Thursday, May 9, 2013

No, I Haven't Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

...I may have used that as a post title before. Hmm. *shrugs* Well, does it really matter?

So, yes, I don't seem to have blogged in about a week, give or take a day or two. No, I didn't bother to check. And in the meanwhile people I have been following blogged! So I had to comment. I'm that type of person. I like to comment on stuff. I'm the person who would prefer to review every chapter of a story I like on Yeeeaaaaah... I'm weird that way.

I did mention that I like to celebrate being free of school by ignoring my phone and the Internet, though, didn't I? Well, it happened. Finals are over, and MASTER GAVE DOBBY A SOCK!!! DOBBY IS FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Sorry. I quote that at the end of every semester. It just feels appropriate.

Me being me, I finished up a history final yesterday and to celebrate I... went to Books-a-Million and spent the next three hours standing in an aisle reading a book I had picked up that had a promising cover. It was called something like School of Good and Evil. I don't remember the author. I rarely remember authors unless I have a strong interest in their works, and I forgot to look at the name on the front before I started reading. Once I was reading, the thought never occured to me and stop and look, so...

Yeah. Me.

It was a good read, though. It was about a school where fairy tale characters go to learn to be heroes or villains. Two normal girls have been dragged into it - Sophie, the blond wannabe princess, and Agatha, the dark-haired loner. Much to their consternation, Sophie is dropped off at the ugly School for Evil and Agatha is left with all the nit-brained, beauty-obsessed princesses at the School for Good. They try to switch places. Shenanigans ensue. They decide that they only way they can get home is for Sophie to be given a True Love's Kiss (yes, those are sarcastic caps - though I am sure it's probably a trope) by Prince Tedros. More shenanigans ensue in pursuit of this. Their true colors emerge, as Sophie becomes obsessed with control, power, and getting her own way, while Agatha has to keep rescuing her, occasionally rescuing the prince, rescuing everyone else, etc. Sophie goes insane, becomes a witch and increasingly ugly, and declares Agatha her Nemesis. (Yes, it was capitalized in the book.) Even MORE shenanigans ensue. I knew it wouldn't end up with Sophie getting the prince, and I really didn't want him to end up with Agatha (he didn't deserve her), and I sort of anticipated Agatha saving Sophie and them going home together to a normal life as friends. However, the way it was done... it was dripping with Les Yay, and let's just leave it at that.

If you don't know what that is, well, there is a website called

Oops, I suppose I should have said "spoiler alert", shouldn't I?

Haha, that's one of the things I loved about A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, another book a randomly picked up a BAM and loved so much I had to buy it. It's hysterical. It takes the Prince Charmings from four different fairy tales (Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White) and throws them together. Hilarity Ensues. (Yet another trope. If I've capitalized something randomly, it's probably a trope. As a matter of fact, I have considered becoming a full-fledged troper and making a page for this book.) But at one point the narrator, who is quite snarky, gives away something from 20 chapters away, and then says, "Oops. I guess I should have said spoiler alert." LOL.

Wow, I didn't set out to make this a post about books, but it happened. I see no problem with this.

In other news, I have been trying to work on my own stories lately. Yesterday I had magnificent luck (was it majestic?) and managed a whole chapter. Yay! Go me. I think I've gotten a bit better writing my more difficult characters - some characters are just hard to write, you know? You have to give them meaningful and plausible character development. I like to follow a policy of Show, Don't Tell, which works well from everything to description to personality to dialogue.

For example, I think it's better to say: "The girl yelled at her brother, "Hurry up!"' rather than, "The girl told her brother to hurry up." Meh... bad example maybe, but I prefer direct quotations rather that indirect quotations most of the time. I think it conveys personality better. Then again, that may be just a personal preference of mine.

I also like describing the appearances of characters. This perhaps stems from a minor frustration with J. R. R. Tolkien, who, in the words of one bewildered fangirl, said, "Thank you, J. R. R. Tolkien, for describing every inch of the landscape of Middle-earth. However, you failed to mention that Kili is a hottie."

LOL, but it's sort of true. Very few people get described in The Lord of the Rings. Amusingly and/or annoyingly, those who are play more minor roles in comparison to the Hobbits. *headbang* For instance, Tolkien never said if Frodo, Bilbo, etc., are blond or brunette. It just mentions that Frodo is tall for a Hobbit and that's about it. Now, it does say that Sam has brown eyes (mentioned when he almost drowns in the Anduin and Frodo pulls him up) and I think it mentions that Merry has brown hair in The Houses of Healing - so Merry and Pippin are switched in the movie. I don't mind that change, though, as I always pictured them the other way around, anyway.

Boromir and Faramir, though... gah. It explicitly said they both had raven hair. It took me quite a while to get over the fact that they are blond in the movie. It doesn't bother me so much now, but at one time it was one of those things that just bugged me. I was once much more of a purist than I am now - which likely has allowed me to enjoy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey more than I would have otherwise.

I'm glad.

Anyway, so my frustration with most of the characters in Middle-earth not being described as well as my very visual approach to stories (Tolkien's stories were born out of words, mine are born out of images I dream up) - I also spend a lot of time describing color in my stories - has led me to trying to describe almost all of my characters. The exceptions are truly minor characters who just get a mention or two, maybe say one line, and are never heard of again. And even then I might have drawn them at some point or other, if they are related to a more important character.

Anyway, so I finished a chapter yesterday. Go me. I tried working on it again today, but couldn't get much done, not because I was stuck or uninspired but because duty called. Dinner, doing dishes, doctoring a pony (he has thrush. We think. No, it's not my horse in the picture on this blog's sidebar), etc... I haven't been able to get back to it. Sad face. And I was just getting to a couple of characters that I like!

...Well. It seems I have broken the promise I made to myself that I wouldn't bore everyone to death with talking about my stories on my blog. Sorry!

I know. I should just shut up and post Hobbit-y things. *nods wisely* I shall go do this.

In Pace Christi,


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