Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beautiful Bookishness

 Not doing NaNo, for probably obvious reasons XD but I very much like Cait and Sky's new link-up. We'll see how crazy I am by November and especially December. But maybe I'll find space there join. We'll see. Anyway, click the box to join. Because it's fun.

Hey, Ellian. Yes, that's you.
and you've heard of this story before. you know you have. so if you're confused about something...well, I should have made a tag for it. :P oh, well, leave a question in the comments. XD

What came first: characters or plot idea? 
Characters. Rather, character. Specifically Ellian Roya. Starting with his name, which was something I pulled out of thin air for a naming contest. (I periodically google the name and make sure the author whose contest I entered [and won 2nd place in] hasn't decided to use the name.)

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am most definitely a pantser. Though the plot tends to come to me in major scenes, which I then write towards. So...yeah.
oh. that looks like a good plot point.
I'll add that.

Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? 
Contract to Time Travel is the original title. Though given that the contract is mentioned very little and the ability to time travel being lost is what the story is about...we'll see how that goes. No back cover blurb yet.
{though if you want to see cover-y things, look at my blog header. XD}

What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
*looks puzzled* I don't aim for wordcounts...I just write until I can't stand the story anymore...which in this case is way too long. I already wrote one ending, slaughtered my favorite characters and beta readers in a few fell swoops, and...couldn't bear to stop there so kept writing.

Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
A time traveling thief who only wants to get home to his sister.
A girl on the run, desperate to save her stolen twin.
A genetically engineered assassin and enforcer after them both.

Bam. 3 sentences, 3 main characters, back cover blurb. 
This is why I don't write back cover blurbs.
I will learn to. 
Not today.

Sum up your characters in one word each.
Snark. Gentle. Silent. Leader. Lost. Martyr. Wild. Youngest. Fire. Evil. 

[:P too easy for those of you who've read them. XD and yes, youngest encompasses one's personality too well not to use.]

could you GET any further from Ellian? Though they both have quite
the flair for the dramatic. But Ellian freely admits there really is no
contest. He finds the eye-makeup disturbing. 
Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! 
Obviously Ellian had me pretty excited in the beginning. The fact that he can't be serious to save his life and every epic moment he was part of had to be undercut by him being obnoxious was actually rather endearing to me. XD
Probably the character that has ended up intriguing me most, though, is one of the villains. Ja-Il, leader of the Five and right hand of the main villain.

Though I have to say that only happened because one of the Five got a POV, and, despite the fact that they're the bad guys, the respect and love he had for his leader make me stop and think. 
So it's all Hae-Jin's fault that I even knew about Ja-Il. 

What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
Main villain: behind the scenes {mostly} just your typical dictator, intent on ruling the interest in science, got something of a god complex, and all-around terrifying. Amon's built himself an empire on the ruins of a country, and no one had better stand in his way.

But it's not his story. 

So we'll go with the Five. 
Goal of Ja-Il? to obey his master, to keep the country and every citizen of it in check and train/command/take care of the rest of the Five. And enjoy himself as much as possible while he's at it, whenever the threat of failure/torture/imminent death is not hanging over his head.

he just wants to go hoooooooome....

What is your protagonist’s goal? 
Ellian's goal - get home to his sister. Or actually, to get home to continue working for the ex-friend who kidnapped his sister in order to make Ellian do what he wants. In order to do which he must help these rebel people he just met rescue their genius member who was kidnapped. So she can fix things so he can go home. 

Echo Fire's goal - rescue her stolen twin. To do which she needs this time traveler's help. Except that he's pretty helpless, so mostly she has to keep him from dying so she doesn't have to feel guilty over more people's deaths. Also to keep her two orphans safe and fight Amon as long as she can.

Hae-Jin's goal - find the rebels, bring in Echo Fire and those with her, play peacemaker between the Five, and try to keep his leader from as much pain as possible. Which is quite difficult.

And what stands in the way?
Ellian's time travel device is broken. It's a problem.
As for Echo...well, endless patrols, the mastermind who took her twin not wanting to give her up, the fact that his five Angels of Death are currently hunting her down, trying to deal with her diabetes while on the run, and the unfortunate realty that her twin's been brainwashed and doesn't want to be rescued.  
Hae-Jin...well, himself, for one thing. He's not supposed to care as much as he does. He's never supposed to hesitate. The Five don't fail. So if he can guess how that goes.

What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
For Ellian, it's the kidnapping of his sister.
For the other main characters...for one it's the abduction of her twin (which is what gets Ellian to actually see her as a person, really), for another, well, I guess you could say it's his own abduction. (I hadn't thought of there being so many kidnappings in this story...maybe I should rename it Contract to Kidnap.) For another...death is a pretty big incentive.

Where is your novel set?
In the future. Somewhere rather closed off from the rest of the world...actually, I've got an idea in my head of where it all happens, but I kinda would rather have readers decide that on their own.

What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
ooooh...I guess when one of the Five is captured. That starts change happening in a rather huge way.
Then...well, I can't really say what of the game-changers is. But basically somebody dies who I hadn't planned on dying.
And then...somebody falls in love. Also unplanned on my part. (But like I said, I'm a pantser. So technically the whole novel was unplanned.)

What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Oh, if we're talking Ellian...everyone. He becomes friends with one child, protector of another, maybe falls in love with someone, and saves the lives of a few others. I don't know which of those ends up changing him most during the course of the story...his relationship with his sister drives the entire thing, so there's that.

Echo...meeting Ellian changes a lot. I think just seeing someone not completely overshadowed by the inherent trauma of life in Makul is a breath of fresh air. But I think meeting the Five in the flesh changes a lot more things in her life. I mean, they took her sister, and now they're back for her. That makes the dynamic...interesting, to say the least.

Hae-Jin...Ja-Il. As another of the Five says, Perhaps it was Amon that gave me wings…it was Ja-Il taught me to fly. They all have an allegiance to him that is not easily broken, but though they are not related, Hae-Jin has a second-born's hero-worship for and loyalty to Ja-Il that is unlike the rest. 
Which makes things a lot harder for him. 
But hugely drives the story.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
That I'm not entirely sure of. Some see things they never would have believed, and their outlook on life is changed because of that. Some don't seem to change at all. Others...well, are dead at the end.
That's a pretty big change.

Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? 
Too many endings is the problem. I don't know where to stop.
Or when.
Or how.

What are your hopes and dreams for your book?
That it actually turns out into a decent story that hangs together and I can be satisfied with the ending and my betas like the grand finale I've got planned. 
And then after I let it sit a while...I don't know. 
We'll see how I feel about it later. :) 
Clearly, I dream big.

What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
The epicness of love and the power of truth and the strength of brotherhood/sistership/siblings...what human means and what happens when decent people do bad things and what happens when bad people do decent things...
Mostly to make people think. 
It's not a clear-cut good/bad/follow the rules and you'll be okay. Some of the "good guys" actually aren't that good, and Ellian himself is time-traveling thief when he first meets Echo. Even Echo, something of the story's moral compass, lies under torture. I thought about not letting her...but instead I let it play out. Believe me, she very much regretted that lie the moment it left her lips. 
I don't always agree with my characters and I don't always spell out when they do something wrong or right. I do think the wrongness or rightness of what they do is rather self-evident, and if I make you fall in love with the villain, well good.
And that's why, really, I think the biggest thing I want to come across is the incredible miracle of grace. 
Because whether you're a happy-go-lucky decent American boy who does everything for the right reasons, even if you do get a bit off track at times, or a winged assassin who can kill you as easily as look at you and feel only somewhat worse afterwards, you need grace.
And somebody has to be willing to share that grace with you, no matter what it costs them.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Where I live.

Because clearly you haven't gotten to see my new room. And I love my room. 

It's the first one I've decorated all on my own, and...yeah, I love it. 

Okay, so when I said I had a bunch of decorating ideas, my mom did give me some gorgeous satiny fabric. As well as have the genius idea to make a jewelry tree. And I totally stole the quote wall from Mirriam. And a lot of things that make my room pretty are presents. (The amber necklace on my tree is from a man in Lithuania. My dad was on a business trip and a Lithuanian business associate heard he had a daughter and sent the necklace to me. The scarf and candle and bird and a couple of the other necklaces are from a friend, and the jewelry box (which is really cool and I wish you could see it better) is from another friend


the bookshelf across from my bed...which I KNOW, has so few books on it it's somewhere between a travesty and a tragedy.
But there's that whole deal with books being heavy and me not having time to read them anyway and me moving in a couple months anyway.

*promptly begins mourning for room*

I totally love how this fan (which a friend brought home from Spain) matches the box under it (birthday present from this friend again XD). I think the mirror used to be my mom's. 

and there's this...sorry, not well put together. But I was trying to make the pictures stand up. 


{said pictures done by this marvelous person, for Ransomed - someone else commissioned them to surprise me, and I adored the detail and the feel of them. Based on my funding/audience, I ended up going with my original vision of realistic illustrations - which I obviously love - but hiring her on the spot as my illustrator was tempting. XD There is also always the future...}

and then there's my quote wall...I've very much enjoyed adding to it the past few months. XD and it's always fun to see what people say when they see it. 

and my bed as seen in the's like a giant feather blanket pile and I like it a lot. I've always wanted a feather blanket, and the curtainy stuff over my bed just makes things fun. 

Though I sometimes wonder if I'll wait up smothered in curtains and pins just because I thought it looked cool.

I didn't take much in the way of pictures of it, but I'm on the third floor at the top of a spiraling staircase, which meant I have this ridiculously tall ceiling over my stairs. 
So I hung a tree branch there.

I love the shadows. 

And the comments I get on that are quite fun too. 

{a tree branch? from the ceiling? How did I not see that coming up the stairs?}

I was debating between the bird and the butterfly and a friend stopped by and said it needed something. And then stuck the bird on it as her contribution to my room. XD So the bird stays.

and then there's my other favorite part about my room.

The place I've been spamming your blog feeds with the past two weeks. 

I mean...I still go on walks and see random nightshade cousins...

but my window. 

I've never had such a view before.

Whether it's cloudy
Or blue and sunny
from one sunrise
to the next
It's beautiful every day.

And there's really nothing like looking up from an hour's exhausting study on inner workings of the heart and seeing two bald eagles circling right outside.

so there. 

Now you know where I spend most of my time. XD

and also how I feel about  my room. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

course final 8-11am tomorrow morning.

as always, your prayers will not go amiss. :) 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

because I'm addicted to the view outside my window...

but I don't have time to grab random quotes this week...I'm on rural clinic and have a final next I'm just going to randomly pester you with pictures, and hope for story snippets and useful quotes and maybe actual blog post stuffishes after the final.  :)

also, the new header is courtesy of my emotionally damaging a highly talented graphic designer. now you know.

Friday, October 3, 2014

From my window...

and my headphones...

and my reading....

"That isn’t your honor, Costis. That’s the public perception of your honor. It has nothing to do with anything important, except perhaps for manipulating fools who mistake honor for its bright, shiny trappings. You can always change the perceptions of fools."
The King of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner

Thursday, October 2, 2014

From my window...

and my headphones...

 and my reading...

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. - Book of Job.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. - Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

He rode upon the cherubims and did fly; He came flying upon the wings of the wind. - Psalms of David.

With Saintly shout and solemn Jubily,
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row
Their loud up-lifted Angel trumpets blow,
And the Cherubick host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious Palms,
Hymns devout and holy Psalms
Singing everlastingly. - Milton: At a Solemn Musick.

The carved angels, ever eager-eyed,
Stand, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on their breasts.
Keats: The Eve of St. Agnes.
Only they see not God, I know,
Nor all that chivalry of His,
The soldier-saints who, row on row,
Burn upward each to his point of bliss.
Browning: The Statue and the Bust.

.. . incredibly aloof, flinging back the light in a dusky shimmer of bright hair and gilded outspread wings, soared the ranked angels, cherubim and seraphim, choir over choir, from corbel and hammer-beam floating face to face uplifted. - The Nine Tailors.

The Mind of the Maker - Dorothy Sayer

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From my window...

and my headphones...

and my reading...

"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:13-16


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