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.*

Tuesday, October 6

Answers

Alright, I know this is very late, but I've been busy. Better late than never, right? So last Wednesday I opened up the floor for you guys to ask me a question. Well, Lady Glamis asked me: "...what's the most rebellious thing you've ever done?"

To be honest, this is a really hard question for me to answer. Since I have such a good relationship with my parents, I never felt much need to rebel against them. They were-- and still are-- very open, as long as I was/am being reasonable. They were never very strict, but then again, they might have been stricter if I was a "bad" child. Alas, I made their jobs relatively easy.

This is part of the reason I waited to answer this question. I couldn't think of anything, so I had to ask my Mum to help me out, because who would know better than her? Unfortunately, she couldn't really come up with anything either, so I'll just go over the usual rebellious activities teenagers go through.

Here in Alberta, the drinking age is 18, so when I was in high school there was rampant underage drinking. You'd think there wouldn't be as much underage drinking, but since it was a small town, everyone was friends with everyone else, which included people two to three grades older than yourself. But to be honest, I never really took part in the party scene. It bored me senseless. However, that's not to say I never drank "illegally." I had drinks with my family at BBQ's etc... but I don't see that as being rebellious since my parents were alright with it (I only ever had one cooler about twice a year). My parents gave me the option to have a drink, which showed their trust in me. In a way, that sort of cooled any desire I probably would've had to drink. To this day I still don't really drink. I had one bad episode the 4th day of my first year of university, but even then it was only one shot of Vodka that didn't sit well... (And yes, for you keener's out there, the Vodka shot was illegal, since I was 17 for my whole first semester of school).

Alright, so now that you know I didn't rebel with alcohol (or drugs, obviously, since I don't even drink) I shall move on to the next best thing: piercings and tattoo's. As some of you have probably seen in my Facebook pictures, I do have my nose pierced. But my parents paid for it, and went with me... And in the same trip, my Mum got her eyebrow pierced... So I don't think that was very rebellious. I didn't even rebel with the stud I put in my nose. While some people do that whole ring thing (which I think makes them look like a bull), the stud I have is very small. In fact, most people don't even notice that my nose is pierced. And no, I don't have any tattoos. I flip flop on whether or not I want one. I suspect I'll always be indecisive on this, which is a good sign that I shouldn't get one.

Alright, so the only thing my Mum and I could come up with that was "rebellious" was who I'm dating. As some of you know, I've been dating Christopher for 3 years now. Quite a feat considering I live in Alberta, Canada and he lives in Virginia... So I suppose that's a little rebellious; though, it's more of a pain in the butt. Flights are expensive... LOL!

So as you can see, I'm not a rebellious person at all. I just felt no need to do anything like that.
Great question Lady Glamis! Thanks for asking it!

What's the most rebellious thing you've ever done?

*Update: If you can actually find a picture of me where you can see my nose piercing I'll be impressed. After typing the Facebook thing out, I thought about it and went looking. I can only find a few and I only notice it because I know it's there...*

Monday, October 5

Book Recommendations

*The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy, Game for Anything by Bella Andre, To Wed a Wicked Earl by Olivia Parker*

I haven't done this for a while so I figured I'd just make it one large post of books I've read in the past couple of weeks that I enjoyed. I did read more than these three books, but unfortunately, I didn't like them. I either put them down after 150 pages, or I finished with nothing nice to say about them. I've found that, since starting my own novel, I'm much pickier about what books I like. Has anyone else found that happening to them?
Anyway, onto the rather short reviews.

The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy

I'm not sure if anyone remembers my last book review post about a Robin Hood romance novel. If you don't, click here. In it I talk about how the book didn't feel like it had the right vibe going on (I found a lot wrong with it). Well, in The Conqueror, it feels very Robin Hood-esk to me. It's not based on the legend at all, but it just has that feel to it. Before reading the book I had read some rather nasty reviews of this book but decided to pick it up anyway. I'm glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. The hero was lovable and the heroine was interesting. My one complaint was that it felt like there was too much happening near the end of the book. It had a lot of plot lines and I think the author could have removed one or two. But overall it didn't detract from the novel. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes medieval romance.

Game for Anything by Bella Andre
This is the first book of her Bad Boys of Football series.

I'm not a fan of football by any means (I'm Canadian... we like our hockey!) but Miss Bella made me understand the game and surprise of all surprises, enjoy it. The hero was such a bad a** that I loved learning about what drove him to do the things he did. The heroine was feisty and strong but still lovable all the same. It was a quick read but it had me grinning when I finished it. The second book, Game for Seduction, was a really good read too. (In fact, I read it first and liked it more than Game for Anything, but shhh). Bella also has a book coming out at the end of October. It's the second in her firefighter books. The first one (Wild Heat) was AMAZING.


To Wed a Wicked Earl by Olivia Parker

I read Ms. Parker's first book At The Bride Hunt Ball last year at the suggestion of the talented Julia Quinn and LOVED it. I mean, absolutely fell in love with the book. Well, needless to say, I was anticipating her second book, To Wed a Wicked Earl, A LOT. I wasn't disappointed. I could not put this book down. When I read it I really should have been doing school work but I couldn't help it. I fell in love with the hero INSTANTLY and I think he's in my top 5 favourite heroes EVER. And the heroine was someone I wish I could be friends with. I know authors always aim to achieve that, but I find it rarely happens. But with this book, I was so in love with the characters that I was giddy by the end of the book. Ms. Parker, you've truly outdone yourself. I didn't think you could beat the first book and yet, somehow you did. I cannot wait until the next book. It's one I'll buy the day it comes out. Highly recommend to anyone who loves Regency novels.



Have you read any good books recently?




Sunday, October 4

An Attack of Envy


Do you ever have those days? I didn't think I did... until today. Suffice it to say, Envy jumped me like an Italian hitman and took me down. Hard. I tried to put up a fight, but have you seen my muscles? No? Me neither.

Sure, I get a little sad when I see other people making headway with their novels while I remain buried beneath textbooks and assignments. But in all honesty, I've never been jealous over it before. Heck, I'm always excited for them! I see school as #1 on my priorities list for the moment; therefore, I try not to dwell on the fact that my writing has to be set aside most of the time.

This weekend, however, has not been good. I won't go into the gory details, but I will say that I was surrounded by negativity all of yesterday.* So today when I signed onto blogger and snooped around, I was not in the best of moods. Tired, a little bit cranky, and dreading going back to school, I was already having troubles wanting to write. But then I came across not one, but two blogs where the author had just recently received an offer of representation from well known Agents. That wasn't the bad part. I'm genuinely happy for them. The bad part came when I realized they were both younger than me.

Now yes, I know I'm still only 19. I've got years ahead of me, but I'm just a little bummed is all. This is the first time I've felt that evil little green monster sneak up on me and it truly caught me off guard. Pushed me flat on my arse it did-- and the ground is quite cold right now.**

So I guess my question for you writers who have been at this longer than I have is, how do you deal with these feelings? Even if you're not a writer, any and all suggestions would be welcome.






*Not my parents.
** It's snowing.

Friday, October 2

History Lesson

In the course of my schooling I learn a lot of neat and interesting facts. Since I'm in English and History, I get a healthy dose of odd history tidbits as well as writing facts. It's quite helpful. While I may not have the time during the week to write my story, that does not mean that I'm not writing at all. Quite the opposite, actually. I've already had 6 essays and several written assignments due. And I'm reading constantly. It seems every time I turn around there's something else to be read and something else to be written. But I don't mind it so much. Not only is most of it interesting, but it's also very helpful with regards to my creative writing projects.

You see, once I learn something in school, I turn around and use it in my writing. Not always, of course, but quite often. A lot of my story ideas began by a simple phrase in history or by an event. While some writers have troubles researching historical info, I'm already set. Not only do I have the textbooks with all of the facts, but I seem to be competent at putting in just enough of history without making it boring. Sometimes I feel like I'm cheating the system and getting my writing research done while I'm doing schoolwork. But then I remind myself that I'm still doing a lot of work. Sometimes more than other writers.

I've mentioned it before, but this semester I'm taking a rather interesting History course on the Early Modern Period in Europe. Not only do I love the professor (I've had him before), but the subject matter is just fascinating. The Reformation, the witch-hunt and a time of immense change. How could it not be interesting to a history lover?

Well, one thing I love about my professor is that he doesn't just discuss the major events that took place. He also discusses the simple things like the life of a peasant from birth till death. We spent two classes talking about this (and by talking I mean that he lectured while we furiously wrote down pages upon pages of notes). Regardless, I LOVED these classes. So I figured I would share some of the interesting-- and humorous-- things about them. Specifically, this post will be about pregnancy.

1. How can you tell if you're pregnant? Your eyes get droopy, your veins get bigger and your nipples get hard. (Woah, they paint a pretty picture of a pregnant woman don't they?) (They knew the gender of their baby by which eye went droopy and which breast got hard. Sadly, I cannot remember which is which and my notes are at school. If you would like to know just let me know and I'll tell you on Sunday when I return to school).

2. How do you know you're 100% pregnant and when your baby gets its soul? It kicks/ moves around in your belly. Also called the "quickening."

3. How did the midwife entice the baby out of the womb when it refused to budge? Because the child got its identity from its father (hence the horror at being a bastard) the child was intensely curious about who its daddy was. So, the midwife would wave a piece of the father's clothing that he wore (or was in the room) during conception, under the mother's private areas. Apparently this would ensure that the baby would pop its head out of the womb due to curiosity.

4. What was another way to get the baby to come out? Jump up and down with the hope that the baby would just fall out.

5. When did the Caesarean section (c-section) get its name? Most would say that the name was derived from Julius Caesar who was supposedly born from a c-section. Although this is a very good story, it is impossible. You see, c-section was only done when the mother had no chance of survival. Caesar's mother lived long after giving birth. Even with Rome's advanced medicines, there was no cure for being cut up. Therefore, the most likely origin of the word is that the first c-section was performed during Caesar's time. It could also be derived from the Latin verb caedere which means, "to cut."

6. At what point in the pregnancy were the couple advised against having sex? The moment she knew she was pregnant the couple refrained from sexual relations.


7. Who was allowed in the room during birth? Only women! No men allowed! Generally there was the midwife, the mother and the mother-in-law. Perhaps a maid or two or a close friend-- such as the God mother.



Alright, that's all for now. I have a ton more facts but I should get some writing done! However, I'm thinking I might make History Lesson a weekly thing. I'll pick a general topic for each post, and give you guys some facts about it! I might even try to set up a question box where you guys can request information on specific things like dates, or events etc...


What do you think? Should I make this a weekly thing? What about the question box?

Thursday, October 1

MY HOMEWORK IS DONE!!!

WOOHOO! As you can see, I have lots to celebrate! My homework is DONE for the weekend! YAY! Who cares about anything else, right? LOL! But luckily for you fine people, I have more to share with you!

Now, to be frank, I've been a little remiss in my blog duties recently. A few weeks ago I received an award from the wonderful Diana Paz over at her blog Writing Roller Coasters. As you have probably noticed, I have yet to pass the award on! And then today she gave me another award! So I figured it was time to get off my lazy tush and pass these nifty little awards on to some of my favourite blogs and bloggers!

So, without further adieu...

My nominees for the fun Splish Splash Award are Lynne at Book-A-Holic, Meg at Are We Growing Up, Or Just Going Down?, and Jenna at As the Plot Thickens. You gals always manage to make me smile so I thought it only fair to give you this fun award!!

My nominees for the Super Commenter Award are... B.E. Sanderson at The Writing Spectacle II and Jennifer at A Slice of Life! You two girls always make my day better with your lovely comments! Thanks for being such loyal readers!

I'm sorry I couldn't nominate everyone! Thanks again to Diana for these fun awards!

In other news... tomorrow I will be posting an interesting blog about pregnancy in the Early Modern Period in Europe! Come check it out!

Peace Through Compassion

Today, is a day I will never forget. It is a day that has changed me forever. It is a day that will resonate deep within me for the rest of my life. It changed the way I thought of the world and how I viewed others. In many ways, it also solidified the beliefs I already held.

"Peace Through Compassion."

Today, I learned the truth and meaning behind Compassion and behind Peace. I learned to appreciate Beauty in the simplest of things. I learned what it meant to be at Peace with yourself and with your neighbors. I learned what Happiness meant to me.

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

Today, I was Blessed enough to be in the presence of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama.

He came to Calgary for a few days to spread his message of Peace. When my family heard that he was coming to our area, we jumped at the chance to hear him speak. Now, to answer the question probably running through your mind: No, I am not an anti-war activist. I hold a great Respect and Love for the men and women who fight for their country. I Respect the search for World Democracy. But I abhor the horrors and the sadness that war causes. And no, my family and I aren't Buddhists but we Respect His Holiness to a depth that reaches reverence.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive."


"Happiness does not diminish when shared." *

Before we went to see him, we were warned repeatedly that he is nothing but a political figure spreading his own agenda. I have to strongly disagree. He spoke highly of every nation. Even China. He spoke of violence, Peace, Love, Unity, Education and Compassion. And how we, as the next generation, can belong to the Century of Peace if we but work together. Our skin colour, our nationality, our political beliefs and our religious beliefs may be different, but first and foremost, we are all humans. We--together--make up Humanity.

"Compassion is the radicalism of our time."

In my opinion, His Holiness has achieved an inner Peace most of us only dream of having. I think this is reflected in his smile. He just makes you want to hug him. He has seen horrors in this world, and yet, he still believes in us. In Humanity. That's why I love him. Because he spreads messages of Compassion and believes it himself. And I will be Eternally grateful for the gift he has given me. He has given me the gift of Understanding in a world full of Ignorance.


"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."


*All of the other quotes are from His Holiness. This quote, however, was said by an elementary school teacher and his class who performed today.*

**I don't like to post about possibly controversial topics, but I figured it's my blog and I felt like sharing this day with everyone. I hope I did not offend anyone.**

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