Hi, reader-peeps. It’s been a while. ☺
So, I haven’t posted in six weeks.
Which, I hope you noticed and missed me.
If you didn’t, don’t tell me.
Truth of the matter is that life got ahead of me and that I have been running short on ideas for quite a while now.
No, this is not the end of Spiral-Bound. But it might be the start of something new.
I’m making my hiatus official. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Hopefully not long. But I need to take a step back and evaluate without my blog breathing down the back of my neck like a mob boss that I haven’t paid.
Not that any such person exists! Totally not…
Anyway, reader peeps, I’ll be back soon. Don’t forget to be awesome.
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?
- It is perfectly okay to love stuff made for kids, even as an adult. Kids are just the target audience.
- If you write for children, it’s actually kind of important to read and watch stuff written for children.
- I really just wrote all this so I could say THERE’S A TRAILER FOR THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE I’M SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!
I have been thinking.
So you might want to duck behind a barricade or something.
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!
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!
I wrote a short story after having an idea after midnight last night. Hope you enjoy.
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.”
Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.
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.
Yeah. The first draft of my new novel is done.
That is all.
(I could be completely wrong about that, though. Let’s hope not.)
So, I’ve had a couple of secret writing projects hidden and I think now is the time to reveal one of them. I have gotten far enough into the story that I’m not scared of sharing a few details.
If you aren’t interested in my writing, then now is your chance to leave unscathed.
Okay. The rest of you are stuck here until the end of the post.
Please? I mean, I assume you wouldn’t still be reading if you weren’t interested.
And now, without further ado, introducing, my new project…
THE GLITTER SYNDICATE
Episode 1: Shoelaces of Doom
I’m describing The Glitter Syndicate as plot bunny recycling– it’s getting the excess plot bunnies that I have, the ones that I don’t want to make into a full-blown novel or the ones that are too crazy to be in a novel. There’s glitter and a “spirit of chaos” and romance (in the works) and antics and a pickpocketing ferret and a dragon named Toby and snark!
All the basics for a good story, yes? And yes, they are all crazy ideas. Shoelaces of Doom specifically is a heist story.
My Pinterest board for this story is currently secret and it’s mostly filled with the crazier writing prompts, most of which are not yet in the story. I’ll be revealing the Pinterest board when I get closer to done.
I’m using this as my Camp NaNo project. The goal for the story is 20K and I’m just over 7.5K.
And… that’s it!
Meeting My Favorite Author
I go down to the dock at night. The water is dark. There is no moon tonight.
The salty sea spray hits me in the face like a kiss. A very salty kiss. Okay, that was nothing like a kiss. That was like getting hit in the face with salt water.
I’m waiting for him.
He said he would come to the dock. He said he would reveal himself. My secret admirer.
I have a hunch that it’s Josh, the other intern here at the aquarium. He’s a nice guy. Quiet. He spoke two whole words to me the other day.
They were “excuse me” as he reached past me to get something on the shelf.
Yeah, that shouldn’t count.
But it would make sense that he has been the one sending me messages. He just can’t get up the nerve to talk to me. So he sends messages to me at night.
In Morse code.
Okay, maybe I am jumping to conclusions. It may not be Josh. It could be Tucker.
Gosh, I hope it’s not Tucker.
Not that I don’t like Tucker. It’s just… this would be a prank to him. He wouldn’t seriously do this. Like that one time he paid for an advertisement for a fake contest. The contestants were supposed to do their best Donald Duck impression. Winner won one hundred dollars.
They were supposed to call me for the contest and do their best impression to me. For a week, I answered my phone and heard Donald Duck.
And then there was the time he rigged a trapdoor over the walrus tank…
I shudder at the memory and get back to thinking about my secret admirer. It started with a simple four dots and two dots.
Over the past few weeks the message has turned into dot-dot, dot-dash-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot-dash, dot, dash-dot-dash-dash, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dash.
I love you.
My message to him was the same.
We talked every night. The ocean is our passion. We both love crab meat. The sunset is the best and most beautiful time of day.
I sigh with happiness.
I look out over the water again. I see something come out of the water.
My admirer told me to brace myself. To expect something very unexpected.
I’m practically giddy as I watch this thing come out of the water. Is this it? Is this him?
No. It’s an octopus.
A very big octopus comes up out of the water and pulls itself onto the dock. I back up several steps.
This octopus is bigger than me.
Once up on the dock, it looks at me and doesn’t move.
I don’t move, either. I think about calling the animal rescue people who work with the aquarium.
The octopus starts slapping one of it’s tentacles on the wood.
It’s going to hurt itself. Definitely time to call animal rescue.
It keeps hitting.
Suddenly, the sound sounds familiar.
There is no way.
I kneel down on the dock and knock on the wood. I ask him if he can understand me.
Dash-dot-dash-dash, dot, dot-dot-dot.
I still can’t believe it, but the next question I tap out is asking him if he is my secret admirer.
Dash-dot-dash-dash, dot, dot-dot-dot.
Dot-dot, dot-dash-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot-dash, dot, dash-dot-dash-dash, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dash.
I love you.
My admirer is an octopus that knows Morse code. He reaches out one of his tentacles and sets it on my cheek, one of the suckers on my face.
I can’t decide if I’m disgusted or just in love with him, too.
Happy April Fool’s Day!
Hope you enjoyed my Kraken-romance story, inspired by this video by Maggie Stiefvater.