Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winning NaNoWriMo 2011

You are now looking at the owner of a shiny purple bar and  50k words for NaNoWriMo.  Yup.  That is correct.  I JUST WON NANOWRIMO!

Of course, I doubt this novel will ever see the light of day.  It's... not very good.  It happens to be lacking plot, compelling characters, and I still am not quite sure how to end it.  So... it's not very good.  But it's there, and that's what matters.  I wrote it, and sure, it's horrible, and I don't love the story, and it's full of plot holes, but you know what?  That doesn't matter.  What matters is that I won, that I put my mind to it, and I won, for the second year in a row.  And, I'm only thirteen.  So guess what?  I can write-- maybe not very well, but I can do it.  I can put words to paper, and get those stories that are constantly bouncing around my head out.  And I like to do it.  So I'm pretty psyched.  I did it-- I won NaNoWriMo.  Now I'm going to order my winner's shirt.  And act super excited and bounce around my house, and then collapse and watch TV for the rest of the night.  

To all you doing NaNoWriMo:  If you're still working toward 50k, keep going!  You can do it!  If you're there, congrats!  Feels good, doesn't it?  And if you don't think you're going to make it, that's okay too.  You tried, and that's awesome.  

The Dandy Lioness

Saturday, November 26, 2011

i'm a city chick

For once in my life, the city is silent.  It's early-- 8:00.  It's Saturday morning, and no one has anywhere they have to be.  The familiar wail of sirens and rumble of cars has been replaced by just the faintest, whispering breeze, gray clouds, and sleeping people, and the soft clicking of my dryer downstairs.  It's funny.  There is no snow, which is usually when it is silent like this. Even in the morning, at 7:15, when I walk to school, I can hear the ever-present rumblings of cars and sirens.  But not today.  Today, the city is silent.  Shoppers are exhausted, after Black Friday shopping sprees.  Families are sleeping off Thanksgiving day food, still deep in their food comas.  But me?  No.  I'm awake.  Eagerly awaiting my weekend at the cabin, I sit here, in the half-light, below a window, writing.  I'm not sure why no one else is awake-- we are attempting to leave in an hour and forty-five minutes.  I'm waiting for the dryer to finish up with my clothes.  So, I sit here.  Not quite sure what to do with myself.


I'm a city chick.  It's true.  Over the summer, when I spent two weeks in the French countryside with friends, while it was fantastic, and amazing, I liked the times we spent in the city, around people, exploring the city, the most.  I've never moved, so I've never known anything but the city.  The wailing of sirens is a normal sound-- in fact, I have a fire station down the road from my school.  The constant rumble of cars rarely ceases.  I have  at least five grocery stores within walking distance from my house.  I walk to school every day, past two of those grocery stores, and a bank, and several pubs (among other... things...) and another bank, and auto-body car shops.  I live in a residential area-- in a house, with houses surrounding us on all sides.  All my friends live in houses, and all my friends live in the city.  In fact, the only time I've ever been in an apartment, was when I was in France, with our French friends who live there, and we visited their uncle's apartment.  But I also live near a small shopping area, and that busy street that I walk down every day, and another small shopping area, and I love it all.  I'm a city chick.


 I love where I live-- sure, it's gray, and rainy, and wet, and rarely snows in the winter (causing us all great sadness).  And in the summer it will hover in the sixties and seventies.  But you know what?  I love all of that. I love that it's not too hot to go outside.  I love that pitter-patter sound of rain on the windows, or the vent in the kitchen.  I love the special, special feeling you get when it snows, as though it's never happened before, and you have to run out, and treasure it, because it'll all be gone in a few days.  I love where I live.  Sure, it has it's faults.  But you know what?  It's my home.  It always has been.  And I love it for what it is.

The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello lovelies!  I wish you all a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it.  To those who don't, I hope your Thursday is fabulous.

Eagle, I'm going with your Snoopy theme.

What am I thankful for?
Blogging, of course, which, though I only recently started, I love.  Also, all my blogging friends.  You guys rock.
NaNoWriMo, for which I would have never actually written a novel.  Also, I have hit 40k.
A special thread on the NaNoWriMo forums, The Purple Elephants.  You guys rock, and I am so glad to have you as my friends.
Family, who I am going to see today.  Also, my sister, who, while I won't see her today, will be coming back for a month in December.  
Friends, who invite me and my family to their cabin for Thanksgiving weekend every year.  It's really fun, and we get our Christmas tree!
Teachers, who gave me no homework (except for a French project, but I just have to outline and color that).  

What are you guys thankful for?

The Dandy Lioness

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snow, and Holiday Traditions

All week, the weather forecast has been saying "Snow tomorrow!" and the next day, people will wake up, excited for snow.  And all week, there has been no snow.  The weather forecast changes from "Snow today!" to "Snow tomorrow!".  It's rather ridiculous.

But we're all waiting for snow.  It hasn't happened yet.  Generally of course, it doesn't snow before Thanksgiving here.  But last year it did... then again, that was bizzare and never-before-heard of.  At least, not here.  In fact, there have been years where all we've gotten is a centimeter or two-- a dusting, at best.  Or, no snow at all.  It's sad really.  The only time I ever remember there having been snow that was higher than three inches, was in fifth grade, when we had a freak, two-week long snowstorm.  We had snow higher than a foot.


Snow is something that I've always loved, especially the first few hours of it.  Standing out the window, staring at it coming down, blanketing the city in silence, turning gray and brown to white-- startlingly white.  

And of course, I love snow because snow means the holiday season.  Red and green, white and sparkly, advent calenders and the scent of pine.  Snow globes and ornaments, hot chocolate and cookies.  They all mean the holiday season.  I remember one year when we went on our annual downtown trip with our friends-- we go every year (except last year, because scheduling didn't quite work, due to my sister being in college). This one year I'm thinking of-- it could have been fifth grade.  In fact, I think it was.  Anyways, we went downtown, and as we were walking around, it started to snow.  It was just so magical and fantastic.  

Years and years ago-- I was maybe four, my grandmother on my father's side made me and my sister an advent calender.  And every year since then, we hang it by the door, and as soon as we both get home, we rush to the calender and flip over the newest number (we alternate-- one of us does the odd numbers, the other even, and we do Christmas day together).  This year, and last year, for the first eighteen days of Christmas, I'll be doing it alone.  I'll be getting home, and flipping over the little number, all by myself.  But then, as soon as she gets home, I'm going to let her do it,  and let her do it for the rest of the days-- until Christmas, of course.

I love my family's Christmas traditions.  We go down to our friend's cabin and cut down our Christmas tree at a tree farm near the cabin, the weekend after Thanksgiving-- so I'll be gone next weekend.  We go to a nursery near my school, with our friends (the same ones we go downtown with), and drink cider and they get their Christmas tree, and we (the kids) get ornaments-- though every year their selection seems to get less and less.  Oh, and we see the reindeer they have as well.  Last year, they also had a camel and a donkey, which was very cool.  We go downtown, and eat Thai food, and see these really cool gingerbread houses, and go on a carriage ride and feed the horse carrots.  On Christmas Eve, we go to 5:00 mass, and then come home and have dinner with a few of my aunts and uncles and my grandmother, and we have these delicious chocolate lava cakes that my mom and sister always make, and then we all open one or two presents marked "Christmas Eve", and my sister and I leave out a chocolate lava cake for Santa and milk, with our Christmas lists and some carrots for the reindeer-- those reindeer don't get enough appreciation.  And Christmas morning I have to wait until 8:30 to wake everyone up (this is my sister's rule, though my parents probably quite appreciate it) and then we all brush our teeth and go downstairs, and open our stockings, then presents from Santa, and finally presents from our parents.  Then we hang around the house for several hours, before jumping in the car and going to a relative's house.  And of course, throughout it all, we are playing our extensive collection of holiday music.  


The holiday season makes me happy.  It's just a really happy time of year.  What's your favorite part of the holiday season?

The Dandy Lioness

Friday, November 18, 2011

Johari Windows and Coffee

Hello!  Look!  Two posts in two days!

I got a Johari window, if you want to check it out.  Here's the link:  The Dandy Lioness's Johari Window

I discovered today and yesterday, that my mc Ria, really shouldn't be given coffee.  Let alone four cups of it.  This is my reaction to it:

I watched Doctor Who today.  It made me happy.  It had Rose, the Doctor, and Mickey.  Also, Madame de Pompadour.  

Hand warmers are one of the best inventions in the world.  I love them.  :)

Sorry for this short, sort of ridiculous post. Also, I hit 30k.

Edit::  What do you guys think of my new template?  I didn't love the old one-- I liked it before, but not really anymore, so I switched it for this one, which I've always liked.  And, I had been wanting a simpler template, because I tend to like simpler ones more than crazy ones, so this one makes me happy.  :)

~The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Stuff


I'm past 28k on NaNoWriMo-- closer to 29, actually. Now I'm on the couch, watching Community with my dad.  Did you hear that they're cancelling Community?  Well, we're all pretty sure they are.  It's not on the mid-season roster.  Which, basically has made Community fans cry.  A lot.  *sniffles*  Anyone else wanting to save Community?

Again, sorry for the lack of posts-- it's hard to find time.

Have any of you read A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah?  It's... tragic.  And graphic.  I'm reading it for class, and it's a memoir about his life as a boy soldier.  It's... just... so sad, and really quite graphic.

On Saturday, my friends and I threw our other friend a surprise party at the mall, where we had a scavenger hunt.  It was really fun.  :)

Anyways, that's about it.  Night!

~The Dandy Lioness

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Catching Up, 20k, and The Master

Hello, lovelies.  Sorry for being so spotty these last couple days.  Between NaNoWriMo and school, I haven't had much time to do, well, anything.  In NaNoWriMo news, I reached 20k yesterday, which was very exciting, even if it is just today's word count.  I like getting ahead (no matter how little ahead it actually is) and being home alone for three-four hours last night allowed me to do that.  Of course, I neglected my homework, but you know, I'll find time.

I was writing this post, and just got sidetracked by Doctor Who gifs.  So I'll give you this one of the Master, even though many of you probably don't watch it.

Umm...... yeah.  Gotta love the Master.  (And Mirriam, this is totally for you.  =D ) 

Now, this was a completely random post, that was mostly just trying to make up for the lack of posts I have had recently.  Hehe... yeah.  

I'm going to a coffee shop today with one of my friends, so that we can write, and that should be fun.  Also, I have to go to the library, because The Name of the Star finally came in.  I also have to write my review/journal entry thing for school about Lola and the Boy Next Door, a companion to Anna and the French Kiss (which I loved, by the way.  My friends refused to read it because of it's title, but I read it, and loved it.  I really recommend it.)  Also, I have to do my math homework.  So now I look like the Master, because I don't want to do homework.  *sigh*  Why didn't I do it yesterday?  Oh, yeah, because a) I had friends over to film our movie, and b) I watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and c) got to 20k.  Hehe.  Last night was fun...  

The Dandy Lioness

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Night Circus: A Book Review

Book Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Cover rating: 4.5/5  I think this cover fits the book really well, as well as being interesting and beautiful.  The black and white circus with the red mixed in definitely works well, and I like how the circus is in the hand.
Book rating: 4.5/5  

I originally bought this book as a gift for a friend.  However, it was found in the adult section, and my mom wanted to read it before I gave it to her.  She read it, and decided that I would like it, but wasn't quite sure my friend would like it-- so we ended up getting a gift certificate for my friend.  

I loved this book.  I found it interesting, and just fascinating, and it helped give inspiration to my NaNoWriMo novel.  I loved the characters, and the descriptions.  It was rather dark in places, but it was very difficult to put down.  It took me a week to read, but between school, and NaNoWriMo, I didn't have a ton of time to read.  I ended up reading the last two hundred pages between Friday night and Saturday morning.  

I particularly liked Celia's and Marco's relationship, and how the game progressed throughout the book.  The adding of tents, etc.  I liked Isobel as well, and Thiessen.  I love Poppet and Widget as well.  The characters in this book are just lovely, and full of life.

I most certainly recommend this book.  However, there is at least one sexual part, so be cautioned.  I found this book enchanting and beautiful, and found it definitely worth the read.  4.5/5 stars.

This is the UK cover for the book-- which do you like better?  I really can't decide-- they're both quite lovely.

On another note, I'm 1,000 words ahead for NaNoWriMo.  So... yay for that!

The Dandy Lioness

Friday, November 4, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

Hello all!  I'm sorry I neglected you for a week.  It's just, NaNoWriMo started.  And I had to switch my blog-writing out for novel-writing.  But today, I am about a thousand words higher than I need to be.  So, I thought I'd give you guys a post-- because I've been neglecting you.

My NaNoWriMo is going pretty well.  I've been combing Pinterest for ideas for clothing, hair, appearances... I hadn't realized two of my characters were redheads until I found a picture of one of them.  I would show it to you, but I just can't find it, and I'm on the other email that I sent it to, so I can't access it.  Sorry.  This pinboard, seriously makes me happy.  It has a bunch of old-fashioned/vintage dresses that would totally work in my NaNo.  YAY.

The internet hates me.  I think it's because my computer is on low battery.  Going to plug it in...  Nevermind.  That plug wasn't a plug.  Grr...

Anyways, I'll leave this short and sweet.  But here's a (very small) novel excerpt for you, since I have been neglectful.

Hugo drew back. “Well, come along then,” he said, and led Ria down a single, twisting path. A small tent would be on the side of the path every once in a while, and between them there were popcorn stands, and caramel apple stands. They were going in a spiral, Ria noted. They reached the largest tent, a huge, red and gold striped ensemble, and Hugo took Ria’s hand and led her inside. He took her all the way across the tent, and then they turned into a series of rooms, that made up the performer’s quarters. But still, they walked on. Finally, they exited the giant tent, and emerged in a small circle of grass. Trailers were placed in an awkward circle. Lights shone in the window of one trailer. Hugo crossed the circle, and headed up the steps of that trailer. “Well, come on, then,” he said to Ria. She followed him up the steps, and into the trailer.

P.S.  Anyone know how to make the white background go away behind things that you copy/paste into Blogger?  I made it lavender because the white bugged me too much and I couldn't figure out how to make the white go away altogether.

The Dandy Lioness