Monday, December 28

I GOT A KINDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem.

Yep. Enough said.

Soo... Anybody else exhausted from holiday festivities, or is that just me? We've been running around like chickens with our heads cut off over here. It's been crazy!

Here's a rundown of my last few days...

Christmas eve was spent playing with Christopher and his younger brother Adam's early Christmas present from Santa... a Wii, a bunch of games to go with it, and the Wii fitness thingamabob. Exciting huh? So of course we had to play with that all night. ALL NIGHT!

Christmas morning my boyfriend dragged all of us out of bed at 6:15am. Ahem. Sorry, that is actually incorrect. He dragged Adam and his parents out of bed at 6:15am. I was lucky. He woke me up at 5:51am. Yep. So after much grumbling we woke up enough to open presents (I GOT A KINDLE) and have some breakfast. Then we all fell into a coma until about 12:30pm. After that there was a mad dash to have showers, get ready, load the Jeep and drive the hour and a half in slick conditions to Granny and Pawpaw's house.

Christmas evening was spent with his family eating, opening presents and generally being loud and amusing. It was lots of fun-- I adore his family.

On Boxing Day, everyone, excluding Martha (his mother) and Granny, slept in till 11am. Then, once again, it was a mad dash for the showers so that we could meet the two crazy shopping ladies (Martha and Granny) for lunch in town.

After that we all fell asleep in the living room and then drove home.

Today (Sunday) we had to get up early and drive to Granddad's house for another Christmas. We left at 10am and didn't get back till 9pm, so I'm pretty pooped.

And the excitement doesn't stop there... Oh no, no, no. Christopher turns 21 tomorrow (technically today since it's 1:30am here). Yay!! Happy Birthday Baby! Love you!

After that we still have one more Christmas to go! PHEW! Anywho, I should probably go call my mum and then go to bed. I'll be back later with a detailed list of the stuff I got...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!!

What did you get for Christmas??

I GOT A KINDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nope, it doesn't get old.

Thursday, December 24

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow and a happy New Year-- whatever your religious beliefs may be!

I will be back in a few days to share all of the funny Christmas stories =]

Monday, December 21

My Birthday

Guess what?

Today is my birthday =D

That is all. You may now continue on with whatever you were doing.

Saturday, December 19

Update

Hello everyone!

Sorry I disappeared-- again! However, I think you are all used to that by now. And if you aren't... well you really should be. I mean, you are sooo not in the know if you're surprised by my disappearances. LOL!

Alright, so before I begin with my rambling I just have to say thank you so much for your lovely comments in my last post. Each made me smile (some even made me cry, heaven forbid), so thank you ♥

Now, on to a bit of an update for you guys! Thursday I wrote my Anthropology final, which I got 85% on. I finished the class with 90% ( an "A"). YAY! And I just found out that I got A+ on my huge presentation in my Advanced Writing class. I also got an A+ on my Mimic Assignment and an A on my journal. In total, I got A+ in the class (Advanced Writing). WOOHOO! I didn't even know you could get A+ as a final grade. I've only had A's.

Okay, now for a bit of iffy news. So my mum's friend (Genny and her husband Jon) got home yesterday afternoon. However they were (and still are) so exhausted and stressed out and in pain (she had 2 seizures and a c-section, and Jon has Crohn's Disease), that they called my mum and we went over last night to help out with Baby (bay-baeh). It was quite stressful and draining on everyone. However, Genny is doing better now, and Jon is... well he'll be okay once he gets his Crohn's to calm down. We went over there again tonight to help out, and Genny and Baby are doing much better.

But enough sad stuff. I'd rather rant about Baby's utter and complete cuteness. You know how some babies are just plain funny looking? Not Cristian. He's sooo cute (absolutely no biases here). He has dimples, a cleft in his chin, the darkest eyes you'll ever see, and a full head of black hair. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures when we were there-- I was too busy fighting mum for my turn to hold him (It was about half and half. I got him for a good hour or more). We're going over again tomorrow though, so I promise to take pictures for you guys.

So what have I been missing recently? How are your stories coming along? Need to rant about something?

*Tomorrow I will hopefully be giving away a ton of Awards, since I've been slacking off with this recently... Oops.*

Wednesday, December 16

Perfection

When I first moved into residence 3 years ago, I quickly realized that my room was going to need some TLD-- Tender Loving Decoration.* Badly. Although it's not the same set up as most American colleges since I have my own room, it was still pretty plain and boring. I had one blue (think stormy blue) wall, while all the others were an odd beige colour.** The light in the room was--and still is--so dim it actually hurts the eyes to use it. And the furniture. Sighs. Oh the furniture. It's not the prettiest by any means. It's serviceable and hardy, which is what it's supposed to be. But it's certainly not pretty. Add this all together, and I came into quite a dilemma. My room needed to be in my taste for me to feel truly comfortable there. And so I set out to make my room the best I could.

In the end I am quite happy with how it turned out. Even though I've changed apartments over the years, my room has basically stayed the same (I'm apparently a creature of habit). My comforter is a pretty black and white creation from Ikea, the pillows and blankets are all moss green and stormy blue, and my knick knacks--teddy bears, fake candles (no flames in residence, remember), picture frames, posters and whatever else floats my boat--add a personal touch to the room that most other residence rooms lack.

This year, I added a few new pictures to the walls. I now have what is probably the most famous kissing picture of the 20th century (I am an avid romance reader and writer) and one of the best pictures depicting the joy of Freedom:



I also bought another picture, which sits over my desk to both taunt me and inspire me.

Here it is above my desk at school:

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, but I'm quite the perfectionist. My room is always clean, everything is organized, my grades must be as good as possible, and my writing... well my writing has to be perfect, which complicates my life immeasurably when it doesn't work out that way. So I got this poster, both for the pretty picture and also to remind myself what perfection should be, not what I always make it be. However, while staring aimlessly at it during a break from studying the other day, it occurred to me that not everyone would view perfection in this neat and tidy way. While I believe perfection to be clean, organized, and beautiful, many others would readily disagree with me. And I don't blame them. I do think the picture above is perfect; however, I would say the same of a wild, overgrown meadow. Which brings me to my main point. If everyone sees perfection in such different ways, how can there ever be a solid, concrete term to rely on? If everyone has a different view on perfection, how can we determine what body image is perfect, what behaviour is perfect, or what writing is perfect? The answer is simple:
We can't.
So stop trying to mould yourself to what society deems is acceptable. Don't try to force your behaviour into what you believe is perfect (unless you have the inclination to break the law... then you probably shouldn't do that). And most especially my friends, don't try to squeeze, shove or bully your writing into being some false ideal of perfection. It won't work. In the end you'll only feel nauseous for ignoring yourself and for forcing yourself to be something you're not.***
As my poster says, "Perfection: Success is the art of doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways."
Take it to heart guys. Sometimes the simplest, smallest thing can be the best.

*Cheesy I know. Gimme a break, it's exam period.*
** My room is still this way, with one blue wall and all the rest being beige.**
*** This is not based on my own experience, but from what I've read/seen from other people.***

Monday, December 14

Meh Weekend

Hey guys, sorry I haven't been around. It's been a tough weekend. First off, I've been studying for my final exams, which is both tiring and stressful. Then as you all know, Daisy has been unwell. To make matters even worse, my mum's really good friend and someone I consider an Aunt had a seizure on Saturday. She just gave birth to her adorable baby boy Cristian on Wednesday and there were some complications. Unfortunately, it was expected that her pregnancy would be difficult. When she was in her 20's she had a blood clot in her brain and had a stroke. Thankfully, however, she is okay (as far as we know) and should be released soon.

So due to all for this, I've been a little preoccupied. Thank you all for understanding. Your comments in the last post made me grateful to have you as my friends.

In happier news, I received a $1000 scholarship today for academic achievements. Yay!

So how was your weekend? Any good news?

Saturday, December 12

Bad Day

Okay, this post is not going to be a cheerful post. In fact, this is going to be a very unhappy post. There will be tons of cute pictures though. I hope in the end you all understand (I know you will, because you're all such caring people and I ♥ you for it).

First, I had my GNED final. That in itself is awful. But it's done. Yay.

Then when I got home my baby girl (Daisy) gave us a terrible scare. My parents let her outside for her usual guard duty/ perimeter check while they worked on dinner. A few minutes later they let her back in and that's when they noticed she was acting funny. In a way, it looked like she had gone blind. She couldn't walk straight and her head was twitching uncontrollably-- like she was trying to see. However, we quickly figured out that she could see us, just couldn't do much else. She couldn't walk properly, she was shaking and twitching, and her eyes were shifting nonstop.
.
.
Mum forced her to take some corn syrup in case it was her blood sugar-- we had a cat who was diabetic, or had pancreatic cancer and that's what they told us to do. Once we got her to take that, I sat with her on the chaise and held her. I slowly, gently stroked her while trying to keep her head from twitching. Eventually the worst of the shaking stopped, but her eyes were still going crazy. Then she started to lick my hand-- it helps her to calm down. Thankfully, her eyes stopped shifting and she rested for a while. About half an hour after that she wanted to get up and walk around. She stumbled a lot and fell down a few times, but now shes doing pretty good. She ate all of her dinner and seems to be doing much better-- she's currently sleeping. We're going to watch her very carefully now and we don't plan on leaving her alone for the next few weeks.

My birthday so many years ago....



Being cute...



Good action shot if I do say so myself...


Playing with her rope!

Fuzzy puppy! Here she's actually still a pup.
You can also see our old cat Ninja there.

Fantastic Jumping Dog!
And look at that awesome Barbie house in the background!
My parents made it for me one Christmas.

Obviously I'm very upset about this. I cried the whole time I was trying to calm her down-- and still am. She's my baby and I've had her for 14 1/2 years. I know she's going to die eventually, but I'm just not ready for her to go yet. If she was in pain or showed any signs of pain, I know what I'd have to do. But while she's not in pain, I can't let her go.
I just can't.



Thursday, December 10

Things That Made Me Laugh

*12 Days Till I Feel My Toes Again*

So... I'm feeling rather lazy today. I should be studying for my GNED final tomorrow, but instead I decided to read all of your fabulous posts. And now I'm furthering my procrastination by writing a post rather than studying. Yes, the end of the semester has hit me hard. I no longer seem to care about my grades-- I just want this DONE! It's also a lot harder to care about your grades when you know you can't fail the class... MUAH HAH HAH! That's right my darlings, I could get a "0" on the final tomorrow and still end up with a C+. Excellent.

Anyway, I decided that today I would share with you some of the funny things I've stumbled across this week. I haven't done a post like this before-- mainly because it's a lot of effort and I do believe we've already established that I'm lazy. However, I'll give this a shot.

Stephanie Thornton has posted another hilarious, spew-your-drink-out-funny post in her Student Analogies & Metaphors series. I strongly recommend you put the drink down before you read this.

Like animals? You should definitely read Kristen Painter's letter to her pets. It is so good--and so very true-- that I still giggle over it.

Ever think that maybe the screaming baby you always see sitting on Santa's lap has the right of it? That Santa really is... Evil? If so, click. This will be good fodder for your conspiracy theory. If you don't think he's evil, still click, you may just change your mind.

This one just made me snicker because the "mob-boss" looks so much like my own puppy Daisy:

And lastly, my dad sent me these two cartoons. They really resonated with me, and I'm sure you can understand why. I'm also positive many of you will understand how frustrating this can be...



So, what made you laugh this week?

Wednesday, December 9

14 Days Till I Feel My Toes Again, Fa la la la la la la la la

Since the last post...

I received the grades for my Anthropology term paper (A, 90%), my Theory term paper (B-, 78%-- thank GOD I PASSED), and GNED Term paper (A-, 88%). I am waiting on my History term paper, which should be up sometime this week (and should be an A). I am also waiting for 4 grades from my stupid English class (aka Advanced Writing).

I have played with human skulls and weaponry from hundreds of thousands of years ago. (My Anthropology professor brought us to the lab on Monday, and we got to poke and prod skulls from our ancestors. It was interesting! Some of them were real, especially the weapons, but most of the skulls were replicas-- thank goodness too because touching a real skull would creep me out.)

I have been battling the cold weather as well. We've been having -25c (or -13f) pretty consistently, but with the windchill it is more like -32c (-25.6f).

I have also written an essay since we last spoke. Yipee, it's done! I just need to edit it once I'm done this post, then I'm FINISHED! MUAH HAH HAH HAH!

Ahem.

My last day of classes for this semester is tomorrow and I am so excited to be done. After tomorrow I just have finals... Speaking of which:

GNED (Controversies in Science, or as I say, Kill Me Now)-- Friday, December 11th at 3pm.

English Literary theory-- Wednesday, December 16th at 8am.-- Yes. 8am. They clearly hate English majors.

Anthropology-- Thursday, December 17th at 11:30am.

History-- Monday, December 21st at 6:30pm-- AKA MY 20th BIRTHDAY. Now I know they really hate me.

So what have you been up to the past few days?

*If you're wondering about the title of this post... I fly back to Virginia on December 22nd.*

Sunday, December 6

A Letter to Nature

Dear Nature,

I regret to inform you that although you are my constant companion, I no longer consider you my friend. I do hope this does not come as a shock to you, since I'd hate to displease you further than I already seem to have done. My issue with you, stems, not necessarily from your breeding or countenance, but rather from your utter disregard for others feelings and wishes, and your frightening display of temper. Why, just three days past you spewed forth such an unholy snowstorm that my family and I have been trapped within our drafty old house with very little to do. The wind, even now, batters against the walls and screams through the cracks in the front door—quite disturbing that. It makes napping, reading and movie-watching very difficult to do. Very difficult, indeed. And this tantrum of yours, only a week after your last storm, in which a dear friend of mine ended up in a car crash, the treacherous roads being the cause of his misfortune. Thankfully he is well enough, though he was in the hospital for quite some time. I do hope you are charitable enough to feel remorse for your actions; though, something tells me you find nothing but glee in ruling over other people’s lives.

In lieu of this, I believe everything becomes quite clear. In truth, I find your company quite exhilarating in southern climes, and even in the short period of summer here. Your behaviour during these times is vastly improved from normal. However, I cannot, in good conscience be your friend any longer. Your complete lack of respect for people makes me ill to my stomach. I only hope that you and your dastardly Weathermen are pleased with yourselves.

Sincerely,

Natalie Murphy
.
P.S. As you may have already noticed, I have attached several photographs to this letter. You will find that each of them provides undeniable proof of your guilt. Good day.

The view out of our living room window on Friday.
It has since worsened considerably.
It is important to note that there wasn't a flake of snow in sight Thursday morning.


The garage door earlier today:
My apologies over the poor quality of this photograph.
It was taken with a numb hand and frost covered face.
My father by the snow drift.

Monday, November 30

I'm Back

Hello everyone! I'm bacccccck! Didcha miss me? I missed you!

Alright, so I'm going to keep this very short because I am freakishly sore and tired and I need to do some homework before I flop into my bed never to move again. Okay, well hopefully I'll move again, but not for 17 hours AT LEAST. Anyway, I arrived home safely, just a little delayed.

I'm back at school and running like the hounds of hell are hot on my heels towards freedom. You see, I only have 6 days of school left (plus 4 days of finals). I still have an essay to write (a very technical, complicated one) but that's really about it. I'm exhausted and I'm ready for it all to end. Needless to say, I'm a little short on patience right now. Oh well, I suppose.

Okay, that's about all I can manage right now. I need to go lay down before I collapse.

Wednesday, November 25

Arrived Safely

Hello everyone, just a quick note to let you know that I am here in Virginia, safe and sound.

My flights were pretty good. The wait over in the airport, however, was not okay. There were some changes made at the Calgary airport, so there was a lot of waiting around. But it was okay, I entertained myself with magazines and a yummy Tim Horton's sandwich. However, when I got to Chicago, I ended up waiting for 5 hours! The plane we were supposed to take was delayed in Omaha, and then the stormy weather in Chicago prevented the plane from landing in a timely manner. It really sucked. So I got to Roanoke at about 12:20am. Didn't get home until 1am -ish and then I needed to make dinner (aka, a sandwich).

Anyway, on to a quick WIP Wednesday post.

Since the last post (which was a few weeks ago), I tidied up the Ballroom scene and am now happy with it. I wish I could have done more, but I have been too busy with school essays. On the side of the screen it tells you how much I've done recently. I can't see it right now, but I believe it's 10 000 something.

So how are your work-in-progresses coming along? If you're doing NaNo, how's that going for you??

Tuesday, November 24

Laptop's Take Over

Natalie's laptop here. Natalie is currently in the air flying to Chicago where she will then board another plane to fly to Roanoke, Virginia. In lieu of this, I have taken over her blog -inserts evil laugh-

Ahem.

Continuing on... Natalie's dad found this amusing cartoon and I thought I'd share it with you fabulous people. Enjoy.




Sincerely,
Natalie's laptop... aka, her better half.

Monday, November 23

Keeping Things Positive

Guaranteed to always make me smile...


Karamel & Daisy


Yes, it is a cat in a box.



Saturday, November 21

I Have the BEST Blog-Friends EVER!

Thank you everyone for your kind words, thoughts and hugs. Each and every one is appreciated. I never expected to have this sort of support from my readers when I first started this blog. But now that I have you guys, I don't know what I ever did without you. I'm grateful for your friendship, probably more than I could ever express in words. So thank you so much. I treasure you all.

My family is doing pretty well, considering. Honestly, it was just a bit of a shock. However, hopefully we can take this bad situation and run with it. We're a tough little family and I know we'll make it in the end.

Okay, but that's enough "blah" for the week, don't you think? Possibly even for the month. So in lieu of that, I will tell you about some positives that came out of this week-- because, in my opinion, looking at the positive aspects of life will always get you through the darker sides.

1. I wrote my 2nd Anthropology Midterm and got 98.33% (59/60)!! I believe that exam was worth 25% of my grade. So yay!

2. I did a presentation in my GNED (science) class and I think I did pretty well.

3. I wrote my Theory midterm and it's all done! Yes, finishing the exam deserves to be on this list, regardless of whatever grade I get in the end, LOL!

4. My family and I went to see 2012 last night. I quite liked it. Lots of action, pretty entertaining acting etc...

5. My Mum is making cake tonight for my grandmother's birthday dinner tomorrow. We're also making butter tarts. Yum yum.

And, I've saved the best for last...

6.. I know I haven't mentioned it on here, but I leave Tuesday to visit my boyfriend Christopher in Virginia, for the American Thanksgiving. Since he has the week off, I decided I could go visit him (I'm only missing 3 days of school). I leave Tuesday the 24th at 1pm Calgary time and I won't get back till Sunday the 29th. This is partly why I've been so busy recently. I don't want to take homework down with me, so I've been frantically trying to do all the work I can before I leave. This is especially hard considering all my term papers seem to be due either before I leave, or directly after I return. Alas, I only have my Theory term paper left, which I will tackle tomorrow. Thankfully, we paid for the trip with points. My Christmas trip down there will also be paid with points, so I don't have to worry about that!


So your turn. What great thing happened this week? Did something make you smile, laugh? Snicker in glee?

Wednesday, November 18

Post Cancelled

There will be no post today due to urgent personal matters.
I am unplugging until further notice.

Tuesday, November 17

Crazy crazy!

Okay, so this week is just as crazy as last week (work load isn't as much, but alas, I must attend class this week, LOL!) Therefore, my load seems just as hefty. Unfortunately, because of this I don't have much time to blog until Friday-ish.

I will post a WIP post tomorrow, but I don't know how detailed it will be.
Thank you for understanding! You guys rock!



Thank goodness I have such wonderful commenters ♥

Monday, November 16

Question

So my dear lovely friends, I have a question for you. As most of you know, I am crazy busy with school work. You also know that I want critique partners and beta readers, but I don't have time to devote to reading/editing their stories. This puts me in a bit of a sticky spot. I want some advice/opinions,* but I can't get any.

That is, until Wendy from Where Ladybugs Roar offered to read my story "free of charge."** This generous offer got the gears in my head moving. I wondered if any of my other blog-friends would be willing to read my story, and give a critique (whatever type they have time for) knowing that I can't return the favour? I also wondered how exactly I would go about offering up my story for people to read. Because, quite frankly, I don't want just anyone to read my story. I think I need to feel comfortable with the person for them to read it (like Wendy).

So this is where you guys come in. Would you be willing to read the first 50 (give or take) pages of my work-in-progress and critique it, knowing I can't return the favour? And how do you suggest I go about picking who would read it (I don't want to hurt feelings but I want--need-- to be comfortable with the person)?

Once I have some feedback from you guys, I'll announce what I decide in a post.
Hope everything is going well for you!



*My two editors right now are my mum and my boyfriend Chris. They are both exceedingly helpful-- trust me, they don't let things slide by. However, I would like some more opinions, especially writer opinions.*

**Isn't this just awesome of her? I couldn't believe it when I saw what she offered. I got all giddy and excited. Thank you Wendy! You ROCK!**

Saturday, November 14

FINISHED!

I FINISHED!! Woohoo! I wrote 4 term papers this week and they are all just spiffy! I actually finished my Anthropology paper last night at about 8:30pm, but I was too tired (and sore) to write a post. I did however, read all of your blog posts! Such funny, wonderful writers you all are! I'm happy to see that most of you guys are just bookin along on your NaNo stories! Keep up the good work ladies!

Okay, so for the word cloud I posted a few days ago... Although I didn't specifically require that you guess their last names, many of you did! Unfortunately, my Heroine's last name wasn't visible in the picture. It's visible on my Paint version, but when I transferred it on here it got blurry and small. So that's not really fair, is it? But since it wasn't a requirement, I won't count it. However, if you did get my Hero's first and last name right, you ROCK!

So, here it is, what you've all been waiting for... I'd like to formally introduce you to the Hero and Heroine of my current story, The Sound of Snow...

William Huntley, the sixth earl of Rochester & Miss Katherine (Kitty) Beckett!

Good job everyone who figured it out! If you said William Rochester, that counts (since it is his title). If you didn't get it right, don't feel bad. It was really hard because "Katherine" and "Beckett" weren't visible on there, just her nickname, Kitty.

As well, this is the first time I'm telling you the working title for my story. Yes, it is very similar to my blog title-- it really suits, so for now it's staying.

Other characters names...

Nicholas Langley, the fourth Viscount Wakefield & Elizabeth Langley, Viscountess Wakefield. These two characters are actually the Hero and Heroine of my other story, Forever.

Yay! Thanks for playing along guys! For that, everyone gets a hug! The bragging rights, however, go to Anissa, B.E. and Karen since you all guessed the first names correctly!

I'll be back later today with an important question post for you guys! So make sure you check back.

*Update: I'll be asking the big question tomorrow instead of today*

Wednesday, November 11

WIP Wednesday

Oh. My. Gosh. Look at this, I'm posting and it's not even dark outside! What ever shall we do? Quick, fetch the thermometer, I must be ill! Or perhaps I have been taken over by an ALIEN! Oh my!

Ahh, sadly, my story is not as exciting as all that. I don't have school today because it's Remembrance Day here in Canada-- Veteran's Day in the US. Therefore, I have a bit more time to do homework and uh... do more "homework" ie, blog. I will also be home tomorrow to do more of the former and less of the latter. Because of this middle-of-the-week day off, two of my three classes tomorrow are cancelled. Excellent. Extra long weekend for me! Sadly, it will be taken up with writing my History term paper on Rousseau and his views of education and my Anthropology paper on the Japanese Macaques. Sighs.

Anyway, on to the work-in-progress talk! I FINISHED the ballroom scene! YES, GASPS ALL AROUND! Unfortunately, it didn't go quite as planned. I did as everyone suggested and just wrote without editing and... it didn't turn out so well, LOL! I mean, the writing is quite good. Reading back, it's enjoyable and error-free. However, I messed up on some important points. So... whenever I get the chance to write my story (I'm hoping tonight! We'll just have to wait and see though...) I will be trying to fix these errors, because they are big enough that it will keep me up at night. For example, three characters just disappear in the scene... and then suddenly they reappear. Not good. Anyway, I'm really hoping they will be relatively easy to fix.

I'm not sure if any of you have been following, but on the side I've been updating my word counts. It's a slow crawl, but it's still progress. I've gone up a few thousand or so. And I've also put up my word count so far this week for essays. This will be going up drastically tomorrow and Friday when I write those two papers-- UGH!

Okay, now before I go, I stumbled onto this from someones blog-- I can't remember who! If you know, could you let me know? Anyway, it's a really neat thing that shows you your most used words. To make your own, click here.

Here's mine for my work-in-progress:



Hmm... Can any of you spot some of my character's names? I spotted 10. Of course, the picture isn't as blurry on Paint. If you can tell me the name of my hero and heroine, I will give you a giant hug and the right to brag to everyone. Awesome prize, eh?
*Some of the names up here are for the same character: first name, last name, and title.*

How are you doing? If you're doing NaNo, how's it going?


*Hmm, the brown of that picture doesn't quite go with my blog. Ah, well, what can you do?*

Monday, November 9

What's Different?

Yesterday for my Anthropology class, we went to the zoo. It was a lot of fun. I quite enjoyed having my professor there, telling us weird but interesting facts about all the primates we came across. She used many terms that had me going, "huh?" with big bug eyes. But that's okay, I still had fun.

While we were there, we were given a task. For 30 minutes, we had to pick a primate and watch it while writing down anything they were doing. At the end we also had to write the primate's type, gender, sex, and rank. For example:

12:00 - "Big Mama is scratching her back with right hand. Just ate whatever she found."
12:02 - "Big Mama appears to be sleeping while her baby grooms her."

This observation is worth 10 marks towards our term paper, which is worth 20 overall. Easy, huh? That's 50% right there for doing it. And yet, some people didn't do it, or didn't go to the zoo. I don't get it. Anyway, for the rest of the term paper, we have to pick a primate (can be the type you just spent the last 30 minutes freezing your butt off to observe) and write about how the zoo is, or isn't meeting that animal's specific needs.

Now, when picking my primate, I had several different thoughts:

1. It had to be cute, which did not narrow it down, because they are all cute... except Howler Monkey's (poor guys, they are ugly as Sin and sound even worse).

2. They had to be interesting to me. What made them different from the other monkey's I could pick?

3. What were my classmates going to pick? I don't want to pick what they're going to pick. For one, how could I quietly observe the animal if there are 50 other people crowding around? And two, I want to be different.

So, I picked the Japanese Macaque, better known as Snow Monkey's. I think they are cute, have really interesting behaviours, and best of all, only 3 other people were studying them. Yay!

However, this got me thinking. As writers, we want our stories to be "cute." In other words, we want them to appeal to people on the surface. But we also want them to be interesting and enthralling to our readers, right? And in the end, we also want our stories to be different from any other story out there. Sure, the plot may be similar, but that's bound to happen. What we really want is for our story to have pizzazz and punch to it. We want our story to stick out in a reader's mind long after they've finished it.


So my question for you is: What is it about your story that makes it so interesting to readers? What's different about it?
*Btw, in the picture, the Macaque is resting in a hot spring. In the winter they love doing this. It's just like a hot-tub!*

Saturday, November 7

Neato Keano Contest Alert

Want the chance to win a Kindle? Yes? Me too. Click to go to Lisa and Laura's blog: Lisa and Laura Write where they are giving away a Kindle! It's really easy to enter, so you should definitely try! Why not, right? You've got nothing to lose!

I've only read a few of their posts, but so far I think this is a blog I'll be sticking with. They seem quite amusing. Annnnd they just got a book deal! Woah, eh?

Okay, I should go to sleep. Finally.
Sorry if this post sounds a little crazy.
I'll be saner tomorrow.

Thursday, November 5

No Post Today

Yep, no real post today. However, I thought I'd stop in to let you know that I've got a big day planned for tomorrow, so you should definitely check it out! I'm giving away 4 blog awards (I've been slacking in this department... oops!) and will be treating you all to my version of Cake Wrecks. If you haven't checked out the Cake Wrecks blog before, you are seriously missing out. It's one of my favourite blogs ever and it cracks me up everyday.

Okay, that's all folks! Hope your word counts are soaring! I'm opening up my WordDoc right now!

Wednesday, November 4

WIP Wednesday & Other Life-Related Updates


Hello darlings!

Have you noticed that the blog-o-sphere has been extremely quiet recently?! I know NaNo is the reason, so I won't make anyone sit in the corner. Not that I'd make you do that anyway...! Just keep up the good work gals! I'm cheering for you!

Okay, so I just got back from class where there was a grand total of 6 students out of 25. Yep, 6. And my other classes are no better. The campus is dead. They are changing final exam policies, professors are making tests take-home, and as of today, they are considering closing the school for a few weeks-- possibly even for the rest of the semester. They are treating every illness as H1N1, therefore banning sick students from campus until 1 week after their last symptoms. According to my Anthropology professor, 30% of the student population is sick. That's not counting teachers and janitorial staff and administration. On top of that, there are the few students who are skipping just cause, and there are a few who don't want to get sick, so are avoiding school. At the moment, I'm praying I don't fall victim to the flu! I honestly can't afford to miss that much class-- unless they close the school down, of course. Anyway, I wish everyone who is sick a speedy recovery! *Mum sent me the piggy picture. Isn't he adorable?*
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But that's enough of the doom and gloom! On to my work-in-progress! Definitely not as depressing, wouldn't you say? Okay, so I know I haven't discussed it on here before, but I'm not participating in NaNo. Firstly, because I have no time. I also don't think forcing myself to rush words would work very well. My inner editor would get that evil glint in her eye and start concocting cruel things to whisper at me while I write.... And I'd rather keep her as silent as possible! However, that does not mean that I'm not going to try and write as much as I humanely can. This means that I will be including essay word counts in my grand monthly total. Yes, this is just a ploy to make myself feel better. Just go with it! I will post totals of things on the side (essays and stories) so you guys can follow along with my progress.
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Anywho... I'm still writing the scene that I have dubbed the "Ballroom Scene." Although I'm still working on it (insert HUGE sigh), it's actually going pretty well. I'm happy with everything I have down. It's just rather slow going...It's the first time the Hero and Heroine interact, so my inner editor won't let me put any words down unless they are utterly perfect. Ugh. It doesn't help that I took the weekend off from everything. However, I have gone up 1500 words from last week. And I'm hoping to write at least that much tonight!

Is everyone sick where you are? How's your work-in-progress coming along?

Monday, November 2

Need Sugar

Okay, so apparently I'm still being blog-lazy. I promise you, I will eventually post old Halloween pictures. Just not today. I'm tired. And rather grouchy.

I want to write. Really badly. Problem is, I'm sleepy. I made dinner, ate dinner, and washed the dishes. And now I'm tired, LOL!

I'd try to boost my energy levels up with coffee, but I don't drink it. I'd try tea, but it puts me to sleep-- always. I suppose I'm left with one option...

Sprite and leftover candy.

Here's hopin' it works.

Sunday, November 1

Good or Bad?

Wow, I've been slacking. Oops. It seems the second I get home for the weekend I become this lump. It's a wonder I even get my laundry done, LOL! But never fear, I have been reading your blogs. I just haven't been commenting because I'm rather lazy, as we've already determined!

Anyway, I have my phone back. Yay! I called MRU security Friday and only 10 minutes earlier someone had dropped it off. Phew! I'm so glad there are still some honest people out there! The person could have easily kept it. So please help me send the good samaritan some positive thoughts!

Okay, now, I had this whole post planned where I was going to post my old Halloween pictures. I even scanned them in. However, that's about where I stalled, LOL! I'm thinking I'll post it tomorrow. That way you can all share your Halloween tales!

So what are we doing today you wonder? Why, we're going to discuss vampires of course. It is Halloween after all. But not just any vampires. We're going to discuss Stefan and Damon from the new show The Vampire Diaries. What? You aren't watching it? Scoffs. Well you should be.
For those of you who are watching the show, what are your thoughts? Who should Elena pick? Stefan, the goody goody WUSS, or Damon, the smoldering bad ass with issues?

LMAO! Gee, can you tell who my favourite is? But no really, I don't mind Stefan at all, nor will I shun anyone who likes him more than Damon. I just think that Damon is so much more interesting and I feel there's more chemistry between him and Elena.

What do you think?






*Hello to all my new readers! I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions, or would like me to talk about something specific, just let me know!*

Thursday, October 29

Delayed WIP Wednesday

Hello guys! So I'm going to use this post to update you on my work-in-progress (duh) as well as update you on my daily life. Ooo, exciting ;)!

Work-in-progress:

I've written several thousand words since last Wednesday! Yay! I don't know the actual number-- that would require me to pick up my notebook and look, and I'm far too lazy to do that, LOL! Anywho, I added a few sentences here and there to finish off my Hero's POV in Chapter One. After that, I got stuck when I tried to switch back to my Heroine's POV. I knew exactly what I wanted in this part. I had several pages of notes on emotion and actions and what needed to happen in this scene to move the story forward... and yet, I couldn't get it out. But on Monday I got about a page done and it has received the seal of approval from Christopher! Yay! I wasn't sure if that page was any good, because I had been so stuck. However, I just reread it and I love it. Overall, I'm rather happy with myself. I didn't get the word count I wanted, but I love what I do have.

School:

Everyone is getting sick. I had two classes cancelled this week due to illness. Not that I'm really complaining, but still. It's not a good sign for me and my weak immune system. Sighs. Anyway, I got my stylistic analysis paper back from my "stupid English class" (advanced writing). My professor has been grading these papers for a little over a week, and each time we had class, he would comment on his progress. Apparently most of the class failed, which is definitely not a good thing from a class of mostly English majors. Needless to say, I panicked, as I tend to do. I wish I hadn't. I got the best grade in the class, a solid "A". The next highest grade was a "B".
He actually used my essay as an example of "inspirational, exquisite, beautiful, and rich writing."
Yeeeeep. I'm quite proud of myself for pulling that one out, LOL!

Along with the English paper, I also got my History midterm book review essay back. Man, that's a mouthful. Anywho, professor Wigelsworth did the same thing as my advanced writing prof. He told the class that most had failed. In fact, the class average was a "C-". So what did I do? That's right, I panicked. Once again, wish I hadn't. I got another solid "A". I believe he said only 3 (or 5?) people got a B or higher. Yep, I'm happy.

So this school week went pretty well. I got an A on both assignments, one worth 20% the other 25%.

GENERAL LIFE:

I lost my cell phone today. Right after my History class. I don't know what happened. I had it, then like 10 steps outside of the room I had the thought of: "where's my phone?" So I looked through my bags and it wasn't in there. I went back into class and it wasn't there either. And I definitely had it in class because I'd been texting Chris during the boring sections (a lecture on the start of the Thirty Years War.... SNORE). I talked to Wigelsworth, but he didn't see it. I also called Lost & Found (which happens to be Security) and they haven't had anyone drop it off. I'm really hoping it turns up. I have pictures on there that I haven't put on my computer yet.

Sighing. I've never lost anything before. So this is sort of psyching me out. Oh well, I suppose. The big problem now is, I have no phone. And my family doesn't have a land line. We just all have cell phones. Oh dear, oh dear. What to do?

But overall, my "general" life sucked this week. Even with all the positives regarding school. Just plain sucked. Everyone's been rather emotional and extremely busy. Ah well. Hopefully next week will be better? Plus, it's Halloween this weekend. That means I get to snack on candy while writing. How could that go wrong? -knocks on wood-

*I haven't decided about tomorrow's post, but I will be giving away another award. Oooo Ahhh!*

Wednesday, October 28

Devil's Dance Floor

Hello all!

First, I'd like to apologize for not posting yesterday. I was scrambling to do as much homework as I could and posting completely slipped my mind. You see, I went out with my parents for dinner, and then we went to see Flogging Molly in concert. Don't know who they are? That's okay, you're probably not alone! I have posted a song of theirs for your enjoyment (it's my favourite)! Basically, they are an Irish punk band. Are you a fan of The Clancy Brothers, The Pogues, or Dropkick Murphys? If you are, you'll love these guys. Trust me. They are the type of band you'd drink a pint to while in a pub. You can't help but move when you listen to them-- in my opinion.

Anyway, needless to say, I love this type of music. I blame my parents, LOL! They listen to everything but country (and rap), so I was introduced to a wide range of genres at a very young age. My iTunes library is the weirdest mix of music you'll ever find.

Because of my large variety of music, I find I'm always listening to something, even if it's only on volume 2 and you have to strain to hear it. And yes, I do listen to music while writing my story. In fact, I almost need to have music on, even if I can only catch a note or two. It gives me inspiration and rejuvenates my creativity. It also tends to put me in the perfect mood for whatever I'm working on.

However, I listen to different genres depending on what story I am writing. For example: the Scottish romance I started about a year ago (back when I never even considered being published), I listened to Celtic music and a lot of fiddle music, along with soundtracks like Braveheart. For my last story, Forever, a regency romance, I listened mostly to classical music. For my current story, which is also a regency romance, I listen to classical music, soundtracks like Pride and Prejudice and Becoming Jane, as well as all of my Enya CD's. I also listen to Christmas music, LOL! My story is mostly set during Christmas time, so it puts me in the right mood.

Now that you know a bit more about my inspirational music, I thought it would be fun if you guys shared! So here are my questions:

1. What genre of story are you currently writing? Be specific, don't just say YA or romance.
2. What do you listen to while writing this story (if you do)? Does this differ from what you normally listen to?
3. What is your favourite genre of music?
4. Did you know who Flogging Molly was?




*WIP Wednesday will be posted tomorrow instead of today. Gasp!!!!!!! I know. A Wednesday post on a Thursday? What ever shall we do?*

Monday, October 26

Monday Blues

I don't care what some people say, Monday sucks. A lot.

The end.
Anyone have any suggestions for how to fight the Monday Syndrome? I've got naps down, so no need to mention that one, LOL!

Sunday, October 25

Reminders

This weekend I was reminded of a few things. I think I'll share them with you just in case you've forgotten too.
  1. Don't worry over whether or not someone is going to like your story while you're still working on it. No one is going to like it if it never gets written.
  2. Don't focus on making every word utterly perfect. No one can write perfection the first time around.
  3. Even if it is a slow writing day, or god forbid, week, be proud of what you do accomplish, whether it's writing or cleaning the house.
  4. You don't always have to meet your writing schedule. Rushing to meet that 1000, 2000 or even 3000 daily quota will almost always result in crap. Take your time; the words will come to you.
  5. Getting stuck on one part does not mean that your story sucks or that you suck as a writer. Move on to another section, or try taking a break. Sometimes your creative juices just need to be stirred up a bit.
  6. Remember to always leave the cave. Going outside or spending time with real people will help your writing. I know this can be hard, especially when you're on a roll, but trust me.
  7. Have fun. If you aren't having fun, you may need to change it up. Writing should be fun, especially if it's what you want to do for a living. If you aren't enjoying your story, it'll be reflected in your work.

Some of these are my own thoughts to writers out there. I've noticed quite a few frayed nerves on the blogosphere recently, so I felt a reminder might help everyone out.

Thank you Chris, for pointing out some of these things to me. I need reminding every once and a while.

Saturday, October 24

MSN & AIM

Hello everyone! I was going to write a nice, inspirational post today, but I'm too tired. I ran errands with my parents in the city and it just pooped me out. Completely. I'm sitting here yawning while I write this, and it's only 8:30ish. Sad, really.

Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to bring up the fact that I have MSN messenger and AIM if anyone is interested in having a chat buddy while they write. Since I seem to live on my computer doing work, I'm generally on MSN as well. If you aren't interested, that's perfectly fine. However, if you are interested, email me at nataliemurphy@live.ca and I will send you my MSN email address and/or my AIM name thingy.

Now, it's time to start writing. I got about 1500 out last night, which, if you knew my mood, is quite impressive, LOL!

I hope the weekend is going well!

Thursday, October 22

Awards and Such

Hello darlings! I'm going to try and keep this short today because, well... 1. I have a tiny headache, 2. I want to write, and 3. Because I said so. Ah see, I'm going to be a good mother one day. I've got number 3 down! LOL!

First off... On my two midterms this week (Biological Anthropology & English Theory) I got in the 80s! Woohoo! I was really nervous about these exams. I'm not a sciency person, so of course the Anthro one had my eye twitching, and my Theory class is really complex. But I did well, so I'm happy.

Secondly... Uhhm. -mindwentblank- OH! Right, I got it. (Man is that sad or what? That, my friends, is a sign I should be resting in a bed of pillows so I don't hurt myself. Or better yet a plastic bubble. Wait. Never mind. Not the bubble. I'd find a way to hurt myself I'm sure. Choke on the plastic in my sleep or something. Sighs. Now that I think about it, the pillows probably wouldn't be such a good idea either. The pointy ends of the feathers would probably poke me in the eye or some such nonsense.) Anyway, my secondly, is about awards! This week I have received two from some very lovely ladies.
The first was from Melane over at her blog Chasing the Dream. She gave me the Kreativ Blogger award! Thank you so much, hun!! Melane is new to blogging so you should definitely check her out! I already like reading her posts about writing. They are very refreshing and she has a fun way of writing!
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Alright, the rules for this award are....
.1. Copy the Kreativ Blogger picture and post it on your page.
2. Thank the person that gave the award to you and link back to their blog.
3. Write 7 things about you that we don't know.
4. Choose 7 other bloggers that you would like to give the award to.
5. Link to the bloggers that you chose.
6. Let your winners know that they have the lovely award!
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Okay, seven things you don't know about me... Hm. This might be hard.
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1. I love the word cake. Like, "cake of soap." I do not know why. I just do.
2. My favourite colour is emerald green.
3. I was in Scouts for 10 years. I stopped in my 2nd year of College because I didn't have enough time. (Here in Canada both girls and boys are allowed in).
4. I have a fish named Sir Gawain (he's a beta, and I love him).
5. My elbows hyper-extend. It drives my Mum insane.
6. I don't have a gall bladder (removed in grade 9).
7. I love badminton and volleyball.
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And because I think I've already talked about my fishy and my favourite colour, I'll add two more...
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8. I was a serious Barbie-a-holic until an embarrassing age. It was my biggest outlet for my story-telling imagination. When I finally stopped playing is when I started writing hardcore. *Interjection from the Mum: I miss hearing the stories. Waiting anxiously for book. -not so subtle meaningful stare-*
9. I grew up around Trekies and our house was the Mother Ship. 'Nough said.
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Now that you're all good and disturbed, I have to nominate 7 people.

And the second award I got this week is the Heartfelt Award from the wonderful Diana Paz over at Writing Roller Coasters. Thank you darling! Diana is such an absolute sweetie, and her blog is very funny and well written. Definitely check it out!

Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you're relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family and friends? You know the feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea, or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt Award is all about, feeling warm inside. Rules:Put the logo on your blog/post. Nominate up to to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside. Be sure to link your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.
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This one is really hard... My Nominations:

Wednesday, October 21

WIP Wednesday


As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I've started a new story. I am currently a little over 4000 words in. Doesn't seem like much I know, but it's coming along nicely, especially considering that I've only worked on it for one weekend. So far I absolutely adore it and the characters. I feel like I know them so much more than I knew my other characters. I should feel guilty for falling so hard for this new story, but I can't seem to find the energy to bother, LOL!

Anyway, I haven't done any actual writing for my story since Sunday. But I have done some plotting this week, so that's good. However, I'm hoping to write tonight! YAY! Well, once I get through all of your blog posts!

In other news...

Welcome to all my new readers! I hope you have fun here! And thank you to Melane for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Since I'm so tired right now and would like to write before I collapse, I'm going to pass the award on and tell everyone my 7 things tomorrow. 'Kay?

How is your work-in-progress coming along?

Tuesday, October 20

Time Well Spent

Today in my GNED class (Controversies in Science), I spent the entire time taking notes... on my story. Don't worry, I wasn't missing much. Most of the class was spent with my professor getting mad at people for not doing their DNA paper. Since I did mine, I was excluded from the vast majority getting the lecture, which left me with time on my hands. So what did I do? I plotted. Unbeknown to my professor, it was actually a really productive class for me. Sure it wasn't class material per se, but I got a great deal of plotting done. I have a rough outline of the next 4 chapters!

Now, when I started this story last week-ish I decided to try something different. I decided to do a bit more plotting than I'm used to so that I will --hopefully-- avoid some of the snags I've run into before. No, my plotting isn't extensive, but I will at least know how the scene begins, what I want to happen in that scene and how it ends. The "filler" is just going to be whatever comes naturally to me.

So there you have it. I really hope this helps smooth out some of the issues I've had in the past. So far I really like it. Actually, I love it. I feel more connected with my story. And since I love making lists and being organized, I think this system will really work for me. We'll see! Wish me luck!!

So my question for you guys is... How much time do you spend plotting? Do you have an entire outline done before you start writing or do you plot a few chapters in advance as you go? Or are you a seat-of-the-pants sort of writer?

Sunday, October 18

History Lesson


Today's topic is religion. Now, now, don't get your knickers in a knot. I have picked points that I hope won't be controversial for people. And remember, this is in a historical context, not personal opinion. Well, I suppose all history is based somewhat off of opinion, but these points are acknowledged by most historians.

*Just a note of warning. Please keep in mind that I am just telling you the facts. I will not accept any controversial or rude comments whatsoever. So if you feel the urge to say something like that, please keep it to yourself. I will remove you from the blog if you don't follow these rules. Thanks!*

Alright, now that the ugly part of this post is done, let's get into some history! Woohoo! Today I will be talking about religion during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Now, where to start, where to start....

1. The crusades of course! It was Pope Urban II who was so disgusted with Jerusalem being overrun by Muslims that he ordered it to be recovered in the name of the Roman Catholic Church. Europe jumped at the chance-- mainly due to the riches to be found in the East. But to be frank, it didn't go so well. Although the Europeans did conquer the Muslims on a few occasions... for the most part it was a mess. England, France and Spain kept squabbling like babies, ruining their chances of success. Nothing has really changed in the 1000-ish years since.

2. During this time (1119) the famous Knights Templar were founded, as well as the Knights of St. John, who are still around today. The Knights Templar were created to help pilgrims make the trip to Jerusalem, while the Knights of St. John were used to help sick or injured pilgrims make the strenuous trip. Of course, the Knights Templar served in many other capacities during the Crusades. They were some of the most skilled fighters and were revered throughout Christendom and Muslim countries. As I'm sure you know, they have been steeped in mystery since their founding all those years ago. Were they on a secret religious mission? Possibly. In the beginning there were only 9 Templars, which leads credence to the belief that they were hiding something of great import. Unfortunately, the Order came to an untimely end Friday October 13th, 1307 when french king, Philip IV, had the Templars arrested and tortured. It's generally agreed that Philip was motivated by greed rather than his belief that the Templars were corrupt. In 1312 the Templars were officially dissolved by Pope Clement V. And yes, it is very likely that the Friday the 13th hype originated here.

Alright, moving along...

3. One of the main reasons the Roman Catholic Church played such a prominent role in society during this time was because they were the intermediary between you and God. That's right, unlike today, you could not pray to God directly. In the Church's opinion, you were full of Sin and if you talked to God, you would soil him. Therefore, you had to attend Church and confession to pray. However, that's not to say that the religion was aimed at the everyday person as it probably should have been. No, no, no. The Church had to remain in complete control at all times, therefore, giving the masses power of any kind was preposterous. Here are just a few ways they maintained control:
3a. Mass was held in Latin, which only Church officials and select scholars knew.
3b. Priests were the only ones given full communion of bread and wine. The rest of the congregation only got bread-- if that.
3c. The Bible, which you can now buy at any bookstore, was NOT available to the masses, or even the nobility. Again, only Church officials had access to a Bible until the very late 1400's, early 1500's when the Gutenberg's printing press was invented. Instead, the masses had to learn their religion from things like stain glass windows and paintings. The Church also created the Book of Hours, which was basically a picture book depicting important scenes in the Bible.
3d. Unlike today where people will wear medallions of religious icons, people would tear out pages of the Book of Hours and wear it around their necks for good luck... (Trust me, you can't make this type of stuff up. Man, I love history).
4. Another intermediary between you and God were the Saints. This is where things get a little sticky... because you didn't need to attend Church to pray to the Saints. BUT, you're not really praying to them per se. Rather, you are asking them to carry your prayers to God on your behalf. However, the Saints are greedy people, which is why you had to "worship" their icons etc...

5. Now, this one is a bit controversial, but remember, this is history, not my opinion, or anyone else's. In this era (1453-1789) of the witch craze, Martin Luther and his Reformation, and barbarians in the New World, the biggest fear in the Church was... sexual deviance. Homosexuality, lesbianism, and adultery were the most feared offenses.


Okay, that's all I've got for today. I hope you learned something! If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask me! If I don't know, I will be able to ask my professor. Now, my Mum brought up last time that I didn't mention my history prof's last name... Well, it's Wigelsworth.

Yep, I'll just let that one sink in.

Saturday, October 17

Holy Posts Batman!

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Batman!

Alright, that's enough of that.

-sighing dramatically-

My, do writers ever like to write. I know that sounds ridiculous, but have you ever tried to catch up on nearly two weeks worth of 75 blogs?! No? Good, you really don't want that experience. I don't want that experience. Too bad we can't take those things away, huh?

I believe it took me about 4 hours to read all of them. It would have gone quicker except that my Internet is being dumb this weekend. However, I did comment where I could. If I didn't comment on any of your posts, never fear, I did read them. It was probably just during the time my Internet refused to let me comment on things. Sorry!

Anyway, I know I promised a History Lesson, but I'm so tired... and it requires just a bit too much thought. Tomorrow perhaps?

In other news, I wrote 2000 words last night on the new story! YAY! I think that is the most I've written in one day (creatively) for well over a month! Not going to lie, for a while there I had my doubts about my abilities to write since I wasn't getting anything out =\

But yeah, so instead of posting something exciting, I'm going to go write my new story. I might even post the first paragraph another day since that seems to be the THING to do because of Nathan Bransford's contest. We'll see. I'm a little worried about putting up my work for critique.

Friday, October 16

Update

Hello guys! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I was studying for two midterms... and then when I went to post, my wireless decided that today was a good day not to work. I disagreed vehemently, but it didn't seem to care. Stupid technology. Sighs.

Anyway, tomorrow I will post a History Lesson for everyone. I will also slowly make my way through the million posts of YOURS that I've missed over the last week (or two, for some blogs.... OOPS!)

So just bear with me guys! I promise to get to your wonderful posts soon! For now I'm going to go write my story... because it is on its hands and knees BEGGING me to write it!

Hope your week is going well!

Wednesday, October 14

WIP Wednesday

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been splendid so far! Not counting the snow, mine has been good. I haven't worked on either story but that's okay. I plan on doing lots this weekend-- I can't wait! I just need to finish an essay tonight and do some studying tomorrow and then I should be freeee! So I guess there's not much to talk about, since you guys already know that I cheated on my story, LOL! Well... I suppose I could tell you about the two essays I have been working on this week?

1. A history paper (book review) on the book Defiled Trades & Social Outcasts by Kathy Stuart. The book was a fascinating read. It's all about executioners and other shunned trades in Germany during the early modern period. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in that sort of thing.

2. A stylistic analysis of an excerpt from The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I read this book a year ago for another class and fell in love with it. Trust me, this book is stunningly beautiful, but in a very dark way. Closed minds beware, this book probably isn't for you. Anyway, the assignment consists of me picking a small piece from any novel and doing an in-depth analysis on it. It will be easy once I get going...

I've been doing other things this week as well, but those are my two big projects for the week. I'm already done the history paper-- thankfully. However, I only have the intro done for the second paper, so I should probably get on that. Sighs. So I shall leave you to go work on that. However, first I wanted to post this comic. My dad sends me comics all the time, and this one is wonderful. Thanks Dad!

You guys know the drill. How's your story coming along? Any questions for me?

Friendship

You know, after working all day, I'm feeling pretty uncreative. However, I felt I owed it to everyone that I post something on here. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure what that something is. Hm... Uh.... Well, I'm going to go make a tea. Maybe when I get back I'll have thought of something.

-5 minutes later-

AHH! I thought of something! See, tea brings inspiration, I swear it!

Alright, so its more of a question for the masses (that means you), rather than me yammering on about something, but that's okay!

What attributes do you look for in a best (girl) friend? You can always tie this into the characters in your story if it makes it easier to answer!

I look for:

  • Humour
  • Kindness
  • Brains
  • Someone who can accept me and all of my oddities
  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • A person who would watch out for me

Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. I know there are a ton more, but I'm too tired to think of them. So here's a picture for you. I think it's funny. And it made me think of friendship for some reason...

Monday, October 12

Happy Thanksgiving!

No, you're not going crazy. You haven't somehow missed the past month, LOL! I'm talking about Canadian Thanksgiving. Tis today! Confusing, hm? I think the difference in dates has to do with when harvest is.

Anyway, I just thought I'd take a quick break from writing this history paper that I'm still slogging through, to say Happy Thanksgiving!
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*Update: I wrote 2203 words today! Sadly, they were for my history essay and not my story, but that's alright! Like everyone says, just write everyday, regardless of what it's about. And I know I'm writing everyday, it's just normally for school! Gosh! Anyway, I finished the darned paper, thank goodness. I love history, but history papers are a strenuous undertaking. Loads of work!*

Sunday, October 11

Now, Promise You Won't Get Mad...

I've done something bad. Really, really bad.

I cheated...

On my story.

Recently I've been afflicted with thoughts of another story, one about a certain character in my current work-in-progress. Unfortunately, my Muse was not satisfied with me merely jotting notes down for the future. Instead I was continuously bombarded with conversations and images until I ached to work on it. So last night, I did the unthinkable. I did the thing I promised myself I'd never do. I started a new story.

I'm only 1200 words in but I love it. I'm already head over heels in love with my hero. And my heroine feels like a long lost best friend. I know most of the plot line and it doesn't feel like it's going to change much, if at all. For some reason, this story seems to call to me. It refuses to sit quietly in the background until I'm ready to deal with it. No, no, that would make my life much too easy. And as we all know, our Muses are finicky, self-centered creatures who care nothing about goals or the outside world.

-Sighs-

So I discussed this with several people and decided it's alright for me to work on another story. I think that as long as I'm writing and enjoying what I'm writing, then all is well. I am under no real deadlines right now, so I might as well let my Muse have her way. Besides, I have a feeling I might be able to pull off working on two stories at the same time. Not quickly, of course, LOL. But we'll see how it goes.

Have you ever "cheated" on a story before? How did it work out? Have you tried working--slowly--on two stories at the same time?

Saturday, October 10

Writing Tip of the Week

Hello everyone!

How was your week? Mine wasn't very good, but that's alright. Next week will be better I'm sure! Anyway, I decided to relax a little last night by reading two books. The first was Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick... OMGOMGOMG!! I loved this book! Suffice it to say, if you like Twilight, you'll adore this book. In fact, I think I liked it more than Twilight! Shocking, I know.

The second book... Well, to be honest, I didn't like it. I, for obvious reasons, won't divulge the author's name or the title of the book, but I will admit that it's rather new (within the past year) and the author well-known. Now, there were many reasons why I didn't like the book, but instead of tearing it to shreds, I'm going to focus on one point for today's post.

Stay Consistent Within Your Story

I know this seems quite basic but I found so many consistency errors in the novel that I was 1. confused and 2. jolted out of the story. Neither of which are things you want to do to your readers. Now, by Stay Consistent, I mean with things like the colour of the heroes hair/ eyes, how each character speaks, their personality, emotion of the characters or a particular scene, and so on.

Well, in this book, not only did the heroes hair colour change from blonde to black, but the author messed up with several of her character's "memories." For example: In the novel the Hero is talking to a man (let's call him Bob) who knows the Heroine's father. However, Bob has never met the Heroine before, but since he knows her father, Bob says things like "I'm sure she's just as wonderful as her father." "It's a pity I've never met her." Etc...

3-4 Chapters later, after Bob has met the Heroine at a dinner party, he's talking to the Hero about how he watched the Heroine grow up and how she's always been sweet, yadda yadda...

=\

Anyone else confused? 3 chapters earlier, Bob had never known the Heroine. Then suddenly she's always been like a daughter to him? HUH?!

I truly find inconsistencies in a story very hard to swallow. I know they are bound to happen, but such glaringly obvious ones? It bugs me. It makes me think the author was just being sloppy, or didn't really care about their story. I know this may not be true, but that's how I feel after reading a book with those issues.

What do you guys think? Is it just plain ol' sloppy, or something else? What's the worst "consistency issue" you've ever encountered while reading a novel?

Friday, October 9

Elephant vs. Moon

I'm lying here, bundled up in blankets, contemplating what to talk about. I could talk about the snow coating my front lawn, or I could talk about how my cold won't seem to go away, even though I begged it to the other day. Or I could talk about how I haven't finished that History essay, or how this weekend is filled up with Thanksgiving activities... not that I can taste or smell anything. I could talk about the pile of books I bought yesterday that are taunting me to read them, or I could simply skip the thinking and post one of my "themed" posts.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like talking about any of those things. So I suppose I'll just leave you with an amusing picture...


Wednesday, October 7

WIP Wednesday


I'm going to make this brief because I'd like to crawl into my blankets and go to sleep as soon as possible. Understandable I think, under the circumstances!
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So I got lots of editing done last weekend... Then Sunday I had an epiphany and now I have to re-edit all of those scenes. Sighs. Some days I think my Muse hates me, LOL! But anyway, this epiphany came in the shower on Sunday. Something had been bugging me all weekend about my Hero; his reasoning for something was off. I essentially had him "fleeing" a situation that he really wouldn't flee per se. Small thing, I know, but it was throwing me off. So I was thinking about it in the shower when suddenly I realized the perfect solution. It changed a few of the secondary characters' motivations, but now it works. I actually got giddy over the change and went racing downstairs to tell my parents. Just ask them, I was hopping from foot to foot in excitement. That night I even trapped Megan into having a little brainstorming session with me and wrote down a bunch of notes about it. Now, I can't wait to get started on the changes. They shouldn't be very big but they will help the story overall.
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I'm hoping I'll have the time (and energy) to write starting Friday. I just need to finish two more essays and come up with a good term paper topic for history tonight and Thursday. Wish me luck!
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Sooo my daw-lings, how are your stories coming along?

Winter Weather

Tis the season for runny noses, frizzy hair, and cold toes. Are you ready? I'm certainly not. It snowed for the first time this season on Saturday night and suddenly I have a cold.* Coincidence? I think not.

To be honest, I think snow is quite pretty. At least, I do for the first week. After that, snow and I have a mutual dislike for each other. And considering the fact that I live in Canada where snow is a perpetual companion for eight to nine months, this is not good news. Not good at all.

Anyway, Saturday night it got down to -8 degrees Celsius, which is 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Yep, that's right. Disgusting, isn't it? Ah well, I best get used to it.
















Has it snowed where you are yet?


*Yep, that's right, I'm sick. And not just a bit of a sore throat and some sniffles. No, no, no. I mean, full out, losing my voice (I sound like a crone) and Kleenex bombs strewn about my room. It's quite lovely, I assure you. I can't taste or smell anything and sleep has become nigh on impossible. I stumble around like a zombie with my mouth open (so I can breathe), a red nose, droopy eyes (oh, they are getting watery too), and a sore body. Thankfully, I live with the absolute best roommate on the PLANET who brought me not one tea but TWO today from Tim Hortons! Only three more classes until the long weekend (it's Thanksgiving in Canada on Monday). I can do it! Maybe. But the essay I was supposed to work on today certainly isn't getting done. Perhaps tomorrow & Friday I shall get it done. Perhaps.*
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