Monday, November 12, 2012

Letters from the Front Line

I know it's been quite a while since I posted...more than two weeks, I think, but those days fly by when you're in the trenches, trying to crawl your way to the neutral zone and maybe take a rest after spending your days pushing the front lines.

By trenches, I mean the couch where I sit with my laptop to write. And by the neutral zone, I mean the point in NaNoWriMo where you can finish the 50,000 words required within the span of the month. I was doing pretty well at first, but after a week of air raids in Precalculus and other belligerent forces I had to take a few days and deal with the fighters.

So, World War II references aside and long story short, I'm behind in NaNo.


But not all of this madness and chaos is bad. Bn the plus side, this is one of the first times that I've been able to proudly say that I am in love with being this busy. Because now that I have the NaNo project (Pulse) to work on, it becomes that much more pertinent that I do my homework, eat, take a shower, do everything in a more efficient way. I'm forcing myself to get organized so I can write.

For those of you who are doing NaNo, what has changed in your lives for this crazy month where you try and squeeze 1,667 words into a document in a day? Positive, negative, neither?

And for everyone who isn't doing NaNo, what do you think about the idea as someone who isn't participating. Are we all just crazy? (Probably.) Does this sound like a fun idea? (That's iffy.) Do you think we're all sleep-deprived and running on fumes? (Most definitely.)

I hope everyone's projects, literary or otherwise, are doing well!

Finger cramps and ink smudges,

Monday, October 29, 2012


Yes, that's right, I'm regressing back to Middle English in order to make a point that there is a storm a-brewing around here. And for those of us on the East Coast, we all know exactly what I'm talking about - Hurricane Sandy.

Granted, I live in Ohio, so I probably won't get any of the enormous waves (otherwise we're all in big trouble), but we are expected to get high winds, heavy rains, and maybe even snow. SNOW. On Trick-Or-Treat night, of all times!

And immediately, it made me wonder: What about those little kids? Are they going to be blown away for the innocent desire of wanting to go house to house and take candy from strangers? It was one of my favorite parts of Halloween as a kid, running around in some ridiculous costume and getting  free candy. But what about the kids this year? What if this was your first Trick-Or-Treat? We're supposed to have high winds, maybe even snow, definitely some rain. Small children will be blowing all over my neighborhood.

Imagine being a toddle-y six-year-old dressed as a ghost, minding your own business and having a nice time as you're bundled up by your mom and dad and you're all set to get as much candy as you can. Then the second you step out into the main drag of the neighborhood you're in, WHOOSH, you're knocked over backwards and pushed down the sidewalk as gusts take your sixty-pound self down the street like a piece of newspaper.

Would some children develop a phobia of Trick-or-Treat Night, I wonder?

So to everyone on the East Coast, please stay safe as Sandy approaches, I already know some people who have lost power. Stay safe and stay warm!

Hurricane winds and driving rains,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Well, I guess it's not really wicked. It's just one of a writer's longest and craziest holidays of the year. It's like an enormous Holiday party with all of your favorite people with all of their favorite characters. There's dancing, drinking, general partying, and the always-amazing after party.

I, of course, am referring to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which comes in ten days. I'm quaking with excitement just by typing this. Or maybe it's the caffeine.

NaNoWriMo isn't really a party, in fact most of it is spent with you and your laptop. But there is drinking and dancing, by which I mean fingers dancing over keys as you strive to make your 1,667 word benchmark every day and drinking a blur of caffeine-laced sodas, coffees, and nameless energy drinks to keep yourself awake to continue writing until your fingers go numb. The aforementioned parties come on the first of December, where you celebrate the word count you finish with, 50,000 or not, and the after party of meeting up again with your real-life author friends and talking about your crazy month-long writefest.

Not to mention a great prize: Those who complete 50,000 words receive five free copies of their books published, just like real manuscripts. I've already started a list of who my five copies go to. I can't wait.

But for those of you who don't write, NaNo isn't a straight month of being cooped up in the house writing by yourself in the dead of night. It really is a great time. I have a bunch of friends doing it: Hannah, Frankie, Meg, and a bunch of others. There are write-ins where NaNo authors come to a place and write together, like in Paneras and my 'writing home', Thurber House, the house of author and cartoonist James Thurber. It's an old Victorian home full of old pianos, even older couches, and a resident ghost. It's a writer's paradise.

So if you see people hurrying around with bags under their eyes, their fingers twitching as they clamp a Starbucks cup, know that those are probably some of my fellow authors who are working to accomplish a full-length novel manuscript in a month. Give them a nod, or even a cup of coffee if you're feeling generous. Who knows, they might be in the process of creating the next big thing.

Falling leaves and black cats,

Monday, August 13, 2012

A station change...

You see what I did there? It's Late Night Radio and I'm changing the station...'cause I'm changing the subject...hehe I'm funny.

Anyhow, I'd just like to stop my current stream of writing-related posts to discuss something else for a moment: the real world.

Terrifying, isn't it?

But have you ever watched the real world, really watched it? Not even the everyday people-watching type of thing, but looked at the world as a whole, politically, economically, watching what's happening?

It's kind of like the apocalypse. Things seem to be getting steadily worse, and as some things get better other things take a nosedive. Everyone seems to be saying that they're just waiting for the world to end this December at this rate.

Am I the only one who thinks that this is one of the best times to really understand people? When people aren't buoyed by only the good things in life going on around them; not showing their true colors because they're happy. When people are in tough times, you see more of who they truly are. It may not be the pretty side of them, but it's who they truly are.

It's like sticking them under a microscope, their bad traits become evident and their good traits are magnified.

When a

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So I walked into my library's teen fiction section today...

I'm not ashamed to say I died inside a little. Are we serious right now, YA publishing industry? You want to tell me what good is a bunch of different series with the same plot structure? I was hopeful I could find something relatively good or original, but after getting from A to the twelve or thirteen various copies of The Hunger Games and its sequels, I gave up.

Why are books getting so repetitive? Yes, people appreciate having a familiar aspect in a story, but am I the only one that wants to read something different when I take the time out of my busy schedule to read? This isn't even attributed to a small selection of books, my hometown library is ranked in the top five in the country. I don't think it's due to lack of resources.

Literally, almost 75% of the books I picked up had this plot structure:

1) The protagonist (always a girl, by the way) has some sort of problem, whether it's mental or physical, and is sent somewhere new, whether it's a new type of school, town, or even a new section of town.

2) Said protagonist meets a mysterious boy who just *happens* to be attractive.

3) Knowing/loving this boy puts the protagonist in danger.

Now, I don't mind reading something like that every once in awhile, but I can't believe that a good portion of my library's teen section is just that. It's like walking into a clothing store and seeing the same shirt in different colors. If it's just a plain shirt, the colors are the only thing you're looking at. And a lot of the colors of the books aren't that original, either. They'd be grays, muted purples, and blues.

So for those of us who read and write, do me this one favor. Stop buying these books. Look for something new, original. Because the only reason they publish these books is because people will buy them. Demand something new from the industry when you buy or read books.

Turning pages and stroking bindings,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Can Feel Your Heartbeat.

I can. Every author can. And honestly, how can you not? When you create someone, a character that you name, clothe, raise, how can you turn your back on them and ignore the life you have just created from your imagination?
This is one of those things that I see some published authors do that makes me want to ram my head into the wall. How can they create characters and let them fall into such neglect and disuse?

As much as I hate to think of it, I'm using Bella Swan as an example.

Isabella Swan. One of what most writers I ask agree is the flattest, most boring and most pathetic protagonists we have ever met in popular literature. A seventeen-year-old girl who falls in love with a vampire and becomes defined by him.

But she could have become so much more.

She has a very strong, stubborn mind, and a very kind spirit. She could have been the diplomat between the wolves and vampire coven, or even the one who dealt with the Volturi when they came to take the coven. She's not stupid, even though in the Twilight saga she definitely has her moments.

Not to mention all of the wasted opportunities she had for characterization: her mother living in Arizona with her new boyfriend (what does she think of her boyfriend, is she mad her parents split, why Arizona?), her time in New Moon getting to know the wolves (does she agree with their philosophy, what does she think of their traditions, why don't the wolves frighten her like normal people, does she believe they're good, which omega wolf does she like best and why, does she worry about Jacob?), and even when she meets the Volturi face to face as an unchanged human. Does she fear them? Why or why not?

With all that characterization potential, what happened to Bella Swan? The answer: She was left. Whether it's the fault of Meyer for not further developing her or the editors or publishing house for not pushing for more characterization, Bella Swan was left a character as willowy as a stalk of sea oats. If she was standing by herself in the rain on a highway, what would she do? Turn around and march home, ignoring the cold Washington rains? Would she try and flag down a car and hitchhike her way home?

The answer: We don't know. If we ask the same question about Katniss Everdeen, Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson, we would have a better time thinking up their reaction. But the problem is, Bella isn't fleshed out enough for us to know, and the fact that she is a character in a published novel kills me.

So for all you writers out there, please take a lesson from the unfortunate Mrs. Edward Cullen. Raise your characters, love them, nurture them, treat them well. Learn who they are and what they want. Become their friend. So that when your time comes to show your characters off to the world they're real and true. They're real people of a fictional story. Because that's what readers want to see.

Pencil calluses and sticky keys,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I hope I can be like Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling.

But not for the thousands upon thousands of copies of their books they sell and copious amounts of money they'll make- though I have to admit that would be nice.

Their characters: Harry, Katniss, Hermione, Peeta, Ron, Gale, Draco - they've all been brough from words on a page to real life people. The movies didn't do that, the books did. I have never seen books wield such power. In addition, they use that power wisely - they create fantastic characters that are relatable and imperfect but memorable.

And the plots! They're not predictable, they need to be read, whatever they do in their writing compels you to read. I read the first book of The Hunger Games in two days, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. The Harry Potter books, spanning publication when I was in kindergarten all the way to middle school took me maybe a week to read, tops. The seventh book took me a little longer. I've been hunting for a paper copy of Catching Fire, but the only one is at a friend's house that happens to be a bit of a trick getting to. But who wouldn't want to have a book that no one could put down?

As a writer, of course I want to have books like theirs that are, you know, published. But I dream of having books that are loved.

So yes, I want to be like JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins. Can you blame me?

Tan lines and sunshine,

Live, my little blog, LIVE.

Hi there! My name's Brie, and I welcome you to my humble little blog! I've been meaning to get a legitimate blog besides my tumblog, and personally I'm really happy to be here. A little bit about me is that I'm a seventeen-year-old junior in high school that often gets mistaken for a college student or someone who works in the store I happen to be shopping in. My favorite fruit is mandarin oranges, my favorite smell is beach breeze, and my favorite language besides English is Spanish. Right now I'm thrilled because I'm playing to my strengths by doing one of the things I do best - writing.

Yes, I'm one of those crazy young creative writers who always has a story in her mind and her eyes to the sky. But is that all so bad? Writing is a way to release creativity, and since my artistic skills end at stick figures and my vocal skills are yet to be determined, writing is the only eloquent, pleasant way for me to express myself. And besides, isn't it much more fun to have spent the day in a reality that's all your own? If you think about it, that's what real life is, one long continuous story with subplots galore, random tangents, and a strange plot structure. But there's always a happy time on the horizon, because a happy ending depends on where you stop the story.

Where do you stop yours?

Hoping the stars shine for you,

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's been awhile, has it not?

Hello again :) I know I have a very small audience here (Okay just you Bri!) but I'd just like to throw out there that I have a personal blog I'm trying to keep going:

Paradise Found

And I'd really appreciate some traffic on there! :)

Thanks everyone!