Tuesday, May 19, 2015

In Summer!

Hey, guys!! I'm back!!

Oh, how I've missed you all! It just hasn't been the same not seeing those fun, quirky, thought-provoking posts from the wonderful world of blogging. Honestly, I feel like I've been gone for years rather than months.

Freshman year is behind me, done and dusted. At first, I was a little uneasy about going into college at twenty-one and being older than just about everyone in my class by a full three years, but God truly did amazing things this year. In all truth, the things He taught me this year couldn't have been learned if I had not been a freshman. Praise Him for His perfect timing! I did not understand before why things were happening the way they did, but He had a plan. God knew. And I grew because of it.

But enough about me. How have you guys all been? I've spotted quite a few good books having been published while I was away and I see there are a bunch more publications coming this summer, so I know you've been busy! This is shaping up to be a fantastic year for books!

I am hoping to try to self-publish Secret of the Hazel Tree this summer. A big task, I know. I still have a lot of editing to do and the release and all to plan, but I'm praying that God will just have His hand in this. I am very excited to share this story with you all. 

Anywhoz, I hope I will be quite active online this summer and get back in touch with all you wonderful people. I'm looking forward to a great summer!

And because this song is amazing... and very much stuck in my head right now. :)


God bless!

Friday, January 9, 2015

And Back Again... Plus Snippets

I had thought to be on Blogger slightly more than I was during Christmas break. However, too many things happened that kept me from my computer. Although I do not regret the wonderful things that I did, I do truly miss being a part of this awesome circle of the internet.

Break was marvelous (despite the fact that I was sick through most of it), with lots of epic things like CBC visits, snowball fights, catching up with what's happening in Maine, watching way too many favorite movies, eating more gingerbread cookies than were probably good for me, sleeping... you know. All the important stuff.

I had grand visions of getting a lot of writing done during break, especially since I have about zilch extra minutes to write on my stories during college, but that didn't exactly happen. I did put a bit more on Rebirth of a Legend, and before I begin my trek back to college for second semester, I'd like to leave you all with just a few snippets. Just because I love you guys, and because snippets would make this otherwise ghastly short post longer and more intriguing.


“And what mischief, pray, are you about?”

The steel voice spun Ceterra around. Lady Ikklinda Kadnil herself stood in the doorway with both hands planted on her hips, looking the very picture of disagreeableness and ill temper.


“Well?” She snapped.

~*~*~*~

“Lettie!”

Olette hushed herself and looked up to see Lyndee skipping down the large corridor toward her. “Pa's lookin' fer ya!”

“Right now?”

Her youngest sister grinned. “As soon as ya can come.” Her eyes twinkled with mischief. “What'd ya do wrong this time, Lettie?”

Olette brushed the question aside. “Nothin', Dee. I've been as sweet as peaches.”

~*~*~*~

Apparently, the bear was through accepting rocks and arrows. With a lunge, it fell back onto its feet. Then it ran straight at Ahmis and Davin.

Davin pushed his brother in the opposite direction. There was no more spreading out and confusing the monster now. “Go!”

The arrow wounds to the bear's body slowed him down, yet its powerful legs soon closed in on the two brothers. With every breathless step, Davin could feel the bear getting closer, and he knew if he turned around, he'd be looking right into the toothy maw of death. He was already tired from their journey, and only fear kept him going.

Just behind him, Ahmis cried out and stumbled. Brice gave a wild shout as he fell.

“Ahmis!”

Davin whirled. Bear or no bear, Ahmis couldn't die. Père, help us! But he knew of nothing he could do to stop the bear from tearing them both apart. Ahmis was too far away; there was no way to get both of them to safety in time.

~*~*~*~

The sandy-haired boy shook his head. “Nothing doing. It's morning, and time for you to wake up. I've spent the whole night buzzed with questions, and I need you to tell me what's going on.”

Ahmis pulled his blanket over his head. “Can't this wait until after breakfast?”

Brice yanked the covering away. “Breakfast can wait.”

For once, even Davin was surprised; it was rare that Bricentus Holloman found something more important than food.

~*~*~*~

The last book on the shelf held promise for, even though the title was worn illegible, it had that musty book smell Ahmis loved. Davin pulled it carefully from its place and blew a layer of dust off the top before he cracked open the cover. Inside, yellowed pages showed a detailed table of contents. He quickly scanned the list, and his eyes grew wide.

The Arrival and Action of Dragons?

Davin flipped to the assigned page and immediately frowned. A soft, jagged edge spoke of a hasty knife visit to the book, and the pages on the dragons were completely gone. Well done, Lord Vernd, he thought grimly. You really did cover everything. With a sigh, he reluctantly replaced the tome.

~*~*~*~

Axel wasn't certain whether it was the mothers or the young ladies themselves who had expressed interest, but he let the matter pass. A handsome, young captain in Vernd's army, son of an esteemed military veteran, and heir to a substantial fortune? He knew without a doubt that he was an excellent catch. What mother in Marndid would not be interested in a courtship?

He shifted uneasily. “Mother, I would really rather not discuss this. I truly do not want a wife. You'd be much better off trying to set up Dick.”

Klara, despite her fine gown, slumped. The tasteful fabric wrinkled so that Axel raised an eyebrow. “Dick's lack of fortune does not merit him well to the young ladies.”

“Nor does his lack of charm,” Axel said dryly. Awkwardness was not attractive in a man of Marndid.

“A true pity,” Klara sighed. “He is such a handsome lad. He would make any girl a fine husband.”

Axel doubted that physical appearance helped much with the quality of a husband, but he wisely let his mother speak on.

I'll see you all *cue Olaf* ... IN SUMMER!

God bless! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back Over 2014...

It's hard to believe that 2014 is almost behind us. As I write this, my clock registers only 9 hours more before the calendar changes to 2015. Sufferin' cats! Who knew it could fly by so fast?

So what did 2014 look like for me? Well, as I did last year, I'd like to take the opportunity to do a quick review and let you all share the bits of adventures with me. I don't have the time to go in depth for this, but I'll just post a few highlights. 

~ I finished the first draft of Secret of the Hazel Tree at around 198,000 words

~ Hosted the Dear Love party for Valentine's Day (thank you to all the girls who helped out with that!)

~ Went to college (and survived the first semester!)

~ Worked the front desk at my dad's tech center

~ Heard selections from the Messiah live and loved it so much that I went twice :)

~ Met my third cousin, Friday

~ Went ice skating for the very first time in my life (I only fell down 5 times)

~ Became a Oncer with three other awesome people who all know exactly who they are; we all agree Maine is a very cool place

~ Watched Fiddler on the Roof for the very first time -- where has that musical been all my life??

~ Began way too many plot bunnies (I counted at least 10 that came out of 2014)

~ Hit 90 followers on Lianne Taimenlore (love you guys!!)

~ Wrote a Beauty and the Beast story for the Five Enchanted Roses contest (which I will unfortunately not be entering as the contest closed before I could get the entry in... oh, well)

~ Learned I had synesthesia 

~ FINALLY saw HTTYD2... and of course, it was months after it came out and everyone I knew and their sister had already seen it *growl*

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year's! I'll see you all in 2015!

God bless!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A College Story You Won't Want to Miss...

Hey, folks! I'm back!

I know, I know... you all missed me terribly. Please, don't ruin your keyboards by sobbing onto the letter keys. 

Okay, not really, but it sounded nice.

Anywhoz, I really did miss all of you, and I'm very muchly excited to be able to get back on for a few days and catch up on the months I've missed! How is everyone??

Random epic pic of The Hobbit... for which
I am truly excited!

College is fine, or at least it was, considering I'm not there anymore. Made lots of friends, learned way too much, acted obnoxiously... you know the drill. If you have questions concerning anything about my college experience (for the first semester, at least), please leave me a comment below and I will answer it within the next few days with a post. So, please leave me lots of comments! :)

But for now, I have a story for you. It's one of those heart-warming, Hallmark-type stories that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Or, I hope it will make you feel warm. Feel fuzzy... well, I'll leave that up to you.

So....

Once upon a time, I went to college. Among my classes was a course known as Computer Fluency which boasted a good two dozen students and a teacher who was incredibly smart and wonderful but forgot what the Start button was called. And among those two dozen students was a quiet chap known as (for sake of privacy) Friday. He sat two rows behind me, smiled at me when we passed on the sidewalk, and even ate once or twice with my cousins, sisters, friends, and me in the Dining Common. 

One day, I invited Friday to study with me and one of my cousins (Captain Oblivious) for the upcoming Computer Fluency tests. It was a rather big test, and although we really enjoyed the class, I was slightly dreading the test because I knew somehow that I was going to bomb it. The practical solution was to study, and what better way to study but with friends and cousins? Friday agreed, and with Captain and myself, we had one of the best study groups in the history of study groups. Needless to say, we all did smartly on the test. 

After that, Friday began hanging out with our group more. He enjoyed a lot of the same things we did -- epic piano music, LOTR, singing in choir, and a whole lot more. Before we knew it, he was becoming a fast and hard member of our group.

Then we became friends on Facebook. 

That afternoon, my mother called me while I was at lunch. "Hey, Kiri," she said (slightly paraphrased for the point of the story). "Who's this Friday kid you just became friends with? I think I might know him."

"Oh, he's a peach, Mom," I responded. "He's a lot of fun to hang out with."

"Good," my mother breathed a sigh of relief. "Because you might be related to him."

I think I nearly dropped the phone into my jello. "What?"

My mom wasn't sure how the connection was exactly, but she recognized his last name and stalked his page and recognized pictures of his dad and was generally excited about everything. I asked her for all the information she knew, which wasn't much, and armed with that piddly amount of knowledge, I marched off to Computer Fluency class. Friday met up with me just before class started, and I knew the time had come.

I took a deep breath. "Hey, Friday, I've got a really random question for you."

"Sure," he said. "Bring it on."

He had a cocky look on his face that clearly spoke of his opinion that I couldn't say anything to knock him off his guard. I was all too ready to prove him wrong. 

"Is your mom's name (removed for privacy's sake)?"

His expression froze. "Y-yes..."

"And your dad's name is (removed again)?"

I think I could have knocked him over with a feather at that point. "Y-yeah..."

"And you have an uncle called (removed, duh)?"

He shook the mindblown look off his face and tried to gather his wits. "Okay, that's creepy. How do you know all that?"

I merely grinned. "I think we're related."

And then the bell rang.

So, there we sat, Friday and I, going bonkers knowing we were related, but not exactly sure how the connection was there. Looking back at that class for both of us, neither one can exactly recall what the teacher said. We were too busy trying to draw mental family trees.

It was literally ten seconds after class that Friday tackled me. Not literally, you understand, because our college enforces a strict no-touching rule between guys and girls. But if he could tackle me, I think he might have.

"How are we related?!?"

We tried to talk about it for a few minutes but found no conclusion until Friday called his grandmother. She was muchly excited to discover Friday had found a distant relative and readily supplied us with half of the information we were looking for. I talked with her for a bit, and actually got asked to leave the library (the place where we were currently located) because our conversation got to be a little on the loud side. Hey! Unexpected family reunions involve some excitement and all that. Later, I called my grandmother and got the other half of the information, and together, Friday and I put together the family tree. 

Our great-grandparents (my great-grandfather and his great-grandmother) were siblings. 

Friday and I are third cousins. 
Friday and me.

*cue Disney's infamous song* It's a small world, after all.

Since then, Friday and I have become an epic set of partners in crime. I won't tell you here all of what we have done, but we definitely keep our college on its toes. That is, we would if it had toes. Imagine going to college and finding long-lost family!

So, the moral of the story is... family is epic. Especially third cousins. If you guys don't know your third cousins, you have no idea how much fun you're missing out on.

God bless!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Just a Quick Shout-Out!

Hey, folks!

I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten you all! College is going well, and I'm still trying to adjust to the new pace of life here. Am I busy? Yes. Am I going crazy running here and there to classes and choir practice? Yes. Am I staying up late to do homework? .... *inconspicuous cough* Yes. *moving on* Do I love it here? OH, YES!! Even in the mere five weeks that I've been here, it's been an experience I'll never forget, and I praise God every morning for His faithfulness and blessings. 

But college aside -- I'm making a slip of time to jump on Blogger and tell all of you just how much I love you guys. Lianne Taimenlore just hit 90 followers! Thank you so much, everyone, for making this blog what it is! I hope to find some free time SOMETIME to write a decent post.

God bless!

Monday, August 25, 2014

"I Bid You All a Very Fond Farewell."

Well, well, well.... here we are at last. The end of summer, and the start of something new. No, don't worry. I'm not leaving the blogging world. I love all of you too much to leave now. Whether you like it or not, you're all stuck with me. *grins*


However, that does not mean change isn't on the horizon. While Lianne Taimenlore and my other blogs will remain the same, I am anticipating the beginning of a great adventure this week. That's right, I'm going to college. I do not expect to be online nearly as much as I have been, so don't be surprised to see prolonged absences from me on Blogger, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc. With my new classes and activities, I don't think I'll have a whole lot of time for that, though I hope to be able to sneak on now and then for a quick update. 

Younger siblings waving g'bye to college-bound kids. Yes, that's my
family. Cousins, too. There's six of us leaving home all at once. Only
seven left behind. *sniff* I'm gonna miss them.

Maybe I should have titled this post "College and What I Think of It" because I'd like to explain some of my views on the subject.

For those of you who follow Hayden's blog and her Stay-at-Home Daughter Interviews, you will be familiar with the interview she did with me back in February. LINK. In it, I talked about college. While I've been a stay-at-home daughter since I graduated in 2011, I'm now following God's hand and taking the big leap into furthering my education.

Now, I understand that college isn't for everyone. If you'd asked me four years ago about college, I would have responded, "OF COURSE I'M GOING!" Two years ago, it'd have been more like, "Naw, I'm really not that interested." *cough* Now look at me. To be honest, I'm forever grateful for the three years I had out of high school to be with my family and prepare for college. If I had gone straight after I graduated, I would not have been ready. God's done things for me that I never could explain to show me that. But now, He's opened all the doors and given me a clear path to the very college my parents and grandparents both went to. Yes, they all met each other there and are now living happily ever after. 

Because bullet lists are so much fun (besides, they look cool in a post), I'm going to give you all a quick overview of what my thoughts are on my college experience. All the whys and why-nots. Ready?

Why I'm Going to College
  • To further my writing
    • I've been writing novels since I was fourteen (or earlier), and I love the written word. I fully intend to be a published author, but I know I'm not a perfect writer. I am pursuing a Creative Writing major in which I hope to learn principles behind style/prose/literature/all of that fun stuff and get some outside criticisms on my work. And ultimately, this all will pave the way for my one day being a true author and really getting published.
  • To get music lessons
    • My family's occupational hazard is music. You all should know that by now. We've been singing together for some 10 or so odd years, and we all love it. My parents are eager for their children to experience a real choir, and I can't say I'm any less excited about it. Especially since the college I'm attending will be doing a production of the Messiah this December. Pass up a chance to sing in the Messiah? I think not! I also know that I don't always sing correctly, and with choir comes singing lessons (of a sort), in which I hope to learn to control my voice better.
    • In addition to singing, I am an avid pianist. And a church pianist, at that. Unfortunately, I've been out of piano lessons for almost five years or more years now, and I miss it. There's so much I want to understand about the piano and music, and I can't learn it on my own. And it's impossible to get the piano lessons I need here where I live. However, my college has an excellent music program, and I will be taking piano lessons every semester I am able, with the hopes of possibly looking into flute lessons at a later time. 
  • To know God better
    • Many times we don't know what our faith looks like until we step out on a shaky bridge. I consider myself a girl of faith, but I know that I don't know all that I should know about God. The college I'm attending is a Bible college, and in addition to the Bible classes I'll receive, I will also get encouragement from kids my own age as we learn together in our devotions and study. For me, this is a big thing in going to college. I've lived at home for twenty-one years, under the influence of godly parents, and I'm eager to see what God will do for me once I'm in college. What I do, I do for His glory, and I hope that college will further train me to become a willing servant in His hands.
  • To challenge myself socially
    • Everyone who knows me knows that I am not a social person. I'd take a lonely corner with a good book any day over a party. Even if there was cake involved. I used to be painfully shy, but in the last few years, God has drawn me out of my comfort zone. I still abhor small talk and I always don't have the best response in loving the unlovely. I know that I will meet lots of people while at college, both lovely and not, but I also know that God will use this as a learning experience for me. Yes, I am scared thinking about all those strangers milling around me day after day, but I am thankful that I will have two sisters and six cousins about to muffle the shock of reality a little.
  • To obey my parents
    • Strictly speaking, this is a step of obedience for me as my parents have asked that I attend at least one year of college. If it were up to me, I might end my days still at home, acting like a cross between the Mad Hatter and a hermit Dickens, muttering to myself, eating ice cream, writing novels, and banging Disney songs out on the piano. But God has a plan for my life, and I don't think that's it. My parents love me like I don't deserve (gracious, I'm not exactly the ideal daughter), and they can't wait for me to discover the path God has set for me. I trust their judgement, and I appreciate their counsel. And one of the reasons I am going to college is because they have asked me to.
 
Preparing to leave! With that many girls, you can expect more
suitcases than that!


Why I'm Not Going to College
  • To get my MRS. degree
    • Which freshman girl hasn't dreamed of the special fellow she'll meet in college? The perfect mate who asks her out and ends up marrying her, beginning the classic "happily ever after?" I'll admit, when I was younger, I had this dream. I wanted the perfect guy. I wanted a happily every after. But now... it's not so much that I FIND him as it is that God puts us together. I am not going to college to find a guy, date around, and pursue a romantic relationship. Personally, I'd rather go through college without any guy at all. I'd be totally happy if I go all four years and come home unscathed in the romantic venue. I'm not against love, though. If God wants me to marry, if He's got that special guy for me, I'm all for it. But I know that He will bring him along just at the perfect time. Everything will happen just the way God intends, and when he knows I'm ready for it, He'll send my perfect fellow. Maybe we'll meet in a duet like so many Disney movies portray. Maybe I'll trip him (accidentally, of course) on the way to lunch. Who knows? But that won't be my focus. Why would I want to frustrate myself with searching around and going after numberless guys when I know God has the right one out there for me? Girls, don't pursue a romantic relationship just because you yearn for love. Seek after God, and He will introduce you to the perfect guy at the perfect time. But that doesn't mean you're to keep your eyes closed. Be on the lookout for opportunities as God brings them your way.
  • Because it's the thing to do
    • This one drives me nuts like no other. "Why are you going to college?" People ask. "Oh, you know," the freshman says, "all my friends are going. It's just the thing to do." NO. If that's your reason to go to college, then you'd better stay out of it. College isn't for everyone; God calls some for that type of experience; others He calls to other ministries. The worst thing you can do is attend college blindly. If you have no clear path, no goals... you're going to fail. Have a purpose. Make a path. Pray. Figure out if God truly wants you at college. Don't just go because it's the thing to do.
  •  To pursue a career
    • No, I don't believe that women are meant to have big, involving, money-making careers. And in that, I simply mean God created women to be a helpmeet, not to become president. Even for unmarried women, their first responsibility should be for their families. This is an interesting point, especially as so many people define "career" in so many different ways. The type of career I'm talking about is a profession that remains permanent throughout a person's life, an achievement and a pursuit that steals one away from family. Yes, I am studying Creative Writing in college, and I intend to make a career of sorts from that study, in the sense of writing novels at home. In my music instruction, I will be equipped to begin teaching piano lessons at home. And for women, that's the key: at home. 

Please note: I do not mean to contradict anyone's beliefs on this topic, nor do I wish to offend. These are just my personal beliefs as I've studied, prayed, and discussed it with my parents. If you have questions for me, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
 
Standing: Capt. Oblivious and Yours Truly
Seated (left to right): Em, Beth, Jessa, and Tora
Yes, we had a photoshoot. Didn't you get that by now?



Okey dokey, this is getting long, but I really wanted the chance to write this. I've known people with multiple views on college. In fact, my family has been lectured many times on why we're not in college yet, why we're not pursuing a full-fledged career, why we're not married yet, and even why we shouldn't go to college at all. I'm content to wait on God's timing and to follow His plan. There is no greater joy than knowing that He is in control of all things, and that everything works together for good. Nothing can happen without His knowing about it. Yes, I'm twenty-one. I'm not married. I have no career. I'm going to be a freshman at a Christian college this fall amongst a bunch of eighteen-year olds. Do I mind? Not in the least. If I'm where God wants me to be, then why should I regret anything? 

Thanks for listening to my rants and rambles! I'm going to miss all of you, but I'll pop in from time to time!

God bless!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beautiful People: Grant

I haven't done a BP in a while, and since Cait and Georgie so kindly are hosting it again, I think I'll jump on the bandwagon. 

This month, I'll be showcasing (showcasing? *thinks* ... showcasing... somehow that seems rather boastful of me... anywhoz...) Grant from my story The Dragon Tamer, which as many of you know, is broken into three books (Children of a Legend and Rebirth of a Legend being the first two).

~*~*~*~*~

1) What does your character regret the most in their life?
Probably his temper. Grant tends to rush into things without thinking them through, and then usually ends up regretting something. He can be very stubborn, and that stubbornness carries through with his apparent dislike for certain people. As for any particular regrets, I can't say because he hasn't gotten to that point --

What regrets?

Grant?! Where'd you come from? You nearly gave me a heart attack.

What are you talking about? What regrets? I need to know.

No, you'll find out later.

But...

Listen, what good is a story when I say what happens in the end? Don't worry... you'll know what it is when we get to it.

Not fair.


2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory?

You know, Kiri, you should have asked me to fill out the questions. They are about me.

Oh, really? Do you think you could do a better job?

Hey, who can know me better than me?

Your author?

Ha. Not funny. Now... my happiest memory. When Davin found me and told me I was the son of the Dragon Tamer. We had an epic fight and then I got to meet a dragon for real.

Hmm... and most sorrowful?

When... nope, can't say, Kiri. Spoilers, you know.

You're incorrigible.   


3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves?

Ahmis!

Grant, be nice about your brother!


I am! I didn't say how he gets on my nerves.


4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how?

Nope.

I wouldn't think so.


What?

You're more pensive when you're alone.


Only when you want me to be pensive. You know, I really don't like to think that much.

I've noticed.


Ouch.


5) What are their beliefs and superstitions? (Examples: their religion or lack of one, conspiracy theories, throwing salt, fear of black cats.) 

I believe in the one true God of the universe, the eternal Creator, and the Savior of men's souls. 

Well said, my little fighter. But you still have a long way to go to learning more about Him.


6) What are their catchphrases, or things they say frequently? 

*rubs head* What do I say, Kiri?

I don't think you have a catchphrase. You just yell a lot.

Hey, now!  


7) Would they be more prone to facing fears or running from them?

Facing them. I'm always ready to fight.

Not everything.

*glares*  


8) Do they have a good self image?

Of course! Everyone loves Gruesome Grant! Or... at least, everyone in East Delt did.


9) Do they turn to people when they're upset, or do they isolate themselves?

He isolates himself.

No, I don't!

*pointed look* Yes, you do. You hate human intervention. 


10) If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry?

If who were standing next to me?

If you were standing next to me, Grant. Technically, this question's mine. 

Oh, well... go ahead then.

I... hmm... I really don't know. You have a natural talent to make people laugh, but with everything you've been going through, I feel slightly frustrated with you, and I doubt you could make me laugh right off the bat.

Frustrated?

Yes, frustrated.  

Naw, but you wouldn't cry. You still love me too much to do that.

*sigh* I guess you're right.

Are we done now?

What? Yes, we're done. That was all ten questions.

Good. Now go finish writing my scene. You left me hanging there.

A "please" might be nice. And I did not leave you hanging.

That's because you know what's happening! I don't, dash it all!

Fine. I'll go write.

Thanks. I'll sign off for you. So long, folks!

Wait... my picture!

You don't need that.

Yes, I do!

But it's not even you.

It's nice to end a post with a picture.

Fine. Here's a picture.


Good-bye.

*growls*