Last night I spent an hour reading parts of Palace of Stone before bed. (Is that silly?) That made me so excited to share it! The book releases one month from tomorrow. I'll have that section of my site up soon. And now back to Princess Academy...
Weather: Again we start with a description of the outside world, as it reflects the mood and thoughts of Miri and the girls. This may be surprising considering how often I pause to describe setting, but as a reader I often get bored in long passages about what someone/something/someplace looked like. Descriptive passages better do two things for me: show me something visual (without rambling) as well as tell me something about the character/s. If descriptive passages don't also move the plot along, I get antsy and skim them. (I LOVE Tolkein, but I do some major skimming in LOTR.)
Boots, pg 180: Oh beautiful footwear. Can you imagine what it was like to lack good footwear? I lived in Paraguay for a year and a half. The streets were either dirt or empedrado--lined with stones. The stones were not smooth, they were rough and jagged. I literally wore through the soles of my shoes, straight to gaping holes. I could feel those sharp rocks on my feet as I walked, and I was luckier than many to have shoes at all. I can imagine how grateful Miri was to get those new boots.
"She would find her own place": Where will that place be? I feel like the essence of growing up is finding that personal place, and often re-finding it. It's easier to be kind and forgiving of others, I think, when I remember that they, too, are on a quest to find their own place.
Short chapter! Let me get to some questions.
Some of you asked about Danland's religion. I hesitate to give story details that aren't in the text. We know they attend chapel every rest day, once a week, and worship the creator god. There are priests of the creator god in the lowlands who divined Mount Eskel as the home of the future princess. I wrote more details about what they did at chapel in earlier drafts, but I always cut a lot out of my drafts and that was a section that went under the knife because it wasn't essential to the story. The same thing happened in Palace of Stone. I find the priests and their religion interesting. Maybe someday the story will require more details.
Alysa asks, "do you keep a journal?" I do though not daily. I also have a writing journal, something I started doing 3 or 4 years ago. At the beginning of each writing day, I record the current word count/page number and what my goal is for that day, as well as kind of talk to myself about any problems I see. Not sure it would prove interesting reading for anyone else, but it's helpful to me as motivation and to record progress. I also keep a journal for my kids. Every month I write an entry in it, like a letter to them, talking about what they're doing this month, recording stories. That's a real treasure for me and I hope for them one day.
Rebekah asks, "I was browsing your website and you mention in a couple of places that there are other professions you can do from home besides writing...could you explain what these other professions are?" I think there are lots, but I'm not a very good career counselor. I just know of people who work from home. In college I did some contract tech writing from home.
Perri asks, "If you had the choice of marrying the prince or staying on the mountain, which one would you choose?" In Miri's cirucmstance, I would have chosen as she did, but at the beginning I didn't know that's what I would have done. It took experiencing the whole story for me to realize that would be the right outcome.