Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Real Teenagers Vs. Fictional Teenagers (Writing, Publishing, and the Teenager Post)

Quick Update: For those who didn't see my tweet about it, right now I'm decked out in Nerd/Fangirl gear. Twilight t-shirt. Harry Potter "Hogwarts" robe. Panda backpack. Oh, and three little kid tattoos on my face - "Team Edward", "Team Jacob", and a lightning scar. Muhahaha....

Song Stuck In My Head: “Steady as She Goes” by the Raconteurs. It’s a very catchy song. I love the beat.

Okay, my eyes are still burning hot thanks to waking up WAY too early, but here we go. For the first actual WRITING, PUBLISHING, and the TEENAGER post in an era or too…we shall debate fictional teenagers and…well, the ones in reality. Hopefully I can consider myself knowledge enough in this area, being an adolescent who only writes YA-aged stuff.

Also, I am very bored and feel guilty for not posting as much. And, begin!

FICTIONAL TEENAGERS know much about themselves. They can tell you their favorite color, their favorite band, how they got that scar on their cheek whenever they glance in the mirror. They’re pretty confident with their sense of self identity.

REAL TEENAGERS need a minute when you ask what their favorite song is. They also freak out whenever they see a new scar because how they supposed to know how they got it?

FICTIONAL TEENAGERS have a way with words. Since all their dialogue is specifically tailored to their personality and style of speaking, there’s no need to worry about it sounding less intelligent than they really are, or out-of-tone.

REAL TEENAGERS…. “No way”, “you’re kidding!” “are you cereal!?” “Omigod, I love that show!” are among the more popular phrases of choice when it comes to them. And though they do have a certain personality to their words, sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.

FICTIONAL TEENAGERS fall in love with eerily (handsome/smart/mysterious) fictional teenagers, and never have to worry about chemistry or whether they’ll get along. After all, meeting your eternal soul mate in the school hallway is a bit too common when it comes to YA books.

REAL TEENAGERS are lucky if their “meant-to-be” relationship lasts more than a week.

FICTIONAL TEENAGERS tend to have a grasp on their goals in life, where they see themselves going, what their passions are. They already know what they’ll major in come college. They got it all planned out.

REAL TEENAGERS are clueless. Fifty percent of them say they’re going to be doctors and/or surgeons when they grow up. Until they figure out they have take way more classes than the usual college student. And that’s why God invented the “cubicle job”.

Personally, though it could be that I’ve watched too much Diablo Cody movies where her teenage characters lived in a more heightened reality, fictional teenagers beat the crap out of real ones. But that could be bad. Any sort of character that’s a bit too perfect will raise eyebrows. When you start realizing your characters live in an odd, even cliché world, just try to remember your own adolescence. How swell was it? Exactly.

What sort of major differences do YOU guys see in fictional characters? When compared to real ones, that is.

Okay. My fingers hurt. So see you next Friday (hopefully) when I give you guys my fan girl review of the film INCEPTION! Later!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Rec of the Week: Brandon Boyd! (a.k.a lead singer of Incubus)

Quick Update: Typed up in-between periods of psychosis as I await a certain music video debuting this Sunday. : ) La, la, la, la…

Song Stuck In My Head:… Taking Back Sunday’s “Sink Into Me”. It’s a very awesome video.

After Sick Puppies and My Chemical Romance - two bands I have already fangirled about - Incubus would definitely be my next favorite band. Since they’re extremely well-known (you’ve probably heard “Drive” before) I won’t waste anyone’s time squealing about a popular alternative band that’s been around since the 90’s. Unless truth be told, and they do release an album this year, but that’s just expected. Other than that, no fangirling over the band. Nope.

Just the lead singer. *evil laugh*

The lead singer of Sick Puppies agrees with me on this (or so he’s said before) - Brandon Boyd, the lead vocalist as well as occasional congo-drum player of California-native band Incubus, is the most friggin’ talented male singer of our time. No, seriously. We’ll always cherish Frank S., and Michael Jackson, and all of those other cult classics…but for now, Brandon is still performing and croons his way into many hearts. It makes sense, as Incubus has a very mellow edge to their music. A raw edge. And he’s an amazing live singer (at least of what I’ve seen in videos, hehe).

Recently, Brandon Boyd released a solo album. Which only makes sense. The guys in Incubus are just as perverted and drunken buffoons as you would expect young rock stars to be, but they’re also bursting to the rim with creativity. They’re artists, cartoonists, designers, etc. Since Brandon could rock the congo drums like a pro, and wasn’t too bad on acoustic guitar, he released the small in-between album “Wild Trapeze”.

I haven’t properly listened to any of its tracks until now, since I’m in the middle of an Incubus obsession. And hoooooly skittles, is it amazing. Take one of these singles from the CD, and its very artistic video, “Last Night a Passenger”.

I’d mostly recommend the song “Courage and Control”. This was one of the most looked up songs of his on Youtube, and there’s a reason why. It’s all acoustic guitar and has a soft, gentle piano touch to it. His first single, “Runaway Train” is pretty good as well. The whole album seems to have this indie meets folk edge to it, but still has the dramatization of Incubus songs. What’s not to love? And even better, he's also a badass artist. You should look up some of his work.

In a random change of subject, has anyone seen the new season of American Idol yet? Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are rather…odd judges. Oh well. I'm just thankful that Kara Digouridi (NO idea how to spell her last name) is gone. She really got on my nerves. I was glad that when Katy Perry of all people guest-judged, she threatened to throw her coke in Kara's face (it would have been entertaining!).

Later, guys. Hope you have a good weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Quick Update: Attempting the “Snowflake Method”. So far I haven’t stopped to stare, with self-pity, at my laptop screen so it must be going good. I’m still at the character description part though, of course.

Song Stuck in My Head: "Do That Thing You Do". For some reason, the audio visual class used that for the background song in the announcements. To each it's own....

The cool thing about us writers is that they’re sponges. Anytime we read a blog article, or a book that looked rather awesome and informative on the shelves, its vacuumed up and converted to an everlasting brain juice that could very well affect…well, everything we do.

But there’s always your first.

We don’t come into this world automatically aware of how the publishing process works. Or what the heck a “literary agent” is. Or, even, *gasp* that “fiction novel” IS REDUNDANT! WHAT! We enter the writing world full of random, reckless ideas and adoration of Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/Stephen King/all of the above/other. Then - usually after writing the first horrible first drafts that at the time seemed so [insert corny and much-too positive adjective here] - we decided to know more about the craft.

I got a bit too lucky. I didn’t really leave the house a lot (this was before my obsessive-library-visit phase) and lacked internet a couple years ago as well. Then one day, our church had a yard sale. As in everyone who had stuff they wanted to throw out anyways just dropped it off and we sold about one tenth of it all.

Fortunately enough, I was helping. And since was business was, well, slow (we live in a rather deserted area) I wandered. I picked up the books, which were mostly the dull health ones that a lot of the old ladies in our park read. And then - shining beautifully, gorgeously, and happily in the afternoon sunlight - there it was.

HOW TO WRITE & SELL YOUR FIRST NOVEL by Oscar Collier and Frances Spatz Leighton.

(Cue: Opera singing of “Hallelujah”).

Perhaps you read this, perhaps you haven’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t (it’s a bit old, circa 1986) but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if you had (it’s a jackpot for the clueless newcomer). Pretty much, no matter how outdated it is, most of what I know and practice today bases from it. How plot and characters fit together. Different genres and sub-genres. True stories of six, different and famous writers. There’s even a chapter on how to handle tough stuff like character names or more R-rated material.

What was the first book, or the first article/blog you came by, that filled you in on the business? Or did you learn in a less conventional way? Awesome writer friend? Youtube video? Because no matter how much you learn from the blogosphere or your nearest library, nothing might ever compare to where you learned first.

Share, share, share! In the meantime, back to the Snowflake Method document I go….

And, though very random, anyone hear about a sequel to "Mean Girls" coming out this Sunday? Poor Hollywood. You know it’s bad when they they’ve already run short of 20th century teen horror flicks that they’re moving onto more modern classics. I can’t watch it (no satellite) though I do have reason to if somehow I had access to ABC family this Sunday (Avril Lavigne video premiere, hehe).

Anyone have a take on it? I’m mostly just feeling sorry for the wonderful Tina Fey, Amanda Seyfried, and Rachel McAdams. A made-for-TV sequel is the worst fate any pop culture icon can face, after all. Not that I can guarantee it will bomb.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Best. Pop. Song. EVER. (Rec of the Week post)

Quick Update: My friend has been noticing a lot of teachers resemble celebrities. For instance, her old math teacher looks like Bobby Monyham's bald twin.

Song Stuck in My Head: "Arms of an Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. Mostly because we were talking about persuasive ads in literature, and my teacher mentioned the depressing commercial of cats and dogs in Humanes Society pounds.

Okay. You've been warned. It's time to release the fangirl on -

Avril Lavigne.

She's mostly known for being some teen, pop/rock Canadian who emerged in 2002 with songs like "I'm With You" and "Complicated". By 2007, she'd become a sort of punky pop goddess. Never a fan of autotune or having songs written for her, Avril is a converse-wearing, tie-loving, raccoon-eyed rocker with a sweet and outrageously "innocent" voice, despite the tattoo of the F word on her ribcage.

And had it not been for hearing her guitar-heavy hit "Sk8r Boi" back whenI was a big-eyed and music-clueless tween, I would not care for the heavy or alternative rock I love today. So, pretty much, I'm eternally grateful to Avril.

Well, her fourth album, "Goodbye Lullaby", is due in March and the early listeners of it rave about how it's very anti-pop, and full of acoustic and piano ballads. Except the first single off the album, of course. A single that's already #2 on the Itunes charts, after being debuted on Dick Clark's Rockin New Years special.

It's synthy, entergetic, brutally honest, feisty, and demanding to be sung along to. It's fun, with lyrics like "I'd rather rage" and "I'm messing with your head". It's a testament of independence - independence against the media, who still think of her as some punk teenager even though she's 26 now, and independence against her first marriage, to Sum 41 lead singer Deryck Whibley. It's "What the Hell".

I don't usually like pop melodies, but Avril tends to be the main excption. I absolutely adore this song. And, as a writer and not fangirl speaking, it's suitable for a rebellious character or a goody-goody about to take an epic journey to the wild side. *wink*

Okay, going back to reading blogs now. Have a good weekend guys!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SSF IS...SORTA BACK! (Update Post)

Quick Update: I started drafting this while watching "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" in history. It took until ten minutes before the movie was over that I figured out which one was even Elizabeth. Oh well.

Song Stuck In My Head: Fireflies by Owl City (got in a converse involving that today).

See that massive hand in the air? That's me waving at you guys - hey, long time no see!

Winter break's over, and there's laptops in journalism class now (though, I'll be honest, Macs scare me very, very much). So it's time to get back to work. Kind of. Actually, I've doomed you all to a fangirl post by the end of this week, my deepest and most sincerest apologies for that.

I hope you guys had a cheery Christmas and epic New Year's. I didn't do much except for read (expect a very strong review on Brooke Taylor's "Undone"), watch movies (INCEPTION. IS NOW. IN MY. POSSESSION! Muhahahaha....), finishing my first Legend of Zelda game (and with only a little itty bitty help via Youtube walkthrough) and talk to my best friend, who's thankfully recovering more and more from the accident that, weirdly enough, happened a month ago from today. She recently dyed her hair red, thanks to this guy. I didn't do a lot of writing (which is an invite for someone to run up and slap me) but I made up for it with epiphanies and prewriting.

I'm hoping this year on SSF will be one of actual blogging. I worship my flash drive, even though I don't use it to type blogs at home. Well, I do sometimes, but then the laptop freezes up (it's very shy) and the whole document vanishes. This is actually the third version of this blog post you're reading now. Fun fact, right?

Even this is proof I'm procrastinating, since it's just another "hey, whassup?" post. But I have reviews of movies, books, etc. And I'm reading these two books right now, one about fiction books in general and another about "getting romantic" with the idea of writing. So I'm sure that'll spark a Writing, Publishing, and the Teenager post or two.

And how about you guys? Hey! Whassup? I can't still believe I'm getting more followers...but hi to you guys too. Thanks for thinking of me enough to hit the subscribe button.

Okay, I'll stop now before the rabid and drooling fangirl in me ends up spitting out anything from my Rec of the Week post.

Oh...too late...I'm sorry. Here, I'll make it up to you with the best quote I ever heard...this week.


- Jim Carrey, Saturday Night Live, 1/8/11 (as in last Saturday, he hosted).

Later guys!