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#NaNoWriMo update: I’M A WINNER

NaNo-2018-Winner-Certificate img

My current word count on the #NaNoWriMo story is 50312, which puts me above 50k and makes me a winner. I’M A WINNER YAY!!!

I’m really happy today as you can imagine.

Funny thing, my story actually ends at 50k because I plan on making this the first volume of who knows how many and I just happen to have reached as good a checkpoint as I could find. Of course, I didn’t get around to editing yet, but I want to leave it for the moment so that I can view it from an objective perspective when I begin with the edits.

NaNoWriMo graph day 28 winning day
Here is the proof if you don’t believe me ūüėÄ

I am anxious to reach the next step, editing, and moving on with this story, but before that I think I will return to Forced in Between and Gwine, work a bit more on those and then come back.

So that’s the news I wanted to share with you, story lovers and bookworms. If you took on this challenge too, I hope you win (or already won) yourselves!

NaNo-2018-Winner-Badge

Keep Calm and WRITE ON

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Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #42

The weekend is finally here, and that means that it’s high time for a glimpse into a new story. Well, to be more precise, a flash fiction that might have the potential to become a more complex story… eventually ūüôā

The song I choose as inspiration is the following: Illusion & Dream by Poets of the Fall. Be sure to give it a listen because it’s a great song.

Without further ado, let’s all have our fill of fiction, shall we?


“Look in my eyes. I’ll make you see how we’re drifting aimlessly in this world of make believe.”

“I don’t understand. This is reality, how can it be make believe?”

“Now this is why I’ve grown detached from all manner of civilisation, to avoid the likes of you, superficial people, who won’t even care to listen through the end.”

“You can’t be isolated forever, though…”

“I hardly care at all for worldly matters. Whatever’s going on fails to concern me, so I locked myself beyond these walls, these borders you somehow managed to cross.”

“Borders? Walls? I didn’t notice anything of the sort on my way here.”

“It is the only reason I agreed to hear you out. There’s something mystic with you but I can’t put my finger on it. Yet, you’ve only shown me disappointment. You reek of all manner of worldly trivialities and bad habits.”

“That wasn’t my inte-“

“Enough of your talk. I was explaining how this world is not the truth you’ve been led to believe. But alas, you interrupted me, and I shall permit it no longer. Am I understood?” A nod. “Good. Where was I… Yes, the truths and the facts they sell you are but illusion and dream. But you need to see beyond their lies.”

They who? the confused man would have asked, but decided against speaking, lest he might never find whatever his interlocutor saw as the real truth.

“There is a world, much like this one, only that it’s following its own wondrous rules. Whispers of it go through books long forgotten, tales of a mystical haven. Much of them is nonsense, of course, otherwise they wouldn’t have been permitted to exist even now, of course. But the seed of it came from midnight revelations and passing visions, and that is true. Some people saw the real world, and hid it behind pompous words.”

What is this world? Is it even material? What does it look like? The questions were swallowing him whole, but he fought against the urge to speak. And good thing he did, because the unclear explanations soon came to an end, and soon he would see everything for himself.

“Now, enough of my ramblings. You must have a mystic gift, seen how you crossed my borders, so it is only fit for you to return to the real world, live the life that was taken from you before memories ever grew roots in your head. I want you to repeat after me, word by word, exactly as I say it. I will only say it once.”

A nod, and a drop of sweat rolling down the forehead. He was anxious to the point of growing frightened. Still, he listened with care, taking in every sound.

“With silence comes peace. With peace comes freedom. With freedom comes peace. May we never escape this vicious circle.”

Poof!

Gone. The person before him was gone, having vanished straight into thin air. Caught unaware, he forgot the words he was supposed to repeat. What was he supposed to say? Did he even want to say those words? What if he vanished as well, and what if he couldn’t come back? Still, he tried, again and again.

“With peace comes, uh… freedom. With freedom… silence and silence… peace? I want to escape this vicious circle.”

Nothing. Again.

“Silence brings peace, peace brings freedom. And the vicious circle is made, how do we escape…”

Nothing. Again.

“With silence comes peace. With peace comes freedom. With freedom comes peace. May we never escape this vicious circle.”

And he was gone, on his way back to the reality he had been stolen from.

Posted in An author's view, Bookish stuff

Book review: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini

The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, a wonderful book, but one that, to my surprise, I read in just one afternoon. Needless to say, Christopher Paolini still remains my favourite author, even though not everything about this long-awaited book was to my liking.

Now to hopping on straight into the review itself…

…starting with the negative aspects:

The read was short, only a little bit past 250 pages with too little and too large a writing on each (surprisingly thick) page. Not to mention that for such a short story, it’s disturbingly difficult to carry around due to its hardcovers. This was what left me disappointed.

But things aren’t all that bad.

I did enjoy the contents, condensed as they were, and I was surprised by the choice of plot and the structure that the author chose for this book. Surprised in a good way I mean. Although I expected something very much different, I must say this story compensated for whatever loss I felt.

I’ll try to explain why, giving you as few spoilers as I can.

This book illustrates some of the aftermath going on after the “boss battle” in the previous book, Inheritance, and is rather lore-oriented, although it still consists of narrative. This, I found amazing. Even cooler is the fact that the author’s sister, Angela Paolini, helped write some of the content, namely that where the character Angela (ofc!) comes up in the story and even narrates as well.

The timeline is unexpected, yet clear, separated throughout chapters in a constant, even flowing motion. Each of the three parts the book is separated in follows the same rhythm, which is soothing because of its flowing motion. Each of these three parts is divided into three chapters, the middle one always acting out as the rebel and shifting the timeline somewhere in the past with an unexpected and random tale from the world of Alaga√ęsia. It’s up to you as the reader to decide how long ago that might have happened, if you dare put your head around this particular question, of course! That in itself is a beautiful thing a writer can come up with, I think.

In the afterword, the author mentions that “Writing about Eragon and Saphira after so many years was like returning home after a long journey.” Very much the same, I, as a reader, must admit that reading about the happenings in Alaga√ęsia after so many years was like returning home after a long journey. It was a break from reality, one unlike any other, especially since Alaga√ęsia holds a special place in my heart.

This is about as much as I have to say about this book, and I hope I have convinced you (or at least made you consider) reading this book as well. It won’t take too much of your time, I guarantee, but those couple of hours will most certainly be worth it!

Posted in An author's view, Bookish stuff

2 days, 2 books

Normally it would take me at least a week to finish a book, giving me time to post about it pretty much any day of the week. Well, this week was an exception.

First of all, I finished reading Coeur d’encre by Cornelia Funke, and it was quite nice. Much like a peaceful stroll in a quiet meadow, the wind occasionally blowing to spice things up just a little. Not a bad feeling, honestly.

But moving on…

The first book I read in just one day is the following: C’est la vie (The French Art of Letting Go) by Fabrice Midal, which wasn’t a bad read, even though short. You might notice from the title itself that it’s a work of non-fiction, not exactly my cup of tea in terms of genre, but a good change of pace every now and again.

From my perspective, the contents don’t quite live up to the title, but I must admit that they did change my perspective on meditation for the better. Wouldn’t read a 2nd time, though!

The second book I read in just a day (just an afternoon to be more precise) is one I’ve been waiting for for years now. It turned out to be so much shorter than I thought possible from this author, and not just any but my favourite author, Christopher Paolini.

Yes, you got that right. He recently published a new book whose action is placed in Alaga√ęsia, one of the best fictional worlds I’ve encountered yet (and would love to visit any time, if only that were possible), and this new book is called The¬†Fork,¬†the¬†Witch,¬†and¬†the¬†Worm, for which you can check out a review in my next post!

As for what I’m reading next… I’m honestly not sure. I’ve got some things to sort out before I relax myself with some more reading, but I’ll keep you updated once I’ve made my decision! I have a feeling it’s gonna be some fiction (preferably fantasy ofc!), and possibly in french.

That’s the news for now, you lovely bookworms, but keep your eyes open because more will be coming your way before you know it!

Posted in Miscellaneous

Cooking going well: Omurice, Japanese recipe

It’s always interesting to see the difference between expectations and reality, and so it was today when I got cooking something new. (spoiler alert: the food was still delicious)

As the title above says, I cooked Omurice, which is a Japanese dish with omelet and rice (and other ingredients too, of course). You can check the whole recipe on this YouTube video just like I did. As you might expect, I didn’t make 4 portions, but one alone. Otherwise, I think I followed the instructions quite well for a first try.

So here is how it turned out:

Ignore my bad food photography skills :)))

Needless to say, I ate it all in a gulp (not literally) because it turned out really tasty, and the ketchup made everything easier to swallow, although I found it strange at first to combine rice with ketchup haha!

I admit I surprised myself with this recipe, simple as it may be, because I rarely have any initiative when it comes to cooking… especially when I think of all the dishes I have to clean in the aftermath…

Eating was fun… doing the dishes wasn’t…

Still, there are some simple things I want to modify to how I prepared the ingredients for the recipe:

  • more meat (like seriously, why did I even put so little meat inside???)
  • onion chopped into smaller bits
  • mushrooms left into larger bits

So this is it. Hungry yet? Don’t worry, you can give this recipe a try as well, and let me know how it turns out afterwards.

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #41

This time I’ll be creating a fantasy flash fiction out of U2’s song, Where The Streets Have No Name, a song requested by A. Shepherdson. Cheers for the inspiring idea!

Now, to get straight to the point, here’s a little fantasy for your craving imagination. I know you want it!


An old man once told me that there’s a place without a name, a safe haven in a forgotten corner of the world. He said all contact with the outside was broken, so that peace and quiet would prosper.

These days, I craved for peace and quiet like I’d crave for air if it were to be taken from me. Yes, I craved peace and quiet like a page craves for ink and a flower craves for sunlight. I could do without it for a little while, but it wouldn’t be long before it would swallow me up and devour me to the core.

He told me:

“Take the street that has no name until all your love turns to rust. Beware the beating of the wind, but don’t fear it. Take shelter from the poison rain, for it is bound to strike if your path is true, and unnamed obstacles will slow you to a halt. Remember, it is better to pause and continue later than turn around and return where you began.”

Helpful.

I never found the street without a name. I asked for it, but, of course, all streets needed a name, so nobody knew one without it. Nobody in the mortal world. That could only mean one thing: the street without a name was in another world, one I took for certain was impossible to exist. Was the Faerie Realm truly real? And the Elven Forest and Giants’ Mountain? How about the Siren’s Lagoon and the Dragon’s Pearl Haven?

For the first time in my life, I saw these children’s stories with a whole new pair of eyes, but it was still too difficult to believe. In spite of all logic, I returned to the old man’s house at the edge of the village and ask him. What exactly, I would think about on the way, maybe, but I knew I had to see him. He was my only lead.

I only arrived as darkness fell like a curtain. As expected it appeared like the old man was home. Pale light shone through the smoky windows and the smoke of a warming fire rose through the chimney, its clouds disappearing without a trace in the night.

Knocking at the door didn’t help, so I allowed myself in with careful movements. Maybe he was asleep.

But what I found inside was nothing like what I had seen my last time there, and neither did I find the old man I was looking for. There was no chimney fire lighting up the furnished room and no presence of life whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the place I entered was not a room at all.

The stories were real.

I was in the Faerie Realm.

Posted in An author's view, Bookish stuff

Now reading: Coeur d’encre by Cornelia Funke

After so long, I’m done reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (and I’m weeping, feeling hollow and incomplete, as if a part of my soul remained stuck inside that beautiful story) so, naturally, I began reading another book. I mean, obviously.

So this time, I decided to switch languages and read something in French, since it’s been too long since I read a whole book in French. This one I just started I bought recently from the only French library in Romania: Librarie Kyralina.

The title of the book (Coeur d’encre) translates to Heart¬†of¬†Ink if taken word by word. The official translation is apparently Inkheart and it sure sounds better than my version!

Don’t expect me to praise it too much, not even after reading about 100 pages. After reading something so complex as Patrick Rothfuss’ books, this one is like a walk through a meadow, calm and undisturbed by the slightest nuisance. It’s an easy read, but spiced up by the challenge of reading in a foreign language I’m not so familiar with (in literature).

Now don’t get me wrong!

I enjoy the story, truthfully, only that its grandeur doesn’t compare to my previous read. It feels slightly a children’s storybook, maybe because the MC is a girl aged 12, but the reading experience is nice, especially since it’s not always younger that souls are featured in stories that are not necessarily aimed at young audience.

But nevermind my babbling. If you want to read this book, I do encourage you to since it didn’t disappoint me so far and it even left me with quite some high expectations I believe will be achieved by the end.

Now to cut things short, I’ll tell you good-bye (for now) and enjoy reading whatever you’re reading!

P.S. Do let me know in the comments what you’re currently reading, and maybe a brief opinion. I’m quite the curious soul! ūüėÄ

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #40

I was listening to some rock this morning and stumbled over a song I didn’t know from Nickelback. It’s called Home, and today’s flash fiction will be inspired by it, so be sure to give it a listen!

Without further ado, let’s get right into the story!


At the midnight gathering, not a soul wasn’t disappointed with the previous story.

Jack had only two days ago tried repairing the roof of his house and was blown away to the ground. By the time his family had found him, he was already looking at them from behind, noticing his body on the lawn, lifeless.

“It’s a classic, how can you not like it?”

“It’s got nothin’ original to it,” spoke the one to have gathered them all there, some sort of tutor of the afterlife if you will. Tonight was storytelling night.

“Moving on,” he continued, looking around to another new ghostly face. “Nick. This fool lit a match and set his life on fire, good graces. I’m surprised your house is still standing after yesterday’s incident. What have you to say about it?”

“Yeah, delight us with a story,” spoke another broken soul. But Nick had his ghostly face pointing to the ground and shook his head in denial. Still, he spoke in a low voice, hoping he wouldn’t be heard and left to his own devices, but the sound moved true and clear to the ghostly ears of each and every broken soul.

“I guess I’d rather be alone in a house that’s not a home. It all came to ashes before I knew it.” A pause. “I never thought that even after the end, I’d remain stuck here.”

“Poor Nick, you’ll get used to it in time. It took me a year before I got used to walking through things, but now it’s better than a roller coaster if you ask me. And the haunts can be fun too.”

“The haunts, yes,” joined in the leader. “We’ll have one tomorrow. It will be fun.” All souls cheered happily, all but for Jack and Nick, the newcomers who didn’t know what to expect. Haunts didn’t sound particularly delightful.

“Back to the story now. Nick, tell us some more, please. Your story is probably the best we’ve heard in ages! No offense, Jack.”

“None taken, I’m no storyteller.”

“Well…” Nick began, still unsure. The least he could do was pretend to be a storyteller, right? If that didn’t work while he was alive, maybe it would now. Maybe he did have a way with words, but nobody to tell the words to. Now people wanted to listen. He might as well give them what they want.

“This fool before you lit a match and set his life on fire. He stood in a room bountiful in wooden furniture and a locked door. No window. No escape. Desperation clung in the air, heavy as a stone on his heart. As the small flame blazed lighting up the dark room, he gawked at it like it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He wanted a bigger, grander flame. So that he did. Within mere seconds, his hair could be mistaken for a bonfire, and if not for the enclosed space, the smoke would have alerted the surrounding forms of life. But this man, choked with floating ash and blazing hair didn’t scream. He laughed. He laughed like a maniac.”

“A pyromaniac!”

“Yes. A pyromaniac, a proud one who only understood his mistake one moment too late. Now, he can walk through the door with no light on. He’s just a ghost walking through the empty hallways of a house that’s not a home.” A long pause, but everyone held their breaths, knowing more was to come. “I could blame it on the drinks. I could blame it on the blindness of youth. I could blame it on the loneliness. But no. Not when the only one to blame is standing in the mirror.” Another pause. After this one, however, he didn’t continue.

All applauded. It was a good story. Even the leader gave a nod of approval. For the first time in too long, Nick smiled. Maybe it had been for the better.

He finally felt like he had found a home, here, among all other broken souls.


I can’t believe this was already the 40th time I did this writing activity. It feels like I only started it a few days ago, but on the other hand I’m also running short on song titles.

If you know any songs you want to see transformed into a fantasy-genre flash fiction, be sure to let me know!

Also, I’m thinking of keeping this writing challenge of mine until the 50th week, so that would make another 10 weeks for flash fictions. However, writing will certainly not come to an end, but I will find some other kind of writing challenge instead.

If you have any ideas, I am open to hearing them!