Friday, August 26, 2016

Beautiful People: What Does Oddball Look Like

Today I'm linking up for Beautiful People with Cait @ Paper Fury and Skye @ Further Up and Further In. I'm sure you can guess we're talking about Oddball, and, who knows, maybe I'll thrown in something about the other three also.

1) Give a brief overview of their looks.

almost Oddball, except the eyes:

Oddball's kind of a dirty blonde. If you care about eye color, he has brown eyes. I not sure if I've mentioned that in the book though?

Haircolor for the others:

Skyler: black
Rocky: dark brown
Peril: red

2) Share a snippet that involves a description of their appearance.

I pulled the mirror trick. Oops. I wrote this six years ago, and it's awful. Don't even tell me it's not, because *headdesk* I know it is.

     -- He strolled up to the mirror, clasped his hands behind his back, and looked himself up and down. From head to toe he was one color: mud brown, a predictable look for someone who had just fallen into a muck pool. Oddball made a funny face. His eyes were hollow and tired, and his thin lips looked in ill-humor. He turned on his heel and walked away. He looked over his shoulder. The tall image peered back at him. Oddball faced forward again. Okay, enough messing around. Someone might see him. --

3) What is the first thing people might notice about them?

Probably his height. Oddball's very tall. I think only Hawk's Wing is taller than him. 

Also. . .

 *clears throat*

 #4, that's your cue!

4) What are their unique features?

His hair is always a mess. It sticks up in all directions and Oddball never bothers to fix it. Rocky pokes fun at him about it

5) How tall are they? What is their build?

I've never actually measured him. Oddball is just lanky, and very tall because I haven't mentioned that yet.

Height scale of the Foursome from tallest to shortest:
[R and S are about the same height.]

6) What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

For a tall person, Oddball doesn't hunch much, unless he's sitting. He tends to lounge around when sitting. His arms will be sprawled over the back of the chair, and his feet most likely will kicked up in an adjacent chair, especially if he's comfortable with those around him. He does hunch over his food though.

7) Your character has been on a "lazy day." What are they wearing and how do they look?

Oddball's probably just in jeans and his favorite T-shirt. And barefoot. He's most likely sitting in some tree with his sketch book. Unless he's at the Post where he might be helping this guy named Ratchet fix stuff. And, you know, sometimes he doesn't mind hanging around the other three. ;)

The others' lazy days:

 Rocky: He looks the same as usual: jeans, hiking boots, and plaid shirt. Unlike Oddball though, Rocky's hair is combed. He's probably off telling stories or wild jokes to anyone, following Skyler around, maybe playing pranks with Peril. Sometimes he annoys Oddball and Ratchet while they try to fix things.

Skyler: She's in jeans with hooded shirt. She's probably with Bolt, with a book, or with her friends. Sometimes Rocky might persuade her to tag along with him and be social with. . . strangers.

Peril: Again, she looks like normal minus a few weapons. She's barefoot, another usual for her. Her hair might be completely down. She's either doing archery, throwing knives, reading a book, chatting with Sky, playing pranks with Rocky, or annoying Oddball. She gets around.

8. Do they wear glasses or accessories? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be consider their trademark?

Skyler tends to get frizzy hair and will smell like a dragon from being around Bolt. She also wears fingerless gloves and has a preference for hooded shirts.

Rocky is sometimes bruised because, well, for some reason he thinks he needs to fight his way out of everything. And there's the plaid.

Somehow, Peril is the one who walks away seemingly unscathed. Her hair tends to be a mess. It's cut to cover one of her eyes. She has a leather string tying it back, although most of it just falls out, and another leather string around her head to keep the mess in place as if it works.

Oddball though is a bit bumbling. He doesn't intentionally wear any sort of accessory, but, um. . . He always seems to have some part of their surrounding terrain on him, be it a smudge of dirt on his arm, leaf litter stuck to his shirt, or twigs in his hair from ducking under trees.
Also, his hair, but we've discussed this haven't we?

9) Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks?

Sort of? Oddball is from the Border. The Border is comprised of the two kingdoms Bal and Od, that are on the brink of war. Oddball just so happens to be a from both kingdoms.

The Balen are tall and dark-haired. The Oddish are short and fair-haired. Oddball is tall and fair-haired. So who he is, is very obvious. He doesn't get shamed because of his looks, but his looks do give him away, not that he's ever really thought about it that way.

10) Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

From the state of his hair, I don't think he cares enough to give it much thought.

Oh, also if you haven't take the survey I made and want to, definitely feel free to do so soon. I want to do a follow up post because, I guess, you might? interested in the results (and in who said they were a strawberry croissant *cough*)? I won't put your name with the answers you gave though.

Have you done Beautiful People?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

23 Bookish Facts

This post is brought to you by Cait @ Paper Fury. She gave me permission to thieve her question list away [which you should read]. SO I THIEVED IT! Her orginal post had 30 questions, but uh, I'm lazy.

[Don't tell me it's not thieving if I've gotten permission. I'm a polite dragon, okay? I thieve with courtesy.]

1) Currently Reading?

The Death Cure! Do you know how long I've been putting off waiting to read this? I actually own the book. But I heard spoilers and I don't want them to be true and, and-- I don't want it all to end.

Besides I always procrastinate the books I know I'll like, because . . . logic.

2) Book That Impacted You?

That's not a difficult decision.

Okay, I'll pick one. The Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. The POV was not perfect. I think it started out omniscient, but after Beauty went to the Beast's castle, it switched to deep POV? Which is. . . not normal.

BUT here's the thing. The deep POV part was very, very deep. Beauty outright asked questions via internal monologue. She would mentally address questions to the Beast, and--

There were no italics.

Guys, this is monumental!

Do you know how happy that made me? That's how I write my internal monologue. Some people are like, "I love this. Italicized internal monologue is so unnecessary. Keep it up!" But most people are like, "You need italics. What is wrong with you? Why can't you be normal?" And while I know that, no, I don't need italics, it's nice to see another author pull it off. Sure, Imma still gonna do my thang, but the extra affirmation is refreshing.

3) Hyped vs Backlisted titles?

 I tend to procrastinate hyped books, soooo the hyped books end up at the back of my list. Yeah?


"Ashley, you're not funny."

Well, I have to try.

4) Current Series Crush?

Oh. Okay. Uuuuum. I want to say Red Rising, but I've only read the first book. Does that count?

Oh, and The Lunar Chronicles! That is a must read! *shifty eyes at all you TLC slackers*


5) How Strong is Your Shelf-Control Around Books?

Are you asking if I flail and run around like a lunatic at the sight of one?

Because I *might* internalize that. . .

 Mary is awesome

At the bookstore, I'm very picky. I only want to buy books I know I'll like. But at the library I will borrow ten books and DNF six or eight.

6) Plot vs Character?

Character all the way!

Characters can drive Plot [because Plot is a vehicle that takes you places].

But can Plot drive Characters?


Some may argue that Plot can drive Characters, but you usually end up with a poorly written story and bad character development. Aka: bad plot and bad characters. So no. Plot does not drive Characters, well. 

7) Would You Marry Your Bookshelf?

I'm in the middle of a move, so my books and I are unattached at the moment. But when I find one up to standards, I'll consider committing.

8) Do You Ever Get Sick of Reading?

There are those rare times, yes. It happens. [I here you gasping. Stop that.] So I do other stuff and then I miss my books. What do they say? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or some such sentimental rot.

9) Random Bookish Memory?

The homeschool moms used to laugh at me on Park Days because I would read and swing simultaneously.


10) Character You Relate to?

So I relate to characters here and there, but I rarely relate to a character fully. Besides, I can only think of one right now.

This is going to sound bad. But here it is any way.

Saba from Blood Red Road. She's a loyal misanthrope. She doesn't let people get close to her often, but when she does, she cares about them with everything that's in her. But I also really related to her "I got this," "leave me alone" attitude. She wanted to do everything alone, but people kept following her around and being clingy. In the first book that was a good thing. But in the second book the crowd following her only brought more trouble [especially at the end; Jaaaack!]. I really don't like/understand clingy people. Which is rare. Even if I can't personally relate to someone, I can usually at least see where their coming from. But clingy people? They are another species whom I avidly avoid.

11) Controversial Opinion?

I normally get sick of the 'hot topics,' like Diversity, SFC, or Mental Illnesses. I'm not saying these aren't important topics. THEY ARE IMPORTANT. But they shouldn't be the sole purpose of a story. Why don't people bash me over the head with a book already? Oh wait, they are.

It's even more irksome when someone suggests you change your male character to a female character. Why? Because your male character is a swordsmaster, and you know that the suggestioner has SFC on the brain.


I'm just saying. It's fine to drive your bandwagon, but don't run people over with it. Pedestrians have right of way, okay? [aka: Story trumps all.]

12) NOTP?

I'm just going to say Phantom of the Opera [yes, it's a book]. I don't ship Christine with anyone. Eric is a murderous psychopath and I wouldn't ship him with my worst enemy. Rauol is a limp, whiny noodle and I would ship with my worst enemy. Christine doesn't need either of them.


I'd say she ought to run off on her own and sing somewhere else, but unfortunately she lived in a time wherein a girl traveling alone was scandalous. That's the last thing she needs in her messed up life. Sorry, Chrissy. There's just no hope for your love life. Thank Gaston Leurox.

13) Why Didn't I Love This?!

I really, really wanted to like Splintered by A G Howard. I mean, the world building? ON POINT! Wonderland was just enough creepy and just enough charm. It was fantastical and alluring! Also, the stories behind some of the Wonderland characters like was interesting.

But the main character. . . meh.

The love interests? What is wrong with the MC? Why are these her choices, hm?

The romance? Way over the top. I'm sorry. I tried.

But I can't.

14) Hardcover vs Paperback?

I love the approach-ability that paperbacks have, but I hate it when the cover curls upward. Hardcovers are hardcore and durable, plus they look amazing without their jacket. [Don't look at me like that.] But they tend to be clunky and large; which makes me feel more noticeable when carrying them in public.

The pros and cons of each balance out. So I choose option C. Both.

15) Do You Ever Like Villains?

Who? Me?

16) Cringeable Reads?

You mean, the ones I DNF?

[No mercy in this dragon heart]

17) Where Do You Get Your Books From?

The books I own? I used to receive one book on my birthday or during Christmas. But I realized that when my family asks what I want and I only give them book titles, guess it! I receive more books because nobody has a clue what to get me besides.

 I love to wander bookstores, especially secondhand ones. I just love to be AROUND books. But there aren't many book stories here. So recently, I succumbed to purchasing a few books online.
One of them was Every Breath, of which I haven't been able to find a physical copy anywhere. So I'm super excited!


18) Haunting Read?

I know I've mentioned Cait two times in this post already. But The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut that she posted on Wattpad was super good. I read it as she was posting it, so I only got to read a chapter a week. [At times I made myself suffer through two weeks so I could read two chapters at once, again, logic at its finest.] And when I couldn't read it, I was thinking about it. It's really rare when a book evades all my life. My brain has been on a compartmentalizing kick. So when I say I thought about it while washing dishes, before bed, at work, and so forth, I mean it.

 I rather like Lestrade
[BBC Lestrade is so underrated.]

19) Annoying Character Qualities?

1) Needy, whiny characters.
2) Clingy, I'm-gonna-follow-you-the-rest-of-your-life characters.

3) Manipulative characters who think they own everybody's soul.

4) Characters who are mean because they enjoy humiliating people, and feel bigger when they bring others lower. I want to shove them out a window.

20) Least Favorite Genre?


Historical Fiction I can read if it's not heavy on the history. OR if it's set in the Dark Ages and makes me feel like I'm reading a fantasy [but there are no dragons *cries*].

Contemporary. I have a long DNF relationship with contemporary. We hates each other.

21) Best Tropes?

Lost royalty. I can see it from a mile away and I still adore it. Something's wrong with me.

Guy-girl friendships that stay friendships. [Oh, wait this isn't popular enough to be a trope. WHY NOT?]

Realistic sibling relationships.

 Mummy Holmes: the only person to terrify both the World's Only Consulting Detective and The British Government. Happy Mummy's Day 2016!<< They are such children.

Heights. I love heights. It's official; something's wrong with me. So anything with flying or especially climbing.

Anything hilarious. I am in.

 Clever plans. Give me all the brilliance!

Dragons. You didn't see that coming. Such majestic beasts.



Ships. The kind that sail the seas, people. Not your OTP. 

Snarky characters. Lemme have the book!

Fairytale retellings.

Open/Bittersweet Endings. They're realistic.

Oh, and the squishy, socially clueless characters. Yeah.


22) Have you abused a book?

I've let the wrong people read my books and abuse them. Apparently, I'm a bad book parent. 

23) Bad Bookdragon Side Effects?

The hoard grows faster than I read.

So tell me: what are your favorite tropes?  Is there a book that you really wanted to like, but it didn't work out? And be honest now, do you go into a flailing at the sight of a book?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Writing / Life Update // snippets if you can stand in line and behave

First, if you have not yet, I INISIST that you take this survey that I made for you about the blog. It's fun. . . or I hope it is. 

So, guess it?!

I finished writing the first draft of Oddball the Sequel!

Great huh?

*throws confetti*

So the plan now is to:

1) Edit Oddball the First.

2) I'm really glad that I wrote the First and the Sequel rough drafts before editing. Looking at the scenes and plot structure of each, some scenes are going to, eh, swap manuscripts.

"How does that even happen, Ashley?"

I. . . don't know.

It's a long story, literally.
3) I kind of wrote sporadically during the summer. Then one weekend I realized, "I am on the homestretch in the Sequel. What am I doing? THERE'S WORK TO BE DONE!" So I took a  three day weekend to just write.

[aka: me writing like a fiend]

4) While in the midst of writing the most poignant part, one of my family came to ask me a question. A question which I had been expecting. So I answered with the basic yes or no and politely asked them to leave.

But they thought it was a good idea to hang around and be irksome. Which in reality was a monstrously stupid idea.

 Word of Advice:
Never disturb a creative who is on The Brink.

 Sometimes I'm a Story: Thursentary: "How to Write Diversity"

So I asked them again to leave, as kindly as writerly possible to someone who has been warned.

They didn't get it.

So I had to be mean and say, "THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT! Now please, you need to leave. No. Not now. PLEASE GO AWAY!"

They finally left, a bit miffed at the way they'd been treated.

But I did ask nicely the first couple of times. If they refuse to listen when I'm nice, what's a person to do?

5) I'm mildly reconsidering my genre choice. 

Genres are the epitome of confusing. I thought I was writing a fantasy. Because DRAGONS!

 How to train your dragon 2 gif | New tv spot/Clip | School of Dragons | How to Train Your Dragon Games

But there is no magic in the Oddball trilogy. I have read fantasies without magic. Yet those fantasies did not have a suspicious amount of made-up science thrown in.

There's a suspicious amount of science [that I, well, made up] in the Oddball trilogy. I didn't plan it, it just, it. . .

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter getting married on Valentine's Day

But maybe that makes sense. Since there's not magic, you see? The science replaces the magic. Like in Ever After. Ah, epiphany! Oddball is like Ever After. Not really. [Love that movie!]

6) Sooooo, the question is should the Oddball the trilogy be typed as fantasy, sci-fi, or both?

6) Actually, the real question is when do we make the Oxford comma law, hm?

7) I am currently ignoring my genre crisis in hopes that it will either go away, fix itself, or isn't all that big of a deal anyhow.

7) On the other hand, I am obviously enforcing the Oxford comma, despite forming nonparallel sentences.

8) In life-ish news, I was waiting in line for a concert. We were outside for about an hour anticipating the doors to open. This grown man behind us says, "I'm surprised they don't have someone out here directing us."

Really? You want to know what surprises me?

That society has come to the point wherein adults expect someone to tell them how to stand in a line and behave themselves. What is this?! KINDERGARTEN?

Eye roll.....please

9) Also, HUZZAH! I finally downloaded Microsoft Word. Back in April, my computer had a virus and ate Word. I told myself that I would purchase it after I finished the first draft of the Sequel, as a reward.

"But, Ashley, wouldn't it help to have Word when writing the Sequel?"

Quiet, Logic. I didn't ask you.

So lookie here! I have finished and now I have my precious Word again.

 And I am never making such a stupid deal with myself again. I remember why I type. The hand cramps, guys!

"I told you so, thick-head!"

 Stuff it, Logic!

10) Oh, and I have a super secret writing project happening.*evil laughter*

11) Okay, so it wasn't supposed to be super secret. It started out as a short story but it exploded into more. And then I forgot to tell anyone about it.

 Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter getting married on Valentine's Day
[This is now my excuse for. . . everything, essentially.]

 But I've noticed that I've been writing it more diligently and I wonder if that's because I haven't told anyone the details yet? So yeah, it will be finished soon and I will tell all.

Thankfully, it's not quite as complicated as Oddball's plot. With the smallish exception of a blackhole-sized plot hole. . .

my plot and me. . .

12) More life-ish news, I am going to transfer to uni in Florida. I'll be living with family. I leave the second week of August. *bites nails* I'm nervous about making friends (maybe this is kindergarten. . .). I'm not very good at making friends. I don't really, uh, talk. Or anything. So I am kind of afraid of not making friends. It's stupid, but true.

You never know, maybe Friendship Cinnamon Rolls is a thing in Florida.

14) My dad recently showed me how to change a tire. So you know, not to brag but--

I can do everything now.

Sometimes I'm a Story: Thursentary: "How to Write Diversity"
[Believe what you will.]

14) So now that you've suffered through this long post and behaved yourself [good little dragons]:

 [I inserted helpful tips when necessary.]

 "Sky's talking to the driver," he said.
 Rocky blinked. "By herself?"
"Uh, yes?"
"Skyler is. . . talking. To strangers, by herself."
"Didn't we just go through this?" Oddball raised an eyebrow.
"Wow. I can't believe it." Rocky grinned. "I'm so proud. You know how long I've been trying to get her to--"
"Yeah." Oddball was unfazed. "She's really angry with you still."
Oh, right. He'd forgotten about that. 


"Sometimes it's advantageous to play the monster they think you are."
"I have never found that to be true."


"Don't make any trouble until I get there."


"When is it ever safe?"
Safe didn't exist.


"I'm your friend, Lucky Peril, and there's nothing you can do to keep me from following you to death if I must." Skyler snuffled and wiped her eyes on her shoulder.
"You need friends, Peril."
 Skyler swatted her arm. "Don't okay me! I mean it."
They laughed the laughter of people who had no reason to laugh but no better alternative.


Instead he wrapped his arms around her and she pressed her face against him. This was what it was like to have a sister. He'd always wanted a sister. To boss him around and argue with. To comfort when the rain poured and the thunder was scary and when mom and dad didn't return. 


[Skyler said,] "Look, Peril is the more. . . lucid of the two and she needs you, okay?"
Oddball huffed. "Me? She talks to you, not me. She won't even look at me."
Peril thrashed in her sleep and rolled over. Their conversation returned in hushed whispers.
"She thinks you're angry."
"I am!"
Skyler glared at him.
"But just a little."


[Peril's POV]
 His back had been to her and now he seemed startled to see her standing.
Please don't come over here. Please don't notice her. Don't look at her.
Please smile.
"Um." He closed his sketchbook and stood. He looked around as if he'd find his thoughts. "Um."
She should probably say something to make him feel less awkward. But he was always awkward. It was nearly natural. It made her smile. Was it awful to smile because he was standing there stammering?


"So we all got out alive."
"Well, you were half dead."


Rocky really wished he knew what was going on. He also really wanted a nap.


[wherein the characters' names are Nobody and Esin Trik]
"Look!" Nobody held out a paper. "Mr. Trik is teaching me how to make maps."
"Oh, Mr. Trik is it?" Oddball looked at Esin.
"Yeah, I'm also teaching the kid respect. That's where I went wrong with you."


Her lips were moving but he felt like he was in a fog. Not that a fog affected one's hearing, but if it could, that's what he felt like.
[Sometimes I poke fun at my metaphors.]


How many times had his head been hit today?
[Aka: Oddball's internal monologue grumbling at me because he'd been knocked unconscious three times that day. Sorry!]

So what's new with you?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Starting Sparks August // All Around the Circuit World 4 // SURVEY!

Hello, everyone! So I thought I'd put a little more substance into your Starting Sparks posts. How about an All Around the Circuit World? It's been awhile, I know. Also, some of these links *might* be a little older. 

Over at the Wanderer's Pen, there's this awesome post, So Your Character's Mute. Victoria interviews Tyler Gray who has mutism and he is so, so honest. *salutes*

I do love Miriam's posts @ wishful thinking particularly two swedes on bicycles. If you don't read anything else, just read this one. She also wrote another one about your inner editor titled stop killing your friend

I purchased some new music finally! Two albums by Needtobreathe. I'm not really into country music, but Needtobreathe I love. And honestly, I don't know where they fit genre-wise. I've rather thought of them as folk rock. *shrugs* What do I know? Anyhow, someone recommend The Outsiders album to me [thanks Skye!] and I am loving it!

I know there's been a lot of disasters happening globally. It's really sad whenever it seems like every time I look at our flag, it's always at half mast. In the US there's been a lot of police- and racial-related shootings. It makes me so sad. It was the first thing the song The Outsiders made me think of.

Oh, and here's a Penslayer post [you knew this was coming]: 3 Ways Passion Will Make You a Fearless Blogger! Also, I really loved her 6 Expert Questions to Improve the Quality of Your Scenes.

As for poetry and photography I would suggest magpie by down by the willows and the simplicity of Fox in the Woodlands.

Cait @ Paper Fury is always very helpful. I adore her post on why everyone ought to read fantasy. She also has a guide on How to Appropriately and Effectively Recommend Books. Oh, and Cait also shares things that she had done or wants to do because of books.

Oh, and there's this fun quiz What Role Would You Play in a Fairytale. If you take it, tell me what you got! [Apparently, I'm the fairy? I feel mildly irked by this. Perhaps this quiz doesn't have the correct options because I'm a DRAGON!) 

In other news, I've been on a Teen Titans [the old one] and a Spectacular Spider-Man kick. If you care to know.

I'm reading Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes. Because somebody *cough* Emily *clears throat* insists that he's wonderful beyond wonderful and Birthday Letters is the only one of his books the library had.

I also started The Death Cure by James Dashner. I read the first sentence and thought, "You know, this book might actually make me cry. Lemme wait until I'm alone in the lair."

AND I went to a bookstore. I wasn't supposed to so, ssssh. But I couldn't help it, okay? I got three books from the clearnace shelf. Although I was very put off because there were none of Pierce Brown's or V E Schwab's books in the entire store. I try to console myself with the fact that it was a used bookstore and who in their right mind would sell back Red Rising? And if nobody is willing to sell back a Swchab book than that must mean she's amazing! (I've not read her yet.)

Moving onward.

Starting Sparks is a link up co-hosted by Emily @ Ink, Inc. and myself @ right here. We post a writing prompt for you every month. Hope you'll join us!

Here's your button:

Here's your prompt!


Write like a fiend!

Oh! And I made a survey for you about the blog and blah, blah. If it doesn't show up, try clicking here.

Online survey powered by Typeform

What are you currently reading? Have you bought any books your excited to read, recently? Oh, and did you get on the fairytale quiz?