Monday, December 24, 2012

To All Of You....

I hope and pray you all have a beautiful, blessed, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jane Austen Tag

Miss Laurie over at Old–Fashioned Charm just finished her Jane Austen Birthday Assembly.  I wasn't able to participate much but I knew I had to find time to answer these fun tag questions.

1. How did you meet Jane Austen?
I had heard about her from my mother from a fairly young age.  I also knew of her and her books from encyclopedias.  But it wasn't until I was fourteen that I actually started to read her books, starting when I picked up a used copy of Pride and Prejudice.

2. In which order did you first become acquainted with and read Jane Austen's novels?
I knew the names of her major works before I read any of them.  Pride and Prejudice was the first book I read.  I think Persuasion was next, then Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and finally Lady Susan.

3. Rate Jane Austen's major novels from your most favorite to your least favorite and tell why.
Pride and Prejudice will always be my top favorite.  Partly because I see quite a bit of myself in Elizabeth, partly because by the middle of the book, Darcy is such a great hero and well, I adore the storyline!  Sense and Sensibility is a very close second.  I am enough like Elinor I could be her twin and I love living the story with her.  Willoughby is thoroughly despicable and an excellent villain, and again, the storyline is wonderful.  Northanger Abbey is third, due to it's fantastic plot and how much plain good fun Henry Tilney is.  Persuasion- I love how Anne and Captain Wentworth have a second chance at happiness.  And Sir Walter is hilarious!  Mansfield Park and Emma tie for fifth place.  Mr. Knightley is great and Fanny is sweet.  Emma, I must confess, I don't like nearly as well as Mr. Knightley.  And Edmund- well, see #5.

4. Which Jane Austen hero/heroine couple is your favorite and why?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.  Forever.  I love how their relationship develops, and how they both have to change and grow before they can be happy.  Their chemistry is just wonderful.  I love her witty retorts and his fighting against his feelings for her and discovering he just can't stop them.

5. Which hero/heroine couple is your least favorite and why?
Oh, dear, I have to pick a least favorite?  But they are all so fantastic!  Oh, alright then.  Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram.  Edmund's blindness where the Crawfords are concerned always drives me crazy and I want to slap him upside the head. 

To be completely honest though, I would mix and match.  Edmund is my least favorite hero and Emma is my least favorite heroine.  I connect with her the least of all Austen's heroines.

6. Have you read any of Jane Austen's Juvenilia works? Which ones?
Not yet.  I hope to remedy that soon.

7. If you could change the name of one of Jane Austen's characters who would it be and why?
I can't think that I would!  Actually, I would change Mr. Knightley's first name.  He just never seemed quite like a 'George' to me.  And George is not my favorite name, though I don't exactly hate it.

8. Have you ever introduced someone to Jane Austen?
Um, sort of.  I loan my books to my younger sisters, because mine are currently the only Austen copies in the house.  But, I'm not sure I can honestly claim credit for introducing them to Austen.  I'm pretty sure that would go to my mother.

9. If a new film about her life was made, which actress would you want to play Jane Austen?
Hmmm.  *Puts on thinking cap.*  I think Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria) would do a very interesting portrayal.

10. Pretend you're having a weekend party at your very own country house, which Austen characters (up to five) would you invite and why?
Oh yay!  Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth (Bennet) Darcy, Eleanor Tilney, Henry Tilney and Frederica (Vernon) de Courcy.  Mr and Mrs. Darcy would be terrific to meet, I've always like Eleanor and wished she had more 'screen time', er book time.  Mr. Tilney is... well... Mr. Tilney.  Need I say more?  And I would love to meet Frederica after the written part of her story ends.

11. In your real life have you ever attended a Jane Austen themed event, party or ball? Or have you hosted one yourself?
I wish!  Sadly, no.  We live in a rather remote area of the country, and there aren't any such events around here, that I'm aware of.

12. Suppose you were given the opportunity to ask Jane Austen two questions: one in connection with her real life and one about her stories. What would they be?
I would ask why she accepted that proposal for just one night, and then I would ask how many ideas she had for further novels.

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snippets of Story: December

Aaand I'm finally putting up my December Snippets!  These are all from the 25,000 words I wrote on The Three Kyngdoms last month plus one bonus snippet at the end from a project I'm currently working on.  WARNING: these are unedited snippets!

"Was your journey well?" Arimathe asked the dark, grim man.
He shook his head.  "We are unharmed but I have bad news for you."

"Pax Vobiscum, Magister Merthyr," her soft voice said.  She extended her right hand in the elven salute.
"Seren!" Malagi exclaimed delightedly.
She turned toward him, smiling brightly, and held out her hands.  He threw himself at her, gripping her in a bear hug.  When he pulled back, she chuckled and ruffled his black hair affectionately.
"It is good to see you again."
He nodded, "I have missed you."
She rested her right hand on his shoulder, "How have you been?"
He shrugged, "Oh, well enough.  Busy.  Merthyr works us to death," he confided in a loud whisper.
"Humph.  If I didn't you would never be out of mischief," Merthyr grumbled.

"Or forced conscription into their army," Seren spoke disgustedly.
Seated behind Llancalot, Galath leaned forward, "I do not understand how humans can behave so.  Have they no conscience?"
"Galath, Shadows are not human," Rhianon told him wryly.
"They're fiends incarnate," Nimianne spat.
"Not human?" Galath mused.
"Strictly speaking, they are humans," Rhianon allowed.  "But they have lost all humanity."
"They have become brutal, mindless, murdering monsters."  Seren's voice was low and intense.

"You're not on guard duty today I see."
"Yes.  Dardanus told me Patruus and Amita have something for me to do here today.  I haven't seen either of them yet though.  Patruus has been closeted in his study with Merthyr since early this morning.  Merthyr can't have had much sleep."
"As usual.  Little sleep, little food.  I swear he lives on air," Emrys shook his head over his father's peculiarities.

Selyf reached for the pitcher of cream.  Dinner was over and sassafras cake, his favorite dessert, had just been served.  He poured a steady stream from the pitcher until the golden brown cake was floating in the smooth cream.
"Have some cake with your cream," Lenaig said, her voice heavy with sarcasm.
He ignored her and took a bite of the cake.  Chewing slowly he cast his eyes upward and smiled seraphically.  "Heavenly," he murmured.  Then he winked at Lenaig.
She rolled her eyes.

"Only while we're on duty," Loreius replied.  "Once off duty..." he left the words unsaid, but the look on his face was eloquent.
Philippon whispered, "Hopefully, by the time we reach the castle, Seren and Emrys will have a plan for something interesting that we can, er, help with before going back on duty."
Astrophel and Caie smothered chuckles.  The elves went to bring their unicorns forward from the shadow of the tree where they patiently waited.  Caie leaned over to whisper to his brother.
"Did he just say Seren?"
"I think so," Astrophel whispered back.  "Why don't you ask him?"
"Uh, no," Caie quickly shook his head.  "I think I'll wait until we are at the castle and ask Emrys."
Astrophel grinned to himself.  Caie the Bold not so bold when it comes to a certain elven maiden.

The crowd dispersed quickly as if afraid to linger.  A threesome consisting of an older man and woman followed by a young man wrapped in a worn cloak walked up the road to the nearby village of Breithe.  When they were a distance from the castle, the man snorted.
"Mordrech Pendragon, my eye.  That stripling is no more a Pendragon than I am."
"Shhh, Connor," his wife cautioned.  "Malduc has eyes and ears everywhere."
Connor snorted again.  "Balderdash.  He may have the eyesight of a hawk, but none can read lips from this far away, nevermind that my back is to the castle.  And not even Supreme Monster Malduc has ears keen enough to hear spoken words at a quarter of a mile."
The young man grinned and converted a laugh into a cough.

And this is the bonus snippet.  I just started this story last week, during a crazy day when I had a few minutes of down time.  For the rest of the week, I scribbled madly– two minutes here, four there, one over there, etc.  Between last week and this week, I have 2,800 words on it and I'm just going to keep going and see if it takes me anywhere.  It is sci-fi– actually more science fantasy– and its current nickname is Atlantica.

At the far end of the sofa Jeziora gave a bounce.  "I wouldn't.  I'm with Jyder.  Tight security, too much money, too much time, and no school with friends?  I might as well go live on an asteroid and be a hermit!  Or hermitine, whatever a girl hermit is called."
Now everyone laughed.  "I believe the correct word is hermitess," Kishi told her.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm Back Now!

Dear me, I sure missed all of you!!  I didn't realize how much I'd grown to love being on Blogger and reading and commenting on all of your posts until I was without them for a week!  And now I have a ton of reading and commenting and emailing to catch up on!!!

My friend Miss Jack Lewis Baillot has published her book Haphazardly Implausible and it is now available on Amazon Kindle and Lulu.  Congratulations Jack!!  I don't normally read steampunk books, (just because they never sounded interesting before) but when I started reading Jack's blog and hearing about her story I knew I had to read this one.  It sounds terrific!!

She has a blog party going right now to celebrate the book launch.  Be sure to hop over and check it out!

And the blog party for Jessica's book Annabeth's War is still going.  Stop by Safirewriter to see the latest stops and giveaways.  Currently Jessica is giving away a copy of Amy Dashwood's Only A Novel while Amy is giving away a copy of Annabeth's War at her blog.


Yet Another Period Drama Blog

And now I must dutifully take to my bed and attempt that inconvenience er, delight called sleep.

Until next time!

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Cheers!!!!!!!

Hello, my dear readers!!

First off, I have to tell you about a wonderful blog party going on RIGHT NOW.  My friend Jessica Greyson has published her first book, Annabeth's War, and it is available from Amazon!!!!!  I am super excited about this!!!!  I have been privileged to read some of Jessica's writing and it is FANTASTIC!!!  You do NOT want to miss this book!!

She is hosting a giveaway of her book right here:  (And isn't this cover art GORGEOUS?!!)


Also, the delightful Katherine Sophia is hosting another giveaway: a beautiful charm bracelet for one winner and a copy of Annabeth's War for another winner.

Seek Him First

So please do go check them out and enter!!  You won't be sorry you did!

And, a quick apology and explanation.  Due to unexpected circumstances, I have not been online all week nor will I be back online regularly until Sunday.  I have a few minutes today, and then it is back to no computer.  So, the many things I had hoped to post about this week will regrettably be delayed until next week.  And to all of who that are waiting for emails back from me, I promise to do them as soon as I can next week.

Until Sunday!

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, December 7, 2012

Les Mis Excitement!! With Premiere Videos!

Les Miserables the movie is due out in the United States in exactly 18 days.  That is less than three weeks!!!  (Although I will have to wait longer to see it, until it comes out on DVD or Amazon Instant Video.)

I am SUPER HYPED about it.  Just ask my poor family who has to put up with my rambling and gushing over it, in addition to my excitement over The Hobbit, due out in a week.  (I think they are all ready to ship me off to China for the next three weeks.)

I've been following the progress of the Les Mis premieres.  There was the Tokoyo premiere, the New York screening, and then the London premiere yesterday (or was it the day before?).  For all of my fellow Les Mis fans, I present a collection of links to news articles and videos.

A BBC video of the premiere:  HERE
Jackman's "I was the boss" cracked me up!

And a few more pictures and interview comments:  HERE

THIS is a collection of interviews with the cast on the red carpet. Poor Samantha Barks was shivering!  Behind Eddie you can see Rosamund Pike (Jane in P&P 2005).  I have to say, during the interview with producer Debra Hayward, I was too busy watching the people passing behind her to watch her, although I was listening to what she was saying.  Hey look, there went Samantha!  I loved how Debra herself said the movie needed to be EPIC!  Ooh, look, it's Lady Grantham!  Russell Crowe started out in musicals?  I didn't know that either!

And another one.  WARNING: there are a few coarse words in this video during Sacha Baron Cohen's interview clips.  I think it is great how Jackman has been a fan of the book since he was 18!   And I think Sacha Baron Cohen is going to make a good Thenardier.

Ooh, THIS one!!  Some scenes from the movie interspersed with interview clips, including Debra Hayward telling of the audition video Eddie Redmayne sent in and Daniel Huttlestone telling how it was for him during filming.

It is blurry but LOOK it's Michael Ball!

And THIS.  I laughed over Crowe's 'singing fools' and Daniel Huttlestone teling how Crowe taught him how to punch!  You know, I think he'll do a pretty good Gavroche.  :)

Oh my gosh!!!  THIS is one of my favorites!  Mainly because Hugh Jackman and Michael Ball are such gentlemen in it!  Jackman helps Amanda Seyfried up onto the stage, and then!  Well, watch it to see what Michael Ball does.  Isn't it sweet??!!!!

And HERE is another video with clips of interviews with Jackman, Samantha, Amanda, Crowe, Redmayne and Tom Hooper.  I like the tiny clip we see of Eddie and Amanda walking toward the throng.  And Samantha is too fantastic!  I had forgotten that Eponine was her debut West End role.  MICHAEL BALL AND EDDIE REDMAYNE!!!  That. Was. SUPERB!  I think it is my favorite bit from this video!  And what Anne said about Tom during singing parts was hilarious!  And Isabelle Allen is simply too cute for words!

I think it is awesome that Michael Ball was helping host the premiere.  Definitely fitting for a man who has been so involved with Les Miserables from the very beginning.

Random red carpet shots
Samantha's hi five with the kid was fun!

THIS  I laughed so hard over Eddie's account of his audition video!!!

The current West End cast of Les Miserables also attended the premiere.  HERE they are arriving.  (Don't you love how One day More is playing in the background!)

I enjoy seeing red carpet fashions as well.  So, here is what Anne Hathway and Amanda Seyfried have been wearing at the premieres:
The London Premiere 
(In case anyone really wants a better look at those, um, outfits, they were wearing.)  There are some cool pictures of the cast in this set though.  Like....
#3 The current West End cast.  I spotted Sierra Boggess (Fantine) second from right, several of the students scattered through the group, including Adam Linstead (Grantaire), Craig Mather (Marius) and Liam Tamne (Enjolras).  The blonde in the middle of the front row, in purple, is Samantha Dorsey, the current Cosette, and the brunette next to her is Danielle Hope, the current Eponine.  (I love playing 'spot the actor'!)
#6 Isn't this one fun?
#12 Huttlestone is pretty cute here.
#19 I wonder what someone said....
#20 The three Leading Ladies.
#24 Another one of those, 'I wonder what they are saying' moments.
#25 Anyone recognize her??  :)
#28 Helena Bonham-Carter has always had an interesting fashion sense.
#30 Isn't she adorable??!!
#32 I WANT A HUGE POSTER LIKE THIS TO PUT UP IN MY BEDROOM!!!  Except that my sister might not like it....

And I'll just say that for me; Anne, Amanda and Samantha's premiere gowns were not the greatest.  I could have handled the front of Anne's outfit, especially since the color and sparkle looked great on her, but, um... yeah.  Amanda's was just blech, in my opinon, and although the color and fabric of Samantha's was stunning on her, I don't care for the style.  I would however, love the cape Anne wore when she arrived.  You can see it in some of the videos above.  Isn't it neat?
PLEASE NOTE: These are simply my personal opinions and I am not trying to put down these actresses or anyone else.

HERE is another picture of Isabelle Allen so you can see her dress.  Isn't it too cute??!!!

Annnnd: Frances Ruffelle with Cameron Mackintosh!

Tokoyo Premiere:
Anne with Hugh Jackman
Interesting dress, no?

Amanda Seyfried
Kind of cute on her, I thought.

From the New York screening after-party:
Anne Hathaway
(Every now and then, someone actually wears something on the red carpet that I would personally consider to be decent and modest.  This is a lovely dress!)

I thought this one wasn't too bad.

And 'Marius' and 'Cosette' at another event:  (Gorgeous color and fabric on her dress.)

My friend Amy Dashwood did a great post with movie stills and links to clips from the movie.  Go check it out, if you haven't already.  It is fantastic!!

I CANNOT wait until this movie comes out!!!!!  Oh, and get this.  It is going to be over 2 1/2 hours long!!!!

Have a great weekend, lovely readers!

Miss Melody Muffin

Poem of the Week: To Kalakaua

Something about this poem jumped out at me and captured my imagination.  I think it is the way the lines sing together and evoke a far-off location and time.

To Kalakaua
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Silver Ship, my King – that was her name
In the bright islands whence your fathers came –
The Silver Ship, at rest from winds and tides,
Below your palace in your harbour rides;
And the seafarers, sitting safe on shore,
Like eager merchants count their treasures o'er.
One gift they find, one strange and lovely thing,
Now doubly precious since it pleased a king.

The right, my liege, is ancient as the lyre
For bards to give to kings what kings admire.
'Tis mine to offer for Apollo's sake;
And since the gift is fitting, yours to take.
To golden hands the golden pearl I bring:
The ocean jewel to the island king.

Have a great weekend!  I'm probably going to spend at least part of mine gushing over Les Miserables 2012 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; thereby driving my family crazy.  :)

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Sooooo, I am finally catching up on my backlog of awards and tags!

Back in September, Kiri Liz from Lianne Taimenlore awarded me the Artsy Award.  Thank you very much, Kiri!

1. Normally this is where it says "thank the person who gave you the award and leave a link to their blog etc. etc." Well, you can do that if you want. I mean, if you like the award and you're glad you got it and you can do that. Or you can just copy this and have people listen to me rambling. :)

2. Answer the five questions set out for you and make the next five questions for the people that you nominate. 

3. OK, so usually there's a "NO TAGBACKS" rule. I'm here to say that in #3 of this award you can tag or not tag or whatever you want to do. Agreed? Agreed. ;)

Kiri's questions:
1. Peaches or pineapple?
Hmm, pineapple, although I am fond of peaches, too.

2. Piano or violin?
Piano.  I do have a sister who is interested in learning the violin.

3. What famous literary character do you think you are most like?
Elinor Dashwood, most of the time.  Several years ago a friend told me if I had red hair, I would be just like Anne of Green Gables.  I was thrilled!  (And to those who may wonder, yes, like Elinor, there is much hidden beneath my surface personality.  And I still do have many facets of Anne's personality.)

4. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Oooh!  I would LOVE to be living in England and be a costume designer for the BBC, and writing books and training horses on the side.  Ah, for a dream come true!  :)
Where I really see myself is still writing novels and hopefully with several books published.  And maybe training a few horses.

5. What is your main goal in writing?
To glorify God and hopefully bless others by the messages in the stories of all these characters who have invaded my life.

Five questions for my awardees:
1. Rain or snow?
2. Would you rather visit Paris or London?
3. Do you prefer a dark night or a moonlit night?
4. Have you ever seen a Mountain Bluebird?
5. On your dream vacation, where would you go?

I award:
Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Elegance of Fashion
Kellie of Accordion to Kellie
Miss Dashwood and Miss Marianne at The P&P95Forever Club
Sarah and Rachel of Two's Company
Maria Elisabeth at Miss Georgiana Darcy

Also in September, Jessa Bri at Life of a Michigan Homeschooler awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  Many, many thanks, Jessa!

1. Must state the rules.
2. Thank the awarded and link back to them.
3. Must pass this award along to five other bloggers.
4. List their names with links to their award winning blogs.
5. Must notify the awarded bloggers by commenting on their blogs.
6. Share seven unusual things about yourself.  Something that not many people could say about themselves.

1. I have a multi-track brain.  This means that most of the time, I can think about at least two things at the same time.
2. I would love to have a Siamese colored lion.  (These just showed up in one of my stories a few weeks ago.)
3. Actually I would love to have any color lion, tiger or jaguar for a pet.
4. I have jumbled Greek, Spanish and English into the same sentence.
5. I used to regularly wash my family's laundry in a ringer washer.
6. I have shocked oats, with some friends.
7. I enjoy exclaiming in other languages.  Caramba!  Eureka!

I award:
Jack at However Improbable
Kendra at Knitted by God's Plan
Katie at Whisperings of the Pen
Jessica at Safirewriter
Katherine Sophia at Seek Him First

And in October, Kiri Liz also awarded me with the Liebster Blog award.  Thank you, Kiri! 

1. You must post eleven random facts about yourself.
2. You must also answer the eleven questions the awarder has given you and make up eleven questions for your awardees to answer in turn.
3. Tag eleven fellow bloggers.
4. Notify them that you've awarded them.
5. No tagging back.
6. The eleven blogs you tag must have less than 200 followers.

Random facts:
Okay, I did something a little different for the first few questions and asked some of my sisters for random facts about myself.  (I refer to them with numbers here but I do have a post in my drafts introducing my family properly.  Sometime I will actually post it.)  :)

1. Sister #3 reminded me that, like the Clampett family, I have eaten opossum.
2. And I have also eaten raccoon.
3. Sister #1 says I have never been to the ocean.  (And I do so long to go!)
4. Sister #4 says I have been to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert.  (Was it ever terrific, too!)
5. Sister #3 says I have unusually coarse hair.  (She's the hairstyle sister.)
6. I do not like peanut butter.
7. My grandpa informed me (in jest of course) that to not like peanut butter is un-American.
8. I am not fond of mustard either, except in certain dishes, like potato salad.
9. Pizza quesadillas are one of my favorite foods.
10. I enjoy seeing what actresses/celebrities wear on the red carpet (even if most of the outfits I would never wear).
11. I can hardly wait to see Les Miserables and The Hobbit!!

Kiri elected not to give us eleven more questions to answer since she had already given us eleven questions in an elvensies tag that I will fill out later.

My questions for the awardees:
1. What is your favorite holiday tea (or drink)?
2. Would you rather visit the mountains or the ocean?
3. What is your favorite soup?
4. A mouse runs out from under a wall and across your bedroom.  What do you do?
5. What was the last book you read?
6. King Kamehameha (the Great), who was he?
7. What is your favorite Christmas song?
8. What is your favorite traditional Thanksgiving food?
9. Have you ever been in an airplane?
10. Housecleaning, do you hate it, not mind it, or actually like it?
11. Ever played Ultimate Frisbee?

And I award:
TomWildRose at The Rambling Rose
Clair at Working Title
Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm
Hayden at Story Girl
Rachel at A Butcher, A Baker, A Candlestick Maker
Vicki at Sunshine and Shadow
Nessima Tavariel at Arda Nessimava
Charity at Austentitis
Storyteller at Storyteller of Weston County
Rose M at The Golden Road
Abby at From My Writing Desk

ETA: I just realized I forgot to check the blogs I awarded for the less-than-200-followers rule.  So I might be breaking that rule!  :)

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Quote of the Week: December 2, 2012

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and feeling slightly exhausted.  You should live several lives while reading it.
William Styron

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 30, 2012

Poem of the Week: The Brook

This poem just seems to say 'happy' to me. 

The Brook
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeams dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses.

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Order Out The Cannons!!!!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!  I just wrote word #31,199!!!!!!

It was a mad, glorious, crazy, wonderful experience!  My head is spinning, my hand is aching (I was hand writing, not typing) but I MADE MY GOAL!!!

In fact, I exceeded it.  I only needed 30,550 words, I wrote over 31,000.

Now, I am going to go watch something fun to celebrate!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Half NaNo Check-In Four and Tag

Last week I didn't write as much as I wished but... my stats for the week, from Sun to Sat are:

Word Count When This Piece of Craziness Began: 5,550
Total Word Count As Of Now: 19,557
Final Word Count Goal: 30,550
Daily Word Count Goal: (for last week) 1,500
Average Daily Word Count: varied widely  :)
Words Remaining: 10,993

And now the tag.  I do love tags!

~What's the name of your project? When did you first come up with the idea? And how long have you been working on it?
The Three Kyngdoms is the name of the series.  I'm still trying to come up with a satisfactory name for the first book.  I'm not sure when exactly the idea first came to me.  I have been fascinated by Arthurian Legend for many years and I'm the type of person who always wants to know what happened after the story.  What happened to Camelot after Arthur and Mordred's deaths?  Sometime in the last three or four years, the idea to tell the 'rest of the story' came, and here I am!  I've been officially working on it off and on for about two years.

~Sum up your novel in five words or less.

Unexpected paths.  Quests, battles, friendships.

~Who is your favorite character?  Tell us about him or her.

It is a tie between Astrophel and Seren.  Astrophel is the heir to the throne of Camelot, descended from Arthur.  He has been secretly trained as a knight, he is chivalrous and brave, but he is also shy and reserved.  Until recently he had no clue that he was anything other than the son of Sir Antor.  (Though he did suspect he was adopted.  I mean, wouldn't you if you were the only black haired, brown eyed child in a family of blonds?)
Seren is the sister of the heir to the throne of Cambria and also the heir to the position of Brynhildr, leader of the Valkyrs.  She is one of the best swordfighters in the three kingdoms and also one of the best horsewomen.  She does struggle with feelings of unworthiness and "Why me?" questions.

~Where does your novel take place?  What time period?

The land of 'Britain', known in the novels as Brythonia.  Time period, um, still trying to figure out the exact number of years since it is fantasy, and not historical fiction, thus it is set another world and not within the history of our world.  I'm pretty sure it is about the five hundredth year of the Dark Age.

~Do you have a theme song for your story?  What is it?

Several really.  One of the main ones is There's A Place For Us by Carrie Underwood off The Voyage of the Dawn Treader soundtrack.

~What's been the hardest part to write so far?

The filler scenes.  As in how to get from scene A to scene B.  I have to keep reminding myself to let go of my perfectionism, this is just the first draft!

~Which chapter was your favorite so far?

About the third chapter, when Caie and Astrophel formally meet Seren.

~Can you share one of your favorite snippets?  (One you haven't shared on your blog already.)

Choosing favorites is always hard.  :)

Then will she..." Seren broke off as a voice whispered,
"Drifa, I'm thirsty."
"Me too," a second voice whispered.
Everyone around the fire turned to the doorway into the main room.  Two boys in their early teens crept quietly in.  When their eyes fell on their older siblings they broke into surpirsed and joyful smiles.  Mindful of Helga's finger on her lips, they silently flung themselves at Seren and Llewellyn, greeting them with exuberant hugs.
"What are you doing up?" Rhianon hissed.
"We were thirsty," Berwyn told her innocently.
"You stayed up to be able to see Seren and Llewellyn," she accused.  Berwyn maintained his innocent face but a guilty flush stained Cadoc's cheeks, albeit his eyes danced with fun at the success of their stratagem.
"Well, we are thirsty," Berwyn protested.
Helga pointed to the bucket of drinking water by the back door.  "One drink for each of you.  Then it is back to bed and no more sneaking down or you will remain in the house all day tomorrow."

~Are any aspects of your story drawn directly from your own life?  Give us an example. 
Some of the relationships most definitely.  And certain details of many of the main characters come from my own experiences or those of people I know.  For example, I can certainly empathize with Astrophel's reserved character.  And his unwillingness to trust, even himself at times.

~Your main character gets dumped into a big city in the modern era (or if you're writing a contemporary work, he/she gets dumped in medieval London).  How does he/she respond?
I have four main characters so I'll just pick two, Iorwerth and Seren.  Iorwerth would be saying, "Oh, this is interesting, I wonder what it does?  Or this?"  Seren would constantly be checking around for traps or enemies, and thinking, "This is bizarre."

~Who's the funniest character in your story? Tell us why! Give examples! Support your argument.  :D

Well, Caie is pretty funny.  He is somewhat of a ladies man, with a quick tongue that sometimes gets him into trouble.

Astrophel reined his horse in, "Easy, Gwynt," he murmered.
"Tan is restless, too," Caie shifted in his saddle.
Astrophel patted Gwynt's neck, "They smell the forest."
"So do I," his brother's eyes gleamed.
Astrophel glanced sideways at him, "You're just eager to see that elven maiden again."
Caie tossed him an impish grin, "Guilty."
Astrophel shook his head in disgust.

And Llewellyn is always trying to liven life up for everyone else.  Sometimes Seren helps him, sometimes she lets him do the trouble making alone.

~If you were forced to eliminate a character from your story--just wash them clean off the slate--who would it be?

Arrgghhhh!  Way too hard a of a decision to make!  Um, probably one of the elven princes or princesses.  I wish I could leave out Achradina (an elven princess) but she is necessary for one of the subplots.

~Do you plan on writing a sequel to your novel?

At this point I am planning for a series of six books.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Half NaNo Week Three

So, having finished the third week of Half NaNo yesterday, where do I stand with my word count?

You don't want to know.

You see, the first two weeks were so crazy that I wrote less than 5,000 words all told.  So I have a LOT to catch up on.  I was informed by some of my family, that with everything we have going on right now, 25,000 words was too high of a goal to set.  As much as I don't want to admit it, they are right.  But, I am an extremely stubborn, rebellious person and won't give up yet.  I simply do not accept that fate.  (See this week's quote for my sentiments in a nutshell.)  I'm going to do or die trying.  :)

So my stats are:
Word Count On Oct 31st: 5, 550
Current Word Count: 13, 203
Final Word Count Goal: 30, 550
Former Daily Word Count Goal: 1, 000
New Daily Word Count Goal: 1, 500
Average Daily Word Count: N/A (This varied so widely from 4 to about 1, 500 that there isn't really an 'average'.)
Words remaining: 17, 347

That said, the story is coming along very well.  It is so satisfying to finally put down on paper what has been swimming around in my head for so long!

Favorite snippet written last week:
The two elves grinned.  "Well, we agree," Loreius said.  "But we've promised good behavior so of course, we must perform it."
"You are not off to a good start," a new voice spoke.  They turned to see Maron coming toward them from the armory.  "You should have left by now.  The Quino road lies that way," he pointed to the north.
Philippon made a face at his brother.  "We are simply saying goodbye.  Seren was kind enough to see us off.  It would have been unchivalrous to have rushed off."
Maron fixed him with a stern glare. 
Philippon sighed and muttered something to Loreius too low for Maron to hear.

I'll have more snippets up later this week.  And maybe some Beautiful People or character tags, depending on how much writing I can fit in.

Until next time!
 Miss Melody Muffin

Quote of the Week: November 18, 2012

William Wilberforce: Billy, no one of our age has ever taken power.

William Pitt: Which is why we're too young to realize that certain things are impossible.  So we will do them anyway.

Amazing Grace

I love this quote.  It is my absolute top favorite line from this movie.  My siblings and I say this a lot.  Especially when it looks as though we're about to try something daft.  =D

This is particulary applicable for me this month.  I'll explain why later tonight, in my Half NaNo post. 

Have a beautiful week!

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 16, 2012

Poem of the Week: My Playmate

This poem is calling to me, trying to persuade me it has a story behind it that needs telling.  I'm trying to ignore it, trying to tell myself I simply do not have the room for another plot bunny... I'm weakening...!!!!

My Playmate
John Greenleaf Whittier

The pines were dark on Ramoth hill,
Their song was soft and low;
The blossoms in the sweet May wind
Were falling like the snow.

The blossoms drifted at our feet,
The orchard birds sang clear;
The sweetest and the saddest day
It seemed of all the year.

For, more to me than birds or flowers,
My playmate left her home,
And took with her the laughing spring,
The music and the bloom.

She kissed the lips of kith and kin,
She laid her hand in mine:
What more could ask the bashful boy
Who fed her father's kine?

She left us in the bloom of May:
The constant years told o'er
Their seasons with as sweet May morns.
But she came back no more.

I walk, with noiseless feet, the round
Of uneventful years;
Still o'er and o'er I sow the spring
And reap the autumn ears.

She lives where all the golden year
Her summer roses blow;
The dusky children of the sun
Before her come and go.

There haply with her jewelled hands
She smooths her silken gown,–
No more the homespun lap wherein
I shook the walnuts down.

The wild grapes wait us by the brook,
The brown nuts on the hill,
And still the May-day flowers make sweet
The woods of Follymill.

The lilies blossom in the pond,
The bird builds in the tree,
The dark pines sing on Ramoth hill
The slow song of the sea.

I wonder if she thinks of them,
And how the old time seems,–
If ever the pines of Ramoth wood
Are sounding in her dreams.

I see her face, I hear her voice:
Does she remember mine?
And what to her is now the boy
Who fed her father's kine?

What cares she that the orioles build
For other eyes than ours,–
That other hands with nuts are filled,
And other laps with flowers?

O playmate in the golden time!
Our mossy seat is green,
Its fringing violets blossom yet,
The old trees o'er it lean.

The winds so sweet with birch and fern
A sweeter memory blow;
And there in spring the veeries sing
The song of long ago.

And still the pines of Ramoth wood
Are moaning like the sea,–
The moaning of the sea of change
Between myself and thee!

Have a great weekend!

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today I Am... Apologizing

For having neglected you all for so long.  My life has gone from crazy to zany the last few weeks.  Stress, not feeling well a couple times, being overtired and a few unexpected things coming up; on top of everything that happens here on a regular basis, have left me with practically no time to write.  (Not only has my blog been feeling my absence but I'm several thousand word behind on my Half NaNo novel.)  I profusely apologize to all my loyal, wonderful followers.  Also, I know I haven't replied yet to emails from some of you, nor have I replied to all the comments you have left me here.  Again, I'm deeply sorry.  On a brighter note, I do believe I will be able to fit in more time now, so I'll be back to posting and replying.  =)

Here is what I've been doing the last couple days:

The Three Kyngdoms.  I have a lot to catch up on if I'm going to make my 25,000 word goal.

 The Princess Bride.  And re-reading The Hobbit.

 To Christmas music!!!  I love Christmas music!  My favorite song is Do You Hear What I Hear by Third Day.  Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin also have some amazing Christmas music.  And a host of others fill out my favorites list.

 The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  Aragorn is terrific!!!!  And those costumes!!  And battle scenes!!  And horses!!

At Pinterest and all the wonderful storyboards some of my friends have up on there.  I'm not a member, but I'm deliberating joining....

That Latin is quite a fascinating language!

Tired.  As usual.  :)  I also have that odd feeling one gets when you are physically exhausted but mentally charged and bursting with energy.

 Catching up on my Half NaNo writing.  And more snow so my family can engage in one of our favorite winter pastimes- snowball fights!  Fire away!!!

 Again, that I could just push a button and stop time.  I need more time to write or I'll go stark raving mad!

 That Project Gutenberg has some very cool books on historical costume.  Now for the time to read them all....

Have a good day!!

 Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 2, 2012

Poem of the Week: Invocation to Sleep

Invocation To Sleep
Thomas Gent

Come, gentle sleep! thou soft restorer, come,
And close these wearied eyes, by grief opress'd;
For one short hour, be this thy peaceful home,
And bid the sighs that rend my bosom rest.

Depriv'd of thee, at midnight's awful hour,
Oft have I listen'd to the angry wind;
While busy memory, with tyrant pow'r,
Would picture faded joys, or friends unkind.

Or tell of her who rear'd my helpless years,
But torn away, ere yet I knew her worth;
How oft, though nature still the thought endears,
Has my worn bosom heav'd its tribute forth.

Come, then, soft pow'r, whose balmy roses fall
As heavenly manna sweet, or morning dew;
Beneath thy wings, my troubled thoughts recall,
And, haply, lend them some serener hue.

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One More Day Before The Storm...

...Of Writing!!!!!

Several of my Blogger friends will be beginning the rush to the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word goal tomorrow.  But not me.

I had really hoped to be able to take part in NaNo this year.  It would have been my first time.  But, Life decided that was not to be.  My November is looking extremely unpredictable so I won't be able to commit to 50,000 words.  However, I am pretty sure I can do 25,000 words, so, I will be joining Half NaNo, an event dreamed up by my friend Amy Dashwood.  For the rules and button and etc., check it out here.

I'll be writing on the first book in my Three Kyngdoms series.  Today having recovered from being sick yesterday (see below), I finished naming some of the minor characters - elf lords and knights and such.  I double checked my outline, rough sketched in a few more things and worked on backstories and character developments.  I think I'm ready to go!!

Yesterday, I woke up feeling awful.  It was a bit of a stomach flu combined with a buildup of stress from the past couple weeks, and being very overtired.  All in all, it laid me pretty low all day.  Not only was I physically exhausted (and still am) but I was also mentally exhausted.  That was a very weird feeling for me.  I am NOT used to mental exhaustion.  I almost NEVER run out of mental energy.  But, I did yesterday!  ):  Ugh.  I HATE being sick.  Passionately abhor it.  Loathe it.  Detest it! 

Uh, yeah, I think you all get the idea.  =)

Also going on this week, Anne-girl had the Scribbler's Conference Award Ceremony on Monday.  To my great surprise, I won The Participators Award!  Thank you very much, Anne!!!!

Anyway, that is what I've been up to this week!

Happy Scribbling to everybody tomorrow!!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Character Encounter: Klingsor

Kenrda over at Knitted By God's Plan has started a new monthly character link-up called Character Encounters.  (Click on the link to find out more about it and join in the fun!)

My entry is VERY late!  I scribbled this in a few moments last week but didn't get around to editing and posting it until now.

It was nearly the end of the day and I was glad.  Because it was Medieval Day at the local library where I worked, I had dressed up in a long, flowing, blue medieval dress I had sewn myself for a costume party a few months ago.  After an entire day of helping children, college students and adults, I was tired.  It seemed like all the students from the local college had been in at some point today and I lost count of how many children's questions I had answered about my dress, how medieval people lived and dressed and was I a princess.

I picked up a large stack of books the last two students had left and went to file them away.  I had only one book left and went to put it in the cookbook section.  I was hunting for its place when I heard a strange noise behind me and turned quickly.  Coming into the aisle was a young man with blond hair that hung almost to his shoulder and piercing blue eyes.  He was tall and skinny but what made me take a second look was his medieval garb.  He wore tight-fitting gray leather pants, a green long-sleeved shirt and black hip-length vest.  A black and green striped cloak hung easily on his shoulders. 
At first glance I thought he was simply another college student who had dressed up in honor of the day.  Then I saw something that made me bite back a gasp of astonishment.  On his right shoulder he wore the symbol of Malduc and Mordrech. 
It can't be, I think frantically. 
As I have been looking him over he is doing the same to me.  He smiles charmingly and reaches up to brush a lock of hair out of his face and tuck it behind his pointed ear. 
Pointed ears?  He must be an elf!  But no!  How could he be?  How did he get here?  And far more important, why was he here?
"I don't think I've met you," he says, with that charming smile.
"I'm Melody," I execute the proper elven bow.
He returns it and says something.  I recognize it as the proper greeting in the dialect the dark elves of the Three Kingdoms use.  "And where do you hail from?" he asks me.
"From here, this town."
He raises his eyebrows, "You live here," he gestures around at the library.
"No, no.  I work here."
"How can you work here?" 
"Well, I help people find books."
"Oh," his eyes sweep me again and I repress a tiny shudder.  "Then perhaps you can help me find what I'm looking for."
"And what would that be, sir?"
He looks around swiftly and lowers his voice, "A book on poisons."
Poisons?  I glance frantically around.  I think I've figured out who he is, and he is the last person I want to have a book on poisons.  Then an idea comes to me.  I turn to the shelf and pull down a book with brown swirls on it's cover.  "Here sir.  This book is full of poison recipes, especially effective on women."
He frowns at the strange language on the book.  I forestall what he is about to say, "If you cannot read the words, I am certain your sister will be able to."
He quickly locks eyes with me, his eyes narrowing, "How do you know who I am?  Or that I have a sister?  I didn't tell you."
"No sir, but who does not know of the learned warrior lord Klingsor and his lovely sister Kundry?" Fortunately for me he misses the sarcasm in my voice. 
"Thank you for your help."  He smiles his charming smile again and bows.  "I hope to meet you again, Melody."
"Perhaps my lord, one never knows what turns our lives will take."
He tilted his head, smiled again and left, his cloak swishing against my legs.

I breathe a sigh of relief.  That was a close one.  How in heaven's name did he manage to fall into our world.  Was there a crack in time?  I hurry to leave for home.  I don't want to be around when he discovers that book is full of recipes for chocolate.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quote of the Week: October 28

"No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency."
Theodore Roosevelt

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, October 26, 2012

Poem of the Week: John Keats

I love this poem!

When I Have Fears
John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love; –then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snippets of Story: October

My favorite snippet so far from each of my current works-in-progress.

My three main stories:

My Victorian series.

Lafayette looked at Cordelia, "Is your family still planning to go to England sometime this year?"
You could have heard a pin drop in the silence that fell. 
Cordelia glanced from Penelope to Philippe.  "I believe so," she answered quietly.
Silvia looked stricken, "Oh, Penny!  You really might go?"
Penelope clasped her friend's hand tightly.  "I don't know," she said honestly.
"Soon?" Valaria asked Cordelia.
Cordelia shrugged, "I don't know that either."
Julian had been staring out the window.  Now he turned and looked straight at Penelope.  "For how long?"
Penelope shook her head, signifying she did not know.  She didn't trust her voice.  A great lump rose in her throat every time she thought of leaving Sicily and these people she loved.

The Three Kyngdoms
My Arthurian fantasy.

“What is it you wish to know, young Malagi?”
“My Lord, why can people understand horses?  Is it magic?”
“It is not magic,” Arimathe explained.  “Horses have a language of their own, as do unicorns and alacorns.  Or rather, unicorns and alacorns speak two dialects of the same language. All three are oral languages; they have no written form.  The language of horses, Cibara, is taught to all knights when they are squires.  In the same way, during a Templar’s training, they learn Lida, the unicorns’ dialect of Lidasyqua.  And prospective Valkyrs learn Qua, the alacorn dialect.  Anyone who has not been taught the language finds it difficult, if not impossible, to understand the animals.  When a horse speaks, they simply hear a whinny, while those who know the language, understand the words spoken in that whinny.
“Why, if all knights learn Cibara, can they still not understand every horse?”
“Horses have individual voices, just as you do.  Your voice is different from Emrys’, whose voice is different from Merthyr’s, whose voice is yet different from mine.  All horses speak Cibara, but, some horses are harder to understand because their accent, tone, and manner of speaking all render the words less intelligible.  Yet, each knight can perfectly understand his own horses because he has spent hours with them, learning their unique voices.”
“But, sir, why can a few people understand all horses, unicorns and alacorns?  Like Lady Seren and Sir Philippon?”
“Certain people have a gift or talent for understanding and speaking languages.  They are better at it than the rest of us.  Seren and Philippon have this talent.  They had a little study in the languages at first and then were able to learn the rest quickly and easily and now understand both languages, which is why they understand all equines.”

My still-trying-to-define-what-genre-this-fits-in-because-it-isn't-technically-fantasy story.

Alratar had told Kaldar that morning that 'special' riders would be accompanying both of the RER wings leaving that day.  Now the two young men waited by three great eagles for their turn to leave.
"Our special rider is receiving final instructions from their majesties," Alratar explained.
Kaldar noticed the the third eagle was one who had recently finished training.  So our special escort is a skilled rider.  He glanced back toward the gates as a cloaked person slipped through and approached them.  He was dressed in the traditional riding garb and his face was drawn back into his deep hood, effectively concealing it.  Alratar looked up and smiled when he caught sight of the rider.  Kaldar studied the stranger's gait as he reached them and halted.  Something is familiar about it....
Alratar greeted the newcomer, "We are ready, Ladari."
The rider nodded and slid his hood back.  Kaldar bit back a gasp of astonishment.  'He' was no ordinary rider.  The High Queen stood before him, cool and calm.  Eyes dancing, she smiled at his surprise.
"I promise we will explain everything when we return, Kaldar.  For now, simply know that you are to treat me as any other rider.  And don't address me as 'your majesty'.  Call me Ladari."

And my other two in-progress works, though these are more or less on a side burner.

Southern Sixteen
(Temporary name)
A Civil War story I started with my younger siblings.
The Harrington family is the largest family in Virginia.  They have a huge, beautiful plantation and live the typical life of southern planters.  Then the Civil War starts.  The older boys enlist at once.  The girls hate being left behind.  Is there anything they can do to help?

Theresa is 12 when she begins this diary at her governess' instigation.  It is a few years before the war starts.  In this snippet, Jesse and Percy are the only two who are not her siblings.

I went to a chair in the corner to read the note.  Jo and Percy started talking and Lane and Jesse were joking loudly.  When I finished the note and looked up, Lane and Jesse were laughing hard over something one of them had said.  Joseph and Percy stopped talking and looked over at the other two boys.  Jo whispered something to Percy and suddenly both of them grabbed pillows off one of the sofas and threw them at Lane and Jesse!  The younger boys yelled when the pillows hit them.  Then they rushed for pillows to throw back.  Soon all four were fighting a pillow war.  Joseph looked over his shoulder at me and called, "Come on Tissie!  Come join us!"  I jumped up and ran over to him and Percy.  Lane hollered, "Not fair!  Addie, you come help us!"  Addie ran over to him and very soon everyone was in the war.  Duke, Cora and Henry were on Lane's side.  Amy, Tina and Cap were on our side.  Cap had to sit still because of his ankle, but he could still throw the pillows when Tina handed them to him.  Lou wanted to join the fight, too, so Henry said she could help him.  We threw pillows until Aunt Lilly and Aunt Lydia came to tell us girls it was time to freshen up for supper.  It was so much fun!

I'll Be Home For Christmas
Started last year in response to a writing challenge from one of my sisters.

"We can heat the chili on one of the wood stoves," Josie told her sister.
"I'll start the fire," Juli volunteered.
"Then I'll go gather the others," Josie went over to the intercom built into the wall, "All cousins from James to Jeremiah please gather in the kitchen."
There was a loud pounding and thumping as the cousins dashed in and lined up along the windows on the north side of the kitchen.
"Where is Mom?" Jean asked.
"Our parents went to settle in," Josie leaned against the counter.  "We're going to do up the little bit of work there is to do before we can kick back and just have fun.  Now, we need one group to bring in the rest of the food from the vehicles.  Another group can bring in the rest of the luggage and the presents and put it all away.  Juli and I are going to start heating supper."
"I volunteer to bring in the food!" Jeff's hand shot up.
"Judah and I want to help with the food, too!" Josh exclaimed.
"I'll bring in our boxes of presents," Jessie said.
"And I'll bring in our presents and other stuff.  Since greedy Jeffery jumped for the food," Jean tried to duck as Jeff punched her in the shoulder.
Janie nodded to Josie, "I'll bring in the rest of our luggage."
"That's settled then," Josie turned to her older brother, "James–"
"Yep.  I'll go fire up the furnaces," he cut in, grinning.
"Thanks, bro."  Then as an afterthought she turned back to the other cousins, "Oh, is anyone up for a snack after the unloading is done?"
The response was deafening.
"Then I'll make the snack," Jackie volunteered.  "And Jerusha and Joanna can help me."

Hope you all enjoy these!

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beautiful People Worldbuilding Edition: Esidaraq

The first workshop for the Writer's Conference!  We are supposed to go through the Beautiful People Archives and choose questions to answer with our fictional land as the character. 

I'm using the country of Esidaraq in the land of Quara.  It is the home of the main characters in the Quara series.

What is their full name?
The Kingdom of Esidaraq.

How old are they?
Well, the story begins in the year 1139.  But that is dating from the year the kingdom itself was formed, not necessarily the year the land was created.

What are their favorite colors?
The royal colors, which are deep rose pink and sky blue.

What is their favorite season?
Summer.  It is the longest season of the year and is the most social season.   And there are the Eight Summer Hunts then too!

What is something they are afraid of?
The Empire of Jibar invading their peaceful land.

What do they do in their free time?
Ride horseback, hunt, have parties and balls, and dance.  And sing.  And dance and sing some more.

What is their favorite animal?
Well, they have more than one favorite animal.  Horses, giant eagles, Castle Cats and ketris.  (Ketris are very similar to squirrels.)

What is their favorite writing utensil?
A quill.  And the best quills come from the Quill Goose.

Who is their best friend?
The kingdom of Kastunar on their eastern border.  The two countries have been allies and friends for generations.

Do they have any enemies?
Unfortunately, yes.  There weren't so many in the years before the young royals were forced to take the throne, but now several kingdoms are eager to add Esidaraq to their domains and think it will be easy to conquer.  Afykor, Thol and Lacus are just some of the enemies of Esidaraq.

What is their favorite kind of music?
Lively dance music.  Lots of drums, horns and guitars.

What languages do they speak?
The native language is Sidar.  The upper and middle classes also speak Komerci, the language of trade.  And along the coast, some of the people can speak Koie, which is basically a dialect of Komerci that sailors speak.  It is a mix of Komerci and words borrowed from other languages.

Do they have a theme song?
A few different songs.  The main theme song is Touch The Sky from Disney/Pixar's movie Brave.

What do others expect of them?
The neighboring countries have always looked up to Esidaraq as a leader.  That hasn't changed in the six years since the young monarchs came to the throne.

What kind of holidays do they celebrate, if any?
Esidaraq has several holidays.  There is their version of Thanksgiving, which is a three day Harvest/fall Festival.  Then there is a Winter Festival, Spring Festival and Summer Festival.  Also in the nature of a holiday are the Eight Summer Hunts.  New Year's Day is one of the biggest holidays and combines our Earth holidays of Christmas and New Year's.

This was such fun I think I'm going to do this with more of my fictional countries!

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, October 22, 2012

Doctor Who Party Tag!!!

This is going to be so much fun!!  I made myself fill this out before reading everyone else's answers and now I'm off to do that!

1. If you decided to name your first born child after any Doctor Who character, male or female, who would it be?
Rose.  I've always liked the name anyway, and Rose is such a fantastic character!  But I'd probably use the Spanish version, Rosa.

2. What is your favourite colour of the Doctor's shoes?
Hmmm, red I think.

3. Look around yourself and name the one thing that is TARDIS blue in your house!
I had some tennis shoes which were pretty close, but I wore them out this summer.

4. If you could pick who plays the Twelfth Doctor which actor would you choose and why?
Benedict Cumberbatch.  (He's a fan of the show and actually talked with David Tennant about trying for the role, but decided not to.)
And his companion?  Katie McGrath.  (Lady Morgana on BBC's Merlin)
And I'd like to see Tom Hiddleston either as another companion for Twelve or as Thirteen.

5. The Doctor is going back in time again, which historical era should he visit?
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION!!!!  It is one of my two top favorite historical time periods.  (Tudor England is the other.)  I don't know all the era's he has visited, but I'd also like to see him go to the Norman Conquest if he hasn't already been there.

6. Would you REALLY go with the Doctor in the TARDIS?
In a heartbeat.  I would find it almost impossible to miss such a chance of having adventures and seeing amazing things.  And saving the world.  =)

7. Who's your favorite Doctor and why?
The Tenth Doctor.  He is hilariously quirky, is more of a smart aleck than Nine (who was more sarcastic) and not quite as geeky as Eleven.  And he can be sweet and sad and angry and kind and furious and protective and....

8. Would you be afraid to spend Christmas in London?
No, because if something goes wrong that means the Doctor would be sure to show up and then I'd get to meet him!

9. Do you look at an ordinary screwdriver and think 'this could be a bit more sonic?'
Yep.  Just yesterday in fact.

10. Angel statues, plastic mannequins, Christmas trees - what ordinary everyday object would you love to make an object of terror to Whovians were you Steven Moffat?
Tough one!  Probably a broom or mop.

11. The TARDIS lands in your garden and the Doctor steps out. What is the first thing you say to him?
"What danger is the world facing now?  Can I help you save it, please?  And then travel with you?"

12. Who is your favorite actor who has played the Doctor so far and why?
David Tennant.  He's quite funny in interviews and he does Shakespeare!!!

13. Have you seen any Classic Doctor Who? If so, which Doctor/episode(s) is your favorite?
I've seen clips of the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker.  Mainly because he is the Doctor my Mom knew so I was curious.  I enjoyed him.  "Have a Jelly Baby."

14. Which are the creepiest, scariest and all-out meanest baddies in all the Who-niverse?
Cybermen.  Daleks are the biggest baddies, but the Cybermen are scarier.  Creepiest though, goes to the Gelth.  *shudders*

15. Who is/are your favorite Companion(s) and why?
Rose Tyler.  She's so personable and fun and I love her relationship with the Doctor.  Martha Jones would be my second favorite.  What little bit I saw of Donna, well, she annoyed me a tiny bit, but she may grow on me.  And I haven't figured out if I'm going to like Amy yet or not.  She and Rory are pretty funny though.

16. Did you cry more watching Doomsday or The Angels Take Manhattan?
Haven't seen either yet, but I suspect Doomsday will be the more emotional one for me.

17. What is your favorite quote from the show?
So far, "There's an act of Parliament banning my autobiography."  (Harriet Jones, Prime Minister.)

18. Which Doctor (including all previous regenerations) would you most like to be the companion of, and why?
Ten.  For all the reasons listed above.  Although, being the companion of Twelve if he was BC would be terrific.  Or of Hiddleston as Thirteen.

19. Which of the following are you more scared of, the Daleks, Cybermen, or the Weeping Angles?
The Cybermen I think.  With the Weeping Angels a very close second.

20. Who are some of your favorite guest stars in the series?
One of the best parts about Doctor Who is that you can see the guest stars in so many other great things.  From the episodes I've seen so far, Penelope Wilton and Anita Briem are my favorites.  Oh, and Simon Callow.  I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing Hadley Fraser, Michelle Ryan and Colin Morgan.

21. What was your first experience with Doctor Who and how did you hear about the series?
My mother actually!  She told me about it a few years ago but I didn't get really interested in it until I started blogging and heard more about it from certain people's blogs, like Alexandra's and then later Natasha's.  I looked it up on Wikipedia and knew I wanted to see it but that it would have to wait until this fall because I would be too busy over the summer.  When Tasha announced her blog party, I finally took the plunge.  I saw some clips on You Tube first and loved them!  Then I started watching Series One with Nine and It. Was. Terrific.  And last Saturday I saw the Christmas Invasion.  I already liked Ten best from the clips I'd seen, but that episode confirmed for me that he was my absolute favorite Doctor.  I've been watching clips on the nights when I didn't have time to see a full episode, so I have seen several scenes with each of the three doctors.

22. The Ninth Doctor said, 'Fantastic!', Ten said, 'Allons-y', and Eleven says, 'Geronimo'; what would you like to be the signature exclamation of the Twelfth Doctor?

Blitzen, I think.  Or cracky.

23. If you were trapped in an episode, which one would it be?
The Christmas Invasion.  Or World War Three.

24. Which is your favorite episode with each Doctor (Nine, Ten and Eleven)?
Nine:The two part Aliens of London and World War Three.
Ten: The Christmas Invasion
Eleven: I have yet to see any full episodes with Eleven, but I love the clips I've seen from Series 6 Episode 6- The Almost People, when he is trying to build a TARDIS console.  "You never read the instructions."  "I always read the instructions."

25. After watching a certain Doctor Who episode, did you summon up the courage to try fish sticks and custard?
No.  And I still halfway cringe when I watch Eleven eat it.

Miss Melody Muffin

Quotes of the Week: Les Miserables

I'm a day late with the Quote of the Week because my Sunday was rather hectic....

This week, I'm going to share some of my favorite quotes from the characters of Les Miserables.  And believe me, it was hard to keep it to only a few per character!  All quotes are from the book.  WARNING: spoilers ahead!!

Jean Valjean:
"You are free." (to Javert)
"Inspector Javert, you have me.  Besides, since this morning, I have considered myself your prisoner.  I did not give you my address to try to escape you.  Take me.  Only grant me one thing.  Dispose of me as you like, but first help me carry him home.  I only ask that of you."  (Valjean, so selfless!)
"It is you, Cosette?  You are here?  You forgive me then?"
"The proof that God is good is that she is here."
"Because things are unpleasant, that is no reason for being unjust toward God."  (Sound advice!)

"I live only when the mayor is here."  (Sweet!)
"God is kind, Monsieur Madeleine is good; just think of it, that he has gone to Montfermeil for my little Cosette."

"I beg the Mayor's pardon.  the insult does not belong to him, but to justice."  (This perfectly sums up the essence of Javert)
"Don't go and shoot.  It'll misfire."  (LOVE this one!)
"Take your revenge."
" granting me life, in sparing me, what has he done?  His duty?  No.  Something more.  And I, in sparing him in turn, what have I done?  My duty?  No.  Something more.  So is there something more than duty?"

The Bishop:
"There is bravery for the priest as well as for the colonel of dragoons....  Only, ours should be peaceable."
"Do not forget, ever, that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man.  Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good.  It is your soul I am buying for you.  I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!"  (Who doesn't thrill to this quote?)
"Do not ask the name of him who asks you for a bed.  It is precisely he whose name is a burden to him who most needs sanctuary."

Eponine: (One of my top three favorite characters!)
 "You're following me too closely, Monsieur Marius.  Let me go on ahead, and follow me like that, without seeming to.  It won't do for a fine young man like you to be seen with a woman like me."  (The heartbreaking tragedy this quote expresses!)
"Friends!  Listen to me!  Now I'll tell you.  In the first place, if you go into the garden, if you touch this grating, I'll cry out, I'll rap on doors, I'll wake everybody up, I'll have all six of you arrested, I'll call the police!  Beginning with my father.  Go on about your business, you annoy me.  Go wherever you like, but don't come back here.  I forbid it!  You have knives, I have feet and hands.  That makes no difference to me, so come ahead!"  (My top favorite from her!  Her courage here!  Especially since she is defending the house of the girl who is in love with the man she herself loves!)
"And then, do you know, Monsieur Marius, I believe I was a little in love with you."  (HEARTBREAKING again!)

 "Ah.  You are putting on your man's voice, monsieur.  Very well, I'll go.  You, Father, you have not backed me up.  Monsieur my husband, Monsieur my papa, you are tyrants.  I'm going to tell grandfather about you."
"I will have Monsieur Gillenormand scold you.  Grandfather's are made to scold fathers."
"I don't need a father anymore!  To things like that which don't make common sense, one really doesn't know what to say!"  (Poor confused Cosette.)
"Father!  My Father!  You will live.  I will have you live, do you hear?"  (My top favorite of hers!)

Monsieur Thenardier:
"Silence!  I am suppressing the freedom of the press!"  (This one makes me laugh every time!)

Monsieur Gillenormand:
"Permission to adore each other!"  (And this one from Marius' grandfather is just too funny!)

You've probably noticed there are no quotes from the Friends of the ABC or Gavroche.  That's because I'm saving them for another Les Mis quotes post.  =)

Have a great week!

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, October 19, 2012

Poem of the Week: Susan Coolidge

I thought this was such a fun poem!

How The Leaves Came Down
Susan Coolidge

"I'll tell you how the leaves came down,"
The great Tree to his children said:
"You're getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown,
Yes, very sleepy, little Red.
It is quite time to go to bed."

"Ah!" begged each silly, pouting leaf,
Let us a little longer stay;
Dear Father Tree, behold our grief!
'Tis such a very pleasant day,
We do not want to go away."

 So, for just one more merry day
To the great Tree the leaflets clung,
Frolicked and danced, and had their way,
Upon the autumn breezes swung,
Whispering all their sports among–

"Perhaps the great Tree will forget,
And let us stay until the Spring,
If we all beg, and coax, and fret."
But the great Tree did no such thing;
He smiled to hear their whispering.

"Come, children, all to bed," he cried;
And ere the leaves could urge their prayer,
He shook his head, and far and wide,
Fluttering and rustling everywhere,
Down sped the leaflets through the air.

I saw them; on the ground they lay,
Golden and red, a huddled storm,
Waiting till one from far away,
White bedclothes heaped upon her arm,
Should come to wrap them safe and warm.

The great Tree looked down and smiled.
"Good-night, dear little leaves," he said.
And from below each sleepy child
Replied, "Good-night," and murmured,
"It is so nice to go to bed!"

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, October 15, 2012

Party Time!!!

October and November are going to be terrific months in the blogging world because there are some fantastic events coming up!

Manic Mother

First up is not exactly a party, but the Scribbler's Conference, hosted by Anne-girl of Scribblings of My Pen and Tappings of My Keyboard.  It runs from Oct. 22 to Oct 27.   There will be keynote speakers, tags, Q&A sessions and other fun for writers.  As you might well imagine, I am SUPER excited about this.

Doctor Who Blog Party - October 22nd

Also going on next week is the Doctor Who blog party hosted by Natasha and Ashley.  I am a very recent convert to Doctor Who, having just started watching it last Thursday night.  There will be a party tag with Doctor Who questions, DW inspired fashion posts and lots more.

And in November, Jenny of The Penslayer and Abigail of Scribbles and Inkstains are hosting a blog party in honor of the anniversaries of their respective books The Shadow Things and The Soldier's Cross.

Let the fun begin!!

Miss Melody Muffin