Friday, March 27, 2015

The Surrogate Sea and its Illustrious Author

In this rare, magical Friday Post we would like to congratulate our marvelous friend Danielle E. Shipley of Ever On Word on the release of her latest whimsical Wilderhark novella: The Surrogate Sea!!!

In honor of this momentous occasion, we have persuaded the elusive author herself to answer some our impertinent questions.

Without further ado . . .

What are some of your favorite books? We won't ask you for your favorite book because that would be mean. Just give us your top 3 or 10 or however many you would like. 

 Bless you for your kindness. Always good to encounter interviewers who understand the struggle. ;) A few tops picks o’ mine, in no particular order…

 Long-standing favorites:
- “The Story Girl” by L.M. Montgomery – perhaps uncommonly enough, it’s laid a bigger claim on my heart than her best-known work, “Anne of Green Gables”
- The “Montmorency” series by Eleanore Updale – historical fiction featuring the first British thief I ever loved, since I had yet to appreciate Robin Hood. Speaking of…
- “The Outlaws of Sherwood” by Robin McKinley; also “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” by Howard Pyle

 More recent favorites:
- “The Raven Cycle” by Maggie Stiefvater – especially Books 1 and 2; Book 4 can’t get here soon enough
- “Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson – which I read for the first time maybe a month ago at a friend’s strong recommendation, and it’s just so darn good
- “The Archived” by Victoria Schwab – also just so darn good, much like the first work I read of hers (under her alter ego, V.E. Schwab), “Vicious”
- “Inspired” by Danielle E. Shipley – …what? I don’t go two days without wishing I were reading it. If that’s not true love…

When did Will Scarlet and his friends first make their merry appearance in your life? 

 *cracks up* Good mercy, if you could hear Will carrying on with ecstacy at the mention of his name…

 I met my Merry Men in November of 2010 – my first National Novel Writing Month! – having no idea at the time just how big a part of my life they would soon become. Will, in particular, was a pal to me from the start, using his mad skills of improvisational chatter to help me meet my daily word-count goals for the duration of NaNo ’10. We’ve since then grown to regard each other as besties/long-lost siblings. And despite the fact that I won’t begin publication of the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy in which he features until I’ve finished with the Wilderhark Tales novellas, he may well be more popular online than I am. XD

If you had to pick one of your fictional worlds to live in, which would it be? 

Oh, Avalon Faire, for sure – home of Will’s scarlet shenangins, Allyn-a-Dale’s matchless music, and good old-fashioned immortality!

Unless, of course, something tragic were to happen to Rosalba in the Wilderhark world, leaving me little choice but to marry her widower, Edgwyn Wyle.

Who would totally propose to me once he’d had his fill of grieving.

Please don’t choke yourself laughing, Edgwyn.

What is your preferred writing utensil?

My laptop, Fantasia – whom, full disclosure, my mother took the initiave to christen after I’d gone far too long without settling on a name. I enjoy the feel of typing (so much like playing piano), and the ability to edit as I go in a way I can’t do half as tidily in pencil or pen.

How do you balance your writing career with other parts of your life?

*blinks* There’s more to my life?

Seriously. It seems it’s easier to force myself to keep my nose to the grindstone than to take a break for so-called necessities like food and fresh air and… what’s that thing people are supposed to do in their pajamas? Riiiiight, “sleep”. I’ve heard of that.

But I’m trying to get better about it. Will Scarlet has dragged a promise out of me to take a mental health break once I’ve pubbed the last Wilderhark Tale this fall – which, considering it will mean months of delay before his books come out, is one of the most selfless things he’s ever done. And around that same time, I’ll have moved from my childhood home in the Chicago area to ever-lovin’ Germany, of all places, which is what I call adventure with a capital A! If living within sight of the Black Forest – basically THE fairytale forest! (No offense, Wilderhark) – isn’t the whap upside the head I need to turn me into a cool person who makes time for fun, then color me hopeless.

 The Surrogate Sea is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also check it out on Goodreads.
Blogger Tricks

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun With Real Life

So, I was going to write a blog post today, but then instead I applied for a job that both wouldn't make me miserable and would give me time to write. 

It's likely I won't get it, but I'm honestly just really glad such a job exists.  This cannot be the only job in the world that fits those two requirements.  There must be more. 

And so, I leave you, not with any actual blog post, but with hope.  And who wouldn't take hope over a blog post any day? 

Also because it is equally on my mind and I love it so much: 

My favorite gif of almost-snarky Peeta: 

Please tell me myself and sleep-deprived Katie the Roommate aren't the only ones who think this moment is hilarious. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Responding to the Spam Filter

Remember when we did a post in which we personally responded to the search terms that brought people to our blog? Well, in case you missed it, here is a link to that post so you too can revel in the Gerard Butler-ful glory.

This is post is sort of an off-shoot of that idea. Actually, it is something which our friend Colin D Smith suggested in the comments of that post.

So, for your delectation, I have cracked open that Pandora's Box which is our spam filter and selected some gems to respond to.

Here goes nothing.

Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually loved account your weblog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your augment and even I fulfillment you get right of entry to constantly quickly.

Dear Anonymous Spam Bot,
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you think our content sections are pretty. I do rather like our font choice, if I say so myself. I did pick it, after all.  Also, I've always thought paragraphs are a rather nice way to break up long sections of text. I know there are a lot of people who don't agree with me, but I'm radical that way. I'm so pleased to hear you are going to subscribe to our augment (whatever that is) and equally pleased to hear of your personal fulfillment. Keep climbing that self-actualization tree!
                                                     Bunches of love,
                                                                   The Feather and the Rose

Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to know so much appropximately this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I think that you simply could do with a ffew % to force the message house a bit, but instead of that, that is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back. 

Dear Internet Creature,
I'm so glad we've been able to connect so closely with the essence of your being. Our goal is always to read the thoughts of our followers. And yes, we did write the guide in this. That's why our careers are flourishing so marvelously. I would have to disagree with you about the % since I think our message house is actually just fine. Thank you for your input, though. We really appreciate it. Do return when you have the time.
                                                      Solicitous salutations,
                                                                    The Feather and the Rose

I have read so many content concerning the blogger lovers except this paragraph is genuinely a nice paragraph, keep it up. 

Awwww. You've made me feel all melty inside, Little Minion. 

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

Dear Friendly Widget,
I love our blog too. Interesting fact about the color combination: Susan and I find ourselves wearing it by accident all the time. We made the website ourselves with the help of the Blogger Hive Mind with which I'm sure you are acquainted. No matter how much you try, Mr. Widget, I'm fairly convinced you would never be able to bring into being something as lovely as this blog.
                                                      Snarkitudinously yours,
                                                                   The Feather and the Rose

This piece of writing is in fact a fastidious one it assists new internet people, who are wishing in favor of blogging. 

My darling Google Spider,
Our hope is to be fastidious in all things.Especially when it comes to personal hygiene. This is why Susan and I are friends, you know. If you are a new internet person wishing in favor of blogging I suggest you go to the blog nursery and pick yourself up a baby blog. They are adorable, fascinating creatures and are fairly simple to care for. All they need is, at minimum, weekly watering to eventually grow into a mighty beast with a wingspan so wide it will block all the free time out of your life.
                                                       Keep wishing,
                                                                 The Feather and the Rose

You should take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the internet.

I'm inarticulate with pride. 'Nough said.

 Gold star for us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Living and the Dead

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

                                                                                     ~ James Joyce, The Dead


It has been a long winter, my friends. Perhaps the longest of my life. The snow has been falling for weeks and there's a biting wind that comes blasting down the hill in front of our building to burn your skin and blow chips of ice into your eyes and into your heart.

Our world is a wash of grey and white. The sky is exactly the same smooth, colorless surface as the earth. If you are so lucky as to find a patch of color, it is a feast for the eyes. Even the small scurrying animals and the hardy winter birds are utterly silent and vanished.* The only noise at night is the skeleton trees creaking in the freezing wind. I think their bones are almost as cold as mine.

Yet, a miracle. 

Yesterday, there was sunlight.

And it filled our living room with gold.


* Except for Susan's Squirrel.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Very Large Squirrel

Do you ever have one of those mornings, evenings, days--or maybe longer--where you feel like you're just spinning your wheels? 

You're trying to go through the semi-routine that you have established for this part of the week, but new things keep cropping up? 

Naturally, (almost) all the technology chooses this time to malfunction.  Those little bits of important information you never wrote down come back to bite you. 

Like a squirrel biting a thrice-frozen crab apple.

And you find yourself wondering:  How have I ever gotten anything done in my whole life?  

But you have before, so it's a good bet that you will do something, someday, again, other than fumble with technology and drop things and forget things and post cop-out blog posts full of totally random squirrel pictures. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guest Post by Arena the Roommate

Hello Friends of "The Feather and the Rose"! 

My name is Arena the Roommate.  Susan and Tyler-Rose are currently both inundated by work, and I have offered to fill in for this Monday blog post.  They obviously trust me a lot, because I am not exactly a skillful writer.  In fact, the last thing that I wrote that was not a research paper or an essay was a very depressing short story about cancer which was written in French when I was in Tours, France for a summer study abroad in 2013; I was very jet-lagged.  Prior to that short story, I think I wrote a short story for my 7th grade English teacher about slumber parties. 

While in Tours, France, you must go see all the cool chateaux.  This is a front view (non-bridge view) of Chateau, Chenonceau.

You may ask why I haven't written non-factual/opinion papers in such a long time.  The truth? I am not a writer.  Nor am I interested in writing.  In fact, I am a Math/Economics/French triple major.  I do not share any majors with Susan, Tyler-Rose, or Katie the Roommate*, so it seems a little surprising that we've all become such good friends.  However, we all seem to balance each other out.  Part of why this is, is that we all have different schedules for life.  After I graduate in May, I will be working for an insurance company as an actuarial assistant with the end goal of becoming an actuarial fellow**.  Thus, I have more free time this semester, while my roommates are continuously working on projects and job prospects. 

Now that I've talked about myself for multiple paragraphs, I will talk about what I've been meaning to talk about, which is... 

Time and the Necessity of Doing. 

You may ask what I mean when I say the "Necessity of Doing".  I'm talking about having to do something because there is no other option.  I experience this best in the actuarial exam process.  To become an actuarial fellow, I have to take twelve long, arduous exams.  I've passed one, and I hopefully will pass the second at the end of February.  The process of taking exams isn't very fun; they're expensive and difficult.  I've been studying for this exam since June.  However, I know that I MUST pass this exam, or I will get fired from my job before I even begin it.  If one can't pass his exams at fairly regular intervals, he will not get raises or promotions, which means he will get fired.  For me, it's also something that I must do as I feel it is what I'm meant to do, just as Tyler-Rose and Susan feel they must write. 

It's been important to recognize that things must be done, and that things will be done, whether you believe it's possible or not.  While sometimes the timeline for these things isn't as you expect, they will be completed.  In reality, everything is going to be alright.  If they're not alright, they will be.^

This probably all seems cryptic, but I've adopted it as my guide, and I'd venture to say that I'm the least stressed of my friends with the least amount of panic attacks.  Many people are amazed at how calm I am with so much on my plate, but I've managed to triple major without a time-turner and without going crazy.  If you can adopt the right mindset, you can do anything, because you have to.  If you don't have to do something, then why do it? 


*See Katie the Roommate's posts here.   And here. 

**What's an actuary, you ask?  See here. 

^My dad has a penchant for reggae music, so perhaps I listened to this# so often in my childhood, that it has pervaded my life. 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Surrogate Sea

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! It is time for another wonderful Wilderhark Tales novella to make its glorious debut into the world. It is our pleasure to help our friend Danielle E. Shipley of Ever on Word proclaim the glory of her forthcoming fantastical lark.

And OH MY GOD is the cover art gorgeous.

Without further ado . . .

The Sea’s storm brought them together, and the Sea’s rules will keep them apart, unless the mute but melodious Muirigan can find another to take her place, freeing her to pursue the human man she loves. But when her plan collides with the schemes of the sly South Wind, a princess’s agenda to look for love in all the most fantastic places, and a prince whose head and heart have been long years at war, the result is a tragedy of errors from which the world might never recover.

The Surrogate Sea (Book Six of The Wilderhark Tales)

<> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark's.

It will be available on March 24th on Amazon, but if the stunningly lovely cover art has inspired you, you can add it to your Goodreads TBR list right this very second.  

Congratulations, Danielle! I can't wait to read it :)

About the Author: 
Danielle E. Shipley's first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. ...Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof.

When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She's also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble.

When she's not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she's probably blogging about it at