Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Preview to Previews.

So, I have stripes on my shoulders. This is an unfortunate consequence of dating. Or perhaps, its an unfortunate consequence of wearing a lacy stripped shirt on a date when you will be outside, and not wearing sunscreen. I prefer to blame the act of dating.

Although,  the date didn't go badly. I mean, I didn't want to kill him, which is one step higher than most people I meet and date. (I really don't like people, that is until I get to know them). In fact, we are going out again tonight. I'm going to attempt to practice my social skills, and embarrass myself to the fullest extent I can imagine, I might even wear a dress.

In other news. June is going to be insane. I might have mentioned this before, but seriously, today I am saying goodbye to free-time, and sanity giving things over to a to do list, and perhaps tranquilizers (okay fine, I only wish about the tranquilizers).

In June, I'm going on a vacation/networking event, moving, two weeks of teaching civics boot camp to middle school students (back to back) then I'm in a wedding.

Lets break that down:

June 2nd: Go to Philly for a Birthday Party
June 3rd: Go to DC to run my writers group
June 3rd-7th: Go to New York for Book Expo America (why am I going to this? I really really have no idea, I was tricked, but there is also a Book Bloggers Conference which looks like fun)
June 8th: Normal work day + Set up for Belly Dance Show
June 9th: Assistant Stage Direct a Belly Dance show (again dont ask why I'm doing this...apparently I amaze people with my organizational ability)
June 10th: Move...yes, I'm moving about 2 miles from where I live now, and no I'm not packed.
June 11th-16th: Finish Moving
June 17th: Start Civics Boot Camp part 1 (move into the hotel, 14 hour days)
June 17-22nd: Civics Boot Camp part 1
June 23rd: Normal work day, lots of sleep potential unpacking
June 24th: Civics Boot Camp part 2
June 24th-28th: Civics Boot Camp part 2
June 28th: Bachlorette Party
June 29th: Half day work/Rehearsal / Rehearsal Dinner
June 30th: Wedding.

I'm really excited about BEA even if I was tricked into going, it looks like a cool networking event, and even if it isn't, the Blogger Expo should be fun, cause bloggers are my favorite people ever. However, I'm really not looking forward to the New York aspect of this, its my least favorite city ever (with exception of London), but I'll make do the best I can, even if I go to times square.

And hopefully BEA will give me a few good things to be insecure about. But perhaps this is important so that when and if I miss a post you wont worry about me...I'll be blogging from the road!

In other news, two of my favorite books are being made into movies, and the previews have been recently released, and I wanted to share them with you.

Great Gatsby: 

Okay well this trailer has gotten some flack for music choices, but I loved Mulon Rouge and I loved Romeo and Juliet, and Jack I'm super excited for this movie, and I'm a non traditionalist to the core so I guess its not surprising that I'm excited.

Les Miserable:

Now, I first read Les Mis when I was in college, studying french, and I read it in french, which probably was a mistake and I desperately need to re read it in a language I actually understand (despite four years of college french and two years in high school I'm very bad at it). But this trailer gives me chill.s

So what about you guys. Any exciting plans for June. Are you excited for Great Gatsby or Les Mis or am I alone.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I aint dropping no eaves sir, I promise.

If you are going to have deeply personal conversations in inappropriate places, I reserve the right to eavesdrop on you.

The other night I was out at a bar with a few friends of mine, and there were these two people having a not so quiet conversation in the hallway, right outside the woman's bathroom. Naturally I ignored them to the best of my ability as I walked past, but every now and again you hear a bit of conversation that no matter how polite you intend to be you cant ignore...something along the lines of "I don't just want to be one of those girls your just friends with" followed by, "Well, I don't see a choice, I mean, its either that, or not be in my life."

Naturally a statement like that piqued my interest. I mean, I'm a writer afterall, at least that's the excuse I give when I completely over exaggerate the truth, or am caught eavesdropping.

I've often found other people's conversations great starting points for dialogue. What can sound more real than a real conversation. Except, people never read the way they hear, or maybe people never sound the way they write? I think what I'm trying to say, badly, is that theirs an art in transposing conversation into dialogue, and vise versa. Its why I dont write plays. I have however started a new project, it's more in the tone of my blog voice than my fiction voice, and its first person,and its urban fantasy, kinda.

Right now I'm just keeping it light and fun, and seeing where it takes me. I've needed a break from Sacrifice for a while, and I've realized that a break from Sacrifice doesn't mean I shouldn't be writing at all, which is what my previous break from Sacrifice has looked like.

And in other news, the month of June is impossible. I've decided I dont want to do it. But more on that Wednesday, which isn't June yet, so I'll not be hibernating. Oh, and I'm probably going on a date today, so that will be fun/interesting/terrifying, but don't worry,  I'll make sure to post my public humiliation for entertainment.

Do you easedrop in the name of art?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Language and Plot, and maybe a book review or something

Sorry I've missed my last two scheduled blog posts, I've been feeling very uninspired latley. I decided it was due to a lack of pasta in my diet. So last night I ate some elbow pasta in cheese, and an idea came to me. Well, I'm not sure if its a new idea, or just something that's been festering in my brain.

I've long thought that modern books and movies and tv shows (especially tv shows) have alot more going on in them then they used too. I also think language is getting dumber. And as I was trying to go to sleep last night, digesting my inspirational dinner I couldn't help but wonder if these two things were related. Like, our minds are getting so full of plot that were forgetting how to talk, or just not caring what we say, or sound like (although this might have more to do with texting and emailing than anything else).

I recently finished "Hounded" by Kevin Hearne (who's last name has to many vowels for my taste), and I think I liked it against my better judgment. 

Hounded is about a 2100 year old druid, who is the last druid alive. Yet for being 2100 years old, he looks like he is 21, he attributes this fact to a special tea, and being a druid. So, as he looks like any other college kid, with a lot of Celtic/Druadic tattoos, he has to blend in. Which means picking up on the local idioms. Instead of saying something like "Storm clouds are thrice cursed", "Shit happens" tends to be much more appropriate.

The book is written in first person, with an entertaining narrator (see above if you've forgotten), and probably my favorite character was his dog, Oberon, the Irish Wolfhound, who's thoughts Atticus O'Sullivan (druid) could read. Oberon does some great things, like chewing up a citrus air freshener in a werewolf's (yes, there are vampires, werewolf's and witches in this story...oh and gods) car because it was "un-befitting", or constantly bringing things back to steak/sausages/and french poodles.

The plot was simplistic, the good guys faced the bad guys. The bad guys were identified at the beginning of the story, and the few "twists" were predictable. Yet despite the story lacking the twists and turns and darkness (by that I mean the MC has something to gain, or changes from what he learned) I typically enjoy in novels, I did like this book. It avoided the common pitfall's that typically throw me off when reading paranormal fiction, when the author feels like because they are writing about say, angles they have to throw in witches and vampires and werewolfs, you know, just because their popular right now.

Hearne had witches and vampires and werewolfs, but they all played an integral part of the plot, and since Atticus was the last druid alive, he couldn't very well have other druids helping him out. He also managed to not annoy the crap out of me with teaching about Celtic lore. Alot of the god's involved in the story were ones I never heard of before, and he taught us bits about them, and the ages Atticus lived through without bludgeoning the reader to death with information.

I can recommend Hounded to anyone looking for a simple story to entertain yourself, maybe while sitting on the beach drinking a beer. It's not taxing reading. Its fun. Its light. It's simple. Its' a bit like an I Love Lucy episode, or really any tv show from another time. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shear force of personality

A while back, I co started a writers group. Which is a horrible idea, because it makes people think I know what I'm doing. Also because its putting me in charge of things (namely people) and stuff. Surprisingly, its going well so far (I judge this by the fact people are still showing up and not dying in my company, which is also, ironically the same standard I use when teaching). At the start of this past meeting, or somewhere near the start, or the end, we aren't very official about these things, someone congratulated me on reaching 100 followers (which I'm still doing a happy dance about).

This prompted one of our junior members(he's junior cause he's seven years younger than me, not because he is less important or something) to ask me how I get people to read/follow my blog. My normal answer to that is trickery and deceit, but since he was asking for legitimate reasons (he is thinking about starting a blog), I decided I'd give him a more thoughtful answer, or at least an explanation of how I use trickery and deceit to get people to follow my blog. Of course at the same time as this was all happening, I was leaving a comment on another blog. Specifically Michael J Sullivan's blog, on a post Query letters, Parrots and the Wisdom of Chipmunks.

My comment was of course "An entertaining way of explaining query letters. Stop drinking before you blog. That's all. "

My first bit of advice was to be active in the blogosphere, and by this I mean leave comments, and then I told him about the comment I just left, and the fact that if someone else thought my thoughts were funny, or good, they could click on my name/link within the comment or whatever, and be redirected to my blog. Awesome right?

Another friend, and fellow blogger, Jess Stork at Ink Spot Plot then said, "Sara gets followers from shear force of personality" So, I had to wonder if this is true. I mean, I've always considered myself to be a bit of an introvert. I was a pretty ridiculously shy child, I once went two days without eating because I wouldn't talk to strangers (my parents were trying to force me to not be so shy). All through college I believed myself to be an introvert. I certainly don't like being the center of attention, or at least, I don't think I do. I get a little nervous speaking in front of large groups of middle schoolers

I of course also told my writers group friend, that he should read other blogs, and follow other blogs, and join blog rolls and stuff...but I couldn't help but wonder, what is it that makes you follow a blog? 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z Mirrors

Some people say spirits can be trapped in mirrors, or pictures. I’m not sure if I really believe that, or if its’ even true, I saw it on TV once. But here I am writing a post on reflecting. Specifically about reflecting on the marathon adventure that was A-Z. I think, as I reflect, I’m supposed to tell you things that I learned about myself, I’m not really sure what I’ve learned, although I know I’ve definitely learned some things.

But here is the thing about reflecting, and learning, and life (that’s a lot of things). I never learn things, until I’ve realized that I’ve learned them. Meaning, I think, that it takes me a while to actually realize I’ve learned something about myself. I’ll discover things, but I wont process them as learned, not for a while anyway. So, if you’re looking for some insight into my sprit that I learned this month, you won’t find it here. I don’t have it, and if I did, I doubt I’d give it to you anyway, I’m just like that.

So here are a few things I learned during A-Z

1) The blog community rocks. I mean it, I can’t even begin to imagine (well I did begin, but I realized how hard it would be to fully imagine so I quit imagining) how hard organizing something like this is.

a. Then, in addition to all the awesome epic organizers, we have the awesome and epic participants, who actually went through and read all of these blogs, (and I did read a few, but I didn’t make it to all of them)

2) I shouldn’t blog every day. I won’t say I can’t, cause I did, so clearly I can, but I’ll admit that my content from time to time was just not very good. Now, I’m not a perfectionist, in fact I’m very far from it. But I also really don’t like posting things and not feeling good about them, and I did this a few times throughout this blog hop/fest etc, just cause I needed something to post. I like writing my posts a few days ahead of time, I like not feeling rushed (and not having to plan to not feel rushed)

3) My job conspires to keep me incredibly busy (I already knew that)

4) I don’t do well with rules, and directions, I prefer a theme of themelessness (or word association), it’s just the way I write(I already knew this too but I don’t know if you did or not)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IWSG--not about writing

I guess I'm continuing my theme of not blogging about what I'm supposed to when I'm supposed to (just take a look at A-Z) but my most recent insecurity has very little to do with writing.

You see, I'm twenty seven years old, I'll be twenty eight in November (the end of November) and don't worry this isn't a post about getting old, cause I'm not, in fact I'll never get old. So what does my age have to do with anything, I really don't know. It just seems like an appropriate place to start.

The problem is that in two month's I've got to move out of probably the first place I've lived in a good long while that's felt like a home. I knew this would happen, I mean, I've always moved every few years, its my solution to not becoming a hoarder. Plus, its not like the lease is ending suddenly. It just feels sudden.

Part of it is the fact that I don't want to leave my current apartment. Part of it is, looking for an apartment forces me to look at my life, and I'm twenty seven years old, still working in basically an entry level position, barely making enough money to do anything.  I haven't published anything since I was in college, all of some five years ago. Part of it is when I ask friends what they're thinking about doing as far as apartments, a significant number of them are talking about buying their own place, something I can't even begin to contemplate because I'm broke.

So right now, I'm feeling very insecure. Because you see, even though I don't like personal goals, I couldn't stop myself from making a few, and five years ago, if you asked me where I would be, I would have told you I don't know, but I never pictured myself here, the exact same place (although employed with a degree and living in a different city).

And as I am sitting here, attempting to write a post about insecurity and writing, all I can think about is that I'm a failure, which I know is not true, cause I'm not, I can't fail at life, I can only do, and I'm doing...I just don't know what I'm doing. Yoda would be proud (probably not).

I know it's a feeling, like most of my other insecurities, and it will go away, eventually, I hope. It's just, now I have to grow up, and make grown up choices, and my body, and mind are resisting. They are saying, you're so good at being immature, stick with that, it's gotten you this far.

What are you feeling insecure about today? Anyone want to let me move in with them, I promise I wont cook for rent.