Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Ketchup Song

Three readers in Iran?

Three in Belarus?

I'm going to be honest, I have no idea what or where Belarus is...other than the crappy map that Blogspot shows me.

And I'm wondering, how the heck did this blog get all the way out there? I keep bugging Canada when in fact I should be asking...about you Belarus and you, Iran...who are you?

It's been a while, everybody...

Too long.

So much has happened in the whirlwind that has been the last few weeks that I don't even know where to begin.

I finished my Honor's English class.

I put in my enrollment deposit on a college for next year...but now I'm probably not going to go due to housing.

I haven't really written much on this new book.

And my dad has cancer.

This is such a strange thing to mull...knowing that your rock has a tumor growing inside of him without us even knowing. Frightening, almost. However, before the freak-outs begin, it is very cureable.

In fact, he started chemotherapy on Wednesday. Today is Sunday. The mass has already shrunk a great deal.

He's going to be all right. And all is well.

That's just a little bit of what's been going on in my life. The other has been teetering on the edge, a long while coming.

Carly Simon had a popular song called "Anticipation". I'll let you go to youtube and look it up yourself. Anyway, it was bought and part of it was used for a commercial for Heinz ketchup.

"Anticipation is killing me."

That's the gist of it.

And killing me it is.

I am sooooo ready for school to be over this summer.

I am even more ready to hear back from the colleges that I genuinely want to go to next year.

My sister is coming home in July and I am dying to see her.

And I'm going to Disneyland on Thursday on a trip I've been waiting to go on for a year.

So much to look forward to and I just can't wait til it's here!

I know, this is a conglomerate of different topics. But I figured that I'd better catch everyone up on what exactly is going on in my life.

I'll have another, real, update in a few days...probably before I leave for the Happiest Place on Earth.

As for now, good-night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Day My Heart Fell Through

Dear Canada, you didn't read my last post...

Did I infringe on some national security?

And hello to the rest of my readers! It seems like the jazzier my titles, the more of you will come read! So let's think jazzy, jazzy! :D

I just had a Starbucks.

And for those of you who don't know, me and Starbucks are a dangerous combination.

This could get interesting...

So let's get this show on the road, shall we?!?!

It's been a while since I've updated. I haven't forgotten about you, I promise! Really, I've had this installment planned for quite some time...but haven't had the time to write it down. Ah...the true stories of college students writing 10 page papers when they only need to be 5...

First of all, I would like to introduce you all to my friend Dree. I told you about her last time: Fellow writer, reader, and blogger. This girl and I shared near daily e-mails almost everyday for a year, talking about everything from life to boys to our writing. She is one of my greatest friends and confidante. I had told you that I would, with her permission, give you the link to her blog. Well, she has agreed (most graciously) and so I present to you The Musings of a Closet Wtriter. Please check her out...she's an amazing poet and short story writer.

Like Dree, I have many great friends. My best, best, best friend in the world came into my life when we were in 3rd grade. Through thick and thin we've been together and we're basically sisters. We're married, too (according to Facebook, anyway). Being in theatre for 6 years also lead to many, many wonderful friendships, all of whom I adore. The people you work with for 6 years, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week can grow so close to you. That kind of friendship is almost impossible to describe because of its tenderness.

I also have a very dear friend by the codename A (I know, so very Pretty Little Liars...) who I met on orientation day in 7th grade. I even remember what shirt I was wearing that day. In our science class, I asked her if I could sit next to her (so shy was I...) and a friendship just bloomed from there. We both loved reading, Harry Potter especially, and were in many of the same classes. A wanted to read my Harry Potter fanfiction and when she loved that so much, I started to show her my other writings. She edited my first and second books in 9th grade.

Well we all remember my last book: This one great conglomeration of 3-1/2 years of my life which I felt so strongly about. It's going to be a great book and the masses will eat it up.

A few weeks ago, I gave it to A so that she would read it first, and be able to help me work the kinks out on it.

Well, she's a busy person too and had to put it off initially for schoolwork and a vacation. That was fine for me. But then on last Friday, she told me she had started reading the book, so she could familiarize herself with the plot before editing.

I was so excited because at long last I would be able to share this story with someone. Even better, she had finished by that night and on Saturday, we would be going to see a play together.

Calming myself through a nine hour shift that day was difficult because I wanted to hear what she thought.

However, my excitement turned to nervousness then dread. When I saw her that night, the reaction was not what I had been expecting. "Some parts were slow" was the biggest thing she said. Well, 300+ pages tends to do that...

But it was the way that she said it was a little discontenting. It didn't sit right with me that whole night. It's almost like that feeling you get when you discover that the boy you have a crush on is totally crazy about another girl. A weight had dropped in my heart.

Had I really worked on this story for 3-1/2 years all for naught? My passion and lifes work that I spent hundreds of dollars to recover partial parts when catastrophe after catastrophe happened to it.

Did it suck?

I didn't recieve a full reaction from A because 1) we were with a lot of people and 2)we were at a play... For all I know, A could have really liked it, but was looking at it from a critical angle.

I love and respect A's opinion and input and take it quite seriously.

I've been too scared to ask about it since. Let her edit it, read what she has to say, fix it up...tighten up the plot....

At this point, I'm at a loss. I've even forgotten any point that I wanted to make with this. Pretty much, I just wanted to fill you in with the progress on that front.

I'm still hopeful, but at this point...I'm nervous for my baby. Please world, don't reject him.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dear Canada, Who Are You?

I love blogspot.

For one, it's got a simple setup.

For two, I can follow all my favorite bloggers on one easy page.

And lastly, it shows the statistics of where your readers come from.

Most of you are from the U.S. Big surprise, haha!

But there's also some internationals out there.

Hi France and Switzerland! I know who you are and I love you.

Hi Malaysia (I think)! I believe I also know who you are.

But there's also a reader from Canada.....

This gets me confused. Obviously, most of you come from my Facebook...but I thought I only had two friends who live in Canada...and they usually prefer Twitter or other social sites. Besides, I don't think they'd be that interested in this blog.

So this got me I have a reader from an outside source? Or are you, my dear Canadian reader, actually so far north in Washington, Maine, New York, or Minnesota that it looks like you're from Canada? This is all a mystery to me...

Dear Canada, who are you?

Also, readers, feel free to comment. There's an anonymous option if you're really that shy.

In other news, I hope you already found that nifty iPod touch over there ---->

A good friend of mine, who is also a writer and a blogger, added one to hers and, being the Copycat that I am, I had to get one for myself. (If she gives me permission, then I'll link you to her blog cuz she's got a bit more writing stuff on hers than I do. And, also, she's basically amazing.) It's some of my favorite music and I'll probably be adding more to it as time goes on.

Meanwhile, I do have an actual subject for you today.

A few days ago, I went to a cast party for a show I stage managed at my old high school last semester. It took me a while to get into the party mode, and then we headed to the pool. I know, it always seems like the greatest ideas happen in the pool.

Originally, I hadn't been planning on going swimming. I didn't bring a bathing suit cuz I'd just gotten off a 9 hour shift. But someone lended me and extra and in I went. For a while we just paddled around, blah blah blah.

There was, of course, some testosterone filled teenage boy who felt the need to push everyone into the water. And that's just what he decided to do to me. Eight feet of water is a long way down for someone who isn't a very strong swimmer. It took a while for me to surface and as soon as I did, there was that same kid in a wrestling match with another boy and they fell plop on top of me. Eight feet again.

The rest is kind of a blur, but I think that someone grabbed me and pulled me up. I just remember surfacing again and going on like nothing had happened.

But the next day, I was sitting on the couch and that's when inspiration hit.

I told you that I've been sort of mulling over my next book. This one is supposed to be dark and edgy. Well, in any book, or at least in mine, there is always the question of how the two main characters (love interests in this case) going to meet?

Somehow that experience in the pool had more impact than I had initially thought (get it? Impact... heh heh). It seemed like the perfect time for something like this to least in the context of this book.

The point I'm trying to make is that if you're writing, you have to actually listen to your fourth grade English teacher: "Write from what you know." It's so true because books are written for humans, all of whom experience similar emotions and can relate to something on a basic level. That's why we love them so much. And next time you're reading, also remember that if you feel like you understand how a character feels absolutely and completely, then the author probably went through what you're going through.

That's my way of making the world a little smaller today. :)


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Timeless Love and Woman Power

They say that stories are always either about love or death.

In my own writing, I typically tend to lean to the love side of the story spectrum. In my opinion, just about every great story, is a love story. Humans crave it and it rules our lives, both literary and mentally. Like I've said before, we just want to be loved.

Now I want to go back to what I was talking about last time: How I just want to be remembered, don't want to fade into time. There are some love stories that never have, and never will, die. They appeal to us no matter how many centuries pass. Newer stories will be considered among that group once these generations pass.

But what makes these romances so timeless?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to piece together what makes a good love story. It's almost like a chemical compound that I'm trying to pull apart. And what do I do when something like this happens...?

I make a list.

So here it is, a list of some of (in my opinion) all time best literary romances and what goes into it. For now, I'm going to concentrate on the characters.

Pride and Predjudice
Mr. Darcy: He's often seen as a confident and cocky man. What makes him desirable to all the ladies is his wealth. But there's much more to Darcy because he truly does care for the Bennets, especially Liz. He comes to this sort of realization that he cannot be complete without her. It ultimately shows his tenderheartedness.
Elizabeth: She, too, is headstrong but in a protective way. She's almost like a lioness who will protect her family under any circumstances. Yet at the same time she reaches out to the less fortunate, even though her family struggles to make ends meet themselves. She takes longer to come around to the realization that she needs Darcy.
The two seem to be opposites, constantly butting heads. But, truly, they are one in the same.

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo: He's mischievious, good looking, a rebel, and hopelessly in love...with another woman. But the moment that he meets Juliet, he pledges his life for her. But little does he know that their families are sworn enemies.
Juliet: She's a dreamer and a bit mischievious herself. She too falls in love with Romeo although their families are enemies. And while many might think that it is Romeo who does everything possible for the two of them to stay together, she's really the one who has to put on the strong face while he is gone. Her strength allowed them a little more time as star-crossed lovers.

Jane Eyre 
Mr. Rochester: He's quite a mysterious person who doesn't like a lot of his personal life to be shown. And yet he cares deeply for his charge and for his home. And when Jane comes to work for him, he finds himself falling hopelessly in love with her, despite the fact that she is penniless.
Jane: She's confident in herself, despite her dreaded past. She puts all of her emotions on her sleeves and drives herself mad once she realizes that she's in love with her wealthy boss. But when things look bad, she takes a risk and leaves him, apparently forever so that she may lead her own life.
Despite their differences, they are completely in love. It only takes Rochester to call her name, for Jane to come running back home to him so that she may save him. They are each other's one true love, despite everything.

Gemma Doyle Series
Gemma: She is a confident young thing who lives her life on a whim. One moment she longs for the stiffling halls of London, the next for the stiffling heat of India. Together, she and her friends are quite balls-y and do things that most others would look down upon. With Kartik, she finds herself being the demure lady that she totally is not, while at the same time taking dangerous risks with him. She's strong and able to sway the situation any which way she pleases.
Kartik: Bound by duty, he finds himself following this wild-child. Despite his uptight personality, he finds himself a victim of her. He falls in love and "loosens up". He too risks all that he has in order to be with this girl, even though society deems them as unfit.

(As much as I hate to bring this one up) Twilight Series
Edward: He's everyone's Mr. McDreamy. For the most part. He's indestructible and yet still finds himself powerless when he meets Bella. The two of them, like Jane and Rochester, share a connection that everyone should have in their own love lives. He does the saving, but really she rescues him.
Bella: She might be weak and clumsy, but she still has a strong willpower. She refuses to give up on Edward when he says they can never be together. She does everything possible to keep him with her when he leaves her behind. They're opposites and yet the same.

So this got me really thinking. What makes these sorts of love stories timeless? Why do we remember these longer than most anything else in this world? Why are these the special ones?

At first, I thought it was because of the obvious "opposites attract". But then that didn't seem quite right. That changed my idea to the thought that they might seem like opposites, but underneath it all they are almost exactly the same.


And no.

The more I thought, the more I realized that it was the woman. After all, woman are generally the ones who read the love stories. And women are, for the majority of these stories, the authors themselves. I've come upon the realization that passive woman are never remembered. The women who let anything happen to them without trying to change a thing are the ones who we forget or who never gain popularity within the literary world.

Yes, it is woman power. The strong women, like Liz, Juliet, Jane, Gemma, and Bella, the ones who fought for the people they loved, who stuck to their morals and never gave up when people told them that it doesn't work that way...we remember them.

So, while I can't make a formula for the next great romance novel...I know one ingredient:

The woman must be strong.  No matter what.

So women, build those muscles. And men, well, try to be a bit more romantic sometimes (see: Mr. Darcy).