Kingdom Pen

Kingdom Pen is an e-magazine with articles about writing for young (or older) Christian authors. A friend had told me about the website and I visited it occasionally. And then, toward the end of May, one of the editors of Kingdom Pen contacted me. They’d seen my blog and wanted to know if I was interested in a writing internship! Basically what that meant was I’d write an ‘entrance article’ and, if they liked it enough, I’d write one article a month for six months. 
I liked the idea and accepted, writing and sending in my entrance article by the beginning of June. And finally, this last week, Kingdom Pen officially accepted and published it! Though I don’t get paid for the articles, it was exciting to see it up on the home page of the website. You can read it here if you are interested. 

Scarlet Rose and the Future

As I started writing Scarlet Rose, I realized I hadn’t done much planning for how the world looked 200 years in the future. What sorts of cars do people drive…and are they even called cars? What sort of technology and medicine do they have? What sort of weapons? I have a few ideas I’m implementing, but I’d love to hear any suggestions or ideas you have of how ordinary things we use everyday would look in the future. 
Here’s a collage I made for Scarlet Rose with pictures from Pinterest.

By Arrow Swift

Bows of many kinds appear in fantasy writing, among them the crossbow and long bow. Which one your character or army should use depends upon the culture, armor, and many other factors.
bows and crossbows
The crossbow was the first hand-held weapon that an untrained soldier could use to injure or kill a knight in late Medieval times. The most powerful crossbows could penetrate plate armor, killing at 200 yards or more. Longbowmen could also pierce plate armor up to 250 yards. The largest difficulty was that longbowmen were normally highly trained soldiers, who’d practiced from their youth to master archery. They were expensive and not easily replaced.
Anyone, on the other hand, could use a crossbow. They were easier to aim and could be loaded before hand, allowing a man to shoot quickly if surprised. But reloading took much longer. A soldier with a crossbow could shoot 2-3 times in a minute while an experienced longbowman would loose 10-12 arrows in the same time.
A crossbow could cast a bolt about 370-380 yards. Throughout Medieval times, crossbows became more powerful and one bolt from an actual Medieval crossbow shot 490 yards.

Well-trained longbowmen could commonly shoot 250-350 yards. Some modern archers using reproduced longbows have shot 350-450 yards while there is a claim of one man loosing an arrow 482 yards with a longbow.

And a few more random, yet useful, facts:
  • An arrow (or a bolt, if it’s from a crossbow) is not ‘fired’. This is a mistake many people make and which I am probably guilty of myself. The term ‘fired’ is related to gunpowder. Arrows are ‘loosed’.
  • Crossbows are kept strung and loaded. Longbows are kept unstrung and (contrary to some movies and books) shouldn’t be hung over the shoulder.
  • Medieval longbows were made to measure, and ranged from 6-7 feet in length.
  • The wood of the longbow was protected with a rub of wax, resin, and fine tallow.
  • Arrows called short bodkins were used for piercing plate armor while others called swallowtails were used to bring down horses.
And so, crossbow or longbow? Or, my personal favorite, the recurve bow? I’ve sadly neglected the latter weapon in this article and plan on writing about it in the future. But each bow has various strengths and weaknesses, so in the end the choice of which one to use is yours (or maybe your character’s, if you let them get away with it).
First source and second source for article.
First picture (source)
Second picture (source)
Third picture (source)
Fourth picture (source)
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Scarlet Rose: Part 1 – Dreams

Well, I started Scarlet Rose this week. At first, I was going to write the whole book in present tense. But after the ‘prologue of part one’ (for lack of a better term) and got the advice of a friend, I wasn’t so sure. Present tense works well when the story is written in first person, but doesn’t flow as smoothly in third person. Most of my book is told in first person, from Anna West’s pov, but there are several other povs as well which are in third person. 
So, at first, I switched everything to past tense, but with Anna thinking in present tense. This mix works fairly well and I might use it. But I had another idea. What if Anna’s view was told first person/present tense, but the rest of the views were told third person/past tense? I’m not sure how well it will flow, but I’m going to give it a go. The worst thing that can happen is that it won’t work and I’ll have to go through and change two chapters of present tense into past tense. 

Anna (picture found on Pinterest)

And now, here is the ‘header for part 1’. There’s got to be a better name for it, but it’s basically a short scene that isn’t a proper chapter, which takes place after the name of each ‘part.’
“She’s ready.” The man straightened from the plethora of flashing screens and ran his fingers through his blond hair as he turned, glancing toward the young lady lying asleep on a padded stretcher.

“The transfer was successful then.” It was a statement, not a question, as the older man adjusted his suit in the shadows of the deep, vault-like door without looking up.

The other answered anyway. “Of course it was successful.” With a wave of his hand, the transparent screens closed, folding into the wall. He rubbed the back of his neck. “The rest we’ll know after she wakes.”

The man in the suit grunted and slowly strode to the polished table holding the subject in the center of the room. “And it will work this time?” he demanded, lightly running his fingers down the girl’s arm.

“Hope hard enough, and it might.” The other’s lip lifted in the slightest of smirks. “Maybe you should even pray.”

“Another mention like that…” Though low, his voice reverberated through the room.

The first man shrugged and began gathering scattered syringes and tumbling them into a leather briefcase. “It will work.”

“It had better –” The older man broke off and swung about as the door crashed open, his hand closing around the butt of his revolver. “Jenson!” he released the gun. “What are you doing? It’s too dangerous and –”

“I haven’t met them yet; it’s fine.” The newcomer waved off the remonstrations as he strode forward, his gaze fixed on the prone figure. “Please tell me you haven’t started yet.”

“With your brother overseeing?” The younger man snorted. “It’s done.” He snapped the briefcase closed.

Jenson swore under his breath and rubbed his thumb and forefinger down his long nose.

“Well?” the suited man questioned, his brow furrowing.

“It’s Kagan.”

“The captain who styles himself as an interrogator?” The older man’s forehead cleared. “What has he to do with any of this?”

“There’s a rebel Christian he’s trying to find, and apparently she had answers,” Jenson motioned toward the sleeping figure. “And right now, he’s enraged enough that I’d rather face a pack of wild dogs.”

 “But he said Anna Drake knew nothing. He cleared her,” the younger man protested.

“Yes, Jasper. Anna Drake,” Jenson retorted without turning. “Only Anna Drake is still in her cell.”

“But…” Jasper was the first to break the tense silence as they all stared at the sleeping figure. “…but she identified herself.”

“In that case it must be true.” Jenson snapped “This girl’s last name isn’t Drake.”

The suited man relaxed in a chair, tenting his fingers and resting his chin lightly on them. Finally he straightened. “So who is she?”

Jenson hesitated and looked down once more at the figure. “You aren’t going to like it.”

Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m relaxing as I write this. Two of my brothers bought bikes a few weeks ago, and I finally bought one of my own today. I agreed to ride ‘around the block’ with the boys…and here in the country, ‘around the block’ equals about four and a half miles of hilly road. They’ve ridden eighteen miles at one time, but I hadn’t ridden a bike for over a year, so it was quite tiring. Plus we went out of the way to go down a huge hill. Going down was fun. Coming back up…not so much. 
The picture above was taken on Tuesday. Joy and I put in motion a plan we’d come up with in the dead of winter. We went to the Meijer deli and bought lunch, then drove to a nearby lake to eat. Afterwards, I found this small bit of land, protruding into the lake and guarded by a gnarled tree. So I took a seat long enough for Joy to snap a picture. It would be a pleasant place to sit and write…if the ground wasn’t damp. 🙂
As for the title of this post…I’m sure many writers have heard of NaNoWriMo. That takes place in November and the goal is to write around 50,000 words/a whole novel during that one month. I’ve never taken part in it, but apparently there are now two smaller branches of NaNoWriMo which take place in April and July. These are ‘camps’ where you can set your own goals. A friend told me about it and invited me to join her cabin, so I accepted and set a goal of 20,000 words. You can create a profile and then join or start a ‘cabin’, which can include up to eleven people. Anyone interested in Camp NaNoWriMo in July can sign up Here.

Cover Reveal: Water Princess, Fire Prince

Water Princess, Fire Prince, is a book I’ve been beta reading for the past few months for Kenda E. Ardnek. I’ve enjoyed it, and soon you’ll have a chance to read it as well.

About the Author: Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog,

And now for the book itself!

When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.

Your Water Princess will fight,

Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she’s on track for competing in the Olympics, and he’s practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.

All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland’s hope will be lost. 

What is to come will change their lives forever.

I had the opportunity to ask Kendra several questions, and here they are with the author’s answers.

Is this a single book or part of a series?
It’s the first volume of my Rizkaland legends, a seven book series after the style of Narnia.

What inspired you to write?
I’ve always had stories burning in my blood, so as soon as I realized, whilst reading the Little House Books that books were written by people, I knew it was something I would do, too. However, I wasn’t serious about it until I was eleven or so when the first of the new Narnia movies came out and, disappointed with the deviations they made from the book, some friends and I decided we would enact our own version. As oldest of the three of us, and most adamant about the plot, I was elected to write the script. I then proceeded to make more changes than the movies ever thought of, rewriting it in its entirety three times before I realized, at about fourteen, that it was so different from Narnia, and so complicated, that I may as well turn it back into a book.

It’s now the sequel to WPFP, and I never looked back on my writing decision. 

Where did the idea for this book come from?
As I stated above, I’d been working on rewriting Narnia, and thus I’d been looking for doors all through my house that would lead to another world. (I was also a bit disillusioned with my life at the time). One day, while taking a shower, I had the random idea of “what if I were to close my eyes, and open them to find myself under a waterfall to be declared a Water Princess destined to save this new world from some great danger.” The idea wouldn’t go away, so I made some changes (changed the setting from a shower to a swimming pool, added a Fire Prince), and decided it was a prequel to the story mentioned above.

Available for kindle preorder:  $2.99 the 19th and 20th ONLY (at which point I’ll put it up to its official price of 3.99)

Writer’s Problems

If you are a writer, then you can probably relate to at least a few of these.

How I feel about books I read. Well, I do enjoy good writing,
but you get the idea…
Or at least the idea…

Hahaha *evil laugh*
Oh, yes!

Too often… You’d think I’d start getting the idea that I should write everything down.