Twin Moment

Writers. Twins. Biologically unrelated. Laughing at
ourselves (and each other), listening to amazing
music, and living life epically. We present, our blog.
Prepare to be astounded.

Beginnings

After reading Matt's post about 2011, I was inspired.

In the beginning of 2011, February or March, I believe, I was checking out Miss Snark's First Victim for the first time in a few months, and I found an interesting link, leading to a teen writer's blog called Write On!. It looked sorta cool, I guessed. So I signed up for the forum. I had joined writer forums before, but it hadn't lasted. I would stick around for a month at most, and then I'd just peter out. But this one was people my age. I hoped I could actually make some acquaintances who would be fun to talk to about writing sometimes, and maybe even spur me to write more often than I did. (I have a serious confession: before 2011, yes, I did write. But in spurts. I would write for a few weeks, then I wouldn't for a few weeks. Or months, even. I wasn't fond of the pattern, but that's the way it was.)

I had no clue that Write On! would change everything.

(I couldn't resist the dramatic moment. It was just begging to be done.)

At first I was really cautious when talking to all the scary strangers at WO!, but as I relaxed and got to know them better, I realized they weren't scary. I even realized I was rather fond of them. I talked to them more and more––to the point where Mum got ticked at me a few times for spending so much time talking to my "weird internet friends" during the summer.

Of course, I'm glad I didn't listen to her for once, because these people were good for me. They encouraged me to write more than I have had before, and last summer I finished my first book. Finally, I had more than dozens of starts of stories. I had a completed story, in all its messy, tangled first draft glory. And as pleased as I was/am, I know it never would have happened without y WO! people encouraging me.

This year, I did my first NaNoWriMo, and the end saw the completion of my second novel. I started––and finished––my first semester of college. I got my first real job. I learned to knit on a whim. And half of those only happened because I found Write On!.

2011 has been a year of firsts and beginnings for me. I have to wonder what I would be doing instead if I hadn't decided to check out a blog I had forgotten about for a few months. If I hadn't clicked that link. Maybe I would have already been on my way to mastering Korean and an instrument(two things I have great interest in but sadly put on back burners often in favor of creating characters to talk to in leu of real friends), since I would have more time without all the writing and knitting I do now. Or maybe I would just be a lazy bum, reading and watching TV until I turn old and gray.

Either way, I wouldn't be me, and I rather like me. I like the stories I've created and thought up, and I like the people I've met in the last year.

2012 has some big shoes to fill if it hopes to be as great as 2011 was. I think it's already well on its way, with a visit to Maggie all planned for January. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year throws at me.

Any wonderful memories from the past year to share? Was 2011 a good year, or, as Matt asked, just another year?

Merry Christmas!

It may just be my favorite day of the year. I still haven't quite decided between today and tomorrow.

It's Christmas Eve!

Tonight is a magical night for families around the world, including mine, and possibly yours. As I write this I have spice cookies baking in the oven. Christmas music plays in the background. Everything around me is festive and sparkling.

I hope that your day has been wonderful, and continues to be so all through the night and tomorrow. If you celebrate, than here is wishing you a very, very Merry Christmas!

I'm off to finish making these cookies.

Honest Critiques and Christmas!

Those two things don't really sound related, but I'm squishing them together in a kind of life update slash inspirational post.

Just this past week, I participated in the Write On! Are You Hooked? critique round, submitting the first 250 words of one of my novels. I did it last minute because I'm on the Teen Team, and we had to wait until submissions were closed. I chose my least favorite novel opening, the one I'm totally not sure what to do with, and posted it without allowing myself to think twice.

Yikes!

The feedback I got was gold. No, I'm not going to say which entry it was. If you know me and my projects, you already know. But they basically said what I already knew (and didn't want to address), with some bonus things I'd never even thought of, which is awesome!

I won't lie to you, I felt a little frustrated for maybe a day after all the comments came in. Frustrated with my talent as a writer. To be fair to myself, this beginning isn't a fair representation, since I did submit one of my more troublesome pieces. (Hey, I REALLY needed feedback!)  But all the same, I developed a mini case of I'm The Worst Writer Ever.

Critiques will do this to you. Nine times out of ten. No matter how many critiques you receive, no matter how thick you grow your skin, sharing your beautiful creations with the world and getting negative feedback is always going to hurt. At least a little bit.

It happened to me. I didn't even write that day (or more like I couldn't.) I had to allow myself to feel the way I was feeling.

And then I got over it.

The important thing is to release yourself to have your moment, and then shake it off and choose to use the critiques as a mounting block. Otherwise, you're not going to get anywhere, and neither is your novel.

That's the morale of this blog post. You've got to press on! Critiques are an essential part of the writing process. Sometimes what you write will suck. Sometimes it'll just be weak. But when other writers tell you this, instead of letting it knock you down, let it push you in the right direction. Toward success.

I'm not working on that particular project at the moment, but when I do, I'll pull out all the feedback, roll up my sleeves, and dig in. And it'll be great.

As for the Christmas part of the post, it's only four days away. It's my favorite holiday. Now that I'm officially on Christmas break, it's time to relax, bake cookies, wrap presents, and enjoy cups of warm things by the tree.

That's all I have for you today. Hope your Tuesday is amazing and full of Christmas cheer, if you celebrate. Even if you don't, I hope it's still wonderful and warm and fuzzy.

For the comments, how do you deal with critiques? Were you part of Are You Hooked? Did you guess which was mine? (Don't really answer that last one. I kind of don't want to know. *hides face*)

Yay Yay YAY!!!

(Maggie additions in blue.)

Guess what. *waits* No. No. No. No. Oooh, chocolate! But no. Do you give up? Okay. SO. Two blog posts ago (more if you count Maggie's) I made a weird vague comment at the bottom about January. Well, last night, I got online, and...

I bought plane tickets. 

To visit Maggie. 

*SQUEAL*
*SQUEAL* !!!!

And now I can tell everyone, and I'm so excited and I wish Christmas would come really fast, and then I wish New Year's would speed by, and then I shall be WITH MAGGIE.

*squeals again*
This is me. Except maybe not as cute as that.

I am so excited. I randomly burst out in squeals and dance and song. I shall go make some chocolate to celebrate. Chocolate!? I want celebratory chocolate!!

But first, hugs to you all! :D

And as for me, WORDS DO NOT EXPRESS!!! I'm SO excited. I could just keep repeating that, but basically all that Constance said (including adorable picture) sums up how I'm feeling.

Twin Moment of the Day: We are both VERY very excited about January. 
On my Mind: Jumping at every noise.
Listening to: Cars on the highway.
Grateful for: Mom, and airplanes, and everything!
Wanting to: Go make chocolate
Writing: Nothing. Plotting instead.

Things I Hate in Books

You know those things that happen in books that just irk you? Distress you? Bother you? We all have them, and they're all different. Here's my list. Feel more than free to share yours in the comments! (Or just agree heartily with mine.)

Spoiler alert! I make references to novels such as Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. that could spoil your reading experience. Proceed with caution.


  • Maimed characters. I'm not talking near-fatal wounds. I'm all for drama and injury and putting your characters through one heck of a ride. But it bothers me to no end when people lose teeth, hands, feet, eyes. Anything that doesn't grow back. Rapunzel's hair in the end of Tangled. Frodo's finger in Return of the King. George's ear in Harry Potter. Katniss's hearing in Hunger Games. (Okay, Suzanne did redeem that one by having it fixed.)
  • Irritating writing quirks. There are some quirks that more than one writer like to use, and they jump out at me every time. They're supposed to be cute, or establish voice, but will do the exact opposite for me. Like "yeah." One of my book pet peeves is writers that use "yeah" at the beginning of a sentence. "Yeah, I'm not too fond of spiders." "Yeah, I've been there before." "Yeah, that's me, the clutz." Yeah, you can stop doing the yeah thing now!
  • Ruined love stories. Is it awful if I confess that I love unrequited love? Provided I didn't first become way too involved in the romance. No, what I'm talking about isn't that kind of ruined love story. It's when authors kill people. Sure, sometimes it's necessary. Yes, it probably has the desired effect on me by yanking on my heartstrings until I can hardly bear it. But killing Finnick? Lupin and Tonks? Norman in Beatrix Potter [movie]? Well, maybe that last one they couldn't help, since it was a true story.
  • Wise old men. Basically, Gandalf clones. I don't like info-dumpy, know-it-all old men. They're a dime a dozen, and I generally don't care much about them (Dumbledore being the exception. He kinda grew on me.) The one that comes to mind is Brom in Eragon. Though, really, I could write a post of things I don't like about Eragon. (I'm sorry, fans!) I had another example of an info-dumpy old man (a wizard, too), but then I had a soft spot, because the book wasn't widely popular. I'll be kind.
  • Unlikeable female protagonists. This one REALLY bugs me. Maybe it's my tendency to be hard on girls in my general age range, or maybe my standard for female protagonists is really high, because boy, few things put me off in a novel more than an unlikeable female protagonist! Our definitions of 'unlikeable' are probably different, but mine is generally a girl with a bad attitude (who never redeems herself), flirty girls, overdone tomboy girls, and (especially) cookie cutter YA female protags. You can't tell one from the other when you think back. Nothing sets them apart. You know what I'm talking about, right?
  • Hot guys. Okay, this one's tougher to word, because I'm totally not anti-good-looking-guys in books. What bugs me are over-described, picture-perfect boys in books. They're generally either dark haired, or blonde haired. Usually muscles, jeans, and winning eyes are involved. (Or smiles. Lots of smiles!) Really, at the end of the day, what makes it or breaks it for me with boys in stories is character. Please, please don't give me a hundred descriptions of his cuteness. Show me how he acts. How he lives, talks, and treats others. Give me a reason to love or hate him, a reason that's deeper than his skin.
  • Abrupt endings. Ahhh, this one! I don't feel like you're supposed to finish a book, close it, say "oh", and feel deflated. I know it's a bad sign when I go on to read the acknowledgements and tiny words at the end, hoping listlessly for more story. It's one thing when it's supposed to have a dot dot dot feeling, or if there are going to be other books. But when it's a standalone novel, I feel like you should close the book and sigh in contentment, right? At least show us some of the happily ever after!
So it's your turn. What's your list? Do you agree or disagree with any on mine? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Best Part of Today: Writing, writing, WRITING.
Currently Craving: Hot tea.
Music Pick: "Fight" by Icon For Hire
I'm Reading: "Gulliver's Travles" + "Defiance" by Constance Briggs (hee!)
WIP: Aqueous (8,796 words)



A Day in The Life of Constance

My day has been crowded. I thought I'd share. Note: this is uncensored*. Read at your own risk.

*That means it contains all my thoughts––that I can remember––from the day that don't have to do with Secrety Things.


7:40––Alarm 1 goes off. I roll out of bed, let my dog Roper out of my room, grab my phone, shut the alarm off, and collapse back into bed, stuffing my phone under my pillow.

7:47––Alarm 2 goes off. I crawl out of bed, pulling off my sleep socks so they don't get Roper hair on them, and stumble to the kitchen. Thoughts aren't really coherent, but, as they usually go around this early in the AM, they are along the vein of: I hate mornings.

7:48––Seeing no food in the kitchen, I go to find my mommy, curl up beside her, and let her come to the conclusion that I want food. It doesn't take long. Morning Constance is rather predictable.

8:00––I get dressed, proceed to get ready for class.

9:00––Latin. My friend-in-Latin, Michael, is a jerk and draws on my paper in pen because I accidentally say he's going to fail his final. (What I meant was more like, well, you may fail, but hey, I'll probably fail too!) At least it was blue pen.

9:24––LATIN SONGS. We listen to Latin Christmas carols and Latin drinking songs. Highlight of my Latin class for the whole semester? The music major guy in the row behind me singing along, word-for-word, with the last drinking song. The main chorus has a lot of "bibo" and "bibet" in it––the Latin word for "drink." I crack up, cause all I can think of is frogs.

10:00––I spend the next several hours trying to sign up for next semester's classes, getting "old lady advice" from a young college student at the student center where my mom works.

1:00––English class. An hour of my English professor trying to teach a class of football jocks. Most of her references and jokes go over their heads...as usual.

2:00ish––I talk to Maggie Twin a while. We discuss what I would call her mother if I met her in RL. "Empress" is discussed. I think that actually trying to call someone that without it stemming from sarcasm would be.........really hard.

3:32––Mom asks me to go get Justin. I go to the wrong place, sit for about 15 minutes(eating pistachios and throwing the shells out the van's skylight to see how good my aim is at that angle). Finally figure it out, and spend the next 40 minutes getting him, taking him home. Probably scared the poor boy, because, as Mother phrases it later, I was "radiating unhappiness."

4:24––I go to get Mom. I see my cop––that'd be the one that pulled me over Thursday night. I won't be forgetting him anytime soon––on the way. I tell Mom so when I get her, and she decides that I should bake him cookies, so that next time he pulls me over he's less likely to give me a ticket. I frostily tell her there will be no next time, thank you very much.

8:46––I puppy-dog-eyes Mom into going to get me whipping cream so I can make whipped cream to go with some homemade hot chocolate.

9:21––Hot chocolate is done and the most delicious thing ever.

10:29––I decide I should blog, and all I come up with is rambling about my day. I come to the conclusion that no one will read it, and anyone that does deserves a reward. I also realize I am way too hyperaware of time, because all those times are the actual times, simply from memory. I am a titch weirded out by the fact. I also decide that one day...One day, I will write a blog post during the day, and it will sound almost normal.


Yeah...and that's a pretty normal day for me. Minus the pistachio bit.
How was your day? Anything exciting happen? Feel free to ramble as long as I did.

Study, study, study!


It's that (dreaded) time of year. MIDTERMS! Okay, who am I to talk? I have one midterm on my horizon. Yes, I'm having an extremely light senior year.

However, I may or may not be very grade-conscious. (There's a guilty cough in there.) Maybe even a tad shy of obsessed. I really want to make sure I wrap up this year with an A, and to do that I'm going to have to throw writing time out the window and put my nose to the grindstone.

Bleh. Doable, but bleh.

The thing I hate about midterms and finals is the fact that you have to review everything you've learned all year. Lucky for me, my chem teacher's the nicest around (remember? she gives us cookies!) and she provides awesome study guides with basically all we need to know. Couldn't be simpler!

So, that's how I'll be spending this cold, rainy Wednesday.

What about you? And just in case it might help me, what are your study tactics? I like Quizlet.

Have a great day!


Best Part of Today: Leading my pony* through snow flurries.
Currently Craving: Hot tea.
Music Pick: "Let it Snow" by Michael Buble
I'm Reading: "Gulliver's Travles" (Umm... haven't touched it all week.)
WIP: Fire (1,326 words)

*Sadly, he's not really mine. I just get attached.

Dude, This is Serious

So some of you might have noticed, via Twitterverse, that I am plotting my next story, which is actually sort of a sequel/sort of a companion to my NaNo novel, Defiance. (Yays all around!)

Well.* There is kinda sorta this thing I've been toying with writing. Let's call it the Issue.

Now, I want to preface this: I have thought about writing Issue novels(those'd be the ones that deal with serious stuff) for a while, because when I pick up Issue books, they always make me think, and I love books that make me think. They may not make me laugh, and I frequently say that books that make me laugh are my favorite...But I don't think that's true. I love comedy, definitely. But I think that Issue books dealing with suicide, teen pregnancy, drugs, slavery(or the like), etc––those are important too. Because when society brushes important issues under the rug, it only makes things worse. So, yes, I have been thinking about writing this Issue, among others, a while.

And with this book, I finally have that opportunity (And by opportunity, I mean if I didn't, it would only be because I'm too wimpy, because there is an Issue-sized spot for it in the plotline, begging to be filled). My first reaction?

Oh, crap.

I mean, come on! Big Issues. Those are the things you don't want to mess up. So instead of plotting, I have been worrying over it. Googling, trying to find blog posts or articles on it. That led to a whole lot o' nothing. Seriously. Hours. *cough* (It's fascinating, and it sucks away your soul. Don't ever click the links. You'll never get out.)

Anyway. Eventually, I did what any Momma's Girl teen would. I asked my mom about it. (Yeah, I know. I'm one of those rare teens that not only likes their parents, but also *gasp* talks to them. About everything. Secrecy? What's that?)

Side note: moms are really quite smart. Whodathunk? Well, anyway. She listened as I explained my concerns, and she talked with me about it. That's all I really needed, as it usually is (just ask Maggie).

Don't shy away from writing the hard stuff. It won't be easy, and some people won't approve, but that doesn't change anything. The issues still exist, and people should still speak out about them. Cause, dude, this is serious stuff.

...

And guess what? On a completely different note...I am so excited for January! *insert gleeful jumping here* More on that when it's a more cemented thing. ^_^



*I want it to be known, I typoed that at first as "vell" and was so tempted to leave it and just go for a...V's accent. You know the one. It's sad I'm not even sure what accent it's supposed to be. If only I knew an Epic One or a Wise One, to beseech their help and draw on their expertise...


Twin Moment of the Day: We are both veeeery excited about January. 
On my Mind: Rolling my R's. I'm getting better, but still, not so much.
Listening to: "Innocence" by Avril Lavigne
Grateful for: Mommy
Wanting to: Skip Dead Week and Finals and get straight to Winter Break
Writing: Nothing. Plotting book #2, and Defiance sits, waiting for editing, at a lovely 48k!

Soundtracks

Happy Friday! It's the best day of the week. Unless you're on holiday; then every day is good.

On Wednesday I spent a good hour thoroughly enjoying myself, hunting for soundtracks to write my new team of novels to. I had to pick an oceany-sounding soundtrack for Aqueous (temporary title), an intense, driven soundtrack for Survival, and a post-apocalyptic with a little dragon mixed in for Fire.

I found them all. (Hans Zimmer is a god of music, and Steve Jablonsky's works are imagery in musical form. Well, both of their works are.) Anyway, it inspired a long overdue post about one of my favorite aspects of writing.

Music.

I can't write without it. Music plays a very important role in my life in general. It soothes me, motivates me, inspires me. It can pretty much put me in any mood you can think of. For me, writing and music are one and the same. I don't often have one without the other.

My favorite thing to do as I'm preparing to write a novel is to pick a movie soundtrack for it. All my novels have one. This way, each novel's playlist has the same feel, and later, if I ever want to pick the novel up again, a few notes of that theme song will transport me right back to my world.

It's magical.

I wrote Darkblood to Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's "Batman Begins" soundtrack. I wrote Xiomara to James Horner's "Avatar" soundtrack. In fact, a few weeks ago I picked up an Avatar birthday card in the grocery store, one of those that play music when you open it. The moment I heard those notes, I went right back to Xiomara's world.

Question time! Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what are your favorite artists? What feel do you usually lean toward? Lyrics or none?

I know I can't have lyrics. And my favorite artists are James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, Steve Jablonsky, James Horner, Michael Kamen, Patrick Doyle, Rachel Portman, Alexandre Desplat, Harry Gregson-Williams, etc. Love. Them. All.

Your turn!

Enjoy the rest of the day and weekend!


Best Part of Today: Grooming and chillin' with a pony. Or maybe meeting another bookworm whilst picking a paddock.
Currently Craving: Chocolate. I'm off sugar at the moment, and there's a bag of chocolate taunting me from my desk drawer.
Music Pick: "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby 
I'm Reading: "Gulliver's Travles" (ick!)
WIP: Fire (1,326 words*)

*I started over. Don't ask.




50k, Finally!

And, I am done too!!

I want to be clear, though. Technically, I finished my novel before Twin did hers. I just... didn't hit 50k. I got about 47k, so I have been struggling to get that up to 50k for the past few days by beefing up stuff.

Finally I gave up and just wrote two scenes from the possible Book 2 to finish off the last 2k that hated my guts.

I'm so excited to be done. My story is crazy awful (This was me, trying to go through and beef scenes: O_O This is terrible. This is terrible. Oooh, that's not so... nevermind, that's painful too. I wrote this?!), but that's okay, because I still love it. And now that I've spent a month writing it, I get to spend the next few months editing! Oh goodie! Um. Sorta?

Regardless. I'm happy. Plus, I get normality back now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over. I mean, I love my family to death, I truly do, but there are...so many of them. O_o

AND I can knit again! Well. Without feeling guilty that I'm knitting instead of writing. *cough*

I hope you all have as wonderful a day as I'm having! <3


Twin Moment of the Day: We both hate the little (1) that pops up when there are new messages in our gmail inboxes. Though, for me, it's more like, (29). >.>
On my Mind: Singing "I'm done, I'm done, oh yeah, I'm done!" to a little tune in my head.
Listening to: "Take Me As I Am" by Heather Dale
Grateful for: Being DONE. And the peace and quiet that follows the storm that most classify as "family". (I do love them, really!)
Wanting to: Sleep. Forever.
Writing: Nothing. Defiance sits, waiting for editing, at a lovely 48k!

Finished My NaNo Novel!

Well, it's official! I'm done with Draft 1 of my NaNoWriMo novel. I feel a little giddy, very much relieved, and also like throwing the novel out the window. (It's okay. It'll pass. This is normal for me!)

It's "complete" at 58,316 words! That's bound to change as soon as I get my hands on it.

Now all we have to do is wait for Constance to finish. Don't mind if I have some leftover Thanksgiving pie while I wait.


Best Part of Today: Finishing my NaNo novel. (Or the leftovers!)
Currently Craving: Pie.
Music Pick: "Cheek to Cheek" by Ella Fitzgerald
I'm Reading: Taking a break before the next Nasty Reading Assignment.
WIP: To Save Them (58,316 words)

Happy Thanksgiving!

A wee bit late, but Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans! Today's all about family, food and thankfulness. Thus, I'm going to post a few things I'm particularly thankful for this year. Even if you don't live in the U.S., feel free to post yours in the comments anyway!

I'm thankful for:

  • My awesome family.
  • My awesome friends.
  • A warm house.
  • The ability to write.
  • Having reached 50k in my NaNo novel.
  • Stories in general.
  • Beautiful sunshine.
  • Being alive.
  • Hot tea.
  • Pumpkin pie.
  • Internet. Yes, even though it's responsible for 99% of the distraction in my life. (Okay, slight exaggeration.)
  • My country.

The list actually goes on and on, but I'll spare you the details.

Your turn!


Major *facepalm* & Writer Sadism

So some of you might have seen this over on Noveltee(n) already, but since it's pretty silent around here because of NaNo, I'm double-posting it. But, first...

I am a terrible person. O_O I have school, 4 exams to take in two months, a song(in Korean) to memorize, and novel to finish writing before the 30th, and guess what I go and do?! I get 8 books from the library.



Plus I can't for the life of me figure out how to make all the fonts in this post the same... O_o Today is not my brightest day, to say the least. [Maggie: Twin to the rescue! *fixes fonts*]

But I'll live. Probably.

Anyway! On to the next bit.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that writers are really just sadists.

Okay, maybe only some. But it is pretty common, when one overhears writers talking about their work, to hear the writer gleefully discussing maiming or emotionally scarring their characters, or killing people off, etc.

But I'm thinking it's not actually the hurting the characters that the writer delights in (okay, maybe a little) but rather what the hurting will lead to. As S.E. Sinkhorn says over on her blog*:

"Try it. Take away something your character loves dearly. Cut away their family. Steal their significant other. Annihilate their best friend. Destroy their freakin' world. Then let them change. Let them grow. Let them become someone with a different outlook on the same past. Let them be stronger for it. And let the story continue."


What doesn't kill your characters  make them stronger. If you kill the character's whole family, they will probably be devastated. If you throw their life in a mud puddle and stomp on it with soccer cleats, they will suffer. But they will get over it, and become better characters. Because that is what people do.

So really, it is a truth not-so-universally acknowledged, that writers love their characters so flipping much that they are willing to put them through the pain that will make them better, stronger people.

*Nooo, I didn't just choose a blog topic that would fit that link because that link is about Doctor Who, why do you ask?


Twin Moment of the Day: Well, it's not really a TM, but I did get "Between Shades of Gray" from the library.
On my Mind: Where is all my time?!
Listening to: "I Dreamed a Dream" by Ruthie Henshall from Les Miserables
Grateful for: Very little homework
Wanting to: Eat. Sleep. Read. Write. Get one of Hermione's hourglass things that makes me be in two places at once.
Writing: Defiance (NaNo novel--27k!)

Hunger Games Trailer!

It's finally here!!

After missing the live version on Good Morning America, I scoured the web until I found it. May I present, the Hunger Games trailer.

March can't come fast enough.

A Request

So, y'all. I need some help. I have a survey I made for English that I need 30 people to take... I would love you forever and shower you with chocolate if you would fill it out. I honestly wouldn't ask if I didn't have to, but the alternative is going up to random strangers on campus... O_O At least I know y'all don't bite––often.

Anyway. It's just a survey about whether people read vs. watch TV, and it's only ten questions...


If you don't want to do it, don't! I won't hate you. If you do, just give one answer to each question in the comments, or email me at nacogdoches.girl@gmail.com.

I would REALLY appreciate it. Anything to avoid talking to those weird college students...

I hope you are all having a wonderful November! ^_^

Best Quiz Question Ever (& Other Random Things)

"The Visible Spectrum"
Wow. Long title there!

Today I had the Best Quiz Question Ever. I kid you not, it was as follows:

What are the colors of the rainbow?


Yes. It pretty much made my morning. I love colors, and I love getting easy credit for listing them. (Okay, there was a point to it. I promise.)

As for the Other Random Things, first and foremost tomorrow is an Agent Chat! That's clickable to make it easy for you to register and join me there! (Hey, just doing my Write On! duties by letting you know. Plus it's going to be awesome.)

Also, I'm about 4k away from being halfway done with my NaNo novel. And it's only the 10th! Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?

I'm still totally eating Taryn's dust.

Last but not least, I HAVE CHOCOLATE. Chocolate chips, for the win! What? Don't you eat chocolate chips straight out of the bag?

(If the answer isn't yes to that, it needs to be! Trust me, it's delish.)

The purpose of this post, aside from simply updating you about the exciting things in my life, is to offer you a picture of a rainbow as an apology, for the lack of blogging lately. I promise, I'll be back to substantial posts-with-points soon. It's been a bit crazy since NaNo started, and somehow blogging got pushed to the bottom of my list!

Heck, I even forgot to post my From The Trenches on Write On!. I'm gonna have to sneak mine in after Taryn's. (So sorry, Authoress!)

Hope you're all enjoying your Thursdays!


Best Part of Today: Chocolate. My mommy loves me!
Currently Craving: PINEAPPLE. (I'm so predictable.)
Music Pick: "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble
I'm Reading: "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater 
WIP: To Save Them (21,658 words)



NaNo Check-In #1

We're on Day 4 of NaNoWriMo '11, and I think it's safe to say, just getting started. Here are updates from the desks of the both of us! Enjoy! And please, do share in the comments how you're doing so far.


MAGGIE-

So far, so good! Actually, I had a bit of a rough day today. It was all good for the first 3 days -- a kind of honeymoon period because I was still fueled by excitement -- and then I hit my first wall. None of my subplots were interesting enough to carry the story forward successfully. RED ALERT!

Now, I know what you're thinking. NaNo is all about quantity, not quality! Which is true. This ain't quality stuff I'm writing. But I do need a story if I ever want to hit 50k. After an unsuccessful walk with my sister to try to coax my brain into Brilliant Idea Mode, the solution finally came to me whilst I was boiling a pot of water. Figures.

I'm excited to see where this takes me. 

CONSTANCE-

Day 1 was awesome! Day 2...Well, let's just say I kinda sorta didn't get any writing done. Ahem. Day 3 saw me trying––and failing––to catch back up. Today, though, has been wonderful! I've already hit my quota, and I'm well on my way to getting back up to where I'm supposed to be.

And man, I am LOVING my story. I spent a month thinking about the characters for this, and how'd they'd interact, and worldbuilding, so now that I'm actually writing, it's just so... easy. I don't have to think about how things should be, aside from a few almost-uses of modern phrases that just wouldn't fit in a fantasy. Even on the slower scenes, I'm enjoying writing it. I hope it stays like this the whole time!

Happy writing, y'all. :)

Tomorrow is NaNo!

Well, tomorrow's a big day! Tomorrow, it all begins.

As you all know, I haven't written anything since my big revisions on Blink. And now suddenly I'm faced with a month of pretty much nonstop writing-- unless, of course, I manage to finish To Save Them before deadline. 

In any case, I wanted to throw out a couple links to you guys just to make sure we're all plugged in. "All" being fellow participants.

I'll be tweeting here throughout. Half of them probably won't make sense, but the other half will be at NaNo buddies. We're all going to hold each other accountable and keep each other sane. Well, partially sane.

I'll also be hanging out here, in the Write On! support group. (You need to be a teen to do this)

My NaNoWriMo profile is located here, and please don't hesitate to add me as a buddy. (You do not need to be a teen to do this.) 

To those of you who will be with me, good luck! I believe in you all. You're totally going to rock.

Happy writing!

Best Part of Today: Umm. Jazz?
Currently Craving: Hot chocolate. (Or ice cream is fine. Chocolate, please.)
Music Pick: "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble
I'm Reading: "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater + "Beowolf"
WIP: To Save Them (NaNo novel -- not started yet)

Writing Prep a la Procrastion


Ah, the smell of rain in the air! 


The feel of Jack Frost poking a toe into East Texas!*


The sight of...nonexistent subplots... >.>

So I'm obviously excited for NaNo, but I'm clearly avoiding my subplots. And I nearly forgot about doing character descriptions for my lovely characters, too. And then there's...

You get the point. There is a lot involved in writing, and in the prep for writing especially. I've been working hard on all of it. (That or avoiding. What, you thought this blog post was just cause I love y'all? ...Well, I do. But don't be fooled! This is totally me in full procrastination mode.)

But the one thing I haven't worked on (or avoided, really) is my characters––their personalities and relationships with each other, at least. Because I really feel like I know them, even though all I've done is decide what they're going to be like, and make some of them music playlists. Barely any work. Maybe I'm totally wrong, and I'm actually really awful at characters. But at least I enjoy them. Characters really make a story for me. That and dialogue, but for the most part you can't pre-prep dialogue.

What's you're favorite part of writing? What do you think you do best? Are they one and the same?

I'm off to procrastinate with a new activity!

*Objects in photo are less existent than they appear.


Twin Moment of the Day: We both took lovely walks today.
On my Mind: Should he be blonde/black/brown???? Character descriptions.
Listening to: "Masquerade" by the Backstreet Boys (It's actually one of the theme songs for Defiance, so it's been on repeat.)
Grateful for: RAIN! Temps below 60 F!
Wanting to: Nom on some chocolate
Writing: Prepping Defiance for NaNo

A Package! (And A New Favorite Novel)

Excuse my chipping nail polish...
Guess what the mail man brought me! (Constance: The US postal service is speedy these days!)

Okay, so packages (and letters!) in the mail are among the things in life that never fail to brighten my day. I've been so excited about these amazing arm-warmers a la Constance, that I may or may not have been peeking out the window every day when the mail man comes to see if he brought me the long-awaited package.

Well, he did! And WOW.

I only jokingly said to my Twin that I wanted her to make me some "arm warmers." And lo and behold, she took me seriously Well. You said you wanted some, and I had no other plans for my next project. Why not? and magically produced these beautiful, ocean colored wonders! Just look at them! Okay, you've already seen them, I know... (And they're ten times prettier in person, too!)

Not only am I amazed by how quickly she picked up the knitting thing, but also I'm feeling so special and loved, that she took all that time to bother with something for me, just randomly! And yeah, it was a lot of time. (And frustration, methinks! I don't have the patience for this sort of thing.) It had its frustrating moments, I admit. But methinks you're totally worth it.

I think I owe her a month's supply of chocolate or something. Well, if you insist.

Something.

Okay, enough gushing! On to part two of this post.

I have a New Favorite Novel! And I couldn't resist adding it to my I'm-afraid-of-the-internet friendly picture. In case you can't read it, it's "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys.

It's so up my alley! I just love books like this, and I love this book, and I love her writing and-- yeah. It's a New Favorite Novel. Hands down. I would proudly put it on my book shelf next to Hunger Games if Taryn hadn't lent this particular copy to me (oh so kindly!). I'll definitely buy my own ASAP!

I seriously recommend it! I haven't put it down much since I started. It's that kinda novel for me. Gripping. Emotional. Realistic. Awesome.

I have to resist going to the library RIGHT NOW. Anything you love that much must be good.

On that note, I'm off to finish it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Best Part of Today: Hangin' out with horses! (a.k.a mucking stalls) I LOVE horses.
Currently Craving: Milk! Okay, ew. A milk-based drink. With vanilla.
Music Pick: "Mon Pays" by Faudel
I'm Reading: "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys
WIP: Fire [on hold!] (11,261 words) + Developing To Save Them (NaNo Novel)

Knitting! 3 in 1

So I've been sitting on some pictures for a while, of the last two knitting projects I finished––some fingerless mitts & a hat, both for two AWESOME people.
I was gonna wait to post the pictures until I'd actually sent off the gifts, but, uh, I haven't yet, and I know I'll forget if I wait any longer. I figured the finishing of my latest project was as good a time as any to share. Now, in order of project, we have... (Maggie, I know you're reading this. Close your eyes for the first two pics so it's still a surprise!)

Maggie's fingerless mitts
...Aren't quite long enough to be arm warmers
Yup. I definitely didn't make them long enough to be arm warmers(which was the original plan). And the cabling was a fail. But they're still pretty and full of LOTS of love. <3<3<3 (Excuse the mushy moment, y'all.)
Project #2 was Taryn's hat.

Too short? Yeah, I thought so too.

Better!
I did it twice. The first time it was too short––I didn't compensate for using a thinner yarn than called for. In my defense, it was the only yellow I could find. Taryn specifically wanted yellow. (Strange girl...) The second one is a bit long, but the edge can be folded up, so I was satisfied. I almost don't want to send it to Taryn, despite it being bright yellow. The yarn is UBER soft. <3

And project #3, which I finished all of an hour ago, is a snood and/or a baggy beret. The pattern called for a thicker yarn, but I wanted it to look a little bit more lacy, so I went for a 2 ply (instead of a 10 ply). I 'm really happy with it. ^_^ I have lots of extra yarn; I think I'll make a scarf to go with it.

As a snood.
As a baggy beret.
You can't see it here, but it has sparkly silver woven in the yarn. *sparkles at the sparkles*
Also, as a side note, I think the snood should win an award for the world's weirdest name for an article of clothing/accessory. I mean, really?? Snood? What kind of name is that?!

Oh, and GUYS. I finally thought of a name for my NaNo novel. (Some of you know how that was plaguing me. xD) Thanks for the help, AndrĂ©!

Twin Moment of the Day: I haven't talked to her AT ALL today. ;(
On my Mind: Food!
Listening to: "Gus: The Theater Cat" from Andrew Lloyd Weber's Cats musical.
Grateful for: Cooler weather
Wanting to: Go do some character development
Writing: Prepping Defiance for NaNo


Timed Writing

So, today has been a full day for me. I started by waking up late, and nearly DIED, since today is Midterms Day for two classes. O_O But I made it to both, and I think I did pretty good. Following that up with being almost done with reading an MS someone sent me (not to mention the knitting I shall do tonight), today's a day of Things Getting Done!

Buuuut anyway. Someone should poke me when I start getting sidetracked. *pokes self*

My second midterm was for English, and we had to write a timed essay. It made me think of NaNo (also "timed", for those that have been living under rocks like the guys from that Geico commercial).



What is so magical about timed writing, eh? It's used frequently in our society, for both happy reasons (NANO!!!!!!!!!!!!) and tests (...midterms...). I see where both are coming from; for NaNo, you hope the tight deadline will produce results, despite their probable crappiness. For tests, the prof is hoping a deadline will force you to use your brain, and that such a test will show your level of... something. Okay, so maybe I don't get it in the test case.

Ahem. But what I do get is this: the two different uses of the same method have the same magical non-fail solution! And that is...? Come on, guys, say it with me! Yup. Pre-prep. Doing as much as you can beforehand so you spend less time later staring blankly at the page. What does this involve? Outlining. In fiction's case, world/character/plot building. In essays, thinking your thesis statement and all your arguments through till they're as tough as nails. You do whatever you can to be as ready as possible to start throwing your words on the page, to form thoughts and pictures, when the timer starts.

Can you think of any other instances where you've had to do timed writing? How about what you do to prep for such a task? Hope y'all are having a fantastic fall in your part of the world. ^_^



Twin Moment of the Day: We loves us some Dad time.
On my Mind: The MS I'm reading. I almost missed my midterm because I lost track while reading it. >.>
Listening to: "Suddenly" by Bo-Kyung Kim. Seriously, I have this song on repeat I love it so much.
Grateful for: No more midterms!
Wanting to: Do many things, like knit, read, or go poke a random stranger.
Writing: Selfish [on hold for NaNo prep]

Fall Break

Happy Monday!!

This week is one of the beautiful things in a high school -- or really any -- student's life: fall break.

While you might think I'd be utilizing every free minute to write, I'm currently on break. Yep, I'm not writing. If you don't already know, I'm doing this for two simple reasons:


  1. Total burnout. (Whilst revising Blink, this happened.)
  2. NaNo is next month. Ever heard of "conserving energy"?

Yeah. 

So I'm using my fall break to just chill. And so far it's been great.

Your turn! What's up this week? When's your fall break? Or are you already out of school/college? (You lucky thing, you!)

That's the end of my mini-update. And I totally posted this without adding my fill-out. Sorry if you receive TM via email! I'm afraid you had only 3/4 of the post. :P


Best Part of Today: Erm... fall break?
Currently Craving: Pineapple.
Music Pick: "Skydive" by Jason Reeves
I'm Reading: "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens 
WIP: Fire [on hold!] (11,261 words) + Planning/plotting/developing To Save Them (a.k.a NaNo Novel)

Rock On! (a.k.a Childhood Dreams)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a rockstar when I grew up.

Okay, I actually wanted to be a lot of things. A dancer, a mommy, an actress, a writer. But there was a specific season of my life where I was dead serious about it: I wanted to be a rock star! I wanted to play a pink electric guitar (that changed a little later to electric blue, after I saw one in a music store) and I wanted to sing and-- well, rock out! It appealed to me somehow.

Now, "all grown up" as I am, I still love rock music. I play the guitar. (Er, well, I have a guitar!) If I had the time one day I'd still very much love to learn to play (and own) a blue electric guitar! But I don't still want to be an all out rockstar.

I think it's part of being a kid; having dreams and aspirations. We've all had them. Some of them came in seasons, and faded as we matured and changed. (Actress? No thanks!) Some of them stayed steadfast, and are still in place today as goals. (Writer? Dancer? Mommy? Count me in!) And some of them faded into the background, yet still exist, living on in our hearts until one day we pick them up again. Or, at least, I hope we pick them up again.

My question to you today -- I'm dying to know! -- what were your childhood dreams? What did you want to be when you grew up? What are your dreams today compared to then? And which dreams have you fulfilled and which are yet to be fulfilled?

Hope you're all having an awesome Thursday!

I am. Today was my last chem class until after fall break. Wooohooo!


Best Part of Today: The gentle rain. (Or the amazing cookie from my chem teacher... She's the best!)
Currently Craving: Hot chocolate!!!
Music Pick: "Lullaby" by OneRepublic
I'm Reading: "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens 
WIP: Fire [on hold!] (11,261 words) + Planning/plotting/developing To Save Them (a.k.a NaNo Novel)



The Balancing Act: Where I Go

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday.

This is a quick post to let you guys know I participated in the lovely Brittany's "Where I Go" series over on her blog. Just click right here to see my submission.

Leave her (and me!) some comments, and maybe give her a follow on the blog (or her Twitter?). In the mean time, I'm off to have some super yummy dinner.

Hope you've each had a wonderful day!


Best Part of Today: The chilly weather.
Currently Craving: Hot chocolate.
Music Pick: "Mon Ange" by Jena Lee
I'm Reading: "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens 
WIP: Fire [on hold!] (11,261 words) + Planning/plotting/developing To Save Them (a.k.a NaNo Novel)

Love _____

I realized it's been 7-Twin posts since I actually did something around here... *cough*

First, I have realized I love world building. It's so much fun! Creating a world, having people poke it till it slumps, and re-inflating it to awesomeness (I'd say perfection, but that could come back to bite me). Sooo much FUN.

But anyway. Aside from an excited frenzy of NaNo prep (which Twin totally already covered, but, still. Who's excited??), let's get down to the meat.

I just read two very interesting blog posts about love triangles and love "teeter-totters". First thing that came to mind––after appreciating the brilliance of both posts––was how there was one scenario missing: the love lines.

                                                                   <3's                  <3's
Greg ––––––> Sally ––––––> Carl


This is a painfully familiar situation, actually. You have Sally, the MC, and Greg, her best friend/other guy she's not interested in Like That, and Carl, the true love interest. Sometimes the author will spice it up by throwing in a lil bit of doubting on Sally's side over Greg––"Maybe I do love him...?"––that makes it seem like a love triangle. But really, they are just friends/acquaintances, and always will be––in Sally's mind (Greg's a different story).

And then there are love circles, which you NEVER see. 


                                                                            v–––Carl <–––^
                                                                     Tammie   O  Sally
                                                                          v–––> Greg––^


(Excuse how bad that diagram is. O_o)

I have to say, if I saw this in a book, I'd buy the book purely because I would be tickled. Seriously. That much unrequited love? Ah, angst FTW!

Anyway. Have any other love shapes you know of you'd like to share? I'd love to be enlightened. ^_^ And have a FANTASTIC Saturday.


Twin Moment of the Day: Uh... we're both getting ready for NaNo?
On my Mind: NANO!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Listening to: "Lucky Me" by Chris Brown
Grateful for: Sleep-in Saturdays
Wanting to: Get back to plotting/world building
Writing: Selfish [on hold for NaNo prep]

From my fill-out, can you tell what's taken over MY life? :P