Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bullet Point Poetry?

Some true facts:
  • NaNoWriMo starts (for me and other Pacific Time Zoners) in 50 minutes.*
  • I am tired.
  • My sister is listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on her iPod.
  • I am overhearing it.
  • It's distracting.
  • I really love Harry Potter.
  • It's dark in here with the only light being the screen of this computer and a spotlight on the keyboard coming from the brand new solar powered IKEA lamp.
  • I think the solar lamp is pretty darn cool.
  • For Halloween, I had turkey and way too many Aero bars.**
  • I also watched some bad movies on the HDTV that my dad is ardently in love with.
  • The first four chapters of my novel are planned. After that I'm "pantsing" it.
  • Pantsing is a term I learned at the NaNoWriMo kickoff party that I attended in Vancouver today. 
  • It was fun.
  • Pantsing is derived from the term "seat of your pants", not pantsed as in someone pulled down your pants unexpectedly.
  • I was intending to stay up until midnight to start my NaNo as I did last year.
  • I'm not sure I'm going to stay up because, as mentioned, I'm tired.
  • It just occurred to be that I could start writing right now and no one would know.
  • Thinking that made me feel a little dirty and cheaterlike.
  • I guess I may as well stay up.
  • It's decided. I'm staying up.
Here are my pumpkins. I was delegated to carve all three of the family pumpkins. I suspect this is because my sisters are lazy but I'm choosing to believe it's because they have great stock in my artistic abilities.
 Mockingjay pin! I'm surprised that it turned out okay, to be perfectly honest.
Emoticon pumpkin. I had four symbols on there including <3, : P, ;) and XD
Last, but not least, Harry Potter pumpkin. That one was HARD. Just sayin'.

As for the layout, I made this image quickly after I wrote that post. The things I like about it are the grass background and the font of Raving Persuasions. Other than that, I'm not really sure. Do you two have ideas for what the text should say? Otherwise, maybe we could do no text at all except Raving Persuasions really big, simple, like Vita suggested. Anyway... 


*By the time this is posted, that sentence will be outdated.
**I heard somewhere that you Americans don't have Aero bars. True fact?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The one night a year it's okay to take candy from strangers

I'll admit it, I'm 15 years old and Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays. Candy + dressing up + running around at night ringing doorbells. What's not to love? I've heard there's some ordinance in my town that those over the age of fifteen can't trick-or-treat--i.e can be denied candy, which is unfortunate (and yet another sign of my town being run by teenager-hating crotchety old fools who think we exist solely to deal drugs and loiter. . .), but because of my stature I don't think I'll be questioned. Besides that, I'd reason to say that most people wouldn't be coldhearted/observant enough to openly question people on their doorstep doing nothing more than soliciting sweets. Halloween is a holiday very much founded on trusting other people. E.g: Has this random adult somehow tainted the wonderful lump of sugar they've handed me? Will the evil teens egg the hell out of my house?* Is that chainsaw fake? And so on.

I searched the blog for other posts about Halloween from last year, read them, and now, AN OBSERVATION:

Good god, I've gotten better at writing. If not better, I've calmed down significantly. I mimic Maureen Johnson/obnoxious 4chan speak less. (The latter was done purely to be ironic, which I realize now wasn't really ironic. . . The former was done somewhat unintentionally, just because MJ's blogs are better than mine, sincerest form of flattery and what have you.)

Apart from Halloween (which became the main topic of this post suddenly), there are--less than, the html gets confused when I use the math symbol. . .don't worry, sad html, math confuses me too. I share your inanimate pain.**--2 days until Nanowrimo. Excitement. Also: 26 days until (US) Thanksgiving, 55 days until Christmas, and 20 days until Deathly Hallows Part 1. Doesn't that just put things into perspective?

Footnotes:
* I have a feeling this is just another horrible stereotype. Or this generation has blossomed into considerate, meek celebrators of Halloween, the prank only immortalized in film lore.

** That personification had no real point, but the sentiment stands. Unrelated end to this blog that I could've left in the comments of Alex's blog but am choosing to state here, blatantly not following directions by doing so: 1. Yeah, it's fun. I try not to leave too many things in drafts, but one day I might just mash all the unfinished ones together, as some sort of deep-glimpse-into-my-thought-processes/I-am-too-lazy-to-finish-a-blog type thing. 2. I'm up for a change, I suppose. I'm not good with HTML (evidenced by my inability to use the less than symbol to any effect), but will offer opinions on any possible alterations.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear Paper Towns, I love you

This isn't a blog about Paper Towns, I just need to say that. This blog can be dedicated to PT, though. That's fine with me.


DISCLAIMER: I never said I wasn't a bitch. I'm in an irritated mood. People are grating on my nerves. Hello outlet.


People sometimes bug me. And by sometimes, I mean a lot. I don't know, maybe this makes me a bad person but some habits just get under my skin. Can I list some and keep a sense of decency and respect?

  1. Overuse of sarcasm. I'll admit it: sarcasm is fun. It's enjoyable and makes you feel smarter than everyone else and inside of your own little social commentary. But if you use it too much, it isn't cool anymore. And by too much, I mean if I can't tell when you're actually being serious because I cannot differentiate from the attempts at dramatic irony. Also, it alienates people and hinders thoughtful communication. Stop acting like Jess from Gilmore Girls and grow up.*
  2. Texting while having a conversation with other people. It's just not acceptable. If you're going to come into my house and eat my food and watch my television, please don't be having a 'what's-up-nothing-much' conversation via text with someone else.
  3. Being so damn passive aggressive. If you want something, either be direct or shut up. I'm so exhausted by those snippy little comments that just prove to me how insecure and cowardly people are. And I know not everyone's self esteem is exploding out of their auras but your passive commentary is not helping anyone. If you have something to say, say it because I'd prefer to think you're a demanding crazy person than a manipulative whiner.
Okay rant over. Two more things, with a lot less angst:

  1. It's really fascinating to go through draft posts that are never published that I think we half expect people to read when we write them. It feels kind of sneaky and deceitful but it's too tempting to resist.
  2. Does anyone think it's time for a new layout? It's kind of hard for me to admit as I'm so used to this blog header, background, etc. but I think we need to refresh. Let me know if you agree in the comments. (And, if you do, any ideas for a colour, background image or header? It'd be cool if I could get it done before NaNoWriMo, if we're going to change it.) What think you?
*Don't change for other people, though, kay?

Monday, October 25, 2010

LIFE

I have approx. 5 minutes to write this post if I'm going to make it with my 10:30pm goal. The goal of going to sleep by then, that is. Of course, this means that I'll be neglecting my squillions of homework assignments that are due Wednesday/Thursday/Friday but hey, sleep triumphs over, well, most things. RIGHT?

Anyway... Well, hey there. Let's catch up. How have you been? Have you missed my lovely virtual face around this corner of the internet? I BET YOU HAVE.

In exciting news, I AM GOING TO THE HARRY POTTER MIDNIGHT PREMIERE HOORAY HOORAY. I'm totally shocked by this -- how was I to know that my mother would be wonderful and allow me to go? It's a school night. It's going to be so much fun. You'd better believe that we're dressing up.

Here, have a look at one of my draft blogs that I never finished and thus never posted:

"Things I Have Learned this Week:

- I can safely cross "journalist" off of my list o' possible writing-related careers. Here's the thing: I believe that journalists have one of the most important jobs available. I believe that all of the news sources need to fire their biased* reporters/journalists and their journalists/reporters that don't like to research. I believe that good journalists are honest, level-headed, intelligent, hard-working, demanding, extroverted (or at least good at suppressing their introversion), skilled at writing, and well-informed but even more so possessors of a desire to become well-informed.

But fuck I'm too uncomfortable around people to be an honest-to-God journalist. I like people, I'm not an awkward caterpillar all aloney on my owny, and I think I'm actually pretty good at pretending to be confident even if I'm not, but I don't like demanding things of people, even if it's just an answer to this MOTHEREFFING QUESTION on this MOTHEREFFING PLANE. The thing is, once I start interviewing somebody, I'm totally fine -- I kind of get into it and sometimes I even improvise questions!! Oh my gaaah! However, these were people that I know, yet even so, the prospect of interviewing them seemed supremely unappealing. I see this other place as well -- I never *want* to do stuff, but once I actually do it, I usually end up having fun.

*that is, biased outside the uncontrollable realm of slight human bias"

Well, now, wasn't that brilliant and moving? Did you cry? I bet it made you cry. Cry TEARS OF JOY and EMOTION, that is.

Let's just say that I WILL NOT be a journalist and move the heck on. Did that require so much effort, self from three days ago? NO. Why don't you write about interesting things, self? WHY?

Anyhoo, I have four minutes to get ready for and hop into bed, so come back next time PLZ.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When life gives you lemons, make them into horcruxes.

Kidding. Jeez, I'm not the type to kill innocent people so I can live forever. That's absurd.

I've gone to this writers' conference for the past three or four years. They have a young writers day that I go to each year and every year I get more out of it, this year being no exception. But I actually volunteered for a change as well as attending so I saw both sides of it and my take away increased tenfold. Needless to say, I am confused.

One of the parts of the conference is the Blue Pencil appointments. This is when you print off your first chapter and a writing professional will read it and give you feedback. I had a fifteen minute appointment with Elizabeth Engstrom, a published American writer, and she gave me a lot to think about. First, she read three pages of my novel while I sat in anticipation. When she finished, she told me I had a great voice, she loved the emotion and it was generally good. She pointed out a couple areas I should focus on but overall she was extremely positive which scared me but I guess it's good to have a published author pump your ego. She also told me that I need to pick one protagonist, which was hard to hear but I think I agree.

Thus my novel is turning into something I don't particularly recognize with every aspect from plot to POV up in the air. Not dividing the story into three anymore makes sense but it's going to need extreme reworking and though I'm excited about the possibilities of that, I'm kind of itching to write a new story.

I think I have a title though. Lemon Squared. I think I like it and it's given me an idea that will add a dimension to my love interest which is good.

I'm pretty sure I'm doing something new for NaNoWriMo. Maybe I'll get to the end and never want to look at Ro and Bakery Boy again, or maybe I'll reach December 1st with an urge to finish their story. Either way, I'm going to be happy with it. And I'm getting a major RELAX vibe from Vita so I'm going to attempt to listen to that. NaNo will come and everything will work out and it'll be fantastic no matter how it turns out. And that, I hope, is a promise.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thinking of an interestingly vague title is time-consuming, let's skip it

It's Saturday again. Let's talk about things. Care to go first?

*stares deeply but blankly into your eyes through screen* *stares *smiles*

I started this post about 25 minutes ago and this is all I've written, just so you know. Nanowrimo is going to be a piece of cake. */sarcasm* I'm horrendously bad at multitasking, by which I mean too good at multitasking for my own good. Tabbed browsing will be my downfall, I can taste it. It tastes like blueberries.

At first I thought I was going to be smart and write a short story anthology for NaNo, meaning I would be able to pick and choose through five or so different plots and only have to write 10,000 words on each. Then I realized that would require thinking of five separate, complete plots.

**See, self? This is why your routine falls to shit on Mondays, because you kill brain cells in front of the shiny, flashy, Interwebs into the wee hours of the night and then make up for it by sleeping until noon the next day. This must be incredibly healthy.**

Sometimes I wonder if I should blog on these days; when I procrastinate blogging until 11 at night and then just ramble. Is this really any better than no blog at all? This is not a rhetorical question. If that question was applied to a larger context than blogging, it's actually vaguely philosophical: how can it be proved that anything is better than nothing at all in a given situation? Or this is complete nonsense, like all good philosophy, it depends on how you think about it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Too Early, More Sleep Necessary

I'd like to say that the reason I did not blog yesterday was to give more front page time to Rena's lovely piece titled some hooking phrase on giraffe love. That would be lying and though many say that fiction writers lie for a living, I'm not going to do it needlessly. I'd also like to have another reason that I haven't blogged on my assigned days in nearly two weeks, instead snagging any other day during which I was reasonably close to a keyboard and had a glimmer of a message to give to you. I don't have another reason and so I sit her, at 11:12 on a Friday with the shower beckoning, to tell you that in the last three days, I've learned some stuff.

It really throws me out of my routine when I put myself in a situation where I must wake up early (or what I consider early, around 7-7:30) any number of consecutive days. I can never quite get over that feeling of my entire life and death resting on the fact that I stay in bed and get those next two hours of sleep. It doesn't go away and I'm jealous of all those schoolies who've learned to shove it in a dark corner. I have to resort to Alex Day-ian measures to force myself out of bed.* Each time, it's awful. It also gets worse each day, as I wait impatiently for my reprieve. Tomorrow is the fourth and second last day of this insanity.

In case you're wondering why, I'm getting up for my writing craft. To better it. To meet the purported masters. To fraternize with the enviable published. It's a pretty cool conference and I'm very lucky it happens every year in my area.

I'm tired. That's my thing. I don't really want to get into it now, maybe Sunday when I'm finished donating my weekend life to volunteering. I'll just say that I had an author read three pages of my novel, she raved about it and gave me a couple valuable things to think about and, because of this, I am now as unsure about NaNoWriMo** as ever and am doing a pretty significant edit to my novel, starting as soon as I have time. Run on. Tired. Showering. Talk to you later, after I've introduced Diana Gabledon on Sunday.

*By this I am referencing his bungee jumping video, where he says whenever he needs to work himself up to something he always tells himself he doesn't *need* to do it. And that makes him want to do it. Likewise, I tell myself I don't *need* to get out of bed, that I could stay here and sleep and miss out on whatever cool stuff I'm supposed to be waking up for. Unfortunately, this just makes me kind of miserable for a while, especially as I stare into the mirror and realize I look exactly the way I feel.
**My issue now is that I shouldn't be opening up a new story, a completely new project, when I still have this old one nagging me to finish and query agents. I may end up using NaNoWriMo to finish my last novel, though I know that's not strictly the point. I've got a week and a bit to make up my mind. We shall see what happens.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Elaborate Daylight Fantasies: Giraffe Edition

(. . . Is a string of words that have never occurred on the Internet before. Fancy that.)

Before I begin, if our blog statistics are anything like the vlogbrother's viewership (which I know they aren't, in terms of number, but humor me for a second.), then this will be THE MOST POPULAR BLOG OF ALL TIME*. Because it's about giraffes.

Using my newfound knowledge of giraffe mating habits, specifically the head-ramming-urine-drinking-ovulation test, my mind formed the picture I will now attempt to describe in words, which may not be funny to anyone else but me because it's not drawn (I would if I could), and/or because I am mentally disturbed and/or easily amused:

So there are two giraffes in tuxedos, i.e at a highschool dance or somesuch, holding cups of pee, and one says to the other, "Yup, it tastes like partytime."

And that's about it. Sometimes I have these little fits of cleverness and feel the need to share.

Footnotes:
* On this site. That I have written. Or maybe not. If you got here by Googling "Elaborate Daylight Fantasies: Giraffe Edition", or any variation thereupon, I wish to personally congratulate you. Because you are awesome. (By "awesome" I mean "likeminded to me", which means I'm indirectly calling myself awesome, and making it worse by pointing it out. Gah. Goodbye.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Simplicity

Does anyone else ever wish that life was simple? As huge a fan as I am of imagining people complexly, I'm also a fan of simplicity. I wish I didn't own as much stuff as I own. I wish more people could see the patterns that I see. I wish relationships could make sense and that I could turn transparency on and off. I wish my life was simple, that fixing my novel was simple, that relating to people was simple, that repairing this broken world was simple.

But no I don't.

In favour of getting back to regular sleeping habits, I'm keeping this short. For once, I'm going to stop being so attention seeking and point your focus elsewhere.

Did I mention my older sister got a blog recently? She's kind of in this in between stage of life right now and I don't know what's rushing towards her but I'm sure it's going to take her someplace amazing and I can only hope that I'll be able to handle this wild and crazy life of mine without her constantly around to make me smile. And so I'm hoping she will continue to blog even when she's not in her room, twenty feet and two doors away from me, but in more extraordinary places with lots of diverting adventures to keep her away from me.
A key part of this is for her to feel the blogging love so, for purely selfish reasons, I'm asking if you'll please read some of her posts and perhaps write a comment of your own. You won't regret it.

http://dft.ba/-waitingforyou

(yes, I really wanted to use that new link shortner curtosy of dftba records. Sue me)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Re: Re: Problems

I'm in the same boat as you, Vita, in that I have a low A in an honors English course and still think to myself occasionally, "Do, BETTER, bitch! This is your THING--the one subject at which you can excel, so if you don't then you fucking fail at life." Which, I realize, is unrealistic. Realization doesn't change much. This was painfully demonstrated to me via the aforementioned standardized test*, wherein the first portion was a series of 50 punctuation/grammar-related questions to be completed in 30 minutes. I got through 38 of them.**

I'm still going to try and better myself both according to school standards and personally.*** Alex explained so eloquently why there is still hope in this quest for betterment (I just managed to turn "raising my grade a few percentages" into something terribly epic-sounding. . . I digress.) that I'm not trying to out-encourage and out-wise her sentiments, but rather, I agree.


Footnotes:
* Looking back, I blame my gloating/profession of love for them in the previous blog. Karma.

** FFFFFFUUUUU-- *facepalm* They are not graded, my future cannot be determined by 12 unanswered questions. . . *repetitious mantra*

*** E.g in essays and writing creatively, the class I'm in now completely ignores non-literary question related writing, which I find a nice division. Essays are for school, creativity is for NaNo, and ne'er the two shall meet (in my opinion).

Re: Problems

Vita:
I see your last blog as being about two different things. The first is that you don't feel like you're doing your best in English, to which I say you have high standards but I get that, being an over achiever in English, too. The other is that you're doubting you're writing. I shall now respond to both, in backwards order because I'm feeling like that.

I don't personally believe that some people are naturally talented at writing. Maybe they are, but I don't see it. I think some people love writing. They love words and working those words into beautiful (or funny or thought provoking or intense) sentences. That passion for words can become talent (if you want it to).

When I was a kid, I loved writing in my journal. Did I think I was talented? Maybe. Did I think my journal entries were clever and amusing? Hell yes. Was my spelling horrible? Pretty much, though it actually wasn't too bad. Did I have any ideas about sentence structure or how to write an essay? Absolutely not.

But I loved to write so I did and, eventually, through reading a ton of books, I learned how to use grammar and different vocab words to enhance my writing. I can now use commas and apostrophes effectively! Hallelujah (funny word, that)! A couple years ago, I took an essay writing class and gained that skill as well. I've been constantly working, even just by reading and writing more and more, on getting better at it and would I call myself talented? Sometimes. But it doesn't matter so much if I'm talented. I want to write compelling pieces and I try to do that. Every so often, I come out with something I'm really pleased with and that's enough for me. I still have doubts, I just try to ignore them.

What makes you think you're bad at organizing? I found your blog post extremely organized. It really took the reader by the hand and it stuck with me. I get what you're feeling. It made sense. But to your question, you are never irreparably broken, and if it's really important for you to be better organized, you'll figure it out. Trust me on that.

On English classes, I've never been to a physical one, but I've taken online ones for the past three years so I get the type of stuff in them. Being good at English, in my opinion, means being able to read critically, respond to questions on what you've read critically, formulate your thoughts into sentences, follow sentence/paragraph/essay writing procedure, understand and identify literary devices and, as in most classes, figure out what your teacher wants and give it to them. Creative writing is kind of a different thing here but it is included partially in foundation Language Arts classes.
So what it is you're having trouble with? Your teacher doesn't like what you write creatively or what? Because writing is an art and it's subjective so not doing well on that is kind of silly, I think. Not sure what to tell you. Sometimes teachers can have issues.

By 'looking for other options' do you mean thinking of other careers? Because if you love writing and you want to be great at it and get paid to do it, then you should. End of story, or beginning, depending on how you look at it.

Rena: Isn't it awesome that there are two posts in a row that are titled 'Positivity' and 'Problems'? That's diversity.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Problems

Teachers have told me that I'm good at English. Friends who have casually read some of my essays or other writing pieces say that I write well. My mom says that I have a talent for the language (as mothers are somewhat obligated to say). I've been pretty proud of some things I've written in the past, if I do say so myself. I think that I am good at English.

But what does that even mean, to be good at English? Good at what? Getting high marks on papers? Writing? Reading? I don't know. I can't consume large amounts of text in a small period of time, like some people can. I write honestly: what sounds good, something that I would want to read if I wasn't myself. Despite what I may have said in previous IRL conversations, I do work hard at my English assignments. I think about what I want to say and then I try to capture my thoughts as honestly as possible. That's the best I can do. I know my writing is flawed; I know I have a lot to learn. I try to be open to suggestions and criticism because I know all of that. I try -- sometimes unsuccessfully - to correct myself according to the critiques of teachers. But I don't want to conform to some hard-lined standard in which you have to say this and this and this in order to be good. I want to write how I want to write. And if other people don't like how I write, well, maybe I'll never get published, but at least I'll be honest.

The real problem lies in this year's English class. It's hard. I'm barely maintaining an A, and while I'd be satisfied -- if not exactly happy -- with that grade in most of my other classes, it's sort of shaking my self-esteem. I'm constantly reevaluating myself: do I truly have a talent for writing, or is it just that have I previously written well in comparison to other people my age? Does my teacher miss the point, or do I try too hard to be poetic? Does the class I'm in ignore the creativity of writing, or is is simply too difficult for me to measure up? Objectively, there are certain things in my writing that I know I need to work on -- namely, organization. I always have a lot to say, but I have much trouble in finding the key point I want to make. It's floating in fragments around my brain and I can't always patch together the pieces. But am I beyond repair? Do I need to start looking for other options?

It's a disorienting thought, but one that I must contemplate. I'm only sixteen, but sometimes I feel like so much of my future has already been decided by my past.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Positivity

I haven't been particularly cheery in my recent blogs. (Given, there's been nothing to be cheery about, excessively cheery people are often annoying, and the more I type "cheery", the closer I come to typing "cherry", so let's stop.)

What I mean to say is, today was jokes. I am choosing to verbalize/celebrate it via blog.

-- Standardized testing tomorrow! I'm the only person in the history of the public school system to actually enjoy these*, I'm aware of this. But, it's half a day of filling out multiple-choice questions on things we're supposed to know anyway, half a day teachers letting us off easy because of the testing. And not being given homework assignments because there are tests tomorrow.

-- I've spent the time I'd normally spend doing homework being self-motivated and bettering myself in an uninstitutionalized setting looking up amusing novelty songs on YouTube.**

-- It's officially autumn now, the leaves are changing color, further quasi-poetic seasonal musings. . .

-- The Rocky Horror episode of Glee is coming up. :D


* I should specify that I do NOT enjoy midterms/finals. They're different.
** Behold, word salad lyrics in full effect. Both examples provided, as MJ once said, are like cheerfully (there's the cheer again! Must get thesaurus. . .) going insane.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

NaNoWriMo Nerves

Twenty-one days until NaNoWriMo, yes? I have a vague idea of two characters and one scene in my mind. Not sure where this leads but I'm kind of excited, kind of losing hope. I need to sit down and do an outline. This is what I'm told, anyway. I'm kind of nervous though and this may be for a couple of reasons. Possibilities for nervousness:

  1. I did ridiculously well for word count last November. I was consistently ahead due to a large amount of writing I did in the beginning and I finished a day or two early, if I remember correctly. (Uh, Alex? This isn't exactly something to be nervous about. Yes, it is, self who talks in italics and refers to herself in third person, just wait for it.) This leads me to believe I have been lulled into a false sense of security from what could have simply been luck last year. This paired with number three down there is a problem.
  2. I don't have much of a plot. Or any plot at all. I feel kind of tapped creatively and everything I come up with is hugely clich├ęd which sucks. I don't know what to do. I'm worried and I'm not really the type to consult my muse. I don't have a muse. Sometimes I have ideas. Sometimes I don't.
  3. I don't want to write the same thing again. When I read through sections of my novel that are unchanged from 11 months ago, I feel like dropping my head down on my keyboard. It's that bad. And I know the point of NaNo is to get the story out, quantity over quality, but I'm not so sure I'm into that idea anymore. What's the point if I'm just going to scrap most of it anyway and have to rewrite? I want to do it right the first time, or at least write something that it doesn't kill my soul to read. This is probably going to slow me down, wanting to be poetic and literary and lyrical and not cliche. But I'm not going to sacrifice my literary soul so I can spend a month writing 50,000 words of lame dialogue, extreme character flaws and descriptive passages that make me want to stab myself. I just won't. If that means losing, I guess I'm okay with that.
  4. My characters, thus far, are stupid and flat. They're more of the same and probably unrealistic and I don't know how to make them original and unique. I wanted to say dazzling there but I couldn't. Thanks, Stephenie Meyer.
Am I being a downer? Whatever. You know what I want my novel to be like? This. Yes, I just referenced something I wrote today. Yes, maybe I won't be able to be that poetic for 1667 words every day for a month. But it's something, right?

What are you feeling about the quality versus quantity issue? Tell me in comments.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Redundant Blog!

This may be cheating. It feels like cheating. But, as a.) NaNoWriMo seems to be the current topic of conversation and b.) I am literally falling asleep at the computer, here's this, again:

I've started thinking about NaNoWriMo, folks. In order to do it proper seriouslike this time, instead of making a snap desicion on about the 20th of October to just WRITE about WHATEVERTHEHELL because the Internet* was doing it. Granted, it was fun, but not fruitful.

I'm at the library (surprise there. Even when half of my peers in a two-mile radius are cramming themselves into a stadium for some kind of record-breaking-attendance-at-a-high-school-football-game-type thing. OVER NINE AN ESTIMATED TEN THOUSAND!!! No joke.), looking for books**, when this impulse Google (Google is good for impulsive, impatitent people. Options. Answers. Random crap to get distracted by. All at the click of a mouse.***) found its way into the search bar:

"humorous YA fiction books with narrators who have autistic siblings"

Only two books**** were mentioned in the results, both of which I've read and overall kind of disliked. Why I disliked them, I now realize, is because they were not my life on a silver platter (in a silver binding?). Their voices weren't mine. Which isn't any fault of the authors, I'm just particular. So, instead of waiting around for it, I'm setting out to write the fricking Holy Grail of books.

(I.e: A coming-of-age tale very loosely based around my own life, whilst being more interesting/wittier/heartwarming and such. Being issue-oriented but entertaining, and*cough*mostimportantly*cough* being written by me.)

Why not? Write what you know, as they say. And I'll get to write my avatar a love interest plot, the one thing I was decent at in NaNo '09. (Actually, I still have those bits cut-down and stored somewhere. . .it's not plagiarism if you take it from yourself, is it?) Win-win? Yes. I really should hone my narrative skills, 50,000 is 50,000 and other excuses not to be mind-bogglingly creative.

Copious footnote time!

* i.e y'alls, if you found me via the MJ Ning. It's a term of affection. :)
** Currently reading help me, jacques cousteau. Yes, the title is in all lowercase. You know how I feel about these types of things.
*** Call me, Google. My product (service?) placement coupled with my huge audience and clever slogan skills definitely deserves some cash.
**** Rules, and the book that sparked my wrath awhile ago. Though, the latter was more the fault of my English class.

Friday, October 8, 2010

blargh

I'm writing this snuggled under my covers, my neck curved at an uncomfortable angle in an attempt to see the computer screen. I feel like my eyes are going to fall out of their sockets. Really, I'm only writing this because I feel like I owe you (all sixteen of you) a blog post. So tired.

- Football team lost Homecoming game 14 - 41. Only upset because it's not extreme enough - we should either win or lose to a score of something like 0 - 70. Also, because a friend and I had an awesome victory plan, but there's always next year.* Like we discussed during the game, we as a school should not only accept but indeed embrace the fact that our football team is quite possibly the worst in the county (not an exaggeration). We're not going to win any games, so can't we just bullshit the whole thing instead?

- NaNoWriMo - I'm determined to actually finish this year. I've got a very, very general plot that's not so much a plot as it is an idea, but it's all good cuz I'm supaa fly.
...I probably shouldn't say that under any circumstances. Sorry. Y'alls excited?!

- NaNoWriMo B - I've heard people say, "Being busy is no excuse for not writing. If you want to write, you'll find time to write." Do you agree with that? Personally, I think it's generally true, but it doesn't take into account the fact that once you've done all of your work/homework/whatever, you're often so drained that the only way you can muster up enough strength during your free time is to watch Youtube videos or something equally as independent of intelligent brain function. I, for one, am a moderate-to-slow worker and by the time I finish my homework (which is often too late at night) I don't feel like writing more. So. Sucks. Hope NaNoWriMo will correct this.

Please forgive me for any spelling/grammar problems! I'M SO TIRED!

* Not really "always" seeing how I graduate next year but wha'evaa

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Update (because you needed to know)

Hi. A couple things are happening in my life right now and, for lack of a better idea, I am going to talk about them. It's hard for me not to be self absorbed.

  1. I seem to have been blessed with the new Twitter. I don't really like it. Too much to the left. I wonder if I can do something about that.
  2. I changed my personal blog address from accordingtoalex1.blogspot.com to thecornernotes.blogspot.com. I needed the change. I hope you'll visit me there.
  3. I went to Vancouver today to see a film about David Suzuki and there weren't any tickets. It was only an hour on the bus each way for nothing. Also, I walked right by him without noticing. Some fan I am.
  4. I took my iPod to the Apple Store in Vancouver today because it won't turn on or charge. Adam the "Genius" told me there was water damage, it's not covered by warranty and I have to pay $110 to replace my iPod. So yay! I probably shouldn't hate on Adam, who was just doing is job. Again, self absorbed. At least I'm aware of it. Also, on my iPod defense, I NEVER EXPOSED IT TO LIQUID!!!!! Grrrr. Mad. We shall see how this turns out.*
  5. I've started physics! It wasn't working for a while because Chrome was blocking the pop-ups but now I'm using Safari when I do physics so it's all good. Huzzah for cartoon videos that explain the difference between speed and velocity!
  6. I like my job. Yes, no one showed up today which made it harder and, yes, tomorrow is inventory and I'm working on Thanksgiving, but everyone is really nice and calm and thank the universe I made that math mistake in my interview and I'm not a cashier. Plus, money.
  7. I'm being studied! I went to the University of British Columbia on Tuesday and did a slew of questionnaires, activities and measurements and now I'm part of a study! This involves a couple things that are happening to me. They took my blood and now they're doing DNA tests on it! I have also to take samples of my saliva four times a day for the next week and send it back to them! Plus I'm wearing a bracelet that tracks my movements and the amount of time I spend sleeping. Lastly, I have to fill out a diary survey every night before bed. Yay? Will explain more about the study later perhaps.
  8. Book club is tomorrow and I completely forgot to email everyone and tell them when and where it is so they won't get the message until after school at which point it will probably be a little too late.
Now you're up to date. What's new with you?

*I feel so horrible thinking about my problems when people in Asia are locked in sweatshops for twelve hours a day with no pee breaks or food.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

To Steph, let's be friends

Today, I forgot it was Sunday. Oops. I also read White Cat by Holly Black which I liked. A lot. Maybe. I don't know anything. I read a lot of good books so these things sort of turn to shades of gray.

I really have to work on my hook sentences. If you randomly found this blog, read "Today, I forgot it was Sunday," and then some nonsense about a book some stranger read that they may liked, would you stick around?

On another note, there's this teen author who I believe lives in Australia and I kind of think she's really cool. You know when you follow someone's exploits on the internet and decide you'd like to have that person as a friend but 1. they're a stranger and 2. you don't know how to strike up a friendship with a stranger?

I feel that way about Steph Bowe. I feel like we could be friends and if that's creepy, I guess I'm creepy. I wish her book would come out in Canada already. I have a feeling I'm going to like it.

You see, I have reason to believe Steph and I would get on quite well. We're both teenage girls who like to read a bit too much. We're both homeschooled. We both sort of feel like outsiders, somewhat beyond the maturity levels of our peers. We both love writing.

I know this isn't that much to go on, but it's a lot more than I have going with my other friends. So Steph Bowe, if you're reading this, do you want to be friends?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Writing to the internet about reading things seems a bit incongruous

(Or: Another Post About Books*)

Currently reading: Mockingjay (has anyone else? Or am I the last person in the world to because I wait for any and all new books to be available at the library instead of just buying them? I know opinions are greatly mixed, but that's what makes the discussion interesting.)

Currently should be reading: The Importance of Being Earnest. (oh hey, school. It's a classic play, but Mockingjay definitely takes priority.)

Assorted rest of post which is still kind of relevant to the aforementioned theme:

We had to read a lot of Shakespeare in fifth grade REACH**, albeit cut-down children's versions (also meaning we'd get to waste 2 days of class watching the filmed version***, or better, take a day-long field trip to watch the play). Hamlet was freaking awesome from what I can remember, as was Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, both way better than the plays I've read in their entirety, suggesting that I should read them. Which I'm *planning* on doing; I've been *planning* on reading a lot more classic lit than YA for a long time, but, as the asterisks note, the *plans* are of a tentative nature. WAY TOO MANY COMMAS IN THAT SENTENCE BLERG.

I don't know exactly why I've made these plans-- YA is (more often than not) captivating and well-written and I'm still within the age group the genre targets, but there's something alluringly off-the-beaten-path about the title "classic". Reading books other people aren't, haven't, and are likely not going to. (I'm like a literary hipster, someone please stop me.) Anyway:

Footnotes!
* This would've been better as the actual title of the post rather than the subtitle, on second thought.
** The reward for being in the 'gifted' program, I suppose. That, and we were deprived of recess. */long withstanding rage*
*** Off topic, but Dumbledore was in the film version of The Count of Monte Cristo. (This was not lost on us; everyone being significantly more interested in HP than the novel on which the movie was based. Poor, hardworking English actors. In America you'll always be associated with Hogwarts professors.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hamlet is a sad boy

Hamlet is such a good play. I can't get over how enjoyable it is-- "enjoyable" is a weird way to describe it, I know. Maybe it's that masochistic side in all of us that enjoys feeling weepy and forlorn. In any case there's something supremely satisfying about tragedies. Comedies are great, but that sense of loss that is present in tragedies makes them so addictive. And Hamlet is funny in a twisted way. It's tragic as anything, but there are some legitimately humorous scenes -- mostly because of Hamlet, mostly because he's making fun of people to their face. It never gets old.

Also: damn, Hamlet is a BAMF. He is a genius character. If he didn't have the whole "murder" thing(s) consuming his life, I would totally...well... you know. Hell, I'd do it anyway. How can you not simultaneously feel sorry for him and admire the hell out of him? He is so awesome!

As an added bonus: BBC version of Hamlet, starring David Tennant. (Great for those of us who never got to see him perform onstage!) I'm not just being a fangirl when I say that that version is the best out of the versions I've seen.* The end made me cry REAL TEARS.

Less importantly, Hamlet is now the second Shakespeare play that I've thoroughly enjoyed (the first being Much Ado About Nothing). I'm sure it's partially because I have enough patience and (hopefully) enough intelligence to understand and contemplate the plot and writing, but it's also because I just think that they're better than any of his plays that I've read before.** I think that largely stems from the characters; if you don't like the characters, it's difficult to like the play. In Shakespeare's work especially, they're all that's given. Beatrice and Benedick are possibly the greatest fictional couple of all time. Every single one of the main characters in Hamlet is memorable; the vast majority all but force you to sympathize with them.

So, yeah. If you haven't read Hamlet and you're not going to read it for school, you must do so on your own. So good.

* Admittedly, I haven't actually watched any of the other versions all the way through, but comparing the scenes I have seen, the actors and set-up of the BBC version are much better. The BBC version is basically the film version of a stage show, so it completely focuses on the actors and the plot. And, dang, that Ophelia is amazing.
** There's a contrived sentence if I've ever written one.