Beautiful Books — Witchling

Today I’m introducing you to my fledgling future NaNoWriMo novel. Obviously, I am terrified about this.

But before you all start reading super fast to get to the actual questions (from Beautiful Books hosted by the ever talented Cait and Sky.) I have a Thing To Say. It is this: I write books longhand — as the darling regular bloggy readers know — which means that the most I’ve written in a single day was roughly 2,500. And I almost died afterwards. slight exaggeration.  My point?

I am not aiming for the usual 50,000 words. 

I know that means I can’t officially win, but I don’t mind — I think the glow of passing my own set word-count will be more than enough to make me happy. Plus, there’s other less-than-fifty-thousand-words NaNo-ers (such as her lovely self) who I can jog along with. My plan is to write roughly 2,ooo words every week day — taking weekends off — and that should end up being roughly 40,000 words all together.

I’m giving myself some leniency ahead of time since I’m a plantser (hybrid plotter/pantser) and currently I have a beginning and an ending, but the middle is lost in grey haze. HALP

In the meanwhile, it’s time to introduce you to my precious baby.


1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

It’s actually the sequel to I am Juliette, which is the first book in my light sci-fi series of fairytale re-tellings. Witchling was born from a chance sentence a character spoke in IAJ (I think this is the first time a charrie has been so helpful in the history of ever) and I’ve been collecting bits and pieces of inspiration for about a year now.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?

Because espionage and poisoned gingerbread and futuristic tech and terrifying snakes and precious child-siblings and hypnotizing voices and deep space legends and assassinations and foot chases and battles of wits.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?

Witching is a re-telling of Hansel and Gretel. I haven’t written a synopsis or even a tiny blurb, but basically being hypnotized happens and also gingerbread. Think Hansel and Gretel, but in space and futuristic and with twisty storylines and chilling antagonists.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

The Witchling







The Wolf Master


(except more wolfish and villainous.)

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!

Hands down, it’s the Witchling (who, despite her name, isn’t a witch. Only a bit too enchanting and mesmerizing for her own good..) The Wolf Master will be fun to write too, because I enjoy writing villains far too much. because clearly I have issues.

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

Fulfilling each and every one of her orders. What stands in her way? Hansel and Gretel and, ultimately, herself.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)

It swaps back and forth between earth and space, but mostly it’s in space. So lots of spacey-wacey things going on.



8. What is the most important relationship your character has?

The Witchling has three main relationships in the book. I would say the most important are the bond she has with the Wolf Master (because he cages her in) and with the children (because they show the Witchling her bars).

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

She realizes that masks are actually pretty traps, and making someone the center of your world, to the point of idolizing them, is not wise.

Poisoning gingerbread is not such a brilliant idea either.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

Not standing up for what you believe will put you in a cage. Just make sure what you believe is the truth — and you will be set free.

NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

Since this is my first time participating in NaNo, I don’t have any advice really (except, rewards are Important Things, lovelies).

Why don’t we swap this around, and all of you experienced NaNo-ers tell me your advice for surviving National Novel Writing Month?

And while you’re at it, if you want to buddy me I’m Curious Wren over there!

Also, I will be sharing snippets on my twitter because I won’t be able to resist.

November is going to be so exciting, humans. O.O

Let’s do this thing.

(Oh! On Sunday I’m posting the finalists for the 2015 Blogger Book Awards — Best Character. And on Monday I’ll be making a Very Exciting Announcement along with Schuyler and Emily. Which I am stoked about so be on the lookout, everybody!)

If there was a Book Genie // Ten Bookish Wishes

Yes, I am joining in Top Ten Tuesday  scandalously late. I make my own rules, y’all.

In actuality, our Internet has been very sketchy this week. Bribing it with chocolate chips has accomplished wonders. Will this state of affairs last? Only time will tell.


If there was actually a Book Genie (which would be run-around-and-hyperventilate worthy) what ten things would I wish for? 

  1. The rest of the Vivi and Farnham cozy mystery series. Please, please, please and thank you.
  2. A book deal. Actually, more than one. That would be faint-from-excitement worthy.
  3. More Halo books written by Eric Nylund. I would pay money for this. Which is a lot coming from my miserly soul. (I kid. Ish.)
  4. An inexhaustible library card. No fines. No limit on how many books you can take out. The option of renewing something at least twice. Can you imagine?
  5. The ability to experience reading a book for the first time more than once. Need I say more?
  6. The skill to write stellar book reviews, with all deep thoughts and awesome photography. I would be a happy hedgehog.
  7. The ability to enter a book at will. (Basically I want ALL the abilities.) But can you imagine being an invisible appreciator of Gandalf’s snark? Listening to Eanrin’s songs? Exploring the Pillar of Autumn?
  8. Books by osmosis. You could absorb knowledge whilst sleeping. I need this in my life.
  9. New releases to be on my doorstep the instant they are published. This requires no explaination.
  10. More bookshelves. NAY. An entire library room in my house. Complete with comfy chairs (“I made him say, ‘comfy chairs’!”) and soft lights.

What about you, fellow bookworms? Do you long for a library of your own? An inexhaustible supply of a specific author’s works? A BOOK DEAL? Let’s compare wishes. 

An exciting announcement that involves books and awards and YOU, my fellow Cyberspace-ers // the 2015 Blogger Awards


I have a Very Important Announcement.

The second annual Blogger Awards have begun!

What is this you ask? Read on, my minions, and all shall be revealed.

(Hannah is talented with graphic design, y’all.)

 I heard wisps of talk about this fun, fangirl-y, thoroughly bookish event last year, but for some reason I never got around to actually participating.

In a nutshell, the Blogger Awards is an event hosted by five bloggers, and Yours Truly. The purpose of it is to honor the skilled authors of 2015. There are six different categories that we will be awarding:

Best Cover — hosted by Schuyler on Saturday, December 19th.

Best Title — hosted by Hannah on Sunday, December 20th.

Best Short Fiction — hosted by Ghosty on Monday, December 21th.

Best Character — hosted by Annie (Yours Truly *bows) on Tuesday, December 22th.

Best Book — hosted by Sarah on Wednesday, December 23th.

Best Author, hosted by Allison on Thursday, December 24th. 

(Basically we build all the suspense towards Christmas. Clever, right?)

This is where YOU come in, my shiny cyberspacelings (I say this is a word, and so it shall be). 

Leave a comment and tell me who you think the Best Character(s) are of books published in 2015! Pretty please, and thank you? 

Then, grab a chocolate chip cookie and some tea or coffee, and trot around to the other blogs and share what 2015 favorites you think should win in the respective categories. I will know if you haven’t and I’ll send my assassin characters after you. *cackles*


Nominations are open until November 1st, and remember only books published in 2015 are valid. 

Feel free to sprinkle the Blogger Awards image about, and let people know about the event!

Go forth, and share your love for all the bookish things. DO IT. 

Snazzy Snippets | Blood Thread

I first learned about Snazzy Snippets from my  fantastic friend, Aimee. (check out her awesome blog, minions of mine.)

As the image so concisely sums up, it’s a bimonthly link-up hosted by Alyssa and Emily. They provided prompts which I think is smashing.

I’ll be sharing snippets from Blood Thread which I first mentioned here, and you can find out more about it on my newly updated Books page.

–> your first paragraph or 500 words <–

“I hate thread.”
The cat spat out the words like they tasted of sour milk. His whiskers bristled.

–> a snippet with food <–

He heard a cough behind him and turned to see Finnigan — still in mortal form.

“Would you like some food?” he said to Tarquin.

The cat blinked.

“Food?” he repeated, wondering if he’d heard the fae correctly.

Finnigan nodded.

“Like honey cakes,” he said. “Or sausages. Or muffins. Or hot milk. That sort of food. You could keep me company,” he finished, his voice hopeful.

–> a snippet you’re really proud of <–

(because I have issues containing my excitement, I shall share more than one.)

At two years old Imo took to following Tarquin around like she was his kitten.

“I can’t go anywhere anymore,” he complained to Prism, one day when he escaped to the tower roof. “She trails about behind me like she’s attached by a string.”
“Perhaps she can’t resist your magnetic charm?” suggested Prism.


“Who said anything about love, m’dear?” the cat purred.

“Do you want my advice?” asked Prism, fluttering to his side.
“No, thank you,” said Tarquin, and poised to leap off the roof.
“Figure out who Imo prefers and groom him accordingly.”
Tarquin permitted himself a chuckle this time.
“I’ll remember that.” He jumped down onto the barrel.
“You should,” Prism called after him.
The cat trotted away without answering.
Daft bird.


Imo was jailed for a week for kicking a gentleman because he knocked her into the noisy, chaotic street. Tarquin found the man’s house, and wedged a dead mouse into each of the stove pipes. He also left one inside the man’s bedroom slippers.


He would track the faerie down.

Scratch her beautiful face.

Drop her from a tower.

See how she liked it.


Sweet Ring of Sauron, this book is so much fun to write. ANOTHER. *cough*

Let’s chat all the secrets of my Writing Process // tag, anyone?

(image via pinterest. words my own.)

Alrighty, humans! Time to divulge the secrets of how Annie Gets Things Done. This could also be called the Behind the Scenes tag which Katie Grace happened to nominate me for, and if you don’t already haunt her blog or Twitter you must change this STAT — she’s the sweetest girl, y’all.

*passes out chocolate brownies to everyone*

is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

If I could feast on pizza every time I wrote I would be the happiest of humans. Also, the most plump, but minor details. 

Chocolate is my writing muse. Candy is nice as long as it is in a wrapper — peppermint patties are amazing.  I don’t snack much while writing because it’s too distracting and untidy. I like things I can have in a mug, e.g. smoothies, tea, café au lait, hot chocolate… 

when do you normally write? 

Last year I discovered that I do my best writing in the morning. As a general rule, I write from 10 o’clock to noon, take a lunch break, and then write for a hour more. 

Ideally, it would be epic if I could get up at 5 o’clock every morning and write for hours. Am I crazy much? O.o

where do you write?

At my desk in my bedroom. The desk lamp cast a soft, golden glow and the area has an almost perfect ambiance. It isn’t quite perfect yet because I don’t have an inspiration board.

During the winter I write downstairs in the living room curled up by the stove so my bones don’t freeze.

how often do you write a new novel?

Maybe two a year? I haven’t completed many first drafts yet, but I’d love to finish three per year.

do you listen to music while you write?

Did I mention earlier that chocolate is my writing muse? Scratch that. It’s definitely music. “I’m sooo changeable!”

90% of the time I listen to music when I write. I have multiple writing play lists. It inspires me, helps me capture the essence of the scene, and plus, it’s just beautiful. Fast-paced music is a tremendous help during word wars.

Also, I tend to listen to just instrumental music when I’m scribbling. Lyrical music throws me off. Movie scores and classical are my favorites, with some Piano Guys. 

what do you write on? laptop or paper?

Since I don’t own a laptop, I write everything longhand. Probably even after I purchase a computer, I’ll still write first drafts by hand. There’s something about creating the words as I go — instead of typing them up on a screen — that is incredibly inspiring. 

is there a special ritual you have before/after you write?

Before I write?

Step One: Wash face.

Step Two: Clip up hair (is not always mandatory).

Step Three: Tidy desk, and put glass of water a safe distance from notebook. 

Step Four: Locate favorite pen.

Step Five: Beckon the Muse, i.e. music or sometimes chocolate.


After writing?

Stretch. Re-read favorite parts. Try to pretend there isn’t quite so much editing to be done. Pat self on back. Update family and Twitter.


what do you do to get into the mood to write?

Make myself neat and tidy. Pray. Re-read some of my favorite writing in my own books. Just start writing.

Brainstorming + word sprints are Things that are Very Helpful. 

what is always near the place where you write?

A glass of water. Light. My phone for music or word wars. 

do you have a reward system for your word count?

Not a system, per se. The happy glow of having accomplished something is the Best Feeling Ever. If we have cookies or such in the house I’ll munch on one and read a book. Sometimes I reward myself by sharing a snippet with a Watson-friend. If I’ve had a really long, involved day of writing, I’ll reward myself by watching a movie or TV episode.

is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

1. I write like a hummingbird — meaning I dart all over the book whilst scribbling it.

For instances: 

In Blood Thread, I write half of the first scene. Then I skipped 1/4 of the way into the book and started writing there. Right now I’m at 3/4 into the book. 

2. I can’t stick to one notebook. Currently Blood Thread is spread out over four. The first one has the beginning, the second notebook has the middle portion, and the last two have random bits and pieces.

3. I can not write in an untidy environment. If my desk/room looks like a World War III zone, I have to quickly organize it. If the living room is cluttered, I clean it. Sometimes I’ll start laundry before I write so I’ll feel like I’m multitasking. 

4. I tend to go comma-happy.

5. I almost always write in cursive.


Now, for the tagging. *rubs hands together gleefully*

Brianna da Silva @ StoryPort || Ness @ of words & books || Brett @ Brett Michael Orr || Schuyler @ My Lady Bibliophile || Hanne-col @ Ain’t We Got Fun || Nicole @ A Soul Spun From Ink || Emily @ The Hero Singer

Tell me ALL about your writing secrets, humans! I’m dying to know. No pressure. *wink*

the questionlings

– Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

– When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?

– Where do you write?

– How often do you write a new novel?

– Do you listen to music while you write?

– What do you write on? Laptop or paper?

– Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

– What do you do to get into the mood to write?

– What is always near the place you write?

– Do you have a reward system for your word count?

– Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

As for the rest of you, feel free to snag the tag anyways!

All right, ladies and gentlemen. I need some new ideas for my rewards “system.” TALK TO ME. *bribes with chocolate chips*

“Read that? You must be mad!” // in which I speak of banned books 

Last week in the bookish community was something called Banned Books Week

Books are banned for both good reasons (Mein Kampf) and bad reasons (To Kill A Mockingbird), but I’m not writing this to discuss the act of banning, rather I thought it would be fun to share a list of some of the banned books I’ve read. Plus, banned books I would like to read. 

Shall we?

Banned books I have read:

  1. The Bible (King James Version).
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird.
  3. The Lord of the Rings.
  4. The Scarlet Letter.
  5. The Hunger Games.
  6. The Giver.
  7. Green Eggs and Ham

Is anyone else confused over the fact that Green Eggs and Ham was actually banned at one point? *brain inserts sarcastic comments*

Banned books on my TBR:

  1. Alice in Wonderland.
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front.
  3. Animal Farm.
  4. Brave New World.
  5. Frankenstein.
  6. Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  7. A Wrinkle in Time.
  8. Lord of the Flies. 

And, of course, the most ironically banned book of them all: Fahrenheit 451.

What about you? What banned books have you read? And what ones are you curious to read? 

      Monthly Recap — September // bloggy news, all the books, and pretty photos.

      Lots of exciting things happened in September: it was my first month of blogging, I got together with two lovely writing friends, I started scribbling a new book about cats, and faeries, and steampunkish things, and Autumn began!

      –> Curious Wren bloggy Stuffage <–

      • I did my bookish tag and Emily’s launch tag in one fell swoop, and rambled on about pretty quotes and book covers and favorite teas and charries and all that good stuff.
      • I wrote an emotional thing about my memories of 9/11.
      • I chatted about some books I’m dying to get my paws on.
      • You were given a teensy sneak peek of my light sci-fi re-telling of Beauty and the Beast.
      • I talked about what makes the perfect Autumnal TBR and shared my list with you.
      • Also, I had a writish interview with a sweet gal, Heidi.

      –> All things bookish <–

      I read a grand total of thirteen books this month. My awesome friend Amanda had the brilliant idea of doing a read-along of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It was a first read for the both of us and we cried over it together — it’s a heartbreaking and beautiful story. So that happened.

      Right now I’m doing a read-along of Great Expectations with my Mum and sisters (goodness, I could shake Pip currently!) and I have at least two more read-alongs scheduled for October. I am immensely fond of buddy reads in case you hadn’t noticed that yet. ^_^

      (ignore A Tale of Two Cities. That was a Goodreads glitch.)

      Not pictured is Monster which made me cry all the tears and feel all the feels (despite the distressing book cover). Also, They Came to Baghdad in which I guessed the villain (oh, the cleverness of me!), Postern of Fate (disappointingly dull), and Anne of Windy Poplars, a delightful re-read.

      And, incidentally, I reviewed Leviathan. 

      –> all things writish <–

      This month I experimented with 2nd person, present tense; a style I’d never tried before. Her (part one) and Her (part two) were the result of that. I’m thrilled with how they turned out, and I still hug all your amazing, encouraging comments to myself occasionally (all the love to you nice humans!).

      Currently I’m scribbling like a small maniac on a newish side-project I started in the third week of September. It’s called Blood Thread, written in third person past tense, and it’s all steampunkish and fantastical and stars a black cat named Tarquin who has a High Opinion of himself. He’s snarky and adorable and I love him to pieces. There are roughly 6,000 words written right now which is good since I intended for it to be a short project in-between I am Juliette edits. It’s so good to be writing fantasy again, because I HAVE MISSED IT LIKE IT IS A DEAR FRIEND.

      Speaking of I am Juliette, a blog post properly introducing it should be forthcoming in the future, methinks?

      –> life glimpses <–

      At least every Thursday this month was a beach day for us. I read copious amounts of Wodehouse and Agatha Christie, soaked in the bright sun, tried to find the perfect way to describe water, roamed the shoreline, and ate far too much icecream.

      I had my first flea market experience with my older sister and a good friend. We people-watched, ate Amish-made donuts, investigated ancient books, and I bought a tiny teacup.

      We celebrated a niece’s birthday. Our church had revival meetings and they were incredibly convicting, and encouraging. #thankfulforChristianfellowship

      Autumn began, and we’ve been preparing all our vegetables for the winter (I can’t wait to make jam!). Fall cleaning has started (ish).

      Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season 3 premiered yesterday, and it was a smashing, solid beginning to the season. Don’t mind me while I cry in a corner over the science babies (a.k.a. FitzSimmons). I am not prepared for another season of emotional trauma! Who am I kidding, I love having my heart crushed like a grape.

      We also watched Cinderella and Beyond the Mask, both of which are wonderful new family favorites. I should review them — thoughts?

      Also, I am knitting a pair of gloves for winter (so cushy soft) and I’ve tentatively begun coloring more often — I have Fear of White Paper, apparently. Artistic, Annie is not.

      The highlight of my month was getting together with Emily and Schuyler. Emily is a dear on-line friend, and meeting her in person was wonderful; Schuyler is just a darling human that I still can’t believe I’ve been privileged to spend so much time with. The three of us had a glorious time chatting of “shoes and ships and sealing-wax and cabbages and kings.” It was wonderful and uplifting and I’m blessed by their friendship.

      –> around cyberspace <–

      –> Coming in October <–

      • Age of Ultron comes out on DVD on Friday and we’re having a family party together since it’s our first time watching it. I am incredibly excited and I CAN NOT WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH HAWKEYE DURING CAPTAIN AMERICA 2. ALSO I AM DYING TO MEET THE TWINS.
      • Hanne-col is starting a new blog series — which is under wraps — and it’ll be great!
      • Aimee is celebrating her first blogversary which is epic. *runs around in circles of happiness*
      • I am planning to finish Blood Thread by the middle of October, and after that I’ll be prepping for NaNo IF I decide to do it.
      • There will be several writing articles on the blog, a snippets posts, more reviews (including one of Go Set A Watchman) and all that good stuff.
      • I’m making an exciting announcement around the end of October so stay tuned!
      • Also, if I reach 500 followers on Twitter by the end of the month I’m going to host a bookish giveaway over there. Spread the word!
      • I’m doing a read-along of The Phantom Of The Opera with three of my friends. Excitement much?

      All in all, September was a good, full month. It was hard…. but beautiful.

      How was your September, my friends? Did you read anything incredible? DID YOU SEE AGENTS OF SHIELD OR BEYOND THE MASK? What are YOU excited for in October? *gives out many chocolate chip bags*