Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time To Write


Sometimes, you just have to sit yourself down, and write.  Maybe your story isn’t seeming too interesting right now, or your characters are fighting.  Maybe you’re not sure how you want to continue.

But you have to.

You have to just settle down, avoid distractions, and start writing.  Let the characters take hold, and see where they’ll take you.

And even as I type this, I realize that I haven’t been doing this.  I’ve been pushing away the thought of starting a new novel.  I’ve been pushing away the thought of continuing work on a novel I was working on over the summer.  And I don’t know why.  Maybe I’m just unsure of my writing abilities at the moment.  Maybe I’m scared.  I don’t really know.  But what I do know, is that I have to sit myself down, and start to write.  I have to start that new story I’ve been working on—sure, I’ve been saying I’m almost ready to start, but have I been pushing myself to finish the final stages of planning?  No.  I’ve been letting myself get distracted, letting my attention wander.  And I can’t do that.  I want to write.  No.  I need to write.  But have I been writing? 


And how is this possible?  In November, I had words flowing from my fingers.  I was happy, and writing away.  But right now?  Nothing.  The occasionally story idea hits me, but it soon fizzles out.  And because of that, I’ve gotten scared.

What if this new idea doesn’t do anything?  What if it fizzles out, like all those other ideas I had?  What if… What if… What if…

And I know it’s cheesy, and people say it all the time, but I have to stop thinking about the what-if’s, and just start writing.  Because I can’t just keep doing this, pushing away my writing.  Because writing is something that I feel lost without. 

So, I’m going to make myself start writing again.  Writing is something I love, and I need.  And I need to teach myself to write every day.  Writing every day is part of why I love NaNoWriMo.  It gets you to just sit down, and write, even if you aren’t really sure if your story makes sense, or if you like it, or whatever.  It gives you motivation to write.

And I need motivation.  I have to start writing again.  I use school as an excuse to not write, saying, “Oh, I had a lot of homework.”  But you know what?  If I can spend hours lollygagging on the internet on school nights, I can most certainly put away half an hour, or an hour, and just write.  And sure, there will be some nights when I can’t do that. But that's okay, because most nights I can.  

So, I’m going to start writing again.  I’m going to either do a rewrite, or just a revision, I’m not sure, of my NaNo10.  I’m going to do a read-through of a novel I started over the summer, that I abandoned about 20,000 words in, and perhaps start writing on it again, after having read through it.  And I’m going to start a new novel idea I’ve had filed away in my brain for a few weeks. 

So I’m pushing away this writer’s block that has settled over me like a blanket, since November.  I’m pushing it away, and I’m going to start writing again.

The Dandy Lioness

P.S.  Sorry if this post is kind of ramble-y and 
repetitive.  I just needed to get this out of my system, and write it down.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Hello again!

Sorry I've been missing lately-- I just haven't gotten around to blogging.

I'm sure you've noticed by now, that there's a new background and header.  I decided to spruce up my blog in honor of spring.  Being averse to change, it took a whole lot of convincing myself that this was a good idea, and that no, I shouldn't just change the header, etc.  I'm still thinking of going back to that sort of gray, tiled background I had before.  Thoughts?  Anyways.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out, even if I am a bit iffy on the background.  The header took me ages (I had to redo it three times today.  I also made two other ones, and now I have five different ones to choose from, once summer rolls around.)

Am I the only one who's rather averse to change?  I kept finding myself wavering, as I would stare at my background and header.  Spring is coming up, and I have a snowy tree as my header.  I should change it, one little voice would say.  But then another would pipe up, saying, No, no, this one is good.  I like it.  You shouldn't change it.  Ever.  And they would get into a bit of a war with each other.

I find myself not wanting to change many things in my life.  But what if I don't like the new one?  I wonder.  What if I like the old one better?  It's part of why I haven't changed my room up recently, even as I longingly flip through PB Teen, thinking, Oh, that's nice.  It would look good in my room.

I'm averse to change.  But I know that I need to get over that.  In my life, many things will come and go.  Rooms will be rearranged, or redecorated, I'll switch schools, I'll grow older, and my responsibilities will change.  But I find myself clinging to the old things, the old me, as I grow, and get older.  Change is something I will experience many times in my life.  I need to learn to accept it.  Even if I don't want to.

The Dandy Lioness

Monday, March 12, 2012

That Constant Rain


People say my city merely mists.  It can rain for an hour, and you'll be barely wet.  That they don't even notice when it starts to rain.

But if you're like me, and you grew up here, driving these streets, seeing those stores, those mountains, those houses, you notice the rain.  You notice as it barely starts, as it stains the white concrete with just a few drops.  You notice as a raindrop lands on your head.

"It's raining," you say.  "Again."

The rain falls constantly, it sometimes seems.  Today was a constant rain.  The kind of rain that made you simply want to sit, huddled in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book.  The kind of rain that you can hear as it strikes the house, a constant pitter-patter.

Eventually, that pitter-patter fades away from your consciousness, and you don't even notice it anymore.  You struggle to hear it, to tell if it's still raining.  Until you finally hear it, the soft, pitter-patter, of that constant rain.


Today was a constant rain.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter.

Walking home in a constant rain,

I huddled,

Half under an umbrella.

Eventually, I gave up,

And stepped out of it's black and turquise polka-dotted protection, and walked.

In the rain.

That constant rain.

My hair was dripping,

Water down my face.

My friends thought I was crazy.

As I hopped on my toes through puddles.

And I got soaking wet.

Drip, drip drip.

But I didn't mind the rain-- not too much.

Maybe a little,

But only a little.

Even though I probably complained.

Because sometimes,

You just want to walk in the rain.

That constant rain.


The Dandy Lioness

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Un Lun Dun— A Book Review

{This is the cover that I had, though I prefer this cover.  I personally find this cover to be rather ugly.}

Title:  Un Lun Dun
Author:  China Mieville
Genre:  Fantasy
Page Count:  471
Rating:  4.7 out of 5 stars

"What is Un Lun Dun?

It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong."

This book is amazing.  With every twist and turn you meet new characters, and I was left guessing as to how it would end, until the very end.  Deeba's companions are lovable, silly, and courageous.  They're willing to do everything to save their city.  The villains of this book are just the right amount of scary, and well-bent on taking over not just Un Lun Dun, but regular London as well, and the rest of the world.  

Part of what I liked about this book, is that Deeba is the UnChosen one.  Her friend Zanna was the Chosen One.  But when things start to go wrong, it's down to Deeba to take over, and save the two worlds.  It's a refreshing change from the usual ways of one particular person being the Chosen One, and though they have companions, it's their destiny, and they're not happy about it.  But Deeba?  She's the UnChosen one.  And she didn't have to take up that position.  She could have just stood by.  But she wouldn't.  She chose to take over, and do everything she could to save Un Lun Dun.  Her companions include Conductor Jones, conductor of a flying bus, Rosa, the driver of the bus, Odabay Fing, a tailor, Curdle, a milk carton, a talking book, and many more.  These characters are certainly quirky, and some of the most original I've met in ages.  

Though this book was fantastic, Deeba's grammar sometimes bugged me.  She'd say things like, "They was..." , and a few similar sentences, which are trivial things, and obviously on purpose, but still bugged me.  However, I highly recommend this book, especially if you're looking for an original, exciting adventure story.

Personally, I give this book about 4.7 out of 5 stars-- there were a few things I didn't quite like about it, but all in all, it was a very, very good book.  Be warned however-- I was just looking at the Good Reads page for Un Lun Dun, and it appears that either you love this book or you hate it.  Quite obviously, I loved it.  Some people complained about the strong environmental theme-- the main villain is the "Smog", and wants to take over the world and burn it.  But for me?  I just enjoyed an all-around good read.

Have any of you guys read it?  Do you think it sounds interesting?  Would you read it?  If you have read it, did you like it?

The Dandy Lioness

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snippets of Story— March

Hello, all!

I'm linking up with Katie for her Snippets of Story link-up.  I've been lagging on writing recently-- though I have tons that I could be working on, I just... haven't.  I've been busy with school, and my sister coming home, and several other things, and somehow, I just haven't been writing as much.  But I'm doing Snippets anyways, with a few excerpts from my WIP's at the moment.  I think I may have writer's block.


Farren stared out her bedroom window, looking out onto Old London.  The sound of carriages on cobblestones below, and the roar of airships overhead filled her room.  She flopped back on her bed, and gazed at the sketches and drawings that covered her bedroom wall.
Airships.  Hot air balloons.  Anything that flew, really.
It was her one big dream.  To one day look down upon her city, London, from the sky.  To fly high above the ocean.  To simply fly.
She sat up again, and stared upward toward the airships floating across the sky.
“Farren!  I’m heading out!”  Sebastian, her older brother, poked his head into her room.  “You want to come?”
Sebastian worked in the airship yards, fixing up the ships that came through London, and needed fixing up.  Oftentimes, he would take Farren along with him, as she adored the airships—and maybe partly to keep her out of trouble.

-Steampunk WIP, currently untitled

Their eyes were all drawn to Mel, the mysterious new girl, who was sitting next to Eiffel—the one person who always sat alone. 
“Who’s that?”
“Is she new?”
“I’ve never seen her before.”
“Why’s her hair pink?”
“She looks weird.”
“Wonder what her name is…”
“Have we just missed her all year?  Or is she new?”
“I’m not sure…”
The bell rang again, and Mr. Fuller walked to the front of the room.
“Hello, class,” he said, scanning it.  He spotted Mel.  “Ah!  Yes, we have a new student.”  He grabbed his attendance sheet, and scanned it, looking for the unfamiliar name.  “King, Melon,” he said.  “Umm… Melon, would you like to stand up and tell us a little about yourself?”
“My name is Melon.  I go by Mel.  I grew up in Seattle, and now I’m here.”  Mel sat down again.
Mr. Fuller opened his mouth, but quickly shut it again—judging from the look that Mel was giving him, that was the best choice.

-Building Eiffel

The coffee shop was crowded.  Important looking business people stood anxiously in line, checking their watches and tapping their feet.  Teenagers hung out in a corner, talking and laughing loudly over their drinks.  Harried looking young adults sat huddled over their laptops, coffee sitting abandoned on the tables next to them while their fingers flew.
Mel felt out of place in the environment, but it was clear that Eiffel didn’t.  “Hey, Eiffel!” said the young man working behind the counter.  “Fancy seeing you here,” he said, grinning.  “And with a girl?  Shocking.  I was beginning to think you didn’t know they exist.”
Eiffel rolled his eyes.  “Mel, this is Will.  Will is a… friend, I guess.”
“I see,” Mel said, surveying Will. “Well, hi.  I want a double-tall chocolate mocha.”
Will raised his eyebrows.  “Bossy,” he said.
“I am the customer, and you are the worker,” she said, her eyes flashing.
“Your girlfriend’s feisty, Eiffel,” Will said, looking her over.
“Oy.  My eyes, they’re up here,” Mel said, snapping her fingers.  “And I’m not his girlfriend.  We only met today.  I just moved here.”
Eiffel stifled a laugh.
Will didn’t look disappointed at all.  “Well,” he said, winking at her, “I guess that means maybe we could go out sometime…?”
“No.  And winking is for serial killers, and people who stick bombs under your car.  Now, give me coffee, and I won’t kick your butt.”

-Building Eiffel

So those are my Snippets.  Are any of you linking up?  And has anyone else been feeling a case of writer's block?  I'm just going to get back to writing.  My stories are missing me.

The Dandy Lioness