Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm writing again! ^_^

Yes, it's true. I'm so proud of myself. And I think what I've written is actually quite good. ^_^ How about that? Yesterday I started out with about 600 words. By the end of the day, I more than doubled my word count. 1,400 words in total now.

I don't know what makes me procrastinate writing my book so much. I mean, writing was so much fun yesterday! I just sat for a couple hours and let the story unfold itself. It was great.

Of course, I am trying to write Imazia back from the beginning. Trying to start the whole thing anew. Maybe I'm worried that I won't get it right the first time, so I put it off for more "important" things. But perhaps I ought to remember that writing isn't supposed to be perfect. Not at first, anyway. That's what editing is for. ^_^ And anyway, who knows how long it took for some of my favorite author heroes to get their books the way they wanted them?

From now on, I'm going to try my best to write a little bit every day. And trust me, it'll be my very best. I'll even write on the weekends!

Edit: Oh, by the way, it slipped my mind before. Last Tuesday I gave my second ever Toastmaster speech. It was pretty okay. I was really nervous, and I don't like how I sounded in the video that was taken of it, so I won't post it. Still, I thought it was worth mentioning. ^_^

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ooh, the pain! It hurts me...

Oh god, my legs are killing me. ~,~ They ache so much! This is because yesterday, Annette and I went to a rehearsal for a play that we'd auditioned for a couple Mondays ago. (We actually missed a rehearsal last Saturday.)

First we warmed up our voices and practiced a song from Chorus Line for about an hour (probably ought to watch that) and then for the next hour we did our best to follow along with a very complicated dance! Step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch... again, step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch... But I think the worst part was when we stretched beforehand. TORTURE! 0,o

I can't believe how inflexible I am. I'm probably not the only one, but it kills me to do a split (or not) and I'm nowhere near touching my toes. ~,~ It's the next day and I'm still feeling the burn. I've been rubbing my thighs and calves all evening.

Despite all this, I think I'm going to keep on with it. Because I'm not a quitter. And hey, I might actually learn something from this. I once heard an expression that you really only grow when you're in pain. I just wish that in this case it didn't have to be the physical kind!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Would you rather...?

This meme was started by J. Scott Savage, author of the Farworld series. I became aware of this because my friend Jacoby (he's back!!! Yay! ^__^) wrote his own answers to the questions that Savage asked. It's wanna-be author themed, so this is perfect for me!

Would you rather:
1) Get a huge advance on your next book but have it be shredded by the book critics, or make almost no money on the book (even after the awards were announced), but receive top awards?
Money is tempting, but I would hate being booed by critics. ~,~ If I received big awards, not only would I be thoroughly honored, but I'd probably have more of a chance of being well known. Hey, I can make money some other way aside from my writing.

2) Write a book adored by millions of readers you don’t know, but despised by your friends and family, or write a book your friends and family love, but everyone else hates?
Hmm... a book enjoyed by the people I'm closest with, or by millions of strangers? 0,o I'd go with the strangers. Come on! Adored by millions! That's what I want to be. ^_^ My family and friends will still love me, even if they hate the book I write.

3) Have your book made into a big budget film with lots of publicity and stars, that bombs, or not have your book made into a movie at all?
Okay, at first I was going to say I would want a film based on my book, but then I noticed the question says that it would bomb. So in that case, no, I'd rather not have the image of my book ruined by a flop movie. But it is one of my fantasies to have a movie made from my book. Harry Potter, anyone?

4) Only be able to write in a genre you don’t enjoy but sells like crazy, or write what you love but always sell poorly.
How on earth can I write something that I wouldn't enjoy reading myself? I will always write what I love, or not at all.

5) Get the agent of your dreams, knowing they are only lukewarm on your project, or a so-so agent who LOVES your manuscript?
What is the agent of my dreams? I'm still nowhere near finishing my manuscript, so I have no thoughts on agents yet. But I want someone who believes in me and my story.

6) Publish only one book, but have it be a classic, or publish dozens of mid-listers?
Really, I'm working on pretty much one project. I'll probably write many others. But if the only book I could publish turned out to become an instant classic, I'd be happy. My goal is to become a household name in some manner.

7) Write books that are very slow reading, but extremely thought-provoking, or quick reads that make people laugh and cry?
I don't know what counts as a quick read. I make short work out of 300-400 page books, and I read Stephenie Meyer's The Host in just 3 days. I'd definitely want to illicit that strong kind of response from my reading, though I'd prefer to make people laugh than cry.

8) Sign a contract that guarantees $75k a year for the next twenty years, or an all or nothing deal that has a 50/50 chance of paying out nothing or twenty million?
Let me say that $75,000 x 20 = $1,500,000, half a million less than $2,000,000. But still, $75K a year is an exorbitant amount of moolah! I wouldn't gamble 2 mil on the flip of a coin. I don't know who'd be dumb enough to pick instant gratification or complete nada over the guarantee of thousands of dollars every year.

9) Publish a book that is a genre that is all the rage right now, or one that breaks new ground?
This is a tougher question... I don't know how I'm supposed to write a book that breaks new ground, whatever that means. I'd probably go with a tried and true genre.

10) Publish amazing books that everyone loves, but never read another book, or read the best books for the rest of your life, but never publish a thing?
~,~ What a choice! Either I can pen and publish awesome books but never get the chance to read again, or I can keep my most favorite hobby in the world, but never see my work sitting on a book shelf or in a reader's hands. I really want to be a famous author, so if I had to give up reading for that to happen, I want to think I'd make that choice, but... I do so love to read!

As a bonus challenge, Savage asked for a famous rock song about writer's block. The only thing that comes to mind for me is a song by the Beatles, one of my favorite classic bands. "Paperback Writer," written by Paul McCartney. It's not about writer's block per se, but it's about trying to get published, and I really like it. ^_^

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meeting Jasper Fforde

Well, a couple days later than I said I would post it, here is my story about me meeting one of my big heroes, Jasper Fforde. (There he is, right there! ^_^)

I'll start at the beginning. At first I counted on just Annette and me going alone to this event, since we'd both read all his books and were probably the only ones who cared about this guy. About a week before it came, my mom Shira showed some interest in it, but she was torn between coming with us and going to her women's circle with her friends. The night before though, I believe the leader of the group got sick, so Shira didn't have to go there after all, and she could come chaperon us. That was cool.

By the time the day arrived, the 14th, the Fforde book I'd ordered on Amazon had not come in yet (The Big Over-Easy for just 80 cents instead of buyingShades of Grey at the store for over $25). (The funny thing is that it did come in today!) So I didn't have a book for Jasper to sign his autograph for me with. But I figured if I just brought my small notebook with me, he'd understand and sign for me anyway. I just hoped the people at the bookstore wouldn't stop me. It's kind of been my experience, when I've gone to Borders events in the past, that youmust buy the book that's being promoted or other books by the author, though I've easily gotten away with not doing that. I still wanted to do the right thing this time around though, but I didn't know what to expect, because it was a bookstore I've never been to before.

So we get there pretty easy a little after 7:00, and we find the event, only it wasn't what we expected at all. There were 3 authors sitting at a table and talking to people, and I didn't recognize any of them. An old guy said some pretty good stuff, but since he wasn't Jasper Fforde I didn't pay much attention. Later I discovered that this "old guy" was Richard Peck, and that name seemed to ring a bell for some reason. Today I found out that I'd actually read one of his books without knowing it. Invitations to the World. Well, it was a non-fiction book, so how was I supposed to know him? =P

Anyway, they signed books too, but we didn't get their autographs. We asked the front desk if this was the place where Jasper Fforde would come. They said he was, but that event started at 8:00, not 7:00! I'd checked the wrong time. 0,o Oh well, at least we were extremely early. I was even able to get a front row seat. ^__^

So finally Jasper Fforde arrived, and he was just as I'd pictured him. ^_^ He seemed a little nervous at the podium (since I'm in Toastmasters, this was very obvious to me, but I secretly commended him for being up there at all), but he still made fabulous jokes and talked about his book and made everyone genuinely like him. What a sense of humor. He's a British author making a special tour through America for this book, and he claimed that he hadn't been to Miami since he was 4, so it was amazing to just be there with him. My mom took the Flip camera and actually took an almost 15 minute long movie of him talking. (What would we have done without her? ^_^) Then Annette took short movies of me asking Fforde a couple questions, followed by his answers. I was soooo proud of myself. At first I was nervous to ask him anything, but he was such a cool guy and took my questions seriously.

Finally he sat down to do the signing. I got a great spot in line, about 5th or 7th. The closest I've ever gotten to being first in line for something, I believe. Again I was nervous, wondering what would happen now. But my turn came and I briefly explained how I'd ordered his book but it hadn't arrived, so could he do me the honor of signing a paper out of my small notebook? Of course, he did it, and he also even signed a postcard that he'd been giving everybody as bookmarks, so I actually have two autographs of Jasper Fforde. Yay!

Looking back at this evening, I kind of remember that Mr. Fforde had a face and voice that reminded me strongly of Hugh Grant, but he had the charm and personality that I imagine James Dashner to have. I can't wait to meet him, but as of now I think this was the best and most memorable author meeting I've ever had.

(One funny thing more I'd like to add is that I still like this guy, even though I haven't read his books in at least 1 or 2 years! =P I forget most of the plots and particulars of each, but I remembered really liking them. And now I've started to read Shades of Grey, I'm a few chapters in, and I think it's his best book yet so far!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I miss you

One of my best friends ever on Blogger, Jacoby (J.N. Future Author to you), is temporarily disconnected from the world. He doesn't know for how long, so I'm feeling quite sad. I'll get over it, and he'll probably be back before I know it. But still... ~,~

There are so many things that make me think of Jacoby. Chopsticks, moths, oatmeal, clouds, sushi, Fireflies, sunshine... he's one of the coolest people that I've never even met. I'm really going to miss his online presence.

On a brighter note, last night I watched the last Miyazaki film I hadn't seen yet, Porco Rosso. It's a little different from his other movies, in that the main character is a man with a pig face instead of a spunky heroine, but it was definitely a classic. ^_^ I don't know how I ever missed out on Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces before now, but I'm glad I'm up to speed. I sure hope he makes more movies soon, to follow Ponyo.

Also, there's only 24 more hours separating me from meeting famous British author, Jasper Fforde! I hope someone else on here knows who I'm talking about. He wrote the Thursday Next series and two Nursery Crime books, and he's touring America because he wrote a new book called Shades of Grey. I can't believe he's coming to Florida! I'm so happy that I'm not going to miss out on this opportunity. Look out for more news tomorrow.

Once again, I miss you, Jacoby.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

1-10-10

Today makes it the 2nd official binary day, after January 1st, 2010. Get it? 1-1-10. Then tomorrow will be 1-11-10, and that will be the last completely binary date until October! I just find that fascinating.

Hmm, Jan 1st (1110) represents the binary number 14, but today (11010) makes 26, and tomorrow (11110) will mean 30. That's funny... Well, better savor it. There aren't going to be many of these special binary days around for long.

I'm certainly savoring it. Last night was the COLDEST night I've had to endure this year! ~,~ It was incredibly close to freezing! I wouldn't be surprised if it's the coldest night I've ever slept in my life. I am a Floridian! I'm not supposed to be cold! It's unbelievable... I'm wearing layers! Layers! My toes are ice, despite my fuzzy socks, and my fingertips feel numb just from typing this out. ~,~

A while ago, my extremely brave siblings ventured into the arctic outdoors on a walk to the supermarket, to buy a can of Pillsbury dough to make some warm, flaky biscuits with. Mmm. ^_^ Tonight will be a new episode of the Simpsons, so... YAY! I think there's also supposed to be this Simpsons 20th Anniversary special airing alongside it, so that's exciting!

More good news: I've written nearly 600 words for my Imazia story. I'm kind of starting the whole thing from scratch, because I think the beginning should be completely different. So this is a pretty big deal! I'm going to try and finish the first chapter now. Wish me luck. ^_~

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tortoiseshell

I took a walk near the end of the day
and at one point a stray
tortoiseshell cat came padding next to me
no collar did I see
His marvelous coat was speckled brown-black
I bent to scratch his back
He mewed and purred with obvious delight
his eyes were green and bright
As I straightened up he raced down the street
on soft furry feet
He didn't glance back, the tortoiseshell stray
so I went on my way.
-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
There, my 7th and final poem! Yes! I'm sorry I was late in finishing the 7 poems in a week challenge I set myself, but I hope I've made up for it now. I actually did run into a cat on a walk with my sister today. I'm hoping she doesn't mind being excluded from my poem. =P

Additional news: We started shooting a couple scenes for a new Leslie & Kyle episode. It should be pretty funny. I can't make any predictions as to when it'll go public, but I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

virtual conversation

I felt like talking with a friend,
so I wrote an email, then hit "send".

Within an hour, little did I know,
He'd log in and say "hello!"

When I came and found him waiting,
inside I felt like celebrating!
I wrote him back, so he'd know I was there.
Nothing could have truly prepared

me for the unbelievable chat
that would follow after that!

I think one would simply balk
at how much we sat and talked.
Each of us spoke with a zillion words,
though no one's voices could be heard.

(That's actually not completely true.
Just go back a post or two. ^_^)

Our conversation sure was long,
but he lightened it up with a couple of songs.
We chatted for so long it seemed
that we were talking in a dream.

We talked about everything, and to boot,
together we hunted for my face in "Hoot"!

Even after an hour and a half,
this guy made me smile and laugh.
Would you believe we talked longer than that?
It presently came to be quite lat.

(The "e" key sometimes failed to work,
so please wipe off that silly smirk.)

I told him that I had to go then,
so I could finish writing my poem.
So we logged off and said good-bye.
Away from my laptop I gave a sigh.

Thanks for talking with me, friend.
I sure can't wait to do it again! ^_^
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I can't think of a better name for this right now, but here's my latest poem! Based on entirely true events! I think it's my very best so far. ^_~ Just forget that some of them are only half-rhymes.

This link and this other link go to the songs that I heard. ^_^ I loved them!

And if you want to see yours truly as an extra in a Hollywood movie (not joking!), see these two movie clips (here) (and then here!) In the 7/9 one, I'm sitting in the middle at 6:57. Then in 8/9, you don't really see me until 4:43, putting down a cup on the left-hand corner. ^_^ Enjoy.

Finally, my resolutions!

  • Starting with today, my focus will be less on the books that I read and more on how much I write in my story. Maybe I'll put up a sidebar gadget that will tell you how much I've written on a given day, then you'll know...?
  • Be a lot more active, outgoing and helpful, as opposed to shy, bookworm-ish and lazy.
  • Along with my brother and sister, I'm going to try and get Leslie and Kyle back on the internet. Possibly sometime later this month you'll see a new episode.
  • Do something big and unexpected this year, something that today I wouldn't be able to predict it of myself. ^_^
  • Travel. I reeeeally want to travel. Hopefully the Taglit Birthright program will pull through this summer. As some of you may know, I also really want to go to Utah! I said I would last year, but I didn't have too big a reason to go then. Now it seems I've got a whole bunch of friends living up there, so look out!
  • I will absolutely keep my promises. No backing out of them. If I say I'm going to do something, especially on my blog, my word is law. I will do it. If I say I'll you the story when I get back from somewhere, I won't put it off.
  • This is something I can't really help, but I'm hoping to get a few more followers this year. So that I remember, right now I have 14. Thank you so much Brian, Dave, Q, Rainy, Laura, Deb, Annette, Shira and Grandma, as well as the other followers I don't know terribly well. Sorry.
I can't really think of any more at the moment. Remember to hold me to these, guys!

My Evaluation

At the Toastmasters meeting I got some feedback for my Icebreaker speech from my evaluator, Kim Rice. As you will soon see, she's such a nice woman. ^_^
video

This is how it went:

I really apologize for the way my speech was filmed so shakily. My younger brother came with us to the meeting and did the recording, since my twin Annette was busy counting my "ahs" and "ums." But I think I did a good job. ^_^
video
It seems I can't put up my evaluation here, so I'll do it in a separate post. Man, I didn't need to be worried about anything! Yeah, it was my first speech, but now I'll never have to do it again. ^_^ When I do make a speech in the future, it will be my second, never the first again! Isn't it weird how things you look forward to so much so quickly become things of the past?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Did the speech

I'm so happy! I no longer have to worry about doing my first ever speech for Toastmasters, because now it's behind me! ^_^ I had nothing to be afraid of. Well, I wasn't really that afraid in the first place, though I admit I was kind of nervous. But I did a ton of rehearsing, so I knew I would do fine. Still... yay me!

Later I'll post up a video of my speech. We got the whole thing on our Flip camera! heehee.

Gotta go!

First I want to say I'm really sorry for not posting in such a long time (3 days), but I have really good excuses for putting my blogging off:

1 ~ I had a Toastmasters Icebreaker speech to prepare for, which I'm going to do this afternoon. I've got butterflies! ~,~ But at least not as harsh as Annette had them.

2 ~ I simply couldn't think of a poem to write for my 7 day challenge. I only have 2 more to go. Maybe I'll come up with them later. I've been too stressed to think about writing a poem when I have an Icebreaker coming up.

3 ~ I felt like procrastinating, just like I'm usually prone to do. ~,~ I'm ashamed of myself.

So I promise that, when I come home from my meeting (triumphantly ^_^), I will sit down at the computer, write out my two remaining poems (even though I must have already failed the challenge) and, if you still want to hear it, tell you about how my New Years' was spent, because it really is an awesome story.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What can I say?

What can I say? What can I say?
I have to write a new poem today.
I'd much rather read and play,
but I promised myself last Tuesday
that for a week straight, come what may,
I'd write a new poem every day.
A cow goes moo and a horse goes neigh,
Jasper Fforde wrote "Shades of Grey"!
Hmm, this isn't what I thought I'd say,
but I wrote my poem anyway.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Haha. Just a bit of silliness. ^_^ I really had no idea what else to write about. (Ha! I beat you, Jacoby! I wrote a poem before you did! I wonder what's taking you so long... recovering from a wild New Year? I kind of still am...)

Jasper Fforde actually did write a book called Shades of Grey. I saw it on a shelf at Borders. Remember when my mom dropped me off? Anyway, I'm really excited about it. I wrote about it on my book blog, but I'll say it here too. Jasper Fforde is coming to Florida on January 14th! Okay, I'm not going to get my hopes up too much, but I really want to go and meet another one of my favorite authors! Not to mention get his autograph. ^_^

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dead Tired

Ever have a day that felt like it may
have really lasted a week?
It's happened to me, and I'm tired as can be,
only a pillow do I seek. ~,~
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not joking. This day has left me exhausted! Not to mention yesterday... I can't tell any stories right now, because all I want to do is just relax, but I promise I'll spill the beans tomorrow. I'll also definitely compile a list of 2010 resolutions that I can share with the world.

At the very least, you guys got a 4th poem out of me. Yep, I'm taking this 7 poems in a week challenge very seriously. ^_~ I'm proud of myself.