Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stupid Palm

For the past six months I have been suffering from the most intense writers block I've ever experienced.  I've never finished a novel, or written piles of short stories, but I've also never had a problem picking up a pen and putting something out there.  My purse, person, and home have always been littered with scraps of paper covered with ideas, half-finished stories, or blips.  Now, nothing.  It's like I've forgotten to do it, or broken a habit.

My sister had a teacher who said "When you can't think of anything to write, just write "blah blah blah blah" over and over.  For the past six months, when I even think about writing, "blah blah blah blah" overpowers any thoughts, ideas, and desire.

Someone I know has studied a bit of palm reading for fun, and apparently my palm would have you believe that I'm talented but not creative.  If I put stock in palm reading, this would be an earth shattering tragedy.  It did make me pause and consider.  I've played the piano all my life, but I've never written any music.  I've danced for forever, but have spent very little time choreographing. I love books, but I've always had a hard time committing to writing.  Granted, these may just be areas I haven't spent time developing, but it's an interesting trend.   Well, palm, I defy you!  I will write!  I will spend as long as I need developing ways to fight writers block.  It will happen, and then I will eat ice cream.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

Things I have accomplished that make up for my absence, totally and completely.

I've gone shopping
I've spend several weekends away
I watched [almost] all of the Star Wars movies
I auditioned and got into a show!  One that requires a Scottish accent
I signed up for Google+
I found a place to live (moving at the end of the month!)

Although I have been living, working, and passing through life over the past few months, it almost feels like I've been on vacation.  I haven't been doing anything terribly tangible.

Now, I'm performing again, moving into the big city, writing a bit more, and low and behold, I wrote a blog!  A short blog, but a blog! 

Hi everyone!  I'm back!  At least until the next vacation.  Which shouldn't be for a while...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Road to the Oscars Part 1

Taking a pause from our regularly scheduled programming, I would like to talk about film for a moment.  I enjoy movies almost as much as books, and I want to fling them across rooms significantly less often.  On Saturday, I started my quest toward watching all 10 Oscar Nominated films.  Armed with popcorn, caffeinated large soda, and a friend for whispered commentary, I settled into my mildly uncomfortable (kept me awake!) AMC Theater seat for the next 11 hours.

Toy Story 3

The Good: Is it just me, or do these movies keep getting better?  The characters continue to grow, as do their relationships.  The voices, as always, are phenomenal and the addition of Barbie (a very likeable portrait) and Ken (More amusing than likeable) are genius.  The development of the story is logical and heartbreaking.

The bad: nada

Final thoughts: This movie made me tear up the first time I saw it.  The second, I still had to fight back emotions.  Toy Story has grown up with us (well, okay, me).  This story rounded out the trilogy nicely.  It's something special that does not come around often.

127 hours

The good: I felt like I was trapped under a rock for 94 minutes trapped under a rock (granted, better than 127 hours).  The directions was intense, beautiful and clasutrophobic.  James Franco's performance was masterful.  He was this film and he lived up to all of his massive potential. 

The bad: There was very little that was enjoyable about this movie.  The cinematography was beautiful when it spanned away from Franco's character.  Otherwise, it was incredibly difficult to watch (Though it is an inspiring example of the indomitable nature of the human spirit).

Final thoughts:  I had mixed feelings after watching this movie.  The tone told me that I was watching something important, but upon further thought, it seemed like something I did not need to see.  Don't get me wrong, Aron Ralston story is incredible.  Maybe the ending was a bit much for me.

The Kids are All Right

The Good: The acting is what made this movie for me.  The cast was extremely strong (but you didn't need me to tell you that) and the performances were memorable.  The LA setting was beautiful and the depiction of a family led by homosexual females was encouraging and had some funny moments.

The bad:  The relationship we are supposed to be rooting for held very little for me to sympathize with.  There are almost no sparks of love or tenderness portrayed.  Annette Benning is domineering and shrill and Julianne Moore is beaten-down and timid.  It seems like the writers/director wanted to show the slow breakdown of the family, but they did it too well, leaving me not wanting to see it repaired.

True Grit 

The Good: I love this movie.  It gets so many things right.  The tone drew me in, the cinematography is beautiful.  The acting is pitch perfect.  I love well done westerns and this is one of the best recent attempts!

The bad:  (spoiler(ish)) I'm not a big fan of the ending.  It pulls me out of the story and shatters my connection with the characters.  This may have been the point with the commentary of time passing.  However, even if this is the case, it feels abrupt and tacked on.

The Fighter

The good:  Christian Bale was insanely good in this movie.  He was almost unrecognizable in the face of the character he created.  The story was also fun and somewhat inspiring.

The bad:  While it was a nice story (based on real events), it was cliche.  Also, few of the characters are sympathetic at all.  Mark Wahlberg's central character felt weak (Or maybe it was his acting weighing in next to Bale's...he was just fine.

Friday, February 18, 2011

*Smack* Went the Light Bulb

I've had a few breakthroughs this week and I thought I would share them with you, as they were brought about by the lovely blogging universe (You guys rock!).

First, I was getting intensely frustrated by my quickly growing blog lineup.  It's hard to keep track of 50 (as of right now) blogs!  Granted, about 10 of them are either personal or fashion blogs (just for fun).

Rach, over at Rach Writes, wrote about organizing your blogs Using Google Reader.  After years of denying myself a Gmail account (how long has Gmail been around), I signed up; just so I could gain access to this sacred program.  You can skim unread posts quickly, star what you want to go back to, sort by type of blog, link to actual blog pages (to comment).  It cut down my blogging time by at least an hour.  If you haven't created an account, do it (seriously).  Also, check out Rach's blog (linked above).  It's great!

Second, I was an English Lit major in college and yet I didn't take a single writing class (I am so smrt!).  I've always known that I would love to write, but never thought I would be able to do it (lacking talent or determination maybe?).  I never took the time to actually sit down (or stand up...?) and consider the option.  Also, because of my debilitating fear of failure (I know, failure only occurs when you stop trying.  Try convincing my 20 year old brain of this fact), I was afraid of being told my writing sucked.  It's no fun to have even only half recognized dreams squashed.

All that to say; I didn't take a writing class in college.  So, I go into this journey with what little I've gathered from my writer friends and the petrifying feeling of becoming quickly overwhelmed.  So, then I read This blog post by Melissa West at M.B. Writes and the light bulb hit me in the face.  I realized that A) a first draft does not have to be as in-depth and scary as I was making it in my head (or on paper).  B) I need to focus more on my main plot. C) I am not alone!  I can look in books and ask for assistance.  These were things I'm pretty sure were rattling around in my brain, but had not fully sunk in yet.

Thank you Rach and Melissa!

This week in review

Good things:
  • What I said in my blog above.
  • I organized email this week.  I am email Martha Stewart (Is there someone better I could compare myself to
  • I at two yummy pieces of pizza for lunch.
  • I'm happy
  • I'm going swing dancing tonight.
  • I'm getting internet tomorrow
  • It's Friday!
  • Tomorrow is Saturday!
  • I get to see the first five Oscar nominated films tomorrow (Next five = next week).
  • I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog again this week
  • I am cleaning my apartment tonight after shower/before swing dancing
Bad things
  • From my seat I can smell all cooking that goes on in the breakroom.  Someone just burned popcorn.
  • I have a giant pimple on my chin.
  • I didn't shower this morning (eeeeeeeew).
  • I've gone back on the soda this week.
  • I ate two calorie ridden pieces of pizza for lunch.
  • I'm tired from not sleeping enough all week.
  • My hands smell like garlic.
  • I haven't written much this week.
  • My shoes are giving me blisters (although they are very cute).
  • It will be a stretch making it to a gas station after work.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Woohoo! I'm Stylish!

This is my official thank you blog!

First order of the day: happy Valentine's Day!  Despite the rain, I am cheerful.  I got a rose from a work friend and many mass sent Valentine's Day best wishes texts.

Second, thank you to Hannah over at Musings of a Palindrome.  She mentioned me in her hottest bloggers under 25 [followers] post and quickly made it so that I would no longer qualify for the honor (woooo 32!).  Check out her blog, it's fantastic!

Third - me...stylish?  Awwwww, thanks!  Big thank yous to Carrie at Kiwi's Life, Heather at Pen, Paper, Lots of Coffee, and Lindsey at The Write Words.  I'm thrilled that you thought of me!

Here are the rules:

1.) Thank and link back to the person who gave the award
2.) State 7 things about myself
3.) Pass the award to 15 recently discovered bloggers  

Things about me

1.  I dance quite a lot.  I've had training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, some salsa, and swing.  Right now my biggest obsession is swing.  I go dancing at least twice a week and I'm taking private lessons, trying desperately not to suck.

2.  I am obsessive with a one track mind.  I have a very hard time letting things go.  Often, when I'm having a conversation with someone, they have to catch my eye and firmly inform me that a conversation has ended and I should move on to something else.

3.  When I was in highschool I could not elaborate on writing.  This was a consistent conversation I had with my mother:
     Mom: No honey, you need a whole paragraph.
     Krista: But I answered the question.
     Mom: You need to elaborate on your answer.
     Krista: But I ANSWERED the question!
     Mom: You need more.  You can write more about your answer.

4.  I don't realllly like talking about myself (except with certain people who can't get me to shut up).

5.  My favorite candy is Swedish Fish.  This changes. Often.

6.  I've recently started a quote list.  Beware if you say something I find funny.  You may end up immortalized one day.

7.  I am deathly afraid of open water and space.  I hate the idea of the vast unknown.

Blogger Peeps

I have spotty internet access at the moment, so I don't have a ton of time for researching newly discovered bloggers who haven't received this award yet.  So, here are 5 of my required 15.  I will hand out the other half at an undisclosed future time!

Melissa at M.B. West

Demitria at Demitria Lunetta

Nicole at My Writing Blog

Gryphon Fledgling at Opening the Vein

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

[First Ever] Road Trip Wednesday!

In honor of Valentine's Day (which I usually choose not to celebrate, despite my love of chocolate and stuffed creatures), I post some of my favorite literary romantic relationships.  Check out YA Highway!

Marcus Flutie and Jessica Darling - Jessica Darling Series (Megan McCafferty)

Beatrice and Benedick - Much Ado About Nothing (William Shakespeare)
Or Maybe I just love Emma Thompson and Kenneth Brannagh

I love Pride and Prejudice as much as the next girl.  And Mr. Darcy makes me happy all over.  However, I must say, I prefer the heart aching lost/regained love of Persuasion.  Both the book and movie (1995 please!) make me cry whenever I experience them (no matter how many times). Persuasion (Jane Austin)

And then there is the fierce passion of Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre.  Doesn't get any better than this (And who else is psyched for the movie!?) - Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

Monday, February 7, 2011 we not bleed?

This was one of those mornings when you wake up (after three hours of sleep) and stare at your closet for ten minutes, then put on yesterday's clothes.  Then you find your windshield is spotted generously with bird poop and you're out of windshield cleaner.  Then it sprinkles a touch, not enough to get rid of the poop, but just enough that if you use the wipers, the poop will spread into a huge smudge across the window.

I hate Mondays.

It's been awhile since I've updated this blog (more than a week...oh no...bad habits forming!).  It's been a crazy week, but here's something small, so I can feel productive.

We all have someone in our lives that we love to hate.  We adore them, find them amusing or fascinating, or just plain care about them.  We can't flush them out of our lives because they live, breathe, and we can touch them.  We don't want to.

Some of the most interesting characters in fiction are the ones we revile.  I'm pulled back time and time again to study Charlotte Martin, who I equally would like to strangle.  There are few characters more interesting  than Humbert Humbert.  And of course, there is nothing quite like diving into the mind of Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov.  Twisted characters are the ones we are drawn to and are some of the most memorable in fiction.  Real people are flawed.  These characters threaten to inhabit the dark recesses our minds that we fear to confront.

How do you find the line between unreadable evil and intriguing and disturbing character sketches?  Have you wrestled with any characters like this in your writing and who are you favorite controversial characters in literature? 

Friday, January 28, 2011


Quite a lot of Baseball players are superstitious (stereotype) and follow a vigorous routine before they begin playing; spitting, scratching, chewing, other unnatural and disgusting habits (and the occasional practice swing). 

The other day, I settled myself down in front of my computer, preparing to start writing.  My WIP was up on my screen, I had ideas of where I wanted to take it, I was fearless, my hands were poised.  Then...nothing.  It didn't feel right.  Maybe I was just lazy?  Instead, I flipped over to my Windows Media Player and watched two episodes of Gilmore Girls.

Do you have a necessary environment for successful writing; the correct lighting, room, beverage, music?  I have my best results in a local coffee shop, with a vente Chai Tea Latte (cliche?  Coffee makes my tummy hurt) and a scone.  I think this is mostly because there are less shiny distractions.  There's also something about sitting in a coffee shop while working on a story.  It makes me feel busy and productive, like I could take over the world with my pen (Or at least successfully ask the cute guy sitting next to me what makes his coffee smell so fair shiny!).


Monday, January 24, 2011

Right Angle

I would like to start a campaign to eliminate the use of the term “Love Triangle.”  When we imagine said triangle, we see three points connected by three equal lines.  The central character is usually at the top (Katniss), while the two romantic interests (with lines connected them to their desire) perched below in supporting positions (Peeta and Gabe).   What’s interesting is the line that exists, connecting the two love interests.  This is where things get fuzzy.  Unless you like some slash in your fiction, there should be no connection between these two characters; especially not one that mirrors the lines between the lead and her choices.  If you flip the triangle, all of the sudden you have Gabe as the central character with lines connected to Peeta and Katniss.  Awkward!
Thus, I propose we change the title from “love triangle,” to “love angle.”  There will be a central point (Katniss) with paths to outer points (Peeta and Gabe).
Now, granted, sometimes romantic interests do share a relationship (Best friends, acquaintances,
mortal enemies).  With the love angle you can move the two outward points closer or farther away, depending on this relationship.  There is also a play on words here because, let's be realistic, everyone has an angle (right?).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby steps

I’m going to take this opportunity to officially admit that I am writing…something.  I’m not quite sure what it is yet *lifts damp/limp something to examine more closely.* But it’s there.  I’ve written a vague and flexible (ever changing) outline of what I might want, and about 1,500 words.  I’ve even reluctantly shared information with two people.  Yes, I have done this before.  But this time I’m going to keep pushing (at least will try to) until my something either becomes a formed, breathing object; or disintegrates into shiny dust like a freshly slayed vampire.
I’m going to be frighteningly honest here.  There were many reasons why I switched from music to English as a major my freshman year in college.  One of the big reasons, however, was because I was terrified that I would not be allowed into (that I was not good enough to be in...) the Piano Performance Program.  Failing in general, for me, ranks with losing all my teeth in a freak hockey accident (seeing as I haven’t stepped on the ice since a certain skate-meets-hand incident my first time EVER) in pleasantness.  Being told that I am not good enough at something I love: my mind can’t even comprehend the pain this would cause.   I imagine the world would implode, sinking me into a hell full of open water, spiders, sea monsters, and electrocution (On a temporary psychological tangent…maybe this is why I have such a hard time with breakups…and personal criticism….and, okay we’re done now).
So, as you can see, admitting that I’m writing…something, is a huge step for me.  Because, if I fail, not only would I know (and have to admit to it); but at least one of my 12 (welcome latest follower person!) followers may also take notice.
Maybe next time I’ll even reveal the genre!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How do you capture emotion?

I’ve been considering this question quite a lot lately as I’ve been suffering tumultuous emotion syndrome this week.  I’ve experienced: joy, sadness, hurt, pain, grief, hysteria, panic, glee, comfort, pride, peace, satisfaction, and confusion; sometimes all at the same time. 
Characters should be as complex as people (yes?).  Our own living, breathing creations.  So, how do you convey what they are feeling while avoiding lists (like what I’ve done above), or bloated paragraph descriptions.
I find it very annoying when writers just tell you how their characters feel (Bella was depressed).  It’s lazy.  But it’s also very straight forward (Is the most direct route the best?).  Aren’t we supposed to be going on the journey with the characters we read about?  They should have faces, voices, color and texture, and we should be able to see through their eyes and feel what they feel.
How do you convey emotion in your writing?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Days of drinking only one soda per day: 2 and ½
Desserts: one candy bar (special occasion?)
Checked mail: 0 times
Writing: 1 blog and some incoherent ramblings.
Cleaning: cleaned out my car…stuff promptly landed on apartment floor, and there it stays.
Classes: Taking a Lindy Hop class and a Balboa class on Fridays
Reading: Read two books this week (I’ll be writing thoughts on them at some point).
TV: No time!
Ice Cube: firmer (icier?) than ever

No, I will not be listing results for all goals every time I post a blog.  No worries!
This morning at work (yes, I work), I used the word “innocuous” to describe an email from a co-worker; an email that should have been pointed and barbed but unfortunately was not.  This usage made my mind jump back (and me giggle at the memory) to a time when I thought innocuous was pronounced with a very soft “c,” like “innoshous.”  There was no reason for this; it doesn’t even make sense when studying the word now.  However, I’d only ever experienced it in writing, and my highly imaginative (or so I fondly think of it) mind gave it the sound that it thought the word deserved.   
It seems that I am not alone.  I’ve spoken to a few other readers who have struggled with this same problem of gaining the primary portion of their vocabulary through books.
Even to this day, I’ll catch a word and think “Oh, that’s how that sounds.”  More often than I’d like, I receive blank stares from friends before light dawns “Ohhhh, you mean such and such (insert word).”  I suppose this comes from socializing little and reading much during my formative years.
Have you experienced this and what words did you discover pronunciation for too late?   

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


So, I know that I said that this would come on Saturday, but better late than never.  Yes?  No?  Well, whatever *mentally insert emoticon smiley sticking its tongue out*.  It’s happening now.
In this last full year of human civilization (according to some), the term New Years Resolution has become moot.  No one keeps resolutions.  Now, we have goals.  Goals that are renewed when we think about them, they are usually (depending on the person…) reasonable and doable.  We feel like a setback is okay, because we can just start back up tomorrow, or in an hour, or a month, or there’s always 2012.
My resolutions (Yes, the resolutions I intend to fulfill, will think about guiltily for three months when I don’t, and will then promptly forget) that will make me into the perfect person I aim to be for 2011:
-I will cut out desserts except for holidays and special occasions (like 3pm every day…right?).
-I will exercise in the mornings, pre-work.
-I will check my mail every-other day (starting today…yeah).
-I will respond promptly to emails and phone calls.
-I will limit myself to one soda per day (stupid free work sodas!).
-I will write…something…every day.
My Goals:
-I will write more than I did in 2010.
-I will make an effort to stay cleaner (Note: “effort”).
-I will find more activities/classes to fill my time (at least one…It’s
always good to keep learning). 
-I will read more.
-I will watch less TV.
-I will work hard to melt the frozen ice cube that surrounds my emotional Jell-O core.  At least partially.  Not entirely.  Because really, there are some parts of me that I do not need to meet again.