looking back at my book // a glimpse into Remnant’s earlier incarnations, with much laughter

Hello hello, friends (and strangers)!

I wrote this post a long while ago. It was inspired by Sarah Baran (aka The Sarcastic Elf). I highly encourage you to check out her blog if you enjoy mine (or even if you don’t). Crazy homeschooled fantasy writers are the best. Especially if sarcasm is involved.

As the title of the post implies, I’m going to go back through various drafts of my current WIP, Remnant. I’m going to talk about my writing process and ideas. I’m going to share snippets. And I’m going to laugh at myself.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. (I should know, because as of right now, I have already written the post and read it numerous times.)

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The Chosen

This whole story starts back when I was eleven years old. Having read LOTR and Eragon recently, I was full of grand ideas of adventure, high fantasy, magic, and (of course) elves. However, I was suffering under the misconception that I couldn’t write a novel until after high school.

. . .

Yes, I know that makes no sense. I have no idea how I came up with that. Unfortunately, it was firmly cemented in my mind and I had never even attempted to write something longer than a few pages.

Until that day, standing in my bedroom, when I had THE IDEA.

Yes, it deserves capital letters. Because even though I no longer like THE IDEA, even though barely any of it remains in Remnant, even though it was honestly a terrible idea…

It was mine, all mine, and it’s the reason I started writing seriously. It’s the reason I am who I am. So thank you, eleven-year-old self, for THE IDEA.

THE IDEA involves silvery magic tattoos that signify power, a race called (wait for it) elves, another one called dwarves, a group called the Guardians (think the Varden, but cooler) who aided both, a bunch of (typically clueless) humans, yet another group (comprised of elves, dwarves, and humans, some of whom were Guardians) called the Chosen, a boy named Joe (it was a placeholder name that stuck around far too long), and a bunch of recycled plots from my previously planned fantasy series.

Because, though I was certain that I couldn’t write a novel, I saw no reason not to plan a novel. Many of them, in fact. So many that, before THE IDEA entered my brain, I had come up with the plot for a twenty-four-book series.

I’m not sure how I planned to write all those while figuring out adult life. But the Eagle-Wing Trail series (Wingfeather Saga meets Kingdom Tales) provided ample material for this The Chosen.

Sadly, none of the very first scene of The Chosen remains (at least not anywhere I can find it). So no one shall ever know of the meeting between Raldin and Taresil. How Raldin, tears in his eyes, handed baby Joe to the beautiful elf (beautiful beyond description), and she, crying and laughing in turn, marked the baby as one of the Chosen and spun him in circles in the forest…

But though this spectacular beginning is lost to history, I do have some amusing quotes from other sections.

For all things pleasant passed away in a time of desolation and sorrow, because those who were called the Chosen passed away into the land of memory… now let us eavesdrop in on one tale that was told… for the Chosen kept the peace and ruled over the land — until an unknown disaster befell them and they mysteriously disappeared…

This is deep stuff, people. At the tender age of eleven, I was already contemplating that dark and desolate place called “the land of memory.”Read More »

Crowning Heaven by Emily Hayse // cover reveal

Hello and welcome, friends!

How has your week been so far? (We’ve only had two days. But still. Things may have happened to you.) On Monday, I started (will start, as I’m writing this on Sunday) a summer performing arts program. I’m learning to sing “Audition” from La La Land and I’m doing a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with my sister. I may (or may not) share videos, depending on how it goes.

But anyway. That’s what I did yesterday (or will do tomorrow. Ah, the delightful complications of scheduling posts ahead of time).

And today (Tuesday) I’m participating in the cover reveal for my blogging friend Emily‘s book Crowning Heaven!

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about the book

Heaven Cassidy has only ever wanted one thing: a family. But when she opens a letter from her long-lost mother, she finds herself running for her life. Swept into a world of proud queens and ancient feuds, Heaven must decide whether her dream is worth taking on the responsibility of two kingdoms, one of which wants to crown her and the other to kill her.

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the cover, revealed…

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Hope in Disaster short story contest WINNERS!

Hello, my friends!

Over the past couple of weeks, Kiki, Charis, and I have been reading through a ton of short stories (39. If I counted right). Thank you so much to everyone who entered! It was great fun reading all your stories, and I think I may have discovered some new favorite writers (:

I’m so glad that we did this contest. It’s been an amazing experience, and I think that these stories will bring hope to many people! I can’t wait for you all to read them.

And now. The moment you’ve been waiting for…

THE WINNERS.Read More »

judging books by their covers // in which I make ridiculous guesses + discover interesting books

Hello, my friends!

Today I’m going to be stealing an idea from fellow blogger Jane Maree. I’m sure a lot of people have done this, but her blog was the first place I saw it. Basically, one picks covers of books one has not read, guesses what they will be about, then reads the actual synopses and compares one’s guesses to the actual story.

This sounds like so much fun! I’m going to be judging six books that I have not read but am interested in. Maybe this post will encourage me to actually read them!

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black · OverDrive (Rakuten OverDrive ...
cover elements: crown, branches, beetle/bug?, black pointy font

initial thoughts

So for some reason, I’m always getting Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo, and Maggie Stiefvater mixed up in my head (more to come)… I don’t know why. I think it’s partially because their book covers are so similar. Anyway, I have no clue what this one is about but it’s probably something kind of like the other two authors’ books… maybe…?

Leigh Bardugo is quoted on this cover (maybe some of my confusion stems from that). She says the book is “lush” and “dangerous” and a “dark jewel.” Honestly, those words don’t make me want to read the book. They sound more like something from a poem or a super-descriptive fantasy.

my guess

When MC [I am NOT making up a name because I know I’ll be wrong] is stolen from her home and thrown into a prison cell without explanation, she wonders if her long-lost enemy has returned… and he has. 

The cruel prince, an evil remnant of a forgotten time when magic was common, has come back to haunt MC. He needs her help to reclaim his dark throne, since she possesses magical strength beyond imagination. But she doesn’t want to help him. 

So she turns him into a beetle.

That was fun! It’s probably nothing like the real synopsis, though…Read More »

CONTEST ENDS 5/31 ~ a post by Kate

Hello, readers of Maya’s blog.

You’re wondering why there’s a new post here, since she said she wouldn’t reappear until June 6.

The answer: I’m not Maya, I’m Kate.

If you haven’t had the chance to meet me yet, allow me to introduce myself. I’m human but I look like an elf and I’m Maya’s personal assistant.

that’s me on the right ↟↟

I just want to let you all know that Maya’s writing contest closes on the 31st! (Thanks to the incredible length of this quarantine, the deadline has been extended a week, so you all have EVEN MORE time to write your stories in hopes of winning the amazing prizes. )

Check out Maya’s original post to learn more and submit your stories!

Best of luck and may Iluvatar be with you.

cww

flotsam and jetsam | 6 (Camp NaNo + mini book reviews + some updates)

How are you all, my friends? Quarantine in Michigan has been extended until at least May 28 (I think) and my musical has been officially canceled, so I’m still at home, still reading and writing and taking walks and wishing I could go places. I miss normal life.

But enough about my woes. Despite the (many) downsides of living in 2020, there are a few good things. The first one is that I exceeded my Camp NaNo goal of 20k!

Camp NaNo

 Camp Winner 2020 - Twitter Banner

I wrote 21,708 words in April! I shared some snippets from day 1, days 2-4, and days 5-10 earlier. Here are some of my favorite things I wrote from days 11-30.

poetry

// 13: shadow heart //

My heart is shadowed and uncertain. I’ve been trying to get back to where I was but the sirens call me into sin and seduction and unsatisfaction and my heart is heavy….
My heart is shadowed. Craven and breaking. Someone come pull me out of my aching and raise me to heaven — or I will fall to hell….
My heart is shadowed.
Send rescue.
Send salvation.

I tried my hand at spoken word poetry. I’m not very happy with the result, but I’ll keep trying.


// 14: play //

I’m tired of deception (but that’s unrelated to anything I’m supposed to be writing about)
and this quarantine
and being me
and, well, a lot of things.
I want the world to be healed
Read More »

1-year blog anniversary // in which I ramble and reminisce (+ an announcement)

green and white Hello board decor

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I’ve been blogging (on this blog) for a year now. And it’s been such fun.

I started this blog because I wanted to grow my platform as a writer, but I’ve kept it up because I enjoy writing posts, commenting on other people’s posts, and making new friends. (Of course, I do want to grow my platform, but my favorite part of blogging is the community.)

It seems to be conventional to write a long post on a blogging anniversary (traditionally known as a blogiversary. But not here. Here, we use the full and proper term), often with a Q&A. And one must follow convention (but not too closely, hence the lack of a Q&A section).

Tally ho!

(This phrase has many helpful uses, as demonstrated by the Hawke brothers in the Out of Time trilogy by Nadine Brandes.
In this circumstance, it means “I couldn’t think of a good transition here, but now I’m going to actually write this blog post instead of telling you about it.”)

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in which I make an announcement unrelated to this post

Last week I launched my site Maya’s Library, a free personalized book recommendation site. You fill out a form and tell me about the kind of books you do and don’t like to read, and I’ll send you a list of stories to add to your TBR. (If you give me permission, I’ll post it in a blog post there too so other people can see it.) Go check it out!

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in which I discuss my changing blog design + name

My blog has changed a great deal since I started. But sadly, I didn’t think to take screenshots of its changes. I do, however, still have a lot of the blog headers in my Canva account.

It was originally called “maya’s magic musings: writer. dreamer. daughter of the king.” and I’m still rather fond of that name. The color scheme was completely different, and I think the theme was Dara, so it looked something like this:

Capture
obviously the content was different. and the navigation menu. and the sidebar. so basically everything was different back then.

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the mystery blogger award (again)

I was nominated for the mystery blogger award (again) (as the title says; see the first rendition here) by C.M.! Thank you kindly, my friend. (Readers, go check out her blog.)

I was also… sort of… nominated by Lemon. (She said she wasn’t going to nominate me because I’d already been nominated… so she left it open to anyone who wanted to do the tag… and after reading the questions she asked her nominees, I decided I wanted to answer them.)

the rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well (this award was created by Okoto Enigmas).
  4. Answer the five questions you were asked.
  5. Nominate ten – twenty people.
  6. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs linking to their most recent posts.
  7. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice with one weird or funny question.
  8. Share a link to your best post(s).

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C.M.’s questions

What is one vice you must fight against the most often?

I struggle with procrastination, and with having absolutely no motivation to do things I know I should and must do.

bookcase books bookshop bookstore

Which fictional character can you relate to the most and why?

  • Hermione Granger — she loves to read and visit the library (and other reasons that are harder to articulate).
  • Janner Wingfeather — he’s an oldest sibling and shares my vice of selfishness and my desire to protect
  • Jo March — she loves to write and wants to make it her career, and she’s passionate and emotional and dramatic
  • Anne Shirle — she sees beauty all around her and loves adventure
  • Emily Starr — she declares she can’t help writing

Read More »

Why Getting Involved in the Bookish Community is Rewarding // guest post by Kellyn Roth

Hi there! I’m Kellyn Roth, founder & manager of the author service providing website Reveries Co. We recently launched a new website with a blog, and Maya graciously allowed me to guest post to celebrate!

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I’ve been involved in the bookish community for many years as a blogger, author, and later writing coach.

Now I hope Reveries Co. will offer a hub of inspiration and advice to authors of all shapes and sizes through our blog and social media, as well as offering affordable, professional services.

Suffice to say I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to benefit the bookish community — writers and readers of all sorts — but sometimes, when people question why I invest so much time in it, I feel like I’m not sure why.

Why is it worthwhile to be involved in the online community of readers and writers who I lovingly refer to as “the bookish community”? Why do I want to help them? What’s the purpose of it all? Is it a worthy cause?

After thinking it through, I think I have some answers, and I hope they’re helpful to you, too!Read More »

Camp NaNo 2020, days 2-4

As you can see, posting every day is not happening.

This is for two reasons. The first: I don’t want to share everything I write this month because I have a feeling I may want to publish some of it, use it in a current novel, or something of the sort.

The second: I simply keep not having the time or energy to post.

Anyway, I wrote three more poems and several thousand more words about what happened to Aionladon before he was in the cell (see my previous post). I’m going to share little bits of it with you (but not everything. for the aforementioned reason #1).divider

poetry

photo of moon during night

day 2: dare

When everywhere the night has fallen
And days are only memories

(That’s all you’re getting. I’m majorly dissatisfied with this poem… I think I’ll write some better poetry after I get back into the swing of writing poetry every day.)Read More »