Saturday, October 29, 2011


NaNo's coming!

Which means I might take a break from posting on this blog, besides for updates.


Why, do you ask?

Because today, I was privileged enough to talk to the amazing, hilarious, not-burnt-by-a-grease-fire Abby aka The Director via Skype!

When we logged on, for the first five minutes I couldn't do anything but say "hi" and shriek with excitement. It was AWESOME! And I got to talk to her family.

It was the awesomest thing my WHOLE week. I'm still hyped about it! During dinner I couldn't shut up about Abby! In case you don't know Abby, go check her out!

But that's not the best part!
Abby and her family are coming to Southern CA next week to visit family, because her mom grew up in the same county as I live in!

And I will meet her IN PERSON!(and hopefully her amazing family)

It's on my bucket list, to meet at least one online internet entity in person!

I am so excited! I'll probably blow a hole in the ceiling out of pure excitement when I meet her. I'll scream and jump up and down and look like a gibbering idiot! I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hey, I have a song named after me!

Song: "Amaranthine"
Band: "Amaranthe"
Genre: According to Wikipedia, melodic death metal. Don't worry, it's clean. XD

I have a namesake song! That rocks ;).

It's actually pretty sweet and haunting, mostly. ;)

Check it out.


[am-uh-ran-thin, -thahyn] Show IPA
of or like the amaranth.
unfading; everlasting: a woman of amaranthine loveliness.
of purplish-red color."
Number three definitely describes me most of the time ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Seven days to insanity! (NaNoWriMo-Character Development)
One of the worst, most persistent problems in novice and professional literature alike is lack of character development, and it's a serious problem because the character is the eyes and heart of the reader throughout the entire story.

It is possible to have a brilliant novel without having brilliant characters(Maximum Ride, Hunger Games). But unless you're James Patterson or Suzanne Collins, lack of good characters will create a gaping hole in your novel that will be impossible to fill with a good plot or a good setting.

So here are some of the main character problems. I can't really tell you how to get over them, because I'm not a professional or even greatly talented novelist, and my main characters probably suffer from these problems as well. What I'm hoping to do is make you aware of this problem in your own and in others novels.

1.) Who cares?(Lack of relation)
To have a brilliant character, it has to be a character that your readers actually care about. Frankly, there's no point in putting your hero through trials and triumphs if nobody cares that he exists.

One easy way to create a level of feeling between the reader and character is to write in first person. Then your readers are the character, to an extent, and it's hard not to care about someone whose head you are stuck in. Life in the Bubble will be in first person this year.

Your character should be put in relatable situations. By this I don't mean you must have your character limited to doing boring everyday things like doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. Instead, more abstract situations will do, like maybe he fails to earn the approval of someone he respects, or a situation where nobody believes the truth that he speaks.

Be sure to give him some emotion. This should be a given! One of the main problems with Jason, a character from the Heroes of Olympus series from Rick Riordan, is that I didn't know how he felt about anything. If Angel had been reading his mind, it would go something like:

confusion confusion aah monster confusion blank confused 

Also, besides that, Jason seems removed and distant throughout the entire book.

You don't have to use fancy nonsense language to make your characters feel something. Just say it. "Jason was sad. Jason was excited. Jason's heart began speeding up and his hands trembled to wipe a strand of blond hair back from his forehead." Whatever. Just give me some emotion. 
 (You know what, I'm going to use Jason to help me write the rest of this post.)

2.) Help! My supporting characters outshine my main character!
This is actually a common problem. 
Supporting characters are often more developed than main characters, because they are free to be themselves throughout the story. MC's have a lot resting on their shoulders. They have to carry the plot, keep the reader engaged, and be thoroughly developed. 

Some people believe that it's okay to have perfectly bland MC's and their supporting characters will make up for it. (channels Umbridge.) This. Is. A. Lie.

Your MC's need to be more amazing than your secondaries, or at least around their level. Or else your readers will go "Hey! Forget the MC! Why don't you write a story about THEM?"

To do this, you can add more bulk to your MC, and also take less of the focus off the supporting characters by minimalizing their scenes. I know it kills you to do it, but or else the story's focus gets blurred. You can always write another story about them. And don't promote them to MC either, because all of a sudden your characters have had a revolution and your new MC takes the stage, and pushes your old MC back to become even more two dimensional.

Piper and Leo did that to Jason. I was like...can we get rid of Jason now? (Oh, and I got a peek inside Son of Neptune and was appalled. The focus switches COMPLETELY off J/L/P and goes to Percy and his two brand new Flying, Fun Loving Cohorts. Great. Now there are four completely new slightly undercooked characters for me to feel apathetic about. And it's important to realize that while one character is being developed, all the others take a complete backseat. Can't he develop them all at once and move the story along? Sorry, rant.)

3.) Woe is me! I have had a long tragic past!
People try to add depth to their characters by adding long, tragic, pasts to make readers feel sorry for them. This works to some extent, but don't overdo it. Try to make your characters loveable by what they are doing, not by what other people have done to them.

4.) Ways to Awesome-ify your MC
Everyone could use these. You can start out with the basic character cliches and add depth to them! It's fun and easy!

The Number One Way to Make an Awesome MC:This should be incredibly  obvious, but you'd be amazed how many people skip over this.
1. Give readers something to LIKE about him.
Please do this! Some people skip OVER this step, because they think that to make a legit main character there can't be anything likeable or special about him. Not true!

Make him smart! Make him funny! Make him talented at something! Make him incredibly loving to his family! Make him loyal to his friends! Make him brave! Just make him something!

2. Like I said, make him funny. Humor always holds a special part in the human spirit and can make anybody endearing. I'll do another post on how to incorporate humor into your story, in case you're not used to it. He doesn't have to be a clown or a joker,  but a slight sense of humor combined with another likable trait is powerful.

3.Give him a dream or a desire. He should want something: whether its from himself, from somebody else, or just from life. Something that keeps him moving. Jason has one of these: To unravel the secrets surrounding his lost memory.

4.Give him negative traits. And don't have his negative side pointed out obviously by himself or other characters, but just have them reveal themselves throughout the story. For example, Harry Potter had anger issues and impatience. Maximum Ride is arrogant, stubborn, and untrusting. Jason....?

5. Give him quirks. A favorite food, a favorite place, a favorite joke...? These add humanity to a character and make him more relatable. This is easier if this is a story set in our world, but a couple quirks are nearly always charming.

 This is just a start. If you have any suggestions, put them in the comments! Look out for more posts on humor, hopefully setting and plot, and a post on how to add tragedy without sounding ridiculous.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm jumping on the beautiful people bandwagon(Beautiful People, NaNoWriMo)

I normally don't do these, but the NaNo edition is pretty interesting, so whatevs.

I find it incredibly annoying to search for pictures of what my characters look like online. Most of the pictures are glamorized and all the girls are gorgeous and all the guys are superhot and it doesn't  seem realistic.

There's some real-life girls I could take pictures of and make them as models for my character. Maybe I'll think about that.

Some tips for novice writers: Try not to make your prose too elaborate and dramaful. The fewer long words it takes to convey emotions, the better. Something I saw a lot last year was people who thought that making things all flowery and metaphorical would make them sound professional and heartbreaking, and mostly it made them sound ridiculous, like so:

The flowers fell from my hand and shattered like glass, and when I woke up, I was a beautiful milkmaid. I woke up crying, and I don't know why. It was like the Hindenburg of doom and the Titanic of misery collided in the Chernobyl of my soul.

(I didn't make that up. It's from Potter Puppet Pals XD)

Anyways, here we go.

1. Sum up your novel in five words or less.
Courage, fear, the past, deception.

2. Novel title?
Life in the Bubble

3. Sum up your main character(s) in one word each.
 Lanky: Determined  Katrin: Trusting Maddie: Wind-tossed.(that's one word, by the way)

4. Advice for newbies in three words?
Don't give up.

5. Tell us about your secondary characters, how do they affect the story?
They encourage, discourage, and drive Lanky to be what he needs to be. I'm also trying to work out some sort of Pensieve-like device that will allow me to tell a large part of the story in flashbacks. They entertain me.

6. Do you plan to stay up till midnight on the 31st?
Heck no.

7. How many years have you done NaNo?
One. :P

8. What came first, characters, or plot idea?
I have this database of characters from my head, which float around in character limbo until I can adapt them to the story. This story, I only have one character from there, Swanny, who is a secondary. So plot idea first.

9. How much prep do you do before November?
A moderate amount. I have an outline and I think my whole story through to avoid plot holes and writer's block. Once I figure out the flashbacks, I'll be all set.

10. Now be honest, how do you really feel about NaNo?
Excited. I know I'm going to reach 50K if it kills me, and I have to stay up all night.  I'm not worried, and I have a bunch of writing buddies (ABBY! DO NANO OR ELSE I annoyed. It's not too late, you know!)

I wonder if anyone's going to actually read this post. Most likely they'll look at the title, shake their heads, and skip over it.

And yes, my main character's name is Langston, or Lanky. Ain't it awesome?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Win NaNoWrimo, part 2 (How to find time for writing, how to come up with a plot, tips and tricks)(100 Followers)

Yay! Congrats to me! I've finally, finally reached 100 followers after about a year and a half of blogging! This makes me slower  at gaining followers, but I've always wanted 100 followers and now I have them. ;) I may think of something to celebrate later, but for now I will proceed with my regularly scheduled Nanowrimo post. :)

This is the second in a series, so check out the first post here.

What you've all been waiting for-a premature cover of my novel,+ a pitch:

We believe in our city
Perfect place, very pretty
No bad leaders, no disease
No poor people in the streets
Everybody here is safe
All you have to do is stay*

I live under the sea, with the fish and the mermaids(jk).
The Bubble. The last refuge for those driven underwater when the world went crazy and started persecuting Christians and revolutionaries and speakers of truth. Or at least that’s what I hear. How could I know for sure? I was born here, and I’ve never seen the surface.

My dad designed this place, the most high-tech haven the world has ever seen. We’re supposed to be peaceful and perfect, because God’s blessing is on us. Right? All we wanted to do was stay safe from the craziness and depravity outside of the Bubble. What’s wrong with that?

But the council is warring under the strain of a (dare I say it?) idiotic leader. Mysterious cracks have begun to appear in the Bubble’s structure. A strange visitor has showed up in Bubble HQ, claiming to be from the surface(which is impossible, in case you’re wondering.)

Oh, and did I mention I’m deathly afraid of drowning?

*This city “pledge” was written by aforementioned idiotic leader, who might also need to take a course in poetry

So there it is. It's no good, I know, but it'll be revised and changed along the way.

Now for the post. I recently found this excellent free ebook about NaNo. You can find it here.

So here are my tips (some of these you can find on the NaNoWriMo forums. :)

The NaNoWriMo Hurdles
I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it! Ha ha.

Hurdle One: Finding Time to Write and Staying Motivated

1. One of the best ways of staying motivated is writing with people. The Wrimos who Win almost always have one or two writing buddies with whom they compare plots, word war, and celebrate word goals with. It's a lot harder to give up when there's someone who's running the race right next to you.

2. They provide a handy word bar on the site which helps you stay on track if you're a perfectionist like me!

3. Lets face it. Everyone has time to write everyday. They just spend it doing something else! Everyone gets exactly 24 hours in a day. Everyone has school/work/dance/instruments/tutoring/chores. But only a lucky few get their NaNo done. That's cause they priortize! If you really have a limited time on the computer, write your 1667 BEFORE you check your email, blogger, Lakehouse!

4. And do not go on the NaNoForums for problems with procrastination. That's like a drunk going to a bar for advice. Go on there for specific problems, but if you have something important to do(like WRITE) STAY OFF THE FORUMS AT. ALL. COSTS.

5. Set goals. Have a writing calendar with specific dates marked out. for example. " November 14: Begin writing start of war. November 19 Write MC's brother's death scene" etc.

Hurdle Two: Need a Plot? and Writer Block

1. The best way the ONLY way to avoid writer's block is to PLAN AHEAD. Write an outline! Some people swear by winging it, but their sanity is generally doubted.

2. So how to come up with a plot? Don't get me wrong. You NEED a plot. Some people like to come up with their cliched main character(usually some sarcastic chick who can fight really well and has a tragic past) and then come up with a plot based around her. Plot driven stories almost always work out better than character driven stories because most characters(sorry to break it to ya) aren't deep enough to work a story around, especially for noob writers like us.

3. Write what you love! What do you like to do? What do you always wish you could do? What's a place that has always fascinated you?

4. You could always try adapting a Bible Story or fairy tale to modern times. There are a ton of good ones out there!


1. Everyone has these moments. Take a deep breath. Then say it with me again. Everyone has these moments. If you're expecting this, it won't be so overwhelming when it hits.

2. Set aside the section that you hate(usually the one you're currently working on.) Skip ahead a couple chapters and get a fresh start.

3. Send your story to one of your writing buddies. They'll help you with it and help you proofread it and stuff.

4. Take deep breaths and get iced tea

Hurdle Four: I changed my story in the middle and now my beginning doesn't fit the rest of the story!
1. Nearly everyone has this problem, because stories develop as they move on.

2. Don't delete the beginning and write it again. Your time is precious! Make a big mark where the discrepancies start, and jot down some suggestions for when you begin to revise.

3. Keep movin' on.

Dirty Tips and Tricks for the Desperate

aka The Marvelous Word Padding! Thou shalt never find more ludicrous examples throughout the world than the NaNoWriMo community!

 1. These will not contribute to the general quality of your novel, most likely. That's why they're for the DESPERATE!
2. I might be posting these again during November, but it's good to build up an aresenal
 3. These come from the NaNoWriMo forums!

A persons name. Instead of Dr. Pascal, It would be Doctor Pascal Jonathan Himes
+3 words

I had a company named Shilo but the full name was Shilo Helping Hands Psychiatric Care and Rehabilitation Facility. Ridiculous to write each time, but I did.
+7 words

"Sing a song or recite a poem
Find a song/poem you think the character would sing/recite and add it in in its entirety.

DBP if the the song is "This is the song that irritates people" and continues on and off for pages on "

One word: EPIGRAPHS! :D

-Have a character talk in a foreign language and have some have to translate it. 

-Have a deaf character.

"Do you want to go to the store?"
"Do you want to go to the store?"
"Do I want to show the core? The core of what?"
"No, do you want to GO to the STORE?"
"Why would I want to mow a store?"

Etc., etc., etc."

-"The Chinese Restaurant Menu

A group of characters goes out to a Chinese restaurant. They read the entire menu aloud to each other. Sometimes the waiter translates things for them. Everybody orders something different. Then they compare their food to the description on the menu. There are always lots of fortune cookies after, which must be read aloud and discussed at great length."

 -"On the twenty seventh day of the eleventh month of the year of our Lord two thousand and eleven by the Gregorian calendar, as the sun rose above the [insert landscape of choice here] in the morning at twenty five minutes past six o'clock..."

nuff said.

- "Long, drawn out examinations of my MC's inner feelings. Document how EVERYTHING makes him feel. Antagonist gave him a mean look? Two paragraphs detailing how hurt he is."

-Never delete anything!

My signature got lost somewhere along here.

Oh well.

Love ya and thanks for all the follows,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

blargh ah ah stress PSAT girl scouts NEWSLETTER ahh band


So this mornin I took the PSAT and I've been studying for it for the past week so I was mostly glad to get it over with.
Then I went with my Girl Scout troop to an event we organized at a science museum and it was uberfun, especially at the dino exhibit where you point "transmitters" (big, computerized sticks) at stuff and it records it and you go on a scavenger hunt, and me and Lauren were pretending they were Harry Potter wands and it was awesome.


Hee hee. Lauren tried Avada Kedavra on some dinosaur fossils but she let go of the wand and it clattered against the wall very embarrasingly.
The only problem is it took ALL DAY.

And I still haven't practiced piano and I need to practice because I have a piano competition coming up, and not only that, I have to practice keyboard cause I"m playing in the church band tomorrow and I haven't even LOOKED at the sheets yet, and there's homework and oh gosh the Lakehouse newsletter, that is still mostly done, but it's an AUGUST/SEPT edition and it's mid OCTOBER.

so yeah.


I know you're thinking "Amaranthine! Get off blogger and go DO those things!" but this is my form of self expression and I would explode if I didn't write this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

why it rocks to be a hufflepuff

Non-HP fans can ignore this post XD
 woot yeah badgers!

"You might belong in Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true, And unafraid of toil"
The Sorting Hat[src]
I haven't been on Pottermore yet, but in most of the unofficial tests I take I'm a Hufflepuff, Unfortunately this is not received well by most of my friends, because most consider Hufflepuff the most boring house.  This quote sums it up:

"Welcome to Hufflepuff! Long live the bumbling badger of mediocrity!"
For non HP fans, here are the characteristics of Hufflepuffs: fairness, loyalty, industry, patience, friendliness. People claim to dislike Hufflepuffs because we aren't considered as smart or clever or brave as the other houses.
But seriously, Hufflepuff is wayy overlooked. So I've compiled this list of reasons why being a Hufflepuff rocks.

1. We make the best friends! We'll always be there for you no matter what, we'd do anything to help you, we are genuine, and we'll keep all your secrets. 
2.Our house has turned out the fewest Dark wizards!

3. Some awesome Hufflepuffs: Cedric Diggory, Tonks,  the founder of Hogsmeade, and at least 3 Ministers of Magic!
4.  We're up for anything and well rounded,not always studying, or plotting dastardly acts, or gallivanting off on some crazy adventure.

5.  Guinness world records just made the badger the most fearless animal in the world!

I found this on Tumblr:

We have the cunning of a Slytherin…without having to brag about it.
We have the smarts of a Ravenclaw…but realise that not all knowledge can be found in books!
We have the bravery of a Gryffindor…but know which battles to fight.
This is why I’m proud to be a Hufflepuff!!! THANK YOU JK!!

random hufflepuff pride pictures:


[image description: a black graphic with the words “i belong in HUFFLEPUFF for I am just and loyal. “i belong in” is in a large, white, cursive script, with HUFFLEPUFF underneath (in the center of the image) in even larger, narrow, yellow letters, and “for i am just and loyal” in smaller, grey, cursive font. In the bottom left corner, in very small, cursive, yellow script is “LadyRansom [heart] tumblr” End description.]
This is fantastic! Thanks for the submission! 


Being a Hufflepuff doesn’t make a person less valiant, intelligent or cunning. 

It just shows that person is more capable of being fair, honest, kind, accepting and patient.


I applied for an illustrating position at my university newspaper. I’m practicing working with Adobe Illustrator. My plan is to become proficient with Illustrator so that, if I choose, I may draw my work on paper and scan it or simply draw it on my laptop. This is about 4 hours work. I’m definitely way faster on paper than laptop, however, there are certain things I can do on Illustrator that I cannot readily do on paper. Yet another reason why I want to be better with Illustrator, even if I don’t get the newspaper job.
Anyway, I thought up this idea the other day and was going to draw it, but realized that it would be the perfect project to try on Illustrator! Enjoy!

 and a reminder:

But we’re a family after all.


Badger pride!

PS. I know, I'm not officially in Hufflepuff, but I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up there. But there's something awesome about all the houses.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dance for non-dancers(aka Me and Dance aka Dance for Older Beginners)

I have a confession to make, that's much like the confession Jocee made on her blog.

I wish I was a dancer, but I'm not I just "get along".

For those of you who do not know about dance, let me enlighten you:

Most dancers(at least those at my studio, a highly competitive studio in California) start at the ages of 2-8. They take dance at least ten hours a week. (Dance is extremely time consuming. I have friends that take at least 20 hours a week). Dance is like their life. Most of them are in several performing groups along with "small groups", duos, trios, and solos. Dance is also costly. There's classes(most classes are around $48 an hour, with private classes being upwards of $100 an hour), shoes, costumes(The performing group costumes can be up to $300 per costume), and travel. It's like their own little world inside the dance studio.

Most of them take all kinds of dance, with ballet and tap being the basics, and jazz, contemporary, lyrical, modern, acro, and pointe as well.

I started dance when I was 13. This is a secret which I used to be really ashamed of. I mean, who starts dance when they're 13? I'd never heard of it, although on the internet I have realized they do exist. I took a summer workshop and I fell in love.

I used to always go to the observation windows and watch the classes where people younger than I was did all sorts of stuff I thought impossible(My favorites-foutte and alasecondes, leg holds and leg hold turns. At the time I didn't know what they were called).

And I wished I could be them, more than anything else.

And in my classes, I was struggling to do really simple things like splits and chaine turns. I took beginner classes where I was almost always the oldest in the class by a space of several years.(One mom even asked if I was helping teach the class.)

And I always angsted, watching videos on youtube and watching all the better dancers and feeling hopeless. And in my classes I was struggling to do the most basic of things.

I had a couple friends at the studio who were really good. They were shocked to find out I danced, but I always avoided them because I didn't want them to see how bad I was. I ended up taking a technique class with them, and I think now they know but they don't say anything about it to me. XD And I would sort of mumble to people when they asked how long I'd been dancing or how good I was. I used to say "I don't know how long I've been dancing" when in fact I did know, I counted up the months every time I even thought about dance, and I could probably give them an accurate measurement down to the very hour.

I was almost always feeling down after every class. The teachers weren't helping, I wasn't getting any better, and there was this six year old in my acro class who laughed hysterically at me after I failed at stuff.

I think I started getting better when I switched classes. It's amazing what new classes and new teachers will do to you. My newish ballet teacher actually corrected stuff I did instead of just giving up on me. I improved my pirouttes muchly and did doubles several times!(They were mostly by accident). My acro teacher, who is also one of the main Performing Group teachers, took time to talk with me and encourage me, and pushed me like she pushed all of her students. And I practiced and stretched every day. At first it was absolutely awful because I couldn't do half a pique turn without losing my balance and I kept getting dizzy. I videotaped myself to see what I needed to work on and I looked so bad it was terrible. I improved and got my right and left splits(well, if I stretched them out for a couple minutes). And I even got a legit video of me doing a halfway decent piroutte(I was wearing the slipperiest socks I could find).

Fast forward to now. I can do double pirouettes every couple weeks (I must warm them up with half pirouettes first), and my teacher even complimented my chaine turns. My LEFT ones. :). The little giggling six year old is in my ballet class and we are friends. (she pushes me over when I do my pirouettes and I chase her). It is fun to be in the same classes as younger kids because they are so adorable and giggly.

And when the ballet teacher asked how long we'd been dancing, I was honest and said how long, and this other beginner(not quite as old as me) said "I don't know how long I've been dancing" and I was like yeah right.
Right now I take three classes a week, which isn't enough to catch up to the rest of them. I could catch up if I went nonstop, but I don't have that kind of time. I used to greatly exaggerate my danceablity on here, but not anymore. I can do those acro tricks I posted about, though(on a mat).

I know eventually I'll get there. Hopefully I'll get to be on pointe at some period in my life.  I know I won't stop dancing, because I like it a lot. I still would love to be the other girls at my studio, but I know it won't happen. :(

If you're an older beginner, it can be horribly discouraging. Here is my advice for you: 1.) Find some other older beginner pals and 2.) Stretch everyday.

This post was extremely rambly and random. Sorry.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

john 16:33

I apologize for being absent. I am just overwhelmed with school and newsletter and stuff. I'll do a real post the next chance I get, I promise! I want to do one about dance and another about NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

by now, I owe you a legit post...

UPDATE: My favorite Original Trilogy character is Han, but that's not the answer that's on the quiz.

But you won't get one! hah!

Instead, I made this quiz about myself. Please take it and see how well you know me! 

Ps. I took the quiz myself to make sure it worked..and I actually didn't get 100 percent. O,O Apparently I don't even know myself. I'm serious. When you're done look at the scoreboard.