Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Coming!

It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning color, there's a chill in the air, and people are preparing for the big event. Yes, NaNoWriMo is almost here!

What's NaNoWriMo? It's a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. If you're under eighteen and doing the Young Writer's Program you can pick a smaller goal, but I've only gone for 50K twice, and both of those times were for the summer version. Am I crazy? Maybe. But it takes a little crazy to write a novel, and there's nothing quite like the feeling when I've won.

My plot for this year is the fourth in the series I started three years ago with my first NaNo novel. I've tentatively named it Decisions and Destinies, though that title may change. I'm not very good at coming up with names for what I write.

Want to hear more? Awesome! Here's my synopsis:
Nightshade has escaped. The Circle has revealed itself.

War is coming.

Gwen and her companions have traveled to Uldea to warn the people there of the Circle's plans and lend their help as the country braces for war. The stakes are higher than ever now that the Circle has been forced to come into the open. The Circle wants Uldea- and they want Gwen, Dea, Ariana, the Firhirt siblings, and Aleta either captured or dead.

As the inevitable attack draws nearer, however, Ariana announces that she believes the time has almost come for the coming of the Nightblade's Heir. Fighting men and women can hardly be spared- but everyone knows the legend of the Nightblade's heir. Ariana and a few others set out on a desperate journey- but will they return before the Circle reaches the city?

Meanwhile, far to the south of Uldea, Jared and Bianca are doing their best to avoid the Circle. But nowhere seems to be safe for the two. Moreover, Jared knows that he can't be his own side forever. Time is running out for him to make his choice- and when he does, it'll affect far more than he thought it ever could. 
I'm really excited about this story. I've actually been thinking about it on and off since last November, storing up ideas and possible scenes and subplots. That doesn't mean I know everything about the plot (I'm still not entirely sure what I'll do with some characters, particularly Jared), but I know where I'm starting and where I'm going, and I have an idea of how to get there, so I think I'm good. Besides, the less specific my plot is, the less of a problem I have when my characters decide they have other ideas than following my plans.

What does NaNoWriMo mean for my blog? Well, my normal blog posts that I've been doing (Top Ten Tuesdays, WWW Wednesdays, Random Fridays) will probably not happen. However, I do hope to do daily updates on my NaNo progress. I'll post my wordcount, a few other stats for the day, and possibly a paragraph or two about that day. So, my blog shouldn't be as neglected as it has been during previous NaNoWriMos.

What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If you are, what's your novel about? If you're not, why not?
Nai haryuvalyë melwa rë!*
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

*May you have a lovely day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Character Names
Hello, everyone! It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week's theme is Top Ten Favorite Character Names. As these also happen to be some of my favorite names in general, if I have kids and give them unusual names, you now know why.
  1. Aethelbald (Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl). You just know that a character with a name like Aethelbald has got to be interesting. 
  2. Howl Pendragon (Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones). This is one of those names that tells you quite a bit about the character; it's exciting, unusual, and a bit flashy, much like Howl himself.
  3. Alastair Coldhollow (The Dark Sea Annals series by Wayne Thomas Batson). Alastair is a cool name. (No pun intended.) And Coldhollow sounds mysterious in a way, which I like.
  4. Sunday Woodcutter (Enchanted by Alethea Kontis). Actually, all the Woodcutter sisters. Seven sisters, named after seven days of the week? Genius!
  5. Bramble Wentworth (Entwined by Heather Dixon). I like most flower or plant names, but Bramble is my favorite. And the image of a blackberry bramble fits her personality so perfectly.
  6. Arwen Undomiel (The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien). I love almost all the names in The Lord of the Rings, but Arwen is one of my favorites because it's such a beautiful name.
  7. Lochlan Stormgarden (The Dark Sea Annals series by Wayne Thomas Batson). Yes, I put two Dark Sea Annals names. So sue me. I just really like the name Lochlan.
  8. Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien). Again, I know I already did a name from The Lord of the Rings, but again, I really like Sam's name. It suits him.
  9. Gwenne (The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson). You know I like a name when it ends up in my writing (even if it was spelled differently). You know I really like it when it ends up in my writing twice.
  10. Captain Valithor (The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson). Because, like so many of the other names on this list do for the people they're attached to, this name just fits him perfectly.
So, there you have it! My top ten favorite character names! What are your favorite character names? You can let me know in the comments, or you can do your own Top Ten Tuesday post! Just don't forget to provide a link to The Broke and Bookish in your post and link your blog on the site!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Random Fridays: Owl City Song Lyrics
First of all, check out Emma's lovely new Random Fridays banner. Isn't it gorgeous?

Now for this week's topic: song lyrics from a favorite artist. I have a lot of favorite singers/bands, mostly because my tastes tend to change somewhat with my mood, but right now I'm pretty crazy about Owl City. Obviously, I can't post all my favorite lyrics, but I'll do my best to give a good selection. (By the way, please let me know if you can read the text on the images.)

With a starry brush, paint the dusk venetian blue,
 Because in the evening hush, you'll never believe the view. 
And when the leaves return, and their whisperings fill the night
They'll freeze and burn where fire and ice collide.


When the sun goes down and the lights burn out
Then it's time for you to shine
Brighter than a shooting star
So shine no matter where you are.

Fill the darkest night with a brilliant light
'Cause it's time for you to shine
Brighter than a shooting star
So shine no matter where you are.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WWW Wednesdays: 10/16/13
To join in, just answer the following questions:
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
• What are you currently reading? Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.
• What did you recently finish reading? The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley. 
• What do you think you’ll read next? I'll probably reread Goddess Tithe so I can write my review, but I might read Flyte by Angie Sage instead.
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WWW Wednesdays 10/9/2013
To join in, just answer the following questions:
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
• What are you currently reading? Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, which happens to be an amazing book. Actually, anything by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is amazing.
• What did you recently finish reading? Goddess Tithe, also by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.
• What do you think you’ll read next? Either Enchanted by Alethia Kontis or Castles in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones. I need to read Enchanted by Sunday, but I want to read Castles in the Air too. We'll see when I finish Dragonwitch.
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Best/Worst Series Endings
Hello, everyone! Yes, I know, I've been rather lax in my Top Ten Tuesday posts lately. Sorry about that. I don't remember what my excuse was two weeks ago, but my excuse last week was probably that I just never got around to it. But I am doing it this week, so let's get started on my top ten best/worst series endings! I'll do my best to keep these spoiler-free, but even so, do read with caution.

We'll start with the best:
  1. The Last Battle (C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia). One of the best parts of this book is the sudden turn from sorrow to hope. You think it's all over- but then you realize that it isn't, and the truth is much better than you expected. Also, it's a happily-ever-after with the promise of more, which is the best kind of happily-ever-after there is.
  2. The Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings). This is one of the few books that can make me teary-eyed, and when I first read it, I couldn't help thinking "But why'd you have to make it end that way?" Now, however, I feel that without that bittersweet ending, the whole story wouldn't be as amazing.
  3. The Ale Boy's Feast (Jeffery Overstreet, The Auralia Thread). This one was a tough decision for me. In some ways, this book made me want to scream "Noooo! That can't be!" However, it was an excellent conclusion to the series. It says just enough to wrap up all the loose ends, but still leaves a few things for you to imagine yourself.
  4. From Darkness Won (Jill Williamson, Blood of Kings trilogy). Sometimes, however, I like to hear all the details of What Happened After, and that's why I love the ending of From Darkness Won. It was so beautiful and sweet. 
  5. Forest Born (Shannon Hale, The Books of Bayern). It made me lay back, sigh happily, and hug the book. I'd say that's a pretty good way to end a series.
And now for the worst:
  1. Green (Ted Dekker, The Circle Series). I dislike this book on many, many different levels. It was strange, even for Dekker. Several parts were pretty creepy, and not in the good-creepy way. To top it all off, I felt like the ending completely ruined the series. In a way, it made me feel like all the characters had worked for, fought for, and even died for didn't really matter anymore. 
  2. Elyon (Ted Dekker, The Lost Books). Really, the whole series went downhill after book four. But, like Green, this book was just weird, and it really wasn't very enjoyable to read. I had pretty much gotten to the point where I didn't much care about the characters anymore, and I was just reading it to see if they improved before the series ended.
  3. Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games). I did like this book in some ways. But, it was also very depressing, and I lost nearly all my favorite characters. Plus, I got really, really mad at Katniss towards the end. To top it all off, the ending felt a bit rushed.
  4. Inheritance (Christopher Paolini, The Inheritance Cycle). Again, I actually liked Inheritance in general. However, the ending made me mad for a variety of reasons, none of which I can say without giving away spoilers. We'll leave it that I expected a number of things to happen or not happen, and several of the ones I was most adamant about turned out the wrong way.
  5. The Chamber of Lies (Bill Meyers, The Elijah Project). Fairly good book, but it didn't feel like an ending. In fact, I'd say it was just the opposite. And I have yet to find a sequel series. 
I hope you enjoyed my list! What are some of your favorite and least favorite series endings? Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WWW Wednesdays 10/2/13 
To join in, just answer the following questions:
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
• What are you currently reading? Technically I'm not reading anything, but I'm still listening to Pride and Prejudice on Playaway. 
• What did you recently finish reading? Magyk by Angie Sage. I couldn't put it down. 
• What do you think you’ll read next? If I get my way, Hero by Alethea Kontis. I'm first in line to get it from the library, and I'm really excited for it. Of the Woodcutter sisters, Saturday is probably my second favorite. (Sunday beats her by a bit because she's so much like me.)
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)