Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm on Facebook!!!

Happy news! I have finally overcome my disliking of Facebook and have created an account!
Okay, so this doesn't really mean much, and my page is probably about as boring as pages come, but hey! I can officially say, "Yeah, I'm with the cool people, I have a Facebook" even thought Twitter is probably the place to be. My bad, I'll probably make a Twitter tomorrow, too much technology today, I can feel a technological seizure coming on.
Yeah, so you can look me up as Tayla Durham. My picture looks like this
And that my dear friends is Mr. Aster the Terrible, and he'd probably slap me upside the head for calling him Mr. but I figure, my characters give me headaches, why shouldn't I give them headaches?
Yeah, that's all, I'd link something to make this easier, but linking and me is like mustard and peanut butter, great on their own, but horrible together.
Can you imagine walking into a restaurant and saying, "Yeah, I'll have a peanut butter and mustard sandwich"? How many of you are cringing just thinking about that?
Shows how good I am with linking.
When I get a pro author picture of me, I'll stick that in, but for now you get to see the unepic cover of my book, it looks a lot cooler when you can see the whole cover,
Something like this, with this at the top
These pictures were taken from my iPod, that's why they look so bad. Except for the first one, it was an intense copy and paste session with Gimp that nearly knocked me out cold from the effort. :p and yes, I drew my own cover. Christopher Polini (spelled wrong) drew his, so it's not that weird.
No weirder than a peanut butter and mustard sandwich?

This Day, Monday

Here's how my day is going so far.
I couldn't fall asleep until well after 12:00 last night, tossed and turned and dreamt about liches burning down the Clarissa (the Spanish Galleon in Twisted) and then I got chased down Dark Tilt (a town in Twisted) by that lich and yeah...I was kind of creeped out when I woke up, five minutes before my alarm went off.
I hate doing that. It's nice when you wake up 30 minutes or even 10 minutes before your alarm goes off, but 5? Uck, it's impossible because you can't lay down because the alarm is going to go off pretty soon and it's not even worth it to try.
I have also come to this very painful realization.
I spend way too much time thinking about the undead. Seriously. So much time that when people talk about zombies and how awesome they are, I get annoyed. In Twisted, zombies are the lesser undead, creatures raised by a necromancer to do the will of the necromancer, they have no thoughts or processing of their own. Destroy the necromancer and voila! no more zombies!
See, way too much time thinking, and I won't even get STARTED on ghouls! ;)
But I guess I do have a good reason, one of my main characters is a wraith. He does not think the same way we do and I can imagine considering the attitudes of the undead in other books I've read that the undead would hierarchy themselves, the more powerful beings on the top, the lesser beings on the bottom and there's no moving between levels. It's why I spend so much time thinking about them, I want this to be realistic, even if it means I get haunted by a lich in my dreams and run away with Scooby Doo and a suddenly very Aster the Terrible-like Shaggy.
It was a weird dream. Long story short.
Oh and the best thing? I'm late for school because I spent so much time writing this morning. Ack! Writing is addicting! I can't wait for summer where I can write 24/6 (I don't write my normal weekday books on Sunday, I like to give that day to the Lord) and not have to get off until I practice my violin, or am studying horse things. I'm starting out on the Pareli (guaranteed to have spelled that wrong) program, I can't wait because this time around (I have studied it before, but sadly no horse) I can try it on a real horse. Gypsy, my violin teacher's Arabian mare.
I liked Gypsy so much that she's replacing Melody as the horse ridden by Aster the Terrible, which makes me kind of jealous. Gypsy gets to socialize with the Secret Keeper's horse, a powerful warhorse called Nova. Appropriately named because when Nova was younger he was an explosively violent colt and when the Secret Keeper (the wraith mentioned above) was trying to train him all he could think was, what did I do to get cursed with this exploding pony? And that's where Nova's name came from, a nova is an exploding star and Nova is an exploding horse.
I'm sure you can tell that I'm waking up as I write this. Now I need to get to school, there's only 5, give or take, it all seems incredibly long to me, weeks left of 11th grade. I don't think I'll make it, but I need to survive at least long enough to get Twisted back from Danyelle Ferguson, my editor, I can't wait, I was expecting an editor to be stiff and a little stuck up, but nope, Danyelle is totally great, five stars for her service so far, I feel totally at ease with her looking over my precious...uh, I mean book.
This is by BrunuhVille, I've fallen in love with this music, and I like sharing the amazing music I find on YouTube with you guys. Just sharing the love of music (Which I do indeed love :D) Enjoy this, though it may make you cry. It's called Our Farewell and I downloaded it from iTunes after listening to it twice. Here's the YouTube page in case you want more
And another great artist Bevani this is her cover of Moon Trance by Lindsey Stirling. Her YouTube page she has a more recent one of Crystalize that you should check out, comment on, share :) I'm not trying to force this down your throat, just sharing with you some amazing musicians that I've found on YouTube in case you might find them as awesome as I do. ;)
Here's Lindsey's movie, a little creepy because it's about zombies (ugh! again with the zombies! Wraiths are so much cooler! Sorry guys, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island leveled my respect for zombies about a 0% No reason for you to not like them, I just choose not to :D) Love the music though, here's her YouTube page, I love her current video of Radio Active, it's my alarm on my iPod, makes getting up worth it. :)
Remember to Carpe Diem :)
Now I'm off to history :p I hope I can survive, I may be a zombie by the end of today.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Frizzies, waiting and Merida

I'm in mode of waiting and I'm kind of sick of it.
I'm waiting for my book to be edited, I've been waiting since December. I'm waiting to find out what's making me sick and I'm also waiting for breakfast, which is pancakes and I've been up since 5 and it's nearly 9 now and I'm starving. ;)
But hey, at least I don't have to wait for spring anymore a nice 48 degrees is a major improvement considering it was snowing a couple weeks ago. Utah, the land of ever changing weather. I wish it would change to be 70 degrees, but that's just me and because I wished for warmer weather, it's probably going to snow in June.
I also wish that I could change shampoos, my hair is naturally frizzy and curly (think Merida) and the shampoo I'm using ironically is supposed to get rid of frizzies but it's causing them. I feel like my whole head is exploding before I can tame it with a straightener. I feel sorry for Merida, I'd go insane if I couldn't straighten my hair.
(Note, NOT my picture, but that's what my hair looks like on a bad day, seriously, that red and that curly)
Ah, finally the call for breakfast.
Oh and far as the recital went, I think I did okay. I upload the video of it onto YouTube one of these days, just not the second one. I messed up so abdly on that, I don't even want to watch it! Funny how I can play a song perfectly fine on my own, but in front of a million people (okay, more like 20) I freeze up and can barely put my fingers on my violin's strings? Makes me glad I'm not Lindsey Stirling, if I played in front of 9,000 people, I'd get up there, start playing Moon Trance and then pass out cold with Drew and Gavi trying to keep the song going.
But you know it'd be a big hit on YouTube, "Terrified violinist passes out cold during concert." Lindsey is absolutely amazing because she keeps going no matter how nervous she is. She's like my musician hero :)
anyway, time for breakfast, pardon the spelling errors, but I want to eat. Carpe diem people :)
BTW, this is Lindsey's Transcendence movie, I love the music and the meaning just hits me home. I've gone through something like what Lindsey did so this song means a lot to me :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ah Wednesday, Oh Wait, It's Wednesday :(

Woke up this morning and realized a very important fact, it's Wednesday and it's been a slow week. I think it should be Thursday so tomorrow will be Friday, but hey, I finished the painful first draft of a book yesterday! Wooo! Always worth celebrating when you finish a book, I advice, chocolate, makes up for those hours you spent banging your head against a wall in frustration.
Aside from being Wednesday, today is also a recital where I get to play my violin in front of a lot of people and I'm not good under pressure like that. Last time (back in December) I was shaking so badly I could hardly bow and then nearly made myself pass out with fear when I messed up. I'm trying to buoy myself up with happy thoughts, or you know, at least pretending that I'm one of my characters in that shaky position (this character is named Payton Jamison Hawkins, little spitfire in the flesh, but he has the same problem I do, doesn't do well with a lot of eyes staring at him) I do the whole 'pretend I'm one of my characters' thing a lot.
Anyway, I hope I don't pass out tonight, that'd be bad, and I'm constantly afraid of injuring my violin, first off, I love playing it and I'd miss it if I couldn't and second off, it was really expensive! Yeah, I think I'll just look at my fingers instead of the all the people staring at me, but I guess we'll see how well I do :)
So, for those of you writing a horrible first draft that makes you want to throw up because of the cheesiness, here's my advice. You ever had a Subway sandwich without cheese? Doesn't it seem to be missing something? To get the whole experience, you need the cheese, and with each draft you write, you'll get more flavor in there so that the cheesiness isn't so overpowering. Every book is a little cheesy here and there, I know mine are (but rarely, haha, kidding :D) in some places, but I've worked hard to add a variety of flavors. Too much cheese is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant, too little, and it's lacking something, and yes, I'm a big fan of Subway.
Okay, hopefully my advice will help you, and I need to go start on History. *Discrete cough of disgust* I'm not fond of history, I mean I LIKE learning about the past, but not the way that some teachers teach it. A monotone is NOT required to be a history teacher, show some expression seriously! And on top of that, I'm learning about present world history, and that just makes me depressed, I'm a pessimist, naturally and when I hear about all the painful ways that we could get blown up by nukes, my pessimism just gets worse.
Which reminds me of a quote, I have no idea who said it, "Dear pessimist and optimist, while you were discussing whether the glass was half empty or half full, I drank it. Sincerely yours, the opportunist."
Sounds a little like Aster the Terrible, but I think he'd just dump it over their heads to shut them up :)
This music is made by Adrian Von Ziegler (hope I spelled that right!) I'm in total awe over his talent. I love his music, not so fond of the pictures used in the background, but the music just makes my jaw drop. It's good for writing music, if you're looking for some. here's a link to his YouTube page if you want more. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Finally Here!

I'm ecstatic, finally! The 23rd is nearly here! My book is going to be sent to the editor tomorrow. I can hardly wait, I hearing what people liked about my book, and less so about what they didn't like, but if it makes for a good book, I'm willing to take it. :)
Anyway, here are the long awaited results for my driver's test. I wasn't even nervous for it until I sat in the car and realized what I was doing, it was also pretty hard because I'm used to driving an old vintage Plymouth Voyager that they probably don't even make anymore, so when I hopped in a brand new car, I was so confused to where everything was, I could find the seat belt and the steering wheel and that was about it. I couldn't even figure out how to adjust the seat, the lady giving me the test probably thought I was an absolute hoot when I asked how to adjust the seat. Here's for old-fashioned cars >:(
The test only took fifteen minutes, and I had to parallel park (which I failed at) pull a U-turn (which I think I did rather well on) and then pull next to a curb, (I also failed at that) then we drove back and I finally figured out where the speedometer was as we were finishing the test. I was shaking as we pulled into the parking lot, and I failed at parking, and then I could barely hold the pen and the clipboard to sign the piece of paper that she'd been marking me on.
I'm betting I know what you're predicting here. I wrote failed three times, and sadly out of the 21 possible points that I could have missed and still passed, I missed 16, so I like totally passed!!!
Okay granted, if I had made anymore mistakes, it would have been a failure, but I'm pretty happy with my results, scraping it by, oh yeah.
I'm officially licensed and can terrorize Utah roads. Oh yeah. It only took me a year to get and I'm nearly eighteen, so that's pretty lame, my older sister had her license at sixteen. Oh and to celebrate the fact that I got my license, I nearly got in a car crash, so I'm not overly excited about driving, and the fact that I've nearly been hit by Trax several times does not help. I freak every time the stupid rail road crossing lights turn on. I live right next to one of the stations, so I have top pass by at least one crossing to escape the suburbs where I live. Yippee.
I can hop onto a 1200 pound Thoroughbred horse and remain perfectly calm when he panics, but I panic when I cross a railroad crossing? Go figure, right?
But hey, at least I have a license! And this has taught me an important lesson, stop freaking out! Seriously, I know more than I realize! Becoming an author has turned me into a perfectionist, it helps when I calm down a little and realize, I'm only human and therefore I'm allowed to make mistakes.
Even 16 points worth of mistakes on the driver's test. At least I passed, now whether or not my parents will actually let me drive on my own is quite another question. :)

Friday, April 19, 2013


So today I'm taking my driver's test and I can't say that I'm very excited. You see, have this bad habit of blowing tests, or at least you know math tests. I'm nervous that I'm going to fail and the state will not see it fit to ever turn me loose on the roads.
By the fact that I'm being really dramatic, you can probably tell that I'm not looking forward to this in the least, but oh well. Pain is often the price for the best things in life.
So explain why getting up for school is so painful? ;)
Anyway, remember my whiny session yesterday, I wrote the essay and I'm going to post it here for two reasons
1. So when I actually quote it, you guys will know what I'm talking about and can laugh.
2. I have a habit of losing old essays, so here, it will be preserved forever.
So here it is, my essay with the essay instructions at the top. And have you realized I've just started three paragraphs with so? Sooo annoying! :)

Prompt 2: Imagine you are a published author. You have received a lucrative contract to write a novel in the next year. You will be interviewed about your upcoming novel. In preparation for the interview, they have sent you a series of questions. To prepare for the interview, write the answers to the following questions.

What will you choose to write about? 
What obstacles might you face?
How do you develop your characters?
How will you choose the setting?
What literary techniques do you commonly use?  Foreshadowing?  Flashback?
Have you ever had writer’s block? What would you do to overcome this? 
Do you make a schedule of writing?
How will you stay on schedule?
What most excites you as you begin the process of writing?

Prompt 2

Hi, I’m Tayla Durham and the book that I’m writing is called Twisted. I’m pretty passionate about what I do. So passionate in fact, people probably call me crazy behind my back. I spend hours upon end staring at a computer screen as I type one…slow…letter…at…a…time, but this is me. I can’t go without writing; it’d be like trying to go without air.

The obstacles I face are pretty intense. First off, time is a major pain. I used to get by with just writing in the afternoon after school, I’ve been writing through junior high and the first two years in high school like this, but then things changed. During the summer after tenth grade, I started waking up really early to write. I’d exercise and then it was straight to my computer. I didn’t know it at the time but doing this would save me a lot of pain when eleventh grade started and I started running out of time in the afternoon. I generally try to write a chapter and a half every day, that gets difficult when I only have two hours to write and it takes four hours to write a single chapter!

Another roadblock that I face all the time is writer’s block. It’s a killer. It can take me hours to get past it, and during that time, I’m struggling and pounding my face into a wall (not really, but I get tempted) and then I get extremely grouchy. My sister once complained to me that she can tell when I’m going through writer’s block because I’m so grouchy! Usually, I just keep writing, or I take a break and walk around to get my creative juices flowing, other times I just turn my back on my computer and wish I’d taken up knitting instead of writing. I get through it, but it still feels like I’m getting dragged behind a truck and trying to pull myself into the trunk while it’s doing sixty on the freeway. Ouch.

I could probably go on forever about challenges, but to save you the time of listening to me complain, I’ll just move on. I develop my characters by writing. Yeah, just by writing. I let them develop themselves. I do take a lot of time to think about what I want them to become, and most of the time, the change just happens, there’s no big epiphany and I leave it up to the readers to spot it. I love doing this, I used to struggle to do it, and practically held my characters at sword point while screaming, “Change!” but characters are like people, they hate being told what to do. Especially one of my characters called the Secret Keeper, he’s naturally stubborn to begin with, and then I try forcing him to do something, he throws down his foot and I find myself stumbling along without him.

Another way that I develop them is by switching to different point of views. This gives me a different way to look at the story, because each character is inherently different from the other and this gives me room to make them each suffer…I mean develop differently and the reader can see it firsthand. I also like doing this, because seriously, I enjoy the bad guys. In Lord of the Rings I was voting for the Nazgul, in Harry Potter I wanted the dementors to get a bigger part, and so naturally when I got a character like this, I wanted to explore him. I began developing the Secret Keeper from day one, he has the biggest development to go through and so I began writing from his point of view. I was (and still am) amazed at how difficult it was to write from his POV. As a wraith, he definitely does not think the same way we do, and I’ve struggled to show this. He’s so different from my other characters, bipolar to a fault. He’s really where I had to learn to just write. I can’t force it out of him. His changes definitely have to be subtle.

No matter how painful that may be.

So now off of character development and onto literary devices. I personally believe that a good book is one that is all connected. I’ve mentioned this on my blog; I enjoy a good book that is tied from start to finish. I want to be able to pull on one string and yank something in a different book. No random starts, I hate it when an author tosses something into a book because it looks good. Biggest example that I can think of is when an author threw in the idea that one of his characters was afraid of tight spaces and he had never mentioned this before in the eight other books in the series! That’s one of the reasons I purposefully throw in foreshadowing everywhere I can.

I try to keep my foreshadowing simple. A phrase, a sentence here and there. I try to foreshadow things at the end of the series as well as at the end of the book. Like for instance, to foreshadow one of the characters coming down with malaria, I’m going to put into my books that he simply gets eaten by mosquitoes, and then Allie’s father, a sailor by trade, talks about how five of his crewmen came down with malaria. It’s foreshadowed twice, no doubting about what’s going to happen, but the readers won’t guess it until it actually happens. This is the best kind of foreshadowing, sadly, I kind of suck at it. J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan are two authors that are so much better at this than me. I respect them both for their amazing books.

Along with foreshadowing, I use a lot of flashbacks. Usually, they happen without the usual indication that there’s going to be a flashback. I just start writing letting it flow out of the characters. We as humans naturally flashback on things that have happened to us in the past, I try to show this through my characters.

I read once that it’s one thing to tell what’s going on, but it’s quite another to show. I find that both work, you need to tell and you need to show, but in the case of characterization, I prefer to show. I can do this through flashbacks because it shows the characters as they were so you can understand how they are. It’s better than telling because the reader can really understand what the character went through to get to where he is for good or for bad. It’s more personal to use flashbacks.

As for setting, I just let it happen. Most of the time the setting is in my head, greatly resembling places I’ve actually been. Like for the scene where Chikego (a wraith) chases Aster, Allie and Maffio through the darkness of Robin Woods. This scene was really created when I went camping and when the sun went down, I looked at the trees and was pretty awestruck at just how dark it was. I could barely see the trees, forget a being of darkness. Other times I pick a setting that will reflect the mood of the scene, dark places for characters of darkness, lighter settings for characters that aren’t as evil. I try to develop my setting so that it seems like the characters are walking in a real place, and not a partially developed map. I love having images of where the characters are in my mind, but I don’t want to dictate, the reader’s imagination is the best place to develop the setting, I just point it in a certain direction on occasion.

Now, onto my writing schedule. Yikes. This can be kind of hectic. I generally wake up at five in the morning (four fifty-eight if you want to be precise, my clock is slightly ahead) so that I can exercise early in the morning and then write. Usually I write from six to seven thirty in the morning before getting ready for school, then after school I write for all I can during the afternoon before exercising again (I believe close to an hour is necessary and usually I’m so dippy in the morning I can only manage twenty minutes before getting grouchy) and practicing my violin. I fit in all I can, often times writing pretty late into the night to get my full chapter and a half. Needless to say, a chapter and a half doesn’t seem like a lot, but on bad days, it’s immense, but I just have to do it. I won’t quit.

What gets me excited about writing? Hmm. I love creating my own worlds with my own rules. I love developing those worlds and sharing them with people. I also love my characters; each one has a little bit of me so it’s like a big party with me, although sometimes I can drive myself crazy! Writing is so personal for me and sometimes I don’t like to share it because there’s so much of me in there. If you took all the characters and looked at them, you’d see all my insecurities, my joys, my pains, my blah moments. For instance, if you looked at Allie, Aster and the Secret Keeper and how all three of them are more than a little anti-social and unwilling to interact, you can see how I feel sometimes. Insecure, lonely, ignored because I’m different, yeah, like that, and on the flip side, if you take a good look at Amaarzar, you can see how hard it is for me to let go of a grudge sometimes. But unlike Amaarzar, I don’t let it eat me until I’m something like him.

See what I mean? I’m passionate, I love talking about my characters. They’re all so unique and at the same time like me! I love developing them and sending them on the crazy adventures I’d never be brave enough to survive. I’d never get brave enough to backtalk a wraith like the Secret Keeper, I might get annoyed enough, but I couldn’t hold my ground for long, not like how Aster did. That’s what gets me excited, having my characters do the things I’m scared to the dickens to do!

Though, I think the best thing is the idea that my world, my characters and my story will be in the hands of readers someday. I can’t wait to see where my story will take them. Will it inspire them to write? Will it inspire them to reach higher? Will it inspire them to start reading more? This is why I enjoy getting comments on my story, it’s nice to be told that my story made someone’s day, that it made them laugh and helped them forget their own trials. As an author, this is the best thing I can hope for, that my words will inspire at least one person.
So that's the end.
Anyway, wish me luck for my driver's tests. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll do something right. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Feeling Dragged Back

You ever had a moment like this? You're moseying along perfectly fine with yourself when suddenly, out of the blue, wham! you're smacked by something that knocks you off your feet and just like that, you're no longer walking, you're staring up at the sky wondering what the heck just happened.
That just happened to me.
I learned about several modern-day writers today in English and as I watched I started to feel slightly unworthy of the title of author. Those little snarky doubts that I have to work so hard to dispel started to work their way back inside of me.
You're not good enough to be like them.
No one will like your work.
Bananas write better novels than you.
You should just give up.
Ouch. Funny thing though, since it's me doing this to myself. I know I'm not perfect, I still mess up on things and even now as I'm going through and reading Twisted I'm shocked at how many mistakes there are that I conveniently missed while it was on my computer downstairs (I'm on a different one now, my computer doesn't get Internet, house rules and I'm not going to disappoint my mother by wiring my computer to get Internet, so I just go with this) maybe it's the change in lighting, or that I'm looking at a different computer screen, but I can't help but see how much needs to be fixed.
Ouch again.
I noticed that since I started writing three years ago, I've become a perfectionist and I wonder, how will I know when it's good enough? Or will I just keep rewriting until I've driven myself insane and have to be dragged away in a straitjacket?
And here's the bigger worry,
Even if I do publish, what if no one reads my book? What if I just wasted two years of my life as a hermit practically writing, rewriting and daydreaming about these books? What if people do read it and hate it!?
See, this is why I generally don't go down that road, too many thoughts. Too deep in and I may quit out of frustration. (Only to restart in about an hour. My characters won't let me quit, and neither will my family or friends. Still I get worried, can't help it.)
And now I have to write an essay for English talking about this, here's the essay format

Prompt 2: Imagine you are a published author. You have received a lucrative contract to write a novel in the next year. You will be interviewed about your upcoming novel. In preparation for the interview, they have sent you a series of questions. To prepare for the interview, write the answers to the following questions.

What will you choose to write about? 
What obstacles might you face?
How do you develop your characters?
How will you choose the setting?
What literary techniques do you commonly use?  Foreshadowing?  Flashback?
Have you ever had writer’s block? What would you do to overcome this? 
Do you make a schedule of writing?
How will you stay on schedule?
What most excites you as you begin the process of writing?

 Brainhoney or elearning owns this and wrote it, not me. But I swear to all the readers of this blog, if I ever get asked these questions, I will quote the essay I will write word for word and you will all hear it and laugh at me. I give you permission, rude, obnoxious laughter followed closely by a big fat, "I told you so!"
Okay, so maybe I won't enjoy the whole rude laughter, but I still think it'd be funny, especially when right now, I doubt I'll even sell a single copy. I'm self-publishing, how far can a self-published author even go?
Oops, there I go again. Doubting Tayla, it should be my new nickname. :(
Persistence. It's all about persistence. A lot of persistence, I went on trek two years ago and for those of you who don't know, trek can either be considered a lot of fun, or full of a lot of brainless teenagers. Basically, we're recreating what our pioneer ancestors went through, we pull handcarts over 35 miles of terrain over the space of four (or three, I can't remember) days. Sounds nuts, I still can't figure out why, but it was one of the last times I went anywhere with my older sister and it was just us, so I enjoyed it.
Anyway, I feel like I'm pulling a handcart of doubts by myself. I had to pull one of those suckers in the front, by myself. It was so heavy I couldn't pull it very far or very fast. That's how I feel now, and the doubts aren't helping, they're dragging me back instead of pushing me on.
I know, me whining, but these doubts are very real, and I don't know what else to do with them. Sigh, I guess I'm in a 'down' of writing, but at least there's always an 'up' to look forward to. When you go down, you always go up, unless of course, you get stuck in between, then it kind of sucks.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trying to Drag This On

Yesterday was very awkward.
Like I said in my Monday post, I had to go to another doctor about this recent issue concerning heart problems. They basically did the same thing as all the other doctors did. Took an EKG (extremely awkward, I won't say anything past that :D) and then they worked on their own time frame and made my dad, my sister, and me wait for nearly an hour before the doctor finally showed his face for like five minutes.
Of course you know, my heart does not palpitate on command and they need to see what it's doing as it palpitates to figure out what the heck is going on with it. And because my heart loves me SOOO much, it had to palpitate five seconds (ish) after the EKG was over. Come on!
How did they solve this problem? Well, they hooked me up with at Holt (or Holter, can't remember which!) monitor which is basically the size of an ancient MP3 player that can't play music or do anything beyond measure a heartbeat and wired me up like everywhere on my chest (okay, it's only four places, but it feels like everywhere!) and was told that I have to live with this sucker stuck to me for 24 hours, I know, I know. End of the world. Whine, whine, whine :) actually I didn't do much but sulk and felt like I was wasting my parent's money over something that's nothing.
Anyway 2 hours to go and I can get rid of the Holt/Holter monitor so we can send it back and the doctor can look at it and see what's going on. I hope that they'll be able to figure it out, it's been a bumpy month since this started and I'd like to end it, but eh, you know, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. :)
Yeah, that's the story of my life right now. I barely managed to do anything productive yesterday because I didn't want to move, I was so tired, but extremely grateful. See, in my books, I've got this joke going with a certain chapter, I'm not giving anything away, but let's just say that this chapter was ridiculously short which was nice and then I wrote five pages of the next chapter which was also nice. (I only write about a chapter and a half everyday, doesn't seem like much, but you can get close to 100 pages a week like this! Depending on how long your chapters are...mine are only 8-14 pages long and sometimes I get lazy and don't want to start a new one, I have a couple chapters that are 26 pages long!) anyway, the short chapter helped immensely. I just hunkered in my bed and read Percy Jackson and watched Little House on the Prairie. Ah, I love Wi-Fi.
Anyway, I'm trying to drag out this morning to 9:45 when I can take the monitor off. I'm super groggy because I didn't sleep well last night, and I'm also extremely dizzy. Hopefully I can pull myself together long enough to finish school and then I think I'm going back to bed.
Oh and special thanks to MeganChocolate for following my blog. (And to Kanai, sorry, probably butchered that!) I like knowing that people are reading this. :)
And thanks for all your comments Rachel and Allie. I love them and try to reply, but yesterday. uck. Yeah, long story short, I really wasn't in any condition to type anything intelligent!
And Rachel, I hope this is my break into the publishing world as well. All my fingers are crossed, along with my toes. Best of luck with your books. :)
This describes how I do NOT feel right now.
This is Tiffany Alvord singing, here is her YouTube page in case you want more, she keeps it pretty clean, so don't worry.
And now, I'm done, writing...zzz

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hello Monday

I'm unbelievably happy to have something to write. It makes me happy to know that I have a plot to weave and not just long hours spent in front of my computer beating my forehead into the screen because I don't have anything.
It's nice.
I'm on the first draft of a new book, and even though I've written at least 11 of these suckers for various books, I can't say it gets any easier. Sure I understand now that I'm not getting published on the first draft (I made the mistake once of thinking I could get away with it, reread and decided I couldn't) but that doesn't help much when I'm thinking about how my readers will choke over that cheesy scene, gag over the next one etc. It takes persistence to keep writing a first draft, they're supposed to be ugly, full of holes and gasping for breath by the time you finish.
It's like an intense workout, you don't get strong if you don't suffer, but you're incredibly happy by the time you finish and can take a break!
Oh and a happy note. My older sister finished her semester in college last Thursday. She's my writing buddy, and we have friendly (and sometimes less so) competitions on who can finish their books first, granted winner doesn't get anything over the loser, but it's still a good way to get those creative juices flowing when she says that she's got two chapters ahead of me! :)
And then on a less happy note, I'm still having heart problems (at 17!? Come on!) and it's making me dizzy and nauseous and last Saturday chest pain was added into the picture. I have to go to the doctor's tomorrow at 8 in the morning so they can run more tests. I'm not sure how I should feel, scared? Upset? Annoyed even? I've seen two doctors about this and they kept telling me that it's nothing, growing pain even. Um I've grown up as tall as I'm going to get (5'4, lame, my younger brother is taller than me!) how can it be growing pains!?
Anyway, we're a week away from sending my book to an editor. I've got my fingers crossed that she'll like it, I did spend the last two years on it and I'm kind of hoping to finally get something published this year. I've spent the last 7 years trying to. Hopefully fixing my book after the editing won't cause me to throw in the towel, I know it's tough to look at what has been pointed out to you as wrong. A good friend read my book for me and sent me 15 pages of advice on what to fix, at first I was shocked and stammering to make excuses, but then I had to sit down (literally, I couldn't stop pacing because my brain was moving too quickly) and realize the facts, my friend was right, she could see what my brain refused to accept about my precious manuscript. But that didn't stop it from being any less painful or making me feel any less stupid for missing the things my friend pointed out.
I'm glad she took the time to read my book and send me 15 pages worth of advice, the questions she posed and the things she pointed out helped me write a much better draft.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but it probably will give you a headache as you go through it :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Long Week Finally (thankfully) Over

The title says it all. It's been a really long week.
School has literally been killing me, I'm glad that it's finally (almost) the weekend. Do teachers ENJOY trying to murder their students so that they'll have less work to do? I know that some don't, but others...well you have to wonder, the homework load they give out, yikes. Overkill, and busywork. I hate busywork.
Anyway, yesterday, I was talking to my younger sister who is an avid fan of my boots (one fan out of several, (IE, my wonderful family and friends)) she said that she really didn't start reading until she read Twisted (my book, naturally) and once she read Twisted she couldn't get enough of reading. This little girl read my entire book series in less than two months. She read the entire Harry Potter series in two weeks, (I still haven't managed to do that, I don't like the fifth one, (SPOILER ALERT!) I can't get over the fact that Sirius dies. He was my favorite character and then he was just, gone, pardon me, I need to find a Kleenex, *sniff) and I just started my sister on the Percy Jackson series yesterday, I wonder if she can read all eight that Rick Riordan has out, I'm trying to do that, seriously, need a good book, go read Percy Jackson, it's a real pick-me-up that's for sure.
And she got started on all this because she read Twisted.
I personally am a bookworm, if it's worth reading, I'll eat that sucker, hence the bookworm. If you want to write well, you need to read, and on top of that, reading is highly addicting, I love it, can't get enough of a good book. I can't get enough of writing a good book either, I can sit at my computer for hours on end, cheerfully typing away, I generally come up for air around 4:00 when I practice my violin and then I'm diving back into my word of Twisted.
What I really love is a book that makes you think afterwards, Tuesdays at the Castle made me think, it made me sad, it made me happy, best kind of book. I love words.
Okay, so now I'm rambling. I should just finish that essay in English that has been giving me a crick in the neck since yesterday when it was assigned, I love words except when they're in essay form. If I have to write another analytical essay, I think I'll explode.
Here's for the written word :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


You know how one certain thing can just make or break your day? I had a moment like that yesterday, and it made my day. This kid in my class (the class that I'm not fond of ) who keeps...I'm not sure what to call it, um...stalking? No that's not the right word, but you get the idea right? He sat by me yesterday.
I sat in the back because I was thinking like "I'll sit back here because no one else wants me to sit by them. Grrowl." Five seconds after I had sat down, here came Justin who sat down in the desk opposite me and said, "So what's up?"
I was amazed.
I was astounded.
I was also kicking myself for being so faithless. God was obviously watching over me and knew that I needed a friend. Duh. Stupid me for doubting Him. :)
Anyway, Justin and I talked on an off throughout class (don't worry, it was a sub who yells and yells and yells, so really all I got was RAARARARARA!!!) we talked about dragon rings, how rings can turn your fingers colors (he was wearing a dragon ring, awesome) and then he looked at what I was drawing, a kelpie in water and that started us on Greek mythology (go Percy Jackson!!!) and then of course, we went on dragons.
He even walked out of the classroom, chased me down to finish talking.
This has never happened to me before. NEVER. The only other person I remember actually chasing me down to talk was Kimmy, in third grade and only because her friend was absent that day. Third grade and eleventh are quite a ways apart. I haven't really made any friends since then, except for two amazing friends that I'm extremely grateful for, the only problem is that they don't go to the same school as me.
So that's all, just thought I'd write about something positive that happened in this class, aside from getting yelled at through the whole thing. :)
Thirteen days away from sending my book to the editor (Danyelle Ferguson, link to her editing page, if you're looking for an editor, she responds pretty quickly.) Sigh. It's going to be an incredibly long thirteen days.
And here's a video I found on YouTube when I was looking for something to accompany my violin playing, just to see if I could.
Amazing playing credits go to Samantha Gray.
Want more from these amazing musicians? their current video is Skyscraper by Demi Lovato, I'd check it out, looks promising. :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

First day of a new week

I've discovered a neat little fact, there are only 8 more weeks left of school. I'm super excited, I think 11th grade has been the hardest grade on me so far. I hope my senior year will be better, I mean, it's the last year of official schooling!
Rats, I just realized how old I am. I turn 18 this year.
Do I officially qualify as grown up?
I'm mildly curious about this fact. When are you officially "grown up?" When do you have to stop saying, "when I grown up?"
I used to say that with my sister, she's 19 now, and it seemed so old until I realized that I'll be turning 19 next year. Yikes. The prospect of being so close to being a 20-something is almost scary.
At least I will be out of "the grades." Haha. Only one more year worth of High School Drama, the real version of High School Musical. The only real time it was a musical was when I wanted to sing, "You're Not Sorry" by Taylor Swift to one of my classes, but I would have just been looked at weird and I seriously doubt I'd get any background singers like what mysteriously happens in Disney Channel movies. That annoys me, seriously.
Anyway, now that I'm going through a teenage age crisis, I'm happy to announce that I have FINALLY gotten back into writing. I went through a major slump for about 2 weeks where everything I wrote was trash. I was incredibly frustrated. I started two books, got stuck at approximately the same place, I do plan on going back to them, but right now, I'm still in a Twisted mindset.
So I'm finally going to finish out the series.
Originally, I only planned on having 3 books. No more, no less. Everything fit in perfectly, where it all goes, eh...I'm still trying to figure that out, but that's half the fun.
And then I realized, I couldn't leave it where I did, or I at least knew that I wouldn't be happy with it ending right there.
And I needed to leave room for a character to redeem himself.
And I needed to tie off that loose end.
And I'm not ready to let go.
Call me possessed, but I'm addicted to my books. They are my precious, or at least my journals because I hate writing in journals, (so what's this blog? Uh...) where my emotions come out in friendlier ways that me writing in bold letters I HATE SO AND SO THEY ARE SO MEAN. Eventually, your hand gets cramped after writing so many bolded letters.
Anyway, so the series ends after an enormous war. The Four Kingdoms are trying to pull themselves back together when I end the books, everything looks hunky-dory, or at least it did until I began writing the fourth book and realized that it wasn't.
These questions are ones I can't ignore, ones my readers would probably send me.
What happens after the war?
Is everyone really happy?
What effects do the war have on the Four Kingdoms?
What about Allie and her new boyfriend? What happens to them?
Does Aster ever get a love life?
Are you seriously going to leave it like this?
My answer to the last question, no, I'm not. I can't. So I'm being smart, I'm writing the "after the happy ending" book BEFORE I publish the whole series, that way everything is already foreshadowed. Haha. I hate when authors make a lot of money off the book that was originally going to stand as a single, and then they go "Hey, I'll make some major $$$ if I write another!"
And so they do it without any sort of foreshadowing at all from the first book. I hate it! I like books to be tied together so if you pull on one string in one book, you yank on the whole series, instead of finding a bunch of loose threads.
Yeah, that's all. I told you I'd have more to writing on Monday :)
Random writing thought,
You know you're a writing nerd when you make sure your notes from a lecture are grammatically correct and written in full sentences. :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Sorry for my lack of a post yesterday. I didn't feel like posting and it was the last day of spring break so I decided to enjoy it. :)
Anyway, I don't have much to say today, just letting you know that I'm still here, just lazy.  I'll probably have more to say on Monday, which I'm kind of dreading because it means straight back to the class that I hate. Wahoo, I'm ecstatic, as I'm sure you can tell. :(
Less than a month before Twisted gets edited, I'm anxious until that time. I've also been reading through it and laughing my heads off at Aster's antics, I love those lines you forgot you put in and laugh so hard at later! It makes my day to read those.
Enjoy your Saturday.
Three months (ish) until summer vacation. I can hardly wait.
Another speed painting of my favorite animal. I love drawing horses, but I'm certainly not this good! (At least not when I WANT to be anyway!)
Smile :)!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Confessions of a write-a-holic

Can I just say right now that I'm enjoying a break from school? It's enormous fun to be able to sleep in 'til 9:00 when I normally get up at 5:00!
Yes! Loving it!
Anyway, another thing that I'm loving is the fact that since characters are so universal, you can take a couple that normally exist in a medieval type setting and then modernize them and they stay pretty much the same in attitude and appearance!
I can't really lie here, I have this character (Aster the Terrible, perhaps you've heard of him) that I'm addicted to. When I'm having a bad day, I just write from his POV (fancy way of saying point of view) and voila! The world is so much better! Aster is like my go-to guy for sarcastic humor, his attitude is so much like mine, it's hilarious and his antics keep me laughing so hard it's difficult to keep writing.
Need I just say, I love my Aster the Terrible. He's like the dorky older brother we all love and hate at the same time, and the best part is, he's as short as I am, and has the same flaming red hair! Only I didn't curse him as badly, his hair isn't as explosive as mine (some days I have Merida hair, you know from Disney's Brave? Her hair drove me crazy through the whole movie! If my hair were that long I'd only leave it out if it were straight, otherwise it's braids for you sucker!) but yeah, you get the gist. Aster is like the twin I'd have if me and my older sister weren't so close. :)
And the best part is, even though I'm taking a break from writing the Twisted series, I can still have my Aster the Terrible humor because (hehe, dork moment) I modernized him! Yay! Same character, only a different name, he goes by Cody in the modern world.
What does this have to do with anything, eh nothing. Just a confession that I realized yesterday, I'm addicted to one of my characters.
Confession of a write-a-holic.
Anyway, so this is a series of movies that Pivotdiddyx on YouTube drew on request. It's awesome! Here's an artist who really knows how to draw! And yes, this is the Witch King, I'm trying to figure out how to draw wraiths (they're tricky! Believe it or not, not as though they'd WANT to be easy for us living to draw :D) so I like watching other people draw it, and I like Pivotdiddyx the best because this is the ONLY YouTuber who has responded to a request with kindness. Thanks Pivotdiddyx, keep it up.
Part one
Part four
For some reason parts 2 and 3 are evading me, so you can go look it up if you want.
And I've got another confession, I actually like Lord of the Rings. Shhh! don't tell my siblings! :)
Here's the link to YouTube to watch,
Not sure if it'll work, linking and stuff like that positively hates me.
Want more from Pedro-d?
There's the deviantART page, I'm going to buy the Witch King drawing as soon as I get around to it and break part with my remaining fiver. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Finally Happy

So it's spring break! And officially December 1st!
Haha, gotcha, April Fool's (did I fool you with the lameness of that joke? But not really, it's actually spring break.) I'm ecstatic, I've been so sick of school, the thought of having a few days off is enough to make me do a happy dance. :)
And as for the grouchiness of my last post, I apologize, I sounded extremely ungrateful, and grouchy! I'm glad now that I'm okay, and for the record, I'm a bit of a whiner (sad to say, but true) and if it had been something bad, I would have whined about that. I'm happy everything is going to be okay, I'm sorry if I offended everyone, it was a bit of a shock to go through all that worry and learn it was over nothing, now I'm finding it kind of funny, the ultimate molehill into a mountain wouldn't you say?
Anyway, I had a wonderful weekend, and I FINALLY found something to write, it's another modernized version of my Twisted characters. I'm finding it so much fun to do this, my characters that are normally dressed in baggy clothes, dirty, and knee-high boots are wearing jeans! And t-shirts! A nice sight because in my mind, a lot of them look GREAT in jeans. This book is going to take a bit of researching because in it, one of my characters (gosh darn it! the cutest one too!) gets paralyzed from the waist down and I have no idea about paralysis, shame though. That boy was fine, and he's right in my age group (granted, yes, he's all in my mind, but isn't that where the perfect boy usually exists?)
I've also managed to make my vibrato on my violin sound good, well at least good enough that I'm not shaking my own brains out by doing it, I've also developed a bit of a taste for trying out new music. I eat through the stuff I have, play it to death and then I need more, I kind of feel like a ghoul on the rampage. :)
Oh want a sad/funny story?
So my story deals with a lot of undead beings right? (Don't worry! It's clean, and I DO NOT like dark stories, so why would I write one??? I have my Aster the Terrible to balance things out!) anyway, so I didn't realize that ghouls don't have the power of speech! So, one night while I was actually thinking about it and realizing, 'hey, don't the undead feel left out from us living? Why? They can communicate...oh wait, ghouls can't talk, can they?' This led to some research on Google and discovering, nope, ghouls do not posses the power of speech. Oops. I had to edit quite a bit out, and introduce one of the Terrors of the Sands sooner than I'd hoped, but do what you've got to do, and for us authors, that can be kind of painful at times. :)
Oh, special shout out to Rachel K. Johnson, thank you for commenting on my blog :) it makes me happy to know that someone is reading it, and thank you for answering my question about back story at the start of the story. It's just a balance right? Thanks :)