Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Boys and Books

Relationships in high school?
Just saying. You can be happy for like, ten seconds. Even REALLY happy for about ten seconds. And then there is crushing, awful, horrid pain. Then they are done and over. At least, my opinion right now. (And can annnnyone say 'jaded?')
There is a silver lining, and it is only, only because of books. I'm not joking. Books, authors, and friends are way better than chocolate.

(Even though that would be good too.)
Every book I have ever read has been my teacher this past week. They have taught me everything to do, everything to say, and that every feeling -- every god awful, heart wrenching feeling -- is okay. Is normal. And best of all?
It'll be over. This hole in my chest will get better. The way my stomach wants to twist into circles when I see him will eventually settle. The weird mix of fury, humiliation, and sadness will fade. School won't be a battle, but something I actually enjoy; this upcoming debate tournament won't be dreaded for any reason other than the fact I am too lazy to do proper research about banking and such. I won't wake up at 3 in the morning with these awful, awful dreams and then realize -- oh wait, dude, that happened. (Well, now at least I know I can write about this truly.)
I mentioned humiliation. Well. Books. Books, books, books -- they tell me it happens, they tell me that it happens and you can survive. That the humiliation will fade. The sadness will die. The fury -- well, I hope it goes away, because part of me still really wants to stay friends with the dude.
And someday? I won't care anymore. That is the most hopeful right now. I won't care someday. (I swear to god, if it isn't soon, I am moving to London this summer.)
It's funny. Even my English teacher came up to talk to me about it -- not that she knows what boy, because I don't particularly feel the need to do that to him -- and was kind of amazing. It's proof. English people are way cool -- it's just the way it is. (Of course, she came up because I walked into the room and, literally, like some bad, bad teen flick, everyone turned to stare, and five people flooded to talk to me, so that wasn't quite as cool.)
But. Books have an answer for that too. It also goes away. Soon it will just be a grimy rumor on the circuit. And it gives me hope, because I am assuming that authors write books off their experiences. (I am so putting this in a book someday. Ahem. Is that evil? I won't mention names...) Anyway. That means that real people, awesome, amazing people, have felt this awful feeling, and they survived.
So. I'm going to survive it too.
My friends have been amazing. Books told me that, too, but I wasn't sure that I believed it. Immediately, there was a battalion of them ready. (Granted. Their way of armor? They told people. At least, I'm assuming that's how everyone seems to know. Not so great there, but hey, I've had like, seven people I've barely talked to come and tell me how sorry they are. I'm feeling kind of really bad for the guy involved, actually.) My friends, though, have really, really been there. My mom and sister too, and my sister's best friend even drove over here the night it happened because sis was at college. (My dad is just kind of like, wait, what? What?! Baha. Good to know the books got that right too.)
I don't know that I would have survived this so ... so whole .... without books. It still sucks. God, does it suck. But even if I can't bear to open one with a relationship up right now, I know that they are there. And there are ones with plenty of bombs and crap to tide me over until a week or two weeks pass, and I'm feeling more optimistic about relationships.
And best of all?
Someday, according to every book I have loved most? According to every book that right now, I'm too scared to open?
There will be at least some element of a happy ending.
And this time, the guy won't act like such an asshole.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)

Release Date: December 2, 2010 (Soon, guys! Soon! BE ON THE LOOK OUT!)

Amazon says:
Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
I say:
Oh, gosh, you guys.
This book is so cute.
Seriously. Maggie and Sarah (their names link to their reviews) have been talking about it for literally weeks (like, nonstop love talk) and I can totally see why. I'm overwhelmed with the need of emoticons for this review -- that's my level of incessant adoration. It was sweet and well written and hilarious. It had a cute boy that was the best friend as well as the love interest. There are snippets of Paris and of young love and of awesome food and great cinema.
Anna is sent to the boarding school because her dad is a novelist and wants her to be cultured. And honestly? I totally love that, because it seems realistic on some level. She doesn't utterly, totally and completely hate the idea, but she sure isn't thrilled. I mean, the girl took Spanish -- she knows nothing about France. Well. Nothing more than like, I would know. (Hello, Spanish 3.) And I can just tell you -- I would NOT be happy to be uprooted and tossed in Paris, even if it is Paris.

(Well. Maybe.)
But honestly, it would suck -- lose your life to move to a city where you don't even speak the language. Anna is not thrilled. But then she's there.
And there is a BOY-THING.
Seriously, dude.
British boy in Paris. What more could you want?
The thing is, this romance is so real. Like, St. Clair is more than just Anna's object of omigawdhawtness. He's her friend. This is a story about finding love, but more than that, it's about friendship. And, you know, Paris.
(I sooooo wanna go to Paris.)
Books like this are not my favorite, normally. Too easy they can cross the line into cliche and possibly annoying. The Summer I Turned Pretty is about the closest I've come to true love for a book in this genre, and I've got to say,  the list after that doesn't get all that much longer. However, Anna and the French Kiss is just as good as my favorites in any genre; I love it just as much.
:P Seriously. You won't be disappointed. If you buy a book this Christmas, I suggest this one whole-heartedly.

(Also, randomly, I love the girl on the cover. She just FITS.)

Monday, November 22, 2010


-offers you knife-
Why? Because I am a bad blogger. I am giving you the change to cyber stab me. It's okay. My cyber self can take it. I understand. I have been a bad blogger.
And for the moment, I'm continuing that. I've got a massive essay due in -- ahem -- twelve hours, and I haven't started it yet. (Shush. I'm a bad student, too.)
You know what I'm okay at, though?
Remember me whining about losing?
Well. Now I have a pretty 2nd place trophy. And it was seriously awesome getting it.
(Even if my coach LIED TO ME and said I got FIFTH and I got on stage and was like Wait, why the freak aren't they calling my name -- OMG THEY FORGOT ME -- OR NO, OH CRAP, I AM NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE UP HERE AND THIS IS BAD AND I KNEW A JUNIOR WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO GET THIS FAR AND--wait, what? Second? SECOND?) (And then the debate team was CRACKING UP across the auditorium because I am on stage blinking and looking around like a freak. Yes. Some teams clap. Others laugh hysterically at their poor misinformed 11th grader.)
It just goes to show you -- sometimes you have to lose to figure out how the heck you are supposed to win. It's the same in writing, the same in everything; just keep going, just keep at it, and guess what? You'll win. I have a cheap plastic shiny thing in my kitchen proving that to be true.
Cheers, all.
I'll have a book review up later this weekend. More later.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week of Evil With A Metallic Edge

Let's take a look at least week.
Nuff said.
Moronic Monday (which, ahem, actually led to half the problems later on in the week.) Terrible Tuesday. Wrecked Wendsay. Thursday wasn't bad, but I staid until almost 6 at night to help get our school's debate tournament together. Was at school till 11:30 at night on Friday, then back at 6:45 in the morning on Saturday.
I like my sleep.
6:45 in the morning on a Saturday should not even be a possibility. Just saying.
There were boy problems (aren't there always?) and friend problems, and siblings annoyances and grade disasters and social dances that seem like a waste of time and yet are exercised anyway. Yelling teachers and crying students and mirrors of evil and the Corner of Emo. (Picture of Emo Corner available here.) The kind of week that usually makes me want to go pull a blanket over my head and watch lots of Disney movies. You know. That week.
Serious. These are my go to, guys.
Know something interesting, though? I've realized a pattern lately. When something goes bad in my life, I don't feel as awful as I used to. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I have to catch my breath every once in a while and try not to have a mental breakdown. However, there's a silver lining. 
Every crappy thing that happens to me is a story. Every awful moment, every bratty comment, every screaming teacher, every weird social ritual. 
Every asshole that hurts my feeling a character.
The boy that makes my head/heart hurt will get a scene. 
The friend that isn't a friend will see her due. The friend that's alway there will get her moment, too.
Weirdly enough, it makes me feel better. It seems as if I'm not the only one, either. Upon telling Maggie my boy issues, she blinked at me and informed me what a good scene the moment stressing me out would make.
Experience is the best teacher in math, and people always say it's the best mentor in writing as well. It's always calmed me down, but I never thought it could be a therapist as well.
I've been doing as much as I can lately to tally experiences up. Someday, they'll be moments to draw inspiration from.
That quote really had nothing to do with anything, but I like it. Therefor, since my week sucked, I am going to put it on my blog. Because I'm cool like that.
What about you? When something bad happens, do you write about it?
Also, as a side note, any boy advice would be lovely too. Perhaps about how it gets better in college.
(I'm joking.)
(Kind of.)
What am I saying? I'm just gonna marry one of these two. 
vampire-diaries-ian-somerhalder-dam.jpg image by gurleenkaur2009
Later, all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So you wanna be a writer

I'm a writer. I want to write.
Easy enough to say? Right? I mean, dude, I've got a blog dedicated to it. Obviously I want to write. I do it a lot, more than anything else except maybe reading and incessantly jabbering at my friends/family. But despite that, admitting that I write?
No. Just . . . No.
Nuh uh.
Doesn't happen.
When a debate friend asks what I'm going to be in ten years, I don't hesitate before saying what they'd esxpect. I don't tell people I write. When someone compliments my essays, I just kind of smile. I have at least a dozen notebooks filled with random scribblings, but I don't share that. The thing is, writing is dear to me, and it's something that is -- weirdly enough -- kind of personal. Not as in 'Oh, god, no one must read this' but more of a 'I'm not going to share this with you just to get mocked.' The only time I've ever told my friends about writing was last March, during Inkpop. The reaction I got was a good one, but still, I don't like 'bragging' about my stories. It's too personal, and I don't have any degree of success to measure that I'm not wasting my time.
(I don't think I am. But still, I don't want to be all Dude, I'm Ninja Writer.)
Anyway. Maybe it's because I'm so weird about my own writing, but when someone else my age starts talking about how they ARE an author, especially at school, I'm always -- perhaps unjustly -- skeptical.
See, it seems to me that  there are two types of people who want to write.
There are the ones who write. Who sweat and cry and laugh at their own jokes and stay up till two in the morning to write something that might never meet the air.
And the ones who don't, but like to say they do.
For instance, the kid in English class that gets good grades and understands a metaphor. (This is hypothetical. I don't have a kid like this in my English class, but I know of several.) This kid wants to be a writer. They say it loudly, daily, and often with waggling eyebrows that dare you to contradict them.
And then they get a bad grade and they are PISSED. Righteously furious. Possibly on the verge of tears.
And I'm just sitting there, thinking . . . . Honey, that's not what a writer does.
Writing is the easiest part. The tears, the deep emo depression, the freaky highs and the awful lows -- that is the best part of writing. But it's the easiest. The hard part comes later. It comes when you send in a story to an agent and are told you just aren't good enough.
So you rewrite. You don't sleep. You don't do your math homework, or you slack a little at your job, and for some poor parents, they stay awake all night so not to neglect their kids. You end up cranky and falling asleep at random intervals.

But you do it. You write, because if you want to be a writer, then there is no other choice.
And you send it again.
And you still aren't good enough. The characters are wrong. The opening scene is flimsy. You're funny, and you have talent, but you don't understand how to plot. Slowly, things improve. Slowly. Very slowly. But it doesn't sparkle and grow wings without work. That is what makes someone a writer, I think. The ability to cut, abuse, smash, take a machete against and possibly someday even throw away a manuscript.
Yeppers. Your baby might end up in there. Any other world, that would be considered sick.

Nano is interesting to me. However, it annoys me greatly when people start talking about how it makes them a writer. It's a tool, it's a step, and it's a way in the right direction. I was listening to some friends talk about it -- they were introduced for the first time this year -- and tried not to smile at the assumption that writing 50k is easy. Only 1600 words a day.
Right. That's an essay. A long essay.
But I didn't say anything. That lesson is one someone has to learn on their own. And learning that lesson is key to becoming a writer.
Writing takes a backbone. People don't understand just how much until they get into it. Seriously, it can suck. But I entered querying a stupid 14 year old with an ego I didn't even realize I had and not nearly as much talent as I though I possessed. I entered it at a time when things were going south for my social life -- complications with a guy, best friends changing and turning out not to be so hot, a dislike for looking in the mirror too long -- and through the bashing, the building, the machete-ing (dude, you know it's a word) I may have lost some that dumb inflated ego I had. But I've grown. And that is just one reason I love writing. Why I keep doing it, keep hacking and cutting and writing, because at the end, I've got something I love.

(I am feeling ridiculously gushy right now. Let's talk about zombies or  something.)
 Okay, I'm rambling.
The rewrites, the editing, the obsessive combing over chapter after chapter -- it's worth it. At least, I think it is. And honestly, those days when I think that no, I'm not a writer, I'll never be a writer, not until I'm published, I think about the hours and days and weeks I've poured into stories.
I'm not an author yet. But I want to write, and I do write. Maybe I write crap a lot of the time, but honestly, I don't know that it truly matters all that much. I'll get better. It's scientific fact.
And yeah. I still can't say the words out loud, but I think that maybe, just maybe, that's enough to make me a writer.
What about you? What drives you to keep doing it? Do you think that ninja penguin was cute? Seriously, I now really, really want a ninja penguin.
More later.