Saturday, November 12, 2011


Communication is strange. I can communicate perfectly with some people and if I were attempting do use the same communication techniques with other people and no one would understand me. And yet, communication is necessary for human beings. Even starlite can't write a character who doesn't participate in communication; and that's starshy. If he can't do something crazy, then, well. Ye-ah.

Hi Jack, by the way. Hi Lint.

Another strange communication thing. I can communicate with things that are nothing more than the figments of someone else's imagination. I can be friends and communicate with figments of my own imagination, but that tends to end up a little abnormal. Right, Flora, honey? She's smirking right now.

And then when communication fails, you get frustrated and angry and people have problems with each other. Oh communication. The frustrating barrier to interacting. Gossip is a form of communication. And I've been watching way too much of Sheldon Copper... I wonder what cats could say if they good talk. Because you see, Hobbes is meowing at the ceiling. Like... meowing at the ceiling. And there's nothing around the ceiling. Weird cat.

He'd probably be mad at me for talking about him. Like starshy. Hi starshy. CHOCOLATE.

I need chocolate. Maybe it'll cure me.

Of... whatever this is...



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writing Expectations and other Woes: ie. I'VE FIGURED OUT GRACIE MARTIN!

Yes Sandy, please stop gloating. You offered what has proved to be a wise suggestion. I am honored to be your grasshopper.

I was writing for myself. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to write the next Percy Jackson series. I wanted to craft words into sentences and sentences into pictures all in the hopes that one day, some when, someone would come up to me as a fan of my work. It's selfish, but I still want it. I want to turn Gracie Martin into a household name and lately, I've spent so much time dreaming about it, I've spent little time actually working on it.

Hopefully, I'm back on track now. Gracie has started developing wildly. She's almost level with Keil in how much time I spend talking to her each day. Steven, Monica, Jared and Clementine have been developing themselves at a rate I haven't experienced before in non-mcs. I'm caught up in this story. I seriously dreamed the whole thing last night. Sure, it was a little more random than a true story would be and it focused a bit more on Gracie than my normal stories would... but who knew. Who knew she'd ever duct taped a teacher to a desk and gotten away with it? Who knew she had a secret rock collection that all had names.

And now she's going to kill me. I'm loving Gracie right now. Character development is... I don't know. Fun. And the whole Gracie Martin Saga is just this theory on how people handle personal failure and how humility can affect people. It's a giant character study and it's fun. I get to play with messed up characters. Monica and Evan are twisted. Everyone from Steven's class is, that's why it's fun. In the dream I mentioned, one of the scenes was Gracie, Monica and the others were all playing Mafia during one of their class periods. Eleven mentally troubled teenagers playing Mafia together? This story is so much fun!

For people who I haven't gone on for hours about this story, GM is a little bit of everything. The first book is like so many other fantasies that mix fantasy with the modern world. But... it ends dramatically, in a way most people wouldn't expect to come from a teen writer in a teen fantasy story. Hehehe. Insert the mad scientist laugh here. The second book is pure Heroic Quest, outlined nearly exactly along Daniel Schwaubauer's suggestions. The third book deals with no fantasy at all, and rather how people interact with and support each other. The fourth book tests the bonds the hero has made in the fantasy world and in the real world, dealing with how to effectively mess and live in two separate worlds; another Heroic Quest-ish story. And the fifth book... the fifth book is a test. It's a test in failure. It's a test in determination. It's a test in overcoming grief.

There's so many things I love about Gracie Martin. Sticky notes. Gracie. Steven. Books 1-5. Monica. Keys. The list could go on for awhile. But I'm aware it's still very much in the developmental process. I've never written a series before, and the problems of I've had with Ashley and Ashleigh spooked me about sequels. But the GM books aren't sequels to each other. They're integral books in the same plot and I'm jsut loving this. I will say, however, I will hate this story before I finish it. I always do. It's one of the things I write about.

So now I'm gonna go work on GM, instead of just ranting about it. Yay stories. Yay writing for stories. Boo writing for self. YAY GRACIE.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It's November 8th. Since November 1st, I have read a total of four and a half books. Sure, one of the books shouldn't count as I wrote it and know some passages by heart, but if you count if, I've read a total of 1826 pages. 1402 of those words came from two different hardcover books; the rest from paperbacks. I don't have a word count for how much I've read in the passed few days. It's just more than normal. And I think it's because I'm taking a sabbatical from writing. And you know what I've discovered? I've really, really, really missed reading as much as I used to. Writing kind of encroached into that time and it's just... I haven't read a lot lately and I'm glad to be changing that for awhile.

"Speak Aloud, Scream Alone." (145 pages, paperback)Which I wrote. And no. It does not deserve an underline.

The Evidence of Things Not Seen (125 pages, paperback) by James Baldwin. I hate this book. This is the book that is making my project so difficult. This is the book that obfuscated on purpose because the writer wasn't smart enough to clearly portray his argument. Not to mention that Baldwin's argument is just as faulty as the faulty investigation he was complaining about. Siiiiiigh. I try and do a simple, easy report on a serial killer and I get one that's fraught with the racial controversy! I just can't get away from the race issue. It follows me. I'm serious. Racism stalks me.

The Son of Neptune (521 pages, hardcover) by Rick Riordan. Fun read. So much better than The Lost Hero. Jason Grace remains a drag. Percy Jackson remains one of the best teenage heroes ever written. Yay Percy. And the side characters weren't awful. Sure, it wasn't as great as his first five books, but it was seriously enjoyable.

Inheritance (880 pages, hardcover) by Christopher Paolini. WARNING: SPOILER alert. I'm going to rant. And if you're planning on reading the book and don't want the spoiler alert, skip to the next paragraph. The book sucked. It took me like... six hours to really read. On a kindle. There was one great scene. A few good scenes. And the rest was just fun to laugh at. The ending was just plan disappointing. You'd think that after he forces us to wait for years he'd just go ahead and give us his perfect little ending that he laid out way back in book one. You'd think he'd have the guts not to bring back the dragon race. But no. He has to tell us the ending. He doesn't show us the ending. He had to "fulfill" Angela's fortune telling with half-truth and a ridiculous reason. His characters were completely unrealistic turning the ending. He didn't have the decency just to suck it up and send Arya away. With Arya and Murtagh running around with Firnen and Thorn, it doesn't matter that Eragon left. There was no point to his actions, nor Arya's. The ending just plain and simply sucked. Enough that now I'm mad at the whole series. Paolini should use OYAN. Actually. I'm not sure I want his name associated with OYAN. It's too epic for that.

And the book I'm reading now is by Tim O'Brien... The Things They Carried. It's about Vietnam and it's epic. There's some heavy language, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who that bothers, but I'm enjoying it. It's... gritty. And thoughtful. And bizarre. And yeee-wow some people are messed up. The book is down right creepy in a terrifyingly epic way. I'm reading it because the English supervisor - yes. In a school over 1700 kids, the English supervisor knows who I am =P - believes I need to expand the number of contemporary and non-fiction books that I've read. Yes. Ms H. That's why I'm taking Contemporary Lit next semester. Ms H is great. Hysterical. She's epic.

Next on the immediate reading list: Mistborn (the first one) by Brandon Sanderson, No Safe Place by Kim Reid (it's for the same project as the Baldwin book is for), Snowcrash by somebody or other, and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (another Ms. H contemporary). That's the immediate list, I s'pose. There's so many other great books out there. I'm just excited for reading. And it's a good feeling. One I haven't felt in awhile. Yayz. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fish Fingers

Fish fingers. I must admit, I don't like calling them fish fingers. Fish sticks are fish sticks and they shall forever remain fish sticks. Most people know will now know what this topic is about. Hopefully, otherwise, you need to watch more Doctor Who. Doctor Who is amazing at making things... for lack of a better word... cool.

Say fish fingers and custard to any new Who fan, and they grin. Bowties are now labeled cool. Those blue and red three-d glasses. Bananas. Celery. I can admit to wanting a 7 foot long scarf that's got garish colors. Doctor Who just makes things cool, and we're all, as humans, susceptible to that. It scares me a little.

It scares me because it's another form of propaganda. Sure, I don't think DW is a propaganda machine of the British, trying to convince us all that England is better... 'cause lets face it people, they are cooler. I admit to that, but why do I think Britain is cooler than the USA? They've got better accents, better actors, and better TV. Social media. It's a form of brainwashing and I can admit to that!

I think all learning is a form of brainwashing. All media, all newspapers... even in this blog. This tiny little blog that's got four follows, I'm trying to influence you. Granted, probably with little success because... well... it's just a problem. This is what makes me a skeptic. I take nothing at face value. To a limited degree, I accept what my teacher's tell me, but I accept it as a viewpoint, as their viewpoint. It's not mine. There is no such thing as fact. Just biased opinion and frustrating sway of the media. Skeptical. Yeah.

And so I'm skeptical when a whole race of fans - including myself - start referring to a simple little food item as something that is wasn't originally. Fish fingers and custard does sound so much better than fish sticks and custard. I'll give you that. So... I'm not against Doctor Who, in specific, in any way, shape or form. I still love the show. It's just made me realize how massively susceptible we are to brainwashing, influences, and propaganda.

Two thumbs up, Doctor Who. If you told us not to breath, I'm sure someone would listen. =P /end sarcasm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So I played around in my doodle pad with rain some... The beginning doesn't match the end of this little thing, because I started really liking the character idea and playing with what I could do with it. So. Character sketch. Incomplete. Just curious to see what you think. Oh, and ich used the i-c-h spelling of 'i', for those of you wondering...


They say it's a pitter-patter. Pain is described with sound and pictures and wandering wishes. For me? Rain is a torment. Gunshots against the roof. A wail of impossible tears. Forgotten dreams pouring from the heavens and hitting the ground with a rhythmic, desperate thunk. It's not the thunder than bother's me; it's the horrible, evil rain.

It is because of the rain ich cower, squeezed within the confines of my blanket and couch. Ich try not to focus on the sound, but it's no use. The sound assaults me, rings in my ears. The curtains are pulled, but it does not matter. It's still there. It's still pounding against the windows, running down and down in rivulets. They wish to cry a river of tears. If that is your wish, just look out the window. Look out the window, because the world cries your tears for you.

And ich cry with the world. Ich cry for you, friends, brothers. Ich cry with the rain and the sorrow and the overwhelming hurt you must feel. A single raindrop for a single hurt. There must be so much pain in this world. Ich feel pity for the world, but ich hate it as well. Ich hate it because you make me cry with you, with the rain, with the world. You give me your hurts, worries and fears, without a thought for my own.

Ich'm afraid of the rain. Ich am the rain. Is that so despicable, to be afraid of myself?



When I think of magic, I don't see spells shooting out of little wooden sticks. I don't see a wizened old wizard with a sea-worn staff clutched in his hands. I don't see three witches spinning over their simmering cauldron. I don't see dragons or fairies or even elves. I don't see a youth, just on the brink of manhood, suddenly thrust into the cutthroat life of a magician. I don't see a sorcerer with his spell book. I don't see colors and lights and complicated incantations. I don't see the black magic, or the white magic, or even purple magic. Have I covered all the cliches? That's just not what magic is. Sure, I have used almost all of those "magics" in my writing, but... I don't know how else to say it. It's not magic.

Magic is a humming bird in flight.
Magic is the hospital hallway. Life is being saved.
Magic is math in nature. Yes, my friends, yes. It is math.
 Magic is how good you feel after a good cry.
Magic is raindrops on a spiderweb. There's a reason one of my stories is tentatively titled Spiderweb Raindrops. =P
Magic is the delicacy in Willow Tree Angels.
Magic is a good expression of geek-humor.
What is magic to you? What do you think of when you see those five simple letters? That one simple word. Magic. Beauty. Wonderful. Amazing. Terrifying. Magic is... Magic is impossible. It's impossible to explain, wonderful to experience, beauty incarnate. What would you say is the ultimate expression of magic? I don't know. There's too many. There's too much wonderful magic in this world to express just one piece of magic. It's overwhelming. But this... This, I suppose. Was the first magic. The grandest. And I'm thankful for it.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good." Genesis 1: 1-4a

People. Words. And Self-Centered Mumbo-Jumbo.

It is not easy to go up to someone and ask for them to describe yourself in ten words; even people who you know are not going to see this as fishing for compliments. I found myself floundering, more often than not, wondering whether one of my friends would be bold enough to pick on some of my numerous flaws. Two of my friends, Mig and Washington, both pointed used a word that good be classified as negative, and both times, I predicted the very word, because it was not so much a derogatory comment as it was an inside joke. This project scared me, because out of sixty total words that others used to describe me, none of them were truly negative. What does this say about me and my self-esteem? What does this say about my friends and parents? I do not know; I suppose that was what this project is designed to determine. No matter where the results lead me, I have learned one very specific detail about myself: I would much rather have someone point out my faults than have free reign to describe me.
My father was easier to predict than my mother. Still, only three of my predictions were identical to words that Dad used to describe me. I predicted only one of my mom's words. There's a simple reason for this: I spent more time talking to my dad than everyone but my closest friend. I found it fascinating that the only identical word that both my parents used was “intelligent.” Most of their words had very little to do with the other's list of words. This made me realize that I am two different people around my parents, and I have been ever since they separated almost two years ago. Would their lists have been more similar had I done this before that separation? I do not know, but I think it would have been. Predicting my mom's words, I touched on few of the themes of she said; the only time I really got close was when I predicted “special” and she said “unique.” Some of the words my mom used were especially difficult to predict, because she had never described me as them before. The only way I could hope to predict what my parents and friends were going to say was through past conversations with them, side comments, or various praises they had given me. The more time I had spent talking to a someone, the better than knew me, the closer I got to guessing their words. Given the greater amount of conversation that I have exchanged with Dad, I am not all that surprised that I found it easier to predict what he would say than what Mom would say.
An interesting comparison is between the lists of my Dad and the lists that Kevin, an adult from my church who has become like a mentor to me, had. They shared one specific word and a numerous amount of similar themes. Again, Kevin's words were completely different from that of my mother's. This showed me that I act very similar around my father and Kevin, as opposed how I act around my mom. Both Kevin and my father double checked to see if the words had to be in a list format, and could not have been in the format of a phrase or even a full sentence. They also agreed about how ultimately self-centered this assignment could turn out to be. I found Kevin particularly difficult to predict, even though I correctly predicted two of the words he ended up using. Out of all the people I asked, he and I have spent the least amount of time talking to each other, and in general, most of our conversations was about either my writing or some other work of literature. Kevin, out of everyone, used the most glowingly positive words. This was not something I would have predicted, although, in retrospect, it seems almost likely, because he has interacted with the fewest of my flaws.
Adults aside, I had the most fun doing this project with the friends I asked who were around my age. I asked three of my four closest friends, and attempted to ask the fourth member of that friend group, but he was unavailable. My friends were the easiest to predict, as our respective lists of words were rife with inside jokes such as “oxymoron,” “lion,” and “pest.” My friends were also the hardest to predict, because I had no idea which of the myriad of options they would pursue. I told each of them that any type of word would be allowed: adjective, noun, verb, etc. Mig was the only one to use verbs. Washington consistently stuck to adjectives, although, two her of her adjectives contradicted, creating the oxymoron that Sandy used to describe me. Yeah, this group of friends knows each other too well. Sandy included many words that you would not normally think of for such assignment such as “sound” and “there,” but as I considered it, these were staple in our relationship. I often overshot on the amount of inside jokes they would use, or predicted the wrong inside joke. I would capture the wrong moment, miss a key word by inches, and overall predict the wrong words for what my friends would say. However, it struck me that while only three of my four close friends participated in this particular project, if we were all asked to describe each other in one word, there'd only be one word throughout all of us: hevvratioussontackl. I believe the ability to predict that we'd all say the same thing about each other, is part of what bonds us together into a group of the closest friends I have ever had.
One of the interesting things that I noticed while conducting this experiment was how people reacted to being asked to describe me. My mom wanted to know what the assignment was about, what the words were for, and did she absolutely have to fire them off at the top of her head? She wished that I had asked her twenty-four hours earlier and let her ponder the words. This would have certainly changed the results of the project. Dad rolled his eyes, muttered a comment on the self-centered attitude of high school social psychology, and asked if I was enjoying the course. At my affirmation, he proceeded with the project. Kevin just asked whether or not the words had to be a list and then listed out ten words. Mig, as usual for the two of us, teased me and did the assignment with a grin and a chuckle. Washington and Sandy hesitated a little, both struggling to reach ten words. Sandy said she needed the perfect ten words, and no matter what she said, there would always be some other word that would describe me better. Washington had a similar reaction. These reactions were almost more predictable than the words themselves.
So where do these results leave me? Now I've got a minor project to hand in and a heavily stroked ego? I don't think so. I guess what I've learned from this project is never underestimate yourself from someone else's viewpoint. I'm positive that each and every one of the people who participated in this would be willing to rain down a whole list of faults upon my head, if they viewed it to be a necessity to my growth as a human being. But it is not a necessity, at least for right now. And we, as humans, do not find the need to tell our friends how we find them to be at fault. Friends would rather support than tear down, build rather than destroy; the hesitations within my mom's, Sandy's and Washington's responses support this fact. Hurt happens in the world when people do not take the time and the energy to support and build, finding it easier to be negligent and destructive. With this in mind, I will seek to give an extra amount of energy to the process of building up and supporting the other people in my life.

((What can I say? I SAID it was self-centered mumbo-jumbo!))