Friday, July 31, 2009

Mad Lib Friday: Jane Austen Edition

So, obviously, Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. I'm dedicating this "Mad Lib Friday" to her!

The funny part is that some of the words fit.

Kind of.



"1-800 Psychic"

Psychics are Dashwoods who are sensitive to the supernatural forces happening in this lady-like world. It is believed that psychics can predict such things as the name of the engagement you are going to marry or what your mom is horseback riding for dinner. If you want to talk to a dead Elizabeth Bennett or dearly departed Fanny, a psychic can arrange a seance. Everyone sits around a Mr. Darcy in a curly room as the psychic goes into an Edward Ferrars and contacts the spirit of your lusty relative. Psychics also use their abilities to help police catch piano fortes. Today you can watch psychics on obnoxious television and call in for information which will help you solve your crazy mothers.

Merry Friday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seriously, I'm Obsessed

Okay, obsession for the week: Sense and Sensibility.

So far, I've finished half the book, as well as watched two movie versions.

OBSESSED.

Jane Austen, you rock my socks. Seriously. And since I'm wearing socks right now, I can actually say that.

Besides being in Sense and Sensibility oblivion, I've also been writing like crazy, which is why this post will be a short one today.

I do plan, however, on posting "Mad Lib Friday" tomorrow. It been ages since one of those.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I've Fallen Off The Wagon

That's right, I've fallen off the wagon. What wagon's that, you may ask? It's the words-per-day wagon. Aargh! I'm never going to finish The Not-So Meet Cute by August 28! I wrote about 2,000 words last night, but I still have a long way to go.

I mainly blame by TBR pile.



I chose Crime and Punishment for some light reading. Ha ha.



Thankfully, I have this:



The Notebook of Awesome. This baby will save me. Inside are hundreds of thousands of words that are a part of my story and haven't been typed yet. I praise the writing gods for reminding me of this gem!

Too bad I'm a major procrastinator.

Oh, happy birthday Soñador!

By the way, how cute is Dominic Cooper?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Musical Inspiration

The Not-So Meet Cute has been inspired by music. For example, "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor, describes Piper, the MC, perfectly. Not only does it talk about getting caught up in the voices in her head, but it talks about how she was hesitant to love. The whimsical melody also reminds me of Piper's personality.




"Raindrop Prelude" by Chopin, portrays Veronica, the antagonist. She's not evil by choice, which is shown in the beginning of the piece. Later, as conflict arises, she is forced to choose a dark path. Violence grows in the music, but ends with sweet innocence because that is what she truly wants to be. I listen to this whenever Veronica is in a scene I'm writing because it is so her.



Does anybody else listen to music when they write? If so, what kind?

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Jeans Hate Me

I tried on my jeans this weekend, and this is what it looked like:

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Curse of the Distance Runner

A couple of days ago I went running on a local trail with a friend (who we will call KT) and we were faced with something horrific.

The Curse of the Distance Runner.

For a distance runner one seemingly simple rule is vital: no matter how far you run, you must always turn back around and run back the way you came (unless it's a circle course, that is).

Anyways, we started the day relatively early, believing it wouldn't be too hot at 9:30.

We were wrong. It felt like someone rolled us in butter and then stuck us in an oven. No, it was a sauna. That's the only way to describe the extreme humidity.

So there we were, buttery and greasy running through a sauna, when we realized we had still had to turn back around. Our cars seemed as distant as China. KT and I were stranded without water and were practically racing against an unnaturally-tan duo of women. Not to mention the overly-buff, sweaty, aggressive man. The odds were against us.

KT and I passed several walkers carrying water bottles. I wanted to jump them.

We even saw some sprinklers. Unfortunately, none of the water got into my mouth. I had to keep running though, squishy socks and all, to reach my car.

It felt like the never-ending trail, similar to Mario's never-ending staircase. If I was a cartoon character, I definitely would have had anger squiggles over my head at that point.

Finally, the cars were reached. I squirted water into my mouth so desperately I could've been a Nike commercial.

Moral of the story? Run in circles.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rewards System

Now that I've decided to finish my novel by the end of the summer, I've really been focusing on my words per day. This, as you might have guessed, has inspired a rewards system.

You see, the other day I had a giant chocolate bar. I said to myself "Mariah, once you finish this page you can eat some chocolate." Bam. Inspiration.

What do you guys do for inspiration? How do you reward yourselves?

I also let myself watch funny YouTube videos.



Bad words are bleeped out, but still be careful who's around when you watch this!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nervous-Making

Alright. I'm gonna take a deeeeeeeeeeeep breath before I formally decide this.

Okay. I can do this.

I think I can do this.

Here it is: I'm going to finish my novel by August 28. There, I've said it. Scary.

Why August 28 you wonder? Well, that's when I go to college. Also, I've been working on this novel on and off for two years now and haven't even finished the first draft. Yes, I've been editing it along the way, but that needs to stop. I must have some form of completeness.



Anyways, in other non-scary news, I barely walked out of the bookstore alive yesterday.

Wait, that does sound scary.

I'll explain. You see, I didn't plan on going into the bookstore yesterday, but when I did, I couldn't stop myself from picking up seven different books and wanting to buy all of them. This is a problem because I can't afford to buy so many books, especially hardback. After much decision making, I eventually purchased The Book Thief and Looking for Alaska. Hopefully these are good books. Otherwise, I might cry.

Oh, also while in the bookstore, I took the liberty of pretending I have a published book. I went to the YA section and looked for the "I"s and found that my book would be between A Company of Swans by Emma Ibbotson and Voss by David Ives.

This, in addition to my new goal, is nervous-making because I've never heard of these books/authors, and a key phrase from Voss is gray fedora.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Piper & Simon in 2-D

I've finally done it! I, Mariah Irvin, have drawn the main characters from The Not-So Meet Cute! It's spectacular! It's amazing! It's spectamazing!

Without further ado, here are Piper and Simon! *Fanfare*






The first one is a picture I didn't brighten on my computer. I thought I'd show both, just because I can.

They're supposed to be holding hands but I hate drawing hands, so just imagine it. Maybe if I'm feeling adventurous I'll do it later.

I accomplished this with only twenty-four colored pencils!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heads Will Roll

Stupid internet. It took forever to get a connection today. Grr.

On the bright side, I did get some writing done when I was waiting!

Based on the feedback on Friday's post, I think whenever I post an excerpt again it will be a romantic scene. Gotta keep my audience happy!

Anywho, I hope (*hope hope hope*) that tomorrow will be an awesome post of The Not-So Meet Cute relation. Until then, here's a link to an awesome song that has a dancing werewolf in the music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK4SUof_yv8&feature=channel

Friday, July 17, 2009

EXCERPT!!!

I decided to post an excerpt from The Not-So Meet Cute today for a few reasons.

1. It's Friday.

2. I've decided not to give up on this manuscript.

3. I can't think of anything else to post.



Things to remember:

This is MY work. No, I'm not selfish, I just don't like people stealing from me!

I accept appropriate criticism. But I also feel like I'm making myself vulnerable by sharing this so don't be too mean!

Piper (MC) can read minds. Everything in italics are the thoughts she hears. It's written in first person.

Alright then, here we go. Piper and Simon are about to get in an argument...or are they?



The feeling of betrayal renewed. My mouth opened to say something, but I still struggled to understand why Simon had revealed my secret. My breathing had become shallow and my mouth dry.

“Let’s go to my room,” Simon grabbed my hand and led me up a flight of stairs. I followed blindly, trying to decide what to say to him once we reached the top.

The bedroom was small with blue walls. I spotted a box still waiting to be emptied from his move. There was still a lack of personality to the living space, but I could still imagine Simon sitting and doing homework at the desk, or restlessly sleeping in the bed.

I hesitantly perched on the edge of Simon’s bed, expecting him to sit on the chair across from me, but he slid next to me instead. A pensive look clouded his face.

“Now I wish I could be a mind reader,” he breathed.

“Can’t you tell what I’m about to say though?” I looked over at him with the same expression.

“Not when you don’t know what you’re about to say,” he responded, running his hand up and down my bare arm.

“Well,” I began, looking straight ahead at a wall, “nobody knows about my mind-reading except for you. Or at least, so I thought. I didn’t expect you to tell them, I guess.”

Abruptly, Simon stood up and started pacing around the room. “I thought our relationship was serious,” his hands ran thoughtfully through his hair.

“We are serious, Simon” I assured him. Then, bravely: “I love you.”

Simon’s path stopped. My heart stopped. The world stopped.

Everything was vivid. Everything confused me. Everything was him.

He held me. He kissed me.

He loved me.

“I love you too.”

“I love you too.”

“I love you too.”


His family didn’t matter anymore. He loved me. We kissed like we had never kissed before. With purpose.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fierce Neckwear

I feel like showing off the beautiful cameo I bought in Italy. I'm determined to make it a family heirloom.



There's so many little details that it's practically impossible to get a perfect picture. The goddess is Diana (or Artemis in Greek), goddess of the hunt and moon. My favorite! Everyone else wanted Venus, goddess of love, but I wanted someone fierce! In fact, she's quite like Jane from my unwritten novel.

*Takes deep breath*

Piper and The Not-So Meet Cute need my attention right now. I've been writing more lately, which is progress. Maybe I'll post another excerpt tomorrow. What say you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

*Sigh*

I despise college shopping with the intensity of a thousand suns. Seriously.

I must go spend my day at Ikea with my mother. Someone save me!

Hopefully I'll survive to write a better post tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back on Track

That's right sports fans. The Not-So Meet Cute is back in my life! Feel free to get excited.

I actually did some writing last night for the first time in a long time. Impressive, I know.

Anyways, I thought I'd share some of my inspiration with everybody. While in Italy, I found what Simon looks like, and my reference just so happens to come from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Behold Daniel before and after restoration!



There's something about his expression I adore. Not to mention the beautiful hair! Michelangelo, you were a complete genius.

Next, my new inspiration for Piper, which comes from Botticelli's Birth of Venus.



Piper is Venus in all her red curly haired glory.

Oh, and here's one more, just to end my new book urge for a while:



August, love interest from new unnamed, unwritten, will not be written book. Raphael, you slay me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thank Goodness

Wow. I've found this in the nick of time. Literally.

Thank you Meg Cabot!

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3138144

I can't remember how I got to NaNoWriMo in the first place, though.

Friday, July 10, 2009

And the Winner Is...

I think a drum roll is in order.

If only I could play the drums. If only!

Anyways, here comes the moment of truth.

The winner of my 100th post contest is...



ANNA WAGGENER!

Hooray!

Her deus ex machina was way too funny. And, like promised, here's the illustration it inspired:



Closeups:





I hope you like it, Anna!

Now, the winners of this week's picture contests: Sara, Sarah, and Penny

What do they get you wonder? Well, this new illustration of mine is going to be a blog award, known as the "High Expectations Blog Award". These lovely ladies, as well as Anna and Carrie Harris are officially awarded by me, Mariah Irvin, for being insanely dasaloff.

Welcome to the club! Maybe we should make t-shirts or something..:)

Thanks to Anna and everybody else that made Constantly Risking Absurdity welcome in the blogosphere!

Have a good weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Skittles and Holy Water

Thanks to everyone that gave me writing advice yesterday! I still haven't decided what to do yet, but I feel less stressed.

Anyways, tomorrow is the big day! My 100th post contest winner will be announced! Let's look at the entries, shall we?

First, Carrie Harris:

The zombies were closing in on our safe house. Their incessant moans made me want to scream at them to shut up, even though I knew it wouldn't work and we were going to be dead in about fifteen minutes anyway. Shawn returned from his hurried rummage through our storage closet and held out his hand to me. My heart leapt with hope.

"You found ammo!"

"I found Skittles," he said, dropping a small bag of candy into my hand.

There was a flash of bright light, and suddenly a huge guy stood in the corner of the room. He was wearing a toga, and it kind of looked good on him.

"Did someone say Skittles?" he asked, in a booming voice that thankfully drowned out the moans for a second.

"Um... yeah," I replied.

"I love Skittles. Can I have some?"

"You can have them all if you can get us out of here," I said, holding the fruit-flavored bag of goodness up and making it dance before his eyes.

He scoffed. "I am Zeus. I can do anything!"

I would have laughed at that, except that he threw a lightning bolt out the window and killed all the zombies.

We're leaving the house now. I plan to stock up on Skittles for the next time the zombies attack.



Next, Anna Waggener:

Jazz pressed herself against the brick wall and kept her gaze on the opening between alley and street. The vampire advanced, a hungry look in his matte black eyes, a leer parting his thin lips.

Jazz considered screaming, but doubted that it would help. The back door of the dance club was cracked open, a young Justin Timberlake and Company crooning “Bye, Bye, Bye” through the speakers. The dancers inside squealed delight at the ‘90s throwback. They’d never hear her.

So instead Jazz squeezed her eyes shut and turned away, trying desperately to remember the words of the Hail Mary. Unfortunately, she wasn’t Catholic and doubted that the Virgin would help her without a down payment. She felt a whimper working its way up her throat.

There was a pause. “Zat,” the vampire began, his voice heavy with a French accent, “iz a nize sveater you are wearink.” Jazz stole a peek at him. He’d come to a stop just a few yards away, his white hands limp at his sides. Maybe she was wrong. Maybe he wasn’t a vampire at all. But you didn’t have canines like that and try to blame them on genetics unless you were a Labrador. Besides, he was wearing a cape.

“It’s silk,” Jazz said weakly. “And new. It’d be a shame to get blood stains all over it.”

The vampire frowned. “Yez,” he said at last. Then he drew aside his cape and pulled a wallet from his slacks. “Ezpecially if zey zet in. I’ll cheep een for a cab and dry cleanink.”

“Sweet of you.”

“Don’t mention eet. How much doez a zycle go for zese daiz?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Jazz said. “Two, three—”

The door of the club flew open, metal handle smacking into concrete. A skinny blond steadied himself on a nearby trashcan and pushed his glasses back onto his nose.

“Didn’t see the step there,” he gasped. “Jesus, Jazz, where’ve you been?”

The vampire shrank back, shielding his ears.

“Michael?” Jazz felt a flood of relief. She wasn’t sure why, since Michael wasn’t exactly a knight in shining anything, but misery loves company. “How’d you know I was back here?”

“Well I saw you leaving with creeper,” Michael said, jerking a thumb at the cringing vampire. “But then this guy came around handing out vials of holy water and I thought you’d think it was funny so I brought you one—oh for the love of marzipan.” The cork flew out of the proffered vial, splattering the alleyway with water. The vampire began to shriek and bat at his cloak, which was smoking. “Christ, dude, calm down” Michael said, which only made the shrieks crescendo. The vampire was hopping on one foot now, because his other shoe had touched the scattered droplets of holy water.

Jazz ran over and grabbed Michael’s forearm as the vampire took off down the alley. His leather shoes left the curb and he shot up into a cool autumn night, trailing smoke and a heartbroken cry of Louis Vuittonnnnnnnn!

Michael stared after him. “I thought that the devil wore Prada,” he said.

Jazz shrugged and headed back toward the welcome thud of boy-band pop. “And I thought that vampires were Romanian,” she said. “We can’t all live up to expectations.”



Oh, and I didn't forget about the picture! Here's the last one:



If anybody guesses this one, I will be seriously amazed and love them forever.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Random Video and Then Some Seriousness

This is too funny. Every time he says "count" it gets bleeped out!



Okay, now comes the seriousness. Actually, it's just less random.

I can't bring myself to write The Not-So Meet Cute. It's been at least a month and a half since I have. I don't really like it anymore. Also, I've been thinking about a different book, but I feel guilty about it, like I'm cheating on Piper or something. Any writerly advice anybody?

Oh, total subject change: is it just me or does James McAvoy get hotter every time I see him?


That's what I thought.



Almost forgot! Italian picture of the day! Guess the city:



This is an absurdly easy one guys. Let's try not to disappoint.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What Should I Ramble About Today?

Well, let me see...

Oh, Sara Raasch won the first round of the picture contest yesterday. Just for the record, I'm looking for cities, not the name of the building or waterway, but if you can guess those too more power to ya.

Here comes the next picture. Are you ready?



Hopefully all those tourists aren't in your way!



Let's see...what else is there to discuss?

I know! I read The Hunger Games and Fragile Eternity while stuck on hot buses traveling across Italy! Don't worry, I spasmodically looked up to take pictures of the beautiful countryside.

The Hunger Games. SUZANNE COLLINS, YOU ARE A FRIGGIN' GENIUS. For anybody who has read this book, I just have to say that I liked Peeta. Oh, and Gale is a girl's name. That is all I'm going to say about that for now...

Fragile Eternity. Okay, this left me even more irritated than Marr's last two books. Why, Seth, why?

Needless to say, I was very occupied on bus trips.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Traveler Returns

That's right, I'm back from Italy! It was DASALOFF! It's a good thing I've already created my own word or I wouldn't be able to describe my trip.

Ahhh, it feels so nice to blog again. I definitely missed all my blogger friends! So much, in fact, that I found this little shop when I was in Florence:



Penny Lane is a shop as well as a blog!

Anyways, I know the two people who entered my contest are probably wondering if they won or not, but that will not be announced until Friday, along with my super-amazing drawing. Keep waiting patiently!

But, there is a mini-contest that runs today through Friday. While in Italy, I took obscure pictures of the places I saw. Your job is to be the first person in the comments to properly identify that place and you will be awarded on Friday as well. Alright, here's picture number one (I'll try to make the first one an easy one):



If nobody guesses correctly by tomorrow, I'll leave a hint.

Happy contesting everybody!