I’m too lazy to keep everything recorded here any more. I’ve decided I’m just going to post the blogs on the main page. If you want to read through them, flip through the archives or search for the word “blog.” The ones here are all from 2011 and older.
Geometry teachers are frustrating. If you ask me, someone whose job is to make people understand things should be able to understand a sensible question. This is entertaining enough to post here, but is mostly a rant.
TEACHER: As you see, we can’t find the cosine of angle C, because it’s the right angle of the triangle.
ME: Why not? (seeing the diagram, which has no markings but appears to be a “special” isoceles right triangle)
TEACHER: Well, you would have two side lengths to choose from, then, wouldn’t you?
ME: What if it was a 45-45-90 triangle? (This pertains to the angle measures, if you didn’t know–it just means isoceles right)
TEACHER: We’re not really working with the angle measures right now.
ME: No, but the side lengths would be the same because it would be isoceles.
ME: You wouldn’t have two to choose from. They’d be identical.
At this point, I’m feeling kind of like I have to spell out what I’m trying to convey. I repeat the idea that the side lengths you were “choosing from” would be the same, and therefore wouldn’t matter which you “chose.” Then some kid said something about it not being “enough” or something–I don’t remember his wording, it was too confusing–and you would have to add the two (identical) lengths together to work with it (somehow, this was supposed to pass for logic). Finally, my math teacher is reduced to staring at the board and repeating:
TEACHER: Wow, I never thought of it that way………….
She does that a lot when I come up with this kind of thing. I mean, I don’t expect her to have already thought of everything, but it would be kind of nice if she would listen instead of making me repeat myself a bunch. I’m usually one of the rare ones who are halfheartedly watching her flutter around and do this kind of thing. If the other 3/4 of the class were awake, I’m sure she’d be interrupted much more often.
But of the ones who do watch, and do ask this kind of thing…
…I’m the one who doesn’t look silly in the end.
I’ve done this before–pointed out ways to do things that take the snap of a second and don’t require a calculator while she’s messing around with radicals and angle measures on the review for a bloody test, when it’s ultimately simpler to teach people how to do things the simple way and not bother with the flippin’ radicals. (Okay, that was meant to be a general statement and turned into a story of a single instance in one loooooong sentence. Sorry.)
However, I’m sure that by the end of the term, like the rest of my classmates, I will no longer care about angles’ cousins, or any other family members.
Did you notice the palindrome date? It’s cool!
All right. I’m past 51,000 words on Phoenix, and I think they’re leaving the Epselan base in about an hour from where I’ve written. I’ve given Mark, Key, and Xavier a chance to speak, and their own chapters so that the transition isn’t terribly choppy. I would have liked to start those chapters on a round number–like, Chapter 20 as Mark’s and 21 as Xavier’s and 22 as Key’s. It would have been a little smoother. But I can’t be too OCD about that.
On another note, my brother’s girlfriend is coming for Thanksgiving. She sounds pretty cool. We had to modify the menu slightly because she’s a vegetarian, but the strange thing is that it doesn’t really matter. She’s cool with soups, fish, and dairy products, so we don’t have any issues there. We never do turkey anyway unless there are relatives over who Expect Things. Since Grandma died and the whole “nasty Gramma coming over and eating a bunch and criticizing the house and forcing me to play piano or draw her pictures” thing stopped, Mom has done capons, Beef Wellington, I think scallops once, and… some other stuff. But not turkey. We don’t like turkey here.
So we’re having shrimp. Giant shrimp, three or four to the pound. I’m making my (it must be said) killer French Onion soup the night tomorrow, when Tim and Liz are coming home. And, well, Mom’s hand is still kind of tied up and she can’t lift heavy stuff, so I’m still doing a fair bit of cooking. This is one week I won’t have to feel guilty about not cooking meat.
I have nothing against eating meat–I mean, God kind of came out and told Noah, “Hey, grab a drumstick, go ahead and eat the animals,” and that’s why they’re there–but it’s really messy to try to cook. If you get it at Wal-Mart, then half the time the meat is slimy and bad, or is covered in MSG (which Mom is allergic to). If you get it at Fareway, it’s covered in paper and plastic and junk, which doesn’t sound like much of an issue unless your counter is covered in cutting boards piled with chopped bell peppers. And big roasts are giant to move around, and heavy, and you end up having to clear a space to set down a hot, giant dish full of heavy meat and whatever veggies you pack in…
Our kitchen is tiny, if you’re wondering by now. It’s great for cooking soup or making sandwiches, but if you’re doing meat, it almost has to be in the oven (arrrgh) or on the grill (arrrgh, running in and out to check all the time).
But if you ask me to do a vegetable soup with tomato and beef broth, and some buttered popovers and a salad on the side, I can happily chop up vegetables for several hours. It’s kind of like the Olive Garden soup/salad/breadsticks thing, except the soup is better and not from a can/powder, the salad is chopped straight from an actual head of lettuce (way fresher than the bagged stuff, and not difficult to deal with at all), and the breadsticks have been promoted to popovers. I might also mention that my popovers are awesome. I don’t overbeat them, so they fluff up really nicely. I have no clue how that works.
Anyway, I’ve sat here bragging about my cooking skills long enough. I’ve posted those new chapters for you to read, kay? Go read them.
I just updated to the latest version of WordPress. I’m really lazy about updating, usually, but the change looks great and works, and I might update faster in the future. I’m not getting any error messages instructing me to look for some Google Analytics-related thing where I have to flip some unknown switch or check some random box. It looks clean, too. I like it.
Anyway, I thought I would give an update because Chapter 21 of Phoenix was my 300th post. Or maybe this is. Anyway, I’ve made it official and updated the blog and yada yada yada. So… why are you wasting time here? Go read Phoenix.
I have just typed Phoenix’s 45,000th word. (It’s “grateful,” in case you’re wondering.)
By this point, most of my novels would be finished. Phoenix isn’t. This story is so rich, so full of character and plot and place and story that it can’t be crammed into 45,000 words. I’ve known it wouldn’t for a long time, and planned for about 55,000, but I don’t even think that’s going to do it. This one might end up about 60,000 words–a longish YA novel. Looking at where my 35,000 word mark was–somewhere when she was still with the Agency–I don’t think 55K will be enough. I have a beautiful ending planned out, which is unusual–I usually suck at endings, but this one’s lining up to be seriously satisfying.
But the thing is, that ending will take a while. Phoebe’s in Canada now, and I need her to make a desperate run to the nearest desert for the ending to work. And pegasi can only fly so fast. They’re going to have to take–yep–an airplane. Or find something that will let the pegasi fly fast. Or bear through slow travel while they have dragons after them, like they did in Canada. Frankly, at this point, I don’t know how it’s going to work. But it will. It always does. I don’t really know how it happens.
Anyway, here rests another chapter for thou.
It’s Nov. 5 as of fifteen minutes ago.
Why did we decide on that exact moment of every 24-hour cycle, in the middle of the night, to say, “This is where Day 3 ends and Day 4 begins?” Why midnight? Why not 1:00, an hour later? It’s the strangest thing.
Maybe someone was looking at the moon and thought that it was in just the right position for a new day. I don’t know.
I’ve been writing a lot of Phoenix in different fonts lately, and one I’ve used a lot this past week or two is called “Talking to the Moon,” and it’s by Kimberly Geswein. Google it–it’s a free download for personal use, and apparently a lot of her fonts are just five dollars for commercial use if you arrange it with her.
Why this romanticized view of the moon? Why is it always a dreamy symbol? It’s a really crazy, gigantic, wonderful thing. It’s a giant satellite rock orbiting around the Earth, hundreds of thousands of miles above us, reflecting light from the Sun to light everything up so far away.
Night is awesome. I don’t think people really realize it. The sun is on the other side of the earth. If that isn’t high on your list of really cool and amazing things, you must have one heck of a list.
Furthermore, you’re stuck onto the surface of a ball that’s whizzing through space, spinning and orbiting around a giant ball of yellow flaming gas, and you are hanging on for the ride along with (seven or eight, don’t debate) other planets that are doing pretty much the same thing, but all to their own tune. (Uranus is a nonconformist.)
And then we have all these weird things way closer to home. Trees growing, atom by atom transferred into new constructions like little, tiny, invisible Legos. And you know what happens if you put boiling water in a cold, low-quality glass? It breaks. That’s because the heat on the inside wanted to expand more than the cold outside was comfortable with, and the relationship collapsed. Pop!
You can clean silver with an aluminum pan, baking soda, and hot water. Removes all the tarnish, ups the value for your average garage sale. Wanna know why? Study chemistry. Study science, for that matter. A whole field dedicated to watching the world’s rules.
We have language. It’s a means of communication without having to use pictures of things that aren’t easily accessible. And you know what we’ve done with it? We’ve analyzed it, taught each other to use it to maximize understanding. We’ve broken it down into sentences, words, syllables, sounds, letters. We know which words rhyme. We know which words sound better than certain others–this field is mostly called marketing. We know how to tell a story, and a bloody good one at that (usually). We can arrange words into haikus and limericks and sonnets. We’ve shortened language, lengthened it, added new words, explained old ones, and thrown out all the old things that aren’t even in our culture any more.
Our minds. I am capable of conceiving and typing this right now due to the calcium ions getting into the right places in my brain, which is somehow sending signals to my fingers to type these words. Someone came up with the Internet and got buddies to create it (don’t you dare mention Al Gore!), someone created WordPress, and my older brother used it to get me this site and this computer, where I can type this out. Your mind is reading this, understanding it, and reading more and more of it because you wonder–yes, wonder, another activity–what I’m going to say next. If you’re like me, you’re wondering how I’m going to close this up. You’re studying my writing style–subconsciously–and deciding whether you like to read it or not. Meanwhile, I’m hoping the former. And we can do that.
We have invented a whole truckload of stuff. Electricity is playing music, powering my screen and keyboard, and keeping several applications open at once on my computer. Mozilla Firefox had to be an invention, and Windows 7, and the microchip, and the EeePC. And the digital clock next to me. And all the candy on the floor here. Most things in this room were made in a factory, which means they were invented, and so was the machine that made them.
It’s absolutely nuts.
Outside, the plants are growing, the wind is blowing, and geese are trying to find some leftover corn before the winter. Farther away, there are five Great Lakes blowing in their own share of wind and storms, and even farther out, the ocean. Cross that, and find billions more people, also growing, in different time zones, different cultures, different beliefs, different relationships to one another, different technology, different governments and laws.
And it’s always growing, and for the most part, getting better. There are no more, for instance, Salem Witch Trials. The Holocaust is over. And in however many years, there won’t be a War on Terror any more–we’ll probably have kicked some serious terrorist booty back in Afghanistan. Our species, sentient, with its own morals, is intent on the extermination of the people who threaten other people. We killed Bin Laden. We killed Hussein. We killed… a bunch of other really bad people.
Then you have music. Words set to music, if done right, can make people listen so carefully to the words (or not carefully, as the case may be) that they react so emotionally to whatever concern or sentiment is expressed within the lyrics that they’d act on that concern or sentiment. You have writing, you have art. There are people with the talent of getting other people to agree with them by just using words–in most normal situations, honest ones. There are people who can insert symbols into their art, and other people who have trained themselves to read them. There are…
…people who are really, really, really sleepy. And I’m one of them. Bonne nuit.
I don’t know if I’ll go into college right after I graduate high school. I mean, it would be totally cool to graduate at sixteen and then go to college having just turned seventeen, but I’d qualify for more scholarships if I lived on my own for a year. Anyway, I want something to get published first. It would look really good on a college app, for one–and after a year of working and being able to manage things alone and maybe even a little money from writing, I might be able to get into a better school or not have to use so many student loans.
There are some pretty little apartments in my city, and they’re right near a big park. I’d love to live down there, work at the little art shop that’s downtown, a few streets away–a tiny thing, and if I wanted I could even take a bike.
Anyway, someday I’ll have my own car and a driver’s license and I’ll be able to go away from everyone I know for a weekend. I’ll take enough clothes to wear, and a debit card, a laptop and charger, a phone, and a GPS, and a few books (because I never go anywhere without a book). And I’ll drive on the highway until I find a city or a town or something. Then I’ll stop, and find a hotel room, and stay. For the weekend. I won’t even try to figure out where I’m going, or the hotel, or anything. I’ll just be sure the GPS works, and I’ll keep a knife in the car’s glove compartment.
And then I’ll stay there. I’ll write. I’ll buy a new outfit and take some cute guy I’ve never seen before out to coffee. Most of all, I’ll explore the city or town, and talk to everyone, almost as if I were in an RPG, talking to NPCs in pursuit of new sidequests while procrastinating on the main goal of the game.
I’ve heard that if you tell people you’re a writer, they’ll tell you a story. I want to find out.
I’m sorry, I know my posting has been about as regular as an elephant on an unsteady diet of bacon rinds, but my life has kind of turned crazy. Er.
…my mom’s right hand is now in a cast because she had her thumb joint replaced, and she’s right handed…
…I have a bug that doesn’t want to go away, and I’m not talking about bees or mosquitoes…
…My dad is being kind of strange, because Mom’s unable to open up a candy wrapper and now his little girl has shown she can cook and clean, and the people at work aren’t being very nice to him, and through all this his reaction is to sleep obsessively, not eat much, and shove multivitamins down my throat…
But it’s still kind of disgraceful when I log on to update Phoenix and find 209 comments in the spam queue. Usually I kind of sift through if it’s just ten or so and make sure a legitimate (or particularly funny) comment hasn’t slipped through, but I have to say I’m really glad for the big, simple “Empty Spam” button.
Since I can’t cook for the house at the moment because that would spread my lovely lovely virus around faster than it would anyway, I’ve been working on Phoenix for hours on end. It’s not unusual for me to hole up when I’m sick anyway, so nobody notices when I write long novels into the night, tapping out descriptions of dragon habitats and Daniel and Sophie as thirty-year-olds, buddies with everyone and high-ranking leaders in an Agency base in Maine. (I never did say what state they were in in Mirrorworld anyway, and the two of them seem to get around a lot.)
Key is now a full-fledged best buddy of Mark, even if she doesn’t become a romance (I know I’ve implied that she is quite a bit, but most of their time together is spent modifying cell phones and building robots with really cool lasers or at least laser pointers). Phoebe has a new “friend” of her own, too, and I’m not talking about the too-clever, reason-to-be-suspicious Leslie type: I mean someone more like Xavier, who starts showing her the mythical creatures he takes care of at the Agency and tries to carry her luggage for her by hauling it off on his pegasus. Fortunately, Phoebe didn’t let him, for reasons of her own–I’m not sure how he would have managed anyway.
Yeah, I see you caught the quotes around “friend.” Don’t get your hopes up. It’s not going to turn gushy romancey. This is me we’re talking about.
Anyway, a chapter or two tonight… uh, today… and later, we shall see.
(Man, I hope this makes my bounce rate go down.)
Bonjour, tout le monde!
There IS more of Phoenix coming.
I wish to work on it now.
Ciao, tout le monde.
It’s been two weeks since I last posted, so I kind of decided that I need to do it again–even though I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m going to put here.
I’ve been busy; there’s been a bridal shower I had to work at, and I’m being promoted to yellow belt in karate pretty soon. It took a while; there’s a giant routine in which you move around a bunch and face different directions. It’s really difficult to get it right, and most of our practice time is spent on other stuff.
I’ve been slowly reading through all the xkcd comics, and a few other books; when I’m not doing that, I’m usually plotting world domination. But don’t worry: Phoebe has not been forgotten. I’m just trying to figure out my bridge a little. I’m not stuck, but it’s going to take a little working-out.
And I don’t mean the kind in karate class.
I love this school.
In Chemistry class today, we tortured whole milk in little tiny fairy teacups.
If you’re a geek who knows all the terminology, we put the milk in a crucible and used the ring stand/ring/clay triangle apparatus to stabilize it, then moved the burner back and forth under it to evaporate the water, then lowered the ring to set it under the burner and set the fats on fire, leaving only the minerals.
If you’re anyone else, we near-boiled some milk in a little porcelain shotglass-sized thing to get the water off, then burninated all the fats and stuff until it was all ash.
It was fun.
Math: pathetic–the group work doesn’t work when you have both the class idiots in your group. I ended up doing the paper myself.
French: I have the feeling that I’m going to walk out of this class one day with no idea of how to speak English. I forget how to do it momentarily during class, and I can’t translate it even though I know what it’s saying. It’s extremely annoying.
And you can’t not like a school where the teachers sell the students gum in the hallways, and then actually let you chew it in class. Or where you can easily do the homework in class. Or where none of the teachers need Prozac.
I have a date for Homecoming–a good friend, and a tech/video game geek. But the dress I bought for ten bucks last year–surprise!–doesn’t fit.* Such a loss.
We’re also trying to redo my room. I haven’t painted it since I was six (actually, my parents painted it), and it’s currently pink and yellow. Since the yellow is on the ceiling and one of the walls, we’re working around it. I’m going to try and put red and orange-gold around it, and work in some art deco. I hope it works. The yellow is pretty pale.
Anyway, I have a little English homework to do, so I need to stop messing around here.
* As in, giant fluffy padded boobs. *cough*
Two months ago was my birthday. I just realized that.
I’m coming down with a cold. I’m feeling a little lightheaded from blowing my nose so much, but it seems like I’m typing at mach speed anyway, so who cares? If I can write, play Aveyond, and mess around with this site, who gives a rip that I’ve eaten about two ounces of substantial food today? I mean, really?
I went to a free digital marketing meeting/class yesterday. It was pretty nice–they served good food and there was candy available, both for free–but the actual class thingy part didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know from searching on Google. But don’t let that stop you from going to one–this is me. I’m a writer and a geek of (almost) all trades, so I kinda know how to research with the Internet a little more effectively than some people. Still, it was well put-together.
If I manage to sell my book (to an agent or by myself… probably both!), I’m going to head straight to ThinkGeek.com with a brand-new bank account, and I’m going to get myself something. Maybe a few somethings. I’m going to get my Chemistry teacher this stainless steel travel mug that has a picture of a caffeine molecule printed on it. So. Much. Awesomeness.
I’m still settling into Central, but…
…they’re really, really, really cool. None of the teachers seem to care whether you eat in their class, and some teachers even sell food and candy and gum in the hallways. It’s the most awesome thing ever. And there are no discipline problems at all. The sophomores, at least, are nice to each other. I don’t know about the other three grades.
Coming from North, where it wasn’t terribly uncommon for students to dance on tables–mainly the guys–and where actual work was more the exception than the rule.
The teachers are excellent. Right now, I only have three classes at Central; I’m doing English at home, on the Internet, in homeschool status. Mwahaha! *singsong* I ditched the system! I ditched the system! Hahahahahahahaha!
Anyway, things are still settling. I have to climb three flights of stairs every morning, but that’s generally the worst bit.
It’s different here, because I actually find that I have to initiate most of the socializing if I don’t want another year in which I have no real close friends. And when I make the stupid small talk, the people look at me like I’m crazy. It’s the same look that you generally see on people’s faces in French class when we’re working in partners: the person speaking is speaking a foreign language. In other words, I’m horrible at making conversation when socializing is the only goal.
And, oh, please don’t ask me about myself! Save it! I want to know about you first, before you go ballistic on the whole wow-you-do-that routine!
You know what confuses me? I tell people that I write novels, and the first thing out of their mouth is, “Wow, you must be really smart.”
How does writing a novel make me “smart?” There are people who write novels about talking purple unicorns (I’m serious), and I’m pretty sure society doesn’t count them as smart.
All that my having a web site and writing novels means is this:
1. I can spell, punctuate, and use generally correct grammar.
2. I know how to use Microsoft Word.
3. I can probably type fast.
4. I can use WordPress. (I didn’t make the site, folks! My brother did.)
5. I’m a die-hard stubborn person who can write 40,000 words before admitting that Mirrorworld is crap.
6. I’m extremely, extremely geeky.
Smart? Maybe. Geek? Definitely.
I have most of my school supplies. School starts on the 15th of this month. We’re beginning our warfare against the Umbridges. Should be interesting. They’ve given me a teacher who Mom has forbidden to teach me, and they didn’t give me the Visual Basic class I wanted (instead, there is an empty block), AND they gave me a class I didn’t ask for (not a required one)… and also didn’t give me TAG.
Right now, Mom’s talking about homeschooling me, or getting a GED and sending me to Ambrose and schooling me “a la carte,” as she called it, or trying the Acceleration Process, which is the obvious answer (except that the principal doesn’t want to deal with the paperwork). The principal is a lazy insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here-and-it-better-be-a-bad-one.
I also wanted to show the principal the brochures I made up to promote the Writer’s Club, but she scheduled her optometrist appointment on enrollment day, further proving her disorganization.
There has to be a route for a smart girl, a clever girl, a downright stubborn girl. A girl who sees the opportunity to go to college as a sign of freedom from high school and the ability to get a decent job, say, building web sites and doing tech help and student tutoring and such instead of working at McDonald’s. I know it exists. But I’m not going to get there through a principal who can’t fill out a form, which is *ahem* her job.
I mean, look at it this way. I’m a writer–and I’m a novelist. I’m not a poet, I’m not a short story writer, I’m not a songwriter. I’m a novelist. I write novels. It takes intelligence and creativity and stubbornness–lots and lots of stubbornness. I’m not saying the other stuff doesn’t take that, but writing a novel takes it all to the extreme. And if it didn’t, then I wouldn’t do it. It would bore me.
I love the complexity of my ideas, and following them through to confuse my characters and most of my readers, until they figure it out. Because my books are logic puzzles. And while you’re working out the logic, I’m showing you this power, and how I just hand it straight to my character and make him/her deal with the consequences–meanwhile, I teach both character and reader how to use it, wield it, focus and channel it.
You see, I’m a fantasy writer. I write about magic. I write about magic, and the people who use it, and the people who don’t use it, and the people who use it for a corrupted agenda. For my characters, if you save the world’s butt, you get to learn about your magic and see wonderful things, and play with power. Sometimes you play with power, and then you’re required to save the world’s butt, and that’s the way the dice fall. In real life, you don’t always have a choice. Or, worse, the alternative to the gruesome but right thing is unthinkable, or involves death for you or someone else.
I’m talking about this because I’m not sure what to think about the entire prospect of going to college. Part of me is determined, brave, almost cocky, and absolutely ready to make a real name for myself in a place I might actually value, but the other part of me knows I’m alone.
I know I’m alone.
I’m always alone.
And, surprisingly, this doesn’t bother me as much as you’d think. It’s like I have a case of the teenagery-drama syndrome, but I just don’t care.
The thing is, I don’t stay in one place long enough to find people I actually Trust. I mean, I trust people enough, but I rarely Trust anyone. Like, with any sort of emotion or concern. Ideas? Sure. Anger? Sure. But I’m the calm, cool, aloof one, and I know that if I express worry, or if I look upset, then people will see that there’s something to be upset about, and then they’ll Be Nice To Me. I don’t like it when people decide they have to Be Nice To Me. Well, if they’re certain people, it’s okay. But when some random ESFP starts feeling the need to hug me, I find it immensely disturbing.
I am the definition of pensive, and I need my space. If I need to freak, I don’t want to have to freak with someone clinging to me. I don’t *want* a shoulder to cry on unless the shoulder belongs to someone I Trust, and my Trust is not gained in a year unless you have some serious interaction with me.
Determination. Bravery. Talent. Intelligence.
Do I have enough? Because it doesn’t look like I’ll be recruiting any allies anytime soon…
How nice to be relaxed for once. At the moment, I’m munching on cashews and pecans and I have chocolate milk ready. And–important–there is a keyboard under my fingers.
Of course, the sugar-free syrup my dad bought is junk. It tastes bitter and doesn’t mix with the milk at all, and I’m not in the mood to heat anything up in an effort to get crummy syrup to merge. Bleh.
I’m loving Phoenix. I’m not sure if the plotline is up to my typical standard for uniqueness, but it’s pretty good, all the same. I like the way it’s written.
Contrary to popular opinion, writers don’t exactly have a lot of control over the emotional mood of a scene. A lot of that comes in through the reader. A good writer can pull strings to initiate things like empathy or horror, but a reader’s reaction is largely based on the reader. Maybe it’s just me, but I like the tone of Phoenix.
Anyway, enough writer garble. I’m going out with some friends on Sunday to a movie and to Statik, a local youth group.
I also set up a WordPress for a friend. The link I made is in a widget to the right. It’s called Cats and Computers… it’s the one with the fennec fox picture.
BlogThings said my blogging type was “pensive and philosophical.” Maybe that’s true. In any case, I’m off to take more quizzes and maybe edit Star later, and most definitely listen to Harry Potter audiobooks.
If you haven’t heard, I’ve put Mirrorworld off. I know–bad me–but I’m still not sure I like it quite as much as I like Star at the moment. I posted about it–there are a ton of changes to the book that I’m learning to love. I thought about cutting Tony’s thread, but the book was missing something without him, so Tony stays–but the lengthy lessons don’t. That’s one thing I hated about Eldest, the sequel to Eragon: the lessons last for eons and nothing happens for the longest time. I still haven’t finished the book–I stopped halfway through because it was a library book and I had to turn it in.
Star is beginning to seem kind of awesome at the moment. I’m still weeding out cliches, but the revision is three-quarters done; the pen-and-paper part is finished, and I’m a good ways in on the typing-things-up part. I wrote out most of the corrections this time, so I don’t have to invent a lot of stuff on the spot later, which makes things end up inconsistent.
I do need people to test drive the thing, though. I need to go to Kinko’s and print out a few copies so I can make sure I don’t reference any info early in the book that you don’t know about yet… et cetera. And I’m going to make a cover, format it so that it reads like a basic paperback, and staple it together so that it feels legit.
I’m going to go play video games now.
Teen Girl Squad pic is from homestarrunner.com. Go check it out. I dare you.
Actually, for once, I’m not posting here simply because there’s nothing else to do. I’m posting because I actually have something to say. Gasp!
And what I have to say is the reason I have something to do.
I’ve gone back to rewriting Mirrorworld. I know it sounds absolutely absurd, but everything seems to be a whole lot better–more refined, less cliched–than before. Of course it seems that way now… but I think that once I’m done with it, I could send it out. I’m still left wondering about Star. And Zoe, but that’s less important at the moment.
I’m also still thinking about Phoenix. Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix. Phoebe could do with a few revisions, too… but it’s got the base for a pretty good storyline. At least, I do… in my head.
I’m not too keen on demoting Star’s priority, but I truly think Mirrorworld is a better fit for publishing. I’ve heard of writers leaving the first draft of a novel, writing another novel, coming back to edit the first, then writing a third and coming back to edit the second, writing a fourth and coming back to edit the third… et cetera.
But what I’d like is for this to help fund college, and pa y for this desk that I would absolutely love to have in the first apartment I ever get…
Ahhhhhh… the writer’s dream. It looks much more impressive in person. How’d I see it in person? Long story.
But I kind of have a feeling that, despite these noble aspirations (well, noble compared to wanting to spend seven grand on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream), I’m going to have to wait and write the good stuff, using that pattern above.
And also, that desk is kind of useless until I have the money and the need for an apartment, since it probably won’t fit into my tiny room.
If I blueprint enough… no guarantees it won’t.
Speak to me of utter boredom.
How can you tell? I’ve put up a poem I wrote.
That’s right. I’m starting to write poetry, a seriously INFP pasttime. As if I weren’t wondering if I was INTP or not in the first place.
While most of the INTPs on personalitycafe.com share a bunch of my weird quirks, they do seem kind of restricted. Almost anally perfectionistic. I’m not quite that crazy about preciseness, preferring unrefined and out-there ideas which are likely to be useless, as very few of them are well thought out. Hah, if this keeps up, I’ll end up ENTP.
Then again, my Ne has always been crazily strong, and if I’m not running at the top of my game all the time, I let it take over for social stuff. In fact, it’s quite a bit easier to use than Ti sometimes. Could be just because I’m a Perceiver. Yet… I don’t exactly think I’m an extrovert. I prefer solitude so often. I feel like the people around me, in my own age group, tend to act like utter idiots who continually ignore the obvious, which tells me I’m probably using a function they’re not, because it happens even when I’m not consciously thinking about something.
There I go again. Logic. Too much of that and I’ll be solidly INTP.
I think I’m an ambivert.
My cat Jake has been ridiculously affectionate lately. I think it has something to do with the fresh catnip in the garden that my mom found. She was surprised that it came back, but… it’s mint, what can I say?
Jake is addicted to Enya, particularly the song Flora’s Secret. He sits around and makes love eyes at me whenever I turn it on. Enya’s background music sounds like purring, but he ignores a lot of the other songs. Cats are so strange. :3 ^^
You want to hear how the writing is going? Forget it. Our pool is up. You might not hear too much from me. Then again, it’s not exactly hot outside today, and I’m feeling particularly lazy. A parting gift, then:
The wood nymph’s blank face sparked in recognition. “You’re a Kindred! Why can’t I feel you?”
There are ways of masking a presence.
“But… aren’t there…”
More? No. I’m alone. The dragon straightened out his wings. Why didn’t you come here first?
Oh, come on, we both know you can talk normally.
I was preoccupied, Alena said, shivering as the unpreferred method of communication, along with the dragon’s unfamiliar presence, a lit and power-holding mind, both washed over her at once.
My family thinks you’re with Them! They still have a grudge against the fire creatures.
The fire creatures didn’t take your great-aunt, and they didn’t set fire to your tree afterward, either.
I know that!
It’s the truth.
I know! But it’s not about what’s true here. It’s about what my family is too stupid to trust. Secretly, Alena couldn’t exactly blame her family for not buying into the dragons’ story. They hadn’t exactly given a lot of proof, and Alena’s own word did nothing but convince her family that the dragons had managed to get into her mind and seize control of it. Besides, the fire imps had been playing pranks on the dryads for centuries, which annoyed everyone but the imps. Alena’s family was convinced that they’d simply gone a step further.
The dryad wound an oiled vinelike rope—taken from a weeping willow—around the tree branch on which she was perched. Taking the end, the only unoiled part, and winding it around her wrists, she jumped neatly into the twenty-foot expanse of air between herself and the ground. The oiled rope slipped around the branch, braking the speed of the freefall just long enough that Alena had time to orientate herself for a landing.
The dragon, however, was unfazed. You have wings.
“Well spotted,” Alena said sarcastically, catching the rope as it reached its end and dropped.
Is it true?
What? Alena asked calmly, winding the rope into a tight coil and clipping it back onto her belt. She knew exactly what, and wasn’t going to make it any easier for him to ask the question.
It is true.
Alena gave in. Her patience was ebbing. Yes, a human has found my tree. My tree, not my family’s. She said to herself that she was going to make it her dreaming tree.
What does that mean?
I have no idea, but she seemed to know. She’s been in this forest before. If ever a human had an allegiance…
You can’t mean that you’re taking her in!
I am. This place is dangerous, and she lives here. In the area.
Can’t you drive her away, if you fear for her safety?
The wood nymph gave the dragon a piercing stare. No. She belongs here.
She no more belongs here than a Cyclops!
Tell that to the beast in the hill. It’s dangerous, and she needs to be here. You know exactly the feeling. Alena kept her serenity. Unlike the dragon, she felt no need to panic.
Not for a human! They have nothing to do with the elements!
I can’t even be sure that she is a human.
The dragon’s scales prickled. What is she is a shapeshifter, and will turn against you? What if she was the one who took your great-aunt?
She is about as likely to be the one who did that as you are. If she has been here all this time, why have I never seen her before, yet am seeing her nearly every day now?
Everyone else in this forest has an airtight alibi.
Not so airtight, Alena shot back. I don’t trust the pixies. A few of the bands around here are just plain malicious.
Believe what you will, Etrane said, and took off. Alena watched in resignation as a gold dragon, the size of a horse, skimmed the trees’ top branches and was out of sight.
School got out two weeks ago. I think I’ve found my problem in writing, after a week-long Harry Potter audiobook marathon. Not shallow “inspiration,” but a real problem that needs to be fixed.
I know it’s kind of stupid to compare your own book with an uber-famous one. In fact, it’s really, really, really stupid to do that. But I can see where things are going here…
Take a good hard look at Mirrorworld. Man, that thing’s stupid. It’s a huge mess, and I’m rewriting it now. It was written by the seat of my pants. It’s a pretty crappy book. If it didn’t explain so much of my invented world, I would ditch it.
Since I’m working on Mirrorworld, let’s address the ridiculous problems in it. I still don’t know how I managed to scrape the blasted thing together.
Problem #1: Written Without Plan
There was no end in mind when I wrote the beginning. I didn’t even have a list of all the books they needed to find. Thus, they wandered in the forest FUH-RE-VER.
Problem #2: Too many characters, too rarely used.
It seems like they were recruiting an army, not looking for books. They might even have picked up more people than they did books. Then those people never showed up again.
Problem #3 Magic is too powerful!
Daniel is basically invincible. He doesn’t need his staff, and he makes up his own spells on the spot. He just waves his hands, and stuff flies around. It’s utterly ridiculous.
Problem #4: That villain stinks.
The Gateguards weren’t too bright, and they weren’t intimidating, and the rest of them? Idiots. All of them were just plain stupid, or otherwise cheesy beyond belief.
Problem #5 (the one I just realized) : What friends?
The relations between Daniel and Sophie are cold. Sophie is supposed to be a little mean, but she needs to be nice to Daniel. Everyone else? Nobody is really Daniel’s friend. Not really.
Of course, all this would be solved by rewriting the blasted thing. The only thing I’m keeping is the basic idea, and some of the rules will stay.
After all, it’s not like I’m writing like I was two years ago. I still live completely and entirely in that odd, abstract, dreamy la-la land that steals over you when you stare out a window without really looking at it. You know, where you’re constantly thinking… and yet, you’re… not thinking consciously, or about the “right” things. Or you’re replaying a song to yourself, in your head. But when you start writing that way, it doesn’t always come out wonderful.
When you’re a roundabout thinker who LIVES in the rabbit hole…
But I think the reason that I didn’t give Daniel a close friendship with anyone else is because *I* don’t have uber-close friendships. My closest friends are people I don’t get to see too often. When you’ve changed schools every year since you’ve started public school instead of homeschooling, you don’t get the time to do so. The only severed ties are acquaintances. My best friends from this year are graduating.
Please don’t get too excited… maybe you’re not invited
To my action-adventure, my action-adventure dream
~On Educational Videos, Because I Have Little Else Of Interest to Talk About~
I hate them. Don’t we all? Nobody needs a dude dressed up like David Bowie telling them about the dangers of coughing into your hand.
~Okay, So That Wasn’t As Interesting As I Thought It Might Be~
I’m sick. And bored. And procrastinating. I could be working on an American Studies project, or editing Star, writing Zoe, plotting ways to configure my military task force AHEM figuring out how to make the Writer’s Club sell stuff more efficiently… Ahem.
All this at 10:38. It’s really quite annoying knowing that you have a bunch of stuff to do when you’re sick and your head is too foggy to do anything but regurgitate information. And I don’t work that way.
When I do a project, I make every effort not to just regurgitate (unless I utterly hate the class, or it’s a group project, or I have a BIG grudge against the teacher… and if I regurgitate, I do it well). It doesn’t seem to fail in getting me As.
With my stupid homeschool-kid immune system, the “24-Hour Bug” has become the “72+ Hour Bug.” Yuck.
Not only that, but it’s during Gym Swim Week. It’s heavily graded, too… stinks. Still, my goal in that class is to pass–nothing else. I could get a C- for all I care. My GPA isn’t about to suffer too much, seeing as I had a 4.0 last semester. I’ve gotten one B since then, because I didn’t rush to make up a final in Computer Apps. The entire point of Computer Apps is to teach you how to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Most boring class ever, since I know how to manipulate all three to the point of publishability. If that’s even a word.
I hate Excel with a passion. It’s extremely annoying. You have to double-check and investigate EVERYTHING. You can’t just grok the material and then intuit where the problems are, then devise a solution by thinking about stuff and taking the back way. That’s how I learn, and it’s how I work. It’s like trying to get an INFP to plot military tactics.
What I want to do right now is mess around with RPG Maker XP. I have a game I’m working on, and I can usually get the program to work quite well by pushing buttons. At least, it works in the playtest. I’ll eventually test it out by putting a download link up on here and trying it on another computer. If that works, I’ll figure out how to set up a PayPal system on here so you guys can buy a copy for five bucks.
I’m extremely frustrated with my Newspaper Lab teacher. We’ll call her C, the first letter of her last name.
First, a little background. C is an ISTJ (see here), probably in her late fifties. Likes to complain–a lot. But the big thing is that she absolutely hates ME. And there’s reasoning behind this.
For starters, most of her students are juniors or seniors. This makes them mostly 16-18 year olds. I, however, skipped eighth grade, and am a freshman. This makes me *thirteen* years old. Also, I haven’t taken Journalistic Writing, so I’m pretty clueless on the protocol–but I’m excellent with grammar and spelling for novels, so newspaper stuff shouldn’t be terribly far off–at least not for the school. So even though I’m willing to listen to any garble about journalistic style, she still actually has to teach it to me.
I don’t think she likes my ambitious way of attacking things, and my open, none-too-decisive attitude toward situations seems to bug her. I tend to go off of a little bit of feedback from someone, and then ride the wave on my own current, using my own judgment to determine whether to take the advice or to run. I’m not always sure of myself. Hey, if I’m doing a project for you, I want to know if what I’m doing is what you want. I’m flexible and can work your way so you don’t need to venture out of your comfort zone, but you have to work with me a little. If you want me to personally do something, either give me really specific directions or give me feedback.
She refuses to give me either until I’m done.
Once I’m done, she looks over whatever it is and then criticizes it. She doesn’t just tell me what needs to be changed–that’s too simple and saves time. No, she wants drama in her life. She tries to discourage me and get me upset. She’s failed. Sheesh, I’m taking the darned class! I’m going to do something there, and my time will not be spent in the corner, bawling my eyes out!
She’s just not used to logical, rational, meticulous people. But the thing about logical, rational, meticulous people is… WE DON’T PUT UP WITH CRAP. We also don’t put up with:
- Hierarchy. We get it. You’re the teacher and we’re the student. That doesn’t make you God.
- Trying to blame us for something you did.
- Vague directions.
- Complaining without sufficient justification. Justification will be judged as objectively as possible on our part, and compared with others in similar situations.
- Pleas for sympathy. If your situation doesn’t make us sympathetic automatically, begging us to start sobbing for you is going to do nothing but lose you respect points.
- In other words… crap.
C has done all of these, some of them multiple times. I find this behavior inexcusable.
Remember Mrs. Searle from seventh grade? She has the same job as Mrs. C. Mrs. Searle is good. She pulls off the JB Young yearbook by herself (I’m pretty sure) and complains a little, mostly to me because I listen. In addition, she runs the newspaper (four pages, like C’s newspaper) AND the literary magazine for JB. Most of her students hardly work at all, but she works a lot.
Mrs. Searle runs a yearbook, a newspaper, and a literary magazine. I’m not sure if she has a DVD for her yearbook.
Mrs. C “runs” a yearbook, a newspaper, and a picture DVD for the yearbook.
Not too different, eh?
Now, when I came into Mrs. Searle’s class, she looked at me like she looked at everyone else. Then I started working, and, once she saw how easily I got things done, I gained her respect. Fast. She found me very useful for proofing, formatting, and odd jobs like fixing staplers or finding efficient ways that two people can get posters up onto high places above lockers, or finding rooms and delivering papers.
In other words, I worked with Mrs. Searle very well. So what’s the reason I can’t work with C?
Well, for one, she categorized me as a young little whippersnapper the second I came into the class. Now that she knows I lead the Writer’s Club at North, and that I work efficiently–she can’t go back on that assumption and admit that she was wrong.
Mrs. Searle is an ENTJ…I think (see here). Though she might be an INTJ–I don’t know.
Sum: She’s a jerk.
Okay, that wasn’t bad as far as interesting. I guess. I’m too lazy to elaborate.
Now that Google Analytics is telling me that I have some–GASP–AcTuA1 Reed3rz!!!!!–I might actually post here more often. A lot of them are coming in from Personality Cafe, where I’ve linked to my site.
Star is still being edited. I’m pretty sure, though, that you guys are getting really, really, really sick of hearing about it. So I probably should work on Zoe. I’m starting to hate the darned book, though.
I’m still recovering from a serious bout of not-quite-writer’s block in which I apparently only had the capacity to write thirty-page starts. It was quite annoying.
I’m wondering if Zoe is going to be one of those, but I’m about 18,000 words into it… so I suppose I’d better finish it. Sigh.
But Zoe doesn’t even act or think like a nine-year-old. Even an INTJ nine-year-old. And it seems like there are way too many Thinkers, especially INTJs, in the story. I mean, Jen is an ENFP (or something like that)… but everyone else? Let’s see: Another darned Thinker… or really convincing android? It’s hard to tell.
I just don’t have the ideas to do much here. I could redo Mirrorworld if I wanted, and do it a totally different way. I could write a sequel to Star. I could rewrite Star’s ending, because it seriously needs to be rewritten.
Anyway. I’d better put a text disclaimer up to let people know that, no, there’s not really anything up here that is publishing worthy… and I know that. I’d better go do that. Now.
I know, I know… I haven’t posted for a month. I’m editing Star again. It does feel kind of endless. Almost as pointless as posting to this blog, since there must be one person who reads this stuff.
But I’m here anyway, so I might as well.
I’ve been a bit occupied researching MBTI lately, so I apologize for the fact that I’ve been writing and posting very little.
That, and a few other crazy things have been going on, some of which I like, some of which I don’t, and some of which I still can’t decide on…
Still not sure what I think of Star. I think I’ve put so much work into it that NOT trying to revise it and send it out would be a waste. But I’m not sure how much hope there is for it. Actually, I’m not sure how much hope there is for any of my writing as far as publishing goes.
I’m not sure what standards I’m holding myself to; there aren’t any published writers who write like I do. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a reason for that. Maybe it’s because I just figured out how to edit effectively… but it still seems futile. Every time I think about the stuff I’ve written, there’s a negative image, and no writer can survive that way. I haven’t found a reliable critique partner, either…
It goes like this.
1. I look at my work and see a whole bunch of stupidity. I try to edit, think it’s brilliant for a few minutes, and send it to someone over email.
2. I look at it a second time, see even more stupidity, and curse myself for ever thinking that was good enough to send to ANYONE. At all.
3. The person responds soon enough. Either A or B happens.
a. The person responds negatively to the work but shows no reasonable ways (i.e., telling me to write in their style is unreasonable) to fix whatever it is. I spend a few months in writer’s block and then decide to disregard their opinion, but then return to the work and see the same stupidity.
b. The person absolutely loves the work, but I’m seeing the stupidity and I’m already starting to question their objectivity and, then, their reliability.
4. Either way, it’s no help, and I end up going back to my untrustworthy ideas. I can’t find a reliable opinion, and my mom isn’t about to let me send this to an agent unless she thinks it’s good, because she thinks I’m going to start sobbing if I get rejected. Actually, that’s exactly what I’m expecting, and I’m getting rather cynical about it.
Part of me actually wants to shove the project into a secluded folder somewhere on my hard drive, and part of me wants to try and refurbish it so at least it won’t embarrass me later. The problem is, if I try the latter, there’s no guarantee that it’ll work. At all. It could just be a discouraging waste of time, like all the other times I’ve tried to edit.
I do have another project I could be working on, but there’s not much confidence in that, either. In fact, I have two projects… and one is off to a worse start than the other.
I’m really starting to get sick of Star and everything about it.
I suppose it’s not that obvious how thrilled I am with this. Well, I’m thrilled. This explains a lot about my personality and gives me a new thing to learn about, and I suppose it’s sort of special that I’m female and an INTP, who are supposed to be really rare. INTPs make up less than 1% of the population, and females, with the natural tendency to want to talk without thinking, are even rarer. I’ve also learned that at least one of my teachers is an INTP, and she’s female as well, which is unusual but explains why we get along so well and agree on a lot.
I’m less interested in the Multiple Intelligences thing, but I suppose it’s no surprise that the main one is linguistic. I thought for a while that, because I like to argue and am good at it, and can easily teach people things, I was ENTP. Having a 90% margin between E and I, I guess not. 5% versus 95% is a pretty impressive figure.
I have no questions that I’m INTP, rare or not. The high level of S is explained by the fact that S is the tertiary function of the type, and everything else has a decently large margin on it. Especially from the long blog posts and ramblings about obscure stuff (like Meyer-Briggs testing… as if you’re interested in what I got), since INTPs go off on one thought and continue until some annoying person interrupts them, or until they realize they need to eat.
So that other people can figure out their type, and so that us INTPs, who absolutely love stuff like this, can learn about it, I’m adding a page for it. I’ll also add discussion pages for anyone who thinks they are a certain type.
Note: The MyPersonality site (here) has percentage figures of the types. I’m assuming that this is based off of their tests, because they’re EXTREMELY inaccurate. Which bugs me. There are probably a ton more of certain types in certain countries, and who says that everyone will speak English? Who says that everyone’s going to be interested enough in MBTI to want to take the tests? There are too many extra scientific variables. *annoyed*
This article refers to Holly’s post here: http://hollylisle.com/index.php/Writing-Life/writers-block-are-we-having-fun-yet.html
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten this. Now I’ve decided: To heck with editors. I’ve just figured out how to edit my own blasted manuscripts and I’ve had enough of the Fairy Wonderful reviews and the AK-47 Terrorist Opinions that I’ve gotten from every other human being on the face of the earth, because I know that my writing deserves neither worship nor automatic hatred, and as far, I have found that I seem to be the only median and the only fair judge.
No more editors. No more critiques.
And now that I’ve begun to understand which parts of my manuscript make me hate the whole thing, and now that I know how and where and why I should fix them, and now that I’ve realized that I am the only one with my voice and my logic and that people will either hate or love my books, I don’t care.
No more editors. No more critiques.
And now, when I know I’m stuck, I’ve decided that I write for those who love my writing and that my opinion is that those who don’t desperately need to be shot the bird. Now is when I fix the glitches, release my own hatred that causes me to disagree with myself and agree with those against me, and now is when I complete my novels and when I find the agent and the editor and the publisher and the audience that does want me to write, that does want to hear what I have to say, and that hangs on my every word. Now is when I write for myself and my true listeners, and when I allow anyone who isn’t a true listener to leave the audience after the first five minutes, because they weren’t going to listen anyway.
No more editors. No more critiques.
Now is when I write as I write, with my own pen, and not with a borrowed pencil that’s cracked, with about two inches of lead left, and which writes only words that sound like the writer accidentally ate an unabridged dictionary in his sleep and barfed it onto the paper, because that’s not a pen I can write with. I don’t care if you write with a chewed-up pencil, or a black ink pen that never bleeds, or a stylus, or with your own blood, and just because I happen to write with a bright purple gel pen in a beat-up notebook in loopy, narrow, stylized handwriting doesn’t mean that I have to write with the chewed-up pencil or the black pen or the stylus or blood. (Actually, like most writers, I write with a keyboard, but never mind. It’s an awesome analogy.)
No more editors. No more critiques.
Now, when I sit here, sick, with a laptop computer smaller than a textbook with an orangutan background, I’m deciding that I don’t give a rip. If you’re about to tell me how to write, I challenge you to write like I do.
No more editors. And the only critiques I accept now come from this word, this pen, and this mind.
God bless Holly Lisle.
PS: I realize, even though I wrote this all of fifteen minutes ago, that it’s extremely emotional and it’s a sobfest, but writers RUN on emotion in the first place, whether it’s theirs, put into the characters, or the readers. So I don’t care about that now either.
Fanmail is still welcome, as long as it’s fanmail from Those Who Listen. My writing is a yes/no option with no editing feature. It’s a deal. Take it or leave it. The only exception would be handed to an agent I submit to or an editor who actually has the power and money to print this thing.
Okay, I now agree with my asylum side.
I printed out a hard copy of Star. I’d heard before that you can catch all kinds of things in a hard copy that you can’t catch on the screen because you work on the stuff every day and you’re used to seeing it. I didn’t believe it, because I don’t work on Star every day. In fact, I didn’t work on it much at all during the first school semester.
That has nothing to do with it.
The fact is that I worked on it and saw that stuff long enough to finish the thing, and now that I’ve printed it out, I realize how far away I am from shoving the thing in an agent’s face. (Glad I didn’t send that out.) But I’ve also realized how close I am to shoving it in an agent’s face. It’s not going to take me more than half a year to get that thing edited via hard-copy if I’m catching so much stuff; I can get it all in one sweep now. Paragraphs that bugged me for the longest time now make sense, and I can correct them because I can see the whole darned thing. It’s the best way to edit that I’ve come across, and now that I’m not looking at a hard copy and going, Man, that’s so old and weird! at everything I read, and not tossing the manuscript aside for the real computer and rewriting stuff as one big trial/error, I may have something.
This is how authors like Holly Lisle get by with one round of editing. In fact, she was one of the people who said that that was the way to do it. Shoulda listened. *smacks head*
The reason I didn’t was, as I said, when I printed out a hard copy from the computer right after I was done, I would look at the first few chapters and go, “Yuggh. Why did I even write that?” and would just hop back on the computer and rewrite the whole thing. You need to read your own novel, especially because by the time you’re done with it, there’s probably a few things that you abandoned midway. That dancing-in-air scene in Chapter Three? Never mentioned anywhere else in the book. The wings-changing-color thing? Unnecessary, and Amanda probably has a few too many powers as is. As for that, she needs to be captured, beaten up, thrown around, spit a tooth in the dirt, and almost killed once or twice (other than the final fight scene). The my-mom-was-killed-so-I-could-be needs to come out more, or it kills suspense. Since Amanda strongly resembles her author, she could easily be called Mary-Sue. Except that I look nothing like her and that I have this much desire to be in her position. But the fact that I’ve given her, like, all the power in the universe (unless she gets Committed to one specific ability) and that she’s relatively pretty, though extremely tall and with a lot of blood, cuts, bruises, and whatever all the time, and freckles (which I don’t understand, but is supposed to be an imperfection, I guess–Amanda’s parents just came from Ireland somewhere, and that came with the package) may pin her down as a Mary-Sue unless I really knock her around.
Oh, and school started, by the way. Not happy about it. It started on, like, the fourth or something. My new classes are TAG, French II, Computer Apps and American Studies. The American Studies teacher is a major Democrat, and everything she says about Republicans vs. Democrats is almost hateful toward Republicans.
According to her, Democrats take you in and help you and love you fuwever and make you feel at home, and Republicans chuck you out in the cold. The truth is that Democrats are big brothers who babysit your every move until you become completely dependent on them (at which point they have complete control over you and you’ve lost your freedom because you have to do what they say or they can threaten to take away their “aid”) and Republicans expect you to grow up and be able to support yourself and not be a liability to the rest of us who are, might I mention, supporting ourselves just fine and DON’T NEED HELP. There’s a T-shirt that says, I’d rather be a conservative nut job than a liberal with no nuts and no job. There’s also one that says, Recession is when your neighbor loses his job; depression is when you lose yours, and recovery is when Obama loses his. There’s another that says, What are you drinking? and has a picture of a tea bag and a Kool-Aid pitcher on it. Yah. That’s my political rant for today. *smiles sweetly*
Ironically, Ms. Warm and Welcoming Democrat seems to dislike her students, since she treats her subject, American Studies, like it’s the code to stopping the apocalypse or something, and utterly hates her students. She treats us all with disdain, like, I want to stand around here at my podium (she has one) but you kids are unnecessary and if you don’t toe the line, I’m flunking you. And when I was your age…
That’s another thing. She has this thing about her When I Was Your Age (WIWYA) stories. It’s the We Didn’t Have Computers and the We Had To Share Telephone Lines and the A Buck Was Worth So Much More Then stories. Half the class is usually spent with her on a rant.
She also has huge, fluffy blonde 80′s hair and peer-over glasses, and is 62 years old. She told us. I think the reason she seems to treat us like subjects is that she used to be a historian or something, and she’s had years of kids who hate history’s guts, if history had guts, and is really sick of teenagers by now. (She should be writing textbooks instead–the textbook makers don’t seem to like us either.)
I like the Computer Apps class, because it’s a lot like the Nerds On Caffeine Computer Apps class (in which they discuss the difference between .gif, the file extension tag, and Jif, the peanut butter). Our CA actually taught us how to turn on the computer and click on stuff. Then he taught us like five ctrl+ combinations, and I’m like, I know all of those and ten more, can you, like….? Let me work? Let me type the stupid research paper, format it, and shove the thing in the Done box? Pwease?
French is French. I don’t care whether it’s I, II, III or IV. Speaking of which, the kids in that class CAN’T read Roman numerals. At all. Page numbers are read aloud, not by the number but like, “V…. I…. I…” and it takes eons. And they can’t read an analog clock! (That’s the kind with hands, which isn’t digital.) The teacher can’t show the French I kids how to tell time in French because they don’t know how to do it in English! It’s nuts!
TAG is interesting–suffice it to say that–but is way too complicated to explain in a blog post that’s already really long. If you’ve read this far, congratulations. And sayonara.
I’m having an argument with myself. Or arguments. I haven’t been able to relax since school started, and it will be a while before both sides of my brain consent to loosening up. It feels like I’ve been split in two but left in the same body at once. A part of me is on Christmas vacation, and it’s probably chilling out on some Bahama beach doing air guitar to Weird Al Yankovic songs, like I am now. (Except for the Bahamas part. I wish.) My other side is still an asylum-worthy nutcase who demands to keep knowing things and learning skills before the world goes kablooey, but then my other side steps in and says that if we’re all gonna die so fast, then why learn the skills? You won’t get a chance to use them. That really upsets my other side, and that constant train of thought makes it really hard to get to sleep. I don’t know why I’m thinking apocalypse junk, since I don’t believe that BS for the most part–yeah, Jesus is coming back and all, but sheesh. I don’t know why that side is so freaked about learning junk here on Earth when it’s perfectly good in heaven too, and I know where I’m going. Durrrrrrrr…
But then again, I’ve been hanging around SCHOOL people, and there’s a good chance that the strict part of my brain is the fried one. (Part of me takes offense at that comment, but it’s not in control of my fingers at the moment.)
Anyway, my main argument-with-self tonight is whether to write Phoenix and edit Star or to play mindless, brain-numbing video games all night. My asylum side says that I might be going to a writer’s conference very soon and I need to whip my novels into shape NOW while I have the chance and the time.
My other side says that I’ve been doing that all day, and I did it for several hours yesterday and the day before, too, and I need to chillax for once and play Aveyond or Master of Orion II until my eyes bug out or it’s 3:00 AM.
However, it’s currently 12:33 here, and I stayed up last might until about 4:00 AM finishing a 355 page fantasy novel–one not written by me. You were thinking, WHAT?! You had a 355 page novel you didn’t post here?!?!?!! How come you didn’t tell us about it?!!!!!?!????!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? How DARE YOU!!!!!!!! and so forth. No, this was written by Diane Duane, and it was Deep Wizardry, the second book in the Young Wizards series. The last seventy pages or so are really climactic, but so convoluted that you can’t even figure out what’s happening unless you read it a few times. Then again, it was four in the morning.
So I stayed up super late and then I had to go to church and run around everywhere because Mom was pretty much in charge of some stupid brunch event that this chick called Debbie was supposed to be doing herself. But Debbie’s events always get passed to Mom, and become her responsibility at the last minute, with no notice. Today was comparable to a Jesus Feeds Five Thousand thing, but there weren’t twelve baskets left over. There was half a piece of an egg casserole and some banana bread. The donuts? Nonexistent from about halfway through. But at least there was something left over. What was really weird was that when we were setting up, Debbie had this fakey smile plastered on her face and was laying out these sweet little bulletin things whose only purpose is to fall on the floor and make a mess, or to get thrown away later if the cleanup crew is lucky. Who were people taking orders from? Mom, who was walking around the church gym (yes, we actually do have a gym in our church) with a knife in her hand. By now the people should be used to the knife, but I think they’re a little too trusting that it’s being used to cut donuts. She’s not just a sweet little person who willingly takes over for stuff like this. She has police training, draws bows over 35 pounds easily, takes karate, grew up in southern Chicago with teachers who stuck plastic explosives in the crack of their door that would startle you if you slammed it, and can probably use a knife in ways that most people in our church–ESPECIALLY Debbie–don’t want to think about.
Now who’s driving me nuts? Debbie. Then again, I take after Mom.
I don’t think either side of my brain is winning the argument tonight, since I can’t type much faster than twenty-five words a minute maybe, because it’s now three minutes to one and both sides are collapsing because they both want to go to bed.
Woah. That IS a sign of apocalypse. Me typing at 25 a min. Yikeazoids.
Or maybe it’s a sign of Christmas vacation. Hmm.
I heard the voice of God once. It sounded like: Vrmmmmmmmmm. Unless it was just a lawn mower.
Hi. Chrissy’s over at my house for a sleepover. …
We’re listening to Muse right now. It’s the album Absolution, and the song “Falling Away with You.” Yep. By the way HHHIIIII >>> I wonder who wrote that…..
Me: I think Chrissy did…..
We made a video on the crazy stupid stuff dentists do to make you feel better. I mean, they do everything but an Elmo song and dance. Seriously, they treat teenagers the same as three-year-olds, and not in a good way.
Chrissy: so the other day I went to the dentist. And they put a hole into my bad tooth. I was freaking out because I did not know what they were doing ( I was NOT on drugs). So they said there was a “blow hole” like a wale to help me stay calm. In my head it was something else. There you go you perv.
Me: Yeah, that’s really perverted. And they also try to give you fluoride, but they claim it’s “tooth vitamins.” I don’t think that these guys even know what they’re saying. Doofs. Fluoride is fluoride, it’s not a vitamin, and SINCE YOU’RE A DENTIST, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT. Durrrrrr….
Chrissy: Are we that STUPID?? I don’t think so…….
Angry Mob of Kids: WE’RE NOT STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chrissy: ok now for bordom sake this is how you know I like someone: 1. I am a girl, so I look at the person I like A LOT. 2. I will be more nice or mean to you than any one. 3. I make good comments about drawings or something. 4. I will lie to anyone who asks if I like you. And last 5. I am a shy girl so I look on YOUTUBE to check if you are giving me a signal if you like me.
Me: And now for something TOTALLY DIFFERENT! (yah, Monty Python quote)
I have a couple new ideas I’m doing. One is about a girl who belongs to this group of magically altered people called Epselans. Epselans are like halflings, except they can look entirely human for a certain amount of time, after which they go back to a halfling-like appearance. They’re 75% human and 75% animal, sort of, which is unexplainable because it ends up being a person and a half.
Epselans all have different animals that they take on. One might be a cat, another a platypus, another a lizard or something. My main character is a phoenix.
There are assassins after another Epselan, Mark. When my MC takes a bullet for Mark, she burns up into ashes. While the assassins are mesmerized by the magical flames, Mark scoops up the ashes and hightails it out of there before my MC is reborn. He changes her name from Tallie to Phoebe (she hated the name Tallie) and raises her as his own.
The other is about a group of monsters and a chick called Linette. She finds out she is also a monster, but hasn’t found her real form yet, which *spoiler* turns out to be a wolf *spoiler over*. Yeah, more news later.
My writing side has been feeling very neglected. After some of my work was shot down by a friend AGAIN, I’m feeling kind of self conscious. I’m pretty self critical and obsessively edit my work, but I need other opinions. I get two types, usually:
AK-47 Terrorist Reviews
I usually get Fairy Wonderfuls from adults and teachers, and AK-47s from writer friends. I have to interpret Terrorist Reviews (TRs) carefully: do they have good points included and specific things go wrong? Does the writer who gives the review have a full book written and is it good? Are they a critical person in general? Is jealousy involved?
I’m not too excited about the book on Molly, especially since Mirrorworld is so arbitrary and everything. It takes me about a year to do a first draft of something, so I have to choose the ideas that I do very carefully. I’m not sure that Ilya or Molly have good potential plotlines to them.
It has occurred to me that Mirrorworld sets up a lot of the magical rules for other books. I’m not sure whether I want to change those or not. I think I won’t, because they’re so complicated, but their complexity is also a reason to change them. I understand them because I wrote them, but not everyone is such a geek. I’m a writer, and my brain doesn’t think straight. I think backwards, sideways, upside down and diagonally. I solve math problems differently from everyone else in the class. I take the long ways for the heck of it. I do research papers on people nobody else has ever heard of because it’s fun. I correct punctuation in published books and in letters to parents written by teachers. That is who I am: my brain functions differently. To suggest that I could be otherwise is to say that the sky can be green with purple highlights and reddish-orange polka dots with pigs flying around.
And for me to neglect my writing is to make this true. It’s like denying that your left hand exists while trying to play a Mozart concerto on the piano.
It’s past midnight. I’m returning to Star and I have plans to completely rewrite Mirrorworld. I can tell I’m returning to health and am beginning to get over writer’s block, because I’m able to type fast again. I type slowly when I can’t think, and writer’s block for me is caused by a) discouragement and questioning my work and b) my head being as hazy as a drunkard’s, like when I’m sick, stressed, exhausted or busy. I have been all four of those within the past week or so.
Now I don’t need to be stressed, really, though I should be. I have finals in like two days and haven’t studied AT ALL. Then again, I shouldn’t really be that worried, because I never study for tests and generally ace them anyway.
I was actually useful in Trivia Night tonight. One of the categories was spelling, and you can guess that I was all over that. Two of the questions caught me, but one of them was a boxing term, and I don’t watch boxing. O.O The other one was philodendron, and I THINK it’s spelled right here.
I’m going to post the new version of Star. The second draft only changes for the first few chapters, and I changed a lot of the ending for the third draft. It’s still a draft. Amanda needs to be weaker, I think. In the third draft, she nearly gets beaten by the Kliid ruler, but her mom steps in just as she’s lying on the forest floor, halfway unconscious and nearly magically depleted and football-tackles him. It’s a really funny scene, sort of. This buys Amanda enough time to pull herself together and defeat EvilDude.
Then her mom totally freaks her out. I mean, if you just found out that your momma was THE BEST magician out of all of your species, and isn’t dead, and knows how to use eighty-nine different innocent-looking household objects as weapons… wouldn’t that freak you out? If I do a sequel, I’m going to include a scene where she threatens someone at plastic fork-point.
“Well?” Alicia said, touching the prongs of the plastic fork to the Time Anoki’s jugular. Li and Kaye restrained his arms a little more tightly, and I was giving him a look he didn’t want to read into.
“She can use that, you know,” I said.
“I don’t know anything about Akana! I’ve never heard that name before!” Sweat materialized on his forehead, but I couldn’t tell if that was because he was lying, or because he was really concerned what my mom was going to use the fork to do. I could tell he knew it wasn’t to eat dinner.
Eh? I can’t really critique this, since it’s not enough to find fault with. Anyway, I need to post the third draft of Star.
Can you tell I’m bored?
Created by Oatmeal
There’s a game called Artist Colony. The idea is that you’re restoring this… well, artist colony area thing by getting artists to join and produce work to sell and raise money. Cute, right? (Except that from certain sites, it doesn’t work, but nevermind for now.)
But the artists have to be inspired to produce work in this game. So what do they do?
They go stare at a potted plant for ten minutes.
Believe me when I say that ideas are not that easy. Sure, you can write cliches, and they’re not that hard to come up with, but is that going to be any good? Your reader is going to be vomiting in the street if you try and present that. Your agent will hate you forever. Editors will cringe and long for the distraction of nails on a chalkboard. Et cetera.
I’m not going to tell you to twist the cliche, whatever, because you and I have both heard that before and know that it doesn’t work. Either it ends up as a trying-too-hard “revolutionary” piece, or it’s the same cliche reversal that everyone else who got the same advice is doing.
Which still makes it a cliche.
And really, this whole reversal thing is a lost cause unless you’re really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really good at it. Some people are. 99% of us aren’t.
Maybe staring at a potted plant isn’t so bad after all.
Or maybe you just need to think things through, work your butt off, stay up all night, and…
…NEVER, EVER do any of the above. The right side of your brain is the creative side. Which side is affected fastest by stress? Yeah.
The solution is in music.
Lost passion? You need something unusual or exciting like a Joanna Newsom song from the Ys album or the song Fire of Birds by DM Stith.
Lost coherence? Pick something from Andrew Bird. His lyrics may make sense in the end or may not, but your writing will eventually.
Lost excitement? Muse. Feist. The Who. GOOD rock music. To judge good, listen to Muse FIRST. Something from Origin of Symmetry, maybe, but Knights of Cydonia is the best as far as “thriller” craziness.
Lost humor? Try The Flaming Lips’s She Don’t Use Jelly. You’ll be cracking up just because it’s so weird.
Lost serenity? Go Enya. Or Adiemus, but I’d recommend Enya first because she’s so easy to get into.
What do you need to get these? It’s called YouTube, dude. <*_*>
Don’t stay on too long. Not everyone can run on three hours’ sleep.
This is going to sound so poetic and so not-me, isn’t it? That’s my prediction.
I don’t have writer’s block–ironically, that’s not the problem. I’ve managed to invent a totally new disease that’s been plaguing me. Don’t worry, it’s not contagious.
I need to come up with a name for it. Fickle Fiction. There we go.
My pen isn’t dry, it just apparently needs to be in purple ink and a notebook. Which slows me down. I’m trying to write Ilya’s Story. I keep thinking about the plot, changing it, changing dimension names (Divis was originally Hanat), changing thoughts on which of my characters will be in it. I want to put Amanda Unger in this, just because she’s so much fun, and I think she and Sophie would be an odd pair. Plus, Amanda’s nice and Sophie’s kind of mean to people sometimes. Sophie will be the one to get stuff done, but Amanda helps people. Sophie’s a fixer-type person and deals with things at the root; Amanda changes the people and watches the root of the problem flip around and settle. Amanda would be much more effective beside Yvonne as Ilya’s mentor…
I’m making no sense to you at all. Of course. I have to type up some of Ilya’s Story just to put on here. It’s maybe not my best, but if I stop writing that, then I’m not going to be able to write ANYTHING.
The other problem could be that I’m trying to type in Calibri font, out of formatting laziness; it’s Word 07′s default font when you open it up. I know this sounds super OCD, but I think trying to type in Calibri instead of typing in Times New Roman like I’m used to is bugging me and causing me not to think straight. I know this sounds stupid and crazy, but I think that’s what’s happening.
Another problem is time. As in, the lack of it. To write with. Apparently, school teachers have this inability to recognize that their students have LIVES OUTSIDE SCHOOL. They dump all this homework on you, and then they lecture you about getting involved in sports activities and chess club and whatever. Okay, I’m an English nut. Yes, I can do simple algebraic equations in my head. Yes, I can type at like fifty words a minute. Yes, I can recite the Greek Alphabet and memorize songs of ridiculous length. Can I win one friggin’ game of chess? NO. I’m horrible at it. Chess and card games. My card game skills stretch to the extensive Go Fish and Memory Match. Hearts? Gin rummy? Mmm. But I’m better at card games than chess.
Whew, that wasn’t so poetically bad as I thought it would be. Now I’m going to check my email, because I haven’t done it for a day or two.
Hi, peeps. I’m REALLY sick of editing Star, kinda low on inspiration. I’m listening to Muse’s Bliss now. Click here for a Youtube music video of Bliss. (I hold no responsibility for the content on this site or any YouTube page, nor did I write any of it, etc..)
However, the other day I did hear this phrase that I really want to use as a name because I like it a lot: Ilya. It seems kind of familiar, but I don’t know where it’s from. Probably in an Enya song or something.
I want Ilya to be the name of one of my characters in a new book. It’s so pretty. Ilya will be a girl in a dimension that is sealed off from Earth, the Mirrorworld, Third World, Catland, everything. As in, no contact whatsoever.
But then that world, Divis, will suddenly come into contact with Earth. Akana could be the catalyst…
Anyway. Don’t get lost in my musings, because there’s no way out other than becoming a writer, and most of you have lives. So you probably won’t want to get sucked into the addicting hobby.
If you do wish to get trapped in a web of words all your own, well… all you have to do is spend a few hours on this site, or start out with some witty phrase and build a character. If you aren’t *blessed* with multiple personalities, your different moods will do. Make sure your character is different enough from you to be believable.
There I go again. Never mind me.
Really questioning why I’m writing. Think I have block. Can’t write a complete sentence. *but you knew that*
I’m getting a little more critical of Star, I guess, and I’m kind of getting sick of reviewing the plot and forgetting what it was like to actually write the stuff. I need to try a few things over again, write some stuff for the first time.
Anyway. I think my favorite chapter in Star might be Chapter Six, when she’s ripping Jaken’s head off. Or Chapter Seven, when she’s about to suffocate in a mimic of Katyen’s usual garb. Amanda is not a fashionista–she does share a lot of qualities with me, but she isn’t me exactly. Anti-fashionista is one of them. Obviously smart aleck is another, because I wrote the stuff.
I was in Biology class the other day, and this kid, Jake… well, here.
Jake: Can I have a partner on this project?
Teacher: No. You have a brain.
Jake: My brain doesn’t work any more. It’s fried.
Me: I kinda doubt that, because it’s rarely been used.
I got several high-fives over that one. Jake has a record of acting like a nitwit… BEING a nitwit… and people are kind of sick of it.
Anyway, my laptop has about thirty minutes before it goes kablooey in a nuclear explosion that will detonate the earth (or at least it expresses such urgency) and I need to get out of the tree house (where I’m writing this–amazingly, I get wireless Internet out here) and go plug it in before the tree huggers come complain that nuclear explosions aren’t good for the environment.
If you’re reading this, sorry for… um… not posting for *counts on fingers*3 months, almost??? But nobody reads this anyway. I could list all the cuss words I know here and never be noticed. Well… maybe not, considering what people type into Google.
Working on a sequel to Star. It’s going to be called Sun… and if I do a third, that will be called Moon, after Akana’s magic. Yup, that was a hint.
People get so dramatic over high school. I don’t get it. You get like four periods a day, and the teachers and students are jerks and/or democrats (except for a select few whose names I won’t mention, because people would know whether they’re NOT on the list). One of my teachers actually suggested something that was REALLY reeked of commies, and I don’t mean the punctuation mark. I told her off, and all of a sudden she started to agree with me. Fishy. I think she thinks I bought it, unless she’s reading this somehow.
I want to publish Star, and I’m editing the first bunch of chapters again. The whole thing could use a little editing, if you ask me. I need someone who isn’t related to me who can point out my literary flaws. Preferably NOT a teacher; more like a college kid than a student. Neither can ever seem to raise a single complaint about my stuff, which is nice once in a while but eventually gets kind of annoying; no results, I mean. I can’t improve on that. And I know it’s NOT publishing worthy, not even worthy of a personal rejection or any notice by any agent/editor. At all.
If somehow, somewhere a fan is reading this and is willing to say something or volunteer to edit (I don’t expect), even if it IS random chatter or a non-complaint, comment somewhere.
July 15, NOT 12:01 at night!!! Woohoo!
Slept 14 hrs last night. It was totally awesome. It really made up for sleeping only 5 hrs last night, we stayed up past 3:00. I nevertheless ran around after approximately 25 four- to six-year-olds, as I was a VBS guide. Fortunately, tonight was the last night of VBS. Those kids are nuts. You have everyone from Mykalah, this sweet little girl with natural strawberry-blonde hair, to Bubba (he’s actually named that), this kid who has issues on normal days, and was having a bad day today. He tends to disobey people a lot, and won’t follow directions. We were playing tag, and he refused to get in line to go somewhere else. He told me I had to catch him first… so I did. He started struggling. I started dragging. He got so bad that I had to stop and turn to him to make him stop. Then we both shoved each other in the same direction, and went down, but I didn’t let go. He started ineffectually trying to punch me. I started ignoring him. I would have gotten up faster and put that kid in his place, but my sandal was in an awkward position and I couldn’t walk on it. So, whatever. I didn’t let go, but I shuffled my sandal back in place, got up, and dragged the kid by his wrists through the door with another guide shaking her finger and going, “Now you can’t do that, Bubba…”
Bubba didn’t mess with me after that. I don’t think he noticed that I was still in my gi pants for karate. Man, if not for child abuse laws, I woulda smacked his butt hard. That’d wake him up.
MWAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh. You’re still here. Oops.
They were little angels! Yeah! *shifty eyes*
July Something, 12:01 (at night)
If you are reading this right now, GO TO BED!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously. I am blogging on my brand-new laptop. Chrissy’s over again. She’s eating oatmeal cookies next to me right now. If you know how to make cold cereal, you’re her cook.
She says fow-show. Whatever that means.
Chrissy’s nickname for my evil cat Jake is Sparta. He looks EXACTLY like the video cat on Youtube. The Mean Kitty dude. Crazy.
I haven’t blogged since like a month ago. I don’t know why. I don’t really think you care anyway because nobody read s this blog. Soyou didn’t see that typo wither. HAHAHAHA!!!!!!
I take pleasure in the weirdest things.
Chrissy might get a blog on here, if I can figure out how to get her her own thingy whatever.
This time there’s an actual reason I haven’t posted my blog for a while… I was in Missouri with relatives. I don’t get why they like visiting ancient ancestor’s graves… they say it’s proof that they actually existed, like putting a place with the name… but I still don’t see how you can enjoy standing around a bunch of rocks and dead bodies in 0 degree weather. All I want to do is jump in a pool; there wasn’t any wind or anything, and I hate super hot, dry weather. I was out of luck, and my allergies were going nuts.
Not only that… but their technology is limited to, like, a TV, a gas stove, and a toilet (which didn’t even flush toilet paper). There were no computers (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!) and I’d only brought some books, an mp3 player, and a binder full of paper and pencils to write with. Techie’s nightmare. My mom and I had the most recent technology in that house (music players) and it wasn’t a whole lot to go on.
Fortunately, the food was good and we got to see living relatives as well, including a few who didn’t live in the Dark Ages (no offense). We got to sleep as late as we wanted, though, which Mom doesn’t let us when we’re here at home. I got up at “the crack of noon” the first day. How does Mom routinely get up at six? Who the heck knows.
The city we visited was Marceline, whose big claim to fame was that Walt Disney spent like five years of his childhood there. Really, they should be famous for the ice cream.
The last day of our vaca was actually spent in some other town, where Mark Twain grew up. They had some guy with obviously fake bushy gray eyebrows and an obviously fake gray beard. I wonder if he gets paid well.
The best thing in that city was probably the Tom Sawyer caves. The guide, Erin, told a bunch of rather odd jokes about the cave, such as saying that in the narrow passage we were about to go through, that if you got stuck, to as the person behind you to push and the one in front to pull, and if that didn’t work, we might be staying the night there. Or that the two places on the ceiling that were dark (from bats) were actually there because right above it were the men’s and women’s restrooms. I think she said she was on YouTube when she freaked because a bat was clinging onto her jacket and she realized it and started thrashing around, dropping to the floor, etc. I haven’t checked it out, though.
I got a pin that says “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” Fits me, I’d rather be writing here at home than at school, and probably learn more doing so anyway.
I have a really strange feeling right now: I WANT writer’s block. Now how weird is that? Why do I say that? Because I’m sort of periodically stuck with nothing else to stall against going straight to the ending. The characters are stuck at camp “training” and there’s nothing much to say during the training to pass the time for the reader. I tried bringing out the romancey stuff between Molly and Keith and between Daniel and Sophie, but there’s only so much you can say before stuff becomes mushy and repetitive, and I can’t, like, kill someone off right before the end.
Another problem: I’m going to end up rewriting over half the book this summer into first-person view. I found with Nerds on Caffeine that I was TONS better with first person than third. Third person views make me sound dorky, and I’m very self-critical. It’s not a happy mix, and it’s led to writer’s block several times for me. I like to think that I don’t care what other people think, and with stuff like clothes and popularity, that’s entirely true. The problem is that I care what I think, because I’m the one thinking it. And I can prevent myself from writing like that pretty easily, and I get really depressed when I do.
Anyway… I’m stuck. But I don’t have much of a reason to be stuck. I feel like I need to give a little more time into the mix, instead of putting
Two months passed…
because it feel sort of choppy and awkward. Like I was saying, Okay, I’m bored with this now, so let’s just skip to the ending, okay? Just go and pretend they did something and magically turned into superwarriors. Okay, so now… big battle, okay, do it quick, now… Okay, cut, we’re done. You can go home now.
As for my new project, which I have named Star, the characters have run away from the second village to avoid having to fight… and I have this vague idea that Amanda’s going to be changed by the magic again (read the book, I’ll have it out soon) but I’m not sure how. I’m thinking of doing a MS paint drawing of her to post here.
I still feel like I should be working on White Magic like I was last summer. It’s an odd feeling, but for working on it for a year and a half, it’s kind of a habit.
I’m wondering if my weird stuckness is simply because I’m tired. Or worn out on Mirrorworld. I’ve been working on only that book for the past two or three days. I’m going to go try working on Star for a while after this blog.
I haven’t separated Star into different chapters. I’m going to save that for later, when I know how long it’ll be. I’m hoping to fit some story into about 25,000 to 30,000 words. For comparison, Mirrorworld will end up just over 40,000 words, which is supposed to be a normal size.
Anyway. I just wish I got more views. The people who do find me here go away right after the first page. So probably nobody’s reading this. So probably nobody’s gonna miss it when I go away. Which is right now. Bye.
I have a new project. I do not have block, it’s just that the latest progress on Mirrorworld is on the bedroom computer, which I don’t get on a lot, and I need to find a time when that comp is open to email the new version back to the one I normally write on. It’s rather frustrating when I can’t work on it. I’ve taken up a new book as well (confetti and streamers) called Star, about a new type of faerie I invented. They’re called Anoki, which is a name that part nonsense and part a word that I invented when I was one. (Mom accuses me of inventing my own language that she could never understand.) Oops- class is over, bye
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but this blog. As predicted, I think I have writer’s block. Again. Life has been eventful but boring. I had a huge school project (all busywork) and I had to get up really early today to go to some meeting at the high school and sit around looking pretty and innocent (while inside, I’m throwing a fit) while people either a) talk about me like I’m not there; b) talk down to me; or c)simply pipe in with the old “oh-isn’t-she-so-great-and-smart thing and NOT TALK ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AT ALL. Like they were supposed to.
I feel like I’m just going through the routine to get the year done with. For all I care, these guys could just send the work home to me and I’d get it done so I could play video games for the rest of the “school year.” I would much rather get into high school.
I think my characters should start really fighting in. I’m preparing for the climax… and I don’t want to write that while I’m uninspired, because I know myself and I know that if I’m not inspired when I write, it’s pretty boring to read. (And I don’t want that to be the “climax.”) Even my typing speed has slowed lately.
You can pretty much tell if I’m sick, tired or just plain blank on writing by my typing speed. I feel good, I type 70 wpm. I feel not great, I type 50. I feel sick, exhausted, stressed, etc, it slows to 35… not good.
Okay, after two days of karate, this is the basic procedure:
*Dress in pajamas.
*Walk into some basement and bow at the door. You have to face the room for some reason.
*Attempt to dislocate your shoulder.
*Attempt to dislocate your hip.
*Bow, leave, and go play dodgeball. Or play this game where if the ball bounces off something and hits you, you’re out. It’s dodgeball without the throwing. (If you get hit with the ball before it bounces, you’re not out.)
It’s kinda fun.
Apparently I’m in karate and nobody told me. Mom wants me to know self-defense before I get into high school. But although I think it’ll end up being useful or cool (ninja time!) I don’t see how that’s going to work on me. I mean, I’m not exactly athletic or well in shape, I’m not graceful or super-flexible, I’m not exceptionally muscular (except for bow-shooting stuff. And mine’s not a compound, it’s Robin Hood style), and if I don’t like it, it won’t get practiced. I’ve got other things to do. If I like to do something, and I’m determined to get it done, it will get done. I spent 2 years writing a novel, remember? And now I’m on my second and third? At the same time? You can ask any of my friends — if I want to do something, I will find the loophole or the way to get it done. IT WILL BE DONE. Because I find the ways to do stuff that nobody else understands. And Mom is afraid I’ll end up being a lawyer.
But I don’t like gym, and I don’t like a lot of physical challenge. Even dancing I vetoed after a while. (Though that was partially because I couldn’t find a good teacher.) Piano didn’t work because I hated the inane counting, and I wasn’t interested enough to practice that much. (And the teachers talked down to me.) I also hated the songs in the books — it was like they were written for three year olds. Give me a real piece, I’d be good at it. I’d work it. Because I’d like it.
So I’m not too sure. I mean, the soccer girl type, maybe, but I’m the intellectual geek. I type 40 wpm at a normal pace and 70 if I’m in an action-y scene that I’m worked up about. I can use MS presentations, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, WordPerfect, I can find almost anything on the Net easily, and I HAVE A WEB SITE which I manage with little help (and lots of instructions). And I will celebrate the 1st bday of my pet site in late June with a huge release of Mirrorworld chapters. I hope I won’t be celebrating by myself!
But cool as karate would be, I’m not sure how I would take that. I guess we’ll see.
I. Am. Cracking. Up.
Okay, first off, Tim sent me this weird song (She Don’t Use Jelly, by The Flaming Lips) about… well, here are the lyrics.
I know a girl who thinks of ghosts
She’ll make you breakfast
She’ll make you toast
She don’t use butter
She don’t use cheese
She don’t use jelly
Or any of these
She uses vaseline
I know a guy who goes to shows
When he’s at home and he blows his nose
He don’t use tissues or his sleeve
He don’t use napkins or any of these
He uses magazines
I know a girl who reminds me of Cher
(Reminds me of Cher)
She’s always changing
(She’s always changing)
The color of her hair
(Color of her hair)
She don’t use nothing
That you buy at the store
She likes her hair to be real orange
She uses tangerines
And here’s Daft Punk.
Bad, right? Imagine about three more songs like that. This is good music.
Second, I’m not getting writer’s block, but I can feel the story protesting. I haven’t posted much lately — you might have noticed. If you’re one of those three people who come here on a regular basis. (Please support Cat by linking to us on your site. That’s where most of the people come from — linked sites. After all, very few people actually jump on the comp and type in “exploding cat” into Google. Usually it’s a referral from Mediacom.)
Anyway, the story’s protesting, and it’s hard to a) find time to write and b) find words to make the story work. I was, for a period, also finding it hard to find motivation to write. But I hadn’t written for a while.
So I’ve started finding internet cures for writer’s block. There’re a few that are reasonable. Then there’s the crazy stuff — everything from meditating to killing someone off! (In your story, not in real life.)
Why am I doing this? Because if/when I get writer’s block, then I won’t exactly want to do it then.
Here are the best general suggestions and a few of mine.
1. Music. Especially the ones above.
2. Do something crazy. I find that sometimes you can’t write because you’re stuck in a rut, and if you are, your characters will be, too. What would you do? Headbang or break dance to one of your weirdest songs. Pretend you’re a ninja and karate your pillow to death. Eat whipped cream straight. It’s not going to do you much harm, but it might help your story.
3. Sleep in.
Sorry I haven’t updated for so long. There have been so many other things going on. I took the ACT. My score, Mom says, could get me into college. It was 23. I got a 28 in English — I think that was my highest. Now do you see why I write? I just kinda know.
I didn’t tell very many people, because the only people who don’t already know are strangers, teachers or people in my church. Strangers are strangers, so obviously I’m not gonna tell them. If I try a teacher, she just hangs me up in the hall way and I’m late for my next class. People in my church launch into a gushing well-isn’t-that-so-special-and-great speech. It’s annoying, especially since they all say the same thing. I just let Mom brag about me there, because she seems to enjoy it. Just one of those things I don’t quite understand about adults. Heck, that’s one of the things I don’t understand about kids my own age.
I’m gonna post the first chapter to that story. It’s all I’ve gotten so far. I’ll even put it here cuz I’m nice. It’s called Nerds On Caffeine. It’s kind of long, but it’s really sarcastic and also the best thing I’ve written so far.
Shh. Don’t give away my position. I’m a refugee sitting in the fort I built out of the few resources I have at hand. If my fort gets knocked down, I cannot rebuild it, and I can’t afford to be seen or heard.
Okay, okay. The truth is, I’m at a corner computer in the library after much sitting around waiting for the other kid to get done, and my fort isn’t made out of driftwood and built to hide from Nazis, it’s made out of books and my trapper to keep the flying bits of pencils and folded-up paper from hitting me and to hide from the kids at my school, who compare pretty well to Nazis.
Normally, I wouldn’t set foot in such a crowded place as the library, but I took a photography class and I’d already digitalized the photos and saved them to my website and all I needed was to send the email –
A shower of books, trappers, and 130-some pounds of obnoxious boy come tumbling down on me and the person next to me. The kid slides over my keyboard with the remaining force and, since I’m at a corner computer, like I said, his head smashes straight into the wall.
Quickly I gather my books up, rescue my empty coffee cup, log off, and explain to the inquisitive librarian with one pointed gesture of le thumb exactly who was responsible for the mess – not me. With another eloquent gesture of le thumb, the librarian sends the kid off on that jolly walk to the principal’s office. The kid yells, “But I didn’t do nuthin’!” and then the librarian takes his hand and shows to him the exquisite cherry door and how well the custodian scrubbed the soda spill off from when he’d pushed a kid who had a Pepsi. Then she opens the door and smiles, points out, and says something I can’t hear but is probably pretty sarcastic. Then I hear the kid yell in protest, see the librarian signal to the other librarian, and watch as the first librarian took the boy’s hand and walks him down Sesame Street to the principal’s office, brought to you by not just any letter, but a specific one – the letter that you have to take home to your mom. Special.
You might call me a tattletale, but I call it telling the truth. Tattling is when you lawyer the story and use the more… accentuated word that still fits, but is more likely to get the kid in trouble. I’m also pretty good at that, too, which is useful if you don’t like somebody. And, for the record, it’s still telling the truth. Technically.
As the kid and the librarian walk down the hall, I slide out, hoping not to be seen, and get ready to hide. This is a very typical period for something like Study Hall. The idea behind Study Hall is that the library would be quiet so that you could study for a test or do Google searches on the computer. That idea didn’t quite work out – it definitely wasn’t quiet, and to get a pencil shard to write with, all you had to do was reach your hand into the air. Reach up a second time to get a folded-up scrap of paper. Reach up a third time to grab the angry kid who threw both of them at a kid behind you and, because of you, missed. It’s best just to stick with the pencil and wait five minutes before you try to grab anything else. But make sure that it’s pencils you grab, because occasionally, a kid will throw bits of eraser or stuff like his belt buckle, etc. Those really hurt when you try to catch them.
I’ve learned the unwritten rules around here for nerd survival. In the lunch room, you eat the dessert first or you get a bunch of moocher kids lingering around you, asking for your cookie. Never eat school pizza, but go back for seconds on Papa Johns day. Eat your main course quickly after your dessert, because that’s pretty well coveted too. The pink mush they serve is strawberry applesauce. (We hope.) The chicken in the soup is chewy. Don’t eat it. And never, EVER wear a white shirt.
In the library, set up a fort or hide behind a book all period. If you’re in study hall, to survive, you can hide out in the bathroom and the teacher won’t notice. Trust me on this one.
Never tell a teacher they’re wrong. Even if they are, they’ll usually find a way to get you in trouble for disrupting class or something. It’s better to get paired with a boy than to get paired with the class goof-off. If you can, avoid being partners (this solely applies to nerds. The other kids tend to piggyback on the group projects, but a clever nerd knows how to avoid them). If you are a nerd, advertise it, because that means people can’t tease you about it. But if you’re a girl nerd, keep your hair in good shape so people don’t start calling you a geek – that’s a label you don’t want, the exception being computer geeks, who are some of the best in the hierarchy of nerds.
In any normal class, try not to be noticed for the most part, but look smart when you’re called on to answer a question or something, because that’s the only time when people actually bother looking at you in class. Any other time, don’t bother looking smart, because half the kids are asleep anyway.
If you get sucked into playing “2 Truths and a Lie” on the first day, you come up with the dumbest, weirdest, or craziest things you’ve ever done and put them down as your truths. Then you come up with something weird, like “I rode a zipline across the Amazonian rainforest” and generally try to get people to stare at you like you’re crazy. Then they’ll think you’re just funny.
Generally, if you go to a school like mine, you try to be funny and people will like you. Make sure that you have just enough friends to hide behind at lunch and fade into the crowd. Above all, find other nerdy refugees. NOBODY touches the nerd table. Ever.
I’ve survived so far, but if a pencil hits me in the right place at 70mph, that could change with a quick concussion. Emphasis on cuss.
Speaking of which, that’s exactly how you weird someone out. If somebody uses a really complicated swear word, you grin and say, “Do you know what that word means?”
When they ask what it means, you say that it’s not appropriate to say on school premises, flip your hair over your shoulder, and tell them to look it up in the dictionary. Then you grin impishly every time someone uses that word, and you watch as they get really nervous. They never will look up the word – most kids are lazy that way. If you get suckered into telling them, you claim it means that they’re calling themselves trailer trash (if the person is a girl) or they’re calling themselves a hot chick (if the person is a boy).
Another way to weird someone out? Find the one guy in the class who hates it when you use big words. Then drop one like zymurgy (def.: the scientific application of fermentation, such as in making beer, wine, or other YES I AM A TOTAL NERD! Get over it. I thought you’d caught on by now) and don’t tell him what it means for a week. Try a Napoleon Dynamite act and smuggle some popcorn in class in your pocket. If you get bored or caught, you can give the teacher the speech about how studies show that gum helps kids concentrate. Avoid this, though, because the speech is used all too much.
Generally, I’ve found that if I lay low and weird people out whenever I can, I get ignored. This is the quote-on-quote “nirvana” of school: Be ignored. It’s right up there with “Get good grades.” And “Get Mrs. Evil off your back.” And “Eat breakfast that consists of more than four tablespoons of Trix and supersweet strawberry milk, two whole days in a row.”
But the nerds are mostly aiming for the ignored bit. They already get good grades, and since they get good grades, the teachers don’t bug them anyway. And most of us get brekkie at home, because we’re the only ones who see anything wrong with eating Splenda straight every morning.
So that’s my survival strategy. I’m glad we met. I’ll tell you my story. It’ll be easier to explain in past tense.
Now that I had sent the email and was safely logged off, I was about to follow Rule #8 (hide in the bathroom for all of Study Hall) but I noticed something incredibly wrong.
The halls were empty.
This was freaky. There’s always a few kids who are skipping class. Translation: There’s always most of the school skipping class. The halls are packed no matter what. Except now.
I went back into the library, and was relieved to see that things were chaotic as usual. It’s sort of a comfort now. I found the librarian discreetly following Survival Rule #7 (hide behind a bunch of books) behind her desk. She had a computer, which is a good block, and quite a few books sitting in a neat stack – a brick wall protecting her from the hornets, which were the little paper thingies that kids shot across the room. One whacked me in the side of the head, and if I were new here, it would have stung like it did at the beginning of the year, but I barely noticed it now. I started to inquire to the librarian about the empty halls, but she was new and the hornets still stung her. So she made a big deal about it (as if the air wasn’t already thick with papers, pencil shards, and the occasional belt buckle or random car part) and sent the kid to the principal also, employing one of my fellow nerds (poor kid) to escort him, since she couldn’t and the kid couldn’t be trusted to go by himself.
She handed the kid a pass and sent them out, returning quickly to hide behind her books. She sat down and stuck her nose in one – automatic face guard. She almost immediately got glassy-eyed, and it became clear that she was lost in the book and shutting out her surroundings.
I watched the nerd and the hornet kid walk out the door. My glance lingered on the poor, innocent nerd kid who had the sick, sick job of escorting someone to their Doom, making herself an enemy. I saw her confusion when she saw the empty halls, watched as she realized what she was doing and wishing she didn’t have her glasses on. I started to offer to go with her, but this other kid – probably another nerd – catch up to her. A boy. I sighed in relief. Not only were the female nerds constant targets who shouldn’t be left alone with a troublemaker (it takes two of us to come up with enough snarky comebacks to keep the non-nerd boys busy while we delivered them to their Doom, ha ha), this boy nerd had just saved me from following the guy who got in trouble because I existed.
Snarky, snappy comebacks aren’t the only reason girls of any kind shouldn’t be left alone with troublemakers. Most girls, especially us nerds, hate having to listen to a troublemaker, and they hate listening to us. Especially if the troublemaker is a girl herself. Girls roll their eyes at boys, but it’s just somehow not quite right to roll their eyes at another girl. So they have to take their anger out in… other ways. Or sometimes a girl’s just gonna lose it. And therein lies the reason girls can’t be left with troublemakers: They need someone to intercept them before blows land. There’s always one or two areas of the school with no cameras and little traffic. And girls can be compelled to take that route if they particularly dislike a boy. I’m not even venturing into the area of where the blows land. I’m already tiptoeing around swear words. Let’s just say a blabbermouth guy has nothing on an infuriated girl. Trust me here.
There was only one thing to do.
I hid behind the glassy-eyed librarian for the rest of the period.
I got the news from my TAG teacher: I excelled in all my test stuff and I’m going to high school next year. I am somehow managing to do a happy dance even though, at the same time, I’m scared stiff. I’m probably going to be the ONLY thirteen year old kid in high school. I’m already the youngest kid in a few classes, and I know an eighth grader who is 14.
Worse, word leaked out about my acceleration. I had been talking to a teacher about the testing and there were other kids in the room who overheard. So now guess what I’m gonna hear all day. It’s getting me respect, but it’s also getting me attention. Which I don’t really want all that much. Attention from a teacher is one thing, but attention from classmates who aren’t close friends is another. If they’re giving me attention, it can only mean two things:
1) They want to mooch off my answers.
2) I’m going to be stalked and gossiped about.
Or the ultra rare:
3) somebody’s going to treat me like I have a brain. ‘O.O’
I’ve been really stressed lately. School takes it out of me, and then I want to be around friends or I want to read or blog or write or play video games. I haven’t had a lot of time to write, and that may be why I’m this stressed. Writing is just sort of a core thing built into my brain, and I can’t go very long without it. It’s like not eating for a long time.
In an unrelated story, I don’t know if I’ve told you but I’m keeping a secret project. I’m going to release the first chapter, mm, maybe the end of April. Or sometime before. I have to leave now, it’s really late.
I spent Mar. 26 in the tree house reading Dilbert. From the moment I got home to late at night. And then I slept in.
And… I’M ON SPRING BREAK!!!!!!!!!
So, like, I’ve slept in… and… I’ve eaten candy… and… I’ve corralled myself in the tree house reading Dilbert. And I plan to camp in the tree house bunks with Ben on Tuesday night. So, nice.
I’m almost sane.
Mar. 19 again
You know I’m bored when I start playing with MS Paint. And by the way, the drawings on Characters and stuff are by me (although they are photoshopped to look a little better. Sometime I will show you the unphotoshopped ones), but I’m going to leave drawing stuff for the books to the illustrator. But still.
Drawing with MS Paint is an inane activity, great if you’re at half senses. And guess what? I got two synapses to fire in my brain at once and I came up with this!
Yeah. I’m drawing fairies. And I’m also wearing jingle bells on my shoes and the hem of my dress, staying up all night, and singing to myself about TinkerBell. *snort* That was a Mirrorworld inside joke, by the way. You know me better than that.
Oh, and now I’m groggy AND tired because it’s 10:38 at night, and my typing speed has slowed to maybe twenty-five wpm. You KNOW I’m sick when that happens.
WAAAAAH! I’m sick AGAIN and Aveyond isn’t coming out until April! Oh well. I think I’m supposed to be working on White Magic or something. It needs it.
Unfortunately, when I’m sick, the stupid editor I have built into my brain is groggy with the rest of me. I don’t function right. So I can’t really edit well.
Fortunately, I wasn’t sick when I WROTE White Magic in the first place, so it won’t need that much. But I still can’t fix any storyline issues. Also, Ben is constantly hogging the comp I normally write on (and the comp all my stuff is saved to) soo… not gonna work. I’m gonna try though. I’m just kinda glad that I have the entire new version posted into one thingy on the Books page — it’s easier to edit when I don’t have to have a million tabs open to edit all the chapters at once. And fortunately, I’m still writing at maybe thirty, forty, maybe fifty words per minute if I get worked up about it, without stopping. So I’m functioning okay, if I don’t have to blow my nose a ton. Typing like that simply comes with practice. It’s also okay to look at the keyboard if you have your hands in the right position, because if you’re typing in the middle of a meeting and you can type 50 wpm, does it matter that you can’t look up? If you type a word a second or more? You’ll be done in a second anyway.
I beat the 200 pages in 2 years thing by writing over 100 pages on Mirrorworld, starting in August until now. It’s been slow, though, lately, because I have about a million other things in the world to worry about — skipping-a-grade test junk, other schoolwork, getting sick — my immune system has not been golden lately — trying to get unsick, writing my butt off, babysitting, birthday presents, trying to chill, trying to get enough sleep which for me is near impossible unless I read something first, and I can get lost in a book for over two hours without realizing how much time has passed then freaking out because it’s the middle of the night… then realizing I have homework I forgot about and inevitably falling asleep so I can’t do it, this is a really bad run-on sentence… so yeah. That was a six-line run-on sentence of all the stuff I do on pretty much a daily basis.
Trying to get up and dressed in the morning sometimes seems like such a hardship, especially when it means I have to do it to go to school. I need a vacation so much that even being sick and missing school sometimes seems like a blessing. Maybe that’s why I’m getting sick so often: God is looking out for me. That and the fact that I probably have an ulcer by now. You think you know TGIF? You don’t get the half of it. Let me restate this: I’M TWELVE. I should have to deal with this in high school or maybe college — not seventh grade.
And that’s why I like writing. I write myself into someone else’s story, and I can control what happens to them. I can make it dorky, funny, or really, insanely weird. That last bit is the most fun to write. Then when your friends read the story, you get all those crazy inside jokes. When I turned eleven like Maya, Tim was asking me, “Shouldn’t you be at that age where you start to meet little elves and stuff?” It’s great.
And then there’s Ben. Ben is my exact opposite. He’s good at math, I’m good at English. He’s crazed about video games, I’m pretty loyal to Aveyond, the computer RPG. And above all, he hates silence. Which, as you’re probably catching onto, I don’t. I like silence. I like the computer-lit room where to only sound is my fingers hitting the keys on the keyboard, the clack of the semi-loose space bar. He is one of the loudest people on the face of the earth. The kid looks adorable — until you live with him. I think that’s true of almost all siblings. He drives me nuts. I’d love to say, Oh, he’s the sweetest boy on earth, but that’s not the case. Because of him, I know what insane rage is. And he should be glad that I also know what self-control is. Yes, I’ve clenched my fists, gritted my teeth, clawed furniture, but I haven’t REALLY LOST IT yet. I might have if he were older, but he’s young, and he can’t defend himself.
Okay. Now that my rant is over. But I still ain’t going Ommmm. I always thought that was dumb. Who came up with that? I think that some mystic actor guy got on stage and forgot the lines that were supposed to make him look all mystic and stuff, so he just sat down, crossed his legs, and went, “Um.” And the audience clapped. Er.
Okay, guys, back onto the path of skipping and daisies! Lalalallalalalaaalalaalaaaa…
*yawn* As if…
(Writer has now passed out from electric shock. Oh well.)
Okay, not really, but it would break the rut, right?
Anyway. I got on to do MORE editing on White Magic (I’m paying more attention to it lately, and it desperately needs it) but am doing about a million other things instead. The above was posted partly because I’ve been so tired lately that I feel like I need to be shocked awake. I run on sugar. The other part was because this kid in my CAE Humanities class (aka Newspaper, cuz that’s what we write there ) wrote a thingy — Funny Things to Do in an Elevator. This kid has horrible spelling and punctuation, but amazing, excellent ideas. And she has a thing for comedy.
Anyway, one of the things on the list was “Pretend that the buttons on the elevator give you a shock. Smile, then go back for more.” So that’s that.
The reason I’m going on about this is because I just felt the extreme need to type at my 70 wpm speed (that is, if I look at the keyboard. I obviously can’t do that if I’m looking at the comp, I’m 12!!! Or maybe I’m just cut out to be a secretary) as fast as I can and I typically don’t do that when I edit. That’s also the reason that this thing has like no punctuation in it. You. I mean Yup. (incessant giggling)
…I’m a total nerd…
AAAARrrrRRAGGGGGhhHHHHH!!!!!!!I can’t stand it… Aveyond: The Lost Orb isn’t being released to Shockwave until like… uhh… maybe a week or two later?
(You roll your eyes.)
You wouldn’t understand this until you play the thing. It’s dang addicting. But I do have this little trailer for it, straight off the Amaranthia web site:
wOOt. I’m doing this from school, and my key board is messed up — the M is where the N should be, and the . is where the , should be. So sorry if this is a little wonky — my quick typing speed counters the sight of the wrong key even when I press the right one. If that makes any sense. Anyway, I should be fine if I only look at the screen.
I have like nothing to do. I finished early. I think I’ll go on coolmath.com and play Meeblings — it’s kind of dumb and brainless, but I’m bored enough to stand it…
And now a word from the kid whose sleepover I’m at right now, here’s…. Chrissy!
Hey! So myexplodingcat is with me and ya……. so……….. I am her friend. I am also like her! And today is my birthday party. I dont know realy know what to say…….. 2 camels in a tiny car, enouh sayed.
Later… much much later…… seriously folks!!!!!
Uhhhh… hi. It’s past midnight. Chrissy laughed so hard she got the hiccups. We had a midnight snack and found the cure for hiccups that actually works — 2 crackers, specifically Town House Light Buttery Crackers, Wheat. I guess we’re eligable for the Nobel Prize now. Also, the holding your breath thing only works if you pinch your nose. I don’t know why, or how I know, it just works. See ya.
Oh BTW I’ve been getting a lot of hits lately and my bounce rate is going down. The bounce rate is what percent of people leave after seeing the first page of your web site. YAAAAAAAAAY! (okay I admit it… we’re hyper)
Now time to nod off… mommy, Albert Einstein looks like mashed potatoes… can I eat him? Pwease? (thank you to Destiny for inventing the crazy crazy game that line is from!)
BTW again, it’s almost 1:00. Hope Mom’s not reading!!!!!
Still sick of being sick. But I’m going to point out that the new ending, the part where they find Day, is much different in the new version of Lila and Jane. It involves a Chihuahua on steroids… and a few crazy burglars who are crazy enough to break into a store in broad daylight (who later lose a few fingers). It was originally a separate book called After, which I had no plans to publish but wanted the Chihuahua thread because it was really funny, although the bday party was a little snide. Maybe he was actually a friend, Cherry thought, remembering how Day hadn’t even asked Cherry’s name to hesitate before inviting her to her party, instead of someone she found off the street. LOL!
I wrote it a few years ago, so it’s a little childish, but none of you guys have ever seemed to care. I think it’s because it makes the story kind of cute. But of course it’s going to be cute if it’s written by the hand of a ten-year-old who likes writing about weird fairies… right? (otherwise it would be really dysfunctional…)
Today I attended a photography class. It was one of many classes that were being offered in this one area. I have no clue how to explain it, but that’s the best I can do because I wasn’t paying much attention to Mom talking about it. She’d signed herself and me up for it without asking me. First day, okay? I followed Mom into this big building where they were having a “special guest” who had recently been on public television. Before he began his speech, he thanked us for listening to him and explained why: He had been talking to his mom about this speech he was going to make and when he was finished, his mom was, let’s just say, at a loss for words until she finally recovered and said that he’d better thank his audience for listening to him.
I gotta say, no thank you could have been big enough. Pretty much all I know is that he was some big important guy and he’d been on TV, and he rambled on about some dead presidents for an hour until I almost fell asleep. I’m serious. I was sitting in a cozy warm coat and if I hadn’t tried as hard as I did, I would have easily fallen asleep.
Then the teacher was this guy who restores pictures. He took the long way to say everything. He took maybe 30 min. to restore a photo of his mom in a museum that I could have restored in 30 seconds with the same program by playing with brightness and contrast. When I mentioned it to him at the end of the class, he said yes, he could have restored it that way (and it probably would have looked better than his restoration, I thought) but it depends on how you want it to look. Of course, he didn’t show the simple way — gotta intimidate the class by only showing the hard way.
But anyway. I’m bored now and so is my little brother Ben. Dad had The Sound Of Music going, but he was out of the room awhile and Ben was plugging his ears, so I turned it off. I’m gonna find something fun to entertain Ben now. Bye.
Yesterday I set a personal record for most TV watched at once: 10 hours in a day. I’m really getting bored. So bored that I watched the entire 1st season of Danny Phantom on NetFlix Roku. That’s the one that puts movies on your TV. It’s a little black box that connects to your internet connection. So, 20 episodes, each a half hour. Ten hours in a day. Anyone who can beat that record, drop a line. Needless to say, I’m off Danny Phantom for a while, and also increasingly bored. I haven’t had any contact with the outside world for a week or so. And I hadn’t had any contact with the outside world for EXACTLY a week two weeks ago. I’m starting to get a headache, and it isn’t because of the bug I have.
Even worse, the update to my *favorite* game (Aveyond) doesn’t come out until Feb. 15, and it’ll still probably be a month from then. And I’m out of games. And I’m running out of books. Which is, like, impossible because that’s the one safe thing to get me for Christmas, and it was pretty much all I got. AND I DON’T LIKE TO CROCHET. So that’s out.
Atop that, it’s really been hard for me lately to sit down and write. It doesn’t come. I don’t call it writer’s block unless I get sort of depressed with it, in which case I really know there’s something wrong. But noo. Argh! Normally, if I get that far, I can pinpoint it because the mistake or block that is keeping me from going on is visible; I can see it easily. But if I just can’t think of how to take me to the next point, then it’s just not there. And it’s MUCH easier if I’m simply discouraged. Because I know that writing is my passion and I’ll get over it. And we wonder why I have a headache.
Part of it is that it’s winter. I hate winter when January comes. After December, winter seems pointless and it all goes downhill. I get sick of seeing nothing green, nothing really friendly, and I hate bundling up and stuff. Plus, I get sick a lot. But I think you figured that out. Winter would be great and wonderful if it were, like, two months long and January was the beginning of spring. Personally, I think the whole “new years’ in the snow” thing is really dumb, but that’s because I like plants and being outside. Proof of this is the fact that in the dead of winter, I have been caught with a tan line.
I don’t know how I’d survive without my music right now. *Thank you, big brother!!!!!!!!!!!!* I am addicted to Andrew Bird. Another good source is the band The White Stripes. I have to put some link on the Music page. I’m also thinking of making the Music page link just sit at the top instead of being under the Linx page. If you know what I mean. The most confusing thing in the world is either a computer geek trying to explain to normal, sane people how links work through a blog or verbally, or a design engineer trying to explain really advanced algebra to a twelve year old using the terms that he’s used to using with his colleagues. A kid whose thing is English… not math. Ask me how I know. Guess what job Dad has. Back away slowly. Look. I can make English teachers look up words in the dictionary. (Do YOU know what zymurgy is? I do.) I got the test prep thing for this college level test. The English section is first. I looked at the first dozen questions or so and then at the answer key, and found I got them all right, no problem, and then I skip the rest because a quick glance reveals they are simply similar problems. Then it’s math time, and I have Mom sitting over my shoulder glaring at the paper going, “What the heck is this?” Oi. It takes us hours, and first Dad has to teach Mom how to do the problem (she can sorta understand him because they’ve been married 30 years) and then Mom translates. (stretch) Yuck. Disadvantage of being 5 foot 3 is that when you have shorter parents, the chairs are higher and you find yourself hunched over the keyboard.
I’m starting to nod off. My sleep pattern has really been out of whack lately. Night.
Still sick. Still home. Still barfing my guts out.
Fortunately I don’t have to worry about the big honkin’ test any more — I’ll take it in April at a nearby high school. Unfortunately I still probably won’t be going to winter camp. Dang. Again, fortunately, I have Mom bringing me soft sugar cookies with frosting from the grocery store without question. Unfortunately I have to make up work for all the school I’ve been missing. The list goes on.
I think I’ll do a Random Awesomeness article on how to become a computer geek in 10 easy steps. I dunno why. I just know I’m, like, really bored and will do crazy stuff at will. Also, I have a huge muscle knot in my shoulder and can’t quite sit up right so I make a bunch of typos. This would be my worst nightmare, being handicapped as far as typing, but I haven’t really been inspired by much lately. Progress on Mirrorworld is going pretty slow, but I managed to replace News on New — a useless page, because I’ve repeated the information in random spots elsewhere — with a welcome page for new visitors. And, let’s face it, most people on the site are new visitors. I think I’m gonna slink off to play Grimm’s Hatchery now. *slinks off to play Grimm’s Hatchery now*
Oh. One more thing. I got 123 pageviews this month! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! That’s pretty popular for a not-very-well-known site that doesn’t appear on Google too often. I mean, there’s only a few people who type in “exploding cat” into Google or Bing. So, yay! :3
Feb. 2 (this has a sneak preview about Mirrorworld in it)
It’s February already and there’s a ton of people around here who still have all their Christmas ornaments up. Some people just have them up because they’re frozen to the ground or to a tree, and it would destroy them if the owners yanked them away. Then again, there are ornaments that are so bad that their destruction not only wouldn’t be a loss to the world, but would also benefit the world by their yucky colors not giving people headaches.
I’m sick… again. After I warded off one type of flu, it came right back at me like a tether ball smacks an unattentive person. And now I have a different type of flu. Yay.
Next Saturday I have to take this test that will determine whether I skip a grade or not. Unfortunately, I’m going to be taking that test on the very same day that I COULD be going to winter camp for the weekend. Dang.
Update on Mirrorworld: I’m working on it, when I don’t feel nauseated. Introducing the new characters Cat and Khorabelle! I know. My novels have as many characters as a Russian play. But at least they’re well developed. Cat is a half-cat girl who can sniff out people’s trails and likes to be petted. Under her auburn hair are two cleverly hidden ginger ears, which she can hear with better than any normal person. When she’s feeling in the right mood, Cat seems to become more catlike — whiskers and all! She seems to have other powers, but isn’t ready to talk about them, especially in front of Khorabelle.
Khorabelle is an impatient, vain little brat. She has a history of getting fairytale-style curses cast on her, and dragging Cat along with her and into trouble. She attaches herself to the first boy she sees after her last crush is impossible to get. Unfortunately, this boy happens to be Daniel, after he and Sophie rescue Cat and Khorabelle from a Rapunzel tower in the dense woods. Sophie is watching her closely, and tomboy Molly, essentially, hates her guts. Khorabelle’s big mouth tends to get her into trouble, especially when she made enemies with Sophie by claiming that her power is enchanting people. Bad, bad!
Meanwhile, Daniel and Sophie need to find the rest of the group, and when they attract the other party members with a very loud argument that their friends just had to investigate, they notice that Molly and Keith are missing. Which is odd, because Molly has the best hearing out of all of them and never gets lost. Hannah collapses again like she did in the Nai city and freaks everyone out. It becomes clear that something is very wrong… I bet you can’t wait for the new chapters to come out.
Jan. 22 (Well, almost)
Wanna hear a funny story? I was in McDonald’s this one time, and my (cough) *favorite* clown decided to drop in for a visit. He started bugging me and the several other kids with a bunch of dumb questions, like “what’s the farthest away you’ve ever been from Davenport? I’ve been to XXXXXXX and YYYYYYYY!” and”what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream” and stuff like that. He was really starting to get on my ten-year-old nerves when a kid maybe twelve or thirteen years old and her friend come waltzing in the store, gasps when she sees Ronald, and says
“I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN!!!”
I am NOT making this up.
I noticed that it took the poor clown about thirty seconds before he surreptitiously slipped out the door and into his green pickup truck. Then he sped down the road and away from FreakyGirl. Unfortunately, Mom left before I got to see the golden moment when FreakyGirl realized her clown was gone. I almost felt sorry for the guy in the costume. All he really wanted was a high-paying job without having to lift too many heavy things. But now you know that if Ronald McDonald ever comes in the store, all you have to do is yell, “RONALD MCDONALD! I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN!” and he’ll be out the door in under a minute.
I’m sick right now. Yuk. And really, really bored. Even more yuk. In fact, I’m so bored, I came up with a list of stuff that happens to people when they get too bored.
You start hitting pencil erasers against the boards on the back of a wooden chair.
You start arguing with your siblings over whether dirt or straw would make a more protective house for the three little pigs.
You try an attempt to make sense of the poem Jabberwocky.
You start having epic staring contests with linoleum.
You scientifically test each of the house cats to see exactly how many times they may be scientifically thrown onto a bed before the cat in question gets ticked enough to scientifically make the effort to jump off the bed and walk away.
You begin to watch things like professional golfing and people doing crosswords.
You flip on a light and think that it’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen.
You start to think that towels are fun to jump on.
You think you have this disease where you chronically get caught eating cheese straight.
You begin to practice folding paper in half.
You take up the astounding pasttime of watching sparrows fly into the glass window of your house’s French Doors.
You then take up the past time of watching your cat practically explode with excitement while watching the sparrows fly into the glass windows of your house’s French Doors. Wow, an exploding cat. That sounds familiar.
You and your little brother take up singing about that one time in the church’s Christmas Eve service when he was too young to hold an actual candle, so they gave him one of those flashlight candles and you spent the worship service’s music interludes joking about it.
Your little brother comes up behind you with the scythe from your big brother’s Halloween costume the previous year, which looks like a skull with fangs and continues out the back of its head into a bunch of skull that makes it into the shape of the scythe’s blade. He’s hoping to make you jump a foot, but you’re too congested to care.
Your mom begins to tell your dad that she thinks you’re getting cabin fever, and your dad claims he didn’t notice.
Most of that stuff actually happened. But the cats weren’t thrown overhand.
Wow. It just occurred to me how much the site has changed since June 2009. When the site started, there were only five pages at the top: Home, Books, Short Stories, Characters and Drawings. Now there’s Bekah’s Picks, Ben’s Corner, Blog (you’re looking at it), Game Guides, Google, JB Young newspaper, Linx, News on New, Random Awesomeness and Stories by You, all stuff that was added later, AND there are the original pages. That’s sixteen pages if you count the front one, PLUS all the pages that the first ones link to. Wow. Have we really been here that long?
Oh, and by the way… tell your friends about the site, wouldja? I’m getting about a dozen hits a week or so here, and maybe fifty pageviews. Mostly off Google, but whoever put a link to me on their site, thanks, it led someone over! (Yeah, Google Analytics is good, man. It can track stuff like that. Mostly what country you’re from, what browser you’re using, and where you came from. Like, whether you were insane enough to randomly type myexplodingcat.com into your URL bar or if you found me off Google or off a link on another site.) If there’s something you think should be added, say so… cuz I’m open for requests…
Here’s my new Music page. You can also access it under Linx. Under Knights of Cydonia is the link to a political rant. I told you, I’m NOT a normal junior high kid! I also honestly believe that this information needs to get out, and too many people are too skittish about just blurting it out. It needs to be said, and that’s not happening right now within the general public. All I see is gossip and then there’s the news, but the news isn’t something that kids my age watch a lot.
Let’s face it, gossip won’t reach as far as the ‘Net. The song Knights of Cydonia did remind me that I can do this… and I agree with MOST of the words. I won’t deny it, I am a Christian republican, so are my parents and family. Deal with it. (can you tell I’m in ranting mode?)
Ummmmm… okay….. I’m done getting that out… now what do I do?
Hm. Laalalalala… man. Now that I’ve beaten that subject to a pulp, I’m kinda bored. I know. Right now I’m acting too much like an adult. That happens sometimes when I get serious. Unusual for me. Wow. *twiddles thumbs* Dum du dum… sigh. Woah! *flail* Huh? Oh. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzz Huh!?! *snore* Oh. Mmmph. Okay, I’m officially bored. Time for my remedy. *hits Enter*
Funny story time. The name of the person this happened to has been changed to Alicia. I don’t really know anyone named Alicia.
She and I were sitting in a pizza joint. There’s this guy sitting right near the window. Through the meal, I see him continually looking at Alicia. He’s about Alicia’s age. When we went out of the building I told Alicia what I saw: He was looking at her and trying to figure out Alicia’s age because he thought she was cute! He thought she was a chick (which is funny because *Alicia* is 49. And he looked near that age as well. Ah, old people love. Disgusting as ever.
Oop. Dinner time.
Yesterday I went shooting my bow at this indoor archery range called B&B’s. My bow has a 25 pound draw on it and I can shoot it pretty well for my age. And then, on a normal day, I would go to school and all the boys will think I’m afraid of them. The insecure ones, anyway. Once, when I got really angry, I almost said, “You should be afraid of me. I own a bow and shoot it well. I could beat you to a pulp if I wanted to. If we were in a fight, you would hardly be able to touch me.” I got as far as “You should be afraid of me,” then stopped myself because I was in school and so was he, and this kid can seriously spread rumors. And now he was just sitting here, saying, “Pfft. Yeah. Why?”
And I managed to save myself. I said, “Because I know where the principal’s office is.”
My quick thinking got me off the hook. The kid told the teacher what I’d said, but he was one of those who talked all the time and who generally acts stupid. All the teacher did was recite the teacher euphemism for “Okay, you’re acting incredibly ridiculous. Shut up.”
And nothing else happened worth mention or worry. He quoted me a few times, but this kid has a severe crush on me and this is normal for him.
I know there’s a million girls out there thinking, “Lucky!” But I know what it’s like when a boy crushes on you. I’ve had to deal with it a million times. My hair is really really long and my wardrobe is classy as opposed to trendy. Plus people see my high-percentage papers and tests, and totally ignore the fact that I run like a sloth. And then I get a million boys acting stupid in front of me in the hopes that I’ll think they’re funny. But I think they’re annoying, and every girl who has been crushed on by an insecure boy knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about. It’s worse than boring. It’s like being stalked by a monkey. You’re like, “GO AWAY ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” But they ignore you. And they end up really protective. Wait… protective isn’t the right word. They can end up harassive. I know a girl who dated a boy LAST YEAR and he still tries to annoyingly flirt with her at any given moment.
I have met guys who are actually really nice and funny. I have also met a few guys who are so much like me that we kinda clash, but we’re so interested in what the other has to say that we can’t avoid each other. This describes a few friends I have from random places.
I have one friend who went to my old school who I still hang out with. I invited him to Youth Group and he is now a Christian. If he is reading this right now, yes, I know about that. And good for you!
I guess now I’ll go play video games or something. I’ve been on Cat all day. The political thing took several hours to get the links just right and get it so that people can comment on it. Plus, I did the entire Music page. Enjoy!
I just breathed a heaving sigh of relief. I thought vacation ended today for some reason and I was going back to school tomorrow, but I don’t have to until Jan. 5! Whew. I REALLY don’t want to have to go to Gym… you can be an intellectual kid or a sports jock, but you can’t really be both. And I’m intell, in case you haven’t figured it out. I mean, I can shoot a bow (and I don’t use a compound bow — mine is Robin Hood style and a lot harder to shoot) and I can wrestle my brothers and stuff like that, but I was the slowest runner in Wood’s gym class last year. For some reason, I can make my bike go a million miles an hour, but I can’t run. I guess it’s because I’m too tall and weighed down with muscle… muscle that ISN’T in my legs. So yeah. Seeing as practically every sport in Gym involves running, pacer tests, or getting whacked with a dodgeball, I’m not exactly a big fan of it. I mean, I’m a hide-in-my-room-and-read bookworm, but I’m not THAT much of a hide-in-my-room-and-read bookworm. But hey, guys, give a panting 7th grader a break, ‘k?
Speaking of school…
I’m being tested to skip a grade. I’m going to skip 8th grade and go to HIGH SCHOOL next year. Sheesh. You guys encounter a slightly above average kid and you freak out. And the tests that I’ve been given so far are like SO BABYISH. Like, this stuff about graphing and junk. I learned that when I was what, 8 years old???
I was given an Mp3 player for Christmas. My favorite song so far is Knights of Cydonia. There’s also one of Tim’s songs, The Piano Has been Drinking, Not Me! I guess you can search Google for it or something if you want to listen. I should probably put a link up to it in Linx, but later. Music is for another project.
I’ve expanded the pages on the site just a little. Have you seen them?
Oh, and Amber… if you are reading this I had my big brother set up a view counter on the site but it won’t start working for a few days… so soon we might know how many peeps are reading.
I just got over a bad case of writer’s block. I’m outta the ditch now by making myself crack up constantly. Have you READ Sophie’s “Recipe for Disaster” Cookies? That gets better every time I write it. And the version on the site is the 3rd time I wrote it. Still cracking up! Now THAT’s more like me. Not being stoic with a dry pen, but instead sitting around in a lab or a computer-lit room, cackling, “Alive! ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and then cracking up. But you gotta see this. Oh, and a lot of my links have funny little messages if you hover your mouse cursor over them. Especially the Mirrorworld-related ones. Click here!
Wanna tell me something?
There’s a white comment box at the bottom of almost every post, and all book chapters. If you have ideas for the site or something that you want to tell me, then just type it into the little white box and enter your name and email (BTW you can use a nickname, I don’t care). Then you can just click the button below and send it off! I read ALL comments I get. You can use any post to do this.