Know the Novel: Part Three ~ In Which We Have All Survived And Hopefully Have Something to Show For It

Welp. Somehow we survived NaNo.

I am literally so proud of myself for writing 50,000+ words in 30 days. I am so happy with how well plotting worked for me and how well I was able to stay motivated, despite writing ten thousand college essays during the month as well. I stayed focused and motivated and pushed through burnout to produce an almost-completed rough draft that I am so very proud of. I love every inch of my novel.

Since I managed to survive NaNo (somehow LOL), I can now do the final part in Christine Smith’s Know the Novel linkup. I’m so excited. So let’s get into it!!

The Questions:

1. How did writing this novel go all around?

Honestly, way better than I was expecting. The first couple of weeks, I found my groove and I was cranking out 2500 words in an hour and a half. Unfortunately, I lost my momentum when I took a break to go on a trip with my parents and sister. I took three days off, and when I came back, I was only writing roughly 1500 words a day. And then I got sick. But I still managed to finish on November 29th.

Aside from NaNo, November was just busy in general. I had that three day trip, like I mentioned, but I was also having to deal with four college classes, Thanksgiving holidays, and various other things that were taking up my time. So props to NaNo Mia for finding time to fit it all in.

*high-fives past self*

2. Did it turn out as you expected or completely different? How do you feel about the outcome?

I plotted the whole novel a couple of years ago and I had to wait to write it while I plotted the other four novels in the series. Then I had to come back to my old plot and make sure everything made sense, because obviously my idea of the series had changed a lot in two years. Despite putting so much time in plotting, I knew there were a lot of specific details I could have added but didn’t. Actually, a lot of the plot points for the first two books are pretty vague because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go there and I figured I could come up with something when I actually had to write it.

I regret that decision now, but y’know, it seemed smart at the time.

Some of my characters turned out a little differently than I was expecting, but they’re mostly the same. There did end up being a couple that aren’t as prominent in the story as I wanted, but they’ll pop in more in the later books, so it should be fine.

3. What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)

Everything???? But especially the dialogue. I put a lot of effort into writing dialogue and I feel like it shows. Part of that comes from hyperfixating on the way I talk and the way other people talk, and the other part of it comes from reading a lot of Tumblr memes and building up an absolute unit of an internal dialogue.

I have issues, I know, thank you for telling me.

4. What was your least favorite part?

Ummm. . . . I’m not sure. The scenes with less action were harder to write. And there are certain characters that are just more difficult to write for some reason.

5. What do you feel needs the most work?

Grammar!!!! I never can get my commas right. There are also some descriptions that I’m not sure how well they’re going to come across. But that’s what Alpha and Beta readers are for.

6. How do you feel about your characters now? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!

I still love them. I’m never gonna stop loving them. They are literally like my children. I just. I love them.

My favorite is definitely Voro, my villain. I didn’t understand anything (anything) about him before I started writing. When I reached his first scene, I just wrote with my gut and my gut decided he should be an Instagram pretty boy with an Elvish accent. But he is so sarcastic and good-natured and silly and he has an accent and he speaks my own original language— *sucks in breath* I mean, what’s not to love? Okay, he is the villain and he did try to possess my protagonist and he also hit his daughter, but otHER THAN THAT—

As for least favorite. . . . I mean, I have some boring side characters. I didn’t make them boring on purpose and they’re all distinct and special in their own way, but I just don’t always like writing them. Also Ryan. Ugh. He’s my main character’s love interest and he’s just so. . . . unrealistic. I think I’m just writing him too much like I would a girl character. So he needs some work.

OH AND MATTHEW!!! In the original Masters of Fate draft, I wanted Matthew to be serious and mysterious and dramatic and then he ended up being funny and sarcastic and not at all like I wanted. So while I was plotting, I made sure I was careful to make Matthew the serious guy. And then I wrote him. And he tried to be funny again. *sighs* They never listen, do they?

7. What’s your next plan of action with this novel?

Well, I have to finish it first. Then I’m going to edit it. Then maybe one day I can publish it. We’ll see. Right now, I just have to focus on finishing it.

8. If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?

I would love for MoF to have a fandom like the PJO or KotLC fandoms. I want to see all the fanart and textposts and memes and just. . . . everything. Having a fandom would be wild. And a dream come true.

9. Share some of your favorite snippets!

*rubs hands together* I won’t hold back this time.

[WARNING: Unedited snippets ahead. Continue at your own risk.]

Eno beckoned his group further across the room, putting a good distance between his group and his brother’s group. Several training dummies were lined up in front of the wall, surrounded by weapons of varying intensity and size.

“Why are all those dummies lined up like that?” Evan asked, pointing.

“Are they about to have a race?” a short boy asked, scratching his head.

Eno closed his eyes and pinched his nose. “I see how this is going to go,” he muttered.

“HEY!” someone from Tro’s group shouted. Violet whipped around and saw Iris waving at Eno’s group. “HEY! IS THERE ANYONE OVER THERE WHO CAN GIVE ME A CRASH COURSE ON HOW TO KILL SOMEBODY WITH A TOOTHBRUSH??” There was an awkward silence before Iris said, “NOBODY? OKAY. THANKS FOR THE HELP!”

Harmony snorted.

Okay, context. The powerlings were having training time with Eno and Tro, who are brothers, and they’d been split up into two teams. As for why Iris wanted to know how to kill someone with a toothbrush, your guess is as good as mine. She crazy. But we established that in the last KtN post.

“Wake up, coblari!” The deep voice tore into Violet’s strange dream. She was soaring through the bright blue sky, but it turned gray, then black, and Violet fell, farther and farther and farther until she could fall no more. “Nort veepin, eck coblari!”

Violet opened her eyes. She was groggy, but she managed to make out a tall, dark man. His hair was well-kept but his outfit was covered in dirt and twigs.

“Finally!” he cried, throwing up his arms. He started ranting in a language Violet didn’t understand as she slowly resurfaced from her dream state. She suddenly became aware of the uncomfortable chair she was trapped in. Course ropes cut into her wrists and ankles, and her hair was in her face, obscuring her left eye. As her consciousness returned fully, she whipped around, trying to escape her bonds. The room she was in was dark and claustrophobic. She could just barely make out a few human-like figures behind the man in front of her, standing against what appeared to be a door.

The ranting man stopped. He peered at Violet, and she was instantly self-conscious, wondering what he was staring at.

Eck ne human?” he asked, taking a step closer.

“What do you want from me?” Violet asked, her voice threatening to break.

“Ah, youi, you are,” he said.

“I’m what?” Violet demanded. “Where am I? Where are my friends?”

“Friends?” The man laughed. “They are not here.”

Violet stayed quiet, knowing she would burst into tears if she made a sound.

“You can understand my accent, youi?” the man asked, looking a little frustrated.

“I can understand you just fine,” Violet mumbled. She’d thought the halting tone to his voice was just him struggling to speak English. “You have an accent?”

“You insult me,” he said, smirking a little.

“I thought you were just incompetent at the English language,” Violet said, her confidence growing a little.

The man laughed. “You think I am incompetent?”

“Seems that way.”

“I could make this accent go away,” he said in a perfect American accent. “But I prefer not to betray my people by abandoning the Elvish accent. You understand, I’m sure.”

“Elvish?” Violet asked, her confidence waning.

“They have not told you my name?” he asked, looking offended. “Min amin?”

“You’re Voro, aren’t you?” Violet said, the realization making her heart drop like a stone.

“So they did,” Voro laughed. “Perfect.”

“I—I wasn’t imagining you this way,” Violet murmured, trying to make her mental image match with the man—the elf—standing before her.

“They did not tell you I am hailum?” he said, a smirk adorning his face again.

“I don’t know what that means,” Violet said, “but I certainly wasn’t expecting an Elven pretty boy with perfect hair and a chiseled jaw.”

Voro smoothed his hair. “Ah, you think my hair is perfect?”

Violet shrugged. “Perfect is relative.”

“I do not know what that means, but I do not care,” Voro said, bringing his hands behind his back in a classic “handsome villain” pose. “I have learned to take compliments when they come.”

Check the Elvish! This is one of my favorite scenes in the whole draft. It was the first time I got to implement my original Elvish and the first time Voro entered the story. I had such a fun time writing it. I didn’t want it to end.

“I hope everyone is ready because we are going to have an intense training session today,” Eno said, breezing by them.

“Wait, Mr. Eno, sir!” Evan said, rushing after him.

Eno stopped. “What?”

“Um. . . . how old are you?” Evan asked.

Eno stared. “Why do you need to know that? Will that save you on the battlefield?”

Evan twisted his fingers. “Well, no, but I just thought—”

“Then I’m not telling you how old I am.” Eno took a step, but Iris appeared in front of him.

“We have ways of figuring you out,” she said, steepling her fingers and trying to look menacing.

“Oh yeah?” Eno crossed his arms. “And how are you planning to find out my age if I’m not going to tell you?”

“By cutting you open and counting the rings!” Evan suggested. Everyone burst out into laughter.

“Wrong living organism, dude,” Ryan laughed, clapping Evan on the shoulder.

Evan pursed his lips. “Counting the points on his antlers?”

Hehe, the dialogue in this scene came from a random conversation in Sunday school between the teacher and one of the highschool guys. I knew I would have to use it in my novel because it was just too funny to pass up.

Anddddd those are all of my favorite snippets that are spoiler-free. Maybe one day, you guys will be able to read the entire novel.

10. Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?

Time management was a huge one. Of course, that also had to do with my massive heap of college assignments, but I had to learn to fit it all in and push through the burnout to reach something I’m proud of. I’m so in love with this project. It’s amazing.

This will probably be my last time attempting NaNo for a few years, since I’m going to be at college starting next year (LOL, fingers crossed) and I know for a fact I will definitely not have time for NaNo. Between being a music major, being four hours away from home, and, of course, holidays, I know for a fact I will not have the time, patience, or energy to write 2000 words a day. But that’s okay. Maybe I can attempt it again after I graduate. Or drop out of school. At this point, it’s a toss-up LOL

I am very much proud of myself for what I was able to accomplish. I literally have no words. A’s and B’s in my dual enrollment classes, a completed NaNo novel, surviving multiple trips for the holidays and Other Important EventsTM, and just. . . . the amount of personal growth I went through outside of all the chaos. I don’t want to grow up, we established that in my last post, but I am growing up anyway. And I’m proud of myself for that.

Welp. I’ll see y’all in the next post. Not sure when that’ll be, but we’ll see.

🎵 Don’t Throw Out My Legos by AJR (I’m obsessed I can’t get this song oUT OF MY HEAD) 🎵

Know the Novel: Part Two ~ In Which I Fangirl Over My Villain (And Also Share Some Snippetssss!!)

It’s November! And I’ve already hit 25,000 words! I’m so impressed with myself. I think this is the most words I’ve ever written on any WIP, much less for NaNo (my previous NaNo WIPs were 22,000 words and 4700 words). I’m literally so happy and I’m somehow discovering new things about this project and my characters. Oh, and I finally know what my villain looks like, so that’s good LOL Up until now, he was just a faceless orb XD

Anyways, like I said, I hit 25k last night and I think that’s a good time to do this post! Halfway through NaNo, let’s do the second part in Christine Smith’s Know the Novel linkup! I’m so excited. Let’s go!

LOL, my sisters are currently chasing our kitten around the house. Usually she just naps all the time, but she’s feeling rascally today XP

The Questions:

1.How’s the writing going overall?

It’s been good! I was getting kind of burnt out around the third day, but then I introduced new characters and started really getting into the action and I’m cranking out 2500 words like it’s nothing! I’m trying to stay ahead because the next few weeks are a little chaotic for me, so I want to get as much words in as I can so I’ll have a little wiggle room.

2. What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

Hmm. . . . before yesterday, I might have said my sarcastic purple squirrel Tallie. She’s a unit. But now, I think my favorite part is writing scenes with my villain, Voro. He speaks English as well as the Elven language, and I’ve had so much fun sprinkling a few Elvish words into his speech. Last night, I was just sitting at my computer with a notebook in my lap, filling in my Elvish dictionary with words I hadn’t come up with yet. I came up with an exclamation of excitement which literally translates to “of excited spirit”, and the word combines my Elvish words for “of”, “excited”, and “spirit”. It’s been great. I love coming up with my own language.

3. What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?

Oh man, I love all of them so much, but I think my current favorite to write is Voro. He’s sarcastic and coy and Elven. . . . I mean, what else could you want? I also really like Ciela. She’s a dog hybrid and she’s incredibly smart and quick. Asyma is another of my favorites. She’s a cat hybrid and best friends with Tallie, the aforementioned purple squirrel. I was originally planning to make her kind of cold and aloof, but she ended up being friendly, so that happened LOL I love all of my characters, though. It’s been fun exploring their personalities.

4. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

How long it’s getting? I’m only a fourth through the plot and I’ve already hit 25k???? I was fully expecting to fall short of my goal, but at this rate, I’m going to go over it substantially. That makes me happy though, because my novels usually end up being too short.

5. Have you come across any problem areas?

Well, aside from feeling like everything’s repetitive when I write it, not really. And it’s not repetitive when I read over it, it just feels that way when I write it. Although, battle scenes are going to be difficult when I start writing those because I know almost nothing about fighting. But that’s what Google’s for! XD

6. What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

Everything, dude. From actually sticking with it and finishing the plot, to being motivated to write every day, to finally hitting 25k, the most I’ve ever written. It just makes me so happy. Even though I haven’t won just yet, I still feel like I have because of the amazing strides I’ve made. I went from not writing any words at all to writing between 1500 and 2500 a day. Wild.

7. If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?

I think I would be Harmony. She’s my main character’s best friend and a hopeless romantic. She’s friendly, she takes things literally, she gives good pep-talks, and she hopelessly ships Violet with her crush. I actually had a mini existential crisis when I wondered if Harmony should be my MC, but that passed quickly. It just makes more sense for Violet to be the protagonist. But that doesn’t mean Harmony can’t get her own ✨spinoff series✨!

8. Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

My first sentences kind of suck. They start with dialogue LOL

The prologue starts with:

“Ready?” Violet yelled, crouching as green sparkles surrounded her hands.

Then the first chapter starts with:

“Up! Up!” Ricky clapped his hands, marching around Violet’s room and opening all the curtains.

(Ricky is Violet’s dad.)

So yeah, not that exciting. As for favorite snippets. . . . oh boy. I’m spoiled for choice LOL

I would put the first scene with Tallie here, but it’s kind of long, so maybe not. I can put a little snippet of it here though!

Violet couldn’t believe her ears. “There’s no way I’m not dreaming.

Tallie grabbed Violet’s arm and bit it.

“OW!” Violet shrieked, jerking away and slapping Tallie, sending her flying into the wall.

“Unnecessary!” Tallie shrieked in response. “I already know I’m not dreaming!”

Hehe. I love that squirrel.

Here’s a snippet from chapter three when Violet, Harmony, and their friend Chase come across the ball of insanity that is Iris. I love her. She is mad.

Before they could start walking in any direction, a rainbow-haired girl holding a thick book appeared out of thin air next to Chase’s elbow. Chase screamed and staggered backwards, causing the girl to laugh in a way that reminded Violet of windchimes clanking together on a windy day.

“Did I scare you?” she asked in a baby voice, poking her lips out.

“N-no,” Chase protested. “You just. . . . startled me. That’s all.”

The girl giggled again. “If you say so, dude.”

“I’m Harmony,” Harmony said, stepping between Chase and the girl. “This is Violet and you’ve already met Chase.”

“My name is Iris!” the girl said. “I like Cheetos. Also regular toes. I’m not that picky.” She shrugged, her smile never wavering. The others just stared.

“Um. Okay?” Chase stammered, backing away.

“Sorry,” Iris apologized, still smiling. “There’s not much going on up here.” She pointed to her skull and made a face. “It’s like my brain is spaghetti, but the spaghetti is slithering snakes and the snakes are all wearing party hats and shooting fireworks around my skull to hear the echo. But sometimes I say something coherent.”

Chase just stared.

“My friends say that I’m so air-headed, the only reason I’m not floating away is because of how much I weigh,” Iris continued.

“H-how much do you weigh?” Chase asked, without thinking.

“I don’t know, about fifty squirrels, WHY DO YOU WANNA KNOW, SOYBOY?!” Iris shrieked, holding her book above Chase’s head threateningly.

“I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY!” Chase shouted, cowering behind Harmony.

“Did someone say SQUIRRELS?!” Tallie asked, flying headfirst onto Chase, who screamed and fell to the floor in fear.

*cringes at the unedited-ness*

Here’s a snippet from the first battle training session. Ryan and Levi are in a fight and they’re on the floor wrestling, while everybody’s watching. Honestly, this bit makes me LOL

“Ugh, what are you, twelve?” Levi muttered, trying to punch Ryan and missing by a foot.

“On a scale of one to ten, absolutely!” Ryan answered, pulling Levi’s hair.

“Did you steal that from Tumblr?” Chase shouted.

“Absolutely!” Ryan said again, elbowing Levi in the nose.

There’s like a thousand more I could choose, but I’ll just leave y’all with those.

9. Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)

Oh, hilarious typos?? I posted this one on YWW because I almost fell out of my chair laughing at it.

What I meant was that she pushed them up the bridge of her nose onto her face, but it didn’t quite come out that way XD

10. Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!

Well, I usually don’t do any writing until the evening, after I get all my dual enrollment work done for the day and the house is finally silent. I usually start at 8:00 PM and then write till 10:00-ish, which is when my dad makes me get off the computer and go to bed LOL Depending on how much I enjoy the scene I’m writing, I can write 2000 to 2500 words in two hours, which is terrible, I know, but we’re working on it.

So, basically, I hop on the computer around 7:30 and check all my notifications on YWW and my email, etc. Then, once I have nothing else I can do to procrastinate, I turn on my music and start writing! I have a playlist for my book, but I also made a playlist for all the instrumental music I listen to, just in case I’m having trouble focusing because of the lyrics. I really need to organize my playlist according to song color, because yesterday, while I was writing the scenes with my villain, I kept getting peppy music, which was not helping me get into the right headspace for writing a VILLAIN XD

And then I just write for a couple hours. Sometimes I get distracted and pop over to YWW for a minute, or obsessively check my WordPress notifications, but then it’s right back to writing and working.

Around 9:57, I update my progress on the NaNoWriMo official website (that stats page is a huge motivator in and of itself–) and sometimes I go back through and read what I just wrote and make some small edits. And then I’m all done for the day!

I must say, I am pleasantly surprised with how well I’ve been able to keep myself writing. I haven’t missed a single day so far, although I haven’t always hit my word goal oops. But I’m 6000 words ahead, so I guess that’s alright.

Anyways, I have to go write now, so toodles!

🎵 Masked Heroes by Vexento 🎵

Know the Novel: Part One ~ In Which I Go Into Detail About the Project I Keep Talking About In Various Posts That No One Knows That Much About (But That CHanges Todayyy!!!)

My apologies for that very confusing and obnoxiously long title.

Well, ladies and gents, we’re getting close to the end of October, which means that November is coming up, which means that National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us.

Scary.

I’m so PUMPED for NaNo this year!! I’ve attempted it twice in the past couple years and I failed both times. One more so than the other…. But I have a clear goal for this year and I know what I’m doing and I’ve been preparing for this for a long time. You guys’ll see what I mean in a bit.

ALSO, this is my second time participating in Christine Smith’s Writer’s Linkup. Last year, I did the first part and then……didn’t do the rest of it?? So I will do all three parts this year LOL

Okay, that’s enough yammering from me. Let’s get this done with!

So First, A Little Background. . . .

I’m not starting a new project for NaNo. In fact, I’m going to be writing the first book in the series I’ve been plotting for about two and a half years now. I started writing this book in April of 2020, shortly before I joined the Young Writers’ Workshop. After I joined YWW, I realized that there were a LOT of things wrong with my novel. After I got burnt out on it in June or July of that same year, I decided that I would scrap the original draft and try plotting. I took all the ideas I’d had for the series when I first was inspired and figured out how they would work and what book they would happen in etc.

So, for the past two years, I’ve been plotting this five-book series, making sure everything is consistent and makes sense and works. I’m at the very end of the plot for the fifth book as I write this, and once I finish it, I’ll do one last macro edit of my plots and make sure all the threads are tied and everything makes sense. And then, I’ll be ready to write!

The Questions:

1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

Well, the very first version of this project was inspired by a Minecraft fanfiction series called “Diary of an 8-bit Warrior”, specifically the sixth book. Something about that book made me want to write something like it. So, I wrote down some of the aspects I liked about the book (things like plot twists and character details that I liked), and started brainstorming. And the rest of my inspiration came from Lego Ninjago. Specifically season four. That was where a lotttt of my ideas came from. Especially the whole “elemental powers” thing. Actually, the main reason I scrapped the original draft was because it felt like a cheap knock-off of season four of Ninjago, even down to some of the scenes. I changed things, sure, but any fan of Ninjago could tell that it was uncannily similar.

Now, when it comes to the current version of this series, I actually don’t remember where my inspiration came from. I know that a lot has changed since I wrote the first plot point, but I don’t remember how. But it has been fun watching this project fall into place (or be forcefully shoved into place in some parts), and I’m so attached to it at this point, I don’t know if I’ll get burnt out LOL

The title I came up with was Masters of Fate. My reasoning for this title was, the characters were called “Master of _______” (whatever their power is), and, at the end of the book, they were going to break free of the force controlling them and become masters of their own fate. After I scrapped the original draft, I figured that title wouldn’t work anymore, but I kept it as a placeholder until I came up with something new. And then…..I didn’t come up with something new. I kept Masters of Fate, BUT it takes on a whole new meaning for the reboot. I can’t share that meaning because it is laden with spoilers, but yeah. That’s the title for my series (:

2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary)!

Here, have something that I wrote just now.

Violet Blake is different — but she’s not ashamed of it. That is, until the special thing that sets her apart, her power to grow plants with just the flick of her hand, ends up killing her best friend and forcing her and her father to move across the country to start anew. Afraid that another accident might happen, Violet hides her powers — until provocation from her archnemesis, Rebecka Beauregard, pushes her too far. Violet explains away the sudden vines surrounding Rebecka, but she knows her secret it out. So, she isn’t too surprised when a talking, sarcastic, purple squirrel shows up on her doorstep. The squirrel promises her things she’s been searching for, and Violet can’t resist following out of curiosity.

After stepping through a portal and finding herself in the strange land of Brillyntr, Violet discovers that she, and other people like her, are the only way to stop the war-hungry tyrant, Voro, from changing the entire world as they know it. The quest is not without pain, betrayal, and danger, but, with the help of her friends, family, and allies, Violet discovers secrets, truths, and promises she could have only imagined.

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects of the setting?

I’m having trouble just thinking in relation to the FIRST BOOK. I’m so focused on the latter books, I keep forgetting these questions are just for the first book 😂

The story mostly takes place in the forests of Brillyntr, at a hidden base, although there are some scenes on Earth (where? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m thinking somewhere near Connecticut, but idk). I think what I like most about it is how often my main characters are going to be able to interact with the side characters. I put a lot of time into developing the side/background characters, despite the fact they don’t do too much, but I am looking forward to incorporating fun scenes with them. Of course, not fluffy scenes, the scenes will serve a purpose, but they’ll be fun for me to write and fun for my readers to read. At least, I hope LOL

4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

Alright, my main main character is Violet Blake. The story is mostly told from her perspective, although it does switch around more in the latter books. She has brown hair, emerald eyes, and a narrow face. She can grow and wither plants with just the flick of her hands (well, not that easily because her powers have limits, of course, but you know what I mean), and can be kind of shy. Her birthday is March 11 (I have decided just now) and she is 14 years old at the start of the book (because that was how old I was when she was created).

My other main characters include Ryan Dinsmore III (Violet’s crush), Harmony Sharp (Violet’s best friend), Evan and Reese Cane (siblings and I love them), and Maple doesn’t-have-a-last-name-because-it-is-spoiler-ridden (she is pivotal and has red hair). I have never loved a batch of characters more than I love the 80+ characters I have for this series, and these knuckleheads are some of my favorites. (My other favorites come way later in the series.) I literally cannot WAIT to write them. I’ve loved plotting their scenes.

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Voro. An evil elf who is hoping to wipe out the humans in Brillyntr and anyone who sides with them. I mean, he’s not quite as shallow as that, he has good reason, but SPOILERS GUYS. He also has two sidekicks, R (SPOILERS) and G (MORE SPOILERS). I think I like those two more than I like Voro himself. They’re crazy, in any case.

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

Everything????? I’ve been plotting this for THREE YEARS I’M READY TO WRITE ITTT!!!!!! Plus, all the crazy banter and happenings between my characters is going to be *chef’s kiss* I think this series is mostly character-driven (although the plot is very much important), and character development is one of my favorite things ever, so I guess that’s why I’m so attached to my charries. I love them.

7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

Series. With five books. And I’ve already started planning three spin-off serieses. Yeahhh, that might be overkill, but just in case MoF blows up, I have three other serieseses to publish afterward, featuring familiar characters *winks* And if it doesn’t, I’ll be content with just writing these novels. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to write this. I’m hoping to publish it one day, but even if I never do, I’ll still have it to read. And let my family read. And let my friends read. I’ve based several characters off of my friends, and I want them to read the series and see…..how I see them, I guess.

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

PLOTTINGGGGGGGG

This is the first time I’ve ever really plotted in-depth, and it’s been great. I’ve always struggled with motivation to write, but I really feel like having everything already laid out for me is going to be a huge help. And it will definitely help with consistency with the little technicalities later in the series.

9. Name a few unique elements in this story.

Hmm. . . . I’m actually not sure. I’ve pulled inspiration from so many places, I don’t really have anything “new” per se. I’m not, like, plagiarizing or anything (at least. . . . not for this version of the story XP), but I also don’t have anything super brand-new. Although, I do really like the history of how humans came to be in Brillyntr. Basically, the Brits found this portal back in the olden days when they were like. . . . invading everything, and they, predictably, invaded Brillyntr. Because that’s what the British did back then. *shrugs*

Anyway, I haven’t seen any stories with that sort of history, so I think that’s pretty interesting. I was lowkey quite proud of myself when I came up with all of it. And surprisingly, it all came from when I named Brillyntr. I had to come up with a backstory for the name. So I did!

10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

Hm. . . . most of my stuff is kind of personal to me, as in, it won’t make ANY sense unless you’re inside my head, but I do have a map that I can share.

Let’s just hope there’s nothing too. . . . spoiler-y in there. Also, I know some of it’s confusing. Like I said, it won’t make sense unless you’re inside my head. . . . and I hope none of you are inside my head????

Anyways, I made that map so I could have an image inside my mind of what the travel scenes would look like, because I kept getting the distances ALLLLL confused. Obviously, it’s not the best, but I’m proud of it (:

Especially because all those tiny islands took two hours to get just perfect 0.0

I also have a bunch of drawings of my characters towards the end of this post, if y’all haven’t seen it yet. I put a lot of personality into the little sketches I did, which was also surprisingly helpful in figuring out my characters.

Anddd, if you want to find out more about the old version of Masters of Fate, you can check out this ancient post which I forgot existed until today. Most of it is very outdated, but it does have a lot of information about Violet so *shrugs* that’s something.

So ya.

I guess it could be a little dangerous to write my big project during NaNo, but Marissa Meyer wrote Cinder during NaNo and she’s done pretty well for herself. I do hope to publish this book one day. I just love the world and the characters too much to not! So I guess we’ll see what happens. I have to make it through the rest of Preptober before I can even start to think about that sort of thing.

I am a little worried about how my motivation is going to hold up. I’m going to be taking four college classes all during NaNo, not to mention holidays and get-togethers and work and just. . . . stress. I’ve been having a time lately. But I’m hopeful that it will all work out and that I’ll finish out November with something. It may be. . . . a mess of a something. . . . but it’ll be a something nonetheless!

Anyways, that’s all I have for now. Toodles!

🎵 Natural by Imagine Dragons (I can’t remember if I’ve recommeded this song before but it works for my novel so. . . . here) 🎵

2021 Goal Recap! ~ In Which I Make a New Year’s Wishlist

Ta-da! A New Year’s resolutions post! Actually, it’s more like a wishlist. Hence the title. I’ll be recapping all the goals I made back in February of 2021 (which is also my second most popular post, which is a little crazy 😅) and making new goals for 2022! The last time I looked at that post was back in the summer, so it’s been a hot minute.

Now we shall see how well I did! I’m scared and excited. Here we go!

Writing:

1. Reach 50 followers on my blog ✔

When I made this goal, I was at 32 followers. Now, I am at 68! That’s more than double than what I had before! Thank you guys so much for reading all my crazy ramblings every month. It means a lot! ❤❤

2. Complete at least one of my unfinished novels/novellas ❌

Aw, look at how cute and naive I was at the beginning of the year! I actually thought I could finish the rough draft of one of my novels! Cute little Mia. I didn’t really do that much writing last year. My bad.

3. Post some of my writing on my blog ✔

Check and check! I posted more than I thought, and I’m pleased with myself. (If you want to read any of it, you can check it out here.)

4. Get back to writing in my journal ✔

This didn’t really happen until the end of the year, but I have gotten back to regularly writing in my journal. 🥳🥳

Reading:

1. Read all the books on my TBR list ❌

AHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHA–

2. Start taking more book suggestions ✔❓

I mean….kind of? Not really sure.

Art:

1. Keep up with my reading journal ❌

Failed right out of the gate, but I got into bullet journaling again!

2. Draw my characters ❌

I made moodboards for four of them, which included headshots, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

3. Do more canvas painting ❌

Also no.

Music:

1. Learn ten new songs on the piano ✔

I bought 11, learned 10, and added about a thousand more to my wishlist. I need a new binder to keep my sheet music in, because the keyboard can’t handle my overly stuffed 2-inch binder. It’s a problem.

2. Compose an orchestral piece ✔

I think I actually composed three. I’m very proud of all of them, AND one of them is predominantly a piano piece, which is cool.

3. Write 20 lyrical songs ✔

So, I went and grabbed my current song notebook, thinking that was where my songs from 2021 started, but it turns out they start back in one of my old song notebooks, but I was too lazy to grab that notebook, so I just counted the finished songs in my current notebook, and it came out to exactly 20. I guess I smashed this goal.

I also didn’t count the half-finished songs I have, but if I had, that would have probably pushed the total to 30 XD

4. FINALLY master Canon in D ✔❓

I’ve mostly gotten it down. There are a couple little spots that won’t straighten out, but I think that’s the best I’m going to get 😅

5. Learn guitar ❌

I failed this one hardcore. I’ll just have to stick with ukulele.

Personal:

1. Not fail school ✔

I haven’t flunked anything yet. Yet.

2. Get a job ❌

I went from two small jobs to none, but I’m hoping to start waitressing or something this year, because, let’s be honest, we all know I need the money XD

3. Become less articulate ✔

Why. . . . why did I put “less articulate”? I think I meant “less inarticulate” or simply “more articulate”.

If that’s what I meant, then I think I did pretty well with this one. I went from being a sarcastic wallflower to actually initiating conversations with people I wanted to be friends with. It was hard at first, but I have to remind myself that anything embarrassing that I do will be forgotten within a few months and those people probably want me to talk to them as much as I want them to talk to me. Once I got that in my head, talking didn’t seem as daunting.

I mean, to be honest, I am still horribly socially anxious, but I do everything in my power to keep from overthinking anything that happens, and just focus on the good things that happened. If someone wants to mistreat me, that’s their business, and there are dozens of better people I can surround myself with.

4. Get my driver’s license ❌

Not yet. Maybe this year.

5. Have better relationships with my friends and family ✔➕❌

I went up on the friend level and down on the family level. Or maybe I just flatlined on the family level. I still talk to them and hang out with them, but besides my oldest sister, I don’t really talk to them all that much.

I hate that I’m becoming the stereotypical, anti-family time teenager.

When it comes to my friends, however, I’ve started making more and asking questions and writing them letters and texting them so I can get to know them on a deeper level. I’ve even made friends with GUYS!!! GUYS!!!!!!! I would have NEVER imagined myself doing that in the past, but somehow it happened. *shrugs*

Well, that recaps all the goals that I set last year for 2021. Now, let’s make some goals for 2022, shall we?

Writing:

1. Reach 100 Followers on My Blog

I’m so close!! I need to get more diligent about publicizing my blog so I’ll have more traffic. And you guys can help too, by sharing my posts with your friends!

2. Finish Plotting My Five-Book Series

I have plotted two and a half books so far, and I have quite a bit to go. Hopefully this will be the year I finish my plot. I’ve been working on it for almost two years!

3. Rejoin YWW

I left the community back in August to focus on school, and I miss it SO BADLY!! I was hoping to rejoin in January, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. I miss the community and I definitely want to rejoin to help with my writing.

4. Keep Up With My Penpals

I’m starting to wonder if I may have too many penpals because I keep falling behind in my replies. I have two more letters to get done, then I’ll actually be caught up for the first time in months!

Art:

1. Post Two or Three Art Posts This Year

I love sharing my art, and I should have an art post coming out soon! I can’t wait!

2. Keep Up With My Bullet Journal

I’ve been doing pretty good with this so far, and I really hope I can make it through the whole year with my bullet journaling. Who knows, maybe I can even share some of my spreads!

3. Draw My Friends

I think they would appreciate it. Plus, it’s an idea I’ve had for several months.

Music:

1. Learn 10 New Song on the Piano

I’m carrying this one over from last year. I need to put a dent in my wishlist somehow!

2. Write 25 New Songs on Piano or Ukulele

Not just verses and choruses, like I’ve been doing, but full songs with verses, a chorus, chords, all the trimmings.

3. Learn a New Instrument

Yeah, okay, we’ll see if I can actually go through with this one. I would love to learn cello, but cellos are a wee bit expensive, so we shall see.

4. Get Voice Lessons

This is something I’ve been wanting for a couple of years now, but we haven’t really found the right teacher. Hopefully I can find someone and have a few lessons.

Acting:

1. Perform in At Least One Show

Preferably more, but this kind of thing is out of my control. We’ll just see where 2022 takes me!

2. Write a New Play For My Siblings

My sisters have been nagging me about writing them a musical or a play to perform, so I guess I have to write them one. And maybe I can get some pictures of our little “performance” and make a blog post out of it!

3. Learn to Dance

Maybe not like, all the dances, but I am a TERRIBLE dancer, so I need all the practice I can get!

Personal:

1. Meet an Online Friend IRL

There is actually the possibility of this looming on the horizon and I’m ACTUALLY FREAKING OUT!!!! Expect a blog post about it, if it happens.

2. Experiment With Beauty Products

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out makeup for a little while, and I also thought it might be fun to dye my hair or something. I don’t know. It’s up to my parents, I guess.

3. Get a Job

I have an idea of where I want to work, so maybe over the summer I can start working there! Hopefully. It depends on if they like me or not 😅

4. Get My Driver’s License

I NEED THE POWER TO GO TO THE STORE AND GET FOOD!!!

I think those are all the goals I want to achieve. I may come back and add more, but these are what I have for now! I’m so excited to start working towards them.

What do y’all think of my goals? What kind of goals are you working toward this year?

Love,

🎵 Isle of Flightless Birds by Twenty-One Pilots 🎵

I Did a Thing ~ In Which I Did a Thing

GUYS I DID A THING

I was just casually writing, trying to get my word count up for today, when I wrote the most AESTHETIC THING I have ever written!! And I’m sharing it with you because I’m SO HECKING PROUD OF IT!!!!

Enjoy!

i had a mother. she was the sun. she looked after me. even when she was dying, she tried her best to make sure i was securely planted.

i failed her.

i found myself staring down the inside of a cup, knowing that i would soon go like my friends, swallowed up without a chance of survival. i remember trying to cry. i couldn’t. i was hard as a rock. nothing could break me. 

i was surrounded by the laughter of girls. they joked and jostled each other. the one that had me in her grasp kept fingering me. a shock passed through me.

i shouldn’t be here.

i was raised with high hopes. i thought i could start a family, have a life, be as fulfilled as my mother. she was the sun. i wasn’t even the moon. there was no trace of her light reflecting off of me.

i was scared of who i was becoming.

the next thing i knew, i was lying facedown in the dirt. the cup lay next to me. empty shells from all of my friends peppered the area. i knew in that moment i didn’t have to be like them. they had withered. i could bloom.

and i did.

surrounded by weeds. struggling to breathe. most days wondering where my next meal would come from. clouds riddled my sky. a chain fence held me back from joy. but i bloomed. i’m not quite the moon to my mother, but i am something else.

i am her sunflower.

~~bloom where God plants you~~

Okay, that’s all, you may go back to your life now.

🎵 In the Light by DC Talk 🎵

Know the Novel: A Writer’s Linkup ~ In Which I Embark on a Journey of Self-Discovery (Or At Least Novel-Discovery)

National Novel Writing Month is coming up, and I wasn’t planning on starting a new novel. But, after reading Liesl’s post, I was inspired to start…..a new novel. Y’see, last year for NaNoWriMo, I started a novel about Jesus’ life and childhood from Mary’s perspective. It’s called Mother of the King and I managed to reach 22,247 words in it, before I got burnt out. I really like the story, especially since Mary is a cool gal and the Bible doesn’t say much about her. It was fun to come up with my own take for how Mary dealt with her pregnancy and Jesus as a child. (Can you imagine how helpless she felt when she had James and he was nothing like his older brother? No wonder James didn’t become a Christian until after Jesus rose! “James, why can’t you be like Jesus?? What is wrong with you???”)

However, I was in the mood to start something new this time. So I did.

After spending a couple of hours scouring my prompt collection, and other prompt collections saved on my computer, and brainstorming my own, I still didn’t have any ideas. Then, last night, while I was reading Left Behind, I got an idea!

Well, actually, I remembered an old idea that I had years ago, but that still counts.

My idea is called The Girl Next Door (yes, this is the title that I came up with a long time ago, as well), and I have no idea what I’m doing. This is as much of an “Introduction Post to My Novel” for you guys, as well as me. *sheepish grin*

Thanks to Christine Smith for hosting this! It’s my first time doing this, and I’m excited! So, without further ado, Know the Novel!

1. What First Sparked the Idea For This Novel?

To be honest, I don’t even remember. Like I said, I’ve had this idea for a long time. It popped into my head once and–

WAIT, I think I wrote about it in one of my journals. Hold on. BRB.

Okay, it took a bit of searching, but I found it! It’s an entry in my first journal from January 19, 2018. The idea is newer than I thought, but it’s still kind of old.

I think that’s the only time I wrote about it, and I didn’t explain where I got the idea from. I’m pretty sure it just popped into my head one night.

Anyways, it turns out the plot I have planned is quite a bit different than the original plot. I switched around who the main character is and the ending of the story, but the premise is still there. I think it’ll be fun to write!

The main reason I chose to write this rather than Mother of the King or a fantasy project or whatever is because I really wanted to write something contemporary. I haven’t done that in awhile, and I kind of miss the ease that comes with writing something in the same world we live in. No need to invent new languages, social norms, laws, monarchy. It’s already there! (Thank goodness!)

2. Share a Blurb (or Just an Overall Summary)!

*doesn’t have summary yet*

*decides to make one up on the spot*

*realizes the characters don’t have names yet*

*panik*

BARBARA AND FLIMFLAM

*facepalm* Whyyyyy do I do this to myselffffff????

Okay, I think I’ve got it.

Claudianna Gray is not excited.

Her parents have dragged her and her little brother, Sam, to the small town of Maywill, in hopes that the more peaceful town will help calm the chronic stress that Claudi’s mother has been suffering from for years. The rural town and its surroundings are a huge culture shock for New York-raised Claudi and Sam, and the openness and excitement of the townsfolks make the Grays uncomfortable. Because the town is so rural, there is only one available house. It sits next to the house of the only crippled child in town, Gwyne Lancy. For years, the house has remained empty as Gwyne’s condition makes her presence uncomfortable for the townspeople. Building a new house is out of the question and, with some trepidation, the Grays move in next to the Lancys.

Gwyne Lancy is tired of being friendless. Being the only girl in town who needs a wheelchair has taken its toll on her, and her normally sunshine-y disposition is slowly melting away. The undeveloped roads and overgrown grass and shrubs make travel difficult for Gwyne’s wheelchair, and the only people willing to push her are her parents and Pastor Bill’s family. Her Christian faith has carried her through the hardest times, but, without having a good earthly friend, Gwyne is slipping into depression. When she hears the news that a new family will be moving into the vacant house next door, she is eager to make a new friend. Claudianna Gray seems like a nice girl, but Gwyne is intimidated by her tough New York personality and obvious dislike of the church.

Despite all odds, Claudi and Gwyne become friends. Though Gwyne’s obvious love for Christ makes Claudi uncomfortable, the two girls become closer than any of Claudi’s friends back in New York. Despite their closeness, Gwyne’s pleas for Claudi to attend church fall on deaf ears, eventually threatening to drive a wedge between them forever. However, when a tragic event rocks the very foundation of the Gray household, Claudi must turn to her Christian friend to understand what she must do next.

A story of love, friendship, and the Gospel, The Girl Next Door shows that the bonds of God’s love are stronger than anything — even death.”

Sure. That sounds good. *nods*

3. Where Does the Story Take Place? What Are Some of Your Favorite Aspects About the Setting?

The story takes place in the fictional town of Maywill, Georgia. I chose to put the town in Georgia so I can maximize my writing time by not researching climate and state laws, and I never see stories set in Georgia, so thought I’d add one to the mix. The town is really rural, and shockingly similar to a frontier town. (I love frontier towns!) It does have more streets and cars than a frontier town, but it small. It real small.

Most of the inhabitants are Christian (to a degree 😅) and the two churches are usually pretty full on Sundays. Only one of the churches does Wednesday Night Bible Studies, but those are relatively packed as well.

I’ve never written a contemporary story in a small town, so this will be an interesting challenge. Although, I know what it’s like to live in the country in an area that consists of more dirt roads than necessary. And the paved roads are usually bumpier than the dirt roads.

So yeah, I think this’ll be fun!

4. Tell Us About Your Protagonist(s).

This is another section where I figure out a lot about my story XD Let’s see what I can come up with.

My first protagonist is Claudianna Marie Gray (yes, the name meanings play a massive part in the story). Her nickname is Claudi, though she prefers to be called Anna at the end of the story (and I won’t tell you why mwahahaha). She’s prickly and guarded around EVERYBODY and not that great at making new friends because she comes off as haughty more often than not. She’s a good friend though, once you convince her to like you, and a good listener. She is an avid lover of trivia and science and can rattle off loads of random facts. Her favorite snack is French fries and ice cream (eaten together, not separately), and her two favorite artists at the beginning of the book are Imagine Dragons and Owl City, and at the end of the book, they are TobyMac and Britt Nicole.

(I chose some of my favorites so I can choose random songs for her to listen to throughout the book, heh heh. Writer hacks.)

She plays ukulele and saxophone (I can feel your glares, Liesl), and can play the chords to some tunes on the piano.

She has two brothers, an older brother named David, who attends college in the north somewhere (still not sure where), and a younger brother, Tristan Cameron. They call him Sam because Claudi didn’t like the nickname Cam, so she started calling him Sam, and it stuck. He’s very annoying and loud.

My other protagonist is Gwyne Elizabeth Lancy. She is paralyzed from the waist down and has been in a wheelchair for almost half her life, after a spine injury when she was eight. She is an only child, and her entire family consists of strong Christians. She accepted Christ when she was six, and her paralysis only strengthened her faith. She has a secret crush on Matthon, also known as Matt (because this wouldn’t be a good story without romance! Well, it might, but I can’t resist). He is the preacher’s son, and one of Gwyne’s closest friends. Gwyne looks up to her older cousin, Megan, a lot, and is really inspired by her life — until that changes. (Shhh, no spoilers!)

Gwyne is incredibly talented at singing and playing the piano and violin. She loves to write, both songs and stories, and, despite having no training, she does a beautiful job. She sings in the adult choir at her church, despite only being 15. Her vocal range stretches from C3 to E6 (similar to mine, except with a few notes added at the bottom). She has a pet cat named Abel and a snake named Cain, although that snake wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Ooh, okay, wow, I really like both of these girls so far. This story is just falling into place.

5. Who (Or What) is the Antagonist?

Oh gosh. Um…probably just negative feelings, Satan, as always when it comes to a Christian novel, some personal villains for the girls, like people they trust or love that let them down, etc. Not really sure.

6. What Excites You the Most About This Novel?

Literally, I’m so excited to write Gwyne. She seems so cool so far, and I just cannot wait to start exploring her personality and life. And backstory! Like, what was the accident? Why couldn’t she just have her spine realigned? Why is she such a strong Christian? Those will be fun questions to answer.

Also, I just realized that some of these characters were DEFINITELY NOT inadvertently inspired off of people I know. Matt is totally not someone I know IRL and Gwyne is DEFINITELY not someone I *cough* know IRL, and their relationship is MOST DEFINITELY FICTIONAL AND NOT REAL AT ALL.

ANYways, moving on.

7. Is This Going to be a Series? Standalone? Something Else?

It’s supposed to be a standalone. I’m roughly 67% sure I’ll be able to keep it that way? I mean, let’s be honest, it’ll be a miracle if I can even finish the heckin’ thing, much less add more the series.

8. Are You Plotting? Pantsing? Plansting?

If it isn’t glaringly obvious by this blog post, I am 100% pantsing. I haven’t pantsed a story in…..like, a year, so this should be fun.

(Although, I’ve barely written anything besides college essays lately, so I guess I don’t get to say that LOL)

9. Name a Few Unique Elements About This Story.

Oh gosh.

I mean, it takes place in a rural town in middle Georgia, which is something that I have never seen before. Does that count?

It’s also unique for me to be writing a Christian novel. I have such a hard time writing about Christianity without making it sound really preachy, and having characters accept Christ a little too quickly (at least so quick that it doesn’t feel natural), so I’m hoping I can pull this off. I think it’ll be fun, and if it doesn’t turn out, I can just burn it and start over!

10. Share Some Fun “Extras” of the Story (a Song or Full Playlist, Some Aesthetics, a Collage, a Pinterest Board, a Map You’ve Made, a Special Theme You’re Going to Incorporate, ANYTHING You Want to Share!).

Well, since I have been making this up so aggressively, I don’t really have anything. I did put together a playlist earlier, though. It already has more than 50 songs on it, and that’s just from combing my personal playlist while knowing very little about the story. I’ll probably add more songs as NaNo goes on, but it’s just what I have so far.

Here’s the link to my unlisted YouTube playlist!

I have organized the playlist, so here, How to Decipher the Organization:

1 – 4: Background music to write to

5 – 21: Songs that encompass the whole book

22 – 29: Songs that Claudi likes to listen to

29 – 39: Songs for Claudi

40 – 52: Songs for Gwyne

That will probably change as the series goes on and I add more characters. But that’s what I got so far. If you guys have any suggestions for songs, I’d be glad to hear them!

Well, that was actually really fun! It was a little confusing trying to figure out my novel on the spot, but I feel like I really got to know everything well enough to make a really REALLY rough outline (really just a list of my ideas). I’m actually really looking forward to NaNo now!

Thank you for reading!

(P.S. I’m hoping to post a new Silver Sterlings snippet soon! ‘Tis in the works! Okay bye!)

🎵 Deal With Destiny (that one song from the Empires SMP) (Still a little shocked by Lizzie and Scott’s voices they are shockingly good) 🎵

Silver Sterlings Episode One ~ In Which Dad Takes the Sterlings Shopping and Just About Loses His Mind (or Uncle Stephen Gets Tackled After Delivering Happy News)

Here it is guys! The moment you’ve all been waiting for: the very first part of Silver Sterlings!!

*cheering is heard in the distance*

I had so much fun writing this snippet and figuring out how I wanted it to read. So, I hope you guys enjoy reading it!

Without further ado, SILVER STERLINGS EPISODE ONE!!!!

It was barely morning when shrieks of “UNCLE STEPHEN!! UNCLE STEPHEN!!” filled the Sterling house. Dad stumbled downstairs to let Uncle Stephen inside as all the children crowded around him.

“What’d you bring? What’d you bring?” Tex and Austin, the red-headed twins, chanted.

Uncle Stephen waved his hand as he leaned over, trying to catch his breath.

“Did you run, or something, Uncle Stephen?” Rosie asked, stepping closer to lay a hand on his shoulder. She coughed and scampered back as his heavy breathing turned in her direction. “Ew! Your breath stinks!”

Uncle Stephen raised an eyebrow and smiled. “Yeah, I ran, Rosie. But I just had to tell you the news!”

All eleven kids leaned forward. “What news?”

Baby Logan, the one-year-old, clapped his hands.

Uncle Stephen’s eyes shot towards the kitchen. “Well, maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee before I tell you.”

“No!” All of the boys landed on top of Uncle Stephen, knocking him to the ground. He grunted as he tried to stand back up. “Okay! Okay! Let me up! I’ll tell you!” The older boys climbed off, but Prick, Rosie’s twin brother, didn’t budge.

“Tell us now!” he commanded. Ru grabbed his arm and snatched him off.

Uncle Stephen was unfazed. He stood, dusted himself off, and announced, “The mercantile just got a new shipment of stuff. Candy, toys, tools, food…” With each word, the children’s eyes grew wider. “And it’s not that expensive either.”

“Dad!” Eleven pairs of eyes were staring at him. “Can we go shopping?”

Baby Logan clapped his hands again. “Shopping!” He lost his balance and fell flat on his back.

Snippet One: Shopping

After casting Uncle Stephen an annoyed glare (something he seemed to get a lot), Dad made the children link hands and led them to the mercantile. The walk wasn’t too long, muddy, or dangerous, yet Prick somehow managed to get covered in mud and almost bitten by a snake. By the time the Sterlings made it to the mercantile, the walk felt much longer than usual.

Miz Gilbert smiled as Dad walked in, a gaggle of excited children after him. “Brought some friends today, I see,” she laughed.

Dad smiled wryly. “Stephen came over with news of new things in the mercantile, so of course my children just had to come.”

“Oh, yes, of course.” Miz Gilbert gave a knowing nod. “Well, children, don’t be afraid to look around. The toys and candy are over–“

An aggressive stampede drowned out the rest of her sentence.

Millie, being fifteen, remained in the grown-up part of the store, but the rest of the children practically trampled each other trying to look at everything.

“Candy!!” Prick, Tex, and Austin shouted, pulling out fistfuls of every kind.

“You’re going to get sick!” Rosie complained. “You’re going to throw up all over the floor!”

“If we throw up on anything, it’ll be you!” Tex laughed, pretending to get sick all over Rosie’s hair. Rosie covered her head and shrieked. Miz Gilbert was at her side in an instant.

“You alright, love?” she asked, checking Rosie for injuries.

“Yeah, I’m fine, why do you ask?” Rosie grabbed a rag doll from the toy bin. “Can I have this please?”

Miz Gilbert’s eyes crinkled as she smiled. “Of course, sweetie. Do you have money for it?”

Rosie shook her head, perplexed.

“Well, best let your dad pay for it.”

“Oh, yeah.” Rosie skipped over to Dad, who was already swamped by excited boys demanding he buy candy for them. Ru quietly dumped all his stuff on the counter and pulled out a few dollar bills to pay for it.

“Rosie, look at this!” Millie called. Rosie set her doll down next to Ru’s things and walked over to where her sister was trying on hats. Millie twirled in front of the mirror. “Isn’t it pretty?” Rosie nodded. The hat was floppy, but it matched Millie’s outfit. “I think I might buy it.” Millie checked her purse, then snapped it shut again. “Rats! I left all of my money at home!”

“Too bad!” Tex shrieked from across the room. “Are you going to cry now?”

“Oh, be quiet, you little monster!” Millie shrieked back. “You’re just upset because Dad won’t let you buy all the candy you want!”

Tex faltered for words, then turned around and sulked.

“Oh well.” Millie took off the hat and placed it back on the rack. “Maybe another time.” She glanced down at Rosie. “Aren’t you going to buy anything?”

“Yes, of course I am,” Rosie answered, turning towards the counter. The doll she’d picked out sat on the edge. “I’m going to get that doll.”

Millie took her sister’s hand. “Let’s go wait outside. Dad has his hands full with the boys.”

Ten minutes later, the Sterling boys burst out of the store, some of them crying, some of them laughing, all of them shouting. Dad looked at the girls. “I am not going shopping again for a long time.”

Well, I hope y’all enjoyed that! I have a band class to prepare for, so I must go now.

Oh, and I am happy to report that I completed both of my college classes with an A! So yaaaayyyy, party time! It was definitely a challenge, but I am proud of myself.

Okay, bye.

What did you guys think? Who’s your favorite so far?

Song of the Day: The Worship Song Song by Random Action Verb Worship

ANNOUNCEMENT!!!! ~ In Which I Share an Idea

My shoulder has been suffering greatly lately. I leaned on it wrong and now it’s, like, locked in a raised position. It feels like someone wedged a pebble under my shoulder blade. WOO-HOO I JUST LOVE NOT BEING ABLE TO MOVE, LAUGH, COUGH, AND BREATHE DEEPLY!!!

*sigh*

BUT, I am not here to complain. I have an announcement!

I feel like I’ve been making a lot of announcement posts lately, but oh well.

So, my Hermitcraft AU kind of died. I do have plans to pick it back up again soon, as my heavy college classes end tomorrow (EEP!) but, I also want to have a fun project that I can work on as well, just for my blog friends!

Remember how I was complaining there aren’t enough wholesome things in stories? Today I was struck by the train known as ✨inspiration✨ and I decided I would write a little series about ✨children being cute✨. Some of you YDubbers may remember my Queens series, but this isn’t going to be like that at all, really. It’ll be more cute. Kids playing games, kids becoming friends, kids being sweet; just….cuteness. Because why not? Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mia story without some snark, so don’t worry, there will be snark.

I’m currently developing the charries, but as soon as I write the first snippet, you can bet it will go straight to this blog. Here are a few stats to kind of paint the picture.

Series Title: Silver Sterlings

Main Character: Rosie Sterling, a six-year-old girl with ten siblings, most of them boys. She has a twin brother named (or nick-named; no one knows for sure) Prick, and tons of friends. However, the series isn’t going to focus on her the whole time. Other characters will be featured, for funsies.

Side Characters: There are tons, but here are a few specific ones.

Alissah Sterling: Rosie’s mother
Daniel “Dan” Sterling: Rosie’s father

Millicent “Millie” Sterling: 15, the eldest Sterling
Rudolph “Ru” Sterling: 14, the eldest boy. Rosie and her friends call him “Dolly”
Billy Sterling: 12
Charlie Sterling: 11
Texas “Tex” and Austin Sterling: 9, vibrantly red-headed twins
Noah Sterling: 7
Joseph “Joey” Sterling: 4, shadows Rosie a lot
Logan: 1, the baby

Miranda Sterling: 17, the Sterlings’ older cousin. She moves to their town to be a teacher, but is shocked by how rural everything is. Her hoop skirts don’t fit in at all. However, she adores kids, and is a wonderful teacher.

Lady Mackintosh: the fashion expert of the town. She wanted to name the town “Mackintoshia”, but was shot down instantly. She’s very fancy.

Emily Mackintosh: 20, Lady Mackintosh’s daughter. She prefers romping through the woods rather than sewing.

Anna Horseman: 6, one of Rosie’s closest friends

Molly and Collie Mack: 16, talented trick riders

Setting: The frontier town of Wellspring Gulch, probably in the 1800s or something. There’s no specific time period right now, and there probably won’t be. If any of you watch Spirit: Riding Free, it’ll be similar to that. It has the vibe of a certain time period, but the way they talk and dress is more modern.

Premise: Rosie Sterling, a six-year-old girl living in the frontier town of Wellspring Gulch, is a lover of adventure. With her brothers and best friends at her side, she explores every last inch of the frontier. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, and aspires to be the best Sterling the frontier has ever seen. Driving the adults crazy, and leading the children on adventure after adventure, Rosie makes her way through life, finding her way through love, laughter, and loss.

I’m so excited!! I plan to post at least one part a month. If there’s a holiday or special occasion in the month I post in, the snippet will most likely pertain to that. December = Christmas. February = Valentine’s Day. August = School Starting. Etc.

If you have any thoughts or ideas, let me know in the comments! I love getting feedback, and I’m interested in seeing what you guys think.

Now, I have an essay to write, so toodles for now. Hopefully when I return, I will return bearing a tale about Rosie Sterling.

Okay bye!

(P.S. Here, have some Queens snippets, for your enjoyment.

Alex: How did they get this footage?!!
Sage: Whatta ya mean?
Alex: I mean, these are two ants having an epic smackdown!! How the stew did the cameraman know this was going to happen?
Sage: Maybe he funded it.

Sage: There could be a ghost aggressively break-dancing next to you, and you wouldn’t even know it.
Alex: *is concerned*

Sage: *in a fight with Alex* *hiding on the bookshelf*
Alex: *needs a book*
Alex: *spots Sage*
Alex: *creeping closer* Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no–
Sage: *lands on top of Alex*
Sage: I don’t know about the shadow of death, but it you see my shadow from above you, you should be very afraid.

Tansy: Which country has the most birds?
Sage: Portugeese.
Rose: Sage, that’s a language.
Sage: Portugull.
Treble: Nice recovery.
Indi: Don’t you mean nice redovery?
Ebony: Turkey. How did you guys miss Turkey?
Tansy: Tutoring you guys is impossible.

Alex: *frantically* Sage, do you know how long a cat holds a grudge?!
Sage: 16 hours.
Alex:
Alex:
That’s disturbingly specific.

*playing the game of telephone*
Alex to Kendall: I love you.
Kendall to Indi: Bob is a humpback whale.
Indi to Rose: Rob the balloon guy.
Rose to Sage: It was Miss Scarlet with the dagger in the lounge.
Sage: Potato?
Alex:
Kendall:
Indi:
Rose:
Sage:
Was I at least close?

Indi: Anyone have chapstick?
Ebony: Here.
Indi: Uh, this is a stick of glue.
Ebony:
Indi:
Ebony:
Welp, it was worth a try.

K, bye!)

Part Two of My Hermitcraft AU ~ In Which Grian and Mumbo Start an Adventure

What’s up guys? It’s me again!!

I am here with the second snippet of my Hermitcraft AU!!

So, without further ado, enjoy!

“Grian?” The voice sounded far away, muffled. Grian frowned slightly. Was he underwater? No, that couldn’t be it. He was breathing. Who was calling him?

“Grian!” There it was again. That plucky voice and crisp British accent….it had to be Mumbo Jumbo.

“Grian, come on!” Someone was shaking him. Grian opened his eyes and beheld a bright pink shirt, dotted with pineapples. He sighed.

“Mumbo, what is this shirt?”

Mumbo let go of him and glanced down at his shirt. “Oh, uh….” His black moustache wiggled as he faltered. “I thought it would be a nice change from the usual suit and tie.”

Grian held back a laugh. “It’s ridiculous!”

Mumbo poked his lip out in a pout. “Well, I like it.”

“That’s your opinion, then.” Grian socked his friend on the shoulder. “I, for one, will never change out of my red jumper.”

Mumbo rolled his eyes. “Believe me, I know. I’m starting to get sick of the color red.”

Grian chuckled. “Well, you can wear what you like, and I can wear what I like, and we’ll both bleed from the eyes.”

“Perfect.”

A happy silence ensued, each thinking of good-natured, sarcastic remarks. Grian couldn’t remember a time when he and Mumbo hadn’t bantered back and forth like this. It was their main form of communication and they both got a kick out of it.

“Oh, I almost forgot!” Mumbo said, suddenly. “Xisuma sent me over here to get you. It’s happened again.”

Grian knew exactly what Mumbo was talking about. Every couple of years, they magically woke up in a strange new universe. Nothing but ancient structures and empty land around, and the need to build a good place to live. Every time their lives seemingly reset, there was always someone new that seemed to join their ranks. Grian remembered when he had been the new one. He’d been so disoriented, surrounded by strange faces, some human, some….not. He’d been forced into a new lifestyle, a vicious cycle that wouldn’t allow him escape. He’d been overjoyed to find his old friend, Mumbo Jumbo, and the two helped each other along, eventually discovering an easy way to survive. But, just like that, their legacy had been ripped away. They were transported to a new world, once again having to fight to survive. And now, it had happened again.

“Is there anyone new?” Grian asked as he followed Mumbo towards a nearby village.

“I’m not sure,” Mumbo answered. “Probably.”

Grian could see the others gathered in a circle towards the outskirts of the village. Joe Hills, Zombie Cleo, Vintage Beef, and Welsknight were walking towards the group from different directions, obviously having been dropped in different areas, like Grian and Mumbo. Xisuma, the unofficial “leader” of the group, stood in the middle of the circle, on the edge of a small crevice. Grian and Mumbo joined the group.

“Hello everyone,” Xisuma began. “We’re here in a new world yet again, but perhaps this time it will be permanent.”

Grian groaned inwardly. Xisuma said that every time, and yet, their world was never permanent.

“I’ve chosen someone else to give the ‘beginning speech’,” Xisuma continued. “He’s been a part of this almost as long as I have. Mumbo?”

Grian looked at his friend in surprise. Mumbo looked at Xisuma in surprise. Xisuma nodded kindly and stepped back into the circle to allow Mumbo to stand in the center alone. Everyone clapped politely as Mumbo awkwardly ran to the edge of the crevice.

“Um….well, thank you, Xisuma, and, of course, everyone else,” Mumbo stuttered. “Just because our world has changed yet again doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun! Let’s build our hearts out and pray that it will stay!” He glanced down into the crevice. “Oh. Um, there are some new people down here.”

Boom! What did y’all think?

I’m sorry it ended so abruptly. I couldn’t find a place to end it without it being super long.

Okay, that’s all I had. See y’all next time!