Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Best Organizational Buddies

So I'm pretty sure I spend most of time in front of these two guys...

Yup. My whiteboards. :) They're usually not that covered with marker - this is the one of the main ways I study for tests and so it has physics and up in the top corner a little bit of French. I also have magnets and to do lists and stickers for my dad's health calendar (he gets a sticker if he exercises and eats well).

So today I was excited to study because I could use my new whiteboard markers... heheh. I'm a nerd, I know. :)

How do you organize yourself??

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Day in the Life of A Book

This is not me, nor any of  my relations!!
7:00 A.M.: The fingers that just recently tore their sticky grasp from my pages reach for me once more. I love feeling those fingers on my spine, my pages, my words because it means I'm being used and that means I am useful, so I feel loved. But come on, Reader! You just put me down two hours ago!

7:15 A.M.: I am put through the tortures of breakfast. Never knowing where that dollop of honey is going to fall... I see it dripping from the edge of your slightly burnt toast, Reader! Don't let it fall on me! I've had enough of your meal mishaps, thank you very much. Despite your surprising ability to put me under such torture without so much as a speck of sympathy, I am very impressed by your ability to turn pages with one hand.

8:00 A.M.: I am stuffed in a backpack between a binder and a lunchkit. I am jumbled around and around and around until somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 I am rescued from the bowels and I get to see the light - or at least, the cold fluroescent light of a school classroom.

9:00 A.M.: I emerge from the backpack, and I am now staring at the underside of a desk coated with gum. I am disgusted, but at least I have half of your face, Reader, to stare at as you devour my words. It is entertaining watching your face contort with reactions to the words sprawled across my insides. Ahh... I love how much you love gorging yourself on my innards. Oh, no! You're eating an apple! Not MORE opportunity for you to get food on my pristine pages!

9:00 AM -3:30 PM: Throughout the day Reader puts me through a routine of stuffing me in the backpack, sliding me out onto her lap and exposing me to light (and food! Ah!) and then stuffing me back in again. By the end of the day, my spine is sore from my pages being open and closed so much but there is also a nagging voice in the back of my mind that tells me this is only a sign of how much she loves me. Just look how many pages she has turned only today! What beautiful fingers she has... (when they aren't covered with peanut butter!)

4:00 PM: Yet another journey out of the backpack, and this time I brace myself for I know there is a long stretch ahead, a marathon if you will. During this time, Reader has an unquenchable appetite and I feel my pages bending under her furious flipping! Though I am becoming increasingly weary, I am prepared and I make it through until her hunger for food overcomes her hunger for words and I am left on the coffee table, open and upside down so she won't lose her spot (oh, I so wish she'd quit that horrible habit... my spine aches so!). I do not understand this want for food. Aren't words so much better, so much more filling?

6:00 PM: I am picked up yet again, for another marathon that I know is to come. But there is joy in my heart when I see Reader swallow words, my words, and I see the corners of her eyes crinkle when she's read something funny, and I see the tears flow down her cheeks when something has touched her. I feel her fingers tense and I feel her heart rate flutter in anticipation.

1:00 AM: I am weary. She is weary. I can feel the grip of her fingers on my pages loosen and I know soon I will drop to the ground, as happens every night, and I will be forced to lie in a very uncomfortable position until morning when Reader picks me up again with eagerness. But I can also feel her mind buzzing with thoughts and they are all buried deep in my words, so much so that I feel as if she is walking among the pages with me, hand in hand. Reader thinks she is too much a part of the story to let go now.

2:00 AM: Reader has fallen asleep. I am sitting on the floor with my spine in the air and my pages splayed out beneath me. I feel as if I am part of a Reader yoga class. Except I am supposed to get some rest like this.

3:30 AM: I manage to sleep. I need my energy in order to give all I can to Reader tomorrow!

*Note that the views expressed by this book in this post are not shared by all books.
*Also note that not all Readers treat their books in the same fashion; this post only demonstrates how one Reader treats books.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Housekeeping

Today I'll get out my broom and sweep some boring Dust Bunnies out of the way for you (by the way, who else was terrified of the dust bunnies in Molly and the Big Comfy Couch when they were younger?)... so yeah be prepared for some boring stuff that I should've probably done awhile ago.

Agenda Item Letter A:

THANK YOU FOLLOWERS (and readers). This is long overdue and I haven't acknowledged any readers or commenters or followers or nothin' yet, so they (ahem, you) deserve some pats on the back. (*patpat*). Thanks for coming and if you ever have suggestions (like if I make a spelling mistake) then just comment nicely! I'll try and update the site/my post/etc.

Agenda Item Letter B: 

If you are new, or even if you aren't, visit my are you new here page.

Agenda Item Letter C:

Some cool posts I've found this week are: This post from Shrinking Violet Promotions, the marketing site for introverts, and this hilarious post that is for all people who cringe at any chatspeak. (This is where I raise my hand determinedly.)

Hmm I don't think I forgot anything... ta-ta!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Storytelling vs. Storytelling

I like words. A lot of the time, I am very good at stringing them together in an organized fashion to tell a story of people and places long ago and far away... (or not so long ago and not so far away, that works too).

But that's just on paper.  Telling stories aloud isn't so easy. (Okay, so on paper isn't so easy either.) But there are those times when my tongue trips over itself and when something that came out needs to be reeled back in, or when those word-soundwaves make their way to my ears and I realize that there is no response but... "uh... WHAT?"

SO. Without further ado, today I just wanted to talk about the differences and similarities between STORYTELLING (Aloud) and STORYTELLING (On Paper).

Storytelling (Aloud): Details are important.

I've noticed when listening to people share their funny stories and memories to each other is that you need to provide backstory. Otherwise, the story doesn't make sense and by the time you get to the punch line the listener is just confused instead of ready to react whether it be laughing or crying (whichever is appropriate. :D). And the more details, the better. It's best to give the listener as much detail as possible so they can really get a sense of where the punch line is coming from.

Storytelling (On Paper): Details are just important, but...

However, On Paper, lots of details, or as we writer-types like to call it "backstory" (in some cases), takes the reader OUT of the story instead of introducing us into it, like Aloud does. Even though some background is necessary, it's important that it comes in naturally instead of just retelling events of the past. The reader should get an idea of the backstory through the action, not details just being laid out for us. BUT details are still important. Just because they aren't present to the reader, they still need to be there in order to give life to the story.

Storytelling (Aloud): When the cow has been milked, STOP!

Today my choir teacher commented (*note that music people, like writers, are on a different life circle than everyone else*) that comedy is the cow and that laughter is the milk and their goal for the grade 9 comedy musical is to milk the cow of comedy... something like that... uhm.

ANYWAY... my point is, when storytelling (aloud), once you've elicited a reaction from your listener, that's the end of your story. There's no need to add more, to try and keep getting a reaction because, well, that's boring. As soon as you've said the punch line and the listener laughs/cries/does something crazy. (Of course there are stories with multiple punch lines which would have to elicit multiple reactions). 

Storytelling (On Paper):  Same goes (kind of)

To me, it seems like this concept applies to the storytelling (On Paper) concept of CLIFFHANGERS. Those are the "punch lines" of your story, where you finally end your story (or part of your story) with something that would get a reaction out of the reader. The not-going-too-far would apply to endings. There's no need to lay out every little detail about the story after the ending. Leave the punch line and final reaction be!

I could think of more, I'm sure, but that's lots of words for today. So.

PICTURES!

Stories on Paper! Um... kind of.
Borrowed from http://www.funnypictureblog.blogspot.com/.
Visit for more cool pictures.
Storytelling Aloud from Paper. :) by Shirley Hughes
Found here
I like fonts. :) So I am obsessed with this site. I am so cool.

Thoughts? Share below!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

RTW: Listening Love

Today in history class we listened to a half hour audio documentary. There's something extremely relaxing about just closing your eyes, listening, and just imagining all the pictures in your head as opposed to the pictures being given to you. We live in a very visual world, and it's nice sometimes to enjoy our other senses.

ANYWAY today at YA Highway for Road Trip Wednesday they are asking who should narrate your audio book.

I don't have a specific WIP in mind to be narrated, but I definitely think that whatever book is narrated, it should be done by someone with a nice voice. A voice that is enjoyable to listen to. So I thought of two voices.

ONE:

Tahereh Mafi. This is odd, but when I listened to her recording of her pronouncing her name I was amazed at how pretty her voice was. :) Yes, I know it's weird.

TWO:

Aslan. Otherwise known as Liam Neeson, the guy who voices Aslan of the Chronicles of Narnia in the films. I think Aslan's voice was perfect in the films, so I would want the narration to be in the same style. Although if the real Aslan could somehow narrate my novel, I'm sure his voice would be pretty awesome.

Yup.

Whose voices would you like to listen to as they narrate a book?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MASS OF LINKS: Teen Writer Peoples, Teen Sites, and more Young Author Stuffs

EDIT: The internet is a rapidly changing place! Be aware that this was posted two years ago, and since then some of these bloggers have stopped blogging or don't exist online anymore, or are no longer teens.  Also some of the writing magazines have ceased to exist. However, there is a plethora of information out there about writing and teens writing, you only have to look. I would suggest getting on Twitter, that's where a ton of supportive writer teens hang out!

I am a teen, therefore I am drawn to other teens like me, who write, like me.  And it's awesome the leaps that teens can make in the publishing world when they put their minds to it and work their (our?) pretty little heads off!!

IF THEY CAN DO IT, SO CAN WE:
Writers who are not necessarily current teens, but got published at a young age!

Mariam Maarouf, who is currently 17 years old and lives in Alexandria, Egypt. Her first book is Rosie.

Australian author of Girl Saves Boy (whoops almost wrote "Boy Saves Girl") Steph Bowe is only 17 years old!

Veronica Roth, author of upcoming release Divergent (judging from all the hype, it sounds like it'll be good!!) is only 22. (Oh, I tried to find a wikipedia page of her that doesn't exist - it asked me if I really meant "Veronika Toth?")

Another Australian, Alexandra Adornetto was published when she was only 13! She is now 18, and still writing.

Flavia Bujor, French author of The Prophecy of Stones was published when she was 14.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes at 14.

Cayla Kluver is currently 18, but was published when she was only 15.

Of course, Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon and such, was published (self-published, no less) at 19. He actually started writing Eragon, though, at 15.

Kody Keplinger was published when she was 18, and she is now 19 (I think). She is the author of The DUFF.

S.E. Hinton, introvert author of the amazing book that is now read in grade nine high school classes across Canada was 19 when she published The Outsiders.

Comedic Canadian author Gordon Korman was 14 when he published his first book with Scholastic, This Can't Be Happening At Macdonald Hall.

Another Canadian, Kenneth Oppel (author of the Silverwings series), was 18 when he had his first book published.

Jessica Dunn and Daneille Dunn started writing the first edition of A Teen's Guide to Getting Published when they were in eigth grade, and were published by the time they were 15.

Lara Fox and Hilary Frankel wrote a book about teens and parent communication called Breaking the Code when they were sixteen.

MORE SIGNIFICANT TEEN PEOPLE
Some actual teen writers who are trying to make it out there! (...in no particular order)

-Taryn Albright, 18 years old, of Seattle and part of the Noveltee(n) group!
-Aleeza Rauf, 17, from Pakistan, writer and reviewer and fun person.
-Emilia Plater, 17, who is represented by Suzie Townsend of Fineprint Lit. She is a cool gal. (And when I googled her trying to find her blog address, a wikipedia page of Countess Emilia Plater came up. Haha!)
-Britany Clarke, 17, I just started following so I can say much!
-Amanda Kurka, 17, who is inspiring, and likes red pandas.
-Kate Coursey, 18, and winner of the 2010 Scholastic PUSH Novel Contest.
-Anna W. Waggener, also winner of the PUSH Novel Contest but for 2008.
-Emery Grey, 18, and believes grey is spelled with an e.
-Kat Zhang, 17, soon to be published by HarperChildren's!
-Yahong Chi, 14 year old (I think) Canadian teen who reviews stuff!
-André Geleynse, 16 from Canada! Also part of Noveltee(n).
-I'm sorry but... me. :D I'm sixteen (seventeen as of today, actually) and Canadian!!

SO NOW ONTO WEBSITES AND COOL TEEN WRITER MAGS
-Teen Ink is a huge site where you can post work like art, poems, short stories, etc. Some of them are selected for publication in their monthly magazine, but there are TONS of submissions there.
-I am not familiar with InkPop, but I believe it is similar to Teen Ink in that you can post whatever writing for all to see. There is also contests. You'd have to visit the site to get more info, though!
-Speak Up Press is an online teen literary journal, looking for submissions of fiction, nonfiction and poetry from 13-19 year olds.
-The Claremont Review is an awesome magazine published twice a year that showcases amazing writing. I'm sorry but submissions are only open to Canadians, but everyone else should buy it just because the writing in this journal is so good!
-OH NO Okay I was going to post the link to the lovely Canadian What If? Magazine where I got MY first publication, but it's ENDING!! :( Sad face. Oh well. You can still check out some work on there, though.
-Every so often Paper Hangover, a newer blog on the writing blogosphere, will post teen interviews. They're kinda fun!
-Wet Ink Magazine is another Canadian arts magazine,written by and for teens! All of it is online, though. Check out the submission guidelines.
-Check out the new blog by teens, Noveltee(n)! All the contributors there seem really interesting from what I have gathered so far!

WRITING AS A TEEN
Along with visiting all the links above, there are lots of ways for young writers to get published without actually GETTING PUBLISHED. (The capital letters to mean, publishing a real book with a real publisher, agent, etc, etc).

Blogs are an awesome way to do that, but I find there are tons of teen writer ezines and magazines that love to publish young writers' works. To find them, you just have to look for them. (And when you find them, send the link to me so I can add it to this link mass!) Also if you look for them I'm sure there are tons of contests for young writers in the area where you live.

Another fun thing I like to do is e-mail authors, especially ones that aren't crazy famous like J.K. Rowling or Gordon Korman. They probably don't get as many e-mails so they'll be more likely to reply to you. This seems like a very little kid thing to do, but I like it. :)

So, teens (and other people too!), be encouraged! Don't give up! All these awesome guys didn't!

That said...


Please comment with suggestions of links and people that I can add to any of the above categories!!

*Note: the links for the authors that were published at a young age aren't necessarily blogs, but wikipedia pages or biographies because either I figure the main thing you'd want to know is more about them, or I couldn't find any other link!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Be AWARE!!

So, Happy May everyone! Here in Canada, I woke up to this on the glorious first day of May:

April showers bring May... snowstorms??
Thankfully a lot of it has melted already... I'm hoping it'll all be gone soon!

So, now that I have made you aware of the weather on my corner of the earth... I will now proceed to make you aware of some other things, while straying away from the writerly/readerly stuff for once. (I think I may do this more often, it's fun sharing different things I find out!)

Anyway, before we get any deeper, watch this video, and PAY ATTENTION. I'd say I have a prize for you if you pay attention, but I don't. Unless you want a virtual pat on the back.



So. How'd you do? And I'm not talking about getting the number of passes right. Yeah, you didn't see the bear, did you? Neither did I when I tried this.

It's amazing how much of the world we don't pay attention to, isn't it? If you think about all the stimuli and information that could be entering our brain at one time, well, it's overwhelming. We HAVE to ignore stuff or we'd explode. The problem with that is we might miss really important stuff because we aren't paying attention to the right things (like... a moon walking bear, maybe?)

This was a big part of a discussion that was going on in one of my classes at school. Afterward, though, I was thinking about the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and how the character in that book mentioned that he has to take everything in. That's why he hates going to new places: he has to notice every little thing that's different. No wonder these kinds of people don't like change and are adamant about routine. My mom later told me that this would count as autism.

See, the thing is, people who have I guess "normal" brains, see the big picture. Instead of seeing a whiteboard with "Practise flute" and a whole bunch of specific stuff written on it, and going throughout the room and taking in every detail, we see just a room. Maybe details here and there, if our brain decides it needs to take into account that information.

But people with autism see the details, instead of the big picture. My dad told me about this radio host who had a girl with a high level of autism on his show to interview her. Apparently she talked about the experience of walking through a field, and how just all the different colours of green would overwhelm her. Pretty crazy, isn't it? I mean, if we wanted to we could seperate colours of green, but why would we want to pay attention to that?

Isn't thinking about how people think fascinating?

What kinds of things are worthy of your attention? Certain details? Just the big picture?

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