The Story I Want

Quick question, if you could read a book about anything, what would you read about? What is your perfect story? Okay I guess not such a quick question, because I am about to dedicate a whole blog post to it.

This year I decided to write the story I wanted to write. Not the one I felt obligated to write because of how long it had been in a notebook, or the one I thought would actually sell. I tried, and writing those stories felt like pulling strings right out of my heart. It was draining, to say the least. So after my last Nano, I took a break from writing, and used that break to decide what I wanted to work on next.

What did I like to write? What did I like to read?

Melancholy stories. Stories where the land itself seems to be a character. Fantastic worlds that may or may not make sense. Simple stories, where the fluff of the story has been peeled back to find, in all its beauty, a bare story underneath. Emotion, real emotion inside of real characters.

My style was and is slowly moving away from Tolkienesque (for which we can thank our lucky stars for, the world doesn’t need another Tolkien copy) to something I still can’t quite put my finger on, but I know I am on my way to finding it (I hope anyway). Stories that don’t have to do with entire worlds (or that have to have an agonizing amount of world building), or saving the universe, but with people. People caught up in events and then what they do about it. I love the ordinary characters who find themselves in the adventure much more than I like ‘Chosen Ones’. I like characters with flaws and who agonize over decisions, but who do the right thing anyway. I like the complicated characters.

Since I like to read stories with those characteristics, why not write those kind of stories? I can at least try, even though those authors are waaaay above my skill level.

During my writing break, my mind constantly went back to two stories in particular. They sat, like so many others, simmering away in my notebooks. There are literally about 20 stories ideas that could grab my attention in my notebooks, yet I only thought about two. In fact, one of the few bits of writing I did in those two months was to write a scene in one of those stories. Obviously, those had captured my attention.

Those stories were the ones I wanted to write.

Without giving too much away, I wanted to share a bit of the two stories I will be working on for the forseeable future. I am really loving the idea of the aesthetic of a novels, so let’s try that! Please forgive the titles, these stories are barely begun so I have no idea what to call them.

Story One: A Love Letter to My Hometown.

Dragons // Sunshine on my face // Fire // Traveler // Smoke and ashes // Burned trees // Wind whipping my hair into my eyes // Breathless // Gold // Desert soil // The veins in a leaf // Steampunk // Bravery // Wild // Strange world // Mountains // Sunrise

Story Two: Letters to a Sister

Duels // Knights // Old Libraries // Wrinkled Letters // Pressed Flowers // Herbs // Spilled Ink // Feather Pen // Monsters // A Sword on the Ground // Tears on a Pillow // Quiet Courage // Dusk // Steel // Gray // Hope // Palaces

Okay, now I really want to know, what would be your perfect book to read? What would it be about?

Shaina Merrick

February (Febrary, Febraury, Febary???) Fantasy Month!

How is this gloomy month treating everyone? February is my least favorite month. The holidays are over and I am just soooo ready for warm weather, but I still have to go through February (and March because I live in CO, but hope spring eternal). Blegh. At least the month is short!

To lift the gloom a tad bit, I am joining Jenelle Schmidt’s Fantasy Month challenge! It is all about fandoms, which is always fun to discuss (and scream and flail over). Though, I am not usually a fangirl. *hidesface* I enjoy things but it takes a lot for me to obsess over it. Though I may find out just how many things I do obsess over in this post… (I think my family is snickering at me right now)

And on we go to the questions!

What was the first fandom you fell into?

Uuuuummmmm… Narnia I think. I remember being obsessed over the Prince Caspian movie before it came out. I would stare at a little article I had clipped out of a magazine for hours. Then I was disappointed when I finally saw it, but don’t judge too harshly guys, I was, like, thirteen. And the battle scenes were scary for my wee little self.

Image result for the lion the witch and the wardrobe movie

My introduction to Narnia was my parents reading them out loud to us. My mom loved them as a child, and as soon as we were old enough she introduced them to us. There are many fond memories of sitting cozily on the couch with my siblings and listening to the adventures of the Pevensie children. I may have had a crush on Peter at the time…

What is the most recent fandom you’ve become a part of?

The Mandalorian! I was absolutely obsessed with it as soon as I saw the Child’s face. I love the characters, the plot, and just everything about it! I had always liked Star Wars (it’s hard not to when your dad loves them), but the Mandalorian is just amazing. One of my favorite shows. As a plus, any reference to another Star Wars show or movie in the Mandalorian is fully explained to me by my geeky dad and sister. So I don’t have to go watch them to get the reference.

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So I don’t know if the Mandalorian on it’s own counts as a fandom, but we are going to pretend it does. Cool?

Star Wars or Star Trek?

I think the above question answers this question. Definitely Star Wars as of the moment, mostly because of the Mandalorian. Though I do like both. Funny story, my dad is a Star Wars fan, but my mom is a Trekkie. And yet they still have a great relationship. Miracles still do happen guys.

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Marvel or DC?

Definitely Marvel. I am a fan of Captain America.

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Endgame ranks among my top movies. (though do I even have an official list?) I loved it so much, even though it is one of the very few movies I have ever cried during.

What is a fandom you love enough to want to live in that world?

Perhaps we should rephrase this question to what fandom I think I would survive in. The answer would be, hm, well? My survival skills are very sad, so perhaps we shall go with the Mandalorian. I would really like to hang out with him (really I just want to hold the Child) and if I was next to the Mandalorian I have a very good chance of not dying. Right?

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If you could hang out with a character from one of your fandoms, who would it be and why?

I reaaaaally want to hold the Child, alright? ‘Nuff said.

(yes I am refusing to say his name on purpose, I don’t like it)

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Unknown fandom (something you love and no one else seems to have heard of)?




The Last Unicorn

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Royden Lepps’ Rust

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Hamlet (shshshsh, it is totally a fandom)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I know you have heard of it, and then outgrew it, but I never outgrew this fandom…)

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The Prydain Chronicles

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Those are the top ones. I like things no one has heard of. Which means I spend a lot of time trying to convince my friends to read things…

Well that was interesting, and slightly embarrassing… Your turn! Please tell me your fandoms (cool and embarrassing)! I wish to know, and to not feel quite so embarrassed over here.

Shaina Merrick

New Year Resolutions (or not)

Any one want to go time traveling with me? Yes? Well then, let’s all go back one month to January so I can properly write a New Years Resolution post. Ready? Here we go!

Last year I had a looong list of resolutions that covered everything from habits I wanted to break to writing goals I wanted to achieve. Some were from the year before, most were new ones I wanted to tackle in 2020. Looking back, I am really not sure how well I did because, well, somewhere along the line I lost the list.


At this point I can only remember one of the things on the list, and I didn’t do it. So did I fail? Or did I do amazing and not even know it? We are going with the latter one. Okay?

Since all my resolutions went over so well last year, I decided to try something new this year.

See, ever year I make a set of resolutions. Sometimes it is more like a glorified to do list, sometimes it is things I want to work on. Like exercise more, or finish all the books on my shelf (both Herculean tasks). Things get repeated year after year and sometimes, eventually, it happens. But this year, I had enough to do lists on the brain. I work, I go to school, I write, read, and occasionally I squeeze in a movie or two. There are enough lists to follow, I don’t really want to make yet another one.

So I decided to try something else. A Happiness Project.

What is a Happiness Project? The whole idea was started by Gretchen Rubin. It is kind of a to do list, kind of a new years resolution, and kind of a habit chart. Basically you break your life down into sections and then decide what you can do to make that area of your life better or happier. Like the title suggests, the whole idea is to bring more happiness into your life. (to learn more you can follow this link)

I decided to section my life off into 5 core pieces that I really wanted to work on this year. The first one was health. Surprise surprise. Isn’t that the most popular resolution? In that section I stuck my desire to meal plan better and to go off sugar for a while, among other things. Did I do it all? No. But I did most of it, and I did become healthier and that leads to being happier.

It is kind of a long list of things I want to do and work. But instead of a to do list that I-must-get-done-at-all-costs and stresses me out when I don’t do it, I have a sectioned list of ways to make my life better and happier. Thus far I have learned how to meal plan (well, better anyway), updated my closet, and started drinking more water. Each of those things have made my life better, and happier.

Isn’t that what New Years Resolutions are supposed to be about anyway?

Shaina Merrick

I’m baaack.


*And I explode back on the scene in a cloud of cosmic dust.*

Well, *brushes the dust off my shoulders* it has been a while hasn’t it? Two months?!? Yikes.


What on earth have been doing in that time?

Reading. Obviously. Lots and lots of interesting books. I think I finally crawled out of the reading hole of meh I had fallen into last year.

I finally finished the Mandalorian (let all my family rejoice). I thoroughly enjoyed the ending. Then I dove straight into Downton Abbey which I am also completely enjoying. (I never actually thought I would like tv shows so much, so this interesting)

But all the reading and the watching had to come in between two rather important things. Work, and school.

Yes I said school. I have fallen headfirst into the world of homework and papers and tests. It was a long time in the works, and I am excited about this decision. When I am not wracking my brains over a math problem that is.

Don’t worry, I am not about to announce yet another hiatus. Two months was enough for me, I am ready to write again.

I think the biggest reason I took the two months off without even meaning to was Nano. Writing 50,000 words in one month is nothing to sneeze at, and finishing the novel I have spent years on is no mean feat either. After that I was creatively dry, so dry I didn’t realize till later how bad it was. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write, there were no words with which to write. I had used the last ones up. Perhaps I would have been afraid if I had known what was going on. There is a creepy crawly fear in the back of my mind that eventually I will run out of things to say. But I was so busy starting school and working I didn’t even notice.

All I knew was that I was tired. So I didn’t write. And thankfully, my income does not depend on my writing, so I was able to do that. Instead I read good books and I watched good movies and I talked with good friends. I dabbled in short stories when inspiration struck and journaled my thoughts and frustrations. I knew there was a whole world of stories waiting for me, I just couldn’t drum up the energy to dive into them again.

In the meantime, the well I had drank so dry became filled again, and now I can look my stories in the eye and tell them I am coming back. Sometime very soon, I will pick up a story and begin it.

Anyway. Hello and welcome back to the blog everyone! In the near future expect a long overdue new year new resolutions post and more book reviews.

Anything exciting happen while I was gone?

Shaina Merrick