Monday, January 31, 2011

January Report

 http://wolfsongs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/the_titans_curse.jpg
 My favorite book this month.

UPDATE: Wait, never mind..."Her Universe" is still ahead of "Just Be Yourself" with 111 pageviews. Grr. I'll post All-Time stats at the one year anniversary. In the spring

I'm going to start copying Peace Love and Books' Evie with this..

Yay! The first month of 2011 is over! It's been awesome!

First off....the traffic report for this month. Remember that the stat counter does not track my own visits.

Total Pageviews:
1,929
Most Popular Post: "Just Be Yourself"(duh) with 103 post views. Which means someone clicked on the post title(either to read or post comments). It finally beat "Her Universe"!(with eighty something views)

Top Traffic Sources:
Storing Up Treasures: 94
Organa Major: 86 

Top Search Keywords:
"Nian Gao": 42 (how did that happen????)
"Nightsisters Review": 2
"overlords tcw review
": 2









"tcw overlords":2
 
Top Audiences:
United States: 1,599 non-unique views.
Netherlands: 49 views

 Top Browsers and operating systems:
Internet Explorer
Firefox
Safari 


Windows
Mac
iPad


Highlight: Getting featured on Storing Up Treasures! DuchessSatineKenobi, JediChick, Winter, and Atina started their own blogs!


Goals for next month: More followers and more posts and less electric shocks.


Books read: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, Esperanza Rising, Dark Nest: The Joiner King, Republic Commando: Order 66, Republic Commando: True Colors, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Mysterious Journey.


Favorite book read: The Titan's Curse

And as usual my favorite thing is you and your comments. <3. I dunno if I'll be participating in that "comment on every post" thing. Is Ashley TRYING to kill me? XD


I always try to leave as many comments as I can though. 


Amaranthine
 



 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How can intelligent people believe in miracles?

I mean, like, those things can't really happen, right? Walking on water, bringing people back to life, that's impossible!

Well, one hot day there was a dog talking to a flower. The dog said: "Whew, it's so hot! I think I'm going over to sit in the nice shade of that tree."
The flower said: "You can't do that! That's impossible! You have to stay right where you were planted, in the same spot." 
 "Oh, yeah?" countered the dog. "Watch me." So he trotted over to take a nap under the tree.
"Wow!" said the flower. "That's a miracle!"

Soon, the dog's owner came to wake the dog up. "Yo", said the human. "Let's go hunting!"
"All right!" said the dog, and wagged his tail. 
"Wait!" said the human. "One sec. I have to check the newspaper for the weather first."
"What?" said the dog, confused. "You can't do that! How can you get any information out of that wrinkly gray worthless sheet of paper?"
But the human checked the paper, and said. "Yay! It'll stay sunny today! Let's go!"
The dog was overwhelmed. "Woah! That's a miracle!"

They went hunting, and soon, the human shot a duck which landed on the lake. "Go get the duck." said the human.
"What?" said the dog. "No way. It's wayyy too cold."
"Hey!" said the human. "But that's your job!"

Just then, Jesus appeared. "It's all right, the dog doesn't have to go in the lake." he said.
So he walked across the surface of the lake and got the duck and came back.
"Wow!" said the human. "What a miracle!"

This story may be funny, but the moral is: We can't try to understand God and the world through our own limitations and experiences. We can't just define God and miracles through our own terms because we are imperfect and our understanding is limited.What may be impossible for us is as easy as pie for God.

Amaranthine

This story belongs to Search Ministries. This story has been modified from its original content. I paraphrased it the way I remembered it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

TCW Review: Overlords

(deep breath)
Overlords was one of the most bizarre, disconcerting, and mystical Clone Wars episodes I have ever seen. What that means, we'll go into now.
The  bantha in the corner-the show's misguided, emphasized spirituality-will be addressed later.

The plot
Watching TCW:Overlords was like watching a completely different show. The Nightsisters trilogy kicked off a new era of the Clone Wars, one apparently drenched in mysticism and "exploring the force." There could be a couple problems there.

Overlords was also a very different path from the general flow of in-universe Star Wars.. If a raised-on-the-movies adult fan who had never seen TCW before watched this, their expression would be along the lines of What. The. Sith. Is. This.

In other words, swipe in Kyp Durron for Obi Wan, Tahiri Veila for Ahsoka, and Jacen Solo for Anakin and you've got yourself a typical Expanded Universe plot.

Here it is:
So-Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano are cruisin along on their space shuttle hoping to meet Rex at a rendezvous point. Well when they get there, Rex is gone and in his place is this...big...thing.... It looks about the scale of the Death Star. It's black and angular-like two pyramids with their bases against each other. A tractor beam sucks the shuttle in, simultaneously knocking everyone out cold....

And that's where normal ends and Mortis begins.
They wake up in a mystical world(Mortis?) where the seasons change with the time of day. They are greeted by a translucent female figure with lettuce for hair. She's apparently been expecting Anakin, who she calls "the chosen one." On the way to meet her father, they are split up by an avalanche(caused by her evil brother) A storm comes, and Obi and Ahsoka seek shelter while Anakin follows Lettuce-Head to the palace.

Obi Wan and Ahsoka make their way back to the landing place, only to find their ship gone. They meet Lettuce-Head's evil brother, who stole the ship. He says something mildly menacing and turns into a bat and flies away(apparently he and his sister change shapes.)

That night, they are all greeted with disturbing visions(these scenes are the most effective part of the show). Obi Wan is greeted by Qui Gon, Ahsoka is met by an older version of herself, Anakin is met by his mother.

The next day, Anakin "clears" some things up with the king(or whatever he is. Lettuce-Head's father.) He is a mystical non-Jedi, non-Sith force user. Apparently, his two children harness the force very strongly. Lettuce-Head is the light side, and her brother is the dark side. Mortis is the force.(I know, weird.)

Their father imprisoned them on Mortis to keep them from destroying the world. That I can understand. He calls Anakin "The Chosen One". Anakin denies it, so he takes a test and ends up taming BOTH Lettuce-Head and her brother. So he's the chosen one. Yay! The king dude is willing to let them leave. BUT-The king dude claims that Anakin is DESTINED to be his successor. So they can leave, or stay.

End credits.

The good
I did not enjoy this episode. There were so many questions, and when TCW tried to answer them, more appeared. There was a lot of talk about destiny and the force and blah blah blah....There are some episodes that were just...ineffective, but "Overlords" comes the closest to being negative. Oh wait, this is the "Good" section.
The vision scenes were very effective. They were meant to be disturbing(especially the Shmi one) and boy, did they disturb me. (Especially since the Shmi scene is supposed to be the "lesson" somehow.)

The bad
Shee........
Okay, I talked about the mysticism and I'll talk about the spirituality, but just plotwise....I'd expect this from the EU. Not from TCW. The other episode this far fetched was "Brain Invaders" last season. But because the characters were minor characters, it didn't seem that much of a big deal. But with the "Big Three" characters, this episode was...goofy? Wrong? What to think? And because this is top level canon we're talkin about here, this story will last forever...and ever...and ever......


Okay, here's the Christian perspective:
Reviews are supposed to be detached, with no religious or personal bias "ruining" the review. But "Overlords" delves so much into the spiritual that it's impossible not to go into it. So here's the cut:
If I were a Christian parent, I would not be happy with my children watching this. The spirituality in "Overlords" is quite explicit and decidedly un-Christian. The whole episode revolves around the white and black and grey of the Force, and Anakin's role of chosen one.

"Overlords" was created to be deep and spiritual-but it's mostly confusing. The Force has always been portrayed as mysterious-never mind the gaping holes in its theory. Is this bizarre story the best thing Star Wars can offer spiritually? It's extremely out of character, especially for a franchise that up until now has been borderline mystical without being overtly spiritual.

Lucasfilm tried to address this. It was a nice try. One thing that disturbs me is that as wrong as it is-Star Wars is the closest thing some people have as a religion. Is this how their spiritual needs are being met?

One thing's for sure: if there's anything Christians can get out of this episode, it's thanks that our God is NOTHING like the Overlords of Mortis. Instead of this cloudy, undefined, distant "force", we have a personal savior, and a clear path for our lives that can only end in victory. More than anything else, "Overlords" has convinced me of this.

Amaranthine

Gwenea's giveaway ends tomorrow

just so you all know. You can add two extra comments.

Today was a long day of mostly skiing. Clone wars in an hour!

Leia-I don't want you to do ANY research at all into Percy Jackson And The Olympians. Even I waited to read the wikipedia entry until i had finished reading the series. There are so many plot twists! you don't want to spoil it for yourself. Just pick up The Lightning Thief and read.

Luckily they are easy to find.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I just finished reading The Last Olympian

It was awesome. It is officially my favorite non Star Wars book series. :)

Oh, don't get me wrong

I'm having a lot of fun. XD I had to come back inside for my homeroom class. I'm waiting for it to start now. It's on a  program called Elluminate. Kinda like skype.


I love homeschooling.

I'm sorry for not responding to comments. I've been busy busy!

Here are some-
Migillicutty-I use the NIV and NLT  bible. However, in the post that you commented on, I was using the translation my pastor used. But I forgot which one. XD

The rest of you-Thanks for all your comments! I read them and they help me get through the day. :L)

I am in strong belief that

No one should have to stress out about school on vacation. The next semester begins today. Luckily, all the teachers mostly just twiddle their thumbs for the first week of every semester while they wait for everyone to get "acquainted with the system".


I'm really tired. *yawn*
 These people who rented us the cabin have a LOT of VHS tapes. Like, a lot.

I didn't sleep very well last night because of the time difference. I still don't know what time it is.

No,  Migillicutty, we drove through in the evening. :)

Remember, this is not my usual posting thing. :) Normal posting resumes when I get back.

Right now my brain is too fried to write anything of significance.

Good bye.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Utah

Condo smelly.
Ride long.
Is tired.
Is hungry.
Camera broken.
Has lots of VHS tapes.
TV works-will be watching TCW on Friday!
Condo is cramped but cozy.


Good night.  We drove through Las Vegas, Migillicutty!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Going to Utah tomorrow

Please pray for a safe trip!

You know something's the matter with you when your first thought is which books you are going to pack.
I'm really excited for snow and skiing. I know most of you get snow, but I took this picture of the outside yesterday-
 That's pretty much year-round weather right there. 

Snow. I want SNOW.

We're going to be in Utah for Chinese New Year. But that's all right, because we celebrated already.
The best part of Chinese New Year is this:
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_AUvAkIYGHqU/SX1G3P0X4DI/AAAAAAAAB7M/X8jgXWSw0L8/cnyng.jpg
Yummy!

Chinese New Year cake.  年糕, or "nian gao" as it says on the picture. It's not really cake.Well, it is, but not by the American definition of cake. It's steamed rice flour and sugar, and sticky, and it's delicious! I had a big plate this morning. I can eat it for the rest of my life. 

When I think of Mandalorian uj cake, I think of that.  
There are many different kinds, but this is the kind I eat. You cut it into pieces and microwave it. <3

Now, we don't put anything inside the cake, but a lot of people put nuts and dried fruit in it. XP.
Go to the store and buy a brick of it.

___________________________________
I didn't have anything to post today. I'm going to resume my usual posting schedule when I get back
.

Random Star Wars quotes:
Tycho Celchu: Jaina, this is Colonel Celchu.This transmission is scrambled and coming through your astromech. General Antilles is issuing a direct order. Do not reenter the combat zone. Return to base. Do you understand?
Jaina Solo: Don't tell me the odds.
Tycho Celchu: [sounding confused] I didn't tell you the odds.

Jaina Solo: Good.
 
 
“His last word,” Anakin said. “It took a lot out of him to say even that. He really wanted me to know something. I think Yag’Dhul may be in danger.”
Corran’s eyes narrowed, reflecting a sudden, plunging-stomach suspicion. “Anakin, where is this jump taking us?”
“You said Coreward,” Anakin replied innocenetly.
“Tell me we aren’t going to pop out in the Yag’Dhul system.”
“We aren’t going to pop out in the Yag’Dhul system,” Anakin told him.
“Good,” Corran said, relieved.
“We’re going to come out really near it, though.” Anakin added.
“Why you—” Corran held back a series of specifically Corellian words that he really wanted to use. But Tahiri was only fourteen. Would he make it through Valin’s and Jysella’s teenage years without turning to the dark side? Probably not.


Luke Skywalker: [holding up a sledge hammer] Behold the favorite weapon of Jedi before the invention of the lightsaber.
Tahiri Veila: You're kidding.
Luke Skywalker: Of course I'm kidding. C'mon. The Jedi sledge-hammer?

Oh, and I heard the Black Eyed Peas song "Where is The Love" for the first time. Go listen to it. It was the first song they became famous for, and it actually has a Christian-like message, especially the chorus"Father, Father, Father help us/send some guidance from above"

Boy has their music changed.

My list of obssessions
 -Star Wars
-Percy Jackson and the Olympians
-Fish
-Costuming
-Music
-Photography
-The internet
-Darths and Droids





 




 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quiet Time

Well well well. I go away for one weekend and look what happened!
There are sooooo many blog posts to catch up on. Luckily I have an Earth Science final to procrastinate for.

I was away celebrating an early Chinese New Year. Of course it's next week, but we'll be in Utah. On Saturday I went to a friend's Bat Mitzvah and in the evening I went to a Chinese New Year party at my church. Atina was there and we did a quick SW book swap. I gave her back Triple Zero and Battle of Teth and she lent me True Colors and a book from a series I have never heard of before(called Secret Missions or something like that.)

On Sunday, we went to LA for a day. And my grandma had all six Star Wars DVD's that she had never watched. So she gave them to us. :) They're the really nice special editions, too,

Okay, so on to the post.
--

I have always tried to have a constant quiet time with God. But it's always been so hard. I get distracted, or I don't know what to read, or I don't know what to pray about. But this weekend at church my pastor gave a really good sermon that would help, and I thought I would share it with you. :)

The most important time of the day is your time alone with God.
It sets the mood for the rest of the day. God tells you handy advice that will help you handle whatever life has to throw at you. The best way to prepare for life's ups and downs is to spend time with him every morning.  But you have to know how to do it, or else you won't be changed by it.


Find a quiet place to do it. Read outside, in a quiet room, in a closet, anywhere.
Don't read in bed. You'll fall asleep or be tempted to read Republic Commando instead. 


So every morning, you should:
  
-Read God's Word
Don't start the Bible at the beginning. You'll run smack into all the rules and genealogies. Start reading Proverbs and John, a chapter a day, starting tomorrow.Proverbs offers countless wisdom, and John is about Jesus. After this I plan to go on to Romans and the Epistles.
-Be quiet before God
Think about what you've read.
-Talk with God
More on how to do that below.  But you have to remember to listen to God too. Don't just talk and talk and talk.
-Review my daily goals with him.

How to talk to God? Do I just pray, ask him what I need, or what?

Well, the Bible actually tells us how to pray! Pretty nice, huh?


You have to do a bit of deciphering though.(Which I thought my pastor did pretty well.)


The Lord's Prayer(s): A Template for Daily Change
If you want to change your life, you need to pray this every day.


Matthew 6:7-9 says:


 7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this:


What follows is The Lord's Prayer.
Now, notice that it says "pray LIKE this." Not "pray this exact prayer." So how do you pray like the Lord's Prayer?





Think about how much God loves me.
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..."
 

That should be the first thing you do. Think about how God created you in HIS image. A masterpiece. If you think you are a mistake, remember that God doesn't MAKE mistakes. God will never love you any more or any less. You can't earn or lose God's love, because God's love isn't based on what you DO, but who HE is.





Offer all my life to be used for his purpose today.
"May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

This is one of the hardest for me. I want to take control of my own life and am frustrated when my plans fail. I worry and worry and worry.
So I have to stop including God in my plans, and ask to be included in HIS plans. His plans are perfect. They are always successful. I won't need to worry, because I'm on God's side. And God certainly never loses.



Tell God I'm expecting him to meet all my needs.
"Give us this day our daily bread"

God likes it when we trust him.



Receive God's forgiveness and release others.
"And forgive us our sins as we also forgive those who sinned against us."




Ask God for strength to reach my goal.

"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil"


Satan will tempt you to do anything but reach your goals. The second you make a goal, Satan starts planning all sorts of cheerful temptations and traps to turn you from it. (Want to edit your novel? Well too bad. You're going to Utah and you have finals and oh, did I mention your copies of The Joiner King and The Unseen Queen and The Last Olympian came?)


Thank God for ultimate victory
"For YOURS is the kingdom and the glory and power FOREVER AND EVER! Amen."

No matter what happens today, we win in the end. No matter WHAT, someday we'll live without pain or sorrow or regret. A perfect world, the way God intended it. And it lasts FOREVER. Our trials today can't even begin to compare with the joys we will have later. And nothing, nothing can take that away. And that is why we can be joyful even when things go wrong.



Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And that's where I ended my quiet time today.  I loved that sermon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

yayayayayay!

Yay, Jedi Chick started a blog!
Go follow it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

TCW Review: Monster

 Beware the spoiler monster.
http://dailypop.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/savageoppress.jpg

What an episode. 

"Monster" continues the trilogy that started with "Nightsisters." It also continued the trend that has been going this season, shifting the focus off  "Clones vs. Droids" "Jedi vs. Sith" and even "Republic vs. Separatist." Indeed, Season 3 had us looking into the intricate details of this bizarre war.

And looking more into the Sith. What goes on in their minds? we ask. How do they train other Sith? How is it different from the way the Jedi turn others to their side?

"Monster" answers those questions in a way that is chilling and new and utterly unexpected.

The plot
Asajj Ventress, along with her mentor, Mother Talzin, plot to exact revenge on Count Dooku by giving him a new apprentice-one secretly controlled by them. They select the apprentice by putting a group of Zabrak men through a series of brutal gladiator-like elimination tests. The victor, Savage Oppress-after being brutally beaten and manipulated into killing his best friend-is presented to Dooku, who "turns him loose" experimentally on a bunch of clones and Jedi guarding a tower. Mission successful-let's go beat that nasty Republic.


My feelings during the elimination, when the Zabrak got picked off one by one, was "Blast. I knew this was going to happen." And we did. Isn't "fight till the last one standing" just natural for Sith?
But how it happened....

Savage started out as just "one of the herd." The only way we could tell him apart was his touching brotherhood with his friend(who I thought was named "Pharaoh" but apparently it's "Feral"). He and Feral work together until they're the last ones in the arena.  It was good for us to see how normal Savage was prior to his brainwashing by the Nightsisters. He wasn't some mysterious, ages-old monster. I was like "Yeah, we get this dude. We can relate to him."

It was also heartrending to see Asajj carrying out the killing games. You could see the fear in the group of Zabraks' eyes when the lights went out, and they were just standing in the dark, just waiting for Asajj to strike with her death-reaper scythe thing. And she was enjoying it. She liked torturing Zabrak. She liked having a bunch of pawns to control. And that's normal for a Sith, but isn't that what she was trying to get back at Dooku for? The viewers realize that she's taking a lot of pleasure from something that brought her so much pain.

The brainwashing. Apparently, the first goal of the Nightsisters was obviously to dehumanize the Zabraks. To strip them of their human(or Zabrak) dignity and soul. The brainwashing, accompanied by the Nightsisters' oh-so-useful multipurpose green gel, was the Nightsisters scrubbing out the remains of Savage's soul and putting their own junk in. And when Savage woke up, you could see that he was different. He was an entirely different Zabrak. Like an animal, even.
His transformation was made complete when he faced his final test, killing Feral, his best friend. Which he did with only a moment's hesitation.

The Nightsisters. We knew they were bad, but their wickedness is fully manifested in this episode.
Who couldn't resist saying "aww" two weeks ago when they welcomed poor, lonely, betrayed Ventress with open arms? They took care of her, made her invisible(in a good way) and were eager to help Ventress live out her hopes and dreams(mainly involving killing Dooku). Who wouldn't want a family like that?

But you could see the "Night" in "Nightsisters" when they watched, even approved of Savage killing his best friend. A little reminder-if you ain't a Nightsister, you're bantha fodder.

The bad
There was little wrong with this episode.  Except for the multipurpose green gel(It makes you invisible, brings back all your bad memories, makes your horns grow bigger, and quenches your thirst too! Buy it today!) then I'm not going to say anything.

So....

"Monster" had a haunting, suspenseful feeling that wasn't resolved at the end of the episode.  It basically served as a build up for the we-know-it's-going-to-be-AMAZING finale, "Witches of the Mist" tonight.

Who's excited?

I am going

to Utah on Wednesday.
To ski.


http://www.abc-of-skiing.com/images/freestyle-ski-tricks.jpg
I might post, or I might not. I will try to get some more writing done. I am also trying to save The Last Olympian to read when I get there, but I'm not sure how much longer I will hold up. 

That read-50-books thing is going well for me. I've already read five, and I'm in the middle of The Mysterious Benedict Society And The Perilous Journey now. Took me a while to get into, but I'm likin all the puzzles in it. 


So yeah. Utah. 
I like skiing, but the most advanced I can go is a blue square(very very very early intermediate). Anyone live in Utah? Anyone live in Nevada and/or Arizona? 


Amaranthine.


I hope I win that blog redesign. I need it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Post About Giveaway

There is a giveaway at Faithfully Feminine. Although in my terminology, this sort of thing is called a "contest." The winner gets a blog redesign from a professional blog redesigner.  Which to me, is like "free gold".

You must write a post to be eligible.
This is it.

I have to answer these questions.

1: Why do you blog?


I at first wanted to blog to have fun and meet people. Then I decided I wanted to become famous. It's easy to do, if you have a blog. But then I realized that I would never become famous because my blog isn't "focused." Pssh. Now I'm back to having fun again.

2: What is your favorite meal?

Udon noodles in miso soup with sponge cake and ice cream. Or korean barbeque.

3: Name one thing you like about my blog
.
I like that your blog is having a giveaway. And I like that it tells girls about how to be Christian and cool at the same time,

4: Name one thing you dislike about my blog.

I don't like that your header is ginourmous, and that your followers are at the top. I don't like that you have to leave a separate comment for each thing you do. That's one thing, right?


5: What is your favorite book?

Non Star Wars? Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Star Wars? Legacy of the Force: Invincible.

6: What is your favorite song?
Currently, it's either "Try" by Nelly Furtado, "Unbreakable" by Fireflight, or "Stand In the Rain" by Superchick.

7: MP3 or iPod?
Well technically these are not compatible. An mp3 file is a way to store music, and you put them ON your ipod. Although I think you meant mp3 player. Which, then, my answer would be iPod.

8: TV or Movie?
Star Wars. Pick either one, I don't care.

9: Ice cream or Cookies?
Ice cream.

10: Action or Romance?

Action.

Don't forget to leave a link for your post! I'd love to see your answers!

Okay.

e)
Tell me about your favorite blogging experience.
Getting to blog post on Storing Up Treasures. It has over 600 followers, but only got me 2 for some reason...some reason.... When I posted about Her Universe and famous Star Wars people commented on it. When I posted about Darths and Droids and one of the creators commented on it.

f) Put the Faithfully Feminine button on your blog.
Done.

Thanks for the giveaway!

God bless you,
Amaranthine

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've been caught. But don't worry, I didn't go down without a fight

And I was so close to being free.

I was tagged by Everyone's Favorite Composer And Apparently Tagger.

Normally I think tags are like email chain letters, but I'll do this one cause it's interesting.

5 things I learned in 2010:

1. I can accomplish anything with God's help. At the beginning of 2010 I made a list of goals, and almost every single one of them has been accomplished.
2. The future isn't always scary.
3. The world isn't very big at all.
4. I can find a happy medium between being a lonely unsocialized homeschooler and a bratty teenager.
5. I need to learn to lean on God. I always want to only depend on myself. But myself isn't enough.

5 things I want to accomplish this year:


  1. Make some progress in dance class.
  2. Not get nervous about piano any more and learn to improvise more in our band.
  3. I want to set a blogging goal. How about...60 followers? It's scary, I couldn't imagine having 60. (But then, I couldn't imagine having 40 either at the beginning of 2010. Mom says Abby's followership expands faster than mine because her blog is "focused" Pssh.)
  4. Online-interview someone famous. 
  5. Do a guest post/be advertised. Again!


5 things I've always wanted to do but have never done:

  1. REAL publish a book.
  2. Interview someone famous.
  3. Be the best at something
  4. Learn to draw decently.
  5. Rule the world.


5 Things I see as important in life:


  1. Fulfilling God's plan. At the end of my life, I want to have lived my life to the minute and have God say: "Well done, good and faithful servant."
  2. Oxygen
  3. The internet
  4. Protein, carbohydrates and amino acids.
  5. The song "Africa" by Toto
  6. Music and words
  7. Communication
  8. Love
  9. Knowing how to count


5 Mishaps (Embarrassing moments that I can laugh at):
Mishaps. I can do that. That I can laugh at? Are you kidding me? I change this.
Ahem-
5  Moments when you thought you had life made. (Moments of accomplishment and exhilaration)


  1.  Giving my 8th grade graduation speech(a long time ago.) :P but it was my first speech. A lot of people came to talk to me afterward. :)
  2. The first time I won second place in a piano competition.
  3. Finishing my NaNoWriMo novel.
  4. My blog being featured on Storing Up Treasures
  5. When I won my iPod Shuffle/iPod NaNo/Itunes gift card/$50 Amazon gift card/$100 American Express gift card.




 Okay. Guess I have to tag some people now.

Savannah
Audrey
Madeline(IDK if she reads my blog anymore, this is just a test.)

Names

..this should be the last thing you're worried about. 
 http://www.wallpaperbase.com/wallpapers/animals/peacock/peacock_1.jpg
  Look! An albino peacock! Sorry, go on.
 
However, I love names. I love collecting the best, prettiest, coolest fantasy names out there and scattering them all over my story like a cartload of feathers which tipped over because the horse slipped on a patch of ice.

Poor Mariella, she doesn't like naming characters. (sniff). Maybe it's because good names are hard to come by, hard to remember, and they change all the time.


I think I have a mind for names though. I'm always switching letters around, replacing them, adding new ones to create names. Unfortunately, that means I quickly get bored of them. Heck, I'm already bored with my own. Oh well.


Here are some links to some of the best random name generators on the web. Many names generated by these things are unusable, but these are. I almost never use the name exactly as it comes out. I tweak it most of the time.

http://nine.frenchboys.net/
The absolute best one. It's got people names, place names, restaurant names, plot generators, even a clothing generator. And you can actually use the names.

http://online-generator.com/name-generator/fantasy-name-generator.php
These names are good, diverse, and sorted into categories. Only a name at a time, but you can save them.

http://dicelog.com/yafnagen
For the occasional use.

http://donjon.bin.sh/scifi/name/#terran_female
Not as slick, but I like the names more.


Here's the process I go through for names, using my novel as an example.


Normally, I have a name already picked out.
That just happens when you're good with names. I have a huge name list and add to it almost every day. Some sources-bridal magazines, real people, foreign languages, and rarely-very rarely-random name generators. 


If not, I keep an eye out for a name I can tweak to fit.

If not, I give it a code name until until I can find a "real" name.
One of my antagonists' name was Tatyana(the most cliched female antagonist name in the history of the earth) until Fate of the Jedi: Backlash named one of the Nightsisters Halliava. I didn't like the edgy v so I gave it a nicer n and boom-Halliana. (The last name, Silvera, stayed.)


And even the name of my novel: Or Die Trying has changed. It was first Approaching Thunder, then Amaranthine Jewel, then Amaranthine.'
 
Names change as your character develops. What worked before may not work now.
I first came up with the concept for the main character. She was an orphan that nobody wanted(ooh, original!) Her name was Emaleen, which is the perfect name for a little cute brunette orphan. As the story developed, her age changed from 9 to 18, her hair changed from brown to pale blond, and all of a sudden Emaleen wasn't as good a name for her. Luckily I found the name Amaranthine and it matched perfectly.

Names should have nicknames.
That's just my thing. I like long names because they are adaptable and can be cut up into a million little nicknames. Like "Amaranthine" can become Maran, Mara, Amara, or whatever. If it can't change into a nickname, it's lower on my list. "Halliana", my earlier example can become "Halli" or "Ana."

Names should be easily remembered or leave a mark.
If you keep forgetting your main character's name, how do you expect the readers to remember it? If you keep forgetting a name, maybe it's not the right one.

Dician Taina's first name was Rysati Darpis. That's a very interesting name, and I never could remember it. I had to look it up in my early notes before I could remember it and write it here.


Hope this helps with names! 
I have a lot of influence. Mostly from Star Wars and words I find cool. Maybe you'll recognize some of these names. One of my influences: Savannah. "Nyssa" is now on my name list. "Elan" has been on it for some time now, thanks to the priestess Elan from Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial.


Amaranthine

PS. I have a go-to list of names I haven't used yet(for anything) but will be used at the next opportunity. Names on that list?
 

1. Tricia, Akela, Isis, Iris, Durr-Siti, Annison, and Jolette.

Names recently off that list?
Liadan, Charice, Zahra


A lot of my best names were used up when I named Zahra's seventeen brothers and sisters and their children.


Names I used?
Gavin, Lelan, Tetra, Samya,  Cem, Davin, Torqua, Veema, Chak, Leka, Dasha, Cathia, Teren, Dorv, Celie, Liam, Zahra, Katharine, Lissa, Vieve, Varn, Tilotny(reused), Reza, Lian, Elan, Racci, Lithia, Remela, Melie, Tina, Tash, Zak.



Most of my favorite names are in that list. Not including "Jocell."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Random SW Tuesday

Quotes, lots of quotes. :) 


Pestage: "Such confidence in the face of overwhelming odds…if the Emperor had any idea of his foes' dedication…"
Antilles: "We'd just have killed that many more Death Stars is all. There's no stopping freedom."
Sate Pestage and Wedge Antilles[src]


Man: "These races bore me to death. I come here for just one thing."
Qui-Gon: "What's that?"
Man: "To get away from people like you!"
Qui-Gon Jinn, encountering a rude man in Mos Espa[src]


Jacen: "I just feel—I don't know. I hated it. I wanted it out of me. I wanted it dead—but, you know, while it was in me…it made me part of something. Like in the Nursery. During the fight, it was almost like having the Force again. Now—"
Vergere: "You feel empty. You feel alone. Lonely. Almost frightened, but also strong, yes?"
Jacen: "How?..."
Vergere: "The name for what you are feeling is freedom."
Jacen: "Some freedom."
Vergere: "How did you expect it to feel? You are free, Jacen Solo, and that can be lonely, and empty, and frightening. But it is also powerful."
Jacen Solo and Vergere, after Jacen's slave seed was removed[src]\


Jaina: "But you're still looking for more. You aren't sure if what you've learned about being a Jedi is what you were supposed to have learned about being a Jedi. You want to find a way to become the ultimate Jedi."
Jacen: "Oh, and you don't question what we've been taught? You don't want to push yourself beyond?"
Jaina: "Beyond what, Jacen?"
Jacen: "Um, ah, I guess I don't know."
―Jaina Solo and Jacen Solo[src]
wut. haha.

"Jacen, would you knock off the rebellious teen act for just a minute? And maybe consider for just a second that the entire galaxy doesn't spin around you and your moral decisions?"
Leia Organa Solo, to Jacen Solo[src]
*shakes head.* Shee.....


Solo: "Everything I tell you is a lie."
Rhysode: "What?" <---fail
Solo: "See, the thing is, everything everyone tells you is a lie. The truth is always bigger than the words we use to describe it."
―Jacen Solo and Ganner Rhysode[src]
XD

"I've been dead for months, Ganner. I died not long after Myrkr. I just haven't gotten around to lying down, yet."
―Jacen Solo, to Ganner Rhysode[src]



Kasdakh Bhul: "There is confusion. Five dovin basal mines have just chased five Millennium Falcons into our immediate space. Their attempts to seize the infidel ships are interfering with the worldship's dovin basals."
Czulkang Lah: "Five Millennium Falcons."
Kasdakh Bhul: "Yes."
Czulkang Lah: "And even one is enough to cause us grief."
Kasdakh Bhul and Czulkang Lah[src]


Tonith: "So he's not as stupid as we thought, how long has this retrograde movement been going on?"
Vet'lya: "About an hour, sir, but we—"
Tonith: "Ah! We, you say? We? Have you by any chance a dianoga stuffed in your pocket? Who is this we who are making decisions in my command?"
Pors Tonith and his chief of staff, Karaksk Vet'lya, discuss enemy General Khamar's plans[src]


"No, Master. Killing you was never the intention. If you resist my attempts to return you to your kolto tank, however, I may inadvertently fracture your skeleton in several places to incapacitate you."
HK-50, attempting to capture the Jedi Exile[src]


"Soon, if you do not wish to be angry, you will not become so. If you do not wish to be afraid, you will cease to be. Even happiness can interfere. You will learn to use your anger, your fear, your hatred. You will choose which emotions you will feel and when. They will become weapons, just like a lightsaber, and you will be their wielder."
Gavar Khai, to Vestara Khai[src]

Jord: "It's taking longer to register than it took to fly here."
C-3PO: "I really don't know why we droids have to wait in a separate line. It's discrimination."
Jord Dusat and C-3PO, dealing with spaceport bureaucracy[sr


"You can win without fighting, but it's harder to do; the enemy is rarely so cooperative."
Haras Jundop[src]


Leia: "My children are going to have normal family stories to tell their children, little funny stories about everyday nothings, stories where no one dies too young or has to carry a burden of shame. I'm going to see to that, with your help or without it—"
Han Solo: "Leia—"
Leia: "Nothing matters more to me, do you understand?" [points at Luke] "Nothing. So you do what you think you have to, brother – go wherever you have to with whoever you want to, chasing whatever shadow of a hint of a promise of a clue you like. I don't care about any of it. Don't ask for my help again. And don't bring the past into this house. It's all just pain and death. You wallow in it if you want to. I've had enough of it for ten lifetimes."
Leia Organa Solo, angry at Luke Skywalker for seeking information about his family[src]
Shakes head and sighs. That's so sad.


Leia: "Listen to me – we're never going to have a tidy family tree. Why can't you realize? We're never going to know our parents better than we do right now. We're never going to have fond stories of our grandparents to tell our children. We're better off telling them about Owen and Beru, about Bail – the real people who cared for us, protected us, loved us like we were their own. You make too much of blood."
Luke: "It's more than blood—"
Leia: "I don't care. You can't invent a normal childhood for us, no matter how much you turn up about Mother and Father. And if you do find the truth, as you call it, you just might find you don't like it very much. You might end up wishing you'd let them stay dead."
Luke: "Could anything be worse than what we already know?"
Leia: "I'd rather not know the answer to that question."
Leia Organa Solo and Luke Skywalker[src]
(Looks up at previous quote.) Unk?

Aeona: "Your sister? Your sister is Princess Kissy-Face?"
Luke: "My sister is a princess. Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. And if you called her Princess Kissy-Face in person, I can guess who gave you that shiner."
Aeona Cantor and Luke Skywalker[src]


"Fear is the door to the dark side. Rest assured that we'll do all we can to make sure it remains latched."
Depa Billaba[src]

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm so paranoid....:(

http://www.angertherapist.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/peaceful-morning-m.jpg.w300h379.jpg
Sometimes I feel like the whole world is conspiring against me. If you hear of one, warn me, okay?

http://img.brothersoft.com/screenshots/softimage/p/peaceful_nature_screensaver-129295-2.jpegb
There's a Reason
 
 
:)

What inspires me

Princess of Endor just posted about inspirations. So here his a list about what inspires me.

~Star Wars
~Star Wars music
~Books and movies. Any books and movies. Even cheesy, horrible ones. I just like stories in general. I like to think what made the author/screenwriter come up with the ideas? How did the original story look? How many plot twists were added? Is any of the storyline still intact?
~People who have been through hardships.
~The feeling when you get something you didn't even know(or forgot) that you wanted.
~The fact that some things are used and worn and half-broken, but we still use and love(and continually fix) them anyways.
~My parents.
~Looking back at a journal(or blog ;) and seeing how you've progressed.

Just came back from shooting a children's video for my church. Pictures from the set later! (My church is a big church, so it's kind of a big deal for me. :) ) It was partly about my mission trip and partly about this guy stuck in an underwater city. More later!

Amaranthine

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I don't wanna post today...

I've been trying to get time to write for a LONG time, and Saturday's the perfect day to do it.

One of my biggest problems has been introducing way too many characters at the same time.


Here's an excerpt. The main character, Maran, is going through training. See what I mean by too many characters? When I'm done editing, I'll send a copy to Savannah and a copy to Abby. I'll see what they think....


Ptew! A bright crimson bolt lanced out from Maran's blaster pistol. It flew clear of its target, however. Maran groaned in defeat and laid the blaster down. "I think I should take a break now."
"Oh, don't worry." Dician stood from where she'd been sitting watching Maran's progress. "It wasn't that bad. Besides, you're tired. You were hitting more, earlier."
"I shouldn't be tired."
"Don't be too hard on yourself. It's understandable. C'mon, lets get something to eat."

"Look! Here comes the rookie now."
Maran silently groaned when she spotted Saellys smirking at her. "Hows the heroism? For me, it didn't start until my fifth month, so you have a couple more months to go."
"Oh Jem, you're the only one who would still dare to tease Dician's personal protege", teased Gethra, another pilot. "She'll have your head for sure."
She patted Maran on the shoulder. "Don't feel bad. He doesn't mean it."
"It's okay." Maran shook her head, then pulled out her datapad. "I'm sure I'm getting better."
"Just don't give up."
"Who's giving up?" A woman with a purposeful stride walked up. Maran recognized her as Nektol Arber. Neng had introduced her as "the hottest hotshot pilot" in town. Admittedly, she looked a lot less shy with her hair tied and her face serious. "You know no one gives up in [name to be decided] Squadron, Agera."
"Nektol!" Gethra turned. "I know. I was just explaining the drill to Trainee Parast, ma'am."
"Hmm?" Nektol cast a critical eye on Maran. "Oh yes, I remember you."
"Yes, ma'am." said Maran. She made sure she was standing up straight.
"Call me Nektol. Are you Amaranthine or Maran?"
"Maran, ma-I mean, Nektol."
"Good." she said approvingly. "What's your schedule tomorrow?"
Maran stood up super straight and began rattling it off.
"In the morning I have target practice and hand combat, both with Dician. After lunch, I'm handed over to Special Ops for piloting, obstacle course, training, and flexibility. Then I have to pack."
"Pack for what?"
"Dician and I are going to Ginsberg to resolve a minor issue there. Part of my diplomacy training."
Saellys stretched. "Diplomacy, huh? Isn't diplomacy paying for the funeral of the guy you just shot?"
Nektol wrinkled her brow. "Don't you have something to do, Saellys?"
"No, ma'am", he said, an insolent smile on his face.
"Good. You're chopping fruit on kitchen duty tonight. Anything else?"
"No." He slowly got up.
"You better get going."
He began slinking away, then turned around and winked at Maran.
Maran couldn't help blushing.



How I wrote this scene:
I wrote the first paragraph on my phone waiting in between dance classes.
I wrote this when the creative juices were flowing naturally in November, so this scene has almost no editing at all. I was having trouble coming up with a squadron name, and am still undecided, but I just skipped it and moved on. Got to go write. See ya!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

God in Entertainment

Is it okay for Christians to listen to music with bad words and bad content in it? Is it okay for us to watch R rated movies? This is something that I'm not sure about.


 So what do you think on this? As for the movies and TV, if I'm watching a good show and the characters are cursing in it, I don't turn it off. I don't watch a lot of TV or movies anyways.
Music is a little harder. For really violent, explicit songs, of course not. I wouldn't even breath on it. But what about Avril Lavigne's new song? It's really catchy. But even its title isn't appropriate for this place.


Speaking of which, Avril Lavigne is kinda weird. I like some of her songs, like "Gone." But she's in her twenties, and most of her music reminds you of a 15 year old. 


Anyways, so what's your policy on this? Not your parent's policy. (Some people are like "Oh, my parent's won't let me....." And I'm like "But what about you?")

And what about books? Is cursing in books okay? 


Amaranthine

Ooh look at my new favorite song- the beginning is slow but the rest is catchy. I didn't even think it was Christian at first-but it's my all time favorite Christian rock song.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TCW Review: Nightsisters

I'm posting this review a day early because tomorrow I probably won't have much time to post. So here it is.
http://www.starwars.com/theclonewars/guide/episode312/illo_03_sm.jpg

     I have to admit I was a little nervous about Nightsisters. The episode marked a new era of Season Three, and I was a bit afraid of where it would lead. Also, after a depiction of Mandalore that made many fans, including me, cringe, I was worried about what they'd do to Dathomir, my second favorite culture and planet. It was a lot better than I expected, and it brought the doldrums of TCW back to life. Here was adventure, mysticism, and an unusual story the midst of a bunch of episodes featuring Padme and bank deregulation.

     The part that drew me in was definitely the effects and visuals. The red clad Dathomiri looked completely awesome in a don't-mess-with-me. Ventress's Nightsister buddies looked and sounded exactly the way I imagined them. And that perhaps-inspired-by-Mario-party invisible thing looked amazing.

     It was great to get a peek into Ventress's past. Woah, she had hair once? Also, it provided some history for less hardcore fans  who didn't know much about the character outside the series. Ventress was done very well. You could see how hurt she was by Dooku's betrayal and see the shock turn into fear turn into rage.
      
    I was a little disappointed by the spirit of the portrayals, though. I was so pumped when I heard they were doing Dathomir, but we didn't get to see much of the planet or culture in this episode. There was no interaction besides a lot of weird witchy chanty stuff. No seeing where they live, no nightsister children, no getting to know anything about them. Maybe in later episodes. And all the nightsisters were stereotypical witches, complete with bowls of bubbly green brew. 

The main character of this episode was definitely Asajj Ventress. We got to know her better as a character, Sith, and person. Makes you wonder what happens to her. (Even though we EU buffs kinda sorta already know).

Oh, and I watched this episode with a bunch of early-elementary aged children. Not a good idea.
Amaranthine.

http://0.tqn.com/d/create/1/G/I/X/7/-/TamithKai.JPG 
Awesome Nightsister.

Ooh ooh ooh. Wanna see what I've been procrastinating with? EUStar Wars slideshows on Youtube! :D:D::D:D:D:D:D::D:D:D:D
Some are really amazing and make you cry. You get affected more if you've read more EU books though.
One of my favorites.

Touching, beautiful and awesome.
It starts out with talking but the sound is good too. Watch on youtube.
Oh, and 40 followers! Thanks, guys!