A Very Humbled Gal Got a VIBA!

What is this VIBA, you ask? I decided my title was too long, so in order to make things easier for all of us, I made an acronym. Because who doesn’t like those?!  Trust me, if you deal with any government entity, you get inundated with them! :)

V.I.B.A.- Very Inspiring Blogger Award

 

very-inspiring-blogger-award

My fun new blogging writer friend,  Sara DeLaVergne has nominated me for this special award and I’m stoked!  Like she says on her own nomination, “It’s an honor to be called inspiring, and I’m glad I get to share this with everyone.”  Ditto is one of my favorite words for a reason. :)  I’m humbled and thankful for the nomination, Sara!  Merci beaucoup!

One of the rules is to list the rules, so I will do that at the bottom of this post.  Next is that I should share SEVEN facts about myself.  That is the #7, seven-a-rooni, seven-a-roo.  It must be like one for each day of the week?  Maybe I should give one on each day of the week?  That might be a fun way to fulfill that rule!  Oooo, I like it!  Maybe that’s not in the spirit of the rules, soooo I guess I’ll list them all here.  OH, maybe you could just come back and look every day! :)


 

Here are my seven facts for your perusing pleasure:

Uno) I do not actually speak Spanish.  I know, shocker.

Dos) I grew up in S.E. Alaska from K-7th grade and LOVED the place. I especially loved derby season when I would get to go fishing for salmon with my dad and his buddy. I swam at the beach, in the ocean, multiple times and did not get hypothermia. I actually enjoyed science in seventh grade because Mr. B was an awesome teacher!

Tres) It took me three months to write 95,000 words.  It will take me a lot longer to edit them. I still love each word, even though some must go!  Sometimes the cuts break my heart a little.

Cuatro) Since I started writing the “Great American Novel”, I have completely neglected housework.  For instance, my husband has decided that a shelving system must be erected in order to name-code spaces, so each person can take care of their own laundry after it has been washed and dried.  Piles of laundry all over the place seem to be a problem. At least he doesn’t have to hunt for short socks…haha

Cinco) I’m a loyal friend.  This doesn’t mean I’m always around and always able to help out, but when I’m truly needed, I’ll bend over backward to make sure I’m there for you. Family and friends matter.  People matter.  All it takes is a phone call, not a Batman-style light to get my attention!

Seis)  I had to look up how to spell SIX in Spanish.  What on earth does that say about me?  If it is nothing of import, I suppose I should list a fact…I love symmetry and order.  They are beautiful to my eyes.

Siete) I have only been out of the US to go to Canada.  I suppose you might include the Bahamas, but I really don’t think that counts. Besides, I couldn’t even see while snorkeling. I had to take off my glasses.  Bummer.  Since then, I’ve had LASIK.  I guess I need to go back so I can actually see the colorful fishies!


 

 Now I get to give you some amazing nominations for more VIBAs!  These Very Inspiring Bloggers are all people I enjoy reading at least once a week.  I hope you find a few you can be inspired by, too!

 

 Ronovan Writes

is a man who is always thinking and go-go-going! He covers all kinds of inspiring ground on his blog. Ronovan  does interviews, reblogs, writes stories and poetry. He also hosts a few Haiku challenges each week that are fun to participate in when one has the time!

Dazzling Whimsy

tells stories with pictures.  The photography is wonderful and the descriptions/stories that go along with each one are enjoyable, too! They inspire my mind to see vividly.

A Slice of Life

is one place where you can go and hear about real life goodness, be encouraged and always leave smiling.

On the Heath

is full of poetry to make your mind think and your heart feel.  Most of them are short, quick reads and always worth it!

Afternoon of Sundries

The title says it all!  This mama just tells it like it is but with flare!

All About Manners

is so fun!  The posts here are about anything related to manners and lots of fun kids stuff.  You’ll find nursery rhymes and jokes, too!

Happy Lifeaholic

is organized with posts on history, mystery, myth, tales and so much more.  Again, a great title for one who enjoys life!

Princess of the Light

is a fellow author who is a delight to converse with (even if only a little). Plus the book looks worth a read! I hope to be seeing more in the future.

Two Wise Gals

area couple of ladies with lots of life-advice and encouragement for one and all.

Max Reynolds

is all about photography.

Daverian

is a couple who have recently been married, but their blog chronicles their travels and the adventures they have together.

Alzheimer’s: Through My Mother’s Eyes

is a blog dedicated to helping spread the word about caring for family members with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. You can find out more about Suzette’s book there, too.

Pretend to Be Nice

is so much fun! These two women who blog together seem to be night and day in personality, but they are friends who compliment each other’s style so well.

Nicholas Hughes

is another great writer friend.  He’s in the editing stage of his first book, which I am super-stoked to have him complete so we can all read it. His blog is full of dry humor and fun insight.

Paul Thomas Bell

is a man on a mission.  I would say he wants everyone to know that all the crazy things that happen in dating aren’t all that crazy. Or not, you’ll just have to go read to find out the real story. Trust me, you’ll be amused, too.

Notes From Dawn

is full of silly stuff as well as interesting product reviews!  I’m always thankful for people who take the time you help us out!

Sara already nominated this guy, but I’d put him in my Inspiring Blogger category, also:

It’s my Interworldweb Author Friend: J. A. Merkel

 THANK YOU, SARA!


The Award Guidelines are as follows:

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.

2.List the rules and display the award.

3.Share seven facts about yourself.

4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated

5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

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Sarah E. Boucher- Let’s Meet Her Character!

Sarah E. Boucher was asked by our mutual friend, Nicholas Hughes, to participate in the Meet My Character Blog Tour and I’m so glad she did!  I’m reblogging her entry here.  Well, this is the beginning.  Click the link to see the full post!


Meet My Characters Blog Tour

I was invited to participate in the Meet My Character Blog Tour by fellow writer Nicholas Hughes.  You can learn more about him, his characters, and his current project The Red Dress, on his website.

And here’s a little about me:  

Obsessed with fairytales since girlhood, I began creating my own years ago.Becoming Beauty, my take on Beauty and the Beast, is the first to see the light of day, but if the clamoring cast of Twelve(a twist on The Twelve Dancing Princesses) and Guillermo & Elyse (Rumpelstiltskin) have their way, it won’t be the last.

Until they earn their moment in the sun, let’s get to know Bella, the heroine and unconventional Beauty in Becoming Beauty: 

  1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Bella, the heroine of my story is completely fictional.  Any similarity between Bella and myself is purely intentional…I mean accidental.

  1. When and where is the story set?

Seriously, click here to go read full Q&A and make sure to follow this talented lady!

 

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Two Kinds of the Stuff

Stuff…kind of an ugly word. It’s very general and doesn’t help much when used out of context. I guess I should give it some context and maybe make it look prettier once it has a perspective to enhance it.

STUFF, for today, means BEAUTY. But what is beauty? Well, I think it’s often something that most people would regard differently from one another.

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The Merriam-Webster definition is:

beau·ty

noun \ˈbyü-tē\

: the quality of being physically attractive

: the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind

: a beautiful woman

In my mind, this is still vague and leaves the idea of what beauty encompasses to each person’s personal preferences. So, like the word “stuff” used without any context, so is beauty.

I’m curious to know what you define as beautiful. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment for us so that we can compare and contrast what beauty encompasses.

Now, before I just leave this post right there, offering nothing but a comparison of beauty to stuff, I’d like to just expound on what true beauty is, or, at least the way I see the definition when it comes to people.

I think first of all, that the definition above lists them in the wrong order. The second should come first. Yes, we see the outside of someone first, but it’s really the inner qualities of a person that ultimately will attract us to them (or make them more attractive to us anyway).

I would even argue that once we start to become acquainted with the inner-workings of a person, it will transform the way we see the outer-shell.

Don’t get me wrong here, outer-beauty definitely exists! It’s in the world all around us in the things we see and the people we encounter, but beauty on the outside is transformed by what we know of the inside…. When I look at a volcano and admire its height, texture, power and strength, I find it beautiful. But, if while standing next to that same volcano, it erupts and shows me its sheer strength and power over me, bringing fear to my heart, I doubt I would find it beautiful. I’m almost positive I’d find it ugly and cruel. If I found a man beautiful to look at but was exposed to something evil in his heart that he took any small semblance of pride in or fed the lusts of, all his beautiful features would lose their luster.

It’s certainly ok to esteem one’s outer-self and to take care of it, too. I would say it’s just not ok to cultivate the love for one’s appearance to the point of utterly neglecting the inner beauty of self and soul.

Beauty quote2

Please tell me what you define beauty to be!  Have I struck a chord?  Do you feel trapped by your outer beauty?  Do you feel defined only by what people see?

Ask me questions.  I’ll do my best to answer.

Comment below, and find me on Facebook: WritingRaci  and/or Twitter: @RachaelRitchey

There is something beautiful in building relationships, connecting with people over shared values, and seeing the world through another’s eyes!

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Nicholas Hughes – “…I can promise there’s more where that came from.”

I’m also reblogging my friend, Nicholas Hughes, Meet My Character Blog Tour post because he’s got another great creative mind that we can all enjoy finding out a little more about today!

So without further ado, here is Nicholas Hughes and The Red Dress


 

 

Meet My Character Blog Tour

About two weeks ago, I was asked by the always fun Rachael Ritchey to participate in a “Meet my Character” Blog Tour.  To eliminate any sense of suspense, I agreed.  And if you haven’t met, talked to, or otherwise interacted with this fine lady, you’re missing out.  By a lot.  So get on that, all of you.  You can find her on Twitter at @rachaelritchey and her blog here.

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

But anyway, Rachael approached me for this character-driven—literally—blog tour.  I agreed but then started to think about my writing.  Rachael describes my work as “thrilling/mysterious,” but I have to admit, there’s a reason for that.  Most likely that’s only because I haven’t really talked about my writing projects other than to give status updates.  There’s nothing on the topic, the plot, characters, or anything else.  Only me saying that I’m working on it.

That’s not a whole lot to work on.  And I’m sorry about that, but I often post obscure tidbits about my life with no real details to support them.  I’ve always done it.  Drives my family nuts to say the least.  Maybe that’s a sign of some sort of complex or a lack of faith.  Maybe it’s modesty.  Maybe it’s something else entirely.  I tend to think it’s my innate sense of privacy I have to overcome every damn day.

Trust me.  It’s harder than it sounds.

What you have here is a rare glimpse into the world of my novel, well before it’s released.  Only a handful of people know more than what I’ve already shared on Twitter—and I’m related to most of them. So, please enjoy this.

’Cause I can promise there’s more where that came from.

CLICK HERE TO READ HIS ANSWERS TO THE CHARACTER QUESTIONS


Please click on the link. This private person is sharing with us and I appreciate that so much.  He’s a neat guy with a fun sense of humor, plus he’s got some fantastic story ideas with classically styled characters who fit our current era.  Love it!  Read on my friends!  He’s also picked some other wonderful people for which to pass the Blog Tour torch.

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J.A.Merkel, Worlds Apart: A Myth Reborn

I am reblogging this from J.A.Merkel!  This is his Meet My Character Blog Tour.  I want to introduce you to his writing so that together we can all look forward to reading this series!


 

Worlds Apart:  A Myth Reborn

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 Does my character wear a top-hat? Well, no actually. Not yet, at least. 

 Here are the answers to your questions about my 75,000-fantasy fiction novel, Worlds Apart: A Myth Reborn. 

1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My character’s name is Rory and he is fictional.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story takes place on Earth during the Tamarin Age some 2,000 years after our current time, although most modern technology and warfare have disappeared and many of the countries and continents that used to exist have either gone below sea-level or have been destroyed by the changing environment. It is a very much sword and board story but alternative technologies have developed as well.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST


When you click the link it will redirect you to J.A. Merkel’s website and the rest of the blog post answers. It will also introduce you to some other published and upcoming authors!

 

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A Budding Romance? The Final Installment

Here we are again, wondering about this strange girl, Rachael and if this budding romance is actually going anywhere, or if it will end abruptly, dying before it’s truly begun!  If you’d like to catch up on the story you can read, A Budding Romance part ONE and TWO.  Or you can start here and imagine your own pre-story! :)


 

It was 10am on May the 17th, 1999.  Rachael and her mom sat silent on a bench outside JC Penny in the less than busy mall.  Her nerves were wrapped up so tight, she probably couldn’t have spoken if her life depended on it.  She tried not to look around, but her desire to search every face for the possibility of meeting the one person her heart longed to know was almost overpowering. Part of her was beginning to fear that he would take one look at her and keep walking; that he would change his mind.

But before she could give in to despair, a young man, early twenties, tentatively walked up to them sitting on the bench.  Rachael had never seen his face.  She’d only read his words; thousands of them. She hoped she’d not be disappointed because she was already so emotionally invested in this person.  Before he could say a word, though, she stood from the bench and hugged him.  There was a small doubt in her mind that she’d hugged a total stranger, but when he returned the embrace, the relief was immediate.  It was him.

“Hi, Rachael,” he said.  There was a smile behind those words.

“Hi, Karl.  It’s so good to finally meet you.  This is my mom.”

Introductions were made, and instead of standing awkwardly in the mall they decided to head to the car to take a scenic drive around the city.  Rachael’s wise, or meddling, mother suggested Rachael drive.  Her mom sat in the back to give Rachael and Karl opportunity to visit.  As it turned out, Rachael was so nervous she could barely speak.  She’d spent every minute of the hour and a half drive to the city talking and now nothing would come out!  Her mom came to her rescue, though, and asked this stranger in her car questions about himself as well as just being a kind conversationalist.

Eventually they ended up near the lake and decided to walk around the locally famous trail on Tubbs Hill, near the resort.  Rachael’s mom stayed behind and the two new-not-so-new friends started out on the unfamiliar trail.  It was supposed to be an easy 2 mile hike around seeing the views of the lovely lake.

Tour Boat on Lake Coeur d'Alene at Tubbs Hill

Tour Boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene at Tubbs Hill

But, they took a wrong turn and ended up lost on the upper trail.  It was fun finding their way down again.  They didn’t talk a whole lot on this walk, but they did enjoy each other’s company.  Too soon, they made it back to the car where it was time to return Karl to his own vehicle and say their goodbyes.  The time had gone by too quickly but much better than should be expected from such meetings!  Rachael only hoped that he wouldn’t now run as fast as he could the other way .  If nothing else, he was sure to be a splendid friend.  One can never have too many of those!

RACHAELTo Rachael’s great relief, the letters continued to flow back and forth between the two of them.  May turned to June and Rachael’s graduation arrived.  It gave another opportunity to build on their friendship, so Rachael asked him to attend.  She was to have a small solo part in the choir, singing “And So It Goes.” I think she probably wanted to show off a bit.  This was also opportunity for her dad to meet her new friend.  The best part was when their person-picky Queensland blue-heeler, Slider, raced off the porch and greeted this stranger like a long-lost friend.  Slider never did that with anyone.

 

Next it was Rachael’s turn to fly on over to meet Karl’s family and spend the Independence Day weekend with him.  Karl was so thoughtful.  He picked her up from the airport and brought her home to meet Mother.  She was nervous to meet his family, but she was more excited to be there, stepping outside her comfort zone.  His family was all smiles and warm welcome was given without a thought.  The room Rachael was ushered to was comfortable and on the table there was a welcoming gift, thoughtfully put out by her dear friend, the friend she hoped to convince wanted to be more than friends.  Yellow roses and honey roasted peanuts (both favorites) graced the table.

The rest of the weekend went much like the beginning.  It was fun and entertaining, with hikes, boating and fireworks watching on theBOAT1 back deck. The fourth of July will forever be etched in Rachael’s mind, though, because on that day Karl held her hand.  As they FALLSwalked up the trail on the side of Mt Rainier her hand would give a gentle graze across his every once in a while.  I think he must have finally gotten the picture.  They didn’t talk much but enjoyed each other’s company.  Eventually the trip had to end and Rachael went home, her love for her friend deepening a little more with each parting.

The summer continued to pass by with phone calls and emails still sent daily.  After some gentle prodding, Karl was finally able to admit that he had feelings for Rachael, but he was reticent to pursue them because he didn’t want to rush into anything.  He relayed fears of Rachael being too young to really know for sure that this was what she wanted and not wanting either of them to get hurt.  He didn’t want to ruin their wonderful friendship.

Rachael appreciated his honesty about his feelings and concerns, but she was confident.  She continued to work to convince him of her steadfast heart and that she knew her own mind.  Yes, she knew she was naive in some respects.  Time wore on in much the same way.  Their letters spoke more and more of the desire to be together and the future.

August came around and Karl moved to Coeur d’Alene to be close to Rachael while she attended college.  This wasn’t good enough, so he asked her to marry him at the beginning of September.  He picked her up from work, they came back to her apartment that she shared with three other lovely young women, she changed and in a basket, lovingly prepared by his own to hands, was a picnic dinner.

Rachael’s roommates giggled and said goodbye as Karl and Rachael walked out the door.  On the beach, under the dim edge of light from the lamppost, Karl proposed.  Rachael’s elation couldn’t be hidden and she gushed over the ring and the man.

“Yes! Yes, I will marry you. I love you.”

Now the giggles made sense.  She giggled, too.

Calls had to be made, people had to be told.  A December wedding it was to be!  Well, that is until Rachael’s mother and grandmother tag-teamed her with countless phone calls asking all kinds of questions about the wedding.  Rachael became so overwhelmed with it that she told Karl they should just elope…after all, The Hitching Post was just down the road.

He used his good sense, though, and talked her out of it.  Instead they would get married at the church with as many people as possible to attend…in two weeks.

Many people whispered and thought things that just weren’t true…who gets married in two weeks?!  Well, Rachael and Karl, of course!  Rachael wanted to be asked no questions and wanted to plan no things.  Her mom and grandma took care of all the details, including a quick shopping trip to find a suitable dress and shoes.  Well, no shoes since back in 1999, no one carried white dress shoes in September…some kind of faux pas or something.  Toe rings would have to do.

rkAnd just like that, on a Friday night at 7PM (a little after, since they were late for their own wedding), this couple who’d met 9 months previous by the odd happenstance of a friend’s guestbook link on Geocities, were wed…”with this wing I thee wed” even. ;)  He’ll have to forgive me for immortalizing that little line. haha  Here we are almost 15 years later, and Rachael would still say, “I do.”

20140327_101022


 

Now, that ends this story.  Really, this is only the prologue of a life together, but it’s mine and I love it. I hope you enjoyed reading along with a little of my history.  I tried to contain myself and not spout off every last detail, boring you to death.  I can’t say I succeeded, but you can!  In fact, let me know what you thought of my retelling of this history of mine.  I’d love to hear from you!

This week I’ve decided that I will be focusing once again on the topic of beauty, so come back again and find out what else I have to say and share on the topic!

Come find me on Facebook: WritingRaci or Twitter: @RachaelRitchey  I’d love to get more connected!

 

 

 

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A Budding Romance? Continued….or Part 2

So, I believe a recap is in order. If you want some more back story, you can first go here to find out the prequel and then here to get the first part of this story.

Now, where we left off: our young lady had just assisted her dear friend in making her very own Geocities website and left a lovely comment, including hyperlink, in said friend’s “guestbook”. Let’s continue.


 

Rachael continued in much the same way she’d done before helping her friend create a page on this exciting thing we call the world wide web. She went to school, acted her little heart out at drama, exhausted her brain at calculus for hours on end, and stayed up far too late into the night learning the secret art of html. (She remembers next to none of it now.)

January 1999 flipped up on the calendar and life seemed to be continuing in the same manner. She had a daily process of checking her guestbook for new entries. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but one day late in the month there was a very nice comment left by a young man by the name of Karl. He had left a compliment about Rachael’s page and at the bottom he’d attached a rose with the verse Isaiah 40:31 as part of his signature. This was nothing special or new he’d left for her, just his m.o. But, the gesture had caught her attention.

It wasn’t uncommon for Rachael to reply to people’s comments with a “thank you,” so she thought very little of it when she sent him and email saying something to the effect, “Dear Karl, thanks for stopping by my website! I’m so glad you liked it and I hope you come back again. I noticed the Bible verse at the bottom of your guestbook signature and I assume you are a Christian. So am I and I hope we can be friends. Sincerely, Rachael”

After that, she just had to “check out” his Geocities site. It was intriguing to find his was a bit of an online magazine of sorts, called Karl’s Poetry Corner. He actually had people who submitted their poetry to him.He would put it up on his website, free of charge, showing off their creations and introducing people to the wonder of their creative minds. You can be sure, Rachael was hooked. She was constantly scribbling poems about love, life, and God. Seeing someone take pains to display other people’s poetry online was something she admired right away, feeling that certainly this person was meant to be a friend.

They continued to email back and forth over the course of the next few weeks.

It was a great friendship, discovering new things about each other. All their letters signed: “YF”  your friend.

20140711_142933-1

She wished him a sincerely happy birthday just a few days into their acquaintance and then low and behold, he returned the gesture less than a month later:

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

 

Rachael was so pleased to receive this email (obviously, since she still has it!) and immediately printed it out. She could count on one hand the amount of times anyone had given her flowers. Even on paper, it was special! All of their emails were fun and friendly, full of questions about a million innocent topics.

A few months later, the subject line of each letter (now corresponding at least twice a day) morphed into some strange or silly comment or storyline. An example of one is: “The mountain peeks forth its head from the clouds,” and then another, “Where’d the desk come from? I thought we were on a mtn!” Yes, she did reply to his mountain peak peeking out with a writing desk at the top; a place of beauty to be inspired…writing was already one of her happy places.

Their friendship was blooming every day. One day Rachael ventured to suggest that after his semester of college was over: “You should stop by on your way through and we could meet in person.”

Keep in mind, he was older than her by five years and his first response was, “No.” Rachael wasn’t too pleased and she’s not easily put off, so without another thought she brought it back up again a few letters later. She must have eventually weakened his resolve, because he agreed to stop, since he’d be driving within a relatively short distance of where she lived on his way back home.

I won’t tell you that Rachael waited until a week before the scheduled meeting to tell her parents. Oh, I just did. Oops. Anyway, her dad was very upset, but her mom, while not pleased, did not grow angry. Rachael was now 18 after all. I will tell you that Rachael was trying to be somewhat responsible because she wanted them to come with her. It turned out that in the end, only her mom was able to go, but that was fine because it gave Rachael the chance to talk for the hour long drive to where they would meet this new friend in person!

Her nerves were tight as violin strings and her voice carried a hurried tune as she poured out her heart to her mom in the car. She and Karl had been talking since the end of January and now it was May 17. Just 4 1/2 months had passed, but so many letters had gone back and forth, it was hard to judge the depth of their relationship. All Rachael knew was she was sure she had feelings for Karl, deep feelings for him. She’d never seen his picture, but she felt like she knew his heart. I’m sure her mother must have been frightened inside, but nothing showed on the outside.

Before they’d left their house that fateful day, she spoke to Karl on the phone for the first time. Her excitement could not be contained and come to find out much later, the high-pitched sound of her voice made him fear she was much younger than she’d told him. He was likely ready to run away after that. The car ride was to take Rachael and Mom to a mall where they would meet this young man outside a JC Penny at 10am.


 

I feel a little mean, but I have to work today, so I must pause here for the moment. Maybe I’m dragging on too long, but I love this story! Come back again and I’ll tell you the rest on another day.

Is there anything else I might have missed in the narrative that you’d like to know?  :)

… now you can click below TO FINISH THE STORY….

The Final Installment

I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment.  Come back and see me again!

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“Meet My Character” Blog Tour

This is another “nomination” I received this last week, but from another source with mostly bookish purposes meant for everyone to enjoy.  Blondeusk at BlondeWriteMore actually asked me to participate along with her and some other very amazing people! I’m really quite surprised, and I feel like that tiny gray fish that was offered one of the rainbow fish’s scales. It’s a special gift from a new friend and I feel “pretty” special! ;)  Click on her blog title, above, and it will take you to Miss Blonde’s Character meet-up.  You’ll be intrigued, just like me.

She’s got a very amusing way of writing and her blog is sure to make you smile as well as nod your head in agreement, if not laugh out loud.  She’s also got great quotes to enjoy.  Just go and start randomly reading her blog entries.  Enough said!


 

Now to answer the questions as best I can about my (…shoot, how many words is it right now? long…pretty long…Oh, found it! 95,000+) YA fantasy fiction novel:

1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My character is Caitlyn (and though I’ve been advised the name may not fit, I cannot picture her as anything else….*sigh*), and she is, in fact, firmly fictional.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in a fantasy land that could be pictured as similar to Washington….a continent that is diverse in landscape ranging from rain forests, to high mountain peaks, to winding rivers, to high plains, and deserts.  The time is closely related to what we might call medieval.

3. What should we know about him/her?

Caitlyn is a princess, betrothed but not unhappy about it any more.  Of course,  she was thirteen when she threw a fit over the betrothal.  But, we have to give her some grace, since at that age, the idea of marriage was not even on her radar. At the time it hadn’t really mattered who he was or if she could like him.  She’s sweet, kind, stubborn, pretty, but all of her real beauty is what radiates from the inside.  That’s what makes her attractive to most people.  Sometimes, though, I wonder if the story is not really more about her betrothed.  He’s a catch, if I do say so myself. ;)

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Some people are just never satisfied.  Sometimes they want something at the cost of another person’s life. The main conflict is centered on greed and self-gratification.  The conflict comes when the most precious part of Caitlyn is stolen and in so doing, ruins her future with her betrothed and also puts the united realms at risk.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

Her goal becomes intertwined in the goal of her betrothed as they rush headlong into unknown dangers to get back what was stolen before time runs out.

6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

I’m very satisfied with the title I’ve chosen: The Beauty Thief.  This blog is the best place to read more about it or at least how things are coming along with it.  Possibly another good place to keep updated about my book(s) is WritingRaci on facebook.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

I hope to publish by next spring 2015.

My biggest fear in posting this blog is that I’m giving away too much of my story and a better writer will take my ideas, improve upon them, AND publish before I can…No one reading this is cruel enough to do that, though, so it’s really a silly fear. Right? I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one with such hesitations or if it’s a too big ego speaking which I need to rein in. haha

Now, for my lovely fellow writers!

J.A. Merkel is writing YA speculative fiction and over the course of the few months I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this fine friend, I’ve received plenty of encouragement and advice.  He’s much further along in the process of writing/editing/publishing/marketing than I am, so I take his words seriously but not too seriously, because that just wouldn’t be like me I suppose.  No, really, I do appreciate all the advice and knowledge he shares.  I cannot wait to read his books!  I was terribly disappointed that I have to wait.  I am not good at waiting. (now you can go here to read HIS MMCBT post!)

Nicholas Hughes, I’ve messaged, asking him if he will share this journey with us, but I realize I’m crossing outside the wordpress lines. He’s my writing friend, though! He’s got a nice dry sense of humor and writes in a completely different genre than my own, so I think we’d all benefit from knowing more about him and his thrilling/mysterious work. :)  (now you can go here to read HIS MMCBT post!)

 Miss Shian at WriteShianWrite is an author here on wordpress.  I’ve also asked her to join in! She has already published her first book, In A Matter of Days, and is a woman who looks to find things to be thankful for every day.  I can’t wait to hear her answers to the questions, too.

Andrew Toy at AdoptingJames is a published author of the book, The Man In the Box, and in addition to being a writer, he is also an independent editor, not to mention a foster dad.  Neat man with a clever book idea.  I look forward to reading The Man In the Box as well as whatever he may be writing at this very minute!  He’s another one I asked to do this Meet My Character Blog Tour with me.


 

I know it was supposed to be three, but I’d like to hear from each of these authors and I think you would, too!  It’s a diverse group and each one has influenced me on my writing journey.

 

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under I think it's neat, My Writing Journey, Uncategorized

What’s this?! A Blog Award?! Why, I thank you, most kindly.

very-inspiring-blogger-award

 

First, I’ll just accomplish #1 before I even explain what #1 is.  I must thank you, Ronovan of RonovanWrites for the nomination.  I’m very pleased to be able to participate in this fun and thoughtful blogging award.  :)  He said some very nice things about me, you’ll have to go read it.  I am really unworthy of the praise, but I’ll take it! (and maybe I’ll live up to it)

SO, now I will give you the rules and here they are:

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
2.List the rules and display the award.
3.Share seven facts about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

This is the hard part. Seven facts about me should flow like water, but I’m finding this is more like a honey drizzle.

1) I have four beautiful children, one of whom is adopted.  The others probably wish they were adopted, but they are stuck with my genes.

2) I am a sinner saved by grace.  I want to live every day grateful for the gift of renewed life I have been given, and sometimes that’s a struggle with my selfish desires.

3) Speaking of being selfish, marriage has taught me how very selfish I can be.  It has also taught me better how to love without asking anything in return.  Talk about the joy and gratitude one gains from a better understanding of compassion and sacrificial love!

4) I thought I was smart until I found out I’m not, but don’t tell anybody! I think I might have a few people still fooled.

5) The older I get the more I want to be young again.  Advice: don’t waste your life on selfish desires that, in the end, do no satisfy.

6) As serious as I “sound” sometimes, I really am a ham.  I love puns, love to laugh, am a big nerd, and would rather be silly than serious.

7)  I LOVE to sing and will often sing everything I say, which does have a tendency to bug certain people I will not mention because my family would not like to be talked about in this negative way. haha  No, they love me despite my many flaws.  That’s a gift!

 

NOW, to fulfill the last part of this award.  This is the part I like second best (first was telling Ronovan, thank you).  I wish I had time to tell you about each, but sadly, I don’t!  If I have time another day, I will come back and add short descriptions of each.

All the Wordpress blogs I will list below have been inspirational to me in various ways: in life, in love, in dealing with hard things, in being a writer, in being a parent and in hoping for the future.  Visit each one and you will discover some amazing people who each share lovely parts of themselves with us, bringing hope, advice, grace, and joy.  They are listed in no particular order!

AMAZING BLOGGERS I’D LIKE TO NOMINATE:

Terry1954

BlondeWriteMore

AdoptingJames

WriteShianWrite

RetireeDiary

The BrazenBibliophile

BrianWilliamsen

MyLittleBookBlog

4utu

BreathofGreenAir

Suzie81Speaks

CarissasWorld

LynetteNoni

WarriorWriters Kristen Lamb’s Blog

NotesfromDawn

 

THANKS AGAIN!  Let’s keep all the inspiration flowing!

15 Comments

Filed under I think it's neat, Uncategorized

A Budding Romance?

Once I told you a story of  how we met, but now I want tell you how I ended up this almost mid-30’s age crazy lady, married happily for almost fifteen years.  Our story isn’t so unique any more, but at the time it was a rare thing indeed.

 


She was a busy senior in high school, rushing from home to school to drama to home again.  This particular year, Rachael spent hours every day to doing homework and teaching herself how to write html code.  This was 1998 and then 1999 (let’s party, shall we?!). As far as she could tell, the internet was just really starting to boom.  We’d gone from it costing an arm and a leg for 20 hours of internet a month to unlimited time available.

Rachael had discovered this place called, Geocities.  Here you could build your own website for free!  A person could use pre-written html codes to design a site or one could start from scratch.  At first, Rachael used the already written code.  As enjoyable as that was, though, it wasn’t satisfying enough and the allure of being able to do it herself beckoned her inner nerd.  She tried to hide this aspect of herself, but it was pretty much impossible.

The question became, what does one make one’s very own free website all about?  That was simple:  hiking in N.Idaho and, duh, herself.  She spent hours upon hours searching for lists of html codes for everything from color to buttons to links to fonts.  She found websites that she liked and perused their “source code” to figure out how to do what that other person had done.  It was all so unexciting in a very exciting way.

Now, you’re wondering, is this a budding romance with a computer and html, or what?  Kinda, I guess. She was almost obsessive about it, some days spending 6-8 hours engrossed in learning and improving upon her website, but, the real answer is no.  This is only the catalyst to her love life.  Sad? Silly? Insane? Dumb? Romantic? Awesome? Sweet? Weird? Laughable? All of the Above?  Maybe.

All of these hours and hours of work led to Rachael telling her friends all about it and encouraging them to join in, too.  Some just said, nah, others were intrigued.  One such friend, a lovely girl inside and out, couldn’t resist asking for more.

“Rachael, would you help me make my own Geocities page?”

“Why, of course!  I would love to help you.  It’s so fun.”

They got right down to business.  Rachael showed her friend (you know who you are!) how to make a basic website using all the pre-written code options and when they were done it was a beautiful thing.  They even gave the website it’s very own guestbook, just like Rachael’s.

Of course, Rachael was thrilled to have a real-life friend along on the ride of website-ownery, so she made sure to be the first to sign this new guestbook.  And no one signs a guestbook without putting a link back to their own Geocities page.

Guestbook Image from "The Daily Edge (Buzzfeed/Geocities)

Image courtesy of “The Daily Edge” (Buzzfeed/Geocities)


 

Do I dare continue with this story right now?  Shall I leave you waiting impatiently to finish it on another day?  Yes, sadly, I must!  With Independence Day upon us, I am required to complete the packing for a quick trip to celebrate with family and friends.  I am out of time today.

But, do not fear!  I shall return and this story will have an end which was, in fact, really only a new beginning.

….now, I’m sure that this post will likely cause this to happen…

counter

Haha, just kidding!  I just wanted to watch that counter spin!  Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with more in a few days.

Leave comments here! Or, go like my Facebook http://www.facebook.com/writingraci or even find me and give me a follow on Twitter at @RachaelRitchey I almost always follow-back.  I would love to connect with you!

 

To continue the story….

PART TWO

and

The Final Installment

 

6 Comments

Filed under Personal Life Tidbits, Uncategorized

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