Tuesday, December 13, 2005

At Home

No, not New York. The library.

I'm so comfortable around here that I walk around without my shoes.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

*big breath*

This is not just any big breath - it's a dual big breath!

Yesterday the first issue of the Anderson Underground, the new opinion paper on campus, went up on the web. It still needs to be promoted a lot, but it's up! I already have two of my 'staff' writers saying they want to write for the next issue, which I'm excited about. I hope this will snowball.

So it's a big breath of relief and a big breath of anticipation. How will the student body respond? How will the faculty respond? Will it just be completely ignored? That would be the worst.

So here goes...

the Anderson Underground

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You Learn New Things Ever Day

...about yourself. I'm learning that I'm really not afraid to talk about anything.

Where to go from here

So, after completing my NaNoWriMo novel (badly titled "Ruined Worlds" for anyone who wants to know) - yay! - I've thought about how I'm going to proceed with my writing life. NaNo's been one of the things that have gotten me focused again on writing, not worrying about editing or publishing or anything else, really. I'm giving myself December to send just a few things out, because it's been a while, and then I'm cutting myself off from that whole sphere of the writing industry for a while. I'm having a few thoughts on how to continue with writing, though. I'd like some sort of structure, so here are some ideas I've come up with for the upcoming year:

National Novel Writing Year: Spin off of NaNoWriMo. You have a word count goal for the whole year (I think that's how it works. They changed it a little), ranging from 25K-3 million. You can write short stories or novels. There's no real montly commtiment, I think, though they do tally everyone's numbers at the end of the month. I like the end of the month dedication. Keeps me on my toes and productive, too.

National Novel Writing Month-Year: Subtly different from NaNoWriYe. Here, you must write 50,000 words - towards a novel - a month for a year. You can continue novels throughout more than one month, start over if you don't make it, etc. It's just like NaNoWriMo, except you can use previously written material (what you've written in earlier months). This is novels only, however, and I'm really more of a short story-novella girl. This would be really really intense and yet amazing discipline. It's not hard if you just write every day. I can make 1667 words in an hour and half, an hour if I focus.

Club 100: 100 words for 100 days. Period. If you get any less than a 100 words for a day, you go back to Day 1. Doesn't sound hard after NaNo. I'm thinking about doing this in addition to whatever other plan I choose (I sound like I'm buying a cell phone).

Amy's Plan: Amy's plan is a rotating cycle of three or four different monthly plans. It looks something like this: January - Screenplay, February - 2 short stories and 5 poems, March - novel, April - 2 short stories and 5 poems. Then it repeats (and I'm making sure to plan a novel month for NaNo). I can, of course, write in addition to those planned. And I can write with a partner for the screenplay ('cause Heather has a great idea, and we're going to start writing it soon!). I like this one 'cause I can do more than just short stories and novels. And it mixes it up. And there's a monthly goal. Just what I want! *smiles like I didn't create it*

My friend Mike has committed himself to write something for... the rest of his life, I think. I think I'll start with Club 100. No matter what I choose, I think I'm just going to focus on first drafts. I might give myself an opportunity to revise and submit halfway through the year (take out a poem-short story month), but that's not the focus of this next year. This year, I just want to write. If I go on my route, I'll have about 3 screenplays, 8 short stories, 3 novels, and 30 poems at the end of the year. Not bad. Then I can work on editing those and sending them out.

That's one thing I've learned through NaNo and my workshop. It really is all about the first draft. Just write it, then edit it if you want. But you have to write it first. And it doesn't have to be and probably won't be any good! Hmm, I think my internal editor is still on vacation from NaNo. You can tell she left during November from the marks on my Radaker paper. Oops, hehe.

Cheers!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Mark of a Saint

My story Mark of a Saint is up in the December issue of Deep Magic as of yesterday. It's a prequel to my story The Saintly Fianche of Malitane that ran in their June 2005 issue, and I recommend reading Fianche of Malitane first. The current issue of DM is free, and back issues cost a couple of bucks to download. OR you can get a one year membership for $25 that gives you access to all three years of back issues, blog space on their forums, access to a criting group the editors participate in, and other fun stuff, including an exclusive issues of staff stories coming out within the next month or so.

Just to plug my dear DM.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

NaNoWriMo2005

I FREAKING finished! I am now a two time novelist!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NaNoWriMo crunch

I need 6,000 more words. I wasn't worried, even though I don't have that much time tonight, until I looked outside just a minute ago. It's dark. Dear Lord, I need some divine intervention.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Funny Mike Quotes

ragamuffin33ad: by taking off my shoes in a public place... i need to go set somethong on fire
ragamuffin33ad: something^

And the cheer he made up... I'll admit, I thought he was going to go into "Go Amy, it's your birthday." Thank you for not doing that, Mike:

ragamuffin33ad: go amy
ragamuffin33ad: go amy
ragamuffin33ad: go go go go
ragamuffin33ad: she's zany
ragamuffin33ad: it's rainy
ragamuffin33ad: go amy
ragamuffin33ad: it's not in vain-y
ragamuffin33ad: GO AMY!
ragamuffin33ad: *end of cheer*

4 more days. And we appreciate what our boys in uniform do for us.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

7 more days

I've been very busy this last week and a half and communication has been limited by time and mean, but there's someone I miss very much and am counting down the very seconds until I see him.

Just so that he knows.
Two Names I Go By: Ames, Butler
Two Parts of My Heritage: Irish, Cherokee
Two Things That Scare Me: failing, my dreams
Two Everyday Essentials: candy, music
Two Things I Am Wearing Right Now: my Reardon work polo and khakis
Two of My Favorite Bands or Musical Artists: Coldplay and Lifehouse
Two of My Favorite Songs: "Drops of Jupiter" by Train and the Coldplay and Sum 41 mashup
Two Things I Want in a Relationship (other than Real Love): fun, differences
Two Physical Things that Appeal to Me: eyes, smile
Two of My Favorite Hobbies: acting, traveling
Two Things I Want Really Badly: to be in a show this year, to get into film school next year
Two Places I Want to go on Vacation: New Zealand, Israel
Two Things I Want to Do Before I Die: work in film, get married
Two people I would like to see do this: Kenny and... Sara, but she doesn't have a personal blog anymore

Friday, November 11, 2005

The only problem...

"The only thing with wooing is that I have no more money at the end of the wooing session." - Mike
"Wooing session?" - Amy

NaNo Inspires?

So, since NaNo started, I've been hit with inspiration for poetry. Well, not since it started, but the last couple of days. I've been sitting in Intro to Lit class banging out poetry like nobody's business. I have like, 8 now or something from two days. I kinda like it. There's no reason I can't be a short story writer/novelist/poet/playwrite. Maybe when November is over, I'll take a look at these poems and give them some more time and thought and work. Amy Butler, published poet. Never thought that would happen (not to say it will). Ooh, Mike, I think I had an idea for a slam-esque poem (-esque is my new favorite thing), but I'm not sure if it would work. Probably less slam and more just, this is a poem meant to be read aloud. Hmm, maybe I should write it first. I think I'm going to call it, "All Circuits are Busy."

Quotes

I stole this quote from Selena's blog. It's from Baty's No Plot, No Problem, and it's from Rise Sheridan-Peters, in deference to her muse:

“I don’t wait for my muse to wander by; I go out and drag her home by the hair.”

Cheers to all you NaNoWriMo-ers, and more on this subject later.

NaNoWriMo

I just hit 20,082 words. Whew! It was a good night for NaNo. I'm getting myself caught up for my 60,000/Nov. 30 : 30,000/Nov. 15 goal. And I just made the plot complicated! Which means I have a plot. Now I'm going to go update my word count on the website and give myself another star and throw myself into bed. Yay bed.

Riverdance is great music to novel my space opera to. I don't know what it is.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Flashback

4 years later and still scary.

I was walking home from Bible study the other night, and I went to check my voicmail on my phone. And I got a funny message that I'm not sure I've ever gotten before. Something about all circuits being busy. I kinda frowned at it and figured I just needed to try again. So I did. And I got the same message. And my throat kind of caught, thinking about the last time that all circuits had been busy.

It was Sept. 11.

Alissa had just been talking about the French civil unrest at Bible study, too, and for a minute I was scared that while we had been cloistered in our study, something terrible had happened. The third time, I got through to my voicemail, and my fears relaxed, because if anything had happened, there was no way that I could get through to my voicemail. We're doing a show here at AU about 9/11. It's going up in December. I'm probably going to be at all three shows as the house manager, and tonight I had to wonder how many of these shows I'll be able to get through without breaking down. Walking through campus today, thinking about 9/11 and our show, I wondered if anyone else on this campus was as close to NYC as I was that day, when I could see the debris covering half the sky that evening. I can't help but think about that one image of the firefighters carrying their chaplain out of the area on a chair, ashes covering them all.

I just wish people wouldn't forget. I wish they knew. I wish I knew. I wish people understood why my heart still breaks and why I still get nervous when I'm told all circuits are busy.

I've succumbed...

Time: 6:49 PM

~~About You~~

1. First Name: Amy
2. Middle Name: Rachel
3. Do you like your name?: Yeah, I guess
4. Nicknames: Ames, Amers, Butler, the goddess
5. Age: 19
6. Birthday: January 23, 1986
7. Where do you live?: I'm going to school in Anderson, IN. I'm from New York City.
8. Do you like it where you live?: I don't live in Indiana.
9. Where were you born?: West Islip, NY
10. Height: 5'9ish"
11. Do you wish you were a different height?: A little shorter would be nice

~~Favorites~~

12. Foods: ice cream, Oreos, cheese, mom's mac and cheese, taco salad
13. Number: 4
14. Date: (as in a boy/girl date)... All of them... *sucking up*
15. Day of the Week: Saturday
16. Day of the Year: April 6
17. Candy: mmm, any chocolate, pretty much
18. Ice Cream: Ben and Jerry's mint oreo kind
19. Place to shop: Barnes and Nobles
20. Place to shop for clothes: H & M
21. Song: Drops of Jupiter
22. Movie: Garden State (we just have to discount all the trilogies and series I love)
23. Band/Group: Coldplay and the Killers
24. Sport: soccer
25. Subject in School: acting
26. Holiday: Christmas
27. Color: green
28. Color of clothes to wear: pink
29. Type of clothes to wear: ...nice ones...
30. Shoes: flip flops
31. Fruit: raspberries
32. Veggie: red peppers
33. Animal: horses
34. Magazine: uh, i like cosmopolitan too, especially when my floor gets together and reads it
35. Game: the state border game

~~Least Favorites~~

36. Food: cheesecake
37. Number: anything that ends in 9
38. Date: (as in a boy/girl date)... honestly, i don't really get this question. are we talking specifics here or what?
39. Day of the Week: Monday
40. Day of the Year: pick a day in november
41. Candy: baby ruth
42. Ice Cream: coffee ice cream
43. Place to shop: shoe stores with my aunt
44. Place to shop for clothes: talbots
45. Song: get it popping
46. Movie: remake of planet of the apes
47. Band/Group: i don't know. i don't listen to who i don't like
48. Sport: football on tv. in real it can be fun
49. Subject in school: math
50. Holiday: arbor day
51. Color: mauve
52. Color of clothes to wear: orange
53. Type of clothes to wear: woolly ones
54. Shoes: uncomfortable ones
55. Fruit: prunes?
56. Veggie: spinach
57. Animal: vicious monkeys
58. Magazine: uhhh... bad ones?
59. Game: i dunno. stupid ones.

~~More About You~~

60. Shoe size: 9ish
61. Hair color: um, it's a dirty blonde brownish with red highlights right now
62. Do you or have you ever dyed your hair?: yeah. in a week it'll be blonde. only temp stuff though
63. Hair length: just past my shoulders
64. Most embarrassing moment : there are lots, i'm sure.
65. Are you getting bored or annoyed yet?: i'm actually dreading having to go into the auditorium for work
66. What time is it?: 7:08 PM
67. What do you want to be when you grow up?: a film actress/writer/wife

~~Have you Ever...~~

68. Hiked a mountain?: yeah, kinda
69. Walked a mile?: yeah
70. Really walked a mile in someone elses shoes?: uhhh, maybe once
71. Ate a whole box of oreos?: not in one sitting, i swear
72. Been in love?: yes
73. Stayed up all night?: yes
74. Broken a bone?: no
75. Pulled a muscle?: no
76. Fractured something?: no
77. Sprained something?: no
78. Watched the show Happy Days?: no
79. Cried because you've missed someone?: yes
80. Had a party?: yeah. i threw a mini surprise party on monday. took forever for the birthday girl to show up
81. Been on a boat?: yes
82. Been on a plane?: yes
83. If you were on a plane, was it scary?: kinda scary, kinda fun
84. Done the chicken dance?: yeah. square dance earlier this year
85. Been on a train?: yeah. overnight ones at that!
86. Ate so much chocolate and/or candy that you puked?: no
87. Had a food fight?: ahhh, i tried to stay out of those in high school
88. Jumped on a trampoline?: yes
89. Played spin the bottle?: no
90. Been in a fist fight?: no
91. Been in a hospital?: yes
92. Been in a hospital(not to visit someone but as a patient)?: yes
93. Had a falling dream?: no, but i died this week!
94. Been out of the country?: yes
95. Played baseball with a bunch of friends?: er
96. Took a Bubble Bath?: yes
97. Made a web page?: not like, a web page. i tried, but didn't know how
98. Been in a car accident?: yeah. hence the hospital. And that's how i died in my dream!
99. Driven a Car?: yes, illegally at that
100. Woo hoo This is 100, how do you feel?: wishing i didn't have to go into that concert
101. Tried smoking or drugs?: no
102. Laughed so Hard that you peed in your pants?: probably. you'd think i'd try to forget those times though
103. Lied? yeah
104. Fallen asleep in class?: definitely have had that falling falling falling jerk my head up experience several times. that's why i don't have 8:00 classes anymore

~~This or That~~

106. Campfire or fireplace?: fireplace
107. MMs or Skittles?: M&Ms
108. MTV or VH1?: VH1 over the summer. America's next top model reruns
109. Movies or Music?: movies
110. Stay up late or sleep in?: both
111. Sun or Moon?: moon
112. How sick are you of this survey?: not really at all
113. What Time is it now?: 7:13 PM
114. 10 acquaintances or 1 bestfriend?: bestfriend
115. Short or Tall?: short
116. Vanilla or chocolate?: chocolate
117. Cat or dog? : dog
118. Newspaper or Magazine?: magazine
119. Is the glass half empty or half full?: do i like what i'm drinking?
120. McDonalds or Burger King?: ahhh, mcdonalds
121. Fish or Mice?: is this to eat or keep as a pet?
123. Happy or Sad?: happy
124. Serious or funny?: funny
125. Happy or sad ending?: happy
126. Scary movie or Funny movie?: scary, but not gory
127. Scary movie or sad movie?: sad
128. Funny movie or a sad movie?: depends
129. Brother or sister?: what i have or what i want? cause i have both...
130. Barbie or Skipper?: barbie
131. Bikini or one piece?: tankini!
132. Snow or rain?: thunderstorm
133. Candy or Fruit?: if you don't know my answer to this, you must not be my friend
134. Plane or car?: plane... i would fly everywhere if i could
135. Run or walk?: walk
136. Swim or skate?: skate
137. Pepsi or Coke?: it's a mood thing
138. A house in the woods or a house in the City?: city!
139. The dark or light?: light
140. Rainy or Sunny?: sunny
141. Duct tape or scotch tape?: scotch
142. sneakers or sandals?: sandals
143. Lions or Tigers?: tigers
144. Mustard or ketchup?: ketchup
145. Rap or Rock?: rap
146. Party or stay home?: depends.
147. Skates or Bike?: bike

~~Other Random Stuff~~

148. How many siblings do you have?: 3
149. Do you like your siblings?: typically, especially when i'm away at school
150. Do you have any pets?: no
151. Do you like your pets?: i hate them
152. Who is your favorite family member?: uhhh. my parents
153. How are you liking this survey?: question 152 was cheap
154. What time is it?: 7:16 PM
155. What's the last thing you ate?: little debbies!
156. Are you hungry right now?: no
157. What would you like to eat right now?: ice cream
158. Have you ever went on a diet?: nope, not really. i've thought about it
159. Do you believe in God?: yes
160. What do you think about Diet Coke?: i used to like it
161. How are you feeling today?: sleepy and overwhelmed

~~When was the last time that you've...~~

162. Cried?: last night
163. Laughed?: couple hours ago
164. Danced?: monday
165. Watched TV?: yesterday for a little bit
166. Hugged someone?: when i went to get dinner
167. Stayed up past midnight?: every day for... a long long time
168. Jumped on a bed?: i have the top bunk
169. Been happy?: last night
170. Been sad?: last night
171. Drank bottled water?: last night
172. Went swimming in a lake?: maybe this summer?
173. Been to the beach?: last summer, i think
174. Hung out with some friends?: last night
175. Took a shower?: this morning
176. Took a bath?: baths are a luxury
177. Went for a walk?: just for a walk? not to someplace? cause i walk all the time
178. Went for a bike ride?: the summer
179. Played a board game?: sequence a month or so ago. last night we played balderdash
180. Been bored?: in intro to lit class
181. Eaten Birthday cake?: last night

~~In your opinion~~

182. Do fish have feelings too?: ...
183. What do you think of diet coke?: i used to like it (yes, this is the second time they've ask)
184. Should ants be kept in ant farms?: yeah. quarantine them
185. What time is it?: 7:20 PM
186. What do you think of black nail polish?: people who wear it are trying to be goth and controversial.
187. What do you think of pink nail polish?: how bright pink are we talking here?
188. What do you think of no nail polish?: well, that's me
189. What do you think of shopping?: I like it w/friends or by myself. at home its not so much fun
190. Are people who talk to Animals crazy?: only if they think the animal can understand them
191. Are you a good person?: i refuse to talk theology with you
192. Are you funny?: some people think so. i'm not sure if i'm one of them
193. Are mice cute?: not the gray ones
194. Are snakes scary?: indiana jones thinks so, so i'll go with him
195. Does jelly taste good?: in a sandwich, yeah
196. Is the color black beautiful?: yes
197. Is black even a color? yes
198. Is pink pretty?: yes
199. What do you feel about the color blue?: it's too popluar. everyone likes it
200. Woo hoo This is 200, how do you feel? annoyed i have to go into the auditorium soon
201. Are you getting sick of the color questions?: not really, but it's a good thing you stopped
202. How many chocolate chips should a cookie have?: lots
203. Is Nintendo better than Playstation? yes
204. Is bottled water really better than tap water?: yes
205. What pizza place has the best pizza?: new york city pizza places

~~More About You~~

206. Okay, what's the time right now?: 7:23 PM
207. How are you feeling right now?: sleepy
208. How many cookies do you think you could eat?: lots and lots
209. How many pieces of pizza can you eat?: 2
210. How much chocolate can you eat?: all of it
211. What kind of shoes do you wear the most?: flip flops and heels
212. What kind of clothes do you wear the most?: nice ones. skirts
213. What color are your nails painted right now?: none on my fingers. faded pink on my toes
214. What are you listening to?: 'bout ready to listen to the wind ensemble. yay
215. Do you like ironing your clothes?: no. it never words
216. Do you like to read?: yes
217. Do you like school?: sometimes
218. What grade are you in?: sophomore in college
219. What's the best part of the school day?: night time
220. Why?: cause i can do what i want, and i work best at night

Food for thought

What is soda foam made of?

Why does the cheese in jerky and cheese twin packs not have to be refrigerated?

I love puns.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Internal Editor

So I have tried to send my internal editor away for November. She is not allowed near my novel, but she does manage to creep in from time to time. However, she seems to be taking over another area of my life - AIM conversations. I've never watched myself so much, deleted and rewritten in AIM as I have recently.

Tonight I made an important landmark - 15,000 words. I'm feeling pretty proud, but I know I'm going to have to work very hard to get to 30,000 by Nov. 15. Also, I don't think I'm going to be able to finish (or get to 50,000) before Kenny comes on the 19th. But I think I'm making steady progress, and I anticipate winning.

Sometimes I like my story, sometimes I don't. It's coming together a little better now. Characters are doing some unexpected things, I'm noticing that I have complications in my plot and maybe even the beginnings of subplots (yes!), and I've got an antagonist and conflict that will carry me for a couple thousand more words before I have to think up a new one. Yay for me. We also instituted the use of star stickers. Lots of fun. I got to hand them out tonight. You get a gold star for being at the library and then another one every time you make a goal. The other colors are kinda arbitrary (speaking of "arbitrary" I heard the funniest pun every on that word today), but tonight blue was for encouragment (Mike was pouting cause he didn't get a star one time and Catherine did), red is for exceeding a goal by a lot, silver was for listening to cool music, and green was for being alumn. Stickers are definitely the bomb. I'm using them during National Novel Writing Month Year.

Anyway, it's 1:30, and now I have to go back to my dorm and do my homework.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Oh man

I smiled at a joke about ellipses! You know, the ... 's. Gah, I'm such a freakin nerd.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ridiculous IM conversations with the guy sitting next to me in the library during NaNoWriMo

Just to show how our brains are affected...

LeiaSolo48: would you still be my friend if my favorite word was "tantalized?"

Auto response from ragamuffin33ad: noveling... what's gonna happen next?


Auto response from LeiaSolo48: "Daddy, Tumnus is different than all the other boys. Why is he different? He has really really hairy legs."
-Kids say the darnedest things in Narnia

ragamuffin33ad: ...
ragamuffin33ad returned at 1:40:59 AM.
LeiaSolo48: i know it's hard
ragamuffin33ad: well
LeiaSolo48: the kids may make fun of you
ragamuffin33ad: i guess
LeiaSolo48: hehe
LeiaSolo48: ok
LeiaSolo48: just checking
LeiaSolo48: i was testing our friendship
LeiaSolo48: and distracting you
LeiaSolo48: bwahahaha
ragamuffin33ad: the thought of breaking up our friendship over such a ridiculous thing was rather tantalizing
LeiaSolo48: yay!
LeiaSolo48: wait....
ragamuffin33ad: but i resisted
LeiaSolo48: *furrows brow in thought*
LeiaSolo48: i miss doing actions in astericks
LeiaSolo48: aw, the good old days of online RPG and forums!
ragamuffin33ad: oh it's so spelled asterix
LeiaSolo48: i dunno about that
ragamuffin33ad: your mom doesn't know about that
LeiaSolo48: i def. don't remember the x
LeiaSolo48: all right!
LeiaSolo48: we gotta write
ragamuffin33ad: whatever
LeiaSolo48: i gotta get 1040 in 30 min
ragamuffin33ad: stop tantalizing me
ragamuffin33ad: woman
ragamuffin33ad: you can put that up as one of those "quote" away messages
LeiaSolo48: i was thinking i would, thank you very much
LeiaSolo48: my military boyfriend might come beat you up though
ragamuffin33ad: beat ME up?
LeiaSolo48: i wish he really did have a reason to beat someone up. that would be hopelessly romantic
ragamuffin33ad: you're the vile temptress here
ragamuffin33ad: tantalus
ragamuffin33ad: it so is
ragamuffin33ad: didn't you pay attention in class today?
LeiaSolo48: do i ever?!
ragamuffin33ad: it's from the myth
ragamuffin33ad: tantalus was the character in the myth
LeiaSolo48: just cause you weren't sitting next to me doesn't mean i paid more attention
LeiaSolo48: oh well
LeiaSolo48: whatever
LeiaSolo48: he was a guy
ragamuffin33ad: ...
ragamuffin33ad: he was a hermaphrodite
ragamuffin33ad: ok i'm making that up
LeiaSolo48: you're such a liar
ragamuffin33ad: i'm full of crap
ragamuffin33ad: but still
LeiaSolo48: you are!
ragamuffin33ad: tantalus
LeiaSolo48: go write your crappy novel. and i'll go write mine
ragamuffin33ad: ...
ragamuffin33ad: fine
ragamuffin33ad: tantalus
ragamuffin33ad: or should i say
ragamuffin33ad: tantalusette

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My Intro to Lit Prof is a Bald Guy who Giggles

He also teaches us some very interesting things. Like how many of Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tunes of Yellow Rose of Texas, Amazing Grace, and Gilligan's Island. Which means that Amazing Grace can also be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island. (For the English nerds out there, sing "Because I would not stop for death" to Amazing Grace. It's funny).

He also taught us the "ghoti" is pronounced "fish." How, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. The "gh" makes an "f" sound, like in enough. The "o" makes an "i" sound, as in women. And the "ti" makes an "sh" sound, like in option. Therefore, "ghoti" is pronounced "fish."

Amazing, huh?

Lovely

The last two nights have, in one sense, been two of the most beautiful nights I've ever experienced. So beautiful that they've inspired me to write about the weather.

First of all, today was amazing. The weather all day was gorgeous. It was windy but warm, perfect autumn weather. Not what I would have expected of Indiana in November, but we got cheated out of autumn last year, so I'm not complaining. So I walked out of my dorm tonight aroun 6:00 pm, and the sky was the most amazing shades of blue and greenish that I've seen. They were like colors from a van Gogh painting. And it wasn't that cold. V. enjoyable walk to the library.

And I've discovered that the most perfect time to walk around AU is at 1:30 in the morning. Don't tell anyone else. It was so quiet and still last night. And there was a breeze blowing that you couldn't feel. The street lamp lights shone all hazy and made the yellow and red trees look even more brilliant. It honestly felt like time was suspended or the campus had been enchanted or something. You could have taken one of the lampposts and stuck it in Narnia and I wouldn't have been surprised, it was that beautiful. I almost didn't want to go back to my dorm.

The time I walked back at 3:30 as also very beautiful.

So I have figured out the secret of campus just in time that I leave. The weather'll probably start getting colder too, which means that late night walks won't be nearly so enchanting. I might take another one tonight, though, sometime around 1:00 or 2:00, because the day has been beautiful so far, I wonder what it'll be like in the bewitched hours.

"Lately the weather has been so bipolar, and consqeuntly so have I." - High of 75

Copyrighted by Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility -
A fairer House than Prose -
More numerous of Windows -
Superior - for Doors -

Of Chambers as the Cedars -
Impregnable of Eye -
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky -

Of Visitors - the fairest -
For Occupation - This -
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradies -

NaNo Discovery

The oversized headphones in the library, while not always being most excellent for listening to music, are suprisingly good substitutes for earmuffs in the subzero conditions of the 24 hour lab.

Oh yes

I'm in love with a dwarf named Blurt.

livejournal.com/users/ragamuffin33ad

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NaNoWriMo

All right, Mike. The word count war is on.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My Bad Memory

Help. If whoever I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with could please let me know who they are, I would appreciate it.

I remember I went to see it. With who, where, what theatre, I can't remember. I can't even remember buying the tickets! It's driving me crazy.

More Cool Quotes

(took me forever to spell quotes right)

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end."

Ursula Le Guin

NaNoWriMo2005

Well, it's November 1st, and it's started again! The madness of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Mike and I stayed up and started writing at midnight. Good times. Two other girls are participating with us, Catherine and Meghan, but Meghan is super-busy (ah, aren't we all. We had our staff meeting today at work. Yikes. November is going to be our craziest month yet, especially with the basketball team).

In honor of the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I'm going to summarize my past NaNoWriMos for everyone's enjoyment. :-D The first time I did NaNo was 2003. I started Nov. 10th, which was craziness, and finished about three hours before the deadline. It was wonderful fun; I felt like I was being very prolific; and I'm actually pretty proud of what I wrote. The emphasis is on quantity over quality, but I think my 2003 novel is quite nice. You can do both, surprisingly enough.

2004: sucked. I think I got to 12,000 words before I quit. I just wasn't motivated. I got too far behind. I tried to write chick lit, and I don't know what happened. I don't know if I planned it out too much or if I just didn't have enough plot or what. The premise is kinda interesting, but I am obviously not the one to write it.

So I'm back in 2005 to try again. I'm thrilled to have people participate with me this year, and I'm thinking up all kinds of fun and crazy things I have to do if I do or don't reach a certain word count by a certain day. Like if I'm past 30,000 words by Nov. 15th, I'm going to dye my hair blonde(r). If I'm not at 45,000 words by Nov. 20, I have to introduce 5 new characters, and things like that. I'm going to try to go for 60,000 words this year, but I'll be pleased to win at all, especially with last year's poor performance. This novel is a little more light-hearted than my first. It's space opera-ish, sci fi but less emphasis on the technology and more emphasis on the people. Along the lines of Star Wars or Kathy Tyers's Firebird trilogy. I'm naming all my main characters after Shakespearian characters and all their gods after Greek/Roman gods and goddesses. I just named the leader of the intergalatic government (which falls apart immediately when he goes into hiding, so he's really a no-character) the Dali Lama. I'm definitely having fun with the names. The characters aren't all turning out the way I've expected, already. This one girl is supposed to be innocent and naive and kinda helpless. She's not really helples, and she has a demeanor of being naive, but I think she's got a little manipulation and superiority complex going on there. I've already got 2173 words done today (ha, got ahead of Mike by about 20 words), and my first class tomorrow isn't until 2:00 so I'm planning on staying up pretty late.

So enough blogging about it. I was going to work on my plot some (because I pretty much don't have one; darn Mike. He has a subplot already), but now it's time to head to class. Cheers, all. For you NaNoWriMoers -- Good luck.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Misconceptions as a result of a lack of Communication

About that conversation post-Lit class, Mike. Sorry. Hehe. However, maybe the reason that guys have those certain (mis)conceptions about girls is that girls never talk about it to them.

Just to show how comfortable I am with you (or maybe with that subject), I didn't feel at all awkward.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Quotes (by famous people)

Well, it's really just one quote, but I found this on a quotes thread in the NaNoWriMo forums, and I liked it:

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Winston Churchill

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sadness

I am sad because I did not go to any soccer games this season and I wanted to.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Truth

I will not find validation for my life in anything of this world.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cheap Headphones and Deep Thinkers

Just to let you all know (ha, I refrained from y'all!): $5 headphones from Big Lots might seem like a good idea at the time, but just think about how in six months to get any kind of sound in the right earphone you're going to have to do something crazy with the cord, like bit on it or drape it over the top of your head, so that listening to music in public without looking like a fool becomes virtually impossible.

That's the main point of this post.

But I have another too. Garden State is one of the best love stories ever created. I almost want to call it a love symphony and be really nerdy like that, but I think it's true. Not only does the love story come out in the writing, but it comes out in the music and the acting. The music is magnificent though. Sam says in the movie: "You gotta listen to this song. It'll change your life, I swear," and that's the way I feel about a lot of the music on the soundtrack. It's beautiful.

But actually, that wasn't my point at all. I'm just obsessed with Garden State right now. Callie (theatre grad) says whenever she watches it she wants to fall in love, and it's so true. It makes me want to cry sometimes, just thinking about it. But I don't really physically want to cry. Just inside. I want everyone to know about this movie. I think it's brilliant. I think I'm going to write a whole post on it sometime. Not tonight.

Because this was going to be a short post on headphones and deep thinkers, but I think I can't focus tonight, and Mike can attest to that. And I want to drag this out so I can listen to my Deep Music (lots of Garden State songs!) while doing something productive that isn't studying.

So on to my second point. I told Mike once that I don't want to think so I hang out with a lot of deep thinkers who'll do it for me. And now I kinda notice something funny. I feel like all my friends are separateable into two groups: those who I expect to say something deep every time we hang out, and those who I would be surprised if they said something quasi-deep. I don't hang out with a lot of in between people, and that's funny, because I'm kinda in between. But I really appreciate my deep thinking friends, because they help me focus my deep thinking (I have very unfocused deep thinking, but does this surprise anyone?) and they help me think about things I might not think about and from different perspectives. Like my friend Mike and I are polar opposites on some things. It's great. And on some things we think almost similiar. Like existenialism. I think Kenny and Mike and I all have interlocking ideas on existenialism (and how it relates to Christianity - but that's a whole other post that I want to delve into later when I'm more coherent), but we're different enough that we can talk about it and gain new insights into the ideas. It's much better than talking about existentialism as an ideology in class, because 1. there's no real relational dialogue 2. these are your friends! 3. it's just completely different. You get to listen to personal experiences, you can nit pick things, you can just understand someone else so much better and gain a deeper appreciation of the idea. And now I'm rambling a little, I can tell. But I just want to give a kind of shout out to all my fellow deep thinkers - or all the deep thinkers that will bear to be friends with me. I would definitely go crazy without discussions of a woman's and a man's role in the family, of formalism v. deconstructionism, of existentialism and the meaning of life. Though I might be able to do without the 1 a.m. debates about the Trinity and the confusion about polytheism. ;) Just kidding. Well, no, I'm not, but it wasn't a bad conversation all in all, in retrospect.

Now it's 1:30 a.m., and I think we just need to accept the fact that I'm not going to get anything else productive done tonight beyond brushing my teeth. Maybe I'll study for my voice anatomy quiz. If the paper's floating around here somewhere.

Or not.

Point 2.5: Star Wars is better than Star Trek.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Things Learned/Observed on My Mini-Shopping Trip

1. I was walking down University, and I got the urge to push over a lamp post. Those things are so fragile and insecure! But then I thought, no, I'd get caught, and how on earth could I explain that away to campus security. Though I would have the honor of being in the Andersonian Security Log, I'm sure. And then I thought, gee, some modern writer like Flannery O'Connor would have a field day with that. What is that saying about society and culture and the individual?

2. Anderson drivers don't know what to do when a person attempts to cross Scatterfield. It's the most annoying thing in the world! Obviously, if I'm crossing Scatterfield, it means that I'm pretty introduced with major streets like that and how to cross them. It's all based on the understanding that you won't slow down; the street is too busy to slow down. If you slow down, but the person who is almost not quite far enough away for me to get through the two of you doesn't, then it just messes up my groove and nobody knows what to do! Shesh.

3. Walgreens is superior to CVS.

4. Birthday cards have gotten stupider over the years. Everything has either children or animals on it. I don't want a card with children or animals on it - it's for neither. I understand even less the romanitc cards that have children or animals on them. The first is a little creepy and the second is just way too kinky for me. I looked for my favorite one (On the outside it says something like "Place your tongue on this red dot and try to say Happy Birthday," and on the inside it said "Don't worry. No one in the card store could do it either."), but they didn't have it. The only quality birthday card is out of print. The trip to Walgreens redeemed my trip to CVS, but I still didn't find a card.

I wouldn't have this trouble in New York.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Most Excellent Adventure

My friend Mike is writing about a most excellent adventure in his livejournal ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/ragamuffin33ad/ - I don't know what happened to my missing ability to make links inside my posts). Trust me, it's a good read, though it was more excellent when it actually happened.

Cheers!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Writing Update and Future Goals

Alright, summer's over, and it's time for me to face the music, though I've been trying to avoid this.

I didn't make my summer goal. I got a story shipped off to The Sword Review and another to Deep Magic, but I never got to Paradox or Amazing Journeys. I struggled with "Again and Again and Again" for a little while. The thing is, there's so much explanation. And I tried to cut it out, but then it doesn't work. Then I thought about rearranging it, but that proved sticky too. So either I have to think of an ingenious way to rearrange it or rewrite it, or it might be dead material. Which is sad, because it's come a long way. But to "make up" for my failure w/my third story, I entered the contest over at DM (and I've heard rumors that I'm doing ok in the voting). The only problem is, we all only submitted the first half. Then voting goes on to determine which three stories will be featured fully in the next issue (for nonstaff. For staff, we all have to finish the stories. Those who didn't make the top three are going to be subscriber only content or something). So I have to finish my story by the 20th. Eek!

As for the other two submissions, TSR declined, but I think there's enough there that I can rework it and resubmit. I was kinda hoping Johne (Phy) would comment on it, but he was really busy while it was up. Maybe the second time around. Another thought is to send it to Amazing Journeys. I think it would fit there too.

"Mark of a Saint" was a SALE though! This is my first real sale ever. I'm gonna get paid! I think. Maybe not, because I'm staff (however, that would go nicely toward my social club dues!).

That, however, is all in the past. It's time to look toward the future. Some projects I really want to work on:

National Novel Writing Month 2005: w00t!! I did it 2003, only got to about 12000 words 2004 or something, but this year I'm feeling it. Actually, it's going to be stressful. I have a lot going on, but this is really important to me. I'm determined. I think I might try for 60000 words, but I'll be happy to make the 50000. I'm thinking sword and sorcery fantasy, colorful and outrageous. Chick Lit definitely didn't work for me last year. Maybe urban/modern fantasy too. I'm not sure yet. I've also decided little to no pre planning. I did that last year too, and it obviously didn't help. Oh well. This year I'm going to get it done.

Script based on Hot Fuss: For those of you who don't know, Hot Fuss is a brilliant CD by The Killers. I swear, their music is perfect for a movie soundtrack. So I've decided I'm going to try it. I wanted to start my hand at scripts anyway, so I'll just take a few songs, listen to them, let them inspire me, be my muse, and set to it. It should be a lot of fun.

New POVs: I have a couple of different POV that I want to try. One I'm calling "third person nonsentient." I think I've read a few stories like this, where the story is third person, and you have no insight into anyone's head. All you have are their outward actions, body language, and what they say. I love the idea. I might write a column about it for TSR since I haven't in about two weeks. Another one I want to try is first person removed. The best example I can think of is The Great Gatsby. You're main POV character isn't the one that's dealing with all the action/story/tension/drama.

Eat all the sugar wafers in the world: self explanatory. But strange addictions are popping up everywhere. Just getting ready for NaNoWriMo, I guess. (Speaking of which, you're going to do it this year, aren't you, Mike? Huh? Oh, was that a yes I heard? Brilliant.)

Now, I am supposed to be taking a nap because I've gotten about 6 hours of sleep each night this week, which is very bad for me. I stay up until 200 am reading plays. Last night it was Chekov. I feel like I did him a terrible disservice by waiting that long, but things were happening.

Feel free to ask me (bug me) about any of these projects. Cheers!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Writing Advice, III

Get a typewriter. It's about the coolest thing ever. I haven't really had a chance to play with it, yet, being busy w/school and all that stuff, but my roomie's written a ransom note on it. Now I know you're jealous.

Writing Advice, II

Something I learned while writing for my Appreciation of the Writing Craft class which was reinforced later in the lectures: use details. I was writing a scene, and I almost wrote it this way:

"She was gone before ten minutes had passed."

Then I thought, gee, that's boring. I could make this so much more interesting if I related the lapse of time with what the main character is doing. So it came out like this:

"She was gone before I had finished stocking the peanut butter."

Isn't that so much better? I like it infinitely more, at least. It's so much more interesting, more colorful, more descriptive. I'm going to try to employ this 'method' (of what? I don't really know) more and more in my writing.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

It's Church Tomorrow

It's church tomorrow, and I'm not going to the church I typically go to. In fact, I'm going to one that I'm not too crazy about (no offense, guys. Just a matter of taste). The thing is, I was sitting having a talk with one of my friends (who does go there) about the kid's ministry that she's co-in charge of or in charge of or something and about how they're having trouble getting people to commit to teaching and helping out with the kids and that they kinda needed a teacher for this Sunday. So I said, Hey, I'll do it. And Krista kinda looked at me for me a minute as if wondering if I was serious, and I confirmed that I was. She needed a break. She needed to get the stress of finding a teacher for this Sunday off her shoulders. Basically, I saw a need and decided to fill it. Even more basically, I started taking up my Christian responsibility. It's kinda sad though, that someone who doesn't even go to the church had to decide to do it. But I think this is a fault in churches all around. Why can't people just start taking Christian responsibility? I'm not saying I'm perfect at it. I'm not. I'm down right bad at it. And this is probably one of the first times that I've kinda consciously made a decision to fill a need. But it's something I need to start doing. And it's something the church needs to start doing.

At least, that's what I think.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Contests

The September issue of Deep Magic is out, and for those of you don't know, there's a contest going on right now. The staff don't get to particpate for the money prize, but we're all hoping for the bragging rights. Go vote for "Paying for Redemption!" All the staff are planning to finish their entries, but the non-winners might be subscriber content only. So if you want to read the rest of "Paying," then go vote for it. ;)

The Sword Review is also sponsoring a fund-raising contest. The theme is self-actualization, and there's a $10 entry fee. The winner will get a cut of the funds raised, so the more people who enter, the better. Reprints ARE accepted. Take a look at it; it should be a great contest.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Life, Love, the Universe, and Everything

(P. S. - at the beginning, yes I know. This post is very stream-of-consciousness. Of course it's not developed fully. But that's just the artist within me.)

I feel like that's almost a quote from somewhere.

So this is the second day of school. I'm so excited about my classes. I sat through most of them yesterday and just kept thinking, "This is amazing. That professor, she nailed exactly what I love about literature" or listening to Ron speak about acting and the most powerful ways in which it affects and thinking about how I could give everything else up if I could move people like that. I knew yesterday that my majors are right, my dreams are right, and that I'm finally starting to figure out who I am, where I want to be, and maybe a slight idea of how I want to get there.

I hadn't nailed it before. I just hadn't worked it all out. I never had a huge adolescent identity crisis or anything, I just didn't know my intricacies yet. I was too vague. And I'm starting to learn and explore, and it's one of the most amazing things ever.

I'm understanding why I do some of the things I do, why I sacrified my heart for my spirit, why I need to take certain risks, why I'll never be happy being a housewife or maybe in a 'normal' job. I'm also realizing that it's ok to rethink your decisions, to reevaluate, and take that time to be sure.

This is it. I am an artist. I am a painter, an actress, a writer, a poet, a musician, a dancer. And if I try to deny myself a life that will fulfill the artist within me, I will ruin myself. This trembling ecstasy which I'm feeling now as I explore my own depths will dissipate, slowly, until I've forgotten it, until it's died, and I will only remember in it dismal snatches. Can I let myself live that way? I can't.

So I don't care about getting a normal job. I don't care about loans and not being able to pay them off. I don't care about living in the worst part of town. I don't care what my parents and family might think about the way I've chosen to live my life. I care about being myself, being me. The artist can touch everyone, move everyone, make everyone cry and laugh and understand about themselves, about life, love, the universe, everything! That's what I want. To show people... everything...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Quotes

Keren: I love this song! It has so many bad words in it!

Keren, on a new music artist: No one's going to remember her name; they're just going to think of her hair.

Heather, to Keren: Be quiet! You drunk!

Heather, after giving me advice
: I don't know. My life is a wreck, darling.

Update on the Writing Submissions, II

Eer, it's definitely infinitely more torturous when you can see what the editors are saying about you! There's been one reply on "Mark" so far, and I'm already plotting rewrites.

I also just sent in "Personal Universe." TSR has kinda a backlog on submissions right now, though, so we'll see how long it takes just to get to the submission review forum. Bill should be very proud of the number of submissions we get. It's only been like four months, and we've had almost 200 subs.

So now I'm 2/3 of the way done with my goal; all that's left is either my Amazing Journeys or Paradox sub. I'll work on them on the way home. You know you're a writer when you take your good paper home with you so your submissions will be professional.

Update on the Writing Submissions, I

Well, both "Personal Universe" and "Mark of a Saint" have gone by the last (and only) critiquer. There was little enough to do with "Mark" that I got it sent out today. Now I have to stop myself from compulsively checking the boards to see if anyone's passed judgement on it yet. But at least my goal is 1/3 of the way complete. "Universe" might take a little more work, but I'll probably get it sent out tomorrow. Then I just have to fix up either "Again" for Amazing Journeys or "Valhalla" for Paradox. And I'll have a whole 12-hour car ride home to work on them. Wun-derful.

On a side note, I wonder if there is a point in putting up friends' quotes if I never give any friends this address to look at them?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Quotes

Cameron, concerning a story about a MK that saved a can of Root Beer for two years: But I don't get it. If you save something for so long, what you treaure is going to become - sucky."

Me, concerning Keren's love life: There's always a chance of reconciliation.
Keren: I don't want reconciliation. I want to get married.

Cameron, quite seriously, after the general question being asked if C. S. Lewis's the Chronicles of Naria were children's books: But aren't all books children's books if a child can read?

Heather, trying to bring down a boy bargain with Allie
: In the game of Monopoly, Colin is like Boardwalk.

Chris, at lunch: Oh, they're praying, and I just said "butts."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Typical College Student, II

My college plans have taken a turn for the worse. I have never felt such serious stress before, I think. It's not that I haven't had a huge amount of stress before, but this one event is very straining and I know I'm going to have to deal with it for several weeks. It's not like I can just take action and all this pressure will be gone.

My plans are, as they've always been (for the past couple months), to transfer to another school in a large metropolitan area to study film. I was going to continue through with Anderson this year, though. Now, that certainty of going to Anderson another year is in serious doubt. Depending on the schools I will consider, it just might be wiser to quit Anderson this year, work and make some money, travel, etc., do all that stuff you do in a year off before going on to my new school. I have about three weeks to make this decision.

I've been so prepared for this next year at Anderson. I've been looking forward to some aspects of it, that's for sure. I have some great classes, I'm going to have a cool job, I have wun-derful friends, the shows are going to be great, etc. etc. etc. But there's no point in hanging around another year if the majority of my credits aren't going to transfer. I'm going to be wasting a lot of money if I get to my new school and find out very few, if any, of my sophomore credits transfer.

I'm extremely worried, stressed, and generally second-guessing myself on everything I'm thinking. I have to go and talk to my would-be boss for next year about the possibility that I might not be coming back this year. And I haven't even mentioned it to the vast majority of my friends.

Some great things will happen this year at Anderson, and I think I'll stay. But I still feel this pressure to make the right decision. I know it's only money, but it's a lot of money. So for those of you out there who believe in God, please pray for me, that I'll make the right decision.

Even if that means not transferring at all.

Online Personality Quizzes

I'm addicted to them. Just be grateful I haven't posted my results.

Yet.

Updates

First off, I've updated the sidebar. There are now two more links. One is to my column at The Sword Review. The column feature is very nice; updated quasi-daily (my fault if it's not), with columns from 12 different columnists. Then there's also Peter's Evil Overlord List: 100 Things to Do When I'm Evil Overlord. Funny, I love it. I wanted to share it with all you.

As for my writing, I've made some progress. Both "Personal Universe" and "Mark of a Saint" are ready to go once they've been passed by the last critiquer (the only one, actually, if you don't count me). I've made a slight alteration. I will send "Again and Again and Again" to Amazing Journeys instead of Paradox. I think it's better suited for that magazine. Besides, "City of Honor" is no where near being done.

Right now I'm disgracefully behind in reading and reviewing submissions for The Sword Review. We've been getting such a wun-derfully steady inflow of pieces; the number of submissions have really made it a quality e-zine. Other things I'm behind on: paperwork for work, finding another roomie for next year, reading pieces given to me by other people, and spending quality time in my beloved New York City.

RCA Luncheon

I love eating lunch with the other RCAs. Today we had a discussion about the elitist social problems of the llama.

Painting

Maybe I'll finger paint tomorrow...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Genre Shame

In a thread over at the Sword Review forums, we discussed briefly the legitimacy of fantasy and science fiction as a genre (link here). We mentioned that the genres are often disparaged and not considered "literary." Then this past week, I exemplified what I would call "genre shame."

My now brother-in-law's family was over and we were at my aunt's house having desert, and we were talking about my major or something, and my aunt quips up, "Amy writes faan-tasy." (That's how she pronounced it, or at least that's how she pronounced it in my mind.) I got all flustered and hastily interjected, "And science fiction." Slight pause, realizing that's not always much better in non-genre-fans' eyes. "And literary sometimes." His family was very polite about it and stuff, but I was frustrated with my aunt. I considered going to my aunt and asking her to, please, if she was going to mention my writing not to mention what genre I write.

It was an act of genre shame. Unfortunately, genre shame isn't so easy to conquer. Many speculative writers are considered not "real" writers. Their pieces are considered sub-quality. Unfortunately (again), most writers struggle with gaining recognition from their friends and family. Often, they're not "real writers" until they're published. There's even prejudice among writers, those who think they're more of a writer than someone who only "claims" to write (I confess, that's me sometimes. I'm actually going to put up a post about the different kinds of writers sometime).

There needs to be some kind of reconciliation. Writers need to toughen up and stick to their genre no matter what the pressures there are from other people (which isn't easy!), remembering that there are many fans of their genre (otherwise there wouldn't be a genre, right?). As for the non-genre people, they need to respect the creative efforts of their friends and family that write, no matter if they write literary, fantasy, horror, romance, etc.

But, to appease my genre shame, I'm going to start saying I write speculative fiction.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Untitled, I

Does anyone else have the problem of when they've actually put things away and in their place, not being able to find them again? This is why cleaning is such a nusance, really. I know I'm going to lose some stuff in the end. It's always when I've thought that I've put something in a safe place, its real place that it's supposed to go, where I'm sure to remember it, that I can't seem to find it again.

This is why cleaning is a great social concern that needs to be examined by the federal governments and decided by the courts.

Writing Advice, I

Writing "a waterfall of water" may or may not be repititious, depending on your context. If your context is actual water, then yes, it is repititious. Editors will laugh. And not in a good way.

A Measure of My Rebelliousness

A "meme" from the Deep Magic Blogs: 110 banned books. Bold for what I've read, italics for what I've read partially.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Kapital by Karl Marx
#37 Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (novel and novella)

Quite obviously, I have a lot of catching up to do. I just finished The Handmaid's Tale, which was haunting, and will start on A Brave New World next, I think. I'm still trying to figure out who banned this books, so if you know, leave me a note.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Here's to You

I don't know whether to claim this guy or not after the "dog is cooler than I am" post, but at least I can embarrass him by putting up the link.

A blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Hot Fairy Tale

William Goldman had me. I mean he really had me. Completely believing, absolutely hoodwinked, downright oblivious.

I saw The Princess Bride sometime in the early 90s. I think we still have a tape of it recorded off a '93 Christmas TV special. Some time after that I read the book.

And was just blown away. For those of you who have never read this book, you're missing out on one of the greatest literary pieces ever. It's amazing. I can't pick favorite movies, songs, or books, but if I had to, you'd better believe this would probably be it. Ever since my exposure to the book, though, I've had to wonder, does Morgenstern's version really exist? I went back and forth, discussed it with friends, definitely believed it for a period, but in the end, decided inconclusively that it didn't. Still doesn't change my high opinion of this amazing book -- in fact, it heightens it.

Yesterday I went to the library to drop off my over due books (typical). While I was there I decided to pick up a few books on film making. I saw that Goldman had written a book about his adventures in film and screen play writing, and I was so delighted I got it. I was reading through it eagerly, when I read a reference to his ex-wife, Ilene.

Ilene? I thought to myself. No, that's a mistake. In the Princess Bride forward, he said his wife's name was something else... Helen, that was it. Has he been married more than once?

I read on. I came to another startling part in which Goldman talks about his two daughters. Daughters? What about his son? His son, his son, the one in the forward of the Princess Bride.

It's dawning on me... Of course Morgenstern's Princess Bride is fictional. But more than that, what I hadn't realized until now, but so is Goldman's forward. I go on to read about the conception and struggle that was the Princess Bride, and I am blown away.

This man is a genius!

I can't get enough of thinking about it. This man has completely hoodwinked me, even when I thought I knew what was going on. I really thought he had a wife Helen and a fat son and maids that changed every couple of weeks because his therapist wife scared them away with her "understanding" of their feelings. I completely bought him.

I hope there's someone else out there who also thought like me, not because I wish to feel any less foolish (which I do, I'll admit), because I want someone else to share with me this awe of Goldman's ability, and I don't think that can happen unless you too were completely fooled.

I want to tell him. I want to tell him so badly how he completely had me. Maybe when I get time, I'll write him a letter. He may find it foolish, but I think it will give him a laugh.

Besides, he deserves to be told just exactly how brilliant he really is.

Extra for the X-C

I don't understand how people who run miles and miles a day for fun can object to using the proper entrance to a building just because it's a few hundred feet more to walk.

Wrapping Up the Summer

This evening, I made a decision that before summer wraps up, I'm sending out a minimum of at least three stories to publishers. I'm nearing the end of a couple that I'm excited about, and once I'm able to transfer them off my laptop onto a CD (or get my internet to work) I'll be pressing on full speed. Here's what I've got planned:

"Mark of a Saint" (Deep Magic) - This story is a prequel to my story "The Saintly Fianche of Malitane." The latter starred Fianche's daughter, really, and in "Mark of a Saint" I write about Fianche and some of the issues she has. It's shaping up to be a really nice little short story. There's not a lot of action, per say. The conflict is internal, but I'm excited to send it in to DM to see what they think. It adds backstory to Fianche's staff, which they wanted a little more of when they accepted "The Saintly Fianche." Whether or not it gets accepted, I'm glad that I wrote it.

"Personal Universe" (The Sword Review) - This is actually sci-fi, which is not my typical genre. It was inspired just a few weeks ago by the comments of an agnostic on the boards, and I'm pleased with the way it's come together quickly. I feel like "Personal Universe" and "Mark of a Saint" are sister stories; they were both started around the same time, they are both about the same length, they'll both be finished around the same time (hopefully), and they are both destined to be sent (first) to my favorite e-zines. Anyway, this one was really fun to write, and I'm excited to send it to the team and see what they think. It won't be anonymous now, if any of the staff read the blogs, but that's ok. I can take it.

"Again and Again and Again" and "To the Halls of Valhalla" (Paradox) - Both of these are quasi-historical fiction. "Again" is historical; it's one of my gems that's already been sent out and rejected. I hadn't really looked at it since until tonight, and I had forgotten some of the changes I had made since the original story (funny how that works). I don't think it'll need as much work as I thought it would. I'm also open to trying Amazing Journeys with "Again." "Valhalla" focuses on the Valkyries of Norse mythology. It's a contemplative/reflective piece, one I wrote when my friend Steve and I decided we were going to both write stories about the Norsemen (which came from a strange comment about Norsemen that turned into an inside joke). It's very rough; it's mostly dialogue right now, so I need to smooth it over, tighten it, and just make things a little more interesting. "Again" will go first.

"City of Honor" (Amazing Journeys) - "City of Honor" was inspired by the book "Honor Lost" and is dedicated to all women killed in the name of family "honor." This story is in its very rough first draft. This one'll probably take the most work, but it's one of my babies (er, well, aren't they all?) because I found "Honor Lost" so powerfully chilling and sad. I hope my piece will inspire in the readers a sense of sadness and loss as well.

I put sticky notes on my mirror to keep me working on these stories. I have about a month to get out three, and with the car ride to and from NY within that month, I'm pretty sure I'll get that done. Probably the biggest obstacle is getting ink for my printer. I'm very excited. I've only sent out one batch before, three stories at the end of July last summer. It's been a whole year, and I've finally got some pieces that are almost ready to be sent out. I will, of course, be anxious to hear back from every one of the editors (or to spy on them at those where I volunteer), whether that be in form of rejections or acceptances.

Brilliantly enough, these are all paying markets. Wouldn't that be fun?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Buggers

If you ever stop and listen on a summer night, you gotta wonder just how many bugs are making up the great symphony of cricketing, creaking, and humming.

Being the Typical College Student

Typical college students change majors. I changed mine at least twice before starting college, redeclared a couple of times in college, too. I think I'm taking it a step further, though.

In fall of 2006, I most likely will not be returning to Anderson. If all goes well, I will be on my way to sunny California, where there is surf and snow and everything else. I'm looking to transfer schools and have started inquiry this past week. I got a call from Brooks Institute of Photography (I do hate those calls -- I was kinda reluctant to start the whole process over again, from a total different angle than two years ago -- but it's helpful), and I was asked how interested I was, on a scale from 1 to 10, in film as a career. I said 7, because I'm pretty much definitely planning on going to L. A. to try this thing out.

The thing is, my current college town is just too small. My opportunities are limited to the school itself. I'm realizing more and more how many things there are to do and experience and how many different careers and hobbies and passions there are to explore and what a waste it is to stay where I am. I'm on a one-track plan here. If I stay here, I know where I'll end up in four years. And I'll probably be happy, but I'll always wonder about all the things I never got to do. The thing is, I'm tired of feeling like my life isn't going to start until I graduate. I shouldn't be waiting for my life to start. I am, and it's making me unhappy. I need to make a radical change, get out to a place where everything's happening and everything is explorable and nothing's the limit. I'm really excited. I think I'm going to be really happy. I won't have to look forward to the opportunities of the future anymore; I can be content where I am.

It makes me wonder, though, how many other people are waiting for their lives to start.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Nature of Love

It is the nature of love to give oaths, vows, and solemn promises, to swear itself to eternity, to death, to things not humanly possible, to see forever and always and everything.

But is it the nature of love to fulfill these rose-colored promises?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What is Romantic Love?

I've thought about love about as much as the average person (if you take my sister out of the equation, 'cause she spent her whole undergraduate career on it. And I mean that seriously, not in a bad way.). I had a whole class on it first semester, what it is, and how it relates to our relationship with God, and what qualities we desire in a mate, and what drives us to pick who we pick. After all this thinking and wondering and comparing different situations, I think I've come up with something.

The only kind of love that exists is the kind you believe in. If you believe in love at first sight, then love at first sight exists. If you believe love doesn't last, your love won't last. Sure, there are exceptions, but the love you give and take is so colored by your perception of what love is, it will be conformed to your ideals. Love is like faith - love is a kind of faith. It is what you make it, what you believe in, what ideals you've created for yourself. Someone might try to tell you otherwise, but in the end, you know that what you believe in your heart is true.

Google It!

Yes, I'll admit, I've Googled myself.

But it's a lot funnier to find out Cheryl Shank's done it, too.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Summer Reading 2005

Unfortunately, my summer job doesn't allow for much summer reading. However, I got (too many) books out from the library the other day and thought that I'd compile a sort of list as a goal. Writers must be readers, after all.

A Clash of Kings (George R. R. Martin) - I love the characters in this seriers, the plot, the world, everything. I gave up this book last summer after getting frustrated with some of his choices. This story is so compelling, though, I really want to know what happens. So I'm giving it a second try.

Angela's Ashes - I don't know much about this book besides it's won a Pulitzer, is set in Ireland, and the people of Limerick don't like it because it makes them look bad.

Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief - Saw it on the shelf and just had to get it. If stealing weren't illegal and wrong, you'd better believe I'd be a jewel thief.

Memoirs of a Geisha - My sister really liked this book. I think it should be really interesting, learning about the culture and some of its darker sides.

The Wizard of Earthsea - I really wanted to try Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series, but they didn't have this book at the library. I got her Earthsea short story collection, though.

The Handmaid's Tale - I haven't heard much about this either, but it sounds dark and compelling. A book to read on my way to becoming a well-read individual.

The Hours - I'd like to read either the novelization of the movie, the book it was mostely based on (if there is one; I'm not too sure on my details about the movie), or something else by Virgina Wolfe.

I doubt I'll get through all those, but just in case, here are some other books I'm interested in:

Catch 22
451 degrees
Paradise Lost
Age of Innocence
The Soung and the Fury
Clarisse
Brave New World
The War of the Worlds
Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Atlas Shrugged

And let's not forget all those good books just sitting there on the library shelves, undiscovered. Everyone should delve into a little bit of summer reading. Nothing improves the mind like a good book.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

All the new colors...

I'm trying to give the blog a little make over. It's sticky; I'm not too saavy with the code. I'm making some progress though. I've learned how to completely manipulate the sidebar.

Speaking of the sidebar, I'd like to point out a few new links. My sister's blog, Diotima, is gone because the site no longer exists. That's ok; you can get more of the opinionated old Butler girl (soon to be Nardo girl, eek!) in this month's issue of First Things. I have to find myself a copy sometime here soon.

I've added two e-zines to the bar. These, my friends, are the way of the future. Nothing beats print magazines, having the feel and smell of stories, but the appeal of most e-zines is that they're free. I've been frequenting Deep Magic for a few years now. They are the top e-zine of fantasy and science fiction. Amazing quality. I've contributed a few stories of my own in the past, and just recently I've become one of their copy editors. It's exciting to be involved in this e-zine. They've recently made the upgrade to a paying magazine, so while you can still download the current issue for free, to get the past three years of DM goodness, you need to become a subscriber. There are also many other benefits to becoming a subscriber, and Deep Magic is more than worth it.

The other one listed is an up and coming e-zine that I was lucky to get into as an assistant editor while it was still young and growing (it still is young and growing). This is a great place for beginning authors. It is a quality fantasy, science fiction, and "more" e-zine with many different genres to submit to. Bill Snodgrass has the site looking great, and we're working on ways to improve the features of the e-zine every day.

Both e-zines have some amazing opportunties, for readers and writers alike, and I highly recommend them.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Starting over

Let's get this party started again...