July-Beautiful People: Author Writing Process Edition

I’m excited for another beautiful people since I missed the last few and ~voila~ this month it’s about authors so I don’t have to decide which character to do mine about. Choosing between characters is like choosing a favorite child. 

Does this also mean I’m beautiful? *hopefully crosses fingers*

Anyway. Here goes.

Introducing me, the author.

  1. How do you decide which project to work on?

Well, it is a complicated sort of decisions. First I decide based on what I should be working on (usually something I have hopes of publishing) and then go and work on something else. #procrastination

2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Honestly, it depends. My very first novel took me two years, my second one about a year and a half, my third a year, and my fourth one month (my first NaNo). I haven’t finished a novel since NaNo ’15. Short stories, on the other hand, take anywhere from thirty minutes to two years to complete.

3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Freewriting about worldbuilding or character motivations often gives me motivation to work on the actual project. Sometimes I’ll also get in the mood after watching a good movie or listening to an interesting song.

4. What time of day do you write best?

The evening. I am a night owl through and through and will do anything to avoid going to bed. 

5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Not…really. I don’t think I’ve fully developed my “writing voice”, so it fluctuates from project to project. Though I’ve really been impressed by the style of C. S. Lewis, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and Markus Zusak, so my style might borrow from theirs.

6. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I started because my friend had written a novel and it sounded like fun. I scrapped a few plots and first chapters, then found a good starting point and never really stopped. I keep writing because I think, once I become better, I’ll be able to share through my stories. I want to give people something they will enjoy and show them the things I’ve learned through the challenges my characters face.

7. What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

Research papers for school. Those are really really hard because you have to research everything and I hate research which is why I do not write historical fiction.

8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I want to write a musical soooooo bad. I don’t have any solid ideas yet, but it sounds like a lot of fun. You get to write dialogue, action, lyrics, and music. I’m just not ready yet because my music composition skills are rusty and I can’t rhyme to save my life.

I also want to write a screenplay. I feel more prepared to write a screenplay than I do to write a musical, but I just don’t have any solid ideas yet: just a few started projects that I am rather pleased with but ,sadly, very stuck in. 

9. What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

One of my two goals for this year is to publish a book.

I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I haven’t been focusing on a project in particular.

But, my other goals for this year are to complete all the NaNos, and so far I managed to complete April’s goal. So far June is a bit rocky, but I’m hoping to catch up soon.

Also, my goal is to finish at least one entry for the Five Poisoned Apples contest. I have two ideas so hopefully I will be able to complete this. 

10. Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

giphy-downsized.gif
(actual footage of me trying to create words)

So, I hope y’all liked that! 

Let me know your own answer to question #8 in the comments. That’s a really good question. I like that one. 

Until next time,

Catherine

From the Mountaintop

We call them Mountaintop Experiences.

They are the times when you go somewhere far away from your normal life and distractions and get closer to God. Often during these experiences we learn who we are, who God is, and what we should do with our lives. But, when we come down from the mountain, we forget what God told us and soon fall back into the patterns we were used to before we left.

Every year, when I go away, I experience a spiritual high of sorts. I hear God speak as I spend time with him far away from my normal life which is buzzing with distractions. But when I come home, all those lessons are forgotten and I return to my usual patterns of life. I know it is the same for most people, but that doesn’t make it any less of a disheartening occasion. I desperately want to change, but I just can’t seem to find the motivation to do so since I’m back in a familiar environment that just urges me to keep doing what I was doing.

Photo on 7-2-17 at 5.10 PM

Just last week, for the second year in a row after coming home from my experience, I remembered a quote from The Silver Chair that I think speaks to this situation. (In all honesty, the entire book speaks to the Mountaintop Experience, but I won’t quote it all here)

“Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind.” -Aslan

Don’t let the busyness of everyday life distract you from what is important: from what you were shown on the mountaintop. As Aslan also says in this chapter, “remember the Signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night.”

Don’t forget. Don’t despair. Keep trying.

This is a lesson I’m still trying to learn, and I know it’s going to be a hard time for me to try to break the old habits and turn out the better from my experiences, but this time I’m relying on God and not myself.

God bless, have a great day, and thanks for reading:)

Catherine

Two Amazing Stores I Discovered Recently

I used to love shopping, but recently I have begun to despise it because it takes too much time; time that I could be spending writing or thinking about writing or another method of procrastination.

But, over the course of the last month or so, I have been shopping a few times and I discovered two stores that I really wish I had encountered a while ago.

Just like with my previous post, Two Amazing Things I Discovered This Week, everyone is probably aware of these stores’ existence, most likely have been there a couple of times, and it’s just me who is uncultured because I never go shopping.

So the first store I discovered was Hot Topic. I had heard about it, mostly on the internet, though one friend had recommended it to me.

My sister decided to go to the mall and I came along, packing a book or two just to make sure I wasn’t bored. It must have been May 2nd because that’s when I started reading Paper Towns. She was looking for a dress. I was looking for something anything that was less than ten dollars (no luck there). The mall is just too dang expensive and I don’t understand why girls would even want to wear half the stuff I saw.

Then, as we were walking around Abercrombie and Fitch or Aeropostale or <insert clothing store name that starts with an “A”>, I happened to see Hot Topic just down the hall. I went in, passing a rack of graphic tees and tanks, the one on the front saying “Panic! At the Disco”, and fell in love.

There was Harry Potter merch in the front of the store: Hogwarts house tanks, Fantastic Beasts necklaces, mugs, pants, and other things. Then I soon found the Doctor Who section, and in the very back there were the band tees. I couldn’t decide which Twenty One Pilots shirt I preferred (there were maybe five styles). The interior was dark and small and they played “Death of a Bachelor”, among other songs that you never hear on the radio. I eventually had to leave, but I returned and finally decided on and bought a TØP shirt.

The second store I discovered was Barnes and Noble. I went there on Mother’s Day with a friend. I absolutely loved walking in and seeing all the books. I know a lot of people talk about smelling books, but I honestly don’t think that books have a smell. Sorry for being a bad bookworm

I wanted to sit there all day and just read all the books. Maybe buy one or two. In the end I bought a book, Made You Up, because I decided to indulge myself instead of doing the usual two hours of research and finding references before I make a purchase. I finally read it two days ago. It was pretty good and from what I understand is a good representation of schizophrenia, not to mention that the cover is beautiful. I did write a review on it, but it’s not all that great because I only spent fifteen minutes on it before I had to leave for work. And….just a little thing that made me happy….on the receipt, they had a list of books that you might like if you enjoyed the book you bought. I’m hanging onto it with the plans of eventually checking out those other books.

And the bags have the first lines of classic novels and beautiful black and white illustrations.

So, now I shall end this post saying that I am no longer fully uncultured and that I shall look forward to going shopping again at these stores.

I AM NO LONGER FULLY UNCULTURED AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SHOPPING AGAIN

Thank you for reading, wonderful person.

Let me know if there’s another fandom or bookish store that I should check out.

See you later,

Catherine

 

For Your Health

If you’re human, you’ve probably doubted yourself before. You’ve stood in front of the mirror, calling yourself ugly, wondering how anyone could possibly love you. You’ve hid from your friends, doubting if they really care about you like how you care about them. Repetitive thoughts assail you, reminding you that you think you’re worthless, ugly, or unloved.

I can’t remember the statistics, but the amount of people suffering from depression is crazy, and depression is only one of the few mental afflictions out there.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I have compiled a list of a few things that I have found helpful in keeping myself mentally healthy (with a little bit of physical health thrown in, even as much as I’d like to deny it).

Disclaimer: I am no expert. There. That’s all you need to know.

So, here is the list:

  1. Sleep. Yes, this is the best thing for you. If you are stressing about something, I recommend going to bed early and don’t worry about it until the morning.
  2. Trust your friends. Doubting what they tell you, especially their compliments, really hurts you by causing you to learn to doubt yourself and everyone around you in the process.
  3. Eat breakfast. it’s good for you. I don’t care what that random relative/health fanatic told you. They lied.
  4. If you’re going out someplace and are socially anxious like me, wear something you feel completely comfortable in. Sure that one outfit might look super cute, but if it makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s best to stick with t-shirt and jeans (or whatever else you always wear).
  5. Don’t diet or starve yourself. First off, it makes you gain weight because when you eat again your body stores it away as fat in case of another period of not eating, and second off ‘die’ is in the word ‘diet’. If you really want to lose weight, exercise is the best route.
  6. Smile. It has been scientifically proven that smiling makes you feel happier, and it also makes everyone else who sees you feel a little more happy.
  7. Sarcasm. This is a personal revelation so I don’t know if others can relate, but I think sarcasm is the sixth love language. I only use it when I feel comfortable with the person I’m talking to, so when someone uses sarcasm on me, I feel some sort of platonic connection.
  8. Don’t procrastinate (preaching to the choir, I know. I know). Instead, do whatever you’re supposed to do and give yourself little breaks to do your procrastinating activities, whether it be pinterest or cookies. Or both 🙂
  9. Whenever you see your reflection in the mirror, make sure to tell yourself how pretty you are. Sure, a lot of us would like to have brains over beauty, but it doesn’t hurt to have both and it starts with you feeling comfortable in your own skin.
  10. Extrovert. Go out with your friends. Talk to that one person at work or church you really want to get to know better. (this is me steeling my nerves. I’ve been wanting to talk to this person for at least two years now…)
  11. Keep a diary. When you get angry or frustrated with other people it helps you if you write about it, therefore basically having the opportunity to vent but not doing it to that person’s face or involving a friend in your discord.
  12. Don’t get worked up over your crush. There are better things to devote your time and mental energy to. Fries before guys. Cake before potential dance partners (yes. I danced with a cake at prom)
  13. Don’t be ashamed about how many donuts you can eat or how many slices of pizza you can devour in one sitting. Food is great and people who don’t eat it are on a one way track to starvation and depression.
  14. Read instead of spending time on social media.
  15. Stay hydrated. yes. this is one of those physical health tips, but seeing as how your mind and body are connected, it helps, especially if you’re often exhausted and don’t feel like doing anything.
  16. Last but not least, get closer to God. Even if you only have time to pray before you go to bed, do it. You may have a lot of friends, but God is the best friend you can possibly have, and he’s always there for you, no matter how long you ignore him and no matter how many other people he has to talk to as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope there was something in there that can help you 🙂

Also, as an important side note, you should probably seek out a professional if you are struggling with mental health.

Feel free to share some mental health tips of your own in the comments! I would love to see them 🙂

I Promise I Shall Someday Come to a Decision (by Fall Out Boy)

Hey everyone! My imaginary friend started a blog. He hasn’t really written anything yet, but I promise it’ll be great!

Life, the Universe, and Apple Pie

/\ There. Go follow him.

No pressure 🙂

Serial Story Update (since I know you’re all so excited):

I am in the middle of a meeting with the muses and soon we shall be decided about a topic. Currently the choices are between:

1. One of the books in my fantasy series: Forest of Secrets

2. My camp nano july project from last year, Timely Gifts

3. Something completely made up just for you guys 🙂

Anyway, thanks for reading and I promise I’ll be back soon with a longer and more important post.

Ciao for now

Catherine

Farewell to School

Picture

Farewell school.

You have been a burden pleasure.

With you I have finished my childhood, and now I must move on in life. I will look back on you in fondness as the days when I could just sit back and imagine what it was like to grow up, when I would complain about having to do schoolwork and wonder why anyone would even want to go to college, but this is the end. I’m not coming back. I’m saying goodbye.

Farewell school.

I won’t miss all the hours spent crying over algebra or the forced literature guides or the callus on my ring finger from having handwritten so many three-point paragraphs. I won’t miss required reading for history which gave me an intense dislike for reading for a very long time.

Farewell school.

I will miss the times exploring my interests, when I would draw people or dragons and turn them in as schoolwork, when I would write novels for NaNoWriMo and count that as english even though the finished products were absolute traitors to grammar. I will miss the freedom of homeschooling.

Farewell school.

I feel like my love of learning came too late, and sometimes I wish I could do it all again just so I could actually appreciate everything my mother tried to teach me as an obstinate fifth grader. I would appreciate the literature guides, the essays, and the history lessons. Gosh, I’d probably even enjoy math (though there is no assurance that I wouldn’t cry again).

Farewell school.

Despite these sentiments, I am glad to say I am finished. Hindsight is twenty/twenty, but the road of life only goes straight forward. Here is where we go separate ways, you to some other child who will probably hate you until it is time for you to go, and me to my future; wherever that leads.

But know this:

If it wasn’t for you, I never would have made it this far.

So, thank you.

and farewell.


 

 

The Book Tag

I was tagged by Ashley over at Inklings Press (once again I kinda stole it instead of actually being nominated…).

Rules
You must be honest.
You must answer all the questions.
You must tag at least 4 people.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Technically, I have had Fox in Socks for longer, but I’m not counting it on account of not being a novel. Johnny Tremain was a birthday present to me when I was nine or ten, and has been one of my favorites ever since. There’s even a crease in the cover from where I accidentally sat on it. Let’s just say that there were a lot of emotion when that happened…

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current Read: Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. It’s a reread, and I am realising just how much I miss The Tales of Goldstone Wood series. Eleven year old Leo is the best:)

Last Read: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. My friend basically forced me to read it, and I liked it as much as I was expecting too. It wasn’t an instant favorite, but I didn’t regret any of my time.

Next Read: Les Mis. Maybe. But seeing as how I don’t plan any further than 10 hours in my future without having a nervous breakdown, this is not a definite. And seeing as how it has taken me nine months to get to 31%, we might be here for a while before I finish it.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

My cousins loved it and I read it out of curiosity. It was my first Sci-fi novel, and I hated it. Ender is a terrible person, and so is basically everyone else in the book. If I were to reread it, I might like it more and would no longer hate it because of the Sci-fi element, but I don’t think anything can force me to like any of the characters.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’dell.

I tried, folks. I tried. I’ve attempted at least five times, even got halfway once, but I don’t think it will ever happen.

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

Retirement? Seeing as how I don’t believe in this thing called planning, this is an irrelevant question. However, as soon as I’m eighteen, I will probably start reading the books in the Adult section at the library. I’m currently cautious around that section because I’m scared some adult is going to card me or something. Be proud of me, Adult family members who are concerned for my well-being: You will find me in the library, not in the tobacco store, exercising my right as an adult this November.

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I used to have a bad habit of reading the last page, but I have recently broken it. I will only know what happens later in the book now if I accidentally flip to the wrong page or I accidentally stumble across someone’s review that isn’t labeled for spoilers but should be.

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I like them! I very rarely ever read everything in the acknowledgement seeing as how they are full of names I don’t know and tons of inside jokes, but I definitely appreciate the author putting them in there. I want to be in an acknowledgement someday. I want to write an acknowledgement someday. #writergoals

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

This is a very hard question. I like a lot of fictional characters, but wouldn’t necessarily want to become them… Maybe I’d switch with a Hufflepuff in Harry Potter (not Cedric Diggory though) or some character in Tales of Goldstone Wood.

NO.

I got it.

I”ll be Owen from The Secret Series. He’s my favorite character, and I would love to have his skills 🙂

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

I envy people that can basically hide memories inside of books, but I just can’t. I tend to remember what I was writing during a specific time of my life. I can reread one of my old manuscripts and give a patchy description of what was going on in my life at the time. I can’t do the same with books.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I’m too young to remember this, but once I tore a library book to shreds so after paying our fine, our family got to keep it, so now there’s a scotch-taped picture book version of The Little Red Hen on our bookshelf.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Last year I gave away my Lord of the Rings piano book (it counts as a book, right?) to my previous crush’s little brother. I’m pretty certain I just let him borrow it, but I can’t remember how I worded it (so he might just keep it forever). The reason I let him have it was because he loves playing piano and Lord of the Rings, and he’s a special person because he has a cool name.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

First place goes to my Bible. Second place goes to Johnny Tremain. I’m certain I brought that book everywhere. Though in more recent times, Les Mis wins, even though it’s on my kindle and where it goes, fifteen other books come as well, but I have definitely read it in the most places: at my driver’s test, at my grandparent’s house, at my aunts house, at co-op, at home…

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Well, seeing as how I’m still in highschool…I only really hated reading The Knight of the White Cross, and I’m fairly certain I will still hate it in two years time. It was terrible.

14. Used or brand new?

Brand New, though more often than not, I will get used books because they’re cheaper.

And physical books are way better than ebooks.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope. Have you?

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

The Maze Runner, even though I actually haven’t finished reading the book, but I’ve gotten far enough to form an opinion.

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Every book in the Redwall series.

Who reads cookbooks?

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My friends, I guess, though one recommended Divergent and I regret ever reading that…

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Doctor Who Psychology. It’s a bunch of Essays. It’s non-fiction. I loved it.


Thanks for making it this far guys!

I tag these people(sorry if you’ve done this before. I didn’t bother to check):

  • Rubix
  • Victoria
  • Linda
  • Anyone who wants to do this! Even if you don’t have a blog, you can write your answers to the questions in the comments. I look forward to hearing your responses!

 

Tigerzzz Studios

This month, Tigerzzz Studios turns two!

Most of you have no idea what Tigerzzz Studios is, but that’s okay. I am here to edjubacate you.Tigerzzz Studio Blog.jpg

Around two years ago, I discovered (or at least came to terms with) my horrible fashion sense when I walked around with a clip on tie attached to my Easter dress. I don’t remember exactly how it went, but someone (quite possibly myself) mentioned that I should start a fashion show called “Coordinating with Catherine”. A little while later, sometime in April, we filmed our first episode using my mom’s eight year old digital camera and Window’s Movie Maker. Take a moment and shudder at the horrible quality we were working in then.

*shudders*.

Anyway….

So we thought of what to call our newly formed movie studio. It took us a while, but in a stroke of genius, we decided to rearrange the letters of our last name. Anagrams are great things so we discovered that “Regitz” spelled backwards is “ztiger”. Switching the “z” to the end gave us “Tigerz”, and since we decided to make our emblem a sleeping tiger, we added two more “Z”s on the end. So that is how Tigerzzz Studios began. I drew the tiger icon on our marker board, and to this day, I believe, it still has not been erased. However, there is a large chance that I am wrong. I’m just too lazy to go downstairs to check at the moment.

I decided to do one “Coordinating With Catherine” a month. We used to send the videos in an email to everyone we knew, but the third episode was too long to upload to an email, so we convinced our mom to let us get a YouTube channel. So we’ve had our YouTube since July of 2015.

Over these years we have created many movies. Some were incredibly stupid *ahem* banana split *cough cough*. Some were very popular (almost two hundred views on a few of them), and some were not. However, the point is that we had a lot of fun making them.

In an effort of self promoting Just for fun, I will give you a list of my favorite videos made by me, or my sister (or sometimes by both of us):

Misson Unlikely is probably my favorite.

This is a very useful guide for those of you who have brothers addicted to the Xbox.

And this is a playlist of all the Jolly Olly videos. I have no idea which is my favorite 🙂

The Get Better Well Hospital. I had nothing to do with the creation of this one and I nearly burst a gut laughing when I first watched it.

Enjoy watching! (though you don’t have to if you don’t want to)

Let me know which video is your favorite, especially if it didn’t make my list!

Have a wonderful day!

Catherine

“Heartless” Word Crawl

Goldstone wood word crawl
Yes. I drew that picture. Yes. I am proud of it.

In preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote a word craw to the story of “Heartless” by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and I thought I’d share it all with you guys in the case that you’re a fan of the book and need something to help with motivation while you crank out however many words your project is this session.

Apologies, for it is a bit long, and do not read further if you have not finished this book, because there are spoilers ahead.


You and your brother go down to the Old Bridge nearly every day. Send your brother on a quest to find the Flowing Gold of Rudiobus. Sprint for ten minutes as he searches for the gold, giving you time to work on your poetry.

You decide you want to cross the bridge. Write 100 words before you see something golden on the other bank of the stream.

It’s a blind cat! Word war for five minutes as you and your brother argue over what to do with it.

Five years later, you are a princess of an age to be courted and married. Write 500 words as you wait for potential suitors to come calling.

They don’t seem to be anywhere in sight, so Nurse sends you off to your history lesson. Write for 20 minutes as you wait for the history lecture to be over.

Suddenly, you look out the window and what is it but the 12 year market? Attempt a 50 headed hydra as you race to the courtyard to escape your studies.

The market is amazing! There are extraordinary vendors selling wares out of this world. You try to see everything there is to see, but there is so little time! Choose something to observe closely:

The Unicorn Fry: write the last three digits of your word count

Malgril’s silver statues: sprint to the nearest thousand

The fabrics of the feather haired woman: finish the scene you are writing

Your brother tries on a pair of seven-league boots. Needless to say, one moment he’s there, another he’s gone. Write 200 words while sir Oeric goes off to find him.

You get bored after a few minutes, so you decide to explore some more. You meet a mysterious goblin who offers to show you your fortune. Write for 10 minutes as you enter the tent.

Torkom, the fortune teller, hands you a concave shield, a dragon’s scale, and urges you to look into it. Sprint to 500 words as you see terrible things.

Prince Aethelbald pulls you away from the fortune teller and you instantly forget everything you saw. Write for 15 minutes as you curse the red blotches that appear in abundance across your nose as you voice your disapproval to this remarkably unnoticeable man.

Next thing you know, the Prince of Farthestshore is coming to dinner. Write 300 words while you complain about him to your Nurse.

Your dress barely leaves you any room to breathe. Sprint to 100 words as you try to get comfortable amongst your many skirts and bothersome hair plumes.

Aethelbald comes to dinner and, before soup is served, proposes to you. Attempt a 50 headed hydra as you refuse his proposal of marriage, feeling more embarrassed by the minute.

You have a terrible dream that night. Write for ten minutes as you try to remember what happened in it.

Write to the nearest thousand as you embroider your best bean-men onto the tapestry of The Bane of Corrilond.

Give Monster a bath. Word War for 20 minutes as you fight a battle against your cat. If you lose: Write 100 words as you try to bandage the cut Monster leaves on your nose.

Prince Gervais has arrived to pay his respects! Sprint to 500 words as you quickly stuff yourself into your best dress.

Write for ten minutes as you listen to Gervais brag about his time hunting dragons.

You go for an early morning walk in the garden. Who comes and sings you a romantic song but Prince Gervais himself? Write as fast as you can for five minutes as your heart increases its pace.

Eanrin does some surreptitious research for his prince. Write 100 words as Felix eavesdrops on this conversation.

Your heart is crushed when Gervais is forced to leave because of his gambling habits. Write for 10 minutes as you blame it all on Aethelbald.

Eanrin gives Aethelbald some love advice. Sprint to 200 words as Aethelbald considers a career in mousing.

Summer begins and you go for a walk. Word war for 10 minutes as you watch the guards keep a Jester from entering the courtyard.

You follow the path into the woods and come to the old bridge. Write 300 words as you write a poem to the song of the thrush.

Aethelbald comes from the other side of the creek. Write for 5 minutes as he converses with you about your poetry.

As you’re walking home, a figure falls from the top of the wall right on top of you. Write 3% of your word count as you meet Leonard the jester.

Leonard performs for you and your family. Write 300 words as you are entertained.

Aethelbald lets you know he is leaving. Sprint to 100 words as you give him a piece of your mind.

The news comes of your newest suitor. The Duke of Shippening. He arrives five days later. Write the last three numbers of your word count as Leonard sings a song mocking the Duke.

Leonard reveals himself as Prince Lionheart of Southlands. Sprint to 500 words as he bids you farewell and you give him your heart.

Word war for 15 minutes as you and your father have a conversation about two completely different people.

Leonard-Lionheart has been gone for a long time and every day you long for his return. You take a trip down to the old bridge and there on the far side of the bridge is the Dragon. Write furiously for 10 minutes before he forces you to invite him over for dinner.

You are now a prisoner inside your own home. Everything is grey and covered in ash. Write 100 words as you bemoan your fate.

The Duke of Shippening comes and asks the Dragon for you on the grounds of a promise. Sprint to 200 words as you anxiously listen to their conversation.

The Dragon tells you that Leonard forgot all about you and is now settling down with his childhood friend. Write for 10 minutes as you insist it isn’t true.

Felix, on the run from the armies of the Duke, is attacked by a dragon. Attempt a 50 headed hydra as he fights back. If you fail: Write 200 words as Aethelbald fights off the dragon.

The Dragon speaks to you. You come to him one day and he gives you a kiss. Sprint to the nearest thousand as you are changed into a dragon.

Roll a die and write 100 times what you roll. You fly through many cities, burning.

In a town, you see Prince Gervais. He does not recognize you. Word war for 10 minutes as you burn once again.

Felix is safe in the Prince’s Haven in the care of Dame Imraldera. Take a 10 minute break as he recuperates.

You come to Southlands and a Veiled girl comes to you. Write 300 words as you accept her help.

You see Leonard standing next to his bride-to-be. He sees you in the crowd. Write for 10 minutes as you wait for him to come to you.

You call him a coward for not having killed the dragon and burn once again. Sprint to 200 as you flee.

Flying across the desert, you soon come to the home of dragons. A yellow-eyed boy takes you under his wing and gives you a tour. Write for 20 minutes.

Aethelbald comes to Lionheart for help. Write 120 words, 10 for each man who Lionheart sent.

Aethelbald is captured by the dragons. Sprint for 15 minutes as you listen to Diarmid’s tale.

Attempt a 50 headed hydra as you steal the key to Aethelbald’s cage from the Bane of Corriond. If you fail, the key falls out of your hand and sprint to 400 words as you pick it up before she can see it.

Felix is determined to leave the Haven. Write 300 words as Imraldera tries to keep him back.

Write for 20 minutes as Aethelbald convinces you to come with him.

Diarmid finds you escaping. Word war for 10 minutes as you fight.

You fly away, and wake up on a beach. Write for 30 minutes as you have a conversation with someone you cannot see.

Aethelbald offers to change you back from a dragon, and you accept. Write 200 words as his sword pierces your chest and you lose your fire.

The dragon begins looting your father’s storehouses. Roll a die and try to write 200 words in that number of minutes.

Aethelbald gives you his heart and you free your father and brother from the Dragon. Sprint to 300 words. Aethelbald goes to fight the dragon.

In the form of a thrush, Aethelbald enters the Dragon’s mouth and in man form stabs his sword into the dragon’s brain, killing him. Write for 10 minutes to release the tension you felt throughout the battle.

You and Aethelbald get engaged. Write 500 words in 15 minutes as you plan your wedding. If you fail, write 100 words while Felix is stuffed into the latest Parumvir fashion.

Your wedding is held by the sea, and you begin to see the faeries all around you. Sprint to 200 words as you look at them, then have a well earned rest, as Aethelbald takes you to his country.


Have fun at camp!

See ya ’round!

Catherine

Shadows of the Hersweald: Book Review

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Welcome to the launch of Shadows of the Hersweald, the third novella in the Legends of Light series! If you enjoy Christian fantasy and fairy tale retellings, you’ll want to check out this Hansel and Gretel novella.


Review

I do not think I could recommend this book enough! Shadows of the Hersweald wowed me with nearly everything from the writing to the characters and themes woven through it. I love fantasy and fairy-tale retellings, so naturally this is the kind of story I would read, but it also has elements of allegory woven throughout (which I usually don’t like) but it was brilliantly handled in this story and I did not find the allegorical parts too overbearing or preachy.

I don’t know if I’ve said it yet, but I love Hope’s writing. Every word throughout this tale is important. Sentences flow together seamlessly to make a quick and easy read that isn’t lacking in vocabulary or stylistic techniques. Hope has a few writing quirks that I’ve begun to pick up on after reading most of her works, such as certain phrases she uses or unique sentence structures. It’s not often that I’m able to find the author’s fingerprint in a book so easily, so that definitely made the writing more special, at least to me.

In this story, Haydn is the main character and he is intent on rejecting the Prince’s pardon. He thinks some people are not deserving of mercy, and that people need to be punished for what they’ve done. He’s now one of the few characters to receive the honor of joining my list known as “Main Characters Whom I Actually Like”. He is an interesting character in the fact that he is not perfect, he is probably suffering from PTSD, and…well, don’t let me spoil things for you ;). Even the secondary characters–whether it be Gorawen, Traveon, or their parents–are detailed, original, and interesting in their own way with hidden motives and differing personalities.

As I began this book, I began asking questions. Why is Haydn against the pardon? Why does he think he doesn’t deserve mercy? Why doesn’t he think others deserve it? Most of my questions regarding Haydn and the central theme of the book were answered by the end of the tale, leaving me satisfied in that area (although I would like to know more about what happens to the characters in the future). The advertised theme for this book is peace, and this is woven through the story in a subtle way, just like the storyline of Hansel and Gretel and the allegorical plot points. However, I found that redemption was a more obvious theme, although the two go hand in hand in a way.

There were very few things I did not like about this book, and one of them was the fact that it was too short. There was no language, and barely any romance, although there definitely is violence. The only thing that could be considered inappropriate was a comment that someone made after finding Haydn and Gorawen alone in the woods, and it was very subtle.

So, if you like fairy tale rewritings with a dash of allegory and Christian themes, you will definitely enjoy this book. And even if you don’t enjoy reading what I just listed, you could still give it a try. And really, what’s not tempting about the cover? You know we all judge books by their covers to some extent…

In summary: Get this book! It’s definitely worth it!

Have a great day, and don’t forget to follow the blog tour! (links below) 🙂


Shadows of the Hersweald CoverThey would have to come that afternoon. Haydn glared at the rutted road twisted away from the gate beneath him, slithering into the shadows of the Harsweald. And what was the flaming idea behind leaving him in charge? Tregaron in the hands of a criminal… that would put them all in the good graces of the province governor, no questions asked.

A battered soldier from a defeated army, Haydn knows there is only one end to the arrival of the Prince’s governor. Except he hasn’t counted on the Prince himself. Or the pardon which his recent foe has declared to acquit all those who fought against him.

A pardon Haydn detests.

A pardon that refuses to punish the rebels now threatening his own village. And his sister.

Guilt-ridden from his own actions during the war, Haydn knows there are others who have no conscience at all. Others who are using the freedom of the pardon to forward their own desperate schemes.

With enemies closing in on all sides, a pardon that refuses punishment, and nightmares of murder and fire haunting his every thought, will Haydn recognize the truth or will his fear condemn everything he loves to destruction?

Book trailer

Although the history of Aslaria and the conflict between the Prince and the rebel, Tauscher, flow chronologically through the series, each novella in the Legends of Light series is a stand-alone story. Each novella focuses on one of the nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit while twisting fairy tales in a clean, exciting, and inspiring manner.

Buy now on Kindle, iTunes, and Smashwords

Add on Goodreads

About the Author:

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Hope Ann is a Christian authoress who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She was homeschooled and now helps teach several of her eight younger siblings.

She has been writing for over five years and has so many story ideas that she doubts she will ever stop. Her favorite genre to write is high fantasy with a touch of the allegorical. A close second is futuristic suspense. Her goal is to not only entertain with her stories but to provide inspirational fiction for young adults.

Predictably, she loves reading fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, and futuristic suspense. Her favorite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Frank Peretti, Mark Twain, and Serena Chase.

Her hobbies include photography, movie making, knitting, tree climbing, writing e-mails to friends, listening to Celtic music, and collecting shiny trinkets for story inspiration. You can visit Hope’s blog at authorhopeann.com, or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.

Shadows of the Hersweald Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 27

Brie Donning – Review, sneak peak

Erudessa Aranduriel – Interview, quotes

Tuesday, March 28

Catherine Regitz (me!)– Book review

Raechel – Quotes

S. F. – Review, interview, quotes

Wednesday, March 29

Audrey Caylin – sneak peek

Ivy Rose – Quotes

Thursday, March 30

Marrok Macintyre – Interview

Rebekah – sneak peek

Friday, March 31

Elle – Review, interview

Hannah Whatley – Review, interview, quotes

Saturday, April 1

Sarah – Review, interview, sneak peek

Wysteria Campion – Review, interview, quotes

Rebeca Morgan – Interview, quotes