Monday, 24 July 2017

#WIPjoy // A Sprig of Green

A day or two ago, Katie Grace did a #WIPjoy post all about her book Where Shadows Lie. IT WAS VERY COOL. Basically, I loved it so much that I decided to jump in and do a post of my own.

(If you don't know what #WIPjoy is, don't worry, I don't hugely either. XD Check out Katie's blog post though because she actually explains it. :P)

But loosely - it's a bunch of questions about your work-in-progress and I'm going to pick my favourites and throw some stuff around about my wee li'l novella A Sprig of Green.



Describe yourself and your WIP.

Me: an energetic, joke-teller, always looking for a laugh...Bare feet, outdoors, callouses on my left hand fingertips from musical instruments, always hungry. I don't even know how to describe myself. XD

WIP: A Sprig of Green, one young girl trying to save her father, one young man trying to save himself.


Your 1st inspiration for this WIP.

It started out because Kingdom Pen was having a Sci Fi themed month and I decided that I was actually going to submit something for once. So then in popped a random idea for a world with no plants and a girl who is looking for them. And it developed from there into a short story (which was then submitted to Kingdom Pen AND ALSO ACCEPTED and (after lots of edits) published *screams* READ IT HERE).


Would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week, or have your antagonist enter your own life for a day?

Can it be after the story is ended?? Because it has a happy ending and everything is all okay again, so I'D BE FINE WITH THAT PART. Before the story...not so much.

And antagonist in my life? No thank you, good sir.


What would your MC be like as an antagonist?

Okay so I have two MCs. Michayla -smol girl- and Braden -a young man. They are both VERY different characters.

Michayla would be the sweetest antagonist ever.

Braden would be confusing. He would have so many internal dilemmas that the hero/MC of the story just gave up and surrendered to him.
He's a fun character. (And technically is sort of an antagonist already, because 'antagonist' is the term for anyone who stands in the way of the plot, not necessarily the main villain.)


What would the antagonist be like as the MC?

VERY EVIL. He would be an exceptionally evil protagonist. XD Ruthless, willing to do anything at all (even deny his own family) to get to his goal.


A line you nailed perfectly.

I can't say that I nailed any line of this absolutely perfectly. BUT STILL. Some of the lines that I am the most proud of currently:


I am not worthy to be called a man.

- - -

Notes of paper money go fluttering everywhere like butterflies with broken wings.

- - -

There’s always another chance in the world.

- - -

“The first leaf means hope.”


Choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book.

Reading spot: outside on a warm (but not too warm) day, on the grass. Or, even better, a patch of clover.

Food: ohh this one is actually harder than I was expecting. *hums* How about honey jumbles (yes, I believe it's an Australian recipe (maybe?). Look it up and make them. You won't regret it.) because they're all happy and outdoors-adventure-y.

Drink: Chai tea. I can definitely see Michayla drinking chai.

Music: Rise, True Strength or Becoming a Legend - John Dreamer. Look them up on youtube if you've never heard them before. *hugs the music* But I'm also equally leaning toward having no music and just having the sound of birds and breeze in the background of reading because that also fits.


What's something you're still figuring out about this WIP?

A LOT OF IT.
I need to work out some details with Braden, and something *coughcough* slight spoilery detailish *cough* about him.
Also another character that I kinda ignored from about the midway point of the book. I need to work out what happens to them.
Plus a lot more, but those are the main important factors, I think. (Actually no, there's probably other super important things that I just can't remember right now. XD)


Would you rather: have tea with your antagonist, or be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours with your MC?

Tea is good. I'm not sure that having it with my antagonist would be good though. But still, I can imagine him being quite gentlemanly.
On the other hand, being stuck in an elevator with Michayla for three hours could be quite interesting. I feel like she has so many good thoughts on life and she's a very wise girl (though somehow naive at the same time?? I don't even know if that works, but she just...is.). We could get into some very deep conversations. Braden and me stuck in an elevator...hmm not so sure about that one though. :P


And there I shall leave it! :D Hope you enjoyed some random odds and ends about A Sprig of Green.


Here's the full picture of all the questions. NOW GO AND WRITE A BLOG POST. I wanna hear allll about your stories. Yes please. Even if you don't have a blog/don't feel like posting, just answer some of them in the comments because I'm a curious blueberry and I want to hear everything. :P


Would you rather have tea with your antagonist or be stuck in an elevator for three hours with your protagonist?

Friday, 21 July 2017

Are Your Words Working? // lagging behind on goals and schedules

We're onto the twenty-first day of the month. Only ten more days left before August. Are you on target? Are those words working just how you planned them to be?

For me, I have to admit that the answer is actually no.


Now, I know it sounds bizarre. "But Jane, you finished your camp nano goal aaages ago and you finished your novella and what's wrong with all that??" And all that is completely true but I had (and still have) a few other things planned for this month, and it was all nicely scheduled out on my dry erase whiteboard calendar. (seriously though, if you don't use one of these, you need to try it. It's amazing.) 

I aimed to finish writing on the 15th - tick that box.
I aimed to have at least 25k - tick, again.
I also aimed to have a teensy bit of an easier time - and I think I can check that off too.

But then we get to the second half of the month.

I hoped to finish one of my critiquing novels on the 17th.
I hoped to finish the book I'd been given for free from the author to read and review.
I hoped to dig right in and get down to editing A Sprig of Green right away.
I hoped to finish my rough edits + synopsis.
I hoped to start on a beta reading novel so I had plenty of time to finish it before the end of the month.
Not even mentioning that I really really hoped to have plenty of free time to read the Road Rules book and prepare for my driving test.

None of that went according to plan. And looking at that list, I can honestly see why. I had unrealistic expectations. There was no way I was going to be able to do all that and school and life. I'm an overachiever sometimes and I like pushing myself and giving myself challenges. A lot of the time, I also overestimate myself. I simply cannot fit that much in. And adding to that, all the random things that just pop up unexpectedly and snatch away some of that precious time that I'm desperately trying to balance.

BUT. That's not where the story ends. We're only just getting to the best part.

I'm actually okay with this. I can see that I'm not up to the level I was hoping for, but that's okay. Maybe I don't need to be. I'm right where God needs me at the moment. Because when I'm here and I'm falling behind, I can look up and know that He's got a plan and, my goodness, it's better than ANYTHING I could ever come up with.

And sometimes it's in times like right now, when I stop and look at my goals and what I had hoped and planned to get done, that I realise that it really is better this way. I didn't finish a lot of those things because I was busy.

I was busy living.




So today, I want to encourage all of you, whatever you're doing - whether you're falling behind on goals, whether your striving insanely to reach them before you run out of time, or whether you're sitting right at the top and relaxing already. Whatever place you're at, stop and take a breath.

Take time to look up to God and just smile. Smile because what He's done. What He's doing. And what He will do.

Take a moment of every day and live.


How are your goals and plans working out?
Do you have any methods for keeping on track or scheduling out your plans?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Spider-Man Homecoming // warning: much fangirling

*starts humming the spider man theme*

One week ago, my dad took me to the movies to see Spider-man Homecoming and it officially earned a place waaaay high up on my favouritest movies of all time list. I absolutely and utterly loved every moment of it. 

So of course I'm going to do a blog post solely to flail over it.
This post is spoiler-less, so don't worry if you haven't seen the movie yet, you're all safe.


My reaction basically: I LOVED IT SO SO MUCH AND HELP I CAN'T GET OVER ANY OF IT AND YEEEET.

This movie and I started off on a good foot from the very first. Spider-Man has always been my favourite superhero. I watched the 2002 Tobey Maguire version a year or so back, and before that, I'm fairly sure that I read some comics too. Not the super originals probably, but I have a recollection of Spider-Man comics and absolutely loving them. So when I saw the Spider-Man Homecoming teaser trailer- well, it happened something like this:

Me: oh hey I'll watch this trailer. it's Spider-Man after all.
Me: *watches*
Me: OH SWEET PIZZA AND PASTRY WHEN IS THIS MOVIE COMING OUT I MUST SEE IT.

And for the past two months, my family can confirm that I have been going on about Spider-man...a lot. :P I'd watched every single trailer that I could find - several times over. I even quoted the movie before it was even released. I was hyped, to say the least.

The day when I was going to see it, I was so nervous. I was worried it wouldn't be all that cool. I was desperately trying to not imagine all the awful things the movie could be like. But as soon as it started BOOM. All worries were gone.

SO GOOD.

I have always loved Spidey so much because he's just so relateable, and Homecoming has done this in a super great way. HE'S JUST A TEENAGE KID TRYING TO WORK OUT LIFE AND HELP DON'T WE ALL RELATE??? I'm sure I do, anyway. 
And another thing Peter was so dyyying to get out of school and be spider-man again. THAT WAS SO GOOD. IF I COULD BE SPIDER-MAN I'D WANT TO DO IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Like...who wouldn't?! And he's my age. Not some college-going Superman or some billionaire Batman (or even the other versions of Spider-Man). He's just a kid like me, going through similar things to me (though I'm not spider-man, and I'm not in 'school' school - yay homeschooling XD but still, it's true) and I love that so much.

I'd watched a ton of interviews that Tom Holland (the actor who plays Peter/Spider-man, for those non-geeky people :P) did and once or twice I had a flash of concern of: 'wait, if I do this, what if I can't see him as Peter, but only as actor Tom Holland' BUT NO. It wasn't like that at all. Tom was Peter and the casting of everything was just so perfect.

Have I mentioned how much I liked the characters?? Peter was amazing. Aunt May was young and I really really liked that actually. Ned and Michelle cracked me up. (Michelle though guys, a female character who wasn't the love interest?? How cool is that?) And the villain was super well done. He made so much sense and was so real but so scary at the same time. (scary in a good way)
Gosh I just loved them all. No one felt flat or unrealistic at all.

Is Spider-Man a funny superhero? Hmm, let me think. UM YES. And Homecoming captured that perfectly. Even in the super intense epic action scenes, there's humour and comedy dropped in there. And it's not forced at all. It's just realistic. Because honestly, if I was in that situation YES. I'D DO ALL OF THAT. I'd be like "WHOA THIS IS SO COOL I'M A SUPERHERO - AVENGERS HERE I COME." And it's so quoteable and memorable.
(I have had several gif conversations with a friend in which I use solely Spider-Man gifs and I'm very proud of myself. xD)

And speaking of action, I was so in the movie. I was shivering with tension some of the scenes and I'm sure my heart almost stopped for a moment there with THAT PLOT TWIST. Not to mention that I was discreetly absolutely definitely not crying nope not at all in one certain scene. I just wanted to give Peter a hug because I could relate so much.


And, like the avid fan I am, I've now seen the movie twice. First time when my Dad took me and then I dragged both my older sisters along because I liked it so much and needed some more people to get my quotes and references. IT WAS JUST AS GOOD THE SECOND TIME. *shrieks and fangirls forever*

This is BY FAR my favourite Marvel movie (granted, I haven't watched a heap (*cough*two*coughcough*), but shhh that's beside the point. Silence peasant. XD) and way high up right near the very top of my favourite all-time. It's just so epic and cool and YES.

Help. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop flailing and fangirling over this movie.
Actually no, don't bother send help. I'm quite happy right as I am. xP


Have you seen Spider-man Homecoming??
(if you did, FLAIL WITH ME, you know you want to XD)
Are there any movies that you've been flailing over before they're even released?

Friday, 14 July 2017

Camp NaNo Update // inspiration, pizza, and snippets

WHY HELLO THERE. We're almost halfway through the Camp NaNo month, and I think this is the perfect time for a midpoint update and some pizza and hopefully maybe inspire some more words?
That would be a bonus anyways.


- My Novel Stats -



Chapters written: 20
Chapters remaining: 4
Current shortest chapter: 988 words
Current longest chapter: 3,548 (I think I'll be splitting this into at least two though)
Current word count: 29,152
Estimated completed word count: 35k (give or take a thousand words or so)
Estimated completion date: 15 July

And may I just say how proud I am of my cabin?? They're all doing so well, and having a great time. Shout-out to all you wonderful people in the Fellowship of the Keyboards. Your combined effort makes it a great cabin. (I might be a superhero, but I'm not that much of one that I could keep an entire cabin alive if no one helped :P)

In more conversational tones, my story has been going pretty well (and, as you can see, I reached my camp goal of 25k with ease on day #11). It's been behaving itself fairly decently and I've been enjoying writing it, that's for sure. The style of the story has been a nice break from Rogue Escarlate and all that - what with it being 1st person, present tense and the characters...rather different than Will and Ben and their crew.


- Inspiration -

Over the past half-month, I've had some random quotes or snippets that have drifted past me completely by 'coincidence' and yet they were always the perfect thing that I needed to keep pressing on. So I thought I might share some of them with you, and just maybe they'll inspire you too.


"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
- 2 Corinthians 12:9

Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God."

"We aren't called to walk in our own strength - we're called to walk in his"


"We're all on a journey. We're all working at it. We're all falling down and climbing back up again."

"I laugh a lot
for no good reason
sometimes
I just catch myself doing it
and then I grin
and keep on laughing
cuz I'm happy
I'm blessed
loved
and suddenly I'm laughing
for a good reason"
- Joy, Julia Ryan

I'm so blessed to have people in my life who say these amazing things, and I'm even more blessed that I have a God who is always there encouraging me along the way.


- Snippets -
(from A Sprig of Green - my Camp NaNo novella)

Please someone help.

My limping run slows quickly, but I get far enough away from home that I don’t recognise where I am. I lift my eyes from the blurring road beneath my feet, dashing one hand across my eyes and blinking around.

There are streets and buildings and people.

Greys and browns and blacks.

Why isn’t anything green anymore?

The hot road hits my knees and I cover my face in my hands, trying to hold back the tears between my fingers. My shoulders shiver and I hunch over as Venys’s words echo around in my skull.

Get out…you wretched freak…and never come back.

- - -

I extend my arm all the way and can’t lower her any further. “Now you need to swing and jump,” I call down, trying to swing my arm inward toward the balcony.

“I can’t.” Her fingers start to loosen.

“No—don’t you dare let go.” My heart starts thundering, echoing the clouding sky above. “I’ve got you. Just swing in and jump.”

Her fingers stop sliding from mine and I feel a sort of rush as she kicks her legs out and then swings forward. I let go, but she keeps clinging to me, starting to swing back out again. I grab at her hand, the unexpected weight throwing me off balance and starting to slide forward.

Michayla starts forward again and her hand slips away from mine. I topple forward, snatching at the edge of the roof to save myself. My elbows hit the hard surface and I scrabble for grip. I jam my fingers into a tiny gap and manage to stop my fall. My pulse roars in my ears, and I heave in shuddering breaths, my body suspended over nothing by only my own strength. Michayla might trust me, but I don’t trust myself.

“Braden,” Michayla’s cry comes from below. “Swing and jump. You can do it.”

I register her words, but my entire body is frozen up, immovable even if I wanted to. I can’t do this. What was I thinking?

A heave of cold air rushes over me and then the Raining starts.

The sky cracks open and water deluges down onto me. It’s only seconds before I’m soaked to the skin, and then my grip begins to slip.

“Braden!” Michayla screams over the roar of water. “Jump.”


- - -

I close my eyes, pressing against the inside wall of the pod. It’s going to be okay. I repeat it over and over to myself. Everything is going to be okay.

A scrape of fabric brushes against the outside of the pod and I cringe lower into myself, trying to hide in the foot space but there’s no cover anywhere. Someone swings up and pauses above me and I squint up. Braden’s eyebrows are arched above his dark glasses and I sit up instantly.

“Come on,” he says, beckoning to me. “I can get you out of the landing bay but after that, you’re on your own.”

I scramble up onto the seat. “Braden,” I know I’m begging, but I don’t care. “I need your help.”

He is silent for a few moments and then tips his head away. “I can’t.”

I reach up and catch hold of his sleeve. “Please. I can’t do this alone.”

Braden freezes and looks down at my hand on his sleeve, then he slowly pulls his arm away. “Okay,” the word slips like a soft breeze through his lips and I relax, the pounding in my chest lessening instantly.

“Thank you,” I whisper.

He nods, looking down for a moment before offering his hand out to help me from the pod. I slip my hand onto his palm; it’s cold and damp with sweat, but firm beneath me. I trust my weight against his grip and slide down to the ground, his hand steadying me.

“All right.” He nods his head toward the side of the huge room. “Everyone thinks I’m taking you in as a maid, so try to act like you’re old enough to work here.”

I nod, twisting my fingers together in front of me. How could anyone look at me and think I was old enough to work somewhere this important? I swallow, the back of my throat dry and scratchy. “I…I’m not sure I can do this,” I whisper.

Braden looks down at me and then shakes his head. “You have to.”

He’s right. I have to do it, for Father.


- - -

I think that in summary I can fairly well say that camp is going wonderfully for me, and I'm even getting time to chill and do other things. It's my most relaxed schedule since July last year, and I'm pretty happy that I can have a chance to do some stuff other than writing. (I should do that more often actually)


How is your writing going?
(any snippets to share?)
*hands out pizza to everyone* Keep on writing, guys!! :D

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Beauty of Poems // I bought my friend's poetry book!!!

You probably noticed in my vlog on Friday, that I read out a poem written by Julia Ryan. And not only that, but it was read out from an actual physical paperback book.

That, my friends, is because Julia Ryan has her AMAZING poetry available to buy.

Hence today you get a post with lots of beautiful photos (credit to my sister - obviously) and not very many words (I blame camp nano).



When I heard the news, I was so super insanely excited. I bought it that day. And YES, it was, like, a bit over twenty dollars (what with converting US dollars to AUD + postage) but that's the price I have to pay for about 80% of new books. And this was absolutely and definitely worth every cent.





"I laugh a lot
for no good reason
sometimes
I just catch myself doing it
and then I grin
and keep on laughing"


"her laugh
it's changed
it seems a bit more open
almost a bit more
f r e e "



 
"I thought that books were
harmless enough
but I was wrong
they aren't just a bunch of words
printed out on paper
they play with your mind
giving you a sensation
of a world
you are yet to be a part of"



Poetry is such a beautiful gift. Reading through this was so amazing and I could honestly feel the realness that was behind each poem. Every poem has a story that shows just a little bit of the author's heart. The part of them that isn't often on display for anyone to see. 

That's one of the things that I love most about poetry and about songs and about writing. It's all like a little glimpse into a deeper person.


"you have to be brave
to let people in
to trust them
with your story
and heart
and love
you can't just run away
bc you are scared"

. . .

"be brave
trust in God
and then
my dear friend
you will find beauty"

I know that with some of my artistic creations (using words, of course, because drawing/paint = nooope) I pour my time and my energy into it and there is so much of me in the stories and the characters and the words and phrases. 

To be entrusted with reading someone else's story and heart should be just as scary as telling people yours. Because we're handling something that is so close to them that it should be frightening. And for me, it is. But in a way that makes me excited and so alive.

Because we've got to be brave, even if it doesn't feel like we can be. 


Check out the lovely Julia Ryan at her blogging corner of the internet to find out more about this wonderful person - and hop over to her poetry blog for some of her amazing works!!
Blog - The Barefoot Gal
Poetry blog(!!!) - Twilight to Dawn
and don't forget to check out her 'my poetry book' page and BUY IT NOW.

Do you like reading or writing poetry?
(if the answer is yes - shoo, off you go and buy Julia's book. If the answer is no. . . off with you and do it anyways)