A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.
It’s Inquisitive Wednesday! On IW, I answer 5-10 questions, be they from awards, tags, or reader input.
My friend Annie just launched her blog! And it is fabulous. To celebrate the launch, she is having a party with a tag and interviews and a giveaway!
And here is her tag!
1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?
Last book I read was an alpha-read. Which I totally would recommend, but you should probably wait until it’s been published.
I’m currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and Embassy by S. Alex Martin. I would currently recommend both.
2. Describe the perfect reading spot.
A cozy arm chair next to a lamp. Also a kitten or a baby dragon to read with you.
3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers?
Coffee. Something vanilla or chocolate.
4. Share favorite quotes from four books.
“Fate,” Blue replied, glowering at her mother, “is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast.” ~The Raven Boys
“WHERE’S MY COW?!
IS THAT MY COW?!
THAT’S NOT MY COW!
THAT’S A HIPPOPOTAMOUS!” ~Thud! by Terry Pratchett
“I kind of lost track of time…” “For two hours?” Elend nodded sheepishly. “There were books involved.”~The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
“Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We’ll wander back to home and bed.
Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
Fire and lamp, and meat and bread,
And then to bed! And then to bed!”
~The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic?
Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Are any of you surprised?)
Dystopian: Divergent by Veronica Roth.
Contemporary: I’m going to cheat with this one. I don’t read many contemporaries, so I’m going with an urban fantasy. Which is basically the same thing, but with magic. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
Sci-fi: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline l’Engle.
Classic: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from.
Ooh. Maggie Stiefvater (7 books), Brandon Sanderson (at least 10), and Madeline l’Engle (at least 8, though some of those are duplicates).
7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature?
I love magic.
But there are boundaries. Mainly, it depends on where the magic comes from and what it’s being used for. If it’s being used wrongly and it comes from demons or something like that, I am not interested. If it’s mostly being used for good and the characters have it naturally or through some fairy-gift or something, then I’m okay with it. I don’t mind if the main character uses their “good” magic for evil once or twice, realizes their wrongdoing and then makes it right and tries to do better. That’s character development. I don’t want to read a story where people are getting mixed up in witchcraft and making terrible choices all over the place (unless they are the villain but even then I don’t want bunches of details about their magic misdeeds. Just tell me that they are evil and they are using evil magic or using good magic for evil and that’s truly enough for me.) Also… I don’t care if good magicians are called “wizards”. If they are not getting their magic from somewhere bad, then I couldn’t care less what they are called. “Witches” almost always has a bad connotation for me, but if you’re writing The Wizard of Oz (don’t, that’s plagarism) then I won’t care.
That almost turned into a blog post. But those are my thoughts on magic in literature.
8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images.
Terrible truth, I almost don’t care about book covers. The cover could be absolutely gorgeous, but the story is terrible. Or the cover is ugly, but the story becomes one of my favorites.
But I like simplistic covers or artistic ones. Like this one:
9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this.
My brain spit out Puck Connolly. Who happens to be one of the main characters of The Scorpio Races. Puck… Puck is awesome but not in a kick-butt, Katniss Everdeen way. The Scorpio Races is hard to explain, but I’m going to try. To try to keep her brother from leaving, Puck enters The Scorpio Races, a deadly race for men only that involves riding man-eating water horses. Puck is not trying to start a revolution or even break society rules. She just wants her brother to stay. (Go read it, it’s awesome.)
10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies?
I have a horror story about lending books. I used to lend them regularly, always getting them back at some point. And then… I lent my copy of Eragon. And I never saw it again.
So… if you are my sibling, live in my house, and be very, very, VERY careful, yes you can borrow my books. BUT BE CAREFUL AND I WANT IT BACK AS SOON AS YOU’RE DONE!!!
Basically, it’s asking my limits on the books and authors I love.
1. I would give up the internet for a month for a signed first edition of this book.
The Lord of the Rings. Seriously.
2. I would give up pizza for a year if it meant I could sit next to this author on a long plane ride.
This is easy, since I have lost my appetite for pizza. Brandon Sanderson.
3. I would sit through a thousand hours of commercials if it would ensure Hollywood made this book into a movie.
Mistborn. Or The Raven Cycle. Yes, I meant for those to be inclusive of all the books in their series.
Don’t make me pick which one, they are both equally horrifying.
4. I would never read a new book again if it meant I could live inside this book.
Mistborn, The Final Empire. And honestly, I would probably cheat here. Elend Venture has a library.
5. I would let my Google search history be made public if it meant I could be best friends with this author.
Couple of problems with this question.
1. I am already best friends with some of the most awesome authors ever. (They aren’t published, true, but that’s just details.)
2. Ain’t no one seeing my Google search history. It’s not really incriminating. Just embarrassing. Very embarrassing.
But if you are going to make me pick…
Maggie Stiefvater. I already got to sit beside Sanderson on a long flight, remember?
6. I would donate everything I own to Goodwill if it meant I could date this book character in real life.
Before I answer this one, just going to tell you that there is a condition here.
Condition: The dating actually leads somewhere.
I’m not just going to date because I can, thank you.
Character in question…
I’d date Richard Campbell Gansey III, from The Raven Cycle. If I start explaining the reasons behind it, this post will turn into fangirling and that’ll be that. Just go read the books.
Yes, he is doomed to die (not a spoiler, I promise. You learn this in the very first chapter.) But these are all hypothetical questions, anyway.
A girl can dream, right?
I realize that all but one of these questions are Sanderson or Stiefvater answered. That should tell you something about my favorite books and authors. Besides, if you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you know that I adore Mistborn and The Raven Cycle. GO READ THEM.
So, this shelf is my favorites/fairytales shelf (funny how often those coincide). I have one of my dragon books, Inkheart (which I had to put a new cover on), The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, Redwall, The Mistborn Trilogy, The Jack Blank Trilogy, Mama’s Bank Account, an encyclopedia about fairies, a collection of little poems about fairies, God of the Fairytale (which talks about how fairytales can be sort of allegorical), and Walking With Bilbo and Walking with Frodo (they are both devotionals). All of these are absolutely wonderful books.
On the left are notebooks and journals and a creative writing book. That is one of my baby dragons in the middle. (That’s Scorch. He’s a pen dragon, meaning he guards my pens.) On the left are a bunch of books I have yet to actually finish, with the exception of Beautiful in God’s Eyes. So, I have Seraphina, the BZRK trilogy, the second of the Fairyland series, a Jane Austen devotional, a book by Aidyl Ewol (the title escapes me at the moment… I think it’s Secret of the Cave Ptreodactyl), and Meet the Austins. So, yes, a lot of unfinished books…
This is the shelf with my writing resources, with the exception of the dragon book lying on it’s side (though I suppose it could be a resource…). I have a couple of college-level textbooks, Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card, The Elements of Style, a book of adjectives (it has a much longer title which I shall look up and put in later), and the 2013 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market (out of date, but still has good writing tips). I just realized that my beloved thesaurus is missing from this shelf!
Hobbit Day is September 22nd because that is the date of Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday.
So, what am I going to do for Hobbit Day?
I’d like to watch The Fellowship of the Ring later. At the very least, I will be watching this (multiple times):
I will be reliving some of my favorite bits of the book. And I will be fangirling over Sam Gamgee because he is my favorite character.
Yes, I said Sam. Not Legolas. Not Aragorn. Not Frodo, Gollum, Legolas, Gimli, Legolas, Galadriel, Legolas, Gandalf, Legolas, Merry, Pippin, Arwen, Eowyn, or Legolas! My favorite character is Samwise Gamgee.
No, he’s not strong or clever. But isn’t that one of the points in LOTR– even the smallest person can change the course of the future? Heroes don’t have to be strong, clever, or well-known. Sam (all the hobbits, really) was from The Shire—a place in the middle of nowhere full of simple people. Sam ended up going on the quest to destroy the Ring because he was caught eavesdropping.
(Mild spoilers for The Lord of the Rings past this point. Continue at your own risk.)
There are many things I love about Sam.
I love Sam’s optimism.
Gotta love Boromir’s little soliloquy about walking into Mordor. But he was right (for the most part—please note that Frodo and Sam actually did just walk into Mordor). Frodo knew that the quest would probably take his life. I don’t think Sam realized that until the end. But he still remained optimistic. Even after the Ring had been destroyed and Frodo and Sam think that it really is the end of them, Sam makes the cheerful remark that maybe someone would tell the story of how Frodo destroyed the Ring (please note that Sam just mentions Frodo).
I love the way Sam interacts with Gollum.
Possibly my favorite part in The Two Towers is when Sam and Gollum are arguing about cooking rabbits, herbs, and PO-TA-TOES. Sam just doesn’t trust Smeagol. He sees Gollum as a decrepit, disgusting murderer that can’t be redeemed. Of course, we all admire Frodo for believing otherwise, but ultimately, Sam was right.
I love Sam’s loyalty.
“But I am going to Mordor.” “I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, ch. 22)
Sam had more than one opportunity to go home and leave Frodo to the quest. Frodo even encouraged him to go home at least once. But Sam chose to keep going. Sam chose to follow his friend wherever it lead him, even if it was Mordor and Mount Doom.
Did you know that Sam has an elven name? It’s Harthad Uluithiad. Hope Unquenchable.
That really sums up Sam. All throughout the story he is sure that there is some hope. It is not the end. Even when it is the end, there is still good that could be had. Frodo should keep going.
In the movie version of The Two Towers, Frodo, in despair, asks Sam why they should keep going: “What are we holding onto?”. Sam answers, “Because there is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Samwise Gamgee is Hope Unquenchable. And that is my favorite thing about him.
Happy Hobbit Day, guys. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go tend to my hobbits.