Thursday, February 25, 2010

Taking a Week Off

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, friends, but this week is midterm week, and I need to focu on the good ol' study habits.

With that, I will leave you with the cutest youtube video on the face of the planet...


Monday, February 22, 2010


Exercise #131 : "Cracked"

Something suddenly cracked. What was it? What happened?

1,2,3 GO!

Evie, sitting cross-legged on the floor, lowered her eyes to the small wooden table in front of her. A small orb of pure, white light ignited in front of her, illuminating her torso and arms and making the silver bangles around her wrists glitter in the brightness. Her pupils dilated, absorbing the light, and the ball grew and intensified, expanding to light up the entire room.

The table suddenly began to rattle and shake, sending vibrations across the floor.

Closing her eyes, she felt the air around her tingle with electricity, and she began to chant.
"I invoke the Goddess of Earth and Love,
She who sees all and does not fall.
Hear me now and open thine eyes to see.
Oh, moon of night, star of the sea,
I invoke you!
Open thine eyes to the world of the unseen.
Make my senses sharp and keen.
Open thine eyes to the vine.
Grant thee power of sight and make it mine.
Grant thee the fruit of sight;
make me see clearer than night.
Open mine eyes to three times three
As I will, so mote it be."
The table shook more violently in front of her, and the orb flickered, changing color from white to pale blue. Eve continued chanting.
"In the light I see.
In the dark I am blind.
In the world I walk.
In the circle I fly."
Slowly, her hips raised off of the floor followed by her crossed legs. Soon, she was hovering approximately one foot above the ground, suspended peacefully in space.

Without warning, the table cracked in half, drawing her mind from her levitation spell. Her concentration broken, she fell to the floor and landed with a crash, her right foot bumping into and further destroying the table.

After she recovered from the sudden failure, Eve sighed.

"Not again."


Can you tell that I've been watching later seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer lately? If you're not familiar with the show, it is about a young girl, Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), who is destined by Fate to fight demons - most specifically vampires - in the town of Sunnydale, California. Her best friend, Willow, is bookish and cutesy in the first season or 2, but later on, she turns into a bad-ass, uber powerful, lesbian witch. Anyways, there is quite a focus on magic during the season I am currently watching, and it's definitely making itself present in my spur-of-the-moment writing. hah Ah, well... Maybe I'll just pull a JK Rowling and run with it.

Tonight is roommate dinner night. Woo. I got a coupon to this chain of restaurants for $50, and we're going to go to a place that would normally be on the expensive side. With the coupon, however, it's going to be much cheaper to split 4 ways. Wahooey. So we're going to have yummy food tonight! Glorious.

Well, I hope you all had a schönes Wochenende (nice weekend). Did you do anything fun or interesting? :)


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ahhh!! 100!!!

This week has sucked. Period. I've been busy with school and work, and things have just had this icky off vibe. I can't quite put my finger on it. Nothing went badly, per se, but like I said... icky off vibe.

Imagine my surprise, however, when I log onto my blog and find...

My follower count has grown, finally reaching that oh-so-elusive 100 mark!!! It totally made my day!

Welcome, new followers!! I'm so glad you've decided to join me here at 52 Weeks of Wordage!
I think this is a good point to have people start to introduce yourselves. 1,2,3, GO!

Who are you?
Do you have a blog? What is it?
Where do you hail from?
What are your hobbies and interests?

C'mon, guys! I want to get to know you all!

P.S. Even if you've been following for a while, leave a comment! I want to get to know ALL of my readers! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Lisserving Adventure

For those of you just joining us, first of all, WELCOME!!! :) If this weren't over the internet, I'd run up to you and give you a big old hug. If you've been around for a while, don't worry. There are plenty of hugs to go around, and I give of them freely and happily.

As I said in yesterday's post, I have yet another writing exercise from my Third-Year Writing professor that I felt I should share with you. It's the same basic concept: Go somewhere you've never been before, do something you've never done before, and lisserve the crap out of it. If you're saying "What the heck is lisserve???" then go HERE. It should clear up all of your questions.

Without further ado, here is my lisserving paper.

A Lisserving Adventure

Rows upon rows of glittering diamonds and gemstones twinkle from within their glass, velvet-floored encasements, and I wonder why I'm here.

"Do something you've never done before," she had cried, exuberantly throwing her hands in the air. "Do something exciting, and have a lisserving adventure!"

So why did I choose to visit a jewelry store? I've been to several thus far in my life: Tiffany and Co., Zales, Jared's. This place was not unfamiliar to me. So why did I find myself here, staring at thousands upon thousands in dollars of jewelry? Let's just call it an attempt to move forward in my life, shall we?

Jewelry has a certain meaning, especially to women. It means commitment and undying love. Frequently, it means "I do."

There is a couple in the back of the store perusing the display pieces and talking in hushed yet excited murmurs. The woman - she looks to be in her mid-twenties, just a couple of years older than me - is pointing at a ring setting that it encrusted with diamonds. It's the type of ring I'd never feel comfortable walking out of the house while it was around my finger. The young man grimaces painfully, and I can just make out the phrase "God-awful" forming on his lips. At least one of them has sense.

Visibly deflated, the woman continues down the display shelf, her fiancé following close behind with a good-natured smirk on his face. They continue viewing the rings for a few minutes until they seem to agree on a particular setting - this one is much more tasteful than the last with about a quarter of the amount of diamonds and much less ornate filigree - and then motion for the salesperson who has just finished ringing up another satisfied customer.

The deal is finalized in a matter of minutes, and the couple leaves, elated. As they exit I quickly realize that I'm the only person left in the store. Shit. All of the sudden I feel the salesperson's eyes lock onto the back of my head like a heat-seeking missile. Double shit. I pretend to be fully engrossed in the men's watches that lay before me.

"Can I help you with anything, Ma'am?" she asks.

I whip around and say, "No, thank you. Just browsing."

"Alright. Well, if you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask."

I nod. "Thank you."

As soon as she turns away, I dart out of the store in a panic, my stomach in my throat. After a few moments of deep breathing, I calm down. This was a stupid idea, I think. A stupid, stupid idea. I begin to make my way away from the store and notice, out of the corner of my eye, the couple from before in a neighboring furniture store. They're looking at an oversized leather sofa, the kind that looks like it could swallow you whole. This time it's the young woman who is scowling. They move on to other sofas, and a slight pang ebbs at my stomach. I offer up a short prayer for them.

Maybe they'll make it to the altar. Lord knows I didn't.


And that's that. :) Did anyone else do this? What did you come up with?


Monday, February 15, 2010


I don't know what it is lately with me and poems, but I was recently given an assignment by my Third-Year writing teacher to make up a word - yes, make up a word - and write a poem using said word.

Now, I make no claim about my poem-crafting skills (in fact, I might actually say that I'm terrible), but I had fun with this one.

My word is uthagination (pronounced yoo-THÆ-jih-NAY-shun). I won't define it, but I'm sure you smart cookies will figure out through context in the poem.


There is a time in a young person's life
Where he or she must decide
To leave a life of fancy behind
And, come what may, to provide
For a family he dreams of day in and day out
For the house that gets much admiration
But, sadly, in order to do all of that
He must leave behind uthagination.

"But leaving his uthagination behind!"
You exclaim with exceptional fervor
"He'll surely grow up, get old and then die!
And that will be quite an endeavor!"

You're right, oh so right, to come up with that thought
But it's not half as bad as you think.
One day, many years after he has grown up
As he edges to-ward his life's brink
As he looks at his children and their children, too
He'll smile yet feel much consternation
But he'll look back and fondly remember the day
When he lost his dear uthagination.

Fun, huh? I kind of felt like I was channelling both my inner Peter Pan and Shel Silverstein. I had a good time anyway. It took me a long while to figure out which word I was going to use because I kept on trying to make sense of it etymologically, and that's just too much work. I'm not J.R.R. Tolkien here. So uthagination it became. Woot.

Well, that's it for today.

Tomorrow I'm going to post another assignment I did for my Third-Year Writing class. It goes back to the whole "stistening" concept (see HERE) but expounds upon it a bit further. Expect that tomorrow afternoon.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Addicted to TV

Exercise #130 : "Addicted to TV"

The old saw in creative writing workshops is "show, don't tell." So, without mentioning the words "TV" or "addiction" -- in other words, without "telling," show with specific detail that your character is addicted to TV.


Ryan's eyes glazed over as another commercial appeared on the screen. Come on, he thought. Not more commercials.

1 ad, 2 ads, 3 ads... They were all the same. All they did was distract him from his shows, telling him that he should buy this or that because he would never find them this cheap ever again.

One of the ads featured Billy Mays yelling at him to buy this or that laundry detergent. It's so powerful that it cleans your soul! At least, that's what they made it sound like.

"Ryan?" called his mother from upstairs. "Time for dinner."

"Ok," he said. He didn't even bother telling her that he wouldn't be coming up. She would bring his food down in a half an hour anyway.

The last advertisement aired, and his show flickered up on the screen. Finally.

Thirty minutes later, he had not moved from his couch, and there was a steaming plate of food sitting on the coffee table in front of him. He hadn't even seen her come in.


This one was short, but fun. :)

How would you guys show the addiction versus telling it?


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Who Are You?

I'm taking a moment to stray from my list of writing exercises to introduce you guys to a really interesting writing prompt to which my writing teacher introduced me.

The idea is simple:

A writer who knows himself is better than a writer who does not. So who are you? Be completely honest. Write however you want, be it poetry, prose, or screenplay style. Just get it out.


I am a work in progress.
A child of God theologically
Of a surgeon and a nurse practitioner biologically
A musician first, opera singer second
An actor and dancer
I'm 22 - no - 23; sometimes I forget
I am incredibly forgetful.

I am a work in progress.
A hopeless romantic
"Someday my prince will come"
... maybe?
Perhaps I'm a cynic
A quippy, quick-witted chick who isn't afraid of hearing the truth
Or telling it.

I am a work in progress
I am not perfect
I've long since given up trying to be
I must constantly remind myself that perfection is impossible in this world
Otherwise I get overwhelmed and lost
I am ok with being imperfect
I am ok with being a work in progress.


So that was what I turned in. Woohoo. I actually had a lot of fun with it. I don't know if I would consider this to be poetry, but it's different. Different from anything I've written before. Yay for exploration!

So tell me. Who are you?


Monday, February 08, 2010

Holy Crap

ANOTHER award??? Can't. Even. Handle. It.

Must. Not. Tear. Up...

This one is from Guinevere over at This Is Not My Day Job. If you haven't checked her blog out yet, you should. I absolutely adore it.

Now for the rules. You're supposed to list 10 things that make you happy and then choose 5 other bloggers who make you happy on a regular basis.

Things That Make Stefanie a Happy Camper:
  1. Sleep. I know that sounds kind of weird, but as a college student who thrives in the late night hours, I rarely get the amount of sleep that I should. When I do, though, I sleep HARD. Epically, one might say.

  2. Blogging. It took me a while to join the blogosphere, but now that I've actually made my debut in the blogging world and actually have followers (Holy crap, do I really??? Once again... Must. Not. Cry...) it's really fun. It's a part of my day that I have complete control over - Lord knows I have no control over anything else - and it's something that I really enjoy doing. Ok, enough sap...

  3. Movies of All Shapes and Sizes. Being such a theatre junkie, you'd think that I'd have something against the silver screen, but I love it. The fact that I can disappear of the face of the planet for approximately 2 hours into a world that frequently is so different from my own is somehow comforting. I get to escape when I watch movies - completely disconnect from what's going on around me - to observe someone else and how they react in their world. Lovely.

  4. Animals. Yes, I am that girl, but don't worry. I'm not a crazy person. I won't lie; very few things get me angrier than when I see someone abuse an animal, and animal-tested products make me feel ishy inside, but I'm not about to run up and throw red paint or pig's blood on your fur coats. I have a strong connection with them is all - specifically domestic dogs and cats - and feel like they deserve more than abuse or neglect. It's just something that has always pulled at my heartstrings.

  5. Reading. There's nothing better than sitting down with a cup of tea in an over-sized armchair and an old, musty book to read until your eyes hurt. :)

  6. Writing. This should come as no surprise because of my little bloggy here. I have so many ideas that bounce around in my head throughout the day that it's so relieving to get some of them out and on paper at the end of the day.

  7. 'Rithmetic? No, just kidding. The Color Green. I don't know why; it's just a great color, ok?

  8. Music. This also should be no surprise to those of you who are my regular readers. I've been doing the music thing since I was able to phonate, and I can't imagine my life without it. Lord knows I'd probably be depressed all the time.

  9. Tea Parties. No one has tea parties anymore. Not real ones, anyway. Back when I was in high school, I got together a few times with a friend of mine and a wonderful, wonderful woman - she was like my 2nd Mom - and we would have these awesome tea parties complete with little finger sandwiches and tiny cakes. I felt so sophisticated, and the company was pretty lovely as well.

And now for the bloggers that receive this award from moi!
  • Jen from unedited. A wonderful writer with such a sweet spirit. I always enjoy her comments and posts.
  • Laura over at A Shift in Dimensions. She's incredibly supportive and always willing to give really sage advice. Plus, her Flash Fiction is exemplary.
  • Jason at A Nocturnal Writing Journal. He posts excerpts and so on from his current Work In Progress, and he, like everyone else on this list, never fails to bring a smile to my face with conversation about our writerly duties. :)
  • Juniper over at We Can All Use a Little More Juju. Once again, this lovely lady is my sister, and even if she weren't I'd love her blog. :) She's an excellent lady, and her writing is great fun to read.
  • Hunter from The Time Crook. Just as an example, today's post for this blog is a simple poem about a cat, but it's brilliantly written with a sort of whimsy that makes me smile. Go.
Did you go visit them? Did ya? No?? WELL, GO THEN! :)

And that's that!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day today.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Cliché Conversation

Exercise #129 : "Cliché Conversation"

Using clichés is generally not a good idea, however, why not have a character who uses clichés?

The exercise is this:
Two characters are arguing about where to go for dinner. One spews clichés. The other...?

If you need a few clichés, here's a little menu:
a fine kettle of fish
mad as a wet hen
a marriage made in heaven
beat around the bush
talk in circles
set your teeth on edge
uphill battle
go off half-cocked
hell in a handbasket
talk your ear off
kill two birds with one stone
a whole new ballgame
wet blanket
have your cake and eat it, too

There's also a Cliché Finder that you can use to collect a longer list if you so desire. I think it's pretty neat.


So... so... Wait a minute. I'm supposed to allow clichés to sneak their dirty little ways into my writing? I don't know if I can do that! I mean, it goes against everything I have ever learned as a writer! Surely C.M. Mayo jests!!!

But someone has to see if there is merit in this exercise, don't they? I mean, being that Ms. Mayo is, in fact, published while I, sadly, am not, it surely helps, yes?

I will not be doing this exercise today, however, because I have some intense homework to do. I will have a special little post sometime this weekend, though! :) Actually, it's a couple of posts. So... Woo!

Anyways, time to go do homework like a good little student.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sunshine Award!

Woo woo woo!! I got the Sunshine Award from Jen over at unedited, and I'm super psyched.

Here it is:
See? Ain't it purty??

It took me a while to post this one because, well.... I'm lazy. But it's up now!!! Thanks, Jen!

Now for those to whom I am going to extend this award...
  1. Robin at Zombies & Cream - Holy crap, ladies and gentlemen. If you want a laugh, go here. Not only that, but you're sure to be thouroughly entertained.
  2. Kattrina from 365 Days of Happiness - Her blog is focused on living each day happily, and it serves as a reminder that, as she so eloquently puts it, "although some days are dreary and hard to get through, other days are full of smiles. I'm trying to focus on the smiles."
  3. Sassy from The Sassy Curmudgeon - I've only been following this blog for a little while now (found through Blogger's Blog of Note), but it's excellent. Lots of really fun stuff. Go. 'Nuff said.
  4. Dan Holloway from The Man Who Painted Agnieszka's Shoes - This is a really great, informative blog with tons of helpful information for writers, self-publication, etc.
  5. And finally, Juniper over at We Can All Use a Little More Juju - I'm a little biased because Juniper (aka Jenn) is my sister, but she's pretty witty, and I never miss a post.
Ok, that's all of them! Go visit each one and read at LEAST 2 posts. Seriously. You won't be disappointed. :)


Dreaming With an Upset Stomach

So I'm sick. :( There's a stomach virus going around, and it hit me this morning when I was about to leave for school. All of the sudden, a wave of nausea hit me, and I ran to the bathroom.

I stayed there for the next 2 hours.

Between fits of upheaval and tears, I laid in my bed pretty much all day, and while I did this, I had a really bizarre dream.I've said it before; I very rarely remember dreams if I even have them at all, but every once in a while - usually induced by delusional sickness or medicine - I get a doozy. I don't remember much about today's dream, but I do have a few odd snippets.

Somehow, I ended up in a competition that was kind of a mix of American Idol and Making the Band. I was trying out for a spot in this "girl group," and one of my friends from NY was involved. Strangely enough, this was not a televised competition. At least, I thought it was strange.

Anyway, the competition is set up through several challenges, and our first one is essentially based on physical appearance. From what I can remember, they had groups of us stand on different platforms with song names on them, and a judge went down the platforms and had us each sing around 8 bars of a song. The challenge was called "The Loose Curl," and the point was to see if we could curl our hair loosely. What this had to do with singing is completely beyond me, but that's neither here nor there. In the end, the judge got over to me, I did this impressive operatic vocalise (I sing opera, ya know. Do you want to hear me sing? Go HERE.) and then broke out into an awesome 8-bar rendition of "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked (yes, I am a theatre nerd). Of course, if I were to try this in real life, it would not go as wonderfully, but this was a dream, so perfection was attainable.

The only problem was this: I had apparently missed the "loose curl" memo and wore my hair straight. When I found out that I had messed up, I sprinted to the bathroom and wet my hair a tad, scrunching it like a crazy person before the actual competition. I ended up with a beach wave type hairstyle that looked pretty cute (This, of course, was more reason to believe that this was a dream. My hair, when styled, is never that easy.).

So I competed, sang my heart out, and then I woke up. Woot.

No, I don't know how it ended. Did I progress up the levels to becoming a part of a super group that dominated the music charts? I have absolutely no idea, but I'm sure I looked really cute. hah

Ok. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has come on, and I must glue myself to the tv and cry for an hour.


Ten Places, Ten Sounds

Exercise #128 : "Ten Places, Ten Sounds"

For Proust, the scent of a madeleine evoked an entire novel. In this exercise, think "sounds." First, list ten places. Any places will do (i.e. your living room, the Tiki Room, whatever pops into your head). After you have listed those ten places, for each one, list the first sound that comes to mind. Once you have all ten places and sounds, circle the pair that you find most intriguing. Then start writing.

  1. my bedroom - the gentle whir of the space heater (gotta love living in an old, drafty house)
  2. the bathroom - the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet
  3. the unfinished basement - the clanging of my unbalanced washing machine
  4. my back yard - traffic from the nearby interstate
  5. the Wilson Music Building's (Belmont School of Music) downstairs hallways - dozens of pianos, voices, and other various instruments cacauphonizing (So I just made that word up. What of it?).
  6. my Grandmother's house - intense, body shaking snores
  7. my shower - some of the best singing I will ever do
  8. Green Hills YMCA - a woman yapping on her cellphone about her latest attempt to "go green"
  9. the corner of the I-65 South off-ramp and Wedgewood - Dirty Earl (at least that's what I like to call him) jabbering about how the sun is too bright on a cloudy day
  10. Disney World - the happiest laughter known to man
You know, I have yet to read In Search of Lost Time (ISoLT) by Proust. It's supposed to be this absolutely brilliant novel, and I haven't read it. Not good. My only problem is that it's so long. I mean, I can't say much against that - The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book after all - but The Count pales in comparison to ISoLT in regards to length.

"Surely you jest, Stef!" you exclaim. "Pales in comparison? I won't believe it!"

It does, though! While The Count is a measly 1100+ page book, ISoLT spans over SEVEN volumes. 7! Sept! Sieben! And these volumes are not small, either. In fact, they're rather chunky.

In the end, I do want to read ISoLT before I kick the bucket, but I'll just have to cross the hurdle of holy-crap-that's-a-friggin'-huge-book-itis. I'll get there...



Well, I didn't really do the 2nd part of the exercise, but I'm ok with that today. :) I had fun thinking of the places and attaching sounds to them.

Anywho, I hope everyone has had a glorious day thus far!

How is your writing going?


Monday, February 01, 2010

Blog Award!!!

First things first, HAPPY FEBRUARY!!!

I can't even handle how sweet you guys are. For real. Here I am skipping through the snow here in Nashville, and I come home to a notification sitting in my e-mail inbox telling me that I have an award over at This Is Not My Day Job from Guinevere. I can totally feel the love. :) THANK YOU SO FRIGGIN' MUCH!!!

Ok. Now that the elation has (somewhat) subsided, here are my five picks for the "Superior Scribbler" award:

  1. Deb over at Ranch Girl Ramblings - This is also in commemoration of her 100th blog post (Congrats!!). Her blog is so much fun, and she always has something helpful to say.
  2. Leah from Travails of a Budding Author - A very funny, entertaining read. I always get a laugh from her posts.
  3. Roni at *Fiction Groupie* - Now, I normally like to extend awards to smaller blogs, but I've been reading Roni's blog for quite some time now, and she is one of the most deserving of this award out there in the blogosphere, so I'm extending this to her even though she has 300+ followers. :) It's a great blog, and each one of her posts is incredibly helpful and informative (while being fun at the same time!).
  4. Lady Glamis from The Innocent Flower - Her most recent post is a perfect example of why I love her blog. Where else could you go to be educated on what spies actually do? Not only that, but you get introduced to a family-oriented, butterfly-loving spy. Excellent. Go. Now. Really.
  5. Maria from her self-titled blog - This woman is hilarious, guys. She has a way with words that would make even the most stoic of military men burst out in gales of laughter.
Well, those are my picks! Go visit them and enlighten yourselves.

Did you go? Yes? Well, we can move on then.

Well, now I feel foolish, because there's nothing really on to which I was planning to move.



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