Big Announcement!

Hello everybody! I have big news. Like, really big.

Many of you have probably noticed that everyone else on Tales of the Lonely Sun has a personal blog. And that I do not.

Well, I did not.

Announcing: Polka Dot Pens! Polka Dot Pens is my personal blog where I’ll be sharing about my personal writing projects, doing tags, and fangirling. If you want to get to know me, and my writing, better then that’s the place to be! I hope to see a lot of you there!

I also plan to do several NaNoWriMo updates over the next month, so if you’re interested in joining me for that, hop on over!

Four Brandon Sanderson Books to Add to Your TBR

Hello dear readers! After I read Skyward by Brandon Sanderson a while back, I’ve been reading quite a lot of his other works. There are still a ton that I haven’t gotten to yet, but here’s four of the ones I think you should check out!

1. Skyward – YA

Skyward is book one of a science fiction trilogy (book three hasn’t been released yet) that takes place on a different planet. Main character Spensa longs to become a fighter pilot in the planet’s defense force, but her late father’s status as a coward and military deserter make her job pretty difficult.

The Characters. I can not convey to you in this post how much I love the characters in this book. There’s not a single one I didn’t at least like, and I was attached to all of them in different ways for different reasons. They’re all so unique from the other characters in YA stories. Spensa with her small stature, somewhat abrasive personality, extreme threats and believable motivation. Rodge, who learns to find his own passion and voice throughout the book. Jorgen with his strict rules and regulations, who is just trying to be the best flightleader he can be. M-Bot was hilarious. Doomslug was adorable. I could go on and on.

The Plot. The plot was exactly what it needed to be. It was well paced, and flowed nicely. But above all, it put the characters in the exact positions they needed to be in. It let them shine in certain situations, revealing their capabilities and passions. It beat them down at other times. This story didn’t pull it’s punches, and it left the characters questioning their beliefs, but also rising up to accept the challenges set before them. I do not cry easily when it comes to reading, and if I do it’s usually on rereads of series. However, on my first time through this book, I teared up several times.

The Setting. I admittedly don’t usually care a ton about world building. If its interesting, great. If its lacking it wont make or break a book for me. This world building was interesting, and I loved learning about being a pilot right alongside Spensa, as well as the unique challenges the planet presented to the characters.

2. The Rithmatist – Middle Grade/YA

This steampunk-esque mystery takes place in an alternate version of our world and features one of the most unique and intriguing magic systems I have ever read. Main character Joel as always been intrigued by the Rithmatists that share his school campus, as the duels they have by bringing chalk drawings to life. He wishes more than anything that he could be one of them, but he missed his chance. This book will eventually have a sequel, but for now is a satisfying standalone.

The Characters. Though I didn’t get as attached to the characters in this book as I did to the ones in Skyward, they were still interesting and fun. I really felt for Joel, and his interactions with Melody were hilarious. The two of them had a rocky start, but managed to become friends over the course of the book.

The Plot. As far as mysteries go, it did it’s job. I legitimately thought I had discovered who the villain was when I was about half way through the book. I was so very wrong. The twist was excellent and well earned. As far as endings go, the last scenes is one of my favorite conclusions to any book ever. It was so satisfying and adorable, despite not being romantic.

The Setting. This setting managed to combine the accessibility of a contemporary with the wonder of a fantasy story. It was truly masterful and very intriguing.

Elantris -Adult

Elantris, though geared towards adults, is appropriate for teens as well. It is a little less accessible than the previous two books on this list, as the extensive world building and more complex magic system make it a more complicated read. Set in a fantasy world, it is told from the rotating perspectives of three characters. Raodin, a prince who “dies” in the first few pages and is sent into the city of Elantris. Sarene, the woman who was about to marry Raodin before he was sent to Elantris. And Hrathen, a priest who was sent to convert an entire country to his religion, before they are destroyed. This is a standalone with no planned sequel.

The Characters. Raodin was such a refreshing main character. A man who is truly a good person who attempts to make the best of a truly horrible situation. Sarene was also a great character, smart and stubborn and very capable. Hrathen was a little less interesting to me. I understood his motivations, but didn’t relate to him.

The Plot. The plot was unique and interesting, allowing the characters to shine and grow, much like Skyward. The mystery elements, though not the focal point, were very well handled, they kept me wondering and were resolved very satisfyingly.

The Setting. I wont say much about the setting, since learning about Elantris alongside Raodin was one of my favorite parts of the book, but it was interesting and really highlighted the story as a whole.

The Way of Kings – Adult

Disclamer: this book is huge. Its probably one of the biggest books I’ve ever read, and its definitely the most complex and intricate. Because of it’s size, I was worried it would be a slow book that didn’t keep me invested. I was very wrong. This book is an epic fantasy. Like Elantris, it’s adult category is not because of mature content, but rather it’s complexity. It is the first book in a series, in which three books have been released, with the fourth due to come out this year.

The plot is difficult to summarize, so here’s the official blurb:

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed…

They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.

Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.

On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.

What happened deep in mankind’s past?

Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?

The Characters. There is a lot of characters, far too many to mention here, so we’ll just focus on the main character, Kaladin. His struggle is so real and raw. His past haunts him, pushing him to try his best to protect those around him, and to blame himself when he can’t. Remember how I said I don’t cry much while reading? Well Kaladin’s arc and struggle hit me hard several times, and he has become one of my favorite characters. Ever.

The Plot. Masterful. Intricate. So vast it’s hard to explain here, yet still remarkably easy to follow and to be invested in. It’s worth the time you’ll have to invest to read this book.

The Setting. This setting brings the “epic” to “epic fantasy”. Everything I said about the plot applies here as well. It’s intricate and vast, and I can’t wait to explore more of it as I continue the series.


I’ve really enjoyed reading these books, and I’m sure I’ll continue to love diving into Sanderson’s novels as I continue to check them off my TBR.

Have you read any of these books? Would you like to in the future? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Introducing: Radiate Literary Journal

Hello dear readers! Today I have the privilege of sharing a new website, and new opportunity for young writers, with all of you!

Radiate Literary Journal is a site where young writers can submit writing pieces. Those pieces will then be edited by the Radiate team, and posted on the site.

I happen to be one of the Fiction Editors for Radiate, and I’m excited to read the pieces that are submitted!

More Information on Radiate:

Our Mission:

Learning: We provide feedback on each submission so writers can learn from their peer editors. Our goal is to let young writers share what they are learning with each other and feature unique submissions.

Growth: “If I waited for perfection I would never write a word.” -Margaret Atwood. Helping young writers reach their potential by sharing their work.

Community: We want to connect student writers. Young writers are the future of literature. Radiate wants to be a thriving community of young writers sharpening each other’s skills.

FAQs:

Who can submit to Radiate Literary Journal? Any student ages 13-22 is encouraged to submit their poetry, prose, essays, or nonfiction to Radiate Literary. We accept works up to 10,000 words and prefer never-published material.We don’t pay for work as a volunteer organization, but we do provide exposure to the writing market for you and and your work and valuable peer feedback from Radiate editors

What do you look for in a piece? Our editors are qualified volunteers that have been instructed in how to best help writers succeed in polishing their work. They carefully select the pieces that have shown the most excellence or growth to showcase in each issue of Radiate Literary Journal. Here’s what they look for in a piece:

  • A complete story arc
  • Life-like characters
  • Inspiration/motivation
  • Excellent use of language
  • Good rhythm and rhyme (if applicable)
  • Comfortable story flow

Can I give feedback on a piece? Absolutely! We love it when young writers share their skills and opinions with each other. If you have feedback on a specific piece, leave a comment or email the editor-in-chief Grace C. at6biobee04@gmail.com. If you want to join our team of editors, please apply. We are always looking for new team members dedicated to helping other writers become great.

How can I get plugged in to the Radiate community? Thanks for asking. A few ways you can get involved are by leaving comments, joining the team, subscribing to the journal, or submitting your work. We also encourage readers to share with their friends so that the Radiate community can continue to grow. As we do, we’ll host contests and community events that you can get involved in.


Here’s the link if you want to check it out: click here.

Until next time,

Interview with author P.D. Atkerson

Today I come to you with an exclusive interview with PD Atkerson, the author of the AKA Simon Lee series and the Of Aleanare series.

You check both of the series out on Goodreads here.

So without further ado, I present to you the interview that is long overdue.

1. Where did you get the inspiration for Simon Lee from?

If I had to pick, I’d probably say it’s a mix of the Alex Rider books and the White Collar TV show, though my books are a lot different from them as well.

2. Where do you write most often?

I probably do ninety percent of my writing in the main room in our house. The rest of the time I write either in bed or at my desk.

3. Which three fictional characters are you most like?

My mom and sister say Mozzie (from White Collar ironically), Rita Haywith (from Sign, Sealed, Delivered), and Frodo. Because I couldn’t pick them. 🙂

4. What is your favourite childhood book?

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

5. When did you write and complete your first novel?

I finished a couple three or four years ago, but I never published them and I’d burn them if my mom would let me. 🙂 The first book I finished and published was last January.

6. Do you have any hobbies outside of reading and writing?

Does learning French count? Other than that, I’d probably say Cardistry, though I’m not very good at it and most of the time I forget about it too. Maybe low carb baking too.

7. 5 songs that remind you of the latest book you’ve written

Oh, that’s a hard one! This might be more of songs I listened to while I was writing: Even Then, by Micah Tyler, Let You Down, by NF, Yes & No, by David Dunn, Human, by Rag’n’Bone Man and LOL maybe They Call Me Mando, by ChewieCatt, but that might have had something to do with watching the Mandalorian.

8. If you could go back and change something about one of your books, what would you change?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have published my fantasy books. I don’t know if it was because I’m not good at writing fantasy, or something else, but they just weren’t as good as I’d hoped they’d be.

9. Who is your favourite character that you’ve written?

That would probably have to be Lee, without much of a hesitation. That might have something to do with the fact that he’s sarcastic, and I may or may not be. LOL 

10. The best or meaningful snippet that is included in one of your books

“When you were little, I always made sure you went to church, but it was never your choice,” his dad said. “I don’t even know if you ever believed what you were learning. But I know you’re smart enough to know that no one can make you believe any of it. You have to make the choice on your own.”

Lee sighed and just nodded, fighting the urge to run out of the room. This was something his brains couldn’t help him with.

His dad placed his hand on Lee’s shoulder and forced him to look at him. “Do you know what we celebrate this time of year, besides delicious food?” he asked. “We celebrate the birth of Jesus, of Hope. But even more than that, we celebrate the forgiveness God gave us when he sent his son.”


Once again, you must go and take a look at her books, they’re pretty awesome.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Writing Endings and Saying Goodbye

Endings: one of the hardest parts of the writing process.

When you commit to writing a novel, you’re not just putting words on paper– you’re embarking on a journey. You’re diving into the hearts and minds of real human beings (even if they’re not biologically human– don’t give me that excuse) and seeing the world through their eyes, pushing them through the joys and hardships of life, watching them grow and bond and develop. Some live and some die. But even the best novel ever written has to end somewhere.

Of course, writing an ending doesn’t meant you’re saying goodbye for good– these are your characters, and this is your story, so they’ll be with you forever! But the same doesn’t exactly go for your readers; they’ll expect and want a good ending when it comes to that. So here are three tips to make your ending impact your reader as much as that long-ago first line.

#1: Coming Full-Circle

This is when the first line/beginning of your story ties in with the ending by including the same phrase or situation. I LOVE it when books come full-circle, especially with long series!

Here’s an example from Jill Williamson’s Mission League series (which I really recommend, by the way!):

Beginning: The first book opens with Spencer playing basketball with C-Rok and his “gang” in the park. This hook, while seemingly small in the long course of the four-book series, does serve to lead into the major events that bring Spencer into a new– and much more thrilling– chapter of his life.

End: The very last scene of book four at the end of the series brings Spencer back to the old park and once again playing a game with C-Rok and his boys. In this way, this series brought the story full-circle.

I had another example coming your way, but I conveniently forgot what it was while writing the above xD

#2: Waiting ’til the End

Here’s a don’t for endings… Please don’t wait until the last minute to tie up an alarming subplot or storyline or questions the reader might have. Please do that BEFORE the resolution of the story, or at least long enough before the very last scene that you don’t end up just telling the reader what really happened. Say you’re writing a romance story, and earlier on in the story someone disappeared in suspicious circumstances.

If the very last scene is a wedding or proposal scene (because let’s be honest here, most romance stories do end that way), it would be jarring for you to suddenly mention “and as it turned out, Bob had not died but in fact had just been taking a really long time at the grocery store” whether that be spoken directly or in the narrative. Readers become disgruntled when their questions aren’t answered in a timely fashion (or at least I do, especially when I don’t like super-sweet romantic ending scenes).

#3: Give room for further development

Remember, this may be the end of your story, but it’s far from the end of theirs.

Your characters will still keep living and growing even without their stories being committed to paper, or at least you can give the illusion of that by teasing into their future lives in your ending. I mean, you could just have a really big dramatic climax and then they calmly walk off the battlefield, but I’m sure we all prefer nice, solid, resolute endings where we can feel fully satisfied that the end is just the beginning.

It also gives the reader a nice, solid, resolute feeling of the story having actually ended– by not ending the characters’ lives (I mean that in the most figurative way possible). Every person continues growing and learning throughout every stage of their life– unless they don’t, but we’re using positive change arcs in this example– and single arcs are really just capturing one stage. That way, the readers can feel as if these characters are moving on to another.


And with that… the time has come for a rather bittersweet announcement.

This post is my last here on TotLS. I’ve had such a wonderful time among this community and the other three girls, and I’m so happy for this experience. But, yes, for multiple reasons, I’m officially leaving the TotLS team this week. I’ll still be posting on my personal blog, Imperial Scribis, and I’ll be putting up writing-related stuff from time to time, so come say hello!

But this is my goodbye on this amazing platform. So cheers, everyone, and don’t forget to always be a happy camper!

Until we meet again,

~ Merie Shen

How to write strong male characters & story contest winner

No, there is not a typo in the title. Today is not about strong female characters, but the wonderful male species.

A lot of Young Adult books nowadays are all about the strong female characters. The girl who has two boys pineing after her, a corrupt world to change, and the ability to die just after fulfilling her duty as the chose one.

So I thought I would shake things up a bit and present a different topic today. How to write strong male characters.


He has kindness

For this study I picked a book for each trait. Enter Adam Black from A List of Cages by Robin Roe.

Adam is a kind fellow with a big heart. He is a friend of everyone, cheering them up with a charming smile. And I think that’s one of the biggest things a strong man could have. The ability to be kind to everyone and to still find the magical scroll or something.

He is loyal

I can say his name without needing to offer out the title or author. Samwise Gamgee.

Not many people would stick by their friends’ side with an evil ring for a 1780 mile hike. Or help their friend after being betrayed and scorned.

Yet Sam offered many times to help his friend, sticking it out on the long trek, and even carrying the burden. Literally.

He isn’t Prince Charming

When I say, “not Prince Charming,” I don’t mean one scene where he admits he isn’t perfect or has a bad habit of being an overprotective boyfriend. I mean a literal flaw.

When I think flawed my mind jumps to Owen Edmonds from the Delusion series by Laura Gallier.

Owen is anything but perfect. He still has lust and selfishness and envy, even after being saved by Christ. Owen is stubborn and blinded by his disbelief. He admits to those flaws and tries to change, but it doesn’t take one dramatic death scene to change.

I could write another whole post about character flaws which fascinate me, but unfortunately I cannot at the moment.

What makes a flawed male character strong is when he finally overcomes those things, and still makes mistakes later down the road. Give your male character some anxiety, jealousy, some cowardliness for a change

He is determined

Charlie West anybody? Charlie West from The Homelanders series by Andrew Klavan is a personal favourite of mine.

He wakes up without memory of his past year, listening to his death sentence outside the locked room. What does he do? He fights back.

Charlie gets beaten down and can easily give up, he doesn’t! He recites Churchhill in his head, telling himself to never give in, in nothing, great or small, large or petty- never give in. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

And when it seems like the whole country is against him, Charlie keeps fighting for justice.

That is the kind of male character I want to read about. The boy who keeps doing what is right despite all the wrong around him. The boy who toils day and night to make a difference.

He is a defender and protecter

Another brilliant character from Andrew Klavan, this boy being a ‘preacher’s kid,’ Sam Hopkins.

Sam stands up to some bullies defending a crazy girl Jennifer. He is like, left on the side of road two steps away from death. But even when things get really weird and stuff, he is still around to protect and defend the innocent.


Now I know lots of you were more eager to find out if you won opposed to the writing of a male characters.

For this writing contest we teamed up with the lovely ladies Lila Kims, Oceane McAllister, Skye Hoffert, and Hannah Dragina who had won the last contest.

Our topic for the stories was fractured fairytales, in which we assigned a fairytale to each contestant.

So now without further ado, I present the winner:

Congratulations to Abigail McKenna! We all loved your story so much. The judges will contact you with the prize sometime soon.

And to all of the others that entered, your stories were also wonderful! Don’t forget to keep an ear out for the next season as it’s right around the corner.

Have a lovely day everyone!

When Writing: You Do You

Suggestions and tips and advice and all that are helpful and whatnot, but when it comes to looking at your own story and deciding where to use them and where not to– well, that can be a problem.

For example, I just used the word and six times in the above sentence. Add the but, you have seven conjunctions. There are people all over the world who would die if they saw something like that happen in a book.

There are people who would die if you decided to put a love triangle in your book, or if you killed your main character, or if you set your historical fantasy in 1836 Sweden. There are people who will tell you to do this, don’t do that, and for heaven’s sake remember not to ever use the word very unless you absolutely must! They will die otherwise.

But here’s a secret…

They won’t die.

Unless, of course, a serial killer uses grammar rules to their advantage, in which case you may as well disregard the rest of this post, considering a person’s life is a great deal more important than your next book. *throws hands up* I’m sorry, but it’s true. It may be hard for us artists to admit that there’s a world outside our own sometimes, but believe me, you’d regret not taking this seriously.

Anyway.

I’m not saying that you should punctuate every other sentence with a very and an exclamation point. No, that’s just plain annoying and you’ll give yourself a headache. I’m also not saying that you should completely ignore any advice fellow authors, published or otherwise, throw your way– because first of all, what would be the point of this post since I’m technically giving you writing advice, and second, that’s not a very smart idea. People really do have good advice, and you should take it to heart.

But only if it will make your writing better.

For example… my personal writing style is kind of, well, old-fashioned. I like third-person omniscient and using outdated fancy words and giving a narrator’s input into the story. Until, like, last year, I was under the impression that omniscient, since it was so underused and all that, is supposed to be this untouchable, sacred art that only the greatest of the great (read: classics) are allowed to use. Which of course I realize is rubbish; anyone can try their hand at it and see if it suits them. And now, I realize that it does indeed suit me, very well, even if I certainly don’t talk like that in real life. For me, an omniscient narrator seems to create a sort of personal bond with the audience– I would say it’s like the narrator becomes friends with the reader first, and then the reader starts to care for the characters because the way the narrator describes them is that charming.

I’m using this as an example because, sadly, 3rd-person limited and 1st person have become the ruling POV styles in literature. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but there’s always that awkward moment when someone leaves out omniscient as a viable writing option. I’m telling you, if you love omniscient, do it and join the club.

What about tropes? Sigh.

What about tropes? Tropes are tropes, nice and useful little things that no book is without. Clichés are different in the way that they are using a trope the same exact way over and over again and trust me, that’s one thing readers do NOT enjoy reading. Because cliché isn’t you. You have your own style of writing, your own characters, your own storyworld and specific message to share through your writing. Art is all about self-expression. You’re not going to express anything if you copy someone else’s message down to every last plot device. That will leave the readers feeling dissatisfied and wondering what they even gained from your story, if it’s the exact same story that 100 other writers have told in the same year.

So, you do tropes your way. Wanna flip a love triangle on its head and kill the central character? Do it. Turn the love interest into a villain instead of the other way around? Feel free. Kill your main character? PULL A VERONICA ROTH AND HAVE NO REGRETS.

As a Christian, I just wanna say to all my fellow Christian writers– if God put a story on your heart, then tell it your way. The beautiful thing is that the same message can be shared so differently in so many fresh, unique perspectives. Cool, huh? That’s why we like art. It’s your little gift so use it wisely.

Also remember, the world don’t need Christian literature, it needs Christians writing good literature. Thanks for that, C.S. Lewis. So if you don’t want to mention God every other page in your story, you don’t have to. On the other hand, if you for some reason wanna preach at your reader, then… *whispers* your loss *backs away* (I mean, if writers preach, then what are preachers for?)

This post is already getting long, and I’m sure you’ve got the gist of it by now. So remember: when writing, you do you. PLEASE, PLEASE DO carefully consider every piece of advice and feedback people give you if you trust them. If you don’t, then… just please don’t take that attitude. Practice discernment and pray for wisdom. The end. *bangs gavel*

Always be a happy camper,

~ Merie

That perfect sad scene that gets you every time

I’m going to bet that every single reader here has cried over a book at one point in their life. And I’m certain that every single writer has cackled aloud when writing a sad scene.

Well, today I going to dive deep into the sad scene, and why it renders us speechless and teary-eyed.


Consider the timing in the novel. When does the scene hit us hardest? At the very beginning to hook us, or near the climax when we know the characters best?

Normally the latter.

If you hear about about a death in the world, you may feel a little sad and say, “oh, that’s sad.” But if tradegy strikes a loved one, you will weep, mourn, and empathize.

Let us use the anime, Your Lie in April for an example.

Your Lie in April is about a pianest Kōsei who falls in love with a violinist Kaori. There is a love triangle and lots of grief and tragedy. You cannot watch it without crying.

But the most important thing is the timing of each heart-wrenching conflict. The sad scenes won’t take place until we have had time to connect and relate with Kōsei.

Image result for your lie in april

So what can you take away from that writers, don’t throw sad scenes on the readers without showing them the characters first.

And readers, you will now know when a sad scene is going to happen. When you love the characters the most.

Secondly, it isn’t a sad scene if it doesn’t impact the characters deeply. You can’t write a somber event if it isn’t somber to the people.

Again with Your Lie in April. The fact that Kaori doesn’t love Kōsei back is heart breaking to every shipper out there and to Kōsei himself. All he wants is for someone to love him after the events of his childhood, yet the one person who has his heart won’t give theirs in return.

We know being loved is important to Kōsei and in turn we empathize with him.

And I’m not just talking love here. Maybe something the character is passionate about is stripped away. That could be sad to them. Or perhaps a big event happens that will impact them severely like a freak storm.

Image result for your lie in april

What a writer can take away: Make the sad scene matter to the characters.

What a reader can walk away with: I’m not entirely sure what to put here

Lastly, this character needs to react in some way. Will they fall to their knees and wail or will a single silent tear slowly roll down their cheek? There is no end to reactions.

Normally, it isn’t the event alone that will make a reader cry, but the reactions of those who were impacted.

Sure we’re sad that Kaori doesn’t love Kōsei, but it’s more sad when you add his shell-shocked reaction. The later feelings of longing, loneliness, and sorrow.

Image result for your lie in april wallpaper

The takeaway for the writers: Nail down those emotions and show strong reactions.

The take-out container for the readers: There needs to be emotion and you should be sharing the feelings with the characters.

For both the readers and writers: Watch Your Lie in April!


That is all I have to offer for you today. Have a lovely day!

Writing Tag: Never Have I Ever

Abigail over at Books, Life, and Christ (who also happens to be one of our amazing short story contest judges) tagged me for the Never Have I Ever Tag: Writing Edition. I’ve loved seeing this tag floating around the blogosphere, and I’m excited to share my answers!

The rules are:

1. Link and thank the blogger who tagged you. Thanks, Abigail!

2. Include the graphic somewhere in your post (or make your own!). The header up there!

3. Answer the questions truthfully and honestly. I’ll try my best. 🙂

4. Tag 3 bloggers. It’ll be hard to tag people that haven’t done it yet, so we’ll see.

Never Have I Ever…

….started a novel that I did not finish.

Yes. Several times. But my current WIP will not be abandoned, I assure you.

….written a story completely by hand.

If you count school projects, then yes. I’ve written quite a few short stories by hand, mostly for school. A couple of them were twisted fairytales that I am still quite fond of.

….changed tenses midway through a story

Not really. I mean, I’ve slipped up a time or two for a few sentences, but it wasn’t long term and it wasn’t permanent.

…not researched anything before starting a story

*awkward laughter* Yes. I hate doing research, to be honest. So, unless the story is a retelling of some sort so I need to research the original, I save my research for later.

….changed my protagonist name halfway through a draft.

Not my main protagonist, but my other MCs or side characters have had some name changes. Especially last names, those are always a-changin’.

….written a story in a month or less.

Short story, yes. Novel, no. Depending on the length and my commitment to a short story I can usually knock one out pretty quickly. Novels however… I’ll get back to you when I actually finish one.

…fallen asleep while writing.

No, because I usually write at my computer and there’s no comfortable way to fall asleep at my desk. That’s honestly my only reason.

…corrected someone’s grammar irl/online.

Who hasn’t, at least once? I wouldn’t say I’m a grammar-nazi, but I have corrected people’s grammar before.

….yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.

All the time. I’ll be typing a sentence that I don’t know how to end and it’ll quickly just change into “WHAT AM I EVEN DOING?!” or something like that.

…used I’m writing as an excuse.

Yeah, I have. Sometimes my family will be doing some sort of bonding activity and I’ll write instead, if they let me. This usually only works during NaNoWriMo, though.

….killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

I don’t really base my characters off of real people, so I can’t say that I have.

…used pop culture references in a story.

A few, mostly references to gaming consoles or stuff like that.

…written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Nope, I prefer to sleep so I can write coherently.

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

Nah, coffee is a rare thing for me. I like it, but I don’t drink it a lot. The only thing I drink while writing is water.

…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

I don’t remember my dreams, so no.

…published an unedited story on the Internet/blog/Wattpad.

You mean, my greatest fear? No, if you read my writing, rest assured that it has AT LEAST had a preliminary edit, but has more likely been read and edited a LOT.

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

I do online school, so either all my work is homework or none of it is, depending on your definition. And no, I always get school done first. I do jot down ideas while doing school, though.

…typed so long that my wrists hurt.

No, I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Writing by hand is a different story, however.

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

Once I knocked over my empty water bottle and almost had a heart attack, but no I’ve never spilled anything on my laptop. Except Goldfish crumbs.

…forgotten to save my work/draft.

Google Docs and Scrivener are what I use for writing, and I don’t really have to save them, so no. Google Docs does it automatically, and I just leave Scrivener open most of the time.

…finished a novel.

I wish. Hopefully one day soon? Although “soon” is relative.

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

I have laughed at my own (and my character’s) jokes, but I don’t think I have evil villain laughed.

…cried while writing a scene.

Nope, I’ve had tears in my eyes a few times, but I wouldn’t say I’ve actually cried.

…created maps of my fictional worlds.

If printing out a blank map of Europe and changing the borders and country names counts, then yes.

…researched something shady for a novel.

I’ve researched some semi-sketchy medical stuff, but as I said earlier I don’t like doing research, so I haven’t looked up a ton of shady stuff.

That’s it!

I’m pretty new to the blogosphere and a lot of the bloggers I know have already done this tag, so whoever wants to do it, consider yourself tagged!

Until next time,

Review of Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense

Oh how I loved this book!

The words were so wonderfully written and I can’t get enough of Enrich and Peter and Cara.

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Life without love is hopeless. 

Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.

Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?

This book was given to me for free to review. Please don’t be offended by my thoughts and forgive any spoilers.


First off, the plot and events.

I really liked how Kaitlyn played off of Cara’s negative emotions and depression to lead her to Jesus. It was really touching and raw.

The foster family. I simply cannot get enough of them. You rarely get so tight knit families in YA fiction anymore, so I was really pleased with the Carlos family. All of the brothers and how they teased Cara endlessly, yet never hesitated to show her their love.

The characters!!! My favourite part of any book are always the characters. It’s so interesting to see what roles the author decides to do. And Beloved has quite the cast of characters

My personal favourite would either have to be Enrich or Fergus. They are so wonderful, funny, and loving. All of the brothers in the Carlos household are foster children, so they each have their own heartbreaking story to tell.

And as for content, there wasn’t any swearing or violence which was grand. Though I wouldn’t recommend it for very young readers because Cara tries to commit suicide and it isn’t the prettiest.

All around though, I would give this book five stars and a high five to Kaitlyn, the amazing author.


For those who entered the writing contest, please keep in mind your stories have to be sent in by March 12. We already have a few amazing stories and am always excited when a new entry comes. So keep on writing!

Have a lovely day everyone and don’t forget to check out Beloved!