Thursday, April 19, 2018

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: Karin and Farida and Some Other People

Ok people. We have good news and bad news.

The good news is that there is finally another Beautiful People link up!
The bad news is Cait and Skye have decided to put it on break.

Maybe forever. 

Most character questions will be directed at my narrators, Farida and Karin (your fav.) though some will answered off ALL stories I've ever written (like #5) and some will just be expertly dodged to keep the answers from revealing #SPOILERS!

Your favorite genre to write in? 
I have written a few (read: plotted) a few contemporary novels...and a few cringe-y historic fiction books...but I LOVE Fantasy. Fantasy is my  baby. 

What book (an actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?

Well, I honestly don't think Karin would benefit much from reading a book

Karin: *reads book about guy who won't let anybody in and suffers because of it*
Karin: *laughs*
Karin: Ha, glad I'm no stupid like that
Dalia: (who would have given him said book) >_<

Farida would benefit from any book with the message "Hang in there. It gets better." 
Or any book that could take her mind of her life.

Your favorite piece of dialog (you've written)?

I like the dialog in this scene...
I was doing fine until I bumped into the cookie sheets on the oven with the side of my hand and burned it.

And I may have said something…inappropriate. In French.

Then I did the classic mutter angry things under your breath and stick your hand in cold water. As I was leaning on the sink with my hand under running water, I hear someone say,

“So…do you always swear in French?”

I snapped my head around, hair flying, to see Brent leaning in the doorway with that stupid amused look on his face.

“Your dad let me in.” He added and I continued to stand there and stare at him.

Why was he in my house? And of course Dad would let him in. I can just see Brent meeting him at the door, introducing himself and shaking his hand. ‘Hi. I’m Brent. Do you mind if I come in and completely ruin your daughter’s day and her plans of solitude?’ and my dad being all. ‘Sure. Sure. Go right on in’ as he walks by, whistling off to work.
(From Capes, Coffee Shops & Cake. Kace's POV)

What did your character want to be when they grew up and what did they actually become? 
Farida wanted to be Queen...someday. And Karin didn't have much time to sit around thinking about what he wanted to be when he grew up. If he had, he probably would have wanted to grow up to never have to worry about going hungry and being with his family.

Farida ended up becoming the queen at a young age and Karin became a thief who doesn't stick around in one place to long.

Favorite Character's Name? 
Keria Elwood.  
And I love the name Nawa. 
And Kali.

What makes your character feel loved and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

I'm going to let Farida take this one, since Karin is the kind of person who never stays in one place or with one person for very long...

Favorite character you've ever written?

Kace from Capes, Coffee Shops & Cake. Because she's crazy wild and is constantly driving Lily crazy by parkouring everywhere and being a reckless muffin.

If your character was permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? Why?

Karin would easily throw out any thing. He could leave with nothing. But leaving Ziba, his faithful horse, would sting the most. 

Farida would be happy to leave. If given the chance, she would run then and there. But she would miss her friends and her books.

Favorite tropes to write?

Love to hate relationships. Either where they both hate the other, or it is an unrequited hatred...
Exasperated mentor and sassy apprentice. Granted, I've only written one of these...I think? You could possibly say that Karin and his friend have a similar mentor/apprentice relationship. Though its more of a WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP DOING STUPID THINGS AND TRYING NOT TO DIE?

Which story has your heart and won't let go?

I have no heart. 

I don't get attached. 

I'm a ...HEY!


 Favorite relationship between characters you've written?
  • The mentor-apprentice relationship between Grant and Ivy from In A Dream. 
  • I like the chemistry between Kace and Brent (from Capes, Coffee Shops & Cake) ever though it. wasn't. supposed. to. be. there.
  • The friendship between Lily and Kace
  • Lily You-Like-My-Friend-And-So-We-Are-Friends-And-I-Low-Key-Ship-You-Guys Relationship with Brent
  • Lily and Liam's adorableness
  • The banter between Keira and Elvin from In A Dream.
  • Farida and her three handmaidens. The different personalities clashing together, picking on each other and then instantly closing ranks when "some outsider" does something or when the others need help. AKA, they're besties.

Toni Morrison once said, "If there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you most write it." What are the books that you want to see more of and what "holes" do you think need filling in the literary world?

1. Tough girls who are still allowed to be feminine and don't look down on tasks like making food, raising children, etc.

2. Assassins, spies, soldiers and other "tough guys" who have personalities.
3. Also the ones who joke and are super chill no matter what happens.

4. Better girl friendships? Cause I feel like EVERY. SINGLE. CONTEMPORARY. ROMANCE. EVER. has group-of-girl-friends-who-are-super-close-and-then-a-guy-drives-them-all-apart. 

Or the friend just...isn't there? 


5. Food. A lot of food. 

6. Magical worlds that actually, oh I don't know....ACTUALLY FEEL MAGICAL? 

7. Witty banter

Favorite pinterest board or aesthetic for a book?

This one :) 

No. I'm sorry.  I lied.  

I love them all

Pinterest board for In A Dream
Pinterest board for Capes, Coffee Shops & Cake
Pinterest board for CCC, Lily's POV
Pinterest board for CCC, Kace's POV
Pinterest board for Twelve Golden Windows

Favorite time periods and settings to work with?

Current day or far enough back in time that they have swords and horses.  

When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?

Satisfied, since its a stand alone...but also!  With a super high adrenaline...

What are your favorite tropes? Hate to love relationships are the best, right?

    Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    Dual Book Review: Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne

    In Review:

    Content Warning: Some mild language

    Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton 

    Official Blurb: 

    "Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

    Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

    Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew."

    I thought the story location/world was interesting (and semi confusing) because it's based off of the American Old West, but yet...also the Middle East? It was kind of weird at first, but Alwyn Hamilton made it work.

    I really liked the character voice. The book is told in first person narrative and you can really feel Amani's personality in the writing.

     “I wasn’t up to no good. Then again, I wasn’t exactly up to no bad neither.”

    Amani also isn't a "let's save" everyone kind of person. She's more of a "I would totally run in the middle of the night with everything we have and leave you to die" kind of person and, as horrible as that sounds, it was also super refreshing. And amusing.

    Because I'm a horrible person, apparently.

    And of course we have Jin.

    “I don't mean to worry you and all," I said, trying to keep my voice calm, "but have you noticed that you've been shot?"
    "Ah." Looking at him closer now, I could see he was clutching the counter to stay upright. "I'd almost forgotten about that.”

    And Shazad, who is the coolest girl ever. (But we shan't get into that.)

    My biggest problem with this book was the fact that as I read, I felt this overhanging cloud of doom looming above...It was a pretty cool book.

    But there are some books that you read and you love and even if they has a horrible sequel you'd continue to love them. (And probably pretend the sequel didn't exist...)

    And then you have the books that you read and they're ok, but you know that the sequel is everything. If the sequel is horrible and cliche, then you'll hate them both. The second will ruin the first for you.
    Or the sequel might be amazing and make the first book even better!

    Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton 
    I spent the entire time reading Rebel of the Sands worrying about the next book...but I didn't have to.
    Traitor to the Throne is the sequel to Rebel of the Sand and I. LOVED. IT.

    The characters were amazing and the new ones introduced were just as good as the old. And then they made me (MADE ME!) like characters I'd hated when I was introduced to them and they made me despise characters I'd liked when I first met them...

    The snark continues...

     I wouldn't point fingers if I were you. You know what they say: those who point fingers wind up with them broken so badly they point straight back at them

    And the emotion!

    (Pain is an emotion, right?)

    I won't go into it (spoilers, m'dears) but this book was an emotional roller coaster.

     Emotions ranged from giddy joy (over the cuteness of the ships) to snickering at something snarky (from Amani's inner dialog) to shocked horror to rage! RAGE! *ahem* to exasperation to goofy grins (from shipping side characters) to SCREAMING IN ABSOLUTE PAIN!!!*

    I'm kidding.


    Of course I'm kidding. Would I lie to you?

    -Mary Kate

    *Please note: There was no actual screaming. I am a silent reader! (It was also 2 am)

    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    The Get To Know Me Tag!

    I'll have you know I got this tag LEGALLY. No tag thievery today!

    I know, how boring...

    I was gifted this tag by Andrea from the blog Spaceships, Vampires, and Very Secret Agents!


    Link back to the person who tagged you
    Thank the person who tagged you
    Share the graphic! (Which is optional, apparently? But hey. All rules are optional...)
    Tag eleven bloggers


    Vital Stats/Appearances:

    (Pen)name: I used Mary Kate, MK and Mary Katherine on the blog. When I publish, I'm publishing under my first two initals (M.K.)....and my last name of course.

    Nicknames: So my IRL friends slip up once in awhile and call me by my blogger name. But what's ever time my friend had to publicly thank me in an award ceremony after a play and she called me "Mary Katherine" and everyone in the room (including me) froze like, who is this person? I don't remember a Mary Katherine?

    Birthday: ha ha. no. The last thing I need is you guys swinging by every year to comment HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I prefer to have minimal public humiliation, thanks.

     Hair color and length:
    So want to hear a funny story?
    (Of course you do.)

     I went in to a salon the other week to get my hair trimmed. It was a little past my shoulder, but I wanted my split ends trimmed and my layers evened up. Simple right?

    I was sacrificed to the intern.

    I left with a chin length bob.

    Eye Color:
    Hazel eyes! Aka, MAGIC COLOR CHANGING EYES! (Mostly they're dark dark green.) 

    Braces, piercings, tattoos:
    Had braces, but luckily shed them a few years ago. I actually have no piercings. And no tattoos. 

    Righty or lefty?
    Right handed! (though I CAN write with my left hand. Not very well, but I can do it)

    Mostly German/Irish with a hint of Cherokee.
    My parental great grandfather came over from Germany. I WAS ALIVE AT THE SAME TIME AS HE WAS.
    You know, I actually have 3rd cousins in Germany I've never met...


    First Novel Written:
    As in finished? Or just written.
    I honestly have no idea what the first book was that I attempted to turn into a novel...

     First Novel Completed:
    In A Dream, my post-curse sleeping beauty retelling WITH ASSASSINS BECAUSE WHY NOT.

    Award for writing:
    I made 2 people cry...does that count as a award? 

    First Publication:
    I suppose everything on this blog counts as published my first post? (On my first blog)

    None yet...waiting until I have a story ready to query...

    I have written a few queries (for practice) but have yet to send one...hopefully later this year?
    And I pitch my story to everyone I can. It's good practice.


    Novel (that you wrote):
    In A Dream? It certainly isn't Twelve Golden Windows, my current WIP. (I'm in the Almost-done-and-I've-been-working-on-it-so-long-I-hate-it stage...)

    Fantasy! Sub-genre? Retellings.

    Leigh Bardugo probably...

    Writing Music:
    Depends...I like to switch things up.

    Time to write:
    Between 10pm and 1 am.

    Writing Snack/Drink:
    Coffee or water.

    Man From UNCLE

    Writing Memory:
    The time I made my 2 friends cry. *evil laugh*
    The first time I let someone read my work.
    Childhood book:
    The Library Lion by  Michelle Knudsen



    Nothing right now...

    *Sigh* Still Twelve Golden Windows. But I'm to the beginning of the end...

    Listening to:

    Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran...because I love the ballroom dancing in it, not so much the song. (It's ok....)


    I actually am not watching any TV shows right now! Crazy, right?
    The last movie I watched was Man From UNCLE


    Brushing up on themes + character arcs, reading some things to help my writing skills when it comes to male POV, and reading a couple million writing advice posts while I work on Twelve Golden Windows...

    And to kick with the HEEL of my foot or at least the ball of my foot and not with my toes pointed like a bloody drama queen. I KNOW how I'm supposed to do it, but I'm trying to get the muscle memory down so it's habitual.


    Want to be published:

    Indie or Traditional:
    Currently, I'm interested in pursuing traditional publishing.
    Though it is possible I might Self Publish, since I don't know where this crazy road of life is leading me.

    And I might always become a Hybrid Author...and self publish a book while the majority of my other books are traditionally published...

    IF I did this, it would probably be from a genre that I don't normally write...and of course I would publish under a different last name. Then me and "totally not me" could be BEST AUTHOR FRIENDS!

    Wildest Goal:

    Well, up until 2 minutes ago it was different, but now its being BEST AUTHOR FRIENDS with "totally not me."

    That's pretty wild.

    -Mary Kate

    (I'm leaving this tag open. Steal away, steal away.)

    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    WWYK-Wilderness Survival!

    This week on "MK is a violent person and would probably outlive everyone in the zombie Apocalypse...." 

    • So, if you're ever stranded on a deserted island, car broke down in the middle of nowhere or your mum left for the entire week...there are three things you need to survive. Food, Water, Shelter.
    • Shelter
      Shelter is actually your first priority. Find water in the morning. Find food later. Right now you just need to keep yourself from dying from exposure. Depending on where you are, finding/building a shelter can have different priorities. In some situations, you want to block out the wind. (Actually, that would be MOST situations...) Or avoid animals stepping on you. Or being eaten alive by mosquito. Or having zombies find you and eat you. Or tributes.

    • You need to figure out where in the world your character is and google it. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. Just search "Desert survival." "Island survival."
    • For the most part, if you just look for generic wilderness survival advice, you're going to get a lot of two things: North American woods and Emergency Situations (Like a downed plan, etc.)
    • WATER! We like water! We need water! IF YOU GO WITHOUT WATER FOR THREE DAYS, YOU WILL DIE.  
    •  Where to find water? An excellent question. The best way would be to find a clear running stream. DO NOT DRINK OUT OF PONDS OR STANDING/STAGNANT WATER. How do you know the water is stagnant? Are there cattails and random weeds growing on the side? ON TOP OF IT? DOES IT LOOK GROSS AND GREEN AND IS FILLED WITH MOSS?
      THEN DON'T DRINK IT! YOU WILL (possibly) DIE.
    •  If you're going to be out there long term, you may want to stay near that water. Or build a well?

    • BUT IF YOU'RE HIDING FROM PEOPLE, AVOID STAYING BY THE CREEK! Fill your little canteens and hike far FAR FAR away! You can come back later.
    • Your characters survival goals are different based on what they're trying to do.
      Survive until someone comes and rescues them? (I mean, the government is going to notice if your cruise ship or airline goes missing.)
      HIDE from "the bad dudes" in the woods?
      Not get eaten by zombies in the city?
    • Food! We all love food! And everyone goes crazy with this one. WE MUST GATHER THIS POSSIBLY TOXIC PLANT (if the season is right) and go through all these long hard and very annoying steps to get SALAD! Mate...look at your feet. There are 3 super conman plants and you can eat them. Plantains, Dandelions, and Clover. I would suggest not eating grass since the blades can be rather choppy...
    • But salad will only get you so far in life. (I mean, if you eat it with fruit and walnuts and a lovely dressing...maybe. But just straight weeds? I don't think so.)
      YOU NEED PROTEIN! This is where the nuts and things come in handy!
    • And by things I mean meat. THE MEATS. It takes A LOT of work to survive in the wild! I don't think a vegan would survive easily. (But then again don't quote me on it...)
    • If you have a vegan or vegetarian should probably do a lot of research and they should have already been living off the grid for awhile. And probably have some cultivated crops?
      (If you do, you should make them totally smug when the world falls to chaos and they're sitting there with their wild blackberry leaf sweet tea)

    • And berries! Lot of berries. (DON'T EAT ANYTHING RED!) Basic berry advice to new you know what a raspberry looks like? A blackberry? Well, if you see those and you smell it and it smells like a blackberry (raspberry,) you can probably eat it.
    • Don't eat mushrooms. Its not worth the risk mate.
    • ESPECIALLY DO NOT EAT THOSE "CLASSIC MUSHROOMS." You know, the red ones with the white spots? They are super poisonous. Some of the most poisonous mushrooms out there. YOU WILL DIE!
    • Wilderness Survival by the ocean (I'm thinking Atlantic coast) gives you lots of food to look for. For one, you have sea life getting washed ashore/living in the shallows. And you also have SEAWEED! There is some sea weed that when you take it (rise it to get rid of the salt) and the boil makes gelatin! (Jello) Of course its really gross jelly since it has no sugar, no artificial flavoring and no bright green coloring...but hush
    • Basically YOU WILL DIE!

      But I won't. Lol.
      Mary Kate, over and out.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Book Reveiw: A Crown of Wishes // *screaming*



    I mean A Crown of Wishes by Roshini Chokshi

    What is A Crown of Wishes?
    (One of my new favorite books ever?)

    "A story had no owner ship. A story could break its bones, grow wings, soar out of reach and dive out of sight in the time it took just to draw breath. It meant we weren’t walking a cut path. We carved it into existence with
    every step."



    Ok, I'll stop screaming now.

    The story felt like a fairy tale. There were mythical creatures, deities, magical lands and cities, quests, fables told within the story...

    This book is the perfect example of fantasy. Of what makes me love fantasy.

    Warrior Girl and Fox Prince:

    Well first we have Gauri.The Warrior girl who uses makeup and clothing as armor and a weapon. In fact, everything to her is based off war. OR IS IT?
     A complex, yet strong female character? Yes please.

    And then we have Vikram, the Fox Prince. (Who honestly reminds me a lot of Nikoli from Shadow and Bone...) The prince who uses his mind instead of a sword.

    And honestly, it makes their duo much more fun.  
     They bicker so. much. and I love it. 

    “Vikram’s eyes widened. “What’s this? Praise from Her Beastliness in the morning? Are you under a curse that makes you friendly before noon? If so, how do we make it permanent?”

    And food:

    Crown of Wishes is based of myths and legends of India! THEY HAD FOOD! There actually was quite a bit of food, but what really stood out to me was the Gulab jamun... Confession time, I didn't realize it was based of Indian culture until the gulab jamun was mentioned. I kind of grasped the general region...but I guess it takes dessert to let me know where I am.

    And mythical creatures and places:

    Roshini gives us mythical creatures and stories. She doesn't slap down a giant chunk of lore at once, she just slowly SHOWS us what these creatures are. And if you know the creatures, maybe it'll click and you'll realize some small hidden detail and marvel at the way she portrayed their personalities or something. But if you're like me, then I guess you'll just have to fall in love with the world like that.

    Speaking of world, THE LOCATIONS. Whoa. I could see everything. I can imagine myself there perfectly.

    And epic quest:

    The most epic of all epic quests! You have two people thrown together on a quest to win a wish, each of them very very desperate for it.

    Two people who hate each other and I'm madly shipping:

    I'll just let the words speak for themselves...but don't we all love a good Hate-Love Ship?

    “Vicious and sweet,” said Vikram, shaking his head. “Beastly girl.”
    “You like me, don’t lie,” I teased.
    “I couldn’t lie if I tried,” he said quietly.” 


     “It felt silly to say that he couldn’t bear to lose her. He never had her. She was not a thing to be possessed. But her entrance in his life had conjured light. And losing the light of her would plunge him into a darkness he’d never find his way out of.” 

    *wipes away a tear*

    So what about you? Have you read A Crown of Wishes yet?

    -Mary Kate

    Saturday, April 7, 2018

    Liebester Award Tag

    So I got this little tag from Julian @ A Saver of Memories.

    Thank the person who tagged you
    Answer 11 questions about yourself
    Give 11 facts about yourself
    Nominate 11 Bloggers
    Ask them 11 questions
     The 11 Facts
    I am right handed and left eye dominate. Which makes archery fun.

    I think the cat breed Russian Blues are cool

    I speak in an English accent when I'm mad

     Actually just when I rant, since I don't actually get mad often...That's the thing about INTJs. The majority of them don't understand their feelings, so they supress them.

     I don't like being dependent on anything. I'll take cold showers just so that I won't curl up and die if I can't get hot water. I switch between tea and coffee so I don't HAVE to have either. And some days I go without ANY hot drink in the morning.

     Someone once asked me what my favorite Christmas movie was and I said Die Hard and I think they're still judging me to this day.

    My favorite Christmas movie is in fact The Miracle of 34th Street

    Are you guys actually reading these?

    I'm 5'11

    My favorite of these facts is #9

    The 11 Questions:

    1.  Would you rather never eat a taco again, or never eat pizza again?
    Taco. Because, you can have taco-pizza and just put all the spices on a really crunchy crust that you folded up...or you could have taco flavored pizza. And that just sounds like the grosser of the two.
    I also eat pizza more...

    2.  If you had to completely remove a character from one books, who would it be and why?
    *rubs hands together joyously*


    3.  What sounds more fun to learn - sign language or braille?
    Sign Language.  I feel like I wouldn't get much of a chance to use braille...and I already know some ASL.

    4.  Who is your least favorite fictional character? (Feel free to unleash a rant!)

    Hmm. So I don't HATE many characters...I find many MANY annoying. Like Mare from the Red Queen, America from The Selection....I shall blend them into one person and call them MARE-ICA.

    5.  How did you pick your blogging name (what made you pick a penname or go with your real name)?
    Well, I went with a nick name (Mary Kate) made it fancy (Mary Katherine) and then decided that I would publish under (M.K. *insert last name*) since M and K are my actually initials.
    6.  What song could you listen to on repeat and never grow tired of?
    Hold My Heart by Lindsey Stirling and ZZ Ward

    7.  What song have you listened to on repeat and actually grown tired of?
    So, little know fact. I was once a nanny. 
    and I hated it.

    One of the whee children LOVED Moana. And listened to How Far I'll Go on repeat.


    8.  Favorite horse breed?  (Or color, if you're not a horsey person.)

    Either a quarter horse or a mustang would be my go-to BUY THIS HORSE.
    And I think Andalusians and Paso Finos are some of the most beautiful horses out there.

    And I love blood bays, dappled grays, darker palominos, chocolate palominos, overo and sabino paints, grullas, bay roans, and perlinos.

    Oh wait. 

    Actually I love them all


    Oh and I love mustang's freeze brands. 

    9.  First Bible verse you ever memorized?
    Probably Genesis 1 (honestly, who doesn't know that?) or something from psalms...

    10.  What's a game you would play anytime?  

     "Terrify and prank my friends?"
    How about 
    "See or hear something and randomly go on a rant about SPY STUFF!!!"
    Or a classic,
    "Go drive with someone and halfway through the trip and randomly tell the driver/passenger all the license plate numbers of cars from that fast food stop 3 hours ago?"

    Or "monopoly."
    That works too.

    11.  Provide a link to your favorite post on your blog.
     One on Cake
    One on Tea
    Oh and this one is pretty funny

    And my questions!

    1. What is your favorite type of cake?
    2. What is your favorite Horse Color or Breed
    3. How did you pick that name of your blog?
    4. If you were going to buy a pet RIGHT NOW, what would it be?
    5. Favorite dessert
    6. Favorite DESERT
    7. If you were stranded on a deserted island...who would you want to be stranded with?
    8. Favorite board game?
    9. A book that annoys you
    10. A character that annoys you
    11. Favorite pizza topping

    And I'm just going to leave this tag open. 

    Comment below if you're stealing it!

    And tell you know what your dominate eye is? Am I taller or shorter then you?
    Tell me all the things


    Thursday, April 5, 2018

    Pros and Cons of Camp NaNoWriMo 2018


    Cabins. I actually like Camp better then the official NaNoWriMo in November...because of the cabins. Its so fun to connect with new people, to have someone to wage word wars against......


    Spring is here. 
    So is spring cleaning. 
    Good bye free time. 

    Easter is the first this year, so 1.) Lent is over 2.) we all have stockpiles of candy in the house 
    3.) chocolate will go on sale soon

    It's in April.  

    Which is one of the busiest months of the year. There's finals for everyone in school, spring is here in full force and everyone has to start things like cleaning up the lawn,

    It's April. Which means rain. And do you know what rain means? (Besides the horrible thing that keeps you trapped in the house and makes mud.) It means you have to stay inside, which means you're focused on your writings!


    I didn't manage to finish my last project (the first draft of Twelve Golden Windows) and so instead of starting a bright shiny NEW project, I get to keep plugging away at the one one. *weak cheer*


    But hey! It's Camp NaNoWriMo! A time to write, to make new friends, get inspired about your story again...but mostly to write. 

    So write on!
    Mary Kate 

    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    Spring Cleaning Writer's Tag

    So I was tagged by Skye, the queen of the Ink Castles, for the Spring Cleaning Writer Tag. If you haven't seen Skye's blog yet then GO! HER AMAZING SNOW WHITE RETELLING, FALLING SNOW, GOT PICKED TO BE IN FIVE POISONED APPLES! GO! BEGONE FROM MY SIGHT! AND DON'T COME BACK UNTIL YOU DO!


    Link back to the person who tagged you
    Share the picture
    Answer the questions
    Tag 3 other writers

    1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

    So my January writer goals were: 

    1. Read 150 New Books 
    Working on it! I've only read 13 books this year, but knowing me I'll have a giant reading spike this summer and end up reading 200 books.

    2. Write two brand new First Drafts
    I started Twelve Golden Windows and am about half way through it now.  And I have a handful of other novel ideas that I can't wait to get started on. The hard part will be picking one! And I already know what my NaNoWriMo Project is going to there's two already.

    3. Revise at least one of my old drafts into a working First Draft
    I have this one novel that I started working on and I plotted the whole thing out...(it badly needed to be replotted) and I told my sister about 80% of it...but not the ending. I may or may not have cliffhangered her...and she's still mad.
    4. Do Camp NaNoWriMo
    Planning on doing April's Camp NaNoWriMo (with a secret project that is yet to be revealed), but there is a possibility that I could do July's Camp NaNoWriMo too. It depends how busy I am with college-prep. 

    5. And NaNoWriMo
     I'll be working on the second book in my superhero trilogy. 


    6. Get one of my stories to the 3rd Draft/First Edit Stage
    Currently I'm planning on starting editing for Twelve Golden Windows this summer, but maybe I'll end up getting TWO stories to the editing stage. 
    7. Get a story to Alpha Readers 
    Soon! SOON!
    (I hope)
    8. Beta Readers?
    Maybe late in the summer? I kind of want to have Twelve Golden Windows edited and either ready for the beta readers or already given to the betas BEFORE I head off to college this summer...
    9. Plot a horde of new novels
    Have a bunch of plot bunnies that I have been growing and training up into a bunny sled team (one team per novel) and brainstorming ideas, but I have yet to plot anything. 
    Well, actually I DID plot the majority of that one story...
    Plotting is what I plan on doing any time I take a break from Twelve Golden Windows (or whatever my current project is) so my fingers don't forget how to type...again.
    10. Start working on query letters and researching agents
    I have been working on query letters, but I'm leaving off all agent research until I'm a little closer to my goal. Otherwise, half of them will no longer be taking stories and I'll also be really bored with the whole process and that'll take all the fun out of it. 


      2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!
    a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
    b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
    c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
    d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
    e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)
    I'd say I'm in stage b. with Twelve Golden Windows, some minor stage c. work (also with Twelve Golden Windows) and working on stages d. and a. with various projects. 

     3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

    Karin’s horse leaned out its head slightly and he pulled it back before it could eat one of the flower heads.
    “Don’t you dare.” He whispered out of the corner of his mouth.
    The horse snorted.

      3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (and share a picture!)

    Me? Clean? *dies laughing* 

    And I tag: 

    Lia at @ The Singing Writer, because you could total do this with song writing. Plus she's hording her newest song and won't let me read it. #rude
    Also because she was pestering me while I was working on this post
    Ivie @ Ivie Writes because her book is coming out this summer and AAAH! #Excited
    Jem Jones @ Jem Jones, Writer because I was hungry while writing this and therefore thought of Tim Tams, which led to Australia which led to Jem Jones which led to her Beauty and The Beast retelling

    If anyone else would like to do this tag, DO IT. But come back and tell me so I can see it.

    Thursday, March 29, 2018

    FIRST QUARTER // March Recap

    THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2018 IS GONE! GONE! *runs wailing into the night*

    Blogging Things:

    The Early Writing Tag
    9 Book Quotes That Make Me Happy + That One
    Twelve Golden Windows- Nawa, Kali, & Daliah
    How To Schedule Your Posts Far Into The Future Like A Crazy
    Awkward and Awesome #2
    Books I'm Going To (Try To) Read This Spring!
    (Took part in a collab tag on Lia's blog
    Write What You Know: Knife Throwing
     Seventeen Facts About Me...By Proxy 
    (Final part of the collab tag on Catherine's blog)
    Books That Take Place In ITALY!

    Writing Things: 
     I'm still working on the First Draft of Twelve Golden Windows, my Starfish retelling. I was hoping to have it done before Camp NaNoWriMo started in April, but now I guess I'll just have to work on it in addition to my camp project. Twelve Golden Windows has priority though, so I won't even start "the project" until its finished. I also won't be introducing the project until I've finished the First Draft. 

    Once the First Draft is done, I'll send it to "Alpha One" . 
    I've divided my Alpha Readers into two groups. Each group is made up of 2-3 people (depending on how I'm counting...since there are two people who aren't official Alphas, but will be reading my story in the early stages. One of them will be alpha reading, but probably won't alpha read all of stories and the other one will probably get all my stories, but doesn't quite have the same expectations/pressure when it comes to feed back.) 

    "Alpha One" will get my First Drafts and I'll use their feedback to craft my Second Drafts and "Alpha Two" will get my Second Drafts and their feedback will be used to put finishing touches on my Second Draft before editing begins. And all of my Alphas will be able to read my stories again, if they choose, during the beta readings. 

    (My betas will probably be broken up into groups as well. Probably two groups, but possibly three.)

    Anyhow, back to Twelve Golden Windows. 


    I ended up compromising on the name thing. So they don't all have full names and after the entail introductions (or on formal occasions), their given name is used. 

    They don't normally use their given names for anyone other then family and really close friends, but I had to make a decision on it and what parts of the culture I use because my target audience is American/European teens and I can't spend the whole book explaining my three hours of frantic research.

    I also had to figure out veils and how they were used. Because its a very feminist society, both men and women are guards, bakers, merchants, teachers....I'm blanking...whats the word for the really smart people who study a lot? SCHOLARS! (There we go)

    And I ended up having some women wear veils (like the princess and one of her handmaidens) and the guards do not and it's mixed with everyone else. 

    It is kind of hard though, because I'm used to describing people and using their hair. They play with their hair, water runs off their hair after they've been drenched, they braid their hair when trying to have the do something with their hands...and I keep forgetting that they have veils and you can't see their hair. 

    I've also been calling her "a princess" and she is, in fact, a sultana. 
    So...I had to change that. (Which was weird since it has a slightly different ring to it and it kind of messed with things a little.)

    I also had to decide whether to use Sultan or Sultana, since they have both been used by women rulers and Sultana tends to mean the wife of the 

    And by foods I mean dessert.

    Lots of dessert.

    (Desert dessert)


    Reading Things:

    Want to know something really funny?
    About the time I started drafting this post, I'd only read two books. And at the rate I was going, I asumed that would be my total read count for March.

    And then I read another book and I logged back on and switched my wording so it was for three books.

    And then I read another book.

    And another. 

    • The Edge of the Sword
    • The English Spy
    • Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare  
    • The Defector
    • The English Girl

    Life / Other Things:

    • Lia had her blogoversary!

      And she dared me to keep asking questions as long as I could...and even with the self handicap of only asking her music related questions, she ended up having to do a entire second post....for all 115 questions. You can go check out that post HERE.
    • The before mentioned panic over research which left me eating my dinner in front of the laptop and scribbling notes on every piece of paper in sight while my family kept their distance and looked on warily.
    • I switched from drinking my Earl Grey without cream to drinking my Earl Grey with cream, which may not sound like much BUT DO YOU KNOW HOW SERIOUSLY I TAKE MY TEA?
    • I drank my coffee black once even though I'm a cream and sugar person because there were people over and I didn't want to bother asking anyone to pass me things. (I also wanted to freak out my friend who is a CREAM!!! and four spoonfuls of sugar person.)


    Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    Books That Take Place In ITALY!

    This post was inspired by That Artsy Girl's Top Ten Tuesday Prompt. This weeks prompt is books that take place in another country.

     I was going to put this list in various different orders...the first one being the order I thought of them in and the second one going to be...basically that, but with a few of them switched around so that other things would flow better. But then I decided...let's judge them all based on their gelato content!

    Love and Gelato Jenna Evan Welch

    Does it surprise you that this has the best gelato mentions in it? This is a stand alone (sort of? She's writing another book about the main character's friend in IRELAND, which I am 100% on board with) about a girl whose mother dies and she goes to live with her father in Italy. 

    Her father that she has never met. 

    Basically, the title is based off something someone says at one point that when people come to Italy and end up staying its for two reasons, Love and Gelato. So the gelato parts of the story lead us to little gelato shops around the town and now I know at least one flavor of Italian gelato.
    *looks proud of myself*
    (I looked it up and its basically super fancy chocolate chip)
    And the love parts of the story were cute too. 

    Out of Sight Out of Time, Gallagher Girls Bk 5, By Ally Carter

    Ok, so they only mention gelato once or twice...but its while they're trying to figure out...oh never mind.

    Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
    While the story mainly transpired in Germany, Flashback of Germany, and Japan, they did go through Italy too.  Sadly, there is no mention of gelato (that I recall.) But there's Luca, so hey.

    The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

    No gelato...some stale bread probably? And one wild Roman party that turned out really, REALLY creepy?

    Oh, and I wrote this originally and it amuses I'm just going to leave it in here for laughs.
    SURPRISE! Rome is in Italy...and so was ancient Rome.  

    Why am I explaining it is such stupefying detail? Because it was not one of the first books I thought of and I had to stare at it for several second before I remembered that it was in Italy too. 

    I'm not mocking you all. I'm mocking me.

    Caraval by Stephanie Garber

    Ok, so Caraval isn't exactly in Italy...(which is why I put it last) but it was inspired by Venice, which is in Italy.  And...and its Caraval. 

    There is also no gelato...(I think there is one mention of someone selling "ice cream" but I don't remember...Someone with a working mind help me)