I'm Ashamed

Yes, yes, I am.  I haven't posted in forever!  I am terribly sorry about that.  I could make excuses, yes--excuses like I was busy taking an imaginary tour of Europe in my head; or I couldn't take time away from writing my novel in Scotland to do trivial things like blog posts...

Okay, the writing part is true.  I have been writing.  Working on my novel The Lightcatcher (it's still not finished, NEWSFLASH) has been an adventure--a strange one and a different one, but a good one nonetheless.  I cannot truthfully say I have enjoyed every minute of it, especially when writing sometimes comes like pulling teeth.  But this novel is (as of now) my child, my baby.  I love the new experience of creating Finley Devens and Lark McCarthy, and the experiences that surround them.

So anyway...that's been going on.  Also, Christmas was yesterday!  So Merry Christmas to everyone!  (Because I didn't wish you one yesterday.)  What did everyone get/give?

Also.  College apps and scholarships can go bury themselves...somewhere deep, preferably dark and in the ground.  Where I will never have to deal with them again. Ever.

Oh, and you can read The Lightcatcher HERE.  Just because...you know, authors like their work to be read.

So that's been my life lately.  I'm pathetic, I know.



Guys, I'm Published!

So yes, I did it.  I self-published an E-Book.  [For those of you who despise E-Books, I hope to have a print book coming out soon.]

Guys.  This is exciting!!!  I'm an official author.  [Indie, yes, but I like being Indie.]  So if you could tell all your friends, relatives, local libraries about this big [well, for me it's big] deal, that would mean a lot to me.

I'm saving up for college and desperately need a job [so far, I haven't found one] so I hope to continue publishing some more work.  Word of mouth is all I have right now.

Anyway, I'm SO excited.  You can view my book HERE.





Okay, guys.  I have decided to do it.  I'm going to publish an E-Book entitled "Stars in Your Fingers: a collection of reflections and stories."

What do y'all think?  I should hopefully be giving y'all a link later this week...  I mean, if I get it up, I can officially say I'm PUBLISHED, PEOPLE!  I could say that I am now an author.

I'm really not sure if people will buy it, but if you could spread the word...?  Because that's pretty much all I'm going on: word of mouth.

Anyway, I'm really, really excited.

'Till next time.



I'm Reviewed!

Guys, guys, GUYS!  Somebody reviewed my novel-in-progress!  She's on Figment.com, and she has a blog in which she reviews various novels––some of which have included The Hunger Games,  The Angel Experiment, and Passion.

And she recently read my work on Figment and reviewed it.

Here's the link:  The Lightcatcher Review



Just letting y'all know that I'm alive.  I haven't been blogging lately, so I figured I'd explain why.

First of all, I'm not dead.  So that's a good thing.  I've come back!  (From the future, believe it or not.  But that's a different story for a different time...better to be told in different places.)

I've also decided that NaNoWriMo can go die down a hole.  There is no way I can finish 50K words by December.  I have about 21K.  I have decided that those other people who already have their count limit don't have school to do, or any social lives, or any more school, or other things to take care of like getting out of the house once in a while.  And I'm pretty convinced they don't stop to eat, either.

Secondly, I have just come back from a weekend with the family for Thanksgiving––so, go figure, not much writing done.  My calves have bruises and scrapes up and down the insides from not wearing any gaiters or chaps when riding.  I really needed some polo wraps that last day, but didn't get them.  Stupid me.

And I'm tired.  Very tired.  I didn't get very much sleep to say the least.

Ping Pong was especially competitive, and when you're not sure which side of the family you should root for, it can get nasty.  Jumps were built, horses ridden, turkey eaten...  My mother got out the Amish carriage and hooked her draft horse up to it and took everyone for a ride.  My cousin's colt spooked and ran all over the place because of that incident, and my other cousin's horse shied and started bucking a bit.

I helped finish painting the side of the barn with my cousin, Jake.  I have grey paint in my hair now because he was up on a ladder and I was down below.

Went out shooting.  More riding.  Ate some pie.  Rode again.

Discovered that when both the four-wheeler and the bike don't have any brakes, it's probably not the best idea in the world to let your little sister take your cousin for a joy ride: her riding the four-wheeler with him being dragged along behind on the bicycle, holding a rope––through all the cactus and rocks.

Played my guitar, sang until my voice was hoarse, and watched my grandma cajole her grandsons into dancing.  My guitar also has a hole in the side, but that's beside the point.  I don't really want to think about it.

So that's about it for November.  I'm surviving, y'all.




NaNoWriMo: Day 2

So...  It's day two of NaNoWriMo.  For my fellow writers participating in this event, how are y'all faring?  Are you alive?

I have a feeling I will be pretty sick of my novel before I finish it.  Writing over 1,600 words a day just to keep up with an average quota is exhausting.

But it is also satisfying.  I really don't know what I'm going to do when I get to the parts I haven't planned out yet.  I have written an outline [you really should be proud of me], but not a very thorough one I'm afraid.  So it should be interesting, to say the least.

To survive this ordeal, I have been listening to a steady diet of Braveheart.  I swear that music turns me into a writing machine!  It is just so beautiful and full of inspiration.  Enya has been very beneficial, as well.  I'm also planning on drinking lots of caffeine.

I probably won't be writing much tomorrow, seeing as I have the SAT test.  Not looking forward to that much, but hoping I'll do well.

In the meantime, NaNo-ers, good luck!  Keep the coffee cups full and your pens writing.



Cast of Characters: The Lightcatcher

So I have decided to come up with a cast of characters for The Lightcatcher, since that is what I have been working on lately.

Finley Devens

My main protagonist named Fin is a spunky, skinny girl of fifteen, and I imagine her to look like a slightly younger version of Jessie Buckley.  Especially the hair!  Finley has that hair.  She also has grey eyes, a faintly different smile, a forsaken flyer named Maggie, and a bottle of raspberry pop.

Lark McCarthy

I love me some gingers.  This is Lark, who I imagine to be slightly older with more prominent cheek bones and an indifferent and offhand look about him.  The first encounter he has with Finley involves a battered bicycle, some bruised ribs, and a whole sack of beans spilled in the street.  He is one of the current Sentinels, competing in this year's sentinel trials.

Trig Devens

I tried to find a good picture for Trig, but this is all I could come up with.  He is Fin's seventeen-year-old, fun-loving yet quiet cousin.  He has brown hair and a drawling way of talking.

Sid Brooks

Sid Brooks.  Well, how much should I say about him without spoiling it?  I haven't introduced him yet, and I'm working on fleshing him sometime later in the novel.  However, he is awesome (he told me so himself) and a half-wild solo balloonist.  

Mr. Bagshaw

The old keeper of Davenport library and Fin's good friend who loves wildflowers and takes one cup of Chamomile before bed to ease his aching joints.  Isn't he cute?  

Ash Devens

Ash is slightly younger than this boy, with sandy blond hair.  He likes to tinker with mechanics and all the girls at school think he's adorable.

Bree Devens

A thirteen-year-old version of this girl, Bree loves to read du jour magazines and is hopelessly falling for the grocer's errand boy.

And there you have it––some of the characters from The Lightcatcher.  I haven't had suitable time to elaborate on Lark's group of friends, so I didn't put any character pictures for them.  

But you get the general gist of my people.  Yes, they're my people.  



What I have been doing lately...

Well, it's been a while since I have last posted and I've decided to give y'all an update on what I have been doing.

#1:  I have been writing.  Yes, writing.  And I'm determined to finish my novel THIS NOVEMBER, people!  So if I don't, badger me, pester me, and remind me of all the promises I broke by not completing it.  The novel I'm working on is The Lightcatcher and you can read it on my figment page.

#2:  To tie into above, I have decided to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this November because, you know, I need to finish The Lightcatcher.  If you're doing it too, add me as a buddy on the NaNoWriMo website!  A link to my profile is in the sidebar.

#3:  School.  I'm applying for colleges and procrastinating and flailing around in my college biology class.  'Nuff said about that subject.

#4:  Did I mention I'm procrastinating?

#5:  Currently reading A Countess Below Stairs (thank you October Skye for hounding me to read it).

#6:  Sorting through ideas of self-publishing, but y'all already knew that.

#7:  Editing papers.

#8:  Procrastinating.

#9:  Thoroughly engrossed in Lydia Albano's novel Finding You, October Skye's novel Lady of the Lake, and Anande Sjoden's novel The Wreck of the Clarion.  I highly suggest reading them.

#10:  Oh, and I'm also procrastinating.

So there you are.  Now you know what I've been up to.




Recently I have been playing around with the idea of self-publishing an e-book (*cringe*).  I don't particularly like e-books, as some of you know, but they are taking over the web and a ton of Indie authors are self-publishing their books instead of going through the long and drawn-out process of sending queries, receiving rejections, contacting agents, negotiating royalty payments, etc., etc., etc...  I have done some research and I believe that self-publishing (as of right now) is probably the only way for me to get my work out there.  

I hope to do it through Barns and Noble's PubIt.com, though I'll look into Amazon.  It's still a germ of an idea in my head, and I don't have a novel finished to publish yet.  But I'm considering publishing a book that is an accumulation of short stories--tentatively titled: "Stars In Your Fingers: a collection of reflections by J.S. Falcon".  

Hey, I can dream big, right? Oh, and for those of you who don't know, I write under the pseudonym Jackie S. Falcon. 

If I do self-publish, all my publicity will be through word-of-mouth and through my Facebook page, blog, and other websites that I have accounts on.  In short, I will be doing all my promoting to get people to buy my work.  It feels like a daunting task, but getting a book in print seems even more so.  I really hope that one day I can have an autographed copy of my own hardback (I will probably sign all my copies because I'm just that vain) sitting there on the shelf.  But that day will probably a long way down the road...

Anyway, thought I'd update y'all.  And if you have any advice, please shout it out!  I appreciate anything I can learn about the publishing/self-publishing process.  

Oh, before I forget to tell y'all, I just got a Twitter account  (Yes, I'm slowly upgrading my internet social skills.  You should be proud.)  Follow me @JFalconWriter




Cast of Characters: Flyboy

So...I have a lot of difficulty coming up with pictures that match the character's description of them in my mind, but I've done my best.

Jacey Drake:

Jacey looks a mix between these two models once she cuts her hair, with her facial features more akin to the girl on the left, though her hair color is more coppery.  She has a dusting of freckles and a certain grittiness about her that comes from being pushed around at the Conservatory.

Kit Morgan:
Kit's appearance is a little between Alex Pettyfer in this photo and the model in the right photo.  He has a bit of a rumpled appearance sometimes, and is always pushing the rules slightly to accommodate his humor.  He has light green eyes.  

Sayler Collins:
I imagine Sayler as sort of a Clemence Poesy, with longer, thicker, and lighter blond hair, and more prominent cheek bones.  She is also very tall, with a cool outward demeanor and grey eyes.

Tristan West: 
 Tristan is like a younger, more bubbly and less pretty version of Katy Melua.  

Captain Halfman:

Voila.  I don't know who he is, but he's a younger version of Halfman.  Age him up a little and give him salt and pepper hair.  

Devon Parker:

Sep Woods:

Looks somewhat like the tribute from District 4.  

So these are just some character pictures for various characters (some haven't been introduced yet) that I have found.  I hope to be posting more of Flyboy on figment soon!



Featured Writer: Ibelin

It is time for another featured writer post!

Ibelin is a fellow writer on figment (yes, I love figment) who has several novels and books in progress.  I love her writing style and her attention to detail.  It is really amazing.  I was introduced to her writing [I forget exactly how] sometime last year, and I got engrossed in one of her earlier novels--The Dragon's Oath.  Recently, I have been drawn into The Chaos I Am, which is totally epic, by the way.  I have also discovered her newest addition, Magic is a Boy, which so far is really good!  

So, needless to say, I decided to feature her!  I had a really fun time coming up with questions and reading the answers, so I hope y'all enjoy as well.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I’m eighteen years old, a writer, a musician, and a Christian. I used to be homeschooled, but I just started college this fall. (I’m majoring in International Studies, and it is the best thing ever.) I love chocolate milk, presidential debates, singing, defensive realism, snow, and medieval history.

What inspired you to start writing?

It’s kind of a long story, and it all originated with Barbies, actually. You see, one Christmas long ago I received Barbies and my brother received G.I. Joes, so, naturally, we combined them. This was my first experience with worldbuilding, as we created a convoluted backstory for our toys. G.I. Joes and Barbies were cast as queens, kings, slaves, magicians, traitors, apprentices, and diplomats, among other things. (The plots we made up were nutty, and didn’t even make much sense to seven-year-old me, but it was fun!) Eventually, though, I wanted to explore more scenarios than we could with our limited supply of characters and props, so the natural next step was to write these stories down. When I did, I discovered that with pen and paper (or Microsoft Word), my options were endless and there were absolutely no constraints on imagination. I started writing then, and haven’t stopped yet.

Can you describe a little of the Chaos I Am? 

It’s a fantasy/medieval story about a boy, Seyf kal’Amman, who is fighting a civil war against his sister -- the very first Queen of Cylvani in a long line of kings. Having escaped his sister’s attempt on his life, Seyf has no choice but to challenge her for the throne he never wanted in the first place. Unfortunately, he is outmatched by his sister’s army and, what’s more, everybody else in the kingdom seems to want a piece of Seyf, the would-be-king: anti-female factions, factions that would love to control a young puppet king, and even criminal cartels. To be at peace with himself and at peace in his country, Seyf must figure out who to trust, or choose to trust no one and blaze a path of his own.

What is best thing you’ve ever written/writing?

Man. That’s a hard one. I think it has to be one of two. First, “Not Forgotten” (a story about a boy kidnapped as a toddler, and involving pirates, spies, and murder), which is on Figment but needs a new first chapter that I haven’t gotten around to writing yet. Second, I’m ashamed to say, the best thing I’ve ever written might just be some of my Lord of the Rings fanfiction. That stuff was actually pretty epic, but I’ll never do anything with it because, you know, it’s fanfiction.

I don’t know about my newest story, “Magic Is A Boy”, though. If can do it right, it has a good chance of becoming my best work.

Who is your biggest literary inspiration?

Bahaha. This one isn’t nearly as hard as the previous one; I have to say Megan Whalen Turner. My adoration of her “Queen’s Thief” series is at a that’s-probably-not-very-normal level. Everything MWT writes has a twist at the end and you rarely see it before it happens, even though all the clues were there all along. All her characters are so well-developed, the dialog is so back-and-forth snappy, and everything you need to know is shown, not told, at a level of sophistication I’ve never seen from any other writer. In short: SHE IS AMAZING.

Any writing quirks?

Well, not really, except for my getting-rid-of-writer’s-block rituals. First, I try writing on a notepad with a gel-ink pen, because something about the combination of real paper and effusions of liquid ink is much more stimulating to the imagination than the computer. If that fails, I watch a movie or an episode of a TV show that I’ve never seen before; putting brand-new storylines into my brain seems to help with getting new material out.

What’s on your reading bookshelf at the moment?

“Insurgent”, “Pure”, “The Scorpio Races”, Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, and the second Brotherband Chronicles book. Even though I probably won’t get to them until summer, because school. It just never ends.

Which book of yours has evolved most from its original storyline?

Definitely “The Dragon’s Oath”. It started as two different stories, actually - one with a sort of apocalyptic dragon-centered plot, and one involving a girl escaping her past. Neither seemed to be going anywhere, so I lopped half of the second one off, changed the setting, and then fused it into the first one. It’s working pretty nicely so far and I’m almost to the point where the two main characters meet each other, but it’s safe to say the story is very different from the way it started.

You are allowed to interview three authors: who are they?

Megan Whalen Turner, obviously! (”How do you develop your characters’ distinctive voices, and let the reader get to know their personalities so well without ever saying stuff like, ‘Gen is a thief and a trickster’?”)

Orson Scott Card. (”What the heck were you thinking when you wrote ‘Ender’s Shadow’? Do you have any idea how stupid it makes Ender seem, when he’s a genius and has uncanny instincts about everything, except he just can’t see who Bean really is?”)

James A. Owen. (”Where do you get your inspiration? What do you read to get your ideas? *looks over shoulder* Can I read it?”)

What is some of the best literary advice you’ve ever received?

Well, when I was about twelve, I wrote to Christopher Paolini. It was your standard I-love-your-books-and-I-want-to-be-a-writer-one-day fan letter, although probably more stupid than most. (Even today, when I think of it, I cringe.) Anyway, he sent me back a standard drafted-to-answer-fan-mail-from-young-writers letter, and on it he said that the best way to become a good writer is to read. Read all the books! *insert memeface here* But seriously, that was some of the best advice I’ve ever received, despite the uninspiring source it came from. Almost everything I’ve ever learned as a writer has come from reading authors from Dickens to Megan Whalen Turner to John Flanagan, and studying their good and bad traits.

You choose to become a fictional character for a day: who is it?

WILL TREATY. I’ve always wanted to be Will. Having his skills, riding Tug, being Halt’s apprentice, and having “the fascination of learning and perfecting new skills and the intrigue of always being at the heart of events.” There’s no contest.

And finally, you’re working on a new novel (Magic is a Boy), could you highlight a few points of that?

Ah, yes. “Magic Is A Boy” is set in a world where magical skill is respected and valued... but only if you’re female. Roman is a boy who has to deal with the social stigma that comes with having a magical father, not to mention a magical father who committed suicide. He knows that surviving and providing for his mother, as hard as it is now, will become nigh unto impossible if anyone finds out that Roman himself has magic. But sometimes, magic seems like the only way.  

So there it is!  An interview with fellow writer Ibelin.  
You can check out her figment page here: Ibelin
You can also visit her entertaining blog here: Me + Loki

-The Newsie


Wasting Time

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, wasting time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco bay

I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothing gonna come my way

So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay wasting time

Look like nothing gonna change
Everything still remains the same

I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same

Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone

Two-thousand miles I roam
Just to make this dock my home

Now I'm just gonna sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away

Sittin' on the dock of a bay, wasting time...

(Love that song.)




I admire these people so much.  They are Irish stepdancers, and believe me, they are amazing.  If you want to see some real tapping, watch the videos.  You will be awed.  I grew up watching Riverdance on an old cassette tape we had, along with Stomp Out Loud [that goes out to you, Mattie], and I love them.  It takes lots of talent and choreography to perform this.

There are two kinds of Irish stepdance, hard shoe and soft shoe.  I prefer hard shoe, which is shown in these two videos.  These people have to be so fit and athletic.  I would die if I had to dance this hard for that long.  Seriously.

Just watch both of them.  [Note, the second clip of the second video is the same as the first video.]



I'm featured!

Recently, I featured an interview with Lydia Albano [read here], and because of this she wanted to feature me on her blog as well.  I had so much fun reading and answering her questions!  I encourage you to check out her blog and her writing, as I assure you her novels are going to be published one day.  And when they are, I will be one of the first to buy a copy!

You can read my answers on her blog.

-The Newsie

Music, Theatre, Dance...

My obsession of music, theatre, and dance...  Welcome to my world.

One of my favorite dancers, Gene Kelly

Newsies, the Musical

Samantha Barks


Love this pair

Idina Menzel

West Side Story

Stomp, hop, step, fa-lap, step, stomp, hob, step, fa-lap, step stomp = Time Step

Got to pick a pocket or two



Oxford tap shoes


Les Miserables


"Oh, Sylvia?"  

Things musicals taught me--Les Miserables




I love this




Sweeney Todd


I love to boogie



Featured Writer: Lydia Albano

Lydia Albano is a fellow writer on figment [yay for figment!] who has several novels in progress, Finding You in particular.  I love her writing style and her use of clear description, not to mention her stories.  On her figment profile she says: "I run up the down-escalators, live on musical theater, and think Gregory Peck is dreamy. I sing praise to my King, speak up for what I believe in, and try to live a life that glorifies my Lord Jesus Christ. I whole-heartedly believe in fairy-tales and happy endings, wear high-heels, belt out showtunes in the shower, watch Doctor Who and eat watermelon.  I sometimes think in a British accent."

Being an avid reader of Finding You and Esmeralda [though I haven't finished that one yet, I'll admit], I decided to ask if I could feature her on my blog.  She agreed, and here are her answers to the questions I asked:

What motivated you to write Finding You?

I had this idea one day of a boy and a girl who met in a field everyday, escaping the world in a way, and he gave her a bird’s nest.  It was a totally random idea (and since the setting changed to an industrial, Steampunk one, the field became a rooftop).  Later I mixed it with a plan for a book that alternated between narrators: a convicted pirate / deserting soldier and a girl who got picked for the king’s harem.  It was a mix of a lot of random imagination, but I hope it comes out streamlined.  I also have an interest in (fighting) trafficking.

Can you explain a little about the story?

Oh dear, I guess I’ve already done that now.  Well, it’s about a boy and a girl, Tam and Isla, who have grown up together and (without telling the other) are in love. When Tam joins the army (right after surprising Isla with a kiss) she tries to see him off and is kidnapped into a trafficking circle of sorts.  The majority of the book will chronicle the alliances she makes with other prisoners, their relationships, her growing strength without Tam to guide her, and her unwavering quest to free herself and find the boy she loves.

What is the most fun book you’ve ever written (are writing)?

Proxy was fun, until it started bugging the heck out of me.  I really love writing fairy-tale retellings, which tend to be spin-offs of Snow White since I was about thirteen.  At the moment it’s probably Dichotomy, a kind of dark story about a schizophrenic wanna-be-writer young man who listens to the literary characters in his head and is accidentally used by one to become a serial killer while he sleeps.  It’s so different from anything else I’ve done, and unpredictable.

Do you have any hobbies (besides writing, of course)?

Not really.  Ha-ha, writing is definitely the top one.  I LOVE drawing and fancied becoming a fashion designer for some time.  I really love riding horses, attempting to play the guitar, and jumping off cliffs into rivers in Vermont.  And watching Doctor Who.

Who is your biggest literary inspiration?

I can’t pick one!  I idolize Jane Austen, and Charlotte Bronte of course, and so many of the greats that everybody cites.  And then Suzanne Collins and Shannon Hale and all of them.  But to be honest, a yet-unpublished author, Anande Sjoden (you can find her on figment!) is one of my favorite writers ever and has made me push myself harder than ever, just reading her fantastic (obsession-inducing) work.

What book are you reading right now?

“Under The Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi, and waiting for “Insurgent” at the library.

Name your five stranded-on-an-island books:
1.       The Bible – yeah baby
2.       Catching Fire *blissful sigh*
3.       Pride and Prejudice
4.       Nattie & Finn aka Waxflower Wood (Anande Sjoden)
5.       Maybe Enna Burning?  Or The Great Gatsby?  I can’t think!  Wait, nope, I got it.  Les Miserables – then I’d be forced to finish it!

Which book do you think you would fit into best (or which literary character are you most like)?

I think I’d fit really well into the Dauntless faction in Divergent, but best of all would probably be Northanger Abbey (I’m a lot like Cathy) or North and South or maybe The Phantom of the Opera.

You are allowed to invite three authors to tea, which do you choose?


And finally, what do you consider the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I don’t know that it’s really profound, but as far as being helpful to me, people have told me the classic, “Write for yourself; if you’re not happy with it, no one else will be either.  Don’t worry about pleasing everyone the first draft.  Just write.”  I take criticism very seriously, and while I want it, it can be really easy for me to meditate too long on a tiny criticism and forget that it’s a matter of opinion, and that the story is mine.

You can check out Lydia's novels on her figment page: Lydia Albano
Also, you can read more on her blog:  Ink-Stained Hands

-The Newsie