June's Almost Over??

on Monday, June 29, 2015
    The days are moving by too fast. Some days I feel like I don't have enough time to get anything done. There are far too many things on my list to do, and I'm still not sure if I'm making progress or if I'm just staring at the blinking curser on my computer screen for hours on end.
    This weekend was super busy because I spent most of it in the car driving to my cousin's wedding and reception. This cousin was my college roommate until I got married, and there was no way I was going to miss her wedding. 
    I also got a fitbit last week, and Husband of Mine and I are competing to see who can get more steps in a day. Whoever wins gets a dollar from the other person. We're tied right now. I've won $2 and he's won $2. 
    Between sitting in the car, visiting with family, crocheting, trying to get my daily steps in, and the wedding and reception, I feel like I've accomplished nothing for days. And the best part is, for the past 4 nights in a row, I haven't slept more than 4 hours a night. Yeah, I'm living off caffeine right now.
    Anyway, the point of my complaining is not to be annoying. Seriously, I'm really not trying to be annoying and whiney. It's to explain why my blog posts are still barely trickling in. As I'm still working on serious edits for Powerful, I find I don't have as much time to dedicate to my blog. If I have a few hours to sit down and write, it's either going to be for my blog or for Powerful. Which one am I going to choose? 
    So I'm here to say that I am still alive and still writing. I've got 500 words down for chapter 8 (which is me splitting the earlier version of chapter 7 into two chapters and expanding on the big reveal at the end) which is some serious progress. Today, I'm hoping to sit down and get a ton more done. I want this chapter to be finished by tomorrow (Wednesday by the latest).
    But since I already started this blog post, I figured I should at least get something down on it. So I compiled some inspiration for you.

Worldbuilding With Magic

on Tuesday, June 23, 2015
    For those of you who have been reading along, my friend Elise (Magic Writer) has been doing a series on Worldbuilding, and I've been promoting for her and sharing some of my own tidbits. I really like the series she's done because I've never been able to actually put into words how I build worlds, I just do it. It's nice to have guidelines to follow to see how well I did for my writing. Sometimes I discover things I missed, and I've found myself being more assertive about making decisions because they have to be made at some point.
    For example, as I was reading through some of Elise's advice, I discovered that I hadn't yet thought about the capitol cities of each kingdom. As I was going through chapter 7, it talks about how the people know Luzi so well, but no one knows Kyla. One of my readers asked how the people knew Luzi. Well, I decided that Varn and Laeto are very similar because their capitol cities (and castles) are major areas where many people go to visit. The royal families are well known and visit the general public often. Their castles are tourist attractions, and parts are open to the general public. In my last post I talked about the Varnan castle and how the center is a giant temple where many people go to pray. One of Aya's brothers is a priest there. Laeto's capital city is a market, very similar to Central City. The castle is in the center of a giant town and many people go inside the castle to meet with the royal family, give them gifts, and ask for help. Tykra and Zetalon, however, are different. Their castles are not parts of major cities, and are very isolated. The royal families rarely affiliate with their subjects. It's something that Kyla appreciated as a child, but grows to dislike. It makes sense for the story. 

Picture This

on Wednesday, June 10, 2015
    I'm super excited to release the first images of my cheesy attempt at making maps for the Four Kingdoms and Central City. Keep in mind, these maps are still in the early stages and are subject to change as I figure more things out and finish the book. Not everything has been named yet either. Most of the cities are unnamed still (hence, "Laeto's Capital City"), the sea in Tykra is unnamed, and the mountains in Zetalon are nameless as well. I've still got a lot of work, but I'm really excited about what I've accomplished. Take a look.
    **Blue is water, so the sea and the rivers, the green arrows are forests, and the brown triangles are mountain ranges. The black line indicates the split in the kingdoms. The yellow pentagons are the castles. And I've already made an error, because Vayua's bounty should be Vayu's bounty (it's the name of the head Varnan God, and I misspelled it *hangs head in shame*). I also forgot to label Zetalon's castle.

More World Building

on Tuesday, June 2, 2015
    Look! Two posts in one week! Hooray!
    This is a long overdue post about more world building, thanks to my friend from England, Elise, who you might remember as the Magic Writer. Since my last world building post, Elise has written  two more posts in her world building series. The first one is on characters and brainstorming initial character traits and everything that needs to be considered when setting up the society in your world. It lists off things like your main character, magic, government, other classes of people (like servants vs. wealthy and ordinary people), races (humanoid vs. fantasy creatures), and the roles of men and women in the society.
    Powerful has an interesting way of looking at all these world building things. It's got quite a few different classes depending on which part of that world you're looking at. It's got four different kingdoms that all have unique set ups, then there's the Four Kingdoms overall. It's hard to simplify down. The main thing that jumped out at me, though, was that she mentioned gender roles. It's actually a fairly big point to my story. Tykra (Kyla's kingdom) doesn't really have distinct gender roles. Kyla doesn't run into any problems because she's female. Luzi doesn't pay any attention to gender roles in Laeto, because for him to rule he has to be married and they usually rule as a couple. As soon as Luzi gets married, he'll become king and his new bride becomes queen. In Zetalon, women hold the majority of the power. The monarchy is passed down from mother to daughter or the next closest female relative. Varn is different though. Aya is struggling with the traditional gender roles for her kingdom. Women are child bearers and rearers. They do occasionally hold jobs if needed, but they are not associated with the government in any way. Aya wants to be part of the government, so she is working hard to change the ways of her kingdom.

Popping in Again!

on Monday, June 1, 2015
    May has not been my month for blogging. Bad Alyson! 
    Just an update, Husband of Mine has started his internship, and things are going great for him! I finished reading Grave Mercy (which I mentioned here). It took me a lot longer to finish than I hoped, not because it was boring, but because I've been so busy. I finished my crochet projects, and now I'm working on the large stack of sewing projects that have accumulated over the past few months. Ripped pants, broken zippers, bandanas for the dog, and a new dress. I'll post how that's going once I actually start on it (I haven't even bought fabric).
    I've been working on revamping the end of chapter 7, but the writing gods have not been on my side. I ended up starting the chapter over 7 times, and filling two notebook pages with my name written over and over again. Yes, I've been very productive. But, the good news is that I'm starting to win over the writing gods once more so hopefully this block will go away. 
    So for now, I'm going to post some pictures of what I've been crafting, then I'm going to fold laundry and get back to my chapter.  First up is the elephant lovey that I made for my best friend's baby. (I cannot find the pattern for it anymore! The elephant head and arms were taken from this pattern.)