I had a very interesting dream last night. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but there were some interesting elements. And then I woke up – or semi-woke up – but I was still sort of in a daydreaming mood. And then I was kind of  plotting an entire short story.

No description yet, but have some photos:


And so it begins…

“Her Royal Highness, Kelisin Adira Melisse Ellora Peronell, Princess of the Blood!” The herald’s staff pounded on the flagstones.

Kelisin grimaced. “Princess of the Blood” was such an ugly title, but — as everyone loved to remind her — this birthday was a special occasion and deserved extra formality.

Trumpets sounded a fanfare and Kelisin stepped through the open doors onto the grand staircase. A thousand candles flickered in their gold candelabras, making the jeweled mass of courtiers below sparkle as their finery caught the light.

If only their conversation sparkled as much as their wardrobe.

And with these words the Great Novel Adventure, Princess Edition, has begun!
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Eclectic Reader Challenge

I read a lot. I always have.

What I don’t always do is read in many different genres. Sure, occasionally there will be a book someone suggests or lends me which falls outside the parameters of fantasy and science fiction, and I’ll give it a go. But those are few and far between. (Actually Lily/Rat has been force-feeding me Jodi Picoult books for a couple years now and I’m enjoying them just fine. As long as they have happy endings. I will not read the sad ones.)

So today, when I came across the “Eclectic Reader Challenge” while wasting time on the interwebs, it seemed like the perfect way to get me reading something new.

The challenge is to read one book in each specified genre. The categories are:

  • Translated fiction
  • Historical mystery
  • Romantic suspense
  • Made into a movie
  • New Adult
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Dystopian
  • Memoir
  • LGBT
  • Action Adventure
  • Humour
  • Published in 2013

 Join in, if you’d like and have the time. And suggestions are welcome, particularly in categories I don’t usually read (LGBT, Action adventure, Romantic suspense) or anything I don’t already have a book listed for.

I have some ideas already for what I will read, which I will share here. And I’ll offer some comments, if not a full review, after each book.

  • Made into a movie – The Silver Linings Playbook, or Sense and Sensibility. Or both.
  • Dystopian
  • Action Adventure

Dangnabbit, Bria!

I’ve been away for a while, and it’s for two reasons, primarily.

1. I’ve been furiously outlining the novel.

Yes, outlining! Postit flags! Scribbles! Rearrangements! Reworkings of plot! It’s super exciting.

2. I’ve been furiously studying for midterms.

This one is not as fun. But unfortunately necessary in order to not fail at life.

So while outlining, I’ve discovered a couple of things. The most significant is that I have a whole bunch of characters who are in the first quarter of the book and the last quarter of the book and completely disappear in the middle.

Also, while there’s a lot that has to happen in Kel’s journey, there still is not enough to carry the entire center of the book on its own. There are two many slower-paced plot points, lots of internal conflict. and it would be good to have something a bit more actiony to contrast it. Also, I think if I show the effects of separation on the sisters from both sides it will make the [spoiler alert] eventual reunion more impactful. The readers will care about Bria just as much as they care about Kel…hopefully. Especially because eventually there will be a second book and Bria will have a much bigger part.

[I’m going to interrupt this blog post to make a note to myself because I just realized something – if I continue as planned I will have the girls apart for two books…I should probably then keep them together during the third book, maybe even a good chunk of the second. Ooh, and then I can show how all that time apart, especially for Bria, has changed them and they can fight and grow apart and have to repair their relationship…oh this is excellent]

Showing more of the Hound means we lose the shock of the “twist”, but he’s an interesting, complex character and I think the trade off is worth it.

Also Bria is quite insistent that she wants a bigger role. She’s a very vivacious little girl and refuses to disappear for half a book. I might add that originally she was supposed to have an even smaller role than she does not. She’s gone from very much a peripheral character to a viewpoint character!

I dream stories

Been rather lazy lately – not just about the blog, about everything – and I’m kicking myself about it. But one thing seems to be going right…

I have never been a heavy sleeper, and never really one for dreams. The few dreams I can remember really clearly from more than a year or so ago are mostly recurring nightmares, and they’re full of dream logic and are quite frightening and make absolutely no sense at all.

There are of course a few exceptions to the trend. There always are. But mostly, nightmares or stress-dreams involving having to go onstage to perform without any hairpins. Or costumes – so, naked. And with choreography changed last minute.

But lately, something interesting has been happening. I’ve been dreaming stories. Some make more sense than others, and even have a bit of plot. Some are just sort of vague ideas or impressions of a story, and are more traditionally dream-like. Some are like watching a scene – or several- play out in front of me, complete with actual dialogue.

All of them have odd dream-elements. The one that was most developed and straightforward included aliens from Mars, just because. Obviously those were replaced with something more genre-appropriate when I wrote the dream down. That’s not to say that you couldn’t make aliens work in a fantasy novel; just that I wasn’t interested in doing so, and the aliens in my dream were clearly and obviously out of place and mostly there because I’d just seen War of the Worlds.

In any case, the reason I mention it is because just last night I had another story-dream. It’s been happening a lot lately. I can now bring the total up to – including one from a few years ago that I still remember bits of, clear as day – 5.

I’ll probably spend the next couple of posts talking about them in a little more detail – just the basic idea and in what direction I see them going.

In any event, it’s an interesting new fount of ideas. I wonder if I’ve been dreaming stories more because, while on break, I’ve been reading more? Providing my brain with new material? And sleeping more. I’m sure that helps. It seems I have my deepest, most detailed dreams somewhere between 8 and 10 in the morning – funny because I never used to sleep that late.

Anyone else dream stories?

And Now, for Something Completely Different

I take photos. If you’re interested, check out the link. The blog is brand new so only one post so far.


Do I worry that maintaining two blogs will be impossible when I can barely keep up with one? Maybe not. I think even if I don’t have anything to say writing-wise I can post photos, and vice versa. Doing some writing, any at all, will keep the juices flowing.

We shall see.


I’m seriously doing a happy dance as I type. Princess has a plot!

It was a hugely difficult labor but at last it is over and it is BEAUTIFUL. And only 10 days late 🙂

Just a few loose ends to tie up and then I can start writing!!

In Which I Feel Freaking Amazing

I am totally, completely and utterly IN LOVE with Princess.

I was planning on working through the NaNo prep posts in order, and I still am, but yesterday I was looking ahead to see what was coming up, and I saw a post about antagonists. And sudennly I was off and running, the ideas coming thick and fast and I almost couldn’t keep up!

My evil king is now something other than the placeholder “evil”. He has reasons for being the way he is. Those reasons make sense in the context of the world I’ve invented. They make him infinitely more interesting, cause now he’s not just depraved, but insane, too. And as a bonus I get to hint at the ultimate antagonist of the series and based on an earlier event it MAKES SENSE THAT KEL WOULD SEE IT!

It all fits perfectly, like it is an actual, real, world and story and not something I’m making up in my head.

There will probably come a time when I’m stuck writing a hard scene and I will say to myself, “Why am I doing this?” And hopefully I can recapture the moment when it all came together and I ran around my dorm room (as much as it is possible to run around in a 200 sq ft room filled with dorm furniture) squealing and screaming “yes!” and generally making a fool of myself. I can only wonder at what the other people on my floor thought was happening.

In other news, I finally have a new pair of boots. I’ve been wanting a specific style of boots for a while now, and I finally found them! So that’s good.

Also, my beautiful little doggy is sleeping next to me. Let’s just say I’m in a good mood.


^ Clickety click

I have complained before about the lack of variety in new books I’ve encountered lately (Everything is distopian/vampires/werewolves). I actually haven’t read this book so I can’t say anything about the quality of the writing, but the idea is fantastic.


I never would have thought of it, but its a fresh, intriguing idea! Click on the cover photo for a giveaway.

Wonderful things are happening…

I have FINALLY worked out a believable magic system for Princess!! I’d tried a couple of times already and come up with something I thought worked, but then this morning I was sort of daydreaming about it and it all finally came together, and it is SO much better than before.

Now I have magic that is closely tied to blood (because magic is itself the blood of the earth), and a plausible reason for why only one family in this area of the world has it, and why Kel ends up having stronger magic than the rest of her relatives, and why succession is matrilineal. (Blogger is telling me this is not a word. It’s totally a word!) I also have a good overarching problem for the series (oh yes, there will be more than one princess book). So while the problem of the first book is getting the kingdom back, lurking in the back will be the awakening magic and all the problems it could lead to…which will become more of the focus of the second (and third?) books.

Sometimes when I’m trying to come up with an idea, it feels like I’m struggling up a hill. I’m thinking of things, but they don’t make a lot of sense, or they’re too boring, or worst of all, they are perfectly good ideas but just aren’t “right” for the project I have in mind. Those are not fun times. Those are the times in which you have worldbuilding fail.

Other times, I feel like one idea sparks another which sparks another which sparks another, to the point where I can hardly keep up, and they all fit together perfectly with each other and with things that I’ve come up with before. It feels like I’m running full speed down a hill, and it feels fantastic.

This is one of those times 🙂