sternly* *he is unimpressed*

5. What scene are you most excited to write?

The big climactic one near the end! So many ouchnesses happening for everyone on every level. Mwahahahahaaaaaaaa. *laughs evil author laugh*

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

“You will not pass,” the knight replied.

Princess Evanna sighed. It was going to be one of those days.

“I am going to disagree with you,” Sir Dagget said.

“Disagree as you wish, but you will not pass,” the strange knight replied.

“And just why exactly do you wish to stop us?” Sir Dagget inquired.

The other knight said nothing, but remained unmoving on the path just before the bridge.

“It is ill mannered to block the way and not even tell why,” Sir Dagget observed.

“It is ill-mannered to block the way, regardless of telling or not,” Sir Kern muttered, but remained on his horse by Princess Evanna.

7. Now that you’re writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

Actually a lot of it, since I hadn’t concretely plotted it before. I can’t think of anything particular though.

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that’s difficult to write?

I’m having a hard time with my main character, Princess Evanna. She hasn’t clicked for me. I always have a problem with my MC, and also with girls, so when they’re both I’m doomed. >.<

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?

Being in an awesome fantasy world again, with a new fresh book, and just enjoying it! And don’t make me pick. Reldin, Trillum, and Durand are all fighting for top place and it’s anyone’s game right now…

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

Um. Not really.

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

*cracks knuckles* Ohhhh yes. >:D

There’s a beautiful song called “I Follow You” by Ashley Davis, which you can hear a clip of here. It sort of inspires the whole “feel” of the novel. And I sort of love it to death. (I had heard it on a Celtic music show on the radio, and had to buy it because it was perfect. ❤ )

Then I also figured out that “Everything Goes Black” by Skillet is sort of perfect for the love-story. I realized that not long before starting writing, and it totally helped. (The only problem is that whenever it starts playing I stop writing to listen to it so I can think about how the words apply. Oops.)

And I listen to lots of Celtic music when I need to be inspired, and lots of very fast loud Skillet songs when I need to type fast or wordwar. (I know, you wouldn’t think Skillet would fit very well for a fairytale-type fantasy novel. But wordwarring to Skillet is a habit I developed last NaNo and haven’t been able to break…)

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

I think I would hang out with Reldin the Bard. He would be fascinating to talk with. But I might end up automatically hanging out with Evanna… And of course, I’d love to hang out with Durand and Trillum!! 😀

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

I… don’t…? *cough* Okay, so mostly I’m trying not to fall behind because I might not be able to write as much (or at all…) for a couple weeks here soon, so I really want to win NaNo but I’m not sure if I can. So making sure that the little bar on my NaNo stats graph isn’t below par each day is kind of my motivation. Otherwise, I’m really not very motivated this year by anything. -_- It’s kind of a problem.

14. What your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

I feel like I have so many favorites. So naturally I can’t think of anything right now. How about this one.

WSomersetMaugham

(I like to quote that one because I tire of all the writing advice and want to just write how I want to write without the chains tying me down and telling me I should write a certain way…)

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

Alternately excited and reallllly frustrated. What can I say. It’s NaNo and I wasn’t ready. But some of it is… kind of… beautiful? And I keep surprising myself, so maybe that’s good. I mean, I had never written a death scene before (not REALLY) and here I kind of did one and a half. Which was weird. So you know. Things are happening.

***

And I’d better go back to writing if I want to defeat that stats graph today, so that’s all for now. I hope it wasn’t totally boring, anyway…

How’s your NaNo (or other project) going?? Best of luck to you! Keep going!

*charges off to do battle with Ye Most Feared Stats Monster of Evil*