Halloween NaNo Inspiration- Stephen King




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Book Review- The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
Marie Lu, Legend

He is beauty, inside and out.
He is the silver lining in a world of darkness.
He is my light.”
Marie Lu, Prodigy

“Can one mistake really destroy a lifetime together?”
Marie Lu, Champion

Marie Lu not only presents a dystopian world that is complete and intriguing, she creates characters that are intelligent, sensitive, and courageous.  The first-person POV, with both main characters taking turns telling the story, is a well-executed storytelling motif. I read the books with my Kindle App on my phone and the first book included different fonts for each character. (I’m not sure why the change of fonts wasn’t there in the next two books.)

Legend introduces us to a typical dystopian world where the government is oppressive and a rag-tag band of rebels fight against it and discover its secrets.  It is not unlike other popular dystopian YA fictional worlds.

The characters are what make this series shine.  The female main character is exceptional in every way—intelligence, beauty, strength, and invention.  She is on the side of the government and, though she has a strong independent streak, stands firm in her position. The male main character is on the side of the rebels and is also exceptional—though he never truly knows how exceptional.  He is a sacrificial protagonist, giving up his comfort, safety, and welfare for his family and the people of the Republic. They are in many ways the same, but in a few crucial areas, very different.  Their relationship is of the reverse-Shakespearian variety.  (The guy is placed on the pedestal and the girl feels undeserving, in her own assessment, of being loved by him.)

The first inciting incident happens after becoming invested in the lives of these two characters and presents a difficult dilemma for the reader. Whose side do you choose?  As the plot thickens, the dilemmas grow and grow.

Legend, Prodigy, and Champion are equally compelling and action-packed.  Marie Lu is also a devoted descriptive writer. Sometimes I found the description annoying because I simply wanted to arrive at the next plot point and blah, blah, blah got in the way. I’m impatient, though, so my critique is skewed.

The ending was satisfying for me.  It was not as neat and happy as some readers may prefer, but it seemed consistent with the character’s beliefs and echoed the repercussions of the overarching themes.

Find Marie Lu on Amazon and read her new book, The Young Elites! (Now on book tour!)

Like Marie Lu on Facebook!

Tweet Marie Lu on Twitter!

Become a Marie Lu fan on Goodreads!

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A Good Yarn…The Red String Yarn!

 From sheep to shawl. . .The Red String yarn transforms. Watch the process!


Freshly carded roving. I used BFL wool and red sari silk.

Thanks to my friend, Julia W., who let me use her drum carder to make this fluffy goodness!

Freshly spun singles

Freshly spun singles . . .

(Spun on my Babe’s Spinning Wheel.)

I knitted the shawl on size 5 needles. Pattern is improvised.

Butterfly stitch for The Butterfly Lovers

Right off the needles…wibbly wobbly.


The Butterfly Stitch- for The Butterfly Lovers.


The Feather and Fan Stitch looks like waves!

 Sometimes you need a rescue.


Steam-blocked and ready- here’s the finished shawl!

Rescues can come as a shoulder-warming shawl, right?


Discover the inspiration behind The Red String yarn!

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My NaNoWriMo Prep Month List

  1. Research like crazy. Reserve books at the library, watch You Tube videos that will cause uniformed officers to come knocking on my door, and dive head-first into Wikipedia.
  2. Write down every flipping thought related to the possibilities to come. No, this is not an outline. That comes later . . . maybe.
  3. Blog about it. (Check.)
  4. Update NaNo page info and pray there’s a writing group in my area this year. I love writing support/counseling. Order a NaNo 2014 T-shirt– but don’t wear it yet. Use it as a reward.
  5. Do every worksheet recommended to ensure I don’t have a character with green eyes in book one, brown eyes in book two, and then blue eyes in book three. (Every trilogy writer’s nightmare.)
  6. Take both cars to the grocery store and fill them to the brim. Cross my fingers that 4 gallons of milk fits in the fridge and 4 pounds of coffee beans don’t fall out of the over-stuffed pantry every time I open it. Getting groceries eats up valuable writing time.
  7. Finish the season of Reign I’ve been watching on Netflix and read the end of Champion by Marie Lu.
  8. Clear my calendar of all unnecessary events for the month of November. Thanksgiving at a Chinese restaurant? Why not?
  9. Deep-clean the house. Save my money for bribing the kids to maintain some semblance of cleanliness.
  10. Finally, make an outline. Come December, it’ll make me laugh like a drunk hyena.


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Here is my interview with D. Marie Prokop

Thanks, Miss Fiona, for taking the time to interview me!



Name- D. Marie Prokop

Age- 39

Where are you from-

I’m originally from historic (or pre-historic, if you can still read the faded spray paint) Mercersburg, Pa. (the birthplace of James Buchanan- the only President from Pa.) I’ve also lived in Arkansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. But I have lived in Texas for the past 13 years. (Longview and Houston)

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc –

I am a middle child. My two brothers are artistic also. My older brother writes science fiction and fantasy as a hobby, and has a condition similar to Asperger’s. My younger brother is the visual artist and has a degree in Art from Penn State. I was the musical one and decided to go to John Brown University, a Christian college, for Music Education. I moved to Lincoln, Ne. after two years at JBU and dropped out of college…

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The Eerie Side of China

During my research for The Baiji, I was saddened by this same truth. The Chinese River Dolphin is extinct now. Cancer villages are appearing all along the Yangtze. So sad.


As much as I loved visiting China two year ago, there is one thing about China that still drove me mad. The horrifying, dense layer of suffocating pollution that cripples most of the major Chinese cities.

China continues to have a major problem with pollution and not only does it look horrible it is bad for its people. Per a recent report in the New York Times,  “Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total, according to a new summary of data from a scientific study on leading causes of death worldwide.

We went to Beijing and Shanghai in November of 2011 and sadly all of my photos of the glorious landmarks such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China and the skyline of Shanghai are cast in an ugly, eerie haze of pollution. I don’t remember…

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