Meeting My Favorite Author

Hey, reader-peeps!

So, two weeks ago, I got to meet my favorite author.

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MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!!!!!!!!

Honestly, I’m about fangirling too hard to write a coherent and good post about this (and that’s part of the reason it took nearly two weeks to get a post out). This experience was surreal and I wish it wasn’t over.

I got a Maggie Stiefvater facepalm picture.

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(I don’t think she was actually facepalming. I was just lucky enough to get a picture at the time.)

So what happened?

I made her a bracelet the night before. Because she likes bracelets from fans and wears them until they fall off.

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The day of the signing, we (me, my mom, and my dad) leave for Chicago. We got to Anderson’s Bookstore (same beautiful bookstore that I met Brandon Sanderson at last year). I pick up my copy of The Raven King and the signing line ticket.

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Dad got a picture of Maggie’s car.

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A while later, Maggie came out and promptly climbed on top of the table, as she is known to do. And she kicked the sign off the table.

Anyone who has read Maggie’s books knows that Maggie is an amazing storyteller. She’s also an amazing oral storyteller. She told us several anecdotes, most of which were centered around “What does an average work day for you look like?” She told us about getting her favorite sunglasses smashed by a goat and writing while on an airplane and going to Wales with her family and why she is not a commission portrait artist anymore (it involved an ugly baby). She told us that her characters are not originals, but pieces of them are stolen from other people. She told us her favorite scenes to write from The Raven Boys (Vague to avoid spoilers: a scene in which Blue and Gansey find a wallet and the recognize the face inside and the scene at Adam’s trailer when Ronan comes back).

Then, the signing line. It happened quickly. I gave her the bracelet, told her my favorite book of The Raven Cycle (the first one) and she asked if I was a person who generally liked the first book of a series. I am actually. She told me she tends to like the last books and loves the feeling of finishing a really good series and then just wandering around the house aimlessly (I know I’ve felt that– anyone else?).

Then I signed her car cover that she’s been having everyone sign and then we left the store.

And I felt like I just finished a really good series and was wandering around aimlessly.

I did get a picture beside her car, though.

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This car is so cool and I’m not that much of a car person.

So that’s about it. We got pizza for dinner and we went home.

I took pictures and nearly two weeks to write this post.

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I also have convinced my mother to buy The Raven Boys. So that will be interesting.

So! What have you guys been up to lately? And if you haven’t read something by Maggie Stiefvater, you need to. Seriously. Go. Now. Do it.

And if anyone sees a video of this event, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know.

Go carpe the heck out of your diems! (And read Maggie Stiefvater.)

Updates and Things

Hi, reader-peeps!

So, it’s been a couple weeks.

Long story short, I’ve been away on a top-secret, classified mission that is full of redundancy. All and every thing is redundant. And repeated.

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Okay, I’ve just been uninspired and editing LASER.

Or have I??????

That look my friends and I give each other when we see someone in our class get in trouble

 

So. Editing is going well and fast. Well, was going fast. I had one day where I did seven chapters, but they didn’t need much. And then I promptly got stuck on a chapter that needs to be rewritten or trashed or both.

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What else have I been doing?

Acquiring beta-readers (10 is quite enough I think… oops).

Lightly plotting my next project (I gotta do SOMETHING once I get done researching agents and still waiting on beta-feedback).

Stalking people on Tumblr.

Cleaning the house.

Playing Multiplayer Minecraft with a couple of my hobbits (and trying to get a server to work).

Wondering how I still don’t know what a side-charrie from my next project wants, even though I wrote the original in 2011.

(Next project is most likely a reboot, by the way. And I need to shut up about it now.)

Trying to come up with a new title for LASER. And I feel like I’m getting close. (Betas, if I haven’t figured it out by the time I send the story to you, I will probably draft you into helping ask for your help.)

Waiting for the release of The Raven King by Maggie Steifvater.

Nervicitied | pinkie-pie-nervicited:

And that’s about it!

So. What have you been up to?

Carpe the heck out of your diems!

 

My Scorpio Races, Chapter 2– Beach Training

I entered a roleplaying/fanfic version of the Scorpio Races. This is based on the book by Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races. It’s  on Tumblr, but I’m posting the fanfic stuff here for you guys, too.  Here is the link to the info and the account hosting if anyone is interested. Enjoy!

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I found out today that Miraculous likes to eat fingers.

I made my choice. I am going to race Miraculous and I am going to get over my fear. I told Sean Kendrick this. And then he told me that he didn’t have time to train me.

But he said he would send someone to the beach to help me.

So, here I was, not quite on the beach because I have better things to do this morning than get maimed by any other cappall. I get a few weird looks. Even though it’s more socially acceptable for girls to enter the Scorpio Races (Kate Connolly’s fault), there still aren’t many girls here on the beach and I don’t think anyone expected a timid church-mouse like me to be there at all.

I try to ignore the looks. I’m just standing here, holding three bags, and trying to look normal while I wait for whoever Sean is sending and Miraculous.

I get a strange surge thinking about the water horse. I don’t know if it’s excitement or nerves or both. Either way… I might throw up.

Before I get too nauseated, I hear someone call my name. I see a man coming this way, leading a gray cappall behind him. My cappall. My Miraculous.

The man was about my age, maybe a bit older. He smiles and holds out his free hand. “I’m Mal.”

I shake his hand. “Beth. Which I guess you know. Um…” I look at Miraculous. He actually seemed a lot smaller yesterday. He’s very still right now and he’s staring at the ocean.

Mal clucks, “We’ll have to train that out of him. Or at least try to.”

“Looking at the sea?” I ask.

Mal gives me a look that is almost condescending. “You don’t want him longing for the sea during the Races. Or any time, really, but especially not during the Races. Today’s training is all about getting you used to him and making sure that charms work. You brought the things Kendrick told you to bring?”

I nod and hold up the three bags I brought. One bag had daisies, bells, red ribbon, a chunk of iron, and, though heaven forbid we need it, holly berries. Basically all the charms any rider might need. Another bag had some raw meat I’d bought from the Grattons, which was trying to leak. And the third bad held my lunch.

I feel not quite confident, but I would have to get this over with sooner or later. “Can I touch him?”

Mal nods. “He’s your mount. Get that chunk of iron and hold it. I just want you to hold it, just in case. And if I were you, I’d rub his shoulder, not his nose.”

I have no intention whatsoever of rubbing Miraculous’s nose. That is just a little too close to his mouth for my comfort.

Miraculous’s grey coat feels like wet sand, the kind of sand that gets pulled out from under your toes as the sea comes in and out in waves. I feel the sea in him and how he wants it. And then I want it, too. I want the sea and to go into the briny water. It is calling me.

Suddenly, Miraculous rears and screams. That scream is something out of my deepest memories that I didn’t want to ever think about. I see his teeth. I stifle a scream of my own and trip over my own feet trying to get away.

I scramble to get off the ground before Miraculous decides I am a snack, tears streaming down my face. I keep tripping.

            Oh God, why? Why did You send this monster to me?

A minute later, I realize the screaming has stopped. Miraculous is calmly eating a brown paper bag. He’s very still again.

I realize that someone’s arms are around me, holding me tight to settle me. I turn and see Mal. He looks awkward and lets me go.

“Why are you not holding him?” is the first thing I ask.

Mal glances at Miraculous. “You trace a circle in the ground and spit in it. It confines them somehow.” He takes a deep breath. “And I’m glad it works on Miraculous. And the iron works, too, thankfully. He makes me nervous. I’ve never seen a cappall that can be so very still like yours.”

Like yours. Miraculous is mine. And he makes a person who works with cappail uisce everyday nervous.

And somehow, I still want him.

I stand up. Mal stands up, too. People are staring at us.

I think I need a break. For lunch and prayer. Lots of prayer.

I look around for my lunch bag. It’s not where I left it. Only the bag of meat and the bag of charms are left. Where is the third…

I look at Miraculous. That brown paper bag he was eating was my lunch.

Mal seems to have realized what happened. He’s grinning, trying not to laugh. “What was in that bag?” he asked, rubbing Miraculous’s flank.

I take a breath and grin at the appropriateness at my lunch choice, or rather, my water horse’s lunch choice.

“Chicken and cookies.”

More specifically, chicken fingers and lady fingers.

My Scorpio Races, Chapter 1– Beth and Miraculous

I entered a roleplaying/fanfic version of the Scorpio Races. This is based on the book by Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races. It’s  on Tumblr, but I’m posting the fanfic stuff here for you guys, too.  Here is the link to the info and the account hosting if anyone is interested. Enjoy!

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I am terrified of horses.

When I was little, I had a nightmare about a horse eating me. It stuck with me for the rest of my life, because around here people get eaten by horses a lot. That’s the trouble with Thisby.

My name is Beth. I don’t know my last name. The story goes that I was found on the beach when I was a baby. My parents were most likely eaten by one of the cappall uisce.

Most people say it was a miracle I wasn’t eaten.

No. I just got eaten later in a dream, which made living here a nightmare. I stay away from the stables. I stay away from the beach. The only places that feel safe are the little shop called Fathom & Sons and the church.

At least, they used to feel safe.

I spend a lot of time at the church. I’m not forced to, I just like praying. Especially around the time of the Scorpio Races. And besides, it’s not as if I have many other ways to spend my time. I don’t really have any friends who are under the age of twenty.

I must have felt really lonely that cold October morning when I went to the church. I had somehow gotten it into my head to pray for a friend who was close to my age. And I also prayed for something to do besides pray and help out at the shop. I felt a little bad for this, but God understood what I meant, right?

The church was pretty much empty. Since it wasn’t Sunday, this was understandable. But not even Father Mooneyham was around.

But someone must have been around. After I’d been on my knees with my eyes closed for a few minutes, I heard someone loudly breathing and I heard footsteps of at least two people coming into the church.

If I hadn’t stayed up so late the previous night (it was a good book) and if I hadn’t been so engrossed in talking to God, I probably would have noticed how wrong the breathing and the footsteps sounded.

I wasn’t aware anything was going on until I felt hot breath on my face and my shoulder was nudged and the air suddenly smelled strongly like the ocean and dead fish.

I opened my eyes and found myself face to face with a cappall.

I almost screamed. But the last thing I needed was this thing startling and deciding to eat me. I bit my lip and tried to think clearly.

I couldn’t think.

I forget about the charms I always carry with me just in case. I’m a religious person and believe God will protect me, yes, but I also believe in common sense and I know that these things are sometimes calmed by the red ribbons and stuff. Sometimes.

But the cappall doesn’t do anything. It just stands there, staring at me.

I stare back because I really don’t know what else to do.

I hear a quiet gasp. I hear a whisper, “Go get Sean Kendrick.” I don’t take my gaze away from the big grey water horse.

I hear footsteps. Father Mooneyham is suddenly standing beside me. He whispers, “Just what have you been praying for, Elizabeth?”

Sean Kendrick comes to get the cappall out of the church. No one knows how it got inside in the first place.

While he’s taking care of it, I tell Father Mooneyham how I prayed for a friend and something to do.

He raises his eyebrows, looks at the water horse then back to me. “The Lord works in mysterious ways. Elizabeth, I believe God sent this creature. And that He wants you to be in the Scorpio Races.”

A million protests come to mind. Why would God want me to do something so dangerous?

Sean Kendrick interrupts my thoughts. “What do you want me to do with this cappall?” he asked.

He’s looking at me. I open my mouth but before I can say anything he adds, “He’s really gentle. And he did just come up to you.”

The words are out of my mouth before I can think about them. “I want to race. I want to race him.”

Sean smiles and nods like a proud older brother. “You sure?”

I nod again. I stand up and slowly walk forward. I reach out a hand then pull it back. What if the horse just snapped it off? Isn’t there some kind of ritual or something before you can pet a cappall?

Sean’s smile fades. “We’re going to have to work on that fear of yours. If you aren’t confident, you are pretty much dead already.” I duck my head and he adds, “I’ll take him to my stables. Take a day and think about this.”

I nod then watch as Sean leads the stallion away.

Thinking the word ‘stallion’ gives me chills.

I’m thinking about naming him Miraculous.

Inquisitive Wednesday– The Bookish Tag

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.

Just four???

“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?!
HRRRUUUUGGGH!!!!
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:

The Scorpio Races
See how pretty and simple?

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!!!

And that’s it! Go check out Annie’s blog!

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DFTBA!