Fantastical Realms Blog Tag (#FantasyMonth)

I’m hopping on the February is Fantasy Month blog event (hosted by Jenelle Schmidt) with a tag! (Thanks for tagging me, Jenelle!) Feel free to join in on this tag yourself — you can find the original post here!

Onward to the adventure or questions or both!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Include the graphic somewhere in your post.
  • Link back to this blog somewhere in your post.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag a few blogger friends – and let them know they’ve been tagged
  • Have fun!

The Questions

1. In a strange twist of fate, you are transported into a fantasy realm of your choice. The catch? You have also been transformed into your least favorite fantasy creature. Where are you, and what are you?

Fantasy realm of choice . . . probably Middle-earth, because yes. Least favorite fantasy creature? They have those? O_O Um . . . I guess anything serpent-like would be my least favorite, so I’m probably doomed to be a scary wyrm that some Elf will find and slay. XD

2. What fantasy creature do you wish featured in more stories? What is your favorite story that has that creature in it?

(Verrry old drawing I did)

Gryphons! They are definitely in a few but not nearly enough. I just love them! Favorite book with a gryphon is probably Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. I LOVE all the gryphons in there! They have so much personality. I particularly love Kit. 😀 Oh, and I love Gillian Bronte Adams’ Songkeeper series, which also has an awesome gryphon in it!

3. As you are reading this, a voice rings in your ear proclaiming:

A hero true, a leader strong,
A quest is where you do belong,
So arm thyself, and take your stand
With an item to your left your fate is at hand.

Besides the fact that this prophetic voice is clearly incapable of sticking to a meter, what ordinary item do you now find yourself armed with? (And, for bonus points, what helpful magical properties does it now possess that will help you on your quest?)

A large insulated travel mug full of tea. And the magical properties it has . . . well, clearly, it never runs out of tea, and always keeps it warm, and the resulting never-ending caffeine rush helps me power through my quest, although I probably end up jittery throughout the adventure because of that. XD

4. You happen across an ad in a catalogue promising a magical fantasy cruise that will allow you to stop in any three realms of your choice and explore each for several days before returning you home (and the ad promises your safe return or your money back, guaranteed!) Assuming this is not a hoax and that the tour guides will actually be able to cater to your requests, what three realms will you tour and what do you hope to see/who would you like to meet along the way?

*cracks knuckles*

Firstly, I’m going to Middle-earth, and this fantasy cruise clearly also has the ability to travel through time in the same place . . . so I get to see both Lord-of-the-Rings-times Middle-earth and also back in the Silmarillion times in Beleriand etc. Because . . . THE DREAM. I practically grew up in Beleriand and the other realms of The Silmarillion (I’d see Gondolin! and Menegroth! and Valinor while I’m at it! and everywhere!), and who wouldn’t want to visit Rivendell, Rohan, Ithilien, Lothlorien, the Shire, the Lonely Mountain, Minas Tirith, etc. I would definitely want to meet at least Faramir and Aragorn, and Finrod Felagund and Beleg Strongbow and Luthien Tinuviel, and SO MANY OTHERS.

Secondly, I’m going to Ingary to get to hang out in Howl’s moving castle, with Howl, Sophie, Calcifer, Michael, etc. We’re definitely going to have to have some cream cakes from Cesari’s, and I want to go through the door to each of the places it opens up to. (Bonus: I get to visit Wales. *cackles*)

Thirdly, and terribly selfishly . . . I want to visit the world where my own Steampunk fairy tale retelling works-in-progress take place. I’ve completely fallen in love with it and I can’t wait for the day when I can share this world with others. I love the skyships and the cities in the clouds, the lonely rock formation pillars and dangling walkways across misty ravines, the clockwork dragons and tea and clothing and fairy tale retellings. And I would definitely need to get to go to a ball at the palace where Princess Tasmania’s from, and meet her and her twin brothers Percival and Durward, and of course Auren, and sit on a rooftop at night with Rook on top of his flat over the spice shop (as long as there are no assassins), and sail the skies with Gerias and Noya and the Royal Sky Navy (avoiding the sky pirates, unless they’re charming Keller or clever Skalon), and stand on top of one of the rock pillars in the wind and watch the sun set and the stars come out.

*inhales*

Sorry. I got a little carried away. But those are the three worlds I want to visit. ^_^

5. Congratulations! You are a fantasy hero/heroine about to start your adventure. You get to choose a small fantasy creature to accompany and assist you on your quest. Who/what do you choose?

Talking otter secretary, hands-down. *grinning*

(I’m definitely planning to do more with little Gavin the otter, hopefully in a novel one of these days. :D)

Otters are just SO AWESOME AND ADORABLE and one who can be a secretary would be so helpful. Plus, he could fish for me, which has to be helpful. And hey, if he’s a more sentient otter, who can write, that probably counts as a fantasy creature, right?

6. Elves or dwarves?

Elves!

7. Do you prefer your dragons (we had to have at least one question devoted solely to dragons!) good or evil or a mix of both?

A mix of both. Classic evil dragons are . . . well . . . classic. And you can’t really do better for villains than a dragon. (Like Smaug or Glaurung.) But I do enjoy the ones who are on our heroes’ side — not to mention how helpful they are to have on your side! (Like Toothless!) And the ones who are a little more morally grey and initially hard to figure out which side they’re on are probable my favorite, in general. (Hello, Malcolm Blackfire.) I like all the dragons!

8. World building is a complicated undertaking full of many details. As a reader, what is a small detail you really appreciate seeing when it comes to diving into a new realm? What is something that helps you lose yourself in a fantasy world?

Smells are always a good touch and are helpful to bring in. But I think my favorite is when there are myths and stories WITHIN the story, which makes it have a further depth to it. It’s just so cool when characters can reference this myth or story and it effects their own. It can be hard to do well, because sometimes there’s too much of it, or else the reader just doesn’t care. But when it works, it’s brilliant. J. R. R. Tolkien, Joanna Ruth Meyer, and Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — for example — do excellent with this! So does Kyle Robert Shultz, though in that case it’s fairy tales harking back to fairy tales, but they’re always tweaked so it makes them feel real.

9. You have been transformed into your favorite fantasy creature. Problem is… you’re still in your own bedroom and your family is downstairs, completely unprepared for this shock. What creature are you, and how (if at all) do you break the news to your loved ones? (Or how do you get out of your room?)

Oh dear. XD Well, I’m a gryphon, as implied earlier, so that’s cool! I probably wouldn’t break the news — they would probably just arrive in my room and find me sitting on my bed and barely fitting (because gryphons are large), trying to decide if I should try flying out the window or just keep reading. 😛 I hope I could talk though, so that they wouldn’t think I’d been eaten. XD And I’d probably be freaking out (I would freak out if my hair turned a different color, let alone if I turned into a creature) buuut I like to think it would also be kind of cool? Especially to fly . . .

Tagging

I tag Sarah Pennington, Claire Banschbach, Lauri, and YOU if you are reading this and want to do it! (Absolutely no pressure. XD And apologies if you’ve already been tagged! I am behind on blogs and internet in general. XD)

Well. How was that? I hope you enjoyed my answers! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

We Otter Do It: I Won a Flash Fiction Writing Contest!

Guys! I won a contest! *squeaks*

I’m really excited to announce that I won the fan-voted Fellowship of Fantasy Mythical Doorways flash fiction Writing Contest! I can’t believe it, and little Gavin the otter and I are so grateful for y’all’s votes!

The contest was to write a 500 word or less story, opening with “The door creaked open …” I won the adult section, and the winner of the 15 and under category wrote an amazing story too!

FYI, flash fiction = a short story of one thousand words or less. Or, in this case, 499 words, which is how long “We Otter Do It” is — and you can read the whole thing on the Fellowship of Fantasy blog where it’s being featured today! 🙂 Along with the other winning story, which is fantastic. 😀

So drop by to meet a little otter secretary named Gavin. 😉 And leave a comment here or there to let me know what you think! ^_^

We Otter Do It

by Deborah O’Carroll

The door creaked open. A tall, wobbling stack of parchment pattered into the room on little furry paws. At least, that’s what it looks like when your otter secretary comes into your office carrying the mail.

I’m a respectable young man and a magician, and nobody would believe me if I told them my life is tyrannized by an adorable otter.

Read the rest at fellowshipoffantasy.com


P.S. Oh, and the writing contest was a publicity thing to celebrate the release of a Fellowship of Fantasy short story anthology which released last week, Mythical Doorways, featuring stories by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, H.L. Burke, and nine other fantastic authors. You can get the ebook free online in some places (I think Amazon is currently being difficult but it’s 99 cents there at the moment and might be free again). Anyway, I’m reading it now and enjoying it. And it’s unrelated to the contest, except in both having doorways. XD

P.P.S. This is the first time I’ve won a writing contest and I’m SO EXCITED. It’s got me floating in the clouds! AWK.

Thank you for reading! ❤

Tags: Loyal Dragons to Infinity and Beyond!

(Warning: This post is being was written late at night. I am not responsible for the shenanigans my sleep-deprived brain gets up to. Thou art warned.)

I was tagged! By Raychel Rose for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, and by Madeline J. Rose (wait… ALL OF THE ROSES. :O Are you two related…? *eyes suspiciously* I’m waaatching you…) for the Infinity Award. Thanks so much to both of you!! ❤

I’m doing a double tag post ketchup catch up in a single post, because a) I am lazy, b) I’ve been blogging too much, and c) let’s be honest, “Loyal Dragons to Infinity and Beyond!!!!!” is a fabulous title (even without all the exclamation points). Can we agree on that? Yay!

Okay! So tags. Right. Onward!

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragonaward

Gaaah, what a prettiful blog award!! ❤ I love it. *clings affectionately*

Ruuuules

  1. Announce your win with a post, [check] and link to whomever presented your award. [*drrrumroll* Raychel Rose]
  2. Post 7 interesting things about yourself. [Um. I’ll see what I can do. Ahem.]
  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.
  5. Display the award certificate on your website. [See my newly-updated Badges page with other awards and aaaall the NaNo participant badges. Yesss.]

7 interesting (?) things about this dragonish blogger

  1. I love Toothless and he is possibly my favorite dragon ever.
  2. I do not love Smaug because he is evil but at least he is clever. (BOOK Smaug! We do not speak of movie-Smaug. Ahem.)
  3. Some of my favorite dragonish books are proooobably the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, specifically Searching for Dragons BECAUSE MENDANBAR! Ahem. Kazul is cool too.
  4. I own a little golden dragon figurine which is glued to a turquoise rock. It once fell off so I re-glued it on. Yes you needed to know that. I would take a picture but I am lazy.
  5.  Sorry, scratch number 3, I just remembered how much I love The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame. ❤
  6. Also the dragon stories by E. Nesbit. I LOVE THEMMM. (I still love the Enchanted Forest books though! I just remembered… other… dragony books. Dragony. Dragony is a wonderful word.)
  7. I have not read Eragon. Oops?

OH WAIT THOSE WERE ALL FACTS ABOUT ME ABOUT DRAGONS. See what I did there.

Tagging?

I verily awardeth you this veritable Dragon’s Loyalty Award if thou lovest dragons! (I’m looking at YOU, Lauri and Sarah and Cait. 😉 And YOU. Yes, you, in the dragon t-shirt.) You can dragon-theme it if you want. *shrug* But obviously nobody has to do it. XD

Infinity Award

Which is… apparently?… different than the Infinity Dreams Award…? Not sure.

Anyhoo!

This one has interrogations questions!

*dons monocle* Proceed.

*cymbals*

Who is your best blogging friend?

Can I not answer this. Pleeeeease? *makes adorable puppy eyes* I don’t like the saying “best friend” because it shows others that THEY are not. Which is not fair to ANYBODY. And makes them sad. Or is that just me. And this question sound suspiciously like that. HOWEVER. If a) you’re reading this and therefore (apparently?) read my blog, or b) if I comment on your blog aggressively obsessively, or c) both… then you may rightly assume you are one of my bestest blogging buddies. GROUP HUG, C’MERE. ❤

What is the best book cover you’ve ever seen?

SO MANY. Umm… Five Enchanted Roses or The Captive Maiden? POSSIBLY. I’m not sure. Let’s just say I’m partial to the color blue and girls in gorgeous dresses.

What’s your favorite slang word?

Y’all. Does that count? It’s super useful (and not only to alert people to the extinguishing excruciating distinguishing fact that I am… wait for it… a TEXAN). For instance, if you don’t say “y’all” to address a general group, you probably say “guys”, or “people”. Example: “Hey, guys!” “Hey, people!” This can be problem if a) there is a girl present (or, more likely, if there is not actually a guy in the group. Which happens a lot), or b) if not all those addressed happen to be people. What if they are aliens? Elves? Dragons (me, me! …Oh, right. That tag’s over… *sad face*). Cats. Noodles. Or other serendipitous sentient or not beings/creatures/items. THEY MIGHT TAKE OFFENSE. And we wouldn’t want that. Especially if they had sharp claws. Hence, y’all = solves every problem ever.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

DRAGON. GRIFFIN. Oh right, I already have those… Okay, a puffin AND an otter. Naturally. Because they are the most adorable things EVER. (I also want a hummingbird to ride on. *makes even more adorable puppy eyes* PLEEEEEASE?)

Favorite flower?

Roses!

7197a05bb00548626faca019720bc1cd

(Especially if they come with BOOKS…!)

(Wait a minute. Roses AGAIN. That’s it — it’s a PLOT.)

(And we all know that plots are needed to have books. SEE ABOVE!)

(Wait. I’m going in circles. This is getting confusing.)

Scariest roller coaster/ride you’ve ever been on?

Haven’t. (Unless you count the above question.) Nor do I intend to. Duuuh. I’m not CRAZY. O_O (Heh… heh heh… Oh, right, you caught that, did you? *sidles subtly sideways and slips self in serious siding hiding place*)

Favorite Disney movie?

Ow! How do I decide? (Was Prince of Persia Disney?? *is too lazy to check*) …Okay, Tangled.

Book you want made into a movie?

Illusionarium! (See my Illusionarium Fangirling Babbles post from earlier this week…) It would make the positively coolest movie EVAR.

Also one of the scariest.

lfsacrificewillintomake

Favorite piece of jewelry?

The One Ring. My Celtic-cross necklace. ❤ ‘Tis my fave.

Savory or Sweet snacks? Which ones?

ALL OF THE SWEET THINGS. I’m good with chocolate. And cookies. With chocolate chips in them. And mushrooms. (Why did I say mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. Unless they are from the Mushroom Planet books. Umm… CHOCOLATE MUSHROOMS.)

All time favorite movie?

The Avengers/The Return of the King/How to Train Your Dragon/Prince of Persia. IT’S TOTALLY ONE MOVIE I SWEAR. (Actually that would be the coolest thing ever. *brainstorms* *finds thing on pinterest*)

THE END.

P.S. AND NOW WE KNOW HOW CRAZY DEBORAH O’CARROLL IS WHEN SHE IS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO BLOG LATE AT NIGHT. ISN’T IT EXCITING, FOLKS.

Audience: *round of applause mixed with horrified stares*

Me: *giggles hysterically*

Me: *quickly erases your memories*

P.P.S. You are tagged if you want. ^_^

Ishness of July: Otters, Hummingbirds, Retellings and Skyships

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It’s AUGUST! Guys. Guys. Did I hear myself correctly? August. AUGUST?

Sorry, I tend to repeat myself when I get confused.

Half of me is freaking out that we’re so far into the year (wasn’t it April yesterday??), and yet the other half is staring at the new calendar page in a sort of delight of new-month-itis, which is what makes me really happy when I get to write “August 1” in flowy script in my writing journal and reading log, ready for a fresh start. It feels nice, I tell ya.

IMG_4211

Yes, I’m a confused being.

(Plus, I always get June and July mixed up and tend to  think of them as vaguely one really long month, so it’s nice to be back to a month I can actually keep straight. Maybe that’s just me.)

But look: July is over! I don’t have the tiniest inkling of how THAT happened, since last I knew it was the Fourth of July and I still had big plans for the month… *cough* Yeah. That clearly didn’t happen. I think this last month was gone in record time, which is freaking me out.

But! You’re obviously not here to watch me freak out (or ARE you…? *wriggles eyebrows*) but to see what ishness I’ve been up to this past month! So let’s see…

July Things

I’ve been up to summery things like:

  • Celebrating Independence Day
  • Swimming
  • Going to the zoo (OTTERS. OTTERS ARE THE BEST THING EVER. OTTERRRRRRRS! ❤ That is all.)

(from pinterest)

And let’s not forget the most important one:

  • Dying of the heat because SUMMER

Seriously. It is so so hot. *steals Alaska to wrap round self like the opposite of a coat* (Because coats are for keeping you warm…? Okay, that analogy ran away from me.)

Oh! And I finally got to see the movie Epic! Oh my goodness, it was so adorable and fun and pretty! I kind of loved it to bits — aaahhh! And Ronin is so so fabulous (and I want his accent. And his awesomeness. And his hummingbird. Basically I want to be Ronin). AND THE HUMMINGBIRDS. HUMMINGBIIIIIIIIIIIRDS. I wanna ride a hummingbird so much. ❤

(from pinterest)

Writing

I wrote a pitiful 3000 words in July… Half of that was for my Kedran’s Wood short story Return to McAllistair Mansion… AND I FINISHED IT. I’m very proud of me. I finished a short story! Yayyy!

scrnshotrmm

(Okay, so it’s technically not too short-story-ish, in that it doesn’t have a plot but is just three related scenes about Tare between books 1 and 2, and also featuring a character I’d never written before, which meant I spent most of it trying to figure out what said character was like. BUT STILL.)

The other half of the  3000 words was miscellaneous snatches of five other stories. Yup. Scattered, this month.

But this was, primarily, the month of brainstorming. All of my stories exploded in my head, which caused a mess but was fairly awesome. (Okay, that may be exaggerating. Maybe not ALL of them. But several.)

  • I’ve been doing a ton of brainstorming for The Silver Forest, my upcoming Twelve Dancing Princesses NaNo… I still need a more concrete plot, but I have ideas, which is a start, and I got around to naming the oodles of characters I now have. It’s going to be awesome.
  • rrpinterest

    (from pinterest)

    Also, my old idea for a Sleeping Beauty retelling, called The Rose and the Raven, finally clicked, so it has a plot now, which excites me a ton and makes me want to write it. Seriously, some delicious plot twists. Bwahaha! I kind of adore it a lot. ❤ [PINTEREST BOARD]

  • I also had breakthroughs on The Invisible Mask and Heartseeker! So, yay! That’s kind of exciting. My problem childs these days. (Hush, childs is totally a word.)
  • I also had an idea for a new story. Yay. (No, I don’t actually know if that was sarcasm or not.) It’s a modern Cinderella story about a writer, set during NaNo. I’m kind of super excited about this one too. But it will probably not see the light of day for a few more years, especially since I’m still half pretending it doesn’t exist… (I HAVE TOO MANY STORY IDEAS OKAY.)
  • And miscellaneous stuff on some other stories.
sspinterest

(from Pinterest)

But mostly, my new idea for a Steampunk retelling of The Little Mermaid exploded in my face.

This thing is so big and epic now that I may have a panic attack from all the awesome. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEE* I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I almost considered switching to writing it for this NaNo instead of The Silver Forest, but I decided ultimately against it because I’m going to want to take my time with The Siren and the Skyship (which is its title) and just have wayyyyy too much fun with it.

The Siren and the Skyship is kind of my favorite thing ever right now. I’M JUST RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED AND LOVE IT SO MUCH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

(from Pinterest)

[Pinterest Board for The Siren and the Skyship]

So, yeah. Not much actual writing but SO much awesomeness in the brainstorming department. I think it was more of a brainhurricane.

Reading

july2015read

Yeahhh, that was a fairly slow month of reading for this year. I was mostly reading things for review.

  • I obviously reviewed Chasing Shadows and Corroded Thorns on the bloggy.
  • Castle in the Air was a reread, sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle. HMC is my second-favorite book ever (after The Lord of the Rings), and Castle in the Air is also a delight — aaahh! ❤ So much hilariousness! It was awesome getting to read it again now that I know all the plot twists and secrets. >:D
  • I also read all of Five Glass Slippers, which I’m proud of me for accomplishing. I just reviewed it on Goodreads in case you’re curious what I thought of it; Broken Glass is still my favorite, followed by The Moon Master’s Ball! (Scatter the white mouse. SCATTER THE WHITE MOUSE. I LOVED HIM SO MUUUUUUUCH. *incoherent squeeing fangirl noises mixed with sobbing*)
  • And it doesn’t count because I haven’t finished reading Five Enchanted Roses but I DID read one novella from there to review it, namely Stone Curse.

So I kind of read 7 novellas and 2 novels this month. *nod nod* That doesn’t sound quite so bad, I guess… 😉

August Nightstand Books

I know, I know, I’m early on this again. But I can’t help it! You can join in on the Nightstand Books blog meme the first Wednesday of every month along with Jenelle and D.J. 🙂

Here’s mine:

AugNightstand2015

You may recognize a pattern by now…

  • I’m going to finish Plenilune this month if it KILLS me. (Look for a figurative obituary soon starring yours truly… *cough*) BUT I’M GOING TO. I WILL I WILL.
  • Yes, I’m still in Veiled Rose too–I’m determined to finish it as well!
  • House of Many Ways I’m going to get to reread, so I’m excited for that!
  • And I still need to finish The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I like the three chapters I’ve read so far… XD

And we’ll just ignore the five ebooks I want to read or finish as well. *shifty eyes* Yeah. They’re not on my nightstand so they don’t count. 😉

(And we’ll also ignore how busy I’m going to be and the fact I might have even less time for reading than last month… *cough*)

August plans?

I don’t even know… I feel like I really have to get EVERYTHING done this next month because September and October look to be insanely busy and we’re not even going to SPEAK of November… So if I don’t catch up on certain things I’m going to be behind the rest of the year. Heh. Wish me luck! XD

So! There’s a (very long) update on my life!

(Basically, I want a hummingbird to ride and an otter for a pet and an intelligent loyal white mouse for a friend.)

How was your July? Any plans for August?

Did you do Camp NaNo? How did it go?