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February 2017 Spotlight: Goals and Titles (Again)

by Kellyn Roth |
February 17, 2017

Sorry about the post being so late, guys. I’ve been distracted … by How to Train Your Dragon. What? I need to spend more time with my brothers, so … okay, you’ve got me; I like HTTYD. Then I’ve been in this kinda mood these last couple days:

And my family is like this:

And I reply:


Seriously, though, we’re gonna have an awesome spotlight this month. So read on, and you’ll … I don’t know. Enjoy this post. And just remember …


Today we’re gonna talk about goals. (And various other things later on, but that’s besides the point …)

Goals are fun. They’re a moment of insanity when you, at your most optimistic, decided you could actually do something.

Big mistake.

Just kidding. Goals are good. They help you keep track of what you need to do and when you want to do it.

For some insane reason, I thought it’d be fun to talk about my (writing) goals up until 2020, at which point I will presumably be in my freshman/sophomore year at college (assuming I go to college … which I seriously doubt … what’s the point?) or (more likely) waitressing and writing and wondering why such a bright girl could end up such a failure … 😉

Disclaimer: these are my wildest dreams we’re shining the spotlight on today. Please do not take them literally. They are subject to change … though I’d really like to accomplish all this, and I actually hope to accomplish even more in some cases.

This won’t make sense to you, but my goal is to get out of the 1800s (well, more like the  generation I’ve been writing about …) by 2020 and into the good old 1900s (and my amazing Ruby).

Of course, many stories I’ll have finished writing by 2020 won’t be published for years afterwards (I plan to write a lot more than publish, as you can see). However, I want to be writing nothing but Ruby as I get into the ’20s.


Write: Beyond Her Calling (hopefully for NaNoWriMo), Flowers (already completed), Caught in a Spell (a summer project), Interpreting Callie James (another summer project), and Once a Stratton (at least starting it).

Edit: At Her Fingertips, Flowers, Ivy Introspective, and The Dressmaker’s Secret.

Publish: Flowers (on my blog and maybe in ebook format, though not in a big, flashy way), Ivy Introspective, and The Dressmaker’s Secret (at the same time as IvIn).


Write: Once a Stratton (finishing it), Interpreting Callie James (finishing it), Potato PickerRiley’s Gift, and Alice Unanswered (hopefully for NaNoWriMo)

Edit: At Her Fingertips and Interpreting Callie James

Publish: At Her Fingertips and Interpreting Callie James (this may not happen)


Write: Of One Heart, The Lifeblood of Essie Farjon, and Cincinnati (alt. title: Only One Sky)

Edit: Beyond Her Calling, Once a Stratton, and Alice Unanswered

Publish: Beyond Her Calling (maybe)


Write: Only a Mother, Half a Man, Sail Away, and Battleground

Edit: Cincinnati and Of One Heart

Publish: Once a Stratton (I’m really hoping I can do this earlier, maybe instead of BHC in 2019)

As you can see, I’ve got a lot planned. I totally think I can accomplish it all. My mom thinks I’ve overscheduled myself … but she also thinks that I should eat better and sleep more. Can we really trust her? I mean, she’s trying to keep my healthy … that’s rather devious, don’t you think?
1 (featherdancer)

Now, let’s move the spotlight over to a story I’ve been working on here and there from before the time of Ruby (and … I’m not bothering to explain that now).

I think I started the first draft (titled The Misty Lake, and I wrote a surprising amount of it, too) when I was nine or ten … so a long time ago. Kinda. I mean, 5-6 years …

Think about it. I’ll be twenty-one in six years, guys. I totally expect to be married and on my second kid by that time. I think my first is gonna be a girl, probably named Ruby, and the next will be a boy … I keep going back and forth between Riley and Seamus. Your thoughts?

Hahaha, who said that? Totally wasn’t me … it’s not like my only plans for my life are to get married or anything … I have big plans! I’m gonna be president. Because by that time all the guys will be so wimpy that it’ll really be time for a female president … just kidding.

Back on subject.

This story is now called Caught in a Spell (see the cool cover way up there ^^). I’ve talked about it some here.

Basically, it’s a fantasy story about two banished princesses (ignore the cliché) and a random commoner who falls in love with one of said princesses (again, ignore the cliché) and a handsome prince who thinks well of himself and is therefore a jerk (I know, I know …) and an ancient prophecy (yeah, this isn’t even funny anymore) and a battle between good and evil (uh …) and a love triangle (okay, this is a joke … because … I can’t really explain, but there’s no love triangle) … basically, ever cliché in the book is in this book.

I thought I’d share the first part of this book. It’s sort of a prologue, only I’m calling it “chapter one” because it contains important information and apparently people don’t actually read prologues … which I find to be really weird. Even if you don’t like prologues, you can’t just skip over the story, guys!

The Prophecy and the Gift

A thousand years ago, the Lord spoke and all that is and was and ever will be began to exist. He created a world perfect, free of blemish. He made for Himself helpers, the Fey, to guide the rivers in their courses, to stretch the roots of the mighty oaks deep into the ground, to push the mountains up into the sky, and to watch over His creatures.

Then the Lord made man in His own image. But He gave man a brain, an unfortunate addition, for the man used his brain for evil, choosing the Lord’s sworn enemy over his Creator, and the world was filled with the Darkness.

Despite their choice, the Lord loved the children of man, and He made a promise to them – that someday, somewhere in the distant future, a Child would be born to save them from their sins and another choice would be offered. And this time the children of man might not be so stupid.

But that time had not come yet, and the wars between Light and Darkness were raged among the children of man. Some of the men chose to be controlled by the Darkness, but others chose the Light of the Lord.

Among the children of men, a very few were given a gift. Sometimes they used this gift wisely; other times they did not.

So the strange thing called ‘magic’ entered the world, a neutral power, oft-distrusted as it was oft-misused.

This is a story about an ancient prophecy made by one wisewoman in a northern kingdom called Killeen, a prophecy about a great sorceress who would take control of the kingdom and the four adventurers who would conquer her with ‘the greatest gift at all.’ It was a vague prophecy, and in a hundred years it became a bedtime story.

But the prophecy remained, and some believed in it.

I know, I know … it really stinks. But I’m not really a fantasy author, and I probably won’t publish it, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Now, onto the contest!


What You Must Do To Win

  1. Take one of the following titles: Cincinnati, The Lifeblood of Essie Farjon, and Potato Picker
  2. Guess what era the story is in.
  3. Guess what the story’s about.

The person who I perceive to be closest will win first place and so on. There are three places: first, second, and third.

The Prizes

1st Prize: my short story/mini novella Flowers in its entirety (although it is pretty awful … and first drafty … and all over the place …)

2nd Prize: a peek at the front and pack covers of TDS and IvIn (which you mustn’t share with anyone, of course)

3rd Place: You choose! (In other words, I couldn’t think of a third place, so we’ll talk about it and figure out what could be the third place)

I admit that 3rd place is probably better than the other two … but whatever. This is gonna be fun, anyway!

~Kellyn Roth~

Ready for this challenge? If so, what title did you choose and what are your guesses? What do you think of my writing/editing/publishing schedule for the next several years? Do you think I’d make a good president? Riley or Seamus? If Alice (from The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy) were to grow up and have a son, what would his name be? (What? No reason for asking …)

What do you think of my thoughts?

47 Responses

  1. Well if she had a DAUGHTER her name had better be GRETCHEN. But if she had a son…eh, I dunno. Let Peter decide. 😛
    And…um…Riley, I think. Partly because I always pronounce Seamus wrong so it sounds weird pronounced right, so…yeah, Riley.
    And your schedule is very impressive! 😀 I…do not have such a schedule. I get so many new ideas for books that even sticking to goals for that year is painful. So I could never tell you what I’d be writing in 2020. I’d hope I’d be working on the epic sci-fi still and maybe publishing things, but that’s probably not what’ll happen. BUT OOOH WHAT’S ALICE UNANSWERED ABOUT? IS THAT BOOK FIVE? I know that Only a Mother is book 6 because I was a creepy stalker of art shops on the ywp but I missed book five in there…
    But yeah, you are amazing, Kell! Publishing something every year…someday I’m going to be like you. I mean, I’m working on it right now, but someday it’ll actually come to fruition. And…I’m not really sure what I’m saying.
    Oh gosh, I even read some of Potato Picker! But I can’t find it now, so I guess I’ll just have to go off on memory…eep. I want to say that it was during the potato famine in Ireland (but another part of me is telling me that’s totally not true and I feel like it’s in America) and there’s this girl who is forced into an arranged marriage with this other guy. And they get married, and, um, potatoes bring them together. (Wow. Someone who didn’t even know what it was about could have done better than that.)
    Um. I’m guessing Cincinnati takes place…well, in Cincinnati. I just googled up historical Cincinnati events, and I’m going to say that it is about baseball. Because that wasn’t anywhere on there, but it sounds fun. Or it could be about the immigrants and stuff like that, but ehhh why not?
    And I don’t even know on the last one, so I’m not even going to guess. 😛
    Also, your prologue/first chapter isn’t all that bad! One thing I would recommend to improve would be to think about who is writing it and how that would affect the writing. Is it a scholar writing about it, is it the text of a passed-down legend, is it someone from the novel writing about it, etc.? It’s not necessary, but it’s something that I think could be really interesting. Also, I’m assuming that you mean for this to be highly influenced by Christianity, because that’s definitely how it’s going to be taken. 😉
    Agh, this is an extremely long comment. Well, enjoy it! 😀

    1. Oh, you know. Alice not being answered. *nods* And yeah, it’s book five.
      Okay, I’ll hopefully be announcing results tomorrow. So I can’t say anything right now. But you did get a couple facts right (shh, don’t say I said …).
      Thank you! I’ll definitely do that. I think I’ll have … hmm, maybe Jessa be telling it. Although she’s so skeptical of those stories … so it could be … ooh, it’s be weird if it was Alici … (ignore my plotting …)
      And yeah, the whole thing is an allegory which doesn’t really work, so it won’t probably be published. 😉

      1. Wow. Well, that’s helpful, Kell. Thank you so much.
        Oooh, yay! I mean, I’ve already seen the results, but I can still yay about getting some of the facts, right?
        Jessa sounds vaguely familiar…Alici doesn’t, but that’s a cool name! *waits to hear more about them*
        Nooo you should publish it! I shall help you with it. 😀

        1. They’re both from Caught in a Spell. (wait … duh …) And … let me see, Jessa is the princess and Alici is her mother. You might have read the first chapter? I think I posted it on my blog … or maybe I don’t …
          Well, maybe … but I’ll need a lot of help because fantasy is … hard for me. I mean, I love reading it (sometimes), but it’s just not my genre … and it always comes off cliché.

          1. WHAT? They’re from Caught in a Spell? Where did that come from?
            Sorry, excuse my sarcasm. 😛 Ahhh, right! I don’t know if I ever read the first chapter, but I do remember hearing a bit about it.
            I’ll help you if you want me too! I’ve read lots of fantasy and written some, so…hopefully I can help. 😉 And if I ever write historical fiction, then you could help me with that. *tries to remember if I have any historical fiction ideas* *can’t think of any at the moment*

            1. The only friend of mine who converted to historical fiction changed back after about a month of me trying to instruct her. Of course, the only real advice I gave her was on era-appropriate names and clothing … but that’s totally besides the point … 😛
              Thanks! When I get it to a ready-to-share-it-with-someone stage, I’ll ask you. 🙂
              Sarcasm is good … *has the feeling we’ve discussed this before at some point* *shrugs*

              1. Haha, that’s too bad. Oh well, at least most fantasy is semi-historical-ish. Much more historical than you usually write, but still…the middle ages were history… 😛
                *also feels that we have*

                1. I think if I were to place Caught in a Spell in an era, it would be almost before the time of Christ only more … civilized. (Yes, it really is a fantasy world … XD I’m bad at this …)

                    1. Okay, I guess that kinda doesn’t make sense … like, I know nothing about pre-Christ Europe, but … I feel like there were barbarians or whatever? Maybe I’m seeing this from a Roman mindset. Of course I am. But yeah, they wear more medieval/early Renaissance clothes. Their church system is medieval-ish, although people aren’t quite so bound to it. Honestly, I really need to work on so much stuff …

                    2. Hehe, I don’t know much either. In fact, it’s kind of weird to me that we do have records and stuff from Christ’s time…I get that it happened…but it’s so far back. *shrugs* I dunno.
                      But worldbuilding is funnn! It is really difficult and kind of overwhelming, but I really enjoy it, actually. Especially when you make up cool stuff.

                    3. I should probably just look it up at some point. But it is a fantasy … so I probably don’t have to be too specific. 😉
                      Well, I seriously just need to sit down and get all my thoughts organized into something legible … and I think that would be fun if I actually took the time to do it.

                    4. You should! (And so should I for my novels, to be honest. I have some stuff, but other stuff is just kind of not developed or floating around in my mind, and that’s kind of a problem.)

  2. Oh my sweet baby caramel apple crunch the Meet The Robinsons referencessssss … Armygoodness that was awesome. XD
    Darn, girl. that’s a lot of writing you’re going to be doing … I BELIEVE IN YOU THOUGH! GO KELL! WRITE LIKE THE WIND! AND EDIT AND STUFF! I’m with your mum though, sleep and food are good too, sometimes. 😉
    I’d say Seamus. *snods* Caught in a Spell is fabulous, child. I remember way back when you had like this lil power point thingy for it at a birthday party … *stares off into the distance* Now there’s a beautiful cover and it’s all grown up … *sniffles*
    Ooh! Ooh! Alice must name her child … Wow. My mind is blank … Batman. Or … Connor. Or … Idek … Something excellent. I still think Batman would work …

    1. Meet the Robinsons is THE BEST! 🙂
      DISLOYAL DAUGHTER OF A FLY!!! Don’t you know that eating and sleeping interfere unnecessarily with my precious!?!?!? (writing, I mean …)
      Batman sounds good to me … *has weird ideas*

  3. Wow, you sure have a lot of writing goals! I’m in awe of how everyone can write so fast–I’m pretty sure ky novel will take about two years to finish. The first draft. XD
    Ooh, a contest! I’ll probably fail since I haven’t read any of your novels and don’t reall know your style, BUT I KNOW YOU WRITE A LOT OF HISTORICAL FICTION. *nods* I think I can actually win this…
    I like your writing/editing/publishing schedule! I want to make one too now! (Although, I already gave, and it consists of two years of writing IMS… XD )
    YOU’D MAKE A GREAT PRESIDENT, KELL. (Any president is better than the one right now… Wait. I’m going to jinx it. NO NO NO I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.)
    Riley! Ruby and Riley sounds awesome together. Actually, it sounds better like Riley and Ruby. Ooh, what would be great is if you married someone whose last name started with R… or maybe we could just rebel from the rules and go with YOUR last name. XD
    I don’t know a lot about Alice, so I’m going to just be really random and say CHESHIRE. 😛

    1. Ack, I don’t write all that fast. I just pretend to. 😉
      Yeah, historical fiction is about all I do … XD
      I would actually kinda want to be a president like him – just a little … quieter … and less prone to … talking … or shouting … or whatever – but that’s besides the point. The point is I’M RUNNING IN 2040!!! Or later … more like 2050! I actually probably would make the worst president ever, actually … I’d either be doing eenie meanie minie mo for important decisions or spending so long over each one that there would be no decision to make …
      Roth is not actually my last name … though it is a first name I considered. 😉
      CHESIRE! XD Poor kid …

      1. Nah, compared to me? You are a cheetah.
        Lol! I seem to do a lot of dystopianish writing??? I love to make twisted worlds, so… XD
        Don’t shout on Twitter, ‘kay? 😛
        XD I feel you. #indecisive
        :O Well, you’re gonna have to find someone with an R last name cuz then that will be ALLITERATION, AND ALLITERATION IS COOL. 😉
        The way we torture our characters…

  4. Oh my, that is a lot of different works to write! 😀 As for Seamus or Riley, definitely Riley. Definitely Riley.
    I’m going to pick the title ‘Cincinnati’ to describe. I’m pretty sure it takes place in November of 1929, right after the crash. And… it’s basically about people during the depression who have just lost everything. And the end result would probably be something about finding hope in the midst of despair… or something like that…
    P.S. I’m sorry to admit, Kellyn, I don’t think you’d be a great president. All your speeches would end in ramblings…. XD But, I may still vote for you, if you don’t wear pantsuits. (I would be able to vote by then, since you can’t run for president until you’re 35 :P)

    1. Pantsuits!? NEVER GIRL! I’d wear classy skirts and dresses … or just jeans. Wouldn’t that throw them off? They’d be like, “This lady is wearing this gorgeous dress … and this lady is wearing this gorgeous dress … and wait, is the President wearing jeans, a ‘Allergic to mornings” t-shirt, and tennis shoes? Mmkay … interesting fashion choice …”

          1. It could be either… depends if you would like the media calling you racist or sexist, or whatever the media call unconventional Republicans… 😉

  5. Okay, I’m going to guess Cincinnati! The 1900s, and maybe it’s about a detective or The Great Depression (is that capitalized? Oh well). (Also, not reading the above comments, at least trying not to. My own thoughts.) Can I guess two? If I can’t, just don’t count this one. The Lifeblood of Essie Farjon is in the 1800s, about a girl growing up, presumably wealthy. And it’s going to distract you from getting back to the 20th century. (Don’t count this one either, but Potato Picker sounds like it’s either about slavery in the 1700s or farmers in the 1800s.) (My, what a lot of parentheses I use. You’re being a bad influence on my ramblings XD)

    1. That’s an interesting question … do you capitalize The Great Depression? Seems like you should …
      Yeah, you can definitely guess two or three. 🙂
      (Parentheses are awesome. (They’re kinda like comments within comments. (They make things less confusing. (Or just the opposite.)))

  6. I think that “Potato Picker” takes place in the 1940s and is about a 15 year old girl who lives on a run-down farm in the Midwest. Her father and brother have sailed oversees to the war leaving herself, her mother and two sisters behind. To help support the family farm, the three girls take care of the animals and harvest the potato crop. She is willing to put aside her own dreams for awhile as the war rages across the ocean. She works in the fields, carries loads of potato baskets, and sings with her sisters to pass the time.
    – Megan Joy

  7. WOW. You never cease to amaze me with your energy, Kell. 😀 I have full confidence that you’ll complete all your goals!
    Btw, I spent two or three hours today finishing reading Ivy Introspective, and girl-IT’S AMAZING! Can I have your autograph?! 😛 Can’t wait till it’s published, and thanks so much for giving me the pleasure of being one of your beta readers <3

    1. My energy? Uh … yeah … my energy. *glances at sugar* It’s all me own … 😉 Just kidding.
      Thanks for beta-reading! It was amazing to have your feedback. Oh, do I have you on my list of beta-readers? *goes to check*

    1. OH MY GOSH THAT SERIES IS SO GREAT!!! A new season came out recently, but I won’t be able to watch it until we get back from California. I mean, I watched the first eight or so episodes on Friday, but I can’t watch the rest until we get home … I’M SO EXCITED! 😀

    1. p.s. I just realized that ‘work on religions’ makes no sense … basically, it’s kinda an allegory, so I’m really stressed about writing a story that portrays magic in a world that has God in it because that seems to offend a lot of people and ……. yeah. I’m just trying to work it out.

    Seamus. *nods scholarly* Seamus is the one (although i have no idea how to pronounce it)
    have I said I love the CIAS cover? well, i love the cover1 😀
    I love your plan! It’s really ambitious, I dream big (haha, blog name ref) but i feel like most of my dreams stay dreams so your plan is really wow!!
    ^(that rambley thing was a compliment, i swear)
    Yes, you’d make a great resident! amazing! tell me where to cast my vote! 😛

      1. haha, still! WOW! #mindblown
        Hmm… irish? I’m really bad with genealogy. I think that’s the word? im so sad, I can tell you the word for some parts in your ear, but i don’t remember genealogy. #imtotalgoals

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