Writing Contest

So I have been talking a lot about school and life lately. What about writing? That’s important to!!

I am going to enter the Sci-Fi contest this month…actually tomorrow. If you are interested in writing for it, do it!  (and get a move on it because it closes tomorrow!) Here’s the challenge:)

Stories should be between 1,500 and 4,000 words, and must:

  • Explore a utopian/dystopian theme
  • Feature a technology that’s scientifically plausible
  • Feature a non-human character (What is a non-human? You tell us!)

I’m pretty excited because I’ve got some weird stuff going on in this story! I won’t find out about the results till April but I’ll let you know once I hear (or don’t hear) back about it, and I’ll let you know when I post it so you can read it to:) And for those of you interested, I am still editing my Nanowrimo story so those two things are taking up my time that is not taken up by school work and working out and social life.

How’s your writing life going?

 

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Evil Wins

That’s exactly what you wanted to hear on a Monday, right?

Happy Ending to you weekend! Muhahahah!

Gosh that just sounds so depressing. I’ve been learning about Old Norse myths and they pretty much believed that there wasn’t an afterlife. In other words, death was the end to everything. And it wasn’t like they had a happy life before ending in oblivion either.  Ragnorak ended the gods in their myth. It was black and snowy for a lot of the year and they were just not overly cheery people.

But they had some pretty epic heroes. Thor anyone?

Thor, the Norse god

Heck yeah!

In our fluffy culture of today, where we have sunshine lights for the grey days, heated cars, and food at super markets that we just pick up when we get hungry, we are lacking in heroes. Travesty!

We still have some heroes. (We even have our own modern Thor.)

Chris Hemsworth as Thor as depicted in the fil...

And he’s a pretty much… freakin awesome!

But are we heroes?

The Old Norse people had the mindset that heroism was something you achieved, you fought for, even if you would not, could not win. You lived a hero. You would definitely die a hero. But the important this was you were a hero. 

Do we still have that mindset? People now a days have a excuses for everything. I have my whole dictionary’s worth full. And I use them all the time! These people (by my standards) had excuses, so many good excuses that they didn’t really have a good reason to keep trying to be brave and good and daring…in all that darkness and ultimate death. This is what influenced Tolkein’s LOTR. There is that sense of impending doom, impossibility. But the heroes go on being heroes even if that means ending in failure.

The Dirt Road to Paradise

Do we strive for greatness? No matter how far away it seems or how hard the road becomes?

That’s impressive!

So this could easily become the beginning for a longer rant on modern mediocrity but I’ll save that for a later post. Right now, I want to hear: What is your take on being a hero?

The Right Word for Magic

Tolkien makes a valid point. “Magic” makes you think of magician. Magicians do things that are fairly scientific like mixing chemicals together and sighting specific formulas. What?

I’m not a huge fan of that kinda magic.

I’ve talked earlier about what kind of magic I want in my stories and I have decided to go with more of the “natural magic.” I think that Tolkien has found the right word for it: Enchantment.

Which brings up a big question: Enchantment?

That’s not just in fairy tales! That is a type of enchantment which is in our world to. So I guess an even more important question (and hopefully equally interesting) is what kind of enchantment do we want in our own world?

Hold on! I am not asking you to start seeing fairies in everything, but there is the meaning wonder connected with enchantment and when we lose wonder, we are left in a colorless world which we have imprisoned ourselves in.

We know that we are meant to do things that bring us wonder. What is the enchantment in your own life? Is it climbing a mountain? Watching a sunset? Reading a book? How about eating a cookie. I tell you, no matter how many times I have a had a chocolate chip cookie there is something about licking the spoon that is magical (and sort of in the magician sense because we did have to do some mixing;) and it always brings out the kid in me.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pure magic…yup, pure magic

I guess it’s funny to say that  “Enchantment” is what “brings out the kid in me” because really, all it does is bring out me. The side of me that is filled with wonder. I guess that’s all of us. We all have the ability to be enchanted, to be filled with wonder

Not My Fault

In my defense, I had a lenten challenge not to go on the internet for anything but homework for a day so I couldn’t blog for a little while. But now I am back. I missed friday top five so maybe I’ll do Monday top…what number starts with M? Million? Monday top Million? Ha! Don’t think you really want to read my writing that much!

So let’s call this post Monday Musings. (Ignore the title I already put up! That title is more catchy but this is more truthful, read on anyways!)

I am going to muse on why Valentines Day is a really good day even for singles. (Hey, I know it’s passed but I don’t care! You can keep these musings for next year as they are excellent musings.)

Why is Valentines Day a good day in general?

A. Because of the chocolate. Must I go on any further? There is chocolate pouring out of every  stores and it’s awesome. After valentines day it gets even better because it’s all on sale.

B. Because you can still get little gifts even if you are not dating someone. Little boxes of happiness, little notes to say “Be Mine” and all that nice stuff is fun to get from random friends.

C. It can involve cookies with pink frosting. Pink Frosting! It’s a pretty holiday with everything pink. Even if you don’t like pink personally you have to admit it’s a happy color so it goes to follow that this should be a happy day!

An array of Valentine's Day-connotated candy d...

Convinced yet?:)

D. Because you get to read about the worse valentines ever. And they are hilarious! Here is a little cracked.com  for you to enjoy;)

Ok, your turn! Do you like Valentines day? Why?

Saved Time for What?!

Fast food, fast lanes to check out in, faster cars, faster forms of communication (letter? what means sending a letter…email on paper?)…I could go on forever.

But why, people, WHY?

Because sometimes we get so busy being fast that we forget to be alive.

To be alive we need to live in every moment. Cliche but so true.

Example A:

I have to read a whole bunch of chapters of the Gorgias by Plato , have to do a bunch of m-m-math (there I said it) problems, and read a Midsummer’s Night Dream. I could rush through it as fast as I can so that I can watch the next episode of Merlin after finishing up the latest biggest looser episode but I payed a freakish amount of money for those courses so even while I am going to read/do homework as efficiently as possible, I am going to try to enjoy it as well. This is the main portion of my life, if I don’t enjoy it, that would just suck!

Inscribed herm of Plato. (Berlin, Altes Museum).

Can you really enjoy reading this guy? It may take a little effort but it can happen! 

And sometimes we need to remember to take a break from things. So I’m walking in-between classes, if the snow is falling, nothing is wrong with standing there a couple seconds to enjoy it. Yes, 6am one morning I walked along, kicking the glittering falling flakes and feeling completely crazy for being so excited about snow sparkling in the lamppost light (although I’m sure other Narnia lovers can totally relate)!

We are going to be busy, pressured, and possibly under stress our entire lives. We can’t let it stop us from enjoying ourselves to. So use time wisely. Not just to get stuff done. Make that time even more valuable by enjoying the stuff you are getting done and spending that time wisely.

Time me

Time…my preciousssss 😉

…Does anyone else things that this is a slightly ironic post to have after talking about procrastination? Haha, I guess school just forces me to think a lot about time, schedules and… ya know, life in general:)

Top 5 Ways to Procrastinate Productively

Ok, so I was planning on getting this out Friday morning but let’s be honest, school is taking over my life. …ok let’s be more honest, I also took a really long nap and caught up on the latest episode of Arrow.

sherlock study

 

I know, but that’s what Saturday’s are for.

I want to talk about the best ways to procrastinate on homework while not completely wasting your life.

1. Clean your room. This only works for very specific people and I happen to be one of them. Test coming up? I really think it’s time to start doing laundry, dishes, and I should probably make my bed… One professor told me that the only time his room was clean was right before finals week. So even profs deal struggle with procrastination (we all know that when we get that one teacher who just never really get’s those stinkin’ papers back!)

2. Catch up on the latest episode of whatever your watch. Arrow anyone? How about Once? Cause those are the killers for me. But do something “productive” while watching it like drawing a picture or knitting. After your TV show, you will have have something piece of art (even if it’s bad art, hehe) that you can show for your time.

3. Take a nap. Hey! Sleep will enhance your ability to study. No joke.

4. Bake cookies.  Ok, while baking is nice, I usually don’t do it to procrastinate. It is usually more of a hanging out having fun kind of thing. I do read books though. I am hoping to compile a list of all the books I have ever heard about that I need to read. And that of course, will take up even more time;) But currently the top one on my list in Frankenstein. I have just finished Dracula (and I will let you know what I think about it eventually); I’m going with the “darker literature” theme.

5. Blog. Duh. What do you think I’m doing right now;)

Well, with that, I am off to read a book:) Happy Friday All!

 

Tolkien and Dangerous Fairies

I told you I was taking a Tolkien class; there are obviously going to be a plethora of topics that  I can tie into my own writing journey. As I am very interested in the topics concerning myth, I found it fascinating what he said about fairy stories.

“I propose to speak about fairy-stories though I am aware that this is a rash adventure. Fairie is a perilous land and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold. And overbold I may be accounted, for though I have been a lover of fairy-stories since I learned to read, and have at times bought about them, I have not studied them professionally. I have been hardly more than a wandering explorer (or trespasser) in the land, full of wonder but not of information.”

Dream Fairy

In what way is a myth/fairy-tale true?

Tolkien sees myths as a new realm of the human imagination that is not true in the sense that science can measure it but is much more true in the ideas that it conveys. Our  skewered ideas of fairy tales being mainly for children comes from our pathetically watered down versions that we are familiar with. Ideals of good, evil, desirability, and identity are found in myths and myths are essential to understanding the world around us.

“He sees no starts who does not see them first

of living silver that sudden burst

to flame like flowers beneath the ancient song

whose very echo after-music long

has since pursued. There is no firmament,

only a void, unless a jeweled tent

myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth,

unless the mother’s womb whence all have birth.”

Fairy Tale

Our World is Enchanted to You Know

It is true that child-like wonder draws young people to good stories (haha, I know I’m still too young to be talking about “young people” in a generalized way, but bear with me!) but even as the experience life and grow hardened up, they need to keep the fundamental wonder and ideals that we can learn through fantasy. The idea that the scientific version of reality excludes the mythic reality is complete rubbish! We understand scientific reality better perhaps when we are older but it should be the same for the mythic reality. We should better understand and want to explore ideals and grow in wonder through myths when we are adults and able to get more from the stories, not dismiss them. When we loose a sense of the enchantment of reality then we loose a beautiful, essential part of who we are.

What do you think myth is? What kind of story do you want write? In other words, how will you portray reality?

Personally?

I want to eventually be able to write fairy-tale in the sense of “adult myths.” People deserve to again get fantastic literature which challenges them to think, illustrates realities that we cannot see, and is rewardingly dangerous.

The Reasons a Person should get up at 6am

*You get to see the snow glittering under the light of the lampposts as you trudge along through inky darkness. I know you can see that late at night to but there is a certain triumph in the morning rising. And then you get to anticipate the sunrise which is great…even if it does not make things much warmer:)

*You get more done earlier
*You get all your classes out of the way quickly. It’s my first day of school! I am really having a hard time believing it. I am totally unprepared/feeling like I never left which seems to be completely contradictory but is completely true at the same time. Anyone else get what I am talking about?
*….can anyone else think of anything else because I’m too tired to think any more.
And by the way, I am taking two English classes this semester (the other two are math, eek! and ethics, hmmm…) and those English classes are Tolkien and Shakespeare!!!! I have a good life!! What classes are you talking? And prepare yourself for awesome author related posts showing up around here!

 

Hey there!

Crazy how different every first day of school feels! Ya know what I mean?

How to Get Results: 30 Day Shred

I am going to give a little review for Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred which I did for the month of January. (Can you believe it’s already February? Let’s be that small % of people who keep going with the New Years Resolutions!)  Of course, the big question: Does The 30 Day Shred Get Results????

What I did:I did the work out at least a couple times a week and ate a little better than normal. It was hard because I have break for all of January which means good times with friends (not exactly conducive with a diet plan) and it’s cold so I hate moving:P

My Results: Dropped a couple pounds and feel much stronger. I was not expecting to get such quick results while being only partially committed, but I’ll take it! The first day was pretty rough but by 6 days into it I was thrilled that I could do everything better already!! The nice thing about it is that it tones you up even if you drop weight slowly, you look and feel stronger pretty quickly. Seriously, it is a 20 minute workout. If you need something that doesn’t suck away your time and money than here is a link to the work out on youtube🙂

My Plan for the Future: Cardio everyday + Ripped in the 30. I have started Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 and am wonderfully sore today!! So my plan is to only eat healthy food while at school and start taking advantage of our awesome gym by running a couple days a week, biking the other days. This semester is going to be a little busier than the last one (with about 20 hours of work+full time classes+a couple campus clubs+working out+maybe some social life and sleep…) In other words I need a workout which maximizes every second!

Question: Are you keeping up with the New Year’s Resolutions? What have you done to get results with exercising/dieting? Best of Luck on staying Fit and any other resolution you may have had!