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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Farewell to 2015...

Can you believe that it's already December thirtieth? And the day before the deadline of emailing Five Magic Spindles entries?

This has been one incredibly awesome year.

*A Sapphire Chamber* has had its first blogiversary.

Five Enchanted Roses was released.

Many, many books by favoured authors have been published.

Many writers have been blessed to work on Five Magic Spindles.

I've even come one book away from accomplishing my reading goal for the year!! :D

Here is a list of the novels I've read, this year, with the books I highly recommend in blue:

  1. Chataine's Guardian by Robin Hardy.
  2. Stone of Help by Robin Hardy.
  3. Liberation of Lystra by Robin Hardy.
  4. Nicole of Prie Mer by Robin Hardy.
  5. Ares of Westford by Robin Hardy.
  6. Prisoners of Hope by Robin Hardy.
  7. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  8. Road of Vanishing by Robin Hardy.
  9. Dead Man's Token by Robin Hardy.
  10. Games of God & Men by Robin Hardy.
  11. In Extremis by Robin Hardy.
  12. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.
  13. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan.
  14. All Mirrors & All Suns by Robin Hardy.
  15. The Laughing Side of the World by Robin Hardy.
  16. Maleficent by Elizabeth Rudnick.
  17. Five Enchanted Roses by Kaycee Browning, Savannah Jezowski, Jenelle Schmidt, Dorian Tsukioka, & Hayden Wand.
  18. Cold Iron by Sophie Masson.
  19. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Overall, it's been an incredible, fast-paced year.

I was one of the second-place winners in my school's first science faire.

I was thrown a surprise HP party for my fourteenth birthday.

I traveled to Humboldt with my parents and one of my best friends.

The Placerville Church of Christ hosted their annual Youth Meeting.

The Turlock Church of Christ hosted the annual Memorial Day Meeting.

I finished my first draft of When the Sky Cries.

I went to my first ren faire.

I flew to Oklahoma (by myself!).

My mom and I visited Oregon for the first time.

My parents and I went camping in Tahoe National Forest.

Our congregation hosted its ninth annual Youth Meeting.

I started the Church of Christ Fiction Writers' group.

The Covina Church of Christ hosted the 2015 Labor Day Meeting.

I started my first year of high school.

The Auburn Church of Christ hosted their annual Harvest Meeting.

I was nominated for an award by the National Academy of Future Scientists & Technologists.

I participated in the Mount Everest Academy Theatre Company's first ever production, The Snow Queen.

I wrote a novella.

I've written and published five short stories on *A Sapphire Chamber*.

...Overall, it has been one incredible year! Thanks to everyone who have truly made it count!

What has your year been like? What sort of adventures have you had? Do share! :)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

This is a scheduled post, seeing as I'll probably be crazy busy Christmas morning, but I just wanted to send you all some happy Christmas wishes! Hope you all have an amazingly awesome day! :)

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Into the Realm of Writing

(First of all, please note that it is late at night that I am writing this, so forgive me if I might sound a tiny bit random.)

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Oh, how exciting the realm of writing is! Many writers have been in love with words since they first knew what they were, and oftentimes in a writer's life, there is a moment of discovery. Maybe they read a book, or communicate with an author, or enter the world of blogging. Maybe they've done all of these things! But, whatever the case, they have left several of their old tales behind, and are now looking towards new ones, with the seemingly ever-distant goal of publishing.

Uhg. Publishing. What a haunting word it can be.

To a writer, the word "publishing" can mean many things. It can mean fun and excitement. Editing and revising, and deleting and more editing. A journey of several years that, in the end, will be totally worth it.

Sometimes, however, the concept of publishing can snake its way into our personal realm of writing, and linger there, producing a cloud of smoke that is hanging dangerously over our heads. The pressure builds, and we soon begin to realize that, someday, our stories just might be told, and read by other living beings. And suddenly, we're terrified.

I'm not saying that the extended world of writing, including the idea of publishing, is a bad thing. In fact, I think it's very good. But sometimes we writers need to step back, forget about publishing, and remember that, for now, it's just us, our closed door, and our story.

Books, Books, Books!

Feeling the urge to publish a blog post, I thought I might write a wee page on the books I've recently read, the book I'm currently reading, and the books I plan to read, soon. :)

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Recent Reads
(...a.k.a. books I still need to write the reviews for)


1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

The tale of a dystopian society that burns books in order to keep citizens from gaining knowledge.

Protagonist: Guy Montag

Antagonist(s): society

My rating: one star

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2. Cold Iron by Sophie Masson.


A Cinderella story of sorts, telling of a young servant, a lame goatherd, and their quest in restoring an abandoned princess's power.

Protagonist: Malkin

Antagonist(s): the Duke of Fisher Forest & Oscuro the magician

My rating: three stars

Above image recovered from this link.

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Current Reads

Clementine by Sophie Masson.

(Cover image above.)

Description (from Goodreads):

Aurora the daughter of a lord, and Clementine a servant's child, are blessed with gifts by the fairy Woodland Ladies at their joint christening. Then the vicious oldest Lady prophecies that at the age of sixteen, Clementine will betray Aurora to death.

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Books to Read

1. Carabas by Sophie Masson.

(Cover image above.)

Description (from Goodreads):

When the people of a small village discover the miraculous powers of a young woman they know as Catou, they decide to execute her. Only the miller's son, Fredrick, defends her, and the two are forced to leave their village and seek refuge at the king's court -- a journey filled with danger and discovery.

2. The Beast Within by Serena Valentino.

Description (from Goodreads):

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp -- like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

The Beast Within cover image recovered from this link.

3. Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman.

Description (from Goodreads):

Though once a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village. Dubbed the "Ghosts of Farthingale Forest", her band of followers soon become the enemies of the throne when the hijack ill-gotten gold meant for the king.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, will he choose fame... or love?

Above image recovered from this link.


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I am so thrilled to soon be reading these fantastical tales! What are you reading, right now? What books do you plan to read, soon? :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Little Christmas Gift

'Tis the season for bloggers to be sending their readers fun emails, full of free ebooks, amazing art, and author-made calendars! Keeping this in mind, I was giving this year some thought...

You all have been so amazing! Your support and encouragement has been so uplifting, and I feel as if 2015 has been a great year of growth in both my confidence and writing, as well as many other things.

So, I wanted to send you all a huge thank you for making this blog worth it!! You all are so great and a ton of fun! Thank you for making this year a memorable one! :)

To show my thanks, I've taken the time to write up a four-page tutorial and worksheet PDF on how to create pin-from-blogs/blog buttons/short story covers. Click on the image below for access.


Thank you, again -- all of you! You guys are awesome. (*hug*)

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Events of Nightwind Court -- December 2015

As I sit here late at night, I realize that I have yet to post December's Events. So, here they are!! :)

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FIVE MAGIC SPINDLES Entry

Image recovered from Rooglewood Press.

Thankfully, I remembered to send my letter in! Yes, the letter which I almost forgot. (*wide eyes full of horror*) But thank goodness I realized the day before the deadline that, Oh! I have a letter to mail! in the midst of the chaos of the play, turn-in week, and pre-Christmas stress.

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THE SNOW QUEEN Play

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Speaking of the play, it was a huge success! With almost a full house every night, amazing fellow cast members, a great crew, and an outstanding director, it was a blast! I'm just sad it's all over... (*sigh*)

I honestly hope that everyone might have the chance to venture into a wee bit of theatre fun like I did! After three months of work on The Snow Queen, I feel more comfortable with my surroundings, a far more extroverted, and I believe I even have a better understanding of characters... :)

Also, I'd like to send out a huge thank you to everyone involved with this play! To everyone who came out to see it, to the crew, to the director, to my fellow cast members, and even to those who wanted to be there, but couldn't. Honestly, thank you! Participating in The Snow Queen has made a huge impact on my life, and I can't thank everyone enough.

(Also a shout-out to Chris O'Connell, a writer for The Clairemont Times! Thank you for writing such a splendid article on our wonderful director and her incredible journey of bringing San Diego The Snow Queen!)

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Winter Break
(it's finally here!)

Ah, winter break... There are no words for the relief and relaxation you bring when you come calling. With most of my Christmas shopping/work/wrapping done, I plan to just soak up the freedom, enjoy it, and write. ...And maybe have a movie marathon or two. ;)

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Blogger Awards

This month's award goes to... the announcement trailer for J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them!



Does this movie not look incredibly exciting?! (Yes, I know they showed very little, as to the plot, but honestly! It's almost as if it's Doctor Who meets Harry Potter!) Oh, why do we have to wait eleven months for this film to come out?!

Based off the textbook from Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban that was eventually published as its own physical copy, Fantastic Beasts tells the story of a young man named Newt Scamander, who (as predicted from the trailer) must seek out the magical creatures that have escaped from his briefcase (is it be bigger on the inside, by any chance?).

Only eleven months to go! :D

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What do you think of the new Fantastic Beasts trailer? Are you looking forward to it, as well?

Hope to see you on the blog, soon!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Announcement: THE SNOW QUEEN

In September, my school announced its new theatre company, and its first ever production, The Snow Queen, is happening soon -- in only two weeks, in fact!

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The Snow Queen, the very story that inspired Walt Disney's 2013 film Frozen, tells the story of young Gerda, a child whose sister has disappeared. With the help of her friends, Gerda ventures across the country to find her sister, meeting new people (and creatures!) along the way. But there is far much more in store for Gerda than she expects... And is her grandmother's frightening legend of the Snow Queen true?


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First of all, I would just like to say how thankful I am to have been cast in this exciting story! It has been a ton of fun, and I believe it has even given me a better concept of characters, and how they behave.

There are four parts I have been given in this story: Rikka, a cruel yet lovable robber; a River, who is a force to be reckoned with; Lady Lindy-Locke, a silly and frivolous courtier; and an Angel, whose tremendous powers save the pure-of-heart.

I recommend to all who can make it to come and see The Snow Queen! The performance dates are December fifteenth through seventeenth, and I am sure that you will fall in love with this remarkable tale.

I hope to see you there! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ebook Collection & Kindle Giveaway

Just wanted to pop in for a quick moment to let you all know about an exciting thing, indeed!

Bestselling author Rachel Starr Thomson is celebrating the release of her upcoming novel, Beloved, with a fun giveaway! The winner receives a free kindle stocked with books by ten different Christian fantasy authors.

You can access the giveaway at this link: http://www.rachelstarrthomson.com/giveaways/kindle-giveaway-plus-10-christian-fantasy-novels/?lucky=252.

And don't forget to pick up Beloved! You can find the first two books in Rachel Starr Thomson's The Prophet Trilogy -- Abaddon's Eve and Comes the Dragon -- on her website.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Self-Interview Author Challenge

Challenge: So here's the jest of this little challenge I thought up (of course, when I should've been writing): Interview yourself. Talk about anything you like! Answer a few, simple questions, and maybe talk about a book you're writing, or books you've published. Just have fun with it! :)

Okay, so here goes mine.

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A cover concept for my current novel-in-progress, When the Sky Cries:

The above image is a cover concept created by the author -- it is not official!

And a novel summary:

There is a thin line between rejection and royalty...

Princess Radha cannot stand her brother's fiancé, the Lady Adrianna. Pretty, proper, and absolutely perfect, she is everything Radha has strived to be... but better.

Even worse than the friction between her and the soon-to-be-sister, Radha has learned that suitors are practically lining up at the castle gates, begging for her hand in marriage. An amazing sister-in-law and a string of handsome suitors. Could things get any worse?

Adrianna -- whether by choice or by accident -- has begun to lead the young nobles against the princess. When a gathering is called for, no one is there: they are all out in the town with Adrianna. Radha will not stand for this, but matters can only go farther from what she wants.

When an assassin comes to light with his true identity unknown, Radha becomes his apprentice-puppet, carrying out the tasks he finds himself unable to perform. Why? The reason is simple. Either she risks the lives of everyone around her... or she and all the king's loyalists will die.

With strings entwined in the hands of her assassin, the whole of the castle turned against her, and her suitors turning away, Radha begins to believe that the odds will never be in her favour. She is lost. She will never be saved, will she?

...Or will an enemy's uprising, an assassin's plotting, and a loved one's death bring Radha all she's ever wanted?

To learn more about When the Sky Cries, you can head over to its page on my author website, or check out the board it has on Pinterest.

INTERVIEW

Tell a little bit about yourself. Introvert or extrovert? Cats or dogs? Rain or shine? Indoors or outdoors? Anything you like!

O: I suppose I'm an introvert, though I'd like to think I can be a bit of an extrovert on the web (ha ha). I tend to prefer dogs, though I must admit that it cats are lovely. Rain over shine, and my opinion on indoors versus outdoors changes from time to time. :)

When did you first realize that you wanted to write?

O: Oh, I would probably say I was about four or five! I remember having this Dr. Seuss blanket on my bed, with the letters from the phrase "cat in the hat" on it. I remember lying in bed one night, looking at those letters, and thinking, "I do to something with words."

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

O: I don't remember much about it, other than the plot being about a ballerina who had a birthday party. I think I was about to go into Kindergarten when I wrote it. It was a picture book, and I remember shouting across the house different words, and asking my mum how to spell them.

What was the first big accomplishment you made in your writing? Was it a short story, novel, or such?

O: Hmm... It's hard to say. There was one story I wrote on paper when I was ten; it was basically a retelling of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, called Nara Li Jojo: Jordan's Ambush. Naturally, I forced it down the throats of nearly everyone I could get my hands on.

But I think the biggest accomplishment for me and my writing was a trilogy I started called SOUL. It was about a dystopian society in the year of 2015 (I was twelve when I wrote it, mind you). It was a bit like Harry Potter, as to the classes and everything. I eventually got to somewhere around a hundred pages, but eventually ended it, deciding that there was far too much weirdness to be dealing with.

What has been a big motivation for you and your writing?

O: Probably a deal I made with my cousin when I was nine. We struck a bargain that if I ever published a book, he would have to dress up in a bunny suit, and advertise it on the corner of an intersection. So that's been a huge motivation for me. ;)

Was there a particular book or author that helped you get a firm grasp on what your work?

O: Yes! When I was twelve or thirteen, I read Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Heartless, and it had a GINORMOUS impact on me! Not long after reading it, I found her blog, and immediately started following it, as well as her Facebook page. She was very encouraging, and always had something kind to say. Eventually, I came up with a story I loved, and began writing it. I feel as if Anne Elisabeth Stengl has been a huge contributor to that.

What are some of your favourite books?

O: John Flanagan's The Ranger's Apprentice (even though I'm only on book two), J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood, Robin Hardy's The Annals of Lystra and The Latter Annals of Lystra... Oh, I could go on and on about all this! I suppose I'll stop there, for now.

What is a one-sentence overview of your manuscript-in-progress?

O: A beautiful knight and princess must step up to save those who betrayed her.

Who's your favourite character in your current manuscript? Why?

O: Hmm... Even though I'm just now starting draft two, and so I need a refresh with the characters, at the moment, I would have to choose my top three. (Ha ha! ...Sorry.) ;)

First in no particular order would be my main character, Radha. Though she was kind of an emotional wreck in draft one (here's to hoping that's not happening again!), she was very fun to write (and hopefully, she still is). A knight and a princess, she deals with the everyday threats to royalty: You know, assassins and all that nonsense. But since she's one of the king's knights, she has to do her best in preventing those sort of things from happening. And she has a lot of friends in her trade. Yes, she's extremely fun to write.

Second would be my knights' commander, Sir Gilmore. He's an incredible amount of fun! In a way, he's a bit of a flirt, but at the same time, he keeps to his senses, and does his job well. He can be stern when he needs to be, but also let loose and have some fun.

And last but not least is my assassin, who... Well, I can't exactly name him, at the moment. He's currently kind of a secret. But he's VERY complicated, and (in my opinion) is totally awesome. He's clever, deceitful, shows little mercy... (My mum hates it when I say things like that, ha ha.) But, yeah, he's great.

Would you like to share the first few lines from your manuscript's current draft?

O: I would love to!


OPENING LINES
TO DRAFT II
OF WHEN THE SKY CRIES,
A MANUSCRIPT-IN-PROGRESS


I fell against the ground with a thud. Why now? On the day I'd taken such a chance?

Picking up the sword I'd just dropped, I leapt to my feet as fast as I could, escaping my opponent's blow just in time.


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So that's my challenge! And yes: I challenge each of you to do the same!

Have fun!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Some Happy News, Indeed!

Well, I must confess that I have quite the exciting news to share:

I Once Dreamed is nearly finished! Just a little editing, the send-off of the letter, the email exchange, and then I'm done!

Another thing, too:

I am about to begin draft two of When the Sky Cries! And I am extremely nervous (seeing as how chaotic the first draft was... whew!), but I am planning to muscle through it. Since working on I Once Dreamed, I've found myself able to create more realistic characters.

So, please pray for me. I wish you all well upon your writings! :)

See you soon (hopefully)!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to drop in with a quick post to wish everyone a fun and happy Thanksgiving! May you all have a blessed day with family and friends!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: FIVE ENCHANTED ROSES

A couple of months ago, a good friend was kind enough to lend me Five Enchanted Roses to help me with a little bit of "research" (as we like to call it) for my Five Magic Spindles entry.

Seeing as I'm on Thanksgiving break, I thought that now would be a good time to type up a quick review on Rooglewood Press's Beauty & the Beast collection.

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Esprit de la Rose by Kaycee Browning

Esprit de la Rose tells the story of an educated young woman called Cecilia, her father a privateer who quickly becomes indebted to the magical merfolk known as the Fee. In a hasty attempt to save her father, Cecilia is hurled into a grim underworld filled with ghostly pirates, each of them with their own curse. In a world so utterly terrifying, is it possible for the privateer's daughter to find love even among the harshest of souls?


I had a BLAST reading this tale! I all-too-instantly fell in love with the mysterious Captain Pepin, and was very much intrigued by Miss Cecilia Lester. Many of the characters were dangerous and bewitching, allowing for Esprit de la Rose to be a true page-turner.

Overall, I believe this novella deserves five stars!

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Wither by Savannah Jezowski

In Wither, a merchant's stubborn daughter named Lilybet crosses a land filled with the dreadful undead in an attempt to reach a beast's castle to save her sister. Lilybet receives much more than she bargained for, however. The beast lives a half-life as stone, and the palace in which he dwells is known as Briarstone Abbey. Cold and mystical, Briarstone stands as a barrier between the mortal world and the realm of the dead. It is only a matter of time before the wraiths behind it begin to seep free...


Wither was, I believe, my least-favourite novella in the Five Enchanted Roses collection. Though the writing was excellent and the characters very well developed, I found myself unable to relate to them. I did, however, find the setting dark and intriguing, causing the description of Wither's world to be clearly etched into my mind.

Still, I think this story should earn three or four stars.

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Stone Curse by Jenelle Schmidt

What if the beast's curse was an accident? Jenelle Schmidt's Stone Curse tells the story of Karyna, a young handmaiden living in a dreary castle with a court full of haunting statues, a fellow servant, and none other than the beast -- Prince Barend, himself. When rumors of a sorceress reach Karyna's ears, she is determined to set out and find the woman, in hopes of finding a way to free the prince from his curse. But surprises are in store for Karyna, along her journey. And is this tale of the sorceress just a myth? Or is there someone really lurking behind the shadows of that powerful title?


Stone Curse was a rather unexpected read, in such a darling way! Appreciating the characters was all-too easy! And the plot was such fun, too. It didn't take long for me to imagine gallivanting across the kingdom with Karyna and Barend, as well as their lovely friend Ritter.

Four stars!

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Rosara & the Jungle King by Dorian Tsukioka

Written in the style of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, Rosara & the Jungle King is the story of the beautiful Rosara, the daughter of her tribe's chief. Attempting to avoid a vicious suitor, she meets and quickly befriends the enchanted jaguar Tupa. But it is only a matter of time before a spell befalls Rosara, transforming her into a form like that of her new companion. Can the spell be broken? Or will Rosara and Tupa remain forever beasts?


I did not expect to like Rosara & the Jungle King, but I was in for quite the surprise. I was the princess of the jungle, racing through the vines with my new friend, the Jungle King. Rosara was incredibly easy and fun to relate to, and I felt as if Tupa and I had been friends for years.

Five stars!

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The Wulver's Rose by Hayden Wand

In The Wulver's Rose, the young Bonnie ventures to a castle perched in the Highlands of Scotland to repay a debt to her family. But there is more to this castle than meets the eye: it is inhabited by a werewolf of sorts -- a creature called the Wulver, who is half-man, half-wolf. Not to mention there's the trapped child, a young girl who visits Bonnie in her dreams. When a wicked sorceress comes calling, Bonnie must save the Wulver, as well as this mysterious child. But what if it is Bonnie who must pay the price?


I absolutely adored Hayden Wand's The Wulver's Rose! It was probably my favourite in the Five Enchanted Roses collection, by far. The setting was beautiful, the characters were outstanding, and the plot itself was altogether stunning! I am afraid there is little more I can say on the matter, except that The Wulver's Rose deserves five stars (or more, if such a thing is possible).

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So what do you think? Maybe you'll give Five Enchanted Roses a read? If you're still a little unsure, you can download the free ebook of Hayden Wand's novella at this link. And you can pick up all five novellas here!

Have an excellent read!

Progress on I ONCE DREAMED

Yes. I should be working on it. Or am I?

I am glad to say that I've gone past the word count minimum for Five Magic Spindles! I'm slightly over seven-thousand, at the moment, with a grand total of fifteen pages and eight chapters!

Not that I've reached the ending, yet, of course. No, that is in the (hopefully) not-so-distant future. My goal is to have finished I Once Dreamed by the end of Thanksgiving break, so I might send in my submission form, edit my tale, and then finally (stomach churning at the very thought of it) email the document in.

So I thought it might be time to provide a little information on the story. :)

As you may know, Five Magic Spindles's editor Anne Elisabeth Stengl held a show-and-tell on her blog back in September. The three main information segments the writers provided included their plot in a few short sentences, their opening lines, and their author bio.

My two-sentence plot is this:

Far off in the countryside of the kingdom of Ashindust lies the charming estate and castle of Hazelbend. Little do passers-by know that terrified servants, a lonely lady, and a treacherous butler are trapped inside...

Okay, so the plot's still the same. But there has been a wee change to the story.

The opening lines sent in to Anne Elisabeth Stengl were from some of the first drafts, which did not feel as if they were going well at all. But, thanks to draft four, there's been quite the progress made, along with new opening lines:

"She's having them again, Physician."

"And they're getting worse."

What, I wonder? ;)

There is a verse that has helped to inspire my novella! Psalm 55:22, ESV, reads, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."

Modeled after how one blog introduces its book reviews, here's some of the basic information:

Title: I Once Dreamed

Author: Olivia K. R. Fisher

Main character: Lady Faerydae

Genre: Historical fiction/Christian fantasy

Audience: Young adult

And there you have it!

The time period takes place mainly in November of 1400, in a mighty kingdom called Ashindust, on the continent of Repel (like "reap-ull"), which I would say likes somewhere between Iceland, the UK, Norway, and Denmark. I haven't entirely decided for sure, yet. :)

What about you? How's your novella going? Did you enter the September show-and-tell? Have you sent in your Sleeping Beauty retelling, yet? Do tell!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Events of Nightwind Court -- November 2015

Thanks to some inspiration I received from Anne Elisabeth Stengl's October Doings at Drakenheath, I now have a few ideas to make The Events of Nightwind Court more fun all around. You'll see a little snippet regarding that at the end, here. :)

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FIVE MAGIC SPINDLES Entry


To my dread, my Five Magic Spindles entry I Once Dreamed is very far from being wrapped up! With only two months left to finish writing and drafting it, as well as editing and sending it off, I find the deadline fast approaching. Maybe this wouldn't be so hard if my freshman year of high school wasn't getting in the way...

However, there are some pros to recognize! First, I am starting to better understand what beginnings and endings look like and how to reach them, thanks to my recent reading of Five Enchanted Roses! Secondly, I am liking the beginning of my novella more and more. You see, I've almost always at trouble starting a beginning with a beginning, where as if I start shortly before or after the change in the character's life has happened, the adventure of writing goes a lot smoother.

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NaNoWriMo 2015

Unfortunately, at this point in time, participating in 2015's NaNoWriMo seems a bit impractical. What with my novella, starting of high school, and the play I've been cast in, I think I'll have to wait until next year. Here's hoping for 2016!

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THE SNOW QUEEN Play

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As I mentioned last month in last month's Events, I've been cast in my school's first ever theatrical production, The Snow Queen! And, to my complete and utter joy, I've been cast as the character I wanted! Along with a the parts of three to four extras.

Though I was at first nervous about the amount of stress I would be under while being in a play alongside my freshman year of high school and drafting of I Once Dreamed, I've been having a blast! Our introductory rehearsal -- which was on Monday -- gave a welcome to the sixteen cast members, and produced an overview of what the next several weeks will look like. Wednesday's rehearsal (which was the most recent) was amazing, involving quite an armload of fun practice. Coming home and going to sleep felt like I'd spent the entire day walking at a faire (which feels quite good, in my personal opinion).

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Thanksgiving Break

Oh, how I long for Thanksgiving break to arrive, already! I need only remind myself that it is twenty-six days away.

Though family is coming in from many different places, this year (which I am highly looking forward to), I am still hoping to get most of my work (on my novella, that is) finished during that precious time.

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Blogger Awards

Here's where a bit of the fun comes in (as I mentioned earlier)! I'm considering doing monthly "awards" along with my Events posts, putting the spotlight on a certain song, Bible verse, blog -- whatever! This month, the spotlight goes to the song "Echoes in Rain", by Enya!


This song was selected mainly for two reasons, the first being this song's positive and relaxing tone (which I believe is likely to soothe students' and employees' minds, alike... or pretty much anyone's). The second is (and you better sit down before continuing) this: Enya's releasing her first new album in seven years! Yes, you've read correctly! Her new album, titled Dark Sky Island, is available for pre-order now, and is set to release on November twentieth! You can find more on that subject over here, at this link.

Image recovered from this link.

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That's all for this month's Events of Nightwind Manor! What are your plans for November? Have you considered participating in NaNoWriMo? Do share!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Writer's Playlist

Different writers are attracted to all different kinds of music. While the song "Counting Stars" may put a temporary dent in one writer's thinking cap, it may provide huge inspiration to another. With the power of music, writers (and people, in general) are often inspired to go the extra mile, or encouraged by the song's amount of emotion. That is where a writer's playlist comes in.


As I mentioned a little bit ago, different writers react differently to certain styles of music (for me, I find new age and Celtic music the most relaxing to listen to). And many different situations may cause a writer's feelings to change towards a particular song. For example, my friend knew I disliked one of her songs, but would jokingly play it whenever I was near. With time, I began to love the song, because the only times I would listen to it would be when I was spending time with her. And the same goes for writing.

When I was on my first draft of my novel-in-progress, there were certain songs I'd use for inspiration. These songs helped me through a lot, and now, whenever I start the playlist, I find inspiration, sanctuary, and maybe even some encouraging memories.

Here is a list of all the songs I tended to listen to while writing my first draft of When the Sky Cries.


1. "The Hills of Home" by Kevin Braheny and Tim Clark.


2. "What You Never Know" by Hayley Westenra.


3. "Wild Child" by Enya.


4. "Our Farewell" by Within Temptation.


5. "If I Die Young" by the Band Perry.


6. "The Dragon's Breath" by David Arkenstone.

7. "She Moved Through the Fair" by Celtic Thunder.
(Unfortunately, I was unable to find a YouTube video for this one.)


8. "Let Me Lie" by Hayley Westenra.


9. "For Eamonn" by Nightnoise.


10. "May It Be" by Lisa Kelly.


11. "Only Time" by Enya.


12. "You Raise Me Up" by Celtic Woman.


13. "The Journey Home" by John Doan.

Finding your "writer's playlist" may take time (or you may already have one!), but it is certainly worth it to find. I've learned so much from my playlist, and have gained so much inspiration from it! Finding your musical inspiration is most definitely a quest to embark upon!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Events of Nightwind Court -- October 2015

What a crazy start to schooling it has been! It feels as if time has been flying by, but at the same time, simply dragging on. Thank goodness there's this blog to update. :)

Let's look at a few recent happenings around here, shall we?

Five Magic Spindles entry-in-progress.

It seems as my life has been revolving around this contest. Just last month was the September show-and-tell on Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog. ...How was it just last month?! And not to mention that I've started my fourth draft of my novella. I must admit, however, that the story is picking up progress, and so far, I am very pleased with it.


Five Magic Spindles research.

Having a good friend entering Five Magic Spindles with me has been so encouraging! So now, I've been loaned a couple of lovely books to read to assist me with my "research".

And they are...

That's right! Five Enchanted Roses from Rooglewood Press and Cold Iron/Clementine/Carabas by Sophie Masson!

The first one I am inexpressibly thrilled about, and the latter I can't wait to read! I've begun Five Enchanted Roses from the last story, The Wulver's Rose by Hayden Wand, and it. Is. Amazing. I read from the prologue all the way to chapter five when I first received it, and am now lingering on chapter ten, attempting to get some homework completed without thinking about the story too much... ;)

First blogiversary.

Did I mention that Tuesday marked my one-year blogiversary? You can check out the celebratory post regarding that over at this link.

And below is a blog button to share, just in case you're interested! You can link it back to: oliviakfisher.blogspot.com.


New bookshelf additions.

Well, the bookshelf nearest to my bed has received a couple of new additions (as of yesterday)! Let's give a warm welcome to Elizabeth Rudnick's A Frozen Heart and Rick Riordan's The Sword of Summer -- both of which I am ecstatic to read!



And look! The Sword of Summer has come with a special edition "Nine Worlds" poster! Isn't it lovely?


...A blurry and rather unprofessional picture, yes, I know. :)

A package from China.

I don't even know why I'm sharing this. Perhaps it's the fact that I've never received a package directly from a foreign country, before. But here it is! And I love it. :D



Audition for The Snow Queen... and callbacks!


My school's new theatre company is doing its first ever play -- The Snow Queen! And, taking a huge step out of my comfort zone, I auditioned on Wednesday. And Thursday were the callbacks.

...Well, now I've received a role! Three to four, in fact! (I even got the one I wanted!!)


What a month! Yes indeed, I shall be incredibly busy! But busy is good, is it not? :)

(I am hoping that after the holidays, I'll be able to spend more quality time with my writing... and less with my homework! :P )

Well, what about you? How are your plans going for this October? What major tasks are you planning to accomplish? :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's My Blogiversary!


Exactly one year ago, back in the days of my small desk by the window, I sat typing away, ecstatic over the fact that I now had a blog to call my very own. I admit that my very first blog post was a bit awkward, and for quite awhile, I am sure that I gave my handful of readers the impression of a crazed psychopath (what with all my posts of points I'd failed to make, rather bizarre images of David Tennant as a sheep, and the issue of my ignorance towards copying and pasting into Blogger).

But what an amazing year of blogging it's been. Let's look at a few "fun facts":




So it's been a great first year of blogging, and thank you all for accompanying me through it! Here's to many more! :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hopeful Motivation to the FIVE MAGIC SPINDLES Writers

With just a few short months left before the deadline of the Five Magic Spindles creative writing contest, writers are often finding themselves stuck, stressed, and exhausted. Some are even lacking in motivation, an all-too-important key in a writer's life.

So let's look back to the very first fairytale collection contest -- Five Glass Slippers.


Image recovered from this link.

Image recovered from this link.

It wasn't too long after its release that Five Glass Slippers became a bestseller in Canada, the US, and the UK. With the help of Christy-award-winning author Anne Elisabeth Stengl, five talented writers came together to form sweet romances, intriguing mysteries, science fiction retellings, and side-splitting comedies. These five novellas came to be known as What Eyes Can See by Elisabeth Brown, Broken Glass by Emma Clifton, The Windy Side of Care by Rachel Heffington, A Cinder's Tale by Stephanie Ricker, and The Moon Master's Ball by Clara Diane Thompson.

Image recovered from this link.

Image recovered from this link.

It seems that last year's contest and this year's release of Five Enchanted Roses has been following in its predecessor's footsteps. The novellas included in this Beauty & the Beast fairytale collection include Esprit de la Rose by Kaycee Browning, Wither by Savannah Jezowski, Stone Curse by Jenelle Schmidt, Rosara and the Jungle King by Dorian Tsukioka, and The Wulver's Rose by Hayden Wand.

Image recovered from this link.

In fact, as a promotion for Five Enchanted Roses, Rooglewood Press is now releasing the final tale as a free ebook, coming soon to Kindle and Nook.

Image recovered from this link.

Now we've come back to this. The rather haunting Sleeping Beauty creative writing contest. Five Magic Spindles.

It could be you. Your name could be on the cover, bold as brass.

Remember the original collections -- how one of them's a bestseller, even outside of America? Use that as motivation.

But what if you don't get chosen? Look at the author of Rosara and the Jungle King! When her novella didn't get selected for Five Glass Slippers, she self-published it under the title of Cursed Beauty! And Dana Li, who gave away her Beauty & the Beast retelling, Empty Crowns, for free!

Rooglewood Press clearly states in their Five Magic Spindles submission form: I [your name] understand that should my story not be accepted for inclusion, all rights to my story revert back to me [your name].

So there you have it! If you don't get chosen, guess what! The novella's still yours, and you wrote it! If your tale isn't chosen, why not go and find a publisher (or self-publish it!) who'd be willing to put it in print for you?

Best of luck to you all! And "may the odds be ever in your favour"!

Notice

As of September sixteenth, 2015, this blog has been reformatted. However, all posts before that date have not been updated to fit the new format, and may not be as simple to read.

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