Saturday, June 1, 2013


Ladies and gents, The Shadow Conspiracy, my NaNo novel, was officially finished yesterday at roughly 111k words and 265 pages.

Woo! I'm excited. This is the first novel that I have finished that I intend to do something with. :) This means it's time to go through the editing process.....and we'll start with changes of backstories and the title --- for as I found out, the title has next to nothing to do with the book itself. xD

For those who have completed a novel and edited it successfully, what are your tips for getting through it without having a mental breakdown? I'll need all the help I can get :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Mental Closet

A random snippet. :)

The first man leapt at the other, fists flying, while the second man fell on his back and kicked the first in the chest. Since the prisoners were all chained together, this caused a great pileup and commotion, and soon nearly everyone was hitting and spitting and kicking each other in a rage. Santiago was silently relieved that he was not chained with the rest and merely had a guard over his back.

                This guard, and all the others, however, forgot all about him in the chaos. While they poked and prodded and shouted themselves hoarse trying to get everything in order again, Santiago saw his chance and slipped away into an alley nearby. Immediately, keeping to the shadows, he began sneaking towards the sounds of the fighting, knowing as soon as the guards got things in order again, they would notice his absence.

                A small part of his brain tried to reason with the rest of him, listing the risks and dangers and why he should return to the safety of the guards. But he was only a child after all, though he readily denied it, and a curious, impulsive one at that. Santiago pushed that logical part of him deep inside a closet in his mind and locked it away.

                “I have no time for that sort of thing,” he muttered to himself determinedly. “I must press on and find my family!”

                He did not say which family member he was talking about, for truly he did not know. His first instinct was to find his father, but his second one, equally as strong, was to find his sisters. The part of him that he had locked away screamed from the mental closet that he was wrong, that he should turn back, that he should look for neither party and should just consider himself.

                If only he had listened.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Death Scenes {and 100k}

I hit 100k words in my novel, The Shadow Conspiracy! Yes! All I have left to do now is kill characters.....

Which leads me to the reason I'm posting: death scenes. What are y'all's tips and tricks for writing emotional, heart-wrenching death scenes? And I have a lot of them to do, so give me all you've got :)

Also, while researching  I found this helpful post on writing realistic death scenes. You should check it out.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Day the Saucers Came

A funny, whimsical sort of poem by Neil Gaiman. I think this has to be one of my favorite poems. :)

That day, the saucers landed.
Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed to find what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn't notice it because
That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because
On the saucer day, which was the zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-man's nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold, and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because
On the saucer-zombie-battling gods day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across the land, and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because
That day, the saucer day the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day, the day the great winds came
And snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of the Time Machine day,
You didn't notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.

Just thought I'd share that with all you lovely people as an apology for not posting as much as I should have. (:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

"I don't want to die ... I haven't accomplished anything yet!"

Oscar Diggs is a carnival magician with a smooth tongue and plenty of tricks up his sleeve. He does not want to be a good man --- he wants to be a great one, and he's willing to swindle, charm, and use people and break ladies' hearts to get there. 

After one not-so-successful performance, he (in essence) steals a hot air balloon to get away from some other displeased performers, and gets more than he bargained for when a tornado sweeps his hot air balloon off to never never land.

Overall, it was very well done. As far as prequels go, it didn't flop. It did its job, and did it very well --- providing backstory for the characters from The Wizard of Oz. The cinematography was excellent. In my opinion this movie totally redefines the world of Oz and completely changes your view of the original Oz movie. In a good way. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was laughing way more than I thought I would.

What really made this movie as enjoyable as it was was the characters. They each had their own history and you can't help but get drawn in. Other movies focus on the action or plot, but this film focused mostly on the characters, and I think that's what made it successful as a prequel. They "cast a spell" over you, making you become emotionally attached to them. Mostly the three witches, Glinda, Evanora, and Theodora. (Gotta love the names.) The acting for these three was excellent, especially for Theodora --- she had more depth than the others, I think. I can feel character inspiration coming on now :-)

Oscar Diggs being who he is (a flirt) there was more romance, and more broken hearts, than I expected in this film. It fit in okay as far as his character goes, but it's still there and ... well, it doesn't make you like Oz very much. \It can be kind of funny at times, however.

The language in this movie was relatively clean, only two uses of d**n, and awkwardly placed in the same scene. I saw no real problems with this movie  --- after all, it was targeted towards families. I do think, though, that kids younger than 8 shouldn't see it. It was intense at times, but not extreme enough for it to get a PG-13 rating.

I really enjoyed it. It's not on the same scale as ... The Avengers, perhaps, but it definitely is a wonderful adventure that I enjoyed watching, and I can't wait till it comes out on DVD so I can experience it again. :) It's full of suspense, humor, and an element that, well, kept me from being bored and keeps me from thinking about anything else! 

Out of 5 stars, I would give it a 4. I recommend this to any fantasy or Oz loving geeks, or anyone else for that matter. It snatches and captures the attention of all ages. In short: I loved it.

Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz :: directed by Sam Raimi :: rated PG :: a Disney movie (:

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Am I a horrible blogger or what? :)

*ahem* anyway.

Yes yes yes yes.

Well. Sophie. If I had to pick one word to describe her, it would be spunky. She has a mouth, and she's not afraid to use it, on anyone --- her sisters, a guard, the head of the rebellion, no matter. 

You would think with her proper upbringing she would have the best manners out of the group, but nooo. She is the most obnoxious one there, and the most oblivious. Sierra and Skylar both grew up surrounded by the harsh reality of their world, but Sophie was sheltered from all that. She was the daughter (or so she thought) of a nobleman and his wife. She was wealthy, pretty, and well educated. She had never set foot in Lower East Side or even seen a resident there. Though she was curious, her parents had abruptly changed conversation whenever it wound its way even remotely near Lower East Side. She's never been allowed to play, run, or do anything except manners. 

She likes the arts, especially acting and painting. She grew up taking theater and art lessons, and sure enough, they paid off in the end (at least theater did). Not telling you how, though. :)

After discovering that her whole life is a lie, that she really isn't the daughter of Clara and William Carnes, and that she is one of three triplets, she determinedly sets off (accompanied by Skylar) to find her true parents and other sibling. This leads to all sorts of adventures with her mouth and tendency to jump head first into things without thinking them through getting her in lots of trouble. 

She is the funniest one in the group (in my opinion) and she hates for things to get too serious. She's always the one to try and brighten up the situation with a joke or a quip, and has firmly decided that the best way to handle a problem is to look like you know exactly what you're doing and that everything is going according to plan, even when it's not. 

She calls herself half and half --- half tomboy, half girly girl. 

Character Inspiration:
  • Me, actually (: Sophie is like me in multiple ways. I think that's why she's my favorite. (Don't tell the others) ;)
  • Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

As a sidenote that relates in no way to what I was talking about - have any of you seen/heard of Dance Moms? It's a show about a bunch of little, darling, AMAZING dancers, their harsh teacher (harsh is an understatement), and their gossipy moms, and it's filmed near where I live. I don't really watch it that often (I only watch the dances mostly when I do turn it on) but I saw this picture and wanted to post it for your amusement. 

Hahaha....the Ziegler girls are adorable. (:

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Continuing in my post of characters, which I took a break from briefly while I got over a bout of writer's block. -.-

With darker hair and more vivid eyes, that picture would be nearly perfect. Nearly.

Sierra is not unlike Skylar in the fact that she had a rough childhood. She was raised in an orphanage ... no, who am I kidding. She raised herself, in an orphanage. The caretaker, Mrs. Chesterfield, hated her from practically the moment she laid eyes on Sierra, and this caretaker would do anything to get Sierra out from under her skin --- so, ever since Sierra was eight, she had been sleeping by herself up in the various catwalks of the mansion-turned-orphanage instead of with the other girls in the girls dormitory.

She was looked upon as the "leader" of the girls dormitory, and this gave her great responsibilities, such as feeding the children, since Mrs. Chesterfield didn't, not really --- one meal large enough for one person, hidden in a bag and then hidden in the orphanage somewhere, creating a huge game of hide and seek, the winner getting to eat and the losers starving for that day. If you keep not finding food for weeks on end? Nobody cares, except Sierra and the "leader" of the boys dorm, Branton.

Then she leaves, blah blah blah --- you'll probably hear about it later. Probably.

She loves kids. Obviously. She was a mom to a bunch ever since she moved up to that catwalk. She wants to grow up, get married, and start a family of her own, but she's afraid to in the world she lives in. 

Ever since she was little, she wanted a mom, dad, or sibling --- someone to prove she was not alone. When she heard that there might possibly be others, she made sure everyone was okay then left to find them. Because of this, her sisters are her most precious possessions. She wouldn't lose any of them for the world.

She's sensible, practical, and light on her feet, though trying to do any delicate work like lock picking will end badly --- she's kind of clumsy when it comes to tiny things in her hands. Weapons, yes, safety pins, no.

Character Inspiration

  • Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Annie from Annie (:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I thought that (more for my sake than yours) I should do a blog post about each of the triplets from The Shadow Conspiracy --- their personalities, likes, dislikes, etc. I decided I'd start with Skylar, because I'm writing from her perspective today. :)

So. Where to start? Skylar is probably the most complicated main character I've got. I can't even find a proper picture to do her justice (though the one above comes pretty close). She has a broken past and absolutely no childhood whatsoever. She's never played with toys. She's never had time for toys really. From a young age, all she'd been focusing on is stealing.

It's not her fault, of course. Despite having no firm father or mother figure, she still has morals that aren't completely screwed up. She was forced to steal, raid, and trespass at the command of the leader of the group of thieves she was bound to --- Drew Sebastian. A lazy lump of a man, with a heart that has rotted over the years. 

Her favorite tool? Or tools? Her utility belt, which carries all sorts of technology far advanced beyond her day and age (which is the future world, if you didn't get the memo). It never leaves her, even when she sleeps. She doesn't allow it to leave her sight. It's too precious. 

Being trained since she was three, she is a gymnast/karate master/assassin and she knows at least a dozen ways to knock you out/kill you with only a pencil or a credit card. But she doesn't like to brag. Despite her background, she's quiet and gentle with those she loves. But don't cross her --- like a mama bear protects her cubs, Skylar is fierce to protect the people she cares about. And, goodness, she certainly could pull it off, easy.

Character Inspiration
  • Black Widow, from the Avengers
  • Tris, from Divergent
  • Corrie ten Boom from The Hiding Place

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Unexpected

You know how, when you write, something happens that you had no idea would happen when you sat down to finish the chapter? Well, that something happened.

And when I say something, I mean one of the main characters getting captured and another getting shot.

My readers will hate me.

“Come on, we need to hurry, they’re right behind us!” Skylar hissed, but a gurgle stopped her in her tracks. Turning, Skylar’s heart stopped.

            Sophie lay collapsed in the tunnel, barely conscious, a dark red stain spreading from the side of her tunic. Her face was ashen and her eyes were unfocused, one hand lying gingerly over the wound.

            Skylar’s face drained of all color. “No,” she murmured.

            Sierra reached over and felt for a pulse. Skylar held her breath. The shouts at the end of the tunnel seemed to fade away as she waited for Sierra’s answer.

            “She’s alive,” Sierra said. “but she needs help, fast, or that could easily change.” Hoisting her up, Sierra turned to Skylar, her face determinedly calm. “Let’s go.”

            The two ran for their lives, trying to ignore the shouts that were coming closer, trying to ignore the growing scarlet stain, trying to ignore Sophie’s limp arms and closed eyes.

And, being such a wonderful blogger, I won't tell you what happens. ;)

They ran, but they had talked too long --- the guards were on their tail. Ransom, who was leading the way, looked back and groaned. “I can’t take you to the tunnels with them following us like this,” he said. “It would be a direct giveaway to our hiding place.”

            “Now what do we do? We don’t have time for this!” Sierra’s calm demeanor was shattering as Sophie became less and less conscious and more and more blood dripped through the tunic and over Sierra’s fingers.

            Suddenly, a plan struck Skylar --- a horrible plan, a plan that went against every fiber of her being, a plan that was stupid and foolish yet would work.

            There are greater things to fight for.

            Taking a deep, deciding breath, Skylar stopped running. Ransom and Sierra halted too, staring back at Skylar incredulously.

            “Serenity, what are you doing? Come on!” Ransom urged.

            But Sierra knew what she was going to do. “No, no, don’t do this, please don’t do this,” she begged.

            Skylar had already made up her mind, and nothing could sway her from it now. “No. I’ve got to do this, or we’ll all die. Go.”

            They both hesitated, their mouths open, ready to protest.

            “Go!” Skylar screamed. Turning, she faced the oncoming slew of guards and pulled, out of her utility belt, one hand grenade and a pistol.

            “Skylar,” Sierra begged softly, forgoing all nicknames, “there’s still time left … we could still make it … please …”

            Skylar turned back to her, the grenade armed and ready. “You don’t understand,” she said quietly. “I have to do this. Now, go, or else this will all be in vain.”

            Skylar looked at Ransom, who looked stunned, but he nodded. At least he understands, Skylar thought, as she watched him gently grab Sierra by the elbow and pull her away.

            Closing her eyes, she turned slowly back to the oncoming horde. They were close now. She could see the manic fury in their eyes. They reminded her of the dogs Drew would send to chase after deserters --- hungry, barbaric, unnatural.

            Time seemed to slow down as Skylar raised the grenade and tossed it towards the front line. It exploded on contact, blasting the first row to smithereens and sending the second flying into nearby buildings. The others, merely singed, didn’t even glance at their fallen comrades as they stepped over the bodies and raced towards her, their guns outward, but they weren’t firing.

            They mean to take me prisoner, Skylar calculated, as she raised her own pistol and took aim. Well, I can’t say I didn’t expect that.

            Still, the word prisoner sent chills up her spine as her bullets hit their mark. She remembered Ransom discussing how death would be preferable to the torture that awaited.

            The guards were upon her now. She felt rough hands grab her arms and cold pistols press against her back. She took one last glance behind her, to see nothing. They were gone. They were safe.

            She felt someone’s thumbs press against the pressure point on her neck. She didn’t fight it. She knew that this was how it would end. As darkness closed in from all sides, she sighed deeply.

            There are greater things to fight for.

Cruel, I know. Sorry. :)        

Do any of you have any good fonts to recommend? Because I'm crazy about fonts, and I need a new one to use. What fonts do you use/know/like?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making a Kidnapping

Agh. Sorry I haven't posted in a while guys. Between Christmas, New Year's, and school starting back up again, posting's been in the back of my mind. I apologize. But, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! How did it go for you?

My NaNoWriMo novel is still going strong, at *goes to check* 68,915 words. Yes, over the limit, I know, but I couldn't fit all my ideas for The Shadow Conspiracy into 50k words! I'm nearing the end (YAY!) but I'm stuck on one vital scene.

To describe the scene without writing several paragraphs will be hard, but I'll try my best. So, the three main characters --- the triplets, Sophie, Skylar, and Sierra --- have to kidnap their brother, Santiago.  I'm having trouble writing this, because instead of showing, I am telling by habit. It makes the scene boring, even for me as the author. It's supposed to be thrilling, full of action and close calls, but I can't seem to make it so.

Do you have any tips for writing action scenes? I need them. Desperately. xD Here's a snippet from what I have so far (from the perspective of Santiago), just to give you a taste of what's happening:

Santiago was restless.
            No matter how much his tutor droned on, nor how much he tried to keep his eye on the textbook page, he couldn’t keep his focus. His mind kept wandering to his mother, lying sick in bed, or his father, sitting below him in a meeting.
            I wish I was at that meeting, he thought, instead of listening to old Wheezy talk about … what is he talking about? Santiago sighed. I wish something awesome would happen.
            Santiago jumped. Wasting no time, he rushed to the window (scattering papers everywhere as he did so) and pressed his nose to the glass. The hill, on the outskirts of King’s Crossing, was on fire.
            Santiago pressed a hand to his chest. Sweet mother of magic mushrooms! Am I a wizard or something?
            “Young man, you get back ---” Mr. Meesler stopped, just short of the window. “My goodness --- what in the world ---”
            A knock suddenly came at the door. Slipping on the fallen papers, Santiago rushed to the door and opened it, revealing a soldier.
            “Sir, this is from your father,” the soldier said, handing a piece of parchment to him. “Give this to your tutor, please.”
            “Yes, sir!” Santiago saluted the man, snapped the door shut, and raced to the tutor’s desk. Meesler snatched the envelope from him and, using a pair of scissors, snipped it open.
            Santiago crossed his fingers behind his back. Please let me leave this stuffy place … please let me leave this stuffy place …
            “Your father says to stay here, in the classroom, and continue following the schedule,” Mr. Meesler said tartly, folding up the parchment and sticking it in his desk.
            Santiago groaned. “But, Mr. Meesler ---”
            “No buts, young man! We shall proceed as ordered. Take your seat.”
            Santiago shuffled back to his seat and plopped into it, but his mind was further from the lesson than ever. As he watched soldiers rush to the hills, he couldn’t help but feel like something tremendously exciting was about to happen.

Probably not a very good insight, but it's all I could give right now. :) Thoughts?