Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Interview!



Hey, everyone! I'm being interviewed today by my friend Abi at her blog, Rambling Writer. The interview is a part of a monthly series that she is hosting called Promoting Creativity. I'm really excited for this and I hope you'll check it out here!


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Autumn

picture via Pinterest. edited by me.

Hello, people. How are you? Today is the first day of winter, and before it goes another day further, I am going to share a poem that I wrote on Thanksgiving. Enjoy, and happy first day of winter! Also, Merry Christmas (it's coming up so fast, y'all)!


Rain
Droplets racing down my window pane
Which will be first? Impossible to tell
Too many to count

Wind
Cold beating on my windows and the door
Will you let me in? It's screaming
I remain deaf to its pleas

Blankets
I snuggle with a book in bed
What time is it? I brush the thought away
I'm cozy in this autumn atmosphere


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Six Word Story Contest



I found this contest at Elly's blog, and am excited to do another six word story:)
So, here goes.


She was ready for the world.



Also, I created a Bloglovin' account, so be sure to follow me on there! Follow my blog with Bloglovin


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Friday, November 27, 2015

Coffee Shop Chats - The First



Tessa at Christ Is Write has come up with this idea so that bloggers will be able to get to know each other better, and have an excuse to tell their readers about their life. I think it's a great idea, and I hope you guys will join the link-up, too! To see the rules as well as Tessa's post, go here.

What I did this week

Well, for one, I have NOT gotten any writing for NaNo done since I posted the last Beautiful Books post *hides in a corner* No, don't judge, I've been busy! 

As always, I've been doing a lot of school work. I went to my last skills lab for the CNA course on Wednesday (the 18th). We did vital signs for four hours. That was exhausting. Blood pressure is so hard to measure:p Anyway, our friends came to visit and they stayed the night. It was awesome to see them again! 


I had a phone interview with John Paul the Great Catholic University, an acting school that I've wanted to go to for a couple of years now. So that was exciting. I'm also working on the essay questions I need to turn in for my application. I'll need to take the ACT, and I'll probably do that in February. I'm getting really nervous for that, cause I took a practice test once, and - I'm not gonna expand on that. So I've been prepping for that.


Last Thursday, a family from our homeschool group brought a first class relic of Saint Maria Goretti to our church. St Maria is my confirmation saint, and it was a very blessed opportunity to be able to venerate her! I was able to pray for her intercession for some of my friends, and I'm confident that she will hear me:)

And of course, yesterday was Thanksgiving! I think it was our family's first year celebrating Thanksgiving on our ownWe had a great day. We went to Mass in the morning to thank God for all of our blessings. My mom made a lot of great food, and we had a Thanksgiving lunch instead of dinner.  We watched the Dallas Cowboy football game as a family (they lost :( ), and had a nice, relaxing day.

So that was my week (and a half)!


Music I've enjoyed

This year, we have discovered a lot of great musicals. My sister and I have been listening to and singing songs from Hello, Dolly! and My Fair Lady lately, along with some random songs from musicals we've never actually seen before:)

Movies I've enjoyed

Everyone in our family except my mom and I had seen Inside Out in the theater. So we rented it the other night, and I liked it pretty well. The only thing I wanted to see more of was Riley. I know by the title the main characters were the emotions, but I wanted to see more of Riley's character because... I don't know, I just did:) It was a really creative movie, though, with a really good family theme.

Quotes I'm enjoying

"Greatly to be loved is his love who loved us so greatly." ~ St. Francis of Assisi

"How dim the earth seems when I raise my eyes to heaven!" ~ St. Ignatius de Loyola



























Just to name a few!

Currently working on

I worked on a poem that I'd started a few months ago,  and I wrote a new one this week. I need to work on Christmas gifts soon. Also, my little sister's birthday is tomorrow, so I think I'm gonna work on knitting her something today. She's turning 3 years old, by the way!:)

Looking forward to

My sister's birthday tomorrow! She's the cutest thing, guys. I can't believe it's been three years since she was born. She's growing up too fast. I'm not gonna say what I'm making for her, cause I might not get it finished in time. But when I do get it done, I might post a picture.

I'm also looking forward to the March For Life. In case you've never heard of it, it's the biggest pro-life rally in the world, and it takes place every year in D.C.. My sister and I are going next year in January. It'll be our first time, and we're really excited!

1. Do you think it's okay to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving?

To be honest, I don't think so. I think it sort of takes away from Christmas day, the day Jesus was born. I mean, I don't think it's bad, but I think that it's better for us to slow down and take things as they come, and not jump ahead so far. My family celebrates Advent and we sing Christmas songs before Christmas day, and things like that, but Advent always starts after Thanksgiving. We have a family tradition to decorate our tree on Christmas Eve. And we don't stop celebrating Christmas after the 25th. We leave all of our decorations up and even give little gifts to each other throughout the 12 days of Christmas - until Epiphany. So, if you ask me, Christmas should be celebrated closer to the 25th than Thanksgiving, and longer than just the 25th:)  

2. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How much progress have you made? 

So, I'm currently (still) at 5,901 words in my novel Like A Writing Desk. I am in love with every thing that I have written so far, but I just don't have much time to write more this month:(


Here are my questions:

  1. If you put your music on shuffle, which artist would play the most?
  2. What is your favorite book that you have read this year?
  3. Which genre do you write best in?


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mad - Six Word Story


She was mad, her smile said


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beautiful Books #2: Like A Writing Desk


Here is the second round of Beautiful Books questions.


Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?

It is defying my expectations in more ways than one.

In good ways.

I know that 5,000 words is a crazy low word count for NaNo (it's like, 1/10 of the goal), but I didn't expect to write that amount of words in the first two weeks. For one, I'm super busy right now - high school, CNA course, blogging, trying to read, writing other little things here and there. The other, I didn't even make it to 2,000 words last year and I wasn't as busy then. So, even though my word count looks ridiculously low to other NaNoers, I'm happy that I've been able to start a novel I've wanted to write for a while and to get out as many words as I can.

The actual novel as in plot wise is not how I expected, either. I honestly had no character for Tabitha (The Mad Hatter) before I started writing her, but I am really in love with her character now.

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?


Okay... Here's the thing. I started this novel in September, I think. But I'm only counting the words that I've written in November for my word goal, as it's only fair. So, I guess I'll give you the beginning of the actual novel + the first paragraph I've written this month.

(Note: The first paragraph needs a lot of work)

1) Once upon a time there was a little girl. Once upon a time her best friend was her pet rabbit. Once upon a time her favorite place was the large garden out at the back of the house. Once upon a time the little girl's name was Alice Young. Once upon a time that little girl was me. Once upon a time I was very different from who I am now.

2) She was silent as she thought about the first half of the year. She played with her new pet, stroking him now, and now burying her nose in his soft fur, coaxing the bunny to explore his new territory. Her mind, however, was elsewhere. She thought of the kind of boy her brother could have grown up to be, and how she would have helped her mother care for him whenever she would have allowed her to. She would gladly have changed his diapers and muddy clothes if all the while she knew that she was helping to secure his health and safety, and that the danger of his leaving was past. She did not cry as she thought of these things. Instead, she poured out her overflowing heart into the cuddles and caresses she gave her rabbit, knowing that this was what her parents had provided him for. She knew that they were taking care of each other, she and her rabbit.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?

I'm usually a pantser. The first year I did NaNo it was a total spur of the moment thing (I joined on the 4th day), and literally all I knew about the story was that my MC had red hair, brown eyes, and that her boyfriend was teaching her swordsmanship before he went off to join a war. But I actually developed the longest plot for a book that I've ever had, during that NaNo. 

I'm trying both methods at once this year. I had a basic idea of the plot and I had written a lot in Alice's character bio* prior to NaNo. But everything else I'm just sort of going with as I write, and it's going pretty well.

What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?


Ha. Ha. Ha. I don't set word goals. I write (a little), and then I take a (long) break, so that I won't be too stressed out and won't be able to get any more words out.

What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?


Sometimes, I make up my characters' names. But most of the time, I use Behind the Name. I usually have a meaning that I want to use for a character's name, so I'll look up names with that meaning in it and choose one or base one off of there.

I really can't move the story forward if I don't have a name that fits the character. I won't just name a guy character "Joe," or "Sally" for a girl until I find the right name for them. I'll usually just say "he" or "she" if I really can't find a name and I need to continue writing.

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?


The beginning is definitely my favorite. I am horrible with plotting the middle. The end I normally have an idea about. But the beginning is what I think I'm best at writing.

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?


Right now, it's Tabitha. She's an adult in a kid's body and is a boss at it. I'm not totally sure about her background, but I'm pretty sure that her parents died and she was left with the hat shop, and just kind of learned to take care of herself. There are times when she does seem like a normal child, though. Anyway, she's adorable, and I love her.

What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)


Since the characters are still in Wonderland, I haven't really researched a lot. I guess the only thing I was trying to search for, really, was a name for Alice's pet rabbit. I searched "carrot(s)" on Google Translate in almost every language, and came up with nothing that sounded like a good name. So for now, he's named Felipe, and I can't stand it because he's a bunny and Felipe makes me think of a horse every time I hear it. But he's not any big part, so it doesn't really matter. 

Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?


It really depends, I think. I can sometimes write pretty well when I'm with friends, but other times I just CANNOT think. I do better with word wars, though, because I'm actually trying to get a lot of words out and beat the other person:) 

I shared some snippets in last week's post. Most of the time, I'm really open with sharing my work. I like feedback and support;)

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

Sorry, no picture. 

I don't really know what is meant by "writing habits" and I don't really have time to think about. So that part is going unanswered.

I don't eat while I'm writing.

What I listen to depends on my mood. This NaNo, I've been listening to some of the songs from the album "Almost Alice."

I think I write best in the afternoon.



Yay, I did it! Sorry - my answers aren't very well written because I didn't have time to polish them. Not to mention that they're not very interesting either. But I wanted to give you guys an update on my novel, and thought I'd do this. Hope this didn't bore you, and that this week goes fantastic for you!

* I may post Alice's bio soon...That's a maybe.


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Decisions - MMC (October 26, 2015)

"Coward." The accusation rang off the walls and echoed down the length of the tunnel. 
She looked at him in disgust before turning her back on him and continuing her march down the passageway. 

Lenny was motionless, his speech, too, frozen in his throat. She didn't really mean that. She couldn't have meant it. But the tears stung in his eyes, all the same. "You can't, Lana," he called through his tears. "You don't know what's out there. We might never see Mom and Dad again. If we stay, we'll have a better chance of figuring something out."

"This is our best chance, Lenny," she replied, turning back toward him, "of another life to live. We won't ever have Mom and Dad again. I'm sorry, but it's true. I'm trying to give you the best alternative there is. If we stay in the city, we'll rot with everyone else. Don't you want to come and make life as least painful as it has to be?" She held out her arm to him, wanting him to say yes.

But he didn't. "No," he said, wiping his face dry. "You've given up on Mom and Dad, but I won't." He turned and ran the way they had come. 

His sister stood and watched him, wondering which of them was more of a weakling than the other.


It's 224 words, and I used the picture prompt. It is a piece of the story I have been writing for the past MMCs. Thanks, Tessa, for hosting these! 

Oh, and last time I won 2nd place:D


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

NaNoWriMo Week One: Snippets and Such




Today ends the first week of NaNo and begins the new one. I have some friends who are doing a phenomenal job on their word count, but I...Well, I'm a little behind. Meaning, I have +7,000 words to catch up to. But that's okay. *goes and cries in a corner* *returns feeling better* I wasn't expecting to win, in the first place. I just hope that I do better than my other NaNo years. I am so far, so that's good.

And now, for some snippets! Tabitha surprised me. I wasn't expecting her to be a big part of the story, but she is turning out to be a lot more so than I expected. Also, she may be my favorite character I've ever written. Maybe, I'm not sure. But take a look for yourself:)


It was wondrous and full of magic - the atmosphere of that day. The sky was blue-grey, the wind tossed about the tops of the trees, and there was something in the air that sang, "Something is going to happen." She had always been a serious child, but the wind that swept her hair that day and the sparrows that swooped so low to the ground gave her a feeling of excitement. It was unusual, for she was not a little girl who was very easily impressed. But so was every thing on this particular day.

***

Alice was very thankful that the subject had come up, for she was at a loss as to what this person wished to be called. "I am Alice Young. And, please, what would you like me to call you?"

"Oh," the girl said as she patted her mouth with a napkin. "I thought you would have known what. Everyone knows my name around here. But that is not the point. You may call me Hatter." Hatter looked down at her cup and seemed to wish to contrive a new subject before Alice inquired the next question that she did.

"That is your name - Hatter? But why such a funny name like that?"

"It's not a name," the girl who wasn't named Hatter sighed. "It is merely what everyone calls me, though they know my name. I'm not much of anyone's friend around here, I suppose. But you - if you do want to be a friend of mine - I will tell you my name." She leaned in toward Alice, an anxious look in her eyes.

***

“Stop. Stop, Tabitha, stop,” commanded Alice, the first time she’d done so to her friend. “I think maybe he’s speaking of my brother.”

“Felix, or what was his name?”

“Alexander,” Alice corrected. “And that’s not the point. I believe the...the Hare over there is talking about him. He said that someone, a child, was away from home and very young. Don’t you think, too, that it must be Alexander?”

“But Alice, my dear, how could he? He came from behind us and your brother went ahead.” The girl twirled her cane and continued in the same direction. “Really, Alice, I don’t see how-”


But the mentioned had turned back on her own and had made her way to the March Hare’s side. “How extremely rude,” the girl said aloud to herself. “I try to help her as a friend, and she goes and listens to someone she’s never even properly met. And he’s not even human, besides.” She waited, nonetheless, until the rude little child looked up to her from the conversation with the Hare, excitement shining in her eyes. At that, the hatter scoffed and rolled her eyes as adults sometimes do when their child does something that they think is adorable, but they don’t wish to show that they think so.

***

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to attempting to catch up on my word count.

Hope you enjoyed the snippets, and that your NaNo (and/or November) is going well!:)


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Songs

Joy at Just Joy tagged me for The Song Tag! It's my first official tag:) This is going to be super fun. I mean, really, music is almost my life. So without further ado - Oh, wait, I gotta mention the rules.

~List the rules and include the button in your post:
                                    Ta-da!

~Tag a couple of other bloggers to do this tag (let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog).

And now, I present the questions and my answers to them.



1. First song that comes to your mind

Happy, by Pharell Williams. I think the original version is kinda boring, but I love the Africanized version by Alex Boye. It's a really, well, happy song and it always makes me dance.

2. A song that always makes you happy

So, a few weeks ago, we went to a concert at our friends' house. They had a duet called Adam & I play, and I loved them. We hadn't heard of them before we went, but we bought both of their albums that night. I love them because their music is so honest.* They write about things that I like to imagine I would write about, and you should give them a listen. Anyway, one of their songs that always makes me happy is We Have Love. It's a song that laughs at trouble and says everything's going to be all right <3

3. A song you hate

Current popular song that I hate? "Watch Me" (Whip/Nae-Nae). Just no. That is not real music, Emmet (sorry, I had to use that reference). "Gangnam Style" is also a really dumb song. Let me tell you that I went to a Christmas party once in the Philippines with my family and my friends' family. We watched about 30-40 performances from the different chapels that day, and at least 5 of them did a dance to "Gangnam Style". Plus, they played it in between performances, so yeah. Needless to say, we groaned every time we heard it playing.

I also don't agree with the song "Flawless" by MercyMe. I don't hate it, but it irritates me because I think the message is so *ahem* flawed. "...the truth is the cross has made you flawless" - really? I don't think so. Just because Jesus died for us does not make us perfect. He has opened the gates of heaven for us, but that doesn't mean that whatever we do is now justified.

4. Favorite romantic song

Grrr. Favorite? Okay, most of the romantic songs that I like are from musicals (I've never actually watched the last two, I've just heard these songs) :

"On My Own" from Les Miserables

"A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables

"Come to Your Senses" from tick, tick...BOOM!

"Someone Else's Story" from Chess

And, yes, they are all sad romantic songs:)

5. Favorite sad song

This was a hard question. I was going to say The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd, but I think I like I See Fire (the cover by Peter Hollens), better. All the feelings from this song...from both. 

6. A song that brings back memories

Oceans by Hillsong United always makes me think of a death. The death of a certain little baby boy whom I had the pleasure to know. They played this song at his funeral, and it seemed so fitting because he died by drowning. I will always and forever remember him whenever I hear it, and I know that he is in heaven praying for the rest of us to get up there, too.

7. A song that you have been playing on repeat

This was at the beginning of the year, but I have to say this. The cover of Jai Ho done by Peter Hollens and Alaa Wardi is probably the song I have heard on repeat the most times in one day. We were visiting our friends for Christmas and a wedding, and we stayed with them for a few weeks. Both sets of our parents went out one day, and we were left to babysit our siblings with our friends and their siblings. I remember playing music almost non-stop that day, and about every third song that we would play was Jai Ho. It just makes you want to dance, and dance it made us do. Everyone had their own little dance they would do to it when they would walk through the room, and it was so fun to watch everyone:)

But the song that I've been playing on repeat currently is "Topsy Turvy" by Family Force 5. It's Alice In Wonderland themed...of course I'm listening to it constantly because of NaNo. 

8. Favorite song by your favorite artist

I guess I'm going to say that Owl City- gosh, but I love Rich Mullins, too. I'm gonna say that they- oh, and Taylor Swift -are my favorites. So favorite one from each:

1) "Hot Air Balloon" by Owl City
2) "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are" by Rich Mullins
3) "Back to December" by Taylor Swift

9. Weirdest song you like

Okay...I'm pretty sure that I have more than just one that can fit into this category. The question is...Do you guys really want to know the answers to this? I'm gonna go ahead and give three examples: 1) "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. It's not got the best lyrics and it's super repetitive. I guess I like it more for the beat. 2) "Bird With A Broken Wing" by Owl City. I'm not ashamed that I like this song. It is weird, especially if you listen to the commentary behind the song, but I like the dark and strange feeling that comes when I hear it. There's also a tinge of sadness. 3) This is the weirdest one. I saved it for last, for the impact:p *takes a deep breath and says really fast* "Dum Dum" by Tedashii featuring Lecrae. *exhales* I'm not even sure why I like this song. It's definitely not real music, Emmet (I had to say that again; sorry). Maybe it's cause it's one of the only rap songs I've heard that's appropriate, even though it's still dum dum (*laughs at her dum joke*...okay I'll stop now). There you go. Now you know some things about me that make me weird.

10. All time favorite song

This is not even a fair question. I'm really bad at saying my favorite anything, especially when it's a general question. I can answer better when things are in categories, like All Time Favorite Broadway Song or All Time Favorite Pop song, though I will still tell you three answers to the question (like I did for all other questions up there). So I think I'm gonna have to give you my top favorite from some different categories.
1) My favorite musical ever is Les Miserables, and my favorite song from that is "Turning."
2) My all time favorite Catholic song is "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent."
3) All time favorite credit song is "When Can I See You Again?" by Owl City.
And I guess I'll spare you from having to read any more.

So there you go. I officially gave more than one answer to all but one of the questions, and probably had a little more fun than I should have:D

And now I tag

Annie @ Curious Wren

I hope you guys have as much fun as I did:)

*I'm going to do a post about "Honest Music" sometime. It may not be soon, but it will happen!

How's everyone's NaNo going? My novel is...almost non-existent:P Oh, well. I'm trying.


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Friday, October 23, 2015

Beautiful Books - Like A Writing Desk




Guys...

I have written and am now posting my promised NaNo post! Are you surprised? I am;) I really thought it would take a longer time to finish it.

I'm going to assume that everyone who is reading this knows already what NaNoWriMo is. Go ahead and add me on the NaNo site, if you'd like!  

I found this link-up through Mirriam Neal's blog post, and thought this would give me a really good opportunity to share my NaNo novel with you. Visit Cait at Paper Fury, or Sky at Further Up and Further In to find out more about Beautiful Books.


1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

To be honest, I'm not really sure where the idea for this story came from. I think it must have been around Camp NaNo, when I noticed that two bloggers I follow were both doing Alice In Wonderland retellings. I thought that it would be a fun retelling to do, so I borrowed Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass from the library, hoping to have a better understanding of the original story (I had only seen the Disney movies before). I think the idea progressed a lot from there. While I was working on Alice's character bio, I was able to form a better idea for the story, as well.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?


I think it's going to be hopeful. It's going to be centered at people who feel put down and who feel that no one understands them. But this story shows that you are never as alone as you feel.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?


Like A Writing Desk is about Alice trying to find answers. She was a whimsical child once upon a time. So when she fell down a hole at the age of eight and met eccentric people and explored a whole new world inside it, she believed it was real. After years of people telling her it was just a dream, however, she begins to face reality. Of course, now that she's twenty-one, she wouldn't have still believed it to be real, anyway. But would she have lost her imagination and love of make-believe if the words with which people ridiculed her had never been said? She writes her story now, as a way to keep the fire of imagination in her fourth grade students enkindled, and hopes that someday she'll be able to wake up from reality. What she doesn't realize is that she never lost her imagination in the first place; and, though most of her relatives treat her still as a child who has a bad head, she does have one friend who understands.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)



Tabitha (The Hatter): Eccentric
Alice Young: Lonely
                                                            

                        
Dr. Sherman (Her Psychiatrist): Bothersome
       
Elizabeth (A Student of Hers): Encouraging
                                                                                                                                 










I can't find a picture for her cousin. He does not yet have a name, but he is a big character. There are a few other characters, but I don't really have names for them, either, and am not entirely sure which ones will actually make an appearance.

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 

Well, I think the parts when and after Alice and her cousin reconnect will be really fun to write. It's when things start getting happier:)

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

Alice stands in her own way. She wants her imagination back, and wants to feel the way she did when she was that whimsical child playing pretend. Everything was so innocent back then, and hopeful. But she doesn't let herself dream. She tells herself that she's become too practical, and hates herself for it. But her students still see the magic in her, and a few other people, besides.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)


Right now, it's set in New York. I'm not sure if I want it to be in New York City, or just somewhere in the State. That's all I really know about it as of yet. It is possible that it could change. I guess the only certain thing is that she lives with her relatives. Meaning, her aunt, uncle, and cousins. She doesn't like them, and they don't like her.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?


Her relationship with her cousin is the most important. Through his love and understanding, she changes by the novel's end. Which brings me to the next question...

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?


Alice finally sees herself as she really is, instead of the mask she's put over herself. She stops putting herself down and starts to realize all of the wonderful gifts she's had all along that she thought she'd lost. She becomes a happier person, and begins to open up to those around her. She grows more confident in herself, and begins to show friends and family her true self, even though she knows they may not always understand her fully.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

Self-acceptance. Don't believe what everyone tells you. You can live in reality; but don't let it ruin your imagination. Likewise, don't let your imagination overrule reality. There is always someone on your side (yes, that is partly from Into the Woods;)). 


NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

Ummm, well *clears throat*. I've never actually written a whole novel in a month, *says under her breath* or ever. So, don't expect me to be an expert, but here goes...

1) Stress

No, don't. Seriously. I mean, I know you have friends and family who you are spending a bunch of time away from, (and hogging the computer from, possibly), and they already think you're crazy for doing this; so if you don't come out of this as a winner, you may feel like it was all for nothing and that you've disappointed everyone. But winning is not the point (at least for me). For me, it's more of growing in my writing journey, and learning new things about myself as a writer. If you've got friends who are already at 4k on the first day and you're only at 1k, don't freak out. It's gonna be okay. The world won't be shocked and disappointed in you if you don't win. Be proud that you stuck through it and did the best you could've done. Not a terrible lot of people can write 50k in a month, let alone in a lifetime. 

2) Quality Over Quantity

If you take a look at many of the novels on the NaNoWriMo site, they will make you raise an eyebrow. You'll want to ask the author, "You really want to spend sleepless nights and tons of time away from your family and friends to write that?" I can't tell you how much I want people to realize that just because you win NaNo does not mean that you are an amazing writer. You can write the trashiest novel there is and still win NaNoWriMo. What I think is important about NaNo is that it pushes you to write an idea that you have had, but have before been too afraid to start on your own. Please, please, please, don't write something that you have no interest in other than saying you reached 50,000 words in a month. 

3) Life Goes On

Leave enough time for things other than your novel. Talk to your friends (not just to word war). Don't freak out if your family needs to borrow the computer. Get enough sleep to not be a grump, and so that you're not snapping at anyone and everyone. Pray. Don't let your novel take time away from your time with God. Writing 50k will not necessarily make you a better person, but keeping your time with God will. 



So, are you excited for NaNo? What do you think of my plans for my novel? Is there anything that you think I should consider changing? Did my advice help? Are you going to do a Beautiful Books post? Leave a link if you are!


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Orders - MMC (October 12, 2015)

Here's another Monday's Minute Challenge (a contest hosted by Tessa Emily Hall) entry. It's 299 words, and I used the items prompt (arrow, leaf, wolf). As promised, it's part of the story I've been writing pieces of (this part comes after the part entitled Prisoners). Hope you like it:)


I kicked leaves off the ground and grumbled as I made my way deeper into the woods. "Only a few days adjusting to the great outdoors, and this is what she shoves on me. I've never even caught a fish in my life...and she expects me to bring back a deer!" I snatched a floating leaf, and began twirling it in my fingers as I walked. "What's going through her head, anyway? 'Janice's daddy was a stuck up, rich governor, and always sheltered his daughter from any kind of work. If I send her out, the deer will probably catch her'? Well, Lana's got another thing coming if she thinks I'm going to blindly follow her every order. I have half a mind to catch a wolf, just to show her-"

"Blathering gets you nowhere, I'm sure you realize."

My words stuck in my throat. I scanned the area, but saw no one. I grappled with the bow strapped to my back, and fumbled for an arrow. Clumsily, I aimed at the bushes in front of me. "Who-who's out there? I'm armed!"

"Only the wolf you wanted to bring along with you," said a voice that pretended to be friendly. 

Something cut through the air and landed at my back. I whirled around. Standing there was someone I'd never thought of when I'd heard his voice. "You." I felt relieved. "How-"

"Just get me to the camp, and I promise I'll make everything a lot more miserable for Lana and the others."

I knew I could trust him with that. The question "What are they to him?" did reach my mind, but I brushed it aside. I led him to the camp, where he fulfilled his promise.

But he never said things wouldn't be miserable for me, too.


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Friday, October 16, 2015

Six Word Story Contest Results

6 Word Story Contest Winner


This is an incredibly late post, and I apologize. But, as you can see, I was one of the winners of Joy's Six Word Story Contest! Thank you so much, Joy! I had a lot of fun coming up with my entry, and I look forward to her future contests:D 

There was another winner, also: Ash. Read her entry; they are so well written and beautiful!

You can see the other contestants' entries here. I especially loved Jane Marie's!

Before you go, know that I am working on a blog post about *ahem* *whispers* my NaNoWriMo novel. I have a lot going on right now, but I am hoping to have it posted no later than this coming week.


auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Messages - MMC (September 28, 2015)



We should talk.

There. There it was. The message she'd waited so long to hear. Except he didn't speak it. He'd written it. Somewhere she'd be sure to see. We should talk. It was there on her windshield, drawn in the snow that had settled lightly across her truck.

We should talk.

I know.

Don't you want to?

Well, I do, but...

But you're afraid it might cause suspicion. 

Yes. I'm sorry, I can't help it. Wouldn't you feel the same?

I do.

Then why...

Missing you is worse.

She picked up the phone and called. The conversation she'd imagined had convinced her. If he was afraid, then they'd both be afraid together.

But there was no one there to answer. She tried three times, and then set down the receiver, devastated. He had to have left that message. Or was it someone else? Putting on her coat, she flew down the apartment steps to see.

It had to be him. She couldn't imagine anyone else coming so early to write that particular sentence. But she glanced something on the snow dusted windshield that she couldn't see from the apartment window. She scooped it up, and ignored the icy feeling it gave her fingers. It was a newspaper clipping. His picture was there; and so were some words she didn't want to see.

Greg Larson. 38 years old. Suspected of obtaining private government information. If seen, please contact...

She slumped against the truck, and covered her face with her hands. It had happened again. And they hadn't even had the chance to first say hello.



I used the picture prompt, and it's 264 words. It's also sort of the prologue to the story I've been continuing for two weeks. You can find out about Monday's Minute Challenge here. 

Also, I won first place last week! :D


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mystery Page Revealed




I've unveiled my mystery page! I've reached 8 followers, and decided to just go ahead and put it up. It's titled Writing Help, and it would make me really happy if you would check it out.

I'm excited about it! I hope you guys like it, and it's not a disappointment. Thank you so much to everyone for following and commenting. It really makes my day:)


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Bookish Tag

I recently started following Annie Hawthorne at her new blog: Curious Wren. She posted this tag for anyone who is following her to do...So I will:) I confess that I've been wanting an excuse to do a tag, but I haven't specifically been tagged by anyone yet. So, yes, I did jump on this opportunity.


1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?


That would be Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Yes, I would definitely recommend it. It is a children's book, but it didn't feel like one. I loved its style. Novels in verse are some of my favorites.



2. Describe the perfect reading spot.


I can read just about anywhere. But - this may come as a surprise - I have always loved reading in the car. I don't know what it is, but I feel more involved in the book when I read while we're driving somewhere. Maybe it's because I'm more focused on the book and not getting distracted by the internet (yes, I am guilty!), or by little siblings coming into my room and asking for things;) That's the only thing I don't like about being able to drive on my own now - I can't read while I'm driving. Like, what will happen when I move out and have to drive myself everywhere?


3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers?


I love that last question, but my answer is coffee. It's warm and a little sweet with a bit of earthy flavor mixed in...And if you're propped up on the bed with fluffy pillows...And if it's a rainy day...


4. Share favorite quotes from four books.


Pretty sure that this is the hardest question. Don't do this to me:P

(All quotes were found on goodreads)


“Sometimes I come up here at night...just to look at the city. I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.” - The Invention of Hugo Cabret


“...there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.” - The Book Thief


Howl said, “I think we ought to live happily ever after," and she thought he meant it. Sophie knew that living happily ever after with Howl would be a good deal more hair-raising than any storybook made it sound, though she was determined to try. "It should be hair-raising," added Howl.

"And you'll exploit me," Sophie said.

"And then you'll cut up all my suits to teach me.”
- Howl's Moving Castle


“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” - Alice In Wonderland


5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic?


I'm going to say fairytale fantasy. I haven't read many books in the other types of fantasy.


6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from.


Well, I confess that I...don't really...collect...books. There, I've said it. I love books; I am a book nerd. But I don't collect books. The thing is that I feel like if I own a book, it won't be hard to get, and therefore, it will make my interest in it dwindle. It's the same about a lot of the things I love, like TV shows and movies, for instance. If I can have something at my finger tips, it seems less special to me, somehow. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? So, I don't have a large collection of books that I can hold in my hands, BUT my kindle does have a pretty wide collection...the fact that I haven't read all of them yet is irrelevant. 

  • Charles Dickens (19)
I have only finished three of his books (A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations), and Oliver Twist is one of my favorite books ever. In all of Dicken's works, I love his characters; how he has an abundance of them; and how he ties them all together somehow in the end, in a way you didn't expect.

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (11)
Oh, I love Holmes. I love his brilliance and the suspense that he puts us all through. The Hound of the Baskervilles... Oooh, I was actually scared. And I liked it. 

  • Mark Twain (7)
I've read Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the abridged version of The Prince and the Pauper, and I read most of Joan of Arc. I love his humor, and just his storytelling ability.


7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature?


I've actually been wanting someone to ask me this question.  

I love magic in literature - if it's used in a fantasy world. If an author uses it in our world, I usually won't read the book. Why? Because the only way anyone in this world would be able to work magic is if they got the ability from the devil. In another world, if magic is a part of their culture or their everyday lives, it could only be that way because God would have set it up that way for them. Or maybe not "could only be", but that's usually how I feel it is presented in that genre.

So, that is my thought on that.


8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images.


I think that when I choose a book at the library, or any book anywhere, it is usually for the title. I have picked up a few books before because of the cover, though. The two that I can remember having done so to are:


                    

And these are some that I didn't read for the cover, but I do love the covers, anyway.

                            

                                                   


9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this.


Can I cheat? Some characters have come to mind, but I don't have much to say about them; mostly because I've watched the movie and haven't read the book. Hmmm.... Dencey. Dencey Coffyn from Downright Dencey by Caroline Dale Snedcker. I read this book a few years ago, and reread it this year with some friends and my sister. I love this book. I love Dencey's stubbornness, and how she is usually that way because she thinks she is doing the right thing. I love her care for Jetsam, and how her passions are what get her into trouble - she usually is not trying to be bad, but is trying to do what she thinks is right.


10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies?


Actually, I don't think I have ever lent out a book, ever. No one's ever asked to borrow one of mine because, like I said, I don't really have any. I would probably lend you a book if you asked me, though. Just as long as I'm not currently reading it, and I know you'll give it back;)


So, do you agree with me about magic in literature? Do you like the book covers I chose, too? Should I create my own tag? This was really fun to do! If anyone wants to tag me for another one, go for it;)


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's Up Wednesday



I missed last week, but I'm back:) I know it's Thursday, but I wrote most of this yesterday.

What I'm Reading

I finished a few books since I posted last. They were: Ivanhoe, Moon Over Manifest, Out of My Mind, and Out of the Dust. Moon Over Manifest and Out of the Dust were my favorites out of these. I am still reading Ella Enchanted, because I'm reading it with my sister, and we haven't had much time to read together. I haven't even started reading Amos Fortune again.... I got distracted with books my siblings brought home. So, I am in the process of reading The City of Ember and Island of the Blue Dolphins. Is it bad that I've only been reading children's books? I don't think so:)

What I'm Writing

Well, I got a little bit more of my character bio done:) I also wrote a childhood memory of mine in story form. I wrote my MMC story yesterday and today. I wrote one poem. And I worked on a children's story. So, I think I'm finding an adequate amount of inspiration, compared to last time. I hope to work some more on my children's story, and on my character bio this week.

What Works For Me

I always have to work on the balance between simply starting on writing something, and waiting until I'm ready to write it. Sometimes, it helps me to just begin. If something doesn't work yet, I'll fix it later. But other times, if I'm really excited about an idea that I have and I do start writing it right away, if it doesn't come out the way I want it to no matter how hard I try to fix it, I get discouraged. Sometimes, I won't ever go back and try to work with it again. So, I think that you have to follow your instinct when it comes to writing: Should you start right away, or wait until you're ready? I usually have a feeling about it. I need to learn to trust my instinct.

What Else Is New

I don't think much has changed this week. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing at this time. 



So what's up with you?


auf wiedersehen, darling

-Maddie