Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten All-time Favorite Books

   I don't do favorites. I can't. There are too many wonderful books/musicians/movies/etc. out there.
   Ten favorites, on the other hand? That I can do. But in no particular order, because that's too difficult.
   (This fabulous linkup is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I'm not doing the one from this week, but I'm still super excited about it!)

1. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
 How could I not include Harry Potter? It's my soul.

2. Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
 This one's not as well known as Harry Potter, but it's obviously one of my absolute favorites. Magic and siblings and bravery, oh my.

3. Beyonders series by Brandon Mull
 If you couldn't tell, I really like Brandon Mull. He's my idol, and the Beyonders books have inspired me as I write CotN.

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
 Oh how I love this book. It's sad and haunting and thought-provoking and absolutely wonderful.

5. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
 I mean seriously. A gearpunk alternate history murder mystery with chalk drawings that come to life and a possible INTJ/ENFP ship and chalk fights and one of my favorite MCs ever.

6. A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede
 Another fav MC. Kim is pretty hardcore. AND THE SHIPPING OH HELP ME THE SHIPPING. Also magic.

7. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
 Okay technically I cheated. I read an abridged Manga adaption. BUT IT'S GLORIOUS. And I want to write a modern AU version someday.

8. The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
 She's another favorite author. I've read most of her books, and I absolutely adore this series. Yay for good dystopian!

9. Havard by Aimee Meester
 Technically this one should have been up at the top. It might possibly be my favorite book of all time. Sadly I can't link you to it because it's not published yet but IT WILL BE SOON AND IT WILL BREAK ALL OF YOU LIKE IT BROKE ME. It's about Norwegian soldiers and psych ward patients and illegal experiments and blood and colors and snow and feels.

10. Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
 This whole series is good, but I really like the first one. It's about a girl in an alternate-history America who is always being told that she's going to turn evil, because she's the thirteenth child in the family. It's a very lovely story and Eff is a wonderful character(Mrs. Wrede writes really awesome characters).

So, what are some of your favorites? Are any on my list? Do you want to read any of these of course you do go read them now ?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Part 1

   Hey guys! Yes I know it's Sunday, not Saturday, but it's been a very busy week.
   Today you get the first part of a story. So fear not, there will be more! And, since I'm terribly uncreative sometimes, I'm going to let you help me come up with ideas for the title! Put your suggestions in the comments, and I'll use those to get some ideas.

They had been recruited when they were young and desperate. They were older now, battle-hardened and strong. But they were still just as desperate.
  “D-d-d-do you see them?” Kale asked calmly.
  “Not yet,” Ria murmured, watching over the broken stone wall, pistol clenched in her hand.
  Mist rolled off the nearby ocean and chilled them both. The smells of wet stone and briny air filled Kale’s lungs, and somewhere in the distance, waves lapped against the shore. There was nothing to do but wait and listen, so he sat in silence and watched Ria.
  His cousin scanned the horizon, eyes flicking back and forth, watching everything. She had sharp eyes and a sharp mouth; he had sharp ears and a sharp intuition. That’s how they had survived so long, after their hometown had been destroyed and their families torn apart. They stayed together, even after joining the League.
  Ria glanced at her watch and hissed “Any time now-”  
  Kale grabbed her arm. “Did you hear that?”
  She shook her head.
  This time she did hear something: an angry rumble from machinery that wasn’t working the way it wanted to.
  Then gunfire.
  Ria and Kale tensed. Now, instead of just watching for the attack party to return, she kept glancing at her watch. Three minutes before you see us, tops, Reuben had said. Kale was holding his gun now, a silly notion since he’d have to put it away to run, but she knew it made him feel safe so she didn’t complain.
  A minute passed. In the distance there was shouting, revving engines, more gunshots.  Screaming.
  They were right. It had been a slave ship. Kale and Ria glanced at each other, their eyes saying what their words could not. Maybe we’ll find some of them.
  It had been six years since  they’d last seen their parents and aunts and uncles and cousins. And in all those six years they’d never stopped searching, never stopped hoping.
  “There!” Ria hissed urgently, pointing. Figures, running over one of the grassy slopes. Kale slung his rifle over his shoulder and got ready to run. Ria grabbed the low stone wall, preparing to vault over it as soon as the others were close enough.
  Two soldiers, Reuben and Clarke. Four would-have-been slaves, three girls and a boy.
  Kale counted down quietly. “Three...t-two...one...go!”
  They ran. Energy coursed through Ria like it was her first time on a mission. Kale ran quickly, on a straight course to the smallest rescued girl, ready to carry her so she wouldn’t have to run with bound hands. Both of them hoped to see a face they recognized.
  Ria ran to the back of the group. “Go, go!” She waved the poor, confused souls forward, then glanced back and sent a warning shot to the slave traders trying to follow them.
  Reuben glanced at her, but she didn’t have time to be relieved that he was alive, not yet. Now was the time for running, running, running and looking back, running with the salty wind tangling her hair, running for her life. Running and shoving the first batch of rescued slaves into the waiting truck. Running back to the second approaching group and making sure that no one shot at them. Running and rescuing, over and over.
  A gunshot.
  Pain searing her leg.
  Ria heard two people shout her name over the hum of the pain. She tried to stand but couldn’t; then Reuben was there, picking her up and running with her.
  “Send in another backshot!” He shouted, calling in a replacement for her. Reuben kissed the top of her head, gently dropped her into one of the trucks.
  She moaned in pain, gripping her leg but watching as Reuben ran to finish the rescue mission. The second truck was almost full. Soon they’d be back at base and they’d get a medic for her.
  The truck was full of the sounds of crying and whimpering and fearful conversation. The slaves stared at her with apprehension. She ignored them.
  “What’s happening…” Ria heard someone moan.
  “We’re rescuing you,” she said.
  “Are we going to have to work for you?” A little girl asked fearfully.
  “No,” she scoffed. “We’re rescuing you. You’re free now.”
  Excitement and confusion hummed through the truck. The third truck was almost full, and Ria could see Kale running with the last group. He jumped into the back of the truck and closed the door.
  Kale pulled his medkit out of his backpack as the truck rattled back to base. “Y-y-y-you should have b-been more c-careful,” he said, quietly cursing the fear that made his stutter worse.
  “What do you want me to do?” Ria muttered through gritted teeth, hissing a curse as he tied a bandage around the bullet wound.
  Kale stuttered apologetically for a minute before Ria put her hand on his arm.
  “Sorry. It just hurts.”
  “We’ll g-get you to a medic as soon as we can, ok-kay?”
  She nodded and was silent, then asked the question he knew they’d both been wondering. “Did you see anyone?”
  Kale nodded very slowly. “I think so. There was a girl who looked a little like Aunt Marcy. Maybe it w-was Emily; she was only four last time we saw her.”
  “Wait,” a boy called from the back of the truck. “What did you say about Marcy and Emily?”
  Kale swore his heart stopped beating for a second.
  “Do you know them?” Ria asked, anxious and desperate.
  The boy nodded.
  “A-are they-”
  “Were they in the same shipment as you?” Ria squeezed Kale’s hand so hard it hurt.
  “I think so…” the boy said, looking confused. “Do you know them?”
  They nodded quickly.
  “Danny’s in our shipment, too,” a light-haired girl said. “He’s Emily’s brother, right?”
  Marcy, Emily, and Danny were alive and very very nearby. Kale’s hands shook and Ria’s heart pounded. They sat in nervous anticipation for the ride back to base. Kale carried Ria to the medcenter.

  And everything began to fall apart.

Any name ideas? Do you think I should continue this story? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we- wait what am I even saying? Check back on Tuesday for a new linkup!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Killing Princes

   Hey guys!
   I forgot about my blogaversary.
   That was on Thursday.
   Here is a short story to make up for it.

And a collage because I am obsessed with them

  It’s too early in the day for killing princes.

  That’s what I keep telling myself, as I try not to jump at the slightest sound. I know they still need me around, at least for a little while. Lord Padom is trying his best to save me but I know they want me out of the way.
  I pace the halls aimlessly, ignoring the glares of enemies and the nervous glances of people too afraid to support me. My kingdom has fallen and I myself am barely clinging to life. At best I will spend my days in the deepest, foulest part of the dungeon. Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad if Skaist could visit me…
  But no.
  I’m going to die.
  I pray that it won’t be for a long time.

  The sun has not reached its highest point before they drag me to my room.
  I am locked in the room where I spent my boyhood.
  I don’t think they’ll kill me, not yet. A compromise must be reached. It kills me to not have a voice in the very debate that is truly life or death for me, but I have no other choice. My enemies do not trust me, and it is well they do not. I have shown cleverness before, resourcefulness, trickery. They know I will do anything it takes to survive, and that is why I am trapped here.
  But now...as I pace my rooms, I wonder if there is anything left to fight for. My armies have been crushed, my family killed, my kingdom taken. Skaist and Lord Padom are the only people I care about that still live, and I do not think they will be killed.
  So what, exactly, would I fight for?

  I threaten to send the already worn rug into oblivion as I pace endlessly. My boots scuff against carpet and stone, carpet and stone. My throat is dry but I don’t touch anything on the platter by bed. Too risky. Too risky…
  “Lady Skaist,” the guard announces as he opens the door.
  She comes in, a disastrous mix of distracted chaos and regal beauty. It’s all I can do to not run to her and hold her close, but the guards are watching. I have to keep my distance.
  Skaist sweeps into a graceful curtsy, and I bow. “My lord,” she murmurs.
  “Lady Skaist.” A small smile breaks through my attempted facade of coldness. “I did not think you would-”
  “How can you let them lock you away?”
  I should have known she would not stay calm.
  “They cannot do this to you!” She rages.
  “Lady Skaist, Lord Padom is-”
  She stands so close I can see the sparks in her blue eyes. “But what are you doing?” Her skirt brushes my feet and she leans close; the smell of the daisies woven into her hair makes my head swim. “Why aren’t you fighting?” she whispers.
  “That’s close enough.” The guard grabs her, pulls her away, but not before I squeeze her hand. She grins and doesn’t take her eyes off me for a second as they roughly escort her out of my room. She winks.
  And then she’s gone.
  And I’m alone again.
  And I know what to fight for.

  Late afternoon. If the war had not happened, Skaist and I would be walking the gardens, the chill in the air mixing with the warmth I feel every time I’m around her. And if the guards weren’t looking too carefully, she would take my hand, and look in my eyes, and lean forward, and-
  No. The war happened. I promised myself I would marry her when we won but we lost and I’m going to die and she’s going to be alone and it’s all my fault and-
  Good Father, how did I ever run an army with this attitude. I’m going to be fine. Everything’s going to work out. I’ll fight like Skaist said, and everything will be alright.
  A servant comes in with food. My stomach growls and I lick my dry lips. I haven’t had anything to eat or drink all day. Too risky. Who knows what traceless poisons they might have added.
  Still, it’s tempting. But I resist.

  I start as the squire enters my room. Shadows are making their way across the walls, and I’m more jumpy than ever. Evening is a good time for killing princes.
  “What- What are you here for?” I stutter, attempting and failing to keep up my act of cold nonchalance.
  “Lord Padom requested that you be informed of the situation.”
  The bearded squire has all my attention now. “And?”
  “Nothing is secure yet, but he believes...he believes things will end well.”
  I try not to look too relieved. “Tell him I am grateful for his thoughtfulness in informing me, and for all his hard work.”
  The squire nods nervously. “And, Lady Skaist…”
  “Yes?” I answered too quickly, and he looks at me curiously.
  “She wished you to know that she will pray to the Father for you.”
  “Tell her…tell her thank you. And tell her that she is in my prayers, tonight and always.”
  He nods.
  “Anything else?”
  “No.” The squire bows and walks out.
  I slump into a chair and sigh deeply as soon as he’s gone. Stupid as the idea is, he could have been an assassin. But no, luckily, he just had good news for me. Good enough, at least.
  Nothing is secure yet, but he believes things will end well.
  There’s still a chance that they’ll just execute me. There is also a chance that they won’t. They might bring me to the council tomorrow, to argue my case.
  I spend a long time thinking of possible speeches to convince them to let me live. Hours pass, and I plan and prepare until my head aches and I can barely think, so I undress and collapse into bed. I should be nervous but I’m not. I need sleep. Sleep is good.

  As the clock strikes twelve, I have one last thought.
  Midnight is a perfect time for killing princes.

I hope you guys enjoyed it! I won't be able to post on Tuesday or Thursday this week, but I'll be back next Saturday with another short story. Until then, my lovely minions followers!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

And so begins the party

   In two weeks, my blog will be a year old.

   Today I'm going divulge my schedule for taking over the world blogging. Next week the evil lair will get revamped. The week after that, I shall give you cake as we celebrate my blog's birthday.

Oh my gosh, Skittles cake, my life is complete.

  • Tuesday: Linkups (Top Ten Tuesday, Beautiful People, etc)
  • Thursday: Free for All (most likely writing, mbti, or bookish things)
  • Saturday: Short Story (written by yours truly)

  Bear with me; I'm still figuring out this blogging thing. Apologies for any awkwardness as I figure this out.

Probably your face as you watch me be weird and awkward

Monday, June 1, 2015

Several Things

   So, the good news is that I've been running this blog for almost a year.

   The bad news is that I've been terrible at posting.
   Really, really terrible.

   So, in celebration of my blogaversary, and in apology for my terrible posting skills, a whole lot of changes are going down.

  Okay just a few but still. Be excited.
  •    New layout/design/template/whatever
  •    Posts that aren't just linkups
  •    Myers-Briggs stuff
  •    Posts about my stories

   So yeah...this is happening. Wish me luck.