5 things: unexpected love stories

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I rounded up 5 of my favorite, unexpected, slightly unconventional, but totally magical love stories.

5 things: unexpected love stories

 

Lovely, easy breezy reads with a twist. A Song for Summer is a historical romance set against WWII, while The China Garden is set in the English countryside sometime in the ’90s (I haven’t read it in a while, but I think it’s aged pretty well). UprootedShades of Milk and Honey, and Rose Daughter need little introduction. Excellent, magical girl fantasy for all.
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writing: Crown of Ice, Crown of Air, a summary

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Summaries are difficult. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Writing a summary on something I’ve been working on for nearly 4 years, that’s a whole other level.

I’ve written and rewritten this manuscript multiple times. I’ve edited and restructured. I’m looking at more edits to come. Though the details may change, the story remains. So, today, I’m being brave and putting my little draft of a blurb out into the world. No going back.

The day Siobhan tried to kill her, Anúna swore she’d never return. Never seek her power. Never seek her crown. Three years she’s locked her truth away, hiding in the mortal realm, letting the iron drain her magick and steal her power. But Siobhan will not rest and Anúna knows it. Now, the walls she’s built are starting to crumble and her wards are beginning to fray. It’s only a matter of time before Siobhan finds her. When Marek, Anúna’s friend and mentor, and erstwhile leader of the Queen’s guard comes to call, Anúna is forced to make a choice—-take back the crown she lost or leave the realm at her sister’s mercy.

Crown of Ice, Crown of Air is a story of magick and power, love and war… about finding yourself and something worth fighting for.

It needs work, but it’s a start. I also keep debating whether Air or Ice should be first… that’s a whole other set of concerns.

Camp NaNoWrimo FTW!

I did it! I actually reached my 80k word goal! That’s the Good News…

The Bad News is that I’m still not finished.

Yep, I was right when I said predicted that this draft wouldn’t be complete when I reached my goal. Re-outlining the ending certainly helped me get it going at a better pace, but I still see another 3-4 chapters to finish, which might mean anywhere from 15-20,000 more words given my average chapter lengths for this draft. All in all, I feel much better about it than I did last week. See 🙂 staying positive after all.

*Goodness, I just compiled and saw that it’s really 337 pages long! Thank you, Scrivener, for keeping all that text in an orderly fashion.*

that is it. 80k reached.
that is it. 80k reached.

 

Cassiel, rewrite draft 1/part 2 (total word goal)

 

About Cassiel (or the best summary I could come up with for the moment)

With her family and fortune gone, sixteen-year-old Cassiel Loriett is placed under the guardianship of the exacting Mrs. Maywoods, but there is more to her family’s fate than Cassiel knows and the only way to learn the truth is to solve the mystery herself. Willing to do whatever it takes to find out what really led to the loss of her father’s fortune and her mother’s unexpected death, Cassiel runs away with little more than her father’s journal a couple of clues, but first she has to stay away from Mrs. Maywoods and her brother, Mr. Stellworthy, who seems to take a strange interest in Cassiel’s position as the Maywoods’s erstwhile ward.

Finding herself on a quest, Cassiel ends up the unlikely resident of Walstone House–a derelict manor house run by Stephen Frye, and his cousins Christabella and Nathan Walstone, and owned by their reclusive grandfather, Pierce Walstone. Finding a friend and ally in Stephen, Cassiel sets on a journey that might mean losing it all, or finding herslf along the way.

A YA historical mystery set in late Victorian England.

A re-write in progress…

Follow my Cassiel writing updates here: http://things-she-said.org/tag/cassiel/

Adventures in re-writing, part 1

Cassiel... in progress
Cassiel… in progress

That, my friends, is my pile of notes, outlines, summaries, and the first 5 chapters of Cassiel, draft 1 (aka. the wild beast). Now, here I am, nearing the first week of CampNaNoWriMo and I am actually feeling really good about choosing to rewrite Cassiel rather than rework the existing text. I feel like I’ve been living with these characters for the last 7 years (I hadn’t even realized it was that long until I looked at the original file save dates), so I know their voices and stories inside and out. Now, I just need to make them come to life in a fresher way. Just looking at those first 5 chapters, I can see how much I’ve grown as a writer. There is a serious Victorian influence running through my early writing, something that was definitely a result of too much Classic lit in school… and while I love the Victorians, I don’t want Cassiel to read like a Victorian knock-off. I want this book to have a style and tone all its own, and I am getting there! Not to too my own horn, but I’m surprised at how it’s coming along. It’s not perfect, but that’s not my goal right now. My goal is to write a solid first half of a novel, so that I can then find a balance between editing Anúna and finishing Cassiel. There was way too much time and distance between chapters when I wrote the first version of this book and I don’t want to fall into that trap again. That way lies the bad place! No no, I much prefer to stay closer to this draft. I do feel stronger about the last quarter of the original and some of the dialogue, so I do plan on printing the rest of it out and going through to find those nuggets of inspiration, but I think this will be a mostly new draft all around.

I’m ahead of my word count goal for the week, which is surprising given that I’ve been writing in the space between my eating breakfast and leaving for work (with kitty cat cuddle time squeezed in to keep kitty from attacking me for attention). The plan for the weekend is to put in another 3000 words. And do some yoga. I seriously need to stretch after all this desk time.

Cassiel, rewrite draft 1 (Camp NaNo word goal)

Camp NaNo… here we go!

getting ready…

The day is almost upon us… Camp NaNo lurks just around the corner with its frantic writing goal. I’ve got my “plan”–which is really just a list of ideas I’ve been plotting for Cassiel Draft 2 (or, as I like to think of it, taming the wild beast). I printed out the first five chapters of the original draft (written oh so many moons ago) and realized it’s damn long. And I mean loooooong. As in, nearly a quarter of the length of Anúna Draft 1–and that one clocked in at around 80k. Seriously, when I say this is an exercise in wrangling my word story into something neat and orderly, I mean it. It’s way too involved. Unless I break it into several parts, it just doesn’t work as a YA length novel. My goal is to get around 20k works down in April and have a solid start at a new draft. Entirely new. I was toying with revising and reworking what I have, but I feel that the second half is stronger than the first, so a solid first half should be my greatest priority for this one, at least for now. I love my characters and I love my settings, but I have to get my plot under control. I kind of wish I had more time to research some of the elements I’m uncertain about, but it’s been a mad month. I’ll work with what I have.

In other news… I haven’t reached my editing goal for the month 😦 . I have two more chapters before I finish the first round of revisions on Chapters 5-10. Mad month, after all. Not that April will be any better…

Ah! Writing!

 

Adventures in editing, pt. 3

I’m averaging 5 pages worth of edits (print to digital) an hour, but only managing to get in about an hour or two of edits on weekdays. It feels like trudging along at a snail’s pace, but I know I’m making the story better with every change. Gotta keep myself going. I’m still trying to work out the whole living on my own/fending for myself and writing bit. It’s very time-consuming to manage on one’s own.

I’ve also noticed that I haven’t said much about the plot, I guess because I was still trying to work some of that out by re-writing, but I think I’ve got it pretty much squared away now. The blurb I’ve been using sums up the idea of the novel as a story about two rival Faerie Queens, but it’s about more than that… Anúna and Siobhan are twins, a rare thing in my version of the Other realm. Unwilling to choose one daughter over the other, the King names them both Queen of the family Clan… but when one sister doesn’t like to share troubles are sure to arise. There are secret plots and deadly assassins and sexytimes galore (okay, not galore, it’s not that kind of book), and even a touch of the ol’ self-actualization.

And right now, I’m dying to finish editing it so I can finally get some reader feedback! Ugh, editing is the worst. *says the girl who wanted to be a professional editor*

I’ll try to vlog again soon. I’m still relying on a borrowed connection while I wait for my internets to be activated.

 

Anúna: 1st Draft

 

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

Adventures in editing, pt. 2

I took the challenge and recorded my first vlog! Wherein I ponder the great editing task that is Anúna, my thought talking about writing, and more! Also, a shout out to the fab writers over at TheGreatNovelingAdventure.com because they are awesome.

After several attempts, I finally settled on Vimeo for my video sharing. This is the downside of cancelling my account with my old webserver–I used to blog less, so it seemed a waste of money to spend so much on a server, and I like the social aspects of WP.com, but the video sharing part leaves much to be desired. Oh well, it’s a solution for the moment.

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

Anúna: 1st Draft – in the editing/revision stage

Currently editing and reworking the first 5 chapters.