Sunday, December 9, 2012

In Which Angela Rants About Good DMing... And Bad DMing.

If you've all read my geek posts, you'll probably know that DM means Dungeon Master. This is the person who runs a Dungeons and Dragons game.
Some of you will also know that I'm a DM, a D&D player, and I belong to a Dungeons and Dragons group.

As such, I feel like I can rant about DMing styles without too much grief. If anyone reading this is a bad DM, don't despair- your players love to make fun of what happens in your game.
Actually, players love to make fun of what happens no matter what it is.
It's just fun like that.

I know quite a few good Dungeons and Dragons DMs. My Uncle Erik is an incredible storyteller, and my mother always makes people laugh. My friend's dad used to DM for our D&D group, and he could keep a story going without people goofing off too much between turns.

Let's break down what makes each of these people a good DM.

My Uncle: He's really good at describing things, especially zombies flying apart when you hit them. This just makes you want to keep playing, because you want to know what happens next. It also means that certain people (*cough*me*cough*) can randomly get scared of zombies possibly attacking them in a basement after an encounter where said thing happened.

My Mom: She's silly, and she's not trying to confuse you with what's going on. If you have a question, there's a 75% chance that she'll answer it. Her games are more open ended... You have the choice of what to do, which adventure hook to chase, etc.

My Friend's Dad: He left things incredibly open world wise, and he always encouraged you to create your character's backstory. Things that might seem trivial at first (but were fun) later turned out to be major components of the story which left you feeling like you discovered something huge by yourself. He also made sure that there wasn't much Out of Game talk.

So now you know what, to me, makes a good DM. A little silliness, good storytelling and good description, and being able to let the characters do what they want while still going forward in the plot (and keeping the out of game talk to a minimum.)

Unfortunately, even though I know these amazing DMs, the majority of the time that I play D&D it's with one of two rather... Unsatisfactory DMs. We'll call them Friend One and Friend Two. Friend One is very much a player character type person, and has a hard time getting into the DM mode, and Friend Two is too focused on the plot and controlling the game to let the characters make choices.
Let's break these down as well.

Friend One: Is too focused on combat, and is likely to get carried away on a tangent (but gets irritated when the players do so, not to mention when we make fun of the game.) The upside to this person DMing is that we definitely do get a lot of experience points, and everyone more or less knows to stay on topic.

Friend Two: Is way too focused on the plot of the game. Friend Two treats the game as a story, and the players as characters he's trying to force to do one thing or another thing, which just makes us antsy (and turns at least two of us into instigators). The upside is that Friend Two doesn't mind us making fun of the game.

And now you know what frustrates me. Being too serious about the game (it is a GAME, after all), and trying to control what your players do.

And then there's DMs like me who never think to prepare stuff ahead of time (other than a rough plot outline), so they just make whatever the heck they want up while the players go through the game.
It's not the best, but it's not the worst, either.
Then again, I am biased.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In Which Angela Discusses the Importance of Tolerance and Kindness

Salutations my friends and followers.
Er... Blog followers, that is.

Today I'm actually going to talk about something important. I am well aware that this isn't fair at all seeing how I haven't blogged in months, but it's something that has been affecting my life quite a bit recently.
That is, toleration and kindness.

We live in a world where there are billions of people. We live in a country where there are people with different beliefs, different political views, and different opinions. Individually we have to examine our views every time they're challenged and see exactly what we believe in.
With so many different views and opinions, we have to be willing to tolerate them.

To make this point clear: Tolerate doesn't always mean you have to accept the views themselves. There are certain subjects (for example, religion), where one just doesn't accept someone else's view into the way that you yourself view the world.
But we do have to tolerate them.

There are so many different people, and it isn't fair for us to simply mark off the people as wrong or bad because they think something different than we do. It isn't fair to be cruel to someone just because they believe one thing and you believe another. Especially if you're in the majority, it isn't fair to expect someone to put up with you just because you're "right" and they're "wrong" (and you're in the majority, so how can you be wrong anyway?).

Same goes for if you're in the minority, by the way. I just have a habit of picking on the majority because they can do the most damage.

Everyone has the right to believe whatever the heck they want to. It's undeniable that sometimes beliefs are wrong- the idea that the world is flat, for example, or that we have to sacrifice everyone born on a Friday, or that we have to worship all the purple paperclips in the world. They're just wrong.
But with the exception of sacrificing people, we have to tolerate the beliefs. If they aren't hurting anyone, if they're not doing anything but giving someone something to believe in, then there is no problem with them. It's better to believe in something than nothing, and if this is what they believe then more power to them.
And to the purple paperclips.

I myself am a Roman Catholic. This is how I have been raised up, and this is how I'm living my life. I consider it the correct thing to do.
However, I know quite a few people who are protestant, and not catholic. To show an example (and not to pick on anyone) (just kidding, I'm totally picking on nontolerant people), there are two types of those people.
The type who accept that this is what I believe and are happy to know me anyway (or unhappy to know me, but it doesn't matter what I believe 'cause they're jerks and just don't like me)...
and the people who refuse to accept the fact that this is my religion, that this is what I believe, and are insistant on trying to convert me because they can't let me be "wrong".

I'm not friends with those in the second category.

Speaking as someone who has been on both sides of the equation, yes. It feels great to be trying to correct someone if you think they're wrong. However, it's simply frustrating when you're the other person. Besides that, the person who is doing the correcting comes off looking like a huge jerk.

So, please, tolerate each other.

The second half of this post will hopefully be shorter, and has to deal with the (thankfully) commonly loved ideal of kindness.
That is, play nice and share with others.

I can guarentee that everyone has something about themselves that they don't like. If you are unkind you're just growing that, encouraging negative thoughts, and just being a destructive force. There are very few, if any, people who applaud people who are mean to them.
So, please. Be kind. Appreciate the people in your life. Whether or not they're jerks, or unkind, or whether you agree with them or not, they're there for a reason. Maybe it's just to show you exactly what sort of person you don't want to become, or maybe it's to help you become the person you're ultimately going to be.
So be kind. Say nice things. Share what you have, and listen to both sides of the story.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eco-Friendly Bangles.

I've been terrible about posting lately. :S
I'm sorry. My homework load has been INSANE and I can barely keep up with my own life.

But here's a really quick tutorial (no pictures. ;_;) for eco-friendly bangle bracelets.

Here are the things you're going to need:

-Used glow sticks. Preferably with connectors.
-Hot glue
-Fabric scraps- I used t-shirt scraps and denim scraps from jean refashions.

Step one.

Take your used glow sticks.
If they have a connector, you're going to glue the two ends into it. Basically, put glue on the ends of the glow stick, and shove them into the connector. (You're making the bangle bracelet skeleton here.)
If you don't have a connector, get a small piece of paper, glue one end of the glow stick onto it, wrap it up a little, glue on the other end, and then wrap the rest up. Then glue again.
Lots of glue
(I love hot glue.)

Step Two.

Take the fabric, and cut it into strips, as long and as fat as you want.

Step Three
Glue one end of the fabric to the glow stick bangle skeleton.
Wrap fabric around bangle as tight or as loose as you want, gluing every so often to secure the fabric.
Once you reach the end, glue the end down securely.

Ta da.

Kind of a lame tutorial, I know, but I see a lot of these that have to do with buying new bangles, but I being the thrifty/cheap person I am decided to use the used glow sticks.
They look pretty cool, to be honest. :3

Monday, September 10, 2012

Adventures in Life

I've been extraordinarily busy over the past few months. Between the start of CLC, the start of regular school, teaching piano, forcing myself to be social (EVERY. DAY.), and getting a new dog, it's been pretty insane in my life.

I have to say, one of the biggest adventures in my life has been the start of CLC. It's a community college around my area, and I've been taking American History 2 there. It's a fun class, and I can more or less find my classroom without incident now, but the first few times were insane.

In fact, I think I probably looked nuts the first few times, muttering to myself and attempting not to make eye contact with everyone and walking back and forth trying to find my classroom.
Good times.

Another amazing fact of my class is the amount of idiots in it. You'd think that because it's a college class, that there would be fewer idiots.
In fact. There are several people in my class. Who I just want to grab. And smack. And wonder what they're even thinking.
The first Thursday class we had, we had to read evidence selections from people such as Booker T. Washington. All influential black speakers from reconstruction at the end of the civil war.
At class, we were seperated into groups, and we were each given a piece of evidence to think about, describe, and then analyze out loud to the class.
We were in the middle of talking about it when this girl in my group opened her mouth and said...
"This is kind of a stupid question.... But are all these people black?"

Like... I don't even understand this!
And how come I'm  the one who always ends up doing the talking? I'm in a classroom with a bunch of other older kids.
And yet I'm always the one raising my hand because the teacher is looking for class participation and everyone else seems to have gone temporary mute.
I shake my head at you, college kids.

So, right now I'm actually taking a break from reading my assignment for tomorrow's class.... It's rather boring, but I'm entertaining myself by taking notes about everything on it.

I promise I'll post more later!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rose Tyler

We adopted a new dog today! She's a mix breed (Shepherd and... Lab? Boxer? I don't really know.) She's from a non-kill shelter called Orphans of the Storm, which got her from a kill shelter in Tennessee.
She's a sweet dog, and I love her lots and lots.
That's her.

Her shelter name was Stacey, which doesn't actually fit her at all. So we renamed her.
Rose Tyler.
Or Rosie for short.


We get to pick her up on Monday. I'm really excited.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Adventures at the Dog Shelter

As my last post (I think) says, our old dog Fritz passed away.
Yes, I was sad.
No, I didn't cry.
Yes, I've moved on.

In fact, for the past week (two weeks?) we've been going to the dog shelter and looking at dogs.


I love looking at dogs. Actually, no. I love taking the dogs out into the play area and playing with them. They're so sweet. They're so cute. They're so stinking sad and lonely that it makes me SO HAPPY to play with them.
Especially the spazzy ones.

At first we found a shepherd (2 years old) we were going to adopt, but she didn't like Carmen.
So now we found a new one.

She's 5 years old (a young five, though. They say she's six,  but that's just not possible.) shepherd/(boxer)(lab)(maybe, we don't really know) mix.
And, if she's still at the shelter on Friday, we're adopting her.
Rosie for short.
Because it's an epic name. And a geeky name. And a Doctor Who name. Who doesn't like a dog with a geeky name? No one? Psh.

Anyway, yes. That's been our adventures.
I want her.
I also want to volunteer at the shelter (probably next year when I can drive), just to play with the dogs. Because they're so cute. And I love them. :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fritz the Idiot

Last night my dog, Fritz, died.
No, I'm not going to say "passed away" or "left us" or that we "lost" him, because we didn't. He died. I went and saw him before he did, and there was no way that I can describe it in gentle words.

He was about 7-8 years old, and a huge German shepherd. We adopted him a couple of years ago, and he's been a moron ever since we got him.
Safe to say, I miss him terribly.

He either died from heart disease or cancer, and there isn't anything we could have done about it.

Rest in peace, Fritz.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adventure Exists In The Mind

Angela has nothing in particular to blog about!

In fact, my creativity is more or less gone. I'm tired. I'm hungry. I have no inspiration, no motivation to write or create anything. The most I'm interested in doing is refashioning a t-shirt, something that doesn't take a lot of creativity anyway.
My mind is as dry as an empty swimming pool.
It's as exhausted as I imagine those hamsters are after running on their treadmill things for hours.
It lacks motivation to do everything but sit and stare at a screen as my eyes slowly glaze over and my brain cells commit suicide from the radiation coming from the electronics.

Why is Angela writing a blog post, then?
Because I'm just awesome like that.

Actually, that's one of the points that I've meant to bring up for a long time, but never actually gotten around to doing.
You're awesome.

Okay, no, seriously. Deep down, no matter how crappy you think you are on the surface, I think you must believe just a little bit that you're awesome.
So just accept it already.

I mean, think about it. Just because you're nothing 'special' doesn't mean anything. It just means that you're not held to an expectation to do something different than anyone else. You just do. You don't HAVE to do things your own way or think your own thoughts. You just do anyway. No one's standing over you, whipping you to do things your own way, or to conform. The reason you're you, and the reason you do the things you do... Is you. It's the way that your brain experiences different things. It's the way you accept things that happen... Or don't accept them.

You're a different, unique, original person... Because you choose to be, one way or another.

There is, in my opinion, no person who can be considered not awesome. Why? Because just the fact that you can make the decisions you do, and act the way that you do, and just think the thoughts that you do in the sequence that they happen means that you're awesome. It means that you have created your own personality, no matter how 'unique' it is. You're amazing, because you've created yourself into who you are. Even if you do something really crappy, it  makes you awesome because you're just cool enough that you've made a choice.

Choices make us who we are, and we define the choices we make. We create ourselves, and we mold ourselves into who we are and how our futures look.

So, please, never believe that you aren't awesome, or that you're at the will of people besides yourself. Why? Because every morning that you get up and do something, you're shaping yourself and your future.
You're awesome! :)

(Hey. I found a blog post after all! :))

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Wrote New Words!

There's this song we were taught at camp.
It goes a little like this song:

Only, for the chorus, we sung "The window, the window, the second story window, high low low high, he/she/it threw it/her/he out the window!".

I'm also supposed to be learning the processes of Mitosis and Meiosis reallllly well.
And here they are. :)
(And yes, they're a little off. But I had to write what the different stages were, and this was as good as I've gotten them so far.)

Interphase is the start, when chromatin is doubled. Chromosones are sistered up, the start of the...

Meiosis. Meiosis. I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Prophase One is complex, and tetrads cross right over. The nucleoli disappear as the spindle forms, oh...

Meiosis, meiosis, I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Metaphase One is the time when tetrads are aligned. Preparing to divide, yes, ready to divide for...

Meiosis, meiosis, I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Anaphase One leads to the divison of the tetrads. Chromosones are still sistered up, part of the...

Meiosis, meiosis, I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Telophase One leads to the splitting of the cell. Cytokinesis creates a furrow to continue with...

Meiosis, meiosis, I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Prophase Two moves chromosones with a new spindle. Da da da, da da da da, to help with the...

Meiosis, meiosis. I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

In Metaphase Two chromoses align like in mitosis, chromosones point to different poles ready to divide. Oh...
Meiosis, meiosis. I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Anaphase Two seperates the sister chromatids. Na na na, na na na na, part of the...

Meiosis, meiosis. I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

Teophase Two and cytokinesis create the final cells. To finish up with four cells it's time to end...

Meiosis, meiosis, I need to know meiosis. Haploid cells, haploid cells, are created by meiosis.

There you go. Now you have a song all about the different stages of meiosis! :D You're welcome. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Woman in Black

Warning: This post is going to be FULL of spoilers. So, if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, and you don't want it to be spoiled, then don't read this post. XD

A while ago, I was invited over to my friend's house to see The Woman in Black, aka my first horror film. It was pretty good, and I enjoyed most of it.
Until the end.
Why didn't I like the end?
I'm not kidding. Nothing changes. To quote... Someone... I want to say it was Mikel... "They started at square zero, and went to square negative one!"
Yes, yes they did.

Okay. So, basically, you have this awesome movie, and you ruin it by having nothing change. Jennet doesn't go away. She's still there, presumably still causing children to kill themselves... AND Arthur and his son die? Really? That's so dumb, I literally ranted about it to anyone who would listen for days.
So guess what I did.
I went and read the book by Susan Hill!

And I will say this: The book had a better ending. Kind of.

See, Arthur doesn't die in it. His son does, but then he gets remarried.
But there are cons to the book as well.

Namely, I don't like the way that the book didn't develop the characters and mystery/story of Jennet very much. Nothing really happens to Arthur. Nothing to make him as terrified as he should be... he goes there, he sees the woman in black, he gets scared (as he should be), and he leaves. I think the movie does a better job with developing the story behind the woman in black, and I think it also does a better job in making the stakes higher. You don't just think "oh, wow, I guess his kid is going to die", you feel it as a sort of terrible fate. Like, it's not a question at all.

Besides that, I rather liked Arthur's character better in the movie, although I like his background better in the book.

Altogether, I think it was a pretty awful movie (from the ending), and a decent book. In my opinion, if they changed the ending of the movie, just so that Jennet goes away- so that something changes- it would be probably one of the best movies I've ever seen. :)

Now, it has also been pointed out to me that, seeing how it's the first horror movie I've seen, I'm not used to the way that the bad guys win because that's just how it works in horror stories.
I have a few objections to that.
The book "The Woman in Black", "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", and "The Invisible Man".
Guess what.
So, I'm still indignant at the ending of the movie The Woman in Black.
But I liked it.
Just not the ending. <_<

Friday, June 22, 2012

B is for Backboarding

And C is for certified lifeguard.
That's right.
Woot woot.

I'm actually pretty jazzed about this whole deal. The class was kind of boring, but I think I learned a lot... Besides that, I passed my CPR/First Aid/AED written test with only 1 wrong (woot), and I passed my written Lifeguard Skills and Shallow Lifeguard Skills tests with only two wrong on each.
And then I did pretty much EVERYTHING right in my practical tests.
And I got to be the victim. B)

Anyway. Yeah. I'm excited about this. Next January I'm planning on applying for a job at the pool... Not sure how that's going to work, but hey, I'll try.

...And now it's time to work on my packing list for camp, which starts on July first.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Angela Is Reading Recently

It seems like June is a time for litereature, for me. I've been writing a lot, editing a TON (way more than I'd like), and I've also been reading.
Reading for fun.
(Actually, I don't. I just have been doing it anyway.)

So, I have some books that I want to read. Here's a list of the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

Story Time by Edward Bloor.
George and Kate are promised the finest education when they transfer to the Whittaker Magnet School. It boasts the highest test scores in the nation.
But at what price? Their new school's curriculum is focused on beating standardized tests; classes are held in dreary, windowless rooms; and students are force-fed noxious protein shakes to improve their test performance. Worst of all, there seems to be a demon loose in the building, one whose murderous work has only just begun.

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
"Last night I dreampt I went to Manderly again."
So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past ther beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

Coraline and Other Stories by Neil Gaiman
(Mine has a cooler cover, though.)
Basically a collection of short stories (and Coraline!) by Neil Gaiman, who is amazing.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
(And yes, I'm ashamed to say that the only copy the library had has the same cover as this picture. Oh well. Daniel Radcliffe is awesome anyway.)
A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a meanacing specter haunting a small English town.
Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford- a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway- to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of eel Marsh House.
Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself huanted by a series of mysterious sounds and images- a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.
(Saw the movie. I want to see how the book is.)

The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood
In 1776, the rebellion of the American colonies against British rule was crushed.  Now, in 1777-the year of the hangman-George Washington is awaiting execution, Benjamin Franklin's banned rebel newspaper, Liberty Tree, has gone underground, and young ne'er-do-well Creighton Brown, a fifteen-year-old Brit, has just arrived in the colonies.  Having been shipped off against his will, with nothing but a distance for English authorities, Creighton befriends Franklin, and lands a job with his print shop.  But the English general expects the spoiled yet loyal Creighton to spy on Franklin.  As battles unfold and falsehoods are exposed, Creighton must decide where his loyalties lie...a choice that could determine the fate of a nation.

So, there you go. I have other books I want to read (I want to finish Wuthering Heights, I want to reread The Bell Jar, I'd like to reread the first three Eragon books and read the last one, I need to reread the Abarat books so I can read the new one... etc.), but this is a sample. :)

Yeah. So, that's basically my post for today.
Sorry for the boringness.

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Epic Clock

Today I bought a clock. But not just any clock. I bought an antique clock from an estate sale. It's kind of steampunk, and extremely epic.

So I think you should look at my clock, because my clock is just really epic and stuff. Yeah.
(I had fun taking these pictures.)

This is my clock, and an epic steampunk key necklace my friend gave me (taken on top of a pillow case). It's a wind up clock (antique, I told you), and it ticks REALLY loudly. The alarm is also incredibly loud. But in case you think you've seen all the awesomeness, let me share more pictures!

This is the back of the clock. It has a wind up for the time, a wind up for the alarm, a dial to set the alarm (which is the little circle on the clock face), a dial to set the time of the clock, and a speed adjuster. But sometimes the little things are the most important...

These are two switchy things on the top of the clock, and these are what sold the clock. I'm not even kidding. Look how amazing they are! I love this clock. It's so steampunk and so awesome, and it's so worth the $15 I paid. Yepyep.

And that shot is just because I liked it. :)

How To Wake Up Early And Stay Awake

Have YOU ever decided to wake up early... Just to fall back asleep? Do you find yourself incapable of waking up earlier than eight in the morning? Do you suffer from a lack of motivation for getting up early? Does your family tease you for FALLING BACK ASLEEP after setting your alarm?

If so, The Guide is for you!

On sale now for only $999.99, The Guide will solve every problem that you encounter*! It will teach you to avoid answering questions you don't want to answer, and it will provide a useful guide to secondhand sales! BUY YOUR GUIDE NOW!
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*The Guide does not claim to clean your room, feed the dogs, mop the floor, or save you when skydiving. Please consult a doctor before use. Side effects may include: Vomiting, awesomeness, exhaustion, cancer, and death. Please use at your own risk.


Chapter 7: How To Wake Up Early And Stay Awake

   Chances are good that you've had to wake up early before. You probably woke up to your alarm, shut it off, fell back asleep, and then woke up again an hour later, late for whatever appointment you had to wake up early for. It's a common problem that plagues most humans. Here at The Guide, we're dedicated to waking up early. We've developed a stash of secret tips for waking up early and staying awake, and we've developed a comprehensible plan for you, the reader, to follow.

   Step one: Go to sleep on time.
   It's amazing how many people do not follow this rule. If you need to wake up early, go to sleep earlier as well if at all possible. A good way to decide when to go to sleep is to follow the seven hour rule: If you need to wake up at seven, go to sleep by midnight. If you need to wake up at five, aim to be in bed by ten. This way you'll get enough sleep to deal with the next day.

   Step Two: Set Your Alarm
   If you have a choice of alarm sounds, go for one that is loud, preferably a song or sound that you like, and one that doesn't make you want to fall asleep again. For example, we find it easier to wake up to Icon For Hire's "Make A Move", or Skillet's "Whispers In The Dark", than something more low key like Five For Fighting's "100 Years".

   Step Three: Get Things Set Up
   After setting your alarm but before going to sleep, get everything set out for yourself tomorrow. Choose your outift and lay it out, get your favored method of music (iPod, MP3 player, internet, radio, CD player, etc.) set up for the next morning (See step four), and make sure you have a way to reach a light source from your bed.

   Step Four: Listen To Music
   After waking up in the morning, start listening to music as soon as possible. Listen to something that makes you want to get up and get stuff done, or at least something that prevents you from falling back asleep. Start a CD player, or listen to your MP3 player. The music will make you stay awake.

   Step Five: Turn On Lights
   Do not let yourself stay in a dark room! Turn on a light, preferably a bright one that lights up your room. Dont slowly turn on lights to give your eyes time to adjust, just turn them on. The light will help your body realize it's time to be awake, and will prevent you from falling back asleep.

   Step Six: Get Ready
   Get dressed. Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Put on your makeup, if applicable. In any way, get ready for your day, probably still listening to music for as long as you can and always in light. By now you should definitely feel awake, and the chances for falling back asleep are slim. Still, don't let yourself lay in bed, but keep on your feet as much as posisble.

   By the end of step six you will be more or less awake, and you are most likely going to remain so. Just follow these six steps, modifying them to suit your individual needs and environments, and you'll be staying awake after waking up early like a pro!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rummage Sales, Refashioning, and Running Out of Ideas.

Hey, guys!

I have an odd addiction to getting stuff at rummage sales. Recently I went to one near my house ($5 bag sale... YES.) and got a bag of stuff. I got some amazing boots (that my mom found- thanks), a sweater, a blue shirt (a pretty blue shirt that fits O.O), a pair of jeans (only for the denim- they don't fit me), and... A stack of t-shirts.
What can I say?
I'm a refashioning addict.

So, yeah. It's all very cool. I actually got some neat ones, and I have a HUGE stack of them in my room as well.
Problem is?
I'm sort of kind of maybe running out of things I want to try.

Don't get me wrong. There's like fifty billion cool t-shirt tutes on the web. But most of them are all the same- and geared for adults. I don't really want a shirt that you can't tell I refashioned.
Truth is, I sort of don't need more shirts anyway.

Now I come with a challenge:
Come up with some ideas for refashions (can be as specific as "here is a tutorial, go make it" or as vague as "maybe like a skirt with a ruffle on the bottom or with maybe a pocket?"), and either email them to me or leave 'em as a comment.
And then I'll make 'em. :D

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Mark of Maturity

It occurred to me the other day that there is one thing that, to me at least, marks how mature someone is or isn't. That mark is the ability to find positive things in times or objects or environments that are markedly unpleasant or negative.
Think about a teacher yelling at you. It's obviously a negative thing, but the more mature people I know will be able to step back from it, and say "Well, at least she's taking interest in my project." or "At least she's giving good tips." or "At least now I know how I don't want to act if I'm ever teaching."

It just seems to me that the more immature you are, the more you're focusing on how something appears, and less on trying to find more depth in any given situation.

So, what do you think? Do you think I'm totally off my rocker, that I'm obviously a genius, or somewhere in between?

Monday, June 4, 2012

NEM 2: Finished!

Today I finished New Elementary Mathematics 2, the math book that I was in for what seemed like forever. (Before I was in NEM2 forever, I was in NEM1 forever.). I passed my end of book assessment with an 87%, which counts as a B+... Not bad, since I didn't really review at all. (Which is why I failed my standard form problem...)

Anyway, I had to take some pictures of my new (amazing looking!) math books. Which I must share. :)

As you can tell, I messed with the saturation of tehse photos a bit on Photoshop, but I think they look awesome...
And I can't wait to start my new books tomorrow!

(I'll have a proper post soon, I expect.)

Monday, May 21, 2012


I'll admit that I haven't been the best at blogging recently.
Fortunately for you, this isn't an "I'm sorry I haven't been blogging" post! We all know how much we hate those... We bloggers hate writing them, readers hate reading them, and our blogs hate having the space taken up by them! (Well, maybe not... We don't really know what blogs feel.)

But anyway, I just wanted to update y'all on my life. Sort of. This is a rather ill-concieved post, because I don't really know what I'm going to write about (O.O) but I know that it's going to spectacular whatever I do.

First of all...
I took the European History AP on May 11th. It was boring. And long. And I think I did pretty well, but results won't arrive here until July. So I'm sort of impatiently waiting until July.

Secondly, I took some pictures of my sister. Because she's so cute. Here they are!

(And I actually have more, I just didn't want to completely spam you all with pictures of my adorable sister.)
She went to a birthday party today, and she got back with sparkles and a tiara. So she got dressed up. And I took picures. And she's so cute. :)

Thirdly... I had to take pictures of myself recently, for my yearbook. Because I'm doing a personal page, and we thought it'd be interesting if we could have some in unusual locations. Here are my favorites...

As you can tell, I'm not the most photogenic... But I think these turned out okay. Especially the over exposed one, because you don't see how big my nose is in it. XD

Other than that... I've just been working on my yearbook, working on my math (I understand identities now! I think! :D), and practicing piano.

Oh, I got a really high score in AIM and got to play in an honors recital about two weeks ago. It was cool. I had fun. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Essays are Life

Or so it would seem preparing for the European History AP.
Woot woot.

The interesting thing about writing the essays (particularly in practice exams), is that you don't always have a clue about what the heck you're writing about. Even though they give you three choices per half of history, and even though you doubtlessly choose the one you know the most about, there's still going to be a little (okay, a lot) of just writing whatever crap comes to mind and hoping that maybe the person scoring your essay will believe you actually know what you're talking about and give you a higher score.

(I know I'll get in trouble for saying that, but it's true.)

For example, let's say you choose to write about... oh... Women's rights, out of a selection of three, where the names in the other two essay prompts look like they could be written in gibberish for as much as you can recognize them.
Um... yeah. How much do you actually know about the women's rights movement, from when it began to the 1950's.
Possibly you're going to know about Wollonstonecraft and "Vindication of the Rights of Women", and Simone de Beauvoir (however you spell it), and "The Second Sex" (which wasn't published before the 1950's), but how much more do you know about it?
Probably nothing.

Which is when..

Start of generalizing. Say something like "Before Wollonstonecraft published Vindication of the Rights of Women, women had almost no legal, political, or social rights, and were considered inferior in almost every aspect."
You already sound smart.

And then you can get a little more specific, granted you know a little about the time period...
"Women's right to property was nonexistant, and men controlled nearly every political aspect in their life."
There you go. General, but it might get the grader a little interested because you sound like you know what you're talking about (which, remember, you don't really.)

Then you can say something about early women's rights movements, naming names if you remember them (I don't), as much as you can. (For example, "Early womens rights movements were violent in nature, and one woman died by throwing herself in the path of a horse, to gain attention to their cause.")

There you go.
There's a basis for your essay.

Of course, then you can cover WWI, WWII, and the impact said world wars had on the womens rights movement. I'm not going to type this up, because I don't really feel like writing another essay.
But the point is...

You can have absolutely no idea what you're writing about and still get a high score. Of course, it absolutely helps to know what you're talking about, and I encourage everyone to study! (...Yeah. I should be studying. But I'm not.)

Just remember that when it comes to essays...
Write a lot, mention as many proper nouns as you can, try to get specific (if the prompt asks for it), and try to remember the general feel of whatever era you're writing about.
Because when all else fails?
There are more important things than writing about the womens movement.

Like writing about the French Revolution!

(By the way, I'm sorry this is so late.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lazy Angela is Lazy

Heh. So, I have pictures taken for this post about my books and stuff... But I'm a little too lazy to put it up (whaaat? I have the pictures edited and saved and everything!), so I'm just stealing what Cat did, which is one of those things where you just basically talk about yourself.... Yeah... Isn't this fun?!

Alphabet Me:

Algebra. 'Cause I like math.
Burn Notice. TV show that I like.
Cookies. Theyre yummy.
Dungeons and Dragons. Best. Roleplay. Game. EVER. B)
Eczema. It's a skin type. And it stinks. TT_TT
Fantasy. It's the type of book that I'm most likely going to write.
Giraffes. I saw some. And I can't think of anything for G. XD
Hands. I have them. And I'm typing with them. B)
Ice cream is amazing!
Japanese is the language I'm learning!
Katherine is my middle name.
Lame is this post.
Music. Must I say more?
Next month I have the AP for Western Civ.

Yeah. my alphabet ends at N.
I'm just not up to finishing.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

On A Serious Note...

The other day, two of my friends and I were sitting around and one of my friends (We'll call her friend "A") mentioned something about a "suicide bunny calendar". Friend "B" mentioned that she had seen said calendar, but never actually looked at it, and I said that I had no clue what they were talking about. So, friend A decided to fill us in.

Made me sick.

The "suicide bunny calendar" is basically a calendar... with pictures of bunnies committing suicide in "creative" ways. Suicide bunny is also a comic strip (why?!) and here is one of the pictures. I, thankfully, claim no right to this picture:
And, here's another:

Actually, if you Google "Suicide bunny", you'll find whole lists of comics of bunnies committing suicide.

Now, a lot of people inexplicably seem to find these pictures funny. And, I'll admit, some of them are completely outrageous, and slightly amusing if you don't consider the fact that it's suicide.
But it is suicide.

Despite the fact that these ways of killing yourself are outrageous, stupid, unlikely to work, and otherwise defective, I still find them incredibly offensive and distasteful. Because I'm a list maker, I'll make a list of all the reasons these comics, and people talking about them as if they're hilarious, make me feel sick and angry. (Yeah, I'm a little ticked off. Sorry.)

  1. Suicide is not a laughing matter. It's real, it's horrible, and it should never be taken in jest. Suicide is funny, until you realize that there are people who have serious issues who really do take their own lives because they feel it's the only way out of whatever situation they find themselves in. These people need help, and undermining the seriousness of suicide does nothing to help them at all.
  2. You don't know peoples' histories with suicide. When you start laughing about this calendar where bunnies- poor, innocent bunnies!- are killing themselves, you aren't thinking about how that's going to affect anyone. My friend's friend attempted suicide not that long ago. Another friend's dad committed suicide. I've known someone who tried it herself. It makes me angry when people make fun of something like that... And I'm not even the suicide atemptee!
  3. There are plenty of hilarious things out in this world. Badly drawn comics of idiotic looking bunnies attempting impossible methods of killing themselves is not one of them.
  4. You're talking about death here. It's like laughing at a picture drawn of World War two. People die. They leave behind people who miss them. If you think that's funny, I think you have an issue.
  5. Anyone who starts joking about this is obviously not a very good friend if you ever do feel suicidal- or if you're worried about someone who is suicidal. By making it a laughing matter (See reason 1), you're setting yourself up to be someone that no one will trust with something that serious.
  6. Really? You have to use something so unoriginal to be funny?
  7. Most of these reasons are ridiculous, and would never work. I don't think anyone has died by having a man squish a chair leg into their brains by sitting on said chair... Why do we have to think up new ways of killing ourselves?
  8. They aren't even funny cartoons.
So, there you go. Eight reasons these things are... annoying. Grr.

I don't mean to insult anyone who finds these comics funny...
I just mean to say that if you find these comics funny, I think you're a messed up, inconsiderate person. :)

Suicide isn't funny, shouldn't be considered funny, and should never be taken in jest. :)
Or at least... That's my opinion. Anyone have a different side? The comment box is somewhere around here (button, button, who has the button?!) and I adore comments! ^_^

Yeah, yeah. I know I owe you guys a "real" post soon. Sorry!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Again- I haven't finished all my refashins (TT_TT) that I want to put up here yet, so you get this. Ta da.

First of all-
I solved my rubik's cube. It was fabulous. Then I got addicted to it. And then I stayed up until 11PM solving it repeatedly.
What happened to my sanity?

Second thing-
I signed up for my AP (Advanced Placement) test for European History! I'm going to take it at the local high school (highschool I would be attending if I were not homeschooled) on May 11th. I'm kind of jazzed about this... First of all, it will be done. Second of all, it provides endless hours of studying. I adore studying. Flashcards are my friend, and I like essays. :)
Oh, and besides that, after May 11th, I won't have to go to WC class of doom anymore. ;)

My birthday is this month! I'm going to be fifteen. I'm going to feel the exact same as I did as a fourteen year old, but I'll have gained a life level.
(Level up! :D) Huzzah for level fifteen!

I went to D&D again last night, and my character (Saije, storm sorcerer) leveled up again. So, she's actually at level 5 (I think she has something like 5,603 experience points) now, and she is AWESOME. Why? Because she has 45 hit points or so, she has a 19 will score, her charisma score is 19, she can zap things with lightning (CHAOS BOLT! Because rats have a low Will modifier... So, Charisma vs. Will usually hits...) and when she hits, she gets to add her Charisma modifier damage (Due to the spell type) AND her dexterity modifier (because of the Storm Magic), which means she gets a +7 to damage...
I adore this character. XD
And she's fun to roleplay. RP for the win!

I need a haircut.

I'm working my way through my math book, and I might actually be able to finish it this summer, God willing... I'm excited to finish it. Actually, I'm excited to get into unit 12... Statistics I! :D

Postmodernism is fascinating, as is structuralism. I'm going to have to post another post on just structuralism... It's magical.
Basically- Words have no meaning, except for the possibilities of them being used. There are infinite definitions and meanings for the word "cat", which is its definition.
It's amazing. B)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Wrote A Song For You!

Hem hem.
Here goes.

I woke up at four
And had to bolt to the door
Of the bathroom or else I felt I'd be sick.
So I sat on the floor
Of the bathroom till five
Pestering my friend
Till my eyes fried.

The next morning I woke up
And ventured upstairs
Feeling queasy but otherwise no worse for wear.
I ate my cereal
With milk like usual
And then promptly had to throw it all up.

So I wrote you a song
Of the top of my head
To avoid doing a blog post instead.
But here I'll end this dumb song
And let you skip along
Because I need to drink some more Gatorade.

(By the way, this post is dedicated to Eva. Don't know why I didn't write that earler...)

Monday, February 20, 2012

New iPod. Aka, the Dangers of "Somewhere Safe".

Have you ever put something "somewhere safe"?
Have you ever been able to find that thing again?
How long did it take you?

I put my iPod somewhere safe. Somewhere so safe that it's not even danger from me, because I can't find it either.
Go figure.
I'm pretty well convinced that it's somewhere in my room. Or in the house, at least. But I don't know. I've actually been looking for this "safe" place for a couple weeks, until I decided that it's too much work to look for an iPod which I'm probably never going to be able to find again (grrrrrrr), and I might as well get a new one.
Enter the joys of ebay.
I bought a new ipod!
For $56.20.
Gotta remember the .20. Because we can't go for whole numbers, oh no!
But anyway, yeah. Ordered the new (used) iPod. It's purple. It's a 5th generation nano. I'm excited. Maybe it won't have dirt under the screen like my old iPod (Gah! Where is it?!?!?!?!?!?!) did.

But, yes. Don't put things somewhere safe. Never. Never ever ever.
Chances are my ipod is like, stuck in my piano teacher's couch or something silly like that.
Someplace safe like that.
Don't put it somewhere safe.
Do. Not. Put. Things. Somewhere. Safe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello, hello, hello!

And again Angela disappeared off the face of the planet, only to reappear again with a pathetic post!

The fact is, I was waiting until I could do a really awesome picture-filled post with my favorite refashions I've done (can't help showing off sometimes), but I've been too lazy to take pictures, and I'm about halfway done with some really awesome ones that I want to show you guys when it's done.

So you're stuck with this crap.

I've been kind of busy recently. My great grandma died last week, so Valerie, my mom, and Philip went up to her funeral, while I went to my grandma's house and then to my religious ed teacher training (CGS) on Saturday.
Really long class.
Actually, it's kind of interesting sometimes, when they're talking about psychology of children or something... But most of the time it's covering stuff that I already know. For example- "this is the presentation of the Good Shepherd".
Yeah, lady. I've known this presentation since I was three. Moving on?


Anyway, I should be back for a while. Hopefully. Right now I'm going to go see our new washer, since the old one broke on Friday (T_T) and see how it works.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time to Celebrate

This is a few days late, but I finally finished the rough draft (or first draft) of Jade's book.
Let's get out the balloons!
Unformatted correctly, the total page count is 99 pages, and the total word count is somewhere around 53,000. That's about the same length as Burning Hope, so I'm pretty pleased with that. I'm also fairly pleased the way that the character development turned out-- Jade went from extremely bratty to, in my opinion, a fairly decent human being.
I'm happy I finally finished. :)

Of course, now I have about a year or two before it's even halfway done, editing wise, and even then I'll always find something to change...
Maybe it'll be done in time for the OYAN contest, though. Not that I expect it'll get even into the semi-finalists... But it's always just fun to join in the hype about sending in your novel to be read and judged. Besides- if it doesn't end up in the semi-finalists... You don't know how awful it might be!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Grownups Really Mean

When I was about eight, and Katie about ten (I believe), I was shopping with her and her mother. Her mother had said that it would only be "a few minutes" and then we could leave.
It ended up being several hours.

While we were wandering around with her mom, Katie and I decided we must, MUST, write a book about "what grownups really mean when they say something but don't really mean it". Sadly, this book has never been realized.

But there you go.
This post is dedicated to you, Younger Angela and Younger Katie.
Keep on dreaming.


In a minute
Usually used when asked "how much longer?", "in a minute" generally means something along the lines of "I really don't know, but probably longer than you want to be here." When you hear "in a minute", be prepared for a very long wait.

Translation: No.

We'll see...
Translation: No.
(Very rarely it may mean "maybe, possibly". Try to figure out by tone of voice.)

After your school...
This is usually used when you're begging for something. Its translation according to adults probably is "when you've finished what I've assigned you", but the practical translation goes something along the lines of "As soon as you finish all the piles of boring homework I've piled on you which seems worse for you than usual because you're dying to go do this thing which is more interesting than dividing fractions, then maybe we'll think about it if I'm not too tired by then which I probably will be."

Translation: Not right now, but if you keep bugging me about it I'll eventually cave.

I was thinking...
This usually is an unexpected surprise. Its translation goes something along the lines of "I just had an idea which you may or may not think is excellent, but I sure do, and whether or not you think so doesn't matter because I'm going to make you go through with my idea whether or not you want to because I'm an adult and you're not and I can make you do whatever I want to."

That reminds me
Translation: I'm going to go into some lengthy explanation that you don't want to hear and I'm going to end with telling you to do some tedious, boring job which you don't want to.

I'll have to think about it
Translation: No.

Ask your father/mother/sister/aunt/uncle/brother/friend/distant relation/random stranger
Translation: I'm going to make you go run a marathon to different people to ask them something to which they'll simply reply "go ask *insert name here*".


There you go.
Have a little blurb of Angela's life. XD

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Katie Day

So, this is The Secret, Katie.
Happy Katie weekend!

Created by Linda (Cat)

Yes. This is a bunch of people who all got their acts together to tell you how much they love you. Or how awesome you are. Or how much they care about you. Why?
Because you are amazingly awesome.

I don't have much else to say, that I want to say out here on a public blog... But let's just say that Katie is pretty awesome, and she's going through a hard time, and I love her to bits, and that we all hope that she's going to be okay. Forever and ever. :)

Picture created by Katie F. (Sadly, this was sent after I put the video up... :/)
Reasons Katie is Awesome:
1. She makes me laugh. All the time. Even if she doesn't mean to.
2. The craziest stuff happens to her.
3. One time she convinced me that she was a time traveler.
4. She's amazingly smart.
5. She's the only person I know who has a strong enough will to pull all-nighters three times in a row, doing homework all night.
6. She knows what I mean by The Urge, and can resist it.
7. Katie's really really pretty.
8. She writes better than I do. @_@ Her writing is amazing.
9. Her characters are really interesting. And funny. And kind of awkward! (Reflecting on her that she's good at characters.)
10. She is a really good pianist.
11. She can be really serious when I need her to be.
12. And yet she's immature enough that I don't have to worry about acting that much older than I actually am!
13. She has an exellent moral compass.
14. She won't lie to me.
15. I've known her since I was four, and she has always been this awesome.
16. She's a fantastic hockey player.
17. She uses amazing adjectives. XD
18. She blogs really well.
19. She got me to finish our collective novel. And she edits. Voluntarily edits!
20. She has really good taste in books/music.

Modern art by Isaac

I could keep going. But I'm not going to. Because I don't want to bore anyone. And. I can tell her this stuff over texts. XD

From Angela

We love you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Angela's Music v. Valerie's Music

We all know that your music can say a lot about you. It's well aware that when you're looking on someone's music player, you're basically looking into their soul- who they actually are. Unless they happen to have a spazzy computer which randomly syncs music onto their ipods/zunes/etc. In which case, you're looking into the computer's soul. (Also fascinating.)
Which is why it takes a lot of gut to both look at someone's music player, and to have someone else look at yours.
So, I want to demonstrate a bit of difference between my sister's music, and my music. Because we have different music tastes, like different bands, and you just might end up liking some of the songs.
Here we go!

Valerie's Music:

Angela's Music:

(by the way- I hope these videos work. Our new computer apparently doesn't have Adobe Flash Player. <_< So I can't see 'em.)

Valerie's Music:

Angela's Music:

Valerie's Music:

Angela's Music:

Valerie's Music:

Angela's Music:

Valerie's Music:

Angela's Music:

Of course, that only covers a few of the songs Valerie wrote out for me. :/ But yes. There you go. Music tastes. Might not seem that different. But they are. (They better be... <_<)

Monday, January 16, 2012

How To Finish Half Western Civ Homework In One Day

I am a chronic procrastinator. As that happens, I tend to leave all my homework until the last minute- especially Western Civilization. As such, I have perfected the art of finishing half my WC homework on one day- and finishing the rest up the next.
This is how:

1. Start reading the chapter.
2. Highlight.
3. Do the 50 terms as you read said chapter. (They go in chronological order! :D)
4. Take notes for the AP essay (does not count if you have a DBQ.)
5. Finish chapter.
6. Photocopy workbook.
7. Go to sleep.
*next day*
1. Write essays
2. Do workbook.
3. Take online quiz.
4. Correct workbook.

And there you go. Done. Ta da. I'm brilliant.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cookie Saleswoman Part One: Door to Door

It's not an easy thing to do, selling cookies. You have to harrass people- probably strangers- to give you money for cookies that they don't even have yet. You have to manage to convince people that they do want cookies. You have to talk to deaf old men. You have to get people to break their new years resolutions and eat sugar/junk food.
You have to do this in January when it's cold and snowy and you'd really rather be home.
This is the art of the door to door cookie harrassment.

Here are some tips to make this better:

1. Bring a clipboard. This way you don't end up writing on your sister's head.
2. Wear socks- if you do not, you will get snow in your boots. And get a blister. And then will complain about it the entire way back until you start walking like a zombie.
3. Wear gloves.
4. Master the art of becoming slap happy on a notice. Having a grumpy guy tell you he doesn't want to buy cookies is a lot easier to accept when you can laugh about his weird eyebrows.

Now that you have some of the tips down, here are the steps to the door to door sale of Girl Scout cookies:

1. Find a house. Any house. As long as there is no "no soliciting" sign, and it isn't your house, it should be fine.
2. Approach said house.
3. Ring doorbell.
4. Wait for 30 seconds.
5. If no one answers the door, leave.
5. When the door is answered, smile like a preppy cheerleader on crack and say "want to buy some girl scout cookies?!"
6. When they mishear you (and they will mishear you/not hear what you've said), repeat in a louder, more obnoxious voice, "Do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?!?!?!?!?!?!"
7. When they say no, say "thank you anyway!" and walk off.
7. When they say yes, ask them what type.
8. Explain that the Girl Scouts do not have chocolate chip cookies.
9. Describe the cookies for them.
10. Write down their order.
11. Tell them you want your money now.
12. Tell them you do not in fact have change for a $20, $10, or a $5 bill.
13. Forget where to make the check out to.
14. Remember where to make the check out to.
15. Take money.
16. Write down address.
17. Leave.
18. Repeat from step one.

And, yes. You will run into people who don't want cookies. Or who don't eat sugar. Or who have a house that smells like hotdogs. Or who will inexplicably have two doors. Or who will have funny eyebrows. But overall, it's worth it.

And if you don't have patience to read all of the above?
Just use my rule of thumb:
If they don't answer the door in 30 seconds, run like heck.
(They're either kidnappers, aliens, not home, or creepers. :))

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Problems With Being An Author

Authors are strange creatures. To most sane people we seem like the sort that should be locked up in a zoo and studied. We don't necessarily have mental disorders, yet we completely see imaginary people. We talk to ourselves more than we talk to other people, we fail piano exams because our characters interrupt us. We never go anywhere without a notebook and a pen, and we can predict most plot twists in books and movies.
Before I was an author, I thought authors were insane.
Now I'm an author and I think everyone else is insane.

However, despite the fact that it's amazing being an author and most of us enjoy it, there are also many things that are... well... not so good about being an author. I've decided to make a list of them for lack of a better blog subject to post on.

People Think You're Insane
I, and most authors that I know, have gotten so many weird looks when talking to our characters or planning a book out loud, that we keep the conversations inside our heads now, because it's simply easier than explaining about our characters. Conversations aren't the only things, though. We stop when a character walks past. I've freaked out at my sisters before because they sat in a chair my character was on. I've almost slept on the floor because my bed was filled with characters. (Nena, Jade, Gavin, Alyssa, Jack, and Shawn.)

Writer's Callous
Unless you write by hand, chacnes are that you have a writer's callous. That is- a hard piece of skin where your hand rests against the desk as you type. I only have one on my right hand inexplicably, but it's there. (Unsurprisingly, it's the worst in November. Go figure.)

Too Many Ideas
I know some authors who can't get a good idea to save their lives. And it's hard when you are focusing on coming up on ideas. But when you're just relaxing, when you're in the middle of writing another novel already, when life is good... Bam. You'll get an idea, and suddenly that is the one thing that you need to focus on more than anything else. That leads to the next one...

No Focus
Once you have your ideas, chances are you aren't going to be able to focus on anything. Because after a while of thinking about that one, perfect idea, you start to get discouraged about it. Which means you don't want to think about it. But then you don't want to not think about it, because your other books make you feel like failures. This leads to being an author laying on their bed, trying not to think about writing or characters. (Pretty well impossible.)

Feelings of Failure
It's true that anyone can feel like a failure. But authors more so. Because when their characters are being stupid, or they haven't written or edited for a long while, or when they don't want to edit, or when they can't plan out a good plot, or when they get some (good) constructive criticism, they feel like complete failures.

Hope that helps the balance. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Characters I Am Proud Of

I'll admit that I love all my characters with the exceptions of Joanna, Michelle, Alex, Candace, and a few others that I'm not remembering at the moment. But, yes. For the most part, I adore all my characters. However, there are a few that I'm particularly proud of, for various reasons.
Here are the characters, and why.

Smith- Evil as heck vampire
Actually, Smith is one of my all time favorite characters and also the one I'm the absolute most proud of. Why? Because my friends have nightmares about him! Because he's sufficently creepy enough to creep people out! Because I've never been able to make a good villain before him! He's pure evil... But he doesn't necessarily seem like that. Why? Because he's super, super polite, and he's capable of feeling depression/loneliness.
He's still evil, though.

Jade Zamzow- "Cooler than you."
Jade. Oh Jade. Where to start with her? She introduced herself to me, without any summoning. She has a bazillion faults and negative personality flaws, and yet people still feel compelled to love her. She's selfish and sexist (against guys) and considers most people way lower than she is. Yet, everyone loves her. ('Specially Katie's character... XD) I'm mostly proud of her because I managed to give her personality flaws enough that someone pointed that out when critiquing my book (that she's a bit selfish), and yet... She makes a workable main character. Think a chaotic good character, if you're familiar with D&D jargon.

Jacqueline Louise Marqs- Anger management class? What anger management class?
Valerie helped me come up with Jackie, to tell the truth. But she's mostly my invention. Why? Because her personality has shifted so far since she was created. She started out as a mildly attitude-y slightly gothic asian girl... For anyone who knows her, this definition will be completely foreign. Why? Because now she's anger issue-y, completely goth, angsty, amazingly awesome asian girl. Who is awesome. Why am I proud of her? Because I've never made a character who can honestly get mad at someone at the drop of the hat. And, with the exception of Amanda, I have never made anyone who uses violence so often either.

Kezia Dustin- Conservative, protestant.
The reason that I'm proud of Kezia (first. character. EVER.) is because she's so unlike me when it comes to politics and religion. That's pretty much the sole reason I'm so proud of her.

Jacob- Super genius
Why am I proud of Jake? Well, with the exception of Smith, none of my characters can be so much of a jerk. None of them. None of them are as inappropriate and idiotic and just as annoying as Jake can be. Characters generally either avoid him or beat him up when they first meet him. No one likes him, really, and he really doesn't care that much. I'm just proud that he's still a jerkface even though I made him two years ago.

Alyssa- "Glitter! Yay!"
Alyssa is amazing. I love her to death. She's one of my earliest characters, one of the first characters I actually saw, and she's so... happy! That's why I'm proud of her. Because she is, essentially, a bubblehead. She's intelligent, sure, but she doesn't have a ton of common sense. And unless she makes an effort, she's not going to think of things like "Smith might be waiting to kill me". She also gets really happy really fast. And that's why I'm proud of her.

There you go. The characters I am most proud of. If you want to know, here are the books they're in:
Smith = Charele's book
Jade = Jade's book (great titles, right?)
Jackie = Music Box
Kezia = Burning Hope
Jake = Steampunk book of doom
Alyssa = Alyssa's Book

There you go. ^_^


It is (finally) snowy here in Illinois!

I know.
It has taken a horribly long time.
It started snowing at about 10:30 this morning, and it hasn't stopped. It's 3:45 now. We must have at least two inches already, too, because it's nearly covered all the grass. (meep!) I'm really excited about this. It's really pretty.

There you go. Snow. The first snow of the year. Finally. And, it's still coming down in large quantities. Which means that my teen sledding day might happen. (Yay!)

Just wanted to post something to celebrate. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Myths, Legends, Fairytales, Urban Legends.

I have always been fascinated with myths, legends, fairytales, and, more recently, urban legends. Before I could even properly read, my dad bought me a book of Grimms' fairy tales. Now, I'm not positive that these are the originals, and I definitely want to get myself a new book of them, but I still love reading them. It's an old, green, leather book with gold printing on the front. Actually, the binding is stitched onto the cover, because at one point it started falling apart and I fixed it.

So, I've grown up with these fairytales.

Because these are so amazing to myself, I thought I'd define the different titles for you. :)

Myths generally take place in mythical settings. They often have to do with the creation of the world, or at the least, gods, goddesses, and fantastical things along those lines. They may or may not have humans in them, but if they do, these humans are more than likely going to be superhuman, posessing great strength, skill, wisdom, or some such. A good example of this is the Mayan creation story, which I will sum up...

The gods used to live in the ocean. Eventually they got sick, and commanded the earth to rise up and plants to grow on the ground. After that, they decided that the world was too quiet, so they made animals. Animals could not praise them however, so they attempted to make humans.
The first humans they made were made of mud, and could not stand. They only talked in gibberish, because they had no minds. After it rained they would also fall apart. The gods got rid of these humans as fast as possible.
The second type of humans they made were out of sticks. The stick humans could walk, talk, and stand on their own. They didn't fall apart when it rained. However, they didn't have any brains, or souls. They made no sense when they talked, and they didn't know right from wrong. They'd mercilessly burn their cooking pots, and beat their dogs. The gods made a flood of sap to try to destroy them. Many of them died. The dogs prevented many of them from escaping, and the pans burned them. The houses collapsed when they tried to hide on the roof, and the ones that escaped into the trees were turned into monkeys.
Before the gods created a new type of human, a crow, parrot, mountain cat, and a coyote came to them and showed them corn. The gods figured, hey, we've already tried sticks and mud, and snow won't work, so why not try to make them out of corn? So they fashioned them out of cornmeal, and then fed them special potion made out of corn. The potion worked like a myhical energy drink, and they were endowed with extreme wisdom and strength. They grew to know everything, and could see everywhere on the planet. Eventually the gods realized that they were too perfect, so they blew a magical mist into the cornmeal peoples' eyes, which lowered their knowledge and made them unable to see for miles in directions. Thus the humans were created.

As you can see, the humans were either mud, sticks, or superhumans.

A legend is different than a myth, in the way that it takes place to more or less regular people, in more or less regular settings, though often in a land far far away in a time long, long ago. The Odyssey is a legend- Odysseus is a more or less regular human who travels through what was believed to be the way the world was, and then returns. He is not a superhuman-- the only super things about him are his intelligence and his hubris.
(The Odyssey is too long to sum up. Go read it.)

Fairytales (or folklore):
A fairytale is not usually believed to be true. Unlike myths and legends, it does not usually deal with gods or goddesses, and does not have to do with regular humans. They are told mainly for entertainment, and to teach basic morals. The beautiful stepdaughter is a pious, good person, she shares some of her bread with the three dwarves, and then sweeps off the step- she finds the strawberries her stepmom sent her to get, and the dwarves make her grow more beautiful every day, make a gold coin fall from her mouth whenever she says a word, and say that she will marry a king. The evil daughter goes to try to get money, does not share her food with the dwarves, grumbles about sweeping the step... They make her grow uglier every day, make snakes and lizards fall from her lips whenever she speaks, and says that she will die a horrible death. (That's a real fairytale- part of one, anyway.) They often take place in parallel universes, or in the real world as it would be with magic.

Urban Legends:
An urban legend is different than a legend in the fact that it is often told to have happend to someone that the teller knows, in a local place, and relatively recently. Urban legends are stories, so they will have an intro, a climax, a series of characters, conflict, and so on. They often also convey morals, or lessons about life. They are not necessarily untrue. Many urban legends actually come from true stories, or at least facts. However, after being told by different people, and moved from locality to locality, their facts change, the characters change, they are exaggerated and embellished. What once may have started out with "my sister went to the mall and had some creepo try to hit on her" may end up with some story about how someone was lured from a shopping mall to then be raped and killed and how you should never trust anyone. Make sense?

Of all of these, I have to say that my favorites are fairytales/folklore, followed up by urban legends tied with myths. Legends are my least favorite, although even those are pretty fascinating. :)

To find fairytales: search "fairytales". You will find them. Or, go to your library and get a book on them. Or find a book you already have. Fairytales are everywhere.

Myths: go to the library (or search) for "myths". Often it's best if you add a civilization before hand... for example "Ancient egyptian myths" or "Spanish myths" or somesuch.

Legends: search for "legends", and try some of the more well known ones. (Odysseus, Beowulf... etc.)

Urban Legends: try ^_^