Guess what? Today, Halloween, marks not only candy and costumes, but also the last day before NaNoWriMo. As such, today's post is entirely in honor of NaNoWriMo!
For those of you who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, through the month of November, thousands of writers attempt to write a novel. Generally, they work to a word goal, usually 50,000 words. If you hit your word goal by the end of November, you win! I've won three times now, and this year, I'm once again going for 50,000 words with my NaNoNovel 2012, MERCIFUL. You can check it out at the NaNoWriMo website. My personal count will be up on the blog sidebar through the month as well.
Now that I've covered that, how about some fun writer-themed pictures?
Let's talk about superpowers! Now, I have no interest in getting in a fight about superheroes, specifically, but this is definitely a topic to talk about. I'm a fantasy-sci/fi writer, after all. I aspire to this kind of stuff, both in writing and in life. How cool would it be to have these abilities? So here are my favorite superpowers.
I write a lot about mind-reading (telepathy), as some of you know. It's a superpower I admire. Very useful. But the risks and stress that come with a power like that are incredible. The effect on your mind and body could be horrific. Not to mention the incredible loss of innocence that would occur because of this power. There are some nasty people out there.
So what's the better alternative? Being an empath. Still very stressful, but worth it for the information, I think. An empath, for those who don't know, is someone who can feel others' emotions. An emotion-reader, rather than a thought-reader. Since empathy itself is a very highly desired trait, this seems like a good power to go with. Nice for understanding people. This is my top choice.
Have you guys ever noticed how awesome words are? Maybe not, if you're not a writing geek like me. But words are just about the most powerful thing out there, except maybe love and hate, both of which can be engendered by words. Just stop and think about it.
With words, you claim yourself, your friends, your life, your interests. You label the things around you. You gain power over them, over yourself and your emotions. You can bring people to you or against you. You teach, inspire, and cause change. As an author, my power comes almost exclusively through language. It's not only through the meanings of the words that I choose to express my points and thoughts, even, but also through the beauty of the words themselves that I make my point.
The sounds of words are powerful. Poetry and songwriting are prime examples of this. The rhythm, the pace, and the hardness/softness of the words you choose affect the power and emotion of your work. There's a big different between the sound of the word "titanium" and "pillow", for example. Even ignoring the meanings of the words, which one comes off as harder?
I think everyone, at some point, has heard a word that gave them pause, either because they didn't expect a word so fancy in that conversation, or because it had a strange sound. Words are just funny, special little things. I love them.
So here are some fun facts about words:
Seeing as I like music so much, I thought for today, why not put my iPod on shuffle and tell you about each of the songs that comes up? Let's try it out. I'll do ten songs this time.
"Wolves v. Vampires" by Alexandre Desplat
This is a track from the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack by one of my fave composers. It's not my favorite song, but it's not awful either. I mostly use it on my writing playlist as background.
"Harry Surrenders" by Alexandre Desplat
Ah, this is one of my favorite scores by Desplat! "Harry Surrenders," from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, has this sort of helpless desperation as Harry moves into the forest to give himself up to Voldemort. I love it. Orchestral stuff is great.
"Mistake" by Demi Lovato
A little harsher than most my fare lyric-wise, "Mistake" is a pretty good one by Demi Lovato, who's one of my favorite singers. "Mistake" is a reaction to a boy, telling him that she's done with him and he's made his greatest mistake.
How about today we return to my lists of things I like with some opinions on the classics? I've read a lot of classic literature. A LOT. The category is so broad it's hard to really talk about the classics as a whole. So I'm just going to talk about some of my favorites. Some I read independently, some for school. Either way, I enjoyed them enough to single them out. Enjoy!
Crime and Punishment
One of many masterpieces by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment follows Rodya, a Russian college-age man who has kind of a weird concept of power and morality, which leads to him killing an old lady. The entire book is about secrecy and madness and in the end, redemption. The other central character is Sonya, a prostitute who holds to Christianity as a way out of her problems. I read this book in my AP Lit class senior year, and I ended up really liking it.
Why? Well, it presents a lot of questions about morality and such, which are fascinating. It's also very dramatic and fun. But the best part to me is the incredible amount of Christian idealism and iconography in this novel. The ideals of Christianity and love shown in the conclusion of the story fit my own ideas well. It's just the kind of effect I wish for my own work.
I got tagged into the Next Big Thing Award by my friend Julia the Writer Girl about a month ago. Apparently bloggers like to share these tags with each other? Anyway, Julia's an awesome person. She's also the only person right now who I specifically would choose to tag for this, so now that I have time, I'm just gonna answer the questions and move on.
Because there's a great deal of information about my current WIP, the CHOSEN FOUR series, on this website already, I'm going to talk about my upcoming project, my NaNoNovel 2012, instead.
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from?
A dream, mostly. I've had a few come to me that way. See, I had this whole list of concepts I wanted to include in a future novel, genuine pieces that had shown up in less-decent novels I later scrapped. Then one night, I had this crazy dream, and when I woke up, I was like, That's it! That's how I incorporate all those ideas!
What genre does your book fall under?
It's YA epic fantasy.
I'm posting this briefly to let you all know that my official website domain has changed. I have edited the entire website in order to keep it open for more works besides the Chosen Four. It's now an official writer's profile website. You can follow this website from now on at http://kirabudge.weebly.com.
Here we go with our second memoir for the week! This one was originally written at the beginning of my high school career. It's been featured on Teen Ink more times than I can count. I'm preserving my high school version partially because of laziness, and partially because I like it the way it is.
Playing cello has always been a sort of magic to me--it’s like Harry Potter and his wand. I didn’t choose the cello, the cello chose me.
Seriously, no matter what I do, this instrument keeps following me.
I started playing cello in fourth grade, when the elementary school orchestra teacher came around to give us the annual lecture on why we should join. She allowed me to come up and “play” the cello. The instant it came into my grasp, it fit so perfectly, it was as though the instrument was a part of me. It molded to my body; it sank into my heart. The sound of the first note, squeaky as it was, was thrilling.
So I joined orchestra.
It was horrible.
Two other kids in my grade became cellists as well, and, because they were taking private lessons along with orchestra, they saw fit to tell me that they were far better than I was and that I was therefore third chair and didn’t really deserve to be in orchestra anyway. I spent most of the next two years between two older guys, a cellist and a bassist, who threw stuff over my head to each other and made stupid jokes.
I felt worthless. I cried, a lot. No matter how hard I begged, however, my parents would not let me quit.
“6th grade,” they said. “You can't quit until 6th grade.”
When 6th grade came around, however, I decided to stay one more year: my crush was going to join.
Out of slight laziness (IT'S FALL RECESS!!!!!), I've decided this week to present you with two short memoirs. There are probably a couple other places online where you can find these, but, hey. Blogging!
So the first memoir for you is called "Why I Write." It was originally written my senior year, and has been slightly edited for this post. Have fun with my writerly past!
Why do I write?
That's like asking why I breathe.
I can't name a time words didn't fascinate me. As soon as I learned to speak (or even before!) I was chattering nonstop at my parents about everything I could think of. I just loved to be heard and understood, and I loved the power words gave me to gain attention. It was cute until my little brother Nathan showed up, of course. Then I had to start learning to quiet down. That was when I really discovered reading... or, rather, being read to.
My first favorite book, as far as I've been told, was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, who is, of course, a genius with language. My second favorite bedtime reading was a National Geographic article about tarantulas. I consumed information and words like my other brother Michael consumes noodles. Being able to get that, to get information I didn't have before, from something simple and accessible like a book seemed miraculous to me.
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