flotsam and jetsam | 7

Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,
We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door!

And though the world be messed-up and broken, I go, I go, I go to write this blog post. (See the last flotsam + jetsam here.)

Note: I’m writing this on August 2, but I’m going to schedule it for the 15th 😌 and expect plenty of random emojis because I just discovered how to use them on WordPress. After 1.25 years of blogging. 😂

ALSO! I didn’t post any island living this week, and I might not next week. We’ll see. I absolutely intend to finish it, and to continue to post it on Wednesdays (and other posts on Saturdays), because the schedule has been super helpful, but it won’t be every week. 

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I spent most of June and July listening to new music. I discovered a lot of songs and artists I never thought I’d like. Here’s a short(ish) list:

  • turning out // ajr
  • he is not safe // ross king
  • addict with a pen // twenty one pilots (content: “addict” + “suicidal”)
  • homeward // future of forestry
  • in case you don’t live forever // ben platt
  • the girl i mean to be // daisy egan
  • i love betsy // andrew barth feldman (youtube)
  • dear me // nichole nordman
  • all you wanna do // aimie atkinson (content: sexual references)
  • hiding in your hands // mallory bechtel
  • wander. wonder. // the arcadian wild
  • forgive us our trespasses // audiomachine
  • never be alone // shawn mendes
  • sound + fury // ella mine
  • grace & mercy // jess ray
  • peace // taylor swift (content: profanity)

But then I started listening to old playlists. (I was tired of my July playlist.) And remembering all the music I used to love.

  • correspondence: a fiction // levi the poet (some mature content)
  • the passing of the elves // howard shore
  • too good // jess ray (content: mention of drugs + self-harm)
  • empty chairs at empty tables // gareth gates
  • this my soul // the gray havens
  • everything ever 🤣 // andrew peterson
  • wait for me (reprise) // hadestown
  • hamilton // lin-manuel miranda (content: profanity, sexual references)

I guess what I’m saying here is, listen to old songs sometimes. Don’t forget the music you used to love. You’ll probably still love it, and even if you don’t, it helped to make you who you are.Read More »

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 »