Monday, December 17, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: Stats

Well, it's been a month and a half.

Literally. It's been just over a month and a half since I began work on my third novel. It has been eleven days since I finished that novel. I have spent most of the time since that momentous occasion blowing my nose*, reconnecting with my family, and staring blearily at the wall trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with myself now.

Also sleeping. There has been a ridiculous amount of sleeping going on here.

Anyway, I thought I'd resurface to give you some stats from this past NaNoWriMo. And so, without further ado ...

STATS FOR SARAH'S THIRD BOOK:

Date I had the original idea: Oct 08, 2012
Date I began the first draft: Nov 01, 2012
Date I ended the first draft: Dec 06, 2012

Goal word count: 65k-80k
Actual word count: 68,649
Most words written in a day: 7,046
Least words written in a (writing) day**: 108
Average words written per (writing) day: 2,214

Number of viewpoint characters: 2
Number of chapters: 22
Number of scenes: 81

Scenes I forgot to put in***: 1
Side characters who are demanding their own spin-off series: 1
Instances of the word 'coffee': 124
Cups of coffee I have consumed in my lifetime: 0****
Scenes in which my MC was sporting glasses: 1
Alpha readers who noticed that she had glasses: 0 (I think. Correct me if I'm wrong, alphas.)
Times I thought I despised the book and it despised me and we should all die: ∞
Times I loved the book and it loved me and we twirled in a shower of glitter and daisies: ∞
Nights I stayed up until 4 AM writing: 1
Jokes about champagne-soaked love zombies I wrote at 4 AM: Ummm ...
Squeals uttered over this book: Enough to compensate for the several barns of piglets I don't have.
Sighs breathed over this book: About enough to power a small wind farm.
Tears cried over this book: Rivers. Specifically, the Nile and the Amazon.
Times I have caught myself wanting to reread it: MANY MANY MANY
Times I have succumbed: Zero. I shan't reread until revision. I SHAN'T. *whacks self*
FEELINGS that this book makes me FEEL: ALL THE FEELINGS. ALL OF THEM.
Units of excitement I feel over the possible eventuality of you reading it: 600,000,000^10

And, finally, I COULD NOT DECIDE which researching Google search was the most amusing/disturbing/inane, so I will post FIVE of them and let you decide.

Google Search #1: weird taste in coffee
Google Search #2: percentage of murderers in America
Google Search #3: how many people fit in a taxi
Google Search #4: penalty for manslaughter in Oregon
Google Search #5: why not to get a cat flap

Looking at these, I am mildly surprised at how tame my searches turned out for this book. I guess it helps that I wasn't killing anyone by disembowelment this time.

Anyway, that about wraps up my NaNo stats for this year! Please leave a comment to tell me which strange Google Search YOU prefer, and have a very merry Christmas or other holiday of your choosing!


* I had the HEAD COLD OF DOOM, people. It was awful, and it stuck around for a full two weeks. I thought the skin rimming my nostrils would NEVER RECOVER.

** I don't write on Sundays. Partially for religious reasons, partially because I would probably starve to death if I didn't have one day a week to act like a rational person.

*** I didn't technically FORGET this scene. I just had no idea what to do with it or where to put it. And so I left it until the very end, at which point I figured out that it belonged at the very beginning. I'll put it there next draft.

**** Again, religion. Mormons don't drink coffee. This is probably the only reason I am not a hollow shell of caffeine-fueled words.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why I Love YA

So, Beth Revis is doing this AMAZING giveaway RIGHT HERE. Take a look at the juicy goodness she's giving away.

Take a moment to drool.

Obviously, I want these. Badly.

And so, to get extra entries, (MY BOOKS. MINE.) I'm blogging about why I love YA*.

Which is insanely hard. Because seriously? Why DON'T I love YA?

To make this easier on myself, I am presenting a list in bullet-point form. So here they are. The first ten reasons I can think of for writing YA.

  • The rich imaginative world of MG and YA novels kept me sane during my parents' divorce.
  • Through YA novels, I learned to see through the eyes of people both similar to and different from me, and to apply what I learned to my interactions with others.
  • YA taught me what to look for in a man. From Peeta I learned to want selfless love, from Percy Jackson unswerving loyalty. When I begin to panic and think that no one will ever fall for me, I read a Stephanie Perkins novel and everything gets better.
  • YA provided me with role models. By reading along and cheering with the characters I loved, I learned how to battle my own dark wizards and false gods.
  • In YA books, I learned the value of an equal, lasting relationship and determined not to settle for anything less.
  • It was YA novels that made me aware of YA authors, who are seriously some of the best people ever. I have a very close friendship with many of these people, even if I'm the only one who knows about it. (Yeesh, that's a stalkery thing to say. Guess I'd better go find some bushes to hide in.)
  • YA made me think. These books are where I learned to ask the hard questions. (Save my father or save the world?) They made me evaluate, decide what was really important to me.
  • YA convinced me I am not alone. Even when I feel like the scum on the toilet seat, there is always, ALWAYS a YA character who has messed up worse than I ever will. And they pick themselves up and keep going. So I can too.
  • YA novels have ensured that I will never, ever be bored again by filling my head with more imaginary friends than I can count.
  • And last, but definitely not least, YA novels filled me with WORDS. Words so beautiful and crazy and LOUD that they spill over and splash onto everyone I meet. I love my words. I love YA.

So those are my reasons. What are yours? And what have you been reading lately? I just read The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan and OHMYHECKSOGOOD. If you haven't read his books yet, please do. The latest ones are phenomenal.

Now I'm off to write three thousand words and reach 50k by the end of the day! Ta-ta for now! Leave your comments after the beep**.

* Young Adult. In my mind, this genre covers EVERYTHING AWESOME. In real life ... that's still basically true.

** BEEEEEEEEEEP

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Which I Write ON PAPER Like a Cavewriter

So, I'm doing NaNoWriMo*, which is an awesome event of awesomeness that happens every November that I don't have time to explain so you should click THIS LINK and check it out. Anyway, everything was going great for the first couple of weeks. I was hitting 2-3k a day, which isn't great for me, but is definitely decent.

And then last week happened. And it sucked.

Not that last week was all that bad. But I have depression, and that combined with several other factors to make last week the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.

And my writing showed it. For the last several days, I haven't written more than 100 words in a day. This is not a good thing. This is so very much not a good thing. But instead of fixing it, what did I do?

If you guessed that I fretted myself to flinders in between pursuing pointless distractions, you guessed right. I worried and I tweeted and I cried and I played games on my iPod and I pined and I watched YouTube videos. And then sometimes, I tried to write. And I didn't get anywhere.

And then, about an hour ago, I did something very important. I said, "ENOUGH."

Then I grabbed a notebook and a pen, planted myself on the kitchen counter**, and wrote a hundred words.

It was awesome.

The words weren't the best I'd ever written. They weren't actually very good. But they were WORDS. And I WROTE THEM. And I did it in a way unfamiliar to me***, a way that scared me a bit.

So that's my challenge to you. You know that THING that you're supposed to be doing, the THING that is driving you nuts but you keep avoiding? Go do it. And do it in a way that's a bit frightening, a bit out of your comfort zone, a bit NEW.

Then come back and tell me about it, because I want to hear.

* Yes, I realize that I haven't posted on this blog since dinosaurs walked the earth. I'm sorry. Please place your angry notes/Howlers/letter bombs in this box RIGHT HERE.

** No, I didn't actually sit ON the kitchen counter, you smart aleck. I sat BESIDE it, and put my notebook on it. There was a squished raisin on the counter too, but that is completely irrelevant.

*** I haven't written fiction on paper since the DARK AGES. Like, the last time I tried it was about four years ago. I don't like not being able to go back and change words easily, but in this case, that's exactly what I needed.

(If you've read to the end of this, you're awesome. Have some chocolate and comment, please, so that I can comment back and tell you HOW AWESOME you are.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Musically Monday

I planned to write a review today, but then other things happened. And right now I have a character walking past a dark alley where someone waits to kidnap her, so, yeah. I can't keep them waiting.

Instead, I thought I'd pop in and share a little of the music I've been listening to lately. Before I begin, a disclaimer: Being a writer comes with costs. Specifically, my characters have their own music likes and dislikes, which occasionally conflict with my natural taste. I listen to it anyway.

So, the music.


Pressing Flowers - The Civil Wars



I discovered The Civil Wars through Safe and Sound, the song they did with Taylor Swift for The Hunger Games. I love what I've seen of their music so far. It's haunting and strange -- perfect for one of the characters I'm going to be working with soon.


In Deep - Shere



Yeah, discovered this song through Disney's Prom. And I love it, especially the chorus. The laid-back feel of the entire song just makes me happy. And, of course, it suits a character perfectly. In this case, a character I've abandoned in the middle of emotional trauma, but he'll forgive me someday, right?


Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson



A friend showed this to me today (hi, Lisa!) and all I can say is ... I wish I'd had this song a year ago. It would have been very good friends with my NaNo novel. Well, I've found it now, and I shall use it for editing.


Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepson




Um, don't ask. No, seriously. Don't.

So, that's it for my Monday, but what about yours? What makes it musical? Share in the comments whilst I rescue the poor girl stranded in that alleyway.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Few Reviews

Hi, blog. I'm sorry I've been neglecting you, blog. Want some books to keep you company, blog?

Oh, blog. I know you so well. Here are a few books I've been reading lately. (With mild spoilers, so don't say I didn't warn you!)

* * *

1. CINDER, by Marissa Meyer





How Amazon describes it:

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

How I describe it: 

Oh-my-gracious-toes, this book is amazing. I read the first five chapters (available FREE on Amazon here!) and immediately bought the whole Kindle book. It was so worth it. So, so worth it.

I love Cinder. I love her sarcasm and her refusal to lie down and take abuse. She made me laugh out loud and she also made me cry, particularly when ... well, if you read the book you'll know. I loved the author's sly references to the original fairy tale ('rotting pumpkin' color, anyone?) and I loved the way she made it her own.

I've heard people complaining that the story was a bit predictable, but it's a FAIRY-TALE RETELLING. I don't expect to be surprised when Cinder goes to the ball after all. I was surprised by what happened there. Personally, I'd rather a story be predictable than impossible to follow, and CINDER struck the perfect balance.

My favorite scene? Oh, it's impossible to pick. How about her first scene in the hospital? I loved that scene. She is going to die, and she is at her snarkiest. Plus the cyborg stuff. Yeah, I loved the cyborg stuff.

I rate this book a rich, chocolate cheesecake that fills you up after one bite but leaves you wanting more. Plus Asian food. Because, did I mention, it's SET IN FUTURISTIC ASIA. (!!!)

CONTENT WARNINGS: Really nothing to worry about. A couple mild swear words, mention of ovaries (Cinder's were left intact during her operation), joking mention of a sex change. I'd give this book to a twelve-year-old, easy.

P.S. The cover for the sequel, SCARLET, was revealed just yesterday. All I can say is, I WANT THIS BOOK! I want it desperately. I have entered every ARC contest I can find. You should too. If you win, send me the book and I will love you forever.



2. THE SELECTION, by Kiera Cass




How Amazon describes it:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


How I describe it:

For-the-love-of-blue, THAT COVER!!! It's so ... blue. And shiny. And PRETTY.

Ahem. On to the book.

I enjoyed this book tremenjusly. There was an abundance of pretty dresses and delicious food, and there was a surprising amount of real weight to the book. America is feisty and not afraid to show it. Maxon is ineffably endearing. I will definitely be buying this book, and it won't just be so that I can stare at the cover and drool EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I do, however, have a few problems with it. Or, rather, one problem. His name is Aspen.

Oh, Aspen. What can I say about Aspen? Aspen is America's boyfriend. Aspen is passionate and aggressive and proud. I could forgive him all these things if his relationship with America was different, but as it is ... argh. I kept wishing someone would deport him to New Asia.

Also, their kissing scenes were ... not the sort that I read. Some people are fine with that kind of making out in a book. I am not. Fortunately, they were rather isolated incidents, so I just skipped a few pages whenever they started kissing and got on with the story. (Once I buy the book I'll just black out those parts and read forever in comfort. Hey, maybe I could black out the rest of the Aspen scenes too! Oh, pleasant fantasy ...)

On the other hand, the scene where America and Maxon kiss? That was my favorite of the book. He. Is. So. Adorable.

CONTENT WARNINGS: America/Aspen kissing scenes, obviously. Mild swearing. That's all I can think of at the moment. My twelve year old sister will be reading the snogless version.

I rate this book a bag of swirly cotton candy. (Blue, of course.)



3. THE FALSE PRINCE, by Jennifer A. Nielsen




How Amazon describes it:

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

How I describe it:

My little sister found this book at Chapters and liked the first page so much she got it from the library. Being me, I got my hands on it and read it before she could get past chapter one. My verdict?

Sage. Sage, Sage, Sage. He is INCORRIGIBLE. He steals everything in sight. He sasses the man his life depends on. And he attacks a man for throwing a book at a girl.

While I was reading this book, I just kept thinking, I love this boy. This boy is insane. And I do. And he is.

It isn't a perfect book. There were a few burrs that caught me along the way. But they were all minor enough that I did a happy dance when I finished and found out there was a sequel. I did not do a happy dance when NOBODY boiled the antagonist in acid. I did not like him. But I will survive.

Favorite scene? Sage in the dungeon. I cried. And I loved him, even though I wanted to shake him.

CONTENT WARNINGS: Was there anything in this book? I can't remember. Possible mild swearing?

I rate this book a bag of peanut M&M's. Because I like M&M's. And Sage is a nut.


***

So, that's it for today! I'll be back pretty soon with another book review or three. Until then, what have you been reading, and what would you rate it? Tell me in the comments?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Household Memos

Dear Hypoglycemia,

Ha! I beat you! You thought you could keep me mysteriously ill until the end of time. The bag of trail mix in my purse says you were wrong.

Smugly yours,
Sarah

---

Dear Shiny New Ideas,

I love you. Really, I do. But do you HAVE to all come at once? I mean, that's ten of you in under three months. I'm a fast writer, but I'm not THAT fast. Maybe you could talk amongst yourselves and decide which of you is most important so that I can write that one. Or, you know, you could step back and let the books that were here first have their chance.

Your slave/ruler,
Sarah

---

Dear High School Play,

You are sucking away my life like a parasitical vampire baby, and I do not mean that in a good way. Yes, I have been missing theatre for the last few years. I may even have learned a lot from you. But I haven't touched my (numerous) WIPs in weeks. Fortunately, you will be dead and gone by ten o'clock on Friday night.

Best,
Sarah

P.S. That was advertising, people! Come, come, come to Magrath High School and see me dance and sing in a fake leather jacket! It'll be fun! 7 PM, March 27th to 30th!

---

Dear Southern Alberta,

I understand that you have weather issues. I can cope with that. I happen to like wind and snow in moderation. But this is taking things too far. Do you know what March 20th is? It's the first day of SPRING. Does this look like spring? No, it does not.

Get with the program.
Sarah

P.S. Do you know what is outside my window right now? Robins. There are robins hopping around in the snow. I think they are giving you a hint.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sick again ...

and thus the inside of my brain looks like this.

...

Yeah. There go my blogging aspirations.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Million Bajillion Pictures

Good news! Yesterday, I woke up. That's good news all by itself, but here's even BETTER news -- I felt good.

To celebrate, I wrote 2,000 words. Then I went back to bed.

Now, today, I still feel good. And so I present ... (dun dun dun) ... ALL THE PICTURES.

Yes. All of them. We will start with the road trip.


ROAD TRIP: DAY 1

We had to get up at 4 AM to make our flight.
Apparently I thought the occasion justified photographic evidence.



Dallas-Fort Worth was also totally rocking
the Escalator to Heaven. You can't really see
it in the pic, but this thing is HUGE. I nearly
missed my flight riding it.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport had this totally
awesome mosaic on the floor. Had to take a picture.



Best thing about US airports? The pretzels.
I LOVE THEM.


We got authentic Greek food in Austin. I was dubious
at first -- that brown stuff is CAULIFLOWER! -- but I
tried it and loved it. Very different.




ROAD TRIP: DAY 2

This was the day that illness struck with a vengeance.
I had a streaming nose and a splitting headache, but
I was going to see Carlsbad Caverns if it killed me.


So worth it.


And I got in some driving time. Roadtrip = Success.


MY BIRTHDAY:

Alas, I have no pictures of this event. Rest assured that it DID happen. I turned seventeen.
It was pleasant.



THE END OF BRACES:

No more metal! I celebrated by eating lots
of thing and wearing footie pajamas.

MOVIE EXCITEMENT:

I'm currently very excited for three movies.

Girls with bows will always have a special place in my heart.
Redheaded girls! Yay! (Also, Dr Seuss! Yayer!)
Redheaded girls ... with bows?
June 22 cannot come soon enough.


That brings us to the end of the million bajillion pictures. I will be back soon. WITH WORDS.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Apology

It's been forever since I blogged. I know that. The thing is, I got home and became horribly ill yet again and fell incredibly behind on everything. Then I spent a couple weeks trying to catch up on play practice, dance and other classes. I discovered four new stories living inside me. I began writing two of them.

It's been a hectic few weeks.

Near the end of last week, my grandpa asked me when I was going to start blogging again. I hit myself on the head and told him I'd do it that weekend. True to my word, I started a post. I was so tired that I was falling asleep trying to write it. I put it away and decided to do it later.

Now, on Wednesday, I am finally blogging. I'm blogging to tell you I'm sorry. My life is in tatters right now. My writing is failing. I'm depressed and exhausted. I don't know when I will be blogging again. It will happen. I WILL give you pictures and updates. Just not yet.

In other news, five more sleeps until my braces come off. Unless I take naps, in which case it will be more sleeps.

Naps. How lovely does that sound?

I love you all, and I really am sorry. Please bear with me a little longer.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mesa Update

This post comes to you from the land of magic and nice smells -- aka Mesa Arizona. I lived here when I was little, but man, I had forgotten how GORGEOUS it is here.

Roadtrip is turning out to be loads of fun, even if my illness did hit rock bottom on Thursday. I still can't really talk, but whatever, because I am in the most beautiful place on earth. I wish I could give you the full story of the trip, but my pictures are all on my (borrowed) iPod, which somehow can't access the hotel's internet even though my computer can.

Anyway. It is late. I am tired. But I simply CANNOT sleep without showing you the most beautiful thing I have seen so far. Ready?




Yes, this is Nala. And she is mine. MINE, I TELL YOU. ALL MINE.

It's like I'm living my toddler dreams. Except that I have yet to chew on her head, and I do not swing her by her tail. Instead I hold her and cuddle her and pet her and ... look at her. And think about how pretty she is. Because seriously? She is the coolest stuffed animal in the world.

In a few days I shall return to present more pictures and stories ... including the full story of Nala, which probably merits a post of its own. I have a LOT of history with that lion.

In the meantime, here is another picture. She looks even better in real life.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Off I Go

I meant to write this earlier, but I didn't, so this might be my shortest post ever. Well, except for this one. But anyway ... I am leaving. I'm flying down to Texas to pick up a new car with my dad, and then we're bringing it back up.

And I will drive. For the first time in six months. On busy highways. I ... am not sure how I feel about this.

On the bright side, I will be seeing this lovely lady on Monday, which is awesome. I haven't seen her in two years. And I will maybe come out of this whole ordeal knowing how to drive. We can only hope.

See you next Tuesday! I will have pictures, I promise.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Denial


                         
                                                                        



(You want to see my REAL handwriting?)





(Oh, really?)





(Yeah, I totally did. Can you read it?
I hardly can, and I WROTE it.)


                      
                                 



(Guilty as charged.)









(If you need me, I'll be doing laundry.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why I Love This Job: Reason #174

Still sick over here, but I had to emerge from my disease-ridden solitude to share this gem. One of my lovely friends, Charity Burton, has been reading A Winters Tale to her little brothers for their 'story time'.

Today, five year old Gabriel sent me a message. Here it is.


video


This just made my day. Thanks a million, Gub! I will ensure that Aaron eats plenty of inedible things in the sequels ... but for now, I have to slide back into my coma. See you all later!

P.S. I know this post thinks it was written by Charity, but it's wrong. We had a little trouble with the video, and this was the best solution we could find.

P.P.S. For those of you who, like Lisa, can't hear what he's saying because of noisy surroundings, here is the transcription:

Sarah, I like, um, your book, and Aaron, the guy that eats the Christmas ... (incomprehensible mumbling to someone off-screen) ... decorations -- he is really funny. And that one [else?] girl that makes the, um, brother [pain?] like, "Are you THE Pane?" (laughs) It was hilarious. Goodbye, Sarah!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Introducing Character Crushes -- Kaladin

I'm back! In spite of a splitting headache and possible laryngitis, I am back to blogging. And I've decided to start a new post series: Character Crushes.

We all have them, don't we? Mine have ranged from squeal when he enters the scene to OH MY CAN I MARRY HIM NOW? I feel that such excellent characters deserve to be recommended to the world. Thus, I introduce ...

CHARACTER CRUSH #1: KALADIN STORMBLESSED 
Brought to ALL OF US by Brandon Sanderson's THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE

First, a little about the book ...
I knew I would be reading it as soon as Sanderson announced it, because I will read ANYTHING that man writes. He is a genius. His worldbuilding is always fabulous and his characters stay with you forever. He surpassed himself here, however.

THE WAY OF KINGS, first book of The Stormlight Archive, is set on Roshar, a world where devastating highstorms (think tornado plus hurricane plus THIS STORM WILL KILL YOU SO HIDE) rip across the land at least every week. All the plants and animals there have adapted to survive, so basically we have a landscape full of crustaceans and grass that can retract into the stone. That alone took me a hundred thousand words or so to get used to, but the descriptions are vivid and now I have no trouble imagining it.

Then there are the peoples. I am utterly fascinated by the races and cultures Sanderson has created here. You'll find everything from 'indecently exposed' left hands to white eyebrows that grow over a foot in length. Like the landscape, this was bewildering at first, but now I can distinguish Alethi and Thaylen at a glance.

This book would be a masterpiece even if it were 400,000 words of setting and worldbuilding ... but IT'S NOT! The plot is incredible. Like everything else in the book (except Kaladin), it took a while for me to catch on, but once I did ... let's just say I was blown away. (That was figurative, by the way. No highstorms here, although the wind nearly did take out the power a few days ago.) I was almost awed by the ending of this book as I was by HERO OF AGES, and that left me bawling. Good, good book. You should read it. Like, now.

But that isn't what I'm here to talk about. Let me introduce him to you.

Sarah: It ought to be hard for me to choose a favorite character from this book, because let's face it, they're all pretty incredible. Even Shallan. Don't get me wrong -- I like Shallan. She's quite clever and I sympathize with her ... maybe a little too much -- she does some incredibly stupid things in this book. So, like I say, it OUGHT to be hard for me to choose a favorite, but it really isn't, because who else could stand a chance against the amazing, totally crush-worthy ...

Kaladin Stormblessed walks in.

Sarah: ... heroic, heartbreaking, beautiful Kala-- What? Why are you all looking over my ... Oh my word. Kal-- Kal--

Kaladin: (frowns at me) Do I know you?

Sarah: (squeaks) No. BUT I KNOW YOU. (Did I actually just say that? Someone shoot me now.)

Kaladin: Oh. (turns to walk away.)

Sarah: Wait! Could you ... could you maybe ... (blushing furiously) sign my book?

Kaladin: What?

Sarah: And maybe you could write something like 'For Sarah, for whom I would ...'

Kaladin: (suspicious) Is this some kind of trick? I can't write.

Sarah: Dang it. I totally forgot about that. Maybe you could just draw a heart. Or ... bones and muscles. Or a complex surgical operation. What do you think would be best?

Kaladin: (even more suspicious) You're the lighteyes. You tell me.

Sarah: Oh, no, I'm not a ... Well, my eyes are light. But I'm not sure exactly what color they are. I've been worried about that lately. They used to be blue, but now they might be green ... or maybe gray. What do you  think?

Kaladin: (mutters to self) I don't have time for this. (walks away)

Sarah: No! No, wait, please! I'll give you bandages and antiseptic! I'll give you an emerald broam! I'll tell you what happens in the next chapter! I'll tell you ALL THE THINGS!

Oh, it's no good. He's gone now. I'll just have to tell you all about him.

Physical description:
Kaladin has dark brown hair and dreamy dark brown eyes. (Undertext: Word 'dreamy' does not appear in any reliable sources. Sarah may have made that part up.) He hates having a beard, even if he does wear one for much of the book. He has more scars than you would expect on a nineteen-year-old, most notably the [very slight spoiler here: you find out about this in Chapter 2] brand on his forehead. He's not so tall that anyone makes a point of it, but he's definitely not short, as evidenced in Chapter Six. Well-muscled. I staunchly believe he is the most attractive man in the book, even when he is filthy and half-dead.

Skills:
He's a talented surgeon. He has an excellent memory and is quick to notice patterns and irregularities. His leadership skills are astonishing, and have I mentioned that he can kick butt with a spear? I mean, wow. He has other abilities as well, but I can't mention them for spoilers.

Faults:
Kaladin tends to be suspicious of people in charge, especially lighteyes. He's also stubborn, which sometimes is a good thing, and sometimes is very, very bad.

Why do I crush on him?:
Honor. That pretty much sums it up. Kaladin is one of the most honorable men I have EVER read about. (Competing for Most Honorable is Dalinar from the same book, but ... he's fifty, guys. No crushing there. Unless you're also fifty, in which case, crush away.) He has a constant desire to help people, no matter who they are or how they treat him. I liked him right off.

And then ... then he faced some of the most horrific circumstances I can imagine, and he defeated them. He not only escaped, he carried others with him. Even when it seemed like honor was dead, he acted heroically.

In conclusion, Kaladin is awesome. Also, The Way of Kings is awesome. Also Brandon Sanderson. But please don't crush on him, because he is 36 and married and has two kids.

(If you read all of that, I AM IMPRESSED. Here is a shiny gold star. I recently had a plethora of them bestowed upon me.)

(Also, today is my bestest-Megrat's birthday! Wish her a happy 15th for me, will you? I am too lazy to go upstairs.)