Monday, October 31, 2011

Square Contest Winners

Hello, everyone! As you may know, last Friday I told you that I was going to post the pictures from the "Your Best Square Competition". Well, that's what I'm posting now!

"Flower Center", won first place.

"Screaming Hawk".

"Hero's Face", won 2nd place.
Hope you like my pictures! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Quick Update

Hi, everyone! I'm here, with a quick update on what I've been doing lately!
  • Thanks a bunch to everyone who voted in my blog! The result is that I'm going to do Story One (the story about Rachelle and the dragon riders), and I have been doing some planning for it over the past few days. So far I have gotten a general "reference guide" for my five main and major supporting characters. I've also designed a continent called Berstru for this world to take place in, and I'm currently involved in figuring out the details of specific countries on that continent.You can see my map of Berstru beside this paragraph. For the record, I didn't do it all in one day, in case anyone was wondering. 
  • Last night, there was a photo contest at the photo club Daddy and I go to. The theme was "Your Best Square", which mean that the image could be of anything you want, but it had to be in a square mat. I entered three pictures, and I won a 1st place and a 2nd place ribbon! I'll post the pictures I entered on Monday so that you all can see them.
  • Earlier this week, I wrote a short story entitled "Titanic Sacrifice" for a contest hosted by Vision Forum. Although it was historical fiction, which isn't my strong point, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I hope to post it on here after I finish editing it to enter in the contest.
Well, that's about it. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Lay of Lucius

Hello, all! I'm finally posting the first part of "The Lay of Lucius". This is based off a story I wrote entitled "The Fall", which was one of my Tales of the Great King series. The original story was about the Dark Lord (who, in my Tales of the Great King series, represents Satan) and how he rebelled against the Great King (God). After I finished writing the story, I decided that I didn't really like it, but once I converted it to the form of a lay, I decided to post it here. So, without further ado, The Lay of Lucius!

The Lay of Lucius
All seemed calm in the Kingdom of Light that day,
The day that rebellion began and took peace away.
Luce, the Commander, second to one,
Wished once and for all to be second to none.
Slowly consumed by jealous desire;
He was the first to turn from shining light to burning fire.
 He plotted rebellion, and not just on his own;
To promising Warriors his plan was slowly shown.
First to fall was Socorro, who lost his way,
Looking to Luce instead of the Great King one day.
Luce promised him power and lured him away,
Though Socorro hesitated, Luce held him in sway.
And so spread the darkness as Warriors fell
To an enemy within of which none would tell.
One by one, until a third of the Warriors were consumed,
And in going their own way, they went to their doom.
The day finally came when long before dawn,
Luce deemed it time for to go far beyond
Subtleness and trickery; the time had come to rise!
He gave his rebels their orders, and with ambition in their eyes,
They prepared for battle and planned to succeed.
Alas, the doom that came by their plans to lead!
The Great King was not unaware; he knew of their plan.
He knew the sorrow that would come over all the land.
Luce came before him, with cloaked intent.
“Great King,” said he, “If some of your time could be lent,
There is something that must be said, which you must hear.”
He seemed still loyal, though a careful ear
Could hear that he was not, that his voice, smooth as silk,
Held a slight mocking tone, the rebellion of him and his ilk.
The Great King looked on him, solemn and grave,
He knew the events that would transpire that day.
“Speak your mind, Luce, why have you come?
Why are you here long before the sun?”
Luce might have attacked, but he held in his blade.
Said he instead, “Some changes should be made;
There are those who are discontent, filled with unrest,
Would not to satisfy them be the best?”
The Great King replied, calm and composed,
“Discontent has been spread in the hearts of those
By one who has turned away from My way,
It is not because of what they do not have this day.”
Luce scowled, and drew his blade.
“Perhaps this you say, but changes will be made,
And I will make them, this I declare.”
Luce charged the Great King to do battle there.
The Great King met him, light against dark,
That one battle, all would do well to mark.
Back and forth they fought, but only one would ever win,
For right must always win over sin.
Luce fell to the ground, the Great King’s blade at his throat.
Luce glared at the King, and growled, in his voice an angry note.
“Go ahead, kill me, if I cannot prevail.”
But slowly he reached for his blade, hoping not to fail.
Luce’s blade was moved; the Great King saw all.
He sighed in sorrow for those who chose to fall.
“I will not kill you, no, not yet.
But what goes on today, no one will forget.
You will not take my throne, as you hoped to do.
But the Kingdom of Light is no longer open to you.
You will be cast out to the Dark Lands, a land of flame and stone.
There, perhaps, you may claim to have a throne.
You will lead those who will join you, but you will never be king.
You will be called Lucius, the Dark Lord, one who wished for everything.”
Loyal Warriors emerged and began to take the rebels away,
But Lucius, unable to harm any more that day,
Cried out with anger for all to hear
“No! I will be feared; I will conquer the world, and then come back here
And then you will see! I will come for You!”
The Great King shook his head. “No, Lucius, whatever you do,
You will not return here, and I will come for you.”
No more was said; the die was cast.
Lucius’s rebellion would not be the last.
Things now would change and darkness would spread,
A time had begun of which much has been said.
The Great King had a plan, as He always will,
Even when our own plans have all gone ill.
But that is another tale, one you may already know well,
And so no more remains to tell
Of the rebellion of Lucius, who was once light
And the beginnings of good and evil’s fight.

What did you think? I hope you liked it. Please comment and let me know what you think of it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Precisely Terminated Review

Author: Amanda Davis
"With microchips implanted in their skulls at birth, the slaves of Cantral and Cillineese have labored under the tyrannical rule of the nobles and their computers for centuries. Monica, a noble who avoided the implanting and escaped a death sentence at the age of four, is now sixteen and is in hiding. She lives with the slaves inside the walls of the Cantral palace, pretending to be one of them while the slave council plots a way to use her chip-less state to destroy the all-powerful computers that strike down any hint of rebellion.

The fate of millions rides on Monica's shoulders. As the only chip-less person in the world, she must find a way to destroy the computers and free Cillineese from the nobles' iron fist before they strike with the ultimate punishment- death for everyone inside the city walls."
-Summary from the back of Precisely Terminated
Characters: Amazing! The characters, even the minor ones, are realistic and not at all flat. The main character is a stunning example of a reluctant heroine, portrayed in a way that makes her surprisingly easy to relate to.

Location: Ok, but I got a bit confused in many places. The concept of the cities and the connecting tunnels is interesting, but in several places, a bit more clarification would’ve been welcome.

Plot: Excellent. The plot is interesting and suspenseful, moving quickly enough to keep you turning the pages but not so fast that you can barely keep track of what’s going on. There were more plot twists than I expected (a good thing), and if it weren’t for school, I don’t think I would’ve put the book down at all.

Other: No other comments.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Search For Peace

Hi, everyone! I'm back once more with a poem that I wrote last Friday and thought you might like. If any of you were wondering what happened to The Lay of Lucius, I will be posting the first part on Thursday. Anyway, my poem:

Voices whirl around me,
A maelstrom of sound and confusion.
I struggle to block them out,
To find a quiet spot,
To be along with my thoughts,
To find peace.
My world is disrupted,
No peace can be found,
No time to spare.
I search for peace.
I search and cannot find it.
Where is peace to be found?
Even when I am alone
I hear voices.
Voices of fear and worry,
Whispers of what must be done,
Of what I have not done,
What I wish to do,
And what I cannot do.
I try not to listen,
But they overwhelm me,
Drowning me in a whirlpool of business.
I pray,
Giving my worries to God.
For peace comes only from the Lord,
Only He can give us what we seek.

What do you think? I'd love to know! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Heavy Metal

Hello! I'm back again with more of my photography! Once again, these are heavy metal pictures that I took while we were on vacation.

I decided to try a color splash effect on this one as well as doing color and monochrome versions, and I like how it turned out. What do you think? Please comment and tell me, and don't forget to vote in my poll. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

LOTR and Lays

Hello, everyone! I'm here again with an update on my week!
  • I have gotten absolutely no writing done other than school, converting "The Fall" into "The Lay of Lucius", and writing one random scene. Of these, the random scene was my favorite, both to write and to read after I finished writing it. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it'll actually make it into a story or not, since I don't exactly know where the story would go.
  • What I have been doing quite a bit, and will be doing quite a bit in the next week, is reading. On Wednesday or Thursday, I began rereading The Lord of the Rings, after a quick debate between this and The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson. Today, I finished The Two Towers, and I plan to finish Return of the King by Monday at the latest. After that, I have Scorpia Rising, the last of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, to enjoy. Even more exciting than this, my friends lent me a copy of Precisely Terminated by Amanda Davis, the daughter of one of my favorite authors, Bryan Davis. Since I've been rather excited about this book for quite some time, I'm very much looking forward to reading it. 
  • Please don't forget to vote in my poll! At the moment, Story One is winning by one vote. I really would appreciate your opinions, since NaNoWriMo is getting closer all the time. There's only about nine days left!
Well, that's about it. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DragonSpell Review

Author: Donita K. Paul

Characters: Excellent! Colorful and vibrant, the amazingly varied cast of this novel includes a fainting dragon, an eccentric and unusual wizard, a wide array of races both big and small, and a young girl who seems pleasantly familiar. The characters along in this tale are a masterpiece!

Location: Good! The descriptions are clear, though not overwhelming, and the places are interesting, and just right for the mood needed for each scene. I did get slightly confused in one or two spots, but it was very good for the most part.

Plot: Amazing! Exciting and funny, this plot is very well done with enough adventure and mystery to keep you turning the pages. I couldn’t put it down!

Other: This books is excellent for both young and old! Through reading it, you travel to an amazing world where anything can happen, and it usually does. A real treat!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tractor Photos

Hello, everyone! I'm here, with some of my photography!

This past week, when we went on our trip, I had the opportunity to take some photos for an upcoming photo club contest, the theme of which is heavy metal, or anything that's made with a lot of metal. This morning, I edited a few (ok, more like one) of these pictures, and that's what I'm posting now.

On a totally un-photography-related note, I finished writing Hero last night! Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vacation and NaNoWriMo

Hello, everyone! I’m back again, finally. I hope to post a bit more often this week than I have in past weeks, especially since I’ve finally (almost) decided on what writings I’m going to post. But, more on that later. Anyway, an update on my life.

·        This past week, we took a trip to the Pennsylvania mountains, the same area we went to back in early June. I enjoyed the trip, despite the fact that it rained on Wednesday and was rather chilly most of the time. The trails we did weren’t too long or steep, I managed to avoid eating too much the entire time and the fall colors were very pretty. Even the rain didn’t really do much to make our vacation not-fun. The only thing I really disliked was loosing one of my arrows after accidentally shooting it into the woods. To make matters worse, it was one of my best arrows and I never found it, despite the fact that my family kindly agreed to help me search. Still, I have six arrows left, so I’m not too bad off.
·        Another good thing about this past week? I got an incredible amount of work done on Hero. In fact, I got so much work done on it that I plan to finish it sometime this week! It helped that most of the mornings, I had nothing to do except write and listen to my iPod until everyone else got up and that I spent a lot of time in the van with nothing to do but write some more. On that subject, unless you get carsick easily or you’re going down a bumpy road (or you’re the driver), a vehicle on a long trip can be an excellent place to write.
·        Of course, since I’m almost done with my current novel, I’m already thinking of what I’m going to write next. In this case, “next” means for NaNoWriMo next month. In case you haven’t read my blog recently, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. It takes place in November, and is actually a lot easier than it sounds. At the moment, I have four ideas, and I’m not sure which one to do. So, I’m going to post my ideas, along with the pros and cons of each, and I’ll make a poll here on my blog, so that you can vote and tell me what you think I should write. The story ideas, by the way, will also be viewable in a list under the poll. If I have a title idea for the story or it’s the sequel to another story, that information will be in parentheses after the story number.
o       Story One: Rachelle has always thought that the forest world she’s lived in for as long as she can remember is the only world there is, but when she accidentally falls through a portal, she learns that she’s very wrong. The discovery of a dragon egg and a meeting with two twin dragon riders on a search for their sister lead into an adventure like nothing Rachelle’s ever imagined, one that will change her life forever. Pros: I have a lot of inspiration for this story at the moment, it’s about a subject I love but haven’t written much about (dragons and dragon riders), and I really like the main characters for this story. Cons: The characters would be older than what I usually write novels about, though I’m not sure how much of a problem that would be. Also, certain aspects of the plot might end up being cliché or predictable if I don’t handle them right.
o       Story Two: (Sequel to Gone [Camp NaNoWriMo 2011 novel]) Audrey may be safe and sound, but Kelia’s work is anything but over. Trapped in an unfamiliar world on a mission to free the rest of the captives and defeat the evil Lord Faldrin, she knows that she needs help but has no idea how to get it. Then, when she’s captured by people she didn’t know existed, she learns something about her family that she would never have imagined. Pros: I’m excited about this story, I have most of the plot planned out, and I get to write a “startling revelation” scene. Cons: I wrote about these characters very recently, so some might say that I should write about a set of characters that I haven’t written about in a while. Also, there are multiple spots where I haven’t figured major plot points out yet, which would likely give Writer’s Block a foothold.
o       Story Three: (Sequel to The Call [Written in March-July of this year]) It’s been several months since Wildflower, Sasha, and Taryn had their first adventure, and though Wildflower is glad for the peace and quiet of training and normal life, Sasha is bored and Taryn is wondering if this whole prophecy really was nothing more than a coincidence. Then, Mr. Widman receives word of a new mission for the trio. Suddenly, the three are whisked off to another world to rescue someone whom none of them knows. Then, soon after they arrive, Taryn is captured by the Black Tear! Will they be able to complete their mission? Pros: I’m very excited about this story, I get to write a lot of dramatic scenes, and I’m crazy about Taryn Anduin. Cons: I might want to spend a longer time working on this and not have a set word count for it. Also, like Story Two, I worked on this fairly recently so I might want to work on something with a different set of characters.
o       Story Four: (Elden Revenge/Elden Dawn, third in the Elden Tales series) Leilani is back in Dawnsdell, and though she enjoys training well enough, she and her friends are bored out of their minds for lack of adventure. Then, when reports reach the Council of Quan Shadowheart having resurfaced, Leilani and her friends are thrown headfirst into an adventure, after which nothing will be the same. Pros: I haven’t worked on my Elden Tales series since sometime in February, I have a few good ideas for this story, and I do need to get back to this series. Cons: I’m not as excited about this story as I am about other stories at the moment and my plot plans aren’t as well-developed as I’d like.
·        In addition to all this, I’m thinking of converting one of my Tales of the Great King stories, The Fall, into a lay. What is a lay, you ask? Well, it’s basically a story in poem form. The first I heard of lays is when I read The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have tried to write one once or twice before, and one of the poems I’ve posted on here, Dream, is similar to a lay, if not technically a lay. If my story conversion works well enough, I shall post my lay starting on Tuesday or Thursday, depending on when I get it finished.

Well, that’s about it. Thank you for reading this incredibly long blog post. Please comment and vote in my poll! Thanks again for stopping by!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hello! I'm back once more with an update on my week, such as it was.
  • My writing is going quite well. I'm getting to the very exciting part in Hero, and I've gotten to write several highly dramatic scenes, and I'm fairly confidant that I'll finish this tale by the end of the month! Anya, by the way, has also finally replaced Dee as my preferred main character in this book. 
  • Since I think I'm going to finish Hero by the end of the month, I already have plans for my next one or two writing projects. Writing project number one is NaNoWriMo. What's NaNoWriMo? Well, some of you might remember that in July, I did a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. NaNoWriMo is the same thing, but in November. Writing project number two is a short story that my friend asked me to write and I have a few ideas for. I may or may not do this, depending on how long it takes me to finish writing Hero.
  • It was something of a miracle that I got much writing at all done yesterday.Why? It's quite simple. The Lost Stories, the latest and last book in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan was released yesterday, and thanks to my parents, I was able to go to the library in time to be the first one to check it out! In my excitement, I began reading it in the van on the way home, and continued reading it on and off the rest of the evening. It, although not quite what I expected, was quite good, and very entertaining

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello, everyone! I'm back again, with an update on my life.
  • My writing is going fairly well, and I expect it to go even better in the coming weeks. Why? It's quite simple. I have, in an effort to finish Hero by the end of October, have made it my goal to write one hour a day every day in the month of October until I finish it. 
  • School is going ok, more or less, except for the fact that I haven't been doing as well in history as I have in previous years. Also, I'm not very happy about my science. However, I haven't been happy about my science for probably a year or two now, so that's nothing new.
  • The weather here is cold, wet, and rainy. I already want summer back. I think that's a new personal record on how fast I get tired of the cold weather. This could, however, have something to do with the fact that I forgot to wear my jacket when I went out today. 
  • Wayne Thomas Batson's new book, The Errant King, is coming out at the end of October! I'm very excited about this, since this is the latest book by my favorite living author. Also, I've been seeing versions of the cover art on his blog since sometime during the summer and reading the summary since last December, so I'm very hyped about this. 
And that's about it. Thanks for stopping by!