my life in books tag

Snatching this from Naomi’s lovely blog, Wonderland Creek.


Find a book for each of your initials.

E – Emma by Jane Austen
J – Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
R – Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
S – The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Count your age along your bookshelf.  What book is it?

Macbeth by William Shakespeare.  Used to be my favorite of the Bard’s plays, but has recently been overturned by Hamlet.

Pick a book set in your country.

There are many to chose from, since I live in Canada and have several of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, but I’ll go with The Blue Castle.  I love it so much.


Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, because it’s a goal of mine to someday visit each of the five D-Day beaches.

Pick a book that is your favorite color.

There’s not many purple books on my shelf, but I’ll go with my copy of Sense & Sensibility (by Jane Austen, of course).  The book’s cover isn’t purple, but the spine is and that counts.

Which book do you have fondest memories of?

My copy of Cloaked (by Rachel Kovaciny) brings back a lot of good memories – reading drafts and giving my thoughts and, of course, my time with her and my time in America in general.


Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Usually, I don’t keep books on my shelf that gave me a difficult time of reading, but I admit that Code Name Verity (by Elizabeth Wein) was a hard, confusing slog the first time I read it.  It’s improved on me, though, so I still have my copy.

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

The Second World War by Antony Beevor is huge and looks amazing and I’m sure I’ll feel very proud, accomplished, and knowledgeable about WWII when I get around to reading it.


This was such fun!  I hereby tag anyone who’s read any of the books mentioned in this tag. 🙂



the marvel heroes movie tag

Remember the Disney Princess Book Tag?  Well, Hamlette had the rather brilliant idea of using the same concept to create her own tag, one focused on movies and that uses Marvel characters as inspiration for the categories.  I love Marvel second only to Disney (aren’t they the same thing now, anyway?), so here are my answers!

Marvel Heroes Movie Tag

Captain America: Name a movie with a “fish out of water” theme.  Enchanted (2007).  Not only does Giselle go from an animated, old-fashioned world to a real-life, modern world, she also changes aspect ratios. (Watch carefully.)  Seeing her navigate New York City with all her naivety and enthusiasm is hilarious and heartwarming.


Thor: Name a movie about learning to use power for the good of others.  Batman Begins (2005).  As we see through flashbacks, Bruce Wayne only cared about himself as a young adult.  But when he comes back from training with R’as al Ghul, he tells Alfred that from now on, he wants to work to make Gotham a better, safer place for everyone.  And the rest of the film is him figuring out just how to do that.


Iron Man: Name a movie about an inventor.  Meet the Robinsons (2007).  Lewis is a gifted, innovative young inventor.  I think Tony Stark would be proud of him.


Incredible Hulk: Name a movie with a main character who has two sides to them.  Minority Report (2002).  By day, John Anderton is the best and brightest rising star in the world of Pre-Crime.  But by night, he’s a drug addict who mourns the abduction of his son and his estrangement from his wife.


Hawkeye: Name a movie that involves archery.  The Hunger Games (2012).  Cliched answer, but archery is such a big part of THG.  It’s the skill that Katniss shows off to the Gamemakers and also the means of destroying the Careers’ supplies.  And she shoots people, too.  Of course.


Black Widow: Name a movie about spies.  Notorious (1946).  Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman is an amazing spy in this movie and does her job very well indeed.


Black Panther: Name a movie about royalty.  The Young Victoria (2009).  Such a rich, textured period drama.  I know a lot of people prefer the new-ish TV series Victoria to this film, but TYV will always take up a special place in my heart.


Vision: Name a movie involving androids or robots. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).  One of my favorites.  Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s also interesting and moving, with some great characters (including Gort, the seven foot tall robot).


Spider-man: Name a movie about teens.  I’m Not Ashamed (2016).  At least, many of the film’s characters are teenagers.


Ant Man: Name a movie about thieves.  Robin Hood (1973).  Well, Robin would call it ‘borrowing’, but much of the film is taken up with creative and daring schemes that invariably leave Prince John that much poorer.


Scarlet Witch: Name a movie with powerful female character.  Wonder Woman (2017).  Diana is both physically and morally powerful.  Love her!


Dr. Strange: Name a movie where a character learns to be a better person.  Cars (2006).  Lightning McQueen’s journey from arrogant jerk to someone who would put the needs of others ahead of his own desires never fails to make me cry.  He grows and changes so much throughout the film, thanks to the residents of Radiator Springs.  And that carries over into Cars 3 as well.


Falcon: Name a movie with a great sidekick.  The LEGO Batman Movie (2017).  While some of my friends (you know who you are!) can’t stand Robin, he fully engages my attention and heart every time, making me cry and laugh.  He’s a pure ray of sunshine, a precious cinnamon roll, and my favorite part of the movie.

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Loki: Name a movie with an antagonist/villain who steals the show.  3:10 to Yuma (1957).  Glenn Ford’s Ben Wade is a-MAZING.  I watch 3:10 to Yuma mainly for him and find new things to notice and appreciate about the character (and Ford’s acting!) every time.


Agent Coulson: Name a movie where an ordinary character faces an extraordinary situation.  Night at the Museum (2006).  Very, very extraordinary.  Larry Daley works as the night guard at the American Museum of Natural History and let’s just say that the job doesn’t go quite as planned.


Peter Quill: Name a movie with a character who is more than they appear to be.  Tomorrowland (2015).  At first, Athena looks like any other little girl, but that appearance is very deceiving.


Gamora: Name a movie with a character who changes allegiances.  High Noon (1952).  Marshall Kane’s wife, Amy, is a Quaker who believes in a non-violent approach to every situation.  But her ideas gradually change until she eventually takes up arms against the men who are targeting her husband.


Drax: Name a movie with a physically powerful character.  Les Misérables (2012).  Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is shown to be very strong in two different scenes – when he picks up the mast/flagpole/beam and then when he lifts the cart off Fauchelevant.  And his considerable strength is what causes Javert to recognize and remember him.

Groot: Name a movie with a character who doesn’t talk much.  Holes (2003).  Zero doesn’t say much, but when he does, everyone takes notice.


Rocket: Name a movie with a talking animal.  The Jungle Book (2016).  I went into this movie with zero expectations and left it wowed by the gorgeous scenery, intriguing characters, and great story.  All the animals talk in here and the voice casting is perfect.

Thanks for creating this tag, Hamlette!  I love it. 🙂  And I’m tagging anyone who’s a fan of Marvel.  So…basically everybody?


the disney princess book tag

Hamlette graciously tagged me with this tag – otherwise, I’d have totally stolen it.  I mean, Disney + books?  Works for me!  And I’m just going to say right now that I tag anyone and everyone reading this post who wants to participate.  Go have lots of fun. 🙂 (After reading my post, that is. *wink*)

1. Snow White – Name your favorite classic

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  There are so many outstanding classic works that I hold dear to my heart, but since GWTW is my second favorite book of all time, I kinda had to pick it.  And it truly is an amazing classic.

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2. Cinderella – Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime

The Scarlet Pimpernel and El Dorado by Baroness Orczy.  I say both of them because when I finished reading TSP for the first time, it was already quite late, but I dove into ED right away because I wanted to stay with the characters and story world longer.  I stayed up ’til past three in the morning, as it turned out.

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3. Aurora – Name your favorite classic romance

Emma by Jane Austen. *swoons*  Emma and Mr. Knightley’s relationship began as friendship, which has always been my ideal.  And the way Emma grows and Mr. Knightley guides her and helps her, all the while falling in love with her…it always makes me happy.

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4. Ariel – Name a book that’s about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.  Okay, first of all, do not get me started on this book, because I will not shut up.  I think it’s about as close to perfection as a middle-grade book can get.  All the characters in here fight for their dreams in one way or another – for the competition, definitely (except Daisy?), but also in their own personal lives.  And the sacrifices made at the end of the book…well, I might just cry.

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5. Belle – Name a book with a smart and independent female character

The Cherokee Trail by Louis L’Amour.  Mary Breydon is one of the very best female protagonists I’ve ever come across.  In the wake of her husband’s death, she travels on to the stagecoach station he had agreed to run and fights off all sorts of unsavoury types as she makes a life and a name for herself on the frontier.  So great.

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6. Jasmine – Name a book with a character who challenged the social conventions of his or her world

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  So many of the characters in this book challenge the conventions and ideas held by Nazi Germany.  The Hubermanns and Liesel hide a Jew in their house after all.  Liesel becomes friends with Max and she and Rudy give bread to starving Jews and their courage is incredibly inspiring.

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7. Pocahontas – Name a book with an ending that was a roller-coaster of emotions

Above All Earthly Powers by Jack Cavanaugh.  Pretty much everyone survives, but Jack Cavanaugh doesn’t wrap everything up with a neat little bow, which always leaves a bittersweet ache in my heart.  It was one of the first books I read where not all the ‘good’ characters are totally happy by the end and that’s stuck with me.

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8. Mulan – Name a book with a kick-youknowwhat female character

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.  Tally Youngblood is a great female character.  She doesn’t have all the answers, but she’s willing to fight to find them.  And she’s a great ‘action girl’.  However, it wasn’t until I read Extras that I realized just how amazing, ferocious, and wonderful she is – the main character in that book was horrid, so she provided a nice foil for Tally.

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9. Tiana – Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer.  And all the other books in the series.  Enola works hard to solve her cases and she is very, very much self-made, though probably not in the way the tag creator meant.

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10. Rapunzel – Name a book that features an artist

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  In the second book in the trilogy, Peeta really comes into his own as an artist, since being a victor means that he has to have a talent…and that talent is painting.  From what Collins describes, Peeta’s paintings are truly breathtaking (in a slightly scary way) and he also taps into his artist’s side to comfort the dying morphling.

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11. Merida – Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship

Eve’s Daughters by Lynn Austin.  My sister and I are kinda obsessed with this book, and as the title hints, it includes several good (and not so good) mother-daughter relationships.  My favorite is the one between Emma and Grace.  Emma loves her daughter with everything in her and goes to great lengths to make sure that Grace has a sheltered, happy childhood even in the middle of the Great Depression.

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12. Anna and Elsa – Name a book that features a great relationship between sibling

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  Just thinking about Darry, Soda, and Ponyboy makes me grin.  They might not always agree – what siblings do? – but they’re always, always there for each other.  I feel like Hinton did a very good job of portraying accurately the complicated relationships that siblings can have with each other.  And I love her image of Soda being the person pulling the whole family together. ❤

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13. Moana – Name a book where the main character travels a great distance (note: Moana was not included in the original tag.  This category is my own addition.)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  From the earth to the stars and all that. 🙂

What did you think of my answers?  If you do the tag on your blog, please share a link in the comments – I’d love it read your answers!


the finally fall book tag

Stolen Borrowed from Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice. 🙂

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting.

Nick of Time by Ted Bell.  It’s been over four years since I last read it, but I still remember the cramped submarine, the English beach, the dim tavern.  Vivid, indeed.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, hands down.  Not all people would consider it beautifully written, just weirdly written, but it is gorgeous.  Unexpected and unique and gorgeous.  It deals with death and WWII and the Holocaust and definitely grief as well.  But in between the tears, there are flickers of hope.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill opened my eyes to the fabulous, tumultuous lives of the Kennedy family and also sparked my interest in them, an interest that continues to this day.

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I am going to copy Hamlette and say the Curtis brothers + their friends from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.  Though I would never write a self-insert fanfiction with myself as the Curtis’ sister, I would love to be part of their family.  My activities would mostly involve eating wayyyy too much chocolate cake and hugging Johnny a lot.

5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

Alas, all my books are packed up in preparation for our move to Edmonton.  I would love to do this, though. 😦  Maybe once we’ve moved, I’ll take a picture and come back to this post to add it.  In fact, I will do that.  Promise.

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh.  A superb WWII novel in which a bride tells her bridesmaid (or is it her maid of honour?) all about her adventures and trials in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

I don’t read creepy books.  Macbeth was quite dark, though, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner did scare me a little.

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

The Catch Colt by Mary O’Hara or The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.  The first is a short, darling, happy western.  The second is a middle-grade novel that will make you crave chocolate pizza.  And I just found out there’s a sequel, which makes me so happy.

9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

Emma by Jane Austen.  It’s been a while.  And The Outsiders.

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

Eh.  I read whenever, wherever, dressed in whatever.  I do have a ginormous red hoodie, inherited from my dad, that I love to curl up in. ❤

If the last book you read had an awesome character in it, you are hereby tagged!


the four fictional characters tag

Hamlette tagged me with this tag ages ago and I’ve been stewing about the characters I’d choose, because they’re supposed to be fictional characters that you relate to and I don’t often think in those terms.  I hate, love, crush on, cry for, and cheer on fictional characters, but I don’t relate to all that many (hence, how long it’s taken me to get around to writing this).

Rules: (’cause every tag’s got to have some)

1. Link back to the person who tagged you. 
2. List four fictional characters (use pictures if you want! They can be from movies or books) and, if you like, describe what they’re like and why you believe they relate to you. 
3. Tag a few other blog people! Three, or four, or even twenty. 🙂 Share the fun! Be sure to let them know you’ve tagged them!


1. Darrel Shaynne Curtis (‘Darry’) from The Outsiders (book by S.E. Hinton and 1983 movie)

The first time I read The Outsiders, Darry was my favorite character.  I never believed Ponyboy when he complained about how awful Darry was and the first time I cried while reading the book was when Darry and Ponyboy reconciled at the hospital.  Like Darry, I’m the oldest sibling, and that comes with a lot of responsibility.  There are times when I can’t just do whatever I want to do because my younger siblings take up my time and attention.  I identify strongly with Darry for several reasons, but Oldest Sibling-ness is the biggest.

2. Felicity King from the Road to Avonlea TV series

Another oldest sibling.  But besides that, I find that Felicity’s character (and character growth) throughout the RtA series mirrors my own life, to some extent.  Like, how she was so, so bossy in the first couple of seasons (she’s bossy for most of the show, actually, but in the first two or three seasons, it’s really bad) and my family will all tell you that I was super bossy when I was younger (and, like Felicity, I still am, but hopefully not as much as I was).  Now, admittedly, I wouldn’t have done some of the things she did (refuse Gus Pike more than once?!), but I see lots of similarities between Felicity and me – some good, some bad.  Overall, she’s a great character and I’m happy to be compared to her.

3. Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh short stories/movies

Just…yes.  Totally, one hundred percent yes.

4. John Watson from BBC’s Sherlock

My siblings and I only recently started watching Sherlock (on VidAngel), but I’m already firmly convinced that John is my fictional counterpart.  We’re both bloggers, for a start.  There’s been more than a few times where I’ve felt like an idiot in comparison with the brilliant genius of my younger sister (she’s honestly smarter than me, people), but I don’t let it bother me for more than minute because we’re bffs.  And then there’s the whole thing with everyone believing Sherlock kidnapped those children in ‘The Riechenbach Fall’…except John.  You can ask my sister – I have this thing about innocent people who are wrongly accused (THE FUGITIVE); it gets under my skin, and NOT in a good way, and if I were in John’s place, I’d stick by Sherlock and never believe that he was guilty because he isn’t (sorry, but I just watched the ep last night and I feel very strongly about this).  I was so proud of John for never giving in to all the lies (I *cough* more than half expected him to eventually, because that’s the way books and and movies and TV shows have conditioned me).  Plus, neither of us take sugar in our coffee.

So, there you have it.  Four fictional characters that remind me of me.  And I’m going to tag…

Ashley of inklingspress
Naomi of Wonderland Creek
Jessica Prescott (to do in the comments?)

Only participate if you want to! 🙂


the robin hood week tag

As many of you probably know, there’s a Robin Hood blog week going on right now, hosted by Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell….  So far, the event has been lots of fun – fun that, I’m sure, will continue throughout the week.  In honor of the occasion, Olivia has created a great tag, and here are my answers.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian

~What was your first exposure to Robin Hood?

That is so difficult to pin-point.  For movies/TV shows, it was either Disney’s animated adaption (#nostalgia), the 1938 version, or a super old black & white TV series.  For books/stories, it could’ve been the Great Illustrated Classics version, the Robin Hood story in my grandma’s Disney anthology (based on the Richard Todd film), or the classic Howard Pyle stories.

~On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a fan are you?

Seven or eight.  Surprisingly enough, I’m not a huge fan of Robin himself (in any adaption/re-telling except Disney’s animated), but there are lots of things about pretty much any version that I love.  Mainly, the other characters and historical coolness and all the different legends.

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~How many versions and spin-offs of the legend have you experienced?

MAN.  Do you know how hard that is to answer?  Let me see…

  • 1938 Errol Flynn movie
  • 1973 Disney animated movie
  • 1952 Richard Todd movie
  • BBC TV series
  • A few episodes of the 1950’s TV show
  • 2012 Tom and Jerry Robin Hood movie (this one is rather awful, but some of the songs are good and Robin Hood is voiced by Jamie Bamber who also plays my dear Archie on Horatio Hornblower, so there are some good points about it)
  • Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Paul Creswick’s The Adventures of Robin Hood: An English Legend
  • Great Illustrated Classics The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (adapted from Howard Pyle)

That’s all I can remember for right now.  I’ve read/seen some versions of Ivanhoe as well, but I don’t remember Robin Hood in any of those.


~What is your favorite version of Robin Hood (can be book, movie, TV series, anything)?

Robin Hood (1973) with BBC’s modern TV series and Paul Creswick’s novel as second and third favorites.

~Are you one of the lads? (Meaning, have you watched/are you a fan of the BBC show?)

Of course.


~Who is your favorite Merry Man?

Depends on what adaption I’m watching. (I don’t really care much in the book versions I’ve read.)  In the 1938 movie it’s Will or Littlejohn.  In the 1973 movie it’s Robin Hood himself.  And in the BBC series, it’s Will in the first two seasons and Allan in the third.


~Do you have a favorite portrayal of Lady Marian?

Another tough one!  Olivia de Haviland is Maid Marian, in my opinion, but Lucy Griffiths’ portrayal is one of my favorites as well.  And in Disney’s animated film, Marian is such a sweet, gentle lady…it’s very difficult to decide.  I think Olivia de Haviland wins, however.  She is radiantly perfect as Robin’s lady love.


~Do you have any interest in or aptitude at archery?

No and no.  However…

Isn’t exactly true for me, of course, but the point still stands.

~Fact or fiction — which do you think?

I’m going to go with something along the lines of what my British Literature textbook said: that there were probably a bunch of guys who did similar things to what the legendary Robin Hood did and, sure, there may have been a few songs written about them, but I think it’s mostly just a bunch of stories that sprang from people’s imaginations.


~Do you think Robin Hood has been “done to death,” or are there still new twists that can be found?

I don’t know how many new twists there are (I do dearly want to watch ‘Robin and the 7 Hoods’, though!) but I’m not tired of the Robin Hood story yet. (There’s tons of adaptions and re-tellings waiting for me to discover anyway.)  And even if every movie and book and and novel followed the same legends every time, there would always be new actors and actresses, new scriptwriters, and new writing styles.  I don’t think the classic stories and characters will ever truly grow old.

Thanks for the tag (and the blog week), Olivia!  I’m lovin’ it. 🙂



the writer’s tag

I know I just did a tag, but…whatever.  Hamlette tagged me and here are my answers.

1. What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

While I’ve flitted around from genre to genre over the years (ranging from historical fiction to dystopia to fanfiction) I’ve come to settle into westerns.  Louis L’Amour’s stories have inspired me, as have so many of the western films that I love.  Westerns are my happy place, my sweet spot, and I love writing them.

Styles?  I don’t really know.  Sometimes I tend to copy-cat whatever author I’ve read most recently – consciously or unconsciously – especially ones with a strong voice, like Suzanne Collins.  Obviously, that’s a problem.  I can’t really define my writing style/voice/whatever, but that’ll probably come in time.

Topics, topics, topics…I have this weird fascination with the idea of someone being thought a traitor but actually isn’t, or someone who is, in fact, a traitor, but then changes their ways.  Is that an actual topic?  I’ve written a couple of things centered around that, but mostly the stuff I write is all over the place.


2. How long have you been writing?

I don’t know exactly how long, but it’s been several years.  The big thing that pushed me into writing was when I read Northanger Abbey in my pre- to early teens.  I became obsessed with all things Jane Austen + Regency, so I started writing my own Regency novellas (they. were. wretched.) and then it branched out from there.  But even before then, I’d write stories.

3. Why do you write?

1) God has given me my ability to write (however small that ability is) and I want to use that talent as best I can to bring honor to His name.  So that when people compliment my writing I can turn it all back to Him.

2) It’s just plain awesomeness.


4. When is the best time to write?

For me, personally?  When I write, it’s usually sometime in the mid- to late-morning.  My brain’s not trying to wake up anymore and it’s not crammed full of things I’ve done during the day either.  Though writing in the evening has a certain charm about it as well.

5. Parts of writing you love vs. parts you hate.

I love thinking.  Thinking about how the plot could fit together, thinking of crackling, witty dialogue and lovely, brave characters who are wounded in some way, at some time, but still able to do What Needs To Be Done.  I love all that.  And I love listening to cool beans music as I write.

What I hate is actually sitting down and writing and realizing that all those plot twists and dialogue bits and brilliant characterization has flown from my head and all that’s left is the wreck of whatever I tried to write yesterday. (Okay, it’s not that bad.  But sometimes it’s pretty close.)  I also dislike writing dialogue; I feel like I can never get it to sound natural.


6. How do you overcome writer’s block?

Ignore it and hope it goes away?  Usually, I pray.  Then I switch back and forth between the two major projects I’ve got going right now (more about those in a minute) or I write some fanfiction.  Eventually, it all works out.

7. Are you working on something at the moment?

Yup.  Well, I’m not actively working on it at this very moment and I haven’t written anything in a few days, but I’ve got some things in progress: two western novels – Reese and The Bounty Hunter – and then a spot of 3:10 to Yuma fanfiction.  I literally have no idea where I’m going with the fic ’cause the movie wrapped up so neatly, but I WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH THESE CHARACTERS. (With *cough* one character in *cough* particular.)

8. Writing goals this year?

Write every day.  Seems unreachable, but I haven’t been trying hard enough.

you bet!:

Feel free to snag this tag if you want to.  It’s open to anyone, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂