Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fave Reads from 2013

Okay, I saw this over at  http://inklinedwriters.blogspot.com/2013/12/13-books-of-2013.html so in honor of the new year, here is a list of my top 13 favorite books I read this year. Some of them have been published for a long time, some are brand new. The first six are in order of being my favorite, but I really couldn't decide which series I liked best so I just set them as every other. Then after that 7-10 were all a mash up of which I liked best, and then there's my next three at the bottom.

#1. Clockwork Angel- Cassandra Clare(I will forever be in love with William Herondale)
#2. Divergent- Veronica Roth (I am in love with Four)
#3. Clockwork Prince- Cassandra Clare (I'm still in love with Will- but it turns out I also love Jem)
#4. Insurgent- Veronica Roth (Now I love Tobias)
#5. Clockwork Princess- Cassandra Clare (Yup. Still love Will. And Jem....)
#6. Allegiant- Veronica Roth (Amidst my tears and fits of depression and book withdrawal, I'm still in love with the boy with a number for the name)
#7. Matched- Ally Condie (Now I'm loving a boy named Xander....but also a boy named Ky)
#8. Running Lean- Diane L. Sharples (Not only did she send me her autograph, she made it easy for me and gave me one boy. I love him)
#9. Viral Nation- Shaunta Grimes (So there's this guy named Jude....)
#10. Legend- Marie Lu (Well, the guy I liked died right away. So I guess now it's Day)
#11. The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet- Stephanie Morrill (I like Palmer. No it's Chase. No back to Palmer...Chase)
#12. The Iron Marshall- Louis L'amoure (I like the guy...but I can't remember his name...Tom...Shanigy!)
#13. Utah Blaine- Louis L'amoure (I liked Utah. He's like the only guy in the book)
There ya have it. Anyone want to join me in fangirling?
If not- Get reading!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Matched- Book Review

Hi guys. I don't have a big new years resolution, favorite thing about last year post ready. I was planning on it but I've spent the last two days in a hospital with my grandma, so I don't have it ready.
I did finish Matched by Ally Condie though, so I'll give you a quick review of it.

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

(from goodreads)

I'm going to give this book five stars actually > ***** (stars ^_^)
I really liked it. I know people like to bash the whole love triangle cliché, but this one was very well done, and I'm still kind of at a loss for who I want to win this one in the end. Both boys are very loveable. The books has a nice flair of mystery surrounding its characters, and I've always been a sucker for the mysterious love interest. Especially if he likes poetry. It's just a given.
Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. The story world was honestly probably my favorite part. I loved analyzing all the weird quirks of the Society and getting that weird dystopia feeling that comes when you realize *this could happen*. Golly it gives me goosebumps! This book was really good at leaving you in the dark and then at the right moment all the sudden you realize what's going on...AND IT TERRIFIES YOU.
I would definitely suggest this book to go on your must read list for next year if you haven't already (see, I managed to get some kind of new years squeezed in here after all)

I hope everyone enjoys their new year. I'll be spending tomorrow at the nursing home trying to sing around a cold. Wish me luck. Right now I've got a pretty good excuse to stay in the house, so I've got a stack of books (I got new books for Christmas! The captive maiden by my friend Melanie Dickerson, and Captives by my other friend Jill Williamson) and five tablets full of notes for new story ideas, along with a cup of hot apple cider.....Oh wait...I guess I drank it all while I was sitting here typing. Oh well. I'm ready to start work on some reading and writing time.
Nope, still not done. GUESS WHAT?!?
Sierra from over at A Simple Taste for Reading  (http://simpletasteforreading.wordpress.com/) agreed to read my story Out of Darkness. She liked it and she has suggested I self publish it to Amazon Kindle. I'm strongly considering that, but right now I'm just so excited that she thinks it's good enough to be read by the human world. So, in the near future of this new year (I did it again) I may be dedicating a post to my baby being published. 

Over and out guys! (That's trucker lingo for I'm done talking- according to my daddy)  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tomorrow is Christmas...IT'S PRACTICALLY HERE!

                  That is my favorite line ever from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Ever.
                                                (cause Max never actually speaks)
But seriously though, TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS!! Last Sunday we went to my grandma's house and my aunts, uncles, and cousins came. We had a lot of fun. The kids did a gift swap, so it was fun to see what everyone thought the other would like. I am the proud owner of some awesome ear cuffs, the cutest stocking hat/headband thing ever (I love it and call it a thing...wow), and an iTunes gift car. Boom.

Today we are getting ready for our Christmas bash with my dad's side of the family tomorrow. Mom's handling the meat (smoked turkey) and me and my sister are plotting all kinds of yummy deliciousness to make us the most popular cousins this year ;).

             Yeah. Uh huh. You want to come over tomorrow now don't you? Don't you?

                                           Have a merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

JiNgLe BeLLs, jInGlE bEllS, I've Got Some New Ideas!

Hi guys! Guess what? MY COMPUTER IS BACK!! That means you guys get pictures!!!
                                                                  Here you go-
*sigh* Isn't my Garbear just the cutest thing?
(Garrett Hedlund everyone)
Okay, now back on topic. I'VE GOT ALL OF MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING DONE! Unfortunately I can't tell you what any of the totally awesome, sneaky, fantastic things I got people are, because oddly enough some of my friends and family actually read this blog, and where would the surprise be in that?
I can tell you that one present is probably in some UPS truck right now, and two other presents are hanging up in my shower soaking wet and trying to dry off. Hehe...or should I say ho ho? I don't know.
Getting Christmas presents purchased is very stressful because everyone in my family has a tendency to put one or two things on their list and then give that list to like ten people and expect them to figure out who gets to buy the thing. So there's a lot of guess work.
(My Christmas list was rather long, {just so my family didn't feel lost of course} and even had links to where they could buy the stuff)
But I'm happy with all the stuff I managed to get a hold of this year, and I think they will be too.
We've got three Christmas shindigs to go to this year- typical of most years.
On my dad's side of the family we will have dinner with his dad and some family members at a café in town on Sunday after church. Then on Christmas day my dad's mom and some other family members are coming and we are cooking a ton of food (like homemade girlscout samoas ^_^) and exchanging presents.
And then this Sunday- AKA Tomorrow- we are going to my moms side of the family and also exchanging presents. So it should be fun.
Something we are really trying to emphasize this year is that Christmas isn't about all this crazy shopping, gifts, and dinners held in the four corners of the earth.
It's about this-
When God decided to step down from his crazy awesome place of power and majesty and get wrapped up in a limited, helpless baby and come die on the cross to save all of us from our nasty sins.
I think I might be bringing a guitar to our Christmas dinner and we're gonna play some hymns, or maybe read something. I'm not sure what we're going to do yet exactly, but we're just trying not to lose sight of what all the hulabaloo is really all about.
Last Wednesday the youth group went out and Christmas caroled and we gave away some homemade cookies me and my sister and mom had worked on that day. The people really enjoyed listening, and since it wasn't below freezing outside, it was a good evening had by all. Afterward my amazing youth group teacher had soups and brownies waiting for us at her house. After we'd eaten the choir practiced our Christmas songs for Sunday, and we went home. It was a simple time. But it was so much fun just getting to be with people we all cared about.
Aside from all the Christmas cheer and chaos, I've actually got some new story ideas.
Do you want to hear about them anyway?
Of course you do!
#1. Masked.
This is just an idea for a story world so far. I have no plot and no characters. But I love masquerade masks and all that so I thought what if there was some kind of world where they didn't want to judge anyone. They valued themselves on their honesty when associating with others and taking people for who they are, not what they appear to be. So they all wear masks. It would be kind of fun because of course they would probably end up judging based on "Oh my gosh, did you see the mask she wore last night? With those blue feathers?? scandalous!"
#2. Guardians.
I want to write some kind of story with winged people. Not angels, cause I'm not comfortable with that. Seems like every story I've read about angels has downplayed the awesome reality God has made them and just turned them in to sarcastic magic users.
But I was thinking maybe another dimension (think Narnia) linked to ours, where these winged (guardians) people live. And maybe their world is experiencing a problem ours is already dealing with (not sure which one yet) and so they send a guardian to get someone from earth to tell them how we came up with a solution. I have some ideas for some characters in this idea already, and they sound so cool already. Maybe when I allow myself to actually write part of this I'll give you guys a character interview. Deal?
This is one I got from the song Monster by Imagine Dragons. I had to write a 250 word story piece for a facebook writing contest that was inspired by that song. And it sounds so creepy now. I love it. 0.O
Tell you what, I have the snippet I wrote for it. Next post I'll post it for you okay?
Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy the fun!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Its a Full House

*notice* My computer is in town currently being worked on, so I don't have any access to pictures,
So the next few blog posts I do will probably be pretty ugly lookin. Sorry :(

Anyway, my house has been chuck full of people this week. My family has been watching a brother and sister from our church while their parents are out of town seeing their older brother graduate boot camp. Living in a house with only girls, it has been interesting having a four year old boy around...to say the least. It has been fun though. I've gotten some adorable film sessions of him trying to pronounce the rules for bedtime. 

"No talkin, no yaffin, no nuthin!"
Or one night my mom was gone taking school kids to the one act play, and he said "when your mom gets back, she's gonna give me a big fuzzy kiss." 
(If anyone knows what a fuzzy kiss is, I would love to know)

I was able to finish up my college semester before they got here on Tuesday, so at least I wasn't trying to write personal philosophy essays.

I haven't got any practice in for the songs I'm supposed to play New Year's Eve. Little Man likes to help play so....
His sister goes to school during the day, so it's been mostly us and the munchkin. We call him Fonzy. (Don't ask why)

Aside from them, another lady from our church brought her son and daughter inlaw here to see horses and cows. Get this- the girl is from Sardinia (that's a island from Italy). Oh my gosh we had so much fun teaching them how to ride horses. They were trotting all over by the time we were done. I got to ride my horse again. He's doing nice. 

We also took them out to see our cows. They loved when my dad yelled 'come boss' and the whole herd came up to us. One of our cows (the friendly #227) ate out of their hand. That was epic. She got some close up face shots with the cow. They also liked seeing the chickens, and kittens, and playing basketball in our barn. 

Let me just say one thing before I stop rambling.
This was me reading in bed this morning:
*me* I think I like this soldier boy that came alone in chapter two. He seems like he might be fun later on when the story unfolds.
*soldier boy* haha no. I think I'll die in chapter three.

-_- welcome to the wonderful world of my life people -_-

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet- Book Review

Today I'm reviewing Stephanie Morrill's book, The Revise Life of Ellie Sweet. I know I'm a little late, since the second book in the series has just come out, but I've only read the first one so far, so that's what you're getting.

Here's the description for it. I'm awful at describing a book with any form of emotional stability, so this is from goodreads.

Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.

In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.

But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

I won this book through Stephanie's blog Go Teen Writers (if you haven't heard of it, go check it out. It's amazing. http://www.goteenwriters.blogspot.com/?m=1) 
I hadn't read any of Stephanie's books before and to be honest I wasn't sure how well I was going to like a 
story with no battles, dragons, or tyrannical governments. For being my first experience with this kind 
of book though, it was definitely a good choice. I couldn't put it down. Literally. I took it with 
me in the tractor and read all day till I finished it. My younger sister read it before I did and had been
hounding me to read it, and she couldn't believe I got through it that fast. The humor in it is amazing, 
and the suspenseful drama totally makes up for the lack of giant flying lizards. The sequel, The Unlikely Deput 
Of Ellie Sweet is out now and neither of us can wait to get it. 
My rating for the book is gonna have to be a five. It's not what I normally read, but it totally hooked me. 
Go read it! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Its too cold for me to type!!

Hi guys!!
Can I apologize for disappearing on you? I promise I have a good reason. I was sucked into Narnia you see, and turns out I stayed there an awfully long time, and ended up marrying this really cute guy, and we had the cutest little kiddies, and so a few days passed here with no word from me. You do forgive me right? Thanks ;)

Anyway, I have no idea what to write about right now. There's been so much that has happened since I posted last, but I don't know which one I should make a blog post out of. And I'm sitting in the office away from our wonderful woodstove and my fingers are so cold and I want to hurry. So I'll just to a quick gab session alright?

We had a missionary come to our church on his way to Sudan with his family. That was an amazing story. I've toyed around with the idea of going on at least a short term missions trip, but I'm not sure if I will. I'll just have to wait and see what God does I suppose. But if I do I'll bring you back some awesome pictures ;) (My camera didn't work in Narnia, but I'm pretty sure it will in the Congo).

We've also been moving cows hither and yon. I've been riding my horse Flint still. And he hasn't bucked me off yet. **Stars for me** Just you wait, I'll publish this and my next post will have pictures of a hospital bed and broken bone x-rays because he planted me in the frozen dirt. I have that sort of luck.

I've been getting into the Christmas mood in several ways. My friend had to go and create a food board on Pinterest and my goodness, IT LOOKS SO GOOD. So I've decided I want to make homemade twix bars, carmelito girl scout cookies, egg nog truffles, and snickers bar cookies....My auto correct hates everything I just typed, but I really don't care. It tastes good. I want to make them and take them to Christmas dinner. I have warned all of my family members I will be cooking and to plan accordingly.
Me and my sisters are also picking out music to play at a nearby nursing home. I play guitar and my middle sister plays piano, and we all three sing, so it should be fun. Mom told us that we can go a little crazy and play the songs that don't really go over well in church....I'm sure the folks at the home are really going to appreciate the Thousand Foot Krutch and NEEDTOBREATHE. I'm also sure our not so rock-n-roller voices and my not so killer guitar skills (and the broken whammy bar on my electric guitar) will narrow down our choices so my mom doesn't regret her words too terribly.

Aside from that....Oh! I've started work on a new story. I really don't have a plot for it yet, but I do have several good characters and a basic idea. I'll post it over on the Stories page so you can see it, and hopefully I'll have some snippets to post later on. I've got over 8,000 words of snippets written already, hopefully I can find something worth posting.

Have a good evening everyone! I'll be on more regularly now.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

!!HaPPy ThAnKsGiVinG!!

Oh give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 136:1 KJV
See that lovely piece of work up there^ for the title? I haven't even made it to the sugar yet and I'm already going crazy.  
I like Thanksgiving a lot. The food is great obviously, and it's always fun to get together with family and friends, and the oh so meaningful Happy Thanksgiving status' on facebook....
When I was little we had this book laying around, by John MacArthur I think it was, and it told the story of how Thanksgiving came to be. It kind of drove me nuts when I was little when we had to sit there and go through the whole thing, but I just now remembered it as I was trying to think what to write about and I realized I kind of missed it. I just can't remember the name of the book...I'll have to ask my mom. But anyway, after that, we would all give a list of what we were thankful for. The first five things on my list were always the same.
1. Salvation
2. Family    
3. Friends    
4. Our home
5. Our health
And to be quite honest those five haven't changed at all. I'm still very thankful for all of them. I have added lots of new things, now that I understand how thankful I am for my parents, going beyond the generic family level. I'm thankful for living in America. I'm thankful that God keeps on forgiving me when I mess up and doesn't just send a bolt of lighting. I'm thankful for a lot of things.
Aside from that book and making lists, I've read lots of different things (mostly in History class, but I love American History and read a ton of old dusty biographies and diaries just for fun) all about how Thanksgiving wasn't even a national holiday for the longest time, and presidents used to just declare a day of thanksgiving. Something was going right in the war- boom. Day of thanksgiving. The book By The Hand of Providence shows this a lot. President Washington was always making days of thanksgiving, when the whole country stopped whatever they were doing and went to church and what not. President Lincoln did it too. I kind of like that. Thanksgiving isn't just about one day where we get an excuse to eat so much we want to curl up in bed and expire (am I the only one who gets that feeling?). We have an awful lot to be thankful for all year round, but since we have one day set apart to really emphasize that, lets not lose sight of what the turkey is really all about.
Now, on to some of the less deep stuff.

(don't you just love Snoopy?)
This year is a little bit different since I've only got one and a half Thanksgiving dinners to go to, and usually I have about three (my waistline is also giving thanks this year). I say one and a half because we are having a potluck and church and there will be turkey, but we have a potluck every month, so it's not like its an extra dinner I'm going to. This year we are going to my grandma's house on my mommy's side of the family. There's a lot of people over there. My grandma is the oldest of 18 kids, so I can say with complete honesty that I wont know half the people there. But I do have a three year old cousin who absolutely loves me (she's not old enough to know I'm insane yet). So I'll probably spend an awful lot of time with her talking about hair feathers and why I took mine out (horror of horrors), teasing her about when she asked for a piggy back ride while wearing spurs, (I don't recommend that) and letting her play with my ipod and attempt to take selfies...they usually end being a smudged finger. Once she got my nose.
While I'm typing this there is this wonderful gooey mess sitting next to me on the counter. I don't even know what it is. Mom made it. It's got like toffee, and sweetened condensed milk, and yellow cake, and I commandeered some once at a quilt guild meeting and it was amazing and oh my gosh...I'll stop now. Point being, I really want to just eat it. But it's perfect in the pan and no way I could sneak it out. -_- Not thankful for that people. Not thankful.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Maybe I Will...New story idea!

So like a year ago (whenever I read The Hunger Games) I was thinking about how it was wrote in present tense. I thought that was pretty weird, how the reader got to read it as it was happening. That was the first book I'd ever read that way. That got me to thinking about tenses and person. I write in first person, and third person. Never have tried second person, but it might be fun. And I usually write only in past tense. Present tense is hard for me, even to read. But I told my sister- what if someone tried to write in future tense.
That's what she said. But seriously, what if someone wrote a story that hadn't happened yet? She told me it was nuts....isn't that a normal thing for writers? But I put the idea away. Then I read Divergent- another present tense story. And the idea came back. So this morning while I was watching the gate while my dad fed calves, I used the notes in my ipod and started writing the story. It was hard at first, but it's getting easier. And I've already got a pinboard made for it.
Anyway, the story is written by this girl (I'm temporarily calling her May until I think of a better name. It's sometime medieval, and there is this thing called The Choosing ('this thing' I know. Sorry. I just started working on it this morning, so it's underdeveloped). What the choosing is, is that whenever the kingdom has a prince who comes of age, they take all the eligible girls and let him pick which one he wants to marry (Think Queen Esther from the Bible). The girls who don't get chosen are kind of marked for life after that as being undesirable, so everyone is thankful that the choosing doesn't take place every year, so most girls never have to worry about. But this year there is a Choosing, and May is in it. The story starts out with May waking up in the middle of the night, terrified about what will happen at The Choosing tomorrow. To try and calm herself down she imagines how the ceremony will go. Who she will meet, what she will do. She imagines it as being not so bad and things turning out alright. The catch is, none of it has happened yet. So at the end of the story, we realize, she still doesn't know what's going to happen in the morning.

I've imagined her having dark hair, and big eyes. These eyes aren't quite right, but I like the feeling the picture gives. She'll try to get everything just right.

The girls go through a whole bunch of tests and activities to narrow down the choices.

And then he chooses one.
Sound cool? I sure hope it turns out as cool on paper- er computer screen- as it sounds in my head.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Raising Rebels

Alright! I've decided to introduce you to the characters of one of my stories. I was trying and trying to decide which to use, and Raising Rebels is the last one I thought about, so that's who you'll be getting. I've got a pinterest board for it (and about a thousand other things) so if you're an obsessive pinner like me, here's the link- (be warned, I'm a pinaholic)
Now, on to the story.
Raising Rebels is written in first person, from Shantell Vespin's point of view. It's a medieval setting, but not fantasy as far as there is no magic or dragons and so forth (sad, I know). The story starts with us meeting Shantell and finding out that she is the healer in a little village in a country that is at war. When the country get overrun, the invaders start moving through the towns and killing off all the men and boys they find there. Shantell is elected to take her towns boys into the forest to hide until it is safe.
Shantell is nineteen at the beginning of the story. I'm not sure how old she'll end up being by the end. Maybe twenty-two or so. Her mother died when she was young, and she and her older sister were raised by her father, who was the town healer. Her sister got married and moved away, but Shantell stayed home and learned to be a healer and took over when her father died. Shantell is very blunt, and gets right to the point of things. She's determined and practical and doesn't let her emotions get the best of her. She's strong, but still very much a girl, and has the typical girlish emotions and insecurities. She is engaged to a boy named Peter, but he went to war and she hasn't heard from him in months. She's especially worried about him now that their country has been conquered and she's hearing reports of mass slaughter and Peter hasn't come home. She tries not to let her worry show though, and keeps busy with helping out the kids in her care. Because she's a healer she knows a lot about which plants are edible, and which ones are good for medicine, so that comes in handy when she's stuck taking care of hordes of growing, injury prone boys. She's still determined that Peter will come back, so she refuses any romantic advances made on her.
Shantell Snippets:
I was a bit controlling for a woman, I knew, but my father had raised me during the years most girls learn to be ladies. I knew my place in public of course, but in my home and shop, I was in charge.

He glanced around. "Do you live her alone?"
My voice was casual. "No, I have a dagger."
Rath walked over to me. "How long do you think until my back heals enough for me to leave?"
I shrugged. "I really couldn't tell. I've never treated a wound like yours before. Why, are you in a hurry?"
He frowned. "Yeah. I didn't come here to babysit.
I rolled my eyes, starting to get annoyed with the man. "Obviously. That's why you sit and do nothing."
I raised an eyebrow. "Well, you did deserve it to an extent."
He scowled, but his eyes held humor. "Whatever you say lady. Don't suppose I could change your mind anyway."
I smiled and crossed my arms. 'No, I suppose you couldn't."
I curled my gingers up under my palm and slide my hand back.
His jaw tightened. "What?" "
You were touching me." I say, trying to act like I didn't know what he was doing.
"Shantell," his voice was strained. "Don't play with me."
"Alright." I frowned. "I don't want to hold your hand Andrew."

Andrew is harder to put a face to. He hasn't really told me exactly what he looks like yet. I know he's blond, and tan, because he spends a lot of time out on the water. The guy on the right is close, but not quite, and although Garrett Hedlund is my usual go to guy when I need a handsome face, he's not quite doing the job either. But you get the idea. Andrew is in his twenties, but he hasn't told exactly how old. He comes from the coast, where he was a fisherman. He meets Shantell early on in the story because he went to war and his company was attacked. He comes into town with two of the farm boys who lived there originally, along with a couple strangers. They're all wounded, Andrew suffering from a broken arm and a slice in his ribs. Shantell takes care of him and the rest of the soldiers and when she leaves with the boys, he goes with her because he still needs some of her doctoring, and he wont be safe in any of the towns since he's a dude. Andrew is funny, charming, and a bit sarcastic. He's serious when he needs to be, and quite helpful to Shantell with managing the boys. Most of the time he acts like a kid himself, but he can flip a switch and be the grownup whenever he needs to. He's a good hunter, and good with a sword. And mouthy. So mouthy. I have two people who like to read all my stuff as I write it, and he's a favorite out of all my stories, but especially his own.
Andrew snippets:
Seeing him on his feet, I realized he wasn't very tall. Average height only, and much shorter than Peter. He was lean and wiry, except his arms, which had swordsman muscles.
I turned to Andrew. "Do you know how to cut this arrow out?"
He frowned. "Yeah. Don't cut it out."

"I'll hold him." Andrew cut in.
"Your arm." I warned.
He raised his free hand. "I have two."

Gripping the shaft as tightly as I could I twisted. Rath cursed like nothing I had ever heard before, but I kept my focus on the shaft that was slowly twisting into place. Rath got louder and louder, calling me every terrible name he could think of. A sudden smacking sound caused me to turn as Rath fell silent, unconscious. Andrew righted himself and sighed. "That's better. Now hurry before he wakes up."
I frowned. "What did you do?"
He looked innocent. "You should hurry."

Derik came over. "Is this your soldier?"
I nodded slightly. "yes, this is the soldier. Andrew."

Evening was coming on the third day when Andrew approached me. "I'm going to sneak back and see what's going on. If you need anything go to Rath. If the louse don't help you, tell me and I'll pound him, wound or no wound."


Rath is a criminal from the desert. He's got a brand on his back shoulder. C, for criminal. We don't know a lot about him except for he's moody, and he and Andrew don't get along. At all. He was one of the wounded soldiers who also came to Shantell for help. He came along with the boys when they ran away from town, but only because he'd been stabbed in the back and would probably die without Shantell there to look out for him. He's pretty moody. Most of the time he refuses to do anything helpful, but occasionally he'll lose his mind and offer some assistance. Or when Andrew threatens him with nasty things he'll offer some advice to Shantell. He's trying to get shut of all the kids and get back to the desert.
Rath snippets:
He stripped his shirt off and laid down on a cot. My eyes locked on the brand on his left shoulder. It was a big ugly C. C for criminal.
"Get a good look lady." he said dryly.
Rath snorted suddenly. "I aughta clobber him. Even with a hole in my back. He's only got one good arm." I looked to follow his line of gaze and my eyes settled on Andrew.

Rath sauntered over and glanced at Andrew buttoning his shirt. "Now you'll have a scar to show all those ladies you liked to talk about in camp."
Andrew glanced up calmly. "I'm sure you'll be able to show off the one on your back. Both of them."

"Hey river rat. Going to tell me where a good hiding place is now?"
Rath walked over slowly. "Who are you calling river rat?"
Andrew crossed his arm over his wrapped one. "You."
"I will be genuinely surprised if we make it through one day without getting killed."

"Rat I may be, but not a river rat. I'm from the desert."

So there you have it. The three main characters from Raising Rebels. Thoughts?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bronc stomper and Cinderella

Hello minions!
I come bearing an odd assortment of stories this morning.
I shall start with the more reasonable parts first, so I don't frighten you away early. Alright?
Tuesday me and my family moved cows. It was about a two and a half mile move between two cornfields. I was riding my temporary horse, Woody.
Now pause: let me just say that the system of horse placement is a little odd for me. When I was younger I had my horse and my sister had her horse. My horse was pretty gentle but generally stubborn and lazy and with the occasional hopping spree, I learned to ride pretty good, and actually made him into a decent 4-H horse. We got a horse for my littlest sister when she was old enough to ride, but he was too lazy and her little legs couldn't get him to move. So he got passed to me and she stole my horse (and seems to have stopped most of the progress I had made on him). I rode that horse for a year before my middle sister started having trouble with her horse. In that case she took my horse, dad took hers and I was left to ride dads. Dads horse has literally ran away from his shadow before. He sees monsters everywhere. I had him for years and as long as I hung on things were fine. But he was a speed demon in a 4-H ring so dad traded me back the horse my sister couldn't handle. That is Woody. Now in amongst all this, I sold my cow and got a colt. A black stallion. No joke. And me and my dad started training on him. I rode him the first half a dozen rides and then took him to a trainer to smooth out things. Meanwhile I'm still riding woody.
Now, back to the story. Woody is a pretty good horse. So I was pretty surprised when as I was loping up the hill he took to bucking. Like head down, feet kicking, back hunching, for real bucking. It only lasted about six seconds. Later dad told me I was good for not jumping off, but I really had absolutely no intention of gettin beat by the little dork so jumping off didn't cross my mind. Instead, I turned his nose to the side. Funny thing about that, they can't buck with their nose to the side. Kind of like you have no gag reflex if you squeeze your thumb (no kidding, go try it).
All that day I got to bask in the praises and cowboy yells of my family on how I'd rode that bronc. I must say I enjoyed it.
Now fast forward to Wednesday. I had gotten my black horse back from the trainer this week. I'd rode him a couple times and about and me and my sisters decided to go for a ride. They saddled their horses (both previously mine) and I saddled Flint. (He's named after Louis Lamoure's book character from Flint. He's a gunfighter. Great book if you haven't read it, but all of his books are) we rode in the corrals for a while then out in the calving pasture then made our way through the cornfield and to the hayfied. It's smooth there. No holes and just a couple nice rolling hills and its a great place to us to race. I wasn't racing but I did want to lope my horse a little so the girls took off up the hill and I followed. Everything was going real nice and he was loping nice and smooth, when all of the sudden he planted his front feet and kicked his back feet straight up. I lost my hat (not a cowboy hat sadly- a ball app) and then turned his nose in. He touched my boot with it and looked at me like he was asking what was going on. I wished I could ask him what on earth he was doing because he was so quiet after that and just looked like a little kid when they think they're bein perfectly reasonable. So now my family had reason to cheer me on X2.
And that's that story. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of the view from a bucking horse....

Now this next story is actually about a story. I'm writing a new one. *groans like I don't like having so many* Its just a short story. I had the idea and my sisters liked it so I'm writing it quick for them. It's one of those fairy tale remakes but it's different. It's got a whole pack of fairy tales in it. Here's the list of which stories will be incorporated:
Snow White
Sleeping beauty 
Beauty and the beast
The three little pigs 
Old mother Hubbard
The old woman who lived in the shoe
Hansel and gretel 
Little red riding hood
Little boy blue
The boy who cried wolf
Four and twenty black birds
The frog prince
The princess and the pea
 kidnapped princess and the dragon
Jack and the beanstalk 

That's a lot huh? My sisters keep wondering how I'm going to incorporate them all into one story. And since they read this blog, and I'm kind of ornery anyway, I'm not going to tell you how. But I can tell you that the main character is sleeping beauty, and she's 86 years old. And kind of mouthy. There are three sisters and two brothers. And they all think we're crazy. Any questions? Do you want to see snippets of it as it comes together? 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This, That, and the Other.

Hello! I meant to post yesterday, I really did. But life happens. It is after all, the wonderful world of my life.;)
 Today I had planned to do a post on one of my characters, but I was unable to decide which questions to use for his interview, so unfortunately Cannon has been put on the back burner. I will bring him out eventually, I promise.
Since I don't have a character interview for you guys to see, you'll be getting the story of my day.
First thing in the morning I got up and went to help dad feed our calves. I snapped these pictures for you.



                        I get to watch the gate while dad feeds. And feed this big guy.....
His name is Gopher... He was little and adorable when I named him that. Would you believe me if I said I bottle fed this monstrosity at one point in time?
Cause I did.
After feeding me and dad ran some errands. I came home and slaved away for hours on my persuasive research essay for college, and then worked on an argument outline revision. Let me tell you, writing for this blog is a whole lot funner. Cause yeah, I can use words like funner. And no one is going to give me an F for watching too much Ramona and Beezus.
Back on topic...
When dad came home we found the whole herd of cows was out, so we had to put them in. Then we worked on some more odd jobs throughout the day, and now here I am, typing away telling you all about it.
I have a question for you all. Cause I know I'm getting views, because I basically stalk my blogger dashboard nowadays, and people are obviously clicking over to say what insanity I'm rambling on about. So if you would all kindly leave a comment for me to answer this question-
Which story off of My Stories page, would you like to see a character interview, or a little bit more about?
Cause that's a post I really want to do, but I love them all so much and I cant decide which one would be better to post on first. So which one seemed interesting to you.
And also, I just got this nice little notification today that Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant is hosting another Characters in Costumes Challenge. Since I have a blog and am actually qualified to participate this time, I was thinking about doing it. What do you think? Want to see me try to concoct a costume for one of my characters? Here's the link if you want to see more details, and maybe even participate yourself.
Well, that's all I have for the moment. Until next time!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review- Divergent.

                                             “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery,
                           in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”  
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13335037-divergent?from_search=true)

My Rating: (1-5. 5 being awesome beyond belief) 5!

I loved this book with every fiber of my being. I could not put it down. I neglected all my family and friends from the time I got it to the time I read the last acknowledgement in the back of the book. My best friend recommended the book to me ages ago and I never took the time to look into it, but then I had some cash on hand after my birthday, and I saw it in Wal-Mart (gotta love that place) and I got it.
It was so worth the 11 bucks.
It was different than any of the other dystopian books I've read, but every bit as good in mind as Hunger Games and Viral Nation. The plot twists came as great surprises, the romance wasn't cheesy, or too steamy (both of my little sisters read it when I was finished), the action was intense and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Another great plus in my mind was that it was a very 'clean.' story. Nothing inappropriate, and very little language.
I would suggest Divergent to anyone who wants a good read.
Oh...and I've also finished the whole trilogy, so I'll be posting my reviews to Insurgent and Allegiant in the near future.

Dauntless FOURever!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Awesome Workout

Lately a lot of my friends have been starting workout routines. They run so many miles in so much time, and do this many pushups every day. It's very impressive. So I decided to jump on the band wagon. I too work out. I do these awesome fist pump type things, along with high knees, and walking miles and miles. It takes about seven days to go through the whole routine, and the best part is,
I stumped you there didn't I? Want me to explain?
Twice a year I help my parents walk around four or five corn fields and put in electric fence (and then take it out later) so we can put cows out to cornstalks. Each field is several miles around. I walk around it carrying 6-8 posts (depending on who made the bundle. If it was my sister, she's probably going to hand me eight for me to lug around. Because she loves me), along with a hammer. Every twenty-four steps, I pound a post in. And while I'm trudging along, tripping through cornstalks and saying nasty things about the amount of posts I've been given, I tell myself that its all totally worth it because I'm getting an amazing workout. Totally.

So now that I've been a cruel blogger and tricked you guys, and then explained myself, I can finally get around to telling you that that is what I've been doing. We've gotten five of the fields done. Only one left to go. WOOHOO!! Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment (horror of horrors) so in the morning I will be skipping out of fence work and going in to town. Not sure which one I'd rather skip, but oh well. At least I'll be in a vehicle with a CD player. I plan to torture my poor mother by making her listen to my brand new Skillet and Red CD's, that my awesome friend was so great to give me for my birthday. Despite mom's popular belief, the music is awesome and you should really check it out if you haven't already.
I'm getting off subject aren't I? My profile told you I was crazy. You were warned.
Anyway, I took a few pictures, just in case someone has never seen what I mean by posts and electric fence and what not. I'm gathering ideas for new blog posts, so you'll probably be seeing more writing related things coming up in the near future. Stay tuned!
Unrolling the wire with mom.

The field. Those dots up there by the blob of pickup are my sisters and mom. Aren't they pretty?

Behold! A perfectly pounded post.

Friday, November 8, 2013

YeeHaw!....kind of.

Hi! So today we moved cows, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to write a blog post. I took some pictures and everything. This is my dog, Tick (isn't he a sweetie?). He makes up a big part of our cow chasing crew. He's a red healer, and he just loves chasing cows. He hurt his leg recently, so he spent most of his time with my mom in the pickup. Speaking of which...

This lovely Chevy makes up the other part. Like the window? I did that. Unintentionally, but I was the driver when the window shattered. The plastic was provided by mom. Cause it's just not fun driving around when its fifty degrees out and no window.

Anyway, on to the point of the story. This morning we all woke up and bundled up in winter gear, fully intending to saddle the horses and hit the trail, moving the cows across the road into the next corn field. Halfway through chores though we started thinking. We were only moving them across the road. There was a perfectly healthy four-wheeler in the shed. Saddling and unsaddling the horses would take longer than moving the cows....

So we got lazy. Me and my sisters stood on the side of the road to make sure they went the right way. We set up a fake fence in our driveway. Mom went up the road to turn them in to the new field, and dad would call the cows out. No. Not call them out like they do in the old western movies. No gun battles involved here. We left the horses home remember, so we obviously weren't going for the western theme. My dad has this weird thing he does. He yells "Come boss." Really loud. I've heard several people call cows before, but no one does it quite like my dad. He has this weird voice he uses and for some reason the cows just come running when he does it. They piled up right in the gate and he just had to open the fence for them and they followed him right out. Easy peasy. Also kind of lazy. But hey, it works, right?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

WooHoo! Blog opening!
 Hi! :) I'm so excited to have a blog and get to hang out with all you guys. I've been following blogs for quite a while now and every six months or so I'd think "oh I should start a blog. I have cool stuff I could write about...Or crazy stuff. Either way."
But I would put it off (that's what procrastinators do). And I would return to daydreaming about getting to share the funny stories, awesome pictures, fangirl sessions about the latest books I've read, or lamenting the fact that the main characters in the stories I'm writing are refusing to listen and insisting that they be allowed to live.
I have launched a blog.
I can't promise (at all) that I will post every day, but I'll try my darndest (is that a word?) to post weekly. And be prepared for pretty much anything that comes to mind. This isn't JUST a writing blog, or JUST a blog about my life. You'll be getting both.
Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait to get to know some of you.