Monday, June 28, 2010

In Which Mariah Meets Awesome Authors

Last Thursday I had the most incredible opportunity. I went to a nice little bookstore, Politics and Prose, in Washington, DC, and met John Green and David Levithan!!!

The coauthors of Will Grayson, Will Grayson were there to read from the book, answer questions, and sign books.

As some of you may remember, I absolutely love Will Grayson, Will Grayson, so seeing them was a dream come true!

The bookstore was crowded with crazy tweens screaming "OMGit'sJohnGreen!" (oh wait, that's me), but everyone there was super nice and it really felt like a community. Here's a picture of the crowd from the writer's table (as taken by John):



See? Crowded. Also, floor-sitting and 98-degrees-sweating. It was all worth it, though!

John and David were funny, thoughtful, and passionate as they answered questions, some of which were silly, and others were ones I would've asked myself. For example, one woman asked about both of their writing processes; John likes to write a lot and then cut it all out and rewrite later, whereas David tries to get it right the first time.

They also said some really interesting things about the book, but I don't want to give anything away for anyone who hasn't read it.

On to the photos!


David and John signing books.



Me (on the far right) waiting in line.



Talking to David and John! I couldn't manage to get my face in the photo, so you'll just have to believe that it's me.


Oh, and one last photo.



Gasp! That's a copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson signed by John Green and David Levithan, and IT'S FOR YOU!!!

Well, assuming that you win it, that is.

That's right, it's contest time! Enter to win a signed copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson!

Here be the rules:

Contestants will earn points, which is the number of times a contestant's name will be entered into the drawing. The winner will be randomly chosen from the drawing, so the more points a contestant has the better his/her chances of winning will be.

Here's how to get points:

-new follower (+1)
-old follower (+2)
-Tweet it (and use my name, @mariahirvin, at the end so I can track it) (+2)
-Blog post (and the link) (+5)
-Link in blog sidebar (+3)

Leave a comment with your number of points (be honest!) by Thursday, June 1st, at 8:00 PM Eastern, along with questions about the contest if you have them. Sorry, U.S. entries only because I'm too poor to ship outside the U.S.!

Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Handwriting

Dara tagged me in a cool handwriting meme a little while ago, so I had to write out most of my blog post on paper! Ker-azy.

Here are the things I had to write:

1. Name/Blog Name.
2. Right handed, left handed or both?
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
CRAB
HUMOR
KALEIDOSCOPE
PAJAMAS
GAZILLION
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag 7 people.
9. Any special note or drawing?


My scanner is being temperamental, so hopefully you guys can read this from my web cam!



The very top is hard to read, but it's number nine, drawing of my pen, and it says "my pen (honestly, this drawing makes it look like an earthworm)". Ya know, in case you were wondering.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Resident Expert: James Marsden

It's been a while since I've done a Resident Expert post... shame on me!

I feel like "27 Dresses" has been on TV a zillion times in the past week, so, naturally, I've decided to become an expert on James Marsden.



Everyone say hello to James!

Man, this guy has been in everything! "Superman Returns", "Hairspray", "The Notebook", "Enchanted", and soon to come... "Enchanted 2"! How exciting is that?!

The first movie I remember seeing him in was "Sugar and Spice".



That movie was hilarious in every corny way possible. I think the whole thing is on YouTube, if you've never seen it!

Hmm... I think I'm just going to post some more pics now. Enjoy and have a good weekend!





Monday, June 14, 2010

Vlog Ideas, Anyone?

I've been wanting to post a new vlog for a while now but I'm lacking good ideas. The "How to Vlog" vlog is in the works, but I need other ideas, too! What do you guys want to see me do? Any requests?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Editing: The Most Important Part

I've been working a lot on editing/revising lately, and it really is the most important step in writing.

It even is in movie making. Take this Star Wars clip, for example. Once it's edited, it takes on a whole new meaning.



Teehee.

In one of my film classes this past year, we talked about not only the significance of editing, but who does the editing. Directors/producers/writers NEVER EVER EVER edit film (unless maybe they can't afford to hire an editor, but in that case they're probably making a low budget documentary or something to that effect). This is because they are never able to distance themselves from the piece of work; all they see in a clip is how long it took the actor to cooperate, or how much money they paid to get a certain lighting effect. An editor will see the clip and, if it doesn't aid the story of the movie, they'll cut it without a second thought.

That's why, in writing, it's so important to have betas, or critique partners, or whatever you like to call them. A good beta will tell you the honest truth about your writing so that it's stronger and more effective.

In conclusion: yay for editing and betas! My betas make my book kick butt.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON

About a week ago I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan and I it's definitely being added to the list of my favorite books of all time.



Here's a synopsis:

Will Grayson's best friend since fifth grade, nicknamed Tiny Cooper, is bigger than life in terms of his physical stature and his personality—the "world's largest person who is really, really gay." Tiny, while seeking the boy of his dreams, has been through the trauma of myriad short-lived romantic relationships and Will has supported him each time his heart is broken. Now, Tiny decides it's Will's turn. At first, Will resents Tiny's matchmaking efforts, but then an amazing coincidence that stems from it brings a new person into their lives. It's another teen named Will Grayson, who is sad and depressed, and captures Tiny's heart. While these and other relationships are connecting, intersecting, and eventually changing, Tiny writes and produces an autobiographical high school musical extravaganza that is really about life. On the night it premiers, everything comes full circle and further validates the presence of the Will Graysons. Based on the premises that "love is tied to truth" and "being friends, that's just something you are," this powerful, thought-provoking, funny, moving, and unique plot is irresistible. Told in alternating chapters from each Will Grayson's point of view (one in lower case, effectively individualizing identities), complete with honest language, interesting characters, and a heartfelt, gritty edge, this quirky yet down-to-earth collaboration by two master YA storytellers will keep readers turning pages.

I loved so many things about this book. First, that it was written by two AMAZING authors. John and David wrote alternating chapters, each as one of the Will Graysons, and it was still easy to tell which author was which if you've read any of their other work.

Second, holy crap the writing is sooooo good. So cohesive. So brilliant.

Third, on the grander scale of things, they are really able to boil a character down to what defines them and how that effects the way they see things. Sure, this is a goal of any writing, but the way they do this, especially John Green, is just so dang beautiful.

It's difficult for me to express how much I love this book, so I'm going to recommend you read this for yourself. Seriously, this is a book EVERYONE should read. It's a requirement for life, in my opinion.

Monday, June 7, 2010

W.I.B.I.J?

Last Wednesday (my last blog post) I was featured on the blog Where In The Blogosphere Is Jon? where every week Jon, Heather, and Tina create a scavenger hunt across the blogosphere and I was one of the clues!

she'll CONSTANTLY amaze you with word and with style
she's dasaloff and beautiful as she walks the long mile
towards RISKING it all, towards hope at it's best
Giving ABSURDITY a try when all else has rest.
Her posts are so vivid; they all come alive
like her classes on Making A book tRailer jIve.
she shows us cute guys and motion thAt's stopped
When you hop to her blog, you'll find yourself rocked!


Honestly, how dasaloff is that?

W.I.B.I.J? is an amazing way to meet new bloggers and find writing resources. I urge you all to play! I've only played once (the first game ever) but then I picked up another class and didn't have the chance anymore. Now that it's summer, I hope I'll see you guys there!

Thanks again for featuring me as a perky bloggger, W.I.B.I.J?! I'm truly flattered to be considered perky.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My first attempt at a novel

Okay, here it is. Day 2 of embarrassing myself. It's all for posterity, really.

I'm pretty sure I was 12 when I started my first attempt at a novel, but I can't be absolutely positive because it isn't dated. Isn't it sad to think I was only 12 7 years ago and I can't remember? My poor brain is failing me.

So, this "novel" is titled "Story (novel, really) That's Unnamed". Yup. It's 42 composition notebook pages long, which I think is pretty good, considering how awful it was.

Here's a brief synopsis: Shon, a 13-year-old 8th grader, has a crush on this girl Natalia and they end up being partnered for a school project. Little does he know, his best friend and neighbor, Linda, likes him. Natalia pretends to go out with Shon to get a better grade on the project, and when Linda tries to warn him about her, he yells at Linda. Not-so surprisingly, Linda is right. Natalia is really going out with Shon's friend Max. Drama.

I remember how proud I was of my little "novel". Rereading it now, I can't help but laugh at it's predictability and downright cheesiness. I also wonder why I chose to write in a teenage boy's perspective, especially because I didn't know anything about teenage boys. This paragraph makes me laugh incredibly hard:

The boys discussed their classes, new video games, girls, and cars before lunch was over.

If you didn't laugh at that, I'm slightly concerned.

Later, Shon brags about Natalia to his friends, saying "I soooooo kissed her. More than once."

Crazily enough, my next two novel attempts were from the perspective of teenage boys as well. I wasn't ready for that, though. Recently, I've actually been brainstorming something new about a teenage boy. Maybe it will happen someday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Poetry from when I was 12

So today is Day 1 of me embarrassing myself by sharing things I wrote when I was younger.

When I started writing in earnest, I was 12 and I thought I was excellent at writing poetry. I wrote three poetry "books" (8 poems per book) on lined paper. And there were illustrations, but I won't be sharing any of those today!

My first collection, entitled Polka-dots, was rather silly. Here's the least embarrassing poem I could find:

Hear those birds singing

On a beautiful calm day?


They are calling you


To go out and play.


Whisper with the trees


They are very wise


Leap with the frogs


As they catch their flies.


Prance with the rabbits


And let them nibble on clover.


Even play with a dog


Named Rover.


It's a beautiful spring day.


Can you feel it?


Too nice outside


To just sit.


The next collection, Nearby, went for a more melodramatic approach:

I went there,

But you never came.


Sat outside in the


Pouring rain.


Waiting for you to come,


But you didn't.


I am so hurt


Inside.


You don't know


How I feel.


You feel nothing.


This is real.


Oh gawd. 12-year-old self was so lame. "You feel nothing. This is real." Soooooooo cool.

My last collection, Stardust, was inspired by everyday things. I wrote this poem, "Recorder", while my sister tortured my ears:


Oh, instrument, how you screech,


paining your ears and mine.


Always being heard


during quiet times.


Yet how you sound lovely


when you are mastered by your player,


and loved by the audience.


Keeping the beat, tempo, and


sound


as you play over


harmonious voices.


Needless to say, I gave up my dream of being a poet. Tomorrow, I share my first attempt at a novel!