Friday, May 23, 2014

Random Friday: Literary Quotes
Suilaid, everyone! This week's Random Friday theme is literary quotes. As you can probably guess, there are a lot of quotes I like for various reasons. Obviously, I can't post all of them (I can't even post all my favorites), but I'll highlight some I especially like. 
1. “Maybe it will have a happy ending,” said she. “When everything’s complete and come full circle. This part ain’t so nice, but maybe somethin’ good will come of it? Remember, you have to read all the legends together to know for sure, and we don’t know them all yet. There may be a story out there to make this one happy.”- Rose Red, Veiled Rose 

2. "Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”- The Hobbit

3. "Half the places I have been to, never were. I make things up. Half the things I say are there cannot be found. When I was young I told a tale of buried gold, and men from leagues around dug in the woods. I dug myself."
"But why?"
"I thought the tale of treasure might be true."
"You said you made it up."
"I know I did. But then I didn't know I had. I forget things, too." - The Golux, The Thirteen Clocks

4. "Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment."- "How to Get Things Done" by Robert Benchley (Note: I had to read this essay for school this year and quite enjoyed it It's very amusing. And that quote pretty much describes about half my life.)

5. "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”- Bilbo Baggins, The Lord of the Rings

6. "But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same; like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in!"- Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings.

7. "I don't know what it is, but it's the only one there ever was."- Hark, The Thirteen Clocks

8. “Adventures are funny things. They always begin with the unexpected, but they always end with the promise of adventures yet to come."- The Final Storm 

9. "I don't believe in chosen ones. In prophecies. In destinies."
"Neither do I. On principle, I'm against them. Inconvenient, nonsensical things, and a cat does like to be master of his own fate, you know? But what I believe or don't believe has little to do with the truth of the matter."- The Chronicler and Bard Eanrin, Dragonwitch

10. "I know none of it makes sense to you! No common sense, in any case. But perhaps one day your uncommon sense will wake, and the worlds will become more bearable."- Dame Imraldera, Shadow Hand

11. “All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."- The Last Battle

12. "I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."- Puddleglum, The Silver Chair

What are some of your favorite literary quotes? Please tell me in the comments, or feel free to make your own Random Fridays post on your blog! Thanks for reading!

-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Want to join in the Random Fridays fun? Feel free to make a post of your own on the week's topic! Please just be sure to use the Random Fridays banner, link back to Awkwordly Emma, and post the link to your post on the Awkwordly Emma blog so other participants can check out your post. For a list of future Random Friday topics, click here.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bookish Babblings

So. Today's Tuesday, which means I should have a Top Ten Tuesdays post up. However, I have no books to list for this week's topic, so instead I'm just going to talk about books I've been reading recently and books I plan to read soon.

Books I Read
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
I was kind of unsure about this book; I'm not quite sure why. I picked it up at the library one day because I thought I'd heard people say they liked it and I was low on new books. I'm very glad I did. It's a great book, and I enjoyed all the mystery and intrigue. Also, though I had a hard time liking Elisa for some reason, I thought her knowledge and use of strategy was pretty cool. 

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Ok, I admit it- I read this book primarily because I wanted to know who Eugenides is. I definitely wasn't disappointed! Though neither book nor character were quite what I expected, I loved both. The ending caught me very much off-guard, but thinking back, I might've just missed almost all the clues the author dropped. I definitely want to read the rest of the series!
  Dangerous by Shannon Hale
I have always associated Shannon Hale with fairy-tale remakes and stories that feel like fairy-tale remakes. This is neither of those. It is . . .  Well, I can't tell you that. Spoilers. It is pretty exciting, though definitely not Shannon Hale's best. The idea of the book was good, and the main character was a homeschooler who loves science and occasionally quotes poetry to express her feelings, which is cool. However, I thought it seemed a bit rushed, particularly at the beginning. Also, there was too much romance and not enough-world saving, at least in my opinion.

Reapers by Bryan Davis
I'm currently in the middle of reading this book, and I'm not entirely sure what I think about it. It's very different from most of the books I read, including Davis's other books, but that's a good thing. I like the concept of the Reapers, and the main characters seem cool. And this isn't a bad thing, but SO MANY QUESTIONS. Also, Alex is nasty and I want to punch her very hard. I guess the only thing that's really making me uncertain of this book is that something seems off with the pacing.  
Books I Want To Read
A few days ago, I came home from the library with a very full bookbag, and I already had several books waiting for me at home, not to mention several other books on request from the library that hadn't come in yet. So, these are just the highlights.

Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed Girl of Fire and Thorns. I'm very excited to read the sequel (as well as glad I didn't start the trilogy until all the books came out). Elisa's new position is an almost-guarantee for more intrigue (yay!), and the book summary/blurb thing promises that Crown of Embers will be at least as exciting as Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker
This is another book I picked up more or less on a whim. I haven't read much Dekker in a year or two, but I noticed this one at the library, realized it was new, and thought it sounded interesting. I also have Water Walker out from the library, but I've had Eyes Wide Open longer, so it's probably higher priority. Probably.

The One by Kiera Cass
I'm still waiting for this one to come in at the library, but I'm really looking forward to it. No spoilers from The Elite, but as usual at the end of a second book, the characters are in a terrible mess, and I desperately want to know how they fix it. I also read a sneak peek of The One in a book of Selection short stories/bonus materials, so that got me even more excited. I very much hope America ends up with Maxon. Yes, he has his problems, but he's a great guy. And if she goes with Aspen in the end, there will be yelling on my end.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
This, like The Thief, is a book I keep hearing about and finally got curious to try. Again, I'm still waiting to get my hands on it, but I think it should come in at the library soon. I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but it sounds awesome, possibly on the level of the Blood of Kings trilogy.

Well, there's my bookish news for the week. What about you? Have you been reading anything good lately? What books are you looking forward to reading? Please tell me in the comments!
No galu govad gen!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Random Fridays: Songs That Inspire Me
Hullo, everyone! This week's Random Friday is a freebie; I pick the topic. As you can see, I chose songs that inspire me. But when I say inspiring, I don't mean the encouraging-make-a-bad-day-good kind of songs (though some of these are that kind of songs, at least for me). I mean the kind of songs that give me an idea for a story, a character, or a scene . . . and believe me, there are a lot of those. (As in, if I had a dime for every time a song affected a character or story, I'd probably have a few thousand dollars.) These are a few of my favorites.

1. "The Invitation" and "Welcome to the Masquerade" by Thousand Foot Krutch
Ok, I've already written a short story based on this. If you're on the Underground, you may have read it. If you haven't, know it involves a mysterious masked bardess (female bard; a position I made up for my novels), a plot to kill a king, creepy so-called Seers, and- of course- a masked ball. I had a lot of fun writing it and hope to write a sequel sometime, maybe this summer.

2 "Sing Me a Love Song"- BarlowGirl
I'm not sure if this would be original fiction or a Goldstone Wood fanfic. The idea plays a large part in one of my favorite daydreams, but those are half fanfic anyway. I do know the basic premise of the idea, though: She's lost; broken; an outcast. She's given away so much of herself that she can't remember who she is. But one thing reminds her. And no matter how hard she tries, no matter how much she sometimes wants to forget, she always comes back. Always returns to the song.    

3. "Dementia"- Owl City
You'll never guess what this one gives me an idea for: the scene in a Cinderella remake I'm hoping to write when the prince sees Cinderella at the ball. I can't give away too much, but I can say this isn't the first time he's met her . . . he just doesn't remember the others. And once she shows up, strange things start happening . . . but none as strange as her mysterious warning for him. 

4. "Hero"- Skillet
I tried to write a novel based on this song. It was supposed to be a dystopian-superhero story: my main character, Anya, was the youngest child in a family of very rich, influential supers, and she was the only one without powers. That, however, played into the story very little; the main plot was how the government was outlawing Christianity and Anya had to find the courage to speak against the change. Looking back, I wish I'd waited on it, but oh well. Maybe I'll try it again someday.

5. "No Plan B"- Manafest
Does anyone remember the Silver Bullets from my short story, "The First Mission"? Well, that story wasn't the first I'd written about the Silver Bullet group, or about Mikayla and her father. "No Plan B" was a spur-of-the-moment story written after listening to this song a few too many times. It was a fairly simple plot: a team of Silver Bullet agents was sent into a Brotherhood compound to rescue several people. But these people weren't ordinary prisoners . . . and not everyone in the group had the same agenda. Interestingly, were I to write enough Silver Bullet stories to put them all in a book, "No Plan B" would be the final story. If you've read my Underground writing thread, you know why. If you haven't . . . Well, you'll just have to wonder for now.

6. "Not Gonna Die"- Skillet
Would you believe that I haven't even finished book four of the Berstru Tales series and I'm already getting ideas for book five or six? Whether or not I actually use those ideas depends on a lot of things, but this song is pretty much the theme song for two of the major subplots (or possibly main plots) of whichever book it ends up being. Each subplot- one of which is Emma's, the other of which is Jared's- is mainly inspired by one of the first two verses.

7. "Stronger Than You Think"- Fireflight
"I know your intentions. I've seen the way you work. . . . I used to chase you. But now I hate you. I'm safe inside the light, so go on, do your worst." That sounds like the challenge of a hero to me- a hero who's been down a dark path, perhaps even served the villain at one point, but has since been lifted out of that darkness and found the villain for an epic showdown- inspired, of course, by this song.

8. "Shivna"- Riverdance
While the other songs in this post inspire primarily through lyrics, this song inspires more through the rhythm and the feeling it gives me. There are at least two scenes in Danger in the Tower (my Rapunzel/12 Dancing Princesses) remake inspired by this song. It's also my idea of what the music of the Feyling, particularly the dark Feyling, would sound like . . . and a very potent song indeed is that played by the Feyling.

 Do you find inspiration in songs? If so, what are some songs that have inspired you? Please tell me in the comments! Thanks for reading!
 Calo anor na ven!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Want to join in the Random Fridays fun? Feel free to make a post of your own on the week's topic! Please just be sure to use the Random Fridays banner, link back to Awkwordly Emma, and post the link to your post on the Awkwordly Emma blog so other participants can check out your post. For a list of future Random Friday topics, click here.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays: Book Covers I'd Frame as Art
Suilaid, mellyn nin! (I feel like speaking Elvish today, all right?) It's time for another Top Ten Tuesdays post, this one about book covers- specifically, book covers that are worthy of framing and putting on one's wall. I'm really excited about this week's theme; book covers are awesome, and there are plenty that I'd use as artwork in my eventual house. (I'd say my room, but the walls are already taken over by Hobbit posts, pretty much.)

1. The Errant King by Wayne Thomas Batson
This is pretty much my favorite book cover in the history of ever. I love the crashing sea and the scroll and the people on the scroll. You can see right off what Loch is like and one of the main choices before him. As for Raudrim-Quevara, she's perfectly creepy and I love the way she seems to be coming off the scroll. The color scheme also does a really good job of creating an exciting, mysterious mood.

2. The Silimarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.
I love the illustrations in this version of The Silimarillion (which happens to be the version I own). The one on the cover is probably one of my favorites. I want to step right into the picture, be on one of those ships as they're sailing towards what I assume is Numenor.

3. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
What can I say? It's Rivendell; it's beautiful. The colors in the version I have are a bit lighter and more pastel-y, which gives it a dreamier look, but the darker colors are still nice. And you know that I'd love to have a picture of Rivendell on my wall. (Maybe someone should make a Lord of the Rings calender with places on it instead of just people . . . Thoughts, anyone?)

4. Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
I love the bright, beautiful colors and the way the cave above and the thorn branches below frame Daylily and the woods behind her. This also happens to be my favorite of the Goldstone Wood covers, all of which are quite lovely, so there's that. (As a side note, I finally read this book a week or so ago and oh. my. pumpernickel. It was amazing. I thought I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen. I was so. incredibly. wrong. But in a good way. Also, Time, and implications of what might've happened if certain characters had made different choices. It makes my head spin, so I'm trying not to think too hard about it, but I can't help wondering.)

5. Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
This is my second favorite Goldstone Wood cover. I love the way that Una is framed in the dragon's eye, and the colors- with the deep, cool, blues on the outside and moving in to the warmer reds,  yellows, and golds on the inside is just lovely.

6. Beyond the Reflection's Edge by Bryan Davis
This is a very stark, mysterious cover, which I really like. I think it looks cool, with the ripples and the music and the 'reflected' city. It does give the impression of seeing something in a mirror that's not in the 'real' world, so to speak, and of being able to somehow cross between the 'real' world and the world in the mirror.

7. The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul
This is another pretty cover, and I think that the distant tower with the dragons flying around it adds just a hint of mystery. The minor dragon peeking over the cover plaque is, of course, rather cute, and a bit funny too.

8. Matched trilogy by Allie Condie
 I haven't read these books yet, but I really like the covers. I like the bright colors against the grey-white background, and the girl's progression of being trapped in the bubble, breaking out, and finally free. Very cool. If I were hanging them on my wall, I'd put them along a flight of stairs, with Matched at the bottom and Reached at the top.

9. Entwined by Heather Dixon
I really wish that the title/author were elsewhere on the cover; that's my only qualm about putting this book on this list. But I like the silver vines framing the image, and the way the girl seems to be looking for a way out as the world tilts and twists around her. (If you look at it, you can see that the shore of the lake is skewed.)

10. Dragons of the Watch by Donita K. Paul

Cute dragons and books. Yeah. I want to cuddle the green one and then have at books . . . without disturbing the sleeping purple dragon, of course. But yes, this is mostly on the list because it combines two of my favorite things in the world and I'd be quite happy to have it on my wall.

Well, there's my list. What do you think? And what book covers would you want on your wall? Feel free to tell me in the comments or make your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Random Fridays: Childhood Memories
Hullo, all! This week's Random Fridays is about childhood memories. Obviously, there's a lot of places I could go with this, but I thought that I'd use the theme to highlight some of the things I loved when I was a kid.

The Books:
The Three Cousins' Detective Club series
These used to be some of my Favorite Books in the World. I owned all but one of the books in the series, and I have no clue how many times I read them, but it was a lot. I remember especially liking the Honeybees' Secret one and The Mystery of the Hobo's Message.
The Magic Tree House series
Yeah. I'm pretty sure most kids read these at some point. My favorites were the Merlin Missions. (I'm sure that comes as no surprise to anyone reading this.) These books were also what originally made me interested in the King Arthur legends, which I still love today.

This used to be my favorite classic book. I first read it as part of collection of books: Pocahontas, an abridged Little Women, Pollyanna, and Heidi. Of those four, Little Women is now my favorite, but I probably read Heidi more times. I haven't read it in a long time; I should probably pick it up again at some point.

 The Movies/Videos
Admittedly, I still do like VeggieTales- at least the ones from before they started going downhill. However, since I've watched them for as long as I can remember (and I mean that quite literally), I had to include them. I have no idea which one I liked best, since it changed a lot, but I've probably watched most of them several dozen times . . . And, of course, I've nearly memorized a lot of the Silly Songs.

The Barbie Princess Movies
By that, I don't mean just The Princess and the Pauper, though I did like that movie. I'm talking about all the Barbie remakes of famous stories (plus Magic of Pegasus and Diamond Castle, both of which my little sister liked more than I did). I remember especially liking Swan Lake and Princess and the Pauper- until Three Musketeers came out just before I started growing out of Barbie movies. Then that one became my favorite, mostly because it involved females with swords and such. Go figure.

The Land Before Time
VeggieTales, Barbie movies, and The Land Before Time videos: all of these I watched almost obsessively at one time or another. Though, with the Land Before Time videos, I didn't really like the first video, the one the most people probably know about. I preferred the sequels (up to number seven; anything beyond that we had to get from the library), mostly because I thought the first one was kind of scary. I also recall that I loved Cera because, hey, her name sounds just like mine!

Did you love any of these when you were a kid? What were some of your favorite books, movies, or anything else? Please tell me in the comments or make your own Random Fridays post!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Want to join in the Random Fridays fun? Feel free to make a post of your own on the week's topic! Please just be sure to use the Random Fridays banner, link back to Awkwordly Emma, and post the link to your post on the Awkwordly Emma blog so other participants can check out your post. For a list of future Random Friday topics, click here.