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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Project Perk!


Yes, there's more. Apparently it's a series. This one is slightly morbid, but still hysterical.

(To see the "prequels" to this vid, check out this post and this post.)


Friday, March 27, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


Ow, my mouth. No more wisdom teeth. I feel so -- empty.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) I WON something! Me! I feel so honored. Bring on the cookies!

Thing #2) I have two super, super awesome vacation stories. Are you ready? Because they're pretty hardcore.

Vaca Story #1: My mom, sis, and I stayed in a hotel in Frankenmuth, Michigan. There's an outlet mall outside of Frankenmuth, and we're girls, so you know. So we're going to said outlet mall by way of a really really long country road when we notice the approaching line of traffic has -- stopped. Dead stop. We get closer and closer until we see the cause of the Michigan traffic jam: a goose. A very, very, VERY angry goose that is trying to attack the front car in the line of backed-up traffic. Though the people in that car may not have thought it was very funny, my mom, sis, and I started busting up laughing. We drive away, still giggling, and after an hour and a half at the outlet mall (all the stores were outside and it was cold) we start driving back. We get to the goose-attack spot of the road and the traffic jam is STILL THERE. The goose is STILL trying to attack cars, an hour and a half later. But now there are some men running around, chasing the goose, trying to do God-knows-what with it to get it off the road. The goose leaves its car victims to attack the men, which is even funnier, and by the time one man catches the goose by the neck, I can't see anything, I'm laughing so hard. The man drags the goose off the road with one of those "Um...What now?" looks as everyone else drives away, applauding.

But as we drive away, I sigh, shrug, and say, "If someone had just answered the goose's riddle, none of this would've happened."

(Don't worry; my mom and sis didn't think my response was very funny either.)

Vaca Story #2: Mom, sis, and I are waiting for our food in a little family eatery place. The back door opens and a family comes in with a little girl, 6 at most, leading the way. She stops at our table, grins, and holds up her declothed Ken doll before declaring "I have a NAKED KEN!" and bursting into giggles. Her dad, embarassed, picks her up and shakes his head. "She's very proud she got all his clothes off on the drive over here," he says and walks away. The girl is still beaming, still waving Ken around for the entire restaurant to see. If I could ever feel such a pride in something as the pride that little girl felt for her naked Ken doll, my life would be complete.

Thing #3) My sister, God love her, has become so known for her misuse of the English language that we have started calling her sayings Melinda-isms. So for your reading pleasure, I offer a Melinda-ism from Thursday:

Melinda: I'm going to move to North Carolina.
Mom: Really? And just who do you think will support you there?
Melinda: Brittany. She'll think it's a good idea.
Mom: *sigh*

7 posts until Sara's 100th Blog Post Extravaganza begins! Are you ready?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Secret Struggle


I remember the exact moment it happened. Standing in the hotel lobby, purse in hand, shopping shoes on feet, ready to face the German-themed streets of the little Michigan village -- the moment is embedded in my memory forever. The moment my resolve melted, my shell shattered, and a pain I didn't even know I possessed began to eat at me in full-force, pushing me away from my waiting family, urging me toward the sign in the corner of the lobby.

"Computer for Hotel Guests Only."

Computer. Internet. Email. How long had it been since I'd last checked my email? Monday morning, before I left? And it was now Tuesday afternoon. More than 24 hours later. 24 hours of built-up emails, 24 hours of opportunity for an email to arrive that could change my life.

My hands twitched. My eyes watered. What if I had gotten an all-important email from an agent, claiming that if I didn't respond within a day, I'd lose all hope of being represented? I couldn't let that happen. I couldn't let that kind of opportunity slip away.

The red chair swiveled when I fell into it. I ignored my family's pleas to begin our second day of shopping mayhem and clicked on the Internet icon. Seconds stretched into minutes, minutes into agonizing hours in which my heart spasms grew more potent. I had to check my email NOW. Didn't the slow connection speed understand? My FUTURE could depend on this, and it DARED to load each page as though I was any other guest.

Four bars. Five bars. Six bars.

A log-in page. I pounded in my email address and password, unable to focus on the screen in my excitement. Load, dang it. LOAD! WHY WASN'T IT LOADING? CONSPIRACY! CONSPIRACY! I'll show it what a REAL error message looks like! I'll--

*ahem*

I'm back from vacation now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Early Project Perk


Since I will be AWOL (Absent Without Laptop) for a few days, I am posting Project Perk early. Keeping with the theme from last week, here is the "sequel" to How to Be Ninja.

These guys get more and more awesome with each video.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


Whew, what a week. Onward!

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-last-week #1) I got The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Finally. I've been looking forward to this book the way all thirteen-year-old's look forward to a Jonas Brothers concert. Review coming soon. (Yes, I still do reviews! Amazing, isn't it? You'd think I'd forgotten how to read, what with my last review being so long ago I don't even remember which book it was about...)

Thing #2) I got this dress from Old Navy. My life is complete.

Thing #3) Lisa and Laura are proof that awesome is alive and well.

Thing #4) Winter quarter is over. It's such a fantastic thing I had to say it in its own blog post and here.

Thing #5) I've decided I will start taking karate lessons. Yes, Natalie, Relax, I'm a Ninja did inspire me to make this decision; that, and Graceling. I really really want to learn to kick someone's booty like that. Really really. Watch out, world; if Sara's a ninja, ain't no one safe.

Thing #6) I got Stracciatella Lindor Truffles (two points to whoever can correctly say that word! Though I won't be able to judge whether or not you say it correctly...) and they are fabulously addictive. Go buy some, now!

Here's to more fantastic things next week. Spring Break, woot woot!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And...SCENE


To-Do List:

Macroeconomics final...Check.

Middle Eastern history final...Check.

Book-buy-back...Check (greatest part of the entire quarter, let me tell you. Conversation at the bookstore counter:
Clerk: "I can only give you $5.99 for this book."
Me: "Well, that's certainly more than I'll get if I burn it."
Clerk: "What?"
Me: "Nothing.")

First quarter at new school...DONE.

Can I get an amen? (And yes, I did JUST get done with finals. The only thing worse than an ungodly early final is an ungodly late final.)

Whilst waiting in the four-hour gap between finals today, I perused the shops surrounding my school and found a job lot of goodies that will very soon be associated with the words "contest," "100th post," and "prize." Stay tuned! I got some good stuffs :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Adventures!


In honor of St. Patty's Day, I thought I'd take you all to Northern Ireland. Sound good? Great! Now, below you will see some pictures of--

Oh...you thought I meant LITERALLY take you to Northern Ireland? Silly goose. That would be nice though...

Anyway, below you will find some pictures. They are fabulous pictures, are they not? This summer they will be two years old, meaning that it has been two years since I set foot on Irish soil. *sigh* But luckily, St. Patty's Day gives me a chance to reminisce about my Irish excursion. So fasten your seat belts and put your trays in the upright position, because here we go!

(Pay no attention to the dates on the pictures. I couldn't figure out how to turn it off/change it until a few months after we got back...)

The Antrim Round Tower, aka Rapunzel's Tower
(Not really. But legend says a witch did fall out of it, so you know. Close.)


An Irish traffic jam
(The only thing that made waiting for those sheep to move -- for just short of an hour -- not maddening was the fact that we were in Ireland. And they were Irish sheep.)


Enniskillen, street-shot
(Excellent shopping.)


That big black thing is a PUPPY.
(And it SMELLED. But it was a big black smelly IRISH puppy, so you know.)


A renaissance festival at Shane's Castle
(Coolest thing ever -- a renaissance festival IN IRELAND. Kinda makes our renfests look a little...cheesy.)


A leprechaun hearse
(I really don't know what that is, but they were all over. Delivery trucks? They just made me laugh.)


And, of course: Giant's Causeway.
(They may look pretty, but those stones are freakin' slippery.)


There you have it, my blog buddies: a whirlwind tour of Northern Ireland for a whole lot less than it would cost to fly there. Dontcha feel more Irish, now? Time for a Guinness! (Actually, no, for a number of reasons: one, I'm not legal, and two, Guinness is N-A-S-T-Y stuff. But, you know, I don't know that, because I'm not legal...)


Monday, March 16, 2009

Project Perk!

It's Monday, and you know what that means...

Project Perk!

This one is a shout-out to Natalie. I shouldn't have to explain why.



I love those guys.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So Much for Goals...


All day today, I told myself I would sit down tonight and write out twenty things about my MC, Alluvial Fan, from Stream Pirate (per a link from L&L). And I was going to. I came back to my lil desk area. Pulled up to my computer.

And started writing a summary for a new story idea.

I was driving to school a few days ago and it hit me. I've actually had this idea for awhile, but it never materialized further than "Oh, wouldn't it be cool if..." But then, as the dead and bare cornfields flew by my windows, I thought "Wow. Wouldn't it be REALLY cool if that was a story!" So (to kind of answer my own frog-induced question) here's where the idea came from.

I heart the Showtime show The Tudors. So, so much. I mean, yeah, it is basically medieval porn, but beyond that, it's an awesome show. So much history (however historically inaccurate), so much drama, so much Henry Cavill (mmmmm). And whilst watching the characters frolic from one beheading to another, I always find myself thinking "Wouldn't it be cool if someone went back in time, knowing what would happen, and tried to tell them?"

(Yes -- while people are, quite literally, butt-naked, I wonder what it would be like to time-travel. At least my mind isn't "in the gutter.")

So then, during that fateful drive to school, I found myself thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool if I wrote a story where a girl goes back to Tudor England..."

Enter Crystal Thorne.

I think she was just waiting for me to piece it all together. No joke, the moment I asked myself the above question, she started singing Avril Lavigne songs and ranting about how witchy Anne Boleyn is. Was. Will be. For her.

So she's been jabbering in my head for the past few days, making it nearly impossible to get back to Stream Pirate and implement some more character development. But I can't be angry with Crystal. I love her already. She may be the most colorful character I've ever had the pleasure of annoying. Literally, too -- she has black and pink highlights in her blonde hair.

Sorry, Alluvial. You're development will have to wait a few more nights, because Crystal is just far more stubborn than you.

Red Like Roses


In the planning stages. Very very early planning stages.

***

Crystal Thorne: born a punk-rock princess in 1991, died a real-life princess in 1536. Or at least, that’s what she’s trying to avoid.


With her mother a European history professor at Yale and her father a physicist at Columbia, it's lucky Crystal’s escaped the Ivy League death-grip with her black-and-pink highlights intact. And when her dad is asked to leave Columbia because of his "radical" theories, the only downside she sees is no longer getting to scope the landscape of two universities (the "y" in Yale and the "um" in Columbia spell what? Yeah. Major hunk-fest). Then one of her dad's ex-students wants to see the contraption that got dad fired. One thing leads to another, and–


She steps on a platform. He pushes a few buttons.


And she wakes up staring at one of Thomas Cromwell's scribes.


Time travel, history, and sexy ye-olde scribes. What could go wrong?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


*sniffle*

Headache last week. Cold/flu this week. I'm fun to be around.

Let's see. Good things, good things...

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) I saw Inkheart again. If there was a movie with Paul Bettany and Rafi Gavron just walking from place to place, smiling occasionally, I would watch it for days. Love. Those. Guys.

Thing #2) Two of the most amazing hermanas I know are now AGENTED hermanas! Yay them!

Thing #3) No more frog dreams. That's good.

Thing #4) LAST WEEK OF CLASSES. How could I have forgotten that until Thing #4? No more *insert random complaint about my classes here*. Until next quarter, that is.

Thing #5) I found out James Patterson is coming out with a Maximum Ride book five. However, I am both excited and leery. Excited, because the first three books ROCKED. Leery, because the fourth book SUCKED. The entire thing turned into a Green Peace advertisement. Really, James? Really? And this one sounds like it might turn into a "save the oceans" ploy. Really, James? All that awesomeness to tell us not to litter? Really?

Um...that's it. I think. A little loopy at the moment, so there's a good chance I've forgotten something.

My little super-flu-bug picture is much less creepy than the three-eyed frog picture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beware the Three-Eyed Frog


What do evil three-eyed frogs, giant mutant disc-shaped frogs, and writing have in common?

No -- seriously. What do they have in common?

Usually, my dreams are so freaky-weird and movie-like that to interpret them one would have to be either exceptionally gifted (a Joseph-esque figure, if you will) or high on some exotic drug. For example: I recently had a dream in which two people were fighting off an army of skeletons, and the only way to kill these skeletons was to burn either their skull or a rib bone. Or: The characters from Aladdin and I were scaling a wall with anti-gravity shoe strings. Yep. Anti-gravity shoe strings. You can only imagine the terrors that followed that escapade.

So when my dreams develop noticeable patterns and/or themes, I take notice, because it usually means they aren't insanely well-plotted. Or they are insanely well-plotted, they just have meaning.

Twice this year I have had a dream involving -- you guessed it -- frogs. But not just any frogs. Nope. The first frogs to grace my sleeping subconscious were evil frogs who were trying to remove my eyes to implant an extra eye in each of themselves. Because once frogs get three eyes, they become magical. (Who knew, right?)

The second frogs to hop into my blissfully sleeping brain were frisbee-shaped mutant frogs the size of manhole covers. To move, they slid over the ground like hovercars. (The next great mode of transportation: quick, cheap, and both ecologically and literally green.)

My question is: well, actually, I have a lot of questions, but only one that relates all this nonsense to writing.

How does a story get you to notice it?

When you're coming up with the next great novel idea, does it just hit you one day and it's love at first sight? Or is it a slow process where it comes to you again and again, and you don't really notice it until it's a reoccuring idea? Do you wait for the metaphorical mutant frogs to attack repeatedly, or do you grab onto them the moment they hop into your mind? For the sake of your safety/sanity, I hope you don't grab the mutant frogs at all. But you get what I'm saying.

(BTW: That little picture creeps me out so much I can't actually look at it. Sorry if it creeps you out too. Ewww three-eyed frogs; I shudder to think what magical powers they get from that extra eye...)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Project Perk!

The fabulous Suzanne Young invited bloggers to partake of something called Project Perk, where every Monday we post very happy/fluffy/fun things to counter the sadness that seems to haunt the world lately. So here we go!



(Wooo figured out how to insert YouTube vids directly into posts! This opens up a whole new world of blogging opportunities!)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Book Trailer Prize!


Mid-to-late next week? Who said that?

I should just stop setting deadlines. I either exceed them by a ridiculous amount or forget about them.

Natalie's BT is done! It's amazing what you can accomplish when you finish your homework first and don't have it hanging over your head, mocking your inability to focus on it...

For this lovely lovely book trailer/fanvid, I used clips from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Peter Pan, and The Covenant (I know, how could those four movies possibly go together?). The song is "Vindicated" by Dashboard Confessional.


video

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fantastic Friday!


Major pressure system moving in = head ache = Sara no good feel. Make this short. While speak like caveman.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) Fantastic things are happening to (some of) the fantastic people I know. Love them so much, and may there be more fantastic things in the future!

Thing #2) I got an Under Armor hoodie. While this may not seem like a big deal, I got it for $15. It was originally $50. Gotta love employee discounts/gift cards.

Thing #3) I got The Hunger Games and Evermore on Thursday, which means I will eventually post another Book Review. Someday. But I have not forsaken books, should you be worrying.

Thing #4) Pressure system head ache = not defeated by pain killers = take many pain killers = woooOOOOooooOOOO feeling.

Must go. Pain too great. Bye-bye.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Book Trailer Winner!


It's 9PM on Thursday where I'm at, so that means it's time to announce the BOOK TRAILER WINNER!!

And this month's lucky author is...

Natalie!

So look for an email from me, Natalie! Hopefully I'll have her book trailer up by mid-to-late next week. Hopefully.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why I'm Jealous of Sci-fi Writers


Though I guess it should be "Why I'm Jealous of Sci-fi/Futuristic Writers," but you understand.

Tonight's two-hour strand of hopefuls wailing their small-town-American hearts out (aka, American Idol. Is it just me, or is the pool of talent shrinking?) was interspersed with commercials for the nightly news. Weather, bank robberies, car accidents, custom made babies, fundraiser benefi-- wait, what? Yep. Custom made babies.

Let that sink in.

Custom. Made. Babies.

My first reaction was "Seriously? They can-- with the genes-- and the children-- all right. I guess they are serious. Weird."

But the more I thought about it, the more my reaction slipped from "weird" to an odd sense of awe and wariness. This will take some background info:

In my mind, there are three "time periods" people write, regardless of the actual genre/setting of their novel. They can write in the past (their novel has a distinctive "historical" feel, ie: people wear dresses/breeches, lack electricity, fight with bows and arrows and swords, or it actually takes place in history); they can write in the present (their novel has the "modern" edge to it, up-and-coming technology, or literal modern-day references); or they write in the future (advanced technology, post-apocalypse, etc).

I've always been a past-novel girl. For some reason, my mind is set in the ways of sword-fighting and dress-wearing, and the majority of my worlds resemble medieval Europe. Don't get me wrong; I adore my worlds. I couldn't imagine my characters traipsing through any other style of life (and when I do write novels set in modern/futuristic societies, I have one heck of a time getting the world fixed in my head). But I've always harbored a secret jealousy of those who write futuristic novels, and here is why:

Custom made babies
.

One more time:

Custom.

Made.

Babies.

I'm not sure where I stand on the whole being-able-to-pick-your-child's-eye-color debate yet, but what I do know is a wwhhhoollleee lot of futuristic/sci-fi writers were bouncing up and down on their couches tonight, temporarily forgetting about the atrocity that was some of the American Idol contestants, when they saw the snippet of tonight's news. "Custom made babies?! That was in the novel I wrote last year! Honey, hit 'record' while I call my agent!" Right before their eyes, their novels are dancing across their television sets. That story they slaved over for months, maybe years, that started as a far-fetched fantasy about what the future looks like in their head, is real. Real. They'll get to live their book.

That's why I envy sci-fi/futuristic writers. I've accepted that I'll never see a news blurb about sediment-stealing pirates (unless, of course, it's something along the lines of "Novel about sediment-stealing pirates flies off bookshelves! Story at eleven."). But sci-fi/futuristic writers have the hope that one day their stories won't be just stories. That they'll end up like that creepily accurate book Futility, without all the death. And having that hope, that one day you'll be able to see you're story walking around, is awesome. And terrifying. And awesome. And terrifying.

I'm certain only more creepy news blurbs will guide us into the future. But if we all write futuristic novels, it won't be as scary...maybe.

Shameless plug: Two days left to enter Book Trailer Contest #2! Hurry, hurry!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Trailer Contest #2!


Calling all novelists who wish to see their stories on the big-ish screen!

For those of you just tuning in, you leave a comment to this post answering whatever off-the-wall question I come up with, I enter all names into a fantabulous random number generator at the end of the given time period, and the winner gets a book trailer custom made by me! Examples of past BT's are for Jill Wheeler's book, Nikki Hensley's book, and my book. Sound fun? Let's get to the good stuff!

If you want to be entered into the contest, tell me what country you would choose to live in (other than the one you are in) and why. Told you it would be off-the-wall.

I'll set the deadline for this Thursday at 9PM, and barring a freak accident, I will not push it back again. Promise.

Ready? And...GO!

**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.**