Announcement

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in the past two weeks. I’ve been really busy lately with school and ice skating (I have several competitions coming up!). Because of that, I’ve decided to take a break from my blog until summer vacation starts up again.

I hope you have a great rest of the winter and spring, and I’ll see you this summer!

~ Kayla

Character Names – Angelyn and Addison

About a month ago, I shared my main characters’ names, Ella and Brennan, from my NaNoWriMo novel, Ella’s Cinders. Today, I thought I’d share the names of my other two main characters, Ella’s mother and step-father.🙂

Angelyn is an Greek girl’s name. It means “messenger of God” and more obviously, “angel.”

In my novel, Angelyn is the name of Ella’s mother. I chose the name because it sounded flowery and romantic, which fit Angelyn’s personality. She’s very romantic and caught up in her daydreams. She worked as a servant for Ella’s father, and they ended up falling in love and having Ella together. Everything seemed perfect until Angelyn discovered a secret about her lover that made her decide that she couldn’t raise Ella in his house. Angelyn ran away with Ella back to her hometown. She ended up marrying Addison Mal and having Ella’s two step-sisters. Angelyn also can’t form long-term memories, meaning that while she can remember what she’s doing at that moment, she can’t remember her own daughter’s name.

Addison is an English boy or girl’s name. It was originally a surname that meant “son of Adam.”

Addison Mal is Ella’s step-father. He loves his daughters, tolerates Angelyn, and despises Ella. He is a big, black-haired man, and he owns a bar and restaurant which he named Mal’s, after himself. Ella and he fight constantly, and he often leaves Ella with bruises.

What do you think of these two names? Would you use them on a character? Let me know in the comments below.🙂

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

An Interesting Word – Serein

Imagine this: It’s a beautiful evening, and you’re outside, enjoying the cool weather. There’s not a cloud in the sky, and the sun is just about to sink below the horizon. The moment can’t be anymore picturesque. Just then, you feel a drop of water hit you. You look up, surprised, realizing that it’s now drizzling, despite the fact it’s a cloudless evening, You hurry inside as the rain continues to fall. Believe it or not, you just experienced serein.

Serein is the phenomenon where rain, especially a light, fine drizzle, seems to fall from a cloudless sky. It’s like a sunshower, where it rains when it’s sunny, except in the early evening. It’s pronounced “suh-ran”, just like the plastic cling wrap you cover food with.

The word serein comes from the French word serein meaning “serene” or “clear” just like what a serein night is. However, another possible origin for serein is the old French word serain which means “evening.”

Since it’s impossible for rain to fall from a cloudless sky, how does serein happen? Well, one possible explanation is if rain is falling nearby and there is a breeze, that wind can blow raindrops to where you are, making it seem like it’s raining without a cloud in the sky.

No matter where this word came from or what causes it, it’s a unique phenomenon. I couldn’t find a video of serein happening, but here’s one of a sunshower happening at the beach.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Writing Resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! I can’t believe that 2015 only has one day left in it. Since 2016 is this Friday, I thought today I would share some of my New Year’s resolutions that are concerning writing.🙂

1. Finish editing Ella Cinder’s

The day after I finished writing the rough draft of this year’s NaNo novel, I started editing it! This year, my goal is to finish editing Ella completely.

2. Do Camp NaNo

Last year, I was busy writing another story idea and didn’t want to take a break from that to do Camp NaNo. Because of that, I didn’t participate in either the April or July Camp NaNo. I missed doing it this year, so I wanted to make that a goal.

3. Rewrite Misha and Tay’s story

When I finished Misha and Tay’s story early this year, it was (and still is)the roughest rough draft I’ve ever written. However, I’m really proud of the characters I’ve created, and I’d really like to rewrite the draft.

4. Finish editing Snow

This book has caused me more frustration than any other! I’ve been fighting editing this rough draft for almost a year now. This year, however, I’m determined to finish it!

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!🙂

~ Kayla

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Today I thought I’d simply wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and post the account of the Savior’s birth from Luke 2:4-21.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Thanks for reading and merry Christmas!

~ Kayla

Quick Review – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched the movie or read the book, don’t read beyond this point if you want to avoid spoilers!

Yesterday, I finally got to see Mockingjay Part 2. I’ve been both super excited and dreading watching the final movie in The Hunger Games series. However, I had the chance to go and see it, so I took my tissues, braced myself for the ending, and went to the theater. Like the other Hunger Games movies, Mockingjay Part 2 closely followed the book and was amazing (even if I cried.)

 

Things I Liked:

  1.  Finnick and Annie’s wedding was everything I had been waiting and hoping for!
  2. No matter if you thought Haymitch and Effie’s kiss was one of friendship or love, I was glad to see that the two of them had become close.
  3. I liked how they showed that President Coin was turning into another President Snow. I thought her ending, with her standing above everyone on Snow’s platform, really showcased the fact that she would have been just as tyrannical as Snow.
  4. The epilogue scene was so sweet and heartbreaking. It was the perfect ending to the series.
  5. I love that they had Jennifer Lawerence sing “Deep in the Meadow” at the end of the movie. It was really neat to hear the song in “Katniss’s” voice, and it made a great ending.

Things I Didn’t Like:

  1. Finnick’s death scene was so sad. Finnick is my favorite character, so even though the scene gave him a good ending and fit the book, I still hated watching it.
  2. The lizard mutts didn’t look like what I had pictured in my head from the description in the book.
  3. Johanna and Katniss shared a room in the book, and I loved getting to see their friendship grow. I was disappointed that wasn’t in the movie.
  4. It’s the last Hunger Games movie ever, and I’m not okay with that fact!

What did you think of Mockingjay Part 2? What did you like or didn’t like? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Link Share – The Wise Owl

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I thought I’d fix that today by sharing some links I’ve found helpful over the past months.🙂

I recently finished up an online writing class through Landry Academy, and in that class I had to write an MLA formatted paper. My teacher shared this link with the class, and it has a lot of great grammar information written in an easy to understand manner. I thought I’d share it for anyone who needs some grammar advice!

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

This TedEd video has some great tips for developing skills to write better dialogue that I found really useful.🙂

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/three-anti-social-skills-to-improve-your-writing-nadia-kalman#review

Character description has always been something I’ve struggled with, and I’ve really been trying to improve on that lately. This article has some great ideas to help.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/11-secrets-to-writing-effective-character-description

Twenty One Pilots is my favorite band and O Come, O Come Emmanuel is my favorite Christmas song, so I was super excited to see that Tyler Joseph sang a version at his church. I love it so much, I thought I’d share it with all of you.🙂

Thanks for reading and clicking!🙂

~ Kayla

 

 

 

What I’ve Been Doing Lately

Today I thought I’d update my readers on what I’ve been doing lately since it’s been a few months since my last post.

Finishing up my NaNo novel, Ella’s Cinders. This was my longest rough draft with 80,355 words! I finished it all up on November 29th.

Editing Ella’s Cinders! I really love this novel, and I didn’t want to waste any time getting to work on the second draft.

Listening to a lot of Christina Perri. For whatever reason, her songs have been Ella’s Cinders soundtrack, so I’ve listened through her two albums at least ten times now! Ella’s theme song, “Burning Gold,” is one of Christina Perri’s.

Reading Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl. I’m a big fan of the Black Widow, so I was excited to read this book. It’s been pretty good so far.

Also reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe for school. I thought it was going to be slow and boring but it’s actually exciting and interesting!

Waiting to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 this month. I’m so ready and yet I am not ready for everything to end!

Watching Vsauce (and Vsauce 2 and Vsauce 3) on YouTube recently. It’s a channel dedicated to explaining science and the way things work. It’s really interesting, and one of my favorite shows are the ones they do about DONGS (or things you can Do Online Now, Guys), which are interesting websites they dig up.

Looking forward to competing with my ice rink’s production team this year. It’s the first year I’ve gotten to compete, and I’m excited/nervous about it!

Enjoying having beta readers. I’m having a few of my NaNoWriMo friends read through my rough draft before I start editing, and I’ve been enjoying their advice/comments.

Excited to see that the snow has started on my blog again! I love that.

Disliking the fact that my Thanksgiving break is over. I want to have more time to write!

Receiving gifts from Japan! My friend in Japan sent me a box of Japanese snacks and gifts for Christmas. I had lots of fun unwrapping it all.

 Thanking you for reading.🙂

~ Kayla

What I’m Thankful For

Happy almost Thanksgiving! Since Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, I thought that today I would list some things that I’m thankful for concerning writing.

1. I’m thankful for NaNoWriMo! Winning my first NaNo in 2013 inspired me to keep writing and taught me how to finish a rough draft.

2. I’m thankful for the NaNoWriMo forums. I’ve made some amazing friends through them that have really helped me with my writing and been there for me no matter what.

3. I’m thankful for winning NaNoWriMo. I won on the 21st, the earliest I’ve ever won. My novel is only a little over half-way completed, so I’m still working on it.

4. I’m thankful for an awesome writing buddy. My cat, Precious, always comes and hangs out next to me while I’m writing.

5. I’m also thankful to Spotify. It’s a small thing, but being able to make a playlist for my NaNo novel to listen to as I work has been really helpful and awesome.

6.  I’m thankful for a four-day weekend from school and skating. I’m going to have a lot of free time to write, and I’m really excited about hopefully wrapping this novel up this weekend!

7. I’m thankful that I finally got the new James Dashner novel, The Game of Lives, in the mail yesterday. I can’t wait to read it!

8. I’m thankful for all the great writers like Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Suzanne Collins. Not only do I get to enjoy their stories, but I also get a chance to learn from their example.

9. I’m thankful for my laptop that I can write on and that keeps all my novels, fanfictions, and ideas safe.

10. I’m thankful for my readers who keep reading and commenting!🙂

~ Kayla

 

 

 

Character Names – Ella and Brennan

It’s week three of NaNoWriMo! I actually hit 40,000 words two days ago, and I couldn’t be happier with my story. I’m super excited about my characters, and they’ve been a blast to write. Since I’ve had such a great time with them, today I thought I’d share a bit more about my main characters and tell the stories behind their names. Feel free to use these names, but remember, I did have them first!😉

Ella is a name probably everyone has heard. It’s an English name, and according to behindthename.com, Ella comes from the Norman form of the Germanic name Alia. It’s also considered to be a variant of the baby name Ellen.

I’ve never known an Ella in real life, however, I do know of one from the movies. In Disney’s live-action Cinderella, Ella is Cinderella’s real name and she’s a sweet, kind-hearted girl despite serving her evil step-mother. My Cinderella’s real name is Ella Cinder, and the only trait she shares with Disney’s Cinderella is her name! Ella is sassy and sarcastic, and she always has to have the last word. She loves the attention she gets from being an Elite celebrity, and she has a bit of a temper that flares up at the worst times. She usually goes by just Ella, though her step-father called her Elle to irritate her. The only nickname Ella accepts is the one Charming, her boyfriend, gives her, which is Ellie.

Brennan is actually an Irish surname that is being used as a first name now. It can be either a guy or a girl’s name, but I prefer it for a guy. There are several different meanings to the name which range from “raven” to “sorrow.”

I didn’t choose the name for the meaning, however. Brennan is actually Charming’s middle name. His real name is Sahir Brennan Harb. The reason for such a odd middle name is that I wanted to include a nod to Brendon Urie, lead singer of Panic! At the Disco, who I partly based Charming’s voice and personality on. Also, since Charming gives Ella the nickname of Ellie, I wanted Ella to have a nickname to give him, and Brennan gave me an excuse to have Ella call him Bren.

What do you think of these names? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, what are your character’s names? Tell me in the comments below!🙂

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla