Showing posts from September, 2017

Saturday Snippets: The End of Albion Apparent

Yes, I have reached the end of Albion Apparent , and it is in the hands of beta readers even now. (If you would like to be one of those beta readers, just drop your email in a comment and I'll send it to you!) Here are your final glimpses into the second book of the Albion Quartet. Tune in next month for some snippets from other things I'm working on. “What have Oberon’s hopes to do with you, grey sister?” Grandmother’s voice did not overpower Darity’s in the way a bombastic politician will drown out an opponent. Instead, it slipped around the chamber like a strand from a web, throwing out more threads of itself until the entire room was subjected to its will. “You are not his vassal, that his hopes and fears should rule your own. Nor are you his ally, except in times of war, and let us pray that war is far from us.” Darity’s hands stilled. “Do you mean that the Merlin we have foreseen will not be responsible for—” “He will be what he will be, child. Do you suppose our desti

Monday Musings: Finishing the First Draft and What Comes Next

As of last night, the first draft of Albion Apparent is complete! The last month has been a rush of finishing chapters and interludes with a speed I haven't had most of the year. It's immensely satisfying to reach this stage with a book. So what's next? For me, I'm taking the next month or so to work on things other than Albion. The book is set to go to beta readers, after which I'll take their comments and use them to draft a better version of  Albion Apparent . My hope is to spend October finally hammering out the last chapters of There's No Place Like Home?  and maybe even finishing "Paper and (T)horns". I'm also planning to try Inktober, a month-long drawing challenge similar to NaNo but for drawing instead of writing. This also means that this Saturday's snippets post will be the last for  Albion Apparent . (I will still post snippets of what I'm working on in the interim.) For you, my friends and readers, this means that

ThrowBook Thursday: Narnia Audio (Part 1)

This month's ThrowBook Thursday is a sequel of sorts to July's post . My reread/relisten of the Narnia series has continued (with quite an odd reading order, on which more in a moment), though I have dropped the BBC Radio adaptations after being thoroughly underwhelmed by their version of The Silver Chair . As I've gone through the audio books and Focus on the Family Radio Theatre versions of the books, I noticed that I was ranking each against the others, so I thought I'd offer my thoughts on them in that light. First off, I am still only partway through the series. I have listened to (in this order): The Silver Chair , The Horse and His Boy , Prince Caspian , and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader*. In each case, I listen to the HarperCollins audio book and then the FotF radio version (with the BBC version thrown in for SC). Secondly, I'm ranking the audio books, but including any relevant thoughts on the FotF versions, as my biggest comments there tend to be how mu

Monday Musings: Learning from Your Art (and Your Mistakes)

I said last Wednesday that I didn't think I'd post my painting of the four sisters of the seasons because I'd ruined it. Then I wondered whether this was just me defending my wounded pride. As I looked over the painting later that day, I decided that yes, I was defending my wounded pride, but I was also cutting myself off from fully admitting that I had made the mistake in the first place and needed to learn something  from it. Sometimes with art, no matter the medium, you will screw something up. But whether you do that or not, every piece -- every painting, every poem, story, novel, drawing, film, or song -- is going to teach you something about how to make your art. Maybe it will be something not to do next time (like add pen to your painting) or maybe it will be something you need to push further or play with more (like blending the colors in the autumn queen's dress). Whatever your art form, don't close yourself off to the lessons your art is trying to

Watercolor Wednesday: Sun, Moon, and Fan Art

Welcome to another edition of Watercolor Wednesday! I've been doing a lot of painting in the last couple of weeks, thanks to some inspiring reads and some inspiring posts from friends. On to the art! First up, there's a postcard of a beach scene that was primarily a chance to try getting the salt texture right. I finally realized with this one that I wasn't getting enough water on the page for the salt to properly absorb the water and paint and leave this lovely texture behind. I call this piece "Freckles in the Sun" and I have to admit I loved playing with the spatter look. I used a lot of wet on dry with this one (something I've been advised I might do too much of) but I mixed in some wet on wet as well (which is where the softer colors of the hair, dress, and face come in). Aside from the "freckles", my favorite part of this painting is the way the facial details came through. I might come back to this character at some point.

Monday Musings: N.D. Wilson's 100 Cupboards

I recently borrowed N.D. Wilson's novel 100 Cupboards from the library after a group of folks at NarniaWeb read through the series. It had been on my radar for some time, but the recent surge of interest in my circle of friends gave me a push to finally check it out. 100 Cupboards  is the story of Henry York, sent to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins in Kansas after his parents are kidnapped on an anthropological trip out of the country (an event which serves as mere background and doesn't figure into the story beyond getting Henry to Kansas). While living in the attic bedroom, he discovers a series of cupboards built into the wall that lead to other places -- many of them not of this world. Together, he and his cousin Henrietta try to solve the mystery of the cupboards -- and get into more than a little trouble along the way. The premise of the story makes it sound very exciting, but for about half the book it's anything but. There's a lot of atmospheric

Top 10 Tuesday: Books to Read in Autumn

September brings autumn with it, and though that may not be official for another three weeks, I want to jump-start the season with a run down of some favorite books to read in the fall. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Aside from the fact that this book begins in the fall, it just has such an autumnal feel to me throughout. It has forests and traveling and longing for both home and adventure, which encapsulates the spirit of the season for me. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury I'll try not to overload this list with Halloween-ish stories, but Something Wicked is such an autumn-infused story. Will's father even calls the carnival's denizens "The Autumn People". Bradbury and this book may be partly responsible for my own love of autumn. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis Really, Narnia in general can feel autumnal, but The Horse and His Boy  is the most autumnal, with its arid atmosphere and the Hermit of the South

Monday Musings: Why the DuckTales Reboot has Me Saying "Woo-oo!"

Disney has continued their recent spate of reboots with a new series based on the Uncle Scrooge comics and the '80s DuckTales cartoon. I've been looking forward to the show with initially skeptical optimism that has only grown and grown until, having seen the pilot episode, I am fully behind this new series. Here are just a few of the reasons why I'm loving this show so far: Image via Scrooge is Played by David Tennant While big name actors are not required for me to enjoy a show, Tennant was an excellent choice to follow the footsteps of the late Alan Young, who originally voiced Scrooge from Mickey's Christmas Carol to DuckTales and beyond. I expect we'll get at least a passing Doctor Who reference, what with one of the preview clips showing that Scrooge owns a clock-shaped time machine. In any case, Tennant gives Scrooge a pleasant mix of crochety old man, adventurous explorer, and intelligent businessman that makes him more than an anima