Friday, October 28, 2016

What's Easily Missed--My NaNoWriMo Novel

Because my brain likes to torture me, I've switched to an entirely different NaNoWriMo novel idea within the past week. Which means I scrambled to vaguely write out a plot. Which also means I procrastinated a lot on Pinterest. Which means I've looked a little something like this:


So anyways.

Cait from "Paper Fury" and Sky from "Further Up and Further In" host a linkup every month called "Beautiful People" to help you learn more about your characters. This month is "Beautiful Books," which helps you to learn more about your NaNoWriMo before November hits (AND IT'S IN FOUR DAYS, PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT A DRILL).

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Rain from "Ivyclad Ideas" wrote about gothic novel tropes over the summer and it got me thinking about things like possibly haunted libraries and hags and nightmares, which collided with my recent obsession with musicals, which brewed for a while in the back of my mind. But of course it only came crashing to the forefront of my mind once I managed to completely plot out an entirely different novel idea.

Isn't deciding to write a totally vague novel idea in 30 days SO much more better than writing one that's already plotted out???

2. Describe what your novel is about!


What's Easily Missed is a YA fantasy romance with a gothic/horror twist featuring a decaying and possibly haunted library, hags, nightmares that have the possibility of being manipulated, a high school production of "Les Misérables," puppiespuppiespuppies, British boys, and magic normalized in everyday human society. For example, every single Starbucks is primarily run by fairies, who can not only add shots of caramel syrup to your coffee, but shots of charisma.

3. What is your book’s aesthetic?

I'll show you a few pictures, but you can also see the whole Pinterest board HERE. 


4. Introduce us to your characters!

Meredith Lockheart - Protagonist, still healing from her brother's death, going after her dream of being on Broadway, extremely claustrophobic, works at a possibly haunted library, keeps a collection of fun mugs and fun socks, likes coffee and waffles, has things to say but nobody seems to hear her say them.


Levi Waters - Love interest, nerdy, optimistic, likes to think he's smooth and charming but really he's more likely to stick his foot in his mouth and knock over a lamp while he's at it, inspiring, appears in seemingly random places (like in Meredith's nightmares, for example), likes junk food and crossword puzzles and tea.


5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I relentlessly outline for days on end while guzzling something like coffee or tea, I grumble a little, I pretend I'm being productive while creating my Pinterest board, and then I collapse a few days before November to give my brain a rest so I can write something semi-good.

6. What are you looking forward to about this novel?

All the quirky little details! I'm excited to figure out which fun socks Meredith is going to wear each day, how many musicals I can sneakily reference, what books Levi and Meredith read in the library, what food they'll eat, what mischief Meredith's dogs (Gavroche--or Gavvy, for short--and Ogie) will get into, etc.

7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

The book will mostly be set in three places.

1. The library, which is slowly falling apart.
2. The theater in Meredith's school, which has always been her safe place but hasn't been quite the same lately.
3. Meredith's house, where she's usually curled up in her room with a good book, her dogs, and a Broadway musical soundtrack playing.

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?


Let's do another list (because who doesn't love lists?).

Goals:
1. To get through her senior year and be happy again, because she's tired of feeling sad.
2. To be heard, because she has things to say.
3. To have the spotlight on her in the musical, because the stage can help her say those things.

What stands in her way:

1. She's still so heartbroken.
2. Nobody seems to hear her, no matter how hard she tries.
3. Georgia Pynes, who, as much as Meredith hates to admit it, is just as good of an actress as she is.


9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Spoiler alert much? ;)



10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

I don't like to plan out themes too much, because I think that's something that happens naturally. If you try to force a theme into a book where it doesn't belong, readers will notice. Themes emerge when the story is right.

But like most of my books, I like my stories to have an ambiguous ending that's bittersweet with a hopeful undertone. I know the ending of this book will have a big question mark and a fill-in-the-blank ending that only the readers can fill in.

Your turn! What's your NaNo novel about? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Slut

I feel like October's been insane. I've barely gotten a chance to sit down and breathe and write besides what I have to write for my college classes (which are so much fun, by the way). Luckily, one of my classes is English Comp 101, so we get to do lots of writing naturally there.

My professor is a total feminist and fangirl (she spent a good five minutes of class just raving about Poe and Orwell), and when I told her my idea for one of the creative assignments, she got so excited.

The prompt, in summary, was to consider how the world or certain attitudes might change if we got rid of one word. We could choose any word we wanted. I decided to remove the word “slut.” Here's the result:

Slut
Words,
whispers,
rolling off her bare back like
rain.
Stares,
silence,
only when she passes like a
fall breeze.
Jokes,
judgment,
all from those who barely know her
name.
Somehow they think they have the right to her
body.
But they don’t.
Hands off, because you don’t.
Mouths shut, because you don’t.
“Go home,” “Cover up,” “Slut,” “Slut,”
Slut.
Shut up.

#

Confident strides down
hallways wide with
packs of people who
can only gaze.
Legs, shaved or prickly,
shoulders, clothed or exposed,
but chin always tilted up,
she spares them little more than a second glance.
They have no words.
There are no words.
She is she,
and they are they,
and that must always be the way.

How has your October been? What do you think of the poem? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Homecoming

I went to my first school dance this past weekend! :) I'm homeschooled, so I don't normally have the opportunity to go to prom or anything like that unless someone invites me to their school, but my friend TJ asked me to go with him to his Homecoming at the beginning of the month.

My parents were awesome and helped me pull together everything I needed. My dad and I spent the entire afternoon going to every single shoe store within an hour from our house to find shoes that were preferably not heels (because ew, who would be able to dance in those for more than like ten minutes), and my mom arranged for a friend to do my hair and makeup. We even did a trial run two nights before the dance just to make sure everything went smoothly.

I guess in my area of Pennsylvania, Homecoming dresses are traditionally short, but I found this long blue gown that I loved, so I said to heck with it and made it work. It's TARDIS blue with silvery sequins in the middle. My mom and I were looking for shoe/purse/wrap color ideas, and bright red looked great with the dress. Then I realized that someone else looked fantastic in TARDIS blue and bright red.


So not only did I end up going with red accents, but then I fell in love with the idea of doing hair and makeup like Peggy Carter.


And the theme was classic Hollywood, so the vintage look totally worked!

This was from the trial run.
And this is from the night of! Desiree did an awesome job with hair and makeup.
You can see the curls in the back here.
Scout was fascinated by my makeup. She kept trying to lick the lipstick off.
We took approximately a bazillion* pictures before we left.
With Max.
With my (probably extremely tired from tons of shopping) parents.
With TJ. He almost wore suspenders to complete his eleventh Doctor look, but apparently they were against the dress code at his school (???). Once we got there we counted at least a dozen guys wearing suspenders though, so he was really mad for not just going with it.
With TJ and his friends.
With TJ's parents.
With my parents again!
TJ got me a wrist corsage that was super pretty and totally went with the dress.
The tickets looked awesome, too.
TJ hates this picture because we caught him mid-laugh, but I'm never letting him forget that it exists.
At the dance.
The dance was LOUD. I was losing my voice by the end of it trying to talk over the music. But the decorations were cool because there were old-fashioned movie posters up everywhere along with gold stars. They even had a station with Polaroid cameras so you could take pictures. I got to meet a bunch of TJ's friends from band, and we all danced lots (like dorks, of course). We ate marshmallows dipped in chocolate and managed not to get any on ourselves.

We even survived the "grinding circle" (which is apparently a thing now and is exactly how it sounds). We didn't go through it on purpose, but there was a conga line going by, so we joined the train, and whoever was leading it thought it would be a good idea to go DIRECTLY THROUGH HELL. And then everyone proceeded to DISPERSE into the crowd of people grinding on each other. So of course after TJ and I managed to escape, we both at the same time said, "It's like the maze in Harry Potter four when it's closing in on them!"

'Cause we're nerds.

So yeah, it was tons of fun. :) I'd totally go again if I could!

*a totally real and valid number.

What were your school dances like? Any crazy stories? Leave a comment!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Time Lady Fashion

Posting about anything even remotely related to fashion or clothing is a first for me, but I was inspired by Loot Crate to post something involving geeky fashion. Which is the best kind, obviously. ;)


Loot Crate is a company that sells subscription boxes of geeky goodies with different themes. Want something fangirl based? They have a crate for that. How about something for your dog? If I had all the money in the world, I'd be buying several of these.

Anyways, onto the outfit! It's "Doctor Who" themed (surprise surprise).


This "Doctor Who" dress has to be one of my favorite finds from Hot Topic.


And this poster is just awesome!!! I found it at a local Comicon. How cool would a tenth Doctor movie be?!


You can see the designs a lot better here. Cybermen, Daleks, the TARDIS, 3-D glasses, various catchphrases, and more are patterned on the dress.


Because you totally wanted a picture of my face this close. Here you can see my TARDIS blue eye shadow and (sort of) glittery blue mascara.


I wear my "don't blink" earrings on a near daily basis.


One of my best friends got this necklace for me, and it's so cute! It has the TARDIS, a TARDIS key, and a sonic screwdriver on it.


And a TARDIS blue bracelet to match.

So that's my go-to cute/casual "Doctor Who" outfit. :)

What geeky/fangirl attire do you have? I'd love to hear about them!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

3/5

The concept for this was soooo good. But it could have been executed better. I liked the unique take on time travel, but I was confused on it for most of the book. The beginning was pretty good, then it got slow, then it rushed through the end. I'm not sure I'll go to the sequel. And I liked Nicholas and Etta mostly, but Etta felt kind of bland, and for some reason I just didn't ship them together? I felt like I was supposed to! I was too apathetic about it in general to give it a higher rating.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

5/5

THIS WAS SO GOOD. I'm sad I didn't read it the year everyone was raving over it because now I'm late to the party. I didn't really know what I was getting into except that everyone was saying the writing was amazing, and that is spot on. The whole time I was reading it I was caught somewhere between OMG-I-want-to-make-beautiful-art and I-need-to-quit-writing-because-I'll-never-be-this-good. Apparently Jandy Nelson studied poetry in college, which totally makes sense. The whole book oozes poetry. And the characters are super quirky and messed up and fantastic to read. It also made me crave doughnuts.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

4/5

Look at me finally reading a book I said I was going to read for like four years! I really, really liked it. I needed something fluffy, so this was the perfect fix. The characters felt real and flawed, and I shipped it hard. I do think it could've been a little shorter toward the end. They had some nice twists, but the last hundred pages or so felt like it was the same problems being presented all over again. I could've done with a little less "will-they-won't-they" at that point. But a cute romance set in Paris? I was so happy.

Movies I Watched

"Florence Foster Jenkins"

4/5

Considering this movie was based on a true story, it's a very odd, unconventional situation with eccentric characters. It was really funny and not at all your typical Hollywood blockbuster. Simon Helberg was really great in his role, even though he wasn't one of the protagonists. There were a few times when I was confused on what was going on mostly because it seemed like they were expecting you to know the characters' backstories because they were real people, even though I had no clue who they were when I was watching it. That could have been handled a little better.

Quotes I Wrote


No one can possibly explain the depths of Lila's heart that filled with love, overflowing with it until it consumed her whole being. Magic was nothing, compared to this. She was on fire, and for once, she liked the heat.
-'Til the Last Star Dies

Maybe it was the fact that the girl who had every reason to be in pieces was doing her best to hold Lila up. Maybe it was knowing that this, Melody's smooth skin sliding against Lila's, was fleeting. Maybe it was hundreds upon thousands of years of exhaustion finally causing her creaking bones to start cracking.
She finally had reason to work up the courage to let go.
Maybe this was an eternity worth giving up forever for.
-'Til the Last Star Dies

Lila wiggled her fingers, though the chains didn't allow for much more motion than that. “You have to make me drink it, no matter how much I squirm and protest. It'll get worse as it goes on, but I have to drink all of them.”
Nodding, Melody bent down a little beside her. “Okay. And—if this doesn't work, I just want you to know—”
“Nu uh,” Lila cut her off, and to Melody's surprise she actually smiled. A genuine smile. “None of that. We're not gonna do a cheesy YA romance scene, all right? Nothing's gonna happen to me, you said so yourself. Let's just get this done.”
-'Til the Last Star Dies

Obsessions I Acquired

"Waitress" - If you haven't heard this musical yet, you're missing out. Sara Bareilles wrote some of the songs, and the whole album totally sounds like her style. It's upbeat and hopeful and funny in some of the songs. It's also super catchy. "When He Sees Me" is constantly in my head.

"This Is Us" - Holy plot twists, Batman!! From the very first episode, you're hooked. This was one of the new TV shows my family decided to try, and with it only being two episodes in, it's remarkable how obsessed I am with it. Their pilot should be the definition of a good one.

Picture of the Month 


Can we take a moment to appreciate how adorable my dog is as BB-8? She loves her new Halloween costume!

How was your September?