Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday #4

The rules are simple: answer the question, follow the hosts - Alison Can Read and Parajunkee - and then follow other people, leaving them a comment with the URL to your blog so they can follow you back.

Today's question:

Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from?

Who would I choose?... (EDIT: I'm assuming from a friend-wise point of view. I see a lot are about hot guys, which I didn't even consider.) Saphira from Eragon by Christopher Paolini. She's a simple, loyal dragon, yet wise at the same time. How she'd fit in my house is a different question and the FF question didn't mention specifics. :D Perhaps Meggie from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - she's a fellow book lover! Plus, she went inside a book, and can read stuff right off the pages of a book! I'd love to compare reading material with her, and it'd be a dream come true if she could read, like Tinker Bell or maybe a magical cat, out of some book for me.

What about you? Who did you pick? Leave a comment and follow! Have a blessed Friday! <3

Friday Favorites

I'm posting this and the Follow Friday seperate this time, because the Follow Friday is focused on way more.

My week has been pretty lazy. I read books and blogs and I lay on my bed and daydreamed. As well as the normal necessities of life - eating, sleeping, using the bathroom. Overall, I haven't really done anything productive, except for my chores earlier this week and going out once to see Brave.

What did I read this week? I've mainly read Eon by Alison Goodman. Or should I say reread? I decided to read a second time because I recently got the 2nd book, Eona. I love this series so much - it's a perfect blend of Chinese/Eastern mythology (especially of the dragons, and the New Year's cycle of animals), and of an epic high-fantasy world.

I came across this awesome quote the other day, which really got my brain a-working.

"Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out."
~J. K. Rowling

So true! Anyways, here are a couple others:

"The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as the greatest virtues."
~Rene Descartes

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."
~Thomas Jefferson

"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds."
~George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

I did some research on wikipedia about the last name there, May Ann Evans or "George Eliot", and it turns out she was a novelist during the Victorian Era in England. According to wiki:

Mary Anne (alternatively Mary Ann or Marian) Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, journalist and translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and well known for their realism and psychological insight.
She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot's life, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women only writing lighthearted romances. An additional factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived for over 20 years.

I find it amazing that a woman during the restrained times of this period could find the audacity to write more than what was expected of her. I've never read her books, but just the fact that she'd publish under a guy's name to avoid being stereotyped is an indication that she was a real-life heroine of her time.

That is pretty much it. I'll just post a couple pictures now.

(I know - Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who, all in one post. I am so proud to call myself weird!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Writings: On My Thoughts

I have realized that I never plan these posts out. I just write, and hope y'all are inspired by the randomness that threads itself across the screen.

Do you ever stop to think of the reality of publishing? The reality of your words, in the minds and hearts of other people? It sometimes overwhelms me to think of the subtle, powerful ripple that is made through a population when a new work of words becomes popular.

I think that language/writing is the most mysterious force in nature - how two words with the same meaning can have different connotations; how these meaningless sounds we make somehow have meaning. It's more powerful than birth, or death, or love. It ties us together in a way that those forces cannot accomplish alone.

As writers, we hope our words tie people together: we hope we can tie a reader to a fictional character, to create a bond that withstands anything because one of the two isn't real. We want the babies of our imagination to be loved by other people.

When I think of my writing, and of being published, I don't imagine me being the next Stephanie Meyer. I think of my book, worn with love, squashed between louder books on a library shelf where a lonely little girl will see it and read it and escape reality another day. I see some future English teacher passing out my book to a group of bored students and saying, "Of the big boom in literature of the 21st century, this work is considered among the greatest because..."

Am I worried that the fantastical story of my heart will drown in the sea of paranormal romance? Yes. But do I wonder if my work will be one of those that becomes popular after my death, and then lives for generations? Yes.

I love words. Simple as that. And I wish to share it with the world, even though I've never felt like I belonged with the swearing, skin-showing, people who are looking for love. Because I don't do any of those things. But I wonder if there is some hidden girl out there, who is asexual like me, who is conservative and quiet like me, who thinks like me. And that distance has kept us apart, but if I publish my writing, then maybe she won't feel so alone.

I'm sorry if this bores you, or if you are mystified by the lack of coherent thinking on my part. The point of this post is to express why I love writing. Do any of you ever wonder about any of this? Do any of you feel like this? People are crazy, and emotional, and I can only hope that they can understand each other, like I am asking you to. I don't understand why I felt the need to wander and wonder, but here you go.

(To be clear, this is honestly how I think. I am only sixteen, and I do not drink, or get high; I am just random/crazy/deep sometimes. I don't know what I think of you if you jumped to the conclusion that I am drunk/high, but I can reassure you that I'm not.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Haha, well...

I don't normally write on Tuesdays. But I was looking through Tumblr... My randomness has an excuse to be random today, because I found an appropriate picture.

:D That's really all I had to say.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Minute

I had an awesome weekend! I went to see Brave with my sister - it was wonderful! I love accents and magic and mythology and strong heroines and... well, pretty much everything else. :D

I don't really have anything planned. I'm not even perfectly sure why I'm posting this. I'm just a little hyper on lack of sleep (the Brave movie ended about midnight last night) and that feeling you get after you've done something productive (which was just halfway cleaning my room without being told).

So, here is a video of a song I've been obsessed with for the past few days, and some pictures from Tumblr:

Which concludes my randomness for the day. Yea, I love Disney a lot. I love a lot of things a lot. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

FF#3 and Friday Favorites

Wow, it's been a whole week since I posted. I got caught up in doing nothing. :)

FF is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee and, well, you know the rules. Answer the question, follow people, link them back to this post so they can follow you, etc.

Today's Question:

Q: If you could "unread" a book, which one would it be? Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?

My answer... This is a tough one. I might say the Warriors saga by Erin Hunter. I loved that series, but I haven't read it in a long time, and I want to know whether or not I'd love it the first time around if the first aound was now. I mean, I first read it back in the 4th grade, and then again (and again) throughout middle school. But now, after I just finished my sophomore year, and I've read a great number of "higher-level" reading material? Would I still feel the magic, now that I look for the grammatical errors, the plot holes, etc.?
As for one I'd "unread" due to its horrible-ness, I would say... erh.... well, probably Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Not because of anything the author did intentionally, mind you, I just found the end devastating. I won't spoil it for those who've never read (or heard) of it, but it was just mindblowing in a not-so-great way for me. For those who have read it, you might understand what I mean with the whole Game thing. I don't know, I guess sci-fi isn't my favorite genre of all time.

What about you? Leave a comment with your link! Don't forget to follow! <3

As for my favorites? Here are some music videos and quotes:


"That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most."
~Up (the Disney movie)

"If everyone is yelling, no one can be heard."
~Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

"Remember the small things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
~Robert Brault

"What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice."
~Albert Einstein

It's been a busy week full of reading and daydreaming and sleeping. Sorry I haven't posted all week - I've been too lazy to do much, because I've been reveling in my first week of summer vacation. :)

Have a blessed Friday and keep writing!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Favorites + FF#2

FF is a weekly meme that is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The basic rules are:

1. Follow thte hosts' blogs and create a post answering the question.
2. Follow other people's blogs.
3. Link them to this post so they can follow you.
This week's question:
Happy Father's Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?

1. Mo from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. He's such a laughing, book-loving, nomad father. He loves and protects Meggie through the whole series.
2. Uncle Garrow from Eragon by Christopher Paolini - you got to give him credit for raising Eragon like his own child. And I thought his death was so tragic, because his nephew couldn't save the only father figure he ever had (except for Brom, of course!).

3. Bob from the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix; he raised both Arthur and the other children, even though not all of them were his. Quite a few were adopted or his stepchildren, but he loved them all the same, thouhg clueless about Arthur sometimes.

4. Gaia's dad from Birthmarked by Caragh O'brien, who actually died, but I think he deserves a mention. Gaia remembers her dad throughout the book; he was a fun, laughing kind of dad who loved his daughter and his wife very much.

Those are my answers. And my favorites this week:

I read A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain this week, which took most of the week. I found the large sections of Ye Olde Speak hard to follow. Overall though, it was entertaining up until (but not including) the end.

As for quotes, I found a few wonderfully simple ones:
"Everything you can imagine is real."
~Pablo Picasso
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
~Dr. Seuss
"A library is infinity under a roof."
~Gail Carson Levine

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."
~Ernest Hemingway

And the last is a couple pictures from tumblr. (Or possibly deviantart or photobucket. But mainly tumblr.)

That's it for this Friday. Don't forget to follow and comment! Have a blessed weekend! <3

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Writings: On Good vs. Bad

It's one of the most basic plot lines: perfectly good hero vs. the perfectly evil villain. Like as not, the hero wins, and there is happily ever after.

I've read a lot of books in my 16 years of life, and this is a recurring theme that starts to grate on my nerve for two reasons. One, it's predictable. I sometimes pick up a book and I know right off the bat that the hero wins, and it sort of spoils the reading (especially if the writing isn't all that good). It's like your fairytale, with the dragon in a different shape. And two, because it shows bad writing to have your MC perfectly good.

Tips on Avoiding the Cliche:

1. Give your character some flaws. At least one. Don't give me that "Oh, but he's Edward Cullen in disguise!" nonsense.

2. Instead of focusing on good vs. evil, focus on a different pair of opposites. Like, in the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordin, it's order vs. chaos. You see how much more interesting that is?

3. See if you can't make the villain one of the "good" characters. Gradually sneak in his/her evilness. Think Loki from that movie Thor (or The Avengers). He was like, the best villain ever because you could empathisize with him completely, and in the beginning of Thor, you don't realize him as the villain at all.

4. Don't think at all in terms of good vs. evil. Think more on the MC - his/her emotional journey. Perhaps your villain is only the catalyst of a mental reevaluation. Perhaps your villain is there to test your MC's real hero-ness. Not that fake perfection, but their true worth as a human being.

Good and bad in literature is a common debate: you either think it's a classic, or a cliche. I'm leaning towards the latter, and it's cool if you think otherwise. But hey, new blood freshens things up. I see the whole "Perfect" hero less and less, but how about the others? Can you think of a different pair of opposites to focus on?

Have a blessed day and keep writing. :)  

From simpledisneythings's tumblr HERE.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Musings: Soundtracks

I know I'm not the only one who sang this song in their head. ^.^

I missed the 100th FF meme... :'( It's been a hectic weekend, and I just plain forgot. But now, it's the last week of school (I only have to go one more day, on Wednesday, for two exams). I can relax a little. (By the way, the two pictures - well, picture and gif - come from tumblr. Just to let you know.)

Today is a short post. It's about soundtracks, if you couldn't tell.

Some people listen to music while they write. Or they're inspired by a song, and madly scrawl the idea down before tackling the first draft. Some pick songs as that whole "THAT-FITS-PERFECTLY-WITH-THE-STORY-I'M-WRITING". My brain's a little scattered right now, so my wording needs refinement, but you get the basic drift.

As for me, I don't always listen to music while I write. I find it distracting, especially when my favorite song is on and I'm listening to pandora. Pandora also raises the problem of flipping through your stations to try and find a distracting good song. So instead, I settle listening and writing seperately. But I find a lot of inspiration through the songs when I do listen. The emotion and the sound in the songs, and the lyrical poetry... sometimes, it helps me find motivation to write. When I want to tear the proverbial paper to shreds (as my work is on my computer), then I listen to music, and I can feel the words in my heart again.

As for a song that fits my novel, I don't know. It's more of a segment of this song, some lyrics from that song... it's a crazy patchwork quilt, except my quilt is covered in patches that are so different in size, shape, and color that I don't know how I keep it all together. That's the bare truth.

What about you? Do you listen while you write? Have you a perfect song that fits your novel?

I think that was "Fifteen" but I can't remember...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Writings: Action/Reaction

Action and reaction, are vital to good storytelling. A good story balances these two forces and creates a realistic effect on even the most outrageous of ideas.

This particular topic is not new, and generally not controversial - to tell a good story, the character acts against something, or the character reacts to something being done to him/her. It is a deep-rooted instinct to do one of those two things. For example:

Queen Suzy went to an art museum (action). An assassin tries to kill her and steal her crown, but she fights back (reaction). The assassin is defeated by her superior ninja skills (action). The Queen does a victory dance, then flees the museum in case of any more potential killers (reaction).

Queen Suzy is the main character, and she acts. When she acts, something comes to stop her, and she reacts. Simple as that.

Maybe your character doesn't know what has tried to stop him/her, and therefore cannot react. Maybe they do know, and can do nothing. Either way, no action/reaction. But by law (scientific, physics, behavioral, whatever) doing nothing is a reaction. So therefore, even when your MC does nothing, the action/reaction cycle continues.

The problem, then, is when the action/reaction is not connected. For example:

Tom walks into the garden (action). He fights a troll (action). The troll enters the garden, and when he spots it, Tom fights it (reaction). Tom was only in the garden in the first place because he wanted some fresh air (action).

This is bad, because there is an unequal amount of action/reaction, and it causes unnecessary redundancy. Also, it's out of order, which confuses the reader. The events are not well-connected, and makes for a poor paragraph.

Although I understand that not all stories are told in chronological order, there has to at least be some coherency and rules to define your frequent flashbacks/etc. Think If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

I'm not sure what else to tell you about this concept - it's simple when you recognize it and manage to coherently manipulate it.

Stay strong and write on.

(Hey, it DOES kind of go along with the topic.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Minute: On Focus

I occured to me during school today (and daily occurs to me on most school days, but it slips my mind) that focusing on one thing is difficult. My mind likes floating off to fantasize about possible directions my book could take, or to daydream about what it would be like to live during the medieval ages, or (like today) to fixate on the wrong subject. Let me tell you, it is hard to focus on blood stain analysis in Biology when you're thinking about food-related Spanish words.

But, back to what this post is about. Focusing on writing one story, or sometimes just on writing, can be difficult. You get distracted by a new idea, a new setting, a new main character. And when you chase after it, your story gets lost in the dust.

(I found this on another blog. Or possibly Tumblr; it's hard to remember which.)

How to prevent your story from being lost in the dust:

1. Give yourself a little downtime. Take a break. Just... eat a snack or watch TV. Take a walk or a nap. Draw a picture. Just do something unrelated to writing, because your mind will explode from stress if you don't.

2. Write new ideas in a notebook and come back to them later. If they look embarassingly idiotic now, then be relieved that you didn't chase after it. If they still look staggeringly genius-material, then write a second story... after you finish the first.

3. Try to incorporate your new ideas into your current book. That won't work for everything - like that new show "Alien Surf Girls" on Nickolodeon, because I don't think those two ideas fit together at all. But it can work for a lot of stuff. After all, you can make your novel as outrageous as you want to. No one will care if your vampire romance has Lilo and Stitch in it if you write it right.

4. Set goals and rewards for yourself. If your goal is to write 5,000 words today, and you manage it, then you may have the ice cream and sprinkles. Or if you plan to successfully incorporate aliens and centaurs in your general fiction story, then you may buy those pretty new stickers at the craft store (I love stickers - they're sticky and fun).

My basic advice to you is to stop stressing. Focusing on your writing too much will give you a headache, and focusing on it too little will get you nowhere. So find a balance between the two, and don't forget to reward yourself. A little positive reinforcement will help you associate writing with happiness instead of stress.

Have a blessed Monday (if that's possible) and keep writing! :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Favorites: FF#1

So, to start, I'll post The Feature & Follow meme from Alison Can Read and Parajunkee (whose blog won't show up on my computer for some reason).

This is my 1st time doing something of this sort, so here is my version of the rules:

1. Answer the question.
2. Follow blogs.
3. Post your URL in their comments so they can follow you.

So. The Question:

You are a matchmaker — your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favorite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go?

My answer? Umm... that's so hard. I don't normally think in terms of romance. Possibly Artemis Fowl and Hermione Granger - they're both know-it-alls, and both are pretty loyal to the people they love. Artemis is a bit stiff, though, while Hermione is fierce. That would be an interesting relationship.

Remember to follow and link back!

As for my favorites, it's quick. I only really found a bunch of Tumblr photos that I thought cool.

Well, alright. I lied. This one is from deviantart. But it is still beautiful.

This one IS from Tumblr. I feel it goes very well with writing.

Very true. And inspiring.

So, that's it for this week. Follow, comment, and have a blessed Friday! <3