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Saturday, December 31, 2011

A big, shinny, beautiful GOAL!

Image DetailYou guys, you guys, I made a goal!

I don't think I've ever actually done this before. Not even when I was forced to take PE in high school and we played soccer, or hockey, or lacrosse, or any other scary, sweaty sport. But this is not a goal goal; I'm not putting any balls in any hoops or nets. This is a writing goal.

And it's big, and shinny, and beautiful! All things I like. I could just sit here and coo and smile at it, talking baby-nonsense. Oh, what a pretty goal you are! Yes, you are!

So here's my gaol: In 2012, I am going to finish the first draft of my sleeping beauty retelling.

This is scarier then it sounds, because I have almost no time. That's what it feels like, anyway. Darn school. Last semester was my most unproductive writing-wise, ever.

My goal is to write a minimum of 60,000 words. 60,000 is actually a low estimate, but it divides nicely into 5,000 words a month. Doesn't that seem reachable? It does.
Do you have any goals for 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Post Includes Cute Trash Guys

There was no post on Monday. So, I thought to myself, that means the trash will be one day off now. No mail on Monday, so there's no trash on Monday, either.



Thursday is our trash day. I am the Designated Trash Person. I take the house trash down the driveway to the cans. On Wednesday night I take the trash cans to the street. Last night, I reminded myself the nice trash people weren't coming. They're a day off schedule, because there was no mail on Monday!

Today, almost all the other houses on our street had trash cans in front. Oh, those silly people! Didn't they know there was no trash today? I say gleefully as I drag our cans out.

Oh, but wait. The trash cans are, um, empty. Oh my.

I wonder if the trash guys laughed as they passed our house? (I met them once! Our trash guys are cute. And nice. Nice cute trash guys.) So, cute trash guys probably passed our trash-less house and said, "Didn't they know there's trash today?"

Ha. This is why I shouldn't be in charge of stuff.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The One With the Music

Two very different books: a fun contemporary and a serious historical fiction. They both have music, good characters, and engaging stories. Welcome to Revolution by Jennifer Donnell and Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John.
The Covers:

RevolutionFive Flavors of Dumb

The Synopsis:


BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Five Flavors of Dumb:

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf?

Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

Why I Liked Them:

The characters. Both of these books have strong female leads, and both of these girls grow over the course of the book. Both Andi and Piper felt very real, and their struggles felt very real. Although they both have faults, they were both able to make me love them. All of the supporting characters are very well done - I loved Piper's brother and Andi's friends.

The music. Piper becomes the manager of a high school rock band, Andi is a musician. I think music must be one of those things that's hard to write about; it's so auditory, and when you're reading you don't get that sense. Both of these books incorporate music very well. It's more present in Revolution because music is so important to Andi, but I loved watching Piper discover it through Five Flavors of Dumb.

The relationships. Piper and Andi each have a love interest, but the romance doesn't dominate the story. I liked that they feel like actual relationships - the guys aren't just there to kiss the girls. Neither Revolution or Five Flavors of Dumb are "love stories." The relationships work with the story to create two really enjoyable books.

The stories. Five Flavors of Dumb is a fun read. Piper is a witty and fun narrator, and her story was really enjoyable. Revolution is a much more serious story. (It's about the French Revolution - not really a happy topic.) As I got farther into the book I found it harder to stop reading - the story captivated me.

So far, these are my two favorite reads of Christmas break.

What are you reading?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Making Progress

It's no secret that I love books. The problem is, I tend to not like the movies books are turned into.

Take Ella Enchanted for example. It was my FAVORITE book in third or fourth grade. I actually got grounded from it once, because I'd read it four times in a row and my mom wanted me to read something else.

They make a movie. I watch it. I then vow never to watch it again.

They ruined the story! The part that makes me the most angry is when Ella is captured by the ogres. I loved the scene in the book where she stops the ogres from eating her by mimicking their persuasive voices. The movie has her dangling above a cauldron, waiting to be saved by the prince. Arg!

However, I would be remiss not to mention movie adaptions I do like. I love the movie adaptions of Because of Winn-Dixie and Flicka. (Yeah, I know. Flicka doesn't follow the book at all. But when there are horses, I am willing to make exceptions.)

So I kind of have a love-hate relationship with books-turned-movies. A lot of YA books are being made into movies right now. One you may have heard of? The Hunger Games?

I loved the Hunger Games. I heard about it when the book first came out, but I thought I'd wait for the paperback to come out before I bought it. I bought the last two in hardcover, because there was no way I was waiting for them to become paperbacks!

I alternate between being really excited for the movie and being really scared. I don't want it to turn into another Ella Enchanted. I have such a clear picture in my head of how the books play out, and I don't want a movie to mess with that.

But tonight, I did it. I watched the trailer. And you know what?

It wasn't bad.

I just hope the movie doesn't disappoint. It has some big shoes to fill.

Friday, December 16, 2011

(Cue the Hallelujah Chorus)

Finals are over! (cue the hallelujah chorus) No, I am not sitting on my computer, obsessively checking my grades. Psh. Why would I be doing that?



Fine. Maybe I am obsessing, but only a little bit.

My final today was for my animal science class, which meets at 8:30 in the morning. Our final was at 7:30. Yeah, they torture us all semester with a morning class, and then just to make our final more miserable, it's an hour earlier? What? Well, I survived. And then I came home and took a nap.

Yay for naps!

Anyway. Back to obsessively checking the grade site . . . um, I mean . . . yeah. Bye. :]

(cue the hallelujah chorus)

I just wanted to see if it would work again.

Isn't that music lovely?

(cue the hallelujah chorus)

I really am done now.

(cue the hallelujah chorus)

Oh, come on. You want to hear it again. You know you do.

(cue the hallelujah chorus)

See! Told you so.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My new favorite thing ever

Go here. Insert your first name. Wait for the awesomeness.

Thanks Crolina Valdez Milller! I got this from her facebook. :]

Monday, December 12, 2011

I killed Cinderella

Okay, not personally. But I did give her eulogy for my communications class last week:

We are here today to honor and remember the life of one of our most beloved fairy tale princesses; my mother, Cinderella Charming. She was someone any princess, or any woman, for that matter, could look up to and admire.

Despite being enslaved and emotionally abused by her step family, Cinderella was able to keep her optimistic outlook on life. I remember there was this one song she loved to sing; “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” She dutifully endured her torment, never trying to improve her situation herself. With the help of her little mice friends, she dreamed of a better life.

With her heart of gold, Cinderella was able to win the heart of Prince Charming with only a single dance. Like any respectable princess, she had patiently waited for her prince to come and rescue her. Cinderella helped Prince Charming through the aftermath of his divorce from Snow White, who had run away with one of the seven dwarfs. Together Cinderella and Charming were wonderful parents to my siblings and me. I have many happy memories of me, my mother, and her ever-loyal mice singing and doing chores around the palace.

Cinderella is being laid to rest beside her biographer, Walt Disney. The world will surely miss her optimism, patient endurance of abuse, and her lovely singing voice, all qualities princesses should possess. She taught us all that even if your life is terrible, endure it with a smile and someday a handsome prince will come and rescue you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tortilla Pizza

I just made the most amazing tortilla pizza ever.
This is what happened:

I am dutifully writing a paper.

Gabi: *type, type, type* I'm hungry.

Liz (the big sis): Go eat food.

Gabi: *opens fridge* Tortillas! A jar of spaghetti sauce! Shredded cheese! I will make a tortilla pizza.

Liz: That sounds weird.

It was delicious! Okay, it was a little messy to eat, because the tortilla was too thin to hold all the sauce. I topped it with slices of fresh tomato, and it was so good. I may never go back to regular pizza.

But I will go back to my paper. See? Away I go.

*type, type, type*

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Somebody snitched on me!

Relient K's Christmas CD may be my favorite Christmas CD, ever. This song is hilarious.

But I'm not going to tell you how long it took me to get the joke in the CD's title: Let it Snow Baby . . . Let it Reindeer.

Wait for it . . .

Haha! It's funny, isn't it?