Saturday, June 30, 2012

And Now To Instantaneously Break Out Into The Hallelujah Chorus!!





I've done it!!!!! Camp NaNoWriMo/the June Crusade is behind me, and I have at last reached the golden shores of victory!!!!!!!! 


Wow... fifty thousand words was a lot to write! 


But, it's done!


And guess what? I'm not fed up with words yet! I could write a thousand more today!


Well, maybe not today. How about Monday?


And a further note: my novel isn't done yet. 


Yes, it's true, Children of a Legend went through NaNoWriMo in April of this year and again in June, it sports 101,111 words, but the story's far from done. Very far. How far? About as far as New York is from Detroit.


And yes, I know you all long to read my work (I can imagine you want to, right? It's good for inspiration...), but I cannot disclose the entire story. Not yet. For now, please content yourselves with these snippets:


***

Brice and Grant took their stances in the fighting circle, each pretending to be oblivious to the other, each examining their staffs and flexing their muscles. When at length, the crowd grew restless with their antics and called for the fight to begin, they acknowledged their opponents and crouched on the edge of the circle.
“You'll have to go easy on me, rat,” Brice called. “I may be a bit rusty as I haven't picked up one of these in about three years.”
“Oh, I'll go easy on you, city boy.”
Brice made the first move, darting forward with his staff lowered. Grant easily blocked the lunge with his own weapon, and the men watching roared.
Davin, jostled on either side by cheering spectators, watched on helplessly. As the fight drew on, Brice seemed to be in a bad position. He felt the power beneath most of Grant's blows, and there were few in equal quality that he could return.
Grant, noting that Brice was weakening, pressed his advantage. Using his body weight to reinforce the potency he threw into his staff, he began raining blows on Brice, moving the staff with such speed that it was only a blur to Davin. Brice fell to one knee and did his best to defend himself from the storm.
The onlookers groaned. It looked as if their anticipation of a long fight would be quelled. Grumblings arose from those who had bet on Brice being the winner. But then, in one moment, all conversation and noises ceased as their attention was drawn back to the circle.
With a flick of his wrist, Brice snapped his staff out under Grant's. The thick stick caught Grant's ankle and knocked it out from beneath him. Grant, dropping his staff in a failing effort to catch himself, yelped once and toppled to the ground.
Brice, wincing, stood up and offered his opponent a hand. “Sorry about that, rat. Guess I don't know that much about sparring as you do.”
Grant took his hand and got to his feet. “Well, if you could stand to learn a little more about sparring...” he gestured toward his staff.
“It would be my pleasure.” Brice picked up the weapon and with a flourish handed it to Grant. And then, the fight began again.
It was all Davin could do to stay where he was. Grant was forcing Brice back, and although Brice put up a good defense and managed to touch his opponent a few times, Grant was obviously the better fighter and logically the better choice of the two to win. The crowd alternately booed and cheered as the fighter they bet on was hit or landed a hit.
Suddenly, Grant was on the ground again. Brice's staff had caught him in the shoulder that time, driven with a crack through a offensive maze of attacks.
“My apologies, rat.” Brice leaned over the fallen man. “If you could trouble yourself to get up, we could try a third round.”
Grant didn't answer but picked himself back up and dramatically dusted his tunic off. This time he didn't wait for Brice to begin the attack. Releasing a roaring battle cry, he charged straight at Brice as if he intended to stab him like a piece of meat on his staff.
Brice merely stepped sideways and out of the way of the staff. As Grant's lunge threw him past his opponent, Brice swung his staff, tucking the end of it in his elbow and putting the other end between Grant's legs. Then in a motion that Davin didn't even believe possible, he leaned on the weapon and succeeded in flipping Grant completely head over heels in the air.
When Grant finally landed on the ground with a thud and amid a cloud of dust, silence pervaded the barracks. The men there had never seen a move like that executed before. The fighting they were used to was rough and tough physical combat. Strategy and cunning were nearly nonexistent between contestants.
Finally, one man licked his lips and broke the silence. “I ain't seen nuttin' like that in my whole born days.”



***

A small, wrinkled man in a fraying black robe scribbled onto a pile of papers and didn't look up at Davin's entrance. His head was completely bald, and all of his hair was concentrated on the lower part of his face, forming into a beard that flowed downward over his stomach, swept over his knees, and fell into a cumulation of white tangles on his feet.
After waiting what must have been a full five minutes, Davin cleared his throat. The aged man's quill never stopped as he responded, “Young man, I am in the middle of a very important paper. Surely your problems cannot be as important as my finishing this. You can wait.”
The speech hit Davin hard. He hadn't been prepared for a welcome like that. But, with the master still scribbling away and making no move yet to receive his visitor, Davin had no choice but to wait.
The scritch, scritch of the pen scratched at Davin's nerves. He looked for a seat, but the bench behind him against the wall that he supposed was normally meant for chair use for the office personnel was covered in books and papers and simply unable to be sat upon. So, Davin stood. And waited.
When at length, Davin thought he could bear it no more, the old master sighed, set aside his quill, folded his long, knobby fingers together, and looked up at his visitor expectantly.
“Yes?”
“My...” Davin's voice had laid dormant for so long while in the office that on the first attempt to speak, his voice caught and he was reduced to a slight coughing fit to gain it back. “My name is Davin, and I am here to seek information.”
The man's eyebrows went up, multiplying the wrinkles on his forehead. “Ah, then you have come to the right place. Stylo is only the best university in Libstotten. We pride ourselves on our academic achievement and scholarly excellence. What would you wish to learn? Are you a boy looking for instruction of the arts? Or language?”
“No,” Davin hastened to say. “I'm sorry if I misled you on that account, but the information I seek is not related to studies. There is a certain person I am desirous to meet, and I believe that person may be here.”
“A person?” The master tapped his fingers on the desktop. “How droll. Books are much more interesting than people.”

***
“Is it that important that you find your missing sibling soon?” Ahmis asked, his eyes serious.
Davin acknowledged his question with a positive jerk of his head. “Our mission relies on speed. If we do not find all of my siblings soon, I fear that it will jeopardize our quest.”
“Jeopardize?” Adorna echoed. “In what way?”
“The passes in the Ice Mountain will close off before winter, and if we have not found all of my siblings and have gone through them to the north, we will be unable to meet with the dragons.” Davin spoke this, he hoped, calmly. The matter had been preying on his mind for the last week, ever since Rodnal had mentioned it in passing to him on the way to Libstotten.
Rayne gasped. “Truly, Davin?”
Davin didn't like to do it, but he nodded sadly. “And if we must wait until next spring, it may be too late to act against Vernd.”
“Yeah, and then that gives 'ole Vernd more time to find and kill us all.” Grant observed in a not so cheerful attitude.
“Kill?” Adorna's delicate hands went to her white throat.

***
Davin turned his attention to the gray landscape. The mist hung over the ground thickly, accounting for the wet dew drenching his blanket. The early morning chill went straight through the thin fibers of the cloth, and Davin shivered.
Muted noises of someone stirring caught his attention. On the other side of camp, Davin could see Rodnal leaning over Brice, arranging the blankets that he had thrown off in his delirium and checking his forehead for signs of fever. By the expression on his face as he drew his hand back, Davin knew that Brice's fever had not yet broken.
Essore moaned, stretching his wings and acting restless. The strange feelings of sorrow were greater now coming from the dragon than they had been the previous night. The sensation bewildered Davin, and the strength of the sorrow brought unbidden tears to his eyes. He wiped them and wiped them again when the tears refused to stop. What was the dragon feeling?
Davin started up but froze when Essore released a roar that shook the earth. Grant and Ahmis were shaken out of their blankets, and Rayne woke with a gasp. The entire company looked up as one to see the black dragon spread his wings and leap into the air.
“Essore! Stop!” Rodnal's cry was instantly echoed by the the four siblings.
But the dragon took no heed of them. He continued on without ever once hesitating. Davin felt certain that the strong feelings of remorse emitting from the dragon were clouding his reason. He was driven on, a slave of whatever drew him away. The calls from the group left behind were blatantly ignored.
Davin's hands dropped senselessly and hopelessly to his sides as he watched Essore Midnight soar back to the quiet, but dangerous, town of West Delt. 

All snippets taken from Children of a Legend.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Something To Look For...

As of right now, I am feverishly typing away at my laptop, putting away as many words as I can before June ends. I cannot believe that it is already the 29th! Wow, June flies when you're writing a fifty thousand word novel! I have less than two thousand words left to go, so I won't be killing myself tomorrow before midnight!


However, I wanted to say this to my wonderful blogging friends: after the June Crusade/Camp NaNoWriMo is behind me and we are officially into July, I have something wordless planned that I will be posting. Yes, wordless. It's actually something I'd like your opinion on, so beware! I will post sometime next week and fully expect you all to comment and let me know what you think!! 


Until then,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Famous Women Of Films Tag

Famous Women of Films Week is going on over at The Golden Road! I wasn't officially tagged, but Rose M. kindly let me go ahead and steal the questions for the tag. Thanks, Rose! :)


Photobucket


Rules:

1. Answer the questions provided in a blog post.
2. Mention the person who tagged you with a link to their blog.
3. Tag three other people and let them know you have tagged them!



1. What was the first "old movie" that you can remember watching? Probably The Sound of Music. My family loves musicals. :)




2. Out of the Famous Women mentioned this week, who is your favorite singer? Without a doubt, Julie Andrews. I grew up watching and hearing her sing in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins


3. Out of the Famous Women mentioned this week, who is your favorite dancer? This one's a little tougher.... maybe Vera-Ellen. I love the dance number in White Christmas that she does with Danny Kaye (The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing).




4. Out of the Famous Women mentioned this week, who is your favorite actress? Another tough question!! Hmm... if I had to just say one... I'll go with Lucille Ball. She's hilarious in the I Love Lucy show!




5. What is your favorite "old movie"?  Why? Singin' In The Rain. I love the cool dance numbers (Moses, Good Morning, and Make 'Em Laugh)!




6. Who is your utmost favorite Famous Woman of Films Week?  Why? Sigh... I'm gonna have to go back to Julie Andrews. She's the one I've grown up with (for the most part), so I think she'd be my utmost favorite.




7.  Do you watch a lot of "old movies" starring many of these Famous Women or do 
you have different tastes?  If so, please share your interests! I love watching the old films! I don't mind the black and white screen at all, and the films (I feel) are far superior to modern films! Absolutely adore musicals. Love the quotable lines. :)


8. Were you introduced to any new actresses by Famous Women of Films Week?  If so, which one(s)? Actually, many of them! Ann Miller, Ann Reinking, Betty Hutton, Cyd Charisse, Elizabeth Taylor, and Katharine Hepburn specifically. I've only seen a few of the women on screen, but I've heard of most of them. 


And for the tags:
Beth Grace
Jessa Bri
K. Barrett

The Excitement Over Only A Novel!

Put no further pastries to your lips for you will choke when you hear the news I must report! This is more preposterous and shocking than when Wormald's lions came and the little child's arm was bit clean off!


WE HAVE AN AUTHOR IN OUR MIDST!!!




Yes, indeed it is true!!! Our dear blogging friend, Miss Amy Dashwood of Yet Another Period Drama Blog, has become an author! Her book, Only A Novel, can be found HERE on amazon.com, and the whole town is talking of it!!


I'm so proud of Amy. I know I don't know her tastes, her passions, and her pursuits (unless you count her obvious writing talent a passion) as much as other people do, but I am honored to be counted as one of her cyber friends. I adore her blog, and there's absolutely no nonsense about her. 


The excitement is thick here in the wonderful blogging world. I was ecstatic myself when I saw Amy's post, announcing that her book was out for the world to read and she was an author! You should have heard my heart! It was a kettledrum!


She is holding a giveaway in which she will give one very lucky blogger a special copy of her very own book! I suggest you head on over to her blog and enter!! 



Yes, I know I put in quite a few period drama quotes here scattered throughout this post, but I thought that most appropriate as Amy's book, Only A Novel, is about a girl who is certain she will live a life equal to those of Jane Austen's heroines. Plus, I felt the need to eloquently express my excitement over Only A Novel!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sink Me, I'm On Sink Me!

Well, none of my pictures found their way to the top of the wonderful contest at Sink Me! Rather, two very superior pictures with hilarious content and incredible wit are now battling their way to the winner's pedestal. I'm eager to see which picture reigns supreme! But thanks to all who voted for me. :)


However, I did send some pictures to Miss Dashwood and I have now had the great honor of seeing my handiwork on that great blog where humorous nonsense meets period drama!


I won't post the pictures here; you'll have to hop on over to Sink Me! to see them. But here are the links:


Take That, Caro Sposo


Mean Mr. Elton


Best. Day. Ever!


Hope you enjoy them!


Love,
P.S. This picture is taken from Nancy Drew: Trouble Shooter

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just A Quick Note To Say...

That I have the best sisters ever!!!!!!!! Especially, right now, one of the best is Jessa Bri!!! 


Let me enlighten you...


I've been at the dentist today. It was rather horrible. I've never relished going to the dentist, and today was no exception. I was there for over an hour today, and the entire right side of my face is totally numb. My ear is numb. I'm not joking. 


Why was I at the dentist? That's another story entirely. For some odd reason, a simple cleaning turned into three visits in which they found the need to fill four cavities. Yes, four. I've lived eighteen years in this world and never once did I have a cavity! And now, I've got four! I suspect my dentist of evil intentions...


But, back to the material point: I have the best sister in the world. With half of my face numb and tingly and altogether sore, I was not looking forward to eating dinner, which happened to be crunchy tacos and chips. So, I buried myself in blogger in attempt to get out of dinner. And lo, and behold! Jessa comes out of the kitchen holding a bea.u.ti.ful glass full of the loverliest pink fruit smoothie that you ever saw. 


I wish you could see it, but I haven't a camera on me at the moment. Just know that it is beautiful, it is delicious, and that I have the best sister in the world who thoughtfully brought me such a yummy smoothie! (She also started a new blog today. Click HERE for a special viewing!)


Thanks, Jessa!!!! 


I love my family!!! 


And I don't like the dentist...




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tag Interview!

More concerning the June Crusade! Anne-girl is having a fun link up at her blog, Scribbings of my pen and tappings of my keyboard. 'Tis an interview in which your characters answer all the questions. I've chosen to do just two, some of my "mainest" of characters, Davin and Brice. I have so many to chose from, but I feel I know these two the best, so they will be in the interview. 

Just a little background so you know more about who they are: Davin is the son of Frendan, the legendary Dragon Tamer, and he has just learned about who he is, who his father was, and who the relentless enemy, Lord Vernd, is who bitterly hates them. Bricentus (Brice) is Davin's best friend, having lived with him and Frendan for the last three years after they pulled him out of the Kardoff River with a broken leg. How was it that he was swimming with a broken leg? You'll have to wait and read it when I'm done writing the story...

Let's begin! :)

Do you want a hug?
Davin: That depends on who is offering the hug. I wouldn't enjoy receiving a random hug from strangers off the street, but I do think hugs are a sign of mutual trust and affection between friends and family.
Brice: I don't mind hugs at all! 
Me: Would you hug Lord Vernd?
Brice: Nothing could ever convince a body to give *that* man a hug! It'd be like hugging a massive, black, shadowy, villainous, burning with hate, bent on revenge, cruel, heartless...
Davin: Uh, Kiri, I think we should move on.

Do you have any kids?
Davin: No. 
Brice. Nope. 

Have you killed anyone?
Davin: Never, though I fear killing may be in my future as I will doubtless be involved in battles and skirmishes. I don't look forward to it. Even though I love my father, being a son of the Dragon Tamer, I will admit, is dangerous.
Brice. I've been in numerous street fights as a boy, but I never hurt anyone besides a frequent black eye or occasional bloody nose.

Love anyone?
Davin: My father, and Brice. And the rest of my family, even though I haven't met any of them. I have five siblings out there, somewhere in Dron, and I must find them before I can love them.
Brice: Davin and his father are family to me, and I love 'em both. A body couldn't ask for better friends. 
Davin: Thanks, Brice. You're a great friend, too.

What is your job?
Davin: I have no specific job, but my mission is to find all five of my missing siblings and reunite them.
Brice: Bodyguard and friend to Dav. He's not much when it comes to fighting, so he'll need me. Be sure of that. 
Davin: I heard that.
Me: I'm sure Davin could hold his own in a fight.

What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Davin: Begin on my mission. We're off to East Delt first in search of one of my siblings.
Brice: Follow Dav. Wherever he goes, I must follow. Besides, there's other things I'd like to avoid, so it's better that I go with Dav.
Me: I'm glad you said that, Brice, because that's where I'm sending you.

What is your greatest fear?
Davin: That Lord Vernd will find my siblings before I do and kill them before I get a chance to save them.
Brice: Losing Dav or having my past catch up with me.
Davin: What past?
Brice: Um... the past in which I viciously knocked you off the wagon bench. I know a topple to the hard ground myself is in store.
Me: Nice save, Bricentus.

What do you think of your parents?
Davin: I have never known my mother as she died when I very young, but I love my father as ever a son could love his father. He's the greatest man in the world!
Brice: I don't have an opinion of my parents... at least, not one that I would openly talk about.
Davin: What do you mean?
Brice: I'd rather not say.
Me: I know what he means.
Brice: You know everything about me, Kiri! You made me up!
Me: Touché.
Davin: Can I know what he means?
Me: Not yet, but you'll know soon enough.

Any siblings?
Davin: Five, in fact. But I have no idea what they're like at all. What if they don't like me?
Brice: They'll love you, Dav. No worries on that account. And, nope. I'm just a lonely, single child. But Dav's like a brother, so he makes up for that.
Davin: So does that give me six siblings?
Brice: Large family. 
Me: I like large families.
Brice: We noticed.

Eye color?
Davin: Blue. I inherited my father's bright blue eyes. 
Brice: I don't know. I've never looked at myself to find out.
Me: And I don't think I ever wrote down your eye color. Hmm...
Davin: Brice, your eyes are brown.
Brice: Are they? Well, brown, I guess. A body can't argue with someone who's looking straight at him. 
Me: So, brown they must be.

Are you good or bad?
Davin: Good, I hope. Many people would think me a rebel, but Lord Vernd is an evil man who must be stopped. If no one else opposes him, the task falls to us.
Brice: I'm bad... at telling jokes. Fine! I'm good. Since Dav said he was good, I'm good, too. 
Me: You're my main characters! Why would I make you bad?
Brice: Well, we could be badly made good characters.
Me: I am choosing to ignore that statement.

Favorite season?
Davin: Spring. I love the planting season, working alongside my father in the corn fields. 
Brice: Spring, summer, fall, winter. I don't think I have a favorite. Spring's good, as that's when you plant the harvest. Summer's good, as that's when you tend to the harvest. Fall's good, as that's when the harvest comes in. And winter's good, as that's when you eat all of the harvest.

Who's your best friend?
Brice: Without a doubt, Dav.
Davin: I would normally say Brice, but lately I feel as if he's pulling away from me. There's something he doesn't want to tell me, and that's separating us, much to my dismay.
Brice: What? I'm not pulling away!
Davin: Well, you can't deny that you've got a secret.
Brice: Most people have secrets. It's just a matter of how important the secret is. Some secrets are nothing greater than an evil plot to plant thistles in an unsuspecting body's bed. 
Davin: You're avoiding the topic.
Brice: Next question.

Hobbies:
Davin: I wish I could say riding a dragon. I haven't done it yet, but I know I'm going to love it! As it is, right now, my time is filled with journeys and searches. 
Brice: I enjoy fighting with staffs. Fun, and quite different than combat with just plain, 'ole swords.

Do you care what others think of you?
Davin: Yes and no. I care about the reputation I leave behind, as I am a follower of the one true God, and I believe it is important that my life reflect the love and mercy of my Creator. But no, I won't dwell on the possibility that someone somewhere might be thinking ill of me. It's not worth worrying about.
Brice: Yes, yes, I do. 

Was this interview fun? 
Brice: Quite. 
Davin: Oh, yes, I enjoyed it. And now to interrogate Brice on that something he's keeping from me.
Brice: I'm not keeping anything from you!
Davin: Oh...
Me: Davin, wait. I'll let you know what it's all about later.
Brice: You're not going to spill my secret, are you, Kiri?
Me: Only in chapter 14.


As always,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Desserts Contest!

Jessa Bri over at Life Of A Michigan Homeschooler is holding a Summer Desserts Photography Contest!! Stop by her blog and check it out!!


Rules: 
1. The photograph must have its main focus on summer desserts/sweet treats. 
2. The photograph must be taken by the blogger who submitted it.
3. You may only enter one picture.
4. Please notify me that you have entered the contest by commenting on my blog.
5. The submission deadline is June 30th.



Here's my picture:


You can read more about the particular dessert in this picture over at my other blog, Allergic To Chocolate. It's the first in my picture series of What I'm Eating Tonight. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And Yet Another Lovely Award...




Miss Elizabeth of The Country Handmaiden has given me the Kind Blogger Award! Thank you ever so much, Miss Elizabeth! This award was made by Miss Elizabeth herself, and I am greatly honored to have been among the first to receive it. Here is her description of the award: "This is a simple, yet personal award. This is not meant to be given out to ten people at a time, but to a select few who have been kind to you."

Rules:
1. Choose two people you feel have been kind to you in the blogging sphere
2. List one aspect of each one's kindness to you

So without further adieu, I would like to award the Kind Blogger Award to:
Beth Grace of The Musings of Me, Myself, and I... And Other Such Fantastical Nonsense for her helpful comments and assistance on blog designs, buttons, etc. My blog wouldn't look as it does without you! :)
And...
Miss Melody Muffin of The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls for her kind and lovely comments on my blog postings. It's always a blessing to log into blogger and discover charming comments awaiting for my moderation! :)

And here, for the winners, is the HTML code for the button:
<a href="http://thecountryhandmaiden.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src=" http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LZxirn9DPg4/T9esMM74MGI/AAAAAAAAApo/EevALPKKmvk/s1600/the+kind+blogger+award+button.jpg"/></a>


Monday, June 18, 2012

I Am All Astonishment!

Indeed, I am all astonishment! My captioned picture landed in the finals in the Contest at Sink Me!! I am so excited!! Please stop by the fabulous blog and vote for me! :D


My entry... :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celebrating Fathers



Happy Father's Day to the greatest Dad ever! I love you ever so much!!!


For Mother's Day earlier this year, I made a collection of pictures of mothers from various films (you can find the post HERE). And so, following the pattern for Father's Day... here's my collection of fathers. (Please note: I don't endorse all the films portrayed here.)


Mr. Potter from Miss Potter

Loris Barrow from City of Ember

Mr. Merriman from Felicity: An American Girl Adventure

Patrick Gates from National Treasure

Anthony Biddle from The Happiest Millionaire

Alec King from Road to Avonlea

Mr. Brown from Nanny McPhee

Geppetto from Pinocchio

Denethor from The Lord of the Rings

Mr. Woodhouse from Emma

The King from Cinderella

John Brooke from Little Women

Mr. Dorrit from Little Dorrit

Bob Parr from The Incredibles

Robert from Enchanted

Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables

Maurice from Beauty and the Beast

King Randolph from Barbie in the Twelve
Dancing Princesses

Mr. Musgrove from Persuasion

Adam Mitchell from Courageous

Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Mr. Hale from North and South

Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

Willie LaHaye from Love's Abiding Joy

Jack Russo from Nim's Island

Calvin Bower from The One and Only, Genuine,
Original Family Band

Mr. Weston from Emma

Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings

Captain von Trapp from The Sound of Music

Theoden from The Lord of the Rings

Miraz from Prince Caspian

Mr. Gibson from Wives and Daughters

The King from Tangled