Sunday, February 26, 2017

Meet The Books! - Alagna

Hey! Yes, more Meet The Books!, I know! And this time it didn't take as long?! What?! Belle didn't procrastinate?! Is anybody else super surprised by this?! ;) Well, today I'm proceeding to the next of my stories, which I started the spring of 2016, I think. Um, April, to be exact (while on vacation in Florida). The previous Meet The Books! feature can be found here. And I am soooo sorry for not posting for so long. I was gone a good time longer than I had expected, and had no way of getting back to my lovely audience here. Sowwy!!!! :'( And I'm expecially ashamed because I missed two chances for CE posts. Please forgive, and I will be better next time, I assure you! Ahem. Anyways, I guess I'll continue to introduce Alagna, possibly my personal favorite of all my stories.
What is the genre?
Originally, it was quite as genre-less as Alomina, but now, ever since I shortened the beginning period before the action, I believe it just might qualify as Action/Adventure.
What is the title? Time period?
The title, well, aha.... hehehehe... :P *grins sheepishly* Well, I'm afraid it has no title. I just call it Alagna, after the heroine. If anybody in my audience has any title ideas for either this one or Alomina, I would be incredibly grateful, and would consider any suggestions at all! The time period for it is sort-of a late medieval (think 1300's - 1400's range). Basically just a slight later than my usual time period in writing.
How is it written (Point of view, MC, etc.)?
Well, it's written in third person limited with main and secondary viewers. The main viewer in POV, also the main character, is Alagna Arleine. The secondary viewers are Prince Blakely, Queen Gianna, and Raspardi Oliongra.
Who are the characters?
Haha, this used to be a problem with the story. Character overpopulation was the biggest issue with it at the time... haha, wish that was the only issue now... :P However, one character was deleted, and two given much smaller appearances, so now it's not really a problem. I would think that I would be devastated to delete a character, but it felt like she wasn't really a character. It kinda felt like she was just words, and not a person. Which is why she's gone, I suppose. Plus, she was super plagiarized off of a character in my best friend's civil war story, come to think of it. Now, the main characters are as follows:
Alagna Arleine, the heroine. She's a noblewoman of, well, uh, let's call it 'homeland', because it's the main country and it's undecided right now. So, anyways, she's a noblewoman of homeland, and a rather independent one at that. In fact, she's perhaps a slight too hot-headed and independent at times. She lives in her own estates without her family, even though she is neither disowned nor married. This is only one example of her independence and contrariness in nature. She is also incredibly curious (I would use the word 'nosy' even), and she is one of my characters who genuinely irritates me sometimes for her disregard to safety and common sense when she is curious. I guess she's kind-of like a medieval detective-lady after some fashions. :P She has chestnut-red hair, and eyes of a mixed shade, this shade dubbed 'the color of starlight', it being a mix of blue, silver, and pale violet (I didn't even know this eye color existed until I got to know somebody in the South with this blended color of eyes. So of course, it being a rarity and novelty, I had to have it for one of my characters). ;)
Prince Blakely is Alagna's best friend, and also the oldest prince of homeland. He's quiet and gentle in nature, and always has a moment to spare for Alagna, despite his manifold duties and worries. Often it's Alagna that aids his mind when he is worried over something. He pays much attention to Alagna, but sometimes more than she will allow. Alagna knows he likes her, but it's not too seriously taken, because she knows he's still a boy at heart. He is the crown prince, and is constantly trying to learn to be a better king, because he is extremely dutiful. He's exceptionally tall, at the height of six foot four, has bright blue eyes and almost honey-ish blond hair.
Haha, unfortunately another Pinterest calamity happened - the only picture I could find to fit Blakely was one of him as a little boy! ;) Oh dear... :P
Prince Francis and Prince Edmonde are Blakely's rather roguish younger brothers. No one would believe they're not twins, even though they're a year apart. In fact, they're often called the 'Almost Twins' because they're so incredibly close in age, looks, and character. Somewhat mischievous at times (meaning, all the time), and possessed of a special love for teasing Blakely, particularly concerning his soft spot for Alagna. They treat Alagna like a sister, and don't leave her out of the teasing either. They look, for the most part, like Blakely, except that Edmonde has emerald-green eyes rather than blue. (And, by the way, even though I spelled it the French way, Edmonde's name is still just pronounced 'Edmund', like normal.)
Felicia... except too sad-seeming. (Sorry, have no pics of Francis or Edmonde.)
Lady Felicia Ellmonte is Alagna's cousin and best friend. She's very spirited to be sure, but can get a bit concerned with some of Alagna's schemes. For the most part, she teases and plot just as much, though, unless of course she thinks it will get her in serious danger. She has rather large aquamarine eyes, is of a small build, has caramel-ish-colored hair, and is rather exceptionally pretty. She is somewhat newly married at the beginning of the story to her husband,
Lord Alistair Ellmonte, a rather studious young nobleman who is devoted to his wife... though most may not gather it from his quiet and secluded manner. Somehow, despite his seeming obliviousness to the rest of the world, he has many friends, and it is one of Felicia's favorite things to teasingly puzzle aloud over this fact. He often seems like he isn't paying attention, but, if asked something, is usually found to be surprisingly aware. He has black hair and blue eyes.
Queen Gianna, a troubled widow-queen, the mother of the princes, and a very pressured monarch in potentially explosive times. She is of a more quiet nature, but never ceases to listen to, heed, or even ask the advice of her strong eldest son. She is uncannily tall for a queen, of very impressive bearing, has honey-ish blond hair with brown-ish streaks, and emerald-green eyes.

Baron Rimande Dontola, a gentlemanly foreign friend of Alistair's from, uh, let's call it Nova Italia, because it's an Italian-based country without a name. A friendly character, but possibly in unconscious danger. Exotic in both accent and looks, with dark hair and darker eyes.
Alexander Arleine is the only young member of the family besides Alagna who is unmarried, being her cousin and Felicia's younger brother. He has around the same color hair as Felicia, but otherwise looks very little like her, being tall in build, with brown eyes, and very simple but keen features.
Lady Arleine is the rather irritating mother of Alexander and Felicia, and Alagna's aunt. A matchmaker to the fullest extent, especially for Alagna.
Duke Roanwall is a foppish courtier close to the royal family. Close for what reason exactly, no one quite knows, because the princes (particularly the younger two) dislike him, and the queen only pays him polite attention. Despite the queen's mere civility, though, the younger brothers believe that Roanwall is trying to court their mother (thus some of their reason for disliking him so).
Raspardi Oliongra, or, as he is known in homeland as Raspard Olnier, is a Nova Italia foreigner quite apparently trying to conceal his foreign identity. He has been seen around many places at unusual times, and Alagna suspects him of having something to do with a disaster early in the story.
What does the plot consist of?
Eh... eh, hehehehe... Well... The plot - to put only the barest part of the main plot into words - is about a complex conspiracy. A conspiracy against - spoilers! ;) Yeah, I'm not gonna say what against. But it's a conspiracy/rebellion basically that at first glance seems only against the throne. However, add this happening to about a million little sub-plots and extra complications, and you've really got the plot. The story used to have no plot, but now... Well, let's just say that it's now to the point where drawing a plot diagram of it looks like this:

Catch my drift? :P
What is the setting?
The setting is a late medieval high society. *starts singing the song from the Frank Sinatra movie, High Society* Ahem. Anyways, it is mostly higher society, anyways. I do have some scenes that aren't in ballrooms or great palaces and estates, so don't think it's all highbrow street. (Even though it mostly is...)
Who are the favorite characters in it?
Well, besides myself, I only have one reader for this story, and that's my reader who reads all my stuff. Actually, another of my readers read a sneak-scene from this story, just not the actual thing as of yet. My personal fav, and my one reader's fav is Prince Blakely. Although, she keeps changing her mind about whether she really likes or really despises Dontola. At the moment she likes him still, I believe. Most of us who know the story like Alagna,, but everybody gets frustrated with her, including me.
What is the favorite scene?
Well, like I said, one of my readers has only read one scene, so I'm not sure. However, the other one likes any scene with Blakely, and I believe her particular favorite is the scene where Blakely is introduced. Although... I also distinctly remember her mentioning the ball scene when the disaster happens too, so maybe that's it.
Any themes of music for this work?
Well, I listened to the opera Carmen a whole lot writing it when it was in the early stages (maybe this is why Alagna frustrates me so? Maybe she unconsciously took on some Carmen-like qualities...?). Now, I mainly listen to either the soundtrack to Disney's 2015 Cinderella (my go-to instrumental writing music), or one of Blakely's themes. Don't ask why, but even though he's not the main character, he has two character themes. They are More, by Andy Williams (who is really the best singer for dramatic characters themes), and It's Impossible, also by Andy Williams, even though Vic Damone's and Robert Goulet's versions are both also acceptable (this song was Blakely's theme before More, but I disagree with a few of the lyrics to it, so I say More is more Blakely's theme). ;) I think writing to the music from Captain America: Civil War would also fit it really well, but unfortunately I do not have that soundtrack.
How's its progress?
It's midway through the seventh chapter, but it has seriously long chapters. Like ten pages or longer. In the notebook that is. In the typed version, it's incomplete, and only at four chapters or so, I believe (though better quality writing). And... I have been so lazy and so unwilling to move on to another notebook that I still have not re-written the written version to delete Grace (that being the name of the guilty plagiarized character). In the notebook, I think she still exists. In the typed version, though, she's gone already.
Any snippets...?
 Alagna rolled her eyes, and asked, "What have you two been up to? Nothing too proper, I would wager"
Francis merely smiled and ignored the question.

She smiled at them both, and they grinned back, their grins almost implying that they knew something she didn't, and they thought it was terribly amusing. Not exactly unusual looks for those two...


"Good evening", Roanwall said stiffly to the princes with an abrupt bow of respect.

Blakely bowed in return politely, Francis nodded expressionlessly, and Edmonde's jaw tightened slightly but he said nothing.


Once the duke was gone, Blakely walked over to Alagna and opened his mouth as though to speak, but was interrupted by Francis.
"I'd say it's about the time for Blakely to say 'A walk about the garden would be nice'", he said, looking up at the clock as if he were waiting for something.
"Hear, hear! I'd say you're late, Blakely, old man, usually you've asked her by roughly three seconds ago ", said Edmonde, who had caught up, and was now also pretending to contemplate the time.


"Shall we escape from these two fools?", said Blakely in play-exasperation, gesturing towards Francis and Edmonde, who in turn tried to look as innocent as possible.

 Alagna laughed and then took Blakely's extended hand. "Why of course, as my lord would wish it", she said , smiling playfully.

Alagna played the tune even faster, and they tried to keep up, but then Felicia and Alexander both stopped dancing and collapsed laughingly onto the couch. Alagna finally ceased to play.

"Alright, Lagna, you win", said Felicia resignedly.

Alagna laughed playfully. "I'm glad you admit it"

Felicia smiled naughtily over at her brother. "Well, at least you play better than Alexander..."

Alexander made a face. "Very well and amusing, Felicia, but I have gotten better!"

Felicia pretended to be pleasantly shocked. "Oh really? How much better, may I ask?"

Alexander grinned. "Well enough to sound as though a horse was charging the instrument"
They all laughed. "Well", Felicia mused after a moment. "That is a small improvement, at least. It used to sound as though a herd of cattle were trampling it!"

Alagna glanced into the grand hall as she entered. Blakely stood there as if waiting, but not hopefully so. He saw Alagna and, though he did not entirely smile, his face seemed to brighten at the sight of her.
Blakely kissed her hand and gazed off into the distance thoughtfully. Alagna cleared her throat slightly, and Blakely 'snapped' back into reality, letting her hand go almost sheepishly.
Alagna and Blakely strolled into the small room. Francis was there, sitting in a kind-of daydreaming-ish way. On noticing them enter, Francis stood up, bowed to Alagna, and resumed his seat after kissing her hand.
Blakely nodded to Alagna, and gestured out the door plainly. "I think this room is taken"
Francis laughed. "Oh, come, come, Blakely, I don't mind you, old man, and I certainly don't mind the lovely lady"
"Oh, hello, Edmonde" Alagna smiled at him vaguely. "Ah, aren't you supposed to be receiving guests?"
Edmonde shrugged lightly. "You're a guest, and I'm receiving you"
Yeah... that's almost everything from the typed document. I really wish that the rest was typed up, because it had some good potential snippets, but unfortunately it's only in the notebook. And I couldn't find any snippets that had Queen Gianna, because most of the good scene with her are not typed up. Agh! Why are over half of these Francis and Edmonde scenes?! Apparently they're the characters in this who talk the most. :P
Any Drawings?
Well, only a couple. I have some pictures of them, and then one drawing of Alagna by me.
Felicia (left), Alagna (middle), and Baron Dontola (right). I'm not altogether pleased with how the neckline of Alagna's dress turned out, but oh well.
Alagna and Blakely. Unfortunately, there was not a good hair color for Blakely, so I had to make his hair very light yellowy, which looks wrong.
This one's fun. This actually isn't a pic for Alagna's story, but Alagna is in this picture. It's a picture of me and my characters (some of them). From left to right it's Alagna Arleine, Count Montefore (from Alomina), Rosanne Arnough (from The Top-Hat Gang), Belle Anne herself, Vic Vance (from In Greater Hands), Princess Celeise (from Alomina), Lord Percy (from Alomina), and Lady Mina (also from Alomina).

Strong point in story?
Well, the action starts up really quick for one of my stories, so I suppose that's a strong point, at least in comparison to its fellows. But I think its strongest point is its feeling, I suppose. While it is fairly light in emotion in the beginning, as it goes on, more and more things happen, and the feeling seems (at least to me) to just almost surge out in waves right into the reader (but, that could be just me, because I am the writer).
Weak point in story?
The weak point is definitely the communication of all the sub-plots. I have trouble getting down to writing when things get over-complicated in stories, and end up just avoiding the book for a while, and this is definitely happening with Alagna. There are so many plots and sub-plots that, well... you saw my attempt at a rough plot diagram... :P So, I feel like I'm just avoiding putting them into writing at all, and so the story is seeming under-developed plot-wise, even when in my head it's of such magnitude.
Plans for it?
Well, my plans for it depend on a few things. I definitely plan to have it beta-read sooner or later (by someone other than my writing confidante). And, depending on the opinions and verdicts of my critique partners (and depending on my laziness level), I may post this one for critique on the wonderful Inklings full-novel critique site once Alomina is done being posted there. It would either be this one or In Greater Hands next.

Any particular habits for writing it?
Well, I listen to a lot of music while writing this. This one is probably the most musically-written of all my books. And I occasionally eat chocolate while writing it too. Basically my usual habits, except more so in the case of music.
And... That's about it! I'm very sorry I was gone for so long... :( What do you think? Would you read it? Which up to this point do you think sounds most interesting of the introduced stories? Do you think, of the countries in it, that Homeland or Nova Italia is cooler? Do you have a name idea for either country? :P What about a title idea for Alagna? Who do you think your favorite character would be? Tell me that I'm not the only one with a problem of certain side characters talking too much?! (a.k.a. Francis and Edmonde!) ;) 

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Penning Tournament: First Challenge

Yay! Yes, you will always remember this as the day Belle almost procrastinated and didn't put up the first challenge for the tournament. But she ended up doing it, didn't she? ;) Okay, enough with the quotes and teasiness. I must get on with business. So, I have for you the first challenge, which I shall simply say now rather than having the part where I go on for a while (haha, I'm just nerding it up today with references, aren't I? Pirates of the Carribean, old 50's songs, and Pooh Bear... I am such a dork...). ;) Anyways, here is the challenge for me and Lucy:
A Music-Based Challenge!
So, take either your very favorite song from a musical you like, or a song you simply like from your very favorite musical. Take only one line from this song, and write a scene off of it, inspired by that one line. It must be roughly 1k words or more. You will have until the 28th of February to write it. And... the fact that it's a music-based challenge has nothing to do with the fact that I was singing and going to a piano lesson before I posted this... :P
What do you think? Lucy, your thoughts? I hope that this challenge was creative enough, because I felt like it wasn't altogether too original. In fact... it vaguely reminds me of another challenge we had to do at a different time... hmm... :P Anyways, I suppose since I said I was commentator, I'll give some updates and plans for this thing, at least on my side. Whoever succeeds will give the next challenge. I plan to do this challenge for... hmmm... I think I will use my newest story to write this thing, but I'm not positive yet. It depends on the song I end up going with. But, if I do, that means new characters (new to this blog at least) will be up on here soon. And I will post more updates when the first challenge is finished, I think. Unless of course Lucy wishes to do this. Or unless I don't finish it. Okay, I guess I'll commentate from whatever position seems fit. For the moment, though, konbonwa, friends! ;)
What do you think of the challenge? Do you think this one sounds fun? If it does, you're welcome to try... ;) Do you like writing challenges? Or are you more a self-planning writer? Is Belle's chatter already getting annoying? ;) Note: I will unfortunately be out of town for about a week or so starting Saturday, so I will not be posting anything in that time, including Catholicism Explained. (sowweee!!!) :(

Monday, February 13, 2017

Interview Of Lady Alomina De Blyrwen

Hello! Today I am interviewing Lady Alomina, the heroine of my book, Alomina, with some lovely questions from you, my audience. Lady Mina's bio can be found here, the introduction to her story here, and the previous interview, of her brother Percy, right here. Her actual story (up to Chapter Fourteen) can also be found here. So, that being said, I'll continue with the interview.
My drawing of Mina... Unfortunately, when I downloaded it, it became very blurry.

Belle. Hello, Mina. Mind if I ask a few questions?
Alomina. No, I don't mind...
Belle. Alright, then let's get right to it! Here are some from Hope: what is your favorite book?
Alomina. *smiles brightly* There's a book of fairy-tales that Percy used to read to me all the time, and though I practically have it memorized now, it's still my favorite.
Belle. Alright, do you like to do any craft projects? Knitting, drawing, sculpting, or embroidering?
Alomina. Oh, I love to embroider! I love to sew, and I do it all the time. Very few hobbies bring me greater pleasure.
Belle. I know you love your brother, but what is one thing you can't stand about him? Maybe a bad habit of his?
Alomina. *looks shocked, and eyes go wide innocently* Oh, dear, no! There is nothing I can't abide in Percy... But he does have a few habits. I've learned to live with them, so they don't bother me, though. For instance, he runs his hands through his hair a lot when he's distressed. And he also has a habit of absent-mindedly reading aloud if he's reading in the same room as me. And he sometimes taps his foot on the ground if he's sitting down.*laughs* Actually he has quite a few habits, I suppose, it's just that none of them particularly irk me.
Belle. Really? Nothing? *grins* I have four brothers, and all of them irk me.
Alomina. *smiles* Well, there never was a brother quite like Percy.
Belle. *nods* Unfortunately true. Next question is, what is your favorite season and why?
Alomina. Oh, my favorite season is most decidedly the autumn! Percy is home so much more then, because of our country's holidays, and then he is much less worried all the time.
Belle. Do you have secrets you keep from Percy?
Alomina. *hesitantly* No... I don't keep any secrets from him, really. Sometimes I almost think  he must get exasperated with me, telling him every single news of the day, and yet, then I remember that it's Percy, and he is never cross with me or anything. I really don't know what I ever did to deserve even being born in the same country as him, much less being his sister.
Belle. Alright, what is your favorite sweet?
Alomina. Pastries, to be sure! Particularly berry ones... *laughs* Percy and I have always loved berries...
Belle. And is there some place you've always wanted to go, but never did?
Alomina. I can't think of any... I was always perfectly content being at home... It's Percy really that was always the social one. *smiles sheepishly* I probably wouldn't go out at all if Percy didn't so prompt me. Although... *smiles fades slightly* I have always wanted to visit our father's grave. He died in another country, and in the last part of a violent time there, so he was never brought back here. I have never been to Vellethia, where he is... Percy has. Percy has been there, but only once.
Belle. Yes... I actually... *stifles herself hurriedly* Uh, I wasn't going to say anything! No spoilers here! *tries to grin innocently, with very little success* Anyways, that wraps up the queries from Hope. Next, from Lucy, is this: what's one vice you can't stand in other people?
Alomina. Well, there's no vice I absolutely can't stand, but aggressiveness in people bothers me. I always wonder how anyone could fell so desolate as to behave that way, and it makes me very sorry for them.
Belle. What's one virtue you particularly admire?
Alomina. Well... I value hope greatly. I always try to give a bit of it, even if I can't have it. *looks down* I keep it in hard times, because I was never clever or able to find a real reason to not give up, I only just hoped.
Belle. Would you mind sharing one flaw of your own?
Alomina. *looks down shamefully* I'm afraid I have rather an all-too childlike disposition, and often it gets in the way of being clever or rational, or being brave. I have always been naïve, I suppose, for this nature.

Belle.  Let's say you were to become romantically involved with someone... What sort of qualities would he have to possess in order to win your heart?
Alomina. *looks up in surprise and blushes* I? I haven't any imagination for even such a situation... *blushes more*
Belle. *smiles* Yes, you have. Come on, what's one thing?
Alomina. *smiles softly* Well... I suppose he would have to be a lot like Percy... The first thing that might catch my interest in him would be innocence of person, or stability of character. *blushes even more deeply* And... and, well, if he could be content with simple things and people, like me, then I daresay nothing more could I want...
Belle. What has your education been like? What sort of subjects are your favorite, and which do you hate?
Alomina. Well, I was educated partially by mother and father... and partially by nursemaids. My favorite thing were always more home-like things, like mending and cooking, rather than history, which was Percy's favorite. I never liked reading as much, though I do now, because Percy was always willing to read to me, and at the time, I didn't see any advantage in reading myself. *blushes and smiles* I think differently now, though.
Belle. Do you like music?
Alomina. Yes, indeed I do... I particularly love dancing music, because to dance is one of Percy's, and one of my favorite things to do.
Belle. What's one thing you're afraid of?
Alomina. *smile fades* Of being alone. *voice grows very soft* If anything ever happened to Percy that took him away too long, or if anything ever happened to me that took me away... I... *straightens, and attempts to look more happy* Well, now you can see why I don't really envision myself in a courtship, Lady Belle...
Belle. *nods* Yes, I know... That's all the questions from Lucy, by the way. And she says hello.
Alomina. *smiles* And I greet her in return.
Belle. Lovely! Well - from Kayla Marie, by the way - what do you want most in the world?
Alomina. *smiles very softly* I suppose... *laughs gently* I'm not very ambitious... I suppose what I want, truly, is just for things to stay always as they are. All I want is for Percy to be happy, and Aunt to be happy, and then I would be happy. If anything in the world could I wish for, I would only wish that all of us only grow closer and better than we even are now. *blushes* I don't believe it's a very interesting wish, but it really is all I can think of...
Belle. No, it's a lovely wish! It's very contented... *under breath* Wish some of the other characters would take lessons from you... Like Mr. Grumpy-with-everything Stevens...
Alomina. *confusedly* What was that?
Belle. *brightly* Oh, nothing. Next question, if you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Alomina. *pauses a moment in pondering* I don't know... I suppose I would try to make everybody I the world as happy as Percy and I are! *blushes* Oh dear... I can't even answer two queries in order without mentioning Percy...
Belle. *laughs* It's alright. He is pretty cool.
Alomina. *smiles slightly*
Belle. Anyways, do you have any secrets?
Alomina. Well, I suppose not... I mean, I have secrets, but none of them from Percy, so they're not really fully secrets, are they?
Belle. Well, what's one thing that nobody but you and Percy know, then? It's still kind-of a secret...?
Alomina. Well... I suppose I've never told anybody but Percy the few dislikes that I have. I really try to keep cheerful, but he knows of a few things I do rather dislike...
Belle. *lifts brow in anticipation* Such as?
Alomina. *blushes* I don't like to be asked questions. I despise - or rather - *blushes again* that is a harsh word... I very much dislike anybody asking me things, because often I feel very helpless to give any solid advice or answer. *smiles* But I've gotten a bit better about it through the years, because Percy helps me, despite his also teasing me about it.
Belle. Last question, what do you fear most?
Alomina. I... *looks down slightly* I fear having to ever be on my own - and not just being alone - but, well, truly having to look out and know whatever I'm looking at, I must face alone... To look out and not see Percy's face somewhere... It would be... *bites lip* It would be the end of any minimal spirit or bravery I had...
Belle. *smiles sadly* Well, I would like to hope that you would still have some hope... But, *clears throat* anyways, that's all, I believe. Thank you so much for cooperating, Mina... *laughs* even if you don't like being asked questions.
Alomina. *blushes* I do hope I didn't offend with that answer - I didn't mean for interviewing. And I'm afraid I must have been rather uninteresting to interview, as my answers were all so very similar...
Belle. *smiles* Not at all. I loved doing it, and eagerly look forward to the next interview... whoever it may be for...
End Interview.

Kinda younger-looking Dricynnia.
Well, whoever it may be for depends on the votes for one of these three candidates:
Princess Celeise Anatria de-Vistrina Ellette, the Tresintan crown princess.
King Edarian Dertan de-Carta Ellette, the Tresintan king, and Celeise's father.
Madam Dricynnia de Blyrwen, the fairly young aunt of Percy and Mina.
Okay, okay, I'll still add a fourth one, just for variety:

Agh!!! The only person I can find who looks even relatively like Edarian is Kit's dad in Cinderella! And I feel like a copycat because Percy looks like Kit!!!! AGH!!!! And I can't find any pictures of him that don't also have Kit... *sobs in childish frustration*
Count Montefore.
Count Charles Montefore, the mysterious guest whom Mina runs into at a royal palace ball in Tresinta, with an air to him intriguing and very hidden.
Vote for the candidate of your own choice! :D
What did you think of the interview? Do you like Mina? Or was Percy's better? Who will you vote for? Is anybody else having a fit of gladness and frustration at the same time over Pinterest and its picture-finding ability?!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Introducing... The Penning Tournament!

Here today am I to introduce a brilliant idea simultaneously thought of by Miss Lucy@Tanglewebs and Fairy Rings.
You see, both her and I are a part of a guild of sorts for writers. Under this guild both our writing flourished, and with the almost weekly assignments from it, I was writing a completely improvised story (with the help of two lovely readers, including Miss Lucy). Unfortunately, as of recent times, the guild has been temporarily inactive, and so, though it hasn't really been that long since the guild was together and assigning things, I immediately panicked. How was my improv story, made completely off of assignments, going to stay improvised when there was so much temptation to not be patient for assignments?! Well, we had an idea. Both of us, I'm sure, miss it, so we decided 'Why not assign each other some things, except on our blogs?'. So this is what brings me here today. :) We are starting an event called 'The Penning Tournament' (I made this name up, and, uh, without Lucy, so if that name is particularly lame-sounding, don't blame her, but presumptuous me). So, this is how it will work if I remember correctly - we both are given an assignment to write within a certain amount of time. If one of us successfully completes the challenge assignment, then she will be the host of the next challenge, and set the next assignment (if both of us complete it, then we'll just take turns, I suppose? And the same if neither complete it). When we do complete it successfully, before the next challenge, we also get to make a victory post on our blogs, to 'show off' the bit of writing we did in the challenge, and to give updates on the tournament.

I was given the privilege of introducing this thing, as Miss Lucy is ever so gracious to me, a much less experienced blogger, writer, person, etc. ;) Uh... I do not know if there will be a picture or insignia for this tournament, and if there is, it will be posted next tournament post because I do not have one now... :P However, I am both willing to let Miss Lucy make one, or make one myself, so hang in there! ;) Anyways. Ahem. We will be doing this for... uh, however long is mutually agreed by the participant parties as long enough, or just until we procrastinate it into the dusts of time (which is not too terribly unlikely given our particular characters). Now, this post is not the first challenge! This is a heads-up to introduce the thingy, and to let Lucy know I have not forgotten. :) I think I covered all the rules...? Oh yes! While neither of us intended for other people joining in originally, I'm sure anyone who wishes to take the challenges to their own writing is plenty welcome. Now, I think that's everything... Oh, wait! I also may or may not be the annoying commentator person throughout it, giving you every single detail you know you wanted to know about how it's going. So, make sure you're a good distance away, 'cuz I've got a very loud voice and a megaphone to go with it! ;D I also am not sure who will be giving the first challenge assignment. I know Lucy wanted me to start this thing off, but I'm unsure whether she wanted me to assign the first one or not, so I'll have to shoot her an e-mail before we begin officially. Also, the reason I'm doing this now, rather than procrastinating into the summer is because Miss Lucy, I have heard, will at that time be busy being a famous stage actress. :) So, for that, a hand of applause for Miss Lucy! *claps enthusiastically* And believe me, Luce, I'm coming to see! ;) But anyways, enough embarrassing Lucy, I suppose I've got to stop talking, or else this post will be too long for its originally intended minimal length. So, good day to my audience, and to Lucy, good luck! ;)
What do you think of the idea? Isn't Lucy just a genius, thinking of this (and, creepily enough, at almost the same time as I did)? Haha, was my make-shift name for it terrible? Do you think we'll do alright in it? Or will we both become shriveled ink-creatures, hiding from the light and obsessed with the stories? (Not that I'm not one of those already, haha...)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Bio Of Lady Alomina De Blyrwen

I'm back, with more interview updates. I'm sorry it took so long.. :P I have been terribly short of attention as of late, and so have not really typed up any posts that weren't relatively clipped, and didn't feel like posting much at all. But, I am back with the voted-in interview subject, Lady Alomina (or Mina, for short) de Blyrwen. You can find an introduction of her self-titled story, Alomina, right here, and the actual story itself (up to Chapter Fourteen) here. The previous interview, of her brother, Percy, is here. Please ask her all you like in the comments so I can interview her soon! That being said, I bring you without further ado, Lady Mina.
Name: Lady Alomina de Blyrwen (known to Percy as Mina). Age: 17, almost 18. Nationality: Tresintan. Height: Five foot five (roughly). Hair Color: Chocolate brown. Eye Color: Unsure right now. I'll say brown, I suppose, because that's what I was considering changing it to (originally it was blue-green). Title(s): Lady de Blyrwen. Family: Her brother, Percy, and her aunt, Dricynnia. Bio:
Alomina was born at the de Blyrwen estates, the joyfully-received second child of the Lord and Lady de Blyrwen. She was rather frail, but thankfully not unto illness, unlike her mother. When she was born, she was greeted by an older brother - not even three years old yet - who took to her immediately. Percy and her bonded form the beginning, and growing up, she relied on him very strongly. Mina could always be capable, but never really had to be, so she depended on Percy for a good amount.
When Mina was around two, she and their mother caught the last sweep of a disease. It was a very faint one, hardly a danger at all, and so Percy and their father did not even catch it. On the other hand, Mina and their mother did. Alomina recovered eventually, and it never affected her too badly, but her mother, already weak for many years, was taken by it. Years after this heartache, the family seemed to adjust, and grew yet closer. It seemed they wouldn't be separated any further, but this would not be so. When Alomina was seven, their father - as a trusted diplomat of the king - was sent to deal with political unrest in a neighboring country, Vellethia, for the Tresintan king. The trouble seemed to be resolved soon enough, and so Percy and Mina rejoiced that they would see their father again soon, though they were quite happy with their flighty aunt, Dricynnia, in his absence. However, their joy faded when they heard the news of how the trouble had been resolved. Shortly before it had faded, a mobbing of the Vellethian royal palace took place. Few were injured before it was stopped, but two lives, those of the Vellethian queen, and Lord de Blyrwen, had been taken. Thus Percy and Mina were raised by Dricynnia from then on.
Oh, I can imagine Percy and Mina playing in the snow together! So cute! Oh, I love them soooo much...
In time, Alomina became a relatively pretty, though small, young woman, often described as 'fairy-like' for both her looks and her nature. She was always of a very subjective and quiet nature, both contrasting the more social one of Percy, and also akin to it in the strength when hard times came. She never really looked about for her own future, because the only future that seemed within her sight was the present she already owned, of her small family together in happiness. However, she was not - as it might seem for one of such childlike and shy character - secluded. She was taken out often by Percy to the social events, and he was the only one who could convince her to come out, even though she loved it once she was out. It is at one of these times, being out, that a most unexpected thing happens...
Thus is Mina's situation as the story begins. I know that this poor post is rather short, but really, I wrote almost all the backstory (that I'm allowed to tell you) for both of them on Percy's, so this is mostly just repeating. What did you think? Do you have any questions for Mina? Load her up with 'em, because she doesn't talk a whole lot on her own, unfortunately. And guess what? This is my first time interviewing her! Yay! So, we'll see whether it turns out well or not. ;)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Beautiful People February: Couple Edition

Hey! Today I am coming in with my first BP! (rather than BB., of which I did all three.) It is the lovely couple edition, so I decided to hit it off withmy very oldest couple, Lord Percy de Blyrwen and Princess Celeise Anatria De-Vistrina Ellette (yeah, I know it's a mouthful!) from Alomina. So, without further ado, Beautiful People, brought to you by Mistresses Cait and Sky. :)

1. How and why did they meet?
Haha, they met at a ball. To be precise, Percy was getting wine to take back to Mina. However, he got distracted, and he bumped right into Celeise, spilling the drinks all over her dress, and just barely catching her before she fell onto the floor. All I can say there is that Celeise was not too happy, especially being the haughty, uptight princess she is. But Percy did try to apologize... ;)
2. What were their first impressions of each other?
Well, Percy was very apologetic and he tried to be friendly, because he had just spilt wine all over the crown princess of his country. But, to be honest, though he tried to merely apologize, his first impression was being smitten. Celeise's first impression of Percy was seeing him as some throne-seeking flirt who did it on purpose to attract attention, or a clod who was half-blind and couldn't competently walk.
3. How would they prove their love for each other?
Celeise kind-of proved she liked him at least a little bit when she let him in at all, so to speak. Merely by exempting him from the usual cold shoulder she gave most potential suitors was enough to show she liked him. Percy proved it by being willing to let his stance as just a courtier humble him, without discouraging him from her love.
4. What would be an ideal date?
One where it was just them, and at his home, the De Blyrwen Estates, because then it would really feel like she was a De Blyrwen already. Unfortunately, this cannot happen for certain reasons... :(
5. Is there something they emphatically disagree on?
Not really. Although, while Percy complies to all the laws and will completely respect them, he is not a fan of politics, while Celeise basically spends her social life obeying and/or speaking her approval of some law or other in court.
6. List five food quirks they know about each other.
Well, they actually don't know things like that about each other very well at the moment. However, were Celeise to know about Percy, something she may find is
1. He doesn't like blueberries, due to an event as a child.
2. He loves juts about every other kind of berry.
3. He cannot cook for the life of him, because he's never tried, and so has very few food preferences.
4. He doesn't drink wine in any large amounts ever, and doesn't drink it at all except at parties or banquets.
5. He likes sweets.
If Percy were to know Celeise's preferences better, he may find that
1. She doesn't usually eat sweets.
2. She always takes wine, because it's more polite to the host (if you are out) to drink it rather than not drink it.
3. Her appetite is rather small, with her being trained from a very young age not to eat uncouth amounts of food.
4. She knows a bit about how to cook, merely because she reads extensively.
5. She has a great many various food preferences when asked, outwardly, but at heart is not picky at all really.
7. What's one thing they know about each other that no one else does?
Celeise is aware of Percy's deep devotion to her father, the king, a thing which few other people really realize. Percy also was one of the first people to really discover Celeise's 'human side'. She was very cold and haughty towards any strangers or non-family people until she met Percy (and even he got a bit of that treatment when they first met).
8. What's one thing they keep secret from each other?
Um, there isn't really anything. Percy's definitely not a secret-keeping type - if he trusts you, then he will confide in you. And even the many secrets Celeise has are not secret really from good ole Perce.
9. How would their lives be different without each other?
Oh... wow... Even thinking about if they'd never met is a drastic change. Woozas. Celeise would have remained a cold, haughty court princess all her life (well, until she became a cold, haughty court queen, that is). She would have never thought about her future, she probably would have just married some foreign prince, and been a rigid ruler without much life. Percy would probably have never gotten involved with anyone at all romantically. He did not really count on ever falling in love, and only the very moment he met Celeise did anything even relatively resembling romantic thoughts for his own life pop into his head. He probably would have stayed at home with Mina, a happy bachelor for the rest of his life, and Mina wouldn't have probably gotten married because he wasn't. That is so weird. Man, I never realized before how important it was just that Percy and Celeise met. :P Very vital to the story...
10. Where do they see this relationship going?
Ehh... You really want me to answer that one? Egh... Well, unfortunately, they don't see it going anywhere. They see it being separated forever, both only trying to forget the other, neither ever actually doing so, neither ever being able to let go of the memory. Frankly, if they could see each other again, they would. But, due to a certain detail in plot, they can't. Ever. Never, never, never ever, ever, ever. :'( So, well, good-day to that... Except that it won't be good day... :P
So that's my Beautiful People. What did you think? I'm sorry it was rather clipped - I was in a hurry. Plus, I was going to do it with a different couple, until I remembered that their being a couple was a plot twist, and I couldn't give spoilers, so I just reverted to an earlier couple. :P Do you like Percy and Celeise? Are you frustrated, like me, that I couldn't find any pictures of Celeise which showed a close-up of her face? Do you think that you would ship them? Or do they just sound like a failure (like a lot of my couples)? :) Hehehe, the first one to tell me in the comments that my fictional romances stink gets an award for being the most honest person here. ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Catholicism Explained: The Three Sacred Authorities

So, I'm back with my next CE post. This time I will be talking about a slightly less well-known doctrine. A piece of it is known by non-Catholics, and often disputed - the part concerning Sacred Tradition - but this is only a piece of the doctrine, even if a very important piece. I am talking about the three Sacred Authorities on earth - Sacred Scripture; Sacred Tradition; and The Magisterium. I was going to talk about all three separately in turn, but Miss Lucy has already covered Sacred Tradition, and a bit about the Church's Magisterium, so I will just review the doctrine as a whole, rather than in parts.  So, let's hop to it! :)

Basic Theology
So, Christ, in the deposit of faith (the giving on his teachings to the apostles before he ascended into Heaven), gave his followers three sacred authorities that would remain on earth for them. The first of these, the only one, I believe, acknowledged as true by most Protestant and Schismatic churches, is Sacred Scripture. It is the first of two parts of Tradition - the written part - and it is also the first of the three earthly sacred authorities (which we call the 'three-legged stool'. The reason for this title I will explain later). It is the written word for us to follow. The second of these authorities is Sacred Tradition , the second part of Tradition - the unwritten part - and the second earthly sacred authority. Sacred Tradition is the 'big T' stuff passed down from the apostles that has been believe since the Church's earliest days, but not written directly into Scripture. And the last authority, the Magisterium, is the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and his bishops united to solemnly define and teach God's Word. The Magisterium is not flawless, as some misinterpret the word 'infallible', but merely able to teach God's Word in a solemn setting with error. And they only are teaching flawlessly when speaking as the Magisterium in grave truth and morals, not just any plain time one of the bishops speaks about any old thing. So these authorities are the 'three-legged stool' of Catholicism.
Sacred Scripture
  The first authority, Sacred Scripture, must be elaborated upon too, I'm afraid, as, while widely believed as valid, is often misunderstood. Many people think that it should be taken literally or completely allegorically, but neither is true. You see, the Bible is made up of many different books, with many different authors, in many different times, so we cannot read them all the same. In fact, the root word for 'Bible' is 'biblia', meaning 'the books'. Not just 'the book', but 'the books'. The same root word is in 'library', which, as we know, of course, means a whole set of various books in one place. Now, in a library, we wouldn't read a biography, say, the same way as a novel or poem, now would we? If we did, then we'd be getting pretty confused! If we read everything in a poem as being literally meant, rather than figuratively or in metaphor, then we would come to believe some obviously ridiculous things about the poem's subject thing that weren't even meant so be understood from it. But, then, if we read the biography the same as we read poetry, we would take almost everything in it figuratively, and so gain no real beliefs or knowledge, but merely a pretty allegory. Thus, the authority of Sacred Scripture is often misused in the tense of all being read the same. Its authority must be understood to be obeyed, which is why I elaborate on this point.
Sacred Tradition
The second authority, Sacred Tradition, was beautifully illustrated by Miss Lucy, so I will try to be more brief. Sacred Tradition is not, I must clarify, mere customs, such as the veil and mantilla during Mass (which I will explain the significance of later, as it's a pet subject of mine, along with other Mass 'small t' traditions). It is not akin to the un-donning of hats for men in Church, nor to what vestments a priest wears, or what days are Holy Days of Obligation (another thing I will explain later) for what country or area. It is a specific truth, divinely handed to the apostles, taught by Christians from the earliest days, defined fully by the Magisterium (some Traditions, actually, aren't defined by the Pope or Magisterium at all, but that is a complication I will leave out of this talk). Sacred Tradition's job is to complement Sacred Scripture and its interpretation. For anyone who wishes to know more, I will list some of my sources of research at the end of the post, one of which includes extensive proofs of Traditions.
The Magisterium
Ah, here we come to the big one. Many non-Catholics have a problem with the supremacy of Peter, and sometimes even more of a problem with the Pope and bishops having authority from Peter and the apostles. So, I can quite imagine why the Magisterium is odious to many. I suppose I jumped into this one too quickly, though. Let me go back a step. So, the Magisterium is the Bishop of Rome and his bishops united to define Tradition and teach doctrine. Do not confuse this with the Pope's letters concerning doctrine and such things, because they are not the same (the Magisterium is infallible, while, unless the Pope makes a statement in it ex cathedra, the Pope's letters are not). The Magisterium's duty is not to invent teachings. Its job is to define teachings. It may clarify Traditions, and interpret Scripture, but it does not create doctrines (like I said, Tradition is something Christians have believed since the beginning, and if the Magisterium teaches something is a Tradition that  wasn't called one before, they are never inventing it. They are merely now defining it as a solemn truth, now that we have believed it for so long, and they have studied its evidence). The Magisterium's authority comes from the apostles. It's the same authority, more or less, that the bishops themselves have, except that it is for only the solemnest teaching of doctrinal truths (which, even when not speaking as the Magisterium, the bishops should strive for).
The Bible is completely separate from Sacred Tradition, isn't it? How can you call them the same material?
Because one complements the other. They both fulfill each other's teachings, and are only complete Tradition when both written and oral are believed. Besides, the Bible is not completely without Tradition of its own. If it was, how would we know what books go in it, particularly in the New Testament? There is no 'divinely inspired table of contents' to tell us what books belong in the New Testament - this is a piece of Sacred Tradition! So the Bible is not completely separate.
The Bible is divinely inspired, kept pure in writing, while Sacred Tradition is merely handed down from a divinely taught thing. How do we know that Sacred Tradition hasn't been mottled or mangled throughout the centuries? How do we know the Magisterium has not used 'defining' a belief to change or alter it?
Because we Catholics now believe the exact same things that we did hundreds of years ago. Look to any of the Church fathers and old scholars (Chrystosom particularly), and you will find almost the same beliefs taught that we are teaching now. Even non-Christian ancient scholars refer to some of our doctrine, which shows again the age of our beliefs.
How does the Magisterium have any authority? Even if it is allowed that the Pope and bishops were given authority, there is nothing anywhere saying that the Magisterium does.
The Magisterium's authority comes from the people in it, particularly the Bishop of Rome. The bishops each have authority to teach their areas, and the Bishop of Rome has authority to teach the whole Christian world, so why shouldn't the Magisterium, made up of these factors, have authority?
But do the beliefs taught in Sacred Tradition by the Magisterium necessarily have to be believed?
Yes. If they are defined by the Magisterium as Sacred Tradition, infallible and true, then, as faithful Christians, we are called to believe them. I repeat, if the Magisterium specifically states them so, then they are so. If we cannot trust our leaders of the Church, then we have come to a bad state indeed. Why should we trust anyone if we cannot trust the teachings of the Vicar of Christ on earth?
Evidence For The Three Authorities
Sacred Scripture
"Now I am reminding you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received, and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

Sacred Tradition
"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you." (1 Corinthians 11:2)

"For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you..." (1 Corinthians 11:23)

"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed  good to me also, having followed all things closely for some times past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilius, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed"

"It is possible, then, for everyone in every Church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the Tradition of the Apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world..." (St. Irenaeus of Lyons, 189 A.D., Against Heresies 3:3:1)

"The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition. Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, liturgical, or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified, or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium" (CCC 83)

The Magisterium
"I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18)

"When I had come to Rome, I [visited] Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And after Anicetus [died], Soter succeeded, and after him Eleutherus. In each succession and in each city there is a continuance of that which is proclaimed by the Law, the Prophets, and the Lord" (Hegisippus, 180 A.D, Memoirs 4:22:1)

"Far be it from me to speak adversely of any of these clergy who, in succession from the apostles, confect by their sacred word the Body of Christ and through whose efforts also it is that we are Christians" (St. Jerome, 397 A.D., Letter 14, To Heliodorus, Monk 8)
Once again, I feel that I didn't have to dig too far down to understand the significance (well, speaking for religious matters, of course. You always dig far down for them, but in comparison to other spiritual subjects, this one is simpler). The significance is that we know of three infallible authorities to turn to when we are unsure or in question of our faith and morals - Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium. My favorite way to explain it is this: we Catholics call these authorities 'the three-legged stool' of faith. Each authority is a leg of the stool. If a single one is missing, down the stool must crash, for it is crippled. A two-legged stool can't stand, and neither can a one-legged stool. All three of these authorities must be heeded for a faith to stand. To accept any of them is to accept all of them, for they not only complement each other, but they defend each other. And, since they all only bring us closer to the three things we should wish for most in our knowledge - truth, clarity, and sanity - why should we not believe in them?
[Note: My other sources for this post, not yet mentioned specifically, are these:
Why Is That In Tradition?, by Patrick Madrid,
Catholic Handbook Of Apologetics, by Fr. Laux.]
I'm afraid that's all for today. I am sooooooooo sorry that this is so hastily put together. I only really was seriously working on it just yesterday, so I didn't have a whole lot of time. And I didn't include as many Bible and early Church scholar quotes as I meant to. I am SO SORRY! I will try to do better next time... And try to be more on time... And maybe try to get some modern-day scholarly points of view too, rather than just referencing older books. But, moving on from there, what did you think? Do you agree with the points I've made? Do you think I explained the three Sacred Authorities well enough? Are you, like me, also absolutely loving the term 'three-legged stool' for this? Is there anything I didn't answer well enough? Please, talk to me if so. I welcome any debate, questions, suggestions for feature - anything! - so long as it is done politely, and with regard to others.