Saturday, August 27, 2016

Happy Birthday to the Curious Wren!

(Images found via Pinterest)

People! An exciting thing has happened! It happened yesterday, but I was late to it and didn’t read the post until today. :< But I’m here now. :3

Annie’s blog has turned one! :D Annie is a fun darling, so you should scamper to her blog and say hi. ^_^

So for her blog’s first birthday, Annie had a costume party! :3 Or a virtual one. People would come in the style of favorite book characters (their own or someone else’s), and enjoy the party through a few questions. B) It looked fun, so even though I’m a little late, I thought I’d join in. :3

Annie’s also doing a giveaway, so you should check that out too. B) There’re some pretty good prizes. ;)

The clock strikes. You see the front door of Curious Wren open and I stand on the threshold (smiling excitedly because PARTY + PEOPLE). You can just see over my shoulder into the hallway—there’s a ridiculous number of balloons, banners are strung all around, and twinkling lights twine up the railing of the spiral staircase at the end of the hall. I wave you on in and ask you to sign your name on the party attendance sheet. Who did you come as and why did you choose that character?
I’ve come as my character Hannah Pelton from Fence Jumpers. Because she’s an adorable big sister to Skyler, the MC, and she can have a lot of attitude and sass when she wants, so she’s sweet and nice and sassy all wrapped up in a cute blonde form. B)

Each guest gets their own slow-mo entrance into the Curious Wren domicile, accompanied by an epic main theme: what is yours?
I enter to “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. Because it’s fun and I can dance my way into the party (even though it’s in slow-mo?) with Wes and we will make a statement of fun, of which I’ll probably be embarrassed about later. >///< Because it’s probably his idea in the first place. *eyeroll*

The front door shuts and a wonderful aroma of freshly-baked gingerbread wafts towards you from a three-step stairway on your right. You start to head in that direction and then remember that your shoes are still on: what are you wearing as your fabulous costume of the evening? Feel free to share pictures. (bonus question: did you bring a friend? Who?)
I’m in a super cute outfit with blue as the color scheme. :3 A flowery dress, bracelet, and a really pretty ring (although it’s best I don’t ask Wes how he got it…). My plus-one is Wes, who I suppose I call my boyfriend? He would say he is, but I like messing with his ego, so. B) He wears a clean pair of jeans and a dark blue button-up, with the sleeves rolled up just below his elbows.

But because my outfit is so much more interesting, here are pictures!

Up the stairs and into the main party room where other guests—resplendent in their own amazing costumes—are already milling about. There’s music and laughter and lots of Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and tables are piled high with trays of food that smells so delicious it should be outlawed—in fact, some of it isn’t even possible to find anywhere else on Earth—such as lembas bread. What are you going to decide to eat?
Ooh, so many choices… I’d probably go for the sweet things first. XD Cookies, cupcakes, candies. Anything not too messy.

From out-of-doors the Curious Wren domicile looks like the usual size of a two-story house; but as you begin to explore all the tiny side staircases and take note of the many unexpected windows and hidden doors, you realize that Curious Wren House might just be bigger on the inside… and that each room changes depending on how you want it to look. What room(s) do you choose to spend most of your time in? (feel free to share photos)
Oh boy… wherever there are a lot of people. :D Or rooms with board games, or dancing. B)

It’s getting later in the evening and in some parts of Curious Wren House the activity starts to slow down. What entertainment would your character chose to enliven the birthday party? (if fireworks destroy my house, you pay for the damage. ;)
A rousing game of Twister!!!! Or karaoke!

If your character was to get a call and you realize that you might have to leave the party abruptly, what would be a possible reason?
My little brother Skyler’s gotten himself into trouble, most likely. Or our Fence Jumper hideout’s been discovered.

I bring out the cake and the ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, and you remember just in time that you brought a hostess gift. What is it? (unless, of course, your chosen character has the memory span of Dory the fish and you forgot a gift entirely).
A box of salted caramel chocolates? :3 Something to relax with after having so many people in the house. ;)

It’s nearing on midnight and the time has come for everyone to take turns giving a grand farewell speech—still in character. What do you say? 
Speech? o.o I’m not sure what to say–

*Wes stands up* “It is with our deepest regrets that we leave you tonight, fair gents and ladies! But the hour of departure has come, and we must away to our humble tunnels filled with our dear friends and family. It has been a pleasure to meet you, as my lovely date will attest if you ask her – as she seems rather shy at present – and I do hope we might meet again! But for now, farewell!”

And those are the questions. :D Remember to hop on over to Annie’s blog and say hi and congrats! :D

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

Cinder, a cyborg who works a humble little mechanic booth in New Beijing, has her life turned upside down when the prince of the Commonwealth, Kaito, comes to her booth seeking her expertise. With the repair of Kai’s droid and her stepmother Adri’s own taxing demands as the grand ball draws closer, Cinder tries to keep her life going. But when her stepsister Peony contracts the fatal letamosis virus, Adri sells Cinder to the palace research facility, where they race to find a cure by testing them on cyborgs. There, Cinder learns things about herself she didn’t think was possible, and while she tries to escape her life in New Beijing, the Lunar queen Levana comes to visit, and her visit doesn’t much good.

Cinder follows the POV of the titular character and Prince Kai, but the focus is mostly upon Cinder and her struggles to make sense of her world and herself. The main antagonistic force and its threat lies in the background, out of focus and you know it’s there, and it makes each clue and plot twist intriguing until it all culminates in the climax. The book takes a bit of Cinderella flavor, with some sci-fi thrown in. While you can spot the Cinderella elements, it’s not loud or focused on that type of story, but has its own storyline to follow in addition to the framework of Cinderella.

The development of Cinder was lovely. She’s a confident girl, with a streak of rebel, but deep inside, she’s still a little bit insecure, usually when it comes to her cyborg-ness. I liked how open and friendly she was, too, and not moody or sullen. She had a sarcastic side, which was often amusing, too. Cinder has a big heart, but sometimes it takes her a while to really open up.

Levana was an interesting villain, and she made an intimidating presence. I listened to an audiobook, and the reader gave her voice and smooth, feminine, almost gentle tone, and it enhanced the power and influence the Lunar queen had.

Favorite characters of mine often tend to be either loners (think Dustfinger in Inkheart or Aragorn in Lord of the Rings) or mentor-types (Like Mott in The False Prince trilogy). This time, it was a character from the latter category. Dr. Erland wasn’t quite a father-figure, but he was a great mentor figure for Cinder. I loved his character, and his little quirks and somewhat mysterious backstory. He became an anchor, of sorts, in helping Cinder process the things she learned about herself. Even when she refused to accept it, Dr. Erland remained as someone who would support her when she had need.


Violence/gore: Nothing of major note, I don't believe. Robots cut into the wrists of the dead to remove their chips, which is described a little. A character tries to shoot another, and a third steps in the way of the bullet, which hits their shoulder.

Profanity: Cinder uses the d-word a few times.

Sexual content: Cinder kisses Kai.

Other: Scenes with letamosis victims/symptoms may seem a little unnerving, but it's nothing gory at all.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Beautiful People Linkup: Ferret

I return with yet another Beautiful People linkup hosted by Cait and Sky! :3 Today I thought I’d showcase a character from my Wattpad story The Empire Thief. Ferret is the best friend of the protagonist Talyx. They met as young children in one of the cities, both very alone and very much in need of each other. Talyx because he can’t hear well, and Ferret because his left arm is gone from the elbow down. These two are like brothers, and they watch each other’s backs as they thieve in the streets. Ferret is Tal’s more sensible half, but he needs Tal just as much as Tal needs him, for more reasons than just his arm.

1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)
Ferret is about sixteen years old, with not very much that stands out about his appearance. He has short brown hair that curls naturally, and watchful brown eyes. His clothes are almost always worn through, ripped and dirty. His smile is friendly, though cautious, and his features are in general handsome, making their way from boyhood to manhood. But he’s still got the glitter of mischief in his eyes, and a smile to hold the attention of ladies while Talyx picks their pockets (usually it’s Tal who draws their attention, but Ferret wants some of that part too. ;)).

Isn't he adorable? :3 (Image found via Pinterest)

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.
Kinda spread out, but. :3 I also realized I hadn’t described him well, so I edited in the proper elements for a couple snippets. ;)

"Wagon's coming." Ferret made a rolling motion with his right fist, his left arm – missing from the elbow down – moved in a similar motion before Ferret realized and stopped.

 * * * *

“I require something to be stolen. You two, I have no doubt, will be able to succeed.”

“And commit treason. You forgot that part.” Tal looked up as Ferret touched his shoulder in alarm.

“What?” Ferret's brown eyes had grown wide.

* * * *

Ferret didn't reply right away. Tal looked at him. “Don't tell me you're rethinking this.”

“No. I don't know.” Ferret ran his hand through his brown curls. “Just… it's only a baby, Tal. What's Garitt gonna do with him?”

3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?
At first, perhaps his face. He looks innocent and unassuming, but he’s as much a thief as his best friend is. It and his missing arm help him look less suspicious.

4. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
His left arm is missing from the elbow down. Perhaps a sharp jaw-line, but that may also be from not eating enough. Although I suspect too it will be a feature in his manhood. B)

5. How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
Ferret is probably about average height (perhaps an inch or two taller than Talyx), and I think he’s a bit on the scrawny side.

6. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
Ferret may hunch over a little. He carries himself with caution, as if he might be followed and he’s wary of his surroundings.

7. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
Most likely his usual ragged clothes. He probably looks about the same as he always does. He may try to use the free time to clean himself up a little, though.

8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?
Ferret carries a small knife with him, if that counts as an accessory? XD

9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
Oh yes. His missing arm gives meaner street thieves reason to bully him and make fun. Even haughty rich folk may take a jab at him. In the country Ferret lives in, shepherding sheep is a crucial role (as the economy revolves a lot around sheep and sheep products). So if you’re a shepherd, and you find yourself unable to effectively protect your flock against predators, especially werewolves, you have no place at the dinner table. You must find your living elsewhere, and that’s where most of the homeless in the cities come from. Ferret is the same. His arm left him unable to properly defend his flock, so he was essentially exiled from home. Now, his arm is the source of teasing. He’s used to it by now, and ignores the cruel jabs, but sometimes it still hurts. Although it tends to rile up Talyx more than it does Ferret.

10. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
He would want his arm back, for sure, but I think Ferret is fairly content with how he looks.

So that’s Ferret. :D What do you make of him? Have any characters he might get along with? :D