Scribes & Archers is turning two! At least the scheduled, halfway-professional version of Scribes & Archers; the amateur, sporadic blog known as Alpine Writer is just Scribes & Archers’s backstory. But anyway, to celebrate I’ll be answering your questions, reacting to your assumptions about me, and sharing some things I’ve learned, and what I’ve been up to lately. Enjoy!
Two(ish) things I’ve learned in the past year:
1. How to let go of people
I tend to get hyper-focused on people I think are cool and then only try to get to know them and overlook everyone else around me, which has led to a lot of frustration when I try to get to know those people but they don’t make any effort in return. I’ve learned over the past year to let go of people, both that I’ve already gotten to know who have left and that I haven’t really gotten to know but I’ve gotten hyper-focused on, and I’ve learned to see who I should turn my focus to instead and who’s willing to return the effort in building a friendship. I’m still not perfect at it, I still get hyper-focused on people, but I tend to be more aware of it and more able to ease back on it.
This isn’t quite related, but I’m going to put it here anyway: I’ve also become more aware of the need to let go of people in a more general sense and stop letting them take priority over my relationship with God. I’ve been aware for a while that I tend to consider God “not enough” when I’m lonely and I’m constantly striving to get people to notice me and talk to me, even though I’ve seen people disappoint me time and again, but I haven’t done much about it because I was rationalizing with myself that it’s okay to want an edifying community and to want human interaction. After all, it was not good for man to be alone. And it is okay, but not when you let it take the place of God, and at camp I finally saw consequences of those wrong priorities, and I’ve realized I need to make an effort to change them.
2. How to see the good in a situation
Over the past year I’ve gotten much better at seeing the good even in bad situations and not letting stress and discouragement totally overwhelm me. Obviously I’m not impervious to those things now, but I’ve regained some of the optimism and hope that I was discouraged about losing at the end of last year, and I think I’m less cynical than I was then. I’d like to think I also appreciate the good times and give God praise for them more consistently, but I’m not sure I’ve actually gotten to that point yet.
Do you have a favorite TV show?
Probably Psych. It went the longest without me growing extremely frustrated with the characters or thinking the writing sucked or the story went in a bizarre direction. (Runners up are Chuck, which went in a million bizarre directions in season 5, and Once Upon a Time, which has a handful of extremely frustrating characters/storylines even though the writing is generally fantastic.)
What was the most recent book you bought?
I can’t tell you, because it was a birthday gift for one of my best friends and she’s probably reading this. The one before that, though, was Sounds of Deceit by Hannah Heath, which was FANTASTIC.
What three fictional characters would fit your personality?
TOO MANY OPTIONS. OVERLOAD. FORCED SHUTDOWN IN 3…2…
Just kidding. Ish. I’d say Scarlett Baine from Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker, Chasity from The Coronation by Livy Jarmusch, and… either Hermione Granger or Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter.
Do you bullet journal?
From March through July the answer to this was almost entirely “No,” but I just rebooted for August and so far I’ve been making use of my journal again, so yes. I started in August two years ago (the same time I developed a schedule for my blog), and I mostly use it to keep track of goals and habits and that sort of thing.
Ummmm… Online, definitely my books. In person, probably still my books, because the people I know in person are less likely to read a blog than a book, so there’s less concern of “WAIT. SOMEONE’S ACTUALLY GOING TO READ SOMETHING I WROTE AND FORM AN OPINION ABOUT IT. O_O”
The Dark War Trilogy. (Yes, I cheated and picked a series.) Except that would mean I have to actually get it finished…
Halder Eckard. I feel like we’d be really good friends, ’cause we’re both musical, we both have a bunch of younger siblings, faith is important to both of us… And he’s one of those people I’d really want as a friend, because he’s super encouraging and supportive and fun to be around and musical and I feel like we’d be able to encourage and edify each other and it would be great. (Plus, he and his family are basically a package deal, and the rest of his family is also awesome.)
I would NOT want it to be Pellan Shyle, under any circumstances. Even Clissa Hiara would be better than Pellan. Pellan’s fun to write, but he would not be fun to actually know. The dude’s creepy observant and psychopathic. No thank you.
As far as who I would want it to be… I feel like Madi Thompson would be fun. She’s the type who would do random little helpful things as a ghost, like catch a pencil that’s rolling off the desk, or stop the row of books on top of my bookcase from getting off balance and sliding off the end, or other stuff like that. She’d also ship me with every boy I ever talk to, but considering I don’t talk to a whole lot of guys in a month, much less a week, I don’t think that would be a significant problem. Besides, I basically deal with that from my two best friends anyway. ;)
I kind of wish my very first story had never existed. If I could have skipped to the campy fantasy I wrote next, that would be cool. My mystery story had a really creepy resolution, looking back, and it was just a total dumpster fire even leading up to that. XD The campy fantasy was a web of cliches and had the stupidest character names ever, but at least it wasn’t creepy. XD
One I wish I’d finished… Probably Scarlett and the Wolf. It was a Red Riding Hood retelling that actually had some pretty cool ideas in it, but I ran out of plot and stopped and the writing quality was so bad I never picked it back up. Eventually I’ll probably go back to it. But the base ideas were cool, and I kind of wish I’d finished and seen those to their end.
Probably Lauren Avery. She’s so optimistic and hopeful, and her faith is so strong, and she’s a great older sister, and she’s encouraging and selfless and just… really cool and very much like I’d like to be.
Probably the Harry Potter fandom. I hadn’t actually read the Harry Potter series until May, but I’d seen so many of the fandom posts on Pinterest that it was already like I was part of the fandom. XD It’s overall a pretty positive fandom, and they have some really awesome theories that deepen the series even further.
A mere acquaintance. Explaining it to a stranger would be too weird, and explaining it to a friend is definitely too weird, but an acquaintance falls somewhere in the middle, where I don’t feel like it’s the end of the world if they don’t like my story but I also don’t feel like they have 0 interest in my book. (It’s a rather strange middle ground.)
– You don’t talk about your writing that much off the Internet.
Mostly true. I don’t tend to bring it up, but I do have family and a choir director who will bring it up semi-regularly and make me want to go hide in a hole. XD
– You like instrumental tracks.
Mmm… I used to more than I do now. I still like them, I just get bored with them more easily for some reason now than I would have a year ago? So yes and no.
– You prefer dark chocolate over milk
Ding ding ding! Dark chocolate is the best, up to 70-75%. Milk chocolate comes in second, and white chocolate doesn’t deserve to be called chocolate. It’s creamy sugar. XP
– You are an only child (or at least the youngest)
BAHAHAHA. Sometimes I wish. But no, I am the oldest of five siblings.
– You once wrote a story about a princess kidnapped by a dragon
I don’t think so. However, I have written about princesses kidnapped by orcs, and in that story the protagonists had to fight multiple dragons before saving the princesses.
What I’ve been writing:
I realize that I often just throw posts at you referencing stories I’m writing and don’t actually give descriptions of those stories (unless I work on them for a NaNoWriMo event) or fill you in on where I am in the process or anything, so here’s a quick run-down of my current projects (and hopefully soon I’ll figure out a better way to keep you up-to-date on my constant cycling out of projects. XD)
1. The Half-Elves
I did give a basic description of this one in Leafman’s interview Wednesday, but here’s a clearer description in case you missed that (or just want a more detailed description).
The Half-Elves is a story I first wrote between the ages of 7 and 11 and then edited with my Abuela (grandmother) when I was 13. It’s about a set of four siblings, living on earth, who learn that they’re princes and princesses of a fantastical land called The Hylands but were sent away when a foreign king threatened their lives. Now they’re being called back, but the foreign king is still a threat to them and to their kingdom, and it’s up to them (and the rest of their family) to defend the kingdom, all while navigating new relationships with parents and a sister they don’t remember, as well as learning new royal responsibilities and important skills they never needed before.
I’m working on outlining The Half-Elves while I write it (outlining a chapter or two ahead of where I’ve written), and it’s been fun to delve into the familiar world and characters but also deepen them as I go.
2. Calligraphy Guild
Calligraphy Guild takes place in an Asian-inspired fantasy nation where calligraphers are held in high esteem and have the power–with a magic ink produced by ancient dragons–to rewrite time. This practice is forbidden, because it messes with the balance of the universe, and the ink is used to solidify events that have already occurred rather than to write new ones. Unfortunately, someone does use the ink to rewrite time and the ancient dragons in charge of protecting the universe’s balance come knocking on the door of the main character’s calligraphy guild looking for the culprit. The members of the guild have to find the traitor and deliver them to the ancient dragons for punishment, all while banished to the the jungle by the emperor so that the dragons won’t destroy anything more than the guild members.
The story also features miniature pet dragons, which are super awesome and adorable, and cool family dynamics (both birth-family and found-family).
I’ve been working on outlining this one, and I haven’t solidified the plot and subplots enough to start writing it yet, but I’m super excited to explore the world and the character relationships.
3. The Shadow Raven
I took a pretty long break from this story, but lately I’ve been dipping my toes back in and I’ve had a little bit of luck with it, so it’s my aim to make 10,000 words’ worth of progress on it by the end of this month. I think that should be manageable, if I can get myself to sit down and do it. (This is one I’ve already described in the past, so I’m not putting in a description here, but if you’re unfamiliar with it you can read the synopsis here.)
4. The Masked Captain
I drafted The Masked Captain between the beginning of May and end of June, and now it’s waiting for me to insert several scenes to fill it out thematically before I go through and edit it. I’ve been procrastinating. A lot. This is another one I’ve described in the past, and you can read about it here.
5. Short Stories
I’m working on a couple of short stories at the moment. One is for a writing contest and is a very fractured retelling of Cinderella. (heh. that’s a pun. I’m the only one who understands that pun.) The other is set in my desert fantasy region and is about a girl who’s straining against her mother’s traditionalism and ends up befriending a likely criminal from a neighboring district of her city.
What I’ve been reading:
I won’t bog you down with everything I’ve read this year, because it’s a lot (if you’re really curious, you can check out my Goodreads reading challenge page), but the highlights include
- a 10-day binge-read of Harry Potter books 2-7
- Sounds of Deceit by Hannah Heath
- Mirage by Miranda Marie
- Rosemarked and Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne
- and The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson
I’m currently reading
- Child of the Kaites by Beth Wangler
- 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
- and The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson
I’d recommend everything on both lists, though I’d recommend Rosemarked and Umbertouched for an older (15-16+) audience and still advise you to read with caution due to a handful of small things (as far as I recall).
What have you been reading lately? What would you like to see on the blog over the next year? Do you bullet journal? Which of your characters would you most like to meet?