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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two Sentence Post

It's not about what we want to do...

It's about what we decide to do.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This story bit was written after one of the professors, Dr. Murphy, passed away. He was a good friend of my professor and when I was sitting in class my professor’s grief was tangible. I wrote this scene about a person (I imagine her female because I am female, but it could just as easily be male) who can only feel emotion through other individuals. They are incapable of feeling emotion on their own, and must live vicariously through others.

“You think you know something about grief?” he laughed a dry dusty old tome of a laugh.

“Something, yes. Not personally, but I know something. I know it’s a drop of bittersweet dark chocolate under the tongue that makes you swallow, and swallow, and feel just a little bit like choking. I know it’s salt tears burning your eyes red. A hollow gut spilling out of your skin in waves, and waves. I know it’s the question why. That deep-seated child asking why were they here and now they’re not?”

“That’s not grief,” he said. “That’s poetry.”

“Grief is poetry.”

At first he said nothing and his eyes were nothing and his arms were so still and his body was so rigid he became a little bit of nothing. “That’s not what grief is. Grief is not poetry.”

“Then what is it?” I demanded, a clawed monster of pain awakening in my stomach and ripping, flailing, trying to find a way up my throat, but its legs were stuck in my stomach and so it reached, and reached behind my eyes and scratched away at my retinas.

“You’ll know when it comes,” he said quietly, and left. The monster left with him, and the pain, and the regret, and the relief, and the ever-present haunting that death left behind. I wrapped my arms around myself and waited to feel again.

**Also: Sorry about my recent trend in writing horribly sad posts. I will have something a little more positive in a few days if all goes well.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Car Trouble

She was drinking coffee. Bad idea. But she knew if she didn't she would go find alcohol - and for an alcohol intolerant person that was even worse of an idea. So the coffee worked as a distraction. For a few moments. Then it would all come back and she would reach for another marshmallow. The bag was almost half-empty already. She would eat one - or five - every time it came back. Every time she remembered.

She kept telling herself it wasn't that bad. Nothing had actually happened. She was fine and she was safe. But that refrain kept coming into her head and parading like a demented mechanical chicken. My car was on fire. I could have died.

She had taken a long bath and had bought new clothes (well, they were used, but still, new to her) to put distance between herself and what had happened. Also, to get away from the burnt car smell that clung to her like a needy boyfriend.

The car ride had started out well enough, except for the delay. She had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Pittsburgh. But she had pulled out her map and been able to find her way back to 79 South. It had been about an hour out of the way, but it could have been worse, and she had been able to figure it out all on her own without a GPS. Just an old beat up atlas.

That's when her car started acting funny. She had gone to the nearest gas station, just to be sure. Everything looked fine. All fluids where they needed to be, no leaking, tires good.

I should have called my dad. But she hadn't. It had driven without problem for about an hour. That's when the smoke started. And then the panic. She dialed home. No answer. Her dad. Still no answer. Mom? Yes. She was driving but would call back. She hung up.

It smelled like smoke. Like a lot of smoke. She was just thinking of getting out of the car when someone pulled over in front of her. A small white car. A man jumped out and ran to her, so she rolled down her window.

"Yours car is on fire. You need to get out."

The panic. The waiting. The continual phone calls. Fire fighters pulling stuff out of the back of her car and tossing it aside while they tried to cool the car down. It was too hot. There was so much smoke. This isn't real. This doesn't happen in real life. But it was happening. Later, car dropped off at a shop, waiting for her dad to pick her up, she walked through the dollar store and felt nothing. She was walking. She was standing. Her eyes were open. But no sense data was coming through. There was nothing. Just a floating body of white noise. So she got a hotel room and took a bath and put on her new clothes and called her grandmother.

That's when the shaking started. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if worse things had happened to her. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad it she knew she could afford a new car. Or if she wasn't alone in West Virginia.

She took another sip of the coffee she wasn't supposed to be drinking and reached for another marshmallow. She waited for her dad to come and for the shaking to stop.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Second Time Charms

SO, a long time ago my sister taught me the basics of painting. This was over five years ago when I was in highschool and only wanted to write and was not really interested in any other types of artistic expression. Or. That's how I remember it. I could be wrong.

BUT, so, my sister Rebecca of Awesomeness, taught me the basics of painting and we used watercolor. I dabbled around with some painting and drawing after that. (Heehee, dabble is a funny word.)

And you know what. I lied. I was always interested in drawing. And music. I'm just forgetting my childhood. Forgive me.

BUT a few years ago I sort of gave up on painting. I still drew stuff, mostly stick figures. I was obsessed with stick figures. I tried to figure out how legs would like while running, how to make stick figures squat or sit cross legged or hug. Arms and legs go all over the place while people hug, and when you just have sticks it can sometimes look ridiculous. BUT I had pretty much given up on the paint because I didn't think I was very good, and rather than failing, or investing time and money into something I wasn't going to be good at, I just hid my canvases and my easel that my parents bought me for Christmas and I quietly pretended that I wasn't interested.

These were my first two paintings that I did on canvas. They're as "book covers" for the first book series I ever (seriously) wrote. I graduated early just to write these series. But I was younger, and I didn't know how hard the publishing world really is, and I was so full of hope and silliness. I am still planning on doing something with Lands of Earac on day. It will just be a little while. I still need to edit it and stuff. BUT, that's what these paintings were from. And then I quietly set them on my bookshelf and went on with my life, doodling and dreaming and writing and learning.

THEN... Last semester I had a new roommate. I have mentioned her before, and I will probably mention her quite often. You know how sometimes there's a turning point in your life and there's that one person who was there during that turning point and they helped you through and they were there for you and they changed you in a vats number of little tiny penetrable ways? That was my roommate. She painted. She was the catalyst that got me painting again.

And, of course, I don't actually have a picture of that first painting that I did, BUT, it was a found art painting. It was my diagram of the universe using buttons and string and chains and shiny things. And I found something out. I really, really like painting. AND I could paint without having to be fancy or do people or animals or living things. I could be abstract and crazy because I am abstract and crazy. SO. I started making paintings for friends' weddings:

 And then as gifts and then I realize... Hey. This is like mixing scrapbooking and painting together. AND my sister gets paid to scrapbook and my brother-in-law gets paid to paint SO, what if I could actually do this for fun, and as a small business? So I started gathering together paint and canvases.

A few days later my mum and dad had to go to a birthday party and they were saying, "We don't know what to get as a present, because the kid has everything already." Kind of joking around I said, "Hey, you could pay me and I could make something. You would just have to gather random nominally flat objects from the party and I could make a commemorative painting."

Then I got home that night to a cup full of birthday stuff and monies. *le gasp of happiness* SO I made this:

SO now I'm thinking about calling it Second Time Charms, as per one of my friends suggestions. Eventually I'll be able to also make things like wind chimes out of bottle caps and painted boxes and things. BUT I like the idea because it's a tasteful and unique way to preserve memories without taking up space and allowing easy access to look at it. You just have to put it on the wall. And I've also made ones as presents where I just use elements that remind me of that person. For my brother I made one with random rusty things, because, he likes random rusty things:

SO it's something that can be designed specifically for you for whatever you want. Birthday parties, graduations, weddings, bat mitzvahs, bar mitzvahs, or ramadan parties. Or Arbor Day parties. If you want it done as a memorial you just have to send me elements from the event. Invitations, candles, cut-off bits of tablecloth, centerpieces, whatever. OR, you just have to tell me that someone like nature and flowers and I'll work with that. I'm really hoping this is something I can do for reals, because I like doing it, and it's fun, and it not stressful, and I think it's something that isn't really out there right now. But I think it's something that could be nice for people to have.

SO. That is Second Time Charms, by ELM. (That's my painting name.) If you have any suggestions just let me know :) I appreciate all y'all. Hope you're having a good beginning of September!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back to College

Well, hello my lovely LamNams. I have not been around in forever.

I do sometimes post over here at Booksellers Without Borders NY. I'm supposed to be posting on Thursdays about Middle Grade books. I miss this past Thursday because I was in RA training all day. And all week. And I'm still in RA training. Fortunately we have the weekend off to kind of decompress and chill our faces off. It's been kinda' intense at times. Mostly just time-consuming.

SO, what have I been doing all of this time? I was working again at a small Playhouse (a musical theatre) in the Box Office. It was basically working in a shack in the middle of the woods while answering phone calls from old people. It was fun though. I worked like, 10-12 hr shifts though, so... I didn't really exist enough to be able to spend time over here.
This is My Little Box I Lived in This Summer
ALSO, I was trying to get together with ALL THE FRIENDS. I did get to run down and see my roommate (I think I will always call her that, even though she is transferring out to a state far away from mine, and we aren't technically roommates anymore because I am an RA and I have a room all to myself but... where was this thought going? I think I'm supposed to have stopped this parenthesis thought by now.) which was awesome.

Except the part where I got pulled over
AND, we had our giant family birthday, since since about five of us all have birthdays between the end of July and mid September.

WHAT ELSE: I went to BEA (did I already tell you about that? I don't know.) and so have been trying to keep up on my reading of ARCs and so forth.
This is just a small portion... The ones I brought with me to school
OH! I started painting again and I'm hoping to turn that into a small business, which I shall tell you about more at a later point.

SO FAR this is an extremely dull post but as I am - at times- and extremely dull person that is quite alright.

I AM going to be super busy this year with classes, and RAing (which means I am a resident assistant, and have to make sure all the Residents on my hall obey the rules and are taking care of themselves physically and emotionally, and whatnot.) annnnnd doing everything else that I always try to do.
From Hyperbole and a Half

I WILL TRY and write a post every weekend (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) just to try and keep in contact with this side of the world, because I KNOW I've been losing touch all over the place and that makes me sad inside.

I HOPE to be around more often, HOWEVER, I am realistic and realize that PROBABLY won't happen. Because I'm a bum.

ANYWAY, I hope y'all had a good summer, and continue to have a good rest of the summer, AND I hope to see you all soon. I give hugs to all of you, unless you are creepy, in which case I give you a friendly handshake instead.

Only a Hand Shake for You. If That.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm Bored So I'm Writing This

You see, this summer I am working at a Playhouse in the middle of the woods.

Actually, yes. It kinda' looks like that.

And I work in the box office until late at night and I come home tired and hungry.

Kinda' like this cat

And so I came home and ate food and now I have to wait for my laundry to finish.

Fortunately mine was not so bad

And that is why I am writing this epically boring, completely pointless, blog post.

Have a good night, my LamNams!!

That is terrifying... Oh My Nightmares *faints*

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Endings, Fairy Tale Re-Tellings, and a Non-Related Contest

Well, I've sent off another query letter. It will probably come back as a no, but I need to keep trying or I'll stop completely. And I don't want to stop completely. Because I really like writing. And I really want to be able to share my stories with people. Mostly, because then people will know what I'm talking about when I make referewnces to my books, before remembering that no one has read them, and then I feel like a self-involved attic-hermit. Well. I do want to live in an attic someday and write books. Which is kinda' self-involved. Which. Hm.

MOVING ON like a truck on the highway loaded up with sugar plum fairies:

I have been writing a re-telling of the Little Mermaid and it is very annoying, because all the rest of the stories I've written in that world (Ferdanly) are all told in past tense, but this one wants to be written in present tense. Lame. Not that I have anything against present tense. I have used it for other series. BUT not this one. This one is supposed to be past. I'm letting my characters get away with it for now, but after the first draft we will have a long talk, I assure you.

It's been an interesting process, because the story keeps trying to be force its way into having a happy ending, and I'm having to work with all my might to make it only a nominally happy ending. It can't be entirely happy. That would ruin everything. Because 1) It messes up the whole process of the fact that fairytales are falling apart 2) It ruins what I'm going to do three books from now 3) I don't really like happy happy endings.

Fortunately, I have this character. Her name is Ionuin. She can get away with breaking whatever rules she wants. And, after some finagling, I was able to use her in order to get my books ending the place it needs to be: almost happy, but not quite.

Because life doesn't work out perfect happy happy. There's some happy and there's some not so happy, and that's the way I want my books to be. Some happy. Some not so happy. And some maiming and killing and fighting and brawling and using long ridiculous words that most people have not heard of: like concatenate.

ALSO I went to BEA and have been reading like mad crazy, and I will be writing reviews every Thursday for the 12 Down Unders, like for middle grade, and chapter books, and picture books over at BWOB: Booksellers Without Borders (follow the link thing HERE AND I will be having a contest tomorrow to give away two books by RL Stine SO, feel free to drop by there tomorrow.

AND If you could have any fairy tale re-done, which one would that be? Are there any that you think have been over-done? Or never done? Do you have a favorite folk tale that no one ever talks aboiut sufficiently?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Finals, What are Those?

I am studiously ignoring my finals, and my final papers, and everything that is due this week. This is a much practiced skill.

Side note: Why isn't practiced spelled with an s? Practised. It makes more sense.

This is not just procrastinating. This is studious. I have a list. It totally makes the whole process legit and everything.

1) I go around telling everyone that English grammar was greatly influenced by Cornish, despite the fact that people argue against this.

2) I write Akkadian on my arm and try to memorize the Code of Hammurabi in original Sumerian/Akkadian in its original symbols. Because they have exciting triangles and stick things.

3) I go around on walks, explaining the differences between Kant, Hume, Locke, Berkeley, Descartes, and Leibniz. I also talk about how much I hate all of them (except for Kant and Berkeley) and I explain how I am going to time travel and make them eat horrible fungus things, like mushrooms.

4) I educate people on the fact that there are some squirrels that are really baby elephants. Like caterpillars turning into butterflies, and tadpoles turning into frogs. So do certain squirrels turn into baby elephants.

5) I try to create my own cult that worships the Khabrananairirsa. He is a purple-tailed lizard who eats cheese.

6) I write musicals and go around singing the songs all day. I also play on the piano and guitar.

7) I write blogs. And lists.

And because I am so busy doing these incredibly important seven things, I don't even remember I have homework or finals. It is quite a successful list, if I do say so myself.

How do you studiously ignore things? My roommate makes me or buys me delicious food.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

School Helping with Real Life, What?

I'm a Classical Studies major, and as such this semester I have been taking a class about Pompeii & Herculaneum, and for my final project I've been working on a children's series that connects historical information with fantastical elements. It's aimed at middle graders (which I have been wanting to write one of those for a long time) and it's about a boy (boys have been seriously under written). It has been hugely difficult for two reasons:

I've never had to do actual real research with citations and keeping track of information while writing a book. Holy Cow what? I just write things. But when putting it in Modern day Erculano and ancient Herculaneum suddenly, you have to be sure the artwork is accurate and that the people's names are accurate and ohmygoodness what. What are they wearing? What does water taste like? What did they eat? AND YOU KNOW WHAT. No one cares about the middle class freedmen who didn't make loads of money. So much of my research is so much difficult because people only care about the upper class. And well, only the upper class could really write things that were written in papyri and saved for forever and a day. But phooey to them. I want to write about a freedman, who lost his wife, who takes a boy under his wing, and that boy is going to be a mythologically real creature that doesn't know it.

And this boy's name is Caecilius, and he is unburied in ancient Herculaneum by a Dr. Lazarus - alive. And Caecilius tells his story about life in ancient Pompeii.

And today I had to read my story aloud to class. AHHHHHHHH! Nerve-wracking. Because of the second reason:

I've had a really difficult writing lately. I'm supposed to be editing WhiteWashed. I'm supposed to be querying. I'm supposed to be getting published and at least working for it, but I haven't been. It's just easy to get frustrated because I don't feel like I know what I'm doing, and most of the time I just feel adequate.

You know. When you read a book and you're response is ".................." Nothing bad to say, but nothing to jump over either. And that's what I've been thinking. What if I'm not a good writer? What if I'm just adequate? There must be something I'm doing wrong. A part of it is I'm convinced I'm writing crappy query letters, though that's my fault. But what if what I've written is... just okay.

So today having to read stuff to a bunch of people thinking, hey, what if I'm just adequate? is not a fun thing to do. And, a blessing and a curse, the one girl brought her kids in. Kids that are the age range I'm writing my books for. Plus: the professor knows like EVERYTHING there is to know about Pompeii and Herculaneum. If I get ANYTHING wrong she will know. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Nerve-wracking.

On a side note: wrack is a weird word. Why are my nerves being wracked? That's just weird. Carrying on:

BUT I finished and there was that moment of silence, you know? when someone's reading aloud a good book, not an adequate book, a good one, and after the author stops reading everyone is waiting for me and taking it in... That was the silence I got.

Did you ever know silence can be an incredible gift?

And one of the girls said, "when you publish that book, let me know, so I can read it, and find out what happens." And my professor asked: "So, did you learn anything from her book?" and she said, "I learned that she can write really well." And my professor said, "Yes, we did." She's my advisor and ohmygoodness I was so nervous and AHHHHHHHH.

And the mother came up after me and said, "No, seriously, keep writing those books. The world needs that series."

Can I go cry now? No? I have to write a philosophy paper about Kant?

Well. Why knows. Maybe this paper will also help me in real life. Because there's this strange thing that happens when you just go through life and live it: awesome things happen.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I Was Going to Write a Post and Then Forgot

So, I as writing my post for over in BWOB (my Booksellers Without Borders thing that I do; although BWOB is significantly more fun to say), I was thinking: HEY! DUDES! I should write a post over at my other blog.

And then promptly forgot what on earth I was going to say.

So this post in increasingly pointless which I love increasingly much. Muchly?

I am taking a Latin class and randomly think of words in Latin now. LIKE tot and tam and tandem and what is with all the q words? There's like, a thousand or something. I have decided that Romans just liked going around saying "qw" all of the time.


I forget the other thing I was going to say. It was going to be full of excitement I assure you.

There is a cemetery on my campus. I didn't know that when I applied here. If I had known, I probably would have applied sooner. It should definitely be something that put in the pamphlet. Sometimes when I take a break from studying I go and lay on top of Charles (it's one of those fancy flat grave-stone-box-things) (thing in Latin is rem). It is fantastic. There is a bush in the middle of the cemetery and my roommate likes to hide in it. She is also fantastic.

AND! There are randomly random things.

ALSO: I have decided that I don't like John Locke or Descartes. I'm glad they're dead or I'd have to find them and kill them, and killing people goes against my moral code, and the moral code of the Sumerians. I think. I don't know. I've only memorized the first law in the code of Hammurrabi so far. Or however you spell his name.

He looked like this:

EXACTLY like this. People back then used to be built of stone. Flesh is actually a more recent human thing.

ALSO: he wrote like this:

It is beautiful. I have Akkadian written on my mirror, and I painted it on my roommates one painting (with her permission, of course - actually, more with her threatening me then with her giving me permission) and I carry flashcards around with me for when I'm bored. *drool* I love this stuff. It's SO HARD! But one day I will know it all and no one will no why. Do you want to know why? Ha! But then I couldn't say no one would know, because you are a someone and you would know. Right? Right. However, I trust you, oh internet crawlers, and blog readers, and lamnams of awesome: I am one day going to time travel to Sumer and die of some sort of bug plague and it will be the best way to die ever, because I will be able to hug a Sumerian. And hugging a Sumerian obviously brings completion to one's life.

Good night my Lamnams. Fare thee well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I am Going to Travel Everywhere All of the Time

Okay. Well. Not right away because of college, and then debt after college, but after all that nonsense I will rock the world to pieces.

I had to do this Travel Plan to Campania for this classics class I'm taking. I'm taking a Classics class because *gasp!* I'm a Classics major and that's what we do.


So I was given 3500 imaginary US Dollars. And I used about 65% of it. It is awesome.

All I need is between 2200 - 3000 USD and I can go travel. Which. Once I have debt under control and have a job I will totally do.


And I will.

Watch out people, I'm going to travel to all the places. ALL THE PLACES!

*passes out from excitement*

SO. If you could travel anywhere RIGHT THIS MINUTE where would you go?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Random Thing! I Want to be a Philosophy Minor

I want to minor in philosophy! I am taking two classes and now deconstruct everything everyone says. It highly amuses me.

Here is a random thing I wrote the other day:

"A joke is understood between the two parties involved. If only one side understands it as a joke, can it truly be a joke? Is a joke's reality dependent upon the understanding of both intended parties? If the one side does not understand it as a joke is that the fault of the offending party, the offended party's fault, or is the fault found within the joke itself?"


Later I will show you my ridiculous conversation with my friend concerning sweet potatoes.

I am going to be an annoying person and it will be wonderful.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The World Keeps Going On and On

And I keep trying to think of things to post about

And I keep thinking about how much I miss you all. So many of you.

And I keep trying to involve myself in other projects.

And I forget why I started this blog in the first place
(Why did I start this blog in the first place?)

And I met someone who keeps saying that I will be published, and I realize
How much I started to believe
That wasn't possible

And I realized
How much I don't want a back up plan

I don't want to have to create a career based on the fact that I might not succeed and I might be a failure and I might not get published and I might not be okay and I might have to work in awful retail jobs for the next ten years of my life because of the college debt I'm in

And the fact is
I don't care if I have to work in retail for the next twenty years of my life
I don't care if I have to struggle and if it's awful

Because I know I want to be an author
That's why I've been writing since I was able to hold a crayon
Why I've been telling stories since I was able to string syllables together into coherent sounds

The World keeps going around and around and I'm going to keep spinning with it but I don't want to have to have a back-up plan anymore. If I decide to go into the publishing world I want to do it because I love it, not because I need a safety net.

This college thing... Being here, in a different state away from home for really the first time. My first try at college doesn't count, since I went home on the weekends. Being in a completely different environment. I'm learning a whole lot about myself, and I've been so busy figuring out who I am, it's been hard to figure out who my characters are, and my writing life had been precarious at best, and my absence here has been out of necessity, but I don't want to stay here. I want to write more this year. Edit more. Actually be the person I'm realizing I am.

Because I miss you.

I miss the world of writing.

I miss my characters.

I even miss creeping on agents a little bit. Finding out which agents publish which books, which publishing houses publish which of my favorite authors. I miss that whole world.

I don't really know how to end this so...