design

Turn Up the Beat

5:04 PM

I'm still trying to find a way (and a day) to make my songs illustrated by GIFs a regular meme on the blog. I would like it to be on a certain day each week, but for this week I'm just putting it on whenever. Like, right now.

I did this last week on a Tuesday and had loads of fun using a catchy but not-well-known song. This week I'm going to try to choose a song that's more...popular, I guess.




If I used all of the first letters, it would be TUTB buuut if I take out 'the' then it spells TUB. How awesome, right? I now proclaim this day to be TUBday! (ahem. sorry, I get carried away sometimes) I should totally schedule this for Tuesdays. Tuesdays...TUBdays...no?

Royals by Lorde


"But every song's like gold teeth"



"Grey goose"



"Trippin' in the bathroom."



"Blood stains"



"Ball gowns"



"Trashin' the hotel room,"



"We don't care"



"We aren't caught up in your love affair."







On a side note, while I was searching for GIFs I found out that the grey goose that Lorde refers to is a brand of vodka and "trippin' in the bathroom" means they were under drug influence in the bathroom. -_- Hmm, did not know that. But TUBday is just for fun! So just laugh at the idiotic GIF pairings I have given you and don't take anything too seriously :)

Update on the blog design-- It's proceeding...slowly. It has been a painful process getting tabs up under the header. But I really like how it turned out! *high fives myself* There is a little problem with the tabs opening up in a brand new windows tab. >_< Sorry for the inconvenience, I'll try to fix it as soon as possible. In the mean time, any tips you can give me to get that set straight?

characters

Kill the Clones

5:46 PM

Sometimes it can be hard for me, as a writer, to have variation in my female main characters. Maybe it's because I keep socialization to a minimum, but I don't think so. I mean, look at all the great books and movies that are accessible from home... :D

It's because there is a certain kind of woman that I admire and wish I could be like, so I then create all my female main characters to fit that mold. But if I do that, then each book will be a different plot with the same person. It'll be boring and repetitive.

1. I like making my characters have green or blue eyes because I think brown eyes are boring (I have them).
2. Almost every character has brown hair. Or at least dark hair.
3. Another pattern I see almost every time is that I like to make the character quiet but deadly. Able to handle themselves in any situation. I make them characters that have authority in the way they hold themselves or talk.
4. I make them beautiful.
5. They're always in shape and can handle weapons. Basically, kick-butt.

There's nothing wrong with any of the above characteristics. At all. Especially the kick-butt one. But variety is good and it's what makes the world such a unique place to live.

1. Brown eyes are not boring. A person can have almost-black eyes, golden brown eyes, etc. (I try to reassure myself)

2. It's okay to be blonde. Blondeness definitely doesn't make you dumb and that's not why I don't have lots of blondes in my books.

3. There are all kinds of people. People that talk too much, laugh at every joke, smile at strangers, hide themselves deep in their own shell, or stutter when talking to strangers. If every person was a cookie cutter copy of the last person, where would our individuality be?

4. Physical beauty does matter. I get it. Sometimes you stare into the mirror and wonder why you aren't as pretty as that girl you saw at the grocery store. People pay more attention when you're prettier.

Physical beauty doesn't matter where it counts. It's true.

You might have gorgeous eyes but maybe your face is a little too chubby for your liking or you hate those freckles sprinkling your cheeks. You're still beautiful. I've seen averagely pretty/handsome people smile. Their whole face lights up, the corners of their eyes crinkle. It's awesome.

Don't argue with me ;)

5. Let's be honest here. I'm not in shape. I hate exercising with a deadly passion. I don't know how to fire a gun or use a bow and arrow. I'm not even sure I could make myself injure someone, let alone kill them like in the many current dystopian-setting books.

Those are things that I have never liked (exercise) or never needed to learn (weapons). I would do these things if I needed to, especially to protect my family. But the fact remains, I don't have these talents.

[][][][][][][][]

I'm scared of water and heights. I wait in horror for the time when I have to take a speech class because I hate talking in front of people. It's the staring. I'm uncomfortable around large groups of people I don't know. I have bad eyesight (And it annoys me that this hasn't been dealt with in dystopian books at all. What, every person in the future has twenty-twenty vision?).

What I have is reasonable hand-eye coordination. I can remember faces and movies very well (Seriously, me and my family used to watch Little House on the Prairie a lot then we stopped for like years. We decided to re-watch them and I could remember how almost every episode played out. I think I freaked my dad out). I can carry a fifty pound bag of dog food which is almost half what I weigh.

My perfect female main character is a stereotype. A stereotype I have created and not only does it cut way down on diversity in my novels, but (if any of them were published) it would add to the common belief that only a few kinds of people can be heroines or heroes.

I don't want to do that. I want people to know that being different is good. And so here's to hoping I can kick myself into gear and implement that in my writing.

Do you have the same tendency to make all your female or male main characters similar? What are some skills or habits that, as far as you know, only you have?

NOTE: I know I've been changing the design of the blog A LOT recently. Sorry for the lack of a heads up! I'm just trying to get it perfect :)

Mindy McGinnis

Sophisticated Sunday

1:28 PM

There is something so good about being surrounded by books and breathing in their musty smell. Something comforting about cuddling up in an old (and I mean very old) recliner with a warm spot of yellow light shining on you, just losing yourself in a novel.




I've read a lot since the beginning of the year (eighteen books) and I'm eight books ahead of schedule in my 2014 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. Woohoo! I haven't been writing as much as I should be recently....I'm trying to get back into my writing groove, but it's hard with Facebook, Pinterest, and all that awesome light stuff that's so easy to spend hours in. 

I have three WIPs (works in progress): Eye of the Phoenix (a novel), If I Fall (a novella which is slowly turning into a novel with the help of my speedy co-writer), and I Remember (working title for a short, few-thousand-words story based on a dream I had that I can't forget). 

Right now I'm focusing on getting I Remember done so I can have the scene fresh on paper and maybe come back to it later. The title is really temporary (I've gone through Isolation, Forgiven, etc. etc. It's frustrating when I can't find the perfect title). I might post all of it, or part of it, here when I'm done. Basically, the people in the dream just stuck with me the whole day and then I had to write it down, but the trouble is I have no idea what the major plot or setting would be if it turned into a whole book. 

Summarized though, the story is about this young mom (late teens to early twenties) who is hiding in a country (somewhere in Asia I think) with her young daughter who is about two years old. There is a war going on. One day, she takes her daughter out because the daughter wants to go outside really bad. The baby girls' dad is a prisoner of war or some such thing and the mom discovers him that day. I got the feeling that the dad had really betrayed the mom's trust in the past. He's sorry, she's hurt and very protective of her daughter. The dream ends with them surrounded by men with machine guns. Terrifying? Yes. Frustrating? Also, yes. Because I can't for the life of me remember the beginning and middle parts of the dream. So what do you think? Any title ideas at all? *looks at you with huge begging eyes*

READING: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
LAST MEAL: Green Onion Pancakes with Egg Inside (we call them egg pancakes, other parts of the world call them scallion pancakes(?) or something just as weird)
WEATHER: FREEZING cold. 
ITEM TO MY RIGHT: A 0.5 black ink pen. My favorite kind! 

automatons

Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset

1:37 PM




The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one… except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on even if it seems no one believes her.


Finley Jane has a darker side and it comes out when she's angry or scared or in danger. She doesn't know why she can throw a full grown man or hear sounds from a different room. She just can. So when a young lord, the son of her employer, tries to take advantage of her, she fights him. And wins. Of course, she can't stay so she runs away and by chance meets the infamous Griffin King. There's something different about him and his band of friends. Something unnatural. Just like Finley. 

Oh, wow, I'm so proud of myself. That was so dramatic, hehe. I loved this book so much! The characters were funny and smart (they also had distinct personalities), the plot twisted, and the pace was just right. The sarcasm was also a big bonus. 

Characters
The characters. were. the. best. They all had distinct voices, preferences, and hobbies. They fought (quite a lot actually) like real friends do. Some of them didn't get along at first. They had fears to get over and villains to conquer. But they did it. And they did it pretty darn well.

Finley was the best. She has a good side and a dark side, but she's constantly struggling to keep her dark side in check. She thinks of herself as a monster, something to be feared. Finley doesn't think much of herself...she's been in situations that have basically caused her to lose trust in mankind, but she keeps going. She's loyal. She doesn't wait for other people to take care of things, she takes care of things. She's incredibly confident. She has the best sarcastic retorts (and internal dialogue). She can carry a grown man. Is that awesome? Yes, I believe so. The secondary characters were equally as good. Griffin, Emily, Sam, Jasper, and even Jack all found a way to worm into my heart. Griffin, the calm and protective (sometimes too protective) leader, Emily the kick-butt genius, Sam the hard-headed and stubborn (and negative. and pessimistic) giant, and Jasper the charming (I call it flirty) and very fast cowboy. They all have grown on me *sigh*. 

The Characters as Understood Through GIFs
(may be exaggerated)

Finley (not exaggerated)

Emily glaring

The people at the receiving end of her glare


Griffin

Sam

Jasper

Plot
The book was very well written. There weren't any extreme plot twists or maybe it's because I've read a lot, but I was suspicious of the right character, guys. The end scene was totally unexpected though. Also, the groups' powers along with the automatons and the loony villain made the story weave in very interesting and fun ways. In which I smirk, shake my head, and say "Finley, oh Finley." 

Setting
It's set in England. The descriptions are detailed, but not overly so. There were automatons, strange weapons, steam carriages, air ships, and leather corsets. The clothes descriptions for the girls were delicious. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to dress up steampunk/historical but it wasn't tedious at all when the author described Finley's or Emily's clothes for the day. Instead, it was more like "I want those clothes so bad! GIVE." I have read other historical novels that weren't steampunk and it's really interesting to compare the small (yeah, maybe not that small) differences. 

Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2014. 

5/5 stars

You have to read this book! (and the rest of the series as well). I've read the prequel--The Strange case of Finley Jayne-- and the second book--The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. Both were really good as well, although I didn't like The Strange Case of Finley Jayne as much as the others. You'll love it, especially if you're into steampunk, paranormal, and science fiction. 

        

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. I have written it solely for the entertainment of the  readers of this blog and myself.

blog

List Making and Stat Breaking

5:42 PM

So this blog is relatively new for those of you who don't know. I started it in May last year because I was bored with my older blog. I wanted a fresh, new try at blogging. I wanted to try to be more creative and funny.

I didn't want to just reflect on life (even though reflecting is good. I've heard that's how mirrors work), although I will do some deep posts in the future. I think I wanted a freer atmosphere or something. Not so stilted and formal.

I'm rambling, aren't I?

I'm not quite happy with the current design, but it's gonna have to do until I 1)find a better template on blogger and better backgrounds or 2)learn how to design the blog myself with html *shudders*. I do know some basic html for editing-words-type-stuff but that's about it. I think it would be fun to learn though :)

I just wanted to post some blog statistics today for fun. I know they're not massive compared to some other blogs but I'm proud (and really, really excited) about them. And, I don't know, it just seems like a neat thing to do.

Top 3 Traffic Sources:
1. www.vampirestat.com
2. www.7secretsearch.com
3. www.adsensewatchdog.com

note: these websites confuse me. because they're stat websites for big time websites, so...yeah. Do these websites form the bulk of your blog traffic sources? #extremelycurious

Annnnd I have six page views from Google. Eeek!

Top 3 Posts for the Month:
1. "What Does the Cover Say?"
2. "Writing Partners(...and weird GIFs. All part of TCWT)"
3. "Stacking the Shelves{1}"

"What Does the Cover Say?" was a linkup, "Writing Partners" was part of a blog chain, and "Stacking the Shelves" was also a linkup. A very popular one. If you're looking to get more pageviews, I would suggest doing linkups. But also, they are extremely fun. Make sure to comment on the posts of every blog that participated (if it isn't an overwhelming amount). Personally I love getting comments and I just feel like I should do a lot of comments as well even if the other blogger doesn't care about comments as much as I do.

Top 3 Pageviews by Country for the Month:
1. United States, 601 pageviews
2. Malaysia, 366 pageviews
3. Spain, 11 pageviews

And I have three followers! Thanks, guys. :D

I have a problem with writer's block, which is why sometimes there isn't another post for like a week or something, and my old blog was literally called Writer's Block.

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with exciting, fresh ideas. I mean, almost everything under the sun has been blogged to death. So I'm going to put some tips below here, as an avid blog reader (I'm not accredited. Use tips with caution).


  • Write about your everyday life. Projects, trips...anything. It may seem boring to you, but to us it's really neat reading about someone else's life. And if we find that we have something in common? Boom! Instant coolness factor. 
  • Give tutorials. Tell us how to use basic (and I emphasize basic) html to tweak our blogs. Teach us how to do some artsy/craftsy stuff. We might try, but even if we didn't we liked seeing the finished product you got. We think you're awesome. Basically. 
  • Post a short story or tidbits from your work-in-progress. Show us pictures of your characters and pins that describe them to a point. We like reading about them. We'll probably cyber-scream at you to publish the book, just saying. Don't be intimidated! If you're not comfortable putting loads of stuff out there, we understand. After all, most of us write some too. 
  • Make neat lists. Top Ten Books of the Year, Epic Fantasy Movies, Best Resources for Teen Writers, Top Five Things You Like to Do in Your Free Time. Lists are scrumptious. Besides that, they're easy and fast to read. 
  • If you're an introvert, don't be shy (lol none of us are in the blogosphere. It's the humans that terrify us. shh don't tell). Talk about being an introvert. How do introverts act when they meet new people? (Hint: it's not pretty) Us introverts will clap like fools and grin widely. We'll be like, "That's it exactly! There are people like me out in the world!" Hey, we're an awesome bunch. 
  • If you're an extrovert, talk about being an extrovert. Talk about yourself and how you look at things. Chances are, not only will you get fellow extroverts to read and comment, but introverts as well. The distance of cyberspace makes us bolder. And we definitely know a few extroverts. 

Are you out of your writer's block (blogger's block? wait, that just sounds dumb) slump yet? Great if you are! I'm so glad I could help. If you're not, google "neat blogging ideas" or "*funny (*insert any adjective) blog post ideas." There are loads of results. Check out writing prompt websites as well. Loads of ideas there. 

CURRENTLY READING: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
FAVORITE SONG: (grr this is hard) Notice Me by Alli Simpson
LAST MOVIE WATCHED: The Butler (really good by the way. It's pretty much historical, dealing with civil rights and all that)

college

The Study of People (yikes!) + Song Illustration

6:39 PM

Well, I promised to keep you lovelies informed on my college experiences so... I went to my first class of Introduction to Sociology (my second dual-enrollment class). You know how last time my class was filled with mostly middle-aged people? Yeah, well this one is absolutely all younger people. Like college freshman through sophomore. There were two older people.

I think I'm going to enjoy doing this class though because it deals with the results of different social interactions. For example, how individuals can be influenced by their social surroundings to commit suicide. Yes, it's sad, but if people understand it they can prevent it. And that sort of ties in with the thing where I've always loved making people feel better.

Unless it's my mom yelling at me to clean my room. Then I usually cover my ears and sing or hide in my closet.

I'm very mature for my age.


I've also had an idea for a post. Tonight, actually. I'm not sure how popular it will be with you guys though. The idea is to choose a song and illustrate its lyrics (or some of its lyrics) with GIFs and memes in a funny way. 

The song today is "I Would" by One Direction. Now I'm pretty sure not every person knows this song (and I'll try to choose a more widely known one next time) but it has lyrics that can be made LOL-able and also it's pretty good. You should listen to it. 

*I linked the title of the song to a YouTube lyric video. 


"Lately I've found myself thinking."


"Been dreaming about you a lot."


"And up in my head I'm your boyfriend, but that's one thing you've already got."


"He drives to school every morning..."


"While I walk alone in the rain."


"He'd kill me without any warning"



"If he took a look in my braaaain."



That's it for tonight :) I realized that if I did the whole song it would be way to long. Hope you laughed!



craft project

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

12:33 PM

Therefore, the perfect time to make a scarf (Sorry, if it isn't winter where you live). It's very easy and I've taken some pictures because personally I learn better visually. But my hands were shaking like an old person (no offense to old people). I think it's a after-effect of the flu. It stinks. I couldn't take a clear picture with my phone's camera without steadying my hand on something. :(


So that's my excuse for the blurry pictures ;)

1. You have to get the supplies: a size G crochet needle, a rubber stopper for the end (a thick rubber band wrapped around it will do the job too. it's so the yarn/lace stuff won't slip off. very handy), the yarn/lace stuff (I like the Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins the best because it's more delicate and very soft), and a pair of scissors.


Each yarn has a name. I don't know this one's because I've currently lost the wrapping...Sorry (I really am). 

For future reference look at this photo, in which the top is the top and the bottom is the bottom (I know it sounds confusing now but it won't in a minute):



2. Then, after you find the beginning of the lace (which takes longer than you would expect), you have to stretch it, gently. You don't have to unravel the whole oblong thing, just an arm's length or less is fine. 

That's the top part, near my fingertips.


3. Count out four holes at the top and fold the lace over on top of another four holes (eight in all) so that they line up. 

the side near the top of the picture is the  top side. the other is the bottom. the bottom looks fancier and more complicated while the top is much simpler.


4. Get your crochet needle. Poke it through the first hole from the side facing you (Always thread the crochet needle through the lace in the same direction). Skip a hole and put the needle through the lace again, in the third hole. 



5. Keep doing this (remembering to skip holes) until you have ten loops on your crochet needle. It helps to count as you push the needle through the holes, counting for each time you go through a hole. Don't count the skipped holes.



6. You can change around the number of loops to fit your personal preference (it affects the ruffles of the scarf and how tight or loose they are). But I recommend ten for this particular brand. Once you have ten loops, hook the first loop (the one nearest the crochet needle's hook) with the crochet needle and pull it through the rest of the loops. You should end up with one loop, which will be on the crochet needle. 
hook the first loop and pull it through the rest.   

7. Repeat. Again, there is no exact length that the scarf has to be, so just keep measuring it on yourself as you go along. 

It should start looking like this.




8. Once you have the length you want, you have to tie up the end and neaten up the beginning (where a little flap of raw-edged yarn will be). Don't panic, it's going to be alright (go ahead and take a few seconds to stretch though). 



9. Make the loop around your crochet needle bigger. Then cut the yarn about two to three inches from where the loop is. Pull the corners of the end of the yarn apart (sometimes it helps to snip a little with the scissors down the middle.You may want to twist each side to make it easier to pull through the loop and knot later on). Then pull the side closer to the loop through the loop. Once it's through, use this side and the other side and tie them together in a knot. Knot again, then snip off the extra yarn close to the knot. 

this is the last loop



you'll pull the twisted yarn (the one closest to the loop) through the loop
knot the two twisted sections twice
10. Tuck the knot into any random loop in the yarn (near the knot of course). Just somewhere that looks pretty and not noticeable.

11. For the beginning, there will be a flap of yarn left over (from when you folded the yarn at the beginning). Thou must not panic. Knot the corner that hangs free. If there's too much extra yarn when you knot it (the tail of the knot), cut the extra off. 

see I have way to much extra yarn hanging out of the knot (to the right)
12. Tuck this knot in somewhere inconspicuous too. Preferably into a section of the yarn that is the same color.

Tada! Congratulations, you have finished your scarf. 

Finished product:


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment. And if you actually do this DIY (which would be so awesome), comment and tell me how it went or do a post on your experience with it (including lots of pictures of course). I want to see! 

Hugs and chocolate. 

books

What Does the Cover Say?

1:00 PM

The scarf post is coming soon. Just wait, it'll be awesome. I hope.


Have you ever made fun of ridiculous movie posters or...hm...book covers? Yeah, I have too. And the Notebook Sisters are turning it into a linkup! Mind readers. It has to be. 

Rules are:
1) Pick 5 to 10 book covers and give a funny/sarcastic/ingenious interpretation of what they could be saying. {and apparently we're not supposed to be mean}

2) Add the blog button to your post or leave a link to THIS post {referring to notebook sisters' post}

3) Add your direct URL to the linkup below (so we can enjoy all your funniness)

4) Be unconditionally awesome {well, that one's easy}




Check out the original post and the few examples given on the linkup post. They are hilariously funny :)


"The flower and the baseball lived happily ever after. The perfect couple."



"I know where you live, I know what you eat for breakfast. I know everything."



"Would you just let me pick the roses already? I think I know how. Isn't that obvious by the whole bouquet I have in my arms? The thorns hurt too. You're welcome."




"There's some creeper dude watching me isn't there?" 



"In order to perform this dance, you must leap into the air like a gazelle and hug your partner backwards. We do not take any responsibility for injuries." 


"Time to work it. I hope I make it through all the door ways."


"Please leave me alone. I'm practicing levitation." 


"Guys, I see a spider. No, seriously, it's huge. KILL IT."

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow me on Twitter

Buttons