"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Booksellers Without Borders

As those of you that have been around here for a while know, I used to work at Borders. And closing our doors was one of the saddest things I've ever experienced. Fortunately my coworkers and I found a way to keep in touch - we started a book club. We meet once a month and it's like a mini reunion every time ... and sometimes we even talk about the book ;)

Well, at our December meeting we decided that it would be the best thing ever to start a group blog! So we did. So if you're looking for a book suggestion or want to join us on our book club reading or just want to see what we're reading or thinking, we would love it if you'd pop on by and check us out. Maybe even comment or follow us. Or spread the word.

You can find our blog at Booksellers Without Borders

And on Twitter at The Booksellers

Thanks! Y'all are the best of the best of the best!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

To all my lovely blogging friends. May you have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dream Ticket

Okay. So last night I had a dream that my school gave me a ticket for having too many "identifiable items" in my car. Like a map opened to my home town. The ticket was for $2400. I tried to argue with them, but they were adamant that I had to pay. I have no idea what this means. Except I think my semester from youknowwhere finally caught up with me.

And there's your little bit of random for the day.

funny pictures - Gud tawk.

And a little more random. Because I'm generous that way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Little Christmas Poem

Holy smokes! Can it really have been so long since I posted? I really shouldn't even be on here now since I have a paper to write (the last one of the semester!) but...

I have been very very sad about my Borders being closed, particularly now when I think about all the fun, craziness, angst, etc. that would be going on if we were open. It was making me all teary eyed today thinking about not spending these weeks with my Borders family. Then my manager posted on Facebook about a poem I wrote, apparently 3 years ago today, when the mall got evacuated (for no real reason as it turned out) and as we waited for hours, huddled in cars, trying to stay warm but not asphyxiate, we began composing our own version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" which I then later finished and printed up and passed around at work.

I don't THINK I've posted it here, but even if I did, I had way too much fun with it not to repost:

'Twas the Week Before Christmas
Evacuation: Holidays at the Galleria

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the mall
Deadly gas was a-creeping unnoticed by all.
The shoppers were shopping caught up in their cares
For in only one week Christmas day would be there.
Their children were hustled first up and then down
Unaware of the danger gathering round.
The cashiers were ringing, the booksellers selling,
Each customer wanting a book most compelling
When out in the mall there arose such a clatter
Larry called from upstairs to see what was the matter.

Away to the phone Danielle flew with a squeak
But there was no security with whom we could speak.
Our emergency box went from yellow to red.
"Evacuate the store" was all that it said.
With a breath and calm voice Danielle gave the report,
"The mall has announced we must all leave the store."
Customers were waiting with books in their hands
And the call to get out only heightened their demands.
Much slower than inchworms the customers moved
And making them leave very difficult proved.
"I just need the bathroom." "Can I buy this book?"
"How 'bout some coffee?" "My bag someone took."
From the back of the store to the front they delayed.
"We have to get out! Leave the store! Go Away!"

Like obstinate children the customers balked
As we nudged and we prodded and forced them to walk.
So out of the building we went to the cold
And gathered at lightpost D6 like we're told.
And then on the schedule that Jessica brought
She counted to see we were all in the lot.
As we noticed that Larry was not to be found
Through the cars, cross the lot Larry came with a bound.
And then we called Kevin to tell him the news.
"Are you joking?" he said. "Oh, what money we'll lose."
"Will they let us back in?" Charles wanted to know.
"I don't have my keys. I have no where to go."
We gathered in cars all lined up in a row
And turned up the heat as we warmed all our toes.

We turned on the walkies to talk in between
But then someone decided that "Rudolph" they'd sing.
(Inspired, no doubt, by the antlers and nose
On Melanie's car - at least, so I suppose)
We had a long wait, Danielle wanted to leave.
"My shift ended at seven, it's ten past I believe."
Brian's car was all fogged since the windows were closed
And we laughed and we warned against starting to doze.
"Oh, but carbon monoxide's a good way to die."
"Then we won't have to pay you," said Bill and said I.
"My managers are mean," Brian cried to the crew.
"You're just figuring that out? Oh, that's right, you are new."

"T-Mobile says we will be closed for the night."
Wayne delivered the news, but T-Mobile wasn't right.
We sprang to the mall as they opened the doors.
"If you work here, then you may return to your stores."
So with all the debris left from customer's flight
Merry Christmas to all, we've reopened tonight.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holy Smokes, or NaNo Day 30, or VICTORY IS MIIIIIIIINE!

Here we go! My last day to spam you with my NaNo progress.

About day 24 I was seriously starting to wonder if I would make the deadline. I got more and more behind and school got busier and busier. But then, on day 26 as I posted, I did some word wars and challenges that gave me a 4,000 word day. I followed that up with a 2,000 word day, which gave me a lot of incentive to finish. How lame to come so close and not cross the finish line. I am by no means disparaging anyone who did not finish by any margin. I am talking about my own peptalk to my own self. Yes, I do embarrass myself into doing things. All the time. Hey, it works, right!?

Anyways, by the time I sat down to write yesterday I only needed 1,200 words to finish it. I exported my Scrivener document to Word to double check my word count. As I scrolled down to the end of the document so I could smash out my last words I stumbled across a conversation I had forgotten about. It's one of the many info dumps that occurred in this novel so I could work through my world building while still adding onto my word count. So I know that it won't end up in the next draft in its entirety, but as I passed it I had to stop and reread it. As I did I got all giddy and happy. It reignited my love for this world and these characters and reminded me what is at stake.

Taking that enthusiasm I jumped down to where I had left off and zipped through my last scene. Is it good? No, not really. The ending is way too preachy and sappy. But is this draft basically done? YES! Do I have a world that has come together and developed in ways I never anticipated? Absolutely. Do I have a main character that has grown throughout the progression of the novel? Shockingly, YES! Do I have great secondary characters that I'm dying to develop further in my next draft? Oh my goodness yes. Devvon, I will discover your secrets. And Virra? Let's just say the little twist in your character surprised me.

This is only my 3rd NaNo year and it's my 2nd win, but it is definitely my most satisfying experience. I felt like I was better prepared going in, that I have a better and more cohesive (though all over the place and completely convoluted) rough draft than any rough draft I've ever written. There is a TON of stuff that needs to be fixed and rearranged and taken out and added in and I am giddy over the prospect of all the plotting and outlining and rewriting I get to do now (As soon as I write these 2 massive research papers).

I understand that NaNo doesn't work for everybody, but it has always been a fantastic experience for me and, whether I end up with a few random scenes, a random idea for a story that doesn't end up going anywhere, or a workable rough draft, the point is that I wrote. That I made time in my schedule to get my thoughts down on paper. That I created a world that didn't exist before. Made friends with other WriMos. These are the things that make NaNo worth it and I most highly recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge or just wants to try something new. It's the experience, not the "perfect product" that matters.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now and celebrate my win by allowing myself to watch a couple episodes of Friends. And by leaving you with a cute kitty.

happy December everyone! And happy writing!
funny pictures

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Shall Prevail! Or NaNo Day 26

Word Count: 44,122 CAUGHT UP!

Mood: FEELING FANTASTIC! Did 1k in half an hour on a challenge from a fellow WriMo and then a 2K hour a little later, which got me majorly caught up. I'm also hitting the climax of the story, so it's all actiony and things are happening and this weird guy named Ulrrick just showed up and I snicker every time I type his name. This is where I'm pretty solid with what is happening and what is going to happen, though the details, of course, are coming as I write. But it's a good place to hit at this point in the month, because I'm really feeling like it won't be a problem to actually win this year! I've been holding steady at various levels of being behind all month, but never let myself get to the point where I was ready to despair. I think 4 days behind was the worst that it got and 2 days of burst writing got me back into the game.

The absolute best thing is that I'm kind of in love with this WIP even though the middle is SO rough and I've been writing out of order and I think I have people alive when they should be dead and dead when they should be alive, but I don't care, because the scenes are getting written and after November is over I can go back and outline and rewrite and figure out what the hay bale is missing and I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT. More than I've ever ever been before.

How is your NaNo journey? Are you despairing? Excited? Already done?! (you overachiever you)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Tower of Books!

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you're having a marvelous day of family, friends, food, and writing (for those of us behind on our NaNo word count *cough cough*).

One thing that I am epically thankful for is the mountains of books that I own. I love books. I love reading, I love authors, I love writer friends. *hugs*

So earlier this week, the lovely folks over at Reading Teen posted a video of a "Tower of Epic Bookishness" and challenged their followers to build their own tower.

Well, Naomi and I just can't pass up a challenge like that so..... we had the afternoon free and we decided to kick it up a notch and not only build a tower, but build an Eiffel Tower made completely from books.

Here you go - The Tour de Livre!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Excuse me, but have you seen my brain? or NaNo day 18

I'm sure you're tired of me spamming your Google Readers with pointless posts about my progress or lack thereof. Just think ... November is almost over!

I know a lot of people who complain that NaNoWriMo takes place during the month of November. Thanksgiving, the beginning of the holiday season, school, work problems... But I think the thing is that NO month would ever be good for some people. There are definitely times that I wonder if I have lost my mind in trying to fit this into my already crammed full schedule. But then I sit down and get lost in my story and realize that the strange boy who appeared in the second chapter is one of my favorite characters I've ever written. And that Devvon has way more layers than I first realized. And that Evva, well, she isn't the kick butt heroine I was anticipating, but I really like her anyway. And that the woman who annoyed me by her appearance in chapter 5 was the key to helping me figure out my entire plot. And that Granntt is pretty much THE biggest jerk I've ever written... what a sleazeball. How fantastic!

And I realize that all these late nights, early mornings, frantic writing sessions, panicking over homework and grading while I'm plotting in the back of my mind... it's all so totally worth it.

I have every intention to reach that 50,000 word mark before November is over. But if I don't? Well, there's a solid beginning to a story that probably wouldn't have gotten written if it weren't for NaNo. I have characters I want to chortle over. I have a crazy plot I might never have figured out. So it's totally worth it. Is my draft even a proper draft? Sometimes I wonder... but it's something. And it's something I wouldn't have without this insanely fun challenge.

Do you have to do it? Absolutely not. But don't knock it till you've tried it. What could it hurt? I honestly can't think of any reason not to at least give it a whirl.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.

I'm totally at 26,075 words and I know I'm about 4,000 words behind, but I wrote some yesterday! Yeah! That makes my mood exhausted, but happy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yeah! Augh! Yeah! Augh! or NaNo Day 17

Word Count: 25,275 - Broke the half way mark! Yeah! Still behind, but maintaining at least :)

Mood: Up and Down for sure. Yesterday, in the middle of class I figured out a major plot point for my novel. I was so excited beyond all reason and I had to SIT IN CLASS for 2 hours and then drive over an hour home and then eat something before my stomach ate itself and then. ALL motivation gone. Managed to crank out a couple thousand words by forcing myself to sit down and just write. Like where it's heading, but today I look at where I left off and don't know where to go next. So I'm back to the blah part. I really just want to crank out the roughness of this rough draft so I can then go back and figure out what pieces are missing. I love this story and I really want to see it developed, but this is the first time ever that I've been more excited about the prospects of revising than I am about the idea of drafting.

Surprises: The random woman that appeared a while back turned out to be the key to my whole entire plot. Funny how that happens!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blurgh. Or NaNo Day 14

Word Count: 20,909 - about 2 days behind. Bad, but not insurmountable.

Mood: Happy because I finally downloaded Scrivener and now I have all my notes and everything in one place and it's got me geeking out all over the place. Cranky because my plot is lagging again.

Surprises: Not so much surprises as awkwardnesses. I can't get the main male character down. He's supposed to be really annoying, but the main female character is coming off as rude instead. Also this random woman popped up and she and Evva are having this weird conversation right now and I have no idea where it's going. I may just start skipping forward to stuff I know has to happen. At least to get words on the page.

How about you? Hit any snags? Having problems? This project has been so up and down for me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why do I keep using the same letters, or NaNo Day 12

Word Count: 18,744 - about 1300 words behind. Not too shabby.

Mood: Confused.

Surprises: So yesterday I realised I had a Lirra and a Larra. Today I realised I have a Garrett and a Granntt. Good heavens. And yes, the double letter thing is a cultural thing. Don't know why yet, but every single character has at least one double letter if not two. I think it's my way of defamiliarizing common names and creating some sort of language difference and continuity. I tend to do this with dystopian or fantasy that I write. *ponders*

Had a great scene yesterday. Weird scene today. Tomorrow I'm pretty sure someone dies and I'm not looking forward to it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's Been a Loooong Week, or NaNo Day 11

Word Count: 17,050... made up some wordage tonight. Only about 1300 words behind now!

Mood: wiped out.

Surprises: Named a new character Larra and then realised that Evva's best friend's name is Lirra. Now I have to figure out which one to change, but I don't want to change EITHER :(

Also ended up with this horrific scene unfolding that I never intended. Holy cow. Intense and really terrible and rather emotionally draining. Taking this novel to darker places than I thought it would go. But it's so ... right. In a writing sense that is. It's what needed to happen at this point and this one event does a better job of showing the corruption I've been trying to figure out how to express than pretty much anything I had planned.

How about you. Any twists you hadn't seen coming? Does writing wipe you out sometimes? I'm telling you that exhausted me!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cover Fun, Procrastination, and NaNo Day 10

Word Count: 14,369 - about 2300 words behind. Totally doable.

Mood: Happy

Surprises: today I have a surprise for YOU! Okay, only sort of. I mean... never mind let me just go with this.
So I've been wanting to create a cover for my NaNo novel. Really badly. The society in the novel is sort of obsessed with trees. I think I may have mentioned this before. They count time in seasons and rings instead of months and years, etc, etc. And the novel opens with a funeral where Evva performs a ceremony with a leaf. So I've been weaving in a lot of tree/plant imagery and speak. It's petering out as I just try to write, but it's something that will be important in the novel as I work on revisions later, so I wanted to cover to reflect that. I thought it would be fun to go out and take some pictures myself and play with them so it would be totally my work. Today it was gorgeous, so I took a break from grading in the afternoon, found a leaf I liked and started a photo shoot. I ended up laying flat on my back in the grass, holding the branch with the tips of my fingers as I blindly took the picture since the sun was so bright. I love the way they came out. Then tonight I allowed myself to play with Photoshop while Vampire Diaries was on. This is the first cover I came up with:
 I like the look of it. I love the starkness of the red leaf against the sky and the clouds cooperated perfectly. But it seemed a little - I don't know. Plain or something. so I played with it a bit more, adding some really faded layers and developed this:
I like the lettering of the name on this better and I love the faint leaves in the clouds. But I changed the title a little bit and I'm not sure I like it. I'm also not sure if the single leaf isn't a better image with the title being Solo.
But the main thing is I had a ton of fun with it.

What do you think? Have a preference between the two? Do you ever make fake covers (or real covers ) for your WIPs? Is this a reasonable form of procrastination? :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pooped, or NaNo Day 8

Word Count: 12,797 - about 2200 behind :(

Mood: tired and a bit cranky

Surprises: blrgh. I've just hit that point where everything sounds ridiculous and lame and nothing is happening. Mid-month slump. I will persevere!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When did this turn into Personal Enlightenment? or NaNo Day 7

Word Count: 11,688 - about a day behind

Mood: Kinda bummed about being behind, but glad it's only a day. Also pretty excited about some things I figured out and kinda emotionally wired.

Surprises: So, my main character decided to go visit her parents and in a too long expository thought block, which will definitely be reduced or completely removed in revisions, she laid out the basic tenets of the society. Now, I knew a number of things already. I knew that it was a rather controlled society. I also knew it was another world. As in not ours. I also knew that this was not going to be a dystopian novel at all. Because it was going to be all about the secret powers and the evil scientists (not that all scientists are evil, but some of the ones in the novel are... not to hurt the feelings of any scientists that randomly stumble across this blog ... okay, writing these posts really late at night is apparently not the best idea.)

Anyhoodles... yeah, so in this expository paragraph I realized that 1) this is TOTALLY a dystopian novel and I started wondering if it's too derivative of Tahereh Mafi, Elana Johnson, and Allie Condie, but deep inside I know it's not - I just happen to have read all of their books fairly recently and it has some sorta similar elements. 2) it totally takes place on earth in the future, which actually makes things a lot simpler and more complicated at the same time. 3) It is about the secret powers and the evil scientists, but it's also about a girl who has to figure out who she is in a world where people are completely defined by their Pair. You basically aren't anything on your own. Nothing. You're a second-class citizen. So even if you're an amazing doctor or a fabulous chef, your talent is repressed. And it's all about how Evva has to find out who she is alone. Not as a girl, not as half of a Pair, but as herself and who she wants to be and what she wants to do, no matter what other people tell her. 4) It feels a little uncomfortable, because it's pretty different than anything I've ever written. But it feels really right. I'm single. I've been single my whole life and it's really hard to navigate a world where people are defined by their relationship status. No matter what people say, it's true. Is it something that's changing? Yes and no. Life in our world is designed for couples. It's natural. I don't have a problem with that. I really, truly don't. But it's hard to be on the outside of that sometimes. So I like the idea of writing a book that isn't a romance.It isn't about who the girl will end up with in the end. In fact, I already know that Evva doesn't end up with anybody, though there will certainly be some cute boys along the way. Because you have to know who you are and what you want and what you have to offer the world before you can truly be able to enjoy that in someone else. And that's a message that I feel often gets overlooked a bit in YA fiction (though I totally love a lot of those squee worthy boys). And I'm totally not dissing ANYONE who writes romance or has a romance in their novel. This is just something I have to write, whether it goes anywhere or not. 5) I totally didn't mean to get on my soapbox there, but I feel a lot better and I'm really excited about where this novel is going, no matter what happens.

Phew. so, any soul wrenching revelations come to you while you write? Do share!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are you sure this was only one day? or NaNo Day 7

Word Count:10,629 - about 1,040 words behind. Easy to make up. I will stay positive!

Mood: TIRED. Today consisted of three days: 1) 1201 class, which was library orientation, and my own reading and research before I left school. 2) Gym. Again. Just for like 45 minutes and then home for a shower and cleaning. 3) Dinner, which was amazing, and evening television shows. I can't miss Terra Nova and Hart of Dixie was fun tonight and I absolutely can't miss Castle. Which was great. As always. Yes, I could have been writing instead of watching, but I didn't. And so I'm behind. You wanna make something of it?! Oh. I guess you should add touchy to mood too :)

Surprises: Doing stomach crunches makes it hurt to laugh. Or cough. or pretty much move your stomach in any way whatsoever. What?! It's not a surprise to you? well, I wish I'd gotten the memo :-P

Also, this gave me a pretty good giggle, so I thought I'd share:

funny pictures - Mom  iz  dis  teh  Stargate ?

Monday, November 7, 2011

NaNo Day 6 (Sorry, no clever title today)

Word Count: 10,127 - on track! Still! Shockingly!

Mood: Excited that I am keeping up, but feeling a little blah about the novel. Had a really awkward encounter between the female MC and the male MC and it was ... awkward. I mean, it was supposed to be, but it wasn't awkward like, oh yeah you can tell they're all awkward together. It was like um, yeah. Don't really get where this is going kind of writing awkward. Anyways. I'm sure it will come together. Eventually. I hope. Did end up with Evva coming face to face with her mother and found out they have a distinctly CHILLY relationship. Which I didn't know. Which raises some interesting questions for later in the novel for me. So that's good.

Any writing awkwardness for you? Have you been able to push through it? Isn't it tempting to agonize over it until you get it "right"?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Motivation Went to Vegas with Tessa's Muse, or NaNo Day 5

Word Count: 8,716

Mood: Impressed that I managed to make my goal for the day.

Surprises: Somehow the random upstairs neighbor that bounded into the novel on Day 1 is cute and adorably friendly. Not a love interest, but a fun character to have around. Didn't see that one coming AT ALL. Also, Evva's best friend is kind of funky and a bit of a rebel. I'm fairly certain she's going to die, even though she wasn't supposed to. This is depressing me. A lot.

So today I was supposed to be super duper productive and get all this homework done and spend time getting ahead on my word count for later this month. Yeah. It's all my fault really, because I allowed myself to get sucked into Facebook and Twitter. Did manage to get some stuff done, just not as much as I had hoped.

Anyhoo... I ended up in this Twitter conversation with Mia Hayson and Tessa Conte and it was pretty hilarious. Among other things Tessa asked if anyone had seen her muse and I told her it had probably run off with my motivation. We also determined that they apparently stole Mia's chocolate and went off to Vegas to GAMBLE IT ALL AWAY. hahahaha! Okay, so maybe you had to be there, but these are the kinds of conversations that are only made possible through Twitter and NaNo word count despair.

So how has your productivity been? Had any random conversations lately? Can I use them in my novel? :D

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Has a StorySaurus, or NaNo Day 4

Word Count: 6,809 - still on track!

Mood: Better. Things are starting to get interesting and I have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen next, so the words are flowing faster and the plot is moving a bit more than it was.

Surprises: Nothing really, but I did take some time yesterday to set up my inspiration/plotting board. Are you curious? Of course you are!

So here it is:
So, I totally stole the StorySaurus idea from Jamie over at Totally the Bomb. And believe me, hers is much more awesomesaucier than mine is. Much. But mine gets my main plot points in place, and because it's a white board I can totally erase and move and add and change and stuff.
Other things to note: the mascot sitting up in the very top right corner is Gothic NaNo Cheerleader Barbie, which Lindsey, my amazing CP, sent me last year when I won NaNo. GNC Barbie is the depressing source of so much inspiration :) For instance. She is glaring at me right now for writing this instead of raising my word count.
The list of numbers down the side is where I should be at the end of each day if I want to keep on track. I know I have to write 1,667 words a day, but having the total needed to date written out helps me see at a glance how close or far I am from my goal.
The little bits around the edges are some pictures that have inspired me/gotten me in the mood/otherwise made me happy or thinky or writery.
And then I have the open areas to jot in bits of information, questions, etc. Things I don't want to forget.
And that giant word in the middle is the title and is there to help me remember the overall driving point behind the story.

So there you have it! How about you? What do you do to get inspired?

Friday, November 4, 2011

How Did That Happen? Or NaNo Day 3

Word Count: 6062 On Track!

Mood: Weird. I was trying to keep a day ahead, but had an abysmal word count from two nights ago. Wanted to at least make it up last night and ended up picking up an extra 1,000 words, which totally shocked me.

Surprises: It is incredibly hard to write a novel that is set in a fantasy world, but is also a rather Earth-like society. It's a tree based society (e.g. they have Branches instead of Streets, count time in Seasons and Rings instead of months and years) and I'm having such a hard time making that work without info dumps (bad in a stream of consciousness type style) or just leaving it up to my audience to figure out. And I can't change ALL the terms because then it's like deciphering another language, which is bad. And it's hard to find the balance between what should be the same, what should be slightly different, and what should be totally different.

Also, things are definitely taking a LOOOOOOONG time to tell, which is good for my word count, but frustrating for pacing, because I know tons of this is going to have to be cut and I'm not entirely sure how much to have happen now and how much to bring in later. My character is changing too fast, but I don't want her to be too mopey for too long, because that is boring.

Oh the fun of NaNo writing!

Any weird world building things you've come across? How's your pacing?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Surprise Support, or What happened on NaNo Day 2

Word Count: 4,345, but the day isn't over and I don't have class today. Just research and grading, so I'm hoping to squeak out the rest of my daily goal - which is only about 700 words. Easy peasy.

Current Mood: Strangely blah. I've been so excited and psyched. Maybe I'm just tired because of my long school day yesterday. Had to force myself to write last night, even though I'd been looking forward to it ALL DAY LONG.

Surprises: I stuck an "Ask me about my novel" sticker on my office door and one of my fellow TAs saw it and exclaimed over it, wanted to know everything about what I was doing, insisted on reading my opening paragraphs and demanded to read more. Said when it got published she'd be all, yeah, I read the first draft. She also promised to ask me about it regularly over the month. Her enthusiasm was so fantastic. Thinking about it is making me want to write again, so here I go!

Any happy supporters that have inspired you already?

P.S. I'm presetting these posts at night to post the next day. It's weird to talk about tonight as yesterday when it's really today... weird.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Insanity has begun aka NaNoWriMo or WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING

Day: 2

Word Count so far: 3545! Woot!

Mood: Optimistic. Off to a good start. So glad I don't have morning classes on Tuesday so I was able to stay up until midnight Monday night and get my first day's word count done before I even went to bed. Couldn't do that last night, having to get up at 4:30ish, but allowed myself an hour before crashing. Which of course turned into an hour and 20 minutes, but I got myself on track for today, so even if I don't get back today (since this is my insanely long school day) I will not be behind tomorrow! Also, the story is flowing so well right now. The characters are popping out of everywhere, the story is unfolding and I'm starting to get some interesting glimpses of my MC's personality. Can't wait to see where it goes!

Surprises: Oh boy. Don't even get me started! I am writing a fantasy YA novel. I was going to write it in third person limited with flashbacks that would weave into the present to help unfold the mystery. Exciting right? Yeah. So when I sat down and started writing it came out in first person. It was working really well, so I just went with it. But THEN about 1,000 words in, I suddenly realised that I had randomly switched to PRESENT TENSE. Oh. My. Werd. I'd written a couple of paragraphs, but could see where I had switched. So I went back to fix it. It didn't work. I literally COULD NOT change it back and the story, the voice, the rawness of Evva's situation was perfect in present tense.

But how do you do flashbacks in present tense?! Well, it turns into a sort of stream of consciousness thing where the flashbacks are ending up woven into her thoughts about the present. It has such potential for disaster, but so far, I think it's really working.

So I'm doing the one thing I have always told myself I would never ever do: writing in first person present tense. AND writing stream of consciousness. Another giant no-no for me. What?

How about you? Are you doing NaNo? Any crazy surprises for you yet? Anything like that happen to you in the past? Am I crazy? Wait. Don't answer that :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Books of Gratitude

If someone asked you what book you were most grateful for, what would it be? Could you even choose?!

Well, Beth Revis asked this question and I had the hardest time coming up with an answer.

I definitely have to be grateful for Little Women - it was the first book that made me cry and realize that books could move people so deeply!

There have been multitudes of books since then that have affected me one way or another, but right now there are two that I am particularly thankful for:

Divergent by Veronica Roth


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (coming out in TWO WEEKS PEOPLE GO PREORDER IT!)

Both books inspired bursts of creativity in me and reminded me why I love this whole writing thing so much. I wouldn't be so psyched about NaNo if it weren't for books like these that are so creative and fun and good that they inspire me to strive to be all I can be.

How about you? Have a book that you are grateful for? Check out Beth Revis' giveaway where you can win 19... yes NINETEEN! signed books that she is grateful for! PLUS an ARC of A Million Suns which I am DYING to get my hands on!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Name is the Thing


Are you a NaNoer? Leave me your screenname in the comments and we can be writing buddies! I'm sonshinemusic (what else :)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled post.

I have been doing a lot of research on children's literature. I am writing 2 papers plus my thesis, which has me ordering so many books from inter library loan that I'm pretty sure the library is getting suspicious.

Anyhoodles. I have been trying to figure out what to write for my Age of Romanticism paper so I got a bunch of books about children's literature over the ages, etc. I have a few ideas percolating now, which is good, but the best thing has been seeing the titles of books from the 1700s and early 1800s. Some of them are so hilariously long that I had to share them with all y'all. Maybe you can even come up with some ideas for your NaNo novel title ;)

  • A Little Pretty Pocket-Book intended for the Instruction and Amusement of little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly, With Two Letters from Jack the Giant-Killer; As Also a Ball and Pincushion; The Use of which will infallibly make Tommy a good Boy, and Polly a good Girl
    • Now you know the secret to getting children to behave!
  • An Easy Introduction to the English Language; Or, a Compedious Grammar for the Use of young Gentlemen, Ladies and Foreigners
    • There's a whole series of these Easy Introductions. Does anyone know what Compedious means? Obviously I need this book!
  • The Art of Poetry made easy, and Embellish'd with great Variety of the most shining Epigrams, Epitaphs, Songs, Odes, Pastorals, etc.
    • Especially etc. That is the best way to make poetry easy.
  • The Prodigal Daughter ... who because her parents would not support her in all of her Extravagance, bargained with the Devil to poison them
    • I feel like this book needs to be rewritten as a modern day YA novel. I call dibs.
  • Early piety, exemplified in the life and death of Mr. Nathaniel Mather, who having become at the age of nineteen, an instance of more than common learning and virtue, changed earth for heaven, Oct. 17, 1688. Whereto are added some discourses on the true nature, the great reward, and the best season of such a walk with God as he left a pattern of
    • Talk about spoilers!
  • The Pilgrim's Progress From This World, To That Which is to come: Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream Wherein is Discovered, The manner of setting out, His Dangerous Journey; and safe Arrival at the Desired Countrey
    • Who else thought it was only called Pilgrim's Progress?
  • The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes; Otherwise Called Mrs. Margery Two-Shoes. With the Means by Which She Acquired Her Learning and Wisdom, and In Consequence Thereof Her Estate.
    • Now if someone calls you a goody two-shoes you can inform them that your name is not Margery. Unless it is. Because then that might not work so well.
Guys! We have been titling things ALL WRONG. There is definitely not enough plot summary in any of my titles. Excuse me while I go rethink all of them!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And the NaNo Comes in the NIIIIIIIIGHHHHT!

I may have spent the last couple of weeks watching old StrongBad e-mails with my brother. And if you haven't watched them go to HomeStarRunner.com RIGHT NOW and become addicted.

Anyhoo.... I have a couple of things to say, and since today is still technically Tuesday, this will be my Two for Tuesday post too!

1. As much as I absolutely adore blogging and love all of you wonderful people that lurk around and read my ramblings and comment and everything, I just can't keep up with posting regularly. So I've decided just to make the announcement that I will try to post once a week, but that is the most I can say. I've kept my schedule up on the side (because I don't want to have to remember all that when I get back to a place where I CAN post regularly), but it's just not gonna happen right now.

So I will be here, just not as often, which I haven't been anyways, but I feel better making it all official like.

2. My life is chaos. I'm doing research for my thesis (SO EXCITED I CAN'T EVEN HANDLE IT) and working on two other lengthy papers - 1 for my PostColonial class and 1 for my Age of Romanticism class, and teaching English Comp where we are about to start the dun dun dun Research Paper.

So of course, the most logical thing for me to do is obviously to add another writing project onto my life! NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for anyone who doesn't know) starts in like 6 days. SIX FREAKIN DAYS! I am so psyched about this year. So very very psyched. I am starting something completely new and I've been plotting it in my head and in scribbly notes for a couple of weeks now and I think this is the most I've ever planned something out before giving in to writing a scene or two. It's a YA fantasy and there are magic powers and evil scientists and PEOPLE DIE HORRIBLE DEATHS which is something completely new to me and my writing. I usually go out of my way to keep people alive. It's kind of ridiculous. But this project is much darker and I'm so excited about it.

I was sitting in class today and I suddenly broke into this huge goofy grin thinking about it and the professor actually asked if I was okay. Which was kind of embarrassing, but I really didn't care, because I'm SO EXCITED.

But here is the bad thing. Three times a week I have to get up at 4:30 in order to get to campus a little early before I teach. Which means that I need sleep and I need to fall asleep before midnight. Preferably no later than 11, but whatever.

This novel has decided I don't need sleep as much as I need to figure out why the hay bale Gavvet died in the first place. And WHY Devvon is acting like such a jerk. And what exactly is Evva's deal?! And why there are trees EVERYWHERE in the novel. And so my writer's brain goes in circles like a hyper-active little puppy while my logical brain tells it to shut up or it's going to have to lock it outside and for Pete's sake be quiet the neighbors are trying to sleep.

But I can't even get too upset about my writer's brain being so hyper because I'm SO SO EXCITED about this novel!

What about you? Are you doing NaNo? Is your story idea haunting you like Nearly-Headless Nick? Does your writer brain keep you up at night?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cover Love Thursday: Stoneheart

This is my most recent audiobook love. First, it's narrated by Jim Dale. Love his voices!

The story was amazing as well. And look at that cover! So perfect for the book. I love the green tint over everything. The second book is all blue and the third is red.

Quick non-spoilery summary:

George is just trying to get away from the teacher he doesn't like and the other kids that just don't get him, but he never meant to break anything. Only moments after he accidentally snaps the stone dragon's head off outside the Natural History Museum a pterodactyl crawls off the building and tries to attack him.

What a way to find out that he's fallen through to another layer of reality in London and that all the stone and metal statues around London have the capacity to wander from their plinths. And he's managed to anger the stone at the heart of London and he only has 24 hours to make penance for his crime. He runs into a statue of a world war I soldier called the Gunner and a strange girl with a rather scary ability. Can he complete his mission in time? And what will he have to sacrifice in order to free himself from the new life he's tumbled into?

It's kind of a cross between Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and His Dark Materials, but with a delightful charm all its own. If you're a fantasy fan, you'll love this book!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Stupid is as Stupid Does

Sometimes I have to laugh at my life, because things happen to me. Things that should only happen in a sitcom. Really.
People ask me if it's "too soon" to tease me about these things. In my opinion, it's rarely too soon to laugh at yourself. Because if you can't laugh, you're gonna cry. and laughing is ALWAYS the better option!

1. A couple weeks ago I was teaching my 1201 class. I had just split them up to do some group work and turned to go back to my desk.

FYI this is the floor in my office. So stylish, no? (sarcastafont engage!)
I happened to be wearing these shoes:
I love these shoes.
As I turned something happened that I could never ever duplicate. No matter how hard I tried.

I put the heel of the right shoe through the bow on the left shoe and BAM

crashed to the ground. Yes. Flat on my face in front of the class.

They all went dead silent and one of the boys jumped up to see if I was all right. I was fine, but the heel was still caught and it took me approximately 4 minutes to untangle it. Okay, probably more like 10 seconds, but it felt so much longer. I waved the student away and managed to stand back up.

But man was I totally self-conscious about my feet for the entire rest of the day.

As soon as I got back to the offices I had to tell my colleagues and we all laughed until our sides ached. I was glad to offer some levity to the day.

2. This Saturday I took the GRE Literature in English test. Talk about a brain implosion. 2 of my friends and I signed up to take it at the same location together so we could provide moral support for each other.

We finally found the room where we were supposed to take the test and the proctor, who was absolutely hilarious, started to get us into rows based on the test we were taking. Everyone was chatting as the proctor went around to check us in.

When she got to me my name wasn't on her list. So she checked her other list. Not there. So we looked at my ticket and I realised, to my horror, that whether I made a mistake or there was a computer glitch (a theory I strongly support as I swear I double and triple checked before signing up), I was registered to take the test at a different campus of the same school.


The proctor told me to take a deep breath and said she'd make a call to see what she could do for me. She pulls out her phone and the entire room goes deathly silent as she announce, "I've got a girl here who came to the wrong testing center. Can she take the test here?"

I am sure that my face went BRIGHT. RED. as everyone turned to look at me.

Fortunately I was able to take the test and it wasn't a problem. But after the proctor moved on I turned around and my 2 friends and I started cracking up as I threw up my hands and said, "Only me!"

How about you? Done anything hilariously stupid recently? Do tell, I could always use a good laugh!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Podcastin' Twilight or Soundin' Like a Ditz to the World

When I was at Polaris I was on a panel about the genre of YA. It was a lot of fun to actually talk about something I have such a passion about with other people that are of like minds. I mean, it's great to read blogs and chat with y'all online, but there's something about doing that in person that is so much more fun.

Well, afterward one of the other panelists Deanna Toxopeus asked if I would be willing to join in on a Twilight podcast on Revolution Sci Fi. It's a great website with a bunch of different things, but they do weekly podcasts on different topics and I was excited to do something like this.

So I joined Deanna and three other fun Twihards to talk about the series, what we liked, themes we saw, why it's so popular, and so on. It was a really great experience, even if I do feel like I sound like a total ditz at the beginning :)

If you care to check it out the link to the website is HERE

I definitely warmed up as the hour went on and started talking more. It was fun, but weird. Definitely something I would love to do again, maybe with another topic!

The thing that I realised as I was preparing for it and doing it is how much I really am passionate about children's and adolescent literature. I want to study this, want to write about it and talk about it and analyze it and present about it. So whatever I do next, I know that this kind of literature is where I want to spend my life, personal and academic.

What do you get excited about? Is there a particular type of book that gets you super excited? Or another interest that makes you all giddy when you met other people that love it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Bad/Good

Bad. It is a bad idea to run into the library and lock your keys in the car. After having left your cell phone at home.

Good. It is a good idea to have an amazing dad who will bring you your spare set of keys so you are not stranded at the library all day (although, that could have been fun too :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pictured Inspiration

I know October barely started, but I am getting totally psyched about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November.

I've had a massive writing dry spell. Mass. Ive. As in I haven't written pretty much anything since like May. I had all these grand plans for the summer and they didn't happen.


NaNo is going to get me writing something again. And I've been trying to figure out what to write, because last year I had my Layla story and was really excited to do that and this year I've been drawing a total blank.

Until yesterday. And I remembered this scene from a dream. It was one of those dreams where the emotions of the dream sticks with you creating a sort of dream hangover. So it's always been vividly in my mind emotionwise, but the visual was really sketchy. And then the first words of my novel came to me. I've rewritten them in my head about a billion times already, but it's a start.

So I spent a good chunk of the afternoon yesterday getting lost on DeviantArt which is pretty much THE coolest website ever and I'm trying to figure out why I haven't spent time on it before. Since I don't really have anything except the opening scene planned I was hoping to find some inspiration.

I already know that this story is going to be much darker than anything I've ever written before. In fact, *gasp* people die. Shocking, I know.

But here are some of the pictures that were giving me wondrous inspiration (I've linked the picture to its original place in all cases and referenced the artist). I also did my best not to use any where the artist asked they not be shared. Even though those were fantastic! Like THIS one (this artist is beyond amazing. Check out some of her other stuff. A TON of it was super inspiring). Or THIS one.
So I mean no harm by posting any of these - I am merely grateful for the talent of these amazing artists and if, by chance, you want me to take your picture down, I will be more than happy to do it.
"Miss Mourning" from Burning-Shark
"I Miss You" by Mitsumi-Mishitori
Drowned Catacomb by lyno3ghe
Mourning Air by inflexible
trees by loose665
Into the death by your-rain
Don't you just love pictures!? I'm so inspired now!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Whatcha Watchin' Fall '11

Once again I have proven myself to be a ridiculous tv addict. For serious. I love SO many of the new shows, am super excited about return of old favorites. AND my school schedule actually seems designed to fit around the shows I want to watch! I am sick! Sick I tell you!

And I love it!
So, for fun, here are the shows I'm watching and what I think about them :)
Watching the previews, I wasn't sure whether I was going to like this or not. I couldn't tell whether it was going to be great or super corny. Great. Definitely. Okay, so maybe a tiny bit of corniness, but I am loving it. Totally different than most of the other stuff I watch, so it's a nice adventurous sci-fi think. And the dinosaurs are pretty cool :)
I was NOT going to watch this. I thought it would be cute, but I just had too much on my plate, so I told myself I wasn't going to watch it. But it falls right between Terra Nova and Castle, so I flipped over to it this Monday. Oh my goodness. SO adorable. And hilarious. And full of ... heart :P
Some people are getting frustrated with Castle, but I love it as much as ever. Love, love, love, love. Maybe it's just Nathan Filion. Maybe it's the annoying new captain. Maybe it's the way they're bringing Ryan and Esposito more to the forefront this season. Yeah, they haven't gotten Beckett and Castle together yet, but to me it feels right, not annoying. Beckett had so many issues dredged up at the end of the last season. That's not going to go away overnight and Castle is completely tied up in all of it. Anyway. It's a great, humorous crime show and I loves it.
I almost didn't watch this again. Last season annoyed me. I kept hoping it was going to get better, but it never did in my opinion. Got home from school in time for the premier, so I turned it on. Seriously. The first 3 episodes of this season were better than the entire last season combined. It seems to have found its way again and it's not just S1 all over again. There is character growth! We get to learn more about minor characters! TONS of musical numbers! whee!
Another show that drifted toward the end of last season. This season is cracking me up so much. Hope is older, Virginia and Burt are pretty much the most hilarious people ever. <3
A lot of people are complaining about the corniness. Maybe a little, but I am really intrigued by how all of this is going to play out. I'm not sure how it can last more than one season, but it's kept my interest every episode and left me dying to watch the next one, so they're doing something right. Plus it's nice to see SMG in something new.
I'm not sure what I think about this season. Honestly, the Caroline and Jeremy storylines are the only ones that are really keeping me interested right now. The whole Stefan thing just isn't doing it for me.  I am curious where they're going to take everything.
I don't think I can possibly express how very, very excited I am to have Michael Emerson back on my tv every week. This show is so interesting and intriguing and almost like a crime show, but not. Jim Caviezel does a great job and did I mention MICHAEL EMERSON?! This show has so many possibilities and I hope it lasts for a long time.

So that's what I'm hooked on right now. Any shows you're loving this fall?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cover Love Thursday: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

This was our freshman read for this year, and as a professor of freshman comp, I had to read it as well. We incorporate the freshman read into one of our writing assignments over the semester.

I don't normally read non-fiction except in preparation for writing a paper. It's just not my preference.

But I am SO glad that I had to read this one. Rebecca Skloot is a master at prose and she weaves together her personal experience, interviews, stories she was told, and (most impressively of all) some pretty heady scientific information into a narrative that you will find yourself thinking of for months after you finish.

I love this cover. The orange and red is not only eye-catching, but looks quite similar to some of the colored pictures that have been taken of Henrietta's cells. The iconic picture of Henrietta herself shows the personal touch that is prevalent throughout the book.

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her cells were taken without her knowledge and they launched an entire branch of medical research that revolutionized the industry - and her family never knew. She died at a very young age while her cells continue to thrive and grow even now. While Skloot cannot avoid the social issues of informed consent, race, social class, and economic status, this is mainly a story of a family.

Skloot meets Henrietta's husband and children, and as she develops a relationship with the family and, in particular, Deborah, she unfolds the story of a woman who was full of life and whose family considers her legacy to be much more than a medical marvel.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. No matter your interest, I believe you will enjoy the narrative Skloot develops will engage, entertain, and enrich you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Things I've Learned

1. It is a bad idea to listen to the last disc of Bridge to Terabithia while driving to work and right after applying mascara.
2. There is nothing wrong with my tear ducts.
funny pictures of cats with captions
3. Years of watching sci fi has affected my brain. As soon as I heard the premise for Terra Nova I started trying to figure out how they could avoid destroying the time/space continuum. Dad and I decided that they must have slipped into an alternate dimension, which actually satisfied our desire for logic. Immediately after we decided this, the show went on to explain that this was exactly what had happened.
4. I have no problem with people going back in time as long as they move to another dimension so as to not disturb the space/time continuum.
5. I become addicted to Twitter when I have a stack of papers to grade. This both distracts me and has the added bonus of making me sound like a total whiner for several days.
6. I was way too concerned that my class schedule would interfere with the tv shows I want to watch this fall. They don't and I'm absurdly happy.
funny pictures of cats with captions
So how about you? Any truths to share this week?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This is Not a Post

I need to organize my time better, because I KNOW that some of you are just as if not more busy (busier? Yeah, I'm the English professor screwing up her grammar. Whatever :) than I am. So I have no real excuse.

So I'll just say I'm sorry and promise to pop in really soon. I have some really fun things and EXCITING news (well, exciting to me, but I will plague you with it too) and other randomness I've been wanting to share. And it is ON MY LIST of things to do. I PROMISE.

I will leave off plaguing you with all of the capital letters and find time to visit some of y'all very soon.

<3 <3 <3

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Saddest Retail Wednesday Ever

This is it. Today is the last day. My Borders is closing later today. Tomorrow is cleaning and fixture sales. By Thursday night it will all be over. Such a sad, sad end to almost 6 fantastic years of book selling, book loving, and some of the best people I've ever met. I just hit my 5 years with the company in July - just in time to get the news about the liquidation.

I posted some of my thoughts a few weeks ago. That post is HERE if you missed it.

Today I wanted to show a video slideshow I put together of some of our happy moments over the last few years.

To all of you that have shopped at Borders - thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To all of you that have supported my random little retail stories here - thank you just as much.

I've already got a pretty good lead at CVS and hope to be hired in the next week or two, so this may not be the end of Retail Wednesdays.

I'm so filled with sadness and love and mushiness so I'll just let the Muppets speak for me:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Feedburner Rocks My World

Now that I'm crazy busy I have found that those of you that offer the feedburner subscribe by e-mail option get more attention from me. If you pop up in my e-mail I'm more likely to read and/or pop by and answer.

So... if you don't have it, you should totes do it. It's super easy.

If you do have it, let me know! I might even come find you :P

And I have it too! It's over there on the sidebar. You know. If you want your e-mail randomly attacked by my randomness :P

Thursday, September 8, 2011

School ate my life again

I was going to try so hard to keep up with this once school started, but I'm swamped already.

I miss everyone around here so much.

I hope to pop around occasionally, but I won't be here much myself for now.

<3 to all of you for hanging in here with me!

See you around!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A word on time travel

There only ever needs to be one time traveler's convention.

~Time Travel Panel at Polaris

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alphabet Reading Challenge

I saw this challenge posted on GoodReads and thought it was amazing and fun, so I thought I would fill in what I have done so far. Now I'm on a mission to find books that begin with the rest of these letters to finish off the alphabet!

Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Emily’s Quest by L. M. Montgomery
Fly Trap by Frances Hardinge
Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Hourglass by Myra McIntyre
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
J (Ooh! I have to read Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow!)
Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Need by Carrie Jones
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker
Q (Guess I need to go back to the Septimus Heap books and read Queste!)
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
X (Any suggestions?)

I had a lot more of the vowels than I anticipated. Ooh! I'm excited to try to finish this off. Have you ever tried anything like this?!
(And yes, I know this isn't a cover love post, but it's about books. And I love most of these covers, so... whatever :P)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Forgotten TV I Love

Somehow our family finds our way to random TV that we love, but that very few people seem to have heard of.

1. The Pretender.

This is one rare instance where everyone in our family loved a show. From my parents to me and my sisters to both of my brothers, this was the one show we could all watch together. I just started re-watching it and I love it still!

Michael Weiss plays a man who has been trapped inside "The Center" for the first thirty-something years of his life, running simulations to solve mysteries, crimes, problems, whatever. Now he's escaped and he can become anything and anybody that he wants to be. The show quickly develops an intriguing mystery as the background of Jarod and the relentless Miss Parker and their entanglement with The Center are slowly unveiled.

Weiss does a fantastic job of playing the innocence and joy of someone discovering the world for the first time. And it doesn't hurt that he's pretty easy on the eyes as well ;)

It only lasted 4 seasons and then there were 3 movies to try to wrap up loose ends, which was fairly effective. Definitely a show I recommend!

2. Dave the Barbarian

This short-lived glory of randomness needs to be released on DVD. For serious. This cartoon is SO random it definitely isn't for everyone, but if you like stupid hilarity, you should watch the bits that are posted on YouTube. Here's one for your viewing enjoyment!

Any forgotten TV you love, that most people haven't heard of?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Are you an architect or a gardener?

I found my notebook from Polaris! Yeah! Which means that I now have lots and lots of notes so I will spread this out over several weeks. But it also means that I don't have to worry about what I'm going to post as I get back into the swing of school!

Most of you have heard of the terms "plotting" and "pantsing" but at the panel on "Details, Filler, Plot" Brandon Sanderson referenced the terms "Gardener" and "Architect" - a gardener is a pantser. They kind of just let things happen organically, planting seeds as they go, but unsure exactly how the end product will look. The architect is the plotter. They have blueprints and plans and have a fairly good idea what the finished product is going to be, though of course there are always surprises along the way.

I really like those terms. I am a mixture of those two, so maybe I'm an architect of gardens?

One of the panelists also used a quote from Neil Gaiman saying that writing is like "Jumping out of an airplane and knitting a parachute before you hit the ground." Which made me laugh because it is SO true. Whether you're a plotter or a pantser, an architect or a gardener, you are jumping out into the unknown and hoping everything makes sense in the end.

Brandon also said that the best way to learn how to plot a book is to write one that's a total disaster because you didn't plot it right. That will teach you more than going to a hundred panels on plotting or reading a bunch of books.

The one thing that was emphasized over and over (which I mentioned before) is you have to practice. You have to write. If you're in the middle of a story and realize you forgot something, don't let it slow you down. Make a note of it, go back if you can, but avoid the eternal rewrite if it's keeping you from actually finishing. MUST FINISH.

So, are you an architect? Or a gardener? Or a mixture of both?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Back to School

1. I am so excited for school to start. I get to see my school friends again and, because of my schedule, I actually get to see all 4 of the other senior TAs on a regular basis. Can't wait to try some of my new ideas for teaching. Excited about having Dr. G again. Can't wait to start some real work on my thesis.

2. I am so not ready for school to start. I was supposed to read a bunch of stuff over the summer. I did, but not for school. I read like 40 books this summer and only 5 of them were in any way related to school. I don't want to go back! I am scared about pulling my thesis together. I am nervous about the new professor I'm taking. I really don't want to know if I'm off the poo list of another professor, but I hope I am since they are one of my thesis advisers (and I know the "they" is technically not grammatically correct, but we have no other generic pronouns, so I like using they and you can't stop me). I'm scared about all the romantic poetry we have to read. I don't want to try to figure out what I'm going to do once I graduate.
funny pictures of cats with captions

So there you have it. Eek! What are your feelings about the start of the school year?

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Lost!


I know I promised last week that I would have more about the writing workshops from Polaris. So I set aside time on Sunday evening to write the post. But when I went to get the notebook in which I had taken all my notes, it wasn't where I was sure I had put it.

So that post is going to have to wait. Yet again. Until I find the notebook.

See, one of my goals this summer was to organize my room. Which included basically cleaning, moving, and throwing out tons of stuff. I bought some new cabinets and shelves and got rid of some old ones that weren't working in the space I have. I'm almost done, but I still have some things kind of everywhere and I'm guessing the notebook is one of those things.

One of the benefits I am finding is that I am being able to actually work in my room better with less clutter. And right now I have to work in my room because it is the only space that is mine since I'm still living at home right now.

How about you? Do you work better in an organized environment? Or does it not really matter? Will you forgive me for this lame post?

Also, I wanted to give y'all the heads up that this week I have meetings all week and next week school starts so my blog will probably suffer a bit because of it. I want to try to keep up some sort of schedule, but things can get crazy and there's the added insanity of my store closing, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks to everybody who has hung in here and read my ramblings over the past couple years. I <3 you all!

Here is some cuteness to thank you.
funny pictures - It's dangerous to go alone!