exploring my nanowrimo novel || where shadows lie

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
In which I become brave and talk about my novel even though that is a Very Scary Thing with capital letters. :P

(Also, enjoy a random Tuesday post because apparently blog posts are easy to write when I'm sick and I felt like spreading the excitement of my soon to be WIP. :D)

Where Shadows Lie was originally supposed to be a standalone, until it decided that it wanted to be a little rebel and demand a prequel. *headdesks repeatedly* (I'll get over it, but right now I'm moping because a prequel means all the more work and THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LITTLE STANDALONE. Oh well.)

I'm linking up with the beautiful books linkup hosted by Sky and Cait, though I'm cheating because I'm skipping some of the questions. Even though I'm plotting this novel, I'm a pantser at heart and must leave some things undecided. :P

My brain is weird, guys. I get ideas in the most random ways and I'm not sure how my mind even works.

I first got this idea in April, when I was traveling to a youth retreat with my friends. On the way to the retreat, we drove on a road with birch trees scattered on the side.

It's so weird how clearly I remember that moment. How I remember what song was playing (Got that Fire by Royal Tailor -- has absolutely nothing to do with my story xD) when I thought to myself, I need to write a story that takes place in a birch tree forest.

So I made it happen. I jotted a few sentences in my notebook for sermon notes (which has now become half sermon notes, one fourth doodles, and one forth story scribbles) -- something along the lines of, birch tree forest, mysterious feel, creeping shadows, and it has been stuck in my head ever since.
Well would you look at this? I have a handy dandy little blurb that took forever to write for you all to read.

We can't leave, because the shadows won't let us. 
Eerie is tired of hiding from the monsters in the birchwood forest. Tired of spending her days inside with her parents, tired of having a little red fox as her only friend, and tired of living on an island surrounded by an endless silver sea. But no matter how desperately she longs to escape, she can't, and all because of the shadows. 
As she continually wishes for change, her wish is granted. Darkness invades the light of the sun, and Eerie is helpless in the middle of the forest. When the cloud of shadows finally pass, she finds herself utterly alone -- her parents, her fox, her shadow... gone. 
Her shadow is on the hunt for her soul and will stop at nothing for it, willing to twist and deceive her mind to snatch what it desires. Eerie sets on a journey to find her parents, stretching her courage and strength. But to save them, she has to discover where the heart of shadows truly lies. Will she be able to conquer the darkness before it conquers her?

tangled branches. glittering sea. speckled light. pale skin. little red fox. bare feet pounding on the forest floor. scribbled notes on faded paper. soft beat of a lonely heart. twisted shadows. dark, crashing waves. scratched birchwood. a silver-tipped arrow.
WELL. Normally I prepare by doing nothing and then smacking my keyboard hoping for somewhat coherent words.

This year is a bit different. I tried this weird method called plotting. And... it worked? I kind of have a plot? I HAVE AN ENDING? (no beginning, but I can worry about that later. NaNo isn't quite like NaNo without stress.)

Also, catching up on sleep while I can, because I know I will hardly get any when NaNo comes. xD


THE CLIMAX. There's this one scene. This one scene that makes me actually squeal every time I plot it out. I cannot wait to put that scene into words. I'm flailing just thinking about it. Maybe I'm the only one who gets this excited about a scene? Please tell me I'm not. :P

I'm excited about the general feel of my novel. It's the type of story I would want to read -- mysterious, lyrical, character based... I cannot wait to write this thing GAH.

*really just wishes this novel was already written and rewritten and edited so you all can read it and share in my flailing*

1. A SILVER, GLITTERING SEA.

The island itself is surrounded by a sea. A silver sea, that glitters, almost sparkles, when you set your eye on it. There is no end -- at least not one that has been found -- and no bottom. It is endless, but not a weight to look upon, as it is a very pretty sight.

Until, you know, it turns deathly black later in the book. Mwahaha.

2. SPEARGOLD BUSHES.

Since this takes place on a mysterious island, there are lots of mysterious plants and creatures. Like the speargold (lame name but I tried) bushes -- thin, razor sharp bushes made out of white branches and golden leaves. Do not touch. The leaves may bite and the branches may spear you.

In the words I wrote in my plotting notebook: basically, it can kill you. so. danger.

3. EMPTY, ABANDONED HOUSES.

Throughout the book, Eerie discovers more and more of these empty houses in the birchwood forest. Unmade beds and messy rooms reveals that the inhabitants left unprepared. This raises questions -- But why? Where did they go? Have there been others living on the island all along?
Eerie wants change, and she believes that will only happen by leaving the island. But very quickly things happen and her goal is no longer to leave the island, but to save what the island has taken from her. Thus the journey and the danger begin and poor little Eerie is given more than her heart can probably handle.

Sorry, Eerie. *winces*
hope. friendship. conquering the darkness. overcoming fears. to never give up.

Those are some of the themes that I know will appear, but it's surprising how easy it is for a book to take its own path. Different themes turn up, and readers may draw different themes from my writing. I hope that's what will happen -- that they can take what they need to hear for themselves.
I want readers to feel something. Good or bad. Maybe a bit of both. I want them to feel inspired and unstoppable and wish to read the thing all over again.

Or, if I'm being really honest: I want my readers to feel like they just finished a slice of pizza. Sad that the book is over, but happy that the journey was epic.

// katie grace

What's your one sentence pitch for your NaNo novel/WIP?
or if that's too hard and you just want to link me to your beautiful books post, DO THE THING.
(cause I reallllyyyy want to hear about everyone's genius ideas)

56 comments :

  1. *pastes link* My Beautiful Books NaNo Novel post :P

    I'm soo excited to start writing. There are some parts that I just. can't. wait. for!!! It's going to be so fun living inside my character's head again.

    And the other day I came up with a brilliant ending (hopefully) so I'm REALLY excited about that too. It's a very evil author ending. xD

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    1. Oooh. Definitely going to check out your post. :D

      YAY FOR ENDINGS! Or... maybe not so yay if it's evil...? (the author may enjoy it, but what about your poor READERS. *weeps*) Enjoy that. :P

      Delete
  2. Wow! It sounds so interesting! Can't wait to see how it goes. As for NaNo, still trying to decide if I want to do the whole thing, which story (How does one choose?!), and if I want to plot or not. *sigh* So much to decide.
    Good luck!

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    1. Gaahhh, alll the decisions. Especially so many decisions to make in thirteen days. o.O

      You can do it!

      Delete
  3. I have definitely a lot of catching up to do. So many tags !!!!

    Anywho, I still don't know what I'm writing about. I first wanted to write an action novel (like a girl w/ a gun on a road type of thing) nbut then that really old character from that very old idea is just begging to be written as well (a writer Cinderella, I might say) and now I DON'T KNOW ANYMORE, I KNOW NOTHING. So yeah.

    So excited for your novel *squeals* it'll just be awesome 😆 I'm already scared, honestly, so I can't wait to see it! Plus, I have an idea like that too (but it's not the same thing at all, just the darkness/shadow idea) that I wrote the first and last chapter to (XD) so I KNOW it's gonna be epic for sure :)

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    1. WHY DO ALL OF THE IDEAS HAVE TO COME BEFORE NANOWRIMO. *grumble* It's not fair to us poor writers. :P

      I AM SO EXCITED AS WELL. *squeals with you* Dude, you wrote the first and last chapter? How... how does that even work...?? I'm very impressed but also confused. Wow. That's cool. xD

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  4. Eeep!*squeals over your descriptions* Your novel sounds simply amazing. :D

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    1. *squeals as well* Thank you, Emily! <3

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  5. AHHHH THE KATIE TALKED ABOUT HER NOVEL I'M SO PROUD *hugs* I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS THING ASDJFKHLDSKJFAHLSDKJFHSD

    Also, all your aesthetics are just B E A U T I F U L. And ... hehe ... /eerie/. *dorky grin*

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    1. i legit made the same joke when she showed me the synopsis *high five for bad puns*

      Delete
    2. EEEP YES ASDJKFL;S I CANNOT AND JUST CAN'T WAIT TO READ YOUR THING ASJDKLF. so much flailing.

      THANK YOU.
      ...
      ...
      ...
      you didn't.
      heh. xD

      (hannah did the same thing, krissy. I'M DOOMED FOR LIFE. xD)

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  6. Ack, THIS JUST SOUNDS SO AMAZING. I can'tttt. xP Just. Augh. Give it to me. Literally flailing my arms in my seat in front of my laptop right now. I JUST CAN'T WORDS OVER THIS AWESOMENESS. Pleeaaase tell me you're going to edit this one after The Sand Dragon's Song. xD

    And the title is SO lovely, Katie! The whole feel of the thing sounds so lyrical and beautiful and imaginative and just overall EPIC. o.o Oh my, I cannot WAIT to read this one day.

    And Eerie is a lovely name. I'd never considered that sort of thing as a character name before, but I really like it. <3 AND YOUR AESTHETICS ARE JUST SO DELICIOUS! I'm in absolute LOVE with the forest of birch trees idea.

    Okay, I just cannot contain myself any longer. ADFALSDKJSDFL. << there, that is my overall feeling about this post summed up thirteen very coherent words.

    NANO IS GOING TO BE AWESOME. You are going to SLAY this project, oh my goodness.

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    1. And also I am ashamed to give my one sentence pitch because it sounds so cliche and inferior compared to yours. xD

      Delete
    2. EMILYYYYYY. Ohhhh. You do not understand how happy your comment made me. THANK YOU FOR BEING EXCITED. <3 <3 <3

      I was searching the internet for mysterious baby names, eerie baby names... all along of those sorts, when I finally thought, "Why don't I just name her Eerie?" :P

      I am asjdkfl;sjd-ing with you. :P

      THANK YOU. I AM SO READY TO WRITE THIS BOOK. Ugh, I don't even know what to say I just want to squeal with excitement. xD

      (shhhh no your one-sentence pitch you sent me was aammaaaazing. I just haven't responded to the email yet but I READ IT and FLAILED soooo. :P)

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    3. EEK WELL I AM GLAD. THIS BOOKS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST.

      Excellent choice. :P

      (aww, well thank you muchly. xD I have a new one-sentence pitch on the NaNo site now, but I still feel like my idea sounds unoriginal and cliche. xP)

      Delete
  7. So when I replied to your comment I went back to see if you'd answered yours on Saturdays post, and I saw this, and I was like "...Did I miss a post on Saturday?!" Then I saw it was posted today and...*nods* Yeah...BUT DIS IS EXCITING TWO POSTS A WEEK YAS!

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    1. Mwahaha, I am a sneaky little blogger. :P It was weird posting on a Tuesday. o.O

      Delete
  8. Okay I'm pretty sure you already read/saw my Beautiful Books post? But here it is again
    http://words-inmysoul.blogspot.com/2016/10/beautiful-books-nanowrimo-2016-edition.html

    (also, I'm SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS and i will share snippets of my nano novel if you share snippets of yours? please)

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    1. YES I SAW IT AND LOVED IT. I haven't left a comment yet but I should head over and do the thing. xD

      (MAYBE. MY FIRST DRAFT WRITING USUALLY KIND OF STINKS, SO. :P)

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  9. KATIE KATIE KATIEEE THIS SOUNDS SO CREEPY AND AMAZING AND I WANT IT NOWWW
    Also I am SUPER EXCITED BUT ALSO PANICKING because NaNo is rapidly approaching. o.o I'm writing a time travel story which I'm super psyched about but also terrified because I get hopelessly confused READING about time travel and I've never actually attempted writing it. xD
    Also, I hope you're feeling better!

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    1. EEP ASDFJKL; I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT ITTT.

      Oooh that is so cool! Time travel would be so hard to write, but yet so interesting. o.o YOU CAN DO IT!

      Awh, thanks. I still have a bothersome cough and feel exhausted, but hopefully it'll disappear soon!

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  10. Ahh... this story sounds so good. And the aesthetic. *sigh*

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    1. THE AESTHETICS WERE SO MUCH FUN TO MAKE.

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  11. Ohhh this sounds absolutely AMAZING and I'm already loving this island with its deathly pointy bushes and the shadows and the LITTLE FOX. LITTLE FOXES ARE ADORABLE THIS IS AMAZING I LIKE IT.
    And getting super excited over a scene?! ME. ALL THE TIME.😂 I totally will hype myself up for a scene I'm really looking forward to writing...which can backfire if it comes out like mush and not how I intended. But bah. That's what editing is for. I still love anticipating scenes. IT IS THE BEST. :D (Hence the question haha. That was my idea.😂)

    But anyway this sounds amazing (yes yes I'm just going to say it again) and I hope it's super fun to write! I'm like 98% sure I'm writing a contemporary about a homeless boy who sneaks into people's houses when they're on holidays until he messes up and ends up in a big house with a big family and then kind of blends in and sees how long he can stay. Shhh, lemme alone about my terrible pitching skills. IT SHOULD BE ADORABLE. Or there's like a 3% chance I'll write a pirate book instead. Because pirates.

    Thanks for linking up with us!!

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    1. Now I'm scared that I'll botch the scene completely. :P SOMETIMES IT'S HARD TO PUT SCENES INTO WORDS BUT I'LL TRYYY. (lovely idea, by the way. XD)

      ooohhhh waaaaht that sounds awesome. o.O AWESOMELY ADORABLE. Suppose there won't be quite as much stabbing as normal, eh? :P

      Thank YOU for creating the linkup! <3

      Delete
  12. Wow. I REALLY want to read your book now. ;) Seriously, it has intrigued me...

    Yay! A fellow...or should I say, sister...panster!!! Shows me that I'm not alone. My books will still be finished. If you can, I can. Even if my books DO have this nasty way of changing their end two sentences into a chapter. ;)

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    1. Eeep, that makes me so happy to hear! <3

      YOU CAN DO THIS. It's a hard challenge, but I believe in you. *nodnod* *sends you chocolate to help aid you in your quest*

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  13. AHHHH KATIE
    THIS LOOKS so good
    Okay
    I want to read some when you're done
    Or all :D

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    1. AHHH HANNAH
      THANK YOU
      THANK YOU MUCHLY
      *wishes it was already written so you could read it* xD

      Delete

  14. aaaaaAAAAHHHHHHHH Katie this sounds SO AMAZING and SO PRETTY. I'm glad you posted, even though it's Tuesday. XD
    Whenever I think of birch forests I think of Canada or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which is gorgeously desolate in certain places. Love it up there!!
    Mergh. I can't wait to see where this goes and I'm glad you plotted this time because a) you now have (slightly) less stress and b) you get to share the blurb with us and we can share in your flailing. XD

    I thought you would appreciate my first line, which I wrote several months ago:

    "I always knew pizza would be my downfall— I just didn’t expect it to quite work the way it did."

    Jeneca @ Jeniqua Writes

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    1. I am glad I got the courage to post it as well. XD

      OOH YES. I need to travel to one of those places (I already live up north, so shouldn't be too hard to find a lovely birch area somewhere around here) and take pictures. *flailing*

      Uhhm, okay. That is an epic first line. YOU'VE GOT ME HOOKED. :P

      Delete
  15. I can't wait to share my novel!

    (Also, I think you meant to link to http://www.furtherupfurtherin.net/ not the ".com" address for Sky's blog.)

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    1. Eeep, I cannot wait to read about your novel!

      (gah, yup. I just fixed it. Thanks for letting me know!)

      Delete
  16. OH MY GOSSSHHHH where do i even begin??? UM THIS BOOK SOUNDS SERIOUSLY EPIC??? Literally, I want to read this immediately. JUST.... GAAAAAAAAH I LOVE IT

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    1. EEEEP THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY, ABBY. I HOPE IT WILL BE PUBLISHED SOMEDAY SO YOU CAN READ IT. <3 <3 <3

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  17. OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. <3 Your book's aesthetic is perfect, and getting your novel idea during a retreat = WOW. He's blessed you, for sure. Also, I can sympathize with having a chapter where it's so hard to squeal because THE FEEL YOU GET. THE FEELS.

    I'm all hyper from drinking lemonade at 8 in the evening, so sorry for the super strange !!!!! everywhere. xD

    xoxo Morning
    Ups & Downs

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    1. AHH THANK YOU.

      Right?? It's so amazing and this book is very close to my heart so I am ALL THE EXCITED.

      omg I WANT LEMONADE. I welcome all the exclamation points. XD (but seriously I really want lemonade now. :P)

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  18. This sounds super cool Katie! My book has a form of shadows in it too. Weird. O__o I hope NaNo goes well for you! As of the time that I'm posting this comment, I did this and it is the most recent post on my blog. :)

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    1. Thank you! <3
      Ooh, I'll have to check yours out. :D

      Delete
  19. Well hello Katie! My book is about music. Because why not. Anyway, your book sounds so cool!

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    1. Ahh, I love music so, so much! What genre is it?

      Eek, thank you! <3

      Delete
  20. KATIE GRACE.
    O____O
    WHAT...I...IT...

    THIS BOOK SOUNDS LIKE THE MOST AMAZING THING IN THE UNIVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay, okay. Just let me calm myself for a minute because AAAAHHHHHH. I NEED THIS BOOK IN MEH LIFE. It's so...UNIQUE. I've never heard of anything like it before. And the aesthetics! Birch trees are the best! But also it's in a forest with EVIL HUNTING SHADOWS and mysteriousness and creepy things and a FOX (I'm obsessed with foxes) and just...I LOVE ALL THOSE THINGS. Also your character's name is EERIE. That is the coolest!

    Seriously, this is one of the most amazing plot ideas I've ever heard. YOU MUST WRITE IT AND GET IT PUBLISHED AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE I NEEDS IT.

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    1. CHRISTINE.
      CHRIIISTINNNEEEE. <3

      My heaaart. *breaks* You make me so unbelievably happen and I cannot stop squealing. I may be slightly obsessed with making the perfect aesthetics of a book and asjdkl;f I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT.

      Thank youu. Thank you so much for making me smile. EEP. <3

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  21. THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!! I'm absolutely in love with the aesthetic of your book here, like can it get any better? And I've never heard of anything like it! (I kinda wrote a novella like this a few months ago with the same aesthetic, which is probably why I'm so much in love with it.) For Nano, I'm writing about an artificial intelligence who becomes besties with a human girl, because apparently an AI has nothing better to do with his time. Best of luck with Nano! And thanks for visiting The Endless Oceans of my Mind!

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    1. EEEP THANK YOU, VICTORIA. <3 <3 <3

      Oooh, any novel with artificial intelligence starts to become interesting. That will be so cool to read. o.o Have you read Gemina? That deals with an AI and is a super cool book. :D

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  22. *SCREAMING* PLEASE WRITE THIS BOOK AND PUBLISH IT SO I CAN READ IT!!! I am actually excited that you are writing this because I want to read it someday because iT LOOKS AMAZING!!!!! ♥

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    1. *screams with you* I WILL DO MY BEST. I cannot wait until I can share it with the word. <3

      Delete
  23. OH MY GOSH KATIEEEEEEEEEEEE.

    This is literally the coolest idea ever. Like wow I want this book so incredibly badly. IT SOUNDS SO PHENOMENAL. *insert all the heart eyes of ever*

    I can already picture the story and everything. It's going to be so amazing, my word. IF YOU EVER NEED BETA READERS, I'M YOUR GIRL! XD

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    1. OH MY GOSH GRACEEEE ANNEEEE.

      *has heart eyes over your comment* *seriously* *it's just so kinddd*

      I WILL DEFINITELY KEEP YOU IN MIND. Gah, I wish it was ready for beta readers already. SOOON. (I say soon but it's not even all the way plotted hahahahaha. -.-)

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  24. ASDFGHKL IS LOOKS SO GOOD. CAN I HAVE IT NOW PLS.

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  25. Ooh, "the shadows won't let us leave," I love that line. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. And I kind of like "speargold," it has a botanical feel to it while still being fantastical. I have never heard reading books to finishing a slice of pizza, I think it's a great goal. ;)

    Beautiful Books: Introduce Your Novel @ Inkspelled Faery

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  26. FLAILING SOOOOOOOOO HARD RIGHT NOW. I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY HANDS LOOKING ALL AESTHETICALLY PERFECT ON MY BOOKSHELF. :''') IT SOUNDS SO EPIC. *jumps around excitedly* Also Eerie is a freaking fabulous name. LIKE WHAT EVEN. And the aesthetic of this book!! AND EVERYTHING ABOUT IT BASICALLY

    wow i leave such coherent comments. i'm a fangirl what can i say???
    <3333333333333

    ALSO I KNOW THAT FEELING OF WANTING SO BADLY TO WRITE A PARTICULAR SCENE. ASDFGHJKL YES I FEEL THAT FOR SO MANY SCENES BRO. *screams happily*

    LOLOLOL WHAT IS NANO WITHOUT THE STRESS?? *screams for other reasons*

    lotsalove,
    abbiee

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  27. Aaaaaahhhhhh, this sounds amazing, Katie!!! Will you be sharing during the November #WIPjoy week? - because I WANT TO KNOW MORE. :D :D :D (I LOVE the concept and the name of the speargold bushes. EEEEEK! :D )

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