Friday, October 29, 2010

Kestrel's Midnight Song -- Review

I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything truly meaningful, so please bear with me.  First off, I would like to remind everyone that the voting polls for The Amazing First Chapter Contest are now up! :)  We've had a few votes already, but I would love to see a flurry of activity hit the polls!  Remember, they close on Nov. 15, which isn't very far away.

Yes, yes... I know.  I should be finishing up  "The Skin Map" for the CSFF blog tour coming up on the 1rst.  But in my defense, I just couldn't help myself!  I was already past the middle of KMS when I received the book for the blog tour.  But not to worry!  I'v made much more than a dent in my reading of "The Skin Map", so there will definitely be reviews and such for the tour. :D

Now, I admit, when I picked up this book my excitement was well stoked.  A multitude of wonderful reviews had just been plastered across most of my favorite blogs, and the more news I heard of it, the more I wanted to read it.  My excitement grew to epic proportions when I received the book, not from an online order, but from the author himself: and he signed it for me!  I’m sure my heart sang that day… I could hardly wait to dive into its pages and relinquish my free hours to the world of Gable.

I was certainly not disappointed. 

The land of Gable is renowned for its birds and revered for its legends and secrets.  It is home to the grandest castle in the world, and in the top of this castle, the renowned Marauder known as James Kestrel awaits his execution.  Word has spread throughout the kingdom: people are traveling from all over the land to see the feared Legend be hanged for his evil crimes.

But throughout the anticipation, rumors have seeped out that the Marauders will come back out of hiding to free their captain, who guards a dark and dangerous secret.  Yet the only people who know the truth behind these rumors are a slave girl pretending to be an innkeeper, and her kindly giant guardian.  The only way to save the kingdom of Gable will be to warn the king, but who will listen to a Giant Sailor and a slave girl?

Meanwhile, a shepherd boy named Micah is chosen to take his sheep to the castle for the King’s Royal Wool-Spinner.  But on his way, things start happening which make him question the real reason behind his journey: what is this mysterious marking that suddenly showed up under the wool of his sheep, and who is this giant simpleton – bearing the same marking as his sheep – who seems to know the palace so well?  And then there are other rumors… rumors of a strange device able to communicate with birds, and the Marauders will do anything to get their hands on it.

The fate of the world may rest on Michah’s shoulders… and he doesn’t even know it!

Jacob Parker was 15 when he started writing the first draft of “Kestrel’s Midnight Song” and 17 when he finished it, and he sent it off to the publisher soon after that.  He has lived in Idaho his whole life.  You can find out more about him at

Pros:  “Kestrel’s Midnight Song” is a well rounded book full of excitement.  It is obvious that Parker took time to study his craft, and his scenes are excellent.  The story in its self is a variable maze of excitement and intrigue: you never know for sure what is going to happen next, and even your guesses are usually (and pleasantly) off the mark.  Especially towards the end when everything starts happening at once… I couldn’t put it down!  Even when I had to, so as to continue life, I regretted it.  The characters are compelling and vivid, though I must say my favorites were split between Micah and Ganthorn.  Parker makes no attempt to hide the allegory in his work, yet it never feels overwhelming or forced.  The Ending was absolutely exemplary!  But contrary to popular belief, I don’t feel the book ended on a large cliff-hanger at all.  There certainly could be a second, and even a third book – I, for one, would be eager to get my hands on any sequels! – but I felt that this book stood well on its own, which is a good mark for a first novel.

Cons:  Towards the beginning of the book there is a lot of word repetition.  There’s not so much towards the end, but I found it a bit distracting at first.  There’s also a slight font-size change towards the end of the book that gave me pause. 
Other than that, this is a solid read.  I definitely recommend it to fantasy lovers everywhere.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This is not going to be a long post, so don't worry about it.  This is just to say that my computer went on the fritz last night and so I was unable to receive any entries last night.  So, because of this delay, I'm going to still except entries for the Amazing First Chapter contest through 5:00pm central time today, which is the 26th.  At five a poll is going up for judging.  I did receive one other entry so far... a really good one!  I can't wait to see how this turns out!  :D


oh, and I do promise to post something more meaningful before too much longer. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Last Chance!!!

This is it: you're last chance to enter the Amazing First Chapter Contest.  We have six entries, two just put up today, and tomorrow the submissions are closed and a voting poll is going up.  If you still want to enter, send the first chapter of your novel along with the prologue (if you have one) to  Don't wait because the submissions end at 12:00am.  Anything sent to me after 5:00pm today will be put up tomorrow, but I won't accept entries after 12:00 am Tuesday Oct. 26.

This is your last chance!  Don't wait another minute!!!  :D


Friday, October 22, 2010

Nanowrimo 2010

First of all, I wanted to remind you that there's only 3 days left before the submission deadline for the Amazing First Chapter contest.  We only have 4 entries, so you guys better get cracking!  :D  Surely you all must be nearly done with your edits by now... so send those chapters to me without any further delay.  The prizes are great, and you don't want to miss out.  Get them up there before there's no time left!

And now on to the subject of this post.

Do, do, do! *trumpet sounds*


For those of you who don't know, the extremely funky word "Nanowrimo" actually stands for National Novel Writing Month in which participants from all over the world attempt to write 50k of a new novel in only 30 days.  I did Nano last year for the first time, and managed 40k before everything became too hectic for me.  This year, I'm going to try something a little different... perhaps even "forbidden" by some standards.  

Instead of writing 50k of a completely new novel, I'm going to attempt to REWRITE 50k of "Eldrei".

That's right; I'm being a rebel.  I'm crossing that line that should never be crossed... and I like it!

Well, in honor of my rebelism, I decided to create a book-trailer for Eldrei this year.  It took me most of a night and part of the next day, but I finally got it finished according to my standards.  Just a note, the photographs and pictures used belong to their respected owners, and the music is "Caislien Oir" done by Clannad.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Party In Champaign!

Well, if you're checking this out because you think there's something awesome happening in Champaign IL, you're a little late.  The party was Saturday, but it was indeed awesome!  I was lucky enough to go.

What was it, you ask?  Oh, just the official Tribe Party for Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper's new book "Venom and Song".  I was a little late getting there so I missed a few things: apparently the authors had a medieval duel over which hairstyle best suits a warrior swordsman.  I wish I could have seen it live, but found out later that they streamed it and you can watch the whole hour (that I missed) here.  Thank you Jake for that link! :D

Long and short, the authors are not only great writers, but great people.  Period.  The end.  Both of them mingled with the fans, signed books, talked amiably, took pictures, started and continued personal conversations with people...  It was very refreshing, to be quite truthful.  It reminded me of the parents in our homeschool co-op talking after meet.  Everyone seemed comfortable with everyone else, as if all who were there knew each other previously.  It was a very encouraging atmosphere.

I was like a kid in a candy store!

Yes, I said it.  I was outrageously excited.    And there were a couple of surprise "fans" there as well.  *shifty eyes*  But I'll talk about those in just a few minutes. :D

Picture time!

When I first got there, this is where I found the authors... cracking jokes with the fans and each other.   I still think Mr. Batson looks somewhat like my dad. *lol*  It would be interesting to have a author for a father... of course, it's just as interesting to have an artist for a dad, I can tell you!

Before Saturday, I had a marvelous surprise when Mr. Hopper left a comment on my blog.  Arriving at the Borders in Chamapaign, I got another extra-special surprise when, upon telling Mr. Hopper that I was excited about his comment, he jumped up and hugged me!

Introductions were a bit interesting.  Instead of going up to someone and saying, "Hello, what's you're name?" everyone was walking around saying, "Hi! What's your Username?"  And then.  "Cool!  Now what's your real name?"  *lol*  I'd never introduced myself like that before, although it DID make perfect sense.  I met quite a few people I knew only by their internet profile.  But somehow it never felt awkward at all; in fact, half the time it felt like I'd known that person for at least half of my life.

Actually, I introduced myself to the authors that way as well:

Me: "Hello.  My name is Nichole White, but my Username is Star-Dreamer.  It's nice to finally meet you!" *giddy*

Mr. B: "Oh, yes.  I've seen you around." *smile*

Me:  "Yeah, that was an interesting contest you hosted: that "kill this thread" contest?  It went on forever!  I was the one who kept suggesting you just give in and send everyone a copy of the book."

Mr. B: *laughs* "Oh yeah!  I remember you!" *huge grin*

Then there was a surprise performance by Adele Treskillard's Gaelic band, Wren Song.  If you haven't heard Adele's band before, you should check it out: they have a CD out now, and Adele's voice is very lilting: sounds rather like a flute or a penny whistle, which she plays just as well as she sings.

Adele and I have been conversing over the internet since I discovered her dad's book on  Both she and her dad are writers.  When Mr. Treskillard told me about his daughter, and mentioned that I might like her blog or might enjoy checking out her book, I was too curious to refuse.  Call it a weakness, but I LOVE meeting other Christian fantasy writers... and it's a bonus if they like singing and Celtic/Gaelic/Irish music!  So I did check out Adele's blog and we ended up e-mailing each other.  The funniest thing is, I didn't recognize her at first.  She came up to me after singing and asked, "Nichole White?!"  We shook hands, and I was trying to remember where we might have met before.  Then she told me her name.

Me: "Oh my word!  It's you!  It's so nice to finally meet you in person!"

(yeah, talk about a blond moment... and I'm not even blond!)

And after that I felt like I'd known her all my life.  Perhaps that is a bit presumptuous, but in my own defense she does remind me very much of my best friend. We took some pictures together with Mr. Batson and Mr. Hopper.  It was a very thrilling experience... at least for me. :D

 We got one taken together, because I insisted that we do.  Yeah, I'm funny that way.  Look at her: she has such a pretty smile!  And yes, I was wearing a shiny black shirt... and my stupid sweater wouldn't stay where it was supposed to.  *ducks head*
 And then we got one taken with Mr. Batson.  Adele's dad, Robert Treskillard, took the pictures.  She had him take some on her camera as well.
And then this happened.  *lol!*  Mr. Hopper is a riot!  But no one seemed to mind: in fact, most welcomed it.  He's quite the character!

People were taking pictures of just about everything.  And everyone was milling around, asking for Usernames so they could remember who was who.  I was no exception, and it was nice to meet everyone!  Hey Millard, Evergreena, Gold Arrow, Ness, The Golux, Whisper, Silver Angel, and everyone else I didn't mention because I don't have my notebook sitting here with me with the names written in them.  It was so cool to meet you all in person!  We mingled and talked, and talked, and talked some more, and you could have sworn we'd all grown up together or something.  It was totally AWESOME!!!

After a while, Adele took me around to meet even more people.  And that was when I had two more heart-jerking surprises.

Christian Miles was there!  Since I first learned of his blog, Teen Inklings, I've been following it closely.  Christian's blog isn't an ordinary one: it's actually an online magazine for writers... especially young writers.  He's gained quite a following, and no wonder: his advice is inspiring and accurate.  And how does he come by all this good and accurate advice?  Why, by going through the writing/publishing process himself, of course

I felt completely honored.  And, just like Adele and everyone else I had met up to that point, Christian felt like someone I'd known half of my life and had gone to homeschool co-op and church with... even though we'd only just met.  It wasn't to be the last time I felt like that.  Oh no, because after meeting Mr. Miles, Adele introduced me to...


And that's why I had that quirky smile.  I just couldn't believe it!

Jacob is the author of "Kestrel's Midnight Song", newly released through Flaming Pen Press.  As it so happened, I hadn't bought the book yet, so I was able to purchase my first copy from the author himself, and he signed it for me!

Jacob has a true success story for young authors everywhere to look up to.  He started writing "Kestrel's Midnight Song" at age 15, finished soon after he turned 17, and then sent off to the publisher soon after that.  I'm not 100% sure how old he is now, but surely 18 or 19.  How encouraging is that, right?  And his book is GOOD.  I'm not quite half-way through it, but I really can't put it down.

And yes, he's a fan of Batson and Hopper as well (of course).  That's why he came after all: to get his copies signed.

After I got over my initial shock and my giddy euphoria, the four of us just started talking.  From what I gathered, Jacob and Christain rode in with Adele and her family.  After the signing they were going to go work on... something.  I won't mention what it was here because I'm just not completely sure they want it known yet.  But it sounded awesome and I can't wait to see the finished product.

And we just talked about life in general.  Had all four of us lived closer together, it might have ended up that we all knew each other through Co-op, 4-h, or even church.  Again, I may be just presumptuous here, but I felt completely comfortable around them... after I got over my excitement, of course.  :)

Then, before everyone left, I just had to get a picture of all of them together.  Just couldn't resist!  And they graciously agreed.  I was so happy!  After following them all for so long on the internet, I couldn't believe I was actually meeting them in person.  Perhaps I'm over doing this, but I was just so  extremely happy... my smile must of split my face in two!

Yes, I get like that.  :D

From left to right they are Adele Treskillard, Wayne Thomas Batson (with a signed copy of "Kestrel's Midnight Song" in his right hand), Christian Miles, Jacob Parker, Robert Treskillard, Robert's wife and Adele's mom (I apologize but I just can't seem to recall her name right now: she was an amazingly sweet woman though, who obviously loved the Lord with all of her heart.  She practically beamed!  And she allowed me to take her picture to remember her by, even though she didn't really want to: thank you so much for that!), and on her left stood Christopher Hopper.

We all walked out together, and before we left, we stood and watched the Bopper Wars: basically, fans beating at each other with padded silver stick-swords.  I didn't get a chance to do it myself, but there were quite a few who did.  Gold Arrow seemed to be somewhat of a champion: even the boys had to admit it after awhile!

And I did purchase a copy of "Curse of the Spider King" and "Isle of Fire".  Can't wait to dig into them either!

So all in all, it was probably the most amazing day I've ever had in my entire life, and I can't wait to see everyone again at the next Tribe Party.

Until then, Ahsulinde to all!

Nichole White

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Updates and Random Randomness!!! :D

Ok, so I've received another entry for the "first chapter" contest!  It will be up on the contest page within the next few days.  That makes 3.  That's not very many and the submission deadline is coming up fast, so don't wait any longer.  Send me those chapters before it's too late!

On another note, I have some unfortunate news concerning the third prize, "Watership Down": my younger sister decided it was a coloring book.  I couldn't believe it!  It's one of my favorite stories ever and she decides to use a pen on it!

Fortunately for me I have another, not-drawn in copy.  Unfortunately it's in very bad repair and, though still very readable, it is quite literally falling apart.  I don't want to give away a scribbled up copy of anything as a prize, nor do I want to give away something that's falling apart, so until I can find another copy in decent shape that is not scribbled in, I'm going to have to pull that prize from the contest.  I will say, though, that I'm searching frantically for another copy.  And if another copy can't be found, I will find another interesting book to replace the third prize with... hopefully something everybody thinks is cool and exciting.

So the good news is that, even though I don't exactly have a third prize right now, there WILL BE a third prize... the third place winner may just have to wait a little while for it.  Sorry!

On another note entirely, I have just received some good news!  That good news is that I just found out I won a copy of Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper's new book "Venom and Song".  And to make things even more amazing, the authors will be in Champaign Illinois this Saturday: I live only 1 and 1/2 hours away from Champaign, so I will definitely be there!  *so excited.  does happy dance*

Currently I'm reading through WTB's first pirate adventure book "Isle of Swords".  Let me just say now, I literally cannot put it down.  It's wonderful!  Now I read  "The Door Within" trilogy and found it encouraging... if a little young.  I thought the story lines of those books were good, and the ideas behind the plot, while done many times before, shown in a new light.  However, my own opinion was that the writing in itself needed a little work, and I HATE... absolutely LOATH... thinking that sort of thing about other authors; especially authors who are already published while I only have my rejection letters to keep me company.  (and no, I haven't received an answer yet from the publisher who's looking at my book... I'll be sure to keep you posted, so keep your fingers crossed and pray! :D )

However, "Isle of Swords" is nothing like "The Door Within" trilogy.  It's WAY better!  It's amazing!  The writing's refreshing and its kept me on the edge of my seat with every page.  I just sit for hours (usually hours when I'm supposed to be doing something else... *sheepish grin*) reading it, and I can't stop!  I think about it as I drive to school, and when I do my chores, and (what really gets me in trouble) when I'm supposed to be doing homework.  I HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!  Now, I haven't finished reading it yet, but when I do you can bet I'll have a good review of it to post here.  So keep an eye out for that as well.

Now I'd better get going.  I'm in the Christmas Musical our church is putting on (for some reason we've always done big musical numbers... it's just so much fun!).  Practice starts soon so I have to get.

C y'all around.

With pen in hand,


Monday, October 11, 2010

“Characters – What They Are To Us”: Elements of the Story, Part 2

Perhaps some of you noticed already, but recently I discovered I have very poor organization skills when it comes to planning certain things… like, for instance, a series on story elements. To be quite honest, when I decided to do this series I never really gave any serious thought to the order in which these story elements should appear. It's a sad confession, I know, but the fact remains – I'm writing these posts as they prove more and more relevant in my own writing life.

That said, let's take a look at our characters, shall we?

*Steps back and shouts into a megaphone*

"Alright you characters from all of my different WIPs, line up! Yes; that means you Aura – and keep away from that spinning wheel! I don't need your handy work messing with my thoughts. Curron, stop playing with your horse and get over here… Broxe don't eat that! Now line up in single file and let me get a good look at you. Gareth! Put that sword down this instant!"

*Pause for reflection*

If we all took a moment to step back and look at our characters – I mean really LOOK at them – what would we see? Most likely they would differ in height, weight, looks, speech patterns, clothing choices, personalities… especially personalities. But there is one thing that almost all characters have in common: they are the driving force of our writings.

Perhaps this sounds slanderous.

"What about the plot?" you say. "What about the problems I have planned? They need to be solved; they are pivotal points of my novel. They are the true driving factors! Plot is everything!"

Hold on a minute there! I never said plot wasn't important. In fact, if you don't have a decent plot then you don't have a decent story, The End. No more arguing about it. But a plot isn't exactly THE driving force behind our writings.

Take a moment to think about where most problems stem from: an older brother takes a younger sibling's belongings and a fight breaks out; a careless boss decides to fire an employee and that employee decides that the best type of revenge is murder; a super evil villain causes a dastardly war.

And now that you've considered where the sources of most literary problems stem from, take another moment to consider their solutions: an ultra powerful hero swoops down and saves everybody from the villain's war; a smart detective solves the case, finds the murderer, and locks him in prison; a father or mother comes along to break up the fight before anyone gets a black eye.

Characters can be everything. The plot basically revolves around them and their choices. When we are writing, they are the element of fiction that creates and maintains the balance between good and evil, right and wrong. If you're writing a fantasy book and you don't have a hero and/or a villain, you're basically lost. Sometimes the hero and the villain are the same person, but there is ALWAYS a hero and a villain.

And there are usually other characters too: those that help the heroes along, give advice, hinder progress, or just act stupid for stupidity's sake. Plot is important, yes, but you don't have a plot if you don't have a character to act out the plot. Without characters you don't have a problem, or even if you do it can't be solved. And half the time people read books so that they can relate to the books' characters in hopes of escaping their own confusing thoughts.

Characters are everything.

Now, let's take an even closer look at them.

What does it take to write a good character?

I'm sure very few of you have really asked yourself that question before, but for just a moment, think about the possible answers. Does it become overwhelming? Even a little bit?

Characters are about as complicated as another Human Being because, essentially, that's what they are. Oh, they may be a different species, for say. – for instance, you may have sentient animal characters, or perhaps you've completely made up a race of creatures that no one has ever heard of before, and these new-fangled "monsters" are your characters – but in any case, whether technically human or not, you have to have some form of base to start off of, and naturally you turn to yourself… to what you know. These days so many people are shooting off at the old "write what you know" saying, especially when it comes down to fantasy and science fiction (hey, I'm a huge fan of those genres too! :D) But perhaps what is not realized is that whether we are trying to or not, we, as writers, naturally base all of what we "don't know" on what we "do know".

For example:

We don't know exactly what an angry gorilla from Pluto might look like, or how it might act, or what it might do.

But we do know that:

A) for a reader to care about a story there should be characters in it for said reader to relate to.

B) for a reader to relate to a character, said character should be sentient.

C) the only truly sentient beings known to exist are humans.

Therefore, in order to create a believable sentient character – human, animal, or otherwise – we look to humans as our examples.

And what, exactly are humans composed of? (Mentally, not necessarily physically… we're looking for psychology here. :D) Actually, the human mind is so complex that it continues to boggle the minds of today's leading scientists. But we do know a few things that are easily used when creating characters.

We know that humans have spirits (or souls… however you refer to them).

We know that no two people are exactly alike in every way, so why should we write our characters from a so-called "Jello mold"? Let's all get creative! Otherwise the world would be boring, and so would our stories.

We also know that people have different personalities: some like spicy foods while other's like their tacos with mild sauce. Some people love to dress flashy, while others are reserved. Some read books, some prefer TV, and others would rather be outside in the garden. Some people are writers (like me!), while some are nurses, and others aren't even sure what they like or what they want to do just yet. Some people get angry quickly, while it takes quite a lot of pressure for others to explode.

Many of us have different abilities: some people are more athletic, while some are quiet thinkers. Some are fast readers while others are fast talkers. Some are more artsy and eccentric, while others consider themselves dignified and poised. Some of us are rockers and really know how to work the instrument we play. Some people have memories beyond what others could possibly comprehend. Some of us are persistent. Some of us are leaders. Some of us are fighters. Some of us are listeners.

And the physical attributes vary as well: black hair, light hair, red hair, skinny bodies, round bodies, stocky bodies, tall people, short people, average people, black skin, white skin, yellow skin, blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, black eyes – even purplish black eyes!

We pick a piece here and there from all of these human attributes and we mix and match them until we come up with a character we like. We give them an ability… usually something we feels fits them. Then we add a motive.

What is a motive?

Here's a definition:


mo·tive [mṓtiv]

n (plural mo·tives)

1. reason: the reason for doing something or behaving in a specific way

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


While our characters are the driving force of our stories, our character's motives are what drive our characters to drive our stories. A villain can't be a villain if he has no reason to be. The same goes for a hero. Motives are perhaps the trickiest part of character building, because while the plot revolves around the character with the motive, the motive is a huge part of what creates the plot.

Confusing I know.

Let me try it this way:

Character + Motive = Plot

Character + Plot = Story

Get it now?


Your character's motive is the reason that he is where is, doing what he's doing when your story starts. The motive doesn't have to be anything flashy: it can be as simple as your character being a fisherman just for the fact that his father was a fisherman and his grandfather, and great grandfather before him which is why he lives like he does. Or it can be as extravagant as your character becoming an assassin to find the one man that did her wrong and kill him.

Simply put, the motive is the reason your character does what he or she does; it's their purpose and their drive. It gives them a history and a future. It's why they are what they are. It's why we write their stories.

After motive, there's only one thing left that your character must have. It's absolutely essential. At first it may seem like a small thing, but as you go along you'll realize just how huge it really is. But you mustn't stunt on it; you can't hold back, because if you do your character will never be able to be everything he can be. He'll never be complete.

What is this small part that's not quite so small after all?

It's a piece of yourself.

You can't write a novel without pouring yourself into it, heart, mind, and soul; and the place where most of yourself ends up is in the characters. You'll find as you write that your characters pick up some of your traits and, oddly enough, you pick up some of theirs. Some of your characters will end up looking like people you know, people you admire, or even people you despise. One or two of them might even look like you! Your characters become so much a part of you that it starts to take less and less effort to slip into their skin when you write about them. I often find that when I'm struggling with something, if I go sit down and write I can confide in my characters: they've helped me work through some things that I would have really struggled with on my own. I know that sounds strange, but you have to trust them: they may not always do what you want them to when you want them to do it, but they do know what they are doing.

And hey! Give them a break every once in awhile. After all, you're the one beating the heck out of them! :D

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updates, Updates, Updates...

Well I know it's been a while since last I've posted.  For those of you who are following the first chapter contest, there is a new entry on the page titled "The Song of Leira".  I've read the first part of it and so far it's really good!  So go and check that out.  There is still time to get your chapters in before the deadline of Oct 25th.  The deadline's coming fast though, so let's not wait too long!  And please feel free to post about it on your blog: let's spread the word!  The more people know about this contest, the more fun it will be! :D

And... Stop the Presses! What is this?  There's a new prize on the line!  Yes, that's right... there will now be three winning slots to fill!  The prize I'm adding to the list is a copy of "Watership Down".  If you haven't read it yet, you really should.  The book has become (in my own oppinion) quite a classic in anamalistic fantasy (think a mixture of Brian Jaques and Tolkien.)  All the more reason to enter the contest!  But please don't let this oppertunity slip by... polish up those first chapters and send them to me.  Let's show the world what we're made of... or (ahem) what our worlds are made of. :D

And on that note, I know I haven't been posting in a while (mostly due to the dreaded homework of a college student) but I'm hoping to make up for some lost time within the next few days.  So be on the look out for book reviews (and perhaps even a movie review) along with the second entry to my "Elements of Story" series.  (hopefully... I'm still working on that part. ) 

And on a completely different note entirely, me and some friends at school have started throwing together a fanfiction for Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" and I'm considering posting bits and pieces of it for review.

Well, that's all the exciting news for now.  Hope to recieve some really awesome first chapters in  the near future. :D