Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Research

White Tigers

First, let me say, that I don't fully remember where I got this information. I used a variety of different websites and sort of stitched similar information together from them all. Plus, it was almost a year ago now - the date on the top of my notes says 12/14/11. And my memory is pretty spotty at best.

But I do have this much:
  • The striking white coat is caused by a recessive gene. Bengal tigers are the only subspecies in which it occurs.
  • Tigers are the largest member of the cat family and renowned for power and strength. They have strong hind muscles to pounce on prey.
  • Bengals hunt at dusk/night. They kill their prey by a bite to the neck.
  • White tigers suffer from inbreeding, since they are rarely found in the wild and... well, humans love them. The limiting of the gene pool can cause low tolerance for pain, disease, and anesthesia, as well as distorted spines or cleft plates.
  • They can eat up to 40 pounds of fresh kill (I believe that number fluctuates a little) at one time, but then theyeon't eat for several days after.
  • Wild tigers can live between 10 and 15 years. Tigers in captivity live between 16 and 20 years. (But white tigers, as mentioned above, used to be and might still in some places be subjected to inbreeding.)
  • They don't have good stamina. Prefer ambushing their prey - they are also good swimmers, but poor climbers.
To be really honest, I did this post because it's the last day of the month, and I can't resist. But I do love tigers - they were the inspiration of several (failed) attempts at stories. I still hope to one day be able to publish a fictional story from the viewpoint of a tiger.

I might make this a semi-weekly feature. You can leave suggestions for future topics in the comments. :) Have a blessed Tuesday and keep writing!

Photo by Alan L. HERE is where I found it - flickr, to be specific.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Apologies

Gah! No book review today, either. I know, but LoTR is taking me longer than I thought. I might finish it by tomorrow: that means it'll have taken me most of July to read. Can you blame me? It's a big read.

But I still feel bad, so I'm going to post a few of my thoughts:

  1. I think on Wednesday I'll post a short story of my own. Well, perhaps it's not a "short story" per se... perhaps I'll call it a "sample of my writing". It's not part of my novel, just a short spiff (I think that's the word I shall use from now on) that I wrote, just to write.
  2. I think that perhaps on Tuesdays, I shall post myths, fairytales, or research. I like that sort of thing, mainly because the stories of another lifetime fascinate me; and it's always useful to know details and things.
  3. I'll write a book review next Monday. That's bring me to a grand total of... two book reviews. Wow.
I still feel really bad, so I'm going to post a picture of my cat, Tenzing, taken via the webcam thingy on my laptop. Isn't he a handsome Siamese? We named him after a mountain climber.

It's very hard to take pictures of Siamese cats, so I provided two. Right now, that same cat is shedding fur all over my laptop keyboard and trying to lick/bite my fingers. Fun.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Follow Friday #8

Yay! Did you know that the number 8 is my favorite number? :) It's so... even. You divide it in half, you get four, which is an even number, and you can divide four in half to get two, another even number. That's a lot of even numbers!

Sorry, I love even numbers. A lot. So, Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. This week's question is...

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

Ohmygoodness. Uh... I liked the Crucible by Arthur Miller from this past year (my 10th grade year). I thought it was hilarious how they were all running around and pointing at random people, screaming, "WITCH!!" :O That's a play, but it still counts, right?

I loved The Odyssey (by Homer, of course) during my ninth grade year, as well as the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Those two were kind of weird, and we didn't read the entire Odyssey (just quite a few passages of it, and then my teacher summarized the chapters we skipped). But they were still really fun to read.

I can't tell you my middle school favorites, because middle school is a blur in my mind, to be honest. I remember disliking, like two books from 6th grade and then the rest of middle school reading is hazy. So, my three answers are up there, and they'll suffice. I couldn't pick a favorite from them - I only somewhat liked them - so you get three answers.

And BTW - I was watching Doctor Who just earlier. It was the one where the Doctor (David Tennant, not Matt Smith) was with Donna in the biggest library in the universe. It was as big as the planet! Nobody was in there because the alien shadows were killing them. Don't you just love Doctor Who? The world's biggest and most dangerous library... my happy place (without the shadows, of course). ^.^

Have a blessed day and keep writing. :)

This is a picture quote I made myself, using Paint and fotoflexer. I also posted it on my Tumblr, though I've never gotten around to posting the link to my Tumblr on my blog. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Beginnings

I am nervous. And a procrastinator.

See, I've been working stubbornly on an idea for a long time. I written and rewritten the beginning chapters so many times. Over a dozen documents (both wordpad and Microsoft Word) cluttered up my computer. Most had a couple of sentences written in them, so I recycled them in my handy little Recycle Bin (of all my desktop items, the Recycle Bin is my favorite - it's comforting to know I can delete the messy stuff).

Well, I've decided that I'm going to start on a different idea. A more coherent one, that feels... both newer and brighter. But's not Shiny and New, just new.

Unfortunately, I'm a major procrastinator. I have not started to write. In fact, I meant to write this post yesterday (because I prefer posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and/or Fridays), but I couldn't make myself. So I posted it today, and halfway through writing it, I took a break and ate a snack, before finishing it. That's so sad.

So, I promised myself that if I finish this post and write at least a first paragraph of my New Idea, that I would reward myself with some quality Myth-research. Because I love mythology. Maybe some Norse or Celtic myths! Yay! But first I have to finish.

So this ends my post-update-procrastination. Onward to Microsoft Word! Have a blessed, writing-filled day. :)

Do you like this flower?! I found it in the public domain (from Google, via Creative Commons). It has nothing to do with anything. I just think it's pretty.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Changes

I am foregoing my book review this week for two reasons:

1. I am too busy reading Lord of the Rings to remember all the details from other books. It's difficult to write a review when you're concentrating on such a meritable book (I have the one-volume edition of LoTR, which altogether makes over 1,000 pages of reading. It'll take me awhile, so I might not be posting a review next week either.)

2. I have decided to link back to this post, in which Roni Loren talks about copyrighted photos on blogs and how she got sued for using one. I err on the side of caution, and will be changing the photos on all my blog posts to ones from Creative Commons instead. I highly recommend reading her post if you haven't already.

I have to get back to reading LoTR and book/writing blogs. This is just a quick update to let you know my thoughts.

Have a blessed Monday! (If that's possible. I hope so.) 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Follow Friday #7

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. This week's question is:

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?

This is hard. Just two? And I haven't been to Barnes & Noble in forever (like, WEEKS). Here are a couple:

This is a new one I've never read. The summary sounded awesome, about friendship and family secrets. There was no mention of sappy romance that's critical to the plot (I'm not a big fan of romance). Plus, I love butterflies.
 This book I've actually read several times. In actuality, now that I think about it, I'd like ANY book from Laurie Halse Anderson. Her works are uniquely written and I can read them over and over without it losing its dark beauty. She writes honestly about things most people don't (like rape or anorexia). It's an inside look at what victims are thinking. I've always checked it out from the library (this one and Wintergirls), but I would love to have my own copy.

Those are my picks. (This is only a meager selection compared to my actual TBR list.) What were your picks? Comment and link back, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Defiant. Streetwise. Devious.
Growing up in an orphanage has brought out the bad boy in Sage.

War is brewing in the kingdom. Connor, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him on the throne. Four orphans, including Sage, are recruited to compete for the role. Sage knows that Connor's motives are questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point - he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well, and as Sage moves from the rundown orphanage to Connor's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold. Finally, a truth is revealed that may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together!

~summary from the back of the paperback copy of the book, bought from Barnes & Noble.

What I liked:
There is a lot to like about this book. The characters for one - Sage is clever and tricky. It would've been easy to make Sage get into trouble by getting framed by the other boys, but instead he gets into trouble from his own actions. The other two boys, Tobias and Roden, are each unique and seemingly "better" than him in some way. For example, Tobias has had some education, so  he is considered the smartest. Roden is the strongest. Together, they form uneasy lines and friendships, which are woven together into a complicated love/hate relationship among all three.

Another likeable part is the dramatic tension. When Connor kills the fourth boy, Latamer, early in their dealings, the boys instantly know that Connor is deadly serious. The reality of their situation haunts their steps and actions as the story progresses. As Sage continues to get into trouble, you can feel the tension drag away from the other boys while the character you're rooting for, Sage, is heaped with it. Will he be chosen, or will he die? As the main character we expect that he will, but the book's twists and turns leaves you truly unsure of whether or not he will live.

What I disliked:

Pretty much just the worldbuilding. We know the names of several countries and a couple of places, but we don't get the full force of culture. Their country may be on the brink of war, but we get little insight past the instruction of the boys and Connor's own palace walls.

Overall, I love this book. There was little to hate. I know there's been praise upon praise heaped onto the book, but it deserves it. Sage's cleverness reminds me Artemis Fowl (the series listed first over there under my list of favorite books)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Well, apparently I've been nominated. :D It's for bloggers with 200 followers or less.

The rules (as according to my "tagger" A Bookish Co-Op):
1. Each person must post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you tagged.
3. Choose 11 people and them in your post
4. Tell them you've tagged them
5. Remember, no tag backs.

So, here goes. 11 random facts about me:

1. I love Disney, and especially Disney soundtracks. I'm not talking about that new stuff like Austin & Aly (I find it sad that I even know the name). I mean Mulan, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid... I still listen to "I'll Make a Man Out of You" and "Be Prepared" every day.
2. I love cats, lions, tigers... if they're in the cat family, I love them.
3. I also love history and mythology. Mostly Ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology, though the cultural history of China and India are fascinating as well.
4. I have this extreme aversion to swearing. You may have noticed in my posts, but I absolutely do not use any foul language - the closest I come is "gosh-darn" or other euphemistic terms. I don't care if other people swear - I have no control over what they say, and I wouldn't want control - but I refuse to do it myself.
5. I am a Christian, and proud of it. I am NOT homophobic or narrow-minded, and I will not shove my religion down your throat. But I will tell you that I am proud to believe in and love God. And also, I accept Muslims, Jews, and every other religion on the planet. Even atheists, though I don't think that's a religion: more of a lack of. It's all cool with me.
6. I keep a notebook full of quotes next to my laptop. Whenever I come across a quote that I like (usually on someone's blog or on goodreads), then I write it down.
7. In reality, I am a quiet person. I'm that shy girl who reads way too much. But inside, I am a free spirit: I don't care what people call me, because I am miles away in my own little world.
8. I am asexual. To those who do not know, that means that I have no interest in romantic love, or finding a husband or wife. I don't care if other people enjoy that stuff - if they didn't, I wouldn't have been born, would I? - but I have no interest in intimate contact or having children.
9. I have a thing against eating at restaurants, as well. I'll eat pizza when my parents go and get it from Little Caesar's, and then bring it home - but I don't like actually eating Mcdonald's, or Burger King, or Pizza Hut (etc. etc etc.)
10. I cannot wear really tight clothes. Well, "normal" clothes nowadays. I prefer shirts that are two or three sizes too big (that do not show any of my chest). I wear baggy jeans and scuffed up black tennis shoes. My clothes come from church events (like church camp) or from thrift stores - all except my shoes, my undergarments, and one pair of jeans, all of which come from Wal-mart.
11. I am 16 years old, and I am very anti-social. As I have mentioned, I do not like swearing, intimate contact, and tight clothes, all of which are common among people my age.
I know, I'm an interesting person. ;D Here are the Questions from A Bookish Co-Op:

1) What is your "go-to" YA recommendation when meeting new YA book readers?
It depends on the person. If they're a non-reader like my sister, I'd recommend The Hunger Games. If they're avid readers, I'd try Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas, or Foundling by D. M. Cornish, or perhaps even Avielle of Rhia by Dia Calhoun.
2) What is your favorite blogging meme?
I only participate in one, and that's Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. For ones I don't participate in but like to read Six Word Saturday, hosted by Show My Face, but I follow only one blog who has it - Mademoiselle Le Sphinx.
3) Be honest, does a book cover effect the opinion of the book for you? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. :D
Sometimes, sometimes not. Some of the ones with the pictures of girls in fancy dresses on the cover I refuse to even pick up, because it practically screams "Romance! This is all about other people's hormones!" If the covers are ugly by my standards, then I'll try not to let it bug me, but if I don't like the story inside, I'll blame the cover. "Oh, I knew this was going to be awful, the cover told me that!" Shameful, I know.
4) Do you have any pets?
Yes. I have several cats (about 8; my mom used to be a cat breeder), as well as a dog named Hailey (who hates everyone except my mom, my two youngest siblings, and me). I also have quite a few fish, if you count them - one saltwater fishtank full of bright fish (and other things), and one freshwater fish tank that holds a small (cough*huge*cough) catfish. We used to have a beta fish too, but the catfish ate him.
5) Where is your favorite spot to read?
On my bed. Preferably with my cats out of the room - only two of them are allowed in my room, Nala and Tenzing, but both are loud Siamese cats. Have you ever tried reading a book when a Siamese cat is begging for your attention?  It's impossible. So, minus the cats, my bed is the softest, most comfortable place to be. Plus the cats, then I'll have to wait to read at church or school or the library.
6) Do you think reading is going the way of the eReader? Do you have an eReader?
I don't like eReaders. I'm not a big fan of technology in general, and it's one of my biggest fears that technology will take over my beloved world of books. I hope there are enough people who love real books that reading won't be consumed by this whole "eReader" trend. And no, I most definitely don't have one.
7) What kind of shampoo do you use?
That's a really personal question, haha. I use the Suave or V05 stuff, which you can find pretty much anywhere for like, a dollar. Hey, at least they smell good and we're saving money for books!
8) Can you rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time?
No. :'( I wish I could.
9) How do you organize your bookshelves?
Mostly by series, or by shape/color of the book. It looks a little disorganized, but I can find everything and that's what counts.
10) If you were stuck on a desert island with 3 book characters, would they be?
That's hard. Just three? Uhh.... Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games - she'd know which plants are safe to eat, and she can hunt. Does Saphira from Eragon count? Because I would love having a dragon to ride on and intimidate the daylights out of all who dare to come near. *evil laugh* The last would be... Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. She'd build me a nice house to live in while we wait for help. Plus, she'd be more fun to talk to than, say, Percy Jackson.
11) Do you let your food touch or does it have to stay separated?
It has to stay seperated, always. I have weird food habits, I know.
Which leaves me with one last part: my 11 questions.

1. What is your favorite number between one and ten?
2. Do you listen to music while you write? Or if you're not writing, then while you're doing schoolwork, or chores?
3. Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry, or does it matter for each kind of dessert (say, you like chocolate ice cream better than strawberry, but you prefer vanilla cake over chocolate)?
4. Do you mainly read one genre of book, or do you like to branch out?
5. What is your absolute favorite genre (or two, if it comes down to that)?
6. What is your favorite time of day? What is your favorite time of day to read?
7. Nonfiction or fiction? Why?
8. Of the core subjects (English, Math, Science, or Social Studies), which is your favorite? Why?
9. Do you show your writing to other people easily, or do you prefer to have it perfected as much as possible before you share? Do you think your writing is personal on a deep level, and therefore you tend to keep it to yourself, or do you think that your writing is to be shared with the world, and therefore you'll easily hand it over for friends to read? Again, if you're not much of a writer, than how about your reading material? Will you show people what you're reading, or are you shy about it?
10. Is there a certain type of animal that you love (or are obssessed about)? Is there a certain group of animals (such as cats and tigers and lions, etc. or wolves and dogs and meerkats, etc.)?
11. Do you have any weird eating habits, and if so, what are they?

So now all that's left is my nominees. I'll add them on as I go:

1. Succotash Reviews
2. Love Big Read Big
3. Better Read than Dead
4. Into the Mystic
5. Book Matters
6. Book Haven Extrordinare
7. Journey Through Pages
8. Heather's Book Chatter
9. The Dreaming Reader
10. Breakfast at Bookland
11. With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

I don't know if all these peoples are doing a post for this, I just asked them. I refuse to wait to see if they accept doing this or not. I love the people who do, of course, but I love all those who don't as well! <3

*On an unrelated note, what do you think of the new layout? Personally, I love that header. I've also added a rating system (up there next to "About") and a new background. Is it too pink? Does the header and background match? I've never known that sort of decorative stuff, so help me out. I'd love to know your opinions!

Friday, July 13, 2012

FF #6

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. This weeks question is:

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

Honestly, I haven't really been blogging about books... but I started blogging about writing because I would read other blogs that really helped me. I started blogging on my own to help get my words/experiences out there, just like they did/do. (I'm not sure where I found those first writing blogs. Possibly on Inkpop before the merge.)

As for books, now I think I will, simply from this question and the sheer number of book blogs that I follow. Now I'm excited about it - over the weekend, I'll mess about with the blog and add a rating system and other stuff. I'm thinking of devoting Mondays or Wednesdays to a book review. Any comments or suggestions?

Have a blessed Friday and keep writing! <3

Friday, July 6, 2012

Follow Friday #5

FF is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Today's question:

Q: Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don’t like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

Recently, I read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, this nonfiction memoire. I normally stick to fantasy, historical fiction, or realistic fiction. But this memoire stuck out in Jeanette's love and bravery in the face of her drunk father and out-of-touch mother. Even though they were dyfunctional parents and often disappointed her in the past, she still loves and tries to support her parents after she moves to New York City and starts becoming a successful journalist.
I had picked this up in the first place because I'm taking this AP language & composition class next year for English, and they have a summer assignment where you have to read a nonfiction book (it's a mainly nonfiction class). They gave us a list of potentil books, and of course, my mom and I ordered more than one (even nonfiction can be interesting!) including this memoire and the more unusual ones (such as Stiff, a novel about the history and usage of human cadavers).

What did you pick? Why? Leave a comment wit ha link to your post!
Have a blessed Friday and keep writing!

Friday Favorites

This week has been lazy. I've only read one book - Eona by Alison Goodman, the sequel to Eon - but I did spend a lot of time daydreaming and looking at pictures. Also, I've been writing more, almost 1,000 words daily.

Here are some highlighted pictures:

As for quotes...

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
~Benjamin Franklin

"He who does not understand your silence, will probably not understand your words."
~Elbert Hubbard

"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
~Harper Lee

Again, not much worth writing about. I'm kind of sad at my lack of progress, actually. I've written 4,000 words in 6 days, which is a lot for me but still feels like I could've written way more. But life moves on, no matter how long you lay on the couch watching Monk and House.