Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Only Holiday Playlist You’ll Ever Need (Okay. You can have ONE other. BUT THAT'S IT!)

Quick Update: About to go on winter break. Can't wait to be reunited with sleep. In other news, I JUST GOT 40 FOLLOWERS. Woot. If I get a job before I get to 50, then I'm definitely doing a contest or something. Any ideas?

Song Stuck In My Head: Basically any Top 40 song on the charts right now. We were listening to radio in my math final exam, so basically Colbie Caillet and Adam Levine and Adele are dancing in my head.

If you’ve been watching commercials on TV, putting on some of your favorite Christmas movies, or even turning on the radio, you probably got some sort of holiday tune dancing in your head like sugar plums. The coolest part about holiday songs is that a lot of modern artists are fans - hence, you get some pretty neat covers and the occasional original.

Here are some Christmas songs to check out by MODERN artists! All of them are rock and pop. There’s also a few random, non-genres thrown in here or there. It may or may not include singing cats. I can’t make any guarantees. ; )


(Do you know any? Feel free to comment, and I'll make one twice as good next year! Muahahaha!)


Lady Gaga
Michael Buble ft. Shania Twain
Panic! At the Disco
Katy Perry

And fun fact for the day... actor Robert Downey Jr. sings!


Jason Mraz
Phantom Planet
Selena Gomez


Relient K

Disney's Santa Buddies! (They're cute, even if registered by Disney...(

LAST CHRISTMAS, covered by

Taylor Swift
Hilary Duff
Jimmy Eat World
Hawk Nelson

JINGLE BELL ROCK, covered by

Aly and AJ
Rascal Flatts

And then the classic cover and dance from the movie "Mean Girls"

JOY TO THE WORLD, covered by

No Doubt
Simple Plan
Mariah Carey (again)

And Jingle Cats!


My Chemical Romance
Mariah Carey
John Mayer


Christina Aguilera

And if you're not celebrating Christmas or just like to hear a good Jewish tune here and then, here's a couple things to check out:

Get Your Dreidel On by Incubus

And Adam Sandler has some funny ones too..

Now some random, newer and not so traditional songs (most of them I am getting from my best friend's I-Pod...just to be honest)

That Time Of Year Again - Sick Puppies (as in, my favorite band peeps).
Killing Myself For Christmas - Sick Puppies (not as sweet as the first one, if you could guess).
Things I Want by Sum 41 ft. Tenacious D (yep. That means Jack Black).
Baby Please Come Home - Josh Ramsay (from Marianas Trench)
Christmas By the Phone - Good Charlotte
Happy Holidays, You Bastard - Blink-182
I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Julian Casablancas (From the Strokes)
I Won't Be Home For Christmas - Blink-182
It's Christmas Day - Family Force 5
Merry Christmas I Don't Wanna Fight - Bowling for Soup
Merry Christmas, I Missed You So Much- Taking Back Sunday
Merry Christmas Kiss My A** - All Time Low
30 Days - NeverShoutNever
Christmas In Hollywood - Hollywood Undead

And probably the best modern Christmas song, my favorite singer Avril Lavigne's ex-guitarist and his solo song... "MERRY SWIFTMAS!"

My list not good enough? Fine. Then I'll provide some more lists for you... Try these links, okay? (this ones a list of lists).

And lastly...not enough Jingle Cats? DID YOU NEED MORE?

Here you go. :)

Have an awesome holiday, peeps. If you can’t guess my New Year’s aspiration, then here it is: to blog more! Ah!

And anyone doing anything interesting for the holidays? New traditions, traveling, etc.? If you go or live somewhere with snow, please oh please ice it and send it my way. We’ve been getting the cold but not the snow. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, living in a desert town in the middle of nowhere….

Just found that online. The closest I can get to what it's like where I live, haha.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The REAL Truth About Teen Lit (Post-Simpson's Style)

Quick Update: Oh, hey. Hi.

Song Stuck in My Head: You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates (yep, all thanks to Glee, I started listening to it like crazy.)

So, I watched an interesting Simpson’s episode whilst watching the American Music Awards. The episode - for anyone who has better things to watch than twenty-year old cartoons I suppose - talked about the young adult literature industry in a very new way.

Basically in this episode, entitled "the Book Job", our favorite feminist/nerdy/bookworm Lisa finds out that her favorite tween book series (the Angela Button books, which has shown up in previous episodes and strongly but innocently resembles Harry Potter) is a scam. Instead of being written by one author with an inspirational underdog backstory, it was a commercial scheme and produced by a team of business gurus for cash money.

While Lisa is enraged, her father and brother seek their own team (which includes Moe the bartender, Principal Skinner, one of the Selma/Patti twins, and the crazy scientist genius whose name I keep forgetting) and create their own masterpiece.

They figure out the formula is orphaned hero plus magical school plus hero finds out their supernatural. They almost go with a vampire hero before realizing every shelf is covered with bloodsuckers. And so they create a story about two troll twins who go to an academy under a bridge where the pixies are popular and the gargoyles are the stoners. Lisa decides to prove them wrong and says she’ll write her own novel - which ends up meaning she’ll organize all her CD’s, play Boggle on her computer, visit book fairs to see the competition, and go to coffee shops to be a “real writer!”

Though the episode did have some merit value - despite airing less than two weeks after the release of the final Harry Potter movie, when everyone is still suffering Post-Potter Depression - it’s time to set the record straight. Especially since my favorite screenwriter Diablo Cody has the movie Young Adult coming out this year and I’m crossing my fingers it’s more realistic.


1. It’s one writer (usually). While the occasional book is co-written, it’s usually by best friends who share a love of literature and can actually work together. Writing a book, not just a YA book but ANY book, is such a solitary process at first. You’re stuck with your own mind and imagination and emotions.

Writers will spend months, years, even decades on a story because of its personal meaning. Novels are probably the least commercial part of the entertainment industry because they always start with one person. Movies have crews. Music have a production team. Fashion have designers. And etc., etc..

2. Sometimes, writers are going to have cheesy-cool back stories. Much like J.K Rowling, authors aren’t always the richest people at first. While a lot do have side jobs, especially in this economy, there are many who sacrificed careers and money to write. And when they get successful, you know we’re going to pat them on the back for it. They get to make a living on writing. What’s wrong with that?

3. The publication process is COMPLICATED. In the Simpson’s episode, they go to a literary company business executive. He takes the manuscript, flicks through the pages in two seconds and says it’s great. The team get a first copy what seems like a day later. Later on, they merely puts a flash drive with the manuscript on it into a computer. A screen comes up that says “Publish”. One click and it goes into print, and one week it’s in stores.

It’s not like this at all. There are agents who pour over manuscripts all day long to find a beautiful story; there are editors that seriously consider all the books that are sent to them by these agents; there are copyeditors who find mistakes and revise it to perfection; publishers that make sure the print version is flawless. It seems simple but lately this process takes one to two years for a book to appear on a shelf.

4. No, completely original books didn’t get changed last-minute to vampire books. Spoiler: that nearly happens to their beautiful troll story. It also apparently happened to Stephenie Meyer, whose originally wrote Twilight with a human girl and a golem (Jewish monster and no I’m not kidding look it up) boy love story.

I’m sure all the authors who penned the many, many, many, many (you get my point) vampire books chose that path beforehand. As did the werewolf authors. And angel authors. And dystopian authors. And mermaid authors. And what could be the next authors of leprechaun or teen sci-fi stories for all I know.

And lastly…

5. Neil Gaiman probably knows how to read and is not a scam artist. Long story. Just watch the episode.

It was a funny show though, and Lisa’s procrastination syndrome did portray us a bit too well (thankfully, most of us do get past typing up “chapter one”). The point is to prove stereotypes wrong though, isn’t it? And for all the writers out there who are underdog stories waiting to happen, we believe in you anyways and can’t wait to cry over your Lifetime movie.

And if there isn't anything truer than this emotion portrayed right here:

Later alligators.

Oh, right…the obligatory sorry-I-haven’t-posted-in-forevah-LOLcatz….

(Psst. The last one's my fave. :) )

HOPEFULLY see you next week and have a delicious Thanksgiving! Me, mine will consist of waking up early on a vacation day to see my favorite singer perform in the Macy's Day Parade. Thus is the curse of a fangirl...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rock/Pop Songs For the YA Writer - The Writing Process Version!

Quick Update: So, long time, no blog! I’ve been on summer vacation for the month, two month-ish and have only had glimpses of the internet, but never enough to truly blog and catch up with everyone in the writersophere. So how is everyone? Having a kickass summer, blah summer? Has anyone nearly melted to death yet? If you feel like hearing my not-as-exciting update post, check it out ah here.

Song Stuck In My Head: "I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole. What? They were playing a special on the "kids of Dawson's Creek" when I started drafting this. :p

To be one of those crazy writer people is hard work. There’s the mood swings, the late nights, the laziness, the lack of touch with reality, the conversations with pets when no one else is around (okay, that could just be me…:/). So why not let a little music bring you up?

Since I didn’t get a chance to do a Playlist of the Month in the first week of June, July, OR August, as scheduled, and haven’t done any sort of writing post in ages, I decided to combine the both. BTW, no links today - I'm under watch *suspicious wandering eyes* but as soon as I get to the library every song will have links.


THE STAGES OF A WRITER - Le Rock (and Pop) Version.

Stage One: Holyskittles-that-thing-you-just-said-just-friggin-made-my-brain-explode-I-must-write-this-down-I-MUST-WRITE-THIS-DOWN
Translation: Idea.
Musical translation: Rob Thomas’ “This Is How a Heart Breaks”

Stage Two: Yay, let’s come up with some of that extra cool stuff to add to this! Oh! Maybe I can finally have a character who has a pet unicorn! YESSS!
Translation: Prewriting/plotting (pantsers might skip this stage, haha)
Musical translation: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “I Want You”

Stage Three: Okay, so now I just have to make sense of this PURE GENIUS.
Translation: Beginning of the drafting process.
Musical Translation: AFI’s “Medicate”

Stage Four: No, no, no, spark…stay! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING SPARKY-SPARK!
Translation: First writing blocks/fading “spark”
Musical Translation: White Rabbits’ “Percussion Gun”

Translation: Doubt/on-and-off writing
Musical Translation: Atreyu’s “Falling Down”

Stage Six: Must. Hold. On. Must. Make. Mother. Proud.
Translation: Persevering. Also revising/editing
Musical Translation: P!nk’s “Please Don’t Leave Me”

Stage Seven: I am in this for the long run. TIME TO FINISH UP THIS MESS!
Translation: Final drafting and revisions
Musical Translation: Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” (BTW, does anyone else think of the show Supernatural when they hear this song? Haha)

Stage Eight: DON’T JUDGE ME!
Translation: Sharing/beta readers
Musical Translation: Incubus’ “Dig”

Stage Nine: Please don’t hate me. Don’t stomp on my dreams.
Translation: Agent time!
Musical Translation: Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”

Annnnd should all go well, you might just reach stage ten. There’s no words that could properly describe stage ten. So let’s just stick with the musical translation, shall we?

Okay everyone, have a nice week. Or two weeks. Three weeks? However long until I revisit the world wide web, let’s go with that. After all, school is kicked back into gear, so I am currently drooling for a job. This means a) money! gas money to go to library! It also means b) I can finally pay off those library fees that makes the library hate me. Yay!

Ah well. One can only pray and hope.


Not-As-Exciting Update Post (as well as a catch-up with my followers

Heyo, guys. As you know, I've been pretty much absent from the internet world. Let's call it a "hiatus". And while I will make up for it with the most epic cat pictures in the world (as always), how about some small news?



Okay, so my church is miniscule. It used to be the minister's house, until she moved across the street. I live in sort of a small neighborhood, so it's a church for that sort of people. However, since there is a lot of little kids there, we officially started a Sunday school for them, with me as the only assistant. Which is pretty cool. It's weird seeing how toddler/kindergarden-aged kids think.


I recogized that just watching primetime and sitcom junk would drive me insane, so I decided to give both morning and late-night talk shows a chance. Now I'm addicted - especially to Jimmy Fallon, who completely rules - and will probably have a hard time getting un-addicted once the school year approaches.


Growing up, even as a kid, whenever I had a movie I loved, I would end up watching enough to memorize it. But for once, I finally gave more movies on TV and such a chance! What movies, you ask? Among the many teen comedies and dramas, I finally, FINALLY got to watch "I Am Sam" and "Silence of the Lambs", as well as "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", "The Karate Kid" (original one, too!). There's others, but my mind is currently blank. An unexpected bonus: many culture jokes make sense now..."it rubs the lotion on the skin or else it gets the hose again"...


No, not the cool 3-D version that came out, the original, on my good ol' retro Gamecube. But I still beat the crap out of it, bringing my video-games-I've-destroyed total up to...eight! Of course, three of those games are more little-kid games and one is a super-easy Harry Potter game (Chamber of Secrets, haha). I'm not exactly on the path of being videogame-extraordinare here.


One of my cats - Em, short for Emma - popped out kittens two months or so ago, right when I was taken away from the outside world. Since this was her first litter not all of them lived, but the three survivors are the most beautiful critters I've ever seen. Their names: Duck, Rabbit (both part of an inside joke) and Swarley, a reference to a "How I Met Your Mother Episode" (anyone seen it?). Would post some adorable pics, but sadly, they already have homes. Next time!


So, my BFF, and the only person who gets most of the inside jokes mentioned here, happens to be a kickass drawer. Her drawing is like if someone took Tim Burton designs and mixed in a little anime. Since she draws a lot of sorta monster/demented/dark stuff, I asked if she could draw the monster in my WIP (work-in-progress). Now, I just need to find a way to get an agent and publisher who will be willing to have her be the actual cover designer/illustrator person when and if my stuff gets published. Once I can, I'll post a picture of the "monster".


However, despite being someone who dressed up as Hermoine three years in a row, dressed up as Luna Lovegood for the final book release party, read the first HP book I ever picked up (Prisoner of Azkaban) in one week, and read the last one within two days, and pretty much became a writer because of J.K Rowling... I have not seen the new and final movie. *cue audience gasp*. Let's just say that the aforementioned BFF has parents that aren't too happy with letting her go off and see movies. It wouldn't be friend-like to go see without her, so I'll wait until it comes out on DVD if that's what it takes. Though I hope it doesn't! BTW, can someone please explain the whole jumping-off-the-tower-with-Voldemort sequence? It was most definitely not in the book, though it looks cool.

Okay, okay, now that the updates are up, time for my apology. As always, here are some pics straight from the mouth of Google! That is right...LOLcatz!

And my personal favorite...

So hopefully you guys forgive me. And now I can ask you about you guys! Any exciting summer news? Funny moments? Watch any good movies? Don't be afraid to speak up! Besides, I miss people! I miss you guys!!! My Twitter followers come and go, but my few blogger followers are the ones that I adore!

Well, that would be it. For a more formal goodbye, you might wanna check out my actual, more exciting


Monday, May 16, 2011

OPENING A STORY IS LIKE OPENING A DOOR (Lessons From High School English)

Quick Update: One week of school left. Also one week until a music video premiere. Conclusion: AH!

Song Stuck In My Head: “In Too Deep” by Sum 41 (and yes, listening to my favorite singer’s ex-husband’s band is very awkward, very awkward indeed. Sorta the fan girl’s equivalent to flirting with your BFF’s ex-boyfriend).

Hello, strangers! It’s time to bring back another short-lived segment - LESSONS FROM HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH. Today’s topic - story openings! *cheers from make-believe class*

As writers, there is nothing we sweat out more than the beginning. The first words, the first paragraph, the first page. It’s because it’s also the first glimpse into our imaginations, our first time exposing our imaginary friends (“characters” they’re typically called), and the world’s first taste of either a flop or work of genius.

There is no cookie-cutter way to open stories. No formula one can follow to spit out a flawless opening line that will make agents shudder. Us writers are always flailing for the “best of times” or “worst of times”, or just a simple “call me (insert name here)”. Uniqueness is the key.

So, as we all struggle to carve our own sculptures of fictional art, how about I fill you in on the sort of stuff we’re learning in class?

HOW TO OPEN A STORY ACCORDING TO MY LITERARTURE CLASS NOTES (Pros/cons/examples all of my own making).

1. Start with Dialogue - I.E… “It is rather dark and stormy tonight,” I said.
Pro: Bam, voice is introduced, without even trying.
Con: “So, I’m totally talking about something that the reader has no clue about, and doesn’t care about to be honest.”

2. Interjection - I.E… Oh, no! Dark and stormy clouds are gathering outside!
Pro: Immediately ignite some action and emotion.
Con: Do you really want to be one of those writers who starts off their tale with an exclamation point? REALLY!?!!!

3. Onomatopoeia (absolutely ADORE that word) - I.E… KABOOM! Thunder had now entered our already dark and stormy night.
Pro: They demand the attention of le reader.
Con: Maybe a bit too demanding, and can easily weigh in on the “corny, cheesy” scale.

4. Immediate action - I.E… The flash of lightening bounced across the field, heading straight for mine and character two’s car.
Pro: Makes the reader feel immediately involved in a story.
Con: Some readers aren’t ready to take it fast, or keep up with a such a brand new story.

5. Character’s thought - I.E… “Why is it so dark - and stormy - tonight?” I pondered to myself.
Pro: Gives the reader an immediate first impression of your character.
Con: Not an entirely realistic way to start a story, unless it’s a think piece - not many adventures begin with a “hmm” moment.

6. Foreshadowing - I.E… As dark, thunderous clouds overcast our town, I knew something was off.
Pro: Gets the reader interested in the events going on.
Con: If done wrong, you could come off as a *cough* TEASE *cough*

7. Contradiction - I.E… Our peaceful town was usually one of sunshine and smiley faces…but as clouds gathered, I knew today would be different.
Pro: Instantly points out the strangeness of the situation in your story
Con: Can too easily come off as corny, much better for short stories.

8. Moral - I.E… They say every cloud has a silver lining…but what sort of metaphor is it when the cloud is dark and stormy?
Pro: A central theme gets your reader thinking, and prepared for your story’s message.
Con: Distracts from the introduction of your story, if it’s not that important.

Did any ways stick out to you? How many ways have you tried before, or considered trying? Which ones come off as corny to you? Which ones make you think of stories you’ve read before?

Anyhow, there’s a lesson here, and it’s this: forget EVERYTHING you’ve learned about the first page (well, not everything, keep the basics like grammar and how to hold a pen). Rules and “tricks” aren’t always vital to your story. After all, YOUR story is what matters. It’s like every novel has a gazillion doors, all locked…except one. You can try opening the others, but once you find the right one…you can just walk right in.

In this one door, your story will be introduced, with the right voice, mood, vibe, and attitude that will make it stand out, and be its own. Not just some rip-off of your favorite writer or TV show (totally didn’t do that once…well, fine, but I was young, okay?).

And when you find that door, remember that not every reader who enters it will fit. Personally, my favorite opening line of all TIME (“The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit” - Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld) is one that typically grosses people out. But according to SSF, Westerfeld’s sorta a misunderstood genius, so there you go. I love it. Others don’t.

Okay, writer friends. I somehow managed to poke fun at my literature class and compare story openings to doors in one blog post. Accomplishment of the week! So, see you all next week?

One last note though….there is one rule.




…Start your story with a “dark and stormy night”.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Playlist of the Month: Songs That Are Also Stories!

Quick Update: Finally tackling creative writing in my literature class, with a narrative to finish the year off. Pro: chance to write a non-research essay. Bad: going through a bunch of notes on the basics (point-of-view, rising and falling action) that my “peers” treat like calculus. Grrr.

Song Stuck in My Head: A lot of Paramore right now, actually. But I just found the score for my favorite movie on Youtube, so now the theme song is joining them.

It’s the first week of the month. Time to return to the only segment that SSF has so far managed to keep! That’s right - it’s the fourth ever PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH, peeps. POTM is, of course, a chance to share songs that could very well earn their way into your hearts and your own personal playlist for writing.

Today’s topic: songs that are also stories!

There’s generally two things musicians do when it comes to lyrics and such - either convey some universal, relatable emotions, or paint a picture. Both rule and work. When it comes to a story-songs though, inspiration is sorta just waiting to ignite. The musician will tell their side of the story, and let you finish or expand the full story. So go ahead and let the imagination juices flow.

And let’s help. Here’s my top TEN (as in, twice as many as usual) story-songs. Disclaimer: not all stories are true, of course, such as one about a girl killing her boyfriend, or another about nuclear warfare. No need to panic.

So...are you ready?

Florence + the Machine’s “KISS WITH A FIST” - Taken straight off from the soundtrack my favorite slasher-comedy film, “Jennifer’s Body”, this Florence indie-pop smash follows a rather violent guy and gal experiencing a medical case of lover’s spat. Example lyrics: “You smashed a plate over my head/and I set fire to our bed”.

Blink 182’s “ADAM’S SONG” - And you thought they were just brash punks. This surprisingly thoughtful alternative rock track from the popular pop/rock trio revolves around a guy - let’s just call him Adam - about to commit suicide. However, it doesn’t focus on the pain and torment of emotions. Told from Adam’s perspective, it’s very teenager-ish, talking about the things he's missing out on, and things he's thankful to leave behind. A goodbye. Him asking to give away his things, to fix up his room, and to “tell mom this is not her fault”. It feels like Adam’s closing a chapter - only it’s a one-chapter book. Very sad but more nostalgic than anything else.

Avril Lavigne’s “NOBODY’S HOME” - It wouldn’t be a SSF playlist without Avril! Hehe. Anyhow, serious business. Once upon a time, Canadian guitar \-pop star Avril had a friend. And this friend had wandered an unpleasant path, leaving Avril behind. Avril’s life went on to soar, but her friend’s only got worse. The result: a beautifully sad rock ballad that chronicles the slow but heavy fall of her friend. The music video even portrays a glamorous, famous girl and a lonely, homeless girl’s lives being compared (both of which is played by Avril herself).

Linkin Park’s “THE LITTLE THINGS GIVE YOU AWAY” - No rap/screaming metal beats here. With the mellow, but intense, vibe that LP has been channeling lately, this track’s lyrics was inspired when the band visited the site of Hurricane Katrina. The sorrow and empathy is mixed with the disbelief and resentment with our government. Very intense.

Green Day’s “GIVE ME NOVOCAINE” - Another track about a young teenager’s suicide (wow, isn’t SSF a ball of positive energy today?). This time though, it’s not Adam but St. Jimmy - the protagonist of the rock band’s concept album “American Idiot”. Prior to the track where St. Jimmy actually kicks the bucket is this acoustic number, in which our hero is overdosing on Novocain to “take away the sensation inside”. It’s depression, but numbed.

Phil Collin’s “ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE” - What playlist would this be without one of the classics? Hopefully you all know the legendary Collins, and maybe even know this sad but beautiful song. The lyrics follow strangers as they cross paths with people in need…and keep on walking. They’ve been crying, they need a place to sleep, everything…the fact that life remains unfair for them tells a million stories.

Sick Puppies’ “HOWARD’S TALE” - Oooh, this song - an alt-rock track by my favorite group - may be the heaviest listed. Not just in terms of instruments, but in emotional weight. No mere pain here - the song follows “Howard” as he goes from a relatively normal kid to one whose life is tainted at age nine when he is sexually abused (never actually said, but implied the crap out of). Only he cannot - and will not - tell anyone. Confused and victimized, he can’t function well after. He can’t be with a girl, he lives in denial, he gets expelled from school, everything. The song teasingly ends with an ending that could be interpreted as happy or cruel. Very amazing song.

The Pretty Reckless’ “GOIN’ DOWN” - Actress Taylor Momsen’s rock band that has the energy of the classics had this spunky song on their original EP. The picture it’s painting isn’t pretty. The narrator is at confession, and telling the priest a juicy story about about a cheating lover and her having to “bury him eight feet underground”. Of course, she wants forgiveness, even if it means bargaining with a priest of all people, but she also just wants answers as she’s starting to regret the deed. Very fiery and creative song.

My Chemical Romance’s “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” - Yay, another concept album! Alt-rock/punk group MyChem’s recent album, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” focused on a rock group escaping death during the end of the world (dystopia, anyone?). And this particular song, while ethereal and hypnotic, isn’t as innocent as it seems. The song is about a nuclear bomb about to go off and kill everyone, and is basically a warning to “hold your breath when the black bird flies” and “move your body when the sunlight dies”. However, it'll be a song you can’t resist listening to over and over.

And lastly…

EVERY BOWLING FOR SOUP IN EXISTENCE. You know “Bowling for Soup” right, the comical alt-rock/pop favorite? You probably know one of their hits…like one about a woman way behind in the times (1985) or a geek with a thing for a girl into wrestling and rap metal (Girl All the Bad Guys Want) or even just one about the suckiness of high school in general (High School Never Ends). My absolute favorite is “RUNNING FROM YOUR DAD”. Picture a couple swinging on the porch. Then a picture the girl’s dad running out ready to beat the life out of the boy. Ah, the romance! This song manages to come off as hilarious though.

And there’s today’s lesson! Now time for the discussion questions: what is YOUR favorite song that is only a story in musical form?

Anyhow, only the one blog post this week, but since next week is my last FULL week of school, I decided to conclude the year with a special week of blog posts on…

*drum roll*


So check for that, and have an awesome weekend! I certainly will - about to go to my first dance as a high-schooler, supporting the GLBQT community. Cool stuff.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Random Random

Quick Update: Completely winging this blog entry.

Song Stuck In My Head: "Smile" by Avril Lavigne. Just found out the guy directing the video to this amazing new single has directed pretty much the majority of my favorite pop/rock music videos. Panic! At the Disco anyone?

So today is very rushed day. Both of my BFF's are sorta in chaos, I had to turn in a poorly-made fable about a rabbit and a duck (another day?) annnnnnd I'm seriously relieved it's Friday. Anyhow, no legit blog entry today. Just random stuff.

First off, for any Gleeks/or anti-Gleeks out there...I do adore this performance of "Born This Way".

There was also a scene where they danced to this new song, "Barbara Streisand". Has anyone heard it? It's seriously the most ridiculous song in the universe. It's all dance music and then one random person saying the name of the song.

But, oddly, it's quite catchy.

Anyhow, since this is just a random post, why not mention NOVELTEE(N)? A.K.A, new blog that just started up. And yes, I'm totally mentioning them to enter their contests (especially this one!) but the blog seems cool so far. Do follow! It's one of the rare For Teens by Teens blogs!

Okay, see you later!

Oh, and LBH - here's a drinking buddy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: If Your WIP was a song...

Quick Update: I think this is the first "Road Trip Wednesday" I've ever done, from the popular "YA HIGHWAY" site. Awesomeness.

Song Stuck In My Head: No Doubt's "Just a Girl". No idea why.

For anyone who knows the "YA HIGHWAY" blog, awesome! Good luck to you. If not, it's basically this writers' blog (mostly female writers, but whatever) who focus on writing YA fiction. Contemporary. Paranormal. You got it! Their guest writers include young writers already published (their books "The Duff" or "Like Mandarin" are really popular) as well as up-and-coming young and older ones. Pretty cool site.

Anyhow, anyone is welcome to respond in a blog post to a question on Wednesday. I decided to do that today since, well, I kinda do already!

This week's question...

If your WIP or favorite book were music, what song(s) would it be?

Easy answer! SICK PUPPIES, and their rocker, guitar-feedback heavy track "ISSUES" of course!

If anyone wants to join in, knock yourself out!

I'll talk to you all on Friday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

YA Writers Are Saving the World (Sorta...Kinda) - WPT Post

Quick Update: Wow. Okay. Fast week. Is today seriously Friday? Whoa.

Song Stuck In My Head: "For the Love of God" - Steve Vai (a.k.a someone who had to sell his soul to have that sort of guitar skills).

So, would have typed up a less spontaneous post (maybe), but an Earth Day project for school decided to eat up all my time. I'm very passionate about deforestation after all. I mean, how could you ever "slash and burn" forests for money and land? They're the most things (or clusters of things) in the world!

The horror. Well, this is beside the point.

So, I'm stealing today's topic from my lit. class as well as science class. We're doing this small unit on fables, the cutesy tales of lessons and morales. Slow and steady wins the race, don't count your chickens before they hatched, all that fun stuff.

I remember when I was younger and heard or read fables. Let's take the popular "Ant and the Grasshopper" story. Hardworking ant, bum grasshopper. One gets to party all winter, and one freezes and dies. What little tykes are supposed to get from the story is "ohhhh, not doing is work is bad, I better do all the work I can now so I can play later".

And come on. We know the morales in those stories failed to really stick. Procrastination deserves its own health documentaries these days. All the little kids reading the story don't think about the morale. All they think is something around the lines of "haha, grasshopper, sucks to be you!".

But now, YA writers instead of fable writers (if they're even alive anymore, most of them are from centuries ago).

When teenagers transition into the stage they're in now, they are vulnerable to learning morales. The hard way or the easier way that we - yes, we - provide. There's reasons why bookish people tend to be the ones that avoid parties and drugs and craziness. That's because they already read enough tough, but good, books on these issues to avoid it. By having characters go through a mess of chaos, they have less desire to do it on their own. Unless they're sociopathic and like to pretend they are the character in whatever novel they're reading. That's a whole other story.

Not that all teenagers read (or even know how to these days, when it comes to my peers). They usually don't even read the required reading, or think about it. However, slowly YA and books is making its way into mainstream again so you never know....writers could very well affect the lives of young adolescents before they venture into the world themselves. And if the effect is positive, hooray.

In some ways, we are SUPERHEROES. Kinda. Okay. Maybe not.

Okay, enough mediocre philosophy today. Hope everyone is doing rather awesome (oh, and happy...Earth Day, I suppose) and hopefully talk to you next week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rec of the Week: "Impulse" by Ellen Hopkins

Quick Update: Had an epic Hastings overdose yesterday. Got a few eerily cheap books. How exactly does anybody, let alone writers, make money when books are $5.99 at entertainment stores? Sorta too late to change a career choice now though, haha!

Song Stuck in My Head: "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac. Very random. I'm aware.

Drafting this in literature, since we’re taking notes on dialogue. Which would be cool, if the lesson was anything like writer’s blog posts on dialogue (avoiding passive voice, varying sentences, etc.) but nope. It’s basically just quotation marks and other tags besides “said”. Ugh! Since we have to write our own piece of dialogue, I penned a story about a duck selling car insurance to an incompetent rabbit. There’s a very complex inside joke in that, but maybe another day.

So today, let’s go to the world of intelligent writing. Such as the Rec of the Week, “Impulse” by Ellen Hopkins.

I actually read this a few weeks ago, aforementioned in a blog post, but since I’m currently re-reading the Morganville vampires (a.k.a best bloodsucker series ever) why not blog it now?

For anyone whose read or at least heard of the iconic Ellen Hopkins before, you know how her writing works - free verse. No, it’s not all rhyming poems like a YA Dr. Seuss. It’s all dangling, non-rhythmic, yet insightful free verse. No paragraphs or normal dialogue.

“Impulse” was my first EH book, though I’d definitely noticed her work in the teen section. Sort of hard to miss, with how chunky and artistic books like “Crank” and “Burn” are. I picked up “Impulse” as it dealt with teenagers in a psychiatric hospital, something I was trying to find more YA books on.

At first, the opening pages were outrageously flowery and morbid-poetic (the three protagonists attempted suicide for different reasons,) but by the tenth or so page, I was sucked in.

The story is about Conner, Tony, and Vanessa. Conner’s a new patient at the hospital, with elite boy charm and a relatively calm and collected demeanor - if not for the fact he shot himself. Tony, meanwhile, is an older patient - who’s already friendly with institutions like juvie - and is still recovering from the drugs that nearly killed him. Though he also seems normal, his life is bruised with neglect and abuse. And lastly is Vanessa, a mid-level patient that’s showing progress as she deals with depression after her mother’s suicide and being dumped by the love of her life. Under all of that, she has signs of bipolar disorder, which her mother had as well.

The book will probably the most intense the first it’s read. All three characters start off with these thick and impassable layers. Slowly, they open up not to their doctors but each other, and secret after secret is revealed. Let’s go ahead and say “bad childhoods” would not even begin to describe it.

What writers could really take from this book is how the three characters’ back-story is handled. After all, a popular mistake among noobs is dumping a load of 411 and fun facts about the character and their life prior to the story. Though I’ve yet to read her other books, Ellen Hopkins definitely handles the intricate back stories. Characters are revealed bit by bit, instead of being sloppily explained in detail in chapter one.

Annnd that would be it. Definitely a good read, no matter how you look at it! Now to figure out which EH book to pounce on first…. Muhaha.

Besides that, pretty good week over here. I actually understand the section my Algebra 3-4 class is covering, which terrifies me to the bone. Got to watch Avril Lavigne perform on Oprah, and sing a duet with Pat Benatar during the episode’s “Rock Goddesses” special. Also watched Miley Cyrus’s attempt to mirror Joan Jett‘s natural rock, onstage presence when they sang together as well. It was amusing to see a Disney starlet try to come off as “rock n’ roll”.

Anyhow, I’ll stop my ranting about music before it gets too whiney. Hope everyone’s week has been spiffy, and talk to you next week! Maybe on a day before Friday, even! * le gasp*


Friday, April 8, 2011

Playlist of the Month: “Bipolar” Songs (er, slow and fast songs)

Quick Update: Now to save le blog from a serious case of abandonment. Since this thing’s not even a year old yet, that could be considered child abuse.

Song Stuck In My Head: Tiny Dancer - Elton John (who’s been very prevalent in the media lately. I love this song in the movie “Almost Famous” though).

Hello, strangers! Haven’t really gotten much computer time at home to blog, since my laptop charger sparked its last cold last week (let’s just say you can SEE the metal wires inside the black rubber). I hope no one has forgotten me!

Main news includes: new music vid from favorite band (YAY!), newfound obsessions with the band All-American Rejects (mentioned later), switch from original Twitter to something called “Tweetree” as Twitter’s been giving me the cold shoulder, and a case of James Cameron syndrome (definition: sudden urges to watch Cameron movies - couldn’t find our copy of “Avatar” but did get out the box set of “Titanic” and sobbed over Leo DiCaprio’s death, as per usual.

So funny how this blog post came about. While back, I was writing with a Top 40 radio station playing. Since my WIP takes place in a mental ward, one of my MC’s is diagnosed with “manic depression”, a fancy term for bipolar.

Anyhow, I was idly considering a switch of moods for her in the scene when…BAM! Katy Perry’s hit “Hot N’ Cold” started playing on the radio.

I believe they call that “fate”, haha!

So here are the songs that are bipolar themselves, starting out smooth and slow, then picking up in an extremely energetic part two. It’s mostly alternative rock, but it has some soundtrack love too, as well a guest appearance from rock royalty.

LET IT DIE by Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl’s post-Nirvana band has turned out several bipolar songs over the years, but this one reaches high and low extremes. The song starts out soft, with very melodic and almost whispery vocals reminiscing about a lost love as an acoustic guitar plays. Slowly, voice tracks, base, and drums are added in small amounts. Then an explosion of loud, furious singing and electric guitar tears open the beat and a whole new song emerges. Pretty epic stuff.

SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS ( Eurythmics cover) by Emily Browning. Taken from the soundtrack of the film I reaaaaaaaally want to see, SUCKER PUNCH! This cover is super-psychedelic, and starts out very calm before delving into a whole range of craziness. It’s sung by the movie’s lead actress, Emily Browning, a British starlet you may recognize as Violet Baudelaire, or from the horror film “The Uninvited”. Her modest voice and accent make the song take a whole new life.

THE POISON by All-American Rejects. Another soundtrack tune, this time from “Almost Alice”, the compilation album for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I recently realized that AAR - pop/rock band with well-known songs like “Gives You Hell” and “Move Along” - is one of my favorite bands. This song is only more reason why. The love song starts out like a catchy, sugary, acoustic song that works perfectly with singer Tyson Ritter’s dark vocals. And then the tempo changes into a heavier, shouty song that sounds more like the band’s mainstream mess. There’s something wonderfully hypnotic about it. Very much worth a listen if you like the band at all!

ONE (cover song) by Filter. I love this band! Filter, mostly known for “Take a Picture”, also have a soundtrack song. Theirs goes all the way back to the 90’s, for an X-Files film. This is pretty much a rock take on “One”, a classic bluesy-oldies song that croons “twooooo can be as bad as one”. The song has an intense change in tempo. It begins with gloomy, but strong, singing over loneliness. Then, with only a pounding of drums, the depression becomes screaming and a grunge-rock song ignites. Talk about emotional!

And last but never least…

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY by Queen. Anyone who dislikes this band is probably un-American. I kid. In any case, these rock icons had a variety of hits, a lot of which switch tempos so much that it feels like listening to two or three songs in one sitting. Bohemian Rhapsody is a very fitting - and enjoyable! - example. From saddening, piano ballad to crazy, opera-esque, to classic rock fight song. The song feels a dream that makes no sense, but was awesome in every sense of the word.

And that would be it! I avoided mentioning Sick Puppies, as half of their songs could go here (I mean, their third album TITLE is “Tri-Polar”!). You could check out “Pitiful”, “Anywhere but Here”, or their cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Cherub Rock” though, if you need more proof. Or you could check out their new music video, the not-so-bipolar "Riptide"! Just saying!

Other than that, I hope you are all doing well. And if you’re not, then just go to the grocery store and get some Easter candy before it gets too expensive - it‘ll cheer you right up! I had a couple of Peeps for breakfast this morning (and no, I realize nothing about that even sounds remotely healthy).

Oh, and how does Ellen Hopkins sound for a “Rec of the Week”?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

YA Fashion and Stereotypes...Today!

Quick Update: Just finished typing up a faux movie review for my journalism class’s April Fools Issue. It’s a sci-fi/dystopian-macabre-adventure/action-soppy romance. Its lead actor is Justin Bieber, and Charlie Sheen voices a talking animal. Figure THAT out.

Song Stuck In My Head: “Stay Home” by Self, via soundtrack for 1st Shrek movie (rather random, I know)

Heey, guys, long time no…blog. Spring break’s over, I’m back in the computer lab, I got TWO, count ‘em, TWO new followers in my absence (to whom I wave vigorously to) and it’s time for something fresh.

This post is mostly inspired by a purchase I made the other day, a long and very Joan-Jett-esque leather lacket. One of the buttons is missing, a pocket’s torn in, and there’s some tears. That kinda just makes look more badass though. : ) I LOVE it. And not just because it looks rocker, but it fits this thing the baddie wears in my WIP. Which got me to thinking….

What DOES fashion say about the tweens/teens in your WIP? Anything? Everything?

I am so not going to make it seem like I know anything about fashion in the real world of teenagers. I have a dorky-rocker look going on with lots of colors, ties, gloves, skirts, and heavy makeup. Very hybrid.

Here are what I would call today’s stereotypes though. It has evolved far from the broad classifications (cocky jock, cheerleader-prep, uuber-nerd, poetic goth, and plaaain/everyman) that we all already know and love. Much more distinct….

Jock has developed into…

Richer, preppier, well-to-do “jocks” - For some reason, wear a lot of white. Long shirts. Lifetime supply of shorts. These tend to be the ones on track or cross-country teams, but also basketball too.

Buff, more classical, tanned “jocks” - The vest is still a popular artifact, if you want to keep that in. More pants too. Definitely for more of the football variety, but soccer and baseball too.

Cheerleader has developed into…

Girl “Jocks” - These are the girls who walk around with the jerseys and sports outfit’s a lot like it is their wardrobe. Depending on whatever sport they’re in, of course.

Actual cheerleaders - Not too much of a similarity between them, except for their size. Just remember they almost ALWAYS have their hair up.

Fashionistas of the future - Girls with big, layered hair made by extensions and a lot of short skirts, heels or boots, make-up galore, fishnets, lace, etc. Sometimes I see them wearing designs they made in fashion class. Good for them.

Uuber-nerds have developed into…

Modernized geeks/nerds - Think a lot of cargo shorts and a lot of baggy t-shirts. The most common hair is short, sorta-touseled but thick hair that makes you think of Daniel Radcliffe in the first Harry Potter movie.

Girl geeks/nerds - More fashionally awkward clothes. Think stuff you’ll see in a thrift store a bit more, haha.

And, my fave, fan girl geeks - Band shirts, lots of colors and randomness. I have friends who wear pigtails and then ones who merely straighten their hair. There’s usually some sort of thing on their clothes or backpacks that relate to animals too.

Poetic goth has developed into…

Dark goth - Yep, they still wear black. Dyed hair. Fishnets and the occasional leather glove. When it comes to girls though, not-so-Goth accessories like silver jewelry have become more commonplace. Don’t ask why, because I do not know eiter.

Rocker/metal Goth - A lot of black, but more skinny jeans, band or Hot Topic shirts, and so many accessories that one might scream. Their hair is usually wild, colorful and creatively dyed but usually joined by black (underneath or in highlights perhaps).

Plain/everyman has developed into…

Well, nothing. This sect shall always exist, the epicenter of all the others. Today, that usually means Wal-mart or Target clothes. I’m not sure about shirts, since my high school has a t-shirt uniform. Skinny jeans are still way too popular (if it was just girls I’d understand but there’s nothing more traumatizing than a guy wearing skinny jeans low enough to see his boxers). Shoes are mostly converse or sneakers. A lot of hair is straightened when it comes to girls. Relatively simple when it comes down to it.

Stereotypes have come a long way since John Hughes. There are more in-betweens, more specific classifications. When deciding what kind of teenager your main character will be, don’t over think their wardrobe. Sometimes fashion can just be natural.

What sort of fashion-stereotypes do your characters already seem to be like? How about your favorite YA characters when it comes to clothes? After all, there are many interesting people out there besides Plain-Jane/girl-geek hybrids like Bella Swan.

Okay. The laptop screen is starting to dizzy me, so time to catch some Z’s. I’ll talk to you all later, hopefully! Expect a Rec of the Week on a book next week. ;)

And I'll leave you with a trailer for the movie I'm sort of DYING to see right now (it involves a girl in a mental asylum, haha!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Quick Update: Just checked out two books dealing with teens in a mental hospital to read over spring break. Haha.


Pretty amazing day I had yesterday. My friend may or may not have broken up with her jerk of a boyfriend, finally. The adorable gay guys in this "gay-straight" alliance club me and a couple of my friends attend were friggin' HILARIOUS yesterday during this game we played. We didn't have to trek in my P.E. class.

Oh yeah...and yesterday I bought this CD here...

Pretty amazing day indeed!

And I listened to it all in one sitting, barely breathing. My face probably looked like this...

There's no greater joy than being a fangirl. I truly regret the day I do that weird "growing up" thing (haha) and don't obsess over things like musicians and movies, because it's an inner happiness that can rarely ever be obtained. I mean, it has its downsides (me and one of the aforementioned friends were recently ready to cry and sob because we JUST found out the guitarist and drummer left one of our favorite bands) but the upsides (is that a word?) were worth it.

I won't post a long, overly detailed review on here, to save you guys the time. Avril Bandaids has a post thingy just for reviews, so I think I'll put my long, overly detailed opinion on there. It's definitely a CD I would recommend though, if you ever decide to purchase an Avril Lavigne album. Just sayin'.

And to keep this blog-ish, have you guys ever waited for a CD/book/movie/etc. so long and so passionately that you felt it in your veins? How did it feel when that wonderful, spectacular, beautiful thing came into your possesion? Sharing time! Haha!

Okay, hopefully I can talk to you guys later this week. We have two early release days, then a week off for spring break (even though I live in a mega-party town, I'll probably stay inside 24/7) but I'm hoping to visit the library and visit. :)

So whether or not I talk to you guys, have fun, and see you later!

Friday, March 4, 2011

PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH: Nostalgiac, Bittersweet Songs

Quick Update: My mom just got herself her first Facebook! I'm not too terrified (yet) because I rarely go on there and she doesn't know how to use it anyways, xD.

Song Stuck In My Head: Pretty much this entire video.

I'm drafting this in math, instead of doing notes. I failed to write the blog last night, since I sorta dozed off while listening to Avril Lavigne songs. Sleep deprivation will do that to you.

Anyways, welcome to the second ever PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH! And today's theme is *drum roll* NOSTAGLIA. As in, missing somebody or a part of your life that you can never go back to, with a mixture of happiness and downright depression.

This is today's theme mostly because a preview of one of Avril's new songs - Wish You Were Here - is dancing in my head. Also because we mentioned something about conserving old memories in my history class.

And now, moving onto the music!

INCUBUS - 11 A.M. This song is very bittersweet, almost-acoustic tune, and Brandon Boyd's vocals match it perfectly. With lyrics that mention how the garbage day is a sad day, since there are things you're throwing away for good. They use the best metaphors. I'd definitely recommend looking up the lyrics to this when you listen to it.

THE CARDIGANS - Erase and Rewind. Totally not a song I would typically listen to, but someone put it in the background of a video I watched once, and it stuck. IT's a very soft, mellow tune, and really descriptive of how it feels to be unable to go back and change something in the past.

SICK PUPPIES - The Way. My favorite band! This is one of their earlier songs (circa 2000) when they were living in Australia still, and it's definitely the soft song on the album. But it's still pretty amazing, and very nostalgiac over "the way things used to be".

METRIC - Combat Baby. Metric is one of my Indie vices. :) Anyhow, it's a very dark and moody indie-punk song, about missing the way things were, even if the way things were weren't the most enjoyable thing over. Stuff like "I miss your ranting", and "do you miss my all-time lows?"

GREEN DAY - Whatshername. The ultimate modern rock, post-break-up song. Trying to forget the person, trying to remember, it's a whole mass of confusion. Since the entire American Idiot album is about the fictional "St. Jimmy", it makes sense that the girl he loved would get her own song, however nostagliac.

I guess I'd thought it would be cool to have a playlist with this theme, since last month's theme was all love songs. These are songs that hit hard when the love and spark is gone and fading. A lot of fictional characters go through this feeling after all. Can you guys think of anything that represents that emotion to you?

And that's today's blog! I have no idea how inverse functions (today's lesson) work, but I'm thinking my life will go on. I guess I'll talk to you all later. Expect a very, very, VERY Avril-themed string of blogs next week. xD

Later, and be sure to have an awesome weekend!