I.D. Crisis

I.D. Crisis

Broken

Shattered

Smashed

And torn to ribbons

Millions of tiny, little

Puzzle pieces

And among them is missing

The one piece of

My soul that

Used to ring

When played.

Why?

Why is it

Deflated, so

Underestimated,

Un-

Func-

Tion-

Ing;

I used

To be able to

Do it for hours

And stretch it

On for days

And my folks would think

Me

Crazy;

But now

… ….

Silence.

A bell tower

Without its most

Important

Component.

 

I am empty.

 

__________________________

Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/writing-on-paper_n_5797506.html

“Fine, Make Me Your Villain”: The Lowdown on Villains, Monsters, and Criminal Masterminds

“Fine, Make Me Your Villain”: The Lowdown on Villains, Monsters, and Criminal Masterminds

As many a character has stated and even questioned, “Are villains really bad? Are they even born bad– or just MADE that way?”

I’ve already gone into antags a bit; now I’m going to elaborate a little on a few specific kinds.

While I won’t bore you to tears with my little rave on the Darkling ( see, In Defense of the Darkling, for those interested), I will say it is a very interesting question to pose in general. After all, what’s a bad guy without character? Would Voldemort be Voldemort if he had a loving wizarding family? Was Sauron always that bad, and why? What would have become of the faction system, and more specifically, the Erudite, if Jeanine Matthews hadn’t taken it over?

As mentioned many, many times before, there are exceptions to humanizing or making sympathetic villains or antagonists: motiveless maligniters and traditional villains being the two primary candidates. Sauron, for instance, is a traditional villain. He’s simply oozing evil out his pores, because, well, just because (I mean, does he REALLY need to have a reason? He IS Sauron, after all…). Similarly, motiveless maligniters are essentially the same thing: their motives are either well-concealed, non-existent, or extremely muddied– so muddied you can’t quite piece together why it is that they do things. It’s so confusing, so perplexing, that there’s little chance you’ll feel for them.

Another kind of antagonist I am particularly fond of is the “Seems like a Good Guy at the Time, But Turns out to Be a Cruel, Villainous Jerk” guy (or girl). (For all you “Frozen” fans, think of Hans…) You may not think it, but these are actually fun to write up; you never know what they may do, and it’s a joy ride for both you and the reader– in fact, if you end up surprising yourself in writing a dramatic bad guy reveal towards the climax or end, there’s probably a pretty high chance you’ve surprised your readers, as well. If you want to write this character, be CONVINCING. This is one villain you want to play the sympathy card with (at the very least, temporarily), so they’ll expect it even less. Make them human. Relatable. Friendly, even sweet, unsuspecting, Machiavellian. Then, when the reader’s and other characters’ guard is lowered… BAM!

plottwistmeme

The only real danger with these villains is, however, that they may seem so completely sincere, so devoted to their cause, so human and kind at first, that even when the villainous reveal comes, you may have the readers defending their bad actions in favor of their pasts, and their personas, rather than simply be just shocked and horrified. If you were to write this kind of villain, I’d recommend doing so CAREFULLY (it depends what kind of reaction YOU want from your readers, too.).

Then there’s monsters. No, I’m not talking what you call a cruel but cunning and intelligent villain, though they may seem like it. I’m talking CREATURES. Maybe the antagonist isn’t even human, but a beast– a savage, heartless, mindless beast that thinks of nothing but destruction, its hunger unsatisfied, or even manipulation. Of course, if you wanted an interesting creature as a monster-antag, you could always take a leaf out of Mary Shelley’s book, in Frankenstein. The creature, as he is often called (Victor Frankenstein did not even bother giving him a name. Pathetic.), is very much human, and just wants companionship. The loneliness practically drives him to insanity, and certainly drives him to desperation, and soon he is killing with a vengeance, simply because Victor made him.

Lastly, the criminal masterminds. These are fairly easy to write up, namely because their primary objective is typically to either rule the world, or riches, or both (think Giovanni of Team Rocket.). Criminal masterminds are often wealthy, but not always. You don’t have to have the wealth or manners of a gentleman to be a genius, and you don’t need either to be a criminal. Genius is partly what separates the common thug from the brilliant, extraordinary masterminds. These are the people orchestrating oh so elegantly the conspiracies and grand heists of the century. And getting away with it… until YOUR protagonist steps out onto the scene to halt them dead in their tracks.

Of course, you could always pull an Artemis Fowl, too…

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Image Credit:

http://memeguy.com/photo/75830/misunderstood-disney-villain

https://memesuper.com/categories/view/74deb09ddf50c10eeed212fb0a3654da5e25269e/plot-twist-memes.html

Blog Updates: Summer Plans, Blog Post Ideas, General News

Blog Updates: Summer Plans, Blog Post Ideas, General News

This is just a post to let you guys know what’s going on this summer, and ask for any ideas/ recommendations you’d like me to blog about.

Sadly, these next couple of weeks the most writing I will be doing will be academic (cough… finals… cough…), but until then, ideas will continue to stir and simmer beneath my brain’s surface– a bubbling cauldron of opportunity and potential. Which is why I ask now: What would YOU like to see me blog about? More spiritual/Scriptural/mini sermon-type things? Fangirly blog posts, fan theories, etc.? Life stories that are inspirational? Letters from Eikon, as well as the rest of the gang? More reviews? More blogging stories similar to “The Junk Collector,” and “The Deceiver”? A Q &A, or even an advice column? Be sure to sound off what you think in the comments; I welcome all constructively critical comments, suggestions, new ideas, and advice. 🙂 I don’t have a particular preference on what to write, as long as I’m not forced to write something dull, ultra-romantic, or super-academic… (academic papers should be limited to the school year, period. That’s what I say, anyhow.)

On ANOTHER note… Yes, I will have more free time on my hands this summer than during this semester, but will still be fairly busy. This is due to me having an internship with an indie publishing company as an editor (YAY for experience and credits!!!), an independent study class with my adviser/brilliant Writing professor, Dr. Williams (it’s called, “Building a Novel,” class… AND I get credits for it. 😉 Couldn’t ask for a better deal!), and working for a summer camp within walking distance of my place, as kitchen help (I need money for an Israel trip I’ll be taking with a class over this Christmas break). On top of all that, I’ve already gotten a request from a former piano teacher of mine to help look over and edit one of HER books (I’M GETTING REQUESTS ALREADY, GUYS!!! SO EXCITED!!), chilling with friends, etc. But I am certain I’ll be able to make time to blog at least a couple times a week, so no worries. You haven’t seen the last of me… Bwahahaaaa…

That aside, not much else is happening, except the usual stressing about finals, when I’m going to take books back to the bookstore, and so forth. But hey, that’s the typical college student for you. (Only, I don’t go get coffee or alcohol to drown my woes in.) Other than that, I’ve been super-hyped for several of my personal favorite Etsy stores, as well as the bookish store, “Behind the Pages”. These people are seriously talented. They make beautiful bookmarks. They make candles, perfumes, body lotions, body soaps, sugar scrubs, and lip balms that SMELL like your favorite characters. (I almost literally kissed the Darkling. Several times. #Ihaveproblems) I kid you not. Bookified from Etsy specializes in writing you letters from all your favorite fictional characters IN THEIR OWN VOICES (and trust me, she is GOOD at it). PagesnPolish is an Etsy store that has been on break for a while, but will be opening up again in a week or so, and she does NAIL POLISHES BASED OFF BOOKS AND BOOK CHARACTERS!!! AND she’s coming out with new ones the instant she reopens!!

…You ought to have gotten the gist by now of why I’m a poor college kid.

Oh, and since I’ve been blabbing about it for a while now– and I apologize fervently for not giving you guys the link sooner– our book, “The Oddities of Room 34,” is now available on Amazon for buyers. It’s relatively cheap at the moment, only a little over $3, so hurry and get your copies now while supplies last… or before we jack up the price. 😉

Trust me, it’s a good deal, though. I’ve read and helped workshop all the stories, they’re all fabulous. Sure, there’s a creeper story in there, but for the most part you will be wonder-struck, amazed, and glued to your cozy reading chair, hankering for more.

https://www.amazon.com/Oddities-Room-34-ENG-344/dp/1545273448/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492803886&sr=8-1&keywords=the+oddities+of+room+34

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Image Credit:

http://www.pokemonpets.com/Shiny-Vulpix-Pokemon-Pokedex-2037

Reasons Why Attending College is Like Attending Hogwarts

Reasons Why Attending College is Like Attending Hogwarts

I hope you guys don’t mind, but one thing I’m going to be doing a lot more on my blog is posting not only more reviews, and more story posts, but also more random, fangirl-y posts. These often will be quite sporadic, so keep your eyes peeled… Because you never know when my inner geekette may zap the internet next…

fangirlgif1

You know how I was talking a while back about how Hogwarts houses can actually directly correlate to certain PokeDex Holders from Pokemon Adventures? Well, a few months ago, my roomies and I were talking HP, since we all like it, know about it, and one of said roommates is a MAJOR Potterhead. (We’re talking totally geeked-out Hufflepuff. In a kinda good, very… interesting sense. LOL) Another one of my less fangirl-y roomies mentioned how, despite Hogwarts have middle school to high school aged kiddos in it, most real middle and high schoolers can’t really relate to Hogwarts. Much. Whereas in college, or university, you get the much fuller sense of being at a place similar to Hogwarts. And the more I thought about it, I thought: She’s right.

And then: That idea totally belongs in a blog post. 

Yet-Here-We-Are

Sooooo, without further ado, I present to you, all of the ways that we college/university kids are like Hogwarts kids!!

  1. Sorting/Departments. OK, you can’t EXACTLY call declaring a major “Sorting,” but in a sense, it comes pretty close. Even during the Sorting process, the hat often takes into account the wearer’s wishes and personal preferences, so even if they’re indecisive, it helps them to decide. Once their house is picked, so is their dorms, their table, and who they will, for the most part, have classes with. Don’t get me wrong; at college/university, majors of ALL shapes and sizes share dorms, lunch tables, SOME classes, etc. But English Literature Majors discuss the great works of Shakespeare with fellow English Lits, Writing, and English Education Majors; Chemistry Majors work on blowing things up with other Chemistry Majors; Marketing and Business Majors converse and conspire with one another to get you to buy things– you get the general idea. Even though you’re not forbidden (obviously) from making friends outside your major (for instance– I’m a Writing Major, with two Engineering Major, and one Student Ministry Major, roomie(s).), you tend to gravitate more towards the people you have the most in common with, the people you’re most likely to see in very similar classes a LOT. Granted, we all take Gen Eds, so you’re bound to run into people you wouldn’t normally see, but for the most part, it’ll be familiar faces. sortinggif
  2. The Head of Department/ your Adviser is essentially the same thing as a Head of House– in a way, at least. Think of having Professor McGonagall as your adviser, or Head of Department. Now THAT would be amazing. (Not that you aren’t already the bomb.com, Dr. Williams 😉 ) mcgonagallgif
  3. Speaking of which, in both colleges/universities, AND Hogwarts, you call teachers by “Professor,” rather than “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, “Ms.”, or “teacher” (the last would be incredibly awkward to call a professor/teacher to their face, whereas you can call a professor just, “Professor,” and they will still likely respond– unoffended. ). 
  4. In colleges/universities, as well as Hogwarts, it is often students’ first real experience in living independently. Visiting the surrounding towns/cities on weekends? Check. Staying in with friends/roomies? Check. Learning how to be an independent adult? Check. Doing homework almost constantly? Check. Getting involved in future- beneficial clubs and a host of activities to keep you busy? Check. HPfriends
  5. Branching out and meeting new people from different areas, different walks of life, or even the world. Ron and Hermoine were from different parts of the country than Harry; it was unlikely that they would’ve met at all if Harry had not to Hogwarts. The Patil twins are from India, and Cho Chang is implied to be Chinese. At my own college, we have a somewhat racially diverse group– I’d say about 75% white American, 25% other. The “other” includes blacks, Malaysians, Koreans (or a few Korean Americans 😉 #Molly), a New Zealander, and even a Japanese student or two. I’ve heard Spanish been spoken a few times by those fluent in it on campus, as well some Asian languages. Simply fascinating.great-hallgif
  6. You can often (though not always) discuss controversial topics with professors, without getting shut down for it. Harry was able to discuss the Chamber of Secrets with his, and many professors (though there are a good bit, unfortunately, who tend to shy away from such topics due to political correctness– happened to me with a secular history professor at a local community college.) are able and willing to discuss religion and politics… two pluralistic no-nos in high school society.snapegif
  7. You’re treated more like an adult. Even at Hogwarts, sometimes younger kids are given big responsibilities. At college, you are given these responsibilities and are expected to act on them as an adult.

Are there any other ways you can think of Hogwarts being like college/university?

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Image Credits:

You can now enjoy a magical Valentine’s Day dinner in the Hogwarts Great Hall

https://giphy.com/search/harry-potter

http://www.viralshack.com/tumblr-love-praise-for-professor-mcgonagall/

https://www.tenor.co/view/sorting-hat-harrypotter-gryffindor-hogwarts-gif-4929271

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=204317430

http://wallpapercave.com/harry-potter-desktop-backgrounds

Sibs

Sibs

Isaac is the third

Musketeer;

Born initially with intent

Of some cheer;

Soon converted to

Devilish distraction,

Liking trucks and tractors

Along with much

Crazy, boyish action.

Knives, guns, and camo

Fill his days

While he runs off all over the place,

Acting ever the saucy knave.

 

Owen was

Numero dos,

Born a year apart

From Yours Truly,

We are usually somewhat

Close;

From trains and transformers,

To video games galore,

We always joke about

How he’ll be in debt,

‘Cause he’s “Owin’ Moore”.

 

But first and foremost:

My partner in crime,

That never even got to live

Their time

Outside our mother’s womb.

Conceived with me, yet

Set sooner free

Into God’s loving Arms

Are they.

Until I go home,

and I spy God on His throne,

I know that we shall meet

Someday.

 

Happy National Sibling’s Day to my brothers Owen and Isaac, and also to my dearly beloved twin. To the formers, I love ya both even though you guys drive me nuts in your own immature, boyish ways. Isaac, I know at least a part of you loves me and respects me, even though your dumb manly pride forbids you to express any such sentiment. Owen, even though I pressure you to do things and sometimes ask you to lend me moola when I’m broke, know I love you. Even when you say or do out of place things, even when you struggle to express what you’re feeling. I would not go to the lengths to try to do you all these little social and academic favors if I didn’t care about you.

To the latter, since I’ve no idea if you’re another brother, or perhaps an elusive sister, I am still honored to call you my twin and my family. I know you’re probably looking down from heaven at me right down, but if not, know I love you and am trying my best to live life to the fullest here on earth, since I was the only one out of the two who made it. Best wishes and blessings; give my love to Boopy, Dolly, all the hamsters and rabbits, Grandpap Joe, Grandpap Guy, and Rita Kreger. 

_______________________

Image Credit:

http://www.wilsonfamilychiropracticmn.com/

Letters From Eikon: The Catch-Up

“Hey y’all,

Boy, was I in hot water. Livva just about hit the roof when she found out I hadn’t been written a letter for like three weeks. I made the point of pointing out that SHE kept procrastinating on posting too, but that only got me into bigger trouble. So, here I am. Unwilling, but chicken-pecking futilely at the keyboard with my paws.

When I started to whine to Livva that it had been a while, and I had no idea what to write about, she suggested I tell a bit more about myself, in addition to stuff that’s been going on in our lives since I last wrote. Well, I’m not a Miss Prissy like Ginger, but I’m not brainy like Livva, either (I don’t know how she does all that crazy school stuff, honestly). I’m not a dancer like Evelette, but I do love Lecrae, Skillet, Tedashii and sometimes Group 1 Crew. A. Lot. In fact, while I don’t normally dance, the other weekend I was blaring Lecrae while jumping up and down on Livva’s bunk screaming from one of Lecrae’s songs, “I’M A SAINT! I’M A SAINT! I’M A SAINT!” Livva’s warned me her roomies may not like that, but they can stuff it– I like having a great time, and they’re not about to put a damper on my mood when it’s a good one.

Speaking of her roomies, most of them are pretty chill. I love Tabitha’s and Molly’s sense of humor, and if I could use my Illusion to be human and chime in, I would (especially when they’re picking on the other roomie, Lyddie.). Their sass level is on POINT. I don’t really care for Lyddie. Livva says she’s nice enough, but she’s just kinda, errrr…. in conflict with my personality, as Livva often says. I actually don’t like that she’s all perky and kinda girly and stuff, and that she’s super, super messy. Don’t get me wrong; I myself like making messes, and I don’t mind Livva’s messes, but Lyddie’s messes are kinda EVERYWHERE. I mean, not limited to her areas, like a TORNADO. You just can’t escape it. I’ve considered hiding in a pile of her just sitting there laundry, using my Illusion to turn into something really terrifying, and popping out at her, screaming, “BOO!” just to scare the freaking daylights out of her and see her shocked expression. Like a deranged jack-in-the-box. (Hehehe…) But Livva stops me when she says I get that “look in my eyes, like I’m scheming something fierce.” Says it’s not nice of me, Lyddie has enough trouble and health issues going on, though I don’t think in all reality Livva would really object. But anyways.

A couple weeks ago, we went on a Mystery Bus Trip, Livva and Ginger and Evelette and me. Since we had no idea what to expect, I was practically itching with eager expectation the whole time. Unlike Livva, I love surprises. Ok, I take that back: Livva SOMETIMES likes surprises, but not as much as me. Maybe that’s because we Zorua love surprising, shocking, and taunting people. But I almost didn’t go, since the trip’s theme was apparently “elegance.” Yeeeeeeeccchhhh. That’s Ginger and Evelette, not me. Although in the end, I decided to come, mainly because I didn’t wanna be bored out of my gourd the whole stupid weekend long (plus, got to stay up waaaayyyyy past my bedtime!! 🙂 ).

That trip was AWESOME, except for the boring, dumb art museum that only Ginger and Evelette liked (though they, along with Livva, did not like one quilt in particular, and thought it should be burned. I offered to find a lighter, but Livva gave me “The Look” again, and reminded me of my promise to behave, if I was to tag along. 😦 ). Ginger felt that looking at art made her a “Pokemon of culture,” but I told her it just made her boring. She got pretty annoyed at me after that, but we made up after I snuck her some extra, spicy chocolate. We all love chocolate, but Ginger really loves her spicy foods (I think it’s because she’s a hot-blooded Fire-Type. Hehehe.). The dinner at the fancy restaurant was OK, would’ve been better if they’d had live entertainment, like skilled acrobats going from the balconies, or sword-swallowers, or fire jugglers! I suggested this to Livva, and she said she would think about talking to Randon, the guy who plans the trips, about it. Which in Livva-speak, means roughly, “There’s a very slim chance of me doing that.” Crap. The rest of the night was pretty fun; we watched people race in a derby with ridiculous masks on (I wanted Livva to, but she kept saying, “Not on your life!” Party pooper. ), and much later, after the boring art museum, we went to a WATER PARK!!! So much fun; I’ve never been to a water park before. Livva said that she’d never this particular water park since she was very, very little, so it was a treat for her, too. I think the only one not really pleased was Ginger even though she hung out around the hot tub area (didn’t get in, though. Big, prissy chicken. Was probably there just for the dumb heat.). Evelette loved the lazy river, wave pool, and the kiddie slides. Me, I loved almost everything. The lazy river was fun because I could pretend I was Jaws, and sneak up on people being lazy to nip at their ankles. The climbing was great, and they had all sorts of little water guns to spray other climbers with, once you reached the top (I had a field day with that). There were alllll kinds of slides, but of course I HAD to go on giant funnel ones like, “The Big Kahuna”. Soooo much fun! Ohhhhhhh, and THEY HAD A GIANT BUCKET THAT TOTALLY DOUSED YOU WHEN YOU STOOD UNDER IT!!! I kept looking to see if another Zorua was operating it, but Livva said it was mechanics. Ah, well. The only real disappointment was the wave pool; I was expecting these HUGE tidal waves, but Livva said that if they did that the park would be totally swamped, people would probably drown, and the owner would probably get sued or something. *Sigh* I guess she’s right, but STILL….

Lately, Livva’s been fretting a lot about her dumb classes for when she goes back to Geneva in the fall. I looked at her schedule; it was as dull as dull could be (except for her Dr. Williams class. Any class with Dr. Williams in it is pure golden. That man could make driftwood seem fascinating.); I was shocked when she told me she was thinking of replacing one of her somewhat interesting classes with a class about some boring Russian guy whose name I can’t even pronounce… When I asked her why would she even think of taking a dumb class like that, she said she may not even have a choice in the matter. If I was less selfish, I think I would tell her to take all the classes she needed/wanted, and I could use my Illusion to go as her on the other days, for other classes, so I wouldn’t be cooped up and bored all day long. Buuuuutttt, the idea of being cooped up with some professor yapping about some random Russian dude whose name I can’t pronounce doesn’t appeal to me, either, so think I’m going to have to pass on that…

Adios,

Eikon”

__________________________

Image Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7LsFwxC7fo

Should That Really Go There?

Should That Really Go There?

Ah, at last. A writing-based topic I haven’t at least mentioned a good bit.

Editing. AKA, what I hope to be doing once I officially graduate from college, along with freelance writing, in the hopes I myself get published.

Editing takes writing on in a bigger way. Before I started college, before I took certain, specific classes, I thought all editors were the same: They work at big-name publishing companies, editing and proofreading hopeful authors’ works, or behind a desk at the New York Times, scanning line after line, picking out and correcting typos and grammatical errors the way one would pick out and toss tinsel from a Christmas tree, after the season’s over.

editing2

Yes, that is ONE kind of editor. However, that is not the ONLY kind, and that is NOT all they do.

In fact, that is only the description of what the professional industry refers to as a “line editor” or “copy editor”– proofreading, correcting, catching boo-boos before a disgruntled reader does.  Design editors work on arranging the material on the page of a newspaper or book cover in a way that is presentable. A certain kind of editor is used to read the material, rather than actually edit it, and write down any suggestions or ideas they have for the author’s CONTENT (the actual story, that it makes sense, etc.), rather than spelling and grammatical corrections. Chief editors oversee the whole shebang; while editing and touching up the final project, they also handle complaints from readers, hold the team together, etc.

(Me? I wouldn’t mind being either a line editor OR a content editor. I think that would be fabulous. Heck, I might even like being a chief editor, or even just an editor-in-chief. We’ll see where God takes me!)

editing3

But the more I read up on the art of editing for my one class, Publishing, and the more I learning from my Tutoring Writing class, I realized that that isn’t even the average editor’s job. They look it over, yes, but they don’t just edit-edit. Their goal is to help authors, and to help develop BETTER writers,  not just better manuscripts and better books. You see, the whole idea behind that mindset is, if you help an author become better THEMSELVES, then in turn their writing, their books will naturally become better. Brilliant, eh? Help them help themselves. I love that notion.

editing1

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Some of you, actually probably a LOT of you, are probably looking at me like I just grew a second head and deer horns to boot. “WHAT editor?” you may say. “You act like I just have a professional editor to look over my stuff at my fingertips! I just write!” Fair enough. But in that case, you need to be your own editor, or start letting other people (preferably people you’re close to and who have a good sense of story, grammar, and spelling) read your stuff, and ask for their ideas, edits, suggestions, and overall feedback. The former can give you great practice if you’re like me, in training to be an editor/author. (Reading your works out loud, just to yourself, can also really help you. I’ve been in numerous instances in tutoring people where all I have to do is basically tell them to read it aloud to me, and they catch a LOT of snags they wouldn’t have otherwise!) The latter can give you a great sense of where you are story-wise, plot-wise, etc. So in short, both can be beneficial. If you want to learn how to write great, you must also learn to edit well– unless, of course, you are authoring something like messy poetry. 😉

writingmeme5

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Image Credits:

https://stephaniehaggarty.wordpress.com/tag/futurama-fry-meme/

https://www.hastac.org/blogs/jennamcwilliams/2012/01/03/2012-year-productivity

http://www.memegen.com/meme/fdt0u5

https://bemclaughlin.com/category/meme-monday/