Thursday, January 26, 2012

Come to the countries in my mind...

I've been tagged by Jessica of Safirewriter! This is a delightfully fun tag for a writer, especially one who happens to be momentarily stuck at a very unhappy place in the story, and must write about it if the story itself refuses to let me write it! :( :P 

So, here you are. Officially meet And It Was Love, the second book in my Faith-Hope-Love trilogy. :) 



1. Who are the main characters?

Tyrielle Sen Aransadorien - River, to her family - 2nd daughter and ambassador-princess of the Ilmataran royal family - baby of the family, ambassador to the dangerous courts of Brynhaven's Casimir Re, and the best in a nation of archers.

Jaden Beorn - Jayde, to those he likes - firstborn son of Asbjorn Arthfail and so crown prince of the Arturri in the land of Vastavatkarhu, a man caught between two worlds and fighting, not only for the respect and obedience of his people, but for his very soul.

Tarian Storm, prince of Ilmatara. Always in the background, yet he made River who she is, and it is to him that she compares every man she meets, his advice that she hears in her head as she attempts to put back together the disaster that has become her existence... and his life the one that affects hers more than any other.


2. How did you get the idea for this story?

Writing another book. And watching a random video clip on youtube. Really.

Avaenestelwen's mother... and the lengths to which Nin Vasilissa went to rewrite her story... and the awe with which the woman's murderer regarded her - indeed, the fact that she completely changed his life by her death - and the difference that the truth about her made to Avaenestelwen... I wanted to know it. And then I desperately wanted to write a love story - about the love of siblings. How well I will succeed  I am not sure... Jaden Beorn wants a different story.

3. What genre is this story?

Speculative Christian Fiction... narrowed down to Historical Fantasy.
:P

4. Describe your book in three thoughts:

Love hurts. Love never lets go. The greatest of these is Love.

5. The bit that describes an obscure piece of real life best: 

At least she was no longer shivering. Or at least, River thought crossly, brushing snow from her mittens with a frown, she would not be shivering if she could keep from tripping over her stupid snowshoes and falling into the snow. Her wrists were icy cold, and the soft fur that lined her mittens could not keep all of the melting snow packed around the edge of her mittens from dripping down her hands.

6. The funniest line said by a side-character thus far:

“No! Jaden Beorn, have you lost your royal mind?” Osbeorn’s voice was filled with both shock and frustration.
along with:
“Whatever, your Highness."  

Also Osbeorn. I love Osbeorn... :D

7. Your favourite piece of description:

gah... frighteningly hard to find a piece... :P But this perhaps is one of my favorite pictures:

"With a sudden movement she had unfastened the clasp of the heavy bear cloak, and the next instant she was on her feet, balancing easily on the branch, one hand lightly resting in the tangled twigs above her. Her dress was the color of a water bird’s wing feathers – not green and not blue, but somewhere wildly in between. She had dyed it herself; she wanted to stand out, and she knew she did, astonishingly bright against the stark white and black of the winter background."


tho ya gotta admit, he can look pretty useless sometimes...
as far as describing feelings... I love Jayde sometimes too... ;)

"Lifting her chin, she followed Berend out, and Jaden watched the door close tightly behind her. His hand was still tightly gripping the cup, and suddenly he brought his hand back, flinging the cup across the room to smash into jagged shards of pottery against the fireplace. The fire sizzled as water hit the flames and Jaden clenched his fists. Never in his life had he felt more useless."


which is not to say there is not something utterly frightening about him at times...
















8. Your biggest fear in the writing of this story:

That it will end up making nada sense? LOL I want the point to come through... the story to hang together... it to be beautiful.

9. Last full sentence you wrote:

Can we go with last full sentence (*ahem* or two) that I'm pretty sure I'm keeping? :P There is currently a bit of discussion going on... :P
 
“Don’t be a fool.” Kadien’s voice was laced with bitterness as he turned slightly, pausing his laborious walk.

10. Favourite character thus far:

Ack... In some strange way it could be Jaden - his battle is hard, but he is fighting it as well he can...

River, of course - though despite her being the reason I wrote the story, I seem to have an awfully hard time understanding her...
this is Atheros... which is cool because River is in the same picture! ;D


Tarian Storm. He's amazing. Absolutely. <3

Atheros. (The man who taught both Jaden and Tarian sword fighting.) He's just cool. And somehow also sweet and tender and a man that, along with River's father, inspired Tarian to be the amazingness that he is.


 closest I've got to Bernadette, and her baby Bee (Thorbjorn) :)
Osbeorn. (One of Jaden's men and brother-in-law to Bernadette.) *giggle* Sheer awesomeness. And I have high hopes for him...

 
Bernadette. (Jaden's blood sister - she would have been his blood brother but she was a girl.) She just randomly appeared and I'm kind of expecting her to disappear... but she is such a rebel in the land of Vastaavatkarhu that I cannot help but love her.




w/out long hair or marks on his face - this is Casimir Re


Casimir Re. (Villain.) Mastermind behind every world tragedy in the past 20 years, or near enough - absolute, pure evil. Asbjorn (another villain) has the nasty problem of being Jayde's father and sometimes even loved by his wife - I hate him, but it's mixed with disgust and irritation and wanting to slam his head into a wall. Not so Casimir Re. I just want him dead. *shudder* So he's my favorite on the least favorite side. :P



Anybody guessed yet that I have problems picking favorites? :P


11. What books have been written or have you read that are similar in style and flavour to your novel?

Hmm.... not sure... I think it's too much drawn from everything I've ever heard, read, or watched for there to be one specific thing... though when I start letting random people read it and they notice anything I would be interested in knowing what it reminds them of. :)

12. If it was destined to become a book on tape, who would you wish to read it?

?? Never thought of that... I rarely listen to books on tape. But Jessica had a good a good idea with the whole full-cast thing... :)


And, since it's a tag... I tag Vicki and Lizzy! :) 
I hope you enjoyed meeting these people... let's hope they will at some point soon allow me to finish their story! :)  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beautiful People - Jaden Beorn

 
 The title makes me laugh, because I can just picture Jayde's face upon being called a beautiful person... :D Ay-yi-yi...

Anyway.

Prince Jaden Beorn, from the WIP I'm working most on: And It Was Love.

(Which, by the way, he thinks is a rather femmy and ridiculous title for a story - but he doesn't get to vote because he was never meant to be in the story at all. It was about someone entirely different, who happened to be a girl, and the title seemed much more appropriate before he appeared in all his rough and unpolished royal-ness. :P) 



made by someone who is good at this! :)

1. If the character's house burned down, and he was left with nothing but the clothes on his back, what would he do? Where would he go?

As a prince of the Bear Clan, his house is the great lodge of the Vastaavatkarhun village, and his father the king would probably be furious at its burning. Somehow I think that he himself would be angry - except seeing his father's loss of temper would make him simply shrug and figure out how they were going to get building materials and replace whatever was lost. (Which would not be that much - it's not as if it is a palace.) He would then would pitch in beside his men and set to work building it back up.

2. Is he happy with where he is in life, or would he like to move on?

Moving on is often in his thoughts - mostly he is struggling with what exactly "moving on" would involve. He does not see eye-to-eye with anyone in his village (six years away from home can have that effect), and the only person he has found who even remotely understands where he is coming from is a slave girl from an enemy country who despises his land and his people with all her being. She might despise him too, though he's not entirely sure on that point. Perhaps he merely does not wish to see it.

3. Is he well-paid?

Vastaavatkarhun princes are not paid - and the People of the Bear do not give their leaders much in the way of tribute. However, what is desired is generally taken, and there no protest can be made. Still, Vastaavatkarhu is not a rich country, though, having never known them, Jaden has never missed the luxuries of the southern countries.

4. Can he read?

During his six years of training, his uncle used his few scrolls to teach him to read the Words of Elohim at least passably well. Since his return home, he has not even that, and reading is not exactly considered a skill necessary for the People of the Bear. I do not think he has told anyone that he possesses the ability, at however rudimentary a level.

5. What languages does he speak?

His own - Vastaavatkarhun... and the man his uncle hired to teach him sword fighting taught him the language of the lowland traders - a language spoken by most in the surrounding countries. That is the language he used to communicate with the thrall Tyrielle, and in teaching her his language - an attempt to make her life slightly easier - he found himself learning hers - Ilmataran.

6. What is his biggest mistake?

Which one? Falling in love with a slave girl? Demanding her love in return, forgetting that not only does she worship the same God he claims to serve, she is a princess in her own land and would rather die than be both his slave and his wife? Or rejecting in wounded fury a plea for mercy - the consequences of which will reverberate not only through the lives of all he loves, but every country which he touches, and indeed, the history of the world itself? I would say the last, but had the first not occurred, the next could not have followed.

7. What did he play with most as a child?

Not what, perhaps, but who - Bernadette, the rebellious girl who defied Vastaavatkarhun traditions and who became his blood-sister, the only one, since he was the solitary child of his mother. Thankfully his father never knew, or the approval he so desired from his father would have become unattainable a whole lot earlier in life.

8. What are his thoughts on politics?

Eh, he kind of hates them. He does not entirely realize and he certainly does not take advantage of his privileges as prince, and his responsibilities frustrate him to no end, for he lacks the power to change the things he wishes to, while being forced to follow his father's unjust lead and listen to advisers for whom he has absolutely no respect. The back-stabbing (oftentimes quite literally) that surrounds him disgusts him, and he would rather face an army than deal with the twisted value system of the Vastaavatkarhun court.

9. What is his expected life time?

Whoa... interesting question. :) Well... he's been back home six months and already had several attempts made on his life. His country is preparing for war, and given the fact that everyone from his country's tenuous allies to his own father would rather he were dead and not in the middle of everything, complicating it horribly, his life expectancy is not good. Were it not for the small band of men who have slowly come to respect him, if not understand him, during several months of strenuous battle training, he would probably be dead already.

10. If he were falsely accused of murder, what would he do? How would he react? 

It would depend on who accused him. There really would be very little consequences for him whether the accusation was true or not - he is the prince and so long as he had a semi-valid reason nothing would happen. If he were taken before his father's court, he would probably laugh and ask if they were really going to hate him more if it turned out he was innocent (which they probably would, while his actually being a murderer might scare them into some slight appearance of respect). He would be irritated more than anything, unless it happened to be the murder of someone he cared for, in which case he would be of course upset about their death.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Showcasing the Brilliance of Others...

Random things I've read recently that were really, really good:  

When a man of God cares for
His sister in Christ
With all his heart,
He does not betray her trust
No matter his part,
No matter his cost.
He would pray for her, stay with her
Through any strife.
He would fly for her, cry with her,
Die for her life.
He’s a rock she can lean on,
An angel she can see.
He’s a secure paragon,
A bodyguard for free...

read the rest of this poem here - and the comments too. :D 











 And click on the picture to read an absolutely brilliant post on Christianity and violence... something I really, really appreciated reading, since it was struggling with that whole issue that got me started writing one of my westerns - attempting to reconcile "love your enemies" with the whole idea of the American West threw me for a loop for a bit. Though I am glad that I, along with my character, did eventually figure it out - and when it came time for the MC to pull the trigger, he did so, as much as he did not want to, and saved several lives in so doing. It is a very serious matter... but one that needs thinking about.




This post made me want to stand up and cheer - girls, we have been called to follow Him! Not to hit 18 and mindlessly head off to college, there to have our faith blown to smithereens because we never took the time to learn what it actually was we believed! And not to self-righteously stay home and spend 10 years perfecting our floor-scrubbing skills, patting ourselves on the back that we're better than those that didn't! 
STOP putting God in a box and LEARN TO LISTEN TO HIS LEADING! He does not create using a paper punch! What has He called you to do?




And click on the picture to read another post along similar lines that I really liked... 

In a slightly different vein, I absolutely love this quote:



"So that is the outline of the official story - the tale of the time when God was the underdog and got beaten, when he submitted to the conditions he had laid down and became a man like the men he had made, and the men he had made broke him and killed him. This is the dogma we find so dull - this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero.

"If this is dull, then what, in Heaven's name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore - on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him "meek and mild," and recommended him for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggests a milk-and-water person; they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand." ~ Dorothy Sayers




Go here and here to see where I got it, and to read a rather fascinating set of posts on religion in books. 





 Enjoy them all and feel free to let me know what you thought of them! :)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some days I hate my body.

Today was one of those days. 


See, it is so easy to forget why I'm doing all this studying, taking all these classes... until I go shadow a doctor and then I remember. So, as you can imagine, I was excited when a doctor called me up and said I could shadow her today! And I got up before 6am to make sure I'd have a car for the day, got ready, ate breakfast, made a lunch, and headed to the clinic.

First patient: I walked in the room, shut the door, get ready to listen...

and my head started spinning. Or maybe it was the room. All I know is all of a sudden I was dripping with sweat, my ears were roaring so loudly I could not hear a word being said, and I knew I was going to pass out any second. 

'Cause that happened to me once before, and believe you me, the definition of the word awkward is collapsing while the doctor you're shadowing is discussing a life-threatening injury with the patient. And you stumble back to your feet as quickly as you can and the doctor whips around with narrowed eyes and wants to know what just happened. 

*wants to disappear through several floors* 

So now I'm leaning against the wall, unzipping my down vest as unobtrusively as possible, desperately telling myself that it is NOT going to happen again, and trying to figure out how I will gracefully escape collapsing on the floor - and absolutely furious with myself because there was no stinking reason on the face of the earth for me to be feeling faint right then.  
That's just the kind of thing my body does to me - when I was a teenager I'd get sick to my stomach just about every time I did anything that involved standing for long periods of time. Everybody said I was just nervous or trying to get out of stuff. I was not.
It's just weird. I thought I was over it. Evidently not.

Enter prayer.

By the grace of God (not my own gracefulness, which is fairly well nonexistent), that first patient was the only one to tell me (several times) to sit down - and this was before my head started spinning like a merry-go-round. Thinking back, no one else the entire rest of the day moved all their stuff out of the way and asked me to sit down. Just her. 
Of course, I refused it because in general I try to stay as out of the way as possible, not sit down right beside the patient and get in the way. :P
But, when I realized that it was either that or end up in a pile in the corner, I sat down. Not that it helped. I still felt like I was going to totally black out (and wondering if it would be more noticeable or less now that I was sitting there). 

Like I said, though - enter prayer. Slowly the feeling passed... and the rest of the day was awesome per usual. XD *whew* 

I saw just enough intriguing cases to get me excited again... decided I'm definitely drawn to pediatrics, except I might become a danger to bad parents (not kidding very much... parents who do not take care of their children push buttons in me that should not be pushed if they want to stay healthy *ahem* :P)... and I read through three 'doctor books' - def don't want to be a dermatologist *gag* 

*sigh*
To tell the truth, I'm afraid my writing might take a rather graphic turn if I get to be a doctor - hopefully not, but when you're seeing... stuff... (*ahem* the pictures in the books were the stuff of horror movies, I kid you not) it is generally reflected in your writing. And I've already seen gunshot wounds, abscesses of the face, and babies that took all day to be born while the mother was screaming in the room. (You'd think we were more modern... no, we're not.) That's just in a couple days of shadowing...

Today, though, I saw pretty tame stuff... except for one that was extremely intriguing - intriguing enough that it will be included in my current WIP. I'm kind of looking forward to that part... ;)




I even wore my high-heeled tennis shoes! XD
LOL, and once my head quit spinning, I was quite happy to be me again...
which I was with a vengeance - one patient said I looked 10 years old, and another asked if I was in grade school. XD Got to love that...


Some days there is no one else on planet earth I'd rather be... 

Today was one of those days.



Monday, January 2, 2012

In memory...




of Gunnar


 2003-20011



~stopped killing our other pets once he was trained

~was only kicked out of dog obedience school once (he got in a fight with another puppy and bit the teacher when she tried to stop him)

~did not actually ever hurt anybody, except for maybe give one vet tech a heart attack when he went for her throat and knocked her to the floor (he did it very carefully - he was always a gentleman)

~scarcely ever disobeyed (*ahem* again, once trained...)

~never got into stuff he shouldn't (except in his eat-the-other-pets phase)

~made for crazy stories to tell over the years

~ gorgeous purebred long-haired german shepherd


~perfect guard for the house and yard

~brilliant for a dog - you could see him thinking

~freaked out the day I first drove the car, but eventually decided I was a good enough driver he could ride with me

~had super soft fur and an amazing personality

~had an adorably low bark as a puppy and was "the dog we've always wanted" since the day we got him

  

he loved attention and soft beds...

he could be soo sweet...

though I was still afraid to come downstairs in the middle of the night, lest he attack first and realize who I was second 
one of the most fun dogs I've ever known and certainly the best dog ever since  I was  a baby



we <3 u, Gunnar


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 --> 2012

In 2011...  
 (very random and in no particular order whatsoever, lol)


~ I finished writing the best book I've ever written and probably the easiest book I'll ever write

~ I chose Love as my word for 2011

~ my brother got married :)

 ~ I sent a short story to an editor and got the first critique/edit out of the way. It was incredibly encouraging. And helpful. And it made me quite happy. ;)  



~ my sister-in-law announced that she is expecting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (at our Christmas get-together) :D


~ I read through the Bible in Chronological order, which I've wanted to do for years - I finally found a Chronological schedule! (Yay for Google... *headdesk* LOL)


~ I learned about grace and the incredible amazingness of my God more than probably ever before 

~ I joined Twitter

~ I joined Pinterest (totally fun) :)

~ Between BookSneeze and Multinomah Publishing, I got several free books - my favorite being Kim Meeder's latest book. Read it! :D That, or Hope Rising.  Awesome story.

~ I read a friend's amazing story several times over, letting it smoothly transition from its place of "don't ever read this book again because it will never be the same" to "read it over and over and love it every time." :)

~ I read Liz's The Mark of the Star three times, twice to myself and once to my siblings.

~ I did two semesters of school + summer school and actually rather enjoyed this last one. LOL 

~ I found Jenny Freitag's blog and was completely inspired to, among other things,  read G. K. Chesterton's The Ballad of the White Horse, which I fell completely in love with. See how this fits with my theme word of the year? :)
 For love, our Lord, at the end of the world,
sits a red horse like a throne,
with a brazen helm and an iron bow,
but one arrow alone.

Love with the shield of the Broken Heart
Ever his bow doth bend,
With a  single shaft for a single prize,
and the ultimate bolt that parts and flies
comes with a thunder of split skies,
and a sound of souls that rend.
 
~ I began writing another book with the underlying theme of love... posts about it probably coming soon...
 

~ I went from writing to being a writer... and yes, there is a difference! 

~ I had a hilarious summer weekend adventure that included staying up until 5am every night and swimming in a waterfall while wearing a dress on and watching awesome movies around midnight... 

~ we had to put our 8 yr old German Shepherd to sleep (yesterday actually...) :(


~ I volunteered at a therapeutic riding center, which was amazing. :)

~ got a job grading calculus homework - could hardly believe it was me doing that... lol

~ we got an adorable Labradoodle who currently has no name and two cats, all from a rescue place by my college. :D (definitely a dangerous place)







In 2012...

I want to truly focus on seeking first the kingdom of my God and His righteousness. Mat. 6:33 is definitely my life verse - it is amazing how it continues to be brought into my life over and over.
He must come first... and I want Him there.


After that, if


~ memorizing 52 verses - starting with Colossians 1

~ reading the Bible through in chronological order again (it hasn't lost its novelty yet XD)

~ spending more time in prayer

~ finding a publisher for my short story

~ continued work on my writing

~ keeping track of the books I read this year (I'm bummed that I really didn't do that last year)

~ getting in shape before medical school takes over my life... gah...

~ shadowing doctors until I have a wholehearted recommendation from one to put in my med school application

~ meeting my currently unborn niece/nephew :D

~ volunteering with Courage Center and the riding center again

~ taking the MCAT

~ completing and sending in my application to medical school 

~ keeping my job of grading homework

~ getting to bed early, instead of late

~ learning to do homework EARLY instead of in that desperate, last minute panic mode...  

~ seeing my friends more

~ finding a church that will not leave me starved

~ organizing my schedule so I can attend Bible study every week


all works out... it would be awesome. My life in His hands... may I glorify Him this year in all I do! 

May your year be blessed as you follow Him! 
Have an amazing New Year! :D

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