Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 29- Huzzah!

Wordcount: 51,135
Time I finished: 12:30-ish on November 28.
Most words written in one day: 4042, on November 1.
Least words written in one day (not counting my day off): 839 on November 7.
The first thing I did after finishing: Went to my Bible Study's Thanksgiving dinner.

I won NaNoWriMo! Huzzah!

This was probably one of the harder NaNos I've done. Not as hard as last Camp NaNo last April, but still . . . hard. Thank goodness for wordcount crawls. They helped a lot, particularly during the last week or so. One in particular got me two days' worth of words in about half a day. (Which was a good thing, since I spent the next day raking leaves for a youth group fundraiser.) There were some days when I felt like I couldn't write a word and everything I did write was terrible and why couldn't this scene be over already? But I made it through with grades, health, and sanity intact.

And, like every year, it was definitely worth it. I had lots of fun, and I accomplished something I definitely wouldn't have otherwise. I faced a challenge- and conquered it. In a way, it's an adventure. (But with significantly fewer enemy attacks, near-death-experiences, days without food, and hours of walking on my part.) 

And now it's over and suddenly I have time. I have options. I don't have to spend every spare minute writing. I could start again on my rather large stack of books to read, or play on the computer without feeling guilty, or make graphics, or do some photography, or watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey extended edition (which my parents got me for my birthday).

Don't take that wrong, though. Just because I have options doesn't mean my novel is done. I still have a long way to go before I can say that. Also, I still need to finish Monster in the Castle (my Camp NaNo novel), and there's lots of writing contests I'd like to enter. I definitely don't want to make the same mistake I did last year, when I gave myself a break after NaNoWriMo and ended up barely writing anything until Camp NaNoWrimo in April. I'm hoping to stay in the habit of writing something every day. 

But NaNoWriMo is done. As a friend of mine put it, "the dragon is slain". And more projects or not, that means I can relax. 

-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Hey'a, everyone! Nope, not another NaNo update. Gillian Adams is having a giveaway of Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton over at her blog, Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant. If, like me, you've been wanting to try this book for a while, you should definitely stop by. And while you're there, check out the rest of her blog. It's pretty awesome, especially her Villains 101 posts.

And now, back to NaNoing! (Or procrastinating. That might happen too. My stack of books to read has been slowly building up over the past month and I'm not sure how long I can hold out.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 22

Wordcount: 40286 words. Huzzah!
Words Written Today: 2086

Hey, everyone! Today, I thought I'd share my go-to music for word wars/word sprints/writing at the computer.

Celtic music is pretty much my favorite (mostly) instrumental music in the world (second only to LOTR soundtracks). It's also great for when I need to really focus on getting something written, since there's no lyrics to distract me. Also, Adrian von Ziegler's music is pretty awesome. Another of my favorites is his High Fantasy Sountrack, though that's not quite as convenient as the 2 Hours of Celtic Music. Also, with this, there is no way that the music will end before I'm ready to stop writing, because I cannot think of a single time when I've written for two hours straight. (Though, now that I mention it, I'm kind of tempted to try . . . later.)

What are you listening to while you novel?

Thanks for stopping by!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 20

Wordcount: 35,874 words
Words Written Today: 1,419 words
Words I Still Need to Write Today: 248 words

Dialogue is fun. It's probably my favorite part of writing, at least until my characters run out of things to say. Also, I learn some very interesting things through dialogue. A few non-spoiler examples:
  • There are various other continents and islands in the world my novel is set in, which are unknown to nearly everyone except the crews of the various merchant vessels. The crewmembers are sworn to secrecy about these locales so that the competition will have to find the places for themselves.
  • Dragons think humans taste bad. Also, evil people might taste worse than good people.(The second statement is untested.)
  • Members of the Alyron family tend to think loudly.
  • According to Jared Alyron, the main reason he likes the company of other people is that if he tried conversing with himself, he'd already know all the answers he'd get.
  • Ariana Nernathon doesn't think I'm a very good writer.
These are all from some of my favorite conversations I've written this month. As you can probably see, I'm having a lot of fun with this novel.

How's your novel going, if you're doing NaNo? If you're not, how's your month going?
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 15

Wordcount: 27371
Words Written Today: 2206
Words I Need to Write Today: 0. Yay!

First off, DAY 15! HUZZAH! I can hardly believe the month is halfway over!

Second, no, I haven't abandoned you all. However, I have been really busy this week. I started falling behind on NaNoWriMo, and eventually it came down to a choice: I could either lose internet time or sleep. I decided sleep was a higher priority, thus why I haven't had time to post lately. And if another week goes by with no posts, well, you can probably guess what'll have happened.

Besides that, there isn't actually much to say. So I guess I'll end this with some music that I think will be encouraging for all the other WriMos out there. It's pretty much what I'd pick if I were going to choose a theme song for NaNoWriMo.

Oh, and after you listen to that, you can listen to the NaNoMusical soundtrack. Or if you have time, you could watch the NaNoMusical. They're both pretty awesome. And I have "November 1st" stuck in my head, so, yeah. Enjoy!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Goddess Tithe Review

Those who’ve read Veiled Rose, the second in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, might’ve wondered about Leonard’s travels. What happened to him on his travels aside from his stops in Shippening, Lunthea Maly, and Parumvir? Surely he didn’t make both journeys with no adventures besides those we’ve heard about?
He didn’t. Goddess Tithe is the story of Leonard’s journey from Shippening to Lunthea Maly, but it is not just his story. The story belongs to Munny, a cabin boy on the Kulap Kanya, to Tu Pich, his mentor, and to the ship’s captain, Sunan.
Like many of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s books, my favorite part of Goddess Tithe is the characters. They seem alive, so much so that if one of them walked in my door, I’d be more surprised that he got in my house than that he was real. Besides just being real, the main characters make you like them from the start. Munny and Tu Pich seem like old friends. Captain Sunan is an excellent example of one of my favorite kinds of characters: those who are more than they seem, and certainly have had more than a few adventures of their own. The dialogue is another high point, particularly that between Munny and Leonard. Having two characters who can’t understand a word the other is saying must be challenging, but the author uses that obstacle to lighten many scenes and to help us get to know the characters.
Good characters deserve a good plot, and Goddess Tithe doesn’t fail to deliver. Set in a world like and yet unlike our own, this is a story you’ll want to savor. Some of the smallest things may prove to be important in the end, and many aspects of the story hint that this is only one small part of a much greater tale. The climax is absolutely thrilling, and though the ending is bittersweet in some ways, it’s also beautiful and satisfying. Themes of justice, grace, faithfulness, and sacrifice are woven through the story, and you’ll remember them long after its end.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Goddess Tithe. Fans of the series will love this new addition to the Tales of Goldstone Wood, but it could definitely be enjoyed without confusion by those who haven’t read the rest of the series. Either way, the only thing disappointing about Goddess Tithe is that you won’t want it to end.

Today is the official release day of Goddess Tithe! For the next three days, you can get the Kindle or Nook version of this amazing novella for 99 cents. I definitely encourage you to check it out!   

Friday, November 8, 2013

Random Fridays: Dream Vacations- Book Edition
Hey'a, everyone! I know, I said that there wouldn't be any Random Fridays during NaNoWriMo, but Emma asked me to collaborate with her on this week's, and her idea sounded so cool that I couldn't say no. This week's theme is dream vacations, but Emma and I decided to add a twist. Our vacation locations will be based on, what else, books! As a note, I haven't read all the books on this list, though the locations are all places I'd like to visit. Emma picked most of them- which was probably wise, since the majority of my favorite books are set in places you can't actually go. (E.g. Middle Earth. Or Narnia. Or any of the eight locations in my second to last Random Fridays post, which was actually on that topic.)

Anyway, time to start the grand tour! We'll begin with the place that's closest to my home (though still pretty far away).

1. New York, NY.
Book: From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg*
New York is one of those places I've wanted to go pretty much as long as I can remember and I don't even know why anymore. It probably had something to do with some book I read when I was much younger and I've forgotten about by now. (There are a lot of those.) But I wanted (and still want) to see the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

And we can't forget the Metropolitian Museum of Art, where The Mixed up Files is set.

Ok, enough with the big city. Let's go somewhere more relaxing.

 2. Prince Edward Island
Book: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Very relaxing-looking, wouldn't you agree?
Of course, I had to include Green Gables.
This one isn't Green Gables, but isn't it pretty?
Time to move on. NYC and Prince Edward Island were the only two locations on this side of the Atlantic; our next stop is . . . 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Wordcount: 13012
Words written today: 1567
Minimum words still need to write today: 100.

"It's not alive. It's just . . . different. It's not like the land, not like the mountains. Those don't change. You know what to expect from them. The sea, it changes. You can predict the tides, sure; you can find some currents over and over again, maybe even take a good guess as to the wind and the weather. But there are currents that are there for one voyage and disappear on the next. There are currents that seem to change where they take you; one day they're safe, one day they'll drag you towards rocks or out to sea. There's strange creatures, strange lands- Berstru isn't the only land out there, Gwen. There's other islands, maybe even whole other continents."
- Jake Alyron, Destinies and Decisions.

I know this is a bit rough, but I really like this paragraph. Until I wrote it, I hadn't given much thought to the oceans in the world of my NaNo novel. They were there, they were wet, and that was all I knew. But then one of my characters, who was a sailor for a while, started talking about the ocean, and that paragraph up there happened. And now I want to somehow get my characters on a ship and out at sea, even though it doesn't fit with my plot and I know next to nothing about sailing. I guess I just have another reason to write a sequel to this after NaNoWriMo is over. 

Have you written anything lately that you really like? How's your writing going?
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Wordcount: 9162
Words written today: 1323
Words I need to write today: 344, minimum

You know, I always rolled my eyes when people said that you shouldn't stop at the end of the scene, and that you should write the first sentence or paragraph of the next scene before you put down your pencil and took a break. Maybe other people needed to do that, but I didn't. I could start my writing session at the beginning of a scene, no problem!

Being an author who feels like her characters are very much real people, I'm pretty sure Jared Alyron was laughing at me yesterday morning when I found out just how wrong I was. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't figure out how to start his first scene. Eventually, I gave up and wrote about Emma, his sister, instead. She, as usual, was much more cooperative than Jared. Huzzah!

Also, I think I may have to just call these "semi-daily updates", because the whole daily updates thing doesn't seem to be working out. Oh well.
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Wordcount: 4950 (as of 2:51 P.M.)
Words Written Today: 908
Words I Need to Write Today: At least 1092

So, I didn't post an update yesterday. Sorry about that. In my defense, it was the first day. Also, I wrote 4,092 words. Since I'd doubled up on schoolwork beforehand, I spent most of the day either writing or on the computer. The one exception was when I went to Bible Study in the evening. I planned to spend today in pretty much the same way, but so far, I've been on the computer more than I've written. Procrastination strikes again! But I did write some, and I have all the rest of today to write more.

Wordcount aside, I discovered yesterday that I have a few problems with one of my main POV characters, Jake Alyron. I know his base personality and his past, but I've been having issues with how his past would affect the way he acts now. It's doubly aggravating because I roleplayed with him for at least a year, if not longer, without even considering this issue. Gah. I've asked a few friends and they gave me some fairly helpful advice, so hopefully I'll get this worked out before too long. Other than that, though, pretty much everything is going great.

Time for me to get back to writing!