December 31, 2010

"Advice to a Newly Blogging Aspiring Author"

Thought, given the nature of most of you (forgive the awkward phrasing; I actually am typing this at 2:30 in the morning), this might be of interest.

December 25, 2010

OK, I lied.

Guerrilla Handbell Strikeforce

Here's a great one from Improv Everywhere.

OK, I promise the next one won't be a video.

Politically Correct Holiday Song

So since the first video was a bit more on the serious side, here's something delightfully funny.

Merry Christmas, everyone

I hope you all have a wonderful day. :) I'll be posting Christmasy links throughout the day, so I hope you all enjoy that.

December 18, 2010

The Ugly Truth About Santa Claus

Tonight was girl's night. We realized something horrible about Santa Claus. I wrote a brief essay about it.


I have determined why Santa's cheeks are always red, why he is obese, why he thinks he can fit down chimneys, and why he is so jolly.

Santa is an alcoholic.

He has been drinking whiskey constantly on his midnight trips, which explains the red cheeks. Naturally, he has become addicted and started doing this all year long, which also explains why he has gotten so rotund. Since he's not in his right frame of mind when he's drinking, he thinks he can fit down the chimney. The jolly mood should explain itself.

Please, stop encouraging him.


Girls nights are interesting.

December 14, 2010

On winter.

This is a response to Erin's post about oh so lovely Michigan winters.

It is no secret that I cannot STAND winter. It's a family trait. "Snow" is a four-letter word. So, here are my top ten reasons why this is the worst season of all.

1) Schools around here don't cancel. It's because if they miss too many days, then they'll have to go into summer, but it gets ridiculous. And forget about any love from Western. I've heard horror stories where students are forced to drive over twenty miles in snowstorms just to get to class.

2) The snowplows never, ever plow through neighborhoods, at least here. They only get major roads and the frequently used sidestreets. Sooo the main roads can be perfectly fine, but you'll have to drive at like 5 MPH just to make it to the end of the street.

3) You have to wake up earlier to allow your car to warm up and defrost. Oh, and clearing off the snow is a pain.

4) And it's so cold. Not even the layers completely help.

5) Forget about taking the highway in the mornings if you don't have to... it's practically unusable.

6) I don't know about others, but the animals in this house go insane. My dog, I swear, has seasonal depression that kicks in around the end of October. You could try giving her all the attention in the world, but after two minutes, she'll be moping again. The cat gets downright homicidal. She wants to go outside, but she hates the cold. So if we let her out, she'll want to come back in two minutes later. And after she's been inside for a half hour, she'll try going outside through a different door. And if you don't let her out? She'll try to murder you. She is the reason I'm not a cat person.

7) The wind. The cold is hard enough to take without the wind.

8) My sneakers have great traction. But the snow soaks right through them.

9) IDIOT DRIVERS. They always test my patience, but it's worse in winter.

10) And when the ice isn't making driving troublesome, it's on the sidewalks and like, making walking troublesome! Same with slush. Plus slush makes everything ugly.

Spring is my favorite, personally.


Here are the critters when it isn't winter:
The cat


December 7, 2010

Last week of classes! (Not counting exams)

Oh look, there's the light on the horizon. :) I can pretty much forget about working on Rhemy's Guide this week because of these blasted papers:
  • Psych paper about older adults going back to school - due by 11:30 tonight.
  • Marco Polo paper about the Mongols - due Thursday by 5:00 PM.
  • And American History paper - due Friday night by 11:00 PM.
And NEXT WEEK, portfolios will be due for Fiction Workshop and Nonfiction. Writing is fun, yeah?

So to all of my fellow college kids, have hope. The semester is almost over.

December 3, 2010

Ah yes, editing...

I don't think any of us has the exact same editing process. Like a fair number of people like me (the "plotters") might be patient enough to finish the manuscript, and then edit. Hahaha. Yeah right, Grammar Nazi me is going to wait. That manuscript won't even know what hit it. It's gonna be like, "WHOA two seconds ago I had a prologue... not the adverbs and adjectives! MY MODIFIERS! Oh God, it burns! IT BURNS!"

My first edits are always akin to assaulting Microsoft Word. :) How about you?

November 30, 2010

*White flag*

Oh man. I give up. I cannot write over nine thousand words in an hour and a half. That would defy physics.

But I can't say it was a bad month. This story is a lot of fun when it's not being frustrating. So to those of you who did win, congratulations. And for the rest of us - there's always next year. :)

November 29, 2010

The Life of a Mary Sue

Too busy writing to write a real post (as has been the trend for November), so I give you this. It is quite hilarious and catchy.

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

And if you're not American, happy Thursday. :) I hope you all have a fantastic day, whether you'll be spending it with your friends, family, or a group of random strangers. Oh, I jest because I'm actually writing this at 5:42 in the morning, and my sense of humor is weird at the moment.

Anyway. Have a great day, everybody.

November 18, 2010

National Book Awards

Didja hear about the results of this year's National Book Award? One of the winners was Jaimy Gordon.

Yeah. That's my Fiction Workshop teacher. :) I'm surprised more people aren't all over this because her novel was picked as the underdog, but look. It won. It's like every nerd's fairy tale.

Just saying.

November 17, 2010

Best writing advice I've ever heard.

"Sit down, shut up, and write."

Can't remember where I heard it now or even if that's the exact phrasing, but it gets the point across, doesn't it?

For those of you who want a less harsh-sounding pep talk... go here. :)

November 15, 2010

And into week three!

Wow, week two was rough. Seemed to be that way for a lot of people. Hang in there, guys! :)

Currently rewriting the first chapter at the moment. I know, I know, wait until December, but I've never been one to follow that rule. So here's the new intro:


Time worked like the Domino Effect meeting the Six Degrees of Separation, and one wrong move could make the whole of reality collapse. They learned that the hard way the day the sky cracked open.

It started in Reims, France at seven in the morning. A thunderous SNAP like the sound of a bone breaking startled everyone, and more snaps followed in quick succession. People gathered to the windows and ran outside to see what was going on. Lights filled the sky, and it almost looked like billions of fireflies were coming in through the clouds. The lights formed a jagged line that pulsated and buzzed. It could have been fireflies taking over the earth.

It took four hours and twenty-three minutes for the cracks to cover the whole of the sky. By then, they didn’t look like cracks anymore; it was as if the atmosphere turned light yellow. Meteorologists tried to find records of this ever happening before, but such records did not exist.

Around midday, the lights suddenly went out, and nightfall blanketed the earth. People began to panic and worry that this was the end of the world.


And here's the song it was written to:

Dunno what that says about this story.

In character news, Rhemy is supposed to be the MC, but Oliver keeps trying to steal the spotlight. It's kind of hilarious, too:


Oliver didn’t answer because the elevator dinged again and the doors opened. They both ran right, seeing as running left would have them jump out a window, and kept running until they reached a large atrium where a young man, probably just out of school, was playing with some wires.


And shut the dooooooooooor!” crooned Oliver, clapping his hands over his heart and closing his eyes. “You’re the one that I’ve been fighting fooo-OOOOOO-oo-o-o-or… sorry. Couldn’t help myself.” He grinned at Rhemy’s exasperated expression. The would-be bomber looked more alarmed than anything.


Anybody else's characters behaving hilariously?

November 7, 2010

Week one.

Blog's been quiet this week. Most of that was because of NaNoWriMo, and also because of homework, of course. Had a paper due on Thursday.

It's been a bit of a struggle, but I've finally got my inner critic to shut up. Also, everybody needs to check out Your Heart, especially the Summer album. The music is just fantastic. In other unrelated asides, I doodled this picture of Rhemy and Oliver today:

Oliver is saying very quickly, "I figured out how to convert Cheetos into ROCKET FUEL! I AM AWESOME!" And Rhemy is thinking, "ADHD or just Evansly?"

Not much I can say about that.

So how's NaNo going for everybody?

November 4, 2010

Oh look, another person criticized NaNo. *Yawn*

Tonight's Late Night Clickable comes to you in two parts.

If you're like me and love NaNoWriMo, this first part will inspire wrath. But don't worry, the second part will inspire joy.

Here are the parts in summary:

Laura "Stuck On Her High Horse" Miller: NaNoWriMo is pointless and consumerist. Read novels, don't write them!

Carolyn "Voice of Reason" Clogg: You make as much sense as an elephant in a bikini. And a crabby elephant at that. These are the reasons you're being a wench... [epic post here].

October 31, 2010

The Night Before NaNo

It was the night before NaNo, and all through the cafes
Every writer was stirring, preparing for the next day

Every plotter had a plot line; every pantser had pants
Each one hoping to win, and then they would dance

The forums were hopping with all the new threads
While visions of purple bars danced in our heads

My friends and I with our costumes and pens*
Had just finished trick-or-treating again

Then I realized November was mere hours away!
I shouted, “Let’s go to a write-in! Right now, I say!”

We grabbed our computers and our drivers of flash
Tore down the streets in a frenzied dash

When what to our eyes should come into sight
But a small café, with people ready to write

They looked so nervous, but raring to go
I knew in a moment they must be Wrimos

We joined them inside and talked about plots
And how all this candy would make our teeth rot

More rapid than eagles, midnight it came
And on our computers, we wrote our first 1K

Then when our eyes could take no more
We shut it all down and left through the door

And for now, that's really all I can say
But Happy NaNo to all, and to all, 50K!


*Pencils are still better. :P

Yes, it's been done before. Yes, some of the rhymes aren't perfect. Yes, it's way shorter than the real Night Before Christmas. But it's just for fun. :)

Happy NaNoing, everybody!

October 29, 2010

Why NaNoWriMo is better than Halloween and always will be.

1) The rush you get from finishing is way more thrilling than a sugar rush.
2) NaNoWriMo actually helps you accomplish something.
3) The scariest part about NaNo is the 30Ks.
4) It actually has proper theme songs.
5) You make new friends. Inside your head and outside your head. :P
6) It lasts a whole month instead of only one day.

Anybody else got anything?

October 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010. It approaches.

Here we have a crappy picture of the main characters, Oliver Evans and Rhemy Starrett. Now. There's a NaNo thread where you can post your characters' PostSecrets, so I made a few of the biggest secrets/driving forces behind my story for this.

Character #1:

Character #2:
Character #3:

This can be a really great way to figure out your characters' motivations and get inside their heads. So I really encourage you to think about what your characters' deepest secrets are. :)

Also, can anyone believe that November is less than a week away? INSANITY.

October 22, 2010

Because I'm too busy to write an actual post.

Working on a short story for Fiction Workshop at the moment. Here's something brilliant from YouTube.

October 19, 2010

NaNoMeme thieves are on the loose...

Have an outline? Oh yes. Goodness yes.
Scene-by-scene? More or less.
Know how it starts? Yup.
Know how it ends? EPICALLY.
Have your climax in order? After some very intricate plotting, yes. I've been working on this since April. ^_^
Know your main characters yet? Rhemy "Les Rhemes" Starrett (my main-main) and Oliver "Evansly" Evans!
Have a particular tone in mind? Kind of. Just gonna go with it.
Plan to draw on your own experiences? No.

Funny? For sure, to balance out the seriousness.
Serious? Oh yeah, definitely.
Sad? The opening scene is at a funeral. So...
Semi-Autobiographical? You caught me. I am from the future.
Based on another story? No, but I've been using Oliver forever. Like since 2006.

A paper journal? Yes.
Pens? No... I really, really hate pens.
Multicoloured pens? Even multicolo[u]red ones.
A computer? Where most of the planning is done.
Index cards? Nah, too easy to lose.
Bulleted lists? Yes!
Plot charts? Haha, yes.
Character charts? Nope
Character formulas? ...What?
Favourite writing resource? Write or Die.

A line you would like to use: I've been saving them on Facebook. TECHNICALLY, it's not writing if it's Facebook.

“Ah, Y2K. I love this time in history. Apocalypse theories, the Amish secretly gloating, people gathering supplies for the end of the world. They’re like little squirrels!” *Sees a lady loading an obscene amount of groceries into her car* “Crazy, crazy squirrels.”

“This is our weird-o-meter! It goes bloop-bloop when something’s wrong.”

“And this is my watch!” *Power pose!*
“What does that do?”
“…It… it measures time. What did you think it did?”

“It’s always been about the past with you and me. When’s it ever going to be about anything else?”

“We’re brilliant!”
“We’re adverbs!”
“Let’s save the universe by playing the six degrees game!”

A scene you would like to include: Oliver and Rhemy making fun of everybody in the year 1999. Oh wait. That's a different plot point!
A concept you would like to explore: The future.
A cliché you would like to avoid: Part of the story takes place in Germany 1944. You would think someone is going to try to kill Hitler. OH NO THEY AREN'T!
A character you would like to use: All the characters I have for the story?

Do you expect to be able to complete it? Yes.
Do you intend to complete it? Yes.
Would you ever try to publish it? After a lot of polishing.
What do you expect to get out of this month of frantic writing? AWESOMENESS.

October 18, 2010

I promise... write well. write badly first. be honest. not be preachy. not take myself seriously. not write for trends. Trends change. not get so caught up in words that I lose sight of the story. not care what people think. remember why I'm doing this. make people laugh. make people feel good. make a difference. never stop.

OK, now it's your turn.

(PS: WMU's literary magazines, The Laureate and Third Coast are accepting submissions!)

October 14, 2010

That nonfiction piece I was working on.

It's amazing what you can finish when you have an hour to do it. :) Anyways, this is about my paternal grandpa who passed away a few years ago. It's called "Some Other Monument".


It’s May, and we’re bicycling to the church. I could ride ahead of Laura if I wanted, but it’s easier keeping watch if she’s in front of me. As if there’s ever anything to watch out for.

The church is just around the corner from home, behind some houses and trees. When the entrance is in sight, Laura decides it’s time to race, as always. “I’m going to beat you!” she cheers. Her three-wheeler protests how fast she wants to go.

We’re blurs as we spin into the parking lot, sashaying around the rock islands and speed bumps. We cut across to the edge of the playground that’s next to the memorial. Laura laughs triumphantly; she wins this round.

Two white arches stand guard at each end of the small memorial that’s next to the playground. Red bricks trace the patches of purple flowers. In the northwest corner, there’s a grave marker that time hasn’t worn. It doesn’t say much. John Hanson. 1923. 2007. There are two engravings on it: one of the cross, and one of two evergreens. Today there’s a small flag standing over it.

Some people add nice sentiments about the departed on their grave markers. Most people have room for exact dates, but not the ones here. Names and years are enough. How are you supposed to sum up a life in a few well-meaning words anyways, especially one that lasted 84 years? Grandpa would remain an enigma to future generations.

He was always like that. Quiet, a bit serious, but once in a while he would catch you off guard with his odd sense of humor. While Grandpa McNees made sure we all knew beans are a magical fruit, he taught us about Yon Yonson. My name is Yon Yonson. I come vrum Visconsin. I verk in de lumberyard der. And all de people I meet as I valk down de street say, “Hallo der! Vat’s your name?” And I say, “My name is Yon Yonson. I come vrum Visconsin. I verk in de lumberyard der.” To be said with a horrible Scandinavian accent. To be repeated endlessly. To make everybody laugh at how Danish we are.

And we are Danish, no matter what the people at Ellis Island would lead you to believe. They’re the ones who put the “o” in our name when it should be an “e”. They’re the ones who inadvertently gave Grandpa his nickname – Swede. People called him that his whole life. Grandma once told me about a time when they were dating and she called him that. He said, “Mary… I have to tell you something.”

He looked so serious that she thought he was going to break up with her. “What is it?”

“I’m not Swedish.”

Grandpa had the chance to visit Denmark back when I was 13 and Laura was 11. That was the year he was diagnosed, I think. He brought me back a copy of some fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson. Then Laura took it and wrote her name all over the cover page.

There were so many pictures when he came back, even of little things that most people wouldn’t think to record. That was Grandpa, always noticing the insignificant details. And he took pictures of the big things, of course: the cathedrals and Legoland and the Little Mermaid statue and everything. When he went on a trip with a camera, you could always be sure that you got a fair representation of what happened.

That’s what he always did anyways. I was under the impression until I was seven that he was literally attached to his camera. Everywhere he went, he was taking photos. It didn’t even matter if there wasn’t an occasion.

One of the home videos he took when he had a video camera – one of those big clunky things – is after I was just born and trying to sleep. Grandpa was asking my parents, “Can you get her to open her eyes?” He took a lot of pride in his amateur photographs.

What really tickled me was this letter he sent to his parents when he was serving in the Navy. He sometimes wrote about how he missed his camera equipment, and in this particular letter, he told them about how he was put in charge of taking pictures of everybody on deck. He loved that job.

I actually found one of his old war photos when I was nine. I had no idea he had ever been in the military up until then. When I asked him about it, he told me that he had served in the Navy during World War II. There are three other things I know about his experience serving. One: he fought in Okinawa. Two: he didn’t believe it when he first heard that the war in Europe was over. Three: he really was homesick. And those are all from his letters that we found after his death.

Now there are dozens of boxes filled with pictures organized by date because that was the way he liked it. Grandma thought it would be better if they were organized by who was in the picture. She still organizes them by date.

“Grandpa, she… he died.” Laura doesn’t understand what this fully means yet. She seems to think that if you’re a very, very good person, then you won’t die. We go through this conversation every time we come here.


Laura sighs. “Poor Grandpa.”

It would be easy to think that way. It would have been easy for Grandpa to let himself think that way. But not once did he get depressed, even when his 16-year-old granddaughter had to virtually babysit him while Grandma went to get groceries. He cheered right along with us when he managed to sit down or stand up. He made jokes about his constant shaking and how long it took him to get from one end of the room to the other. He may not have been graceful in motion, but he was in spirit.

He died on his favorite day of the year: Christmas Day. It was around 11 PM. He couldn’t get out of bed by then. The only person who could sometimes understand him was Grandma. My family had left around 9 o’clock. Laura had said, “Bye Grandpa! I love you!”

I had waved and said, “See ya later, Grandpa!”

The shock came on slowly. When we told Laura, she thought of our second dog who died seven years before. “Grandpa died?” She looked confused. “Shiloh… she died.” She’s had a hard time understanding it. Even now.

Before I can tell Laura that no, it’s OK that Grandpa’s gone now, she’s distracted. “Hey, what’s this?” Someone has left a poem written on a plastic square standing on two thin wires over the grave for another veteran. Someone else’s grandfather.

“It’s a poem.”

Laura kneels down and examines it for a second. I look over her shoulder and spot several words that she won’t know how to pronounce. She reads as if the words were fragile. She reads like she once did to Grandpa. It’s not an amazing poem. It’s clearly meant only to comfort, but Laura’s bringing something new to it.

When she finishes, we’re quiet for a while. Laura stands back up, but keeps looking at the poem.
“Laura, that was perfect.” I’m not entirely sure what just happened. There was no way Laura, who loves to read but always struggles with it, could have read that. Every syllable, every line was in perfect form. What just happened?

“Tank you.” Laura lets out a big sigh. “Well, Sister Sue, we better to get going. It’s getting awfully late.”

I nod. She’s probably right – the sun’s already starting to set. “Yeah.” As we walk back to our bikes, I ask, “You know what that poem meant?”

But whatever compelled her to read that poem is gone because she answers, “It’s about… hey I know! Let’s sing a pirate song!” And she proceeds to belt out Disney songs at the top of her lungs.


Oh, my sister. She's moderately autistic, by the way. So that explains a lot, doesn't it? :)

October 11, 2010

Um... Late Afternoon Clickables?

This is honestly amazing. It's called the Nine Stages of Dating a Novel.

I think you'll enjoy it.

Another piece for Fiction Workshop.

I have been horrible on catching up with the blogs I'm following lately because of all this HOMEWORK. And outside stress. Stupid stress-inducers. Errrgh. Just ten weeks left... ten weeks.

So for Fiction Workshop this week, we had to write a fragmentary flash fiction, and I've been in a Halloweeny mood, plus I told my friend that I would write something along those lines for her local TV show event thing. So what came out was "A Ghastly Tale of Horrifying Horror. Or Something." That's honestly the whole title.


One Thing The Neighbor Said
“Stupid kids with their crazy rock music.”

Two Things The Kid (Who Isn’t As Funny As He Thinks) Said
“Huh indeed. The ghosts are totally jamming to Still Alive. The cake is a lie, anyone?”
“That is the worst possible thing you could do. Now I’m going home because the funny guy is always the second to die. Peace!”

Three Things The Natural Leader Said
“Don’t give me that crap about the suicide. Since when are you superstitious?”
“Hey, uh, if any ghosts are gonna show up, might as well do it now! Haha, lighten up, dude. Nothing is… huh.”
“I’ll be right back; I’m just gonna see where that’s coming from.”

Four Things The Genre-Savvy One Said
“This is a good idea. This is totally not dangerous or stupid at all. I mean, forget other-worldly happenings. There are noooo such things as, oh, trespassing laws. Let’s do this.”
“It was a dark and stormy night when the spirits beat Portal… it really writes itself.”
“That’s a super good way to get yourself murdered in the most appalling way ever. Or the most hilarious. But I’m talking closed casket here.”
“That was definitely the ghosts dragging Cal into Hell. Time to leave.”

Five Things The Homeowner Said
“What the hell?!”
“OK, stop screaming! Kid, kid, stop frickin’ screaming!”
“How did you get in?”
“Ugh. You’re the ninth person who thought this place was haunted. You’re looking for the house next door.”
“Yeah, yeah. Hey, can you toss over the Cheetos? Thanks.”


Completely not scary at all. But Halloweeny! :D So sad...

And now for something that's sure to put a smile on your face: The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps.

This blog really doesn't make much sense at times, does it?

October 7, 2010

Since it's been four days...

Sorry, this week has been trying to kill me. School... my dad was in the hospital for a couple days (nothing serious)... that sorta thing... then my phone is being stupid... *sigh* Anyway, here's something that never fails to make me laugh. Enjoy.

And something old from college and career. :)

October 3, 2010

Third time's a charm?

Hey there. Blog's been quiet. GothNo is going... pretty well. I'm trying to focus a little bit more on my story for Fiction Workshop right now because it's due in a few weeks. I think I finally have a good story. It was inspired by this quiz called "What are the Keys to Your Heart?" or something like that. Right now, the title is "Key to Nat's Soul". It's verging on magical realism. Fun stuff. :) Here's the boring first part that hasn't been edited at all.


Zeke and Siobhan Grey gave their daughter the key to her soul when she was twelve years old, like most parents. Maggie Grey already knew she had one because everybody did. She had also heard all the stories that surrounded the things. Those were mainly cautionary tales about gremlins who sneaked in at night and stole the key, leaving the victim soulless. She also knew that her parents wore each other’s keys around their necks, but she couldn’t fathom why. Every time she asked, they would just say, “You’ll understand when you’re older,” and send her off.

For the first couple years, she kept the key hidden in the wintery socks she never wore. When she was a little older and moths started eating the wintery socks, she tied it around her wrist because that’s what all the kids in ninth grade did with them. It was best that she did anyway. Kids who didn’t were labeled as soulless and shunned.


I think the idea is kinda neat, even if it isn't completely original. It's fun. Hope you weren't completely bored by it.

September 29, 2010

If you had 72 hours...

This morning's link is brought to you by one of my school's advisors. It's a writing contest that's free to enter (I know, how often do you see that?) that asks the question: what would you do if you had 72 hours to live?

You'll be able to get more details at the site. It's an interesting question, although we've all heard variations of it probably. I would really like to get to the top floor of Sprau Tower without, y'know, having a panic attack. And also have a wheelchair race. But mostly spend time with my friends and family. So what would you do?

September 25, 2010

It’s Banned Books Week.

It's a good reminder, I think. Even though America is a good country to live in – frankly, I'm just thankful that I'm safe, healthy, and in school – there are still serious flaws. I won't get too political here, but that first amendment is there for a reason.

With that being said… how is it possible that this week exists? How is it possible that this week someone who claims to be in Christ called Speak "softcore pornography" because it has two rape scenes? We should be worried. We should be angry. This country was founded so that people could say what they wanted without being prosecuted for it. And THIS IS STILL GOING ON? Does not compute.

What really makes me mad is that books with good, wonderful messages get roasted by the "moral guardians", and then all the other media gets away with this horrible, horrible stuff that's has no blanking point. I'm talking about the senseless violence and sensuality we see on TV and in movies, and hear about in music. At least in books there's a point. There's a deeper meaning. If there wasn't, the scene wouldn't exist.

I can hear you now. "Uh, Qzie? They don't exactly get away with the stuff. The moral guardians do get upset with them." Then where's Banned Music Week? Where's Banned TV Week? Banned Movie Week?

Yeah. Exactly. OK, I need to calm down before I make someone angry at me.

Some writers have made it their goal to be on this list someday. If they make it, I can only hope it's for showing the public the truth.

September 24, 2010

I was downright chatty this week. Holy cow.

You have to understand how weird this is. I'm never this wordy. Speaking of words! Sometimes when I get bored, I like pulling out a notebook and writing about whatever pops in my head. Which is only a little dangerous. :) Like so:

One word. Viva. It's like a little revolution if you say it right. Listen how it charges the air. Viva. It's more electric than electricity. It's light. It's free. Say it. Mean it. You see?

Love is an odd word. All you need is love. All you need is love, love, love. Love is all you need.
"Love's not something you feel. It's something you do."
"Someone else said that before."
"Because it's true."*
Love has no charge in its sound. It's too fluid for charge. Too soft for revolution. Too strong for electricity.

Lull. It’s a nice word on paper, but when you say it, it almost gets stuck in your teeth. Like you have to lull it out.

Wonder. There's something magical about this word. Best said in the summer, at night, surrounded by fireflies. It's a promise and a question. It whispers what if and maybe. It's the glimmer in the dark.

*That was part of our discussion at college and career last week. :D Actually, that's where I'm headed right now.

(PS: I'm not claiming I have psychic abilities, but...)

September 23, 2010

Because I adore The Princess Bride.

Late night clickables. I even created two new tags for this post: ...the aforementioned phrase and Books of Legend. Because if The Princess Bride isn't a Book of Legend, well, then the universe is out of whack.

Matt Mikalatos is giving away said Book of Legend. Go. Run. I mean click. CLICK. Here it is again!

Because I'm too tired to write an actual post...'s a flash fiction I wrote for Workshop. It's called "Distance", but a better title for it would be "On Getting Your Neighbor to Come Out of His Freaking House". But that one's long. :)


Gabe sits in front of me. Pissed. It’s too early for this, he thinks. Too early to be five feet within another human being. The crabapple lines he’s sporting around his eyes spell that out. You would never believe that he’s only been alive for twenty-something years. More like ninety. His joints even creak. What twenty-something is as rusty as the Tin Man?

He’s going to help anyways. We got walkie talkies and a flare gun. Thank you, Internet. Now we’re going to kill the point of you.

The only things missing from this scene are the tinfoil hats. Across the street, the lights betray the neighbor’s worry. Or his jealousy. Weird kids, sitting on the roof. With a flare gun. Don’t forget the flare gun.

“Niner-niner. Come in, niner. Or tener. Whatever. Are we on the radio yet?” Gabe doesn’t think I’m funny. He’s lame. “Someone’s gonna call the police on us. We’ve got a flare gun, world, and we’re sitting on a roof. Ah- haha.”

Gabe rolls his eyes. Too tired to comment.

The neighbor reappears in the doorway. A cat slips out, but the door doesn’t close. “Hey you! With the door!” I grab the gun and hold it up in the air. Showing off a bit. “Whaddya think of this?”

Gabe punches me in the arm. What are you doing, you idiot, he’s saying. Ever hear of safety first? He’s the one who agreed to come up on a roof with the thing. And me. That’s not exactly safe. And what’s he doing hitting me when I’m holding the beast?

The door stays open. Right now the neighbor’s thinking, What is that? What are they doing? They’re not doing anything weird up there, are they?


“It’s a flare gun!” I wave it like a flag. “If you come over, we’ll let you shoot it!” It’s a good offer. Get to hang out on the roof. Shoot at nothing. He can’t refuse that.

But he’s not coming. He’s just standing there, watching. He probably doesn’t believe me. Maybe he thinks the gun’s broken. Maybe he thinks it’s a real one, not a flare.

Can’t have that.

The blaze breaks the air. Gabe can’t believe I just did that. Neither can my fingers. I don’t think hearts are supposed to beat this fast. Just saying.

The neighbor closes the door. He’s probably calling the police now. In about twenty minutes we’ll know for sure.

We were supposed to be imitating Michael Davis. I think I failed, but the class laughed, which was kinda the point. It was funny because the teacher was trying so hard to find some deeper meaning and, as one of my classmates aptly put it, "It's about two stupid kids with a flare gun."

Still working on that book trailer. People have been looking at me funny while I film it. Whatever. :)

Chat later.

September 22, 2010

Three-Minute Fiction

This link comes to you through the grapevine... Jesi Marie heard about it from her writing group, and I heard about it from her blog. And now you're hearing it from me! Six degrees, right...?

So this morning's title will whisk you away to the Three Minute Fiction Contest. Basically what you have to do is write a story that's 600 words or less that starts with: "Some people swore that the house was haunted." and ends with: "Nothing was ever the same again after that." But the deadline is September 26th, so if you're gonna enter, write quickly!

OK. Good night, world.

September 21, 2010

Today is my little sister's birthday. :)

It always throws me for a loop when Laura's birthday comes around because she turns the same age I was at the start of the year (we're almost exactly 18 months apart). She's 20 today. We're celebrating with pizza and cupcakes. Yum. :) Anyways.

Some people on the NaNo forums have been posting pictures of their writing spaces. Another NaNoing blogger posted pictures of her space. Very cool stuff. So this is mine. It’s not much, but it’s something.

Yup, two whiteboards. The small one is to keep track of appointments, and the big one is for plotting. There are five pillows for prime comfortization, and the Build-A-Bear was a birthday present. My mom made the blanket. And the lamp’s light bulb is three years old. I have no idea how it’s lasted so long because it is on every night for several hours.

And that’s my writing space! Now it's your turn if you haven't posted pics already. :)

Something about GothNoWriMo

WOW. Busy weekend. Very busy. We had college and career on Friday night, then on Saturday, I was doing homework, on Sunday I was at church and still doing homework.

Now it's Monday and... still doing homework. Oy. It doesn't end.

No rants today. Too tired for rants. But I did write this teaser for Tramontane at about 2 in the morning last night... this morning... whatever. It's a bit weird because it's one half of a conversation, so you have to imagine the other half. Again, 2 in the morning.


Hello, Forrest. How can I help you today?


Sprau Tower does not have an eleventh floor. You can count them outside, see? Only ten floors. And then the radio signal. But that’s not another floor.

Nicola Grabinski? She didn’t disappear in Sprau Tower. People saw her leave. Uh, wh-who? Well… I did. That’s right. And so did several other professors. Trevor Blake, for one.

There is no underground burial ground of murdered students. Stop being so ridiculous.

There was never blood found at the fountains.

There was never blood found at the fountains.

Mr. Shafer.

Look, I can understand that you’re upset. Maybe you should schedule an appointment with Counseling. We have some wonderful people in the Psych department who would love to help you through this time.

You’re going to be a problem, aren’t you?

Yeah. So was Nicola.


I need to stop writing in the wee hours. Also, yes, this is taking place at WMU. Sprau Tower is very, very real, and very, very terrifying. (Mostly because I'm afraid of heights to an alarming degree.) The people and events are not real, though.

Writing this story in October. I've never tried to write horror before, so it should be fun! :D Meanwhile, working on a short story for Fiction Workshop. Right now it's called "Something Like Love". And as for that nonfiction piece... eh, I'll put it up after it's been through workshop.

So what's everyone out there working on right now? Plotting for NaNoWriMo? That's only 41 days away...

September 16, 2010

Early Morning Clickables

It's a pep talk from the literary agent, Nathan Bransford. It's kinda fantastic and you should read it. Click on "Early Morning Clickables" to see.

See ya when I'm awake.

"I wanna finish last, last in the world's eyes..."

I feel a little weird titling two blog posts in a row with song lyrics, but it fits the subject.

Today Nathan Bransford talked about how our dreams as writers- or really, whatever we aspire to achieve- can become more like expectations of ourselves. It's like we define our success based on how many followers we have on Twitter, or how many hits we get on our material, and if we get X number of followers and Y number of people pay attention to our online presence, then tada! We're successful. But it shouldn't be that way.

We need to remember why we pursue our passions and our dreams. Why we do the things we do. It's gonna be different for all of us, and there's nothing wrong with that. But whatever that reason is- and I cannot stress this enough- remember it. For goodness' sake, remember it. And don't get caught up in the world's definition of success. Don't let that be your happiness.

OK. I should put the song lyrics in context now. It's called "Finish Last" by Stellar Kart.
I wanna finish last
Last in the world's eyes
No matter what I do
I will be first in Your eyes
It would be fantastic if all our dreams became real. I don't think any of us writerly types would mind someday having our own personal display at Barnes and Noble. ;) But it's fine if that doesn't happen, because at least we have something to be passionate about. To be excited about.

Do you think that anybody can do what you do? As if. And don't let other people's success get you down! They've gone through the same thing, I guarantee you.

Now get to work, wench.

(I'm a bit tired, so 'scuse me if this didn't make total sense...)

August 24, 2010

13 hours of non-stop literary fun. Next time I'll do it when the sun's out.

And what did I spend 13 hours reading? The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins! And it was incredible! When I first heard the books' premise, it reminded me of this other trilogy I love, Wind on Fire (you should read it), but more sci-fi like than fantasy-like. And you know me. I'm all about that. So I headed over to Meijer's last night around a quarter to nine, picked up the books, and spent the rest of the night and most of the morning reading it. Got scolded a couple times for staying up so late, but whatever, I'm 21 and I'll stay up reading whenever the heck I want. :)

But seriously. It was INCREDIBLE. By the end of Catching Fire, I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified. Mostly because I'm worried about a certain character.

By the way, I'm kinda rooting for Peeta in the shipping wars. :) But I won't be upset if Katniss and Gale end up together, either. Even though I think Gale and Madge would make for a delightful couple. But maybe that's just me.

But come on, it's Peeta!

August 23, 2010

Senior year. Wow.

I've been thinking a lot lately about everything, feels like. Like how I ended up being a Creative Writing major at WMU, still living at home during senior year when I thought I would've been outta here by now, still going to the same church as I did when I was 12, and not a single desire to leave the city (except during the winter, but you know all about that). And not just that. A bunch more.

So I've been writing a lot of hilariously amateurish nonfiction lately. Don't expect me to put it online, because 1) It's pretty bad, and 2) The one I finished is about something I don't like out in the open. It's good practice anyway because I'm taking a Creative Nonfiction class this semester. The way I see it is, if you can't be honest with yourself, how can you expect to be honest with fictional characters? Plus I have so many stories about the wonderful people I'm blessed to have in my life. :)

I mean that, by the way.

But anyways. This whole "thinking period" was brought on by Joe asking us to think about why we got involved in the youth group. And you know me. Start thinking about one thing, end up thinking about a million others. I thought about why I stayed at Cherry Creek and how the people there mean and have always meant a lot more to me than the people I knew in high school (save my best friends, of course). I know why I went to KVCC and WMU, not only because of cost, but to stay close to my friends and family. That was the right decision to make.

I'm really, really glad my best friends from high school are my best friends now. That was a major concern at the end of high school. I still remember Kirstin, Steph, and I at Senior Send-Off, just in tears, and Kassy pretty much refusing to cry. Then again, I also remember dissolving into a puddle because I wouldn't have a locker to put stickers in anymore. It was an emotional day. I don't think we'll worry so much once we've all graduated, just because we've stuck together this long. We're best friends and nothing's gonna change that.

Then I think about college and career. How we developed all those inside jokes and the videos and staying up into the wee hours and... how close we really are. People are signing up for growth groups again, and there was never a doubt in my mind that the same people would sign up for Friday nights.

I know what I want to do with my life. I think people think I'm joking when I say, "I'm gonna work dead-end jobs and write novels my whole life," but I'm being perfectly serious. I could not care less what my day job is; I just want to write. Specifically, I want to write speculative fiction. Fantasy, sci-fi, and everything in between. Maybe sometime I'll rewrite Fine Line (right now, I look at it and all I see are flaws). And I'd love to get every single elementary classroom in Southwest Michigan involved in the Young Writer's Program. It was such a great program to get into my aunt's classroom last year (and the kids had a great time, sounds like!) that I don't think it'd be unreasonable to get it into every single one.

Hold on. Pause for a sec. I think it's good that schools are focusing more on math and science and "fact-based" courses, but we need to give these kids the opportunities to do what they do best. Think outside the box. Let them write, let them draw, let their imaginations go wild! Chances are they will love it. We all know how creative kids are. So let them.

Sorry. Had to go on that mini-rant.

And I know why I write. When I was in 12th grade, I had a good reason. "To make people feel." That's still part of it. But first and foremost, I want to make a difference in someone's life. Not too particular how. And you know, after all those years of being quiet, it turns out that I've got a lot to say. Why do you think I wrote Fine Line in the first place? (In case you missed it, I've always defined its purpose as being about forgiveness.)

I also found my old "poemtry" notebook from my senior year of high school while cleaning. Isn't that always nice, to find something really old that you half-forgot existed? But anyways, this poem (dated 8/6/06) really stood out to me.


"O Death, where is thy victory?
Death, where is thy sting?"
Thou hast no power in the world
Lest over anything

Fear, fear- she drives so many men
Into lives of recluse
And they will repeatedly deny
It's themselves that they abuse

Ignorance, the fall of many
Ironically said to be bliss
But too many people take for granted
A world such as this

So let us rejoice! Rejoice, you people!
He has triumphed over death and fear!
Your ignorance can be replaced by wisdom
From a God Who is always here!

Sing, ye glorious angels
And all the earth revive
We no longer have to fear powerless Death
Praise God, I am alive!


It's not a great poem, I know. I was only 17. :) But if I could just capture the heart of that poem and make it bubble under the surface of everything I write... then yeah. I think that'd be a good start.

This is a ridiculously long post. If you read it all, you deserve a treat. Immediately.

Chat later.