Monday, June 10, 2013

my cat is famous. but not really.

Hey everyone! Today is my birthday, and this is how I'm celebrating: sharing videos of my cat.

He and I made a guest appearance in a TSwift music video parody by my brill CP Christine. About writing! Yay!

Featuring the wonderful and cheery Jeigh!

And guys, in case you're feeling scuffled up about it... I had no idea the cat dancing would look so extreme. Bahah. No felines were harmed in the making of that video (sadly, the index card will never be the same).

Speaking of felines who were not harmed, here's Oliver being his weird self at a church community group get-together:

Yes, the old boy is a finger-sucker.

Hope everyone has a lovely June 10th. I'm going to spend it doing happy things and welcoming myself into the vibrant world of my late-twenties. Onward!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

three things that happened this week.


I answered the question, "What are you writing?" without (much) fear or hesitation. Honestly, even. It was otherworldly.


I read a fantastic book in less than 24 hours, which motivated me to finish reading a book I started in January, which got me excited to read the next book, all of which made me feel alive again.


A man in my Korean class told me his twelve-year-old daughter would love to be an early reader for my story, when the time is right. I tried very hard not to melt into a puddle of glee.

Oh, and I suppose there is a FOUR.

I started to own writing middle grade. Because... I think I always have been.

So. How have your weeks been?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

top ten tuesday.

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday! Why, you ask? Well, who doesn't love blog memes?!


What? I've been here the whole time.

*looks around* *swipes at a cobweb*


Five books I thought I'd love more than I did:

1. The History of Love
  This is not to say that I didn't actually really enjoy this book. I did. A lot. In fact, I recommend it. But it didn't quite leave me with the awe-and-wonder I was expecting. Maybe it was because I learned who the author was and had this, "Oh. So THAT'S why this feels like Jonathan Safran Foer." Is it weird for that to have been a let down? (It's by his wife, by the way. I don't know what's wrong with me. Maybe I got nervous about voices blending into one another?)

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  Again, not at all to say I didn't like it. I loved it. This, really, is compared to the rest of Laini Taylor's books. I heart heart heart them all, but Daughter left me with this thought more than any of her others: "I don't even need to love the story to love a Laini Taylor book! That's talent." Because, I mean, come on. It is.

3. The Maze Runner
  I was maybe a little *too* prepared to love this book, and that expectation was simply not met. Still a fun read, but I had some problems with the stakes and the general what-the-crappedness in the latter half. Proud to have a signed copy, though. And I do intend to finish the series... someday.

4. Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes
  Woe unto you, overly-clever middle-grade narrator! Fine line, there. And without enough for me to grab onto, character-wise (the animorphed bestie? major players not introduced until second half? does not... compute...), I lost interest. Great first chapter, though. (Let that be a lesson to us all.)

5. Game of Thrones
  Who has two thumbs and couldn't even make it through book one?


Five books I loved more than I thought I would:

1. Wither
  I don't even KNOW, okay? I sometimes feel like I should doubt that four-star goodreads rating and turn it into a three. I shouldn't have liked this book as much as I did. At other times, I wonder if I should change it to a five. For all the issues that jerked me around early on, I can't deny how much this book had me by the second half. I should maybe... read the rest of them. Heh.

2. Days of Blood and Starlight
  Daughter may be my least favorite Laini Taylor book (which isn't really saying much, since anything of Laini's is the winner of everything), but Days is my very favorite. I read it in a constant state of awe, teared up multiple times over things that were more moving than sad (a true sign of great writing), and said "NO" out loud at least six times. Thanks to my take-it-or-leave-it relationship with the first book in the series, I was even MORE blown away. Must read again.

3. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making
  I delight in you, (much more well-crafted) overly-clever middle-grade narrator! Hello, fickle. The very thing I disliked about Peter Nimble is what I loved about GWCF, which is why I approached it with optimistic caution. But this one had more characters for me to love, a strong yet simple plot, and even a smattering of philosophy. Lovely all around.

4. The Raven Boys
  Won't lie, I'm pretty hot and cold when it comes to this author. I figured I'd give RB a shot on audiobook, because it's easier to burn through stories that don't hold me as much, that way. Boy, was I in for a treat. Raven Boys is not only my favorite Stiefvater novel, but my favorite audiobook, period. Will Patton made the whole thing. I was still irked by some trademark moves (iffy female protag, way way high stakes that didn't culminate into the bang they demanded), but all is forgiven under that melty Virginia baritone. I still can't stop thinking about the way he said "ley line" and "Gansey." Hoowee. I'm so stoked for the rest of this series. Audiobooks all the way.

5. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
  Just finished this one... ten minutes ago! I don't know why I ever doubted that I would love this book. Oh, how wrong I was! It's just about the perfect middle grade adventure. It's fun and brilliantly silly, but also grounded and a bit dark, with real stakes and consequences. I often miss that in MG. This one is a real winner.

Hurray for reading! *climbs back into that saddle* *dusts off another cobweb*

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

on foreign language, as an adult.

Oh, foreign language.

Confession: I was a mediocre student who, for some odd reason, chose to study Latin in middle and high school. I loved the Roman history and recluse-like translating. What a relief, to avoid practicing conversations! Perks of a dead language, I suppose. 

flat stanley digs latin, so it must be okay!

In college I took French. Took French. Did not actually learn French. Was too self-absorbed in college to learn anything. Ugh.

The only non-native language that has stuck with me is American Sign, which, like all true language experiences, I learned by having to use it. (And I love it. Highfive for ASL.)

I used to joke that I could hardly speak English, let alone anything else. The cold truth, though? I'd never tried. Not having people to speak Latin or French with effectively killed those languages for me.* Well, I guess it wasn't Latin's fault.** Anyway. What I mean is that I had more passion and excitement for learning ASL on my own than I'd ever had in a formal setting.

But now that I'm not being graded on things anymore, education has taken on a whole new light. Wouldn't it be nuts to have an experience with a spoken language like the one I had with Sign?

It really is amazing how wanting to learn new things grabs ahold of you when there's nothing to lose, no state expectation to possibly let down.

And so. I'm back in a classroom. For fun!


I love listening to the reasons people give for learning a foreign language as an adult. Some of them make perfect sense, like wanting to be able to communicate with relatives. Or needing to have a basic understanding before an upcoming business trip. Or, like, you know. Moving overseas.

Others are less clear. My own reasons are, honestly, hard to pin down. There is, of course, a fascination and deep appreciation for the history and culture, an undying love for the food, dizzycircles of delight for the storytelling... but I could say the same thing for other languages that I am content to know only three words of (if that).

Simply, I want to learn Korean. Or, I want to see if I can learn it. I like the challenge, not only to be back in the saddle of the spoken word, but also to make sense of a language that was, not long ago, wholly indiscernable to me. Go big or go home, right?

and, i mean, dude. the writing system is boss.

It may be partly fueled by that American guilt of only ever having needed one thing, of being born into the language that everyone else learns.

Oh, my American guilt. What a faithful motivator.

So, we'll see what this adventure holds. Tonight is our second class, and I'm loving it!

Among the many great things about DC: Cultural centers that welcome you with open arms. And Korean snacks.


안녕히 가세요!

*I easily could have found people to talk to, but again. I was not the best student. I habitually opted to coast rather than excel. Growing out of this now, thankfully.
**I rag on Latin, but I feel like that older sibling who says, "No one picks on Latin but ME," because I really do think it's a great language to learn. As much as I make fun of myself for wanting to study it as a child, I can't deny that I loved every minute of it, and still have these smug moments when I realize that I understand the basic concept of an unfamiliar word without having to look it up.

Friday, January 18, 2013

what i wanted and what i got.

Been thinking about why I ran in anxious circles around my blog for months on end. Part of me doesn't think there will ever be an answer (or that I even need one), but the other part has a guess.

I really really really wanted to look professional... and so I decided to cut out everything personal or emotional and only blog about craft.   (???)

Which, you may have noticed, I haven't gotten around to.

Clearly, I was only afraid of being myself.

I am naturally on the personal/emotional end of things. This means that I am prone to gushing. I do not generally blog in advance. I suppose it's the pantser in me. My posts come in spurts. I often write about writing, anyway, because how could I not? And yet, I couldn't shake the constant, depressing tug to FIX everything about this space, to legitimize it. This personal, emotional space.

Then I became so preoccupied with "legitimacy," I felt like I was lying. As if the only options were a false me or an unprofessional me!

There is so much freedom to write about what I love, here. Who CARES if I don't join in on ALL the blogfests, or do ALL the giveaways... or have ALL the answers? My only job in this space is to ENJOY IT! Amiright?

I feel like I'm rallying the troops, here. Rally rally! Be yourself! Enjoy blogging! Smile! Professionalism has many facets, and will come naturally if you genuinely care about what you're doing.

Oh, and happy weekend!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

i feel good.

It's one of those coveted times when all I want to do is look at my blog because I LIKE it again. It's clean. Pretty. Still in progress, but established. It makes me not afraid to comment on other blogs anymore (which has kept me away for months, sadly) (I won't deny my vanity).

There are a lot of things to feel good about, in the way of updates. I killed NaNo, for one. Granted, that does not mean I've actually finished the draft yet (about 20k to go, methinks), but winning was good. Participating was good. Material was generated, and I have more to work with now that I have had in a long time.

Oh, and we moved. Yeah yeah. Again. That's two moves in 2012, three in 15 months. All told, my husband and I have lived in five different places since getting married at the end of 2009. Four cities, two states... and a district. It's true! We live in Washington, DC, all of a sudden. For a couple of kids who never moved from babyhood to college, it's been quite the wild ride.

DC is fantastic. Bizarre and huge and carved of stone, like all major cities. Quite an adjustment. But I have no complaints. DC is apparently not known for its food, but we sure can't tell. We also hear a lot of, "You live IN the District? Are you SAFE?" Yes, we're safe. DC has grown a lot in the last decade or so (as I'm told), and our neighborhood especially in the last few years. We love it.


I suppose most people outside of DC don't associate it with anything but government and school trips (as I once did, before coming to visit friends instead of monuments). Rest assured, readers. This city is VIBRANT with local identity, great food, awesome churches... just to name a few things we've experienced so far. I could go on (I could always go on), but there will be more chances. Also, I've only lived here for six weeks. Heh.

Anyway. Pretty blogosphere. *pets* I missed you.

How was your 2012?

Monday, January 7, 2013

my blog is undead.

This did not happen on purpose. I didn't sit down and think, "now would be a good time to get hacked and have my blog start spamming readers about credit scores and family planning." *ugly sigh*

And yet, here I am. It happened at an appropriate time, at least. I had been questioning my relationship with blogging for months, and ho! An excuse to avoid it!


My avoidance issues know no bounds. Even starting a NEW blog didn't help.

And then I thought, a SECRET blog, perhaps? The benefits of secret-blogging were like waves of honey and amber in a moonlit forest: bad poetry that made my mouth water, anyway.

But really, I'm just being silly and I know it. I'm afraid of getting back into the social aspects of blogging, even though the social aspects of blogging gave me my crit partners, and countless other invaluable writing friends.

So, forgive me friends, for the months and months of mulling. Questions like, "Who am I REALLY? What do I want to say, REALLY? What is my platform, REALLY?" When, REALLY, all I need to do is shut up, write, and be myself.

I won't deny that I have social anxieties. I always have. I get fretty. I abandon things for months on end.

But I generally always come back.

Hello, there!