Friday, January 29, 2010

Resident Expert: Child Stars

Look at this guy.

Look at him and tell me he isn't hot.




That's right, you can't do it, can you?

Does he remind you of this?



May I introduce Nicholas Hoult, of "About a Boy" fame?

And how about this cutie?



He's Jamie Bell from "Billy Elliot".



And finally, someone I hope you all recognize...



Joseph Gordon Levitt. "Third Rock From the Sun", anyone?



I could probably devote an entire RE post to him.

Have a good weekend, everyone :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Silver Lining

Lookie look! I have an award!

Thanks Jon, for the Silver Lining Award!



Alright, we must listen to Rilo Kiley now.



I love Jenny Lewis.

What was I talking about? Oh right.

Jon gave me an award. This is what he has to say about me:

Just look at the name of her blog! Mariah brings fun and enthusiasm to the everyday and I always look forward to reading her posts. She features hilarious videos and she even chose James McAvoy to be her assistant, for which I still deserve something, I believe. Just kidding. Kinda.

Aww shucks. *blushes*

Like I said, Jon, I have connections. I can find you your own assistant.

Now for my nominees!

Okay, I know I'm not *technically* supposed to nominate Jon, but I must. He's completely encouraging, not to mention funny, and the owner of adorable puppies. But honestly, in the couple weeks that I've been following his blog and him mine, I really look forward to hearing from him :)

Next, I nominate Sarah. I definitely consider her to be one of my best bloggy friends. And now that our assistants are in a duel, I must tell her that I don't have any objection to OrRyanGosling.

How can you say that, Mariah?

Oh, James... I didn't see you there. Um... it's not personal.

NOT PERSONAL? He's my arch nemesis!

I'm sorry, but Sarah's my friend! I have to support her business endeavors, no matter who helps her with them!


*sulks away*


Don't worry, he'll come around eventually.

Anyways, next nominee: inthewritemind. I feel like we share the same wavelength sometimes. Awesome.

Lisa and Laura
. They always make me smile.

Finally, Elle. She's going through a rough time right now, and I'd like to remind her that all her bloggy friends are here to support her.

Yay! That makes five nominees! Woot!

Have a good day, everyone :)

OrRyanGosling, you've turned Mariah against me. This means war!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

*Twiddles Thumbs*

May I present a Wordle for my completed first draft? It would make me rather happy.

If it's too blurry you can click it and you will see a better version.

Wordle: Untitled

Anywho, I'm in a good mood today. I don't have school again until next Tuesday, so I have a lot of free time.

But what should I do?

I'm giving Jane's Air a break for now, but I still feel like I need to write. Opening Word Documents make me happy... truly.

I think I'll make a new vlog for next week. That should be fun.

Also, I'll do some reading. I read As You Wish by Jackson Pearce yesterday and started Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I think I'll have some book reviews shortly.

But I promised they would be in vlog form, right?

Two vlogs it is, then.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Video Day

I'm feeling in a video mood today. How about you?

The first is a mix of popular songs from 2009. I don't really listen to pop music, but I think whoever made this video mash up is a genius.




The second one is just cute and funny.



Seriousness tomorrow, I promise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

First, an announcement (which some of you already know):

I finished the first draft of Jane's Air last Thursday! Yay! Naturally, I've been editing ever since. That is, when I'm not doing homework or sleeping.

Actually, I've been editing instead of sleeping, so never mind that last one.

Anywho, I took a little break Saturday night to watch "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".



And it was really good.

I never liked anything western-related before I started my book; now I can't seem to get enough of it.

More Clint Eastwood please!





I'm so glad I finally watched this. It's the perfect culmination of everything western (even though it was technically made in Italy, I believe).

Because I am a dork, I took notes as I watched Clint chewing on his cigar, staring down the length of his rifle. Here are the notes I took:

-covered wagons
-dusty/windy
-reward signs
-aloe vera?
-water well
-where do they get wood for buildings?
-short doorways
-sweaty looking
-hats!
-bullet belts/gun holsters
-bags of money
-oil lamps
-lots of rock formations and gravel
-cigars/pipes
-spurs
-rough lips
-mustaches, but no beards
-Clint's eyes are SO green!
-duster jacket
-wooden canteens
-SO thirsty!
-no stables
-Clint plays with kittens!

Yeah. So some of those observations are silly (it's a really long movie, folks), but I feel like I have an advantage now that I've watched it. Descriptions of the towns will be that much better.


This showdown is the best I've ever seen.



Also, it has one of the most recognizable themes ever!



Okay, all this Clint talk is making James jealous, so I think I shall wrap this up.

Have a good Monday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Resident Expert: There's Someone You Should Meet...

Yay! My new assistant is coming into work today!

But who is it, you wonder?

You guys voted...

...and there was a tie!

So it was between Mr. Darcy...



...and James McAvoy.



Suddenly, the choice became mine.

I panicked.

But now, a decision has been made, and I'd like to introduce you to...

JAMES MCAVOY!

(surprise, surprise)



Look at that quizzical brow of his! He thought I was kidding when I gave him the news.

How could I not hire him? I mean, the ACCENT.



The eyes!



Also, he's funny.



Of course these are job requirements! What are you talking about?

Oh look, there he goes again, taking his shirt off.



He's still learning how to behave in the office, but I won't complain.

So there you have it, folks.

Don't forget to say hello to James on your way out! And maybe leave some memos. He's still learning the whole memos thing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Guys Are Amazing!

Just to be clear, that "amazing" in the title should be pronounced ah-mah-zing.

I admit it- I was in a funk yesterday. You guys pulled me out of it with your sweet comments and support, though!

Ever since I've begun blogging, I've been surprised by the kindness the writing community has shown me, especially when many commenters hardly know me! Writing is a unifying experience, to say the least.

Now, as I've reached 50 blog followers, I realize that I wouldn't trade any of them for 500 followers that noticed me but didn't really care about me. I was honestly amazed that I even made it to three followers when I started this blog a year ago. "Could there really be people out there that are interested in me? Me?" was what kept running through my head.

So, to my 50 followers I say THANK YOU for sticking with me and supporting me through my moodiness. I hope I can repay the favor!

Cyber hugs for everyone!

Also, you'll be happy to know that my new assistant comes into work tomorrow. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hope

Today in my Media Writing class we discussed how to pitch a screenplay. The whole time, all I could think about was how similar it was to query for a book (not that I've begun querying yet).

Our professor showed us a documentary about struggling writers living in LA, just praying that they would make it big someday. My heart went out to all of them, no matter how absurd they were.

And I'm telling you, some of them (and their pitches) were completely absurd.

The thing none of my classmates could seem to understand was how none of the writers gave up. After being rejected time and time again, they would dust themselves off and trek onward, determined their screenplay was the best ever written.

I don't know if any of them ever had their movies produced, but I want to believe that they did. I need to have hope that I can be as relentlessly obsessed as they were.

I need to believe that I won't give up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm Just Visiting

Thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday! I had a lot of fun making that vlog, and have plenty more planned for the future!

So this morning I was trying to draw a rough outline of what the town looks like in Jane's Air, when I realized how many gaps there are in my writing.

For example, I don't even have a name for the town yet! If you haven't already noticed, I suck at titling things. I'm thinking the name should start with "Strickland" (name of family that founded town) but I have no clue what to put after that. Flats? Territory?

I'm lost. Please help.

Also, I haven't really put much thought into the daily life of the town. The main focus has been on Jane, and the town, which I see clearly in my head, has been lost in the shuffle. When I begin edits, making the town distinct will be my first job.

Does anybody else have this problem?

Monday, January 18, 2010

10 Things That Make Me Happy

First, I will say Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Second, I made another vlog.



I'm still getting the hang of the whole editing thing.

Thanks Hayley and Southern Princess for the award!



Yay, pink cupcakes!

Now, who should I nominate for the award?

Hmm...

I say whoever comments on this post about my dasaloff vlog deserves a blog award because he/she makes me happy!

Take it, my lovely little followers, it is yours!

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Resident Expert: Personal Assistant

Hello lovelies! Sarah gave me a smashing idea.

Why am I talking like that? Let me start over.

Hey guys, Sarah gave me a dasaloff idea the other day.

You see, she's hired OrRyanGosling as her personal assistant/intern. It's become clear to me that if I ever want to get an agent or get published, I'm going to have to hire someone to help me with the menial things in my life.

Like cleaning. *shiver*

Now all I have to do is pick an assistant. Lucky for me, I have many candidates to choose from!

And the lucky gents are...

James McAvoy

Johnny Depp
Orlando Bloom

Mr. Darcy
Taylor Kitsch
Ben Barnes
Ryan Reynolds
Brad Pitt
Adrian Grenier

Huh. I could've sworn there were more candidates than that.

Now it's up to you! Who should work for "Constantly Risking Absurdity"?

Keep in mind that I don't want any romantic entanglements to get in the way of professionalism, and that who ever you vote for will most likely be shoving memos in your face for a long time to come.

Polls are now open!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Get Ready For a Major Timesuck

Today I give you not one, but TWO awesome videos. Enjoy.




Play the piano!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

News vs. Novel

I'm in college to earn a degree in journalism (for the moment) and lately I can't help notice how different news writing is from fictional writing.

For example, an important part of every news story is a lead. The lead is the first sentence and it's meant to draw the reader in to continue the rest of the article. A weak lead can break the entire piece. The story will be buried somewhere in the back of the paper where no eyes will ever see it.

Needless to say, I usually focus on developing my lead for a good amount of time. The rest of the story has a way of falling into place after a strong lead, well, leads the way.

I know what you're thinking. "But, Mariah, the first sentence of a novel is important, too." This is true. I mean, which one of these would you rather read?

1) Call me Ishmael.
...or...
2) Hey, my name is Ishmael. It rhymes with whale, which actually reminds me of a really good story.

Here's another:

1) It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
...or...
2) It was a nice time. Yes, really nice. On the other hand, it wasn't. Not really.

It's important for a novel to have a strong beginning, but a novel can also be more forgiving. Chances are, if you don't like the first paragraph or so, you're not going to put the book down. Picking up a book is an investment. If you don't like a news article, you can always skip to the next one.

Next, if I'm reporting a hard news story (pressing importance), the goal is to get out the facts. No elaborate wording or sentence construction, just write the info!

This is how the article is set up:


To me, this seems like the exact OPPOSITE of writing a novel. Novels reach a climax near the end, but in the news, any interesting snippet is placed right in front.

Alright, I'm going to cut myself off, because I'm starting to sound boring and preachy. I guess that's what happens when my "career" and my "hobby" are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Intervention

That's right. I need an intervention.

For overusing the word awesome.

Honestly, type it into the search box and you'll be amazed how many posts prominently feature the word.



Too bad I don't have a banner.

From here on out, the word in question will be replaced with "dasaloff". Wow. I haven't used that word in a while, have I?

Le sigh.

I sound like a crazy person.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm a Winner!

Last week Elle Strauss gave me a blog award, to which I say thank you!!!



Now I must say seven things about myself now.

Where to begin... I am SUCH a complex person :)



1) I have a mole on my chin. It's the same color as the rest of my skin, so usually it's hard to see in pictures. It's there, trust me (or look for yourself if you are so inclined).

Okay, that wasn't so fascinating. I will try harder.

2) In "real" life, I can be pretty sarcastic. I guess you could say I have a dry sense of humor. Online, I'm NEVER sarcastic because I don't want it to come off the wrong way.

3) I take really long showers. It's bad for the environment, I know, but it's my time to think. Also, it's the only "me" time I have anymore. In the shower, I'm pretty much guaranteed (unless someday I forget to lock the door) that one of my roommates won't run in and ruin my quiet time/privacy.

4) I love Glee. I love Glee SO HARD.



5) A few days before Christmas break, I was watching "The Holiday" with my mother (yes, this story does have something to do with me, I promise) and we were admiring the house in L.A.



My mom said, "Maybe when you sell your books you can buy a house like that and save a room for me."

I melted when she said this. She's never actually acknowledged my writing. Trust me, it was a big moment for me.

6) This is me, in Irish dancer form:



Day-um. I look good in ringlets.

I promise I saved the best for last...

7) A new book idea sprang itself on me last Tuesday when I was trying to take a nap.

It's amazing.

I'm restraining myself. Remember when I first thought of Jane's Air and I was still writing The Not-So Meet Cute?

Well, now this new idea is trying to get in the way of Jane's Air. I'm not going to let it. Jane and August deserve my full, undivided attention. Shiny new idea isn't going anywhere.

I won't say anything about it now, except that it combines all of my favorite things.

It won't be very hard for me to resist it's charms; it isn't very developed yet.



Well, I hope everybody learned something (interesting) about me today!

Now, I will tag some other bloggers (I'm not sure if any of them have received it already):

Sarah
sraasch
Hayley
Jade
Shannon Messenger

Have a good week everybody!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Resident Expert: Adrian Grenier

Thanks for the suggestions yesterday you guys. I wasn't feeling myself, so I had a hard time thinking up who to become an expert on.

Then I did some websurfing...

Crisis solved!

May I present Adrian Grenier?



He's acceptable, right?

That's what I thought.

*unable to function* oijos nnlsdfjoenlnv nloein lsnv nklsjek



Sorry, I just spazzed out a little bit. No control over motor functions.

Moving on...

He was such a good boyfriend in "The Devil Wears Prada".



I wouldn't have left him for my job, that's for sure.

I still remember him from the movie "Drive Me Crazy." Ah, 'twas so long ago.



He's on "Entourage", but, sadly, I've never seen it. It won't stop me from putting up more pictures though.





Lovely.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Resident Expert: ?

I cannot decide who to be Resident Expert on. Gah!

Who do you guys want? If I get any requests I'll make the post later today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Spoils

Alright. Here it is.

A song about why Sara Raasch is awesome. Sing along!



"Awesome is an adjective
that has been used in different ways.
It is used to describe
eating chocolate bars
and even this song.
You may think I use this word too much
but in all seriousness, I'll tell you,
awesome only needs to be used
when describing Sara Raasch!

She...spells...it...
S-A-R-A-R-A-A-S-C-H
Sara without an "H"!
Her favorite color is red
even though her website's pink.
She has an awesome agent
'cuz she writes a lot!
She writes about puppies and pirates
so in the future I suspect
she'll write about penguins
and pottery.

Sara YOU ARE AWESOME!
And now the world knows,
that is, if they didn't already."



I hope you weren't laughing at my musical talents.

Oh, and the "penguins and pottery" part is saying that you like to write about things that start with a "P", if that wasn't clear.

Anyways, next up is a poem for the runner-up, Southern Princess:



"Royalty or Not?"

Is Southern Princess really a princess?
My teachers taught me they only exist in fairy tales
and in my wild imaginings
where elephants swam with whales.

"You are a princess,"
my mother would say.
But I simply dismissed it
as silly play.

Now I've grown older
and I know they did exist.
Princesses were as real
as they princes they kissed.

Southern Princess lives in modern day,
a time of questionable deeds,
but I know she is a princess
because of the life she leads.



I'm no Whitman, but I hoped you liked it, Southern Princess!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Things James Cameron Taught Me

Okay, so it's the thing that James Cameron taught me, but that doesn't make as good a title.

I haven't seen the movie "Avatar" yet, but this video shows how much work went into the film.



James Cameron taught me patience. He came up with the idea for this film in 1996. He knew it was a strong concept, but it wouldn't be made in the best way possible unless he waited for the technology to catch up.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a hurry to get ahead. I usually sound like this:

"Finish this draft, then edit, then beta, then write a query, then edit again, then beta again..."

What's my rush? If I'm writing a good story, it will only get stronger with time.

Does anybody else feel like they're rushing to the finish line without enjoying the ride?

Also, check out Jackson Pearce's vlog chock-full of writerly advice if you haven't already.

Speaking of vlogs, I think I'll be posting my singing one tomorrow if all goes well (meaning if my roommate is out of the room).

Now that I think about it, James Cameron also taught me something else: ships are hawt!




Except for when they sink, of course.


Question: Who thought of this? It's terrible!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Almost Kiss...

So I didn't get the chance to enter the No Kiss Blogfest at Frankie's blog, but I thought it would be fun to post my "almost kiss" anyways.

This is from Jane's Air, my WiP. A little background: Jane, the MC, was taken to an Indian camp by August, who she owes a favor. She didn't know that that was where he was taking her, so she tried to escape, but was caught by the Indians anyway. August rescues her, then she finds out that he is an ally with the Indians... and I think now you are pretty much caught up.



Soon, they were both on the horse and riding away from the Indian settlement and towards their fellow “evil white men”.

Jane’s arms were wrapped around August’s waist like the previous ride, but this time, she had no plans of letting go. Once they were under the moon’s light on open plains, she leaned into him to whisper into his ear.

“I’m sorry I didn’t trust you, August. I felt the pack of guns and I was scared.”

August shivered as he felt her warm breath on his neck. He believed her apology, but didn’t know how to respond to it. She intimidated him, and elicited other emotions he couldn’t describe. When she had jumped off of his horse, he had felt like his heart had jumped off as well. Finding her amongst the Indians his breath was finally able to return, but the way she looked up at him when her blindfold was removed scared him. She was ready to fight, no matter who she might be up against. It took his comforting arm around her shoulders and praise from the Indians to finally help her relax and trust her surroundings. As he recalled her actions, he realized he still hadn’t responded to her apology and she had drifted further back on the horse. His moment was gone, so he continued to guide the horse back to the stable.

In the stable, Jane slid off the back of the horse before August could offer his hand. Then she looked at him with an intently curious expression.

Her mouth opened, but at first, no words came out. When she tried again, she asked “Why did you take me with you?”

August shrugged his shoulders. “I dunno. I guess I thought you might enjoy an adventure.”

“How did you know I wouldn’t try to attack Antinanco for calling us part of the evil white race?” she took a step closer to him.

“There are just some things you know,” he lifted his head so that his eyes might meet hers, but his bangs got in the way.

Like she had done earlier, Jane pushed them out of his face without thinking about it; such was their proximity. August’s heart stopped with his breath.

“Thank you,” she whispered, hand dropping back to her side. Then she backed away and left the stable.

He stood and stared at where she had been for a few moments.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Things to Come...

As of tomorrow at 8:30 A.M., my Christmas break is over.

A moment of mourning might be necessary.

I announce this not only because I plan on returning to my normal blogging schedule, but because I'm terribly behind in my book. Yes, I reached 50,000 words during NaNo, but I've been taking a break from actually finishing the darn thing. It must be finished!

I've come up with a schedule for writing that I fully intend to follow.

-Finish book sometime this week.
-Begin editing like crazy.
-Beta during February (stay tuned people!).
-Edit again in March with beta critiques in mind.
-Write a butt-kickingly-awesome query in April and finally try to sell a book!

Whew. Is it getting hot in here? *fans self* There's a lot of work ahead of me and not much time, but the way I see it, if I could *finish* a book in one month, why shouldn't I keep up the pace, especially since it seemed to work for me?

If I don't announce the completion of my book by next Monday, you have full permission to shame me in all manner of public and embarrassing ways.

Also coming this week are the contest-winning vlog and poem I promised!

Composing a song is harder than it sounds, guys.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

I've been thinking about joining Twitter. Any opinions?



Update: Just signed up!

Friday, January 1, 2010

You Are Most Welcome, 2010!



Happy New Year everyone! Today is my official blogaversary and I am beyond delighted that it has finally come. Who knew I would make it this far? Not me, that's for sure!

So yesterday I went over the highlights of 2009. Now, I'll list what I expect to happen in 2010.

1) I will edit Jane's Air until I feel comfortable enough to query it. That's right query. I've never queried before, so it's an exciting step to be taken in 2010!

2) I'm going to be working on a short film this month. The screenplay was written last year and now it's going to be produced! Yay!

3) This summer, I'm going to apply to an awesome internship... but I won't give it away now because I don't want to jinx it!

4) My first year of college will be finished and I will make it halfway through my second.

5) This blog will live on!



That's all that I can predict at the moment (and it's a very sleepy one at that). I hope that everyone will stick around as 2010 unfolds!

Happy New Year again! Go live today like you want to live the rest of your year!