Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Authorly Bucket List Tag

Ashley from [insert title here] tagged me for this. All you do is list 3-7 things that you're really bad at in writing, and then 3-7 things that you want to try in writing. Sounds easy, right?

Riiiiiight.












...
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...Anyway, let's start with stuff I'm, shall we say, less good at.

WRITING-RELATED STUFF I'M BAD AT:

1. Titles 
We've got a fairly self-explanatory problem to start off with. Most of the book files on my computer are named things like "Gypsy Story," "Unnamed Book of Awesomeness," "The Book," "New Story," etc. What I call it might have something to do with the plotline/characters of the book, or it might just be, "yeah, that new one I'm working on." I've yet to entitle a book with an actual, workable name.

2. Description
Sometimes I'll be going along, writing, and I'll realize that I never told my potential readers what my main character looks like. Or what their surroundings look like. He/she is just a faceless entity floating through an empty void. Then I'll info dump a buttload of description in a giant paragraph, say, "I'll fix it later," and move on to the next description-less location.

3. Character Development/Personalities
Like description, this is also something that would be fixed in the elusive editing stage. But as I write my story, my characters will often seem . . . flat. Often their voices are carbon copies of one another. They sound like everyone else, use the same words as everyone else, have the same sense of humor, the same motivators as everyone else. I've yet to master the 3D character. Speaking of motivators:

4. Having Reasons/Motivations
I mean, I'll have a general motivation for a lot of things. We have to get here and see this person because of X. But sometimes getting there is a challenge. Why is so and so coming along, too? Just because she's "joined the party?" This isn't a video game. And why can't they do such and such a thing instead? It seems easier than doing that other thing. This line of thought often leads to:

5. Rants/Digression
My characters like to go off on their own. Oh, we have to go retrieve that thing from the vault? Let's go to the library and look for information on ACTUALLY LITERALLY NOTHING. We have to leave the city? Let's stop by and talk to this guy's estranged mother first. We're training with swords? Let's discuss the pros and cons of fighting with fluttery hand-fans for like a full page because why the heck not?

6. Romance
I love cheese, but mostly I only love it in food form. Cheesy romance? Blech. Gazing longingly into each other's eyes and whatnot? I don't know. It's not like I've tried to write a whole ton of romance in my stories, but when I do, it just comes out . . . weird.

7. Writing
Hah . . . ahaha . . . ha. I always complain about never reaching the end of my story, but it's always my own fault (but I mean, who else's fault would it be?). I can be making great progress in a story, and then, somewhere in the middle, I just . . . stop. Every time. I sort of run out of ideas and steam, and just give up. I should really try to not do that anymore.




WRITING-RELATED STUFF I WANT TO TRY:

1. A Story Without Romance
And not just because I'm bad at writing it. I want to try writing a story just for the adventure, or the intrigue, or the awesome friendships. I really want to attempt to do away with the ever-present, "yes, but the guy must get the girl" of it all. 

2. Breaking Cliches
I've actually sort of tried this one before. Ogre's aren't brainless brutes, dwarves don't like mining, elves aren't fabulous and all-knowing, vampires aren't undead, a "fantasy world" that has all the technological amenities of our world, that sort of thing. I like the idea, and I may have to try again sometime . . . !

3. Connecting Short Stories
I'm not even sure how this would work, actually. But I really enjoyed participating in Ashley's summer writing prompt. Writing a short story like that is (obviously) easier than hashing out a whole novel. So I though, what if I could make a whole bunch of short stories in the same world, then have them connect? Like vignette, or....something. Sunny knows what I'm talking about, she actually did this for school one time.

4. Middle Grade
Slightly shorter stories, the acceptance of plotlines without heavy elements, a greater tolerance for goofiness . . . these things appeal to me. I'm not sure I could actually write a story that would appeal to 8-12 year olds, but maybe?

5. Any Other Genre
Um . . . I may or may not have limited myself to the "gateway genre" of writing. Apparently most people who start writing for the first time start with the fantasy genre? I don't know, but it's what I heard. Anyway, I've never really moved on from that, so I'd definitely like to take a stab at other genres, like mystery . . . or a thriller! :O

6. Villain as MC
I don't know if this is actually a viable idea. But wouldn't it be cool to see the whole story from the villain's perspective? Maybe you don't even know that you're reading from the villain's perspective until near the end of the story? OR, over the course of the story, you watch your hero become the villain?

Has this been done? I mean, I'm sure it has, but have you read one? How was it? What was it called? I want to read it. X)

7. Finishing
LOL well, I've already complained about this issue wayyy too many times over the past year, so I'll just say . . . I hope to struggle my way to the end of a draft someday. ;D


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If you've ever seen me do a tag before, you probably know what I'm going to say next . . . .


Tag, you're it! :D


Friday, 25 September 2015

Book List - Prince and the Pea

If you were to go back to my old list of books, you wouldn't see this one listed. Why? Because I totally forgot about it, that's why. I found it among some old papers, and had a minor meltdown of laughter at the unexpected discovery.

I don't know why I was so interested in the "Princess and the Pea" story, but apparently I liked it enough to plagiarize it when I was like . . . 8-ish? Maybe? The spelling/punctuation/capitalization was pretty awful, but if you look closely:


you'll see that slightly-older-younger-me fixed it up with pen at some later point.

I am going to type this out for you EXACTLY as it is written. I mean, I've done that pretty much every other time, but even with my fixes, this one just takes the cake for worst punctuation. Good luck. XD

~*~*~*~*~*~

One stormy night, a prince come to the castle. Come in said the king, come in said the queen. The princess wants to marry a prince. said the king. But, he has to be a real prince. I am a real prince. said the prince. You do not look like one. said the queen who had been listening near by. But still the prince said he was a real prince. I will see if this is a real prince, said the queen. and she went to make his bed. First, the queen put a tiny pea on the bed, then she put 20 mattresses on top of the pea. Then she put 20 blankets on top of the mattresses. Your bed is ready called the queen! Good, said the prince, I'm tired!
*new page*
He is tired! said the king!
Yes, agreed the queen.
*new page*
When morning came, the king, queen, and princess asked how did you sleep? I did not sleep at all said the prince. there was a big lump in my bed! The king, queen, and princess smiled. You are a real prince the all said!
*new page*
And the prince and princess were wed the next day. And they all lived
HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
The END
~*~*~*~*~*~

Ok, you may be wondering where my rapier-like wit *coughsarcasmcough* was during that reading, but honestly, I really get a kick out of the childlike cadence of this story. "Come in said the king, come in said the queen" just kills me every time. XD

But, to make up for my lack of droll commentary, here's some pictures of the "book" for you!


Here we  see a ratty prince stumble up to the world's smallest castle, while being pelted with ... rain ... balls? And if you look closely, you can see that the tiny king and queen are ordering him to come in before he even knocks. Thirsty.


Why, what fine art. I especially love how the pillow hangs in midair off the top of the 17 mattresses. Hey, I thought she said she put 20 on there! Also, look at the doodle on the far left of the page. That's a chair. With clothes on it. He's sleeping in the nude. Maybe the king and queen should, oh, I don't know, exit?!


The king, queen, and princess all eating GIANT BOWLS of, what, like porridge or something? They're royalty, shouldn't they have something a little more grand than that? And where's the prince? They didn't invite him for breakfast? And let's not ignore the fact that the king and princess are standing on their chairs. Maybe they should invest in some furniture their own size.


"K" "Q" "P" "P" King, Queen, Princess, Prince. Get it, got it, good. I don't know why the queen only had hair in that one breakfast picture, OR why the princess has huge freaky duck lips, OR why she's significantly taller than anyone else, OR why she's the only one wearing more clothes than just a cape. But maybe that was my plan way back then?? Not to plagiarize The Princess and the Pea, but to retell it, with a prince stumbling into a nudist colony?

. . . . . Well, that just conjured up some scarring images.  I'm gonna leave now.

Did you ever plagiarize a favorite story when you were young? How did that turn out? Or have you ever read any really weird retellings of classic stories, such as one with far too many naked people?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

One Year


Happy one year anniversary to my blog! This is most definitely the longest I've ever run with a blog before. Yay me! My own blog, that is. I co-authored a blog with my two best friends a few years ago. But we won't talk about that . . . . o.0

Lots of things have happened this past year. Most were good, but one was heartbreaking. A longtime friend of mine was killed in a motorcycle accident a couple of months ago. Hearing the news the morning after it happened was the most shocking, I-don't-believe-you, that-can't-have-happened experience I've ever had. We're thankful that he was a child of God, and is safe in God's arms, but that's about all the thanks anyone can muster right now.

However, not everything in the past year has been so hard, or (for his family, closest friends, and fiance) life-altering. Though it feels small and almost selfish to list them, the past year has also brought:
  • The finish of my first year of college
  • The start of my second year of college
  • My resignation from my first job (to focus on college)
  • The start of a new job search (now that I'm more used to college)
  • My first year helping at a local kid's club
  • The arrival of a little second-cousin (my cousin's son)
  • The passing of driver training
  • The earning of my driver's license
  • A trip to see a One Direction concert with my bff
  • The wedding of a family friend
  • My 20th birthday
  • Helping at our annual summer day camp
  • 24 new blog followers
And other good things I can't remember right now. 

Well, here's to another year of blogging, another year of school, and another year of life. No one knows what the future may bring, but I know God has a plan, and He'll be right there, every step of the way.

Monday, 14 September 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

The beautiful Emily at Emily Etc. tagged me for....! *drumroll*




RULES:

1. Thank and follow whoever nominated you.
2. List rules and display award.
3. Give seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and notify them.

First off, thank you Emily! :D Now, seven facts about MEEE! ^.^

  1. I have trypophobia, acrophobia, belonephobia, and a bit of claustrophobia.
  2. I loooove animals, and I have one snuggly wittle kitty of my own.
  3. I am going to school to be a Veterinary Receptionist (yes that's actually a thing). I could also use the program I'm taking as a prerequisite to be a Vet Tech, so that's a future option if I want it (IF).
  4. My favorite season is fall.
  5. I really really really enjoy organizing things. Like, yes, I will clean and organize and color code your room for you and label things with pretty labels so you can find everything after I put it away. ESPECIALLY BOOKS! For organizing, I mean, not labeling. I love organizing books, like, idek, its just great.
  6. My favorite show right now is probably Grimm, but we watch a looot of TV.
  7. I just learned to drive, and it's still a BLECH NO WHY moment every time I get behind the wheel. X)


*WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS POST. IF YOU READ THIS POST, YOU WILL BE TAGGED FOR IT.*

Whoops! I guess I should have put that at the beginning. Too late now, you're tagged! Ah, whatever shall you do?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Happiness Tag

The sweet Bailey Erickson at The Curiosity Collections made up a tag! Isn't that awesome?** :D



Guidelines:
Take the banner and put it in your post
List as many things as you want in each category
Come up with more categories if you wish
Tag as many people as you want


1. Some songs that make you happy.
Strawberry avalanche by Owl City:



Outfox the Fox, sung by Danny Kaye for the old comedy movie The Court Jester (please feel free to laugh at it's goofiness; I know I do):



Baba Yetu, this version sung by Peter Hollens:



Bubbly by Colbie Caillat:



The Rocky Road to Dublin, this version by the High Kings:



Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson:



2. Some books that make you happy.
Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and really anyone else)
The Redemption by M.L. Tyndall
The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Mystery of the Invisible Knight by Bill Myers
The Cats Pajamas by Rachael Hale
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Monster by Mirriam Neal

3. Some foods that make you happy.
Tacos
M&m's
Birthday cake
Blueberry muffins
Juice boxes
Tea
Cobbler
Chocolate pie
Cheese

4. Some words that make you happy.
Sniveling
Verbatim
Askance
Posthaste
Forthwith
Equanimity
Egregious
Puttering
Squirrelly
Snatch
Sniffle
Aplomb

5. Some scents that make you happy.
Baking cake and other bread products
This one candle I have called Ghostly Treats that smells really sweet
New books
Cat shampoo (seriously, my cat comes back from the groomers smelling like a dream)
Hot apple cider
Spring air
New clothes
Fresh laundry

6. Some random things that make you happy.
The Court Jester movie (lol I came full circle!)
Anything Sherlock Holmes-y-ish
Pretty much anything Scottish
Playing video games
Irish dancing
Old movies
Markiplier, and specifically this video:



My cat
Being Canadian (Too cheesy? Maybe. But I do like it, just the same. ;D)
BBC's Pride and Prejudice mini series from like 1995
The Lord of the Rings movies
Coloring in those intricate coloring books
Sweater weather
Organizing
Fires in fireplaces and fire pits
This comedic sponsored commercial by some of my other favorite youtubers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvha1rA92Zs 

And other randomness of the sort.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Ok, so I feel like I didn't put enough in the "books" category, but my mind always blanks when it comes to stuff like that. XD I also feel like my "random" category was SUPER WEIRD, but meh.

"Tag as many people as you want," eh? That would be both no one and everyone at the same time. I tag no one in particular, but if you've made it this far in the post....WHOOPS! Ya done been tagged. Congrats! ^.^ You'll have a really fun time with it! :D



**Yes.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Stacking the Shelves/Summer Book Haul

I'd seen this meme around for a while, but never had sufficient cause (aka sufficient influx of books) to join up. But! This summer, I seemed to end up with quite a few new books in my possession, so I thought I'd share them!


Top to bottom:
Soulless by Gail Carriger 
-thrift store find! I'd heard about it, and added it to my Goodread tbr list, so I thought, "why not?"

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
-secondhand bookstore find! I'd gotten some Artemis Fowl books from the library before and really liked them, so I was happy to get the first one for myself.

Eona by Alison Goodman
-ok, technically I got this in the spring, but I was already on "summer vacation," soo....it counts. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
-secondhand bookstore find #2! Another book I'd heard a lot about and added to my Goodread tbr list. 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
-thrift store find #2! I'd never read it or seen the movie, but I'd heard that it was sad, and who doesn't want to be emotionally scarred by books?

Rachel: Beloved of God by Agnus Scott Kent
-a just-because gift from my aunt.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
-secondhand bookstore find #3, although this one I didn't get for me. My mom loves the Harry Potter books, and we're slowly accumulating all of them for her. Only Half-Blood Prince left!

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters
-haha, another thrift store find. My mom and I saw it and laughed, so we picked it up. Why not, right?

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
-THRIFT STORE FIND! (are you sensing a pattern?) we have Inkheart, and so of course we needed the other one. Plus, its so PRETTY. 

The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall
-I AM SO EXCITED TO READ THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS! I just got it for my birthday (and by the time this post goes up, I maaaayy have read it already).

Chibis, Mascots, and More: Christopher Hart's Draw Manga Now! by Christopher Hart
-bought this at a craft store. I'm not THAT into manga, but chibis are fun, and are way easier to draw than....almost anything else. X)

Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford

-another gift from my birthday! ITS A COLORING BOOK FOR ADULTS, PEOPLE!! ITS PROBABLY THE BEST INVENTION EVER!

There was also this:


Which I bought at a farmer's market, in a stall that sold all kinds of old comic books/magazine covers/what have you. It's some sort of quarterly published in and around 1977 that has....stuff...and things....about the Sherlock Holmes stories. I haven't really looked at it that much, so I can't really explain it. It's cool, though. :)