Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Assignment #1

Create a visual journal.


Taken from kitche at livejournal.com

Taken from jr__nal at livejournal.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I am pleased to announce...

There is a special sadness in achievement, in the knowledge that a long-desired goal has been attained at last, and that life must now be shaped toward new ends. -Arthur C. Clarke

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the yard and shot it. -Truman Capote

I am pleased to announce, that after nearly a year-long pregnancy, on June 14, 2006, at 2:53 in the morning, my second book, Apostasy, was finished.

It is 362 pages and 55 chapters, and the second in a trilogy+prequel.

I and my beta are very happy.

It's disappointing, in a way. I've lived with this book for one year (it would have been one year exactly on the 17th or somewhat), and it was three times as long as the first one, and I expected that when I was done with it I would feel some sense of accomplishment.

I guess nothing equals that first high.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Colored Videos

Very entertaining videos focusing on color. These are the only ones from this website that I recommend:

Mentos and Coke Symphony

Monday, June 12, 2006

High Pitched

Taken from the news reel on Comcast.net

Students Find Ring Tone Adults Can't Hear
By Associated Press

NEW YORK - Students are using a new ring tone to receive messages in class -- and many teachers can't even hear the ring.

Some students are downloading a ring tone off the Internet that is too high-pitched to be heard by most adults. With it, high schoolers can receive text message alerts on their cell phones without the teacher knowing.

As people age, many develop what's known as aging ear -- a loss of the ability to hear higher-frequency sounds.

The ring tone is a spin-off of technology that was originally meant to repel teenagers -- not help them. A Welsh security company developed the tone to help shopkeepers disperse young people loitering in front of their stores while leaving adults unaffected. The company called their product the "Mosquito."

Donna Lewis, a teacher in Manhattan, says her colleague played the ring for a classroom of first-graders -- and all of them could hear it, while the adults couldn't hear anything.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Every Teen Writer Needs...

I had the idea for this list, and got several of my friends to contribute to it.

To be a successful teen writer, you will need:

1) A favorite pen, preferably customized with an engraved name, or an animal sticker
2) A very elegant notebook you are too afraid to write in
3) A notebook you /aren't/ afraid to use. And have open. Near the computer and phone.
Gum. Lot’s of gum. Oodles of gum.
4) A Beta. Someone to confide in.
5) Your beta's phone number on speed dial. Or memorized. Whichever is fastest.
6) Some type of fuzzy animal, cat preferably, to whom you can whine when your characters are being annoying
7) Hidden chocolate bars
8) A Magic 8 Ball, to help answer such questions as, “Should I kill off Bob the Sub-Character?”
9) A slinky
10) A good, worn pair of sneakers that can be slipped on in a hurry to go out walking
11) A typewriter. You don’t necessarily have to use it, but it’s something fun to contemplate.
12) A book of art for inspiration, preferably one of people
13) A dictionary (Good for random flipping)
14) An elaborate thesaurus, to come up with synonyms for ‘said’. Also useful to alleviate boredom in trying to find a synonym for ‘synonym’.
15) A Baby Name book, for naming characters
16) The Book, “Lanterns and Lances”
17) Post-It notes, for writing down such trivial things as plot details, grocery lists, and agent’s phone numbers
18) A CD player with a mix-tape of inspirational music.
19) A bookshelf, stocked with favorite stories and authors
20) A digital camera, so you can have a low-traffic blog like this one.
21) A list of people you know who look like your favorite book characters.
22) Someone to tell you you’re a good writer when the reviews are bad, and someone to deflate your head when the reviews are good.
23) Straws, because you’re too young to buy cigarettes
24) Numerous half-drunk (or half-un-drunk) room-temperature water bottles
25) A window with a view of something. Anything. Brick walls to cemeteries to skies. Anything.
26) Tragedy. Yours or others. Random gossip will work, too.
27) A Library Card (Who will trust a writer without a library card?)
28) A calendar
29) A subscription to word-a-day (this tends to really make you think)
30) A secret stash of Jelly Bellies, particularly the nasty-ass coffee flavored ones, because they make you feel special and cool and avant-garde, which makes you want to write more (but you have to have all the other flavors handy to wash out the nasty-ass coffee taste afterwards)
31) Something that smells like lavender. Doesn't matter what.
32) An addiction. It doesn't matter what it is--Zoo Tycoon, 24, potatoes, some video game... anything that makes you feel really good when you say, "Know what, I think I'll write instead of indulging in my addiction today," because that always makes your writing better, and you're more likely to write if it means you're spiting yourself by doing it.

(All of these requirements are currently in use by my fellow writer friends and I, and we're awfully successful, don't you think?)

My Writing Style

Time for a little introduction.

You may have noticed my "Influenced By" list to the menu on your right. I thought I'd take a moment to explain it:

1) David Sedaris -the first book of his I read was Naked , followed by Me Talk Pretty One Day, which I originally thought was a Harlem Renaissance book (nothing could be further from the truth).

Sedaris is original and a true comedian, in the sense that he does not do funny things, he does things funny. From him I learned how to comedically question 'normal' life, poke fun at people, and a particular writing style where I make myself the protagonist while operating in a very antagonistic fashion.

2) Chris Crutcher -Crutcher resembes David Sedaris very muchly, in both life and writing style. His more famous books are "Stotan!" and "Staying Fat for Sara Byrnes".

I first read his autobiography (which was how I got turned on to him), King of the Mild Frontier. I loved his view on things and his hilarious personal experiences, of which it pleased me muchly to see woven, word for word, into his fictional stories. From him I learned how true life experience can be turned into money and fame, following the old quote "Writing allows you to turn the worst moments of your life into cash."

3) KA Applegate. I owe so much to her. She is the author of the Animorph series, which I was obsessed with for four years.
<--- The first Animorph book I ever read.

The Animorph series turned me onto fan fiction, which is where I got my real start with writing. The Animorphs also taught me drama, romance, and angst. Applegate herself influenced my writing style by making me want to turn every sentence into its own paragraph (I'm still struggling to overrule that first impressional training).

4) Tanuja Desai Hidier -Just a general inspiration to young women everywhere. She is beautiful and talented and successful. Who could want for a greater role model? (You can see her pictures on an author expose below)

5) James Thurber -One of the most brilliant writers I've ever met (literarily). His book "Lanterns and Lances" changed my life.
<---One of his drawings about himself and his wife, who never believes anything he says (This seal bit never actually happened).

It is an exploration of literature and assonance and dissonance and the curse/blessing of being a writer, particularly being a writer among ordinary people. He taught me the Letter Game, that it's okay to be paranoid cats will come back as humans to try and kill you, and never to invite more than one writer to a dinner party. Cheers, James.

6) Ray Bradbury -I was introduced to him through his famous book, Fahrenheit 451, which is very 1984ish, but better, I think.

The book was alright, but what I loved most was the interview he had in the back. Ray is the first author I ever encountered who sympathized with me on the vividness and realness of characters. I owe many great quotes and reassurances to him. He is an inspiration on possessed writing.

The WW series employs a mix of Ray Bradbury, KA Applegate, and James Thurber. My personal narratives emply David Sedaris and Christ Crutcher and James Thurber. OCAP is mainly David Sedaris.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Quotes by Walt Whitman

I see in you the estuary that enlarges and spreads itself grandly as it
pours in the great sea.

For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead,
I look where he lies white-faced and still in the
coffin—I draw near,
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.

-Walt Whitman

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tanuja Desai Hidier

I read this book several weeks ago, and I wanted to share it with you, not so much because of the story (Which was okay), but because of it's author.

Tanuja Desai Hidier is not only an accomplished author and filmmaker, but also a musician, and lead singer in an English rock band.

Her first novel, "Born Confused" features the cultural concerns of an Indian girl (Dimple Lala) raised in America. I originally thought this novel was going to be a true story, but instead it turned out to be a work of fiction, which diminished its value in my eyes, but it was a good story nevertheless. "Born Confused", published in 2002, won the Larry King pick of the week, an American Library Association BBYA book of the year, and a Sunday Times (Times of London) book of the week.

Tanuja's first short film, The Test, which she wrote and directed, deals with many of the same issues as "Born Confused", and was screened at the 19th Asian American International Film Festival, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Toronto's Desh Pardesh festival, receiving the Award of Merit from the 1996 Sinking Creek Film & Video Festival at Vanderbilt University. She is currently turning "Born Confused" into a screenplay.

She is the lead singer and songwriter in the London band Tanu & Marie

She was a finalist for the 2006 Asian Women of Achievement Awards for the United Kingdom and was recently voted one of the 50 Coolest Desis in the world by Desiclub.com.

(Information paraphrased from her website)


I feel that Tanuja is an inspiration to any female interested in the arts. She is only in her midtwenties, and has already accomplished so much (And some of her accomplishments I didn't even include!)

To read more about her, including an overview of her musical career, and a Q&A, click on the link above.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I found a very inspirational and mind-blowing music group.

Their name is Télépopmusik. If you've heard of them, good for you. If you haven't, don't laugh at the name.

Their most popular song at this point is, I believe 'Breathe'. You can look up the lyrics if you want, but I don't think they'll make you want to go out and buy their CD. What makes them great is a combination of the words with technopop music.

If you have Limewire or any downloading program, take a minute and download 'Breathe'. You won't regret it.

A few sample CD covers:

Click Here to visit their website
Click Here to visit their myspace and sample 'Breathe'.

My favorite songs of theirs so far are 'Breathe', 'Love Can Damage Your Health', 'Genetic World', and 'Don't Look Back'.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Afflatus: (Uh-flay-tus) A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A beginning

Change. Change. Change. Change. When you say words a lot they don't mean anything. Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway, and we just think they do.
- brief lives

It really makes one think, doesn't it?
I remember once when I was really little, I sat in front of my bookcase and said the word 'car' until it lost meaning.

Words don't mean anything. They are just sounds to trigger meanings in our heads. Isn't that wonderful? We are all communicating through common images and thought.
And thus, writing is a reflection of that -marks that mean sounds, which mean thoughts.

Writing is the art of creating thought.