Friday, November 21, 2014

Writing Tag: White Roses

I know I just posted Thursday morning, so it would shock everyone to high heaven to have my posting again so soon, but I felt like doing a writing tag. I saw this one on Whisperings of the Pen. It is designed for a specific story, and so I am doing it for my latest, White Roses, a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, recently finished.
The original tag was 75 questions long (EEP!) so I shortened it  to 47 for your reading convenience (taking out the ones that obviously didn't apply, such as, "Do your characters watch TV" [being as there's no technology in their world] and all the many ones about the zombie apocalypse).

1. What's your word count? 
16, 947, to be quite precise. My goal was around 8,000 words, so I'm very happy with how it turned out.  :)

2. If you have finished, how long did it take you? 
It took me from early September to November 3rd to finish writing (although in the next few days after that I edited a bit). So, about two months.

3. How many words do you typically write a day? 
Ha. Most days I write nothing at all.

4. What was your greatest word count in one day? 
Probably when I wrote the climax – that was about 1,700 words written all at once.

5. What was your least impressive word count in one day? 
0,000 words.

6. What inspired you to write? 
The Twelve Dancing Princesses story, for one. Flowers, for another. Also, I'm currently planning a Victorian Christmas Ball, so searching for music and learning old-fashioned dances sort of got me in the mood to write a story about dancing.

7. Assign each of your major characters a theme song. 
Rose (and all the sisters): "I could have danced all night"
Malcolm: "I will be brave, I will be strong, I will be right, unless I am wrong".

8. Which character is most like you? 
I'm a lot like Rose, actually. We're both not the oldest but are still sort of motherly. We're both very practical and do-what-needs-to-be-done, but still romantics at heart and lovers of beauty.

9. Which character would you most likely be friends with? 
Aster, Rose or Magnolia.

10. Who is your favorite character in your novel? 
My wonderful Malcolm of Merradras. Malcolm is just awesome.

11. Have your characters ever done something completely unexpected?
To me or to the reader? Not to me. But yesss to second question. (I hope it's unexpected.)

12. Have you based any of your novel directly on personal experiences? 
Well, I did describe some of my favorite foods. And when Rose and her sisters get to drink coconut milk, I went and opened a can of coconut milk and drank some so as to be able to describe it well.

13. Is there magic in your novel/story? 
Yes indeedy.

14. Are any holidays celebrated in your novel/story? 
At least two birthdays and Christmas are celebrated.

15. Does anyone die? 
Yes. The girls' mother dies.

16. How many cups of coffee/tea have you consumed during your writing experience? 
Hm. Not very many.  Maybe one cup of tea. I'm not so much of a coffee drinker.

17. What is the latest you have stayed up writing? 
9:30 or 10:00.

18. Have you dreamed about your novel/story or its characters? 
Sadly not.

19. Summarize your novel/story in under fifteen words. 
Dancing. Pavilion. Roses. Death. Magic.

20. Do you love all your characters? 
Of course!

21. What was the last thing your main character ate? 
Roast goose and champagne.

22. Describe your main character in three words. 
Practical, persevering, loving.

23. What would your antagonist dress up as for Halloween? 
I don't think she would. She'd spend her money and time making costumes for all her little sisters.
UPDATE 6/23/15: I thought this said protagonist!

24. Does anyone in your story go to a place of worship? 
Rose and her sisters go to the church graveyard.

25. How many romantic relationships take place in your novel/story? 
2 1/2.

26. Are there witches, wizards or mythological creatures/figures in your novel/story? 

27. Is anyone physically ailed? 
Yes. Rose's mother, and the girls themselves.

28. Is anyone mentally ill? 
What defines mentally ill?

29. Does anyone have swine flu? 
Haha, no.

30. Who has pets in your novel and what are they? 
The nobleman-thief has dogs and horses, but they aren't really pets. Pansy has cats and dogs, but she doesn't own them

31. Are there political figures in your novel? 
Does a king and queen count?

32. Is there incessant drinking? 
Yes. Rose's father is a drunkard.

33. Are there any dream sequences? 

34. Is there humor? 
Yes. *cough cough Larkspur*

35. Is there tragedy? 
Yes. *cough cough Malcolm cough cough mom cough cough*

36. Does anyone have a temper tantrum? 
Larkspur pouts.

37. How many characters end up single at the end of your novel/story? 

38. Is anyone in your novel/story adopted? 
No, but there are some who are disinherited and then re-inherited.

39. Does anyone in your novel/story wear glasses? 
No. They haven't been invented, silly!

40. Has your novel/story inspired anyone? 
It's inspired me. :)

41. How many people have asked to read your novel/story? 
Two, I think.

42. Have you drawn any of your characters? 
No. Usually I try to find pictures that fit them by browsing certain people's pinterest boards, but I haven't looked or even wanted to look for pictures for this story.

43. What size shoe does your main character wear? 
Size six. She has small feet.

44. How would you react if your novel/story was erased entirely? 
I would cry.

45. Are there any love triangles, squares, hexagons, etc.? 
Sort of…?

46. What advice would you give to a fellow writer? 
Keep writing!

47. Describe your ending in three words. 
Dramatic, romantic, happy.

And with that–

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Things No One Tells You About Having Braces

Here we are m'dears. Hope we're in time for tea!
-Mr. Sappleton from The Open Window

That is a quote from the play I'm currently in. Tomorrow is the performance. I'm pretty excited. You're all invited, of course. It's a very short play, really – probably less than 30 minutes. But it's a lot of fun. It's Victorian, you know, so that's always enjoyable, to get to dress in old-fashioned clothing. It makes me feel strange afterwards, though, when I've been wearing three layers of skirts for over an hour and had my hair done so nicely, to just put on modern jeans and etc. 
Anyhow. Today we bring to you:

5 Things No One Tells You About Having Braces

1. The useful skills you learn such as taking your rubber bands out with your tongue or putting a wire back in place in less than 10 seconds will sadly not have any application elsewhere in life. No use putting it on your resumé.

2. When rubber bands give you a sore, there's nothing you can do about it.

3. Eating pizza in polite company becomes difficult, because although it's pretty easy to tear off pieces and not painful (try eating carrots, ha ha!), you'll need to pick crust out of your teeth afterwards and will have to hope desperately that your companions suddenly become interested in something on the opposite side of the room.

4. Those useful little brushes that they give you actually have a name. Christmas Tree Brushes.

5. You can't make a fish face with rubber bands in. You know, the one where you suck in your cheeks? Not happening.

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tutorial: Beautiful Bubble Book Garland!

Well, hello! Nice to see you. We gather together today to witness the union of – er, the making of a beeeauuutiful garland made of book pages! (The tissue paper flower poufs are not included.)

Psst… you can see Weenie if you look close.

Tutorial: Bubble Book Garland

by Lady Awdur

You will need:
  • Scissors
  • A pencil
  • Oodles of books that you don't mind cutting up (they'll be ruined)
  • Something round to trace around (I used a cookie cutter with a 3-inch diameter)
  • A ribbon, as long as you want the garland (I made BLANK garlands BLANK feet long, so I used around BLANK feet of ribbon. Mine was white and ¼ inch wide)
  • A sewing machine (glue might work, too, but I didn't try this so I don't know)
How you do it:
First, trace twice as many circles as you'll need (you get three circles per foot, so if you wanted to make a three foot garland you would trace (3x3) x2 = 18 circles. Got it?). I traced 300. In most I did all words, in some (to vary it up) I got some of the picture:
I mean, it's Weenie. Who wouldn't want him in the garland?
Then, cut out the circles (that's pretty self-explanatory). After you have all of your circles cut out, you will need to prepare them for sewing. Unless you cut your papers from books that have no pictures or anything and all of them look the same, you might have a preference which side is up. The circles are double layered, so that they have some strength and aren't just floppy little pieces of paper, so one side of each circle will not be shown. If you care which side is in and which side is out, you'll want to lay them out. For instance, Weenie's other side looks like this:

It's just not Weenie.

And I much prefer Weenie, so I grabbed another circle and put them together with the sides I wanted facing out. Once you've prepared all of your circles and stacked them (not on top of each other but just barely overlapping so that you can grab one circle pair without grabbing more than one), you'll need to get out your sewing machine.

The overlapping stacks.

Prepare the ribbon by cutting one edge in a forked design to guard against fraying and make it look pretty. Lay it across the sewing machine and put down the presser foot.

Make sure you have some tail to tie the garland with. Grab a circle pair, place it under the ribbon, and sew all the way across. Keep sewing for ½ inch to 2 inches (whatever you think looks best) past the circle (you'll just be sewing on ribbon at this point), then add another circle pair (herewith referred to simply as a "circle"), sew across, sew for an inch or so on the ribbon, add another circle, and so on.

My garlands were made to hang vertically, so I did very short garlands, no more than 11 circles on each, so if you were doing horizontal garlands you'd have to figure out how many circle pairs you'd need to do.
When you've done as many as you want, cut the ribbon and the threads of the sewing machine. You're done!

Here's what they look like at the end:

Sorry the picture is so bad. Hey, I'm not a photographer.

Close-up of the forked tail.
Hopefully you don't mind how the ribbon twists a little in between. You could probably eliminate this by sewing each circle on individually instead of sewing from on end of the ribbon to the other. That seemed like too much work to me, though.

I sewed these on a Singer Fashion Mate 252 – how crazy it is that a machine from 1971 runs so much smoother than my 2005 Singer Simple machine?? I guess they really don't make them like they used to.

Au Revoir,
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P.S. Does anyone know how to get other google fonts beside Arial, Courier, Georgia, Helvetica, Times, Trebuchet and Verdana on Blogger? I thought I had it figured out… but no.
EDIT: Thank you very much to The Author for helping me with the fonts!