Tag Archives: Catania’s Forest

“Catania’s Forest” Questions & Answers

Well, here we are.  A little later than I wanted, but here we are.  Enjoy!


Who was your favorite character? (Jaidyn)

My personal favorites are Catania and Lythia.  I’m super happy with how Cat turned out (and she’s a lot like me!).  Sadly, you don’t actually get a lot of Lythia in the story, but I really love her.

Who was the hardest character to write? (Jaidyn)

Probably Jéru?  I thought he would be easy and straightforward.  He was not.  I always felt like he was slipping out of character. Tyre’s dialogue was also tricky.

Were there any plot twists? (Jaidyn)

Plot twists I wasn’t expecting?  Jéru giving Catania bread.  The line about her not remembering what bread tasted  like was already there, but her actually tasting it in the story was actually a surprise.

Which character was the easiest to come up with? (Jaidyn)

Like I said in the behind-the-scenes, Tyre came first.  (Catania and Jéru came next.)  Lythia  probably came the fastest–once I realized I needed her, she came pretty quickly.

Was this story harder or easier to write then some of the others? (Jaidyn)

Hmm. . . There was a lot more angst about Cat’s Forest, but there wasn’t as much writer’s block.  At least to the best of my memory. . .

What inspired you to write this story? (Jaidyn)

Like I said, the idea of a Narnian centaur being connected with the Christmas star is what inspired me first.  That’s where the idea of the plotline came from.  There were many, many other things that inspired smaller plot-points.  A lot of Cat’s archery is probably the result of my own hobby (and some of its inspiration probably lies in The Hobbit as well. 🙂 )

Was there anything that you had originally started with, but decided to take out of the story? If so, why? (Jaidyn)

Nothing comes to mind. . .  It was mostly the other way round with Cat’s Forest: random things popping up that I wasn’t expecting.

When did you decide that you wanted to do a retelling of The Little Drummer Boy? (Savannah)

When I first had the idea about Tyre and the star.  I had never even considered re-writing the little drummer-boy before I had that idea.  I’d only really thought about retelling fairytales, like some of my friends have done.

Will you ever expand on Cat’s story (maybe a prequel or a sequel? That would be epic *nodnod*)? (Savannah)

I knew Savannah would ask that, so I’ve been mulling over this answer for a while. 😉 The answer is: maybe.  Strong maybe. I’ve thought about what a sequel would entail–what author could help doing that?  I’m hoping a sequel will happen, especially because it will involve more of the gospel, which would be amazing to try to write about!

Disclaimer: No promises, I don't know if it will come together yet.  As of now, I have no inkling of a plot.

From what I have so far, I think a lot of it will take place in Hynara, not Syrelia, which will be interesting.

Cat would still be the main character, as far as I know, and Lythia will have to be involved, at least a bit.  Tyre has refused to be left behind, and Jéru wants to be in a little.  Actually, Jéru really wants to do something rash and get himself killed.  I keep telling him that’s not allowed and is going to make my readers unhappy (and that–trust me!–he doesn’t want to face Ellen’s wrath), but he won’t listen. It’s like I’m the one human in the cosmos who can’t make him do anything!  Unlike Tyre, who I can convince of almost anything if I’m tactful, and Moth, who does anything I say without a moment’s hesitation.

As for a prequel, I have considered writing a longer version of Cat’s Forest, including her life in the city, or at least her early friendship with Lythia.  I haven’t put a lot of thought into that idea though.

How many months did it take you to write this story? (Savannah)
How long did it take you to write this? (Cerra)

I have “3/3/16” written at the top of the notebook page with the first part of Cat’s Forest written on it, and I finished in November.  Which would mean nine months. . . wow, I didn’t realize it took that long!  Writing always takes longer than I expect.

What was your favorite part to write? (Skylar)

Hm. . . probably the first one with Moth and Horbrid.  I love writing dialogue!  The conversation on the road with Tirim and Tyre was also fun (once again, dialogue!).

Do you like writing retellings or stories you come up with completely on your own best? (Skylar)

Well, that’s a hard question to answer.  Cat’s Forest was actually my first retelling.

(Unless you count The Sacrifice, which I guess was a retelling of St. George and the dragon, though it wasn’t exactly supposed to be.)

I don’t think I’ll ever stop coming up with original stories, but I’m starting to fall in love with retellings.  Personally, I think my strong point in fiction writing is detail, not overall plotlines, so I love retellings, as they give you a storyline to start with, and you get to add the names, the details, the characters, etc.

Are you planning on posting another story anytime soon 🙂? (Skylar)

Currently, there is no story for the blog actually in the works.  But there will most likely be one soon, because I can’t help myself, and I know you guys will pester me about it, like you always do.  You’re hard to resist.

What part was your favorite? (Cerra)

I’m pretty happy with how the last couple parts turned out, and the part with the fight on the road makes me happy, because so many of you liked it.


And that’s it.  Thank you all for asking great questions (they were fun to answer!), and for reading my story and giving me feedback!

It was super encouraging to know you all enjoyed reading Cat’s Forest!  How many of you would be interested in reading a sequel, if I wrote one?


You all have asked so many great questions about Cat’s Forest already, but if you have any others, please make sure you comment them on this post, before next Saturday:

“Catania’s Forest” Behind-the-Scenes

I will try to get the Q&A post up soon after.  Try. . . *nervous laugh* 🙂

(My fingers just tired to type “Tyre” instead of “Try”.  I have ruined my own ability to type!)

Anyway, some beautiful posts have gone up elsewhere on the internet lately, so I wanted to do a post linking to a few other writers.

Why you need a reading plan & good books for a new year

To begin with, my Mom e-mailed me this amazing post last week, and I wanted to share it.  “A book can be your feelings pulsing through the veins of another”. . .  It’s beautiful.

Remember the days

This poem left me just about speechless.  It’s short and sweet, but still holds so much meaning.  It’s well written, and it’s so hopeful.  I have heard messages like this before that feel despondent and sad, so I loved the quiet reassurance that these words carried.

Scattered Scribblings

And last but not (at all) least, my lovely friend Savannah Grace just started a series about character building on her blog, “Scattered Scribblings”, linked to above.  I have read several of Savannah’s stories, and she possesses a real knack for characters.  I’m not joking, readers, they’re epic–so I would recommend all writers out there to visit her blog and check it out, at least until the series is over.  (I would recommend sticking around though, as it’s just a great blog!)  Click here for a link to her first post.

Happy reading, friends!

“Catania’s Forest” Behind-the-Scenes

Catania’s Forest has been a bit of an adventure, but not one I regret. For one thing, writing it has given me a much different perspective on the Christmas story.  So much so, that’s it’s making me want to write more allegories or re-tellings.

This story (like all my stories, really) is inspired by and dedicated to my King, Jesus Christ.  It is also dedicated to all the little drummer-boys I’ve met in my life, from the black-haired one to the curly red-head; and to Emerald, and all the life he breathed into the Little Drummer-boy song.  I wish I could remember who inspired me to make Emerald up.  Also for my talented, stubborn, ornery characters and all their help.


The character who came first (surprisingly) is Tyre.  This centaur is mixed up with this story’s origin, and also with the subtitle.

Somewhere back in the scary recesses of my brain where stories ambush me and make me write them, the stargazing attributed to Narnian centaurs was connected with the Wise Men’s Christmas star.  Once formed, the idea refused to be forgotten.  What must naturally come next was Jéru’s flute, and Catania’s bow.

Continue reading “Catania’s Forest” Behind-the-Scenes

A post-Christmas post of ramblings

I should have realized how much Cat’s Forest would take over when I decided to post it almost everyday, in the busiest month of the year.  But I of course I didn’t.  Anyway, I didn’t post about Christmas much, except for my story.  I might do some deeper Christmas posts now, after the fact; but I think this was mostly a year of Catania, and that’s okay.

In the meantime, you should read this post that a fellow blogger of mine posted yesterday:

He’s Here: The Christ Candle ~ Ramblings of a Writer

This authoress has mastered the art of word-craft, and this post is simply beautiful.  The peaceful flow of the words is pleasant and calming, and it paints a crystal clear picture of the starry nightfall of the first Christmas.  You should read it.


Hopping down an unrelated bunny-trail, do y’all know about the whole “elf on a shelf” thing?  Well, my Mother found this, and I couldn’t help but share it:

So awesome, I really have no words.  I lost Santa elves about the time I found Middle Earth. 🙂

Merry Christmas, readers!!  Thanks for reading my rambles.

Catania’s Forest ~ Part Fourteen

Yesterday was one of the few days I didn’t need to post Cat’s Forest, so I thought I would post something else, but we were too busy,

I went to see Rogue One with some of my awesome people yesterday morning!  It’s a pretty intense movie, but still very good.  (First Star Wars to make me cry–congratulations, Rogue One.)  I had formed very great expectations (pun not intended) from the reviews I heard, and it did not disappoint!

Anyway, I’m super excited we got to this part.  In a way, it marks the beginning of the end.  (Which means Christmas is this week–how even?  I know everyone’s saying it, but how did Christmas get here so fast?)  It’s also. . . long.  As in, over a page. *cringe*  The parts just started getting longer and longer at this point, and there was never a place to break them up.  So here we are.  Consistency in length is something I’ve always been bad at.

Catania’s Forest: The Little Drummer-boy in Narnia ~ Part Fourteen


Catania awoke, and found everything about her dark. She sat up hazily, feeling strangely as if some sound had wakened her. She reached out and felt the heather beneath her, and touched her painfully dry eyes. She was still in her tunic and belt. She could not remember falling asleep, and she wondered what time it was. 

She thought it must be near midnight. No crack of sunlight seeped through any crevice around her door.


She froze as the faint voice hollered her name again. Slowly she reached out in the dark and grasped her bow.


She racked her brain, trying to place the voice. It was familiar. . . Jéru? What ever is he doing here? Her heart skipped a beat as the thought flashed across her mind: He is running away. He’s running at last, and he wants me to help him! What is to be done?

Jéru didn’t know where to find her, did he? If she kept quiet, he would never know she had ever heard him. Lord Nightseer was known for his pride and cruelty–he would hunt down escaped slaves. Catania knew all the risks. For a moment she sat still, torn between hiding in silence and going out. For an instant she wavered. Then she crawled forward, cracked open her hidden door, and slipped outside.

Continue reading Catania’s Forest ~ Part Fourteen


So earlier this week, I finally decided it was time to buckle down and finish Catania’s Forest.

I decided to make up a posting schedule starting next week, hoping that would motivate me to finish writing by the weekend.  And then I figured out I was going to my speech club’s practice tournament tomorrow, and. . . needed to finish my speech.  I decided to go ahead and try to do both, and write myself off a cliff, because I’m just like that sometimes.  I’m happy to say my speech is going fine (and I have the excuse that I just got home from China and am “technically” still jet-lagged, if it goes terribly), and (drum-roll please) Catania’s Forest went to the editors today!!  That sounds awfully official.  It’s really just my parents–but they’re awesome proofreaders.

So, all that to say, I’m done writing Cat’s Forest, and it should make it’s appearance on here. . . soon.  We’ll just play it safe, and not say anything more specific than soon. 🙂


“But his uneasiness wore off, and in the fine weather he forgot his troubles for a while.  The Shire had seldom seen so fair a summer, or so rich an autumn: the trees were laden with apples, honey was dripping in the combs, and the corn was tall and full. (75)
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hooray for September!  (And that’s not just because it includes September 22nd. *cough*)

I’m not looking forward to the busyness of the school year, but I’m looking forward to autumn weather.  (And that’s not just because I can wear my Strider boots without getting hot.)  I never thought I really liked fall, but it’s been growing on me.  Fall suggests everything lovely: fresh fruit; flame-colored leaves; gossamer and big, beautiful spiders (I like those as long as they don’t touch me. . .); crisp autumn mornings; cool breezes; everything pumpkin flavored; pretty scarves and gloves. . .

Happy autumn, y’all!

P.S. I got more info on Catania’s Forest up recently. . . it’s still not much, but you should get a chance to learn more soon.