Monday, September 30, 2013

Favorite Heroes: Part 2

Since there are so many cinematic heroes that I love (there are far too many favorite literary ones for me to even mention), I've decided to do a part two post about my favorite heroes. Goodness, I have so many favorites, I don't know if I can remember them all! Perhaps I'll be doing a part three in the future...

Again, they are in no specific order. (Except for the Doctor. He will always reign supreme.) 


Steven Waddington (you may recognize him from The Last of the Mohicans) plays Ivanhoe in my favorite adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's epic novel, IvanhoeThis particular version of Ivanhoe is a BBC miniseries, so it's a bit long. But you can watch it in segments if you want to, although I usually watch it straight through! It's probably my very favorite BBC movie, and I love Ivanhoe's honorable and brave character.
(The movie also has the amazing Robin Hood in it!!!)

John Sheppard

I love his sunglasses.

John is my ideal hero. Brave, sweet, a little cocky, sarcastic but not annoying, he is basically perfect. I only wish there were more seasons of Stargate Atlantis.

Samwise Gamgee

Sam is kind, brave, loyal, and just down right good. He's so sweet, you can't help but love him!
"Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam."

Captain Jack Sparrow

What's not to love? He's witty, hilarious, and good (as good as he can be, anyway). Captain Jack is one of the most quotable characters since anyone in The Princess Bride, and he never fails to make me laugh.


I only just recently watched the movie Stardust, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It actually reminded me very much of The Princess Bride with its quirky characters and goofy jokes. Tristan was an excellent character. You couldn't help but like him! He's sweet, brave, a bit naive...and not the least bit cocky! Which, as much as I like the cocky characters, was quite refreshing.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood is also one of my favorite literary heroes...I love him! And while I think Errol Flinn was the best Robin Hood, I also enjoyed Joe Armstrong from the BBC series.

Yes...even though this show was incredibly cheesy I never missed an episode. *blush*

I have many, many more favorite heroes (including everyone from the Lord of the Rings), but these are the first that came to mind.

Happy writing!

<3 Clara

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Learning to Focus

I am no professional writer. But I do write a great deal, and through the hours that I spend typing away at my laptop I’ve learned one very important thing.


If I’m in a room with people walking past me, saying “hello” and “good morning” I totally lose my train of thought. It’s horrible! When I got my new job I started riding to work with my sister who works at the same place I do, she has to start her work at seven A. M. and I don’t start mine until ten; so I have quite a bit of downtime. I usually write in this time period, but I can’t escape the people. They’re all very nice, but they totally distract me! It’s even worse when they walk by with their cute little puppies who are struggling to get close to me for some petting.

But I can’t think about the puppies or hummingbirds fluttering past the windows. I have to focus on my writing. I just found out that it’s actually not so hard to do when you put your mind to it. Usually I take a deep breath and tell myself NO INTERNET. My reward after a few pages of writing is to check and see what’s going on in Goldstone Wood, but only after a few good pages.

When I’m in the sanctuary of my room at home, I have a piece of paper taped on the outside of my door that says, “Le writer is writing. Leave now and never come back!” Of course, no one in my family cares anything about the sign and they come barging in anyway saying something like, “CLARA WHERE’S THE...” and so on. That means that I even have to practice being focused at home. If any thoughts of checking to see if anything new are happening on the blogs I follow spring to mind, I shut them down. If I go and check to see what’s happening on over at A Writer’s Ponderings, I probably won’t be back to my neglected story for quite a while, and when I do eventually get back, I won’t be able to remember the witty line my hero was about to say.

So the moral of this post is this: find the weakest point in your focus and do your best to get rid of the distracting problem. And then watch your story growJ

I think that I have even become more focused after this…SQUIRREL!

<3 Clara

Monday, September 23, 2013

Goddess Tithe Cover Reveal!

The time has come to reveal the amazing cover for Anne Elisabeth's new book, Goddess Tithe. But this is not like her other Goddess Tithe is full of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's very own artistry! She has been kind enough to allow me to give you a sample of the illustrations you will witness while reading her new and amazing book.

The covers of her books get more and more beautiful!
Here's a little about the book itself.

The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe
When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya‘s only hope to return safely home.

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown’s garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?


I simply cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

Now here's the illustration you've all been looking forward to.

Anne Elisabeth is such an amazing author and artist!

Now, for the most exciting part about this cover reveal, is an excerpt from the story itself!
Excerpt from the Story:
Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:
“And what do you make of him yourself?”
Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”
“Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.
The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”
Munny made neither answer nor any move.
“We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”
“I hope—” Munny began.
But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”
The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.
Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.
“Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.
“It’s a sign!”
“She’s warning us!”
“It’s a sign, I tell you!”
Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.
They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.
They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.
Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.
“I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”
There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.
But it was.


Oh my!! Can you possibly wait to read this? I certainly can't! Tell me what you think about Goddess Tithe in the comments below. As always, I love to know what you all think!

<3 Clara

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Darling Dog

I realize that I have been remiss in introducing you all to one of my most adorable family members. Since I haven't acknowledged him on this blog, he has become a bit upset. He wants to be admired and adored like a proper prince, so I decided to give him the chance to be admired. I give you Samwise the Brave.

No. I do not mean this Samwise the Brave:

I mean this Samwise the Brave.

Sam has been my precious prince since I was eight years old...we got him from the pound and he has been part of the family ever since! He thinks he is very handsome, and I agree with him:)

Most of the time Sam is usually inside lounging upon a bed or asking for a treat, but on hot summer days he has been known to wear a turban. See here: 

Isn't he precious?!

Sam also likes to dress up with scarves once in a while.

But he doesn't always play dress up. Most of the time he is guarding the house.

One time he even chased down a coyote to protect me!

On Sunday afternoons he likes to sit on the front porch with the rest of us while we drink tea and coffee.

Sam: "May I have some of that yummy smelling tea? Please?"

But he can get frustrated with us sometimes. Usually, he gets upset with us when it's late at night and we won't turn the light off. But instead of getting too upset with us, he just fixes the problem.

He has covered his head up when tired on many occasions.

But most of the time he just sleeps with his head uncovered.

Samwise has a wonderful life. It's full of adventure (he charged a goat today!), it's full of treats, it's full of camping, it's full of car rides and hugs and kisses. There was never a dog with a more loving nature and calm spirit. He is truly a Darling Dog!

<3 Clara 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Favorite Heroes

First of all, Benedict Cumberbatch has recently become one of my favorite villains (I was actually more on his side than Kirk's at some points of the movie) from the AMAZING movie, Star Trek Into Darkness.

He was amazing. Did I already say that?

Alright, here are my favorite heroes in no specific order.

Captain America is so honorable, kind, and just good. I love him because, while cocky characters are great fun and quite loveable, he is serious and sweet without a hint of pride. Steve Rodgers is my favorite superhero.

 Farimir does what's right in spite of his father's wishes and becomes a better man than his brother. He is my altime favorite character in The Lord of the Rings, and that has nothing to do with how handsome he is.
Well...that might not be entirely true :P

He's such a good character. I love him!

It's Han Solo. 'Nuff said.

Yes, he looks quite bizarre. In fact, he looks so bizarre I almost didn't watch the movie Alice in Wonderland. But I'm so glad I did. Johnny Depp (my favorite actor) gives such depth of emotion to the Mad Hatter, and he makes me want to watch the movie over and over again.

Now, for my final and very, very favorit hero. He is good and kind, and never thinks of himself. He loves adventure and would do anything for those he loves. He has all of space and  time at his fingertips and yet he is terribly lonely. He looks young, but has the eyes of one who has seen all the horrors of the world. I give you the crazy man in a blue box.

Bowties are cool.

So who are your favorite heroes? I'd love to know!

<3 Clara

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Of Questions and Answers

Hannah just tagged me for yet another Q and A! She came up with some fun questions and I had a great time answering. Here they are!

  1. Which fictional character has inspired you the most to be a better person?

Well, I’d have to say Princess Una from Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s book Heartless. That may come as a bit of a shock considering she’s selfish, immature, and quite mean to the hero of the story, but I find her inspiring because she isn’t perfect. She’s lost and floundering alone and yet she refuses to be helped-- at first. In the end she chooses to do what’s right, and ultimately becomes a very inspiring character.

2. What landscape do you love the most (desert, rain forest, snow, grass-fields, mountains, etc.)?

            Mountains! I love hiking and seeing the gorgeous views from the top of them.
“I want to see mountains again, mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book.”

….I had to put that in there.

3. Name your #1 Literary Crush.

            Honestly? I don’t know. Eanrin with his smug attitude and yet very soft heart is definitely one of my favorites. Also, I love the wizard Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, (who is very similar to Eanrin) and Rhyse, the loveable sorcerer from The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Oh! And there’s Ren and Kishan, the thousand year-old Indian brothers and princes from The Tiger’s Curse series.

4. If you were in a book, what name would you give yourself, what role would you play, and what would you look like?

           Ha ha! This is a fun question.

            I think I would give myself the name Belle since my parents almost called me that, and one of my many nick-names is “Clara Belle”. I wouldn’t be the main character in a story. I think I would be more of the Samwise Gamgee character; true friend to the main character and their protector. I would look just as I do now: light brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a bit short. (My brother Ian has taken to calling me a little “Adipose” after the Doctor Who episode. He says I look like one and I’m quite insulted.)


                               Tell me that I do not look like this.

5. If you could have any superpower (flying, strength, far-sight, etc.) what would it be?
            FLYING!!! Oh, how much fun it would be to fly!

6. Name your favorite activity you did as a child.

Going on “Adventure Walks”with my imaginary friends the Dinosaurs Rex and Raptory. I was far too into the Jurassic Park movies.

7. What food have you never tried, but really want to?

Indian. As much as I love Thai food I think I would really enjoy the spices and intricate dishes of the Indian culture.

8.  What do prefer, fantasy or sci-fiction?

That’s like asking me to choose between Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. I can’t do it. I love them both.

9. Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?

Outdoors! Although I’m usually inside typing away at my computer…

10. If you writing, how far along are you in your current work-in-progress? And if you don't write, how far along are you in the current book you're reading?

I’m in my second chapter right now…which sounds pitiful, but I’ve been writing and re-writing my prologue and first chapter for what seems like a very long time!

Thanks Hannah for tagging me! These were fun and clever questions, and I had a great time answering them. I’ll do my Favorite Heroes post on FridayJ

Happy reading!

<3 Clara

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Favorite Villains

I just got finished watching Thor: The Dark World trailer for the thousandth time and am more excited about it than ever. The best thing about it is Loki. He's probably one of my altime favorite characters ever created, and Tom Hiddleston plays the part to perfection. While my favorite superhero is Captain America, (he is just so honorable and good) my favorite character with superpowers is Loki, although his powers are more on the magic side. I really, really hope he turns good in this movie...and maybe he's going to be a little attracted to Jane? That would make the movie even better!

I've noticed a theme in some of my favorite characters...they always tend to be the bad guys. So, I thought I would tell all of you who my favorite villains are.

 I love Erik from The Phantom of the Opera
  No...I don't like him just because Gerard Butler plays him in the movie.

I've already talked about how much I LOVE Loki.

Tom Hiddleston is one of the best.

Michael from Stargate: Atlantis

The Atlantis team really messed up with him...they captured him, lied to him, and were mean to him...and then they did it all over again! Shame on you Dr. Weir!

I even like Anakin Skywalker despite Hayden Christensen's dreadful acting.

He did improve in Episode III.

So who are some of your favorite characters who are villains? Please tell me in the comments, I'd love to know!

Next post I'll say who my favorite heroes are:)

<3 Clara