Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gossip Time...Divergent

Let me start by saying how much I love sleep. I like to get a decent amount and I like the sleep to occur at a particular part of the day--night. That being said, it shows how much I liked Divergent by Veronica Roth if it kept me up super past my bed time. The last book I stayed up uber late for was Deathly Hallows, and that was epic Harry Potter.

In this dystopian novel Roth creates a world where you have to choose a faction that best reflects the values you hold dear. Dauntless for bravery, Erudite for intellect, Candor for honesty, Abnegation for selflessness, or Amity for peace. It was hard enough to decide what to major in college. I couldn't imagine making a colossal decision that involves ultimately changing your environment, your family, your career, everything you stand for basically, as the main character Beatrice Prior had to do in this novel.

My favorite character is a teen boy named Four. You've got to read the book to find out where he got his unique name from. But other than the intrigue of Four, the book itself is fast paced, unique, and a definite page turner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Silly Questionairre

Today I'm going to the dentist. I'd like to say I'm excited about it, but that would be an absolute lie. Last night I was filling out the paperwork for my appointment and I found some of the questions quite interesting:

Would you like to keep all of your teeth all of your life?
Really? Are there some people who don't want to keep their teeth? Or any body part for that matter? I'm sorry, but I'm kind of attached to my limbs and teeth and, yes, I plan on keeping them for my entire life (that is barring any disaster--but even if I do have to face a disaster--I'd like to be a survivor of said disaster who keeps all her body parts and teeth).

Do you feel nervous about having dental treatment?
I circled YES on this one, of course. I for one do not equate a trip to the dentist with going to Disney World.

If yes, please describe (I actually answered this part with a numbered list)
  1. Injections
  2. Drills
  3. I'm afraid the dentist will alter the natural contour of my teeth
  4. I'm afraid my bite will be incorrect after dental work
  5. I'm afraid of faulty fillings that will leak prematurely
  6. Root canals. Don't say that word around me.
Have you ever had an upsetting dental experience?
I also circled YES on this one.

If yes, please describe (Again I provided another numbered list)
  1. Hygienists who scale sensitive areas of my teeth
  2. Adverse reactions to prior oral surgery
  3. Mean hygienists
Hey, if you're going to ask me questions like this, expect me to answer them honestly.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I can't convey how relieved I am that it's Friday. I can hole up in my little house and stay away from all the things that make life difficult. (I hope I'm not jinxing myself).

This week has been quite interesting, unfortunately a lot of these interesting things seriously took away from my writing schedule. And because I couldn't write as much as I had wanted to this week it made all the bumps of this week seem worse.

It started with the dentist telling me that I have four cavities (one being seriously close to the root) even though they praised what a wonderful job I'd been doing flossing and brushing and said I had virtually no plaque on my teeth. They said it just happens...with age. Poo on age.

My clothes dryer decided it wanted to be difficult and will now only work if I physically hold the start button the entire time it's running. Talked to someone about it. They said it just happens with age. Poo on age again.

Then the transmission in my car failed. The mechanic said it just happens with age. Triple poo on age again.

Epic ant infestation took over part of the kitchen, even though I'm careful about not leaving crumbs on the counter. Apparently, Sasha and Jasmine Kitty don't feel similarly and they left crumbs all around their automatic cat feeder and the ants had their Thanksgiving feast a month early. So after my car died I spent the next hour and half sucking up hundreds of ants with my vacuum cleaner and laying out ant bait.

At this point, Age, you can bring on whatever you want. I can take it. I'm not going to let you get me down. Bring it on!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

I know I've heard this many times as an ice skater. Practice makes perfect. A coach once gave me a handout that basically broke down how many times a jump had to be repeated before a skater could achieve a high landing consistency rate.

It can take almost a several hundred attempts of a jump to achieve even a moderate consistency rate.

If a skater trains one hour a day and they are trying to learn an axel jump. The skater may attempt this jump twenty to thirty times in an hour. A lot of it depends on what other skills the skater must train during that time period and how bad they are falling. If they train five days a week, one hour per day, the skater is probably attempting around 125 axels per week.

It may take a couple to several weeks before the skater lands even one, and then another couple hundred attempts to start landing them fifty percent of the time. And just because you land the jump doesn't mean it's necessarily the best axel out on the market. It can always be higher, rotate faster, travel a farther distance across the ice, have a stronger landing. There is always room for improvement.

This type of work ethic is ingrained in me from twenty years of skating, and yet I don't always apply the patience I have for ice skating training to my writing. Even though I've seen significant improvement in my own and my critique partner's writing with every draft we write. It sometimes doesn't sink in just how much we need to write and read to improve. Natalie Whipple wrote a great post about hope and talks about how she wrote ten novels before she even signed with an agent.

Hope is a fickle thing. Some days I seem to have more than others. But, I've come to this conclusion, because I've seen it on my life-long ice skating journey, if you put in the hard work, eventually, you'll achieve the results you seek.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Feline Editor

Sasha Kitty editing my manuscript. Her ink of choice is orange, instead of red. She thinks red ink is so cliche. Right now, she's working on substantive edits, commenting on the character arc. This look represents her distaste due to the lack of a feline protagonist. Humans are so overrated.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Things I've Learned on Twitter

I've been trying to be more active on Twitter and I've learned so many interesting things this past week!
  • Harry Potter Land! In Spring 2012 Leavesden studios are opening doors and allowing people to tour the magical sets used to film all eight movies. I so want to go. Trip to England anybody?
  • I recently got an iPad. And I thoroughly enjoy it. But after owning a light weight Nook, I find that the iPad is a little heavy to hold when reading (or heavy for a girl with twenty years worth of figure skating falls and slapping her wrists on the ice). So I've been quite intrigued by Amazon's new announcement of the Kindle Fire. And this device is literally on FIRE. 250,000 have already been ordered in FIVE DAYS!
  • The sequel to Alexandra Adornetto's Halo is out. The cover is smoking, as is the title: Hades.
  • I also came across a great blog called Ingrid's Notes. She has an excellent seven part series called To Plot or Not to Plot. She discusses things, such as the difference between narrative and story and whether or not your story even has a plot.
  • And lastly, I learned I'm not the only person that struggles with their cat getting between them and their laptop.