My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

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Blog, 8/23/2013: Anything Your HS Boyfriend Does, My Cat Can Do Better (Well… Sort Of)

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August 23rd, 2013 Posted 12:48 pm

Note: I’m not disparaging all guys. Just, like, 95% of those I’ve seen in couples at my high school (and, well, some people’s adult boyfriends, because there are those who are permanently mentally teenagers). Granted, a pet rock has advantages over those. But don’t overanalyze…

My cat Jake is a huge, muscular Egyptian Mau. He weighs a very full fifteen pounds, and very little of that is fat, because he’s just so big. He’s very attached to me–Maus tend to glom on to one person that they claim as theirs, and I’m his. Recently, it’s occurred to me that he behaves much like a high school boyfriend, except better.

He has a six-pack… under a layer of fluffy, creamy, spotted fur.

He’s possessive of me… and it’s adorable and kind of hilarious rather than stalkerish or suspicious.

He likes to cuddle and watch movies… and makes no demands to watch 300 again rather than my weird speculative-fiction Netflix list.

He demands my attention… so I’ll scratch his ears and behind his whiskers.

He’s got a beard… of soft white whipped-cream fur.

He yells at me… and it’s funny enough to belong on YouTube.

He kinda smells… but not of Axe.

He keeps me awake at night… demanding to be let into my room. No, out of my room. No, in. It’s still better than depressive late-night texts or the needy midnight romantic conversation you’ve been too diplomatic to end. It also ends in a smaller phone bill.

He makes lovey-dovey cat blinks at me… instead of the expectant, nervous, premature “I love you” that ladies across the centuries have struggled with responding to. All you have to do with a cat is slow-blink back.

That, or he sleeps on me… without the obvious ensuing complications this entails when a human male does the same thing. (Kids, don’t ask.)

If you like, the cat will listen to your problems without feeling the need to barge in and fix them for you.

The cat will probably jump up on places he’s not supposed to and manage to make a mess, but so will your boyfriend.

If the cat tries to eat your food, you can give him a bop on the nose with your hand, which you can’t get by with when a human does it.

Rescue cats sometimes come with emotional damage. With TLC and time, the cat will get over it. Rescue boyfriends are typically not the same way.

Your cat may get fur all over your clothes, but I doubt he’ll ever give you a hickey.

You have to clean up their crap. Was I talking about cats or teenage boys? Well, think about it.

Cats don’t need you to attend their football games.

 

Obviously, there are a few things that will not happen with a cat and may eventually happen with a boyfriend, but I’m sixteen, so… I’ll take the cat. (Although cat  + engagement ring would also make a ridiculously funny YouTube video if done right…)

 

Anyway, if you have a malfunctioning Creepy Guy Alert System, just get a cat. Lots cheaper and far more convenient. Plus, they’re cuddly.

That is all. :3

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Blog, 8/22/2013

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August 22nd, 2013 Posted 9:34 pm

Somebody wrote this post on SparkLife, supporting 20 “good things” about going back to school. Bailey_Swilley, I’d like to know what antidepressant you’re taking, or, if not, whether you are going to Hogwarts, because I’m pretty sure those are the only two options. Here’s her post. (Link: http://community.sparknotes.com/2013/08/15/20-of-the-best-things-about-going-back-to-school)

1. NEW SCHOOL SUPPLIES. ‘Nuff said.

2. Your favorite fall TV shows will come back on to help you unwind after hours of homework.

3. Speaking of homework, think of all the summer chores you can now get out of in order to focus on your studies.

4. Seeing your long-lost friends again! “Hey, where were you guys!?”

5. Choosing your classes and arranging your class schedule. It’s your party, you can do what you want. It’s your schedule, you can take what you want. Oooooh-woooooo…

6. Fall play auditions. “Everything’s comin’ up ROSES!!!!”

7. School lunches! Don’t lie—you know you missed Taco Tuesdays and Fish Fridays.

8. Posters! The school is always plastered  with posters and flyers advertising all your favorite activities and events. It’s like eye candy with dates and times!

9. New textbooks and what you’ll cover them with. Are you going old-school with paper bags? Are you putting book socks on them? Stickers? Doodles!? WHAT WILL YOU DECIDE!?!

10. DECORATING YOUR LOCKER with photos of your stellar summer trip, cute dog, and biffles.

11. Getting to know all your teachers and deciding who’s going to be your fave and who you’re going to have to work for.

12. Picking your outfits for the entire first week of class!

13. After-school practice/gym sessions. Work out all that calculus aggression you have!

14. Showing off your knowledge of the summer reading list, especially when a bunch of your peers didn’t even crack open their books.

15.  Coffee shop brain trusts! Sipping up some java juice with your pals while cramming for your dreaded physics test makes studying not so dreadful after all.

16. Spirit week! Dressing up, dressing down, and generally looking like a loon all in the name of school spirit can be pretty satisfying.

17. If you have nothing to do on a Friday night, you can be sure that there’s still an exciting football game to check out.

18. Your best school friends are all back and now you can finally discuss your favorite viral vids and songs of the summer. And see if any of you dug up some unheard-of gems.

19. Figuring out which clubs and committees will be graced by your awesome presence this year. No matter who you choose, they will be lucky to have you. And don’t forget it!

20. Pep rallies. If you’re not already amped for this year, at least your school will try its best to pump you up for the year.

What do you love about going back to school?

 

Now, Bailey, optimism is great and all. But here’s my response to this little sheet of yours.

1. Oh. Well. I might be completely stressed, sleep-deprived, and undernourished due to having to survive off the sole sustenance of Pop-Tarts because of the nature of school food, but maybe I have a folder with a Sharpie chinchilla on it and that makes it all okay.

2. Have you heard of Netflix?

3. Let’s see: reloading dishwasher takes, oh, fifteen minutes. Idiotic Latin translation of “France is in Europe. France is not in Africa. Where is France? France is in Europe. Is France in Africa? No, France is in Europe” takes an hour, because it’s that long.

4. There is one assumption in this sentence. It’s that I have friends at school. I don’t. I have some acquaintances, but the people I end up knowing well by the end of the year always manage to be seniors (or I move away from the school). My friends are on the Internet, apart from my bestie, and school means I see them less rather than more.

5. My counselor hates me. She lied to me at the end of last year, telling me my schedule was perfect and I had everything I wanted (in order to avoid me). Then she made it so I was the last student she “helped” (she actually told me this), and is still trying to deal as little as possible with me. My schedule still isn’t fixed. Not to mention that the school system’s insistence on putting bright teenagers into stupid classes is the reason I’m getting a GED–and I’ve had to jump through months’ worth of (mainly futile) hoops to get this far.

6. …No. I could talk about my freshman-year Drama play manager teacher lady… but it’s kind of a long and discouraging story, if this post isn’t already.

7. Do you really want to know what the school lunches are like? They make me physically sick if I pick the wrong thing and I have to stay home from school.

8. I saw a poster earlier today advertising the “Fresman Dance.” Apparently, the theme is “Swagtastic Luau.” I’m not making this up.

9. My two textbooks are paperback. One is a Latin book that has seen better centuries. The other is a Java textbook written by the kind of businessperson who thinks that PowerPoints are actually educational. (It’s useless.)

10. Who actually uses their locker?

11. More like making careful psychological profiles of them to be sure you’re safe. The Java teacher is an ENTJ–she’s no problem, it’s a good type for someone in her line of work and department–but I think the octogenarian Classical Languages teacher holds some odd stereotypes about me due to my recently-acquired blue hair. And the art teachers… well, they’re generally good teachers, but sometimes I think they’re either drinking too much coffee or not enough. Even so, if you can be a high school teacher for any length of time and not have a grudge against life, you’re impressive.

12. If you still pick out all your first-week outfits, you’re trying too hard. I would posit that this is due to cognitive dissonance. In fact, I would posit that this entire post is due to cognitive dissonance.

13. I hate the gym. So much. And if I ever suggest taking Calculus… tell my family I love them.

14. Our school doesn’t even try to give us a summer reading list. Somebody in the administration knows the students too well for that to happen.

15. Those… never work.

16. Yes, I love being dragged out of my irritating class all the way to a more-irritating pep rally. Multiple times.

17. Heh. Heheh. Heheheheheheh. Football? Was this addressed to someone else? No. Just… no.

18. Again: friends?

19. Let’s see: there’s Key Club, population 2, or Girls Learn International, where nobody actually understands why they’re there, or the greenie club, which basically does nothing but take out the recycling, or the animal rights club, which I’m not going anywhere near because of the posters. The foreign language clubs have mysteriously disappeared, and art club may not be a good choice because I’m already being forced to produce art en masse.

20. OH PLEASE NO LET ME GOOOOOOOOOO *is dragged away by her feet*

 

Optimism is okay… as long as it can’t be renamed as foolishness.

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Blog, 8/21/2013

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August 22nd, 2013 Posted 9:21 pm

Blogging from the Java classroom again. I’m munching on the last of my 3/4 oz. bag of Goldfish and drinking the rest of my fourth-ingredient-is-cornstarch chocolate milk. There were fries in the cafeteria today, but they were unsalted and cold. Yuck. Note to self: always buy one of the overpriced extras. Chips or something. Because there’s no way I’m eating the coated-in-some-weird-chemical strawberries, or the lettuce in which I found a large piece of some insect I couldn’t identify.

Class is starting. Guess I need to find something else to blog about than complaints about the school food.

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Blog, 8/20/2013

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August 20th, 2013 Posted 12:36 pm

I’m blogging this from my Java classroom. It’s lunchtime… but there’s no way I’d stay in that lunchroom any longer. Why? Here’s what it’s like.

Sights: A dirty table. There’s a poster apparently advertising the “Fresman Dance,” which fresmen (someone enlighten me: what’s a fresman?) at “7-9” at an unspecified date, in the cafeteria. It’s done in rainbow marker over a background of balloons. A large portion of the poster is occupied by a set of rainbow bubble letters declaring that the theme is “Swagtastic.”

Sounds: The teenage girls behind me. If chimpanzees could giggle, this is how they’d sound.

Touch: The ambient grease is palpable.

Smells: You don’t want to know.

Taste: Um…

Better to be in this Java classroom, surrounded by incomprehensible Java textbooks, accounting textbooks with covers displaying altogether too cheerful teenagers pointing at something, and nerds doing strange things with code and black command boxes.

Class is starting. This is the nerd… signing off.

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Blog, 8/8/13

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August 7th, 2013 Posted 11:41 pm

Bleh. It’s been, what, seven months?

I’ve been working on something different, and I really like it. The latest project is a steampunk novel I’ve been picking away at, and I’m really pleased with how it’s been coming along.

It starts off with a scholar/governor character (his name is Gabriel) picking a girl out of one of his city’s gutters–literally–because she looks like his late wife. Turns out she’s the only surviving noble from a nearby city; the rest of her family was wiped out by a disease called hephrol that’s been causing havoc everywhere, and rather than stay and be killed by the next uprising leader, 13-year-old Ella ran to Corveny and managed to keep herself alive there for a while. Gabriel finds out she has a knack for mechanics and gets along really well with his wife’s son James, so she stays because she’s useful.

Then he gets kidnapped by the pirates that have been viciously attacking Corveny for months, and James and Ella go after him, along the way meeting a cyborg boy who has nowhere else to go and a genetically engineered empath who won’t leave them alone. They’re Gabriel’s getaway, really, because he’s poisoned a bunch of the pirates (in a way that only a scholar would know about) and found out some useful information. Mainly: the pirates aren’t pirates. They’re privateers: hired to kidnap nobles and leaders by a family that’s trying to build an empire, which is against a treaty that all the cities’ leaders signed, agreeing that their cities would remain ONLY cities.

In addition, this family has spread hephrol to noble families they wanted to topple through makeup: the women would apply it, get sick, and then spread the sickness to their male relatives. (Ella, who didn’t wear makeup and rarely saw her family, avoided much of the risk.) Suddenly, they’re cast into a dangerous political struggle (logical Ella’s forte) and are trying to rally support from neighboring cities (James is better at this than Ella is). As leader of Corveny, this is Gabriel’s business, and while he’s extremely grateful that James and Ella are helping him, he’s doing the really heavy lifting here, and we finally get to see him doing really cool stuff. Suffice it to say that there’s a reason he’s leader of Corveny.

It’ll actually seem fairly simple spread over 70,000 words.

No… no, I can’t say that with a straight face. But it is the simplest one I’ve worked on.

Now to get unstuck writing it.

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Oh dear.

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April 1st, 2013 Posted 10:17 pm

Posted in Blog, Fun Stuff, Videos

Blog, 1/25/2013. On the matter of school dances…

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January 25th, 2013 Posted 9:19 am

So, I don’t know how much I’ve ranted about it, but dances at my school are mostly the same unless you have a date. If you do have a date, or you’re going with friends you don’t feel totally awkward around (those are acquaintances, frenemies, and “it’s complicated”s, for the record), then more power to you. But I am, as usual, kind of short on both fronts. I’ve gone to two dances at this school, but believe me, it’s been a large enough sample due to the exact accuracy with which they were replicated. The only thing that changed was the color of the stuff on the tables. I couldn’t tell the music apart except for that “don’t stop believing” song. Though, since it’s me and I don’t usually recognize anything that isn’t wildly obscure, it doesn’t make much of a difference… yet it still would have been nice to be able to know when one song ended and another began. I think they were distinct because people kept doing different stuff…

Oh, and speaking of dates: I don’t remember whether I blogged about my hilariously disastrous sophomore Homecoming date. That was… terrible. Mostly it was me dancing, my date not… really… dancing…, then my date standing around blathering on dumbly about how lucky he felt, and then my date doing the Worm (repeatedly) and then me, sitting outside the gym trying to stuff candy in his face to avoid the awkward silence (which was being made a lot more awkward since he had an unrequited friend-crush on me that I only found out about after agreeing to go with him). Whoops.

Anyway. I suppose I should say these dances are only worth it if you have a good date or friends you don’t feel awkward around. Even so, I think he and I came out about even on that one. I bought him a lot of candy, but he must endure many no-names-mentioned retellings of this story to various people not in any way connected to him. …I guess I’m not mean enough. Oh, well.

The dance that’s going on soon is Spree. I went to Spree last year; the theme was Black Tie. My dress was stylish, but it was formal. Let’s just say that this year’s theme is Masquerade, and if the group of theme-followers is about the same turnout as last year’s, there will be about three people wearing masks. So, yep. Otherwise, identical “music,” identical ridiculous “sexy” dancing, identical girl wearing that dress that looks like a fairy princess costume I had when I was about seven. Seriously–it was mostly a pastel tulle tutu and looked really, really dumb.

There have been some cute proposals so far. One gal asked a guy by way of knock-knock joke with all her friends, which got many cheers from the lunch room. It was really sweet.

But I will not be going. I always come home from these things with a migraine. In any case, a better date for Spree might go something like this:

Friend at dance: Where’s Rebekah? I thought she said she had a date for Spree. Isn’t she coming?

Other friend: I don’t know. Call her.

Friend 1: Yeah, okay.

*ring*

Me: Hey. What’s up?

Friend: I thought you said you had a date. Where are you?

Me: On my date. You’re at the dance?

Friend: No duh. It’s been going for an hour now!

*crashing noise*

Friend: What was that?

Me: Nothing…

Friend: Are you on the computer?

Me: I’m on my date.

Friend: That sounds like a video game.

Date: Feel the power of the Holy Hand Grenade!

Me: No, use the exploding sheep, he’s in a perfect position!

Date: No, this will drown the other one over there. The Grenade makes a bigger blast area.

Me: True. Um, yeah, you were saying?

Friend: Are you playing Worms Reloaded with a dude instead of coming to the dance?

Me: … Do I have to answer that?

Friend: Yes!

Me: Truthfully?

Friend: Yes!

Me: All of it?

Friend: For the love of kittens, yes!

Me: Well, no. First we played Mario Kart, argued about which drivers were faster, and then played the old Starfox on my brother’s SuperNintendo, and then tried to beat each other’s times on the Hell levels in Cave Story, took turns on the intensity that is Portal, and now we’re playing Worms Reloaded on multiplayer mode.

Friend: Every one of those games seems either ridiculously violent, has a lot of explosions, or ends in an argument.

Me: And how is this different from what you’re doing?

Friend: I’m hanging up now.

Me: Good luck. I mean, have fun. *evil cackle as she destroys more screaming worms*

beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep…

 

Or possibly “Better Date” might mean renting the entire original Star Wars trilogy, sitting around, and consuming copious amounts of popcorn. Or watching through half the Strong Bad collection, making a dent in rereading the xkcd comics, and then proceeding to consume Hark! A Vagrant and Jefbot and Nedroid like candy. Or poring over each other’s writing and artwork and sitting around drawing stuff and listening to really good music nobody recognizes. Or reading Ender’s Game aloud. Or cosplaying with a few friends and their dates.

I think that sounds like a lot more fun than standing in a sweaty mass of horny teenagers, listening to migraine-inducing music and hoping your date starts dancing like a normal person. Maybe I’m just a sad geek. 🙁

But if I am, I’m probably still a lot saner than the people who choose the writhing mass of sweaty bodies, buying expensive heels just to kick them off two minutes after getting into the building, and sulking over the fact that someone else bought and wore the same dress as you or someone else smiled at your guy. (Seriously.)

So the next time one of my friends asks me why I’m not going to Spree, they’re going to be redirected to this post. And, later, next year’s Homecoming and Spree dances as well. I have to save my energy for the socially obligatory junior and senior prom… hopefully, they will not be identical to Spree and Homecoming as I’ve known them, and/or maybe I can snag a date with a cute fellow geek.

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Blog, 1/23/2013

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January 23rd, 2013 Posted 12:17 pm

I’m writing this from inside the school library. The keyboard really sucks–it’s greasy and clacky–but at least I get to avoid lunch, which is annoyingly noisy.

I’ve been working on Mirrorworld Remastered lately, even though I haven’t posted any of it. I’ve gotten to about 36,000 words so far–hopefully, it won’t get to be too long. It’s getting kind of convoluted, though, now. I’m not sure it’s the kids’ book I intended it to be when I first wrote it, and I’m wondering if Daniel, Mark and Sophie should be maybe 14 instead of 12, and bump Molly’s age to 17 and Erif’s to 16, and Natalina’s to at least 12. They act too mature, know too much stuff even for erudite tweens (hehe… erudite tweens… I like that phrase) and are kind of unfazed when someone tries to kill them. Um.

I’m going to have to put up something for you guys to read, since I’m being Selfish and keeping Mirrorworld Remastered to myself in case I want to publish it, since I’m liking how it’s going. I need to get around to posting the Sages stuff. It’s kind of bad, but sometimes I like to read stuff that’s kind of bad. Sometimes I go for the overdose and go on Quizilla, just to see how bad things can get. I swear, it’s like half the people on there are twelve and immature. And the list of stories now is dominated mainly by poorly-disguised Jack Frost ripoffs. Part of the reason that dude was a good character is that he had the potential to be a REALLY BAD character, and didn’t… at least in the movie. That restraint is not present in the Realm of Quizilla.

Anyway, insane Sparklepoo-esque* stories aside, my current fascination is drawing. I’ve got a whole bunch of MR character drawings done–both portraits and a whole giant “together” one. Also, I’m getting requests to draw other people’s characters. It’s kinda fun. I sort of wish there was a better way to color them, though–I don’t have a flesh-tone pencil, for one, and a lot of these characters are white, so I have to do little tricks with pink and brown and erasers. Whoopee. Not to mention trying to find a way to get blonde hair color. I have no idea how I’m going to do that. I’ll try, though.

I think I need to go now.

 

 

*If you’re not familiar with Sparklepoo, look up Pirate Monkeys Inc.’s Sparklepoo comic. It’s about all the terrible original characters that get fanfic’d into Hogwarts and it’s absolutely hilarious. Um… avoid that site if you’re not okay with PG-13. Beware any warnings otherwise, too.

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Blog, 1/4/2013

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January 4th, 2013 Posted 2:19 am

It’s only technically the 4th right now, as it’s past midnight. You could say I go to bed very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very early. This post, for various reasons, is probably going to sound more British than usual. You’ll see in a sec.

So, it’s official: I’m hooked on Sherlock, the BBC adaptation with the really cute Sherlock and his goofy turned-up collar (and collection of human eyeballs in the microwave). Not to be forgotten is John Watson, the incredibly patient and caring army doctor who runs around with him and, it has to be said, puts up with a lot. He has his reasons, though: Sherlock, while not the best to go to for warm fuzzies, is intriguing and gives Watson (who has PTSD and a psychosomatic limp) the danger fix he needs to keep steady.

You’d think that PTSD would mean Watson would want to keep away from that. Most people think that. But that’s only sometimes the solution in PTSD cases; clearly, the therapist he’s seeing is a bit inexperienced. Soldiers with PTSD often feel that they should still be fighting alongside their comrades, even after being injured and/or sent home. To prepare for military life, you go through boot camp. There’s no boot camp to prepare for going back to civilian life.

I celebrated New Year’s a day late… or at least as close as I get to celebrating it without social pressure to do so. My best friend Christina* came over to stay, and she is responsible for my newfound hook. She had me watch the first episode of said series, and then we stayed up past 5 AM cosplaying it.*** She tells me not to watch the last episode if I don’t want to be upset until 2014, which is when the next batch of episodes will come out. I’m not sure if I’ll take her advice. I’ve already seen how it ends, and I know Christina and her Tumblr kin get way more excited about TV than I do. Actually, they get more excited than I do, period. I suppose that comes with dedication.

I wonder how many people see something of themselves in this kind of character. The other characters see him as… well, at best an arrogant, lazy git and at worst a psychopath. He works everything out by first observing everything and then working conclusions out through logic that is verbal (the sense, put into words, I don’t mean the spoken-aloud verbal) but still split-second. He blows right past authority and security if he can get away with it. He’s totally sure of himself. He has no real social skills, but a serious amount of style–he’s aware of his own image. He ignores cases presented to him unless they’re interesting. Probably you can think of people who fit all of those descriptions in some way… observant people, quick thinkers, logical people, rebels, confident people, and folks who think they’re the only person in existence. And I just realized that I identify with the last one about only taking on interesting cases.

For instance, there’s a reason I’ve always written novels way more than short stories, poetry, or anything else. It’s the complexity. It’s making up why this, why that, and how. For a good story, you have to be constantly reasoning and worldbuilding. Since you can’t change the plot to fit the plot (thus producing a deus ex machina, Google Limyaael’s Fantasy rants for an explanation), it’s better to change the worldbuilding and then justify it. Does something similar happen in Earth history? Can you use that as a comparison? Better yet, can you borrow something that happened to someone in history? (The whole Nazis-as-villains thing is overdone. Don’t use that.) And you have to justify it. That requires a serious stretch of creativity. That’s the part I’m good at. I’m not good at its execution so much, but I’m working on that. Most people, I think, are kind of the other way around. Or maybe it’s an S/N thing. Hey, that brings me to another point.

Not sure if I’ve told the random people who randomly stumble across this blog yet, but one of my favorite hobbies is prowling around the “What’s My Type?” section of a psychology forum called Personality Cafe. PerC for short. I like to analyze people. My mother notices everyone’s body language and has this really bad habit of listening in on conversations in restaurants. (Sometimes she hears things you wouldn’t want to hear.) I analyze people. Automatically, almost subconsciously. I have trained myself, somehow, or maybe it’s built in and I’m just using the most convenient system I’ve learned. If I’ve met you, I probably know your type. It doesn’t take long for most people. Introverts are hardest because they put up a front. In fact, most of the cases I take on as pet cases on PerC (helping people find their MBTI type) are Introverts or ENTPs. Why? Because they pose a challenge. No challenge, no fun.

Fortunately, unlike Sherlock, I don’t shoot at the wall when there aren’t any mistyped Introverts around.

We have a new cat. His name is Aardman and he’s a black Domestic Shorthair with extra toes. He just got his front claws and also another part removed, and he seems to be none the worse for wear. Probably at this very moment he is sleeping on my younger brother’s head or something.

I recently saw the movie Rise of the Guardians in the theaters. It’s good. I recommend it. The plotline isn’t too cheesy and the characters are unique despite being regularly used personifications. For instance, Santa is Russian and a pretty cool guy (the elves are dunderheads, though; he employs these giant, hairy beasts to make the toys); the Easter Bunny is Australian and terrified of riding in the sleigh; the Tooth Fairy is kind of a sweet businesslady and not too sparkly; Sandman is mute but nevertheless fun; and Jack Frost is just original and a totally neat character. The movie includes a lot of stuff that is usually done really, really badly but isn’t in this case: characters that are usually hackneyed, a sort of Dark Lord, Santa and the like requiring believers to keep existing, a comparatively high amount of power given to the main character, and frustration and troubles and mistakes on the main character’s part that usually turns into angst but doesn’t here. I was impressed. It was a far cry from what you typically see on, say, ABC Family as kids’ Christmas specials.

Next term I will have Forensic Science and probably Claywork after that. I’m dropping the other two classes I had scheduled. AP French is something I can’t cope with under the circumstances, and Algebra II I can learn at home much more efficiently than at school. I see no logic in trying to push myself through a lot of busywork. Still not looking forward to finals. My Physics teacher told me I could make up my missing Physics quizzes after finals, and then those days were snow days. Don’t know how they’re being scheduled. This is irritating.

After writing this, I’m kind of feeling tense, probably because I haven’t gotten very much sleep. I think I’m going to run around PerC for a while, and then read, and then crash.

Recommended books for right now:

Stork: a novel about a girl who moves to Minnesota and realizes she has an unusual set of powers. It borrows from Icelandic mythology and is really cool.

The Definitive Book Of Body Language: If you want to cultivate Holmes skills. Was not aware that this activity was popular. Most people find it creepy when I tell them I know about body language, and they start trying to stand very, very still. It’s kinda funny.

Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML: Because while snooping around the Internet, I found a page with a link that didn’t work right and looked at the source code to pick out the problem and email the administrator. The thing was a mess, stuff wasn’t nested properly, declarations were missing, format was outdated. I was kind of surprised because a web page on the same site and on the same subject I was reading about was formatted just fine and the declarations said it was running HTML 4.1, which is fairly recent and should run perfectly fine. It was really weird.

Ender’s Game: Because people should always read this book. They just should.

That’s all for now, I think.

*Yes, I know I probably haven’t mentioned Christina before. I don’t have a lot of friends, okay? I move around too much to hold them down long, this school to that school to the next. But Christina is a genius, and far more social than I am, and motivated enough to listen to my cryptic, nerdy babble about whatever subject I bring up, even if it’s something that makes most people look at me in funny ways. And despite how freaking smart she is, she’s confident but not full of herself, which basically makes me look like a mess. Other people think I’m smart, I think I’m smart, but I also think that I think that I’m smarter than I actually am, which means I don’t know what I think and that means chaos, internal cognitive dissonance** and quite a bit of insecurity that most people never, never see from me. …Why the heck do I write this stuff down here? I never tell people about this. I just don’t, never.

**Don’t try to Google that. I modified an existing theory and made up a name for it.

***Really don’t go there. You really don’t wanna know.

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Blog, 12/15/2012

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December 15th, 2012 Posted 10:18 pm

Well, I’m out sick and finally updating.

I’m through several thousand words of progress and a box and a half of tissues.Mirrorworld Remastered’s total is over 25,000 words now and my characters are finally ready to search their first city for whatever’s about to make their dimension go kablooey.

I’m writing this post as I’ve paused while trying to invent a set of pronouns for Welgerne, my conlang for this novel. I’m not good at making up words and making them sound okay, although having language guidelines is a big help–Welgerne is heaviest on the z, s, r, l, n, a, v, and e sounds; there are no b’s; h’s are always silent; also, it uses some sounds that are difficult for English speakers, like zs (sounds like the German z, or the English “ts” in “cats”). Welgerne resembles German, which makes the language easier to pronounce for English speakers, as German and English are cousins linguistically. But my favorite thing I came up with is its rhythm. All words are either two or three syllables, and the stress is on the second. It makes the language sound like an anapestic poem, almost. (Look at Joanna Newsom’s song Inflammatory Writ, or Peach Plum Pear, or a couple others to see what I mean.)

Anyway, ridiculously geeky conlangs aside, I’ve been excited to write a couple new characters I’ve come up with. No, it’s not that my party is becoming that extensive “dozen” crowd or whatever it was. I’m working with six people in the party at its most crowded point (not counting the gryphon), and they’re all different and have a reason to be there. I hope.

Daniel–the original lead boy, although way less soppy than the original version. He starts out fighting tooth and nail against learning magic, because he refuses to work with that kind of power unless it can be explained. He’s clever, scientific, quiet, and hard to get to know.

Sophie–the original lead girl, although way less stupidly sarcastic. Gavin, her gryphon, shows up earlier and integrates more smoothly. Turns out she has an unexpected talent in dealing with creatures and animals. She’s bookish, cool-headed, and is very good at chess.

Mark–didn’t show up in the original, but Phoenix insisted that he went on a trip of some sort with Daniel. He’s pretty dedicated to learning martial arts, and is also good at drawing, though he can’t use magic like Daniel or Sophie. His hair stands out in some towns, because it’s spiked and dyed ice-blue at the tips. Not exactly low-profile.

Molly–showed up in the original eventually.  She’s the daughter of Linus and Taryn Fletcher (Daniel and Sophie’s mage-books) from before they sealed themselves off to be book teachers. She’s fifteen, but kind of an Agency veteran, having been sent on quite a few missions before during tight spots when the Agency hasn’t had a whole lot of people to work. She’s also a stubborn, sarcastic little butt, but she’s pretty cool anyway.

Erif–a new character. He just jumped into the story before my eyes, telling me he’d be way more fun to write than the sulky, “dark” guy who desperately wanted to be Molly’s boyfriend (unrequited). Erif’s an elf. He likes to build things and mess with the natives (spouting off “elf greetings” just to see the confused look on their face). He has sharp senses, is not very strong even compared to Daniel and Sophie, and is very fast. He can use magic with or without his wand. He’s also quiet, feels kind of singled out as the only elf a lot of the time, and has a tendency to get defensive.

Natalina–also a new character. She’s the reason Earth’s dimension is about to go kablooey with her uncontrolled but powerful magic. She’s eleven years old–younger than the rest of the group. She’s quirky, scholarly, and immune to embarrassment while doing a lot of things that would definitely embarrass a lot of other people.

 

I had originally planned to maybe keep Hannah (although I had her name down in a character profile changed to Henne, because she’s from the Mirrorworld). Even further back, I think I had planned to keep Angel as well, but retool her… but there was no reason to do so. From the start of this book, I’ve known that Daniel was going to be the healer anyway, as soon as he could learn… or maybe Erif will end up doing that? Hmm. I was set on Daniel healing until just now, but I’m not sure. It’s not good to be rigid with old plans, so I don’t know. Maybe both of them. Maybe neither.

Anyway, I have this cool little rebellion against formulas going on. So many fantasy books start when the Wise Old Mentor sees the peasant girl’s emerald ring engraved with its mysterious symbol (and why wasn’t said ring sold a long time ago? Peasants need money!) and whisks her away, telling her she has magic and needs to learn to control it because it’s dangerous and could go kablooey (even though it never does), and then she can defeat Dark Lord #334.

I have no Dark Lord. I do have an ordinary girl being whisked away by older mentors.

Except that said girl is not the protagonist, and her older mentors are only a year older and just got into this mess themselves, and her magic has already gone kablooey and almost caused the death of an entire dimension. She has no Destiny. There are no crappy pieces of poetry hanging over her head, saying that she will Save the Universe because she is Speshul. She’s an enjoyable character, but she isn’t a princess, she has to train, and while she might be saving the world, she’s saving it from a problem that she herself has caused.

And then there’s a whole other rebellion against the beautiful-protagonist thing. There seems to be sort of a custom in fantasy to make protags totally gorgeous. 97% or something of the population of people with green eyes seems to be living in fantasy novels, for one. And then there’s the whole lack of acne, hair that permanently looks good even when they’ve been running around in the dirt and getting sweaty, lack of unwanted body hair…

It annoys me that recessive traits show up ridiculously often in fantasy. Unless you’re working from a different definition of what’s “common”–I could be convinced that your protag has a decent chance for those green eyes if a lot of people in her village also have them, as they are actually a dominant trait, just one that’s died out.

Most of my characters have more common traits, especially if they’re from Earth. The exceptions are Molly and Erif, who are both blonde and blue-eyed. Well, half Molly’s genes came from the Mirrorworld, and Erif is an elf. Daniel, Sophie, Mark and Natalina all have pretty normal looks, though. And all of them (except tall, skinny Erif) are about average as far as build, height and weight.

Good-bye, ridiculous cliches.

 

I have changed this book so much that I don’t really think I’m writing the same book. I’m writing a similar book that shares three of the original characters and, like the original, happens in an alternate dimension. Even the Mirrorworld itself isn’t the same. The original Mirrorworld was so stupid it wasn’t even funny. Like, w00t, we have a car! And now we’re gonna pick up characters like we’re a school bus! Woohoooooooo! Random forests! Woohooooo! Clouds and cliffs and magical cats and junk! Wooooooooo for random powers and melodrama! Yeah!

Instead, it’s a whole world with subtle “world” differences, culture differences, resource differences (a shortage of metal), language differences… the list goes on. How does a person with straight hair try to blend in when nearly everyone else has curly hair? How does a pale person blend in when nearly everyone else is tan or darker? How do you get over the language barrier? How do you make money? How do you stay safe from wild creatures if you’re camping outside of a town? How do you blend in when your clothes look so much different from theirs?

Anyway. Some of the reasons I think my world is cool.

In other news, I’ve dropped AP French. I still have to do quite a bit of work to get my “dropped” grade up to something I can live with, but I’ve kind of given up on that since I’m working much harder to try and get my Physics grade up to something I can live with. *grumble* I have not had a whole lot of trouble with grades before now.

But at the start of the year, the stress of all my classes was enough to throw me into depression, which got fixed by dropping half of them. Then, some weeks later when the block-schedule classes changed, my new classes threw me into worse depression. Yippee. AP French and Physics was not a good combination, not when your AP French teacher seems determined to teach the class everything in the book and doesn’t seem to get that, when the class doesn’t understand something, it’s generally better to teach it to them rather than just telling them there’s a quiz and then a test over it so that they not only have to study what they don’t understand on their own, but are stressing out about pounding it into their head for the quiz and test. Great morale booster, Teach.

My Physics teacher, on the other hand, has issues. Let’s just say he could use some Xanax and leave it at that.

Oh, and my computer had some issues for a while. Turns out AVG isn’t a very good antivirus program, because I had 14 pieces of malware on my computer that it didn’t pick up. Luckily, Malwarebytes did pick it up, and after running MWB (and also removing the battery, blowing the dust out of its cavity like it was a SuperNintendo game or something, and putting it back in), my computer is functioning normally again. w00t!

If you’re looking for something to do (probably the case if you’re reading this), go check out Limyaael’s Fantasy Rants. You can find the master list at the link I’m about to include, just click the little pencil icon next to the rants and it’ll take you to that post.

http://www.forresterlabs.com/limyaael/titlelistall

PS: My computer just shut down without warning again. Crap. So much for it working normally. Guess I shouldn’t have tempted fate.

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