Friday, March 27, 2015

The Surrogate Sea and its Illustrious Author

In this rare, magical Friday Post we would like to congratulate our marvelous friend Danielle E. Shipley of Ever On Word on the release of her latest whimsical Wilderhark novella: The Surrogate Sea!!!

In honor of this momentous occasion, we have persuaded the elusive author herself to answer some our impertinent questions.

Without further ado . . .

What are some of your favorite books? We won't ask you for your favorite book because that would be mean. Just give us your top 3 or 10 or however many you would like. 

 Bless you for your kindness. Always good to encounter interviewers who understand the struggle. ;) A few tops picks o’ mine, in no particular order…

 Long-standing favorites:
- “The Story Girl” by L.M. Montgomery – perhaps uncommonly enough, it’s laid a bigger claim on my heart than her best-known work, “Anne of Green Gables”
- The “Montmorency” series by Eleanore Updale – historical fiction featuring the first British thief I ever loved, since I had yet to appreciate Robin Hood. Speaking of…
- “The Outlaws of Sherwood” by Robin McKinley; also “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” by Howard Pyle

 More recent favorites:
- “The Raven Cycle” by Maggie Stiefvater – especially Books 1 and 2; Book 4 can’t get here soon enough
- “Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson – which I read for the first time maybe a month ago at a friend’s strong recommendation, and it’s just so darn good
- “The Archived” by Victoria Schwab – also just so darn good, much like the first work I read of hers (under her alter ego, V.E. Schwab), “Vicious”
- “Inspired” by Danielle E. Shipley – …what? I don’t go two days without wishing I were reading it. If that’s not true love…

When did Will Scarlet and his friends first make their merry appearance in your life? 

 *cracks up* Good mercy, if you could hear Will carrying on with ecstacy at the mention of his name…

 I met my Merry Men in November of 2010 – my first National Novel Writing Month! – having no idea at the time just how big a part of my life they would soon become. Will, in particular, was a pal to me from the start, using his mad skills of improvisational chatter to help me meet my daily word-count goals for the duration of NaNo ’10. We’ve since then grown to regard each other as besties/long-lost siblings. And despite the fact that I won’t begin publication of the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy in which he features until I’ve finished with the Wilderhark Tales novellas, he may well be more popular online than I am. XD

If you had to pick one of your fictional worlds to live in, which would it be? 

Oh, Avalon Faire, for sure – home of Will’s scarlet shenangins, Allyn-a-Dale’s matchless music, and good old-fashioned immortality!

Unless, of course, something tragic were to happen to Rosalba in the Wilderhark world, leaving me little choice but to marry her widower, Edgwyn Wyle.

Who would totally propose to me once he’d had his fill of grieving.

Please don’t choke yourself laughing, Edgwyn.

What is your preferred writing utensil?

My laptop, Fantasia – whom, full disclosure, my mother took the initiave to christen after I’d gone far too long without settling on a name. I enjoy the feel of typing (so much like playing piano), and the ability to edit as I go in a way I can’t do half as tidily in pencil or pen.

How do you balance your writing career with other parts of your life?

*blinks* There’s more to my life?

Seriously. It seems it’s easier to force myself to keep my nose to the grindstone than to take a break for so-called necessities like food and fresh air and… what’s that thing people are supposed to do in their pajamas? Riiiiight, “sleep”. I’ve heard of that.

But I’m trying to get better about it. Will Scarlet has dragged a promise out of me to take a mental health break once I’ve pubbed the last Wilderhark Tale this fall – which, considering it will mean months of delay before his books come out, is one of the most selfless things he’s ever done. And around that same time, I’ll have moved from my childhood home in the Chicago area to ever-lovin’ Germany, of all places, which is what I call adventure with a capital A! If living within sight of the Black Forest – basically THE fairytale forest! (No offense, Wilderhark) – isn’t the whap upside the head I need to turn me into a cool person who makes time for fun, then color me hopeless.

 The Surrogate Sea is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also check it out on Goodreads.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Responding to the Spam Filter

Remember when we did a post in which we personally responded to the search terms that brought people to our blog? Well, in case you missed it, here is a link to that post so you too can revel in the Gerard Butler-ful glory.

This is post is sort of an off-shoot of that idea. Actually, it is something which our friend Colin D Smith suggested in the comments of that post.

So, for your delectation, I have cracked open that Pandora's Box which is our spam filter and selected some gems to respond to.

Here goes nothing.

Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually loved account your weblog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your augment and even I fulfillment you get right of entry to constantly quickly.

Dear Anonymous Spam Bot,
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you think our content sections are pretty. I do rather like our font choice, if I say so myself. I did pick it, after all.  Also, I've always thought paragraphs are a rather nice way to break up long sections of text. I know there are a lot of people who don't agree with me, but I'm radical that way. I'm so pleased to hear you are going to subscribe to our augment (whatever that is) and equally pleased to hear of your personal fulfillment. Keep climbing that self-actualization tree!
                                                     Bunches of love,
                                                                   The Feather and the Rose

Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to know so much appropximately this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I think that you simply could do with a ffew % to force the message house a bit, but instead of that, that is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back. 

Dear Internet Creature,
I'm so glad we've been able to connect so closely with the essence of your being. Our goal is always to read the thoughts of our followers. And yes, we did write the guide in this. That's why our careers are flourishing so marvelously. I would have to disagree with you about the % since I think our message house is actually just fine. Thank you for your input, though. We really appreciate it. Do return when you have the time.
                                                      Solicitous salutations,
                                                                    The Feather and the Rose

I have read so many content concerning the blogger lovers except this paragraph is genuinely a nice paragraph, keep it up. 

Awwww. You've made me feel all melty inside, Little Minion. 

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

Dear Friendly Widget,
I love our blog too. Interesting fact about the color combination: Susan and I find ourselves wearing it by accident all the time. We made the website ourselves with the help of the Blogger Hive Mind with which I'm sure you are acquainted. No matter how much you try, Mr. Widget, I'm fairly convinced you would never be able to bring into being something as lovely as this blog.
                                                      Snarkitudinously yours,
                                                                   The Feather and the Rose

This piece of writing is in fact a fastidious one it assists new internet people, who are wishing in favor of blogging. 

My darling Google Spider,
Our hope is to be fastidious in all things.Especially when it comes to personal hygiene. This is why Susan and I are friends, you know. If you are a new internet person wishing in favor of blogging I suggest you go to the blog nursery and pick yourself up a baby blog. They are adorable, fascinating creatures and are fairly simple to care for. All they need is, at minimum, weekly watering to eventually grow into a mighty beast with a wingspan so wide it will block all the free time out of your life.
                                                       Keep wishing,
                                                                 The Feather and the Rose

You should take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the internet.

I'm inarticulate with pride. 'Nough said.

 Gold star for us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Living and the Dead

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

                                                                                     ~ James Joyce, The Dead


It has been a long winter, my friends. Perhaps the longest of my life. The snow has been falling for weeks and there's a biting wind that comes blasting down the hill in front of our building to burn your skin and blow chips of ice into your eyes and into your heart.

Our world is a wash of grey and white. The sky is exactly the same smooth, colorless surface as the earth. If you are so lucky as to find a patch of color, it is a feast for the eyes. Even the small scurrying animals and the hardy winter birds are utterly silent and vanished.* The only noise at night is the skeleton trees creaking in the freezing wind. I think their bones are almost as cold as mine.

Yet, a miracle. 

Yesterday, there was sunlight.

And it filled our living room with gold.


* Except for Susan's Squirrel.