Jane Seymour…The Queen, Not The Actress

I think I’m going to do my historical fiction and make Jane Seymour the focus.  I really don’t know too much about her, other than a couple books I’ve read about Henry and his wives.  It would be a great chance to learn more about her.  I’m not sure what I want to focus on, but right now, I’m thinking about doing something in relation to her becoming queen. 

I also like the idea of something about Anne of Cleves or Katherine Howard, so I’ll probably read up on them as well in case the Jane Seymour thing doesn’t work out.  I love history, especially Tudor England, so I can see myself focusing more on the research and not enough on the actual writing.  In the spirit of trying new things, though, I’ll have to overcome it, and just go for it.  At some I’ll have to focus more on writing…all I need for a rough draft is some of the basics about the period.  If I decide it’s something I want to keep working on, then I’ll have something to edit. 

I think I might to have to take a look at Anne Boleyn- at least towards the end of her marriage with Henry, because that’s when the overlap with Jane Seymour is.  But for the most part, I just want to know about Jane, and who she really is.  She tends to be portrayed as Anne Boleyn’s opposite, and while it seems to be an accurate portrayal, I really just want to know about her.  Her childhood I want to know more about, as well as how Henry noticed her and decided he had to marry her. 

Unfortunately, David Starkey just glossed over her, so his book wasn’t particularly helpful.  I’m definitely going to see if there’s anything specifically about her; otherwise, I’ll probably stick to Alison’s Weir biography of Henry’s wives.  I might try reading Antonia Frasier’s biography too.

Family Tree!

Well, yesterday I managed to get a basic family tree done.  There aren’t any names attached to it, so it’s just a basic idea of what I want the family to look like.  The tree definitely needs a lot of work because the structure of it right now is kind of…annoying.  But it’s a really good start, and it’ll definitely evolve over the coming months.  Plus, I want to give those consanguinity charts another look, so hopefully a family tree written out will help me better understand how everyone’s related. 

I think today’s project is going to be naming everyone, and I’ll try to format the family tree a little bit better, just to make it a little easier to understand.  While I don’t mind naming people, this is going to be a little different than what I’m used to, just because of the number of people!  I think it’s around 50 or so people (if I counted correctly, and it’s likely I may have missed 1 or 2 people).  I definitely need to figure out who I want to feature- but that’s something that can wait until I actually know who everyone is.  I have some ideas for a few of the people, so I might work on that sometime this week. 

I’m feeling pretty excited about this, and it’s one of my favorite ideas so far.  It’s been really nice writing again- and it’s also really cool working on different ideas.  It keeps me busy, for at least a few hours every week, and it gives me a chance to see different projects in different stages of completion. 

I should start writing!  Have a great day!

And Now For Your Weekly Update

I think last week was my best week for writing.  At least in terms of not struggling.  I know I mentioned it in a different post how much I loved doing the average thing.  I’ve been keeping track of how much I’m writing every week, and I wanted to try tailoring my weekly word goal to each project, since I’m struggling with some projects and not others.  It seemed like taking the average for each project would be the best way to do this, and it worked so well, I’m going to keep doing this.  At least for the time being, until I get a a different idea for a weekly goal.  In all honesty, I think the average is a lot closer to what I’m writing every week for each novel, so it’s something that I want to stick with. 

I haven’t really worked on any of my plot bunnies, but I definitely have decided to do a family tree for my newest plot bunny.  I spend a good 20 minutes or so trying to figure out one of those family tree table things, and it made my brain want to explode.  If I write it out (which will probably be a great idea once it’s done), then maybe I can understand how everyone’s related a little better.  Plus, I’m going to have to do a family tree any way, so I might as well get a rough draft together.  Plus, it’ll help me come up with characters, which is always a good thing.  Especially since the idea that I really like is a different funeral each chapter, and each funeral would be told from the POV of a different person.  Even if I don’t go with that idea, it’ll still be useful, since a family tree would be setting up most of the basic groundwork for the novel. 

I can’t remember if I mentioned my idea for next month’s Camp NaNo- I’m going to go with my NCIS fanfiction, since I want to get that novel done before the season starts.  My idea is based off the season finale, and while I don’t have to do it before November, I think I will.  Just because I don’t want my idea to be influenced by anything that pops up next season.  It would also be kind of interesting to see if anything I come up with shows up next season.  It seems like Camp NaNo is going to continue into August, so I might use one of my other plot bunnies in August.  It really depends on what I get done in the next couple months. 

I think I might have decided on which ideas I’m going to do for NaNo: the one about the pact, and the one about a family only seeing each other at funerals.  I have no clue what I want to do for my historical fiction, so that’s going to be shelved until I can actually narrow down my ideas.  Or maybe I just need to pick one idea and go with it, and hope for the best.  I think my main problem is that I don’t want to pick the wrong idea for it.  There’s also the fact that I love the time period and there are so many things I could do with it- I’m pretty much like a kid in a candy store, and I can’t make up my mind.  If I decide to do Camp NaNo in August, then I’ll probably end up doing my secret government agency idea, because that’s the one that I’m not too interested in.  I think for now, I’ll just keep working on everything, and hope that I’ll actually be able to make up my mind!

And, before I go, here’s my weight loss update!  I lost just under a pound, and I actually went to the gym last week!  Granted, it was just once, but once is better than not going at all, so that was a plus. 

I think that’s all for now, so I hope everyone has a great day!

Plot Bunny Update!

I thought I’d share some of my notes from some of my plot bunnies.

Plot Bunny 1: The Pact; 2 best friends make a pact, and it has far-reaching consequences

  • I’m definitely going with the idea that Poppy is sick, and ends up dying.  Jordan promises not to tell anyone, and then everything goes to hell once she dies.
  • After reading Fairy Tale and Graceling, I came up with the idea that maybe she has a superpower or extreme skill or something, and that’s what kills her.  But I’m still not sure about what kind of power or whatever to give her.  I know I’d have to work out the medical aspect, so I may need to look into that first.
  • My main question is how she figures this out- has she always had it, and it’s making a sudden appearance, or had she always had it and it goes into overdrive?  Maybe it’s been gradually appearing, and she doesn’t know what’s happening until it’s too late.

Plot Bunny 2: Secret Government Agency; Kaylee comes across a mysterious group of men, who are connected to a secret government agency.

  • I was originally thinking of something similar to the adjustment bureau, which was in theaters recently.  But now I’m not sure if I want to go in that direction.  But I’m keeping that as an option for now.
  • I’m leaning towards having her job put her in danger- she accidently finds something out that she wasn’t supposed to, and now these men are following her.
  • As for the men themselves, are they a super-secret part of some agency we know about, or are they an independent agency to keep an eye on everyone?  I need to figure out who these men are, because all I have are some vague possibilities. 

Plot Bunny 3: Funerals; this is my most recent plot bunny- a family only gets together for funerals`

  • At every funeral, they talk about how they need to see each other at events that aren’t funerals- they might organize a family reunion or something, but I haven’t decided on that yet.
  • If I decide to do just a series of funerals, then each one will probably be told from the POV of a different family member. 
  • I definitely need to do a family tree.  It’s going to be a large extended family, with lots of second and third cousins.  I’ll need to keep everyone straight, and if I decide to use different POV’s, then it’ll be a necessity.  I really should do one no matter what.  I must make sure all the names are distinct enough that I won’t confuse anyone.  Which I’m sure will happen once November hits, because what’s NaNo unless you confuse a few characters?

Right now, I’m really excited about PB 3, mostly because it’s bright and shiny, and I love bright and shiny ideas.  But I did get the idea from a family funeral I went to last week…so inspiration really can come from anywhere!

The Children Of Henry VIII

Book: The Children Of Henry VIII

Pages/Format: 366/Paperback

My Thoughts: I thought this book deserved a re-read, especially since historical fiction is one of my new projects.

I really liked it, and found the relationships between his 3 children (plus Lady Jane Grey) really interesting.  There’s definitely a lot of material I can use.

Since I took notes, there were a lot of things that I noticed- one being how important religion was.  There was a lot of back and forth between the Catholics and the Protestants, which wasn’t a surprise, but still…a lot seemed to go back to religion.

One of the criticisms I have is that anytime medical issues were mentioned, different possibilities about what they were followed.  While I appreciate Weir’s attempt to be thorough, and mention the possibilities of what the different monarchs had, we can’t make assumptions because what we know may not be accurate.  What was recorded most likely isn’t the whole story, and how the doctors described something might not be how doctors today would describe something.  After all, we still have no idea what the sweating sickness was. 

A great example would be the times that Mary thought she was pregnant, and even showed signs she was pregnant, but actually wasn’t pregnant.  Weir goes through the different possibilities about what may have caused Mary’s false pregnancy, talking about how a phantom pregnancy was the most likely cause.

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate it, because I did.  It was interesting to read about the different theories about various illnesses they all had, but at the same time, it was frustrating because we can’t know for sure what they had.  I will give Weir the benefit of the doubt, and assume the different theories were in the sources Weir used when doing research for the book.

Another major issue I had was when she talked about Lady Jane Grey.  I was reading the part about Jane’s execution, and couldn’t figure out why it was so familiar.  And then I realized that the same passage was used in Innocent Traitor, nearly word for word!  She clearly used her own books as research for Innocent Traitor, which I don’t have a problem with, especially since Weir is known for writing about British monarchs.  But to use the exact same passage in a completely different book?  And not only that, but the wording in Innocent Traitor was almost exactly the same, if not entirely the same. 

Despite the couple criticisms I have, it was still a great book, and very informative.  I have several pages of notes, front and back, plus lots of highlighting and underlining, and even notes in the margins.  And I have quite a few questions and things I want to know more about.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.  I’d recommend it to anyone, especially those who like history or want to learn more about the relationships between Prince Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth.

Revisiting Old Novels

I have to say that working on a fanfiction I started in high school has been interesting.  It’s been years since I’ve worked on it, having abandoned it after a year in college.  I can’t remember why I abandoned it now, but working on it again has brought back a lot of memories for me. 

It’s been slightly difficult to go back and work on it, in that I’ve had to go back and reread it to remind myself of what’s going on.  My writing has gotten a lot better over the last 8 years.  I still have no idea where it’s going, but I feel good about working on it again.  It’s mostly to prove that I can finish what I start, which I’m confident I can do now.  Plus, it’s kind of like my baby, you know? 

I have no idea if I’ll ever put up the chapters I’ve added, so for now, I’m just waiting to see where it goes before I make any decisions. 

Here’s what I find weird though.  Of all the things I could go back and work on, I decided to go with my 1st ever fanfiction.  It’s an interesting choice, but I’m glad I’ve decided to go back and work on it.  It’s slowly becoming one of my favorites again, although going back and working on something several years later is weird.  Especially since I’ve never done it before.

And for the 1st time since November, I’m accomplishing some of the stuff I set out to do.  That makes me happy, and I’m reminded why I love writing so much.

Not Quite Finished, But It’s A Start

So I started the character profiles.  I only did something really basic, limiting it stuff like age, where they live, what they do, and other basic info.  It’s a start, though, and a lot more than I probably would have done otherwise.  I think I definitely need to set smaller goals for myself, since that seems to be working a lot better than really vague goals.  Smaller, specific goals + a deadline = me actually being productive.  It works during NaNo, so I have no idea why the thought to apply the same principles outside of NaNo never occurred to me. 

Here are the characters I worked on:

  • Kaylee Adams: I see her as early to mid-30’s.  She’s from Rhode Island, twirls her hair, is in fairly good health, and has no vision problems.  She’s the middle child, generous, and is (generally) polite, but is sometimes rude. 
  • Penelope Adams: She’s in her 60’s.  I have no idea where she’s from.  She studied psychology, and I’m toying with the idea of her having some kind of medical background.  She’s judgemental of others, but tries not to show it, is sometimes polite, and is the 1st female president.
  • Tucker Robinson: He’s between the ages of 35 and 45, is an only child, and wears glasses.  He is introverted, polite, and not very generous.  He has a PhD in anthropology, and likes conspiracy theories.

My goals for next week are: to continue working on the 3 characters above, taking a look at how they deal with things, and what motivates them, as well as what scares them and makes them happy.  I will also write 150 words each for the Giant Prehistoric Chicken, Turning Point, and Fred and Hermione.

Matt and Melissa Harris

I thought I’d double up on characters for this post, since I kinda gave up on character profiles by the time I got around to most of the Wildflower characters.  Since Matt and Melissa are siblings, it seemed appropriate to put them together.

Matt is about 25, while Melissa is around 20 or 21.  Matt plays for the Ashton Bears, while Melissa does…nothing.  I didn’t really have a job or school in mind for her, so she just kinda hangs out. 

Matt plays the piano and he’s on the quiet side.  Melissa is very talkative and loves watching movies, especially while talking during movies.  Matt’s the middle child, and Melissa’s the youngest, which means they have at least one mysterious older sibling.  I didn’t really think about that either.  They’re from San Francisco. 

Matt’s pretty loyal to his friends and teammates.  Melissa’s fairly bubbly, but doesn’t always think before she says or does anything. 

Their profiles aren’t very filled out, because by the time I got around to working on them, they had started to sound like everyone else, and that’s never good.  Characters who deal with things in the same way, and act scarily similar are boring, so I gave up.  And then there was the fact that it was close to November, and I didn’t want to work on it in November.  If I do any work on them, I’ll post an update.

I Am So Proud of Myself

I actually planned a couple of my plot bunnies.  Not really planning, but more coming up with notes.  And I even worked on Harry Potter and the Giant Prehistoric Chicken!

Not much, mind you, but a little.  Like 20 or 30 words.  But it’s the most I’ve worked on it since November, which is a big improvement over the fact that I’ve done absolutely nothing with it.

I don’t have many many notes on my plot bunnies, but I have a few.  And I have characters!  With names!  That’s all I have, but it’s a start, and I can stop referring to them as those nameless people that I need to name and think about. 

We have Kaylee Jane Daniels, who stumbles across a mysterious group of people.  She 1st heard about this group of people through someone she met, and soon sees them everywhere.  I’m still trying to decide how she meets this person, but I have a couple of ideas.  She definitely doesn’t think anything of it, and even laughs it off, until she starts seeing them herself. 

I have a very vague idea of her job, but she tells her boss, thinking she’s crazy.  Her boss, however, becomes worried that Kaylee’s seeing mysterious people everywhere.  I’m not sure why it’s important, and in the end, it might not be important.  But right now, it is.  It seems very ominous. 

One of my goals is to have a character profile done for Kaylee and her boss done by Saturday.  I’d also like to get one done for the person that tells Kaylee about the mysterious group of people.

I will also write at least 1oo words each for the Giant Prehistoric Chicken, Turning Point and one of my other Harry Potter fanfics. And I’ll post if I actually get any of this done.


After my PostSecret book review, I’ve been thinking about secrets.  We all have secrets, and it got me thinking about my own secrets.  I’m not going to share any, for now, because I’m not comfortable sharing them just yet. 

I think it would be interesting to do a “postsecret” for each character, but the only one I did one for is Chloe.  I didn’t do any of the artwork, but her secret is pretty integral to her life, and influences how she relates to people and how she sees the world.   

It does remind me of a scene in an NCIS episode where Tony and Abby are talking about secrets and how everyone has a “mother of all secrets.”  I think we all have that one big secret that we don’t share with anyone.  I definitely have a couple of those.   

Alright, back to Chloe.  Chloe’s mother of all secrets is that life is passing her by, and by the time she gets her life together, she’ll be too old to care about living her life.  She’s spent her whole life worrying and taking care of people that by the time she’s not taking care of anyone, she won’t even care that her life is her own.   

I secretly wanted to be a singer when I was little.  Too bad I can’t sing if my life depended on it.  There is auto-tune, but I will not resort to that!  Even though you don’t really need to be talented anymore in order to be famous- in some cases anyway.

And maybe that isn’t my mother of all secrets, but it is a secret!  That might be why I’ve had several characters who have a talent for singing, so I can act out my inner popstar through them!

I think I’ll add coming up with a postsecret for each of characters.  You know, in addition to all the other stuff that I said I would work on, and still haven’t. 

Speaking of working on stuff, I may do Script Frenzy.  It’s done by the same people who do NaNo, but instead of novels, it’s a script.  I’m definitely not a script person, as I learned the first couple years I tried it.  So I’ll probably end up using it to work on other projects, like the nice list of stuff right above my desk.  So maybe I’ll actually do a lot more novel-writing next month than I’ve done the last few months.