Archivist of Selay’uu’s Journal: Vivaldi

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A couple of days ago, I was walking past Obi-Wan’s room on my way to the breakfast room, which was empty, to meet with Gervaise in order to get to work on his story. However, as I drew level with his room, I spotted Ventress standing outside it, shouting through the keyhole. Instantly intrigued, I ducked into one of the conveniently-placed curtained alcoves that are scattered all over the old house. Frankly, with those things in place, I’m surprised there are any secrets left in the House of Selay’uu at all.

I had arrived too late to witness Ventress’ initial arrival and shouts through the keyhole, but now I could hear Obi-Wan’s reply quite clearly, despite the fact that there was a door, a hallway’s worth of open space, a former Sith, and a curtain between us. “Go away, Ventress! I’m busy!”

“Oh, come on!” Ventress growled, at her most sultry (and, most irritating, for both me and Obi-Wan,) I thought. Was she trying to ask him out? I stuffed my hand in my mouth to stifle the giggles. If she was, she’d have to beat Morgana to it–and besides, Obi-Wan didn’t date people that I knew of, and I could not imagine him dating anyone at any rate. “What’s so important? What are you doing in there? Not washing up, I hope?” There was a loud bang and a sharp clatter as something hit the door and Ventress jumped backwards in an attempt to not get jarred. Obi-Wan had thrown something–a pewter mug, perhaps. Maybe even the self-same one he normally kept his pens in. I inwardly grinned. Testy. This was going to be a show to remember.

“I’m listening to Vivaldi! Clear off!” Obi-Wan shouted back. Ventress growled again, really grumpy now.

“You need to learn to make better excuses, Obi-Wan dear.”

“You scarcely know me, Ventress. That wasn’t an excuse. Go boil your head.”

No matter what else Ventress said or did, short of cutting the door open (which would have gotten her confined to her own room, sans either lightsaber and stripped of the Force by the order of the Council), Obi-Wan would not make any further reply to her shouts, and at last Ventress lost interest and wandered off. Suddenly remembering my own appointment, I hurried off as well. I was late, but Gervaise didn’t complain.

Later, as I passed Ventress on the way to bed, I added insult to her injury by humming “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” rather conspicuously. Ahhh… life in the House of Selay’uu.

Archivist of Selay’uu’s Journal: The List of DOOM

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Below is a list of basic rules for anyone who wishes to enter the Selay’uu Manor. Enjoy!

  1. Never, ever, ever, should you question Mistress El’ye.
  2. Isaac Stranger is no longer allowed to grow his hair out.
  3. Well, maybe someone we both know should help Isaac Stranger to cut his hair, lest he disgrace the Zeigweirr Institute!
  4. There shall be no running with scissors.
  5. Nor shall Professor Marn lay hand to scissors to cut any student’s hair. Ever. Again.
  6. On second thoughts, I don’t care if I disgrace the institute. And if anyone disagrees, they can go complain to Namaah!
  7. One does not simply startle a Ranger out of sleep. Unless one has a death wish.
  8. To whom it may concern: Come near my apprentice with hair dye again, and I will make you eat it.
  9. Anakin is hereby debarred from entering any part of the mind palace containing new people, the Bound to the Flame characters, Dr. McCoy, the author when she is working, or Captain Kirk.
  10. ESPECIALLY Captain Kirk.
  11. Not even at meal times.
  12. Concerning Item 8: The same also goes for oversized pillow cases. Consider yourself warned.
  13. Alien invasion, the zombie apocalypse, and other figments of your imagination are not excuses to miss your physical. No matter how much you hate the way my office smells.
  14. The Council will no longer interfere if Anakin baits Jim Moriarty. He will have to stand the consequences on his own.
  15. If Captain Kirk flirts with the author while she is trying to work, there will be no retaliation by the Council for any physical harm caused by books, pillows, and/or whatever happens to be within grabbing range.
  16. Unlike Mistress El’ye, you may not doubt Obi-Wan, not even in the privacy of your own mind.
  17. Legolas’ contact with sausages is hereby limited to mealtimes only.
  18. Will’s unfortunate mishap with the weevils, pinecone, and molasses is no longer open for discussion.
  19. Do not shoot at me with tracers. It’s just plain stupid. I will find you.
  20. Ignore number 19; it was from an outsider. (Well, don’t ignore it; don’t shoot at him with tracers, but other than that shoot him all you like.)
  21. Taunting people who are not endowed with superpowers, magic, Force-sensitivity, or insane skills is not acceptable. (Anakin, this means you! And if they turn the tables on your arrogant hide, you deserve it!)
  22. Merlin is not present merely to have coffee, whether hot or cold, dumped on his head.
  23. Will is not a clothes-horse for pygmies, and duct tape is not a proper substitute for thread, fabric, or clothing.
  24. Will is not a pygmy, and Anakin is to stop insinuating that he is. (Anakin deserves whatever he gets from Will from this—even if Halt “intervenes.”)
  25. Anakin deserves whatever he gets as comeuppance. No one is to interfere with any of his deserved impromptu punishments.

Don’t worry, this is not the end of the List. There will be more humorous rules for Selay’uu in the future. ;-) Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

If you can’t make it yours, make it your own!

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Erin walks on, wearing a bright cyan headband over messy yet undeniably gorgeous curls.

People complain about originality an awful lot… She notices the looks at her hair, then shrugs. I feel pretty today. Normally my hair is frizzy, fluffy and horrible. Give me my twenty hours of advertised glory with that Pantene curl scrunching gel stuff. It’s better than what I normally get! She sits down on the chair on stage.

So, people are complaining that all the original plots are taken. She shrugs. So? My advice is, if you can’t make the plot yours, make it your own. If you can’t own it, OWN it! She notices that everyone is staring at her blankly. Am I talking gibberish again, or is my message just not getting across? She crosses one leg over the other.

If you haven’t got an absolutely original, unprecedented plot, then so what? You can still make the one you have absolutely unique. Just pour your heart out into it until you have nothing left to give. I know that sounds hard! She stands up and begins to pace. But that’s what writing is. It’s about going on even when you feel as if there’s no point. Well, there is a purpose to it, even if the purpose is only to get the people living in your heads to stop screaming at you for a little bit. It’s also not always about ending, either. It’s a paradox. You can unravel it if you like that sort of thing.

Even if you have an unprecedented plot, it still pays to put in that extra little bit of work. You following me? Scattered “yes’s” and “no’s.” She ignores the no’s. Good.

Even if you’re not the first person to write a plot of this cast, it will still be unique as long as you take the time to make it unique. It will be worth reading, because those who say “read one, read ‘em all” are WRONG! Besides, some people like to read variations on a plot anyway!

So, what is the pith of this little post? I’m telling you to take the extra effort and make your story unique in every facet, because frankly? You’re NOT going to be the next… J.K. Rowling or Susan Cooper or whatsername who wrote the Hunger Games. You’d better start pursuing your own niche because there is no way you can ride to fame on the skirts of their coats. Cloaks. Whatever!

Oh, and if you’re not writing a completely unprecedented plot, don’t despair. Make it your own.

Cliches can be turned to advantage. With enough detailing, even a stereotype’s hardened exterior will dissolve into a most definitely non-Mary Sue.

Rant over.

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Archivist of Selay’uu’s Journal: Ninja Elf Jedi Pillow Fight

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I was innocently–or at least, as nearly innocently–walking along the corridors of the mansion when Obi-Wan dashed by. He ducked swiftly under cover. I stared for a moment, shrugging, and went forward, minding my own business.

Certainly, the last thing I had ever expected was to be nearly run over–and actually sent flying sideways–by Legolas Thranduillion, of all people.

Of course, he was Elf through and through, meaning he shouted “Sorry Erin!” but he was focused enough on his target–Obi-Wan–that he kept on going, and he shouted it in exactly the same way he shouts “Come on Gimli!” in The Two Towers.

He didn’t even deem it of enough importance to punctuate it properly, with an actual comma, between “sorry” and “Erin.”

Insufferable Elf.

He’s also not taller than me, did I mention that? I’m just edging over him in height. Hah.

Anyways. Legolas ran off after Obi-Wan, leaving me to recover from being bowled over by a mad, berserk Elf. And this, though surprising in itself, is actually a pretty normal day in Selay’uu.

Of course, after being run over by an Elf, I was curious, so I followed–albeit at a less-breakneck speed. Obi-Wan appeared ahead, leaning around a doorway, and flung a pillow–nothing more dangerous–at Legolas, who evaded it with a neat ninja roll. I’ve done ballet for fourteen years, but even I had to envy that. Legolas dived under cover, shouting, “You are finished, Glorfindel!” (Yes, Obi-Wan is called ‘Glorfindel’ by the Elves. Something about reincarnation or something like that. Probably due to the fact that–it’s a secret of Selay’uu and you must not repeat it–Obi-Wan is half Elf himself, and bears an uncanny resemblance to the original Glorfindel, who is not present in Selay’uu since he currently resides in Valinor. Sigh. Also Obi-Wan has some sort of odd memory share thing with the original Glorfindel–it’s like a bunch of things in Lord of the Rings. It only makes sense until it is explained. After that, it sounds like baloney.)

“I doubt that!” Obi-Wan shouted back, throwing another pillow. It curved in mid-flight and managed to smack Legolas a good one. Legolas, of course, returned fire.

I love a good pillow fight, and though Legolas is awesome, when it’s him versus Obi-Wan I plead no-contest. Besides, this is the fellow who just knocked me over with scarce a word of apology. Summoning a stray pillow with my new-found Force powers, but not yet confident enough to use the Force to accelerate it into the Elf’s back, I grabbed it and flung it as hard as I could. It hit Legolas in the back of the head. He turned to stare at me in amazement, and I ran. Diving behind Obi-Wan, I grabbed another pillow and tried to Force-throw it at Legolas. I missed.

“Obi-Wan, what is this?”

“What’s it look like?” he retorted, obviously too fired up to speak in his normal almost clipped manner. “Look out Erin!” He grabbed me and shoved me down, evading a pillow from Legolas.

The other residents of Selay’uu were astonished a few moments later to see an archivist, a Jedi, and an Elven prince of the Woodland Realm of Mirkwood chasing each other through the halls, assaulting each other with pillows.

Just because we’re all technically adults, doesn’t mean we have to act it!

First Meeting

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Recently, I received a prompt on the Nanowrimo forums, that sounded too good to pass up to me, and I thought the readers of my blog would also like to see it!

Enjoy!

Prompt: How did you first meet your main character? How did you come up with the character?

I first met Jay Wallace when I was washing dishes. Granted, I was pretty annoyed with my Dad at the time–after all, washing dishes is a job that was relegated to my younger brother and later my younger sister after I started college–but that’s not really a true block to inspiration. So there I was, with suds on my hands, when in saunters a young man five or six years my junior. He’s dark haired, with hazel eyes that are exceptionally clear and piercing, high cheekbones, a somewhat prominent, straight nose, firm mouth… He’s smallish, slender, slight build, looks underfed, is wearing a ragged shirt and a tattered pair of pants that barely reach down to his calves, is barefoot, and over everything else is a threadbare, worn, yet still presentable and thick woolen cloak with no hood and an attached capelet. “I’m going to be in the resistance, won’t I?” he asks, and then I realize I’m cheating–he is the Elayatar incarnation of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but then, who needs to know that? After all, he’ll soon be a character all his own.

Jay Wallace is one of the two main protagonists of the novel Angels’ Reflections. You can read about this novel on my Novels page, or on the Camp Nanowrimo website.

April 2013 (Book 1: The Broken Dream)

July 2013 (Book 2: The Child of the Promise)

April 2014 (Book 3: All Roads Lead Here)

Is Obi-Wan… *gasp* in love with Elsa?!

Well.

This is… well.

This is why I don’t think I’m a fan of Obi-Wan and Satine as a couple any more… Because Elsa from Frozen looks like a rip-off of Satine from the Clone Wars!

I mean, look at them!

frozensatine-kryze

Well, well, well. Look at that. Two blonde women, and they’re even dressed similarly. Same colors, similar motifs, even some repeated shapes in those gowns.

Creepy, no?

Why, for the love of…. why on earth?!

Don’t tell me that this is the reason that Disney bought Lucasfilm!

Now, I’m not saying that the parallel is perfect. After all, it’s hard to envision Satine up on a mountainside singing “Let it Go” (unless she’s just banished herself ’cause she’s in love with you-know-who), and the conservative Duchess wearing an ice-blue off-the-shoulder gown is even harder to imagine. And we are fairly certain that Elsa was not murdered by a raging Sith Lord (unless, perhaps, Hans is a message from the Obi-Wan haters and is supposed to tell us that Obi-Wan is really a scheming Dark Sider, which is as far from the truth as the human mind can contrive!) Still, I would like to say. It’s suspicious.

My childhood is ruined. (And I still like Siri better.) Don’t hate me. I’m just calling it like I see it, and I call this suspicious.

Bound to the Flame, Chapter V, Part II

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It’s been awhile–sorry about that. I had college applications, Iris moving, and Nanowrimo to worry about. (I’m behind on my novel, but this will take only a few minutes so I AM NOT WORRYING ABOUT IT. Studiously. :-P)

In other news, I read the first book of the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, The Ruins of Gorlan, and I LOVED it. The humor in the book was very unexpected, and the main character respects his mentor… I can’t think of anything morally objectionable in the book. (On the downside, there was one extraneous plot point that was not as well incorporated as it might be, but I’ll leave that until I can do a proper book review.) I won’t keep you any longer. Enjoy the chapter! :-)

Warnings: Lots and lots of philosophy, maybe a little theory. Nothing too strenuous, unless you don’t like exercising your brain. ;-P

Bound to the Flame

Chapter V

Part II

Rowan fell silent again. Margery bit her lip. “Some of my father’s men were defending our coasts against Sea Raiders last winter, and two of them failed to report back in, and were presumed lost. They finally turned up in the springtime. One of them had lost a leg and two fingers. The other one had stayed with him all winter, helping him to survive and nursing him back to health. But when they came back, both of them had changed. The injured man was morose; the other was tired and worn-down. It took the combined efforts of all the men-at-arms as well as my father and brothers to get them back on their proverbial feet. Neither of them was ever quite the same, though.” Margery paused, looking sidelong at Rowan, unsure of how to continue. Without looking at her, Rowan slowly guided Obsidian onwards.

“And you’re trying to figure out if there’s some subtle way of helping me.” Rowan said. “You pity me.” He paused for a moment, biting his cheek. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid that, as far as this goes, this is the best way that you can help.” He sighed. “Activity helps, even if I’m exhausted and sore for hours afterwards.” There was a long time in which they simply rode in silence.

“It’s so quiet here,” Margery said, after a while. Rowan looked up.

“It is,” he said, without offering any explanation. Margery tilted her head on one side.

“Are they setting a trap for us, do you think?”

“Unlikely. I don’t feel any warning that might indicate on. If the silence troubles you, though, what about a walking song? Our enemies are nowhere nearby, I think, and there is no one to hear us.”

“All right…” Margery said. “You sing.” Rowan chuckled.

“Very well.”

“O’er the hills and far away

Out from a rising sun

From my door I heard Mother say,

‘I pray that soon back you’ll come.’

Among the woodlands dark and gray

While leaves all fall around

And squirrels among campfire ashes play

There comes the marching sound.

“O’er the plains so wide and far

O’er the moors so dreary

While at night a shooting star

Falls at our feet weary.

By the cliffsides steep and high

Marching to a song

When the morning dawn draws nigh

Again we pass along.

“O’er the mountains at break of day

When we rise to travel on,

In the dawning cold and gray,

We march over that browning lawn.

In the rain and in the spray

Flying from a stormy sea

Marching far, far away

We’ll come flying homeward free.

“O’er the hills and far away

Into a setting sun

Until the darkness ends the day

And stars now out have come.

O’er the fells and low green tors

Turning fast to gray,

Far from home and hearth and door

We march, far, far, away.”

                Rowan had a good voice, clear and strong, but at the same time soft and melodious; it was almost subdued, but it made the glades reverberate with sound, the earth beneath them trembling in unison with the melody. For a long while after the song had concluded, they rode along in affable silence. At last, contrary to all Margery’s expectations, Rowan broke it.

“Margery, if we are to be able to continue to evade our enemy, there is something that I must do.”

“Then do it,” Margery said, shrugging, not quite comprehending.

“No…” Rowan said. “What I meant is, I would like to—I should ask your permission first.”

“Why?” Margery asked.

“Well, if we are to remain undetected… I need to mute your presence and ground the loose magic that has gathered around you.” Margery gave him a blank gaze. “You can be sensed by magic,” Rowan explained. “But it’s harder for whoever might sense you to do if there isn’t loose magic pooled around you.”

“I don’t understand,” Margery said.

“Well,” Rowan began, apparently trying to think out the best way to explain it, “loose magic—magic that has been already drawn from the warp—”

“Start at the beginning, please,” Margery said. “You’ve explained elemental magic, but not this branch of theory.” Rowan inclined his head.

“Very well. This has to do more with the origins of magic than with the theory of magic,” he said. “Most magic remains hidden, like the warp threads under the weft of a tapestry, holding together the tapestry of life on this world. You can think of the visible world as the weft threads—magic holds them together, just like warp. Magic can be drawn up out of the warp in order to be used. But magic can not be used up, like material goods can. It simply returns to its energy phase. It tries to get back into the warp, but it takes effort or time—even both in some cases—to return. Naturally, it always seeks the path of least resistance—and living things, especially people with an innate magical talent, are like bridges straight to the warp. Thus, ‘loose’ magic tends to gather around magic users, and other living things. The easier a Wielder can connect with the warp, the more magic will tend to pool around them. Most naturally-gifted wizards have the ability to sense large ‘drifts’ of loose magic, which means that they could potentially sense all living things around them. So, if we want to go unnoticed, the wisest course would be to ‘dim’ our presence by returning the loose magic that has gathered around us to the warp.”

Margery shrugged. “Well, go ahead. You didn’t have to ask permission for that. I’m not a magic user, anyway.”

“I don’t like the idea of doing it without asking,” Rowan said. “Just… be warned. This may make you feel vulnerable, tired, weak, perhaps even ill. Everyone can sense magic on some level or other; potentially anyone could become a Wielder, but it would take time and energy. You have a slight magical ability, and that could exacerbate the effect.” Margery shrugged again.

“Well, forewarned is forearmed, I guess. Go ahead.”

Margery had expected to feel any of the sensations Rowan had described—or perhaps she hadn’t known what to expect—but she certainly had not expected the strange draining sensation that flowed through her and left her limbs feeling heavy and her head slightly dizzy. She focused on relaxing and not fighting the dizzy feeling, taking deep breaths. As the off-balanced sensation passed, Margery gave a sigh of relief.

“You responded well,” Rowan said encouragingly. He seemed dimmed, muted, diminished somehow—though it was not in his physical appearance. As far as looks went, he was just a fraction paler than before; that was all. “I may have to repeat this, periodically. Loose magic tends to build up, over time. It makes spell-casting easier. I only grounded enough so that we can blend in with nature.”

“This is more complex than I ever imagined,” Margery murmured. Rowan offered her a sympathetic look.

“Most things are that way,” he remarked. “They seem simple on the surface, but look deeper and they’re inescapably complex, yet beautifully simple at the same time.”

“Can you teach me?” Margery asked, suddenly, impulsively.

“I don’t think so,” Rowan replied pensively. “You’re more intuitive; you use magic instinctively, if at all. I don’t think I could teach you to use it in the way I do, and certainly not in this short a time. Not with any degree of safety. It takes a lifetime to learn properly. Magic is not a plaything; it’s a tool, and like all tools it can be dangerous if abused, or misused. It should not be used by the unskilled. Ever.” Margery bowed her head, chastened. “However,” Rowan continued, I can teach you more about it and help you to understand the gift.” Margery looked at him, grateful.

“Please,” she said softly. Rowan gazed on ahead, thoughtful.

“If you wanted to become a Wielder and were really, honestly serious about it, you could become a scholar, focusing on knowledge, discovery, and research. You would need to find a partner who specialized in focused or applied Wielding, to work with, of course, but wisdom and those who seek it are sorely needed.” Margery smiled. Rowan turned toward her, an unrecognized expression twinkling in tawny hazel eyes. “Besides, there’s another reason why I can’t teach you more than just theory.”

“What would that be?” Margery asked, ducking under a tree branch as she rode.

“Whatever would your parents say?” Rowan asked. Margery suddenly realized what the sly twinkle in the young man’s eyes was—mischief. She moved to swat him, but Rowan moved much more quickly. She missed him completely as he swiftly ducked. “There are some things you should know beforehand,” Rowan said, turning serious. “There are certain laws which should be followed, when it comes to magic. These are not merely the laws of Ertraia, but the laws of righteous Wielders everywhere. Some laws are punishable by imprisonment; others by banishment, or instant death. To seek refuge in Ertraia is to put yourself under Ertraia’s justice. First of all, magic should never be used to take a life by any means, except in the defense of life. There are certain prayers and meditations that should be undertaken subsequent to the taking of a life in self-defense. Attempting to summon spirits is most certainly forbidden. If one of the saints speaks to you in a dream or vision, that’s a different thing entirely; but you must be cautious and examine the message of such a dream, analyzing it to decide if it truly comes from God or His saints. There is almost nothing in the world that is more dangerous than a magician under the influence of a demon; you must guard yourself carefully against the mental interference of such evil forces. Magic can not defend against evil spirits; only reverent prayer can do that. Using magic to compel someone against their free will is also forbidden. Magic should never be used for personal gain. Changing the appearance—the accidents, or circumstances—of some object is possible, but only our Lord—” he bowed his head, respectfully—“can change their substance or essence. To attempt to do so would be blasphemy. It is not permissible to attempt to create life, though imitating it is allowed, under certain dire circumstances. Only God can create life, give it and take it. Saving lives, however, is most certainly permissible and praiseworthy. Creating a bond with someone and then throwing them aside without a thought is unthinkable; bonds should not be created in the first place, unless it is absolutely necessary. Bonding with an animal and then forcing it off on its own is punishable by a fine. Courting dreams and visions is not necessarily culpable, but it is generally considered to be a stupid thing to do, as it can leave you open to suggestion by outside forces that might not be benign. Some forms of knowledge are better left alone; we do not believe that the enemy is best fought with his own weapons. That makes us worse than him, because we actually know better, and yet we still allow ourselves to be provoked. Not his own, no, but with equal and opposite ones.”

Margery looked solemnly at Rowan. “So, the gift comes with responsibilities.”

“As all true gifts do,” Rowan nodded solemnly. “All true gifts are given to us so that we may serve others. We are nothing on our own. It is folly to take our gifts for granted, though this is more a matter for personal guidance, rather than for the law. We walk similar lines in magic that we do in our everyday lives. We fall in similar ways; we make similar errors. The punishments are more severe because a rogue magician can cause more harm than an average man in the same plight. The only man who might cause more damage would be one in a position of power or influence. The more we are entrusted with, the higher the expectations. We must be on our guard at all times so that our power does not corrupt us, and take safeguards against greed.” Margery nodded, seriously.

“So, are all the stories about magic true? Not the ones that say all magicians are evil, of course, but the stories about what magic can do.”

“Some of them, but probably not all,” Rowan said. “Even magic has its rules and its limitations. And there are things that should not be attempted, not merely because they can cause physical harm, but because they are morally destructive to the Wielder as well.”

“What about the stories where someone is healed of a wound that should have been fatal?” Margery asked.

“Those are more likely to be true,” Rowan replied, looking down. Margery could not help it; her eyes were drawn to the ugly old scar on one cheek. How had that come about, if…? “Ertraia’s healers are the best in Scotland,” Rowan carried on, “perhaps the best in the world. Normal wounds are easy enough to heal. Magical wounds—those dealt by direct magical means—are more difficult. Some of our healers have traveled abroad to heal the wounds dealt in war and to aid the sick, but due to the persecution of magic users and other knowledge that seems to them of magic, they have had to keep their true abilities secret, and they have grown rarer. Some of our healers have gone out and never returned, and no word came back to us of their fate. We can only hope that they yet live, and are safe and well.”

“What’s the difference—I mean, how do you tell which magic is dark and which is light?”

“No. Don’t say ‘dark’ or ‘light,’” Rowan said. “Perhaps they are, as you use them, mere metaphors, but they are not quite perfect. To use ‘light’ to imply ‘good’ and ‘dark’ to imply ‘evil’ is not quite accurate. We must remember that they are mere metaphors and not innately good or evil of themselves. Darkness predates sin; it is not evil of itself. Even the light, in this broken world of ours, is flawed. Only the Light of Christ shines perfect. Furthermore, some people use ‘light’ to equate truth, and ‘dark’ for ignorance. But this is flawed as well; truth alone, on its own, without the light of grace and divine revelation, can point people in the wrong direction. A few scattered truths do not add up to a full picture. Truth can be colored by perspective, and twisted to the selfish ends of men. Reason unguided by faith can lead down a dark path indeed. Light illuminates, but it does not always guide.” Rowan fell silent; Margery sat, overawed, perfectly still in her saddle. Rowan cocked his head to one side. “What was the question again?”

Margery couldn’t help but laugh. With his philosophical dissertation, he had obviously forgotten entirely about the question that had prompted it. “I asked how I could tell the good from the bad. Or, maybe, a right use of magic from a wrong one?”

“Much the same way as you can tell a good action from a bad one on a purely ordinary level,” Rowan said. “If either the end or the action is not morally permissible on a completely material, natural, and spiritual standpoint, you can be sure it’s wrong no matter the means, ordinary or magical. Natural law. Conscience. Both apply in any situation.”

“By natural law, you mean the moral guidelines ingrained into us, almost instinct?” Margery clarified.

“Exactly.”

They continued to travel, Margery struggling to remember as much philosophy as she could, until nightfall.

TCWT: The One Thing I Wish I’d Known…

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when I started writing… back in the days when I still had braces and those cute round glasses (now I have the fashionable squarish ones–grrr…) when I was nineish-eleven-thirteen….

Like my friend Rosalie, I have a whole bunch of things which I wish I’d known. Not least among them that, over time, I’d be turning out stuff which occasions people (rather rudely) reading over my shoulders (yes, even both shoulders sometimes!) as I write. *scowls at the culprits* Yes, I’m talking about you… :-P

But the one big one for me would have to be that I wish I knew, firstly, how much editing it would take, and secondly, how very addictive it would prove. But more than being just addictive, it has also been very rewarding.

Other than that, there’s mostly a lot of editing. And then there are the days when nothing seems to work, and… well, coffee. No, tea. And I haven’t actually finished a mug of hot cocoa in one sitting in what feels like years. Awk-ward!

Suffice it to say, there will be horrible, horrible days when nothing seems to work and you just want to tear your hair, but all in all, it’s very rewarding. And finishing a novel–to the conclusion–may be an unreal feeling, but it’s also euphoric.

What was I talking about, again?

Oh, and check in at other peopleses’ blogs. They has insights, my precious.

NO! GET OUT, Gollum! You’re not wanted here! OBI-WAN, HELP!!!

Sorry, dark day in the mind palace… (If you recognize that quote I will love you forever)

5th – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

6th – http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

7th – http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

8th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/

9th – http://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/

10th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/

11th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

12th – http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

13th – http://theweirdystation.blogspot.com/

14th – http://taratherese.wordpress.com/

15th – http://sammitalk.wordpress.com/

16th – http://eighthundredninety.blogspot.com/

17th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/

18th – http://novelexemplar.wordpress.com/

19th – http://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

20th – https://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

21st – http://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/

22nd – http://roomble.wordpress.com/

23rd – http://thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com/

24th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ – The topic for August’s blog chain will be announced. We hope.

Are you still here?! Wow. *tackles Gollum and leaves him tied up to the ugly bench that mars our backyard’s beauty* Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Liebster Award: Once again…

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liebster-award

Once again, I have been nominated for a Liebster award, this time by Proverbs31teen, over at The World of the Writer. (See, I finally did it! For the fourth time in the history of this blog, actually!) You can read about the previous Liebster nominations here and here.

liebsterawardrules

And now, to answer the questions…

  1. Why did you start your blog? Has your reason changed since then? I started this blog mainly for the sake of sharing my writing and connecting with other writers. I occasionally use this blog to vent, but yes, this is primarily a writing blog still.
  2. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a would chuck could chuck wood? (No fair Googling!!! There’s a real answer, though.) The same amount of woodchucks Chuck Norris would chuck, if Chuck Norris was chucking woodchucks. (My brother told me this years ago.) :-P But really, though, as much wood a woodchuck cared to chuck, I suppose. :-P
  3. If you could travel to any fictional world, which one would you go to? Probably to either Middle-Earth or Narnia. I wouldn’t want to land in the middle of the Empire era, were I to go to the galaxy far, far away. I love democracy far too much. :-P
  4. If you could meet with any person (real, past or present) for coffee, who would you meet with? Ooooh… Does it have to be just one!? I definitely would want to meet Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson. Perhaps Napoleon Bonaparte, I don’t know. And now we get to the lesser known historical figures. I would like to meet Gabriel Garcia Moreno (president of Ecuador from 1859-1865 and 1861-1875), because the man was a genius (he actually balanced a horrible budget and helped to move Ecuador from dictatorship to democracy, among other things!), Jacques Cathelineau (you guys all know about my obsession with the Vendee rebellion by now, probably,) because he was an amazing leader, and Jose Luis Escriva. (If you don’t know about Jose Luis, then you need to go look him up, RIGHT NOW!!!)
  5. If you could meet with any fictional character, who would you want to meet? Martin the Warrior and the Murry family (from A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels.)
  6. Which country do you (or would you) most want to visit? It’s a tie between the UK, New Zealand, Mexico, and Russia. (Though, if I had to choose, I probably wouldn’t go to Russia.)
  7. Mountains, desert, or beach? Mountains. That was easy. :-P
  8. What’s your favorite genre to read? To write in? To read, I love family dramas, mystery, adventure, suspense, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, and dystopian best. I don’t care much for romance, especially romance with no side plots. To write, I have mostly written sci-fi and fantasy so far, with dystopian flavor and the occasional magic. I’m testing out suspense, though, with a little mystery on the side.
  9. What’s your all-time favorite movie? Oh, War of the Vendee, hands down. With Courageous and Fireproof a close second and third.
  10. What is your favorite movie quote? Book quote? Movies: “‘You brought the girls?’ ‘Yes! Er, was that wrong?’” (Gru and Nefario, Despicable Me), “So this is how liberty dies–with thunderous applause.” (Padme Amidala, Revenge of the Sith. Have not seen the movie, but still love the quote.) Books: “So do all who live to see such times, Frodo Baggins, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given us.” (Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings.)
  11. Which name would you rather have: (for girls) Gertrude or Beatrice, and (for guys) Ernest or Humphrey? Beatrice. Call it a result of 1. too much Hogan’s Heroes, and 2. enjoying the works of Beatrice Potter.

Now, for the eleven facts…

  1. I dislike paperwork. Strongly.
  2. I dislike being coerced into certain aspects of Raya-care (such as bathroom breaks and showers) nearly as much.
  3. I love being outdoors.
  4. I want to go camping this summer.
  5. I have no idea who to nominate.
  6. I secretly time travel with unicorns.
  7. I can’t think of a fact number seven.
  8. Where did I put my notebook, again? I can be very forgetful.
  9. I normally procrastinate horribly when tagged or nominated for awards. (Sorry, people. Anyway, forewarned is forearmed!)
  10. The last statement was a pun. (If a droid told Grievous, “Kenobi is coming,” Grevious would split his two arms apart each into two halves, because forewarned is four-armed. X-P)
  11. I love puns. (Sometimes even horrible ones like that.)

Well, that’s all for this Award acceptance. Seeing as it’s the middle of Camp Nanowrimo, and I’m behind in my novel, I can’t take the time to nominate anyone (besides, I don’t know who I’d nominate… I can’t think of anyone whom I haven’t already nominated) or come up with any questions, except for one:

What does the fox say?!

Bwahahahaaha!

Answer in the comments or on your own blogs, I don’t care. But just make sure to link me back to your answers if they’re blogged. ;-P The song is obnoxious, but the question messes with people’s heads. >:-D

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

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