Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Sneak Peak at Future Projects//Blogoversary Week

While these are not ALL of the stories I'm brainstorming/plotting right now, these are the ones I'm most likely to work on or write soon. The tornado one has had the true plotting process begun.

"Tornado One"

Involves two teenagers to hiding in a basement during a tornado warning, becoming friends and fighting the whole "The school gives all the money/recognition to the sports and none to the arts"

Interesting fact: He's on the school debate team and she is an actor who runs a beauty/acting vlog. Which sounds suspiciously like one of my friends. (An actor girl who is considering starting a vlog and likes this guy we both know who does debate.)

*Waves to friend because I know she's reading*
HI! Its me, spilling your secrets on the internet! Don't worry, nobody will know its you unless you comment and start yelling at me!

 BUT I DID NOT BASE THEM OFF THOSE TWO. In fact, its just because A.) I was on a debate team and loved it! and can now put random debate terms in my book (Rebuttal, affirmative team, etc) and I know a smidge about acting, social media/blogging and I wanted him to show up while she was wearing full Celtic inspired warpaint for a costume video.

Sequel to Capes, Coffee Shops and Cake
My 2018 NaNoWriMo Project

Can't say much, but there are hackers. And more heroes introduced to the cast. 
Oh and you get to me the villain. *evil laugh*

"That One Trilogy"
Involves mythical creatures, pirates/smugglers, spies, warriors, and one girl who is really really good at carving wood and does it when she's bored. Keep wood on hand at all times unless you want the wooden pillars in your home carved to look like they have roses climbing on them!

A Kingdom Far Far Away

Your cliche "person gets sucked into book/computer/game" 
But written with the sole purpose of being funny about bookworms. 

So the girl hates books, get sucked into one and then has to deal with: Obsessing over fictional characters, FICTIONAL BOYFRIEND/CRUSH, knowing random facts about fictional world, people thinking she's nuts, etc. And also: authors=wizards who can make portals to other worlds, but you can only travel to that world once. 

So which one is your favorite? And say hello to my actor friend! 

-Mary Kate

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Past Projects Revisited! //Blogoversary Week

In A Dream: 
-Dark Fantasy-
 Status: Started on Second Draft, 
(but was put on hold since it badly needs a rewrite/replot)

My Sleeping Beauty Retelling, but with assassins! 
Takes place after "Sleeping Beauty" wakes up 100 years later.  
Lots of ghosts, irish fae and mythology, slight anxiety + insomnia???

A ha a ha ha. Cause I did. 

 And the WIP Pinterest board!!!
 (Which is for the NON space version.)

Capes, Coffee Shops and Cake!

A superhero story! Also my 2017 NaNoWriMo Project!
Told by Kace and Lily, who are amazing and amuse me. 
Kace is obsessed with height and guess which one of the two can't fly? (Kace)
There is also a lot of baking and food in this story.  
 At one point I even compared everyone to cupcake...

 Twelve Golden Windows:

Set in a fantasy world based off Ancient Persia.

WIP Pineterst Board  

 Which one is your favorite? 
Mary Kate

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Favorite 5 Posts and Yours//Blogoversary Week

 Monday was my Blogoversary! My blog has been operating for one. whole. year. 
(and one day!)

So I'm going to be posting every single day this week. 

I probably should have mentioned it yesterday, but I'd already written that post and I decided I didn't want to change it.

Cause laziness. 


My Favorite 5 Posts: 
(In no particular order)

#2. Thankfulness (The one that started me writing character authored posts for holidays)
#5. A Writer's A-Z List (G and J are my favorite) 

The Top 5 Most Viewed Posts: 
(In a particular order)

(*Wonders which character I did this one on.*)
(*reads it*)
(Oh, that explains)

Are you excited for my blogoversary week? Because I am already stressing out and wondering how I'll be able to post this much stuff.

Oh! And I'll be doing a Q&A post on the 25th, so comment below if you have questions!
Because lets be honest, if I don't get many questions, I'll fill the space with a lot of rambling.

-Mary Kate

Monday, February 19, 2018

One Year Of Blogging: A Look In The Past

One year ago today, I posted this, my very cringe worthy first post! [Read at your own risk]

Actually, you know what?

I was going to post something about my first year, review things, whatever.

But no...

Let us go back in time!

. . .

My First Post 

 (Truly exciting title, I know...)

This is my very first post!

(No! I never would have guess that from the title...)

I am a teenage author. I am working on a few novels right now and have many many ideas for others.

(Wow, you don't have any idea about many ideas. They are like rabbits. They may seem cute, but they are constantly multiplying...RUN! RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!) 

Hopefully I will have one ready for publication by November!


On this blog I will whine about my writing, (ok, this was right) post pieces of my current story (Almost never and only cryptic stuff though. Whoops.) and blog about helpful writing tips I've found on the wide wide internet and what I've gathered from other writers! (Which is none.)

I am a writer and while I am running two other blogs, I decided to start this one.

(Wait what? *Tries to remember what other two blogs are*) 


(I have been asking myself the same question recently. But about different topics. Like white jeans...)

Because I want honest feedback on my writing.

All my friends know about my other two blogs and read my stories.


What I want to know, is why my other two blogs have 2000 page views and 1200 page views.

(Because I am bloody hilarious past me. That's why.)

Is it because my friends read it?

(Yes, but more)

Does anyone else actually read it?

(Also yes)

Is is my work actually interesting.


(You made 2 people cry. High five girl! *smacks computer screen*)

So I started this blog, afresh.

(That's right. This blog's name is Afresh. About a fresh kid. Or maybe a freshman? A fresh freshman. A man who is fresh who is a freshman.)

Dear readers, I'm going incognito.

So please, call me:

Mary Kate

Oh, and welcome to Hen Scratch!

(*sing songy voice* That's not its name anymore.) 

(-Mary Kate)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Seven-Seven-Seven-Seven Challange!

Ah, the 7-7-7-7 Challenge!

 It's fairly simple...You flip to the seventh page of your WIP, count down to the seventh line and share the next seven pages! (Or share the next paragraph, because you're a snippet hording dragon.)

And then you share it with seven people.

7 number one= Seventh page
7 number two=Seventh line
7 number three=Seven paragraphs
7 number four=Seven peoples


I tag!

(why the exclamation points? Shame MK. Shame.)

1. Skye @ Ink Castle, because she's writing more from the universe of Falling Snow and I NEED IT! (That's what you get for letting me beta read Falling Snow. A note: If I ever offer to Beta Read for you, just spit in my eye.)

2. Julian @ Saver of Memories, because she said in her January Highlights post that she was almost done with her FIRST DRAFT! AND THERE'S A DRAMATIC END BATTLE! And probably horses and weapons and I like.

3. Quin Ley @ Adventure Awaits. She's writing a really cool story that combines the Fantasy genre (which I LOVE) and Mystery and I can't wait to read it.

4. Liliah @ Musical Writings, because she just posted a super depressing song and WHY? (She should give us some more depressing songs...)

5. Catherine @ The Rebelling Muse, because she sent me snippets and rudely didn't send me EVERYTHING. And guess what I want? EVERYTHING!

6. Cait @ Paperfury, because her debut novel is being published this summer and ohmygosh, does that mean she's a "Grownup" author and can't play with us anymore when she's published?

7. And you person, who I have forgotten because I have the mind of a goldfish and you, person who would like to have this tag and will probably steal it anyways!  

Naturally, my snippet is coming from my current WIP Twelve Golden Windows, which is based off of the Grimm Brothers' lesser  known story, The Starfish. And its set in a fantasy world based of ancient Persia!

So, small intro to this random snippet. In my story there is one of those cheery "compete for the princess's hand and if you fail, DIE!" and I thought, honestly. WHY WOULD SOMEONE RISK IT? DO THEY JUST WALK UP AND BE LIKE, "Oh, I'm the 100th person and everyone else died. But hey, she's kind of cute so yeah. Lets do this."


So Karin (which is a tradition Arabic guy name apparently, but super confusing to all my friends since it's primarily a girls name over here...) 

Anyway, Karin here is a thief and a habitual liar.  Fun right? He rides into town to try their legendary wines and steal some stuff before scooting back out into the desert. Solid plan, right? But he accidentally says something suspicious in front of the Captain of the Guard and when he is mockingly asked if he's there for the contest he says yes. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS NO BLOODY IDEA WHAT THE CONTEST IS. Because they doubted he could do it, so he's gonna do it.

The wet shirt is from his horse drooling on him after it had a drink of water, because that's what horses do.

“What’s this? A thief?”
“What makes you think I’m a thief?” Karin demanded, trying to look dignified with his dust colored gear and wet shirt. “I’m traveling.”
“What brings you to our city then?” The Captain asked with a mocking smile. “The princess’s challenge?”

And Karin, who never was very good at telling the truth or listening to people underestimate him and who had also never heard of the princess’s challenge before, said, “Yes. Why? What makes you think I’m not?”

The Captain and his guards laughed.
“Very well,” the captain said, obviously not believing him, “Let us escort you to the Palace then. It would be our honor.”
“Thank you.” Karin said politely, his nose still up in the air. He swung up into the saddle and as he settled into the saddle. His horse turned around to glare at him, angry that it wasn’t done for the day. Karin ignored her and gestured with one hand. “Lead the way.”
The guards hesitated, as if wondering if they should waste their time seeing how far he would go. And then they seemed to mentally shrug and fell into formation around him. 

So what did you think? I suggest you steal this  tag and then force tag your friends so they have to show you what they're doing can join in the fun!

-Mary Kate

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Favorite Literary OTPs// I May Explode From A Cuteness Overload

Kaz Brekker and Inej

From Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

She laughed, and if he could have bottled that sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.
 -Six of Crows

Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. "That's the laugh," he murmured.
-Crooked Kingdom

Percy and Annabeth

From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Heroes of Olympus series
 by Rick Riordan.
 A Comparison. 

 I was losing the fight. The pain was too much. My hands and feet were melting into the water, my soul was being ripped from my body. I couldn't remember who I was. The pain of Kronos's scythe had been nothing compared to this.
The cord, a familiar voice said. Remember your lifeline, dummy!
Suddenly there was a tug at my lower back. The current pulled at me, but it wasn't carrying me away any more. I imagined the string in my back keeping me tied to the shore.
"Hold on, Seaweed Brain." It was Annabeth's voice, much clearer now. "You're not getting away from me that easily."
The cord strengthened.
 -The Last Olympian

"Percy, let me go. You can't pull me up."
His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless.
"Never" Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome.
"We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again."
Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall.
"As long as we're together."
-Mark of Athena

Zack & Cammie

 From The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter 

"I'm not crazy." 
"I know."

 -Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Puck and Sean Kendrick
 From Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

(Sean Kendrick is one of the characters that I ALWAYS address them by their full name.)

"I say, 'I will not be  your weakness, Sean Kendrick.' Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, 'Its a little late for that, Puck." -Scorpio Races

Cress and Thorne  

From The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
(I only just realize that TLC are the initials for The Lunar Chronicles and for Tender Loving Care.)

“I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”


Nik and Hanna
From Gemina, The Illuminae Files bk. 2

"They can do together what they weren't sure they could do alone." -Gemina

Winter and Jacin

From Winter, The Lunar Chronicles

 "It's not proper for seventeen year old princess to be alone with young men how have questionable intentions." 
She laughed. "What about young men who she's been friends with since she was barely old enough to walk?" 
He shook his head. "Those are the worst."

She snorted- an actual snort of laughter that served to brighten Jacin's smile again." 


Max and Deborah 
From Faro's Daughter

“If you had not done such a shabby thing to me I would not have had you kidnapped.” 
-Faro's Daughter


#1: Junior Mints are a safe bet when on a movie date. Minty breath, chocolatey goodness....

"MILK DUDS! What if I got caramel in my teeth and had to go digging around in a molar or something to get it out? There is simply no attractive way of doing that! What was I going to do—only eat popcorn? But then the same thing could happen with the little kernel pieces!
Oh my gosh! I had an Organic Chemistry test and a Conversational Swahili exam, but both of those things seemed like child's play compared to the dilemma at hand— right up until Macey joined us at our lunch table and said, "Junior Mints."
Junior Mints—of course! Minty chocolate fun with none of the dangerous side effects. I take back everything I ever said about her ever in my life. MACEY McHENRY IS A GENIUS!"

-I'd Tell You That I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

#2: Find a guy who cares enough to notice the little details about you

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”

-Six of Crows

What are some of your favorite literary OTPs? What are some of your NON literary OTPs? What is something YOU learned about love or dating from books? Besides TALK TO EACH OTHER, since that tends to be one of the key stumbling blocks in literary relations.

-Mary Kate

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Book Recommendations for People Who Like DRAGONS: Part II

My original post, Book Recommendation for People Who Like DRAGONS!, can be found here.

#1. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (First Book of Heroes of Olympus)

The first book of the second Percy Jackson series! The one that made us all ask, "WHERE IS PERCY?"

But it had Leo, which made it a little better and it had a killer metal dragon running loose in the woods near Camp Half Blood and killing campers...

Of course Leo goes out and has a "teenage girl with the untrainable/dismissed/underdog horse" moment where he goes out and catches it and proceeds to ride off into the sunset!

I mean, he's taking 2 other people and they're going on a quest and all this happens in the first couple chapters, but hush.

#2. Dealing With Dragons by Patrica C. Wrede

Everything Princess Cimorene wants to do is deemed "inappropriate" for a princess, from fencing lessons to magic studies...and everything she doesn't want to do IS appropriate for princesses....needle work, marrying a prince.

But you know what else is appropriate for princesses? Begin captured by a dragon.

So she heads up into the mountains to offer her services to the first dragon she meets.

#3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Enter the dragons who can shift into human form and are obsessed with math.

In this world, dragons and humans live in the same city, but tension is building. And Seraphina, a royal musican, is trying to find her place in it.

SPOILER: I was looking into names meaning "fire" or "flame" so it was fairly easy for me to figure out her backstory.

#4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Book 3 in the Harry Potter series. In this one, Hogwarts gets together with two other schools for magic and have a friendly school competition!

To the death!

Ok, that may be a little dramatic. But it IS possible to die when you're trying to steal things from dragons. And that's just Test #1.

#5.The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Awesome librarians. They live in a magic library that is in its own universe and can be used to get to other worlds and other times. And what do they use this power for?

Collecting books.


#6. Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

The first book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. It has the Fay, a magical cat/fairy warrior, and... dragons. (Hence the reason its on the list.)

#7. The Girl From Everywhere by 

That's right. My favorite book of 2018 HAS DRAGONS IN IT!

If you have a boat that can travel to basically ANYWHERE that there is a map to, of course there are going to be dragons. In this case, the dragon is Nix's personal pet. The dragon, (whose name escapes me) is a adorable tiny Chinese dragon that lives in a bucket of salt water, has long whiskers, eats pearls and falls asleep on people's shoulders.

Should we be screaming in excitement? Yes. Yes we should.
What are you're dragon book suggestions? And I know some of you commented on my last post (WAAAAY back in August) and gave me lovely suggestions and I haven't read them. (YET!)

-Mary Kate

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The 5 Newest Books On My TBR Pile

This post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday! A book blogger link up hosted by THAT ARTSY READER GIRL!

This most recent topic is "Books that have been on my TBR pile the longest and I still haven't read."

But ha ha. What are rules?

They're more like guidelines anyways....

Also, the oldest books on my TBR are from November, so that's not all that impressive.

#5. The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum

#4. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

#3. A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole

#2. Cruel Prince by Holly Black

#1. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Well, that wasn't nearly as long or dramatic as I had planned...oh well.

Have you read any of these books? Or heard of them? #4 is the one I'm most excited for and also a little freaked out about...what if something happens to Kash???


Saturday, February 3, 2018


I, the GREAT lover of winter that I am, have been tagged for the Winter Wonderland Tag by THE AUTHOR (dun dun duuun) at To Write Or Not To Write! The Author, besides having a super scary sounding name (sounds like the secret villain or something, am I right?) runs a super pretty blog.

Did you see that header? *dies*

(Go check it out, seriously.)


1. Link back to the Storybook Journal
(Which I personally have never heard of before and am now following because I saw a Greatest Showman post. Congrats. You now know how to win my heart.)

2. Answer the questions!
(Am I the only one who thought of Tauriel and "answer the question, filth?)

3. Tag at least 3 other bloggers (or more if you feel so inclined)

1. Name a few things you love about winter and a few things you don't:
I love fresh snow.Pine trees. Peppermint lattes are being sold everywhere. Candy canes. Christmas shopping...

And I dislike just about everything else. The slush, ice, not being able to ride or run, the COLD...

2. When you were a child, did you believe in Santa Claus?

What do you mean "when you were a child." I was born old. Of course I did. 

3. Is there a book or movie that you really love to read in winter as opposed to any other time of year?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

4. Is there any particular Christmas movie you watch EVERY year as tradition?
Miracle on 34th Street 

5. Do you usually get a real tree or a fake tree? Whose in charge of decorating?
FAKE TREE! We all tend to do it together.

6. Does your family usually stay home or go visiting on Christmas day?
Stay home. Its too cold to go wondering out into the cold. 

7. What does your family usually do on New Year's Eve? Any traditions? Do you ever stay up until midnight?

Oh yes. All the time in fact...oh wait.
You meant on New Year's Eve.
Ok, gotcha.


8. Do you ever get snow where you live? If so, have you ever built a snowman and name his Olaf?
*hisses* snow

9. If it's snowing outside, would you prefer to and build snowmen and enjoy it or would you rather stay inside with a blanket and something hot to drink and maybe a book or movie?
*Looks back at question #8*
*takes a sip of hot chocolate and rearranges blanket*

10. When do you start looking forward to or getting excited for spring? 

January. Except I don't really like Spring either. It's still cold and wet outside, but at least in winter the ground is frozen and you're not walking in shin deep mud.

 Yay! Taggy Time! And I tag Ivie, Catherine, and Liliah...because I'm too lazy to sneak over to their blogs and tag them and I know they regularly read my posts.

(Also I know they'll probably put all sorts of pretty winter-y pictures in their posts)

-Mary Kate

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Write What You Know: Archery

  • If you don't have something protecting your fingers, you will wear all of the skin off your finger tips.
  • Protection comes in the form of finger tabs, archer gloves (which are basically just leather fingers and a wrist strap) or full on gloves with reinforced finger tips.
  • And while gloves are nice, you can get a few arrows out before your fingers get sore.

    I do not suggest shooting without SOMETHING protecting your arm. EVER. (Not the arm that is pulling back the bowstring. The other one.) Unless you want to experience sling strap in all its glory. Which you don't. You can either have an arm guard, which can be anything from a little shield of thick plastic veins woven into a little guard or a leather guard. Or maybe even a long sleeve for short term. It needs to protect your entire inner forearm though.
  • What is sling strap you ask? Well, as you release the string/arrow, the bowstring doesn't go straight. It wobbles a little to the side as it snaps the arrow into flight. It will also slap your arm. Ouch. And leave a giant purple bruise and possible a bit of a welt or rash depending on how hard it hit you.
  • If you keep your arrows in a quiver on your back and then go run through the woods, vaulting over logs and large rocks....guess what? All those arrows are going to go flying out as soon as you make your first jolting landing.

    But why? AESTHETIC!
  • What can you do? Well, you can have a draw string on your quiver or maybe a little flap...Or if you have a newer bow, you can take a cue from modern hunters and buy a little plastic quiver that straps on the side of your bow staff.
  • Even if you don't: Quivers are for transporting arrows and while your brave young warrior should be able to snatch their arrows from the quiver in a fight, they should grab a handful and HOLD THEM IN THE HAND THAT IS HOLDING THE BOW WHILE THEY SHOOT. Or they can take the arrows and ram them into the dirt, drop to one knee and pick them up from there, Robin Hood* style.
  • If your character has a long bow...its kind of hard to shoot those from horseback. Sorry. I suggest giving them a recurve or maybe the bows used by Japanese carvery. (Sorry I don't know the name)
  • On that note: if you are writing about archery in a different culture, LOOK UP THEIR ARCHERY!

    It might be very different from the Longbow style AND the attitude of the archers. In some places, archery is more ceremonial and considered an art. In ye old England, the longbow men were known for their ability to quickly and accurately fire in battle and over long distances.
So...have you ever tried archery? Watched BBC Robin Hood? Been sling slapped? (Ow, I feel your pain.)

-Mary Kate

*The BBC Robin Hood. When he is in the Holy Lands with King Richard and they are attacked...Its in a flash back