Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nostalgia Permeates the Air

It's been a while. 

I don't even think I still remember how to blog--what is blogging, even? It's sort of like a digital diary, maybe, but I can't seem to fathom how it's gotten so popular; how my blog can be lost in the millions and millions of other blogs, never to make its real appearance amongst the ocean of others. Of course, I knew this is what was going to happen when I started this blog (nostalgia has been hitting me hard these past couple of posts), and it doesn't bother me. If it did, I would shut this business down and get a Wordpress account or something.

It's also been a year. A year since I finished a real novel... and yet, did you know that I wrote 200K words this year? That is 75K more than last year, but yet I didn't finish a thing. 

Sometimes I stare at dust particles in the light, watch them float along in the stagnant air, and I think about how I don't need to finish anything, because of the inevitability of the end of humanity. One day everything that humans did will be forgotten, like the dust in the light, and humans will have nothing to show for themselves that they did something worth doing in their time on earth (The Fault in Our Stars is a splendid book, and you should read it).

I also spend quite a lot of time thinking about adventure. I read books and watch movies and think, I want to go on an adventure. But I can't because I am stuck in the monotony of everyday, normal life (also, I am lazy and poor, which is not a good combination for going on adventures). Only in books and movies and tv shows do people get to have adventures, where they meet extraordinary people and fall in love and save the world--over and over again. 

Despite the inevitable end of humanity, I think we write stuff because we can't go on the adventures we really want to go on. We write about space ships and vampires and volcanoes and hobbits because we want to have a little slice of adventure to suck on as we continue our normal lives. 

But then I also wonder about the writers who write about normal stuff, like... books about affairs, say. What do they want out of writing that? What is their ultimate goal in writing? To find this answer, I had to formulate things down to a simple formula:


 Or, maybe I'm over-thinking things a bit. What if it's simpler than that? What if the writing portion itself is the adventure they want to have? Perhaps it's not the subject itself but the words. The words, bubbled down, line by line. Maybe it's the fingers flying across the keyboard that's the thrill of writing for them (thrill=adventure).

Maybe it's the adventure of having other people read your writing. When The Casual Vacancy came out this September, JK Rowling released it in confidence that a lot of people were going to hate it. But also, perhaps a lot of people would love it. Did she release it with fear? Undoubtedly so (fear=adventure). 

I don't think that people would continue writing fiction if it weren't fun. There will always be a demand for it, right up until the end of humanity--and it's not like we write for aliens. We write for ourselves, perhaps the most selfish act because no matter how kind and giving we are, we will always be selfish because we make stuff for us. For humans.

Why else would we spend so many hours crafting stories and tvs and houses? We make them for humans. We are selfish, despite what we think.

But I still want to go on an adventure.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I'm not a huge fan of comics. Sure, I'm a huge fan of the Avengers, and to some extent everyone outside of Joss Whedon's brilliant, funny movie. But that doesn't mean I like the comics. I don't think I've even ever laid my hands on a copy, though I love the Avengers. 

Recently I've become hooked on a web comic by Noelle Stevenson. It's called Nimona, and it's about a shape-shifting girl who basically forces the most villainous villain around to accept her as his squire (or apprentice, whatever). I like it because while it's set in the medieval ages, there are also lots of modern twists, like genetically modified apples, chemistry, coke cans, and mechanical arms.

Nimona and Blackheart (the villain) are out to prove that the good guys aren't so good after all. They come up with schemes and plans, and then it's fun to see them act them out. Sometimes Nimona doesn't agree with Blackheart--okay, all of the time.

Nimona really likes explosions, and she's not afraid of killing people, either. The thing that sets the two villains apart is that while she really wants to be evil just so she can break all of the rules and set off explosions (and kill people), Blackheart plays by "rules". He disapproves of killing people, and wants to be as stealthy as possible. Basically he's just into villainy to prove a point, which is respectable.

One of the other main characters is a man named Ambrosius Goldenloin. He's on the side of the "good guys", and is Blackheart's nemesis. He acts very self-aware of his own gorgeousness, and is the face of the good guy's corporation. 


 Blackheart and Ambrosius used to be best friends, and were fierce protectors of the law, until Ambrosius betrayed him after a jousting match. After losing his arm, I guess it's pretty obvious that Blackheart hates him. However, they're still in it for a good time, and they save each other's lives on multiple occasions (usually after Nimona blows stuff up). It sounds as though they aren't true nemesis, are they?

None of the characters are really easy to hate, and though I root more for Nimona's side, I do like Ambrosius and I hope he ends up with a decently happy ending by the end of the comic. There really is not anything I dislike about this project; I approve of most of Nimona's choices (okay, the ones that don't involve killing), and Blackheart is adorable at times.

I've never read a comic before where we get to go by the villain's perspective, and that as readers we are all supposed to root for the bad guy--if they are bad guys, after all. It's a nice change. 

You can read the comic here, if you're interested in it after this post. Updates occur every Tuesday and Thursday, and on special occasions there are sometimes three panels a week. So yay!

All artwork by the amazing Noelle Stevenson. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bits and Pieces: December

Picture/Photo Find:

Something I Did: 

Today my mom and I went to the vet with a sick cat. His name is Oliver, and I did introduce him on the blog in the very first post, because I am very obsessive over cats and I think I'd established the fact that the blog was going to be about cats.

Anyway, it appears as though he got an infection in his eye, and it had gotten out of control over the weekend because the vet wasn't open. When the doctor looked at him he also felt around his stomach (he squeezed my cat) and said that there was something off with his left kidney also. Over the course of the past couple months Oliver has been gradually losing weight, but up until this weekend he had been as active as an old cat can be. Last week I played with him and a length of string. 

The vet also concluded that he was severely dehydrated, and they're keeping him overnight so they can clear up his eye infection and pump some liquid into him. 

I'll keep you guys posted if I can, but as things are it's not looking good for Oliver. They think that something might be seriously wrong with his kidney; he said it could be cancer. 


^^ The text above is from yesterday. This morning the vet had to put Oliver to sleep, because his kidneys had flat-out failed. We get to have a funeral later on today.

A Writer Thing:

I cannot think of a single thing that I did recently in lieu of writing that is noteworthy. Things have been going steady, much like my sister Hope's relationship. My writer friends are all good it seems--correct me if I'm wrong--and I don't have anything to say about them right now (of course this makes me sound like I have a problem with my writer friends. I don't, sorry).

Maybe I'll just share a quote from one of the stories I'm reading on Figment right now, and leave it at that.

I’d seen it before at meal halls—boy sitting and girl in her box, looking up at him shyly, touching the glass as if it were only a misty curtain, a cloud she could reach through.”
 - Mac Ford, The Glass Girl

She got to the title before me, when I wrote into the little box on the Camp NaNoWriMo's website, making it official. Before I posted it on Figment and someone told me that it was taken by someone else.

But despite our stories sharing the same title, they are different. Vastly different--even though the covers are strikingly similar, and the tones in both of them are light with an underside of evil.

Also, it might be noted that hers is much more loved than mine.

Horse-ly Horse:

This is a new column, in which I will inform you guys how my horses and I have been doing riding-wise.

Last week we went and picked up my yellow horse, who is named George. I've ridden him a few times, and though he's lazy and stubborn I like him. We did groundwork yesterday, after we dropped Oliver off at the vet.

My mom snapped a photo of it.

After I publish this post I'm going to go ride him, actually. So yeah. 

Song I Can't Stop Listening to:

I love this band. I really love this song, also. In fact, it's playing in the background right now as I write this. I have no idea why I like this song so much; I usually listen to gentler music, from the works of A Fine Frenzy and Eisley. I think some of the lyrics and how they're sung are really chilling to the bone, especially after the chorus. 

So that's my life recently. How are you?

Monday, December 3, 2012


I went to a robotics competition over the weekend, traveling up to Kansas City in a van full of boys (only four of whom were around my age). After initially being against the trip--I was seriously thinking that I was going to sit shotgun next to the robotics instructor for eight straight hours--now that it's over I can comfortably say that it was very fun.


I'm not good at robotics. I cannot program our little Lego robots to follow a straight line. If someone asked me to program it to go through an obstacle course on my own, without the help of a few nerdy twelve year-olds, I think I would start crying. 

Luckily, though, I did not hardly touch the robots the entire trip. 

See, I was in charge of presentation, and graphic design. I designed a sweet logo for our team (it's like a cross between the Avengers logo and the LA Dodgers--and also charity : water for good measure--but it's so cool) and we had them printed on t-shirts. All weekend people were telling us how much they liked my t-shirt design. 

This GIF amuses me.

Which was awesome.

My team actually placed in the top ten, out of thirty six teams. I am a very happy clam based on that, but if the weekend was just contest then it would have been a complete bore.

I do robotics through a homeschool group that meets every Friday. And because the homeschoolers there are all more or less nerds, and because I am a nerd, I fit in. Heck, I might as well say it:


*confetti bombs*


*falls out of chair in surprise*

It's true. So I did have a smashing good time--if I want to go British on ye all--because I got to hang out with friends. Oh, how glorious it is to say that word. Friends. Having gone without any besides Hope and her boyfriend's sister for some time, it is so refreshing to have other people that I can have a good time with. When I went to the Autumn Camp a few weeks ago I did make a ton of friends, I have to tell you. I have most of their phone numbers in my phone, but I have only consistently texted with one since then. 

*climbs back into chair and falls back out of it again*

Settle down, dear reader. He's just a friend.

Anyway, while at the robotics competition there was about an hour and-a-half intermission. After taking group photos, some people named Abby, Corbin, and Dawson* went outside with me to the local track (may I mention that this contest was held at a middle school?), where we tumbled and danced on the astro-turf until it was time to go back inside. 

I suppose the only downside, if there is one, is that my hair was constantly compared to the Disney princess Merida's the entire trip. We watched Brave on the way up, which I think really put the idea in their minds that I have the hair of a Disney princess.

 I guess it's not that bad, then.

All-in-all, I'm glad that I did not fake the plague in order to skip this contest, which I was seriously considering up until the moment when I was wedged between two people in the middle seat, listening to a shoddy MP3 player and going down the road jamming out to Cray Button.


* Names have not been changed

Friday, November 16, 2012

An Autumn Camp

I will be going to an Autumn Camp for the weekend. It will be fun--aside from the fact that it's a six hour drive, and my sister isn't exactly feeling great right now, but has to go anyway. 

I don't have any posts scheduled for while I'm away, so this blog will be blissfully silent until the day of my return. Ahh, autumn. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How This Blog Came to Be

I was thinking today that it would be a great day to write a blog post. The thing is, though, what was I supposed to write about? I'd declared this month writing-themed-posts-only month, and in terms of writing, I'm pretty dry.

You know, I never exactly introduced myself in a formal post. It's hard to tell what I was thinking last year, but I believe that I didn't believe in introductions, if that makes sense. So that means that I don't think I ever have told you straight-up how this blog came to be. 

Go back a year and a lot, to the summer. The sun blisters your skin and as you lay on the porch wearing your shorts in the direct sunlight the concrete is hot enough to make puddles out of your thighs, but still you lay there. You have time to think, with hours of nothing stretching before you. 

Your only company is the dry breeze, the notioning that you might need water, and a strange, little blue bead. The heat makes you delusional. You start to personify the blue bead, and then, out of the blue, this little idea pops into your head:

A blog would be nice. 

A blog, where you could write about your country life. Where the blue bead could have its very own post. Where you could make fun of The Pioneer Woman. Where cats could run free reign.

But what to call it?

It seems like a great idea, and you keep it in the back of your mind for a few months. Everywhere you wander inside the house you think that maybe this and that would make a dandy blog post. The only thing stopping you is permission from your mother--that, and a blog title. 

You storm up ideas in a yellow notebook for a week, after you get your permission to start a blog. 

What to call it?

You consider all sorts of titles, and eventually you narrow it down to two names:

- Outside the Margins

- Tales of an Unpublished Writer

The second one had a nice ring to it, so you choose that. And, with shaking fingers, you type up your first post and hit publish. You design. And design. Another post is written.

A year passes, you move to a new house, and the reasons why you started the blog in the first place have withered away and died. But still you blog, because you have found completely new reasons to continue onwards.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Writers' Block, and the Art of Getting Out of the Snare

Image credit: Kelly Bean
At this time of the month, writers all over participating in NaNoWriMo feel like they don't have anything left in them, like they should quit writing and just return to watching TV in the evenings for three hours straight.

I have one piece of advice for you guys: keep writing.

It will get better, believe me. Even if you can't see the end of the tunnel yet, you will, and when you do, you'll be glad you didn't get behind.

The thing is, no one is making you write this novel. So if you want to quit, you can--which makes it a temptation nearly every step of the way. Your job in this is to not listen to that little voice in your head that says, 'heck yeah TV!' every time you start a new paragraph. 

I know I'm not all that qualified this month, because I have barely been writing anything (and by barely writing anything I mean that I have written roughly 10K, but I'm feeling horrible about it because that writing was actually good, and I didn't have to think about it all that much). I am stuck in the same rut you are: procrastination. 

When I first started out in the writing business seriously (June 2009), I had this insane idea that I was special, and that I would never get writers' block. I planned out my characters and gave them insane names that were sure to get them mocked at in school, had they been real people in the real world. I bought a brand new notebook, got a nice pen that wrote decently, and started writing.

Though I have no idea how long the actual novel was--though I do estimate that it was around 20K, not even a novel by standards--I finished the puppy in a mere three months. Every time I got writers' block I'd throw a new character or twist into the mix, and I'd go from there. And though it did get me out of ruts like *that*, it left me with a mangled corpse of a manuscript with so many plot twists and characters I couldn't keep track of them all.

I don't recommend doing what I did to get out of twists.

So what do you do when you've got writers' block? I recommend reading over the sentence where you got stuck, and completely reword it. Sometimes it's as simple as that, and sometimes it's a little harder to get out of the snare.

Reword the paragraph. Reword the entire chapter, if you must, so that you can move on. If you stop for the day because you think you'll come up with the answer tomorrow, odds are that you won't have it, and then you'll be behind by X amount of words.

And if you must, skip over the scene entirely, and continue writing. Once the month is over you can return to it.

But despite all that, odds are:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Post on Perseverance

Now that the election is *finally* over, and we have our winner, I figured that while I'm disappointed I might as well write a blog post about perseverance.

Right now I don't feel very motivated to do anything except curl up in a ball and fall asleep. I'm tired of politics, and I want everyone to stop gloating on Twitter that Obama won, and among other things, I want to finish a darn novel.

But the surprising thing is (and I was blown away to find this out--they don't tell you this kind of stuff going into it), you actually have to write to finish a book. You don't sit on a comfy throne in a lavish gallery, with one of Rita Skeeter's self-writing quills spilling away the works of Shakespeare onto the paper. Writing is very lowly, can be done from anywhere, and is often very low paying. Not much motivation right now, but just hang on.

Photo found on Pinterest.
Now here I am, on the other side of the photo. It's time for some motivation. Four NaNos really is not a lot. There are veterans out there doing their seventh or eighth, and have never lost. Just think of how many words that is! That's a lot of perseverance, if you ask me. 

Even when you're feeling tired, if you haven't met your word count goal for the day, plow on! I assure you that it is very possible to do--on several occasions I have been half-asleep, my eyes nearly closed, and still I have made my word count for the day. Let me tell you that you will thank yourself heartily when you wake up, knowing that you don't have to tack on the previous day's word count to your new one. 

You have to work.

I know, it sounds boring, right? You, like me sometimes, are in it for the completed manuscript, a sweet publishing contract, and several thousand (or million) dollars for the first book to what you plan to make a dystopian trilogy. And all the power to you! Just realize that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep. And then another footstep, until you reach the end. 

You can do it. It is possible. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bits and Pieces: November

 Picture Find:

Something I Did:

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I would like this blog to orient itself around writing until at least December, and then I'll get back to blogging about cats and such. If you aren't doing NaNoWriMo, and hate writing, you've either a) come to the wrong blog, or b) can return in mid December, when I'm sure I'll be worrying about Christmas presents and my new horse.

Anyway, recently I did nothing. I would really love to talk about Once Upon a Time, my favorite tv show. And I would also really like to cry about the new episode last night, but some people haven't watched that episode yet, and so I cannot. 

But just let me do this:

Captain Hook is certainly growing on me.
Nope, this picture is not from last night, so it's not spoilery. *cue evil face*

All-in-all, I don't like pirates. Not even a tiny, tiny bit. So at first I really did not like Captain Hook, nor did I feel sorry for him when his wife died. Though in the past few episodes he has been growing on me like fungus, because he is nice looking, and he is also funny in some parts. This does not mean that I like pirates now, because I don't, but as a character Hook is... okay. 

A Writer Thing:

Even though it is November, I have not been writing much. On Twitter me and a few of my friends did word wars to try to churn out some more wordcount, and they do work, though it is questionable how great the content I produced yesterday was.

I am a professional at procrastinating, as anyone who knows me will be sure to tell you. I can put something off better than anyone else--even when I want to do it, like with writing! Argh, I don't know why I'm not writing. It's like there's a charm over my laptop keys that prohibits me from writing over a thousand words a day. 

Anyway, I have finally decided to at least half participate in NaNo this year, by writing 30,000 words instead of 50,000, and to finish this novel that I started in August named The Glass Girl (or whatever I'm calling it these days). 

It'll be fun. Less stressful than regular NaNos. (Yeah right.)

Song I Can't Stop Listening To:

"Lost Things" by A Fine Frenzy

Yep, call me weird, but I like this song.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another NaNoWrimo Pep Talk

NaNoWriMo starts in a few hours. If you aren't aware of what NaNoWriMo is, you're out of luck. Also: pleased to meet you. NOW RUN.

Now that that is out of the way, I'd like to say that though I will not be fully participating this year (I mean, I will be writing this November, and probably more than usual, but I'm not going to try 50,000 words again for the third time this year), I am still very excited for November first to come along. I will now explain why in a list, because as you're probably aware of by now--if you've been reading this blog for a while--I like making lists.

  1. About 100% of my writing friends have been made somehow or another because of NaNoWriMo. While I meet ("meet") a lot of people online during November, only a few usually remain by the end of the month, and then I have these lovely writing buddies to clutch onto hang out with the rest of the year. 
  2. I would most definitely not like writing as much as I do now had my mom not introduced me to NaNoWriMo in 2010, so I suppose it's natural for me to feel excited about NaNo even though I am not exactly participating. 
I have won four of these insane competitions in the past two years, the novels themselves coming out as broken specimens that get better in writing each time I participate but are still utter junk-piles (if that sentence made any sense the first time though let me know). And so excuse me if you think I'm not qualified to give NaNoWriMo advice, but here goes:

Do not be afraid to fail. 

This seems like an easy enough thing at first, until suddenly you're 20K words into this story and you're invested in your characters and their lives, and suddenly you don't want to make them do this and that because it will alter the plot ever-so-slightly. 

 Let me tell you a story.

The first NaNo I ever got serious about (the July version of Camp) and won I sucked at. Utterly sucked. But let me tell you, it was fun to write. I loved it for a while, and once I was finished I promptly realized how much it sucked and tossed it in the trash bin. 

Everything aside, that sucky manuscript made me a better writer. That is why I do NaNoWriMo--even multiple times a year. It makes me a better writer. It's fun. It gets me to loosen up and try stuff I wouldn't normally. 

Don't be afraid afraid to fail, guys. It's one of the best snippets of writing advice I've ever gotten.

Goodbye October, and Hello November.

Monday, October 29, 2012


  1. Idea
  2. Forming that idea into something bigger
  3. Initial write
  4. More chapters
  5. More chapters
  6. More chapters
  7. --insert breakdown and procrastination here--
  8. More chapters 
  9. More chapters
  10. More chapters
  12. --insert break--
  13. Revise
  14. Revise
  15. Revise
  16. Revise
  17. Discover plot holes
  18. Revise
  19. Revise
  20. Revise

Friday, October 26, 2012

*Flour House References*

I don't usually post twice in one day but I figured I'd indulge since it is my birthday. Now that I'm safe at home and ready to have some rest (I don't know why but after sitting in the car for twelve hours I want to sit still even more), I can recount the day. 

The horse (who I will now lovingly refer to as Oleander--Ollie for short) turned out to be very docile, friendly, and is going to grow up to be a massive horse, not so much in height but in chest width and muscle and such. Ollie is very pretty already, and after I rode him my parents and I agreed to buy him. Right now we've put a down payment on him and we'll pick him up in a couple of weeks when we bring our Excursion and horse trailer.

On Sunday I have a violin concert for the local orchestra, and we're playing some of my very favorite violin pieces, such as Dance Macabre, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and The Harry Potter Theme by the beloved John Williams.

My Birthday and a Horse

Today is my fifteenth birthday. As I write this we're driving up to Topeka (the capitol of Kansas, and also the setting for one of my novels) to look at a horse. I'm excited, and hoping that this horse will work out for us and that my parents will buy him for me.

I think he's very pretty in the photos provided on his profile picture. I'm anxious to meet him.

That said, it's also my birthday. 

And finally being a year older has now opened a little space in time for me to post about how it felt to be fourteen. 

I have to say that I didn't really like it. I mean, age-wise it was okay, but I was (am) constantly looked down upon by adults because of my age. People acted like I was below them simply by being young. When I told a published author that I was an aspiring author, she sent me a (admittedly nice) note telling me not to bother yet, because I was not an adult and being a writer is for adults. 

I feel guilty now, driving up to go look at a horse who needs trained, me being the possible one to do it. I feel like I'm under-qualified, like I'm an eight year-old aspiring to be an astronaut. Like training horses is for adults, because they're the only ones qualified to do it.

Being fifteen is no different. Pretty much, until I reach the age of thirty or so, people will always look down on me because I'm young. Because they assume I'm stupid and immature.

I'm young, and the thought is almost resentful because adults have taught me that it is. 

One of the (many) blogs I follow recently wrote a post about reading John Green's novels. As you can tell by reading back into the archives of this blog, I am a fan of John Green. He writes about people very well, describing them not as cliches but as individuals. His works detail love stories, illnesses, trips to the Netherlands, adventures, road trips--and above everything else, that teenagers are people too

A quote from the aforementioned blog that I follow:
The thing I think I like best about John Green as a person and a storyteller is that he treats teenagers like human beings. Why do you think he has such an enormous fanbase? Because he speaks to young adults as his equals, both physically and through his novels, and acknowledges that the things that happen to them and go through their heads are worth absolutely no less than anything that occurs to the adult brain or the adult soul. They are not kids, they are people.
I heartily recommend following her, because she writes like a wise man and has very pointed views of the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Cat, Percy

My cat Percy is no longer a kitten. Earlier this March he turned one years old, and grew the size of our largest cat, Harry (who I might add is the size of a small elephant).

 Pictured here is him (right) snuggled up next to his brother, George. They sleep together a lot, and they're also caught running around the house and playing with each other frequently. It's mostly Percy's idea, but George is a good sport and plays along with him. 

In fact, Percy has gotten most of the family cats--except for Hermione, who you can find a little more about in this post--into moving more. Cats naturally spend two-thirds of their life sleeping, and the other third eating, grooming themselves, other nasty business, and playing.

Percy also likes lounging. When I walk into the living room, I can usually find him perched on top of a couch or on the floor, gazing forlornly around the room with half-closed eyes. 


Percy has grown a lot in the past year. Aside from growing really tall, he's also gotten fat; he now has that characteristic fat roll on his tummy that most of our male cats possess. It's okay, though, because I still love him. 

The day that he dies is going to be a sad one, because I've become accustomed to carrying him around the house and feeding him when he sits on me and such.

... And to think he nearly died. To read that story included with graphic photos, click this link here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween and Doctor Who

Halloween is coming right around the corner, then soon after Thanksgiving, and then finally Christmas. My birthday is on Friday, and I will be spending all day at the homeschooling class--perfectly acceptable, if you ask me. 

But first I'd like to talk about Halloween. 

Every year it's always been a big deal in my family what we're going to dress up as for Halloween. Up until a few years ago, we all dressed in themes (my favorite being Harry Potter, my brother dressed as Harry, our little sister Ainsley dressed as a fat dragon, and Elizabeth, Hope and I dressed as witches), but now we just dress as whatever, so long as we put together our costumes. 

This year I've gotten really into tv shows, like Once Upon a Time, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. I've also read quite a few books, and so I would like to dress up as something nerdy. Last year I dressed as this obscure book character that in hindsight wasn't the best costume because it looked cheap even though I did work on it. 

I have made my decision, though, after a lot of deliberation: I would like to be the Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who

I was going to dress as Loki from The Avengers, but I really feel that I cannot replicate his warrior horns and staff. I also contemplated Katniss Everdeen for awhile, but then decided against it purely based on the fact that there will be a million little Katniss-es running around on the 31st. 

So why did I choose the Eleventh Doctor?

But no. All things aside, I think he's cool. Hope (older sister) is trying to talk me out of it because a) he's a boy and b) tweed jackets are apparently exorbitantly expensive. I think my mind is set, though--unless I can't get the stuff to put the costume together, then I would like to go as him for Halloween.

What are you going to dress up as for Halloween? Or a better question is, are you going Trick-or-Treating at all?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Productive Week

The past few days have been very productive for me. I laid stepping stones in our yard, unloaded a truckload of hay bales with a few friends for a job, finished a section of the backyard fence with my dad, planted different assortments of mums, finished my huge load of homework for the homeschool class this week, and slept a lot between gymnastics-practice/lesson. So there hasn't been much time to write a post (or so I tell myself).

I haven't been writing much lately, though I did revise a few chapters to one of my stories and uploaded them to Figment, and I got a few friendly comments from readers. I really like reading comments on my stories, good or bad (but preferably good); it gives me some real motivation. I haven't gotten a really horrible review for a while (not since the-book-which-shall-not-be-named) which is also nice.

After this week I'm tired, but happy. Like the animals in Animal Farm (spoilers coming up), how most of the time they're hungry and tired but they're proud of their farm and their 'freedom'  and what they've done so they're also happy. 

Okay, goodnight.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Late Acceptance

Back in August NevilleGirl nominated me for an award. It's taken awhile, but here it is--me accepting the award. Liebster means 'favorite, dearest, or dear' in German. So thank you, NevilleGirl!

Official Rules
“The Liebster Award is for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Award winners share 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who tagged them, come up with 11 of their own questions and tag 11 more bloggers with the award.”

Eleven Facts About Me
  1. I am very bad at potions on Pottermore.
  2. I hate Comic Sans.
  3. Recently I was given a foam gravestone with my name on it in Comic Sans, as an inside joke. 
  4. My light switch cover has Lumos and Nox written on it, in the appropriate places.
  5. I love the BBC show Sherlock.
  6. For Halloween I will either dress up as Loki from the Avengers or a dalek.
  7. My room has tri-colored walls.
  8. On a string hanging from my ceiling fan there is a plastic spider. Sometimes it gets tangled in my hair. 
  9. I love Snapple peach tea.
  10. There is a cat laying on me right now, as I write this. 
  11. I'm currently reading Animal Farm.
Eleven Questions From NevilleGirl
  1. Which would you rather put on an iPad: all the books you own or all the music you own? Music, definitely.
  2. What is your favorite city? Chicago.
  3. What is your favorite blog name (not your own)? I Wear Milk Crowns.
  4. What TV show(s) do you hate and why? I don't really hate a particular tv show--if anything, I just don't like comedic sitcoms, because the writing usually isn't great.
  5. What is your favorite cheese? Mozzarella.
  6. What is your favorite sandwich? Tuna salad.
  7. What is your favorite soda? Mountain Dew.
  8. Have you ever read any of Bill Bryson’s awesome writing and if not, why not? I have, actually! My mom is a fan of him and so I sort of got into his writing. So far I've read In a Sunburned Country, The Life and Time of the Thunderbolt Kid, and I've started At Home.
  9. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Musings From Neville’s Navel? Severus-Snape.
  10. Which do you like more: dictionaries or thesauruses? Thesauruses; through the synonyms I can sort of piece together what the word means, if necessary.
  11. How do you feel about being asked all these questions, anyway? A little like I'm back competing in the Fair Queen contest, actually.
Eleven Questions That I Made Up
  1. Have you ever ridden a horse?
  2. How many siblings do you have?
  3. How many pets do you have, if any?
  4. Homeschool or public school?
  5. What are your hobbies?
  6. What are your favorite books?
  7. What is your life goal?
  8. Favorite fictional character?
  9. What are your favorite tv shows?
  10. Which do you prefer: chocolate or vanilla?
  11. What is your favorite movie?

Samantha Chaffin at Her Inklings

Saturday, October 13, 2012

John Green Books

Having just lent a new friend my copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I cannot ever express how much I recommend the book. It's funny and cripplingly sad and tragic and beautiful. And if you haven't read it you need to do so now. I saw something in the Youtube comments the other day that I found was true. The comment went:

Me: *finishes John Green novel*
Me: *rethinks entire life*

And I think it's very true in a lot of ways because no matter what, anything that I read from John Green always makes me reconsider something about how I perceive a particular topic. Here is something that I put together last night before I fell asleep (and yes, all of the quotes were from memory).

Looking for Alaska (a book about escaping the metaphorical labyrinth that is your brain): "How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?"

An Abundance of Katherines (a book about wanting to/being loved and losing the people you love): "You can love someone so much, but you can never love someone as much as you can miss them."

Paper Towns (a book about the dangers of miss-imagining people): "Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than the stories and people we're quoting."

The Fault in Our Stars (a book about how much cancer sucks): "My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations."


My favorite out of all of them is The Fault in Our Stars. I feel like the author has really given me something more than worth the ten dollars I paid for it. The story itself, while it is strikingly beautiful, does not compare to the knowledge that accompanied it.

So thanks, John. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dried Plants and Old Snapple Bottles

I love dried plants. Not weeds: the tall, spindly things that swell in the summer and take root in my backyard and leave prickly seeds behind--but flowers. Little plants like sage and brome hay. Sometimes even brambles, depending on how poky they are. I have never ventured to bring them into my house yet, though. My littlest sister sleeps in my room, and I have no shelf high enough to escape her destroying hands.

I would love to keep a few jars filled with dried seeds and flower heads this year. But until I can get the okay to hang a few shelves in my room, this will not happen. 

I started a new crafting project the other day, which is what started this sudden need for dried plants. Also, it is officially fall now, which has made me think of how strange it is that we've come to see the dying world as beautiful.

I'm a huge fan of Snapple Peach Tea, and as a result of that I have quite a few empty glass bottles laying around my room, as I couldn't bring myself to throw them away (that, or I'm just lazy/I completely forgot about them). The other day I dug out my old acrylic paints from another project and started painting them.

I got a little into the photo shoot.

Anyway, I like the bottles. The reason why the orange one is so plain is because the paint glows in the dark. How cool is that? It glows green whenever the light is shut off. However, this makes the paint extremely thin and runny, so I had to paint five coats onto the bottle to get it looking the way it is. I think it's very cool.

You may notice that the blue bottle has the word 'wanderlust' painted at the bottom. Here is the meaning of the word:
A strong desire to travel: "a man consumed by wanderlust".
I thought I'd be like the hipsters of the web of paint it there. Hehe.

Now that I have the bottles, I'm thinking maybe I'll convince my parents to let me hang a little shelf to house them, even though they are cheesy. And then I can get some dried plants to put in them. Yes, I shall do this.

Question for you:

Is there a specific thing that you enjoy about fall? Leave your answer in the comments. I love hearing from you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bits and Pieces: October.

Picture/ Photo Find:

Something I Did:
At robotics class the other day (I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but every Friday my mom, littlest sister and I drive up to the next town over from ours and while they're reading books and playing in the church nursery, I take a few classes with other awkward homeschoolers, like Spanish and Speech and such) I went out to the car for a jacket and fell flat on the asphalt! I scraped my knee, elbow, side, and hands, including ruining my pants by busting a hole in the knee. 

So that was fun. 

It did get me out of pep band later that night, though. Hope (my sister) reports that homecoming was cold and miserable, and everyone else in the band whined about it, even though the teacher gave everybody ample warning time to dress appropriately. Our team lost anyway.

A Writer Thing:

At the aforementioned homeschool class, I've met a ton of other aspiring authors. One girl and I met on the first day; she told me she loved my Mockingjay pin, and I remarked how I loved the Hunger Games, but it had sort of ruined the dystopian genre, and I didn't think anything about it from there. I didn't know she was a writer until the next week, when at lunch she commented on how nobody else understood her when she started using the words 'dystopian,' and 'genre.' 

Then we generally started talking about writing and such--and also books. Lots and lots of books. She somewhat agreed with me about post Hunger Games dystopian novels, but we did agree that a few were good--particularly Divergent by Veronica Roth, which she loves and I think are alright, mostly because I think that some of the aspects of the book are very unrealistic. I won't get into details here, because of my new no-whining policy I have. 

Anyway, my mom and her mom started talking to each other while waiting between classes, and there is the too-real possibility that we might start a new young writers' group for the area, as there isn't one for miles and miles (almost to Topeka--can you believe that?). I'm very excited and I'll--hopefully--keep you guys posted with exciting new details.

Song I Can't Stop Listening to:

My sister has gotten me hooked onto a band called Of Monsters and Men. They're an indie band, but I really like their music. It's hard to decide one song to post here, because truthfully I've been listening to nearly all of them, but after a little bit of deliberation I decided that this song I listen to most.

A few of my other internet friends like this song a lot, and so they recommended it to me most. It's the type of song where I can't memorize the lyrics easily, so maybe a few more plays and I can sing it through? *winks*

Also, aside from being a good great song, I think it embodies some of the feel of one of my stories, Mermaidens, about a small seaside town with mermaids, flour, and a big, black horse whose name is ironic (at least to me, which is all that matters for right now).

                                                Food I Would Like to Put in My Mouth:

 I swear that ever since I read Flour House, I've been wanting to eat a macaron (yes, I'm spelling it correctly). They're cookies made out of meringue and almond flour and powdered sugar. And then a flavored center with whatever. They look delicious. 

When we were at Dillons' the other day, I convinced my mom to buy almond flour--but although they had buckwheat flour and poppy seed flour and whatever else, they did not have almond flour! Later that night my mom searched Amazon for the stuff and found out that it was over fifteen dollars for half of the flour needed to make a batch! I'm disappointed, because this means that I will not be able to make them.

Other Stuff:

I'd like to wish my mom a very happy birthday. I hope it was satisfactory and fun, even though you did have to wash the dishes and cook supper--and other normal-day stuff. I felt very awkward just standing around in the kitchen while you did everything. I promise next year will be a little different, and maybe you won't have to wash the dishes, although unless we have mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak for supper, you will have to do the cooking. Sorry.