November 25, 2012

Half NaNo Update and Tag Questions!

Well, it looks like November wasn't full of writing posts after all!  (Wow, I can hear the non-writers cheering....  Ouch.)  I actually haven't gotten much writing done at all and unless I can pull off about 20k words by next Friday, I won't finish.  But, hey!  That's okay!  Half NaNo was a challenge I took upon myself, fully knowing that I might not accomplish it.
But... who says I can't try again in the month of December when, after five orchestra concerts (this weekend... fun and exhausting at the same time!) and the SAT (this Saturday right before the matinee concert and then the night one... that's no fun and exhausting), I'll have the whole month off?  WAHOO!!  I love homeschooling.
Anyway, I decided to do the tag questions that Amy posted for Half NaNo anyway.  : )  Because I love tags and I love answering questions about my novel.  (By the way, if you guys have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!!)
~What's the name of your project? When did you first come up with the idea? And how long have you been working on it?  My novel is actually untitled as of now, but I do have some ideas....  : )  I came up with the idea a few years ago at my grandparents' house after watching the Winter Olympics and being absolutely fascinated with the ice dancing competitions.  The story started out with a girl whose sister died and had something to do with ice dancing, but that never got off the ground, so I thought about the idea, wrote a little, put it down, then re-wrote everything I'd done (a grand total of three pages!) for Camp NaNo.  So, yeah.  It's a work in progress and I know that when I finish writing it (aaaaaalmost there!), I'm far from done.  I have a lot of new ideas about things I need to change when I do the editing and that'll probably be on my Christmas break.  : )

~Sum up your novel in five words or less.  Love and relationships.

~Who is your favorite character?  Tell us about him or her.  Nikki, hands down.  She's my main character and the entire story is told from her perspective.  She's amazing - sensible and down to earth and completely awesome.

~Where does your novel take place?  What time period?  It takes place in modern day times.

~Do you have a theme song for your story?  What is it?  Ummm....  No.  At least, I don't think so.  Well, not yet.  : )

~What's been the hardest part to write so far?  A lot of it!  Most of it is about ice dancing, which I previously knew nothing about except for the fact that I liked it.  : P  So I had to research that a lot, which I did in the first week of Camp NaNo.

~Which chapter was your favorite so far?  Probably the one I just wrote.  I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible and just say that it's really cool and involves a fair.  : )

~Can you share one of your favorite snippets?  (One you haven't shared on your blog already)  Ooh, one I haven't shared on my blog already....  Hummm....  Okay.  (Heehee....  Before I do, funny story.  I was writing in the car on the way back from our second Thanksgiving meal of the day [ugh] and had written a little but got a little smidgen of writer's block.  Then, everything just fell into place and I knew what I wanted to write!  I wrote about seven hundred words and was gearing up for the climax - literally, the climax of the entire story - and then... my laptop hibernated because it ran out of battery.  : P)  And, after much deliberation, I've chosen this snippet.  Excuse a lot of it - it's still unedited.
    Bennett and I went through the routine, with Bennett reminding Alec how to do each move and me telling Alec how told hold me so that he wouldn't drop me.
    When we finished, Bennett put me back down and we bowed while Alec and Natalie clapped for us.
    "That was so great, Bennett!" Natalie said, skating up to him.  "Think we can do that next year?"
    "Ha!"  Bennett shook his head and glared at Natalie.  "Not on your life.  Let's just work on the little, easy moves - forwards and backwards crossovers for a start, then a twizzle, and maybe after that - and if there aren't any mess-ups, we'll attempt a stationary lift."
    "You're no fun at all," Natalie protested, crossing her arms.  "Tell him it isn't fair!" she said to me in a whiny British accent.
    "It's so unfair..." I muttered, trying to do an impersonation of Edmund Sparkler, but failing utterly.
    "You guys are both officially weird," Bennett said, giving us a look.

~Are any aspects of your story drawn directly from your own life?  Give us an example.  Sort of!  I think it's good to experience a lot of the stuff you write so that you can write it so that you're showing from what you know and not telling like you're copying out of the encyclopedia, but since sometimes I can't really say what it's like to have an older brother (with or without amnesia!), ice dance, have a million cousins who all get together every year for Christmas, or *gulp* fly on an air plane (no joke!), I have to wing it.  : )  So I try to draw from my own life as much as possible.  (I did write that one narrative essay depicting the time I got shot at inside a cabin, though!!  But that's another story for another time....  And completely harmless, for all you who were wondering....  We used blanks.)

~Your main character gets dumped into a big city in the modern era (or if you're writing a contemporary work, he/she gets dumped in medieval London).  How does he/she respond?  "Whoa....  Look, it's Mr. Knightley!  Where's my handkerchief?  Or the nearest wall?!"  Heehee....

~Who's the funniest character in your story? Tell us why! Give examples! Support your argument.  : D  Natalie Fraser!!  She's hilarious.  She quotes all sorts of period dramas and Winnie the Pooh and makes life a lot brighter for everyone she comes in contact with.  She saves Nikki (an introvert) from having to answer questions from people at school by just being herself (an extrovert).  She asks Nikki the really hard questions that nobody else will ask and helps her find the answers.  She's the perfect secondary character.  : )  Here's an example of one of her lines that shows her personality in contrast to Nikki's and still manages to make me laugh.
    "You are so weird...."
    (Nikki argues, saying she's not weird because her brother is changing for the better and she likes it.)  I looked up at her [sitting on the countertop] again, raising my eyebrows.  "And you call me weird because of that?  You've got issues, Natalie."
    Natalie grinned.  "No, I'm really happy about everything you just said.  The reason I called you weird was because you just used that plate [to chop up chicken for a salad], then washed it and put it away.  Like, seconds after you used it.  You could have put it in the dishwasher, you know..."

~If you were forced to eliminate a character from your story--just wash them clean off the slate--who would it be?  Horror of horrors!!
"In nine hundred years of time and space I've never met anyone who wasn't important before."  - Ten, Doctor Who.
"I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too."  - Hugo Cabret, Hugo.
The same goes for novels.  Each and every one of my characters are in there for a reason and they have a specific role to play. 

~Do you plan on writing a sequel to your novel?  Shhh....  Yes.  But it's very hush-hush.  So don't tell anyone you heard it from me.

November 21, 2012

Twenty-Five Things I'm Thankful For

  • God, Who saved me and continues to mold me into who He wants me to be every single day
  • My wonderful family, who loves me even when I make idiotic mistakes
  • My sweetie-pie little brother, who never ceases to make me laugh!
  • My church body, without whom I know I wouldn't be who I am today
  • My loving friends, who accept me the way I am - with all of my faults and quirks  : )
  • My awesome pen pal, Elinor  (Love ya, girly!!)
  • All of my amazing bloggy friends - you guys are awesome!
  • Sir Percy... just cuz.  (And, yes, I did just say that!)
  • The makers of the Lord of the Rings LEGO video game who decided to keep Faramir in it.  Cuz he is amazing.  Nuff said.
  • All of the authors whose works I read frequently - Wayne Thomas Batson, Robert Whitlow, J.R.R. Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, and C.S. Lewis, to name a very few.  You worked hard to create something worth reading and you have done it!!
  • The BBC for making such wonderful productions and for providing half of the quotes that I use on a regular basis, from "Easy peesy, squeeze the lemon," to "Sparker, be quiet!" to "No lace!" to "In vain I have struggled - my feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you!" to "Really, Emma, it is better to be without wit at all then to apply it as you do!"  (And that's only half of the half!)
  • Peter Jackson for making Lord of the Rings and sticking to The Hobbit
  • To the Bored Shorts TV people, who provide the other half of the quotes I use on a regular basis!  ("Don't punch........our car." and "I am a Snackyvore.  It is liiiiike... a dinosoah that likes... snacks and treats!" are two of my bo-fuh... my bo-fa, my bo-faaaai....  Yeah.)
  • Tenth Avenue North - your music makes me feel like I'm in church.  And I love it.  : )
  • Alec and Nikki, who are two of my best friends even though they're only in my head  : )
  • The old Hollywood, who made such awesome Christmas movies like Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and the two that share the rank of my top favorite Christmas movie of all time, The Shop Around the Corner and It's a Wonderful Life!
  • My piano and violin teachers, who inspire me to play more than they know!
  • My good friend who inspired me to start writing again.  That was a good six years ago and, good gracious, I haven't gotten over it yet!
  • The makers of all of the musicals I love - Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Little Women, and The Little Mermaid.  Most of my go-to songs are from those four musicals and I love them dearly!
  • Mitt Romney, for sticking to it and running for president and defying the odds.  You would have been a great president!
  • Milton Hershey for perfecting the modern version of chocolate - you are in my debt!
  • The next-door neighbors and their adorable twins who I got to babysit all day today.  Not finishing my school was completely worth it!
  • The NaNo people for inspiring so many writers to actually write and finish a goal and push them!
  • The makers of all of the indie films that I love - October Baby, What If..., Fireproof, and To Save a Life being some of my favorites.  When you work hard to make a good movie, the story and character development make up for all of the acting slips!
  • You guys, the readers of my blog.  You make my day whenever you read a post or comment or follow!  Thank you so much!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!


November 14, 2012

"These babies are FANTABULOUS! Absolutely indispensary."

I don't normally do my nails, but in this case, that's right.  They're absolutely indispensary.  Check 'em out!!

First, for your viewing pleasure, my The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings inspired nails.
just practice nails, by the way.  I think they turned out pretty well for a first time!

And my Les Miz-themed nails.  I'm especially proud of my '4'.  : )

That's what my hands look like right now, by the way....  Seriously.  One hand is for The Hobbit and the other is for Les Miserables, the awesome movies that are coming out in December (which is the best month of the year).  I did them while listening to the completely awesome and very creepy, yet still awesome three part Adventures in Odyssey episodes, "The Labyrinth."

And it just so happened that the things I've been wanting to post about are Hobbit and Les Miz-themed, too!  How's that for spontaneous planning?  : )

I'll start with Les Miz.

Check this out!!  I nearly flipped when I saw it on Ally's blog.  Remain calm - and don't watch it more than three times in a row.  It's not pretty.  (I may or may not be speaking from experience....)

So, yeah.  Pretty awesome, right?!  Amy did a second-by-second rundown of it, which I heartily enjoyed reading.

Aaaaaand... there are some pretty awesome posters floating around the Internet!  I found a few more the other day, available here and here.  Javert looks a little weird, but that's okay because the red 'Javert' below him totally makes up for it.  This one has to be my favorite, though.  Uber cool.

On to The Hobbit!!

This video came out today and I've already watched it a few times.  Sure, it's only thirty-three seconds long, but the dialogue between Bilbo and Thorin is sooooo awesome.  (And I can't see Thorin without saying, "It's Thornton!  Look back at me....")

I knew there was a place where you could watch the trailer with alternate endings, but we were never able to get them to load.  And I just found them!  Huzzah!

But the thing about The Hobbit that I'm most excited about is the music!!  I just listened to the entire soundtrack today.  In it's entirety.  The whole thing.  All. Of. It.  And It. Was. Ah.Mazing.  Here is the link for you.  It's an hour and forty-five minutes long and the pause button doesn't work, so I'd suggest you find something good and looooong to do - like math and chemistry and Greek - and listen to it.  A few times, if you want to.  And let your school take even longer because you're thinking about what the track titles mean.  ('My Dear Frodo'?  Wassup with that, PJ?)  My personal favorite songs are all of them, with an emphasis on all of them, but especially 'My Dear Frodo' (First the Hobbiton theme, then it's creepy!  Whaaaaaa?), 'The Adventure Begins' (It's so fast-paced and hobbit-y!  "I'm going on an adventure!"), 'An Ancient Enemy' (Whoooooooaaaaa....  Deep and ominous - that's how I like it!), 'RADAGAST THE BROWN'!!! (This one is SO COOL!  The electric violin takes the stage and it equals awesomeness.  If you don't want to wait to listen through all the other songs, just click here.  It's awesome.  And amazing.  And awesomeness sauce.  All rolled into one.), 'Roast Mutton' (Again, so hobbit-y, but with a dash of foreboding), 'The Hill of Sorcery' (Looks like I need to read the book again...  And the Radagast the Brown theme is in here a little - awesome!), 'Warg-Scouts' (There's a great John Williams-esque brass part in here, with another pretty awesome cello/bass/timpani solo.  So cool!), 'Riddles in the Dark' (Which I can't wait to actually see!!  Anyway.  This song captures Gollum to a 'T'!  All those tremolos in the string section totally add to the creepiness!  And the really long, gradual crescendo at the end - chills, y'all.), 'Brass Buttons' (The Warg-Scouts theme in the middle is awesome!  I'm dying to see the footage and dialogue during this one!  Plus, the end is so awesome. All those grand pauses, then the continuation of awesomeness....  Golly Pete.), 'Out of the Frying-Pan' (Golly, jeepers!), 'A Good Omen' (Great song!  And a really creepy ending - here's hoping we'll see Smaug!), then the extended scene song, 'Dreaming of Bag End' (The pennywhistle did a little bit of the Hobbiton theme, but a lot of it was new, which I loved!), which was right after 'Song of the Lonely Mountain,' the credits song.  (And boy, is it worthy of some kind of award!!  It totally embodies dwarves and Thorin and The Company.  I loved it!!  I won't tell you how many times I listened to it....)  You can listen to 'Song of the Lonely Mountain' here, by the way.  It's got to be one of my favorite songs on the album.  That and 'Radagast the Brown.'  If you only have time for a few songs, go listen to those.

Wow, that was a lot.  I hope you guys take the time to listen to that music, though - it's totally worth it!!  If you've already listened to some of the songs, whatd'ya think?!

And all this news about Les Miz!!  Goodness gracious.  The month of December is already awesome enough (what with Christmas and parties and concerts and recitals and *cough*my birthday!!*cough*) and now it's going to be even greater.  Wow.  I can't wait.  I'm going to be reading The Hobbit and probably (hopefully) Les Miserables during my month-long Christmas break (I'll shout it from the rooftops, I don't care - I love homeschooling!), so that'll keep me busy until all these awesome movies come out.  Sighhhhh.....

What about you guys?  Are you as excited as me?  Or is it just me...?

Hoping I'm not the only one REALLY EXCITED about this December....

(Oh, yeah....  Bonus Awesome Points if you can correctly guess where the lyrics in the blog post title come from.)

November 6, 2012

On the Election...

After praying almost incessantly - very specifically - and listening to the radio almost as much (Sean Hannity is awesome...), I've finally reached the conclusion that whatever happens tonight is God's will and that I just need to trust Him with all of my heart.  I'd strongly encourage you guys to do the same!

Also, I'm just glad that it's almost over.  This campaign has been one of the worst in America's history, mainly because of all the lying, back-stabbing, and finger-pointing (mostly on one side, in my opinion... *cough* Obama! *cough*).  A lot of that one side's commercials have been, to say the least, immature and, considering the most recent one, almost scandelous.  (The other side, in my humble and honest opinion, has been presidential and mature and worthy of the presidency.  *cough* Romney!! *cough*  Just sayin'.)  I'm sick and tired of it and totally ready for it to be done!

And one last note on not voting....  (Before, though, if you're of age and have decided not to vote for one reason or another, I am not trying to condemn you or anything.  The last thing I'd want to do is offend you!  However, I have a very strong opinion on this, so I'd like to share it with everyone.  Please don't be offended if you've chosen not to vote!!)  I firmly believe that this is a right that we, as Americans, have that was given to us by the people that fought and died for our country.  It's not only our duty to vote, it's a freedom that was given to us at a very high price!  This is one of the most fantastic things about being an American - we have so many rights and freedoms and we take them all for granted.  And what makes my opinion even stronger is the fact that I'm missing voting by about thirty-two days....  *runs around in circles screaming bloody murder and tearing out hair*

As always, your opinion matters (*cough* just like your vote does *cough*).  Comment, pretty please with a cherry on top?

Well, I need to listen to the radio now.  (We don't get Fox News and everything else is Liberal....)

Praying that the initials of our 45th president start with MITT ROMNEY!!!!


November 1, 2012

Amy... Has a Plan.

First off....  Greetings, NaNo-ers!!!  Tired of writing yet?  XD
I woke up this morning and said to myself (no, I'm not crazy), "It's the first of November!  A new month!!"  Then....   "GASP.  It's the first of November."

*dramatic pause*

"NaNo."  *cue ominous music*

I really wanted to do NaNo.  Like, desperately.  I figured it was the only way I'd get Nikki and Alec's story done.  But....  *sigh*  Ever heard of this thing called Life?  (Don't think that's excuse enough?  Check this out.)  *repeats sigh*

But then, lo and behold, in my daily perusal of blogs, I found out that Amy had come up with a plan.  (A brilliant plan, mind you.)

World, say hello to...

Virtually self-explanatory.  25k words in a month.  (You stay sane and get some writing done!  How cool is that?!)  Within literally seconds - seeing the gorgeous bloggy button that Amy made helped a little, lol - I was hooked.

I think this is going to be a piece of cake for me because I did about two thirds of my Camp NaNo/The June Crusade (same goal, except in June) writing in the last two weeks.  (I think I seriously did about 37k words in two weeks.  No joke.  The reason why is a long story.)  But I won't say that because, heehee, pride goes before destruction and all that.

So.  My new writing goal this month has been set.

WARNING - There will be an abundance of writing posts this month.  Literally an abundance.  I probably won't get to any of the posts I had planned for this month, but I'll try to do some of them.  : )
I'll also probably do a few writing tips posts if any of my writing blog-readers (all three of you) are interested!  What say you?

Half NaNo-ers, UNITE!!!