Character Names – Era and Cedar

I only have 13 pages left of Snow, my novel, to edit! I’m currently working on the scene where Snow goes through her final test and, once she passes it, will take her place as a Katari. I have three minor characters who show up in this scene, and while I was editing it the other day, I remembered that I had forgotten to name them! I gave all my Katari characters names that mean whatever they have power over. For example, Bridgette is the name of the Irish goddess of fire, and my Bridgette has power over fire. So, it makes name hunting extra tricky, trying to find a name that means what I need it to mean. I thought I’d share the two names I eventually found for these characters. Feel free to use these names, but remember, I had them first! 😉

Era is an Albanian girl’s name. It comes from the word erë which means “wind.” In English, era is used more as a word that means a long span of time rather than a girl’s name. However, it used to be popular in the 1880s – 1930s. My character Era is a snooty Katari who irritates Snow by first asking if she likes Finley and then dragging Snow over to talk to Snow’s enemy, Bridgette.

Cedar is, of course, a type of tree. It’s also an English boy or girl’s name. I had a lot of fun creating my character Cedar. Most Kataris have power over something deadly, like electricity, fire, or storms. All except poor Cedar who has a the power to grow plants. I quite enjoyed the funny contrast of Snow, who’s considered quite deadly with her ice/snow powers, talking to the guy who can make roses grow. 🙂

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

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote comes from Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. I thought this was great advice for planning out scenes and making sure that the main character always has someone to talk to. 🙂

“One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.” – Chuck Palahniuk


Blogs I Read – Part 1

I really wish that the first thing I saw when I opened WordPress wasn’t my reader. I’m always distracted by the newest blog posts from the blogs I read, and then I’m off reading instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing! Like writing a blog post of my own. 😉 Today I thought I’d share some of the blogs I read so that you could enjoy their posts (and be distracted), too! 🙂

1. Go Teen Writers

I’ve talked about Go Teen Writers a bunch of times, but I had to include it because I really love it that much! It’s a blog dedicated to helping and supporting teen writers. Even though the blog is directed towards a younger audience, I think the advice would be great for adult writers, too. 🙂 My favorite post: Emotion Beats in your dialogue

2. Nameberry

As a writer, I am always looking for cool names online, and Nameberry is my favorite site to find those names! Their name blog is a great place to learn about naming trends and how to choose the perfect name. My favorite post: Doctor Who Baby Names: Classic Christopher to quirky Capaldi

3. Dreaming Hobbit

This awesomely named blog is one of my favorites for writing tips. I actually linked to one of her recent posts about passive heroes in my “Lesson learned” last Friday. My favorite post: Why Is Bad Fiction So Popular?

4. Oooh, Shinies!

One thing I’ve learned is that I can write and paint my nails at the same time, which makes it one of my favorite things to do in the afternoon. This blog has lots of inspiration for nail designs and her tutorials are super helpful and easy to follow. She also loves cats and occasionally posts super cute pictures of her foster kitties, which is an added bonus. 🙂 My favorite post: How to: Stamping!

5. Curious Ramblings

From writing to music to iPod tips, this blog has it all! I share a lot of common interests with the author, so it’s a ton of fun to read her Marvel posts and hear about her favorite fictional characters. I also owe her for introducing me to Studio C, which has become one of my favorite YouTube channels of all time! My favorite post: Studio C (Short Post)

What are some of the blogs you like to read? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: April 17 – 23

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for the week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 3,689

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Tuesday with 1,230 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on Hunger Games fanfiction, my new novel, and editing Snow.

The Good News: I’m just about to finish the introduction to my new novel and get to the exciting part of the story!

The Bad News: I haven’t been writing every day this week. 😛

Lesson Learned: I read this really interesting article on I never heard about a passive hero before and never thought about checking my writing for that, but I will now. You can find the article here:

Goal for Next Week: My goal is to edit the next chapter of Snow and write at least 1000 words in my novel.

Thanks for reading!


Infinity Dreams Award – Part 2

On Tuesday, I posted the first part of the Infinity Dreams Award that Bessie Lark nominated me for. Since it involved so many questions, I thought it best to split into two posts. Today I’m answering the rest of her questions and listing my nominations. 🙂

5. Who’s your favorite Avenger? Or, if you don’t do Marvel, your favorite superhero. Or your favorite, um, superpower. Or all of the above, I’m being generous today. =)

Loki, obviously. 😉 All right, all right, so he’s not technically an Avenger. If I couldn’t pick him, it’d be a tie between Thor or Captain America. Or Bucky Barnes…who isn’t technically an Avenger either, but I love him, too.

6. Do you watch Studio C and/or Blimey Cow?

YES. I love both Studio C and Blimey Cow! I’ve got Studio C’s Hunger Games musical memorized, and one of my favorite Blimey Cow videos is “The One About Big Head Kid.”

7. What’s your favorite YouTube channel (aside from those in #6)?

Rhett and Link! I recently started watching them, and I love their videos!

8. What song most often gets stuck in your head?

Around here, on the radio, there is the Law of “Sugar.” I always flip through the radio stations while we’re driving somewhere, and I’m bound to hear “Sugar” by Maroon 5 at least once. It’s always stuck in my head after I get out of the car!

9. Would you rather meet a movie star or a writer?

Ohhh, this is tough. See, I’d love to meet my favorite cast members from The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings or The Hunger Games or Doctor Who, but I think I’d rather meet a favorite writer. It would be awesome to get writing advice from some of the greats in writing!

10. Referencing your answer to #9, who would you meet?

There are sooooooo many authors I’d love to meet. In fact, there are so many, I’m going to make a list.

1. J.R.R. Tolkien

2.  Brian Jacques

3. William Shakespeare

4.  James Dashner

5. Suzanne Collins

6. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

7. C.S. Lewis

11. Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? 0=D

Lord of the Rings, hands down. Don’t hurt me, Star Wars lovers!

All right, time for my nominees and their 11 questions. 🙂

Jennifer K. Marsh


Rayleigh Anne

Now for my questions! 🙂

1. Do you prefer carpet or hardwood floors?

2. What are two words you can’t stand?

3. Do you like puns? If so, what is the best pun you have ever heard?

4. Have you read any of Shakespeare’s plays? If so, which is your favorite?

5. What song do you hate?

6. Have you ever cried during a movie? If so, what was the last movie you cried during?

7. Do you prefer ear-buds or the over-the-ear headphones?

8. Android or Apple?

9. If you could change one thing about where you live, what would it be?

10. Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs test? If so, what was your result?

11. Favorite thing to do on a beautiful day?

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote of the week comes from Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth. I thought this quote offered some really great advice about finding enough time to write every day. 🙂

“Five minutes of writing a day is better than no minutes. Too many new writers think that unless they have plenty of time, it’s not worth booting up the computer or sharpening that pencil. But think of it, instead, like practicing scales on the piano before tackling that Beethoven Concerto or like warming-up in the gym – the more you prepare for writing, the better shape you’ll be in once you have time to really concentrate.” – Kate Mosse

~ Kayla

Infinity Dreams Award – Part 1

Today I’m accepting one of the coolest named awards ever. A big thank you to Bessie Lark for nominating me for the Infinity Dreams award over at her blog. Let’s get started! 🙂


The rules are simple. First, I have to thank Bessie Lark for the award and follow her blog, both of which I’ve already done. 🙂 Then I have to list 11 facts about myself and answer Bessie Lark’s 11 questions. After that, I nominate whoever hasn’t been nominated before and ask them 11 questions. Since this involves a ton of questions, I thought it’d be best to split up this post into two separate days. The second half will be on Thursday. 🙂

All right, here are 11 random facts about myself!

1. I have several houseplants, and they have all been named after characters in The Hunger Games.

2. My three favorite things to do are writing, drawing, and ice skating.

3. For the first time this year, I’m able to wear shorts and that makes me exceedingly happy! I love warm weather. 😀

4. Despite owning two cats, I am mildly allergic to them.

5. I like rainy days.

6. However, I hate thunderstorms.

7. I have never flown anywhere.

8. I get motion sick very easily. We’re talking sick-on-an-escalator kind of motion sick.

9. My favorite number is a googol, which is a 1 followed by 100 zeros. I first heard of this number when I was in second grade and watched an educational math program called Ms. Infinity’s Math Mansion.

10. In the smartphone world, I prefer Android to Apple.

11. I want to visit Cardiff, Wales and go to the Doctor Who Experience there. 🙂

Now for 4 of Bessie Lark’s 11 questions:

1. What is one of your favorite/craziest/worst dreams you’ve ever had? (You can answer as many as you want and/or as apply.)

Well, when I was little (I think I was 3), I had a vivid nightmare where koala bears dressed in police uniforms were arresting me and my family outside of our house. I was terrified of koala bears for months after that! Thankfully, I haven’t had any more nightmares about them. A favorite dream of mine is the one I had of running from an insane Legolas who was trying to shoot me.

2. Have you ever met any well-known people (even if this is just well-known in your general area)?

I met Buddy Davis, from Answers in Genesis when we visited the Creation Museum. It was really cool since I’d grown up watching his DVDs. My dad actually met Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, when they were filming The Avengers. Unknowingly, my dad was staying at the same hotel Chris Hemsworth was, and they met in the hotel restaurant and talked for a while. The funny thing was my dad, who has no interest in actors/actresses, had no idea who he was. I was younger and didn’t know who he was either until we later watched the Avengers and Thor and figured out that my dad had actually met a superhero. 😉

3. What is your middle name (no I’m not stealing it! I’m just borrowing it, you might say)?

My middle name is Lanae. When I was born, my mom had already picked out my first name. but hadn’t decided on my middle name. She was still deciding when the nurse came over with the birth certificate. The nurse said that she liked “Lanae” best as a middle name, and so my mom went with it!

4. Would you rather be able to go into any picture and walk around in that world, or go into any fictional world at a time where the characters you know of are either dead or not born yet?

I would rather be able to go into any picture and walk around in that world. See, my plan is that I could walk around in the illustrations from my favorite books and movies and hopefully run into my favorite characters. 😉

Thanks for reading! Part 2 will be up Thursday.

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: April 10 – 16

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for the week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 4,590

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Wednesday with 1,655 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on Hunger Games fanfiction, my new novel, and editing Snow.

The Good News: I finished my WIP last week! *cheers*

The Bad News: Starting this new novel has been harder than I expected.

Lesson Learned: I’ve been wanting to write this idea for a while. However, right now, I feel like I’m fighting for every word, and I’m not sure why. So this will be an ongoing lesson learned to see if I can figure out why this plot won’t flow.

Goal for Next Week: My goal is to edit the next chapter of Snow and write at least 1000 words in my novel.

Thanks for reading!


Note to Self – Poison Mushrooms

Note to Self:

If anyone needs to be poisoned in my next novel, one way to do it would be to use Amanita bisporigera, also known as the destroying angel mushroom. I heard about them on Good Mythical Morning. (It really was the show after the show called Good Mythical More. You can see the brief mention of the mushrooms at 8:45 if you are interested.) The two hosts, Rhett and Link, were discussing their book club book, What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. Link mentioned mushrooms that could kill your DNA. My writer’s light bulb went off, so I did some quick research. Amanita mushrooms, including the destroying angel and the death cap, poison more people every year than any other mushroom species. Since it only takes a few bites to poison a grown adult and this mushroom has a pleasant taste and sweet smell, the victim character wouldn’t suspect anything until it was too late. The victim would simply say these are the most delicious mushrooms he’s ever had and go back to eating them.

Death cap mushroom – part of why it’s so deadly is that it looks like an edible mushroom

After the mushroom is ingested, the poisoning symptoms (abdominal cramps and vomiting) wouldn’t show until a day later. If the victim goes to the doctor, the doctor might conclude that it is simply a stomach virus. Hydration would slow the oncoming kidney/liver failure, but at this point it’s probably too late. Amatoxin from the mushroom essentially stops mRNA creation, destroying the body’s ability to make new proteins. There is a possible cure, but it’s not very well known, and many doctors haven’t heard of it.

Perhaps in my newest novel, Valo, the sociopath/psychopath, could try this on his brother Zeno or on Rani, my main character, at some point.

If you would like to know more about this mushroom, try this link.

Additional note to self: Don’t ever eat mushrooms.

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote comes from G.K. Chesterton, English writer and theologian. I finished my WIP two days ago, and I was reminded of this quote as I’m back to facing the blank page as I start my new novel.

“A blank page is God’s way of letting us know how hard it is to be God.” – G.K. Chesterton

~ Kayla