Since I didn't get a chance to post an update on Wednesday, here's my What's Up Wednesday post two days late.
WHAT I'M READING
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. I am LOVING this book. Elisa is one of the first realistic female MCs that I've read in a very long time. I love that she likes food and is smart. I love that she has morals and that even though she grew up sheltered, she is not using her upringing to stop her from fulfilling her potential. The writing is great and even though I am not very religious, I like the religious undertones that the story has. I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a YA Fantasy that doesn't 'sugarcoat' the harshness of living in a fantasy world and has a main character who grows from a sheltered princess to a hero.
WHAT I'M WRITING
My writing has been put on hold for a few days because I was out of town* but I wrote 2, 834 words last week which brought my word count up to 24, 431. I am so close to the 25K mark that I can taste it and it's hard to believe that I didn't have any idea what I wanted to write when the summer started.
The alto nascidos (highborns) didn’t share our superstitions. They would want to cut out their tongues if they found out that they were eating pigeons, but we’d never let them find out. Working in the kitchen wouldn’t be fun, if we were no longer able to have a good laugh at their expense.
“Did something happen in Artao?” Wynn asked.
I tried to keep my voice measured. There was no use in lying, especially since it wasn’t my strong suit. Wynn would be able to tell I was hiding something if I answered his question falsely, so I asked him a question instead. “Why do you ask?”
His shoulders rose, then fell. Strands of his hair blew into his eyes. It was more gold than red. I suspect the sun was to blame for that. He’s changed since we were kids. Then he was a pale boy with clear eyes, and hair that was almost as red as his cheeks. Now his skin is tanned from the Southern sun, and his eyes are muddied with memories of war. “That man, the crippled one…” He stopped, thinking over his words. “He looked at you in a strange way.”
I smiled but it didn’t feel genuine.“Maybe he’s never seen a girl wearing pants before.”
“Maybe.” He looked up at me from underneath his long, thick eyelashes. “Those men wanted to kill us. If I didn’t take down that archer in time, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.”
“They were Calyans. They live for a good brawl.”
His eyebrows furrowed. “How do you know they were from Calyo?”
I searched around for an answer, not wanting him to call me on my lie. “One of the archer’s arrows hit Shadow. When I pulled it out of his thigh, I noticed that it was made of wood. They don’t believe in fighting with weapons but when they do use them they’re always made out of wood.”
Wynn turned to look at Shadow; his eyes moving over him, as if he were trying to figure out how he could be walking upright with an injured leg. I wondered the same thing. Shira’s words still echoed in my ear. But he isn’t just a horse.
WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
The worldbuilding in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. As I have mentioned before, Unfair is set (partly)in a 'country' called Solterra (which is a combination of the Portuguese words for 'sun' and 'land') and Solterra is inspired by Cape Verde, an island country off the coast of West Africa. I am still trying to figure out how I can make the language unique to my story but for now I have been trying to teach myself Portuguese (it's the official language of Cape Verde), and throwing a few Portuguese words in every now and then. It helps that I know a little Spanish because some of the words are similar. But...I kept debating about whether I should keep everything strictly in English, then I started reading TGoFaT and it inspired me to give incorporating another language a try. I hope that I can somehow make it my own later on but for now I think it helps add to the setting of the story.
*WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO
I was at a leadership conference in State College, PA which is why I wasn't able to put up a What's Up Wednesday post. Since I am an orientation leader and the newly appointed Student Affairs Director for my campus, I had to go to a leadership conference to prepare for both positions, and while I had loads of fun meeting people from other Penn State campuses, I also learned a lot about being a leader, and came up with a few ideas for what I would like to achieve during my term as the new Student Affairs Director.
It's my last year at my current campus (I'll be transferring to University Park next Fall), so I really want to make a difference while I'm still there, and hopefully inspire the newcoming freshmen to get involved in clubs and be active in the collegiate community.
While I was away, I found out that 'Glass House', a story I wrote for a teen writing contest is a finalist! This news seriously made my week and I'm happy that, even if my story doesn't win, I at least got this far.
Thanks for reading!