A Very Late Beautiful People Post

It’s been far too long since I last blogged. What have I been doing lately, you might ask? Reading. Not Writing. Piddling on the internet. And more reading. I’m managing to accomplish my goal of reading more this summer. In fact, I have an actual factual TBR stack of books! That doesn’t happen often for me. As you might’ve guessed, I’ve dropped out of Actually Finishing Something in July. My summer has turned out to be a lot busier, but not in an unpleasant sort of way. The down time I’ve had has been spent reading, piddling on the internet, or doing other enjoyable things.

One of the books I read recently was Cinder by Marissa Meyer. And oh my gosh, I loved it! I’m quite tired of dystopian, Hunger Games rip-offs, so Cinder was a breath of fresh air. The world-building and concept of this book series is amazing. I’m currently enjoying the sequel, Scarlet.

So though it’s almost the end of July, I thought I might as well do a Beautiful People post. And since the Walrus is one of the main characters of A Ticket to Yonder, I thought I’d do him.

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1) What’s their favorite food? (Bonus: favorite flavor of chocolate!)
The Walrus doesn’t really have a favorite food; he just loves to eat. But he does have a soft spot for any sort of snack or junk food.  Chocolate is chocolate to him–he’s not a food connoisseur.

2) What do they absolutely hate?
The unexplainable, pathetic people, and having an empty stomach.

3) What do they enjoy learning about?
Where he can get free food? Perhaps you’re seeing a trend.

4) Who is the most influential person in their life?
Probably his relatives up in the Frozen North. Walrus families are close-knit, as you probably know.

5) What is their childhood fear?
Being underweight. This is still a big problem for him.

6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?
Winning a life-time supply of snack foods. The Walrus always enters those “back of the package” giveaways, but he’s never won.

7) What is something he is impractically afraid of?
This is the same as #5. The Walrus thinks he’s underweight and is afraid of being that way forever. So he eats, pretty much all the time.

8) Are they a night owl or morning person?
It doesn’t really matter to the Walrus; there are midnight snacks if he stays up late, but large breakfasts if he gets up early.

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?
He says most everything that pops into his head and unless he’s not snacking, he can talk your ear off.

10) What are their nervous habits?
Eating. Is that a surprise?

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Actually Finishing Something In July–Week Two

This post is coming quite late and I have no good excuses to give for it. A tantalizing update to Minecraft Pocket Edition and some good books from the library have been consuming my time. But still, I’ve managed to bang out a few thousand words for A Ticket to Yonder.

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1) Were you able to reach your weekly goal?
I hadn’t really set a weekly goal, but I managed to write 3,000 words out of my 10,000 word goal. I also almost completely outlined Corroded Thorns and wrote a little for that.

2) Is this challenge encouraging you to write more often?
I got some good books from the library, so they’ve been a distraction from writing. So I’m not totally motivated to write when there’s a good book lying nearby, waiting to be read. :P

3) At what time of the day did you accomplish most of your writing?
The afternoon/evening. Though I can write at most times, as long as I have a vague idea of the scene I’m working on.

4) Which musical tracks do you listen to most while writing?
For Ticket to Yonder, I like to listen to Disney music, especially my Allen Menken radio on Pandora. My Lindsay Sterling radio is also nice, too. I like a lot of soundtrack music, but I have a playlist of my favorite pop songs, from bands like Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, OneRepublic, and Coldplay.

5) Share a descriptive snippet or two of your writing.
All manner of glasses lined the walls in display cases of all shapes and sizes; some were in the shapes of circles, or squares, or others were even in the shape of nose. Jamie didn’t understand that one, but since the whole place had a hip, trendy sort of vibe, he suspected having a display case in the shape of nose was the mainstream thing to do.
Sleek, circular couches and chairs dotted the room, often flanked by a minimalist table and maybe a plastic tree (for everyone knows that plastic trees are all the rage). The trees didn’t really look like trees: they were more like giant toothpicks with smaller toothpicks sticking out of it. But that is the point of plastic trees: not to look like trees, but to inspire thoughts of trees. You are supposed to look at it and say, “Hmm, this reminds me of a tree.” Jamie would’ve rather looked at actual trees; but the plastic trees fit in the up-to-date environment of Quax’s practice.

–A Ticket to Yonder

6) Share three dialogue-based snippets from your week one writing.
“You can’t be seen gallivanting around Where in that shabby little sweater vest,” Leda sniffed, marching over to the Royal Closet of Fashionable Attire (this was engraved on a little gold plate over the closet doors).
Standing atop a little stool nearby, Jamie crossed his arms as servants scurried around him measuring. “That shabby sweater, as you so kindly put it, was a gift from my grandmother,” he grumbled. “I don’t want to wear anything different.”

–A Ticket to Yonder

“But I don’t plan on being deserted on a desert island,” Jamie retorted. “I don’t want to learn botany.”
Richard whacked him again. “No back-talking, young man. Remember you are dealing with royalty and nobility, who have kindly stooped to attempt teaching your idiotic brain!”

–A Ticket to Yonder

Leda moved towards the chalkboard and began absentmindedly erasing. “No, I can see where they’re coming from, Richard. My parents never did anything like this. I need to prove myself to them. Show them that the world thinks I am capable of being a queen.”
“I believe you are capable,” Richard replied, as if offended. He ruffled his wings a bit. “And it is your birthright. Do not trouble yourself with the opinions of mere peasants.”

–A Ticket to Yonder

7) How are you going to move forward in this challenge? Are you changing your word-count goal or other plans?
I’m getting these week two questions out rather late, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to complete my 10,000 word goal for a Ticket to Yonder. But, depending on how I’m inspired, I might focus more on writing Corroded Thorns.

Actually Finishing Something in July: Week One

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I’m very excited to join in with Actually Finishing Something in July from Whisperings of the Pen! I enjoyed following other bloggers’ progress last year; if you have writing goal to accomplish this summer, you should join in too! Here are week one’s questions:

1) What is your writing goal?

I’m hoping to get at least 10,000 more words written for my story A Ticket to Yonder. Also, I want to finish outlining my entry for the Five Enchanted Roses contest and work on outlining another story I have.

2) Give us a short synopsis of your project.

A Ticket to Yonder is about a young boy named Jamie who is seeking to buy a train ticket to the magical land of Yonder. However, he doesn’t have enough money to buy the ticket, so he decides to earn it by earning a gold star–which can be accomplished by doing many kind, noble, and heroic deeds. He must team up with a weight-conscious walrus, a snobby princess, and melancholy balloon along with many other strange characters to achieve his goal.

I won’t say much about my Five Enchanted Roses entry…lets just say it continues the story of a certain someone who didn’t get a happy ending in Broken Glass. ^__^

As for my last project, it’s currently title-less, which I hope to remedy soon. It’s set after apocalyptic-like events have ravaged Earth; My main character Valentine survived the apocalypse, but many of his friends did not. Just when he is about to think that his life has no purpose, he meets a dying mailman whose last wish is that someone would finish delivering his mail. Valentine promises to do so. I really like this story; it’s poignant and sweet, which is unusual for other stories with the same setting. This story also incorporates some elements from the Shakespeare play Two Gentlemen of Verona; I’m planning on reading the play (I got to see a performance of it a couple months ago) in hopes of finding a title.

3) How long have you been working on this project?

I’ve been pushing Ticket to Yonder to the back-burner for a couple years; though I love the idea and how ridiculous this story is, I’ve wanted to spend time on my “serious stories.” But at the encouragement of my sister, who loves Ticket to Yonder, I’m striving to finish the first draft this summer.

I had some ideas brewing for a sequel to Broken Glass, and then I found out that the next fairytale writing contest was Beauty and the Beast and so voila!

Valentine’s story was born during my vacation three weeks back or so, after a couple of brainstorming sessions with my sister Sophia (you know a story idea is good when your sister likes it).

4) How often do you intend to write in order to reach your goal by August 1st?

Hopefully I can get a little writing done every day for A Ticket to Yonder. If I’m having a terrible writing day I might work on outlining the other projects.

5) Introduce us to three of your favorite characters in this project.

I love the Melancholy Balloon from A Ticket to Yonder. He’s so over-the-top philosophical, and though I’ve only written one scene with him in it, he’s lots of fun to write. He’s a red balloon studying language and philosophy at a university; the tragic death of his older brother left Mel feeling confused and depressed with the world. Now he questions everything.

With Corroded Thorns, I’d say my favorite character is Darcy. I enjoyed writing him in Broken Glass and I’m looking forward to continuing his story.

Finally, I love Valentine from my last, untitled project. He’s a quiet, kind-hearted guy whose lost pretty much all the people he cares about. He’s got red hair, an old bicycle, and a cat who managed to survive the apocalypse.

6) Go to page 16 (or 6, 26, or 66) of your writing project. Share your favorite line or snippet on the page.

They began to handcuff Jamie and the Walrus. “You are under arrest for an egregious misuse of grammar,” one man declared.
“What?” Jamie and the Walrus exclaimed. For good measure, one green-uniformed man had thrown the Walrus to the ground to handcuff his flippers. However, handcuffs are not made for flippers (they are called ‘handcuffs’, not ‘flippercuffs’ after all) so the man finally gave up, huffing, “Oh bother!” several times.
“You said ‘I wish my Gran was here.’ It should be ‘were here,’” the man in charge replied angrily. “You are old enough to know better, young man! How dare you insult the ears of the people around you with such uncouth use of language!”
“And just who exactly are you?” The Walrus asked, picking himself up off the floor.
“The Grammar Nazis,” one of them replied. He gave a blow of his whistle and the train halted suddenly. Two of the green uniformed men hauled the door of the train car open and dragged the Walrus and Jamie out.

–A Ticket to Yonder

7) Tea or coffee?

Coffee in the morning with breakfast, tea in the afternoon. Though during the summer I often don’t have tea in the afternoon due to the heat.