Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Notebook Sister's Link-up Part 2

         

           And here's the writing half. It's not that impressive. I'm sorry.

1. How many books did you write this year? (Estimate your overall wordcount for us too!)

          
I didn't finish a single book.

2. Which was your favourite to write?

          
I wrote mostly Oddball. And I enjoyed it very much. Though I loved the snippets of the weird idea that I jotted down.

3. Which was the hardest to write?

          
Oddball. Grr to backstory.

4. Tell us about you favourite Male Character you wrote this year!

          
I'm rather biased toward Oddball. You're so melancholy, realistically pessimistic, sarcastic, and unwaveringly loyal. It's a fun combination, surprisingly.
           Rocky, you're always awesome. Don't bow and say it comes natural. But okay, maybe it does for you. 
         
5. And how about your favourite Female Character?

          
Hm, there's not many girls in Oddball.
           I'll have to say Peril. You'll always be my favorite even though you did give me a hard time to write. You out of all of them, were so hard to get on paper. But you're too you to dislike, and I mean that.
           And Mora, I hope every reader learns to love/hate you as much as I do. Just saying.

6. Can you introduce us to some awesome sidekick(s)?

           
I'm not sure if Rocky is Oddball's sidekick, or Oddball's Rocky's sidekick, or what. Rocky is awesome though. Oddball's opposite in a lot of ways. They interact like every good duo should. Tons of tension, teamwork when there has to be, and hilarity all around.

7. Any romances in your writing? Which couple didn't go together as expected?

          
Hm, Rocky and Skyler. They're currently separated by a mountain range though. There'll be more romance to come, but knowing me and the characters, it won't be much.

9. What challenges did you compete in this year? (NaNos? Personal goals? Challenges run by other blogs?) And how did you go?

          
I wanted to get Oddball and Rocky to Vorb before a specific time. I'm not sure if they made it before the end of summer, but they did make it. They've also met Peril (oh, lucky them*cough*), another plot destination made.

11. Epic quote(s) you wrote?


He had an expressive face for a dragon.


12. Last word from your manuscript(s)! Go!

          
The last sentence from the rough draft.

He should've stayed in the Border.

14. Show us your favourite funny scene!
          

Another knock at the door. Smelt's steady hammer beat jarred. He sighed and looked at Ember. "You see what they do?" He feigned anger. "They say, 'We want you to make more for us, Smelt. You are the best, Smelt. You must make us so many things.'" He spread his arms out wide. "And what do they do?" He put his hands on his hips and made a face at Ember.
             She laughed.
            "What do they do?" he said again. "They come pounding on my door when I work. When I work! When I do what they want, they come to bother me."
           The knock came again.
           "You hear this?" He swung his hammer to the door. "You think it is fair?"
           "It is never fair. Life cannot do it." Ember said.
           "Wait now," Smelt frowned at her. "You cannot use my quote against me. That is not fair!" He beat on his work and frowned when he found it too cold. She giggled. "You find it funny?"


15. Show us a snippet of dialogue you're proud of.

          
"Adventuring suits you."
           "It. . . it does?"
           Now she looked at him. With that grin. "Yes. You thrive on it."


17. What has writing taught you about yourself this year?

          
I have a long way to go, so I better keep going. And I saw myself in some of the ways my characters thought, spoke, and acted. In unexpected ways actually.

18. Best piece of writing advice you learnt this year?

          
Write, write, write, and never waver from that.

19. Anything big on the horizons for next year? Plans to query? Publish? Edit?

          
Finishing a first draft! Woohoo! Maybe even two.

20. Tell us a bit about a book you're super excited to write in 2014!


           Well, if I finish two first drafts, I plan to put more effort into the weird idea. The weird idea obviously lacks a good title, and it's a series that revolves around a trilogy (if that makes any sense). It's journals, the future, and superpowers. It's in first person. And I am ecstatic about it. :)

Book and Writing Insanity Linkup


Over at the Notebook Sisters, Cait and Mime are hosting a link-up. Link-ups are awesome and loads of fun. Especially when they are about books and writing.

Here's the book half.

1. What was your overall favourite book this year? (Yes. Pick one.)

          
Really? One?  Does The Book Thief by Mark Zusak count even though I still have a hundred pages left?

2. Favourite debut(s)? (Author must have been first published in 2013.)

          
Uh, I'm not sure I read a debut this year.

3. Which books did you reread this year?

          
I don't think I reread any. I did make an attempt to reread The Hobbit, but I ended up skimming to the part where Bilbo plays the game of riddles with Gollum.

4. Favourite cover(s) this year!File:Seraphina book cover (US addition).jpgFile:Insurgent (book).jpeg


5. Worst cover(s)?

          
I guess I didn't read many poorly covered books.

6. What self-published books did you read this year?

          
Um, I don't think I read a one. It seems I'm failing at this link-up.
 
7. Which book(s) gave you a massive hangover?

          
The Knight by Steven James! Oh, such a wild ride.

8. Best standalone you read?

          
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby. I love the characters. The world. The words.

9. Biggest book(s) you've read this year?

          
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. That took forever.

10. Book(s) you followed the hype for and then loved!

         
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I am so loving it.

11. Most disappointing book(s) you read this year?

           
Perhaps The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, because I wanted so much more from the writing. And Peak by Roland Smith, only because the middle sagged.

12. Favourite leading-female character?

         
Just one? Okay, Solvieg from Icefall. I relate to her in so many ways.
 
13. Favourite leading-male character?

          
Definitely Patrick Bowers from The Knight.

14. Best romance(s)?

          
Ugh, what do I know of romance? Seraphina.

15. What book(s) hit the DNF list? (Did not finish.)

          
Most of these are only on the DNF list because I went through a phase when I just couldn't read anything. I'm blaming The Knight and its hangover.

The Bishop
Guitar Boy
The Hobbit
The Two Towers
Long Lankin
Sunset
(I mourn that I could not finish that book)
And other books whose titles escape me.

16. What book(s) did you read out of your comfort-zone?

          
Seraphina. I am so glad I read it too. Some of the most beautiful writing. Excellent characters. Good story. And dragons! Got to love the dragons.

17. Which author did you read the most from?

           
I only read two books from the same author. John Flanagan.

18. Top 5 books you'd recommend from all the books you've read this year?


The Knight by Steven James
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Fellowship of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (I can sneak it since I haven't quite finished it, right?)

19. How many books did you read this year all up?

          
Math? *sigh* I don't know. I guess about ten or so. School and work really slows one's book intake.

20. What's a book you're hugely excited for coming out in 2014?!

           I don't know. What should I be excited about?
          

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Will they bring us luck?"

            Did you all have a wonderful Christmas?

            Yeah, I kind of, might have, disappeared again. For various reasons. Sorry about that.

           I saw The Desolation of Smaug. Even though he wasn't, um, desolated. . .  Okay, maybe that's not what the title referred to, but oh, well.

           My favorite scene was Thorin standing on Smaug's snout. I know, that's a weird favorite scene. Still, what would you do if you stood atop the snout of a dragon? What would you be thinking? Would you be able to think? Would your thoughts drop to mush as you looked down at the furnace rising in the dragon's throat? Or would that be the moment you could think the clearest (yeah, it's technically not a word)? When you could think and do exactly what you needed to escape in a way that could never be replicated. To stand on the snout of a dragon. . .

           Sounds exhilarating, hm?

           No? Oh. Well, okay.

           The part I didn't like, was, I don't know. How lightly the whole film took death and killing. I know that sounds weird too. It's fantasy. It has war. It has big swords. But I mean, they made it seem like death and war was. . . Cool. Glamorous. It had people in the theaters laughing. And sure, it was always the orcs, the representation of evil, who died for the sake of a laugh or a cool move from Legolas (not putting down Legolas, he's one of my favorites). But still.

           I'm not saying the war and death shouldn't be in the movie. It happens. It's real. But for real? For real, it's not cool. It's not funny. Or glamorous. War and death is always dirty, grim, and ugly. It's not something to be celebrated. I was disappointed that it was.

           All the same, it was an amazing movie. Once Smaug was on the scene, it was the best. The dragon movies I've seen have mindless, killing machine dragons. And the talking ones are just ridiculous. But Smaug was what a dragon should be. Powerful. Arrogant. Full of himself to the point that it's funny. And yet still too dangerous to laugh at.

           But I don't understand what the dwarves were trying to accomplish when they dumped the melted gold on Smaug. 

           So, yes, Smaug was my other favorite part. Terror all around. Actually, seeing his size in comparison to the Bilbo and the dwarves really cemented Bilbo and Co.'s, um. . . Courage? Stupidity? Determination? Bravery? Passion for their homeland in the dwarves case. Greed for power in Thorin's case.

          I really like Thorin. I liked him in the book too. Until his pride and greed destroyed him. It makes me so sad that he let it get to him. They portrayed his change very well in the movie though.
   
           I noticed something in the movies though. Whenever the dwarves are gathered at a table. Thorin is never sitting with them. He is always standing away from the madness, leaning against some post, looking thoughtful and important. Why is that you think?

          

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So this is what heaven looks like?

           I took my finals, died, and came back to life.

           Theoretically. Of course. Sort of. . .

           Warning:

           This post contains very little talk about writing. Just more general stuff. Like life stuff. Though. . . 'they' (whoever they are anyways) say that to write you have to live first, you have to experience life.
So in a weird way, can it also be said that everything is writing? Or at least research for writing?

          
I'm still alive. At least in cyberspace. Actually, I'm celebrating the end of fall semester with a blog post, a pair of chopsticks, a bowl that used to contain ramen soup, and some blue plaid shoes.

             I have now seen Catching Fire! (I was probably the last to see it.) It was great amazingness. I"ll have to do a whole post on it soon, because it won't fit into a meager paragraph. The only thing I will say here about it, is something more or less detached from the movie. Okay, it involves a moviegoer instead.

           The only other people in the theater with my mom and I was an elderly couple, and two elderly ladies who came together. One of the later of the two said to the other, "The book was really confusing. With all the action, I couldn't understand what was going on."

           She was lucky I'm a reserved, shy sort of person, or she would've had a rant to listen to. How in the world could you not know what was going on in Catching Fire?! I thought that surely Katniss was the only one who didn't know. The whole time they were in the arena, I mentally screamed at her, "How can you be so blind? Just look around you! Don't you see?" It was so obvious. How could a reader miss it?

           I feel better now that's out of my system. . .

           I'm halfway through The Book Thief. I love it. The style. The characters. The words themselves. The everything. I can't wait to review it. Even though most of you may have already read it. It's worded so beautifully. I'd say the author must be magic, but I know better than that. The five hundred and something pages is a out of my comfort zone. But I wouldn't trim a letter.

           Here's a sample of typical text conversation with my mom:

Mom: Are you home?

me: Nope. I'm headed to Canada. Hear they have a lot of cloggers. Ah?

Mom: Take me, but can we leave in the summer?

me: But I'm halfway there! You want me to postpone now?

Mom: Who's plane are you on?

me: I built a TARDIS. :) Not that you know what that is. . .

Mom: No- is it sci-fi?

me: Of course. *sigh* I'll turn around just for you. But I'll have you know that you've just ruined a trip that I've been planning for ages in a mere matter of ten minutes.

Mom: We need to head to Tyler. Will we fit in your tardis (I know, she didn't capitalize any letter, oh, mother dearest)

me: The TARDIS is not for a meager hour journey. This thing was made to travel! Time and space is where it belongs. Tyler, posh! What are you thinking? I'm afraid some of the kinks aren't worked out yet though. We've have to go in the summer. The heat just went out on me.

Mom: Why aren't you taking a final? (always so practical)

me: I needed to take the TARDIS for a test drive and Canada was a perfect choice. Who has time for finals when a spin in the TARDIS and Canada awaits?

Mom: Stop traveling the world and focus on school. (she's just know fun)

          Congrats to those who have finished the random post. :) Maybe next time we talk of something of great importance.
          
          

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wanderings

           So part of my family is on our way to Orlando for the National Clogging Convention over Thanksgiving weekend. If you don't know what clogging is, it's like tap dancing; but not. I honestly could and would love to go into geeky detail about what it truly is and why it's not tap dancing, but I'll spare you the boredom. :) Anyhow, we had a, uh, nice, long, 12 hour drive last night to my grandparents' house. And from here, we shall launch to Orlando in the morning (another 8 hours *sigh*).

           Here's some of the goings-on.

           I make a clandestine attempt to open the bag of sour LifeSaver gummies without waking any munchkins. The sour ones are the best, by of way.
          "Would you like a gummy LifeSaver?" I ask my mom who sits in the drivers seat.
          "No."
          "Are you sure? It might help you stay awake."
          "Okay, give me one."
          I put one in her mouth.
          "Eh, eh. Ew! What is this?"
          "Um, it's a sour. I thought I mentioned that." Or not. Hee,hee. Maybe not.
          "No. Give me something to spit it out in! This is so gross!"
          I can't stop laughing. "What? No, be a big girl, Mom, and swallow your food."


           I always knew my grandparents' house had a smell of its own. But when I was younger, I couldn't distinguish the smell apart from my grandparents' house. But now in the early morning, I can tell. Coffee. Mostly coffee. With a hint of maple syrup and Cheerios. That's my grandparent's house.

          
           Maybe it's an odd way to spend lunch, but really, it's rather calming. To eat raspberries. To watch how Grandma uses her chopsticks with such leisure. To listen to her accent as she tells me of the gecko who always sits on the window screen. And all seems right in the world.

          
           "We've got to go soon," Mom says.
           I shrug at her.
           "So do something with that." She points to my unruly hair.

          
            A colorful bouquet of fake flowers is at every grave site. Pretty displays over such a sorrowful thing. Does it makes us feel better? My Uncle Michael's grave site is set with plastic pine branches and pine cones. 1999. I was seven when he die. Maybe that's why I still think of him as my Uncle Michael instead of as my uncle whose name is Michael. My Uncle Michael is always how I identify him for some reason. And now I think about how he was fun and hilarious. How my brother looks like him. How devastating it must be to out live your children. And don't all young children identify other people with the same sense of innocence, simplicity, and ownership?

          
           Panera Bread. My grandma comes here for coffee often. And I can smell it. The wonderful, you-are-home aroma of coffee. College students sit with their laptops, chatting or isolated. Some people talk over business. A young couple on a date clearly don't want observant writers watching them. My grandma talks to me of what I purchased at the mall, college, and moving away. But at the table across, two ladies talk over papers. Quite a stack of papers. One of them flips from page to page and listens to the other. Hm. Maybe. What if. . . the one in the listening role is an author, and the other an agent? Or maybe even a publisher and an agent? What would that be like? What kind of discussion would that be? I let myself really think about it. That one day it will happen to me. Maybe not the lunch part. But a call. An email. I would never be able to handle a lunch with such a business-like air. Yeah, let's hope a lunch doesn't happen. But one day. . . And now I want so badly to write. I told myself to take a break from Oddball this week. But I miss him and all his book.


           I probably won't be around much since we will be clogging the week away. And I'm not sure I'll have access to a computer. But if you're still curious about clogging:


          

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Laugh. Cry. What's the difference?

           So I've really been trying to think of something else. Because I guess this song really shouldn't make me laugh. But when I first heard it (and okay, maybe still), I laughed. Mostly at the beginning.




I know. I'm sorry. I'm cruel person. I'm a writer. Never mind. . . 

     There's this one too, now that I think about it. 

         
           Who doesn't like VeggieTales? This is actually my favorite sing song. Yes, yes, he's singing the blues. But this time, it's supposed to be funny. So it's okay if it makes me laugh. Right?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Things I am not thinking about at present

             Day 23: a song you want played at your wedding

             Um, I'm really not thinking about that right now. At all. I'm an artist. I don't have time to waste by daydreaming about something so trivia. Besides who needs a wedding? They're stressful and expensive. I'll just get married.

            When my best friend got married, they played Disney songs. It was really cute. So just for kicks, how about this?





I know not romantic or anything. :P

Day 24: a song you want played at your funeral

           Again, why should this be on my mind at present? Does it matter? I won't be there to hear it.

           Fine. Here's one.



         
             I already posted this for Oddball once. But it seemed right here too. I thought about Switchfoot's Souvenirs, but I think that may just be to sad for the people listening at that time. So I'll be nice.

             Hopefully soon, I will be done with this song thing. And we can get back to more writerly things.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A pitiful epiphany

             Finding words in the Great, Blank Nothing and getting them to stick to paper (or virtual paper) is more difficult than most people think. It also comes with a lot staring into the Great, Blank Nothing (or just staring to normal people).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Songs for Oddball

I've decided to answer these ones for Oddball. Although he does insist that I tell you he doesn't sing. Oh, my bad. That he has never sang in his life and never plans to (why don't you just write this yourself? Okay, fine. . .grumpy).

           But if he has to listen to a song when he's angry. It might go something like this.


           Where I Belong by Switchfoot.

Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While our hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we're fighting against the tide

I want to the earth shaking
I want to see a generation
Finally waking up inside

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

When  the weak are finally strong
And the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home
in a world where I belong

           Because it helps calm, so he says. And it gives him hope to carry on. Because what makes him angry are things that are usually sad and just shouldn't happen to people. So for some reason this makes him feel better? Don't ask. Sometimes I don't understand him either. (hey, I can say what I want. I told you that you could write this instead, but you refused).

           Oh. And he likes the part where they sing:

We were born into the fight

          Something about it makes him think of all the kids in the border. And it makes him sad.
          
If he had to listen to something when he's happy. This would be it:

Love Alone is Worth the Fight by Switchfoot.




He says he especially likes that first verse.

I'm trying to find where my place is
I'm looking for my own oasis
So close I can taste this
The fear that love alone erase


Are you seeing a trend yet? Yeah, and he likes the second one too.

Only here for a season
I'm looking for the rhyme and reason
Why your born, why you leaving in
What you fear and what you believe in
Why are you living and breathing
Why are you fighting and getting even


           For when he's sad, he would definitely choose The Blues by Switchfoot. No argument, there.
          

         



You're pushing until you're shoving
You bend until you break
Until you stand on the broken fields where your fathers lay

Is there nothing here worth saving?
Is there anyone at all?
Is there any net left that could catch our fall?

It'll be a day like this one
When the sky falls down
When the hungry and poor and deserted are found.

Is there nothing left now?
Nothing left to sing?
Are there any left who hasn't kissed the enemy?
Is this the New Year, or just another desperation?

Does justice ever find you?
Do the wicked never lose?
Is there any honest song left to sing besides these blues?

And nothing is okay,
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in



           Puts you in a gray mood, no? He says he happens to like this song when he's happy too. And lonely. Or when he's okay with the world (what? you're never 'okay' with the world). Yeah, he's strange (you didn't hear that). I guess it's just how deep people are.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 18. . . is that all?

         Day 18: a song you wish you heard on the radio

         Hm, let me narrow it down. . . Something I have posted yet? Most of the songs I've posted I don't hear on the radio. I either have to purchase the songs from iTunes or make youtube work with me. (both tend to be equally frustrating at times). I'll try not to post a for King & Country one.

           I don't think I posted this. Maybe.

           Fight Forever by Anthem Lights

         
We'll fight for the King of Forever,
Forever


        I think that's my favorite part.

        Let's throw in Day 19 for good measure.

        Day 19: a song from your favorite album

        Which favorite album? Hmm. I'm sorry but I have to back to for King & Country. I've been listening on the way to school everyday. And they were playing in Texas last Saturday, and I didn't get to go to the concert. So I have to. :)

         Let's try People Change.



        I love the beginning.

I want to tell you I'm alright.
Want to say I'm not in pain
But I would just be telling lies
I'm not okay, not ok-ay. 


        This version is actually a little different from what's on the album. I didn't realize until just now that they changed it. I like it though. This song is not relevant to my own life at all (some of the lyrics outside of the song could be). But I could write a story out of the lyrics and the music is amazing. I love songs that make me think of stories. Sorry, I know. I've already said that. Here's the album version.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hope on the radio

           I really was going to post this weekend. But. . . but. . . I don't know what happened. Other things? I guess.

           Day 17: A song that I hear often on the radio

           How about Crave by for King & Country? Their new radio version! This is my favorite song by them. It's ridiculous how ecstatic I get when I hear on the radio.



         

To live
To die
To lose
To care
To rise above
To love again

To love again
Hope is what we crave
And that will never change. . .

Hope is what-
You gave

           I love how they changed it from the original. The original is like a plea for hope while the new is a celebration of hope. The original is so beautiful though. It's all just musical brilliance!

Friday, November 1, 2013

National Author's Day

           I just found out that today is National Author's Day in America. It was created to celebrate and thank American authors. Here's a link to some more information on it.

           Some of my favorite American authors.

Suzanne Collins

           Do I need to explain? Everyone knows who Collins is. Her books have inspired some of my own ideas. Because of her books, first person narration refused to leave my head so now I'm determined to give it a try some time. And come now- The tension! The suspense! The characters. The Hunger Games is a wild ride.

Veronica Roth

          
The Divergent trilogy is one of my favorites. The concept. Her writing style. The wonderful characters. I cannot wait to read Alleigant (forgive me if I've spelled it wrong). The dystopian genre is something I can't wait to explore myself one day.
                                                 Blaggard's Moon (Prequel to the Trophy Chase Trilogy) 

 
George Bryan Polivka

           I would be ecstatic if you've heard of him. He wrote The Trophy Chase Trilogy, and its prequel Blaggard's Moon. I've been wanting to reread these books for a while. Granted, there is head-hopping. I read Polivka before I knew what head-hopping was. Before I knew anything about writing. He's a big reason why I write. And why I write fantasy.


    


The Mountains Bow Down

Sibella Giorello


           I love geology. And maybe I don't write mysteries (one day. . .), but I love to read them. Giorello has them together. . . in the same book? Why didn't someone think of this before? I love everything about her Raleigh Harmon books. The humor, the characters, the mystery. Forensic science, people! What can be better? She's also one of the few authors who can pull off a Christian protagonist without a cliched, 'preachy' book. I applaud that. It's so hard to find. She inspires me.

           This is the abridged list.

           What about your favorite American author?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

              Six word description? How about seven words? A line from the book:

To suspect one is to suspect all.

              Aaaah! What can I say? This is one of the most amazing books I've read in a long while.

              Solveig is the king's middle child. Her sister Asa is the beautiful one. Everyone admires her. Her little brother is the heir to the throne. Everyone adores him. But she is just Solveig. And all she wants is to make her father proud. When the king goes to war, he sends the royal children to an ice fortress for protection with his most trusted servants. But when the fjord freezes them in from invaders, have they locked a traitor inside with them? Who out of all the people Solveig has grown up with and trusts possibly be the traitor?

           This book is probably set in a Nordic or viking tribe. I'm not very good at history, but I kind of figured that's where it was set because of the references to Odin, Thor, and other related gods.

           The plot was amazing. Tension everywhere. Even though the characters were physically icebound and not moving, the story moved fast. I know it's supposed to work that way. But it just feels strange and amazing that a story can do that after reading so much fantasy in which movement of the plot partly relies on progress in the traveler's physical journey.

          The mystery of who is the traitor, was developed well. I admit, the answer was somewhat expected in ways. But the whole book was so well written, every word so calculated and weighed, that sometimes it was hard to tell. And even if you knew, you could excuse Solveig for not knowing without thinking her stupid.
         
           The king's skald, or storyteller, joins them in their hall and so it was very interesting to see how Kirby weaved stories of viking lore (stories about Thor, Loki, Fenrir, etc.) into the book. Solveig becomes the skald's, Alric's, apprentice. I loved reading her thoughts on stories and storytelling.

           To go with the stories. The use of symbolism was everywhere. Oh, I loved it! How it was done and used. Wonderful. Solveig's end interpretation of wolves and stories and,- ah! You must read it.

          The characters. I love the characters. So much. I have never seen a book with such a clear change in almost all the main cast.

           I'll give you some of my favorite.

           "In life the hardest decisions often have to be made more than once. But each time, it gets easier." -Ole
         
           I liked Ole. He was very human. He's intelligent and merciful. He's quiet and sees what others don't.

           "Never trust a storyteller," he says. "We're all of us liars."  - Alric

           I loved Alric. Maybe it's because he tells stories. But even though he does tell pretty lies, there's truth in what he says at times. I like the edge and uncertainty he added to scenes. He was a master at deception and getting along with whom ever he choose, so Solveig was never quite sure when he was telling the truth or not. And I love that quote. For reason of my own.  ;)

               Hake. He was so awesome! For some reason when I picture Hake, I picture Gobber the Belch from How to Train Your Dragon. Except Hake has all of his limps and teeth. He was so honorable.

           And how I fear that day, for I know when I look into my betrayer's face, I will see someone I thought I knew. And I will still love them.

           Solveig was my favorite. This is one of those rare times when the main character trumps all the side characters for me. I relate to her well. She was an introvert who no one noticed. She told stories. She was one of those people who sees the bad in you and loves you anyways. After she's done being disappointed in you, that is. She is fiercely loyal, though 'fierce' is not a word you would normally think to describe her with. I really liked Solveig. Then I read the above quote and loved her even more. And, wow! She changed so much throughout the book. And it was done realistically. Maybe everyone didn't change. Maybe it was just Solveig and the way she perceived the others that changed that makes it feel as if everyone else changed too.

           The ending! Wow. The person you least expect. Not the traitor. But the wolf. Wow. (You have to read it to 'get it'.)

            And now I want a raven, and you must go read the book. Uh, please.

A song I used to love

But don't anymore? I can't really think of a song like that. I don't know. Songs I used to listen to just give me nostalgia. I can't think of one I hate now. I mean I can think of a favorite song that isn't my favorite song anymore. But I don't hate it. It's just, alright. We'll go with that one.

Throw Your Hands Up by Jump5





I used to listen to this one too. It's a Beautiful World by Jump5. But I still really like this one. Maybe even more than I used to.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just myself

           A song that describes me?

            Uuuhhhhhhh. I'm drawing a blank here.

           This song challenge is really long. . . especially when I keep skipping days. Heh. Okay, how about this song. I Can Just Be Me by Laura Story.


         
I've been doing all that I can
To hold it all together
Piece by piece


           This definitely describes me right now. With school and work and everything. I'm on the edge of burn-out.

I've been feeling like a failure
Trying to be braver
It's just not me

           
Being friendly and outgoing is not me at all. But sometimes I have to be. Especially at work. Sometimes I get tired of trying (trying to do anything) and wish someone else would hold me up. Because sometimes I feel like I'm the one holding everyone else up. And I'm just not strong enough.

I've been living like an orphan
Trying to belong here
But it's just not my home

           Recently, everywhere I go, everywhere I look, and everyone I see, makes me feel more and more like I don't belong here. Or anywhere. And I feel more restless all the time with trying figure out where to belong.

I'm so tired of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be
Be my God
So I can just be me

           
The first time I heard this song on the radio, I realized that I never really can be anything else but me. Trying for something else would be pushing the limit or underscoring. So why try? Why not just be me? And let God fill in the empty spaces that I leave behind. Because alone, I'm inadequate. And that's okay. God can make it work, if I let Him. It's just nice to know that it's okay to be myself even if I'm not strong enough, or don't belong, or am an introvert.

          Since you all are probably tired of these song posts. Guess what?! A book review is coming up! Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby. I cannot wait to tell you about it. It kicked the reading slump to last month. Amazing book.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What they don't expect

Maybe I talked about that last time. Few people would expect me to listen to Hey Hey Hello.

           Actually, about half of these songs are probably unexpected of me. I have no idea what people think I listen to. But most acquaintance probably wouldn't expect me to listen to any kind of rock.

           Now the people who really know me. They tend to know what I listen to, because whenever one of my favorite bands is playing in Texas. . . I freak out a little. Then I tend to mope a bit the evening of their concert because a band I like is actually playing two hours away from where I live (yes, I have to drive that far), and I can't be there to hear them. It's kind of depressing sometimes.

           But sometimes, I surprise even them.

           I like surprising people.



           I'm not entirely sure why I like this song. I like the music. It's different from what I normally listen to.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day, um, perhaps I've lost track

           A guilty pleasure.
           
           One of those? What? I don't have any. . . Yeah, I have a lot of those. Sometimes it's just because most people would give me a jerk of the head and weird look because they wouldn't expect me to like a song. Not because of the lyrics. Just the genre of the song. It's loud and, as I've heard some people say, 'rocky.' "Rocky" is such a strange way to describe a song. Or the song isn't technically Christian. It's not a bad song; it just doesn't talk about God. It talks about life.

            Anyhow here's one. The link to Hey, Hey, Hello by Joel and Luke before they were for King & Country.

           I love the music. The percussion. The violins. Who couldn't love it?

Hey, hey, hello 
I'm singing a pop song
About you, Oh, oh, no
Hey, Hey, hello
You're not going to hear itYou're too good for a radio

           So maybe people wouldn't expect me to like it because of the lyrics also. I don't know. There's something about the saucy, I-really-don't-care attitude it has. It's fun. And somehow funny. Yeah, I have a weird sense of humor. But the stories it makes me think of. I love songs I could create a story out of. Have I said that before?

Yeah, you'd love this song
If there was nobody
Who ever heard it


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Moods of a Writer

           A smallish break from the song challenge today.          

           It has been brought to my attention that writers possess the capacity for many different moods. They generally are categorized as very moody people. And most other people (non-writers) don't understand this since they catch the writer in one mood and believe that he is this one way all the time. But when the writer's mood changes it confuses people and they think something is wrong. There may very well be something wrong, but since it has to do with writing, they rarely understand. And attempting to cheer up a writer has proven dangerous.

           For the non-writers out there, I have listed the moods of a writer. So you can understand and better care for the writer in your life.

1. Love the Book!

           When and why:
This usually, but not always, occurs when the writer first has a new idea for a Book.
           The Results: The writer normally acts very ecstatic. He may do some wild things, like tap dance on the roof, stare smugly at the wall, or put on his best British accent. That is, when the writer is seen. You will find him buried in his favorite writing nook for long periods of time more often than anywhere near the public eye.
            What you can do: Give the writer his space when he appears to be writing (the definition of the term 'appears to be writing' has proven to be very broad and includes "staring out the window or into blank space"). Smile and nod when the writer spouts off gibberish about imaginary people with a stupid grin on his face. The writer usually feeds himself when he comes out of writing. And don't mention the word 'sleep.'

2. Bored with Book.

            When and why:
This occurs during varies times for too many reasons to list.
             The Results: The writer tends to avoid writing. When he does write it usually has a lot of the "staring out the window or into blank space" going on. The writer will fall into other endeavors, especially book-reading, and other hobbies that vary from writer to writer. He may be seen in public more often, but he normally looks rather put out and lonely since all his characters (translation: imaginary friends) are currently not speaking to him. The writer appears to be a forlorn-looking exile.
            What you can do: Be your writer's friend since he feels lonely. But don't ask how the Book is; he will become rather grumpy. Let the writer bring up the topic himself. If he actually does so, be prepared for a lot of complaining. Just put your best sympathetic face on and all will be well.

3. Frustrated with Book.

           When and why:
This is a between stage. Depending on the writer it might not last long between moods 2 and 4. Some writers might even skip mood 3 completely. One of the main reasons for mood 3 may be what is commonly known as writer's block (writer's block: an absence of creative and inspiration; when the writer, his imaginary friends, and the Book are not on speaking terms).
           The Results: The writer is easily irritated. He can blow quite easy, but does have a grasp on common sense still. Like during the love-the-book stage, he may do some wild things: brush his teeth upside down, take long, long walks, listen to only one song all day, and so on. Normally though these crazy antics are more a search for inspiration instead of the results of ecstatic discovery.
              What you can do: Stand back. Don't mention the Book. Don't ask questions about the crazy antics (unless you want to join in). And- prepare for the coming stages.
           
4. Hate the Book

             
   When and why: The writer is completely out of inspiration and creativity. Often times it comes when attempting to write, the middle part of the Book. Otherwise, one of those imaginary friends more than likely has set off some bomb and thrown the writer's plans sky high.
           The Results: The writer is beyond reasoning with. He is more than grumpy or irratiable. The writer is furious. He may mumble to himself in the corner. But speaking to him is like waking a dragon. If the writer actually speaks to people (real people), it is normally unintelligible ranting.
            What you can do: Leave the writer to himself, and refrain from calling the mad house.

5. Grr to the Book

             When and why: This is the calm after the storm, but the writer is still on disagreeable terms with the Book and Co.
                The Results: The writer's fury has passed and turned to the moping stage. He is still emotionally unstable. But now it's more likely to be tears instead of temper. His aversion to the Book has not died yet. The writer will rarely be seen writing. He will try to find other  pursuits to distract himself from the Book and its rebellious state. Often the writer reads, watches television, finds a fandom, etc. If it has to do with story, and not his story, the writer leans toward it. If the writer is curled in the corner of chair with a hard face, more than likely he is stewing about the book.
           What you can do: It's hard to say at this point. If the writer appears to be stewing about the Book, confrontation could be risky. If the writer appears happily employed in some other pursuit, joining him is also good. Never bring up the Book. And if the writer does so, again put on your sympathetic face, and be prepared for a one sided conversation varying from deflated to frustrated and back to hopeless.

6. Love the Book. . . Again

           When and why: The writer has found a break-through in the Book. Inspiration. Creativity. A new plot angle. Reconciliation with the imaginary friends. Or a new imaginary friend. The reasons vary and are often hard to pinpoint.
             The Results: The writer returns to stage one. Sometimes with more enthusiasm than before, other times less. All the same he is more determined about finishing the Book.
            What you can do: Rejoice with the writer. Take part in crazy antics. It's always fun. But be aware that this just begins the cycle over again. If you've stuck with your writer this far, you are either a poor, miserable family member (and I feel for you) and/or the most wonderful and rare friend on the face of this earth (in which I congratulate you and would award you a metal if I had any).

Monday, October 21, 2013

A song from a band that I hate?

      Why in the world would I listen to a song from a band that I hate? That's just. . . weird.

How about a cover of a song? One I've never heard the original artist sing.

Will that work? Sort of?





I love this song. :)

Upon a hill across the blue lake,
That's where I had my first heartbreak.

I could write a story out of that. I love songs that make me think of songs and real life.

Heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry,
Don't worry, child.

A part of it seems like it's more than just a secular song.

You are loved, no mistake,
You are perfectedly made.

And when God uses music to tell me something. Ah! I love it. Especially when the song isn't in the Christian genre. (why do we have our own genre?)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Snippets

           Today, let's take a smallish break from the song challenge. I'm already a song or two behind. Why not one more? :P

            How about some snippets? Since I've actually been writing. These are all from the Oddball story in his POV.
         

          

         "On the left-"
         "Which side is that?!"

        

           

           The jungle man pointed at them and shouted.
           "See- I don't know what that means, freaky man!" Rocky said.


            Jungle man nodded and his many warriors appeared again. Just great. Time to make a plan B.
            Running wasn't an option.



          
          
Rocky held his hands up. "We didn't do anything. Is it illegal to walk around here?"
           Oddball elbowed him. "Shut up."
           Jungle man and the girl spoke some more.
           "What are they saying?" Rocky said.
           "I don't know. But let's hope she's apologizing for you disturbing the peace."
           "What was I doing?"
           "Singing."
           "Hey, nobody's going to apologize for my singing. It needs no-"
           "I will." Oddball waved to the girl and Jungle man. "Hey, Jungle man, my friend here-"
         Rocky whacked his hand out of the air. "What? Are you trying to make it worse?"
          "No. Better."
           The girl looked at them. "What's happening here?"
           "Look what you did, Rocky," Oddball shook his head. "All your singing, if that's what you want to call it."
          "Hey now-"
         "Ay-oh!" the girl said. "You're kinda surrounded by angry warriors, all with their arrows trained on you. What do you have to say for yourself?"
          
We're used to stressful situations. But he didn't say it, even though it was really tempting.


           
           The girl shrugged.  "The Daroon tribe is always looking for someone to pillage and behead. Nothing to worry about."



         
          "Um, we're a little lost," Rocky didn't give the snake head a second glance. "Would you mind taking us to the nearest-"
         "Road," Oddball said.
          "- village." Rocky looked at him.
         "No problem." Peril wiped her sword clean on the ground.
         "Preferably a friendly village," Oddball said.
         "Yeah, like not the Daroon's village," Rocky said.