Eoin and a Polka Dot, Polka Dot, Polka Dot…

Hi guys! So I know it’s late but you know what? It’s STILL WEDNESDAY. In my book, that means I win. I’m exhausted – I spent the day with Sunny and Elinor and Shmelllllen…. (Dearest Shmella: please don’t kill me. You know I think you’re the greatest human being on this planet. That fact, however, will not stop me from calling you Shmellen and all variants of it. :P) They all sunbathed and I acted like the vampire that I am – at one point in the day the girls tried to get me to lie out in the grass with them, saying stuff like, “It’s so warm!” “It feels so good!” and I, without thinking, replied, “No! It burrrrns!” It really was making my face sting, I’m not making this up. (Augh! The hideous light of the day star!)

Because I’m so tired, I’m not going to have a super in depth post today – I’m going to give you an excerpt from my NaNo novel (it’s from Eoin’s first chapter – I love him so much!) and then leave you with a video.

But first…! As you know, I had my orchestra audition on Saturday, and I got an email yesterday telling me that I MADE IT IN!!! I didn’t make the level I wanted to, but I still did pretty dang well, and this orchestra is really hard to get into, so I’m just really excited and really proud of myself that I did it. 🙂

Alright, here’s the excerpt. Enjoy!

“Who’s next?” Eoin called, pushing his hair back from his sweaty forehead. He looked expectantly down the line of boys, who started jostling each other. Malcolm shoved Angus forward, who in turn dragged Callum away from the fence and toward Eoin. Callum aimed a kick at him, which Angus dodged, staggering into Hamish.

Eoin rolled his eyes. As a Senior Initiate, it was his job to assist the lower level Initiates in their training, in addition to his Assignment as castle guard. Every morning he woke up and made his way down to the training field, where he sparred with a group of red levels (the white levels weren’t advanced enough to go up against him – he found himself destroying them, even when he tried to hold back). After a few hours he would head up to the Initiates’ dormitories and sleep until sundown. Rhys would bring him leftovers from dinner, and Eoin would drag himself out of bed to work the night shift, patrolling up on the castle walls.

It was a tiring routine, but Eoin enjoyed it – and no matter how tired he was, he never had any trouble beating the snot out of his group of boys. (Of course, sometimes he had bad days, during which the boys never hesitated to gleefully beat the snot out of him. The system worked well.)

Hamish elbowed Angus. “Shove off, you cretin.” He shook out his wrist and grabbed his sword. “I’ll go.”

Eoin grinned. “Excellent.” Hamish had recently decided it would be a good idea to nick Eoin’s armor and hide it in the stables, where Eoin had found it later, covered in poo. He was looking forward to enacting revenge upon the little twerp.

He twirled his sword in his hand and waited for Hamish to take his stance. Once the boy was in position, Eoin raised his sword arm. “Ready?”

Hamish nodded.

“Begin!”

The blonde boy shot forward, swinging his sword in a sideways slice aimed at Eoin’s ribs. Eoin ducked and stabbed forward, forcing Hamish to sidestep the blow. Hamish directed an overzealous blow toward Eoin’s back, which Eoin twisted up to block. Hamish jumped back slightly, resting on the balls of his feet as he waited for Eoin’s next move.

The boy’s stance reminded Eoin of how Caerwyn stood when she was fighting. Easy to knock over, sure, but light enough on her feet that you would never have the opportunity. The girl was a natural with a sword, and so graceful…

Distractedly, Eoin jabbed at Hamish. Hamish easily blocked him and advanced, fiercely. Eoin was thrown and staggered backward. He yanked his attention from the brown-haired girl who constantly occupied his thoughts and focused back on the fight. Just in time, he noticed a hole in Hamish’s defense and stabbed at it. Hamish anticipated Eoin’s move and brought down the hilt of his sword on Eoin’s shoulder (head shots were against the rules). Cursing, Eoin charged the boy, hoping to knock him off balance.

No such luck – Hamish dug his heels in at exactly the right moment, and Eoin couldn’t budge him. Eoin’s shoulder throbbed and he swore to himself that if he lost this fight, he would have to hide spiders in Hamish’s bed for the next week.

Thankfully, Hamish made a mistake. He lifted his sword above his head in order to swing downward at Eoin, leaving his stomach exposed. Eoin jabbed him, harder than necessary. He had won, but only barely.

A shout of anguish went up from the rest of the boys. “C’mon, Hamish!”

“Like you could do better,” he shot back. He let his arms fall, sword tip bouncing against the ground. He raised an eyebrow at Eoin. “That was sloppy. Got your head in the clouds again?”

“I’ll tell what’s sloppy and what’s not, thanks,” Eoin snapped. “Lest you forget, I just smeared your sorry behind all over this field.”

Hamish stuck out his tongue and joined the other boys on the fence, hoisting himself up on the rails. “Barely.”

Eoin smacked him over the head with the flat side of his sword. “Shut your face, Hamish.”

Angus grinned, wickedly. “I know what it was,” he said, crossing his arms and fixing his gaze on Eoin. “He was thinking about Lady Caerwyn.”

Eoin found himself blushing against his will. “Don’t be stupid. I wasn’t thinking about anyone, I was just distracted by Hamish’s fat head.”

The other boys had a laugh at Hamish’s expense, but quickly turned the brunt of their teasing back to Eoin. “So you were thinking about her!” Malcolm cried, accusingly. “Don’t lie.”

“I’m not – ” Eoin started, but Callum interrupted him.

“Worried, lover boy?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “She’s getting her Assignment this morning, you know.”

Eoin shook the thought of Caerwyn from his head. “I’m not worried,” he said (a lie, and a blatant one at that). “Lady Caerwyn is a competent initiate who can take care of herself. She’ll be fine.”

Before I go: I want to do a blog post maybe this weekend or next week in which I answer a bunch of questions from you guys, so if you have anything you want to ask me or just want my opinion on or whatever, leave them in comments! And if you’ve been hanging around reading and not commenting, please do leave a comment – it doesn’t have to be long, but reading them really does make my day, I really appreciate them. 🙂

I leave you with this. You’re welcome. (If you listen to the whole thing, you win serious points. I think this is hilarious, but it gets really annoying, really fast.)

Hahaha. Have fun with that stuck in your head for the rest of your life. 😀

Love you, too!

~Hero

Camp NaNoWriMo, Orchestra Auditions, and Shakespeare in the Park

In that order. Let’s go.

Camp NaNoWriMo

As of three days ago, I’ve been hanging out here at the scenic Camp NaNoWriMo. (Translation: sitting at my computer in my bedroom drinking too much coffee.) I’m making pretty good progress – I’m already at 6,400 words, but I’m nowhere near my friend Tatiana! She’s at 16,000 already and it’s only day three! It’s ridiculous. I swear, my number one motivator this month will be my inane desire to BEAT HER WORDCOUNT. YES.

Anyway, I haven’t really got a decent summary just yet – on the Camp NaNo site I just have a quote up: “Beware when battling with monsters, that you do not become a monster youself. For the longer you gaze into the abyss, the longer the abyss gazes into you.”  It kind of summarizes Eila, and it works well as a summary, so. 😛

Since I don’t have a summary, here’s a quick excerpt. (A quick warning, it’s a teensy bit graphic.)

Caerwyn figured she had a grand total of five minutes before Seamus noticed her absence and sent someone to fetch her. She had to make the most of her fleeting moments of freedom, and somehow do something in that time that would make the rest of the night bearable. She knew from living in the castle for the past few months that there was a fountain in the middle of this courtyard – perhaps if she could cool down a little now, it would fortify her enough to endure the sweltering temperatures inside for the rest of the night.

She grimaced. Unlikely, but it was the best idea she could come up with.

Itchy, stupid yellow dress trailing behind her, Caerwyn tramped down the steps into the courtyard and over to the fountain. Over the sound of the bubbling water and her own footsteps, she thought she heard someone else in the courtyard. She stopped and squinted through the darkness. “Hello? Is someone there?”

There was no answer, other than the small splashing sounds coming from the fountain. Caerwyn frowned. “I won’t go telling on you, if that’s what you’re worried about – I’m not supposed to be out here, either.”

In reply she heard what could have been the swish of a cloak, but she suspected it was just her idiotic dress rustling behind her.

“Hearing things,” she muttered to herself, shaking her head and continuing over to the fountain. She plunged her hands in and rubbed water on her face, relishing the cool droplets running down her cheeks. She repeated the gesture, this time accidentally getting some in her mouth.

Caerwyn froze. There was something off about the water. It had a metallic taste to it, which was odd, because the water came directly up from a spring into the fountain, and never had any contact with metal. Nobody tossed coins in it – nobody had any to spare. So why did it taste like…

…Why did it taste like blood?

Caerwyn immediately spat the water out of her mouth. She remembered that taste from when she’d fallen and cut the inside of her lip in training last week. Somehow this water had been tainted with blood, which meant that something in it was bleeding, or someone had bled into it, or… or something! Frantically, Caerwyn yanked up the hem of her gown and wiped the bloody water off her face, staining the skirt.

Why was there blood in the water? She peered in, but it was almost impossible to see anything in the moonlight. Leaning closer, she noticed something on the other side of the fountain, bobbing slightly as the water ebbed against the basin of the fountain. Caerwyn reached across the water, fingers grazing it.

What is that? She couldn’t reach, and instead darted to the other side of the fountain, plunging her hands in and grabbing it out of the water.

The horror of what Caerwyn had retrieved from the fountain took a few moments to register in her mind. She stared at it blankly, heart stopped in her chest, hands shaking.

It was a baby. His soaking raven hair was plastered to his forehead and his bright blue eyes were still open. His lips were tinged with purple and he was leaking blood all over Caerwyn’s hands.

Caerwyn recognized the eyes, the shape of the nose, the birthmark over his eyebrow. It was the prince. The newborn prince – the entire reason for this banquet – dead in Caerwyn’s grasp, a huge gash running the length of his stomach.

The full realization of what she was holding finally hit her, like a blow to the chest, and she screamed. The prince fell from her hands and landed back in the water with a sickening splash. Caerwyn’s heart was hammering in her chest, her knees were giving out under her, and she could not for the life of her stop screaming. Her voice caught in her throat and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. It was like her brain was swelling inside her head, and the pressure made her head pound.

Okay, onto the orchestra auditions: I did well on my solo, my excerpt was fine until the end (ugh), my hands were shaking so much on my scale that my bow slipped at one point (double ugh), and my sightreading was disgusting. Like, disgusting. But oh well. I think I did all right, so fingers crossed I get it. I’ll know soon. In the meantime, I’ll be in my room, writing and pretending it never happened. 😛

Finally, Shakespeare in the Park! (I’ll make this quick because a friend of mine is bugging me on Skype and I find it difficult to write and IM people at the same time, haha.) I met up with Frankie and Lauren and their family and went to see Othello at the Botanical Gardens – it was awesome. It was so hot for an hour or so before the play started, but then the sun finally started to go down and it was such a nice temperature. And the play was just incredible – the guy who played Iago was fantastic, and I have officially decided that Iago is the best villain ever.

Ever.

After the play was over, I bought a t-shirt.

Before I go, I want to give a shout out to all my Camp NaNo cabinmates! Here are links to all their profiles, as well as mine.

Tatiana

Helen

Katherine

Teresa

Julia

MEEEEE

It’s seriously the best cabin ever. 🙂

All right, well, off I go to either talk to my friend or blow him off and watch Leverage… (Haha, Nick, this is what you get for being mean.)

I’ll talk to you guys Wednesday! Thanks for being the best. ❤

~Hero

P.S. Has anybody else been watching The Legend of Korra? I am loving it, it’s so amazing. (Also, Bolin is flawless. Just sayin’.)

Too Tired And Lazy and Sick of Martha Speaks

I’m watching a friend of mine’s little brother so he can get stuff done around their house (they’re packing), and I have now watched three hours of Martha Speaks and Dragon Tales and Blue’s Clues (which the little boy got sick of really quickly, which is a shame because it is by far the best out of all of these), and my mind is melting.

Bleghhhhhhh.

Anyway. My cello audition is this Saturday, my fingers hurt, my friends have forced me to fall in love with Tom Hiddleston (don’t judge me), and I’m going to Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. (“Doth mother know you wearest her drapes?”)

Long story short, I’m exhausted and have nothing smart to say today.

In the meantime, enjoy the cover of my Camp NaNo novel, Semper – a friend of mine made it for me and I really like it.

~Hero

Heh. Heh. (Eoin’s Bio)

…Hi guys. So I’ve been plot charting. And watching The Legend of Korra. And then going old school and watching the original series. (“SECRET TUNNEL! SECRET TUNNEL! THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS! SECRET TUNNELLLL!”)

I also watched Return of the King last night and cried like a little girl. I can’t help it! They bow to the hobbits! And Legolas and Aragorn and everybody… and then FRODO LEAVES AND PIPPIN CRIES AND I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT!!! *bawls*

So, yeah. I’m still freaking out about auditions, of course, but I’m pretending I’m not… Right now I’m just reveling in how awesome it is to be an earthbender and pretending my cello is not sitting twenty feet away from me, nagging me to practice.

*ahem*

Anyway, as promised, here’s Eoin’s bio. (I completely love Eoin. Just saying.)

Name: Eoin

Age: 16

Gender: Male

Appearance: Red hair, thick and long enough that it grazes his eyebrows, but not so long that it obscures his eyes or covers his ears. Pretty muscular, makes him look slightly chunky. Has a big goofy grin that endears him to everyone. Fairly tan, but not brown.

Height: 6’1″

Strange or unique physical characteristics: Is much more graceful than he looks.

Favorite clothing style/outfit: Actually enjoys getting into his official initiate uniform and dressing up for parties (unlike Caerwyn, who hates anything fancy or stuffy).

Where does he live? Eildur Castle.

What is it like?  See Caerwyn’s bio – note that Eoin doesn’t spend time in the dungeons, as they’re not his assignment.

Defining gestures: Talks with his hands, waving them around all over the place; when he’s trying to figure out what to say, he furrows his brows and scowls a little.

Things about his appearance he would like to change: His weight – he feels like a baby-faced kid.

Speaking style: Loud, animated, fast. He’s very talkative.

Pet peeves: Arrogance, same as Caerwyn, but also negativity (on the part of others). He hates it when people mope around and are depressing all over the place.

Fondest memory: When he received the request for him to begin Initiation – he never thought he’d make the cut.

Hobbies/Interests: He, like Caerwyn, doesn’t have a lot of free time, but he very much enjoys music and wishes he could play an instrument. His main hobby is making people laugh.

Special skills/abilities: He puts people at ease. People feel comfortable talking to him.

Insecurities: He feels like a dork and that Caerwyn will never love him because he’s too derpy. [Oh my goodness, my brain while I was writing.]

Quirks: Laughs in a strange way – sounds like he’s hiccuping/weeping. [If you’ve seen any Messy Monday outtake videos, think of Jordan’s laugh – it’s like that.]

Temperament: Easygoing. Comfortable and content. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have drive, but he’s happy in every stage and moment in life on the way to where he’s going.

Negative traits: Doesn’t give himself enough credit. He also belittles himself.

Things that upset him: When the people he loves are hurt or upset.

Things that embarrass him: Himself. Eoin finds a lot of things about himself, or his words or his actions, embarrassing.

This character is highly opinionated about: What’s right and what’s wrong.

Any phobias? Nope – nothing you could label a phobia.

Things that make him happy: Eoin is happy all the time, generally, but Caerwyn is what ‘makes him happy’, per se.

Family: Oldest of seven kids – he’s always been under a lot of pressure to be a good role model, and never felt like he was.

Deepest darkest secret: Is hugely in love with Caerwyn.

Reason he has kept this secret for so long: Is afraid of rejection, of course, and it’s not like it ever came up.

Other people’s opinions of him: He’s friends with everyone, and everyone likes him. They don’t like how he’s so down on himself, though… It gets annoying.

Favorite books: Doesn’t have a lot of time to read, but he enjoys a good fantasy story – dragons and whatnot.

Favorite foods: Stew from the castle kitchens, fresh out of the pot, in the company of good friends.

Physical health: Very good – strong, fit, healthy.

Dream vacation: Doesn’t care. He’d go anywhere as long as he was with Caerwyn.

Description of his house: He lives in the initiate’s dorm, like Caerwyn.

Description of his bedroom: He’s in the standard dorm – plain stone walls, three simple beds and a chest at the end of each bed.

Best thing that ever happened to him: Caerwyn [This bio is a lot sappier than I thought it was when I wrote it… Whatever.]

Worst thing: The princess. Also [SPOIIIIIILER].

Superstitions: Slightly afraid of magic because of the princess going NUTS.

Three words to describe this character: Content, loyal, strong.

Supporting Character Questions

Relationship to protagonist: best friend & love interest

Favorite thing about the protagonist: her humility and her perserverance

Similarities to protagonist: white initiate like her, also very loyal like she is

Differences: more talkative, slightly more optimistic, but also less humble than she is (in a self-derogatory way)

Anyway. I’ve changed Princess Serafina’s name to Princess Eila – it sounds more Gaelic, and it makes sense that she’d be named after the kingdom (Eildur) since she’s royalty. I’ll have her bio up tomorrow.