Friday #Riddle

Who here likes riddles?  I know I do.  Ever since I read Alice in Wonderland, I’ve been fascinated by them.  Why is a raven is like a writing desk?

I don’t know if it’s true, but I read once that Lewis Carroll didn’t have an answer for that riddle, but he knew it would make children think to the point of frustration.  Eventually, they would accept it had no answer, like many things in life, and move on.

As children, we loved showing off our intelligence to others by telling riddles.  Do you remember these from your youth?

What is black and white and read all over?  (a newspaper).

What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?  (a stamp)

If there are three cups of sugar and you take away one, how many do you have? (just the one you took away).

Studies have shown that solving riddles and logic problems, as well as playing matching games, increases brain function and may help to prevent, or at the very least, lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s and other debilitating mental maladies as we age. I’m all for that. Anything that can help me remember where I put my keys rates high on my list.

So are you ready for the first ever Friday Riddle game?  Here goes.

How is a cat different from a comma?

I’m going to ask you to be honest and not use the internet to find the answer.  Remember, the whole point is to use the noggin.  If you think you know the answer, leave a comment below, but don’t include the answer.  On Saturday, I will randomly select a name and ask you to provide your answer.  If you get it right, I’ll send you a signed MAKE BELIEVE bookmark.

If you get it wrong, I’ll continue picking names until someone answers correctly.  Sound fun?

Okay, so have at it and have a Happy Friday!

Work in Progress Challenge

I was recently “tagged” by Julie Catherine in a book interview of sorts. I am glad to have this opportunity to share information about my work in progress and send my thanks to Julie Catherine and to all those down the line who continue to pass this challenge along.

1. What is the title of your book/WIP?

I have many works in progress but my baby is In the Shadow of the Dragon King.  It is the first in the Chronicles of Fallhollow saga trilogy.

2. Where did the idea for the WIP come from?

I’ve always had the story crawling around in my mind since I was young.  My dad was in the army and like a silly child, I envisioned his work as romantic, like the knights of medieval times.  Of course I always loved a fantastic fairy tale where knights and princes would come to the rescue of a fair damsel.  I always knew I wanted to combine the two together and have a young person lead the way as the knights and their army fought dangerous beasts like dragons.  The hero would always have magical folk to help (and hinder) along the way.  In 2003, I revisited an old manuscript I started years ago and piddled around with it part-time.  Then, in 2010 after I lost my job, I threw my entire being into finishing it, which I did in July 2011.

3. What genre would your WIP fall under?

Most definitely on the cusp of Young Adult/New Adult high fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Wow, you know, I’ve thought about this a lot and I keep coming back to the same folks.

David:                  Nicholas Hoult
Charlotte:        Alexandra Daddario
Lily:                     Natalie Portman
Slavandria:     Olivia Wilde
Eric:                    Cameron Bright
Sestian:            Jeremy Sumpter
King Gildore:      Craig Parker
Queen Mysterie:    Roselyn Sanchez
Trog:                David Wenham
Seyekrad:      Paul Rudd

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your WIP?

To keep him from being murdered, a passive seventeen-year old boy is kidnapped from his world and forced to fight a war steeped in sorcery.  His price of failure:  the annihilation of the girl he loves…and maybe a world or two.

6. Is your WIP published or represented?

Not yet.  It’s been to a publisher who came back and said they would consider it if I made some changes.  I’m making changes.  🙂

7. How long did it take you to write?

I’ve been at this off and on since 2003, but I seriously set my mind to finishing it in 2010.  I put “The End” on it in July 2011.

8. What other WIPs within your genre would you compare it to?

If you mean what other novels are out there like mine, I don’t think there are any.  I’ve read a lot of YA fantasy, but I don’t recall reading ones similar to this.  I’ve been told there are elements of Iron Fey meets Narnia meets Lord of the Rings with a whole lot of me mixed in.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?

I don’t think any authors inspired me to write this particular novel.  The story has always been in me.  It just took a long time to come out.  However, there are many authors who inspire me to write like: Raymond Feist, J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Claire, C.S. Lewis, Julie Kagawa, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, and Charles Perrault.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in this project.

As an army brat, I was lucky enough to travel a lot when I was young.  I actually lived in Germany for two years and during that time, I got to see a lot of castles and visit many medieval locations.  The romanticism of the medieval times always stayed with me.  It seemed all the stories I wrote while growing up were centered around castles, dragons, faeries and magic.  The older I got, the more entrenched in Arthurian legend I became.  I became obsessed with Merlin, Arthur, Gwynevere, and Morgana, and began reading anything that was similar.  I knew when I finally wrote my novel, it would be steeped in the same sort of myths and legends, and take place in castles I envisioned and made up in my mind.  Without a doubt, there would have to be dragons and sorcerers, mages and magic.

But I also spent many years in the south, making Georgia (United States) my home.  While living in Georgia, I traveled all over the deep-south:  Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, and came to know and love many places and people I encountered.  When it came time to write In the Shadow of the Dragon King, I knew I wanted the story to take place in two worlds existing side by side, sharing much of the same landscape, and I wanted my protagonist, David, to live in the mountains.   Some of the most beautiful land in the world is located in the mountains of Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, so I naturally picked a center spot of all three states.  I created the town of Havendale which is a stone’s throw from Kingsport and Bristol, Tennessee, two very real cities.  It’s a perfect backdrop for David’s story and it’s been a lot of fun creating two ‘worlds’ to accommodate his adventures.

One final thing …

Tag, You’re It:

As a final step of this Work In Progress blog post, I’m supposed to tag other writers who are then “it” to make a blog post of their own.  I’ve chosen three blogging buddies I know who are working on something:

Jennifer M. Eaton

Julie Reece

Terri Rochenski

I hope they choose to participate in this challenge.  You should really stop by their blogs to find out.

J is for Jabberwocky

This is a continuation of the A-Z blog challenge.  Click here to see the list of all 1935 participants!

The scariest poem I ever read as a child was Jabberwocky, found in Lewis Carroll’s classic sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass.  I was so terrified of the Jabberwock, and yet, night after night, I would pull my covers to my chin and read those terrifying words by flashlight:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The words were so nonsensical.  I had no idea of their meaning, but for many nights, as I drifted off to sleep, the horrible monster with fiery eyes would enter my room!  Alas!  I would stand on my bed, a stick from the yard in my hand, my sheet tied to my neck like a cloak, and I would slay the Jabberwock with my ‘vorpal blade’ and galumph back to my bed.

I was seven years old.  The poem stuck with me the rest of my life.

In 1971, Donovan put the words to music and I had my own copy.

I never thought anyone could come close to competing with his version until a few months ago when I stumbled upon this version by an unknown woman with a beautiful celtic voice that makes the song come alive:

I don’t know which version I like more. Which one do you like?


Don’t forget to check out the incomparable Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. His version of the poem is not correct or complete, but he plays the part so darn well!