Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's here!

Yes, that's right folks! My new Alphasmart Dana is here at long last. I've already started writing Dream of a Dream on it. I got it set up yesterday, the same day that it arrived, and have been experimenting on it ever since. I'll post up a picture of it as soon as I can. I can't wait to try it out at school as well as for personal writing.

Today was fun as well because I learned how to shoot a rifle and a pistol. Now that was quite an experience. I think I like the rifle better because it had a smaller kickback (because it was only a .22). I can't wait to go back to the range and shoot some more. Might be good to recover my hearing first. Some of our fellow shooters had guns with very loud shots which set my ears ringing even though I had ear protectors on. However I did have fun despite the loud and distracting noises.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1 Day till Christmas!

It's almost here! Christmas is just beyond reach with all the fun and joy that it brings. Of course, we can't forget the reason for the season and that is the birth of Jesus as a human baby. That is the most significant thing that has ever happened on a Christmas. Of course, some would argue that Jesus's birth wasn't on December 25th, but even if it isn't, December 25th is still the day picked out to celebrate his birth on - no matter when he was born.

A snowflake is a typical symbol of winter. It along with snowmen hail us from shop windows and peek out from Christmas trees. However, most don't think of what snow really stands for. Snow, when it first falls, is pure and white and is a great symbol of Christmas as well as winter in general. This glass snowflake ornament on our tree is one of my favorite ornaments. It is so pretty and delicate, hanging there illuminated by the lights on the tree. But, one should always remember the story behind the symbol and so one should always remember that a snowflake stands for more than just winter and cold, but for the purity of how God's creation was, before we came along and messed it up in the Fall.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 Days till Christmas!

Violin music drifts through the air, half heard and haunting. The notes, when coherent, form the tunes of familiar Christmas carols. The player is my mom, practicing her violin long after my sister has been put to bed. This music is what I hear every night, or rather every night since my mom bought her violin. Tis fitting that she should play Christmas carols to practice with Christmas Day so near. The one and only topic on my little sister's lips today was which present she'd get to open tomorrow night. We have a tradition of the kids (my sister and I) opening one present of my parents' choice on Christmas Eve and it is very exciting for my little sister.

The subject of the picture today is something she asked me to take a picture of. She has a child's nativity set that she has set up under the tree. She wouldn't rest until I took a picture of it. The resin it is made from has turned out to be surprisingly breakable for a child's nativity set. I believe the shepherd's staff has turned out to be the most breakable due to its being thin and therefore more fragile.

Until next time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 Days till Christmas!

Brrr...That is what most everyone in the country is feeling today. The cold winter freeze has finally reached us. I just hope it stays long enough to be productive and actually leave some snow behind. I would like a white Christmas and I haven't had one in years. It's about time for another one to grace the house I'm currently living in.

Another ornament from our tree composes today's picture. A small glass angel dangling from a branch, hands folded in prayer, shimmers in the lights from the tree.

Until next time!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

4 Days till Christmas!

Only 4 days left! I'm so excited! Today I wrapped my presents for my family. It was such a nice sight to see all the boxes, perfectly wrapped and just waiting to be put under the tree. I am truly excited. Now all will be perfect once I get the troubles with my christmas present all settled.

The ornaments on our tree caught my interest today. One in particular made a nice sight (and picture). It is a simple blown glass ball with ribbons glued on the outside and popurri on the inside.

Until next time!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

5 Days till Christmas!

Most of the day was taken up with a new project of mine. I'm crosstitching a plate for a lightswitch. My cousin should like it for her new apartment. Tis of a hummingbird and flowers artfully arranged around the light switch. Again, two pictures for today. My mother spent 3 hours picking out and buying her christmas present, a new violin. The tone on it is lovely, especially the lower strings. The first picture is of the new violin.

Second picture, of course, is my christmas related picture. It is an ornament without a tree. I positioned it on a lamp to create the light effect.

Until next time!

Friday, December 19, 2008

6 Days till Christmas!

On the menu for tonight, continued frustrations with my new costume site. Seems that the site does have a limit for the amount of pictures that can be uploaded and I've hit it. That is the only reason I can think of to explain why it continues to fail to upload pictures. Ah well, this'll just cause more trouble.

And I leave you tonight with a picture of our little Advent...um...snowman. No Advent calendar this year.

Until next time!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 Days till Christmas!

Today I have two very fun things to report. The first is a personal triumph. I bid and won an Alphasmart Dana on Ebay! I am most excited that I got it (though for more than I wanted to pay). The second is a family event. We went to the Billy Graham Library and rode in the carriages. That is where the picture for today comes in. I think I shall include two pictures this time because it was such a wonderful event! The first is of my little sister looking very cute as she shows her a new little toy.

The second is of the wheel of the carriage I and my family rode in.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 Days till Christmas!

Today wasn't too busy. Ordered my Dad's present (I think he'll be happy!). Won't say what it is, because I know he drops by here sometime. Another event though has made me very happy. Getting the alphasmart is definitely going to happen, because my parents handed me the money said "Order it". Yay! This will most definitely help with my writing both for school and for my fiction. I'm looking at Alphasmart 3000s and Danas at the moment. We'll see which one I can go for on Ebay.

Our nativity set at home is also a long time tradition. I was in charge of setting it up every year, until I went off to college. I miss setting it up though.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

9 Days till Christmas!

Christmas is inching closer every day. I can't believe that there is just over a week left between me and it. And I still have to buy something for my dad. It's just so hard to pick out a suitable present. In the recent years I really have come to find that it's more fun and satisfying to give rather than receive. I enjoy the looks on their faces as they open the presents and absolutely love them. It's nice to get presents, but they are just things after all. Seeing the joy on someone else's face when you give them a present will last a lifetime.

We also have a miniature village at home. I love this particular figurine. It just looks so real and what one would find in an ordinary suburb.

Until next time!

Monday, December 15, 2008

10 Days till Christmas!

Today was a change of pace. We went to a party for my dad's work department. Even though I was the second youngest there it was still fun. I also got lots more work done on my costume website. Now I just waiting on more pictures.
The picture for today is off the star at the top of the tree at home. Finally I have pictures! This star has been the center piece on our tree for many, many years. Simple, but pretty.

Until next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

11 Days till Christmas!

Again, I report about the same information as yesterday. Today was mostly taken up by working on my costume website. I did two graphics for it and wrote the content for a page. Also, I uploaded tons of reference pictures. Photobucket can be so slow about uploading though. On a happier note, I think I may have talked my mom into getting me an alphasmart for Christmas. We had to go to Ebay to find the old Alphasmart 3000 (though we found a Dana for the great price of $1! That's not going to last long though). We'll see what comes of it! I can always hope.

Today's picture is off the star on the ficus tree that I mentioned yesterday. I am tickled at how this picture turned out and on the first try too! Enjoy!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

12 Days till Christmas!

Day two of being home and we're already off to go and do something. The church is putting on a concert tonight and we're off to go and see it (we definitely have to go because my Mom is singing in it). Work on the costume site progresses as slow as yesterday. Last night before going to bed, I resolved to try to start writing an hour every day at least. That way I can write around 2k a day and that will be good for finishing my NaNo novel, Kaja Colony Crisis, and for writing the next one in line. Wish me luck! (After I thought it all up I realized that if I suceed then I'll complete 50k in 25 days which is better than how I did in NaNo! Wierd.)

The picture for today is again taken on campus. In the other girl's dorm there is a small ficus tree that they have decorated with lights and ornaments. My picture for today and tomorrow are both of something on the tree. Today's is a snowflake ornament that made a pretty picture as it hung next to some lights.

Until next time!

Friday, December 12, 2008

13 Days till Christmas!

It feels so wonderful to wake up and realize that school is over and I don't have to do it anymore. And then frustrations descend in the form of a clingy, always wanting to be with me sister and a website that just won't do what I want it to. Oh the joys of being home. Now, back to this website. I'm giving my costume site, The Door in the Sky a makeover. Originally I was just going to add two pages and update the rest, but I think I'm going to go ahead and move the whole site over to another address. Thankfully this won't involved too much more than just moving the content over, but I just hope I don't get frustrated with the other site building process as well.

Onto Christmas stuff now. I am unable at the moment to get pictures off my camera since I'm now home so I took extra pictures while at college. So this picture is of the carolers display set up in the library on campus.

Until next time!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

School is over and 14 Days till Christmas! (that's a fortnight you know)

Ah, it feels so good to be done at long last! Exams are over and an extremely long Christmas break awaits me before I have to face the dreaded spring semester. Now I can focus more on finishing Kaja Colony Crisis and writing the first draft of the new novel. However, I shall also endeavor to design more costumes, update my costume website (Door in the Sky) and work more on my own personal author's site. So much to do and so little time!

Today it rained again, however it was more interesting this time. Instead of light, steady rain it either poured heavily or didn't rain at all. As I went outside several times today I made a point of looking at the creek. It was very nice to actually see water in there. Granted it was muddy, but there was enough water to blast away all the leaves clogging the creek bed and that much water is a rare sight. A still picture does not quite do it justice, but I did take a few videos. I shall include a picture that I took, and I hope to get a video working soon so I can post it up here.

The Christmas picture for today is quite appropriate in that it is the wreath on the ground level door to the staircase. This was one of the last few things I saw before I left campus. Why I like this picture of it (I took quite a few) is because due to some odd reason, the picture looks like it's framed or has had some effect added to it.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

15 Days till Christmas!

Today was a quite relaxed day thankfully. Nothing to do except filling out a take home test. Right...I'm gonna be up all night again due to my well developed habit of procrastinating. Lovely. The rain today didn't help much. A light, steady rain all day with cloudy gray skies does not do much for motivating one to do anything but nap.

Anyways, the picture for today is off the cute little village set up in the other girls' dorm. Unfortunately there weren't any people set out with it and the lights inside weren't working. Oh well.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

16 Days till Christmas!

And juries are over! I didn't get to practice this morning like I wanted to though so juries did not go as well as they could have. Oh well. It's over now. My other exam today was fun. I can't wait to see what the professor says about my essay. He asked us to explain how music has changed through history in regards to conservatives and progressives and I spun a very nice story, I mean essay, for him. I hope he gets a kick out of it at least.

The picture for today is of a lovely glass angel from another nativity scene. It's a very beautful thing to look at when the light is shining through it. The angel is strumming it's lute, accompanying the other angels in their chorus of "Glory to God in the Highest!".

Until next time!

Monday, December 8, 2008

17 Days till Christmas!

And exams have started. Today I was examined in what I know of Paradise Lost. Though I be a writer, I do not appreciate that book at all. I am fond of direct and terse sentences. Paradise Lost is the exact opposite of that. However, it is over, thank goodness. Now the most terrifying part of exam week lies before me...juries. I have to get up and play in front of my professors to show that yes I did learn something from my piano lessons this semester. I shudder just to think about it. However it must be done if I want to pass the course.

The picture for today is quite apt. It's an advent calendar which is practically the offline version of what I am doing here on this blog. Tis fun!

Until next time!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

18 Days till Christmas!

It's inching closer and closer than ever. And so is the end of the semester! I'm very glad to be done with this semester in a few days. Then I'll be able to rest and relax and write for almost 6 whole weeks. What a lovely idea!

My two things for today are not both Christamsy. The first is my video that me and friend made a while back. A Fairy Mistake is the title of it. Enjoy!

Click here for the video.

As for the second item, tis the usual Christmas picture. This time of the Christmas tree set up outside the elevator door at ground level in my dorm. Tis nice to wait for the elevator beside a tree decorated with such pretty ornaments.

Until next time!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

19 Days to Christmas!

Tonight was the big performance for my college choir. We gave an hour long (or so) concert that was pretty well attended. I also played my christmas piece. I hate the fact that I cannot perform on the piano without my hands invariably starting to shake. At least my knees did not join them this time. When they do, it makes it very hard to sustain constant pressure on the pedal so I end up halfpedalling whether I want to or not. But it is a fact of life that my hands shake when playing and that makes me miss the keys and thus play the wrong notes or no notes at all when there should be one or more played. Ah well, at least the performance is done. Now all I have to worry about are juries on monday. I am signed up at 4:45 pm which will allow me some time to practice before my jury on monday. Of course, my task for tomorrow is to make sure I have the pieces down and the correct one memorized. I hate juries and that is most certainly a fact that will not change soon.

Now, the picture for tonight is of a friend's wreath that she placed on the door to her room. Tis a lovely thing and caught my attention. And it also makes a lovely picture. Enjoy!

Until next time!

20 Days till Christmas!

There is only one thing to put up for you today. However, I have a wonderful account of what happened this evening. Holly Jolly, the local Christmas event, was tonight. I, along with the chamber choir on campus, sang a mini-concert of carols. We repeated our performance twice this evening. While all the rest took off after we finished singing, I stayed with two of my friends who weren't in the choir. We had a wonderful time browsing the stores and got some free samples. We spent the most time in a shop that sold dulcimers, psalters, and other musical instruments. The picture is of the trio that played Christmas carols in the store as we shopped. All three of us tried our hand at playing the psalters. I found it very fun and not too hard as I have had many years of piano (which is similar). We all had a very, very fun time and I can't wait till next year!

Until next time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

21 days till Christmas!

And again I have two Christmas related things for you. And again it's a song and a picture! This song is much more funny and easier to get for you non-musical people. Though again it's a version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but it's by Straight No Chaser this time. If you haven't heard of them, well, let's just say they're a 10 men a cappella group who have a really good sense of humor. Enjoy!

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

The picture is of a mirror in the dorm that is part of the Christms decorations. The girls sprayed some white stuff on it that was like snow and drew their names and pictures in it with their fingers, or so I gathered as I wasn't there when it was done. However, it is still pretty to look at.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

22 days till Christmas!

Christmas is closer than ever and I've got two christmas themed things for you to see and hear. First off, the thing to hear. My music professor introduced us to a rather interesting christmas song this morning. His choir in graduate school had sung it. It is called A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas. Each part is sung in a different musical period style. It is hilarious! This is the only free version I found on the internet. (Note: It's from Rhapsody so you have to download the player to play the song but it's worth the effort. Really!)See how many different pieces you recognize playing in the background.

Click here for the song.

And now for the second thing which is a picture of the star on a friend's mini Christmas tree. Stars are so prevalent in our day's culture, but why? Simple, it was a star that guided the wise men to where the child Jesus was and so a star is always associated with Christmas.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Q is out! (And only 23 days till Christmas)

The Q, the school literary magazine of which I am an editor, is finally out. It was printed before break, but I was in charge of distribution today. I stuffed the mailboxes, which was interesting to do as I got to see all the other mail in there, and put piles of the magazine in various other places on campus. Only took less than an hour to complete the whole process as there weren't that many copies printed.

Now, onto my picture countdown till Christmas. This time, I thought we could do with a picture of Mary holding Jesus from the nativity scene set up in the school's library. Very pretty set up it is.

Until next time!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The End has Come!

The end of NaNoWriMo that is. And I made it at 50,046 words! I dragged my poor tired fingers over the finish line late last night shattering my record of 6k words in a day. The new record is 10,623 words in a little over 5 hours writing. I'm very exhausted from all the late nights but also very proud of myself. Now, my goal for next year is to not only write a 50k word novel in one month, but also to finish sooner and write more. Perhaps 60k would be a nice even goal. I'm glad it's over though. I'm still very busy, but now my task is to catch up on all the homework I ignored over the month. Nice thing is, I'll be out of school next week. Then I'll attempt to finish writing the first draft of Kaja Colony Crisis. Oh yes, it is not done yet. I haven't even reached the climax scene and there is quite a bit left after that. Another 10k may wait for me to write it. However right now I must turn my attention to writing a paper due tonight and finishing my one act play. The latter is going to require a lot of work to get done and I've only got 3 more days to finish it completely and rehearse it. The problem of finding 3 actors still remains and is causing a lot of trouble.

Another aha moment hit me for the new novel I'd planned. I was reading a pep talk for NaNo and the person called us writers fools and dreamers. I now have the perfect name for my allegorical writer. They shall be called Dreamer. The name fool will also be applied, but by others and it won't be their real name.

Now I'm going to try something new for the countdown till christmas. I'm going to try to post one picture a day that has something to do with Christmas or the season. So to start us off, here's a picture of my little artificial Christmas tree that I set up in my dorm room today.

Until next time!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish all you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Make sure you think back on the true reason for this holiday. It's not a day to stuff ourselves but rather a day to remember all that we are thankful for. As for me I'm thankful for...

1) my wonderful friends who have been so supportive of me with my crazy desire to do NaNo
2) my roomate who, though we are not best of friends, has been a good teaching moment for patience and learning how to deal with people not like me
3) my little sister who loves me to death (though she may annoy me to death in the process of showing her love)
4) being able to go to college

and the list goes ever on. You should try listing out what you're grateful for. You'll be surprised at how many things you have to be grateful for and it might just make your day or week or even year!

One more thing that I'm grateful for, is finally being able to write again after a stretch of being unable to write this past week. 50k looks closer than ever!

Until next time!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Second Snow and it Sticks!

Ah, the title states it all! We had snow all last night and today. Classes were cancelled and it was a very lovely day. I even got to throw a snowball at a friend. The snow was very dry and didn't stick together well, but I got it to stick together eventually. Perhaps the warmth of my hands helped. Anyways, unlike my last post for when it snowed in October, this time I have pictures! They were taken by the friend that I threw the snowball at. She's so nice to me. I shall leave you with the pictures.

Until next time!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

First update from the NaNo front line

Sorry I took so long to post an update, but life has been very busy what with school pulling at me from one side and NaNo from the other. I've had no time to sit down and write a simple blog post on here. However, now I have time! Though I can't guarantee when the next post will be.

Alright, for progress update, I'm currently sitting at 33,410 words which I achieved on Tuesday. I haven't written anything yet today, but I will. I usually write late at night so there's still time.

For storyline, I'm currently getting my characters out of the secondary problem/climax. However, they have devised another detour for themselves as Lywn and Lia are about to solve the mystery of the howling noises that the wind makes and the myth of the strange creatures. Of course, all this is a secondary plotline and was totally unplanned. Due to this, I'm finally confident that Kaja Colony Crisis will make it to 50k and beyond. Yay to that!

Now, as soon as I have Kaja finished, I'm going to embark upon another novel writing journey. I won't say too much at this point, but I hope to self-publish it (with a tentative release date of Oct. 1, 2009). For the storyline, think Pilgrim's Progress with a NaNo twist to it. For now, the novel is titled 'The Journey of a Lifetime'. The title might change, but at least I have one at this point. Now onto doing homework, so I can write later without too guilty a conscience.

Until next time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Interesting Quote

I have found a really neat quote by Benjamin Franklin which relates perfectly to all types of writing (though I think he only intended it to refer to scholarly essays and such). I found it in some assigned reading that I have to do for my position as a writing tutor. This is found under the chapter about Cohesion and Coherence. (Note: Capitalization his not mine. They wrote like that for some reason.)

If he would inform, he must advance regularly from Things known to things unknown, distinctly without Confusion, and the lower he begins the better. It is a common Fault in Writers, to allow their Readers too much knowledge: They begin with that which should be in the Middle, and skipping backwards and forwards, 'tis impossible for any one but he who is perfect in the Subject before, to understand their Work, and such an one has no Occasion to read it.

This is very applicable to writing. You do have to start with things that are common or shared knowledge before you proceed onto things unknown to the reader. We mustn't confuse our readers, but rather make it clear and logical.

Also, to update my writing progress, I'm almost done with the 1st draft of my big 1 Act play for my Playwriting class. It's going to be a total of 6 scenes. I just hope it's short enough for her, because I'll probabaly have to add in more.

On an aside note, NaNo is 3 days away! (And it also snowed more this morning and some of it stuck, but now it's melted. Oh well.)

Until next time!

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Snow of the Season!

The title says it all today! We just had our first snow of the season today. It quite amazed us that it came this early. It's not even November yet! Alas, it will not stick (to the ground at least) because the ground is not cold enough. However, there should still be some left over on cars tomorrow morning. I have a secret wish that they will cancel classes tomorrow morning, which they do sometimes, though it would not affect me because my first class is at 12:30 pm. Ah well, at least I got to dance in the snow and sleet today and it was fun and cold! I'll have to retrieve a picture from my friend of our capers outside the dorm, because I have no camera and therefore no picture of this glorious event.

On another note, NaNo is only 4 days away! Yay! I am very excited.

Until next time!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's Update Time Again!

As I haven't written in a week it is most certainly time for another update. I have things that are new. First off, you know that short story I was writing based on Erlkonig by Goethe? Well the first draft it finished! I haven't had time to go back and edit it, but I'm sure the finished length will be well under 1,000 words (typical of my fantasy shorts).

Second of all, after much deliberation and searching I have come up with a name for Book 2 in the Lywn: A Space Trader's Daughter Series. It is...Kaja Colony Crisis. Yes I know, I purposely put the alliteration in there, this time at least. It's so it matches Book 1 - Adventure at Anwar. Again, alliteration of initial sound. It's just a little less noticable when it's a vowel than a hard consonant (like a 'k' sound). I'm very glad that is settled and out of the way because it was really bugging me.

That's it for this update. The only thing left to say is...6 MORE DAYS TILL NANOWRIMO! Ah, now that I've got that off my chest I can end this. (I can't wait for NaNo to start, can you tell?)

Until next time!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Writing Sprints

So, yesterday I was browsing the NaNoWriMo forums and came across a thread titled "Ultimate Word War - 5 Hours, 10,000 Words, No Turning Back!". I scanned it and it was very interesting. The whole idea is to write for 5 hours straight and to reach 10,000 words in that time. So last night I decided to try it. I started at 9:10 pm and made it a total of 4 hours till 1:10 am. In that time I wrote 5,000 words, distracted as I was by tiredness and a hungry stomach. I am really happy with myself though, because this will certainly facilitate my making it to 50k and crossing the finish line. And this gives me hope that I'll get Adventure at Anwar done by Oct. 31st. I shall try to practice this 4-5 hour sprint twice a week up until and during NaNo. Wish me luck!

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Short Story

Today I decided to add yet another burden to my already heavy writing burden. A week or two ago we listened to a song by Robert Schumann in Music History. His song Erlkonig is based on the poem of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Here's an English translation of it along with the original German text so you know what I'm basing my story on.

Erlkönig von J.W. Goethe Translation by Hyde Flippo

Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind? Who rides so late through the night and wind?

Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind; It's the father with his child;

Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm, He has the boy safe in his arm,

Er faßt ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm. He holds him secure, he holds him warm.

«Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?» “My son, what makes you hide your face in fear?”

Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht? Father, don't you see the Erlking?

Den Erlenkönig mit Kron und Schweif? The Erlking with crown and flowing robe?

«Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif.» – “My son, it's a wisp of fog.” –

«Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir! “You dear child, come along with me!

Gar schöne Spiele spiel' ich mit dir; Such lovely games I'll play with you;

Manch bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand, Many colorful flowers are at the shore,

Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand.» My mother has many a golden garment.”

Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht, My father, my father, and do you not hear Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht? – What the Erlking promises me so softly? –

«Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind; “Be quiet, stay quiet, my child;

In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind.» – In the dry leaves the wind is rustling.”

«Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn? “Won't you come along with me, my fine boy?

Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön; My daughters shall attend to you so nicely.

Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Reihn, My daughters do their nightly dance,

Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein.» And they'll rock you and dance you and sing you to sleep.”

Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort My father, my father, and do you not see over there

Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort? – Erlking's daughters in that dark place?

«Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau: “My son, my son, I see it most definitely”:

«Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau.» It's the willow trees looking so grey.”

«Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt; “I love you; I'm charmed by your beautiful form;

Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt.» And if you're not willing, then I'll use force.”

Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an! My father, my father, now he's grabbing hold of me!

Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan! – Erlking has done me harm! –

Dem Vater grausets, er reitet geschwind, The father shudders, he rides swiftly,

Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind, He holds in (his) arms the moaning child.

Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not; He reaches the farmhouse with effort and urgency.

In seinen Armen das Kind war tot. In his arms the child was dead.

Isn't this quite a creepy poem? And it is just begging me to turn it into a short story, so I started that tonight during Instrument Seminar. I'll definitely be trying to get it published if I can. And there's a few contests that I could send it in to as well. Now I just need to finish writing it before November or it'll never get done!

The first NaNoWriMo meeting in my area is this Saturday. It's a novel planning party so we'll plan our novels and socialize. I hope that I can get a ride to it or else I can't go.

Until next time!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fundraising for NaNoWriMo

I've got a quick announcement to make. I'm trying to raise money for NaNoWriMo this year. I don't have any money to donate this year so I'm trying to get other people to donate through my fundraising page on firstgiving.com. If you look to the right of this post, you'll see a widget specifically linked my donation page. My goal is to raise $250 for NaNo this year. You see, The Office of Light and Letters (which runs NaNo) is a non profit and relies solely on donations to pay the expenses for the year, so they need people to contribute to keep the lights on. I'd like to help in some way, and this is the only way that I see to do it. So please donate through my page! And forward my page onto those who you think would give a little money to help.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just another update

My internet didn't behave for me last night when I was updating the blog (in other words it didn't work at all) so I completely forgot to upload my new profile picture. This one is very recent as it was taken this summer. Yes it is edited slightly but the mainly it was edited to darken the background (which didn't look the greatest). So that's it for today's post. Wow, two posts in one day, only the second time that I've done that.

Until next time!

A New Design and Some Thoughts on Grammar

And here it is! The new NaNo themed design is up and viewable to all! What do you think? I'm particularly fond of the banner. The picture I used to make it is gorgeous. Alright, now that I've stopped gushing over the new design for the blog, it's time for two other things to be discussed. 1) update on letter game and 2) a discussion on grammar (that is actually a paper I had to do for Wednesday).

First, the letter game update. I have now received letter #2 from my friend (I received it on Monday) and I am in the process now of writing letter #3. I have only one paragraph done at the moment, but I should be able to finish it very soon.

Secondly, the discussion of grammar and here it is!

Grammar: Correctness vs. Clarity

I shall start off this discussion with the two quotes that I liked the most from the chapter: “God does not much mind bad grammar, but He does not take any particular pleasure in it”—Erasmus, and “English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment, and education—sometimes it’s sheer luck, like getting across the street.”—E. B. White. It is the latter quote that pertains more to what struck me as interesting. Rules don’t do much to explain grammar and how it’s used. Sometimes it is sheer luck that you hit upon a grammatical combination that does make sense and sounds correct. Here we run into another issue: correctness vs. clarity.

To what point should correctness (according to grammar rules) be held over clarity? Firstly, what does being “correct” entail for careful writers? Should we follow every rule to the letter? Or should we throw all of that out the window because grammar rules just can’t apply to us? I propose that neither position is entirely correct. On the one hand, you have stilted and formal, but grammatically correct, writing. On the other, you have a confused mess which no one but yourself can understand. Here is where clarity comes in. We must be able to read what you have written (which means you have to follow some rules) but we need to be able to relate to the content and the manner in which it is written (so there’s no reason to follow all the nonsense rules of grammar).

Clarity must be the ultimate, defining standard that shapes our writing. It determines how much and how little “proper” grammar is needed and when and where it should be used. If we cannot understand what a writer is saying then can we care about their grammar? Correctness and clarity work hand in hand to make a piece of writing presentable. We cannot have one without the other. Correctness without clarity is difficult to understand and relate to. And one cannot imagine how one can have clarity without some correctness (grammar) involved in the process.

It is my opinion that clarity should weigh more heavily in the balance than correct grammar. Sometimes it is necessary for some of the less sensible rules to be ignored, especially when they serve only to ‘be correct’ and to muddy the meaning of the writing. Yes grammar rules are there for a reason and if we do not follow the most important of them then we risk looking uneducated and muddying our meaning. Yet some rules just exist for those nitpicks out there who just can’t stop picking a writer’s grammar apart, however good they may be. Grammar rules should exist only to promote clarity, not to annoy writers and cause them hardship. If applied correctly, “correctness” and clarity should enable writers to convey their ideas in a readable format.

Until next time!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

NaNoWriMo Site Relaunched

The people over at Office of Letters and Light decided to be sneaky on us and relaunch the NaNo site early. You can see the new layout and features at www.nanowrimo.org Now I know I said that I would launch the redesign of this blog on the same day as the NaNo folks did, however I'm still going to wait till October 1st. That's less than a week away! So check back on that day to see the blog's new look!

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Letter Game Update and a New Blog design in the Works!

Letter #1 is done and on it's way! Now I'm just waiting for the next one to come from my friend. This game is so fun! It's very motivating to write as you have to wait for the other person to respond. Since you have to wait, you're very ready to write when it's your turn.

On another note, I have a new blog design and layout in store especially for NaNoWriMo. It'll premiere on October 1st, the same day that the NaNoWriMo site is officially reopened to the public with it's new design and updates. So look forward to it! From October 1st to November 30th the blog will feature the new design and layout and then on December 1st I'll either go back to the current design/layout or create a new one. I have to think on that for a bit because I'd have to plan for the second new layout in October.

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The final product!

The latest issue of the Whetstone just came out today! I've got pictures of it and of my article/interview inside. It is something to see your name in print for the first time. I know, this isn't my first published piece, but it was "printed" in an ezine. It wasn't printed on actual paper. This is the first time I've been able to hold my article in my hand. Tis very exciting! And here are the pictures!

Now, on another note, the creative writing club at school just had it's first meeting yesterday and that went off very well. There's a lot of exciting things in store for it, including a possible literary festival! I'm looking forward to our next meeting.

I'm also looking forward to a "phone call" with a fellow writer tomorrow afternoon. She's in Scotland so we had to prearrange our meeting time (as she is 5 hours ahead of me). We've chatted once and talked through Skype another time purely for fun and getting to know one another. However, this conversation has a different purpose. Last meeting I proposed to her the idea of us playing the Letter game. This meeting is to plan out the setting that we want and think up our characters. After that, game time! Some of you may be wondering what the letter game is, so I shall give a brief explaination. The Letter game is where 2 or more participants take on the personality of a character and write letters to each other detailing what's happening to their character. Of course, each person/character responds to the other(s). There are only two rules. 1) The characters may never meet, and 2)you can't let the other(s) know what the plot is. The second rule is where things get interesting. We shall see what happens between us as the game progresses. Hopefully I can report back tomorrow with more details on how it's going and what we've decided.

Until next time!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hunting the Unicorn Interview

Hey everyone! My article for the student newspaper is finally done. It went in the layout today and will be published soon. My second piece total to be published (but the first non-fiction piece). And I thought I'd post it here for you all (along with a link of course for the book I was conducting the interview about). It's only half of the interview that I conducted, but that's all I was able to fit into 500 words.

“Hunting the Unicorn: An Interview with Don King”
By Anna Mittower

I was very excited when the opportunity presented itself to interview Don King about his new book “Hunting the Unicorn”. As an English major he is one of my main professors, and therefore I have learned enough about him to be interested to learn more. On a Friday morning between classes, I managed to sit down with him and ask a few questions about his book.
Q: For those who don’t know, what is your book about?
A: It’s about a 20th century poet named Ruth Pitter. She was well known in her time ( 1930-1970). I found out about her because she was friends with CS Lewis.
Q: What lead you to write about Ruth Pitter?
A: I was working on my C.S. Lewis: The Poet book and came across a letter from Ruth Pitter asking if she could transcribe the last few pages of Killishandra (book three of Lewis’s Science Trilogy) into poetry. In my search for the transcriptions I came to know a lot about Ruth Pitter and decided to write a book about her.
Q: What was your favorite part of the book to write or research?
A: The first third of “Hunting the Unicorn” deals with Ruth Pitter’s relationship with C.S. Lewis. Also it deals with her early life. Her family rented a small cottage out in the middle of a forest and they’d spend their summers there. It was because of this that Ruth Pitter was influence to write mostly nature poems.
Q: And did anything unusual occur during the writing or research?
A: I mentioned before about the poetry transcription of Killishandra that Ruth Pitter did. I went hunting for it because I thought it would provide the key for what I was trying to prove in my other book about C.S. Lewis. I called the C.S. Lewis family and Ruth Pitter’s family and both didn’t have it or even know of its existence. I was really discouraged that I wasn’t able to find it and was about to give up when I decided to stop by the Bodlyin library at Oxford. I asked if they had any of Ruth Pitter’s letters and they said yes. I asked if I could see them and they said no because they weren’t catalogued yet. I came back and asked again to see them and they said that I could but they only had a sheet with descriptions of what they thought was in each box. I looked through the sheet and picked the three most likely candidates out of 36 boxes. It wasn’t in the first box, but in the second to last box that I found what I was looking for. I was really excited.
Q: How did you come up with the title “Hunting the Unicorn”?
A: It’s not a title of my own invention. Ruth Pitter gave several radio talks on BBC and one was titled “Hunting the Unicorn”. I thought that was really neat title so I used it.

You can buy "Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter" on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Unicorn-Critical-Biography-Pitter/dp/0873389476/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221538991&sr=8-1
Also, Don King will be holding a booksigning on October 3rd at 3:00 pm. It will be held in the Library of Montreat College (NC). If you can attend, that would be great for him! I know that I'll be there.

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I, Reporter

And so I am. A reporter for the Whetstone, that is. I just signed the deal with the managing editor to do a piece on one of the professors, Dr. Don King. He just published a new book, "Hunting the Unicorn", about the British poet Ruth Pitter. My assignment is to interview him about it. However, I'm going to add a twist to it. For my writing tutor class I have to interview several professors about their approach to writing both personal and in the classroom, so I shall work some of that into the interview to give it a more student friendly approach. I shall definitely ask my professor about any pet peeves he has regarding student papers and that will definitely go in the final article! So the interview is set for Friday at 11 am. Now I just need to come up with the questions to ask him.

I have already begun work on at least coming up with an idea for the 1 act play which I shall write, direct, and produce for playwriting class. I'm technically supposed to have an idea of what I'm doing by tomorrow. I'll do some brainstorming and see if I can think of anything. I don't think I'll be able to adapt a story I have already written, though I did look to see if that was possible. Ah well, I'm just not in an inspired mood right now. It'll hit me when I'm trying to go to sleep probably or when I wake up in the morning. I just hope that I can get it written down fast enough.

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Timber! and other news

Hey everyone! College has started along with a lot of other stuff. The biggest event that has happened is that my Grandfather passed away a week from last Sunday. I had to drop everything in the middle of last week to attend the viewing and funeral. I'm still sad about it. Christmas will be the big reminder that he's dead. At Christmas (well, around that time) all my Mom's family gets together for a Christmas celebration and we always went to my Grandfather's house. I don't know where or if we'll meet this Christmas. We'll see what happens.

I've contacted the Whetstone (went to a dinner of theirs) and signed up to do at least 1 article per semester. I can't commit to more because my schedule's still being decided. So, my getting to know the people there has begun. I'm really considering taking over from the current managing editor after she graduates next spring. That would look good on a resume.

I was still catching up on homework from last week this morning and the last bit I had to do was to write a short mini-play (1 scene with minimal number of characters). It was due today at 12:30pm (hence why I sat down and wrote it this morning and not tonight) so I got to work this morning and actually had it done in time. Anyways, this is the first part in an experiment of mine this semester. That experiment is a course in playwriting. We shall see if I survive. If I do, then I'll come out of it with another method and perspective of writing. If I don't, I'll know that playwriting is not my thing. This course will definitely help with fleshing out my characters, though.

About the play now. I received the comment that I need to show more through my dialogue, but my scene directions were vivid. Mind you, this is a short scene so there is not much room to play around with the characters. The assignment was to find a picture and write a scene off of it. My picture was of a young man bundled up in winter clothes posing beside the roots of a fallen tree.

Oh and as a parting note, NaNo is on the way (less than 2 months to go!). I've already got my story idea ready. It's an idea that's been floating around in my head for a while. It revolves around one of two sci-fi characters that I have created in my head. However, I have appropriated it for my Lwyn: A Space Trader's Daughter series. It shall be the book that explains how it all began. Now I just need to finish Adventure at Anwar first. I've got less than 2 months to do it! I'll use it to train for the crazy marathon that is NaNo.

Do you know what NaNo is? I've been referring to it without explaining it. A bit of explaination for those who do not know of it is in order. NaNo (short for National Novel Writing Month) takes place during the month of November. The goal is to write the 1st draft of a 50,000 word novel, in 30 days. Crazy, eh? Well it's all good fun. I did it last year for the first time and had a lovely, hectic blast. Second time around should prove to be even more fun as I know what I am doing this time. As for last year, Firequeen was the novel (novella) I started. I didn't win last year (I only wrote 17,000 words) but I think I have a better chance of doing so this year as I write a sci-fi novel this time around.

Until next time!

(finally, here's the play!)


by Anna Mittower

Cast of Characters

DERRICK, male in his early 20s (college age) Nicholas’s roommate, strongly opinionated and quick to voice his opinions, quarterback on the school football team, popular and always dressed in the latest fashion, goofs off but still gets good grades, acts rashly.

NICHOLAS, male in his early 20s (college age) goes by Nick, Derrick’s roommate, loves the outdoors, doesn’t speak up much outside of close friends, but is still opinionated, dressed comfortably, doesn’t really care about fashion, cautious.

REPORTER, female in her 20s, dressed smartly in a suit, very curious, and wears a big smile constantly.

FIREFIGHTER, male in his 40s, looks like he’s been on the job for many years, a veteran, heavy build, about average height.


(It’s the middle of winter and Nicholas and Derrick are standing at the base of a very large and old oak outside their dorm on campus. Both are bundled up against the cold. Ground is saturated from the previous night’s heavy rain. A strong breeze is making the oak tree sway ominously.)


Are you sure it’s wise to climb up that tree? It looks like it might fall any minute.


Give me a break. It’s perfectly safe and I have to do this.

(starts climbing up tree and pauses at first branch. He shouts.)

My honor is at stake. I can’t back down now, not after Gordon dared me. Anway, I’ve been wanting to test it out for myself.


(shouts up to Derrick)

You’re mad to take him up on his dare! He only wants to see you hurt yourself. You’re stupid!


(Derrick has climbed beyond earshot. Doesn’t hear Nicholas’s last line.)

What a view!

(climbs onto the branch that is his destination and stares around the campus. Shouts down to Nicholas)

You should climb up here and see this!

(Remembers what he’s supposed to do and stares down at the branch he’s on. Gordon’s dare is to cross to the next tree over on a branch bridge. The two branches intertwine, but as Derrick starts across the branch feels less stable as the tree rocks in the wind.)


(watching from the ground gives him a better view of the oak starting to lean. Shouts to Derrick)

Get down Derrick! The tree is falling!

(waves arms wildly to attract Derrick’s attention. Derrick doesn’t look. Nicholas stands looking horrified as he watches the tree falling. Once Derrick falls Nicholas kicks into action and rushes under the falling tree to try and catch Derrick. He half succeeds and Derrick knocks both of them to the ground. Nicholas tries to drag Derrick out of the way of the falling tree but a branch lands on him and Nicholas can’t get it off.)

Don’t move Derrick! I’m going to call for help.

(Runs to the dorm.)


Hurry up!


(comes back at a run)

Help’s on the way, Derrick. Hold on.


My leg’s killing me, and my back.


Well that’s where the branch is laying on you. Is there any other place that hurts?


I am sore all over.

(He groans)

Just wait till Gordon sees me like this. He’ll have a good laugh at how stupid I was. Sorry for not listening to you earlier.

(Siren wails in the distance before Nicholas can speak. Firetruck pulls up followed by an ambulance and people dash over to Nicholas and Derrick. They cut the tree branch and put Derrick on a stretcher and then put him in the ambulance.)


Are you alright?


I’m fine. I’ll probably be sore all over from being a cushion for Derrick like that.

(laughs quickly)


Do you know why he was up there in the first place? A warning was issued for this area about the possibility of old trees falling in the high winds today.


Someone dared him to cross from this tree to that one by going across a branch bridge. I tried to talk him out of it, but he went right on ahead and did it.


(shakes head)

That was very foolish of him.


I think he realizes that. He admitted that was he did was stupid while we were waiting for help to arrive.

(Another vehicle pulls up quickly. It’s a white news van with a large number 21 on the side. Reporter gets out followed by a camera man and comes over to where Nicholas and the Firefighter are standing.)


Hello. I’m a reporter for Channel 21. What happened here?

(Eyes the fallen tree and the obvious scrapes and bruises on Nicholas’s face and hands. Thrusts a microphone at the Firefighter.)


A young man climbed up that tree and fell out of it when the tree toppled in the winds.


Is this the young man who climbed the tree standing here?


No, it was my roommate, Derrick, who climbed the tree. An ambulance just took him to the hospital.

(Is nervous because the camera is pointing his direction and the reporter has transferred the microphone to him)

I’m all scraped up because I tried to catch him when he fell.

(grins sheepishly)

He was a bit too heavy to catch and used me instead as a cushion to land on.


(laughs lightly then turns to the camera)

So here we have a young hero in the making. He has just saved his first victim from death.

(Nicholas looks skeptical at this. Reporter turns back to him, microphone ready)

So how does it feel to be a hero?


I-I don’t feel any different. I’m just glad I was able to help.


(turns back to camera)

So there you have it. A young hero.

(turns back to Nicholas)

Now, can we get a picture of you beside that tree? An angle showing the roots of the tree would be best I think.

(Nicholas and camera man follow her around to the other side of the tree)


(Climbs up onto the tree’s roots and poses with a triumphant look on his face like he just conquered the tree.)

How’s this?



(Picture is taken and the reporter looks satisfied. Everyone but Nicholas exits. He walks back his dorm. Curtain)

Friday, August 8, 2008

The 2008 Olympics

08/08/08 What an interesting date and it won't be back for another 100 years. What memories will we make today? I don't kow about you, but today is the day that I will be deciding whether or not its worth it to watch the Olympics. Though this won't happen too often (this is a writing blog after all), I think its time to step on the political soapbox. The politically incorrect one that is. I want to challenge you to think about the Olympics and what it stands for.

In ancient times, the Greeks would stop all wars and fly the white flag for the Olympics. It was a time of unity and peace. Even today, countries come together to celebrate, and yes to compete against each other, but outside wars and barriers are supposed to be left at the door. I say supposed to because that is not often completely accomplished. Many countries have used the Olympics in the past as a political platform for good or bad. Unfortunately, China, the host country this time, is doing this and I would that it is for bad not good. The Communist government is trying to convey an image of a united China to the world. The sad part is that they are trampling all over the Chinese people to do it. China is a hotbed of human rights violations. They are murdering their own people through their policies and laws. You must have heard recently on the news or in the papers about the protestors both foreign and native.

Several groups of foreigners protested about human rights violations and once group even set up a banner proclaiming that "Christ is King" (Amen to that!). They were removed and sent back to their hotels. And what about the Tibetan monks who staged a protest as well? They were also just sent away. What most people don't realize, since we live in a country that has free speech, is that these reactions were lenient compared to the usual methods employed by the Chinese government. Usually any foreigner who dares to speak out against the government is deported immediately and their Visa revoked. They could be permanently banned from ever entering China again. Same happens with those who take on the dangerous job of preaching the gospel to the Chinese people. And as for any native protestors. . . Ever wonder why there are so few willing to speak up? Imprisonment awaits them at the very least. And that includes interrogation and perhaps even torture. They also face the very real possibility of being branded a traitor and executed. The Chinese government does not want the world to see this. But that is not all. There is no religious freedom at all. One has to attend the State Church or be punished. To be a Christian is a "crime" punishable by death. It is even worse for those who are caught teaching other to preach the Gospel. These are just a few of the multitude of human rights violations that China's government has committed.

Should we condone such actions? If we turn a blind eye to the situation and do as China's governement has urged and "Don't use the Olympics as a political platform" we are condoning it by our very indifference and apathy. We have to take the stage and make a stand. Some have said that President Bush should have boycotted the Olympics, but I am of the opinion that words will speak louder than actions in this case. President Bush needs to tell the Chinese government that if they continue with the violations of the Chinese people, then the US will not continue in it's support of China. Taking our business and our money elsewhere would be a drastic step only used as a last resort. I hope it would never come to this. Surely the UN would step in before it came to that. But I do firmly believe that it is our duty to use the Olympics as a political platform and use it to pressure the Chinese government to put an end to the violence and persecution.

It still have to decide whether to watch the Olympics. I hardly watch it at all when it's on anyway because I'm really only interested in the results of the lesser known sports. The Dressage, Jumping, and Eventing competitions are the ones which capture my interest as I love anything to do with horses. The question is now, what will you do?

Until next time!

Writing Updates

Yes I'm back. Two blog posts in one day. That has got to be a record for me. I had originally thought to combine this with the other post today, but I felt that it wouldn't work too well as the content is totally different. I haven't updated anything about my writing since the beginning of June. I've been meaning to do this for a few weeks now, but something called a job has been keeping me busy and tired.

Yes I did finally manage to get a job at long last. I'm working at the local amusement park. Well, local isn't really the appropriate word, nearest would describe it better. I find it amusing that I have now worked at two of the most "cool" hanging out places for teens-the mall and an amusement park-and now I am rather indifferent to both. They don't hold any charm for me now. Not that they had much charm before. Anyways, I've detoured. I was going to talk about my writing.

The anthology fell through because 1) I didn't get Houses of Enemies finished in time and 2) The Old Has Passed Away... (which I did send to them) wasn't what they were looking for. I still need to get a move on and submit the latter to Andromeda Spaceways. It just might have a chance there.

With the starting of a job, my work on Adventure at Anwar started back up. I think I've added another 1,500 or so words to it. I have to estimate because I still have some stuff to type up onto my laptop. I've been writing on the job again like I did last summer, only there's not as much time to do it this time around. However, a few hundred words here and there do add up over time.

I have a new contest on the horizon. I'm really excited about it because it is for homeschoolers (and their parents and college age homeschool alumni). It has 20 different categories. The only draw back is that there is an entry fee. It's $5 for the first entry and $3 for each additional entry. I'm interested in 4 of the categories. Novel, Novel Cover, Blog and Blog Post are the ones I'm interested in. I may have 1 or 2 more that I may look into in the Short Story categories. However I would have a lot of work to do between now and October 21st. That's when all the entries have to be in by. if I was to do it, I'd send in the first 10,000 words of Adventure in Anwar for the novel category, this blog would double for both the Blog Post and Blog categories. I just hope I don't forget about it what with being so busy with school. I'll try to remember.

Speaking of school, it starts on the 18th, well classes start the 19th but I move in the 18th. Less than two weeks to go! And I just started packing today. Typical.

By the way, both of these posts today were written at work!

Until next time!

Friday, June 6, 2008


Our family vacation is at hand, or at least it is in progress. We left Wednesday morning and traveled all day, stayed at a hotel and then got up dreadfully early in the morning so we could get to the Creation Museum when it opened. We spent a good 6 hours in that place walking through the exhibits and exploring the garden (which included a good deal of running back and forth on the small suspension bridge as well as a fun time on the pontoon bridge and the petting of one goat and one lamb who were being taken for a walk outside of the petting zoo). I would post pictures but as my camera is dead (and as I haven't bought a new one yet) I have no pictures available to post. Ah well, you'll just have to go and see it for yourself! (Which I highly recommend!)

We traveled on further that day and arrived at Taylor University in Indiana that evening. That is our present location as the main portion of our vacation will be taken up by a computer conference, ICCM. However, today we took a detour to another part of Indiana to visit my Grandma and other relatives. That was fun, though we didn't do much besides talk and look at pictures. The computer conference actually started tonight with the opening "banquet" and introductions. Just reading the word introductions on the schedule wasn't enough to prepare me for the actual thing. It meant that every single person there almost had to introduce themselves. I think it went on for nearly 2 hours in which time I was bored. However, I had brought something to do. And that was...editing Firequeen! And I am happy to say that I succeeded in editing several bits of it.

I changed the number of chapters from 18 to 19 and in the process was reminded that I hadn't changed the beginning to match the end in the issue of when Struana died so I proceeded to rectify that incongruity. Then I mostly did line edits. I have at least one part where I need to write some more (at the new end of chapter 12) but I haven't gotten to that yet as I wish to examine another one of my scenes first to see what some feedback meant about it.

Hopefully I will be able to get more editing done during this conference as I won't be paying attention to most of the sessions.

Until next time!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer days are here at last!

The summer is finally here and along with it comes the whole responsibility of finding a job so I can pay for college. My progress so far? I've applied to one place and am halfway through another application. A third application (in the form of an email) will be sent out today or tomorrow.

But enough of that. I've finally started to get my writing going again. My major accomplishment is that of finding someone who has promised to read Firequeen through and give it a good critique! I'm really happy about that because I've been despairing of finding anyone to help me. (Of course it does help that I'm critting his book for him).

In my last post I mentioned an anthology that I intended to submit to. Well there have been two changes where that is concerned. First, they are paying for the stories now! Second, they have named the anthology "The Dark Whole" and that has made me reconsider as to which story I will send them. It sounds like they want fantasy that is a bit darker than "The Old Has Passed Away, and the New Has Come to Stay". I have dug through my short story archives and found a piece which I think will fit. It's definitely got to be the darkest piece I've ever written (though it's not that dark). At present it is titled "Houses of Enemies" but I'm going to change the title as I don't think it fits anymore. However, I still plan to submit "The Old Has Passed Away..." to Andromeda Spaceways magazine.

That is all that is going on with my writing. Now I must be off to go and edit "Houses of Enemies". I need to get it submitted asap.

Until next time!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I'm back, even if it has been several days. The editing process has ground to a screeching halt because of finals for school. The only thing I'm writing at the moment is a paper on Crime and Punishment for one of my two English classes.

I'm still stuck on page 7 and 8 of Firequeen. I just typed all the edits in (including the extended scene) and that actually added about a page to the novella. So the total page count is about 91 (published) pages.

Right now, I'm looking ahead to this summer and the fall and I'm trying to plan out my next move. Over the summer I hope to finish editing Firequeen and finish writing the 1st draft of Lwyn: A Space Trader's Daughter-Adventure at Anwar. Hopefully I can get the latter mostly edited by the time NaNoWriMo rolls around again in November. I've also been looking at several publishing opportunities. One, of course, being the Q (my school's literary magazine). I want to submit The Old Has Passed Away... to them sometime, but first I have to edit it. Also, I wanted to try to get it published elsewhere first because the Q isn't picky about it being a reprint. I've got two places I'm looking at: an anthology that will be coming out at the end of year (deadline July 1st) and an Australian magazine, Andromeda Spaceways. I think I've decided to try for the anthology first as I have a better chance of getting it submitted there. There's no advance payment but there is the possibility of royalties if it sells well enough.

At this rate I won't be submitting The Old Has Passed Away... to the Q for a long time, but I do have another story that might possibly be ready by the fall. I just came up with the idea for a story based around 1 Corinthians 13. I won't explain it all here at this moment, but it has to do with a world where what you name your child comes true--but with a catch. The story would follow two parents trying to outwit the system so there's no catch. I'll see if I can write this over the summer before I forget all the details that aren't written down in my writer's notebook.

Also, in my planning for the fall, I've been thinking hard about getting involved with the Whetstone, the campus newspaper. One of the staff members is leaving and their column would be open. I was considering starting up a column that would feature all the clubs that are on campus. There seems to be a general apathy toward committing to a club and I'd like to see if I can change that.

As another bit of news, to sign off with, I will be working on the staff of the Q in the fall. It's a course that I signed up for. I hope that I won't be overwhelmed in the fall, but the fall semester always seems to be easier for some reason.

Until next time!

Monday, April 28, 2008

George MacDonald

I suppose that you all have heard of the writer George MacDonald? If not, then I would suggest that you read some of his works. I am still woefully lacking where the reading of his books is concerned. However, when reading some of his short stories this semester, I came across a nice quote of his and I'd like to share it with all of you.

"I do not write for children, but for the childlike, whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five."
Isn't that just a wonderful quote? I don't know if it would apply to my writing as much, because my stories aren't as childlike as his, but it's still something to think of.

The editing of Firequeen is still plodding along. I resolved one difficult sentence today only to get stuck on another. Ah well, it'll get done eventually.

Until next time!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Music + Editing = wonderful experience!

I had the most enjoyable time this afternoon. A fellow student was giving his senior recital at 3 pm and I had the pleasure of attending it. For an hour I sat there and listened to his playing of the piano and working on editing Firequeen at the same time (though I did more listening than editing all told). He's graduating this year, unfortunately, so I won't be able to enjoy his playing much longer.

The editing progresses, hampered by the fact that I'm having to write a lot of new material for it. Just today I wrote a whole new scene for it and I'll probably have to go back and expand even that with more description and details. That is my weakness where writing is concerned. I don't have enough details and description to bring the scene into focus. When I am finished editing, Firequeen will be very much in focus.

Until next time!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Editing Continues...

And I'm back. The only progress I've managed to make is that of editing two pages so I am now on pages 5 and 6 of Firequeen.

However most of that editing was done on top of a mountain! I, along with the same friend as yesterday, climbed up the same trail. (This is the third time in three days that I have gone hiking. How unusual.) However this time we went all the way to the top and stayed there for almost an hour doing homework. I found a nice little niche for myself and settled in, though I found that my right foot and ankle had decided to go to sleep on me and were numb when I tried to get up. That is such an odd sensation. Here's a picture of me in my niche on the mountain top. The picture doesn't show it, but I had a wonderful view off to my left of the valley and other mountains. Gorgeousness!

And now with this picture, I'll take my leave. Until next time!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grand Opening!

Yes, it's the grand opening of this blog, or rather the debut of it as hosted on this site. This is now not just my writing blog, but also the official place for all my writing (at least until I get a webpage up which won't be for a while).

I'm currently working on editing my novella, Firequeen. I just recently finished the first draft (on February 29th) and have been desperately trying to get people to actually read it and give me feedback on it. So far, only 1 person has done so. Ah well, I shall still proceed with editing the first 20 pages of it (that's the first 4 chapters). I have been successful enough to get this novella to count as homework for one of my english courses. Of course, that means that I have to turn in 20 edited pages of it on Tuesday! I'm currently on the 3rd and 4th page of it. I should post a picture of what a page looks like when I'm done editing it! ;) It's covered with marks. After all, I am an English Major!

Yesterday I got some editing done on a hike with my roommate. She was out to do observations so several times I just sat down on the trail and worked on editing while I waited for her to catch up. One major event happened, though. I was attacked by a garter snake! Well, it tried to bite my ankle, but, as I had on tennis shoes and long jeans, it didn't get my skin. My roommate got some lovely pictures of it. I'll have to post a picture of it soon along with a picture of me editing on the trail.

Today I also went on a hike with another friend. We went halfway up a trail nearby and jump-roped for bit. Nothing eventful happened on that hike though. I just love all the trails! Just one reason why I love going to college in the mountains.

Till next time! (When I should hopefully have 20 pages of Firequeen edited.)
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