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prillalar.com/drabbles/ Very addictive. Create your own short piece of fiction, a la Mad Libs! Here are a couple of the best ones I got:

1. Romantic Love

Alaena finished packing. Ever since Katrina, her own true love, had been lost at sea, Alaena had been cold.

There was nothing left for her anymore, nothing tickled her, all was black. So today, Valentine's Day, she was going up in a tree to become a fluffy mirror.

Just then, there was an angry-looking knock at the door. Alaena opened it and stood there accidently for a moment, before falling to the floor in a swoon and bruising her back.

When Alaena came to, Katrina was holding her arm and looking harsh. "My love," Katrina said skillfully, "I'm sorry for the ineffable shock. I've been shipwrecked on a white island for the last ten years, living like a scarf knit uselessly short. I was only rescued last week." She paused. "I lost my leg in the wreck. Can you still love me?"

Alaena could hardly believe her Katrina had returned. "I will always love you, leg or no leg. Besides, you can cover it up with a sword."

They embraced slowly and vowed to never be parted again.

And all was tough.


2. A Blood In Time

On a practically nonexistent and bleeding morning, Edward sat in the shadows. It was Valentine's Day and he was all alone. His hair ached in sorrow for the secret love that he could never share. How could he expect Buffy to love someone with an uncomfortable kneecap?

Harshly, he began to recite a poem he had composed. "Ah, my love is like a dangerous sparkly stake, all on a summer's day. I wish my Buffy would bite me, in her own troublesome way..."

"Do you?" Buffy sat down beside Edward and put her hand on Edward's neck. "I think that could be arranged."

Edward gasped cautiously. "But what about my uncomfortable kneecap?"

"I like it," Buffy said lovingly. "I think it's pale."

They came together and their kiss was like a ray of sunshine, awe-inspiring and deadly.

"I love you," Edward said magically.

"I love you too," Buffy replied and bit him.

They bought a werewolf, moved in together, and lived unexpectedly ever after.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Mistborn
  • Watching: Chuck, Dexter, Doctor Who, Castle, Glee
I really really should be sleeping right now, but this just intrigued me so much!

x - Seen
o - Partially seen

CLASSIC DISNEY
-------------------------------
[x] 101 Dalmatians (1961)
[x] Alice in Wonderland (1951)
[x] Bambi (1942)
[x] Cinderella (1950)
[x] Dumbo (1941)
[x] Fantasia (1940)
[x] Lady and the Tramp (1955)
[x] Mary Poppins (1964)
[x] Peter Pan (1953)
[x] Pinocchio (1940)
[x] Sleeping Beauty (1959)
[x] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
[ ] The Relunctant Dragon (1941)
[o] Song of the South (1946)

x - 12
o - 1

DISNEY'S DARK AGE
-------------------------------
[x] The Aristocats (1970)
[ ] The Black Cauldron (1985)
[x] The Fox and the Hound (1981)
[x] The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
[x] The Jungle Book (1967)
[o] The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
[x] Oliver and Company (1986)
[o] Pete's Dragon (1977)
[x] The Rescuers (1977)
[x] Robin Hood (1973)
[x] The Sword In The Stone (1963)

x - 20
o - 3

THE DISNEY RENAISSANCE
-------------------------------
[x] Aladdin (1992)
[x] Beauty and the Beast (1991)
[x] A Goofy Movie (1995)
[o] Hercules (1997)
[x] The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
[x] The Lion King (1994)
[x] The Little Mermaid (1989)
[x] Mulan (1998)
[x] Pocahontas (1995)
[x] The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
[o] Tarzan (1999)

x - 29
o - 5

DISNEY'S MODERN AGE
-------------------------------
[ ] Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
[x] Bolt (2008)
[ ] Brother Bear (2003)
[x] Chicken Little (2005)
[ ] Dinosaur (2000)
[o] The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
[x] Fantasia 2000 (2000)
[ ] Home on the Range (2004)
[ ] Lilo & Stitch (2002)
[x] Meet the Robinsons (2007)
[x] Treasure Planet (2002)

x - 34
o - 6

PIXAR
-------------------------------
[x] A Bug's Life (1998)
[x] Cars (2006)
[x] Finding Nemo (2003)
[x] The Incredibles (2004)
[x] Monsters Inc. (2001)
[x] Ratatouille (2007)
[x] Toy Story (1995)
[x] Toy Story 2 (1999)
[x] Wall-E (2008)
[x] Up (2009)
[x] Toy Story 3 (2010)

x - 45
o - 6

DON BLUTH
-------------------------------
[x] All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
[ ] An American Tail (1986)
[x] An American Tail: Fieval Goes West (1991)
[x] Anastasia (1997)
[x] The Land Before Time (1988)
[x] The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
[x] Rock-a-Doodle (1991)
[x] The Secret of NIMH (1982)
[x] Thumbelina (1994)
[ ] Titan AE (2000)
[x] A Troll in Central Park (1994)

x - 54
o - 6

CLAYMATION / STOP MOTION
-------------------------------
[ ] The Adventures of Mark Twain (1986)
[x] Chicken Run (2000)
[x] Coraline (2009)
[x] Corpse Bride (2005)
[x] James and the Giant Peach (1996)
[x] The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
[ ] The Puppetoon Movie (1987)
[o] Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

x - 59
o - 7

CGI GLUT (or 3-D BOOM CLUSTERFUCK YEARS)
-------------------------------
[x] Antz (1998)
[x] Happy Feet (2006)
[ ] Kung Fu Panda (2008)
[ ] Madagascar (2005)
[ ] Monster House (2006)
[x] Over the Hedge (2006)
[x] The Polar Express (2004)
[x] Shrek (2001)
[x] Shrek 2 (2004)
[ ] Shrek The Third (2007)
[x] Monsters vs. Aliens
[ ] Despicable Me (2010)
[ ] Megamind (2010)
[ ] How to Train Your Dragon (added)

x - 66
o - 7

IMPORTS
-------------------------------
[ ] Arabian Knight (aka The Thief and the Cobbler) (1995)
[ ] Back to Gaya (aka The Snurks) (2004)
[x] The Last Unicorn (1982)
[ ] Light Years (1988)
[ ] The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
[ ] Persepolis (2007)
[ ] Planet 51 (2009)
[ ] Waltz With Bashir (2008)
[x] Watership Down (1978)
[ ] When the Wind Blows (1988)
[ ] Yellow Submarine (1968)
[x] Secret of Kells (2009) (Saw it today! :D)
[ ] L'Illusioniste (2010)
[ ] Felidae
[ ] Fantastic Planet (197?) (added)

x - 69
o - 7

STUDIO GHIBLI/MIYAZAKI
-------------------------------
[x] The Cat Returns (2002)
[ ] Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
[x] Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
[x] Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
[x] Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
[ ] Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
[ ] My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999)
[ ] My Neighbor Totoro (1993)
[x] Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
[ ] Only Yesterday (1991)
[ ] Pom Poko (Tanuki War) (1994)
[ ] Porco Rosso (1992)
[x] Princess Mononoke (1999)
[x] Spirited Away (2002)
[x] Whisper of the Heart (1995)
[x] Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea (2009)

x - 78
o - 7

SATOSHI KON
-------------------------------
[x] Millennium Actress (2001)
[ ] Paprika (2006)
[ ] Perfect Blue (1999)
[ ] Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
[ ] Memories (1995)

x - 79
o - 7

SHINKAI MAKOTO
-------------------------------
[ ] She and Her Cat (1999)
[ ] Voices of a Distant Star (2001)
[ ] The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
[ ] 5 Centimeters per Second (2007)

OTHER ANIME FILMS
-------------------------------
[o] Akira (1989)
[ ] Appleseed (2004)
[ ] Appleseed: Ex Machina (2007)
[ ] Arcadia of My Youth (U.S. Title - Vengeance of the Space Pirate) (1982)
[ ] Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2003)
[ ] The Dagger of Kamui (U.S. Title - Revenge of the Ninja Warrior) (1985)
[ ] Dirty Pair: Project Eden (1987)
[ ] End of Evangelion (1997)
[ ] Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (1998)
[ ] Fist of the North Star (1986)
[ ] Galaxy Express 999 (1979)
[x] Ghost in the Shell (1996)
[ ] The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
[ ] Lensman (1984)
[ ] Macross: Do You Remember Love (U.S. Title - Clash of the Bionoids) (1984)
[ ] Metropolis (2001)
[ ] Neo-Tokyo (1986)
[ ] Ninja Scroll (1993)
[ ] Origin: Spirits Of The Past
[ ] Patlabor the Movie (1989)
[ ] The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983)
[ ] Project A-ko (1986)
[ ] Robot Carnival (1987)
[ ] Robotech: The Shadow Chronicle (2006)
[ ] Silent Möbius (1991)
[ ] Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
[ ] Steamboy (2004)
[ ] Sword of the Stranger (2007)
[ ] Unico and the Island of Magic (1983)
[ ] Urotsukidoji: The Movie (1987)
[ ] Vampire Hunter D (1985)
[ ] Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust (2000)
[ ] Wings of Honneamise: Royal Space Force (1987)

x - 80
o - 8

CARTOONS FOR GROWN-UPS
-------------------------------
[ ] American Pop (1981)
[x] The Animatrix (2003)
[o] Beavis & Butthead Do America (1996)
[ ] Cool World (1992)
[x] Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
[x] Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2005)
[ ] Fire & Ice (1983)
[ ] Fritz the Cat (1972)
[ ] Heavy Metal (1981)
[ ] Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)
[ ] Hey Good Lookin' (1982)
[ ] Lady Death (2004)
[ ] A Scanner Darkly (2006)
[o] South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
[ ] Street Fight (Coonskin) (1975)
[ ] Waking Life (2001)
[o] The Simpsons Movie (2007)(added)

x - 83
o - 11

OTHER ANIMATED MOVIES
-------------------------------
[ ] Animal Farm (1954)
[ ] Animalympics (1980)
[ ] Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon The Movie (2007)
[ ] Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
[x] The Brave Little Toaster (1988)
[ ] Bravestarr: The Movie (1988)
[x] Cats Don't Dance (1997)
[ ] Care Bears: The Movie (1985)
[x] Charlotte's Web (1973)
[x] Fern Gully (1992)
[ ] G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)
[ ] Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords (1986)
[ ] He-Man & She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword (1985)
[o] The Hobbit (1977)
[x] The Iron Giant (1999)
[ ] Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
[o] Lord of the Rings (1978)
[ ] Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992)
[ ] My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)
[ ] Pink Floyd's The Wall (1982)
[o] The Prince of Egypt (1998)
[ ] Powerpuff Girls: The Movie (2002)
[ ] Quest For Camelot (1999)
[ ] Ringing Bell (1978)
[x] The Road to El Dorado (2000)
[ ] Rock & Rule (1983)
[x] Space Jam (1996)
[ ] Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)
[ ] Superman: Doomsday (2007)
[x] The Swan Princess (1994)
[ ] Transformers: The Movie (1986)
[ ] Wizards (1977)
[x] Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)<3
[ ] Wonder Woman (2009)
[x] Balto (1995)
[x] Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Total
x - 94
o - 14
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Mistborn
  • Watching: Chuck, Dexter, Doctor Who, Castle, Glee
(No real spoilers in the journal. There could be some in the comments.)

Yeah, I'm a little late on this one, especially considering I beat this game about a month ago... Still, I've known for a while that this must be said, so I'm finally going to say it:

I have been a long-time fan of the Final Fantasy game franchise. For years I have always felt that I could depend on these games to consistently raise the bar on gameplay and entertain me with amazing storylines and awesome characters. With this in mind, Final Fantasy XIII receives a failing grade. Here are my top ten reasons why (and I say this having played the game beginning to end):

10. A Ridiculously Complicated-looking Combat System: I could not even begin to explain how the combat system of this game works. I will say, though, that it's complicated, and involves constant battle setting shifts and little-to-no actual selecting of specific attacks. On the plus, the game does do a good job gradually settling the player into this battle system. However, it wasn't until the very end of the game that I discovered I had been neglecting to use a very useful attack because its existence is never actually mentioned. Evidently none of the tutorials thought to mention, "Hey, click here and then scroll down here for a really strong attack."

9. Super-linear Gameplay: Final Fantasy XIII has 13 chapters. Chapters 1-10 consist of leading various groupings of characters (forced by the story, not selected by the player) down narrow pathways and fighting the monsters on the way. This is no exaggeration. Click here for a map of the first 3 chapters of gameplay. Then, yes, Chapter 11 comes along and all hell breaks loose. twobrothersandasister.com/wp-c… But once you get sick of the hoard of sudden mini-quests and decide to continue the story, you'll find yourself right back into the one-direction maps. Sometimes I just felt like turning the camera angle and watching myself scroll right the entire game.

8. Pointless Cutscenes: When I say pointless, I really do mean it. I couldn't count the number of times my running to the other end of the map was interrupted by a sudden interlude where the characters stopped to talk. And this was not important, story-developing talk. This was "So how are we all feeling?" and "Hey, let's state the obvious!" talk. In fact, there are so many and such long cutscenes that sometimes the creators actually had to interrupt these with some gameplay. Literally, there is more than one occasion where you watch a clip, then get to walk down an empty aisle, then watch the next clip. (Sidenote: If you're not going to play the game, here's the one clip worth watching: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx-LTk… No real spoilers, apart from seeing what the characters' summons look like.)

7. A Plot Both Confusing and Utterly Basic: The main characters get marked by a powerful being to complete an unknown task in a limited time or be turned into monsters. Premise explained. Now let's throw in the terminology: The powerful being is called the Pulse fal'Cie (not to be mistaken with the Cocoon fal'Cie). The main characters, in being marked, are now l'Cie, and their task is known as their Focus. If the l'Cie fail to complete the Focus assigned by the fal'Cie, they will turn into monsters known as Cie'th. Get all that? Good. Now let's talk about the trials of the Eidolon, the War of Transgressions between Pulse fal'Cie and Cocoon fal'Cie, and the Sanctum that lives on Cocoon thanks to Eden who is powered by Orphan...

6. Stupid Character Names: Honestly, the only reason this one doesn't rank higher on my list is that for the most part it's easy to ignore. But when I really think about... All the main characters in this game have nouns for names! There are six chief characters (and you meet them all pretty early, so no real spoilers): Lightning, Snow, Hope, Fang, Vanille and Sazh... If I had access to the back of the head of the guy who came up with these names, I would smack it.

5. A Never-Properly-Explained Item Upgrade System: This is remedied by an online search and some note-taking, but holy crow, there is no actual way to know what you're doing here without some form of external guide! I won't get into the whole crazy system of upgrading stuff, but the important thing is that going by simple trial-and-error would lead to such a waste of resources that you'd have to spend hours of extra time in random battles to make up the loss. It's as if the game is trying to force you to buy the player's guide. ("Oh, did we forget to mention? The rest of the gameplay instructions are in our $25 book.")

4. A Combat System Where You Can Only Control One Character: This didn't bug me through most of the game, because honestly, having control over all three characters would've only made the battle system more complicated. But this really started to be a problem nearer to the end, when I began running into monsters that use the ability Death. Picture this: a battle system where the commanding character's death means you lose, regardless of the other characters' ability to revive. Now throw in a monster who once in a while might just cast an ability on your commanding character which instantly kills him/her. Just a little annoying. (And to make this several times worse, the end boss of the game is one such Death-casting monster.)

3. An Irritating Cap on Character Leveling: Remember the good old days when you could spend as much time as you cared to in leveling up your characters before choosing to move on with the story? Well for some reason in this game the creators decided not to let us do that. So they placed caps on how much characters can buff up, and these caps only move upward once the player has reached certain spots in the storyline. Once again, this is okay through most of the game, but the cap before the game ending is low enough to guarantee that the final boss takes a lot of time and effort to beat (and revisit my #4 issue with the game to see just how frustrating that is). And then once you've beaten the game... Congratulations, the cap moves upward! Hurra! How useful!

2. Annoying Characters: Let me reiterate that I played this game start to finish. And not once did I care about a single character. The reason? They're all super-annoying! From whiny-emo Hope to high-pitched voice Vanille to black stereotype Sazh, none of the characters offer any real sense of depth or progression. Sure, they all have plenty of emotional moments (see issue #8), but these moments feel so unnatural to the story that rather than feel for them, all I can think is, "Don't these people have better things to do right now than talk about their feelings?"

1. A Totally Unsatisfying Ending: By far the worst of Final Fantasy XIII's failures. I could deal with all of the game's other problems so long as I believed that the story was heading toward a great and powerful conclusion. And then I came to it. And it kind of sucked. Yes, if all you saw was the ending clip, you'd probably think it looks fairly epic. But epic means nothing if you couldn't care less about the people involved. Not to mention the fact that the characters' final big act after beating the end boss is somewhat (and by somewhat I mean entirely) contrary to what they set out to do. And there's perhaps the real trouble of it; never once did I feel like the characters actually knew what it was they were supposed to be doing. Right up to the end, every action feels like little more than a whim. Even more annoying, the idea is for players to continue playing missions quests after beating the game, yet the events of the ending don't mesh with the concept of everything continuing afterward as-is. It's like a video game continuity error, and it's the reason I haven't played another minute of this game since beating it.


So there's my long-winded opinion. As a Final Fantasy, this game fails.

Now here's the kicker: I still enjoyed playing it.
  • Mood: Not Impressed
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: A Storm of Swords
  • Watching: Castle, Glee, Lost, Legend of the Seeker
I finally seem to be out of my recent writing slump and back into a real work mode. Yey me! :boogie:

And as those who know me are aware, when I'm on a role with writing I often have a hard time hitting the brakes, thus my need to write this journal right now. :) After last week finishing a thorough edit of first two chapters of the the semi-historical humour-fiction my dad is hoping to publish, and this week finishing the first chapter of a graphic novel that :iconpixy-brand: has started with me as a collaborative work, I finally got the inspiration to buckle down and get some work done on my own graphic novel story, Soul of the Forest. Now I'm sixteen pages in, and about half of that was done in the last two days! I think I've got about eighty or so pages left to go before I can start trying to submit this to publishers as Volume 1. How cool is that? :aww:

Now I'd better be off to bed, because I found out 4.5 hours ago that I work tomorrow. :P (It's a good thing I enjoy my job.)
  • Mood: Exhilarated
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: A Storm of Swords
  • Watching: Castle, Glee, Lost, Legend of the Seeker
Update: Well, it sounds as if the show is now officially playing, and according to reviews the music is mostly pretty good... Which to me means that Andrew Lloyd Webber just wasted a bunch of good music on a bad story.

Anyway, I highly recommend watching this review: blip.tv/file/3489900 blip.tv/file/3494461 It's interesting, fair, and frequently hilarious. :)

--------------------------------------------

Oh how I wish this was a joke...

Yes, Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a sequel to his classic, Phantom of the Opera, the musical which is perhaps my favourite ever (in a constant tight race with Les Miserables, depending on individual productions).

A sequel. To Phantom of the Opera. How did this ever seem like a good idea?

I found this out a week or so ago, but I read about it again more recently, and I thought I should take a look at the story plot. Sure enough, it promises to take a wildly-flailing hammer to the things I love about the original, including at least two characters who shift from caring, moral people into angry, destructive A-holes. Oh and Christine becomes a guest on the Maury show, apparently. (Plot details here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Nev…

By the way, the new musical is called Love Never Dies... Urgh.

Not much more to say about this, other than that I intend to eternally see this musical as non-existent, or at least as non-canon. I don't think I'd see this even if it was offered to me free, because it would very likely hurt my adoring view of the original. Poor form, Lloyd Webber. Poor form...


Oh, and what really got me was when I mentioned this to other people and a lot of them responded, "But didn't Christine die at the end?" No, that would be the movie-version, AKA Webber's previously most recent grab at more money from this musical.
  • Mood: Disbelief
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: A Storm of Swords
  • Watching: Castle, Glee, Lost, Legend of the Seeker
Recently I've been in a bit of a slump with my writing, largely due to one big-old dark cloud that's been hanging over my long-term work Moonleaf, which I started in high school. This is a story that I've been writing and rewriting for years, now, with the dream of someday getting it published as a children's novel. And therein lies the dark cloud... My children's story has a grand-total of one child in it, and he's not particularly the main character.

I didn't think too much of this when I started Moonleaf, but a few university courses on Literature, on Children, and on Children's Literature, as well as a couple years working at a children's bookstore have really shoved a certain fact into my face: A successful children's book centres around A) children or B) animals. There are pretty much no exceptions. (And the exceptions that exist are pretty much exclusively classics.)

I suspect this fact has been lingering around in the back of my head for a long time (and it might be at least part of the reason I've taken so long finishing this thing), but it's only truly sunk in for me in this past week or so. And after a few days of quiet brooding, wondering if I should alter the story to better suit children or alter the content to better suit adults, I've finally come to an understanding: I thought I was writing a children's story. I wasn't. And it's a simple as that.

I've now nearly finished the last of my big-story-edits, and then I expect to do one last perfect-the-wording edit and then I might just be ready for step 2 in becoming an author! (Step 1 being "Write a story") :) I'll probably use my last edit to make sure that it doesn't sound like I'm writing to children, but apart from that I realize I don't have to change vast amounts. That's my epiphany for the day: writing for adults does not in fact equal "lay on the sex and violence!" The joy of writing for adults is that there are no rules. Grown-ups have such varied tastes that there are bound to be some who find my story interesting, and for my first novel that's good enough for me.

And if a few young teens take an interest in Moonleaf too, good on them. But I no longer have to worry about tailoring my writing to suit them, and that's kind of freeing.
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Harry Potter (rereading all of it)
  • Watching: The Winter Olympics!
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Origins
Okay, it's hit me. I am now most definitely in the Olympic spirit, and thoroughly enjoying being so close to so much worldwide excitement.

Go world! :#1:


February 13: This morning I performed with a couple other choirs at LiveCity, and it was a lot of fun, even if the turnout wasn't spectacular. Later that day I found myself caught in the middle of a flash mob that was literally Dancing in the Street. Although I'll admit I knew about the flash mob ahead of time, the real spontaneous surprise came just before, when the whole hoard of people who had gathered (some came for the flash mob, but I'm sure at least as many were there out of curiousity about the crowd) started singing "Oh Canada." Definitely an awesome Vancouver moment! :aww: Also, congratulations to Jennifer Heil, for winning Canada's first medal, to Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, for performing so amazingly at such a young age, and to Kristi Richards, for giving it one heck of a great second go!

February 14: I celebrated Valentine's Day this afternoon, then spent the evening at home watching Olympics. I witnessed Canada's first ever Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil at home with my parents, where the three of us cheered and clapped loudly enough to seriously concern my dog. :aww: Congratulations to Alexandre Bilodeau, for obvious reasons, to Kristina Groves, for an exciting bronze win, and to Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, for a gorgeous skating performance that very deservedly set records for score.
  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: A Clash of Kings
  • Watching: The Winter Olympics!
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Origins
A few days after the fact, but meh...

Yes, the season/series finale of Heroes was on Monday, and it was--in keeping with the recent spirit of the show--full of good potential and bad writing. Plot holes, character inconsistency, really stupid lines... There's so much to poke fun at that I am truly tempted to (and may very well) make a few badly-drawn comics about it.

Anyway, I should explain that when I say "RIP Heroes" what I mean is "Please just stop now, Tim Kring. Your ratings have been terrible. NBC has not renewed you. This show died sometime around season 2 and you've just been dragging its body around since. We'll just pretend that your sad little 'to be continued' at the end of the last episode never happened. For goodness' sake, don't try to pull a Firefly and continue the series in a non-television format. Firefly barely managed it; Heroes certainly won't."

Side note: For anyone who hasn't seen Heroes, watch Season 1. It's really good! And then stop there.
  • Mood: Not Impressed
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: A Clash of Kings
  • Watching: LOST (to my great shame...)
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Origins
Some days, honestly, I just can't stand not being a part of something like that anymore. Small. Good. Self-directed. Right now all I've got is the good. But it's hard to enjoy being part of a good choir when the director and half the singers are constantly complaining about how we're not good enough. And the other half are so insecure and/or proud that I don't even feel comfortable telling them if they're making a correctable mistake.

And therein lies the base of my rant. I miss being able to tell a fellow singer when they're singing something wrong, and trusting them to do the same for me. It might sound like a little thing, but to me it has always been the mark of successful singing. We're supposed to listen to each other. And once upon a time, I think we did.

Now I hear someone around me make the same mistake in the same spot in the same song every time, and wonder, can't she hear that no one else on her part is singing it that way? Is she only listening to herself? And heaven forbid if I should try to mention it. In the past couple years I've gotten a lovely array of insecure, proud reactions. The shrug. The eye-roll. The knowing look to someone else. Once I told someone that they weren't going low enough on a certain note and they counter-critiqued me with, "Well you're singing this part flat."

But worse than all of that, a few months ago our choir director was giving us a lecture (a habit of his, recently) and amongst enforcements of discipline and quiet during rehearsals and etc., he announced that no chorister should tell another if they're singing something wrong. He went on to say that he sometimes knows people are making mistakes, but if it's harmless enough to the overall sound he might choose leave it because it's not worth the effort.

Yes, maybe it sounds like I'm being overly picky, stuck-up, dare I say bitchy. The fact is that I tell people when they're making mistakes because I believe in their ability to correct them. And the idea of being in a choir with people who don't believe that we can get the songs right is downright upsetting.

Rant over. :)


(P.S. I am serious. If there are any singers in the Greater Vancouver area looking for another member, talk to me.)
  • Mood: Unheard
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: A Clash of Kings
  • Watching: GLEE
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Origins
...or will officially be in a few weeks.

Just thought I'd extend some long-contained celebrations at the fact that I am done with school (unless my school succeeds in its apparent plan to rope me back in... More on that later...).

I finished my last classes mid-December, but only now has it really sunk in. I'm one "Application Approved" away from a Bachelor of Arts! Cool! :) I called the school today to confirm that all was well, since it had been over 2 months since I sent in my graduating form and I hadn't heard anything back. Apparently no news was good news, though they don't go through the forms and make everything official until sometime in February. (Which gives me just enough time to get some writing finished... *I say in an attempt to boot myself forward*.) Until then I must wait... And speaking of waiting, I also learned that the next Convocation ceremony won't be until June, because of the Olympics (don't ask me how that works). So no pomp and circumstance until then, sadly.

Now to the part about my school trying to pull me right back in. Not an hour after I phoned them, they phoned me on a completely unrelated matter. Apparently I've been chosen for a scholarship for Creative Writing. Very awesome! And very poorly timed... I'll have to see if it can be used retroactively or something. Who'd have thought that managing without student loans would come back to bite me like this? :confused:
  • Mood: Triumph
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: &quot;A Game of Thrones&quot; (AWESOME book)
  • Watching: Dexter (AWESOME series)
  • Playing: The Beatles Rock Band
It's official: I just finished the last of my poem assignments for my poetry class! Now pretty much all I have left to do is a portfolio of all the poems I've done this semester, revised.

What does this mean? It means expect lots of postings of poems from me this week! I'll probably post about one a day, so as not to overload people.

Please feel very very welcome to comment on these poems (even if just to say, "I like this" or "I don't like this"), because I'll take all the advice I can get for my final submissions!



Side note: as of two weeks I'm done with school! Really done!

Glee!

And terror!
  • Mood: Zest
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Too many things at once
  • Watching: Castle, Fringe, Heroes, LotS
  • Playing: The Beatles Rock Band

Work Just Loves to Mess with Me

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 17, 2009, 1:54 PM
(Limited time ability to use journal skins makes me happy...)


So today I got a phone call from work offering me steady hours until Christmas (as opposed to the on-call fun that I've been getting ever since they ultimatumed me to either work fulltime or basically not at all hpets.deviantart.com/journal/2….

The trouble? I have in fact been filling my open schedule with stuff, namely choir gigs (some of which pay a little, and some which are just about doing good in the community). So I'm probably not as available as they want me to be. Which could mean they'll hire someone more available... again.

So they don't give me enough hours, forcing me to focus on other things, then they turn around and say "Okay, we're ready for you to work now. You've kept yourself completely available, right?" Gee, this feels familiar...

I'll admit, this is more rant than real frustration. I'm heading in shortly, where the manager is willing to try to sort out a working schedule with me. I just need to work myself up enough to not back down if/when they try to make me feel guilty for having other commitments. I would love to have some real hours for the next month and a half, but I've already made my peace with not working there anymore. They kind of saw to that when they forced me to choose between work and the other things in my life. In the two years I've worked there, I've put up with all sorts of instability with my scheduling, so I have no intention of diving for yet another dangling carrot.

On the upside, either way I'm looking for a new job in January! :)

  • Mood: Rant
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Too many things at once
  • Watching: Castle, Fringe, Heroes, Dollhouse
  • Playing: The Beatles Rock Band
  • Mood: Delighted
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Dracula and Discworld books
  • Watching: Castle, Fringe, Heroes, Dollhouse
  • Playing: The Beatles Rock Band
But I thought I cleared all my messages about 12 hours ago...

:jawdrop: Whoa! Daily Deviation? Excuse me while I squeeee! :excited:

Okay, it was definitely a surprise to see something I wrote four and a half years ago suddenly get lots and lots of attention (well, 26 comments and 36 favs is lots and lots of attention in my books, at least).

Anyway, I'm so thankful for the DD. It really inspires me to get more writing done, and to post more of it on devART. ("Grey Melodies" feels like such an old story to me, but then I realize I haven't really written any short stories since!)

Thanks so much to everyone! It really makes such a difference just to know someone's reading your works. :aww:
  • Mood: Not Impressed
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Dracula and Discworld books
  • Watching: Castle, Fringe, Heroes, Dollhouse
  • Playing: The Beatles Rock Band
You know what's completely not useful in peer workshopping?

"Very nice."
"This poem was nice to read."
"This poem is also a good story."

Argh! Give me critique!

So my plan was to wait until after the workshopping of my poem before posting it here, but honestly, if the peer comments continue like this then what's the point of waiting?

Either way, expect a poem within the week.


By the way, I had a hilarious encounter with Mr. not-so-smart smartass (the one who started an argument with the teacher over a minor formatting detail). I noticed that in his critique of someone else he called them on not following the requirements of the assignment, stating, "I tend to take the requirements more seriously than others at any rate." (Wow, way to condescend.) For the sake of the other student, I gave a quick reply to that, saying, "In [_____]'s defense, we are allowed to move beyond our assignment requirements now" and I provided the link to the question forum where I specifically asked if we still had to follow the assignment rules, and the teacher replied that we are both free to and encouraged to edit our poems from our initial draft in whatever way we see fit.

His exact response: "In my defense, I'm not saying we need to follow rules because there are rules, but because the rules (and as I said, I never considered them to be requirements, for me, they had always been prompts) happened to be a rough guide that if followed, could potentially improve the poem.Whether such rules are enforced or not enforced, is completely irrelevant."

Defensive much?

Ugh, it is so hard not to take this bait, but I know that it isn't the place to be starting an argument, so I'm forcing myself not to reply. (Sorry, venting here is the only way I could manage it.) Honestly though, one more arrogant comment like this and I might just have to send him a personal message of "Hey, could you try not talking down to everyone else in the class? It's kind of annoying."

Yes, a part of me is hoping for that opportunity...
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Dracula and Discworld books
  • Watching: Babylon 5, Castle, Fringe, Heroes, Dollhouse
  • Playing: The Beatles Rock Band
So I've encountered two challenges in my goal to be the biggest smartass of my poetry class, and to try to turn all of the prof's many rules on their heads...

1. Someone else is being a bigger smartass than me. Only perhaps without the smart... He's been flat-out arguing with the teacher about the rtf. rule, publicly on the questions forum, and with a seriously lack of tact. The public part just adds more hilarity to this course, because the rest of us get to read through the alternating posts and spot all the hints of condescension and defensiveness that have gradually turned their discussion into a battle of egos.

For the record, I lean toward the prof's side on this one (which is not to say that I really agree with either). As much as I think there are flaws in the traditional authority-based teaching style, any student should be able to recognize that this is a teacher who demands that exact sort of authority. If you're going to out-right question a teacher like this, make sure it's for a damned good reason (i.e. not over a minor formatting detail). Honestly, you might as well stroll up to a lion and say, "Hey, I think your mane needs to be shaved off."


2. And my second difficulty in toying with the structure of this class is my realization that this is precisely what the prof wants us to do. Our second assignment is even more rule-specific than the first, with requirements like "include the name of at least one animal" and "do not end any lines on a preposition or an article." What's more, this is totally the sort of structure-challenge that I love... As poetry courses go, this one is practically made for me!

...Which probably explains why certain students (see aforementioned) seem to be getting frustrated....
  • Mood: Teasing
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: Dracula and Discworld books
  • Watching: Babylon 5 and LOST
This is just too easy to mock... My online poetry course appears to be by far the strictest, most rule-focused course I've ever taken. (This includes courses like Biology, Critical Theory, and Business.)

It doesn't help that the other course I'm taking is Interdisciplinary Expressive Arts (AKA Creativity Class), or that this is my last semester and I'm pretty much ready to smack the authoritative school structure in the head repeatedly. Now my Poetry prof welcomes us with a gigantic list of pointless rules and I feel the need to laugh in his face. (Fortunately, the course is online. ;))

In addition to a thorough grading rubric consisting of bizarre checks and check minuses (Yes, it's exactly the sort of thing I was asking of my Geography prof; the irony is not lost on me), we've been given a full list of rules, most of which I think are just plain silly for a Creative Writing class.

1. "Late assignments will NOT be accepted or graded. No exceptions."
I laugh at this because my last Creative Writing teacher (who was AWESOME, and who is also teaching the Creativity class I mentioned), was a huge supporter of the letting people work at the pace of their own creative juices, and flat out told us, "I'd rather you hand in something late that you're proud of than something on time that you're not happy with."

2. "All poems should be 12 point Times or Times New Roman. They should be left-justified unless for an expressed purpose beyond preference. Poems should be single spaced unless for an expressed purpose beyond simple preference. Poems should adhere to standard grammar, again, unless for an expressed purpose beyond simple preference."
Holy creativity crammed in a box, Batman! Again, I think back to my last Creative Writing teacher, who specifically advised us NOT to use Times New Roman, because it is totally boring to the eye and does not inspire creativity.

3. "All files should be in .rtf and should be named as follows: LastnameAssignment#.rtf. E.g. SmithPoem1.rtf."
Wow... "SmithPoem1.rtf." Doesn't that just scream poetry from the heart?

And this is only a selection of the rules.


If I sound upset about this course or anything, I'm not. I honestly think this is hilarious, and I intend to be an utter smartass about it. ;) A quiet, subtle smartass...

Updates will probably follow... Oh, as will poetry! :aww:


(P.S. I've already broken one rule. :o)
  • Mood: Pleased
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Watching: Babylon 5 and Fullmetal Alchemist
Intensely awesome.

Go see it.

(This film had better be nominated for screenwriting.)
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Watching: Babylon 5 and Fullmetal Alchemist
I'd get so much more work done if I wasn't living at home. I need money to move out. I need to work to make money. Frick...

Have I mentioned how my getting laid off (or something... it wasn't well explained) happened with frustratingly bad timing?


Just a wee little vent. I'm getting a good amount of writing done right now, but it's a little soured by the knowledge that no amount of writing is going to change the fact that I need a new job... And the process of job-searching will probably take away a lot of valuable writing time. More frick...

(And one semester left of school is just the icing on the cake. I get to apply to places and say, "Well, I almost have a Bachelor of Arts in writing... By the way I'm not available Thursdays.")


Update: And fantastic timing as always, less than an hour after posting this I get a call from (ex?)work, explaining that they welcome me to apply for a full-time position opening up in the fall, and that I can have it so long as no one exceeding more qualified steps in, and so long as I promise to utterly fit my schedule around them (which means rethinking choir and school) and work harder than ever... Okay, feeling a little overwhelmed by the need to make a decision now...


Update #2: Okey-dokey! Had a lovely emotional breakdown. Got over it. Re-read what I'd just written and realized I already answered my own question. My life will not revolve around working at a bookstore. Time to kick the applying my way into the film world into gear. Wish me luck!
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Watching: Babylon 5 and Fullmetal Alchemist
A couple hours ago it occurred to me that Soul of the Forest, the story I've been writing just as a free-write, might actually have a greater potential. I believe I could rewrite it as a graphic novel, and that it would work better in that format.

Now, I know how to write in the graphic novel format, but does anyone know where I go from there? Do I need to write the entire thing out first, or would I only need to write the first instalment to get started? Do I need to find myself an illustrator, or would it be better to send the story out somewhere and let them pick the illustrator? Would I be better off doing this online or attempting to go through an actual publisher?

Of course maybe I should be finishing Moonleaf first... But hey, when inspiration hits I've got to pursue it.


UPDATE: It turns out that story adaptation is hard work! (But I do so love the script format...) So yeah, I'm officially working on two projects at once, now. :aww:



UPDATE #2: Oh, and I've also just signed up for the National Novel Writing Month 50,000-word story challenge in November. :aww: :aww:
  • Mood: Exhilarated
  • Listening to: iTunes Shuffle
  • Reading: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Watching: Babylon 5 and Fullmetal Alchemist
I just wrote a page-long email to a current prof (who I feel has been marking unfairly all semester), expressing my concern for his plan to make our final exam consist of nothing but 3 essay questions (this is a 1st-year Geography course, by the by), and politely but assertively asking him to either give us a more diverse format or at least give out his marking rubric with the test. I used examples, I showed him the math, I played his own words against him, and I expressed some deftly-worded logic, if I do say so myself.

That felt awesome.


(Sadly, the email server is on shutdown for nine more hours, but I most certainly will be sending this letter tomorrow, with one satisfying click.)