Saturday, August 2, 2014


Developments!  How sweet the sound of that word. I'd like to take a minute to thank my sunshine Mary Jane for her utter brilliance in those sutuations in which I was completely and utterly out of ideas.  I'd driven myself into an amount of corners that it is physically impossible to have in a room.  Or a story.  Okay, it wasn't that bad, but I needed help.  And then my sunshine came speaking words of wisdom which I beg everyone to take heed of if you are writing a story whose antagonist you know very little about:  figure out what the antagonist wants.  You cannot continue if you don't know what he/she/they/it want/s.  Otherwise, how can you tell exactly what the protagonist/s is/are fighting for and/or against? 
My problem with the Web was that I didn't know why they were stealing from everyone.  Money is a relevant motivator but also extremely boring.  It had to be deeper.  Everything has to be deeper.  
So, while pondering Janey's advice at 2AM, the divine floodgates of inspiration were thrown open and, since I was standing there pounding on them, they hit me square in the face and threw me back some miles - right back to the drawing board, on which was written "RETHINK."  I realized then that if what I had couldn't work, I had to untangle the Web and piece it back together another way.  By 2:21am that morning I had decided that the traitor I'd previously mentioned was actually the leader of the Web, which will need a new name because it's not really a web at the moment.  This traitor, who we will nickname Joe because what does River Song say? has a world domination plan or something to that effect.  Basically he has a problem with his dead father, who was a crappy human being.  Wellllll, he was very human, and that's the problem.  But anyway, Joe feels like he has to prove something by doing all this evil stuff.  Nicely worded, Ashley.  We can tell you're a writer. 😑
I also decided on the circumstances of Meg (my MC)'s brainwashing: several days before, she and Noah (her partner) were on a mission (the nature of which I have not yet thought out) where they stumbled upon the Web, which at the time is only a budding threat to the world - Nife hadn't had any dealings with them yet (besides of course what Joe was doing but none of them knew about that).   They also discover that's where the heretofore missing agent Will is, in a rather brainwashed state as I believe I mentioned in my last post.  So Meg pressures Franklin Russell, one of the leaders of Nife, to send someone to recover him.  But of course Joe managed to engineer that mission which Franklin finally agreed to send her on so that she would get captured, because he couldn't have her doing her own research and finding out he was the Nife traitor.  
I'm hoping the floodgates of inspiration open again tonight because I'm still working out the details of how she managed to end up brainwashed on a beach in light of these new developments.  But I like them better than what I had before, so I shall persevere and figure out a way! 😄I hope this post made sense.  I'm a bit tired.  Thanks for reading!😁 I'll try to post about Meg very very soon.  Maybe directly after this post.  Maybe tomorrow. I'm not sure xD

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A New Story Is Always Exciting Unless You've Been Excited About Far Too Many...(that should be the title of an RK song)

Hoopes, I did it again!  I'm writing yet another book.  Because apparently who cares about all my other ones, right? *sigh*

This particular novel-in-progress is about a girl named Megan Foster.  Well, Meg.  And her best friend Noah Farley.  

Meg and Noah are spy partners.  No, don't leave, it's really not THAT cliche.  I hope.  I pray.  Please not.  They work for a spy organization indefinitely labelled Nife.  Nife is a force fighting against the other spy organization, called (also indefinitely) The Web.  (Because knives cut webs, but Knife was too cheesy to even call it that short-term so I got rid of the K.)  I'm still working on exactly what the Web's goal is, and why Nife is so determined to slice all its silky threads.  But I do know that the Web has a very rude habit of capturing agents and brainwashing them to use them for their own purposes.  (Sadly, I am in the dark as to what those purposes are.  Help.)

Meg was sent on a mission into the heart of the Web and never came back.  Okay, never is too long a word.  She didn't return at the appointed time and Noah set out to find her.  He searched for four days before finding her alive and well on a beach - with absolutely no memory of who he was or who she was or anything that had happened to her.  The conclusion was obvious to him: she'd been taken and brainwashed.

To take her back to Nife would mean placing her in solitary confinement (in case she'd been hardwired with a mission from the enemy) while undergoing some ridiculous memory treatment, and Noah didn't want her to go through that.  So he contacts their best friend London, a British spy of Nife who is from London.  His parents were very patriotic.  London agrees to help...
do what?
Yes, I have no idea.   What I do have an idea of is that there is a traitor in Nife, a very powerful leader who actually orchestrated the brainwashing of Meg at the order of their contacts in the Web.  Not only that, but several years back this person also caused London's older brother and genius Will to have the same thing happen to him, and he's never been recovered - he's still working with the Web, totally unaware of who he actually is.  So it's pretty hard on London when he finds out that, just like his best friend / big brother, Meg was also brainwashed.  

If I may try to paint a picture of the world this is set in, I believe it's sort of a modern Renaissance.  People are inventing new things.  Not necessarily super futuristic, but the world is discovering new things and lots of big people want the little guy's stuff.  So that's where the Web comes in.  They send their silk tendrils out and steal things for money.  Nife was raised to stop these people.  Their mission is to snip off all the webs.  I'm still working on a motive other than being genuinely nice guys who don't like thieves.  Everyone knows stuff doesn't end up that way.  Just look at S.H.I.E.L.D.  But there's also something deeper to the Web.  Like I said, still working on it.  I have actually been working on this novel for a long time, but I was too afraid to post about it because that would be making too much of a commitment. But I figure I'd hardly posted all year so I may as well give you guys something for pressing that Follow button.  

I think that's actually all I know, or most of it.  The rest is spoilers.   I'll work on character posts as soon as I can, but Meg and Noah are really the only characters I know quite a bit about.  See you then.  Also, tomorrow I will renounce that I ever wrote this because it's 12:00 at night and this post, undoubtedly, is awful.  

Thanks for reading!  And putting up with me.  And suggestions on the aforementioned missing aspects of the Web and Nife are greatly appreciated.  Also, there are certain people reading this who know the name of that traitor within Web. SHH.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Poem About Storms

I wrote a poem about storms:

I don't like storms.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On This Day in History 2

Who knew the Statue of Liberty is modelled after someone's mama?  You do now.  

The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, with a bit of assistance from Gustave Eiffel (YES the guy who designed the Eiffel Tower), used his own mother as a model for the more than 305-foot tall statue that has welcomed immigrants for 126 years.  Just goes to show ya, mothers shape the world.  

Anyway, June 17th, 1885 saw the dissassembled Lady Liberty arrive in New York City Harbor in 350 individual pieces, packed away in more than 200 cases.  The following year it was reassembled and dedicated by US President Grover Cleveland, who says of it, "We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected." 

The French gifted the statue to the US in commemoration of the American Revolution and a century of friendship between France and the US.  It cost France an estimated $250,000 - more than $5.5 million in today's money.

  The copper and iron figure, originally copper-colored but changed by natural processes in time to be greenish-blue, was the tallest structure in New York City at the time.  It stood on Bedloe Island, whose name changed to Liberty Island after the iconic statue came to rest on it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

On This Day In History

So, I'm not even going to mention the fact that this is my first blog post in months.  Sorry.  Instead, let's skip directly to the purpose of this post. xD

I have always loved history.  It's fantastic. So interesting and rich....and I especially delight in discovering what was happening some day past whose anniversary is today.  

"On this day in history" (June 16th), 130 years ago in 1884, the very first rollercoaster of America was established on Coney Island.  

It was built by LaMarcus Thompson and it was called "The Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway".  It ran an invigorating six miles per hour and was compsed of a few gentle, wavy hills.  It cost a nickel to ride and was an instant success.  
The Switchback got its name from the way the cars would reach the end of the track, which ran 600 miles along West Tenth Street from Surf Avenue to the ocean, and get switched back to return to the beginning after the passengers had left the car.  It had the capacity for 1,600 riders an hour!  Thompson seems to have in a few ways based his design on the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway, a coal-mining train that had begun to offer its services as a thrill ride in 1827. 

LaMarcus Adna Thompson (March 8th, 1848 - May 8th, 1919) worked as a carpenter and then a grocery store owner before his eventual rollercoaster-designing career earned him the name "The father of gravity".  He patented nearly thirty designs for gravity rides in his lifetime.  He also became the managing director for the L. A. Thompson Scenic Railway Company, 220 West 42nd St., founded in 1895.  L.A.T.A.R.C. manufactured rollercoasters and other instruments for amusement park rides for parks all over the world. 
Thompson died at his home in Thompson Park, Glen Cove, Long Island having led a fairly successful life.  

I don't particularly like rollercoasters, but this was still cool to learn about :D It's so cool to realize - sometimes I look at time like a cabinet.  You pull a drawer open and inside William Wallace is fighting for freedom.  You pull open another one and the  Wright brothers are making history with the first airplanes.  Inside each drawer in the cabinet, history is happening.  It's exciting to think of me sitting here typing this up in the June 16th, 2014 drawer, while in another drawer labelled June 16th, The Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway has finished construction and become open to the public in 1884! (And nobody better try to lecture me on how time works.  Hushhhh.) 

I think I might be posting On This Day In Historys every day, because it's awesome and I should post more often xD

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Unexpected Award.

The well respected and super cool Trinity of has awesomely nominated me for the Liebster Award!  
If you don't know what it is (I didn't till I got nominated and had to google it), it seems to be an award bloggers give to other bloggers because they are friends and stuff. Apparently Liebster in German basically means sugar and spice and everything nice.  The rules: 
  • Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 9 bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers (you can’t nominate the blogger who nominated you).
  • Ask them 11 questions.
  • Let them know about the nomination.
Now, 11 facts about myself...............

1. I sleep with a pillowpet.  She's a red puppy and her name is Valentine.  Best investment I ever made.
2. I watch the Backyardigans.  *not ashamed* 
3. I'm a packrat.  
4. I carry binoculars around in my purse in case I see awesome birds.
5. The first guy I ever had a crush on was Prince Char from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. <3
6. I am intensely afraid of storms (e.g. heavy wind, heavy rain, very dark clouds, and sometimes thunder and lightning.  Oddly enough, I'm less afraid of thunder than I am of heavy winds and rain.)
7. I love to watch water but I find it incredibly boring to be in.  I also can't swim and I have a phobia of drowning, thus causing me to pretty much steer clear of water entirely. 
8. Pretty sure my first word was "Daddy".
9. My favorite food as a baby was pears.
10. John Wayne was my hero growing up.  And Johnny Gage & Roy DeSoto.
11. I once named my hair Sally.

And now Trinity's 11 questions for me: 

1. If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be? (Boring, commonplace, ordinary, regular, and run-of-the-mill are all banned.)
2. What is your favorite thing to drink?
Sprite, A&W, and lemonade are all superb.
3. What fandoms are you in? 
Good Gallifrey, what a question.  Obviously Doctor Who.  Sherlock [BBC, Granada, and canon]; Percy Jacksonnnn <33; Marvel [Captain America for the win]; Psych; Star Wars; Star Trek; Jane Austen; Nancy Drew; Hardy Boys; and Tolkien.  Pretty sure that's everything I love that actually has a fandom.  
4. How many ongoing writing projects are you working on? (Novels, essays, short stories, etc. Blog posts don't count.)
Well.  I'm only actually working on one thing right now; obviously I have a million unfinished and abandoned projects.
5. Of those projects, which has the highest word count and what is it? 
Um, this thingy probably has about a hundred words so far. :P
6. Have you ever had to go to the emergency room?  If so, why? (If you feel comfortable sharing.)
Thank Jesus my Savior, I've never had cause to go to the emergency room.  Except when I went with Mom after my older brother injured himself peeling a carrot.
7. If you could live anywhere besides where you're living now, where would you live? 
Ehh.  I love Michigan.  I might move somewhere with more trees, but definitely not out of Michigan.  If I did, I might move to Kentucky or Tennessee. 
8. Who would you most like to meet in person? (Excepting Jesus).
My awesome best friends, Emily, Robyn, Janey, and Johanna.
9. Your family and pets are safe and sound and you have two minutes to grab some things out of your burning house.  What do you take? 
She says "grab some things"...
Valentine, my NASB study Bible, my scrapbooking stuff, my journal and my pencil pouch.  Oh, and probably my letter packet that contains every letter and envelope I ever receive. 
10. What is your biggest fear?
Probably tornadoes.  Lilapsophobia, y'all.  But if you want me to get philosophical and deep, my biggest fear is losing my mom somehow.
11. Which is more awesome and would win in a fight, pirates or ninjas?
Pirates, because Barbossa. <3

And now for my nominees!  I don't think I even know nine bloggers, but here are those I do know and love.

The beautiful Johanna at

Megan Jane at (seriously guys, brilliant stuff here.)

Brian at (don't worry, Brian, you don't have to do an answer post xD) 

My sister Carly at


Mary at  She hasn't posted much, but she encouraged me via Pinterest a LOT when I was writing Hitchhiker and this is the perfect opportunity for a grateful shout-out :)

Emilita over at <3 

Robynia at  One of my best friends deserves this award of course, even if there is only one post on her blog XD <3

Margaret at :D

I thiiiiiiink that's all. WHOA, I made nine! Incredible.  Now, 11 questions for my nominees. xD 

1. Who was your first fictional character crush? 
2. What fictional place would you pack up and move to in a jiffy?
3. Which are cooler: Daleks or Cybermen?
4. What's one talent you desperately wish you had?
5. Describe yourself in one word.  Don't use boring or ordinary or any of synonyms of those words.
6. Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality quiz?  If so, what did you score? 
7. Who do you most want to meet in person?
8. Books or Nooks?
9. Your zombie apocalypse weapon of choice is...
10. What's one thing you thought you would become as a kid that you haven't yet?  Are you still planning on it?
11. Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? 

Wheeew.  Finally done.  Till next time (which probably will be in years since I obviously fail at blogs)!
 - Ash

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So We Meet Again.

Ahem.  We haven't spoken in a while.  Very lazy of me.  Takk for sist!  I haven't exactly been inspired of late, what with my curling up in a ball and shunning the world so I could read Sherlock Holmes instead of writing.  But, lately I have written a little bit.  Nothing interesting, and certainly nothing worthy of posting here.  But I thought I would just convey a bit of my ideas to you, as you have been unfailingly longsuffering and amazing and fantastic by continuing to be subscribed to this dusty old blog.
I received one of the best presents ever for Epiphany/King's Day/whatever you call it.  January 6th is, if you don't know, the day we celebrate the three kings or wise men who visited Jesus a couple years after His birth.  Anyway.  I got the most brilliant Captain America shield shirt.  It's my favorite style - non-Vneck, and not tight but also not shapeless.
 I could go on for hours about this thing that I don't ever want to stop wearing.  But anyway, it prompted me into thinking about writing about superheroes.  Not that I don't know how cliche that could be if I'm not careful.  But I started writing nonetheless.  So far all that has happened is a girl named Audrey Glory (totally not the official name but I wrote it at 12:00 AM so it was the best I could come up with on the fly) walked to the mailbox and pulled out a letter that said ------------


I actually have no idea what it said.  :P  Still thinking on that.  But the letter will somehow change her life.  If that isn't already cliche, I don't know what is.  *sigh* 

Sooooooo, in addition to getting the Cap shirt I also got a Sherlock scarf for Christmas!!  And I already had a TARDIS BFF necklace (the other half of which belongs to my Janey), and a wooden Sting created by my ingenious friend Brian.  So I am feeling rather fangirly right now and it feels great.  Anyway.  I am dragging this out because longer blog posts make me feel better, but honestly most of you probably don't read all of my ridiculousness anyway.  Don't blame you.  If you are still reading, I must bid you farewell.  Maybe sometime in the near future I will actually post something from my outrageously cliche superhero story.

Also you may be interested in what I have been doing to Hitchhiker.  I am totally renovating 
and replotting it. 

- Ashley
P.S.  Takk for sist means "Nice to see you again" in Norwegian.
P.S.S. I really really really really really really really really really want this.