Friday, March 30, 2012

Writers on Vacation

I shared this on my Facebook page, but I feel you guys are sure to appreciate it more than my Facebook friends (other than my lovely blogging partner, Susan, of course):

Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at

It made me laugh.

Monday, March 26, 2012

7 Reasons to Love Hobbits

1.  They believe in second breakfast.  If you don't understand why this is grounds for loving hobbits, please leave our blog and don't come back.

2.  They build their hobbit holes with round doors.  And everyone knows that
Round Doors>Rectangular Doors>Square Doors>(other polygons). 

3.  They make you look graceful and lithe.  You don't have disporportionally long, hairy feet.  So smile. 

4.  Elijah Wood's eyes.

5.  They are humble. 

6.  They know how to enjoy life. 

7.  They remind us that no matter how small you feel, or how small you actually are, you can do great things.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Lucky 7 Meme

Robin Moran at The Nook has tagged us in the Lucky 7 Meme that's been going around. Here are the rules: 

1) Go to page 77 of your current MS
2) Go to line 7
3) Copy down the next 7 lines as they're written--no cheating
4) Tag 7 other writers
5) Let them know

Here's mine (Susan's) from THE MADMAN'S CROWN: 
She knew what she could do.  Her mother’s memory inspired her with a perfect way to escape—she would begin preparations immediately.

​TimerenĂ© did not fall asleep that night, but the thought of her plan eased the lines on her face.


You have got to be kidding me, Flavian thought, staring into the smelly depths of his gym locker.  But the taunts came again. 

“Your Highness… Wanna come back to your magical kingdom, Prince Flavian?  Or do you wanna fight us?”  Someone grabbed his arm, but he broke free.  

And now for Tyler-Rose's...

Maren nodded and turned to continue on her way, but Archer held her back. “And we cannot give them our real names. I will be Thomas Stern, a Ranger on leave and you,” Archer paused and released her arm. “You can be my young wife.”

Maren's eyes grew wide. “Your wife—!” she began, but he cut her off.

“Yes, my wife,” Archer continued. Maren turned and walked into the front yard of the house and Archer followed her. “A man would hardly bring his sister on this sort of trip, would he? Besides—That doesn't matter. We are going to visit your family. Our goods and livestock were lost when the bridge to Harrisford collapsed.”
Becuase I think 4 just as good a number as 7, I'm tagging 4 people: 

4.  Sylvia van Bruggen @ Playful Creative

Can't wait to see your 7 lines, guys!  Also, if you haven't done this yet, feel free to request one of our 3 remaining tags in the comments. ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Links Galore: New Page!

For the first few days of spring break, I have been diligently avoiding the 300-some pages of history, political theory, and Coriolanus criticism that I need to read this week.  Pardon me while the neglected reading barges into my mind...

(This is what most of the Coriolanus criticism looks like.)

In a valiant effort to forestall the time when I would have to start this homework, I turned to the ever-popular "working on the blog" form of procrastination. 

Except this time, I actually accomplished something. 

The Feather and the Rose now has a new page that features links for aspiring writers.  I have lists upon lists of links for myself--it's just a matter of finding the best ones and organizing them.  Please find the new tab labeled "links" at the top of the page and check out what I have so far.  Tyler-Rose and I will continue to edit and add. 

An "About Us" page is also forthcoming.  We're just trying to figure out what to say about ourselves...  (Any suggestions about that, by the way?  What do you want to know, if anything?)

Now that I look at what I have to read, some of it actually looks interesting...  In fact, I specifically didn't put Coriolanus up there because the cover looked far too exciting.  That's good, becuase it must be done.

Road Trip Wednesday #122

RTW is a blog hop hosted by YA Highway. Click HERE to join the fun!

This week's question: 

A long-awaited kiss, a surprise ending, a character's sudden decision… these are the moments that make us smile, gasp, and LOVE a book for the rest of our lives.  What is your favorite literary moment?

This time, I have a clear winner....

"I will take the Ring...though I do not know the way."  (Frodo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring)

I also love it when a plot twist takes me completely by surprise.  But this moment is absolutely my favorite. 

How about you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why do you write?

One of the magazines that sits around my family's house is Johns Hopkins University's Imagine.  It's written for academically-minded highschool students. 

The November/December 2009 issue is about "Writing."  It includes a neat little article in which they interview six professional writers.  (not all of them fiction writers)

One of the questions they answer is "Why do you write?".  In paraphrase, here are some of the answers they gave:

1.  Because I am compelled.  I can't help myself. 
2.  Because writing helps me cope with life. 
3.  Because writing is how I make sense of the world. 
4.  Because I enjoy playing with imaginary characters and situations. 
5.  Because I want to tell an exciting story. 
6.  Because writing allows me to earn money with a flexible lifestyle. 
7.  Because writing helps me understand myself. 
8.  Because imaginative creation is fun. 

Many of these, to some extent, are reasons why I write as well.  I felt there was one large omission, however.  What none of them said was this:  "I have something specific to say to the world, and I believe it's worth saying."  And I think that is a very powerful--and even common--reason to write. 

All I know for sure is that if you don't have some terribly compelling reasons to write, you won't keep at it for very long.  It's an important question to investigate. 

Why do you write?  Do you strongly agree or disagree with any of these answers?  What would you add?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break and Books

Today is the last day of School before spring break! I am sitting on my floor packing my bags and singing along to David Cook  in celebration of my approaching freedom.

My only problem is. . .

                                     How am I supposed to fit all the books I want to bring home with me in my bag?

I've got books for school. I've got books for pleasure. I've got textbooks and novels and books about writing and about ancient Celtic women. I've got notebooks,and piano books and a journal.

I don't think they would let me take a rolling library cart on the plane.

The list of books so far:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. Faust by Goethe

3. Women of the Celts by Jean Markale

4. The Outsider by Penelope Williamson

5. A New Introduction to Greek by Chase and Phillips (I curse their names)

6. Motifs: an Introduction to French by Jansma and Kassen

7. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

8. The Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

9. One Rhetoric notebook (full of the wise things my English professor says)

10. One Greek notebook (full of the wise things my Greek professor says because the acursed Chase and/or Phillips couldn't be bothered)

And . . .

11. One book of piano music

I am fairly sure that, even if I did nothing but read, it still wouldn't be physically possible for me to get through all of those in one week. I'm not checking a bag, so I can't take it all home with me and decide what I'm going to read when I get there. Whatever I take I'm going to have to carry it through the airport with me. Something has to go. Hmmm . . .

The scary thing is, that I actually need most of it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

Today's question:  If you could wander anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

I would love to wander across the water to Great Britain.

I've always wanted to go to England and last summer I got the chance to go with a group from my college to spend two weeks looking at as many of the great literary sights as we could cram in. We saw Macbeth with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Hamlet in the Globe and Much Ado About Nothing in London starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate (The sight of my favorite Doctor wearing a pig nose, a blue wig, fishnet tights, high heeled boots, and a mini skirt is indelibly seared on my consciousness). We went to Shakespeare's house and CS Lewis' house and the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and so much more. We even got lost in Covent Garden in London.

I've been wanting to go back and visit again since the jet lag wore off after getting home the last time. I want to be able to spend more than two hours looking at Oxford. I want to actually get out of the bus to look at Stonehenge. I want to venture into Wales and Scotland and over to Ireland.

I might even get my wish. I may be able to spend, at least, part of my Junior year at the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland since my college has an exchange program with them.

What about you? Where would you like to wander?

I took this picture.
Tintern Abbey in Wales.

Monday, March 12, 2012


This is Not Me.
Although, he looks how
I felt and we have the same
hair color.
The sun came out the other day. My system was so shocked and overjoyed that I found a lovely stone wall and lay down, flat on my back, on top of it. Then I ignored all the funny looks I got and sunned*. I take my sunning very seriously.

Weather wise, it was my perfect day. I love days when a wind that is a little colder than the air is blowing and and a very gentle sun is shining, one that you can just feel on your cheek bones when who look up.

My little almost-nap on the wall put me in a fantastically good mood. What is there to be discontented about when I can lie in the sun? One of those moods where you can look at things that aren't perfect, things that might usually irritate or dissatisfy you, and say "this is good" and mean it.

I think it's important to have joy in the "during" and not just the "completed" of life, to make time even when there isn't any for little things like sunning. Even when it seems like I am hellishly busy, if I really think about it, I can spare a minute or two to sit in the sun, or go for a walk, or sip a cup of tea or even read a poem. I always find that I come back feeling a little bit better, even if it is onlyjust a little bit.

So, go sun. Your life and your manuscript will still be there when you get back.

*I also compulsively hummed the Shire Theme for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When Deadlines Come Alive

Oh man my title is so cheesy it makes me cringe.  Sorry. 

As a couple of you might remember from earlier posts, I'm currently finishing a revision of THE MADMAN'S CROWN and looking for beta readers. 

Last night when I was talking to a few people who offered to beta for me, I had a startling epiphany: 

I am suddenly accountable to people!  Yikes!

This is what my brain looked like when I realized I was accountable to people for finishing my revision.  (source)
It's not as if the idea of a deadline is new and scary to me.  I'm very used to meeting formal deadlines in school.  Even with my writing, I'm always giving myself deadlines--and I'm pretty good at setting realistic goals and meeting them. 

But something about my writing passing into the territory of formal-deadline-that-involves-people-other-than-me is kind of scary and kind of exciting. 

It's a wake-up call, really.  I am actually doing this!  I actually wrote a book, and people are going to...see it!  Some of them are even going to read it for me!  *shakes head*  It's real.  It's really real.

Have you ever experienced this, in writing or in life?  I know some people make themselves accountable to others as a motivational tool--have you ever done that?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Absolute Virtues of Writing (+a blog design giveaway!)

I  had two excellent high school band directors who liked to bring timid players out of their shell. 

They would tell us:  "No one's going to say, 'No, no no!  That's WAY too expressive!' or, 'Tone it down!  That's TOO musical!' or, "too beautiful!' " 

And we'd all laugh and realize that there were some things you couldn't take too far.  There are some things, like musicality and expressiveness and beauty that are the end of music, the goal of music--and therefore you can't have too much of them. 

The point my band directors were trying to make was that you can't shy away from these things if you want to be any good.  You have to relentlessly pursue them. 

Writing is much the same.   No one is going to read your book and tell you: 

"That was awful--way too exiting!" 

or...  "Too much tension!  I couldn't take it!" 

or...  "No, no, no!  Too interesting!" 

or...  "It was just too meaningful for me." 

or...  "Far too inspirational.  You need to tone it down." 

There are some things we can't have too much of as writers.  Can you think of any others?  How do you push yourself to achieve these "absolute virtues" in writing, or which ones do you appreciate the most in books you read?

Also, Whimsical Blog Designs is having a custom blog design giveaway!  Click HERE to enter!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I just reached 50,000 words on my current work in progress!!!! That makes it an official novel.

I think when the draft is done it will be about 85,000 to 90,000 words in length.

I am going to go dance and eat skittles in celebration.

Happy Saturday.