Saturday, April 22, 2017

Magical Places

There are places I feel connected to, places that my restless heart grabs onto like a wandering magnet finding its match. I can't explain how or even why, whether it has to do with being an INFJ or if it's just me or if it's something everyone experiences. But there are places in this world that feel like home.



[Pinterest]
Firstly and most obviously: my actual, physical home. When I've been traveling or even just busy, and I finally drag myself through the front door, my whole self just sighs in contentment. (Or relief, let's be honest. #hobbit) It's lived in, our stuff is everywhere, it's comfy, all the sunshine streams through the picture windows in the front, and there are usually the voices of the people I love most filling the rooms.


[sorry, this one and the remaining pics are from Google Images; I saved them
on my phone and neglected to keep the URLS, so I can't give proper credit]

Trees. I'm not a super outdoorsy person, I'm not into camping (though I love the idea of being capable of roughing it), but there's something about a forest that draws me in. Green everywhere. A quiet thrumming of insect wings and birdcalls and paws rustling in the undergrowth and life growing. In a forest, it feels like an adventure could be hiding around any given corner, but it's also a place to pause and drink in the peacefulness.


Water. Not being in it so much as being near it. Put me on the shore of a lake or the bank of a river; send me on a wild goose chase to track down a trickle of water, and I'm happy. The sheer bigness of a body of water whose opposite shore is somewhere unseen past the horizon fills me with awe. Even the sound of snowmelt running down the drainpipes in springtime awakens hope in me.






Mountains. These crop up in my stories all. the. time. and I don't even live near any. I've been amongst mountains so few times I can count them on one hand, but they fill my imagination and utterly fascinate me. Just like forests, they practically sing adventure; and just like water, they are awe-inspiring.




Someplace in the middle of nowhere, on a clear night when the stars are bright and close and the Milky Way breathes brilliant dust across the sky. Living in the city, I don't get to experience this much, and sometimes I stare longingly upward and wish to be away from streetlights. But there was one night in particular, at a tiny cabin with my family, when we lay on the grass and just gazed at the stars for a while. I felt so small. So at peace. So full of wonder.


Cutesy coffee shops awaken a little bit of hipster in me. The smell of coffee grinds . . . the hum of conversation . . . the clink of dishes . . . oftentimes, the rustic timber and adorable knick knacks and the atmosphere of people pausing long enough to enjoy each other's company. Plus, it's kind of the picture-perfect place for a writer to pen those words. (At least, the romanticized writer that proooobably doesn't exist in real life.)


Great architecture & history. Preferably a castle (I've never visited one YET), but I'll settle for legislative buildings, museum buildings, cathedrals, anything made out of stone, anything with arches or domes or spires or tall, skinny windows. Yep. Take me there, and let me stay a good long while to soak in the stories seeping through the walls.





Whichever place on my list I visit, once I'm there, I want to be there long enough to enjoy it. These are the places that make my heart sing, that seem to speak a language without words. Somehow, they fill me with inspiration--magic tingling in my fingertips and fire glowing in my chest.


What are some of the places you love with all your heart? Do we share any?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Worth the Cross



Today we celebrate a cross and an empty tomb. A death and a resurrection. The darkest night of all, when the hope of the world seemed to be extinguished, gone forever . . . and the brightest morning ever beheld, when that Hope returned victorious.


We wear crosses around our necks and hang them from our cars' rear-view mirrors. We sing about the empty tomb and the risen Savior, and these things are beautiful--truly. But I, for one, often forget the power behind these symbols and lyrics. I forget that Jesus went to the cross for me.


"For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2


He surely had seen Roman crucifixions before--the excruciating pain of the lashing, the slow suffocation--and I'm sure He could well imagine the spiritual pain of bearing the sin of the entire world on His shoulders. But knowing all that, He still gave Himself up willingly. And as the whip fell, as the crown of thorns dug into His scalp, as the nails were driven through His wrists, as a hail of insults flew, as He lost sight of His own Father . . . He could have put a stop to it at any time. He could have called legions of angels to His aid (Matthew 26:53), and who knows what He could have done Himself. Going to the cross was not one single choice. It was a choice He made moment by painful moment--again and again and again:


YES.

For you, yes.



"For the joy set before him he endured the cross." What kind of joy would keep the Son of God nailed to a wooden cross? What kind of joy would fuel His walk up the hill of death? What kind of joy would He hold inside though every nerve screamed for relief and every crevice of His heart reached for a Father He couldn't see through the darkness?


I'll tell you what kind of joy. It was the joy of redeeming you.


The possibility of bringing you home, of building a bridge across a chasm you could never cross, of wiping the dirt off His precious child's face and crowning you royalty: that is what brought Jesus joy.


You are worth the cross.



God said so. His Son showed you in a way more powerful than anyone ever could: you're worth it. And I sincerely hope that you and I let Him convince us that's true. We all struggle with feelings of unworthiness, of thinking we're not good enough. And honestly, our behavior isn't good enough. Our thoughts and attitudes and actions aren't good enough, and that's why Jesus had to die.


But don't for a minute feel guilty because of that. Those burdens aren't yours to carry anymore. Because through all of the sin, all of the mess-ups and brokenness of humanity, He saw who we are.


His.


And by the very nature of being His, we are worth it. You are worth it.


Happy Easter, dear friends! He is risen!



(I'll leave you with this beautiful Easter medley by Anthem Lights.)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Two Year Blogoversary + Blogger Recognition Tag + Musings

On March 31st, Adventure Awaits turned two! Being as all my energy was directed elsewhere last month, I had no time to prepare a blogoversary celebration quite like the first time. It was fun taking a survey and hosting a giveaway in 2016, and for a while I expected to do something similar this year, but alas and alack, dear questers--circumstances are different.


I do fully intend to come up with another giveaway sometime. I'm also getting the inklings of a plan for breathing fresh life into this blog come summer. But for now, we'll have a quiet little party with as much chocolate cake and gingersnap cookies as you can imagine!*


*Because sadly, I have yet to figure out how to deliver sweets through the computer screen. So you'll just have to pretend, okay?


[image via Pinterest, text my own]




The Itinerary of This Miniature Blogoversary:

  1. Blogger Recognition Tag
  2. Stats (because measuring growth is fun and motivating, yes?)
  3. Some musings about my blogging experience


1. Blogger Recognition Tag


See, I didn't quite finish catching up on tags last month. Kate @ Story and Dark Chocolate gave me this Blogger Recognition Tag, which says:


  • Tell us a little about how you started blogging.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.


How did I start this thing? Well, let's see if my homework-muddled mind can think back to two years ago . . . Ah, yes, I remember. For some time already, I had wanted an online platform for my writing/a public place to put my thoughts out there. But I was taking my own sweet time fiddling with Blogger until Bryan Davis wanted to share my book review of To Kill a Mockingbird on his blog and asked if I had a website to link to. That provided the motivation to pull myself together and finally launch Adventure Awaits.


And that's how it started.


It took me a while to find my groove, and to be honest, I'm still finding it. But now I can see more clearly how almost everything here centers around story somehow, whether it's reading them, writing them, or living them. As time goes on, I hope to hone my focus even more.


If you want to read more trivia on the beginnings of the blog, check out my first blogoversary post.


Advice for new bloggers:

There's the usual "be careful how much personal info you share," and "be consistent," but you can find those tips everywhere, so let's talk about the fun stuff instead.


1. Be yourself! Yes, it's cliché, but that's because it's true. Don't bother copying another blogger's voice or style, but don't get too caught up in originality either. Just write the way YOU write (or the way you speak, if you want to be more casual). Figure out what feels natural to you, and don't be afraid to experiment. Maybe you're sarcastic or nonsensical or practical or poetic. Maybe you do lists. Maybe you tell stories. Maybe your posts are mainly photos with a handful of succinct thoughts thrown in. Maybe reading your blog feels like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a friend, or maybe it feels like a drive-through classroom where readers can learn something new during a five-minute break in their busy day. I don't know! You get to figure it out!


2. Write about what's on your heart. What do you ponder? What makes your pulse race and your chest tighten with anticipation? What makes you question? What makes you dream? What matters to you? You have something to offer. For me, I see life through the lens of story. It's more than the books I read or the tales I type: it's the adventure I'm living that's headed toward a beautiful ending. So that's what I blog about, because ultimately all those different kinds of stories, whether read or written or lived, all intersect. You get to blog about what matters to you. When you do that, you'll write with passion, and you'll attract people who care about that subject too.


This tag didn't have any rules for how many new people to tag, which is fine because I've almost exhausted my list of available bloggers! If you feel like ruminating on the blogging life, feel free to steal it for yourself. :)


Stats & Things



78 followers across GFC and Bloglovin'--an increase of 40 since last year, hooray!
133 posts
2,938 comments (half of them are mine, LOL)
81,738 pageviews, over six times as many as last year (although I know I've been getting a lot of views from spammy URLS, so I'm not sure how much that actually counts)


Top ten countries from whence the pageviews came:
1. United States
2. Canada
3. Russia
4. France
5. United Kingdom
6. Germany
7. Ukraine
8. Australia
9. Brazil
10. Singapore


A collection of odd search results:
- wallpaper photos (I wonder which photos?)


- Tracey Dyck author (Yes! One day!)


- can I read eyes wide open without r . . . (Blogger cut off the sentence, but I'm assuming it would be "without reading [insert some other book in Ted Dekker's Outlaw series])


- quest adventure awaits (I love the word quest. Also the word adventure.)


- tracy dyck hayd [insert swear word] (What?!)


- adventure awaits (That's the expected search result, yes.)


- a girl walking alone in the road picture (I think I remember which post that was from . . .)


- pictures of people walking alone (See above.)


- tracy dyck accurate scale (Maybe learn how to spell my name accurately, hmm?)


- dekker "the creative way" writing course (Highly recommend!)


- Riley and Tracey Dyck [insert name of nearby town] (The fact that a local community name led to my blog is somewhat concerning. And who's Riley?)


- bleck crying spm (Say what now?)


- the silmarillion 2016 (Ahh, that was a good ol' time.)


- content (What do you mean? Being content? Offering good content? IS IT A NOUN OR AN ADJECTIVE? CONTEXT, PEOPLE.)


- tracy dyck Edmonton (I've never been there.)


- bryan davis dragons in our midst (You have great reading taste, my friend.)


Ten most popular posts:
Again, I'm really not sure how accurate this is with the amount of spammy views I've been getting, because these posts are pretty random.


1. Book Review: Five Enchanted Roses
2. Subplots and Storylines - October 2016
3. Subplots and Storylines - November 2016
4. Beautiful Books - Writing Goals
5. The Cage // a spooky story
6. A Glimmer of Hope (Happy Birthday, LOTR!)
7. Why Fiction Matters
8. The Silmarillion Awards 2016: Riddling and Poetry Nominations
9. Problematic Opportunities and Opportunistic Problems
10. First Lines (Part 1)


I'd say the blog has definitely grown since March 2016, but like I mentioned earlier, I want to freshen things up around here in the coming months. Make this place even more inviting for you dear questers! (And if any of you have tips for minimizing the annoying spammy stuff, please let me know.)


Musings on Blogging



I've been thinking about the nature of social media lately. It's so incomplete. We read each other's updates and blogs, see each other's photos, and think everyone else has it all together. Even the ones who openly confess they're falling apart seem to be doing so gracefully and oh-so-photogenically.


Subplots and Storylines goes up near the end of every month, and while I thoroughly enjoy reflecting on the happenings of my life and the ways I'm growing, even those journal-like entries feel incomplete. Not only that, but I seem to give the impression that I'm super productive, accomplishing all sorts of things in the midst of a busy life. Is that true? Yes. And also no.


For being an INFJ, I'm terrible at analyzing myself. I never know if I'm too harsh or too lax, and thus in this case, I'm not sure if I actually am as "superhuman" as I seem to portray, or if what I do is actually pretty average and summing it up in one breath just sounds cool.


This is in NO WAY a critique on any of you wonderful commenters who encourage me! I love you guys! I'm just saying the whole concept makes me think. It makes me wonder about the inaccuracy of our online facades.


That being said, the internet is not the place to dump every single detail of one's life, whether it's in the name of being genuine or not! Even if I did do that, the picture would still not be complete. I think even with the people we see face-to-face every day, our pictures of each other are incomplete, because in a sense only you know your life. (You and God, of course.)


So maybe the point is not to try to offer the complete picture on your blog or Instagram or Twitter or whatever.


Maybe the point is to offer a sliver of the picture as honestly as you can, in a way that helps and uplifts as many people as you can. And if we all approached our online lives this way--as millions of slivers intersecting and touching and twining around each other--we would do a better job of it.


Well.


That got all introspective and challenging, and not very party-like, but that's how I think sometimes, y'all.


Now, just so you don't think that I've fallen out of love with blogging, you must know that I am so grateful for this little adventuresome community! I love interacting with y'all and sharing stories both on the page and in real life. THANK YOU ALL for your kind and encouraging comments, your feedback, your readership, your presence here. I'm not throwing words into a void; I get the chance to sit around the bonfire with real people and exchange real stories. Real embers of hope. It's your names, your faces, that make blogging worth it. I'm truly honored to have you here.


Here's to another year of well-spun tales and adventures waiting around every corner! Huzzah! Now pass around those leftover gingersnaps, why don't you?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Subplots and Storylines - March 2017



According to the saying, March is either a lamb or a lion, but I think this time around it was much more lion than anything else. I mean, yes, the weather exhibited the kind of schizophrenia I expect of March: whiteout conditions one day and a balmy ten degrees Celsius on another. But life was consistently lion-ish.


Life

I gave my third speech in my public speaking class (yay!), met with a friend out from Mexico, went to a fun wedding show with my peeps from the creative ministry (in order to get décor ideas and stay on top of the trends), and went to another Business & Leadership seminar thingie where I learned about the habits of a great leader.


College had an info night, at which I got a chance to share my experience in the program and hopefully convince potential students to attend this fall. That was a great evening--from a spontaneous Olive Garden dinner with classmates, to standing out in the cold drizzle to welcome guests to the event, to the hilarity of cleaning up afterwards amongst laughter and friends.


Other than that, day camp pretty much swallowed up life! Planning and running that camp was my college class's final project--a chance to put everything we've learned about leadership, organization, people skills, public speaking, and relationships to work in an intense environment. We've been working on it since the new year, and this week it all came to a head. Sixty-some kids (grades 1-6) showed up for five days of fun.


It was a ton of work, and it meant giving up a lot of my free mornings/evenings/breaks this month. Being in an admin role was a very stretching experience, and I may have melted down once or twice, but I had an incredible safety net of people around me to pick me back up and remind of important truths. I honestly need to post about some of the things I've learned through this experience . . .


The camp itself was fantastic! So many precious kids showered me in hugs, giggles, artwork, and homemade bracelets. I loved doing lessons and skits, playing with the kids, and directing my team of fellow students. Waking up at 5:30 am and coming home at 7 pm was exhausting, but so incredibly worth it.


Movies

Still watching and rewatching various Once Upon a Time episodes, as well as going through season 2 of The Flash. There's not much more to add than what I've been saying for the past few months. (What can I say? I watch shows pretty slowly.)


I didn't watch any movies this month, actually. At least not full movies. I did see the first ten minutes of Transformers: Age of Extinction with a classmate, then had to leave abruptly in an attempt to beat the blizzard home. That was quite the drive.


I also saw the middle third of Trolls during day camp, but missed the beginning and ending. From what I saw, the trolls themselves were cute, but those Bergen creatures were just plain weird. I don't really have a desire to see the rest of the movie.


Books

Somehow I finished three books this month despite the busyness, so hooray for that!




Winter//Marissa Meyer


Okay, folks, I LOVED this one. I've really enjoyed the whole Lunar Chronicles (despite the slight let-down that was Scarlet), but the conclusion? So good! Overall, I'd still say Cress was my favorite book of the series, yet Winter wrapped it all up wonderfully.


A small list of awesomeness:
  • a barrage of problems and obstacles had me thinking "uh oh . . ." on multiple occasions
  • the character interactions positively crackled with depth and sass
  • Winter was such a fascinating POV character, what with her craziness (I adore loopy charries) (some people say she's an INFJ, which . . . gives me pause, heheh)
  • Cinder + Kai
  • Thorne + Cress
  • seeing Levana lose control and get angry was so satisfying
  • a revolution plot gave the story a dystopian flavor amidst the fairytale elements
  • ALL THE CHARACTER INTERACTIONS (I had to mention it twice because Marissa Meyer is brilliant at this)


The Spirit Contemporary Life: Unleashing the Miraculous in Your Everyday World // Leon Fontaine//(college assignment book)


I've heard this pastor speak before, and it was so neat to read about a topic close to his heart. The Spirit Contemporary Life was a really easy read, but don't mistake the material to be fluff and stuff. It's challenging, in a good way. It challenged me to get out of my safe little bubble, and to live in a way that attracts people to Jesus.


Rather than some books that make evangelism seem scary and hard, this one reminded me of how natural and amazing it can be when I'm just open to people and open to God! The world is waiting for Christian's to rise up and live lives full of the Holy Spirit's power, in a way that's relevant and understandable to those around them.


Some quotes I loved:


Change always feels strange, even when it places you smack-dab in the middle of God's will.
Your personal story of how Jesus made a difference in your life is your most powerful tool for sharing the gospel.
Being Spirit Contemporary isn't about pleasing people so they will like you. It's about being so confident, strong, and secure in your identity as a child of God that people notice the different in your life and are attracted to you as you direct them to Jesus.




The Shack//William Paul Young


I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. It's almost like one has to split the book in half when evaluating it: there's the story, and then there's the sermon. I'm not interested in adding to the already-muddy waters surrounding this book recently translated to the silver screen, nor am I prepared to do that. Like I said, I didn't read it studiously at all. It was a quick book I used to unwind between all the rehearsals and day camp prep.


That being said, I do have a few thoughts.


First, the story. The writing is mediocre. The dialogue felt mostly stilted, which is a problem when probably 70% of the book is dialogue. I felt very distant from Mack, the main character, never getting a real chance to hear his thoughts or feel what he felt. The only reason I felt anything was because the concept of one's daughter being brutally murdered would tug at anyone's heartstrings. To me, the author missed a chance to dig into the messiness of that kind of pain.


Not only that, but the dialogue of the black woman representing God was inconsistent. Sometimes it was written like it sounds (you know, words like ain't, or jes' instead of just), but most of the time there was none of that.


Now for the sermon aspect. Rather than being mostly story with some sermon, it felt like mostly sermon with some story. Some aspects were powerful. Others were heavy-handed and contrived. I'm not going to spend a lot of time discussing the rightness or wrongness of the theology, but suffice it to say I fall somewhere between the this-book-is-wonderful-it-changed-my-life camp and the burn-this-sacrilegious-piece-of-heresy-to-ash camp. I don't agree with either extreme.


Some of the statements this book made could be interpreted multiple ways. Take this, for example. It's Jesus talking to Mack.


"Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved."
"Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?"
"Not at all," smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you."


That could be taken to mean that the author believes all religions are correct, or it could mean that Christians have come from all those different backgrounds and chosen to follow Christ (which is true). I'm not sure which meaning the author intended, and he didn't clear that up.


One of the biggest issues I see people debating is whether it's right for God to be portrayed as a woman. I believe the Bible refers to God as He on purpose. But male and female are both made in God's image, so He must embody the best masculine and feminine qualities. Again, it's a little difficult to tell where the author stands on this issue.


However, there were a small handful of things that I found thought-provoking, in a good way.


[Jesus] "If you try to live this without me, without the ongoing dialogue of us sharing this journey together, it will be like trying to walk on the water by yourself. You can't! And when you try, however well-intentioned, you're going to sink . . . It's extremely hard to rescue someone unless they are willing to trust you . . . That's all I ask of you. When you start to sink, let me rescue you."


Although this book has made a big impact on some readers, and although I liked a few aspects, I wouldn't hand it to a new Christian or anybody struggling to figure out their beliefs, and neither do I feel like rereading it. I may see the movie at some point.


Well. I was not intending to write a review, but it looks like I kind of did. Oops!


Writing


It was abysmally quiet on this front, thanks to everything else going on! I worked a little bit more on using the Snowflake Method to plot out The Brightest Thread, and that's it.

And now for a break . . .


Spring break, that is! I'm so happy to have a week to relax a bit, recover from an annoying cold, read some books, hopefully finish the abovementioned outline, and get back into proper blogging. Thanks for you patience, dear adventurers!

How was your March? Like a lion or a lamb? Do you enjoy working with kids? Have you read any of those books? Tell me about your sundry quests of the month!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

TAG #4 - The Snippet Tag (Fairytale Themed)

What ho, my friends! We've come to round four of this month of tag catch-up. In December, Deborah O'Carroll @ The Road of a Writer included me in the Snippet Tag (created by Madeline J. Rose).


the-snippet-tag


The rules are as follows:


-Include the graphic somewhere in your post (or make your own, just so long as you include a link back to Madeline's blog).
-Answer all the questions, however you want to. Creative interpretation is key here! You can use the book you’re currently working on to answer the questions, or other books you’ve started or have written.
-Tag 2-5 other bloggers.


I wanted to feature The Brightest Thread, seeing as it's my primary writing focus right now, but I didn't want to limit myself to just one story (nor did I want to bore you all with nonstop gushing about Luci and Hadrian and spindle trees and dreams). So to diversify things a bit, I thought I'd bring in my other two fairytale retellings (both novella-sized): Blood Rose, and The Glass Girl. I haven't discussed either of them a whole lot on the blog, so it'll be fun to share a couple of glimpses.


Although I must admit, after skimming through them in search of snippets, I cringed to myself at the stories' weak spots. Yet it was encouraging at the same time to see that I have grown and made progress since then.


Without further ado, let's get on to the questions. My {comments} are inserted in fancy shmancy brackets.


1. Share your most gripping, fascinating, and hooking first line of a story.



Not in centuries had the mountains rung with such gladness.


-The Brightest Thread


{This remains one of my favorite first lines.}


2. Share a snippet that literally just crushes your heart into a million feelsy little pieces.



She was Iroran—not one of the thousands he’d always yearned to help—and yet she, too, was chained. And he could break those chains.


“I must break them,” he whispered to the shadows.


Hadrian threw on a cloak, stuffed crushed gildroot in his pocket, and snatched a pack for provisions. As he rushed down darkened passages, his heart beat painfully in his chest. Strange—he was sure his heart had been stolen by the weeping maiden in his dreams.


-The Brightest Thread


{It's off to the rescue!}


3. Share a snippet that makes you want to shout to the world that you’re SO. HAPPY.



But time went on, and I learned to find happiness in what I had left. I spent hours in the studio with Father, helping him stoke the furnace and learning how to use the glassmaking tools. While his team of six workers mixed ingredients, poured molten glass into molds, or formed vessels by hand, I stayed at my father’s side. Watching. Experimenting. Learning his magic. He was so skilled, sometimes I thought he was a Vibrant, a legendary individual blessed with supernatural powers. But of course he wasn’t – Vibrants were only fairy-tales, after all.


Whenever I tired of the furnace’s heat, I would make my way to the shop at the front of the building, where daylight played over Father’s brilliant wares. Crystal clear goblets, painted dishes, and multihued vases were artfully arranged in the front windows. Prisms and ornaments dangled from the ceiling, throwing rainbows and spots of color across the walls. Glass trinkets and baubles and figurines graced the shelves like little treasures dropped by fairies. If I wasn’t spending my day in the studio, I was whiling away the hours in that wonderland of color and transparency.


-The Glass Girl


{From the opening act of my Cinderella retelling. Although the story bears many flaws, the visuals in this scene capture a childhood happiness that I still love.}


4. Share a snippet that gives a bit of insight into one of your most favorite characters ever.



She entombed the star in her fingers. No, such hopes could not be afforded. Not when death lay weeks away, immovable as a mountain. Hoping would only make it more painful when it came.


Her wrist tingled where Hadrian’s fingers had touched her. Strong and slender fingers, calloused, with dirt under the nails. He liked digging in the dirt. He liked making things grow.


“I’m just a dream to him.”


Luci curled into a ball, imprisoned star pressed to her sternum, and tried not to think of the prince who plucked light from the heavens and asked for her name.


-The Brightest Thread


{Luci just breaks my heart. She spends far too long pushing away exactly what it is she yearns for.}


5. Share a snippet that literally melts you into a puddle of adorable, squishy, OTP mush.



The first thing she noticed in the transition from sleep to wakefulness was pain—in her head and in her right foot. Emi moaned.


“Good, you’re awake.”


Prying her eyelids open, she struggled to work out where she was and what had happened. A soft pillow cushioned her head. Whose bed am I in? She tried to rise, but lightning seared inside her skull. “Ow.” She covered her face with her hands.


“Just stay still,” Will said. “You knocked your head.”


“It feels like a rock bounced off me,” she muttered, peeking at him through her fingers.


“I think it was the other way around.”


-Blood Rose


{In case you didn't know, OTP stands for one true pairing, and refers to a fictional couple you love. In this case, I still adore Will and Emi together. The beginning stage of their relationship is so light and fun compared to what comes later. Heheh.}


6. Share a snippet that gets you beaming with pride and you’re just like yep, I wrote that beauty.



Long-forbidden memories tugged at him, and for a moment he relented. They drew him back to hazy summers, when laughing eyes teased him and a girlish giggle chased him down the corridors. When all it took was a plump red apple or a daring climb up the wall to enchant her. How distant those days seemed. Years and use had polished the memories to a sheen, softening their edges and lending them the golden air of dreams.


And yet for all their beauty, both idealized and real, these echoes of yesterday brought with them a sharp pain. For always the summer was swallowed up by winter. Forest romps, once spirited adventures, became attempts at distraction. Her laughs grew less frequent. Unfamiliar faces passed through the manor, arriving confident and departing solemn. Hushed whispers, closed doors, forced smiles, lingering glances…


Thus, summer died at winter’s hand. And then even winter surrendered to darkness, and the night reigned supreme.


-Blood Rose


{Still a favorite excerpt of mine!}


7. Share a snippet of genius, deliciously witty dialogue between your characters.



Luci eyed her company. “Master Boris.”


Her tutor raised his head. “Yes, Princess?”


“Have I ever mentioned you have the nose of a pig?”


Boris blinked and touched his round, upturned nose. “I—no, Princess, you haven’t.”


“I think it goes lovely with your squinty little eyes.”


Aleida hiccupped, but Luci suspected it was a cloaked giggle.


Boris’s face reddened. “Er, thank you, Princess.”


“Alucinora,” Mother said. “I’ve never heard such an insult leave your lips.”


Luci fought back a grin. “I was merely pointing out his natural talent.” In truth, every time she sat under his schooling, she couldn’t put the image of a pig out of mind.


Aleida’s shoulders quaked.


Mother set her fork down with a clang. “Alucinora, perhaps you should keep your compliments on others’ talents to yourself.” She forced a smile. “After all, today is about you.”


-The Brightest Thread


{When a princess "blessed"--or in her mind, cursed--with the gift of diplomacy finds a way to repress her gift for a day, and is finally free to speak her mind . . . well, that's when the fun begins.}


8. Share a snippet that makes you feel like an evil genius for thinking up such a malevolent villain (Mwa-ha-ha!)



Lady Lurline stepped closer, seeming to tower over me on my little workbench. With her ebony hair swept up on her head and her sharp nose pointed down at me, she made me feel like I was under the shadow of a large raven. “Do not question me, Cinderella,” she hissed. “If I ask for something, you give it to me.” She put one hand over my burnt one and squeezed hard, her fingernails digging into me skin. “Do – you – understand?”


Something inside me finally cracked. Father’s death had shoved my heart into a fiery furnace. Then the Lady’s demands had yanked my heart out again into instant cold. I should’ve known that such an abrupt change would cause me to shatter like glass that hadn’t been cooled properly.


I stared up into Lady Lurline’s dark eyes. Isadora, Mysteres do exist. Your mother is one, the devil. Her grip tightened. I glanced down and saw little beads of blood where her fingernails had pierced my hand.


“I will ask you once more, Ellesandra,” she whispered. “What is your recipe?”


“I’m not going to tell you.”


She flung my hand away and stepped back. “Then you have brought this upon yourself.” Fingers splayed and palm down, she extended her right hand. Her skin seemed to darken, first to ash grey, then to coal black.


I jumped off the bench and backpedalled, heart racing. My thought had come true!


She began chanting. “Fires hot and rocks so deep, thunderclouds and skies that weep – to my side you now amass…”


My legs hit a bench, stopping my backward path. Whimpering, I raised my hands in a weak attempt to protect myself.


The Lady’s eyes glowed yellow. “…Turn flesh and bone to limbs of glass!”


Blinding white flashed across my range of vision, bringing with it both searing heat and glacial cold. A scream – my own? – pierced my eardrums. Pain lancing through every nerve, I collapsed on the floor.


-The Glass Girl


{Probably the best scene involving Lady Lurline.}


9. Share a snippet that leaves you breathless, in a cold sweat with action-induced intensity.



The twinge grew to a throb beating in time with his heart. The air thinned; [Will] sucked in a shallow breath. “Emi, there are…things…I need to…explain.” He blinked hard, tried to clear the fog enfolding his brain.


She shook her head. “I think you’ve explained enough.”


“No, there’s…more,” he grunted, swaying on his feet and gripping the bars for balance.


Roar.


Take.


Kill.


The girl said something, but her words sounded garbled and strange. Will stared down at the floor and fought off the mounting wave of bestial desire.


Run.


Own.


Fight.


It descended all at once. Tearing, rending agony; a maelstrom of crimson. He dropped to the ground, felt the vibration of a growl low in his throat.


Clawing at the stones. A howl streaming from his lips. Blood rushing through his veins. Red.


Stone rose up on either side, hemming him in, trapping him. Muscles bunched beneath his skin. He threw himself at the bars.


Live.


Kill.


Flee.


He crashed against the walls. Pain flared. He lunged again, snarling, scraping, panting.


A sound, high and offensive to his ears, knifed through the air. He turned. A she-creature cried out in a language he didn’t know. He crouched there, staring at her. Heat radiated from her flesh. She was alive. She was prey.


Lips peeled back in a roar to end all roars, he slammed into the bars. They quaked but held firm. The she-creature stumbled backward. He smelled fear.


Prey!


-Blood Rose


{I think I was almost breathless when writing this scene.}


10. Share a snippet of a most interesting first meeting between your characters.



“Are you alright?” the dove asked. It wasn’t a bird, but a girl standing pale in the moonlight, golden-red hair loose and windblown. As if suddenly aware of his gaze, she turned her back, but not before he caught a glimpse of rainwater eyes.


“It’s you!”


She stood with arms crossed and spine rigid.


“You’ve been haunting my dreams,” [Hadrian] continued. “Who are you?”


“My name matters little.”


“It does if it belongs to the one who rescued me.”


“Falling would’ve woken you up, not killed you. I hardly call what I did a rescue.”


Hadrian sidestepped in an effort to see her face, but she turned too. “Since this is a dream, it makes no difference if I know your name.” But never before had his dreams been so lifelike. What could have inspired his mind to conjure her?


After a moment, her posture relaxed. “Fine. I’ll trade my name for three items from you.”


He chuckled. “One for three? You sound like a valley bargainer.”


“Sensibility isn’t required in dreams.”


-The Brightest Thread


{I'm so looking forward to expanding, perhaps even changing, their first meeting. A dream realm allows for some pretty fun experimentation, a strange and otherworldly backdrop to the beginning of the story's central relationship. Yay!}

Thanks for reading! Now the time comes to tag some fellow writers . . .


P.S. I have had zero time to reply to comments this past week, and it looks like I'll have less than zero time next week (yes, we are pretending that is possible). Do keep leaving those comments, and rest assured I'll return to converse with you once March is over!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

TAG #3 - The Sunshine Blogger Award

[Apologies for the delay, folks! Saturday got away from me.]


The sun is out (today at least--I've no idea if it will be on the day this is posted), and I'm back to thank Belle Anne @ Worlds of Ink and Paper for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I have a sneaking suspicion I've done one of these before, or else I've just seen it circulating the blogosphere countless times. But that's totally fine because it's always different!


The rules are simple: answer 11 questions from your nominator, then tag 11 other bloggers, and ask them 11 new questions.


[Enjoy random pictures that have nothing to do with the post and everything to do with the fact I simply like them.]



[via Pinterest]

1. Who was your fictional childhood hero?



I went through a big mystery phase during my elementary school years. I started out admiring Jigsaw Jones for his money-making, mystery-solving prowess--to the point I begged my mom for a mystery to solve and wanted to be paid a dollar just like Jigsaw. Then my attention moved to the Mandy Shaw series, which I positively devoured, and after that to Nancy Drew. Somewhere midway through the Nancy Drew books, my interest petered out.





2. Who is your favorite band?


Gah, what a hard question! I love Owl City for his whimsy and gorgeous music (though he's not really a band, just one person). But I also love For King and Country for their incredible voices and profound lyrics. And I've also been loving a number of worship songs by Young & Free, Hillsong United, and Bethel Music.

As you all know, I am a multiple choice kind of girl when it comes to these narrow "favorites" questions.


[via Pinterest]

3. What was the most deep book you've ever read?


Aside from the Bible, I'm assuming.

I'd have to say the entire Chronicles of Narnia, because I connected with them in a deep, powerful, simple way during my childhood. They encapsulate something precious about that time in my life, a piece of which I carry with me permanently. That's not to say I haven't read all kinds of wonderfully deep books since then--just that Narnia happens to have a depth of life history for me as well.

4. What was your least favorite book you've ever read? (and I mean if it's your least favorite due to opinion, and not morality of material)


Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, which I had to read for school, was a book I found mind-numbingly boring (sorry, Hemingway fans!) and not at all deep like my curriculum claimed it was supposed to be. It all seemed rather pointless to me, and either too generic or too stark to be the kind of allegory I enjoy.

[via Pinterest]


5. Who (disregarding the classic authors, like Tolkien, Stevenson, and Dickens) is your favorite author?


If you've been an adventurer 'round these parts for any length of time, it's pretty safe to say you know the answer to this.

And once again my answer is not singular.

Bryan Davis, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and Ted Dekker--in no particular order--are three of my tippity top favorite authors. Together they represent some of my favorite qualities in fiction!

6. What is your favorite movie scene of all time?


TOO MANY. And actually I've never sat down to analyze favorite scenes as opposed to favorite movies. Even if I knew what my favorite movie was, you've now made my dilemma a hundred times more difficult by giving me a hundred options within an option!

Huh. Options within options . . . Dreams within dreams, anyone? Because that final dream sequence in Inception is one of my faves. (I also hate it with a vengeance. If you've seen it, you'll understand perfectly.)

And I love Aslan's death and resurrection scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; as well as the attack on Miraz's castle in Prince Caspian.

While we're discussing fantasy movies, can I just say the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is my favorite? No? Okay. Anything taking place in the Shire = favorite. Anything containing Gandalf quips = favorite. The scene in The Return of the King where shots of the battle are intercut with Pippin singing = also favorite.

Lizzy and Mr. Darcy in the field at the end of Pride and Prejudice (2005) is another favorite.

Oh, I also love the boat scene in Tangled where Rapunzel and Eugene sing "At Last I See the Light." All the feels.

Aaaand I'd better stop, but before I do--the "ground rules" scene between Peter and Gwen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is just . . . just . . . excuse me, I have to go have a good cry.

[via Pinterest]


7. If you had to pick one pen name/stage name to use forever instead of real one, what would it be?


Oh dear. I have difficulty coming up with pen names, because . . .

a) Where do I start?
b) It's so final--you don't want to write one book under a pen name and then decide, "Oops, I like this other name better. Can I change mid-series?"
c) There's pressure to make it a good name that represents you and your books and your main genre and it's supposed to memorable.
d) I would be paranoid about avoiding ridiculous pen names like Daisy Meadows (who writes juvenile fairy books) and Michael Steel/Gunn (not a real person, but I've seen something similar for an author of thrillers).

My real name just seems easier. But if I absolutely had to pick a pseudonym, I would call myself Violet Dragonsbane.

HA. NOT.

Okay, to be serious, the name Samantha Quinn just came to mind. My parents considered naming me Samantha, and the letter Q is fun. Except now I'm squinting and wondering if Quinn sounds as ridiculous as Meadows, Steel, and Dragonsbane. It's also worth considering the fact that a Q name would put me near the bottom of the shelf in a library or bookstore. Maybe Samantha Blake or Samantha Foster. I really don't know!

8. What do you think is the best hobby a person could have? What about your own personal favorite hobby?


Journaling. It's an ebbing and flowing hobby for me, but I find it so helpful for venting feelings, clarifying thoughts, and writing down prayers and musings. Obviously not everyone in the world processes their thoughts in written form as I do, but for those who share that tendency, I think journaling does wonders.

My personal favorite hobby is--wait, I want you to guess! It's a laughably easy thing to notice, so tell me in the comments what you think it is.

[via Pinterest]


9. What is your favorite kind of scenery to be in (forests, riverside, etc.)?


Any place with trees, so yes, forests are a favorite of mine. I also find mountains cropping up all over my books, so those too. Lakesides and meandering streams are also lovely.

10. Do you enjoy poetry? If so, who, in your opinion, is the greatest poet ever?


I do! Unfortunately, I have not studiously sought out many poets' works yet. But from what I have read, I really enjoy Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. (I know, I know. Typical high school assignment kind of poetry, but I'm serious. I love most of the (very little) Frost and Dickinson I've read.)



11. Where, if you could choose anywhere in all Europe, in any time period, would you go?


Italy! Renaissance! Yes!

But I would make it a point to travel Britain and France and probably the entirety of Europe as well.

[via Pinterest]

A new set of questions:

1. What's the most addicting app on your phone?
2. What's a song that speaks to your life right now?
3. Do you have a book or movie that's your "happy place"--a fictional world into which you retreat when you need a breather? What is it?
4. What's a book you were (or are) looking forward to so much you're scared to read it, for fear it won't live up to your expectations?
5. If you had to have all of your past memories wiped except for one day, which day would you choose to remember?
6. What question would you like to ask one of your favorite authors?
7. If you had to describe yourself as one of the four seasons, which would it be?
8. What's your personality type? (Myers Briggs, DISC, whichever test you prefer.)
9. An envelope containing $500 shows up on your doorstep. On what do you spend it?
10. Would you rather be trapped in a lamp, a tower, or an enchanted sleep?
11. Which Disney villain(ess) do you find the most scary?

Whew, now to tag 11 bloggers. Here we go:

Florid Sword @ The Writer's Song (Congrats on your new blog!)
And Chloe @ Faeries and Folklore (Welcome to the blogosphere, sis!)

What would your pen name be? Do you have any poets to recommend? What do you think my personal favorite hobby is?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

TAG #2 - Dual Character Inquisition

Welcome to the second instalment of the tag fest! In case you missed it, I'm catching up on all the tags that have piled up over the past few months.

4hfqv1476140500.jpg

Today's tag is somewhat ironic, considering it's a Dual Character Inquisition, and I was tagged twice: first by Kate @ Story and Dark Chocolate and then by Lucy @ Tangle Webs and Fairy Rings.


The way this works is I use two characters to answer a list of questions, include pictures of them, and at the end tag three bloggers. Because The Brightest Thread is now my primary work-in-progress (when I actually have writing time, that is), what better time to brush the dust off my two main protagonists and reintroduce them to you lovely questers?


[pinterest]
Princess Luci


[pinterest]
Prince Hadrian


Who inspired this character?


Luci, or Princess Alucinora of Iror, was obviously inspired by the titular character of Sleeping Beauty. The original didn't have much personality, so I had lots of room for invention.

Prince Hadrian of Bauglind, by the same token, was inspired by the prince in the same fairytale. But . . . the original tale's prince is not at all like Hadrian. (If you've never read the original, maybe don't. It's twisted.) To be more accurate, I guess Hadrian was inspired by the montage of noble heroes I've read and watched over the years, heroes burdened by other people's plights and mistakes.

What is their weapon of choice?


Luci has never wielded a weapon, though she wishes her mother would have taught her swordplay.

Hadrian is undergoing rigorous battle training. He's most adept with a sword.


Have they ever been physically violent with someone else? What instigated it?



Luci has wished she could instigate violence a few times, but some of her magical gifts from the fairies prevent it, such as her grace and diplomacy. (Oh, how she hates the diplomacy.) Honestly, the most violent she ever gets is slamming doors.


In his father's court, Hadrian drills with Chief Rook, but has never exercised violence with the intent to hurt or kill until the events of The Brightest Thread. Ogres become a bit of a problem, you see.

Are they more of a rule-follower or a rebel?



Ha! Luci is a rebel at heart, through and through. Being squeezed into a predesigned box by her magical giftings is something she deeply resents. She's too perfect because of them. But inside, where no one can hear her, she's a passionate young woman with a fiery temper.


Hadrian, in comparison to the corruption running rampant in Bauglind, is a rule-follower. He has a strong moral code that he didn't learn from his weak-willed father or his greedy ogress stepmother. (I think it was his birth mother that influenced his goodness.) But if there are rules put in place that go against his convictions, he'll break them without a second thought.


What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?



Luci was all of the above, actually. Curious about the world she was forbidden to explore, wild at heart, forcibly quieted by her magical gifts, and slightly devious (though she had precious few chances to let that out). She had a fascination with any activity she was terrible at, such as art. The model dragon hanging above her bed is the misshapen product of her enthusiasm as a youngster.

Hadrian was a rough and tumble outdoorsy kid, a boy who dug in the dirt and lost himself in the jungle whenever he could. He was obedient and uncommonly kind, though these traits led to frustration and sometimes even anger against others who acted the opposite way. When his stepmother came into his life, he became noticeably quieter, and retreated to green, growing places more often.

Where would they go to relax and think?


If permitted, and even sometimes if not, Luci would escape to the woods outside the castle. Iror's fairy steward, Aleida, always accompanies her. Being out in the fresh air, where the only barriers are trees and mountainous slopes, helps Luci breathe.


Hadrian gravitates toward the outdoors too. When palace politics or street depravity becomes too much to bear, he disappears into his personal garden to tend his plants and clear his mind.

Do they have a temper?



Luci certainly does, especially when stifled or forced into things. Hadrian is much more laidback. It takes injustice toward someone else to really rile him up.


Would they be more likely to face their fears or run from them?



Luci will face some of her fears dead on, but her deepest fear--that there's no love strong enough to break her curse, or that she will draw that love to its death before it has a chance to save her--is something she hides from for a long, long time.


Hadrian will think it over quickly, make a decision, and simply muster up the courage to face his fears, even if they haunt him deeply.


When they are upset, do they turn to other people or isolate themselves?



Luci shuts everyone out and hides in the castle's library, back hallways, or her chambers. Only Aleida has a chance to get through to her when she's upset.


Hadrian would turn to other people if he had them, but true friends are few and far between in his life.

Say 3 things about where your character lives (as broad or specific as you like).



Luci: She lives in the upper Branch, a steep mountain range in the kingdom of Iror. Her castle is old and majestic, a blend of her father's unshakeable personality and her mother's worn beauty. Her country is struggling financially due to the outlawing of spindles.


Hadrian: He resides in the heart of Bauglind, a kingdom of rainstorms and humidity. His palace has been decadently renovated by his ogress stepmother, at the expense of the people. His country's wealth is severely unbalanced, due in part to the rich/poor divide, and to the support Bauglind lent to Iror in recent times.


* * *


Well, that was enjoyable! It made me even more excited to dig deeper into The Brightest Thread. Now comes the time to tag three people . . .


Christine Smith @ Musings of an Elf
parchmentpathwalker @ The Parchment Path
Blue @ To be a Shennachie


Looking forward to meeting some of your characters! To all who read this whole thing: who do you think you're most like: Luci or Hadrian?


Saturday, March 4, 2017

TAG #1 - One Lovely Blog Award

Hear ye, hear ye! For the month of March, Adventure Awaits will be inundated with tags. Yes. I have a small mountain of them to get through, so I'm borrowing Deborah's ingenious method of catching up all at once. What fun!

Today we're kicking it off with the good ol' One Lovely Blog Award, given to me by Emily @ Ink, Inc. Thanks, Em! The only guidelines are to share seven facts about me. Well. This sort of tag gets more difficult the more of them one completes, as one has only so many facts about oneself to plaster all over the internet.

So to switch things up a bit, and because this is a primarily story-related blog, let's talk about seven popular books I have not read! Some I want to read, and a few others . . . not so much.

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Heh. Eheheh. I remember when this series was absolutely huge. I had no desire to read about sparkly vampire boyfriends then, and I have no desire to read about sparkly vampire boyfriends now. Well, okay, I might try the first book someday, if only to determine whether all the Twilight bashers are right. And to see if there's any saving grace in there at all that somehow made Stephanie Meyer such a popular writer. Bottom line: if I ever read this, it will be for observational purposes and not out of any burning desire to enter Meyer's story world.




2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

There, I said it. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. GO AHEAD, BURN ME AT THE STAKE NOW. This has got to be the shining-est of shining examples of my White Rabbit tendency when it comes to popular books.


(What is a White Rabbit tendency, you ask? It's the inclination to be "late, very much late," in joining the masses of various popular fandoms. I seem to be at least a couple years behind big sellers like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even classics like The Fellowship of the Ring.)


As a child, I intuitively stayed away from these books; it was not really a case of my parents banning them from the house. That was probably wise. More recently, however, I've heard opinions from all across the board. Some people adore Harry Potter, some shun the books as evil witchcraft, and others say it's not the magic that's the problem but the characters' immoral choices to lie and disrespect authority. So honestly, if/when I pick up the series, it will be an experimental, I'll-try-book-one-and-see-what-I-think kind of thing.




3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Classics! Do I love thee or loathe thee? That all depends. In this case, I'm rather daunted by the bloated size of this book. Yet its popularity and premise piques my interest. But great gobs of pumpernickel, does Hugo really go into reams of historical tangents that have no bearing on the story? I'm not sure I can wade through that, but one of these days I'll give it a go. As long as I wear history-proof hip waders (with which to wade through the historical tangents, you understand) I should be okay.




4. Emma by Jane Austen

So far the only Austen novel I've read is Pride and Prejudice, which was fantastic, if a little long. It  was kind of like an extended tea time with just one too many sweet crumpets--light, sweet, entertaining, and just a tad thick on the details. I think I'd love P&P even more upon a reread, but before I do that, I want to try a couple more of Austen's works. Emma seems to be well-loved.




5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I absolutely LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird. I need to buy a copy to keep forever and ever. But I also want to read Lee's other book. I know there was a fair bit of controversy surrounding its publication, and I've heard the quality is not as excellent as her first novel, but I'll be reading this regardless. It's one of those books on which I need to form my own opinion.




6. Storm Siren by Mary Weber

This one seems popular among Christian speculative fiction circles. I actually have a copy of this waiting patiently on my shelf, its beautiful cover calling out to me. And seeing as I think I'll be taking a class by Mary Weber at Realm Makers, reading one of her books has moved higher on the priority list. Plus all the great reviews sound promising! I just hope the physical attraction part of the romance isn't as over-the-top as some people have said.



7. A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

Again, this one seems big in the Christian spec fiction world. The premise sounds ah-MAY-zing, and I just want more Christian dystopian in my life. Quite a few Goodreads friends have enjoyed this one too. So A Time to Die is definitely on my list of books to read ASAP!



Honorable mentions:

Because you want to see my entire TBR list, right? Right? Don't fret, this is not the entire thing. If it were actually as short as what you're about to read, the world would be a simpler place, folks. Oh, and this is actually not a pure TBR because there is one series I don't want to read anytime soon.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (because unique formatting and threatening AI sounds fun)


The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (nope, NO thanks, don't need to have a shirtless dude plastered over the front cover. plus it just kind of looks like Twilight-caliber to me.)


The Maze Runner by James Dashner (one of these days I will find out which is better: the book or the movie. somehow I suspect movie.)


Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (kind of a modern sci-fi classic, plus the movie was great, so why not?)


Heartless by Marissa Meyer (because MARISSA MEYER and ALICE IN WONDERLAND)


A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (so many people love it, and it sounds amusing)


The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (I feel like lots of bloggy friends o' mine adore this, but in reality it might just be three? regardless, it sounds adorable)


Red Rising by Pierce Brown (highly recommended to me! highly anticipated!)


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (sounds epic)


Jackaby by William Ritter (I hear it's good, and I love the name)


The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (oh my lands, when will I finally get around to this?)


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (somebody will respond to this in all caps, I just know it (love ya, darling), but I don't think I've actually read the real thing before . . . #oops)


What are some well-known books you haven't read yet--some you want to read and some you definitely don't? Are any of the books I mentioned on your list? Are any of these "Tracey, bump these to the tippity top of your TBR this instant" kind of reads?


I almost forgot to actually tag some more people! Feel free to do this in the traditional way (seven random facts), or the "I have never read . . ." way. Or whatever other way you fancy!

And whoever else may want to snag this for themselves! (Honestly, I can't make a specific list too large, otherwise I may run out of people to tag by the time the end of the month rolls around.)