Monday, January 26, 2015

Jill Hubbard

Picture Via Pinterest Jill was named after Jill Pole. Or if not strictly after her, because of her. I only like the name Jill because of Jill Pole. Jill was always a part of the story, even back when she had nine older sisters and no Allan. She was actually the main point of view character for a long time.

Well, as you would have it, things weren't working out so well from Jill's point of view. My sister thought she was boring, didn't like her character voice, and didn't even like the character! She thought she was wimpy and a scaredy cat. Sad for me, since I did like her. Even though at that point I was severely frustrated with the story and my characters and how they just wouldn't get on with their quest.

So then I tried Joey. And it started working. My sister actually started to like Jill. Thank goodness, because having a supposed to be liked character who isn't likeable isn't exactly a good thing. And once I got past having to write the first eight chapters AGAIN, I stopped being so incredibly frustrated with it. Not that it still doesn't give trouble, seriously, I've never had so many uncooperative characters, never had such a large cast before, but I had fixed one of my big mistakes. Jill isn't really the best primary POV character. She's good through the eyes of her little brother. She does get one POV section in the first book, a few in the second, and even more in the third, but for the most part, she is seen by Joey.

On Jill Hubbard. She's very nice. She tries to be a friend to Emily, and she's really close to both of her brothers. She likes to read. Her bookshelf boasted things like Just So Stories, Narnia, and Noel Streatfeild. That did get cut because of the POV change, but we still see her reading Ballet Shoes, and she and her siblings do make references to The Story of the Treasure Seekers. And she is more than willing to participate in Jonathan's Narnia references. She has always wanted a medieval style dress, not unlike me. They're pretty cool, after all. She likes to help people, but like Jill Pole, she does like the comforts of indoors. She's not exactly a morning person, but she isn't a lie-a-bed either. She loves church, and is definitely willing to tell people about God. She is shy, but her compassion is still able to overcome her shyness.

I personally think she's a great character and don't mind her POV, but the sister has spoken. :) Really, it is better the way it is now, but Jill's later POV scenes are just fine, and my sister doesn't usually complain about them. Jill's a great sister, and a good addition to the story of Time Captives.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Allan Hubbard

Picture Via Pinterest As I mentioned in Emily's post, Allan didn't originally exist. I'm not really sure when he came about, probably about the time the others lost the eight older sisters they previously had. I know I decided I didn't want Jill to have to be the one in charge. And, being the oldest in a family of girls who really wishes she had an older brother, I wanted to give that to her.

Allan is very responsible and very nice. He is kind to Emily, even though she throws it in his face. On some occasions, he does show his disapproval of Joey's mannerlessness (my computer doesn't think that's a word, but I'm using it anyway), but he only wants his crazy little brother to be a gentleman. He treats his sisters well, like the ladies they are. Well, he still tries to treat Emily like a lady even though she doesn't act like it because he's just that sort of person, but she doesn't like it.

In putting Allan through a character development exercise (I normally don't do those, but I was struggling, and I'm not sure it really helped much in the long run), I discovered that he's not much of one for science fiction. He's not a huge fantasy reader, either, though he does really like Lord of the Rings and he shares the same fond memories of Narnia and E. Nesbit that his younger siblings do. He's really more of the G. A. Henty type. I'm not, but it's okay for my characters to be different from me. Not that there's anything wrong with Henty. They're just boy books.

Despite being more of a historical fiction type, Allan was still very open to the possibility of other worlds, even before they went to Calhortea and had only seen the mysterious writing on the walls. He fairly easily accepts it when there, and is thrown into the role of hero and sister protector. Only problem is, he doesn't really know what he's doing. But he still does his best, and that's what counts. He'll never back down due to cowardice. And as a Christian, he is determined to always do what's right. He'll never tell a falsehood, even if sticking to the truth could cost his life.

Allan Hubbard is a fine young man, and the sort you rarely see in modern books and movies. He is not without fault, but he does his best to do what's right always, not whatever will give him gain. And he's a good big brother. Yes, he's only twelve, but he is beyond his years.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Emily Hubbard

Picture Via Pinterest Emily is the oldest of the modern Hubbards. She is fourteen years old, and she acts like it. She despises her four younger siblings and she spares not their feelings in displaying this. She is a skeptic, when Jill mentions their grandfather being in Heaven, Emily tells her to keep her supernatural hogwash to herself. Emily especially clashes with Joey because, while Allan and Jill are goodnatured, Joey really isn't. And when the Hubbards end up in the world of Calhortea, Emily doesn't really take it well.

Emily has been around since the beginning of my ideas for Creighton Hill. I don't remember if her name was always the same, probably not, but her personality was always there.

Originally the "modern" Hubbards (they're the most modern, from the year 2000) were going to be a family with 12 kids, all girls except Joey. Lucky for him, that changed. But even in that early version, there was a snotty fourteen-year-old sister who was mean to her younger brothers and sisters, especially when they speculated about the mysterious disappearances of their ancestors.

Even when the "modern" Hubbards were condensed into a family of five children with a second brother, Emily's role was still not the same as it is today. Her younger siblings, Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna, were the four to go to Calhortea. Things really weren't working with the book, though. It was agony to write, and honestly, I hated it. I didn't even want to write Creighton Hill anymore. My mom read what I had and made a crazy suggestion. Switch Emily with Anna. I had to majorly rewrite the book, and that was before the rewrite that changed the point of view from Jill to Joey, leaving Anna behind and taking Emily along. It worked! I needed a contagonist, and Emily was it.

Emily will have a character arc over the course of the series. And I also need to go back and give her a few point of view scenes. But she is one of the best developed characters in Time Captives and one of the reasons the story finally worked.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Time Captives Teaser Trailer

I posted this on Facebook and Twitter sometime before Christmas, but I realized I never posted it here. I created my first teaser trailer for Time Captives. It may not seem like much, but it is actually extremely significant to the story. So without further ado, here it is.

I'm a little more than halfway through book three, where things are about to start hurtling toward the climax, so hopefully soon it'll be done and I can start revising it all so the whole trilogy makes sense together. More updates, teasers, and behind the scenes posts are on the way!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Old Year, New Year

I guess I'm a bit late on this, but despite having a blog for a year and a half, I'm still a rather inexperienced blogger, and seeing so many people posting special New Year's things made me want to do it too.

Most of my year was taken up with campaigning.
This was the Independence Day Parade I was in last year. And that's what I wore just about every Saturday from late January through July 19th. We went door to door for Barry Loudermilk almost every Saturday, only taking a few weeks off after the primary to rest and regroup before the runoff. I got attacked by a dog once, really more scary than anything, it scratched my shoulder really bad, ripping through two shirts, but my dad was nearby and the homeowner was a nurse. I also got threatened with jail for going door to door in a no soliciting neighborhood. Did you know the Supreme Court ruled that going door to door for religious or political purposes is not soliciting? Several people have had to pull that one out. I never got the chance.

There were also debates and fundraisers and Super Saturday rallies, our team was in four Independence Day Parades, and then we won with a huge margin. Look for Barry Loudermilk in the next Congress. Maybe I'm biased, having known him since I was five, but he'll be a great Congressman. Oh, and since I turned 18 last year, I finally got to vote!
In March, I participated in my local library's Author Festival. It was a good experience, and I'm planning on doing it again this year.

I also got my driver's license. I still don't like to drive, but it is helpful to be able to drive myself to my violin lessons, and I definitely take more frequent trips to the library than I did before. It wasn't as helpful when we had car trouble, but I didn't mind hanging out with the girls at whose house I take violin while waiting for my mom to pick me up. Speaking of violin, I played in a Vivaldi quartet in May as the Third Violin. Ashley Elliott, author of Becoming Nikki, was Second, and I believe it was that piece that set off our friendship...though the discovery at the recital that we are both Whovians may also have something to do with it.

At the end of May, I graduated.
Yes, there was a graduation photo-shoot, but this isn't from it and since you can always tell I hate photo-shoots, I'm not posting one of those. The graduation was okay, but I didn't really care. What I did care about was getting to hold Barry Loudermilk's granddaughter who was two weeks old at the time. Best part of the day. It was a pretty normal homeschool graduation, but I'm definitely glad it's over and I don't have to do it again. (And I don't ever have to wear the stupid hat again. Besides looking weird, it was difficult to fit over a Katniss braid.)

Also in May, we changed churches. Don't regret that at all. In fact, I doubt Becoming Nikki would be published if I hadn't, since I rarely saw Ashley before. I really like our new church, and the people there, some of whom we met and got to know through the campaign. I just wish we lived closer.

In June I got a job at a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum taking care of the 3-5-year-olds. I loved it! Of course, it wasn't always easy, especially since I developed a massive headache the first day, but being in a room with 12 or so preschoolers all day is fine with me, on a short term basis, anyway. There were more kids, but we had two groups that switched out. We sang Frozen constantly and I was flattered when a little girl told me my hair was just like Anna's. One little girl, upon arriving and hearing someone down the hall playing Frozen, asked me with concern why I let them have my "music thing" (my mp3 player in a zip up speaker). It was great, even though I was sometimes frustrated by the teen helpers.

I taught a little girl six weeks of violin lessons as a trial, which was great the first few weeks until she stopped practicing. :(

While the campaign was still going, I rewrote both Creighton Hill and The Crossways. I consider that quite an accomplishment. Around the time it was ending, I started really working on Espionage. I plugged away at that, meaning to finish by the end of August, but I got stuck on chapter 8. So I finished it by the end of September instead. Then in October I started Crannig Castle. Slowly. This is the fourth month, and I'm still just barely more than halfway done.

I started an Etsy shop with little girl clothes. I haven't exactly figured out how to get that going yet, but that's a goal for this year.

Throughout November, I largely worked on Becoming Nikki.
I took Ashley's amazing photograph and Photoshopped it into a cover and formatted and proofread and checked for formatting errors a three hundred page book. And then there was a delay in getting the final version because the last couple of typos were found while I was at Disney World.
It was a great trip. We were there for nine days and visited each park twice, except Magic Kingdom which we visited three times. I got best in hour on Toy Story Mania once, though that wasn't even my top score of 175,900. And our last day at Hollywood Studios, we got to Toy Story when the wait time said 5 minutes and were the last people to get into an empty ride vehicle. Basically the last of the first riders. I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 6 times, the most of the whole family. Star Tours was pretty awesome, as always, and my dad was even the rebel spy once. I did Mission Space Green for the first time, but was talked out of Orange because of the headache warnings. We did the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and I got a great view of the first violinist. Jonathan Groff was our narrator, so that was pretty cool, too. He didn't say any of Kristoff's lines, though. My mom and I met Elsa and Anna while my dad and sisters went on Space Mountain. That was neat. Who cares that I'm eighteen?
I could go on and on forever about Disney, but I won't. When I got back, I came up with a plan to finish Crannig Castle by the end of the month. Well, I got sick over Christmas, not fun at all, and I still have a nasty cough, so it hasn't exactly happened yet. I'm halfway through chapter 15 of a projected 28. I have a plan, though.

For the new year, I'm really not sure what will happen. There are several possibilities for big change in my family's life that may or may not happen. Right now, I'm just waiting on some things. But I am planning on finishing Crannig Castle, duh, revising the entire trilogy and getting it off to beta readers so I can publish Creighton Hill this spring. I'm really looking forward to being done with Time Captives, because it is quite literally the hardest story I've ever written and I'm really eager to get onto my next project. That one is going to be awesome.

Another plan I have for this year is to play in a student orchestra at a local college. This is the first semester it will really work out, so I'm really excited. I've wanted to play in an orchestra for a long time, and I finally can, even if it is only a student one.

I hope everyone else had a great 2014, and happy 2015 to you all!