Liking Stuff for Kids

Hi, reader-peeps.

As most of you know, I am an adult (if you didn’t know that, Hi! I’m Katie and I’m 25).

As most of you also know, I have many younger siblings (if you didn’t know that, I have 7 younger siblings, 6 girls and 1 boy).

I think having so many younger siblings is part of what has kept me loving things made for kids. Not the entire reason, but definitely part of it.

I don’t think I would play Minecraft, love Disney movies, or watch as many children’s tv shows.

I would probably still keep reading picture books and middle grade, though.

I said a long time ago that there were only a handful of tv shows I would still watch when I moved out and didn’t have siblings that watched them. These shows are Arthur (because it came out when I was little and remains mostly still good) and My Little Pony (because I’m a Pegasister). There was one  or two other shows but they don’t come on anymore.

Where am I going with all this?

  1. It is perfectly okay to love stuff made for kids, even as an adult. Kids are just the target audience.
  2. If you write for children, it’s actually kind of important to read and watch stuff written for children.
  3. I really just wrote all this so I could say THERE’S A TRAILER FOR THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE I’M SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

 

Kate out.

Considering

Hi, reader-peeps.

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I have been thinking.

So you might want to duck behind a barricade or something.

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So, I have a story that I started. It’s a romance. I’m pitching it as “What if Aragorn and Arwen’s romance had been more like My Big Fat Greek Wedding?”

Basically, elf girl whose family is steeped in tradition meets a nice human guy when she joins a Dungeons and Dragons group at her local college. They fall in love and want to date and get married. But he’s a human and she’s an elf. Even though elves are no longer immortal, they’re still so different and their families are so different, how could this ever work?

I want this story to be really fun and cute. Elves and D&D (can you imagine an elf actually playing D&D?) and romance and fun dates and awkwardness everywhere.

And I am also thinking about putting this story on Wattpad.

This story is not my usual kind of story. I don’t plan for there to be any kind of adventures or quests or anything like that (well, outside the Dungeons and Dragons games they play). This is going to be straight up fantasy romance.

It’s also a story I’d be okay with never getting published. I usually write stories that I could see getting traditionally published. This is something like a short story I’d post here on the blog, but it’s going to be longer.

I want to write a bit more of it before I start posting. Make sure I actually want to see this through to the end and that I have a good grip on the plot. But after that and a bit of polishing… it may very well be posted to Wattpad and I will let you know when I do.

So! Short post today. Does anyone else post stuff to Wattpad? Any tips for a newbie? Let me know in the comments!

Kate out.

Willy, Nilly, Silly Old Bear

It’s National Winnie-the-Pooh Day!

A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, was born 135 years ago today. And in case you didn’t know, Pooh is very near and dear to my heart.

To celebrate, I shall share some of my favorite Pooh Bear moments with you.


“WHERE DOES THE SCHEDULE SAY BUNNIES CRY?”

“I salute you! And for those of your doomed never to return, I salute you twice!”

Happy Winnie-the-Pooh Day to all of you! Did any of you grow up with Pooh Bear, too? Do you have favorite quotes? Tell me in the comments!

Kate out.

Kings and Queens and Pawns

I wrote a short story after having an idea after midnight last night. Hope you enjoy.

~Kate

~~~~~~~

The chessboard was set. The two advisers, wizards both, called their kings.

The kings were young. Too young to be wearing their crowns. And yet, they were at war. A war they had inherited from their fathers.

“All we have to do is play this game and whoever wins, wins the war?” King James asked. He was so young, his adviser mused. Early teens. His crown was lopsided.

“That is indeed correct, your Highness,” the adviser said. A sense of dread settled in his stomach. “This is how wars have been fought for many, many years. Consider it tradition.”

“Whose tradition?” the other young king asked. He was called Fred, short for Fredrich or something complicated. He was maybe a year or two older than James and though his crown was on straight, he had pimples and his voice had broken twice in the war meeting earlier that day. He was young too.

“The whole of this continent fights their wars in this way,” the other adviser said. He sounded like he was looking forward to this. Like he lived on bloodshed. “However, there is one thing Lord Claudius has wrong. You do not play the game. Your queens play it.”

“Oh!” King James said. “That’s even better!”

“It is rather,” King Fred said. “We don’t even have to do anything.”

“Indeed!” King Fred’s adviser said. It was a lie. Before Claudius could open his mouth and say that, the adviser shooed the young kings away, then set to work enchanting the chessboard.

“Are we doing the right thing, Malco?” Claudius asked. “I feel like we should tell them what they are really doing when they do this.”

“No,” the adviser said, purple tendrils of magic coming from his fingers. “The war must end. They must not know that they are putting their kingdoms to death. Aren’t you going to help me with this?”

Claudius rolled up his sleeves and let loose his magic, which appeared as sand-colored tendrils. “But cannot we not come to a peace agreement? Must blood be shed?”

“Yes. Yes, it must. If only to win the war. We are long past peace agreements.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Lucy was a young queen. She was barely fourteen. She and James had been married for only a few weeks.

She didn’t want to be queen. Or at least not so soon. She hadn’t expected to be queen until she was at least 17.

Then James’ father had died in battle and he had to become king. And he needed a queen.

He also needed the war to be over and his crown adjusted to fit him. He needed to be able to finish being a child before he was forced to be an adult. He needed a pair of fuzzy socks so he could keep his feet warm and slide across the ball room floor.

Only two of those things were possible now, though she supposed he could still have a pair of fuzzy socks. Lucy sat in the chair that had been set for her at the chessboard. The chessboard looked strange. Too shiny, somehow. Too sparkly. It was just a wooden chess set.

Perhaps it had been polished.

Her opponent entered the room. Queen Anna was older than Fred—nineteen, from what Lucy had heard. They had also been married for almost half a year.

Unlike Lucy, Anna had been not married into the royal lineage, she was the royal lineage. Fred became king just for marrying her. Anna also had confidence right now, something Lucy very much wished she had. But Anna was also pregnant and it showed and Lucy did not envy her in that.

Anna sat down at the chessboard in the chair opposite Lucy. She smiled a little then looked at the chessboard. “Have you ever seen this done before, Lucy?”

“Not a war won with a chessboard, no. I have played chess before, though.”

“Are you good at it?” Anna asked.

Lucy realized that Anna was trying to make her nervous. “I’m good enough,” Lucy said, sitting up a little straighter.

At that moment, James’ adviser Claudius and Fred’s adviser came into the room.

Claudius smiled at Lucy, though his smile was not a happy one.

Fred’s adviser cleared his throat. “Your Highnesses, we need not tell you how to play chess. You know. This war will end today and it will be thanks to you two. Queen Anna, you have the first move. Now… you may begin.”

Anna moved a knight first, making him leap over the pawns. Lucy moved a pawn.

Just then there was a loud shout and the sound of thunder. Lucy jumped and looked toward the window. She started to stand up to investigate the sound, but Claudius made her sit back down.

“I’ll look into it,” he said kindly. “Don’t trouble yourself.” He walked to the window.

Anna moved a pawn. Lucy moved another pawn. Again there was a shout and the sound of thunder.

Lucy looked at Claudius. He smiled and said, “Just some rogues outside the castle walls, my Queen. And it looks as if it is beginning to rain.”

Lucy turned back to the board. Anna’s knight captured one of Lucy’s pawns. Lucy’s bishop captured Anna’s knight.

Blood-curdling screams were heard and there was more thunder.

Lucy got up from her chair before Claudius could stop her and marched to the window.

The fields outside her castle walls were covered in squares, with soldiers and knights and holy guards inside the squares. Most of the people were in neat two neat rows on opposite sides, except for a group of soldiers and a holy guard in between them.

The fields were red underneath the groups. Red with blood.

Lucy glanced at the chessboard then back out the window. Everything was the same. Everything in the squares outside and on the squares of the chessboard lined up exactly.

She was playing chess. It was not just a game.

Anger boiled up inside her. “Why didn’t you tell me, Claudius?” she demanded.

“Malco told me not to,” Claudius replied. “And we needed this war to end, you Highness.”

“The knight I captured… that was a group of men who are now dead?”

“Yes, your Highness,” Claudius said. He sounded absolutely ashamed of himself.

Lucy took a deep shuddering breath. Her hands clenched into fists. “What happens when one of us captures a queen?”

“The captured queens will be dying but will live to the end of the game,” Malco said. He spoke like this made everything okay.

“You didn’t know this is what we were doing?” Anna asked.

Lucy looked at Anna and the bump where a baby was growing. Lucy could not capture Anna. That would put Anna and the baby to death.

But could Anna trust Lucy to show her the same courtesy?

Probably not. Was it worth it to possibly die for one’s kingdom?

“Do James and Fred know?” Lucy asked.

Claudius hesitated a moment too long. That confirmed it in Lucy’s mind.

She sighed. Would she really be willing to possibly die so that a war could end?

“Come finish the game, Lucy,” Anna said. “Let us get it over with.”

Lucy walked back to the chessboard. She sat down. Anna moved a pawn. Lucy looked at the game. It was too shiny because it was magic, of course.

Lucy swallowed and reached out hand to move her bishop and capture a pawn. But she stopped before she touched the piece.

“What happens at checkmate?”

She looked at Claudius and Malco. Neither of them said anything.

A lump rose in Lucy’s throat. “The losing king dies, doesn’t he?”

Claudius and Malco looked at each other. Claudius looked back at Lucy and nodded.

No. No she couldn’t do this. She couldn’t risk putting James to death. She couldn’t kill Fred and leave Anna and her child, if they survived, without a husband and father.

Lucy looked at the board. What choice did she have? What could she do? The game could not be ended without a checkmate.

Or could it?

Lucy swiped the board off the table.

Anna, Malco, and Claudius all screamed at once. “NO!”

There was a great flash of light. An explosion.

~~~~~~~~~~

Claudius pulled himself out of the wreckage. He was alive but only because he was a cursed wizard.

He rubbed his sore shoulder—a chair had landed on top of him– and looked around him.

The room was a mess. The queens lay dead on the floor, still too pretty and young to have this to be their fate.

Malco also lay dead, not far from where Claudius himself had been. The man had been no real wizard and he had been a traitor besides. His goal had been to get rid of Fred and Anna so that he may take the throne. Malco had died a quite appropriate death, killed by the game he had made unfair.

The game had been rigged in Lucy’s favor. Claudius had known that. If only Lucy had known, too.

Claudius picked Lucy up; the poor child was definitely dead. He carried her to the throne room. On his throne, James sat somewhat flopped over. He too was dead.

Claudius set Lucy in her throne and sat James upright. With his magic, he covered them and their thrones in stone, giving them a memorial.

“Here lie a young King and Queen, taken long before their time,” he muttered to himself as tears escaped his eyes. “Rest in peace, James and Lucy. I hope there are fuzzy socks and wood floors to slide on in your afterlife.”

Updates on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Hello, reader-peeps.

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We’re off to see the wizard!

I’ve been doing a lot recently. And I thought that it might make a good blog post to tell you some of the things I am doing. (None of these are New Year’s Resolutions, even though they sound like it.)

I’m watching how many carbohydrates I consume a day.

I’m aiming to eat no more than 100 carbs a day. There are health reasons for this, but the main goal is to lose some weight which will help with the other things. Eating less carbs means eating less bread and sugar, mostly. Breakfast time is difficult. Cold cereal is almost completely out. Forget bagels, unless they are mini-bagels or only a half. So breakfast has been mostly eggs with something that doesn’t have many carbs. The only other problem I’ve had with this diet is that I’m hungry a lot. Hopefully that will subside over time. In the mean time, cheese and peanut butter are my friends.

I’m exercising.

This goes with the last point. We have an elliptical and I have been doing 15 minutes on it a day (except today, oops). It’s been… exerting? Which is the point. But since all I have to do is turn on music and start walking, it’s not that bad.

I’m blogging!

See? See I am blogging! 😛

I’m driving!

And I’m getting much better. Hopefully before too long, I will have a license and a job!

I’m reading!

I just finished Save the Cat by Blake Snyder and it is the best book on writing technique that I’ve read (and the only one I’ve read all the way through). I’m currently reading Stephen King’s On Writing, which is have writing book and half memoir. It’s been good so far. I’m also reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I watched the movie in December when I spent a week in Bloomington with Lily J. I enjoyed it so I thought I might enjoy the book as well. Though, I have to wonder as I read it, was this book conceived because of a love for the original Pride and Prejudice or was it hatred for it? Was it a matter of “I can write better than this junk!” or “This is awesome! I wonder what it’d be like with zombies…”? Or was it a dare? A punishment?

If I ever meet the author, I’m asking him.

One thing I’m not doing is writing.

At least for today.

The story I was working on didn’t work out. I don’t have any other plot bunnies begging for my attention.

I seem to go through a lot of plot bunnies before finding the ones that work. Sometimes, this is okay with me because I have another plot bunny that seems better and I immediately go into that one. But this time, there are no plot bunnies.

I think I need to refill my creative bank. So I’m reading. And watching Netflix. And listening to music. I’m exposing myself to stories.

And I’m praying. I know I would not be an author if God had not given me the desire to be one. He has given me plot bunnies since I was little and didn’t even know what plot bunnies were. So, I’m going to pray and trust that God will give me inspiration when He sees fit and not a moment before. I can’t waste time and brain energy worrying that I will never have another good idea again.

Tell me what you’re up to. Have you read or watched P&P&Z? Know any good egg recipes? What do you do when your plot bunny farm becomes dangerously quiet? Let me know in the comments below!

Kate out.

Captain’s Log; Stardate: 1-1-2017

Happy New Year!

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I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions.

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It makes me a bit anxious to plan a whole year ahead. The future can be intimidating sometimes. I prefer taking life one day at a time.

That being said, I like to have things to look forward to and stuff I want to do. For example, I would like to go to Chapter One Con again and this time, all my bestest friends are planning to come to, two of which I’ve never met before outside of the internet because they live so far away.

So, here’s a list of things I would like to do this year. This is just a general list of stuff/goals I’m really looking forward to, no pressure on me and no scary “what ifs” in my head.

  1. I want to write. I want to finish this current novel (which is brand new and I have a really good feeling about this one). This goal is kind of a given. I’m not going to quit writing any time soon.
  2. I want to get my driver’s license. I want to learn how to drive safely and get all the hours I need and then drive me and other people places.
  3. I want a job. I want to put in applications at the various libraries within commuting distance and pray one of them hires me. If I can’t get a library job, I’ll do something else, but I would ultimately love to work at a library.
  4. I want to become more excited about God and the Bible and church. I used to be excited about all this. I want to go back to excitement like that and let that excitement grow.
  5. I want to pray more.
  6. I want to blog more. I realize that I let go of blogging a bit this past year and somehow I now have three blogs I contribute to, two of which I am admin? This blog is still my favorite and I need to be blogging more here. The one I am not admin of (YAvengers) only requires one or two posts a month from me and my Bible Blog could be the same. But I need to be blogging at least once or twice a week here. And I need to get back to replying to comments (I am so sorry, reader-peeps).
  7. I want to read 30 books. That is my official goodreads goal so thirty books I shall read. I “officially” read 32 in 2016.
  8. I want to query. I think I say this every year? As I said earlier, I have a really good feeling about the novel I’m working on now. Or I may edit and query Magic Teacups. Or I may write a short story and query that. Who knows?

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start and I think it’s plenty to work with for now.

What are your want-to-dos for 2017? Happy 2017 to you all!

Kate out.

A Quick Look Back

I just looked at my writerly resolutions post from last year.

I had two goals to finish by the end of the year. Well, two and a half.

The first one and a half was to finish editing LASER and query it. 

Done. Except the querying part. But I realized that this book is not ready and it may never be. And I spent the second half of this year learning to be okay with that.

LASER is like fanfic to me. That is how I am choosing to look at it. It is fanfic of my own created world, but it is still fan fiction. I have no current plans to overhaul it. I’m not counting it as canon yet, either.

But I did finish editing it.

The other goal was to write a new story and possibly finish the first draft.

And I did do that. I wrote Magic Teacups.

Working title.

And I really like this story. It’s far from perfect but my writing is getting better. And those two things are what matter right now.

Kate out.

Snapshot

I sit at a library desk.

I have my laptop, two notebooks, three library books, my bag, and an empty coffee cup.

The laptop is on. I listen to the “Epic Gaming”playlist on Spotify (that Game of Thrones piece was nearly ten minutes long!), trying to start my new story.

My new story is a mystery. I’ve written nearly a page off it. It’s starting off handwritten, in an empty notebook I’ve had for a few years. I was waiting for the right story to go into it.

My other notebook holds part of my planning for this story, while my computer holds the other notes and outlines.

Are the library books necessary for my writing? Probably not. At least not sitting there unopened. But they are necessary for my sanity. I’m looking forward to Ruin and Rising.

The coffee cup is from a coffee shop across the street from the library. The coffee shop felt very hipster and writing atmosphere to me. Coffee and tea and baked goods written down on chalk boards. WiFi password on a sign on the counter. People with coffee and open laptops everywhere. I’ve been informed it’s Finals Week but there was one person I passed who very well could’ve been writing and not studying.

I ordered a Tuxedo Mocha (white and dark chocolate) with peppermint syrup. It really didn’t taste all that minty but it was delicious.

From the window I sit beside, I can see the snow. Soft, fluffy flakes that are picturesque. Something out of a fantasy. Across the street are two buildings: a pizzaria and a place called Pygmalions.

Note that there is no apostrophe in “Pygmalions”. It does not belong to a Pygmalion. (Or if it does, they do not have proper grammar.)

The sign says they sell art supplies.

Huh.

Inside the building, I sit just behind the YA section and graphic novels. I’m not far from the magazines.

My best friend sits at the front desk, helping people find the books they need.

I’m about to pack up and have lunch. Then I’ll come back to the words.

Honestly, this place is nearly paradise.

 

Inquisitive Wednesday– It’s Been a While…

Hi, Reader-Peeps.

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It’s Inquisitive Wednesday! On IW, I answer 5-10 questions, be they from awards, tags, or reader input.

It’s been a while since I’ve been tagged in anything. Which I’m partially thankful for. (You can only accept the Liebster if you have under 200 followers.)

Also, three posts in as many days. Crazy.

Anyway! I have been tagged/nominated in the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Very pretty in this cold, rainy weather, no?
The rules:
–Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
–Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
–Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
–List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

So. I was nominated by Luke (thank you, sir!). And he chose eleven interesting questions for me to answer.

Here we go!

1.  If you could only read one fictional book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

What kind of question is this?

I honestly don’t know. I think either The Raven Boys or The Lord of the Rings or A Wrinkle in Time.

2.  What type of computer do you use for blogging?

PC. Toshiba.

3.  What was the last album you listened to straight through?

I honestly don’t know the answer to that.

I think it was A Hollens Family Christmas by Peter Hollens. (Yes, I am already listening to Christmas music and have been for weeks. Shush.)

4.  What is your favorite holiday sweet?

Haystacks or Peppermint Bark.

5.  Are you known for making a signature dish or food?  If so, what is it?

No, I’m not. And I cook pretty much all the food at my house.

6.  Would you consider your handwriting to be sloppy or neat (or somewhere in between)?

In between. Years ago, it would have been sloppy. Just a few months ago, it was neat. Now it’s in between.

7.  What is the awesomest-looking book you own, and why?

Either the Percy Jackson myth books (because illustrated myths told by a snarky teenager) or Inkheart because I had to put a new cover on it myself (for those of you have read Inkheart, you know there is some irony in this) or The Hobbit (because it’s big and green and has Smaug on the front) or Blue Lily, Lily Blue (have you seen that cover? It’s self-explanatory).

8.  Name your three biggest fandoms.

Dragons (yeah that’s not a fandom, but that includes ALL THE DRAGONS so shush), Lord of the Rings, and Mistborn. (Also The Raven Cycle, okay, shutting up now…).

9.  Favorite childhood movie?

Beauty and the Beast. Or The Lion King. Mulan is good, too.

10.  Pizza or tacos?

It depends on what kind of pizza and how often I’ve had pizza recently. I have actually gotten sick of pizza before and that is not good.

11.  Name three books that everyone on earth should read.

The Lord of the RingsA Wrinkle in Time, and… hmm.

Hmmm.

Whatever great book that I haven’t written yet.

That’s it! Thank you, Luke, again.

I will not be tagging anyone (except my arch-nemesis Matthew Black— no apologies). Take this tag if you want it and use Luke’s questions.

Kate out.