Survey Me This

When it comes to putting some extra cash in your pockets, you have a lot of choices. Why not try doing some online surveys? Who doesn’t like spouting off their opinions, right? Continue reading


The Top Ten Fairy Tales Fractured in 2014 by Emily Andrus

Fractured fairytales are the best! ❤

Nerdy Book Club

Fairy tales are as important to the literary world as bacon is to life—they’re foundational, ensconced in our societal psyche. Modern stories still thrive on this foundation, including the ever popular “fractured fairy tales,” which present the traditional tale with an unexpected twist. They make for an excellent unit in the classroom with a few example books; fairy tales are a great writing prompt for all grades. The following ten fairy tales have been the inspiration for several new books published last year.

Little Red Riding Hood


A little girl being waylaid by a wolf on her way to Grandma’s sound pretty dangerous. Well, what if that little girl is actually a ninja? As one of my most favorite picture books released this year, Ninja Red Riding Hood from Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat definitely adds some high-flying, action-packed excitement to the original tale. Also released were the…

View original post 839 more words

Character Talk – Need

Sometimes I get funny looks when I’m out. I assume it’s because I look like I’m daydreaming or I seem to be talking to myself. But I’m not. There are people talking to me, begging me to write their stories, and I’m just digging for information so as to tell their story in the best way possible. Totally not weird to be talking to fictional characters that aren’t developed yet, right?

There are a lot of things to consider when creating characters, among them name, looks, personality, and why they’re even in your story. What purpose do they serve? How do they advance the story? Why is that one obsessed with bow ties? So many questions to think about.

Every character has a need, but sometimes finding that need is difficult. I’m not talking a need like food or water or shelter. I’m talking a need as in a want or a goal or an endgame. Something that every action the character takes leads him or her that much closer to it. For instance, in The Wizard of Oz, all Dorothy wants to do is go home. Does she get to go directly home? No. That would be boring. She has to follow a yellow brick road which causes her to meet all of these crazy characters who help her get to the great city of Oz to see the wizard who can take her home. Seems easy enough, right? But then the wizard orders her to get the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom to prove she is worthy. More crazy adventure ensues. And all this time all poor Dorothy wants to do is go home.

Character need is important. Without it, your character has no motivation to do anything. Can the need change throughout the story? Of course. I wouldn’t suggest a new need on every page, but maybe a change is needed at a turning point. For example, let’s say your character is on the run from some bad dudes. They’re vicious and mean and crazy loco. We could have him running away forever, where his need would be to stay safe. But that gets boring after a while. So we throw a twist in the plot. He gets caught – new need is to escape. Escaping is a much more interesting need than just being safe. Or maybe the bad dudes nab his girlfriend and are holding her hostage. Now we have a dilemma and a choice to make. Does our guy keep running, or does he try to save the girlfriend? New need – the safety of the girlfriend, most likely. Because now he’s running toward the danger, which makes him much more interesting.

So take your time with your character. Talk to them, scream at them, listen to them. Figure out what they need, and find a way to get them to that goal. Your characters will thank you later.

Let the Shopping Begin!

After many months of being lame and not posting, I am finally ready to claim my shop open for business! I’m sorry it has taken me this long to get this message on here, but busy people don’t have much time. The shop is not very big at the moment, but is continuously expanding. Here is the link to the shop:

Astria Jewels on etsy

You can also follow me on my facebook page:

Astria Jewels on facebook

Go, leave comments, and shop away!


Review of “Half Upon a Time” by James Riley

It’s not very often I find a book worth raving about, and when I do, I go all out to make sure it’s everywhere. Yes, everywhere. My blog, twitter, facebook, by word of mouth, oh and don’t forget putting it in people’s hands at work! Especially when I know it’s lovable.

My review today is of “Half Upon a Time,” the first in a children’s trilogy by James Riley. It is full of all of your favorite fairytales – Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, to name a few – but with small tweaks here and there. It’s a fractured fairytale, and quite the pleasant read.

The story follows Jack, a boy who lives with his grandfather and has no desire for adventure. But adventure is exactly what he gets when May falls out of the sky. She’s dressed strangely, and even though her shirt clearly says Punk Princess, she adamantly denies being royalty of any sort. May – with the help of Jack’s grandfather – talks Jack into helping her rescue her grandmother, who may just be Snow White!

This book is full of quick wits and laughs, and will keep you guessing until the very end. A great read for everyone young or old, especially those who like their fairytales a little unconventional.