Sunday, 9 August 2015

Constituents of a Writing Space

1. Music.
2. Christmas lights.
3. Snuggly sweaters.
4. Fleece blankets.
5. Charged computer.
6. Back support.

What are yours?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

for the love of literature

***I filled this out over a year ago and forgot to post it.***


I found this post on miss Arda Nessimava's blog post, "an awful lot of bookish questions"... (check our her answers - they're genius!)

Here are my answers... (though not so hilarious or brilliant)

1.  Your favourite book as a child?  The Chronicles of Narnia... read to me when I was nine years old... forever since been my inspiration.

2.  What are you reading right now? 1984 for educational purposes. I was feeling inferior because I'd only read 21 of the BBC list of 100 books that supposedly most people have not read (but should read).

3.  What books do you have on request at the library?  
Zero, because I'm not sure how to request books. (lame, I know)

4.  Bad book habit.  
Feeling nervous that something awful is going to happen to the main characters, and glancing down at the bottom right-hand corner of the page just to make sure everyone is going to be okay. I just can't handle the suspense... pretty sure it's not healthy!

5.  What do you currently have checked out from your library?  
1984 and The Secret of Annexe 3.

6.  Do you have an e-reader?  Um, does the iBooks feature on my old iPod count?

7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or do you tend to read several at once?  
I used to enjoy reading several at once (like when I was reading all the original Nancy Drew books, checked out 3 at a time, and was known to read 1 chapter of each, then the 2nd chapter of each, etc. It only lasted for about 3 chapters until I became confused...). Now I tend to stick with one at a time. 

8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?  
No, no, I don't think so.

9.  What was your least favourite book this year? (I'm counting this school year, including Summer 2013) Least favourite, huh? I can't even remember what I've read so far. Let me consult my list...  The Sea of Trolls. I don't like to be mean to books, but I really didn't enjoy that book...

10.  What was your FAVOURITE book this year?  
I can't just pick one! Of the school year, probably The Gideon Trilogy, followed by The Leviathan Trilogy. Of 2014, Incarceron. (Actually, I can't remember if that was 2014 or not. Oops.)

11.  How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Not often. I don't take risks, thanks.

12.  What is your reading comfort zone?  Action/Adventure, Steampunk, a little bit of historical fiction, classics. 
13.  Can you read in the car?  
Sadly, no. I used to be able to, when I was young ("and unafraid...and dreams were made and used and wasted..."), but no longer.
14.  Where is your favourite place to read?  
In my bedroom or hiding in the guest bedroom downstairs. 

15.  What is your policy on book-lending?  
The book should return to me looking exactly the way I loaned it to you... 

16.  Do you ever dog-ear in books?  
I used to, when I was young and foolish. (I still am young and foolish, but I think I'm improving! At least, I hope so!)

17.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?  Only my Bible. 

18.  What about text books? No! That would lower the resale value!

19.  What is your favourite language to read in?  Seeing as I am not bilingual, English.

20.  What makes you love a book? 
Adorable characters that become either my best friends or my dream guy, that I can't help but gush over to my mom, whose lives entwine with mine so hard that I'm not a whole person until I finish reading the book.
21.  What would inspire you to recommend a book?  I must love it with few reservations.

22.  What is your favourite genre?  In the past it has probably been historical fiction, action/adventure, or fantasy, but I'm into steampunk now (though it's hardish to find appropriate steampunk novels sometimes).

23.  What is a genre you rarely read but wish that you did?  Biographies. I need to venture into the non-fictions section... #maybesomeday

24.  Favourite biography?  See #23. But I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love Fatal Purity once I get a chance to read it.

25.  Have you ever read a self-help book?  
Are there self-help books on how to read self-help books without getting bored?

26.  Favourite cookbook?  Are there cookbooks that tell you how to microwave food?

27.  What is the most inspirational book you have read this year?  Not sure, and I'm to tired to consult The List.

28.  Favourite reading snack?  Anything. Well, anything that I would normally eat. Preferably not to messy though.

29.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. Ummm.. not sure actually.
30.  How often do you agree with critics about a book?  I dunno. I don't really read reviews (except Amazon reviews).

31.  How do you feel about giving negative reviews?  
I get upset when people bash the books I love. :(

32.  If you could read a foreign language, which would you choose?  French! #lesmis

33.  What was the most intimidating book you've ever read?  Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

34.  What is the most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin? 
The Count of Monte Cristo, also by our dear friend Victor H.

35.  Who is your favourite poet?  I don't read poetry of my own free will.

36.  On average, how many books do you have checked out of the library at any given time?  3

37.  How often do you return books to the library unread?  30-50%, sadly.

38.  Who are your favourite fictional characters?  Ummm... Sir Percy (SP) Sydney Carton (ATOTC...and my hero) Gideon Seymour (Gideon Trilogy), Petroc from Tales of Karensa, Jared & Kiero (Incarceron), Alex (Alex Rider series), Yassen G. (Russian Roulette)... *glancing around at bookshelves* Michael Henshaw (Mayor of Casterbridge... what a heartbreaking guy... *sniffle* and sometimes you just wanna smack him upside the head and tell him to get his act together... *cries*), King Tirian (Narnia), Boromir, Faramir, Frodo & Sam (LotR)... erm... I think that's all for now.

39.  Who is your favourite fictional villain?  Um...

40.  What are the books you are most likely to take on vacation?  An old friend I haven't read in ages, or a new book I've bought (or been given) that I haven't had time for.

41.  What is the longest you have gone without reading?  Probably 6 months to possibly a year (terrible, I know. I was in a very illiterate place for a while, before a library rekindled my love of books and caused me to check out 6+ books at a time).

42.  Name a book that you could not or would not finish.  The Inkheart Trilogy. When you're 12, some of the words in the book are traumatizing.

43.  What distracts you easily when you're reading?  People talking. 

44.  What is your favourite film adaptation of a novel?  Lord of the RingsA Tale of Two CitiesThe Chronicles of Narnia, and the Horatio Hornblower series.

45.  What is the most disappointing film adaptation?  I might say The Hobbit if I wasn't frightened of the picketing that would occur if I said so.
46.  What is the most money you have spent in a bookstore at one go?  
Ermph... maybe $12. 

47.  How often do you skim a book before reading it?  I just read half of the cover synopsis.

48.  What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?  Muchos inappropriateness, muchos swear words, boringness, and exceptionally anti-Christian views.

49.  Do you like to keep your books organized?  Somewhat.

50.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you're done with them?  If I loved them, I keep them. If I don't, they are either sold or donated.

51.  Are there any books you've been avoiding?  Überly popular novels/series/books/things.

52.  Name a book that made you angry.  Sapphique because *SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER* Jared and Claudia didn't end up together! WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY... it hurts... :(

53.  A book you didn't expect to like, but did?  Cry, the Beloved Country. What a beautiful and unique story. And The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen. I was prejudiced against that book because it had won an award (and somehow whenever I tried to read books with golden and silver awards stuck on their covers, I always found them boring). But my dad thought it looked interesting, so I started reading it for his sake, and then completely loved it. My mom read it too!

54.  How about a book you expected to like, but didn't?  Hmmm. Ummm... I have to think about this one.

55.  Favourite guilt-free pleasure reading?  Guilt-free, huh? Is it natural to feel guilty about reading? Well, any of my well-loved favorites, really. Narnia, LotR, etc. 

Whew!!! This quiz was very fun, but an epic in itself! Time for bed now...


Sunday, 1 February 2015


I was tagged by the wonderful Erin Kenobi of The Upstairs Archives!

The Authorly Bucket List Tag - list 3-7 things you are not good at, and 3-7 things you'd like to try.

Things I'm Not Very Good At
1. Guy characters who are manly. For some reason I want to make all my guy characters adorable, sensitive, cuddly, and sweet-tempered. Oh, and did I mention my guy characters are also terribly romantic? Definitely the flowers-and-homemade-cards-and-handwritten-love-letters type.

2. Culture. I take a lot of inspiration from the 1800's and medieval times for my writings, but I want to be able to create entire cultures, societies, and worlds with my words. I want my readers to feel like they are in an entirely different place that only hints of what they know... not a cardboard copy of, for example, medieval England with a magician and a couple dragons thrown in.

3. Fighting/battle scenes. I take a lot of what I know from movies, but I think I could improve. Maybe I could actually... research. DUNDUNDUN...

Things I Want To Try
1. Steampunk. I kind of adore this genre; it's my latest obsession. I'd love to write in this genre - my only fear is that its elements are too technical for me. I mean, I'd have to describe (and invent) mechanical contraptions!

2. Fanfiction. I love reading fanfic, and I feel that there is just not enough decent fanfic out there! My favorite fandoms is Once Upon A Time. I have written a fluff fanfic for Rumbelle, but I'd like to write a deeper one!

3. I'm genuinely stumped right now. Um... how about another children's book. I have quite a few ideas, but I haven't touched them in years.

I'm feeling the minimalism tonight, so I'm going to stop at 6. :)

I tag my fellow author (and fellow Kara)... at Saved By Grace and anyone else who feels inclined to "tag" along! ;)

-- Klara S.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Top 2 Worst Clichés

Ok, so I know it's pretty much impossible to be entirely original. After all, the wisest man who ever lived (besides Jesus) said, "...there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecc 1:9) But please, I beg of you, my fellow writers... avoid the cliches of writing. Avoid the easy descriptions and the already-written plot twists and storylines. Be yourself. Write something new.

And in conjunction with this plea, I will now share with you my rant... The top 2 worst clichés (in my humble and probably unwanted opinion :D). (Btw, a cliché is "a phrase or opinion [or in this case a storyline / idea] that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought". Source)

Cliché #1 - Main Character has a happy, normal life. Then he/she discovers he or she is adopted. His or her entire world is turned upside-down, and he or she goes on a search to find his or her "real" parents.
*facepalm* So, there is a time and place for this cliché, but whenever I see it used, it always hits rather close to home. I'm adopted, and I believe that my adoptive parents, who have raised me for nearly all of my life, ARE my "real" parents. My biological parents, though I do not know them, are and always will be very special to me, and I love them. But simply because my adoptive mom didn't give birth to me does not make my mom not "real". If you decide to use the Adoption Cliché, I would request that you please be very careful about how you use the word "real".

Cliché #2 - MC (in this example, a girl, cuz I'm getting tired of saying he or she) meets a cute guy. Then a pretty girl runs up and hugs or kisses the cute guy, and the MC becomes sad and dejected. When she finally confronts the cute guy, he reveals that the beautiful girl is his sister.
I don't really have anything personal against this cliché, only that it's a cliché - maybe it's just my choice of books, but the last two books I read BOTH had this cliché. Basically I'm suspicious now whenever a pretty girl comes along. I'm like, "She's his sister, right?"

Anyway, there's my mini-rant. :) What are your least-favorite clichés?

-- Klara S.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Feeling a Wee Bit Accomplished

Each tab represents an accomplishment.

Not a huge accomplishment. 

Just a little one. 

Let me explain. 

Today I was visiting some of my old book friends and felt the urge to type up some handwritten story scenes. (Yes, I do handwrite a fair portion of my stories, depending on the book.) My story excerpts share the same notebook as my personal journal, book ideas, and miscellaneous notes, so it can be quite a chore to find the scenes when it's actually time to type them up. After a few years of battling this conundrum, I decided to place a colorful sticky tabs on each page that needed to be typed up (and, of course, remove the tab once the said scene is typed up). The system works fairly well, so today I was able to type up several scenes... and that is why each tab on the computer screen represents a tiny accomplishment. Each tab means one more scene has been typed up and is ready to be added to the official manuscript when convenient. 

Why am I sharing this with you?

Because I am lame and don't have much to say.


Klara C. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

You Know You're An Author When... & A Writing Exercise

You *finally* make yourself a signature... but you have so much fun making the signature that you want to make signatures for all your characters, too!


Theirs... (instead of "His" and "Hers" it's "Mine" and "Theirs"...)



A Writing Exercise
Study the three signatures above and attempt to describe (or guess) a character's personality from studying his signature. You could take a moment to form your ideas in your mind, before writing them out on paper (or even better, write them out in a blog comment! *hint-hint*). 

All righty, have you finished your descriptions? My answers are below. Highlight the following three paragraphs with your mouse to see the answers. 

To me, the top signature (not mine), "Terence C.", makes me think of someone who is somewhat orderly and rule-oriented, although he can be playful at time, judging by the "star" at the end of his initial. 

Jaydrian does not seem to place much labor upon making his signature perfect, which might indicate that penmanship, and perhaps the arts, are not important to him. On the other hand, it could also imply that he writes so much that he doesn't have time to worry about the neatness of his handwriting. ;)

Haydrian has been raised and educated well. He has learned penmanship, probably from a young age, and has perfected his craft. His signature is fancy and carefully written, but probably more out of habit than out of genuine desire. 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the three signatures. Since the guys are my characters I admit I have a bit of an advantage. :p But feel free to do this writing exercise on your blog, with your own characters, too! :) Please comment and let me know so I can come visit and make guesses about your characters. ;) 

As an FYI, the signature maker I used was MyLiveSignature.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Hold My Hand & We're Halfway There

Okay, actually... I'm more than "halfway there". But I just wanted an excuse to randomly quote West Side Story. Moving on...

(photo editing with help of Picmonkey)

146/150! I'm not sure what that fraction reduces down to, but for me, it means: almost done! "Almost done with what?" you ask. Well, in my last post I mentioned writing again after a somewhat length break. I technically wasn't writing so much as I was editing. You've probably guessed by now that I'm editing the 100+ pg. novel snowed - I mean showed - in the photo above. If so, you guessed correctly.

This is my second or third time through, but since I first began editing the story (the day after I finished it, actually), I like to believe (or at least hope) that my writing and editing skills have improved. ;) I'm constantly making more changes to the manuscript. I know that I am no where near being finished, but I was inspired to work on it recently because I asked a friend's advice on the first few chapters, and I figured I should look over the book again before sending it out. Also, I hope to self-publish this book in a couple years, so I need to start working on it once more!

Anyway, enough rambling. I just wanted to share my delight with you all... :p

Now, tell me: how is YOUR writing / editing life faring? Have you written anything new lately? Do tell!