Dear you,

My wish to you all. ❤

{wishful thinking}

It’s a new year, and a new year is a time for looking forward, and a way to look forward is to remember. Remember that you have the chance, with everything you do, to change your life. You could talk to the interesting person standing in line. You could dare to show someone your drawings, to approach that publisher about your novel. You could dare to believe that God made you to do more than sit in others shadows. Remember that everyone you meet will know something you don’t. Remember not just to change, but to grow. Remember there is so much you can do if you just get it done. Remember to try, even if you fail. Don’t settle for less. Remember to be kind and wise, and if you don’t know how to be wise, pretend you do. Remember to smile, and if you can’t, then fake it. Don’t sell yourself short…

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Christmas Day

Well, the Christmas music is now not on the radio.

That bugs me.

I mean, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas and end on January 6. These people have it backwards. They start early and end on Christmas, when, in fact, they should start on Christmas and end later. *shrugs* Oh well.

Anyway, here’s what my Christmas looked like. 🙂

1) I woke up.

2) I got out of bed.

3) I walked down the stairs.

Okay, we’ll not do it that way. It’s monotonous.

Anyway, we got up a little late, so I popped some pre-made cinnamon rolls into the oven per Mom’s request and we all got dressed for church. After that, we opened up the gifts, went to Mass, came back home, relaxed, and then set off to see The Hobbit in 3D. ^_^ It was my second time seeing it, and it was still fantastic.

I just loved Thranduil. He was a wee bit creepy.

And beautiful. All the elves are so beautiful and I just wanted to pet their hair.

Especially that one elf’s hair. You know, the one who closed the first door to the jail cell when they caught the dwarves. Yeah.

And Smaug. I JUST WANT TO CURL UP UNDER ONE OF HIS WINGS AND SLEEP ON HIS GOLD. CAN I DO THAT WITHOUT BEING TURNED INTO A HUMAN MARSHMALLOW PLEASE?

Okay, so what did I get for Christmas? A lot, actually. O_O I wasn’t expecting this much and it’s crazy. But hey, I’m not complaining. 😛

  • An iPod (nano, I think)
  • A seven-year pen (seriously, how cool is that?!)
  • A huge, fun pen!
  • Navy blue Converse sneaks from my grandma! 😀
  • Socks and underwear (you can never have too much of these)
  • A Sherlock magnet ^_^
  • Gum
  • M&M’s
  • Lindt Chocolate
  • TEA – I GOT LOTS AND LOTS OF TEA (Gypsy Rose, Peach Ginger, Coconut Chai, Raspberry Chai, Apple Pie, Chai Iced Tea!!!!!)
  • A beautiful mug that has black leaves on the outside that changes color when you put hot liquid inside! Also, an infuser!
  • THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG SOUNDTRACK
  • Keys (the kind you get at a craft store that are sort of like the charm-bracelet type)
  • Corked Vials (I need to fill ’em up with stuff!)
  • Earrings

I’d say it was a beautiful Christmas. No tears, minimal bickering between the siblings, a lovely Mass… Yep. Wonderful.

How was your Christmas? I hope it was as enjoyable as mine. ❤

God bless!

Rana

A Merry Christmas to You

“Seasons greetings!”

“Happy holidays!”

“Merry Christmas!” – Wait, what?

No one ever seems to say “Merry Christmas” anymore and that’s a bit disheartening.

I mean, what’s the meaning of the season? Why are we celebrating? What are we celebrating? Take the Christ out of Christmas and you’ve got a shallow holiday that celebrates nothing but being broke and selfish.

We all look forward to “Santa Clause” every year but really, if we take Christ out of Christmas, we shouldn’t have a Santa Clause. Why? It translates to “Saint Nicholas.” Don’t believe we should celebrate Christmas for what it is (Christ’s Mass)? Then find some other excuse to give gifts to each other.

We’re not buffet Christians. A Christian believes in Christ, the Bible, and the dogma of the church. We can’t pick and choose what we want to believe. It’s all or nothing. Being Christian isn’t about being comfortable.

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” — C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock

So if you’re Christian, you have to accept it all, whether it makes you uncomfortable or not. If you’re confused on something, ask questions! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 🙂

But what is Christmas really about,  if it’s not about Santa Clause, gifts, food, and family? I think Linus sums it up pretty well.

Good ol’ Charlie Brown.

God bless you and yours during this special season. 🙂

Rana

Updates, Snippets, and the Cast of The Reset

Helloooooo, all!

I’m babysitting my four year old cousin and not feeling well. Also, I’m tired.

What better time to write a blog post, right?

Update #1: THE HOBBIT IS SO AMAZING I CAN’T EVEN! NO SPOILERS, JUST ASDFGHJKL!!!!!!!!! It didn’t follow the book and I was a bit worried that Peter Jackson would totally butcher it, BUT I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. Okay, the first one didn’t set high standards, so I wasn’t expecting much, but THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. *spazzes*

My 11 year old cousin thought Thranduil was a girl until he spoke. O__________________________o I thought he was an interesting character. I hope to see more of him and the other elves in the third and final installment of The Hobbit. 🙂

My 12 year old sister liked Kili best. Hm, wonder why…

Update #2: There was a Christmas dinner and show at my church Saturday night and it was amazing! They all did such a wonderful job. ^_^ It wasn’t the typical Christmas play either. They went all out, had “commercials” which advertised used carts “cheap as dirt” because they were so dirty and other things. 😛

Update #3: My grandma is an amazing lady. Just throwing that out there. She had me, my sister, and cousin sleep over, then took us to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which preceded a lovely lunch at the Pita Pit.

Update #4: Yesterday, I was babysitting the four year old, as previously mentioned. Two years ago, I changed my first diaper. (It wasn’t mine, I promise. I’ve long since stopped using those things. It was her diaper. Just felt the need to clarify that.) Since then, I have never changed another diaper and have never felt the urge to. I couldn’t get within three feet of the kid without gagging and I’m not exaggerating. We had no wipes, Mom was taking a nap, and I was the only one mature (and brave) enough to handle the situation.

My cousin laughed at me and so did my sister as they ran back and forth from the kitchen with paper towels. Lovely family.

After nearly choking on the putrid scent and getting human child feces on my hands, I was done. No more butt-wiping for me.

And two years later, that same girl is sitting on the couch, watching Dora the Explorer (and I didn’t remember how annoying it was) and coloring, when she looks up and says to me, “Rana, can you get me some different underpants?”

I was sitting there, like, “x_x Why (dare I ask)?”

“I pooped my pants.”

I’m just sitting here going:

She gets in the bathroom and says, “I’m joking.” I stand there, staring at her until she finally gets it. “That’s not funny, right?”

Yeah, I’m a Sherlock fan, in case you haven’t noticed. 😛 I said, “Not dead” in theaters when we were watching DoS. Because I’m that kind of a person. 😛

Update #5: I’m loving The Reset. January… just… I fangirl over him. ^_^ A big thanks to Lisa for fangirling with me. 😛 And to Mirriam for getting excited about his name and face with me. XD

This boy is so lovable. ❤

Here’s what he looks like:

eefb1944ea81a46a988df0a5ac55f3e2 Isn’t he lovely? ^_^

Anyway, I’m having so much fun writing him.

Onto the snippets! 😀 I’m doing a lot ’cause I have 13 chapters already and I love this so much. XD I was trying to choose only my favorite parts, but the whole book is my favorite part, so there’s a bunch of snippets. 😛

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I want to be done,” I whisper, dropping back into my chair as I stare at the picture of a handsome gentleman with blond hair and blue eyes.

“I apologize, Miss Holden, but that is no longer an option for you,” Fanon reminds me. He doesn’t seem sorry at all. He’s just like Fëar. Emotionless. Dehumanized.

“As if it ever was,” I retort.

“It was,” Fanon tells me, glancing up from a file on his desk. “Before you joined us. Now if you don’t mind, I have work to do.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“You’re gonna regret that in the mornin’,” Silas warns me, interrupting my thoughts and bringing me back to the present.

“Then I’ll just sleep ‘till noon.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I don’t look any different than when you saw me yesterday morning.”

“Not to the untrained eye, anyway,” says Fëar. “But I can tell, Alias, m’darlin’. I can always tell. I’ve had since the beginnin’ of time to practice reading people and I’ve grown quite good at it.”

I sigh. “Stop reading me. It’s rude.”

He shrugs. “As you wish.”

“Okay, Westley.”

“Good movie, that. You and your date should watch it sometime.”

“He’s not my date. I don’t date my targets,” I groan as I pour myself a mug of coffee and sit down at the table.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A girl on the stool next to mine elbows me with a sly grin on her face.

“Isn’t he a dream?” she asks, nodding in Silas’s direction.

I smile back at her and nod. “A perfect nightmare.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I don’t want to kill anymore.” I grind the words out through my back molars.

Fanon leans in and clasps his hands on the desk as he speaks. “You don’t have a choice.”

“What can I do to get out?”

“Nothing.”

“No, there is way, isn’t there?”

“Well, I could release you from your bond, but I don’t feel much like doing that. Or you could find someone else to take your place. But then you’d still be bound for a year so there would be double the blood on your hands. And there would be no way to redeem yourself after you died, an occurrence which would take place immediately once the year was up.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

My cell phone buzzes on the table.

I flip it open.

“YOU HAVE 1 TEXT MESSAGE.”

I open it and read the message.

“Hey, srry ill be a few mins l8. –SV”

That makes me want to puke. Really?

You seemed like such a wonderful person until I read that text message, Silas.

“Don’t worry about it,” I type with my thumbs before pressing the send button. A yawn stretches my mouth.

“A yawn is a silent scream for coffee, or so I hear,” the barista calls to me. “Can I get you anything?”

I smile at the young lady. “Sure. What kinds do you have?”

She begins rattling off a long list consisting of espresso, double espresso, cappuccino, Americano, café latte, extra shot, and flavored coffees. I inquire as to what options the latter might include.

“We have hazelnut, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, gingerbread, honeycomb, and mint,” she replies cheerfully.

I run through the list in my head a couple of times before looking back at the brunette.

“What’s your favorite?” I ask her. I’m horrible at making decisions.

“Well, I’m a vanilla person, so I’d go for that. But the caramel is good too.”

“Can I do both?” I ask.

She laughs. “I can try!”

With that, she sets to making my caranilla coffee and returns with a steaming mug of it. I take a deep breath and let it out in a contented sigh.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“It’s rude to break into people’s houses, Fanon,” I shout.

“I didn’t break in,” he replies, appearing in the middle of the living room.

I roll my eyes. “You’re in here uninvited. It’s the same thing.”

“No, it’s not. Breaking in implies that I forced myself into your house, which I did not.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Alias, darling,” he says slowly, “have you read about the old legends?”

Where is he going with this? I wonder.

“Which ones?” I ask instead.

“On the elves,” he replies without looking at me.

“No,” I tell him. “I’ve read quite of a bit of Tolkien though, if that’s what you’re referring to.”

Fanon chuckles. It’s a deep, throaty chuckle that sends shivers up my spine. He pulls a book off the shelf. Its cerulean cover sports golden letters that form to create the title.

The Truth in the Legends

Fanon begins to read a passage located somewhere in the middle of the book.

“In the old legends, Elves were not the honorable creatures Tolkien led people to believe in. They were powerful, dangerous, and beautiful supernatural beings who are more than likely to harm humans than help them.”

Fanon stops and I stare at him, my jaw hanging open. The fact that he read “are more likely” rather than “would be more likely” bothers me. The way the text is written implies that these creatures are real.

The man continues.

“The word ‘elves’ comes from a Germanic term that translates to ‘nightmare.’

“Now, dear Alias, in light of this new discovery, please keep in mind that if you disappoint me, I will hurt you. The Bank isn’t a game. It’s a business. I would appreciate it if you would treat it as such. From now on, stop playing with your targets and just perform the job. It will be easier on you.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I tear my jacket off and go through my arsenal which is comprised of five blades, not counting the one lying somewhere downstairs in a puddle of blood.

The spear-point will be for Silas and the drop-point for Mirai. I’ll try to do them at the same time to avoid causing one of them the agony of watching their only loved one die.

I’ll spare them the agony I’ve dealt with these past two centuries.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I hold onto Alex tight, knowing he’ll be gone at any moment. “Elizabeth Barton is dead,” I tell him.

“You could have been Mrs. Elizabeth Wilkins.”

“No, I couldn’t have been,” I sigh. “I would never have left you to this life. I would rather die every day and live in hell so you could be saved.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Fëar crosses his legs and hovers in the air, his elbows on his knees, his chin in his hand.

“Well, we hate humans, basically. So anyway we can hurt them, we will. Immortality is one of those ways. Killing the conscience is another. Though that doesn’t matter much until the soul leaves the body.”

I look up at the navy blue drapes that ensure no sunlight gets in the house. The thick material does its job well.

“So you live to see us hurt?” I ask, yawning. “That seems like a really shallow motive.”

“Oh, there’s more,” Fëar says, flashing me a wicked grin. “You humans don’t know it, but we control the earth.”

I blink. “What?”

“Oh, yeah. President of the United States? He’s the same as you. Of course, we do make exceptions for leaders. They have to die so no one will start to wonder.

“The assassins are all one of us. Most of them fake their deaths, some of them we kill if we think they’ll start telling the world about the Bank.”

“What other leaders do you own?” I ask.

“Well, the politicians are easy to win over. We’ve got some kings and queens.”

“Don’t they have to kill?”

“Yeah. But they do it differently.”

“How so?” I lean forward, curious.

He grins, revealing a set of perfect, white teeth. I notice his bicuspids are sharp. Sharper than any normal person’s. Almost vampirish.

“Do you drink blood?” I ask suddenly, forgetting my previous question.

He sits back, the grin fading. “Absolutely not,” he answers. “No.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Are you in trouble?”

I nod. “Been in it for two hundred years and I guess it’s not stopping today.”

“Wait, what? Have you been at the bottle?” Silas raises an eyebrow.

I laugh bitterly. “I wish that was as far as my troubles went, but no. You have to understand that I don’t like this.”

“You don’t like what? Just get to the point!” Silas watches me so closely as if he’s trying to pinpoint the problem somewhere on my face.

“Oh, how much longer must I sing this song?” I mutter under my breath. “It’s an old tune and was never catchy in the first place.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Hey, God,” I mutter. “Um, You know what I’ve done. You know I don’t want to do it but have no other choice. This is kind of like a slave contract sort of thing, I guess. I don’t know what to do. I’m lost, okay?

“Like that goat or whatever You talked about finding even when You had the ninety nine all safe and stuff. I’d like to be found again so if You could pick up that lost people detector or whatever You use to find us, I’d appreciate it.

“I’m willing to give this whole faith thing another go if You’ll just get me out of the Bank.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Why do you hate me?”

“I don’t hate you,” Fëar says. “My feelings toward you are worse than that.”

I had been heading toward the couch, but stop and cast a confused look over my shoulder. “What’s worse than hate?”

“Use.”

“What do you mean?” I curl up on the couch and watch his face.

“Hate simply means I wish ill for you, but use is much worse than that. It’s wanting to hurt you for my personal gain. You might enjoy it for a while, but I’ll only put up with you until your entertainment purposes surpass your usefulness.”

“Sometimes, I think you’re my friend,” I whisper. “But then I have to remind myself that I have no friends and even if I did, you couldn’t be one of them.”

Fëar chuckles. “Smart girl. Yes, you are smart, m’darlin’ but you’re stupid at the same time.”

I sigh. “Oh, go away.”

His chuckle echoes throughout Stone Cross Manor even after he disappears.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

NOW FOR SOME SCENES WITH JANUARY BECAUSE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

In the park, a man with vertically striped pants (almost like the kind Fanon wears, but in thinner stripes), a coat, some arm bangles, and a black cowboy hat covering half of his face. He appears to be sleeping so I brush past, but his hand reaches out and grabs my wrist.

“Ay,” he says, glancing up at me from his one visible eye. He doesn’t uncross his legs which stretch out on the park bench.

“Let my wrist go, please,” I say, in too much of a nice mood to get angry.

“No, not yet,” he says with a distinct American accent, and sits up. He fixes his cowboy hat and straightens his belt which is old and worn by the looks of it.

“Can I help you?” I ask. I stand far enough away to be able to move if he stands to get closer.

“You might.”

A blue printed scarf peeks out from beneath his dirty white shirt which is covered by a denim jacket. To top it all off, he wears a threadbare wool coat. It all adds up to make an interesting statement to say the least.

His face is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It’s dirty, but he has angular features, a straight nose, full pink lips, and it’s all framed by long strands of black hair that escaped his loose ponytail.

“What might I be able to help you with?” I ask when he doesn’t continue.

“Don’t know yet,” he says, eyeing me.

“I beg your pardon. I don’t understand.”

He flashes me a white, but slightly crooked smile that I find just darling. A few seconds later, I find myself smiling back at him.

“Would you care to sit with me for a while?” he asks me.

I know I shouldn’t, but I’ve got nothing to lose, so I sit beside the young American man and he releases my wrist.

“I thought you were sleeping,” I tell him.

He laughs. It’s a pleasant sound. I haven’t heard a genuine laugh from an adult in such a long time. If Silas ever laughed, it was because of some hidden nervousness or insecurity. Not like this man’s. It’s clear, loud, and real.

“Most people do,” he tells me with a wink.

I smile and nod, unsure of what else to do.

“Do you need money?” I ask.

He lets another laugh ring in the foggy air. “Oh, please,” he chuckles. When he doesn’t explain the humor in my question, I prompt him for an answer. He looks me in the eye, still grinning. “I don’t need money!”

I blink. “Forgive me for being so frank, but how do you not need money? You’ll freeze before the winter sets in if that’s the only outfit you’ve got.” I gesture toward his thin jacket.

The strange man continues grinning as he leans backward. His right arm rests on the back of the bench. He rolls his first two fingers in a circular motion to prompt me to go on.

“And it baffles me that you would sleep out here on a park bench in the cold if you have a flat or somewhere to live.”

Another chuckle escapes his lips. For some reason, it goads me on.

“No offense, but you’re quite filthy too,” I point out. “If you had enough money to live like a decent person, you would be much cleaner.”

He just keeps smiling. But the light in his brilliant blue eyes tells me he’s laughing at me.

“Plus, you-” I stop and shake my head as he begins to laugh again. “What’s so amusing?” I want to know.

“You put so much faith in something so unimportant,” he explains.

“I don’t understand. Yes, money isn’t the most important object, but without it, life is a lot more difficult.”

The man leans closer to me and whispers, “That’s what they want you to believe.”

I lean backwards and place a hand on his chest to keep him out of my personal space.

“What’s your name?” I ask. He leans back.

“Jan,” he answers. “It’s short for January.”

I wrinkle my nose. “January? Is that your real name?”

He shrugs. “I was born in January. That’s all I know about myself.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was put in the orphanage right after I was born, so I don’t know anything else. They never named me so I named myself.”

“Who never named you?”

Jan sighs and taps the side of my head. “Not very bright, are ya? No one named me! Not my parents, and no one in the orphanage.”

“Oh,” I say lamely.

“What’s your name, beautiful?” Jan smiles at me. He holds my gaze and doesn’t look away, even when he’s speaking. It’s a bit unnerving.

“Alias,” I answer.

“Is that your real name?” he asks, mimicking the tone in my voice when I had asked him that question.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” I respond, with a grin.

“Yes,” he says. “Yes, I would very much like to know.”

“Why?” I stop fingering the folds in my scarf. I hadn’t realized I was doing it until now.

“Because I’m a creeper.” Jan rolls his eyes. “I’m just curious, is all! No need to get so defensive.”

I smile at him and pat his cheek. “Cute.”

“Who is?”

“You are.”

“Why?”

I laugh. “No one acts the way you do. It’s cute.”

He shakes his head. “I’m not cute.”

“Then what are you?”

“I’m a loner who happens to be very attractive.”

I smile at Jan and he smiles back. “I’m willing to bet self-confidence is your best quality,” I say.

January shakes his head. “Nope. Humility is my best quality. Couldn’t you tell?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I think the longer you live, the shorter your Christmas list gets because you begin to realize that the things you want, you simply can’t find in a shop.” He shrugs and puffs out his cheeks.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“You hungry?” I ask him. “Can I take you out for supper?”

He raises an eyebrow. “Did you just ask me out on a date?”

I shake my head. “No. I asked you if you wanted some free food.”

He spreads his hands out. “Hey, I’ve never not accepted a free meal. But what’s the catch?”

“No catch. Just food.”

“Unless, of course, we eat fish. In which case, there must be a catch for there to be food.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I smile at him. “All right, what do you feel like eating.”

“People,” he mutters. A large man shuffles past the back of his chair and knocks the back of his head with his elbow.

I lean forward. “I’m not sure what you’re used to eating, Jan, but human beings are not on the menu.”

He laughs. “No! I was just-” He gestures to the man. “I was commenting on people’s manners, is all. Or rather, just people in general.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I smile. “What? You don’t have friends?”

“Nope. It’s just I, myself, and me against the whole world.”

“Same here.”

“Then maybe it’ll just be us against the whole world.”

I look up at Jan. “You’re sweet, you know that?”

He grins and sticks his tongue in his cheek. “Yeah, I think so.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“What do you want?” I moan.

“Some fun,” he hisses.

“Find it somewhere else. I’m not a Happy Meal.”

A low chuckle sounds in the back of the elf’s throat.

“I don’t need you to be happy,” Fëar clarifies. “I just need the meal. I’ll find the pleasure in it somewhere.”

“I’m not on any menu,” I snap. “Go away.”

He steps toward me and crouches before the bed. His hand stretches out and tucks a loose strand of my dark hair behind my ear. I stare into his pale blue eyes, rimmed with red.

“You still haven’t gotten me the blood I wanted,” he whispers.

“I just killed two innocent people,” I tell Fëar, wanting so much to be able to cry. “I can’t.”

The elf’s hand is on my throat in less than a second. His strangely beautiful face is just centimeters away from my own.

“We made a deal,” he growls. “You’re not backing out, love. I want blood in return for the blood I transferred to your account last time you decided you didn’t want to kill. And, beautiful, if you don’t, just know that I can make your life more miserable than you ever thought imaginable.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

the_reset

Okay, I don’t know why it turned out so small, but this is my lovely cast. ^_^

Starting at the top left corner and going clockwise, we have Fëar, Fëar again, Stonecross Manor, Alias, Alias again, Silas Vealy, Fanon, Fanon again, some weird blood-smoke thing, the Stalker who I have yet to name, January, and January again.

I hope you enjoyed that horribly long post. Every time, I plan on writing something short and sweet, but then I get going and, well, this is the result. 😛

Now I have a question for y’all.

God bless!

Rana

The Reset

Let me start off by saying, “wow.”

Like, fo’ real. My last post got shared 141 times on Pinterest. O_O

I’m shocked. And I’m happy. ^_^ Thank you so much, guys! I love you! xD

I asked my mum last night if I could respond to comments, and she said no. *sigh* But I promise you guys that when I can, I will. And I will enjoy it. It bothers me that I can’t get to know you. *sniffle* But please don’t let our lack of communication stop you from commenting. I really do read all your comments and I enjoy seeing what you have to say. *hugs*
And now, I’d like to present to you my newest plot bunny! *drumroll* The Reset!

I’m horrible with blurbs, and I know that’s horrible because I’m a writer and writers are supposed to be good with words. But I’m still learning and condensing a whole novel into only a couple hundred words is painful. There’s so much more to it than just what’s in the summary. :/

But anywho, I’ll try to write a blurb. 😛

Alias Holden lives in Stone Cross Manor located in Ulverson, Cumbria, UK. To save her fiance from a life of sin and agony, she takes his place in the Bank which is run by elves, who, contrary to popular belief, are not the noble creatures Tolkien portrayed them to be. According to ancient legend, they are powerful and supernatural beings who are more likely to harm humans than aid them. The word “Elves” comes from an old Germanic term for “nightmare.”

Alias has not been human for two hundred years, kept alive by the strange powers of the elves. She is made to kill periodically in order to continue living without the physical pain she normally would feel at two hundred and twenty four years old. The blood from her target would be transported to her account, but she wants out.

Unfortunately, the Bank won’t release her. They tell her they own her soul, but she doesn’t believe it. Alias has tried simply disobeying orders, but Fanon (the head of the Bank in the UK) sent shadows, voices, and physical pain to torture her until she completed the job. Alias is determined to get out, but has no idea how…

Okay, so there’s more than that, but like I said, I’m horrible condensing something huge into only a couple hundred words. 😛

And now for a snippet! Okay, it’s actually chapter 1, so a bit more than a snippet. 😀

The mirror shows no reflection as I stare – no – glare at the glass. There hasn’t been a reflection for two hundred years yet every day, I go back in the hope of seeing something. Anything. But every day, I wake up only to greet disappointment at the door.

It’s been my only company for these past two centuries.

They say I need to change, to open up to people, to make friends. But change hurts, and I’d have to cut myself open to make friends. Friends who die as soon as I begin to care.

It’s a curse.

A bloody curse.

I tear my gaze away from the mirror and storm downstairs to find Fëar sitting in my dining room, a steaming cup of tea in his pale hands. His legs are elevated to show off his muddy boots resting on my beautiful cherry oak table. The familiar black cat rests in his lap.

“What do you want?” I snap, not in the mood for any sort of conversation.

“I came to see if you’ve discovered anything,” he yawns.

“I haven’t. Now go away.”

“My dear girl, you didn’t even look. I’d bet my cat on it.”

The feline looks up at me with that strange golden eye. The other one is hidden by an eye patch.

“What do you want?” I sigh, pouring myself a cup of coffee.

“I want his blood.”

When I turn around, Fëar is standing right in front of me. His voice sounds like the red liquid he desires oozing out of a wound.

“Then take it,” I snap. “I don’t want it.”

“The last time you said that, Alias, you ended up making a bloody mess. Quite literally.”

“I don’t want to do it anymore. I told you that already.”

“You have no choice,” he hisses as one of his slender hands wraps around my arm. I cry out in pain as his fingers constrict the blood flow. “If you wanted to save him, you have to make some sacrifices.”

“Haven’t I made enough?” I scream more out of frustration than pain. “I haven’t seen my reflection for a very long time, Fëar.”

“You’re hollow inside.”

“I haven’t been human for two hundred years,” I snarl.

“I told you the consequences before you agreed to suffer them,” the tall, pale man growls. His fierce, glassy blue eyes are bloodshot and rimmed with red eyelids. “You know how to reverse it. Do it if you want it so much.”

“But who’s to say the next time I put this gun to my head it won’t go off?” I snap. “It’s too risky.”

“Your choice,” Fëar shrugs. He releases my arm and steps back. Something like an invisible sheet wraps around him and a second later, he reappears in the chair at the table, his feet propped up on the wood once again.

The one-eyed black cat rubs against my leg. I watch it with distaste.

“You told me once,” I tell Fëar, “the less you care, the happier you’ll be.”

“How’s it working out for you?” He sips his tea.

“It’s not.”

“Then you’re doing it wrong.”

“I don’t want to kill my conscience,” I tell him. “I don’t want to lose the one part of me that’s still human.”

“Alias, you’re confused!” Fëar laughs. “You’re living these lives all wrong!”

“No,” I say. “I’m not living lives. I’m taking them. And I’m not interested in it anymore.”

“The only way to get out, is to take many more. The only way to stay in, is to take only a few.”

“And I can’t die.”

“Tough, isn’t it?” Fëar looks sympathetic for a moment, but I know he can’t really be feeling that way. He’s incapable of feeling whatsoever. “You’re still so human. It’s a tough phase. You’ll get over it one day.”

“How do you ‘get over’ having to kill every person you care about just to keep from losing your soul? It sounds like that’s more of a way to lose it.”

“It will make sense in time, my darling.” Fëar takes one last sip of his tea. “Just wait.”

“What? Like two hundred years isn’t enough?” I scream at him. His lack of emotion rubs me the wrong way.

“You’re still young!” he soothes, standing up and coming to me. His arms wrap around my smaller body. I breathe in the distinct scent of lavender and lemongrass. Fëar always smells like that. Actually, all the Bankers smell the same. It’s a soothing scent.

“Alias,” I hear Fëar whisper, “you’re doing the right thing.”

A second later, the man, his dark blue scarf, black top coat, and top hat, as well as the black cat are gone. They disappeared, leaving me to my own devices.

I smile.

And that scares me just a little bit.

Hope you enjoyed that! 🙂

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

Tomorrow, we’re celebrating my little sister’s birthday, so I’m making a Reese’s Peanut Butter cake. Be jealous.

ALSO, I’M GOING TO SEE THE HOBBIT!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

I Can’t Just Write “Cute”

I started rewriting Hiraeth at the beginning of December but something was off.

I didn’t know what.

I thought that maybe it’s because I have a cold.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been going to bed between 11 and 12 every night and still having to get up for school at 8 (darn the homeschoolers, right? 😛 ).

But yesterday, I had an epiphany.

There was no meaning to the story. It was cute. That was it. Hiraeth was the first story I had ever completed and I was rewriting it. But there was no meaning, no depth, nothing to be learned from it. And that bothers me.

It all goes back to the very reason why we write.

We write because we have something to say.

I write for the people I’ve met, people I’ve cared about, people I never got to say goodbye to, people who I will never meet. I want to change someone’s life and open up new worlds for them and show them their broken life from a new perspective.

Essentially, I want to give them hope.

Because this is a messed up world. Suicide, depression, anxiety, drugs, rape, pre-marital sex, abortion, government corruption…

The list goes on.

But you know what? There is still a lot of good.

Go find an accident. Some calamity. Take the Boston Bombings for instance. Yes, people were hurt and dying, there was blood on the street. But that’s only the dark side. Flip the coin around and what do you see? Helpers. There will always be someone helping in the midst of pain.

I want to be that person.

So I wave, smile, and say “Merry Christmas” or “hi” to random strangers. You never know what battle people are fighting, so don’t be the one to judge and think they’ve got it made. I’m one of those people who will keep smiling when people are around but have a breakdown in bed at night.

Over the summer, I was really struggling. Like, bad. I basically lost all my friends. Most of them, I wasn’t even able to say goodbye to. It really sucked. I was depressed, growing up, lonely, had no one to talk to. I mean, I had my best friend, but we live so far apart and I’m not comfortable talking on the phone (it just isn’t the same as talking in person). Emailing wasn’t an option because I don’t open up to many people and I don’t like people knowing what I’m going through and our parents were monitoring our emails.

I was working at my dad’s small grocery store and I was really struggling inside. I wanted to just curl up in a dark corner and disappear. But this one guy walks past me and I smiled and asked him how he was doing and he said, “You’re always smiling! You must be a really happy person!” I wanted to scream and throw some cheese or sausage at him (that’s what I was fronting at the time) but instead I told him that there’s always something to be happy about.

I felt like the worst hypocrite.

In the end, I can’t just write “cute.” There’s nothing to cute. Nothing memorable, nothing deep, nothing to learn from it. And that’s really what writing is about: substance, important issues that are brushed off to the side, topics too difficult to talk about it person.

We have something to say. Let’s shout it.

What about you? Can you write “cute?” Or do you have to have some substance to your novel?

Did that make sense? I’ve still got a cold and I took NyQuil last night and I’ve been irritable since I got up. Though I did get to sleep before 11 which is pretty good! 😀

God bless!

Rana

Chatterbox: Mythology

‘Ello, my lovlies!

I’ve come down with a cold and finals for biology lecture and lab are today.

Coincidence? I think not.

My friend had a theory on this: Why do Americans call Autumn “fall?” Quite simply because everyone is coming down with sickness. Sounds more like a cheesy joke, but hey! Snickerdoodle Hashtag approves.

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So onto the subject of this month’s chatterbox. If you’re not sure what this is about, check out the Inkpen Authoress blog. 🙂

The topic: Mythology.

I couldn’t see anything through the thick fog. Moisture seeped through my clothing, causing the garments to stick uncomfortably to my skin. I hurried down the steep, rocky slope to the edge of the water with as much caution as I could muster.

The second my big toe dipped into the water, a large sort of sea monster rose only a few yards in front of me and leaned its long neck forward, parting the mist. I ran a trembling hand along the damp, scaly skin. Its body exuded a warmth that was unnatural for a creature of these cold waters.

“You need to leave,” I whispered to it.

The loch ness monster pulled back and looked into my eyes, staring as if it was reading my soul.

“They’re going to get you,” I explain. “And I won’t watch you die. So please, go.”

The creature nuzzled my face for the last time before swimming backwards and slipping below the lazy lapping waves. I stared at the water until the ripples caused by the loch ness were no more.

God bless!

Rana

Cannibalism and Soundtracks

These aren’t my cookies, by the way. Mine could never be that perfect. Besides, I would rather eat the sweets rather than leave ’em out for Santa.

It’s not how you think. I promise.

We bought our Christmas tree a few days ago and decorated it last night. It looks beautiful.

Mom suggested I make Christmas cookies for us to eat while we decorate the tree. I obliged. And ate a lot. Too many, in fact. But I have a theory: you can’t feel guilty if you don’t know how many sweets you eat. So I just don’t count. I feel fine. 🙂 You’re all welcome. Just don’t come complaining to me if you try out my system and get sick or fat. 😛

Anyway, I used those cookie cutter things (hearts, Christmas trees, angels, gingerbread men) and most of them went in looking pretty swell, but when they came out, it was like they went through a mutation machine.

But they tasted good. That’s all that matters.

While I was eating a gingerbread man (I made him look angry with icing), I broke off an arm (because, ya know, I like to cause my cookies as much pain as possible before I end their crumby lives) and made a face at the cookie. Mom started laughing at me and when I asked her what was so funny, she told me I was making faces at my food.

I hadn’t counted on anyone noticing.

But oh well.

Also, while we were decorating, I wanted to cry. I felt so sorry for my poor Cael and for killing his twin, Kody. That’s not weird. It’s a writer thing.

Now onto soundtracks! 😀

I see other writers discussing their novel soundtracks and thought, “Hey! Why not?” So here you go, listening to me inflict my opinions upon the world. 😛

I don’t really have novel soundtracks, per se (mainly because I find an artist I like, obsess over them for a while, and then move on). But I do listen to music while I write. It seems like every novel gets their own artist. While I was writing the second book of Desensitized, I pretty much only listened to Evanescence.

For the third book of the trilogy, my soundtrack was mainly comprised of music by Thousand Foot Krutch (I think).

Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately in no particular order:

I See Fire by Ed Sheeran — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Soundtrack

Fly on the Wall by Thousand Foot Krutch

Who We Are by RED

Courtesy Call by TFK

We Are by TFK

E for Extinction by TFK

Haunted by Taylor Swift

Shiver by The GazettE

Red by The GazettE

Action by Nu’est

Face by Nu’est

I also listen to EXO, Evanescence, Skillet (but I already mentioned those two), Christina Grimmie, Plumb, Britt Nicole, etc. I listen to almost everything. As long as the lyrics are clean. Even with KPop and JPop. I have to find the lyric translation and make sure it’s fine in the other language before I listen to it.

Yeah, call me weird.

It’s a compliment.

God bless!

Rana

Writing Resources

Okay, so I get these email notifications from Go Teen Writers.

I received this one and started geeking out. Like, I literally started hyperventilating and hopping from one foot to the other and squeeing. I didn’t know what squeeing was before. Now I do.

Here are a bunch of free printable downloads (I saw it, spazzed, and immediately set to printing all of these) to help with editing your manuscript!

And here are some links to their normally $17.00 eBook for $0.99. NINETY NINE CENTS.

I cannot wait for my mother to get home so she can buy this for me. I will pay her back. NINETY NINE CENTS.

Nook

Kobo

Kindle

Let me know if you’re going to buy the book/print out those downloads!! I’m so excited!

God bless!

Rana

We Torture Ourselves

So, on Sunday, I went to my grandma’s house for a cook out since my uncle from California is visiting.

I was supposed to be having fun (and I did have a bit).

But I kept mulling over all the men I fell in love with who died.

I have a knack for falling for the dudes who die.

And when they die, I die. It’s a horribly cruel cycle.

Anyway, I finished the Desensitized trilogy. I wanted to cry. I killed my favorite.

 

And I looked at Aspen and went:

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Because he was the only one she could talk to about anything. He was the only one who understood her pain, who knew the history, who didn’t let her pretend she was okay.

Worst part is: they didn’t get to say goodbye.

And now Aspen has to go tell his brother (who had his memories twisted and wiped) that his twin just died.

I feel like a monster.

So I got to thinking what’s the difference between a writer and a reader when it comes to killing people?

We’re obviously talking fictional, people!

Why can Moffat do this and laugh while we cry (Thanks, Una. I’m still dying on the inside.)?

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But, as writers, when we kill our babies off, we can laugh and cry?

What’s the difference?

I mean, it would make more sense for the writer’s to cry, right? We’re the ones doing the killing? But when our readers cry, we laugh.

Is it because writers are sadistic?

Maybe.

But I also think writer’s feel more pain. Why?

Because we know we can change it, but we won’t. Readers are powerless. They learn to accept. Writers… oh, no. We are merciless creatures. We torture ourselves.

We could turn that tragic end, to a happy ending.

We could keep the love interest alive and make the hero happy.

We could give the loner a friend.

We could do anything.

But we don’t.

We kill.

We give people false hopes.

We make it look like the sun is about to come out just before the darker clouds cover it up and rain begins to pour.

We are the ones who inflict this agony onto ourselves.

But you know what? It’s worth it.

In the end, while we have killed some of our favorites, we have built up worlds, torn down corrupt governments, ridden the dragon, saved the princess, and torn ourselves open for the world to see.

We are writers. And we will take over the world.

God bless!
Rana