Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl. Woo?

As mostly everyone should know, the Superbowl is this weekend. Classmates have been strongly voicing opinions on who they think should win. Even the teachers have been encouraging students to root for a certain team. (In my neck of the woods, people mostly support the Steelers.) In these instances, I don't have too much to say.

I do not watch sports.

I do not participate in sports. Or at least not willingly.

I will not be watching the Superbowl, unless we're talking commercials, half-time show, and possibly Jennifer Hudson singing The Star Spangled Banner. The same is true for most of my family members. To the surprise of some, even my dad and brother don't show that much interest in football.

I can kind of see why people watch sports--kind of....okay, maybe I just don't get it all.

During the Superbowl, I'll have to find something else to entertain myself. Perhaps I can even get some writing done? I'd like to say I will get some writing done, but I will probably end up surfing blogs, forums, and YouTube.

What are you all doing for the Superbowl?

And is anyone excited for the post-Superbowl one hour special episode of The Office?

Thanks to HH Studio for a picture of a place I will probably never go....he he.

ETA: I just noticed how much of a stereotypical writer I am!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Steam of Consciousness

This blog is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Co. in partnership with Lack of Inspiration Inc. Starting now...

I know I should be adding something to this blog. My last post was a whole week ago. What am I to talk about, I wonder.

I'm reading a book right now called The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty, which I like a lot so far.

I'm humming this song Untouched by the Veronicas. I don't even particularly like it, but I heard it on the radio once and then it was in my head...and of course, once it was in my head and I figured out what it was, I had to look it up and listen to it again. I may get it out of my head soon with the new Kelly Clarkson song.

I realize that these musical musings are not writing related. I wonder if I should keep this blog mostly writing related. I decide that it's okay if it's not all I talk about, but I would like writing and books to be this blog's main focus.

Speaking of books, I won four of them in a contest at The Story Siren. I'm eagerly awaiting my prizes. Check that blog out if you haven't been there before.

In school, a new semester has started. My school has block scheduling, meaning a new semester equals new classes. Pre-Calc is bound to make me a nervous wreck (The mathematical side of my mind has turned to mush since last year), but everything else seems fine.

I'm starting to think that I should have some regular features on this blog, like some of my own favorite blogs have. Not quite sure what I want these to be, however.

Howie Mandel is on The Ellen Degeneres Show right now. No strong opinions on him, though for a while I enjoyed Deal or No Deal.

And this seems sufficient...utterly pointless, but sufficient.

Are you supposed to time stream of conciousness and then see what you come up with? Oh well, I shall be a rebel. You, blog reader, should try some stream of conciousness for thirty seconds or so in the comments, though...or you know, just comment on my streaming.

Also, Howie Mandel is now in a plastic bubble. In case you wanted to know. :)

ETA: Wait, does it count as stream of conciousness if I go back and edit a few things? Let's just say it does. I mean, I was just trying to help you all by making my blog readable.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Catcher in the Rye

I just finished reading it for the first time. It was so awesome. I feel like there was so much deep stuff in there, though, that I've barely skimmed the surface, that to fully appreciate everything I might have to reread it a couple of times...sort of how I felt after reading The Great Gatsby (which is also another really good book). I don't mean, however, that the book wasn't incredibly powerful the first time around, because it was. I'm tempted to share some of the moments particularly and more of my in-depth thoughts, but I'm not sure there would be any interest in that; plus, I don't want to spoil anything.

Instead I'll just say that I loved it and that I found Holden so easy to relate to and identify with, even if some people may not like him. I think that every teenager would at least recognize themselves in Holden once in the novel, if not more than that. Maybe that's one of the reasons the book feels like such a classic coming-of-age story to me and definitely a Young Adult novel,
even if that distinction was not necessarily around at the time.

Thoughts on The Catcher in the Rye anyone? Any agreements that it has to be one of the ultimate YA novels, even if it technically isn't one? (Of course, I haven't read nearly enough books to be able to make this an educated claim, but whatever...) Does anyone else really love the title and how it came into play in the book?

And one last thing: I have to suggest checking out John Green's videos on The Catcher in the Rye. They really helped me get a better grasp on the book, and they were highly entertaining, because, uh, duh, it's John Green. Here's the intro, part one, and part two.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kids! (a.k.a contemplating parent characters)

Right now, I'm busy with rehearsals for my school's production of Bye Bye Birdie. The main set of parents sing a song called Kids, which is about how unruly and horrible kids (specifically teenagers) can sometimes be. Eventually the entire parental population of the town comes together and sings Kids Reprise. Here are some lyrics from it:

Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids?

What's the matter with kids?

What's the matter with kids today?

Mind you, this takes place in the late fifties or early sixties. People today are always saying how kids aren't anything like they used to be, whether it's an issue of respect, work ethic, or morals. This may be true. I don't know. I've only been on this earth since 1992. Still, one has to wonder if this kind of mindset tells more about the teen-relationship than it does about the depravity of the next generation.

I don't have any answers.

When it comes to writing, specifically, I can be a bit in the dark about parents. Some of my parent characters admittedly end up flat and stereotypical, never having too big of a role in the plot, only appearing to drive the teen around, lay down the law, or act sentimental. The relationship between a teenager and his or her parents can be so complex, but it can also be sparse and superficial. Maybe this is what makes writing parent figures so hard for me. How much should they even be involved in the character's life? How distinctive do these parents need to be?

The above mostly applies to my Young Adult writing, though. In my first middle grade book (which still has a major revision looming in its future), the main character's relationship with her mother is HUGE, and many scenes between them are integral to the plot and explain the character's behavior elsewhere. In the new middle grade book I'm writing, I foresee one of the main character's parents playing a major role in who she is and the pressure she feels to conform. Obviously, with bigger roles, these parents become more developed. I'm sure the age of these middle grade characters has something to do with this, but then again, there are some Young Adult books with dynamic parent-teen relationships too.

Thoughts, everyone, on writing parents? I'd love any tips or insights you have to give! Also, anyone have good examples of well developed parents with major roles in either YA or MG books? When I have the time, I hope to read some more MG.

Credit for the bumper sticker, here!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

College Crazy

Lately I've been a bit college crazy. This means researching different colleges, thinking about visits, thinking about money, fantasizing about college, reading message boards about college, and generally freaking out about the massive decisions that seem to be looming closer and closer. It seems so weird that in 8 months, I'll be a senior, and a little after that, I'll be filling out college applications. I don't feel old enough for this. I feel fourteen at most...perhaps even twelve! Surely, my taste in TV and music skews younger than my actual age. (Erm...yes, I'm still an avid watcher of the Disney Channel.) Nonetheless, time keeps chugging along, and I will actually be in college in what will seem like no time at all.

Which college....that's really what I'm wondering about. I mean, I'm sure I'll be happy wherever I end up, but at the moment, I can't help but stress. What if there is some college out there that's perfect for me but I haven't come across it yet? Or what if the perfect college is too expensive? I guess I'll have to wait and see. Like I said, I have faith that things will work out in the end. Some people out there may think it's corny, but I really do think God has a plan for me and that things happen for a reason. Doesn't mean I'm any calmer, though.

Overall, despite any intimidation and fear I'm holding onto, I have to say I'm excited. I am so ready to be done with high school that I imagine waiting for college might just test my patience.

In other news, I'm reading Catcher in the Rye. My brother gave it to me for Christmas, I'm about halfway through it, and it's really good! I'm also reading Dante's Inferno for school, which doesn't inspire as much enthusiasm on my part...and which I should probably be reading right about now.

What are you guys reading, and any thoughts on this college craziness?

By the way, the dorm picture is from here...actually, it's a Harvard dorm room. I'm glad I'm not considering any of the Ivy League schools, because I'd be even more stressed than I am now.