Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day Thirty // currently: 50,124 words


Just wanted to announce to everyone in the Blogosphere that I am officially a winner of 2014 NaNoWriMo!

It was brutal. And fun. And time-consuming. And worthwhile.

But now it's over and I can breathe.


I was hardly ever ahead this year, as opposed to last year when I was ahead for over half of the month. There were a few days when I did not write it all or wrote very little, but thankfully I was always able to catch up. I wrote over 4,000 words on at least one occasion, which was a record for me. 

I knew I would not be able to write today since we spent time with family then had to drive back to Rolla, so I went ahead and made it to the finish line last night. It was glorious!

Though, as expected, my novel is not complete yet. Because of this, I don't quite feel like a winner yet. I won't be able to dedicate much time to it for the next three weeks because finals are coming up and I have three major assignments due, all of which I have put off until the last possible minute so I can write this novel.

I refuse to do like I did last year, though. Last year, I said I would get around to completing and editing the novel, but it did not happen. I finally went back to it in May, but only wrote a little before stopping again. Once you don't visit your story for awhile, time starts to create gaps in your memory about what was happening or what you still need to include or what you need to go back and adjust. So I will continue writing in December. And if the month slips by and I haven't mentioned anything about it, come and find me. Hunt me down. Send up flares. Hire a skywriter. Whatever it takes to get me on track.

And now, dear ones, I must continue on with life apart from my novel for a little while. Thank you for your amazing encouragement and for sticking with me through it all. You guys are the best. =)

--Emily

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Day Twenty-Nine // currently: 48,018 words

I am so close to meeting the 50K goal, though far from the peak of my plot. The climax, I think, is out of reach, but I am okay with that. I will reach 50K, I will continue writing the story, and I will go back and slash through half of it in editing.

The last few days of NaNo always exhaust me. I'm not sure I'll be able to write tomorrow, because we have so many things happening and I need to do the homework that I have put off literally all week.

So some updates on the novel:

  • Unexpected occurrences: 
    • My characters decided to spend a night in a cave
    • Rolla (the leopard) has been seriously injured and had to be temporarily left behind
    • Elayer has a very broad vocabularly
  • Weird things I've had to Google:
    • the average weight of a female leopard
    • if leopards can swim underwater
    • the frequency and amount that leopards eat
    • what Native American clubs looked like
  • current page count: 97
  • current exhaustion level: running on fumes
But I did have time to make another cover:

And unrelated to NaNoWriMo but equally as exciting, the Legend of Korra episode this week was amazing.

Mako and Korra went on an adventure, she reconnected with Raava, Firelord Izumi actually spoke, Pabu was adorable, and Bolin confessed his love to Opal. It was perfect.









And next week's preview is equally exciting.


I have definitely grown more and more fond of Bolin this season. And when he meets Zuko and Toph, he acts exactly how I would act. Plus he's grown into an awesome lavabender. 


But next episode is the tenth episode of the season, and it's common knowledge in the Avatar fandom to beware the tenth episode. Nothing good ever comes from the tenth episode.

Anyway, back to writing! Hopefully by this time tomorrow, I'll be at the finish line.

--Emily

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day Twenty-Five // currently: 40,897 words

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kicks off again this November!  I'm already gearing up with my outline!

We are now in the final week of NaNoWriMo 2014. Can you taste the words simmering in the air? If you can, let me know, because I feel like all the words I've learned over the course of the past 21 years have gone on vacation. 

Why is NaNoWriMo so difficult this year? I love my story. I enjoy writing. But I would never, ever let anyone read this manuscript as it is right now. Usually, I have a few days where I get into the groove of things and even though what I get down needs some work, I'm proud of it. But that has not happened this year. Though I'm making the word count, I do not feel like I am accomplishing anything. My characters are underdeveloped. My language is not rich or captivating. The story is not being told that way I want it to be.

But I'm not going to give up. I have less than 10,000 words to go. I finally made it to Part Two of the story. I will finish this. Even if I think it sucks and I have to go back and rewrite everything later, I will finish this.

In other news, I am about to go see Mockingjay Part 1 with Deacon. And Hayley Williams did a duet with Joy Williams.


Hopefully things go better this week. I need to slow down and give my brain time to think about the story and the words I write. So far, I've been rushing myself to get things down and not taking my time with it. 

Writing a novel is hard work, you guys. 

--Emily

Jeremiah & Mikayla // Wedding, Sneak Peek






A beautiful wedding with a beautiful couple and a beautiful bride
is coming your way.

I'm so blessed to have this opportunity.
--Emily
currently listening to: Mess is Mine by Vance Joy


Friday, November 21, 2014

Best Blogging Buddies Award

I was nominated by Susanna for the best blogging buddies award!
Here are the rules:

1) Make a post to show your award on your main blog.
2) Tag whoever nominated you.
3) Tag some blogging buddies (or bloggers you hope to become buddies with!).
4) Ask your buddies 15 questions (or more).
5) Answer all the questions that your nominating buddy asked you.

Susanna’s Questions for me:

Do you have a nickname/s? If so, tell us about the strangest one?
Not really, no. Nearly everyone just calls me Emily.
There have been a few exceptions, though, which include: Emilith, Milly, M&M, and Bug.
And my family normally just calls me ‘Sis.’ Or at least they used to…this has kind of dwindled in the last few years. Apparently I’m an adult now or something.

Would you rather slide down a rainbow or bounce on a cloud?
Bounce on a cloud, definitely.
But probably just because it reminds me of Peter Pan.

What are three little known facts about you?
With the amount that I blog and tweet, I doubt there are really any little known facts about me out there.
But I'll list a few anyway.
1) I love anything with mushrooms and onions
2) I dip my Oreos into peanut butter before dunking them in milk
3) Talking about eyes freaks me out.

Guilty pleasures?
Legacy by ~LittleQuandaries
I love The Legend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
I also love watching dog agility competitions on Youtube. For hours and hours.

Is there a book you read that changed your life?
There are several of them, all discussed in this post.

If you could go anywhere tomorrow for a week long vacation, where would you go?









Well tomorrow I’m actually shooting a wedding, so going on vacation would not be the best idea. But if I could go anywhere for a week, I’d love to go back to Paris. I was there briefly on a trip after I graduated high school, but we only spent 2-3 days there and it was not enough.

I would also love to see Maccu Picchu.

Do you have any strange and impractical hidden talents?
Not really, no.

Do you reread books, and if so - which book have you read the most times?
I do reread books and I think I’m going to write a blog post about this in the future. It’s amazing how you can get a completely different impression from a book when you read it again. I’ve probably read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone the most, understandably. But I’ve also read my favorite book, For One More Day, several times. And—though I’m a bit ashamed to admit it—I’ve read Twilight at least three times.

If you controlled the world of fashion, what would be in style forever?
Free People Lola Sheer Rib Thigh Hi at Free People Clothing Boutique
I’m not one for fashion, honestly. But I do love me some knee-high socks.

Would you rather own a panda bear or a buffalo?
Hmm. Probably buffalo, because I know that Deacon would love that.

If you could name yourself, what would be your name?
Interesting question, because I have never felt too fond of ‘Emily.’ I’ve always felt like it didn’t suit me very well. But I don’t have a good alternative in mind, either. I’ve thought about Sylvia or Lydia in the past, also Helena or Eleanor.

What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
One time I stood up to a teacher for making fun of a student. I’m not sure if that’s the bravest, but it comes to mind. I don’t remember it very well, but I remember words coming out of my mouth without really planning them to and shaking for the rest of class.

Do you have a life motto?
A year or so again, I wrote the line, “I should have never gotten into a situation that is better forgotten than remembered” in this poem. So that’s always kind of in the back of my mind now.

If you could have a teaparty with a fictional character, who would it be?
 I would love to have tea with Uncle Iroh.

What makes you happy?

Many things, but I’m especially happy when Deacon makes me stop what I’m doing so that he can show me videos of cute animals doing cute things.

I'm not going to nominate anyone in particular, but feel free to answer 15 questions on your own blog if you'd like. =) I'm honestly not sure who my regular readers are.

--Emily
currently listening to: Born for This by Paramore 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day Eighteen // currently: 30,186 words


Time for some more NaNo updates!

  • I am convinced that this is the worst first draft I have ever written in my life and if I do finish it and wish to maybe possibly get it published in the distant future I am basically going to have to rewrite the whole thing because right now, it's 60 pages of crap.
  • I started reading Jane Eyre the other day because why not add one more distraction to my life?
  • I am almost finally to the turning point of my story. I had planned a lot more to happen after this point, but I really want to finish by the 30th, so I might condense it down. 
  • My chapters are apparently longer than I usually write, as I am only on chapter six. And I have to make it at least to ten chapters before I consider it a novel.
  • I have been struggling to keep up, but I reached 25,000 with five minutes to spare and I wrote during my break today so I'm already on track for tonight. 
  • Dialogue is my favorite thing to write, but there is a lack of it in this story. I feel like my MC is just telling the readers everything and it is terrible. 
Basically, NaNo has been a real struggle so far. The only thing that will make it better is getting to 50K.

Only 19,814 more words to go!

How has NaNo been to you so far?

--Emily
currently listening to: Yellow Light by Of Monsters and Men

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day Thirteen // currently: 20,427

Okay, it's technically day thirteen because it's 12:41 AM but it's really the evening of day twelve so that means I'm ahead, right? Yes. Sort of. Yes.

Anyway, there's part two of the Beautiful Books Linkup and some updates on how NaNoWriMo has been trying to eat my soul:




Be honest: how is your writing going?
Honesty. Okay. I can do this.
So, this year it has been extremely difficult. I have pretty much no motivation to write. And I thought that would subside as the days went on, but it hasn’t. All I want to do is watch Season 3 of Gilmore Girls. (Dean is gone and Jess is stupid and Lane and Dave belong together don’t get me started on this tangent.) And it’s not because I don’t love my story or that I don’t know where it’s going. The words are just not flowing. I have to claw them out and it’s exhausting.

What’s your first sentence/paragraph?
My first paragraph can be seen here, but here it is again:


Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?
I created a book cover a while back that I revealed in this post.

Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
No pictures on hand because my characters aren’t human. They resemble humans, but there are pretty important differences. There are two groups of people: Arcadians and Galts. Arcadians have silver skin and bright, luminescent eyes. Galts have really dark skin with slightly darker eyes. The ‘leopard’ is also black, like a panther, with silver spots. My MC has dark, wavy hair. Ava is tall, slender, with short hair.
That’s about it. I haven’t focused on descriptions much, unfortunately.  


What scene are you most excited to write?
I’m really excited to write the scene where Ava has to execute a child from Galt. (Does that sound like something a psychopath might say?)
And that scene is up next, so I’ll probably get to it tomorrow/today.
I’m also looking forward to the last scene with Festus, but that isn’t due for a few more chapters.

Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.
This makes me really nervous because I am pretty much disappointed with the way all my writing is coming out. So please don’t judge me too harshly. Keep any negative comments to yourself as of now because my poor NaNo-overworked-barely-beating heart might not be able to take it.



Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
A lot of scenes have been added, which is always a pleasant surprise. And apparently my MC has beef with her mother, which I didn’t know until she went on a rant about it.

Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
So. Many. Difficulties.

It has proved to be a struggle to get the verb tense straight. My character is acting and doing things in present tense, but the bulk of the story is her thinking through memories, which are written in past tense. And it gets really confusing sometimes.

Also, she’s really close to her friend Ava, and I’m afraid that’s coming across as a lesbian-lover type of deal. But I really don’t know if I’m being paranoid about that or if it’s really coming across that way.

AND I realized last night that I’ve been picturing the location of the buildings different in present tense vs. past tense, so I spent 20 minutes trying to draw a map and realizing how inconsistent everything has been. So I’ll have some cleaning up to do come editing time in December.

What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
I love how it’s a survival-y, somewhat-post-apocalyptic, dystopian-like world. I love that my characters have no idea that the country they love is doing terrible things, and that they are part of the system.

Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?
Just slightly, with one character. But no, I have never been sailing, I have no idea how to use a spear or any kind of weapon, I’ve never been the sole survivor of a mysterious epidemic, I’ve never saved a leopard family from a hunter, I’ve never been able to change the weather with my mind, and I’ve never walked 30 miles in a day. I also have a horrible memory. So me and my MC are really nothing alike.

Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
YES, glad you asked. I actually posted it here, but I’ve also been listening a lot to Pure Heroine by Lorde and 1989 by Taylor Swift.

Of the songs on that playlist, I think that “Monster” by Paramore connects with my plot the most. But I’ve also been listening to “Silhouettes” and “Georgia” a lot.

Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
None of them, they’re all psychos.

JK, I could probably tolerate Festus for a little while if he let me feed/pet/love the leopard cubs.

(This is strictly fictional, mind you. Holding leopards, even little ones, is a bad idea.)

How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
I procrastinate until 10 or 11 PM and then write in a frenzy.
Gilmore Girls, I tell you. Why did Netflix wait all of 2014 to add it now?

What your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?
 one true sentence..
Oh Sylvia, you get me.
How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
I’m so in love with this story. It deserves a writer who actually knows what she’s doing.
That pretty much sums it up.
--Emily

currently listening to: I Can Go the Distance from Disney’s Hercules


Monday, November 10, 2014

I wasn't always a Taylor Swift fan.


It's 2007. My dad is driving me to school. He has the radio on, as always. And then some country song called "Our Song" comes on the radio.

I hate country music, but I cannot decide how I feel about this song.

A little while later, I see this video. It has the guy from One Tree Hill in it. I relatively liked it.


But I wasn't sold yet. I do remember seeing a magazine around this time with her picture on the cover. And I just stood there in the aisle of the supermarket for a few minutes staring at her. And I remember thinking, "She is the most beautiful lady I have ever seen."

But then more singles started coming out. She was gaining popularity.
And it seemed the more popular she got, she the more I started to feel repulsed by her.

Fearless was released and everyone went into a craze. "Love Story" was literally everywhere.


And that's when I couldn't stand it anymore. I proclaimed to the world that I did not like Taylor Swift. Sure, I liked a few of her songs, (particularly "Breathe") but not her. Oh no, not her. Nevermind if this was based on the way she talked about Joe Jonas. She was a beautiful, awful person and I wanted nothing to do with her.


But then a series of events started to happen.
I felt horrible for her for the whole Kanye incident:


"You Belong With Me" became my mantra for my senior year of high school.


(Like, it was freaky how accurate it was.)

I fell in love with "Enchanted," which played during the trailer of The Vow.
(terrible movie, great trailer)

Then "Back to December" grew on me and I broke down and bought Speak Now.
(Actually, thinking back...I don't think that's right. I think I had bought it for someone else or got it as a secret Santa or something and had it lying around unopened for a long time.)


Then I listened through Red, and as predicted, I absolutely loved half the songs and absolutely hated the other half. But by then, I was okay with that. And "All Too Well" remains my favorite T Swift song.

So now, 1989 is out. I've listened through it several times.
I don't like it as much as Red, but I do appreciate how Taylor has embraced a new sound that feels more her, instead of trying to stay in the country mold but inevitably swaying into the land of pop. And, keeping up with the tradition that I don't like her songs when I first hear them, "Out of the Woods" has gone from annoying to I-can't-get-enough-of-it.

And though I don't always agree with the way she acts, I've learned not to judge her so harshly. I'm never going to agree 100% with the way anyone acts (except Emma Watson because she's clearly an angel from above) and I can't hold her against something she said when she was 18 because I said a whole lot of stupid things when I was 18. Public opinions should allow for personal growth. No one is ever going to stay exactly the way they were 5 years ago.

There are plenty of things that she does that I think is wonderful, like her obsession with cats or the way that even though she's become a pop-culture icon, she still seems like a human being. I don't like or agree with why she took all her albums off of Spotify, but I can respect her decision.

And even though I'm not a huge fan of her new songs, I love the way she makes fun of herself and the way the media portrays her in her two latest music videos.



She's changed a lot over the years and so has my opinion of her. But now, I'm pretty much to the point where I can say, I don't care if everyone else in the world loves her and I don't care if she's occasionally a terrible person--that song is pretty catchy.

And on a final note, I know most of you have seen this but it is impossible to get enough of it.
And for those who haven't seen it, it will change your life:


(the audio and video had to be slightly sped up to get around copyrights)

P.S. I'm a weird person and found out that Taylor Swift uses this lip pencil even though I have absolutely no intention to purchase it.

--Emily

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day Eight // currently: 11,251 words

I know I have not written much of my novel since my last blog post, but in my defense I was unable to write yesterday because

1) Deacon and I went to work out, which is a huge progress because I hate working out.

2) Then we went to see Interstellar, which is a 3-hour movie.

3) Interstellar gave me literally the worst headache of my life. I was going to write when we came home, but I had to wait for the ibuprofen to kick in. So I lay on the couch with blankets over my face for an hour because I could not look at the light. But the headache would not go away, so I just went to bed.

So yes, the point of this is that everything is Interstellar's fault.
But I'm back and better now. So onward!

I just found these questions from this blog via this blog. They are doing a 3-month long linkup about books that bloggers are currently developing. Great time to discuss my book for NaNoWriMo, yes? Yes.

I've missed the linkup date of the first post, but I thought I would start with those questions anyway.



  • What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser? I guess the idea for the plot came first. I wrote down an idea for the story in my notebook back in April. I just found it the other day and laughed because so much is different now. Originally, there were going to be aliens and pirates. That idea was scrapped.
  • Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? My working title is Eminence, which I guess gets the job done. I might keep it that if nothing else comes to mind. I tried writing a synopsis a few weeks ago, but never did come up with a good one.
  • What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished? For NaNoWriMo, the goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month. I really want to be able to get to the end of my story by that word count because I've never actually finished a novel for NaNo. But after the editing process, I would love for it to be longer than that. Maybe 60,000?
  • Sum up your novel in 3 sentences. In this fictional world, everyone has either died or has contracted a mysterious infection. Everyone, that is, except for the MC, who lives each day with her pet leopard and is absorbed in memories of her civilization. She thinks that she is the only one with her memory intact until she meets a man that holds memories of one of her friends that had mysteriously disappeared four years prior to the outbreak of the infection.
  • Sum up your characters in one word each. MC--fierce Elayer--inquisitor Ava--passionate Festus--deceived Center--powerful Rolla--leopard
  • Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! I'm really looking forward to Elayer and Center. I'm not gonna lie, Center is hugely inspired by Kuvira from Book 4 of The Legend of Korra. I just love ruthless, powerful females. They make me all giddy. 
  • BITCH.
  • What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal? See above. Although I want to point out that Center is not the villain. I want to make that clear. She is just a piece of a larger puzzle. Same with Elayer. The term "villain" is a bit relative in this story. It depends on how you look at it.
  • What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way? Right now, her goal is to get water. Obstacle: distance Her larger goal is to save her civilization from extinction. Obstacle: as of right now, she does not believe that it is possible. Later, her obstacle will be things about Arcadia that she learns from Elayer.
  • What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey? Well, she's on a journey to find food and water from the very beginning. It's on this journey that she finds Elayer. Meeting Elayer is the turning point. At first, she thinks he is just like all the others with the infection. But then she touches him and sees his memories of Ava, which changes literally everything.
  • Where is your novel set? Fictional universe. I haven't named the planet yet but there are two main civilizations. The island of Galt, and the mainland Arcadia. We later learn that the people of Arcadia sailed there a thousand years prior to the events in the story, driving out the people who had been living there and taking over.
  • What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely? First, the scene I described in question 9. Second, the scene where Ava must execute a child from Galt who has trespassed into Arcadia. Third, Festus giving his ring to the MC. And about 39808 others.
  • What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story? I want to say the MC and Festus, but I haven't been able to write that very well yet. So far, her relationship with Ava has taken control. But in terms of dynamics, maybe her relationship with Elayer. She can't quite figure him out and he is always one step ahead of her.
  • How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel? Do I want to give this away? No, I don't think so.
  • Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? I definitely have an ending in mind. It was one of the first things I developed. I usually do that when planning a story--I get the beginning and ending down, a few points in between, and then go for it.
  • What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
    I guess the point I'm trying to convey is that we are always being manipulated by what is around us, whether that be people or ideas or culture or anything. And that you can believe in an idea, rationalize it, and be able to feel confident that it is the right thing, when in reality it isn't.


  • P.S. I have not seen the new episode of Korra yet and I'm dying. But I can't watch it until Deacon gets home.
    --Emily

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Day Seven // currently: 10,474 words



    Some NaNo 2014 updates:







    • I managed to hit 10 K before midnight struck. 
    • Which means I'm staying on track, but just barely. I have not fallen behind yet, but I'm struggling to keep ahead. My muse is on vacation or something.
    • I realized that I had not planned out how I would write the first half of this novel. I had a lot of scenes and things in mind, but did not decide how I would tell them, what order I would tell them, what my MC would be doing in present tense as she went through her memories, etc.
    • But I'm working through that. Currently on Chapter 3, page 22.
    • I just started this chapter last night and I had no idea where I was going with it, but I like what it's turning in to.
    • I've been listening to more Taylor Swift than my NaNo playlist. More on that later.
    • The name of my MC has not been identified, as planned, and it does not seem to be forced or anything. 
    • Although I'm having a hard time trying to figure out a good spot to describe her appearance to the reader, since it's in 1st person and there are no random mirrors hanging around.
    • I had planned to focus a lot on her male friend, but instead the story is focusing a lot on her female friend

    Some non-NaNo updates:
    • My foot literally got bruised from the shoes I wore the other day.
    • I finally watched V for Vendetta
    • After various trips to our Realtor, Walmart, and a disastrous encounter with a suction cup on a stick, Deacon and I finally have the three light bulbs that had gone out in our apartment replaced.
    • Yes, a suction cup on a stick. That's what they gave us to replace the floodlights.
    • Deacon makes amazing burritos. Like he could put Qdoba out of business.
    • I'm going to have a class next semester that goes from 6 PM to 9 PM and goodbye sanity.

    And now, onward to the 39,526 words remaining but first sleep because it's 1:05 and priorities.
    --Emily

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Dystopias, Pumpkins, Movie Posters, Writers, and Guy Fawkes

    So, a few things have been on my mind over the course of the past week. And I know what you are going to say: Emily, aren’t you supposed to be writing a novel or something? Why yes, yes I am. That’s going fairly well, I assure you, and there will be more on that to come.

    But for now, a list of things that have been on my mind. And you should be proud because I’m taking a step away from the bulleted lists that I so desperately cling to during blog posts. I’m growing up, I know.

    So here we go.

    I don't think the word "dystopia" should exist
    Let me explain. The word “utopia” was created by author Sir Thomas More for his novel of the same name. It was created using Greek terms. The word translates to mean “no place.” A homophone in English makes the first part of this word sound like the word for “good,” which creates a double meaning.

    But the point of the double meaning: the perfect place (or society) does not exist.

    Today, the word “utopia” has become synonymous with the perfect society, even though this was not exactly More’s original intention when creating the word. In fact, if one reads Utopia, it is clear that although the society seems perfect, it is still flawed. The book is even listed as number 58 on Goodread’s list of most popular dystopian fiction.

    Now, let’s take a look at the word “dystopia.” The word was created to be the complete opposite of the modern concept of “utopia.” That is, a dystopia is a society that is deeply flawed, but one that often has the appearance of a perfect place. Popular literary dystopias can be found in The Hunger Games, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Divergent, The Handmaid's Tale, The Matrix, etc. It’s a genre that has become increasingly popular in recent years, so I’m sure that all of you have some idea about what it’s all about.

    My problem: the “dystopia” classification is redundant and unnecessary because the original intent of the meaning of “utopia” was that the perfect society does not exist.

    Let me repeat that: utopia, or “the perfect society,” does not exist; therefore, dystopia cannot exist as its counterpart.

    The solution? There isn’t one. The word “utopia” has shifted meanings over time and it would be foolish and probably impossible to reverse the last couple hundred years of the word’s usage. And since people think that utopia means the perfect society, they will use dystopia to mean an imperfect society. That’s just how the language has developed and there is no stopping it now.

    So I will go on using dystopia just like everyone else, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    PS. There are some really interesting infographics of the Dystopian-genre boom here.


    Pumpkin artists amaze me
    Aang PumpkinOkay, I stole this picture from Pinterest because all the pumpkin photos in my Facebook/Instagram feed happend last week, but I'm not even talking about professional pumpkin artists, though those are pretty amazing, too. But even just people I know from school or whatever. This time of year, they start carving pumpkins. And posting photos of their carved pumpkins. And they are all freakishly amazing.

    Like, they only get to carve pumpkins once a year. How do they get so good at it? Do they secretly practice on other fruit year-round? (Yes, they are fruit. Just like tomatoes. And cucumbers. And anything else with seeds.)

    I know they have stencils and things like that to help you with your design, but even so, carving a pumpkin is not an easy task. I have not done it often in my life, but Deacon and I did try last year and it was a little disastrous.

    Is there some secret that I'm missing? And how long does it take to do some of those designs?


    This post on Buzzfeed blew my mind
    One word: animated movie posters.
    I know that was actually three words. But one concept.
    Anyway.

     17 Movie Posters Improved With Animation 17 Movie Posters Improved With Animation

    Aren’t these movie posters just wonderful?

    They’re a little like those VHS covers that changes the picture depending on the angle you look at it from. You know, the ones that made cool noises when you scratched your nails across them?

    Does anyone know what I’m talking about, or do I sound like a crazy person again?

     We had one for The Lost World.

     


    Writers are mediums
    I'm trying to remember where I was coming from in this thought. I think it stemmed from the thought that writers don't create the story--they uncover it. They allow it to be communicated through them so that others can access it. So in a way, they're like mediums. You see a lot of reality TV shows and movies where people seek to communicate with spirits or whatever, and to do so, they have to call in a psychic and communicate through them.

    Well, that's kind of what writers are. The more I develop the stories, the more I realize that I don't develop them at all. They exist by themselves; I'm just the one who is able to write it down. 

    Think of the Harry Potter series. It's a huge world and there are all sorts of characters and back-stories and history, a lot of which is never even discussed within the seven books. And after fans finish the books, they might still have questions about what Ron's great-aunt's cat's name is. So they go to J. K. Rowling, who more often than not has an answer. 

    To me, her role as writer shifts, then. Instead, she is the holder of information, she is the one that knows the realm of the story and everything in it. And it is through her that the fans and readers can access the same world. To them, it is not a figment of someone's imagination. It is a real thing, a realm that exists but which they cannot explore on their own.

    I know this is a strange thought, and I doubt I'm getting it out right. I should have written it down as soon as it came across my mind. Maybe I'll think it through more and come back to it at a later date.


    November 5th is in commemoration of the failed gunpowder plot, not in celebration of Guy Fawkes.

    V for Vendetta - 2005
    I'll be honest here. I'm American. I am the stereotypical American white girl. I know very little about other countries and cultures and the history of them. In fact, I know very little about American history. So please excuse me if I'm not 100% accurate on the following details.

    I did learn about the Gunpowder Plot in my English LIfe & Lit class during my undergrad studies, though. And Guy Fawkes was not a hero. He wanted to blow up the house of Parliament and kill King James (you know, from the King James Bible?). Why? Because Guy Fawkes and the other members of the plot were Catholic, which was not something the king supported. So they wanted to kill the king and replace him with a Catholic.

    But ever since the popularity of V for Vendetta, the image of Guy Fawkes has changed a bit. He's now seen as a symbol for anarchy, as the one that stands up against a flawed government. (which goes back to our dystopia discussion) 


    Here's a somewhat educational video that explains why November the 5th is celebrated:


    Now, back to noveling!
    --Emily

    currently listening to: I Wish You Would by Taylor Swift