Monday, August 27, 2012

Let's Vilify Everyone Because of One Person!

I'm sure y'all have noticed that my posts more or less revolve around either writing or boys. The writing, for obvious reasons. Boys, because most of the people I deal with on a regular basis are of the male persuasion. Plus, boys are fun to talk about.

So let's discuss something that both genders do: vilifying the other gender as a whole, when you've really just had bad taste. Girls, it seems, do this the most often. A boy cheats, and all men become lying scum who want to have sex with anything that moves. However, boys also fall into the annoying stereotyping.

Recently, I met Kyle's friends from college. For those who don't remember, Kyle is my brother who isn't really my brother. His friends are pretty cool. They're funny, and seem on the smart side. I talk to them via Skype, while they all play League of Legends. That's some sort of nerd role-playing game that I really don't understand, nor do I wish to. As they play, I laugh at them when they die, and do my utmost to distract them.

One of his friends, by the name of Hunter, is extremely attractive. We did a video call on Skype once, and he was just darling. He's also extremely funny, doing funny voices and faces much like I do. Whatever character he uses for League, he makes noises/puns in association with it. Y'all know how much I like puns and clever noises.

So naturally, I am attracted to this particular male specimen. Not in a serious way, mind you. After all, I don't really know the kid! I just think that if we got to hang out for any real amount of time, I'd probably be interested in going on a date or two with him. This isn't likely, as he's at CNU for school and lives a few hours away when he's home, and I doubt my parents will approve of me driving up to CNU to hang out with a bunch of guys they don't know. Well, aside from Kyle, anyway.

In trying to find out if he might feel the same way, I've been chatting with his room mate. And apparently, Hunter has had some bad experiences in the recent past. I know nothing about it, nor do I want to hear about the details from a third party. What I DO know is that Hunter has sworn off girls for awhile.

Now, I think that's ridiculous. It's the individual girl that did the bad thing, not all girls. I think girls who do the same thing are also ridiculous. You simply had bad taste, and to push away a perfectly fine person because of what someone else did is stupid.

I can't exactly say that to him, though. His room mate might try to broach the subject when Hunter's feeling a bit loquacious, but I told him not to worry about it too much. I'd rather not waste my time and attention on someone who isn't interested. I'm sure that I could GET him interested if I wanted, but that would take lots of visits to the CNU campus, and lots of primping. No thank you. And like I said, I don't think I'd be allowed to drive up there on the regular anyway.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pardon Me, I Have to be a Fangirl for a Bit

It's Ozzy's birthday!!

Happy birthday, Ozzy Lusth!






That is all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grammar, Spelling, and Style: My Thoughts

You see, I've been editing a friend's story for the past week. His novel (if you can call it that; it's ridiculously short, at 102 pages. Of course, it IS single-spaced *grumble*) is a typical fantasy type; magic, sword fights, unusual creatures. While that's not my genre unless it's remarkably well done, I figured that it couldn't hurt to help him out.

Now. It's not bad, per se. It's just... not good, either. At first I was editing as I read, but it was too annoying. So I did a first read-through, and am now going through for the editing stuff.

Doing this has gotten me thinking that maybe I could become a professional editor. After all, I took two Advanced Placement English classes in high school and got a 4 and 5 on the exams. Those are the two highest scores you can get, for those who don't know. In my final one, the teacher told me that I had an aptitude for examining literature, and for writing of course. Plus, I love to read, and to edit other people's work.

I've got another person asking me to edit his novel once he's done with it, and I agreed.

I figured that as I'm going to be doing this for quite a few people most likely, I'd give a brief synopsis of what I'd be looking for and what I'd be "fixing".

Let's start with grammar. It is my firm belief that a good writer knows the rules of grammar, and not just the basic ones. You have to know them if you wish to use them effectively. Nothing is more distracting than an error in grammar that is obviously unintentional. A fragment can be effective if used correctly, but all too often I see fragments that cannot possibly be used for effect.

Furthermore, I have a few pet peeves. Subject-pronoun agreement is a huge one. Sam is taller than she, not Sam is taller than her. Over and under use of commas is also irritating. And, if you don't know how to use a semicolon, please don't try to. It just makes you look like you're trying to be pretentious. And, for the love of God, do NOT use "since" as a synonym for "because" unless it's a character speaking. In the actual prose, it is incorrect. I do not care that people have started accepting it. It's wrong. Since is a passage of time.

Spelling is more cut and dry than anything else in the writing world. There are correct ways to spell things, and there are wrong ways. Of course, there are still variations. I'm sure you've all noticed that I use the British/Australian spellings of certain words, such as favourite and colour. This is because I find them more aesthetically pleasing. I'm a touch OCD, and having a balanced number of letters makes my eyes happy.

Does this mean that I'll tell someone who's written color instead of colour that they're wrong? No. It'll just jar me out of the story for a second.

Let's move on to style, which is perhaps the most finicky aspect of the writing world. Style is what defines a writer's voice, what makes them different from the million other writers out there. This does not mean that everything is acceptable if you head it as a "stylistic choice".

After all, it is a stylistic choice to write in passive voice. But no one wants to read a book that has 7 out of 10 sentences in passive voice. It's simply not dynamic enough to hold interest. In a similar way, using "to be" verbs in every sentence also grows tiresome. Those would be is and was, dear readers.

Take a look at this sentence:

The girl was running through the forest, tripping over roots and crashing through foliage.

Now, that's not a bad sentence. But now take a look at this one:

The girl sprinted through the forest, tripping over roots and crashing through foliage.

Isn't that more dynamic and interesting? You can use "to be" verbs in your prose, but try to use them sparingly. Sometimes they're unavoidable, after all.

Something writers get told all the time is to move quickly. You don't want a slow story and lose the reader's attention, right? Right. However, there is such a thing as moving too quickly. When that happens, the reader loses the connection with the characters. You're sacrificing character development to keep the plot moving, and that is never a good plan. Even if you're not a character-driven writer (such as Tolkien), you want to keep your readers connected. If there is no connection to the character, most readers will put the book away.

Awkward sentences can hardly be passed off as a stylistic choice, although I've known people who have tried to argue. It's usually the writer of the awkward sentence, surprise surprise. Most often, they disagree that the sentence is awkward. Personally, I don't see how you can not tell. Even with my own prose, I can tell when something is forced and feels awkward.

Writing the way you talk is also a problem. Now, if the story is first person, go right ahead. For third person, however, you simply cannot. Unless you speak the way you write, you cannot write the way you talk. It's too informal, to put it simply. On this blog I write the way I talk, because it is meant to be that way. For my stories, however, there is a distinct difference. Don't believe me? Go here. Read my short story.

UPDATED: Another thing: contractions. In certain stories, it's fine to have contractions within prose. In others, you should avoid them. Fantasy, historical fiction, science-fiction, and literary fiction should really just not have them. Once again, with first person, it's usually fine. Depending on the voice of the narrator for any other story, it can be fine. As a general rule though, I say avoid them.

Now, I'm not sure how I'm going to approach this friend with all of my criticism. He thinks his writing is excellent, which is always annoying. He even said that if there's no "real" reason for the criticism, he will ignore it. If I can't give a definitive reason as to why a sentence is awkward and why he should change it, he won't. That's frustrating.Yes, it is his novel, he can write it how he wishes and does not have to heed anything I say. He can argue that it's just my personal preference.

However. I read a variety of styles. In that last AP English class, we read tons of books that were written in very different ways. And I enjoyed all of them. I can usually tell when something is intentional, and when it's just that you don't know how to write. Or to put it less harshly, when you haven't written or read enough to tell when something is... not wrong, but just awkward.

That's all I've got for today, my dears. Sorry for not posting for so long :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Dreams Worry Me, Y'all.

They really do. Although I don't tend to have nightmares (unless I'm on medication and/or I'm ridiculously stressed about something), my dreams are often weird. And that's putting it nicely. When they aren't weird or a nightmare, they focus on some random aspect of my life (usually a person) and play with it.

The last one is what I had last night.

You see, I had a dream about Corin. I know, I know, what a blast from the past! I honestly don't even think about him any more. Well, I do when I run or drive past his house, but that's normal. And it's not even REALLY thinking about him, it's more, "Oh look, there's his house. Glad he doesn't live there now. Ooh, ooh, a bird!"


In my dream, Krystal and I were at his house. Now, this wasn't weird or unexpected; I'm friends with his little sister (who is my age), and I was helping her with some photography stuff. Not with the photography itself, but the storyline behind it. I've done this with her before, in real life.

So, we were chilling upstairs while his sister was downstairs getting something. Being us, we start singing along to The Civil Wars (an excellent duo, you really should listen to them. In fact, I'll put a link to the song we were singing). Then, Corin walks in with Juliet. They both freeze, and then Corin smiles.

I'm a bit flustered, and for obvious reasons. 1) It's Corin, whom I haven't seen in over a year. 2) I had just been singing, and I don't like it for people to hear me sing when I don't want them to. 3) I look a hot mess, what with my over-sized shorts and a tank top.

Corin starts acting like nothing's weird. Juliet looks severely uncomfortable and shoots me dark looks, which is perfectly understandable. We make small talk, and Krystal and I make a hasty exit as soon as it's no longer considered impolite. After saying goodbye to the sister, we leave.

Well, my dad is somehow outside. He thinks that I made this huge mess in their yard (which I didn't, hmph), and demands that I clean it up. Although I try to explain, he doesn't listen. So I clean it up, because it's easier to just go along with what he says.

While I'm out there, Corin comes out. He once again starts talking to me like we're old friends. I'm feeling awkward and just give perfunctory answers. Then Juliet comes outside, and all hell breaks loose.

She starts demanding to know who he thinks he is, to be talking to me like this in front of her. Accusations abound, and I pretty much just sit there on the ground watching this whole thing. I get called a bunch of fun names, but at least Corin does too.

And that's pretty much it. I know there was more to it, but I can't remember now that I'm fully awake. If I recall something later, I'll be sure to add it in.

Now, here's that song:

Enjoy that loveliness.

Savour it.

Because I think they're pretty damn close to perfection.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Annoying? Me? Never!

I'm sure you all thought this Josh/Daniel stuff was behind us. I thought it was. BUT NO. Well, actually, it sort of is. Just not all the way. Like, it's 3/4 of the way behind us.

So. Last night I got to see Patrick. I'm sure you don't remember me saying that he'd been detained. If you do, kudos to you for being a critical reader! Anyway. He's got a court date in September, and is out on bail now. He came by work last night to help with something, and then go to the bar with everyone. I went as well, though I didn't drink. I AM under age, after all.

Well, it came up that he still talks to both Josh and Daniel. I do not. Naturally, I asked if Daniel had mentioned me being a bit crazy, what with letter-writing and telling him about the nightmare I had. Patrick laughed and said that he had said something about it.

Daniel got my letter. He erroneously said that it was written on My Little Pony stationery. WRONG. It's rainbow-unicorn-carousel stationery. Then he read it to both Josh and Patrick. Well. That's something a GIRL would do. Boys, though, had a little bit more decorum than that, or so I thought. I figured that if he got it he would TELL them about it, but I didn't think he'd READ it to them. Of course, I can't really remember what it said (having written it under the influence of some very heavy pain medications). So there's a 50/50 shot of it being embarrassing.

Along with this, Patrick told me that there's no chance of Daniel and I being friends. He's not going to be a jerk or anything, but he'll only be around me if Patrick and/or Josh is there.

Now, that's fine with me. He could've just said that. Instead he went with the "we can't be friends because it hurts Josh" line, which is infinitely worse. That leaves me thinking that we would be friends under normal circumstances, which makes me sad. Telling me, "Hey, yeah, I don't want to be friends with you, no offense. I just find you a bit annoying" is much better. I've been hearing that for years. That's something that I'd just shrug off and say, "Oh well, your loss."

Yeah. You read that right. Daniel thinks I'm annoying. I've heard that from several people; mostly people who I don't like anyway, and who have no real sense of humour. I thought Daniel was a bit more like me and the people I hang out with. Oh well, I can't be right all of the time. Of course, I'm not sure where I was annoying, except in the last few times I tried to talk to him. Except for the very last time, I was flying high on hydrocodone-acetaminophen. Considering we'd talked about it before, he knows that I'm an extreme lightweight when it comes to drugs. Before I pass out, I get incredibly stupid.

The very last time, HE texted ME first. True, it was apparently a resend that wasn't supposed to get sent, but still. I didn't initiate it. So unless he finds my very verbose style of talking/texting annoying, there was nothing about it that was irksome.

But really, I'm not upset. More irritated than anything. Irritated because he wouldn't just TELL me, and was willing to let me go on thinking that he wants to be friends but won't be. I like straightforwardness. After all, I'm straightforward. The one time I wasn't (which was this whole debacle with Josh), it blew up in my face and I learned my lesson.

Krystal thinks that Daniel's being ridiculous, and DOES like me. She had this plan to show up at his house and make him talk to me, but I told her that it wasn't going to happen. She gets a little overzealous sometimes, you know. Plus she's a total creeper. Anyway. She thinks that I could break him; get him to admit that he has feelings for me, or at least finds me attractive. As much fun as THAT would be, I'd really rather not push the creepy slut envelope.

Patrick also thinks that Daniel may have some feelings for me. His theory is that when Josh became serious about me, Daniel turned me into a no-no for himself, and won't let himself like me even in friendship. However, Patrick also admits that he doesn't know Daniel as well as he knows Josh, so he could be reading everything completely wrong.

I'm trying not to care, and it's getting easier. I don't feel sad or upset, and I'm actually sort of glad that all of this is at an end and that I won't be thinking about Daniel any more. Knowing that he doesn't want to even be friends and thinks I'm annoying really helped to quash all the little stupid fantasies I had about him showing up at my house to declare his infatuation for me.

Anyway. That's all for now. If anything else comes up, you're sure to hear about it :)


There's a really cute waiter at Olive Garden. He flirts with me, and gives me extra bread-sticks and mints. His name is Bobby, or Robert when he's being a big boy. He even told me when he usually works so that I can request him whenever I go in. Of course, I don't really see anything coming from this. He seems a bit old for me (probably in his mid twenties), and besides, he probably flirts with all the pretty girls so he can get better tips. True, he flirted even when he wasn't my waiter, but still.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Hello, my lovelies :)

Sorry for being gone so long! As y'all know, I got my wisdom teeth removed. Not a whole lot has been going on, otherwise. But I'll try to sum up everything I've been doing/thinking about.

I finally signed up for Warrior Dash, which is on September 29. I'm super excited, and I'm hoping for a better time than the last one. Tonight is my second run since getting my wisdom teeth out, so I have a lot of work to do within the next month or so.

The past two days, I babysat my friend's little sisters. They're 7 and 9 years old, and they are hilarious. I'm very tired, though. They just don't stop! Nicole, the 9-year-old, is amazing at drawing. Erica, the 7-year-old, is full of sass and makes some excellent faces.

As for Josh and Daniel and all of that, I haven't spoken to either one. Well, I texted Josh today to find out if he's heard from Patrick at all, but otherwise, nothing. They aren't texting me, and I'm not texting them. Okay. I lied. Earlier this week, when I was still on the pain meds, I had a nightmare about Daniel. In it, he told me that he hated me and all this other stuff and he tried to murder me. When I woke up, I was delusional enough to send him a Facebook message about it. He never answered, thank goodness. It's best he just ignore me until I've found a new boy to crush on. Oh, and I sent him a letter, but I never put a stamp on it, but it still hasn't come back. So I don't know what happened to it. I think the mail carrier thinks a little kid wrote it (I used rainbow unicorn stationery), and so sent it on anyway. Which is awkward, because I never meant for him to get it.

Heather, our GM at work, quit this week. Apparently, the higher ups denied her request for time off, and it was the final straw. She walked out Wednesday, and officially resigned Thursday. As of the moment, we're just waiting for AMF to send us a new GM.

And that's pretty much all the news I've got. Soon I will be finished editing Inside the Lines, and I'm going to need some beta readers for this latest version. Any takers? ;)

UPDATED: I added a few new fishies into my little pond. I really wish there was a way I could get a purple one, though...