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