The Beautiful People Meme Is Not Dead, Thank Goodness!

I don’t know about you, but I was beginning to get scared. Not that Cait and Sky had died, exactly, but that they were now mortal enemies and would never post a Beautiful People or Beautiful Books meme again.

Well, we can all breathe a nice, long sigh of relief. Just maybe not all at once or we could knock over an old lady or a small building in Indonesia. Never let it be said that I do not look out for small elderly folk and their homes.

Where was I?

Ah, yes. Beautiful People is, at long last, back!

Without further ado… The Glorious Questions!

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What were your writing achievements last year?

I wrote over 50,000 words and will  never get tired of saying so. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in the history of the earth. I finished the novel I have been working on since I was a little girl. It is my child and I couldn’t be more in love with it.

And this may be the first time I have finished anything? Just a minor detail, of course.

What on your “writerly to-do list for 2017?

Most of my resolutions – yes, I make them – were writerly, actually.

For example, I resolved to write at least three drafts of 60,000 words or more, to write one page every day – a resolution I failed on the first day of the new year – and to bulk up at least one of my existing drafts so that it is at least 100,000 words long.

Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

Firstly, I can’t help but point out that is not, in fact, a question? But since I have a large and generous heart, I will answer it anyway. I know, I know. My benevolence knows no bounds.

I’m currently focusing on a Beauty and the Beast retelling… though a temptingly shiny idea introduced itself to me awhile ago and I am excited to see where that may take me.

How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

In 2016, I realized that it is wildly fun to write dialogue. Wildly. Somebody should probably stop me before I hurt someone or their pet monkey with my witty banter.

The problem? It has made me just a little bit scared of writing description.

So clearly there is some room for improvement there.

I see myself at the end of 2017, for starters. I would love to see myself on an exceptionally large throne made of pointy black stuff and dressed in new jeans and a flowy top made of silk… but, somehow, I feel in my heart that this is not to be.

Describe your general editing process.

Also not a question. Still, I shall answer.

I hide my draft and try not to think about it. And fail miserably. Then I–

I haven’t gotten past that point yet, actually. Sorry.

On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

I don’t have much to compare it to? As I mentioned, I’ve never done this before.

Oh, well. I will impulsively say seven. Because it was not as messy as I hear other people saying theirs is, but I will probably end up rewriting the entire thing due to my unfortunate perfectionist tendencies.

What do you like most about your draft?

All of it… except for the writing.

You think I’m trying to be witty. I’m not.

It’s the truth. I adore my characters. My setting is gorgeous perfection.

But the writing? Well, it needs much work.

What are your plans for your novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

Sending it off to beta readers would be quite an adventure, wouldn’t it? I’ve had a few people offer… but, honestly, I have no clue how the whole thing works. How much money it costs.

Money has to be taken into consideration because I don’t have any.

What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

Go sleep for a few years. When you wake up, bury that thing so deep that your great-grandchildren will never find it. Do not think about it on  penalty of death. Only think of other things. Expand your mind with activities like reading, writing any story but that one,  being knocked over by Inspirations, creating worlds, consuming chocolate…

Wonderful advice, is it not?

Let us commence to shriek together!

Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017? Where would you like to see yourself? Do you ever get knocked over by Inspirations? What should I do next in my Editing Process? Does anyone know anything about beta reading and how I can go about it without spending money? Do you have questions for my well-mannered psychopath Landric or his best friend Brand? Tell me everything! And don’t forget to include a link to your Beautiful Books!

A Survey… For Me, Not You

Nobody panic! You do not have to fill out anything.

Actually, I’m joining the linkup hosted by Perpetual Page-Turner to answer all-the -questions-ever-thought about the books I read this year. If you enjoy such nerdiness as well, I suggest you head on over there and join the fray.

Bookishness…

Number Of Books You Read:

93. Ta-daa!

Number of Re-Reads:

Uh… all of them?

Okay, okay. You got me. They weren’t all rereads.

Genre You Read The Most From:

Fantasy, Christian, or Classic.

I don’t track these things too well?

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

The Great Gatsby.

It was assigned for school and… and I liked it? Strange.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic. I feel bad even saying that because I’m positive that this man’s story has inspired thousands of people. He’s an awesome guy. But this book just didn’t impact me the way I expected and hoped it would.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Safe Lands trilogy.

I began this series once before and hated it. Quit the first book before I got halfway through. But then I thought… “I should’ve given it more of a chance.”

So I tried again. And loved it.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don’t do this much? Because I am surrounded by people who don’t read, so…

However, I’m constantly shoving the Hunger Games trilogy down willing and unwilling throats, so we’ll go with that.

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

How is this one question?

Best series? The Song of Seare trilogy.

Best sequel? Beneath the Forsaken City or Outcasts.

Best finale? The Sword and the Song, by three miles at least.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Robin McKinley. Lynn Austin. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Both Sunshine and Shadows were unusual reads for me.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

In Between by Jenny B. Jones. My first encounter with Jones was when I read her book There You’ll Find Me, an instant favorite. For some strange reason, In Between was free on my tablet and recognizing the author of Finley’s sass, I immediately gobbled it up.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I would say “most of them” because I am Queen of Rereading, but one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read only books that are new to me – absolutely no rereading allowed.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Sunshine had a pretty cover.

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I also like these…

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11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Omar from the Safe Lands trilogy.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Fahrenheit 451 and Jacob Have I Loved were both gorgeous.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Either the Safe Lands trilogy or the Song of Seare trilogy. Both series unabashedly wrangle with some incredibly difficult topics. Have I ever mentioned how much I love that?

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

The Great Gatsby. Fahrenheit 451. Jacob Have I Loved. Blue Like Jazz. Oliver Twist.

All of them, basically?

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

Hope you plan to be here for awhile…

“For a moment it hurt. It hurt a lot, like it had the night after Dad had died, when the world that Mom and Ran and I lived in shattered into millions of sharp little pieces, and we were walking around on the slivers, so every step cut into us, and all we saw around was empty and broken. When we found out that people die when they shouldn’t. That stuff happens, and sometimes it happens to you.
That the world was nothing like I’d thought it was.”

Shadows, Robin McKinley

“Living is dreaming.”

Ben-Hur, Lew Wallace

I plan to write an entire post about the amazing quotes of North To Freedom, so I’ll leave you in suspense for those…

“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words.”

Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller

Okay, that’s all. That last one sums me up perfectly, by the way.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Scarlett was the longest book I read this year at 884 pages long. Goodreads refuses to tell me which book was the shortest.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

I was shocked by Deerskin and Rebels, both in a not-happy kind of way.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) (OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Katniss and Gale. I mean Katniss and Peeta. I mean Katniss and Gale?

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

The relationship between the three brothers, Mason, Levi, and Omar in the Safe Lands trilogy. Also Maggie’s relationship with her best friend and her relationship with her younger brother. Jake’s relationship with Lois, his baby dragon. Conor’s relationship with Eoghan. Finley’s relationship with Sister Maria and Mrs. Sweeney. Sylvi’s relationship with Ebon.

What? I like non-romantic relationships.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

In Between, by Jenny B. Jones. For aforementioned reasons.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Ha. No. I do not read books this way. I do not know what peer pressure is.

No, I’m serious. I never read the books that are recommended to me. Not that I don’t love it when you make recommendations. I do. I’m just… terrible at actually reading them.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Con from Sunshine. And Guy from Fahrenheit 451.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

I don’t think I read any books that were published in 2016 in 2016. Actually, I’m reasonably sure that most of the books I read in 2016 were written before 1971. Yep.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Hunger Games and the Safe Lands trilogy.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. His sense of humor is perfect.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

Are you looking at me? I do not cry. Ever.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

If I say The Great Gatsby one more time you will hunt me down and steal all my books in my sleep, and, while that would ultimately be a good thing because I would retain my sanity, but I actually kind of want the books more than my sanity, so I will say…

The Great Gatsby.

Just kidding… Jacob Have I Loved. Happy now?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Great Gatsby. Ouch. Consider soul officially crushed. Apparently I enjoy my soul being crushed, though…

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

I’m gonna say Pegasus by Robin McKinley. It had zero romance, human-animal friendship, animals-who-acted-just-like-humans-but-weren’t, and essentially no plot.

In a word, unique.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Deerskin. It was… awful. Never read this book. It is not okay.

 

Blogishness…

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

How am I to answer such a question?

I rediscovered Abbiee‘s blog that makes me want to eat waffles, go indie, and have gorgeous hair. I discovered Kenzie‘s blog of spunk and randomness. I rediscovered Christine‘s blog and got to know Christine who is like the big sister I never had. Except I have three big sisters, but whatever. I also met Anna who has become a dear friend. And Kit who is apparently my long-lost twin?

I’m gonna go cry stormily in a corner now because I like you all so much.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

Well, this is easy. I only wrote one. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

How should I know? You guys can vote in the comments.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I don’t participate in most of those things… I am, after all, an introvert, so you can’t exactly expect me to betray my true self and be social, right? Right.

However. I do participate in Cait and Sky‘s monthly Beautiful People linkup, because I know Cait and, even though she is famous, she is not scary and I like her.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

By far the best moment was when I realized that for the first time in two years of blogging, I had an audience.

Like, humans wanted to read my words? Totally unprecedented. I’m still in shock, to be perfectly honest.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I suppose that my biggest struggle is comparing myself to other bloggers. Like, “She started at the same time I did and has triple the followers and great hair! How does this happen?”

Stuff like that.

Otherwise, my experience has been fantastic. No rude or abusive comments, no trolling, no drama.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

I don’t monitor views so much? Comments, on the other hand… Well, suffice it to say I rabidly stalk the comments.

I got 54 comments on my post about being nominated Sunshine Blogger. But the numbers might be a bit warped by the fact that Sarah and I started debating Hamilton in the comments?

Personally, I loved when I shared snippets for the first time and everyone said the sweetest things imaginable. That was fun. And made my face hurt from smiling too much.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

As some of you know, I moved my blog to WordPress in September. Before that I had been blogging at Blogger and I had essentially no following there.

So.

The thirty-something posts that I wrote to my nonexistent audience were moved over and immediately found their way into the deep dark recesses of the forgotten past. I wrote new posts, I got new followers… Nobody goes back to read the old ones.

Basically, any of those posts could qualify.

Honestly, I don’t mind. My writing style has become much more decided since then, so I shudder to think what drivel you would find should you read them…

Just don’t read them, okay?

And then there are other times when it would seem that my timing was off, or I got a little too nerdy for my own good.

Wanna make my day? Check out this bit of rambling about the Hobbit movie trilogy or this piece of nerdiness about the Lord of the Rings books.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Um. That nearly every classic ever written is free on my tablet? I may or may not have squeaked excitedly like the small bookish mouse that I am to see so many books piling up on my virtual shelves.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Alas, I did not.

I set my goal on Goodreads for 200 books. This was kind of a wild guess? I had never tracked how many books I read in a year before and 200 seemed about right…

Whew! That was a lot of surveyishness. I am exhausted and must go sleep now.

Before I go: What was your favorite post of mine this year? What was the best book you read this year? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? What are they? What was your best blogging moment this year? What book crushed your soul this year? What book made you cry? Did you discover any new authors? Go on, scream at me.

2016 Character Awards!

So Cait designed a lovely little Character Awards post that she invited us all to politely steal. Because impolitely stealing things isn’t nice.

So I did. Politely stole it, that is.

Now, feel warned. Cait’s questions are somewhat tailored to someone who reads more YA than I do. And so you may notice that my answers don’t always fit quite right… or that I bend the rules a bit. My apologies, Cait.

Personally, I do a great deal of rereading and I read a few classics and a bit of nonfiction. So obviously I had to… tweak things a bit.

Before we get to the, um, ceremony, you should know one last thing. I read 93 books this year. Aren’t you proud of me? I am thoroughly proud of me. You should be, too.

Okay, I’m actually a little disappointed? I set my goal on Goodreads for 200. I thought I could do it. I’ve never tracked how many books I read in a year before… 200 seemed quite reasonable.

Alas, either I overestimated how many books I can squeeze into one year… or I had a bad year in the Reading Department. I think it was the latter? This year was weird in the Reading Department… I had my first reading slump… and ended up hiding from certain scary books for months… books that may or may not be titled Don Quixote and The House of the Seven Gables…

I feel myself beginning to hyperventilate. Breathe, breathe, breathe…

Okay. What if we start the ceremony, yes?

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1. MOST RELATABLE CHARACTER

I’m gonna be that annoying person who can’t decide and say Wheeze from Jacob Have I Loved and Katie from In Between.

I related to Wheeze’s circumstances. Like Wheeze, I sometimes struggle with feeling like I will never step out of my siblings’ shadows. After all, there are a lot of them. And they are all so incredibly talented. It’s hard to feel… special.

Katie’s, on the other hand, were nothing like mine – but her personality was. We’re both dramatic and love good clothes and chocolate and accidentally memorize plays that we’re not actually in. Oops?
2. MOST PURE AND PRECIOUS ANIMAL COMPANION

Hix, one of the “shadows” from, well, Shadows, is adorable. As is Lois, the baby dragon Jake adopts in Dragonhaven.

I was also sorely tempted to mention the baby dragon in my novel, The Songless. However, as it is not technically published yet…
3. FIERCEST FIGHTER

Orual, from Till We Have Faces.

Ha! You thought I was going to say Katniss?
4. MOST AMAZING SIDEKICK

Jim, from Huckleberry Finn. Jim is a sweet guy. If you’re planning a raft trip, I seriously advise you to take Jim with you. It will just make your life so much better. I promise.
5. ONE YOU’RE SURPRISED YOU LOVED

Jemma, from the Safe Lands trilogy. Normally I do not like – nay, I detest – the Overly Sweet and Kind Soul of Goodness. But Jemma was refreshingly genuine and realistic.
6. BEST SASSMASTER

Without a doubt, Finley, from There You’ll Find Me.

“The least you could do is offer a little conversation.” Beckett dodged a pothole, keeping his eyes on the road.
“You want me to talk?”
“It would be the polite thing to do.”
“Okay. Let’s talk.”
“Any topic will be fine.”
“I’m going to sit here and silently think of one. Might take a while.”

Finley is my hero.
7. BEST ANTI-HERO AND MORALLY GREY GRAPE

Omar from the Safe Lands trilogy. I hope to get a review out soon, but Omar was the best part of this trilogy. I deeply appreciated that Williamson didn’t tack up a “Church-going Protagonists Only” sign up at the door. Omar is high on drugs for approximately half of this trilogy. But he’s still a good guy. He still believes. He just doesn’t act like it. Most of the time.
8. BEST WORST VILLAIN TO HATE

President Snow, always and forever.
9. TRULY ASTOUNDING WORST YA PARENTS

Katie’s foster parents from In Between. Not that they were that bad, but I certainly don’t recommend trying to win a difficult teenager’s heart the way they go about it.
10. TRULY ASTOUNDING BEST YA PARENTS

I don’t know that A Wrinkle In Time would traditionally be classified as YA… but I don’t read much in that genre, so bear with me. I’m going to say Meg’s parents. Though technically, only her mother is present for much of the story. Still. She is an awesome mom. I would like to abduct her and force her at gunpoint to adopt me.

Aerin-from-The Hero and the Crown‘s parents were also truly fantastic. I will abduct them as well.
11. TOOT TOOT BEST SHIP OF THEM ALL

Jo and Laurie. Duh. And Julie and the nasty doctor from Fire By Night. I have a weakness for nasty doctors with addictions to alcohol and sarcasm. Also a little bit of Maggie and Takahiro, from Shadows.
12. THE MOST IN NEED OF PROTECTION

Honestly, I want to protect them all?

But for the sake of brevity, I will only name two. Frankenstein’s monster and Jay Gatsby. Frankenstein’s monster is too sweet to survive in our harsh world and Gatsby is far too naive.
13. MOST BORING AS A BARNACLE

Robinson Crusoe from Robinson Crusoe. I have not sufficient words to describe my hatred for this disgusting hero. And for good measure, let’s throw Ben-Hur in there, too. In a fight to the death, I predict that Crusoe would barricade himself in a corner with materials he brought with him and Judah would agree to marry all the women in the crowd who shouted catcalls.
14. BEST LITTLE ROYAL

There were not a great many royals in my readings this year, unfortunately, but I did like Rowena from The Reluctant Duchess.

Oh! I know. Jay Gatsby, from The Great Gatsby. He was adorable.
15. VERY SURPRISED YOU’RE STILL ALIVE

Um, Katniss? And Rae from Sunshine. Both of you should have been dead… yesterday. Or last month.
16. BEST AT HORRIBLE DECISION MAKING

Archer Keaton from the Dreamtreaders trilogy. Though I must argue that bad decision-making is one of the fundamental building-blocks of every story. Frustrating? Yes. Agonizing? Absolutely. But true.
17. CUTEST DORK

Aaron from Bridge To Terabithia and Anne from Anne of Green Gables. So adorkable.
18. CLEVEREST LITTLE HELLION

Huck Finn from Huckleberry Finn. He is a rather devious little boy, but also completely lovable. I shall adopt him.
19. MOST IN NEED OF A NAP

Conor from the Song of Seare trilogy. This poor guy! He is always so exhausted… and covered in blood… and wounds… and beginning to fray mentally…

He. Needeth. Sleep.

Now.
20. WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT YOU

Finnick and Annie from the Hunger Games trilogy. Anyone with me here? They are seriously the most adorable couple to ever grace the pages of a book and I want more. How did they meet?

Scream at me about: how many books you read this year, how many books you wanted to read this year, whether this was a weird Reading Year or not, which character you would most want to read more about, your favoritest ship, the character that you are the most surprised is still alive, and which villain you hate the most. Go ahead. Scream at me.

 

Evangeline’s Holiday Tag

This actually wasn’t a tag. But when I read Evangeline’s post… I couldn’t resist. Not to mention that she has legitimately the most gorgeous header I have ever seen in my mortal life. So I rudely stole the questions she asked herself and am now asking them of myself. You’re welcome, world.

You are headed to a Christmas cookie party, but as a cookie. What are you?

I agree with Evangeline that the chances of being eaten are dangerously high here. Shouldn’t I try to make myself the most disgusting kind of cookie imaginable to turn potential devourers off?

And how should I know what kind of cookie I am most like? Google asks the most difficult questions…

I would be an adorable, plump little chocolate chip cookie. But I’m made out of plastic and totally not edible, so please don’t try to eat me. Please?

Talk about finding out Santa wasn’t real. How did it happen? What did you feel?

I never believed in Santa. My parents didn’t encourage it, I suppose.

But… I wanted to believe. I tried to persuade myself that Santa was real on a number of occasions. It never worked.

I also told my little brother terribly convincing stories in the hopes that, even if I could not bring myself to belief, that he could enjoy what I had so devastatingly missed out on. I don’t think it worked?

Share a tradition you want to start in your own home one day.

I have always thought that it would be fascinating to choose a different culture each year to learn about and “do Christmas” the way that they would do it. Or somehow integrate several different cultures into every Christmas. Jewish Christmas traditions are particularly beautiful.

The most dreadful part of the holidays is…

Crowds. Whatever possesses humans to gather in such large quantities and increase my chances of brushing up against them?

Don’t they realize that is scary?

Give This, Not That gift guide

Just give everyone books. Particularly me.

Books are simply far more exciting gifts than gift cards, or clothing, or cars.

I find no greater pleasure than buying my eight-year-old nephew – a budding bookworm – the next book in The Boxcar Kids series. After one birthday he told me, “The best thing is books!”

I beamed upon him and thought, “I have taught you well, my son.”

If you were Santa, what would you want to find on the plate awaiting you at the bottom of the chimney?

First off, the plate is not at the bottom of the chimney. That is ridiculous.

And I would appreciate cheesecake. Chocolate cheesecake. And hot chocolate. And I would like it to be hot. With marshmallows. And whipped cream.

That’s all.

What holiday decor do you collect without apology?

Ornaments.

I have a snowman-key, and a snowman-chef, and a regular snowman, and a glass angel, and a Precious Moment ballerina who has lost both arms, and a popsicle-stick snowflake…

What books are on your literary Christmas list this year?

Sadly, none. I have run out of shelf space. And I possess the appalling trait of practicality that insists that I must not expand my collection any more until I have a place of my own to junk up.

Are we still friends?

If your year was going to be encapsulated in a snow globe, what would be included inside?

Deep question, Google.

Um. A fat stack of paper, for NaNo. Some smiley faces to represent the lovely friends I have made. Probably a dirty plate to represent all the dishes I have washed this year.

Speaking of dishes…

That’s all for now, folks! But, tell me – what are some of your favorite Christmas tree ornaments? What would your snowglobe look like? What is your favorite Christmas carol? What culture most influences the way you celebrate Christmas? What kind of Christmas cookie would you be (I promise not to eat you, if that helps)?

I almost forgot! This is a tag! I want to see every one of you do it! Immediately!

 

Sunshine Blogger? Me?

My sweet friend Julia nominated me – who’da thunk? – for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

I love being tagged. Tags equal a blog post with almost no effort required. I don’t have to think of an idea. I don’t have to write up the entire thing. All I gotta do is answer them questions!

Which is fun. If not for you, then for me. Because I am self-obsessed. I could talk about my fascinating self for hours, to be honest with you.

Hope you plan to hang around for a while…

Just kidding. Please come back.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

1. What is your favorite band/ What kind of music do you listen to?

This is one of those sneaky two-in-one questions that compel me to answer both.

That first one is all but impossible…

I like Switchfoot, Coldplay, Bastille, and Mumford And Sons. Those are just bands. I also love Owl City, Josh Groban, and Michael Buble.

The second one is easier. I listen primarily to rock and alternative, possibly some folk.

2. What is your favorite book?

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis.

3. Are you a part of any fandoms, if so, what?

Offiicially? No.

Unofficially, The Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings.

4. Favorite YouTuber?

Um. I watch all of Studio C’s videos?

5. What is your biggest Pet Peeve?

Humans who don’t like to read books.

6. What is your favorite color AND why?

Blue or green. Because both are so prevalent in nature and absolutely gorgeous. Trees, grass, the sky, the ocean… See what I mean?

7. Favorite song at the moment/ last song you listened to?

Another two-for-one deal!

Some of my favorite songs include Human by Christina Perri, Renegades by XAmbassadors, Bright by Echosmith, and Hello Seattle by Owl City.

Recently I have been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and my beloved “Christmas Jam,” but, oddly, I have Closer by The Chainsmokers and This Town by Niall Horan stuck in my head.

8. If you could only get one thing for Christmas what would you ask for?

One of Cait‘s mugs. I am obsessed.

9. How many kids do you want to have when you are older?

As marriage is not apart of the plan, I’d say none.

However, if some guy manages to persuade me in spite of myself, I think I can manage two. It would be cute to have one girl and one boy, obviously.

Let’s hope we get one of each, then, because I am absolutely not going through the most intense pain known to man more than two times.

If I had my way, I’d forget having kids altogether and foster teenagers. International adoption gets a lot of attention, but what about all the kids without families right here in America? So many teenagers will never know what it’s like to be a part of a family. That’s not right.

10. Do you do any sports?

I played basketball for exactly one season when I was around seven years old. I played four or five seasons of soccer. But more recently, I play volleyball. I’ve played about five seasons, for a time competitively, now casually with friends.

Who am I kidding? I don’t have friends.

I play casually with other humans that I know.

11. What time is it right this second, as you are answering this?

Six-o-five.

I now nominate Miss March because her blog is sunshiniest of them all, Anna because we all need to get to get to know her lovely self better, Kenzie because she shares a name with my beloved niece, Kit because she leaves fantastic comments, Sarah and Grace because we are the Hamilton Squad, and monkeyeverything because her username is original and I’m only assuming that she is, indeed, female.

I am too exhausted to count how many people that is. I don’t think it’s eleven. I don’t care.

Your questions are as follows:

1. If you had to choose one song to be your “anthem” what would it be?

2. What is one book you will never read again and why?

3. What is one book you reread over and over again and why?

4. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

5. Do you have a favorite quote and what is it?

6. If you could meet any historical figure – living or dead – who would you choose to meet? And, for the sake of getting more diverse answers, let’s leave Jesus out of this, shall we?

7. What is the first book you read on your own?

8. What is your fondest memory?

9. Who are your heroes?

10. What character from literature are you most like?

11. What would you do if the Zombie Apocalypse happened tomorrow?

Thank you once again, Julia, for nominating me!

What say you? Were you surprised by any of my answers? What is your favorite color and why? What have you been listening to recently? What do you want for Christmas? How many mugs do you own? Do you need more (you know you do!)?

My Second Ever Tag

Miss March and I have become friends over the past couple of months and I am beyond flattered that she tagged me for the Blogger Recognition Tag – thank you, dear!

Actually, the blog was never my idea.

My preference for writing showed up early in life, so, yes, I had been dabbling in the dangerous waters of writerliness for a while, but my presence in social media – and even in cyberspace itself – was nonexistent at best.

Sure, I knew what a blog was, but it seemed like something that had nothing to do with me. I wanted to be an author. Of books.

So clearly a blog would be pointless. Right?

Maybe not.

A friend, Annette, was the one who first suggested it to my parents, who passed along the idea to me.

I will admit to be immediately enthralled with the idea.

It meant writing, did it not?

And I thought it would be easy. Ha.

Little did I know of the horrors, the blood, sweat, and tears, that are required of a blogger such as I.

Just kidding. Kind of.

And now for my advice. Brace yourself for profundity, peeps.

Your Opinion Is Important

This is something I struggled with at the beginning of my blogging career.

I had been focusing on book reviews and suddenly it hit me – a million people had already reviewed this book; why should anyone read my review? What was the point in simply adding to the noise?

It took me a while to realize the truth…

My opinion was important. No one else could write the same review that I could, no one else had ever had the exact same opinion as I had, and no one could write is just the way that I would.

So even if you begin to feel like you are saying things that have been said before, don’t feel for one second like nobody wants to know.

Your take is important because it’s yours. No one could do it the way you will.

Get To Know People

Imagine this bit of advice coming from me, the self-proclaimed introvert. But have no fear.

I don’t want you to get to know actual humans from real life.

Because that, of course, is scary.

No, no, no. I want you to talk to the faceless entities that populate the dark world called the internet. Not scary at all.

But let’s be serious.

I didn’t realize that this was a big deal. I thought I could go it alone.

Ya can’t do that, folks.

There is a lot of advice about blogging out there, but the advice that has by far served me the best was to get to know other people.

They call it “networking.” Sounds innocent enough, right?

The point is that you need readers. And the way to get readers is to talk to other bloggers. Read their blogs. Leave coherent comments. Find a group of bloggers with interests that are similar to yours and join in. Blogging is all about community.

I never got much of anywhere until I embraced that – now I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere.

And, oh my goodness, I have to tag fifteen people?

My brain did not ask for this.

Okay.

I tag…

Victoria at Wanderer’s Pen

Cait at Paper Fury

Tracey at Adventure Awaits

Christine at Musings of an Elf

Jameson at Lovely Whatsoevers

Anna at Swords and Quills

Lydia at Through the Wardrobe

Olivia at Meanwhile, In Rivendell

Abbiee at, um, Abbiee?

I literally don’t know any more blogging humans than that. I apologize.

If you want to steal this tag, feel absolutely free to do so! As always, just follow the rules – thank the person who tagged you – that would be me – tell us a little about how you got started blogging, give two pieces of advice for new bloggers and leave a comment below with the link to your post because I am nosy.

 

I Done Got Tagged!

Can you believe it?

I can’t.

You see, I haven’t been blogging that long – I mean, two years or something, but who’s counting? – and sometimes feel like I haven’t made too much headway into the blogging world.

When I saw this “tagging” thing going on, I thought that it looked fun and secretly wished someone would “tag” me. But since no one knew I existed, well… I will leave you to imagine how that went.

This is turning into a bit of a pity-party for me, but that wasn’t the point. Several people were actually generous enough to say that anyone who wanted to participate were welcome to. But I resolved that I would wait until someone tagged me, specifically.

I am so flattered to have tagged by the lovely, um, well, the lovely young mystery person at Swords And Quills.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Allow me to preface the photographs by saying that I don’t actually believe in basing a character off of a photograph. It feels too much like I am limiting myself to that picture, relying on it to know what my character looks like.

I would actually rather just draw them myself? Unfortunately, all my characters have remained elusive in this respect.

However, I have done some looking around for pictures that remind me of a character, or have certain similarities, just to serve as a reminder or an inspiration.

So, without further ado…

Keira looks something like this.

And Saint looks like this.

 

Who inspired this character?

No one. They simply sprung into my mind and haven’t left yet.

Okay, so maybe that isn’t entirely true?

I suppose that all my characters have a little of me in them somewhere. I know that I draw largely from my own emotions in order to write theirs.

However, I honestly don’t know anyone like Keira or Saint. Perhaps that’s a bad thing…?

What is their weapon of choice?

What a fun question! Let the killing begin!

Keira has no fighting skills. She doesn’t know how to use weaponry. She doesn’t have any martial arts prowess or neck-snapping talents.

Not because she isn’t athletic, mind you. She’s six feet tall and powerful. She simply has no interest in learning.

So. Her weapon of choice? Her words. Keira is reserved, a woman of few words. But when she chooses to speak, her words carry a lot of weight – to heal or destroy.

Oh. Yeah. Did I mention that she can kill people by singing? I may have forgotten that bit.

Saint, as an assassin, is proficient in all methods of killing humans. I admire him.

He can use a longbow, knives, or his own bare hands. Though he likes using his hands best.

Have they ever been physically violent with someone else? What instigated it?

Rather.

As aforementioned, Saint is an assassin. He kills people on a regular basis. So.

Keira gets in more than a few tangles with Saint himself. Originally, I had these be verbal fights, but decided emotions were volatile enough that things actually become physical.

They do not like each other. At all.

Are they more of a rule-follower or a rebel?

Neither Keira nor Saint has ever been all that great at following the rules.

Though for much of her life, Keira lived in perfect submission to Edmonde’s wishes, it was not fear, but lack of opportunity that made her so obedient.

Saint has been a rebel all his life.

What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Saint was spoiled as the oldest male child. Keira was… unnoticed. They were incredibly close, Saint in particular was extremely protective of his “little sister.”

Where would they go to relax and think?

Keira’s refuge was the other side of the Wall she was forbidden to beyond. Saint loves water.

Do they have a temper?

Yes. This might be part of the reason why they are always attempting to murder one another?

Would they be more likely to face their fears or run from them?

Both of them would rather face the inevitable. Though I suppose to be fair, I would have to admit that the reason they are together is because both of them were running from something.

When they are upset, do they turn to other people or isolate themselves?

I think that they would prefer to isolate themselves. But when they are together – and circumstances force them to remain together always – they are also forced to turn to each other.

Both suffer from nightmares, but don’t know it. Saint has a seizure-like episode. Keira is dying, and so suffers from intense hallucinations. These things force them into each other’s arms – literally – and so forces them to open up to each other, even though it’s the last thing they want to do.

Say 3 things about where your character lives (as broad or specific as you’d like).

Keira has moved around a lot. She was born among the Guardians, inside their domain. She was immediately taken by her guardian to live in the desert with a Fallen pack. When that pack was attacked, Edmonde saved her from being killed and took her to live with him in The Empire. Years later, he sent her to live with the Nomads in the desert.

Saint, like Keira, was born among the Guardians. When he was about four, though, he went to live with his mother – Keira’s guardian – in the desert. Miraculously, he was not killed with the rest of the pack. He wandered on his own for many years, picking up new languages and meeting new people. He is something of a nomad himself, you could say.

The end, I guess?

Thank you, Writer Of Swords And Quills, for tagging me.

I therefore tag Christine at Musings of an Elf, Mary Horton at Sunshine and Scribblings, Tracey at Adventure Awaits, and Victoria at Wanderer’s Pen.

And, of course, feel free to do the Dual Character Inquisition Tag yourself. All you have to do is link back to the person who tagged you – that would be me, my dear – pick two of your characters, include a picture for each, answer the ten questions, and tag three more people. And don’t forget to include a link to your post in the comments so I can come read it!

Do you have any questions for or about Keira or Saint? If you do, list them in the comments, and, if I get enough questions, I will do my first ever character interview! I know, I know. Calm down. We got firsts going on all over the place here. Sheesh.