1 Year Blogiversary

Scribes & Archers has been around for a year! Technically longer (four years), but I consider it having really started on August 2nd when I started being really serious about it. Anyway, as such, there’s some fun stuff for this post! I asked y’all what I should do for my blogiversary post, and from the very beginning it was super close between the Get To Know Me Tag (Writers’ Edition) and an overview of my writing/blogging milestones, tied almost the entire time, so I decided to combine the two since the Get To Know Me Tag includes a lot of milestone things already. So this is the Get To Know Me Tag, but with a twist. And since I didn’t want to neglect those folks who’d asked questions, there’ll also be a short Q&A session at the end. Without further ado, the tag. (This is going to be a really, really long post.)

Rules

  • Link back to the person who started the tag
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Share the tag graphic
  • Tag eleven bloggers (I think I might actually be able to do this!)

The tag was started by Savannah at Inspiring Writes, so thanks to her. I wasn’t technically tagged for this (I’m really good at stealing tags…) but Rachel at R’s Loft tagged “anyone else who wants to join,” so thanks to her as well.

Vital Stats & Appearance

Name: Ariel Ramey

Nicknames: R.M. Archer, Autumn (most places online), Arya (on the NaNoWriMo site, though I’m also Autumn on there), and then all from one friend I have Cupcake, Ari, daughter (don’t ask), and several other things that neither of us can now remember. She loves nicknaming me. Oh, and then there’s the obvious Little Mermaid, which I can only tolerate from about three people. Anyone else using it just bugs me, because – fun fact – Ariel is my least favorite Disney princess. She’s kind of a rebellious brat. :P But there are a few people who can get away with using it as an endearing term.

Birthday: Yesterday!

Hair color and length: Medium brown, almost to my waist.

Eye color: Hazel, and I found out at camp that no one can really describe the colors in them. XD There’s a gold ring in the middle and a denim-y blue ring around the outside edge, but I have no idea what to call anything in between.

Braces/Piercings/Tattoos: I have Invisalign, both ears are pierced once, and I have no tattoos yet but I’d like to someday get a small anchor on my ankle that says “Anchor first” above and “Anchor deep” below. My best friend wants the same tattoo. (And she thought of it first, so she should get the credit. ;D)

Righty or lefty: Righty.

Ethnicity: Caucasian.

Firsts

First Story Written (2008): I don’t know for sure, but I think this was a mystery story. It had no original characters whatsoever, they were all stolen from my favorite mystery books (Nancy Drew and The Boxcar Children), for some reason the One Ring showed up for the first two or three paragraphs, and looking back it was actually really creepy because a guy was abducting all the girls to find a wife. Don’t ask how six-year-old me thought that was okay…

First Novel Written (2009): Technically my answer is going to be inaccurate because it was only 17k, which is too short to be considered a novel, but I always answer this with The Half-Elves. Somehow I remember that I was seven when I started writing it. When I was seven I really enjoyed the Wii game Link’s Crossbow Training, which is a target practice game set in the same world as the Legend of Zelda games. I tend to be fascinated with fantasy worlds, and I took a liking to Hyrule, so I started a story about four siblings (two girls and two boys, of course. Roughly the same age spacing as the Pevensies.) who stumble into Hyrule and meet Link and find out they’re his children that he sent away so they’d be safe from the evil King Julius of Jewel Kingdom, who of course they have to battle after their two weeks of training in which time they’ve become experts.

Looking back I can pick on all the tropes and cliches in that story, but when I wrote it it was my favorite, and I still look back on it with extreme fondness. I worked on that story for four years before I finished it, which at that point was a big deal. It was also a big deal that it was longer than a few pages and it wasn’t purely cheesy fairytale romance.

My first real novel, though, was Queen of Feanor, which you’ll hear more about later on.

First Novel Completed (2013): Again, I’m gonna say The Half-Elves. I was eleven when I finished, which was a big accomplishment for me. I’d fallen into a habit of starting a whole bunch of stories, working on all of them at once, and abandoning them after a few thousand words, so the fact that I’d finished that one displayed my dedication to the story.

That story birthed a whole sixteen-book series, six of which became completed first drafts. I still want to pursue that series (rewriting everything I’ve written) and I’m working on reconstructing the entire universe it takes place in, and I don’t think that desire will go away until I’m able to write and publish all sixteen books.

First Blog Post (March 27, 2014): My very first blog post was an itty-bitty review of Frozen. So small, in fact, that I can feature it here:

Yesterday, March 25th, I finally got to see Frozen. I liked that it had the right underlying message, true love is putting others’ needs before your own. I liked Anna because of her excitement and peppiness.

Elsa should have learned to control her powers rather than hide them.  She could have done wonderful things if she had learned to control instead of conceal.

Part of the movie almost made me cry, I mean, poor Anna, she was separated from her sister when they had been best buddies, and they didn’t even tell her why, so she thought that Elsa didn’t like her anymore.

This review was very shortly (same day) followed by this one (“The Anna and Elsa Challenge”):

This post is piggybacking off of the last one (Frozen).

Watching Frozen made me realize how bad my relationship with my sister is, I realized that I want to fix that, that I don’t want to shut her out like Elsa did Anna.

How good is your relationship with your sibling(s)? If you’re like me and it’s pretty bad, here’s a challenge that Sophia and I thought of. This thirty day challenge is for you and your sibling(s) to do together. Anytime that one of you starts to be mean to the other, the other will say something to do with Anna and Elsa. Sophia and I are going to pretend that we are Anna and Elsa, so she’ll say Elsa and I’ll say Anna.

First Novel Edited (2014): Say hello to… The Half-Elves again. I did not edit it well, but I did edit it. My Abuela and I edited it together over the phone, which was really cool. The story’s still not great, since I wrote it between the ages of seven and eleven, but the experience was good and it did point out some things I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

First NaNoWriMo (November 2014): I don’t actually have real vivid memories of this NaNoWriMo. I remember my mom mentioned it and I was interested, so I set myself a goal of 30k and set to work on book 4 of the Half-Elves series (I hadn’t written books 2 or 3 yet, which ended up being funny later on). I didn’t sign up for the official site or even the official Young Writers Program site, I just wrote 30,000 words, and I was super, super close to finishing on time. I don’t remember exactly how close, but I was only a few hundred words away, and I finished on December 1st.

The story wasn’t great, I don’t plan on reviving it when I rewrite the series, but it introduced me to NaNoWriMo and that was a big thing.

First NaNoWriMo Win (November 2015): In 2015 I did sign up on the official NaNoWriMo site and that’s when I met the wonderful Christenos (or Chritenos, depending on whether you’re asking me or asking anyone else on the thread) from the Christian Teens Together! thread. They’re amazing and I don’t know where I’d be without them, in my faith or my writing. They’ve quite possibly impacted my faith more than my writing.

That year I branched out from the Half-Elves series more and wrote Queen of Feanor, which took place in a world heavily influenced by Terry Brooks’ Landover books. I actually finished on the 23rd, with 51,045 words, which was a huge accomplishment for me. This was the first full-length novel I’d finished, since the others had been more novella-length (which I didn’t know at the time), and it was definitely the longest book I’d written.

Now I find it kind of amazing that 50k no longer feels that long to me. Now I’m writing books that are still going strong at 76k and anticipated to be as long as 150k or even 200k and that doesn’t seem all that daunting. It’s amazing what three years of growth can do.

First Professional Cover Bought (March 2017): Ah, House of Mages. This was actually supposed to be a trilogy, but then the plots all melded together into one book and thus the lovely titles House of Thorns and House of Elves and the series title Mage of Thorns were never used. *sighs* Anyway, I wrote this book between March and November 2016 and by the time I was finished I was certain I was going to publish the thing, so naturally I went out and bought a book cover. ‘Cause isn’t that what you do when you’re publishing? (Spoiler alert: No. No it is not.) I loved the cover, and I was so super proud of the fact that I was going to publish. And then editing progressed and I started hating the thing…

First Blog Schedule (August 2nd, 2017): The whole reason this post exists. August 2nd is when I started my bullet journal and when I finally got my act together when it comes to blogging, thus it’s when I consider my blog to have actually started. My blog schedule has fluctuated slightly from that original schedule, but that’s when I first developed something that worked and started working at posting regularly.

First Professional Edit (September 2017): But the I had already announced that I was publishing to everyone I knew, everyone was excited, and I didn’t want to let anyone down, so I raised money and I hired an editor. Only I hadn’t properly communicated with the editor, so I ended up with a copy-editor when I really needed a developmental editor. (Younger me didn’t realize that developmental edits aren’t just default.) I love the editor, I really appreciate her edits, but it wasn’t what I needed at that point. Although looking back I’m really glad I didn’t spend money on a developmental editor, ’cause that book was such a wreck that it would have just been embarrassing.

First Blog Redesign (February 2018): In February I totally overhauled the blog’s design, switching from the turquoise ocean theme I’d had for four years to this more professional brown typewriter theme I have now. This included redesigning the post images for every. single. blog post. so they’d be more pinnable, and I still haven’t completed that tedious task. XP

First Publication (February 7th, 2018): I was obviously going to publish House of Mages. I was going to publish it this year, in fact, on May 10th, the 1-year anniversary of when I concocted the idea. Thankfully, I came to my senses and cancelled that process because I knew I wouldn’t be proud of the results, and I didn’t want to put out some lousy work just because I’d foolishly publicized it far too early. So while I hated disappointing everyone (in multiple ways), I’m very glad that I didn’t publish House of Mages.

Instead, my first publication was Short Story Collection Vol. 1, on February 7th. While it wasn’t a novel and that was somewhat disappointing, I’m proud of the stories in it and I’m glad that it was my first publication. It was followed shortly after by a standalone ebook of Lost Girl (which is included in the collection), which got a 4-star, a 3-star, and a 5-star review in fairly short order. Which brings me to my next point…

First Review (June 6, 2018): A great big shout-out to Gray Marie for being my first reviewer. Thank you so, so much for your amazing review. It added so much to an already-great day when I saw it, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling. ^-^ There was a lot of squealing, a lot of cheering, a lot of disbelief, a lot of rereading the review, a lot more squealing… Nothing quite compares to getting a good review on your book, and certainly nothing compares to the first good review on your book. ^-^

First “Favorite Author” Status (July 29, 2018): I found this absolute beauty this past Sunday on the profile of an author on the NaNoWriMo site:

More squealing, more disbelief, more rereading… And then I actually got to talk to her about which stories she’d read and basically fangirl over my own books and it was absolutely amazing. ^-^

First Award for Writing: None.

First Conference: None. I would LOVE to go to RealmMakers one day, I’ve heard it’s incredible and there are so many awesome authors there! (Gillian Bronte Adams, Wayne Thomas Batson, Nadine Brandes, etc., etc., etc.) Unfortunately, I don’t know when I’ll have the funds available to fly all the way to St. Louis and go to the conference. (For some reason there’s only, like, one conference anywhere near me? And I don’t know any of the authors there?)

First Query/Pitch: I haven’t queried or pitched. Self-pubbed and all that. I would like to traditionally publish one book at some point, but for now the closest thing I have to a query or pitch is the elevator pitch I wrote for a 4thewords contest to represent The Last Assassin:

When the royal assassin of Kaloris is sent to investigate a rumor about a neighboring king – and kill him if the rumor proves true – she does as instructed. But something tells her the neighboring king is innocent and there’s something much bigger going on. Her fears are realized when her actions inadvertently begin a world war.

Favorites

Novel (that you wrote): Ooh… Probably The Last Assassin, but The Half-Elves has so much sentimental value that it’s a close second.

Genre: Fantasy. With dystopian in second.

Author: So many! Um… Wayne Thomas Batson is always my default. But I also like Nadine Brandes (I haven’t actually read her books yet. I need to get to Fawkes, but I’m reading so many books at once that I haven’t gotten to it yet, despite my excitement. XP), Marissa Meyer, Miranda Marie, J.E. Purrazzi, Hannah Heath, Kyle Robert Shultz (all the Phoenix Fiction Writers are awesome), Melody Jackson, and a number of others.

Writing Music: It depends on what I’m writing/what part of the process I’m in. I’ve been editing to my Heart of the Baenor playlist (mostly instrumental and some slower music with lyrics), I write The Shadow Raven to my Dark War Trilogy playlist (a lot of pop and electric), and I’m currently blogging to Owl City.

Time to write: Either early in the morning before my siblings are up or late at night after they’re in bed. For some reason I can’t focus well on writing during the afternoon (but I can edit in the afternoon just fine once I get started).

Writing snack/drink: I don’t generally eat or drink while I’m writing, but I do drink water when I have my water bottle nearby or I drink sour cherry juice when we have it (which is rarely).

Movie: The Greatest Showman. Hands down.

Writing memory: Ooh… Probably first seeing Gray Marie’s review.

Childhood Book: Favorite as in which one I like now, or favorite as in my favorite when I was younger? I loved Blueberries for Sal when I was really little. Once I started reading on my own I loved The Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew, and I consider The Boxcar Children a staple of my childhood reading habits, so I guess The Boxcar Children.

Currently

Reading: Dragons’ Bane by Melody Jackson, The Clocks Have Stopped by J.L. Oakman, King’s Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt (all for review), Infraction by J.E. Purrazzi, The Sorcerer’s Daughter by Terry Brooks, Quest for Seven Castles by Ed Dunlop, and Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris.

Writing: The Shadow Raven… kind of. It’s not going well. But I’m editing The Heart of the Baenor and that’s going much better.

Listening to: At this moment, If My Heart Was a House by Owl City.

Watching: I’ve been watching Smallville every week with my dad and my aunt. During the normal TV season we watch the CW DC Comics shows (The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow), but during the summer when we don’t have those we watch Smallville, which I may prefer at this point.

Learning: How to edit my own work.

Future

Want to be published: Yes. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was twelve (possibly younger), and I’ll be publishing my first novel ideally in February. ^-^ Beyond that I don’t have a set plan, but there’s definitely more self-publishing and hopefully one traditionally published book just for the experience and so that I can say I did it.

Indie or Traditional: Oh, I answered this in the last question, lol. Oops.

Wildest Goal: To become a bestselling author, to go to RealmMakers, and to have at least one of my stories converted into a movie (or TV show, depending).

Nominees

  1. Leila at Wildflowers and Cosmic Tea
  2. Remi at Our Mind Palace
  3. Kate at Kate Flournoy, Author
  4. Jess at The Artful Author
  5. Felicity at The Wondrous World Around Us
  6. Ruby at The Sea Calls Us Home
  7. S.M. at Tea With Tumnus
  8. Hallie Jenkins at Hallie Jenkins, Author (When I selected her as one of my nominees she hadn’t done this yet, (#writingahead) but she just did it yesterday)
  9. Elyra at Two Roads Diverged
  10. Rebekah at Hunting for Truth
  11. Anna at Conscious Dreamers

Y’all can adopt my extra things or not as you like. (Those in italics are the ones I added.) Enjoy!

Q&A

I have no idea who submitted any of these questions, FYI, I’m just answering them as I got them, lol. (Actually, I do know which of them is my sister’s, but that’s it.)

Q1a: What inspires you to write?

A1a: This was actually paired with the next question, but I’m going to answer them separately. Um… It’s just the love of story, I think, and the joy of seeing others enjoy what I’ve made. It’s so incredible to make people happy, and to know you’ve made them happy. ^-^

Q1b: What inspires you to blog?

I love supporting other writers. It’s one of my absolute favorite things. Most of the time on the blog that manifests itself as writing tips and sharing things I’ve learned through my years of writing, but I also love being able to review the works of fellow indie authors and promote them as they’re publishing. I actually created a whole Facebook group for people like me who want to help promote and support each other’s work. Supporting and promoting fellow authors is something I’m incredibly passionate about, so I love that I’m able to do it here on my blog. :)

Q2: Who was the first character you wrote and fell in love with? How about hated?

I actually had a slight crush on Elk, the main character of The Half-Elves, lol. Not at first, but once I got a little bit older I had a brief crush on him. As for hated… I don’t think I truly hated any of my characters until I started to get better at writing and developing characters, and villains in particular. Wait, no, there was Homare. Also in The Half-Elves. I hated that guy. He was so much better-developed than the “main” bad guy, King Julius, lol. Not that either of them was especially well-developed, but Homare was so much more despicable.

Q3: What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Hmm… There are a lot of things that are difficult, and yet it’s hard for me to pinpoint one. Plotting can be really difficult. So can editing, depending on the project. I’ve loved editing The Heart of the Baenor, but there have been other projects that I’d dread editing. There are also certain types of stories that can be really difficult to write. Writing The Shadow Raven has been really difficult, for instance, ever since Nissa went down a darker path and it’s been reflecting parts of my real life more, which are draining in real life and possibly more draining in writing since I tend to use it as an escape.

There are a lot of difficult parts of writing, and it really depends on what I’m doing at the moment what’s the most difficult part.

Q4: If there was one thing you could do with your best friend, what would it be?

Go on a trip around the country, visiting every state, seeing all the sights, just letting loose and having fun and exploring. I’d like to do this someday with my two best friends, my sister, and my aunt.

Q5: If you could visit one city in the world, what would it be?

Petra, Jordan. There are so many places I want to visit, but if it’s one city then Petra’s a pretty easy choice.

Q6: Which story world of yours would you like to live in?

This is a tough one. Kersir would be pretty fun, but it’s really hot. I could maybe live in Rasell, where it’s on the ocean and it’s a little cooler. But if I lived in one of the places in the Aleruus universe (with The Half-Elves) then I could meet those characters, and there are so many more characters I love there than in Kersir. So I don’t know. Probably Remera, in Aleruus.

Q7: Can you talk a little bit about how you balance life with all of your fantastic writing progress?

Aw, thank you, whoever sent this in. Um, the very simple answer is that I have no life. XD Pretty much all of my time is devoted to writing, so I’m able to make more progress than someone who goes to public school or has a job or hangs out with friends or whatever else. I’m a homeschool student with only two friends she didn’t meet online, who rarely leaves the house and whose only outside commitments are choir, youth group, and a once-a-year camp. So from 6 or 10am (depending on whether or not I’m listening to my alarms or ignoring them) and 10 or 11pm I’m writing. At least during the summer. During the school year I have a couple hours of schoolwork in the morning, and there are always too-long, unscheduled social media/email-checking sessions (*cough*procrastination sessions*cough*) throughout the day, but I can focus the vast majority of my attention on writing and writing-related activities.

My ideal schedule looks something like this (during the school year):

6am – get up, read a few chapters of the Bible and pray, and get started on writing

6:30am – work on schoolwork

8am – eat breakfast

8:30am – work on whatever editing project I’ve been hired to do for however long it takes me to finish the day’s alottment

Free time – write (This is usually procrastinating time lately…)

12pm – lunch

12:30pm – work on hired editing project again, or work on a second hired editing project, or if it’s Friday I work on the next week’s blog posts/newsletters

1:30pm – Work on editing some more

And then after that’s all done there’s time for writing or procrastinating or blogging or editing or whatever until about 5pm when I have to get ready for choir or youth group on Mondays and Wednesdays. And that’s all of my time.

Lately my schedule has been more all-day editing, a lot less writing, no hired editing due to technical difficulties (which we finally got sorted out in the past few days! Hooray!), and there’s been more reading because I have “assigned” reading for review. And it’ll fluctuate as I get more editing jobs (*cough*if*cough*) and my projects change and whatnot.

I’m really blessed to be able to do what I love full-time, even if I’m not making money from it yet. :)


I’d also like to thank you, my readers, for being here and for coming back to read my posts however frequently or infrequently you do and for commenting and being awesome. It means a lot that people enjoy and find value in what I write, and that I’m able to help people through my words. ^-^ So thanks for being around. I really appreciate y’all.

And you over there in the corner not commenting… First of all, I get you. I am you on most blogs, lol, reading a blog religiously but never commenting and realizing when I do go to leave a comment or something that I consider the blogger like a friend and they barely know me… So I get you. I understand not always knowing what to comment. :P But I’d love to hear from you, so if you want to leave a comment on here just to start a conversation, feel free to do so! I’d love to get to know you more. ^-^

If you have any more questions for me that you’d like me to answer or just want to chat, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. I love chatting with my readers. :)

Anywho, I think that about wraps it up. Happy birthday to Scribes & Archers! *throws turquoise and gold confetti*

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