Writing Update on Fairy Frogs and Toads

I would like to write an update on my children’s fantasy I am writing.

I am officially done with my first draft of my book.

I would like to say something about my antagonist, Sarge. He now has a backstory, and that is an update. I will say what it is, but it is hard for me to say it because it is very sad.

Sarge was only like 3 or 5 when his mother left him. He was left with his cruel father. His father mistreated him and ended up never showing him any love. His father left him around the age of 13 or 14. His father at the time was the leader of the toads. Sarge did not know how to lead the toads. He wasn’t shown any love growing up. He noticed how his cousin, Marge, was shown love and affection by her family. He was left with a lot of anger and jealously due to his upbringing. He became increasingly jealous of his cousin, Marge, and as a result, Marge became an easy target to mistreat. He soon realized that his nearby neighbors, the Fairy Frogs, had this natural talent for art, and he put his pain on them as well. So all because he was mistreated growing up, he put his pain on others.

I just wanted to tell you tell you his backstory. My first draft is very sloppy, like expected. I love the way it turned out. I know scenes need to be added. I feel like some characters don’t stay consistent to who they are supposed to be. It is only the first draft after all. It is only about 33 to 35 chapters as of now with about 105 pages.

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Characters in “Fairy Frogs and Toads”

It is time to introduce all the characters in the my book.

Fairy Frogs: 

1. Sparkle (Protagonist): She is stubborn, rebellious, adventurous, and courageous. All Fairy Frogs are deeply compassionate, but she takes a step further a step by befriending Marge. Her talent is drawing- she is very invested- one of the most invested Fairy Frogs ever. It is all because of how invested she is in her drawing that she goes to Graysloup in the first place. She becomes ends up lying to Aires and Misty so she ended it in trouble or when she ends. She starts out as being 12.

2. Misty:  She is Sparkle’s best friend who is very protective of her. Her craft is singing, but she is not writing songs much. She would rather protect Sparkle. She would lie too. She turned most first about Sparkle visiting Graysloup and being friends with Graysloup. That is well I know about her right now. She is 12 as well. Misty soon  ends up befriending Marge especially since her best friend, Sparkle, befriended her.

3. Aires: He is head carpenter and confident leader. He can be worried about Sparkle. He sometimes needs advice about Darcy, his nephew. Aires can doubt himself at times: he says “are we doing the right thing”. He is an amazing leader.

4. Darcy: He is 15. He builds sculptures.  He helps Sparkle spread out pebbles when they start become with all the toads. He does help protect them from Norg and Sarge. He is Aires’ nephew and helps with Aires’ whenever he doubts something. He and Felipe are best friend.

5. Felipe: He is 14. He is a woodcarver. He is help some of those missions as well. He is best friends with Darcy. Both Felipe and Darcy ended up becoming friends with Claude.

6. Celeste- She is a 8 year old potter. She is one of my minor characters. She befriends Effa and Rudy later in the story.

7. Tweetsie- She is a 5 year old. She spends the story year old trying to figure out her craft. By the end, she is a performer. She is very energetic.

Toads: 

1. Sarge (Antagonist)- He went through a lot of changes. This is my change: Sarge and Marge are cousins now. Sarge is now 17 now. Sarge never had a good father- his mother left with he was very young. His father was the old leader, but he just left. So it was Sarge left to lead. Sarge was jealous of Marge’s family. Marge’s father treated her with love- so Marge became a very easy target. He also was jealous of the Fairy Frogs. The Fairy Frogs could fly and had a natural talent of art. Sarge  ended up with an anger problem because of his past- he ended up putting his pain on others. He was this bully; he mistreated all of the toads, the Fairy Frogs, but to his treat Marge, his own RELATIVE, that is so not fair.

2. Marge- She has this incredible wisdom. She sees the problem going how with Graysloup. She has been telling Sarge multiple types to fix Graysloup or move them out. He never listen. When she sees him mistreats the Fairy Frogs, she stands up to him. She feels like this outsider. There are times when she leaves Graysloup away from Sarge. Sometimes, she is in Graysloup. Before Sparkle, she just wants compassion and a friend. Once she meets Sparke, her life chances. She spends her time at Fairy Creek and never wants to go to Graysloup. She only wants to go there if they are helping befriending the toad.

3. Norg- He becomes Sarge’s spy. He tells Sarge if any Fairy Frogs came in or if any spacious activity was going on with Marge.

4. Claude- He only is rude because he is demanded to by Sarge, not because he wants to. Misty realized that because he trips Norg to get her into Graysloup. He ended up befriending Darcy and Felipe- after all Claude is 15.

5. Effa/Rudy- They are ten year old twins. They have prevented Sarge from getting rid from of those pebbles. They ended up befriending Celeste.

Some of these character, it is hard to know their purpose in the novel yet.

My Journey to “Fairy Frogs and Toads” at this point

I finally can commit to my book now that I am done with Nicholas Nickleby. Since the book does not have a title, I decided to call it “Fairy Frogs and Toads” at this point so people will know what I am talking.

One of the things I love about Charlotte are the various Greenways. It was about six years ago, and I remember about six years ago, I was on this broadwalk, and I looked to the left, and I saw a bunch of these cattails. I thought “Cattail Forest”. That is basically where the idea was born. As the years went by, more and more ideas were added to this story. I don’t know how I came up with some of the character names or when certain plot points : but I do how I came up with some: Sarge- his name was inspired by a character from the movie, Cars II and Tweetsie, who was added to the book this year was named after the Tweetsie Railroad.

One of the hardest things about this journey was figuring out if I wanted it to be a picture book or a chapter book. I soon realized the plot fits better in a chapter book. I still wanted illustrations to be a part of it: the world the Fairy Frogs live in made sense for illustrations so that is what it is going to be. The Fairy Frogs after all are Spring Green: not just any Spring Green: a special Spring Green that speaks Fairy- their wings are translucent with a gold trim. The toads are Gray Green, and some toads have warts- so them are not very pleasant to look at.

Either this year or last year, I don’t know why, but the phrase Graysloup came out of my mouth. I just thought, you know what, that should be the name of where the Toads live. After all, Graysloup is very dreary and the weather is quite humid and muggy. There are ditches, the creeks are not clear, they have to sleep underneath a highway, so it is not very appealing: see why Marge is trying to get Sarge to clean up the place or get them to move out.

I started writing the book this summer. Then I had to take a bit of a break not knowing how to continue. I also knew that I had no idea how some of the characters were. I realized in that time frame, there was no why I could write this book while being in the middle of reading Nicholas Nickleby. So once I put down Nicholas Nickleby, I fully committed to writing the book down.

Just a week ago, I think, I went to Lowes Hardware to try to figure out which Spring Green the Fairy Frogs were and which Gray Green the Toads were. The Fairy Frogs, the color was always struggle. It was a special Spring Green after all: after all they are Fairies  and had to work well with their wings.

I have always been this storyteller- just never written a story down. So just from seeing those cattails, a story was born. That is where it began. All of the Fairy Frogs’ names are very magical and enchanting. All the Toads are well Toady and fit their characters- see what I mean. Over time, I loved the storyline more and more. The two leader names show the differences big time: Aires and Sarge: what is crazy about them being leaders is that they also are uncles in my story: Aires is Darcy’s uncle while Sarge’s is Marge’s uncle.

 

Changes made over the years:

1. Marge’s relationship to Sarge- she originally wasn’t to be Sarge’s niece. I soon realized it will be make Sarge a better antagonist and Marge a better character if I make them related. It also gives Sparkle a bigger motivation to befriend Marge. So that change I decided made the story even stronger

2. I realized this yesterday. Do you know how “Cattail Forest” was the name of of where the Fairy Frogs live? I realized that is not the right name. That should be the name of the entire Greenway. The Fairy Frogs need a name that is more magical and enchanting. After all, there is a grove of trees in the middle- found in these trees are treehouses suited towards the talents of each frog. The trees are connected by bridges. In the habitat, there is a Gazebo for the singers, dancers, and performers to entertain. The creeks are extremely clear and are lined with painted pebbles, and some are carved into various shapes.

 

I put down a breakdown once again of the book: just really short

Basically, Sparkle befriends Marge, who is in need of a friend and compassion. But Sarge, leader of the toads and Marge’s keeps on trying to get in the way of their friendship. Sparkle’s friendship with Marge eventually leads all the Fairy Frogs to try to befriend all the Fairy Frogs.

 

All the characters: names will tell you if they are a toad or Fairy Frog

Sparkle- a drawer, who is 12 and best friends with Misty. She is adventurous, courageous, and rebellious. She is so invested in her drawing that she is willing to draw anymore even in places that are off limits: that is how she meets Marge in the first place.

Misty- a singer, who is also 12 and Sparkle best friend. She is fiercely protective of Sparkle, which makes it hard for her to find time to write her music.

Aires- a confident leader and uncle to Darcy. He is head carpenter and his one rule is to: stay away from Graysloup: he made that rule to protect the Fairy Frogs from getting hurt. He is always worried about Sparkle since she always gets into trouble.

Darcy- Aires’ nephew. He is a sculpture frog and best friends of Felipe. He is about 14 or 15- I don’t have any personality traits yet in him. This is just as much as I know about him as now: I am hoping as I write the book his personality will come out.

Felipe- He is 15 and he is Darcy’s best friend. He is a woodcarver.

Celeste- She is only 8 and is a potter.

Tweetsie- I actually named her after the Tweetsie railroad. She is discovering what her natural talent is throughout the book. She is only 5 years old and is very energetic. By the end of the book, she will finally discover what she is naturally gifted in.

Sarge- he is the leader of the Toads and Marge’s uncle. He is the complete opposite of Aires. He and his brother (Marge’s father) never had a good relationship, and is part of what made him become who he is. He mistreats all the toads and demands some of them to mistreats other creature so he is a not good leader one bit. It is the worst when he mistreats his niece, Marge: it is his NIECE for crying out loud. So he is basically a bully throughout the book- he is the main antagonist of this book. If Sarge does not clean his act up in the very act, I will kick himself out of Graysloup.

Marge- I have this very soft spot for her due to how Sarge treats her. For someone who is 12, she has this incredible wisdom. She knows that how Sarge is running Graysloup is not right: she has stood up to him on multiple occasions- told him to clean up his act or told him to clean up Graysloup, but always does not end so well. She feels like this outsider and always wants to stay away from him. All she wants is for someone to show her compassion and to be a friend. She knows that other toads are suffering and she wants to make right: her friendship with Sparkle is the center core of the book.

Norg: while Sarge is the main antagonist, he is the 2nd in line. He is Sarge’s spy, who spies on the toads for any unusual activity especially on Marge. He tells Sarge whenever Fairy Frogs are there to make it easier for Sarge to split up the friendship cycle. But it will be much easier for Norg to clean up his act than Sarge- so if Norg redeems himself and proves himself to be a leader in the end of the story, he will become the new toad leader in the end.

Claude- he is only rude because Sarge demands it, not because he wants to. He is only about 14/15. When the Fairy Frogs begin befriending the toads, he ends up becoming friends with Darcy and Felipe: after all they are about the same age.

Effa/Rudy: I don’t know a clue about them, but I didn’t want Marge to be the only girl toad

 

 

Nicholas Nickleby Book Review

I started reading Nicholas Nickleby after getting from college in May and now August 14th finally finished that book. It is by longest book I read by Charles Dickens. It felt like I will never finish this book due to the length- but the level the challenge of classics.

When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father’s death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world

-Goodreads

I really loved this book. The first chapter though was very complicated. It first explained Nicholas Nickleby’ family tree. So there is more than Nicholas and more than one Ralph so I was like which one is the uncle and which is the Nicholas in the novel. So I was quite confused at which one belonged to the entire story. I figured it eventually- so the first chapter probably might be confusing.

What is interesting is that you get to be introduced to Ralph Nickleby, Nicholas’ uncle and antagonist, first before you get introduced to Nicholas, the protagonist. I am used to hearing about the protagonist first not the antagonist. I am not the biggest fan of Ralph-, he always had a big hatred towards his nephew. He kept plotting always all of schemes, which always made me mad and annoyed with him.

 

How I Thought of the Plot:

The plot has many plot twists. I loved how Nicholas looked after his sister and mother. Then I really loved how he looked after Smike. One thing that really drew me to the plot was the fact that Nicholas actually worked in a theatre troupe for some time-as a musical theatre fanatic, I loved reading those parts. Nicholas had to runaway from London for part of the time after his Uncle heard after an incident that happened regarding Mr. Squeers and Nicholas. Nicholas’ family was struggling in finances throughout the entire book- but things do get better for them. The plot can be confusing at times. You think all of the subplots have finished entering by a certain point, but than they haven’t. Of all Charles Dickens I have read, this one has more characters and subplots than any one of them: no wonder it is so long.

 

Favorite Characters:

Nicholas- filled with compassion who looks out for his family along with Smike. When he first met Smike at Dothesboys School, he felt compassion for the boy. After Smike followed Nicholas and when Nicholas realized that Smike followed him, Nicholas let Smike join him. He is such a wonderful protagonist. Nicholas is prone is violence, which is one of his flaws, but being flawed does make a character believable.

Smike- I just loved the spirit the boy has. Before Nicholas entered his life, he has been mistreated a lot. Nicholas is the first person in his life who has showed him compassion. So when Nicholas left the school, Smike sneakily followed Nicholas. He said to Nicholas something like “wherever you go, I will go to”. I just love the bond these two share. Those two actually are my all-time favorite characters.

Yes, I  like other characters, but Nicholas and Smike are my main favorites.

 

Least Favorite Characters- I can tell you this, NN has a lot of villainous characters

1. Ralph Nickleby- I already made that clear in the beginning. At the beginning, he doesn’t seem that much of a villain, but as the story continues, he hates his nephew more and more.

2. Arthur Girde- one of the characters Ralph schemed with

3. Mr. Squeers- I don’t like the way he ran that Yorkshire school, basically a school for unwanted boys. They all are mistreated and abused. The three end up scheming among each other.

Pretty much, I didn’t like any of the characters who were villains

Below is a snippet from my upcoming project- I said after I finish NN, I will go back to my book I am writing. I do not have a first draft or anything. This might still need some help. Since there is no title yet in this children’s fantasy, I am calling it “Fairy Frogs and Toads”.

Fairy Frogs, they are interesting creatures. They are gifted in the arts. They are spring green with translucent wings with a gold trim. They are deeply compassionate. What is fascinating is that not all humans can see them.

 

Children’s Fantasy-Fairy Frogs and Toads

What some of my followers may not know is that I am in the middle of writing a children’s fantasy. I got inspired about six years ago walking on one of Charlotte’s greenways. On a boardwalk, to the left, I saw a bunch of Cattails, but to me it looked like a “Cattail Forest” so an idea was born. Below is a breakdown of this book I am writing.

Summary:

Sparkle, a 12 year old Fairy Frog, befriends Marge, who is a toad. But it is against the rules for frogs and toads to be friends. What happens when Sarge, the toad’s leader and Marge’s uncle, tries to get in the way of their friendship? The book centers around the friendship Sparkle has with this toad and how she starts a cycle of friendship after showing compassion to Marge, which eventually leads to the Fairy Frogs trying to befriend the toads.

Characters:

Fairy Frogs- all of them are artistic, clever, and deeply compassionate. They may all share these three characteristics, but they all still each have different personalities. Unique fact: not everyone can see them. Humans can see them; but not all humans. I gave each of my Fairy Frog characters a different craft to show that they are artistic. 

Sparkle: a drawer Frog who is 12 years old and my protagonist. She is very adventurous, courageous and rebellious due to how invested she is in her craft. Even though she is not allowed to be in Graysloup or befriend a toad or interact with them, she doesn’t care. She just wants to help a toad who is in need of a friend ,who also needs some compassion. She always carries around a gold and silver backpack with a pink S in the center. That backpack holds all her drawing supplies. She is one of the most gifted drawers and usually at age 12, they are still getting to know their craft and not quite as skilled as Sparkle is. Sparkle likes to draw anything even in places that she knows are against are against the rules, which is how she ends up in Graysloup in the first place.

Misty: She is Sparkle’s best friend. She is very protective of her. She sometimes has to lie to Aires if she knows where Sparkle really is. Once she know that Sparkle is really in Graysloup, she might just tell Aires she has been in the Cattail Forest all along or just found a new place to draw in the opposite direction. She is my singer frog, and she discovered her talent a bit late. She doesn’t have much time to write many songs due to her protective nature of Sparkle.

Aires: He is the Fairy Frogs leader. He is a very confident leader and will do anything to protect them. That is why he made the rule to keep the frogs out of Graysloup. Even though he is Darcy’s uncle, he is very concerned about Sparkle. She is always sneaking out and he can notice that. His craft is in construction and he is head carpenter. He wears a red hat construction hat with a white “A” on it.

Darcy: As I said with Aires, he is Aires’ nephew. He is a sculpture frog. He is about 14 or 15. That is all I know about him for him for now. He and Felipe are best friends.

Felipe: I already said this, but he is Darcy’s best friend. He also is about 14 or 15. His craft is in woodcarving.

Celeste- She is 8 years old and is a potter

Tweetsie- She is one of my youngest frogs at the age of 5. She is of the most energetic frogs out there. She spends the story trying to figure out what her craft is. From the ages of 3-5, frogs are still trying to figure out what craft they are naturally talented at

 

Toads- they are assumed to be rude and disrespectful mainly because Sarge is their leader, but that is not really true. After all, Marge is one of them. 

Sarge: The main antagonist. He is basically this bully and leader of the toads. He hurts the toads and other creatures, but it is most frustrating that he would do what he does to this niece. He eventually has to hire a spy to spy on Marge and any Fairy Frog activity going on in Graysloup. He does actions like throw rocks at the frogs or say hurtful things or shove Marge and other toads in the mud. I don’t know if Sarge is going to clean up his act by the end of my book or not- if I decide he will not, I will just kick him out of Graysloup.

Marge: About Sparkle’s age. She just happens to be niece to my book’s antagonist, She has to stand up to Sarge on multiple occasions. She wants him to clean up his act and clean up Graysloup, but he never listens. It always ends up with him hurting her. He emotionally or physically hurts her. She feels like an outsider among all the toads. She sees that other toads are unhappy in Graysloup as well, and she wants to change some things. She is very wise for her age. I developed a soft spot for her due to how poorly she is treated by her uncle, but thank good Sparkle shows her compassion and becomes her friend.

Norg: He is the one who become Sarge’s spy. Norg makes me hate Sarge even more. Sarge just had to hire him to make it easier to get in the way of Sparkle and Marge’s friendship. Once all the frogs start befriending the toads all together, Norg tells Sarge even more things going on. I don’t what it is about Norg that causes Sarge to trust him to become his spy. Why does he treat Norg the best out of all the toads?

Claude: He is a 15 year old. In the book, he only does rude or not so nice things because Sarge demands him to. He really doesn’t want to do those things one bit. When the Fairy Frogs start befriending the toads, he ends up becoming friends with Darcy and Felipe.

Undeveloped Toads-

Effa/Rudy- I have no idea who they are the moment. They are two girl toads and I want them in the story because I do not want Marge to be the only girl toad.

 

Locations:

The Cattail Forest– home of the Fairy Frogs

-In the center, there is a grove of trees with treehouses on it that the carpenter frogs made. Each tree house represents the frogs. For example, a drawer frog’s house might have a bed made from colored pencils with a drawing studio

-The trees are connected by brides

-At bottom of each tree, there are small red mushrooms with white dots

-The creeks are lined with pebbles that the Fairy Frogs painted: they are very creative: for example- Felipe being a woodcarver, he carved some of them into different shape. Sparkle may not be a painter, but she actually drew the design, then painted in between the lines- so how the pebbles are painted or carved shows their cleverness: very clear creeks

– There is a Gazebo there where the singers, dancer, and performers entertain

-There are various sculptures found throughout Cattail Forest that Sculpture frogs are created

– Due to their artistic abilities, you can constantly see Fairy Frogs working on their crafts throughout the Cattail Frogs. You can see the 3-5 year olds trying to figure out what their natural gift is. The 8-12 year olds may know what their craft is, but they still are only just experimenting with their craft trying. It is the 13-18 year olds who are the most skilled at their crafts before they become adults.

-So it is a very magical and enchanting place

 

Graysloup-home of the toads

– -stuck sleeping underneath a highway

-muddy creeks and mud everywhere

-weather feels very muggy and humid

-lots of trenches and ditches

-not beautiful at all

 

It is going to be a book with illustrations as well. I have always been a storyteller; just never written any story down. Since I want to work in Nonprofit: needed to find a way to make more money. I am very slow at getting this book written. This book really seems to be a book all about compassion and forgiveness.

 

Classic for the Summer

As many people know, I love reading classics. In the past few years, I did a classic challenge where I attempt to read a classic in a limited amount of time. Now that I am graduated, I can read those books at a slower rate, but it does help having a deadline. I have decided to extend the deadline to end of September, and I love that because I do not have to read as quickly. That means I can read less in a day. The classic I am reading is Nicholas Nickleby.

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Adventures Outside of Campus

Gardner Webb may be located in the middle of nowhere, but it is about 1 hr away from both Asheville and Charlotte and about an 1 and 1/2 away from Greenville. So yesterday, two friends and I left Gardner Webb for Asheville and decided to go on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was so beautiful. We drove underneath rock tunnels and saw a bear and we ended up driving for part of the trip in the clouds. Below are some pictures relating to that adventure.

Afterwards, we took a quick stop in Asheville and explored Malaprops where I did the “blind date” book thing. You just get a book that is wrapped in brown paper and have to pick a book based off of the adjectives and you never know what book you are going to get.

Love, adventure, and discover are at the heart of The Signature of All Things, which soars across the globe from America to Tahiti  to tell the story of a brilliant women named Alma Whittaker. Born in 1800, the daughter of a charismatic botanical explorer. Alma quickly comes into her own within the world of plants and science. But as her research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falling in love with a man who draws her in the opposite direction-into the realms of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical.

Written in the bold, questing spirit of the nineteenth century. Gilbert’s spellbinding tale takes the reader to unexpected places as it tells the story of a remarkable women with an unquenchable sense of wonder.