Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Favorite Literary Friendships

So a while (quite a long while) back, I talked about my favorite fictional romances.  And that’s fine; though maybe a little ridiculous, tbh.  But not all great friendships in stories are romances.  So today I’m going to talk about some of my favorite friendships in literature.  (No shipping allowed!)

Marcus and Esca from The Eagle of the Ninth
 
 

This has always been one of my favorite historical fiction books ever.  The movie only made everything better, in my opinion.  (The Return of the Eagle is one of the best soundtrack pieces ever!!)  These guys go through some pretty tough stuff together, but they push aside their differences and slowly learn to trust and help each other.  (The movie displays this in a more exciting way.)

The Wingfeathers from The Wingfeather Saga
 
 

I love them all so much.  Janner, Kalmar, Leeli...  I mean, they annoy each other and yell at each other and then fight back to back and it’s just adorable.  Being the Eldest and Supreme Sibling of the family myself, I particularly love Janner’s storyline, and how he learns to care for his younger siblings and sacrifice himself for them.

Shad and Leith from The Blades of Acktar
 
 

I thought they would try to see who was the coolest.  I thought they would fight each other.  I thought they would hate each other.  But…they didn’t.  They just...accepted each other.  Became friends.  Helped each other out.  And I love it.

Vanyar and Jewel from Heritage of Kings
 
 

Jewel's a Princess, with elegance, good manners, and everything someone with royal blood should be.  Vanyar's a half-breed.  She's lived her own since she was eight, and knows nothing about etiquette whatsoever.  You think they would have a hard time getting along, yet they practically adopt each other.  Many years later, after they've gone on their separate paths, they continue to write and visit each other, and it's so adorable to watch them together, because they're so different, and yet really enjoy each other's company.

Walter and Ashley from Dragons in our Midst
 
 

Walter himself was a particularly memorable part of my childhood.  His humor (and the voice of the actor who played him in the audio version) stuck with me for many years.  But I loved the bits where he was with Ashley...those two were epic.
 
"Supposedly you came along to protect me.  Don't you know what chivalry means?"
 
Walter lowered his head.  "Sure.  I know what it means."  He slowly lifted his eyes and extended his half-eaten Moonpie.  "Want a bit of this?"

That will forever be one of my favorite lines.  Ever.  (I haven't read any other books outside of the four in the Raising Dragons series...so maybe these two eventually get married??  I dunno.  But anyway...)
 
Anakin and Obi-Wan from The Revenge of the Sith
 
 
 
So we all know Anakin's story.  But the first 15 or so minutes in this movie (or book) are just the best of the whole Star Wars saga.  We get to see Anakin and Obi-Wan working together, as old friends, on a mission.  And the way they work with each other, pass banter, and trust each other is just really enjoyable to see.  If only it could have stayed that way...
 
Tintin and Captain Haddock from The Adventures of Tintin
 
 
 
Ever since my Dad read aloud these comic to me, when I was just a wee lass, I've loved seeing Tintin and Captain Haddock solve mysteries and go on adventures together.  They are just so much fun!!
 
Anyone else read these books?  Agree with me?  Fight me?  Enjoy my red cover theme??  :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Wolf Prince Cover Reveal

Hey y'all!  I've got some exciting news for ya today!  (Okay, an exciting cover.)  Claire Banschbach is preparing for her next publishing adventure, and today we get to see the cover for her next book, The Wold Prince.
 
I have read Claire's two books, The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton, and honestly, I fell in love with both books and would highly recommend them.
 
So without further ado...THE COVER!!!
 

One prince. Two brothers. Three companions to prevent a sorcerer from destroying the faeries.
 
Prince Killian has always known he’s different. It’d be impossible to miss the whispers of an age-old family curse, to ignore the call of the wolves on his birthnight and the barely-veiled hostility from his people. His family insists there’s no curse. If only they were right.
 
When an evil sorcerer bent on destroying the faeries turns Killian into a wolf to use in his diabolical spell, Killian must rely on the help of his playboy brother, Lars, and Rose, an aspiring ranger they meet on the road, to escape the sorcerer and find the faeries who can turn him human again.
 
There’s only one problem. Faeries haven’t been seen in over 50 years.
 
Together Killian and his companions must overcome their differences and prejudices to defeat malevolent creatures along the road, evade the sorcerer and his minions, and find the faeries before the sorcerer can kill them all.
 
Doesn't that sound rather interesting?  I'm not big on fairies and magic and sorcerers, to be completely honest.  But I enjoyed Claire's other books...
 
The Wolf Prince is to be released on August 21st!!!
 
Claire M. Banschbach is a native West Texan. She discovered a deep and abiding love for fantasy and science fiction at a young age, prompting her to begin exploring worlds armed only with an overactive imagination and a pen. She's an overall dork, pizza addict, and fangirl. She enjoys meshing stories of family and faith with healthy doses of action and adventure. She talks to fictional characters more than she should while trying to find time for all their stories.

She currently resides in Arlington, TX where she works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist.
 
Facebook – Claire M. Banschbach
Twitter/Instagram - @cmbanschbach
 

Goodreads link for The Wolf Prince
 
And there's more!!!  You can be entered into a giveaway for an ARC ebook copy of The Wolf Prince if you share a post on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).  Just tag Claire (@cmbanschbach) in order for her to see it and enter you!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

July Wrap-Up

This month seemed to fly by.  Mostly because of Camp NaNo, but still...

Camp NaNoWriMo

I was in the OotP Camp Cabin, hosted by Sarah.  OotP members Evan, Arreth, and Ella took part, and we also had Brooklyne as a guest.  We all had a lovely time, and got a lot of editing and drafting done.  Not to mention we all reached our goals!!

Camp Goal:  Reach 13 hours  Complete!
Personal Goal:  Edit the entirety of Words of Gold  So I got very close to this, but just couldn’t quite make it. I have three and half scenes left, so I will easily finish by the end of the week, at least.

I managed to get my time goal quite easily.  I probably should have set my goal higher, but I had the same goal in April, and barely managed it with 15 hours total.

Lesson Learned:  Buckle down and do it.  I piddled around at the start of the edits, whining that I didn't know what to do.  But once I started reading the scene, correcting things, adding things, changing things...then stuff got done!

GTW 100-4-100

This was my first time taking part in one, and I really enjoyed it!!  I had a bit of a mix-up because I went on vacation and while I was able to write every day during that time, I neglected to log my word count...so then I had to figure out what was written on which day and that was kind of a mess!

Lesson Learned:  Take the extra two minutes to get your bullet journal and a pen and write in the word count.  Seriously.  Just do it.

Reading

Despite spending a lot of time writing, I managed to get some reading done, so I'm quite proud of myself.  I'm well on my way to my 50 book goal for the year!  I have the yearly church conference I go to in August, so I should get even more reading done on the drive there and back.

Lesson Learned:  Don't start reading ten minutes before lights out.  You will end up reading waaaaaaay past your bedtime.

General Life

I wish I could have gone to Realm Makers, but it was fun to hear everyone's stories.  And perhaps I'll be able to go next year!

Chickens are happy.

The rooster Toothless.

The neighbors have fireworks contests...

Trail running.

And trail riding.

I tried to get some writing done.

Went on a two-night vacation to get some salt air.

Fishing boats and dusk!

Spice doesn't want his picture taken.

Starting to clean out the barn.

Grilling out in the mountains!

Mountain life.

Flowers by the greenhouse.

Finished putting up the fence line.

Lizard on the gate post.

Even managed to go out for a trail ride with my mom!

Lesson Learned:  There are countless little things you can get accomplished in ten minutes.  They may not seem important, but the end results are epic!  (Like having an entire fence put up, or cleaning the barn!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Get to Know Me Tag

So my friend Rafie tagged me for this "Get to Know Me" Tag, which I've seen circling around, and kind of avoided/kind of hoped I'd get tagged.  Cause it's cool, but a little personal?  But still fun, y'know?  In any case, I'm tagged so there's no turning back now.  (Thanks, I guess...)

The Rules

link back to the person who created the tag
thank the person who tagged you
share the tag graphic
tag eleven bloggers

Vital Stats and Appearances

Name:  As you (might) know, Julian Daventry is a penname.  The first name comes from when I was preparing to write a new story, back in 2015.  I needed a name for a female character, and as I was in the car, I started scanning road signs for inspiration.  We passed a "Julian Road" so I grabbed the name.  The story eventually was pushed aside, but at the back of my mind I liked the name.

So when I needed a name for blogging, I decided to go with Julian.  (Daventry is the last name of another character in another series of mine, no special story there.)

A couple months later, I discover Julian is pretty much a guy name...but I hate to change it and create more confusion.

Nicknames: 
A number of bloggers call me Jules for short.  I've got one sister that called me Nina for a while; another sister that calls me LanaEvan sometimes calls me Fee (and for a short amount of time called me Goatherder for some odd reason).  People pronounce and spell my real name incorrectly all the time... 

Birthday:  That's none of your business.  Just know that I'm an adult.

Hair color and length:  Hehheh.  My hair does what it wants.  Some days it's super, super curly, and I can grab a head-band and pull off a hippie look.  Some days it's just wavy.  Other days it's more straight.  Sometimes it hangs limp, and other days it's ablaze with frizz.  Sometimes it's dark brown, other times a honey color...sometimes it'll even look auburn.  It all just depends on the weather, my shampoo, what my last shower was, and the lighting.

Eye color:  Hazel?  Kind of?  Brown - but sometimes green??

Braces/piercings/tattoos:  I had braces, but that was years ago.  All I have left is a metal wire behind my back teeth, which, according to Gray, makes me a cyborg.  Also have ear piercings.  I have lots or scars...but no tattoos.


Righty or lefty:  Both!!  I'm one of those ambidextrous folks.

Ethnicity:  Welsh-Slovak.  (Which might explain my love for bagpipes, and my ability to sound like a Russian native?)

Firsts

First novel written:  Well, the first book I wrote, Lady Knight, was under 50K.

If you're counting novel as over 50K well...that might be a little harder to decide...

After Lady Knight I started on a trilogy, called Freedom Fighters.  Those three books were 24,509; 14,651; and 27,524.  Certainly not novels on their own.  However I eventually decided to put them together as one book, with three parts - making it a 63,684 long novel.  But I don't know if that counts or not, since I put them together sometime afterward.

If that doesn't count, then maybe...um...The End of Time reached 80,961 before I got stuck on the final battle????  But it's still not completed.

First novel completed:  I actually finished Lady Knight.  It was a total of 16,419 words.

Again, if we're going by the "novel is 50K or more" rule, then...

(The Freedom Fighters merge???)

Words of Gold would be the ultimate, no-questions-asked, winner.  I'd finished a number of books before this one, but all just under 50K.  Then I switched my outlining technique, and finished strong, with a word count of 80,178.

Award for writing:  Haven't entered anything, actually.  I did, however, enter the poetry contest a year or two ago at our fair.  Not only did I win the (adult) category, but came home with the Judge's Overall Choice.  And a tiny bit of prize money.  That was exciting.  (Anyone interested in reading that poem?  I could always post it sometime.)

Publication:  I'm still an unpublished writer at the moment, sadly.  (I have, however, been featured in the local newspaper and in a magazine) for my bluegrass picking...)(Also been on the radio, TV, and in a movie...all because I play the banjo)(so don't let anyone tell you picking around on a banjo ain't gonna get you anywhere.)

Conference:  No writing conferences, sadly.  I was very close to going to Realm Makers this year, but I bought a horse instead. I hope to go sometime, though.  Maybe next year!

Query or pitch:  Just publish or read my books.  You won't regret it.  Or if you want more info, check out the About Me page.  :)

Favorites

Novel that you wrote:  Rauladin or Words of Peace.  I honestly can't pick.  Words of Peace is very dear to me, as it's the end of my trilogy and honestly is just so epic and amazing and thrilling and moving.  I shed so many tears while writing it.  It finishes a story I have spent hours upon hours working on.

But then Rauladin showed up as an idea while I was running a half-marathon race.  I never thought I would write a random, stand-alone novel, let alone one that would just strike so deep within me.  But something about this book is unexplainable - the friendships, the prayers, the ending, the storyworld - it's just beautiful.  I cried while writing this one, too.


Genre:  Fantasy, all the way!  Though I enjoy reading sci-fi or historical fiction from time to time (just not really my genre to write in).

Author:  *stares at bookshelf*  Oy.  Top shelves have Tolkien, Andrew Peterson, Shannon Hale, Jaye L. Knight, Tricia Mingerink, and Rosemary Sutcliff, so we'll go with that.

Writing Music:  I've complied a playlist with the top four tracks from allllll the MCU movies, in chronological order.  That's a favorite to write to as of late.

Time to write:  Right before bed.  Depending on the day, that can be ten minutes or two hours, lol

Writing snack/drink:  Since it's right before bed (as in, I'm in my PJ's, have brushed my teeth, and am sitting under the covers) I usually don't eat or drink...

Movie:  The Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended versions) will always be at the top.  So many childhood memories with those!!

Writing Memory:  So I was very little (possibly under 10), and my Dad took me to work with him.  He gave me a little yellow notepad and a pen to keep me occupied, and I made up a horse story...drawing a picture on each page and finally stapling it together.  It was kind of a "Black Beauty fanfiction" you might say...involving my favorite toy horse and her journeys as she goes from owner to over until she finds her perfect home.

Childhood book:  Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, by Jan Brett.  I was a horse-crazy youngster, and I have no regrets.

Currently

Reading:  I just finished Defy, by Tricia Mingerink.  Yeah, that one's epic!!

Writing:  I'm editing the first book in my trilogy, Words of Gold.  Fun times, yup, fun times.

Listening to:  That MCU playlist I mentioned earlier.  :)

Watching:  Just watched Spiderman: Homecoming.  Finally.  But wow that was really good!  The humor...the action...everything was really enjoyable.  Thanks to VidAngel for taking out the stuff I didn't want to see or hear!

Learning:  That in order for sign language to work, the person you're "speaking" to also has to know sign language...

Future

Want to be published?  Ya think????

Indie or traditional:  I would love to go traditional, cause that's the "normal" way this stuff happens.  But I also think it would be fun to publish on my own.  Ideally, I'll do both - that way I can get a taste of both and get the full writing experience.  (And also be able to give advice for both ways.)

Wildest goal:  It'd be so cool to see my trilogy as a movie.  Just sayin.

But also, simply getting published would be fulfilling a life goal.

The Re-Tag

True, at A True Writer
Catherine, at The Rebelling Muse
Keturah at Keturah's Korner
Quinley at Adventure Awaits
Phew!  I got 8 bloggers...think that should be enough.  I think a number of folk I know have already been tagged for it?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Languages

I'm not a professional linguist.  I'm not bi-lingual.  I'm not even fluent in another language.

So how in tarnation am I supposed to write other languages for my fantasy novels??  I just don't have the time (or patience) (or ability) to sit down and create an entire new language, like Tolkien did.

I wish I could, but there's just no way that is ever happening.  So I had to create my own ways around this.
 
 

Betrayal and Bravery Trilogy

While this is a fantasy story, there is little to be found in the "other languages" field.  Two of the main Kingdoms were originally one, and so their language is the same.  The third kingdom is known for trading, so while they might have their own language, all the people there generally are multi-lingual.

Really, the only "other" language is spoken by the Telae, and they come into the book very rarely, so I didn't create a single new word.  In the few occasions where the Telae are speaking in their own language, I simply write:

Nahale leaned towards his sister, whispering a few words in their own language so low I couldn't make out a single word. 

"Perhaps you don't understand the urgency of the situation!" Rayn placed a knife on the table, his words threatening.

Ondore waved him off.  "He just had a suggestion."

"Can't he speak for himself?"

"Maybe he doesn't want to."

So you have a simple reminder that the Telae have their own tongue - while also drawing out the fact that Nahale is shy, soft-spoken, and doesn't really like Rayn (like, why??? Rayn is so kind-hearted...Nahale, shame...).

Rauladin

In this stand-alone novel, the Kinsmen speak in their own tongue.  Once again, I did not create an entire new language, even though there are many times the Kinsman speech comes into play.  Most of the time, I italicized it:

"You're talking too fast," Raul groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose.  "Gwen, please translate!"

Gwen turned to Bered.  "Why are you here?"

The Kinsman paced, his message clearer as he spoke in a more familiar tongue.  "I'm here to warn you."

Also, the Kinsmen tend to butcher the common tongue (Berend especially, lol) when they do speak it.  They mix up word orders, and when they're particularly emotional or excited, they slur everything together and their accent makes it almost unintelligible.

However, I did create a few words for the Kinsman to use - exclamations, quick questions, and the like.  Sometimes they'll throw in one while they're speaking the common tongue, either intentionally, or accidently.  Sometimes I explain what they mean (have a character ask for an explanation), or just let context give the meaning away.

Char ne Rayft // Heritage of Kings

(Both series are in the same story-world, though the first is more of a history and traces events, while the other follows main characters.)

These books have a ton of worldbuilding (and I'm very proud of it).  While most of the characters all speak the "common tongue" (to make the writing easier, lol), there is also Forest Speech, Kaltish, Old Dreman (never spoken, but used for writing purposes in the Old Days - basically an old alphabet that only scholars and a quirky prince know how to read), the ranger tongue, and two different dialects of Saoren.

I compiled a list of common words and exclamations for each language, and when writing someone who natively speaks the tongue, I'll have them slip into their mother language from time to time, just as a reminder:

The two turned away from the crowd, muttering in the rough accent of the Kalts, their tones low and secretive.  Then Branwen turned back with an apologetic smile.  "I apologize, we had a large number of squirrels to be discussed.  Na, na, I intend no disrespect!  Harin-im!"

I also included a glossary in the back of the book, in case readers want to look up a meaning of a word.  But again, I try to keep these "other" words unimportant to the plot, or at least able to be understood through context.

What do y'all think?  Do you like creating languages?  How do you get around not making up an entire new way of speaking?  Or do you go ahead and make up a whole new language anyway? cuz let's admit, it is fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Favorite Things Tag

So I've been tagged again.  :)  But I won't complain, since I've had a nice break (and I need something to post during Camp NaNo, anyway).




Brooklyne at Showers of Blessings tagged me for the My Favorite Things tag, which, honestly, sounds kind of fun, and it's a nice to talk about something other than books and writing now and then.

Apparently Beth over at Beth in Boots started the tag and listed 7 rules, which are as follows...

RULES

Thank and link back to the persons blog who tagged you!
Thank and link back to the persons blog who started the tag!
Write about seven of your favorite things in your post and add at least one picture of everything!
Tag seven people!
Put the seven rules in your blog post!
Include the picture for the beginning of your post!
HAVE FUN!

(I'm going to try and talk about out of the ordinary things for this one, and not just list off obvious things, like God, the Bible, family, and ice cream; but rather, simple little things, like in the Sound of Music song.)

(Also, I can be slightly private, so I needed things I could find pictures for that I wouldn't mind posting...)


 
Having crazy conversations.
 
This text conversation makes 100% sense.  I promise.  Just trust me on this...

 
The water buffalo skull above the garage.
 
I mean, seriously, visitors come over and the first thing they see is a cow skeleton with earphones on.  Talk about first impressions.

 
Writing trips with Sarah and Evangeline.
 
So much fun.  Despite all our antics, we actually manage to get lots of writing done.

 
Running.
 
Despite also hating running, I really enjoy it.  I get to see all sorts of pretty things, which make for epic pictures.  This one was taken right after a controlled burn on the mountain I run.  That's not early morning mist...that's mid-afternoon and smoke.

 
Purple.
 
My favorite color!  (Picture also taken on a run.)

 
Doing things with my family.
 
Like going for a flight with my Dad in his Cessna.

 
Horse camping.
 
Or anything with horses.  But this is always fun - camping, hanging out with Sarah, and riding the horses.

The Re-Tag

If any of these sound like something you could call one of your favorite things, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Take a Stand

We've all been writing for a while, and honestly, I don't think any of us could imagine stopping.  It's a habit, a hobby, a job - however we like to put it.  We love crafting stories, creating characters, making worlds.  The other writers are always so encouraging.  We love everything about writing.

But.

Life.

Happens.




Maybe you start college or get a full-time job.
Maybe you begin a new after-school activity.
Maybe you acquire a new musical instrument or take up running.
Maybe you get another pet.
Or siblings start demanding more of your time.
Or maybe you acquire a pile of new books to read. 

Basically, you get very busy, and writing is now pushed away in lieu of doing other things.

And you wonder...should I stop writing?

This happened to me over a year ago.  My life didn't take a dramatic, horrible turn.  I just somehow became very busy, with lots of things on my plate that I needed to do.  And at one point I wondered, is it time to put down the pen and stop writing?

The thought hurt, but I was trying to be honest with myself.  Should I just put away the laptop and do something a little more productive with that bit of time?  After all, it’s not like I’ll ever be published, and my story isn’t that great, anyway.  It was just a thing I did when I was little, right? and now I’m finally growing up and getting into the real world.

I really, actually, seriously, thought about quitting.  Believe it or not.  And at first, I thought I was making a grown-up decision to “put away my childish things” and “move on” to the Adult Life.  And for a moment, I was pretty proud of myself.  I was making a choice that was painful, but needed to be done.

Or was it needful?

When I really and deeply studied my thoughts, I realized there was more then just not having time to write.  There was quite a bit of extreme procrastination, defeat, and even a tiny dash of fed-up-ness.  I was not putting away childish things, I was just throwing in the towel and giving up on something I really enjoyed doing.

So what made me continue writing?

The simple fact that I knew, as soon as I had a spare moment, I would keep writing anyway.  It’s become a habit, for crying out loud!  Yes, life is busy now, so I’m giving up writing in exchange for sleep or other activities, but once things settle down, I’m going to be right back, typing away.

A quick battle plan for any who are struggling with this:
 
Admit possible defeat.  Seriously - address issues for what they really are, for then you can really defeat them.  Yes, you are wanting to stop.  But do you really want to give up on something that you’ve been doing for so long?

Call a retreat.  Go ahead and take a break.  But notice I said break.  Not quit.  Don't just surrender.  Life can get busy, and sometimes we simply don’t have time for writing, so give yourself a break.  Relax, ride through the storm, and then turn back to the book.

Sharpen your weapons.  Maybe you have more time than you think.  How many minutes or hours a day do you spend scrolling through social media?  Are you on your fifth Studio C video in a row and bedtime has finally arrived?  Take a look at where you're doing piddly things and see if there's a better use to your time.

 Set your standard.  Tell yourself, “Someday, I’m going to publish this.”  Or maybe “Someday, I will self-publish this.”  Or even just “Someday I will finish this and let my family and friends read it.”  Tell yourself that you will run on and keep at it to reach that goal.  You got this!!

Advance.  Yes, you may be rejected by publishers, but you will never know until you finish that book and give it a try.  You may mess up the self-publishing process and get horrible reviews, but you'll never know until you do it.  Don’t give in to fear or discouragement.  Be confident.  You’ve got a story worth telling, and you’re going to tell it!!
 
Take a stand.  You want to write, yes?  As my father once told me, "If you want to do something, you'll make the time for it."  So go and take a stand for what you love doing and go and write, people!!

So there you have it.  Has anyone else been tempted to stop writing?  How did you defeat it?  What makes you keep on writing?  How are you distracted from writing?

(Also, bonus points to anyone who can paste a link to the track where I got the post title from...it's not what you might think...or maybe it is...)(Hint: it's slightly patriotic...)(might depend on how you look at it)