Thursday, July 12, 2012

Actually Finishing Something July

I saw this post and went Yes! That's what I want to do! And then remembered I have Something Besides Writing to finish this month.



my studying so far... well... let's just say...
Particularly because... 

^that's pretty much exactly true. 


In fact, if you want an illustration of my current state of mind... 

this should give you some idea. 

Sooo... although

That's just how it has to be.

I am taking the MCAT on August 4th, starting around 1pm... it'll take around 5 1/2 hours, and I will be tested on Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Organic Chemistry, Verbal Reasoning, and Writing Abilities - as shown by two papers written on two given statements, each paper taking thirty minutes. No spell check is available. 

Each section is worth 15 points; a 45 is a near-perfect score and maybe 1 or 2 people a test get that. Getting in the upper 30's would be really, really good though, and as I'm currently getting 27-29, I have some SERIOUS learning to do in the next VERY FEW weeks. 

Soo... before I disappear into nothingness... If you happen to think about me this month, I'd really, really appreciate prayer for a few things: 

1) I would be able to focus and concentrate on the material I need to learn.

2) I would get faster at reading the passages and answering the questions - and somehow learn to remember allllll the formulas and concepts that I will need.

3) I will not be afraid. I'm realizing that worrying about my score has been making me freeze up and making studying completely impossible.

4) I will get done what I need to get done in the next few weeks, even if it means studying 12 hours a day. I will be READY for this test.

5) God's will for me will be very clear. 

I want getting into medical school to be completely of Him. That's the LAST place I want to be if it's not where He wants me to be. 
(Well, okay, being tortured in some 3rd world country is probably the last place I'd want to be out of His will, but aside from that.)
What I don't want is for medical school to be His plan for me, and for me to mess it up by not stepping out in faith and obedience. I'm not going to get a 39 by wasting my summer. 
(Summers should never be wasted anyway, but that's beside the point.)
I need to obey Him and study like insanity, using the brain and materials and time He has provided me with, asking Him for the strength and will power to get it done. 

So... until August... I hope you have a great summer! 

I'll be seeing you! :D

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Love and Writing...

I got this idea from the brilliant Mirriam, and something about it was irresistible. Despite the fact that nothing makes me laugh quite like two people falling in love, I think at heart I must be an incurable romantic... you'll probably agree if you manage to get to the end of this post. :)

I am thinking, however, of doing a few more posts like this - only on other types of relationships, like parent/child and sibling (my favorite!). :D So, if you don't like mushiness, just wait for those. ;) 

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

                  Source: Uploaded by user via Katherine on Pinterest

Kefira and Ben-Kiral - "The Jeweled Dagger"

They were my first official people "in-love"... much as I tried to keep them apart. Kefira vowed to kill the man by whose hand her father died - and if that man was Ben-Kiral, she was prepared to die satisfied. He was, after all, the raider who captured her and gave her to Naaman.
Ben-Kiral's opinion? She was a slave, an enemy of his people, and everything he had sworn vengeance upon when his family was slaughtered. 

Oh, things always get interesting when you throw vows of vengeance in the mix... lol and with all that drama and trauma, you can tell it was one of my earlier stories. :P

She stopped beside the water pitcher, trying to shake off the blackness that threatened her, even as every beat of her heart reminded her why she hated him. Her fingers were trembling slightly, and she clenched the towel in her hands, waiting for him to finish his meticulous hand washing. Unconsciously her eyes swung to his chest and moved slowly down to where she guessed his fifth rib to be. It would be so very easy to have the dagger hidden under the towel.
Suddenly she was aware of his eyes upon her, and she looked up to meet his amused glance.
“So, planning my death already?” He took the towel from her nerveless hands, the corners of his mouth just barely turning upwards.

Jim and Josie - Some Trust in Chariots

Haha, well... these two are a case... my little country girl and my Texas ranger... the ranger has appeared in 5 stories so far, and is probably my first real character. :) I could see why she fell in love with him, after he saved her life (though it was his fault she was in danger in the first place...) and then they got kidnapped together. Him on the other hand... it's just who he was. I tried to make him like a couple other girls, but once he met her, he pretty much decided how the story was going to go, I think. 
But still... their courtship story is one of my favorites, simply because they are so very sweet together. Like when she named her baby sister after him...

“You could have picked any name in the world, and you picked Jamie?”
She nodded innocently. “I like the name Jamie.” Suddenly her face clouded, and she turned away from him slightly. “And that way every time I see her, I’ll remember to pray for you down in Texas.”
He looked back at the baby. “Texas is a long ways, isn’t it?”

Will and Rosalia - Some Trust in Chariots

Oh, they were so fun. Two characters who should not have been in the story at all... Rosalia was actually supposed to be who Jim married... and Will... he just really wasn't supposed to be there. Neither one wanted to accept being secondary characters, however, so... anyway, let's just say that Will flirts outrageously.  

Then he turned to the girl beside him. "¿Cómo está usted, señorita, de verdad?"
            Her eyes widened, and she answered in her mother tongue. "You speak the language of my birth?"
            He raised his eyebrows slightly. "I speak the language of your heart, my lady. If that is the language of your birth, then yes, I do."

River and Jayde - And It Was Love

Ah, another couple who was not supposed to be... I try, I really do. They just insist on messing up my stories. :P However, I must say that Jayde pretty much made the story - without him it would have completely fallen apart. He's a barbarian prince... she's a princess... and also his slave. Once they discover they both serve the same God, things get interesting. It helps that she saved his life... it doesn't help that he's training an army to invade her country. 

And here she goes to watch the soldiers training... as you can tell, he's not exactly the most courtly person she's ever met.

Without further warning, he turned, taking her under the arms and swinging her up onto a low branch of the tree.
She gasped, clutching instinctively at his arms as he lifted her. “I’m not that small!”
Jayde grunted, pushing her further back onto the branch. “I’ll say. What do they feed Ilmataran girls, anyway?”
A sniff was her only reply, and he grinned up at her. “Just stay there and you can see perfectly.”
“Stay here? Obviously. How am I supposed to get down?”
He shrugged. “Maybe I’ll come get you down later?”
“I’ll probably freeze to death before you’re done.”

Kestral and Avaenestelwen - Hope Sprang Up

Oh, finally! Two people who actually were supposed to fall in love! Another prince and another princess... countries divided by war... he is also a spy and she.. well, she's basically the counterspy. Supposed to help torture him to get vital information that will mean the death of several people he cares deeply about. Yeah...  

Suddenly his fingers were swiftly moving across the paper, and I watched the ivory parchment darkening beneath the sure strokes of the pen. He pushed it towards me.
“Do you know what that is?”
I looked down at the flower, its five petals ornate and beautiful. Mutely I shook my head.
“It is the cinquefoil, flower of hope. It is my king’s standard, emblazoned on a green background.”
“Green…” I murmured. “The color of hope. Tell me, why is hope so important to you all?” I knew the answer to that question, oh, how I knew it! To live without hope is no living at all, merely an existence that I would escape – so gladly! – if I could.
Something in his face told me he knew my thoughts. His voice was gentle as he replied. “Because. Without hope… without hope there is nothing”
Again I raised my eyes to his. “Then there is nothing.”

Jennie and Val/Jennie and Tam Lyn - Tam Lyn

Yes, I have two in this story... and already they're fighting over who gets to be friends and who gets to be married. :P 

It's Jennie Wilcox, daughter of a lord's second son who became a vicar... Val, Earl of Sunderland, from an impoverished but very proud old family - his sister is Jennie's best friend and he and Jennie have been close for the past five years... and Tam... as you should be able to guess from his name, is actually in disguise, a mysterious person from court who appears suddenly in her life and completely throws everything into confusion.

Here is the first time they meet... Jennie is standing by. 

            Tam turned his eyes to Val again, raising his eyebrows. “An astonishing thing for one of the poverty-stricken Sunderlands to come up with that kind of gold!” He shook his head with a regretful sigh. “At least when they were poverty-stricken they were always said to be honest.”
            “They still are,” Val said, through gritted teeth.
            Tam smiled. “Of course they still are,” he said, the mockery in his tone too slight to rightfully take offense to, but just enough to cut right to the quick of one such as Val.

Writers... do you plan on writing any kind of romance into your stories? How big a part do you think it should play in the story as a whole? 

Readers... which story do you think sounds the most interesting? The least? 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Whispers of Death - July Snippets

Source: via Katherine on Pinterest

Some months I am dreadful about posting things I actually wrote the previous month,  but it's generally something I at least went back to working on, so...  these are all projects I've been messing with this past month. :D
And I realized after I put this together that about half of them had to do with dying or killing. :P Wholly unintentional, I assure you. 

Jaden waved him back, and Lord Edrien retreated, his face white. The servents melted away, but Jaden did not move, as arrow after arrow pounded itself into the board behind himself, feeling the rush of death whispering by him with each passing shot.

~And It Was Love 

Osbeorn raised his eyebrows at Jaden’s drawn face, and Jaden shrugged at the questions in his friend’s eyes. 
“She screams at night,” he said simply, and Osbeorn shook his head. 
“Good thing I’m staying then,” he said and Jaden nearly tripped down the broad stairs that led to the courtyard where the Vastaavatkarhun army awaited his presence. 
“You what?

~And It Was Love 

There was indeed water everywhere, and Will skipped over the puddles, wishing that he was wearing boots as the dampness began seeping through his moccasins. When was last time I waterproofed these? he thought with disgust, shaking water droplets from his feet.

Someone laughed, and he looked around to see Annabeth leaning against a tree, looking wide awake and ready to go.

“What?” he asked, setting his foot solidly down in a puddle. 

 “You look like a cat, tiptoeing around the water that way.”
“Meow.” He grinned at her, then tilted his head sideways.
~FanFic (a currently rather name-less story (other than the fact that we liked the idea of writing fanfiction about our own stories LOL) written by myself and Jessica in which we threw a random sampling of our characters into a strange world and then sat back to watch the insanity unfold. It's quite entertaining.)

“Don’t you see?” Tam Lyn demanded. “Christina cannot let that child live! The Princess Natalia has been under guard for the past six months, and I and the midwife that has been assigned to her are both under orders to strangle the babe before he takes his first breath.”

~Tam Lyn 

            “Your coming was foretold.”

            The pause that followed those words was apparently supposed to be impressive, and though Will hated to admit it anywhere in his screaming head, it kind of was.


They had been artists, once, as well. 
Back when his people ruled from the floors which they now scrubbed.

~StarDusk - The Dragon Riders 
(a B.C. fantasy/alternative history novel)

She was a lioness – and he had learned that, when those she loved were threatened, nothing could hold her back. Which meant… 
She will be coming for me. And I must escape before she comes anywhere near this place. It smells of death. 

He threw himself between them, knocking her captor against the nearest wall, his right hand going instinctively for the dagger that was not there. Kýrios o Theós! Would it never stop?
Kýrios, forgive me, he thought, and slowly stepped back. It was only a boy, he realized then – and he would not have needed his dagger. 
He could have killed the lad with his bare hands.

~StarDusk - The Dragon Riders

He looked back at her. “How much longer do you think she can live like that? Truly? To her detriment? Are you serious? I can’t just leave her alone!” 
The healer’s expression did not change. “And if you drive her to her death, your majesty? What then?”

~And It Was Love

He turned in the saddle, swallowing the ache that came to him. “What is it?” he asked, and she looked to him, a still and wondering joy upon her face.
“To see the sky like this… with so many colors… it is a beauty that brings pain with it.”

~StarDusk - The Dragon Riders

And because it is too much fun, another snippet from the FanFic, where Will Arrington (who has appeared on this blog far too often for the good of his ego) introduces voting to a group of people that includes a Syrian, an Israelite, two princesses, a prince, and two members of a royal guard, among others. 

“Okay. So now we all know at least who we’ve got – and before I sit down, I vote that Phabian is in charge. He’s the oldest here, he’s obviously experienced – and as the only person here who can calm hysterics, he’s the only person I’d be willing to follow.”

Will promptly sat down, ignoring the fact that Josie had covered her face with her hands and was whispering to Jim, “I don’t know him.”

Jim laughed quietly, but leaned forward, saying, “Not for all those same reasons, but I vote for him too.”

Silence followed that, until Ben-Kiral spoke up from back by the wall. “I also.”
Will tilted his head back, leaning backwards until he was looking at Kefira upside down. “Kefiii-rah.”
She did not answer, and he shook his head, still upside down. “Who do you want in charge?”
Somewhat stiffly, she replied, “I am sure that Ben-Kiral knows more about such things than I do, and if he wants to follow the captain…” A tiny smile flitted across her face and she finished, “And if you are simply not going to let me be in charge – then I “vote” for him as well.”
He grinned at her, then sat up straight. “Josie?”
“I never thought you were such a women’s libber, Will!” she laughed, then looked at Jim, whispering softly, “You really don’t want to be in charge?”
He shook his head. “I’d rather be able to focus on you if something happens, and not every single person in the group.”
She blushed, then looked at the others biting her lip. “Um…. Either Phabian – or Jack,” she finished in a rush. “Can I split my vote?” she added, blushing again.
Will shook his head, sighing. “And they wonder why we haven’t given them the right to vote yet… good thing you don’t live in Wyoming, Josie.”
“Hey!” Jim flicked a pebble across the fire at Will. “She can split her vote if she wants to. So we have three and a half votes for Phabian and half a vote for Jack. Who’s next?”
Will ducked the pebble and pointed at Annabeth. “I wanna know who you’re voting for.”

read more snippets here!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

The Star Spangled Banner by President's Own United States Marine Band, The on Grooveshark

via google

"Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them." -Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking up Arms, July 1775

via google

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beautiful People - June Edition

This month is the freewrite version of BP, where we can choose our own questions! One of my characters kindly offered to interview another of my characters, so without further ado, let us begin! I'm not sure where this will go, but feel free to ask questions if you like! :)
Will Arrington

First let me introduce the interviewer: William Arrington, an orphan, card shark, and eventual sky pilot (or preacher boy. or gospel shark. or pastor. or even minister, though he doesn't quite think that sounds like him.)

Hi, Will. So, who do you want to interview today?

Hi yourself. Well... I kind of want to ask all your characters questions. 

Um... no. The idea is kind of to get to know one particular character better. Just pick one. And please hurry up.

In a hurry today, are we? Well, that takes the fun right out of it... *he makes a face*

Please, Will... 

Okay... then... I choose Tam Lyn. 
Lord Brayden Roxbury, aka Tam Lyn

Tam Lyn, a knight and a lord, raised alongside the prince after his father died saving the king's life - now at the heart of a secret rebellion... into which he has dragged a vicar's daughter whose help he needed. O.o This is going to be interesting... But here comes Tam - All right then, take it away, Will.

Will: *leans against a conveniently placed stone wall and crosses his arms* (1) So, what's your real name?

Tam: *riding up the road past Will, he looks up startled, then realizes what's going on with a somewhat annoyed expression on his face. he halts his horse* It's interview day, hmm? *sigh* I am Lord Brayden Roxbury. 

Will: Hmm. Okay, Brayden - (2) what do people call you for a nickname, anyway? Bray? Brayde? That sounds... very strange.

Tam: I am called Lord Roxbury by those who do not know me. Such as yourself. *he looks down his nose at Will* My friends call me simply Roxbury. 

Will: Huh. Well, at the moment I'm not sure I would ever want to be your friend, and I'm not in the mood to call anyone a Lord. Especially... (3) Okay, what's with the putting girls in danger?

Tam: *looks completely surprised* What? Oh, you're talking about Jennie. Wait, how did you...

Will: Never mind. Leave it at that I know her and I want to know why on earth you would drag her into that insane mess of a castle and risk her life and her honor in such careless fashion!

Tam: *shrugs* I needed her. Little as I have ever needed a woman's help, there was nothing else for it this time, and so... she was perfectly willing. 

Will: (4) Do you think she even realized what she was getting into? (5) And what did that comment mean, 'Little as I have ever needed a woman's help'? 

Tam: Ha. I'm sure Jennie will be pleased to hear you did not think her capable of comprehending my quite clear explanation of the dangers that would attend her acceptance of my offer. 

Will: Yes, your offer. "Save the country or murder a child" - some offer! What on earth else COULD she say to that, but yes? It's not that I don't think she could comprehend your explanation; I'm just not sure you were capable of giving one! You completely manipulated her into helping you! And they call this the age of chivalry. *he glances around in disgust*  

Tam: I'm not going to say I didn't. But the fate of my entire country was at stake - it wasn't like I had a whole lot of options at that point. In answer to your second question... I would have refused to take a woman's help if there had been any other option. Suffice it to say that the queen mother is a murdering, conniving wretch and my own mother is a traitor. The both of them are trying to kill my king. 

Will: Ouch... and now you see why I'm thankful I never knew who my own parents were... 

Tam: Not really. Next question? *he reins back his horse, who is impatiently stamping its feet*

Will: (6) What do you think of Val?

Tam: Val? As in the future Lord Sunderland? Who's head over heals for Jennie? He's annoying. But very useful. 

Will: *looks at Tam closely* You hate him completely.

Tam: That too. 

Will: (7) Why? Because you feel guilty over the way you and Jennie have destroyed his life?

Tam: We haven't destroyed his life! As soon as everything is back to normal I am going to go find the boy and -

Will: The boy? (8) Isn't he the same age as you?

Tam: He's... from the country. 

Will: And therefore an innocent to court intrigue. Please continue with what you were saying.

Tam: I was just going to say that I'm going to explain everything to him, that Jennie has done nothing wrong, that she has saved our king, and that she actually truly loves him. 

Will: (9) Does she? 

Tam: *glowers at Will* Ask her.

Will: Well, you can't very well tell him she loves him if she doesn't. Can you?

Tam: Is that a question? I only have to answer one more.  

Will: Really? Are you sure? But I haven't even gotten to my list of questions yet! 

Tam: I'm only answering one. 

Will: *frowns* Fine... I'll just pick one from my list then. (10) Who are your heroes?

Tam: My heroes... My father. And the king whose life he sacrificed his own to save. You could even say the prince, who was closer than a brother could be. They are the reason I am doing all this - they died for this country and I can do no less. No witch from the east is going to destroy what they gave their lives for if I can stop her... and I will stop her. 

Will: *looks at Tam thoughtfully* I sincerely hope you can convince your author to give you your own POV. Otherwise I'm afraid you will come across as quite unlikable. 

Tam: *grimaces* Thank you. Good day. *he kicks his horse into a gallop*

Will: Yes, enjoy your afternoon. *he waits until Tam disappears over the next hill* Well, that was revealing!

me: How so? I thought he came across as kind of a jerk.

Will: *looks puzzled* But didn't you look at his face?

me: He looked mostly bored. Sometimes annoyed. I didn't see a whole lot else...

Will: *a pained expression crosses his face* Will you ever learn to read faces? Ever? It's obvious he was deeply wounded by his mother's support of the new queen... if his father was his hero, he worshiped his mother - and then when the new queen took power and his mother completely switched sides... it destroyed something in him. 
But I think Jennie's helping him with much more than simply caring for the baby king - she's pretty much single-handedly restoring his faith in women. And it's obvious that somewhere along the way he's fallen completely in love with her.

me: *gasp* What?

Will: *facepalm* Why do you think he hates Val? After how he has completely used Val to protect the king, he cannot go and steal the girl he loves from him too. If none of this had happened, he would set to work to win Jennie's hand like a gentleman and expect Val to give her up in the same fashion. But now... he cannot in fairness destroy the one a man loves before his eyes and then make her his own. He just can't.   

me: I resent the fact that you're intimating Jennie has no choice in the matter. Besides the fact that you've successfully made this sound like a flat-out romance novel! Thanks a lot! And you do realize you're completely messing with my plot, don't you?

Will: *grins* You can bet on it. *clears his throat* Or don't. I keep forgetting pastors aren't supposed to gamble. Anyway. Of course Jennie has a choice in the matter - but if Tam refuses to say how he feels... well, that kind of limits her choices, doesn't it? I'm sure they'll figure it out though...
So, when are you going to work on my story again?

me: umm... I think I'm going to go get a piece of Tam's story to share. Thanks for doing the interview, Will!

Will: *rolls his eyes* You're quite welcome, I'm sure. I'm not giving up, you know. You are going to write my story.

me: Someday... :S

*excerpt from Tam's story... from Jennie's POV - the queen is suspicious of Jennie, though not yet of Tam... and he's been ordered to learn if Jennie is truly a spy*

I could feel the chill of the dungeon creeping into my very soul, and could not keep from shivering.
Tam glanced at me, giving me a slight smile. “Hey. Chin up. At least I’m not wearing that unsuitable red right now. Wouldn’t you say black suits me better?”
I closed my eyes. “I was so afraid before I knew for sure it was you. I thought I was going to die.”
“Haven’t ruled that out yet,” he said cheerfully, rising to his feet. “Can you guess what my orders are?”
I groaned aloud, hiding my face in my hands. “I don’t want to.”
His voice was suddenly gentle, and it surprised me. “I don’t blame you. But I’ve been told you are to be whipped to within an inch of your life this afternoon, either until I don’t think you can handle any more, or until you agree to come before her majesticness, and tell her all that you know.”
I could feel the blood draining from my face and slowly I pulled my hands away. Tam was now pacing in front of the bars, and I could feel my stomach already tangling into a knot. In his hand was a short whip, and he was unthinkingly swishing it back and forth, giving it a snap every so often.
Forcing my voice to be steady, I tried to see his face in the dim light. “How much do you think I can handle?”
He shrugged. “That’s what I’m trying to decide… I know you can scream, but that’s not going to be enough.”


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