September 30, 2013

Shadow Sleep

I am exhausted. A part of my mind is telling me the logical answer. "Go finish your homework and then do your devotions, and then go to sleep."

But then there's that part of me- that Writer part.

The part that says- "You can't decide whether to do your homework or edit your novel. Here's a great idea; do neither. Write a blog that probably no one will ever read."

Yeah. Obviously that part won out.

And yet- I'm still trying to convince myself that I do not need to edit my novel. That my goal to finish in October was an unrealistic and unnecessary one. That there is no law telling me that I must write a novel in a year. And yet.

I can feel the Whisperers pulling me, and the notebook on my lap with the vocabulary words I am supposed to be looking up- yeah, that's doing nothing.

I need to write.

The feeling is consuming me at the moment, and even the flashing lights that look just as tired as I feel can't stop the obsession that's practically tearing me apart. I have to give in. I don't have any choice, not anymore.

Homework will have to wait- because the Shadow will give me no rest.

I will have my voice heard.

Perhaps my greatest motivation right now is the thought that the sooner I finish Shadow Whispers, the sooner I get to start on Shadow Remnants, and then on to the next book and then the next book and the next and the next, and on and on for who knows how many more nights that I should be sleeping and am not because the Shadow is calling to me again and my fingers are tapping like wild animals and I cannot sleep and I cannot rest


September 29, 2013

Reviews, Nerds, and Chocolate Fondue

I have said before, and will probably say again, that I am a nerd. I even have a shirt that says "Nerds need love, too" and has a cute picture of a little nerd girl. (Actually I have two- one with the girl and one with a girl and a boy.)

I also love to write- duh- and love to talk about writing with other writers. Unfortunately, I don't have many writing friends, or any, really.

Some time ago, I really don't know how long ago it was that I joined, but I found a website called the Young Writers Society. I think of it a little bit like a Facebook for writers. You get to post your work and have it edited and reviewed by tons of other writers. I don't know how many bits of poetry or short stories I have posted there, and I'm sure my writing has improved because of that.

So I just Googled YWS, but this picture is one of the first that came up, and that is my poem! I wrote that, see my name there? Yeah. I was in the Literary Spotlight and someone took a picture and posted it onto this website.

But even more than my works being reviewed, I've reviewed a lot of works myself. I think it's such great writing practice, because it allows me to see what I don't like in other writing and then avoid it in my own writing. It trains me to focus on negative aspects of the things that I read so that I will also be more aware of those same negative aspects when I write. It works really well, and I love it.

Well, this Young Writers Society also has special contests and such. The Knights of the Green Room, for example, a brotherhood of writers who works hard to make sure that every work posted on the site gets at least two good reviews. I am pleased to say that I joined this knighthood and you can know refer to me as Knight Cailey.

YWS Knight

This weekend was the "Review Day" in which members divide into two teams and review as much as they can. Reviews can earn up to 150 points, depending on how long it is and how many previous reviews have been posted. I am proud to say that my Review Team won, and I passed my self-imposed goal of twenty reviews and instead wrote 24.

Keep in mind- that means that I also had to read 24 different pieces. Some poetry, one or two short stories, and a lot of novel segments. It was a lot of reading, and I must be insane for still being on my computer to blog about the whole thing.

Insane, or extremely nerdy.
 I just feel like I need to mention this site again.

And the chocolate fondue? Not much of a story there. Just prove of how much my mother loves me. <3

Oh- and the Whisperers, of course. I have about forty pages left to read. We're getting closer!

September 25, 2013

A Penny For My Thoughts

Sometimes I don't even know what thoughts are going through my head. I don't know if you've ever felt that way, where it feels like you are just thinking too many things and so they all cancel out and your mind ends up completely empty. And yet all the other thoughts are still racing around just behind that wall of emptiness, and you can't catch any of them. I think this feeling is frustrating. I like to go through my days with clear and concise thoughts that flow together in some form of organization with clear transitions from one thought to another.

Kind of like writing.

(PS: I've never been very good at the whole stream of conscious writing thing. Like I said, I like organization and clear formatting.)

So today I am going to attempt to catch some of my thoughts and force the little trains to ride on the right track in the right direction. Let's pray for no collisions.

Picture from here.

October is coming up, and it's coming up fast.

So what?

Well, a year ago, I first started writing Shadow Whispers in the month of October. I wrote for three months. Stopped and did major editing for three months. Gave it out to people to read for two months. Worked on draft three for two months, and am hoping to finish up with the fourth draft by the end of these last two months.

Which means I'll be done in a year.

And I get to send the Whisperers out to visit some publishers.

And then I'll probably need to go back through with a fifth draft, maybe even more.

The thought terrifies me. But it's also exciting.

I mean, what if I actually do get published???

I don't know why the idea of being published sounds so scary to me right now. Maybe I have it all wrong. (Come on, trains, I told you to stay on the right track!)  Maybe the thing I'm scared of is not ever getting published. But somehow, I think maybe the first thing was just as true as the second. Writing is just a scary process altogether.

Okay, switching trains completely. My dearest older sister's wedding pictures are out! She looked so incredibly gorgeous and amazing and lovely and happy, and she and her groom looked absolutely perfect together, even with a foot of height separating them.

(I wish I could post a picture for you, but unfortunately I was not married and do not have access to the pictures. Sorry!)

And the next train, S or W? As I mentioned in the "Pages and More Pages" page up at the top there, I'm reading Scarlet Letter for school. And for a project we are going to each wear a letter that represents us attached to our clothes somehow. And my first thought was W, but now I'm worried that a W is just too obvious. So should I represent myself as a Writer or a Storyteller? Any thoughts?

And here.
Hm. I don't know if I have any more trains left to jump on. Well, I'm sure I could find plenty if I dig around in my brain long enough. But none blog worthy, I don't think.

Oh, PE. We're playing football (which I have hated with a passion all the other years we played) but now all the "good" players are graduated, and I'm one of the oldest kids in class. And somehow, maybe just because I've played football every year for the last three years in PE, somehow I'm one of the better players. (What??! That NEVER happens. With any sport. Ever.)
But anyway, I'm the quarterback!! Yay me, right! Wish me luck, and pray that I don't make a fool out of myself, and can at least get one good pass.

And here.

Enough trains for today. I need to go and get ready for school.

September 22, 2013

Taught to Teach

How in the world do you go about teaching English to a bunch of kids (seven of them, to be exact) ranging from ages 4 to 7, some of whom know absolutely no English and some of whom have taken classes and know the basics.

It's tough, trust me.

This teaching thing is the latest big thing in my life, right now, and it's a lot of work. I mean, I never wanted to be a teacher, that was always my sister's dream, not mine. And I'm not complaining; it really isn't so bad, but it isn't my ideal job.

I just...

I can't discipline.

The kids are all running all over the place screaming and I'm just standing in front, "so this color is red..." and I feel like none of the kids are even listening.

It's stressful.

Plus, it's one more thing to add to my busy schedule, one more thing to take away my precious writing time.

However, things are definitely shaping up, and- I think- can only get better from here on out. For one, my dad is back from his trip back to the USA, and so he'll be teaching the older group (from ages 11 to 13) leaving me with the younger ones and a lot less variety.

Plus, now I know who the kids are and know what level each one is at. (Well, theoretically at least.)

And, someone came over on Saturday to teach me how to teach. He showed me the basic lesson plan I need to have and even set up a Word document that I could fill out before each class.

I think I can handle this now. Oh, and get paid for the first week helped too, I must admit.

Now I just need to figure out how to juggle all of this. School, Romans on the Roof, Student Council, Junior/Senior beach trip fundraisers, English classes, Reading, and of course, Writing.


I don't know how I'm going to do it. But I've survived high school so far. I can hold on for another semester, right? I'm one fourth of the way done, anyway. Yeah, right? Half way through first quarter, two quarters in a semester.... yeah, one fourth of the way through.

Just three more fourths. I can totally do this, right?


September 19, 2013

Beyond the Blinds

"I try to pay attention, honestly I do. But outside the window I hear the sun calling to me, practically begging me to join her in her frolic. I want to give in. I want to join the blue sky in its search for freedom, and play catch with the clouds.

This room feels something like a prison, trapping me from all the things that my heart longs to do. Despite all of my attempts to keep my wandering brain focused on the matter at hand- I cannot truly listen of absorb the words that continue to slide over my head. I fail to find motivation as the grade I will receive from this class is my sole purpose for sitting here in the first place.

How I long to escape this cage! the blinds blocking the world from view only taunt my imagination- as I fins myself creating the view that I could see if the blinds rose. Anything could be on the other side, anything at all.

Here in this stifling room there is no space for magic, but beyond the blinds anything could be waiting. If I could only make a mad dash for the door- where I can see nothing but greens and yellows- but I cannot. I am trapped. Whether by my own foolishness or by the pressure from everyone around me, I do not know, but it hardly matters. The fact is all hope is lost, and the time for change has gone.... "

So, I wrote this today in school- (don't judge). The truth is, I am a nerd, and I do enjoy learning and taking (and passing) notes, and I love the influx of knowledge that school provides. But at the same time... Sometimes all I want to do is write, or read, and I can't stand sitting there hearing how many electrons are in each energy level. I can't help thinking to myself: "What does it matter?" I mean, I know it matters, and I know a lot of people care.

So I was just going to post the link to show where I got the picture from...
but this site cracked me up.
And confirmed my status as a Nerd. :D

Just, I don't. I won't use it after college, or after high school if I'm lucky, and I don't see why I need to do all these things that are keeping me from the one thing I really love: writing.

I read all these dystopian novels, (Hunger Games, The Giver, Divergent, 1984, etc...) and I see everything wrong with the supposed utopia that these people have created. And I can't help but wonder how much of the problems are already beginning in our society. It's easy for me to read the Giver and see the kids getting their jobs assigned to them and think that maybe there's a problem.

From here.

Yet I almost feel like people are planning out my future too. You're going to go to school, and you are going to take these classes, and you are going to go to college and you are going to get a job and learn how to drive and make money and have a family.

And I sometimes wonder how much of a say I get in the matter. Isn't it my life anyway? Or are we just a dystopia of our own, and we only think we get to choose. (Like the Choosing Ceremony in Divergent.)

Maybe none of it matters anyway.

Maybe I want to go through with this preplanned future anyway. I think I do most of the time.

But sometimes- all I want to do is write.

September 18, 2013

Stifled Magic

I always feel as though I do not read enough. In fact, I feel somewhat like a hypocrite- because as a writer I should be reading as much as I can, and encouraging others to read more, as well.

The thing is, when I read (if I'm reading a good book) I tend to get so engrossed in the story that I forget to write my own. Sometimes I can handle the mesh of two stories, but some books are so well written that their story trickles down into every part of my mind, until I know that I will never be able to write my own words until I've finished with the others.

I'm worried that this new book I've picked up is going to have a similar effect. A friend recommended Divergent, by Veronica Roth, and I certainly pass on the recommendation. However, it's difficult to put down (which for most people would be a very good thing.)
The problem is, now all I want to do with a moment of spare time is read, and my writing is sadly lacking.


Fortunately, because I'm enjoying the book so much, I'm moving quickly, and I wouldn't be surprised if I finish reading it before this week is up.

Unfortunately, there's a sequel, and of course I will need to read it as well.


I have not given up on the Whisperers, though, and I will return to them the second I finish Divergent. I just hope there isn't anything so memorable that it accidentally slips into my writing. I hate having to go back and change names and places because they sound too much like the city in Lord of the Rings or the capital in the Hunger Games or the daughter in Twilight or the Shadow in Inkheart. Obviously everything I read takes a place in what I write.

Still- I'm not trying to use that as an excuse to stop reading so that I will never have anything that isn't mine. Although, that would also mean I can't watch any movies. Or talk to any people.

Another Link

Maybe if I read more and watch more and talk more, I'll have so many hidden ideas fighting for a place in my writing that none of them will be as significant or as prominent.

Anyway- I digress.

The facts are: Divergent is a fantastic but consuming book, and everything you read will someday come back to haunt you.

September 17, 2013

A Page of Instruction

I never wanted to be a teacher. Honestly, my sister is the one in college studying to teach Spanish as a second language. She was the one who always wanted to help out with Sunday School classes at church, and she was probably the better babysitter, too. 

So how have I ended up doing so many different teaching jobs?

It isn't that I don't like kids, because for the most part I do, I just don't like teaching. I'd much rather just lose myself in the words that I wrote and think only about my own job and then let people take the words I wrote and teach themselves- without me having to actually be right there leading the learning.

I know I sound like I'm just complaining, and maybe I am, but I just feel a bit overwhelmed by this new responsibility. It isn't something thrust upon me without any of my approval or consent. I did agree to this, and I wanted to do it. I still do, I think.

You must think I've gone crazy. "What in the world are you talking about? Teaching what?"

English classes, my friend. I am now an English teacher here in Oaxaca, Mexico, and I am somehow supposed to come up with my own syllabus that will teach four and five year olds who know nothing about English and barely know how to count in Spanish. Of course, I also have two six year olds who have taken classes and know the very basics- such as colors and numbers and parts of the body.

Oh, and did I mention energy? Because these are high-energy kids;  much more high-energy than my senioritis self. I don't know what I've gotten myself into, and I'm not sure if I can handle it.

It doesn't help that  this first week I need to teach all the kids in my group plus the older kids (ages 11-13) because the other teacher (aka: my dad) decided to agree to teach and then run off to the USA for the first week of school.

So today I had two hours of teaching English with a completely mixed group. I had planned to go over names and hobbies and then go through basics like numbers and colors. Actually, I was hoping I wouldn't even need to get to colors today. But- kids get bored more quickly than I thought, and the four older kids already knew all those basics. So they were probably bored out of their minds, but I couldn't get to anything harder because the younger kids would end up totally lost. And because I had nothing planned.

Not a complete disaster, but it's the kind of thing that I wish would just stay inside of books instead of coming to bother me in the real world.

Isn't this kid cute? Link

Oh, and the debate in my Bible class tomorrow... yeah, I'm dreading it. I hate debates with a passion, especially debates about why dating is better than courtship. (I'm telling you, there's something wrong with my school!)

I guess that's all for now. I'm praying that next time I write I will be able to tell you about something happening inside the pages of the Shadow Whispers, since I'm starting to get sick of the world outside of it...

September 11, 2013

How to Think Like a Boy

I know what you're thinking. "What is wrong with this girl, and why does she care how guys think?"

The answer, of course, brings you back into the pages and away from the girl that sometimes exists on the other side. You see, the Whisperers (all nine of them) each tell a chapter of the story at a time. And four of those Whisperers just so happen to be guys. The result: I need to figure out how guys think in order to write accurate chapters to represent them. Now it makes sense, right?

The first step to this I already explained in a previous post. Weapons. I went through a very tedious stage of discovering everything I could about weapons in order to learn how to write about them. I think I'm doing pretty well so far, though of course I haven't finished that stage of editing.

But I know there's more to guys than just weapons. Obviously. And only a percentage of guys even care about the weapons side.

So I asked my friend to describe his sister- everything he said was visual, which I kind of expected. Visual, and not very detailed. I may have to lower the writing style a bit for some of the guys...

I asked another friend to describe the room he was standing in. The first thing he mentioned was the bench he was touching, and the atmosphere of the room. He continued with things you can touch, too, like the benches and the walls.

And I asked a third friend to describe one of the other boys in class. The first things he mentioned were all achievement based. I also had expected that because of conversations about the differences between girls and guys in my Dating, Marriage and Family class. (Yeah, we have a dating class at my school. What?!! There are strange classes in Christian schools.)

So.... what I'm left with is the impression that guys are very visually stimulated. And rely heavily on achievements, especially when relating to one another, and are also more physical. Sound about right?

I hope so, because that's the turn I'm trying to make in these guy-narrated chapters. Although I am still talking to boys to try and get inside their heads, and the fourth draft has yet to be finished.

Still, the pages are progressing, and the girl on the other side is beginning to feel extremely excited about watching all the words come together so flawlessly.

September 10, 2013

When Magic Comes to Life

Have you ever read the book Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke? It's one of my all-time favorites. Well, if you haven't, you definitely should as soon as possible.

But I'll read you the back of the book anyway, to help you out:

"One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from Inkheart, and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she had only read about in books. Somehow, Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. Only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever." -Inkheart

Basically, Meggie and her father, Mo, can bring characters out of the book just by reading a story out loud. Needless to say, I fell in love with this book. I cherish the idea that a character in a book could come to life. After all, in Cornelia Funke's own words: “Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?”  

I know I certainly have, and often do with the Whisperers.
Now they are coming to life even more, and I can almost hear them Whispering to me, telling me to hurry up and get their book written. I want to obey; I really do. And I want so much to be able to finish and send it off to publishers and pray with all my might that the Whisperers can Whisper just as persistently to the publishing companies.

Maybe one day the Shadow Whispers will be all over the world being read by people. Maybe someday the words that I write will be an inspiration to another inspiring author who will in turn create his or her own novels to inspire someone else... and on down the line.

Who knows. Maybe?

I can only hope so.

September 8, 2013


And then there comes that moment.

When all of a sudden you realize that you were so busy blogging about lemon bars that you forgot to check yours. And now the dessert that prompted you to write an entire blog entry about how excited they made you is burned.

Brown lemon bars. Yum.

It's incredible how quickly your excitement can drain away. Just like that. With lemon bars that were in the oven ten minutes too long. Who knew ten minutes could do so much damage?

Lemony Treats and Romans on the Roof

What in the world could be better than eating lemon bars on the roof with a bunch of girls while diving into the book of Romans?

Okay, I guess I can think of some things that might be equally good or better. Like maybe drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows while curled up with a blanket in front of a fire on a cold snowy day.

Or maybe reading a really good book on my bed when I should be sleeping.

Or dressing up in a fancy dress and going to a tea party with my friends.

Or eating a frozen Pinguino and drinking an ice cold Coke in a glass bottle after a long day of school.

Okay, okay...

But seriously, I think the lemon bars in the oven are going to taste absolutely delicious. And we'll have ice tea or hot tea depending on the very bipolar weather. And I think more of the girls will show up this time, although the nine that came to my Bible study last week were still a good group.

What am I talking about? You ask.

Romans on the Roof, my project of the semester- a girls' group where we dig into the book of Romans and see what God does with our talk. It's a lot of discussion, some games, and of course, desserts. I've only had one so far, but I'm still extremely excited, and I think the lesson tomorrow is really great.

The whole thing makes me feel older, too. I mean, I'm leading a Bible Study. Me, myself, and I.
Plus, I get to bake delicious treats every Sunday, and it's so much fun. And while it isn't quite the same as cooking, it'll probably still be good practice for moving out of the house and taking care of myself. Baked goods are a necessity, after all.

Oh, and did I mention that I finished draft 3 yesterday? Shadow Whispers is officially on to the fourth draft, and we're almost half way done with that, too. It's going great, and I am so excited to finish it and move on to the second book. I honestly can't wait, and it's taking all my self control to not just abandon the Whisperers and move on to the Remnants.

There you go. There's what's happening, both on the pages and off.

September 7, 2013

How to Find a Quiet Place

This summer, I had the easiest time just jumping on our friend's ATV and riding off into the forest. I would stop at a quiet, shady clearing, hop off the ATV, and get out my laptop for an hour or two (or maybe three) of writing.

Let me tell you. That was fantastic. There's no better way to get inspired than by sitting in the grass leaning against a pine tree that smells like vanilla with the sound of wind and birds and creation echoing all around you. The only reason I ever went back to the house was because my computer battery has a rather short life.

However, now I'm back in Oaxaca, Mexico, and I live in the city. On the outskirts of the city, but city nonetheless. I can't just hike up a mountain to find a nice place to sit down here. I thought about going over to the "Deportivo" across the street, but a pool full of people just doesn't seem very encouraging to writing.

Usually I just sit in my room, and because I read out loud when I edit, I play the Piano Guys and Lindsey Sterling as loud as I can so that my family can't hear me talking to myself.

However, everyone from my dad's work is coming over for a board meeting, and I don't think they would like to have my music blaring in the background. I could sit on the roof,  but I think they would still hear that.

Basically, I'm at a loss. I am convinced that I need to go back and work on Shadow Whispers this weekend. I think I'll just have to force myself to read in my head and listen to music on earphones. It's such a pain, though- and I really meant to read the whole thing out loud.

(I hope you weren't expecting some advice on how to find a quiet place of your own. I wish I could help, but, as you see, I'm just as lost as anyone when it comes to getting away from all the distractions of life. I need to build myself a sound proof room sometime!)

September 5, 2013

Regarding Dreams

I believe that in many ways dreams are a necessary part of our life. We cannot move forward if we have no goal, no final destination. What is a journey without an end?

I believe that my unseen author has already paved a perfect path for me. My journey has already been traveled by him. However, I myself have yet to walk the road, or read the book. I'm stuck in this one little section of the road with my head spinning in circle as I try to figure out where I came from and where I am going.

I look ahead to the dreams that I know will carry me through. As I mentioned in my last post, the dream of going to England is one step closer to being fulfilled. Now all I need to do is gain the patience I need to wait until the time comes when I can leave.

A second dream is becoming a published author, something that I have not quite gotten a hold of yet. So, yeah, I submitted a few poems to an online poetry magazine which I have not yet heard back from. But other than that I haven't really done anything to reach this dream. Well, other than writing a novel and editing it four times.

Okay, so maybe I was a paid author throughout my elementary years. I used to write short stories and sell them to my teachers and classmates. And what teacher would refuse to buy a short story from a cute little third grader. You've got to encourage any academic potential, you know. Besides, for a few pesos extra I would include illustrations. And I could write the stories in English or Spanish, depending on what my audience wanted. I had different prices for different lengths, and allowed classmates to preorder a story with a specific plot or character or setting. It was a good business, and a got a whole lot of candy out of the deal. Maybe that's why I'm so addicted to chocolate now. It's all because of writing.

This isn't me. And doesn't even look like me. But, you get the point.

Hm. I feel like I'm rambling now. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. Honestly, I don't know why dreams are so important, and I don't know how my cute past self selling words is relevant to anything at all. But, rambling is part of writing, isn't it?

All I'm saying is that one day all of my dreams will come true, if they haven't already. So I keep on writing, and dreaming, and combining the two through novels and poems and stories.

It is, after all, a world of words.

September 4, 2013

Preparing a Plot

Believe it or not, by plot, I'm not talking about my novel. For once, this post is not about the Whisperers, whom I have very cruelly ignored over the last few days. Instead, this post is about me.

See, the thing is, I'm a senior in high school.  (I've told you this already.) Therefore, I'm at that stage where suddenly planning is important.

When I write a novel, I never plan out the entire thing in advance. I make a few bullet points with the important events, and then the characters get to decide what happens as I write. All that really matters is having a few big events to carry the plotline.

Well, I'm at that stage of life where I need to figure out the bullet points of this up and coming book. What college should I go to? Where do I want to live? What do I want to study? It's a mess, honestly, and while I started out the summer ridiculously excited and prepared, I'm beginning to feel a little bit overwhelmed.

So, I've narrowed down my choices to a top seven or eight, and almost all of them are part of the common application, which sure makes things easier. Of course, I have an essay that I started four times and have yet to finish satisfactorily. And that's only the basic essay- each college asks for separate ones as well.

Yep. This is pretty much how I feel.
However, I ought to return to the more positive side of life.

My dream, since forever (or at least, since I watched the Chronicles of Narnia and learned about C. S. Lewis and then read Goodnight, Mr. Tom and Coming on Home, and some other England based books whose titles I cannot currently remember) has been to go to England.
Fun Fact: When I was in fifth grade (I think) I read the Chronicles of Narnia. And, since the books I read each only showed a selection of the map, I went through and drew my own complete map of Narnia using the pieces shown in each book. I am still somewhat of a Narnia fanatic and always check wardrobes and put on green or yellow rings and often stare longingly into pictures of ships. As of yet, Aslan has not opened the doors into his magical world. But he will; I'm sure of it.

After a while, I settled on the idea of attending Capernwray Bible School, part of the Torchbearers program. My parents told (I think as a joke) that if I wanted them to help pay the cost I would need to graduate a semester early so the tuition money that would otherwise go to high school could be used to pay for England. Of course, I promptly agreed and rearranged and doubled up on classes so that I could graduate in December 2013 instead of June 2014.

The arrangements all worked out, and I will be graduating at the end of this semester.

And, I got my acceptance letter to Capernwray.

It's official. Not only will I be done a whole semester early, but when I finish I'll be moving to England for three months. I can't explain how excited I am.

So, while I am certainly overwhelmed, I'm also impatient and excited and nervous and ecstatic, and yeah. You get the point. There's a lot going on in my head.

But slowly, step by step, the outline of the plot of this next story is coming together. And soon enough I'll be off on the adventure instead of planning the details.

September 3, 2013

Discovering the Details Behind the Blade

So, the newest development on Shadow Whispers?


I wanted to figure out how guys think; to be more accurate in my writings, you know? And, inevitably, the conversation became a lecture about swords. See, I asked what kind of weapon my friend would use in battle, and he immediately asked what kind of battle.

"Inside of a palace," I answered.

"So close quarters? How many people are there on my side? What about the enemies?"

After a few more questions, he decided on a falchion. Of course, I gave him a blank stare and attempted to listen as he went over the benefits of a falchion verses a rapier verses a long sword. Some of the other boys tried to challenge his choice and pointed out other weapons that could be just as efficient, but he promptly shut them down with a torrent of words that I did not understand in the least.

(For those of you who are like me and have no idea what a falchion looks like, here you go. I'll help you out so that you don't have to feel as lost as I did.)

We moved on to the next class, and just as I was preparing to walk home, he came running up with a folded piece of paper. "You looked really lost when I was telling you about the falchion, so I drew you a picture of all the weapons I might use in a close quarter fight."

Along with the picture came a two page description of the history of swords and the benefits and flaws of different swords. Needless to say, I realized that my brief mentions of "he grabbed a sword" just wouldn't cut it anymore.

And so, the new challenge begins. Weapons.

I can't even remember how many questions I've come up with to ask this friend, and he has very graciously come up with answers to all of them. In fact, he stayed up past midnight chatting over Facebook while I argued with myself over how much sword knowledge I needed to add.

Did I mention he even figured out the perfect weapon for my sorcerer? And helped me choose a name for the Steward's sword?

Basically, this incorporating weapons is extremely tedious and a lot of going back and changing what I already wrote. But, I really think it's worth it, and it's actually really exciting to learn all of these details that I never would have noticed if not for the Whisperers.

It's been really entertaining learning all of this. I even borrowed a book on swords and have been spending more time on Google. Though of course my friend is still the easiest source, and I think he's at least mostly accurate. I hope so, at least.

And, there you have it. The newest challenge, which I have accepted with my armor on, my shield at the ready, and my katzbalger lifted for attack.

September 2, 2013

The Beginning of the Sequel

I am a senior in high school. Two weeks ago, when I stepped onto school property, the fact was made official, and a mysterious author began the first few words of a new book.

I suppose the beginning books in my series aren't all that important, though of course they lead up to this new arrival. I grew up all over the place, in Colorado and Morelos and Oaxaca and some others in between. My dad works in camping, and his job is literally to play games. My mom is also a writer, that is, she tries to be one when she isn't busy with her three needy children.

Of course, my older sister, Molly, just got married and is off in college with her husband. And, to my uncontainable excitement, I'll follow her out of the nest before too long. (Although I can't imagine I'll be following her into marriage for at least another five years.)

What else should you know about this series? I wish I could say the books were happy over all, but the truth is there have been countless ups and downs. I can't complain, though, because the words haven't been all bad.

There's always the novel, Shadow Whispers, that has loomed in the back (or front) of my mind since the beginning of my junior year. I'm now beginning the fourth draft, and I can assure you the process has not been a lovely frolic through the meadow. In fact, there have been times when I want to shoot the characters for refusing to help me out, and I've had to delete more than half of the first draft throughout the editing process. It's painful taking out entire chapters- the way I imagine it must feel to have a finger chopped off.

In any case, the novel remains and continues to alternately grow and shrink with each day of editing. Sometimes the novel consumes me, and all I can do is think about the Whisperers and the Shadow and what will happen next. However, even with the novel at the forefront of my mind, I am still the author, typing and scribbling and clicking away behind the computer screen.

I am the girl behind the novel, the creator between the pages.

And this is my story.