Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reminiscing About Figment and Books

This post is going to be really short because it's almost one a.m. and I'm sitting in an uncomfortable desk in an office and I've just had a can of Mountain Dew and I'm all jittery and GAHHH I'M SO TIRED BUT I WANT TO STAY UP ALL NIGHT. This post will be completely horrible and the sentences are going to be cruddy--and know you know what my first drafts look like.

I just wanted to tell you all that my 4-H record book is done, and they're due tomorrow which is why I haven't posted much this month. For those of you in 4-H you can really feel for me when I say that every year my family procrastinates and doesn't do our record books until the last second. Last year we turned them in two days late and received no awards for them (but our club still got the purple seal, hehe).

For those of you not in 4-H, record books are these crazy, hard, stupid books that we report all of the things that we did in the past 4-H year. 

I took six projects this year (and I'm not going to list them in alphabetical order, and they won't have the proper titles): Horticulture, Rabbit, Dairy Goats, Horse, Performing Arts, and Creative Writing. Which means I had to fill out six forms. Gahh, I'm glad they're done. We're currently printing them (which is why I'm at an office, sitting in a uncomfortable chair and drinking a can of Mountain Dew).


This post is lasting a lot longer than I thought. Hmm.

Well, you're already invested in me if you've read this far. So. 

I'll be starting a blogging schedule soon, so I won't be blogging sporadically every now and then. I'm also going to try and whine a lot less, because I hate reading my whining and I'm sure you do too. 

Figment posting will come back up, too, although I'm working to reach my self-prescribed deadline of finishing/revising Mermaidens and so The Glass Girl might get ignored more than it was in August (I started it in August and I still ignored it then, because it's horrible and I hate how bad it is and why do I even have it put on Figment if I'm going to keep whining about it? Okay. No more whining). I've never really posted at a continuous pace whilst on Figment, ever.


I remember when I first joined Figment. I was excited and confused about how the site worked. I wanted to read all of these pieces because I thought everything was fantastic--this, of course, is how I remember feeling. But I'm sure in real life I felt bored and hesitant and scared of how badly people would tear apart First Spark, my very first novel (...or was it? Hehehe...).

And it exploded, in a manner of speaking. Merely a day after I'd hesitantly put up the first few chapters the Figment team had featured it on the Hand-picked Figs list, right on the front page. 32 people followed me that day; a record. Suddenly people were telling me how good and well-written it was, and I felt a little like a pop star because people loved me (or loved what I'd written. Hmm). I met ("met") my very first writer friend that day, and we're still friends. 

Then things quieted down and I slowly fell into a pit of despair where I hated my novel. I still hate it, a lot. I've never hated anything more in my life than that novel. 

I abandoned Figment until February, where I slightly returned and posted another work that I would update about once a month until I just simply took it down because it was worse than that novel I don't speak about any more (its name starts with First and ends with Spark, and I vow never to mention it again. Ever). It just wasn't very me and though I love the idea and will return to it someday, for now it's back to outlines. 

*reminiscing finished*

Okay, so just as a recap:
  1. I'm tired
  3. *jitters*
  4. I'm remembering my path on Figment.
  5. First Spark: never to be mentioned again.
  7. Record Books are done
Also, I love Sherlock and I'm really sad that it didn't win any Emmy's tonight.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Alphabet

There's this neat thing floating around the blogging world (okay, I saw it on two blogs) that I'd like to jump in on. It's where they give you a word with the beginning letter descending the alphabet, and it's almost like a questionnaire.

A. Age: 14.

B. Bed size: Twin.

C. Chore you hate:  I dislike washing the dishes, but it's only because my siblings like to leave food on their plates when they put them in the sink.

D. Day: I like Wednesday. I have no idea why. 

E. Essential start to your day: Lumbering around the house with blurry vision, trying to decide what to wear last-minute before I have to go to band at the high school.

F. Favorite color: Purple.

G. Gold or silver: Gold? I don't know how to answer this question really.

H. Height: 5'3"

I. Instruments: I play the flute and the violin, but I had a brief affliction with the clarinet one time when I stole my sister's clarinet for the afternoon and taught myself the basic fingerings.

J. Job title: Babysitter of the youngest sibling, the Tree-Monster.

K. Kids (I assume they're asking whether I want kids when I'm older)

No. No.



L. Live: I live in Kansas.

M. Mom’s name: Mom.

N. Nicknames: I go by Hannah in real life, because that is my name. The only person in my entire family who goes by a nickname is my little sister Elizabeth, who goes by Lizzie--much to my mom's frustration. 

O. Overnight hospital stays: When I was born.

P. Pet peeve: Aside from the fact that I actually have a cat named Peeves (so technically he's my pet Peeves, hehe), I really hate it when I say something completely serious, like "One of my rabbits died" and everybody asks me, "Really? Are you serious?"

Q. Quote from a movie: "PUNY GOD!"

R. Right or left-handed: Right.

S. Siblings: I have five other siblings.

T. Time you wake up: I don't know it's pretty sporadic. Some time before noon, I guess.
U. Underwear: Um.

V. Vegetables you dislike: Peas. That's really the only vegetable I dislike (the texture is just so pasty!), and I'll eat everything else. 

W. What makes you run late: Sleeping. 

X. X-rays you’ve had: When I was in first grade or something like that I jumped off of my living room couch one evening while acting like an idiot and my left arm fell on a stack of magazines and I broke my arm. I had an X-ray then. 

And then I once fell off of our old horse, Tonks, because I was inexperienced and I fell on the very same arm and sprained my wrist. I had an X-ray then. Other than that I think I'm good.
Y. Yummy food you make: Chocolate chip cookies. When I used to live out at the farm I made the Tollhouse recipe a lot--so much that I think my family got sick of them! I know that my parents got sick of buying new packages of butter every week to keep up with me. 

Z. Zoo: If I had a zoo I'd stick all of my siblings (excluding Hope... I guess) in it and keep them there. 

The Abandoned Ferris Wheel Spins Anyway

Sunday, September 16, 2012

At The Fair

As I told you guys, for the past four days I've been at the Kansas State Fair. The food was greasy and delicious, the funnel cakes were overpriced, I met a few cool people, and the 4-H Encampment Building was... encampment-y. Turns out that they used to house people of war in the building during WWII. What an awesome chunk of history to know, right?

Yesterday I met some boys from Youtube, who released the viral music video I'm Farming and I Grow it, which was a parody to I'm Sexy and I Know it, by LMFAO. I have to say that they were completely normal farm kids, but I still felt underprivileged around them. 

My mom graciously bought a cool t-shirt for me and they signed the back of it, so we didn't just stand there awkwardly and blabber about how much we liked (sorry, loved) their video--but then again, that's basically what we did. I didn't say much during the entire visit (which lasted roughly five minutes), and I feel like a complete idiot for doing so. But really, what was I supposed to do? They already had people congratulating them on their music video, and telling them how good it is. I didn't want to make it overkill.

So I stayed silent. I mean, how are you supposed to tell someone that you've watched their video about fifteen times? It's just embarrassing that I can actually sing along to the song.

I'm writing this down mostly because the Peterson Brothers actually read some of what their fans write on blogs. This is my apology, and also my voice to say what I couldn't seem to choke out when I met them. I really like your videos! I think it's awesome that you guys go to K-State, and I'm glad that someone accurately portrayed Kansas. 

Okay. Now I will stop feeling guilty about it. 

In other news, I also met the governor of Kansas. His name is Sam Brownback, and he's an old college professor of my dad's. 

My sister Lizzie tagged along for the ride.

He was friendly, and was eating frozen yogurt when we walked up to him and anxiously waited for him to stop talking to one of my mom's old friends. And then I shook hands with him and my mom snapped this photo of us. It was all very thrilling. 

We returned to the very same booth the next day--though this time the governor wasn't there--and I noticed that there were these trading card-type  things of all of the famous Kansas people. One man's pointed face caught my attention, and with the excitement of a true fan girl, I picked up Buster Keaton's card and said, "I had no idea that Buster Keaton was from Kansas! That's awesome!"

 All-in-all, I had a pretty good time. I'm glad to be home, though, in the quiet and peacefulness of my own room.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

At Night.

Sorry there has been no post recently. I can't exactly say that I've been busy, really, I just haven't posted. I don't really know what to blog about now, as nothing has been going on.

My mom, my younger sister Elizabeth, and I are going to the State Fair soon. Tomorrow. We'll be looking at the butter statue and eating funnel cakes and touring the commercial buildings. My siblings have a few things there for 4-H, but this year all I did was horticulture and livestock, so I didn't compete. I will, however, be participating in the judging contests. 

The only thing we won't be doing is riding the rides. 

You may remember, roughly a year ago that I posted about going to the State Fair. Well, I went, and though I had a good time, the rides made me feel a little sick (can you blame me? The rides my companion insisted on riding were fast, spun around in lots of circles and jumbled up my insides). Besides, my mom doesn't exactly believe in going to the State Fair and riding the rides. There's so much more to see (like the annual butter sculpture).

I've never been to the State Fair at night, even though I've gone three (four?) times. So I'm excited for that, a lot. I wonder if everything will be lit up with bright orange-yellow lights, and then everything else will be pitch black. In an ideal setting, I hope that is the case.

Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) once said that maybe people are afraid of the dark because there is less distraction from fear. I know I'm paraphrasing and therefore it didn't come out right. But there it is.

I'm not afraid of the dark. I'm afraid of what's lurking inside its film and blackness. I can't see through the dark, but that doesn't mean that I don't like it. To me, night time is beautiful. I love it. All the little details that are ugly and mangled in the brightness of day take on a new persona when the sun disappears. Sometimes it's for the worse, making the object/thing look knarled and hideous (and oftentimes scary). But a lot of the time it looks pretty. 

This is rain. At night.
I'm excited to go to the State Fair. As soon as we arrive we're going to go and watch one of our friends at a reining demonstration (horse-type stuff). No doubt I'll be amazed and inspired to join the reining sport even more. 

In other news, Taylor Swift released a new single called 'We Are Never Getting Back Together'. It's been stuck inside my head for the past few days now, but that's okay, because I really like the song, even though it's not country (this doesn't mean I like country) and more a pop song. 

I must go pack now. Does anyone have some fair-related stories to share with me? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Foxface at DG.

Where I live there are two grocery stores: the actual local one, where the food is overpriced and the fruit is sometimes bruised and bad, and the other one is Dollar General, a chain store that made its way to our little town. 

I like Dollar General, for the most part. My mom used to work there, and so I know the store surprisingly well. Every time I go there I can't stop myself from cleaning up the aisles (namely, putting things back where they belong and bringing stuff in the back of the shelves to the front for easy access)--another reason why I've written a grocery store into one of my novels. Manuscripts. Whatever.

Anyway, you may have noticed that I said that I liked DG for the most part. Well, there's one thing I just really can't stand.

The employees are almost hostile. 

I try my best to be cheerful and polite whenever I'm confronted with people outside of family and friends. I always wish people a good day/night, and whenever I don't (once in a blue moon. Which was two nights ago) I feel extremely guilty about it. I wave to people on the roads a lot while riding shotgun seat--though not as often as I should--even though the only people who ever wave back are middle-to-eldery aged male farmers. 


Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who ever initiates the friendliness, but this feeling makes its way to the front of my mind the most when I'm at Dollar General. Most of the time, the cashiers don't say anything, if I don't initiate it first (I tested it one time and was proved correct). And then we have the one cashier that doesn't say anything, even when you ask if she's had a good day.

She stares at you with hollow eyes and thin lips. She has sleek red hair and a fox-like face. 

And I swear that she looks EXACTLY like Foxface from The Hunger Games. My other family members have agreed with me, and we all refer to her as Foxface. I think her real name is Danielle*, but I can't remember.

I got her at the register once, for the first time I think I'd ever seen her there. She didn't talk to me once, even when I tried to get the discount for my new pairs of flip flops. She just stared at me and waited for me to trail off of my sentences so she could continue to charge me full price for the flip flops.

She never talks. I have never heard her speak, not once. And I get her a lot at the register. 

I've heard talk that a lot of other customers have complained about her, because she's sort of mean. Sometimes she glares at me, sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes I walk into an aisle to find her stocking shelves as sloppily as a lazy twelve year old. And then, silently, she'll disappear and never come back, much like the Foxface in The Hunger Games. One time I asked her where they carried the band-aids, and she held up a finger to me and disappeared, never to return. 

I mean, it's not as though I'm going to shove Nightlock down her throat. I don't bite.

Is it too much to ask for a little good service every once in a while? I'm giving the store my money, and they're making me want to spend it elsewhere. What are your thoughts on the matter? I'd like to read them in the comments below.

* Names have NOT been changed

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fathomless: A Book Review.


Way yonder, back in July, you may remember that I wrote a book review on Jackson Pearce's Sweetly. Recently, another book in the series came out, and so I decided to read it because though I did complain and whine unnecessarily on the Sweetly review, I actually did like it.

Fathomless is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Anderson. I could catch very subtle hints that this was a retelling (like in the fact that when the mermaid, Lo, walked on land she'd cut her feet on imaginary knives and she'd start bleeding--and in the old fairy tale it was like there were knives in the little mermaid's feet when she walked), and I thought that it was very well done.

I couldn't put this book down. It was compelling, and the plot moved fast, and the pacing was SO much better than with Sweetly. There were a few imagery problems, like she had trouble just honestly telling us that Lo had feet, and not a tail. And so I spent the first 10,000 words or so thinking, "That's great but how did she get up on land like that with a tail?"

As I was expecting, this book is very... strange, for lack of a better word. The mermaid-type creatures blend well enough with the fenris (the werewolves, if you will). It didn't bother me, since I'm naturally strange. 

... AND THEN we get to the part about the shells, which did not fit in at all in Sweetly. But then they did, because they made sense suddenly.

The romance was PHENOMENALLY improved. It was almost refreshing. I was caught between which girl the dude was going to choose, because I couldn't decide which one he liked more. I thought that he acted a little sleezy, though he was cute. I like the name Barnaby, by the way (this sentence will make more sense when you read the book. If you do).

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a good story. But first you must read both Sisters Red and Sweetly, as this is a series book and half of the components won't make sense unless you read in order. 

Romance: 3.5 stars

Creepy Aspects: 5.0 stars

Plot Hole Explanations From Sweetly: 5.0 stars

 Overall: 4.5 stars

Well done, Jackson! You're up a star. Let's hope your retelling of The Snow Queen is stunning. I'm looking forward to it!