Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday Five! (Two days left...) [3]

Uh. It's been a really slow, really lonely week... really lazy... just, in general, very boring. But I'll give you what I can. XD

1. Writing Contests - I'm writing a short story for a contest that I found online, and I thought I would share the link in case anyone else decided they wanted to go out for it. You can submit poems as well. The limits are five pages for the short story, and the poem can have a maximum of thirty lines. Anyway, here's the link: Enjoy and good luck if you participate!

2. I got really ahead! - Yes! I've been editing all week, and my deadlines were going to be two days for each chapter (they aren't all that long) and I started two days ago, all from the beginning now that I've got the hang of it. ...I hope. (: Anyway, I'm now in the middle of Chapter Seven! By the way, would you guys want to see the prologue for Flame Dancer or something? I might post it sometime anyway, but I might ask first... (:

3. Reading List? Booked. Pun intended. - Yeah, I went by the library and ended up checking out a ton of books so I have a huge stack of them on the table. I don't know how I'm going to read them all by the time I have to return them! (I have a strict policy; I try to finish all books before the due date) Anyway ... yeah. (;

4. My Writing Class begins on Monday! - We almost ran into a problem - I apparently wasn't registered ... anyway, the class progresses until Friday next week (should be fun to put something on here for it) and we're supposed to write the first chapter of a novel by then. I'm not writing five already, totally cool. [Haha, kidding. I already have the idea in mind. (; ]

5. Song of the Week - Kyle Landry's newest 'untitled' composition...

I absolutely love Kyle Landry. I've watched him on YT even before he started rising up and got his CDs out and everything. I listened to this, and now it's one of my newest favorites. I definitely recommend listening to some of his stuff if you are in the mood for piano! I'm taking my third year of piano lessons. Why? Because of him. He makes it such a joy. This song makes me think about a lot, and his stuff is always great to write to. You don't even notice you're listening to it. [The legendary moment one day when I said, "Where is my iPod? I can't find it! Someone took it!" "Kendra ... you're holding your iPod. Your headphones are IN YOUR EARS!" "...Oh."]

That's all for this Friday! See you guys later. DFTBA!!!!

Just for mentions: Audrey's graduating high school. YAAAAAY FOR HER! GOOD LUCK WITH COLLEGE! [You know, I could go put this on her blog, but naaaah. Seems more special to put something in bold in a blog post. (; Congrats Audrey!]


Reading: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini; The Iron King by Julie Kagawa; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte [I finally got around to it, Wordbird!! :D]
Listening to: ...Above music! Untitled - Kyle Landry
Watching: Disney's A Christmas Carol [You know, I was going to watch Gattaca. There was a show on before it with fifteen minutes left so I thought, "Ah, that's fine." So I flicked it on to get a lot of inappropriate stuff. ...So safe to say I immediately changed the channel... very awkward. Very awkward indeed.]
Quote: "Everyone should have a dream." - Cory Williams [smpfilms/DudeLikeHella on YouTube]

Later! :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Give Me YA Books to Read!

My Current Reading List

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
On Writing - Stephen King
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare
Other Classics (Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck)
Melina Marchetta books?

And that's actually it! Good God you guys help me out, I want books to read, and books to ask for for my birthday! Please and thank youuuu! Later guys (:

[Re]Reading - The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Watching: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Listening to: Musique pour la Tristesse de Xion - Kingdom Hearts Piano Collections
Quote: Nothing creative today. ):

Rejoice! The shortest post I've ever made!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five! (I hate editing!) [2]


1. I hate driving! - I can't do anything but make mistakes! I don't know what it is about my mind drifting off somewhere, but it does and then I do something stupid like pull into the WRONG lane like I did today! I have to be able to drive and get my license by July 28th... crap... I don't think this bodes well. Don't get me wrong, I'm okay at driving. I just need to be more alert. Not like I was this morning, half asleep behind the wheel. So if we crash, Mom, that's your fault! [Kidding...]

2. I hate bugs! - So. Those cicadas. I've never seen them like this before. And I hate them. |: Mom calls them forty-year cicadas but I've never heard of forty-year breaks in the cycle, but oh well. Today my mom and I were paying the phone bill in the actual phone-place and there was one of them on the floor, it started buzzing, my mom grabbed me and used me as a shield... I hate bugs in general, so; but I didn't enjoy getting bombed by these dumb things. They need to go crawl back into their nest and stay there for the rest of eternity! Creepers!

Oh. I also don't care for the Rapture rant saying this is the first plague... bah! There's so much hate from me today, isn't there?

3. I hate editing! - I meant to finish editing Flame Dancer this week, but I went through one final sweep of the first section and got so annoyed I analyzed it until I realized what was wrong: I WRITE TOO PASSIVE. Almost three times each on each page, I have the word "had" and "was". I want to rip my hair out! So, alas; I'm only on Chapter 5. This is going to be ... bothersome to say the least.

4. Ohmygod Writing Classes! - Something not hateful, yay! I got to get signed up for a week-long college course of a creative writing class two weeks from now, and I'm getting so pumped! Basically we just do a lot of exercises through the week, which the teacher critiques every piece, and then on the final day we have to have the first chapter of a novel. I've already got the new idea planned, so it's a matter of waiting til then to write it! Yessssssss...!

5. Song of the Week - Xion's Theme [Orchestral] - Bak.R [Original song by Yoko Shimomura]

To put it simply? Xion's theme is the main theme I've been using for the entirety of my third book, and I've been looking for ages (about three years...) for a song to end it with, and I've finally found it... makes me cry... If anyone was curious, I like to rename songs when I think of them for the book (for example, instead of calling the song Xion's Theme, I call it Aroha's Theme) and I named this one La Douleur de la Eléments.

Err... when I rename the songs, I'm not stealing them or anything. I just write them down on a sheet of paper and keep it so I can get more in the mood with my music while I'm writing. x3 I promise I'm not a thief!

I need a new book... I finished Eyes Like Stars now I need something I've never read before ... planning on getting something like On Writing by Stephen King. I'm also planning on A Midsummer Night's Dream and Wuthering Heights, so... I should have enough, but first I want to finish Brisingr by Christopher Paolini!


Reading: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Watching: NCIS
Listening to: Xion's Theme (Orchestral) - Bak.R / Yoko Shimomura
Quote: "The songs of the dead are the lamentations of the living." - Eragon | Eldest | Christopher Paolini

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev | Review

Title: Eyes Like Stars
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Published: July 7, 2009
Number of Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5

All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.
Open Curtain


"What's past is prologue, and the world awaits." —Bertie


To say the very least, I thought this book got really, really confusing at some points. I enjoyed it, but I didn't like having to go back and read some parts two and three times to get what was happening. That's really the only gripe I had about the book.

Otherwise, it was fantastic. The reason I picked this book up was because the cover is just bee-ay-oo-tee-full. And she has blue hair, like me! ...Sort of. Oh, and the plot sounded good. All I know is that I really need to start reading Shakespeare's works if I'm ever planning on reading this entire series, which I most definitely am. :D I really enjoyed the characters, their witty dialogue, and all the emotions that were caked in underneath. There was never really too much of something, and there were funny parts that I had to stop reading just to laugh before I continued.

I don't know anyone aside from Oberon and Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream (and that's thanks to The Iron Fey), but I guess I know some fairies from it now—and I love them. They were charming, adorable, hilarious, and almost always craving sweets. I kinda wanted to hug one of them. That is, until they start going commando!

I was really interested in the pick of using Nate from A Little Mermaid, but that's what made him such an interesting character. You never think about him all, really, but this makes you take a second look at the guy who shouts "Man overboard!"

Oh, don't get me started on Ariel. I loved him. I freakin' loved him. I wanted to grab that mean, trapped little air spirit and just hug him right out of the Theater. Even though he's a jerk for a lot of the book. I'm gonna steal him from Bertie. He's almost as charming as Jace from The Mortal Instruments.

Somehow, Lisa Mantchev managed to keep me in the Theater for the ENTIRE book without me ever getting really bored. Keeping me in one place for an entire book like that is a huge accomplishment! XD All of the characters were great, the plot was great, the emotions and dialogue was balanced really well, and the matter of Bertie's past is spaced so evenly through the story you don't ever forget about it, but you don't feel like you're obsessing over it too. I really enjoyed the book.

I just hope it doesn't get so confusing in the next book, Perchance to Dream. I'm hoping to get that for my birthday next month. Otherwise, the book was fantastic.


Listening to: Prepare for the End - Epic Score
Watching: The computer screen.
Reading: Eldest - Christopher Paolini (God, this is taking forever to finish...)
Quote: "What's past is prologue." (Isn't that from The Tempest, actually?)


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday Five! (Oh wait, it's Saturday...)

I know it's Saturday, but I saw this idea and thought it would be really, really cool and a good incentive to keep the blog posts coming, at least one per week... so, yay! Promise they won't be on Saturday anymore. (;

I think one of the constants I'm going to keep for the Friday Five every week is a certain song I've been addicted to. Maybe some other people will listen to it and get book ideas from it. x3 I'm also going to be using more of my smileys more, just because it makes me feel more comfortable. So, off we go!

1. Farewell, Sophomore Year - Last Thursday was the last day of school for me, and finals were hectic. The entire year was hectic, really. But in all, it was a very educational and very uplifting year because I got to hang out with everyone and got along with everybody - and that's a first, I think. Part of the reason this year was so tough was because I was more into my writing than I was my studying! XD But this is one year that, despite how tough it got, it would be one I'll think about a lot.

2. Blue Hair!!! - When school got out my friend Whitney and I headed to get our hair done, picking fun colors to use. She got the entire under-side of her hair purple, and a slice or two in her bangs. I picked out a strand of my hair and had it bleached, then dyed blue - for $18. Is that not a good price for getting it bleached too? However she and I both kind of ... forgot chlorine wasn't a good idea, and went swimming ... so not so much blue or purple now! D:

3. A New Book OMG! - I know this shouldn't be something momentous, but I got a new book and I'm so excited about it! I've got kind of high expectations, but the thing is that why do a lot of book have A Midsummer Night's Dream references anymore? I need to read it really badly I guess... the book is Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev. I should have a review up within the next week or so.

4. My Mom's Work... - could be its own book. I swear. Whenever she gets home from work, she normally tells my dad and I stuff that's happened during the day. Today took the cake. [My mom works at Wal-Mart.] She was telling us that a customer came in, and a lot of people refused to wait on him. She waited to see what was going on, and when he was getting ready to leave, she got a glimpse as to why: his manhood was ... showing. ...Yeah. Wow. As quoted, "I started laughing at first, but then the more I thought about it, the more disgusted I was."

5. Song of the Week - Run Devil Run - SNSD

It's been a while since I've listened to Korean tunes. This is the first pop one I've listened to, though - I don't know what it is about this song! I was listening to Ke$ha, and she has a version of this, so I listened to it then I listened to the regular song and I loooved it! This isn't so much of an idealistic song, but I love it! In fact, I'm listening to it right now.

I've got another blog idea I could do weekly - or maybe monthly, because I don't have enough characters for it unless I were to go into ideas I haven't widened on as much... but I'm planning on something called "I Hacked My Writer's Blog!" More details later [meaning if I decide to do it, you'll see the post! (: ].

See ya!!


Listening to: Run Devil Run - SNSD
Reading: Eldest - Christopher Paolini
Watching: Gran Torino
Quote: "You give more of yourself when you have an opponent." - Oromis/Saphira | Eldest | Christopher Paolini

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Black Hills by Nora Roberts | Review

Title: Black Hills
Author: Nora Roberts
Published: July 7, 2009
Number of Pages: 472
Rating: 5/5

A summer at his grandparents' South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan's idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he's discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Each year, with Coop's annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker's body.

As the seasons change and the years roll by, Lil remains steadfast to her aspiration of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father's demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold dear need them most.

When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar, memories of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.

Lil and Coop know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. Now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.


"We're the smart girls, even when we're idiots." - Tansy

"Run, rabbit, run..." - Ethan


Where do I start? It's a bit strange to do a review for Nora Roberts - after all, it's an adult book through and through ... but jeez, I need something to post. I wasn't planning on reading this but my mom insisted. I really, really, really enjoyed this. Nora Roberts does such an amazing job of making her characters so diverse, so interesting, so fun to listen to. You sympathize with all of them, get angry with them, but ... she just does a really good job.

The plot itself was intoxicating - especially for an animal lover like me. It's basically about this couple, as seen in the synopsis, who are being hunted. The man hunting them is some guy who thinks he's descended from Crazy Horse, and that all civilization in the Black Hills are stealing his land. He wants to claim it back, and Lil is the one who does the most because she has the refuge. He views it as a prison—so he wants to kill her and make a statement, and try and rid the Black Hills of civilization.

The book has a really great balance between love and murder, of the plot between the hunt and the love lives of Coop and Lil. One of the characters, though not mentioned very much, is a cougar named Baby who kept coming back to Lil since he was a baby, even though they kept trying to release him into the wild. He ends up playing a crucial role at the end of the book, one that almost made me cream out loud! Teehee.

Aside from Coop and Lil, she puts another relationship in there: Lil's best friend Tansy, and one of the interns named Farley. Tansy's thirty and dark-skinned, Farley's 24 and white, so she's confused as heck about this relationship when he doesn't have any doubts. Farley has a heart of gold. If only guys like him really could exist... haha. :D

The only downside I saw to the book was the fact that there was so much sex. I know, it's to be expected in a Nora Roberts book, but it seemed like there was more than usual... but oh well. You can't have it all. Otherwise, this book was perfect. A lot of the people that died in the book—you don't have a clue who they are because they died prior to the book's events, but you still feel for them. It's a really unique skill.

Nora Roberts is an expert at making you think and feel however the characters do, regardless of what's going on. Even the murderer! You get in his head and you're wondering how he's going to do whatever it is he's going to do next, even if you're not rooting for him (which, if you are... whaaaat?).

In all, great book. Great characters, great plot, great sideplots, just great. Love it!


Reading: Eldest - Christopher Paolini
Watching: Er... paid programming? I guess... need to change the channel...
Listening to: Tristesse de Xion (Reversed) - Yoko Shimomura
Quote: "Make yourself at home. Jesus." - Lil | Black Hills, Nora Roberts