Sunday, February 23, 2014

30 Week Blog Challenge - Week 7: Blog Name

Now Playing: 
Back to the weekly blog thingy!

Original challenge!

Long ago, back when I had read the terrible James Patterson novels of Maximum Ride, there was a website by the name of max-dan-wiz that I joined up sometime in 2009. Though it was sort of meant to operate as a forum for Patterson's main YA novels, there were little groups here and there for Role Playing stories. I went through a number of them, one in particular called Era of Myths, and then another one called The REAL First Flock (yeah, that was actually the name the starter girl gave it). It was suppose to be loosely based on the Maximum Ride books and work as a sort of side story. A lot of the time, RPs there were very basic and simple. People would type no more than a line or two for their characters. Once I and a number of people took over TRFF, we had paragraphs and paragraphs of interactions, internal thoughts, story arcs, etc.

I formed four characters for it: Legion, Archangel, Dragon, and Dream. Whenever someone created characters in RPs, people would either chose to write a description of how they looked like, or post online drawings or photographs of real life people to represent them. For Dream, I chose Elle Fanning. I made Dream the same age as the actress and decided that she would age up naturally throughout the years rather than be forever twelve years old.

That RP got incredibly complex and interesting and overall fun, and I got to be friends with a lot of people and met some twisted individuals (but that's a story for later). A turning point of the story came with the introduction of Carpathia's character, Spirit, (link goes to her current tumblr RP blog) who was a year younger than Dream. She actually came really late into the game--the RP sort of disbanded sometime after Christmas 2010, and Spirit had joined up literally that same month of December. Despite this, I became quick friends with Carpathia, and as a result, so did Spirit and Dream.

Spirit's faceclaim was (and is) Isabelle Fuhrman, particularly
because the movie Orphan had come out. That's why when Carp
found this picture, we fangirled till the ends of time
We wrote them together in other RPs and little side stories, and watched them grow, take care of each other, and weird out whoever came in their path. I had known for a long while that Dream had romantic feelings for Spirit, but they didn't really form that kind of relationship till later on--I think when they were fourteen and thirteen respectively. It was also because of them that other characters came to be, like my very own Professor Cervantes.

Sometime later in 2011 or so, I came upon a 100 themes challenge in DeviantArt. As I enjoyed writing Dream and borrowing Spirit, I wanted to write the themes as series of events that happened to them. I never got far--I posted like three but wrote maybe up to the sixth theme or so--but the basic plot of the story and the creation of the Watchmaker led me to want to write a novella based on it. I could never publish it because Spirit is still and always will be Carp's character, but I wanted to type it up as a present to her.

The novella took place in a world I had already created for a short-lived RP. It was called Enkindle, and was supposed to be heavily based on Wonderland, Neverland, and the Land of Oz, but I refined it a little bit more for the actual novella. I kept this word in mind, but still didn't have a title. For a while, I think I wanted to call it Gold Chains and Lighting, based off the lyrics of a Snow Patrol song (the one playing right now). I didn't know if the name worked or not, because "lighting" had nothing to do with anything. At least the reference to the gold chains were to hint at the literal gold chains around Spirit as well as the control the Watchmaker had over Dream. The actual lyrics also say gold hair and lighting, which worked if I wanted to reference the color of Dream's hair but...it seemed a bit silly to do so for no reason. I liked the idea of pointing back to the chains, though, and I thought "Enkindle" felt like a powerful word, as both a name for the fictional world and a metaphor dealing with Dream's changing quest and development.

At around this time, I also wanted to rename my blog, but couldn't settle on what exactly.

I can't quite remember what my thought process was at the time. I know I came up with the name Enkindled With Chains for the story first and then decided to apply it to the blog name. I know I wanted to polish up the novella once I finished it and put it up here for free (which is still sort of the plan), but that hasn't happened yet. Technically, having the title for the blog makes no sense unless the novella is somewhere here to accompany it.

But I haven't changed the blog name for a number of reasons. For one, the world of Enkindle is now closely related in my mind to Dream and Spirit, and I still adore the two of them very much. Secondly, the novella is probably my favorite thing I've ever created--I don't know how or why, but I can say, without any doubt, that it's the best thing I've written. I don't mean to imply it's some sort of master piece, but the writing in it flows better than anything else. It has the most powerful emotion and the most interesting characters. It's grown a lot throughout the years, in the same way my writing and Dream have grown.

I suppose the blog name won't make sense till I finish up the novella and make it available here. I wish I had a better, more concrete reason for naming the blog this, but I'm happy with the title, particularly because of all it signifies to me.
~Becky

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Now I'm just blogging about things no one cares about

Now Playing: Moby - Flower

This is actually kind of embarrassing, but I want to document my stupidity.

So like. I've started running. In fact, I've replaced swimming with running. I'm actually super slow, but I have been getting better. It used to take me an hour to do three miles (I know, so pathetic), but I'm shaved that time down to 40-43 minutes. I've only been running for a few weeks now, and only started pushing myself like two weeks ago. It's been kind of fun. Except for one thing. I, at first, did not know the importance of a sports bra.

So

ow ow ow ow.

Ughhhhhh. I started getting such an annoying pain that won't go away! But the weird thing is, I can't tell if it's actually physical or psychological--like, am I imagining the pain now that I read how important sports bras are? Maybe it's all in my head...

I ordered two online--one that was way too freaking expensive but better be worth it, and one that's probably going to be way too tight because I accidentally didn't see that the bras run small. Still, I hope it's better than nothing >_>

I also, like most people, run on the treadmill listening to music. All the treadmills at the gym have little areas to put down water bottles and phones and stuff. And I've found that my arm movement is...weird. I've knocked my cell phone down like five times now because I end up hitting the earphone's cable while jogging really fast, which sends Hannibal 2.0 flying. I'd buy the thingy that straps your phone to your arm, but I'm gonna have to wait a few weeks before I go around spending more money on random stuff :(

SIGH.

Though speaking of which, I do kind of hope I'll get faster by the end of the semester. In fact, if I can do 3 miles in under 30-35 minutes, I will consider it all an accomplishment.

I've been looking forward to summer for a while now, because I imagine I could run more often, write more often, read a lot more--all that wonderful stuff. Still I can't help but fear I'm not going to do as much as I'm doing now.

Whenever I'm in school, I write like crazy, watch millions of movies and tv shows, (apparently) do more exercise, eat better, read a lot, and just generally keep myself busy. That all goes down the crapper during the summer. I have never in my life been able to finish a novel--or even write more than a couple of chapters--in between school terms.

I'm hoping it'll be different this summer. After all, it's probably the last time I'll have some free time for three months straight. True, since 10th grade I've been in college summer classes, but I never really considered summer semesters a burden. They're annoying, yeah, but they're nothing compared to having to work year-round. (I'm guessing. I've yet to enter the work force, after all).

But I'll plan my summer later. Like near the end of April or something. For now, I have short term goals for this semester: Get Straight A's. Run 3 miles in 30 minutes (or less). Never be late in editing submissions for the Kudzu Review. Apply for internships (again. Ugh). And finish my current manuscript.

Oh and also hopefully win an English department award. But that can't count as a goal because it's not something I have total control over. I mean, yeah, I entered Circuits and Nerves and my fairy tale to the contests my school is hosting, but I know I'm not going to win >_>

Which is sadly not going to keep me from getting all hopeful a millisecond before they announce the winners mid-April. Damn brain >:(  At least I'll get to blog about my sadness when it happens.
~Becky

Sunday, February 16, 2014

30 Week Blog Challenge - Week 6: Songs

Now Playing: Halo 2 soundtrack - Flawed Legacy + all the other songs listed here.

I still don't know how I feel about my indecisive ways. On the one hand, I did realize that financial decisions are still kind of new things for me. I have no perspective on them yet because I've never had to make them till now, and getting a little help from my mom isn't a terrible thing. I mean, I pick classes on my own, decided when to graduate on my own, etc, etc. I could be doing better than I think.

Or maybe that's just temporary delusion talking >_>

Okay, I'll worry about that later. For now, here we are with week 6.

Original challenge!

This is such a weird question @_@ I imagine people usually write like ten thousand names down. Favorite bands is one thing--though usually it's difficult to narrow it down to ten. But favorite songs!? So many options. So many to choose from.

I would do it alphabetically, but there are songs here and there that I love more than others, so they're getting ranked in order of that love (starting with my very, very favorite). Tis just the truth.

So I'll write their names and embed YouTube uploads in case anyone's curious. Hopefully not all those videos go down.

1) Nine Inch Nails - The Way Out Is Through


2) Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori - In Amber Clad (Halo 2 Soundtrack)


3) Faunts - M4 Part II (Mass Effect soundtrack)


4) Yoko Kanno ft. Scott Mathew - Dear John (Ghost in the Shell soundtrack)


5) Billy Idol - Heroin (cover)

Though to be truthful, I could list all of Cyberpunk here.

6) Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie - I'm Afraid of Americans


7) Nine Inch Nails - Dead Souls (cover)


8) The Cure - Burn


9) Nine Inch Nails - Just Like You Imagined


10) Hans Zimmer - What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving the World? (Man of Steel soundtrack)


11) Paul Leonard-Morgan - Lockdown (Dredd soundtrack)

Or just all of the Dredd soundtrack.

12) Lola Rennt soundtrack - Running Three


13) Nine Inch Nails - Various Methods of Escape


14) Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori - Broken Gates (Mombasa Suite - Halo 2 soundtrack)


15) Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori - Finish the Fight (Halo 3 soundtrack)


16) Sam Hulick - Wake Up (Mass Effect 3 soundtrack)


17) Clint Mansell - Leaving Earth (Mass Effect 3 soundtrack)


18) Clint Mansell - Welcome to Lunar Industry and Sacrifice (Moon Soundtrack)




19) Shirley Manson - Samson and Delilah (Terminator: TSCC soundtrack)


20) John Williams - The Force theme (Star Wars soundtrack)


Okay, I'm done @_@ Too many. Can't keep going...embedding...pain...and the lagggg.
But yes. Those are my top 20 :D Enjoy!
~Becky

P.S: Oh! And happy late Valentine's Day! I actually got invited out to dinner with my new nice roommate and a group of her friends that Friday. I was really thankful that they asked me to tag along but I still feel bad for them. I'm terrible company >_>

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Indecisive

Yeah. Growing up. Turns out I'm really bad at it.

Today my room assignment thing opened. I really, really wanted an apartment style dorm for one. Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living area ALL to one person. It was a little expensive, but I figured it was worth it.

But of course those rooms were no longer open--particularly with so many graduate students living here next semester. (Damn grad students without apartments. I hate you all for no apparent reason Dx). I was left with a choice: get a single room in a community dorm with a floor bathroom (and a floor kitchen), get a cheap, old apartment with one bedroom for two people, or go to the expensive dorms with single rooms but three to four people per apartment.

So there I was, at 2:30 pm, exactly when my room assignment window had opened up. And I tried to decide.

And this happened:

I kept picking and then picking another one, and then picking another one and then texting some people, and then picking yet another one. And yes, it did take me almost a whole hour. It probably didn't take me another hour because I called my mom and she was like, "just take the fucking single room."

Well okay. She didn't curse (and she smacks me if I use that kind of language). She was actually really nice and sweet about it, and made me think that the extra expense technically wasn't too terrible. (It adds up about $2,000 dollars to my total--but I graduate 2015 so I'm finishing school with less than 9k in debt.) I went through with it in the end--and will undoubtedly piss off the friend who wanted me to share a room and apartment with her--but I'll be happy in a room all by myself. I haven't had one since I was eight, and that was only for a couple of months. I want my spaceeeeeeeee.

But...The fact that I couldn't come to that decision on my own is pissing me off. I need to be able to do things on my own and to stop being so indecisive. In fact, I'm still not sure if it's worth it or not. I'm graduating with a Creative Writing degree for heaven's sake--what if I don't get a job six months after I'm out of school? Will I be able to pay off everything? Will I ever stop relying on my parents? I want to help them--they don't even have a house of their own because of us kids. But I can't do that with no job and a ton of debt.

I'm gonna go stick my head underwater and scream. For many, many hours.
~Becky

Sunday, February 9, 2014

30 Week Blog Challenge - Week 5: Quotes

Now Playing: Karen O - The Moon Song

Ughhhhh, why is Her such a perfect movie? It pretty much has everything I love about sci-fi--it's subtle implementations of the genre, acknowledgement of the future complexity of A.I.'s and the depth of intelligence and emotion, great acting, beautiful cinematography...

AND THE SOUNDTRACK.

That song. Must not cryyyy.

Moving on~

I know, I messed up last week. Which is weird because I could have probably written essay-long explanations for my book choices, but I'm thinking if I go back and edit it'll be cheating. Also, I have so many essays and personal writing, I'm being way too lazy to fix the last entry >.>

So we continue on!

Original challenge!

Uh. Confession time. I usually can't stand quotes, especially motivational ones. I mean...I think sometimes they can be nice, but they usually feel...terribly soulless. Quotes give me the exact same feeling people usually get when reading a fortune cookie: a momentary smile and then "meh."

But that's probably just the hipster in me. I can still fall to the fuzzy warm feelings of reading a good, inspirational quote. The first are kind of self-explanatory, and the others I just like particularly because of their context.

1) "There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our dna, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmon knows its creek. intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… the spectacular truth is—and this is something that your dna has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up." 
~ Neil De Grasse Tyson

That connects to this poem I found on tumblr by Starredsoul; while I think the rest of the poem is just okay-ish, these lines will always stand out:
2) "...don’t you see? The stars collapsed  to build your criss cross of cells; seas haves rushed  forward to keep you alive. There is a universe under your paper skin..."

3) "Oscar Wilde quite rightly said, ‘All art is useless’. And that may sound as if that means it’s something not worth supporting. But if you actually think about it, the things that matter in life are useless. Love is useless. Wine is useless. Art is the love and wine of life. It is the extra, without which life is not worth living." ~ Stephen Fry

Bonus! Three from ASOIAF/GoT, in gif form. (The first--and I guess also the third--one because CONTEXT)



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Speaking of Clockwork Orange...

Now Playing: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross ft. Karen O - Immigrant Song

So speaking of the greatest book/movie ever made...

Favorite musician + (one of my) favorite song(s) + favorite movie = GREATNESS.

I need to share this D:<



(I'm making ribs, almost killed myself jumping off the kitchen's counter, and have an hour or so before class. I am going to watch that on repeat till my ribs are done).
~Becky

Monday, February 3, 2014

30 Week Blog Challenge - Week 4: Books

Now Playing: Civil Twilight - Letters from the Sky

GHA! I'm a day late and need to keep reading Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dred for tomorrow. What with the move and Snow Day last week (I know, in Florida, wth), I haven't had much time.

No explanations or prrty pictures  for this one ;-; Just LIST. LIST LIST LIST.
Original challenge!

Top 10 Favorite Books (this, in itself, took half an hour)
  1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
  5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  6. The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler
  7. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  8. On Writing by Stephen King
  9. Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling (DON'T MAKE ME PICK)
  10. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (AGAIN, I REFUSE TO PICK)
DX And I really wanted to add more to this one. Maybe I'll go back to it...?

I'll make up for it soon! D:
~Becky
"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.