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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I missed Tudor Tuesday. In my defense, I didn't know it was Tuesday. Summer = loss of all sense of time. To apologize, I shall *cringe* post a snippet of my as yet untitled WIP. Yeah, you should feel thoroughly apologized.

I have decided that this WIP is the one that is the most stubborn of my two WIPs (the other one being Web), thus I will be working on it for the remainder of the summer. Tudor fans, rejoice!

This snippet is still brand new. As in, I just wrote it a few hours ago. So be gentle. It takes place at the beginning of Chapter Three, when Crystal decides to show Docker (one of her professor father's physicist students) the machine her father built that got him fired from Columbia. She's none too pleased with her father's loyalty to the machine and not his job/family, as the machine ("The Eloi" -- supposedly a time machine) has taken precedence over everything else in his life. Even though, to this point, it has proved entirely useless.

Commence the snippet!

The Eloi looked like something that had been stolen from NASA. A half-moon-shaped control panel barred anyone who entered from getting too close to the platform that took up the rest of the windowless room. The metal disk bolted to the ceiling above the platform and the boxes of gadgets and flashing lights behind the entire contraption left one phrase echoing in the imagination:

“Beam me up, Scottie,” I announced as I shut the door behind us.

Docker didn’t respond. He walked to the control panel, the look of concentration and awe on his face all too recognizable. He was a scientist through and through.

While he let his hands hover over the knobs and switches, his lips moving wordlessly as he mumbled God-knows-what to the machine, I ducked under the control panel. The last time I saw The Eloi had been a few months after dad started to build it. Then it had been half this size, still mostly a jumble of wires and charts and theories, nothing this – complete. Though it brought up an endless supply of sci-fi, Twilight-Zone-esque quotes, it didn’t look entirely laughable. As I stepped on the platform, tested its durability by bouncing in the toes of my stilettos, I hated to admit that, all in all, The Eloi looked entirely legit.

Too bad it needed to work too.

“What did he test it on? Objects, people, animals?” Docker glanced away from the machine long enough to make eye contact before he resumed his analysis of the control panel.

I frowned. “I’m not sure.” Pushing the heel of my left stiletto into the platform, I smirked at the completely absent scientist-Docker. “Though I haven’t seen the family cat in a few weeks.”

Docker mumbled something that sounded like “Of course, of course.”

My smile widened and I fought to keep the laughter out of my voice. “And the neighbor’s little girl came over once. Haven’t seen her since January.”

Docker, now flicking a switch up and down, nodded. “She was a little monster anyway.”

I burst out laughing and Docker looked up again, this time meeting my eyes for longer than a second. He leaned over the control panel, resting his hands on a few levers. “Why are you so angry at him?” he asked.

My lips snapped shut. “Wouldn’t you be?”

Docker shook his head. “Mad at someone for following their heart?” He flipped a lever, and the room filled with the buzz of The Eloi turning on. “So few people do it anymore, I couldn’t be mad at someone for following their heart. No matter the repercussions.”

I crossed my arms. “I guess I’m just selfish.”

He dropped the lever down and the buzzing snapped off. His eyes wandered out again, but he wasn’t thinking about The Eloi. “We all are.”

I stepped to the edge of the platform, wanting to ask what he was talking about. Docker flipped the lever again, shaking out of his trance while The Eloi’s electric buzz filled the space between us. Before I could find the courage to ask anything, he absentmindedly fiddled with a few more buttons and switches and sighed.

“It’s human nature to–”

The buzzing exploded into a high-pitched wail, an octave or two below what only dogs could hear. I snapped my hands over my ears and tried to yell at Docker, but nothing from my mouth could pass above the wailing.

Docker’s eyes went wide and his hands flew from lever to lever as he tried to stop the buzzing. He looked up at me and shouted something, but I shook my head to let him know I didn’t understand. He paused, his eyes getting wider, his mouth opening in a wordless scream. The last thing I saw was Docker leaping over the control panel, just feet away from the platform, from me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fantastic Friday!

I think I missed Fantastic Friday last week. Hm.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-last-week #1) Seeing as I will have oodles of free time this summer, I developed a list of summer goals. Would you like to hear them? Of course you would.

Summer Goal Uno: READ.
Summer Goal Dos: Everything I do must, on some level, be happy.
Summer Goal Tres: Start working on German (I decided to take German as my foreign language next quarter. Bring on the pretzels and beer! Oh snap, I can't have either of those things. Bring on the beer steins and leiderhozen!)
Summer Goal Cuatro: Get a puppy. This may take some fancy finagling seeing as I am still within my parents' jurisdiction and my mom "doesn't want a horse" aka a Newfie. How one can say no to this face, this face, or these faces, I do not know. However, this does not exclude a cocker spaniel puppy. Never underestimate my powers of finagling.

Thing #2) Three words: Sale at New York and Co. Okay, so that's like six words, but I was counting the store name as one word. Still, you get my point.

Thing #3) I went to The Cheesecake Factory for the first time. I'm in love.

I suspect many of my weeks this summer will result in short Fantastic Fridays simply because I won't be doing as much. This is all right, however, because a few Fantastic Things are better than no Fantastic Things at all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It won't let me go!

Found something else that made me start thinking of Wintergirls again. Okay, seriously, this book is starting to stalk me.

Aside from the fact that Rob Thomas CANNOT act to save his life and reminds me of the lead singer of Creed from way back when (who also ruined his music videos through his over dramatic facial expressions), and aside from the fact that this song is altogether too upbeat for the whole girl-encased-in-ice dynamic, the imagery totally fits Wintergirl. So basically just watch the video on mute and ignore Rob Thomas.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tudor Tuesday!

Tuesday! Tudors! What could be better?

This week we're on to episode 301. Not as funny as last week's (but what could be funnier than spookily saying "You're not going to have good credit...or a head"?), but still chuckle-worthy.

The stats so far trivia-question-wise are as follows:

Mariah: 2
Litgirl01: 1

Today's trivia question is:

What was the name of the palace Henry VIII designed and constructed? (Hint: it no longer exists)

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Wintergirls really got to me. It's haunting. Not just the depiction of anorexia or the peak into that mindset -- the message. Or, at least, the message I got out of it. Want to know what it was? Want to know what about this book has been making my chest hurt all day because I just cannot.stop.thinking about it? Of course you do.

I mentioned this in the review: demons. Everyone has different words for them: scars, the past, memories, etc etc. I'm sure you have your own word for them too. Some people may not have a word for them at all and just know them as the heavy, crushing pain that every so often pops out of the back of their head. Or maybe it isn't every so often. Maybe it's more or less all the time, and you've become so familiar with it you don't even see it as a demon anymore, just a part of you. That's where it gets scary, but that's a discussion for another post.

I can judge whether or not I'm truly happy by how my writing is going. When I'm happy, stories flow like beautiful silk-spun cloth from beneath my fingers. Everything is brilliant and shining and good, and no matter how badly my characters behave, they're there, and they're mine. When I'm not happy, everything slams to a screeching halt and I wake up one day not having written anything in months, and not caring to. I just hover through the days, story-less, character-less, because my characters don't want to stick around where there's no happiness. I don't blame them; I try to run too. Because the unhappy times linger a lot more often than the happy times, and it gets harder and harder to stick around and wait out the unhappiness. I guess that's just a part of growing up, though -- learning to stick around. Learning to wait it out. Learning to have patience as you twiddle your thumbs and stare at the empty Word document and hope you can pretend you're happy enough that you'll fool your characters into coming back.

But I realized today, as Wintergirls repeated itself over and over in my mind, that I've never been very good at waiting. Ever. Is any writer really good at it, though? Is any person really good at it? One of the things that kept going through my head as I read Wintergirls was "Just hurry up, Lia. Just get better. Just get better so you can get healed so you can finally live. Hurry up." Hurry up now. Go faster now. Come on now. Now now now now. I don't even know what now is anymore. All I know, during the writing-less times, is that once I was happy. Once I was writing. And sometime, if I hurry fast enough, I'll be writing again. But hurry toward what? And what can I do to hurry more? It's not like the clock will actually speed up if I will it too. It's not like anything I do now will magically transform now into then. I'm here now, and now is all there is, whether I like it or not.

I don't think it's about waiting. Every ounce, every pound, every breath, every moment of Lia's journey was a part of who she became. The low times, the high times, the times where she could breathe a little and the times where she couldn't see beyond her darkness. Everything. What I was really saying to Lia while I was reading wasn't "Hurry up. Be BETTER now," it was "Hurry up. Realize you need help. Realize that it's not you, and you're not it, and you can overcome it. Hurry up, realize you can save yourself." Not an instant transformation. Of course it wouldn't be instant. It would be a subtle, simple shift. A light that springs to life that's faint and simple and small, but it's enough to make Lia switch from victim to heroine, even in the midst of her still-encroaching darkness. It's enough to make your characters come back, even in the midst of whatever demons haunt you.

I made the decision today to switch my major. Yes, again (I've lost count of the number of times). I'd found myself falling into what was safe, what was secure, what I knew would get me some sort of job. But it wouldn't make me happy. After all these Wintergirls-esque thoughts filled my head, I knew I couldn't let my past demons (or whatever you want to call them) encroach on my pursuit of happiness. It's a small step. But it's a step.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tudor Tuesday!

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means...TUDOR TUESDAY!!

Today's Tudor Tuesday PopTudors video (say that five times fast) is a recap of Season Two. And just to make you want to watch it even more: It made me laugh so hard I spit all over my laptop. If that ain't incentive, I don't know what is.

PS on the video: I made myself a Team Boleyn shirt. Yeah, I'm that much of a dork.

The trivia question from last week goes to Mariah for correctly answering that Catherine of Aragon was the mother of Henry VIII's oldest child. Yay, Mariah!

This week's trivia question is a *tad* harder:

How did Henry VIII injure his leg?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fantastic Friday!

It is Friday, right? I'm so off on my days. Apparently it's June too. Sheesh. It was April last time I checked.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) Finished spring quarter classes! Can I get a "woot-woot"? But here's the truly fantastic part: I finished spring quarter classes WITH ONLY ONE FINAL. And it wasn't during finals week. Which means I have an entire week to feel bad about not using said week to write. Or I could actually write. Skip all those bad feelings. Yeah. I could.

Thing #2) Ammonia that has been sitting in a backroom for God-knows-how-long isn't as potent as it was originally. ie: The four pages of warning that came with the box of ammonia at my work were null and void. Though I did have fun reading the many, many ways ammonia can harm people, the environment, and basically everything that at one time had some kind of feeling and/or soul. How did I find out it was no longer potent? I dripped some on my leg and flipped out until I realized it wasn't searing a hole through my thigh like the warnings said it would. So, the fantastic thing was that I DIDN'T burn a hole through my leg. *whew*

That's actually all I did this week. Wow. This week was decidedly anti-fantastic. Not bad, just -- eh. Eh weeks are good. Balance out all the rest.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Camera + One Final = This Post

The title is pretty much self-explanatory.

Pirate Dog. (Valentine's Day Present + Pirate kit from mi prima = This poor stuffed animal's fate)

Pirate Dog: The Sequel.

Top of my bookshelf.

Bottom of my bookshelf. (My camera's so good, you can even see the dust! Um. Wait. Maybe it's too good...)

Tudor Tuesday

I can't BELIEVE it took me this long to think of doing this. And after Season 3 already ended. Sad.

Anyway, what am I doing? Well, in honor of my nameless WIP and my unhealthy obsession with all things Tudor England and Henry VIII (why is my favorite male historical figure a guy who had a hand in killing 4 of his 6 wives? Question mark.) I have decided to dub this day of the week Tudor Tuesday! Yay! Now, what will Tudor Tuesday consist of? Glad you asked! Here's the itinerary:

Firstly, a PopTudors video will be played, provided I don't run out of them. They only made them for Season 3, so I will eventually run out until next season. Maybe I'll start making my own? Hmm...

Secondly, a trivia question! Yay! Who doesn't love trivia? And the winner of said trivia contest will win-- um-- I don't know yet. But here's what I'm thinking: I'll do a trivia question every week until next season of The Tudors starts (this is assuming they'll do another season. They kind of have to, considering I will attack Showtime's headquarters if they don't), at which point the person who correctly answered the most trivia questions will win a fantabulous Tudor prize! Yay! Who doesn't love Tudor England stuffs? Small pox, the plague, warfare, poverty-- um. Okay, maybe the winner will get a fantabulous modern-day Tudor prize. Yeah. That sounds better.

All righty -- ready? Ready!

It seems only logical to start with the PopTudors recap of Season 1. So, enjoy!

As for the trivia question, we'll kick things off with an easy one:

Who was the mother of Henry's oldest child?

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Like Deadlines...

I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

The whooshing sound that the latest deadline is making is still but a distant murmur as the deadline isn't until midnight tonight. What tis this deadline for? It is for pure awesome, that's what.

It is for KM Walton's blog contest.

KM Walton's SUPER AWESOME blog contest.

KM Walton's SUPER AWESOME blog contest in which the prize is some SUPER AWESOME custom designed business cards through the fan-tabulous site, Uniquely Noted (the owner of which is KM Walton's sister. Win).

So, let that sink in while the whooshing sound grows louder. As for me, I'm going to sit back and try to figure out if that whooshing sound is more similar to the gentle lull of ocean waves or the slowly-building wail of a tornado siren. I think I'm going to go with ocean waves.