Introducing Of Bleeding Pens and Pages // interview with Zac Tyson

Tyson interview 2

I have a special treat for you, cyberspacelings! Today fellow writer and bookworm Zac is launching his blog and I am honored to be hosting him here on Curious Wren with a jolly interview in which we discuss dragons, favorite books, Halo fanfiction, epic characters and more! Read on, my friends.


(my comments will be in italics)

1. Welcome, Zac! I’m thrilled to be interviewing you here on Curious Wren — and extra thrilled about your blog launch! To start off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies? Tea or coffee or neither? Favorite cozy reads? Ideal writing day? Dragons or superheroes? TELL US ALLL.

I’m thrilled to be here (and thanks)! 🙂 Well, I’m a follower of Christ first and foremost, a writer next, a book hoarder, music junkie, spastic extrovert, general smart-aleck, and traveler of worlds. I’m 18 (adulthood! WOOHOO! *bites nails*), homeschooled, obsessed with YA, and future child psychologist!
As for hobbies, I enjoy photography, archery, some swordplay, and playing with kids.
 Coffee all the way! What is life without coffee? I have yet to find the answer.
When I need a cozy read, I usually turn to MG! I love whimsy, simple stories that please my inner child. 🙂
Ideal writing day? That’s a thing? Oh. *shifty eyes* I suppose I’d just lock myself in my room, surrounded by all my books, and write from sunrise to sunset without interruption. Just me and my precious characters to torture. Err–what? Hey, what’s that over there! *runs away from concerned glares*
DRAGONS. DRAGONS ANY DAY. (You and me both, Zac!)
 I’ve had a strange obsession with the fantastic creatures since I was just a hatchling. But hey, superheroes are pretty rad too. (Though let’s face it, superhero or not, you’re gonna melt if blasted by fire breath. Just sayin’.)
2. When did you realize your love for Story? Who or what prompted you to pursue writing seriously? 

I sadly can’t place the moment of realization of my love for story. *cringes* One day I was just playing Halo: Reach (HALO, ANNIE, HALO!!!) and decided I wanted to write a fan-fic of the Spartans–my own spin on them. The 9ish page story will never, ever, EVER see the light of day, hopefully (as long as I have a say about it), but after that, I just always loved writing. I never stopped, and I’m thankful no one tried to stop me–though I would’ve loved to see someone try! 😉 I was about 11 or 12 at that time, so I’ve been writing, crafting stories, and playing with words for about 6 years now!
(Excuse me while I take a moment to fangirl because HALO.)

3. Are you currently working on a book that you can share about spoiler-free? What genre(s) do you prefer? And do you have a favorite “mode” of writing, e.g. first person, past tense?

I am currently jumping between three projects right now (a YA epic fantasy, a YA alternate reality/time travel romance, and a MG space adventure) but I can’t say I have anything shareable from any of them currently! Sorry. >.<
I write strictly speculative fiction–fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, steampunk, though I have so many different settings and worlds for each story! (all those genres are favorites of mine so I am pleased beyond measure about this. ^_^)
I’ve written in many “modes” but I usually prefer first-person past tense, and third-person past tense.
4. Share with us about your current favorite movies, TV shows, and books. (Clearly, I am digging for recommendations. *grin*)

Wow. You are in for quite the answer! 😉
My favorite movies, without a doubt and ALL OF FOREVER, are the LOTR movies. *meaningful sigh* Oh, my heart. I marathon them two or three times every year! They are the only movies that truly make me hurt, rejoice, cheer, cry, and belt out my war howl every time I watch them. I feel like every time I start a marathon, I’m watching them for the first time again. That’s how obsessed I am with this series. I also enjoy the Hobbit trilogy, Star Wars, anything and all things Marvel, The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hunger Games series, and lots more!
As for TV shows, Lost (!!) ranks as my favorite, then, in no particular order, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Revolution, Arrow, The 100, The Flash, Once Upon a Time, NCIS: LA, Leverage, Hawaii Five-O (the new one!), Person of Interest, and Psych. I’m wanting to get into Doctor Who! I also enjoyed the premiers of The Shannara Chronicles and Legends of Tomorrow. (Oh, you want to get into Doctor Who, do you? *rubs hands together gleefully* 
As for books…don’t even get me started. I won’t ever stop. My two favorite reads last year were Storm Siren by Mary Weber and A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes! Start with those, then you can make your way back to me. *grin*
5. If you could go on a road trip with several charries of your choice (dead or alive) whom would you choose?

Ooh, this sounds fun! Are we doing my own characters? (I hope we are, because that’s who I’m picking…) I’d take Kaelan, the protagonist from my YA epic fantasy These the Restorers, for her passionate soul, free spirit and loose tongue, Top and Lissy from my MG sci-fi Evernight because they’re just crazy, gutsy kids, and Nellie from my YA time-travel romance, because she’s quiet and whimsical and sees the world differently but in a beautiful way. 🙂 I’d also take Nym from Storm Siren, R2-D2 and BB-8, and Jack Sparrow (cuz Sparrow).
6. What books have made you cry? If none, are there any that almost brought the tears to your eyes? 

No books have ever made me cry, which is strange because I’m an emotional and expressive creature, but hardly anything will bring me to tears. But books that have brought me close to tears would have to be Storm Siren by Mary Weber (mention #3), A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, the River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren, the Angel Eyes trilogy by Shannon Dittemore, and the Hidden Masterpiece series by Kristy Cambron.
7. What are four books you think everyone should read? 

Storm Siren (that’d be #4…), A Time to Die, Angel Eyes, Demon: A Memoir.
8. What kinds of stories and characters delight you the most? 

Anything speculative fiction! I devour anything fantasy, sci-fi, or supernatural.
9. Share with us a few gorgeous words that give you a happy, shivery feeling when you see them.

 One of my all-time favorite quotes is “I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” -Gandalf. Yeah. That one always gets me. The Wizard has some knockers! Anything Tolkien said was magic, and I like some of C.S. Lewis’ stuff too.
 10. How does your Christian faith affect your purpose as a writer? 

 My faith affects everything I do in my life. It influences every move I make. It floods from my soul. That said, my stories aren’t strictly religious. They’re more mainstream just by glance. But anyone that shares my faith can easily pick up on the influences, the subtleties, and the hints in my stories.
11. What characterizes your writing style? 

 My writing style is unique to me in a way I can’t quite describe. A lot of times in life, we don’t share our voice enough–this is true of me–so my style is characterized by that, I think. It’s when I get to speak freely, to share my voice. And it enthralls me!
12. If you could own any mythical creature as a pet, what would you choose? 

 13. Do you have any strange pet peeves or personal quirks?

 Umm…I’m slightly claustrophobic. I hate disciplining children (when I’m babysitting). I just hate that look they give me. *shivers* I have an irrational obsession with peanut butter. I flail a lot. I’m usually quiet, but always crazy. I prefer to be with my writer friends more than regular humans (yes, I said that). I hate polka music and mariachi bands with a burning passion. I sniff my books a lot.
14. And lastly, what is your hope and aspiration for Of Bleeding Pens and Pages?

 For readers and writers alike to come together, away from the outside world, and be as bookish and nerdy as they like. To dive into living pages of story. To bleed worlds from their hearts through their pens. To encourage, to love, to inspire, to be encouraged, to be loved, to be inspired. To gather as one and be one through books and story. 🙂
(I love the sound of that, and I look forward to seeing what you have to share with us!)

And there you have it, friends! Now head on over to Of Bleeding Pens and Pages  and make sure to tell Zac how much you love his fantastic new site, and enter the giveaway!

Of owls and the color red // Snazzy Snippets


Once again I am joining in late with Snazzy Snippets. Better late than never, I say. 

I’ll be sharing snippets from both I am Juliette and Blood Thread today. The former is my current WIP (edits, woe is me) and the latter is one of my favorite stories that I have ever put down on paper. *hugs characters to Self*

Anyone up for a dash of steampunk and stardust?


1. A snippet from page 16 | I am Juliette

“The scanner requires a blood sample,” said POND. He whisked over to a low pedestal next to the hand scanner. There was a round hollow on the top of it and the Owl lowered himself in halfway. He fit perfectly. I licked the tiny bead of blood off my palm, wondering what other devices on the ship were designed specifically for the PONDs.

The Owl’s eyes brightened to an intense green.

“The DNA scan is successfully completed. You are fully human,” he squeaked.

2. A snippet of 16 words or fewer | Blood Thread

 His dreams continued to run red.

Then black. 

3. A snippet about something new | Blood Thread

The tiny canary fluttered her wings and hopped up and down.

“She’s here,” she gasped.

“Who’s where?” said Tarquin, flicking a glossy, black ear forward. He wished Prism would curb her tendency to bounce about like a rubber ball when she was distressed.

The bird pounced at him.

“Pay attention, Tarquin. A raven has been spotted.”

A raven.

The cat was suddenly grateful for the warm chimney behind his back.

“Where was it seen?” he asked, flattening his ears. Prism pointed a wing in the direction of Turkania’s merchant harbors.

“It was flying around the ships for hours before it vanished into the smog.”

“Not being subtle, is she?”


In other news, I’m going to a book sale today (EEEP) and I may buy a scandalous amount of Once-Were-Trees. My edits of I am Juliette draft four begin properly in February and I am torn between dreading it and getting all excited and flail-y. I miss my characters from Blood Thread in the worst way. Reading has been at an unusual low for me because I’ve been so busy this past month — I do not like this state of affairs. It makes me panicky. Thank goodness for beta-reading projects and Wodehouse short stories! Also, I recently watched the newest Mission Impossible and currently it’s my favorite of all the action films. *loves it with all the love* 

What have you all been up to? And didst thou enjoy the snippetses? Any new favorite books this month?

If I’m ever on an island with only ten books…

Anyone else feeling the cold of winter yet? (except you Aussies and other peeps enjoying summer which we will not discuss the injustice of. Kidding. Ish. *gives you all chocolate chips and laughs maniacally as they melt in the sun*)

I really wouldn’t mind finding a hobbit hole and hibernating with a ginormous stack of books until Spring. Alas, that is not an option for us humans so shall we warm ourselves up with this taggy thing about fresh, sunny breezes and books and fun stuff like that? (thanks, Joy!). and do not remind me that a desert island would likely be sweltering and miserable and Mount Doomlike. we can pretend it’s not, m’kay.

Let’s hope I’m never actually trapped on a desert island with only ten books at my disposal (*gasp*), but if I were… what would I choose? This is an agonizing question, bookworms!

I’m going to assume I don’t need any survival books and all that. This list shall be the books I would want by my side if I could possibly have them — practical or not.

Ten Books I Absolutely Must Have If Trapped On A Desert Island


1. The Hobbit.

Having my Bible with me is a given so the first book on my list shall be The Hobbit. My love for this book of my childhood knows no bounds. It is the first storybook I remember, and the one that had the most influence on my mind as a young Story Girl. If I’m all alone on an island, I want Gandalf and Bilbo at my side.


2. Jane of Lantern Hill.

Of all of Montgomery’s books this one is dearest to my heart — it typifies everything that’s charming and beautiful and soul-touching about her stories. Also, the charries in this book might possibly be some of my favorites ever. Jane would make a grand friend, methinks.


3. Les Miserables.


a) I need to read this.

b) My Mum sings its praises and begs me periodically to pick it up so I can cry and discuss it with her. I shall read it, Mumsie. Sooooon.

c) It is a Doorstopper of a read. And I love Doorstoppers with all the fierce love of a Bookworm.



4. To Kill A Mockingbird.

This requires no explanation.


5. Shadow Hand.

I dithered forever over which of the seven I would take, and I finally narrowed it down to Shadow Hand because it has Eanrin (which is obviously a Must) and one of the most convulted and epic storylines of the series. I suppose, really, it has the best of the Tales of Goldstone Wood world.

“This is a tale of blood.
And love.
And the many things that lie between.”


6. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx.

Just thinking about this book makes my heart hurt — in the best way possible. You really can never have too much hardcore science fiction. And I will probably dehydrate myself by crying over the ending.

“Every other Spartan on the field charged as well, hundreds of half-camouflaged armored figures, running and firing at the dazed Jackals, appearing as a wave of ghost warriors, half liquid, half shadow, part mirage, part nightmare.
They screamed a battle cry, momentarily drowning the sound of gunfire and explosion.
Tom yelled with them–for the fallen, for his friends, and for the blood of his enemies.”


7. A Christmas Carol.

As hard as it would be leaving David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities behind, I choose A Christmas Carol. It’s the happiest of Dickens’ books, but still has all his distinctive motifs. I love it dearly. And it is set in winter with lots of descriptions about frigid snow and wind so maybe it would help me feel cool on a hot, sandy island? I CAN HOPE.


8. Steal Like An Artist.

It is inspiring, humans. So inspiring.



9. The Wind in the Willows.

All the whimsy and charm and humor and descriptions of tasty food and adorableness and ACK. This book is special to me.

“He saw clearly how plain and simple – how narrow, even – it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.”


10. The Iliad.


I’ve never read this — and I hear it’s incredible — so I think that should be amended, yes? After all, between catching fish and snaring seagulls and avoiding the sun and escaping deathly scorpions and generally staying alive, there will be plenty of time to read on this island. Naturally.


If you’re wondering why there is no Wodehouse on this list that would be because I simply could not choose just one. I tried, lovelies. It is IMPOSSIBLE. Try it yourself and you’ll see.

Cheerio, darlings! I’m off to Panama — if you understood that reference you earn a largish bag of chocolate chips.

(feel free to steal this tag if the spirit so moves you.)


//a dash of sunlight


There exists this lovely human called Rachel and she has a lovely home of virtualness which somehow I HAD NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL NOW (do not follow my bad example, friends). Said lovely human Rachel tagged me in the sunshine blogger award which warmed the cockles of my heart because:

a) that was just so sweet of her.

b) I adore happy, sunshiny stuffage.

The rules state that I share seven random facts about myself and since I tend to chat books and writing on Curious Wren more than I do life, I thought this was a splendid opportunity to let you all know a little bit more about me.

Pull up a cushion/chair/throne and get comfortable. There is fresh gingerbread hot from the oven.

  1. Music is one of my greatest loves. However, unless I’m doing a special in church, singing around other people makes me self-conscious. And I am a firm believer that music and work go together. Hence I whistle. All the time. Wherever I am. I once almost started whistling in the library which we all know is taboo. And let’s not mention that time in church….
  2. For those of you who know about the Four Personalities, I am a Sanguine-Choleric with a dash of Melancholy. Also I am an ESFP.
  3. I can not properly type. As a writer this is most mortifying and inconvenient. I plan to change that this year. Typing programs, beware.
  4. My primary love language is Touch. I love hugs. I really, really, really love hugs. If I go a day without at least one good hug I feel forlorn and like a Very Sad Wren.
  5. We didn’t own a TV until I was about ten so my siblings and I grew up basically living outdoors.Think tree forts and splashing in puddles and rope swings and bikes and Buried Treasure and sitting on our roof reading books and cloud-watching and drinking from a hose and always going barefoot — I had an incredible childhood.
  6. I want to learn martial arts in the worst way. One of these days I fully intend to fulfill that wish. Until then I try to satisfy my soul with all the awesome action films. yes I re-watch fight scenes.
  7. I am very passionate about politics, my country, and my freedoms as an American. Outspoken about it too. My twitter account is a bit fiery at times. *wry grin*
  8. (and one more because I prefer even numbers) Apparently I have a very distinctive gait. I do not glide. I trot or bounce along. My brother informed me that I walk like I’m fresh from zero gravity. I’m not sure why that pleases me so much. (*cough*Halofangirl*cough*)

And there you are, lovelies! Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the award
  2. Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog.
  3. Share 7 facts or things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5 bloggers that you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

My nominees are….

Joy from Fullness of Joy (she is just a sweet darling.)

Ana of Butterflies of the Imagination (she is as lovely as her blog name.)

Schuyler of My Lady Bibliophile (skilled writer, better friend.)

Katie Grace from A Writer’s Faith (her blog is one of favorites. Also, she shares my love of pizza and books and writing so there’s that.)

Rachel of Silver Mess (only just discovered her place and I am loving it!)

Have fun, peeps! *vanishes in a flash of bright sunlight*


//bookish survey of 2015

Prepare your minds for much flailing and fangirling, humans. Because I love books with all the love and I’m about to talk about allll the books I read last year.

*maniacal laughter*

Batten down the hatches.


Speaking of books, last year I devoured a grand total of 101. I am quite pleased with myself over this. *gives Self chocolate chips*

(I’m borrowing The Perpetual Page Turner’s end of the year book survey.)

2015 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 101. But I think it’s actually more like 103 because Goodreads sometimes turns sulky when I try to add books to my Currently Reading shelf. which is why this year I must also keep a tangible list.

Number of Re-Reads: Five. But I know that’s inaccurate because, as I said, Goodreads likes to misbehave. Tsk. Tsk.

Genre You Read The Most From: Apparently Mystery wins out (with Fantasy as a close second). It would seem I read stacks and stacks of Agatha Christie over the summer and autumn. O.o Not to mention, I fell in love with Chesterton’s Father Brown. Also, I read my first Mrs. Meade and Anon, Sir, Anon.

Best In Books

Best Book You Read In 2015?

This question should be outlawed. I refuse to answer with a single book. Therefore, I shall answer with six.

Pendragon’s Heir was rich, rich, rich and I think I wouldn’t mind being best friends with Blanche and Perceval. Plus, KING ARTHUR LEGENDS YUSSSS. The Phantom of the Opera broke my heart in the best way possible. Monster made the deep-thinking, philosophical side of me happy. And I cried quarts and am probably far more attached to Mir than is strictly healthy. Love books like that.

Peter Pan was utterly magical and whimsical and strangely soul-achy. Shadow Hand only strengthened my love for Stengl’s writing and fantastic charries and story-lines and worldbuilding — I am consistently in awe. Also pain because feels. The ending was so beautiful it gave me a brief flash of Sehnsucht. Anon, Sir, Anon satisfied the Annie who-adores-mysteries-and-is-perpetually-curious, and it had all of Heffington’s signature charm and vividry.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


This was a deliciously gripping mystery/police/plotsy thriller thing… and then halfway through it turned into something so deep and theological and quirky all I could do was squint at the pages and wish I was more clever so I could understand WHAT IN CREATION CHESTERTON WAS TRYING TO SAY. I may still be slightly bitter over this.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?


I didn’t really know anything about this brilliant scientist when I started the book. I emerged full of story ideas, fascinated with Tesla and indignant with Edison and even more in love with science-y stuffage than I was before. (although, Author Chap, quit bashing conspiracy theorists already.)

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?


Because everybody needs a generous dose of hilarity from the master of British comedy. You’re welcome, humans.

Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?


Best series I started: I enjoy the superhero genre. I enjoy parodies. I enjoy stories with snap and fun and plenty of humor and unexpected angst. Cue Supervillain of the Day. 


Best sequel: I still haven’t recovered from this book. Can I sneak into the future and steal Book Three, please?


Best series ender: Need I say more? *gazes dreamily into the distance and murmurs “across the pale parabola of joy”*

Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?


Top Five:

P.G. Wodehouse. Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Kate DiCamillo. Suzannah Rowntree. Rosemary Sutcliff.

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


Apparently The Phantom of the Opera is classified as horror. Okay then. o.O

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Steelheart. Woah. Talk about action! Dragonwitch had twists and turns and ACK. The Secret Adversary was impossible to put down. The Phantom of the Opera? NO WORDS TO EXPRESS ALL THE FEELS AND THRILL.

Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t think I’ll ever not want to re-read The Tales of Goldstone Wood. The sheer amount of richness and beauty and emotional depth in these books…. my preciousssss.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?


I could gloat over this beauty all day long.

Most memorable character of 2015?

I encountered many memorable charries in my reading last year, but the first people that spring to mind is the little crew from Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. From Flora who is the cutest cynical, comic-book reading, squirrel-rescuing human ever to William Spiver with his “blindness” and love of Big Words, and Tootie who is one of my favorite adults in a children’s book. Not to mention, Ulysses himself — a squirrel who can fly and has an optimist spirit and a penchant for writing poetry. They are the most lovable cast of characters and I wish I could hug them all and share chocolate chips with them.

Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

All. The. Pretty.

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

I’m still trying to gather my thoughts on Go Set A Watchman. The moral dilemmas of genetic manipulation and enhancement in For Darkness Shows the Stars were fascinating. The King’s Scrolls challenged me on how strong I would be if I had to withstand incredible temptation and pain for the sake of what I believe, and A Wish Made of Glass helped heal a part of me I didn’t even realize was still hurting.

Runner Ups: Monster, Firmament: Machiavellian. Pendragon’s Heir. Shadow Hand.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?


Need I say more?

 Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I could write a whole blog post on this subject. Oh, look: I did.

Book That Shocked You The Most?

I will never recover from that moment between Eanrin and You Know Who. Talk about unexpected and wonderful and heart-breaking. O.O The plot twist at the end of The Unmapped Sea is not okay. The fact that Penelope is missing from the book cover is ALSO NOT OKAY. And grown-up Scout is shocking and I feel her, but still, GIRL.

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Eanrin and Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood). Mir and Eva (Monster). Blanche and Perceval (Pendragon’s Heir). Kyrin and Jace (Ilyon Chronicles). I like to adopt ALLL the ships.

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

 The friendship between Jack, a normal little boy, and Beth, a wind-up little girl, is sweet and touching (Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times). The love-hate relationship between Floyd and Adams in Supervillain of the Day is my favorite. Flora and William Spiver are the cutest. *hugs the babies* Marcus and Esca (The Eagle of the Ninth) remind me in a way of Frodo and Samwise. But more historical and with less ring-of-power-trauma.

Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?


This requires no explanation. *hugs book*

Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:


That would be this wonderful, quirky, magical read which I am ever so grateful I was told I absolutely must pick up. Looking at you, Amanda. *hugs*

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

One word: EANRIN. *fangirling so hard*

Best 2015 debut you read?


Read it, cyberspacelings. READ THE BOOK IF YOU WISH TO LIVE. Ahem. Because you want to? I will bribe you with chocolate chips.

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The world-building is, hands down, one of my favorite parts of Tales of Goldstone Wood. It’s amazing. Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times has some of the best steampunk worldbuilding I’ve encountered yet. Perfection, kind of.

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Basically anything ever by P.G. Wodehouse.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

SO MANY. Sooooo many. I cry easily in books it would seem. *shoves box of kleenex under the sofa*

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much.
  • It Took A War.
  • Dragonwitch.
  • Shadow Hand.
  • Johnny Tremain.
  • The Two Towers.
  • Firmament: Machiavellian.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird.
  • Peter Pan.
  • The Bird in the Tree.
  • Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.
  • A Wish Made of Glass.
  • Monster.
  • A Tale of Two Cities.
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
  • The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Pendragon’s Heir.
  • The King’s Scrolls.

Hidden Gem Of The Year?

All of these captivating, excellent beauties.

Book That Crushed Your Soul?


 Let’s just say that this ends in such a unexpected manner that you wander about trying to collect your thoughts and wondering, “What do I do now?”

I cried. Goodness, that was a painful and beautiful ending. I’ll probably never recover.

Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Oh, help, I don’t even know. Maybe Flora and Ulysses? After all, it’s not every day you read about a squirrel that gets vacuumed up and comes out able to fly and fond of writing poetry.

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


did dislike this actually. I rather wanted to drop it off a cliff. Flat characters and pages full of cliches do that to me. *deep breath*


(I know this is long. Bear with me, lovelies! Chocolate chips at the end, okay?)

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I didn’t discover many new book blogs this year, but Cait is so lovable and fun, and her blog is an absolute favorite of mine. Plus, she has mad photography skills. And she’s just plain nice.

Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

Ahh, yes. That would be this one. I’m rather fond of the book too.

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I had far too much fun blathering on about all the secrets of my writing processes. And I really love all my Beautiful Books posts.

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

By far that would be the short story contest I hosted with my fellow SEA Scribblers (which was an amazing experience), and the 2015 blogger awards were also grand fun.


Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

That would be all of you, actually. Since starting this blog I’ve been overwhelmed by all the love and support from each and everyone of you, my dear friends. I couldn’t be more thankful for it. I really don’t know how to express how glad I am to know you all, and as for my Shadow Readers (as I like to call you) I’m so happy you take the time to visit the Curious Wren house, even if I don’t know who you are.

You are all special to me.


Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

“Time is not the boss of me.” *painful laughter*

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

That would be my introductory blog post. And you all really loved my feelsy sci-fi flash fiction which made me beyond happy.

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Honestly, I’ve had some serious amounts of love on all my blog posts so I don’t think I could wish for more. ❤

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

My Dad found a tiny book shoppe near us that sells used books and let’s just say that the proprietors know us by name and every time I come in, the lady lets me know at once if they’ve picked up any Wodehouse recently. It’s the best.

Also The Book Depository is a nice place. Free shipping, peoples. On EVERYTHING. O.O

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I passed my challenge of 100 books. GO ME. And I ventured out of my comfort zone by reading more books published in recent years so that was fun.

This year I shall be unstoppable! Ahem. Anyway.


(In which we dramatically look off into the middle distance)

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Lots and lots and lots. 

(with the exception of The Wind and the Willows these would all be first reads.)

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Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

I’m curious about Heartless mainly because Marissa Meyer wrote it — plus it’s Alice in Wonderland so there’s that. I can not wait until Resist comes out. Five Magic Spindles has the prettiest cover of ever and it’s fairytale re-tellings so yay!

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

I am dying to know how The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place ends.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Reading: I want to dig into more of the older classics like The Illiad and Shakespeare’s plays. Vice versus I am hoping to venture into the cleaner YA books.

Blogging: Be much more consistent with commenting. Both on my own blog and on others. And I really want to do more posts specifically about writing and the process of spinning Story. Also put up more book/film reviews.

Look, we reached the end. EVERYBODY CHEER.

*gives out handfuls of chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookies*

What do you think of my 2015 reads? What are a few books you hope to crack open this year? Let us chat!

“What if?”


For the past three years I’ve tried to choose a word that sums up everything I hope to be in the new year (inspired by her lovely self)

I’ve never been able to narrow it down to just one,  but this year a Certain Word sprang out at me and I knew without a shadow of a doubt what would be my word for 2016.

BRAVE, adjective

1. Courageous; bold; daring; intrepid; fearless of danger; as a brave warrior. It usually unites the sense of courage with generosity and dignity of mind; qualities often united.

BRAVE, verb transitive To defy; to challenge; to encounter with courage and fortitude, or without being moved; to set at defiance.

I used to think myself a brave person, but in re-evaluating myself last year I realized that in the things that really matter I cower with fear.

I don’t want to be like that.

What if I am brave enough to start a conversation that matters, and not simply exchange banter and light chat when there is so much more beneath the surface?

What if I am brave enough to write about the things that scare me — brave enough to write what I feel called to, no matter how others may view it?

What if I am brave enough to say “no” when I need to?

What if I am brave enough to share my true thoughts and hopes and dreams in person (without the safety of a computer screen or the pages of a journal) and not filter them because they may come across as silly or childlike or sentimental or strange?


What if I am brave enough to tell people how much they mean to me, how thankful I am for them, instead of only thinking it?

What if I am brave enough to disagree when I need to, instead of keeping silent because of how people may respond?

What if I am brave enough to talk about my faith openly — to show how much it means to me and how being a child of God is what gives me life and purpose and joy and peace?

What if I am brave enough to buy that homeless person food? Brave enough to take the risks I need to to accomplish what I am passionate about? Brave enough to be wholeheartedly the person God made me no matter who I am with or how they may react? Brave enough to read the books that intimidate me, discuss the topics I am uncertain about, make new acquaintances even when it’s easier to just pretend I don’t know people exist? Brave enough to follow my impulses when it comes to strangers because sometimes a smile and a kind word is exactly the bit of sunshine they need?

I wonder how much deeper and richer and true my life would be?

I intend to find out.

This year I will be…




// bright

Over the past few days my virtual mailbox has been flooded with post after retrospective post about the Old Year and looking towards the New Year. They are all fascinating to read and some are very inspiring, but I’ve noticed that almost every single one has something in common: “Twenty-fifteen was a hard year… I was broken down and built back up again… I learned so much and came out a stronger person… this was one of the toughest years I’ve ever conquered…”

May I tell you a secret?

Twenty-fifteen wasn’t like that for me.

Twenty-fifteen didn’t put me through the fire. 

And that gave me a sense of guilt. Even of fear.

What was wrong with me that the trials I encountered this year didn’t break me down? Why was it that my memories of the past year were so bright and vivid and full of light? Was I somehow shallow in ways I didn’t know? Was I forgetting how to learn or was I becoming content with staying just as I am? Had my growth as a person and child of God slowed? 

And then I realized.

2014 was one of the hardest years I ever lived through.

Not last year, but the year before is a year that stands out in my tapestry of life as one of the darkest, one of the most painful, one of the most trying years I’ve gone through. That was a time that broke me down so I could be builded up again a stronger and, hopefully, wiser person. A time where I walked through the fire and despaired of seeing the other side. A time when I slowly began to understand just how unconditional God’s love is and just how much worth I am in his eyes, no matter how I look in my own sight.

We are human. We are fragile and we measure heartbeats by time because our finite minds can not yet even grasp the idea of a world that is timeless. We are mortal and in our imperfection we can only handle so much. And who better to know that than our Creator?

To put it very poorly, for me, Twenty-fifteen was a breathing space. A time of bright colors after the storm.

This year I was blessed by so many amazing experiences and moments and people.

In the spring my older sister Holly and I went on our first out-of-state road trip together and we stayed in quaint Bed & Breakfasts, explored deep caves, and picnicked in the middle of a quiet, lushly-green Civil War battlefield. I traced the scars of bullets in ancient trees — half-imagining I could hear the roar of battle –and cried in the graveyard of over a hundred Confederate and Federal soldiers. I walked up a staircase Lincoln once stood on. We attended a lovely wedding, got lost, went on hay-rides through gorgeous fields, adopted the most wonderful Southern couple as our “aunt and uncle,” had far too much Nutella, and created still more private jokes. I fell in love with Kentucky, drank in the glorious scenery much more than I read, went to Chick-Fil-A for the first time, window-shopped in idyllic towns, took multiple character sketches, bought my first Wodehouse novel and made friends with various members of the feline family. We listened to Danny Boy so much I have a hard time hearing it now because it makes me homesick.

The surreal perfection of that trip still makes my heart skip a beat — I hold the memory of it like a beautiful gem.

There were lots of firsts for me in Twenty-fifteen.

(inserting a list because, clearly, lists are life.)

— went flying. in a four-seater plane. amazing. we are so tiny in the scale of things. why do we even waste our time with worry and fear when we are faced with the evidence of such majesty and power of God.

— played laser tag and am apparently a natural. this is what having brothers and being a Halo fan does to you. and i love it.

— wrote in cafés and developed a taste for coffee. am i a real writer now? yes that was snark.

— rode on a ski-lift. in the summer.

— fell in love with acting and drama and please, please let me be in another play this year.

— discovered all over again how rewarding and heart-warming and happy it is to be at a church where you belong. where you feel you have come home. thank God.

— won camp nanowrimo july at 25,000 words. which was the most amazing writing spree i have ever done whilst writing long-hand.

— basically wodehouse and sutcliff and rowntree and chesterton and stengl and dicamillo. recommended.

— scrawled a steampunk fantasy thing i adore.

— met this darling (so, so lovely) and this darling (also lovely) and we three became the sea scribblers which is ever bit as epic as it sounds.

— this blog happened and sometimes i still can’t believe that it is real. dream come true. and here’s a thank you to each and every one of you wonderful people who follow and comment and interact and take the time to read. it means so, so much to me. impromptu group hug! *hands chocolate chips around*

— participated in several read-alongs. also recommended. ^_^

— spent several months as a sunday school teacher. stressful and rewarding and i think the teachers, ultimately, learn more from the students than the other way around. tiny humans, i love you.

— scribbled this in a style i never tried before, and now i love it with all the love.

I visited tiny, gloriously overflowing bookstores, and swam at night in glimmering pools and ate far too much ice-cream and went to the beach almost every week just to sprawl on the sand and read Wodehouse or think happy thoughts. I tapped into my artistic side because adults color too.

I remember the thrill of learning I finaled (I say this is a word, spellcheck) in a well-known creative writing competition. I remember struggling to find the silver lining all the times it felt like our old, old house was falling to pieces around us, when talking to people in face-to-face conversations was torturous because the old fear of being my real self had surfaced again, when I forgot to be thankful for my people and realized just how selfish a writer’s life can be when they spend too much time in their own world. I remember attending the national God Save America conference and feeling that swell of proud and patriotism every time the veterans were honored… I cried more in those three days than I had in a long time, and I was reminded once again of the power and wonder of prayer and how little we use it — especially myself.

I read copious amounts of incredible books, watched old movies with my siblings and cried over The Battle of Five Armies and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Art days trotting about a city with family and good friends were some of my favorites.

I made new friends, so many wonderful, inspiring, supportive people — both writers and non-writers.

Writing every day was something I conquered and, slowly, I’ve begun to feel like that far-off day of publication is a hairsbreadth closer.

Was 2015 an easy year?

No. But it was a bright year.

Sometimes a person’s growth is like silver melted down and re-molded. Sometimes it’s like a tiny sprig of grass reaching steadily towards the sunlight.

I don’t know what Twenty-sixteen holds for me.

But I can’t wait to find out.

“The future is yet an untrodden path full of wonderful possibilities.” — L.M. Montgomery