Hello-o-o, Love-a-Thon 2016!

LoveAThon 2016

It’s Love-a-Thon time! Brought to us by our happenin’ hosts, Alexa (Alexa Loves Books), Cee (The Novel Hermit), Hazel (Stay Bookish), and Mel (The Daily Prophecy), we’ve got a weekend of book love all throughout the blogosphere.

There are a ton of activities planned over the next two days, and Lord only knows how many I’ll have the time and social energy to participate in (probably not a ton). But I for sure wanted to get in on the fun some way, so let’s start out with… *roll of drums* …the introductory questionnaire!

What’s your name?

The name’s Danielle E. Shipley – or Deshipley, for short. I will also answer to “The Cool One”, once we’ve all had a good laugh.

Where in the world are you blogging from?

Just north of Chicago, currently, though I’ll be headed back up to room with my BFF in Germany, soon. Chicagoland’s my birth place and lifelong residence so far, but Europe feels closer to home.

How did you get into blogging in the first place?

Aforementioned BFF talked me into it, saying it would be of some benefit to me as an author, and possibly even fun. She wasn’t entirely wrong.

How did you come up with your blog name?

Brainstorming with BFF and my character friends, we happened upon and liked the double entendre of Ever On Word. 1, the play on “ever onward”, which is kind of like an unofficial motto of mine. 2, the fact that I’ve pretty much always got at least one MS Word document open – usually two to five. And probably at least half-a-dozen Internet tabs. I’m a multitasking mess.

What types of posts do you do on your blog?

It’s varied, through the 5-ish years I’ve been online. At the beginning, I just selected a word I thought could inspire a few hundred more, and cheerily babbled about it. Once I started publishing stories – as a part of assorted anthologies, or in my own self-published books – it’s been tempting to talk about them ALL THE TIME, but I make sure to mix it up. I’ve also done shout-outs for other people’s publications and reviews of books I’ve read (when I can organize my impressions enough to write ‘em), shared original flash fiction and poetry, and for a while, my character/muse/BFF #2 Will Scarlet liked to take over with a screwball stage show and character interviews. So a little bit of everything, or a lot of nothing, depending whether it’s me or Will in charge.

Best blogging experience so far?

Probably gotta give this one to Save-a-Word Saturday, a retired meme from The Feather and the Rose. I had a great time discovering archaic words and incorporating them into fun little vignettes. I miss the weekly challenge, but it’s not the end of the road for my micro-fiction. One of these days, they’ll be a book. Stay tuned.

zRavenKing

Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2016!

Three jump readily to mind!

1 – “The Raven King” by Maggie Stiefvater. I love the Raven Cycle series, and I’m sad for it to end, but that doesn’t make me want the fourth and final book in my hands any less urgently!

zSavageSong

2 – “This Savage Song” by Victoria Schwab. It’s about music and monsters and by V.E. Schwab. I’m in.

3 – “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” by Danielle E. Shipley. Seriously. It’s Book One of the Outlaws of Avalon trilogy – aka, the writing project dearest to my heart. Minstrelsy, magic, mayhem … and best of all, Merry Men! I Robin-Hood-fangirled my way through this thing, and I’m SO BEYOND EAGER to finally share it with readers! (And I’m totally offering eARCs in exchange for honest reviews. Hit me up if you’re interested!)

zHamilton

4 – okay, this where it gets tougher. Let’s go with… “Hamilton: The Revolution” by Lin-Manuel Miranda / Jeremy McCarter. Don’t know whether I’ll ever get to see the musical onstage, but I’ve been sucked down the “Hamilton” hole via the soundtrack, and I love behind-the-scenes stuff for movies ‘n’ musicals, so I’d eat this book up.

Some Kind of Happiness

5 – …what else is even happening this year? *skims to-read list* Oh, okay, how about “Some Kind of Happiness” by Claire Legrand. It’s got a fantasy forest and a protagonist who shares my depression struggle. I’m bound to get something out of it.

Sigil of the Wyrm

What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

I’ll bet you anything that not enough people are reading “Sigil of the Wyrm”. Go read “Sigil of the Wyrm”.

Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?

Pretty sure my Will Scarlet has totally claimed that spot.

Which book boy or girl would be your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Kelsier from Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn”, please!

What would your dream library look like?

Spiral Staircase

It’s in a castle. (Books.)

In a forest far, far away. (Books.)

The room is drenched in sunlight. (So many books.)

Cozy window nooks in blue and gray, with an ever-changing view of a lake. (Beautiful books.)

Everything is wood. (Books, books, books.)

Except the spiral staircase (wrought iron, probably ) going up to the balcony (of EVEN MORE BOOKS).

Those rolling shelf ladder things are up there (‘cause what better way to reach ALL THE BOOKS?).

Throw in a piano and invisible servants to bring me tea, and I’ll probably never leave this room. (Home is where the books are.)

That’s it for my intro post. Looking forward to hopping around the other participating blogs to see what all the awesome kids are up to. ;D I’ll probably have at least one more Love-a-Thon post up later today, so stay tuned!

The 5 Reasons I Blog

5 = The fun. More specifically, putting together a post I’m eager to share, and anticipating the readers’ response. We won’t talk about the letdown of there potentially being not much of a response at all. <_<

4 = The Will Scarlet factor. As in, he would pitch a fit if I took away his stage for nonsensical theatre and kiss-mongering. It’s not worth the struggle.

“What can I say?” Scarlet shrugs. “I love limelight and lip-locks.”
“What can I say?” Scarlet shrugs. “I love limelight and lip-locks.”

3 = The obligation. I’ve been dedicating two to four days a week (maybe even five, when things gets really crazy) to Ever On Word since 2011. Never mind that I’ve never officially promised anybody anything – I’ve created the expectation in myself that I’m going to keep it up. So as long as I continue to take my self-imposed commitments waaay too seriously, you’ll find me here.

2 = The free self-promo. It’s a noisy world, and from what I can tell, this tiny pocket of the internet is where I achieve the best acoustics. So heck yes, I’ll use it to shout the word about all the storymaking I get up to, with zero apology.

1 = The free friend-promo. The fun is negligible, Will Scarlet can be made to deal with the word “no”, and there may come a day where I tire of tooting my own horn simply because I feel I have to. But if there’s one reason I’m glad to keep my stubborn claim on a platform, it’s so I have the space to be a help.

We're All in This Together

If I know you and like you and you’re doing cool things or have a need, I want people to know about it! Or if you’re an author and your book made an impression and I’m in a “do unto others” kinda headspace, I want to gift you a review! (Because, as any number of authors will tell you, a gift is exactly what a review is.) Heck, I don’t even have to know who you are or have actually read your book, if the cover and/or premise look(s) interesting enough. So for that reason, if no other, Ever On Word is here to stay.

…Which, given reason #4, just makes my life easier.

Fellow bloggers in the house: Why do you do what you do?

Out with the Old, In with What’s Next

So long, old year! Helloooooo, 2015! And how better to ring in the New Year than with Ever On Word’s official reveal of the cover of my next publication? Those of you who bump elbows with me on Facebook and Twitter may have seen this already, but it’s still just as purty the second (or, if you’ve been staring at it like I have, the umpteenth) time around!

The Toll of Another Bell

The Toll of Another Bell (now on Goodreads! Add away!), a Xchyler Publishing fantasy anthology including my own short story, “Reality As We Know It”!

A voice from the back calls out, “What’s your story about, Danielle?”

Well might you ask, anonymous person who is not Will Scarlet at all.

In a realm of infinite possibility, impossibility, and immortality, a broken boy begs to die.

Devoted childhood companion to the shattered Singer, Row will do anything to resurrect his friend’s will to live, including join him in exile in real-world London, where if the grueling battle against unemployment doesn’t kill you, the dodgy neighbor in the upstairs flat just might.

But as Singer’s grief festers and eviction looms, even irrepressible Row begins to doubt whether single-minded determination is enough to make ends – and two hurting hearts – meet.

This story and more are coming for ya on January 31st, along with the book’s Release Party! More on that as the date nears.

Now, then – in other headlines…

What’s New for Ever On Word?

For the last good while, I’ve been largely sticking to a three-day blogging schedule, with posts of various sorts on Mondays and Thursdays (book reviews, blog tour stops, snippets of fiction, miscellaneous chatter…), and Will Scarlet shenanigans on Saturdays. That’s been going all very well for me, but with all the other writing / rewriting / editing / publishing I continue to heap upon my plate, I’m ready to ease up on myself just a tad.

So from here on into the indefinite future, I’m cutting back to two regular posts a week – Scarlet’s stuff on Fridays (starting a week from tomorrow), and whatever else I wanna on any other weekday selected at my discretion. It’s a new year, baby. I’m gonna try this “flexibility” thing the kids keep talking about; see how it affects my quality of life.

Other resolutions of sorts for the year to come include:

My nocturnal experiment

– Get the remaining Wilderhark Tales (Books 6, short story collection 6.5, and 7) out into the world

– Figure out the steps required to run away to Germany to become a butler*

(*If you think I’m joking, think again.)

– Rewrite an old novel of mine into publishable shape

– Remember the encouragement that bolstered my poor little authorial heart upon reading this and this – each of them pieces worthy of “HYSRT! (Hey, You Should Read This!)” posts in their own right, but if I don’t stick them in here now, I may never get around to sharing them, so let’s seize the moment

– Continue seeking the balance between pushing myself and abstaining from self-cruelty

– Don’t lose the internal good I gained over the long, hard slog of 2014

*turns mic out toward the audience* What’s next for all of you? ^^

Open Journal: A Scribble for Auld Lang Syne

Like my “Inspired” main character Annabelle, I used to journal a lot. Before I was a professional writer, I just wrote. Once a day, twice or thrice a day, or all day long, I’d scribble out my daydreams as they happened, or whimper or rage at the latest contributor to my teen angst.

Now I’ve got mid-twenties angst, but only rarely get it down on paper. I’m so busy writing for everyone else – books for publishing, statuses for Facebook, tweets for Twitter, posts for my own blog and others, e-mails… – that I don’t take much time anymore to write just for me.

A snapshot of the last time I sat down for a bit of therapeutic self-writing. 1574, wunnit?
A snapshot of the last time I sat down for a bit of therapeutic self-writing. 1574, wunnit?

On days like today, I kinda miss it. My brain’s worn out from a storm of social interaction. Until I recover (which I will, sooner or later; I always do, ‘til the next wearying plunge), it’s hard to make myself do anything useful. Even mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds takes it out of me. I’d hate to start reading a new book when I’m too numb to give it fair consideration. Lying down for a nap or plunking down in front of Netflix would feel like a waste of time. I haven’t received any messages saying I need to hurry up and ABC before XYZ deadline. So whaddo I do?

Some long-shushed part of me murmured, Try journaling.

The overindulged part of me that claims productivity as its drug of choice didn’t think that sounded worthwhile enough. So this is the compromise. Writing for me, and posting for the public. An open journal entry. Not a proper blog piece, by Ever On Word’s usual standard; not a post with a point. Just me and words, wandering at our leisure, a little like the olden days.

If this post is well-received by my readers, perchance I’ll make this one of my irregular regular features, like my erratic book reviews and that occasional “hey, here’s a thing somebody else is doing, go see” kind of stuff I do. Come to think of it, the only truly regular feature on here is Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre on Saturdays. Go figure.

“As if I’d let you slack on my time,” says Will, snorting a laugh.

Oh, are you going to try to show up during my journal posts, too?

“Only likely,” he says, nodding. “You say ‘free-writing’, I hear ‘free-for-all’. It wouldn’t be at all like me not to snatch at a piece of the spotlight.”

True enough. Whatever. Gosh knows it’s not worth the fight trying to ban you. Heck, anyone in my head is welcome to weigh in as they wish.

My inner Annabelle really is starting to show, isn’t it?

Art imitating me, me imitating art. The symbiosis cycles ever onward.

Here There Be Writing Adventures!

Now that I’ve had half-a-sec to catch my breath following “Song Caster” Launch Week (…well, maybe two-fifths-of-a-sec. …okay, so maybe I’m not breathing), I thought it high time to let you in on some other writing-related news bits – sort of a “What’s Up Wednesday” for the Thursday crowd. In order of immediacy:

Can we talk about how this gorgeous button feeds my seafaring soul?
Can we talk about how this gorgeous button feeds my seafaring soul?

1) Hosted by Emily at Oh Magic Hour and Lindsay of The Broke Book Girls, it’s Swashbuckling Summer, a blog event dedicated to all tales pirate-y! Emily asked me if I wanted in, and I replied with a resounding, “AYE!” Check out my guest post on why the fantasy of the high seas calls to me, “Here There Be Adventure”. And be ye informed, there’s more booty to be won than you can shake a cutlass at in the event’s kraken-sized giveaway – including postcards featuring “The Song Caster”s Gant-o’-the-Lute impersonating a pirate! So chart a course that-a-way, mates.

Captain Gant
Ahoy, Captain Gant!

Imminent Danger cover

2) Meanwhile, in the blog space of another friend, Michelle Proulx has gifted me with a short story – “Under Pressure” – starring Dani L (an alternate-dimension me!) and a hottie on the run called Korlethi, also known as Varrin from her humorous sci-fi novel, “Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into it”. The short’s a fun little read, and makes me all the more determined to get my hands on Michelle’s novel the next time I’m on a book-buying spree (which will likely be soon, since Rachel Aaron’s “Nice Dragons Finish Last” is set to launch on the 15th, and you know I love me my Rachel Aaron books!).

LSQ Button

3) Also related to blogging: The blog of Luna Station Quarterly – the women-authored speculative fiction magazine which I’ve been honored to have feature a few short stories of mine – is bursting with new life thanks to a full schedule of reviews, guest columns, and such. And guess who’s on the roster to contribute a little something once every quarter? By golly, it’s me! So you can bet you’ll be getting further bulletins as events warrant there. Also feel free to follow along with LSQ via their many social media presences to stay up to date on even the non-Danielle E. Shipley-authored stuff they do. ;D

4) And speaking of my short stories and publishing, I am ecstatic to announce that I’m signed on for inclusion in a paranormal anthology through Xchyler Publishing, slated to release this fall! This will be my first time working with The X as an author (as opposed to just reading their stuff and attending their launch parties on Facebook), and I’m all kinds of thrilled that they smiled upon my submission during their recent contest. (By the by, writer friends, they’re running another contest through the end of August for their next fantasy anthology. Think about it.) Extra squeals of delight due to the fact that my beloved pal Alyson Grauer (famed author of “Lavenza, or the Modern Galatea” from Xchyler’s steampunk antho “Mechanized Masterpieces”) shall ALSO have a story in the paranormal collection! Huzzah for anthology sisterhood!

Xchyler Button

And that, my dears, is all the latest. …not counting my Camp NaNoWriMo project which, so far today, has gone woefully neglected. Let’s see what I can do to remedy that.

Fare thee well, readers! And if you’ve got any exciting stuff happening in your world, the comments section is open to you. Share your glee!

“Sophomore” or “Year Two in Review”

Does anyone know what this past Sunday was? ^^ Yes? No? Any guesses? …Put your hand down, I know you know… Actually, okay, go ahead and tell us.

It was the two-year anniversary of Ever On Word!

You’re darn right, it was! As of that Three Wishes Blog Blitz post (there’s still time to enter the raffle, by the way!), I have begun my third year of blogging! And what a year the last has been…

*cue flashback montage*

It started with a serial murder mystery inspired by my first summer on cast at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

In between whodunit episodes, I chronicled my writing progress during National Novel Writing Month 2012, as well as my adventure at NaNo’s Night of Writing Dangerously in San Francisco.

Ah, San Francisco… What an experience that was – my first time in California! Small wonder I had that brief urge to go all travelog on you.

Once I got back home, things were pretty much business as usual, for a while – y’know, guests posts by a Merry Man and Merry Woman, rescuing words like a language-loving boss on Save-a-Word Saturdays… that sort of thing.

Then the world exploded in a blast of awesomesocks.

Because “awesomesauce” became obsolete the moment I saw these socks.
Because “awesomesauce” became obsolete the moment I saw these socks.

After years of little to report to inquisitive friends apart from, “yeah, still writing, still hoping, no big breaks yet,” I had not one, not two, but three amazing pieces of publishing news to share, back to back to back! An anthology, self-published novella, and a novel debut, oh my!

It all made for a very busy Danielle, lemme tell you, but I still tried to make time for reading, both for pleasure and as favors to friends. Over the course of Ever On Word’s “being or associated with the second in a series” year, I managed to post reviews for the following:

– “The Man in the Box” by Andrew Toy

– “Spirit’s End” by Rachel Aaron

– “Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology”, edited by Penny Freeman

– “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater

– “Caged (Holloway Pack #3)” by J.A. Belfield

Not too shabby, for a gal with a weird phobia about writing reviews. (:

I was able to pick up a couple of nice reviews for “The Swan Prince”, too, during the Blogger Book Fair in July. I’d only recently heard of the event, and it was my first time participating – spotlighting fellow authors here at my blog, guest-posting over on theirs, and, ohhhh yeahhhh, winning the Reader’s Choice Award for young adult fantasy, thanks to your votes! 😀

So, yeah. All told, it’s been a pretty big year for this little blog. And glancing ahead at what I know to be coming – (including but not limited to the release of “The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales)” in, like, two weeks) – it’s a safe bet Year Three will be easily as huge. #LezDoThisThang!

“200th” or “Feeling Like Flinging a Freebie at My Followers”

I don’t know if you’ve glanced at the number toward the top of my blog’s sidebar recently, but… Ever On Word has achieved 200 followers!

200th Follower pic

When you’ve hovered in the 100s for about a year, finally clearing 200 is an exciting deal. I mean, every new follower gets me excited (thank you, thank you all!), but breaking into the next major number bracket excites me extra. So, what’s an extra-excited writer with a blog to do in celebration of such an occurrence? Seems obvious to me: We need a giveaway!

The Prize = Precisely 200 words of flash fiction (like a double drabble!), created just for this special occasion, prettified into an autographed word-art print. As of this post’s drafting, I haven’t written one word out of the 200, but this much I know: The story shall be in some way related to my new fairytale novella, “The Swan Prince (Book One of The Wilderhark Tales)”.

How to Enter = Step One, be a follower of the Ever On Word blog. (If you’re not one of the couple hundred people who have already got that part in the bag, you’re invited to become eligible right now by signing up below the previously noted number on the sidebar.)

Step Two, leave a comment stating one fond memory you have of your time spent here at Ever On Word. What’s the first post you ever read? The one you enjoyed the most? Your favorite Deshipley quote? Any of those, all of those, whatever; I just want to hear about something that makes you glad you keep coming back for more, so I’ll have an idea what I’m doing right. X)

The Deadline = You’ve got up until I announce the winner one week from now (July 15th).

So, you all get commenting, I’ll get writing, and I’ll see you around for the long line of blog posts to come. Thank you so much for being here, guys! 😀