Curious Wren’s first birthday + a (virtual) costume party + a seriously epic giveaway // do alllllll the celebrating!


Guess what, cyberspacelings????


My baby is a year old.

One whole year.

HALP. Excuse me while I hyperventilate and hug my laptop (named Jarvis) because that’s the closest thing to hugging this small corner of the universe and all you precious Wrenlings who frequent it.

Thank you for caring to hang out here, for chatsing with me, for taking the time to interact and leave comments–I treasure every one of them and (confession) re-read my favorites when I need warm fuzzies or just because I want to.

Curious Wren would not be such a bright part of my life if it wasn’t for all of you and I want you to know that I am grateful, and so happy I know all of you. One of my favorite parts of life: how souls connect across miles, how paths cross and friendships are forged. It’s beautiful.

Thank you.

Great. Now I’m getting choked-up.



Now, methinks, a First Blog Birthday is call for some fantastical celebrations and lots of glitter and melty chocolate chip cookies and red balloon

There were so many ideas for this blog party percolating in the cranium. Clearly narrowing down options in life is not my strong point, but then:



(I know you’ve read about this in the title but, shhh, you have my permission to spazz anyway)


And not just any costume party, but a party where you get to pretend to be:

a) one of your favorite characters from book or film or whathaveyou.

b) one of your own characters–if you happen to be a writer/screenwriter/human-who-never-grew-out-of-LEGO-playing. (AKA: me.)

c) yourself. (but costumed-out in a glorious manner. if that is not already your normal state in life. unlike many of us mere mortals who are still learning to emulate the Elves.)

“Well, this all sounds lovely, Annie,” you say, “but moving on to important details… when does the party start? How does it work? Will there be chocolate. Do you have griffin rides? OR HOW ABOUT PRIZES?”

Since you asked.

• of course, there will be prizes. of a sort. basically it’s a sweet giveaway that I wish I could enter myself and, yes, participating in the party gets you extra points because the more people celebrating the merrier, right ho? obviously I’m giving away pet baby griffins as door prizes.

• alas, Willy Wonka’s famous invention has not yet come to fruition which means I can’t send chocolate straight to your screen, but feel free to bring your own. and ice cream because ice cream is the nectar of life.

• I will provide you all with a smallish list of questions to answer in whatever persona you choose for the party. said questions will begin when you “enter” through the door of Curious Wren and then proceed in a bit of a storylike way. but not. I am aware that is rather confusing. allll will be revealed in due time.

• griffin rides are a must. bring your dragons too.

Last, but not least, when does the party start?

*evil chuckling*

You know how on your birthday you get up and then you remember that you have to wait until evening and you get to cut the cake and eat the icecream and open the presents? And the anticipation just builds and builds until you feel like it has been about a thousand years before evening finally arrives?


I know.

I’m horrible.

In my defense, Curious Wren is my baby and it’s my baby’s first ever birthday so I want to draw out the enjoyment of that as long as I can.

The Curious Wren costume party will start tonight at 5:00 (roughly 7:00 a.m. for the Wrenlings down under.)

I will put up the party questions, the giveaway link, and the party playlist (yes, we get one of those!) at the end of this blog post at that time.

Aaand it’s 5 o’clock!

The party works as follows: I am going to be posting a question here every five-ish minutes. Feel free to answer them in the comments in real time or wait and collect them to answer on your own blog.

Who’s excited and ready to have a costume party?!


(check out the costume party playlist!)

The clock strikes. You see the front door of Curious Wren open and I stand on the threshold (smiling excitedly because PARTY + PEOPLE). You can just see over my shoulder into the hallway—there’s a ridiculous number of balloons, banners are strung all around, and twinkling lights twine up the railing of the spiral staircase at the end of the hall. I wave you on in and ask you to sign your name on the party attendance sheet. Who did you come as and why did you choose that character?

Each guest gets their own slow-mo entrance into the Curious Wren domicile, accompanied by an epic main theme: what is yours?

The front door shuts and a wonderful aroma of freshly-baked gingerbread wafts towards you from a three-step stairway on your right. You start to head in that direction and then remember that your shoes are still on: what are you wearing as your fabulous costume of the evening? Feel free to share pictures. (bonus question: did you bring a friend? Who?)

Up the stairs and into the main party room where other guests—resplendent in their own amazing costumes—are already milling about. There’s music and laughter and lots of Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and tables are piled high with trays of food that smells so delicious it should be outlawed—in fact, some of it isn’t even possible to find anywhere else on Earth—such as lembas bread. What are you going to decide to eat?

From out-of-doors the Curious Wren domicile looks like the usual size of a two-story house; but as you begin to explore all the tiny side staircases and take note of the many unexpected windows and hidden doors, you realize that Curious Wren House might just be bigger on the inside… and that each room changes depending on how you want it to look. What room(s) do you choose to spend most of your time in? (feel free to share photos)

It’s getting later in the evening and in some parts of Curious Wren House the activity starts to slow down. What entertainment would your character chose to enliven the birthday party? (if fireworks destroy my house, you pay for the damage. 😉

If your character was to get a call and you realize that you might have to leave the party abruptly, what would be a possible reason?

I bring out the cake and the ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, and you remember just in time that you brought a hostess gift. What is it? (unless, of course, your chosen character has the memory span of Dory the fish and you forgot a gift entirely).

It’s nearing on midnight and the time has come for everyone to take turns giving a grand farewell speech—still in character. What do you say? 

Alrighty, lovelies! Here is how the giveaway works: the winner is allowed to pick one of the following twelve books as their prize (because multiple choices are glorious) and depending on which one they chose, there may be an extra prize. *rubs hands together and cackles with excitement*

Giveaway is opened Internationally since all books are shipped from the Book Depository.


How can you enter?

1. Follow Curious Wren by email or WordPress account or on Bloglovin’ and then let me know about it in the comments. (this is mandatory and automatically gives you 5 entries in the giveaway. If you’re already following me, let me know in the comments.)

2. Participate in the Virtual Costume Party, either here in the comments or on your blog. (worth 2 entries.)

3. Share about the blog party on Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or what-have-you. (each mention is worth one entry–just let me know in the comments. Tweets only count if I am tagged by my handle: @annie_hawthorne).

4. Leave a comment letting me know what you already enjoy about Curious Wren and what you would like to see more of! (worth 3 entries.)

Go wild, Wrenlings!!!

(giveaway ends on September 23rd at midnight. One winner will be chosen.)

74 thoughts on “Curious Wren’s first birthday + a (virtual) costume party + a seriously epic giveaway // do alllllll the celebrating!

  1. SO EXCITED I CANNOT WAIT. What a WONDERFUL party idea! Congrats on your blog turning one–I have enjoyed all the ponderings, excitement, fresh perspective, and chocolate chips you have brought to cyber-space. :huggles: ❤

    This is seriously epic. O.o I am so happy. I have an evening event, but I will catch the beginning of the party, and if I get back in time, catch later as well.

    Now I have to decide between Jaeryn and Colby, and this is agonizing. O.o

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Colby is wearing a Captain America shirt and khaki shorts, and wonders if he should have worn something more formal instead. But that is his favorite, so he thought it would be suitable.

    :blushes for him:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scarlett would rather not choose to enliven the party. XD She would rather it wind down quietly, the perfect end to a dreamy evening. (Although she wouldn’t mind watching fireworks if she had a friend along. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alta Fallek sweeps in to Thomas Bergersen’s Invincible, in a blood red gown and a black cloak to keep out the night air. She is accompanied by three bodyguards and Tydeus Cerastes, who is dressed in black and silver. If she notices your polite greeting at all, she might give you a cold ‘Good time of night’. She will hand over her black cloak and order Tydeus to sign the list for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. She eyes the food distrustfully; she’s never considered American fare to be safe or worthy. However, as the meat looks passably satisfactory she will have Tydeus pick out the best of it and bring it to her with wine, if he can find such a thing.
    As she goes to seek a different room, she will look upon the people she passes with distaste in her eyes and hope that there will be something gained by coming to the party, as it is tasteless otherwise.
    She will occupy the room furthest from the merriment for as long as she can, and will likely have her guards take down the curtains so that if there is a moon, it will shine in. She also picks a room that has a skylight, so she can see what the sky is doing. There is a large chair in there, high-backed and stiff, and there she will stay, keeping any happy wanderers that come upon her away with an icy glance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m dressed as Spider-Gwen, of course. Because because because she’s the best thing ever. My epic main theme? Probably Iron Man 3 music. Annnd I brought Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) with me.
    IF I got a call, it would be from MY FATHER CAPTAIN STACY and it would be about some crime that I have to go fight. Fortunately, no crime. So I can stay and eat cake.
    I did bring a gift, but it wasn’t something that I bought special… I just… had an extra album of The Mary Janes music, so I brought that.
    My farewell speech? I don’t do farewell speeches. Just a mock salute as I pivot towards the door.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *bursts in through the door, fashionably late (well, maybe I over did a bit) as Nym from Storm Siren* Problems Up Here (Batman vs. Superman soundtrack) playing in the background. I draw lightning to the ground behind me. Shaking the house. “I came to say congrats on your first blogiversary. Sorry for arriving late. I was…busy.”


  8. *squeals of excitement and happiness* CONGRATS ON YOUR BLOG’s FIRST BIRTHDAY, Annie-sweet! ❤
    *scatters confetti and lots of happy cheer*
    *starts the Curious Wren playlist and squeals in delight* Okaydokey, this sounds like such fun! Oh, I know! I will come to you as Captain Thorne from "Cress"! My epic main theme? Hmm, "The Majestic Tale (of a Madman in a Box)" because you know he likes to be all cool, I think 😀

    Uhm, I am dressed in a smart navy suit, a white shirt, a light up bowtie (which I stole from a greedy businessman several weeks ago). All in all I am looking my particularly handsome self, with my darling Cress on my arm, of course! She's dressed in a cute little yellow dress that is simply stunning on her. My little lady is so pretty! We'll definitely steel the show at this party, 'okay? (picture link:


    Where is the center of the party happening? I think I'll be right where the music is and all the FOOD please, and hang around with everyone, talking all about my awesome spaceship and our mad adventures to escape the Lunar Queen. It's a tale worth bragging about! Then maybe I'll take my darling Cress for a little stroll through the house's many corridors, finally settling on a view by the window that maybe faces the horizon and we can talk till late with a few dear friends!


  9. Hold on, did you say Ice-creak and chocolate chip cookies? M-maybe I can wait just long enough to have some? Something MUST turn up, and Queen Levana won’t be able to use my spaceship. Iko will sabotage it someplace dangerous, and Levana will have no way to escape. I’ll dash off in a minute, but first, let’s give our hostess a gift, shall we, Cress? What did we get her? I can’t seem to remember anything. . .
    Ohhh! Hold on, shall we give our hostess some of those tomato cans we snuck in our pockets just in case there was no food at the party? (IT WAS WOLF’S IDEA BY THE WAY – I kept telling him no party would go without food, (especially one so wonderful as done by our lovely hostess), but he insisted so Scarlet forced us to go along with his crazy idea.) Would you like some?

    Ohhh! Cress says we must hurry! We mustn’t leave Iko by herself on the spaceship. *hands over a small package of tomato cans from my spaceship*
    *with a bow and a grand flourish of my arms*

    This has been a wonderful party, filled with all kinds of delights. Cress and I will never forget it, or your kindness, sweet hostess Annie! Thank you very much! FAREWELL!”


  10. Alta Fallek does not believe in livening the party or entertainment. However, for her own amusement, she goes to sit in the main room and take pleasure at the awkwardness or awe her presence creates.
    If she has to leave abruptly it is almost assuredly because Heaven Cassidae has been crowned or because there is an army marching against her borders. But she is rarely caught off her guard, so this is very unlikely to happen. Were she expecting anything, she would not have come. Cake and ice cream come, which she samples and rejects, but she pulls out a very large and intricately carved knife for you. Had she been displeased or threatened at the party she would have put it to other uses, but as she has not had a terrible time overall (no assassination attempts or the like) she gives it to you as a parting gift. When you say thank you, she ignores you. She does not want to stay any longer, so she gets up, and she says, “There has been little pleasure in your company tonight, and I am glad that we will part. I know not your stations nor your ambitions, nor do I care. Yet I say this: do not war with Fate, for you will only be defeated.” She smiles and adds, “For Fate favors some and not others.” She calls her escort (who are probably enjoying the ice cream and cake very much) and sweeps out as coldly as she came.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love everything about your blog, Annie-girl! ❤ You've done a fantabulous job with it over the past year, and I can only see it getting more wonderful and exciting and delightful by the year. Just keep doing what you've been doing! ❤ I LOVE EACH POST AND YOU! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make my heart glad, precious. ❤ Thank you so much! I can't believe it's been a whole year and how blessed I've been by this little spot and all my wonderful friends and just–*all the feels* Thank you for being so supportive, Joyishness. It means a great deal to me. 🙂 *hugs you tight*

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello again, Annie! 🙂

    Here are my entries for the giveaway:

    – Followed on Bloglovin’
    – Tweeted about the giveaway (here’s the link:
    – I think what you’re doing with Curious Wren is great! Though I don’t comment often, I love stopping in to see what books you’ve been reading or see your discussions about writing and life. 🙂

    Congratulations again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jameson! Your feedback is helpful muchly and I’m so happy to see you whenever you stop by. 🙂 And I totally understand the not commenting often thing. I am the worst at that. *cringe*


  13. Hooray! What a fun giveaway!

    1. I’m attending as historical personage/OUTREMER character Sibylla, Lady of Jerusalem. I shake back my drooping silken sleeve to write my name in the guestbook, along with a message–“Salve, O Regula Curiosa! Felix natus! Tu saxa!”

    2. I make my entrance to the epic theme “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. I don’t quite understand why my author believes this is an appropriate musical expression of my character. Like she imagines that I’m going to mess up pretty badly in my chosen life’s calling. Pffft. I’ll show her not to tangle with a woman of Melisende’s blood!

    3. Since this is a festal occasion, I’ve spared no expense in my costume. My bliaut is of richly figured silk damask bought at vast cost in the Acre market and stitched by Marta Bishara herself, complete with a long train of silver. On my head I wear a golden diadem covered by a net of woven gold, with a matching ornament around my neck. My escort for tonight is a handsome young knight from Poitou, Guy of Lusignan.

    4. H’mmm. Food that isn’t even available on Earth, you say? What an opportunity! First things first: I’ll have the ambrosia of Olympus; being made a goddess will be…useful. After that, I might sample the Narnian feast over there in the corner…it looks by far the most delicious.

    5. I hear you have the Mirror of Erised in a dark room in the West Wing? Show me the way…I’ll probably spend the whole party sitting in front of it while Guy brings me those little drinks with the parasols in, watching the visions get more and more grandiose…

    6. By the time Guy has brought me enough of those little parasols I may…just MAY…be willing to do impressions of famous people of my time, like Baldwin of Ramla when he found out I picked Guy to be my date to the party instead of him, or Hopeless Humphrey when he found out he had to marry my little sister. LOL. Priceless.

    7. If I have to leave the party, it’ll be because of an urgent call from my chamberlain. I left a note telling him to ring at nine and tell me little Baldwin has the croup or chickenpox or leprosy or something, and that I’m urgently needed back at home. I always prefer to have an exit strategy if I’m going to be attending a party.

    8. Ah yes! A gift. I did suggest just giving you a purse of gold bezants because I’m rubbish at thinking of presents for people but Guy insisted on stopping by Acre and getting you this super-sports Arabian mare. Useless if you’re planning to ride to battle, of course–not nearly big and strong enough to carry a man in full armour–but fast and durable for hunting in the desert. Also…he may have named her Popsy. Break a leg!

    9. I hate making speeches, so I’ll keep this one short. May heaven bless your ladyship and your ladyship’s kingdom in the year ahead. May you hoodwink all your enemies as brilliantly as…*ahem*…well, that would be telling. *mysterious smile* If you ever need any advice, call me! The women of my house have a hundred years’ experience in assassinating husbands, putting down uppity nobles, and running nunneries (don’t laugh, you’d be amazed if you knew the kind of thing that goes on in those places).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Aw, I’m sorry I missed the costume party… it looks so fun!

    Here are my entries:

    (1) I’m following your blog via email, and I have been for a while. 😉

    (2) I enjoy the warm and whimsical nature of your posts. I think this is just your personality bleeding through, which I love! ^_^ I’d really like to read more about your projects (they all sound so intriguing), and your writing process + progress, etc. 😀

    Congradulicitations on one year of blogging! (I just made up that word… it’s like “congratulations” but more enthusiastic. Just accept it. ;P)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, sadness. *gives you leftover cake of yumminess*

      1. Why, thank you, ma’am. *bows*

      2. ACK. This makes me happy and warm and sort of awkward-embarrassed all at once. You are the sweetest, girl! I try to be as real as possible as on-line, so thank you for this, Brianna. ^_^ Yes, definitely, I will for sure share more about my projects. It’ll be so fun. 😀

      I approve of this word. Highly. Go, Bri. *high-fives*


  15. -I follow through email 🙂
    -I did the character interview (and one of the answers didn’t go through, but Scarlett would give you a gorgeous silver necklace.)
    -I shared this on Google+
    -My favorite part of the blog is YOU. You bring so much sunshine to it. (And I love your chocolate chips too.) I’d love seeing movie reviews, and I always love life updates with pictures. 🙂


  16. Colby absolutely loves exploring. He wanders past the grand spiral staircase and down the long hall. Opening a random door, he’s delighted to find himself in a room with ping-pong and various other table sports. Since he’s quite good at them, and finds them loads of fun, he irresistibly entreats one of the other party guests (while steering clear of Alta Fallek’s guards) to come and have a game with him. This is bliss.

    The evening is winding down? Oh no! It’s too early for that! Colby goes to the room where most of the people are gathered chatting together, and persuades them to try “one more” group game before they leave, which quickly turns into a heated competition, followed by another game and another.

    It will take a lot to make Colby abruptly leave any party, but he might be persuaded to drop everything and run back home if he got a call from his best friend saying he had just gotten engaged. That would make Colby very excited, and he’s apt to forget things and head to whatever the source of excitement is.

    Colby absolutely brought you a gift, because he got two reminders to bring something as he was going out the door. After some thought, he decided to get you something he loves very much in hopes you’ll like it too: a stack of Marvel movies.

    Colby hasn’t ever had a necessity to give a speech in his life, but though he’s not eloquent, he tells you “Happy Birthday! It was a terrific party.” If you want a hug, he’d be more than happy to give you one, otherwise he’ll shake hands. He quite enjoyed himself, and he wants to come back to this happy place again sometime. 🙂


  17. 1. I follow by email!
    2. And I participated in the costume party (SUCH fun!)
    3. Shared on social media:

    Google + (and tagged you)


    Twitter (and tagged you)

    4. I LOVE the monthly recaps with what you’ve been reading/doing/blogging and all the little glimpses into your life and personality. This is a happy place! I second CG, I’d love seeing some movie reviews–that would be super fun! 😀 And I’d also love seeing some writing how-to articles or even articles from a reader perspective on techniques/characters you love/hate and how you’d like to see them done. Or elements you’d like to see more of in new book releases. That would be fun!


  18. I can’t believe I forgot to wish you happy blogoversary! *sprinkles golden confetti around*
    I’d love the Steal Like An Artist Journal — it looks so great.
    -I’ve followed you via WordPress!
    -I guess it’s too late to join the costume party? D= It looks like it was super fun, though!
    -I honestly love everything about Curious Wren! I love your sense of humor, I especially love your beautiful musing posts — also I love all your discussions of books. It adds to my TBR. *noddles* I would love to see more of your musing-esque posts — they’re very beautiful and refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I follow you!

    What I love about Curious Wren is the rambling, real sorts of posts you write. It is a lot more like sitting down with you over a cuppa and catching up on life and what’s important. And your book recommendations. You’ve always got a diverse and interesting TBR, and I love pulling books out of it and trying something new.

    For what I’d like to see? I don’t really know. If anything, I would just love to see more of it!


  20. A costume party is such a cute idea! I guess I’m a bit late, but I enjoyed reading through the party anyway 😊

    – I have followed your WordPress!
    – I would probably have dressed as Sarah Andersen from her Sarah’s Scribbles comics because it’s super easy (lazy), and I can rock the dark under-eye circles.
    – My theme music would probably be Sloop John B by the Beach Boys in keeping with the introverted nature of my character (just let me go home, yeah yeah 🎵)
    – Sarah’s trademark bunny bestie has come with me (
    – I have a very strict “only pizza” diet
    – Anywhere with a big comfy sofa and a book will do. The more confined the space, the cozier I am.
    – I’m an “eat to party” kind of gal
    – My plants need me, sorry
    – I love buying presents, so please accept the virtual fuzzy socks that are striped to match my costume.
    – As Sarah Andersen is an introvert (and I am, too) it would probably be more likely that we would manage to sneak out unseen, or manage to stammer something awkwardly while backing away. It’s nothing personal, I’m just socially awkward!

    Thanks for the fun and games! And Happy Blog Birthday. 🍬 🍬 🍬


  21. Already following on Bloglovin! ^.^

    AND GOOD GRACIOUS IT’S ALREADY BEEN A YEAR?! Happy blog birthday! 😀 Seems like it was just a few weeks ago when you had your launch blog tour. o.O

    I love allll of your bookish posts! They’re so fun and give me great recommendations. 😀



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