Sunday, April 12, 2015

adventures in europe

Yes, dearest readers, I had spent some time gallivanting around a small portion of Europe! Although as lovely as Europe was, it was really cold and cloudy most of the time, which, I think, took away from the beauty a bit as a lot of the time I caught myself wishing to be at a warm beach. Our bones were made for the sunny beach, not the winter's biting winds.
Also, and I mean this in the best way possible, my parents were more interested in churches and architecture than the other three who tagged along, but we had a very nice time nonetheless. But I think next time I could survive crowds just to go in the summertime, and eat more gelato.

First off, we had to fly up to Maryland and spend a night before catching our flight to Germany, where we would meet our sister-in-law and her two boys. So we hopped on a train and spent a day in Washington, D.C., and looked around a few museums.

We arrived in Baumholder, Germany safe and sound. The day after we arrived, we went down to a town called Heidelburg for the afternoon with the sister-in-law.
 Next after Baumholder was the real destination: Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My dad was teaching at a small seminary there for only a day, but we got there earlier so we could run around Amsterdam (which was the coldest out of all the places we went!). There were people from all over at the seminary- New Zealand, Philadelphia, to name a few. 
 I didn't take any pictures in Amsterdam (so shoot me. I actually didn't take many pictures at all while in Europe...shameful...) so we'll move on to our next stop.

Prague, Czech Republic. I think this was my favorite place. Every night we would go to the Old Town Square and get chocolate crepes and a pastry called trdelnik (pronounced tra-del-nik), which was covered in cinnamon and baked over hot coals.
During the day, we wandered around the rest of Prague and explored whatever caught our fancy.
 Then we flew back to Germany to spend our last days with our brother,  who had just come back from a 9 month tour in  Kuwait. Our sister-in-law was absolutely glowing when we came back.
 And then, onward to the States! We had spent a lovely time in Europe, but were exceedingly happy to be going back to the sunshine and heat. I spent my last few moments spending crowns on coke, partly because crowns look super cool and sound pretty cool.
 We had to stop in Charleston, SC before continuing all the way home in a rental car, but we didn't mind. The weather was beautiful and Charleston was very pretty.

And finally, we were home. Time spent away from the States meant that I didn't get as much access to the internet, which gave me plenty of time to read a book called 'Unbroken' (which is absolutely amazing, I totally recommend it. Check it out) and plenty of time to think.

I missed all y'all and your lovely comments, and I'm happy to be back in sunshine! (and hey, since I've been back, I've posted twice! That has to be some kind of record for the past two months...)

Savo'lass a lalaith,

-The Writer

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dear Readers,
     While I have been absent, I've had a nice break from a lot of distractions. And when I came back from my nice break (um, I visited Europe...there was that...eep!) my Writer sense came back as well. It was never that I didn't like to write, but I think I was getting tired of writing and had nothing to write either. This may explain my lack of posting...ahem...but I've been missing my blogger friends, and while again, I can never promise that I'll come back and post, I noticed that I hadn't checked my blog in a while, and when I did I had completely forgotten about my last post.
     Well, some boring news, I am not a writer vlogger. But the response I received was very nice. Y'all supported my decision (even though it didn't wind up happening) and even suggested a few things even though y'all weren't too excited about it ;p and I never thanked you!
     So, I have to reply to Miss Meredith: Yes, one time I did mention a villain interview! I completely forgot about that as well! In fact, I do have it saved to my drafts, ready for my editing and publishing. What a very nice feeling to be back, even if only temporarily.

     What I want most is for me not to be afraid to post random little snippets of my work- that is, ones I don't mind sharing. I just have to get around to sharing them and not minding too much if people don't read anyway. I saw a nice thing somewhere where people just requested a story by giving an idea and the writer supplied them with a nice little short story, from the original idea of course. And I was going to say something else but I can't remember what it was and that is very annoying. I am annoyed. And also late for an event.

I must bid you farewell until further notice.
Savo'lass a lalaith,

     The Writer

Saturday, January 10, 2015

being a blogger is hard

Being a blogger is actually hard for me now. I don't take the time to write blog posts anymore (as you very well know) and I have a hard time actually coming up with things to write about, which makes it harder.
     I'm not here to make anymore promises. Those just don't work and all it does is maybe give me an inkling of hope that I'll blog more, when in reality I won't.
     However, I've been thinking about starting a vlog.
     "Hey, isn't that the same thing? You would still be blogging."
     True. But, it is blogging with a video, and for me, a lot more appealing. I could be anything in a video, whereas a blog, I feel like I need to stick to one subject. Even my Sassy Sister blog is kinda dead now.
     So I'm thinking of deleting some blogs (but not this one) and becoming a vlogger.
     If you would be a dear, comment below if you think I should switch to vlogs, and, if you would be even dearer, give me a few suggestions on a couple topics. Even dearest? Comment anything you want to hear. Ask me questions, ask my opinion, ask me to give a review on anything...just ask. Or tell me.
     I'm a little nervous, but I think you'll hear from me a lot more, both as a writer and a person. (or are those the same things? nevermind...)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Lost Queen

Aha, I have a very good excuse for not posting. But, what are excuses but a waste of time? Therefore, I shall finally post the very last story of our Short Story Contest I held forever ago.
(oh and yes, I promised forever ago an interview...well, it's been conducted! Coming soon...)

The Lost Queen
By Lydia Gilmore

Note from blogger: I've split the story into two parts. Enjoy!
Astir woke with a start. She had her knife in her hand but did not move a muscle. For the past month she had felt tense and thought it would be a good thing to sleep with her knife ready. There was no noise, not even from the birds. Her eyes darted to the window on the far wall; she saw light quickly dart, she almost missed it. She got up and walked to the door. Quietly she put one hand on the door and listened out. Then she heard something, it wasn’t quite loud enough though. She pressed her ear closer to the door to better hear. There it was again,
“Leave!” She could hear it better that time, but what did it mean? Who said it?
“LEAVE!” This time it was a command that seemed to reach inside her and pull.  She jumped with a start and quickly put on her things and grabbed a few items that she knew she would need on the journey.
“But where do I go?” She had no time to ponder on this question for again came the command came, “LEAVE!” As she opened the door the cold air took the breath out of her and from behind her she heard something else,
“And never return!” It was faint but she still heard it.
         As she reached the woods line she stopped and turned to find out just what it was that she was running from. It wasn’t long before she found out. Just moments after she stopped, her little hut burst into flames. Again she heard someone tell her to ‘Leave’. She darted and began running through the woods when she suddenly heard footfalls quickly gaining on her. She quickened her pace but it was no use. As soon as she felt someone reach their hand on her shoulder she screamed, but that scream was cut short. A hand was laid over her mouth and the man whispered in her ear,
“Sshh, it’s me.” It was a gentle voice and it did sound as if he were nice. There was something familiar about that voice. Yes, it was Shalum, her brother; at least he was like a brother to her. She relaxed and nodded that she would be quiet. Gently he let go and took her hand.
“Follow me, we are not safe here.” He said.
      Shalum had been her friend for as long as she could remember. Right now he was twenty five summers old.
    Quietly the two picked their way through the woods. As they did, Astir could smell the smoke and still see the last bit of fire glowing from her burnt hut.
Who had done this to her and why had they done this to her? She could not figure it out. All she knew was that someone was after her for some reason and that Shalum knew about it. They walked on for hours.
       After a while, Astir realized that the sky was beginning to get light and apparently so did Shalum, for he began to walk faster then finally started running. Astir took bigger strides to keep up with him. After a few minutes Astir realized that they were not running alone. It was now light enough for her to see what the stranger looked like. Surprisingly it was a Tall Dwarf, the same as herself and Shalum. Tall dwarves can grow up to five feet tall and their hair is always black. All the different kinds of dwarves look and have different ways of doing things and dressing. Astir was a bit shocked to see a Tall Dwarf because the only ones she had seen were herself and Shalum.
      They came to a tree and stopped. Shalum let go of her hand.
“Astir, I have to go now, but follow this man, he will protect you. I’ll see you later, alright.” Shalum whispered. “Good bye.” He gave her a hug and kissed her forehead, and then he was gone.
       The stranger took her hand, walked up to the tree, and lifted something up off the ground. Astir jumped when she heard a loud noise and a part of the tree swung open to reveal a circular stairway going straight down for many feet. Quickly they entered and the stranger shut the door quickly and quietly behind them leaving them in total darkness. Astir stood perfectly still so that she would not fall down the stairs. There was a ruff scraping sound, like metal against metal, then a flicker of light. The stranger still said nothing but took her hand again and led the way down, at a quick walk.
        About fifty feet, steps down they came to a tunnel. Although the light shone far into the tunnel, it seemed as if it would go on forever. Astir could not speak for the silence was heavy and seemed to weigh down on her, making it hard to even think about speaking. On and on they walked for what seemed like hours. Astir gave up trying to keep up with how long they had been walking and what time it might be.
     Her head began to droop and her feet to drag. Then the heavy silence was broken by the stranger, 
“It would be best if you walked faster and hold your head up. I’m sorry, but we haven’t got any time to stop for a rest, my lady.”
    “My lady? What does that mean? I guess I’m just not used to being treated like a lady. Either that or I’m not used to being around gentlemen, if he is a gentleman. All those rude dwarves at the post should learn a few rules from him! Well, I guess that I don’t act like a lady that much anyway. I work just as hard as they do. Or maybe more, I am bigger than all of them.” Astir spoke to herself. The very next thought was about his voice.  His voice was deep and ruff but it was not a mean voice. It sounded compassionate, and friendly. “Friendly, friend? Is he MY friend? I wonder what his name is.”
   Astir mustered up all her courage and broke the heavy silence yet again.
“Please sir, what is your name?” She tried to make her voice low, but it seemed loud in her ears. Her mouth was dry.
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye then replied.
“Truint, Truint Casting.” He replied. There was a long silence then Astir spoke up again, this time with more ease.
“Do, do you know what my name is?”
    Truint walked on for a few minutes, as if pondering some deep, deep thought. Then he replied. Your name is Princess Athena Montanez, (soon to be Queen) and,” here he paused for a moment with that same thoughtful look on his face then continued. “You are sixteen summers old, my lady.”
Astir, or Princess Athena, stopped in her tracks and stared at the dwarf in front of her, he was barely taller than herself and yet he seemed a lot taller. Everything began to spin, her eyes drooped, and she could feel her knees wanting to give out from under her. She closed her eyes.
   She quickly opened her eyes when she felt the dwarf’s strong arm reach around her and walk on with her. They walked on in silence for some time before Athena quietly said what was on her mind.
“I’m a princess.” 
“Yes,” was the reply.
“And I am sixteen summers old”
“Yes princess, did you not know that much about yourself? I know that you did not know your title, but had thought that your watch would have told you your age at least.”
“Watch never told me. Wait, how did you know about Watch?”
“My lady I think it would be best if we waited to finish discussing this when we arrive at the Main. It seems to be too much for you to discuss on the way. Please gather your thoughts and we will discuss it more when we get to the Main.”
“Gather my thoughts? I’d say you just scattered them, and shattered them! What am I supposed to think? I won’t have any problems with the questions but how am I supposed to Think when I don’t even know who I….”
“My Lady,” his voice was stern. “I know that all this is a lot of change for such a short notice, but we haven’t time to take it slow. You must try to control your feelings and words right now. It would be best if you were silent for now and keep your mind from running off in a million directions. Keep focused on the future not the past. Your help is greatly needed, and you must be strong and prepared for whatever comes.”
      Athena was quite, which is what Truint wanted. She was able to walk without his support now and he removed his arm from her side. As they walked on in the quiet, Athena’s head began to pound as she thought more and more about the new discovery, Princess Athena Montanez. .
“I’m a Princess. I’m a Princess.” Athena spoke to herself. “What does a princess do? In my case what role do I play? Am I just the daughter of a great King, or do I rein over some rich country or kingdom? Do I sit in a chair and tell people what to do, or do I go out among the people and mingle among them? Am I gentle or firm, or both?” More and more questions poured into her head and kept her awake.
       As she was trying to figure out what she, as a Princess, was supposed to do Truint spoke suddenly and startled her.
“We are here my Lady.”
        Athena jumped.
“My apologies, I did not mean to startle you. Follow me.”
      Athena watched as her guide opened a door by a hidden latch. Sounds of laughter died away as Truint opened the door. Quietly the stone door swung open and Truint stood in the doorway, blocking her from seeing what was in the center of the room.  Athena listened as one of the men inside spoke up.
“Castings!” by the sound of his voice, he was surprised.  There was a long pause but then the same voice spoke again, in a happier tone, “Where have you been my good friend? You have kept us waiting! We waited for you as long as we dared to feast without you, but the food was getting cold!” It was a deep merry voice that had spoken.
“I apologize for keeping you waiting, but something has come up that must be dealt with, immediately!” Truint said.
“Must we do it now on such an occasion?” asked the voice.
 “Now,” Replied Truint.
“Very well, you are in command.” The man said.
          Truint turned and motioned for Athena to move back. She did so and he hurried her across the tunnel to a door just opposite. Truint motioned her to one of the chairs in the corner of the room and Athena sank down into the chair. It was a hard wooden chair but it felt good for her to finally be able to sit down after many hours of walking and running. She felt the weariness more now that she was sitting than when she was walking.
         The other dwarf came in Athena looked up at his face, it was a kind smiling face. It made her smile.
“I think I’ll like him.” Athena decided.
    “Now then, what is so confounded important that you can’t wait for an hour or so?” Even if Athena had her eyes closed she could tell from his voice that he was smiling and happy, despite the unhappy interruption he just had.
“I want you to know Rince that you are one of my most loyal friends and I trust you completely.” Truint said.
“And I am honored to serve you,” Rince replied, for that was his name.                                                         “It is because of that loyalty, that I confide in you and tell you secrets that I tell no one else. I am about to tell you one of the only things that I hide from you now, but first you must give me your word that you will speak of this no more after we leave this room, unless I allow it.”
“I pledge you my word and any other service that you may require of me.”
“Very good, I will proceed then. I presume that you have heard of the lost princess, and that she would be ruling if she was still with us?” Here Athena listened more intently.
“Yes, most everyone knows about the tragic death of the king and the disappearance of the little princess, but no one seems to know much about how the princess disappeared. Most think that she died and her burial was not told of.”
“Well, she isn’t dead. Princess Athena Montanez is her name. During the Battle of Annex, the king was hit by an arrow and it was I who carried him off the battle field. He gave me special instructions about his daughter, for it was his only child, I was to make her disappear without a trace of a trail. He had his suspicions that it was his own brother who was fighting against him though he was not even in the war. His brother had been showing signs of jealousy and hatred towards the king for some time. The king knew that once he had died, his brother would soon be after his only child and heir to the throne. Though she was a babe, he would not hesitate to kill her for the throne. If our beloved Queen had yet lived, he would most likely kill her as well.
      “I was to find a most loyal servant of the king that could take care of her without anyone knowing who she was. The king took care of a Shalum, whom you know, and he was the son of his best friend. The boy’s parents had died and he could not bear to leave the boy alone, so he had me send him along with the princess when he was nine summers old.  I had accomplished this first task. When Shalum was sixteen he took over things with the better advantage of being outside of the castle. The second task, which I could not carry out till now is this; when the princess was old enough to take the throne, that I was to announce that the Kings own daughter was alive and that she was old enough to take the throne as rightful heir. The people of our kingdom loved the king dearly and would be very willing to see the lady as rightful heir. So, I say all this to say that I need your help to put her on the throne. Am I clear so far?”
“Mostly.  King Juan (our late king’s brother, and enemy, now our king) plotted to kill King Rigid (our late king) and succeeded. He planned on killing his own niece for the throne. King Rigid, planned ahead for his daughter’s safety, and sent her to be a common dwarf among her own people, till she was old enough to take over the throne. And when that time came, or rather has come, you and Shalum were left up to the job of putting her back on the throne?”
“But where is the lady?”
“Rince, my most trusted friend, I introduce to you Princess Athena Montanez.”
    Here, Truint moved to the side, revealing Athena. She did not really know what to do, but simply stand.
“My lady, it is a great honor to meet you. I am willing to be ever at your side and do your biding.” Rince went down on one knee and kissed her hand, then looked up at her.
     Athena was still very confused. What should she say, what should she do? There was an awkward pause then Athena said the only thing that she could think to say.
“Thank you.”
    Rince stood. Athena could feel the effects of the day’s journey come up on her quickly and the shock of who she really was, a princess. Her legs began to give out. Try as she might, she could not keep them under her. She crumpled and Rince caught her. She remembered no more that night.
        When she awoke that morning, she found herself on a bed in a room lighted by a small candle in one corner. She sat for a moment thinking back trying to remember, and then she did.
 She was a princess.
        She had no time to think further, for just then there was a knock at the door.
“Who’s there?” She said.
“It’s me princess, Truint.”
“Come in.”
    Truint walked half way into the room and bowed.
“Princess, I hope that you slept well?”
“Yes thank you.”
“I have talked with Rince and we have formed a plan. We would have discussed them with you, but you needed rest. We have a plan, but for it to work we will have to leave now and explain things to you on the way. Do you approve?”
“I- I guess so.”
“I will wait fir you outside of your room then.”
     Athena sat for a moment, and then finally remembering that she needed to hurry, she quickly found her satchel and put on some fresh clothes, then headed out the door.
     Truint was waiting as he said he would. Rince stood a few yards away with a lantern in each hand. He handed one to Truint then bowed to Athena.
“If you’ll just follow me Princess,” Rince said.
       As they walked Truint told her the plans they had for her. It was really quite simple. All they had to do was wait for Shalum to tell them what to do. But there were other details to be told of, such as her protection, and he told her part of what Shalum had planned. Right now, they were heading to a room at the end of the tunnel where they would wait for orders from Shalum.
 “When shall we reach the main entrance?” Athena asked.
“We will be there in about two hour’s time.” Truint replied.
      Athena walked on and thought on all that had happened and was going to happen. All that time that she lived in the her little hut , in the little village, and working at the post hauling stone, wood, water, and all manner of other things she could have been living the life of a royal, in the castle. And there was always three people looking out for her, her watch, who mainly just took care of her, Truint, who took orders young Shalum. Shalum was the third person. He was the son of the king’s best friend, the friend that gave his life serving his king.
“Would Shalum do the same serving me?” She asked herself. “Oh, I hope he isn’t in any danger.”
     “You will be sleeping in there.” Rince said, motioning to a door on the far wall of room. “Are you hungry?”
“Yes, very!” She said.  
“You’ll find bread, cheese, butter, and fruit in the cabinet over there.” Rince said.
    Truint pocked his head in and said, “Rince, come out here.”
“We’ll be back ma’am, will you be fine?” Rince asked.
“Yes, I’ll be fine,” she said.
      After Rince went out and shut the door she listened for a moment. All was quiet until a little creak, like a door opening, and then shutting. Athena shuddered. They had gone out of the room, perhaps outside and she was left sitting right here, under the castle perhaps, alone. She decided to get her mind off of it and found some food to eat.
      Exhausted from the days walk, she sat down to wait for them.
   ‘Creak- creak.’ There it was again. They were coming back, finally. Now she wouldn’t be alone. The door opened and Truint and Rince came in, then a third person came in. She stared hard at him for a moment then realized who it was.
“Shalum!” She jumped up and ran to him.
“Hello Princess.” He said. “How are you? I hope these two men have taken care of you.”
“I’m fine, and yes, you have all taken very good care of me. Shalum, I never realized that you were really looking out for me in the way that you are. All of you are putting your lives at stake for me. Thank you so much and more! If I am ever queen I will repay you!”
“Athena, right now you are the queen, and we three, and many more on the way are here to make sure that the entire dwarven kingdom knows that you are the queen, and that you are given the throne as it should be. We do it not only for you, but also for your father, the late king. It is an honour to do a service for both of you. We will protect you with our lives.”
      A tear rolled down her cheek, then another. Shalum whipped them away then said, “And all we ask of you, is to let us do this for you, and for you to be strong. Once the people know that you are still alive, they will be counting on you to lead them, just like your father did. They loved him, and will love you too, but you must be strong.”
    Athena smiled at him, dried her tears then said, “I will Shalum, I’ll try my best.”
“Thank you,” he said.
“How would you like some food? Are you hungry?” Athena asked.
“I’d like to take some on the way, I cannot stay though. I haven’t finished my previous task yet.”
“Oh, ok.”
     Athena put some of the food in a napkin she found and filled his jug with tart cider.
“When will we see you again?” Athena asked.
“Soon, very soon princess. Truint will tell you what you have to do, just don’t be afraid. I go to tell the people about a queen, a queen all thought was dead. The more people I tell, the more people that stand with you, the safer you will be. That is why I must go. Good-bye my princess.” And with that he was gone.
     “Princess. He always called me that, but I never knew that he really meant it,” she said to herself. She sat back down at the table with Truint and Rince as they ate.
“Well, what are the plans?” Athena asked.
“I must take the first watch. We should be safe, but just in case, I am going to stand guard. Rince will tell you the plans.” Truint said this as he walked out of the door.
“Well, there isn’t a point-by-point plan, but this is what the plan is. Whenever Shalum has finished his tasks he will come and get us. From there, we will do what he says.” Rince said.
“Do you think that all of this is going to work out?”
“Shalum may seem like a quiet man on the outside, but inside he is a cunning genius who’s fast as a squirrel,” Rince chuckled a little.  
“You sound confident.”
“Then I sound exactly the way I feel. I have known Shalum, and he has always had the upper hand on everyone and everything.”
   Athena sat in her chair quietly for a few moments.
 “Well, I think I’ll turn in. Good night Rince. And thank you for all that you have done.”
“I have done nothing.”
“No, you have done much, and I am very grateful.”
“As you wish your highness, good night.”
 “Good night.” 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September End

I can't really believe that the last time I posted was back in May... I'm a horrible person, guys. I make all these promises to post and then I don't. I don't really have any excuses, unless Netflixing counts?
I haven't really been on social media all that much, so it's not just blogger that I've been absent from, but I really think I'm coming back. for real. so...

There's a contest going on at Rooglewood Press.


Are any of y'all entering in it? I'm trying, and I feel like I have a really cool concept going on, but I haven't hit any writing sprees, so it hasn't gotten very far and I'm not sure I'll finish it. But, I am excited to read everyone else's! Beauty and the Beast is a favorite of mine.
     If you're entering in it, I'd love to hear what genre it is, if you don't mind telling! (and the reason I say that last bit is because I don't really want to give out mine...)

I have yet to read the fanfiction over at Tales of Goldstone Wood, even though I promised my friend I would. The titles are pulling me in (example: The Delicate Matter of Murder; seriously, doesn't that peak your curiosity even a little bit?) so I probably will get to them over the weekend.

I'm re-reading Lord of the Rings. The last time I read them was almost four years ago, so I figured I should re-read them when I'll appreciate and understand them more (I mean, I only read them the first time because they wouldn't let me watch the movies until I read the books first).

And in a couple days, I'm going to be interviewing a villain. Really, I am. I'm really coming back. No, I'm not trying to convince myself. Sort of.

Anyway, that's all my interesting "writer news". What's yours, my fellow writers and readers?

Savo'lass a lalaith,

-The Writer