We’re Moving!

Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope all is well with you.

I have an announcement to make. The Pink Notebook will now be located at a new URL!


All the posts on this blog will be archived and I’ll be slowly moving things over there and consolidating, and any new posts/updates will be strictly on my JET blog. So hop on over to the new and improved Pink Notebook!



Elise Edmonds Interview

Elise Edmonds Interview

Hello, everyone! I’m here today to announce the publication of a much-anticipated YA fantasy adventure with Arabian tendencies. Where Carpets Fly, by Elise Edmonds!


Elina Faramar finally leaves her family’s flying carpet shop when her father reluctantly agrees she can take magic lessons in nearby Kamikan. Urban life promises adventure, and new friend Kara shows her the sights.

However, Elina soon sees a darker side of life: a foreigner arrested at the circus, forbidden schoolhouse rooms with odd comings and goings, and unsociable pupil Simeon’s shady deals at the docks. Everything seems connected to the volatile neighbouring country of Pallexon, but no one will tell her why.

When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, he seems close to confiding in her. But an unexpected voyage takes Elina and Kara away from answers and towards unknown danger in Pallexon.

Alone in a strange country, with no identity papers, the situation rapidly turns into a nightmare when Kara is mistaken for a spy. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel the secrets of Pallexon.

Corinne: So let’s get on with the interview! Heya, Elise!

Elise: Wahey, Corinne! Thanks for hosting me today. 🙂

C: No problem! I remember marathon-critiquing Carpets way back when it was still Uprooted! I’m so excited for you to finally publish it, and it’s definitely a book worth reading!

So why not start by telling us what inspired the idea for Where Carpets Fly?

E: Sure thing.

I’ve always been a fan of both children’s fantasy books and school stories – long before Harry Potter came into the world. I grew up on Enid Blyton and Narnia. So writing a fun, immersive fantasy story full of adventure but also including school and coming of age themes is basically me writing the book I wanted to read as a kid! It’s got a bit of everything I enjoy reading about.

Flying carpets have always held a fascination for me. There’s something exciting and exotic about them, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my world. I read a Diana Wynne Jones book about flying carpets (Castle in the Air – the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle), and I can say she’s also influenced my writing.

C: I read Howl’s Moving Castle recently and loved it! I had no idea it had a sequel!

*adds to my to-read list*

Being inspired by such classic novels must come with some drawbacks, though. What do you say you struggle most with in your writing?

E: Action scenes are probably the ones I find the hardest to write: fights, battles, chases etc. I find it difficult to visualise the action and then reproduce it on paper whilst keeping the tension high and the boredom factor low. I have to have a few goes at it and get other people to read the scenes as well.

C: I’m afraid I’m guilty of tearing apart your battle scenes when I read them. xD I leave all sorts of red and green comments on them when I critique them.

E: No problem! That’s exactly what I need to make them the best they can be.

C: After reading Carpets (then Uprooted) I must admit I came away with more than a few feels. Which got me to thinking: is there anything you want your readers to take away from your books after the last page has been turned?

E: To be honest, I’m mostly writing to entertain. I don’t have an important message to get over to people. I do have a couple of themes in this book which I hope people will take a little something away from: the importance of both friendship and freedom. But if they come out the other side and ask me when book two is coming out, I shall be quite happy! 

C: Remember when I bugged you after reading Uprooted/Carpets to publish the darn thing already?

*Elise and Corinne chuckle in unison*

C: I think my favorite characters to read were Mr. Jaxon and Clauda. Mostly because I’ve been shipping them together since Chapter Two of Carpets. They must have been so much fun to write for! Especially because Clauda is so quirky and fun to read. Were they your favorite characters to write?

E: Actually, Elina, my main character, has always been my favourite to write for. I’ve spent most of my time inside her head, so I know how she feels and reacts to situations.

C: What about your least favorite character?

E: I found her father the hardest character to write. It was hard to get a balance between showing that deep down he cares for her, but on the surface he just wants to control her life and do what he tells her. I didn’t want people to side with him, but ultimately he’s not the real bad guy of the story, just a flawed father.

C: Flawed is kind of an understatement. I did not like Mikal one bit. It wasn’t until just recently, after many, many chapters of reading the sequel-in-progress that I started to come around to him. *laugh*

I probably already know the answer to this one, but Who or what would you say is your biggest inspiration during the harder parts of the writing process?

E: My writer friends, of course 🙂  I have an amazing mutual support group and pool of critique partners. We found each other through the critique site, Scribophile. If I lack inspiration or need advice, or just want a moan, there is always someone there. And I mean always, because we’re an international group and day or night, someone is awake!

C: I knew it. And I’m your favorite inspirational person, probably. xD

E: Well, no one’s admitting to that. 😉

C: Well, I’m afraid that’s all the time we’ve got today! Thanks so much for stopping by today.

E: My pleasure! Thanks for having me!

Want to know more about Elise and her work? Follow her on her various social media sites! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Where Carpets Fly on Amazon today!

Where Carpets Fly on Amazon
Amazon author page
Elise’s blog
Elise’s Facebook
Elise’s Twitter
Goodreads profile


Born in Staffordshire in England, Elise Edmonds has always been an avid reader, especially of fantasy and young adult books. Elise moved to Bristol in her teens, to attend university, and undertook a career in the finance world. Now living in a quiet South Gloucestershire village, she spends her free time with her husband and two cats, and enjoys attending local fitness classes, watching movies, and playing the piano. Pursuing writing in her spare time as a creative outlet is a way to bring the magic back into her everyday life.


Getting Back Into Poetry

Getting Back Into Poetry

A long time ago, used to write poetry. I stopped sometime in high school after I got into writing novels and screenplays. Today, I tried writing poetry for the first time in a while. A few haikus. And in Japanese, too. ^^

If you’re unfamiliar with the format of a haiku, it’s basically a short poem that’s five syllables one line, followed by seven syllables the second line, followed by five syllables in the third line. And that’s it.

I wrote these in Japanese, but I wanted to share these here anyway because I thought they were pretty good. 🙂 The romanized Japanese is in italics next to the poem. Below each poem is a short explanation as to the meaning.

浜辺 Hamabe

浪の泡 Nami no awa
足跡が消し Ashiato ga keshi
平和な海 Heiwa na umi

This poem’s title is “Hamabe,” or “Shoreline.” It feels like a more serious haiku. The meaning is “The bubbles on the waves, footprints are erased, a peaceful beach.” This haiku actually wrote itself backwards, as the line “Ashiato ga keshi” came to me suddenly during my second-period class today. So I rushed back to the staff room ASAP and wrote it down, and it turned into this haiku.

学校 Gakkou

寒廊下 Kanrouka
子供の海がKodomo no umi ga
体操着 Taisougi

This is a sillier haiku. Its title is “Gakkou,” or “School.” The first line, “Kanrouka” is written with the characters for “cold” and “hallway,” but it’s not a proper word. It means “cold hallway.” (of course) The second line and third lines together mean “The sea of children is gym clothes.”

In Japanese elementary schools, the kids don’t have a uniform, but during the morning classes, they’ll wear their taisougi (gym clothes), so walking through the hallways in the mornings during passing periods, you’ll just see a sea of kids in blue gym clothes.

近所 Kinjo

広い谷 Hiroi tani
夕焼けの空 Yuuyake no sora
我が近所 Waga kinjo

This one, entitled “Kinjo” or “Neighborhood,” and I wrote it with an image of the sun setting over the valley that is just below my house. “The wide valley, the sky and the sunset, my neighborhood.”

ペ-ジ Pe-ji

白い紙 Shiroi kami
一文字染める Hitomoji someru
黒印 Kuro shirushi

This one is called “Page.” I wrote it after envisioning the following: “A white page, a single letter dyes it, a black mark.”

英語の授業 Eigo no jugyou

児童声 Jidou koe
授業中皆 Jugyouchuu mina
うるさいよ (ー ー;) Urusai yo

This one is called “English class.” I actually wrote it during class–the students were all being loud and noisy and I was waiting for them to be quiet so we could finish, and I scribbled this one in the margins of my textbook . xD

“Kids’ voices during class. Everyone, shut up. (ー ー;)”

Hope you enjoyed! 乙女

A Friendship Is

I wrote this short story on a whim and thought I’d share it here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Friendship Is

There once was a girl who didn’t understand the concept of friendship. She couldn’t touch, see, smell, or observe it using any of her senses. It wasn’t a concrete thing, so it was a mystery to her. She would become friendly with people in school, but then stopped seeing her classmates every day after graduation, so she assumed that they’d forgotten about her, because after all, she was starting to forget about them. Years later, at reunions and chance meetings, she would see them again, and be confused when they were happy to see her and asked after her and her family. She thought that if you didn’t see or talk to someone every day, you were no longer friends.


That girl grew up and entered high school, living a rather carefree life after a sudden transfer in sophomore year. One day in senior year, her carefree life was thrown into chaos. Someone she considered a good friend hurt her, both physically and emotionally. It shook her confidence as to what friends really were. She continued to try to get her so-called “friend” to understand her pain, but to no avail. That pain evolved into anger, which she carried with her for years after that. That anger made it hard for her to trust people. She graduated from high school and entered college, and for the first two years of her college career, she did not make a single friend. She was friendly with various classmates from her major, but she did not consider any of them her friends. And because she carried so much baggage from high school, a similar thing happened to her in freshman year. She made friends with another girl in her class, but this other girl hurt her very badly, and this only compounded the problem. She had only a few friends, ones from her childhood who had never given her any reason to doubt them in the decade she’d known them.


Late into her sophomore year of college, she finally was able to break this vicious cycle. By chance, she met another girl in the hallway, and they got to chatting about shared interests in anime and creative writing. The girl also started working for the orientation program at her university. She met a lot of great people who appreciated her for who she was: passionate and loyal and caring and a bit kooky. She made some amazing friends in that program, and finally felt as if she had healed from her traumatic high school experience.


After graduating, she worked a gig as a summer camp counselor, but various problems happened during that summer, and the scars upon her heart that she thought had vanished years ago reopened. Right after finishing that job, she joined an online writing group, but wasn’t sure if she had crossed the line from “acquaintances” to “friends” with the other members of the group.


It took a single line from a Youtube video to change her entire view on this subject.

A friendship is when two people have mutual affection for each other and enjoy each others’ company.

The girl shared the Youtube video with one of the members of her writing group, who said the exact words to the girl that she needed to hear: that they were, indeed, friends, and best friends at that. After that, the girl realized that friendship was just that simple. She gained the ability to cut toxic people out of her own life, to appreciate the people who loved her, and to dismiss all the haters with her favorite six-word saying. And though she still occasionally struggled with doubts about whether or not the people she considered to be her friends really did view her as such, she went on to chase her dreams, surrounding herself with people who appreciated her for the geeky, awkward soul she was.


That girl was me.

Krystal-Ann Melbourne Interview

Happy February, everyone! Today I’m having a chat with Krystal-Ann Melbourne, an artist and an author both.


Which writers inspire you?

Scott Lynch. Not only because his books are my absolute favourite, but also because he was picked up by an agent so early, and while breaking a ton of the rules us aspiring authors consider concrete. Similarly, I’m also inspired by Sarah J. Maas. I remember reading her debut when it was still a Cinderella fanfic floating around the internet. To see her do so well for herself gives the rest of us hope.

Do you write part-time or full-time?

Part-time, because I work full-time at a job I absolutely love. Even were I to become incredibly rich and successful, I would still work my job at least part-time. In all, I spend about 10 hours a week writing and 5 hours a week with organizing/outlining future projects or maintaining my website and blog. I think about my story all the time though, and am constantly sending myself reminder emails about spontaneous ideas.

Do you think that the cover plays a part in the buying process?

Definitely. People say not to judge a book by its cover, but the artist in me just can’t let that fly. Visual art says a lot about a person’s creative intuition. If a book’s cover is lacking, the writing will need to work much harder to get me to buy it. I judge first by a book’s title, then the cover, then the blurb at the back. If I’m still on the fence after those, I will open it up and read a random dialogue page.

What drew you to write fantasy?

Fantasy is the genre I read most. I love magic, thievery, murder, mythology, tragedy, dark humour, and horror. I wrote A Balance of Souls to incorporate all these things that I enjoy reading, and that’s what keeps me passionate about it through all the rewrites and editing. My next two works skip around genre a bit, but still staying within the frame of what I love to read: Claudian’s Keys, a surrealist YA with a bit of piracy and steampunk undertones, and Hesitation, a choose-your-own-adventure adult horror fashioned after 90’s rpg-horror video games.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d like to be able to survive off my writing, keep the income from my dayjob for savings, and have time to invest in my other crafts. Project wise, I would really love to be able to turn A Balance of Souls into a manga. I feel the story’s timeline and formatting would really fit well into an episodic medium, and with manga I can combine both my writing, and my artwork.

Thank you so much to Krystal-Ann for letting me interview you today.

Keep up with her latest by visiting her website and reading her blog!

Krystal-Ann Melbourne is an author and artist living in Montreal with her two fat cats. Since neither writing nor painting pays the rent, she also works full time as a video game playtester (best day job ever) for a game which she’s not allowed to tell anyone about.

Her other interests include teaching herself piano, violin, knitting, cooking, baking, making candles, and gardening. She’d really like to get into creating art from sandblasting old windows, and is always working to improve her French.


Reading Challenge Update

Holy guacamole, it’s 2017 already? Where does the time go??

Happy New Year, everyone! I’ve been staying away from blogging since the new year began, but I’m back to report on the progress I made during last year’s reading challenge!

Click here to see my original blog post announcing the challenge!

1. A book published this year (2016) – DONE! I read Heart of the Winterland by Kristen Kooistra.

Heart of the Winterland review

2. A book you can finish in a day – DONE! I read A Year in Japan by Kate T Williamson.

Finished my first book!

3. A book you’ve been meaning to read – DONE! I read Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci.

Finished the fourth book!

4. A book recommended by a librarian or bookseller – DONE! I read Hannah’s Winter by Kierin Meehan.

Hannah’s Winter Review (2016 RC Book 6)

5. A book you should have read in school – This one is a big fat FAIL. I was supposed to have read Wuthering Heights, but never finished it. I feel really bad for saying this because a certain writer friend of mine likes this book a lot, but I just couldn’t get into it. I tried reading it, but I just couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t entertaining enough. The classics aren’t for everyone, and in this case, it just wasn’t my kind of book. I’ve DNF’ed my fair share of books, but I’m declaring this one a fail because I didn’t write a blog post declaring it a DNF.

6. A book chosen by a spouse, partner, sibling, or BFF – DONE! I read Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, chosen for me by my BFF. 🙂

Keeper of the Lost Cities review

7. A book published before you were born – DONE! I read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

Finished book three!

8. A book that was banned at some point – DONE! I read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice.

Finished my second book!

9. A book you abandoned – DONE! I read Swallowing Darkness by Laurel K. Hamilton.

Book five completed, and lessons have been learned

10. A book you own but never read – Here we have another FAIL, ladies and gentlemen. I was going to read Tale of Genji but stuff happened, including an international move and starting a new job, and I never finished it.

11. A book that intimidates you – And here’s yet another FAIL. I chose Ginban Kaleidoscope   by Rei Kaibara for this but stopped in the middle. Why, you ask? Well, this book wound up getting an anime adaptation, and I watched the anime first and absolutely adored it. In fact, the anime adaptation of this book has become one of my favorite anime of all time. And while I understand that when a book is adapted to the small or big screen, there are bound to be some changes made in the name of creative license, this was exactly the opposite–the anime made a change to the MMC’s character that I thought was a really good one.

This book (and the anime it’s based on) is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Tazusa Sakurano who is a candidate for the women’s Olympic figure skating competition. One day, she is possessed by a Canadian ghost named Pete Pumps, who must inhabit her for 100 days before he can ascend to Heaven. In the anime, Pete tells Tazusa how he died–he was an acrobatic flight pilot and in the middle of a performance when his plane malfunctioned and he crashed. But in the book, Pete is reluctant to tell Tazusa how he died, and when he does, it’s not at all believable. He says he got struck by lightning (which is pretty rare in terms of methods of death) and he was also coincidentally in the same tiny town in Colorado the same day Tazusa was there performing in a competition. At that point, I just flipped a table and declared the book a DNF (Did Not Finish).

12. A book you have read at least once – This, also, is a FAIL. I was going to read Lord of the Rings, which I’ve loved ever since high school, but never finished it. I wound up stopping at page 600-something, not because I was declaring it a DNF, but I took a break at that point and never got a chance to go back and finish it.

So, out of twelve books I was supposed to read, I finished eight and declared two others DNFs, so I get ten out of twelve books. Which, I think, is a win. Considering that halfway through the year, I moved halfway across the world and started a new job that takes up all my free time, that’s not too shabby. And while doing this reading challenge, I learned so much about myself and my reading preferences that I feel that that, in and of itself, is a win.

That’s all for now, folks! Keep tuning in here to my blog for more updates and stuff. Stay awesome! 乙女

Eleanor Konik Interview

Happy New Year, everyone! Today, I got the chance to interview Eleanor Konik, blogger extraordinaire.


Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

The first “real” book I ever read was Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey. A friend saw the cover on my dad’s bookshelf and suggested I might like it. Writing Pern fanfiction was some of the first writing I ever showed anyone, and the complex history and politics of Pern really impacted me. I always loved the idea that there could be an overarching menace that wasn’t another person — though of course there were often human obstacles to overcome — and it remains one of the few series about a colonization effort that doesn’t end in war or conflict with natives or invaders.

What is your favorite sequel? 
I’m not sure if it’s the best sequel I’ve ever read, but The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven is definitely my favorite, probably because of the backstory. He wasn’t planning to write it, but between the popularity of Ringworld and the MIT students confronting him at conventions about how his math was wrong, he felt compelled to go back and write a follow-up dealing with the flaws that fans had pointed out. I think it’s amazing that his fans were so passionate about his work that they actually ran the numbers, in such a large group that they disrupted events with their chanting.

The Ringworld is unstable! 

What made you decide to write fantasy, as opposed to another genre?
I think fantasy is more flexible than most other genres, which is something I value. It gives me a bigger toolkit of things I can accomplish, and ways I can make the points I’m interested in making. I enjoy reading a lot of other genres, but despite my occasional forays into writing other types of speculative fiction, my heart belongs to fantasy.

Besides, fantasy readers aren’t quite as judgmental as the science-y folks.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Pre-planning my characters is not one of my strengths, unfortunately. It takes a lot of words before I start to feel like I really know a character, no matter how many character sheets I put together or how much I explain my intentions. My characters grow and change as I write them, depending on the circumstances they face, and it can be tough to know how they’ll be impacted by those situations until I know all of the details of their story.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

One pretty common refrain of mine in my writing group is “if your characters are bored, so are your readers.” There’s nothing worse than reading, say, a young adult novel where the teenage protagonist is sitting in class twiddling their thumbs waiting for the action to start. If a character is yawning their way through a lecture about something “important” for the sake of worldbuilding, chances are I’m already skimming.

What do you struggle with most in your writing?

I have a hard time showing my characters’ emotional state, sometimes. I try to be a very calm, contained person — you can’t let your students know when they get to you — so a lot of the time, my emotional “tells” are subtle and that is true of my characters as well, at least on the first draft. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in having good worldbuilding that I forget to show how my characters are feeling, because it seems so obvious to me. Thankfully, I have beta readers and critique partners to keep me on the straight-and-narrow.

Some people say they hear their characters’ voices in their heads, telling them what is happening in the story. I hear my friends’ voices whispering things like “where is your tension?” and “What are the characters’ motivations?” instead.

Thank you so much, Eleanor, for the great interview.

Be sure to follow Eleanor’s blog because she blogs about all sorts of interesting things, like folktales and legends and she really knows her stuff!

Eleanor Konik was born and raised in a close-knit neighborhood just outside of Baltimore, where she is putting the final touches on her teaching certification. She spends her free time gardening and playing cards with coworkers. She also enjoys fishing, hiking, and visiting attractions around the city. Her blog showcases insights she’s gleaned while researching THE LAST COLLARED MAGE, a fantasy mashup of Rome’s greatest defeats.