Warriors: Outcast by Erin Hunter

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Via Amazon

Via Amazon

How did I get the book? It was a gift.
Genre: Juvenile fantasy

Summary (from Amazon):

There will be three,
Kin of you kin….
Who hold the
Power of the stars
In their paws.

A secret prophecy shapes the lives of Firestar’s grandchildren, but only one of the three knows about it. Jaypaw is captivated by the power it promises, and he believes the key to that power may lie buried in the distant past — with the ancient cats who once walked these woods and now prowl through his dreams.His search for answers leads him toward the mountains — the home of the Tribe of Rushing Water. Lionpaw and Hollypaw feel drawn to the mountains too, for different reasons.

But the mountains hide secrets as well as answers, and if the three cats find a way to get there, they may discover more than they ever expected.

My Review:

Outcast is the third book in the Warriors: Power of Three series by Erin Hunter. It continues to follow Jaypaw, Hollypaw, and Lionpaw on their journey to become warriors and do what is best for their Clan.

Even though they are apprentices, they are able to go on a long journey to help the Tribe of Rushing Water. They have helped the Clan cats before, so it only makes sense for them to return the favor.

The book was certainly interesting to see the Tribe cats again from the previous series. The journey to help the Tribe was entertaining enough as it was the first long journey the apprentices got to go on.

It’s not until they reach the mountains that they realize they may be in over their heads.

This book had plenty of adventure, but there was a lot of build-up to the journey. I felt some of that may not have been needed. Then again, there are three more books in the series after this one. Maybe some questions will be answered then.

Warriors: Outcast by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Great; I get to be told I’m dead all over again.” –Erin Hunter, Outcast

Don’t forget to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!

Learn Through Writing

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Via Pinterest

Via Pinterest

Weekend Plans

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As another week comes to a close, everyone asks the same question: what are you planning this weekend?

Most of the time, my answer is nothing. I try to work on my writing and personal projects, unless I’m actually busy with friends or family occasions.

However, it’s Memorial weekend this weekend. So the question has been modified to: what are you doing this long weekend?

Everyone at work says they’re relaxing and that they’re not doing anything too special for the long weekend.

Me? I have big plans!

Friday:
–Finish May blog posts (only three left!)
–Start June blog posts
–Edit stories from my writers group

Saturday:
–Write
–Work on writing-related project with Kris

Sunday:
–Work on Sunday school curriculum for next year

Monday:
–Spring cleaning!

My weekend is work-filled, but it’s all good work. It’s fun work. (Yes, Kris. Spring cleaning is fun despite anything you say.)

There you have it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a lot done this upcoming weekend.

What are you doing this weekend?

Inspiration Station: The Five Senses

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The Five Senses

What are the five senses?

The five senses are how we get through everyday life: we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. Life would be pretty dull without these senses.

Why are they important to writing?

The main character of a story–actually, all characters–are the key to keeping a good story going. Readers need to be able to connect with these characters. They want to be these characters. The readers want to love the characters, they want to relate to the characters. Readers can’t do that if they don’t feel what the characters feel, see what they see, hear what they hear… Do you see where I’m going with this?

In real life on a warm summer day we can hear the birds singing outside our window, feel the air conditioner blowing a cool breeze through our hair, we can smell chlorine drifting from our neighbor’s yard, we can see the neighbor’s children riding their bikes down the street, and we can taste the newly grown tomatoes from the garden or cold ice cream on those really hot days.

But is this enough?

What’s the difference between showing and telling the five senses?

It’s one thing to say, “She heard him coming.”

But what about this: “She heard his footsteps clomping down the hall, the floorboards creaking under his weight.”

You tell me which one is showing and which one is telling. Then decide which sentence you think is the most effective.

In the end…

When you’re editing your story and you find you’re lacking the description department, try throwing in a few of the five senses. Remember, your readers want to be see, hear, smell, feel, and taste everything your characters do.

Or… At least most of what they do.

Writing Prompt:

Write a story where the protagonist is missing one of the five senses; for example, a main character who is blind or deaf.

Related Articles:

A Sense of Place in Writing
Descriptive Writing and the Five Senses
How to Unlock All Five Senses in Your Writing

Pressfolios

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I already did some shameless plugging for my Bloglovin’ account a few weeks ago, so I thought I would do some more today.

Lately Kris and I have been talking a lot about maybe getting more writing done than just our original stories.

Sure, we have ideas that need to be written, novels that need to be edited, contests and magazines to submit to, etc. But we decided to get a little extra experience in, if we can.

Needless to say I’m on Pressfolios now. I don’t know if any of you have heard of it before because I certainly didn’t. Kris discovered it the other day. It’s an online writing portfolio.

I don’t have much on there now, but I’m sure it’ll grow overtime. I have a few pieces of writing I want to put on there, but they’re not on my computer anymore. So I have to find them and then type them up.

So, not much of an update, but I thought this would be a good thing to tell all my writer friends.

If you’re looking into doing freelance work or anything of the like, Pressfolios is a good place to do it. It’s a simple website and easy to navigate. I would definitely go check it out at the very least.

Happy Birthday, Blog!

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Happy 3 BDay Blog

Last Thursday, May 14, was the third anniversary–or birthday as I like to call it–of my blog and how long I’ve been on WordPress. I find that to be a huge accomplishment!

When I first started this blog I didn’t see myself still blogging three years later. I started this blog because I knew it was a great way to be recognized as a writer. Well, three years later and I’m still not published, but I’ve still come a long way.

My writing has improved greatly (as far as I can tell) and so has my blog. I’ve been blogging on a daily basis, have regular features, have a steady followship (I just made that word up!), I have my own domain name, and my blog actually means something to not just me, but to my readers as well.

My blog isn’t about promoting my writing. Sure, the recognition is still nice for when I do get published, but my blog has become more than that; it’s about my readers.

All of you guys have given me such wonderful advice regarding writing and blogging. I’ve made so many WordPress friends over the past few years. I’m not going to link to anyone because I’m afraid I’ll forget someone, but you should know who you are!

My blog has evolved immensely over the years and it’s because of all my readers. I don’t know if I would still be blogging if it weren’t for you guys reading, liking, and commenting on my posts. The WordPress community is certainly a great one; especially the writers.

With being said, I have a month-long feature coming up in June that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. I hope you guys look forward to that and enjoy it because I’m having a good time coming up with the posts for it.

I didn’t mean for this post to sound like an acceptance speech and I didn’t mean for it to come off as corny or too sappy. Sorry about that, but all of you guys do mean a lot to mean me. So… I guess in addition to the heads-up about my June feature, I’ll give you another heads-up.

Since we love you all so much, Kris and I have been working on something special. That won’t be coming until the middle of August. It’s something private between us and our WordPress buddies–and it’s writing related. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter until August is here and we’re ready to announce it. So I hope you all look forward to that as well!

So, happy third birthday to my blog! Let’s hope there are many more years to come.

Short Story Sunday #57

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SSS Crowd

            She was carried along by the crowd. She tried to reach her arms through people and also tried to see over their heads, but she was too small. She called out his name a few times, but the crowd was so loud in yelling and stampeding through the streets, that no one could hear her; she couldn’t even hear herself.

Amanda, when she could no longer see Jeff, turned around and started walking among the crowd. She didn’t know where they were going, but she thought that it would be easier to walk with the crowd than against. Maybe she could find a small gap that she could fit through and make it to the sidewalk. Then she could backtrack and try to find Jeff again.

She hoped Jeff was thinking the same thing and was trying to find his way back to her.

Amanda picked up her feet and was marching through the streets. She felt so small with the entire crowd surrounding her that if she walked as she normally did, she knew for sure that she would fall and get trampled.

Finally, she found a small opening and tried to walk through it when someone grabbed her arm. She was startled and tried to wriggle free, but she couldn’t get out of the grip.

“Stop, it’s me! Jeff!”

Amanda turned around and noticed Jeff right behind her holding onto her arm. She let out a sigh of relief.

“What are you walking with the crowd for?” Jeff demanded glaring at her.

“I was trying to get away, but I wasn’t strong enough to walk the opposite way. I was trying to make my way to the sidewalk.” Amanda explained.

“Hold onto my arm and do not let go. Follow me.” Jeff was still holding onto Amanda’s arm and she was holding onto his other arm.

He led the way diagonally. They were walking with the crowd, but there were making their way to the sidewalk where no one seemed to be around. Amanda was thankful that the stampede was protesting in the street and not the sidewalk. She thought that was odd, but she wasn’t going to say anything about it.

Finally, she and Jeff made it safely to the sidewalk. Holding onto her tighter, Jeff turned around and started running in the opposite direction of the crowd.

“Where are going to go?” Amanda called trying to keep up with him. Her legs were a lot shorter than his to the point that he was practically dragging her down the sidewalk.

“We’re going home to get some supplies and then we’re leaving the city.” Jeff answered, but he didn’t turn his head to look at her. He was too focused on where he was going.

“What is going on, anyway? Why are all these people so angry?” Amanda wondered.

“We’ll talk about that later in private!” Jeff shouted over the crowd. “We don’t want anyone overhearing our conversation. No more talking until we find the car.”

Amanda nodded her head even though Jeff wasn’t looking at her. With Jeff holding onto her hand and leading her, she watched the crowd trample by them going in the opposite direction. No one seemed to notice that other people were running the opposite way. None of the protesters seemed to care that they were scaring the lives out of some people.

Amanda had woken up that morning to crashes and bangs. When she peeked out the window she noticed that parts of the city were destroyed and on fire. She didn’t understand what was going on. She didn’t understand why the protestors were rioting. She went outside to look for her husband Jeff when she was accidentally swept away by the crowd.

Apparently Jeff was trying to pack the car and get their things together in an attempt to leave the city. That was why Amanda couldn’t find him in the morning and now that the crowd carried her so far away, she ended up delaying their escape.

However, she wasn’t sure what they were escaping from. She didn’t want to leave the city. She didn’t want to leave her home. It was the first house and her husband bought together when they first got married. They were going to start a family together soon. If they left the city, they would have nowhere to go. They would be homeless.

They made it back to the house and Jeff let go of Amanda’s arm. He barked some orders to her and Amanda immediately obeyed without asking any questions.

Together, the two of them ran into their house and grabbed as many belongings as they could. They didn’t bother to pack anything in suitcases; they just threw everything into the minivan and tossed the suitcases in after. They would sort through it all later.

“Is there anything else you need to get?” Jeff asked starting up the van.

Amanda looked back at the house. She and Jeff grabbed all their clothes, all the food they could carry, their stash of money, and any other essentials they needed. They were even able to throw in some things that had sentimental value.

“The house,” Amanda replied without thinking.

Jeff frowned.

“I know… maybe when this is all over we can come back with hopes that it’s not burned to the ground or broken into. I wish we could pack everything we have, including the furniture and the house itself. But we just can’t. Amanda, is there anything else you need to get? We need to leave… immediately.” Jeff explained looking sad.

Amanda shook her head and hopped into the front seat of the car. As she buckled her seatbelt, Jeff revved the engine and sped off. Amanda watched her house shrink in the distance through the side mirror and allowed a few tears to come down her cheek.

“What was going on?” she whispered to Jeff.

“They’re bringing the war here.” Jeff had a tear rolling down his cheek as well.

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