Saturday, June 30, 2018

Bio of Princes Francis and Edmonde

I know, I know. It took  me forever. But - now I have remembered, and character interviews are back (finally)! And, since in the votes from the last interview, nobody could decide whether to have Prince Francis or Prince Edmonde from The Clarion Call (previously Alagna), I will do what I always do with them and put them together. After all, they're almost twins, as is frequently remarked by a few of the other characters.
Ask them questions in the comments, and soon, I shall put up an interview. So, that being said, without further ado, the rather short and uneventful bios of Francis and Edmonde.
Name: Prince Francis of Tresinta                           Name: Prince Edmond of Tresinta
Age: 19                                                                   Age: 17 (in the very beginning of the story, that is)
Nationality: Tresintan                                            Nationality: Tresintan
Height: 6'3                                                              Height: 6'2 1/2  
Hair Color: Honey-ish blonde.                              Hair Color: Honey-ish brown.
Eye Color: Deep blue.                                            Eye Color: Emerald green.
Title(s): Prince.                                                       Title(s): Prince.
 Family: Just their older brother, Blakely, their widowed mother, and the various distant noble cousins that the royal family has, including Philip Arraden, a young advisor to the throne.
Bio: Prince Francis was born in the capital of Tresinta, to Queen Gianni and King Percival II, when Blakely was almost three. A few months before Francis' second birthday, Edmond was born, and, perhaps due to their small age gap, and perhaps due to their similar characters, they were immediately like two peas in a pod. Quite inseparable, oftentimes, because of this, they would 'gang up' against Blakely for various pranks or such nonsense.
Besides, Blakely had his little friend, Alagna, so he didn't need those two (not that they didn't come and pester him anyways, of course). All three were good friends, but the 'almost twins,' as Francis and Edmond came to be called, were more. They always liked Alagna well enough, but could perceive quite easily Blakely's little boyish affections for her, and teased him about it frequently. They have no doubt that the two will end up together even at the beginning of the story, and have always made it clear. And they would certainly like to have Alagna as a sister, which they have also made clear.
Being princes, their childhood was charmed and rather uneventful, and so was, up to the beginning of the story, their youth. There is little to tell as to their separate characters, because they are very similar in most respects. They always enjoyed mischief, and in particular good-naturedly peeving Blakely. They have always been extremely fond and protective of their mother, Queen Gianna, and perhaps rather ever-so-slightly Mama's boys. Neither of them have any particular lady, though both are fairly popular among the court despite their attempts to keep out of good opinion.
Up to the beginning of the story, they are quite comfortable and have very little to worry about in life aside from not getting disowned for dumping wine over their older brother's head.
Doesn't really look like them, but it matched the one up there, so I had to use it, of course. :)
What did you think? What are your thoughts on the twosome? Do you have any questions for them? Post questions in the comments, and I'll have these two answer in an interview soon! Also, I shall be on hiatus during July due to Camp NaNo. See you in August!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Updates For June

As usual, I needed a post... and didn't know what to put up. And usually, I scrape something or other together at the last minute. But today, it seems I am giving in to laziness and just putting up life update... or it's possible that I'm giving up to those three semester end essays I need to write. Anywho. I suppose I'll get started instead of rambling.
What I Read
Mostly, I was still reading Philosophy of Mind, finishing that up. But in my free time, I decided it would be fun to do the summer reading challenge at my local library one last year. So I've been catching on some books I've meant to read for a while mainly.
How to Train Your Dragon was a good book, though rather crude in its humor (however, I'm told by a few someones whose opinions I trust very much that the books get better as they go on, so I'm sticking with them this time). I was going to get the second one as well, but it seemed that the library had lent it out to someone else already. Oh well. I shall amend that situation when I return the first book. It was definitely interesting, particularly that part at the end where *spoilers* they get the two giant dragons to fight each other *spoilers end*. However, on a whole, if the books didn't apparently get better, I probably wouldn't go on reading the series, as it was rather shallow and typical, if entertaining as light reading.
A Series of Unfortunate Events was the same case as How to Train Your Dragon in that the library only had the first book at the time (somebody must've just been going through and reading the same series as I, just one book ahead). However, despite this inconvenience, I enjoyed it far more. The humor was far more respectful, and less shallow, though, unfortunately, still on the slightly more common side. It was definitely light reading (this first book, btw, was called A Bad Beginning), but it was a good beginning to a good series. I - heathen that I am - watched the tv series first, but have wanted to read the books since. The first book was good, but I can't wait until the second (it was my favorite of the episodes!).
I also was beta reading a good deal for my best friend, who started yet another new story recently. But that was probably the most enjoyable of the books I've read this month.
Overall, aside from the first-mentioned, it was a rather light reading month, but in my defense, I have only managed to get to the library once all month due to being sick, so I was not exactly as able as in other months.
What I Watched
I watched the first two Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies for the first time. What else even matters. These were some of the best movies I have seen in ages, and possibly the best superhero movies I've seen period. I absolutely loved them. I loved Spiderman. I loved Tobey Maguire's acting. I loved everything about them. Especially with how disappointed I had originally been with Tom Holland's Spiderman. You see, from a very young age, I was in love with Spiderman - my first great fandom love. When I was about seven, I used to watch the Spiderman cartoon all the time, and I absolutely loved Peter Parker. His hair, the way he dressed, the way he acted, and how lovable he always was. And I have had a distaste for every other Spiderman possibly because of this. Until Tobey Maguire. He was almost exactly like my beloved cartoon Peter, even down to the swept-aside caramel hair and constant adorable dorky way of saying 'Mary Jane.' I loved him. I hardly think any other movies I watched this month mattered.
The Bat, The Undying Monster, and The Last Man on Earth were my 'talkie' horrors of the month. I watched a lot of silent movies this month, as well as a lot of horrors, but these were the non-silent horrors I watched, I think. The second was a British Wolfman film (so, unfortunately, no Mr. Talbot in it), but it had the feel of a murder mystery more than an actual horror. Same case for The Bat, a Vincent Price movie that you should not watch at night when the only people up are you and your sister watching with you. The Last Man on Earth was very eerie, but its eeriness was betrayed near the end by a giveaway 1960's cheesiness. The ending, however, was no joke, and put you right back on the idea that this was no happy - nor cheesy - movie. Another Vincent Price that I don't recommend watching at night. Actually, come to think of it, I did watch two more 'talkie' horror movies - I watched Son of Dracula and House of Frankenstein. Both were Lon Chaney movies, and the latter was also a Boris Karloff, but both were cheesy. The second one was less so, but Son of Dracula had only a rather shockingly good ending to its name and nothing more. House of Frankenstein at least had some proper scares.
It was one of the most famous romantic comedies of all time, though a silent movie. I liked it, but the so-called 'It girl,' Clara Bow's character, was rather unlikable. Her two best friends, however, Monty Montgomery, and the young mother whose name I could not catch, were quite likable characters. The main guy, Mr. Rich, or whatever his name was (it's so much harder to catch names in silent movies!), was also a good character, though a bit of a dunce, honestly. The plot was pretty good, and I can see why it gained such fame.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the silent movie version, was another horror movie of the month. While being good, the overall creepiness of the film was interrupted by the rather bad acting of Dr. Jekyll during his transformation scenes - unless, of course, my laughter had been what the producers had wanted during those scenes. The Haunted Castle was good, though decidedly a murder mystery and not a horror as it was labeled (the genres seem to cross often in old Hollywood...). Let me see. What else. Well, I started to watch another old movie called Eternally Yours, but once I realize the cover was no joke, and David Niven (an extremely boring fellow) really was the male lead, then I switched it to something else.
Yeah... it seems most of June was spent watching old movies. Which is kinda pathetic. But, I suppose, better old movies than new ones. At least the acting's better (most of the time).
What I Wrote
I didn't write a whole lot this month. Mostly, I wrote more in The Pain of a Memory and The Second Brother (and, yes, to any readers of The Second Brother that are reading this, I will be sending it soon). Also, I suppose I was writing a lot in my co-authored fantasy (which I may or may not introduce on here at some point). I also joined an online writing group with some acquaintances from a parish back in Virginia. Our newsletter is in the making, and, if allowed, I may post it on here when the first edition is finished.
What I Listened To
Music-wise, I had a good month, I think. I discovered a new artist, called One Voice Children's Choir. I don't listen to most of their things (just because I'm not a big fan of modern music, and they seem to do a lot of choral covers of popular songs), but a few select ones got replayed a good few times. Namely, When You Believe, A Million Dreams (from The Greatest Showman), and Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, a very sad, but particularly beautiful choral piece. I highly recommend checking them out, and - to the more modernly-minded listener - check out Something Just Like This as well, as it is also worth checking out, if a modern song.
I also discovered that there is a new Il Divo album (called Timeless) coming out - I am checking today if it has actually come out yet, and I will probably come on here and rant with delight if it has... and probably moan in agony on here if it hasn't. Either way, you'll hear of it. ;P
Also, I was shown a song which has immediately become a common sing-around-the-house anthem by a friend, this song being Style, from Bing Crosby's Robin and the Seven Hoods. If you have not listened to it, you must needs do so. (Warning: It will probably get stuck in your head.)
What I Did
"Eh... I play de guitar." But seriously, despite the fact that that's a quote from an awesome movie, and well-worth quoting, unfortunately, I do not play the guitar. However. I am learning a simplified version of my favorite piano piece, Fur Elise, on my cupboard piano, as well as The Entertainer (a classic ice cream truck anthem) and a Paisello piece. I have been writing accompaniment finally to the main theme for my opera, which was a task long overdue, and not altogether easy. I also was finally assigned to sing Der Holle Rache, which is a very difficult, very famous opera aria I have always wanted to sing and probably will take a million years to get right.
I have mainly been doing a lot of unpacking. However, I have still found time to procrastinate (you have to make time for it, you know), and so I have three essays long overdue that I need to write. So, until my next post, arriva derci!
What did you think? What have you read this month? Watched? Written? Listened to? Been up to in general? Have you ever seen a Vincent Price movie?

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Liebster Award

Finally, another tag! This one is called the Liebster Award, and it's from Hope - thanks, Hope!
The rules are as follows:
  • Create a new blog post on your blog thanking the person that nominated you, link to their blog, and put in a graphic of the award.
  • Answer the questions that were provided, and then share some facts about yourself.
  • Create a new set of your own questions for others to answer.
  • Nominate others (around ten) and share your blog post with them so they can accept their award! This award is for bloggers with 200 followers or less.
And here are the questions Hope provided me with -
Are you an indoor or an outdoor person? Elaborate on your answer with pictures.
I am most certainly an indoor person. However. I just moved, and so don't have any pictures of the inside of the new house yet. Plus, outside pictures are more fun anyways!
What's one goal you'd like to accomplish in your lifetime?
Well, finishing a book, for one thing. Which I'm very close to doing. Publishing it, for another. Aside from anything strictly writing-related, I would most love to get one of my musical works performed - in fact, that probably more than getting a book published.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever done?
Haha, I don't think I'd put it on the internet even if I could pinpoint what it was! However. As far as things I will divulge, I once wrote a rap/poem concerning a hungry chicken and duck (in my defense, it was for a rather goofy relative who liked such things). I also have made a movie (with my sisters) using Barbies on strings as puppets (it was pretty hilarious!).
What's your favorite thing to do in the summer?
Probably roller skating. Or swimming. Something like that. Or very possibly staying inside and reading.
If you could choose your superpower, what would it be, and why?
Well, perhaps this is boring, but I'd take a page from my dad's book and choose to be able to control whatever powers I'm given in exactly the proportion they need be controlled in. It's boring, but really, you know, if most superheroes were able to have perfect control under reason of their every mental and physical ability, they wouldn't get into scrapes of their own making all the time.
What's on your bucket list?
Well, finishing my opera. Finishing a book. Finishing my musical. Basically... finishing stuff.
And now, some facts about yourself...
Hmm. Well, I think you guys know most of what there is to divulge at this point. I suppose, as what's new, I am currently in a bit of an obsession with silent movies. I have just been watching silent movie after silent movie, most of them horror movies, but a couple divergents from that path. I also have been watching a lot of horror movies (old horror movies). I fairly recently moved back up north, I am about to be the oldest of nine children, and I absolutely hate the movies Coco, Frozen, and Brave. I think that's everything even relatively recent that you didn't already know.
Now, while I can't nominate all ten people - almost everybody I know has been nominated, I think - I shall still give this tag some questions and send it out to whosoever has not yet done the tag yet.
What is your favorite musical?
If you were to choose your name to be something else, what would you choose?
Who do you hang out with the most?
What are you most likely to be seen doing?
What is your most despised book? Movie?
What is the most beautiful place you've ever seen?
What were you doing before writing this post?
What is a place you definitely don't want to go to?
And those facts about yourself...
This goes to whoever has not yet done the tag, as well as
Thanks again, Hope, for this lovely tag!
What did you think? Have you done this tag? Or are you going to pick it up? What's your favorite thing to do in the summer?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Pain of a Memory - Part X

 I must apologize once more for my absence as of late - busy, busy, busy have these times been, and yet, it's the beginning of the summer! But, I shall make it up to you. Hopefully, I shall have a nice recovery here and start posting again more regularly. Until then, I suppose I shall just give this next part of Anwynne's tale to hopefully momentarily satisfy. Also, hopefully you will enjoy meeting the final POV character in this part.
The other parts may be found here below:

Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine.

            "Errius?," Elystra's small voice rang through Errius' thoughts like the saving sound of a church bell.
            Errius turned to face her. "Yes?"
            Her fair face was in a doubtful and somewhat confused expression. She bit her lip, as though hesitant to say what it was she had roused his attention for. "Errius... I - I... How long will it take us to get to the river road?"
            Errius was quite sure that this question had not been her originally intended one, but he was silent on the matter nonetheless. "It will take us about the rest of the day and a bit of tomorrow. Once we find the river, it will be a day's travel to the first village. From there on, it will be a lot faster, though"
            Elystra nodded, but did not speak again. So they both trekked on.
            Errius looked at Elystra. He pushed a branch out of his way. How he wished he could have spared her this journey, and that she could have just been warm and comfortable at the Nistrian palace already. By now she could've been too, if not for the unseen complication of bandits. Errius hadn't know that there were so many... Otherwise he would've advised the king to build the host for force rather than stealth. And now, because of this mistake, his poor little sister was trooping through the woods at his side, probably very fearfully.
            Errius sighed, and pushed another branch out of the way. He hadn't wanted any of this to happen to her. But then, he hadn't wanted any of this to happen period. All of it had happened too fast for him to take it in. But now he would mend it, now he would make sure that everything was put aright. Soon enough they would be in Nistria, and he could fulfill his promise to the princess. And then he could make sure Elystra was safe, and taken care of. Yes. That was a pleasant thought.
            The hours passed in silence, and soon the sun was low on the tree-ridden horizon. Errius looked over at Elystra. She looked weary. Her dress was torn, her steps were becoming ever slower, and there were shadows under her eyes. Errius took a deep breath. It was definitely time to set up a camp. He stopped, and looked around.
            Elystra glanced up at him. "Errius?"
            Here is a good spot. Errius faced Elystra. "We're stopping, Elystra. We've been traveling all day without a rest. We'll stay here for the night, and then once morning comes, we'll set off for the river again"
            Elystra nodded, and sat down. She looked down at her hands. After a moment, she laid down on the forest floor. 
            Errius looked around. There had to be something he could do to make her at ease... She wasn't used to tracking paths outside the lights of civilization... not like he was. Errius felt his belt. He didn't have a satchel, he didn't have a sword, and he didn't even have a knife. He didn't even have his cloak anymore. Errius clenched his fist, and sat down. He hadn't wanted it to be like this for her. He had to have something. It was cold out, it was in the middle of the woods, and neither of them had eaten. Surely there must be something to help any one of those things...
            Errius felt inside his jerkin. Suddenly his hand came upon something hard and small. He took it out. The princess's bracelet. It was indeed her bracelet. A small, silver ringlet, delicately fit for her tiny wrist. Errius examined it gently. It had an inscription on it in Ingrecian. They were only the words of Anwynne's royal house, but hopefully they would be enough for the Nistrians.
            Errius held the bracelet out in his palm. He looked down at it and nodded. I promised, Princess. I'll come back. I gave you my promise. And I intend to keep it. He held it tight, and pressed it to his face quietly.
            All of the sudden, a moan came seemingly out of nowhere. Errius looked around. Elystra was moaning, and moving in her sleep. Errius stood up, and walked towards her.
             Then Elystra stopped moaning, and sat up. Her cheeks had tearstains down them, and she looked worried. "Erry!" She turned around frantically until she saw Errius. "Errius... oh..."
            Errius sat down next to her, and looked into her face. What could be wrong? "Elystra, what's wrong?"
            "Errius, I..." She looked down. "I've had a dream... With a face... And I thought it was just a dream, but then, back at the bandits' cave...." She turned her face up to Errius, worry shining in her silvery eyes. "And I saw the face. There, at the bandits' cave, I saw it again... And I thought that I'd just imagined it up..."

            Errius stroked her face with his finger worriedly. "Who, Elystra? What face?"
            Elystra's eyes shone with fear. "I don't know! I kept seeing a face in my dreams, and somehow vaguely remembered it, but I thought I made it up because I didn't know it... But the bandits' cave... Errius, the bandit's captain - I've seen him before! Both of us have, I think... I knew the face..."
            Errius furrowed his brow. How could such a thing be? Neither he nor Elystra had ever met the bandit captain before...  "Elystra..."
            "I know it sounds mad, Errius, but I know we've seen him before! His face is familiar to me... I just don't know how..."
            Errius looked down. The bandit captain..? But, then when they'd been dueling, Errius had almost thought the same thing... that he had seen the face somewhere before, in the vague realms of the past...

"Angelo," Marcina called for her brother, knocking upon the large doors of the throne room. "Angelo?"
Marcina opened one of the doors cautiously and stepped in. She looked around the throne room. Sitting upon the throne was Angelo, gazing distantly out with an unreadable look on his countenance. It wasn't exactly an unusual sight. Marcina sighed.
Marcina stepped forward, walking up to the throne upon which Angelo rested. "Angelo? What are you doing?"
Angelo's gaze remained distant for a moment, but eventually centered on Marcina. He almost looked surprised that she was there. "Cia? What is it you wish for?"
Marcina smiled a little in spite of herself. "I asked you what you were doing, Angelo"
"Just thinking... that's all, Cia...," Angelo trailed off, starting to look distant again before he shook himself. He smiled a little, as though to reassure her that nothing was wrong. "Is there anything else you wanted, Cia?"
Marcina attempted to ignore his distance in mind. She smiled brightly and gestured out the door playfully. "Why don't you walk in the garden with your sister before you're crowned king and you have a thousand score duties?" She laughed a little. "Instead of having only a stiff, grumpy regent for company?" She looked up at him hopefully, still smiling.
Angelo glanced out of the window nearest the throne. Then he looked back at Marcina. "Cia, it's raining"
Marcina looked outside. It was indeed raining. Oh, fiddlesticks. She hadn't thought of that. "Well, then, ah, why don't you walk in the halls with your sister instead?," she queried hopefully.
"Is that what you want, Cia?"
Marcina sighed. "I suppose so, yes" Oh, why could she never think of a good way to speak to him? It was just so frustrating!
Angelo smiled ever-so-slightly. "Then I shall... at least for a little while"
Marcina frowned. "No, don't if you don't want to, Angelo..." She crossed her arms disappointedly. "We can just stay in here"
Angelo nodded. "If that's what you want, Cia"
Oh, honestly he was so frustrating! Somehow, there were times these days when Marcina didn't know what to think of Angelo and his doings, or how to even speak to him. He had become so distant in the past few months. It almost always seemed as though something was wrong, but when she asked him, nothing ever was. He kept to himself, he kept to his room, and the throne room seemed to be the only other place he ever frequented. And he never showed preferences or pleasure for anything anymore, not even around Marcina. Just however she liked it, or just whatever she wanted to do. Well, Marcina knew that this was only gentlemanly behavior, but she was getting sick of it! She just couldn't read him anymore, and it bothered her.
But, relentless of however reclusive Angelo chose to be, it was not in Marcina to be the same way by any means. So she sat herself down in the chair right next to him. She began to tap her fingers on the arm of the chair, as was often a habit with her.
Eventually, she plucked up enough boldness to speak again. "Angelo?"
Angelo turned to her, breaking from another distant unknown reverie. "Yes, Cia?"
"You know, you're going to be married in less than three weeks" Maybe this was what was upsetting him. Marcina would just watch his reaction to see.
Angelo nodded slowly. "Yes, I am"

Marcina bit her lip frustratedly. "Aren't you excited, though?"
Angelo smiled at her. "You know very well, Cia, I never really thought about it very much. I suppose, though, I best begin to do so"
Marcina smiled. "Yes, I'm afraid you must... otherwise you'll be a rather poor husband!"
Angelo didn't reply. He seemed to grow distant again, and his smile faded softly. Was the subject of his upcoming matrimony, then, what had been so keeping his thoughts? Perhaps...  But then, for a moment, he almost had seemed happy about it... Then maybe it was in association with that...? Marcina just didn't know... And she couldn't bring herself to ask him. But then, maybe she would have to... An unanticipated streak of courage surged through her. Marcina would know what was putting her brother out of sorts, or else forever give up trying to. 
"Angelo?," she spoke again, her voice shaking a little. "Please tell me what's the matter... You haven't spoken three words for days, and have spent so much time alone - or with Lord-Regent Orvond"
Angelo smiled, if a little sadly. "Is it so apparent that something's wrong?"
Marcina put her hand over his and looked up at him. "No... Only to your sister"
Angelo sighed. "I am worried, Cia. But perhaps I am merely being ludicrous in my worries" He smiled, and squeezed her hand gently. "Yes, I'm just being worrisome. No need to distress yourself for one of my follies, Cia" With this, Angelo got up. He looked back at Marcina, and held out his hand. "Perhaps now you would let me have that walk with my sister you spoke of?"
Marcina sighed, still disappointed that he wouldn't let her in. But, nonetheless, she smiled back at him, and stepped forward to take his hand. "As you wish, Angelo"
What did you think? Perhaps you are relieved that there are no more surprise POVs coming? Or perhaps you're thinking there are already too many...? :P Any comments? Critiques? Suggestions? I love any and all critique of any kind, so please chat with me!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Meet the Books! - A Broadway Waltz

Hallo! I'm back!... finally. ;) With another Meet the Books! this time! Haha, it seems like it's been forever since the last one... :P Anyways, for any and all who are interested, new, or don't remember, this feature is one of my own invention to introduce my stories on my blog here, but I intended it as a way for anyone to do the same if they so wish. Only rules are to answer the questions and link back on my blog here, Worlds of Ink and Paper, so that I may see it. And anyone who wants to do this feature is also quite welcome to take the picture with them as well. That being said, I'll get to business.

What is the genre?
The genre is Romance, I think. It could be also mistaken for Romantic Comedy, but it definitely leans more into a serious romantic setting than my previous Romance/Romantic Comedy, The Top-Hat Gang.
What is the title? Time period?
The title is... in speculation, to say the least. But the temporarily winning prototype for it is A Broadway Waltz. Some other ideas were A Brooklyn Waltz, Step by Step, Change Partners, and Shall We Dance? (the main reason that the latter two were rejected was because they too closely resembled titles of a couple of Fred Astaire movies or songs). I also considered Broadway Melody as a title for it, but I seem to vaguely remember five different movies all having that very same title... ;) As for the time period, it is my sole story written in modern day - all of the others are respectively in medieval times, the 1600's, the 1950's, WWII, and the near future (around the year 2121).
How is it written (Point of view, MC, etc.)?
It's written - again, haha - in third person limited, and usually the only POV is the MC, named Amy Cassidy (however, I wrote a single lone scene from a different point of view and may write later parts of the book with different POVs).
Who are the characters?
Amy Cassidy is a young aspiring dancer who has danced all her life, and is, at the beginning of the story, beginning to make her way in the world. All her life she's longed to be performing. She is an small, auburn-haired, Brooklyn-born girl who can be slightly sarcastic, perhaps, but is often seen mothering her best friend/unofficial date,
Alejandro Lorenz, another young aspiring dancer. He and Amy have been dancing together since they were only four years old, just toddlers in a junior ballet class, and they have remained partners against all odds for almost eighteen years, through all the academies and recitals along the way. He is very good-natured, but is often playful (and is, despite their mostly casual relationship, rather stuck on Amy). He's at least nominally her date, but mostly is in more of a position as her best friend. He's also Brooklyn-born, though Hispanic in descent and looks (and, funnily enough, accent).
Blane Thomas is a big star in the performing world. Not only the sweetheart of Broadway, but the envy of every male singer who ever stepped on stage - and he knows it, too. Not to mention he's handsome and knows a good few lines. ;) But, though he's got everything (he thinks), he's thrown for a whirl when he sees something he actually doesn't have...
Surprisingly, those are the only characters as of yet. There's another one in the making, but I'm not sure if I want to keep her or not yet.
What does the plot consist of?
It consists of three things:
a) Amy's (and Alejandro's!) bid for a place in the performing world,
b) a Broadway show that seems to have Fate against it ever being performed,
c) one (or two... or maybe even three) rather difficult romantic development(s) concerning Amy and a certain gent.
What is the setting?
The setting is the high society/everyday society of Brooklyn, New York, and the life on Broadway (or, in Amy and Alejandro's case, the struggle to get the life on Broadway).
What gave you the idea?
I was just listening to some laid-back Gregorian chant (plus a bit of baroque) with my dad, and we listened to a piece that contained castanets (of baroque, haha, not chant). ;) Then we got to talking about how fast castanets could even be played, so we looked up pieces with castanets. We found this awesome Spanish baroque piece consisting of harpsichord and castanets, and we loved it. I listened to it over and over - even after my dad was gone doing something else. And it snapped - just like a castanet. A story. My first instinct, though, in listening to the song, was to write a Spanish historical novel of a certain time period. However, a friend of mine had just started doing the same thing, so I felt like it would be taking her idea (which was silly, but I'm glad it led to what it did). So I thought I might write people doing a Spanish activity instead. So I wrote a lively scene of a couple of teasy and ever-so-slightly flirtatious flamenco dancers at practice (and play), and decided I absolutely loved them. So I continued the story, in modern times and not Spanish historical of any kind. (fun fact: Alejandro's name was originally Sebastio - odd, right?). ;) Then as the story went on, another character developed in my head - and, oh boy, was he a character! He sure was. And now... Mr. Difficult (a.k.a. Mr. Blane Thomas) is a prominent person in the story.
Who are the favorite characters so far?
That I can answer without a doubt. Alejandro. Alejandro. Alejandro. Everybody has said Alejandro. Except my stubborn sister, who favors Blane (though she insists that his name is not Blane Thomas, but Darby Blane - the name she suggested for him originally).
Not Darby - just Blane. :)
What is the favorite scene so far?
The scene in which you first meet Blane (not Darby!), and in which Alejandro says and does a few super awesome guy things of various types (and the best cutting in on a dance I have ever written in my perhaps not-so-humble opinion).
Any themes of music for this work?
Actually, the book itself has a theme song - Sway, or Quien Sera (the Il Divo version specifically, because it differs from other versions in a very significant way - plus, Il Divo's way better!). :) It has significance in more than one way as well - it's in Spanish, which makes it somewhat reminiscent of Alejandro, and it is a request for a dance (and, after all, dancing is the core of this story!). Not to mention the Il Divo version has a depth to it and an almost sad part which emphasizes the drama part of the plot. So there's your Belle-rant-analyzing of the day. ;)
Any drawings?
Nope! Not a one, unfortunately. I never tried to draw Alejandro because I already knew exactly what he looked like in my head, and I never tried to draw anybody else from it just out of laziness.
Any snippets?
I'm afraid not for the moment - you see, I have just moved back up north from my Virginia post. So I have not yet unpacked all of my notebooks, and this story will have to wait to be found.
Strong point in story?
The banter. The laughs are - to say the least - very flourishing in it, and comic relief is not without place to be sure.
Weak point in story?
The communication. I have what seems to me like a good idea, but it's very hard somehow this time to get it through in writing. There are so many emotions and ideas flourishing, but I'm afraid that your average reader won't spot them, and I'm afraid that no one short of a romantic expert would spot them. This has always been my problem in writing romance. I write romance with the old-movies method - communicate the biggest feelings by the smallest things. A glance, some sentimental item, a mere sigh - anything. But I feel like this method may be slightly outdated, and ineffective on the modern reader. I think now is more a time when you need more clarity when writing such things.
What are your plans for it?
Well, I want to finish it in the next year or two (hopefully!), and then get it published maybe. Pretty small-town, commonplace plans, but they do for me. :)
Any particular writing habits for it?
Well, I almost always listen to music. The three main ones being the lively Spanish baroque piece that started it all (here), the story's theme, Quien Sera (Sway) - which is linked to above - and the song Red Roses For a Blue Lady by Andy Williams (here).
If it were made into a movie, what would be your ideal cast?
I would definitely have Ricardo Montalban play Alejandro (after all, he was unwittingly Alejandro's look-alike), Thomas Hampson as Blane (Blane's looks are loosely based off of young Thomas Hampson). As for Amy, I'm not sure. I think Natalie Portman would be a good Amy, only it would be weird to see her with auburn hair (not to mention, as far as I know, she neither dances nor sings). Oh well. :P
What did you think? Would you read it? Who do you think would be your favorite character? Are you considering joining up for Meet the Books!? (please do!) Do you have a WIP? A Romance novel also, perhaps? I would love to hear about it! I want to hear all your thoughts! Chat with me, my lovely readers! :D

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Development on Lady Lecta

I had hoped to put some brilliant post up soon. Some marvelous thoughts that would astound all in the room, to paraphrase Jane Austen. However... I'm rambling again. Between my super-distraction of late, daydreaming, and being super stressed (because aaaaaaaah! save me - I have a vocal recital tomorrow and have never sung alone for an audience before for more than one verse!!!), I fail to even coherently speak, I'm afraid (I almost typed 'coherentlyy speek' - see my point?!).
Maybe I'm going crazy. Maybe it is just any of those above symptoms. It's also entirely possible that it is excitement. Why? Because my most boring, shortbread cookie, whole wheat toast without butter character - that I've been complaining about basically since her existence - has finally gotten some development. And it took long enough! *glares at muse*
Ahem. Anyways, though, the character in question is Lady Lecta, Leta's mentor in In Greater Hands. She is a mother-figure of a sort, but rather unmotherly. She is rather business-like, and - while seeming to wish to care for Leta - is a mentor and nothing more, it seems. And I always thought she was so boring. And she was! But... now? I has backstory. And what is a better place to start on developing a bland character than backstory? In fact, I am now quite convinced that it can fix any character if it can fix Lady Lecta. So... I suppose I'll stop rambling and actually delve into said backstory... :P
Lady Lecta was raised as an only child in Britain by the name of Julie Bearing. Both parents probably worked, so she was never really taught anything else. She grew up a business woman, and shot only to be such in her education and career.
When, becoming a British diplomat in the global secret service, AOP (it stands for a Latin phrase meaning 'For all peace'), she met Lord Lecta, the vice-president of the service at the time, her wish for a career alone was shaken slightly, but she didn't do much to stop her quickly vaulting diplomatic success. So when Lord Lecta, a more traditional, family-centered man by nature, married her, she was still working, though she reflected upon it and resolved to give everything up and just be a wife if possible. She wasn't good at it even trying, though, and since Lord Lecta himself did not press the matter past his own wishes, Lady Lecta decided to remain a working woman.
But then she found out she was expecting. And this time, once and for all, she decided she would give up working and try to become the motherly woman that was such a distant idea to her, at least for Lord Lecta and the child's sake. She could never imagine herself a mother, really, and had a hard time coping with the thought. She happy, nonetheless, but concerned that she couldn't be a real mother.
Her concerns were the least of her problems. About three or four months in, Lady Lecta miscarried. Lord Lecta, of course, was miserable for it, but it was nothing to what Lady Lecta felt. Though she had never been able to see herself as a mother, she was destroyed by the loss. Her work was, perhaps, successful, as she was now one of the civilian head at the service's main military base, but work didn't seem to matter. And what was worse was that, apparently, she was now infertile for the loss. She could never see herself as a mother, and she would never have to. She could just continue being a working woman, without ever having to worry about the home life. She was numb to almost everything for who knows how long.
But then, something happened. Lady Lecta was visiting, on business, a general at one of the New Russian Empire's recruiting stations, in the midst of the city, Ytsva, which had been centered on and so devastated in the war. A young girl, of about eleven or twelve, was trying desperately to get enrolled. Lady Lecta had other business, but was curious and so watched the happening. The girl had apparently lost her father, and wanted to help fight for Russia and its Counterrevolution, the cause her father had died for. Of course, begin only a young girl, she was turned down and told to go and find her mother.
The girl was upset, but turned to leave, only replying that her mother was dead. And Lady Lecta heard those words. And it seemed to all come back to her - her own frail attempts at preparing for motherhood, her hopes, her wishes, and all her fears. And her child. Lady Lecta hardly knew what she was doing, but she went and spoke to the child. Seeing the girl's face, it was too much to bear. Lady Lecta blindly spoke as was her instinct - she asked the girl to enroll with her, as a training ward. The girl, Leta, agreed, though surprised. Lady Lecta regretted it so many times afterwards. She had wanted to be Leta's mother, she had wanted to be Leta's friend... not Leta's trainer. But she was a business woman, and of course, all she could do was think that way... and she despised it. How she longed for years to be able to turn back, but with Leta's success as a military aid, and Leta's own business-like relationship with Lady Lecta, she didn't ever have the courage to fix the problem that she had made. And it was bitter. Because Leta started to grow up like her - a fighting woman, without home or husband or any such things in her mind, and without friends aside from those she knew a little through her work.
So, up to the beginning of the story, Lady Lecta is very much uneasy, for the choices she'd made up to there...
And that about covers it. It was the only thing yet that could possibly make me like Lady Lecta, and now I shall hand out these propaganda promotion fliers to encourage making backstories for characters rather than trashing them - because it really does work!
And finally, I must needs share something that I have been going a little nuts over since a couple days ago, when I thought of a scenario in relation to this. It's true, if Lady Lecta's child hadn't died, Leta probably would have never become her ward or even met her, but I imagined a situation - what if Lady Lecta's child had survived, and Leta had had an older sibling? The thought was so adorable, I immediately went to Pinterest and found a ton of pictures that I needed to share. And, needless to say, I got ever so slightly carried away...
Okay, so this is actually one of the only ones that has completely accurate ages and age gap between them... but they were all so cute, I couldn't resist!

Okay, so I guess this one is plausible as well. :)

Sua jornada moldou você para seu bem maior, e foi exatamente o que precisava ser. Não pense que você perdeu tempo. Não existem atalhos para a vida. Foi necessária cada e toda situação que você encontrou para trazê-lo para o agora. E agora é o momento certo.
What did you think? Are you bored by now... or also absolutely enamored of adorable sibling pictures??? <3 :O What do you think of the development? Have you worked on any of your characters backstories lately? What story character do you think has best backstory?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Praise For Fictional Mothers

Happy Mother's Day (and Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, coincidentally) to all! :D I thought it might be fun for Mother's Day to explore some of my favorite moms fiction has to offer - care to join me? :)Because mother character so rarely get applauded, I would love for anyone and everyone to add any they can think of in the comments, even their own story's mother characters! Because we need mom characters - they are the ignored heroes of the stories. Without them, would we even have the heroes?
Queen Frigga from Thor
M'dear friend Megan has already pointed out each and every one of this amazing mom's qualities, both as a character, and as a mother here, and I couldn't agree more! Frigga is strong in the midst of weakness, and is the glue to a broken vase, so to speak. No family in fiction that I can think of is quite so broken up as Frigga's at that start, and yet no mother in fiction that I can think strikes me a stronger in the situation.
Mrs. March from Little Women
Ya know, I'd always felt, even as a little girl reading the story, that there was something special about Marmee. She was every bit as caring as a real life mother, and had a character all her own, which is an attribute sadly lacking in many fictional mothers. She seemed almost the definition of a mother - caring, but fierce in her own way as well. And I must say that a good few words of Marmee's advice have stuck with me quite determinedly through all these years. After all, Mother knows best - and Mrs. March is no exception!
Galadriel from Lord of the Rings
Perhaps for most people, mother is not the first thing that comes to mind when they think Galadriel. They might think 'Ring-bearer,' 'Forest-queen,' or even, perhaps, if their mind is inclined to agree with the stupid movie Gimli's ramblings, 'Elf-witch.' Putting aside that last one, she is all of these things. But also a mother. And a mother primarily. You know, without her, there would be none of Arwen and Aragorn. Because there wouldn't be Arwen. While the movies ignore it quite blatantly, Arwen is the granddaughter of Galadriel, child to Galadriel's daughter, Celebrian. And, you know, once I found out, I was never really able to think of Galadriel in any other way. She just seems like a mother, though her role as one is quite hidden in LotR. But the truth is, motherhood isn't glory. But it's goodness. And that I am sure even those who at the start of this thought like Gimli would agree Galadriel has. Because, believe it or not, she was a mother before she was ever an 'Elf-witch.' ;)
 Resa Folchart from Inkheart
Okay. I'll admit it. I was never a big fan of Resa, even having watched the movie basically since it came out. But, honestly, she deserved my fandom. She was a mother whose motherhood was torn from her, and what did she do? She didn't just move on. She didn't make a new life. She didn't try to get glory for herself. She spent her every last ounce of effort - even unto slavery, imprisonment, and almost death - to be a mother again. She used every power within her just to get back to her child. Now that's a determined mother. I think she deserved my fandom.
Eudora from The Princess and the Frog
There's unfortunately not a whole lot about Eudora in the movie. She's Tiana's down to earth, hard-working, wise-woman Mama, and that's most of what you get. But that's enough. Even just the little bit you get of her, you can tell a lot. She worked herself to pieces just to raise Tiana. She's been poor, widowed, and been through quite some trouble. And, even though Tiana was a good worker like her mother, Eudora always had to try and convince Tiana of what she really needed. And though it seemed never to work, she kept on trying. And finally, it worked. Finally, throughout a chaotic sequence of events, Tiana remembered her mother's words and finally found what she needed.
We Need More
Sure, there are good mother characters out there. But they're few and far between. Most of them are from old or obscure books, and are not commonly known. I've tried my hand at making some - and sometimes met with some measure of success. Queen Gianna from The Clarion Call (previously, Alagna) is a mother who actually has a good relationship with her children, Anwynne's mother in The Pain of a Memory, though little-mentioned, actually cares about her daughter, despite Anwynne's own rather uncaring character, and Felicia from Clarion Call actually has a relevant role in the story. But these are not enough. So I'm calling all of you *cue Uncle Sam picture* to write mother characters. Good ones. Intimate ones. Real mothers. Will you answer?
What do you think? Can you add any other good mothers in fiction who need praise? Have you written any mother characters? Are you willing to answer the need for more?