Friday, March 25, 2011


Today, the BBC released the first prequel to season six episode one "The Impossible Planet."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Original State: An Eleventh Doctor one-shot

“Doctor, does the TARDIS have a laundromat?”
“Amy, the TARDIS has a swimming pool, library, greenhouse, sickbay, study, fifteen bathrooms, as well as a secondary control room and kitchen. It’s so big even I have trouble keeping track of the rooms inside.”
“Yes, but does it have a laundromat?” Amy rolled her eyes. “Laundry…that thing you do with filthy clothes. Where is it?”
“Past the library, fourth door on the—“The Doctor stared at his hands for a moment. “Left. Left is good. I like the left. I had a friend once who saved the world by turning left.”
Amy left the Doctor to mumble on about directions and beetles and coffee as she dragged the bag behind her. Somehow, she was able to find her way through the maze of doors to a room with two glass doors, each the size of a fridge, on the interior wall. Dials below the door were labeled in strange circular hieroglyphs. “The one on the left is the washer—I think,” she decided.
She threw some items inside, shut the door, and pressed a green button. A moment later, it pinged. “That was quick,” she exclaimed, reaching for the door.
“Baaa….” A pink nose prodded her hand. Amy jumped back as a shabby ewe wobbled forward. It stepped through the door, approaching her.
“DOCTOR!” Amy screamed. “There’s a sheep in your washing machine!”
Holding his sonic screwdriver before him, the Doctor ran into the room. “Amy, what—“ He looked down on the sheep. “Amy, what happened? I thought you were looking for a washing machine.”
“I was.” Amy crossed her arms.
“This is the mechanical regression machine. It restores deficient equipment by returning the parts to the original states. So it must have taken your clothing and restored it to the earliest consistent state. Must have had something wool in there--“ he glanced inside the box. “As well as synthetics and cotton.”
“Doctor,” Amy stared at him. “Great, now we have a sheep in the TARDIS. “
The Doctor bent over and began scratching the sheep on the head. “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.”
Amy shook her head and walked out to find a replacement outfit from the wardrobe room. The Doctor’s song echoed behind her. “Its fleece was white as snow….”

--fanfic wouldn't let me post, so I decided to post this here

Dragons of the Valley

The second in a new series by Donita K. Paul, Dragons of the Valley continues in the same world as her DragonKeeper series, but on another continent.Because I haven't read the first one, I found it difficult to keep up with the cast of characters.
The plot was not as well-done as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, and harder to follow. On the other hand, I did enjoy some of the characters, especially the bafflingly verbose Lady Peg. I think I'd have a higher opinion if I had read the prequel, The Vanishing Sculpture, but my knowledge of her previous sculpture definately helped keep track of it all.
Three and a half stars of five.

A link to read the first few chapters is availible at

I recieved a free copy of this book from WaterBrook's Blogging for books program, but wasn't required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Fight of Our Lives

It's hard to believe, but it's been almost ten years since 9-11. In those years, America's resolve to face terrorism has faltered and bogged down in a tangle of political correctness.
The subtitle of this book "Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth, and Choosing to Win the War Against the Radical Islam," summerizes the contents very well. The authors support their claims with quotes from popular media and provide a vision for Americans.
Three out of five stars.
Note: I received a free copy of this book through Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program, but was not required to give a favorable review

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Urchin and the Rage Tide

For fans of Redwall and other animal fantasy, I highly recommend M.I. McAllister's series The Mistmantle Chronicles. The series focuses on Urchin, a foundling squirrel with strange coloring, but he quickly learns that it's what you go on doing that counts.
Unfortunitely, Urchin and the Rage Tide seems to be the last book of the series. Without giving away spoilers, I will say that McAllister takes what could be a cliched ending and twists ones heart at the fate of characters we've come to know, love, and cherish.

The Ale Boy’s Feast: The White Strand of Auralia’s Colors

Publisher’s Blurb
The king is missing.
His people are trapped as the woods turn deadly.
Underground, the boy called Rescue has found an escape.
Hopes are failing across The Expanse. The forests, once beautiful, are now haunted and bloodthirsty. House Abascar's persecuted people risk their lives to journey through those predatory trees. They seek a mythic city - Abascar's last, best hope for refuge - where they might find the source of Auralia's colors.
They journey without their king. During a calamitous attempt to rescue some of his subjects from slavery, Cal-raven vanished.
But his helper, the ale boy, falling through a crack in the earth, has discovered a slender thread of hope in the dark. He will dare to lead a desperate company up the secret river.
Meanwhile, with a dragon's help, the wandering mage Scharr ben Fray is uncovering history's biggest lie - a deception that only a miracle can repair.
Time is running out for all those entangled in The Auralia Thread. But hope and miracles flicker wherever Auralia’s colors are found.

My Review
Assuming you have read the previous three books, The Ale Boy’s Feast is a marvelous conclusion to the series. The wonderful descriptions and relatable characters return in full power, but the ending comes with a peculiar twist. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that it reminded me of Ted Dekker’s novel Red, when one bit of information turned my whole perspective upside down.
One element of this surprise came from chapter eleven of Raven’s Ladder, “The Six Tricksters.’ Krawg’s story becomes an important plot device, a hint of things to come. While I already enjoyed that story, I can now read it with greater appreciation and understanding.
Jeffrey Overstreet is an amazing author, and I am sad to see this series come to an end. Overall, I give this book and the entire series five out of five for its brilliant imagery, unique plot, and amazing characters.
Note: I received a free copy of this book through Waterbrook Media’s Blogging for Books program, but was not required to give a favorable review.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writing Tag on "Three Dark Roses"

I was reading a blog post at The Pen and the Parchment when I found this story tag. It really made me think.

Writing Tag on "Three Dark Roses"

1. What’s your word count?
(edited) is 37, 792

2. How long until you finish?
I have no clue

3. If you have finished, how long did it take you?
It began in May 2009 as a short story, then I lengthened it for NaNoWriMo 2009, so I’ve been working with its current form for about sixteen months

4. Do you have an outline?

5. Do you have a plot?

6. How many words do you typically write a day?
Ah…depends on whether it’s November or not

7. What was your greatest word count in one day?
Almost 5,000

8. What was your least impressive word count in one day?

9. What inspired you to write?
A dream I had

10. Does your novel/story have a theme song?
Either “Everything Falls” by Fee or “Hands of the Healer” by John Waller

11. Assign each of your major characters a theme song.
Micah: “If I Stand’ by Rich Mullins
Joel: ‘Prodigal’ by Matt Hoffland
Abigail: ‘Hold Me Jesus’

12. Which character is most like you?
Daleth, who is actually a minor character

13. Which character would you most likely be friends with?.

14. Do you have a Gary-Stu or Mary Sue character?
I don’t think so

15. Who is your favorite character in your novel?
Micah…I don’t really have a reason; he’s not even a point-of-view character, but he’s very good.

16. Have your characters ever done something completely unexpected?
All the time.

17. Have you based any of your novel directly on personal experiences?
Ah…considering what happens in my story, it’s a good thing not.

18. Do you believe in plot bunnies?
Yes. Especially the ones that come wearing swords.

19. Is there magic in your novel/story?
There are things that may be considered magically by us, but not really. No spells or anything, just music and blossoms.

20. Are any holidays celebrated in your novel/story?
At least four seasonal holidays, possibly more

21. Does anyone die?
Does anyone live?

22. How many cups of coffee/tea have you consumed during your writing experience?
None. I live on hot coco and cider

23. What is the latest you have stayed up writing?
11 pm

24. What is the best line?
‎'He knows I am stronger than he is, so he attempts to hurt me by wounding my beloved children

25. What is the worst line?

26. Have you dreamed about your novel/story or its characters?
Yes, in fact it was a dream that got it started.

27. Does your novel rely heavily on allegory?

28. Summarize your novel/story in under fifteen words.
Abigail learns of the King’s strength in times of hardship

29. Do you love all your characters?
Yes. Except for the two arch-villains. Oh, and one of the soldiers for the villians

30. Have you done something sadistic or cruel to your characters specifically to increase your word count?
NaNoWriMo= sadistic word-count building

31. What was the last thing your main character ate?
Beef broth

32. Describe your main character in three words.
Abigail: Timid, trusting, faithful
Joel: aggravating, harsh, haughty

33. What would your antagonist dress up as for Halloween?
Halloween doesn’t exist there

34. Does anyone in your story go to a place of worship?
One of my characters is a cross between a priest and a doctor, so of course

35. How many romantic relationships take place in your novel/story?
One that ends very quickly in death, and two previously married couples.

36. Are there any explosions in your novel/story?
Not that I can remember

37. Is there an apocalypse in your novel/story?
Yes. In the Left-Behind sense of the word

38. Does your novel take place in a post-apocalyptic world?

39. Are there zombies, vampires or werewolves in your novel/story?

40. Are there witches, wizards or mythological creatures/figures in your novel/story?

41. Is anyone reincarnated?

42. Is anyone physically ill?
Yes. My FMC has anemia and asthma

43. Is anyone mentally ill?
Sometimes Joel acts like it, but no…he’s just stubborn

44. Does anyone have swine flu?

45. Who has pets in your novel and what are they?
No pets

46. Are there angels, demons, or any religious references/figures in your novel/story?
The main religious figures are the Abir—angelic beings who can take human form—and the King.

47. How about political figures? Are there political figures in my book?
No. All authority is ‘religious’

48. Is there incessant drinking?

49. Are there board games? If so, which ones?
Yes, I took the old Norwegian game ‘King’s Table’ and called it Meir.

50. Are there any dream sequences?
Yes. Dreams and visions both.

51. Is there humor?
Yes. I am especially proud of my towel fight sequence.

52. Is there tragedy?
Indeed. So much so that my friend wishes to strangle me for it.

53. Does anyone have a temper tantrum?
I don’t think so

54. How many characters end up single at the end of your novel/story?

55. Is anyone in your novel/story adopted?
Abigail is adopted about one fourth of the way through, but it’s more like a foster care situation, because she’s twelve years old.

56. Does anyone in your novel/story wear glasses?
No. They don’t have glasses.

57. Has your novel/story provided insight about your life?

58. Your personality?

59. Has your novel/story inspired anyone?
Yes, one of my friends did a fanfic of one chapter.

60. How many people have asked to read your novel/story?
I have one friend who is editing it for me, and I’ve posted the first chapter on a website

61. Have you drawn any of your characters?
Yes. It turned out fairly poorly

62. Has anyone drawn your characters for you?!

63. Does anyone vomit in your novel/story?
Yes. Well, at least in the rough draft. It might be removed later.

64. Does anyone bleed in your novel/story?
Oh yes, plenty of blood that cries out for vengence

65. Do any of your characters watch TV?

66. What size shoe does your main character wear?
Six, maybe for Abigail and ten for Joel?

67. Do any of the characters in your novel/story use a computer?

68. How would you react if your novel/story was erased entirely?

69. Did you cry at killing off any of your characters?
No, but I got pretty close

70. Did you cheer when killing off one of your characters?

71. What advice would you give to a fellow writer?
Write as much as you can. And don’t be afraid of editing

72. Describe your ending in three words.
The King returns

73. Are there any love triangles, squares, hexagons, etc.?

74. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least stressful, 10 being the most) how does your stress rank?
From this story, or from school? 1 at the moment…

75. Was it worth it?