Friday, June 29, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award.





The lovely Brittani from The Teenage Writer has nominated me for a blogging award, because she thinks my blog is lovely, apparently. Thank you!

The Rules:


1. Thank the person who nominated you on their blog to receive your honor.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 blogs and then tell them of their nomination!
  1. I've participated in five NaNoWriMos, and I've won three times.
  2. Three of those NaNoWriMos were camps.
  3. If you put me in a room with only a mirror, I could entertain myself all day by making faces at myself. 
  4. I like to go to thrift shops.
  5. I think Goodwill's prices are WAY too expensive.
  6. I like blog awards.
  7. A lot of my friends are from the internet.  
And now, for the nominations:
  1.  Kimberly at I Wear Milk Crowns
  2. Anande at Honey and Snow
  3. Mom at Charity365 
... And, I think that's it. Have a very nice day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winners!

Hello again, fellow blog readers! I've been at Bible Rodeo Camp for the past 3 1/2 days, and so that means that last night, my contest ended. 


I think it was very successful, and I loved reading your comments about what you plan to do this summer. I seriously was thinking about painting more elephants and giving away more prizes (as my favorite comments all seemed to want the elephants), until, that is, I remembered that I'm nearly broke again and shipping prizes are through the roof.

And so, it seems, that there must only be three winners. 

1. Two Geodes and a London 2012 Pin.


I chose Evelyn, a girl who speaks for me also when she says that it's not fair how our moms get to go to Las Vegas to an awesome retreat (yes, people besides the moms have fun, too).

I'm totally jealous of you. I love camping and hope that maybe, when it isn't so hot, my family will go camping or something.

Good job, Evelyn!



2. Two Elephants


Aside from sharing my name, I am also vaguely interested in the art of nanny-ing (and also vacationing). Hannah, I like that you plan on going to college, and so after you graduate I wish you the best of luck in decorating a small chunk of your mantle with your new knick knacks.


3. Pony and Dinosaur

Hehe, good luck on your travels this summer! I hope your son enjoys the toys!

So anyway, congratulations to the three people who won! Please email me at kansashannah@gmail.com with your addresses and I will ship your prizes as soon as possible.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sweetly--a Book Review.

*WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS ALL SORTS OF SPOILERS. DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE READ SWEETLY AND/OR DON'T MIND READING THE SPOILERS*


Hello. Today I would like to do a book review on Sweetly, by Jackson Pearce. To anyone who hates reading reviews, I don't blame you--mostly because I hate reading reviews, too.  But here I am, reviewing. 

Am I what people would call a hypocrite? 

I don't know. I'm too tired right now to care. 

But let's get on with this review. To me, it was okay. It wasn't as good as its first book, Sisters Red The pacing was a little off and some of the parts were too creepy even for me *cough cough Fenris eating certain girl in front of main character cough cough.*

It starts out with Gretchen and Ansel out in the woods with Gretchen's twin sister, looking for the Witch; some evil old hag prowling in the woods and searching for little children to devour. Gretchen's twin sister gets eaten, to say the least.

Now, about a decade later, Gretchen and Ansel are driving down a North Carolinan road because their step mom has kicked them out of the house. They end up in a small town called... SaidTown... and they meet a nice young lady named Sofia Kelly, who Ansel takes an immediate liking to and eventually starts dating. 

They stay in Sofia's house (which is also a chocolate shop called Sweet Crumblier) because this is a fictional book, and in fictional books you always stay with the person you just meet out of the blue.

There's also this guy named Samuel, who hunts werewolves and rides a motorcycle. 

Gretchen finds out that 'the Witch' who ate her sister was actually a werewolf (or a Fenris, as they are called in the book), and there are werewolves on her tail or something. Anyway, she turns to Samuel because he knows how to shoot a gun and therefore can teach her how to stay alive, and because this is a fictional book he doesn't say no and starts teaching her how to shoot. 

After a while Gretchen and Samuel start to hunt these Fenris down, killing them off as revenge for murdering Gretchen's little sister. But because Jackson Pearce publishes traditionally she had to pair up Gretchen and Samuel eventually, and so the two become more than just friends. 

.... Which is where I'm going to stop with this review because this is what I mainly wanted to talk about.

To me, I didn't see the relationship curveball because from the very beginning I was determined that Gretchen and Samuel were not going to get together. Period. It happens in every single YA book that I read; the main girl (who isn't good looking) ends up with the strong, sensitive, good-looking guy. Always. And so--stupid me--I was convinced that this book was different, that the only romance would be between Ansel and Sofia (who--spoiler!--kills eighteen year old girls to try to bring back her twin sister and inevitably dies when her house burns down).

Gretchen and Samuel were supposed to remain friends. They were perfect friends. And Jackson and/or her publisher knew that the book wouldn't sell unless they hooked up.

I think I'm tired of YA books. They're too predictable.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars

Creepy aspects: 6/5 stars

Plot hole cover ups: 2/5 stars

Relationships: 0.5/5 stars (You can do better, Ansel.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bits and Pieces: June

Because I love stealing ideas I stole fellow Figgie Kim's Tidbits. So thank you, Kim, and I hope you have a glorious summer!

But anyway. I believe it's basically telling you about my life in recent news, split into different categories.

Picture/Photo Find


 Something I Did

I was a counselor at a local-ish 4-H camp last week. It was cloudy and humid and when the sun was shining it was beating down on us heavily. Several of the kids I was watching got sunburned and there was a lot of whining and fussing over tired legs and empty stomachs.

The only night we stayed the power went out due to a thunderstorm and some of the girls were frightened out of their minds because a certain Extension Agent (who will go unnamed) told them that there was a tornado outside. It was black as ink inside the cabins and unfortunately I didn't bring a flashlight so our room was left unlit for a short time. Two nice fellow councelors lent us a few flashlights, though, and so until lights-out my campers and I sang One Direction songs and talked about how hot Ross Lynch is.

I don't see the appeal but my campers assured me he was hot.


The next morning the power was back on and after breakfast we went on a morning hike. By the time we got back it was starting to rain and we could hear thunder off in the distance, though where the lightning was I'm not sure. My group went inside and played games for an hour and by the time we emerged it was still slightly raining but the thunder no longer lingered.
We went rafting and just as we reached the middle of the lake the thunder miraculously returned. We beat it back to shore and went up to the mess hall for lunch, where I got revenge on the Extension Agent (who will still go unnamed) by making her run around the lunch room for putting her elbows on the table. To get back at me, though, she made the most ornery boy in our county ride back in the same car as me, and so for the next hour I had to fend him off from tickling me and other slightly frightened campers.
It was loads of fun but I'm glad I'm back at home. 

A Writer Thing

I've done it: I've officially accepted the fact that I won't win Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm so far behind it isn't funny, and besides, June has just been to jam-packed with other events for me to really focus on my writing. Once I came to accept this writing has once again become one of my favorite activities, and I am no longer pulling my hair out at the roots, trying to make my word count for the day. 

I've appropriately titled my manuscript Hearts, and it is the story of a girl named Rosalind who is thrown into a world where fairy tales exist, and people recognize her as Red Riding Hood. Of course, this doesn't go over well with her, as she firmly believes that she grew up with two divorced parents and a slightly emo sister in Gulliver Creek. 

But she can't quite hide the fact that she keeps having terrifying nightmares about wolves, and so when a deranged boy starts giving her answers, she tries to believe them. 

I'm having a blast writing it so far, as I love both of my main characters. My only problem in this is that I don't want it to be cliche. I don't want to pair up my one girl main character with the cute, sensitive guy. That's how every YA novel I read turns out, and I sometimes wonder if the writer or the publisher had more to do with that choice.

Video I Can't Stop Watching


"RED"

It's so creepy, and violent, and the animation is slightly off in places, but I think it's awesome. And I can't stop replaying it. I don't suggest watching past 1:27 if you're a bit squeamish with animated blood. 

I just realized that my mind is a bit weird. Oh well.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Giveaway Time!

Alright, readers! It's the time of the blogging season where I find that I have to both show you what I actually look like (because my mom told me she didn't care if I posted photos of myself on here or not), and host this giveaway I've been dropping hints about since my trip to Colorado Springs THREE MONTHS AGO.


 Eh... that's a bad shot of me, because I'm wearing glasses. Let me find another one.

Just for the record: my shirt was orange, not red.

This was taken last month at a comedy show that Hope (who is also conveniently in this photo), my mom and I attended. Our cousin Cody was one of the comedians performing, and I have to tell you that he... well. I'm still laughing at some of the jokes he told. I just can' retell them because they're a tad inappropriate.

Okay, so now for the prizes. It's more of a meager contest, and I apologize to let you guys down--because I know you were eagerly anticipating it. ;)


 1. Two Geodes and a London 2012 Pin.

Cat not included.

2. Blue and Green Elephants.




3. Green Pony W/ Light Blue Dorsal Stripe and Goldish Apatosaurus.



The rules:

1. Comment on this post and tell me what you plan to do this summer.
2. Write down which prize package you would like.
3. You must be following this blog to enter.
4. The contest ends at 11:59 on June 24th. Any entries after June 24th won't be accepted. 

So anyway, have fun and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Hope is a Blog Hog.

Hope (my sister) and I are probably going to start something new in the future. I'm excited about it and Hope is going along with it right now, but hopefully we can get it up and running within a week. Or who knows? Maybe Hope'll hate it and back out. 

Also, expect a guest post about her trip to DC within the week. If there is no post Hope has backed out and refuses to write it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Village.

Perhaps one of the most compelling, beautiful, and scary as hell* movies I've ever seen is M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. I highly recommend it to anybody who is okay with being psychologically scarred for the next two weeks.

There are twists at every turn, creatures more scary than Voldemort himself, and a very powerful, heart-wrenching romance between two of the main characters. 

I'm going to leave it at that, because right now I want to talk about the score for the movie.  It is my favorite score ever. And that's saying something because I've seen Harry Potter--and though John Williams is a genius, James Newton Howard knows how to write very moving music.

Take this piece, for example.


And this piece (it's quite a bit like the video above it, but it's still different).


And also this piece (creepier still because I have a mental image of what was playing in the movie when this music was going).

 

 I love it. Love it. 

Plus, it goes so well with the theme of my manuscript right now, which is awesome because I get to play it more often as I write. I don't however, play Those we Don't Speak of (the last video in this post), even though it's extremely exciting and goes the best of all of them with my writing. There's a mental image attached to it that, after watching the movie, sticks with you forever.

Besides that, though, it's great. 

* I apologize for swearing, mom. It was needed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Hate Dystopian.

Yes, I am also participating in June's version of Camp NaNoWriMo. For any readers who don't know what that is, it's basically a crazy, fun, incredibly hard challenge where you write 50,000 words in approximately thirty days. You cry, you laugh, you scream in frustration and shout for joy, you share your struggles with other Nanoers on Twitter or the Forums--but the most important thing about NaNoWriMo is that you do something with your writing skills.

You don't sit stagnant for days at a time. NaNo forces you to keep writing. 

Sure, the manuscript you're left with at the end of it all is a big hunk of junk, but it's something to be proud of.

That is, until you start revising it a few months later and you find out that you hate your novel. 

Mostly because you tried your hand at dystopian and found out that you hated dystopian. 

I mean, the Hunger Games was great, great (I even have a Mockingjay pin), but everything that came after it is just... mehhh. Have you ever noticed that when a certain genre of book is in trend, a lot of middle-grade books manage to get published?

I have. 

And I hate dystopian. 

But back to my first topic. 

I got started a few days late this June, and one day I just didn't write at all because my plot wasn't moving and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write. But suddenly it came to me, as I was sitting there, trying to think of another witty dialogue line to write down. 

It's like finally understanding calculus or something; the path was clear and so in turn I've been writing like a wild banshee for the past two days.

So how has your NaNoWriMo been going so far, if you're participating in it? 

And now, to end this blog post:


That is all.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

That Time I Kneaded my Hands in an Evil Fashion.

My mom and Hope (to new readers she is also known as my older sister) are on a plane, right now, as I write this post. 


And this is my exact response when I saw this photo of Hope, posted on my mother's blog:


I hope you have a whole lot of fun in Washington, DC. Because I know that I won't. 

Not ever. 

Because even though I do like DC, I wouldn't necessarily want to go there for, say, my sixteenth birthday or something. No. I'd much rather go to London or some other place in England where there are British-y accents and everybody drinks tea (and not iced tea, either. Real tea). 

But that's just my decision. After all, you get to see actual, real live pandas, and the Washington Monument (but not up close because of Carter and Sadie Kane--I mean "earthquakes"), and the Hope Diamond, and Apollo 11, and all of these neat relics that I won't get to see because I'll be too busy looking at the Rosetta Stone or something.

Not to trump on your trip or anything. 

So anyway, I hope you have/had a good trip to DC and you don't/didn't get arrested for praying in front of the White House.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yes! I Win at Blogging!


It appears as though I've won another blog award. I have to say that I don't deserve it, though I will accept it full-heartedly because I like receiving awards. Thank you NevilleGirl!
 

The Rules
  1. This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blog must be at least 50% about books. (Reading or writing is okay.)
  2. Along with receiving this award, you must also share your top five favorite books you have ever read. (More than five is okay.)
  3. You must give this award to 5-10 other lucky book blogs you adore.

My favorite books (in no particular order):

  1.  Watership Down, by Richard Adams
  2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
  3. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by JK Rowling
  5. Will Greyson, Will Greyson, by John Green and David Levithan
  6. Birdcage Girl, by Kimberly Karalius  
 Nominee (there's only one because the award would seem unspecial otherwise):

Kelsey at READING ROOM ONLY.

So, congrats on the win, Kelsey! If you don't read this I'll comment on your blog or something.

The Raven Boys.

The trailer is cheesy as a mother bear, but I still think it does an accurate portrayal of making me want to buy this book, so...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Dog Died.

When I was at a 4-H camp a few days ago called Discovery Days, my dog Grindle died. 

He died because all living things die, whether the inevitable sentence be prolonged or shortened. All things die--but it'd true that all things live. They live for a short amount of time at the least, and though it ends we will always remember them.

My mother miscarried a baby a few years back, and she's still trying to get over it. But the scar is still there, and will always be there.

I've lost three Labradors, and you'd think that each death would become easier to handle as time progresses (much like is the case with my rabbits) but there's still this gaping scar there, and each time something new occurs it's reopened and reopened and reopened, and then suddenly the scar never heals and all you're left with is a spot in your chest that always hurts.

And all because of a dog.


The truth is that most of the time I hated that big lump of yellow fur, taking up space and running away when the front door was left open. 

But he was always there, wanting another scratch behind the ears.

He was always there, wanting me to throw a toy for him to fetch.

And he was always there, when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and pet him subconsciously while watching Once Upon a Time.


But all that I can think about is when I was walking in the front door to collect my contact case before going going to Discovery Days, I stopped and patted him on the head, and thought this might be the last time I ever see you.

And now he's just gone, like he never existed in the first place.

...

He was only a dog. But pain can be felt for the loss of anything, whether it be a favorite book or an animal who acted a bit too vicious towards strangers.

(As a footnote, Mom, I do not want you to ever bring this post up in random conversation with me. I'm going to start getting embarrassed or something and then we'll have to go watch The Avengers again.)

Three Hellos.




As you can see, I have quite a bit of free time on my hands.