Wednesday, January 25, 2012


A lot of authors will tell stories about the life changing event that caused them to write. Parents, teachers, injuries, depression, ect. Not all events were life changing, and some explanations are as simple as "I've always liked words". But what makes a blogger blog? Many writers blog nowadays just because they're expected to. They're supposed to have one. So they make one. Whatever, right?

Well, no. I'm sure most people don't really care but this bugs me so much. Leave blogging and networking to the people who genuinely like it.

Strangely enough, I discovered blogging before I discovered my love for writing. I'm not nostalgic enough (or drunk) to think that blogging spawned my interest in writing because it didn't. I discovered my love for writing when I outgrew "make believe games". All around me, my friends were getting bored. They were getting sick of pretending things were there that we couldn't see. They were sick of pretending to be people we weren't. And soon enough, I was the idiot receiving blank stares whenever I asked "Wanna pretend that ___?" Even I could tell that was a no.

But I'll get to my writer-ly discovery later. Right now, I want to talk about myself as a blogger. In 6th grade, my brother discovered how to use this free website making thing. (Not blogger or any of the common networking sites. I actually don't remember what the site was called.) It was amazing. My brother made a site that a bunch of our friends shared, and everyone had their own profile space that we could do anything with.

It was amazing. We scoured the interwebs for pictures and fonts to decorate our page with and jockeyed for the daily posts on the home page.

And then, soon enough, we discovered that we could change other people's pages. Sure enough, that led to a lot of fighting, pranks, and hatred between all of us. Finally, my best friend* and I got sick of being the only two girls on the site (The majority of the attacks were against us, funnily enough) and we broke off.**

So we created our own blog. And that lasted the entire year. It was...well...awesome. Way better than the chaos that used to be our first blog. We even created pages that supported environmental causes and had themes to our duo blog posts. My friend and I basically hung out every single day after school, so on some of those days, we'd plant our butts into a chair and update the home page. It'd take a few minutes for us to choose a topic, but once one was chosen, we'd throw our opinions into the void of cyberspace. Being the awesomely techie kids we were, we even created a "Past Posts" page that held all of our previous content. Of course, it was still pretty stupid (we had a lot of Michael Jackson jokes and weird hobo impersonations) but we were in 6th grade.

When summer vacation rolled around, the blog didn't have a chance. I was off for a trip to China and she was freakin' moving to another state.

I continued blogging after that, but I moved to a shiny new place run by the folks at Google. Behold, blogger. For about two or three years, I ran another seeeeeekrit blog that I'd rather die than tell you the name of. It was first. But I, being a bit worse than the average teenager, wrote some really embarrassing and angst ridden posts. It took me a while to realize that I needed to be more shiny and positive, so I created this lovely blog and moved here.

And now I'm here, sighing like an old lady over my internet journey. Somehow, I feel like being a blogger is a part of me, no matter how many followers I have. It's not a big part of me but it's still a part of me, however small.

*My friend is awesome. I miss her a lot even though it's been almost two and a half years. Looking over this blog post, it seems like I have some sort of an issue with moving on, but that's not why I miss her. Really. She's just...awesome.

**By the way, if any of my first blog co-writers are reading this, (probably not) that dog corpse picture was SCARY. And I do not eat poop or love any of you in anything more than a platonic way.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Despite the vague, one-worded title, I am not here to talk about building blocks. (Even though they're awesome) I'm also not here to talk about digestive system blocks. (You should probably see your doctor about that or cut off on all of that cheese you're eating)

I'm here to talk about writer's block. Or as I like to call it, That Really Bad Thing That Happens While You're Writing. Obviously, you can see why most people like to call it Writer's Block. TRBTTHWYW is too long of an acronym and it's also very vague with a lot of possible meanings. A lot of bad things can happen while you write. For instance, your (imaginary) cat could have eaten your (also imaginary) hamster. You might have forgotten to set a timer and wind up burning that cake you've been baking. Your monster fighting siblings might have accidentally brought back a man-eating chimera that wasn't quite dead yet. (If you have monster fighting siblings, give me a call. I'd love to meet them.)

Ahem, back to the topic at hand. Writer's block may come from a series of things. It's not a good excuse for you to drop your current project and swear of writing forever. Well, you could do that if you really wanted to, but while doing that you might cross the line from writer to normal person. The normal person world is a scary and rational place. 

Everyone encounters writer's block at least once in their writing life and overcoming it is what separates the dreamers from the achievers. (I sound like a self help book. Aaaah) Writer's block isn't as much of a block as it is a wall. A mental wall that you build for yourself. Here are a few ways to blow that sucker up.

1. Take a break
This break is different from that break you took from playing the piano. I know you haven't touched that keyboard in five years. By take a break, I mean put your writing on hold while you unwind and let your brain recharge. Take a walk, go shopping, go for a jog, read a book, take a bubble bath, sing sea chanties with your dog. Do things that can fill your mind back up with ideas and creativity. The most important part of this is to go back to your story. Don't just up and ditch.

2. Go back to the drawing board
I don't care if you're a panster and it's against your religion to plan. The reason you might be having so much trouble writing is probably because you don't know what you're doing. You don't even have to write an intricate plot outline for your story. Just find out what needs to happen in the scene and write it.

3. Talk about it
Sometimes it's easier to find the problems when you hear things aloud. Humans are verbal creatures. It's best to talk about it with a friend/family member/teacher/acquaintance willing to listen and offer up their two cents on it. A lot of the time, they'll be able to offer solutions or discover problems that you would have never thought of. If you don't want to talk about it with an actual person, tell your lamp/dog/teddy bear about it. Once you start talking, the ideas flow.

4. Write more than one project at a time
This doesn't work for everyone because a lot of people have trouble juggling different stories and different voices at the same time, but if you can do it, it's great! Stuck on one project? Just go work on another. Problem solved! (The downside is that you might never finish a story if you keep adding those shiny new ideas)

5. Don't be afraid to be a bitch
Think of the worst possible thing that could happen to your characters. Then make it happen. You don't have to keep it in your draft, but it'll probably banish that mental block of yours.

6. TNT
I don't really recommend this option. 6/6 of the people who've tried this have blown off their heads. But it destroys that pesky block of yours. (And everything else) BLOW THAT SUCKER UP!* 

What do you do when you have writer's block?

*Don't actually do this. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love Triangles

Currently, I'm on a quick break from studying for my semester exams, so of course I decided to blog about a tricky subject in YA literature. Because that's what all the cool kids are doing, right? (Actually, all the cool kids are either studying like maniacs or blowing their tests on for facebook) I'll apologize beforehand, because it seems like the ungodly amount of Spanish I tried to cram into my poor little brain has fried it completely. I'm not even going to start complaining about bio or else this may take up the entire post.

Love triangles are popping up everywhere in modern day YA literature. Twilight seems to have spawned this trend, or so many experts say. Well, the thing is, the whole Bella/Jacob/Edward thing going on? Yeah, that's not actually a love triangle. Most people believe that love triangles are when two (ridiculously hot or otherwise) guys fall in love with a girl. The girl is almost always the main character. Don't get me wrong, guys can have two girls vying for their affection's just not as common. We'll use the whole "love triangle" from Twilight as an examples of why most love triangles aren't love triangles. Most of these so called love triangles are nothing but love angles disguising themselves as triangles. You want to know why? Even if you don't, I'll tell you. Edward and Jacob have no relationship with each other than just being rivals for Bella's love. Therefor, a line is missing. And since triangles are polygons and polygons are enclosed figures, the love angle is nothing more than a poser.

Behold! Bad diagrams and even worse explanations!

Love Angle
          /       \
Edward     Jacob

Now, while most of the relationships disguised as love triangles are angles, there are some actual love triangles out there. They're rare, but not imaginary. For example, in The Infernal Devices, a series by Cassandra Clare, Jem and Will both love Tessa,  but Jem and Will also have a separate relationship with each other, other than just being rivals. They're parabatai, sworn to protect the other on the cost of their own life. Will, who seemingly hates everyone, loves Jem. He loves Jem more than anything in the world and Jem loves Will as well. (In a platonic way) Once you introduce the whole marriage/courting kind of love, that's where Tessa comes in. BAM! Now you've got a love triangle that works.

Another example of a real love triangle is the relationship between Damon, Elena, and Stephen from The Vampire Diaries. Stephen and Damon both love Elena. Stephen and Damon are also brothers. Instant relationship!

Actual Love Triangles

    Tessa                       Elena
   /         \                     /         \
Will -- Jem          Damon -- Stephen

I hope that cleared some things up for you guys. Or at the very least, offered a few minutes of distraction for you while you read it/debated my sanity. It's back to studying for me!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yes, we're having ANOTHER live blog.

There's a universal truth/cliche I happen to fulfill that teenagers are lazy. Now I know that not all teenagers are lazy, but it's one of those things that get passed on. Especially in today's obesity worried world. I'm one of those teenagers. Okay, here's my confession.



...Are you sure?

I haven't written a word in two weeks. 

Yes, you read it right. (Well, actually, I have written quite a lot more than a word, but those are notes and stuff for school and that kind of stuff drives me bonkers) The stakes are the same, looser has to wear a dress to school. Most girls my age are like, "Psh, a dress? I wear that anyways. It's a pathetic punishment." Well SCREW YOU, GIRL MY AGE. No, actually, that's not what I wanted to say. Congrats for braving the cold and freezing your butt off in those cute dresses of yours. I happen to like keeping my body a warm temperature. And I think my man thighs look kind of grotesque under a flouncy dress.  My friend and I were pretty hardcore with our last live blog bet, with the 6k a day competition but next week it's finals week and we have some studying to do. (Plus, I have to do my math homework from this entire week. This week was kind of hectic. I had to prioritize my homework. Surprise, surprise, math got bumped down to last place)

Here in the US of A we have a three day weekend in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. My friend and I are aiming to write 10k over the three day weekend. She was a good girl and set up her blog post as soon as she got home whereas I just took out a book and read. Yeah, I'm that girl. The one who can read a book in about two hours and who's always carrying something written with her. The girl who sucks at real life.

We'll probably keep the lovely tradition of attempting to distract each other via text or twitter. Sadly, you guys cannot read our text messages. But you can tune in to our twitter feeds. We'd be thrilled if you tweeted us during our endeavor. Since you're here, we'll also track our progress on our respective blogs.

Chloe's blog (The one known in this post as "my friend"):

FRIDAY (the 13th)

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm : Ate this amazing cotton candy ice cream my mom bought. Read Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.

5:40 pm: Surfed the internet like the brain dead zombie I happen to be. Read a few blogs. Looked at pictures on and watched some pointless youtube videos. Oh yeah, this is productivity at its greatest.

6:00 pm - 6:40 pm: Ate dinner with the family. For like five minutes. Then my siblings ditched and left me to spend some good ol' quality time with the parents. Oh goody!

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Saw an awesome school play. It was hilarious and the actors were amazing.

10: 21 pm: Killed time on twitter and blogger. Fell in love with Maggie Stiefvater again after rereading a few posts on her blog. She should totally marry me.

11:43 pm: Goodnight, world.

Word count: 0/10000

8:30 am: Woke up. My first coherent thought was something about mice and headaches. I have no clue why the heck I was thinking about mice, but I was. Tried to go back to sleep but my stupid brain won't shut up. So here I am, editing this blog post.

9:38 am: Between now and 8:30, I've had breakfast and started writing. I made some eggs but accidentally cracked them badly so I was picking out eggshells like an idiot for fifteen minutes. Writing wise, I'm terrible at pacing so the action/tense scene is way too descriptive to be okay. But it's alright right now because it inflates word count. Did I mention that I'm jumping from scene to scene? Yeah, NOT OKAY, Julie.

10:11 am: Sent a few panicked and desperate tweets to Chloe. The paranoia's settling in. Her blog is quiet. Too quiet. I hope she's asleep but I have this nagging feeling that she's turned off her internet and is doing that crazy Chloe world making machine thing. Wrote in between panic attacks.

10:43 am: Listened to some Taylor Swift music on youtube because someone from inkpop suggested a few of her songs. Then listened to Yiruma because he's awesome. Wrote some more. I didn't really realize my character was that suicidal.

WC: 1458/10000 
Progress is still progress.

12:24 pm: Wrote a bit. Texted Chloe. Went on twitter. I'm off to Chevy's because my dad has a gift card.

WC: 2341/10000
I didn't get much done. I like the internet to much to be productive.

12:47 pm: Okay, I kind of lied about going to Chevy's. My parents got mad at each other and my mom wound up taking my sister to a local restaurant instead. Whatever. More time to write. (Or procrastinate) Remember how last time we did this live blog thing I hated myself a lot? Well yeah, I've reverted to hating myself. What is this junk I'm writing? ARE THESE EVEN WORDS!?

1:48 pm: Wrote a weird-ish dialogue thing between three of my characters. They all swapped personalities (It was by accident!) and I have my work in editing cut out for me. Ugh. The kind of pervy character suddenly got all calm and serious, the goofy one acted like a mute, and the main character had a mental breakdown. Oh what fun it is to write stuff that makes no sense!

WC: 3005/10000
I'm a slow writer. Deal with it.

2:13 pm: Haha, writing? What's that? I'm having a whole lot of fun reading manga instead. Magical girl transformation! *cute sounds and fluffy pink hearts appear* Just kidding. I don't like magical girl stories very much. I'm reading a murder mystery one. It's kind of lame but the pictures are good!

3:53 pm: Chatted with Chloe on facebook for a while. Sorry, you can't see that chat either. But yeah, Chloe's hilarious. And awesome. And a genius. I have a new plan for my characters and this one involves a lot of kissing. And my emo character just turned into the fallback kisser.

4:11 pm: For someone who wasn't planning on writing, I got some decent work done. I usually have to struggle to get this much.

WC: 3475/10000

5:36 pm: I did some photo editing and tried to make my blog all swag. But technology hates my guts so the pretty swag failed and we still have this boring blog for all that grueling work.

6:00 pm: Ate dinner. My parents went grocery shopping so they bought me a cherry slushie. Had pizza for dinner. Junk food, yay! Who needs to be healthy? Psh, not me! Hello future health problems!

6:48 pm: Watching last week's episode of Vampire Diaries with my little sister. Yay, Damon!

WC: No change

7:43 pm - 9:08 pm: Wrote like the a tornado. Never mind the fact that tornadoes are chaotic and destructive and in general, don't write. Right now, my brain is completely fried and I'm not sure what my last two paragraphs in my Word document are about. Tornadoes write. Because I am a tornado. Rawr.

WC: 5468/10000

9:30 am: Tried to write according to THE PLAN Chloe and I (but mostly Chloe) came up with via facebook yesterday. My characters decided to fight. I don't think they can kiss anymore. My inability to control the characters inside of my head leads me to think that I have some kind of inferiority complex. Because seriously, what kind of characters don't listen to their writer?

9:58 am: Sent a panicked facebook message to Chloe about previous log. WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN!? THE PLAN IS RUINED. Still haven't had breakfast.

WC: Not worth telling. I've only written about a hundred words.

10:00 am - 6:50 pm: Stuff happened. Cool beans, right?

6:57 pm: Watching the Golden Globes with my parents. I wrote a little bit today but it wasn't very much. About three of my characters decided to rebel against me. I have no idea how parents of teenagers have the energy to keep fighting back. I mean, I'm waging an imaginary war against my characters, so who knows how much worse it must be against a real person. Because, you know, real people can throw things.

WC: 7844/10000

3:12 pm: Reached 10k!

WC: 10095

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Visual Inspiration (1)

In between homework assignments and goofing off on the internet, I collect pictures off tumblr and other sites (ok, so this counts as goofing off on the internet) that remind me of my stories. It's kind of something I do to guilt trip myself into opening up my word doc and writing. Because hey, I'm in a very serious relationship with Procrastination. I think I might propose soon but I found out he was cheating on me with ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND HALF THE POPULATION. So yeah...I'm not really into polygamy or anything, but I can't rid myself of this relationship no matter how hard I try. (Which honestly, isn't very hard)

Oops, rambling again. Here are a few pictures that remind me of themes/ideas/events/characters in my yet to be officially named project. It's about genies. :) And yes, I do have a legit file just for these pictures.