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Three Years Ago It Began

Three years ago today I was supposed to be writing a research paper.

Three years ago today I got distracted, as I do fairly often.

Three years ago today the characters Xavier and Zenia were born.

 

It’s humbling to consider all that has changed in these three years. What began as a way to pass the time turned into my own way of answering all the questions in my life that can’t easily be asked.
It started with a simple idea. I had seen a commercial earlier that week about a TV show involving witness protection. Witness protection? That sounds interesting.
Sixteen-year-old me had plenty of free time, but I wasn’t dedicated enough at that point to actually research witness protection. So what do I do? I make up my own world with my own rules. And then I plop a few characters onto the world.
Oh, the characters.
I can say straight off that the characters I called Zenia and Xavier were not the same then as they are now. The Z and X I know now would scoff at their earlier selves and probably chastise me for making such bland, one-dimensional characters.
Hey, I was sixteen. And I was bored. It’s not like I was planning on writing a book.

It began with two names: Zenia and Xavier. Zenia was the protagonist because she was a girl, and I’m a girl, and it just made sense. Duh.
Zenia was going to be in witness protection. Because witness protection sounds cool. Duh.
There had to be a reason she was in witness protection… MURDER! Because that’s an exciting way to start  a story. Duh.

The story was a way to  entertain my friends (then caught up in the Twilight-obsession) with girlish giggles as they read the scenes where the all-too-perfect Xavier character came in to protect Zenia. In the beginning, when it was only about Zenia, he had no qualms with protecting a pitiful little girl who witnessed a brutal murder. Who would?

I kept up with writing the story–no real plot in mind–for a few months. I can’t tell you exactly why it changed, other than the fact that I decided I wanted to actually finish the story. Maybe it was a few weeks earlier that my brother had told me I would never finish the story because I never finished anything. He was right. I was a quitter in a lot of things, especially if I didn’t get my way. I could’t stick to anything for any matter of time. And if something became too difficult to deal with… I quit.

But the only thing I hated worse than doing something I no long felt like doing was someone telling me I couldn’t do something. So I promptly told my brother that I was going to finish this book, just you wait and see.

And I did, approximately eight months later.

I believe that is truly when my characters were “born.” That is when they gradually became fleshed out with personalities, quirks, and pasts. They suddenly became something more than a way to pass the time. They became a way for me to sort out the uncertainties in my life. They became my friends when I was lonely. They became my family when I was home from school, alone. It stopped being about giving my friends some entertainment and it became something I would cling to when I was in some dark moments of my life. My characters, unlike everything else in my life, remained stable.

If you’ve read my post “The Meaning Behind Mark of the Corripian” then you have somewhat an idea behind why I created my characters the way I did. People have wondered why I made Zenia a softer, more sensitive heroine. There was a reason for that (which you can read in my previous post). And yes, she will grow tougher in the following books. But my biggest concern is whether or not she will be able to retain her loving, gentle personality after all that she most do in the war to come. War changes people, and I am eager to see what that will mean for Zenia in particular.
Then there’s Xavier. His past is brushed upon in Book 1, but Book 2 will go far more into depth. A few more flashbacks… Some very dark. His past wasn’t all unicorns and daisies, if you hadn’t already gathered that. And I don’t see a need to cut corners in conveying that to the readers. Xavier was involved in some pretty sketchy stuff, and that’s not going to disappear just because he couldn’t remember it. It also means he doesn’t get to avoid the consequences of his actions. There always are some. And in Book 2, they may involve Zenia.

So there’s a little idea of what I’m working on in Book 2. (; For those of you who keep asking me when it’s going to come out, I hope to finish my first complete draft this summer. I’ll let you know more when it’s closer to that time.

Before I close, I want to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who has stuck by my side from day one (Oh, and thanks Virginia for being my #1 go-to girl for excessive discussions–possibly very one-sided–on the Corripian Chronicles, especially Xavier. I’m sorry for ruining all the surprises. Thanks for being a good sport!). Thanks also to Sarah Kathryn and Susanna whose friendship has stretched many miles and many years without wavering. You two also tie as my #1 go-to people for story discussions… And you politely listen to my babbling even when I surely sound like a psycho. *quietly applauds*

It’s been a long time coming–but also so very, very short. Three years ago, a story was born. Three years ago I could have never imagined I’d be where I am today.

But I’m so glad I am.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“The value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity.” -C.S. Lewis

Hello, again!

I write to you today during one of my classes (sshhh, don’t tell anyone). Don’t worry, though, I can multitask very efficiently. *nods solemnly*
So, the past couple weeks have been quite interesting for me. Firstly, if you haven’t noticed already….

MARK OF THE CORRIPIAN HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN RELEASED!!!

Yes, well, it is true. The day has come (8 days ago, actually), and Mark of the Corripian is officially available for purchase in paperback and e-book format. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet,  you should get one! I’d be delighted to hear your opinion on it.
Before that happened, I attended the Write-in-the-Middle young writers conference at Montevallo University on 20 February. I enjoyed speaking to the middle schoolers and I’m so excited to see where they go in the future. Who knows, maybe one of them will become a best-selling author one day! And I get to say I knew them. (;
Back to the release date of MotC. You may wonder why I did not blog on that very special day. Well, that is a good question. I probably should have found the time, but I had a couple tests to study for aaaaand… It just didn’t happen. I thought about it, though. It’s the thought that counts, right? (No? Well, okay.) I’ve actually thought about blogging a lot over the past few days. Yet, something always seemed more pressing, such as hanging out with my new friends (shout-out to Bailey, Mary, and Sara), watching random movies or TV shows, or writing on Book 2 (I don’t apologize for this one). Though, speaking of TV shows, I’m currently slightly emotionally involved in the show “Arrow. ” A friend of mine who  lives six hours away watches it at the same time as I do, and we discuss it over text. It’s quite an exciting adventure, though often frustrating since the characters do stupid things REPEATEDLY. (Oliver, you know I’m talking to you.) But that’s okay, because in the end it’s only a TV show. Obviously the only real people are the ones in books…
Speaking of books, I have started reading again. (I have phases when I don’t read for a while, and then I remember that I actually enjoy it, so I return to it.) Currently I’m just reading what is required in my World Lit class, plus a few extra stories in my excessively large world lit book. I’ve decided to read Beowulf since I haven’t had a chance to yet (this is for you, Susanna), and maybe I’ll finish it before I finish this semester of school (fingers crossed–I can be a slow/distracted reader at times).
Oh, and I thought I’d answer a question today that I’ve been getting from a few people.

Question: How do you find time to write while keeping up with other aspects of your life?

My Answer: Life? What life?
Okay, just kidding, I have a sort-of life. One of my main characteristics is that I like to plan. I like to know what is going on at exactly what time, and if something needs to be done next week, well it’s all the better if I finish it this week instead. Procrastination is one of my greatest pet peeves, and I often give procrastinators strange looks because I cannot understand their lifestyle choices. (If I have ever given you one of these looks, I apologize. Please, carry on with your life as you see fit and ignore me.)
So, what does that have to do with writing? Much and little at the same time. When it comes to writing, my planning and non-procrastination mottos are completely abandoned. My books have no plans (except for their beginnings/endings and a few key scenes). If I should be writing on Book 2, and I really don’t feel like it, well, chances are, I will find something else to do, such as doodling or watching a movie or going to bed before any of the other college students even begin to think about sleep.
Now, with that said, I still do manage to find the time to write, BUT, I only do it when I am in my “writing mood,” which, sadly, is not any time of the day. If it were, I would have had the entire series finished in maybe a year. Unfortunately, unless I am mentally prepared for writing, nothing will happen. I will end up staring at the words on this computer screen and getting NOTHING done, which benefits no one. So, how do I solve this grand predicament? I do as much homework, studying, etc., as soon as I can so that when I AM in a writing mood, I will be able to devote a section of my day to writing and not regret it later. I usually limit myself on the time I spend on homework (60-90 minute intervals), but with writing, there is no time limit. I write until I cannot write anymore, even if the time leaks into my bedtime (gasp!). Sometimes that is thirty minutes, sometimes it’s two or three hours. The results also vary–sometimes I write 2-4 chapters, and sometimes I manage to finish a single scene.
Late last year (or maybe it was early this year) I made a goal to write 2,000 words a day. Since I’ve gotten to college, that goal has become rather impractical for me. As said previously, I’m only occasionally in the mood to write, so if I were to force myself to sit down and write, I’d only manage to type out garbage. For some writers, this is what they make themselves to do, and it works for them. (Not the part about the garbage, but about forcing themselves to write daily.) However, I’ve found that if I try to do that, my mind will get boggled, and I will only frustrate myself as I stare at the screen for hours on end (yes, this has happened before). So, while some authors will say that you must write EVERY day, I disagree. I think it’s good to figure out what works for you personally, even if it means spending a little more time to complete your work than other people believe is fit. Who are they to tell you how long you should spend on it? It’s your creation. Do what you know is right!

That’s all I’ve got for today. Here’s a jewel for you before you go. This was me on the release day of Mark of the Corripian:

Team Corripian, right here!

Team Corripian, right here!

Got my book, my t-shirt, and–you can’t really see it, but–my necklace with the mark of the Corripian on it. Represent.

Have a safe week, and say something nice to someone today, tomorrow, and the next day. Because nice people are cool.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” -Plato

Hello, wonderful people!

I am currently writing this while waiting for my laundry to complete its drying process… And the coldness of this room is distracting me greatly. *Sigh*
Okay, so let’s begin with some news! Firstly, Mark of the Corripian is currently available for purchase in paperback format! It’s available through AmazonBarnes&Noble, and Books A Million. Get your copy today! And if you are a book reviewer and would like a review copy, shoot me an email and I would be happy to send you one.
So, I’m in college now. It’s definitely different living in a dorm, but so far I haven’t been homesick…like, at all. Sorry parents, but living away from home is fun. I can stay up past my bedtime and be crazy and yell and scream and blast my music and no one cares. (Okay, let’s be real, I still go to bed at or around 10pm, and I typically like to be quiet because that way I can observe people around me.) So, unfortunately(?), coming to college has not forced me to become your typical exciting, sleep-deprived, coffee-drinking college student. I wake up before 7am even though my first class doesn’t start till 9, and I like to finish my homework BEFORE the day it’s due. I am allergic to procrastination. *shudders*
Before you think I have led an incredibly dull life as a college student (I mean, dude, you haven’t lived until you’ve stayed up all night!), I’d like to inform you that over the past couple of weeks I have befriended ten of the most awesome human beings ever.

My new friends!

This is a group of students from Korea Christian University who visited Freed-Hardeman University for three weeks (my dorm mom is standing in the back, and there I am in the front left!). I cannot even begin to describe how these wonderful people have encouraged me and brightened my day on multiple occasions. They are so welcoming and loving, and I am so blessed to have met them, even if I only got to hang out with them for a short while. They introduced me to many different aspects of their Korean culture, including some really spicy food (check out my Instagram for pictures!), a Korean movie where a bunch of people died (no English subtitles–I was lost the entire time), and a bunch of random Korean words that I love to say at random times (which always cracks up my new friends). I felt like a little kid at times after I’d learn a new word…for instance, I learned the word for “cold,” and, conveniently, it has been cold nearly every day here! So, of course, every time I was walking with them outside, I would proudly utter the Korean word for cold, and they would all get really excited, saying I was a “genius” for remembering. I would mentally pat myself on the back and continue on enjoying their company.

Friends!

These girls have been especially special (especially special?) to me. In merely three weeks they’ve shown me what it means to be a true friend, and I will never forget them! We’ve shopped at the local mall, gone bowling, played at the arcade, shared six different flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robins, watched a few movies with Korean subtitles, and eaten a couple different Korean meals together, not to mention the many other meals in the university’s cafeteria.
These wonderful people left for New York today, and later will return back to Korea. I am so excited for them to continue their journey, but I am also sad to see them go. I happily stayed up past my bedtime on various nights just to spend time with them, and I would gladly do it again. This experience has been quite an adventure, and so I give a shout-out to each of you: MJ, Ssoo, Ann, Jenny, Sodam, Kong, Hee, Kim, JK, and Shim! Thanks for being awesome friends and I wish you the best of luck in the future. God bless.

Now, onto other book news. I’ve been writing periodically on Book 2–I typically try to work on it a little each day, even if it’s just to read over what I’ve written and brainstorm for the future. So far, I’ve made it to around 40,000 words while keeping up with my homework, so I’d say that’s a plus. My roommate is certainly enjoying my little writing spurts, as I’ve occasionally asked her for her help on words I cannot think of (I usually figure them out after a minute or so of intense thinking, so her help typically goes unused), and on a few occasions I have flopped over groaning because my darn characters just won’t do what I want them to. Gosh, Xavier. Quit being so annoying.
So shout-out to Michal, also, for putting up with my writing shenanigans and for being cool enough to tell people that I’ve written a book.
Since I’ve been in college, I’ve had this crazy thing called free time, and I decided to make a video of pronunciations from Mark of the Corripian. You can check it out here:

Aside from that, I attended the B’ham Local Authors Expo and met some pretty cool people! One of them also thought I was cool, and she was so awesome as to host me on her blog! Check it out here and also take a look at her novel, Heir to the Lamp! Oh, and if you look at the before mentioned blogpost, there is a giveaway for Mark of the Corripian, so don’t miss out! You must enter before 28 February!

That’s all the craziness of my life that I can think of to share with you right now. I hope you all have a safe and blessed weekend.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis

Big Plans for the Future!

Hello, everyone!

I’d like to start off by saying THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who have already read Mark of the Corripian! It’s slightly unreal to hear from people who have read–finished–the book, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. And it hasn’t even been officially released yet!! (That’ll be on February 25th, by the way.)
Another thing I am so thankful about is the encouraging feedback I have gotten so far. I love to hear people discuss the characters and scenes, and it entertains me greatly to hear the different theories people have about what will happen next! (No, I’m not going to tell you who the murderer is.) Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like to discuss any of these things, or of any questions that you have! (I may or may not be able to answer, depending on whether or not it gives away something from a later book.)
Speaking of later books, I’ve been working diligently on Book 2! This one is going to be SOOOooooOOoOOoO much more awesome than MotC, in my opinion. To give a little sneak-peek into what you’ll be reading, I’ll say that a lot of secrets (particularly regarding Xavier’s past) will be revealed, and the true nature of the SCA will be completely unveiled. In fact, half of the book will take place AT THE SCA. Whoa. Real life.
Now, about the rest of the series. As most of you know, I will be writing a total of four books with these two protagonists. The first, Mark of the Corripian (releases 02-25-14), focuses on introducing the two protagonists, Xavier and Zenia, and getting the reader acquainted with the Academy. The second book (title sort of a secret right now), will delve deeper into X’s past and greater explain the SCA. Oh, and some stuff about the Corripian, too… ;) Book 3, which will probably be my favorite, will explore the lives of the NIHILIANS!! YESSSSSS. They are my favorite. So, yeah, Nihilians. That’s all you need to know about that book. And Book 4? The finale of the matter? That one will be all about Praevalius and the Praevalen and the Corripian War in general. And death. Lots of that, so don’t get too attached to anyone… Good stuff. *nods*
Now, if you noticed earlier, I wrote that I will be writing 4 books “with these two protagonists.” Why? Because I’ll be writing more books! (Probably…if I find the time.) One will be a prequel to the series and the other one/two will be a spin-off series set after the conclusion of the Corripian War and choreographing the aftermath of the war (with all new characters). So don’t fret when the series is over… Because it won’t be really over! (Unless you want it to be over…then you can just pretend it is.)
Going back to Book 2, I will say that I have almost kept up with my 2,000 words-per-day goal… I’ve slacked off a few days, but have written/edited at least a little every day since I set my goal, which is far better than what I did for the first book. I’m setting a goal for myself to finish this book before my 20th birthday (December 8th). I believe I can do it!! It will just be very interesting to see how much time I am able to devote to writing while going to college… Which will begin in less than a couple weeks! I’m super stoked.
Now, in other news, I will be having a book signing at the North Shelby Library this Sunday, January 12, at 2 pm. Be sure to drop by if you’re in the area! I’ll be giving a brief presentation about my book before holding the signing. I will  be selling pre-release copies of Mark of the Corripian in print($15) and digital($10). (Digital versions will be available while supplies last.)
Aside from that, I recently had an interview about my writing and publishing process that is featured on al.com. If you’d like to check it out, click here!
Another thing to keep in mind is that I’ll be at the Local Authors Expo at the Birmingham Library on February 1st. Details are on the “Events” tab at the top of the page.
For all those who have read MotC, I would greatly appreciate it if you could visit Goodreads and leave a quick review or rate my book, just to help get the word out! It’d only take you a few seconds. If you want to check out Mark of the Corripian on Goodreads, click here.

Thank you so much for all your support.

Farwell to all,
B.H. Parker

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Hello, everyone!

This week has been super exciting for me because I RECEIVED MY FIRST SHIPMENT OF BOOKS!! Of course, these are pre-release copies, meaning that Mark of the Corripian is not yet available from book stores. It is, however, available directly through my publisher or directly through me. Also, if you are interested in reviewing Mark of the Corripian, send me an email at bhparker@ymail.com and I would love to send you a copy!
Before I forget, I would  like to give a shout-out to all the wonderful people who have already purchased books from me! I had an overwhelming amount of support the FIRST day I received books, and it was so encouraging! …Though also a little frightening. I guess I haven’t  thought about it before–really thought about it–that now that people own my book, they will be reading it. That means they’ll know all about Xavier and Zenia–my children, practically. And I’m still not completely sure how I feel about that. You’re probably thinking–’But that’s what you wanted, right? People to read your book?’ And yes, I suppose that’s what happens when one publishes a book. People read it. *shivers*
But I guess what some people don’t understand is that this book has become very personal to me. I crafted the characters, the scenes, and the story in general, to sort out different things in my own life. Maybe that sounds weird to you–especially since Mark of the Corripian is based on a different planet with characters who possess superpowers–but that’s just how my mind works, I guess. All the characters have bits of me in them–my good qualities, my bad qualities, my fears, my struggles, and those things that I never let anyone else see. So I guess it’s a little frightening for people to read this book because it’s as if they’re reading my story. It’s the story of how I feel on a daily basis, my thoughts on other human beings, and also the person that I want to be. Of course, if you read Mark of the Corripian, you will be very confused, wondering how in the world it is about all that because the story really has nothing to do with those things. But it does. Every chapter, every scene–I could tell you exactly why I wrote it and what it means specifically to me. Even the little parts of the book that might seem pointless or unnecessary–they mean something to me.
I can tell you specifically one part of the story that holds the most meaning for me: Xavier Patrocinor. Yeah, he’s the super awesome male protagonist with a bad attitude and pretty eyes, but he’s so much more for me. I created him–a character with a chillingly brutal past in which he was responsible for bringing harm to multiple people–because I wanted to know–I needed to know–that someone who had made so many mistakes, someone who had strayed so far from the person he wanted to be, could still turn his life around. This was important to me in both a moral manner and a spiritual one. Growing up, I’d always been very critical of people, picking out all their mistakes and imperfections. Looking back, I guess this was my way of feeling better about myself–no matter what I did, at least I wasn’t bad as those people. This viewpoint shaped me into a very judgmental–even bitter–person. I could no longer see the good in people, only the bad. Anything a person did, even if it was an act of kindness, I would try to figure out the meaning behind it. Certainly the person had a hidden agenda. No one is kind just to be kind.
It wasn’t after I began writing this story that I began to change my viewpoint. If you’ve read my earlier posts, you know that the story started off strictly in Zenia’s POV, and Xavier was simply a supporting character. It was after I made him a main character, after I began to formulate his past, after I began to really get to know him as a character–no, as a human being(because that is what he is to me)–that I started to see the world differently. Xavier is a part of me that I am not proud of–untrusting and judgmental. He is also a part of all those people that I would look down on a few years ago–people who have made mistakes they regret (and, of course, this is a part of me, too). And Zenia is in many ways the person I want to be. She is forgiving, trusting, and gentle. She doesn’t see people’s pasts; she sees them for who they have become, and she sees their potential.
I’m certain that when some people read my book, they are going to be disappointed that Zenia is not your typical “strong heroine” who holds her own and never needs anyone else’s help–especially not the help of a male. I did not create that kind of heroine for many reasons, but specifically because I wanted to consider what an innocent, gentle, and loving young woman would do when everything she knew was taken from her and she was thrown into a war. What would happen if she was chosen to lead a cause she didn’t believe in? Could she do it, could she go against her belief in peace and in the thought that all humanity is innately good? Could she hurt another person–could she kill in the name of peace? These are all questions I want to answer in the Corripian Chronicles. These are questions I need to answer.
So, all in all, I guess my reason for writing is figuring out the answers to all the questions in life that I can’t just ask any one person. Xavier and Zenia have given me hope on many days; they’ve shown me that everyone should be given a chance. They’ve encouraged me to strive to be a better friend, a better Christian, a better person. They’ve showed me that I can’t just believe in something–I need to have conviction in my beliefs, and I need to act on them.
Two fictional characters have taught me more than I ever thought was possible. I understand that this book will probably not mean as much to those who read it as it does to me, but I hope that in some small way this book helps you to see people in a new light, or at least gives you a few pages of entertainment. I thank all of those who invest in Mark of the Corripian, and I give you a virtual hug for being awesome. (:

Have a delightful Christmas, and be sure to see the good in someone this week (and forever after)!

Farwell to all,

B.H. Parker

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” -Romans 2:1

Happy, Happy Day!!

Hello, there, internet travelers!

Today is such a special day, it makes me quite giddy inside. Firstly, it is my protagonist, Zenia Curser’s birthday!! *tosses confetti*
And if that wasn’t exciting enough……..

MARK OF THE CORRIPIAN is now available for purchase!!!

Click Here to Order Mark of the Corripian!

Keep in mind, this is not the official release of the book. It is currently only available through my publisher (and directly through me at book signings and other events). But now is the perfect time to get hyped up about it!! I also have t-shirts for sale ($10) to get the word out for the book. Currently the shirts are only available for those who live in my area, but if anyone really, really wants a shirt, I would be delighted to find a way to get it to him or her!

As far as the writing portion of my life goes, things have been very slow lately. Book 2 has been giving me quite a lot of trouble, and I haven’t made much progress in a while. But I’m remaining hopeful because this school semester is winding down, which means I will have plenty of time to devote to writing!! (For at least a week or so…)  I’m really working on planning this book out since I did absolutely NO planning on Book 1 (not a great idea, folks). And it turns out that planning can be quite stressful because, well, my characters have minds of their own and they don’t always like to go along with my plans! So then I must figure out new plans to go along with my fickle character’s crazy life decisions, and that is rather frustrating at times. Yet, it makes this whole process all the more entertaining for me.
Onto the (leisure) reading portion of my life (which has been rather dormant for a while): I have started re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia… There is something so beautiful about the way C.S. Lewis writes, and I know I can learn a lot from him. I love his simple yet descriptive imagery and the way his characters are so personable! (Quite unlike Xavier–he really needs friends…)
Anywho, I believe that is all I have today. My family is having friends over, so it’s time to clean the house! (Oh, goody) Be sure to check out my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram for other information about the book! I will also be having a contest soon in which you can win a free promotional t-shirt and an autographed copy of Mark of the Corripian. Details will be on my Facebook page. Have a blessed day and keep reading!

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. -Proverbs 3:3 (NIV)

Hello, all!!

I hope this post finds you well! Personally, I’m having quite a swell day because it’s cloudy outside and the temperature is mild and the leaves on the trees are changing colors! OHMYMUFFINS IT’S FAAAAAALL!!! Just so you know, this is my favorite season (pop quiz later, so remember that). And speaking of favorite seasons, Xavier’s is winter (because it’s cold and he’s very, very warm natured, so the low temperatures are actually comfortable for him) and Zenia’s is late spring (because that’s when her favorite flower blooms). Yup. Fun facts.

SOOOOOooooo. About the book. Things are taking so very long, causing my stress level to runneth over the very small cup that I am able to cope with. ;–; But that’s okay because it’ll be over soon (I hope). And I’m not talking about the book in general; I’m talking about the actual process of getting the book to the finished form which all of you will read. I’ve gone through a lot of bumps in the publishing road, and the before mentioned stress has managed to block my creative juices (on multiple occasions). I’ve written around 70,000 words on Book 2, but I can’t seem to continue at this point (which probably means some major editing is in my future). Instead of writing, I’ve found myself watching quite a few television shows since I found out that my dear brother has a Hulu Plus account. *v* And I’ve found that  TV shows can actually help those creative juices get to flowing again sometimes!! Yay!! Haha if you’re wondering what kind of shows I’ve been watching, here’s a few I can think of: Prison Break(the ending was HORRIBLE), Grimm(I love the fairy tale references), Once Upon A Time, Graceland, NCIS/NCIS LA, and AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. (Did you see the one in all caps? Yeah, that’s like my favorite show OF ALL FLIPPIN TIME. If you haven’t ever watched it, WELL WHY NOOOOOTTT??? Go watch it. It will make your life better. Seriously. Oh, and I just started this new show called “Tomorrow People,” and it sounds promising.

All right, so as you can see, I’ve been spending quite a while doing much “research” (the word I use when my mother asks me what I’m doing). AND NO, IT HASN’T BEEN A WASTE OF TIME. It’s given me some great ideas, actually. I’m a very visual person, so sometimes  seeing something acted out versus reading it in a book can help me to visualize a scene in my head that I’d like to use in my book. I think this is one of the reasons I like manga so much. Haha.

Yeah, so back to book things. At this point we are looking at the end of November for the availability of Mark of the Corripian. Keep in mind that this is NOT the official release date. It will not be available in stores online at this time; it will only be available through me (I will have a link on the website when the time comes) or through my publishing company. It will be available in paperback and e-book. But the official release date will probably be in or around February.

Aside from that, I have a couple local events that I’m going to be involved in soon. This weekend I will be at a Ladies Expo at Faulkner University in Pelham, and next month I will be speaking at a local library for “Homeschool Hangout.” I’m actually hoping to have books to sell for the one next month! (Fingers crossed!)

I believe that’s all I have for today. Here’s a picture for you:

My favorite A:TLA character

My favorite A:TLA character

Yes, this is completely unrelated to my book or anything that has to do with writing, really. But that’s okay. I just want to share with you the awesomeness that is Avatar: The Last Airbender. And further encourage you to watch it so you can get to know my favorite television character EVER.

That is all. Have a swell day.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (NIV)

Hello, wonderful people!

It’s been a VERY long time since I blogged, and I apologize. I will try to get you caught up on everything in this post!!

I will start off by telling you about my summer. The first big thing I did after graduating was getting my hair cut! This was a major ordeal for me because I had not had short hair since 10 years ago! I ended up getting 12 inches cut off, which I donated to Locks of Love. My best friend, Virginia Dyer, supported me in this nerve-racking event. I can proudly say that I made it out alive and unscathed!!

Donated 12 inches to locks of love

Donated 12 inches to locks of love!

Through June I mostly focused on editing Mark of the Corripian (it is, as of now, fully edited), and writing Book 2 in the Corripian Chronicles. In early July I went on a mission trip with my youth group to Honduras, where we helped build a house for a local family. I’ve always heard that going on a mission trip out of the country is an eye-opening experience, and I now truly believe that. It was wonderful to be able to see the way the Hondurans lived with what we as Americans would consider next to nothing, yet they were such joyous and thankful people. Their faith in God was also very inspiring and uplifting. Even when they had no food to eat, they trusted Him to provide, and He did.

Hanging out with the sweet Honduran kids!

Hanging out with the sweet Honduran kids!

Shortly after Honduras, I went on a second mission trip to Kentucky, where my youth group worked at Potter Children’s Home. This was also a great trip in which we worked to serve the families of Potter and to glorify God in our work.

Sweet girl from Potter

Me and a little girl from Potter!

Somewhere in between these mission trips and everything else that went on in the summer, I also got my cover image for Mark of the Corripian! Credits for this beautiful cover goes to Kathryn Kramer, my graphic designer.

Corripian Chronicles Book1: Mark of the Corripian

Corripian Chronicles Book1: Mark of the Corripian

It makes me so happy just to look at it, so I hope you all enjoy it, as well!!

As I said before, Mark of the Corripian has been fully edited. The next step in the process is layout (designing the inside of the book), which will begin in September. After that will be printing time!! We are hoping the book will be available for purchase on the publisher’s website and this website in NOVEMBER. That’s just in time for Christmas shopping!!

I promise to do a better job at keeping you all updated when I have new information. For one, I have some promotional items that are available for anyone who would like them!

Push cards and Bookmarks

Push cards and Bookmarks

If you would like one, please email me at bhparker@ymail.com

Also, if you have any questions about me, the book, or writing, feel free to contact me at the same email! I would love to discuss any of the above with you if you are interested.

That’s all I have for today. I hope everyone has a safe Labor Day weekend.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13 (ESV)

Good evening! I hope this post finds you all quite well!

I suppose I shall start off with a little update on the editing process… I’ve finished my first round of edits and shall send them off to the editor by the end of this week (after I look over them for the umpteenth time). Aside from that, I’ve also been working on the second book in the series, which is coming along quite nicely. I’ve learned that it really helps to actually have a plan for a story before writing it down…
Anywho, this is a little random, but today I acquired a new friend!

My new rat, Cassandra "Cassie" Webb

My new rat, Cassandra “Cassie” Webb

Oh, look, there she is!! She was sort of an impulse buy (thanks to Virginia Dyer for the peer pressure), but I’m glad I got her because she’s so cute and sweet. Plus, she gets along great with my other two rats (for now)!
You might be wondering why in the world I would decide to purchase a rat out of the blue. Wwwwwell, the main reason is because she sort of reminds me of a character from my series (just go with it). The girl in the series, Cassandra “Cassie” Webb, has white hair and pink eyes just like this little cutie. So, naturally, I named her Cassie. I’m going with the story that she’s my graduation present because guess what? By the end of this week I’m going to be a high school graduate.

I AM SO EXCITED.

Though, I still haven’t truly accepted it. At this point it’s kind of like *shrugs* Yeah, I’m graduating. People do it all the time.

BUT THIS TIME IT’S MEEEEEE!!!

Yeah, I’m a little excited/weirded out/I don’t know what I’m feeling. It’ll be cool, I’m sure. Getting out of high school and stuff. *shrugs*
SOooooOOoo. Back to book stuff. I thought I might as well answer a question today, just because I can’t think of anything else to blog about. Here it goes.

Question: What led you to begin writing Mark of the Corripian?

My Answer: I began the story because I was bored, honestly. I was supposed to be writing a research paper on polio and something else, and I decided to begin a little story while I was taking a break from research paper writing. The story was a complete mess at that point. It was told solely in Zenia’s point of view, though in diary entries. (It’s embarrassing to even speak about.) The main plot revolved around Zenia being placed into witness protection, which has carried over to the final version. But pretty much everything else has changed. Anywho, back to my reason for writing it.
I’ve never been very good at expressing my thoughts and feelings in spoken words. If you know me very well, you can probably understand what I’m thinking/feeling by the expression on my face, but a complete stranger would most likely not know how to take it. When I was younger, I enjoyed making up short stories about animals, mostly, and so I guess I’ve always loved storytelling, though I had never put forth the effort to complete a full-length book.
MotC was my first  shot at a real story with likable characters and an intricate plot. Though, if you know me, you know I’m not good at just doing the bare minimum…I have to go all out and do my best possible work. Which means one book turned into a series of four (possibly six-seven) books that have all been thoroughly planned out. And through this whole process, I’ve found a way to express myself, as cheesy as that sounds. I’ve found friends within my characters, and I’ve been able to use this as a stress-reliever. I write because it calms me and helps me clear my mind. The day that changes–the day that I write because I HAVE to, and not because I WANT to–is the day I will stop writing.
I pray that that day will not come, and I thank God for blessing me with this talent in the first place. Without Him, I would not be writing at all.

Anyways, I hope I answered that question. And I hope you all have a wonderful night and a wonderful rest of the week!

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” -Jeremiah 29:11

Hello, there! I hope this post finds you quite well, indeed.

I’d like to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has been supporting me through this publication process, and for your enduring patience. For those of you who are wondering why in the world it’s taking me so stinkin’ long to finish editing, I will try to answer as simply as possible:

I’M A PERFECTIONIST.

And not just any kind of perfectionist. Like, grammar nazi on steroids with a need to change every little thing over and over and over again. I guess that’s a really bad trait for an author because once my work is in a published book, it’s out there for the world to see, and there’s no going back. But, that’s just how God made me, so I’ll roll with it. (;

Anywho, I think I’m finally getting to the point where I can actually put something into the final version of the manuscript. I’ve gone through character cuts, character personality shifts, scene deletions, and plain old word cuts. It’s been rough at times, but at this point, I’m really proud of the story I have laid out. And I hope others will really enjoy it, too.

While it’s on my mind, I’d like to quickly thank all those who have helped me with editing and brainstorming over the past few months… My wonderful creative writing class (McKenzie, Madison, and Sara) and teacher (Mrs. Taylor), Morgan Carter, Jacquelyn Hovey, Sarah Kathryn Eubanks, and Susanna Kaletski. I’m not sure you guys realize how helpful your comments and questions are, but I don’t think I would have gotten as far as I am without you. And don’t ever be worried about offending me! Haha.

All right, so back to editing and such. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be editing, but I do know that I should soon have a cover photo for the book. I’ll share that with you guys when I get it!

Aside from that, I’ve also been working on Book 2 in the Corripian Chronicles. Once again, I scrapped it all and started over, but this time I mapped out what I want in the story. I’ve found that this can be very beneficial, versus my old way of simply writing as I think it up (it works sometimes, but usually just frustrates me). I still have random moments when I’m about to go to sleep and I suddenly get a SUPER DUPER AWESOME idea for a character/scene, and I have to hop up and write it on yet another sticky note, which I had to the rainbow-ordered collection on my wall. (; Really, the best scenes come when I least expect them!

Oh, and this is a little late, but Xavier had a birthday a few days ago!! April twelfth was his special day. And that just so happens to be the same day my wonderful father was born! What a coincidence!!

And, speaking of birthdays, I believe today is also a very special day… Which means I’d like to give a shout out to one of my first readers and an Xavier fan to the core, VIRGINIA EVELYN DYER. I love you, best friend, and I hope your day was filled with happiness, more icing, rainbows (because they’re pretty and, obviously, in rainbow order), and possibly flying unicorns (because that would be kinda interesting). And thanks for putting up with my obnoxious obsession with talking about my story and stressing over it. Your patience with me is truly amazing. I applaud you.

All righty then. That should be all for tonight, dearies. Have a fantastic night and guess what? Tomorrow’s Friday. And Fridays are fantabulous.

Have a safe weekend! God bless.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.” -C.S. Lewis

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