Saturday, December 31

2012 !

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It's not 2012 yet, but it's very, very close. 4 hours and 33 minutes for me. Anyone watching the ball drop at New York City? Anyone going to the ball drop? Because if you are, I'm extremely jealous. >.>

This blog post isn't going to have much words in it. I'm just sharing a bunch of pictures with everyone...these pictures belong to their respectful owners, and I found every single one of them on We Heart It.

Before I post them though, does anyone have any New Years resolutions?


This has absolutely nothing to do with 2012.
I just felt like adding this because I thought it was hilarious.
Ha ha ha. :P





So, 2012 begins tomorrow. Will we survive the dreaded APOCALYPSE? Only time will tell.
Here's to not dying before 2013, eh? Cheers!

- E

Tuesday, December 27

Chicagooo. Chicago.

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Hey guys! Merry belated Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/the Other Holiday Which You Celebrate in the Month of December!

So I'm currently in Chicago right now and I just recently visited author Veronica Roth's (author of Divergent) alma mater, Northwestern University. The weather today wasn't so great: freezing and cloudy, but not cold enough for it to snow (apparently). In other words, during the tour, I felt like I was being hit by an icy hammer repeatedly because the wind was that rough, and it gave me a massive headache afterwards. But actually, it was worth it. (Now that I think about it, that simile doesn't really make any sense...) Northwestern's campus is amazing, and definitely better than the University of Chicago's campus--the college I visited first--which is way more cramped and city-like. And since I grew up and currently live in a pretty large town/small city, I like huge, spacious areas. I like to see trees and the sky. The suburban life. So yep, I was pretty impressed with Northwestern, and I love how it's more of a liberal arts school, the field I'm interested in the most. I actually really hope to go to Northwestern at the moment, but since I'm still a sophomore in high school and Northwestern is somewhat difficult to get into...well, we'll see, I suppose.

Today was day three of my stay in Chicago, and it's been...all right. I guess. It's my seventh time here, so, you know, once you've been to a place seven times for vacation it becomes...not so exciting. At least it is for me. But that's okay! Because I got to visit Veronica Roth's alma mater! And I loved it! And I also love Veronica Roth and Divergent! And I'm going to stop using so many exclamation points!

Anyway, the thing with Chicago is that it's crazy. And it's a large city, so there's the traffic problem, and the huge buildings-blocking-the-sky problem, and the messed up parking problem...and other various...problems. This probably isn't what it's like in the Chicago suburbs, but I haven't been to the suburbs yet, even though the hotel I'm staying at is supposedly located in a "suburb" (and if it is, there really isn't anything suburban about it. Grr.). And for those city folk reading this blog post, this isn't supposed to be offensive! Like I said before, I grew up in a fairly large town or small city, or whatever you want to call it, so I'm not used to this. And I don't really like it either. So please don't be offended D':

But really. Cities.

We went to Chinatown again, though, which was pretty fun. Ish. I mean, many of the stores sold the same merchandise for the same price, but the restaurants were great. The food was delicious. And we're going back tomorrow!

All right, I said I was going to stop with the exclamation points, so I shall.

I'm still not used to the fact that time is now one hour behind. I come from the Eastern Time Zone, and I believe Chicago's in the Central one, which means it's one hour behind. Every single device I have that can tell time--phone, iPod, watch--is still set at Eastern for some odd reason (not so much odd for the watch and maybe even iPod, I guess, but my phone should be automatic. I guess it isn't. Hrmm...). Now whenever I check the time, I have to subtract one from the hour--really hard work, I know.

And that's my life in Chicago so far(!) Not that exciting, I know...
What is exciting is that on Friday, I'm finally going to see Breaking Dawn. And then Wednesday, school starts again. Oh, and Sunday, 2012 begins. Will we survive 2012? Only time will tell. *cue scary music*

- E

Sunday, December 11

A post in bullets.

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Some facts about today:


  • This is my second blog post this week. (That's right. I believe I deserve a pat on the back. *pats herself on the back*)
  • I should be doing my physics PEPSI (Problem-Solving Exercises in Physics--which doesn't even spell PEPSI, unless you scramble/rearrange the letters or something) problems right now, instead of writing this blog post and half-staring at my 8th draft of Depravity.
  • My 8th draft of Depravity is currently at 106,000 words, 399 pages, double spaced, size 12 Cambria font.
  • I want to make it exactly 400 pages.
  • I should be finishing up my last page of THINGS TO DO list today, but that probably won't happen.
  • I have chair auditions/playing test grade tomorrow for the French horn and I'm freaking out because I can't play my parts the way I want them to.
  • At least, I can play my parts. Just not the way I'd like to play them.
  • I really want to watch Spirited Away again today.
  • Last night was the first time I've watched Transformers 3 with my sister (and the first time I've watched it, ever), even though we should have been watching The Help.
  • I still need to finish the book The Help. I should have finished that before The Last Hero. 
  • Now I have Clockwork Prince to read and An Abundance of Katherines to read in the near future.
  • I am somewhat stressed.
  • My physics and chemistry finals are on the same day and I haven't started studying for either.
  • I have had these spontaneous urges to write.
  • I think I should have gotten my PSAT scores back by now, but I haven't.
  • I have gotten my scores for the PLAN though. Apparently they're not very spectacular, although I think if I hadn't missed eleven questions on the science part, they would have been much better.

- E

Friday, December 9

Rant on The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (and a tiny bit on first person vs. third)

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Some of you might remember one of my posts awhile back, a post about the book The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, and how I was so excited because it was the first book of the second series of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians. Well, not exactly a second series, considering it features new characters and a whole new plot (although Percy and the original cast of his series are included as well). But you know, it's based off the same concept.

Recently, I borrowed The Lost Hero from a friend and devoured all 400-something pages of it in the span of a day and a half. It was new, different, creative, interesting. It kept me reading practically non stop (obviously).

HOWEVER.

It was also disappointing. Why? Because it's written in third person, in order to portray the three main characters better (it switches point of views every few chapters between each character). And after asking my friend (who also owns the second book of the series, The Son of Neptune, which I am now dying to read) and after some Googling, I realized that The Son of Neptune is written in third person as well. Which is bad.

The problem? The Son of Neptune has Percy Jackson as one of its main characters. And in the first series, it was written in first person, not third. Which means I'm used to reading Percy in first person. Which means I've developed a more inner relationship thing (that sounds weird) with him. Which means I also expected THIS series, the second one, to be written in first person as well so I can do more inner relationship connecting with Percy. 

But it isn't. And it's just...it's just...no. Nooooooo!

I MISS PERCY. I WANT TO READ HIM IN FIRST PERSON, NOT THIRD. I WANT TO CONNECT WITH HIM!

Of course, it doesn't mean I can't connect with him in third either. I mean, just look at the Harry Potter series. Every single book is written in third person, and I've connected fine with all the characters.

But first person point of view brings a much closer relationship between the reader and the main character. In a way, I've connected with Percy more than I've connected with Harry. This is why I can't just happily accept this sudden change. It'll be super weird and horrible and depressing. And it will only make me miss Percy more, which I already do, after reading a whole book dedicated to JASON instead of PERCY, even though, I suppose, it is partially your story. (Stupid Jason with his stupid Golden Hair. NO ONE LIKES YOU. Well, maybe I did a little, but only because you kept the book interesting.)

Right now, I'm reading the first chapter of The Son of Neptune online, and after skimming through it, I'm already disappointed. I didn't feel the rush of connection with the main character I'd once felt after reading the first few words of a Percy Jackson & The Olympians book. I feel like I've just lost Percy...like he's there, but far away, and absolutely unreachable. I miss him. Now I want to reread the whole first series, but I can't because I only own the first and fourth books...

Maybe I'm being a little over dramatic about this. But honestly, PERCY. I MISS YOU.
Come back!
As of now, the only reason I want to read The Son of Neptune is because of the good, fantastic plot line of the series. But part of me still wants to chuck the book into the fire once I get my hands on it.
And then, of course, I have another worry. In the Heroes of Olympus series (AKA, the second series), there are seven main characters total. Seven! Will there be like seven different point of views then in one book once all of these characters join together? Because if that's the case, then oh my goodness...

- E

Friday, December 2

*flails arms*

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I'M BACK!
I'm back I'm back I'm back.
*Takes in a deep breath*
*Exhales*
I am back.

Has anyone missed me? Any at all?

No?
Well, I've missed all of you fine readers (6 total). And I hate my extremely slow laptop for stopping me from posting entries of my...riveting life.

And I do have so much to tell you all.
First, high school is gross. Once upon a time, I liked school. Thought it was interesting. Fun, even. Now? Not so much.

Don't get me wrong, school is still interesting, and I'm not like all emotional and depressed when I'm there (and I'm not emotional nor depressed anyway. at least I don't think I am), and there are lots of people who make me happy and who make me glad to be alive (and what not). But the point is, high school can get so tedious, so annoying, so exhausting...with all the homework and the planning and the tests and the drama...
I mean, sure, college is probably like this too (and I can't wait for college. FREEDOMMM!), but I feel like it would at least have some kind of originality to it. Some uniqueness. Because high school is like elementary school and middle school, just harder. But college...is individualized. Alone. It's up to you to do everything.

Not sure if I'm making any sense.

In other news, I've gotten back to writing again! Hurray! Remember my post over the summer about how I finished one page on my "LIST OF THINGS TO DO" document? Well just before Thanksgiving break, I finished TWO pages. TWO. *nods slowly* Mmmhm. Two. Still, it might not be impressive to you, but to me, it's just amazing. Flabbergasting. Especially since I did it in the time span of the weekend.

Moving along from my writing life (and I'm going to write this weekend too, I promise!) and onto gloomier topics...winter formal is tomorrow night. Now, despite my belief of having fun at a dance even without a date, I think I'm going to skip this particular one. Again. Maybe I'll wait until next year, or the year after, or something. Or I might just skip all of them and go only to Prom. There's just something unappealing about dances, for some reason. I'd rather just stay home, watch Food Network, rent a movie, and then play Just Dance 3/Super Smash Bros (if I had it -.-) with my sister and my friends (well, I would do it with my friends, if they weren't all going to formal. so just my sister then.) Which is, in my opinion, the Ideal Night.

What about you? What's your opinion on school dances?

- E

Monday, October 31

Bad Blogger (I fail.) / Scary movies / Happy Halloween!

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Who?
Me.
And I apologize.

I've just had so much homework, with the first quarter ending and everything...and Spanish III. Oh my goodness, Spanish III is killing me. I'd drop it right now if I don't need it for my Academic Honors Diploma. Oh the things I do to get into a good college >.>

However, marching band's ending soon! Which kind of makes me sad...since I actually look forward to marching band (unlike my older sister). We have one more competition left, and then concert band starts. I'm kind of iffy on my feelings towards playing French horn again...it's a difficult instrument, but it sounds so pretty. And I love playing it. But it's difficult, so...

Oh, and there's one more thing I'd like to mention.

Pottermore. Heard of it? Hopefully you have. If you haven't, just go here. Watch the video of J.K. Rowling...it's legit, it really is. At first I thought it was some fan made thing (and there are actually some Twilight copies of it around), but it's not. And I'm super excited for it, even though we all know that if witches and wizards and Hogwarts truly existed, it'd be even better.

Also, scary movies. Do you enjoy watching them? I absolutely love them, even though I haven't seen many. This sudden outburst might be because that today's actually Halloween...and I'm so anti-social that I'm neither trick-or-treating nor ("nor", right?) passing out candy. Instead I'm staying home, doing homework, and hiding from the front door. Which I think is ridiculous...but I've got to do what I've got to do to stay hidden.

All right, so this blog post seems to be all over the place. :P

Just letting everyone know that I am indeed still alive :D

- E

Saturday, September 17

I'm alive, guys. I'm alive.

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But barely.
How long has it been? Two weeks? Ish? Two weeks (ish) of homework and band, at least.
Don't worry, though. I'm not posting my band rant right now.
So, at this moment, I have about three books I'm trying to read. Well, four, if you count the one about the Civil War that I chose to read for my APUSH project. Anyway, the point is, I haven't found much time to read any of those books--even the APUSH one.

Plus, I haven't written at all. Which is bad because part of me feels like I'm going to forget about my story and its messed up plot lines and twists and characters and what not--and get it all tangled together and confused by the time I return to it. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I tend to over analyze things, I mean. Maybe that's why I'm freaking out--unless others have experienced the same thing o.o

I've also been doing this 30-day challenge thing on Facebook, but not with pictures. I was thinking of doing the same here, on my blog. I know it'd be weird, starting it out mid-September, but honestly, there's not much going on in my life besides homework and band. Not interesting at all. Now, answering complex questions about myself--that's different. Well, more interesting than reading about my uneventful life anyway :P

- E

P.S. The cover for INSURGENT by Veronica Roth (sequel to DIVERGENT) has been released! Yessss. I cannot wait until it comes out... <3
You can find the cover here.

Saturday, September 3

Simply trudging along.

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All right, I know I've been lacking with the blog posts lately, and I'm extremely sorry. People blog about interesting things that happened in their life, and quite frankly, nothing interesting has happened.

My schedule's been like this:

School.
Band.
Homework.
Eat.
Sleep.
Shower.
School.
Band.
Homework.
Eat.
Sleep.

Rinse and repeat.

No time for writing--my homework load's been piling up, and after band, I'm just too tired to do much. I hit the bed exhausted, and then shower the next day somehow even more exhausted. The exhaustion builds up until the weekend, when I can finally release all of the stress and exhaustion (can't think of another word :P) and what not.

Today, though, we went shopping in Indianapolis, ate delicious Chinese food, and then came back to watch the U.S. Open. I have a bunch of things waiting on me homework-wise still, but I won't be worrying about that until tomorrow. Hurray for a three-day weekend!

- E

Sunday, August 21

The quote! The Bible!

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Along with She Went All The Way by Meg Cabot, I'm also reading the book The Art and Craft of Storytelling by Nancy Lamb, obviously for writing purposes. In the book, I found a nice little quote that, a few minutes ago, pretty much motivated me to do some character check-ups and what-not. The quote is here:

"A writer can never know about a character's feelings what is not somewhere mirrored in her own." -- Katherine Paterson

Speaking of interesting quotes and creating characters, there is, of course, a Book of Creation--also known as the Bible. I know of the controversy of religion in this world, and before everyone jumps to conclusions, I'm not here to preach about what religion is right and what religion is just downright wrong. I'm here to advertise. I'm here to post a Youtube video about a British vlogger named Alex Day who, following his footsteps of the Alex Reads Twilight series, is now reading the Bible. And voicing his opinions. And everything.

The interesting part though is that Alex is actually an Atheist, and I found the video interesting since it's from an Atheist's opinion. I'm not entirely sure if it was the first time he's read that portion of the Bible, or how much he knows about the Bible, but they were honest opinions and, in my opinion, they shouldn't be insulting at all. In fact, many comments from Christians on the Youtube video even claimed that it wasn't insulting.

So if you would like to watch this, regardless of your religion, please do. It's interesting and comical, though kind of silly. I'm not saying it's inspirational or insightful or anything--it's just an ordinary video about...the Bible.
And here it is:





- E

Friday, August 19

Wherein I go back to my yearly routine and realize how amazing the Food Network is.

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School.
So repetitive, so unexpected, so boring, so exciting. I have mixed feelings for this wondrous, terrible place, and I'm sure all of you meager blog readers do as well.

Assuming you still go to school, anyway.

Today marks the first week (well, actually, the first four days) of the 2011-2012 school year (AKA my sophomore year/the-year-I'm-determined-to-make-a-lot-better-than-my-freshman-year), and my goodness, things are already starting to get dramatic, exciting, and bothersome. Marching band has gotten stressful and rushed--our first performance at our home football game next Friday (the football game between my school and the only other qualified high school in my city. which means it's a Big Deal) is freaking many people out, especially when our band director just told us that ESPN will be broadcasting the game--and us--live.

Which makes me wonder, why in the world would they want to broadcast this particular football game--of all football games--live? Especially my city which, although not a town, is still pretty small.

Aside from marching band, however, there's the homework. Spanish homework every day (my goodness, Se├▒or!), Pre-Calc homework every day, AP homework every day...and the technology advancements and school remodeling worry me. Surprisingly enough though, I haven't broken down yet, although I suppose it's only a matter of time.

On the other hand, the first week went pretty smoothly as far as events go. There hasn't been the usual high school drama yet, no fist fights (and if I remember correctly, last year there were quite a few fist fights among the freshman class). I guess I'm lucky to go to a high school that isn't the "Typical American High School" depicted in chick-flick novels. And speaking of chick-flick, fast read novels, I am indeed reading one. She Went All The Way by acclaimed author Meg Cabot. And--listen to this--it's about a screenwriter! Stranded in an arctic location! With a gorgeous actor! Not that I care too much about the last bit...

And as this week continues, I'm sure my favorite TV channel will continue to remain Food Network. Iron Chef America, Chopped...yum. There's just something fascinating about watching food being made, even though I can't cook one decent thing. There's also something inspirational about watching food being made that motivates me to do my homework and write. Well, mostly the former than the latter since I haven't done much writing since school started. (In fact, I haven't written at all :D)

With that, everyone, I bid you goodbye. Time to read AP and Meg Cabot. A nice combination, don't you think?

- E

Monday, August 15

SUCCESS.

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(Though I still have like three more pages to go :P)

First day of sophomore year tomorrow! Wish me luck...

- E

Saturday, August 13

Scratchings and Schedules.

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Nope. Forget it. I'm scratching Catch Me.
I know, I know. The one thing that most writers fear is starting on a novel, then abandoning it before he or she finishes the manuscript. Or gets it published. Or anything else. And I suppose I should know better--I should probably keep it until the end and then make the final decision.

But I already feel like Catch Me isn't going to work, and I tend to trust my gut feeling right from the start when it comes to writing. If I feel like it isn't going to work, then it isn't going to work, and I'll say goodbye. And then, that's that.

Part of it, I guess, is because I really miss Depravity and its whole set of urban fantasy. Maybe contemporary fiction really isn't my thing. Maybe I'm bad at writing about a girl who has OCD. Maybe I just didn't connect with my characters. There are a bunch of reasons, and I don't even know the primary one. But the point is...I'm scratching it.

*Sigh*

But now it's back to Depravity and I'm super excited! Time to knock off a few things on my list of Things to Do to Draft Eight before school starts. And also today, I'm seeing Captain America...should be fun, hopefully. At least, a lot of people said it was good. Band camp ended yesterday, school starts Tuesday, along with homework and band practice. Oh, and my schedule:

Mod 1: Resource
Mod 2: Physics I
Mod 3: AP U.S. History
Mod 4: English 10 Honors
Mod 5: Band & Lunch
Mod 6: Chemistry I
Mod 7: Spanish III
Mod 8: Pre-Calculus Honors

Mahh...does not sound fun at all. >.>  Well, wish me luck!

- E

Wednesday, August 3

Quick Post: New layout.

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As you probably noticed, the blog's changed. Once again.

And this time, it's not just the designs and layout and colors--it's also the blog title and (soon) the banner. I don't know why I chose red/maroon, or whatever, but I think it looks nice right now. And as for the new blog title--what do you guys think? I was aiming for something that would incorporate the old name, and me as a writer.

The banner will be changed soon enough. The one I have right now is just a replacement until I can figure out what to do with the new one. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know because as of now, I'm fresh out of ideas.

Well, it's best that I get going again with my writing...after my month-long break and all.
*sigh*

- E

Tuesday, August 2

Quick Post: The weird realization.

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Now that I'm fifteen, I'm the same age as Gwen, my MC of Depravity.

Weird.
That is so weird...
I'm rarely ever the same age as my MCs, if I can help it. I usually make them older than me, and they definitely cannot be younger.
But now we're the same age.
The good thing is that once you hit the teens, I feel like there isn't as big a gap between the different ages. I mean, if you're fifteen, you could get along fine with an eighteen year old and probably won't be able to feel all young and immature. Well, hopefully that's true. I tend to write better if my MC and I share the same age group, but it still feels weird to be the same age as them.

- E

Sunday, July 31

Home, sweet home.

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So, after a twelve and a half hour plane ride from Beijing to Chicago, a missed flight from Chicago to Indianapolis (that resulted in a one-night-stay at a Chicago hotel), and a final thirty minute flight from Chicago to Indianapolis, I'm home. In AMERICA. Beautiful, sweet, amazing America.

The first thing I do is check my Facebook, because in China, Facebook (and Youtube) is banned. Then I'm running around, unpacking, and trying to stuff all of my dirty, traveling clothes into the laundry room. And now, while uploading one hundred-something pictures to Facebook, I'm writing this blog post.

I've been to China about four times by now, and this time was probably the best. China's huge, beautiful, crowded, noisy, busy, and fast-paced. If you're a lazy traveler like myself, you just want to stay in the hotel and not do anything--especially if you're in a place like Beijing. If you're not, then you will like China a lot--there's so many places to go, things to buy, areas to see, and history to learn. China's history is long and interesting, and in my opinion, a lot more interesting than American history.

Anyway! The reason this China trip was the best was because I went to a little town called Dengfeng in the Henan province, which is the home to the Shao Lin Temple--home of the monks of China--and the Song Shan Shao Lin Wushu Vocational Insititute--a school that trains students on Chinese martial arts. And holy crap, these students are absolutely amazing. The school has over 30,000 students with levels from Kindergarten to University. They practice almost every day of the year starting at six in the morning and ending as late as midnight. Ninjas, I tell you. Those students are ninjas.


























But although Song Shan was phenomenal, it's still great to be back home. And tomorrow marks day one of pre-band camp! :P

I hope everyone had a great July!

- E

Edit: I almost forgot--I turned fifteen in China, so...now I get to change the introduction-side-bar-thing to fifteen! Ha, yes :)

Friday, July 1

Hiatus !

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I'll be going on hiatus starting tomorrow, until August 1st, because I shall be in China for a whole month (oh, joy). I guess this also means I'll be going on hiatus writing-wise, but hopefully that's not true.

I'll see everyone in August!

- E

Thursday, June 30

What I have been up to lately.

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Three things, actually. First, I've been rereading the Harry Potter series, which I'm also going to bring with me to China (actually, just books 1-4). I'm now on the Chamber of Secrets--really good so far, of course, because J.K. Rowling is a writing goddess--and I really want to watch the movies again, even though I'm not that big a fan of some of them. Except, the only movie I have is the Sorcerer's Stone, and that's on a VCR tape. Plus, our VCR player won't work, so...nope, no Harry Potter movies for me this week.

The second thing is this:

There's a difference between these four books. The first two are the ones I bought at Walmart two days ago because the bottom two were decapitated and...dead. You know the bottom two versions of the Goblet of Fire and the Order of the Phoenix are a few years old because their bindings are different from the first two: they have patterns instead just a single solid color like those <--. They also have pages that are browner and thinner, and they're extremely worn. In fact, they're so worn, that they were once split into parts: The Goblet of Fire was split into thirds (with 1/3 missing) and the Order of the Phoenix was split into sevenths (with 2/7 missing). I had to hunt all of the pieces down, like horcruxes (ha ha ha, bad Harry Potter joke :P). Then I hot glued the pieces together and taped the bindings. With book five, I had to make a whole new binding. Now I have two book fours and two book fives.

And that, everyone, is the second thing I've been up to.


The third thing is of course PSAT studying. Lately I've been diligent and committed to my prep book, but I think I'm about to crack. There's only so much studying a fourteen year old can do when she isn't even going to take the test until September.

This picture over here --> are some of the PSAT notes I took on sample problems covering what the prep book calls "basic math". It includes rate, average, symbols, and special triangles. I don't know why I took these notes. Math is supposed to be a subject where, you know, you either know it or you don't. There isn't too much studying required (or so everyone says). Just practice, practice, practice.

But not for me. I take notes. I make detailed step-to-step notes on how to solve a specific problem, and then follow it up with an explanation why. I don't know why I do this...and now that I look at this picture, I'm like, "Outlining math problems? What the heck was I even thinking?" Maybe this is my writer side coming out.

And, just for the heck of it, here's a song I really like by a band I haven't listened to in awhile, that reminds me of the last book of my demon slayer series.




- E

Monday, June 27

I wrote 2,000 words today.

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I kid you not, I really did.

My goodness. 2,000 words.

While studying PSATs and rereading The Lightning Thief.

2,000 words.

This really is a Big Deal to me because I rarely ever write more than a thousand on a daily basis, and until lately, I've barely even written that much. It's really pathetic, I know, but I get distracted so easily. I wrote these 2,000 words in one sitting too, while munching on toasted almonds and drinking pink guava juice and listening to nothing. It sounds like a weird combination, but hey, I guess it works.

- E

Saturday, June 25

Motivation music for PSAT studying.

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I'm taking my first ever PSATs this September, which is great and all because it means I have a shot at getting a scholarship. However, it also means I have to study over the summer, as my parents have relentlessly reminded me over and over again. I have one more week before I leave for the Amazing China, and if I'm really hard-core studying, I might take my PSAT prep book with me. Which, actually, wouldn't really ruin my vacation.

I don't want to study, but studying isn't all that bad either over the summer when you have nothing to do. I know, I know. I'm supposed to be writing. But I should also keep up my academic work and credits too. Writing isn't my life (since I'm only going to be minoring in Creative Writing) because I feel like I'm still way too young to be choosing what my life will ultimately include.

Anyway, while doing the diagnostic test in my PSAT prep book, I was listening to music. I don't normally listen to music when I study, but I realized that it helped me concentrate and calmed me down when I got to a math problem I couldn't dream of solving (I'm awful at math). Studying music for me is never loud and fast beat, even though loud and fast beat music tend to be epic and "motivational". Studying music for me is calm and soothing. Like these songs, for example:









All right, so the X-Men soundtrack isn't exactly calm or soothing, but it's not loud and filled with guitar solos or whatever either. The X-Men: First Class soundtrack is phenomenal. I also loved the movie.

- E

Sunday, June 19

Book List: Insurgent (#3)

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My Ultimate Book List is a collection of books that I really, really want to read, whether they have been released or not. Some of these books might not be on the shelves yet; some of these books might have been on the shelves for ages. It doesn't matter. I just really, really want to read them.
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Because I loved Divergent. So, so much. And the cover for Insurgent is so pretty... o.o

- E

Edit: I just found out that the cover and synopsis for Courtney Allison Moulton's sequel to Angelfire (a book I haven't even read yet but really want to) has also been posted. So here's the Cover and Synopsis for Wings of the Wicked.

Wednesday, June 15

Pokemon rant.

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I normally don't double post, but for some reason, I felt like it today. Maybe because I had this strong feeling that everyone loves to hear about my life.

Ha. Right.

Well, it's not like I'm forcing you to read this post. But if you'd like, then go ahead and read it. Hm. Maybe I should create a poll on posts I should...post (there goes my diverse vocabulary again). Like a bunch of other blogs.

Anyway...to the point of this post.

When I was little, I used to collect Pokemon cards by the packetful. I remember whenever we'd go into a supermarket or toy store (like Toys 'R' Us) that sold them, my dad would buy a few packets (they came in little packets for those who are unfamiliar with Pokemon cards; plastic wrappers that held about twenty or so. I can't remember the exact number) for me and my sister. Those were Golden Times. We traded them, then played with them (even though I don't think either of us ever figured out the actual rules), and made cut-out Pokeballs. We were obsessed with Pokemon.

By now, you're probably wondering, "Okay? Why are you suddenly telling us this?" Well yesterday, I stumbled across our Pokemon cards in our storage-room-for-things-we-don't-use-anymore. We keep them in pencil boxes (the kind some people used to get for elementary school; now the pencil pouches are in), because we had a bunch of pencil boxes. I counted them because I had that much free time until band, and it yielded around two hundred or more. It was a happy time for me. I'd honestly missed my Pokemon cards, and the show, and Pokemon in general. Even though the show right now (Pokemon Black and White, I believe) I haven't seen one single episode of, and all I can remember from recent seasons was a bunch of predictability. (Ash and friends meet a new person, meet a new Pokemon, Team Rocket finds the same Pokemon and wants it and Pikachu, they form a stupid plan, their plan gets destroyed by Pikachu even though they did succeed in capturing Pikachu for a little bit, and then the day ends with Ash and friends continuing on their journey. Well, maybe I only watched the boring episodes). Frankly, the most interesting things to watch of Pokemon were the gym battles, the contests, and the movies.

I especially loved the Pokemon DS games. I only have one (Platinum), but it was addicting, and I've watched some of my friends play others like Soul Silver and Pokemon Diamond/Pearl before. Unfortunately, I've also lost my DS...actually, my sister did, and I never got to finish Platinum. Which is quite depressing.

And that, everyone is my geeky self finally coming out.

- E

Monday, June 13

Have a secret about me.

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Do you see all the "Ella" on this blog? Ella's Muse, writingella.blogspot.com, "*waves* I'm Ella"...all of these indicate that my name is indeed Ella.

Well, actually, it's not.

It's a blog name. Or, more accurately, it's a pen name for my writer self. My name isn't Ella (but my name does start with an E), and I actually wanted to be frank with everyone because, well, it seemed like a good time to finally...let it out. There's a reason why I don't sign "-Ella" at the end of my blog posts, after all.

There's a story behind my naming (Ella, not my real name), actually, and I'll probably talk about it some time later. But for now, my real name isn't Ella...and I hope everyone can accept that. :P

- E

Thursday, June 2

And so another journey begins.

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The first day of summer break and I'm plotting and writing. How dedicated hardworking late am I?

Very late, actually, because I've started plotting and writing a few weeks ago, with a single excerpt. I've written a good seven pages or so before I realized that I should probably get going on the actual manuscript, especially since I already have more than enough basic facts to get me going. That's some awful procrastinating.

I've also procrastinated by playing the Sims, being on Facebook, reading, and of course, writing this blog post. Which, I guess, should be when I say that I'm going to be posting less frequently now that I'm in the Writing Zone again. Common sense says so. But too bad, common sense, because I highly doubt I'll be able to do that.

My mind functions like Dug from the movie Up. Well, I guess it functions like all the dogs from Up. I get distracted easily--not to the point where I'll suddenly scream out "Squirrel!" or anything, but to the point where I'll do anything to not write or plan or whatever it is that I do whenever I'm not procrastinating. And that means rambling on my blog about inconsequential stuff. It's a really bad habit I really need to break before getting to my junior year (the hardest year of high school, they say) and college. And hopefully I'll be able to. You know. Some time later.

Wish me luck on draft one!

- E

Wednesday, June 1

I'm a sophomore now! Kind of.

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So today was the official last day of my freshman year, and let's just say the day ended with a less of a celebration than my last day of sixth and eighth grade. The last days of school is now just becoming "see you in two months!" The excitement I used to get when I was still in elementary school pretty much died. The only things that kept today interesting were:

How To Train Your Dragon: watched in AP and Algebra II, even though we never finished
mmmm... <3
And when I got home, I remembered that today's indeed June the first, which means Julie Kagawa's e-novella Summer's Crossing is out and free to download, and her cover for the next book, The Iron Knight, is up for view on her blog HERE.

Now, where was I? Oh, right. Freshman year (and feel free to skip the rest of his post if you don't want to read my boring reflection :3).

Freshman year...was not fun. At all. I started out with great expectations, but the only thing my first year of high school had to offer was homework, drama, and things-boring-me-into-submission. If it weren't for books, writing, and several of my friends, I'd say that I honestly hated this year. I've heard from many that you either love high school, or you hate it, and right now, it's beginning to seem like I'll hate it. (Except that's okay because the superawesome author Sarah Dessen wasn't a huge fan of high school, either). On top of that, I'd gotten "sick" (AKA stuffy nose, cough, and two fevers) at least five times, and I'm "sick" once again, somehow, when it's about 90 degrees outside (I think it's because of the dry air and its effects-on-my-sinus). The only thing amazing about freshman year was marching band.

And I'm going to say it again: I loved marching band.

And guess what? Marching band is starting next Monday! Ah! I think when I get my hands on my mellophone, I'm going to kiss it. I've missed it oh-so-much (:

Also, for future references, I'll be going on hiatus in July and won't be coming back until the second week or so of August.

Have a good summer!

- E

Monday, May 30

The new novel's title.

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...it's not known as "Unnamed" anymore! It's now known as "Catch Me", based off of a game I invented in the novel called--you guessed it-- "Catch Me". Due to symbolic references to the main character and other emerging themes of the book.

At least that's what I like to say when my sister asks me why I've named my wip that.

- E

Wednesday, May 25

Finals, finals, finals.

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Aaaghh! So much to do!

The only down side I can think of to school coming to an end is that all the students have to take finals. (That, and maybe not seeing your friends for a whole summer or more.) I remember the nice days when finals used to be easy. Surprisingly enough, I barely studied and was still able to pass with a solid A or higher. Those were the days when I didn't put too much effort into my work and still found the classes extremely easy. Well, I'm definitely not a genius (if I were a genius, I wouldn't be complaining about the difficulty of the Algebra II finals). But honestly, I miss those days.

In the midst of spending hours and hours on studying for Algebra II and Spanish (thank God my AP test is already over), I'm going to have to find time to write. Which...probably won't happen for awhile. School for me gets out next Wednesday, and then I have another few days of doing nothing before marching band season begins. And plus, thinking of that makes me happy. Because I'm a band geek :P

I'm looking forward to next week, mainly because all of my classes next week will just be made up of random stuff. Like watching movies and singing songs. And I'm betting (hoping) we'll have food. Lots and lots of food.

So when does school get out for you guys?

- E

Sunday, May 22

Musical inspirations.

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I actually have a bunch on my playlist, but I'm going to share with you awesome people a couple of them. I don't really listen to...sophisticated music like Adele or Florence and the Machine (that's what I call sophisticated music, for some reason). I'm more of the, well, alternative/punk rock/pop kind of person. So...I'm stereotypical. Hm. That's what my sister calls me anyway.

Well, moving along...here...is...Depravity's playlist! Or part of it anyway:




The Adventure - Angels & Airwaves



Shadows and Regrets - Yellowcard



My Immortal - Evanescence

These songs make me so happy :3

And then, I've made a playlist for my "Unnamed" novel. Already. I know, I know. I should probably be concentrating on the actual manuscript before making a playlist. Ah well.



Na Na Na - My Chemical Romance



For The First Time - The Script



Chaoz Fantasy - Paragonx9
--because my MFC loves techno

What are your musical inspirations?

- E

Friday, May 20

Divergent is pretty freakingamazing.

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Not only is the cover amazing, but the blurb, which can be found HERE, is also freakingamazing. The freakingamazingness, of course, is mainly derived from the freakingamazing characters and the equally freakingamazing plot, and the freakingamazing prose and ideas blended into this freaking. amazing. novel.

Sorry for overusing that word. (Which, now that I think about it, really isn't a word at all.)

I honestly wish I owned this beautiful, beautiful piece of work. But I don't. I've only borrowed it from my library. Now I'm forcing my older sister to read it. She's currently struggling with City of Fallen Angels (Cassandra Clare), but honestly, I feel like Divergent might be better. Even better than City of Bones, which has been my favorite for a long time. So yup, Divergent is now my favorite book. (I actually want to say a classic, like To Kill a Mockingbird or something is my favorite read, but I can't. Sadly. The YA World has grabbed a tight hold on me and it isn't going to let go for awhile.)

(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW)

I loved, loved LOVED Four. I mean, Tobias (I still refer to him as Four because I'm just used to reading "Four" instead of "Tobias"). Tris was a freakingamazing (<--there goes that word again :P) heroine, too, but Tobias was all the way my favorite character. The ending of Divergent was a MAJOR cliff-hanger. It was exactly like--like--well, City of Fallen Angels. But this time, the stakes are much higher, and the tension stronger. Plus the ending of City of Fallen Angels wasn't exactly that great. (Frankly, I thought COFA was kind of pointless, but I still love the overall ideas and characters of the series, so I'm still sticking with reading the rest of Cassandra Clare's books).

(END SPOILER)

So people reading this blog: if you haven't read this book (which debuted as #6 on the NYT Bestseller List), you should read it. Now.

- E

Sunday, May 15

Say no to doubts!

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This link says it all (:

Clicketh for a superamazing comic strip.

New novel.

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I'm not usually the kind of person who works on two completely different projects at once, mainly because I absolutely suck at it. Nano would be a good example of my failure to stay organized and motivated. This time though, I won't be working on two projects at once. Not really.

It doesn't mean I'm giving up on Depravity though. I just feel like it's going really slowly, staggering along like a turtle. And the progress is just too slow, too uneventful; nothing happens anymore, and it isn't exactly because I'm procrastinating. I've lost a bunch of inspiration on urban fantasy and demon slayers, and patience on my revisions, and confidence on writing an actual series. I guess I've really just temporarily lost my taste. For me, changes of genres usually has to do with changes in life events, preferences, and what-not. And in this case, these changes have taken me to realistic fiction.

I have no idea what the novel's going to be called yet; as of now, it's title is "Unnamed". I've started outlining, which is something I didn't do (and probably should have done) for Depravity. The thing is though, writing realistic fiction for me has always been character driven, which makes outlines in my opinion more suitable and much easier to make. I'd start with characters, and I might not even need an outline for plot. The point of my realistic fiction novels is to get the complex characters from Stage 1 to Stage 2--or how many other stages it'll take until it's his or her last stage. Realistic fiction to me is fiction of growth and development. Oh, and symbolism is also key, too, in my novels.

So far, I'm still outlining my main female character, and then I'll be moving on to my MMC. This might take me several days to do, but I love planning my stories out. Just spewing out information is pretty freaking fun, and I definitely have a lot of ideas for this novel.

- E