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Showing posts from 2009

Ears

Exercise #110 : "Ears"

In specific detail, describe some of your characters' ears.

Here are a few cues:
shape
color
texture
thickness
jewelry
hair, moles, freckles, etc
scars, wounds
placement

I'm not going to lie; I really don't want to do this one. Ears are totally not my thing... That being said, I'm going to take today's exercise off and think about possibly coming back to it in the future. :)

Oh, how I love being the boss of my own blog. heh

Peace.
Stef.

At Least...

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Exercise #109 : "At Least..."

In his Fictional International essay "To Begin, To Begin," Clark Blaise writes: "The most interesting thing about a story is not its climax or denouement - both dated terms - not even its style or characterization. It is its beginning, its first paragraph, often its first sentence... the story seeks its beginning, the story many times is its beginning, amplified."

Opening a piece with "At least" is to open in medias res, that is, in the middle of the action. For example:

At least the cake was white.

Or:

At least they approved of the groom's gerbil.

The exercise is this: Pick one of these lines (or one of your own, beginning with "at least") and continue writing.

GO!

For this exercise, I decided to pair it with an image prompt. I headed on over to Google Search, typed in "at least,"and rifled through the first page of pictures. What I got was this:


So I guess we'll go with that! :) Let's begin,…

Tunnel

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Exercise #108 : "Tunnel"

What if there was a secret tunnel underneath your house? Where would it take you? What would it be like inside? Where would you find the hatch?


GO!

Am I a dork for having already thought about this very idea? It all started with the Nancy Drew series (the REAL, original series of books... Not this nonsense where Nancy is now this hip, modern woman. Blah.). She would constantly find herself in these places where a hidden switch or lever would open up a secret door that led to her eventual cracking of the case. Clue was also an influence. All of those rooms tied together by secret hallways... It's engrossing. All of the kings and so on had fancy castles with hidden passageways. Why not me? hah

And then you've got The Lord of the Rings. Now, Bilbo Baggins's home wasn't much of a secret tunnel, but I would imagine that's what my tunnel would be like. It would be dirt, but, as J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "it was a hobbit-hole, and that mean…

Rx

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Exercise #107 : "Rx"

Take a character from a piece you are working on or make up a new one. Over the course of his life, what medicines have been prescribed for him and why? Be as specific as possible, and be sure to describe the color, shape, size, and taste (etc) of the medicines.

Interesting. As the daughter of a surgeon and a nurse practitioner (Where did my sister and I get these writing / singing genes? That's the question of my life....), I know a great deal of pills and what they're for, etc, so this will be a fun little exercise to do. The question is... which character should I use? I think I'll go with my NaNo character, Savannah Hansley (I swear, this chick has gone through so many name changes... When am I finally going to stick with one?? Only time will tell, I guess.).

There is a bit of explaining to do, however, before I get started. As a general rule, Savannah's father is relatively anti-meds. He only uses them when absolutely necessary. So if S…

Language Overlay - Music

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Exercise #106 : Language Overlay - Music

Sprinkling in language that reflects a character's concerns and passions add richness and texture to a narrative. For example, if I have a character who loves sports, when he goes outside to rake the leaves, I might have him "grip the handle like a bat." The idea of this exercise is to generate vocabulary - nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, phrases, gestures, metaphors, etc - that would have to do with sports and then sprinkle some into the narrative as it suits. In this exercise, try it for music - assume your character loves a certain type of music; or teaches, plays, or composes it. What vocabulary would be in his or her mind? Certainly things like notes, scales, perhaps a metronome. Make as long a list as you can in 5 minutes.

GO!!!

For being someone who is musically minded, I'm finding this exercise to be... confusing. Maybe that just makes me dense. Here's the thing: I understand her sports analogy. That makes sense t…

Soft Things

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Exercise #105 : "Soft Things"
Make a list of soft things.

GO!!!

This should be easy enough, shouldn't it?

Taking the Day Off & a NaNoWriMo Teaser... Ooh...

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No, I'm not really taking the day off. That's just the name of the exercise. I've taken too many days off of blogging in the last month anyway. Time to get back on the horse! If you're here to view my NaNo teaser, click "Continue reading..." (from my blog's front page) and scroll to the bottom of this post. It's short little snippet, but I'd really appreciate any comments.

Without further ado...

Exercise #104 : "Taking the Day Off"

If you were to take the day off, what would you do?

GO!!!

I haven't had a day off in... ... ... a long time. Going to school full time and maintaining 2 jobs kind of makes the day off thing impossible. If I were to take a day off, I would SLEEP. I know that sounds pathetic, but I really would. I don't get enough because of everything I have to do, so unhindered rest would be greatly appreciated. What else would I do? I would read. Oh, that is a really good idea. Simply sitting in a comfy chair and throwing …

"Beginnings with Food"

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Exercise #103 : "Beginnings with Food"

To repeat what was written in a previous exercise: "In my experience, good beginnings - whether of a short story, novel, essay, or memoir - intrigue or charm the reader with the first 3 sentences, no later. The best beginnings suggest that something is off-balance - peculiar, not quite right - ergo, something interesting is going to happen." Today the focus is on food - anything to do with food, perhaps shopping for it, cooking it, eating it, sharing it (or not), saving it, hoarding it, etc..."

Today's exercise is this: In five minutes, write as many beginnings as you can that have to do with food. Write one, two, eleven, whatever you can do. Again, by a "beginning" I mean anything from a sentence fragment to three full sentences, but no more than that per beginning.

GO!!!
Jean shuffled through the pantry and quickly realized that she had absolutely nothing that would compliment the savory taste of her latest vi…

My First Spam Comment & Exercise #102

I know that spam comments are a bit annoying, but I was actually really excited to get my first one on this humble little blog here.

In late November (the 24th, to be exact) I posted a writing exercise entitled "Trouble Sleeping." The exercise went as follows:

Here are the names of the characters:
Glenda; Howard; Fecky Hastings; and Asa, the old sheepdog. For each one, in three sentences or less: when and why did each of them begin to have trouble sleeping? How did each one cope (or not cope)?

Well, I received a notification today in my e-mail. You have a new comment on your post: "Trouble Sleeping." I think to myself, Self, didn't you post that a long time ago? Why is someone commenting on it now? So I click on the link, and I come across this:
Looking for the ideal destination over the internet to buy sleep aid pills is not an easy task as some of the websites, pharmacies or drug stores selling sleep aids are proved to be fake stores selling counterfeit sleep aid …

"A Manic Morning" & I Have a Chat With the Internet

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Exercise #101 : "A Manic Morning"

Your character is experiencing the beginning (but not a full-blown) manic episode. Describe his or her morning. Do not use the words "manic" or "bipolar." Show; don't tell.

GO!

I know absolutely nothing about bipolar disorder. I know that they have manic episodes, but I have no clue whatsoever about what someone goes through when having one.

Research time? I'm thinking so.

The following interview is my conversation with The Internet about the bipolar disorder. Bear with me. I'm in a weird mood.

Stefanie: Hello, Internet. How are you?

Internet: I'm well, thanks. What can I do for you today?

S: So I'm doing a little research--

I: Well, you've come to the right place!

S: Um... Well, thanks. Anyways, I'm doing a little research on bipolar syndrome. You see, I have this blog--

I: Oh, I know!! It's great. Totally the best blog ever.

S: You're just too sweet. So you know the premise then. I'm doing an…

"Foamy Things"

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DUHN DA DAHHHHHHHHH!!! This marks the 100th exercise posted on my lovely little blog here. :) Exciting, right??? School is officially over for the holidays, and I've finished most of my shopping, so I will not be neglecting my 52 week promise as I have been doing for the past week.

It's time to jump back on this wagon!

Exercise #100 : "Foamy Things"

What things are foamy? Be as specific as you can.

GO!!!
beer just after it's been pouredanything at Starbucks, really - i.e. steamed milk, cappuccino, coffeesoap bubbles caused by water agitation while washing dishesstyrafoamfoam fingersuhhhhhh...I have no idea. I just sat staring at my computer for 5 minutes. hahaha Oh, gracious, it would seem that I'm out of practice! Must work on it.

Anyways, happy 100th exercise to me! Can anyone else think of any foamy things? I am at a loss...

Peace.
Stef.

FINALS WEEK!

I forgot to post this on Friday, but I'm going to take a week hiatus until Finals Week is over here at Belmont. Must. Study. BLARGH.

See you guys on Monday!

Peace.
Stef.

"What's In Your Kitchen Drawer?"

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Exercise #99 : "What's In Your Kitchen Drawer?"

This is a vocabulary expanding exercise - not about using new words, but rather words you already know but seldom use. List the objects in your kitchen drawer(s) - from the spatula to the grapefruit knife to the soup ladle.

GO!

I love junk drawers. They're just something great about them. Don't know where something goes? Put it in the junk drawer! Voila! Problem solved! haha Of course, when said drawer becomes full, it's a little difficult to locate some things, but... who cares?! haha

Anyways, on with the exercise.

What's in my junk drawer?
various medication - Advil (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen), etc...latex gloves (for when I henna my hair)a pair of crab-like pot holders (pictured below left) - We call them the Dr. Zoidberg gloves.an annoying cat toy that makes too much noise when played witha few pensthe agitators for an electric mixerWe're pretty boring. haha Everything else is pretty much categori…

The Twilight Saga: New Moon - A Review

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Before I get started with the review, here's today's exercise.


Exercise #98 : "S. Gossips"


"S." said he say they said something really horrible, and it got back to... Oh, boy... Who is "S."? Describe him / her. Why did S. say that? What exactly did S. say?" Show, don't tell. Write the scene.

Anyways, here we go.



I went to see New Moon with my sister, Jenn, and my roommate, Andy, last night. It was hilarious. I mean, absolutely 100% comedic. They were going for comedy, right? Right?



Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a nicely shaped male torso as much as the next chick (or guy even), but when said torso belongs to a minor I'm kind of icked out by it. My favorite part, however, was when Bella fell off the motorcycle and started to bleed copiously from a wound on her forehead. Well, Jacob (For you oh-so-intelligent non-Twihards who haven't read the books or watched the movies, this is the minor I was referring to earlier. He's a…

"Odd Dogs & Cats"

Exercise #97: "Odd Dogs & Cats"

Use 2 1/2 minutes to make a list of really odd names for dogs & cats. Then use the remaining 2 1/2 minutes to match each name with a type of dog; a color; and the one adjective that would best describe its personality.
For example:
Mister Trotsky. Chihuahua. Black. Shy.

This one should be fun. Lord knows that, as a dog walker, I'm exposed to a lot of Bellas, Bears, and Abbys, but every once in a while I get a dog whose name is completely out there. Some of them are funny, and some are just down right bizarre.

GO!
Tittles - dog, Yorkie-Poo, caramel-colored, prissy
The Honorable Lord Fitzwilliam Darcy* - cat, black and brown stripes, master hunter
Mr. Fluffybutt (I'm not kidding...) - dog, Newfoundland, white, bashful
Nhunhu (pronounced NOO-noo) - dog, Australian Cattle Dog, brown and black with white/grey specks, aloof
Diogi (pronounced dee-OH-jee)* - dog, Chinese Chongqing, ruddy brown, tiny but brave
Kitty Kitty - cat, black, selfish
Cat …

You Are a WINNER!!!

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Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah! HALLEEEELUUUUJAAAAHHHHHH!!!

Congrats and many back pattings for me, for I have won NaNoWriMo on this oh-so-important day of November 26th, 2009 topping out at 52,845 words! Wooooooo!!! The moment could only be improved by streamers and confetti, but sadly I was writing to feverishly to buy any... I'll just throw a few crumpled balls of paper in the air instead. That's good enough, right?

While I reached the 50,000 mark I'm still not done with the plot. In fact, I have a little further to go. I don't care about that, though. I wrote 50,000 words in a month!!!!! Wow! I am so proud of myself. I entered this month with trepidation, but I stuck it out and ended up writing more in one sitting than I have in... ever. Yay!!!! Wooooooooo!

Ok, enough celebration (yeah right!)... When all of you cross the finish line, let me know! I want to celebrate with you! :-D

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Peace.
Stef.

"Trouble Sleeping"

Exercise #96 : "Trouble Sleeping"

Here are the nanes of the characters:
Glenda; Howard; Fecky Hastings; and Asa, the old sheepdog. For each one, in three sentences or less: when and why did each of them begin to have trouble sleeping? How did each one cope (or not cope)?

Tick, tock...

Ah, trouble sleeping. I am most definitely not a stranger to this problem. Before I got mono, I would lie in bed for hours before I was able to fall asleep. It was absolutely ridiculous! I'm hoping that, with this new-found easy sleep pattern, insomnia will not rear its ugly head each and every night. Well, let's start with the exercise, shall we?

Glenda - Glenda is a young woman who has just started her political career, and her insomnia began to present itself when she was given the opportunity to join a group of elite politicians who will help her gain a severe amount of clout amongst her peers. She dealt with her sleeping troubles by getting a prescription for a pretty hefty sleeping pil…

"Little Dog (or Cat) Name Poem"

Exercise #95 : "Little Dog (or Cat) Name Poem"

This is an exercise in using alliteration and rhythm.

The other day on C.M. Mayo's blog she posted this poem:
Little Dog Name Poem (To the Tin Whistle & Gamelan)
Tater, Tot, Louie, Boomer, Bridget, Bijou, Elpis, Roxy, Leader, Lucy, Lola, Coco, Chloe, and of course--- drum-rolllll--- Picadou.
Take a look at the alliteration:
Tater, Tot
Boomer, Bridget, Bijou
Leader, Lucy, Lola
Coco, Chloe (well, close...)
and the rhythms... (an easy way to get the feel for the rhythm of writing is to read it aloud, but with your hand covering your mouth).

The exercise is this: Make a list of some 10-15 dog names (or cat names or horse names, whatever you prefer)--- just slap down whatever names occur to you--- then, rearrange the names into a little poem using alliteration and some kind of rhythm.

GO!

Stream-of-conscious names:
Lily, Kitty, Zola, Maggie, Cocoa, Bushka, Ellie, Abby, Bella, Indigo, Chester, Max, Ally, Minnie, Molly, Charlie, Tootles, Co…

Future Neighborhood

Exercise #94 : "Future Neighborhood"

Describe your neighborhood as you would expect it to appear 10 years from now.

Et allez!!! (And go!!! in French heh)
Well, I live in what would be referred to as the "nice ghetto." It's gradually getting better, but 10 years from now, I don't think very much will have changed. Sure, there will be new inhabitants, and the streets may be repaved, but the houses, while pretty old, are extremely sturdy little houses. Unless there's some unforeseen catastrophic upheaval involving the end of the world or a land buy-out it's all going to remain.

The neighborhood used to be really bad. In fact, it was once as crime infested as West Nashville is now (That place is SCARY.), but it has tamed over the years. I only foresee improvement in that area, and I actually think it will make significant progress in the next 10 years. A lot of families are starting to make their way over here, and that's definitely having an affect on …

"George's Movie Plot" and Motorcycle Trauma

Exercise #93 : "George's Movie Plot"

Plot a movie in 5 minutes! I am not kidding. Just answer the questions about George in one sentence or less.
How old is George?How does George make a living?What does George want that he is unlikely to get?What does George secretly want that he is unlikely to get?What is George most afraid of?What is George secretly most afraid of?Now, it so happens that one day, much to George's surprise, the very real possibility arises that he could get what he has always wanted. How does this happen? (Again, in one sentence or less.)What might be an obstacle to his getting this?What might be yet another obstacle?And a third obstacle?Then, what happens? Does he finally get what he wants, or something else? In the end, how has George's life changed (or not changed)?How does George feel about this?What is the last image you would leave on the movie screen before the credits roll?This one is kind of overwhelming! haha

Let me first give a big, hea…

"Heaven & Sky"

Exercise #92 : "Heaven and Sky"

John McGahern, the Irish writer, recently died. In yesterday's Washington Post there was an interesting obituary written by Matt Shudel, which ends thus:"Mr. McGahern composed his final book, the memoir evoking the spirit of his long-dead mother, after receiving his own cancer diagnosis. 'Heaven was in the sky,' he wrote in the book. 'My mother spoke to me of heaven as concretely and with as much love as she named the wild flowers. Above us the sun of heaven shone. Beyond the sun was the gate of heaven.'"This is so marvelous, I scarcely dare to comment -- but here goes. What gives this passage such power is the drum-beat of repetition. Heaven is repeated four times; sun twice. Also, the structure and length of the last two sentences are almost identical.
Try writing a brief passage -- 4-5 sentences -- using repetition.

Well, folks, I'm REALLY behind on NaNo, so this is it for today's exercise. I'm hoping …

"More-Organic-Than-Thou & Etc"

Exercise #91 : "More-Organic-Than-Thou & etc"
Triple, quadruple and quintuple-decker adjectives can be fun! For example:
easy-to-hose-down tileladies-who-lunch hairdosA run-to-catch-the-school-bus outfitA disguise-the dog-hair-oatmeal-brown sofamore-organic-than-thou shampooMake up some to go with the following nouns:
CarBikeuniversitypetuniaspizzabookscarfshoesyoghurtwatchbackpackbathrobepursekitchen gizmodogsofacell phonenotebookguinea pigsummer vacationhotdogGO!

Too much to do today. Ugh... Feel free to take part in this exercise. Will meet back up with you later on tomorrow. :)

NaNo fell behind today. Lots to do! Ahhhhhhh!!!

Peace.
Stef.

"Once Upon a Time"

Exercise #90 : "Once Upon a Time"

Write the beginning of a story that begins, "Once upon a time."

If you need some more of a nudge, include the following:
a girl named Florinetta
a dog with three legs
a swing
a porch
boiled celery
the air smelling of autumn

GO!

Once upon a time, Princess Florinetta of the land of Arandell was searching desperately for some boiled celery. It was her favorite afternoon treat, and when she went into the kitchen to find some, she discovered that it had disappeared. She remembered that there had been a plastic bag full of stalks yesterday, so where had they gone?

"Mimi?" she called to her maid, but she received no answer. "Mimi!"

Florinetta rand around the house, searching for her trusty maid and finally found her outside, swaying peacfully on the swing on the porch. The air smelled of autumn with colorful leaves falling gracefully from maginificent oak trees, wind blowing to and fro, and crisp breezes whipping at her face.

Runni…

FINALLY!!! Clips from my recital! Woo!

Instead of the normal writing exercise, I am going to post the videos from my recital!!! Yay!! :) Aren't you all excited? haha

I went to my mom's house and transferred the footage over onto my SanDisk 8GB USB drive, and voila! Just a little cutting, and I've got YouTube videos!

Anyways, without further ado...

My recital!

The first clip has the following songs:
Und ob die Wolke - Der Freischütz (Carl Maria von Weber)
Flow My Tears - John Dowland
In the mornin' - Charles Ives



The second clip has the following songs:
Piangete - Giacomo Carissimi
Almen se non poss'io - Vincenzo Bellini



The third clip has the following songs:
Le Secret - Gabriel Fauré
Les Berceaux - Gabriel Fauré
Die Stadt - Franz Schubert



The fourth and final clip has the following songs:
Liebesbotschaft - Franz Schubert
Moments in the Woods - Into the Woods (Stephen Sondheim)



And there we have it! I hope you liked it. I know I had fun doing it.

Peace.
Stef.

I Have Added a New Character!!!! Duhn Duhn DAAAAAH!

This is the 6th Character Profile in my NaNoWriMo novel character profile series.

Meet Ruth Harlowe, resident glorified prostitute on board the Spectre, and she has been in love with Captain Eldon Whitlaw since she stepped on board. She was the first woman to take part in the Alternate Transportation Payment Methods Plan (ATPM Plan), offering her body as compensation for transporting her to a nearby system, but when she got there she stayed on board with hopes of maintaining a romantic relationship with Eldon. He, the womanizer that he is, has absolutely no desire to become romantically entangled with this woman, but he does enjoy the benefits he receives from her so he gives her attention while also making sure that she knows he does not want anything serious.

Over the years, her love for him grows stronger even though it is not reciprocated, and, while he does not love her, he does care for her. They have an odd relationship, one that is entirely intimate but skewed. She keeps dream…

"Improbable Rescue" & a NaNo Update

Exercise #89 : "Improbable Rescue"

In his delightfully wacky Pronoia Is the Antitode for Paranoia, Rob Brezsny writes:
"Bach's St Matthew Passion is a highly regarded musical composition. Yet the score disappeared and the work wasn't played for years after Bach's death in 1750. In 1829, composer Felix Mendelssohn rediscovered the long-lost manuscript being used as wrapping paper in the estate sale of a deceased cheese salesman. He arranged for a public performance of the piece, and its revival began."Please note the marvelous specificity: "being used as wrapping paper in the estate sale of a deceased cheese salesman."

Recount ---or invent--- another improbable cultural rescue in 5 sentences or less.

Wow. St. Matthew's Passion being used as wrapping paper makes my heart weep a little. I mean, I'm not a Bach fan. I recognize that he was incredibly influential, but his music isn't my style. That's partly because, as a singer, me and B…

"Body Language: Two People Talking"

Exercise #88 : "Body Language: Two People Talking"

Two people talking usually do a lot more than "smile" and "nod" at each other. One might cross his legs, or, scratch an ankle, or smooth her hair, etc. Then there's interaction between the two: one might reach across the table and lay his hand on top of her wrist. She might touch her own lip, to indicate that he has a crumb of muffin hanging on his, etc. Make a list of all the little (and big) gestures you can think of that two people might make while talking to each other.

Ah, gestures. This shall be fun.

And... GO!
cocking an eyebrowcrossing legs towards or away from the person to which one is speakingtapping the footavoiding eye contactcovering the mouth with a handholding hands clasped in one's lappushing glasses up the noserubbing the end of one's noseleaning on the table, elbows firmly plantedrolling eyesfidgetingtwiddling of the thumbsraising eyebrowssmiling / frowning / pursing lips / etcf…

Madelyn Hansley - A Poster Child for Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

More research posts!! :) This one is going to focus on the mental illness of Madelyn Hansley as discussed in THIS character profile. Go look at it to catch up! :)

In that post, I didn't talk about alcoholism, but I think it would be extremely applicable to add that to her list of illnesses. She feels alone and desperate so she self medicates, losing herself in alcohol but effectively numbing the depression.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is caused by a deficiency in thiamine (Vitamin B1) and often occurs in alcoholics, although it can also result from malnutrition, cancer which have spread in the body, abnormally high thyroid hormone levels, long-term dialysis and long-term diuretic therapy (used to treat congestive heart failure). The symptoms of dementia caused by Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome include confusion, permanent gaps in memory, and impaired short-term memory. Hallucinations may also occur.

Ah, what a little research can get you... Very rewarding, and…

"Image Patterning, Starting with Jell-O"

Exercise #87 : "Image Patterning, Starting with Jell-O"

This is an exercise in working with imagery to create a sense of connectedness within a narrative. Take this as your opening line:

The Jell-O was not his favorite dessert.

Write on anything, but be sure to use the following imagery (in addition to Jell-O): overdone steak; a barking dog; too much perfume; a squishy blue velvet couch. Then, tie it up with an ending that somehow -- in some way -- returns to the Jell-O.

Man alive, this one is going to be hard. It's just really involved. I guess I just need to dive in.

GO!!! :)

Jell-O was not his favorite dessert, but it beat the overdone steak that he had just forced down a few minutes ago. The gelatinous, jiggling mass of horse hoof leftovers sat peacefully in the small bowl at his fingertips, but each time he tried to dip his spoon in for a bite he kept hearing the sounds of pained whinnying in the distance.

"It's not just made from horse hooves," he said aloud…

And So It Begins... The NaNo Madness

Well, friends, it's November, and we all know what that means! National Novel Writing Month has officially begun! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am.

I was a little scared at first being that this is my first attempt at the seemingly lofty 50,000 word count goal, but I'm feeling pretty good. I went to my region's kick-off write-in, and from around 12:30 - 2am I wrote approximately 1700 words. Day 1 bare minimum write goal completed! Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't write more today. Oh, no, no, no. I have decided to try and get approximately 3,000 words in per day. That way I have a nice buffer zone for later on in the month when I inevitably hit a dead end / lose the wonderful benefits of this adrenaline rush. haha

If you haven't already, add me on the NaNo website! My username is FarEom. The more writing buddies the merrier, says I!

Good luck to all of you NaNo-ers!!

Peace.
Stef.

Oh. My. Goodness.

NaNo starts tonight!!!!!

I can't even handle it.

That is all.

Peace.
Stef.

Research I've Done Over the Last Few Weeks

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I've done a bit of research regarding the topic of my NaNo novel over the past few weeks in an attempt to make my plot devices a bit more believable. It's important to write what you know, of course. At least, that's what they keep telling me. :)

First off, I need to tackle the ambiance of a pirate ship... In space... Hmm... Well, let's start off with the crew hierarchy, shall we?

I got the below information from a website called Swashbuckler's Cove, but it was all, of course, geared toward the historical pirate. I altered the info to fit my needs. :)

Captain: Eldon Whitlaw (See character profile HERE)
The captain of a pirate ship must possess the qualities of leadership and courage. Generally chosen for his daring and dominating character, a pirate captain is admired for his cruelty and destructiveness. A captain's power is absolute in time of chase or action, and he can discipline anyone who…

My Absence

Sorry I haven't been posting regularly this week. As you all know, I have been diagnosed with mono, and it's majorly knocking me on my ass. hah I have taken refuge at my parents' house for the last few days (Thank God we live in the same state!), sleeping the days and nights away. I mean, I have never slept more than I have been these past couple of weeks. I mean, it's nuts. Hours up on hours upon hours.

The sad part is that all of the extra time I gained by being forbidden from stepping foot on campus is not being spent in preparing for my return to class or NaNoWriMo. Oh, no. It's being spent in the horizontal position, eyes closed and snoring. Well, I don't know if I'm actually a snorer, but I've been told that I snore lightly from time to time. But that's neither here nor there...

At any rate, I'm going to take the weekend to do some more sleeping / NaNo prep / school catch-up, and I should be back up to posting regularly when the week starts …

The Day I Became Acquainted With Epstein-Barr

Well, kiddos, the results are in, and - drumroll, please - I have mono!!!! This is a specific virus usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which is a member of the herpesvirus and is also one of the most common viruses in the world.

But Stefanie, you ask, you were already tested for mono and showed up negative on the test! How can this be? Well, I'll tell you.

Apparently, there is a window of time after contracting the virus which doesn't register when tested, and that period of time ended for me sometime in between the last 2 Mondays. BLAH. Either way, I have mono. Great.

So what now?

I'm still in the "contagious zone," so I have been forbidden to even step foot on campus until Monday. Normally, this would be great news, but it honestly just stresses me out. I'm missing so much class, and I'll have so much work to make up when I come back. The problem is that the majority of my classes are in-class intensive. My conducting class (yes, I have to take condu…

"Euphemisms"

Exercise #86 : "Euphemisms"

For example:
garbage collector ---> "sanitation engineer"tax collection ---> Internal Revenue Serviceinnocents killed / injured ---> "collateral damage"Usually euphemisms are made up of latinate words; they tend to sound pompously obscure, as indeed, they are intended to obscure something unpleasant, low-status, or offensive. Have fun with this one! Try concocting euphemisms for the following:
~candy for breakfast~a defective tricycle~a gas guzzler~a ridiculously big bouffant hairdo~unemployed~painted the wrong color ~a stolen election / ballot stuffing~excessive redtape~a cover-up of heinous corruption~the dog peed on the carpet~civil war~a failing grade~tax evasion~a size too small~this building could not withstand a minor tremor~the living room is the size of a mop closetWell, friends, I'm going to the Dr. again today. I just can't seem to get over this crappy feeling. I'm exhausted all the time, but I'…

"Where the Dust Settles"

Exercise #85 : "Where the Dust Settles"

This exercise is about bringing your attention to highly specific detail. In the room where you are right now, where does the dust settle?

Interesting. Quick and to the point. I'm all for that.

GO!

My living room needs to be cleaned. Badly. Do you want to know how I know that? Well, besides the rather disheveled, "lived in" look I've got going on, there is a nice, thick layer of dust that's settled on each surface:
the entertainment unit, including the shelves inside it
the end tablesthe DVD player, Comcast cable box, stereo, speakersbeneath the couchwindow sillsthe coffee tablethe little wooden bowls on my coffee tablethe candle holders on my fireplace mantlethe fireplace mantlethe door framesUgh, I simply cannot continue. Must. Clean. Now.

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. I'm going to the Nashville chapter's NaNoWriMo kickoff party tonight! I'm so excited! :)

Decision Time!!!

So NaNoWriMo is in a week!! Ahhhhhh! I used this weekend as a test weekend to see what all I could do writing-wise if the good old blog wasn't involved. Well, I have decided that I'm not going to post over the weekends (It's not like anyone reads blogs on the weekends anyway.) so that I can have the extra time to work on the 50,000 word count over the month of November. I'm sure you won't mind. :)

So officially, no posting on weekends for the month of November. Normal posting to resume on Monday! :-D

Peace.
Stef.

Jason Derulo Before He Had a Hit Song

If you haven't heard, Jason Derulo is taking the world by storm with his new hit single "Whatcha Say" featuring Imogen Heap.

View his recently released single below.



What you may not know is that Jason Derulo (previously Jason Desrouleaux, I believe... I can never remember how it's actually spelled) attended the American Musical & Dramatic Academy with yours truly. :) I can't even tell you how proud I am of him, and I wish him the best in this juncture of his life.

That being said, I have a little treat for you, my readers. :) He was in my graduating class at AMDA, and we did our Final Showcase together. Well, guess what? I have the video of said showcase, and I have uploaded it here for your viewing pleasure! If you watch it, you may even see me. :) Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Those searching for Jason-centric clips, take a look at Clip 2, Clip 8, and Clip 9.

For clips with my performances on them, check out Clips 2, 6, and 9.

Video Clip 1 has the following:
"Carouse…