Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Okay, random poll time.

     I appreciate you, readers. I do. And though I'm not overly concerned with expanding readership or garnering new followers (I have to admit I always forget to even look at how many followers I have, to tell the truth...) I admit I have some assumptions about you. I guess I just assume that most of you are all Christian, formerly homeschooled girls...simply because that's what I am, and I supposed that those are the type of people who would be interested in my sort of writing. Granted, I know not all of you are homeschooled, but it seems like most of my commenters are, so that's the impression that I've gotten.

Anyway, that fact is, I don't really know! So I have two anonymous polls over on the side just so I can learn a little more about you guys. If you don't mind, I'd love for you to vote on them! There's not really any object to it other than pure curiosity. :D

God bless,

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Bucket List Tag

Ashley got me with the Bucket List Tag- so here are all the things that I want to do! And I tried not to pick completely unrealistic ones, too. These are things that, for the most part, I hope are altogether do-able. :)

Bucket list

I really wanted "pose with a police box in London" but alas, I couldn't find a picture of it....

It's going on right now and I'm really suffering from jealousy...

I've done this a little, but not to the extent I really want to

This has always seemed ridiculously attractive to me- I even created a book protagonist who does this all the time.

I have volunteered there before...

because I am master of my own little bitty universe...haha

Before I die, I want to..learn self defence! Kick some butt if I have too!
I've learned a little, but not as much as I'd like.
Bucket list: see the northern lights aka aurora borealis
This is honestly a "I-want-to-see-this-so-badly-I-could-cry" thing.
perfect bucket list | Tumblr
Hey, I'm getting there...
And those are (several) of the things I'd like to eventually do in my life! (Also, tonight is our first performance of Sherlock Holmes!!! Keep us in your prayers :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

"If I'm ever stranded, I hope it's in a bookstore."

Bright Star (2009)

Sarah Scheele over at Stardust and Gravel tagged me with this writing questionnaire. I don’t usually answer a lot of questions about my writing (well, at least on the internet. I get asked loads about it in person, which is always really awkward for me because verbal speech doesn’t have a backspace button, a spellcheck, or at least thirty minutes to form a coherent response) so I decided to tackle the questions, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

What are you writing right now?

I finishing up Hidden Pearls (I feel like I’ve been saying that for three years now…) and I’m also working on my Beauty and the Beast re-telling. I also am going to try and finish my first draft of Refining Rosemary which is ridiculously close to being done. (You may remember me writing about Rosemary when it was titled Daughter of Thornfield Manor… or even back when it was called Surviving High Society.)

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
- Orson Scott Card

What makes your book different from others in the genre?

I guess because I’m not writing to try to fit into a genre or appeal to a certain audience; I just write the story I know I would want to read without worrying what others are going to think. I can’t think about reader’s opinions in my first draft because I become self-conscious about my writing. I’m a private person, and because so many times my emotions spill out into my writing, I’d probably have a meltdown –or burn the book- if I think about other people reading my feelings like that. I don’t worry about being “original” or “hip.” The only thing I do worry about is the fear that someone might take my story ideas before I write them!

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without having noticed it. -C.S. Lewis

Why do you write what you write?

Because I might possibly go insane if I didn’t. I have characters and plots running around my head all day, and they don’t leave until I get them down on paper, so I pretty much don’t have a choice.

As far as why I write in the genre I do…well, as I said before, I don’t write for a specific genre. I do a lot that falls into the historical fiction category, though. What I really love to do is write novels that are reminiscent of historicals, but aren’t specific- sort of like when you’re reading old books published in the early 1900s that were “contemporaries” so you have to look at the copyright page to find out when the story takes place, since the information on the time period is so vague. I have several stories in the works that are like that. I’m also in the last planning stages of a dystopian fairy tale retelling with a dash of steampunk- how’s that for genre crossing? I’ve got a time-traveling contemporary rolling around in my brain, too, as well as a present-day sort-of-YA about a homeschooled girl with a flair for the dramatic. So while I’ve got a lot of historical books that will probably get published first, I’m first and foremost interested in a good story, whatever the setting or style.

I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs

What is your process?

Well, back when I started Pearls, I didn’t have much of a process, other than the fact that I let the story roll around in my head for months (or years!) before I did anything else. Though I still do that, I’ve added more steps in my writing. Those months where I allow the story to toss around in my head I also jot down little ideas in a journal I have- everything from character names and plot twists to possible titles or time periods- just little things to jog my memory or inspire me.

Since my first couple of stories, I’ve started outlining, which I love. It gives me the structure of keeping to certain plot points I need to make, but the flexibility of being somewhat vague, so I can allow the story to grow and shape on its own.

After that, I write my first draft, and then I read over it and tweak/edit it. That first draft-now-second-draft is what I usually let others read (NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE ever sees that unedited first draft.) Then I do major modifications to it and that becomes my third draft, and then I let it be read again and then I just edit it and edit it until I think it’s finished.

Obviously this isn’t the same for all my books, especially the ones where I need to research. I also am a very visual person, so I make pinterest boards for my stories a lot. (for instance, I have a story catch-all board where I keep random photos that trigger something in my imagination)

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
- Gustave Flaubert

And that is a peek into the writing philosophy and processes of Hayden Wand, who has yet to sell a book but will probably write on until she is in her grave anyway.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beautiful People: July Edition


Yay! I finally get to introduce you all to Lady Meredith Breckenridge from Hidden Pearls! Dear Merry was one of those characters I originally created simply because I needed her in the plot, and lo and behold, she became one of my favorite characters. Incidentally, I’ve also been writing a lot about her lately (‘cause Hidden Pearls needed an added chapter, that’s why- annoying to do in the editing stage, but needed nevertheless). I have three four more characters I’d like to do a Beautiful People post on (including the one who may be my personal favorite…) so I might end up combining more than one character in future posts.

1) What’s their favourite food? (Bonus: favourite flavor of chocolate!) Merry has always struck me as a strawberry girl- which happens to go well with chocolate. (or so people tell me. I don’t actually like strawberries myself) As far as chocolate flavors go, I think she’d like white chocolate, because it’s different.

2) What do they absolutely hate? Being the center of attention. It makes her nervous, and when she gets nervous or embarrassed, she become clumsy.

3) What do they enjoy learning about? Plants. She’s a gardener, through and through.

Karen Gillan as Faith Howard in Betrayed by the Ocean. Coming 2014. http://www.christinesteendam.com
I knew that Karen Gillan was my Merry the first time I saw her...long before I ever watched Doctor Who. That's probably a good thing, as Meredith Breckenridge is pretty much the exact opposite of Amy Pond in every way! ;) 

4) Who is the most influential person in their life? That’s a difficult question- in a way, it’s her older sister, Louisa. Louisa is beautiful and elegant and a master manipulator, and a lot of Meredith’s actions revolve around staying out of her sister’s way or pacifying her. On the opposite side of things, her brother Arthur has been a huge influence in her life in a good way; he’s the one who has set a godly example to her, and the one she goes to when she’s upset.

5) What is their childhood fear? Utter humiliation.

6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible? Standing up to her sister. Traveling the world.

7) What is something he she is impractically afraid of? People whom she finds intimidating. However, though being with a lot of people makes her nervous, she’s not afraid of a lot of typical things like insects, snakes, blood, bad storms or anything. She handles those remarkably well and gets rather impatient with girls who scream over beetles or spiders. (I suppose, being a gardener, she's used to those last two;)

8) Are they a night owl or morning person? The Breckenridge family is one of night owls. Meredith is no exception.

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid? Merry is pretty quiet, and her thoughts very often go unsaid, simply because she doesn’t think anyone ever takes her opinions seriously.

10) What are their nervous habits? She gets jittery and awkward; when she’s nervous she tends to stumble around and trip over things and become rather flustered, generally.

Well,  next time I'll probably do Margaret Steele...and then maybe a combined post of all the heroes of Hidden Pearls...this book has a lot of characters. :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Turn Left

    “Paper or plastic?”
    It’s a simple question- one you don’t think about. You always say “plastic” out of habit. And then, one day, on a whim, you say “paper.”

    You take hold of the bags, but not used to the feel of the paper- or the bags without handles- you accidently drop it and your apples spill all over the floor. You rush to pick them up and a young man runs up to you to help. You smile at each other, and talk a bit…and talk some more. And then ten years later that man is your husband and the father of your three children. All because of a silly meeting that happened when you chose a bag at the grocery store.

    Okay, Hayden, so where are you going with this? Is this a true story? No, it’s not. But it is an example of how tiny, seemingly insignificant decisions can completely change your life. Now, I’m not saying this to freak you out (or convince you to choose paper over plastic!) but have we really ever thought about the ramifications of even the tiniest of choices?

    It reminds me of the Doctor Who episode Turn Left. In it, Donna Noble is tricked into changing one small choice she made- the decision to turn right, or left. Not a big deal, right? But that choice causes a ripple effect that not only changes her life, but that of the universe. Now, I do admit that our small choices might not cause the collapse of the universe as we know it...but we never really do know, now do we? After all, what if Luke Skywalker hadn’t taken C3-PO’s advice and chosen R2-D2? What if Mr. Darcy hadn’t decided to visit his friend Mr. Bingley? What if Steve Rogers hadn’t tried to enlist in the army one more time? What if Stamford hadn’t mentioned to his friend John Watson that he knew of a fellow who needed a flatmate to split the rent. What if…?

    Those are all fictional, you might argue. But…

    What if Columbus had given up after Queen Isabella and Emperor Ferdinand had told him “no” the first time? What if Martin Luther had decided to stay at the university? What if Mary Washington hadn’t objected to the idea of her son George going off into the Royal Navy? What if Beethoven had given up on writing music after he became deaf? On the opposite side of things, what if Hitler had continued to pursue his painting? What if, what if, what if?

    How different the world would be!

    As I was pondering these thoughts in a rare bout of philosophy last night, I could see how anxious a person might become if they placed such importance on every decision they made. And while I do think the world would be a much better place if more people “looked before they leaped” we can’t live in fear, either. It’s such a delicate balance, just like everything in life. And yet, I think it also shows the importance of praying about everything, even the small things. Because those small things can turn out to be so important.

    Though you can’t really pray every time you make a decision-we make so many so often that spending even a few minutes in prayer over each one would take up the entire day!- we can pray throughout the day that the Lord’s will is done in everything that we do, even the choices that we make without thinking. Even “paper or plastic.”

    At the same time, this makes me even more grateful for the Lord’s sovereignty. If God has the ultimate control over our lives, He’ll make sure that what He desires to happen in our lives will happen- if we’re open to His guidance and His Word. We shouldn’t worry and become petrified with fear as we wonder whether we should turn right or left out of the parking lot. God holds us in the palm of His hand.

    Well, I’m not sure this post had really any other point other than the fact that I was contemplating this late at night and thought I’d share. Thanks for bearing with my rambling :)

God bless,
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