Friday, May 17, 2019

15 Natural Healing Materials to Help Your Ailing Characters

The top medical technology isn't always available to your characters, so how do they survive without aspirin, cough drops, or antibiotics? Humanity has been using natural healing substances for thousands of years and though some entail cat dung and frogs the list I've composed include healing materials that actually do work. So whether your character is in a medieval fantasy setting or stuck in the wilderness with a hospital a thousand miles away, here are some items that can help! I'm focusing on more first aid or illnesses as opposed to beauty treatments, but many of these plants can be used to keep your characters looking fine too!

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional, so if you do happen to personally try some of these remedies make sure to do your due research!

Images are not mine

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Interview with Skua (Red Hood)!

Hey! Thanks, everyone, for the great questions! *turns in Tonight Show desk to face Skua who is sitting on the couch next to his big kisafonn*

*scratching his Kisafonn's leg, has an Icelandic accent* Hello.

Ready to get started?


A lot of people like your Kisafonn.

Why wouldn't they like her?


*smiles* Okay the first question is from Christine: What's it like to be sixty but look like you're in your thirties? Does it ever get awkward?

No, it's common to look this way at my age for Isamaour. My grandfather lived to be 207.

Makes sense. The second question is from an anonymous inquirer: What is his relationship with his family?
And be discrete about it Skua.

*draws his hand back from kisafonn and dusts fur off of his palms* My hjakona and I had a night together and I gave her children. I support her for that reason and my children because they're my blood. I didn't want to have a family.

I see. Emily asks: Would you like to settle down and be a bigger part of your family's lives, or do you prefer being away?

*sniffs* Away.

*nods* Anonymous asks: What does he think of his profession?

*shrugs one shoulder* I'm good at it so I do it.

*pushes her horse-sized head into Skua's shoulder, closes eyes*

*pets her neck*

The next two questions are from Emily: If you could trade being a gun for hire for absolutely anything else and still make the same money, would you and if so what would it be?

The fur trade. I like hunting whether it be animals or people. *smirks*

*gulps* Uh huh ......... Does your family know what you do for a living? How do they feel about it?

My hjakona does. My children do not. They're eight. They don't need to know. My hjakona disapproves, but I pay for her living so she can't say very much about it. *crosses arms*

*licks his ear, lifts head, licks lips, starts grooming herself*

Anonymous asks: What do each of your family members think of you being gone so much/your profession, and has it ever been a point of contention?

There is only my hjakona and children and my children want me around more and of course, I've had a few fights with my hjakona. These are personal questions.

Such is the nature of these interviews.

Remind me not to consent to this again.

No promises. The last four are from Christine.

*fidgets* Good.

*-_-* Would you ever consider retiring as a gun for hire? What drives you to keep living such a dangerous life instead of doing something else?

I will retire--when I have enough money for retirement and why would I do something else that makes less money? Being poor isn't pretty.

I guess so. How did you come upon riding a kisafonn?

*smiles* Reyndis and I have been together for nearly thirty years.

*looks up from grooming, purrs*

While I was traveling in the mountains, she found me cleaning a deer and planned to take me and it for an easy meal but--


I was asked a question.

That's a good enough answer.


Do you have any regrets?

Yes, agreeing to this interview.

That wasn't--

Last question.

What is your greatest hope in life?

Leaving this interview and I'm about to fulfill that dream. *stands* Come on, Reyndis. 

*stands, follows him out*

Well, that was Skua. 

What do you think of Skua? Do you have any further questions for him? Have you ever done a character interview? Share a link in the comments!

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Friday, May 10, 2019

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Tag!

The lovely Christine has made a Marvel tag! And seeing as I'm a huge MCU fan and I'm reeling in the wake of Endgame I have to participate!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Questions for Skua (Red Hood)!

This is the closest picture I could find of
someone who somewhat looks like him.
He is a bit older though,

Here's another character that I need to know more about. Though he's only in the first book he has "cameo" roles in the other two, so I'd like to learn more about him. His name is Skua!

Though Skua looks in his thirties, he is closer to sixty because of his Isamaour longevity and has been a gun for hire for more than half of his life. He has deadly aim with his rifle and swift precision with his ulu knives with dozens of kills to his name and he rides upon a kisafonn, a giant snow leopard, who's as lethal as he is. He has worked for crime lords and even common folk as long as they can pay, but currently, his services are contracted to Lord Nzelt.

Skua isn't his true name, but an alias he's taken to protect his identity and his small family's. The creatures called skuas are fierce arctic birds of prey who often hunt for animals much larger than them for food, thus he took on the title of that strong beast. Skua sends a sum of money to support his hjakona (wife in all but being bonded by matrimony) and twins who live in a small home hidden in the Isriki tundra and visits them a few times a year, but the money is just too good for him to give up his dangerous profession. 

Leave your questions in the comments or in the form if you'd wish to remain anonymous or if you're having trouble with the comments. Skua will answer them next Friday! Thank you! 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Writing Lessons from Movies: Ladyhawke

This is one of my favorite childhood movies. Ladyhawke was always a classic at my house. Though some of the knights' costumes are too clean and the 80s synth thrown into a fantasy setting is cringy, I love the characters, the Italian countryside, Goliath the Horse, and even the visual effects are not bad for 1985. This story is about Philippe Gaston, a thief who becomes the first person to escape from the prison of Aquila which spurs a manhunt. A man named Navarre saves Philippe from capture and Philippe becomes entangled with the mysterious black knight as they try to break the unholy curse that the evil Bishop cast upon Navarre and his beloved Isabeau that keeps the lovers forever apart.

Warning: Some spoilers. Mostly in section two in three.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

Interview with Benedikt and Aska (Silver Hood)!

Hey! Thanks, everyone, for the great questions! Something went wonky with Aska's questions and they didn't show up in anyone's feed so she didn't get many questions, so we're doing a dual interview with both Benedikt and Aska! So this interview won't get too long and I know Aska won't answer many of your questions some of them will be only directed to Benedikt. *turns in Tonight Show desk to face Benedikt and Aska who are sitting next to each other on a couch* Hey, you two.

*smiles* Hello.

*nods in greeting*

Ready to get started?

Yes, this seems like an interesting experience. *has ankle rested on his knee, dressed in nice clothing*

I suppose. *shrugs, has her arms crossed, wearing buckskin*

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Book Review of Germ by Robert Liparulo

Buy from Amazon!

If you breathe . . . It will find you.

The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. Business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None of them is aware of what is about to happen--but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.

The germ--an advanced form of the Ebola virus--has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. Those whose DNA is not a match simply catch a cold. But those who are a match experience a far worse fate. Within days, their internal organs liquify.

Death is the only escape.

The release of the virus will usher in a new era of power where countries are left without defense. Where a single person--or millions--could be killed with perfect accuracy and zero collateral damage. Where your own DNA works against you.

The time isn't coming. It is now. Pray the assassins get you first.

Genre: Adult Thriller
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 5, 2007)
Page Count: 577 pages

I won this book in a little contest during Robert Liparulo's class at Realm Makers two years ago and now I finally got around to reading it. XD I've been wanting to read one of his thrillers for a while especially since I had a morbid fascination with the Ebola virus when that whole fiasco broke out a few years ago, so I was happy to delve in!

Friday, April 19, 2019

How to Get the Most Out of Your Writing Research Trip

The internet often falls short of the best research you can get. You have to really check for reliable sources and you don't get a lot of the details that your own experience can glean. That's why if it's possible, go on a writing research trip! I count Iceland as my first official writing research trip. Canada has been a huge part of my inspiration and research, but unlike in Canada, I didn't have a friend whom I could ask random questions about her country any time I pleased. This time I had to give a little bit more effort to gaining information that was pertinent to my stories.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Questions for Benedikt (Silver Hood)!

I've got another character I need to flesh out! I'm fleshing out all the characters since I'm concentrating on my Red Hood series. XD This Benedikt who comes into play in Silver Hood. Here's a bit about him!

Benedikt is a sixteen-year-old halfura, half Isamaour half human, who is another one of Lord Nzelt's wards. Though Benedikt has the ability to shift the matter of almost anything he pleases, he fears his powers because of their deadly cost. He rather not use his abilities, but he feels like he owes it to Nzelt since the man did save him from freezing in the winter after his parents gave him up to an orphanage for being a fifth child--and because his mother had an affair with a human. In the Isriki culture, four is a divine number and a fifth child is said to be very susceptible to demonic possession, so fifth children are either abandoned "for the Divine Siblings to take back" or given to orphanages.

During lessons, he's always the first one to shoot up his hand with the answer to questions and in his free time he's always researching and studying. His ideal day is a trip to the fjords in the summer where he can read books and drink all the birch and moss tea he likes while enjoying the breeze. And his favorite food is fikisupa or fish soup.

Benedikt has a love for science and frequently works with Lord Nzelt on his inventions. Instead of being tasked with errands for Nzelt, he repays him with his scientific prowess. Benedikt particularly loves chemistry and is determined to help Nzelt find a cure for the Isriki condition. 

Leave your questions in the comments or in the form if you'd wish to remain anonymous or if you're having trouble with the comments. Benedikt will answer them next Friday! Thank you! 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Iceland Report 2019/Now I'm 26 ...

I’m back from Iceland, guys! Man, was it an amazing trip! My main reason for doing this trip was to be inspired and I’m so utterly inspired for Red Hood.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Voted Most Likely Tag!

Brie Donning opened this tag to anyone and I thought it was super fun so I stole it haha. I get to talk about so many of my characters!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Writing Lessons from Anime: Erased: A Town Without Me

Erased: A Town Without Me is in my top five favorite animes. It has a dynamic plot, a fun subtle bit of fantasy, precious themes about friendship, sacrifice, and loyalty, and lovable unforgettable characters. It's a fun mix of genres, merging mystery with a hint of fantasy. It's only twelve episodes and it's just perfect. And you can also hurry and go watch it before reading this review! You can do it in four hours.

You done?


For those (most of you) who didn't watch it, this anime is about a twenty-nine-year-old man named Satoru who is a washed up manga artists (mangaka) who is carrying around the deep regret of not saving a young girl named Kayo from a serial killer when he was nine. Satoru has the mysterious ability that he calls "revival" which will spontaneously take him back in time just a few minutes which allows him to save other people from harm. When his mom is murdered, Revival takes him all the way back in time to his nine-year-old self so he can save his mom and all of the victims of the serial killer. But can he do it or will he just repeat history?

Warning: Very minor spoilers. I don't spoil the killer though because I'd just be a jerk if I did that.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Book Review of Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Buy from Amazon!

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica--the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both--and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Series: Throne of Glass (Book 6)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 5, 2017)
Page Count: 672 pages

After reading Empire of Storms I was a little wary continuing with this series because of this excessive content in that volume of this series, but I just had to know what happens in this epic saga. I'm happy to say this book definitely redeemed the series for me.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Monthly Summary: March 2019

March has been crazy busy! Between my jobs changing, prepping for Iceland, and working on Red Hood it's been a whirlwind!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Interview with Aska (Silver Hood) Canceled

I didn't get any questions for Aska so the interview is canceled. If you're interested in asking her questions you can here and perhaps I can do a dual interview in my next character interview post. Thanks!

Friday, March 22, 2019

On Putting a Cap on Your Creativity

I've loved getting obsessed with my story ideas. It's productive and inspiring to be in love with your story, but a couple years ago this creative rush stopped happening to me and it was entirely my own doing. After that long period of creative suppression, I'm finally getting back into that creative flow again. Here's what happened:

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Questions for Aska (Silver Hood)!

Hey, all! I need some more interview questions and these are for Aska from Silver Hood! She’s another one of those characters who seems like they’ll play a small part then it gets bigger. Here’s a bit about her (while trying to dance around spoilers.)

Aska is a twenty-year-old halfura, which is a half Isamaour half human. She, along with her younger sister Maeja, was adopted by Lord Nzelt when they were young children, Aska ten and Maeja eight. The two of them have trained under him to learn more about their matter manipulating abilities for the cost of them doing a few “simple tasks” for him.

This young woman grew up with several other halfura whom she treated as siblings, Einer and Benedikt being two of them, and has become highly educated and skilled in her magic, having a strong prowess for turning stone into deadly weapons. She’s used these abilities to go on elite missions with Einer for Nzelt. Because of Lord Nzelt’s position he has to travel from place to place across the country so Aska is constantly on the move along with him but she enjoys skiing on the beautiful slopes of the mountains nearby many of Nzelt’s mansions. A relaxing day for her would be hours on the slopes, soaking in the hot springs, and ending the day with a dinner of Arctic char and rye bread and a dessert of akutaq, an ice cream made with reindeer fat, seal oil, snow, and berries.

However, the method by which Nzelt separated Aska and her sister from her parents has left a stain on her heart and she seeks revenge but Nzelt has woven his web tightly around them, preventing them from leaving. But when a new halfura named Claes arrives on the scene she finally has the hope of escape again.

Leave your questions in the comments or in the form if you'd wish to remain anonymous or if you're having trouble with the comments. Aska will answer them next Friday! Thank you! 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Writing Lessons from Video Games: Final Fantasy XV

I've been wanting to get into the Final Fantasy games since I watched the gameplay for Kingdom Hearts several years ago. I started Final Fantasy X, but I've yet to finish it (STUPID GUARDIAN BOSS), so Final Fantasy XV became my first Final Fantasy game to ever finish and man, it was absolutely beautiful. Music is gorgeous. Graphics are out of this world. There are so many sequences that just blow the epic meter. And the story is just fantastic. So I had to write a post all about it.

Final Fantasy XV follows the journey of Prince Noctis as he and his three close friends travel across the continent to find the Royal Arms and acquire the power of the gods to stop the land from being plunged into darkness forever.

Warning: Big Spoilers in Point 2, 3, and 4. The rest are spoiler free.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A Book Review of War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Buy from Amazon!

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all . . . starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolish everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power . . . for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Series: Red Queen (Book 4)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (May 15, 2018)
Page Count: 672 pages

After the Allegiant incident I’ve been a little wary about YA series endings. Though The Lunar Chronicles helped regain my trust, I was still a little nervous about Red Queen’s finale especially after while at a signing for the author she mentioned some people may not like the ending. Thankfully my trust in the series wasn’t misplaced.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Language of Worlds - Belated January/February Edition

I’m once again late for this tag but better late than ever! I’m going to focus on Mor this time because she is the main character of Red Hood and she hasn’t had a post about her in a while and she is the MC that got me an agent, so she deserves the spotlight a bit. *pats her head* I’m also going to do Mor in the timeline of the first book cause spoilers in the other ones.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

So Your Character is Cyberschooled ... Featuring Maggie Shive

I'm homeschooled and I actually hadn't heard of cyberschooling, but this sounds like a really interesting way of getting education (also it makes me think of Cyberchase which is never a bad thing).

Friday, March 1, 2019

Monthly Summary: February 2019

February was a mix of stress and fun between work, drama, and NYC, but I overall consider it a great month!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Book Review of Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Buy from Amazon!
Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true: she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, she reluctantly accepts. But there is much more to his story, for there is a dangerous plot to overthrow the king of Maevana—the rival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the throne.

With war brewing, Brienna must choose which side she will remain loyal to: passion or blood.

Series: The Queen's Rising (Book 1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen (February 6, 2018)
Page Count: 464 pages

I actually had the chance to meet the author of this book while going to an event for Victoria Aveyard. I got an autograph for Rebecca Ross for a friend and then she recommended I read her book and I’m so glad I did! And I’m also happy because she’s a local author who’s published a book that isn’t riddled with content with Harper Collins. So inspiring.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Interview with Annette (Silver Hood)!

It's the first character interview of 2019. Whoo hoo! Thanks, Christine, for the great questions! *turns in Tonight Show desk to face Annette who's sitting on a couch*

Hello, everyone. *smiles*

Ready for questions?

I am.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

New York/New Jersey 2019 Report

Since all of my good friends are long distance I travel periodically to spend time with them. I haven’t visited any good friends since like November so it was about time for me to see someone. I also really wanted a week to just work on my art. My cousin Anne (Yes, my cousin is one of my best friends) invited me to stay with her New York City for a week and I arranged with some of my birth family to finally meet them in person in New Jersey!

Friday, February 15, 2019

So Your Character is Adopted 2 ...

I did another version of this post before I came up with the classic So Your Character ... format, but I wanted to do a redone version that's a little less rough than that other one but if you feel like looking at that mess there's a link below. In case you didn't know, I'm adopted. Surprise!