Friday, July 30, 2010

So I Don't Get Sued

The following is in reference to the abbreviated performance of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that I attended this morning.
  • It was hard to understand some people at some points, but that goes with pretty much every performance of anything.
  • The music= great addition. And it really was. I'm not just saying that out of fear. ;)
  • I was surprised it was so short (especially since one of the kids selling lemonade outside told us it would last until 12)
  • I thought the costumes were really cool, although I'm not sure why
  • It's awesome how that set will be used for the professional performance in August.
  • The abbreviations made it more difficult to understand the plot (or at least the motivations BEHIND the plot), and I feel bad for anyone who didn't read the summary beforehand.

So there's my proof that I went. And I enjoyed it (although the lemonade kinda sucked.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Guy With The Coconuts

So my youngest sister and I were filming some stuff today that won't be online until early October. We walked up the street to a pavilion thing that we wanted to take some footage at.
On our way there, Sarah (who was carrying the tripod and the camera, although I'd offered) said "I'm kind of like your guy with the coconuts." I laughed, but it was true enough.

Later, she said "No one thinks much about the guy with the coconuts. Except that it's actually kind of a fun job."

I found this immensely interesting. It's true enough. The main characters in stories are always the heroes. The people  interviewed by the news people are always the "heroes," or Big Important People. So much attention is turned toward the BIPs, that the sidekicks (the guys with the coconuts, so to speak) get overlooked. 

Like Ezra suggested about Paige in Ascension (that she shouldn't be the person who takes down the Officiator and their general society), sometimes its more interesting to view things from the sidelines. Hindsight is 20/20 (usually), yes, but is being a fly on the wall not also similar? Sure, you can't see all of the motivation and the hidden information, but there's a certain level of insight that comes from being removed from the situation.

Besides, where would Harry be without Ron and Hermione? Sure, they do a heck of a lot more than carrying Harry's baggage, but they're still sidekicks. These guys are important, and sometimes they don't get enough love from the authors.

Even though Paige isn't going to be a sidekick. She's a die-hard citizen of Mt. Nirvana. She's completely dedicated to what they do.

Then there's Colin, who very well could be the main character, except I find Reymfla more interesting, plus it started out from her perspective before I knew Colin very well.

The thing we were filming is rather cheesy, but also rather good. It's not a skit/movie trailer like I've done in the past. We sort of invented a talk show, except it's a joke, except we're serious. You'll see when I upload it. We even have a special theme song (although I need to design a cool opening title video sequence. Any ideas on what program I should use?).

It's difficult to write a blog post while listening to John Green add the words "In Your Pants" to the ends of book titles. It's also hard when Hank starts singing "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone (From Your Pants)." Oh, the early episodes of Brotherhood 2.0, how I've missed you. So much singing went on back then, and they were so awkward, but I loved them. (I recently found a zip file of segments of 50 of their first year of videos and have them playing in the background.)

"George W. Bush is so incompetent that he failed to to poop IN my pants, although he managed to poop NEAR my pants and then later stated that he had never intended to poop in my pants and that no one in his administration had EVER talked about pooping in ANYONE'S pants. After seeing his poop, I can report that it looks EXACTLY like bull shit. (To camera) Wow, those guys must be selling the President's war plan." - John Green in his short story "Everyone Poops In My Pants, by Hank Green"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vessel of Varied Topics

As the title of a recent episode of a podcast I follow said.

"You're cooler than the flip-side of my pillow." -One of my sister's friends (in this case not to anyone or anything in particular. She just says it sometimes.)

5th grade boys are just plain strange. Sorry, male readers, but you used to be one, and while I may understand you better now, that inner 5th-grader is still there somewhere, buried deep down inside of your souls. This point comes as a result of a conversation I had with aforementioned sister about some boys in her class last year. Some guys don't understand girls/women. But it is really you who are the enigmas. End of topic.

I didn't read my query letter at the meeting today, as I had planned, as the two people I really wanted critiques from weren't there. (I depend on you to make my stuff better, you know. I don't just bring stuff in for fun, even if that is part of it.) Next time, probably.

There weren't any new people, and while new people are interesting, I was glad for a small group of people who have been around for awhile. It was more relaxed, and we had more time. We were even done slightly early (**gasp**).

I read a poem, which is something I don't do very often. It got exactly the reception I'd hoped for, so that was good. :)

And I missed Beth. She was the first person at writing club to hear one of my stories ("Last of the Nine, in case anyone was interested. Sorry for those of you who aren't in the club and don't know what I'm talking about), and the story she read at that meeting remains my favorite out of  all the ones I have heard (at meetings) since. Sorry.

I suppose that now I'm slowly accumulating non-IRL followers, I should be more conscientious of them. 
So if my blogging about more personal things that you don't understand bothers you, please tell me. I won't stop, but I'll cut down on it. Really the only super-personal ones are Wednesday evenings every other week, because I've just seen everyone at our meeting. So you shouldn't worry about it too much. But tell me if it bothers you.

Quote of the Day

“You’re not born left handed, it’s a choice. And also the work of the devil. Left handed people should not be allowed to write. It’s called writing not lefting! Writing is a right not a left. Writing is the right of right handers, am I left?” - Craig Benzine, aka Wheezy Waiter

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


What is a "best friend"? 

The term can be used in so many different ways, and it means different things to different people

I'll say "She was one of my best friends from 5th grade." But that doesn't mean that "she" is my best friend. It just means that I was closer to "her" than most of the other people in my class or in other ones.

My youngest sister claims to have about seven best friends. Granted, she's known three or four of them since kindergarten (she'll be in 6th grade in the fall), but some of them she's only known for a year.

Of course, she makes close friends faster than I do. Or are they just not all that close? Do they talk about important, personal things? I have no idea.

I only have one best friend (plus two semi-brothers, who I never count when it comes to stuff like this because they're just practically family). We've known each other for almost seven years (seven once school starts). Then I have a few other friends with varying degrees of closeness. Then I have people who I am friendly with, but haven't invested the time into our relationships to really consider them "friends." I make friends slowly, and I don't make many, but I think that's good. It makes them more important to me.
It's taken seven years for us to get to the point where some people (like my sister?) get to far faster. But that's okay, as I said.

But it's not just time. I've known some of you guys in writing club for almost a year now, but I see you far less often than a given person with whom I share at least one class at school.

So where comes the point where "friend" becomes "best friend"? And can you have more than one? (Yes. Case point: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants)

People in books, I've noticed, either already have a set value of closeness, are forced into a situation in which they have to become close very quickly (like Hogwarts. They live together.), or some intense thing happens (like a war) so they bond faster. But that usually involves living at least in the same camp.

Books take place over a relatively short period of time. Usually a year at most. Any longer than that and there's usually a sequel. So by definition, you can't see the friendships that grow slowly. People find that stuff boring to think/read about, unless they're going through it IRL, and even then some people find it boring (clearly I'm not one of those.)

I suppose this isn't really philosophy, but I'll throw the label in anyway since this is one of those posts where I write an unplanned and not-well-thought-out and rambling semi-essay on a random topic of my choice. Most of those really are philosophy (or at least close enough.)

I now have Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4. So I will go play those now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

There is a person that I know. Let's call her "Amelia." She is in her sixties. Today she was talking about her visit to her doctor. She mentioned that a "colored girl" said something to her, and then proceeded to tell us what she had said. No prejudice seemed evident. She used the same phrase again. It bothered me, and I was going to say something, but my mom beat me to it. She said "Amelia, not colored. Black or African American."

I agree with my mom that "colored" is more offensive than "black," because it basically means "non-white." Plus, that's the term generally used before the Civil Rights Movement and whatnot. But isn't "black" still sort of down that path? I don't find "African American" offensive in itself (but it could be, depending on the context).

What do you guys think?

I don't think Amelia meant any harm, but her upbringing shows through. It was just a cultural thing I noticed and found interesting.

On a related note, it shows that not only does culture depend on place, but also on time. (And I know that's obvious from a larger standpoint, but it's only been 50 years. Technology, sure. That changes fast. But attitudes are slower-moving.)

Two Quotes

The first is for your enjoyment, and the second I'd like to hear your thoughts on.

"Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation." - Howard Scott

(approximated) "Romance novels are like Playboy for women."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Wrinkle In Time

Caution: somewhat complex science-y things to follow.

Have you read Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time? You should. It's downright fantastic. Probably one of my favorite books.

I first read it in 4th grade, as part of an in-class AG assignment. The entire Time quartet is fascinating and very well-done, but this is the best. My favorite part was the explanation of the tesseract. 

Of course, in the real world, a tesseract is a four dimensional cube (well, technically five, but four spatial dimensions). The best way to represent it in its true form in 3 dimensions is a cube within a cube, with lines connecting the corners of the inner cube to the corresponding corners of the outer cube.
The only true way to represent it in 3 dimensions is its net. The net of a cube is six squares forming a cross. I'm sure you've seen it before. The net of a tesseract is like that, except made out of cubes.

However, in the book, a "tesseract" is a folding of space-time in order to travel instantaneously from one place in space-time to another.

Ms. Whatsit asks Meg questions. All questions and answers are approximated quotes, as I sort of lost my copy (my cousin has had it for at least a year. I don't expect to get it back.)

What is the first dimension?

A line.

What is the second dimension?

Well, you square the line, so you get a square.

What is the third dimension?

You square the square, leaving you with a cube.

Good. And what is the fourth dimension?

Well, you'd square the cube. Um, I think it has something to do with Einstein and time..Time! I guess it would be Time.

And then we have the fifth dimension. (Which is speculated to be the thing that is waving in a light wave.)

I can't possibly explain to you how incredibly cool I found this. And still find it. And I understood it, too. Really understood it. I wrote up sheets and sheets of paper explaining it, just because I was so enamored. I tried to explain it to people in my class. They didn't get it.

**gushes for a while longer on how awesome the book is**

In 7th grade, the book was an option for our reading groups (I didn't choose it, but that's not the point.) When giving short summaries about each book, our teacher said something like "It's kind of confusing to understand, so come ask me if you have any questions."

My mental response was something akin to "WHAT?! NO IT'S NOT!" The funny thing is, I have a friend whose experience with this book is the same as mine, even though we were in totally different classes and didn't meet until a year ago.

So in the past year (mainly as a result of meeting him- he had books on the subject and let me borrow them), I've been reading a lot about current advances in physics (mainly quantum physics) and other related topics. I just started Hyperspace by Michio Kaku today, which is what made me write this post.

Basically, I love the idea of "higher" dimensions, and my love for them came from literature, and you should all go read that book if you haven't already.

Everyone with an interest in the realm of physics has a starting point. For most people, it's science fiction. Asimov, or Herbert, or Bradbury, or any of the other Big Names. For me, it was A Wrinkle in Time, even though I didn't know it was physics back then. To me, physics was gravity.

It's fascinating. Sorry for bothering you with my gushing/positive rant.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We're Tough

One quick thing before I get on to my main topic.

I hate when people say "You have great taste in music." All it means is "You like the same music that I do!" It's very arrogant (yes, subconsciously arrogant) to presume that your tastes are the objective standard for "good/great taste."


My sister and I were having, of sorts today. I was giving her critiques on some of her writing...and perhaps I was a bit harsh.
 I think I have less inhibitions about telling her exactly what I think, as opposed to keeping my mouth shut, because as my sister, she's "required" to "like" me. Friends are only your friends because they like you. Siblings and other family members have no choice. So you have to be more careful and polite with friends. Because they can always leave.

Now, I usually don't have many negative things to say about my friends, and usually the ones I do have aren't very negative at all. Even my criticism of writing or whatever isn't negative. It's just "it would be better if..." But still

But that isn't all.

At writing club, I'm used to my work being torn at. And I'm glad for it, because it ends up better. I don't take it personally. I take it as a compliment that you care enough about me and my work to want to make it better.
And you all are used to it as well. We're tough, but sometimes I forget that other people aren't used to it.

Also, I'm participating in Life in a Day. It's a YouTube project where you upload stuff filmed on the 24th that answers any of the following questions: "What do you love?" "What do you fear?" "What makes you laugh?" and "What's in your pockets?"

My parents were gone most of the afternoon shopping for furniture, so I didn't get to do the thing I was planning on, unfortunately. But I'll still upload what I have, and that will be that.

The One With All The Embedding

Here are the songs I recorded at the ROFLCOPTOUR concert last Tuesday, in chronological order. There were a lot of other ones, of course, but I had limited battery power and memory space.

(about John Green's book Paper Towns- my favorite of his. The book is a lot more serious than the song, although still very, very funny. I highly recommend it to everyone, as it's one of my favorite books of all time.)

I hope you enjoy the videos, even though there were a lot of people in the way.

Friday, July 23, 2010

If You Are Depressed...

...or otherwise not in the greatest of moods, make a list.

Make a list of what is currently making you happy. 

I know it sounds like one of those stupid things you hear about psychologists saying...but it works. It works amazingly well.

On a related note, I'm borrowing a book from my friend called The Book of Awesome. It lists things that are awesome and has a page or two on each one.

I've finished my driving lessons. I almost hit someone today while changing lanes. They were in my blindspot, and I forgot to check. Someone else almost hit me, because I was changing lanes and put my brakes on.
Conclusion: I'm bad at changing lanes.
But now I don't have to worry about it until after my birthday in October, so that's good.

Leaky Con 2011 (A Harry Potter conference I plan on attending) is having "Lit Day," where several authors, agents, and people from publishing houses will come and talk about related things. I'm unbelievably excited about this. However, it's proving difficult to get my parents to allow me to go, seeing as how its in Orlando and the hotel is rather expensive.
If only one of those agents I queried miraculously decided to represent me and got Clockwork sold...then I would have enough money. Haha.

Emily has declared that my query letter "needs work." Be excited, people, for the day when you get to attack it draws nearer. :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In Which My Paranoia Sets In

This is all new to me, right? Sure, I've taken a class where we talked about it some, and read loads of personal accounts and blogs and whatnot...but I've never done this whole getting-published thing before.

I know Clockwork is good. I worked hard on it, and I've had loads of help from you guys. That's not what worries me. I know it's just a matter of time manuscript-wise.

But what about my query letter?

The query I wrote for Ishaera for my exam only got points taken off for phrasing and tense (I wrote it as if I was still working on the book as opposed to having finished. The directions confused me so I thought that was the way he wanted it.)

But that's just one. It's an entirely different thing. Prose I can do decently. Poetry is subjective. But a query letter? I've only written three of those in my entire life. Okay, maybe four. But still. 

And I know two rejection letters is nothing. Really. I know this. But that doesn't keep me from worrying. So I'll be reading my query letter to you next week, and you can have at it.

Yes, so I sent four or five more queries out this morning, and I got one reply so far (I'm actually impressed by how fast he was in getting back to me.)

One of them asked for people to send the first few pages along with their queries, and the first chapter of Clockwork is definitely the best (in my opinion, anyways.) Another said to attach the first 50 pages. Strangely enough, I'm more nervous about that one. The first 50 pages are very Queste-centric and set-uppy. And we all know that Queste is annoying. It's very girly YA and not much sci-fi. However, it does have the tea people in it, so I think that's good. It's pretty much immediately after that point that things start getting interesting (she finds the library, talks to Ronald for the first time, etc.)

Driving-wise, they took me driving around downtown Raleigh today (scary, right?), and then afterwards my mom and I went over to the elementary school and I practiced parking (I'm not very good at that. Especially right-hand parking.)

The Parselmouths are an excellent band. This is my second-straight time through their CD I bought last night at the concert.

And also, since I wrote some reviews of it on here during the beginning of the season (which I won't be doing this time around), I figured I'd tell you that Syfy's Caprica will be starting up again in January. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You Never Forget Your First...

...form rejection. Haha.

Yep. That is what I received in my inbox after the ROFLCOPTOUR concert tonight (speaking of which, Emily, I thought you were going to be there?).

It was a very nice one, though. I archived it. :D

As my Facebook status says, it was exciting for about ten minutes, and now I'm just sort of "yeah, that's what I expected." I only said "dejected" because of the similarity to "rejected." I'm actually okay with it. 

Unfortunately, for most of the other agents I plan on querying, I'll need to write a synopsis. Yay. Of course, it was something I probably should have done at some point anyway.

Also: I started my driving lessons with the Driving School Teacher today. I'm either paying attention to my speed and turning too far to the right, or paying attention to my steering and speeding or going too slow. But I've only been behind the wheel for less than two hours total, so that's alright as well.

The concert was awesome. I'll be uploading footage to my YouTube channel soon. I bought two new CDs and got my ALL CAPS one signed.

So that's cool.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And So It Begins

About ten seconds ago, I did something rather important, relatively speaking.

I emailed my query letter to an agent. Kristen Nelson, of the Pub Rants blog, to be precise.

And now I wait 5-10 days. Far more than likely, I'll get my first rejection letter, which will be ironically exciting in and of itself.

On an unrelated note:

Following a lot of literary blogs can get confusing. Ms. Nelson is the agent representing the Gallagher Girls series, which is the book of the month at Readergirlz  The Eragon fansite I follow posted about the Harry Potter Alliance last week. Various authors and agents know each other, and they mention each other in their posts. It's rather annoying to have to figure out who a person is before I read their post.


I found some romance earlier today that is non-cliche and slightly cheesy, except since its so unbelievably honest it doesn't seem that way. Unfortunately, I can't read it to you at a meeting, as it is private. Private, as in the "letter from my dad to my mom" kind of way. And non-cliche in the "We're already married and have kids" sense. 

I don't want to say anything more than that, but my dad is a great writer when he wants to be. I only wish he had the time and inclination.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Opportunity

Now, I don't know if this is actually going to happen or not, but let's pretend that it is.

I've been given the opportunity to be a part of a collab channel on YouTube. Five of us would each read one book per week, and then post a video with our review of that book on our assigned day of the week.

It's not like I was invited specifically or anything. I hope we follow through with this. I haven't been reading as much as normal lately, so this would get me motivated again, and I'd be exposed to books I've never read, plus the opportunity to interact with people I don't know.

Should be fun.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible." - Bertrand Russell

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Entertaining Blog (to say the least)

On which an agent posts particularly cringe-worthy snippets of query letters she has received. Speaking of which, I should go send mine...


"Health consists of having the same diseases as one's neighbors." - Quentin Crisp

It's true, though. What about the Europeans giving the Native Americans smallpox and everything?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Quasi-Mandatory Bi-Weekly Wednesday Post

It's not that I made a rule for myself or anything. It's just that you guys always give me so much to think about, I end up having something to blog about after meetings. It's nothing specific this time, though. Just a collection of thoughts.

First off: I'm posting some footage of the wrock concert I went to last night. Here's the first of three videos
The other two aren't uploaded yet.

There is an updated version of Clockwork where pretty much the only thing changed is in one of the last few chapters. I will send it to you. The change isn't important if it was real life, but from a literary/character arc point of view, it's vital.

We had a bunch of new people this week, and guess what happened! We talked about Twilight again. This is a trend. I said it last week, and I am saying it now. It always happens. This was considerably more... aggressive than last week, though. I'm surprised.

On that note, while we were walking out, Emily mentioned to me that she thinks it'd be interesting to find out whether there is a correlation between political party and Edward vs. Jacob (or at least Edward vs. Anti-Edward). This may be my project for AP Statistics senior year.

I like that we've been having more poetry at meetings recently, but I'm not sure why.

I spent the morning kicking loads of virtual butt in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction with my sister (four hours, but we didn't intend to play for that long). Then my other sister and I rehearsed various things for a song I've written (well, sort of. I wrote the words. It's a filk.) about NaNoWriMo. And that's all I'm going to say on that topic for now. More will be revealed as November approaches.

It's nice being a teenage author in that it really doesn't matter, from a monetary standpoint, whether or not Clockwork is published any time soon. Especially considering that I have a babysitting job for next week, I'm getting a third of my mom's organist pay (since I'm playing several things to help her out), and I never spend any money anyway (saving for Leaky Con 2011). 

It occurred to me last night that I was at a concert for bands I I probably should have brought some money. Then I thought that it was probably a good thing after all. However, I'm going to bring some next week.

Why do most of the big events not directly related to my personal life but relevant to me happen on Tuesdays? (Okay, not really. Just yesterday's concert, next week's concert,  and nearly every YA novel release.)

Perhaps I should write several more paragraphs just so I'll still be working on this post when the second wrock video finishes uploading. But, as the Blibbering Humdingers said in the song linked to above, "I think that the crowd's had enough."


"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place."

H. L. Mencken

On a side note: guys, where is your Clockwork feedback????? Emily's nearly finished, and she's given me some of the best feedback I've ever had (as in "YES I'M GLAD YOU NOTICED THAT" and "Oh. Okay. I'll go fix that."
But that's just one person. And I know you guys all have opinions. Or are you waiting for tonight?
Oh! Meeting tonight! Hooray! I've been looking forward to this week immensely.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Much Is Too Much?

As Cory Doctorow says, everyone copies everyone else. We can't help it. But how much is too much?

In 6th grade, I made my first attempt at writing a novel (it was Ishaera). It was terrible. And not just the writing. The plot was basically a mash-up between Ranger's Apprentice and The Cry of the Icemark, and certain bits of dialogue were taken directly from certain sci-fi movies.

As I said, it was terrible. And it was far too much. That's why I'm re-writing it in November.

But what about Eragon?

It clearly draws roots from Lord of the Rings and Star Wars plot-wise. It's obvious. It's painfully obvious, at some points. Honestly- Arya writing a poem about Doctor Who? Really? (And yes- it says so in the letter to the reader at the end.)
Yes, he was only 15 when he started writing the book...but we're better than that, aren't we? His writing's good. Very good. And I'll admit, I suck at plots. It was only with enormous help from you guys that Clockwork got to where it is today. I still shudder when I think of the original. It wasn't a mash-up...but it was bad.

So I suppose I can't give Mr. Paolini too hard of a time. And maybe he didn't have a tank full of sharks tearing at his manuscript once every two weeks (hyperbole, guys- don't worry), so all right.

But is Eragon too much?

Yes, there's archetypes, and standard plotlines, and such. Yes, there's loads of terribly cliche stuff on the market.
And yes, I enjoy some of those, and so do many others.

But where do we draw the line?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Unless I'm refusing to read something just to spite someone (hasn't happened in several years, but it has occurred), I try to give every book a chance. That's not to say that I read every book that comes my way, but I'm willing to read anything if that's the only thing available. That is, I'm willing to start reading anything. If it's just the characters or plot I don't like, I'll usually keep going just for the sake of finishing. Only when the writing itself is terribly convoluted will I quit (usually).

Today I was at my aunt's house helping with preparations for my grandparents' 50th Anniversary party tomorrow, and after we were done, I picked up the book my 13 year old cousin was reading: Pure, by someone with the last name of McVoy. I think.

I made it through the first seven pages before I stopped. The entire concept...was not something that interested me in the slightest, and it just aggravated me. Which confused me, because I know people similar to the main character, and most of them are nice, and those that aren't are only marginally annoying (usually, but then again I don't spend much time with them).
But I hated that main character. And also her four friends. Or was it four? I don't even know.
I know seven pages isn't much to go by...but I didn't want to read the rest of it (plus, I had other stuff to be doing).

And I feel bad about it. Sorry, Author of Pure. Some people (like my cousin) really like your book, but I am not one of those people.

And I don't know why this bothers me so much. It seems like it shouldn't matter, and everyone's entitled to their own opinions...

Now I should go help with dinner.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On Romance

The challenge for next week's meeting is to write non-cheesy, non-cliche romance. I look forward to hearing what everyone comes up with.

However, I am not participating in this challenge (speaking of which, I need to write something to bring...).
Why is this?

Because I don't believe there is such a thing as non-cheesy, non-cliche romance. And (of course) I'm going to tell you why.

What is the definition of cheesy? 
Well, when it comes to romance, it's usually honest and/or poetic dialogue. 

What is the definition of cliche?
Something that has happened/been done so many times before that people are over that plot line.

And what about romance?

Romance has literally been around as long as humans have been. Yes, it's come a long way since the days of "Hey! You're an available (male/female)! Let's mate!" but it was around at the beginning of our species, and it still happens today.

There have been an awful lot of humans since the beginning of our species. That's a lot of coupling. I would argue that the various generic "plot lines" have all been enacted by various couples so many times that they have all become "over-used," making it cliche. Even the people against cliche romance are cliche, because there's been loads of them as well.

Every romance is its own story, but there's only so many general paths to tread. The details and the outcome will be different, but if you zoom out, it's basically one of a set many of different things. So all romance is cliche.

Now let's move on to cheesy.

I am a girl, and most of my friends are girls, and I don't know the opinions of my guy friends on this matter, so keep that in mind while reading the next part of the post (and the above).

We read/watch/hear about so much romance, whether it's intentional or not; fictional or not; willingly or not, that "cheesy" romance is subconsciously embedded in our brains to some degree. So even if we don't expect our own romances to match it, we still treat it that way in our minds. If you do it right, you're not disappointed when it doesn't turn out to be a fairy tale, but the undercurrents remain. 

No, the knights don't sweep the princesses off their feet anymore, but the mental image is still there, and we ascend into the realms of metaphor.

So if all romance is still cheesy to some degree within our minds, when writing from first person, it's not possible to write a non-cheesy romance. On the surface it might be "non-cheesy" and "non-cliche," but on the inside, it still is.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Harry Potter Alliance Needs A Bit Of Help

I've blogged about the HPA before, right? The Harry Potter Alliance? Dumbledore's Army of the Muggle world?

I'm going to ask the five of you (well, six) to do something for me/them.

Please go vote for them here

If they win this, they'll win a ton of money that they'll use to keep up all of their campaigns (like the ones for LGBT rights, giving books to people in need, Helping Haiti Heal, Wizard Rock the Vote [getting people to register for voting and convincing them to actually go], and lots of other stuff.)

I love this charity. I love what they do, where they came from, and the people in it.

And now it is dinner time, and I'm going to see Much Ado About Nothing in the park this afternoon, so I've got to go.