Sunday, October 23, 2011

BP: NaNoWriMo Edition

1. Sum up your novel in five words, or less.
Teen girl builds time machine.

2. Novel title?
How Stuff Works or Tick Tock. It really has yet to be decided.

3. Sum up your main character(s) in one word.

4. Advice for newbies in three words?
Stop for school. 
(education is important)

5. Tell us about your secondary characters, how do they affect the story?
They all affect the story in different ways. Cirilie can't know all their thoughts and wants and they'll do things she wished they hadn't. They give Cirilie reasons to stay, reasons to leave, reasons to destroy and reasons to fix. They're super important, but I don't want to get into specifics. 

6. Do you plan on staying up till midnight on the 31st?
Don't you mean the 30th? Thirty days has September, April, June, and November. Anyway, I most likely will stay up, even though I have school the next day. 

7. How many years have you done NaNo?
This is my second, but the first year I'm going to take it seriously.

8. What came first, characters, or plot idea?
Plot. I was reading a lot of steampunk, chocablock full of metal, and I thought  what if there was no metal? Or at least some kind of ban or restriction? But I wanted an MC from this time so the difference between the two worlds would be more noticeable and you could see how it'd affect the people of today. So, she gets a time machine! Actually, she builds it herself, which is pretty awesome for a seventeen year old. 

9. How much prep do you do before November?
I'm kinda winging it. I mean, I've got a two paragraph long outline of sorts with the basic order of the big events. I know what my MC is like, how she'll react to different things, her weaknesses (boys, haha) and her strengths. I'm doing this, too. The question thing. 
I don't want to prep too much, otherwise the magic is lost, but if I don't do anything it all crumbles to bits before me.

10. Now be honest, how do you really feel about NaNo?
I think it's hard, but it'll be worth it if I do win it. I'm worried about how it'll affect my grades and my sleeping and my social life and work. I'm determined to win it this year. I think Lindsey and Chris are freakin' geniuses. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I am raging.

I really am.

There are three bookstores in my area plus Volumes, which is a cafe/bookstore and a Borders down at Doncaster.


Two of those bookstores closed down months ago, and the third is shutting down soon. Borders closed a while back and with it our A&R. Volumes is more a cafe than a bookstore--there's like one shelf of YA and the rest are cookbooks and knitting books.

Sure, there's a little replacement bookstore in the plaza to sell all the books that A&R hadn't sold before they got kicked out and every book is only five bucks (!!!) but that'll be gone soon.

All I'll have is Volumes. And to get there, I have to take like two buses. It's always been a last resort. I don't have that kind of time! It's totally out of the way and everything.
Not to mention all the ferals that hang out near there. It's right by the train station and a major bus station. All the school kids stop by there and they're always smoking. Yuck. There's nothing ranker than second-hand smoke.  But because every other bookstore has disappeared, I have to.

So people aren't buying as many books anymore. And when I say books I mean the real kind, the ones with pages you flip and covers you can stroke all Gollum-like and whisper sweet nothings to. E-books are great yeah. They're easy to buy, easy to store, and the author gets the money from them. Just as good yeah?

No. No-freakin'-way.

Bookstores are dying, people. DYING. Bookstores are dropping like flies because a lot of us buy the e-books instead of going out and getting them.

Yes, there's a lot of people who don't read much, but they can't be blamed for not liking reading, the crazies. It's up to US, the people who like reading, love it, and want to be able to see books on our shelf in the future (and by that I don't mean the one on your iPad or Kindle), to pick up their slack. Cut down on e-books, buy ACTUAL BOOKS.

I just had to yell at someone about that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What day is it again?

I am not very good with dates. Due dates, birthday's, excursions...all of them!

For those invisible spirits that lurk around this abandoned blog, you may have used your ingenuity and keen eyes to already figure this out. It's also super obvious, if you check out the archives.

I just really, really suck at it. Homework, writing, blogging, permission forms, phone calls to people I rarely see (even if they're my best friend!). My school planner lies in my school bag, unused and probably feeling really useless and depressed (sorry, planner). I have at least three calenders given to me by friends, all of which are floating around my room searching for a purpose. Not even the Buffy calender, or the Dolly calender with all the hot guys on it, will get any attention from me. It's a sorry state of affairs.

I have a Humanities essay due on Wednesday. I'm writing about Australian Prime Ministers and how they've affected the world before, after and during their term. It's really interesting. Six of our PM's were in the war. One was a doctor and another had to get all these plastic surgery after crashing in Singapore as a fighter jet. Go us. Anyway,the point here is that although I'm kind of liking my topic (even though it's got politics in it) I didn't start writing it properly, as in typing meaningful words on abused keyboard, until today. I had notes, yeah, but I lost them and didn't bother trying to re-research them all until this arvo.

And I have a band concert tomorrow night in which I shall WOW the audience from 7pm onwards! If that other clarinetist doesn't show up which'll probably happen, he hardly ever comes, I will have to solo the melody all by my lonesome in front of the school and the hot saxophone players. *sigh* It's a huge chunk of time, concerts, and I KNOW this, but I still thought "Nahh, I'll keep procrastinating doing this essay because I am clearly superhuman."

Yeah, no. The future looks none too bright for me.

*slams head against brick wall*

Pray for me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Writing Rules?

This is a post I recently wrote for my group blog The Escapism Project (I think you should click that!) about how we take the words of others too seriously when it comes to the rules of writing. Enjoy!

Look, Escapists. We're all friends here...aren't we?
I bloody well hope so, because I'm going to rant a bit here and I bet it'll raise eyebrows. Oh, and sorry for swearing.

Anyway, we all know there are some rules when it comes to writing. Basic stuff like grammar, spelling and punctuation are a must. But rules are sometimes meant to be broken. Writers spell a lot of words differently. Most of them are simple things like adding a u or replacing a z with an s. Some writers write expressions and slang-ish words differently: Oh my God. Oh my god. OMG. Ohmigod. OK. O.K.. Okay. Ok.

That's cool. We can't edit the way they write oh my god, because there's so many ways it can be done. So when someone tells you that no, you can't write okay then don't listen to them! No one knows everything, and even then there are millions of ways of interpreting or writing a word. Tell them to go shove it (or maybe don't). But you get my drift.

I've heard of heaps of things you should and shouldn't do when writing a book. Don't start a novel with dialogue. Don't start sentences with "I" more than twice in a row. Don't give two characters the same first initial. Don't walk under a ladder. Don't go swimming straight after eating. Do we walk under ladders and go swimming straight after eating? Yeah. Some of us do. And that is FINE. Perfectly fine!

I'd always thought writers were non-conformists. We didn't like the way normal life ran, so we decided to take things into our own hands and plunge the school bus off of a cliff. I'd learnt the SPaG rules in school, but even now I'm learning all these new rules I supposedly have to follow and all I can think is "Seriously?"

You may have heard of inkpop, the writing community. I was on that. I am on that. But I hardly go on any more and it's not just because of the crappy new changes. People were throwing "rules" at me left and right. Someone would tell me I did this wrong, so I fix it, and then days later another person practically tells me I had it right the first time. It drove me up the wall. So I simply stopped listening. I took everything as a suggestion. The only things I now accept as set rules are the absolute basics of writing and SPaG, the rules of writing you'd get marked on in any piece of writing at all, fiction or not. And I am a lot less stressed because of it and because I don't feel so pressured to follow all these made-up rules, my writing is getting better.

People can write a number of ways. The way someone's style might change, or the way they describe things, the rules of writing can also change. They definitely have changed through time.

In the "old days" like when Pride and Prejudice was written, people used SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) a hell of a lot differently than us. Open up a Jane Austen book and look at the semi-colons and commas and lines of uninterrupted dialogue and try not to have a heart attack. But Jane Austen's books are still considered classics, and are loved by many. We accept that they wrote differently then, but we can't accept the way different people write now.

Which, if you ask me, is more ridiculous than a kangaroo in skis.

If Shakespeare had written Romeo and Juliet in our current time, we'd have chased him down with pitchforks and torches for having an underdeveloped romance and unrealistic characters with no background whatsoever. Poor guy. The way we write changes over time, and I think it's awful we give ourselves so many rules to follow and telling ourselves we have to do this and that otherwise we're awful writers.


I've told people this before and now I'm going to tell you guys: write the way you want to write. Use the Oxford comma, or don't, even if other skeptics tell you NO, NO. Write slang different to the person beside you if that's how you think it's written. Start a novel off with dialogue if that's the way the book should start off.

You don't always have to listen to what other people say. Because, more often that not, if they think they are right, they are most likely wrong.

Write your way and no one else's. After all, it's your writing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I was just totally Clueless.

But if you read on, you should know the movie will be ruined. Some of these spoilers are hard. core.

Some of the best movies out there are teen movies. Classics like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club--all teen. I have a special fondness towards "old" teen movies. My favourite movie of all time is Clueless with Brittany Murphy. Speaking of, I cried the day she died. The world lost a little piece of sunshine ♥

Moving on, Clueless is my number one for a lot of reasons. It's got a ditzy, but not totally dumb, blonde who can change her grades by persuasion; a stylish black girl with dreadlocks who's always fighting with her boyfriend (the actor is Turk from Scrubs!) but totally loves him; a smart, hot, college guy who happens to be Cher's (blonde) ex-step-brother; a gorgeous guy who turns out to be gay; a dramatic but kinda cute skater guy deemed loser; and that pretty, awkward, new girl who's just so totally clueless Cher and Dionne just have to give her a make-over and make her popular. 

Usually I don't love those American, clique-y type of movies. But, gosh, you can't not love this movie. It's funny, and sarcastic, and Cher is just so ditzy at times you want to reach into the screen and hug her. She's not annoying, like you'd expect. She's cute. 
Tai (Brittany Murphy) is so awkward. She dresses daggy, says the daggiest things, draws cartoons on her folder of that cartoon character with the green helmet thing on and you can't see his face. I forgot his name. Anyway, she listens to Cher and Dionne's advice like it's the answers to the VCE exams. She drops her interest, or at least tries to, with the skater dude and goes after the guy that Cher and Dionne pick out. 

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and--well, you get the idea. But I have to go to sleep soon if I feel like going to school on time tomorrow. 

Anyway, go watch the movie! You will not regret it.

Here are some quotes from the movie, too, just to give you a taste of its epicness.

Cher: Would you call me selfish?
Dionne: No, not to your face. 

Cher: I want to do something for humanity.
Josh: How about sterilization? 

Murray: Woman, lend me fi' dollas.
Dionne: Murray, I have asked you repeatedly not to call me "woman".
Murray: Excuse me, "Ms. Dionne."
Dionne: Thank you.
Murray: Okay, but, street slang is an increasingly valid form of expression. Most of the feminine pronouns do have mocking, but not necessarily in misogynistic undertones. 

Cher: Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. 

Cher: Daddy's a litigator. Those are the scariest kind of lawyer. Even Lucy, our maid, is terrified of him. And daddy's so good he gets $500 an hour to fight with people. But he fights with me for free because I'm his daughter. 

Amber: Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose.
Dionne: Well, there goes your social life. 

Cher: If it's a concussion, you have to keep her conscious, okay? Ask her questions.
Elton: What's seven times seven?
Cher: Stuff she knows. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Electives and Dumb Schools

I’m starting Year 10 next year and I’m about to submit my elective choices.
I’m an Acie, meaning I’m in the ACE class. Accelerated Learning and all that shizz. I think for Americans, you have an AP class? All my classes would be AP if I were American.
Anyway, my school is


I’m raging here. I’m not affect by its stupidity—but everyone else is.
I’m probably confusing you. Let me explain.

Our electives for next year are divided into three groups: A, B and C. ORIGINAL.

Anyway, A is meant to be subjects that go under Design, Creativity and Technology. Food Tech, Textiles, Xbox Gaming, Micro robotics and all that stuff no one cares about (sorry, that’s mean.) Almost no one wants to do any of these subjects.

B is Arts and Drama.  Everyone loves this group. There’s Photography, Media, Drama, Music Performance and all that brilliant stuff everyone wants to do!

C is brilliant also! Italian, and all the VCE subjects our keen minds are PUMPED FOR.
Problem? We have to choose one from group A and one from group B. C is optional. There’s a maximum of two electives from each group.

*cue intense rage*

It’s like yeah, we get that you want us to have a    b r o a d    range of subjects and not totally narrow down our options. But we know what we do and don’t want to do.  We DON’T want to be FORCED into doing a group A subject that brings us NO PLEASURE AT ALL and will probably permanently scar us and OPPRESS our young impressionable minds. It’s a waste of time being made to do a subject we don’t want to do when we can study something we know will help us and we want to do.
Me? I’m right. Because I’m doing Italian I’m exempt from this dumb as goats rule. But nearly all my friends are suffering from this rule.

People are getting serious about moving schools if things don’t change. It’s getting so bad, they want to go to the feral school. Yeah, it has a FABULOUS range of electives but it has no uniform and the kids there are feral, bogan and wear slutty sports uniforms.


But our school is dumb. So things won’t change. And everyone will leave. And I’ll be alone.

Oh, and why is doing Italian make you exempt from the dumb rule? you ask.
We get 5 elective spots. We’d have 6 but General Science takes up one and that’s compulsory.
We get the choice of doing VCE or VET subjects next year, too. Acies do at least one, because our Humanities class is replaced by some dumb VCE Australia and Global Politics thing that has next to no history in it—the only thing I like about Hum..
 But because they’re year-long subjects (VCE) they take up two spots. Cool. I have3 spots left.

Italian is a year-long subject, too. A two-spot sucker. And if you want to do LOTE in Years 11 and 12, you have to do Italian in Year 10. Fair enough, bro.
That’s 1 elective left.

If you have to do a group A and B subject, you can’t. You only have one spot. So the rule is cancelled in this situation.

Electives I’m doing next year (hopefully):
VCE Literature (with VCE Psychology as back-up)
Music Performance (with Media as back-up)

I have less electives this year than last year but whatevs.

My rant is complete. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Something New

I should probably stop starting new projects with some unfinished ones that are crying out my name. But oh well.

So far I've got this:

Wytches live on the moon. We don't see this because of the glamour. The wytches aren't happy with our progress space-wise. Soon we'll discover them and the other worlds out there and their Prophetesses see a war coming when this does happen.

There are two kinds of wytches. Wytchresses and Prophetesses. Wytchresses are born on lunar eclipses and Prophetesses on solar eclipses. My MC, Levana, was born on neither a solar or a lunar eclipse. She is the subject of a prophecy by a Prophetess, and her mother wasn't happy with this as it would take her daughter's free will right away.

Her solution? Send her kid to Earth with a close friend to live in a sort of peace until the time comes for her to learn who she is.

That's all I've got so far. Oh, as well as a best friend romance. But I'm just going to write this all down and save it somewhere I won't look at again until I finish something!