parallax23: (reading)
Well, while driving in my neighborhood today, I saw someone had graffiti-ed something unusual onto the garage door of a house by my train station.  It wasn't the usual street tags or random messages, but a literary quote. (Gentrification in action!)

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -- Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath has been one of my favorite writers since high school.  In fact, that particular quote has been on my fanfiction.net profile since I joined the site.  It's actually in the second entry I've ever posted on LJ back in 2008...

I started my sketch writing class last Monday, and our first sketch is due next Monday.  I got a little stuck on writing it, then all of a sudden, two days ago crazy, quirky things started happening around me again...  My life was pretty boring for a while... Okay, looking back, maybe it wasn't.  For the past year, my life could put an entire season of Girls to shame.  Talk about strange coincidences. 
parallax23: (sweet)
While I was working on Alter the Ending, I stumbled onto the Wildfire TV series again.  (Seriously, what is my deal with dead fandoms?  This is the second one revolving around 2008, the year the show ended.  El Internado Seasons 3 to 7 took place in 2008.  I started writing Dark Angel fanfic in 2008.  I graduated from college in 2008.  Clearly, I have a subconscious problem.)  After watching the show all over again, I wrote a random post-series fic for the show, The Shortest Distance,  that was supposed to be a 'one-shot.'  Now that I'm typing it up, it's actually longer than I realized...  I'm somehow up to a third chapter now, and that's the midpoint!  When I wrote it, it was just a free flow into a notebook that I had, which ran a couple of pages because I thought it would be one chapter.  I blame the long commute, but this is a good thing / bad thing situation - it's good because this is shows that I've got the stride to build an entire novel again, but it's bad because it takes a lot of time to work on.  It just needs to be edited and posted, then I'll have more of Alter the Ending typed and also another few one/two-shots for El Internado (Ivan and Julia's wedding, Noiret's funeral, Christmas post-finale, another S4 'Roque finds out about Ivan and Julia' fic, and a fic about between S4 and S5 about how Ivan and Julia began dating, summer scenes), then it's lights out on the fandom.  Okay, I'm looking at that list, and I'm not sure how I wrote that much...  Or how in the world I can edit all of that in a timely manner...

Everything for these fics was pre-written, unlike Dark Angel's series, which I eventually fell behind with over time.  Managing a long running series rather than one-shots is definitely different and more difficult because of the momentum that has to be maintained.  El Internado fics came about by a sheer fluke, and I had no idea that I'd write so much for the fandom.  It's especially ironic because the show isn't in English, not all of fans are Spanish (the show was big in several international markets around the world) and no one reviews.  Sometimes I don't know if that means that I'm a good writer or not.  I thought it would be a waste for these stories to never have anyone read them, so I'm excited that at least I can imagine that someone else in the wide world is deriving some amusement from them.
parallax23: (reading)
I just found out that Netflix released El Internado with subtitles.  Ahead of the pop culture curve again...  Well, it is my job to project people's interest in things and getting the audience to buy what we're selling...  One of my co-workers got drunk and said that I've made it through the mess that is now our workplace because I'm smart.  I suppose so.  What is "smart" really?  Is "smart" always taking the safe road?

Not for the first time in the last few months, I've wondered what my life would be if I had gone to Tisch, instead of Arts & Sciences.  It had come down to a choice one evening when I was seventeen years old and scared about what it would mean for my future to attend an arts program.  I wanted to be a screenwriter back then.  I chose NYU to become a screenwriter...  not a financial analyst.  If I wanted to be in business, I would have gone to Stern.  Heck, that wasn't even an option when I was deciding what to do when I didn't want to go to law school anymore.   Working in film and television was off the table once the recession hit and reality TV was the poison of choice by many networks.  Now with the rise of web based TV, scripted shows are making a comeback.  It makes me wonder if I should have been brave and gone through with the pipe dream from so long ago.  Would it have really been any worse than the jobs I've bounced between over the years?  It would have been a dream come true to be on the writing staff of a show.  Someday to have my own series.

Don't get me wrong, I like what I do.  I'm actually quite good at it, shockingly enough.  It's too late to leave everything behind and start anew in this sort of wild endeavor.  It's the other side of the country and I would need the time and energy to write at least 3 spec scripts.  I don't see that happening anytime soon.  Yesterday, I was discussing with a friend who majored in finance about how he regretted not doing liberal arts, then winging it from there.  I pointed out to him that I did what he was talking about, and it came down to ending up in pretty much the same position, except having to fight harder to get there.  Maybe it's the same thing I'm imagining...
parallax23: (sweet)
I haven't logged into LJ for a while.  I probably haven't written anything worthwhile for much longer.  Grad school ended up consuming my life this year, but I am so excited to be almost done so I can enjoy a bit of time with my head clear.

Since I write on paper, if I don't type it up, no one will see my work. Kind of a Catch-22 if I don't like a story. But I need a real working draft soon.  This might be ambitious, but I started a new fairytale series which would be about 12 books/novellas long.  I'm also toying with a How I Met Your Mother-esque novella that'll be a spin on myself and my friends lives in the city.  I decided that I would use WattPad when I start posting again, because the site seems like a better site and community than FP.  I'm not sure what the status of my Dark Angel fanfic is at the moment.  I'd rather not post the endings just yet.

But for now, final round of grad school midterms!
parallax23: (sweet)
I logged onto my computer for the first time today to see that PlagiarismHaven (which I was ironically going to check out) was closing and the stories I wanted to read were gone.  The year 2012 was really hectic for me, so I didn't get the chance to actually participate much after being accepted into the community.  I also didn't get to read the stories I'd been so enthused to read when I first applied to join (the application process took a while, and so I ended up accepted when I didn't have time to read anything).  It seems that I'm not the only person who had a rough time last year, and I can completely see how life can put strain on writers.  Being an adult does things to writers' ability to write.  While I'm disappointed, there's tons of other stories out there waiting to be discovered and hopefully I'll come across them this year and in the years to come.

At the same time, it's brought me face to face again with several decisions I've made in the last two months concerning how I'll schedule my life, academic and professional goals.  I chose not to retake the CFA exam because it is time consuming and it was more important when I was job hunting.  Now that I have a job, I'm more concerned with being stable than getting back into the melee of fighting over jobs.  I like my job, it's practically my dream job with a few exceptions, but nothing that makes it less than great.  Plus, I've still got grad school that I'm working on.  I haven't been to the gym since October and I want to change that.  I spent the last two months cooped up going insane with no recreation time to myself -- I'd wake up, go to work, go to school and come home with just enough time to shower then fall asleep; for days I didn't have school, homework was enough to make me wish for class.  I don't want to live the way I did in 2012 again.

The one thing I've been disappointed about 2012 is that it's the year that I've done the least amount of writing since I started writing.  Yes, I read more than usual, but my imagination was burned out.  I was unhappy in a way that writing didn't speak to.  I didn't want to write without my heart in it.  But not writing is bad too, since it reinforces not taking the time to write.  Well, I have some more structure in order to figure this out.
parallax23: (sweet)
I stole another meme from [livejournal.com profile] dreamstrifer.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
I went to a gay night club and danced with a cute gay guy.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make specific resolutions, but I did achieve some big goals I've had for a while.  I guess I have the lofty goals of losing all the weight I gained after college and finding Mr. Right to keep me busy enough.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My uncle's wife. I told everyone that it would be a boy because we were past schedule for one.  Everyone cracked up when I was right.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Fortunately, no one.

5. What countries did you visit?
Nowhere for varying reasons.  But living in NYC, all I have to do is pick an ethnic bar or neighborhood to visit.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
"A boyfriend. I'm serious." -- dreamstrifer
I actually woke up crying over this after spending a night out with my friends and feeling like the odd man out.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There are several days that I think will stick with me for a while.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Landing what is pretty close to my dream job (outside of being a professional author).

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm waiting for grades, but I'm thinking I could have tried harder in that statistics course.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Physically, I've been ok.  Mentally?  That's something else entirely.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I bought myself a new all-in-one printer/scanner/fax thing.  Now I just need to hook it up...

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My friend Will.  He's stuck it out with me through good times and bad.  Even when the chips are down, he's there to pick me up.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Someone I'll refer to as my ex-best friend.  Guys were more important than her maintaining friendships, now she's alone and she's got herself to blame but she won't see it that way.  She does more ridiculous things for attention now.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, tuition and a finance industry exam I didn't pass.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
New York Comic Con 2012

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
"It's Time" by Imagine Dragons.  It really fits what's gone on this year for me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?  Happier.  Exceedingly so.
ii. thinner or fatter? Slightly fatter.  Stress eating is now over and I will lose it.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer ;)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Traveling.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying about the future.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Stuck with my relatives, trying to get a new high score on Angry Birds and reading books on my Nook & Kindle apps.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?
No, but I wasn't in the place to do it.

23. How many one-night stands?
Nope.

24. What was your favourite TV program?
Merlin.  I had been watching on and off for years, then right before the final (despicable) fifth season I got caught up.  I just watched the series finale today, and I'll mourn the show for what it could have been.  Also, I have a thing for messed up TV shows, where I fix them via imagined scenarios and use that to inspire my original stories.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Yes.  I didn't know I was capable of actually hating people.  Mildly despising everyone, sure.  Full on "I would laugh if you were on fire" hate, that's a new one.  All I have to say is that karma is a bitch to pay back.

26. What was the best book you read?
I read a lot of books this year (like about 100) and I'd say of all those, Melina Marchetta's The Lumatere Chronicles was the one series that stuck with me the most.  It was on the fringes of being literary in my opinion. I managed to get a hold of all three books in the series in the latter half of the year, and I think it ranks in my top 20 best book series of all time.  I also liked: Waking Up to the Duke by Lorraine Heath, Tangled by Mary Balogh, Black Heart by Holly Black, and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Glee! (I didn't have the time to watch it before.)  I don't think any of the artists I found were that noteworthy.  I started listening to Florence + The Machine more, but I knew about them before and the songs are really hit or miss with me.  I guess the bands Imagine Dragons and Parachute would count.

28. What did you want and get?
The job I'm at now.

29. What did you want and not get?
"A boyfriend (I KNOW I KNOW)" -- dreamstrifer
Ditto.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Wreck-it Ralph, with Rise of the Guardians as a close second.  Yes, I know how immature I am.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Karaoke and dinner for the birthday that I officially stop counting at.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finishing a draft of one of my stories.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Smart casual.

34. What kept you sane?
Reading.  Lots and lots of fantastic (and not so fantastic) escapes from reality.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Colin Morgan from Merlin.  After he put on some weight, he got really hot.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
It was an election year.  Take a wild guess.

37. Who did you miss?
No one in particular, just people who've left my life that I wish hadn't.  I do sometimes miss aforementioned ex-bff, but I miss who she used to be, not who she is now.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My new boss at work.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Don't underestimate or undersell myself.  I'm willing to stand up to someone who doesn't treat me the way I deserve to be treated.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have The Facts of Life, The Facts of Life."
parallax23: (stagger)
I started 2012 off right - a masquerade at my favorite bar with a live band and a ton of cool people.  The night started off badly - dinner was terrible (and overpriced as always), plus I ate with the most boring people in our little ragtag bunch.  But I didn't want to be stuck home then go to the bar by myself, so it was what it was.  I spent the night making new friends, chilling with the old ones and just feeling like I was on track again for the first time in a long time. 

Sure, my job situation still isn't but it's the foot in the door I needed and I'm hoping that I'll go far with the experience I get.  I'm in grad school (mostly out of boredom and lack of stability at the time I applied), so I get a lot of good social interaction with save the world types.  This semester I signed up to take this horrific certification exam in my field, but if I pass, the sky's the limit on my ability to move up in the world.  I also keep saying I'll finally get some actual writing done, but that has yet to come into play (especially now).

I remember at the start of 2011, things had been pretty bleak and I was just holding on for dear life.  It was rough after leaving college and falling into every bad experience possible.  Isn't that how the story goes though?  We pick ourselves up... eventually.  I feel like I can face the day again.  I've gone from nothing to do to not having time to do anything.  I did fulfill several major goals though - grad school and changing into the job field I wanted to be in.  Now they're talking about training us for bigger things and I can't help feeling overwhelmed by it all.  Well, there goes all the writing I thought I'd get done.

Also, thanks to my co-worker, I now have an obsession with dark purple nail polish.  I only wear clear, so this is a strange turn of events for me.  Even stranger is that my brother former Mr. "books are only good as doorjambs" has now fallen for classic literature.  He also thinks I should have my ass kicked for not writing my story about renegade bloggers back in 2009 considering what's going on now.

These are some strange days that lie ahead...
parallax23: (traffic)
Being in grad school, having a boss who impersonates Pol Pot and all that other life stuff in between really wreaks havoc on trying to write.  I can't even believe that November is over and I didn't get the chance to write anything.

Ironically, this is the month when there was an episode of Being Erica where the lead character realizes she's gotten far away from her dream of writing fiction.  Then the entire episode of The Simpsons featuring Neil Gaiman and the entire publishing industry.  Then someone said that it figured that I couldn't keep writing because I've never been the sort of person who could finish what I started, which I found insulting.  That kind of got my gears in motion that I had fallen out of my writing habits, and writing is a habit and perpetual process no matter what.  Then I got a kick in the pants when I saw that someone reviewed Wake... and I felt floored. 

How did I let myself fall off the wagon like that?  I put my fanfic aside for original writing and I ended up accomplishing very little in either.  I keep starting stories but then scrapping them, I remember reading that when a writer did that too often, it signaled a lack of belief in herself and therefore the story.  I've gotten stronger resolve to finish Between the Lines since its the closest story to being done. I even worked past an inconsistency that I didn't like just two days ago.  Once that's done, it's on to Wake... and eventually Long December.
parallax23: (hands of time)

It's half an hour before the end of Day 1 into NaNo and I decided to post here instead of going to bed.

I thought I would use this month to start another novel or maybe even get some fanfic writing done.  The truth is I haven't been connecting with any of my story ideas, so I have trouble seeing them through.  I had hit a really good stride back in 2009, but now I'm running on empty again.  When I'm really in tune with a story, it comes alive on the page.  I can feel that my work is dragging but I don't know what to do to grease the wheels.

Hopefully inspiration will come...

parallax23: (sit alone)
Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes.  I had a wonderful time turning a quarter of a century old.

I'm also more and more freaked out by how coincidental the shows Once Upon a Time and Being Erica are with my life.  Sometimes I feel more like a character than a writer.

I know I haven't been updating or writing much in general, but I still have goals to finish.  I'm happier now than I was this time last year.  I've made peace with things I can't control and I feel like I'm building momentum to something great.

Cheers to another birthday gone by and many more to come!
parallax23: (Default)
It's been almost a year since I last updated a fic.  It's hard to imagine that time has gone by so fast, another year will be over soon.  I haven't quite given up on the series, I just don't have time these days.  I'm especially guilty after I was hanging out with some old friends and Dark Angel came up and the general consensus of loss over it.

I also can't seem to get any writing done for my other stories.  I have tons of ideas, but none of them are quite panning out.  I'm waiting in the wings for a few other opportunities to come through as well.  Bouncing around is making me crazy.

I just don't want to end up as one of those writers who writes tons of stuff that doesn't become anything but wood pulp for Staples memo pads.  But I've also seen that life sometimes takes you to strange places.  Maybe it'll take me to a place where I can finish a story again, instead of living a life that seems story worthy.  I'm saving all of these experiences up and someday, somehow I'm going to use all of them in my tales.

There have been wild postulations that the world is going to end on May 21st this year.  Lucky me, I get to be a bridesmaid and when fire and brimstone come down, I will be dashing around in a poofy pink/fuchsia/magenta dress.  You can totally tell I didn't pick this color, but it was all we could get on short notice.  Also, I nearly fell over laughing when I saw that the new Bridesmaids movie posters had similar dresses to ours. 

Who needs fiction when you're me?
parallax23: (not the hammer)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] dreamstrifer because it seemed pretty interesting.

1. Put Your iTunes (or iPod) on shuffle

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer

3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!


Just press Play )
Tags:
parallax23: (not again)
I've been struggling with my band story, working title Prufrock, for a while now.  So I decided to put it on the back burner.  Cue a more famous writer having already written a really similar story, yet again (like when I found out Mercedes Lackey's Fairy Godmother sounded like my Confessions of a Fairy Godmother).  As it turns out, Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby reminds me a lot of Prufrock, so I've decided to put it immediately at the front of my reading queue.  I'm hoping that it turns out the way it did before, same skeleton different person.  I hate it when this happens!   But then it's all par for the course when writing a cliche...

Ugh, okay, I've only just started and we have the girl as snarky and disenchanted by love, the boy as an obnoxious guy in a band that she runs into at an every day place.  Now the Skittles and beer.  *head desk* Maybe I should be grateful that I didn't get very far now?  Because Sarah Dessen is an awesome writer and I pale in comparison.  And after more reading, the lead male, Dexter, isn't like Flynn. Remy and Ainsley while similar aren't the same either, at least to me.  They're at different points in their lives and got there because of different circumstances...  Different plots overall.  But still there are a few very glaring similarities that now that I'm aware of, I can mitigate.

P.S. Anyone still reading my fanfic, it's still WiP.  I haven't given up on them yet!
parallax23: (Default)
Since Jan.1, this has been my life:
  • my laptop crashed big time and I now am on another computer indefinitely
  • this crash occurred just as I was filling out an application for grad school due soon
  • my co-worker asked me out in front of everyone at work and I said 'Wait, are you serious? No."
  • that same co-worker ended up in the emergency room the following week and will now have to walk around with a heart monitor (I didn't break his heart, he's got plenty of girls he hooks up with and I'm not one of them, but still that's damn ironic)
  • my friend offered to set me up with one of his friends, who all seem like they're auditioning to be the next cliche FP story boy that gets rejected or Hannibal Lecter film villain -- again, hell no a few years ago, hell no today, in spite of how few options I have
  • in spite of my job interviews sounding like sitcom scenarios, I still miss them
  • I might have to be a bridesmaid again (I haven't kept a count but I do know I've gone more than three times and I'm really not too keen on going again, but this is the only time since my "retirement" that someone very close to me is getting married and there's no way I would or could say no.  My mother now turns down requests if the person is not someone I've known for a long time or if I have not spoken to the person in years, if I even really met them at all.)
  • I'm reminded of the person from Best You Never Had in the most bizarre coincidences, after not thinking about him since then
  • I still haven't gotten any real writing done and I've restarted Prufrock for the seventeenth time
Sometimes I don't know why I don't just write about my experiences.  Wait, there are already a couple of stories on FP that are eerily similar...  Things like this sound way more cool when they're not happening to you.
parallax23: (hands of time)
I'm in total awe of it being 2011.

It's a whole new year.  While sitting on the train to my friend's house party, I wrote in my mini-notebook how ironic it was that I was going to be spending the New Year with two friends that I knew in 2000, then lost contact with until 2007 and we're closer now than when we started.

The decade from 2000-2009 had to be the most insane decade of my life, now and probably forever.  It was my teen years, high school dramedy, writing my days away and going to college and having my entire world turned upside down.  It's hard to imagine that another entire ten years of my life is complete.  The decade was off to a rough start in 2010, but I'm hopeful that this year will turn things around.

There are a lot of things that didn't turn out the way that I planned.  There are lots of things I wish I could change and lots of things I wouldn't change for the world, which would be a really weird Venn diagram.

So here's to a Whole New Year of falling in love, singing in the streets during ungodly hours of the morning, laughing until my face hurts while strangers stare, writing in quiet corners, old acquaintances not forgot and all the new things that I'll look back on in 2021 and shake my head at.

Welcome to 2011!
parallax23: (Default)
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
(x3)
2 The Lord of the Rings -- Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (x2)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
(x2)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I think I've read all of them...?)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (high school flashbacks)
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (x2)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens  (okay, weird fact, I never read this book but my dad did and I can mysteriously answer all Jeopardy questions that are What is David Copperfield?)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis  (Wait, why is this separate from The Chronicles?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (seriously?  pop fiction? not that it isn't a good book but it's not canon or that widely read)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (why did they make us read this in 8th grade and never explain the connection to the Russian Revolution?)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (how did this get on the list?)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (Awesome book, definite must read except the ending sucks)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (this shouldn't be on this list!)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (Oh god, never again.)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (The horror!  The horror!)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Total Score: 26/100.   Edit 12/20/2010: New Total Score 27/100!  (I finished reading A Christmas Carol, which I'd downloaded on Kindle and started before I got this list.  It's a good story, but it was frustrating because there was nothing new about it that hadn't been done on TV or Broadway or movies.  That's probably because it's a short story at 110 pages.  That's not a full novel like this list claims.)

Huh, I've noticed from this list that I'm not particularly good at finishing all the books I read.  I think there were some books that deserved to be on this list that weren't included, and several that didn't deserve to be on here. 
parallax23: (we roll)

This is the best news I've had in a long time.  Avatar: The Last Airbender, which has to have been one of the coolest TV shows in the history of TV shows will be getting a follow-up mini-series known as Avatar: Legend of Korra.  Below is the first image released for the show.


Legend of Korra



The official Wikipedia Series Overview entry is:

Korra is a female Waterbender native to the Southern Water Tribe, as Water succeeds Air in the Avatar Cycle. Korra has already mastered Waterbending, Earthbending and Firebending, but has yet to master Airbending. She will learn Airbending from Aang and Katara's son, Tenzin, an Airbending Master. Unlike the previous series, Avatar: The Legend of Korra is rooted in only one place. This location is called Republic City, a place where people of all nations, benders and non-benders, live together. The city is ridden with crime and is rattled by an anti-bender revolt, which serve as challenges for the characters in the show.

The bad news...  How could there possibly bad news?  Right, the series won't start until November 2011 and it's only going to be 12 episodes.  Still, I'm psyched to see it.
parallax23: (not again)
Writers live and die by inspiration.  There’s no telling when or how much inspiration will hit you.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is worse, a surplus or a deficit.

Too much inspiration and a writer can feel like she’s being pulled in too many directions.  Too many ideas, too many characters and too much clutter can damage the direction of a story.  It can also be aggravating if there are too many story ideas and it’s unclear which one to flesh out, because a writer can really only pick one story to throw her soul into.  Maybe a second one to off-set the emotional demands of the first (like if a story is too dark or too light, writers will have a second story they’re working on to air out emotions and ideas they can’t use).  After that point, the work starts to suffer.

Too little inspiration and a writer feels like she’s dead and it’s the end of the line for her writing, period.  Uninspired writing isn’t always horrible, but that exception only rings true for a handful of writers (e.g., Charles Dickens but he channels that disgruntled-ness into his writing rather than it permeating around the prose).  Writer’s malaise can seep into a story quite quickly and the reader will feel how exasperated the whole scenario is.  It’s sort of like cooking, when the person can taste the cook’s passion and other emotions in the food.

Suffice to say, I’m suffering a little from Category A and a lot from Category B.  I’ve had several (what seem to me at the moment) very good story ideas.  I’ve got them sketched and scratched all over the place (I’m working on getting my scanner up and running to declutter those).  Anaxarete, Elara, Prufrock, Confessions of A Fairy Godmother, and Aerie are all really good stories, perfectly delineated and waiting to be written.  Then there’s my fanfic, which I’m sure I’m disappointing someone somewhere with because I know that Wake is beyond awesome but it won’t actually be awesome until it’s done. 

I have a surplus of inspirational ideas, but for some reason I can’t get any of the stories off the ground.  I can’t find the right place to start telling from.  There are huge holes that weren’t obvious in the outline.  Maybe the characters didn’t turn out quite the way they were planned.

Basically, I’ve got writer’s block in the worst of ways.

I’ve been trying different coping methods. 

1) Stepping away from writing.  --  Sometimes when you’re just too close to a story, it can get claustrophobic.  No room to breathe.  The problem with this method is that it can ruin writing stamina and encourage a writer to quit out of sheer lack of motivation.  Needless to say, it’s like falling off a horse, not getting back on and deciding to go on the rest of your life without riding.

2) Doing more: Read, Watch, Listen, Learn. 
--  You don’t have to wait for inspiration to come, you can hunt it down. 

A) Reading books similar to the one you’re trying to write can help by showing how others did it, what ideas are out there, and shaping your own to be unique or even reference something you thought was brilliant.  Or read something completely different and find a really cool new angle that you can use in your story, like in a dark, post-apocalyptic story give the dark character an oddball sense of humor. 

B) Watching movies and TV shows has pretty much the same effect, but it’s more visual which you might need as a push when trying to put together a fight scene or game scene that need to be visual. 

C) Listening to songs that remind you of your story can is another route.  I know lots of authors (myself included) who put together soundtracks to keep them motivated while writing, and it can help keep you in your writing frame of mind without having to write. 

D) And finally, we arrive at the learning curve.  Even if you’re having trouble writing, research and learn as much as you can about the topic you’re interested in writing about (writing about dragons, research every dragon myth or story you can).  Or improve on your skills as a writer by learning as much as you can about grammar and punctuation and how to type properly (a lot of people who post things don’t realize they make tons of small errors with spacing, etc.).  Or learn how to query and get into the industry, so that way when you are done you won't lose as much time looking for info about how to get in.

3) Fighting fire with fire.  --  Or in this case, if you can’t write, force yourself to write.  Maybe you’re just missing momentum to get your story where it needs to go.  Take part in NaNoWriMo or host your own.  Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is Chapter 1.  No matter how good or bad it is, just do it.  It helps to set goals for yourself as motivation, like you need to get to Chapter 7 in two months, otherwise you’ll waste time putting it off.  Right now, I’m writing as many author notes on anything and everything, even stuff that won’t be a part of the story in its prose form -- motivations, inspirations, background notes.  At least this way if I put the story on the shelf, I won’t be scratching my head later over details when I pick it back up.  I have been writing for a while and know that this happens after you put a story away and return to it later. 

As always, I’ll let you know when the block has been chiseled.
parallax23: (Default)
I'm not having writer's block so much as writer's malaise.

I know everything that has to happen in my stories, I'm not stumped as to what to write, but I just don't feel like writing...  But I shouldn't be writing for the next two months because I've got a few things to sort out in terms of going back to school.

I'll see what comes.

Apparently, my quirkiness is losing it's novelty.

Just yesterday my friend and I were discussing what would be good apartment/city pets, and of course, I said I wanted a chinchilla.  He laughed and said that most other people would just say a cat or a dog or a rabbit, but I just had to come out of left field with that like that's so normal.

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