A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS


I'm starting a tag, because I want to, and because....well honestly because I just thought of the sound of music image that would go with it, and liked it. 
If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged.
I am starting it off by tagging Lady Awdur and Lover of Lembas

The rules are as follows: 

1. Add the above picture to your post.
2. Acknowledge the person who tagged you.
3. Answer the questions. 
4. Tag a person, or multiple persons, or no persons. Whatever suits. 

Favorite book
Favorite animal
Favorite color
Favorite flower
Favorite language 
Favorite country 
Favorite time period 
Favorite historical ruler 
Favorite number 
Favorite beverage 
Favorite finger
Favorite snack
Favorite season
Favorite kind of clothing 
Favorite music (particular songs, artists, or just in general) 
Favorite time of day
Favorite school(-ish) subject 
Favorite spice
Favorite superhero 
Favorite anything of your choice....



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Answering My Own Questions (I swear I'm not a narcissist)


Alright, ladies and gentlemen (I don't think there are gentlemen reading this blog, but there's no need to be exclusive). I was recently tagged, and in the process of making ten new questions, I decided that I wanted to answer the questions myself. So...I was tagged by The Author. 

Night Owl or Early Bird?
Night Owl. DEFINITELY a night owl. 

Do you prefer a spotless room, or a comfortably messy room?

It depends. If I have just cleaned my room and made it spotless, I become a neat freak for a few days, but I think I generally prefer it to be comfortably messy. About two articles of clothing (not dirty enough to wash, but not clean enough to put in a closet with clean clothing. Just waiting to be worn ONE MORE TIME) on the floor in front of my closet, some books and various papers scattered about the place, and a nest of pillows and blankets in place of a neatly made bed. I am weird about having a vacuumed carpet. Almost obsessive. But I've been getting better. 

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or no chocolate?

Dark chocolate. REALLY dark chocolate.

Favorite books?

Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, and the Space Trilogy.  Mara and Pharaoh. The Hobbit and Chronicles of Narnia. MORE: http://writeornotwrite.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

Would you rather live alone forever, or live at home forever?
Oh. I don't want to do either of these. I want to live with a husband forever, and my children for part of that forever. Wait, my house that I will someday (hopefully) have with my husband will be my home. HA. Loophole. (I honestly wasn't thinking of that loophole when I wrote the question, I promise). 

If you could only travel to one foreign country in the course of your life, where would you go and for how long?

Could I live in Ireland forever? I mean, it would be sad, but my family could still visit ME every now and then. If I have to come back eventually, still ireland, and for as long as I can. And I could pretend that england, scotland, and wales aren't separate countries and visit them. Wait, the UK as a sovereign state is considered a country isn't it, so I will live there. 

If you could change the ending of a book, what book would it be and what would you change?

I wouldn't change the endings of books I love, because then they would be different and I wouldn't love them as much. So...oh I know. There was this one book by Kate Seredy called Chestry Oak, and the ending made me mad. SPOILERS: long story short, kid get's separated from his dad in war (I think..it's been a while) and ends up being adopted by this other family. At the end of the book you see his real dad talking to his foster dad, and then the real dad ends up having him stay with the foster family. I presume he visited him a lot. But I would change it so that his real dad took him back, and the foster family got to visit him and be visited by him. It was a sweet book though, other than the ending. 

If you could spend just one day with any writer, dead or alive, who would it be?
Tolkien.

If you could be in any movie (as anything from an actor to a set dresser) what movie would it be? This doesn't have to be a movie that someone has actually made.

I would want to have had ANYTHING to do with the making of the LOTR movie, and if anyone ever tries to make a movie of my beloved space trilogy, I want to be in charge so they don't mess it up. WHOEVER OWNS THOSE RIGHTS, DON'T SELL THEM.

(for writers) If you could give up the experience of writing a novel, and just have it finished, would you?

Oh it's so tempting, but no. As much as I hate it, I love it, if that makes any sense. Writing Hounds and Jackals (previously known as Pendant) has been and will continue to be rather horrid, and I'm sure I will constantly be wishing that I could just skip the process of writing it and have it be done, but I do love writing. It's like stretching sore muscles, it hurts but it's wonderful. 

(for non-writers) A much used question, but a good one nonetheless: If you could live in any time period, when would it be and why?

I would like to live in the medieval ages, in england, because I'm into debilitating diseases, grime, arranged marriages, and being a housewife. But really, I'm okay with the prospect of possibly contracting nasty sicknesses; grime isn't really a problem, I'll take a bath; I actually wouldn't be that mad about an arranged marriage, as long as it wasn't a forced marriage; and I would love to be a housewife. 
On a more realistic note, I'm going with late 19th century england, so that I could die when the obnoxious modernization of the 20th century began. 
In both of these times, I'm dragging back my station in life today "generic middle class people. Not poor, not rich, just sort of normal."
I'm still a housewife. I would want to be a housewife/full-time mom in ANY century.


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Why I Don't Participate in NaNoWriMo (or the internet)



A RANT THAT YOU SHOULDN'T READ:

As I look at my lovely little blog feed, I see that it is filled with "preparing for NaNoWriMo" posts. And I feel a teeny tiny twinge of "maybe I should do that". But I don't. I don't think there is anything wrong with NaNoWriMo, in fact I think it is a great idea, and it brings me joy to see so many writers of so many different sorts participating in it. It's great. 

But it is not for me. And this is only partially my vague and uneducated opinion, because I did NaNo once. For a little while, that is. I figured out how much needed to be written every day, and I did it for a bit, but I made the mistake of glancing back over my work. 

I did not find the beautiful word vomit that can be edited down into a lovely scene, I don't really know what I found, but it was horrid. 
For some people, forcing themselves to write 50000 (or more) words in a month is a constructive thing, that forces them to "just do it" and edit later. For me, it was destructive. 
Writing with increasing speed made me more careless, and even if that stuff had been salvageable, it would have taken so long to edit, that in the end it wouldn't have been worth it. 

So I spent about a week and a half, and ended up with absolutely NOTHING I could use, whereas if I had been going slowly, I should probably have ended up with a few thousands words of quality material, that would have been helpful. 

By the time I stopped, there was already a CLEAR downward spiral in my writing quality, not to mention the fact that I was going to fast to be anything close to mindful of history. I know for some people, it is easier to write the scene, then go back and make sure it's historically accurate, and change the words. 
For me, my book is centered around actual people and an actual event, so history has a HUGE impact on my plot. If it were stuff more along the lines of going back and putting in a historically accurate breakfast, it would not be a problem, but it isn't. For me, it is better in the long run to research things as I go along. Also I can't concentrate with a question hanging in my mind. 

I just said "for me" about a million times, and I hate repeated words. Sigh.

Anyhow, this is all to say that NaNoWriMo does not work for me, because the kind of blurting that results in me when writing at that speed, is unsalvageable. If NaNo is productive for you, I envy you, and enjoy. 



Why I'm an Internet Loner:

I don't actually follow terribly many blogs. I am technically subscribed to about 30, but I don't really keep up with them, save for the occasional post now and then. I don't unsubscribe because I like to see what they are up to, and every now and then there is something that I would regret missing. In addition, I simply haven't got that much time to spend reading blog posts. I also rarely comment on posts, even for bloggers I follow closely.
This should give you an image of me as someone who likes be a part of the blogoverse, read the posts and the comments every now and then, see what everyone is doing, but not actually participate that much. 

I respond to tags, and when I join Beautiful People (the only linkup I have anything to do with really) I put my link in like the good little girl I am. Beyond that, I keep to myself. I don't initiate tags or linkups or challenges, and I don't think I have ever joined in one of those "BLANK-week" thingymajigs.  

I like watching the bustle, but I get lost inside of it. 

I am also not present on social media. I have a Google+ account under my pseudonym, Goldenrod Gardener, strictly for Red Book purposes. (SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: 
I am technically on pinterest, but I think the last time I checked it was last month, maybe the one before? 
My reasons are simple:
Social Media, in my limited experience - and the experience of watching over the shoulder of people who are active on it - has proved to be:

1. A huge waste of time
2. Actually kind of boring, ew why do people like it so much? I DON'T UNDERSTAND

I mean, I was told that pinterest was an addictive, bottomless pit, and I found myself bored out of my mind after about ten seconds. 
Maybe I'm doing this wrong, but I'm not going to invest time TRYING to make it more addictive so....
I kind of an old lady, who is also a bit of a computer geek, and prefers HTML/CSS to latin and french. (Disclaimer: I do not actually speak latin or french, and can probably only remember about six words in each language. I am also abominable [by my standards] at HTML/CSS but I love it.)
You know how old people say things like "what are the children saying these days? Loll? Teemy? Omgee? I don't understand?"
Well, I am often very confused by modern speech, though I am becoming MUCH better at deciphering it. Apparently we are speaking in acronyms now. As well as misspellings and abbreviations. Wait, let me try one:
Leaving rn, by!
Oh wait, I used a comma and capitalization. I'm going to try again.
jst fyi Im leaving rn thx for reading by!!!



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Q&A Tag


Note: I answered these questions several days ago, and scheduled this a little bit ago, so the question about songs being stuck in my head is slightly outdated. Just so you know. 
A few things:
  • Like my dear twin, Awdur, I like to be tagged, and am bad at following rules. I am also in the same situation of not really having anyone to tag that hasn't already been tagged. I honestly don't know if I even follow ten bloggers who would do this. 
  • If you would like to continue the tag without my shameful break, you are supposed to link the person who tagged you, answer their questions, write 10 more, and tag ten more bloggers. 
  • I was tagged by Lover of Lembas (who actually follows rules). I shall also answer any questions placed in the comments. Which is a silly thing to say, since I always answer comment-questions anyway. 

  • I am going to nominate a couple people. (If you ladies have already been tagged, I'm sorry.) Naomi Sarah of Wonderland Creek and Victoria Grace Howell of Wanderer's Pen

  • And for anyone else reading, if you just want an excuse to write a post, or have a strange desire to answer my questions, consider yourself nominated. 

My Answers:


Do you play a sport?  Is there a sport you want to learn?
I do not play any sports, unless carrying children around is considered a sport, because I'm really good at that. I'm not terribly into sports, but I think it would be fun to play golf or croquet (do those count?)

Sunrise or sunset?  Why?
Oh, this simply isn't fair. I'm going to go with Sunset, because I prefer the muted colors, and it means I get to tuck myself away in my bed. In addition to that, I am rarely up in time to see the sunrise, so preferring it would be kind of inconvenient. 

What was your dream job as a little kid?
To be entirely honest, I thought riding horses for fun was an actual job. Clearly I didn't understand the thing about getting PAID for a job, and why that was kind of important. I then moved on to being a veterinarian, now I just want to be a stay at home mom (full time job), with some travelling under my belt. 

What was the last movie you watched you really liked?
Ok...Lord of the Rings, but I feel like that isn't fair, so I shall think of another. We went to see the "Queen of Katwe" recently, and it was quite good, and before that I loved Cinderella (live action). 

What songs are stuck in your head?
Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer, and I Dreamed a Dream. Because those two make so much sense together?

What is something that makes you feel nostalgic?
Children? I honestly just miss being a little kid. I mean, I'm not very old, but I feel like I never properly appreciated my childhood. Other than that, Hogan's Heros/Andy Griffith Show/Old Westerns/the random plastic frog on my bedside table that I have had as long as I can remember and can't seem to throw away. 

If you were granted an extra hour to be added to your day (so you have 25 hours) what would you spend the hour doing?
I would like to say something wonderful and creative and amazing, but probably it would just be one more hour of me doing the things I normally do (eating/reading, but mostly eating). 

What is one of the most embarrassing moments you're willing to share?
Hmm, there was the time (multiple times) I was ridiculously rude to my sister-in-law, but I'm not actually that embarrassed about those, I barely even have the decency to wish I'd been a little nicer. (I was little and she was stealing my brother, all is well now.)
Oh, this was more embarrassing in retrospect than at the time, but one time I spent several hours out and about in a skirt, and arrived home to find a rather nasty tear in the back. I'm not entirely certain at what point in my expedition it tore, but I definitely walked into a store with it torn. 
Then there was the time where, for a reason which I still don't entirely understand, random people I don't know were looking at a photo album containing baby pictures of myself. Looking back, I don't really care, but at the time I was horrified. 
Um, also I once forgot my own name and blurted the first one that came into my head, but I'm not smart enough to be properly embarrassed about that. Plus I ended up with a great secondary name, so I'm happy. 

If you could customize your car license plate (for most U.S. readers, that means pick any combination of 5-7 words and letters) what would you want your license plate to say?
I once saw an Imperial (car brand) that was black and had DVADER on its license plate. If I could just have that whole kit and kaboodle, I would be happy. Other than that I don't really know....probably a bible verse or something to do with Tolkien. 

Rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, or the ocean?
I HAVE TO CHOOSE? I refuse. Oceans and streams. 

My Questions:

(I kind of want to answer these myself, so I may do that in the future. I'm tagging myself.)

1. Night Owl or Early Bird?
2. Do you prefer a spotless room, or a comfortably messy room?
3. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or no chocolate?
4. Favorite books?
5. Would you rather live alone forever, or live at home forever?
6. If you could only travel to one foreign country in the course of your life, where would you go and for how long?
7. If you could change the ending of a book, what book would it be and what would you change?
8. If you could spend just one day with any writer, dead or alive, who would it be?
9. If you could be in any movie (as anything from an actor to a set dresser) what movie would it be? This doesn't have to be a movie that someone has actually made.
10. (for writers) If you could give up the experience of writing a novel, and just have it finished, would you?
10. (for non-writers) A much used question, but a good one nonetheless: If you could live in any time period, when would it be and why?
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Beautiful Books: Introduce Your Novel

Well, reader-people, I'm back. You may have probably didn't notice that I no longer have stuff up about my other books. That is because, not only am I focusing on Hounds and Jackals (pendant's new name), but a lot of those other stories just aren't really there any more. They don't need to be written, and they probably won't be. I also don't have any sort of word-count thing for H&J, because I no longer have the slightest clue how long I want it to be, or how long it should be. So much has changed, I am basically on a first draft now, and setting word-count goals for first drafts is not something I consider to be a good idea. Also...how would I come up with a goal? I have no clue. 
Because of the new story for Pendant, that title no longer applies, and also is part of a different time in this book's life. It dies with the stupid piece of jewelry for which is was named. I am now calling it Hounds and Jackals, for reasons which I can't explain but will make sense if you read the finished book in about seventeen years. And yes, I think this plot will stay for the million years it will take me to finish, because I have a feeling of permanence and finality about this that I never had about the old one. It fits in a way that 'pendant' never did. It feels right. And satisfying. And also I never want to go through a change like this again. It was so obnoxious, and even though I know the time with 'pendant' wasn't wasted, it's hard to shake the feeling that it was. That said, here is your proper introduction to Hounds and Jackals (name is not set in stone yet, but I'm liking it more and more every day).





What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

This is going to sound odd, but I was reading a murder mystery by Agatha Christie, set in ancient egypt, and I suddenly decided that I should write a book and set it in ancient egypt. I then went on to shamelessly steal two of her main characters names. I mostly credit Eloise Jarvis McGraw as my REAL inspiration though. Specifically, her book "Mara: Daughter of the Nile". It was through her that I came to love ancient egypt without thinking about the more academic aspects of it. The idea for Pendant began in 2011 I would say, with reading Mara, and just wishing I could further inhabit her world. I then created a sort of...random story with unnamed characters that mucked about in my head until I read Christie in 2012, and began scribbling about 1 minute after the completion of her book. Pendant has been through alot in the past 4 years, until, about five months ago, I suddenly began forming an entirely new story and plot. In August of 2016, Pendant officially transitioned into a completely different book, which I am now calling "Hounds and Jackals" officially, but usually end up relapsing into 'pendant'.  This can become rather confusing in the course of conversation, because they aren't really the same book, and yet they are. 


Describe what your novel is about!
Okay...*deep breath*...Hounds and Jackals is set in Egypt's 18th dynasty, under the reign of Amenhotep III, a time of peace and gratuitous wealth and prosperity for Egypt. Kush, one of Egypt's dependant provinces (countries, states?) is in a state of rebellion, and is moving to overthrow the king. The kushite rebellion is funded by an unknown source, almost certainly by one of Egypt's supposed "allies". While the rebellion itself poses no great threat to Egypt's excellent military, the possibility of one of the neighboring kingdoms preparing to go to war, is of more concern. Pharaoh, along with his loyal court and wife, Tiye, have dispatched spies to Kush to discover the identity of the kushite's allies. The story is told through two main plot lines: that of the spies (Reniseb, Ukani, Tseskos) in Kush; and that of Egypt's leaders (Amenhotep, Tiye, Nefru and others) at court, and the corruption and lies found there. 

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!









Introduce us to each of your characters!
Oh there are too many. How about a few adjectives for the main ones instead? 
Tiye: Beautiful, Tall-ish, Pointy, Clever, Harsh, Caring, Loyal, Resourceful 

Amenhotep III: Strong, Noble, Heroic, Kind, Gentle, Humble, Good

Ukani: Arrogant, Harsh, Pragmatic, Unfeeling, Mistrustful, Clever, Talented, Resourceful 





Nefru: Stern, Pragmatic, Suspicious, Noble, Responsible, Intelligent 





Tseskos: Gorgeous, Exotic, Loose, Sarcastic, Pragmatic, Gentle, Nice 





Sefkh: Good, Gentle, Kind, Loyal, Loving, Intelligent, Quick-witted, Noble, Handsome 






How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Ooh, I should try howling. I do some internal howling, I admit. I kind of hate word vomit, but it ends up being the best for me, because if I get to caught up in minute details of historical accuracy I never get anywhere. I am a slow writer, and if I spend too much time thinking about "what I am going to write" I also never get anywhere. I tend to just sit down and say, I must write what happens next, and choose a POV, and then see what happens. Usually it ends up being pretty decent, and then is marked as "completely rewrite this" within 24 hours. It's not so much that my plot changes, it's just that every tiny little decision, like the direction of someone's window, or the order of two scenes, can mean a rewrite. Continuity is hard. 

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Is there anyone who hasn't said "finishing it"? Because I am really excited for it to be done. A) because it will be such a relief and feel amazing and B) because I want to see what it will look like. I'm really curious. Within the novel itself, I'm really looking forward to further exploring the relationship between Amenhotep and Tiye, and then everything to do with Reniseb. Now that she is younger and less annoying, she is actually kind of adorable. 

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
Egypt's peak of general awesomeness 
Beauty
Tiny historical details everywhere because they make me happy, even though I am only using history inasmuch as it is convenient to me. (except when I go insane and redo a bunch of stuff because of one historical fact that I recently discovered.....SOOOOO convenient.)

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Um, just one character? Okay, Tiye is SORT OF my main character. Her goal is to make Egypt as safe and wonderful and successful and happy and great as she possibly can, and to make Amenhotep happy to the best of her ability. In her way is a rebellion, and the discovery that there is a kushite spy in her court, as well as an assassin trying to kill her firstborn son. To say the least, she is rather miffed about the attempt on her son's life. 

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Tiye doesn't really change too much. She becomes slightly more trustful. More empathetic, and more willing to rely upon others. Other than that, not much happens. She gets what she wants in the end. She achieves her goal. For her, everything works out quite splendidly. For certain others, not so much, but for Tiye everything is lovely. It's kind of annoying really. 

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
It sounds so cliche, but I'm going to go with friendship/loveship (now a word); the realization that one can't do things alone; revenge is bad (don't do that); and perhaps the fact that even the worst of people can be redeemed, and even the cruelest of villains (provided they are human) are to be pitied rather than hated (or is that just me?). You know what else is cliche? The word cliche. Really, it is more of a study in different people and the way that things affect them, because I find that fascinating. 
As for feelings, sad? I want people to finish thinking this "yay, that worked out well, I'm sad it's over, Ukani is terrible but he seems like maybe he's on the path to becoming less horrid,  and after all that he still turned out to be on the good side (dang). And Tiye an Amenhotep, adorable. Nefru is not such a wet blanket as I thought he was. Tseskos turned out way more compassionate than I would have thought, and OH MY GOSH WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO RENISEB, WHY????????"


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