Saturday, March 29, 2014

your voice

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When I first began writing for more than the sport of it, I struggled with being content with my voice.  I struggled with more than being content  with my voice, however--I didn't even know my voice!

About a week ago, I had the opportunity of meeting Elizabeth Rose and Bree at a little coffee shop, and one of the topics that came up was that of looking back on our old work.  We were pretty much--all three of us--talking at once and making faces and cringing while clamoring on about past writings and how we rather hated them (and how Jenny and Abigail are so darn good at it).  It was glorious.

It's brought to mind today a bit of a thought for those who are still searching for their writing voice.  I'm not saying in the least that I have my own voice down pat yet, for I don't.  But I do have about a year or so of learning-knowledge and experience up my sleeve, and I think I am getting an elusive grasp of it, so we'll work with that.

Firstly, please accept within yourself that you do not have to sound exactly the other writer next door.  When I first began writing, I wanted to be  Abigail Hartman.  I wanted to have her talent.  I wanted to create something genius.  And time and time again I would pound something out that wasn't quite there (or wasn't even close to there, but we won't go into detail; it mars my elegant speech).  You will never be able to write exactly like The Other Writer Next Door (we'll keep using this term for now).  Yet, even when you think about it, do you really want to write exactly like The Other Writer Next Door... even if you could?  Would you want to be remembered to have written something like so-and-so instead of being remembered for your own beautiful style?

But what is your own style?  This is something I would struggle with.  It's also something very difficult to achieve.  I suppose it's much like searching for a needle in a haystack that doesn't even exist yet.

This is when you... well, you write.  You write whatever comes to mind.  Did you suddenly conjure a ridiculous image while you were washing the dishes?  (Thank you, Ms. Christie, for reminding us of the place best to inspire.)  If so, find your next spare moment and scribble the thought out.  It does not have to be just right.  You are still learning.  And that's okay.

Another thing I would like to point out is that you can--and should--seek inspiration from the Greats and The Other Writer Next Door.  They once started out like yourself.  For example, I know for a fact that Abigail Hartman started writing because of her sister, Jenny (who is a plain word-wizard), and I have a hunch that she once longed intensely to write exactly like her.

Deriving inspiration from the Greats (and The Other Writer Next Door) is sometimes a tricky thing.  You don't wish to snag their voice (which never works properly), nor do you want to walk away with nothing but a still incessant desire to be like them without knowing how.  My advice to you is this: observe them.  Study their words and find out what makes them flow as beautifully as they do.  Read the classics and other thick, cosy books, which will then increase your knowledge almost subconsciously word-wise.  Take care to scour other writing blogs--some may contain valuable advice.

Just write, darlings.  Write like no one is reading ('cause they needn't read it if you don't want them to).  Write and grow.  Read.  Write some more.  Drink in words as if they were they essence of life.  Then write...
and enjoy it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

my mind's musings

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The teenage years are hard.

Decisions are hard.

Life is hard.

But ice cream exists.

Frozen  is good.

And God is always with us, even if we don't feel  him near.

Therefore, life is good.

And it'll be okay.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

history you didn't care about

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If you participated in the scavenger hunt, you would have run across the history quiz I created on Sarah's blog, Of Simple Things.  Though no one took the time or mind-energy to take it (don't worry, can't say I blame you), I thought I may as well post the answers on here...

1. True or false?
Beer was considered a nutritious drink, while water was actually considered unhealthy.

Answer:
True.

2. True or false?
The pastor of the Pilgrims' congregation, John Robinson, stayed behind in England.

Answer:
False.
(He stayed behind in Holland. Yes, I'm the cruel person who adds an almost-trick question.)


3. True or false?
Constance Hopkins was but a child of eleven when she boarded the Mayflower with her family.

Answer:
False.
(She was fourteen years of age.)

4. True or false?
Constance Hopkins was often referred to as 'Constanta' rather than Constance.

Answer:
True. 
(William Bradford often referred to her as 'Constanta', though her real name was Constance.)

5. True or false?
Lummelen was a version of hide-and-seek that the children would play.

Answer:
False.
(Lummelen was a form of Keep Away, or more often referred to now as Monkey in the Middle.)

6. True or false?
The Speedwell leaked three times before they finally left her behind.

Answer:
True.
(It leaked on its short voyage from Holland to England, and it leaked twice again before they finally left her behind.)

7. True or false?
The first Indian to introduce himself to the new settlers was a man named Tisquantum, or more commonly known as Squanto.

Answer:
False.
(Samoset was the first Indian to introduce himself.)

8. True or false?
“Puritan” was a derogatory term in the early 1600s.

Answer:
True.

* * *

(Question One)
Which real-life character do you suspect Hope finds most exasperating in the book?

1. Constance Hopkins
2. Francis Billington
3. Mary Chilton
4. None of the above

Answer:
2. Francis Billington

(Question Two)
Which animal is most often mentioned?

1. A cat
2. A dog
3. A milk cow
4. None of the above

Answer:
4. None of the above

(Question Three)
Which Indian do you think Hope becomes friends with?

1. Squanto
2. Massasoit
3. Samoset
4. None of the above

Answer:
1. Squanto

(Question Four)
What is Hope's mob cap called?

1. A mob cap (duh)
2. A coif
3. A kerchief
4. None of the above

Answer:
2. A coif

(Question Five)
Which real-life adult did Hope interact with the most?

1. Priscilla Mullins
2. Elder Brewster
3. Goodwife Hopkins
4. None of the above

Answer:
3. Goodwife Hopkins

(Question Six)
Which selection of languages is present in the book?

1. Just English
2. English and Dutch
3. Elvish
4. None of the above

Answer:
4. None of the above.
(There are three languages present in Cry of Hope: English, Dutch, and Wampanoag.)

(Question Seven)
What did Hope sleep on while on the Mayflower voyage?

1. A bunk bed
2. A hammock
3. A blanket on the floor
4. None of the above

Answer:
2. A hammock

(Question Eight)
Which real-life child is not mentioned in the book?

1. Constance Robinson
2. Francis Billington
3. Mary Chilton
4. None of the above

Answer:
3. Mary Chilton

And as one last mentioning, you can now add Cry of Hope to your To-Read list on Goodreads. ^.^

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

scavenger hunt winners

Briefly popping in to state the winners of the giveaway!  Are you ready?  Rafflecopter says that . . .

Allison Gerwitz

and

Elizabeth Rose

are the winners!  I may or may not have gotten terribly excited about the latter winner, and then on further investigation (a.k.a. visiting Facebook page) discovered that Allison is one of the fellow reenactors of my dear Em.  All in all, a very exciting end to the scavenger hunt for me!  Though I find it funny that I now understand what people mean when they say that they wish everyone could have won.

Anyhow, congratulations Allison and Lizzy!  You'll receive emails from me very soon. ^.^

Thank you to all the participants.  You made this scavenger hunt so fun, and I hope you stick around to watch the journey of Cry of Hope as it continues it way through the blogging world.

Friday, March 7, 2014

the scavenger hunt

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Today marks a special occasion.  Today is my sweet little book's scavenger hunt.

What is a scavenger hunt, you ask?

This scavenger hunt works like this.  Every blog contains a code.  With each code, you get one entry into the giveaway for an autographed copy of Cry of Hope.  You see, from this blog I will take you to another blog.  From that blog, you will find a link to the next blog.  The next blog will take you to the next, and so on, until you find yourself at this blog again (or whichever blog you started at).  Sound fun?  I hope so!

To kick it off, I'll give you a few fun facts about Cry of Hope, then start you on this scavenger hunt!

:::

Hope had a baby sister named Sarah in the early drafts of the book.

:::

John was fifteen, rather than sixteen, in the very first draft of the book.

:::

Apparently Constance Robinson had blonde hair in the beginning, too.

:::

I still have the very first handwritten draft of the book that I wrote when I was twelve.

:::

There are three different languages in Cry of Hope.

:::

The book's theme song is "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North.

:::

The soundtrack to Dreamer was one of the most-listened-to instrumental playlists that I listened to while writing the later scenes of my book.

:::


Code: Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.

Next blog: Fullness of Joy

have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 6, 2014

faith and trust and pixie-dust

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Greetings.  My name is Emily Chapman.  Shall I tell you a bit about me?

I am . . .

1) A dreamer.

I daydream often.  I plan stories, feel stories, think stories, and write stories.

2) A writer.

This one is rather obvious.  My debut novel, Cry of Hope, released very recently.  Though, by the time you read this, you will probably have discovered that already.

3) A reader.

You probably knew this already too, but it's worth mentioning again.

4) A hobbit.

I'm not sure if you knew this one or not.  I'm a hobbit.  I share the same chin as Frodo.  I'm short (of course).  And don't ask to observe my feet, for I've heard that one already.  I shave, if we must go into details.

5) A sister.

I have four siblings living on earth, one living joyfully in heaven.

6) A daughter.

Both to my loving parents and to my true King.

7) A princess.

I mentioned I was the daughter of a King, didn't I?

8) A dancer.

"Dancing is like dreaming with your feet."

9) An overthinker.

That's one of the curses of my personality.

10) A child at heart.

"All you need is faith, trust, and pixie-dust."

Then you can truly fly.  I believe those words with all of my heart.  I may joke about being a hobbit.  I may tease about thinking Narnia really exists.  But I do not jest when I say I believe those words are true.  With faith in my King, trust in my Savior, and the pixie-dust of my imagination, I can fly.

and it's exhilarating.