Monday, October 22, 2012

Why I Like Taylor Swift

Sorry, Atticus, you're going to have to wait. I have a confession to make to my fellow followers: I absolutely hate Taylor Swift.

Oh wait. My post title says I like her. Well, yes, that too. What I mean to say is, she's kind of sort of really brilliant. I have tons of friends who can't stand her music-- "She's sooooo annoying!" "She can't sing." "Everybody else likes her."

People, I respect others' opinions as much as the next person. But I have to wholeheartedly disagree. I don't find her annoying at all. I think she can sing pretty stinkin' well. And everybody likes her because she has a super epic magic superpower: the ability to understand make people feel what she feels.

It's true. You listen to her music-- take "Mine" or "Ours" (I just now realized how similar those titles are...)-- and while you can't really place your finger on how exactly she does it, you can't deny how the song makes you feel. Hopeful, longing, like you had an epiphany. It's like she stuck her finger and pinned one of the life-long dreams you've ever had.

How does she do that?

In my opinion, the music is only a secondary part of it (although it is a big part, no denying that). Her words are the most important. That's why I like her so much: Taylor Swift is a first class wordsmith. She's brilliant. The way she writes is just like an exceptionally talented storyteller, in music form. Writing is different than storytelling. While writing is simply telling a story, storytelling is an art. A storyteller uses words to make the reader (or listener) feel exactly what they want them to feel.

Taylor Swift uses words. And her voice.

There are other people who do this, too-- Pink and Fun, off the top of my head. But none quite like Taylor Swift.

So why do I hate her?

Well, at the moment, I'm jealous. Also, she wrote a song called "The Lucky One" that, unsurprisingly, is not about a boy who is half-demon/half-angel and expected to save the world. I'm a little disappointed. And irked. Just saying.

I know a lot of writers who are TS fans. What are you favorite lines by her? I have too many to count, seriously, but they'll probably make appearances in my Song of the Day box.

ALSO ALSO ALSO! I am at 18 followers! :D If I get to 20, I think I'll do my first giveaway. Since I have no money to actually give anything physical away, I will happily give away a first-page critique of your MS! Thank you all for getting me this far!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Intermission - AKA October Blog Chain!

So we're taking a little break between interviews so I can participate in my very first TCWT Blog Chain! Yeah, I've never done this before, so feel free to laugh obnoxiously.

This month's prompt was:

“What are you writing for NaNoWriMo? Briefly explain how this book idea come about. Then write a mock first page for the novel.”

So! The novel is Death and Other Things I Fail At, which is about Sophia, a naturally curious ginger who reads from a spell book, which then separates her soul from her body. So she wakes up as a disembodied soul sixty-something years in the future, in which humanity has discovered ghosts exist and 'hunt' them for sport-- Sophia included. Except she's not a ghost, 'cause she's not dead. Soooo basically she, along with some poor boy whose body she hijacked and a Junior Hunter chick who'd rather blast Sophia to smithereens than help her, has to get to her body-- which was (conveniently) cryogenically stored somewhere in Florida. One other thing-- the ghosts that really are dead want Sophia to help them destroy the human race, so in addition to dodging Hunters all over America she also has to avoid being a pawn in a plot to rule the world.

Certainly sounds like a handful! I'm going to be experimenting with world building (something I've never done before) in order to create a futuristic setting. :P

Mock first page!

Okay, I'll admit, it was really stupid thinking the spell book was fake. What did I expect? That the lady selling the book was so desperate to get rid of it because it looked like it'd been throught he washer too many times, and not because it was magically enchanted hundreds of yeards ago? "It's cursed" is kind of a lame excuse not to buy the thing. Besides, it was summer. I was bored. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I didn’t even realize I’d been asleep until I woke up—outside, no less. The first thing I noticed was the buildings. They were all round, for one thing, and really tall, which was nothing like the buildings in Seattle. These had really weird silver antennae reaching for the sky like the tip of the Space Needle, but they were on every building as far as I could see.
Sitting up proved harder than I thought. The world swam and my head felt light and airy. Was I dreaming? I sure hoped so. The last thing I remembered was reading that stupid spell from that stupid book, the unfamiliar words still burned in the back of my mind like those cliché echoing reminders you hear in the movies.
“Such a spirit proves cursed thee
                So spirited you soon shall be”
That’s not even good poetry. I sighed and stood, shivering even though the sun was out and shining.
The place was pleasant enough, I noticed as I took a better look around. There was a small, fenced park in front of me, complete with children climbing on the big toy like tiny, overeager monkeys. It took me a second to realize that everything was moving—the sidewalks, the fence around the park, the grass in the park, and the people of course. I wasn’t moving though, despite the ground underneath me sliding along like those moving walkways you find in airports. When I looked down to see why not, I could see my feet floating an inch or so above the ground.
Yep. I was definitely dreaming.
A lady walking her dog—well, not really walking, but you get the point—looked up at me and gasped, obnoxiously red eyebrows shooting up almost comically. I lifted a hand to wave at her, still not getting what was going on.
“Um, hi.”
She shrieked. Every head turned as she slid away from me, mouth wide open, hand still clutching the poor dog’s leash outstretched to point at me.
“Ghost!” she screamed. “There’s a ghost!”
Say what now? I felt like Scooby-Doo (“Rhost? Rhere?”), except I knew that she was talking about me. And as the rest of the people got a good look at me, they started screaming too.
Everyone started to scramble away from me as fast as their legs could carry them, completely ignoring the moving walkways to help them get along. Somewhere an alarm blared. I took a step back, utterly confused, before I realized that there was actually a light post behind me. I’d stepped right through it.
Holy crap, I really was a ghost!



October 13th – Between the Lines
October 14th – Inside the Junk Door
October 15th – Musings From Neville’s Navel
October 16th – Kirsten Writes!
October 17th – A Mirror Made of Words
October 18th – The Teenage Writer
October 19th – Platonic Pencil
October 20th – Mark O’Brien Writes
October 21st – It’s All In My Head
October 22nd – The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
October 23rd - Teens Can Write, Too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meet My NaNo Characters! PART DOS

Hello hello! Welcome again to Part Two of Meet My NaNo Characters! We've already met the protagonist for Death and Other Things I Fail At-- now, let's meet the supporting character (and potential love interest?), Eli Kelinson!

PHOTO CREDIT: Johnny Pacar (Flight 29 Down)

Eli: Sorry, love interest? Crikes, that'd be a nightmare. Sophia's about as lovely as a plasma gun.

Host: So, Eli! You're from the future? Tell the audience about that.

Eli: S'really not much to tell. We've got an EMF field lining the domes, so, you know, ghosts can't get in. Didn't stop Sophia, 'course. She a whole different sort of entity. Anyway, everything sort of mechanics now. Suppose you still use cell phones and cars. Sorry 'bout that. Don't know how you lot lived in the Y2Ks.

Host: That's... interesting. So, what are you and the protagonist up to these days? Any goals?

Eli: Oh, don't get me started on Sophia. She says, "Oh, we've got to get to my body! It's cryogenically stored in Florida! But first we've got to find a book that may have been destroyed decades ago so I can actually merge with it again!" If you ask me, this whole thing's a suicide mission. But when she took over, my dad was all sorts of convinced that I'd been turned evil or something, so it's not like I can go back home.

Host: Yes, that is fascinating. Oh! We've got a call from back home-- Lisa from New Jersey asks, "Are you a dog person or a cat person?"

Eli: What sort of question is that? I'm a person, person. Gene splicing is just a myth.
Dogs! I love dogs!
Crikes! Sophia! I told you not to do that! It makes me feel like a girl!

Host: Heh. Well, thanks for the question, caller. One last thing: Are you nervous or excited about your upcoming adventures?

Eli: Erm, well, I'm on the run with a ghost. What's not to be excited about? I could die at every turn. No, I'm not nervous at all.

Host: That's all we have time for today! Thanks for hanging around, Eli. Listening and watchers and readers, stay tuned for our next guest-- the evil, the despicable, the utterly insane King Atticus!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meet My Nano Charries!

Hold your applause, 'cause I know you're excited, but it's time to INTERVIEW MY NANOWRIMO CHARACTERS! That's right - I'm plucking questions straight from the NaNoWriMo preparation handbook to further explore three excellent characters: Sophia Parker, Eli Kelinson, and King Atticus. So without further ado, Getting to Know Your Characters, part... erm... Seventy-something!

(Please note that I paraphrased a lot of the handbook's questions. :P )

Title: Death and Other Things I Fail At
Summary: Sophia Parker does some dangerous things when she’s bored - things like, say, accidentally separating her soul from her body one summer day after reading from a book she shouldn’t have. Now she’s stuck fifty years in the future, where mankind has discovered that ghosts are real and “hunt” them for sport - Sophia included.
The good news: Her body was cryogenically stored all the way across the country, and if she can just make it there in one piece, she’ll be able to reenter it and prove that she’s actually alive to all the people trying to kill her.
The bad news: Her only companions are the grumpy son of the world’s best ghost hunter and a girl who would rather blast Sophia to smithereens than help her reach freedom.
Not to mention the ghosts who really are dead want Sophia to help them overthrow the human race and kill every hunter in existence. Staying alive just took on a whole new meaning.


PHOTO CREDIT: Caitlin Evanson (Taylor Swift's BAMF violinist, in case you were wondering)

Host: Hello, Sophia, and welcome to the show! We're really excited to have you here today. Can you tell us a little about what is going on in your life right now?

Sophia: My life right now? Well, since I'm technically dead, my life has sucked lately. But, you know - stuck in the future as a disembodied consciousness with the whole of humanity deteremined to put me in a grave... there's never a dull moment.

Host: Wow! Sounds like you have a lot going on. Rumor has it, though, that someone is out to get you. We've heard you've been having some trouble with a villain. Cam you tell us what that villain is up to these days?

Sophia: Ha! Take your pick. Eli's dad wants to blow my head off for kidnapping his son. Z wants to wring my neck just because I don't currently have a body. And King Atticus the Homicidal Ghost wants to destroy the human race and isn't too happy that I'm opposed to the idea. Not a lot of people don't hate me right now.

Host: Oh, you poor thing. Do you at least have anyone helping you out throughout your adventure? A supporting character, perhaps? What has he or she been doing lately?

Sophia: Who, Eli? He's a giant pain in the backside. I only used his body once - now he's all indignant about a girl taking over and making hime "feminine and stuff." I guess he's my only friend, though. Z's just along to make sure I don't kill anyone while I'm trying to get Florida and find my cryogenically-stored body.

Host: You're lucky to have that person by your side. We've all been wondering, and we hope you'll tell the folks at home - would you rather be able to fly, or have the ability to become invisible, and why?

Sophia: That's a joke, right? I'm a ghost. I can do both.

Host: Look at the time! I'm afraid we're going to have to wrap this interview up. Thanks for talking to us, Sophia! Next up, folks, we're interviewing the big, the bad -

Sophia: The idiotic.

Host: The bravest amateur ghost hunter around: Eli Kelinson! Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview, up tomorrow!