Friday, December 28, 2012

A Friend of Mine

Lovelies, I would like to introduce you to someone special.  He's a little nervous to show his face.  Look, there, he's hiding around the corner, peeping out to gauge you and your interest in him.  I told him not to be shy, but I'm not sure how much that helped, because I'm fairly anxious that you'll like him as well.  I've been acquainted with him for a little over a year, I believe, and quite enchanted by him.

Are we ready?  Is it time for the reveal?  Alright.  Come on out.


What is it? you may ask.  Well, pretty much my favorite place on the internet.  It's a little like a writing forum, where you can post stories or poetry or even scripts and receive recognition and feedback for them.  The best part is that even after you post a story, you keep all of the rights to it, and the website makes it impossible for the story to be copied by a different user, so there's no worries for plagiarism.  There are frequent contests to enter and loads of book give-aways and opportunities to have your work read and critiqued by published authors.

I personally love it because it's an ideal place to put my shorter works.  I'm never motivated enough to submit my smaller works to newspapers or contests (honestly, because it feels like being slapped in the face over and over and over*), so it's nice to have a place where other people can actually read them and give me feedback for.  Also, it is an excellent place to release my inner editor while simultaneously helping other writers polish their stories.  It's an excellent community, too.  The other users offer helpful advice and are always up for a swap "I read your story, you read mine" type of thing.

*That sounded a little bitter.  (CURSE YOU MAGAZINES!)  I'm not bitter.  A few years ago I tried submitting to magazines and it was a huge pain, first off to find ones that accepted submissions, that accepted my sorts of submissions, and didn't require that I mail in an actual copy with stamps and fussy stuff.  Then, I had to write a cover letter, an acceptable email, and touch up my story.  Then I had to wait 2-6 months.  And at last I would receive the automated email that said, "Thankyouverymuch, but no."  Tada!  Slap in the face.  So: reluctant to go through that again?  Yes.  Bitter?  Nevah!

Check it out!

(click on the large symbol above)

And also, *twirls hair causally* you can always take a look at the stuff I've put there.  *scuffs shoe*  You know.  If you have the time or something.

And if you are interested... by any chance... here are: links!  LINKSLINKSLINKS!!!  ALL OF THE LINKS!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Hello faithful audiences!  I have had the marvelous opportunity to interview a fellow blogger who has navigated (and survived) trying to juggle writing and homework at the same time.  Talk about talent.  I'd ask to hear some applause, but since I can't hear it anyhow, let's get right to the good stuff.

First tell us a little about yourself.  What are important things to know about you personally?
My name is Elizabeth Hausladen, although you can often find me posting under the name "Elenatintil" (yes, that's from Tolkien's Elvish). I'm 23 years old, and I am a professional costumer and writer. I love history, art, and basically anything geeky. Doctor Who, X-Men, you name it!

What do you enjoy reading?
My two big loves are historical fiction and science fiction. Whenever I find a good historical fiction novel I rush to the computer and blog about it - such finds are rare and worthy of immediate sharing! For science fiction I am a huge fan of Orson Scott Card, who is a prolific writer of many generes, but most well-known for "Ender's Game." I also greatly enjoy anything by Regina Doman.

What do you enjoy writing about?
I like to write what I read... the setting is always science fiction, fantasy, or historical (and often a combination!), and I'm big on creating well-fleshed out characters with compelling plotlines.

Want to tell us a little about your work in progress (if you have one at the moment)?
I have two at the moment, although the time travel is on the back burner while I work on getting the first draft of the other novel ready for my publisher. This second project is slotted to be book three of the "Ruah Chronicles" series being put out by Chesterton Press hopefully next year. My installment is set in Paris, and deals with nuns, mermaids and the last unicorn! That's all I'm really allowed to say at the moment, but it's a story I'm very excited about and can't wait to share with others!

What are your top tips for juggling important life commitments (homework/jobs) with writing?
Carve out writing time with ferocious sword hacking. Because writing is so mentally demanding, it is nearly always what you end up putting off in favor of less intense tasks. It is absolutely essential to designate 'writing time' and then stick to it. For me it varies with the seasons. Last spring I wrote first thing in the morning. During the winter I really like to go out to coffee shops and away from the distractions and responsibilities of home (I work from home so it's a double guilt-trip).

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Wow, that's hard, I've received so much good writing advice in my life. I think the most powerful experience I had was when Regina critiqued the first chapter of my novel multiple times, and kept pushing me to tighten it up. My characters kept doing things that really didn't tie into the plot, which made for a long and rambling first chapter. Regina pushed me to rethink every sentence I had in there and make sure it was vital.

Any warnings to give?/What are the biggest mistakes that a young(ish) writer could make?
Don't try to publish too early. Hone your craft first. Read writing books, read writing blogs (particularly from editors, agents and experienced writers!), go to talks and seminars and classes, and then just read as much good stuff as you can. Rewrite your book, and then rewrite it again. Find people to read it who will be honest and harsh with you - not your mom. Don't self-publish because you don't want to do the work of going through a big publisher. The publishers know a lot of stuff that you don't, and it's dangerous to assume that your book is 'as good as what they're publishing' unless you have a professional in the field affirming that. 

Anything you would do differently (in your writing life) if you could time travel?
I would not have tried to get an English Literature and Writing degree. While some of the fiction writing stuff was relevant, it was still a tiny fraction of what we actually studied in the major. Most of it was analyzing poetry, which doesn't have much to do with writing a novel. If you want to have a career as a writer (and not just write a literary novel that the critics will love), have life experience. (Or get a major pertaining to the genres you want to write in, history, psychology, science, etc) While I did have a good time in college for my first year, by the time I got to year two I realized that I was in the wrong major, and I wish I had realized that earlier... although honestly it all worked out, so I'm glad that God, not me, was in charge of making those decisions.

Last words of wisdom?
Write! Write every day! Write your novel, write a blog post, write an e-mail, write fan fiction... but keep on writing. It's a muscle that will get stronger if you use it, and weaker if you abuse it.

Awesome stuff, right?  Be sure to check out Elizabeth's blog:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things I Would Rather Do Than Write.

  • Write blog posts.
  • Edit blog posts.
  • Edit papers for my friends.
  • Make my bed.
  • Fold laundry.
  • Read a good book
  • Read things that I have already written.
  • Edit things that I have already written.
  • Study for finals (as in the finals at the end of next semester).
  • Clean out my inbox.
  • Order next semester's books.
  • Google my name (hey, I didn't know I was that I sang the National Anthem at a basketball game when I was eleven.  *pats self on the back*)
  • Run twelve laps around the football field.
  • Look up funny pictures.
  • Email funny pictures to my younger brother.
  • Copy my notes onto electronic format.
  • Copy my novel onto paper by hand.
  • Write angsty journal entries.
  • Giggle over said angst.
  • Make character profiles.
  • Design costumes for my characters.
  • Hold conversations with my characters.
  • Organize my I-tunes playlists.
  • Anything.
  • Anything.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Reading Break part II (Breaking Reading part II? *cackle* *snort* ... Never mind.)

Can we ever have enough books?  Or posts about books?


Thus: part II!

(A lot of these have 2013 release dates, so they'll probably be moved to my summer reading list.  But let's not quibble over details.)  (Quibble.  Quibble.  Quibble.  Quibble.  Melikes that word.)

Whafa.  A nightmare?  As a main character?  I must read this!  Please, please, please though, I beg you, please.  No love triangle.  No steamy, unrealistic, eye-rolling, fake romantic dialog.  Please.  Because "Eli" is described in the blurb as "hot," and I'm worried.  Don't be that kind of hot, Eli.  The world is asking.

Things that sound interesting: mist-shrouded castle, telepathic golden rats, bringing back the sun, ghosts and misfits.  Things that sound slightly overused: flaming red hair, main character "not who she thinks she is," and an ancient prophecy.  Weigh it out on the scales... eh.  The cover looks cool.  *cackle*  I do judge by the cover. #I'msoevil

Medieval world of forgotten magic.  The chessboard of the gods.  The spider queen.  An evil puppeteer.  An intriguing cover.  (Okay, you're probably tired of that.  I'll stop.)  Tempted?  Just a wee little bit /sarcasm.

It's about a bounty hunter.  'Nuff said.

*squee*  THE COVER!  LOOK AT THE COVER!  Okay, so I've never been a big fan of werewolves, but LOOK AT THE COVER.  Is that the Eiffel Tower?!  I think that's the Eiffel Tower!  And a full moon!  AND THE RIPS OH MY GOSH THE RIPS LIKE TEETH!  Well, actually, probably claws.  But "The Night has Claws" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

I think this is my only middle-grade fiction that I've listed.  I'm such a hypocrite.  Anyhow, three brilliant kids are on a mission!  At least, that's what the blurb said, so I'm not sure who the fourth bloke is.  They probably just stuck him on the cover because they needed someone to hold the flashlight and everyone else was busy.  That's my theory.

Any books you're looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reading Break

I have a lot of things that I want to do over break.

A) Sleep in.

B) Take naps.

C) Intend to go to bed early, but end up staying up late out with friends or watching The Office in my basement.

D) Earn money.

E) See friends.


This post is mostly concerned with F.  OH ALL THE BOOKS I COULD READ.

The possibilities...

I'm getting dizzy.

Top on my library reserved list and my Goodreads to read list are:

Le drool.  I.  Can't.  Wait.  This sounds so amazing and it's Maggie Stiefvater and I adored The Scorpio Races and and and and....

Lauren Oliver + middle grade fiction = YES.  I can't wait!  Liesl and Po was adorable, Before I Fall was tremendously well written (for a slightly older audience), and I'm in great anticipation of the finale to her YA trilogy.  More Lauren Oliver?  I say yes.

I've heard mixed reviews (courtesy of Goodreads) about this, but the cover is so gorgeous (erm, not that I'm judging based on that or anything) and it's about assassins and the premise sounds awesome.  A runaway pirate bride, pairing up with an assassin, and a life-altering curse.  Methinks yes.

Mirror twins, castaway children, a prince and his double...  Dude.  And I think it was self-published.  At least on the Goodreads page, it said it was published through CreateSpace.  Also all of the websites I tried to click on had been deleted, which makes me think that it was originally self published, but then bought out by a bigger company that is in the process of making "real" websites.  But those are just my ramblings...

This gorgeous book supposedly contains puppet masters, orphans, London, rivals, inheritance...  Not to mention a very cool cover.  (Okay, yeah, I just like good covers and let's all admit that judging books by their covers is sort of part of the marketing business.  It's legal and everything.)

Four kids decide to stop the school bully by kidnapping him.  Of course, things go wrong.  That's pretty much all I know, but it has black birds on it.  Four of them.  Sort of like The Raven Boys (Ye-ah!).  And on that note, now that we've (sort of) come full circle, I think we'll end.  I like neat little circle stories.  So visually pleasing.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


For the most part, I'm alright with messiness, textbooks and papers scattered over my desk, clothing stuffed into almost-closed drawers, and so forth and so forth.  But sometimes, it just feels so good to be official.  Like tying a ribbon into a bow on the top of a present (I'm sort of in the Christmas mood, so, yes, there will be a lot of Christmas metaphors) or perfectly frosting a cake even though you're about to cut it into pieces and eat it.  You finish and feel good about finishing.

In light of that thought, to celebrate actually finishing* my work-in-progress that is no longer in progress, I made a book cover for my book.  Just for the heck of it.


Bask in the glory.  It looks almost real or something.  P.S. I don't own the image.  I found it on Google or Pinterest.

*Ye-es.  I have actually completed my middle-grade novel, The Riddle Academy, twice before.  BUT, with both of those completions, I immediately decided to start on a rewrite/new draft/completely different book except with most of the same characters and a similar plot line.  So this is totally different.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Obligatory Boring First Post (and also, November is over!)

Sing ye choirs of angels.

December is here.  December and hot chocolate and Christmas and Christmas break and, oh, let's just smash it all together and make a list of why December 1st is a good thing.

Finals are almost here and thus almost over.  Christmas break is close!  Reuniting with friends and family around the corner!  Icicles.  Snow.  Sledding.  Cold air freezing your lungs.  Candy canes.  Baking Christmas cookies.  Getting to drive again!  Driving with the windows down, the heat cranked up, and the radio blasting.  Going on walks through a frozen, sleeping marsh.  Wrapping presents, tape sticking to your fingers.    Advent candles.  Christmas shopping.  Ice skating and watching the sunset paint the sky in a clash of pastel and neon.  Curling up with a book on the couch (A COUCH!).  Waking up at 5:55, making a hazelnut latte, and writing the morning out of the night, the darkness away from the light.  Coziness.  Cards in the mail.  Coats and scarves and boots.  Coffee.

I could really, really, really go on for a long time, but I shall resist.  Just basically, December is here and despite being welcomed by 60 degree weather and incredible humidity here in Kansas, it is distinctly different from yesterday, which was November.  Really, we all should pity November, a month whose only bright spot is the turkey and cranberry sauce at nearly the end of it.  Thanksgiving always feels like a sort of "We've almost survived November!  Just a few days left!  You can do it!" or a pity party, because there's absolutely nothing else about November that we can find to appreciate.

Of course, November also is National Novel Writing Month and was fairly significant for me this year, because (for the third year running) I completed my 50,000 words and especially because (for the first time ever) I was happy with my completed project (begun: four years ago.  Rewritten: seven times.  Finished: three times.).  Happy enough to wait two weeks (yeah... I finished my 50k word count pretty early), edit like crazy, and send it in to an agent.

Oh yeah.

AndthentwodayslatersherequestedmymanuscriptandI'msortofsuperexcitedBUTIKNOWITDOESN'TMEANANYTHING.... yet.

So, yeah, I'm happy that it's December.