Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chapter 24

I haven't updated in such a long time.  This is probably because I hadn't written anymore of Shadow in such a long time.  School got in the way, then NaNoWriMo did too.  As much as I want to finish the novel/novella I started for NaNoWriMo, Shadow and its sequels take precedence.

Here's what has happened:
  • The series went from a trilogy to a quartet.  It's sort of begging to be a quintet now, but I think I can rearrange some of the events to keep it a quartet.  I'd rather not drag out this series for too long.
  • The question of how to solve a particular problem had been plaguing me for awhile and I finally had an epiphany about it.
  • I've realized that some characters who seemed inconsequential are actual indispensable.
  • I wrote Chapters 20-23.
  • I plan to finish the first draft in the next couple of days.
It's wonderful how, even when a story is planned out and you have an idea of where it's going and who it's getting there, something can happen to surprise you.  Your story may end up taking a completely different path, but is better for it. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

DONE with Chapter Nineteen!

I think this chapter was especially hard for me to write for many reasons. My first isn't writing-related. I had to prepare to get back to school. Other than, however, this was the first chapter in Part Three and I had such a clear image of Chapter Nineteen that actually getting it out the way I had imagined was extremely difficult. I didn't get it out exactly the way I'd imagined either - I had to do some tweaking. I managed to get it out, however, and since I had vaguely planned out how Part Three is going to be, I need to finish plotting that out.

I'm shaking now, though, with the realization that I'm really almost done with this story. I can't believe it. Now that I'm so close, I really want to plunge into it and just finish. I have to study, of course. That is kind of important. But I'm going to make sure I write at least five pages everyday - more if I'm inspired.

I'm going to finish a novel.

This will honestly be the second full-length story I've ever finished in my life. The first one was when I was a freshman in high school. I'm not kidding.

Okay, maybe instead of writing about this story, I should actually go and write it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Don't Know Why I Avoided Reading Memoirs of a Geisha

It's a fantastic book in every way - there's a reason why it's so famous and why it was included on the BBC's Top 100 Book List (of which they believe the average person has only read 6.  As I very random side note, I've read 34 and am on my way to 35).

More than anything, it made me remember that writing is an art.  All his descriptions, similes, metaphors...everything was beautifully written and unique.  There was such life to this book that in the late nights I spent devouring every word on every page, I began to imagine I was actually Sayuri.

It's good - it makes me want to go back and comb through Shadow to make it just as alive as Memoirs of a Geisha.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Updated Reading List

  • The Wallflower Vol. 1
  • The Wallflower Vol. 2
  • The Wallflower Vol. 3
  • The Wallflower Vol. 4
  • Sayonara, Zetzubou-Sensei Vol. 1
  • The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
  • Being Nikki - Meg Cabot
  • The Pact - Jodi Picoult
  • Choke - Chuck Palanhuik
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  • Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  • Gone - Michael Grant
  • Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  • Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 14
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 15
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 16
  • X/1999 Vol. 5
  • X/1999 Vol. 6
  • xxxHolic Vol. 1
  • xxxHolic Vol. 2
  • xxxHolic Vol. 3
  • xxxHolic Vol. 4
  • xxxHolic Vol. 5
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 1
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 2
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 3
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 4
  • Fruits Basket Vol. 23
  • The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Reading List

  • The Wallflower Vol. 1
  • The Wallflower Vol. 2
  • The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
  • Being Nikki - Meg Cabot
  • The Pact - Jodi Picoult
  • Choke - Chuck Palanhuik
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  • X/1999 Vol. 5
  • X/1999 Vol. 6
  • Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  • xxxHolic Vol. 1
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 1
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 2
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 3
  • Fruits Basket Vol. 23
  • The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finished Chapter 17 AND 18!!!

I had just been aiming to finish Chapter Seventeen last night, but I managed to finish Chapter Eighteen as well!  Of course it isn't all that much of a feat since I sliced off part of what was originally supposed to be Chapter Seventeen and made it into the next chapter.  It was just getting so ridiculously long - over 50 pages.

I'm excited to start the main story again - get from the past to the present and into the thick of things.

Chapter Nineteen, here I come!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reading List

  • The Wallflower Vol. 1
  • The Wallflower Vol. 2
  • The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
  • Being Nikki - Meg Cabot
  • The Pact - Jodi Picoult
  • Choke - Chuck Palanhuik
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  • X/1999 Vol. 5
  • X/1999 Vol. 6
  • Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  • xxxHolic Vol. 1
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 1
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 2
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 3
  • Fruits Basket Vol. 23
  • The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

I Had the Weirdest Dream Last Night

Parts of it were completely random, as dreams tend to be.  However, the strangest part of the dream was because of an oddly coherent segment.  And during this portion of the dream, I knew exactly what was going to happen next.  It was as though I were writing it as I slept.

I am seeing through the eyes of a girl named Mina, who has a mentally retarded older sister (who disappeared without a trace).  She transfers to a new school where she is snapped up by three super popular girls.  She's in class with all three of them and a cutie named Charlie (blonde hair, blue eyes - classic good looks).  While they are in class, a woman from the office c comes in to do a presentation.  The three girls don't want to watch the presentation (which isabout mentally disabled people), so they go to the bathroom, taking Mina along.

A girl comes up to the bathroom door while they're in there, fixing their makeup and whatnot and one of the girls (who looks strangely like Chastity from "10 Things I Hate About You" the TV show) squeals, "Lock the door!  Lock the door!  She's crazy!"  So, Mina locks the door.  Then she finds out that the girl is mentally retarded.  So, feeling bad, she opens the door.  She starts saying things such as, "I'm so sorry for closing the door" and "Wow, you're really, really pretty."  (She is pretty, with long dark hair and blue eyes) The girl responds, "Thank you, Mina." (Apparently everyone knows Mina, the transfer student)

They go outside and Charlie is there.  He takes the girl away, leading to the realization that she is his younger sister.  He doesn't even glance at Mina because several times it has happened that a girl is nice to his sister just to get close to him.

Mina, however, is determined to get to know his younger sister because she reminds Mina of her older sister, who she misses sorely.  So, she starts to spend time with her.  Eventually, Charlie also starts to spend time with the both of them of them.  There are even times when just Mina and Charlie hang out.  Of course, during this time, the two of them start to fall for each other.

The three girls find out and are jealous that Mina is spending time with Charlie, so they tell her not to hang out with Charlie's younger sister (apparently she isn't cool enough).  Mina is confused as to what she really wants - she wants to be friends with the three popular girls, but she does want to hang out with Charlie's sister.  The only problem with that is that sometimes hanging out with his sister makes her miss her own sister terribly.

Mina ends up standing up Charlie's younger sister.  He finds out and gets really upset.  Instead of yelling or anything, he coldly tells her not to bother coming around any longer.  Mina keeps trying to talk to Charlie and apologize for her lapse in judgment.

She runs into his little sister at school and realizes she's the one who needs an apology.  Charlie's little sister is very forgiving and says she just wants to be able to hang out with her friend again.  Charlie realizes he can't protect her forever, no matter how hard he tries.  So, he grudgingly lets Mina hang out with her again - although that doesn't mean he's forgiven Mina.

Mina apologizes to him and explains her situation, with her older sister and everything.  Charlie is shocked and not only forgives Mina, but comforts her too.

The End.

I seriously can't believe I dreamt this.  It has some plot holes, but it makes complete sense.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reading List

This consists of books I currently have in my possession:

  • The Wallflower Vol. 1
  • The Wallflower Vol. 2
  • The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
  • The Pact - Jodi Picoult
  • Choke - Chuck Palanhuik
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  • X/1999 Vol. 5
  • X/1999 Vol. 6
  • Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  • xxxHolic Vol. 1
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Vol. 1
  • Fruits Basket Vol. 23
  • The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
I'm excited, although a bit overwhelmed.  It's quite an extensive list.  But I have to read them and in a timely manner because the only ones I actually own are Fruits Basket and the Forgotten Garden.  And I really do want to read these.

So, time for a bit of writing now - then some reading?

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Stand by the Last Post I Reblogged (on Tumblr)

Meaning the post here.

The best ideas really do come in the shower.  I just took a shower (my first time taking a shower at 7 a.m. in a long, long, long time, I might add) and I was struck with brilliant epiphanies for Shadow.  I literally haven't thought about this story since the Thursday before last.  I've felt guilty about it, but I haven't taken the time to think about it.

And now I'm inspired, motivated, and ready to get crackin'!  It's hard not to hate your WIP sometimes for being so draining, but when you get an idea that you're so excited about, it's backing to loving it.  I've never been so enthusiastic about any of my WIPs.  That's probably why they haven't ever made it past a few chapters.

But Shadow - it not only is quite close to being completely planned out, but a sequel is also in the works.  Of course, it would be smart to finish actually writing this one before getting to the sequel.

Still, I can't wait!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

300 Pages!!

Yes!  It's finally happened!  I've hit 300 pages - 75,812 words!  I'm so tired of Chapter 17.  I want to finish and be done with Part 2 haha.  Then I can move along to Part 3 and back to the main action.  The faster I finish Chapter 17, the sooner I can get to Part 3, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chapter 17

When I'm finished with this chapter, I'll be done with Part 2!  So exciting.  Then it's back to the main action.  I've always enjoyed writing, but for the first time it really feels like work - and that's okay.  I love it - I really feel like I'm accomplishing something.  297 pages and counting.  Of course, I'm going to be revising like crazy, rearranging stuff, cutting stuff out.  For right now, however, I'm just going to watch as my word count and my page count build up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Another Quiz

ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?
Your Result: Silver and Red Wolf

*howl* You're a very strong person. You tend to be naive most of the time, but when in love boy do you know how to get around! You prefer to be quite around adults. Your soul mate is the gold falcon. You're in conflict with the maroon panda.

Ocre and Gray Dolphin
Teal Cat
Blue Fox
Gold Falcon
Tan Giraffe
Red Jaguar
Yellow Trout
ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Recap: First Week of Summer

This past week I:

  • Went to Great America
  • Started summer classes
  • Started a writing date tradition
  • Went to lunch with friends
  • Saw fireworks
  • Played tennis
  • Got a Facebook wall post comment from Ilich Guardiola

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Forgot How Much Fun These Are...

Which Air Character Are You?
Which Air Character Are You?
Hosted By Anime

Who Is  YourTsubasa Date?
Who Is YourTsubasa Date?
Hosted By Anime

Who Is Your Ouran Host Date?
Who Is Your Ouran Host Date?
Hosted By Anime

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This is amazing.  The end.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

iPhone 3G s Upgrade

I asked my mom yesterday if I could upgrade my iPhone to the amazing one that just came out.  I had checked with AT&T and they told me how much I would have to pay and everything.  She said okay, but if I paid for it.  I was, and still am, completely willing to do that.  For this new iPhone, I don't mind forking over a couple hundred dollars.  She said she still needs to check with my dad, however.

So, too, I brought up the question again, but I really want this phone.  Apparently my parents are willing to pay for it now.  They'll buy it for me once my finals are over.  That's awesome, of course, but...

I can't help but feel a little scared.  I'm glad I don't have to spend money from the small amount I have in my bank account (since I don't have a job right now - school is my job, as well as writing).  At the same time, I know that I'm used to this pattern of constantly getting what I want because my parents are able to provide it for me.  There has never been a time when I've asked for something and I didn't eventually get it.  I'm not trying to brag, just state a fact.  Because of this, I've gotten used to a certain way of life, and I don't want to be the type of person who doesn't know how to value money.

In a way, I wish my parents would let me pay for this phone, because it would be a major purchase that I made for myself, rather than something I just got by asking them.  However, knowing my dad, he will never let me do that.  So, I guess the best thing to do is to appreciate this and keep in mind that money doesn't come easily - my parents had to work hard for it, and someday I will too.  As long as I keep that in mind, I think that'll be okay.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Super Cute!

Aaaahhhhh!!  I want some of my own.  They are so adorable.  They're the "guardian characters" from Shugo Chara! which can be seen legally here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recap: 200+ Pages!

I know this is a day late, but here's last week's recap:

  • Finished Air TV
  • Finished Witch Hunter Robin
  • Finished Ghost Stories
  • Signed up for summer classes, including a creative writing one that I'm very excited to take!
  • Had my FINAL ochem lab
  • Reached 200 pages in Shadow!
  • Finished Ch. 13!  It was originally going to be longer, but I decided to cut it and make the rest of Ch. 13 the new Ch. 14.
  • Ordered the FullMetal Alchemist OVAs which are coming out in August!
  • Introduced my best friend to FullMetal Alchemist
  • Tried to take pictures in a photobooth at the mall, but ended up with two 100 Yen coins instead
  • Finished Skip Beat!  (You can legally watch Skip Beat! here)
  • Downloaded some iTunes U lectures - I'm excited to listen to them at the gym
  • Had a short message exchange with Monica Rial
  • Went to Fresh Choice for lunch with my best friend and some friends I hadn't seen in awhile
  • Had Thai for dinner the next day
  • Went to Red Robin for lunch the day after that
Hmm this makes it seem like all I did was watch videos and eat out...maybe that's true.  My excuse is that it's almost finals week.  Sucks...why does school get out so late? :(

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I finally added music.  I keep talking about how beautiful the song "I Talk to the Rain" and the other songs from the Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNICLE soundtracks are.  So now, they're finally here on a beautiful iPod Touch like music player.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Recap: Hanging Out!

I didn't do a recap last week, but now I don't really remember what happened the week before... I was still in dreamland after Super Con!

This past week:
  • The week before last week, I finally caught up with several dear friends :)
  • Studied a lot
  • Had three midterms
  • Had Starbucks and Pizza My Heart with a couple of friends with ochem
  • Had Starbucks and went shopping with a couple of other friends
  • Bought a new dress
  • Finally booked the Europe trip
  • Had iHop!
Now I need to study for Part II of my French midterm and write my French speech before I can get to working on Chapter 14!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I guess I've neglected this blog for awhile.  I blame midterms.  

I am so excited, though, because it turns out I'm going to Europe this summer!  Geneva and Paris!  I've been to London... when I was a baby.  So for the first time I'll actually be aware that I'm in Europe and recall what happens there.

It's strange because Europe and America seem to go hand-in-hand so much that I feel like I've been there plenty of times.  It feels so familiar - perhaps it's because of all the movies that glorify the European scenery...

In any case, I haven't actually, but now I will!

And of course, not only will I be exposed to cute guys, incredible European architecture and artwork, etc., but I will also be able to research Europe so I can represent it more realistically :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're All Wicked

G.K. Chesterton said, "Children are innocent and love justice; while most of us are wicked and prefer mercy."

This is very true.  We're taught to value fairness.  This is why there's the entire justice system - to make sure everyone gets what he deserves - nothing more and nothing less.

However, my philosophy class was watching A Clockwork Orange - this is the story of an inherently wicked young man named Alex who enjoys violence and debauchery to the point of getting off on them.  He steals, fights, rapes, and even kills.  He's a truly evil person and while that should be enough to make us turn against him, his role as "protagonist" (to use that word loosely) causes the reader/viewer to sympathize with him - at least to a degree.

He is eventually caught and imprisoned.  While serving his fourteen year sentence, he begins reading the Bible.  People (such as the chaplain) believe this is reforming him.  In reality, he's enjoying fantasies of joining in on the perversion in the Old Testament and the crucifixion in the New Testament.  Alex is chosen for a treatment that will condition within him a physical aversion to violence and rape - when he's faced with either, he feels pain and sickness.  

Of course this doesn't mean he's actually reformed inwardly.  Rather, he cannot act on his natural tendencies out of the desire to keep the pain and sickness at bay.  This, in turn, results in him being rendered helpless.  He cannot fight back against people who are attacking him for revenge.

The "eye for an eye" theory makes it reasonable for these people to attack him.  He's kicked out of the house and beaten up.  He stumbles to the closest house, which is the home of a man he stole from and crippled, whose wife he raped (she died shortly after that ordeal). 
This man deserves his revenge - his entire life was turned upside down because of Alex and his "friends" (who actually get their own revenge on him).  It's karma, right?

Yet, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Alex.  He got out of prison, out of the treatment center, and the bad things just escalated.  He left home because his room was rented out to a man (who I couldn't help but think was a jerk, even though what he was saying was true).  He gets beat up by a vagrant who he beat up once with his friends.  Then his friends, who he constantly forced his authority on beat him up.  It's karmic justice.

But still, I couldn't stomach that.  I felt sorry for this guy who had stolen, raped, and even killed.  I kept thinking he didn't deserve it, even if he actually did.  I wanted him to be shown mercy.  So does that make me wicked because I felt pain for a wicked individual who reverted to his old ways in the end?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Was It All Just A Dream?

Why is it that when something fantastic happens, sometimes it feels completely unreal?  It becomes wrapped in a dreamlike haze, like something carefully placed in a store window to be seen, but not touched.

It's true that your memory of an event changes the moment after the memory occurs - nothing you recall, even when you believe it's engraved in your mind like a high-quality photograph, is exactly as it was the moment it happened.  Although, photographs do fade too.

In some ways, this is a good thing.  Imagine if you could relive the painful memories - your hostile break-up, or a beloved grandparent's funeral.  The ability of memories and the emotions contained within them to fade is a blessing in some ways because of this.  Who doesn't have something he would like to forget?

However, there are some memories we want to cling to like a movie we can play over and over again with the exact dialogue, the exact emotions, the exact expressions.  Unfortunately, it isn't just painful memories that fade.  The good ones fade as surely as water trickles out of your cupped palms.

So what is it that gives the really amazing memories a dreamlike quality when you look at them later?  Is it the fading away of the memories or something else?  Is there some other facility of the mind that seeks to capture the memories we treasure most and lock them away for safekeeping as accurately as possible?  Is it because we're looking at them in a glass case that they seem ethereal?

A boat, underneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--

Long has paled that sunny sky;
Echoes fade and memories die;
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies.
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?

-Life is But a Dream, Lewis Carroll

Milestone #1

I finished Chapter Eleven.  This means I've also finished Part One!!  This is so exciting!  I feel like writing really does require blood, sweat, and tears.  Even though this is still a really, really, really rough draft and I still have a ways to go, it's still really meaningful.

Current Stats
Part: Part One, complete
Chapter:  Chapter Eleven, complete
Pages:  148
Words:  38,486

Monday, May 18, 2009


It's good to be trusting, but not too trusting.  I guess I'm too trusting - or up until now maybe I've been too naive to question the way society is structured.  Or maybe that's not it at all.  Maybe I don't want to question it because, even if it isn't perfect, at least it functions well.

I was just thinking about the fact that even doctors make mistakes.  Not an epiphany by any measure, but just something that I've never really thought about before.  Feeling sick?  Oh, just go to the doctor.  Of course the doctor will know what's wrong.  However, in reality, doctors do make mistakes sometimes - unlike, say, House (although I haven't watched any of this season, so I can't say if he does or doesn't make errors in this one).

I'm not trying to single out doctors.  I just mean people in general.  In any profession.  No matter how much education they've had or how high of a degree they hold.  They can still mess up.

I guess I'm trying to say that it's important not to put blind faith in anyone, but take everything with a grain of salt.  Cliches, yes, but they're cliches for a reason - because they make sense.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recap: Super Con!

Let's see... what happened this past week:

  • I had a midterm in ochem.
  • We identified the smells of esters in ochem lab - that was fun:  we smelled banana, peach, raspberry, nail polish remover, and wintergreen (that one was my favorite).
  • I finished Ch. 9!!!
  • We ate quiche and did origami in French class.  Fun :)
  • I finished Ch. 10!!!
  • I went to Super Con...
  • I met Vic Mignogna!!!!
  • I met Crispin Freeman!!!!
Awesome week :)

Super Con Day 2

I'm glad to have gone to Super Con.  Not only did I get to meet the very person I went there to meet (Vic Mignogna), I also got to meet Crispin Freeman. P.S. A picture of Crispin can be seen here.  

Crispin was great - very funny.  His voice isn't quite as deep as I'd expected when he's talking normally.  Certainly not as deep as Tsume from Wolf's Rain or Amon from Witch Hunter Robin.  Let's see - he has incredible skin and looks so much younger than he actually is.  He does not look 37/38 years old.  What great genes.  In addition to that, he was dressed very nicely.  Excellent first impression.

What amazed me most is how intelligent he comes off - not because I didn't think voice actors would be, but just because he seemed more intelligent than the average person in general.  Crispin's a fountain of information - he talked about everything from vampires to Ents.  I definitely learned a lot.  I almost felt like I should have been taking notes.  He's working on a book right now - that's something I'm definitely going to read.

Oh, and he said that his favorite anime series is The Vision of Escaflowne.  Awesome! :)

Then in the afternoon, Vic did Part 2 of the FullMetal Alchemist Panel.  That was fun, of course.  Vic is such an entertaining person to watch and listen to.  One of my favorite answers:

Question:  If you passed one of your characters on the street?  i.e. What would you do if you passed Edward Elric?
Answer:  If I passed Ed on the street, I wouldn't see him because I would be looking up.

Poor Ed, getting grief about his height from his own voice actor. :P

He remembered me from yesterday, which was very touching.  It's really incredible that he takes the time to learn people's names and actually remembers him.  Just one of the many reasons he's my favorite.

I bought a Tsubasa poster featuring Fai, an Ouran poster (both of which Vic signed), an InuYasha poster, and a FMA wall scroll.  I also got another hug from Vic.

What a great weekend. :)

Project 365 // Photo 13

Vic again!  He was standing right next to where I was sitting!

Project 365 // Photo 12

This fails.  It's so blurry :( But it's Vic Mignogna!

Project 365 // Photo 11

Graveyard.  That's not morbid at all, I know.

Project 365 // Photo 10

Tigger <3

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Super Con Day 1

Today was the first day of Super Con.

As an interesting side note, my best friend and I found Indian comic books - Shiva, Devi, and Saddhu.

My best friend and I walked in and I almost right away I saw... Vic Mignogna talking to some people.  O...M...G... It was funny - I freaked out.  I couldn't think straight.  I was trying to figure out what to say.  I had no idea how to approach him.  I've never been to a convention before - comic, anime, or anything else.

In the end, I just walked up and said hi.  We had an actual conversation (unlike what a lot of celebrities would do, I'm sure), in which:
  • He said my name is "beautiful"
  • I told him about how I'm an aspiring novelist (and why that's probably why I appreciate FMA so much)
  • He admitted he hasn't really been keeping up with FMA Brotherhood
And some other stuff as well.  I asked for a picture and he gave me a hug in it.  Awww.  He really is a lovely person.

At the FullMetal Alchemist Panel, he answered a lot of questions, spoke on the voices of my four favorite characters (Edward Elric, Fai Flourite, Tamaki Suou, and Dark Mousy - SO AWESOME), and talked about how he's just a fan like everyone else.  He told us about his Star Trek obsession (i.e. how he used to record the episodes on audio cassettes and listen to them when he went to bed).

I love how he stressed the fact that he's just another fan.  He also attributes a lot of his success to God, which is another thing I think is amazing.  He came off as being friendly, charismatic, and humble.  I can't imagine anyone ever meeting him and not liking him.  Even my best friend (who's only seen part of Ouran so far) found him to be friendly and funny.

I was thinking about celebrities in general.  What's so incredible about them?  Why do we go insane when meeting one?  Why do we take pictures of them and with them and read about their lives?  They're just normal people, right?

Yes and no.  The true celebrities, I believe, are those whose work we appreciate.  When multiple people appreciate the work and the person responsible for the work, it creates a sort of bond.  They have a connection now, through this celebrity.  Not only do they have something to discuss, they also have something in common that they like.  I'm not sure if this makes any sense, but I feel like fame doesn't just bring glory to the person who is famous - it also serves to unite people in love for certain celebrities (and unfortunately) in hate for others.

Celebrities need to remain down-to-earth and appreciate the fans who rose them to renown.  Without the fans, they really wouldn't exist.  Vic Mignogna is a great example of someone who has managed to remain down-to-earth and really is incredible.  I am truly thankful to have been able to meet this person.  I feel that his fanship must increase when he goes to conventions, just because he is such a genuinely good person.

Other than that, I think we need to believe that celebrities are still human and not be so harsh to some of them.

I don't know what I'm saying anymore.  I'm so tired.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moving Forward

I may have botched things,

so I'm a little frustrated,
but I haven't given up yet, okay?
I'm going to clear up
these muddled dreams
like a fog lifting,
just you watch.
Until I move ahead a step,
and then the next step,
though I may be going slowly,
I'm still moving forward
at my own pace.
It's because I have these tears
that I can take the next step.
I am clearly aware
that I am moving forward
toward the light.

-Kono Namidagaarukara Tsugino Ippotonaru, Ami Tokito

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Music and the Arts

Music is the purest form of expression.  Yes, music with lyrics as well, but I'm referring more specifically to instrumental music or music with only nonsensical vocalization.  The tantalizing melody can gently caress your ears and fill your soul or a steady, fast rhythm can quicken your heartbeat and excite you.  It can sadden you until you feel the ache of unshed tears heavy on your chest or inundate you with joy that so potent and yet light that you could just rise into the air.

I find it absolutely amazing how a work of art can inspire another in another medium even.  Many different things inspire me to write - movies, photographs, nature, paintings, but nothing more than instrumental music that manages to convey emotion so sincerely and with such depth.  In the face of such artistry, words sometimes feel contrived and unnecessary.  

Nevertheless, writing is my medium and form of expression.  I immerse myself in a playlist of these beautifully composed masterpieces and attempt to transfigure myself into the emotion I emanating from this song.  I soak it in through my skin like a plant lapping up the light of the sun; I breathe it in and let it filter into my bloodstream, clinging to molecules of oxygen.

It's only then that I feel I can cut the proverbial vein and bleed onto the page.  Only then do I feel able to create the appropriate atmosphere in my writing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Project 365 // Photo 9

Among the fallen soldiers.  RIP.

Project 365 // Photo 8

Oh I like this one.

Project 365 // Photo 7

The flash was the only lighting.  Night is a great time to take pictures.

Character Profile Worksheets

Now that my ochem midterm is over and done with (YAY!) I can finally work on my story some more!  This is exciting :)

Right now, I'm taking a brief hiatus to write some Character Profile Worksheets.  I just want to make sure that I get my characterization right.  There are so many important characters in this story that I want to make sure they all have clear, three-dimensional personalities and such.

I'll probably do the two main characters' profiles tonight and then write a little bit of Chapter Nine before I go to bed!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Distractions, Distractions

Why am I so easily distracted??  I have an ochem midterm tomorrow that I can't seem to focus on.  It just feels like there are so many better things to do.  Focus has never been my strongest suit.

Distraction #1:  Photography.  I took a walk around my neighborhood, snapping pictures as I went along.  A crow was following me for about fifteen minutes.  That was pretty odd.  But I did see some great stuff to take pictures of - I didn't photograph everything because I thought I might as well leave some for another time.

Distraction #2:  Yuri.  I just found out what this is.  Apparently yuri is lesbian anime/manga.  Who knew?  I saw the name of a cute-sounding anime:  Strawberry Panic.  I looked it up on Wikipedia and found out it's yuri.  I started watching it regardless because I just wanted to see how they handled this whole girl-girl relationship thing.  In my opinion, though, it seems like the girls who are the same age want to find a best friend and the younger girls want to find an older sister figure.  It doesn't really seem like romantic love to me.  But that's just what I think.  So after this, I've decided I'm not a yuri fan.

Distraction #3:  Internet.  There's so much to do!  Catch up on the news, Perez Hilton, FML, Overheard in New York, etc.  It isn't my fault.  Okay, fine, maybe it is.  Unfortunately Google Reader makes procrastination so much easier.

Distraction #4:  Manga.  I bought Fruits Basket volumes 21 and 22 (yay!!) at Borders and Barnes and Noble respectively (I had coupons for a certain percentage off on one item from both stores).  Volume 22 came with a "Shoujo Sampler," which basically meant it had a chapter from a few more Tokyopop Shoujo mangas.  I only read the included chapter for the first manga - Maid-sama!.  Oh...My...God... so addictive.  I immediately jumped online and started drinking it up.  So good.  I'm thinking of buying all these volumes too.  I also read the sample for Ng Life which seems hilarious.  The only good thing is I haven't started to read Fruits Basket Volume 12 yet because I know that would definitely distract me.  Then again, that might just be a case of delayed gratification.  In fact, it probably is.  P.S. Princess Ai is not as good as Tokyopop makes it out to be.  Sorry, Courtney Love.

Distraction #5:  Story.  All these amazing manga stories make my creative juices flow.  I want to write Chapter 9 so badly.  I also got an idea for another story that I'm excited to start writing.  Basically, including my current one, I have either three or four projects lined up - four if I decided to write the sequel to this one (which I'm leaning towards doing).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Recap: 100+ Pages!

Here's what happened last week:

  • Was the Jokemaster at Toastmasters.  I read out this joke.
  • Made silver mirrors in Ochem Lab.
  • Had three midterms - Managed to swing an A- on my French one!
  • Reached the 100 Page mark for Phantom!
  • Finished Chapter 8 and started Chapter 9!
  • Spent $78 on a Mother's Day present for my mom (yikes!) but she loved it :) Speaking of which - Happy Mother's Day!
  • Watched the new episode of JONAS (Yes, I do have to include that here haha).
P.S. Today is Human Kindness Day.  Do a kind deed :) And maybe start making everyday Human Kindness Day.  Then the world would be a much better place.

Project 365 // Photo 6

A budding rose nestled between rosebuds.  I had a lot of fun taking pictures yesterday.  I think I picked a good time of day too, so I like how this one turned out.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chocoflop and Seashore

Ah! I haven't done any work at all today because I've been messing around with photography stuff.  I've been experimenting with two photo editing softwares - Chocoflop and Seashore.  I've been having way too much fun with this.  This is one of the pictures I edited.  The original is here.  It's crazy what texture and a little contrast can do!

I'm really enjoying Project 365, though, I must say.  I hope I can actually keep it up for 365 days!!

Edit:  The edited photos are here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Project 365 // Photo 5

Beauty is ephemeral.

Some pictures I took before starting Project 365 can be seen here.

Reading 1- and 2-Star Reviews of Books

Well, as the title of this post suggests, I've been reading 1- and 2-Star reviews of novels - ones that I've actually read that are in the same genre I'm writing in.  I have to admit, they're pretty entertaining.  But other than that, I like reading them because they point out problems in other novels that I should make sure to overcome in my own.  I should keep these in mind, maybe even make a list of "What Not To Do When Writing a Novel."  Haha.

100 Pages!

YAY!  I hit the 100-page mark and finished Chapter 8 yesterday!  Super exciting!  I can't wait to start working on Chapter 9.  This is going to be a fun one to write.  I can't wait for it to be read either.

Speaking of reading, I'm reading Jonah Lehrer's Proust was a Neuroscientist.  It's absolutely fascinating.  I'm learning so much and thinking of both art and science in a new ways.  This is definitely a must-read for anyone who likes art, science, psychology, and/or philosophy.  It's brilliant.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Project 365 // Photo 4

This is a baby elephant sitting on my mantle.  I took a picture of the mommy too.

Project 365 // Photo 3

This is the sunburst mirror in my family room.  Taken at night without flash.

All the pictures that didn't make the "cut" are here.

Project 365 // Photo 2

This is a rose in front of my house.  I absolutely love these pink and yellow roses.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Heliocentric World

In the early 16th Century, when Nicolaus Copernicus introduced the idea that the earth revolves around the sun, it was highly controversial.  Earth is the planet we live on - how could it not be the most important feature of the universe?

Honestly, I thought we'd come past that.  After all, it was several hundred years ago.  Yet, it seems as if we still haven't fully grasped this concept.

Why else would there be such a large debate over same-sex marriage?  No matter what the definition of marriage is, it includes one very important word:  "between."  In essence, a marriage is solely the business of the two people involved in it.

Think of it this way - if I pass by a married man and a woman on the street, it doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.  So why should it affect me if two married men or two married women pass me in the street?  That's right, it doesn't.

As long as the couple is happy, it doesn't matter.  Actually, even if the couple is unhappy, that is the issue of the two people involved in the marriage.

Wanting to ban same-sex marriage or prevent it from being legalized is an egocentric notion.  It says, "These two people love each other so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives together with the rights given to most couples, but I feel uncomfortable with it, so I'll fight against it."

Earth is one of the planets that revolves around the sun.  Similarly, each of us is one of the people to inhabit Earth.  We need to step back and see the bigger picture.  The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian text presents the idea that the world has a soul and all of our souls are parts of it.  Basically, we're all connected.  I take this to mean that if we hurt someone else, we are just hurting ourselves.

We can't afford to think like that.  Sure, in some cases, it's necessary to think of ourselves - but when it's a matter of survival.  There's a difference between surviving and living, as I'm sure most people know.  Everyone has the right to live life to the fullest.

A dear friend told me that the purpose in life is "to make a difference."  If that's the case, legalizing same-sex marriage almost seems like a no-brainer.  It's such a simple way to make a difference in so many lives.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I have a French midterm tomorrow and the day after (two parts of the same midterm).  I have an organic chemistry lab tomorrow night and a philosophy midterm on Thursday.  I really should be working on those, but I can't seem to concentrate.  I'm doing everything except working on what I should be working on.  Lovely.

Project 365 // Photo 1

I got this flyer in the mail.  Basically the best McDonald's flyer EVER.

Project 365

Project 365 is basically a project in which you take one picture every single day for...365 days.  I had decided a while back to do it, but I never got around to it.  But now I decided hat I really do want to do it.  Better late then never, right?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Do Unto Others As You Want Them to Do Unto You"

From childhood and continuing through life beyond that, we have the tendency to follow the crowd - often without really thinking about it.  It feels so good to be included that we don't think about what happens to those people who aren't.  (Maybe other than fear, this was one of the factors behind the Salem Witch Trials?)  

It's so easy for one person to be victimized and for others to go along with it.  We enjoy feeling like we're a part of something and we don't want to be next on the list.

When I write this, I'm not not pointing fingers at anyone.  Actually, I'm talking about myself.  I never started ostracizing or making fun of people.  Even when they were being ostracized, I didn't say or do anything.  I turned a blind eye and melted back into the crowd, allowing it to happen.  The worst part is, sometimes these people had been my friends.  Yet, when they started to be victimized, I turned away.  What kind of friend does that?

I can blame it on ignorance or a childish inability to see from another person's perspective.  Or maybe it was just cowardice, plain and simple.  I couldn't stand up for people who needed someone to stand up for them.  Either that, or I just didn't understand they needed this.  

When I think back to a nice guy from my class in fifth grade and how people treated him, it was like it was a game.  That's honestly how it felt.  I clearly remember the look on his face, how he would just smile with his mouth full of braces.  Thinking about it now makes me want to cry.  What was going on through his mind as this was going on?  How did he feel as this was happening?  How did he feel when I, his supposed friend, did nothing to stop him or to help him?

I've always known that my cousin is pretty quiet, not outspoken at all, but I've always adored him for the simple fact that he's my cousin and a really nice guy.  It has never mattered that he doesn't say much.  I found out - just today, actually - that he was teased in school and that that may have adversely affected his social development.

Then my mom's best friend in North Carolina, apparently her son doesn't want to go to school because he's being bullied.  His mom complained to the school and the school said they can't do anything about it.  What?  Excuse me?  First of all, the U.S. government teaches that children should tell an adult when they are being bullied, with teachers ranking high on the list.  Secondly, after this and that, you would think schools would take bullying more seriously.

Something else that disturbed me is that my mom's best friend said to her, "He needs to toughen up."  Bullshit.  Bullying is not something that most people can just get over.  Many of the psychological effects persist into adulthood.  This is not something that just goes away - it leaves a lasting emotional scar.

I can't take back what I did in the past, but I can change the future.  I will treat everyone with the respect they deserve, just for being fellow human beings.  I will stand up for what's right.  I'll teach my six-year-old and two-year-olds cousins about bullying, by showing them these fun webisodes.

Bullying is something that needs to stop.  As the U.S. government's anti-bullying website's motto says:  "Take a Stand, Lend a Hand."

Recap: Chapter Seven is DONE!

All righty, here are the highlights of last week:
  • I finished yet another chem lab (I really, really don't like those)
  • I started working out before going to class in the morning.  It's much harder than it sounds :P
  • I finally bought my Super Con ticket.  I really can't wait!!!
  • I finished writing Chapter Seven on Thursday night!!!!!!!!!!  That's probably the biggest highlight.  Unfortunately, Chapter Eight will be on a very, very brief hiatus because I have two midterms this week - one in philosophy, one in French (in two parts - Grammaire et Litterature)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Sixth Sense

This isn't about the movie about the kid who can see dead people.  This post is actually about an MIT Innovation, that, as far as I can figure, they're calling "the Sixth Sense."

This is basically a gadget that would allow you to get any information you need no matter where you are.  You can turn virtually any surface into a computer screen.  When you're shopping, information about your products will be projected right onto that product when you pick it up.  This is supposed to help you pick out the perfect product, based on criteria you've decided, etc.

It's undeniably incredible that technology has come to the point where we have objects such as this.  However, I can't help but feel wary about the idea.  If we rely on machines to make decisions for us, what will we be doing to our own minds?  Will we still be able to retain our decision-making capabilities?  Will we become so lazy from no longer having to make our own decisions for us that humans in the future will evolve to have no decision-making ability?

That might be a stretch, but I really do think it's a valid point.  We already rely on technology to do most of the work for us.  After all, very few people would pick up a dictionary and sift through it to find a word rather than just going to or Merriam-Webster Online or something.  And who picks up a research book these days when Wikipedia is so readily available?

I just don't believe that we should make everything in our lives virtual.  Somethings should stay sacred.

[As an unrelated side note, this one of my major problems with Amazon's Kindle.]

For more information on the Sixth Sense, go here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

FMA vs. Brotherhood

I love FullMetal Alchemist (as if my last name weren't indication enough).  That's why when FUNimation started to air FullMetal Alchemist:  Brotherhood, I started to watch it.  I've kept up with it, every week since it's began (of course it's only been a month).  

At this point, I'm thinking that I prefer the original anime.  In Brotherhood, everything seems a little rushed.  Maybe this is because they're including more of the story than the original anime did.  Nevertheless, it is entertaining and I'll continue to watch it as long as it continues to have Edward Elric...and I really doubt they'll ever get rid of the title character ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Merits of a Graphic Novel

I never, ever really considered reading a graphic novel until...well...I started to read one.  This goes back to Fruits Basket again.  I watched the anime, but I was totally unsatisfied with the ending, so I decided to read the manga, even though I've never been into that (then again, to be fair, I've never been into anime until recently either).

[As an unrelated note, Fruits Basket is about a high school girl (Tohru Honda) who loses her mother and lives by herself in a tent in the woods until a boy in her class (Yuki Sohma) and his cousin (Shigure Sohma) find her and invite her to stay with them.  They are later joined by Kyo Sohma.  Tohru finds out that the Sohma family is under a curse and that some of the members are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac.]

I'm not sure if it's just Fruits Basket or all manga/graphic novels in general, but characters' thoughts and motivations are so clearly shown.  It makes the reader really understand the character and makes the character three-dimensional and believable.

I already knew how important it is for characters to be realistic, but this made me realize how something simple like a character's thoughts and memories can make them real.  It's easier in a graphic novel because no matter how many different characters there are, thoughts can be written in first person.  I guess they can be like that in a traditional novel too, but in a traditional novel, it seems kind of gimmick-y.  In any case, it's still possible to include the characters thoughts, memories, etc. in and thanks to Fruits Basket, I realized I definitely need to do that in this project I'm currently working on.

So that's what I've started to do now.  I'll have to go back and fix what I already did before, but that'll happen when the time comes :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


WWTD = What Would Tohru Do?

I know this is a strange topic, especially for my second post.  Tohru Honda is the main character of a Japanese manga/anime series called Fruits Basket.  She's quite possibly the sweetest person you could meet (that is, if she were actually a person...) She's mild-tempered, kind-hearted, always cheerful, with a smile and a helping hand to offer anyone and everyone.  She never loses her temper, but she's still strong - she can stand up to anyone who threats the people she cares about.

I wish I were more like Tohru, which is why I've adopted this slogan:  WWTD.  I want to be able to be kind to everyone and, like, Tohru, find the good qualities in other people, no matter how hard I have to look.  Because, honestly, all anyone really wants is to make the best of their time here on Earth and if I can make even one person's day a little brighter for just a moment, I think it's worth it.

My mom was talking about a girl I had once been really, really close friends with.  We grew apart, however, because her mother is an extremely jealous person who wants everything in her life to be the best and everything in the lives of those around her to be the worst (she's insecure and she wants to be worshipped, I guess, but I digress).  But because this woman is this way, she doesn't have any true, close friends.  My mom had been friends with her once but no longer really is - now they're basically just acquaintances.  Anyways, she said something about my friend that I didn't particularly like - if my mom was talking badly about her, didn't that make her no better than her former friend?  And this friend of mine - she did nothing.  She just has the bad luck of having a jealous mother.

So I've resolved not to talk badly about people anymore.  It's a habit that will need some settling into, but I think that as I started watching/reading Fruits Basket, I began to slip into it subconsciously.  

"Do unto others as you want them to do unto you," right?  That's exactly what I'm going to do.

Hello, There :)

I decided to start a blog, basically just because I felt like it.

Let's see - I'm a writer above anything else, working on a major project right now.  I'll probably discuss it here, especially when I'm trying to gather my thoughts.  Other than that, I'll also discuss other random things I feel like talking about :)

Hopefully I'll remember to make posts.  We'll see what happens!