December 31, 2012

Fashion Day

Ah, New Year's Eve, a night renowned for tuxedos, fancy cocktail dresses, heels, parties, and Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve.  Which reminds me... I need to go tape that.  Taylor Swift is performing!

But on another front, today is fashion day.  At least, in my head.  I got my February Teen Vogue in the mail, and I'm loving what I'm seeing.  Some of the trends from 2012 seem to be carrying over to 2013: classic '40s and '50s styles and bright colors.  And then of course the usual craziness on the haute couture runways.  That's why I prefer Chanel and Elie Saab.  Although their haute couture is still out there, it still looks semi-normal, especially Elie Saab's.  Many celebs have worn his couture on the red carpet! (Including Taylor Swift.)

Four fashion bloggers were featured in this issue of Teen Vogue, and I wanted to share one of them with you.  I checked out her blog just a bit ago.  And I think you should, too. ;)

Her name is Justina Sharp, and she has a wicked cool sense of style.  It actually reminds me of some of the things Taylor Swift might wear on a casual day.  But she gets my j'adore stamp of approval.  I also liked reading about where her blog name came from.

Quoting from page 55 of Teen Vogue: "I was trying to decide on a name for my site, and my brother said, 'A clothing hangar is just a bent piece of wire.'" 

Cool, huh?  Well, I need to sign off.  A couple friends are sleeping over tonight, and I need to finish cleaning my room.

December 30, 2012

My 2013 Goals

I was just reading one of Mollie's latest blog posts, and she listed 5 goals of hers for 2013, so I decided to do the same!  Except, it might be more or less than 5.

1. Finish my NaNo novel.  I still haven't finished my 2011 NaNo novel, so I'm more determined than ever to finish my 2012 one.
2. Begin querying agents.  I can only do this once I've finished my NaNo book and self-edited.
3. Finish the school year with at least an A- in every subject.
4. Make several uncharacteristically brave decisions.

December 26, 2012

Writing Round-Up

So it's time for another writing round-up, where I list all my writing projects and my progress on them.  It's good for me because it lets me know how much I'm trying to tackle right now, and hopefully, it's interesting for all of you.

Mixed Feelings
Teen Author
Forever Mortal
MDBC fanfiction #2
Le Revenir (means The Return in French)

Warrior cats fanfiction
Diary of a Homeschooler: Cassie
Shakespeare Retold

I'm working hard to finish up a couple of the active stories so I can work on the dormant ones again, and also start a couple new projects.  Teen Author is moving along fabulously.  I'm up to chapter nine, and the main plot problem is starting to really become evident.  I know when the book is going to reach the climax and sort of how things will resolve.  I just need to get to the point where they're all written.
Cursed is my Sleeping Beauty retelling.  I'm struggling a bit with it, to be honest.  I need to develop some more ideas for it before I go on.  It might become dormant soon.
That's all for now.  I need to go work on my history and algebra II homework.

December 22, 2012

What An Adorable Blog! Award

Another award, woo-hoo!

Now to answer the four questions...

Q1  If you were stranded on a beach in the middle of no-where, which three people would you have with you? 
Kate because she's good for pretty much anything, Hannah since she makes me laugh, and Heather Vogel Frederick so we could write awesome books together.

Q2  Which celebrity would you love to meet?
I'm sure everyone knows the answer to this.  Taylor Swift.

Q3  If you won one million ponds/euros/dollars - whatever, what would you spend it on?
College; a trip to Paris, London, Denmark, Finland, and Italy; Taylor Swift tickets, One Direction tickets, a nice house, fund some missionaries...

Q4  Pick two people you can't live without. 

My mom and one of my friends, but I'm not saying who, because I don't want anyone feeling left out.

I'm too tired to have any reasons for nominating them, so this will be short and sweet.
Gabby's World
Hannah the Banana
Mollie's Musings
Hilda's blog

December 16, 2012

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

So Seana nominated me for this about a week ago, and I'm finally getting around to doing something about it. xD

Rule 1: Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Thank you, Seana. :)

Rule 2: Place the award on your site.

To be done shortly.

Rule 3: Share 7 random things about yourself.

1. I'm allergic to sweet potatoes.
2. I have two history buffs for parents, and my favorite time periods are the late 1700s, the Victorian era, and the 1940s and 50s.
3. I have a giant flashlight that I verbally threaten people with on occasion.  If I was a superheroine/secret agent, it would be my weapon of choice.
4. I own around twenty different lip glosses.
5. I am not a Directioner; however, I like 1D's music and yes, I think the boys are cute.
6. I think if I'd stuck with the dance classes I took when I was little, I might've been able to become a dancer.
7. I'm a giant klutz, thus ruling out my ability to be a dancer or to even be remotely graceful.  Oddly enough, my high-heeled ankle boots give me better balance than flat shoes.

Rule 4: Nominate 15 blogs.  Let them know they've been nominated and how to accept the award.

I'm nominating....

Gabby's World:
Hannah the Banana:
July A. Emmance:
Mollie's Musings:

Well, I failed #4 since I can only nominate four people.  Off to add the award to my blog and notify Gabby, Hannah, July, and Mollie about their nomination!

December 7, 2012

This is an Uncreative Title...

There are no words to describe today.  It wasn't over the moon amazing, but it wasn't terrible either.  I'd like to think there were more high points than low points.  In Shakespeare, I think I earned my classmates' respect by spelling supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (you are allowed to ask why I had to spell it).  In algebra II, I got my test back, and I got a B, which I'm okay with.  And I got my history test back.  Of course that one's an A+, lol.  But now co-op is over until January. :( At least I have several social events with friends in the next month.  

Tomorrow: Christmas shopping!
Sunday: Christmas cookie baking (perhaps I'll blog about this on Much Ado about Food...?)
Monday: cookie exchange at Hannah's

Today through Monday should hopefully be four happy days.  Fingers crossed, and I'm praying so. :)

November 29, 2012

Writers: We're Often Inspired by...

Anything can inspire a writer.  But one place a writer can find a ton of inspiration from is his or her own life.

Hmm... ;)

November 28, 2012

NaNo, Day Twenty-Eight

Here we are, two lovely days away from NaNoWriMo being over for 2012.  And then we have another whole year to wait for it to come around again! :(

Last night, around 9 PM...

That's right, I won NaNoWriMo for my second year in a row!  And this time, I wrote 10,000 more words than last time.  I'm really proud of myself for getting to 50,000 words.

My book isn't done, though.  I'm just hoping I don't get into the same situation as last year where I didn't finish the book by November 30th, but I reached my word count goal.  Since then, I've only written 5,000 more words, and it's only 3/4 done.  Sigh.  I wish I could finish it. :P

Good luck, to all you NaNoWriMoers who are still writing!

November 24, 2012

NaNo, Day Twenty-Four

So, now I've officially raised my word count goal to 50,000...and I have to stick with that, because I'm pretty sure today or tomorrow is the last day to change it.

Word count: 44,127 words, and I think I might be done for the day
Song of the day: Still "Truly Madly Deeply".  I've listened to it probably about 50 times on YouTube today.

Not much else to say, except that we went to this little gift shop (it's kind of like a Hallmark) in our town, and I got a Christmas ornament.  My mom buys me one every year that kind of marks something important in my life since last Christmas.  This year's a silver, sparkly guitar with Taylor Swift's signature on it.  You press a button on the back and it plays "Long Live".

November 23, 2012

NaNo, Day Twenty-Three

Wow, NaNoWriMo is one week away from being over.  This month has just flown by!  Here are my stats since I last updated here.

Word count: 38,502 words (that includes some from today, but I'm not done writing yet)
Word count goal: 45,000 words (for a short time, I lowered it to 40,000, but when I wrote so much yesterday, I knew I could get 45,000 words easily by November 30th)
Song of the day: "Truly Madly Deeply" by One Direction.  Ever since I listened to this song, I've been like, "I don't know what life was like before this song..." I love it more than I love Taylor Swift's new album, and that's saying a lot.
Quote of the day: Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.

Good luck writing, everyone!  I hope you had great Thanksgivings yesterday, and if you're going shopping's to good deals and avoiding injuries!

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey, everyone!  If you're one of my American followers, I hope you'll have a happy Thanksgiving!  And if you're not American (well, don't live in the U.S.), then...happy Thursday, I guess?  LOL, got that from a friend. ;)

It's much quieter this year than it was last year.  It's just my parents and me, because my mom has to work tomorrow and Saturday. :( But hopefully, next year, everyone on my mom's side of the family will be here.

Any Thanksgiving traditions you'd like to share?  What's your favorite food?  I love mashed potatoes and pie.  And I think I mentioned rolls with melted (and unmelted) cinnamon butter last year?  Yeah, I'm so wishing we could have those here.  But they only have them at a bakery near my aunt's.  My cousin and I are begging her to bring them next year, though.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I can hardly believe 2012 is almost over and Christmas is just about a month away.

November 19, 2012

NaNo, Day Nineteen

Word Count: 30,010 words (75% of my word goal!), and 102 pages
Songs of the day: "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me" (I've listened to them a combined 30 times)
Problem of the day: I'm two weeks behind on Bible lessons.
Quote of the day: "If music be the food of love, play on."~William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

I'm doing pretty well with my NaNo novel.  I lowered my word count 5,000 words about a week or so ago, but I might end up increasing the goal this week or just not submitting my final count until I've surpassed 45,000 words or finished the book (whichever comes first). I want to encourage all of you NaNoers to keep writing!  This is usually the time of NaNoWriMo that you might get bogged down.  You need to plow through those tough spots.  Work on transitions, if you have trouble with them, and keep your story flowing.  Every scene needs to contribute to the plot in some way.  There can't be meaningless dialogue or action just to fill your word count.

Now I'm off to have a bagel and a Taylor Swift dance party to celebrate my successful day, writing-wise.
Fun fact: If this book is ever published, watch for all of the main character's (her name is Hannah) similarities to me, including her love for bagels. ;)

November 18, 2012

NaNo, Day Eighteen

Wow, this time last year, I was fighting my dad for use of the laptop.  Now I have my own... glad I'm not going through that again!

Word Count: 26,894 words (as of last night)
# of grammatical mistakes I've corrected today: 45 (not my own mistakes)
Hours I won't be able to write during: 3:30-? (It's my dad's birthday, and we're meeting my grandparents for dinner.)

I have one last guest post for everyone!

Hello, I’m emmainwonderland6, but please call me Emmy. I’m one of Emma’s NaNo friends. I’m doing NaNo Young Writer’s Project and my goal is 11,000. One of my major tips for YWP participants is don’t be afraid to change your word-count. Originally, I was going to write 12,000 words. However, when I started to get behind I changed my goal to 11,000. Although I’m still behind (boo procrastination!) I got my words up a bit so I can easily write a bunch of words and win easier. My other tip is to not overwork yourself! I know that you need to write a lot- but it isn’t that bad to take a little break. Don’t give yourself a huge goal if you know you won’t reach it because then you’ll just feel guilty for not winning.

So, now about my NaNoWriMo novel. It’s called ‘Little White Lie’ and is about a young girl named Maebelle. Maebelle is twelve years old, in grade seven at the worst school ever. She can’t read very well and her teacher and classmates are no help what-so-ever, because they put her down all the time. Maebelle, being stubborn, refuses to tell her parents. When they ask her if everything is alright, she lies and says it is. Throw in another event started with yet another lie and you have an ultra-big lying problem! When Maebelle’s house burns down and she is forced to move to Ontario, she is diagnosed with dyslexia. But, can a kind homeless woman as well as two new teachers and a friend help her be able to read?

Now one more thing I want to talk about- Inspiration. Now, how did I come up with all of this? Well, Maebelle’s school is inspired by the school in the movie ‘Won’t Back Down’. A lot of the characters names are based off people I know in real life. Maebelle’s name is inspired by my middle name (Mae) combined with Belle to create a better name. My point is, inspiration can come from anywhere- books, movies, songs and real life- so look around for it if you need it.

I wish everyone who is participating good luck and an amazing twelve final days doing NaNoWriMo!

-Emmy <33

November 16, 2012

NaNo, Day Sixteen

The halfway point of NaNo was yesterday, so I hope everyone is at least halfway to their word goal!  I'm currently 60% there.

Word Count: 24,212 words (as of last night)
# of times I've felt like an elephant stepped on me in the last 3 days: approx. 50
# of times I wished I didn't have to miss co-op: 15 :(

But now here's today's blogger!  She's one of my real life best friends. :)

            Summary: Saskia Zolten-Penn, a 19-year-old girl living in Budapest with her younger brother Juper, was orphaned years ago on a dark night that will forever haunt her memories.  She will never forget what she did that night and how it got her here.  Now a war is raging over Budapest and the government wants her to help them.  She has set her identity as a master assassin, and as she fights for her country she realizes the only way she will live is by letting the horrifying visions from her past die.
            Hey, ya’ll, how’s it going?  I’m hickchick (you can think of me as Rose, though).  This is my NaNoWriMo novel summary for this month, and so far I’m doing pretty darn good, excuse me, well.  I’m about 30% of the way through my novel.  I’d like to be moving along at a better pace, but life is busy and then there’s always the inevitable: the beast that causes all writers to shake in their shoes from fear, the beast that makes the boldest author want to slam his or her head against the wall until he or she passes out.  This beast attacks every writer at some point, and his name is Writer’s Block.  And if hearing his name doesn’t strike fear into your heart, I don’t know what will.
            Unfortunately for me, that is something that I’m dealing with right now.  That’s the reason the NaNo website is telling me that at the rate I’m going I won’t be finishing my novel until December 17.  Yeah, not good.  But I’ve been attacked by W.B. before and he has yet to completely deprive me of my creativity.  I’ve won the battle before, I know I will again, and long before December 17.
            Right now Saskia is the leader of a sniper unit on the Hungary border.  They just captured six enemy soldiers and the president has instructed Saskia to interrogate them.  So Saskia is walking toward the bound prisoners, but doesn’t know what she’ll say.  Kind of like me right now, haha.  She has absolutely no clue how to get information out of them.  Buying time, I had one of her comrades make a snarky remark so she could jack him in the face.  That was fun to type up, but buying time doesn’t make the cut.
            Even though I am under attack by W.B. right now, I still have tips for all of you writers out there who are also hopelessly stuck and are thinking, “I’m just going to give up on writing forever!”  That’s part of my first tip: Never give up and never say ‘forever’ in that context.  Forever is too long to not write and inspiration will hit you upside the head before you know it.  Second tip: Go somewhere inspirational.  I get inspired by lakes and mountains. Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near lakes or mountains, which is why W.B. is so scary for me.  But seriously, go somewhere you know you’ll be inspired.  Third tip: Talk to someone (who knows what you’re writing about) and they may be able to come up with an idea that you can manipulate.  Just be sure to give them a hug, thank them three million times, and dedicate the book to them.  Last, but definitely not least, eat some birthday cake flavored ice cream.  It always helps.  Enough said.  Writer’s Block is a scary beast for writers to face, but to quote an author I really like, ‘the first step to taming a beast is naming him.’
            Well, instead of writing to all of ya’ll about W.B. I should probably go face him and punch him into the next century.  I won’t be living in the next century where he will land, so I apologize in advance to all the writers who will be living in 100 years.  So, happy writing to you all and I hope all of you who are participating in National Novel Writing Month are scheduled to finish by the 30th!

November 15, 2012

NaNo, Day Fifteen

Sorry, everyone!  No NaNo updates from me.  I'm sick with a sore throat/cold/fever/etc. and I didn't even write yesterday. :( Thankfully, I'm ahead of schedule, so if I write some today, I should be okay.  But today's blogger is July A. Emmance, so without further ado, here's her guest post.

Hello everyone! I'm July from and I'm sure you don't want to hear me ramble on while you have some major NaNo-ing to do, so I'll make this kind of short and sweet as some say.
I'm doing the youth NaNo for the first time this year! I'm about 34% done with my book so far, and I need to get writing! My word goal is not big this year, but that is because November is one of the busiest months of the school year for me and this is only my first time doing it. I'm gonna try to raise my word goal if I finish the one I have now, hopefully I can get past this awful case of writer's block and cruse along faster!
The book I'm working on for NaNoWriMo is called Galaxy's World and it's the tale of four futuristic girls who daringly outwit the government's Bureaucrats so they can live their own lives in freedom.
Galaxy Robins, an only child under the parenthood of a vulgar workaholic mother; Gemma LaFleure, a peppy girl with a mannerism of persuasiveness like no other; and Pine and Cedar Lenning, twins who are ready to get away from their large family and snotty sisters, will have to plan everything perfectly and be very careful about who they can trust along the way to liberty.
I posted an excerpt on my blog a while ago, you can read that if you want, and here's another short one:

At my house, the first thing we did was raid the cupboards to find food. There is never much food in my house because the food rations we receive every week are so small, barely even one person can live off it! I'm lucky because it's just me and Mother, but for Pine and Cedar, who have three other sisters, it barely keeps them living. Not like they're starving or anything, it's just that they're always hungry and tired. Since my mother isn't ever home to notice, I usually give them extra food to take home from our stash.
“Ooh, chips!” Gemma says.
Chips are a rare treat for us. The Bureaucrats measure our calories every month so we don't get overweight or eat unhealthily. We don't see chips, snacks, or sweets often.
“My mother must have picked up our rations today,” I said. “Let's have these, she won't care.”
We ripped open the reflective bag and indulged on the salty goodness that sat before us.
“So when is our official departure date?” Pine asked.
“Well, since there is just enough in the vile, we leave this Friday at midnight. There was barely enough in the vial and thankfully, we don't have to wait another six months before we leave.”
“Less than two days,” Pine murmured, “If today's Wednesday, we only have tomorrow and we leave the next day!”
“Remember though, only one small pack, and nothing unnecessary.” Cedar changed the subject.
“Wait, what about my makeup kit, and my flatiron, and my curler?” Gemma whined, somewhat playfully.
“Really, Gem, you don't need those. You can live without them. Either way, you wouldn't even be able to plug it in and actually use anywhere.”
“Ug, fine. But, then I get to bring my chocolate fountain.”
“Gemma,” we all chorused.
“Just joking, ladies, just joking,” she forced out, seeing our annoyance. She can be such a blond sometimes!
In reality, she's a golden blond, but she has to dye it because blonds aren't allowed besides the Bureaucrats, who bleach theirs don't want others to be like them.
Gemma, now a golden-tinted brunette, is very pretty. More than pretty actually, she is drop-dead gorgeous. Her hair is loosely wavy, like a model's, and her face is the clearest I've seen, very similar to a porcelain doll. She is skinny with extremely nice curves and you know when people just have this power in their voice when they tell you to do something? Well, that's our Gem. If she tells you to do something, you do it because you never know what can happen if you don't. She's not dangerous really, but if you were on her bad side . . . .
Pine and Ceder are identical twins so they basically look the exact same. Mostly clear faces, that smart, sophisticated look that makes them seem dignified, which they very much are. They are both thin too, but not as thin as Gemma. Their only obvious difference is their hair. Pine's has gorgeous, pin straight black hair, while Cedar has light brown ringlets that round her face off nicely. They both seem determined to be unique though, because they always make sure that they are wearing different things than the other or not fixing their hair the same way was the other. It's quite funny actually! One time, they had both worn the same color hair band to school and both freaked out so much that Cedar asked Gemma if she could borrow one just so that they weren't seen sporting similar accessories.
I suppose I could describe myself to you in detail, but, really, you don't want to hear all that. So I'll just sum myself up. Dirty blond hair with natural highlights that I always wear up in a ponytail, somewhat blotchy face, not too skinny and not to fat. I'm average I guess. The one thing that I really, really, don't like about me is my eyes. Blank, ugly, emotionless grey. I wish they were blue, or brown, or even green, I could be so much prettier!

I'm sorry if that is not your type of thing, it's something new for me too. I'm trying to get it all to work out, and please don't be mean about your criticisms, keep it constructive!

Since I've still got some work to do, I'll tell you my game plan for finishing NaNo.
  1. Don't get myself too stressed out about it! If you get stressed, your brain will temporarily shut down and you won't get anywhere.
  2. Always keep my creative ideas flowing! If you get a random inspiration at a random time, try to write it down right away so you will remember it. Write it on your arm, a sticky note, laptop, whatever you have handy.
  3. Make sure I'm not being distracted by background noise. How can you work if you're listening to music at full blast? Keep the volume down and you're almost guaranteed to work better. If your little brother is making a racket in your writing area, move somewhere quieter.
  4. Keep myself hydrated and full of food! I don't know about you, but I can't think straight if my stomach is rumbling the whole time I'm trying to write. You're thoughts will keep floating away from your novel and your work won't be up to usual standards.
  5. In any spare time, write. Just write. An author once said, “When I wrote my book into a hole and didn't know how to keep going for the longest time, those are the parts that my readers said they liked the most!” Try not to stop writing for long periods of time or your creative “juices” will stop flowing.
  6. Teach myself to go with the unexpected turns. Take the risk of totally changing things around! I took two NaNo dares and one of them is that I have to kill off one character and the other is to add a person who almost always lies. Both of them quite different from what I had planned, but I'm gonna do it because it will add great plot twists!

November 13, 2012

NaNo, Day Thirteen

Word Count: 21,500 words (as of last night)
# of algebra assignments I've done so far today: 1
# of times I've thought about my fairytales: approximately 52

Today's guest blogger is another good NaNo friend of mine, BrookieBear! :)

Hello, I'm Brooke! I am very happy to be able to share about my book and some writing tips. My book is a fantasy about a girl who is trying to overcome sickness, take on responsibilities while becoming a princess, all while trying to solve the crime of who has been stealing treasures from the palace. I've been writing a steady 1,000 words per day, sometimes a little more, and sometimes a little less, but it all evens out. I definitely suggest that you try and space you're writing time periods out, rather than trying to write a whole bunch of words at once. I write a little in the morning, and a little late at night, because I have such a busy week every week. But it's actually best to just write whenever you have the time. Also, when you don't have access to a computer or anything, it's a good idea to be thinking about what you're going to write, and plan ahead. There's nothing wrong with being prepared, right? Have fun writing!

Thanks, BrookieBear. :)

November 12, 2012

NaNo, Day Twelve

Hey, readers, we're nearing the halfway mark of NaNoWriMo!  Short stats update, and then I have a special treat for y'all. :)

Word Count: 17,611 as of last night at 11 PM CT. (I haven't had a chance to write yet today.)
# of places I've looked up in NYC: 5
# of questions on my history homework: 102

Now for the special treat!  I have a blog post from one of my NaNo friends (I also know her on another website), Leilani Sunblade! (Well, that's not her real name. ;)) 

 Emma Alyron isn't fond of the danger and adventure so many of her siblings seem to relish. That's why she and her mother moved away from Alyron Village and to Port Metre in Beylend so many years ago. Now, with her mother dead, Emma is alone, friendless, and defenseless. She doesn't mind too much- at least she's safe . . . for now.

Meanwhile, Emma's ne'er-do-well brother, Jared, is in trouble once more. Having run up more debts than he can pay, he's fled from his creditors and headed straight to Port Metre, where he hopes his luck will change for the better. It seems to have when he runs into Emma and falls in with a group called the Circle of Eight, but soon he begins to wonder if he's jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

To make matters worse, Gwen Alyron and the Firhirt siblings are on their way south, in search of another Alyron brother, Jake. They too run into Emma, much to the consternation of both Emma and Gwen, neither of whom is very fond of the other. Gwen and the Firhirts' search is cut short, however, when friends arrive with news of a terrible emergency. Thanks to Jared, Emma knows a secret that could be the key to solving the emergency, but will she share it and not only help Gwen, but become permanently entangled in what she's been running from for so long? And that's not her only secret . . . will she risk everything for this?

Hello, everyone! I'm Leilani Sunblade, one of Emma's NaNoWriMo writing buddies, and that up there is the cover and synopsis for Secrets and Searches, my NaNoWriMo novel. At the moment, I'm about halfway done, with a wordcount of just over 25k. That represents about 2k (or about 18-20 handwritten pages) every day. And on each of those days, weapons are drawn, a battle is fought, and a victory is won.

That's before I start writing.

You see, completing NaNoWriMo, or any writing project, requires that I defeat my archenemy. (Yes, I'm in high school and I have an archenemy. My life is awesome that way. And I have a big imagination and a penchant for personification and drama.) You've probably met my archenemy, actually. He attacks most of us at one point or another. If we don't defeat him, he'll take us captive and we'll never get anything we actually need to get done done. Instead, we'll spend a lot of time reading, watching TV, doing crafty stuff, browsing the internet, and poking around in closets looking for a passage to Narnia. (Ok, maybe not that last one.)

In case you haven't guessed yet, the archenemy I'm talking about is Procrastination.

For the record, yes, I know, Procrastination isn't a person. It's an idea. But I'm a writer. More importantly, I'm a fantasy writer. And as I said, I have a penchant for personification, which is taking a thing or idea and giving it human characteristics. (For example: "Procrastination liked to attack me on Sundays, when the days were busy and my defenses were down.") When you combine those two things, you get a person who tends to turn her daily struggle with Procrastination into a series of epic battles, which usually involve pencils turning into swords (or occasionally lightsabers), a (surprisingly small) degree of damage to wherever we're battling, and lots of amusing banter. Impossible? Normally, yes. But when you're writing fantasy, impossible doesn't exist.

Almost all personification aside, though, my struggles with Procrastination really do feel like a battle sometimes, especially on the days I'm losing the fight. He attacks more and more as we move further into the month of November and my excitement slowly fades into the somewhat muddy morass of trying to figure out how to get my characters out of the problems I've thrown at them. I just have to do my best to keep fighting even when it seems like my well of inspiration has run dry and Procrastination is offering me a tall glass of strawberry lemonade. In my opinion, that's part of what the NaNoWriMo challenge is about: forcing yourself to keep writing, keep fighting, and send Procrastination back into the Pit of Despair where he belongs.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and thank you also to Emma for inviting me to do a guest post here! I hope I didn't just scare all her readers away, ha ha.

May your pencils stay sharp and your words fly true!
-Leilani Sunblade

Thanks, Leilani! :)

November 9, 2012

NaNo, Day Nine

Word Count at the moment: 14,773 words
Page number: page 50, woo!
Exhaustion level: 9/10 (thanks for that, co-op)
Research topic of the day: Asperger's Syndrome
Random thought of the day: I wonder if someone has ever compiled a list of the different types of flirting? (And, yes, there are different types, and I've theorized that each person generally has one way of flirting that they're better at than any other.)

Tomorrow night is this party/dance at my co-op, and I'm going! :D It's very casual.  I know what top I'm going to wear, but I'm still going back and forth about wearing a skirt and leggings (the leggings are because it's gotten pretty cold here in IL) or jeans.  I'm sort of a skirt kind of girl.  I have this black skater-style skirt that I'll just randomly wear around the house because I feel like it.  So I'm very comfortable in skirts.  But I'm worried I'll be too overdressed if I wear one.  One of my besties is coming over before the party, so I'll get her feedback.  Although, if I know her pretty well, I think she'll say jeans just because she's not super girly like me, lol.

November 7, 2012

4 More Years...

As you all know (or should know), I am staunchly conservative.  Tonight, I feel like my life just changed...for the worse.  I've been saying for a long time, we can't take four more years of Obama as president.  And now we will be.  I feel like curling up in a ball and crying.  I also feel sick to my stomach.  How did we reach the point in our nation when a man who has not improved our national debt or unemployment, who has a weak foreign policy, who supports murdering innocent babies, and who is a blamer and a did we reach the point where electing such a man and letting him run our country is acceptable???

Okay, I'm crying now.  I'm ready to flee the country for four years.  Except, I don't have enough money, and there's not really any country doing much better.  Guess I'll have to stick it out and be tough.  When the going gets tough, I need to learn to be strong and stick things out, not become a runner.

Right now, I'm also praying that God will show us the good that will come out of this situation.  There is always good, in every situation, no matter how bleak it looks.  I just want this good to become evident soon.

I jokingly told Kate earlier on FT, "Well...if Obama wins, you and I just may end up homeless, jobless, hungry, and without husbands and kids."  I'm so hoping that won't be true.  My mom's convinced it won't be.  But with Obama's policies and the economy that's affecting me and my family and my just might.

Poll to be up shortly...please vote in it.

November 5, 2012

NaNo, Day Five

NaNo Word Count at the moment: 9,868 words
Research Topic of the Day: Model United Nations
# of Times I've Listened to "State of Grace": 10
Amount of Schoolwork I've Done Today: 1 assignment

So, I'm at almost 10,000 words!  I'd like to reach 10,000 by the end of the day, and hopefully write more.  Over the weekend and also today, I've been researching model UNs because my character just might be on one... 

I didn't write anything yesterday.  I feel bad, but also okay because I'm ahead of schedule from writing on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and today.

I also feel semi-bad about not doing much schoolwork yet, and it's almost noon.  I wrote a paragraph thing for English class and added "dress-ups", and "sentence openers".  I still need to add one more sentence opener, and I need to create a good title.  But I am sort of working on school when I write in my NaNo book.  I talked to my English teacher back in October, and she's going to give me extra credit for doing NaNoWriMo.  I'm probably going to have to spend my afternoon doing algebra II, world history, and Old Testament survey, though.  I'd work on fashion design, but my mom and I have agreed that I can let that class slide during November as long as I write some papers and do plenty of designing once 2013 arrives.

I'm going to sign off now because I'd like to get some more written before lunchtime!  Au revoir, readers.

November 3, 2012

NaNo, Day Three

Word Count After writing for half an hour: 8,631 (873 words this morning)
How much honey I need to make PB muffins: 1/2 a cup
How much honey we have: 1/4 a cup

I woke up at 9 this morning and lazed around for half an hour.  I told myself I would write diligently for fifteen minutes and then another fifteen minutes just to see how many words I could get (I wrote 531 in the first fifteen minutes).  Then I decided I would make muffins, provided my dad had gotten eggs (he had).  But we need half a cup of honey, and we don't have enough.  And my dad is too stubborn and too "busy" to go buy more right now. -_- And we're not going to be home for most of the afternoon.  Now I'm hungry and craving PB muffins.  I guess I'll have to settle for my favorite comfort food (toasted bagel with cream cheese).

I'll probably update this post later with my word count for the whole day. ;)

November 2, 2012

NaNo, Day Two

NaNo Word Count: 4,166 at the moment, and I just hit page 15
# of Times I've Listened to "Home" (Phillip Phillips): 5
Times I've Almost Fallen Asleep in the Last Two Hours: 3
Times I've Written Something About Paris or Fashion in the Last 1/2 Hour: 18

Yup, right now my main character is in Paris!  But mum's the word on why she's there.  All I can say is, I wish I was there, too. *pouts* Instead, I'm stuck in my room after a particularly long day at co-op.  Algebra just dragged on and on, and I started to get a headache during that class to boot.  History was actually better than normal this week, just because we discussed practically everything under the sun other than history (including Cash Cab, washing clothes, indoor plumbing, and taking tests).  And I'm so exhausted, as exhibited by stat number three.  I told myself I was going to rest until 5:30, and then I would start writing.  Right now I'm taking a short break to blog.  Can I persuade anyone to do my homework for me?  My English teacher is finally teaching us something new, but it's so incredibly boring. :P And then there are five algebra lessons and five lengthy sections to read in history, plus questions for each section.

November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Day One

NaNo Word Count: 2,183
# of Times I've Listened to "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" today: 13 (no joke!)
My Stress Level: about an 8/10

Happy NaNoWriMo, everyone!  I have a lot of fun things planned for y'all during the next twenty-nine days, including two weeks of book-related stuff.  I'll also be posting writing tips and keeping you updated on my novel progress.  Plus, every day that I blog, you'll see some similar stats to the ones above.  I'll always include my word count, generally include my stress level and the song of the day, and sometimes I'll include some other things.

So first off, I'm not widely sharing my book summary and title.  If you hunt me down on the NaNo site, you can see it there.  But it's an idea that is so near and dear to my heart that I'd like to keep it close for now.

Also, I'm beginning to research querying agents: how to go about doing that and choosing agents I want to query.  Funny enough, I found HVF's agent on, so of course he's going on my list!  The only way I knew who he was was from her acknowledgments in the back of Wish You Were Eyre.  At least...I'm hoping it's the same guy. xD LOL.  And hopefully my NaNo book this year will lead to me being able to say I'm a published author in the near future. :)

October 28, 2012

Jane Austen's Time

So after searching on Polyvore for almost 45 minutes, I created a Regency era-esque outfit.  I was thinking earlier, wishing my co-op was having a costume party for Halloween.  And then I was thinking what my costume would be if that actually happened. I decided I'd want to hunt down some Regency-esque clothing and go as Jane Austen, or Elizabeth Bennet, or Jane Bennet, or something along those lines.  And this is similar to what I'd probably wear. :) (With a fun background.  Both shots are from the 2005 movie version of P&P, I'm pretty sure.)

October 25, 2012

Writer's Block: Myth or Nagging Issue?

Writer's block.  If you want to be any type of writer some day, those words probably send chills up your spine.  But what is it truly?  I've heard published authors say it doesn't really exist.  Some will say it's an impossible hurdle.  Others claim there are different types.  I tend to agree with the first and the third.  Writer's block comes in two different types, according to Ally Carter (I will post the link to the page where I got this info at the end of this blog post): "can't get off the couch" and "your book is wrong".

In the first, it's basically when you've lost your will to write for the time-being.  In those instances, you need to write through and become a stronger, more persistent human being.  Turn off your Internet, put someone else in charge of your cell phone, get rid of all distractions!  If you need to research, either go to the library or make sure you stay on task on the Internet.  There's nothing like Googling how the Empire State Building was made and then getting sidetracked by reading about famous movies that feature said building.  If the ideas just aren't flowing, there are things that can help.  Eat "brain" food, stuff that fuels your energy.  Exercise, whether it's a walk, a swim, playing a pick-up game of basketball, whatever!  Take a shower.  That one's a bit weird, but seriously.  Who doesn't spend most of their shower contemplating various random thoughts.  It's a good time to drum up story ideas.  Just make sure you don't lose 'em before you can write the ideas down!  Read a book.  Often reading someone else's writing encourages me.  Listen to good music, nothing worthless (that means no "Call Me Maybe").  Listen to something more thought-provoking like, yes, Taylor Swift (I had to include her somehow!), or Christian songs, or Kelly Clarkson, or Carrie Underwood, or Adele, or show tunes, or...I could go on forever.  Just something that fits your mood and maybe your book theme.

But now for writer's block numero deux (number two).  You're having trouble with your book itself.  Scenes feel forced.  Your characters are turning dull.  Whereas Type One has easy fixes and can be written through, Type Two must be written around.  So take a step back.  Maybe you need to remove a scene.  No matter how good it sounds, it probably doesn't fit the direction of your story or it can't segue into some more interesting stuff.  This one can also be helped by reading and music, along with a change of scenery (which could also be useful in Type One).  If you always write at a desk, move your paper or laptop (hopefully you don't use a desktop...) to a comfy rug or the library or your backyard.  Just make sure there's nothing too distracting around you.  You could also be totally cliche and go to a coffee shop.  Wear hipster glasses, order a latte, and write feverishly-people will be impressed! ;)

And never forget to have fun.  If you're not enjoying your novel, no one else will, and that's bad.

October 22, 2012

Taylor Swift

Pssh, I'm not obsessed with Taylor Swift.  Where did y'all get that crazy idea?!  Oh, wait, I am.... Right now I'm listening to her new album, Red, while wearing my Forever Red fragrance from Bath & Body Works, wearing my red heart flower ring, and watching my Taylor Swift picture slide show.  And no, that's not overkill.  Not to mention I probably have about 75 pictures of her... okay, it might be time to commit me to a mental home.  Or not... xD

Wanna see some of my favorite Tay pictures?  Well you're going to anyways.

Well, I'll stop there, I suppose... you can sigh with relief and cheer now.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. *rolls eyes*

October 20, 2012

Day Six

And here we are at last, at the final day of our own little fashion week.  I'm about to show a real-life outfit of mine.  It's not complete because I couldn't find the black tights and black cami I wore with it. :P They must be in the wash.  But since the top, skirt, and shoes are all there, I think you're getting a pretty good idea of what I wore this past Sunday to church. :)

My favorite part of the sweater is that part of the back, up towards the neckline, is lace.  And those are my favorite ankle boots.  I will literally wear them every chance I get.  I wore them to the mall when my mom and I went shopping in August.  I wore them to Chicago in September.  And I wear them a lot to co-op.  And if you're wondering, yes, my feet hurt after walking all over Chicago. :P

October 19, 2012

Day Five

Ah, it's the last day! :( I've loved creating these outfits for all of you, and I sincerely hope you've enjoyed them, too.  Here's the last one, using the dress and the sweater.

October 18, 2012

Day Four

Well look at that.  It's already day four!  That really means I should lay out my outfit and take a picture of it in preparation for Saturday.  But I'm a procrastinator and I'm feeling particularly lazy today, so that won't be happening.  Here's outfit number four, and it's one of my personal faves. :)

October 17, 2012

A Lesson in Boredom

All right, Seana, I love you dearly.  Well not exactly love, since I don't know you in real life... ok, I like you dearly.  There, that works. xD ANYWAYS.  Seana, I like you dearly.  But did you really have to let me read that last sentence so I had to do the Liebster Award AGAIN?  I guess that's what I get for being bored and wanting something to do. :P Time to answer eleven questions.

1. Who is your favorite book character and why? *stares at this question for five minutes* I can't choooooooseeeee! D: Okay, maybe I'll say Jess Delaney from The Mother-Daughter Book Club because she's sort of like me.  She's blonde and petite, has blue eyes, loves animals, and likes her friend's older brother (well, I used to).
2. What celebrity do you think you're most like? I guess Taylor Swift?  I don't think I'm really like any celeb...
3. Have you ever wondered what a rainbow would taste like? Nope.
4. When asked to do something, what is your go-to best excuse? Either "I'm busy" or "I'm in the middle of something important!"  And my parents say I pull those two a lot.
5. If I gave you a present, what do you suppose it would be? Well, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have glitter on it...
6. Would you rather eat dirt or mud? Seana, you just made me gag.  Neither. :P
7. What is your dream? To become a famous author...even though I hate public speaking and being the center of attention, haha.
8. If someone walked up to you and said they'd give you a million dollars if you would wear a pink tutu on your head, flap your arms like a bird, and sing an opera song by heart, would you do it? Nope, because I don't know any opera.
9. How would you explain to an alien the art of eating a cookie? It's basically like eating any other food, so...
10. Why do you suppose I'm not doing an eleventh question? You hate the number eleven?

I've decided to be unexpected.  This time I won't be breaking the cycle, because...if you read the previous sentence, you have to answer the eleven questions below.  You can do it on your own blog (as long as you link it in a comment) or answer them in the comments.

1. Have you ever eaten a macaron?
2. What does this line from a Shakespearean play make you think of: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
3. Would you rather eat pie or do English homework?
4. What languages do you know?
5. If you had $10,000 to take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
6. If you were an electronic device, what would you be?
7. Which job would you rather try to learn in one day: hair stylist or gardener?
8. What color pen do you prefer to write with?
9. Would you read a book if it were Shakespeare's plays rewritten?
10. What do you think makes a better tragedy: love, death, or squirrel suicide?
11. Who would you tie to a chair and lecture about manners?

Day Three

Today I used a dress and leggings, the final pieces from the seven-piece collection.  I also repeated a piece.  This outfit might be a little out there for some of you-and I probably wouldn't wear it myself, lol-but I think it looks kind of cool.

October 16, 2012

Day Two

Three new pieces coming your way!  A sweater, a tank, and a pair of jeans.  Tomorrow, something from yesterday or today might just repeat, but for now, it's all new pieces.  This is an outfit I can picture wearing out shopping.  Readers who go to a public or private school, tell me-would you wear something like this to school?

October 15, 2012

Day One

We're starting with a fun, flirty, sort of simple outfit.  The top and skirt are from the seven main pieces that you'll see running throughout.

October 14, 2012

Are Y'all Ready?

I'm wondering if y'all are ready for another fashion week of sorts.  I've assembled a collection of seven clothing pieces on Polyvore, and I will use all of them in five outfits you can put together consisting of them and then various accessories and shoes.  Then I'll close up the week by sharing an outfit of my own.  So give me feedback!  Does this sound good to you?  Is another fashion week something you're interested in?

I also have a couple fun week-long activity planned, both of which will be in November (National Novel Writing Month!).  Yeah, that's a bit of a hint... See if you can guess what those secret two weeks involve. ;)

October 6, 2012

Taylor Swift's New Album, and a Book Review!

So today, we found out the track listings for Taylor Swift's upcoming album, Red!  Sixteen lovely songs, and there are six international bonus tracks (I'm hoping the U.S. will have access to those bonus tracks sooner than later).

All nineteen songs (three of the international bonus tracks are the original demos and an acoustic version) sound like they'll be amazing.  We've already heard "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", "Begin Again", and "Red".  In the next two weeks, two more singles will be released. :D

So yesterday, Kate loaned me Mark of Athena and I read it in about three hours (yup, I'm just that awesome. LOL.). (There will be some spoilers in this section, so skip to the next paragraph, if you don't want to ruin the book for you.)  It was pretty good.  I loved hearing Annabeth's POV, and stuff actually happened. (They went to Rome!)  I felt, though, like the seven were encountering way too many random and obscure figures from mythology. :P It got confusing.  Jason and Piper are officially dating, and I have mixed feelings about that.  I kind of liked the idea of Jason and Reyna, haha. xD I also absolutely hated the way it ended.  It just doesn't sound like things are going well.

Now I'm off to re-read Mark of Athena and listen to Taylor Swift music!  The only thing better than this will be listening to Red and reading Wish You Were Eyre. ^.^ (They come out the 22nd and 23rd!!!!)