October 28, 2017

Hi all!! I'm back from my semi-hiatus, and I'm glad to announce that even though I wasn't as active as I usually am, I still kept up with all your posts!! Like, even when we were at the airport the day of our move (it was a Saturday) I was scrolling through my inbox and was like, "why are there no notifications!? It's SATURDAY!" and then I realised, "oh yeah, it's like 5 am". *rolls eyes* Anyway! In honor of our move, I'm writing a post about how to survive such a big project. No, cross that out. No one can survive unscathed. Let's say rather, how to make survival less daunting. So now, let's begin --

Those of you who love making lists can rejoice now! :) Because listing all the ideas, random concerns, plus making your own catalogues can save you so. much. pain. List what you need to keep, what you need to throw out, who you need to visit, what you have to do every day, all the last minute items you need to take care of. Write down your concerns -- e.g. keep a panic pad near you where, whenever you worry you'll forget something like the nails in the walls, you jot it down. You need those reminders. Create checklists. Keep a record of every box and suitcase and what's in it and how much they weigh and even number them! Someday in the future when you aren't sure where you put your nail clippers you'll be grateful. This makes unpacking infinitely easier ... and you'll be so much more organised.

This is key. You imagine you need only three boxes to pack your things? Wrong. You need six. You think you can get it all done in two weeks? Hahahaha. You need four, weeks, my friend. If you value your sanity that is. And sanity is important, because if you lose it chances are you'll start fighting with someone else and that just doesn't help. So, what ever you think  you estimate correctly ... you need to double that number. Like, you are sure the whole move will be over in one month. Excuse me, may I remind you there's this thing called settling in??? Which will definitely take a month on its own. So there.

You need to clean your house before you leave, don't you? Even the tops of the doors?? Yes? No worries; blast some fast, energetic music through your headphones, and you'll literally dance through every chore. In fact,  I highly recommend this for regular work/chores as well. Music inspires you. It'll make you want to move, and in this case you need to move -- as you dust, and mop, and vacuum (ok so don't blow your eardrums if you try to listen to something while vacuuming). And then when you are done and are exhausted from your exercising spree ... change the music to something calm and relaxing. :)

This doesn't mean not thinking about what you'll wear during your move and therefore not packing any clean shirts for yourself!! Nah. It means enjoying your old place to the very last minute while you're still there. Don't dream about your future home like it will be fairy island. IT WON"T BE. You'll still encounter problems -- probably one for every thing you left behind (or were running away from in the first place, hahahaha). But. If you learn to breathe in the now and love it you'll be good. You'll be able to say you lived every minute of your last days (in your old town) to the fullest and you have #noregrets.

Chances are half of your last week will be taken up with visiting. Sometimes people you never went to see before will have you over. It's true. SO LEAVE SPACE ON YOUR SCHEDULE FOR THIS. And hey, it's okay to take a break to see all your friends. Even multiple times over the last few days. Because you won't see them for a while anymore. And before you start thinking all this visiting/having people over is a another chore -- it isn't. It's a pleasure, because most likely these awesome friends are the one of the biggest reasons you WERE ABLE TO MAKE IT. Another important note: DO NOT PACK AWAY ALL YOUR THANK YOU CARDS. You'll need them and regret, like I did, that you don't have them.

People ask, "do you miss this place?" as if you shouldn't. As if it's a sad thing. And huh, yes, of course it's a sad thing! It hurts to leave people and places and things behind. But it's actually a good thing to miss them! It means you had a good experience there; that they meant  a lot to you; that you loved them. And people missing you? And wanting to chain you forever with irons in a dungeon twenty feet underground? THEY LOVED YOU TOO. You were good to them. You were their friend. You left a mark. (just make sure you escape while they aren't looking, ok?)

So randomly: DID YOU MISS ME???

Like did I actually need my first grade spelling tests to survive? NO. Big surprise, right? did I miss them? Yes (haha, okay, not really). But stuff you think you should keep -- chances are you're being overly sentimental and YOU SHOULD JUST THROW THEM AWAY. Even some of the important things -- like my laptop broke down during the last few days at our old place and did I die with it? (Almost) NO I DIDN'T. (For the record it's still broken and I can't fix it, so ...) HEY I LEARNED SOMETHING. My life doesn't depend on my computer (nah, it depends on wifi ... just kidding). 

As I said before IT'S OKAY TO RELAX TOO. You don't have a bed anymore? Well LIE ON THE FLOOR, right? Like maybe you feel bad you aren't spending twelve hours of your last day cleaning the windows (!!!),but you have to take care of yourself when you can  because chances are that on your moving day you won't even have breakfast! You need your energy. You'll do better after a break. So this is why I just want to say a huge THANKS to all of you who told me in my last recap post to take some time off to relax amid my busy life :)

Anyone ever feel like writing journal entries takes too long when your days are activity packed dawn till dusk (and when you actually promised friends you'd finish your novel that month too?)? (This is probably because you're also recording the color of everyone's shoes too but shh.) So DON'T WRITE THEN. TALK >> it's easier. It's faster. You can actually do it while working!! (Like cutting vegetables, not vacuuming). Just use the voice recorder on your phone (or if you don't have a phone borrow someone else's or buy a recorder). You can always transcribe later. SEE? PROBLEM SOLVED. Also you might actually learn to speak without sounding awkward ...

Chances are you'll feel a stab of regret when leaving. When you meet randomly awesome people; when you realise that some acquaintances whom you finally invited over could have been such amazing friends. Ouch. When you realised you missed going to some of those great places and seeing those sights in your town. When you discover you've been hoarding junk for three years which was useless. It's a lesson for the next time. Live like you'll leave tomorrow. Go see those people. Sort your things regularly. Don't stay cooped up indoors. Make the most of where you are while you are there.

I hope that post wasn't too monstrous but hey -- I AM SO HAPPY TO BE BACK. I missed blogging! Hopefully I'll get back on schedule soon. This break allowed me to plan every single one of my posts until January!! But. I doubt I'll stick to plans because I get new ideas all the time!! 


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October 25, 2017

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1. What do you do to get yourself in the story?

Nothing. I just pick up my pen ... and WRITE. Two or three pages later I'll have "gotten in" to my story.

2. Do you do anything extra - art, covers, character journals, glossaries, playlists, etc. to help you with your story?

Yeah, actually I do! I draw my characters, hand design my covers, write "casts of characters" where I describe them ... I write plot charts and maps and lists and tables of contents.

3. What is your writing process?

1. Let the story idea simmer in my mind for a looong time (this is the easiest part);

2. Dump all that I know (basically 10%) onto paper in random scenes, plot charts, and quotes (the rather exciting part);
3. Plot and plan all I don't know (usually 90% of the story -- this is the painful part);
4. Actually write everything down (I usually have only 25% figured when I begin doing this, and just wing it for the 75%).

I do not recommend my process xD

4. Anything you learned about yourself or your writing that you would like to share?

In this case I've learned that a) I am lazy and a procrastinator and possess only a tenth of the endurance and determination I think I have, but also b) THAT I DO HAVE THE POWER IN ME TO KEEP PUSHING. TO KEEP RUNNING. Even when it hurts.

5. What keeps you going when you start to worry you’ll never finish?

You guys. My family. My friends. God. I keep going because I PROMISED THIS TO OTHERS. Because YOU GUYS INSPIRE ME TO NO END. Because I need this practise. Because out of my hard work someday God will bring forth gold. Because he gave me this gift and WRITING IS THE PRACTISE I NEED -- IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO CULTIVATE MY TALENT.

6. What inspired you to start writing, and how long have you been at it?

My mom once called my sister "broccoli queen" and that was enough. I have been working on this for 7 months.

7. What author is your writing style similar to?

I haven't written enough to know. But. Who do I want to write like? Laini Taylor. Maggie Stiefvater. Rainbow Rowell. Tui T. Sutherland. Cordelia Funke.

8. What writing goals do you set, and how do you reward yourself for meeting them?

I haven't ever rewarded myself? Yet? But maybe I'll get myself a book once I'm done xD I set impossible goals like "I WILL BE FINISHED BEFORE NOVEMBER". *peers around to make sure no one important is listening* yeah :P

9. What does a regular writing day look like for you?

You don't want to know and I don't want to tell. Enough said. (Basically I do everything else and when I get bored I churn out 1 - 2 K.

10. How many ideas do you currently have saved on your computer/flash drive?

Not sure about my computer, but last I counted I had 26 ideas collectively. Since then one or two more may have popped up. So yes. My life's work is all set before me xD


Don't forget to go say hi to the rest of my gang *points below* THEY WILL HAVE AMAZING THINGS UP. like usual. BUT STILL.

Till I return -- stay alive .... *ahem* I mean, don't let the impending doom which is NaNoWriMo kill you. XD

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October 18, 2017

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Sooo... today you get to meet the setting, the world in which this story takes place. It's... quite peculiar. So let's dive in!

1. Name a unique aspect of your story world.

Well ... there are these huge trees that people live inside. So that's pretty unique xD They also live in the ground like Hobbits. And the people have the amazing ability to run/climb/swing through trees. Somewhat like Tarzn. Or Mowgli.

2. Talk about one of the important animals in the story (someone's pet or horse; or a fierce animal the MC must defeat).

So far there have been snakes, wolves, birds... maybe there will be horses? I'm trying to balance my enemy/dangerous animals and my friendly/dangerous animals. I'm also trying to figure if I have time to make them bird riders! But I would have to play around with my size charts then, I guess :P

3. A paragraph describing something in your storyworld (building, landmark, etc.).

Don't ask. But since you did ... there's this palace. Which is a huuuuge tree. But also with other structure around. So a lot of it is Broccoli made/altered but it still looks like a tree. A broccoli, in fact. It's green, and inside all the stairs spiral up and the building is built circular rather than square. :P I should draw you guys a picture. This is a shameful description but I'm feeling lazy right now...

4. Something dangerous in your storyworld.

I can't think of anything dangerous per se... like specifically uniquebto my world? Obviously the animals, the natural hazards ... they are all dangerous. So far the most damaging danger were wolves who really ripped someone up (not to death though xD).

5. Something delightful in your storyworld.

Their parties are quite surreal. Their feasts and music and dancing haha. And the palace ... because they are all so close and organized and like family there. ^-^

6. A movie soundtrack that would complement the setting.

Whaaa...??? Okay, confession. I don't listen to /that/ many soundtracks. But I guess I ciuld basically do anything with LotR :P

7. How does the geography impact the story?

My world is mostly forested with some hills and grass plains but mostly forested. As I explained before a lot happens up there in the trees ... running from branch to branch and swinging on vines and climbing like a squirrel ;)

8. Is there a particular location or time period your story you had in mind when creating your storyworld?

Nope. Purely from my head. But. I do give credit to some fictional worlds for inspiration. Mostly from C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, Tui T. Sutherland, Cordelia Funke, and movies like Epic and The Jungle Book xD

9. What is the climate like, and does it play a role in the story?

Well it's all fairly moderate. Nothing shocking. Sunshine spand rain. So obviously bad weather does apply pressure and problems, but no sandstorms, tsunamis, or earthquakes, so don't worry.

10. Are there any traditions, and do they have an effect upon the plot?

Ha the whole plot revolves around their tradition of choosing a queen. They do this every 100 years. And the queens change every 100 years. So in the 95th year of their current queen, she hosts some kind of quest/game/twst during which she looks for a girl between 12 and 16 to be her heir. The game has it's own rulesbut we will skip that. When she has found her heir, the heir goes into training under the queen for 5 years. After which, in the 100th year of the queen, she retires and her heir takes over.

I'm glad you are still with me and glad you were entertained. :) I'm still on hiatus but feel free to tell me your thoughts! By this time I should be three quarters done witn Broccoli Queen so feel free to interrogate me on my progress xD also, don't forget to check these awesome bloggers below! Tally ho!

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October 11, 2017

Welcome to part 2 of the 4-Part Writing Special! It's the characters edition! Hope you have fun hearing all about my creations xD

1. Who is the main character?  (Bonus points for a description or picture)

I actually have four MCs. Bree is a well trained capable kid who is also a tad spoiled because she's from a well to do family. Jade is a little girl -- rather cute and innocent and all around a sunshiny person. Dell is kinda a young calculating serious teen-in-training to be a warrior. And Rhine is fun and reckless and quick tempered and impulsive :P they all have the similar super curly green hair. Bree is practical in dress; Jade has a girl's touch; Dell is warrior like; and Rhine is just shabby.

2. What is goal of the protagonist?  The antagonist?  (no spoilers!)

They all want the throne mwahahahahaaa....

3. Is there a possession or memory the MC keeps close?

Hmm, good one... tricky. I'd say Bree keeps close memories of her grandfather and all he taught her about woodland survival. Jade keeps all the little memories she picks up along the way :) Dell would keep her badge plus her sword. And Rhine holds on to her shoes and her money :P

4. What is the MCs greatest fear?

Well ... Bree is afraid she'll fail her family's expectations. Dell is afraid of never being great enough :P Jade is generally scared of spiders and the dark. And Rhine is just afraid of going to jail... haha. XD

5. Who is your favorite character?

I'm super fond of them all, but... I do have a favorite. It's Rider. He's twenty-ish, strong, silent, serious and HE JUST HAPPENS TO BE BALD (which for Broccolis is super super weird) :P

6. List some of the more prominent characters, and then provide a line that describes them (from your WIP).

I'm just going to cheat here and not actually quote myself but just give you something from my memory okay?

Ria // the queen. It wasn't her face that was particularly beautiful, but she carried herself with such grace -- one might say it was her spirit that was lovely.

Kayle // second-in-command. She narrowed her eyes. "My job is to get things done."

Vale // He watched her everyday ... and everyday he nudged her a little more in the right direction.

Kat // "Kat, you incompetent henchman!" exclaimed Rhine, "why am I babysitting you?"

Rider // She locked her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist and laughed as he ran through the trees.

Alyss // "There's a good reason I was picked to watch you," she whispered. 

7. Who is the funniest character? Smartest character? Creepiest character? Most reckless character? Quirkiest character?

Hmm... so far Rhine really makes me laugh :D then there's this wizard's apprentice person (though I'm not sure I'll even keep the wizard in the story) named Raniven and he totally cracks me up. Technically Ria is the wisest... and Vale is the most knowledgeable ... so I guess maybe Dell would be the smartest?  Rhine is totally the most reckless obviously xD and the quirkiest? Raniven? Maybe?

8. How do you come up with names?

Ha. I just think them up. Like that *snaps fingers* and if they don't come I just rack my brain and say various weird sounds in a row. Like, "Bob, Gob, Job, Hob, Nob..." come to think of it, Nob is pretty good... See? It works! 

9. What is the Meyer’s Brigg type of your MC? (Bonus points for side characters!)

I'm going to skip this one because even though I have them all written somewhere I don't have that list anywhere in convenient vicinity.

10. Are any characters influenced by someone in your life?

Of course. Sisters, mostly. And there maybe those little quirks or qualities, but O doubt I could pinpoint everyone I subconsciously draw on :D

Once more -- here's everyone else participating! Comment below and tell me about your characters xD And look forward to next week, when this q + a continues! Till then, yours truly <333

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October 04, 2017

Well well -- this is Lisa writing to you from the past. At the current moment I am probably either a) scrambling around doing last minute preparations for the move, or b) sitting back and watching other people scrambling around doing last minute preparations for the move. So as not to desert Inkwell for a full month I will be posting prewritten posts every Wednesday. All in collaboration with Julian + other friends doing her 4 part shared wip tag. It's basically ten questions every week for participants to answer about their writing!

Let's get started!

What is the title, genre and current status of your WIP?

Title: Broccoli Queen
Genre: Fantasy (MG/YA)
Status: 22 k

What do you think makes your story unique?

The people and the world. They aren't exactly "humans". They are a "race" called "Broccolis". Basically they have green hair and green eyes and they are woodlanders who are as good as monkeys in tree climbing and vine swinging and the like. Or like Mowgli. Or Tarzan. xD I also think the world is pretty unique and I love how it works. Broccolis live about 150 years and they have one queen for a 100 years and choose the next one in the 95th year of their current queen. And the queen doesn't get married or have children but finds her heir from among her people.

Where did the title come from?

The title was the first to come. My mom once called my sister "broccoli queen" and BOOM. That was inspiration and I knew I had the seed of a story.

How long have you been working on your WIP?

I got the idea in the spring (2017) and worked on it in my head until I seriously started writing in July during Nano.

What do you think people will enjoy most about your WIP?

I hope they will enjoy my different characters and their differences/personalities. I also want them to be intrigued and gripped by my plot. And for those who pay attention, I hope they will love my writing style. But that is a matter of personal taste.

Provide a snippet (long or brief) of a favorite scene.

"Where do we find her?"

The girl glared a cutely fierce glare. "I'm not telling you."


She shook her head angrily.

"Listen -- it's going to storm soon. What would you if you were caught and tied up and made to sit through it -- cold, tired, and wet?"

The girl just stared.

"You won't get anywhere if you don't tell me."

No answer.

"I'll let you go if you talk."

A smirk.

"Well? I'll pull your hair and tie you upside down from a tree!"

The only response received was a snort of a laugh.

Bree stomped forward and glowered. "Tell me!" As she flung her arms out in exasperation, her hand happened to swipe through a spider's line just above the other girl's head.

The spider dropped suddenly into the girl's lap.
They both looked down for the moment, and Bree saw a look of frozen horror cross the girl's face. She wasn't particularly surprised; the creature, though harmless, had a body as large as her thumb.

The girl's eyes grew wide and a nasty thought crossed Bree's mind. "Oh, you don't like it, do you?"

Bree picked the fat spider and dangled it in front of the childd's face while her brain scrambled to figure out how Blue was able to keep the rest of the girl's occupied for so long.

"I'll drop this down your shirt if you don't squeal." That sounded pretty terrible.
The girl frowned. "You wouldn't."

"I would."

She paused.

"One," Bree held the spider behind the girl's head.

"Two," she yanked the neck of the girl's shirt.

"Three." The girl stiffened.

And with a sickening feeling, she dropped the bug in.

Describe your WIP in 10 separate short phrases.

Ooh, I like this one.

four competitors, one winner // benevolent queen // unexpected tests // surprise kidnapping // intriguing plots // threat to the crown // secret guardians // running through the trees // flying with the birds // dancing in the rain

(not entirely sure if all this will be applicable later, but it's fine for now xD)

What is the hardest thing to write with this story? What is the easiest?

Personally, I find plotting hard. Not because the story doesn't come to me, but because I don't like sitting down and deciding on things. I have it all vaguely and nicely in images and scenes in my head but to actually think up the details = unwanted work. Also sitting down and getting all those ideas into actual words = pain. But I'm getting into it. I think I'll like editing so much better, but we will see. At the same time, plotting is so much easier than writing because I don't need proper sentences just short jot notes and phrases. But one the other hand writing is easy because I don't have to think up what will happen but just follow those notes! Hmm... I'll say the past and future were/are easy, but the future is. HARD.

A line where the tension builds.

Rhine was running down the muddy path, feeling the rain pelt her face and hearing her steps squish the ground. Her legs ached and she was exhausted. She was soaked to the skin and her clothes were all torn.

She reached the cabin and threw the door open. She saw nothing - it was all darkness and she scrambled around.

"Hello?" she called. Nothing.

She moved around looking for the light. Her hands clattered over the table and the mantlepiece and finally found the flint and the candle.

She lighted it.

Then she gasped and nearly dropped the light in her shock.

She saw clothes on the floor - a torn dress - and blood. So much blood.

She put the candle down and bent over the dress.

It was [spoiler]'s.

Explain the plot in one line.

Braving various unexpected tests, challenges, plots, and danger four girls compete for place as queen's heir.

I literally had that down in thirty seconds. GO ME! My summary skills are improving.

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These are the other awesome bloggers participating in the 4-Part Writing Special. I highly recommend you check them out!

I know I'm on hiatus but still -- I'd love to hear your thoughts! Reactions, questions, predictions, ideas, whatever! Hope youhad fun. Look out for Part 2 next week! Till then,

Ink well.
<333, Lisa

© Lisa Elis 2017-2019. All text mine unless otherwise credited. Please do not steal. Thank you.