**For my most up-to-date happenings, check out my Tumblr page: sararaasch.tumblr.com.**

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Unwanted Parts of Speech Anonymous


Moderator: Thank you for coming to today's Unwanted Parts of Speech Anonymous meeting. I see we have some newcomers in the group, so why don't we start with some old members so the newcomers can see how it works? Addie, why don't you go ahead and share your feelings with the group?

Addie: Honestly, I don't feel really comfortable with that today.

Moderator: Remember, we're all here to support each other. I know you must have some feelings about being "let go" as a wanted part of speech.

Addie: Well, I mean, seriously, am I suppose to bounce around merrily? I feel like all those writers acted really selfishly and uncaringly when they promptly decided I acted too obnoxiously. It hurts, painfully, and I just want to be accepted warmly, you know? So what if I repeatedly add redundancy? Is it so awfully repulsive?

Moderator: That's right. Let it out.

Addie: And, I mean, they could've graciously given me another chance. It's not like I'm nearly as irritably bad as Gerry.

Gerry: Watching his blood pressure, Gerry tries not to punch Addie!

Moderator: Now, now, let's not get violent. Remember our motto...

Gerry: Remembering it, Gerry will still punch Addie's lights out.

Moderator: Gerry, why don't you tell us why Addie's comment upset you?

Gerry: Listing all the reasons, Gerry could be here all day. Pushing all my buttons, Gerry really think there's a heartily good chance that Addie will quickly leave here with a painfully swollen eye.

Addie:
Is he really allowed to talk to me so hatefully?

Moderator: Why don't we move on to our newest addition? Perry, is it?

Perry:
I'm not sure what I should talk about.

Moderator: Well -- why do you think you're here today?

Perry: It's something I don't have any control of. It's something the writers decided on. When I'm at the end of sentences, well -- I guess I'm not what they wanted to sound like.

Gerry: Trying not to throw a chair at Perry, Gerry really doesn't like talking about the writers.

Addie: He's harshly making fun of me!

Perry: What do they upset you about, Gerry?

Gerry: Getting his coat, Gerry leaves.

Moderator: Gerry! Our session isn't over yet!

Perry: Yeah, it's not yet over! What are you angry for?

Addie: Let him leave so audaciously. Really, it's no wonder the writers unswervingly delete him.

Gerry: Going to Addie's chair, Gerry will hurt him!

Addie: Don't behave so barbarically! I paid decently for this meeting! Put that chair down swiftly!

Perry: Beat him down! Beat him down!

Moderator: I think we should adjourn. Everyone say the motto now. Everyone. Gerry? I don't hear you...

Gerry, Addie, and Perry: "Turning the Other Cheek, We Humbly Move On."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) This music video. Okay, more sad than fantastic, but still.

Thing #2) Umm...oh snap. I just realized I kind of maxed-out all my fantastic things in my "Procrastination" post. Huh. Woopsie. In that case, I will do a news update.

This Just In: Next week I will be doing the second Book Trailer Contest. So stay tuned for another chance to have your novel immortalized in movie clips.

Also: If it ever loads, I made a video for a class project that I'm putting on YouTube. It's a music video of the relationship between Virginia and Wolf from the miniseries "The 10th Kingdom." So periodically check my YouTube side-bar if you're interested.*

My blog has been really boring lately. Sorry about that. When I said my Muse was missing, well -- I wasn't exaggerating.

*Video is up now, though the quality royally sucks. I don't know what happened between the movie maker and YouTube, but something made chunks of the first half all shaky. But if you can press through that, the second half is smooth and lovely.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Procrastination: "The Quest for Inspiration"


That's what I've decided is the true definition of procrastination. And it is true, right? Right.

Procrastination #1) Prepare to waste much time and money here. Greatest t-shirts EVER. And you can create your own, so I ordered a black hooded shirt with a Jolly Roger symbol in white. Best. Purchase. EVER. I have my friend Allie to thank for this awakening.

Procrastination #2) Suzanne Young tagged her friend Christy's blog post about making album covers. I went through the steps but didn't actually create it, as I don't feel particularly photo-shop-ee today. But my band was Louye, my album name was "A Secret that You Don't Know You are Keeping," and my album picture was a psychedelic orange flower. Sweet.

Procrastination #3) Um, chello, but Adam Lambert is soooo not like Edward Cullen, okay, Randy? Geez. I mean, Lambert's skin doesn't even sparkle. Psh. (American Idol references, in case you were wondering.)

Procrastination #4) Funny anecdote from work today: a British guy came in. British. Came into my work. To help you realize the gravity of this event, you must understand that I live in Hicksville, Mideastern USA. Corn, corn, tree, corn, corn, house, corn, corn, crow. So, needless to say, I was giggling like a little girl when this guy talked to me. But one of my coworkers waited on him, and here's the conversation they had:

British Guy: I need football *something that sounds like "shorts"*
Coworker: Okay, we have shorts right over--
BG: Oh no, my accent got you. Football SHIRTS.
Coworker: Oh! Okay, well, we have some here. *leads him to football jerseys, because apparently he was talking about American football*
BG: I don't know any teams. I like the black and gold one. Who is that?
*every Saints fan in America groans*
Coworker: That's the Saints, from New Orleans.
BG: Good, good. Is it expensive? *looks at pricetag* Sh-t no!
Coworker: *laughs*

Moral of the story: British people are just as fascinated with American stuff as we are with their stuff. This guy bought two jerseys for his kids (I'm guessing...they were little jerseys). I knew I sat here in America going "British stuff! British stuff!" in a squeaky voice, but I didn't realize British people sat over there going "American stuff! American stuff!" in a much classier squeaky voice. This experience was eye-opening.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wanted


Wanted: Muse

Answers To: "Muse," "Inspiration," and "Hey, you."

Description: Normally in a toga sporting a wreath of laurel, Muse has been known to take on more modern forms. Sometimes seen as tall, dark, and handsome, or as a box of Esther Price chocolates.

Last Seen: Near a sequel to Stream Pirate before leaping out a window, sliding past a retelling of a fairy tale, and running through four lanes of oncoming myths.

Time Since Disappearance: At least sixteen YouTube videos.

Reward: A kick-butt story idea.

Muse is considered to be armed and dangerous, seen to possess distracting movies, nagging homework, and shiny objects. If found, approach with caution.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


It's that time of the week again. Yay for not missing Friday this time!

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) My fancy new blog! It's still taking some getting used to, but I'm satisfied.

Thing #2) New hair! Er, brighter hair. My hair was already a reddish concoction, but this time I went brighter and shorter.

This one just makes me laugh

Me in my fantabulous work shirt

Sneaky...

Thing #3) I got my car back. This is now the second car that has had brake issues in the span of six months, and I'm thoroughly convinced my old car and my new car conspire against me. They sit next to each other on the driveway, and their conversation goes something like this:

Old Car: "Psst, psst. You know, my brake lines corroded last semester. And, like, it would be totally hysterical if you had brake issues too."
New Car: "Totally, man. She speeds*, so it'd be ripe with irony."
Old Car: "Rad man, rad. Do it! Do it!"

*I don't speed. My new car just has a love affair with the speedometer flicking to 70mph.

Thing #4) Okay, this is kind of a bittersweet "fantastic" thing. I started The Dust of 100 Dogs on Sunday. While it is fabulously well-written and had me glued to the page, I really, really, really cannot finish it. I love AS King, and love her writing, and am very sad I cannot do a full review of it, but because of my own weaknesses, I cannot. I don't do well with rape scenes. At all. And halfway through D100D, there is a very explicit scene. At least, explicit to me, and I regrettably have to stop reading. But this should be an odd complement for King -- it was so well written, it disturbed me (as such a scene should).*

Thing #5) I didn't have to wear a coat on Wednesday. Heat wave, baby.

Thing #6) Walmart's Valentine's Day candy + February 15th = 50% off. Chocolate, candy hearts, all for under $5.00. Mmmmm imagination stimulation food. Perhaps Web will stop being so darn illusive and finally commit to an outline? Only more chocolate will tell.

*I didn't mean for this to be a "Warning! Warning! Do Not Read!" disclaimer in anyway, shape, or form. It is a very powerful book, and I still heartily recommend it to those who can handle scenes like that better than I can.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Layout!


My old template had...issues. I think it developed a slowly-progressing template cancer that finally made it breathe its last a few hours ago. It fought a good fight. But with its death comes new life, in the form of my bright pink and blue bookish blog!

Likey? I likey. Fun. Spunky. Brilliantly bright. Lets hope it doesn't contract whatever my last template contracted...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Golly-Gee, I CAN Finish Something Early: Book Trailer Prize!


I almost didn't believe it myself. But lo and behold, what I thought would take the majority of this week has only taken two days. How did that happen?

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your viewing pleasure: a book trailer for the fabulous Jill Wheeler's novel Drawn to You.

I used clips from The Covenant, Princess Diaries, and Flicka. The song is Evanescence's "Everybody's Fool."

video

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So Blessed


I am surrounded by so much awesomeness it hurts.

Seriously. You lot are all so incredibly talented/supportive/caring, and I am so, so thankful to know each of you.

My mushiness was stemmed by Tara Maya, who made me this. Where else but in a blog community could I find people so excellent at being betas, so amazing at drawing characters, and just overall so incredibly awesome at being friends? You guys rock. I know I'm a few days late to ride the Valentine's Day love-train, but better late than never.

Monday, February 16, 2009

*drum roll*


First of all, thank you all for being ever so patient with me. Next time I do this contest, I promise I won't change the deadline twice.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the first ever Book Trailer Contest is #4: Jill Wheeler!

Yay, Jill! I'll be emailing you shortly with a list of questions pertaining to which novel you would like the BT made for. And, schedule allowing, I should get it done by this weekend (err, maybe next Monday) and have it posted here for all to view.

Thank all of you so, so much for entering! You have no idea how happy it makes me that my first contest was a success :) Stay tuned for another one (one a month, perhaps? Sounds good to me)!

Book Trailer Contest Update


Me, being brilliant, set the deadline for the contest at 5 tonight, not taking into account that I have a previously scheduled happening at 5. Fear not; the announcement of the winner will just have to be postponed until 9:30 tonight.

Sorry for any anxiety this causes. I know what that's like, and I am truly sorry, sorry, sorry. You are all patient and beautiful people :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fantastic...Saturday?


Where I am, it's 12:24 AM. Which means I missed Fantastic Friday. I blame Natalie -- instead of thinking about my blog, I was reading Void. Shame on you, Natalie, you and your hysterical characters.

Business as usual.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) My Book Trailer Contest! I'm very excited by the turnout. If you want to enter, it's not too late! You have until Monday at 5. So get those pirate names in, mates!

Thing #2) Miss Snark's First Victim held her monthly Secret Agent contest. I've entered, er, twice before? Maybe three times? Anyway, this is the first time I've entered Stream Pirate, and I've gotten far more comments/positive feedback than I ever did with Blind (and the Secret Agent said he/she was "hooked." Teehee). So, here's hoping good things happen when the winners are announced. I haven't placed in this contest yet; maybe my luck will change?

Thing #3) I visited my alma mater last weekend. Is that the right phrase? A school I went to, didn't graduate from, but no longer go to? Alma mater? Maybe not. Anyway, I went there, and it was lovely to see my people again. They didn't know I was coming, so their surprise was beautiful.

Thing #4) I got a book called The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard to use as research for Web. I've bought history books for research before, and always end up flipping halfheartedly through them and tossing them aside. Well, this one is brilliant. Fabulously brilliant. It's so good I'm reading it as though it was a normal novel. The way Woodard describes these pirates and their lives is real and electric and vibrant. The more I read, the more pumped I get for Web. It shall rock.

Thing #5) The brakes on my car went out, but didn't. Something with the main...um...brake thingy (the technical term). If I drove it any longer, they would've gone crazy, but I didn't, so they were okay. Moral of the story: I didn't rearend anyone when I thought I would.

Thing #6) Did I mention my Book Trailer Contest? Because it's fabulous. And you should enter if you haven't. Cheers galore to those who have!

Thing #7) Mi prima Nikki Hensley sent me a Valentine's day package o' piratic goodies. A box of chocolates with a pirate-bird on it, and a little toy set of pirates. But on the toy set of pirates, she labeled each one after a character in Stream Pirate. They now sit prominently on my desk. She is lovely.

It is now 12:43 AM. Me is sleepy. To bed I go.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For: Book Trailer Contest!


I should wait. I should wait. I should wait.

But you know me. I have very little patience, so what little patience I have must get shoved into the turn-around time for querying. Which leaves me unable to wait on anything else, even if my life may get busy at any moment. But let's face it -- it won't. So here we go!

Tonight I am starting the first (I will most likely do more than one) contest for a book trailer! For those of you who haven't seen the Stream Pirate or Keeping Sedalia book trailers, really, they're more fan-vids than book trailers. Either way, who doesn't want one made for their book? So. Much. Fun!

All righty mates, ready for it? In order to enter the contest, leave a comment to this post with a character from one of your novels (not necessarily the novel you want the BT made for). But that's not all, of course -- you must also list what that character's name would be if he/she was a pirate. You can either make the name relevant to the character (ie: my character Beth Ramsey from Blind would be Deadly Dreamin' Beth) or use a pirate name generator (ie: Beth Ramsey would be Bernice the Fruit). The deadline for the contest is Friday at 5 (see edit below), at which point I will enlist the help of the winner-determiner that has helped so many before me (a random number generator) and declare the winner of the BT contest! Yay!

**Warning for those who are shy about sharing info about their novel or who only have an unfinished novel: I will send the winner a list of questions pertaining to their novel to gauge what I can/should include in the BT. It will include a question about the "finale" (nothing too in-depth, so don't worry ;) ), because a lot of the BT is foreshadowing. So if you're shy about sharing or don't have a finale yet, you should probably hold off for now.**

Let the contest begin!

EDIT: I am extending the contest deadline to next Monday, February 16, at 5.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Ever-Elusive Muse


It's Sunday.

*twiddles thumbs*

8:30 PM.

*adjusts volume on music player*

And I spent today -- doing homework.

There's something wrong.

I have three or four story ideas bouncing in my head, yet none of them has leapt forward with that overzealous way stories do when it's their turn to be written. I've tried to encourage them. I've started outlines. Made song lists. Jotted notes. I've stared at a blank Word page, hoping the incessant blinking of the icon would spur some brilliant opening lines.

Nothing.

And while anyone else would see this as an opportunity to take a break, I am going crazy. Writing is what has kept me from going completely mad throughout these past few weeks. Sure, my classes royally suck and my future plans are wavering precariously on a cliff taller than the Eiffel Tower, but at least I had Stream Pirate to go back to at the end of the day. Now -- nothing? Not even a whisper of a story about to sprout into itself? So not cool. So, so not cool.

My question then is: how do you deal when your muse leaves you? Do you have any tricks for nudging that shy little story out from under its bed? Do you have a particular song that instantly brings everything into perfect clarity, or a movie that always inspires you?

Help?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Surprise for Nik-Nik


It's 1:30 AM. *yawn*

As I mentioned in my Fantastic Friday, mi prima Nikki Hensley recently finished her first novel. I celebrated with her via phone and expressed my pride through email, but neither of those avenues was quite enough. So I decided to put my movie-making-obsession to use and make her a "Happy You-Finished-Your-First-Novel" present, one cousin to another. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, a book trailer for her novel, Keeping Sedalia.

video

Fear not, other-fellow-writers. A contest is coming soon. I just need to think of what exactly will be involved in this contest and when I will have time to do it (ie: when I will have time that I shouldn't be using to do homework. Such as all the time it took me to make my Stream Pirate trailer and Nikki's trailer. Oopsy).

Also: As if it wasn't already apparent enough, Natalie proves her awesomeness again.

Oops: The movies I used this time were Peter Pan, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Covenant, and Aquamarine. The song I used was "Your Guardian Angel" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


Hey, I'm on time today!

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) I got a board game called "Dread Pirate." This game was made for me. The board is a treasure map and every player gets a little metal ship. You go around the board raiding and trading and collecting treasure, and if you get to the Dread Island first with a certain amount of treasure, you become the Dread Pirate, who can then move faster and get treasure easier. There's real little jewels and gold doubloons and a little Jolly Roger flag that the Dread Pirate gets to put in his/her ship. Best. Game. EVER. (Though I haven't actually played it yet...)

Thing #2) I got a bookshelf! A real, heavy-duty, black bookshelf! Before, my book collection was dispersed between an ancient communal-family bookshelf and a DVD/CD rack that only fit certain books if I turned them on their side (because apparently some DVD's are shorter than some books). Now all of my books are in one place, with only a few stacked on top because of space issues. Either I have to get another bookshelf or stop buying books. Tough decision...

Thing #3) Despite the INSANE amount of time it takes to make them, I am now obsessed with making little movies such as the book trailer for Stream Pirate. Stay tuned for a contest, involving a book trailer as the prize :)

Thing #4) Mi prima Nikki Hensley finished her novel, Keeping Sedalia! And it is fabulous. I feel very proud to have a family member charging with me into the query war! Strength in numbers!

There had to have been more fantastic things this week. Like-- um-- wow. This week was rather quiet. Which I suppose can be a good thing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Stream Pirate" Book Trailer


So. Excited.

After six-ish days, four (no, wait -- FIVE) programs, three movies, and countless hours waiting for said programs to do whatever they needed to do, it's finally done. Complete. End-to-end. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present a book trailer for Stream Pirate.

Now, obviously, it isn't actually a book trailer. It's a bunch of clips from various movies smushed into something that resembles a trailer. But I like how it turned out and think it represents certain aspects of the story well. However, it is nearly 1 in the AM where I am, so I could be wrong and it could all be very, very atrocious. But I'll go with my good feeling for now.

(I took clips from Eragon, Peter Pan (the newest one), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I used the song "My Skin" by Natalie Merchant because, well, it's awesome.)

Just to be secure: No copyright infringement intended.


video

Sunday, February 1, 2009

$300 and Pirates


I feel connected to this book on a my-story-has-to-do-with-pirates-of-some-sort-too level. I should've posted about this earlier, but I've been engaged in activities of the familial sort all day. So here I go now:

Today is the birthday of A.S. King's book, The Dust of a 100 Dogs. I had the immense pleasure of meeting Amy at the Backspace Conference last year, and may I say, I'm totally stoked for this release. She had a fantastic blog release party today/yesterday, but if you missed out on the prize-giving fun, fear not! Reviewer X has an INCREDIBLE contest going on over here. So go buy the book and enjoy some more piratic adventures!

(As soon as I get my copy (which should be Tuesday, Mideastern weather permitting), I'll get working on a review. Argh, mates!)