Friday, April 30, 2010

Resident Expert: Glee

It's Friday and you know what that means!

Another super fun exciting splendiforous dasaloff Resident Expert post.

And today, the topic is GLEE!

Why have I waited so long to become an RE on Glee? Why?!

Okay, let's get started.



There's soooooooooooooooo much I could say on this subject that I literally don't know where to begin. Help!

I'll start by saying that the show always manages to touch my emotions- happy, sad, angry- all of them. Last episode, I literally cried three times. It takes a lot to make me cry, especially at a television show. Major props, Glee.

Also, there's the music. I'll admit I've never been a huge fan of musicals. Something about Glee makes the show accessible to everyone, whether they live for musical theater or not.

The cast is incredible. I wish I could sing; I would've auditioned so I could hang out with them all the time- they seem like genuinely nice people.

So, let me ask you... do you have a favorite character? A favorite song?

Right now my fave is Kurt, played by Chris Colfer.



And my fave song? Well, this has been in my head since the Madonna episode (I LOVE MADONNA):



Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Revisions... Now With Photos!

Over my self-imposed hiatus last week, I did A LOT of revising of my WiP, Jane's Air. It's already sounding loads better than it did before.

A little while ago I printed the whole thing out and put it into an awesome binder:



Yes. That is an octopus playing the piano.

It's incredibly helpful that the words are tangible; I can see and touch them, which makes my editing better (uh, does that make sense at all?).

Most of my notes say something like this:




That's something I have to work a lot on. My book is omniscient narrator, so I have the bad habit of not fully explaining how my characters feel. I'm working on it!!!

Anywho, I think I'll be needing new betas/CPs soon (I mean it this time!)... be on the lookout for a post with more details if you think you're interested.

Back to wrestling my WiP... see ya later!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm A Filmmaker!

Well, sort of.

During my hiatus, I filmed a silent movie for a class I'm in. It's about a guy and a girl that meet on a dating website and they really aren't meant to be together. This film follows them on their first date.



It was so much fun to shoot this! The actors were really dedicated to their characters and I'm glad they were willing to help out with the project. Also, that butt? Totally mine. It had to make a cameo because no one else wanted theirs to!

Anyways, have you entered my contest yet? You really should.

Just sayin'.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm back and I have answers!

Oh, blogosphere, you are soooooooooooooooo pretty.

I've missed blogging during my hiatus, but sometimes taking a break from something reminds you of why you love it, right?

Anyways, before I left for a week or so of craziness, I asked you guys to ask me questions. There are only a few to answer, but answer I will!



inthewritemind asks: What's your favorite Disney movie?

This is a really difficult question! I don't know if I can pick just one!

Cartoon-wise, I've always loved "Aladdin" and "Mulan" most. But I also hold "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Prince Caspian" close to my heart.

C. Michael Fontes asks: What are the three best books you have read in the past year?

Another difficult question (you guys are too good at this)! When you say in the past year, I assume you mean from today, April 26, 2010, to April 26, 2009. Goodness, I've read so many books during that time, some that I consider to be my favorites.

Alright, alright, I'll pick three.

First, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This book was good. It's YA, but I made my dad read it because I loved it so much and now it's one of his favorites, too.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. This book and I have a love/hate relationship. A lot of the story frustrated me, but the fact that I couldn't stop talking about it as I was reading it definitely gives it high points.

Last is a three-way tie between Shiver, Graceling, and The Hunger Games (I'm cheating). All YA, all amazing, all considered my favorites.

R. Garrett Wilson asked: Which book world would you love to find yourself transported to and why? Which world would you be most afraid of finding yourself trapped in and why?


Since I just mentioned The Hunger Games, I'm gonna say that I wouldn't want to live there. Poor Katniss has to kill other kids because of her screwed up government! Great book, but not somewhere I would choose to live.

I think I would want to be transported to the world in Uglies. This is another dystopian world, but the technology and mannerisms fascinate me.

Hayley has three questions: First, because college has been on my mind a lot recently and you're there balancing writing/school/work, my question is how do you manage it? Because I'm worried about balance my world is off kilter enough so how have you managed it?


It's hard for me to give you an exact formula for maintaining balance. Everybody is different. What I choose to spend time on is way different from my roommate's, for example. For now, the best advice I can give you is not to worry about it. Yes, easier said than done. But seriously, enjoy the rest of high school and don't stress about college. It's coming soon enough and you'll figure things out as they come. That's not to promote procrastination or anything, just to remind you that you have time to worry about these things later on :)

Second, why was your first icon a cupcake (yes I remember that ^_^)?

Aww, I miss that cupcake.



When I first started blogging, I didn't want my face to be all over the internet (I didn't have a Facebook or Twitter yet). So I thought to myself "If you aren't going to use a picture of yourself, what will you use?" I thought about things I like... until I thought about pink cupcakes.

Honestly.

After I Googled "pink cupcake" and found my little anthropomorphic cupcake, it seemed to fit my personality, so I used it.


Third, journalism is SO different from fiction how do you swap so easily between the two?

Well, there are different types of journalism. Feature writing, for example, is probably the closest to fiction. No, feature writing isn't fiction, but it employs more personal style than straight up reporting. I enjoy writing features about people because it feels like I'm telling a story. I've written opinion and news, too, and it's about presenting facts. As long as you have strong writing skills, journalism shouldn't be too big of a stretch from fiction writing.



That concludes my Q&A session! Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about my hiatus (un-exciting as it was).

Ah, it's good to be back.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Reasons Sarah Is Awesome

Okay, so if you've ever read Sarah's blog, you know she's awesome. Seriously. Go read it. You'll see what I'm talking about.

Now, to celebrate the publishing of her book ALL THESE LIVES in 2012, she's having a huge contest!

Look at this schwag (taken from her page):

"1 Lucky Winner will receive a critique of their first 30-40 pages by the fabulous Suzie Townsend + a pack of Twizzlers + a copy of Hex Hall

3 Lucky Winners will receive a query letter critique by one of these three agent extraordinaires: Kathleen Ortiz, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, or Colleen Lindsay (One agent will be randomly assigned to each winner.)

1 Winner will receive a writer's survival guide consisting of Twizzlers, a copy of Silver Phoenix and When You Reach Me, and a cute notebook and pen.


1 Lucky winner will score a lunch date with THE Janet Reid and THE Suzie Townsend. Um, yeah, that's not a typo. (I'm tempted to enter myself. Would it be so wrong?) Unfortunately, this is not a free trip to NYC. BUT if you live in the NYC area, or whenever you're visiting NYC? You. Janet. Suzie. LUNCH."

See? Awesomeness. You should go enter the contest now. You have until Sunday, April 25th. Go quickly! Go!

On a totally unrelated note, I'm going on a temporary blog hiatus (which is why I didn't post anything today). It was unintentional, until I realized that I'm running out of steam, and that I have a million other things to take care of. I won't be gone for long... don't fret! Upon my return, I'll answer questions
(there's still time to ask me things!).

Maybe I'll try to get some writing done when I'm gone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ask Away!

I've gotten a few new followers lately. Hello, lovely new followers!

I'm thinking it's time for me to answer some questions. What are you guys dying to know about me? Or, maybe you don't want me to answer a question about myself and instead you have questions about writing, my predictions of what will happen this season on "Glee", or how many licks it takes to get to the center of Tootsie Pop.

Obviously nobody knows the answer to that last one, but you get the idea. Get creative! I'll ask all questions that are PG blog rating appropriate.

Speaking of Glee... it comes back on tonight! Who else is freakin' excited?!

Here's a teaser to get us all ready for tonight:



You go, Rachel!

Alright, ask those questions!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm a Writer

To you, this fact may be obvious. Online, writing is what I talk about most of the time (at least I try to- I'm easily distracted). Out in the "real world" though, this is completely different. I only talk about my writing with close friends and family.

So, last Thursday, when I had to give a speech in my Public Speaking class and I chose to talk about writing, I was a little nervous.

Okay, way nervous.

It's not so much that I can't talk in front of people. That I can do. I was just worried how my "audience" would react to my speech topic.

For the speech, we had to choose a quote we liked and then relate a personal anecdote to that quote. The quote I chose comes from Charlotte Bronte- "I'm just going to write because I cannot help it."

For the anecdote, I tried to pinpoint the moment I decided to become a writer (it wasn't easy). When I was in fourth grade, I remember writing essays about something or other and then reading them to the class as a form of peer revision.

After I read my essay to the class, my teacher took it from me before any of my classmates could comment and gave it the highest grade possible.

Considering I was nine at the time, this was a really big deal for me. It was a really big confidence booster.

I thought "Hey, I'm kinda good at writing. Maybe I should do it more."

I couldn't really tell if my Public Speaking class was interested in that anecdote. It felt personal to share with a room of relative strangers and my nerves started to get the better of me when I didn't get any reaction.

Then, knees shaking, I quietly mentioned "I've written two books and I'm working on a third."

Instant interest.

So, who was the last person (or large group of people) that you told you are a writer? Do it if you haven't lately. I was in a writing slump for days and after my speech I was encouraged to get back to it.

I'm a writer!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Resident Expert: Business Proposition

How long has this Resident Expert thing been going on?

*checks*

Okay, it all started in October last year. I decided to dedicate a post to James McAvoy after I discovered that he was the reason for most of the traffic on my blog. The next day, I found myself linked on forums about him, and declared myself a Resident Expert on, well, mostly hot guys.

Then, McAvoy became dubbed McHotVoice and he became my personal assistant ('cuz, ya know, I have sooooo much office work). He stops by my blog from time to time-

I would stop by more often if you let me.



Ah, here he is now! How are you doing today, McHotVoice?

Er, good.

Excellent!

Listen, Mariah, the real reason I'm buttin' in on this post is because we've got a situation at the office.

Oh? What situation?

All these blokes are hangin' 'round you! I can't get no bloody work done!

*blushes* I see.

I guess I should explain what he's talking about. You see, after I become a RE on someone, let's say Ben Barnes, they hang around me for a while. Of course, Ben is just an example (he's now my official secret celebrity boyfriend, FYI).



McHotVoice has come to me with an idea. He thinks that to get all these guys out of his hair, I should let you guys use them as your personal assistants. I would let them check in on you, encourage you to meet writing goals and other such things. Dara already has Ben as her encouragement.

Please
get Ben out of here! He's so lovesick!

Shush! Go write a memo or something.

So, sound like a good idea guys? Let me know who you want, and I'll be sure to send them your way!

You didn't tell them!

Oh! I'm so forgetful! McHotVoice just started a Twitter to increase his popularity. If you love him, you should follow him.

But not in a stalker-ish way, please.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

my brain hurts

brain can't make sentences today

it apologizes

maybe.



stupid allergies. pressure in skull. must save brain cells. crappy post.

RE tomorrow.

now, screenshots from book review vlog with auto caption.


jean pierre eighteen PM= Team Peeta

and is it going to bring her three branches= and he will grant her three wishes.

youtube's brain hurts as much as mine.

ouchhhhhhh.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Post on Love

This post has been somewhat inspired by Maggie Stiefvater's post on young love, so you should read that first if you haven't already.

I'll wait.

Alright. If you've read Shiver you're most likely in love with Sam. Why do we love him? Sure, he's easy on the eyes, but we also love him because of the way he loves Grace. At least, that's why I love him. Remember the candy shop scene? Sah-woon.

Swooning aside, he and Grace are not only really into each other because of who they are but because they respect each other. Like Maggie says, "It makes me sad that people would settle for less."

Now I will get personal on you. I've never had a boyfriend. I've never been in love.

I can also tell you that, although I have high standards, the reason I haven't met anyone yet is not because I compare guys to what I read in books or see in movies. Although characters like Sam are amazing, it's impossible to compare him to anybody in real life, not because he is an unrealistic character, but because it simply isn't fair. No two people are alike. The things that I find beautiful in someone will never be the same things I find beautiful in someone else.

This brings me (somewhat) to the main point of this post. How do you write love without experience?

If you ask Sarah, my awesome CP, she'll tell you that I'm a hopeless romantic. I'll tell you that that's the truth.

Jane and August from my MS, Jane's Air, are one of those "destined to be" couples. Love is hard for both of them, though. They both come into the relationship with their own baggage; nothing is ever perfect between them. However, despite all their struggles, at the core of their love is understanding and respect. I guess you could say I'm writing all my hopes and dreams into them because that's what I am looking for in love.

So do I think that not having experience in love hurts my writing? Absolutely not. Jane and August are their own people; I feel like I'm just watching most of the time.

With that, I'll leave you with a song that pretty much defines the way I feel about love right now and hope that this post makes an ounce of sense.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Writing is REALLY Like

I made a new vlog over the weekend... hooray!

This one compares what people think writing looks like, and what writing actually looks like. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, just funny.

I hope I'm funny.

It's kinda quiet, so you might need to turn up your volume. Or I might need to talk louder next time. Either way.



Apparently when I'm a fancy writer I have an odd accent and an annoying laugh. Oh well.

Also, changed my profile pic. What do you think? Is this one better than the last one I had (besides the fact that I really need a tan)?

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Website

I'm posting a little bit later than normal today... sorry!

Anyways, today is the big unveiling of my new website! Squee!

I made it in one of my classes (from scratch!) so I'm very excited about it. It's a far cry from the professional websites writers normally have, but it's mine and I love it.

Also, I haven't bought my domain name yet, so it has an obscure URL. Oh well.

Without further ado, here it is!

Yay.

In other news, I filmed a new vlog this weekend, and I should have it up by tomorrow. Here's a preview:



Ooh, fancy.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Super Awesome Contest You Should Enter

Did you know that Shannon Messenger got an agent a little while ago? The same agent that sold the book Shiver?

That's right, Shannon's agent is Laura Rennert! How exciting is that?

And now, to spread the love, Shannon is holding a contest! She's giving away six books, all signed by their authors.

Tricks, signed by Ellen Hopkins.

"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."
Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.
Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story — a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"
A brilliant achievement from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins — who has been called "the bestselling living poet in the country" by mediabistro.com — Tricks is a book that turns you on and repels you at the same time. Just like so much of life.


The Body Finder, signed by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.


The Emerald Tablet, signed by P.J. Hoover

Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each others minds and use their telekinesis to play tricks. In fact, they are getting set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin s mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he s looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace that can only be reached by a teleporter hidden in his hallway. And the summer only gets stranger.
At school, Benjamin discovers that he isn t really human but something called a telegen. It turns out that the powers he always thought made him special only make him normal. But then the mysterious Emerald Tablet chooses him as its champion, and all chances of a uneventful (well, as uneventful as summer school on a hidden, submerged continent can be) disappears.


Fat Cat, signed by Robin Brande

You are what you eat. . . .


Cat smart, sassy, and funny—but thin, she’s not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment—on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living—and eating—like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits.

As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy! If only she weren’t too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice. . . .

This funny and thoughtful novel explores how girls feel about their bodies, and the ways they can best take care of their most precious resource: themselves.


Thirteen Reasons Why, signed by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


Shiver, signed by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl.



In the end, six people are going to win! Why wouldn't you want to enter this contest? Do it!

Congrats again, Shannon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Resident Expert: Zooey Deschanel

This is a Resident Expert first, you guys. We're making history here.

I've become an expert on a female.

Not that I have anything against females. As a female myself, I'm pretty pro-female.

I guess you could call Zooey my girl-crush. I mean, look at her! She's fabulous!



She reminds me so much of my character Jane from Jane's Air. Black hair, blue eyes, quirky. Also, there's the singing. Jane sings, and so does Zooey.

In fact, Zooey's in the band She & Him. I've been listening to them a lot lately.

Here's the video of their new song "In the Sun":




Adorable, right? I wish I had her outfit.

Speaking of outfits, let's talk about "500 Days of Summer". AWESOME outfits. And the movie was good, too.





And yes, I know she's been in other films (most notably "Elf") but 500 was my favorite of her.

Finally, I must mention that she married Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard last year.

I'm crossing my fingers for a collaboration of the two. I love them both so much!



Alright, I guess that's all for now.

What do you think about today's post? Do you like it when I write about my girl-crushes?

Have a good Friday and a Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crazy Awesome Videos. For Reals.

I'm thinking that today is a video watching day. What say you?


This first one proves that I'm a nerd once and for all.



This video is incredibly clever. I love stop motion animation.


So, tomorrow is RE day, and I think I've got a good idea of what to write about. Maybe.