Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Of My Life In Stick Figures

First of all: GUESS WHAT!? I have accomplished something amazing, my FIRST EVER guest post!! Brittany Clarke at The Balancing Act asked me to write something for her blog post series (is that what you call them?) "Where I Go" (I think you can participate if you want to...). Anyway, check that post out HERE!! It was amazingly fun and a lot more challenging than I thought it would be (but that's a good thing). And if you want me to do a guest post for you, I'd be happy to! Just send me an e-mail: kazuntai101[at]gmail[dot]com.

Now onto today's post...

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Ever since someone commented on the drawing in this post, I've been thinking about showcasing my amazing (ha!) drawings, you know, just for fun. And then in the past week I have been bombarded with ideas for cartoons. Most of them courtesy of my kooky family. So here's some of my life, a la stick figures:

In case you can't read my amazing calligraphy, the bottom sentence says:
"People Who Think All Canadians Speak French Have Never Met My Dad"



The Pillow Take-over happens EVERY NIGHT.



Does this happen to anyone else?? Anyone?? (I love you, Mom!)
  So, yeah. All these are based on my actual life. "Based" because otherwise we are all made of sticks and have the sameish colour hair and we also don't have noses, toes, fingers, or ears. Also, just in case anyone was wondering, everyone in my family is not the same height. My brother is fifteen feet tall, my dad is around fourteen feet, my mom at twelve feet, me thirteen feet and... my sister is about three feet. She walks around on stilts constantly in order to not have a sore neck by the end of the day from looking/talking up at us. (Ha! Just kidding... that would be cool though. And that is the order of height for my family from tallest-shortest: bro, dad, mom, me, sis.)

I have no good wrap-up tonight... so instead I'll just do this:

WHY I NEED A NEW BRAIN:

IM Conversation I Had With My Friend A Few Nights Ago

Me: What are you doing?
Friend: talking to you, sitting on my bed, debating whether or not to go to sleep, watching friends
Me: Watching friends? Hmm... like stalking? ;)
Friend: it's a tv show dingbat
Me: What's a TV show dingbat?
Pause. Wait for it.
Me: Oh
Me: I'm a dingbat
Me: the tv show Friends -_-;

THE END.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why I Hate Books

Guess what these are:


Yes, they're books. But they are ALSO the first ever books I have bought where I have gone to the author's website before I read the book. Yup, apparently socialnetmarketing (or whatever it's called) works on me.

So I bought Divergent on Amazon, but Across the Universe I bought at the Chapters (The Bookstore for Canada) in Calgary.

So. I had convinced my mom to go to the Chapters that happened to be in the same shopping complex as the scrapbooking store she wanted to go to (and I did too, admittedly). She agreed, and as soon as I was in the store (oooh look books!!!) I headed straight for the teen section.

My heart started pounding and I kind of felt like jumping up and down like an excited little girl on her birthday. (But I contained myself). Because there, on the shelves, were BOOKS!!! (I know, I should have been prepared for this, considering it's a bookstore...)

And there were tons of books that I'd seen all over the 'net, their awesome blurbs and praise spread across the world. There was Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, She's So Dead to Us, Across the Universe, Beauty Queens, Falling for Hamlet... and even more!

And I had a $25.00 gift card.

That is ONE BOOK, my friend.

That's why I hate books. Because they're WAY TOO AWESOME. If they weren't, I wouldn't care about spending money on them.

But they are. And I do. So I hate them.

*Note: In this sense, "hate" means I adore them and want to eat them for breakfast because I love them so much. I love you, books!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So There Are These Things Called Blogs...

If you haven't read my latest post yet, then click through and do that, because I was very excited about my idea for that post for a long time and only recently got the chance to write it (because of being away, blogfest, etc).

So... awhile ago I got a blog award:

from another blogger (and teen. and writer. yes, I am saying go check out his blog) called Nick Hight. On a blog post I wrote awhile ago, I quickly said I would dole it out later... and yeah, now I'm doing it... a LOT later.

Anyway, what I'm going to do is just post a list of some of my favourite blogs and then if the bloggers read this, they can take the award or just do what they please. :)

Some of my favourite blogs in the blogosphere

aleeza reads and writes, the fun blog of teen writer Aleeza Rauf. I enjoy her fun quirkiness that is present in all of her blog posts, and she's really friendly too. I even interviewed her here.

This blog is the blog of a children's author Lynn Kelley. She is really, really funny. I've only read three of her posts, but all of them are fun and have made me smile or laugh.

My Life As A Teenage Novelist is the blog of teen writer Brigid Gorry-Hines. She's really cool, too, and all of her posts that I've read so far have given me something to think about, as well as being interesting.

Shrinking Violet Promotions is a site that helps introverts market their book. They have awesome posts to encourage introverts in their writing and publishing journey, as well as some really good, in-depth posts about different aspects of writing. Even if you're not an introvert like me, you should still check out their posts. They are always in-depth and helpful.

WORD for Teens is a book review blog, and it is definitely my favourite of all the book review blogs out there. And, it's run by a teen! (What? I'm not biased at all... *ahem*)

I also enjoy YA Highway, Emilia Plater, Kate Hart, and Corrine Jackson. There are lots of other sites I enjoy as well, and I'll definitely add more to the list once I continue reading and finding blogs!

What are your favourite blogs, writing/reading or other?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Having An Overactive Imagination Is Kind of A Problem

Source
There are things to be said about having an imagination that constantly overuses and outdoes itself. Yeah, sure, there are good things like being able to write amazing crazy stories and think up crazy answers to the questions kids might ask you about life just to spice things up, or you come up with a crazy explanation for the cottony fluff floating from the sky with your brother (it's from trolls that eat snow and spit out fluff after they boil it in a magic pot, or something like that).

But there are also problems with living with an overactive imagination when you want to, you know, LIVE A NORMAL LIFE. Here are some problems I've encountered:

YOU BELIEVE CRAZY STORIES

Like, when your French teacher tells you that there's a subway in the basement of your school, you kind of believe her because you can actually imagine a subway rumbling through the basement of your school. Or you believe things your dad tells you when trying to trick you, and then you are destined to be endlessly made fun of by your brother and dad.

YOU MAKE UP CHARACTERIZATIONS FOR EVERYTHING

Apparently, characterizing everything from individual numbers, to individual letters, to your contact lenses... (WHAT NO I DON'T DO THIS... *ahem*) is not the kind of thing a normal person does. But come on, you can't argue that the number nine is pompous, right?

HYPERVENTILATING WHILE BABYSITTING

I was sitting drinking my orange juice while watching the little one-year-old I was babysitting stab at his oatmeal, and take forever to snag ONE OAT on his spoon and then proceed to suck it off his spoon. (If he kept at it like this, it was going to take forever until his oatmeal was gone). It was all good until he started coughing. *IMAGINATION TAKEOVER*: "OH NO WHAT IF HE STARTS CHOKING AND I CAN'T DO CPR AND I HAVE TO CALL 911 AND THEN HE HAS TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL HIS PARENTS WILL KILL ME AND FIRE ME AND I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BABYSIT AGAIN *deep breath*... oh. He's laughing. Um. Yeah."

CREEPY STORIES COME ALIVE WHILE HOME ALONE AT NIGHT

House: Creak.
Me: whatwasthat.
House: CREAK!
Me: It's a robber, it MUST be a robber. He's going to come in the house and point a gun at my face, and I will have to lunge for the phone while kicking him in the face no wait I can't do that I've never taken any martial arts he'll probably kill me instead WHY ARE ALL THE LIGHTS OFF!?!? The robber's here and he's cut the power!! AUGH!!
House: MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No, I don't need to see a therapist. Why?

How does your imagination react to things in your life?? Seriously, I can't be the only one who thinks like this.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter Journey

Hey guys! I'm at home. :) I kind of feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz - I need to be away from home for awhile just to find out how awesome home really is. :)

ANYWAY, today (July 15 where I live) is the release date of the final Harry Potter movie, and the end of an era. I've recruited one of my best friends, Emily (who I have talked about before), to talk about some of her experiences of Harry Potter. She is also twice as into books as I am, and she has a budding book review blog here.

Anyway, here she is:

In my life, Harry Potter has always been a part of it. When I was 8, my Mom started to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me at bed time. When I began to read them on my own, I got hooked. I don’t recall any set of books on my shelf that have been read more than Harry Potter. For the release of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, my Aunt and I went to a nearby park for the release. We both got our books at about 12:10 in the morning, and the first thing we did was go to a small courtyard with benches and read a couple of pages each. I was up until 3:00 that morning, reading, though I didn’t finish it.


When I found out that the producers of the movie were going to put the last movie into two parts, I had mixed feelings. At first I was thinking “oh no! Now I have to wait even longer for the ending!”. Then, however, I realised “This is awesome! They are gonna keep just about everything in the movie!” I cannot wait to see this movie. I know I will cry, because it is the end!

I have heard people saying that they don’t enjoy the first 2 or 3 books as much as the later ones. They say that the writing is so “young”. I think that J.K. Rowling did this purposefully. She grew as her fans grew! I began reading the books when I was 8, and the final book came out when I was 14. By that time, I had so many ideas of my own about how the book should end. I have to admit. J.K. Rowling’s ending whipped all of my ideas in the butt! I think that having the epilogue of “19 years later” was an amazing idea. It shows that everything worked out. After all, the final words in the entire series were “All was well.”

When I read that, I got goosebumps, literally. The series of my childhood was over, but I know that it will never leave me. I will be reading the Harry Potter series for a long time. (Just think: the Lord of the Rings finished in 1949, but it is still hopping, and Harry Potter is 10000000000x better!)

So visit Emily's blog here, and what are your Harry Potter stories? Share in the comments, or post on your blog and leave a link!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mountains and Procrastination

Hello everyone! I have migrated from Calgary to closer to the mountains, REAL mountains (not just big hills that my family and I call mountains because we live in the prairies, and anything even remotely resembling something not flat is a mountain).

Look, the view from our lodge balcony:



Anyway, here's a video for you (an animation by the National Film Board of Canada) that sums up the difficulty encountered when endeavouring to sit down and write:


Yeah, I usually fail like that too.

More posts to come soon. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: Stuff to Know About Your Teen Readers

Hey everyone! I'm still in the beautiful not-too-hot city of Calgary (Alberta, Canada). We walked around the zoo today for four hours, and then we went to the opening ceremony for my brother's soccer tournament (which is the reason we're in Calgary). There is lots of cowboy hats everywhere, because of the stampede. Anyway, apparently in my last post I worded a sentence oddly and accidentally called everyone in my family junk food.

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So today is the last day of the awesometastic Teen Writers blogfest hosted by Brittany who had the awesome idea in the first place. It's been super cool, and I've uh... met (?? well, I haven't met them but I've found lots of new blogs) lots of cool new bloggers. I also have quite a few more followers, so hi, followers! Say hi! I love comments and e-mails from people, so feel free to do that.

WELL. Today's day is Ask-the-Teens day, where YA writers, authors and bloggers ask us teens things about what we really think about reading. And I have to say, the questions the question-askers came up with are, well, really REALLY good questions. I can tell because as I was reading them the first time, I was already thinking up long, in-depth lengthy answers. :) Oh, and I've also tried to get some answers out of my brother for some of the questions, to get another teen's opinion.

From Jess:

1. Middle grade novels are defined as books for the 8-12 age range. Do teens still read middle grade fiction as they get older (for example, Harry Potter is an example of middle grade that's read by teens and adults) or are they naturally attracted to books with older themes and characters? Is it uncool to still read middle grade as you enter your teens?


I love YA, but I absolutely adore middle grade. For me, there is just something refreshing and fun about middle-grade. I also find the characters more interesting sometimes, more fun or quirky. And a quote from my brother: "Uh, I don't really pay attention to age." The thing is, every teen is different. There may be some teens out there that only read YA, but for me, I love reading a variety of different books about characters of a variety of different ages.
2. This is arguable, but it's been said that the teen years see a decrease in boy readership. Can you mention some books that you know male teenagers seem to be attracted to? Obviously, this depends on the reader, but are there books/themes that male teens connect to more than others?

I am a girl, so I personally can't answer this question but I can tell you some things about my brother (15 years old) and I also asked some of my guy friends on Facebook about their reading habits. ;) So, the summary:

My brother doesn't read often, but that is only because he doesn't pick out books for himself. When he gets a book handed to him, he will be enraptured with it until he finishes it. I think he would read more if he learned to pick out books on his own. (You can read more about my brother's reading habits here.) Anyway, my brother loves the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (actually, so do I) and he also quite enjoyed the popular Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

My brother's best friend (also 15), says he doesn't read that often but he enjoys the Alex Rider series (I have never read these, but I've heard they're good!!) and The Hunger Games.

Another friend of mine says he is currently reading quite a bit (mostly to reread Harry Potter before it comes out), but he does try to read a book a week in the summer (especially if the book is part of a series). His favourite series: the Inheritance Cycle, Pendragon Adventures, The Nine Princes in Amber, Terra Incognita series and the Keys to the Kingdom series (I have never read any of these except for the Inheritance books).

So... apparently series are popular with guys?? Haha, because that's accurate with a three-guy survey.

Sometimes when I read books that are written for guys, I find that they are way more interesting than (certain) books written for girls.

3. So many books and book series are being turned into films for the teen audience. Are you satisfied with the movie versions that you've seen recently? Can you comment on a few, both good and bad?

The most recent films I've seen based on books are the Harry Potter movies. I have to say that they were very well done, and gave a reader of the books exactly what they might be looking for. Well, except for the sixth one. But especially with the seventh one (part one). That's kind of a boring answer though, because everyone's seen and read HP... I think some movie versions of books are done excellently, and some are done really poorly. The dilemma is being able to transfer a book onto screen while keeping the main ideas, and giving the readers what they want to see live. It's very hard, I think, to satisfy the readers. One of my cousins refuses to see any movies based on books (although I'm not sure whether that's all movies based on books, or just movies based on books she's read.) I'm not quite that extreme.

From Elizabeth:

I would like to know how you go about choosing a book to read. Is it the cover? The title? Word of mouth?

There are a lot of different ways I choose a book to read. One is blogs, o' course, if I read a review and it sounds interesting. I usually don't hear about books through word of mouth, because usually I'm the one recommending books. Though sometimes I do hear about books over and over and over (so obviously these are popular books), and then I figure I should check the book out. :)

But if I'm not going by book reviews, or recommendations...

When I'm walking through a library, I look for interesting titles first (because that's what you see when books are shelved). If the title is interesting, then I don't really take the cover into account (unless I saw the cover before the title). Then I read the blurb. If the blurb is interesting, or it has something that I can connect to (because my sister has Down Syndrome I am into books about characters with disabilities), then I'll put it in my book bag. But whether I actually read the book depends on the writing itself. I also tend to go back to books by authors I like. And I won't go back to authors I don't like. (So make your first book really good!! :D)

Sorry this post was so long, but I will blame the good questions!! :D

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: The Grand Writing Journey

This post has been pre-scheduled, but right now I am actually probably squished in my van with my two siblings and my parents, along with a bunch of other junk like food, on the way to Calgary! Where, in case you were wondering, I do not live. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I won't be at home so I probably won't be replying to as many comments, etc, but I will still read them eventually!! So comment!! And I will still try and post!!

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GRACIE'S GRAND WRITING JOURNEY:
(or not so grand, whichever)

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN



I actually don't remember. I just remember growing up and thinking: I like to write. I want to be a writer. So I wrote some stuff like Linda and the Dragon, which people should forgive me for because I was six (or three, I'm not sure).

LEARNING


I have attended no writing conferences or anything fancy like that, but I attended one writing workshop with Duncan Thornton when I was probably ten. The only thing I can recall from that is he had a fancy journal that he wrote ideas in. And that the workshop had actually been on for multiple weeks but I was too shy to get up to the courage to go to the first few. Oh, and I also found out later that Duncan Thornton was my grandma's cousin's nephew...

I also attended a week-long writing camp about three or four summers ago. There was lots of cool people that came and talked to us about writing and poetry and reading aloud and stuff.

PUBLISHING


I've been into writing along time, so naturally I've been into publishing. There's lots of kids writer's magazines out there, and the first one I found that I liked was Stone Soup and I submitted a few (terrible) stories there. As a consequence (of the terribleness), I never heard from them.


However, a few years later I tried again with a story about a band class playing so passionately that a dragon appears in the the classroom (unknown to the band director). So, apparently I have a thing about dragons?? Anyway, that story I submitted to What If? Magazine when I was thirteen. It got published. That was so awesome. I didn't really count the Stone Soup submissions as submissions because I knew the material was awful, so I felt like I had been accepted on my very first try.


Just a note: if you're a teen and feel like you're not yet ready to brave the Big Bad Waters of Publishing A Book (and querying and all that jazz) then there are tons of small writer's magazines that you can submit to. (Go here to get some ideas.) It's a great way to gain experience.

BLOGGING


So I've been writing for forever, pretty much, but I had no idea there was a whole world and community of writers out there until earlier this year. I had signed up for an e-mail subscription for the Guide to Literary Agents blog after I'd read a book on book publishing, and they have interviews with authors and examples of good queries. Sometimes the authors sounded interesting, so I would go to their websites and through that I ended up at Emilia Plater's blog, and then the next logical step: YA Highway. And of course, once you hit the YA Highway, there's no going back.


ANYWAY it's really fun blogging about writing and reading stuff and READING about people blogging about THEIR writing and reading stuff. It's definitely encouraged me to write, and read, more.


YAY!!

Check out the other posts for the Teen Writers Summer Blogfest here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: Blurbs!

So today for the blogfest, we're doing some blurb critiques. The point of this is to let some other people know what teen people look for when they are picking out books, specifically what they think about the "blurb" which is the little paragraph on a book jacket that tells you what the book is about.

Blurbs should tell what the book is about in an organized, interesting and slightly suspenseful manner. Right now I'm trying to think of what I, specifically, look for in a blurb.

I guess one thing that I really want to know is about the character. The characters in a book are an essential part of the book; they're what (who?) we connect to as readers. I also want reasons why I should stick around: is anything interesting going to happen? What's going to go wrong?, etcetera. There should always be conflict. And continuing with reasons why I should stick around, the blurb shouldn't give away the ending. It should end with something that should say (not  literally, though) read on to find out what happens!

But there's also the thing where usually I have to have some sort of connection to the book. For example, my sister has Down Syndrome, so I'm automatically drawn to books about people with disabilities. (It's like when I am automatically drawn to blogs by teens or Canadians, because I am a teen and a Canadian). But you can't really do anything about that.

ONTO THE CRITIQUE! :)

Working Title: TRIPP PARKER VS. THE WORLD: THE AFRICAN KIBOKO LEGEND

Genre: Upper Middle Grade Adventure
Blurb:

Eccentric debate club champ Tripplehorn Parker is certain he’ll be dead by next week, his body rolling around the stomach of an African beastie. He might be right. While his wildlife-researcher parents are thrilled to be entering the field again, Tripp can only mourn the inevitable loss of his limbs. Unfortunately, nobody will listen to reason from a friendless twelve-year-old, even one with a large vocabulary. The night before leaving home, Tripp receives a cryptic message ending with: Only you can stop them.

An eight-fingered woman and her eyepatched sidekick appear to follow the Parkers from America to the Ugandan bush. The guide is a suspicious meanie. The support workers are twitchy. Warnings and symbols continue to appear in Tripp’s backpack, finally prompting him to do a very scary thing. He teams up with a Ugandan girl to determine why hippo territory is so popular. Clues and village folklore point to a hidden hippo shrine containing power and gold galore. Unfortunately, ancient legend calls for a human sacrifice (or three) to access the treasure. If the shrine is found, the research trip may become a rather uncivilized hunting expedition, with the Parkers as prey. With no podium or moderator in sight, Tripp faces the toughest competitive duo he’s ever encountered: Mother Nature and a herd of really, really bad guys.

I think the biggest problem with this blurb is organization. I think it would honestly be really interesting, but it is kind of all over the place. It's like it follows several different stories: Tripp leaving for scary Africa, the mystery of the notes given to Tripp, and the hippo legend thing. And I don't get how they all connect. It seems like there are a whole bunch of random... balloons, or something, instead of a string that follows the main idea of the story. (That made no sense. I think I may need to work on my organization skills, haha!!)

I also don't understand the random bits of younger language. It just didn't seem to fit, in my opinion. "suspicious meanie", "herd of really, really bad guys". I realize Tripp is twelve, but I still think those things could be worded better (with better organization).

I would focus more on Tripp as a character, because from the first paragraph he sounded kind of funny and interesting. I like characters that dramaticize everything in a funny way, like Tripp did with the African beastie. ;)

I think with a little fixing up and a switch in focus with this blurb, I probably would read the book. As it is right now? No, I wouldn't.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Why/why not?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: Interview with Cool Person Aleeza Rauf

HEY! Guess what I am SO EXCITED because this is the VERY FIRST EVER interview that I did for this blog. Yes, I know, it is very surprising that I actually had the courage to go out there and take the initiative to e-mail and ask for an interview from the lovely, cool blogger called Aleeza Rauf. Go over to her blog to check out more of her lovely coolness...

Here's a snippet from her profile "about me":

 I’m a Pakistani-American YA writer & avid reader. I love libraries, cricket, Pepsi & Gatorade, long drives, NEW ZEALAND!, among lots of other stuff. Oh, and I’m aiming to become an accountant in case my novels don’t bring in sufficient income. If they get published, that is. (Yeah, that was me trying to be funny. #epicfail.)




1. How old are you?

17 and a half.

2. Where are all the places you have lived in your life? What is it like living in Pakistan?

I've only lived in two places, actually! Houston, Texas, and Karachi, Pakistan. As to what it's like living in Pakistan...hmm, it's kind of conflicting. While I love my country, I don't exactly enjoy living here. It's just really violent, and don't even get me started on how much I despise the narrow-minded society!

3. When and how did you start writing?

I've always been into books, so writing one seemed like a neat idea. I always wrote short stories, essays, etc. But I got serious about it at thirteen, I think.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing?

For one thing, I love how writing is a craft and you can always improve at it. I used to suck so bad at it, I almost gave up! But after writing lots of more crap, I finally got to a point where I could read what I'd written and not want to trash it all away. Another thing I love is being able to get absorbed into a story, working out the kinks...and seeing how it all comes together in the end.

5. What is the best advice you've ever heard (or ever given) about blogging and/or writing?

About blogging, it would have to be 'blog because you love it.' That probably sounds very basic, but I'd hate to blog only because it's a social media requirement and not because I love doing it.


And for writing... Honestly, I think it's 'read as widely as you can.' I've read, like, eighty-five books already this year! And they have helped me SO much as a writer, in terms of writing, storytelling, plot... So yeah. READ! As much as you can.

Of course, WRITE as much as you can too. I don't think I'd have gotten where I am now had I not wrote all those crappy novels.

6. What is the best thing that's happened to you as far as writing and blogging goes?

Meeting so many amazing people, definitely! As for writing, I still have to finish my book, so as soon as I do that, that will definitely be the best thing I've accomplished.

7. What are your top five favourite writing sites/blogs?

Only 5! Wow, this is gonna be hard...


1) Stephanie Perkins' blog: Not only do I LOVE these authors books (like, a lotlotlotlot), but I also adore how charming the author is herself! She doesn't blog all that regularly, but that's fine with me, because her posts are totally worth it.


2) Kiersten White's blog: Kiersten White! 'Nuff said.


3) Nathan Bransford's blog: NB might not be an agent anymore, but he's still incredibly helpful.


4) Steph Bowe's blog: This Steph doesn't blog all that often, either. But I'm always looking forward to her posts as well.


5) YA Highway: YA Highway is SO helpful in terms of writing, and guiding you to other helpful posts for writing. I love this blog.

8. If you were asking someone questions and you had to ask a really random question about anything, what would you ask?

I...have no idea. 'What is your favorite hair color?' That's random, innit? Also, lame. I could ask them 'Where do you want to die?' but that's too morbid. Basically, I suck at random questions.

Thanks for interviewing me, Gracie! :)

It's no problem!! Now go check out Aleeza's blog if you haven't already, and also if you were asking someone random questions, what would you ask?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: My Writing: THE REAL THING

I originally wasn't going to participate for this day of the Teen Writers Blogfest (see all the other participants stuff here), mostly because I accidentally skimmed over that day on my list and just didn't see it but also because I didn't really feel like sharing any of my writing.

But I figured since I talk quite a bit about writing on this blog thing, and I also now have quite a few followers (yay new followers! Say hello!) I might as well. (Although I'm sure Linda and the Dragon was an excellent peek into my writing. HAHA.)

So I haven't really been working on anything for awhile, because I was stuck on the thing I was working on and I was taking a break. But the thing I was stuck on I am now becoming unstuck and I just in the past couple of days read over what I wrote and went, "There's hope in this." (Sometimes when I do this I go, "This is trash, why I am writing this??") And now I have some ideas, so I think I will continue working on that for awhile.

But you want an excerpt, don't you? Okay. Here goes.

After about twenty minutes I find I've been running my palms along the surface of the mountain and have turned my hands a deep red colour, as if I've dipped my hands in bleeding ash. I guess it helps to feel like I'm pushing the walls out from beside me, because it is extremely claustrophobic. Up is blackness. Left and right is red mountain walls. Forward and back is both black, one unknown and the other known. But there is no going back.

Yup, that's all you're getting. (Because if you didn't already know, I am a cliff-hanger expert.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: BOOKS 'n' Stuff

I was reading something the other day where someone said that they did not read. That they much preferred writing over reading. Before I talk about books 'n' stuff that I like about reading, I will just say: YOU WRITE, YOU READ.

There.

Now, I'm not exactly sure why I love to read (and consequently, write) but it might have something to do with it's fun. It's fun to imagine crazy things, it's fun to live vicariously through characters, it's fun to learn things in a roundabout way through fictional people. It's fun to immerse yourself in a book and get lost and pretend you're living in a different world, and it's fun to analyze the real world by making something up.

This year I decided to start a reading list of all the books I've read and so far I've read about 56 books. Some were good, some were bad, some were absolutely amazing. The worst I didn't finish because they were either much too "tell" and not enough "show", or... actually, nevermind. That was the main problem.

But the BEST. Those were definitely... well, Harry Potter, the last book of which I only finished (FOR THE FIRST TIME) this January (yes. I was 16 years old and had never read Harry Potter). Then there would be The Hunger Games and its two sequels, which I actually reread this year just because they were so good (I read them for the first time last year).

Then, the book that made me cry (which, to me, are always the best books; the ones that make you cry) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. It was a beautiful book, intertwining heartwrenching stories of past and present. I also have to say that Melina Marchetta definitely grew as a writer; after I read Jellicoe Road I read her first book, Looking for Alibrandi, and it was pretty awful. But this only proves that you write, you get better.

As for genres, I love YA, but there is something so refreshing and innocent and wonderful about reading middle grade. I do not know why or how this is, but if you are ever sick of stereotypical YA books, go and check out some middle grade from your library.

I have so many thoughts on reading, but they all appear as seperate thoughts like this one, this one and this one. So I guess what you should really do is keep coming back and checking for some more posts on reading. ;)

Oh and if you want to go check out all the other posts for the Teen Writers Summer Blogfest, go here!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: MEMEMEME (and Canada)


Yes, I have a pool in my backyard. :D
HAPPY CANADA DAY!! It's been a 144 years since Canada first became a country on July 1, 1867. (Although my province didn't actually become part of the country until after Confederation... but anyway.) If you want to learn about Canada, go here. (HAHA that post is hilarious.) And some awesome Canadian bloggers: Yahong Chi and Clementine. (And they're both teenagers!! And writers! YES!)

So not only is it Canada's birthday, but it's also the first day of the awesome Teen Writers Summer Blogfest hosted by Brittany at Hills and Corkscrews. According to the schedule, I am supposed to introduce myself.

Well. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm Canadian. :) (So if you were wondering, that is why I always write "favourite" with a "u"). And if you've really honed your detective skills, you might've also figured out that I'm a teen. (A nice uneven 17 years of age.)

Now I am going to go ahead and interview myself, because that's what cool people do (okay, technically Brittany came up with all the questions, but still).

Top 3 favourite genres to read?
I was going to say something along the lines of romance, contemporary and dystopia or something but with anything (like carrots or cheese) too much is bad for you. I get sick of any genre if I read too much of it, which is why I think it's good to branch out and read different things all the time! (I think I am going to post on that sometime!)

Favourite movie?
My tastes differ but right now I really enjoy... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1). It was excellently, excellently done. (Also I don't really watch that many movies).

Person you would most want to meet, alive or dead?
Mattie Stepanek.

Dogs or cats?


Dream job?
Um. Author, o'course.

Three of your hobbies besides writing?
Scrapbooking, singing, fluting (by which I mean playing flute), biking...


Last book you read?
I am preparing this post early so it may be different by the time I actually post it but, Pop by Gordon Korman (yes, I read an entire book about [American] football!!)

If you were a superhero, what would your powers be?
Um, probably supreme organization skills??

Weirdest thing about you?
So either that I always rinse my mouth out three times after I brush my teeth because I am hyperaware of the warning that you aren't supposed to swallow toothpaste, or that I have a slight fear of staircases.

 If you won a million dollars how would you spend it?
On renovating our entire house for my parents, charity, and BOOKS o' course.


Your Hogwarts house? (or are you not a HP fan?)
As of recently, I am an HP fan, but I don't know which house I'd be in. Probably Ravenclaw (but doesn't everyone want to be in Gryffindor anyway??)

If you were a piece of clothing what would you be?
Sweatpants? I don't know, something comfy. So if you are wearing something comfy right now, you are wearing me!! Ahem. Okay then.

So! Hope you learned a little about me, your fellow blogger and I also hope you'll enjoy the rest of the Teen Writers Summer Blogfest! Check out the other particpants' blogs: Taryn, Rachael, Will, Nick, Laura and of course Brittany.

So... what's the most interesting thing about you???

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