Monday, May 24, 2010
To put this into context, there's absolutely nothing in my life that I'd say I'm 100% confident about. This varies in severity from day to day, but for the most part, I know I'm pretty much just a lousy excuse for a scientist/wife/writer/sibling/daughter. This bothers me deeply. I don't like being stinky at stuff, and I work like hell not to be. BUT, I have had to really force myself to realize I will never be perfect at anything. I will never even be really GOOD at anything. Somewhere along the line I had to accept that I was always going to be mediocre, and that's just going to have to be okay. Because otherwise I will spend my life chasing after something that I can't have, and let be real here, that sucks. I hate, hate, hate books and movies that preach some kind of stupid message that says everyone's good at something. It's not true. Some people may be better than others in particular areas, but no one is born with some area in their life that they're innately good at. It's BS. There are just some things we are willing to work a little harder at. Like writing. I'm not any good at it. But I will work my a$$ off to ensure that I get better. I will be as good as I can be, someday. Right now, not so much, but I'm still on this journey, and so long as I am still getting better, that's cool with me.
Hmm, this is getting distinctly rant-ish. I will stop now. But, that's what I'm thinking about. No one's really starting off better at something than anyone else, and going to reach some unattainable level because the stars aligned at their birth and made them some glorious writer (or whatever). If you're willing to work for it, you can at least improve.
Friday, May 21, 2010
The brainy outcast known as Fanboy has never had it good, but lately his sophomore year is turning out to be its own special hell. The bullies have made him their favorite target, his best (and only) friend seems headed for the dark side (sports and popularity), and his pregnant mother and the step-fascist are eagerly awaiting the birth of the alien life form known as Fanboy’s new little brother or sister.
But Fanboy has a secret: a graphic novel he’s been working on without telling anyone about it, a graphic novel that he is convinced will lead to publication, fame, and — most important of all — a way out of the crappy little town he lives in and the bullies that make it all hell for him.
Just when he thinks he’s doomed to be alone, Fanboy meets Kyra, a.k.a. Goth Girl, an outrageous, cynical girl who shares Fanboy’s love of comics as well as his hatred for jocks and bullies. Fanboy can’t resist someone who actually seems to understand him, and soon he finds himself willing to heed her advice — to ignore or crush anyone who stands in his way.
But Kyra has secrets, too. And they could lead Fanboy to his dreams…or down a path into his own darkness.Thanks again to the used bookstore in Sac. I devoured this book in two days, which considering my brother was home and I had to teach many uninspiring freshman during that time, is quite a feat. But, yeah, whoa. This book had me laughing really hard, and then totally near-tears. It is also the penultimate in what's called a character-driven novel. There isn't a whole lot that happens, which is not something that normally interests me, but the voice in this book, holy crap, it is something I can only hope to aspire to. Anyhow, I'm very much looking forward to grabbing Goth Girl Rising when I can. In the interest of full disclosure, Goth wasn't exactly something that was big in my little hick part of Cali, so it wasn't a choice in high school, in terms of social groups. Well, and high school was my own personal hell dealing with my life outside of the campus, but whatever. At any rate, I read this and really realized how easily I could have been one of those people in all black. It wouldn't have been a stretch. Maybe that's why I enjoyed this book so much :)
Monday, May 17, 2010
(8) Junior high school really sucks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod, and not in the good slurp-up-the-blood kind of way. A gang of bullies harasses him daily, the principal is dogging his every move, and the girl he really likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has to hide the fact that he's a vampire.
When the one teacher he really connects with mysteriously vanishes, Vlad is determined to find him. But then Vlad finds an unsettling note scribbled across his essay: "I know your secret." Vlad must locate his missing teacher, dodge the principal, resist the bullies’ tempting invitations to Bite me!, and get a date for the dance—all before he is exposed for the teen vampire he is.
(9) High school totally bites when you're half human, half vampire.
Freshman year sucks for Vlad Tod. Bullies still harass him. The photographer from the school newspaper is tailing him. And failing his studies could be deadly. A trip to Siberia gives "study abroad" a whole new meaning as Vlad connects with other vampires and advances his mind-control abilities, but will he return home with the skills to recognize a vampire slayer when he sees one? In this thrilling sequel to Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad must confront the secrets of the past and battle forces that once again threaten his life. Find out why author D.J. MacHale calls The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod "Gruesome, heartwarming, spellbinding."I've been incredibly busy lately, but thanks to the awesome used bookstore in Sacramento I managed to snag the first two books in this series, and as they're pretty short, I was able to squeeze them in between mad dashes to teach, job applications, and the revisions-that-will-not-die. At any rate, I was glad I did. These books were quite a bit of fun to read, and I'll be snagging the rest of the series when I get the chance. My only quibbles with the story is that Vlad cries a whole heck of a lot in the ninth grade book, which led to a lot of eye rolling on my part. Sometimes I wonder if it's really possible for males to write as females, and vice versa. No doubt it's hard, but sometimes I think there's some serious misjudgement of the other sex's psyche. But, maybe that's just because I'm fairly certain males are aliens. I live with one 24/7 and he certainly isn't always human (just deny him food for a few hours, trust me, it makes him turn into Betty White).
Okay, so, on to my favorite line (which just may be my fav line of all time, because I died laughing): "'Maybe she'll think anthropologists are hot.'" LOL! Yeah, I'll admit that's mostly funny because I'm an anthropologist (and there are decidedly few hot anthropologist. Trust me. It's actually rather scary at our conferences. We're not an attractive bunch.), but this had me in stitches.
Friday, May 14, 2010
At any rate, my five:
- There is a job opening in Germany. I am going to apply. It would be interesting to move there for a few years, though I find that I must be totally out of my mind. Do I speak German? Nope. Do I have any real idea about this job? Not really. Still, going to throw my name in the hat and see what happens.
- Stanford application is in! People, seriously, keep those fingers crossed for me. I'm needing all the extra help I can get.
- It's been a slow writing week. I am at 24.5k at the moment. At some point I will get some sleep and manage to bang out a first draft of this sucker. Too bad it will reek to high heaven, but that can't be helped. I just need to get a working draft at this point.
- Hubby's b-day is Monday. There shall be much celebrating, and I really hope he likes his gift. So far he has no idea about it yet, which is a first for me. Normally he weasels it out of me :)
- Little brother is coming home Monday, too! Yay! I can't wait.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Other than that, I've got the last of my two job applications I need to get in this next week. This is the one I'm really crossing my fingers for, though I'm TOTALLY not qualified. Ah, but who wouldn't want to be at Stanford? I mean, have you seen the campus? It's beyond pretty. And they have more money than any school should have. Honestly. It kind of makes me annoyed. Of course, I could put up with it if they let me come work there. And the coolest part is that they're in Palo Alto, where they have a bunch of awesome signings for Not Your Mothers Book Club, which I've always wanted to go to but have never managed to make it down because it's too far to drive. A little added motivation :)
Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there, mothers or not. We all went hiking this afternoon with my mom, up to a really beautiful outlook point in Fairfield. I hope everyone else managed to do something as fun!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
And then, there's my revisions. Ahhh, lovely revisions. I am about 18k words into my new draft, and things are...going. I don't know if it's good. It's kind fo a mish-mash at the moment, as I've taken some of my original scenes and pasted them into the freshly written bits because nothing significant has changed (or at least, that's not easy to fix). This makes things, well, interesting. I'm not sure it's working. I'm scared to death I'm losing Julia's voice. Basically, I'm panicking here a bit. Somehow I wish I could sneak in a couple of days away, alone, with good music, and my giant screen. That would help matters. And my sanity :) If only...
I will do this though. I will. I think. Or, I'll sink past my eyeballs, trying.