Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I WON!!!!!

I just won NaNoWriMo with 38 minutes to spare. And boy, does it feel good. Okay - I couldn't resist putting up a picture of my beautiful, purple bar -

Now to sleep. The mammoth task of editing can commence tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog Party! =)

Amanda from Farmgirl Writes, Stella from Inspire, and Elizabeth from Living on Literary Lane are hosting a blog party, or giveaway! Click the button below to enter!

1. If you had to choose between living on a desert island or tropical rainforest for the rest of your life,      which would you choose?
Tropical rainforest. (I'd rather not bake to death.)
2. What is your favorite music CD right now?
And If Our God is For Us - Chris Tomlin; and Beauty Will Rise - Steven Curtis Chapman
3. If you were given the choice between wildflowers or roses - which would you pick?
Roses. After all, that is my middle name. ;)
4. How much do you like notebooks? Is it mild, or are you absolutely obsessed with them?
Completely obsessed. I'd almost rather shop for notebooks than clothes. It's that bad.
5. What is your biggest goal this winter? 
Work on blog design, finish my novel, do well with homeschool and college work, catch up on emails, and do some sewing.
6. If you could change your hair however you wanted, what would you do?
Possibly make it slightly wavy instead of straight.
7. Do you think Harry Potter is bad?
I have never read the books or seen the movies - but I do think it's something that differs depending on individual families. Some parents might not want their kids to read about magic and witches, while others can take it and harvest the best from it. (And enjoy it! ;)  )
8. Why do you think pink is a girls' color?
Well, it didn't used to be. Blue used to be the girl color. I really have no idea. =D
9. Would you be up to singing a solo in front of a thousand people?
No way. I do not like performing in front of people, and I'd much rather hide behind my guitar than sing a solo. ;)
10. What colors look best on you?
Dark colors - black, brown, okay, yeah, and red...
11. If you had a different name, what would it be?
Kady. (The name of the MC of my novel - he he!)
12. Do you like...
boots or sneakers? 
Depends. I still have to find a pair of boots that I like - I normally end up going with sneakers.
flats or heels? 
Flats. I'm short and I like it that way. =D
books or movies?
Both. But sometimes movies over books. (Not very often, though!)
purple or pink? 
Pink, I guess.
long hair or short hair? 
Long with layers.
a best friend or a group of friends? 
Anything I can get. I haven't seen my best friends in six years - so I'll take anything!! ;)
ice cream or cake? 
Ice Cream - without a doubt.
plaid or polka dots?
Plaid, I guess...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Excerpt Number Four!

Here's the fourth excerpt! I've really been trying to write a lot - it's so surprising how far behind you can get if you don't write for three days!! =S So far I'm at 17,142 words...and I need to be at 31,667. Oh, well...I'll get there at some point. Tell me what you think!!

“Matthew. Come in here,” hissed Mark, motioning Matthew to enter the stall.
“ Why are we whispering?” asked Matthew, ducking inside.
“Well, I don’t want everyone to hear,” said Mark. “Listen, what would you think of joining the Stonewall Brigade?”
“The Stonewa…What?” asked Matthew in surprise.
“You know. General Jackson’s brigade? They fought so well at Manassas and – “
“I know who Stonewall is, Mark,” replied Matthew. “But you know Papa told us to stay here! How would he feel to have us disobey him? Besides, I’d be frightened to disobey him.”
“Listen, Matthew,” said Mark in his most convincing tone. “We have a duty to the Confederate States of America. President Davis has called for volunteers, and it would be wrong of us to not listen to that call. Besides, do you really want to go through the war constantly hearing everyone in town mocking you for not being in the army? I am not a coward!” Mark exclaimed, pounding his fist down on the top of the wooden stall divider.
“Mark, I am not a coward either,” said Matthew, trying to calm his brother down.
“Then let’s go!” Mark cut his brother off.
“No, Matthew. I have had enough of people telling me their opinions on our status here. Even Robert Lacy was berating me for not joining! Come on, Matthew…you cannot seriously abide it!”
Matthew stuck his hands deep in his trouser pockets. 

Thank you all for your votes on my book covers! You can still vote for two more days.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alright, Dear Readers...What About This?

Okay. I know that I just did four covers with a total of five for you all to pick from...but the very talented Lucy Moore on DeviantArt gave me permission to use one of her beautiful photos for my cover. So keep voting...but tell me how you like these two. =)

Can You Help Me Decide?

Alright, dear folks - I need your opinion.

If you're my friend on Facebook or you like my photography page (which, if you haven't, check it out on the sidebar! ;)  ), then you know that a graphic designer designed a book cover for me for free. What I want to know is if I should keep it, or if I should use any of the covers that I designed. So, take a look at the covers and vote on the poll on my sidebar! (I'd love your help!)

Below is Number 1. This is the cover that the girl designed for me - nice, but the dress isn't historically accurate.

 Number 2

 Number 3

Number 4

Number 5

Friday, November 5, 2010

Excerpt Number Three!

Alright - here's the third excerpt. This one is actually really long - but I wanted to get everyone's opinion on it. So far I've just been "getting inside of" Kady's head...and that's how it will stay. But I was thinking that it would be a great "on the side" storyline to follow her brother Mark, too. The following excerpt is the first time the reader gets to hear Mark's thoughts. I'd love to know what you all think about this - should I "be in his head" from the beginning, or is it good to just drop in at this point?

Mark was standing a little apart from the group as his papa walked up. “Mark, look at me,” his papa said softly.

Mark fought the desire to yell at papa and tell him that he was fully able to go to war. Struggling between this desire and the desire to obey papa, especially as he might never see him again, Mark felt torn. Part of him wanted to inflict pain on his papa; to make him suffer just because Mark was suffering. The other part of him was screaming, “No, Mark! Hug your papa and obey him! If you don’t it will only pain him and make his going away worse!”
The confusion in Mark’s eyes was evident as he finally looked up at his papa.
“Son,” said papa, “don’t be bitter. I know that you are struggling right now, and I want you to be man enough to make the hard decision to obey. ‘To obey is better than sacrifice,’ and is hard to do…but you know it is right.” Forcing Mark to look back at him, Papa continued. “I’m praying that the Lord will save you, son,” he said softly. “You are very dear to my heart, and if I never see you again here on earth, I want to know that we will be together once more in Heaven. You know very well that salvation is the most important thing in life. Please, son, go to Christ. He will take your burden of sin and cast it as far as the east is from the west. No one can or ever will love you like He does.”
Mark willed himself to not look down. Now he was angry. The nerve of Papa! To say such a thing in front of the entire family! Besides, Mark had heard Papa say that whole speech a hundred times before. Why did he have to repeat it when Mark knew exactly what he was going to say?
Mark stiffly submitted to the embrace as Papa pulled him in to his arms. As he saw the tears in Papa’s eyes, he took almost a delight in tormenting him; yet at the same time he felt horrible remorse at treating his papa so terribly.
“I will be praying for you, Mark, my dear son,” his papa whispered, finally releasing him.

I definitely want my characters to live in godly christian homes (actually very common then...at some point I'll do a post on why in the world I'm siding with the south. ;)  ) but I really don't want it to be cheesy or dumb. I want it to be real, and I want to make it so that an unbeliever would be able to read my book and not think, "Oh, here she goes, presenting her own belief instead of just giving me true history." I really don't want it to sound like that. Even though that is my belief, I don't want to come off in the wrong way. (Did that make sense?? =)    )

So give me your thoughts! =) Like I said before, friendly criticism is extremely welcome, and I'd truly love to hear what you all think!

All writing is copyrighted by Hannah B. and MAY NOT be used without permission.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Excerpt Number Two!

Okay - here's another excerpt from my book! My book has some romance in it, and I've been very nervous about writing it. I've never tried to write love before, but I'm really liking how it's going so far! Seriously, I'd love for everyone to tell me exactly what you think about this paragraph. Good, bad, whatever...but I'd love your opinion!

Kady walked up the stairs to her bedroom and closed the door. She had known very well that her mother would not open the letters – but she wanted to know what they said so badly. Their dear friends, the Stuarts, had moved from Virginia to Minnesota years ago. “When will I see them again?” wondered Kady dismally, fingering the ribbon that tied old letters from Josiah, Ariel, Charlotte, and the other Stuart children. Letters were treats that didn’t come all that often, due to the distance between the two families, and recently politics and high tension had caused many delays. It had been two years since their last visit South, and Kady knew it would be much longer before they would all be together again. She thought back over the years, remembering the wonderful times they used to have together. The Stuart children had grown up with the Bowens and had gone through good times and bad times together. Rubin, the youngest, was now ten and was the special friend of Kady’s younger sister, Kristen. He was a rambunctious boy, full of mischief, and had always been a handful for his parents, Jack and Marie. Annie, age seven, was also close to Kristen. She had been named after Kady’s mother, and had Anne’s sweet disposition. Charlotte was fifteen and was close to Kady. Sweet and playful, she was always the family’s encourager and always wore a happy smile. Jack, the next oldest at sixteen, was named for his papa, and tended to be peace maker between two of Kady’s brothers, Matthew and Mark. The three boys were inseparable. Ariel was Kady’s closest friend and confidante, was seventeen just like Kady, and was just as gentle, caring, and playful as her younger sisters. Stephen, eighteen, was Kady’s brother Henry’s good friend, and the two of them had often gotten each other into trouble in their younger years. William, the oldest of the Stuarts at twenty-one, was very close to Richard, Kady’s oldest brother. He and Kady had also grown closer and closer over the years, and their friendship continued to blossom. “Will it ever be something more?” Kady thought, wistfully, tracing the flow of the pink satin ribbon on her dark brown skirt. She had cared deeply for Will almost ever since she had known him. “But what does he feel?” she wondered uncertainly.
Kady glanced out the window at the gradually setting sun. She had a few moments until Sarah served dinner. Untying the pack of letters, she began to read.

 I would've liked to put in the letter she reads from Will, but I think this paragraph is pushing it. =) I don't want to put much of my book on my blog...but I wish I could! Anyway...let me know what you all think about it!

All writing is copyrighted by Hannah B. and MAY NOT be used without permission.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Tongue Can Be So Wicked

11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
-James 4:11-12
The Untamable Tongue
 1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 3


Monday, November 1, 2010

Epiphanie Camera Bag Giveaway!

Pamela is hosting an amazing giveaway! Head over here to enter, and check out the Epiphanie website to see their gorgeous camera bags!

It Begins!

Well, NaNoWriMo has officially begun! Here are some odds and ends from my book as it stands so far...

A tall girl in a long, full dress holding two letters ran up the dirt road to a grand, white house. The late afternoon sun cast long shadows beneath the plentiful trees that framed the house, and kissed the bright flowers with orange-red passion. The columns of the mansion caught and reflected the brilliant glow, sending warm light shivering everywhere, but none of this beauty could catch the girl’s eye today. She wasn’t sure if she was excited or scared – the recent rumblings of trouble in the US government had made everyone nervous about receiving letters and newspapers. Ever since South Carolina had succeeded in December, tension had been high. Everyone said it was only a matter of time before Virginia succeeded, too, adding to the long list of the Southern states that formed the Confederate States of America. Casting a second glance behind her, the girl hurried up the wide stone steps to the porch and entered through the old oak door. Pausing to tidy the fly-away hairs escaping her large bun, she slowed her pace and walked into the front parlor.

Let me know what you all think of it! (Friendly criticism is very welcome!) That was the beginning paragraph of my book...I'm really excited to be working on this.

Please know that all writing and graphic design on this blog is copyrighted by Hannah B. and may not be used without permission.