Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Finished!

So basically: deadlines are the most wonderful things ever invented.

I have officially, finally, thankfully finished a short story that I call 12. My first serious, completed bit of writing.

[Wait, you thought I had actually finished my book? Yeah, I'm going to get back to work on that...this weekend. I promise.]

A little smidgen of background: I mentioned 12 when I asked y'all to pick an idea for me to start working on. I don't remember why I put it in the running because I always planned for it to be a short story. But anyways. According to Microsoft Word, I first created the document on September 10, 2009. When I was avoiding More Blessed, I would open it up and write for a little while.

As of Monday, the word count was about 1,250.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the word count was about 3,900. First draft, finished! Now: editing!

As of Tuesday night, the word count was exactly 3,780.

The only reason that I was able to write more words in that one day than I had been able to over the past two years? A midnight deadline. I submitted the story to my school's student literary journal which is super exciting. I've talked before about needing motivation and/or deadlines to inspire me to write. I definitely get just how much I rely on procrastination to get things done. So hopefully this will help me actually finish other stories too :)

I can't post the story itself but I'd like to share more than that old, still mostly relevant summary. So here are some things that I had in mind while writing 12.

I'll be sure to let the world know [in April, I believe] whether or not the story gets published!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Why I Hate Chick Flicks

So I've been thinking about something a lot.

I am not a big fan of inspirational movies. Or stupid comedies. Or chick flicks, clearly.

This is a shocker, I know.

[I must admit that although I do own several movies that fit into at least one of these categories, I haven't even touched them in years. Thank goodness I got past my sappy middle school phase.]

I'm the kind of person who vehemently ridicules the Twilight movie trailers and snorts with derision at "love-at-first-sight-conquers-all" stories.

However, I absolutely LOVE a select number of films that are definitely aimed towards a female audience. Some of my favorites: Tangled, Once and Pride and Prejudice [I need to catch up on other classic-books-made-into-films]. I also have a soft spot for goofy telenovelas [umm, hello, they feature hot foreign boys!].

Why would you not watch this movie?
So because I need to be weird and analytical about these things, I thought up a few reasons for this seeming contradiction.

First, I can't stand bad acting. What can I say, I'm a film snob. [Well, okay, I'm generally fine with campy bad acting when it's done with a purpose. But the average rom-com movie is chalk full of really bland actors and I'm not paying money or wasting time watching their run-of-the-mill performances.]

Especially when you can watch performances like this. From people who aren't actors.
Secondly, I hate the normalcy these movies portray. Chick-flicks are typically set in some modern day city and feature some sort of plot premise that people can relate to - dating, miscommunication, kids, blah blah blah. Even the ones with an interesting hook are so formulaic. There's a limited number of ways to tell a love story and still make money. That's why the majority of books I read are not contemporary.

The exception: modern day somewhere else with really crazy story arcs.
Also, I think my own modern life is boring enough, so why would someone else's similar life be any more captivating? If I'm going to watch something set present-day, it has to involve the spies or musical numbers or explosions that I don't get to hang out with in real life.

Love stories are better with frying pans, thieves, singing and pretty lanterns.
Also, I'm a cynic. So maybe that's the reason and these other explanation are just me overthinking things.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Game of Life


It's been a very long time since I last posted.

Not really sure why. I mean, my life hasn't been that crazy busy yet. I haven't started going on home visits for my internship so it seems like I'm only taking 10 hours right now. I haven't been reading a ton.

I have spent an entire weekend hanging out with my family - including my newborn baby cousin and my adorable toddler cousin.

Which reminded me of this one post that I meant to write. About a month ago. Back before school started and I was home. After a really silly game of Life with my littlest sister.

This story is best told in pictures, but before I get to that I should explain that my sister and I rarely play Life by the rules. The spinning [Well, okay, rolling dice because the spinner for our board is in Kentucky or something. Long story.] and buying and paydaying all go according to the instructions.

BUT, in the not-quite-new version that we own, there's a handy little intersection towards the end of the route where you're supposed to cross over to the bridge and go a little further and then retire.

I figure it makes more sense just to show you what I'm talking about.

We don't do this.

We jump back onto the part of the route that we already went over and go all the back around. And then, usually, we're ready to retire.

Our rationale for this cheating? It's not what you think - we don't want more money or a chance to switch careers or more LIFE tiles.

We want babies.

Lots and lots of babies :)

I did quite well on our first go round. So well that I had to have 2 cars. So well that I was thinking maybe we should just go straight to the end. My sister, not so much.  

Corinne: 5 kids [twins, boy, adopt twins]. Miss N: 0.

So we go around again. I think I started. And I immediately landed on the twins again. N has no kids. We keep going. I land on the exact same baby boy spot as I had the first time. N still has no kids.

Sneaky picture taking. She covered her car with her hands when she realized what I was doing.
We get to the point that there's only one baby spot left - the adopt twins one.

I am three spaces away. I joke, "I'm going to laugh if I get a three."

I roll a two and a one.
Notice the hand covering the board. And the warm color scheme of my cars.

N screams in frustration.

I pull out yet another car. I am driving the orange one, I let my husband drive the yellow one, and the first set of twins are driving the red one.

Then it's N's turn. She is four spaces away. She rolls a one and a four.

I knock the second dice over so it becomes a three.

N is finally not ashamed to show her car next to mine.
Final tally: Corinne: 10 kids [twins, boy, adopt twins + twins, boy, adopt twins]. N: 2 kids [adopt twins].

And in case you were wondering, I won. Landing on baby spaces 6 times gets you a bunch of LIFE tiles. Also, I stole traded for N's $100,000 salary card halfway through the game.