Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Not bad for a pointy-eared Elven princeling."

 I was tagged. Twice. I am doing the non Christmas one today and the Christmas one on Monday. Then I will be disappearing the rest of the week. 

 This tag is from Ashley, who's blog is HERE

 Start with three random facts about myself.

 1. If I ever had to pick between Narnia and Middle Earth I would probably go to Narnia though I love both the same. Narnia just holds special memories.

 2, When someone reads over my shoulder while I'm writing I get nervous and write stupid lines. Such as, "He smiled and waved his hand and walked down the road and didn't look back."

 3. I am not emotionally ready to edit Brothers-in-Arms. That was a painful book to write.

 Questions I answer.

 1. Thinnest book on your self?
 I'm going with my self published shelf because it's right in front of me.
 It would be The Princess and the Sage. An adorable, fun book everyone should read.

 2. The thickest?
 Resistance by Jaye L. Knight. Another must read.

 3. Favourite classic book?
 Prisoners of the Sea. (It is the reason I call myself Baillot.)

 4. Who is your ultimate all-time favourite character?
 I don't think this should be a legal question. Is it even possible to pick a favourite? I will do my favourite from a book I am reading right now. Peter, from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

 5. What fandoms are you a part of?
 I don't think I really am part of fandoms. Fandoms are insane and ship people left and write and shout things from the roof tops. I just enjoy stories and story telling. I love characters and when I read it is to enjoy the book, not to look for characters to ship. And...that is all

 I just realized I answered the wrong questions. Oh well, I don't really want to delete the hard work of the ones I did answer, so I will now answer the right ones.

 1. What is your favourite book quote?
 "You're not a hero and I'm not beautiful and we probably won't live happily ever after but we're alive and we're going to be all right."

 2. Your favourite superhero?
 Captain America

 3. Cookies or pie?
 John said I have to say cookies.

 4. Any weird, funny, or touching movie stories?
 You The Hobbit? (Not sure I get this one, blame my headache)

 5. What is the price of bananas?
 A blaster manipulator gun.

 6. What song are you recently obsessed with and why?
  This Isn't The End by Adam's a pretty song.

 That is all.



Monday, December 15, 2014

"I freed his wretched head from his miserable body."

 Things Nick Fury dislikes.

 SHIELD agents who don't know where the south is without a navigation system.

 Aliens who attack his planet and have bigger guns than he does.

 Tony Stark

 Aliens who destroy his big guns when they come to the planet

 Aliens who kill his best agent

 His missing eye

 Aliens who are sassier than he is.


 Aliens who destroy New York and don't help clean up.

 Tony Stark

 People in higher command who make stupid decisions.

 His missing eye

 Hawkeye getting brainwashed.

 Aliens who brainwash Hawkeye.

 Certain agents betraying and trying to kill certain cute British agents.

 Glow sticks of destiny.

 Tony Stark

 Tony Stark's nicknames for everyone.

 Aliens who use his Hulk prison to try and kill their brother.

 His missing eye.

 Winter Soldiers who blow up his car.

 A car that is sassier than him.

 Steve Rogers not thinking of him as his friend

 Not having a wife.

 Tony Stark

 Tony Stark having two eyes.

 Getting shot.

 Sometimes large green men with tempers.

 His missing eye.

 His helicarrier getting attacked

 Tony Stark

 Tony Stark being the only one who can save his helicarrier

 Tony Stark being sassier than he is

 HYDRA taking over SHIELD

 The stupid HYDRA salute.

 A 95-year-old WWII Captain war hero and legend telling him he has to shut down SHIELD.

  A 95-year-old WWII Captain war hero who still doesn't think of him as a friend.

  A 95-year-old WWII Captain war hero who thinks it is his fault all the Tony Starks in the world are going to be killed.

 Tony Stark

 His missing eye.

 Things Nick Fury likes.

 Phil Coulson.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Renewed shall be the blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king."

 I have been doing some world building in my Blade books. This was forced on me while I was writing and it was relieved Trystan isn't just an Elf, he's a Dark Elf. I suffered that Author moment of panic when I realized I had no idea what a Dark Elf was. Everyone else in the book just went with it and accepted it, leaving me in the dark yet again. It took some forced interrogations, but they finally let me in on this new piece of information.

 The Dark Elves are not from Nightshade. They are from an island near the dark country. (I have a name for this country I just need my notebook and it is across the room. I would get it, but I'm barefoot, and my floor is cold. So I will tell you the name later.)

 The island is not part of the Eight Kingdoms. It is a small, but well cultured, island. The Dark Elves grow or hunt almost everything they need for survival. They do have various trades set up but are cautious with these as often they are taken by those they trade with and sold as slaves.

 The slave trade was started by the reason the Dark Elves got their name. Very often in wars they allied themselves with the dark country, hiring out as mercenaries and assassins. This lead to the other kingdoms not trusting them and feeling they were well within their rights to raid their homes and sell them into slavery. However, since there have been no wars for so many years the Dark Elves lead peaceful lives and keep to themselves as much as possible. (This isn't to say their alliance no longer wavers. Even they admit that, were a war to arise, they would not turn back to their aid of the dark country.)

 Another reason the Dark Elves were given their names is one I am nervous of attempting. Elves in all the stories told are fair and while it works sometimes to change images we have in our heads of mystical beings, it is risky and often doesn't work. (Look at Prince Caspian for example, though part of the reason I think the Centaurs didn't work wasn't the color of their skin but the dread lock type hair.) Either way, it is risky. Either way, I am attempting it.
 The Dark Elves all have black hair and various shades of brown eyes, though most have dark brown eyes. Their skin is something of a copper color, or chocolate brown. The best example I've been able to find is Indians - from India. They are still fair, only their skin and hair match their title.

 Because of their time fighting with the dark country - I should have gotten my notebook, I feel like a bad writer using dark over and over - and the slave trade, they tend to trust few people. For someone who is not a Dark Elf to befriend one is a rare thing. And even if they do befriend them the Dark Elf is unlikely to ever completely trust their friend and might never tell them anything of their lives or past.

 And there it is. My, thus far, knowledge of the Dark Elves and Trystan. (Knowing this, his grumpy mysterious makes more sense, but he is still hard to work with.)

 I leave you now with a quote, as I head off to face the last battle in Middle Earth.



Sunday, December 07, 2014

"Besides, you need someone of intelligence for this sort of mission. Quest...thing."

 I finished The Hobbit. 

 Just had to announce that for no particular reason.

 I usually try and take December off from writing. I still write some, but not as much as is normal for me. One reason it is the month right after NaNo, and I do a lot of writing during then. It is nice to have a break afterward. But my main reason is Christmas is in December, and I love that holiday. I love the lights and snow and cookies and songs and all of that. (Yes, I celebrate Christmas as a reminder of the day of Jesus' birth. Of Him leaving His home in Heaven to be born on earth to live and die that I and others might have salvation.) But I also just love the feel of the Christmas season. When I concentrate on my writing I feel like I miss out on a lot of this, so this is usually my huge break month where I just relax and enjoy good books and time with my family.

 I am doing a bit of work, as I said, I still write a little from time to time. I have opened up the final Loyalty book and spent a few pages there the other day. I am pleased it now has a plot and should move along to a quick first draft finish line in January. (Plots are lovely things.) My biggest thing though is editing Finding the Magic.

 A fitting story for this time of year because it is set around Christmas.

 It is more enjoyable to work on editing during the Christmas season when the story is a Christmas story.

 Normally I wouldn't be bothering with editing, but since I was sick all of November I didn't get the little story edited then as I had intended. Now it needs to be sent in the end of this month. Therefore, it must be worked on.

 I've had a lot of fear and doubt over the idea of sending it in for the contest. If I hadn't already sent my fee in to enter I would be sure to back out now and not send the story in at all.

 I've entered contests before, but this one feels bigger. This is through a publisher, with the chance of winning and getting my tale in a book. Daunting things, even if I have already published and have people reading my stories. (I try not to think about that too much. The idea of people reading my books makes me want to crawl into a cave and never show my face to the light of day again.)

 It isn't that I hate Finding the Magic. I love the story, and the characters. It was fun adding my own twist on the classic tale and weaving in characters from the movie. (For those who don't recall, my retelling is of a young girl, Belle, who was living in England during the London Blitz in 1940. She is sent to live with an older man, Mr. Adam Prince, in the country until it is safe for her to return home. Mr. Prince hides in his room most of the time and won't talk to anyone. He is short tempered and angry about something, and Belle is filled with the desire to show him the magic in the world, the magic which is hard to find because of the war and the grief it has brought.)

 It is daunting to think that in a week or so my story will be in the hands of professional editors and writers and they will be picking it apart to see if it is worthy to be printed in a book. It makes me want to hide my story and the characters in my closet for safe keeping. 

 Not that I have a choice in the matter anymore. I have a friend who won't let me chicken out in sending it in. So in it must be sent. 

 Until then....since I lost track of where this post was heading if it even had a direction...I will go back to my Lord of the Rings marathon and making Christmas presents while I watch. (Do you realize how fast you can knit while begging Aragorn to run faster and save Boromir? One of these days...he didn't make it this time...but one of these days my begging and pleading will get him there on time and Boromir will live. I believe in Aragorn and I don't think he will let me now. He's not the type.)

 Still not telling you where the quote is from.

 And I'm not sorry about it.



Friday, December 05, 2014

"They have a cave troll."

 It's Friday.

 I should be writing a post.

 I am writing a post.

 I should have had a post written.

 I didn't have one written.

 I read a lot today.

 And wrote.

 And watched Big Hero 6.

 And cried.

 And watched Lilo and Stitch.

 And cried some more.

 That movie is painful the more I watch it and connect things.

 That is how story telling should be.

 Always able to find new things.

 The book I am reading kind of hurts too.

 But I can't put it down.

 I love reading books I can't put down.

 I went to the book store today and saw Four's Sonic Screw Driver.


 Four's isn't easy to find.

 At least not from my attempts thus far.

 I am going back tomorrow to buy it.

 I can't help it.

 I love Four.

 I already own Nine's.

 I plan to drive my family insane with both of them.

 My feet are little ice cubes.

 Except my feet aren't little.

 So they are big ice cubes.

 Which brings me to my confirmed realization.

 I am a Hobbit.


 Love food.

 And parties.

 And snug homes.

 And I have big feet.

 I'm more of the Baggins type Hobbit though.

 Adventure calls.

 I have a chapter to read in the read along I am doing.

 For some reason I am having trouble focusing on reading though.

 I keep sulking because they didn't use MY plot in Big Hero 6.

 And sulking takes up a lot of reading type.

 Also Kitty is being extremely annoying and trying my patience.

 By that I mean she is one step from being thrown out the door.

 I originally had a great post planned for today.

 But Big Hero 6.

 Because it is hard to think after that.

 Seriously, everyone should watch that movie.

 I should be answering emails too.

 I should be doing a lot of things.

 I would rather just climb in bed and read.

 My exciting Friday nights.

 Those aids on Youtube, their second count downs are not real seconds.

 They are equal to two of our seconds.

 This shall forever be my belief on the subject.

 Bilbo is about to enter the mine and meet Smaug.

 I feel bad leaving him there but it doesn't look like I will be making it through that chapter tonight.

 I want to start slamming doors, leaning against them, and saying, "They have a cave troll."

 Unfortunately, slamming doors is considered bad manners in society.

 I slammed one yesterday though, in spite of that.

 It is how I deal with book pain.

 Went to the book store today and bemoaned the fact I don't have a book account

 An account money would just fall into.

 An account for just buying books.

 I think everyone needs one of those.

 Another reason I need to take over the world.

 There will be a girl Elf in the third Loyalty book.

 A bit of an upcoming hint there to spark your interest.

 I only have one Christmas CD. 

 This is sad.

 But I keep playing it on repeat because this is THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!

 I am leaving now.

 I won't tell you where the quote is from.

 You're on your own.



Tuesday, December 02, 2014

"That is, I heard a good deal about a Ring, and a Dark Lord, and something about the end of the world."

 Wherein Jack is spending the month in Middle Earth.

 I am once again working on the daunting plot hole that has taken over the third Haphazard book. It stares up at me with its one black eye and taunts me every time I open the document. Have you ever been called a failure by your own book? I'm not sure if it wishes to give me a slap of humility or just sit and laugh at me because it is my creation and takes too much after its creator. We might go to Author and Book consoling to get past this...rift in our relationship. 

 Meanwhile, highest on my list at this moment is editing Finding the Magic. Remember that? My entry for the Five Enchanted Roses Contest? It has slipped into the back files and spent November forgotten. I actually had a moment of pure panic when I saw it, fearing I had missed the deadline. My dear books suffer so much during NaNo.

 All of my writing has felt jumbled lately. I know what I need to do and work on - The Haphazard series and The Loyalty Trilogy - but something seems to be blocking me. A lot of it has to do with Brothers-in-Arms and the fact I now have four books published. When I published A Test of Loyalty it hit me that my marketing skills have little skill at all behind them. I really have no idea what I'm doing and I want to get a better grasp on that before my next book is ready for print.
 But that brings me back to Brothers-in-Arms. I have sent it out to beta readers and some have already replied back with positive reviews. I have high hopes for this book, in spite of the pain it took to write it. (Which also means there is part of me that wishes to hide it in a document and never look at it again so I don't have to go back through that pain with editing. Aw, the joys of being an Author.) There is a lot I'm trying to work out right now and sometimes all of it is overwhelming. Probably one reason I've been drinking so much tea lately.

 While I do that I am, as I mentioned a little in my last post, trying to get more reading done. Not only does reading help with my own writing, but I like to keep up on the newest Independent published books coming out. One reason is there are some really fabulous ones, and another...I like to help out fellow self published Authors by reading and reviewing their books. 

 But in the midst of that is my Middle Earth mention at the beginning of this post.

 As I said, I am re-reading The Hobbit before the movie comes out. (Last Middle Earth movie, last chance to read the book before it. One of those sobering thoughts.) But last night I was hit with the inspiration that if I'm going to read the book I might as well go all out and watch the movies before hand as well. Sadly, I don't have much time for movies so I'm splitting them up, all five, and watching an hour a night, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring and ending with The Desolation of Smaug. (Extended editions of course.) I feel like I have been thrown head first back into Middle Earth and I'm enjoying every second of it. There is one problem with this plan though, Tolkien's books always make me so hungry, and the movies aren't much better. I usually want a nice grilled fish with some potatoes, or hot bread right from the oven while I'm reading and watching. Dried fruit just doesn't cut it.

 The of course there is Christmas coming up, so with all that December is turning out to be a busy month. (I have this small, high hope of completing the third Blade book during this time, but that small sense of sanity I have locked in a jar in the back corner of my mind laughs at me and tells me to take time to enjoy the season.)

 I always enjoy the Christmas season though, so sanity can go and play with the dust bunnies.

 I could enjoy the season more if the weather would just stay cold. It goes up and down which means we can't always keep a fire going. There is nothing better than visiting Middle Earth in front of a roaring fire with Christmas music playing the background.

 I'm having a lot of trouble accepting the fact this is the last year I can prepare for a new Lord of the Rings movie. Now I wish to go and start a fire and make some tea - warmish weather or not - just so I can make the most of the next fifteen days.

 I had something else I meant to mention and now I have remembered it. My Kindred Spirit is having a Read Along for her first book, King's Warrior. It is fitting to go along with my Middle Earth month with its dragons and adventures and mysterious brooding character...She has only just started, so for any who wish to join in there is still time. Not only is she talking about background information on writing the book but you would get the chance to read her wonderful book along with other readers. Very worth it. This book is one of my favourites and I highly recommend it. All that said, you should take a peek in on all of it HERE!!

 As for me. I need to leave you all. Editing is tugging at my jacket and books are luring me in with food and adventure - and swords. Lots and lots of swords. (One reason Tolkien was such an amazing Author, he gets the importance of swords in a story. He even does back-stories for them. What more could you ask for?)

 But seriously, that is all. I have things to do and a fire to see if I can sneak in and start without someone scolding me that it is 40 degrees outside. (Sometimes, it is hard to make others in your household understand the connection between fires and Middle Earth, and your sudden desire to bake. And the munchie attacks.)

 Quote is from The Fellowship of the Ring. You should know scene and character, if not, go and watch the movie. Now.
 Also expect a lot of these types of quotes this month.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Nate! Can we keep the cave?" "We are not keeping the cave."

 Jack's Fall Reading List

 I'm still working on reviews. Some of these should have had reviews a long time before now, but it was hard to write them while sick. I feel really bad about getting so far behind on them. I also should have had a lot more on the list, as well as a couple beta reads. Sadly, those didn't happen either. I found it impossible to read much all of November because of the weird flu and pneumonia I caught. Reviews will come in December though.

 Until then, here is my Fall reading list, in order of what I read. I passed up my summer reading list by about five books. I was hoping to get more read in fall than I did in summer. I still didn't read as many as I had hoped for, but anything passing up summers is good.

 The Maze Runner

I read it because of the movie. I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. While the writing style and genre wasn't my favourite I loved the characters

 The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
THE PENDERWICKS! Really, what's not to love about this family?

 Evil Star
I have mixed feelings about this series, but I adore Matt and Richard. Also, I learned about the desert lines, and that was cool

 Only a Novel
Though this wasn't really my type of book I did enjoy the story. It had a Pride and Prejudice feel to it, with a heroine who grew on me as the story went on.

 The Battle for WondLa
Conclusion to one of my all time favourite series. Oh yes, and Rovee was in it.

 Charmed Life
Another Dinna Wynne Jones, she never lets me down.

ALAN! DAVID! I loved this book!

Third book in the Gatekeepers. It introduced a new cast of characters, who won me over just as fast as Matt and Richard did

 After the Twelfth Night
If the Tintin series was written in book form this would be it. Non stop, impossible adventures. There are few words I can use to describe how much I love this book.

 Men of Iron
I have one complaint about this book. It was too short. I wished to spend as much time with Myles as I have with Ivanhoe

 100 Cupboards
There aren't many books where you love the adult characters as much as the kid characters. Everyone in this book was amazing.

 A Different Kind of Courage
I can't sum up my feelings on this book in just a few words so I will save most of it for the review. In short...WARREN!

 The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
I didn't think I would ever have a favourite Penderwick book. Even now, this one is only my favourite by an inch or two. But I loved this one. I laughed nearly non stop, and then nearly cried in the end.

Our Intrepid Heroine
Another I can't sum up in just a few words. My last book of the month, finished last minute. Found and bought last minute. I don't know what I was expecting from this little story, but I got much more than I had hoped for. Review coming soon.

 Most of these books have been reviewed and reviews can be found on my other blog, HERE! I go into more detail on what I thought of all of them. Overall the books were fun and I enjoyed them and the adventures. I am hoping to finish up the Gatekeeper series I started and The Maze Runner series over the winter. I'm also determined to finish Ivanhoe - I was so close but it is hard to read a lot of, "Hark, fair maiden, faint not but tell me what thou seest," when you're sick. I needed something easier since my brain was stuffed with cotton. I'm also determined to read To Kill a Mockingbird and read more self published books. And, as I hoped with my summer list, I hope to surpass this one and get a few more read over the winter.

 How about all of you? What was on your fall reading lists? Anything memorable? Have you read any of the books on my list? What are your thoughts on them?

 Quote is from Leverage when Elliot, Hardison, and Parker are being fun and childish and Sophie and Nate are having to be adult and parent-y.