Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This and That, Just Some Stuff

Hello, lovelies!  Long time no see!


First off, just some randomness.  This post is entirely random and just kind of me rambling and updating you guys on my life.

I want to wish the lovely Mirriam a happy early birthday, as I know it's in the next few days.  So happy birthday Mirriam!  I hope it's wonderful.

Now, I don't have much I actually want to talk about.  I just realized it had been almost a week, and I figured I should post.  No, this has nothing to do with the fact that I don't want to study for my social studies test tomorrow.  Nothing at all.  *whistles*

I'm off spring break now, sadly.  Though this week has been a tad wonky, as we went on a field trip yesterday, and had a two hour early release today.  The next two weeks are standardized testing weeks, meaning my entire school schedule will be wonky for two weeks, and then I'm going on a trip for a week, meaning that my school schedule won't be back to normal for three and a half weeks.  Yikes.  That's close to half the amount of school I have left.  (I have eight weeks, if you're wondering.  We get out on the 22nd of June.  Yes, I realize it's late.  But we also don't start until about a week into September, so we get out way later than most schools.)

I haven't been writing much lately, though my wish to write a spy novel was renewed last night, when I read Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter last night-- it's the fifth Gallagher Girls book, and was very good.  I don't know what it is, but the idea of spies, and boarding schools are two of my favorite things, and teenage girl spies who go to boarding school are just amazing.  Of course, I already have a project I've started, but I think I might have room for a boarding school/spy novel.  Seriously, I don't know what it is about boarding schools, but I just seriously think they're awesome.  Especially when they're in old mansions, and filled with teenage spies.

I actually got the chance to meet Ally Carter, when she went on tour this year, which was very exciting.  That makes my total number of authors seen this school year go up to five.  Which is a number I'm very proud of.  Sadly, I didn't get a signature, as I (shockingly) realized I didn't own any books by her.

I've been reading quite a lot lately-- my final total of books read over spring break was six, which was a number I was very proud of, and for the first six days or so, I managed to read a book a day.  But then I ran out of reading material, and was thrown off my schedule, and started reading Harry Potter again, until I was able to get a new book.

Oh!  I had my birthday party on Saturday, which was very fun.  We made pizza and played capture the flag, and had ice cream sundaes, and watched a movie.  I got a sonic screwdriver from one of my friends, as well, which was very awesome.  It's Eleven's, so it's got the green light, rather than the blue one.  One of my friends was baffled as to why it was called a screwdriver, if it wasn't a screwdriver, and just lit up at the end, and I told her that she had to watch the show, which she just generally thinks is crazy. Which it is, a bit.  But also very good.  The TV show I'm talking about (if you don't already know) is Doctor Who, which is one of my current TV obsessions, and I love very much.  You'll hear me talking about it quite a bit here.

I've gotten quite off track here.  Not that I had a track originally.  It was really just a me-sitting-down-and-writing-something-down kind of post.  Anyways, I'll talk to you soon, lovelies.

The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bookish Nostalgia


My childhood was filled with books.  I spent huge swaths of time reading, poring over favorite books, creating my own characters, and my own stories.  I read, and I read, and I read.  I have an entire bookshelf in my room that is devoted to books that I don't really read anymore, but have so many memories attached to them, that I couldn't possibly give them away.

The Penderwicks.
Hannah West.
The Tortall books, by Tamora pierce.
Harry Potter.

These books shaped my childhood.  In fact, they still shape my life, and I do still read some of the books in that list.  I spent four years reading and rereading the Warriors series (Erin Hunter), and creating my own clans, my own characters, and making up stories.  From about second grade up, I've constantly had a book in my possession, being carted around from here to there.

I spent years running through my friend's backyard, pretending to be Ginny Weasley, while she was first Hermione Granger, and then Tonks, from Harry Potter.  A few years later, and our obsession had shifted to the Warriors series, where we came up with a set of four clans, and all the cats (who we bothered to integrate into our story) in them.  We had our main characters we played, and we came up with a prophecy.

I pretended I was the fifth Penderwick sister, or occasionally Batty, or Skye.  I played this game with myself, as none of my friends had read these books, until this year, when I made one of them read The Penderwicks.    I pretended I was Hannah West, a teenage sleuth solving crimes in Seattle, another game I played alone.   Another series I adored was the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan.  I spent hours pretending I went to Camp Half-Blood, that I was Annabeth, or Thalia.  I distinctly remember running around my backyard, using a short wooden dagger my sister made at pirate camp to fend off imagined enemies.

Later on, my obsessions shifted once again, this time to Tamora Pierce's Totall series.  I would pretend I was Alanna, or Daine.  It took me a while to like Kel as much as I liked the other two, but I do like her now, though I rarely pretended I was her.  This is one of my more recent obsessions.

I still have all these stories.  All these books I adored as a child, that swept me up in fangirling over them for years.  I remember distinct moments from playing each of them.  Do you have any distinct memories from books like these, that you adored as a child, and have read seemingly a hundred times each?  Did you ever pretend you were a certain character, be it one from the book, or one you made up?

The Dandy Lioness

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Birthdays, Doctor Who, and Delicious Food

Yesterday was my Golden Birthday.  Fourteen on the Fourteenth.  And in true me fashion, I spent the entire day reading Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Yes, it's a 500 page book, and yes, I finished it yesterday.  It was really quite good.  And guess what?  Those of you who know how much I dislike dystopian novels, will be interested to know, that I found one I liked, and that didn't follow my formula.  Actually, I really liked this book.  It was fabulous.  I can't wait to read the second one.

And on Friday, my dear friend Luna baked me brownies, which were delicious, even if we all felt rather sick afterward, from eating too many brownies.  It was fun, though.  And we managed to stop from getting mobbed at lunch, because we hid the brownies until the people who would mob us had left the lunch room.

I also got two other books, (Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, and Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey), a t-shirt, and a pair of Doctor Who wind-up toys.  They're the TARDIS and a Dalek.  I had a really fun time yesterday, even if I did just lounge around the house most of the day, doing basically nothing.  It was gorgeous outside, though, so I did spend some time outside as well.

But then my parents took me down to this quirky neighborhood in my city, and we walked along the canal, and got Thai food at one of our favorite restaurants.  It was fun.  :)  And then we came home and watched Midnight in Paris (which to be honest, I've seen before, and didn't love,) and ate a TARDIS cake that my dad made me.  I had no idea he could bake.  Cook, yes, bake, no.

Also, I'm on spring break, so hopefully that means I'll post more.  ;)  Though in the last few days, I have been posting more than usual.

Oh, and for those of you who've seen Doctor Who, I watched one of the first surviving episodes of it today.  It was from the "Aztecs" disc.  And... it was hilarious.  The grainy, out of focus, shaky camera work, the paper hats, the miniature TARDIS at the beginning, the super slow, terribly entertaining fight scene...  I had fun watching it.  It came out in the sixties, and my parents, who were watching it with me, were laughing, and talking about sixties television.  My mom said the Doctor Who episode was camp.

Anyways.  This has probably just been a bit of a boring, update-y post, and really rather random, but I had fun writing it, and you know, sometimes just update-y posts are needed.

The Dandy Lioness

Friday, April 13, 2012

Snippets of Story-- April


Hello again!

The time for Snippets of Story has rolled around again, hosted by the lovely Katie.

In March and April (so far) I've actually written more than usual, at least, what's been usual recently.  I started a new project, which is exciting for me.  It has no name yet.  I'm about 6,000 words in, and so that's exciting.  So, because of this, I'll give you some snippets from that.  To be honest, I haven't been writing much, still.  I need to get back on track, but this project is helping me with that.  So, without further adieu, here we go.  I only have two snippets today, because I don't have that much written, and I'm not really to any exciting bits yet.

“You like reading?”
Alea glanced up.  “Oh!  You’re awake!”
The young man smiled, his eyes crinkling at the edges.  “That I am, Alea Fairweather.”
“You remembered,” she said, smiling back.
“Of course.  I always remember when a beautiful girl tells me her name,” he said.
Alea laughed.  “You know my name,” she said, “But I have yet to learn yours.”
“Anders of Colthurst,” said the man.  As an afterthought, he added, “Prince of Kiellot.”
Alea gasped.  “Your highness, I’m ever so sorry.  I had no idea…”  She quickly stood, and curtsied.
The prince laughed.  “Alea Fairweather, there is no need of that, among friends.  And you, because you saved my life, are most definitely a friend.”
Alea blushed.  “Well, I thank you most kindly, your highness, but I’m afraid a mountain girl’s bed is probably not quite what you’re used to.”
He laughed, lightly.  “That is true.  But it’s quite alright, Alea.  I don’t mind, so long as I’m living.”
Alea smiled, shyly.  “I thank you, your highness.”

Wind swished across the fields that surrounded her house, toying with her hair, and twisting her skirts around her legs.  She glanced at the house, and then turned and began to run.  She ran full tilt toward a tree that sat in the front yard, facing toward the south.  Toward the desert.  Alea skidded to a halt in front of the tree, and then walked slowly, purposefully toward a branch, from which hung a small wooden swing.  She sat down, arranging her skirts around her.  And then, she began to swing, allowing herself to go higher and higher.  Allowing herself to soar, like a bird, high above the ground.  Perhaps it would be the closest she would ever get to flying.  But Alea… she would take what she could get. 
She felt herself swoop gracefully toward the desert, only to be pulled back again, back toward the only home she had ever known.  And in that instant, she felt torn in two.  Her home, her only home, versus adventure.  But she could feel the call of the desert in her heart.  It was telling her she had to go.  It was telling her it was high time for her to leave her home.

So, there we go.  What did you think?  Are you guys linking up with Katie for Snippets of Story?  If you like to write, how are your writing endeavors going?  

The Dandy Lioness

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Accidental Poet


I’m a novelist.  It’s what I do.  I write novels.  But I’ve found, on occasion, that I dip into the realm of poetry.  The thing is, I don’t do it on purpose.  I’m not a huge fan of poetry, to be honest.  I just haven’t ever really gotten it.  I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, because last week we started a poetry unit in language arts, and we've been reading a lot of poetry in class.

I’ve been told, on numerous occasions, that I talk like a poet.  That my words are flowery, and flow together well.  “But I’m not a poet!” I protest.  “I’m a novelist.  You know.  Big, long, not too flowery.  Books.”  And then they laugh, and tell me I’m a poet too.

I took a two-week long writing camp over the summer, and we did some poetry while in it.  Several times, when we wrote poetry, I was told I was good at it.  I was shocked.  Me?  Good at poetry?  Please.  I’m not a poet.  Not at all. 

I mean, how can you be a poet, if you don’t even like writing poetry?  Let alone reading it?

Apparently, however, I am one.  I was flicking through some of my old posts, today, and I noticed something.  Several of them are poems.  They start out in paragraphs, talking about my life.  But then those paragraphs slip away, into stanzas, and flowery words, and altogether poem-ness.  

And I had never realized this.  I mean, I don’t do it on purpose.  Several times, my mother has told me that my poems are lovely.  “What poems?” I ask.  She points to my blog, at my posts. 

These poems,” she says.

And I’ve looked.  And simply not seen them.

But today, while I was looking through my blog, I finally figured it out.

I’m an accidental poet.  I don’t love writing poetry when I have to.  I slog through it, picking out the perfect words, and trying to figure out what should come next.  In fact, I quite dislike it.  But when I’m not paying attention?  I can write poetry.  And it doesn't sound forced.

So, somehow, I’ve become an accidental poet.  When did that happen?

The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Velociraptors Part Deux

I've been struggling for the past week to write a coherent post.  It hasn't worked.  I wrote one or two yesterday, another the day before, and composed several in my head over the past few days.

But I don't want you guys to think I abandoned you, so here I am.  And to make up for my absence, here's a short story written for you all on the spot, that will likely be terrible.  Be warned, this is over 500 words long, and sort of long.  Enjoy.

The writer hurried down the hallway to her office, keeping her notebook clamped tightly shut.  She burst into the office, and threw the notebook on the ground, and just as its pages began to flutter, slammed her foot down on it.

"Guys, we have a problem," she panted.

"What seems to be the issue?" asked one of the other writers, looking curious.

"We've got another case of them."

"Not again."

"I thought they were gone for good this time!"

The writer nodded.  "They're back.  Well, they want to be.  I've managed to keep them confined.  I just hope we'll be able to contain them."

"Just stick it in the Vault," said one of the other writers, pointing at a heavy, metal door in the wall.

"But my whole novel's in here!" protested the writer, gesturing at the notebook pinned to the ground.

"But you hate writing by hand..." said one of the other writers.

"I was trying to broaden my views, and decided it was okay.  Only..."

"You wrote them in again?"

"It wasn't on purpose!  They were important to the plot!" wailed the writer.

The other writers nodded, understanding.  "I just wish they would stop appearing in your stories.  We always seem to have... issues... with them," said one of the other writers.

The writer nodded, looking miserable.  "What am I supposed to do?  I can't keep the darned thing, or they'll all escape, but I don't want my novel to go into the Vault!"

"Hmm... we could try a careful extraction of all written pages except for the ones with them on them..." mused one writer.

The writer looked hopeful.  "Can we try?"

The other writers nodded slowly, but they all looked nervous.  "If we try this," one of them said, "Are you completely positive you can make them go away, if they get out?"

The writer paused, then nodded slowly.

"Alright then."  

The other writers stood, and walked toward her.  They knelt at her feet.  "When I say 'Now!', you remove your foot," said one of the writers, who had taken charge.  "Then, we'll flip through a few pages, and you'll put your foot down again.  We'll do this until we reach them."

The writer nodded.  "NOW!" shouted the writer in charge.  She lifted her foot, and the pages began to rustle. The other writers quickly began their work.  "And... down!" shouted the one in charge after a moment.  The writer slammed her foot down.

They continued in this fashion for seven or eight more times, until the writer shouted, "STOP!  In one more page, you'll reach them, and they'll get out again."

The other writers quickly ripped out the necessary pages, and then the first writer slammed her foot down again.

The notebook rustled angrily under her foot.  "Now, that thing goes into the Vault," said the writer who'd taken charge.

The writer nodded, and stooped down, to pick up her notebook.  She held it tightly closed, and sighed.  "I did like you, you know," she said.  Then she turned, and faced the others.  "Alright, I'm ready, open the Vault."

The writers moved over to the heavy metal door, and opened a small hatch in the door.  The writer threw her notebook in, and almost immediately heard the angry, frantic screech of the confined animals.


(550 words)


Does a velociraptor post make up for the fact that I didn't post for eight days?  Also, I applaud you if you read this whole thing-- it was kind of long.  

And if you want to read my original velociraptor post, click here.

The Dandy Lioness