Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'm Obsessed

Maurelle (John William Waterhouse)

I'm officially obsessed with Dicksee and Waterhouse.This is why:

Sir Frank Dicksee
It's so gorgeous.

I'm considering using one of these for my headers...

But today, I'm specifically looking for pictures for my story (Maurelle's story).
This one is a PERFECT Nouvelle:
Especially this one.(Dicksee)
Gabrielle and Maurelle are more tough. And I have found very little for Lazare or Quain or Jacque or Raoul or Bridget.... I have mostly been looking for my young ladies though.
These might be Gabrielle...

This one on the side (Dicksee again) might be Raoul or Lazare.... Unsure...
Maurelle (Dicksee)


Are you obsessed yet?

Considering this one as a Profile picture...
This is why Waterhouse ranks with Dicksee:

Monday, December 10, 2012

A confession

I have a confession. The reason I don't blog very much is not because I'm busy. I am busy- but not busy to the point of absolutely no spare time.
The real reason is that I'm afraid. Every time I post, I think Oh, no one's going to want to read it. The Mad Elvish Poet probably sighs and rolls her eyes when she sees I've posted. My blog is so unprofessional. I need a cool header, like the ones found here, here and here. This one and this one are perhaps not simple enough for me, but still original and fun, while this speaks simplicity.
And I worry that I use too many links, or maybe I should use more pictures, and that my blog is boring and dry and that no one will want to read it.
I worry that my stories are awful and they bore people- no one wants to read about my silly ideas, or my random snippets.
I worry that I'm proud to consider that these worries are false- that someone would want to read my mumblings and story snippets.
My blog isn't pretty enough, professional enough, interesting enough or anything-enough to make anyone but 3 friends (and 1 random person whom I follow) care to read my blog.
A blog is supposed to be the writer's honest thoughts, but what I blog is carefully picked over, rewritten and even then, I hesitate to click "Publish".
Even now, I just deleted a section about the hobbit. I decided it didn't fit the post and therefore deleted it.
This is mostly unedited material- different from most of my posts- but even here, where I'm trying to be honest and let this be my raw thoughts, I think carefully about what I type and press the delete key more than once.

So, dear readers, that is my confession. Unedited (mostly). If it is boring and stiff and not worth reading, I can only spread my hands and say that it is, at least, honest.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plot bunnies galore!

Ahh, me! Plot bunnies, plot bunnies, plot bunnies! How can one ever finish one story if two million other ideas appear between the ending and the beginning of the first story???
I'm writing a story for school right now (correction: planning a story. I don't get to actually write till 2nd semester), so I kind of have to stick to that one, but I just got a new idea!
When reading Galen and the Gateway to Medicine for our Rome studies, I read a little tidbit which said that thieves would be trained as gladiators. Murderers were simply thrown into the ring.
And then I knew that there was another story waiting to be written.
Who can say no to those wonderful little bunnies? I'm not sure how I'll be able to find time to write two stories, but I will MAKE time! Persephone and Polyphenes need to be given a story (names are pending).
This is my idea:
Persephone's mother is sick because they are without food. Persephone decides to steal to save her mother. It just so happens that the night she goes to this rich man's house to steal his food, he has some sort of heart attack and dies suddenly.  Not knowing this, she crept through his darkened room, and accidentally drops her knife. She can't find it in the darkness and can't risk staying for long. Also, when she had climbed the wall to get into the house, she had cut her hand (getting blood on the knife). Then she gets caught.
When investigators come to the house the next day, they simply put two and two together (healthy man dead + bloody knife in the room + thief who went through that room = murderer). Persephone's friend from childhood, Polyphenes (po-LIH-fuh-knees; he's similar to Gustave in Ever After) tells her that she's to be sent to be a gladiator in a week.
After that, I'm not sure how it'll go. She's definitely going to escape before they throw her into the ring, but she'll be captured again at the end and she'll have to fight the leopard before the book ends.
As for the middle...? I'd appreciate suggestions. I'm considering this idea: she goes to find her father (who either died or left them or was taken away) in hopes that he can help her since he was an orator of some standing; or maybe not.
As of right now, she and Polyphenes are just friends. I don't see a romance happening between them, but you never know.
Suggestions? Criticism?

I felt Mother's damp forehead and she moaned. Sighing, I peered out the window, at the house of blank the senator. Why should he have so much money while we starved? He certainly wouldn't miss any.
Persephone, you're not being wise, I told myself. They'd find you out, and then you'd really be in trouble.
But we need it! 
I sighed again. I had to do it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ugggh! How can I make my blog not have the little scroll right/left thing on the bottom?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm not dead.

Just in case y'all thought I was.

No, I'm not dead. BUT I went on vacation for 1.5 weeks, then came back to a busy schedule. I came back on September 5 (0r 6, or 9....). And it's been crazy ever since. Monday: School, breathing, errands. Tuesday: School, lunch, physical science 12:45-3:00, then rush to Ballet, which lasts until 4:30. Then Nan, my sissy, has a tutoring job (Yays!) that lasts from 5-6 PM. Wednesdays are always different. Every other week is piano and a science test, every third week is art, plus youth group and regular school. Thursdays, we basically eat breakfast, then we go to a friend's house. There, Nan takes chemistry and literature with 4 (or is it 5?) other girls, while I do writing with a friend, and do math. We eat lunch there, then go to drama, which lasts till 3. Sundays are out, too. So you can see, blogging has been put on the back burner.
ANYWAYS. I shall try to make a bigger effort toward blogging more frequently, before my follows (all four of them) start picking out virtual gravestones.

Most sincerely and with best wishes,

Tee hee.

Lady Awdur

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Happens When I Try to Write a Short Story

I have given up the idea of ever writing stories for magazines. I think it would be a great way to "get my name out there", as they say, but the word count troubles me. 8,000 words is actually pretty small.
This was my attempt at rewriting the princess and the pea. It was a total copy-off of Gail Carson Levine's redo, and it's awfully abrupt.



Once upon a time, there lived a 13 year old girl named Holly who couldn’t do anything right. No matter what she tried to do, she messed it up. There was only one thing she could do with out trying.  It was feed the chickens. It started out one day when she had just tried to do the dishes, and got water everywhere. She tried to mop the water up, but hit her mother on the head with the mop (accidentally of course); her mother, being frustrated, told her to go feed the chickens. She just wanted to get rid of her, but her daughter was obedient and did it. Her mother got into a habit of sending her off to feed the chickens and so she got used to it. One day, when her mother was checking the mail, she handed Holly a letter that said:   To all girls 12-30 years old: The day after you receive this, come to the palace. There shall be a test. those who pass it will take another test. After all the tests, the one who has the most royal blood in her will marry the Prince Darius.  The girls who do not pass will be sent home with five gold coins. Holly’s mother decided she would let Holly go, because at least she would bring home five gold coins. Holly left, to take the first test. 978 girls were  at the palace. The first test was in sewing; the girls were shown two dresses and were told to decide which was finer quality. They were about the same; neither one very fine. Holly passed though, because one looked like something she had done, and  the other looked at least a little nice. 326 girls did not pass. 652 remained. The next test was in looks. The girls had to look like a princess. Holly had a large wart on the end of her nose. However, when her turn came, her nose itched, right where her wart was, and so her finger covered the wart. 238 girls didn’t pass. 414 girls remained. The next test had to do with horses. The girls had to tell by looking at two horses, which was finer. “A princess should know her steed” they were told. Holly could tell because one looked a little like the horse she had raised. 375 girls didn’t pass. 39 girls remained. In the next test the girls had to decide which of two dances would be appropriate at a ball. Holly could tell because one looked like her version of the waltz. 24 girls didn’t pass. 15 girls were still in the race. They had come the the end of the day, and there was one last test. They had to sleep on a 7 mattresses  which had a kernel of corn underneath them. In the morning, the prince would chose one if more than two girls remained or if none of them passed the test. Now, prince Darius was very bad at making decisions, and he figured none of the princesses would be able to feel a kernel of corn through all those mattresses. He knew that in the morning he would say: “ Eenie Meenie Miny Moe, catch a tiger by his toe. If he hollers, let him go. My mom  told me to pick the very best one and you’re not it. “ and he would never be able to decide if ‘ you’re not it’ meant she was it, or simply eliminated her. So he decided to change the test. He couldn’t really change the test; that was his father and mother’s job. But he could tell his servant to put his inflatable beach ball under on of the girl’s mattresses, and remove 6 of the mattresses. Holly happened to be the lucky, random one. I the morning, when all the girls were asked if they slept well, everyone except Holly said yes. Holly and Darius were married, and though perhaps she was not a real princess, they lived happily, though not completely honestly, ever after.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Writer's Correspondence - August 2012

So, once a month, I'm going to have a writer's correspondence link-up. I will provide a theme and one or two questions that you have to be sure to ask your character.
For more information, click here.

This month's theme is general getting-to-know-you questions. Be sure to ask your character if she/he has a nickname, and whether they like rainy days or sunny days.

Oh, and by the way, when linking up, you have to put your email on there, but rest assured that I shall never, never exploit your email with spam or otherwise.

Writer's correspondence

So, last Tuesday night, lying in bed at 10:30, I had an idea. Not just any idea, but an idea that made me sit up and force myself to stay awake until past 11:00.
See, I was trying to figure out a character, whose name is Eleasarine. (eh-LEASE-uh-reen). Before I explain any farther, let me explain something. In our house, my sister and I share a bedroom. Then, there are two guest bedrooms. Because we share a room, we also have to agree on the decorations. So, my mother came up with the idea of havens. We each get a guest bedroom to be our haven. We get to decorate it however we want (within reason, of course), and if we want to be alone, we can go there. It's like having another room, except whenever guests come they sleep in there.
My haven is decorated to be a medieval theme. I think a medieval-times enchantress lives there. I shall post some pictures of my haven soon (probably).
Anyway, on Tuesday night, I found out the enchantress's name: Eleasarine. I read about characters taking over the blogs of other authors, or they argue with the authoress. However, my characters aren't like that. They certainly aren't what I would call MANAGEABLE (Ha!), but they aren't the sort to take over my mind. But I think Eleasarine is.
I normally know who my characters are. I know their personality, and/or what they look like. But every time I picture Eleasarine, I get a different image. I think she likes to be shrouded in mystery.
How was I supposed to find out who she was?

What if, I thought, I wrote a letter to her?

*dramatic pause*

And so, Writer's correspondence was born. The difference between this and Beautiful People is that, in BP, you pull the answers from their mind. They have no choice. In writing a letter to them, they can lie, they can tell you the answers quite rudely, they can tell you to leave them alone.
So, once a month, I shall set up a link-up post for these letters. The only rules are that you link-up to the page, and that you make your character wait at least 24 hours before answering.

I shall post the first Writer's correspondence (terrible name, I know, but it's temporary) subject and linkup in my next post.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Greetings from Crete!

No, I haven't decided to travel to the land of the Minoans (though that would be pretty cool). But, my family has decided to have a new tradition. Once a month, one of us picks a country and we have a themed dinner in the theme of that country. Sorry, that was a really bad explanation. Let me try again:
for instance, this month, I picked Crete, so we had a Cretan dinner.
I picked Crete for three reasons:
One: As you all know, I'm working on a Greek tragedy, titled The Minotaur, which is set in Crete.
Two: We just finished studying ancient Greece (look out, Rome!), so I thought it would be appropriate.
Three: I. Love. Mediterranean. Food.

I think my sister is picking Egypt next, which oughta' be fun.

So, I had a pretty good weekend. On Friday, my sister, mother and I went to a cute little consignment store to shop. They had the perfect combination: great prices (picture $10 to $14 for a nice dress!), great clothes (good condition, colorful, stylish). My oldest sister had an art show (!) that we were going to, so Sister 2 and I picked out some cute dresses. I got a black dress and a blue one, my sister got a mustard coloured dress (and one other). She ended up wearing the blue dress 'cause the mustard one didn't work out and I wore the black dress (!!!). And.... I GOT THOSE AWESOME SANDALS! This year (and last year, too) I had just flipflops, which are not elegant. at. all. But, my sister and I both got a pair of sandals (hers are brown) from the store I mentioned. $3 each!
And, being that they were Greek-ish looking sandals, I wore them for our Cretan dinner, too. :)
The art show was a lot of fun. My sisters are awesome; the oldest is a painter  (and a good one); the other one still lives at home (but she's going to be 16!!! AHHH!!!!)

So, onto Saturday. Well, my sister and I walked to the grocery store (it's not even a block away), picked up some last-minute ingredients, and started cooking (at, like, 1:00 PM). We spent the rest of the day cooking. :) 
This was the result:

In detail, this was our menu:
We had a salad, Choriatiki, which we adapted from here;


1 tomato
1 cucumber
Crumbled feta cheese, enough to cover the surface
½ onion
2-3 tbs olive oil


Wash the vegetables well and cut them into small pieces. Mix on a plate and add the feta, and oil. Season with salt and the salad is ready. A little oregano can also be scattered over the feta, for a stronger flavor.

Then we had Dakos, which we found here; though we didn't grate the tomatoes, we just chopped them finely.

Then, we had Tzatziki, with flatbread (Garden of Eatin' multigrain tortilla chips) to dip in it. That, too, was delicious. We found the recipe from here; by the by, should you choose to use this recipe, 1 kg of strained yogurt means 4.5 cups of greek yogurt. 
This dip made a lot, but it was pretty good!

 The main course was honeyed shrimps, found here.

15 large, raw shrimps cut lengthwise
2 tbsp honey 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon thyme or savory
20 grams butter
1 tbsp dill
½ lemon thinly sliced


Using a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil and the butter. Add the shrimps and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes until they turn brown. We fried them for a bit longer than this. Add the garlic, dill, thyme, lemon and honey.  It sort of spits at this part. Cook together for 3 minutes. We served it with rice, and we just avoided the three cloves of garlic (we ate some of the lemons, but not all of them).

For dessert, we had Kalitsounia Kritis (kah-leet-SOON-yah   kree-teez), found here. I just love all these names! And the food!

The Kalitsounia was pretty easy, though with the recipe we had, we doubled the dough and still had plenty of the filling left!
And instead of using 1 lb. of cottage cheese, we used 1 lb. of ricotta, which I think was better since we were having this for dessert.

This was my first time frying anything without parental supervision, and my sister's first time, too (she did the shrimp) .

We had dinner at 7, which meant that we successfully spent 6 hours in the kitchen. :) But it was worth it.

And, I forgot to mention: Cretans eat "family style". In other words, they don't use serving spoons; they just take their fork and eat right out of the serving dish. I convinced my mother to let us do this; it was a lot of fun. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I have been awarded!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. As I was saying, thank you to the Mad Elvish Poet for giving me these awards. I have never been awarded- but I've only been a blogger for a couple of months.
The first one:

The rules:
1. Thank the person who has given you the award. (check)
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (check)
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award. (check)
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on the blogs to let them know you have been nominated.

1. I can take a 6-minute shower.
2. It takes me just as long to comb my hair as it does to shower.
3. I enjoy all house chores except gardening.
4. My little brother eats my socks (though he is a dog... :) )
5. I would rather live in 850 AD than now.
6. I'm addicted to Lamb Among the Stars (YOU NEED TO READ THEM!!!)
7. I've been trying to cook gluten-free, sugar-free for 6 months.

And a bonus one:
 I've never been awarded!

The rules:
1. Post 7 random things about yourself.
2. Pass the award on to 7 others versatile bloggers.
1. I own a cat who looks like a perfect copy of a Siamese, but isn't one.
2. I am a writer of  a 200 + page story.
3. I brush my hair every day at least once...
4... and I feel guilty when I haven't.
5. My favorite colors are purple and blue.
6. I painted my nails orange for the first time.
7. I know some Elvish.

I nominate for both these awards....
 1. Anne-girl, at Scribblings of My Pen and Tappings of my Keyboard.
2. Sky, at Further Up and Further In
3. Georgie Penn, at Before My Penn Has Gleaned
4. Katie, at Whisperings of the Pen
5. Jenny, at the Penslayer
6. Miss Dashwood, at Yet Another Period Drama 
7. Kate and Mime at Notebook Sisters

I wanted to nominated Jaime Josephine or Katie, but both are them are women in their 20's who I really look up to, and I would feel a little strange commenting on their blogs. Is it alright that I nominated some people that had already been awarded? If it isn't (someone please comment and tell me whether it is or not), then I will do my best to find someone else to award, other than Anne-Girl.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Actually Finishing Something July Parts 2 and 3- In which I describe my failure.

This linkup is from Whisperings of a pen. I am doing parts 2 and 3 in one post.
The Second Set of Questions 

Be truthful. How has the first week-and-a-half of your personal writing challenge progressed?
I think I wrote on Arthur once, maybe twice, in the time since I started the challenge.  I did some chainsaw therapy with Arthur, which really helped, and I made some plot remodelings. And then I worked on another story for a while. 

Did you reach your weekly goal or wordcount?
I didn't make a weekly  goal.

Are you finding it easier to work with a goal in mind? Or does it make you nervous and even less inclined to get the work done?
Easier. Although, since I didn't have many writing sessions, I can't really answer this question adequately.

Did you do most of your writing in the morning, afternoon, or evening? When do you like to write?
Afternoon. Our computer won't let me log in until 1:00, otherwise I'd write in the mornings I think.

What music has been inspiring you to write?
Oh, I usually listen to Christian coffeehouse acoustic. Kari Jobe, Francesca Battistelli, Tenth Avenue North, Bethany Dillon, Ginny Owens, Relient K, Hillsong United--- a couple of songs by each.

Share a snippet of your writing!

One would think that Arthur would be used to waking up in strange places and being forced into unconsciousness. He wasn’t. A week in such buffeting conditions just made him feel helpless. So when he woke again, this time lying on the dirt. He had rather forgotten what it was like to sleep on a dirt floor. Someone was shaking his shoulder, hard. He opened his eyes. A face was staring at him. It was a scrawny boy, only about 12.
“Buenos días! Levantarse, o Beltrano te matará.” He said cheerfully.
“What does that mean?”
The boy laughed. When he did so, Arthur realized with a start that he was a she. With her pants (these made Arthur feel embarrassed) and short-cropped hair, she looked something like a young boy.
“Oh! You speak Inglés!” The girl spoke in English, now, but she spoke slowly, and with a heavy accent. “I said ‘Good morning. Get up, or Beltrano will kill you.’ My name is Mahalath (muh-HAH-leth), by the way. My abuelo was Hebrew and I was named after his madre.” As Mahalath spoke, she grabbed Arthur’s hand, pulled him to his feet, and led him from the small, windowless room.
“Where are you taking me?”
“To Beltrano. He is charge, you know. Well, not in charge of everything, but he is the highest person you will ever talk to.” They stepped outside. It was dark; Arthur saw stars above them.
“What time is it?”
“Later than I usually get up,” Mahalath laughed. “It is somewhere in between five and five thirty.”

Share your favorite "Ah-HA!" writing moment. Have you written anything that made you sit back and think, "Okay, this is awesome," during the last week and half?
Well, Arthur is currently a slave in Spain. My "Ah- HA!" moment was when I got the idea that on his second day, he would try to run away. Having no experience in this area, he will do it very clumsily and not succeed. He will be caught and nearly beaten to death. Mahalath will try to help him (help him not be beaten, not help him run away), and the overseer, Beltrano, will verbally abuse her because of it. This will cause her to flee to Adon (an old man that she takes food to). He comforts her and tells her to bring Arthur to him. Arthur comes, and he gives Arthur a talking to/reprimand/comforting. Adon will become Arthur's mentor/good example.

Any problem spots, scenes that are proving hard to work, or characters giving you grief? If so, how did you overcome these obstacles?
Well, Arthur was being extremely stubborn. But giving him chainsaw therapy (He had a dream that he saw Gwennie and Loch kissing!) helped. So I think the end of this writer's block is in sight.

Share your favorite line said by a character during this week-and-a-half of writing.
"Wait! Let me at least leave a message for her! I love her!” 
-Reu, son of Raanan 

How are you going to move forward in this challenge? It's been little more than a week-and-a-half since the start (July 4th). Are you changing your wordcount or page goal for this coming week?

No, I'm going to try to plow through. I think I'll recycle these questions and try a "Actually finishing something in August".

The Third Set of Questions

You’ve little less than a week left in the challenge. Now that the end is in sight, do you think you’ll finish your goal?

No, not this month. Maybe I'll finish by August.

For me, the last week and a half has been so chaotic that I’ve hardly had the time to sit down, let alone write. How have you balanced life’s craziness with your writing goals? Late night writing? Scribbling down a few lines while waiting in the grocery check-out line?
I've not done much writing. What I did do was in the afternoon, holed up in my room, working on a different story (rather than Arthur).

Have your written mostly in computer programs such as Word, or do you prefer scribbling in notebooks?
Word, Word, Word! I LOVE Word!

Have any new characters jumped into your story? If so, tell us about them!
Well, a horse named Cassie jumped into the story I've been working on (not the story that I said I would be working on), and I finally found a name for an old man in Arthur. His name is Adon. He's a Spanish man, not a slave, but I think he used to be. He's a strong Christian, similar to the character named Jorgio in the Lamb Among the Stars series.

Share a snippet of your recent writing.

Mahalath gave him a saucy glance. “None of the men are smart enough to be bilingual. Two men know broken Inglés, but mostly they all speak Español. Besides, I am stronger than some of the men. The other women are elsewhere. I sleep in their quarters, but I eat and work with the men.”
“Ha! You are stronger than men?” Arthur laughed.
“You will see.”
And, after a disgusting meal of cold boiled beans, rabbit, and ale, Arthur hadseen. She was strong; it was particularly annoying to see her cutting through the ground with ease as he grunted and struggled.

Sometimes the most mundane, simple of things can spark one’s creativity. Have you come across anything, simple yet special, in your daily life, inspiring you to write?
 Well, I get a feeling, sometimes when I'm looking at a medieval picture or just thinking about my story, that makes me want to write.

Any pictures, images inspiring bits of your story?
Umm, probably, but nothing comes to mind.

Introduce us to the antagonist in your story and tell us his favorite dessert.
Which story? The story I'm supposed to be working on, or the story I have been working on? I'll do both.
The Arthurian Chronicles: The antagonist of Part II is named... AHH! What is wrong with my mind today? I can't remember any of my names!!! Well, I'll describe him. He is a baron in Arthur's court, and he is the antagonist because he puts a spell on Arthur and his knights that causes the said knights to think that life is about silly little quests (like finding the bird that lays golden eggs), so Arthur is tempted to prove himself by leaving Excalibur (which enhances his fighting abilities) behind. He finally does so, and is therefore captured. This man's favorite dessert is gingerbread cake.

My other story's antagonist is named Marian. She's not exactly evil; more like confused. She has a lot to learn. Her favorite dessert is something light and fluffy, like lemon cloud or pineapple sorbet.

Pick, from all of your July writing, your favorite three lines said by your characters.
“Reu, oh, Reu, Reu, the tree, the tree,” 

“What is this horrible place?” I gasp. “Did someone kill all the trees?”

“You know, you seem to be pretty good at making me mad.”

Any advice for your fellow writers as we reach the final stretch of this challenge?  
Plow on. If you've started late and don't seem to be able to finish, do a "Actually Finishing something in August". Set goals, work toward them, and above all, don't get mauled by your characters.

Dress making Tutorial

So, one day I decided I wanted a dress. My sister and I were making a skit, and I wanted a sort of Greek-style wedding dress to go with it (chiton, anyone?). We had none of these. WELL, that wasn't going to stop me!
"Fine," I said, "I'll make one."
The reaction I got? Well, it was what I expected:
Slightly bemused look and a "Okay, if you really want to." A sort of "have fun with that" response.
My family has no faith in my ability to sew. So, I'm not an expert, but I made barbie dresses from a particular website (AHHHHH! BRAIN FREEZE! I CAN'T REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE SITE!!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY MEMORY???!!!) that doesn't use seam allowance. And do you know what happens if you don't put enough seam allowance? And with a Barbie, you have very, very, very little room for a slipup. And this was a year or so ago.
But the dresses turned out relatively well.
Do they care? My family hears "doll dress" and they think "easy."

Well, in case you didn't know, a pattern in which all of the pattern pieces are stacked on top of each other and there is NO seam allowance in the said pieces and in which there is literally no room for a mistake, that is a difficult pattern.

I'm not exactly mad at my family, just kind of disappointed, I guess. However, I made this dress completely by myself, with no pattern at all or any assistance at all and it turned out pretty well. Even my sister and parents thought so.

This pattern is really easy. Even a professional amateur like me can do it.

So, the basic idea of the cutting of the pattern is this: you are going to cut out two rectangles.

So far so good.

Measure from your shoulder to the floor, or to wherever you want the dress to go (you want a knee length dress, measure from shoulder to knee).
Add an inch or two to that number and write it down. Now measure from shoulder to shoulder and add about six inches.

My measurements were 52 inches and 22 inches, if that helps at all (but I'm super short and have really small shoulders).
Now lay out your fabric and use a pencil or something to draw a square with your dimensions (52 by 22 in my case). I got lucky and was using a sheet (more on this at the bottom) so I didn't have to hem as much as you will have to.

Cut out your fabric and hem both squares. Have fun. :)

 I suggest using an iron and some pins to help with the seams and hems.

 And maybe use a ruler or something with a straight edge to make sure these hems are straight.

Okay. You've finished hemming. Your hoping this is going to amount to something cool because all that hemming was really boring (hopefully you remembered to play some music).

At this part you need to take some more measurements. Since this dress has two slits in it (for walking-ease), you kneed to measure the slit area. I measured from my knee to the floor, because I wanted the slit in my dress to start at the knee and go to the floor.
Then, measure from the top of your shoulder to right under your arm.

Now, lay out the two panels of the fabric, right sides together (right side is a term for outside part). Choose one end to be the bottom of the dress, and measure your slit measurement (that is, if your s.m. is 23 inches, measure 23 inches from the bottom edge of the fabric, and put a pin where the 23 is.)

Starting at the other edge of the fabric, measure your arm measurement (if the a.m. is 8 inches, put a pin on the 8 inch mark and the 0 inch mark).

Sew in between your slit pin and the beginning of the arm pin area. Repeat on the other side.

You should now have two rectangles, joined at the sides, but not all the way from top to bottom.

Sew about one inch of sewing at the very top right and the very top left. This forms the sleeves.

Now you are ready for the darts (which are wonderfully easy don't let anyone tell you otherwise).  You will be measuring, basically, how long your back is. Measure from the base of your neck to the bottom part of the small of your back, or from your neck to your waist.
Write the measurement down. Now, lay out your fabric, and choose a side to be the back. Measure your measurement from the top of the fabric to wherever it ends (my measurement was 16 inches).

Measure approx. 3 inches from the right side; sew your first dart about 1 inch thick. Measure 3 more inches; sew the next dart, again, about 1 inch thick. Measure three more inches and do the last dart (you guessed it: 1 inch thick). If my instructions don't make sense, look up a youtube video on making darts, and you will understand them.

Looking at your dress, it should look like this:

 Sew along the dart lines you pinned off, and turn your dress inside out.
Try it on. I recommend using a belt with it, although without the belt it doesn't look too shabby either.

Oh, dear. I don't like that picture one bit. It makes me look so extremely not tall. Then again, I AM extremely not tall.

So how did I get stuck using a sheet (albeit, a pretty sheet). Well, it just so happens that all of the fabric we have is one of two things:

1. About 2 feet square.
2. Upholstery fabric.

And the thing is, my mother doesn't sew, my sister who still lives at home doesn't like to sew, and so my dad is the only one who even touches the sewing machine, save me. He's made some costumes for us before, and doesn't do too shabby a job, either.

But he doesn't sew enough to know my dilemma. *sigh* If only I had someone to commiserate with me. But oh well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Actually Finishing Something in July.

I saw this challenge on Whisperings of a Pen, and it looked cool. This is a linkup from there...

What is your writing goal?
To finish The Arthurian Chronicles this summer, and have it be 400 pages long. My goal for July is to finish part two, at 150 pages long.
Tell us about this project. Give us a small synopsis.
Well, first off, I'm really bad at 'small synopsis's. But here goes:
in Part one, Arthur finds out that he is the rightful king of England, having drawn Excalibur from the stone, and discovers his parents are really just adoptive parents, and his real mother is the queen. He discovers this all in one day, and is made king that afternoon. All of the sudden, the responsibilities of a king come crashing down on his shoulders. He is separated from all his friends, and, at only 15, must serve the kingdom as it's king, and marry a stranger named Genavivian. But not everyone wants him to be king... dot dot dot dot
That's the summary for part one. I'm around half way to 3/4 of the way through Part two, and I have plans for Part 3.
Arthur, Vivian, Gwennie, and Rayfus are the main characters of Part 1. Arthur, Gwennie, Loch, and Mahalath are the main characters of Part 2.
How long have you been working on this project?
Since January, I think. *guilty, cringing expression*
Introduce us to three of your favorite characters in this project.
Well, Vivian was definitely a fave 'cuz she's just really cool. She appears to be charming, social butterfly, but she's not who you think she is. She's a lot more cunning, powerful, and hateful than you would think when you glance at her tall, slender frame, complete with golden waves and bewitching, dazzling green eyes.
Then there's Mahalath, who's also a really cool chick, since she has a caustic retort and a prank for every situation. She's a slave in Spain, and is a lot stronger than she looks. She can outrun even some men, and has gotten used to taking care of herself, since no one does it for her. She isn't a Christian, but is a fairly nice person (on the outside) to people she pities. She knows what it means to be absolutely destitute and she tries to help those she can, though on the inside she it just as tormented as those she helps.
Arthur is a slave in Spain right now, too, so that I can reform him (thanks to a lot of hard work and a old Christian spaniard who Mahalath takes food to).  I pity him, but I treat him like a son: I love him to death but know that I'm doing what's best for him and his kingdom.
I like Gwennie, too, but I don't really have to worry about her right now since I'm not coming back to her 'till part three, and she's happy, anyway, so being with her would be utterly boring.
How often do you intend to write in order to reach this goal by August first?
Thirty (minimum) minutes per day writing on just Arthur.
How will you make your characters behave long enough to finish this goal?
Good question. Well, I guess I'll tie up Arthur (fairly easy to do), yell at Loch enough to get him to stop spouting love sonnets (I can see my throat getting raw), weep until Gwennie pities me, and give saucy remarks right back to Mahalath's. I'll also probably employ some Beautiful People stuff and a character letter or two. Sir Garcia! Kay! Stop that, right now, or I'll shall lock you two in a room together! Mahalath, that's not a nice thing to say at all!
Go to page 16 (or 6, 26, or 66!) of your writing project. Pick your favorite line or snippet on the page.
Arthur was on the outskirts again- trying to hold up his visor- when he saw the
figures. The battle was in between the castle and a large hill. At the crest of the
hill, two figures on horseback were hurtling down the hill, their horses in sync.
Their hoods were blown back, and Arthur recognized the dark green clothes and
cloak of Gawain. Beside him, his white hair and blue cloak streaming, Arthur
thought he saw Merlin, still clutching his staff.
He blinked, trying to work out what was happening. Then a red knight was
swinging a battleaxe at him, and Arthur had no more time for contemplations.
Arthur had knocked the man from his horse when he felt a strange prickling
sensation in his boot. He looked down, and saw a black think dangling from his
boot. He grabbed it and pulled.
It was the snake. Arthur dropped it immediately. In his distraction, a knight had
reached him, and Arthur felt something collide with his helmet. Head throbbing,
he spurred Galilea away from whoever had hit him. He shook his head, trying to
dislodge the ringing, throbbing, pounding, feeling. His thoughts returning to the
snake, he wondered if he had been bitten. There was no way of knowing without
taking off his boot, and the middle of a melee was hardly the place to do that.
“Stop!” Someone cried. The voice sounded like Gawain’s, though it was higher
pitched. “Stop! Stop fighting! You have been deceived!”

That was page 66.
Tea or coffee?
TEA!!! English breakfast tea (with cream), raspberry tea, blueberry tea, you name it. But coffee.... yuuuh. nuh- uh. I'm not drinking that stuff! Though Arthur loves it...

Book Review: The Dark Foundations

Oh. My. Bananas.



So, this is part three of the Lamb Among the Star's series, and I might have liked this one best.

The Dark Foundations continues the epic story begun in The Shadow and Night (also sold in two separate volumes: The Shadow at Evening and The Power of Night.) Far beyond the tranquility of the Assembly worlds, Nezhuala, Lord-Emperor of the Dominion, is preparing a merciless and crushing attack on Farholme as a prelude to an onslaught on the Assembly. Back on Farholme, Commander Merral D'Avanos recovers from his wounds after the battle at Fallambet where the intruders were destroyed. Yet even as Merral dreams of a return to peace, he receives a warning of imminent war on a massive scale he cannot ignore. Amid the urgent preparations for battle, Merral and his friends realize the inadequacy of their defenses. Then, with weeks to spare before the predicted eve of ware, Merral receives an offer of assistance from the strangest of sources. But can it be trusted? As the wave of war finally crashes over Farholme, Merral must find the answer to other questions in the heat of battle: Can Farholme survive the growing internal strains? Who will pay the price for victory? Will his own weaknesses undo both him and his world?
  In the first book, I would basically describe it this way: for ten thousand years, evil has been caged. And the cage is breaking. So, in the first book, evil is only just starting to leak into their world. I love, I love, I love the way they look at evil in this first book. They treat ever sin as a monstrosity. I think that we (myself included) tend to rank evil. Example:

Stealing 10 grand- That's awful! 
He told a lie- Well, I guess that's not that bad. I mean, you have to give them grace.

It's true. Liars need to be given grace. So do lesbians and murderers.
But in this book, Merral (the main character- I just love him) is so unused to sin that he freaks. out. over sins that we would take for granted (like couples arguing).

However. In The Dark Foundations, sin's cage has completely broken. Merral himself sins. He disobeys a major command that an angel gives him (well, God gives the command, but the envoy tells him). 
You would think I wouldn't like this. But I find Merral even more likable.

Once again, a however, or, rather, two howevers. One, I thought at first that perhaps that Merral and co. get used to sin too fast. But on reconsideration, we all take to sin like fish to water, so maybe this is unfair. 
Two: Sin is unleashed in this book, so, naturally, this book has more things in it like sexual mentions than parts 1 & 2. There is even a demon or two. But considering the other books for teens and young adults on the market right now (Twilight, anyone?), I think this is a definite improvement.

BUT I CAN'T BELIEVE HE KILLED- oh, wait, that'd be a spoiler. :)

Positive Elements:

Spiritual Elements:
God is a big deal in this book. If you have a problem with that, you may not like this book.
Demons, angels, heaven, and hell are all mentioned. Merral and other characters pray, talk to an angel ("the envoy"), and fight with a demon (though their swords and other weapons have no effect on it, which I think fitting).

Sexual Content: SPOILER ALERT
Before reading this section, or reading the other sections, you have to understand something:  there are two main civilizations in these books: the assembly, which consists of Christians, population of approx. 1 trillion, spread over 16000 planets (*which are genetically modified to be like Earth*); and there is the Dominion, which consists of humans who broke away from the Assembly about 10,000 years ago. There are people from the Dominion in this book, so a lot of the sexual content has to do with them, particularly a character named Azeras. So, this looks like a huge section, but it's all really minor stuff.

So, the sexual content:
So, Clemant, Representative Corradon's advisor, is listing off some crimes to Merral on page 107; he says:
"What else? Petty theft - someone stole someone else's garden plants in Ganarat. Increasing sexual incidents. We had a rape the other day."
"Are you serious? Here?" Merral says.
"I'm afraid so."
"It's appalling!"
"I agree." Their conversation then turns to other things.

Azeras, from the Dominion, thinks it's silly that the Assembly has female pilots. I quote- 'Azeras shrugged. "Women have their uses: bed, kitchen - maybe the brighter ones can teach children."'
Later on, when he meets Perena, who is a pilot, he says:
'"A lady captain," Azeras said, and gave Perena a long and intense look. She flushed, and, taking a chair, moved it so she was out of his field of view.'
Later on, after their conversation, Merral says,
'"Perena, at the start something passed between you and Azeras. I was wondering what."
She blushed. "I wast just stunned by the way he looked at me with... a fire of lust. His eyes were almost stripping me bare. I've never felt that way before..."
Vero's face tightened.'
 Then Merral changes the subject.
An intelligent machine, Betafor, insists through out the book that she is a female. Later on, Merral and Vero ask her to take her jacket off so they can look through her pockets. Her reply:
"I refuse to take my clothes off. I am a female. It would be sexual harassment." It's more funny, though, than uncomfortable, because she's really just a machine and 'sexual harassment' is her excuse to try to stop them from looking in her pockets (where she houses poison).
Merral tells Azeras he will reward him, and asks what he would like. Azeras comes back with, "A house by the sea, a supply of wine, a woman." Perena then reprimands him, telling him that women are not objects to be gained, but people and that he should rethink his mindset about women.
Then, another dominion person tells Merral that if he signs this treaty, he can go back to his old line of work (preservation of the forests of Farholme) instead of being a commander in the army. He is strongly tempted, and then it says,
'Don't be silly, a second voice said, temptations are to do with power and sex, not trees.'

At a very dramatic and sad part, Perena says, "Hold me, Vero." He holds her for about 2 minutes and then she walks away.

Violent Content: SPOILER ALERT
There are a few [mostly small] battles, but they 1) keep it from getting too graphic, description-wise, and 2) Merral doesn't like fighting, and only the bad characters o(which I think is nice, compared to the war-loving characters of some books); Merral tries to avoid fighting.
Plus, in pretty much all of the battles, they are fighting Krallen, which are machines, so when, for instance, Lloyd stabs one, it says 'silver fluid leaked out' rather than 'blood poured from the wound, gushing onto the flour in a ruby cascade' like a lot of books do when they're fightin' people.

Crude or Profane Language:
Hell is said a couple times, but it doesn't bother me as it's used in context. Once or twice it says "Azeras said a word in another language that Merral presumed to be a swear word."

Drug/Alcohol content: 
Azeras mentions that he would like a supply of wine. I think someone drinks wine once or twice, but no one gets drunk or anything, that I remember (and I'm not likely to forget something like that).

Other Negative Elements:
It wasn't long enough!!!! I NEED the next book ASAP!!!

Once again, wow. 'that was just about all he could say'. Wow. You. Should. Read. This. Book. I tried my best to not put too many spoilers in, and I shall review the other books, too, with as little spoiling as possible, because I don't want to ruin this book for you.
As I said, in this book, things are a little heavier, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could be. I would give it 10 points, for mature 12 year olds, or 13 and up.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Story Snippets

Okay, so I would like to encourage other new writers: your stories will get better and they will get longer. In fact, I now find it difficult to write good short stories. As examples, I shall post two stories I wrote when I was younger. As an example of how I have [I hope] improved over time, I shall then post a couple snippets from my better stories.

The Real Fourth of July
Written at age 7-8


   This is why we celebrate the 4th of July: Freedom and Liberty. But this is the story behind it. The story of Einhorn.
One day, Einhorn, the father of all unicorns, was walking in the forest when he came to a castle. The windows and door of the castle were wide open, and he saw large numbers of unicorns, talking and laughing inside. The door looked into a large hall, with a  beautiful woman standing near the door. She smiled at Einhorn, saying: "Come in, come in." But, no sooner did he come in, then than the doors slammed, the unicorns disappeared, and the woman changed! Now it was just a hall, with shut-tight door and windows, and an evil elf!
She laughed and in a much different voice said: "Alright unicorn." Then she lashed out at Einhorn's neck and hooves with a rope, and in a minute, he was tied.
   "You cannot keep me trapped here!" He cried        "And why not?!" Said the elf mockingly.
   Saphyra (for that was her name), dragged him into a tower, and used magic and strong bonds to bind him. After that she left and locked the door.

   That night, she came with food and began to question him about the unicorns location and their plans. He would not answer, fearing for his mate, and all the rest. Each meal was the same, until a month had passed. Einhorn had been captured on June 2nd; it was now July 2nd.
Now at this time, there were a great many unicorns, but Einhorn was the first one, and the leader.
Saphyra knew this, and when she found out that the other unicorns were going to storm her castle, she wasn't too happy. She was even more unhappy( and even fearful) when they used their magic to make one of the castle towers crumble. On the 3rd, at 10:00 she came to Einhorn, and with out saying anything, began to untie him, but it took 2 hours. So, on the 4th of July, Einhorn ran into the forest, happily prancing.
 Now the unicorns had planned to storm the castle today. So as is happened as Einhorn was running, he met them. His mate, Silver-hoof was leading them, with many others behind her.
And that is the real story of the 4th of July.

The Story of Lindsay and Elizabeth
Written at age 7-8

 Once there was a king and queen who loved each other very much. Almost as much they wanted a child. One day a baby girl was born. They called her Lindsay. Not 3 years later another baby girl was born. They called her Elizabeth. Now at the time Elizabeth was born, there was a war going on. Only a week after Elizabeth was born, when Lindsay was 2 years old, there was an attack on the castle.The king was killed in the attack. Fearing for the children's safety, the queen sent Eliabeth and Lindsay to live with a kind old washer woman, giving money to the woman to take care of them. She herself ran away to a forest.

         Chapter 2- 12 years later
  Elizabeth and Lindsay were sisters and best friends. They were hardly apart. Whether it was one working the loom and the other the spindle, they were together, talking all the way.
"Remember that time you put a cup of soap in, instead of a teaspoon?" asked Lindsay.
"I was little! Only 5 years old!" Replied Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was twelve and her sister fourteen.
"That wasn't so long ago!" Teased Lindsay.
Elizabeth laughed. "We had better hurry up so we will be done by the time mother gets here." said Elizabeth.
"Drop a little more wool for Elizabeth to spin, Lindsay dear." said their mother.
They were all sitting by the fire, Elizabeth spinning, their mother knitting.
"Yes, Mother." Lindsay answered.
"Today when I was at market the town crier brought news of a war." commented their mother.
"Oh, how dreadful!" said Elizabeth.
"Well, it's time for you to go to bed. Good night."
"Good night, Mother." They both chorused.

      Chapter 3 The Next Night
"Children, we have a visitor who wants to talk to you." Elizabethand Lindsay stared at... the queen!
"Who are you?" Lindsay asked.
"I'm many things... I used to be the queen of this place, but now I'm just your mother."
"Our mother!" Lindsay and Elizabeth said in unison.
"If that;s true, why do we live here?" said Elizabeth.
"And why did we never hear about you?" asked Lindsay.
"When Elizabeth was born the country was at war just as it is now. Your father was killed during an attack on the castle. Fearing for your safety, I sent you to live with my old friend, Anna here. I myself went and got a job and lived near you. Every time when Anna took a long time at market, she was talking to me. Do you understand?" she said.
"Yes." was her answer.
"But I do have one more question." said Lindsay. "Why did you come tonight?"
The queen took a deep breath. "I decided I didn't want to lose you in this war like I lost your father. So I decided I want you both and Ann to come live with me."
Elizabeth(who had been crying ever since her mother said 'fearing for your safety...') said,
"I want to come with you."
The queen took both her and Lindsay in her arms, saying,
"I'm glad."

     Chapter 4 The Runaway
"We should do something about this war; after all, we're the princesses of the country." said Lindsay as she fluffed up her pillow. It was two days later, and she and Elizabeth were getting into bed.
"That's true. We shouldn't let Ruthben take over." Replied Elizabeth.
"Let's run away together."
"Run away?" Elizabeth repeated fearfully.
"Yes, run away. Tomorrow we'll pack some supplies, and at nighttime sneak out. Goodnight." said Lindsay staunchly.
"Extra clothes?" began Lindsay.
"Then we are all set. Ready?" asked Lindsay.
"Ready." replied Elizabeth.
Lindsay opened the door. She and Elizabeth tiptoed out. Bags thumping against their shoulders, they ran. For Anna and their mother they left a note saying:
Dear Mother and Anna,
 We decided to do something about this war. We hope you are not mad.
Be back soon.
Lindsay and Elizabeth.
"There's Ruthben's castle." whispered Elizabeth.
It was the third day of their runaway and they had finally reached Ruthben's castle. Elizabeth shuddered.
"Oh, it's not that scary." said Lindsay, as if reading her mind.
"I'm not scared."
"Come on. Let's sneak in."
The girls crept up to the castle, and scurried around a corner.
"Here's a cellar door; let's go in that way." said Elizabeth.
"Shh." replied Lindsay, nodding.
Together they lifted the trap door. It creaked alarmingly.
The tiptoed down. It was black as night. They entered a large tunnel, still dark. After walking a while, they came to a door that was on the ceiling. Elizabeth boosted Lindsay, and Lindsay opened the door. She looked around; seeing she was in an empty corridor, she pulled Elizabeth up. They looked around, and ran down the hall. They found a staircase and ran up. The sisters came to a closed door.
Lindsay opened it. The room was full of armor.
"We'll need swords." said Lindsay.
She picked up two swords and two sheaths. They closed the door behind them and ran farther down the hall. They came to a door marked "RUTHBEN".
    Chapter 6 Ruthben
Lindsay and Elizabeth drew their swords. Lindsay opened the door.
A guard leaped at them! Lindsay conked him on the head with her sword, and he fell over. Lindsay leapt over him. Seeing Ruthben, she ran at him, ignoring the other guard.
Elizabeth screamed. The guard had knocked the sword out of her hand and was pinning her down! Lindsay knocked the guard off of her and handed Elizabeth's sword to her. Elizabeth hit the guard on the head with the flat of her sword; he fell over to.
The two sisters leaped as one at Ruthben. His back to Elizabeth, he pulled the sword out of Lindsay's hand and held his sword point at her throat! Elizabeth stabbed him in the arm; when he spun around, Lindsay cut his leg!
He backed up so that he could see both of them. Lindsay and Elizabeth rushed to him; Lindsay knocked his sword out of his hand, pushing it away with her foot. Elizabeth held her sword ready at his heart.
Lindsay put her hand on Elizabeth's sword, and together, they pushed! Ruthben screamed and fell over, dead.
The two sisters looked at each other and smiled.
Chapter 7 New Friends
Lindsay and Elizabeth walked down the hall. They had found out(from the cook) that nobody wanted to be Ruthben's servants; they had been forced to be.
"Now that you have saved us, you shall become our princesses." She had said. "The Princesses of Azalae!"
"You know," commented Lindsay. "We're already princesses of Relcorr."
"Why don't we split it up? I'll be Princess of Relcorr, and you can be Princess of Azalae!" said Elizabeth.
"Alright!" answered Lindsay.
"And I crown you Lindsay, Princess Lindsay of Azalae. These countries I have just name Princesses for shall be joined in sistership." said the old general.
They were all on the border between Azalae and Relcorr two days later. Kissing each other good bye, the two princesses each departed in their own carriage, to their own kingdom.

This is a snippet from A Dragon Story, Part 3 ( I think):

Thunder, sitting on his haunches next to Katir, Serene, Clouds, Puff, Jimmy, and Faye, watched as Amory popped through the portal, and the glowing orb-thing sagged.
“Now we just have to wait for Radamir.” He said.
“Well…” Amory looked somber.
“Well what? Did something happen?” Serene gasped. She looked very frightened and was holding very tightly to her left ring finger.
“I am afraid that this portal maybe to broken down for him to come through. And… well…”(here he explained what he told Radamir about portals) “and… I believe he was going to attempt it.”
Serene sat down, staring at the ground as if she had never seen it before. Thunder felt sorry for her, thinking of how he would feel if he knew something had happened to Katir.
“I am going back.” She said in a broken voice.
“Do you not see that that would do no good? In fact, you would make his chances of coming out of there smaller. He has probably gone through now if he is ever going to. Because the gateway is tired, let us way a moment. He may emerge.” But Amory sound as if he doubted it.
The small party waited, Serene staring at the gateway, Katir with one wing around her shoulders, and holding her forefoot. Each passing moment, Jimmy looked more grim, Amory’s face muscles tightened, and Thunder knew that he- he who had always hid his true emotions behind a barrier of laughs- revealed himself in his face. Puff had just let out a whimper, and Faye was stirring, when Amory said again, for the second time that day,
“It is time. If he has not come out now, I do not think that he will.”
Serene leapt up, shaking both dragonesses off of her, and started to jump into the gateway. Katir grabbed her and pulled her back. Serene tried once more, but Katir held on tightly. Serene tried again and again, but each time, Katir would hold on to her. Finally Serene let out an anguished howl(and there is nothing worse than a dragoness’s howl when she has lost her sweetheart), and turned away with tears streaking down her face.
Katir, who’s eyes also had a few tears, gently led Serene after Amory, who had started toward a valley.
“We will go there,” he said. “to rest a bit and get some food. Some wholesome food without that wing and flame poison. It is will get it out of our systems.”
Faye woke at this moment, and everything had to be explained to her. Jimmy made short work of the long explanation along the way to the valley.
Thunder heard her muttering.
“Poor Serene. Oh, poor, poor, poor Serene. Having the chance of marriage snatched right away.”
Marriage? That startled Thunder. He looked over at Serene, and then caught sight of what Faye must have already seen. A white ring was one Serene’s ring finger. That must have been why she was holding the finger so tightly.
Then Thunder knew. It did not matter what happened. He had to risk it, or he could never live happily again.
“Katir, get over here.” The words came out not as gracefully as he intended them to, but for some reason, Thunder felt what he had to do was urgent.
Katir glared at him, for the first time ever, but came to the back of the ‘procession’.
“What?” she spat out.
Thunder sighed. “Katir, I need you to listen, because I need to say something that I have been wanting to say for years. When I first met you, you seemed so innocent and sweet, and then so lively, that I knew, I knew, that we would be friends. And when Flight almost killed you, I knew that I craved more than your friendship, and that I gave more than friendship. I love you Katir. If you love me, I will never let you go. I know you probably do not, and probably never will, care for me, but I had to tell you. I long for you to be happy, so if you would not be happy as my wife, then I will not be angry. I just want you to be happy.”
Throughout his speech, Katir’s face had changed from angry and annoyed, to tender, and… loving.
“Thunder?” she whispered. “Is this a proposal?”
“Only if you want it to be. ” He said, just as quietly, hesitantly taking one of her forefeet.
“Thunder, I always thought… I never knew… I did not dare to hope…”
Thunder cut her off by drawing her completely into his arms.
“Do you mean yes?”
Katir smiled.

Snippet 2: This is chapter 3 and 5 of Adrielle, Queen of Relcorr (I really like the capital italic Q... Q... Q... Q... I've been really liking italics lately...)

The cell was wet, dark, and small-only 25 feet square-with a thin blanket in the corner. The soldier shoved Adrielle down on the blanket, then slammed and locked the door.
She tried to keep up her courage by resiting nursery rhymes her mother had taught her; first the one about people's faults, then another one, that went something like this:
Life is fading
Sun is shading
Darkness falls over all.

Death is coming
Hear the drumming
Of men's battle call.

Elves are crying
As they're dying
There is not much left of us.

We are splitting
It is fitting
That all our hearts are crushed.

Leave each other
Leave your brother
Hide in separate places.

No message send
To any friend
Do not leave any traces.

We will be one
When pain is done
When done are all the elf hunts.
  Adrielle did not mean to cry, but tears did come. She wept for a few minutes, then began to think, though no relief came from that direction. It was all so hopeless. How could she have thought that she could get through this? How could she think that her helping in the battle would erase prejudice as old as the cell walls around her? Why would she have thought that she could get an audience with the busy king who cared nothing for orphaned elf girls?
Adrielle's mother's last cry rang through her head.
"And never say that you are an elf!" Why had she not listened to her?
Adrielle's thoughts were cut off. Far down the corridor, a door was being opened. A man's voice drifted in.
"... think we should release him, Lord Pogit. After all, he just stole from the king's orchard. He has been here a month." The voice came from a young man, and sounded rather sad.
"I know, Lord Aranor, but King Goreir is still rather mad. Oh, and this last prisoner. She came just today. An ELF who wants to talk to the king." This voice was deep, and a bit bored sounding. Adrielle watched as the two speakers approached her cell. A  tall young man with wavy dark hair and blue eyes, was assumable Aranor. The other was supposedly Lord Pogit. Pogit was rather short, and very stout.
Adrielle looked at them. They looked at her.
"Never seen an elf. I always wanted to see one." Pogit sounded as if he was talking about a thing, not woman. Then again, many men consider them one and the same.
"Come, maiden, what do want?" Aranor said gently, yet questioningly. "You must want to talk to the king very badly to come out of hiding. You knew you would be captured." He turned to Pogit. "What did she do that she is here?"
Lord Pogit looked uncomfortable. "Well... she is... well she is an elf!" he finished finally. Adrielle snorted.
"So she did not DO anything?" Said Aranor in a voice straining to be polite.
"She fought in the battle of Osgiliath. That is, she fought on our side, but the governor said it 'was for devious purposes that are currently unknown'."
"If they are unknown, how does he know they are devious purposes and not just honest ones?" Aranor said bluntly.
Lord Pogit shifted from one foot to the other and tugged on a lock of his greying red-brown hair.
"Well, I did not put her here, Aranor, so do not get angry at me." He said at last.
Aranor shrugged one shoulder.
"No, I am not angry at YOU. Or not exactly angry at you, anyway." Aranor replied, frowning slightly.
The two men left her then, Aranor shaking his head and muttering about talking to King Gorneir.
Adrielle looked after Lord Aranor with a sigh. He seemed nice. If she ever got out of here, she would like to marry someone like him... maybe not just someone LIKE him, but... NO! She had to be sensible.
What was she thinking? She was an elf in prison. Aranor was probably prejudiced like the rest of them, and if he wanted to help her or felt sorry for her, it was just that: feeling sorry for her. Adrielle pulled herself together. One way or another, she probably would not live long, and she should not be thinking about romance.
Still, she was glad at least to have a palace official who felt sorry for her, if nothing else. Adrielle smiled ever so slightly as she looked at the ring Darla had given her, resting on her finger. If only she could get out and into the city, she could see Darla's relatives! She did not expect they would be rich, but perhaps respected by everyone, and as Adrielle was not exactly 'respected' it would be nice to have someone to back her up.
Adrielle spent an hour more thinking on all of this, when it began to rain. And like most rain, it did not come straight down. It came sideways, through the teeny cell window. Straight onto Adrielle's blanket.
Adrielle hopped up and set about moving the thin blanket out of the rain, but it was soaked immediately. Adrielle sighed and gave up trying to move it. She instead went to a corner and stood, wet, cold, hungry, and miserable. The soldiers had not fed her well-just two scanty meals per day- and her last edibles had been breakfast.
Outside the window, the sky was dark, and rain pelted harder and faster into the cell, reaching even Adrielle's far corner. She gave a laugh without humor, and then began to cry softly. This went on for a while- wet, hungry, cold. Wet, hungry, cold. Adrielle's feet began to hurt with the force of the rain hitting them. She wished for her soft leather boots, but when she had left Oswenath, the soldiers had taken away all her belongings excepting her cloak and dress. Adrielle had hidden her necklace beneath her gown, and was glad when
Outside the window, the sky was dark, and rain pelted harder and faster into the cell, reaching even Adrielle's far corner. She gave a laugh without humor, and then began to cry softly. This went on for a while- wet, hungry, cold. Wet, hungry, cold. Adrielle's feet began to hurt with the force of the rain hitting them. She wished for her soft leather boots, but when she had left Oswenath, the soldiers had taken away all her belongings excepting her cloak and dress. Adrielle had hidden her necklace beneath her gown, and was glad when the soldiers did not notice the slight bulge.
A few hours later, a soldier came, tossed a cup at her, threw some hard bread at her, laughed as it hit a dirty puddle in the corner, and left.
Adrielle's stomach grumbled, and she forced herself to go to the corner. She picked up the bread, and tried to dry it on her dress, but the gown was just as soaked and as dirty as the bread. She grimaced, and raised it to her lips. It smelled like rotten eggs, sweat, and unwashed people. Adrielle felt nauseated. She could not eat it! Her stomach gave her a jab of protest. Adrielle felt the bread. It was no longer rock-hard, but spongy, covered in mold, and when she squeezed it, mud oozed out.
Adrielle DID wretch then, though it did her no good except to make her stomach yet more empty.
She had to eat it! Adrielle might rather have starved, but her instincts to survive kicked in, and she shoved the bread half of the bread into her mouth.
It tasted like it smelled- plus what Adrielle thought cerumen and maggots. Adrielle looked down at the other half of the bread. There WERE maggots in it! Adrielle spat out what she was eating, hating to think what she had already swallowed.
Apparently the guard had not left, for Adrielle heard laughing behind her. She turned.
A scullery maid and the guard of before were splitting their sides, gripping each other's shoulders to keep from falling over.
Adrielle closed her eyes, wishing she could close her ears, too.
They kept laughing, and did not leave until the rain grew harder, and little rivulets of water pooled around their feet. Then , still laughing, they left the dungeon.
Adrielle was thirsty, and turned to the water. When the guard threw the mug at her, most of its contents got washed out. Now it was filled with muddy water, with two dead bugs, and slimy stuff that Adrielle had not the faintest idea(nor did she wish to know) what it was. She poured the water out and threw the cup out of the door.
Adrielle sat down by the door and wept until she fell asleep, a long while later.
In the morning, the rain had stopped and the sun had come out. Adrielle yawned, and hoped it was a sign that the day would be better too.
Adrielle sat in her cell from 7:00 to 9:00 without anything happening. Adrielle was just thinking that if boredom was not the worst affliction she had here she would be dead within a day, when she heard footsteps. She looked up.
It was Aranor. Alone.
"I have to beg your pardon for your unfair capture, and to tell you that I have talked to King Gorneir concerning it. He arranged to have a trial with you in ten days. I apologize that it is not sooner."
Adrielle gazed up at him, struck dumb with his kindness... and his eyes.
"I... I... I thank you for your kindness to a stranger. Not many would do the same." she replied finally.
"You are welcome. Among our other duties, Lord Pogit-the man who was with me last night- try to make rounds of the cells and make sure no one is here for no reason or for a worthless one." He replied, then added, "I will check on you tomorrow." Turning, Aranor strode away.
Adrielle stared after him. Yes, she would very much like indeed to marr- No! She had to stop this! She was an elf, he was a human, and no current king would ever let them be seen together, let alone be married. Adrielle brought her thoughts to a halt and made her consciousness listen to her.
"I am an elf." she said out loud, slowly and decisively. "It would never work, he would never want to, and I will probably not live long enough anyway.",
Adrielle sighed, and started counting the cracks in the wall. This would be a long day. A very long day.
And a long day it was, the only highlight before dinner being that it started to rain again. Adrielle saw the black clouds, and had the foresight to move her mildew-smelling blanket to the far corner before the rain broke. It was once more a hard rain though, so moving her cot did not help much.
Once more, at about six in the evening, the soldier came with bread, and threw it into the cell. Adrielle cot the bread before it hit the ground, and tore it into two pieces. Maggoty again. Adrielle's empty stomach sent nausea once more, and Adrielle was glad when the blackness of fainting overwhelmed her, her last conscious sense being of the guard laughing.
Adrielle woke in the night, feeling more tired than she knew a woman could feel. Her head throbbed, and she felt so alone.
When Adrielle had been little, she had not been like other children, afraid of the darkness. She had always loved how the cool, velvety darkness wrapped its soft arms around her, and she constantly thought that the moon was more beautiful, more enchanting, and more elven than the sun. The stars were always comforting, kind playmates, who's little pinpricks of light made the sky the sky gleam with radiance, but not enough glow to spoil the dark, as the sun did.
But after a certain day when she was eight, nighttime did not seem so friendly. The dark was imposing and Adrielle had all the fears of many children cast upon her at this age. All alone in her house, the stars did not seem like playmates, and the moon seemed mysterious and cold. The darkness did not give velvety embraces, but seemed to help and hide evil things. After her mother's assumed death, Adrielle took to lighting a candle at night.
So it was with this night, in this unfriendly cell. Adrielle was afraid to do nothing, but afraid to move or cry out, for fear of stirring demons and creatures of darkness, fear of making them aware of her presence. Her breathing was shallow slow. Not wishing to move, but wanting to have her back against something firm and comforting and wanting to be able to see anything that might harm her, Adrielle rolled ever so slowly onto her back.
The moon shone through the window, lighting the small cell.
Her heart pounded, seeming the loudest noise in history. Then Adrielle became aware of another noise. It was a skittering. She shivered and tried to convince herself that it was just her imagination. But the brown, scaly, moving things on the ground were not.
"Cockroaches!" she exclaimed, forgetting her mental vow of silence.
Adrielle jumped to her feet, and watched the ugly roaches run over tiny cot, then run toward the bread she had discarded. Adrielle felt prickly. She always felt this way when watching bugs or talking about them. The back of her right leg especially felt prickly. Adrielle reached down to itch.
"Ahh!" she screeched, realizing that the roach, which must have been on her leg had climbed onto her hand.
Adrielle began hopping up and down, trying to shake it loose. Finally she succeeded in wiping the roach onto the floor.
Adrielle pulled back against the door, wishing she was anywhere else in the world, even the gallows.

"Are you glad tonight is break night?" Adrielle heard one guard say to another at about eight in the evening. She had had a boring day, but a day filled with three meals of fine bread and sweet water. Her ears pricked up.
"Yes. I heard of a new tavern that I want to check out."
Adrielle heard no more. This was great news! If her normal guard was off duty, maybe she would have a nice guard!
Having established that fact and not knowing what lay before her, Adrielle's thoughts turned to Aranor. She fell asleep thinking of him.
Adrielle woke in the night. Although her eyes were closed, she could tell because it was not morning light that had awakened her; it was voices.
She tensed. It was not too late into the night, but past mealtimes. Why would a group of guards be outside her cell?
"Bert said he would bring some of his critter collection for one thing. What else?" came one hushed voice.
"Hmm." said another one. "What about rocks?"
"Sure." A third rough voice answered.
Adrielle opened her eyes, and wished she had not, for the second she did, one of the guards looking into her cell said,
"She is awake! Then we can begin!" said the first one.
Adrielle jumped up and ran to the back of her cell, not wanting to find out what he was going to do. Five feet was not much, but she was glad to put at least the many feet between her and the six guards outside her cell.
"Hey, scum-elf! What are doing, hiding in the corner? Are you AFRAID of something?" said a fourth guard.
"Oh, lay off her Oliver! It's my turn!" said the first. Oliver grumbled about the silliness of taking turns, but stopped speaking.
"My name is Jarvis. We, feeling sorry for you and knowing how bored you must be, came to make some excitement. How is that?"
Adrielle pulled back farther, but regretted it, because the moment she did, something slithered down her back, and as she gasped in surprise-realizing it was a snake- the guards laughed, and Oliver said,
"That is exactly what I mean, Bertram!"
"Hurray for Bert!" said another.
"Oh, come on!" one guard began. "Leave the missy alone. Let's go get drunk instead."
"Sure, James! Do whatever you want! Are you afraid of getting in trouble with your mother? Hmm?" said Bert through the window.
At this time, Adrielle had dislodged the snake, and had got as far away as possible from both the door and the window.
"Let's just get drunk!" James repeated. The other guards laughed.
"Thaddeus," said Oliver. "How about you go out and help Bertram 'prepare'?"
Thaddeus grinned, nodded, and walked out of Adrielle's view.
"Why we wait, do the trick I invented." The one called Edwin said with snicker. Adrielle did not like the sound of that.
"Sure! Silas, you got the bottle?" Jarvis asked.
Silas looked around. "What bottle? No one told me to bring it."
"Leave her alone. I thought you wanted to try out 'The Pint and the Quart' today, Jarvis?" said James.
"Nay, not compared with this! THIS is much more fun!" Jarvis laughed. He turned to Silas.
"Of course you were supposed to bring it! I guess we will have to make do."
Jarvis leaned forward and threw a splinter of wood at Adrielle. She dodged and it missed. Jarvis growled.
"Here now, boys. Let us all try it at once!"
There was some coarse laughter and murmurs of agreement, then, without warning, Adrielle found herself jumping up and down and sideways, and large splinters getting stuck in her hair and on her dress. She was delivered from being completely poked all over though, because Thaddeus was ready.
"Get the screen." came the voice of Bert behind her.
"Edwin, I thought you had it!" Oliver said worriedly.
"I never had the screen!" Edwin sounded very annoyed, but perplexed.
" 'ere now, don't go startin' a quarrel. I 'ave it." said Silas.
Adrielle backed away from the window and hunched down in the corner.
"Screen ready?" asked Thaddeus. At four nods from Silas, Edwin, Jarvis, and Oliver, he said "Go!" to Bertram.
Adrielle watched fearfully and curiously as she observed that the four guards by her door had put a screen over her door, and Thaddeus had placed screen over her window, that had a round hole in the middle. Bertram was unscrewing a jar, and once it was open, he place the jar over the hole in the screen, so that the mosquitoes could only go into Adrielle's cell. For that was what was in the jar. Hungry, large, mosquitoes.
At first they just buzzed around looking for a way out, but when they realized they could not find one, the mosquitoes went toward Adrielle. She knew she could not dodge them like she dodged the splinters, so she tried to kill them all. It took fifteen minutes, and many, many, bites. The guards laughed all the while.
"Got(laugh) the other(laugh) thing?(laugh)" asked Oliver afterwards.
"Yes! And here they are!" Thaddeus was laughing so hard he could hardly breathe.
Good, thought Adrielle. Maybe he will choke to death.
Unfortunately, he did not, so he was able to open another jar that contained... BATS!
Now you must not think that Adrielle was cowardly, to mind cockroaches and mosquitoes and having a snake dropped down her back. But think of how you would feel? For though in Relcorr, you could simply tell the snake to go away, mosquitoes, cockroaches, the snake, and the bats were not natives to Relcorr.
As a matter of fact, Adrielle had had a friend in Orginath that was a bat. Bunny Bats were almost always nice. But these bats were mad. In preparation for break night, Bert had not fed them, and before he released them he poked them with a stick. So they were mad. Very mad. And hungry.
Bats dived this way trying to find a way out, and trying to find something to eat.
One bat dived at Adrielle, and bit her cloak. Adrielle hit it hard with her hand, and it fell away. But it was too late; the other bats had caught on. They all started diving at Adrielle, pulling at her clothes and hair. Adrielle shrieked, stomped, and pulled them off of her. Jarvis, Silas, Thaddeus, Oliver, Edwin, and Bertram just laughed. James had left. For thirty minutes they just laughed as Adrielle dodged the awful creatures. Then they grew bored.
"That's it." said Bert. "Here you go." He pulled the screen back and tossed some rotten fruit behind him-for the bats were fruit bats.
The bats swarmed out the window after the fruit. The men looked about for some other entertainment.
"I know!" said Thaddeus excitedly. He picked up a rock and threw it at Adrielle.
She dodged, so it missed her head, but landed on her feet instead.
"Oh!" She winced at the pain. The guards laughed, and began to throw more heavy objects. She jumped back and forth, but she could not evade everything.
Only Silas and Jarvis were not throwing things.
"This is boring." Jarvis said to his friend. "I wonder if we could get the door open..."
Silas held up a key. "Pretty easily!" The friends' coarse laughter rang loudly, mingling with the others.
" 'ere now, I will get it ope-" Silas fell over with a blow to the back of his head.
A large fist hit Jarvis under his chin, knocking his head against the wall. He fell to the floor, unconscious.
Oliver spun around to grapple with the opponent. Bertram and Thaddeus disappeared. Edwin gasped at whoever it was who was attacking-Adrielle could not see whom it was- and ran.
Lord Pogit grabbed Oliver with both hands by the front of his shirt and shook him.
"You're not supposed to messing with prisoners, you hear! On break night, you get out of here! Look here, if I catch you down here one more time without official business, I will take you before King Gorneir!"
"But...but... she's just an elf!" Oliver gasped.
Lord Pogit shook him harder.
"I don't care if she's a purple centaur with wings! You leave her and any other prisoners alone! You watch yourself or you will find yourself without a job!" With one last shake, Lord Pogit dropped Oliver, who ran off without a backwards glance.
Lord Pogit turned to Adrielle.
"I'm sorry, Missy. Adrielle is your name right? I thought so. Are you alright?" Adrielle nodded once, then shook her head.
Lord Pogit pulled a key out of Silas's unconscious hand and opened the door.
"Here, Aranor asked me to take you out." He put a hand around her shoulder. "There is another nicer room waiting for you. And a bath, with clean clothes too, if you want it." Adrielle nodded gratefully.
"I am sorry for being rude earlier. Just come with me, and you need not worry anymore about the guards. I AM sorry, Adrielle."

I'm a really horrid person; I love torturing my characters. I was going to torture Nan from The Pergle Plant, but that didn't work out. I just couldn't do it to her.

This last snippet is from The King's Business, yet another unfinished story. It is a clumsy allegory, inspired from A Child of the King and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Melina met Auria, Ballard, and Theophilus for breakfast, as Bronwyn insisted would be the proper thing to do. They met on the platform, and Auria said that they had not yet chosen where to eat. “If requested, the city pays for the meals of those who quest in their last days here. So, it does not matter where we wish to go.”
“I don’t care where we go. Wherever we go, let’s go soon. I’m hungry!” Ballard complained.
Melina wanted to say that whining was rude, as she might of if Alexander had said it, but her years of keeping her tongue still when in the presence of people close to her age or older made her silent. Theophilus spoke up. He was not quite as… cheery as the preceding night, but not as grumpy as when she first met him.
“I say we go to The Wigglesome Crab for breakfast. They have very good food!”
Crab? For breakfast?” Ballard answered.
All at once, Theophilus became angry. “When we are on a quest, we cannot be choosy about our meals! We must get used to having strange food- breakfast, lunch and dinner! You are lucky I did not insist that we eat liver and tongues!” At Ballard’s expression, which he misinterpreted, the man added, “Yes, liver and tongue! You may have to eat those on our adventure!”
Theophilus turned to Auria. “Now, milady, what think you of going to The Wigglesome Crab for breakfast?”
Auria gently replied, “I think that wherever we go is not important enough to argue about. You have a point in saying that we will have to get ourselves used to odd meals, but Ballard may want to enjoy his last breakfasts here. Do you have an opinion, Melina?”
Melina, still not used to being talked to like an equal, was taken aback. “I- uh… well, Thedric’s is nice, I suppose…”
“Thedric does not bake fresh bread every day. His food is expensive for nothing.” Ballard grumbled.
“But that is nothing to argue about!” Auria said. For once, no smile lit her face. “This world has enough troubles with adding more. We will see which of the two restaurants has enough room for the four of us to sit together, and we will go to that one.”
They went to Thedric’s first, but found he had no room. Despite Ballard’s grumbling, many people liked Thedric’s. Ballard grumbled even more when they found that The Wigglesome Crab had plenty of room- Ballard pointed out that this was because no one besides them was crazy enough to go there for breakfast.
However, the deal had been agreed on, and so they breakfasted at The Wigglesome Crab. Theophilus got salmon, Ballard just got a drink, Auria chose tuna, and, after much debating, Melina decided to get a dish that had both crab and trout. It was not bad, though Auria and Melina both felt that it would have been better for lunch. During breakfast, Auria talked about where they would be going that day. First they would go to a cartographer’s, and figure out their route. That done, they would organize their transportation- Auria explained that a horse would not be much use in a gorge or crossing a river.
So after breakfast, to the mapmaker’s store they went. Melina thought it was a beautiful store: filled with brightly colored maps of all shapes and sizes, all of them begging her to travel to the place they showed. The world of Lyantrumar was small, but not dull by any means! She looked at many maps while Auria and Theophilus talked to the storeowner, with Ballard standing next to them and putting in depressing comments whenever he could. Or he did this until Theophilus picked Ballard up by the back of his shirt, carried him a little ways away, and said,
“Go… play! Be free!” Fully expecting Ballard to listen, Theophilus walked off.
Ballard, his mouth hanging open, slowly tucked his shirt back in, glaring after the old man. Melina wondered if he ever smiled. She did not think so.

So, there, some more boring snippets for y'all. Book review in 45 pages!!!

Have y'all noticed I like to say y'all?