December 2011 - further up and further in

Friday, December 23, 2011

please pray

Friday, December 23, 2011 0
please pray

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST:

One of my dear friends has a little brother named Noah who has been struggling his whole life with a mitochondrial disorder. This disorder is very serious and has no cure. He's only five years old and has already been through so much.

He's been in and out of the hospital a lot, but as of today, he is very sick. I was just IM'ed by his older sister who told me that he's not responding to medication. This may mean that his kidneys are failing. They'll try again one more time, but if he doesn't respond, this means they have 2-3 days with him at the most. Please, please be praying for this precious family however you feel led.

They have a blog if you want more info: http://www.prayingfornoah.com/

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the stable

Thursday, December 22, 2011 4
the stable
Immanuel.

God with us.

Why did he do this? Why? Why?

To be born in a stable.

The humblest of places.

No, seriously. Let me be as honest as I can. Stables are probably not your ideal place for a momentous event. [Would you get married in a stable? Not me.]

I've never been in a stable, but I can imagine it. Dung. Animals. Hay. Not exactly glamorous.

[I wonder how bad the risk of infection was for giving birth in a...stable. My inner germophobe cringes at the thought.]

Why?

Immanuel. God with us.

If you doubt that the love of Jesus surpasses all others, look at this. Look at his manger scene. See him laying in the hay?

So often we focus on the birth, but the reason Jesus came was for the death and the life after that.

He did this for you.

That is love. True love.

Immanuel. God with us.

“In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”

- Queen Lucy, The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Novel Idea

Saturday, December 17, 2011 5
A Novel Idea

When I switched blogging platforms, I essentially vowed that I'd sworn off tags forever.

It appears that I have broken that vow; not for mere pleasure (okay, maybe that's a bonus), but for the sake of sharing my novel with you.

Many thanks to Katie @ Whisperings of the Pen for tagging me with this awesome tag. It's such a unique questionnaire.

And now I present to you another long-winded speech about my novel. (But this time, you get to read a few snippets of it as well!)

1. Who are the main characters?

Gavin Gray, a blacksmith who has dreamed of legends long past. Riah Gray, his sister, who is feisty and unpredictable. Torin, the prince of their land who has many grudges and secrets. Chasiel, the princess and Torin's sister, who is sweet and unassuming, and has received a certain blacksmith's love.

2. How did you get the idea for this story?

I sat and stared at the wall, and racked my brain with ideas. Smacked my head against the wall a few times to jar my brain into working, and then repeated the whole process.

I also grabbed a sword and ran after that fickle thing called Inspiration, threatening to skewer it unless it cooperated.

All kidding aside, it was a long process - or at least it felt that way. I had the idea of Chasiel and Torin first, who came along around the end of 2009-early 2010. Then Gray came along, pushing his way into my mind and compelling me to write a story about him. Shortly after Gray was established, I decided to put him together with Chasiel and Torin. Then I just needed a plot - which was one thing I was sorely lacking.

Riah, on the other hand, was one of the hardest characters to figure out. At first her name was Chaya Seagull and she had a completely different story entirely. Several items were connected to her, such as a silver necklace, a strong personality, and mountains by the sea. This annoyed me greatly because there was no way I could think of to connect it with Chasiel and Torin. There's nothing more irksome than a plot that won't cooperate.

One day, I decided that I was going to make it work, even if it meant majorly changing plot points. All of a sudden, the pieces fell into place, and the silver necklace became instrumental to the whole novel. Chaya Seagull became Riah, a feisty young woman who has grown up under her brother's influence and is essentially beyond being tamed. She is one of my favorite characters to write, ever. I think I came up with the bare bones of a plot that afternoon, and then spent the rest of the time counting down to NaNo and outlining chapter-by-chapter in a notebook.

3. What genre is this story?

Fantasy. It's the first fantasy book I've written in way too long, and I'm beginning to think I've finally found the stories I was meant to write.

4. Describe your book in three thoughts:
Bah, humbug. I always dislike summing up my book like this. Oh well.

Gray has always dreamed of finding a treasure that the legends speak of. However, the silver is far from a secret, and others dream of finding it as well, much to Gray's disadvantage. Through a series of events, he ends up doing what he's always dreamed of... but will it be worth it in the end?

5. The bit that describes an obscure piece of real life best:

His eyes flicker to Chasiel. An uncomfortable silence hangs in the air, like the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it’s there, but no one wants to talk about it.

6. The funniest line said by a side-character thus far:

My main characters are much funnier than my side-character. Nevertheless...

[Riah:] “Now I only wish I could knock some sense into that thick head of his.”
Bereket lets out a short, loud, barking laugh. “Ha! Good luck with that. Gray rarely ever listens to common sense.”


7. Your favorite piece of description:

His face was worn, his fingers tough from years of battle—years of fighting for his country with both his pen and his sword.

8. Your biggest fear in the writing of this story:

It's not so much the writing part of it that I'm afraid of as it is the editing. Writing is fine. I can write a bad first draft very, very easily. But when I have to actually fix the mistakes I've made? Oy.

9. Last full sentence you wrote:

The hill started to descend, and Athens skidded down the hill as he attempted to find a foothold.

10. Favorite character thus far:

Riah. Oh my goodness, Riah. She's impossible and yet amusing all at the same time.

11. What books have been written or have you read that are similar in style and flavor to your novel?

You know, the funny thing is that I haven't really ever read anything similar to my novel. It kind of defies the typical fantasy stigma. However, I've taken inspiration from The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and the BBC show Robin Hood, respectively. Another novel that has similarities to mine is The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson. I read this book recently and absolutely loved it.

12. If it was destined to become a book on tape, who would you wish to read it?

Liam Neeson. His voice is so expressive and one of my favorites.


~


other links regarding Silver Tears: synopsis, etc.

Note: I'm currently on hiatus writing Silver Tears, and currently have another smattering of words that could, potentially, become a novel. As of yet it's completely jumbled, so wish me luck with that. This new inkling of a story's name is... well, you'll just have to guess. ;)

And now, I tag:

Rachelle @ Inspiring Daring

And... you, if you feel so inclined. ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

introducing my blog, in a nutshell

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 4
introducing my blog, in a nutshell
i have a sinus infection, hence the reason i'm typing in lowercase. it seems like a good excuse. :P

Elisabeth @ Something Solid Out of Air (an amazing name for an amazing blog :) did a Wordle for her blog, so i decided to do one for mine as well. i wonder, what do you think i post about a lot? ;)


also, i made a Facebook page for my blog. this was due in part to the fact that i wanted one central place to post my blog updates. still, i'm not a huge fan of Facebook... but if YOU are, you can check out the page here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

music to my ears {because everyone loves penguins.}

Monday, December 12, 2011 2
music to my ears {because everyone loves penguins.}
this is what i've been listening to lately. lately, as in since yesterday. I ♥ penguins.




P.S. - For the sake of posterity...


100 followers. Wow. Thank you all so much. *hugs*

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Control Your Characters

Thursday, December 08, 2011 5
How to Control Your Characters

Let me try to sum it up simply, in two words.

You can't.

Yes, the characters do belong to you, but just wait. Soon they'll start developing their own brains. Their own personalities. Their own way of doing things.

And sometimes, you may just be wondering if you're even the author at all.

Your main male protagonist, who had been perfectly well behaved up until chapter 22, may just start rebelling. "Yes, you remember me? You amputated my leg in chapter 10! I'll never forgive you for that!" Soon the other characters will join in, waving signs of protest and going on strike.

This, I think, is what is more formally known as writer's block.

Characters simply won't obey. This point has been proven to me time and time again. The other night was the most recent evidence of this, when a character showed up in my brain waving a rather large sign. "HELLO! My name is Beckett! I will be appearing in your next story, so just deal with it."


Yep, you guessed it. He is now in my story.

I've been thinking... maybe it isn't a bad thing when characters don't obey. Maybe it's a good thing.

And maybe, it just means that we're doing a good job with them.

On a more personal note, I have now decided to take a break from my NaNo novel, Silver Tears. It's not that I don't like the novel anymore, and I fully intend to finish it. I'm just having a hard time connecting, and my inspiration has completely run dry.

So, I have a new novel. This one started itself and I really need to find its plot. And yes, Beckett is in said novel. Now it's just a matter of finding out where this novel is taking me.

See? I can't control my novels, either. *sigh*

Monday, December 5, 2011

Writing Is Like Toothpaste

Monday, December 05, 2011 2
Writing Is Like Toothpaste

You know what happens when you've almost used up all your toothpaste? The toothpaste bottle gets all gunky and stagnant, and you nearly burst a blood vessel by trying to squeeze it out. After pushing until your knuckles turn white, you only get a meager bit of toothpaste that drizzles out.

Yep, that's what's happening in my writing life right now.

It's not like I'm not writing. Thanks to Georgie's handy box of writing prompts, I've written three short stories. One of them is about fire and tulips, the other about a New Year's Eve party, and the most confusing is about forbidden spheres. However, when it comes to my current WIP, Silver Tears, I'm hitting a wall.

Again.

NaNo ended five days ago, and since then I've only written about 2,000 words. This is hard, especially when 2k was my average per day. Still, I've hit a point in my writing where whatever I wrote on my outline is vague, if there's anything written at all.

I, of course, could just write. That would be the simplest option, and would also be taking my own advice. But I'm trying to get over my inner-editor. You know, the one that says, You MUST have the first draft perfect. This writing stinks. You'll never write anything good.

Yep, that one.

Is duct tape an acceptable method of tying up my inner editor, critiquer, and all-around annoyance? On second thought, maybe I should just throw him in the closet.

At any rate, I'm hoping to get past this wall. Maybe I need a sledgehammer to knock it down. Either that, or maybe getting a grappling hook would help me climb over it.

You know how in my last post I said this quote?


You can't wait for inspiration to come to you.
You have to go after it with a sword.


I think I need a bigger sword.

{side note: I've always wondered... why is bouquet spelled with two u's? I can understand the one after the q, but the first u always gets me.}

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Post-November Letdown

Friday, December 02, 2011 3
The Post-November Letdown

Something big happened this November:
I became a writer again.

But before I explain, let me say this. It's no secret: November has officially come to a close, and with that, so has NaNoWriMo.

It's always hard, after spending all your time writing, to adjust back to normal life. I was writing all day, every day, or at least that's how it seemed. Now that NaNo is over, I don't know what to do with myself.

However, now that I've been writing this long and this hard, I won't be able to stop.

See, I've always been a writer. Putting pen to paper. Throwing words on a page. Painting landscapes of the mind. Attempting to introduce people to my world and tell them my deepest thoughts and desires.

But somewhere along the line, that got tainted by the fear of failure.

I don't think I've really written anything for the past 2 or 3 years. Yes, of course, I've written things... but I haven't truly written. I haven't let my fingers fly or let the words take their course. I haven't really let my stories live. I've stopped after the first few hundred words. I was afraid to try because I was afraid to fail.

And then, this November, I realized that I can't really call myself a writer unless I write. If I'm serious about my writing career and my dream of sharing my words with the world, it's going to take dedication. Sweat. Tears. And a whole lot of patience.

And hopefully inspiration, if it will manage to stick around for long enough. 

You can't wait for inspiration to come to you.
You have to go after it with a sword.

My post-NaNo plans include finishing my novel, which has taken on a mind of its own. It's actually becoming real to me, and I'm proud to call it my own. It's not perfect, yes, but no first draft is. I just have to keep telling myself that (and maybe shove my inner editor in a closet while I'm at it). I'm at about 56,000 words and I still have a lot of plot left... too much plot. I'm going to keep writing, but it doesn't feel the same. I miss the rush of words as I try to finish writing my thoughts before bed. I miss the hype, the decorum, and the excitement. I'll keep writing, but it doesn't feel like a sprint anymore. It feels like a slow walk. I'm able to actually focus on the words, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. 

I admire you writerly types; yes, those people whose veins flow with inspiration rather than blood. I admire you. Because it isn't easy; writing a novel in a month. It isn't easy writing a novel, period. I know that now. But the thing I've discovered is, writing is hard. It's not for the faint of heart. 

But overall, we have to decide: is it worth it?

I think it is.




Hello, my name is Kylie,
and I am a writer.



{post script: speaking of writing, Georgie, Fin, and I have a surprise for you coming up shortly. so refill your coffee mugs and stay tuned. we'll be back.} :)