Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Wrap-Up (A Good Post to Actually Read)

UPDATE: I saw in Alyssa's post that she changed her Twitter handle and I was like, "What?" because as fun as it was being @Contrabundle, I have decided to change to @HeroineHiding and if you're the Twitter type, that just happened.

Pitt fans
Flickr Credit: Sam Javanrough
I’m nervous about writing this post.

Reactions are temperamental things. No, I’ve never had anyone be rude to me on my own blog, but even if I’m not supposed to I look at most-viewed post, and most-commented on posts, and then the other side where posts don’t go so well.

I haven’t gotten a no-commenter since November (example, example, example) but that fear remains, mostly because I really don’t like being boring, a, and I still want to understand why some posts are worth 20 comments and others are worth 2, b.

Also, I feel like this post is really important and if people don’t comment it feels like nobody’s read it, mostly because my #1 viewer is and that means a bot comes to visit and sees if I’ve done anything notable lately. I don’t want to just talk to a bot.

See, I’m nervous and I’m rambling.

Basically: I’ve decided that I want to go through with a team of Fans kind of like with what I did in November, and hold another Fan Event.

It will be March.

My rationale behind this is that since I’m not expecting a big team, it would be really hard to organize one week, like I did before, without losing a few people. My assumption? People will have some time during the whole of March to do this for at least a few days, even if they are not in consecutive order.
via Readers in Wonderland

The idea of audience has become really important to me over the last few months, and so I want to make it something I can pass on, even if this is the only time I do this. You may have run into the Bloggers Commenting Back image before, and I love that, because it shows a blogger’s appreciation for his/her audience—but the point of that is to reciprocate.

What I want to do is promote sacrifice.

More details will come later as I go on, but the idea behind Fan Week is that you put your own blog on hold, and don’t post your own work, but spend time really paying attention to other people’s work instead, and taking care to share things that catch your eye.

On bigger blogs, efforts may not seem like much, especially when so many people comment anyway. Being the only comment on a lonely blogger’s post can make someone’s day. But either way, what I find most gratifying as a blogger is knowing that I’ve said something worth reading, and, big or small, sharing that feeling by letting people know my feelings is something I love to do.

It doesn’t work all the time, but it’s a good reminder every once in a while. I’ll probably choose one week to be a fan in March, but maybe some people have every Thursday off from work, and instead of posting that day they spend those four Thursdays spending their blogging time being a reader. Maybe it will just be the weekends. Maybe just three days, maybe seven.

The point is, I really want this to happen, but I don’t know if it will, because I’ve never done this before. I have a few thoughts about what the next few weeks are going to look like, but nothing is set in stone and if you have any advice, PLEASE let me know, because I could use all the help I can get.

I have a few ideas, though.


  • interview a notebook posts or ISTJ Love posts (Mondays) [still deciding]
  • how to be an audience posts (Tuesdays)
  • alternating Thursentaries/WBIs

I think this worked well enough in January; fun posts, bloggerly posts, and then reading/writing posts are the general idea, and most people don’t seem that bored of them all.

I ALSO want to hold a giveaway sometime this month (for an Amazon gift card, probably) but I don’t want to pay a whole dang $13 for Rafflecopter when I am not going to use that bugger every month, anyway. (Any suggestions for a giveaway domabob that is free?)


  • guest posts (Mondays)
  • blogging/reading/writing posts (Tuesdays)
  • maybe Thursentaries/WBIs
  • Fan Week Related Stuff

What I would LOVE LOVE LOVE is to have a few outside sources (ideally four or more) to talk about the social aspect of blogging, whether that means comments, social media, blog hunting, or anything else that strikes your fancy. (Really, though, if you have any interest at all please go to my Contact Page, and I would have this discussion with you.)

Anyway, I’ll be attempting to keep to a normal blogging schedule and see if I can get this ball rolling—we’ll see how it goes!

And, as always, thanks for spending another month with me. ☺

Okey-doke, muchachos. Have you ever run a linkup/giveaway before? Do you have advice to help me get started? Do you have examples I can model myself after? Does this sound like something you’d be interested in linking up with? Would you guest post? Can we trade? Can we do anything? Do you want to see any post changes or additions? GIVE ME ALL THE ANSWERS, please. The post is over and I’m still nervous.

Friday, January 30, 2015

WBI: Zira

It is kind of sad that this is the first lady villain we’ve reached thus far. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but if you have any WBI requests, I am always open to suggestions. It’s easier for me to get movies than books, and I reserve the right to ignore you, BUT there are a lot of awesome villains out there I bet I don’t know about, so feel free to expand my do-list for me!

Now, today’s topic: Zira, of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, which is my favorite sequel of anything ever.

via My Lion King Forum
Zira leads the remnants of Scar’s beloved renegade pride in the Outlands, where she plans the usurper Simba’s demise. When Kovu, Scar’s handpicked heir, begins a friendship with the princess Kiara, Zira realizes she can use the relationship against Simba, and hones her son into a weapon to destroy him. She nearly defeats the king, but Nuka, her eldest, is killed, and she casts out Kovu for good. Before Simba can recover, Zira takes matters into her own hands and attacks, only to be foiled by her son and betrayed by her pride. Rather than accept their pity, she throws herself into the river and dies.

WBI Profile

Classification :: Ξ012678#*&
Role :: Avenger (restore Scar’s justice)
Motivation :: chaos (offset the circle of life), evil (inflict pain recreationally upon others), idealism (avenge Scar), desperation (starving in the Outlands), gain (access to food, etc.), power (Kovu shall be king)
Bonus :: minions (pride), lair (Outlands), family ties (Scar’s former mate)

Click Me to Big Me!

A Study

right—Zira believes that she is morally justified in righting these wrongs against her pride; she has the right to restore Scar’s order on his behalf because she is the mother of his heir

lover—the exact relationship between Zira and Scar is unclear, but she produced his (non-biological) heir, and thus her family is his family

revenge—if Zira did not love Scar, she at least admired him, and thinks that the injustice of his death should be leveled by Simba’s own death

investing—unlike a lot of villains, Zira fights for power for her son, so that someday he will be king and he will have his true birthright

victim—to some degree, she brought it on herself, but Zira has suffered a lot at Simba’s hands, and she’s watched her children starve because of him

dreamer—more than once she uses words about dreaming; she imagines a better world in her future, and she desires it more than anything, not just for her, but for her children as well

bloodthirsty—yes, she wants her revenge, but Zira also demands the suffering of Kiara and the lionesses, merely because it will bring her pleasure

self-aware—Zira knows that her bloodthirsty demands are petty, and she doesn’t care; she enjoys the pain she will wreak upon her enemies

prepared—Zira’s plan was almost flawless; if she hadn’t failed to predict the weakness in her son, she would be sitting high and mighty on Pride Rock right now

continuation—Zira is really good at planning, but this plot goes hand-in-hand with the previous movie

symbolic—also, in accordance with the Hitler-esque theme, Zira used starvation and war as two motivators for her pride to follow her into battle; they had nothing to lose

deserted—the Outlands have no food for communion, no water for rebirth; it’s as baked as their morals and the haggard nature of her home also reflects the kind of person Zira is

patient—Zira waits for her son to become an adult before she sets her plan in motion; she doesn’t mind waiting now for the success to be all the greater in the long run

force of nature—Scar and Zira represent unbalance in the circle of life; although we want Simba to win, we also don’t want the entire ecosystem to fail because the lions can’t handle moderation

merciless—life is a battlefield, and this lioness doles out punishments when her plans fail and is able to keep that which she loves separate from that which she aims for: Pride Rock

sympathetic—okay, no, her passion for death and blood and stuff is a little disconcerting, but we also notice that her pride is STARVING and she is trying to survive for all their sakes

mother—believe it or not, Zira loves her children, because although she uses him, they are also the substantiation of her dreams for the future

Big Idea

family comes second—Zira is interesting because she demonstrates that she loves her children on several occasions, but she also treats them as soldiers, which is why she gives Kovu his scar and why she doesn’t respect Nuka. In fact, beyond Kovu, Vitani is Zira’s star, because she can follow the plan, she’s good at what she does, and she is the most reliable of them all. I think, in the end, it is Vitani’s betrayal that really hits Zira hard, because she knows that if she’s lost Vitani, her last dream, she’s lost everything.

symbolism works—the Lion Kings are great films, especially because the visual symbolism they use rocks. The state of the land reflects the state of the lions who live there, and nature itself is used in many ways to show the assertions the artists are trying to make. It’s beautiful.

revenge is justice—remember that justice is subjective; while for Simba’s clan, the objective is to keep spinning in the circle of life and ensure that there is always balance, Zira’s goal is domination. She wants to win. Any character seeking revenge is trying to right what they think has been wronged, and in this event, Zira’s opinion of justice is restoring Scar’s legacy to Pride Rock.

mothers rule—too often we think of mothers as nice little housewives who wash our clothes and pack our lunches; moms can be brutal. Zira wants to make a better world for her children, but to get them there she has to punish them physically, force them to train, and strip away things like playing and laughter that they can’t afford in their current state. Everything she does is for Scar and for her kids, and the manner in which she does those things demonstrates the exact lengths a woman reach to get what she wants.

I should also mention, Zira has a VILLAIN SONG! It is great, and I love it. Because I love all the music in that movie, but the villain song is always a good measure of a villain, and I used a lot of it to help me characterize Zira. Watch it!

So, is TLK2 not the best sequel ever? I kid, I kid. Anyway, what do you think of our first female villain? Do you like her role as a villain? As a mother? Do you think she works for her story?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Minions and Things

Ceiling Fan
Flickr Credit: elston
I’m thinking about fan names.

I mean, it’s a little bit interesting how we come up with these things. Like, on the one hand it produces a great source of community and belonging, because you both associate with an idea or activity or name. I think of Whovians, even though I’m not one myself, just because they’re super funny to watch and rather clever.

You’ve got Whovians, Trekkies, Twihards, Loki’s Army, Sherlockians, Demigods, Mizzies, Browncoats, Cortexifans, and those are just the ones I recognize from this list.

I think sometimes it can backfire, too. Skillet fans are called “Panheads,” apparently. Like, I love that band. It is awesome. So awesome. But for the same reason I’m not so thrilled about some Harry Potter fans being called “Pottheads,” it just brings up some negative connotations for me. (Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean we all do it, thanks.)

Actually, at this point in my life, anybody who is referred to as an Xhead is pretty much on drugs, which I guess makes it easier for me.

That’s an interesting thought I had though—I mean, we belong to plenty of institutions like Girl Scouts or our schools (and we often refer to ourselves by our mascots), but very rarely do we come up with cute names for the things we do.

And people who are addicted to illegal substances and people who are addicted to Netflix are kind of in the same boat in that regard (not that there wouldn’t already be overlap).

So, I like the community aspect, even if sometimes the fandom name is unfortunate.

I like that bloggers do this, too, sometimes. I mean, if I were to say “HEY YOU” all of a sudden I imagine you would know that I mean you, who are reading this. I think you’d understand that I mean other people who would read the post as well, even though you’re probably alone when you read this. (That is a guess; I’ve always assumed that blogging is a solitary event because it certainly is for me.)

Cait and Aimee, for example, have been known to call their readers minions. It’s cute, although I wouldn’t do it myself. No offense, but if I’m taking over the world I need highly qualified people to stand at my side and you don’t come with any references. Sorry.

Over at Daddy Doin’ Work, everyone gets a Doin’ Work name. Readers Doin’ Work, subscribers, daughters, wives, etcetera. Which is also something I like.

And people try other things. Most recently I came across a blog that called readers ‘losers’ as a greeting, which I won’t link to because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. (But I was like, “Really?”)

It fascinates me how simple a name can be to be binding, and introduce community. Whether you like reading blogs, or participating in fandoms, or root for a certain football team, or anything else, how binding a name is to make a community.

I like it. I don’t think I would do it for my blog. As I mentioned before, you are probably reading this alone, so in a way it’s weird for me to address you collectively when you are not reading this as a collective, but an individual.

Also, I do not often feel an urge to address you when I start a blog post, unless I’m trying to get your attention. You are not my dog and I do not need to coddle you; you probably would appreciate it more if I talked and didn’t rub your belly, because that would be weird.

(Another aside; it’s a good thing I don’t have to write this in Spanish because I’d never be able to figure out whether I want to address you in tú form, or usted or ustedes. That would be a struggle.)

I’m not sure this post has a point, now that I get to the end of it. Well, there’s a little bit: even if I don’t have a name for my readers, and even if I don’t get called by name in my own fandoms, I am still amazed by the loyalty induced by a community name and the power it brings with it, and I am glad that even when I am never called by name I appreciate being part of the various blogging communities out there as well.

There you go.

What do you think? Yea to community names? No? What’s your favorite fandom name? Is blogging a solitary event for you? (Just curious, ha)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Second Listen: Lyric Medley Tag!

A while back the fantastic Wild Horse from Opal Swirls, esteemed Brett Michael Orr, and ever delightful Aimee of To The Barricade all tagged me for the Lyric Medley Tag, and I am super excited to participate for this week’s Second Listen!

  • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
  • Make a collage that represents your taste in music to go along with your tag post.
  • List a song for each of the 10 questions below (or make up your own!) and include your favorite lyrics from that song, if you'd like. If you want to explain why you chose that song, that's cool too - go crazy with it!
  • Tag at least 5 bloggers

The last three weeks I’ve done a more in-depth study of “Weasel Stomping Day,” “Move Toward the Darkness,” and “Gold.” None of us have all the time in the world, so INSTEAD I am going to pick my favorite lyrics, and you get ten times the songs to enjoy this week!

Heavens | Adam and the Ants | Owl City | Red | The Beatles | Bobby Vee | Heather Dale | Disney | XTC | Regina Spektor

~a song that describes me perfectly~

Heather is eccentric and even a little antisocial, but the thing is, she is most alive when she associates herself with death. She’s an ironic girl, and that makes her fascinating.

(Also, it’s Alkaline Trio folk and almost about me, so you should listen.)

~the happiest song I know~

What people (read: my friends) don’t seem to realize is that forgiveness is one of the weirdest and most awesome things that exists. It doesn’t say, “It’s okay.” It’s your own way of saying, “It is finished.” There aren’t words to tell you how much I love that sentence—it’s not okay, but it is finished.


~a song about donuts~

This is a song about a highwayman (oh, look at my bio) and although he’s stealing, he knows that what he’s doing has no value. If the meaning isn’t in the gain, it must be in something else—perhaps thieving is its own reward.

~a song that proves I am loved~

I can imagine Jesus screaming this song, which is why it’s my favorite religious song. When it all boils down to it, we are a mockery of what God originally intended, and yet he loves us still. OH, I CAN FEEL THE MADNESS NOW.

~a song of origin~

What I think is fascinating is that these two people can’t even speak the same language, but they’re still in love. I, for one like this, because this song is where my middle name comes from; obviously, prenatal conversation is limited, but language is not the measure of love.

~a song about human decency~

I’ve already said I love this song, but it’s still important to reiterate: even though this guy bemoans the fact his girlfriend left him, he instructs the better man to adore someone he loves. It’s about her, not him.

~a song about a story~

My dad pointed out to me that, by definition, a baby should be something that grows. This one didn’t. Whether the elves’ infidelity or the woman’s foolishness is to blame, I think we’ve taken the danger out of magic—but Rumple’s got it right.

All magic comes with a price, dearie!

~an i can’t even song~

Other than this being the whole point of the movie, I love this song because it shows how deeply ingrained our identities are and how, when it comes down to it, the differences between us are nothing compared to the humanness that binds us together.

~a song my father plays on the guitar~

Justice in the world is askew. The world is made up of opposites and we try to make sense of it through faith, through reason, through our own songs—but the fact is we can’t. We can’t taste the difference between right and wrong, and that’s a little depressing. (‘Course, this is not my opinion, but it is an amazing song anyway.)

~a song of hope~

Again, this implies that there’s something stronger than the words “the end.” There’s going to be things that separate you, and make life difficult for you, and make you lonely and upset and sad. But there’s still something out there… No need to say goodbye.

So. Other people usually summarize here what their genre and preferences are and I don’t know what to tell you because they are… not all the same. If you know the name of what I like to listen to, please tell me, because people always ask and I can tell them nothing. BECAUSE I AM IGNORANT OF MY OWN PLEASURES.


Anyway, to the tags!

Alyssa Carlier, Ashana Lian, T.T. Kesley, Liz Brooks, and Rachel W.—you’re up!

Again, thanks to Brett, Wild Horse, and Aimee for nominating me! That’s a wrap for Second Listen—thanks for tuning in! ☺

What is one of your favorite songs? What do I like to listen to, do you know? What are some of your favorite lyrics?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Life Through Books Tag

Thanks, Rebekah!

Rebekah from Horse Feathers was kind enough to tag me for her “My Life Through Books” tag, so lucky you, you get to read my answers.

Here we go!


Did you like to read when you were little?

I think so. My parents taught me to read when I was pretty young, which they brag about but I don’t think it’s that exciting. I ate up a lot of series, which led to a lot of bigger books that I fell in love with.


What was your favorite picture book?

via Goodreads

The one that comes to mind is called I Love You as Much by Laura Krauss Melmed, and we used to use animal signs when I was little to help me learn the concept of symbolism, and it’s really cute. Beyond that, we have these Lola books I have hoarded on my shelf because there’s a cuddle island and I like that too.


Did you go through a book phase? (i.e. reading the thickest books, reading all an author’s books, etc.)

Not that I can think of. I got really hooked on Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House for quite a while, and I really got hung up on a Greek Mythology phase, which hasn’t set sail as the remnants of my Mythology Monday Posts can attest, and all the mythology decorations in my room. Yeah…


What books made you feel grown up?

Any book that had teenagers in it made me feel grown up, but there was one book called Sold by Patricia McCormick, and I wouldn’t say it made me feel “grown up” but it’s a book about a girl who gets sold into sexual slavery, and I was in seventh grade when I read it.

via Goodreads
I don’t think my parents would have thought I was old enough to read it at the time (for me, though, if I’m gonna get baptized it might as well be with fire) but I think I was. Even though I was probably thirteen, and I was still very innocent as to the ways of the world, I think this is the book that comes to mind that really marks my transition into more serious books. Sure, I like to snuggle up with a fantasy, but I also have a working understanding of my world so that reading about sexual slavery has meaning to me.

Undoubtedly, over five years later I have a different perspective, and I’m way more aware of the injustice around me (not nearly enough, though). Nonetheless I think this is the book where I realized, “I’m entering a whole new world with what I read.”


What are books that you rave about?

… Oh dear. Let’s start with H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden, and The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, and The Scarlet Trilogy by A.C. Gaughen, and Unwind by Neal Shusterman… Let’s just stop there. Because every fangirl raves sometimes, and you guys should know that.


What are books that used to seem boring to you but now you really like?

via Goodreads

I was going to say Lord of the Rings but despite the fact that I’ve read them I don’t think that’s changed… I would say anything to do with literature. I mean, sure, I don’t really like it, but it’s not as much a chore as I used to think it was and being in my lit class has brought me a lot more knowledge than I anticipated. Still,  I prefer the kind of literature that has zombies, which I don’t think is really literature at all.


What are books from your childhood or teen years that you still cherish?

Ranger’s Apprentice is still good, and I loved the way it ended, so it has brought me satisfaction in that regard. Percy Jackson and The 39 Clues are also in this category, mostly because of the opportunities and friendships they have brought me. I mean, if you think about it, if I had never read The 39 Clues, this blog wouldn’t even exist.

That’s a wrap!

There’s no strict tagging rules and I don’t like to tag people too often, just because I know there’s a lot of original content out there that’s begging to be written. So, I invite you to participate in Rebekah’s tag, and knock yourself out.

Pick one of the questions—what would your answer be?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursentary: Good Luck and Good Night

I’ve been doing this thing lately where I go out of my way not to wish people good luck.

If you know me and you love me then you know that I love H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden, and if you really know me then I lent Aftershock to you and quoted the lines as you were reading them based on your laughter.

Oh, Aftershock.

via Goodreads
Take a look at page 111, where Otto and Wing are about to break school rules (again) and potentially threaten the school’s safety (again).

“I would wish us good luck but I know you do not approve of such things,” Wing said, smiling.
“If success is dictated by luck, then it isn’t really success at all,” Otto replied, still staring at his Blackbox.

It is hard for me to say how much those words resonate with me.

I mean, it would be like getting an assignment at school, putting in hours of labor and grueling time, and then having the teacher take every assignment and determine the grade by a coin toss: heads is an A, tails is an F.

Nothing you did led to your good grade, and that’s not really something to be commended. Therefore, I’ve been trying not to wish people good luck.

It’s harder than it sounds. I mean, for example, I’ll do a linkup like that of Beautiful People, and I’ll go around to see other people’s posts. They’ll confess some struggle, and then I will commiserate, and then, in solidarity with our mutual wish for their success, I will say, “Good Lu—oh.”

It’s one of those things that makes a good closing because it communicates well wishes, and a desire for success, and good outcomes, and happiness.

But at the same time, a lot of what I do as a writer is trying to figure out what other people do so I can write about it realistically. And I know that if you are trying to succeed at something—really trying—whether it be riding a bike or getting a good grade or completing a novel, you are going to put a buttload of work into that thing.

If you succeed, it’s because you stayed up late when you were tired. It’s because you never stopped, despite the opposition. It’s because you kept fixing your mistakes again and again, even when it hurt. It’s because you got help, you stood up to your own fears and dared to do things you never dreamed, and in the end, it’s because you turned sweat into awesome with all of the resources available to you.

As Otto says, that’s not really the same kind of deal one gets out of a coin toss.

That’s my attempt, now. I try to say, “Keep writing!” or “I hope you do the thing!” or “Way to go, and I look forward to hearing more about it!”

Because at least, to me, those sound like encouragements, and a way to support the idea of effort, even when it’s hard.

Just seems the thing to do.


Clearly, books can get to me sometimes, so that’s my question fo-o-o-o-or you! Yes, you! (That’s my inner Elmo coming out, sorry.)

I’m actively working to not say “Good luck” because of a book I read. It’s small, but it’s something. Has there ever been a book (or two or three or four?) that has encouraged you to make a change in your behavior, small or large? What was it, and are you still doing it today? Tell me! I want to know!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Poem: the trouble with asthma

With yesterday’s post being such a beacon of encouragement, and since I promised I’d share a little bit of my writing, I thought I’d give in and post something. I’ve realized that I really don’t have a lot worth sharing, mostly because it was written in eighth grade or is incomplete or not edited enough to share.

But I did write a poem for my English class as extra credit last month, so I thought it might be worth a shot.

After all, there’s something there and it’s showing.

the trouble with asthma

cough rattle wheeze sigh hack
hack hack hack hack hack
Flickr Credit: chapstickaddict
how do you feel
you don’t look fine
nah i’m good
take this cough drop and
this nyquil and
this pill and
this syrup and
this water and
this other thing i promise it helps
red hot cough burns
plug in the penguin
let arctic air flood back down
like snow
and sigh with bliss
no one realizes how divine it is to

(Note: I did not take that picture, but that is the kind of nebulizer I have, and it is my favorite and I love it.)

And there you go; an attempt at poetry. Have you written anything lately?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Second Listen: Gold

It’s Monday again, and we’re bringing back Second Listen, this time with my favorite artist.

Gold (Owl City)

(If you’re having trouble with the video, you can click here to go to Youtube and here to read the lyrics. I’d suggest watching or reading before reading the rest of the post.)

This is a song that makes me want to be a writer. Funnily enough, when I had a discussion with Rob about the song, he gave me a completely different interpretation—for him, it was about acting. It’s more open than I had realized.
“Stand on up and take a bow, there's something there and it's showing. There's no need to look around—you're the best we got going.”
I love the way these lines set the scene. For one thing, it reminds me of Something Girl by Adam and the Ants (oh, gosh, we need to give that song a second listen, too) and secondly, that last phrase is written in the indicative. It’s an affirmation that you have his complete attention, and you’re worthy of it.
“Shout out to the dreams you'll chase, shout out to the hearts you'll break. Nothing's gonna stop you now; I guess you better be going.”
Again, these are words of encouragement. You’re going to do stuff. You’ll make your own decisions. And you have a life you need to go and live.
“I don't need the stars in the night, I found my treasure. All I need is you by my side, so shine forever.”
I’m leaving out some lyrics, but what you’ll notice is that he’s not there for what you can do, even if he keeps bringing it up. He’s there for you, and he wants you to shine as brightly as you can, because you are worth it—a treasure.
“It won't take you long to get when you feel like you're soaring, so write it all and don't forget: you gotta tell us your story.”
Writing words, again. But I think it’s a good reminder—the fact that you are gold isn’t enough. You have a responsibility, almost, to share who you are. What you are. You have a story, whoever you are, and it is worth hearing.
“Shout out to the friends back home, shout out to the hearts you've known. You gave them nothing but the best, yeah, and you can tell them your story.”
This gets me, mostly because I work hard and I avoid telling my stories to people I know. It’s a call to take pride in your work. To remember where you came from and to take confidence, because regardless of what you have made it is something admirable. And it’s okay to share who you are with them.
“You’re gold!”
And as for the last lines, however obvious they may seem: we equate gold with a high value. And so as much as this song reminds me of writing, it’s also meant to be an encouraging complement: you are worth it. You’re valuable. You matter.

The lyrics are fairly simple, at day’s end. The idea is the same throughout. But at the same time, the idea is incredibly complex.

In many ways, we buy and sell other people. I thought about this as I finished Undivided by Neal Shusterman; certainly, we can’t take people’s kidneys or hijack their corneas on the street (legally). But when you put references on a resume, or when you try to recommend someone’s blog or book to a friend, you’re making an assertion about a person.

And what I wonder is if we don’t get a person’s talents mixed up with the person herself.

We want people who can do math, or can design the next really great bridge, or create a cure for cancer, or do anything to work miracles on our greatest problems. We like people who are valuable to us.

But that’s the thing about gold—especially these days, it doesn’t do much for us. Sure, it’s in jewelry, computers, but the gold I’m most familiar with is in the museum downtown. The pieces sit in black cases, where there are stools and windows that people can look in and admire.

The gold does nothing. It sits there. And yet, we consider it valuable, whether because it’s pretty to look at or because we know that it is a metal with purpose.

It doesn’t do anything for you.

Think about that, but with people. Obviously, it is good for people to work, and to find purpose in their lives with their careers and their arts. We aren’t meant to sit around all day and think of nothing. We’re meant to do stuff—but if they do not benefit you, are they still valuable?

Of course they are.

 They’re gold. 

 They’re gold, and they don’t have to do anything to be valuable. They don’t need to be melted down, they don’t need to be hung around someone’s neck or bent into some strange implement. Gold has innate value.

So do we. And of course, it is lovely when our efforts are admired, and someone notices that, “Hey, you put a lot of work into this; you’re really talented.” It’s even lovelier when someone says, “Hey, you’ve done amazing things and I’m proud of you, but you know why I love you? Because you’re you.

And even though I love writing, sometimes it’s good to take a step back and say, “Yes, I write, but that’s not why I matter.”

 Stay gold, friends.

Flickr Credit: Susanne Nilsson

What stood out to you when you took a second listen? Did you find another meaning in the lyrics, or another special significance?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award II

Do you get sick of reading tags? If someone is long-winded it can be really hard for me to read them, or if they are formatted poorly… But I do try to get myself to read them. Or I am like, “Fine, pick three questions and then write a comment about them and be on your way.”

But they’re like prewritten posts and they’re fun because they’re like those Scholastic friendship books you were supposed to fill out with other kids in elementary school and then… I didn’t have anyone to fill them out with.

I think I’m compensating.

REGARDLESS, I give a huge shout out to Savannah at A Scattering of Light and thanks for nominating me for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award! (I did do this before, but it was different, and you can read that if you want.)

Las Reglas:

  • thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • put the award logo on your blog.
  • answer the ten questions they’ve set you.
  • make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • nominate ten people.

1. How did you start writing?

So, I talked about this a little bit in the Beautiful People tag hosted by Cait and Sky; pretty much, I was told to write 18 pages a trimester in a notebook. And I did. And then I wrote more, and I filled up that journal with whatever the heck I wanted, and carried it with me everywhere. When I was without it, I almost felt naked.

My teachers, Mrs. A, was SUPER encouraging about me writing, and I started working on things like NaNoWraMo and my stories, and I’m still working on that stuff today.

2.  Favorite song?

I dunno. It depends on the day, and my mood, and my life. But here, I will post a picture of the playlist I have been listening to recently, and if you are so inclined you can look them up. Also, especially this week with various struggles, I am still very much loving Move Toward the Darkness from The Addams Family musical, which I talked about on Monday.

Click Me to Big Me

3. Have you ever gotten lost?


So for my birthday my best friend (hereon called Spranz) and I went to see Big Hero 6 (which I loved, and Baymax was awesome) and afterwards, she was going to treat me to a book at Barnes and Noble.

The thing was, we had to go on the highway to get there, and I’d never gone above about 50 miles an hour without one of my parents being in the car, so I was in that mental place where you’re really psyched and filled with endorphins because you’re panicking on the inside.

We pull out onto the road, and Spranz is acting as my navigator, and we’re driving, and we drive for a really long time in what looks like a big road going through developing suburbs in a place neither of us have ever been. But we kept going, because it wasn’t like B&N was hiding in the developing areas, either.

Then we saw the signs. SUCCESS. THE HIGHWAY. And I obviously had to turn right to get on it, right? And so I got in this lane that said, RIGHT LANE MUST TURN RIGHT.

I did, and it did not go to the highway. We turned into a bank parking lot and I was still in that crazy-happy-place, and so I was like, “Are we lost?” because I didn’t want to be lost. And then I saw the signs and I was like, “No! We are not lost! We are just going in the wrong direction!”

So we turned around, and got on the highway, but because we got on in the middle of the road I didn’t know what the speed limit was. So, I resolved, “I will just go faster until I start passing people.” Spranz thought this was funny, and then we just started quoting those same two lines until I had to get off the highway, and then there was back to panic because I didn’t want to get hit or something.

Anyway, no, I have not been lost. I was just going in the wrong direction.

4. If you could live in a fictional world for a year, which one would you choose?

A year? Um. I’d go to H.I.V.E., but forever. It would be awesome, but I don’t think I’d necessarily be villainous enough.

5. What fictional character inspires you most?

Ooh, good one. I haven’t talked about him as much, but Dr. Nero from H.I.V.E. is one of my favorite characters, ever. I mean, sure, I put him on my sexy evil guys list, but his ability to command respect and to be so calculating and yet so meaningful… I don’t know. I could talk about him for ages, but I love him. Immensely.

6. Favorite book of 2014?

Uh, probably Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. I just checked it out again from the library on my Kindle, and I really adore the different characters and the political, social, and religious dynamics that Bardugo weaves in her story. Plus it’s dark and funny at the same time. :)

7. Flight or Invisibility?

Is this even a question? Invisibility, end of story.

8. Tea or Coffee?

Tea. We have a dislike of coffee in my house and so it smells bad to me, kind of.

9. Starlight or Sunshine?

Starlight, because I tend to work better at night.

10. Why did you start blogging originally?

I also talked about this in my Blogoversary post, but basically I was hooked on the idea and kept getting discouraged because I didn’t know how to get into the blogging community and I was scared that I’d mess up. I thought that blogging would make me a better writer, and I don’t think I’m wrong, but I think blogging has taught me a lot of other lessons about networking and content than I believed it would.

I didn’t tag people last time, but now I will, because I’m evil.

I believe this is the first time I’ve actually had enough people to tag. YAY ME.

Your Assignment:

  1. You’re about to be thrown in jail with a fictional character of your choice—who is the character and how do you escape?
  2. What is your favorite social media site?
  3. If you were a deity [YOU], what sacrifices would you demand from your pilgrims?
  4. Which is more important to you: a satisfying ending or relatable characters?
  5. What is the hardest thing for you to write about?
  6. What are the top seven ways you would repurpose a lonely sock?
  7. Do you have a favorite archetype to read or write?
  8. Has a book ever given you important wedding planning advice? (for example, Princess Bride, if you skip to ‘man and wife’ it doesn’t count)
  9. In the event that you were forced to take a ride on top of a car, how would you secure yourself?
  10. What is your favorite story no one has ever heard of?

And, of course, if you are moved by the powers that be to answer these questions, there are approximately zero blog police who are going to stop you. Go for it!

What’s your favorite question? Answer it below! (And, you know, be sure to drop me a link to your own answers.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

WBI: Butler (Artemis Fowl)

Here’s where things get fun—if you’ve read Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, you’ve met his closest friend and advisor, Butler. Butler is a bodyguard, and a servant, and a soldier—not an assassin. 

So, prepare to be a little bit confused.

Photo Credit: Artemis Fowl Wiki

Butler is the most recent Fowl manservant, and has guarded young Artemis Fowl II since the day of his birth. With Artemis he learns of a world beneath his feet, steals fairy gold, rescues Fowl Sr., gains 15 years and better reflexes besides, watches his closest friend descend into madness and brings him back when he dies. All this while trying to convince the kid of his morality. 

WBI Classification—yup, he’s a villain!

Even though Butler constantly acts as Artemis’s conscience and guides him through the steps of everyday life, Butler is also something else: ruthless. He’s gone through the most intense bodyguard training in the world, and has learned to center his focus on Artemis entirely. He would kill for Artemis. Has killed. Even though we like him, he’s not an innocent pillow that protects Artemis from the outside world—he’s dangerous. Thus:

Classification :: Λ345&
Role :: Assassin (killer confidante)
Motivation :: psychology (trained to be a bodyguard), insubordination (Fowl employee), lifestyle (loyalty)
Bonus :: family ties (Butler line)

Click Me to Big Me!

A Study

ambiguous—as I mentioned before, Butler’s a good guy; he just kills people. He does what he has to, but he doesn’t always agree that what he has to do is right.

submissive—especially towards the beginning, Butler takes orders from Artemis, period. Regardless of his own opinion, he gets paid to babysit Artemis and cater to his whims.

prioritized—Butler sees the world as a battlefield; he prioritizes people’s lives, safety, and the situation as he needs to, and faster than Artemis could.

soldier—Butler fights, but soldiers tend to have more to them than merciless killing. Sometimes a soldier’s job is to save, and that he does.

bodyguard—and, on that note, Butler puts his life down on the line, not just for Artemis, but for everyone. 

brother—Butler cares about Artemis, absolutely; but Juliet, his little sister, never stops mattering to him, and he loves her, a lot. 

friend—Butler gets along with Holly well, because he’s a soldier with a heart, just like she is. He functions like a person, even though he does things people shouldn’t do.

persistent—this guy does not stop. He doesn’t even accept the fact that Artemis is dead (though Artemis didn’t when he was dead, either); Butler will die before he fails to deliver.

loyal—there was a time when he was not getting paid, and he stuck with the Fowls. He waits when Artemis disappears. He isn’t a man bought by money (alone, anyway); he is there for the people, too.

endearing—we like life-savers. We like brothers, and friends, and loyal men who are good guys. We like Butler, too. 

talented—Butler is like, the third-best in the business. That’s not bad at all, and he’s certainly not useless to the Fowls. 

cooks—I enjoy that the soldier doubles as a gourmet chef when the world is not begging to be robbed.

supportive—perhaps the best thing about Butler ties back to his persistence: he never gives up on a person, either, and he never doubts Artemis’s return, his strengths, his smarts, or the idea that he might even be a good man someday; he never fails to push Artemis in the right direction.

Big Idea

listen to your employees—although Butler later forces Artemis to act like a person, initially Artemis merely takes Butler’s advice because he knows he’s right. Butler is there for all his plots, standing at his side and protecting him from the enemy, and sometimes himself. Artemis doesn’t have to listen; he’s the one in charge of the banks. But he does, because Butler knows stuff, and he has earned Artemis’s trust to the point where he is almost always permitted to have a voice. 

money matters—Butler gets paid. I bet he even likes getting paid. But we have to distinguish between his paycheck and his person. When the Fowls did not pay him, he stuck around, even though his resume could get him a better gig elsewhere. And, I mean, he robs people with Artemis and stuff. It isn’t that money doesn’t matter to Butler; as a bodyguard, what matters more to him is the life, and the principal.

assassins don’t have to be assassins—Butler doesn’t exist to kill people Artemis doesn’t like; what I have noticed is that when you choose to have a personal protection unit, you put your entire self in the hands of this person, because they are on offense and defense when it comes to your protection. They have your life. They have your secrets. That you trust them says a lot about their character, and it is not necessarily what actions they do take, as Butler never really goes on a spree killing, but the actions they are willing to take.

assassins are support—the people you enlist to watch your back are people you must trust completely; and Artemis does trust Butler. What Artemis may not notice is that the trust extends; even though they rescue Artemis’s father and try to live like normal people sometimes, Butler is basically his parent, who makes him do things he might not want to do and asks him to go to his limits and back again. Yes, he is his bodyguard, but I think Butler is Artemis’s soulguard, as well, and never lets him fall too far away from the values he ought to live by. 

I have a huge respect for Butler, despite his ambiguities. But what do you think? Is he a villain at all? Do you think he succeeds in his role?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

Boppin’ along the blogosphere has led me to this lovely book tag about THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, which I have stolen from T.T. Kesley, who in turn stole it from Cait at The Book Chewers, who in turn stole it from who knows where because we’re just so caught up in our sinfulness that we don’t even know who we stole it from anymore.

Anyway, I’m onto this, so let’s get going.

Flickr Credit: See-ming Lee

1. Greed. What's your most inexpensive book? What's your most expensive book?

See, the majority of my books were gifts bought on my behalf, often on sale, so I don’t know much about their prices. However, I can boast that I bought Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, Royally Lost by Angie Stanton, How to Love by Katie Cotugno, and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi on my Kindle for Black Friday sales for $10.51, when ordinarily even one eBook might have cost about $10 itself.

That was the day I learned what Black Friday is for.

Most expensive? I have a feeling it’s probably going to be a copy of one of the Inheritance Cycle books, just because they’re so big and that drives prices up.

2. Wrath. What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Neal Shusterman. In my head when I am loving/hating him I usually think “Neal Shusterman and his stupid psychology degree.” When Tesla’s Attic first came out Mom took me to actually see him and Eric Elfman, and she asked them about their college degrees. He has a psychology degree, apparently, which means he knows how to manipulate feels and make me cry.

Which is awesome, but I hate him for it.

3. Gluttony. What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?

At last count, I believe I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 18 times. (Also, note that I’ve only read Deathly Hallows three times.)

When I was younger, I ADORED Harry, and it actually turned me into a Harry-desert after the sixteenth time because I was so bored with it. And I’ve never really regained my former admiration.

Since then, I’ve just locked onto H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden with no shame at all. So much fan fiction. So much feels. So much evil. laksdfjasdlfjdk

4. Sloth. What book have you neglected due to laziness?

I have this huge book of stories and poems by Edgar Allen Poe, and certainly Poe was a bro but even though I’ve even actually read some poems I am just being slothy about that book. Big books intimidate me. Reading intimidates me. I have troubles.

5. Pride. What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

I’m pretty good at shooting off Bible facts during studies, which has caused some awkwardness before. Mostly, though, I just talk about books as a whole and pretend I’m intellectual without actually naming a book or that I haven’t read it. Because I’m not that intellectual of a reader and people should know that. If I’m smart, it’s for entirely different reasons.

6. Lust. What attributes do you find attractive in male characters?

Oh boy. Geez. Where do I even start? Okay, let’s get this out of the way: morally ambiguous. With the exception of Captain America and Thor good guys are just not that high on my list of attractiveness. Brilliant smiles, quick sense of humor, quicker wit, broken hearts with sharp edges, black or brown wardrobe. Middle-aged? Really nice eyes. Dashing heroes, gruff and gaunt men. Guys who can sound a little suspicious. They have deep voices and layer themselves in deception and lies because they’re hurt. Straightforward on the inside but convoluted and mysterious on the outside. Letting their sex drive conflict with their morals conflict with their needs conflict with their ways. Guys who play with dinosaurs. Guys that give good hugs. Guys that want kisses and death and poison and food. Guys who cry. Guys who bleed. Guys who squeeze your hand at the right moment because they know you need it.

Guys who are.

The Darkling and Mal Reynolds and Thorne and Dr. Nero and Robin Hood and Lincoln Lee and Peter Bishop and Batman and Ignifex and Loki and Galbatorix and Nikolai and Artemis Fowl and Newton and Simba and yeah.

7. Envy. What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

Maybe Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudson. Geez, I liked the evil librarian in that too and he was just like my list!

Probably I shouldn’t get married.

ANYWAY I had a ton of fun doing this and you are free to steal the questions for yourself, and may the cookies be ever in your flavor.

What do you think is your easiest “sin” to identify? What would be your answer?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Second Listen: Move Toward the Darkness

As you may remember from last week, we’re talking about songs this month—last week was a little funky. This week too, just in a different way.

Move Toward the Darkness (The Addams Family Musical)

(If you’re having trouble with the video, you can click here to go to Youtube and here to read the lyrics. I’d suggest watching or reading before reading the rest of the post.)

This is my favorite song to listen to when I cry.

It’s hard to explain why, but it is one of the best invitations I’ve ever received, and I usually save this song for when I need to hear that invitation again most.

“Right and wrong, who's to say which we should refuse? All we know, love survives either way we choose.”
I love this beginning—it removes choice. It’s not about questions or answers. Already, it’s love.
“Where, you ask, do we go when the world's not right? You and I, we reply, someplace out of sight.”
More often than not, I notice that people seek comfort from other people, whether that be love, or attention, or advice. This? This captures me. It suggests aloneness. Withdrawal. Seclusion.
“Move toward the darkness, welcome the unknown, face your blackest demons, find your weakest bone. Lose your inhibitions, love what once was vile.”
And this is what gets me. When I’m a bad place, the first thing I want to do is act like I’m not. I tell myself I’m okay, and other people don’t even get to enter the debate. But the Addams don’t stand for that. If you’re irrationally angry, be irrationally angry. If you’re offended, be offended. If there’s a frightening idea, or a person you don’t like, if there’s something that shows your weakness and your own faults, don’t hide it.

Find it. Welcome it. Face it. Lose it. And then, when you have been what you were and became what you are, love it. 
“Move toward the darkness and smile.”
When I first heard this song, I was worried I was listening to some evil agenda, but that isn’t what this is at all. What I said before still stands—we have a lot of faults, all of us. But what I think the Addams point out is that if you take your faults or your virtues separately, you don’t get a picture of the whole person. By leaving behind this fantasy that you are wholly good and confront the things about yourself that scare you, or bother you, or embarrass you, you have every reason to be happy.

You’re accepting yourself as you are. 
“Move toward the darkness, don't avoid despair. Only at our weakest can we learn what's there.”
These are my favorite lines. Basically: don’t be afraid to be sad. Angry. Irrational. Upset. Furious. Melancholy. Miserable. Horrible. Evil. Depressed. Weak. Broken. Disgusting. Unworthy.

Alone, these are feelings I would struggle with. I would not want to have them, I’d think they’re unhealthy. But that’s not what this says—when we are at our weakest, ground to a nub, we find what we’re really made of, and many times when I take a moment to analyze myself in a hard situation, I am proud of my behavior.
“When you face your nightmares, then you'll know what's real. Move toward the darkness and feel.”
Fear deludes us; when we face our fears head on, a lot of times we learn that the reality isn’t the same as what we had been fearing. Our nightmares confuse us, but our feelings show us the truth.
“Move toward the darkness, conquering your pain. Let each foreign forest offer you its rain.”
Again, we receive the message. Moving toward the darkness doesn’t mean letting yourself crumble—it means overcoming. It means being refreshed by our tears and inspired by the new and different things we open ourselves to.
“Only at our lowest can we rise above. Move toward the darkness. Move toward the darkness. Move toward the darkness and Love.”
My second favorite lines. From our perspective, sometimes we forget that rock bottom is not a prison. It’s a starting place to climb higher than you ever have before. So when we feel like crap, and we’re tired, and upset, there’s still hope, and in our darkness, there is still love.

That was longer than last week’s, but I think this song is a little more meaningful, too. Everyone faces trouble. We all have bad days. But, to sum up what the Addams have so beautifully said, I think we can turn to Eleventyseven, in another of my favorite songs.

I don’t have to feel okay to be okay. 

We don’t always notice this, but the world is full of opposites. The Addams are the family that notice. They see strength in weakness. They find beauty in ugliness. They show kindness in the midst of disgust and they demonstrate love in a bleak and heartless world.

I don’t cry often, but when I do, I still love to listen to this song. I don’t think I really captured my reasoning, or the feeling that fills me up when I hear it and it relieves me, a little. It’s a reminder. A beacon. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

And when I move toward the darkness, then can I love.

Photo Credit:

What stood out to you when you took a second listen? Did you find another meaning in the lyrics, or another special significance?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Beautiful People: Me Again

Another weekend post. We’re just breaking all the rules, aren’t we?

So, I’m not convinced that I’ll do Beautiful People after this (I’m picky about writing memes, really) but I got eight of these memes (hosted, of course, by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In) in my Bloglovin’ feed, and those ladies (they were all ladies) have inadvertently peer pressured me into this.

I blame you all.

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?

Mentally, I’ve been writing since I was very small. I mentioned it before, on Thursday, but it’s what I would call ‘mental fan fiction.’ When I was little, I rewrote Barney stories in my head (yeah, the purple dinosaur), which has changed over the years as my favorite series has changed.

I never thought I was ALLOWED to write it down.

I didn’t start writing until eighth grade. From then on, I’ve written, but I didn’t consider myself a writer until October 2014.

(I mentioned that in this interview, remember.)

2. How/why did you start writing?

Mrs. A, the fabulous Language Arts teacher who said we had to write 18 pages in our notebook per trimester. Instead, I came very close to filling a three-subject notebook that year. I guess I never stopped after that.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing?

Finishing. It’s my favorite part of anything, really. Books, meals, homework. But I really like that feeling of accomplishment and done-ness that comes after finishing a draft or a notebook or a story. It’s pretty good motivation, as this box attests.

Click Me to Big Me!

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?

Self-awareness. The day I write this (Friday) I’ve been told, possibly for the first time ever, that my writing was disliked. My CP was super helpful in that email too (I am definitely not complaining; I just got the best feedback I’ve had in years, if not ever), and she had plenty of suggestions to improve my WIP, but the way the story is, she couldn’t like it.

I needed her to tell me that—I can’t tell if I’m good or not. Heck if I know if I’ll ever actually write something deserving of the paper it’s printed on. I don’t know these things. And it sort of sucks, because that lack of awareness makes my disillusionment that much more painful.

5. Do you write best at night or day?

Night. No one is up except for me, and that is nice.

6. What does your writing space look like?

A computer, surrounded by bookshelves and all my homework. There’s a flatbed scanner, usually dishes or a mug of water. Right now I have other odd items collected around myself; two kinds of glue for the book I had to bind in my Spanish class, a spacer for my inhaler, a would-be cold pack if I’d put it back in the freezer when the wisdom-tooth-removal pain went away.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?


Okay, usually somewhere between ‘not long enough’ and ‘forever.’ I’m not good at writing drafts, though. I can usually get a first draft, but it’s hard for me to edit beyond that, and even then I’m not good at being verbose on the first try. It doesn’t work well.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?

Just one or two.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?

I’m that happy ending sap. Sad, but true. I really suck at making pain and consequences a thing—I feel too bad writing it that I am unable to commit the act on paper.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.

Mark Walden, for sure. Gail Carson Levine. Probably Stephanie Meyer, and Isla Neal and Martin Leicht—their voices inspired that for my current WIP. Eoin Colfer, John Flanagan, Rick Riordan. Oh yeah, definitely Rick Riordan.

And maybe Joss Whedon.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?

Selectively, and always to people I know won’t care, usually. Or, not that they won’t care but they aren’t going to put a lot of time and effort into it.

I just tried a CP for the first time, and I am absolutely going to use the feedback I received, as she was nice and very useful, but she pointed out an embarrassing number of plot holes and characterization problems I feel I should have caught.

So I tend to avoid letting people who really read to edit, just because I know I’ve missed something I should have found in the first place.

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?

I don’t have one.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?

I don’t know. It’s not a very appealing thought, and I don’t really do anything particularly special. I’d probably just be a laborer, of some sort, because I know it’s something doable.

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?

Any book with characters that aren’t like me immediately makes me nervous. I have friends who are very race-conscious, or are way more liberal than I am, and live in other countries and see prejudice and are aware of it and experience it and I live in the suburbs.

I’m pretty much the “middle class white girl who lives in a mostly-white community” that gets criticized in fiction for being overused, except in real life. I don’t have personal access to much beyond that, so writing beyond that makes me really uncomfortable just because people don’t forgive you if you make a mistake in that area.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?

Right now? A fan fiction story. And I won’t tell you about it, because it’s mine.

But I will say that I’m also writing a story about a magical accountant right now, and it is incredibly entertaining.

Ta-da! I have answered the questions. And now I shall leave to do other things. *swoops under cape, and swishes away to leave you gaping in your seat*

So, are you going to join the linkup?