My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Book Sale


 It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you. From Nov 27 (that’s today!) through Nov 30th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.> What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

November Nightstand Books and Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, readers!  I hope you are having a lovely Thanksgiving thus far.  I am celebrating with jogging, Pilates, and yoga: my favorite holiday traditions.

I am pleased to present this month's addition of Nightstand Books, inspired by Jenelle Schmidt and D J Edwardson.

This is possibly the fuzziest picture to ever be posted to this blog.
There are fewer books this time because it's so late in the month.

First is A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray.  So far, I've read the prologue and half of the first chapter, so I don't have any strong opinions on it.  But I'll let you know when I do!

Next comes Rise of the Evening Star, by Brandon Mull.  I read the Fablehaven series when I was younger, positively adored it, and then forgot it existed.  So as a present to myself for finishing NaNoWriMo, I bought the series.  And it is.  So good.

Then we have To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis.  This is one of my favorite books, and I'm reading it to my mom.

I'm reading Ben Hur, by Lew Wallace, for school.  Again, I've barely made it through the first chapter.  But so far it's great!

And my Bible.  I just finished Tobit today and started Judith, not to mention some rereads of Esther, one of my favorite books in the Bible.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, readers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

NaNoWriMo- Victory!

I did it, readers!!

And now I have the number of functioning brain cells once associates with, I don't know, a brownie or something.

I wrote a grand total of 50,039 words in one month for my latest project, The Winter Court.  In late October, I wasn't completely sure this was going to happen.  I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have done it!

I discovered three key things while on the voyage known as novel-writing.

1. I can consistently write 2,000 words in a little less than an hour.  If I really buckle down, that means I can finish projects much more quickly than I have in the past.

1A (because I have to have three points in true literary fashion, which means I have to get creative). I cannot write 3,000 words every day.  It takes exponentially longer, and by the time I finish, I can't do anything but watch TV all day.  HOWEVER, writing 3,000 words a day for the first week made writing 2,000 words more efficient than it has ever been.

1B. I need weekends.  Weekends are perfect.  Weekends are lovely.

And 2. I did not finish my novel.  With my roughest estimation, it will be around 90,000 words long.  Could I write that in a month?  Probably.  Would it hurt?  Yeah.  You bet.

And finally, 3. I need some time away from my novel.  I love the characters, I love the story so far, but I've reached the point where I realize I have absolutely no idea where I'm going with this.  I don't know how the novel ends.  I mean, I know how it sort of ends-- the hero wins, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after-- but I don't know the particulars.  Any of them.  And I would like to have these firmly in hand before I return to the manuscript.

And return I shall!  This is only a passing break, albeit much-needed.  I can figure out where my novel is going.  And in the meantime, I can work on my other, poor-little-abandoned-projects that, you know, have due dates that are sort of creeping up on me.

But as for today, I'm taking time off.  I think I've earned it.  : )

Writers, keep writing!

Friday, November 20, 2015

NaNoWriMo Day 20

I am unabashedly stealing/lovingly borrowing this post idea from Sarah at Dreams and Dragons (love you, Sarah!  Please don't sue me for plagiarism!) because it is past my bed time, I realized I haven't posted in forever, and I have approximately four brain cells currently operational.

Remember how I said I was doing NaNoWriMo?  I was not at all convinced that I would finish.  But right now, three weeks in, I am at a grand total of...

45,209 words!

I know I'm not at the finish line yet.  But if stay on schedule like I have for the past three weeks, I should finish on Monday.  As in, three days.

I should say witty things about the writing process and NaNoWriMo.  But to be honest, I've been writing two thousand words a day for the past twenty days.  I have approximately four brain cells that aren't fried, and for all that I'm ahead on NaNo, I'm woefully behind on rewriting my poor little Five Magic Spindles project.  So I'll conclude by promising you two posts in the near future: one on the aforementioned Five Magic Spindles project, and the other on my woefully neglected November Nightstand Books.

Writers, keep writing!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Nanowrimo Begins....

Happy National Novel Writing Month, dear readers!  May your word count surpass your wildest dreams!

I have, in my life, written three novels: one mediocre, one awful, and one considerably better than anyone, least of all myself, expected.  That's not counting five novellas and innumerable short stories.  So I'm working on my fourth novel, but it's the first I've done for Nanowrimo (the past three novels have taken me, at minimum, a year each).

It's been three years since I've written a novel.  Until I typed that last sentence, I hadn't really processed that.  I've been working on novellas because they're so much quicker, and I can hone my craft without dedicating a large portion of my life to it.  But I'm so, so glad and excited to be back writing a novel.

I have a few goals for this novel:

  • I want to enjoy writing it.  This is the highest priority for me.  I always love writing, but sometimes it's in the awful, why-is-this-so-much-work sort of way.  I understand that what I'm doing is hard, but I want to have fun while I do it.

  • I want it to (and I expect that it will) be of a higher quality than my previous first drafts.  I have a lot, lot more experience as a writer than I did when I wrote my last novel.  (Bless you, little novellas!)  I know some tricks that make the writing process easier for me, and I'm employing all of them.

  • I want to exceed fifty thousand words.  There.  I said it.
Three goals!  We'll see if I reach them.  Please note that one of my goals is not finishing the novel itself.  It's been a long time since I've written a novel, and this one is, so far, significantly chewier than I expected, with more characters, subplots, and unexpected (to me, at any rate) twists.  I honestly have no idea how long it's going to be.  I guess I'll find out by the end of November.

I know I've briefly mentioned my work-in-progress.  It has the working title The Winter Court, and it is heavily influenced by Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Macbeth (I'll give you a hint: one of these is not like the others...), as well as the innumerable fantasy novels I've read growing up that roughly seem to follow the same outline.  I'm trying to take all the tropes and stereotypes that I love so dearly and, with some grace and luck, perhaps show a new side of them to the audience...

At least, that's the plan.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm trying to be flexible this year.

And to reward you for having so patiently waded through this post, I present a snippet from The Winter Court.  It's about my two main characters, Valerian and Yarrow.  (Everyone in this culture is named after herbs.)

“You’re right,” Valerian repeated.  He ran a hand through his dark hair, dragging it out of order.  “You’re right, and I’m sorry.  My only explanation, feeble as it may be, is that I have something important to tell you, and I’m nervous.”
            “Apology accepted,” Yarrow managed to say, as her heart beat quicker.  A moment before she had been unbearably tired, like she hadn’t slept for a week.  Now her pulse raced, her veins felt like they flowed with champagne, and she felt dizzy, intoxicated.  Don’t smile, she ordered herself.  Don’t act like you have the faintest idea what’s coming.  You need to look surprised when he says it.
            “Yarrow,” Valerian began.  He bit his lip.  “You know you’re my best friend, right?  And that you always will be?”
            “Yes.”  Don’t smile, don’t smile…
            “There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.  It’s—well, it’s something I should have told you a long time ago.  A really long time ago.  And—I don’t think you’re going to like it.”
            Her heart stopped beating.   Smile, smile! her subconscious screamed at her.  Act natural!
            “Yarrow,” he said, glancing over her shoulder, the reflection of another form glimmering in his eyes, “I want you to meet someone…”
            Yarrow turned around.  She saw the elf.
            She fainted.

I hope you enjoy, dear readers!  I wrote that portion just today, which means, although I'm fond of it today, I may bitterly rue sharing it tomorrow... but that's the risk of writing, and it's one I'm prepared to take.

My Nano username is ARuvidich.  Visit my page and add me as a buddy!

Happy writing, dear friends.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015 Blogger Awards Finalists: Best Author

Hello, dear readers!  Welcome back to the 2015 Blogger Awards!

I am pleased to announce the finalists for Best Author.  Drum roll, please!


Congratulations, finalists!  And thank you, everyone, for your nominations!  Be sure to view the other judges' finalists and come back in December to see who will win the award.

Saturday, December 19- Best Cover, hosted by Schuyler
Sunday, December 20- Best Title, hosted by Hannah
Monday, December 21- Best Short Fiction, hosted by Ghosty
Tuesday, December 22- Best Character, hosted by Annie
Wednesday, December 23- Best Book, hosted by Sarah
Thursday, December 24- Best Author, hosted by Allison (me!)