Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15

So, I didn't do any writing over the weekend. I kinda feel like this:



Also, there's the new trailer for "The Hunger Games". I honestly cry every time I watch it. I end up in a sobbing heap in the floor with flailing arms.

I've watched it, like, twenty times.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7

Wow. I spent my weekend writing like crazy to catch up with the NaNoWriMo word count. *is exhausted*

Here's a Wordle of the first 10,000 words of *drumroll*..... HAVEN!



I need to get rid of some "like"s, apparently.

So Haven is a SciFi about a girl named Vela who lives on her father's spaceship, Haven, and works as the mechanic.

Not only is this my first SciFi, it's the first time I've written a MC this young. She's sixteen. I usually go with seventeen or eighteen, so it feels a little weird. Also, it's written in first person! That's right, no more third person for me (right now)!

This book is already testing me in so many ways. It's nice to have a challenge, though, because I feel like I'm learning a lot from it.

Other NaNoers: How goes it?

Have a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

So, remember yesterday's post? I made a whole lot of excuses why I couldn't do NaNoWriMo this year?

Well, I still have those excuses, but I'm doing it anyways! Huzzah!

I've had a SciFi idea since... *checks* May! (sidenote: Why do I get all my ideas in May?) I spent all summer taking notes about it and although I still am not feeling completely ready, I'm going to jump into it like I always do. Why not? NaNoWriMo is addicting.

I seriously doubt I'll actually make it to 50,000 words with this draft, but as long as I'm having fun writing it, it doesn't really matter to me.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's day one and I have to research engines!

Happy Writing and happy November!

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo?

Okay, I feel really bad about this, but I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

My course load at school is really heavy right now (which is the main reason I haven't been blogging/vlogging like I've promised) and I have multiple other writing assignments.

But do I want to do NaNoWriMo? Of course! I love it, despite the stress it tends to induce. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes December 1st and the new story I have as a result. In fact, I do have a new idea for this year, which makes it that much harder not to do it.

I know that if I do it this year I will end up hating myself and writing, and I don't want that to happen.

So, instead, I will hold my own little NaNoRevisMo. The Quiet Calling is needing yet another aggravating round of revisions and I might be able to revise at least half the book. And since it's the book I started during NaNoWriMo 2009, it feels appropriate.

Are any of you participating this year? What genre? How long have you had the idea?

Good luck to all the WriMos this year... I'll be thinking of you as I slog through my homework!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Little Longer...

I promised I would have a vlog up yesterday, but things happened and I couldn't get it done. I also won't be doing it today :(

Hopefully it will be up this weekend, but I can't make any promises less vague than that. If you have any questions for me, this means there's still time to ask them! The more random, the better!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanks, Universe

First, if you haven't asked me a question to answer in video form yet, go do it now! I promise I'll make it fun by wearing crazy hats or something.

Now, for the main event...

This semester, I've become a regular member of the ballroom dance club on my campus and tonight I'm auditioning to be on the competitive team. I'd get to travel and have an official-like partner.

I'm so, so nervous about this audition. Seriously, trying not to make it a full-blown panic.

But last night, I got a pretty awesome fortune cookie that put things into perspective for me (thanks, cosmic-fully helpful cookie!):

"Find release from your concern and have a good time."

This cookie put me in my place. It forced me to remember that even if I don't make the team, I'll still have fun dancing and I'll be happy for my friends that make the team. Take that, panic!

I hope you can go use this little nugget of wisdom in your own life, too!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hey There!

Today was a great day for me to come back to The Internets, because...

...SHANNON MESSENGER SOLD THREE BOOKS!

You should go congratulate her! She's seriously one of the best bloggers around and she really deserves this!



*Ahem* Hello. *shuffles feet*

So, I've been gone for a while. No excuses for me... I missed you guys!

To restart blogging, I've decided to do a video. If you ask me questions, I'll answer them in a video! It can be anything, what I've been up to, writing questions, you can ask me to fangirl over something, whatever floats your boat!

Leave your questions as comments in this post by Friday and I'll hopefully have the video up this time next week.

Huzzah Internets!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HOLY CRAP BAD TASTE IN BOYS IS OUT TODAY!!!

I swear, I blinked once at the beginning of June and the summer has been flying past me. But today I get to slow down because HOLY CRAP... BAD TASTE IN BOYS IS OUT ON SHELVES TODAY!




Sadly, I don't have my copy with me right now, it's at my house. Since I can't read it right now YOU should. Sounds like a good plan.

Carrie Harris is seriously fantabulous you guys. I know her in REAL LIFE, so I can say this and know it's absolutely true. She'll keep you laughing all the time without even trying. Read her book and you'll know it, too.

CONGRATS, Carrie. I'm so happy for you!

And guess what, I have some related swag to give away later this week, so STAY TUNED.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Where in the world is Mariah?

As I write this, I'm sitting in my Georgetown University apartment drinking green tea. It's late, I'm tired, but the Internets call to me.

This summer I'm taking classes and interning, so this may be one of only a handful of posts I have the time to write this summer. But don't worry, I'm thinking of you all as I work on my book in my spare time and write down little anecdotes to share with you all about my adventures in D.C..

I plan on having a contest soon, since I've reached 100 followers and I've got some cool schwag to give away. For now, though, I bid you adieu!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Years Old

Yesterday was my book's, The Quiet Calling, two year birthday. Two years ago was when I first had a dream that would inspire me to think about Jane, the main character, and August, her love interest.

A few days later, this is what I had to say about it:

"I had an epic dream on Saturday night. One that makes me want to write a new book. This might be a challenge, especially because it's a western. I have no clue when it comes to westerns. Also I haven't even finished The Not-So Meet Cute! Stress!!!"

I wasn't ready to write about Jane and August yet. I didn't end up writing about them until November 2009, during National Novel Writing Month. Even then, I still celebrate the day that the idea first came to me, because where's a book without it's beginning?

The Quiet Calling was easy to write, but it's even harder to revise. I love every minute of it, though. Jane and August have been a constant source of happiness throughout the last two years and I can't wait until the day I'm ready to start querying and share their story with everyone.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Contemp or SciFi?

I my last post, I mentioned that one of my goals before the end of this year is to start writing a different book (preferably while I'm querying, if possible) and I'm at a crossroads as to what I should write.

You see, although when I'm actually writing the book I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer, I plan characters way in advance. I generally spend months and months just considering characters and all the small things about them before I ever put them on paper.

In other words, planning time starts now. I have an idea for a contemporary novel with a male character POV and a science fiction* with a female character POV. Decisions, decisions! I've been pretty sucky with contemporary YA in the past and I've never tried scifi, let alone read much, so it will be a difficult decision to say the least.

Am I the only one the writes in multiple genres across YA? I like being able to do a little bit of everything.

Also... any good scifi recommendations? Particularly of the YA persuasion? I read Across the Universe earlier this year and loved it.



* I admit I'm leaning towards scifi right now for reasons such as this one:

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Mariah Got Her Groove Back

Hey guys!

First, thanks for the great birthday wishes. I had a great day!

I took a little while off to relax at the end of the school year, and now I'm gearing up for a summer course. It never ends!

However, I'm not going to let myself do TOO much more relaxing because it's been FOREVER since I've done any writing. I miss it. The next couple weeks I hope to reinforce a stricter writer regimen for myself. I had (and still have) so many writing goals for this year and I need to get off my butt (writer's butt?) to get them accomplished.

So I thought that if I posted some of those goals here, I would HAVE to get them accomplished, right?

1. Get major edits of The Quiet Calling done before I go back to school in August.

2. Also work on my kick-*** query letter (same deadline).

3. QUERY (by November). It's scary and I've never done it before, but it's something I definitely need to do.

4. Work on something new while querying so I don't go completely crazy (I already have a couple of ideas!)



Do you guys have any writerly goals you want to accomplish before the end of the year? Let me know and we can hold each other accountable!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's my BIRTHDAY

That's right. Today's my birthday.

I'm excited, of course, but also extremely tired. I can't remember that last time I got a full night's sleep (or showered, for that matter). Thanks, finals week, for falling on my birthday every year. It makes me feel special.

Well, before I fall asleep in the library while I'm pretending to study, how about we have a little party?

Let's have some cake...






... or maybe not. Way to ruin it, Marie Antoinette.


Oh, I know! Birthday CUPCAKE.



You know what, guys? I'm now TWENTY years old. That feels significant.

McHotVoice was totally prepared to dance with me on this prestigious occasion.



Coldplay's Chris Martin also sang "Yellow" for me this morning... and shyly told me it was written for me all along. How sweet!



The Tenth Doctor just gave me a cheeky little wink, and when I asked him how he felt about me, he said "Does it really need to be said?"



I'm definitely in good company today. Also, I can't forget that YOU'RE here. Thanks for being awesome, bloggy friends! I wouldn't be here in all my bizarre glory without you.

So, are you gonna eat that cupcake? No? *noms*

Monday, May 9, 2011

Birthday Week

My birthday is on Saturday, which officially makes this my Birthday Week* (that's right, it's a proper noun ya'll).

So, what shall I do to celebrate?

Um, a contest maybe?

Yeah that sounds like a good idea. I'll try to define that more tomorrow or Wednesday.

FOR NOW...

... I leave you with this FRAWESOME video (which I find very inspirational for the book I WILL NOT write):

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.





*It also happens to be finals week. We can ignore that.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tumbling

The other day I signed up for Tumblr, mostly out of curiosity, and it's actually pretty fun.

It's like a mini-blog. I can post a picture, or a video, or write down a little thought. It's a nice place to do that sort of thing when I don't have time to write an actual blog post here.

Also, it gives me the opportunity to make gifs of Liz Lemon, from "30 Rock", handing out hot dogs:



So, do you Tumble (is that even the right term)? If so, look me up!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A List of Things

1. Have you seen the book trailer for Maggie Stiefvater's Forever yet? Because you totally should. It puts my stop motion video to shame! Also, the music is so, so perfect:



And there's another version, too.

2. I've just realized that I haven't finished blogging about my trip to China in January. I'll try to do that in the next few weeks.

3. #2 is very effected by the fact that I have finals coming up next week.

4. Also coming up next week? MY BIRTHDAY :)

5. And to end the list, here's something I haven't mentioned to anybody on the blogosphere yet... I'm going to be taking classes at Georgetown this summer. This is a very, VERY big deal for me.


Voila! List complete! Do you have anything to add?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Resident Expert: Tina Fey

Today I'm going to talk about Tina Fey, who I absolutely LOVE.



For those of you that know me personally or has had extended conversation with me, you know that this RE post has been a long time coming. I want to be Tina Fey when I grow up. She's hilarious, beautiful, and has a successful career in a field dominated by men.

A few weeks ago I read her book, Bossypants, and had trouble putting it down.



Here's a review from Amazon:

Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off.

I couldn't say it any better myself.

So, seriously, if you love Tina Fey, funny things, or both, you should read this book ASAP. There are so many jokes and kick-*** moments awaiting you!

Now, because I live to watch 30 Rock, here's a compilation of flashbacks her character, Liz Lemon, has on the show. I could honestly devote an entire month to funny clips from that show, but I'll leave you with this!



Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stop Motion

This video of mine is a year old today, so I thought I'd share it again!



Also, another fave of mine:



Have a great day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Resident Expert: Castle

I know it isn't Friday yet (*cries*), but I'm doing this week's RE post a day early since this weekend is Easter Break for a lot of people and I figure no one will be online tomorrow.

So.

Castle (no, not that kind of castle) is a show I've recently started watching, for Nathan Fillion reasons, and I absolutely love it.




Castle is a show about Richard Castle, a crime writer that follows around Detective Kate Beckett of the NYPD for his book ideas.

Let me just say that I was hesitant about watching this show because I am REALLY not into cop dramas or all the CSI stuff. There's generally too much corny dialog about people dying coming from attractive people that pose next to corpses. Ahem.

I feel like Castle breaks that mold. Yes, Beckett is a homicide detective and the show centers around the murder of the day, but with Castle hanging around the whole dynamic changes. As a writer, he has always has a different perspective of the crime and usually helps piece together information about the "characters" that the detectives miss.

Did I mention that he's a writer? Because I really like that.



In addition to being a New York City celebrity, Castle is a single father and his teenage daughter, Alexis, has a way of helping him see past things that get in his way of solving crimes. I love their dynamic; it's sweet and realistic.

Have you seen the show? Do you love it? Hate it? Want to be in it?

Have a great holiday weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I had a strange dream the other night that I was Kate Middleton.



This was strange because I haven't really been following developments for the royal wedding. I mean, yes, I find a royal wedding exciting, but I think the media is covering it a little bit too much (probably because everyone's remembering Princes Diana's).

One thing I won't complain hearing about, though, is that the couple is getting married in Westminster Abbey.

Did you know that only 15 royal couples have been married there since 960, the year it was founded?

I found out a lot about this trend (or, lack thereof) from a great New York Times Op-Ed piece... if you're a history nerd like me, it's definitely worth the look-through!

So, will YOU be watching the wedding? Buying memorabilia? Reenacting it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Blogging

Oh, lovely bloggers, gather round. I've got stuff to talk about today.

First, while I've slowly been going through old posts and tagging them (in an attempt to make this blog more user friendly) I've noticed just how many posts I have.

There are lots.

Most of them are from 2009, when I first started blogging. I was seventeen, I was writing a book, and I generally didn't have anything worthwhile to talk about. My belief was that when one has a blog, one must blog EVERY DAY without putting real thought into it.

Well.

Lately, I've been feeling more and more distanced from blogging. The shine has worn off. There simply isn't enough time for me to write anything decent AND comment on other blogs (Hmm... should we keep a running tally of how many times I use the word blog in this post? Blog blog blog blergh blah).

I used to feel sorry for myself about it. Then I thought "Mariah, there are so many things out in this world, and you're concerned about your blog schedule? Really? (with Seth and Amy)"

Anyways, from now on I'm going to try blogging a few times a week (if possible) about things I care about, things that matter. Don't be surprised if there is a lack of hot men on Fridays (McHotVoice will always be around, though). I'll also only post when I know I'll have time to go comment on and view other blogs.

The blogging community I've become a part of over the time I've been online is and has been incredible. I'm sure my enamor for the Interwebs will return very shortly when there's less on my mind and more time to enjoy what I love... blogging!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

So Many Mariahs

Do you ever search for yourself on Google?

Because when I do, I'm the third entry. This blog is the third entry, actually. The fourth entry is now mariahirvin.com, a domain I bought for the Web Publishing class I'm in right now (So, basically don't mind any of it if you happen to look at it. There's nothing there yet.).

I also have a WordPress blog I created for school, but that doesn't come up anywhere. Embarrassingly, a lot of high school cross country and track results still come up with my name. And a lot of Mariah Carey.

And it's pretty much the same for an image search. A few photos of me, millions of Mariah Carey. For a long time, this was the first photo to come up:



I think it's hilarious. Really, you should be afraid that the resemblance is so uncanny.

Most people don't get to this blog looking for me, but I find the Mariahs above me on Google annoying, because what if someone was looking for me specifically (and not in a creepy way)?

Anybody else in the same boat?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gettin' Organized

So, I have a little time on my hands today and I've decided to go through and start to FINALLY add tags to my posts. I don't know why I haven't really used tags, especially since it will help you lovely blog readers find your way more easily.

Also, a couple weeks ago I added a contact page to the top of my blog. Feel free to use it!

Question of the day: How important do you think it is to keep your blog organized?



UPDATE @ 2:30: Holy crap!!! How many posts do I have?!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Resident Expert: Hugh Jackman

First of all, let me say April Fools!

I'm not saying it at anything in particular. Today is still RE day.

I've never been good with practical jokes.

Anywho, HUGH JACKMAN. Yes?

Australian and all around good-looking? Yes!



I've just recently seen all the X-Men movies (I'll admit it's because I want to see the new one, First Class because our very own McHotVoice will be in it) and WOW is Wolverine a bad***.



What can I say? I've always been drawn to the dark, mysterious character who doesn't know what to fight for *swoon*

I read that there's supposed to be another Wolverine movie, called Wolverine and that's coming out next year.

And I absolutely loved him in Australia, probably because I happen to be writing a book about cowboys <3

Cowboys are hot. Evidence:



This is my fave video of him (besides this one). Tea makes him dance.




And that's it for this week's Resident Expert! I have to leave before McHotVoice gets too jealous.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break Is Always Too Short

That's right. Spring Break is over.

*cries*

It was nice to go home and relax for awhile, and now it's time for me to dive headfirst back into schoolwork and other college-y things.

BUT... here are some awesome things from when I was away from the blogosphere:

1. I found a great used books bookstore as I was driving home, and it turned out the store was closing forever the very next day. Every book was being sold for twenty-five cents. I bought 51.

2. My local Blockbuster is closing. All the movies there were being sold for next to nothing, so in addition to having waaaaaay too many books in my dorm room I now have waaaaay too many DVDs. *fist pump*

3. I'm just now realizing that things that are awesome for me involve stores closing and people losing jobs. This sucks.

4. I keep having futuristic dreams. My subconscious has been very overactive.

5. I went shopping and bought three new dresses for this spring/summer. I LOVE dresses. And, only one of them is pink (I'm trying to incorporate more colors into my wardrobe!).

6. And, last bit of big news, I am now the proud owner of a MacBook Pro. It's so shiny (and pink)!



So, how have you been lately?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Resident Expert: Firefly



Firefly is one of those WHY DID IT GET CANCELLED?!?!?! kind of shows.

I've only recently started watching it (the whole one season, *sob*) and I'm soooooo hooked.

It's a futuristic scifi show... here's the description:

"Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small, spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them."



I absolutely love the characters on the show and the storyline in every episode. It's funny, dramatic, and easily developed a following, but it wasn't enough to keep it on the air. As a broadcast major, I understand why shows have to get canceled, but that doesn't mean that I don't hate when it happens.

I started watching the show because I've recently become a huge buff for Joss Whedon, the show's creator. Seriously, he's crazy-talented.

Anyways, have you ever seen Firefly? Have any of your favorite shows been canceled before their time?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Search Engine Don't Lie

Do you ever look to see what people are searching for when they find your blog?

Most recently, my favorite has been "kittins with green mustashes". You just can't make that stuff up!



Perhaps I shall now become an expert on mustaches. It's clearly what the people want! I'm allergic to cats, so that's definitely not going to happen.

My top search, and someone that I'm an expert on? Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Next, Tim Riggins, a character I actually wrote about by request, rather than actually knowing anything about him (I find it funny that it now brings so many people to my blog).

Then, Constantly Risking Absurdity, because besides being the title of my blog it's also a poem.

Then come MY FAVES... Eoin Macken and Ben Barnes!

I think it's safe to say that the searchers of the Internets come to me for the attractive menfolk. And mustaches.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh, hello.

Hi! I think I remember you. I haven't been away from my blog for a reaaaalllly long time, have I?

Have you done something with your hair? You look nice.

You know what? I think I've lost an hour recently. Did that happen to anyone else? I usually keep all my hours in my pocket, but one slipped out Sunday and sneaked back in later. We haven't been on speaking terms since.

I'm in the middle of midterm madness right now. Luckily, that means that Spring Break is right around the corner!

In other news, my subconscious is trying to tell me to write a futuristic book. Make it stop! Maybe a nicely worded email from YOU would convince it to back down.

Yeah, it definitely would. Also, my subconscious doesn't get much mail so I'm sure it would give it some self-esteem.

Wait... where am I again? Could you be so kind as to point me to the exit?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Holding On and Letting Go

Lately, I've been battling with the novel I started during National Novel Writing Month last year, Half A Brother (the main word being STARTED... I made it to 50,000 but it's a stand alone fantasy and has to be waaaaay longer than that).

I'm stuck in a writing rut. Don't get me wrong, I love the story and the characters, but recently I can't get anything to click like it should, like it would if I'd done more planning before writing it.

So far as a writer, I've been one that won't let go of something once I've started it. It's been difficult for me to decide, but I know that I need to let go of Half a Brother for a little while... tearing it apart in frustration isn't doing either of us any good.

As soon as I made the conscious decision to move on, I was flooded with new ideas. It's been SO LONG since that's happened. You may call it a coincidence, but for me it reaffirms the part of me that wants to smother the book to death to just LET. IT. GO.

It's actually kind of sad to think about how this has been weighing me down lately, but I am excited to get back into edits of The Quiet Calling (and maybe start something new). Because TQC is THE ONE. I've known it since I started it. And Half a Brother hasn't lived up to that yet, no matter how much I want it to.

So, has anyone else faced a decision like this, or am I the only one that holds on to things a little too tightly?

Monday, March 7, 2011

BACK UP YOUR FILES

Dear writers (and anyone that uses a computer, for that matter),

Remember to back up your files, especially those novel drafts. Email them to yourself or save them on a flash drive... it only takes a few minutes. Do it often. Do it now!



This PSA brought to you by the eight hours Mariah was freaking out over a virus trying to gobble up everything she's ever written in her life.*

*Don't worry, I managed to save everything.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Three Seconds of Fame

At my school, Elon University, I work on a comedy sketch show called "Elon Tonight". I kind of do a lot of the odd jobs, and for our latest episode, I got to be an extra.

I have a line and everything, which was surprising because I definitely can't act!

Anyways, my big moment is from 1:04 to 1:07 AND I'm on the thumbnail.



*is famous*

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Release Day!

Today is The Liar Society release day. Congrats, Lisa and Laura Roecker!

Lisa and Laura are funny, sweet, and trend-setting YA authors/bloggers. I couldn't be more happy for them today! I even dyed my hair pink:




Well, sort of. But don't I look good?

Here's a synopsis of the book from Amazon:

Kate Lowry's best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate's more than a little confused.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
Subject: (no subject)
Kate,
I'm here... sort of.
Find Cameron. He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell. They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder...





Congrats again, Lisa and Laura. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Very Happy Monday To You!

I'm late posting today, so let's make a list!

1. I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Breathless Reads Book Tour in Raleigh on Friday night with one of my best friends. Not only did I get some sweet, signed books, but I got to listen to five amazing authors talk about writing! Pinch me, am I dreaming? Sadly, I didn't take any photos. Maybe it WAS a dream, after all.

2. Saturday night I drank milkshakes and watched Disney movies with another best friend.

3. Last night, Oscar night, another best friend had an awesome Oscar party. I went as the white swan and she went as the black swan from "Black Swan". If I can find photos of that, I might post them soon!

4. COLIN FIRTH WON BEST ACTOR. Thank goodness.

5. I thought I was going to be excited about Lady Gaga's new music video for "Born This Way"... but it ended up weirding me out.



How was YOUR weekend?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Resident Expert: The Oscars

It's that time of year again, folks.

THE OSCARS!

I'm REALLY excited about James Franco hosting (and Anne Hathaway)... I just don't know if I'd rather have him or Colin Firth win for Best Actor. Decisions, decisions.

Well, if I ever win an Oscar, I'll be completely prepared because I've been practicing my speech for as long as I can remember.

But, before you get to the speech, you have to pick out the dress (and presumably be nominated after performing above and beyond expectations in a film, blah blah blah) you'll wear. I'm in LOVE with Olivia Wilde's dress from this year's Golden Globes. LOVE.



When you've got the perfect outfit, it's easier to make your speech (in my opinion).

Here's the basic formula:

1. Thank your family.
2. Thank the Academy.
3. If you wish, thank your deity of choice.
4. Thank the cast and crew.
5. If you're classy, compliment the other nominees.
6. If you're character was a real person, thank them (*cough cough*Julia Roberts
5. Share an anecdote.
7. If you haven't been cut off, throw in a few Oscar over-the-head victory shots and laugh/cry.
8. But if your speech is short, make it energetic.


I made McHotVoice promise to thank me when he wins his first Oscar.

Of course, even with the formula, there's always the possibility of blubbering like Jennifer Hudson. I still think she had a great speech, though, and even with my preparations I would probably be a little shaky!

Who do you want to win an award this year? What would you say in your acceptance speech?

Happy Awards season, ya'll!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Do You Watch?

I'm now officially a Broadcast Journalism major, and as such I've been told to watch lots of television. I mean LOTS. It's hard to, sometimes, because I have such a busy schedule, and when I do I get a little TOO addicted!

I've been learning a lot about programming and audiences and such, and it's made me start to wonder... what do YOU watch? Are you like me and don't have that much time to do it? Do you watch your favorite shows live or on tape? Or even online? What channels do you normally watch, and what times do you watch them?

Oh, curiosity :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Literal Trailers

Not much goin' on over here today... but I thought I'd share some of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time, so without further ado...





If I told you how many times I've watched these, it would be embarrassing.

Let's just say I can sing both songs.

EDIT: For some reasons I can't get these videos any smaller... you'll probably have to click through to YouTube to see the whole thing. Sorry!

Monday, February 21, 2011

China, Part Three (In Which I Get Lost and Later Stuck in Snow)

Oh, China. It's takin' me FOREVER to write 'bout you, but I won't quit you now.

Last time, on Mariah's Incredible Journey, we visited Xi'an and Chengdu. Jon Arnston had a great question for me, which I will now answer:

"Just curious, how were you received among the different Chinese people you encountered?"

Whoa, I had to write a paper on this very topic!

The Chinese treat foreigners very well. The only time I felt uncomfortable was when I was shopping in some of the markets, but it wasn't necessarily that I was a target... anyone that something to sell sold it hardcore. Seriously, I don't recommend getting trapped between two ladies trying to sell you shoes. *shudder*

Several times, being a foreigner actually made me a celebrity of sorts. People would see my blond hair, or hear me speak English and immediately ask "Can I take a photo with you?" I would show you some, but I didn't get any on my camera :(

I met one very nice woman... wait, hold on... I'll tell you that bit in a moment.

Okay, so our next stop is Lijiang. Yay Lijiang!

This is farther West, and it's a city in Yunnan Province (here's a map):



It's in a valley between a range of mountains, the tallest being the end of the Himalayan Mountains, so the altitude was a little higher than I was used to. It turned out alright, though, because it made our time there warmer!

Most of the things we got to see were natural (mountains, lakes, etc.), but the town we stayed in, Shuhe old town, was pretty active. It's a real tourist destination because, besides the multitude of shops, it's still relatively traditional compared to bigger cities like Beijing and Shanghai.



That isn't my photo, but isn't that the China you'd think China looks like?

The people native to the region, the Naxi, were very kind. I won't talk about them too much, so I can continue on, but their culture is pretty interesting, so you should look them up if you get the chance.

I visited Jade Dragon Snow Mountain...



... and it's glacier park...





... and Black Dragon Pool.



In short, Lijiang was one of my favorite places of the entire trip.

Next we went to Shangri-la, which was as close to Tibet as we would go. We took a bus there (we flew the entire rest of the time) and on the way stopped to see Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge.

It was a long, exhausting hike to the top of the mountain to see the gorge, but the view was definitely worth it!



On the way down, I was with one of my professors instead of the 29 other people on the trip and, long story short, we got lost! There was a little town at the bottom of the mountain and a eight hour (or half hour car ride down really windy roads) hike back to civilization. Luckily, I speak Chinese, and there was a wonderful woman out sweeping the path to her house that could tell us where to go.

And thankfully I found my way back to civilization, or I would've been stuck here:



We finally made it all the way to Shangri-la (where the altitude just about killed all of us) and were able to see Songzanlin Monastery, a huge, beautiful Tibetan Buddhism Monastery.



It started snowing when we were at the monastery and we couldn't leave the following day because it closed down the airport. We missed a day in Kunming, which is where I'll pick up next time I blog about China.

Whew! If you've made it to the end of this post, I congratulate you for surviving my ramblings (the funny thing is that I cut sooooo much out!).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Resident Expert: Alex Pettyfer

Happy Friday!

I've been working on my next China post, but it's kinda long and I thought everyone could use some nice, abtastic photos to carry you into the weekend.

So, Alex Pettyfer. Mother was a model, father was an actor. English. Hasn't been in too many movies yet, but he's now in "I Am Number Four" (released today), based on the book, and in the soon-to-be released (March, I think) "Beastly", also based on a book.

And he's GORGEOUS.





Personally, I usually prefer the tall, dark, and handsome type to the blonde type, but MMMHMMHESFINE. Also, he's what I imagine the main character from my recent National Novel Writing Month book looks like.

That totally gives me permission to stare at him all day, right?



Anyways, here's an "I Am Number Four" trailer. Has anyone read the book? I was under the impression it was an MG with a younger MC. Probably just changed for Hollywood!



I think I shall see this movie.

So what about you? Do you have any characters, male or otherwise, that you think of when you see certain actors/celebrities?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Romance?!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I can't think of romantic things at the moment, just that Maggie Stiefvater will be vlogging the first few pages of Forever at 12 EST today on her Facebook page. [insert excited sounds here]

Also, this new Adele song is stuck in my head. Although it's FANTASTIC, it's about a break up.



THAT VOICE. Can I be Adele, for like, five minutes please?

There is ONE thing that I can do for ya'll (Yes, I said ya'll. I'm in the South now and eat way too much fried chicken while I say it.) and that is post an adorable panda video, since everyone has been loving the panda parts of my China trip.

I suggest you watch it without volume because the quality is really bad, but also because I say embarrassing things like "Hey baby!" and "Look at the panda butt!"




Now I'll go polish off my jar of Nutella in a true Valentine's celebration.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Like my new look?

I'll continue China Week next week (and possibly change it to China Fortnight).

Until then, look at the new header I made! Yay! I was getting bored with my old one, so I drew this one up. I totally jump off things with only an umbrella to keep me alive. TOTALLY.

I'll probably be adding a few more changes in the next week, so stay tuned!

Also, Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

China, Part Two (In Which I Go More Places and See More Things)

Welcome back to China week. Yup, it's a thing (I just decided it. No vetoes allowed).

Our next stop is Xi'an, west of Beijing, and China's former capital city for thousands of years spanning the rule of some of the most important dynasties (Qin, Han, Tang, Zhou, to name a few).

Whereas Beijing was focused largely on modernization (although many historical sites remain) Xi'an felt like a city stuck between the two worlds of technology and tradition. The city wall remains intact, one of the only ones left in China from imperial times.

One of the more well-known places I saw while there was the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor, the location of the Terracotta Warriors.



The Terracotta Warriors were found in 1974 when a farmer was trying to dig a well. He started digging up pieces of terracotta!

They were originally built in 210 BC and each warrior is unique, built to resemble someone in the emperor's army. Each is a little bigger than life size (about six to six and half feet) and were painted as well. The army was destroyed by the emperor's enemies after his death; they were all set on fire and smashed. Archeologists have been putting them back together, but out of over 8,000 estimated warriors most remain buried.

This photo came out a little blurry, but you can still see the different faces of each warrior:



I also visited the Wild Goose Pagoda...



... where I had a great view of the city.



And yes, it was quite smoggy.

Next, I went to Chengdu, home of spicy food and...

... PANDAS!

My afore-posted photo with a year old panda:



And another panda just being adorable, as they tend to do from time to time:



I also saw the world's biggest Buddha while I was in Chengdu... the Leshan Buddha:



It took 90 years to carve, and I didn't even reach to the top of its toes!

And we shall continue tomorrow.

If you have any specific questions to ask me about anything, don't be afraid to ask!

Monday, February 7, 2011

CHINA, PART ONE

Now that I'm somewhat settled back at school again, I shall commence my sharing!

I was in China for 22 days so right now I'm sitting at my computer and brain is saying "Holy BLEEP how will you even BEGIN to blog about this?"

(Later)

Okay, I've got a plan.* Let's go!

First, I should mention the flight from JFK to Beijing is 13 hours. I managed to read two books and get minimal sleep. Yay! (In parentheses news, Matched is a great book).

My first day in Beijing I got to see Tienanmen Square...



... the Temple of Heaven (a Daoist temple)...



... and the Forbidden City...



So, as far as first days in China go, I'd consider this a pretty great one. My mind was completely blown away (a feeling that still lingers even now) by everything from the history, to the architecture, to the people I saw. At the Temple of Heaven, for example, there was a park where people went to practice Tai Chi and play games. It was such a fun place and such a community place, which is what surprised me the most.

The next day I went to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Venues to see the Water Cube (swimming) and the Bird's Nest (track and field).







I really wanted to run around the track like Usain Bolt, but the track was covered with fake snow and transformed in to a children play area. And no, I didn't play in it (even though I wanted to).

The same day I also got to climb the Great Wall!

Here I am, victory-style:



It was a freezing, windy day (hence the multiple jackets) but I wouldn't have traded it for the world (nor the entire trip, for that matter).

I think I'm going to pause this until tomorrow... I promise I'll be back!





*My plan is to write/show photos of the highlights of the trip, probably for the rest of the week. I'm going to try to post more photos on my Flikr account sometime soon as well, so I'll keep ya'll updated on that front, too.