Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

2013. Twenty-thirteen. Two-zero-one-three. The phrase doesn’t roll off your tongue like 2012 does, but this type of thing is kind of set in stone. If I had it my way, the years would not be labeled in dull numeric order. How about we name them all something original? Instead of 2013, how about we have The Year of Cupcakes and Superheroes? I think that might be a bit more appreciated, and it would certainly be a lot more interesting. But of course, it’s a sort of unchangeable thing. Ah, well.

I realize that I haven’t blogged in a while, and I also realize that trying to do this weekly blogging thing isn’t working. I generally hate schedules. So from now on, I’m blogging whenever I feel like it. How about THAT?

Anyways. It’s the new year. This means that throughout the world, people are making resolutions for the year of 2013, most of which will be broken before January 2nd dawns. Unfortunate, yes, but that’s the way we humans are. Me, I don’t do the resolutions thing. My opinion of it is that if you want to do something, for example, go for a run every day, then just do it. Who cares if you’ve “made a resolution” to do it? The only thing that matters is that you actually do run every day. All of the official stuff is completely unnecessary.

Of course, you may not agree, in which case, that’s fine. If it motivates you, make a New Year’s resolution. If it doesn’t, don’t. It’s pretty simple, actually.

All right, now that we have addressed the new year, what else has happened that’s exciting? Oh, I suppose I should mention that the world didn’t end, although many people were convinced it would do so, allegedly according to the Mayan calendar. I really don’t feel a need to fill anybody in on this, because if you have internet access, it’s more than likely you know every thing there is to know about this thingamajigger. Now, after December 21st, a lot of people felt the urge to start making snide and witty comments such as “Oh, look! We’re still alive! In your face, suckers!” or the like. And to be completely honest, it’s beginning to get tiresome. Very tiresome. I mean, every snide-and-witty person is pretty much making the same comment with a little different wording. For sure, the belief that the world was going to end on December 21st was an utterly ridiculous one, but now that it’s January 1st, everybody knows that the world didn’t end, no slimy aliens came to decimate the populace, and there was no apocalypse of any kind. So I think we should all just chill and move on in life. Dwelling on the fact that the world didn’t end will not accomplish anything whatsoever.


Onto lighter topics. Let’s see…all I really have left is Christmas. Yay! Christmas! Er. Yes. Christmas.

…Well, it appears I have nothing significant to say on the topic of Christmas. It was merry. Yippee.

Hmm. As you may or may not know, it has been often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I have been meaning to post some photography/graphic design-y stuff on this blog, so now will suffice, I suppose. Anyways, it will save me the trouble of writing a few thousand words.

Anyhow, here is some random photography for your viewing enjoyment. All of the editing done on these pictures was done on PicMonkey, Pixlr Express, or Ribbet. (Or all three.)

Specimen #1:

Water droplets 1.0

This is a picture of a leaf with water droplets on it, as you might have surmised. I enhanced it and added a few overlays to give it an ethereal, rainbow-ish look.

Specimen #2:

Train 1.1 leviathan

I like to call this pic “Leviathan train.” I’m not quite sure why. It kind of reminds me of something from a steampunk novel, such as Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. So I believe that is the origin of the title, though I cannot be entirely sure of that fact.

Specimen #3:

Yellow bud 1.0 bright

I only enhanced this pic, to make the colors pop and bring the flower bud into focus. But it turned out nicely–typically when I’m editing photos, I like to bring out the shadows of the image, because I’m just dark like that. But in some cases, such as this one, I wanted to make it more vibrant. So I did.

Specimen #4:

The Scat 1.2 fairyish

This pic is of an amusement park ride that ended up being perfect for editing. In this edit I added a butterfly bokeh overlay and some colorful, fairy-like overlays as well. Overall, I think of this edit as my fairy-ish edit, even though I hardly think fairies would be likely to ride any attraction at an amusement park.

Specimen #5:

The Scat 1.1 color splash

This is the same photo as above, only in this edit I went absolutely crazy. I didn’t really think, I just kept adding overlays and effects until I deemed it finished. And I ended up with a sort of techno, paint-splattery feel. I actually like it quite a bit.

And so you have reached the end of my first blog-gallery-thingy. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you didn’t, well, then, I guess you don’t need to stick around.

See you when I see you! [Virtually, of course; unless you’re one of my “real-life” friends, who I do see in person.]


Writing Through the Snow

Posted: December 10, 2012 in NaNoWriMo, Writing
Tags: , ,

Look! Drifting down through the little pixels! It’s snow! Which means that the time is near to celebrate that wonderful holiday of Christmas! I don’t know about you, but in my house the Christmas tree hasn’t even been brought up from the shadows of the basement yet. As such, I’m not feeling very Christmas-y. Ah, well. There’s always next week for those mundane trivialities.

Because of the Christmas festivities, I haven’t been doing much writing. However, in November the case was severely different. I participated in National Novel Writing Month, details of which you can access right here. I really don’t feel like explaining the whole ordeal, so if you want specifics, LOOK ELSEWHERE. Basically, you try to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This year was my second year, and I just barely reached 50K by November 30th. I still haven’t finished writing the novel itself–I’m nowhere near that point, in fact; I would estimate myself to be about halfway through–and I am beginning to wonder if I ever shall do so. However, I would still like to share a bit about the novel with you lovely people in the blogverse. Oh, dear. That sounded truly foolish…”I’m going to SHARE my novel!” Er. Note to self, Andrea: You are not blogging to a group of first graders.

Anyways. This novel is titled Cross Dimension and is in the science fiction genre (which you would very probably gather from the summary, but I figured I’d let you know this anyway.). My typical genre is fantasy; it’s my favorite to read and my favorite to write. But this year, the idea literally sprang into my head and there was nothing I could do about it. However, now that I’m well into my genre-switching venture, I still greatly prefer writing fantasy over science fiction.

ANYWAYS. The summary. Right. *hastily activates clapping machine* *clapping machine is broken* *weakly claps alone*


Cross Dimension, a summary

What would you do if you were singled out to incite a war? Futuristic America seems to be a smooth-running operation. The numerous alternate dimensions existing alongside Earth have caused no trouble to anyone thus far—but a war is brewing between the dictatorial ruler of the dimensions and Earth. When Arialle is brought to a government laboratory, she has no idea what to expect. She soon learns that she alone is the one who can unlock seven data keys that will, in turn, grant Earth access to supernatural weaponry that will no doubt tip the scales of the impending war in their favor. To unlock the keys, Arialle must journey to various dimensions, under guise of differing bodies, and find the people who, unbeknownst to them, hold the data keys locked in their minds. Accompanying Arialle is Rin, a harsh, austere man, one of few anomalies who can travel between dimensions unharmed. During their journeying, Arialle and Rin will face ghastly otherworldly creations, a ruler with a slipping grasp on her domain, and their own pasts. But the most difficult task of all will be answering to their consciences…and deciding where their loyalties truly lie.


Along with this shiny little summary, I would like to show you the cover I created using my own photography and online photo editing sites. I mainly used PicMonkey and Pixlr Express (both of which are excellent sites and should be universally used!) for this cover.

And…here it is!

Cross Dimension Nano

During November while I was actively writing Cross Dimension, I was so excited about it. Unlike the previous year’s novel, I really enjoyed writing Cross Dimension and didn’t get sick of it.

Now that November has come and gone, however, I’m starting to feel the first draft blues. And I haven’t even finished the first draft. How pathetic is that? Nonetheless, once a few weeks have elapsed (and once the Christmas season has died down), I intend to return to Arialle and Rin and force them to pump out a first draft.

The problem is, I am a semi-perfectionist. NaNoWriMo forces me to write without worrying about clunky sentences and meaningless dialogue, but once November ends, that irritating little Inner Editor comes out of his month-long coma. This isn’t a bad thing, really. I personally don’t think that we should all write like it’s NaNoWriMo time; never worrying about proper spelling or grammar, not once taking the time to create well-formed characters or develop strong plot arcs. I think that the editor inside all of us can help to hone our writing into what we truly want it to be. But there comes a time when it’s just too much. Perhaps you have experienced this yourself; that feeling that no matter what you write, you’re always compelled to go back and change a tiny detail. I know that I certainly feel a need to make every sentence perfect, every snippet of dialogue realistic but at the same time adding meaning to the story.

This trait of mine–or curse, rather–is the practically OCD, perfectionist part of my mind that refuses to let any piece of writing be less than perfect.

The truth is, though, that no first draft will ever be the final draft. Simply put, such a thing is impossible. You shouldn’t feel bad if your first draft is a piece of crap (I can assure you, so are mine). That isn’t a sign of mediocrity; it’s normal.

Revisions are always necessary. Even the greatest of novels were not written merely in one draft.

In conclusion. The happy medium is your bestest friend here. It isn’t healthy to feel terrible about your first draft…nor is it healthy to believe that your first draft is your final draft. Find the medium between the two; knowing that your novel is not the best it could be, yet realizing that you have the ninja power within you to fix up the crappy parts and make your novel shine.

Oh, dear. Now I’m starting to become all sentimental. “Be yourself!” “You’re perfect just the way you are!” Nope. Happy medium, remember? I’ll leave the sappy, honeyed words to One Direction, as they’re great at coming up with slews of feel-good phrases with lots of cheesy sauce on top.

So. After that heart-wrenching, tear-cranking, thought-provoking post, all I really have to say is…Merry Christmas. Enjoy the pretty (and sometimes blinding/dizzying) snow. And if you live in an area in which it does not snow, then enjoy the pretty (and not blinding/dizzying) snowfall on my blog!

See you in a week! [Or sooner. Or later. Or never. You never know, I could be captured by the RTA (The RTA is in and of itself an absolutely confidential matter, so don’t be surprised if you have no idea what I mean.), tortured day after day, and finally slain in a noble and possibly heroic manner. Perhaps saving a loved one. Or the entire world. You never know when these things might happen…]