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.


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.


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* !!!!

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 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!


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.


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.