Thursday, December 29, 2011

Updates

Hi! It's the last day of my family reunion. The past couple days have been pretty much playing games, eating, and sleeping, with no work. It's been awesome.

Today we're going to the beach. We're almost done listening to the Sea of Monsters on Audiobook, but half of us have read it already and we keep accidentally blurting out spoilers. Oops.





I read The Son of Neptune and LOVED it. Now I'm back into Percy Jackson again. :D I was so happy Nico and Percy were back, both as awesome as ever. The book was hilarious and sad, Rick Riordan style. I liked the new characters, and I'm really excited for the next one! Hopefully Piper and Jason die/lose their memory(again)/leave/join the Hunters and stop tainting the series with their lameness.

We also went to motorcycle riding class on Tuesday. The class was from 10-3:30, and it was so much fun! I like dirt-bike riding a lot now.

Hopefully talk to you soon!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

most of you have already figured this from the lack of posts

but I'm officially on Christmas break, starting...like last week or so. XD Merry Christmas! Love ya!


Today we spent the day rabidly cleaning our house XD. Then my cousins, the awesomest people in the world got here and it's been nothing but fun since. XD Our family reunions are the highlight of my year. We spent a lot of time singing songs from "A Very Potter Musical", PPP, and playing games and nerf guns. :D


I better get back to it!

PS. I found a new favorite font. Cambria! Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't use it >.>


Friday, December 16, 2011

Top 10 releases I'm looking forward to in 2012

                            
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NufODPj6F34/TmRrM6pWghI/AAAAAAAAAJM/QWnyErlhNY0/s1600/artemis-fowl-1.jpg



1. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian(book) BOOYAH The last in the series! It's going to be brilliant, but I'll be so sad it's over.



2. MARCH 23rd (movie) THE HUNGER GAMES  <-Going to be amazing as well. Read Kate the Parchment Girl's excellent review of the book.


http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqic97INQK1qkny5zo1_500.jpg 
3.Maximum Ride: NEVERMORE(book)(February)<-Last in the series as well! There are so many plot threads to be tied up in this last book but it's probably going to slither out of half of them, typical. >.>

 http://www.floridaleisureblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Pottermore.jpg

4. Pottermore for the plebians!(website) 8D (crossing fingers)


http://media.avclub.com/images/articles/article/58/58839/dance6904_jpg_627x325_crop_upscale_q85.jpg

5. Dance Moms Season 2!(TV show) January 10th!


http://a.dolimg.com/en-US/dcom/media/property/disney_insider/articles/mainattraction_100504_230.jpg
6. The Kane Chronicles final book! (May) This should go higher up on the list! It's going to be epic, because there is plenty of suspense left in me from the last book, and I know RR's going to be AMAZING pulling it all together.



http://images.wikia.com/avpm/images/1/11/Sk.png

7. A VERY POTTER THREEQUEL WHO'S WITH ME? OH YEAH(MUSICAL) (SUMMER)


 http://www.eucantina.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/apocalypse_wow.jpg

8. Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse-March 13th 8D 8D



http://media2.onsugar.com/files/2011/12/50/2/192/1922283/Great_Gatsby_Official_Tobey_Maguire_Carey_Mulligan.preview/i/Great-Gatsby-Movie-Pictures-Leonardo-DiCaprio.jpg
9.  The Great Gatsby(Movie)(Dec. 25, 2012)


http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltt6v7FEWp1qiy920.jpg

10. Mark of Athena(only mildly) grumble grumble it better be brilliantsauce to make up for the first one.

 XD well I'll TTYL,
Too cute - I couldn’t resist.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Woah, you can keep a journal on the internet? WHAT?!(journal post)

 
unrelated picture is unrelated, Kawaielli on deviantart, not a picture of me(haha I wish)

 

For the past couple years, I've kept a journal on and off, and one of my favorite things is to look through them and see how my life was many years ago. It's amazing to think and reflect...the only problem is, journals are hard to keep up XD.
So I was reading my journal from fifth grade(maybe I'll post pictures a little later..heh heh embarrassing), and I was thinking maybe I should start keeping a journal again, of my high school years..and I was just thinking that a journal would be hard to keep up with, along with my blog..wait, a blog IS supposed to be a journal!
So then I looked back at my posts and I realized that most of my posts are for you guys and not very journal like at all. And then I decided that I should use my blog for journal ling more often and write about my personal life. The only problem is that you might not want to read it and I might lose all my followers, and also there's the limitation that I can't write about some things, because, it's the internet, ya know?
Now I've decided to prefix all my journal posts with (journal post) so that you can see it, and if reading about my life bores you, just skip it! Yay! And if I need to record something that I dont' want to post, I'll just not publish it.

So I'm going to go over the past week or so, and treat it like a journal.

8D

Dear blog,

Today I purchased a pair of fancy mice. One ate the other and then died of loneliness.

Ahem.

Dear Journal,
Now it’s December. The past year has gone by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was at Nai Nai’s house celebrating the start of another New Year. 

The year goes by in blinks. Staying up till midnight on New Years drinking tea.  Blink. Going skiing. Blink. Plotting dastardly acts on April Fools. Blink. Having my birthday. Blink. Celebrating the end of another school year.  Sailing down the harbor in the middle of a summer. Blink.  Going back to high school and taking notes on which teachers grade hard and which teachers are pushovers. Blink. The end of the semester. Blink. December.

And here we are.

I love December and Christmas. I love the lights, the music and the fun happy busy stress of it all. 

Life has been going good for the most part. School is great. It’s a little hard to keep track of stuff, and occasionally I get hit with assignments that send me into a panic. But for the most part, I love all my classes. Spanish has been the hardest this year, but the teacher is really good and the subject is interesting. My teacher for English is probably one of the best teachers I have ever had, even though she’s strict.. Her classes are always the most fun and she sings crazy songs into the microphones and talks about tough difficult subjects and has People-magazine style covers of historical figures and authors. This week is the finals for the first semester, and then a whole month of break! I’m super excited, because I can use the time to edit LITB, my NaNo novel.

Dance has been going good too. I sacrificed my jazz class on the altar of ballet. But I can still make up in jazz. I can do double pirouettes now. Last week I kept falling on people, literally. It was super embarrassing. I’m trying to really increase my flexibility so I can do higher developpes and leg holds and stuff. I’m really loving acro because I’m improving. Acro is the one class where you always know how you improve and how well you do. I can almost kick over from the ground now, and my front limber no longer has my head hit the floor. I’m going to do Ms. Laura’s recital for Saturday ballet. But more on that later.

I still bike five miles three days a week to the studio, and five miles back. I’ve found a way to go there without having to cross too many intersections. I’m not as scared now, although I still get into close calls occasionally, and it’s cold.

Today I had my first really good piano lesson in a long time. We’re working up to the certificate of merit, where I will be taking the last level! I’ve been taking it every year since I was six or seven, so graduating will be awesome for me. Mr. Hansen keeps giving me tons of theory homework…sigh. I’m doing a Chopin Nocturne, a piece from Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Copland’s “Three Moods”, and the Mozart sonata I did for the competition.

Oh yeah, the competition sucked. Well, at least I could have done better. I only got third place, which sounds really good but that’s the lowest level besides not placing. And a ton of kids get third and up. I don’t want to do any more but I suppose Mom will make me.

This week has been mostly relaxing with the last couple big projects due, and almost no other work besides studying for Finals. I expect to ace all of them though the math one will be a major suckfest for the one hour of torture I will have to endure it for.

My YouTube is still blocked. 

On Sunday, church was cancelled for Good Neighbor Weekend, so for our service project we walked around our whole community and prayed for people. It was fun, but our community is huge. It took two hours with almost no stopping to rest, and my feet are SORE.

A major source of stress I’ve been going through is The Lakehouse Forums, my pet awesome forum that Ley and JC and me started last winter. The one year anniversary is coming up, and the forum has been having some growth issues. Nothing bad, just growing pains that we had to worry about and work on. But I spent almost my whole Sunday and whole Monday morning stressing, discussing and planning with Ley and JC, and writing emails and PMs and new rules. Everything seems to be going smoothly now, that we’ve promoted RachelisaJedi and JKG to moderatorship. We haven’t put up the new set of rules but we will soon.

On Monday, we had my Girl Scouts holiday party at Dilan’s house. Her house is really nice. We had our secret Santa gift exchange and I got a scarf and thing of popcorn from Celeste. Rae, my other best Girl Scout friend was there, and she was happy to see me, which is awesome. Never underestimate the power of just being friendly and nice. I was having a crappy day from TLF stuff and she made me feel a lot better.

And on Tuesday, I carpooled with Deanna for the first time to the life group holiday party.

Now for this I have to explain something. I knew Deanna’s sister, Justine, from last year’s small group. Justine is a really extreme dancer. She’s really good and into it, one of the top girls in my studio who’ve been dancing since they were like, three. She dances twenty five hours a week and has a solo, duo, trio, and is in five competition groups. She goes to a major performing arts school for dance. 

I thought Deanna was just going to be an older version of Justine, since she goes to the same school and dances also. Not that that’s bad, it’s just that Justine and I didn’t have a lot in common so there were a ton of awkward silences when we talked so it was super awkward.
Deanna is a lot like Justine in the fact that they’re both super pretty, sweet, and polite. They both always are very stylish, pulled together, and calm looking. But talking with Deanna brought me some major revelations. Deanna doesn’t dance nearly as often as Justine, and this is her first year in performing groups, and she’s a high school junior. Also, she hasn’t been dancing since she was three. She’s been dancing since she was fourteen. LIKE ME! My brain nearly exploded when I heard that! I was like babbling incoherently “I thought I was the only one! I thought I was the only one!” Plus, she’s good, and on pointe, and she’s only sixteen, so that gives me a lot of hope and encouragement for myself. 

She told me about the competition groups in our studio and encouraged me to join one. I’d love to, but I don’t dare ask my mom yet XD.

She also plays piano, and is in Certificate of Merit level nine, a year below me. Which is super cool! Also, she goes to the performing arts school for trombone and doesn’t dance there. 

So that was like a total God moment. Here I was feeling so pathetic and loserish, and here comes along this super cool girl who actually started out a lot like me, That was definitely a blessing.

We got our accountability partners. I have Hala and Rebecca, both of whom are darlings, and we’re supposed to meet up and call each other over break, along with the other girls in the small group. I could probably meet Deanna too, at our studio or at the Yogurtland across from it.

So I’m feeling really refreshed and inspired right now. Life is great! I’ve been happy.
Christmas is in almost a week! Is that crazy or what?! My cousins are coming! My favorite people in the whole world! We’ll get to talk about Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Hunger Games, Potter Puppet Pals, and everything! We’ll eat yummy food! And then after, we can go shop at all the winter sales for stuff.

Yayness!
Amaranthine


PS. Want an Ipad? I do.

http://honeybeeinthecity.blogspot.com/2011/12/december-giveaway-apple-ipad-2-16gb.html




Sunday, December 11, 2011

update

hey-

just logging in to apologize and to ask you guys to pray for me <3. Today has been one long stress-fest XD. My brain hurts from exploding so many times.




Also, I just watched the new Potter Puppet Pals episode. I think each episode is purposely in competition to be the weirdest things I have ever seen.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

the four stages of santa claus

1. You believe in Santa Claus
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus
3. You are Santa Claus
4. You look like Santa Claus




Friday, December 9, 2011

Comic #1495

irregular webcomic FTW <3



Monday, December 5, 2011

call me insecure

 http://kids.baristanet.com/files/2010/10/leftout.jpg

I need your guys's reassurance right now.




I get attached very easily. I love people easily. I'm always willing to be someone's friend, to hang out, to give them the benefit of the doubt even if I don't like them much. I'll listen to them, help them out, whatever.



I just wish for once someone would do the same for me.


Maybe it's from being an unsocialized scary homeschooler. But I always read in the books where people would have friends that they always hung out with and would do anything for. And I've never had that.


People always have other friends. I know people and am able to get on an acquaintance level with almost everyone. I can always walk up and start a conversation with people. They tolerate me.


But they always have their own people that they sort of "target" out. They always gravitate to a specific group of people, and they talk about their school, their activities, whatever they have in common, I do try to sort of wiggle my way in, but I always feel like an outcast.


This is an on/off thing by the way. One week I find someone to hang out with and I feel like a part of the group, Other days I feel like the loneliest person in the world.


On the occasion I do find someone, most of the time, it's for a temporary while and we never see each other again. More often, I find out that they aren't who I thought they were and I have to leave.


Most of the time,  they're just not there. They're busy, with orchestra and schoolwork and dance and I try not to resent them for it though.

Loneliness is a cold feeling. It doesn't make me particularly sad right away. I'm feeling it right now, and I'll try to describe it to you. It's like when someone with cold hands touches you. Sort of like a cold little animal gnawing on your stomach. It's also incredibly weakening, to smile and laugh and look pleasant and be polite, when inside I'm dying.

I'm not obnoxious. I always try to keep a calm head and don't make weird noises or freak about about fandoms. I think I'm funny. I think I'm smart. I think I'm nice. I think I'm pretty/attractive. I think I'm an amazing person to know.

Apparently other people don't think so, and it affects the way I see myself.

I'll admit it now. That's why I love staying at home on the internet or reading rather than going to social situations. Internet/reading is kind of like a distraction or a facade. On the internet, I can pretend I'm popular, I'm friendly, I give advice,I'm smart, everybody loves me, who wouldn't? When I'm reading I can disappear into the world I'm reading about and I become someone else.

When I'm out with other people I feel the truth. To them, I'm mildly interesting. Tolerably attractive. Nice and friendly, but nothing unique. Jokes/witticisms fall flat.

This is what I have to remind myself to remember. I can only be my own person. I cannot account for how other people treat me or see me. I have absolutely NO control over whether or not people like me or hate me. The only thing I can do is be the best person I can be and trust. God made me who I'm meant to be. There's a reason I'm on this earth. Somehow, somewhere, I'll make a difference to someone.

And I can't waste time worrying about who likes me, who will be my friend. He will give me whoever he wants me to be around.

I say these things, but I can't say I truly understand them or feel peace with them yet. I'm working on it.

Pray for me.




okay, I read this post over, it's angsty. Sorry about that. Please don't feel like I'm trying to make everybody feel sorry for me or stroke my ego. I just need to write this to express myself. You don't need to tell me I'm amazing or awesome or whatever. Just pray that I'll finally be mature enough to come to grips with that truth I just wrote ^^.

and yes, this post was triggered by a specific event. I used to think one person was the most amazing, funniest, best artist in the world. I looked up to her to the point of idolatry. It was the best time of my life when she decided I could be her friend. She's still my friend, but as I've gotten to know her better I guess I'm disillusioned. She still likes me..i think. i still like her. I just have to add her to my prayer list...sigh.

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Howl's Moving Castle book analysis

“I feel ill. I'm going to bed, where I may die.”
― Howl, upon having a cold.
I've decided to call them "book analysis" because they're not really reviews that tell you how much I liked the book, rather,  me taking the book apart and looking at different aspects of it for my own entertainment. Read on. Also, read Howl's Moving Castle.



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Howl%27s_Moving_Castle_(Book_Cover).jpg/230px-Howl%27s_Moving_Castle_(Book_Cover).jpg



This is the original cover of Howl's Moving Castle and I have got to say it is the UGLIEST thing I have ever seen. I like the new one much better.

Ahem.


First of all, I should point out that Howl's Moving Castle is a children's book. However, I like to hold all books I read to the same standard, after all, they're written by adults.

I had biased expectations of Howl's Moving Castle from the start, because I kept hearing from several sources how amazing, how fantastic, how hilarious and how romantic the book was, and hearing the perfectly gorgeous soundtrack by Joe Hizazi(something or other.)

Howl's Moving Castle never seemed to be in the library at the same time I was, so  it's been a couple months since I've heard of it, and my anticipation swelled. So did the book live up to my expectations? Well, let's see.

A young woman named Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three daughters living in the town of Market Chipping in the magical kingdom of Ingary, where many fairy-tale tropes are accepted ways of life. She is turned into an old crone by the Witch of the Waste, a powerful witch. Sophie leaves the shop and finds work as a cleaning lady for the notorious Howl, famed in her town for eating the hearts of beautiful young women, trying to make a bargain to be returned to her authentic age.
-Wikipedia

The setting for this book is incredibly charming and sweet. It's an old fashioned fantasy setting, with many villages and meadows and kingdoms and castles. (There are some twists thrown in, but I'm not going to spoil it.) It feels incredibly light, and not bogged down at all with boring old history and customs and backgrounds that fantasy settings are often plagued by. It's not complicated at all, and you don't have to worry about keeping track of names, species, and armies and all that.

Howl's Moving Castle is one of the best examples of a character-driven book I have ever read. The characters are stellar.

Sophie is a lot like Laura Ingalls. She's sensible, hardworking, compassionate, and good natured. She appears to be timid on the outside but shows her resolve and humor many times during the story. She often feels insecure and is resigned to the fact that she is plain and boring (even though she is pretty.) Instantly relatable.

Howl....is very interesting. XD. I love him. Howl is, to paraphrase Wikipedia "self-absorbed, dishonest and a dramatic but ultimately good-natured person (and an extraordinary wizard)," Add "cowardly" "spendthrift" and "absent minded" to the list. He spends two hours every day in the bathroom doing his hair and cologne. He doesn't take care of his house and spends all the money he gets. His favorite hobby is courting girls(he's very smooth) and then breaking their hearts. One time he throws a huge tantrum because Sophie accidentally turns his hair dye one shade redder. Sophie's the perfect foil for his flamboyant airheadness.

With that said, I felt there were way too many characters in this story. Often times, they weren't focused on enough. The minor characters would disappear for chapters at a time, and popped in just when I'd forgotten about them.

The plot was strange and often rough in some places. And that's fine, but it was also very dragged out. Howl's Moving Castle is deceptively long for what happens in the book. The doesn't move fast enough. And I felt that way too much went on for me to appreciate it enough.

But yes, Howl's Moving Castle is worth reading for the brilliant characters, the quirky setting, and the funny side events that happen in the story. I found myself not wanting the book to end(The plot could jump off a cliff for all I cared, I just wanted to read more scenes with the characters.) It is funny. Howl repeatedly overreacts or does something stupid, and Sophie rolls her eyes and throws her sensible, sarcastic comments his way. It also is refreshing to have Sophie 90 years old for most of the story. Elderly people aren't boring, and she has a perspective the younger Sophie wouldn't have lent.


“By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. "I'll make some hot buttered toast," she said. "Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??" Howl asked. "Make toast!”
Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle is also incredibly clean. The evil Witch of the Waste has a slightly gruesome, slightly bothering fate in mind for Howl, and there are rumors that Howl eats girls' hearts(which, as we find out, is a euphemism.) But that's all.

Themes
This is where Howl's Moving Castle really falls short. The book is airy and, charming, but contains not much meaning other than the usual fairy tale stuff. Howl does change, but it's not really a change of character.(You'll understand once you read it.)  Sophie does start out insecure, believing that she's plain, not pretty, untalented, common, and doomed. But Howl calls it nonsense and said she just never stopped to think about herself before. Sophie's compassion, as in many fairy tales, does have positive repercussions. Most characters, even Howl, are decent to each other and kind to Sophie. Howl undercharges the poor.

Positivity can be found in Sophie's character. She stays calm through tough situations and works hard without ever complaining or grumbling, much to the contrast of Howl and other characters.


Conclusion
Go ahead, read it. It's summery and fills you with warmth. Howl will have you chuckling for a while. Sophie is someone we can all strive to be like.



"Well, he's fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,' she said. 'Half the time I think he doesn't care what happens to anyone as long as he's alright--but then I find out how awfully kind he's been to someone. Then I think he's kind just when it suits him--only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don't know, Your Majesty. He's a mess.”

-Sophie, about Howl.


In the end, I guess Howl's Moving Castle is a refreshing version of a classic fairy tale. It's about the day we all leave our small, familiar hat shops in search of a magical destiny, an exciting fortune, and a moving castle of our own.




 



Thursday, December 1, 2011

A post where I just talk.

Perhaps you do not know about the Amaranthine Forever post process. I love to write blog posts, but I need something to kickstart it. It is usually an event, but can also be an idea. The problem with getting ideas for posts is that I have a lot of ideas, but they need to be extremely good, so good that they're just begging me to write them and I can't ignore them.


I still have a lot of post ideas. They are good, but they are not putting the urgency on my soul that they normally have.


So here's a post where I just talk.




Hi.


Some days I just feel so clumsy and awkward, like I'm always saying the wrong thing to everybody, and making mistakes and being stupid and stubborn and causing everyone to hate me. I'm also very opinionated(headdesk). I like to believe that I'm the right one, my opinion is the only one that makes sense, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, it's just that their opinions are stupid",  which makes me a good blogger but a terrible friend. I have to check myself and make myself more open minded and less I don't know, dictator-like.


I have to watch myself, because I LOVE to give advice and tell people what to do, but I'm sure I drive everybody crazy doing it.


I wish I was good at everything. And this is literal. I wish I was good at everything. Because then I would be famous and people would like me.


I care about what people think of me. I wish everyone would like me. I know that's impossible, but when people are mad at me, even when it's not my fault, I hate it. Even if they're three years old, a jerk, a troll, a mean old lady who hates everybody, I want them to at least like me.

FYI-Being opinionated and stubborn, and also insecure, is a bad combination.

I read the Great Gatsby. Really good book. I dislike every single character in it, but it's a good book still.

I am allergic to spending my money. Seriously. My parents are very careful about their money and it's passed on to us. Both me and my brothers don't buy thing on a regular basis. (Except if it's books from the used library bookstore, and then it's like 25 cents a book.) I could bet you that my brothers haven't spent a dime in  the last six months, and I'd probably be right.

And no, it's not because our parents buy everything for us. It's because I can't find anything to spend money on. I always feel that everything is way to expensive for what it's worth. And I'm so alien to just the usual process of spending money, that buying anything feels unnatural. It's true that the best things in life(books and the internet) are free.


School's almost out, and then Winter Break! I'm looking forward to Christmas this year because my favorite people in the world, my cousins (Capt. Tarpals is one of them, you might have seen him around here) are coming.


This year we're asking for monetary donations toward our mission trip(which is a bummer, especially since I haven't figured out where I want to go.) So I might buy presents for myself. I would buy presents for other people, but I can't figure out what to get them, since half the Christmas presents I get and receive end up broken or sitting useless on a shelf, and I don't want that.



Oh, and I also have a secret santa for my favorite person I'm not related to. I want to get her something spectacularly awesome, but I don't know what. She's seventeen years old and an amazing person, hilarious, a great artist, and really great to be around. I'd like to get her like, a bar of gold or something.


This post is so rambly.......

I'm going to do a "Top 12 Things I'm looking forward to in 2012" post for new years.


Gift suggestions, anyone?


Love,
Amaranthine

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Proper Care and Feeding of a NaNoWriMo Participant(aka how to not annoy us)

This post is for people who don't do NaNoWriMo but know a participant. And yes, this post is a bit late.

With the end of NaNoWriMo approaching, you may be wondering "What can I do to help my Wrimo be more comfortable as they emerge from their writing dens/caves, smelling like coffee and blinking in the bright sunlight?"

I'm not trying to be mean or to tell people off, but if you want to avoid irking your Wrimo friends, and help them along their journey, some things to do and not do. This will also endear you to your Wrimo friends, and they will thank you and love you.

 I know some people are just curious and interested, and that's okay. When in doubt, just be polite and nice and don't make us do any work we don't have to.(Hey, we're tired.)

Do not ask why we would want to spend a month frantically writing if we get nothing out of it.  Don't ask "what do you get out of it?" I get a novel out of it. I get to stretch my writing skills and take on a fun challenge. And don't ask "why would you want to spend a month writing something that's no good?" It's a creative thing, okay?

 Do not ask if we're going to get it published. I know you're just curious, but it just reveals how little you know about the publishing industry. To answer your question here, the publishing industry is very tough to get into unless you have a very good product, and that's impossible to get in one month of cramming. Writing the novel is one thing, editing it is a whole different thing. Only the really dedicated ones get around to it. If you really want to ask this question, add "after editing."

Please don't bug us to read the manuscript right after we told you we've finished it. I admit, I'm guilty of this. Almost everybody is.

But here's the reason why. NaNoWriMo is a draining endeavor, and you spend a month pouring your soul into a novel. When you ask to read a NaNo, it's like asking for a piece of someone's soul, that someone spent a month pouring sweat into, stressing about, and thinking about. And it often turns out to be rough. Very rough. And most of the time, we are very shy and nervous about putting it under someone else's scrutiny. I know you're okay with reading someone's "in progress" novel, but we aren't okay with you reading it. Yet.

Plus, we're often so exhausted with the effort of just producing it, that we haven't even begun to think of editing and making it decent enough to share.

Asking nicely is fine, but saying "I can't wait to read it!" and things like you're entitled to read it just...you get the idea. If you ask nicely, I will send you a copy eventually, after my Writing Buddies and Lakehouse Sisters. ;)

Once you get the manuscript, do not, please do not start to criticize or make fun of the manuscript without being asked for it. This should be a given. I don’t care if it’s constructive criticism, that’s my soul you’re criticizing and I’m still exhausted from the effort of just getting it out there.

Do be supportive. NaNoWriMo is hard. We need you. Ask about wordcount. Ask about how the plot’s going. You might not want to ask for a detailed summary, but just the subject is fine.

Do ask for an excerpt if you’re curious.  Most of us keep excerpts handy for when people ask for them.

When we do ask you to edit, be strict about it. Remember. We must ask you for your help, and probably not until January when we’re done editing ourselves. Don’t be shy or too nice, or tell us that our novel is spectacular. If we’re asking you for help, it means we’ve bulked ourselves up enough to take it.

Unless you know we’re into this sort of thing, don’t ask us to proofread, cowrite, edit, or write your unfinished or unstarted novel. NaNoWriMo does not make us noveling experts and doesn’t mean we’d love to spend the rest of the year doing nothing but novels. You can ask us for tips. That is all. I edit and proofread occasionally, but it’s usually my friends’ work and I always ask first.

If we drop our NaNoNovel and never want to look at it again, that’s our own business. I don’t care if you think it’s our wasted effort and we’re just being lazy. Trust me, we love our own novels even more than you do We’ve probably tried everything to get it to work, but sometimes they just pass the point of no return, you know?

Do join NaNoWriMo. We love us our fellow Wrimos.

So I hope this helps. Fellow Wrimos, does this line up?

Trust me, I’m guilty of some of these. I’m not trying to embarrass you or be mean. If you feel guilty for doing some of these, no need to apologize! You’re not the only one. And now you are a NaNo savvy person! To help you on your way, here are some NaNo terms and jargon:

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. Tis a month to write a 50K novel. In November.
MC: Main Character
OC: Original Character
FMC: Female Main Character
Wrimo: NaNoWriMo participant.

TSoD: Traveling Shovel of Death. Don't know how to get rid of a character? Use a shovel !
WoD: Write or Die, a website
Word War: Two people sit for x amount of times and see who can get the most words.
Word Sprint. You sit by yourself and time yourself for your own words
TGIO: Thank God It's Over. Party time!

Scrivener: Writing application, free to Wrimos. Kind of like Microsoft Word on steroids.
Plot Bunny: An idea that sprouts from a plot that leads you in a different direction(shortened version)
Mary Sue/Gary Stu: Long explanation, basically a cliched perfect character, often the last one of her/his kind, or a half-something or runaway-princess or something

Script Frenzy or Screnzy-NaNoWriMo for scriptwriters/comic book writers. In April.
NanoFiMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, DecNoWriMo, etc. Spinoffs of NaNo, in different months.
Plotter: Someone who uses outlines.
Pantser: Someone who doesn't use outlines.

ML: Municipal Liaison, sort of an organizer.

Hope this helped :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

I won I won! :D :D 8D

 http://files.content.lettersandlight.org/nano-2011/files/2011/11/Winner_180_180_white.png

I hit 50K just now!


Yay yay party whooohooo! (jumps up and down, staggers around room)

My novel is about 4/5ths of the way done, but that doesn't matter, yay! Second NaNoWriMo done! Now I have to paste it into the word validator (gulp) My computer will not take too kindly to that....


Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving! :D :D

yay for turkey and pumpkin pie and stuffing!

It's really surreal celebrating Thanksgiving, since it feels like it was JUST Thanksgiving yesterday.


This is my second Thanksgiving with my blog and it seems like it was just yesterday that I was looking through all of your Thanksgiving posts at my grandparents house, huddled with my laptop. It's really, really freaky how fast time passes. And to think that my blog has documented it all.



The holidays aren't just more occasions to eat good food. They're really, really like placemarkers so we can look back and see where we were last year and be thankful for all the growth, experiences, and friends we've had since then.




Thank you :)
Comic #1495

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

yeah, it's so cool, yeah, it's totally awesome(NaNoWriMo update)

Hey everybody! Thanks for the awesome comments on my earlier post.



NaNoWriMo has been good to me. I can't believe it's almost over! So far, I've never been ahead, but yesterday I managed to catch up at 36,755 words.


As for plot and stuff, it's good! I'm afraid my novel might not flow as well as I like, but I haven't got that "AUGH EVERYTHING I WRITE IS CRAP" feeling yet.



In other news, LEIA AND JC WHERE ARE YOU??? We need to plan the you-know-what!!!!! >.>

Thanksgiving's tomorrow! I have not had any pumpkin pie yet and I hope not to be disappointed.

I might do yet another Hunger Games post, basically on the series as a whole. I'm still excited for the movie. Hopefully I may get one of my friends to come and see it with me.

Also, I might do a Star Wars post. Hey, did you know this was originally a Star Wars blog? Yeah, crazy, right? But I've gotten back into it over the last couple days.

Oh, and seriously, when are they going to make an Artemis Fowl movie? They've said they'll start "next year" for the last like, four years!!!!!!!! The series is ten years old!!!

I spent an hour I should have spent writing yesterday looking up Artemis Fowl fanart.(Oh, and hey, my blog initials are the same as Artemis Fowl's. My life is fulfilled.)

http://th09.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2010/227/1/c/Artemis_Fowl_by_dracaena_akira.jpg
http://dracaena-akira.deviantart.com/

I love this one, especially Juliet and Holly. Artemis's vest has got to be the nerdiest thing I've ever seen. And if you magnify it they screwed up the tagline. It's "Fowl by name, foul by nature"  not (squints) whatever she put.

This next one's later in the series.

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/142/1/f/artemis_fowl_and_holly_short_by_karlafrazetty-d39t8b4.jpg


He looks so angry D:.


http://karlafrazetty.deviantart.com/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Problems plaguing young Christians today, part 1

I beg you to hear me out. This is one of the most important post series I have ever done. If you never read anything else I write again, please read these next couple posts..

This post is for Christians. I don't care if you're liberal, conservative, whatever, whether or not you agree with what I've done in the past, if you define yourself as a Christian, no matter what else, please read this post. 


I have felt put upon to do this post for a long time, by the holy spirit. I don't have an outline, or a degree, or anything else. I just have what I've seen in my personal experience and what I have read in the Bible.

We, the next generation of Christians, are the next generation of lights in this broken world. We are the next generation of warriors. You, straight-B you, off-key-singer you, behind-par-on NaNoWriMo you, average height, average weight, seemingly untalented Christian you, are going to have to learn to stand up for your God in a world that is more vicious, more confused, more problematic, more lost than ever before.

But I have seen so much to make me think and worry that we as the church's next generation aren't ready to take on this challenge. We're stuck in the world's nets, we're stagnant, we're fearful, we're lost ourselves. Some days we feel so far from God we don't know what's true or not. So I've written this post as your sister in Christ to address some of these issues. I write what I write not out of judgment, not out of arrogance, not out of hatred but out of love and my genuine concern for you, and for the rest of the world.

So why is this post important?

Christians are on this earth for a reason. If all we needed to do was accept Jesus, secure a ticket to heaven, and just do whatever for the rest of our lives, God would have just stuck us in heaven immediately. But we were here for a purpose. There are many purposes, but the one I'm going to address is life is a test.

Life is a test run, a tryout before the real thing. Heaven isn't just a place of comfort and relaxation, heaven is where we, as humans, finally get to be in a place where we are what we were meant to be. But first we need to grow and get strong and ready on Earth first. We need to do our best to follow God's will and God's plan, because God's plan is the only plan that leads to triumph.  Christians have to trust God's plan and follow it to the best of our ability. And God is very clear that he has the best intentions for you.

"The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10"

God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows what you need. Following God's plan  will bring you a life that is thrilling, joyful, and just right.


So here I am as I write three(maybe just two) of the roots of the biggest obstacles we face.

1. Confusion, doubt, and uncertainty

My stomach is literally in knots right now. My heart breaks for the hundreds of you out there who are so lost and confused about God. This is one of the biggest problems. Address this and the path will be a lot clearer.

SO MANY CHRISTIANS don't know what God wants, don't know what God's rules and plans are, and don't know who God is.

I have seen Christians fall and disagree and stumble when it comes to the topics of:
-other religions
-abortion
-homosexuality
-the purpose of life
-good and evil
-Satan
-war/violence


A lot of "Christians" don't believe in the whole Bible, only the parts that make them feel warm and cozy inside.

A lot of "Christians" don't believe that God has a definition, and he's some sort of shapeshifting ninja that exists to make everybody happy and sunshiney.

A lot of "Christians" think that even though everyone believes different things about Christianity and God, they're all true and right.

I wouldn't be surprised if you fell into one of those three categories, or maybe all of them. A lot of you don't want to believe The Bible and what the Bible says about God because in order for those things to be right, maybe your friends, your family, even you yourself would have to be wrong.

"The Bible's version of Christianity is screwy." you might say. "It excludes too many people. The whole point of religion is to make everybody feel happy and awesome, so I prefer to believe my own concoction of different religions and stuff that I came up with myself." 

Well, may I ask you, do you believe in truth? Not the truth about Christianity, just normal truth in general. Like, the truth about this wall that I'm leaning against as I write this.

Truth is the basis of everything. Without truth, we have no right, no wrong, no nothing. Without truth, everything gets instantly blurry, like a telescope out of focus.

The truth is exclusive, too.

This wall that I'm leaning against is about ten feet high. That's the truth. That's the way it is. You can't come along and tell me "This wall doesn't exist." or "this wall is only four feet high, not ten." or "This wall is really a magical hologram that will part to let me through". All those people are excluded from the truth, and will get a nasty shock when they try to pass through the wall.

The truth isn't good. The truth isn't bad. The truth is just there.

God is the truth. (remember "I am the way, the truth and the life?")

The truth is true. The truth is not comfortable. The truth is not tolerant. A lot of people bend the truth to suit their purposes, but that makes it not true anymore.


If you are a Christian, you believe Christianity is true. And the truth is rigid. You don't have to like it. The truth isn't there to make you happy.

And what happens when different "truths" collide? One of them has to not be true anymore. Someone has to be wrong. That's the way it works.

I have to laugh when people say that they believe all religions are true. It doesn't work that way, because they are all exclusive of each other. All religions can't be true. Some religions say there is only one  God. Some say there are many. Some say there is no purpose in life. Others say, "there is a purpose, it's this". Let me repeat this. THEY CAN'T ALL BE TRUE.

"But Amaranthine. Excuse me? What about that illustration where there's two different people looking, at different sides, from a ball that's been painted two colors, and one says the ball is blue, and the other is red, and it's all just a matter of perspective? What if all those religions are just different ways of looking at the same thing?"


The truth is not about what something looks like or feels like or sounds like.  Things may look, sound, and feel like whatever, but it's what they really are that's true.
Truth is about the way things are. God, Christianity, life, are definite.


And yes, truth automatically means that some people have to be wrong. When something's right, something else is automatically wrong. When something's true, something else is automatically false. And if everything's true, nothing is.

What's religion? Is it just an accessory to help you on your way?

If you are a Christian, you believe that Christianity, and the Bible, the WHOLE Bible,  is the truth about how the world was and what life is. And there's just one truth, because they don't all make sense together. Christianity is not a Lego set where you can pick the parts you like and forget about the rest, or make your own super-deluxe-customized religion.

You need to understand this before you move on with your life. If you can't, well back to ultra-confusion for you. If believing this makes you angry or upset or uncomfortable, congratulations, you've found out why people choose not to believe it.

If you're still not sure, you need to be sure. Christianity is your foundation. It is what you build your whole life on. When you don't have what you believe, you don't have much of anything. And that's why so many so called Christians are lost.

Maybe you have a lot of questions. That's good. Please, please ask those questions. Read your Bible. Read Christian books. You owe it to yourself to find out what you signed up for the day you said "I am a Christian." And if you need to ask someone a question, please ask me anything about Christianity and let me help you.

Christianity is not about happiness! It's not about comfort! Christianity is about becoming who you were meant to be, finding your purpose, growing mature spiritually and emotionally, surrendering control of your life and your future, and becoming close to God.

 And in order to do that, you need to really, really know.

Am I a Christian? Do I believe that Jesus was God's son sent to die on the cross? Do I believe that God created me? Do I believe that the Bible was written under the supernatural guidance of God and is without error? Do I believe that man is inherently sinful but can only redeemed by faith through Christ? Do I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Do I strive to be like Christ? Do I believe that God has a plan and wants a personal relationship with me?

I don't know all the answers. But I'm not going to content myself with just what other people have said, or what I've read in some book, or even what I "feel" in my heart, because remember that "the heart is deceitful above all things, Jeremiah 17:9".  So I beg you as my equal to ask yourself these questions about what you believe.

And it's not like a disagreement over Harry Potter or which is the best Poptart flavor, this is eternal life and death we're talking here.

I want you to be able to say, "I believe this, without a shadow of a doubt, even when it comes to controversial subjects." Once you have a firm foundation, then, and only then, will you prepared to glimpse the glory and the power that God has to offer.

And that's the truth.







PS. I intended to do the other problems(passiveness/timidity pertaining to evangelism) as part of this post, but I discovered I had way too much to write, so I"m just going to continue this tomorrow.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Writing Tips(Guest post by Ashley)

I've been blogging for over a year, and I've never ever had a guest post. Ashley has the honor of being my first one! Note that the opinions in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of moi. -Amaranthine

Hi! Ashley here. I'm guest posting, which, I think is simply loverly.  (BTW, isn't loverly a great word?).

So, Amaranthine here asked me to do a post on Writing.  I'll profess, I'm not a professional.  I'm still learning how to write a lasting novel.  But, I'll share what I've learned, and maybe it will be something you don't know yet, and I can aid you  on your journey!

Tip 1:
Know your characters

I can't emphasize this enough.  When I started out writing when I was about 8, I controlled my characters to such an extent that they had no life of their own. (If you're not a writer, you will think the rest of this tip really weird, but, if you're not a writer, why are you reading this?).  I almost gave up writing, because my characters were so stupid and they literally were ultra boring.  They had no life outside of what I wanted them to be.  They never branched out and became.  I got really down and out.  And, for about 2 years, I wrote nothing.  Do you know how hard that is? To have ideas, yet refuse to write them due to a feeling of failure?  Well, I got this great idea on day, the sort that keeps you awake at night.  The type that branches, and grows.  The idea that begs to become something.  I decided to give writing one more shot.  And if that didn't work, I'd quit. For good.  Well, I got to know my characters.  I wrote SO many character sketches, I had stacks everywhere.  Then, something happened.  My characters.  They were...different.  They were people.  Not figments of my imagination.
I felt like Alice, I was in a new world. 

It was awesome. And weird.  My characters became like my Mad Hatter, my White Queen, I was thinking, "Hey! This is my story! What are you guys doing here ruining everything?!"  Contrary to what I thought, though.  After I was one with my peoples, my writing improved, I mean, it must've! Here I am now.  Thoroughly dedicated!

Some ways to get to know your characters are to scour the internet until you find a picture that fits your mental image of them.  We are naturally visual creatures.  If we can 'see' something, it seems more real.
Character sketches~ you can NEVER do to many.
And, if your character is trying to tell you something, listen, that might just open a door to your own personal wonderland!

Tip 2:
Music is a must!

I have almost gotten to the point that I can't write beautifully without music! It is just so dramatic! It helps you add drama to your writing, just try it.  Even now, as I am writing this post, I'm listening to songs by Danny Elfman.  Boy, I love that guy's music.

Tip 3:
Stop, drop, write!

Brilliant ideas often come at the oddest times.  While washing dishes, doing school, walking through walmart.  Naturally, you can't run home and write down your great idea if your shopping, but I carry a small notebook in my purse at all times!  I'm a fast writer, so it is no time at all to write down that perfect line or idea that just popped into my head!  I've even stopped washing dishes, ran to my room, and written a whole page of perfectness!  Always be prepared to write down that inspiration.  I don't always do that, and I pay the full price.

Tip 4:
Read how you want to write

It's true! Read Dickens, right like Dickens.  Read what you want to write.  Read mostly romance, guess what you'll write?

Tip 5:
Don't just write. Be an imaginer.

Yes.  If you really want to 'get' it, you have to always imagine.  It opens up our minds.  I'm rarely bored while in Walmart.  I imagine what people are doing, why they look so happy, what in the world happened to make their faces a permanent frown.  My mind is constantly writing other people's stories!

Tip 6:
When block calls, give it a break

Whenever I get writer's block, I give my writing a break. It usually signifies I need to refill my creative thoughts, and that I'm pushing it too hard. Relax! When you get writer's block, do something you never get to do due to writing.

Tip 7:
Encouragement

For most people, I guess this isn't a problem, but I'm stingy with who gets to read my stuff.  And the few is VERY few indeed. I think only one or two people actually read the whole thing.  And, I therefore, don't get much encouragement from others. This is something I really wish I had, and am working on right now!


And, just write.  Never forget your a writer.  Its a great calling.  A writer has the abilities to change the world, or calm it.
Write what you know.
Write what you love.
and, if possible, love what you write.



Hello! Ashley here.
I'm many things in many ways.
Writer, photographer, Big Sister, Daughter, Christian, Major Trekkie, And top secret member of the Q. Don't tell anyone!, Column writer to THIS magazine, I blog at Cheery-O, My writing blog is Pencil Ink, My photography blog is It's Natural,  I post my book reviews at The Epic Reader,  I help the role play at Cleiti (I write Erin and Maithrim!). And, at Inkblots I post on Tuesdays. Sometimes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

so i am pretty excited( rambly post)

the legit trailer for THG is out...I know what I said about the books and I still stand to what I said but the movie still looks like it will be pretty good. I know it will turn more people to the books, and that's good because the first book at least carries extremely important messages about violence, poverty, and wealth. but it's also bad because those messages are wrapped up in a disturbing and slightly freakish package that's not for young eyes, and the risks might be more than the rewards.


(get off your soapbox amaranthine. You're being a hypocrite, telling people that they shouldn't read them when you're being excited about them and promoting them yourself.)

I know what it looks like, but those people who read THG and feel the same way i did about them are still a little excited for the movie, and those who really liked it are pretty much in a frenzy about it.

also the movie will probably be not as bad as the books, because the reason the books were so disturbing is not because they were violent. There is actually not that much depicted violence in the book. The reason the books are disturbing are because SC is an extreemmmellly talented and fantastic writer and she has a way of making EVERYTHING(not just deaths) freakish and disturbing when she wants it to be. But this is a movie, so a lot of that will probably not be translated.


ok ok, what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to be one one of those who are really excited and happy and squealy for the movie because they LOVE The Hunger Games and who think that the books are just extremely awesome books and the movie will be an extremely awesome movie just like any other movie. Because it won't be. I've never read any books like it.

I like to liken THG to like a brain sucking parasite that latches on to your brain for like a week after you read it. For that week you are depressed, full of morbid thought, can't sleep, and just cannot. stop. thinking. about THG, you replay the worst scenes in your head over and over.

And then, it just sort of dissolves. You are free from the effects. All of a sudden, The Hunger Games doesn't seem that bad and you find yourself actually excited for the movie and looking up tumblrs and posters and THG trailers, when back when you read it, just the reminder of THG made you fearful and depressed.

I'll be sure to read christian reviews before I go see it, just sayin.

(gets off soapbox)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Who's insane? I'm insane!


NaNoWriMo is kind of a break from this blog. I'm sorry  I haven't been posting much, I even lost a follower yesterday.(cries) I'm sorry!


Life has been ridiculous this past couple of days, with Honors Projects due right and left, a piano competition coming up, and pressure to stay on track for NaNoWriMo. I haven't done today's writing yet...which reminds me. XD I also have to get to Chinese homework....gahh.. XD


In other circles of optimism, I got to meet Abby aka The Director from Castles Quills and Cameras + family on Monday, and it was the epicest thing ever! She's so awesome and funny and giggly in real life, and I can't wait for her to come back. You rock, Abby! <33 I wish you mucho chocolate chip cookies and Artemis Fowl and books and Taylor Swift songs and A Very Potter Musical forever <333

Oh yeah and I got an offer to do  a guest post from one of you...I'd love for you to, but I have yet to email you back even though you commented like two weeks ago....gah, hopefully you're still there.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WTLvjjL8dt8/Tj9tmSIST1I/AAAAAAAAEDU/YjH_IMW8uGE/s1600/starkid-potter1.jpg
AVPM has made me interested in musicals...I even got an instrumental for "The Coolest Girl" and I sing along to it when no one is watching. I have replaced all the bad words with lyrics of my own and others' invention.

http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lfulhhoKfv1qc1zu7o1_500.jpg
oh and arghh i'm busy life is crushing me argh ah ah school and stuff due and behind and piano and grr I never have time to breathe....or capitalize my words.


see, I'm experimenting with stream-of-conscuiousness technique XD.

Let me be the next in the blogosphere to declare...NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul.

Did you know that your high school years are supposed to be the best years of your life? Only in retrospect. High schoolers never have the time to realize it because they're just so dang busy.

So take time to appreciate and enjoy your life now, because it actually doesn't get much better than this while we're on earth. And if you think I'm INSANE, think what you have that a lot of people would LOVE to have.

Plenty of food, a nice bed to sleep in, clothes to wear that are a little stylish, friends you love, a great education, a family that loves you most of the time, a good sense of humor, Lauren Lopez, talents, a chance to do fun things you enjoy, creativity, my blog, strawberry smoothies, a warm house, warm fuzzy boots and sweaters, a computer, teh internez, moderate-to -good-intelligence, God, purpose in your life, your health, your hair, Harry Potter, AVPM/AVPS....
So no matter how crappy you believe your life is now, try to be a little content and joyful. You'll live. You'll get through it. Life is full of ups and downs, and you've just got to pull through. Also, remember that everything is magnified during your teenage years. Whatever the issue, 90% of the time it's your hormones acting up. For most sad times, it's nothing some chocolate, a nap, a deep breath, and some funny youtube videos won't fix.