Tabs! :D

Friday, December 31, 2010

The 37 Things I Learned This Year

As it is the End of December/Beginning of January I am going to become reflective and think about what I learned this year, though generally I leave reflecting to the mirrors and ponds of the world.

1) Putting things like metal into your mouth is bad for your teeth. You can supposedly chip your teeth this way. Who knew?

2) Just because a musical has puppets in it does not mean it is appropriate for children.

3) If you are on vacation you will most likely get sick.

4) When you slide on ice and tap the back of a large pick-up truck and they say "that's alright" what they really mean is "In three months I'm going to call your insurance and try to blame you for a totally unrelated incident."

5) Sometimes cautious drivers will stop at a yield sign even if no cars are coming. Especially if they are foreign and do not know the difference between a stop and yield sign.

6) When you hit the back of a car that has stopped at a yield sign even though no cars are coming, it is quite possible that awful green liquid will ooze out of your car. And you will cry.

7) No matter how much you love your Nissan Maxima, it will not magically reappear in your driveway.

8) No matter how much you love the truck you're borrowing from a friend they will not hand it over. Even i f you bake them brownies. Or write a love song to the Nissans you adore.

9) Writing a book in 8 days will turn you into a Zombie.

10) Trying to accomplish NaNo after spending 8 days writing a novel is not a good idea.

11) Just because there are exploding wardrobes in your novel does not mean that you will be able to finish said novel in 30 days. Sadly.

12) An all girl's college is very weird. And not necessarily in a bad way.

13) Never transfer from a place that will hold your transcripts hostage.

14) Be careful while writing. Do not empath too much with a suicidal character. Or a character obsessed with shoes. Bad things can happen.

15) Bloggy friends are Amazing. Never lose them for they will keep you sane.

16) Summaries aren't as hard to write as you thought they were.

17) Do not tell people your car exploded in the middle of the highway. It does not go over well.

18) Even if you work in a store clearly marked "Calendar Store" customers will still ask for things that have nothing to do with calendars. Like asking for fish food.

19) Researching agents can lead you to discover some really wonderful books that you might not have read otherwise.

20) If you go to the library multiple times a week the librarians will start knowing you by name. This is not a a bad thing.

21) The insanity of writing is cantagious. You may or may not cause others to start hearing character voices and you may or may not cause certain parents to worry for their children's sanity.

22) Do no talk to your characeters out loud while at work, even if it is late and no customers are around.

23) Age doesn't matter as much as people think it does.

24) Sometimes you have to actually study what you're learning in class. It does not magically enter your brain through some sort of Learning Portal.

25) Polaris is the most Amazing Convention Ever!

26) BEA is also up there on the E.o.M

27) Spakes are a whole lot more complex then you thought they would be.

28) Sometimes, even if you only have one chapter left a novel will not let you end it. This can be an okay thing.

29) Some bosses are better than others. Some should be avoided, some should not.

30) Catholics can be pretty cool people.

31) Some jobs are worth fighting for, some are not. Sometimes you will not be sure which truth applies to the situation.

32) If you leave coats/notebooks/Bibles lying around at some church buildings they will disappear and you will never see them again. This will very likely sadden and frustrate you.

33) Having an organ-obsessed brother can be a good thing, and can even produce some pretty darn good music.

34) Aristophanes is one funny guy, and Aeschylus has some really Spake-appropriate quotes.

35) You cannot go to college for anything cool until you do graduate work. This is unfair.

36) There are times that it is perfectly acceptable to go into the city to meet people you've met online. As long as your parents know about it and you go in pairs.

37) Sometimes you will write blog posts that are not your best work, but people will read them anyway because they care about you and it will blow your mind.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction Blogfest!

So Lindsey (aka DWAP) and Vic (aka aspiring_x) had a Stranger than Fiction Blogfest/Contest that was Super Fun! As it is the 22nd I'm posting my entry which will be found below:

Broken Things

“Hurry!” I hissed. Rose gagged on a plant she had somehow almost swallowed (that girl is talented) and stumbled over to me. We both ducked under the sign that we wouldn’t read because then we could honestly say we hadn’t read the sign. It was a tactic my younger brother had taught me. I probably shouldn’t listen to my brother, since he falls off of roofs and swallows handfuls of gummy bears whole just for fun. But my brother wasn’t what I was thinking about. I was thinking about the old abandoned building I was sneaking into.

Rose and I stop inside and stare. We had both dreamed about this day. It was a building we had written stories about, had wondered about, had done research on. There is a feeling of awe we both feel, standing there with broken glass under our feet, bits of boards stacked up nearby.

Carefully, cautiously, we walk forward, through each room. We wonder about the stories each room contains. We run our fingers along the cracked green paint and step around the peeling grey tile.

In one room there is an ugly grey desk and an old record player. There’s a sign for the missing pool table. Rose wonders aloud, “Why was the pool table taken, but not this,” and places a finger on the record player. I shake my head. “Why did they take all of the curtains except that last one?” I point to the single fluttering yellow curtain. It is a strange thing. I never know who decides what is taken, what is left behind. We go upstairs and stare at the abandoned library. Books are scattered over the floor like a thousand lost souls. I turn away and don’t know whether I’m going to cry or throw up. It is just… wrong.

Rose tilts her head and whispers, “I’m far away from home…” The others who come here have spray painted words along the halls because they don’t understand the hollowed nature of abandoned buildings. They just feel the hollowness, I guess. But that one sentence is different, holds sadness in every stroke. It’s home here in this broken place.
At one of the other staircases Rose squats down and flips through the pages of an old Bible. There are pages missing, notes and cross-references scrawled in fading grey pencil. Rose reads the notes out loud as I sit on the bottom step and drag my toe through the debris of papers and disemboweled books. I imagine that each paper is a part of someone’s life; a part that they lost and can never get back.

“Why was this left here?” Rose asks, her voice breaking, but I shake my head. I don’t know why. I don’t know why anything was abandoned here with this building. “Come on,” I whisper. “It’s time to go.”

Before we leave, though, we stop in one last room downstairs. There’s an altar to the left. Bits of marble and plaster have crumbled and fallen. Blue tiles with golden scrollwork have sighed and given up. They lie on the ground, an unfinished mosaic. I imagine rows of boys kneeling on the ground, praying, and singing and filling the room with the music of being alive. I imagine the priest up at the front holding his hands up toward the sky-painted squares of ceiling. I wonder what words were spoken. Stepping carefully Rose and I walk over to the room behind the altar. Everywhere I see words and thoughts pressed against the walls, in between the cracks of missing mortar.

“I wish the walls could talk,” Rose whispers and I wonder if we’re thinking the same thing. We do that sometimes. As if we were twins in another reality, and this reality messed that up, putting us in different families, in different times. But here, in this broken down building, age and family and differences don’t matter. There are just the echoes of a dying place that used to be a home.

We leave, making sure we’re alone first, that no one is waiting outside as they walk their dogs or make out in the square of green grass. No on is there and we run to the side, push through the broken metal wall that separates the world from this broken place. They say it’s not safe. Of course not. Broken things are never safe.
We walked back to the car then, occasionally glancing back at the building that we will always love. We’ve seen its heart, we’ve seen its soul, and now it’s time to go home.

Have a great weeks guys! And if I don't post before then, Merry Christmas!! Ohmygoodness... This year went by Way Too Fast. Have a lovely day my LamNams, and if you're interested, I believe on one of the two ladies' blog there should be a linkydink for anyone else involved in this blogfest/contest. I really have no idea because I'm writing this entry early since I will have No Time tomorrow (which is now today). Anyway! :D

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010: A Study in Cars

My sis brought to my attention the other day a strange consistency when it has come to my Car Problems this year. I found it mildly disturbing and thought I would share it with you. Shall we take a gander through this past year?

1. The year began with my beautiful, beautiful, Nissan Maxima that I will love forever. I drove it from January on through April, until I hit the back of a White Suburban, which happened to be on the very last day of Finals. This is what my car looked like as I said good-bye:

All smooshed ;*(

That same month I left the Christian Bookstore and started my new job at the Playhouse.

2. As I looked around for a new car friends of our family let us borrow their beautiful, beautiful, Frontier Nissan.

This Truck will be immortalized in the Spake Stories

A week before leaving the Playhouse I was finally able to find a new car.

3. An ugly colored Chrysler Malibu... It used to look something like this:

We didn't even have time to become friends... *sniff sniff*

This is all that remains:


I had stopped being jobless and had just gotten a job at Borders with the sis. I was driving down the highway going a little over 65 and suddenly I was going 55. And not accelerating. I made it over to the side of the road no problem. The tow truck guy came (Yay triple A) and took me to the Family Mechanic Man. Where we found out a very tiny explosion happened in the engine because of the stupid transmisison or whatever. For some reason when I say, "My car exploded!" and then show them that only the tires remain, they tend to freak out. So don't freak out. The explosion was tiny and contained in the engine. More boring but... Whatever.

4. Present Day Subaru:

The Family Mechanic Man has a man who works for him that sold me this for a Very Good Deal. I didn't think I'd be able to buy people presents at first (never buy a car in December) but because I've been working nearly 40 hours at the New Job I've been able to be alright.


Rebecca says that now I can never quit Borders, or my car will die. Ha. Ha. I hope not. Still, I'm planning on staying at Borders as long as I can. Just in case.

And... In case you want to torture yourself here is a Very Poorly Done video of a song I wrote for my Nissan. Very low tech, trust me. You don't have to watch it. I won't be offended. I was just feeling out of touch with reality this morning and decided to upload it to YouTube.

How 'bout you, my LamNams? Did you have any odd trends this year? Did you ever have a car or large kitchen appliance die a few weeks before Christmas? Hope y'all are ready for Christmas! Woo!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Greek Mythology

Now, before I say anything I want it to be clear that I like Greek Mythology. I have enjoyed it on numerous occasions. I have even read the famous D'Aulaires book. (Once when I was young and
hated it and thought it was Pure Evil, a second time when I was a little bit older and understood its historically and literary value.) I've read re-tellings of Greek Myths. For example, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books and Emily Whitman's Radiant Darkness.

But sometimes I think Greek Myths are Way Too Popular. I've been reading this Ancient, Ancient, school book called Myths and Their Meanings, by Max J. Herzberg which was published in 1928 and is So Old I cannot find and ISBN #for it. It's an interesting enough book, but what bothers me is that the first 353 pages is all about Greek Myths. Nordic Myth is lumped in with the Celts for the rest of the book which is under 100 pages long! And there is no mention of Egyptian Mythology at all, and by this time in history people were aware of the Rosetta Stone and there were Egyptologists running about. Suffice it to say, I found it just a little bit disturbing.

Fortunately, it's been a good amount of time since 1928. There have been re-tellings of the Swan Maiden folktale, which is thought to be North-Eurasian as far as I can find. RL LaFevers has used Egyptian Mythology, and so did Rick Riordan in his newer book series the Kane Chronicles. The Nordic Myths seem to be not quite as popular, though I believe a certain blogger is trying to rectify that. (Ohmygoodness. I know she exists. I feel terrible. I have looked for her on twitter, on Google Reader, I have Googled her. I even looked on CafePress and I cannot remember what her blog is and I'm not sure of her name and I don't want to say the wrong thing. I feel so Terrible. But she does exist. I know she does.) D'Aulaires even put out a Norse Myth book as well, which is Very Exciting.

Still, there are certain Mythologies that still tend to be skipped over. Like Sumerian. There is a vast amount of myths in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean culture that is not seen as often. I'm sure there are others that I'm completely forgetting about, but you get the point.

And I do understand that Greek Mythology was adopted by the Romans who ruled the so-called World. I do know that it was considered a normal part of a high education to learn Greek so people could read Homer and the like. Even know you can go to many colleges and be able to take Greek. Not so much Ancient Egyptian. I was blessed to go to a college where I could take a semester of Akkadian, but that doesn't happen very often. Greek Myths are still more widely accessible than most other stories. (I am excluding European folk tales for now, because there is a certain distinction between Myth and Folk tale, according to some.)

I'm hoping this changes, and continues to change. I think it would be fantastic if more colleges offered special classes in Akkadian, or Egyptian, or whatever. I do think that even with the Paranormal shift in YA literature, looked over myths will start to be tapped into. Maybe even because of the shift in YA. (Can Greek and paranormal inter-mix? That would be interesting. Or even a Greek steampunk? Ahem. Anyway. Moving on.)

How about you? Any thoughts on the subject? I'd love to hear what you think. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reasons I Failed at NaNo 2010

Yes. I completely and totally failed.

My First Novel clocked in somewhere at 6,ooo words. Then I stopped, despite the exploding wardrobes.

My Second Novel edged in with 6,5oo words and then that sputtered and died. A bunch of you guys ended up popping up in my novel, which was fine at first. There was Mia (with unknown powers), Mercedes and Simon (these two as Vampires), Wolfie402 (as a werewolf), Laura Marcella (who is a mystery), and the list just kept on growing. But after I had Evil Blam show up with a Zombie Joan Crawford, I just couldn't take the story Seriously anymore and I had to stop before I started losing my very own sanity. I have very little sanity left. I need all the sanity I can hold onto.

This is what I look like on a good day

Thus the Third Novel was picked up. It was inspired by Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson. As you may imagine, it is not exactly a Fun book to write. There is a whole lot of Emotional Trauma. It deals with rape, suicide, cutting... All sorts of stuff. The one girl I found myself empathizing with... Well. I was thinking a little bit Too Much like her. When I started feeling suicidal I decided it would be healthy to take a week or so off from writing it. I started again a couple of days ago and am doing Fine now, but I seriously needed that time off.

So I didn't win this year. But I think that's okay, because I did write some stuff I probably wouldn't've otherwise.


Congratulations to everyone who Finished NaNo! And Congrats to those who tried, even if they weren't able to finish.

Here's Cake:

It's Pretty!

Have a great day me LamNams! :) Hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving (for those of you here in the States) for the rest of you I hope you had a Wonderful day toooo.... YAY!