Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Chance: Giveaway!!!

Today is the last day.

Of 2012.

And to enter the Stories in the Mind giveaway!!!!

The prize is a Mad Hatter necklace I created.

Rules to enter:

1: must be a member of Stories in the Mind
2: loves to read!!! :)
3: comment on the blog in one post other than this one
4: tell me what your favorite book is and why!
5: give me one reason why I should pick you. JK!! share the giveaway on your blog and send me the link

The giveaway is open internationally.

Tomorrow I will announce the winner!!! At this moment, it is looking likely to be Cait, Mime or Charley!!! {Excited, gals!!!??}

Have a happy, happy new years.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Writing Historical Fiction

I began writing historical fiction at age 7. My first novel, scrawled out in a small pink notebook {yes, the one pictures} and titled, The Princess Travels, was set in the 1800’s {don’t ask me how I got a princess in the Midwest; I managed very well, thank you}. My favorite books from the time I could first read {at age 3} until I was 18 years old were all historical fiction. In fact, I read history books just for fun.

I was {I guess I must admit still am}, what you call, a history nerd. Or geek, depending on whether you are my sister Brisa or my sister Abrienne.

And I love it.

So, writing historical fiction. . . Me? 

Historical fiction {HF} is not easy. You cannot just sit down and pound away at your keys and expect a historical fiction to come to life beneath your fingers. HF takes work. Lots of it.

From accurate settings, to correct mindsets, to what analogies you can use, historical fiction is like no other genre, just as they are not like historical fiction. And what makes it unique is what makes it awesome.

History itself is incredible. To flip through the pages of cultures, lives, and empires who once dominated this world of ours is as enchanting as it is almost scary. There are so many people, so many cultures, so many indescribable things from those other times, other places, and it is incredible thinking about them, knowing they were once real, life to someone, just the way things were, and now . . . now it is gone.
The world in which your character moves is as important as the character himself. You can paint the most believable, realistic, heartrending protagonist imaginable. But if his world does not fit around him, he is detached and we lose contact with him. Your setting will be whatever culture you decide to write about, and it means more than just the kind of clothes and rooms and wars that encircle your character. It is everything. From the stream trickling through a dark Sherwood Forest to a sparkling goblet in Queen Hatshepsut’s throne room to the dull, lifeless cap flopped on William Bradford’s head. It is the kind of dialogue and ways of expression between your cast. Can you see the picture, see the room, see the world where your character lives? That is his setting and his life. And it has to be real. It has to be his setting. Throwing a great, big medieval sword into your Egyptian pyramid is not going to create a very easy or authentic picture for your reader to imagine. It just won’t feel right.

Analogies are so important in writing. They describe, evoke, imagine, so much of your character and their feelings and the understandings of the world around them. And it is important to get them right. If you are writing a story set in medieval times, it would not work for you to use this analogy:
Rosamund felt as though everything around her was spinning like tires on black ice.

As you and I know, there was no such thing as tires OR black ice during the Medieval Ages. And our poor Rosamund would have no idea what it felt like to be spin like that.

Aah, and then you have correct mindsets. I must admit, this is one thing I find the most misused by HF writers. We tend to like and want to write in the mentality of our own culture. And that is a big mistake.

First of all, I think a part of the charm of an ancient culture is the ways the people thought, the things they did, and why. To destroy that by bringing very Western ideas into a HF novel is as good as burning your book before you start. It devastates it authenticity.

I know it is almost heresy for me to say this, but I must, because it is true. In most of the ancient world, education was not looked upon as important to anyone but the upper class. In fact, most of the time, the people believed they were incapable of learning. So it would be inconsistent to create your main character a peasant boy and give him great learning {no matter what scheme you come up with to give it to him}. Your story had better be good if you want to tempt to mount that social barrier. And it is better not done. I rather enjoy the thought of getting to know a fellow who is just as smart in common sense as you or I without an education ~ and who doesn’t even care to have one.


See, the charm of historical fiction is not in how many rules you can twist to get away from the real ethnics of that time and make it desirable to this culture, but how many rules you can fit in and still capture your reader. For therein lies the desire of every HF writer. We want our readers to fall in love with the richness of the history of our story as much as the people of our story. And if they don’t, we have not succeeded. If they don’t want to run away to ancient Incan ruins or towering Italian cathedrals, we have failed.

Historical fiction will always be my favorite genre to both read and write. It is just one of those things, something that touches a trigger inside me and boils a passion and a desire for it. I will always find myself buried deep within those cultures, wondering just what it was like, just who would have lived, and what sort of things they might have done. And you will always find me curled up with a blanket and a good HF for company.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Mission

This is the day. 

The day that half the world celebrates Christ’s birth.

The day the other half passes out presents and hopes for some in return.

And it is the day I have decided to share my mission. For my life. For my books. For this blog. Because it is fitting.

Jesus Christ.

He came to earth to save mankind from our wrongs. Every little sin. So that we may go and live with him, our perfect God, for an eternity. He died on a cross, beaten, broken, with the weight of the world’s sin on his shoulders, because he loved us, and because we had done him wrong, and because he wanted to bring us back into his grace. And then he rose again on the third day and conquered the death that was required to destroy sin.

And any man that will believe in him and will repent of his sin will be saved.

This, this, is my God.
It is he who has called me.
It is he who put this desire to write in me.

And it is he who directs my path.

I didn’t start writing. I have just, well, always written.

My very first stories I wrote when I was four or five. I cut little bitty pieces of paper up and taped them together to make them open and close.

My first book was when I was nine.

But there was a day that everything fell into place and I knew that I was to be a writer. It is a long story. But it is not one I can refute. And it is not one of my making. God wrote it out. He made me who I am.

And what would I be if I did not try to bring him glory in the purpose that he has given me.

I am a writer. I will always write. But I won’t just write good stories. I am writing to glorify my Savior, to show the world his goodness, his meaning and purpose and plan. I am writing to share the love of Jesus Christ.

This is my mission.

This is my life. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

On My Bookshelf: Starflower

The Black Dogs are on the Hunt,
But who is their Prey? 

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission . . . and a race against his rival for Gleamdren’s favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbled upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entagled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren’s rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?
By Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Young adult
Genre: fantasy
"How she had loved her city, once upon a time. How she hated it now. But it was hers more than ever. Hate was a fearful binding." ~ Hri Sora
My thoughts...
I was hesitant to decide I liked this book the first hundred pages in. It was a little dry in places and switched point of view so many times it was confusing. But when Stengl began to unwind the tragic story of Starflower, maiden of the dark New World, I was caught. She spins a beautiful web of deceit, ancient curses, and weakness. Starflower's world needs a deliverer. And a most unlikely one threads through the pages ~ with the guidance of the Hound, One Who Names Them, the Giver of Songs, Lumil Eliasul, who leads down a path they do not wish to go . . . but need with everything they are.

I will be point blank honest. There are parts of this book I hate. But for no reason any of you will.
I do not believe magic is good. In any form. It cannot be. God has decreed that so. And it can be used in a masterful way, showing that. My good friend Mary has portrayed that perfectly in her novel, Son of the Shield. In a battle of good and evil, what better way to show the evilness of the enemy by the dark power they wield? But to have good magic? Impossible.
I know, I know. Half of you are gagging, the other half cringing. What I say is revolutionary. Maybe you will disown me. Maybe you will prissily un-follow my blog and pretend you never heard of me. But I must tell the truth. And I will stick to it. And you know, I don’t care if you do like magic. That is your choice. It is none of my concern. I just wanted to let you know where my discomfort comes from. 
So anyway, there are parts of this book I hate. Being, as it were, a Faerie, Earnin is magic. Or magical. He can change form, smell danger, sense the approach of others, and many other talents through the vitality of the magic coursing in his blood. And the others around him are all the same. In fact everyone is, except the mortals. And that is why it did impress me, that not once, was magic used, as if were. Magic just, well, was.
Well, that aside, the book did not start off with the bang I expected. It was dry. It was long. And it was not cleverly written, so often changing point of view between a vast cast of characters, that it often left you hanging empty and confused.
But {ah yes, there always is a but, thank goodness}, the moment the story of Starflower began to untangle, the book caught me. And something more. The purpose of the book.
It is beautiful. In a picture analogy so perfect and so heartrending, Stengl molds a story so compelling and so realistic, no one doubts why the characters take the steps they take nor change the way they do.
So would I recommend it to my friends?
Would I say you should read it?
Yes, I am quite bi-polar and I know it. :D


Saturday, December 22, 2012

End of 2012 Giveaway!!!!!!


Yes, that is what all of you shall be doing.

Because today marks the first day of my End of 2012 Giveaway.

And the prize?

I thought I'd do something a little fun. So here you go!!!
A mad hatter necklace {which I "made" myself}.


Rules to enter:

1: must be a member of Stories in the Mind
2: loves to read!!! :)
3: comment on the blog in one post other than this one
4: tell me what your favorite book is and why!
5: give me one reason why I should pick you. JK!! share the giveaway on your blog and send me the link

For the sake of several dear friends, I have finally concluded this WILL be an international giveaway. I hope you all have fun! I'm excited!!!!

So have fun and enjoy your holidays!!!

Saturday Quotes

I don't know why, but quotes really are just something I love, have always loved, and always will.

I don't know if it is because of the truths they speak or words they express. I don't know if it is because of how they can punch one short meaning into a sentence so small. I don't know if it is just because they are so beautiful. But they touch me, heart and soul, and I can't escape them.

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive - it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for the imagination then, would there? But am I talking to much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn't talk? If you say so I'll stop. I CAN stop when I make up my mind to it, although it's difficult."
~ L.M Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
~ Victory Hugo
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."
~ J. R. R. Tolkien
"Make the most of yourself........for that is all there is of you."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Never dull your shine for someone else."
~ Tyra Banks
"You are you! Now isn't that pleasant!"
~ Dr. Seuss 
"Writing is an intesely interesting art. It's also dangerous. Once you start, it is incredibly hard to stop."
~ Anonymous
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
~ Mae West
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
~ G. K. Chesterton
“It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it?”
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

"The saddest words of tongue and pen are those that might have been."
~ John Greenleaf Whittier


Friday, December 21, 2012



An element of mystery. Of suspense. Of agony. Of hope. And love.

Memory is a tricky thing. It teaches you things about yourself, about how you feel about things, about who you are and why you are. Memory sets the backdrop of a person’s mind. It is what drives you, what guides you, and what crafted you into who you are. The lessons of yesterday rule the actions of today, so to speak. And without them, you are nothing.

Your character’s memory

What your character remembers is key to creating a powerful setting: 

The room made her think of her long-gone father, something whimsical and pensive contained in its vintage furnishings and warm colors, bringing back moments when her imagination had been spurred by his dreams.

The dew reminded her of sunny mornings spent walking with her favorite book tucked beneath her arm beneath a trellis of forest branches needle-working above her.

The electric shock of the air invoked the anger that he had tried to forget.

Memories twist in the darkness, forbidding, like a chasm that could suck me up if I delved too far.

When you remember something pleasant about something, it usually means you have good memories linked to it, whether it is another person, a kind of food, the couch, a city, family member, the tree outside your window...

Bad memories can be powerful motivators. They put us on instant defense and we pull up our guard to protect us against the thing we remember hurting us.

When I am writing and I want to bring out a specific emotion to my readers, I have found one of the most reliable and beautiful ways to express it is in my character’s memory. Whether it is good or bad, it will draw them out, help the reader picture them better, give them a depth and meaning to the emotion, and causes sympathy or joy.

Memories can be beautiful. They can be painful. But no matter what kind of memory you have, it is interlocked with all the emotion of your heart, and it can draw you in more than anything else.

But the best part of all is creating your character's memories, giving them scenes to replay over and over in their mind, things that will connect the reader to their hearts. Memory can unlock so many doors. It can refuel love. It can tear down doubt. It can build confidence.

But most of makes your character real.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday Funnies

I have a cold right now. So I thought it was time for a good laugh. And to share it all with you. So here you go! Let's have some fun!

56 of the Worst Student Analogies: 

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

He was as tall as a 6’3’’ tree.

Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
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She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.

The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object.

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at asolar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.

Even in his last years, Grand pappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

He felt like he was being hunted down like a dog, in a place that hunts dogs, I suppose.

She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.

She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

“Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.

It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools. ~ aw, the American dream…
He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.”

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.

Her pants fit her like a glove, well, maybe more like a mitten, actually.

Fishing is like waiting for something that does not happen very often.

They were as good friends as the people on “Friends.”

Oooo, he smells bad, she thought, as bad as Calvin Klein’s Obsession would smell if it were called Enema and was made from spoiled Spamburgers instead of natural floral fragrances.

The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton.

He was as bald as one of the Three Stooges, either Curly or Larry, you know, the one who goes woo woo woo.

The sardines were packed as tight as the coach section of a 747.
Her eyes were shining like two marbles that someone dropped in mucus and then held up to catch the light.

The baseball player stepped out of the box and spit like a fountain statue of a Greek god that scratches itself a lot and spits brown, rusty tobacco water and refuses to sign autographs for all the little Greek kids unless they pay him lots of drachmas.

I felt a nameless dread. Well, there probably is a long German name for it, like Geschpooklichkeit or something, but I don’t speak German. Anyway, it’s a dread that nobody knows the name for, like those little square plastic gizmos that close your bread bags. I don’t know the name for those either.

She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.

Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake.

You know how in “Rocky” he prepares for the fight by punching sides of raw beef? Well, yesterday it was as cold as that meat locker he was in.

The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.

Her lips were red and full, like tubes of blood drawn by an inattentive phlebotomist.

The sunset displayed rich, spectacular hues like a .jpeg file at 10 percent cyan, 10 percent magenta, 60 percent yellow and 10 percent black.

And there you have it! If you got through that without even cracking your lips into a smile, I defy you to be human. Enjoy your Thursdays everyone!
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Once Upon a Time... linkup: Danger

We all have a weakness. It may not be apparent, but it is there, hidden somewhere in your heart. And sometimes, we have to struggle to keep it there, where no one can find it...or use it.

Danger is a key element for bringing out those weaknesses, whether that weakness be fear, cowardice, a lack of common sense, even the ability to wield a sword or shoot a gun straight.

And sometimes, danger brings out the best in you. It challenges, inspires, and sharpens.

So, this week's prompt is: danger.

As I did once before, I am going to add several smaller sections for this linkup.

All snippets from In the Shadow, books #1 in The Endless Fire Trilogy.

Word count: 75
Ó Pure Grace

The setting:
Ancient Rome
a loss of love...and safety
a threat

Merrie closed her eyes. She was sick of it. All the intrigue. The deception. The danger. The uncertainty. Everything was spiraling out of control. Fear throbbed inside her. She knew how perilous Baculaius’s words were. They were not idly spoken. Was she the only one who knew what he was capable of? Surely not! She didn’t want to be involved. She just wanted to be safe. Was that something she would only gain in dreams?

Word count: 72
Ó Pure Grace

The setting:
Ancient Rome

Ionez opened her eyes. She stared at him full in the face, not even blinking. Never had she seen such danger play in his eyes. Yet, somehow, she felt no fear. Nothing but the deepest, blackest hatred lived in her.
Abruptly, she turned and fled the courtyard, half stumbling, blind with hatred and despair. Nothing could have made her stay. Only one thought consumed her, body and soul.
I will kill him.

Word count: 160
Ó Pure Grace

The setting:
Ancient Rome
a plot thickens
best friends spit


“Marcellus, I will not lift a finger against Nero.”
“You are a fool!”
“You are in danger.”
Marcellus suddenly drew back. “From you?”
“Nay,” Nestor shook his head. “You know I would never harm you. If I can have such thoughts about Nero, then could I threaten you? But you are in jeopardy if others find out, others who do not agree with you.”
“Who here really wants Emperor Nero to remain on his unsteady throne?”
“There are those.”
“Who! Name them to me!”
“Senator Antistius, for one. And Ofonius Tigellinus, along with his other favorites. They are in power. What more could they desire?”
“Tigellinus!” Marcellus spat the word out like a curse. “He has thwarted me long enough. When the day comes, he will regret his favor!”
“And you will become like Nero.”
Marcellus jerked back, overwhelmed. “You speak unwisely, my friend.”
Nestor met his flint-black eyes and backed up a step, giving a small bow. “My apologies.”

Join the Once Upon a Time... linkup:

Post a selection from your current WIP no larger than 500 words to your blog.

If there is a prompt, make sure your section fits the requirements.

Add the Once Upon a Time... linkup button:

Connect your link using the linkup button on Wednesdays (they will always be held on Wednesdays)!

And voila, you are done! Don't forget to visit the other blogs and drop a line.


Guest Post by writer Treskie

This week I asked my friend Treskie to do the guest post and explain to us all about NaNoWriMo {because I must admit it still confuses me though I have had many friends tell me about it...}. And she has done an exceptional job! Enjoy!!!!!

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If you've been in the blogging world at all, you have probably heard of the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, for short. Am I right? No? Oh. 

Well.... for those of you who have not heard of NaNoWriMo, I've been asked to explain it to you. 


So, NaNo is basically a get-up-and-go for writers. You know that feeling, when you have this perfect idea for a story, but the notion of sitting down and writing is overwhelming and terrifying? NaNo gives you the kick in the pants you need to get you sitting down at your computer and doing the impossible: Writing.

In a sentence, the gist of NaNo is that you write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. 

Thirty days. 

And you're like..... 


But actually, it's not as hard as it sounds. 50,000 words is only about a hundred and seventy-five pages. And that is only about five pages a day. And that is only 1,667 words a day. Two hours of writing. (If you're good and don't blog surf or pinterest.... if you do those, it'll be a bit longer. *grin*)

Now, before you get all, "Haaaaaahahaha! No way can I write a good novel in the single month of November!" Bear in mind that it is not supposed to be a masterpiece. It's about quantity, not quality, and you just want to get the words in. The story doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't need a tight plot, it doesn't need deep characters. All it needs is fifty-thousand words. You don't need to obsess over details, or if the MC has a character arc.

I'm not going to lie though, it's not easy, it's not a breeze. In fact, it's pretty hard. Especially if you're like me and don't usually write more than 500 words a week. But with the proper incentive, you can do anything. 


It's not something to stress over, you don't even need to let people read it. It's not judged or seen by anyone besides you. 

It is just a motivational thing. 

It's there to make you brainstorm and write without thinking.

It's there to make you write the rough draft which you can go back and tighten up later.

And it works! 

I have always had a hard time writing. Don't get me wrong; I love writing, it's awesome! I find words fascinating and creating characters whom I can fall in love with is wonderful. But I am a perfectionist and it's hard for me to have this spectacular story in my mind and not have it turn out as epic as I envisioned it. So I'm that writer who has massive amounts of novel beginnings on my laptop, and up til now, I had only ever finished one book, which I wrote in about two months when I was thirteen. 

NaNoWriMo made me finish a second book. 

Sure, Myths and Magic is in serious need of editing, and re-writing, and tightening up. But the point is, I wrote it. I wrote it in thirty days! 

So, is NaNo worth it? Is it worth spending a few hours on your laptop ever day for a month? 

I'm going to say yes, it's definitely worth the time and effort. Because when it's done, you have an entire novel just waiting to be fixed up and sent to a publisher. 

You can find the website here. Sign up! If you have any questions they have an awesome FAQ page. Also, the good news is: if you missed NaNoWriMo in November, you don't have to wait a year, you can do it this summer! There's a NaNo in June and August as well which I'm planning to do. 

Be defiant. 

God bless!


Hey! Call me Treskie. I'm a seventeen year old girl from somewhere in the Sierra Mountains. I enjoy doing loads of artsy things, drawing being something particularly special to me. I sing all the time, and I want to one day soon get married and have a big family. I blog over at Occasional Randomness, and I can promise you a cup of coffee--or tea, if you prefer--if you come by and visit. 

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

On My Bookshelf: The Girl in the Glass

Renaissance is a word
with hope infused in every letter.
Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother's house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg's long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.
When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents' divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sophia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.
When Sophia, Meg, and Nora's stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changes as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn't just a word? What if that's what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn't what has to be?
The Girl in the Glass: A Novel
By Susan Meissner
Genre: historical fiction/fiction

My thoughts:

I was a little skeptical when I picked this book up. I never read anything by Meissner before and the backcover blurp appeared almost a little too simple, cliché, and childish for a young adult/adult book. Not to mention a bit weird. I mean, seriously, no one can talk to someone of the past through paintings and sculptures. You can imagine how surprised and pleased I was to find it a most refreshing read. 

Meissner uses new phrasing, to-the-point, yet moving dialogue, and a description that enchants as much as it sucks you into her world. Her story, revolving around book editor, Marguerite (Meg) Pomeroy, is one of mystery and history (definitely endearing for me). Meg has had one dream her whole life: to visit the ancient city of Florence. Ever since her Italian grandmother passed away, her father promised to take her as a graduation present. But she has long since passed high school, and then college, and still they have never taken the promised trip, and now she has a life immersed in the publication business. Life goes on day to day, and though she still dreams of going to Florence, reminisces about her past longings and memories of her grandmother, she is resigned to the fact that her father just might not pull through and take her. And then, out of the blue, it happens.

Just not the way she ever expected. And it thrusts her on an adventure that will change her forever.

Probably the thing that singles this novel out the most is Meissner’s powerful way with words. Not only do you believe with every ounce of your being that Meg wants to go to Florence, that she should go to Florence, but you want to go too, to see the things she pictures, the settings she paints, the artwork she describes... Not only do you believe Sophia’s claim of hearing Nora, but you hear her too. And you want to tell the world. There is something almost magical in the way Meissner speaks, like a beautiful lilt of poetry, a last spec of color dancing on the horizon of a dark world. It is captivating.

There was only one drawback to the book. Meg is needy, in many ways, all relatable and understandable, but throughout the books she struggles between “picking” one of three men. By the end of the book, the reader is more or less tired about her wishy-washy desires for love, yet inability to just sit down and choose.

Still, it is a beautiful story about restoration, relationships, and learning to keep your imagination and reality in two places.

What does one do with a heart that has been broken? One might look for a bonding agent that will fuse all the pieces back together. Or one might learn to live among the shards.
Or one might be tempted to sweep up the bits and toss them and be done with hearts. ~ Nora

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