Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So Many Questions!

Quick Update: Decided to start torturing myself - even though there are 30-second previews of every song on my favorite musicians’ new CD (on shelves in two weeks) I’m only allowing myself to listen to one. Don’t want to ruin it. :) Wish me good luck!

Song Stuck In My Head: Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses (it’s becoming one of my favorite songs, for no reason whatsoever).

Note: This post is mainly inspired by the fact my favorite band, Sick Puppies, is hosting a live chat tomorrow (well, tonight when you're reading this, since this is all being typed Tuesday night) on their Facebook, and since I might find a way to the local college library to participate, I’ve been searching my head for every question one could ask the most amazing three-piece alternative rock band alive.

As writers, there’s a definite chance that one day in our lives we’re going to meet a well-known author. Either through the industry, through a email conversation telling them how much they rule, or even something small like a book signing we get to attend. However, the chances that we’ll get to meet the writers we call idols, I.E the godly J.K Rowling, are so depressingly slim.

Which sucks. Because the greats are the ones who have the most knowledge to offer us, aren’t they? How did they become cult classics? Icons? Go from slightly disturbed, hallucinating storytellers like us to critically acclaimed, artistic geniuses? And…ow.

(Sorry, we’re experimenting technical difficulties. Kitten totally just clawed me in the face. Ow, ow, OW.)

Anyways, ignoring the burn above my lip, let’s get to the meat of the matter.


To J.K Rowling, writer of…well, DUH.

Does Hogwarts exist? I’ll file out a transfer form NOW, I don’t care if I have to move to England, I can tolerate the accents and slang terms. I mean, uh, how about “How do you go about your world-building? People like you and Tolkien have to have a system for this, tips on how to flesh out a story until ending it feels like destroying a whole entire world.”

To L.J Smith, author of the Night World series as well as the original Vampire Diaries books (love Night World , but Vampire Diaries TV show is more tolerable than the books).

“Only one question, really. Do you miss teenage fantasy horror as much as I do? Well, okay, two questions. Can you get me Ian Somerhalder’s home address? Please?”

To Scott Westerfeld, writer of the kickass dystopian Uglies trilogy.

“Where do your awesome, futuristic ideas come from? And how the hell do you keep concepts like teenagers born at midnight having superpowers (Midnighters series) and a one-track minded government (Uglies trilogy) from being so far from corny? Is there a trick to giving everything a touch of personality and passion that keeps it so un-corny?”

To Sarah Dessen, teenage-chick-lit writer extraordinaire (okay, technically, I’ve only read one of her books, but I know the general idea of the rest).

“Does Lifetime and ABC Family even know about you? Haven’t they fought over the rights to every one of your books? Wait, don’t answer that. How about…how do you manage to keep your writing in one genre? Is it possible for writers to do that anymore, to keep themselves fresh yet never stray from whatever genre they love the most? I mean, this is a super-crazy world we live in. One day you go from writing about vampires, to writing about aliens, and now you’re talking mermaids and stuff like that. Speaking of which…..”

To Stephenie Meyer, a.k.a Middle-aged-Bella-Swan. Er, I mean author of Twilight.

“HOW!? No offense against the series, it’s entertaining no matter how you look at it, but HOW did you get a book agented when said book only existed for six months? Can one write a publishable book in six months? Did you even get to edit it yourself? I’m so confused….”

Those are the YA writers I can think of off the top of my head. It’s sorta late, so my imagination isn’t the most reliable thing in the world right now. And I’m still recovering from Cat Scratch Fever, haha.

And you know it’s coming, but what about you guys? Any questions you would love to ask a writer otherwise untouchable? It doesn’t have to be just YA authors, like my list. Any published author will do!

Okay, that’s it for now. Expect a Rec of the Week post Friday, most likely on the movie “Zombieland”. Which rules, by the way.

(And as a last note, did I get the song “Cat Scratch Fever” stuck in anyone’s head in the other paragraph? *evil grin*)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let’s Talk About Zombies (And Vamps…and Werewolves…and so on)

Quick Update: Is it weird to love Lady Gaga but not favor Madonna whatsoever? I feel like a hypocrite.

Song Stuck In My Head: Glee's cover of a My Chemical Romance song, "Sing". Now THAT really took me by surprise.

What a week I had! Mostly it was spent being sick out of my mind (which I’m using as my alibi for the lack of blogging last week) but it was also spent watching “Zombieland” a couple times (one of the inspirations for this post, and definite future “Rec of the Week”), diving deep into a huge AvrilLavigneobsession mode, etc. Oh, and watching my first ever 3-D movie! No, it wasn’t something cool and adult like “Santum”. It was - and you all have permission to laugh your head off at this, because I certainly did - Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never”.

Don’t worry, though I was ill with many sicknesses last week, “Bieber Fever” *snort* was not among them. It was mostly a chance to hang out with my best friend, and fellow fan girl, who happens to be a diagnosed with a serious case of BF. Her Twitter page background is just a repeated tile of him right now as we speak. The main problem was that no one warned me of the damage 3-D effects do to one’s eyes. I mean…uh, ow.

Okay, onto the actual blogging. Well…half-attempt at actual blogging.

So I just found out one of my favorite Sick Puppies songs, “The Bottom”, is a song written from a zombie to its next victim. Not only does a lot about it make sense, but it also made me think. In the end, which modern and fictional critter is truly the most badass?

And so, the randomness begins.


Why they are badass…Well, they eat you. I would consider that a little terrifying. If anyone has seen “Zombieland”, whose zombies are friggin’ SCARY monsters that drool black guck and blood, you know how true that is. Pretty much, zombies have no conscience or intelligent thoughts. Unless “foooooood” counts as an intelligent thought. They’re just diseased, and they spread the disease like wildfire so they’re not alone. There’s no point to their monstrosity - it just is. Which makes them pretty eerie.

Why they’re not so badass…. Zombies are far from immortal, though undead. As seen in various movies and videogames (I.e Resident Evil games) human weapons are more than enough to take them out. I mean, if Jesse Eisenberg of all people can kill zombies, obviously any of us can.


Why they’re badass: Well, Twilight references put aside, most vampires in literature have been known to be sadistic and creepily intelligent critters. They’re immortals, so they have a lot of time to kill. Humans don’t mean much but pawns to them, chess pieces they can play with in their little games. Since humans are also edible pawns to vampires, the vamps can be pretty merciless too. Unlike zombies, they do have a conscience and thoughts, but they use it too. Psychological bullies, in the long run, are worse than physical ones.

Why they’re not so badass: Since the majority do have consciences, they also tend to be a little…overridden by human-like emotions. Love isn’t the only one, though recently it’s been used to the point of abuse. Guilt can be one, like with Angel of the Buffy the Vampire series whose weighed down with regret over all the innocent people he killed. There’s also fear, insecurity, etc.


Why they’re badass…Werewolves are animals. As in, all human qualities like emotions or feelings…once the fur’s out, they’re gone. Instincts take over, and in most paranormal fiction or horror movies, they become downright monsters who aim to kill and destroy. They have fangs, claws, and are more like rabid wolves than half-humans if written right. If not written right….

Why they’re not badass… Well, werewolves are animals. They’re not exactly the most fearful thing in the world. Are you more afraid of a human with a weapon or an angry dog? Besides, everyone knows silver gets them. And you only have to worry about them twelve times a year, on a planned schedule. They are easier to avoid than most critters.


Why they’re badass…Yeah, yeah, they’re not many books where fairies are the danger. But they can be, both fairies and their close relatives, the pixies. They’re small little buggers with human intelligence but the speed and strengths of bees and wasps. And we all know they have sharp teeth too. How is there not a hundred slasher films about fairies yet?

Why they’re not badass… It’s a mixture of their glittery dust, colorful wings, adorableness, and the fact we were all raised to believe fairies are like Tinkerbell.

Why they’re badass…. Look at how easily they can attack unsuspecting victims. They’re in gardens all over the world, passed off as innocent, Santa-like statues. Yet when they attack…who knows what will happen. Apparently there’s already a book written about the possible hazards of this too.

Why they’re not badass… Well…

All the evidence I give to you of the badassery of sloths is this picture my friend showed me a while back. You have been warned.

So, any badass monsters give you the shivers? Or can you think of any critters whose dangers have yet to be known to the public?

Okay, enough randomness for the week. Hopefully I’ll have a Rec of the Week post for you guys sometime Friday. Till then, happy Wednesday and Thursday!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Playlist of the Month! (Writing, Publishing, and the Teenager post)

Quick Update: Just uploaded my fifth ever Youtube video last night, dealing with the bassist of my fave band, Sick Puppies. Very ecstatic.

Song Stuck In My Head: Alien Ant Farm's cover of the MJ hit, "Smooth Criminal". Not too random, it was on the radio in teh car this morning.

And now, introduding yet another new segment to the most spontaneous and off-schedule blog in existence! SSF presents...PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH! *confetti*

Writer's playlists are a vital part of the process. Finding the right music for your tone and characters can make a major difference. For instance, much of my WIP was re-shaped by the song "Issues" by the aforementioned Sick Puppies. They also act as a fun and suprising expression of the writer. Maybe Stephenie Meyer's writing is run-on, but at least we can agree with her undying adoration for the band Muse. Right? Right.

So, in PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH - hopefully every first week of the month - I'll share some worthy songs spanning various genres to be added to your own music library!

Let's do this - PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH, Februrary 2011. Since love is mostly in the air (irritation with high candy prices tends to overrule the romance) here's five songs for the romantic.

Avril Lavigne's "FALL TO PIECES". This is a very sweet, younger song of hers. It sort of depicts the honeymoon stage of a relationship when a couple is obsessed with the presence of each other. It's mellow, melodic, and perfect for fictional characters who don't maybe talk about their feelings but feel like being with each other is enough.

Cute is What We Aim For's "TIME". This is another light-hearted melody, from one of the indie bands on the soundtrack for "Jennifer's Body". It's a very cute, adorable song with so much sweetness you can taste the sugar coating in lyrics like, "I always thought your left was your strongest side/but when it comes to you, no I can't decide". Very fitting for an newlywed-ish couple as well.

Depeche Mode's "I Am You". Via my favorite 80's dark rock/techno/New Wave band, "I Am You" definitely isn't cute. Instead, it's a heavy song that depicts the way love can sometimes trap people into another world. Though I hate to make a second Twilight reference, it's very much like the "imprinting" thing werewolves do in the series, being trapped to another soulmate.

Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillet in "Lucky". Another mellow song, this had some minor pop success but still deserves a recognition for a pretty love song. It's best for lovers who are friends, soulmates, other halves. And they appreciate is as well - they understand how "lucky" they truly got. (Pun highly intended).

My Chemical Romance's "Summertime". The only pop-esque track on their newest record, you can tell the lead singer - Gerard Way - wrote this for his wife. It's a very sweet song about using love and the connection it gives you as an escape. Very obvious in lyrics like "you can runaway with me, anytime you want".

How about you guys? What sort of lovey-dovey songs are already on your playlists?

Okay. That's it. I'm just relieved I got to blog at all today. Hopefully I can make this a legit segment. Have a good weekend, guys!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inceptionnnnn! (Rec of the Week post)

Quick Update: Drafted this during Friday’s school pep assembly - which I skipped - to eventually not even type it up until Monday night. Oh well. Procrastinators live for the future.

Song Stuck In My Head: Limp Bizkit’s version of “Behind Blue Eyes” by the Who. For a band full of angst-ridden, half-rappers/half-rockers, their cover of the Who was incredibly emotional.

Heeey guys, hope you’re doing above average. So let’s just pretend it’s last Friday, and this blog post was typed up in time. Sound good?

There are various things I love in the world. Many things. Kittens. Goldfish crackers. Diablo Cody. Spoof movies. Skirts with pockets. If I had to make a list the best things in the world, somewhere on that list would be actor Leonardo DiCaprio (also known as “king of the world!”); actress Ellen Page (Juno, Hard Candy, Juno, The Tracey Fragments, Juno, Whip It!, JUNO!); and anything dealing with dreams and nightmares (mostly because they’re something a lot of my writing gravitates around).


Inception definitely deserves the Oscar nod it recently received, and I’m hoping it gets more than a nod. Christopher Nolan, the creator of this masterpiece, gave us an actual film. A movie with an unexpected but incredibly realistic world. Scarred and three-dimensional characters. A mission that goes from simple to complex and could be deadly for many people if it doesn’t end well.

Even better, Inception is one of those rare, modern films that delivered the “oohs” and “aahs” the classics always gave us. It didn’t remake an old film or plot, or rely on special effects. Even more noticeably, it didn’t weight itself down with forced modern lingo and pop culture references galore. After all, those are the easiest way to give a film - or any story - an expiration date.

Best of all, never-won-an-Oscar Leo definitely made the whole professional acting look like a natural instinct. He prevailed in this film. And his supporting cast - including the lovely, aforementioned Ellen Page - fit flawlessly into each role. If you’ve yet to see Inception, then be sure to change that in time for the actual Oscars so you’ll be rooting for it too. Inception definitely could pull of being the best movie of the year…well, it and the lasts Harry Potter installment. Oh, was that good….

Okay, now off to see if I’m in the mood for math homework again. Hopefully talk to you later this week. Until then, be good! And also please don’t catch acute bronchitis, as I did last week. It’s rather horrible.