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


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.)


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.


He looks so angry D:.


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
-the purpose of life
-good and evil

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:

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.
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.

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.

Friday, November 4, 2011


oh gosh... XD I watch this scene far too many times for a normal person.
"And if that doesn't convince you, check out my homemade Dark Mark!"

NaNoWriMo is the reason I' haven't been posting so far. And just when I've hit 104! I'm sorry.

I'm going to update you on what's happening so far: My novel is harder than I thought it would be because I'm writing in first person present, and I'm incredibly unused to it. I'm caught up, barely, but I really feel the need to get ahead and so I'll write RIGHT after I've logged out from this post.

Meanwhile I've been procrastinating on The Lakehouse, Youtube, Gmail, and watching AVPM.

I've got everything plotted out, so no danger of Writer's Block in the forseeable future. The way the Blogosphere's been stale, most of you are busy with NaNo too! Good luck!

There are a lot of things I don't like about AVPM...Lauren Lopez is not one of them XD