Wednesday, October 30, 2013

...I struggle with naming things, if you can't tell...

Hello.

I am writing this on "not Leo III." Seriously. That's the best name I could come up for my new laptop. At first, I considered calling her Baby, because that's the first thing my mom said when she walked in the house after buying her: "Here's your baby." But then I made an unforunate correlations between that name and a certain Justin Beiber song. That kinda ruined that name for me... I seriously need help with this, guys. The past two laptops I've had, I named Leo (after my favorite character in the Heroes of Olympus series). Both have died.

I'm picking up a trend here.


It is seriously hard to come up with good names for inanimate objects. Or at least it is for me. Do y'all struggle with this too?

Oh, the hardships of a first-world society teenager. I can't come up with a name for my new computer. *melodramatic moment*
 
So I guess this means I'm doing NaNo. I don't have the excuse I was going to use any more, so that means I have approximately 1 day to prepare. YIIIIIIIIKKKKKKKEEEEESSSSSS!!!

I'm actually a bit excited. Just a bit. An eeeeeeeeeensy little bit.



Today's preparation consisted of a handy-dandy little character description list I found. It had fifty questions, but I'm not sharing all of those with you. *wiggles eyebrows maniacally* I like to keep a few secrets up my sleeve, thank you very much.


  • 1. What color is your character’s hair? 
  • the darkest shade before brown turns to black, walnut brown, 
  • 2. What color are your character’s eyes?
  •  chocolate Labrador eyes,
  • 3. What color is your character’s skin?
  • ivory piano keys
  • 4. What special aesthetic characteristics does your character have?
  •  a light dusting of freckles across his nose and cheekbones, a bruise-like birthmark on his upper left forearm.
  • 5. Does your character have any piercings? Tattoos?
  • One of his ears is pierced, but he hardly ever wears anything in it--he and Jonathan pierced their left ears as a joke on their sixteenth birthday.
  • 8. What does your character wear?
  • plain t-shirts and jeans, usually light/dark blue and dark colored jeans, black converse, sometimes flannel shirts over the t-shirts.
  • 11. What is your character’s normal style of speech?
  • Matt is quiet whenever he speaks--but he speaks in a harsh manner whenever he gets angry. He doesn't have much inflection, but is almost "robotic" as Sam comments. 
  • 14. How easy is it for other people to read your character’s emotions?
  • Again, he's "robotic." Not many people can read him--even his best friends who have known him since he was born. 
  • 18. How willing is your character to fight for those values?
  • if his personal privacy (or the privacy of others) is threatened, he resists. Honesty is a constant struggle for him, because of bad habits and new secrets, but he tries to hold firm to it. 
  • 19. What is your character’s favorite food?
  • korean fried rice, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Coca-Cola
  • 20. What is your character’s favorite color?
  • emerald green
  • 21. What are your character’s sleeping preferences?
  • he's a night owl, and light sleeper, which makes him constantly tired--borders on insomnia.
  • BONUS: What position does your character typically sleep in?
  • on his stomach, head resting on forearms
  • 25. What is your character’s birthday?
  • March 15, 1995
  • 36. What does your character believe is their greatest virtue?
  • He believes that his silence is his best virtue, but others disagree--he isn't a good listener because of how emotionless he seems on the surface. On the contrary, when he speaks up and starts expressing his thoughts, he becomes on fire, and you can see how much it means to him. 
  • 41. Would your character rather be hated for being who they are or loved for pretending to be someone else?
  • He'd rather be hated for being who he is. Honesty is the most important quality to him.
  • 42. Is your character an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
  •  He is extremely introverted. 
  • 43. Is your character creatively expressive?
  • he draws on anything--paper napkins, cups, walls...it distracts him, and lets him get his emotions out without breaking things 
  •  44. What’s your character’s disorder?
  • As a child, he was severely autistic, but after years of therapy, he can talk and look people straight in the eye, though he still withdraws into himself quite often.
  • 45. What is your character’s standard emotional state?
  • He's pretty neutral--it takes a lot to make him upset or happy. 
  •  48. what really annoys your character? Shallowness. Insincerity. Whistling off-key. Bright colors. Sudden alterations of plans or unexpected changes.
  • 49. I am a _________. How would your character complete that sentence?
  • I am a failure.
  • 50. Life is an act of _________ing. What verb would your character use to complete that sentence?
  • Life is an act of surviving. 

I'm just now realizing how depressed of a character Matt is. When I first created him in my head (however many years ago that was) he was a rebellious redheaded teenager. Now, I look at what I've written about him, and I seen only a spark of the original Matt in him. It's kinda crazy how we writers go through just as many (or more) "rough drafts" for our characters as we do with our actual novel. And yet, we're  never quite satisfied with either of those things. There's always one little detail we want to change.


I guess that's why we humans shouldn't be allowed to play God. We'd change things constantly--searching for perfection.

Perfection is over-rated. Broken and imperfect characters (and people) for the win!! :)

Are any of y'all doing NaNo this year? Are you looking forward to it? Feeling a bit apphrensive? What's the extent of preparation you've done so far? I wanna know!



Cheerio, I guess,
Ely

Saturday, October 26, 2013

...the one that cares...

I looked over my shoulder into the backseat. Colt and Linds were leaning together, both of their mouths hanging open. A chorus of snores erupted from Linds, and Sam chuckled. "She makes more noise than a seventeen year old boy."

"Nineteen year old," I corrected.

She gave me a weird look. "But you said you're the same age, and you're seventeen."

"Nineteen."

"You said you were a junior in high school."

"Got held back."

"Ok, will you stop already with the curt answers? I know you're not happy with me right now; I get that. But I'm just trying to talk to you."

Exactly. I didn't want to talk to her. I didn't want to see her ever again after this stupid roadtrip was over.

"Matt?"

I grunted.

"Just talk with me, okay? I'm not going to pry, all right?"

I grunted.

She huffed in exasperation. "What am I going to do with you? You can't give me the silent treatment until we go home--which won't be for a while, if I have my way."

"About that." Colt's voice came from the back. "We need to call your aunt."

"You're awake?" She practically turned around in her seat to look at him.

I looked down at my hands. My knuckles were white from me clenching my fingers around the
wheel. Deep breath, Matt. Deep breath.

"How could I be asleep with you two yammering away?" Charm oozed from Colt's voice. I felt slimy just listening to him.

Of course Sam giggled.

She leaned a little further out of her seat. Her seat belt slipped completely off her shoulder. "Matt, yammering? That would be a miracle."

"I don't know--get him a Dr. Pepper or two and he'll chatter up a storm."

"Really--"

"Will you please just sit down already!"

I felt both of them stare at me.

"Bro." Colt sounded concerned. I didn't look back at him, but I could feel by the heat of his breath on my neck that he had leaned towards me. "You okay?"

My fingers clenched even tighter. The leather felt hot under my skin.

Sam, back in her seat once more, stared at me, her icy green eyes sparkling. "Matt? Are you all right?" She put a hand on my shoulder.

That did it.

I slammed on the brakes. Sam screamed, and my seat shook from some collision--probably Colt hitting his head. Behind me, lights flared and horns sounded in a violent frenzy. One driver swerved past me, window down and yelling foul words at me, but I didn't care.

"Sit in your seat," I said, staring straight ahead. "Or get out of this car."

 Sam fingered her seat-belt anxiously. "I'm sorry...I didn't mean to make you upset with my nagging...I was just teasing you."

"It's not that," Colt began. "He-"

"Shut it, Colton."

Colt shut it.

I finally looked fully at Sam. "Are you going to sit still and stay in your seat?" I sounded the father of a three year old; with the frustration boiling over inside me, I sure felt like one.

She bit her lip and shot a sideways glance at Colt. Sure, Sam. Check with him. Check with the smoozing flirt who'd do anything just to be the center of attention. Don't mind me. Don't mind the paranoid one.

Don't mind the one that cares.


{don't mine me I'll just sit in this corner I'm such a bad person Matt yes I still love you don't cry the emotional trauma won't last forever}

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"...fate is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast..."

Blue Sargent looks like any ordinary girl. She works with her mom and aunts, she doesn't have many friends, and it seems like her odd name is the only curious trait about her. What people don't see is that Blue has a unique strength in magnifying the psychic power about her...a small gift, she thinks, as a member of a family made up of psychics and fortune tellers. But that isn't Blue's biggest secret. The thing that she's kept secret her whole life--the fortune that has formed her into who she is--is this:

If Blue ever kisses her true love, he must surely die.

 To be quite honest, I thought I would hate this book, for multiple reasons. I knew it was about psychic powers and mythological stuff, which isn't exactly a field I enjoy or appreciate. It weirds me out, and kinda irks me sometimes. I also thought I would dislike it because it seemed like it was going to be a romance. I mean: the synopis on the book jacket completely hinted at that. I was expecting love triangle, angst, and all that mess.

So why did I pick it up off of the library shelf, and then read it in a few hours? Well, for one thing, it's written by Maggie Steifvater. As I've stated before, I loved the Scorpio Races, and so I thought I should give The Raven Boys a shot. I really disliked the Wolf trilogy (only read one book, but still disliked it--once again, for multiple reasons) and I have yet to read any of her other books, so I didn't have high hopes.

Boy was I wrong.

“You missed World Hist."
"Did you get notes for me?"
"No. I thought you were dead in a ditch.”


The Raven Boys was...confusing, to say the least. I'm still not sure I'd understand all that went on, even if I reread it several times. There were layers to it--it felt like it had depth. Or maybe it wasn't the layer upon layer effect...it was that there was so many unanswered questions. I wanted to know what would happen next--would Blue kiss Gansey like everyone foretold she would, or would Adam be the one to change their fate? What the heck did Barrington Whelk have to do with the Boys? And why is Noah perpetually referred to as 'the smudgy one' in Blue's mind?

 “I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I'm like a walking battery."
"You're the table everyone wants at Starbucks," Gansey mused as he began to walk again.
Blue blinked. "What?"
Over his shoulder, Gansey said, "Next to the wall plug.” 


I didn't much like Blue--she seemed a little two-dimensional. I liked Gansey the most, despite his very very weird name. Adam I deemed worthy of being part of the (miniscule) love triangle--he was genuinely nice, and the fact that he and Gansey had realistic friction that wasn't about Blue really made me like him. Ronan was twisted and feisty and a little mysterious, and Noah...well, I'm not going to say much about Noah. I'm alternately creeped out and entranced by his character. Read it. You'll understand.

“Are you really going to work in that?" Maura asked.

Blue looked at her clothing. It involved a few thin layering shirts, including one she had altered using a method called shredding. "What's wrong with it?"
Maura shrugged. "Nothing. I always wanted an eccentric daughter. I just never realised how well my evil plans were working.” 


Things I didn't like? As with most teen books of this day, language was everywhere. I counted about 5 f-words, several d-and s-words, and other British and American slang/swear words. I wish Blue's character had been a little more built upon, and I would loved more explanation about what was going on with Gansey searching for Owain Glyndwr. But I have a feeling that last issue will be resolved in the coming books. And the whole psychic powers/clairvoyant thing...I won't go into that in depth, but let's just that, religiously, it doesn't exactly make me happy.

The Raven Boys is the first book in a four book series called the Raven Cycle. The second book (which I have not read yet) is called the Dream Thieves, and came out September 17th. Both books are around 400 pages long.

I recommend this book to any teenager over the age of 15, but, bearing in mind that language is abundant, so if you're sensitive to that sort of thing, I would say older would be better. Also, be prepared for shivers--the last page is a killer.

“The way Gansey saw it was this: if you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed the world to look.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

...case in point...

{i found an old draft post from my old blog, and it made me laugh. My actual book reviews are coming tomorrow. But until then...}


My opinion on how guys hair should look has been completely destroyed by anime and manga.

lovely as ever...Sokka!
oh look, another anime Hauk lookalike. This is beginning to get annoying...
The cat ears make Kyo even more attractive... :P
whoops...that's actually a girl...honestly, you can hardly tell the difference, sometimes...
As I said, case in point. Reality has been shattered.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

...fandom-ness...

I have a friend who calls fandoms fan-dumbs.

And as much as I am sometimes inclined to agree with them, I must admit: I belong to many fandoms. And I am not upset by that one bit.

It started with Doctor Who (actually, it started with my brother, my future sister-in-law, and her sister nagging me to watch what seemed to me a very very weird TV show that featured a blonde girl with some modesty issues, a big blue box--um, weird?--and this guy with glasses and awesome sticky-uppy hair.) They dragged me into the fandom kicking and screaming, and to this day, I am grateful they did it, but would not wish it upon any other person.



My first episode was Blink, which was awesome and creepy, and my second episode was the Eleventh Hour, which made me fall in love with the show. I happily gnawed my way through Seasons 5 and 6, then got over my dislike of David Tennant (I honestly don't know what I was thinking back then...), and fell in love with Nine almost immediately. I didn't especially have a favorite Doctor. I just loved the entire show. I have days when I'm obsessed with it, and other days when I couldn't care less. But I think I can honestly say that Doctor Who will always be my favorite show. Ever.


Then came Merlin. I'd finished watching what Doctor Who I had available to me, and had post-BBC despression. I needed something to watch. And so, several of my delightful friends encouraged me to watch Merlin. And with a bad internet connection and a dying laptop, I watched the first 2 episodes. And thus, another fandom added itself to the list.


As a child, I devoured books about Arthur, Merlin, and his knights. That whole time period enchanted me. And to discover a TV show dedicated to the stories that I loved so much? Well, it was like a match made in heaven.


I have yet to finish all the seasons (I think I've watched all of season 1 and 2, and most of 3, but 4 and 5 I have yet to watch--except for the show finale. *sniffs*) once I get a working computer, me and Hulu will have a little party and remeet all my favorite characters. And then I'll probably become a bundle of feels and won't be able to talk to people for a few days.


A few weeks after I got into Merlin, a friend slept over at my house. We watched Doctor Who all night, and then the next day, she suggested watching the first episode of Sherlock. At first, I was hesitant--from what I had heard about Sherlock, I wasn't sure if it was the right show for me. But my mom okayed it, saying she'd watched it and enjoyed it, and so we went ahead and watched it. And then I discovered that Benedict Cumberbatch's voice was not as annoyingly gravely as I'd first thought it was, that Martin Freeman was NOT Morgan Freeman and that he was an adorable little hedgehog, and that Molly Hooper was AWESOME.


It took me longer to get through Sherlock than it did through anything else--mostly because I had to wait for my mother to pre-watch Season One for me, and because the episodes are so deliciously long. I have yet to watch the Scandal in Belgravia, and I doubt that I ever will. I know people say that it's a pretty incredible episode, apart from the whole Adler things, but...I just don't want to go there. I've read some of the stories, and Irene Adler always bugs me. So I'm content just to skip all that nonsense.


After getting into the the Big 3 of British TV, I said to myself, "Oh what the heck. Watch Robin Hood. It's bound to be good." And I wasn't wrong. Again, I grew up with those stories as my favorites, and being able to watch a good TV adaptation of them was just incredible.


I don't think I've really gotten into any other British fandoms, besides Harry Potter and period-style films. That is when I progressed into the Japanese/Korean side of things.


I really don't know when it happened. I think it's because I kept seeing A:TLA and LOK stuff on Pinterest, and it kinda piqued my curiosity. I watched all three books in one month, and LoK in a matter of days. And although A:TLA is more cartoon than anime, I was hooked instantly.


I watched most of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (skipping the bloody parts...eesh...), Bleach, Ouran High School Host Club, a good portion of InuYasha, Fruits Basket, and Death Note. I don't watch any other animes, because I decided that it was beginning to take over waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much of my free time, but I go back every once in a while and watch my favorites over again.


And thus leads me to my latest decent into madness.

K-dramas.



Once again, I blame Pinterest. Stuff about shows called 'Secret Garden' and 'Flower Boy Next Door' and 'City Hunter' kept popping up, and me being the curious soul that I am, decided to check it out. Basically, a Korean drama (or a k-drama) is a Korean version of a soap opera. Some are very cheesy. Some are angsty. Some are chock full of violence and political intrigue. But all are most definitely filled with drama. So much so that there are certain ones I won't watch, because the drama is overplayed and too much. But there are other ones that it's just the right amount that I don't mind.




K-dramas definitely have a distinct formula. Much like shojo anime, it's usually girl and guy meet, the two either hate each others guts, or one sudden falls head over heels while the other still hates their guts. Drama insues, and they have ups and downs, and almost always, there's a happy ending waiting somewhere for them, usually after 15+ episodes.



I think what I like most about k-dramas, surprisingly enough, is what they have taught me about writing. Not that I should follow a formula in writing--heavens, no!--but stuff like character development (what I should and shouldn't do), plot twists (are three in one episode necessary?), and how to carry a plot without forgetting a single detail. Seriously--in most k-dramas, I don't find many plot holes. It's incredible. And obviously, these shows are masters at the art of 'cliff-hanging.'

I apologize for the word in this, but it was just so perfect. :P

K-dramas are not for every one. Like with anime, I decided that they were taking up too much of my free time, so I usually save them for when I am sick, or I watch half of an episode before I go to bed, or as a reward for getting all that I need to do done. I think I've watched maybe 3 of them the entire way through--most I watch until maybe 3/4 of the way through, and then skip to the end. Some people might be horrified by this, but the last 3 to 5 episodes of the show is when the drama is the most fierce, and rather than deal with that, I just skip it. :)


Here are a few of my favorites!


this one is called Good Doctor--and it's my all time favorite. It's about an autistic genius who becomes a doctor and all the discrimination and stuff that he has to go through.

 I think I liked this one because although there is drama in it, it makes sense. I don't have to sit there and think "Um....why is he acting like that?" City Hunter is a good one because it has just the right mix of happy silliness and action/political intrigue.




 You're Beautiful. I both love and hate this one. Love, because two of my favorite Korean actors are in it (oh gosh, I have favorite Korean actors now...), hate, because it's so...frustrating. Back forth on this one.



 This one is called Love Rain--which automatically set me against it, because I'm not a big fan of the whole romantic scheme of things, but to my amazement, I ended up liking it a lot. I'm currently watching this one, and I must say that it's almost  tied with Good Doctor. Almost. :)

Whew! It's been while since I wrote that much for a blog post. And you know what? It feels good. :) I will hopefully have two book reviews for you within the next week, as I have been reading like a maniac lately, so look forward to that.

Love y'all, and thanks for bearing with my sporadic activity!
Ely

Monday, October 7, 2013

Acclimation

Some days my emotions feel like the swirling clouds: ever-grey, ever-morphing, ever-unsettled. I'm awake and sleep at the same time, talking and silent without a voice. A child laughing at a funeral, in innocent mirth, a girl homesick for an invisible house. It can't explained, and there are too many words to describe it. You know the feeling: two brothers stand side by side, but only one knows the kinship. The heavy burden of an unwanted secret that a person portioned off to you. When there are people all about you, but you feel lost in the wilderness. 

That's what this feeling is. 

And it's unsettling.