Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SCBWI's On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award!!!

Right.  So.  Remember that secret sort-of contest that I entered?  The one that I didn't want to talk about, or mention by name because it was Voldemort I didn't want to jinx anything?  Even if you don't remember that blog post at all, hang with me for a second.

I already posted about one contest that I won the YA Category for - the Windy City RWA's Four Seasons Contest - and although I'm super stoked (and grateful) that ASTRAL won that, I now have another thing to be grateful for...

You ready?!?



 I did this.  In a Chili's.  The floor was clean.

There were over 100 entries, and 3 winners were picked - the folks from SCBWI that I talked to were so excited about my story, which made me really excited, and I just don't even know how to express how wonderful this whole thing is!

Actually, when I found out I won, I'm pretty sure I spent all of dinner doing this:
I might still be doing this, actually...

And then there was a little of this, 'cause I was meeting friends for dinner:

Also, trying this over the phone is reeeeeeeeeeeeally difficult.

There's always that little hope when you enter contests that you'll win, but when it happens...well, let's just say I was not prepared! The wonderful, amazing, generous people at SCBWI (and Martin and Sue Schmitt, my Grant-givers) will pay for my conference tuition, my hotel, and my flight to New York City in February because...oh, that's right...


Yeah, we're getting to the super gushy part of this post. Also, if Julie Andrews walks by me in New York, this is what will happen.  Actually, this is what will happen during the WHOLE CONFERENCE.

I am so, so, so proud of my story (and also still in shock)!  I'll definitely have more updates as they develop, including something about who my SCBWI mentor (AH! I get a mentor!!!) is, how the conference goes, and how I will most-likely fangirl if I spot Julie Andrews (she's one of the speakers! AH!) from a distance.

Here's the link to the description of the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award!!!!!!  Once the actual announcement is out, I'll probably faint, and then print it out and frame it, and write another blog post about it :)

STILL can't believe it! A million thanks to Jeannette, my first CP, who read ASTRAL as I was writing it, loved it from the start, and who has an amazing critiquing super power! Also, shout-out to my Lit Reactor Peeps:Jen (we're also Sorority sisters which is totally awesome!), Jamie, Elodie, and Christine, who have all given me some awesome direction and feedback for my story, too!  I seriously have the best writer friends ever, and I would not be able to make it through this roller coaster of emotions if you weren't here to DM me on Twitter or respond to my angsty emails :)  Oh, and a thankful shout-out to Sus, who has pretty much made my day today with her enthusiasm for my story and her tweets and emails :P

Seriously. If I ever meet any of you in person, this is what's happening.

I'm almost done, I promise!  I just wanted to make a quick plug for taking a chance and putting yourself out there - I would not, WOULD NOT have won this amazing thing if I hadn't taken the scariest risk ever and entered myself in this contest.  Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, hit the send button, and hope for the best! So go out there and take those risks!  You won't regret it!!!

Or, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you."

In totally unrelated news, I saw "The Hobbit" (in 48 FPS) this weekend!  It was good, but at times I felt like I was in a History Channel/BBC Documentary/Miniseries?  Did anyone else get that feeling?

I'll let you know when they post the actual, formal announcement :) :) :)


All of my lovely .gifs came from the best Tumblr for authors ever!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

*breathes into paper bag* THE ODDS WERE EVER IN MY FAVOR...AGAIN!

So, back in September, I entered the Windy City Chapter of the Romance Writers of America's Four Seasons Contest (phew, say that five times fast!).

Anyways, I entered this contest on whim, because I wanted to get some feedback on my first 30 pages.

Then, in October, I found out I had advanced to the finals!!!!!!! YAY!

So I then proceeded to freak out for two months, waiting to hear back about the results.  I missed a call today, listened to the voicemail, and promptly started to scream my head off in the car (figuratively, not literally, of course).  I guess you can see where I'm going with this - 




Ahem, ok, I'm still pretty freaked out and excited and I SERIOUSLY CAN'T BELIEVE I WON, Y'ALL!

I made it past the first-round judges (who left fabulous comments), and then an editor and agent thought enough of my story to rate me high enough to win in my category (and also leave me fabulous, thoughtful comments!)!

I am SO PROUD of ASTRAL, my sometimes brain-killing YA Sci-fi story!  So, so, so proud that I could write something that was able to win a contest and get awesome, encouraging, and constructive feedback!

Once the contest results page goes up, I'll link to it in this post.  Until then, I'll be victory dancing around my apartment :) :) :)

Much love and many thanks to Jeannette, the best CP ever, who had to deal with all of my angsty contest emails and is a pretty legit cheerleader - and to Sara, my BFF, for screaming at me on the phone and telling me that she almost peed herself when I sent her the news (you already called yourself out on Facebook, so I think I can call you out on my blog hahaha).  I almost did too, and I promise that I'm not as calm as I sounded on the phone :)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've been soooooooo MIA from the blogging world, but I'm making up for it by posting a cover reveal for a pretty sweet book!  Wooooooooo!

Wow. I can't believe the day is here! Time for the FRACTION OF STONE cover reveal.

Before we get into that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. All the fine people who are helping with this cover reveal, my CPs/Betas, family and friends. And of course, thank you to Sapphire Star Publishing for helping make my dream a reality. (And also letting me have a huge say in how this cover looks.) I am so, so excited and feel so blessed.

To thank you all, there is a drawing for 2 ARCs of FRACTION OF STONE which you can enter to win at the bottom of this post! You can enter until December 14th at which point the winners will be chosen.

Okay, now that, that has been said. Here we go!

Book information:

Fraction of Stone
 by Kelley Lynn
Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving. 


About the Author:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn's LinksBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Trailer:


Rafflecopter Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group!

I've been quite behind on doing these posts, which leads directly into my topic this month.

Sometimes I feel like I'm wearing too many hats.

This semester has been pretty tough - I've actually been challenged a bit in classes, leading to an excess in papers that need to be written, pretend departments that had to be created, etc.  I haven't really had time to at all...this semester.  Any free time I've had has gone to writing, since it seems to be the only thing that has kept me sane these past few months.

I know I'm not wearing nearly as many hats as some of you (who are, perhaps, employed full-time, have children and/or a significant other, and wear other hats that I can't think of at the moment), but I'm struggling with the three hats that I have right now, and I'm not really sure how to fix it.

I can't give up any of my three.

I'm here to get my Masters, so I can't really give up grad school (not that I would want to).
My awesome assistantship covers my tuition and gives me a decent stipend to live off of every month (and I would never give that up).
And then there's writing.  Well, if you want to know how much I love writing and will never stop, just read some of my random posts!

So my question, IWSG friends, is how to you manage with all the hats?  Is there some secret trick that I have not yet mastered?

Monday, December 3, 2012

So, my CP re-tagged me in a meme...

...because she thought it'd be a good idea for me to post something from ze novel I am currently query-ing.

Of course, I am more than happy to oblige (and will be figuring out a good way to get revenge soon - bwahaha!).  At some point this week, I'll also have a blog post that doesn't revolve around memes.

But today's not that day.

Without any further ado ('cause I've adone enough...yeah, I didn't think it was funny either), here's an excerpt from ASTRAL, my YA Sci-fi filled with parallel universes, doppelgangers, and swords.  This part is narrated by my male MC, and yes, it's still the "You Got the Look" meme, so "look" is in there somewhere...I promise!

I take a deep breath.  “The - ”
“Well, if it isn’t the mysteriously elusive Miss Sora Walton.  Seeing you outside of your room is a rare treat.”  A blond kid, maybe a year or so older than me, literally steps out of the shadows.
I thought people only did that in movies.
My jerk-o-meter goes off when he looks at Sora the same way that a lion might look at a gazelle.  Her hand tightens around my arm – a pretty clear sign that she doesn’t like this kid either.
She takes a deep breath.  “Kalon, now’s not a good time - ”
“Is it ever a good time with you?  I’ve been looking for you for ages now, you know.  Didn’t you enjoy our time together?”
She squeezes my hand and I glare at this interruption.  I was in the middle of something important.  Who the Hell does this guy think he is?  King of the military compound?


Also, anyone who wants to get tagged, you are now thusly tagged!  So go forth and meme!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"You Got the Look" Meme time :)

Hey all!

So, Allison over at Geek Banter tagged me in the You Got the Look meme and I am powerless to oblige :P  The rules are simple: Search your current WiP and find the word "look" - the post some of the lines around said word.

So, without further ado, here is a small sample of my NaNo winning YA ghost story :) (and this is also me revealing one of my closely guarded WiP secrets...*Danger Will Robinson!!!* this post will be a little Shakespeare-heavy!)

“Nose of a Turk and Tartar’s lips,” alright, these witches seriously had problems, “Finger of birth strangled babe ditch-delivered by a drab, make the gruel thick and slab.”  I don’t even want to go into what my No Fear version says that means.
            “Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron for the ingredients of our cauldron.”  Tiger’s entrails make it into our potion as we join hands again.  Our voices continue to ring out in perfect harmony as we skip around the cauldron.
            “Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
            Cam breaks the circle, moving downstage.  “Cool it with a baboon’s blood, then the charm is firm and good.”
            Trish enters from stage left, somehow walking over to us in a way that mimics floating.  Once the fog machine's running, that’s gonna look so badass.
            “Oh well done!  I commend your pains, and every one shall share i’ th’ gains.  And now about the cauldron sing, like elves and fairies in a ring, enchanting all that you put in.”
            We dance around to non-existent music, laughing.  Cam stops with another creepy giggle.  She holds out left hand, and we all gather around her, stroking her outstretched arm.
            “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.  Open, locks, whoever knocks.”


So, to keep this going, my fabulous CP Jeannette, awesome fellow NaNo-er, Jen, and another frequent Les Mis sing-along-er, Elodie!

Friday, November 30, 2012


I'll search for a fun GIF to add to this post later, like when my brain decides to work again.

But for now I would just like to shout to the blogosphere that I WON NANOWRIMO!!!!


(Also, I told you I was a competitive person ;D )

It's almost 1 A.M. and I need to sleep, but whatever, I'm doing a victory dance around my apartment first (luckily, roommates have gone to sleep already!)

I've still got quite a bit more to draft with my ghost story, though, and it's gonna need revisions like no one's business (because writing a simple ghost story was TOO HARD so I put about ten million different layers/plot threads/elements into it).

So, yeah, miles to go before I sleep.  And many more miles to go before I'm done with this book.

But I'm totally okay with that :)

Sound off if you've won, too!  Or if you've done anything awesome in the month of November, 'cause I WANT TO KNOW!

Monday, November 26, 2012

'Tis the season to be in contests, fa la la la la...

La la la -

Wait.  It's not December 1st yet, ya'll. My Grinch flag is going to fly high until then, as I mourn the loss of Halloween and the quick, silent passing of Thanksgiving.

We hardly knew ye.

Once December 1st hits, I'll be all about various winter holidays...

But today is not December 1st.

So, onward to the point of my blog today.  Once the first couple of weeks in December have passed, I'll have news on a few contests fronts!

The first contest to provide me with news (of the good or bad variety) will be the Windy City Chapter fo the Romance Writers of America's Four Seasons Contest.  I entered this contest way back in September, hoping for some good feedback on my YA Sci-Fi annnnnnnnnd I ended up placing in the finals in addition to getting good feedback!

Proof of my unexpectedly awesome surprise can be found right here!!!!!  That page might also be bookmarked under ASTRAL CONTEST DOMINATION TIME.  Not that I'm expecting anything other than being a finalist (but I'm also a competitive person, so...yeah.  There's that.).  As a finalist, I get a certificate.  It's getting framed.  For reals.

They'll announce the winners for that in the first week of December, so my breath will be held ALL. WEEK.

Contest the second is this lovely little thing called Pitch Wars!  I'm submitting applications to three awesome mentors, so fingers crossed someone picks me!  Even if they don't, this might be the most fun I've ever had with filling out an application! :)

And if I do get picked...well...then my mentor might have a new BFF who loves to send chocolate and Starbucks giftcards to people...but that wasn't a bribe or anything :P

The last contest I'm in is kind of a secret.  And it's not really a "contest" - buttttttt my super secretive/slightly superstitious ways won't let me spill any more details.  Let's just say that I really, really hope my odds are in my favor for this one. 

So, are YOU in any contests or will you be?!?  And have you started getting all "Holiday Spirit-y" yet, or are you waiting until it's officially December to start being festive?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ghost Story updates!

So, for NaNo I'm writing a (sort of) top-secret ghost story.  Here are some random updates/thoughts:

  • I've been digging deep down to find my inner creepster, and have totally started to freak myself out.
  • My biggest default when writing is to churn out some dialogue.  I love having people talk to each other - it's so extreme that a good amount of my words so far fall into the "talking" category.
  • Ghost shows are, like, the best things ever for inspiration :)
  • Seriously, last night I had a hard time falling asleep 'cause I kept hearing noises.
  • My bad guy - erm, ghost - is pretty awesome.  And by awesome I mean evil, murderous, ruthless, and terrifying.
  • I'm gonna have to buy my MC ice cream or something at the end of this, because I'm halfway through the first draft and she's really not gonna have it any easier in the second part of the book.
And, because I can, (and because you're still reading) here's a completely non-spoilery (and non-creepy) bit of dialogue from my try at a ghost story.  My MC is talking to a new-found friend, who has a penchant for hacking into old databases...enjoy!

He nods.  “Which led me to root through old newspapers, yearbooks, pictures – anything I could find.”
“And it was all legal?”
“How’re you not getting caught?  Can’t they trace this stuff?”
“I don’t know, the police, the government, James Bond - ”
“James Bond?”
“Yeah, not the best reference.  How about Skynet?”
“Skynet?  Why would a computer system that causes the apocalypse be interested in our town’s brutal, mysterious history?”
“Maybe it gets kind of boring plotting world destruction and creating Terminators.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I'm Thankful For!

Right now my law book is sitting in front of me, taunting me in the way it so often does with its complex legal jargon and need to assert its intelligence and prestige (but not "The Prestige" - it's not about to kill any birds for the sake of a magic trick, though maybe if it did I would care about Higher Ed law a little more).

Anywho, this blog post shall not focus on my law paper struggles (but, seriously, send chocolate and hugs my way!).  Dear, dear, blog readers - this post shall be a celebration of the seven (ish) things I am thankful for!

I'm thankful for whoever brought in the pumpkin pie AND made this awesome cupcake!

So, first and foremost, if you're reading my blog, I'm thankful for you!  Because, if it weren't for you, I'd be facing that whole "if a tree fell in a forest" conundrum (also thankful for the word "conundrum"), because no one would be around to hear, er, read my thoughts!

Secondly, I'm thankful for the AMAZING writing community!  Seriously, I'd be adrift in a sea of self-doubt and purposelessness if I hadn't found some wonderful writing friends through Twitter, contests, blogging, LitReactor classes and the internet in general.  I love all of you.

Thirdly, I'd like to give a special "I'm thankful for" shout-out to the BEST CP EVER, Jeannette, who not only tolerates my (sometimes amusing) emails about life, writing, and random thoughts (both good and bad), she actually responds and gives the best feedback on my writing that a gal could ever ask for.  So thank you, Jeannette, for being a wayyyyyyyyyy more awesome CP than I deserve!  I'm so glad I creeped on you and that you didn't think I was weird when I randomly wrote that I hope bears don't steal your pic-a-nic basket during our first round of CP emails.  You're not only the BEST CP EVER, you're also an awesome friend :)

Oh, and she's Canadian, too!  How cool is that?!?

Fourthly, I'm thankful for my family, even though they still don't know that I'm trying my hand at this whole writing thing.  They'll find day...

Fifthly, I'm thankful for my friends who do know about my writing ambitions, and who didn't laugh at me when I told them that I like to write stories in my free time.  You know who you are (seriously, thanks for not laughing at me!).

Sixthly, I'm thankful that I can spend my "free time" *cough* grad school *cough* doing something that I love!  Writing has always been something I've done for fun, and I don't intend on quitting anytime soon!  I'm also thankful that I haven't run out of stories to tell - I hope that's something I can always be thankful for :)

Seventhly (and finally!), I'm thankful for grad school, because as much as I complain about being busy (sorry about all of that), and as hectic as it's been trying to balance my assitantship, classes, and writing, I'm in a program I love, and being trained to do something that I also love.  So much love, love, love.  Also, I'm thankful that I'll be job-hunting soon (and I'll be even more thankful if my job-hunt leads me to a coast!).

So, yeah, that's my list of seven (ish) things, and just in time for (American) Thanksgiving!  What about you, dear readers?  What are you thankful for?!?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My TBR stack o' books :)

Well, it's Sunday, which means that grad school's a-callin' yet again.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love learning, school, and discussions...but I'll also be glad when I don't constantly have papers to write.

Lots of papers.

And, when my only purpose for using Word is to write stories, I'm going to be over-the-moon-ecstatic :)  But that won't happen till this summer.  Until then, I've got these wonderful books to keep me company over the fast-approaching Thanksgiving and Winter Break!  My goal is to have all of these read by the end of the year.

Can I do it?!?  

Stay tuned to find out!

(Also, do I need to read more "adult" books?!? I'm thinking the answer is no haha)

Friday, November 16, 2012

In which I respond to gun violence.

I originally had a happy, puppies and kittens and rainbows post planned for today.

But then news came down the pipeline of a foiled future shooting at a screening of the new Twilight movie.

Now, I am someone who goes to the movies quite often.  In my perfect world, I'd probably be there at least once a week (which is usually the case during summer).  I'm a fan of midnight showings, because you're there  in a theater full of people who love something as much as you do (or maybe even more) and you all laugh, cry, get mad, and are shocked by plot twists together.

I was at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises this summer, albeit I was in Minnesota and not Colorado, and, like many people, didn't hear about the murders that happened there until the next day.  I was shocked and saddened and, unfortunately, reminded of a wound that still doesn't want to heal fully for a lot of my friends from college (and, to a smaller extent, to me, too).

I am proud, so, so, so proud to call Virginia Tech my home.  It's where I became who I am, it's where I made my closest friends, it's where I believed that, for the first time, I could make a difference in this world.  A real, honest to goodness difference.

And, if you haven't made the connection yet, my senior year of high school was when the place I loved was torn apart by tragedy.

My home, my friends, were all put at the mercy of one person with a gun.  A person who shouldn't have been able to buy that gun, that ammunition, in the first place, but somehow, someway, he did, and 32 members of my family died because of it.

I watched in horror as the death count rose, but never for a second did I reconsider going there in the fall.  I was horrified that things had been allowed to escalate that far, that someone who clearly needed help didn't get it in time, and that someone could be filled with so much hate and confusion that they would take it out on  classmates and professors.  On an RA who was just trying to do his job.  On anyone he could get close to.

My friends lost friends that day, and although I'm lucky enough to not be able to make that terrible claim, my heart still aches for the 32 people who died just because they chose to go to school or work that day.  When my freshman year at Tech started, we were still healing, still figuring out how to move on while honoring everyone we lost.  And we did move on, we are trying to heal - but, just like most things, that takes time.

I share this because, as I read about the possible Twilight shooting today, memories of that day - and the anniversaries of that day - filled my mind.  And, I'll admit, I'm writing this through quite a few tears.  I remembered the Dark Knight Rises shooting this summer, the Sikh Temple shootings that occurred not too long ago, Columbine...the list can go on and on and on.

And that's the unfortunate thing.  All of these communities are torn apart through an act that is so hateful and callous that it shouldn't be allowed to be real.  It shouldn't exist, these deaths shouldn't have happened to people who just wanted to learn, or watch a movie at midnight, or pray.  But they did happen, and sometimes it's hard for me to make sense of it all.

After the murders at the Dark Knight Rises screenings, a lot of people united, with rallying cries of "Keep going to the movies!  Don't let the shooter win!" It's a sentiment that I've seen echoed a lot when injustices like this happen - people demand a return to normalcy, a way to show the perpetrators that no, you didn't take our power away.

And, to an extent, I'm all for this.  I went to the movies the day after it happened, just to prove that I wasn't afraid.

But, you know what?  That was a lie.  I was afraid.  Not afraid of the exact-same-thing-happening, but still, I was on edge, I worried that something might happen.  Maybe not in my theater.  Maybe not in that state.  But the worry that it was possible - that another place I loved dearly had now been defiled by unwarranted violence and death - made me worry about, essentially, everything.  Would there be no safe place now?  When public squares, movie theaters, schools, universities, military bases, houses of worship, become scenes of chaos and loss, of confusion, unending sadness, and trauma, what's left?  And will we, can we ever truly be safe?

Well, the answer to that question is a resounding no.  Safety, although a nice thought, is no more a reality than anything that happens in the books, movies, and TV shows that I love so much.  But there are steps to lessen the gap - there are so many steps, so many small things we can do to prevent these hideous things from happening again.

First, if you think someone needs help, you can either a) reach out to them or b) help them get to a counselor, therapist, someone, anyone.  They might not be a threat to themselves or others, and if they are, then I certainly don't advocate putting yourself in danger, but, I promise you, even the smallest kindness goes a long way.

Second, if someone's doing something suspicious, like buying 2 rifles and 400 rounds of ammo, like this alleged Twilight shooter, call the authorities, like his mother did.  Even if it turns out to be nothing, you could end up saving lives.

Third - well, third would be me talking about gun control laws, and if you've read this post I think it's pretty clear where I stand there.

Finally, GO TO THE MOVIES.  Yeah, I'm taking up the torch that was dropped earlier this summer.  Go to the movies, go to the mall, the grocery store, the library, class, go wherever the hell you want.  Fear is sometimes a useful thing - like, if you come across a bear in the woods, you have every right to be terrified - but it can also hold us back.  If you stop going to movies, if you stop living - well, then, you're giving the people who carry out these crimes with perfect clarity exactly what they want:

Fear and chaos and distrust.

And I, for one, don't want to live in a world where we feed off of those things.  I'd rather live in a weary world, scarred by the past, yes, but willing to move on.  Willing to try to be better, to try to rebuild when it's the last thing that anyone wants to do.

I've seen it happen.  I've seen mourning and sadness, so much mourning and sadness, first hand.  Every year at Virginia Tech those feelings never left our campus.  But every year they weighed down on us a little less.  But that's only because we chose to honor our 32 family members by living the lives that were so unceremoniously ripped from them.  We rebuilt, we're still rebuilding, and I hope the same can be said by the other communities touched by the same tragedies.

So, with that long-winded discourse out of the way, I leave you with my weekend plans.  I'm going to see Pitch Perfect, Wreck-It Ralph, and Breaking Dawn: Part 2 - because, even though Twilight and I might not like each other that much anymore, I've already seen the other movies and am totally willing to sit through two more (and final!) hours of K-Stew making the same face over and over and over.

I have a free small popcorn coupon.  You'd better bet I'm upgrading that to a large for $2 more.

And, hey, maybe you'll join me.  I'll be the one sitting there, smack dab in the middle of the theater, with a the biggest damn bucket of popcorn I can buy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Random LOST Tangent

I had this post all prepared that was going to be a vague update on my querying process.

But then I deleted it, 'cause I'm kind of superstitious and don't want to jinx myself.

And I know it's silly, but just stay with me for a second, because I have a point.  And that point involves Lost.

I think.

Lost will forever and always be one of my favorite shows.  I think that's where I learned the fine, fine art of answering questions with more questions and, let's face it, those "cursed" numbers kind of made math cool again.

So, naturally, my MS was influenced a little by Lost (and Fringe and Minority Report, of course).  And, I kind of didn't realize it until today, but I definitely carried one of the major debates/themes from Lost into my MS.

And that theme/debate/struggle is:
John Locke (Man of Faith) versus Jack Shepard (Man of Science)

I realized today, as I sat there refreshing Querytracker, that my two narrators are a little like Lost's frenemies (we're going to go with John Locke know..."the change" and if you don't know what I'm referring to, Lost is an amazing show that you should watch!).

Sora, the soldier/future predictor/remorseful killer who wants atonement would be Jack.  What little faith she had in herself, or in humanity, really, has slowly been drained away by watching people die.  A lot.  Sure, sometimes she can stop it, but sometimes she can't...much like Jack, who couldn't save everyone with his surgery skills. Sora and Jack rely on facts, and (at least in the beginning) aren't willing to believe in something if they don't have tangible proof.  They're also determined to fix things - and to keep trying, even when something can't get fixed.  For Sora, the puzzle she desperately wants to solve is how to avoid killing Bastian.  For Jack - well, that would be a spoiler, and I don't believe in spoilers (somewhere out there, a spoiler just died).

Bastian, the one who tries to hide his abilities/harbors some father issues/just watched his girlfriend get blown up would be John Locke.  Bastian's father is the only one left alive in his broken family, and he hasn't seen him in years.  But Bastian is able to believe in not only himself, but his friends - and Sora - when she needs it the most.  He pretty much puts his life in her hands with the belief that she won't kill him.  John Locke's progression through Lost would include some hefty spoilers, but he's essentially the yin to Jack's yang.  Locke is ready to believe in the Island - to believe in something bigger than him - and makes his choices based on the feeling he has that the Island is an entity of good.

When I came up with this thought, I also thought it was a little funny that Sora, the one who has the more arguably "psychic" power would be the one who needs proof in order to accept something.  Bastian, on the other hand, grew up with a scientist father, and, although he doesn't run around making every decision intuitively (not that there's anything wrong with that, I intuit things all the time), he's willing to discard the facts, if he needs to, in order to help a friend.  

Although these viewpoints can sometimes war with each other, I think both sets of characters learn that you sort of need both to be whole.  You need the cold, hard facts sometimes, and other times, you just need to believe - believe in yourself, in others, in the great spaghetti monster in the sky (it's a thing, look it up).  

So, what am I trying to say?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I'm just a blogger, talking about Lost, asking you to love her (erm, and her characters, too haha).

But seriously, thinking about this Person of Science versus Person of Faith thing made me realize how much Lost actually seeped into my MS without me even knowing.  I do hope I did it justice.  And I also hope that I can continue to explore that interesting dynamic as I keep on writing :)

Right, now that I've babbled, what say you, friends?  Have you noticed any external influences on your writing, either while you were writing or just when you were sitting around, putting off working on...something?

I'd love to know!  Happy Monday (or Tuesday Eve, as I like to call it haha)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Random Wedding Post (AKA HELPPPPP)

So, taking a break from my querying/contests/submissions/NaNo mania to talk about something totally unrelated to anything that I will ever write about.  Ever.

If you couldn't tell from the title, this post shall be about weddings.

And, before you ask, NO I'M NOT GETTING MARRIED.
I'm not even in a relationship, friends, and I'm also 23, so I think I've got some time to do that whole thing...if I ever find a person that's willing to put up with me for the rest of their lives (good luck to whoever that poor sap turns out to be!).

Anyways, it's Alex's confession time:
I've never been to a wedding before.

Yeah, that's right.  Never ever.

Now, part of this is due to the fact that my Dad's family lives in Maine, and my Mom's family is in the Philippines.  So, even when family members tied the knot, my Mom, brother, and I couldn't really make it from little old Virginia Beach.

The point in all of this is that I have two weddings to go to this summer, for two of my best friends.

I'm the Maid of Honor for the first one.
Remember when I said I've never been to a wedding before?
Yeah, I'll let that sink in.

I'm in the bridal party for the second wedding.  
So, for those keeping score at home, that's:

Weddings: 2
Alex: 0

I have NO IDEA how to be a Maid of Honor OR a Bridesmaid (minus what I learned from Bridesmaids, and I don't know if that's the best reference point), and am freaking out.  My roommate has a couple of books that I've read...but still...I don't know what I'm doing.

Also, I think it's hilarious that the first two weddings I'll ever go to, I'm also in the bridal party.

Thanks life :P

So, does anyone have any advice?  Resources? Words of affirmation?!?

Or wedding stories in general?  

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints!  I'm off to find old episodes of Say Yes to the Dress...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaNo Updates AND an Election Day Plea

I promise not to get all political with this post.  GO VOTE pretty much sums it up.

But an email that we got today at my school - an email that reminded everyone to be civil to each other no matter what the results are - got me thinking.  About things.  Which can be a terrible, terrible idea.

I promised I wouldn't get political.  And I won't.

So here's me not getting political.
And here's me revealing a bit more about my NaNo project, which is VERY DIFFICULT because I'm the type of person that likes to keep their secrets a secret.

One of the big things I wanted to address in this new story is racism.  And, along with that, both perceived and overt prejudice and the effects it has on people.  

Which people?
People of color, bi-racial or multi-racial individuals (like myself), every kind of socio-economic status, political affiliations, (and, since it's in a boarding school) prejudice in different cliques/circles.

There's more to it than that, obviously.  I still have a Shakespearean play to work in, and of course, it's a ghost story, so I would be remiss to not mention any ghosts.

But at the heart of it all, my MC is a bi-racial girl struggling to figure out where she belongs - or whether or not she should belong to any one category.  

I think it's a struggle we all face.

This struggle is also something I'm very passionate about researching.  To get my Masters, I'm going to examine students of color and their experiences at predominantly white colleges and universities.  The lens I'm using to narrow this topic (because it's a broad, broad topic) is involvement in student organizations.

Essentially, I want to see if being involved in an org that is based on one's culture, like the Asian American Association or the Native American Student Association makes a student of color feel like they belong more to an institution than if they were in something non-culturally based, like a Residence Hall Association.

I've already written a few papers on perceived prejudice, and currently work in an office that promotes and supports multicultural student life.  I pretty much love this stuff, and find issues that revolve around prejudice quite fascinating. 

So I guess I figured I would try to put those interests into a story.  We'll see how it goes :)

Right. Now that you know more than you ever wanted to about my research interests, I leave you with this parting thought (in a terrible attempt at tying everything together).

Whatever happens with the election tonight, please, PLEASE, treat everyone with the dignity and respect that they deserve as human beings.  DO NOT go out of your way to make someone uncomfortable, or feel threatened for their safety because of their beliefs, the color of their skin, their religion, etc.

It's ok to agree to disagree.
It's ok to be disappointed with a result that you didn't like.
It's ok to be mad.

But don't take it out on anyone else. 
No matter what, just remember that we're all entitled to our own beliefs.  We're all entitled to feel safe.

Just remember that we're all people.  We all have hopes and dreams, fears and insecurities.  We're all more fragile than we'd like others to know, but strong and resilient when we have to be.  To paraphrase Shakespeare (a different play from the one I'm using),

If you prick us, we bleed.
If you tickle us, we laugh.
If you poison us, we die.
We're hurt by the same weapons, fed by the same food, subject to the same diseases.

See?  Even in Shakespeare's time, he was trying to make the case that we're all the same.  I'm going to over-look the rest of that speech, where Shylock talks about getting revenge, 'cause that totally messes with the point I want to make.

I'm also over-looking it because Shylock in Merchant of Venice warrants his own blog post.

But I digress.

In summation:
Although the email I received initially made me a little worried about tonight, I hope, I HOPE that the students at this school, and everyone in our community, takes the message to heart.

Actually, I hope the whole country takes that message to heart.


And then play nice.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Observations from the NaNo frontlines (AKA all of my best ideas happen in the shower...What?)

I'm taking a mental break from grad school stuff to catch up on my NaNo word count - we had a lot of things to do for our office this weekend (Homecoming! woo!), so I wasn't as productive with writing as I wanted to be.

But that's ok, 'cause NaNo is a whole freaking month dedicated to getting to 50,000 words.

So, as I try to get to par today (6,666 words...uhh creepy, right?) I've had an interesting thought running through my mind.  And the thought, dearest writer-friends, is this:

About this ghost story...there's one aspect that I've ALWAYS wanted to keep in there, but up until now I was trying to figure out how to make

Before you start to let your mind wander:
A) It's seriously not what you think.
B) For reals, though.  It's not what you think.

Right, so my update on ze ghost story is this:  I FINALLY figured out a way to get around my little "I don't think this could plausibly (and legally) happen in real life (yes, I'm having a logic war with my ghost story).  But then I took a shower, and, as with all of my great ideas, I had an awesome light-bulb moment - a moment that I shall now turn around and around in my head for a few days while I write.

In the meantime, I'm going to get to that 6,666 word mark in one and a half hours...I think.

Anyone else have weird shower revelations?  Or just weird times for revelations in general?

Also, revelations is a word I should use more 'cause it sounds cool.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Hey hey hey!

This post shall be ever so brief, because I have a limited amount of free time this weekend, and I would like to spend it upping my NaNo word count :P  This is my first year NaNo-ing (that's a word, right?) and I'm loving it so far!

My ghost story is quite brutal (even though I'm only a couple of chapters in), and I absolutely love having it set at a boarding school, 'cause I get to do a few fun things that aren't really possible at public high schools (I'm not knocking public high schools, I received a top-notch education from mine!).

My goal tonight is to get to at least 3,000 words, which is a little under par, but I'm ok with that...because I'm going to win this thing.  I'm going to get to 50,000 words by the end of November like a boss (haha) and thennnnnnnnnnnnnnn actually finish my first draft.  And then edit it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  First thing on the agenda is to get about 600 more words typed before I go to sleep!  Wish me luck :)

Oh, and some departing questions.. Are YOU NaNo-ing?  If so, what's your story about?  ALSO if so, feel free to friend me on the site!  I'm Alex Brown (and I love having more writing buddies!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!

As someone who LOVES (seriously, LOVES) to watch Ghost Hunting/Adventuring/Haunting shows, AND who dressed up as a witch pretty much my entire childhood, minus that one year I was the Pink Power know, Kimberly...

I'd just like to say...

Happy Halloween!!!

Go do the Monster Mash, or watch a spooky show on the Travel Channel.  You can also go on a ghost tour, read a really creepy (but amazing) book *cough* ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD *cough* or, ya know, do that whole trick or treating thing :)

Aside from being my absolute favorite holiday, Halloween this year means something else:

Query season for ASTRAL has started!!!  Keep your fingers/hands/arms/limbs crossed for me, friends!

Oh, and one last update - to stay in the Halloween spirit for the month of November I've decided to switch up my original NaNo plans and focus on a pretty sweet (I'm using "sweet" in the "awesome" sense, not the romance-y sense) ghost story that's been sitting in the back of my mind for a little while.  Most of it is still pretty secret, BUT the parts I can divulge are:

A) This one's only got one POV.
B) The Big Bad is NOT going to be Casper (e.g. not quite a friendly ghost)
C) It takes place in the confines of a boarding school (one of the twists is how this is handled...bwahaha)
D) Multiculturalism (something I am really passionate about!) plays a big role
E) Danger (both real and...not-so-real) lurks around every corner!

That's all you get for now :P

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dear Teen Me...

This post was inspired by this awesome website!

I've already posted my defense of teens...and when I found "Dear Teen Me" I started to think about what I would say to my teen self...I'm going to go with beginning of senior-year me.

So, here we go.

Dear sixteen year-old Alex,
You're going to be seventeen soon, but I promise you're not the youngest one in your class (you're pretty close, though!).  I know you've always felt a little self-concious about that whole "being a year younger than everyone" thing, but I just want you to know that it doesn't matter.
Sure, it's something you'll deal with for a long, long time. 
But you know what? 
There are other things to worry about.
More important things than your insecurities.
I promise.

You're about to start looking at colleges, without any damn idea of where to start.  Sure, you've gone on a couple of campus tours, but you haven't gotten that magical "this is home, this is where I HAVE to go," feeling that everyone promises you'll get.  You're wondering how hard it's going to be to pay back those dreaded "student loans" (and, honestly, you'll still be wondering that six years from now), and if you'll be placing any extra stress on your single mother, who's started working two jobs to help pay for your education.

You might want to go and thank her now.  I'll wait.

Have you thanked her?  Good.  Never stop thanking her.

Now, about the college search:
Stop worrying about it!  When your lab partner in Bio talks about going to Virginia Tech and asks if you want to be roommates, just go with it.  Apply early decision, go to an Open House, and get those oh-so-desired "I belong here" butterfiles.  Because you do.  You always did, and you always will.  Oh, and when it comes to picking your major, I know you have the desire to be the next Jack Hanna.  I mean, what doesn't sound appealing about going on late night talk shows and telling the world about  how awesome jaguars are?

Don't get me wrong.  Jaguars are awesome.
But you're going to want to beware of trees.  Dendrology will break your spirit and persuade you to switch majors, and you'll promptly abandon Wildlife Sciences for Psychology.
Yes, you will get weeded-out by a weed-out class.
And you'll be so glad you did.

But enough college talk.  Let's go back to high school for a moment, as you sit in your second semester of "Theory of Knowledge" and try to understand whatever the hell Kant was trying to say.  I know you're busy with "Sweeney Todd" rehearsals and, in a few months, "Oklahoma" will take over your life (because those two musicals really pair well together), and you're wondering if that guy you like also likes you back.

Yeah, you know the one.
Well, here's some news for you: he might have liked you back...but you'll never get the chance to figure it out.  You'll go away to college, and he'll start hanging out with your best friend...and, inevitably, they'll start dating while you're dissecting things in lab, trying to figure out calculus, and learning all about why hunting deer is a really good thing for the environment.

Don't get too heartbroken over that one guy.  It'll suck for a while, but there are other fish in the sea.  I promise.

So stop worrying about your crush.  I know you can do it.  Instead, enjoy senior year.  Go to the movies with friends, watch "The Happening" on your other best friend's bootleg cable connection (or save yourself the trouble and just stay away, 'cause you'll get emotionally scarred by trees in college anyways), and just enjoy being a teenager. 

I know, I know, why would you enjoy being a teenager?  Being an adult seems like so much fun, right? an extent.  Don't get me wrong - being able to do your own thing is pretty great.  But then there are other things.
Like grad school.
And bills.
Job Searching.
And bills.
Uncertainty about where you'll be after May.
And have I mentioned bills?

I know you'll appreciate this, because you're me and obviously that means you're awesome (not as awesome as a jaguar, but still).  Let's look at your life like a movie.

And not just any movie.  We'll go with "Midnight in Paris."  It hasn't been released yet, but trust me, you'll love it as soon as the opening song starts playing.

This movie looks at how everyone always wants to think that a past decade/epoch was "The Golden Age."  For the main character, his Golden Age was the 1920's.  In Paris.  And I know you totally agree with this point.

But the main character learns something throughout the course of the movie - and his realization will become one of your favorite quotes ever.

You ready to hear it?

"That's what the present is. It's a little unsatisfying because life's a little unsatisfying."

I'm not trying to confuse you or anything.  I know I told you to enjoy being a teenager, and then I throw this quote at you like I'm Yoda.  But, just stop and think about it.  Yeah, the present may be a little unsatisfying.  But the same can be said for the future, too.  I'm not trying to bum you out or anything - these past six years have been great, don't get me wrong.  You'll be going to grad school for something you love, and you'll be giving yourself carpal tunnel while you try to crank out a pretty amazing story (that you also love).

Nothing's perfect, and everything's a little unsatisfying.  But there's a bright side to all of this: YOU can make it better.  YOU and only YOU can focus your life, your thoughts, and your actions, on what YOU want to do.  What's fun, what's fulfilling, what makes you excited about living. There are two things that do this for you.

The first, you're already doing.  Scribbling ideas for plays, writing short stories about polar bears going extinct and re-reading every. single. Harry Potter book that's come out.  Keep this up.  Write when you can and as often as you can.  And never, ever quit.
Never, ever quit.

The second you won't find until college - but, once you switch majors and think about grad school, you'll see the light.  You'll spend the rest of your life explaining to people what Student Affairs is, but it's totally worth it.
I promise.

I guess what I'm trying to say in an overly wordy way is this: Figure out what you love to do.  Then do it.

There.  Simple.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What A Crazy-Random-Happenstance...

Friends, Romans, Countrypersons, lend me your ears...for I have the best freaky-there's-no-way-this-actually-happened-but-it-did-and-I-really-love-hyphenating-things story for you.

While watching Fringe on Friday (seriously, WATCH THIS SHOW IF YOU ARENT WATCHING IT YET) something awesome happened.

Walter, my favorite Fringe character ever, was trying to get past a couple of guards at a gate (he was in a car, I'm not describing this scene very well).  His excuse to get by the guards is what made me tweet/flail uncontrollably.

What did he say?

"I need to get to Kennebunkport, Maine."

This might not seem like a big deal to you.

You might not have even ever heard of Kennebunkport, Maine (if you have, please let me know because we have lots to talk about).  BUT, without spoiling anything, this little town plays a role in my book.

You know, the book that was inspired by Fringe.

This might be a sign from The Powers That Be...

Thanks, Fringe, for giving me some creepily awesome warm-fuzzies as I trudge into the Querylands (Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeen! Ah!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Obligatory Self-Doubt/Freak-Out Post

I've already talked about self-doubt like a gazillion times on this blog.  I know I promised to not write about it again, but I just can't seem to quit it (sorry I'm not sorry for the Brokeback Mountain reference).

Yeah, yeah, I know that my last few posts have been all excited/happy/positive-freak-out-celebration time.

And, don't get me wrong, there is still A LOT of positive-freak-out-celebration-time happening.


I'm pretty terrified to start querying again.  My estimated date is Halloween (because it's my favorite holiday, and still an appropriate number of days away for me to calm down...maybe).

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my MS.  Seriously, I've burnt my brain out trying to make this story the best it can be, fixed my plot holes, and (thanks to helpful notes from my CP) made the the whole thing MAKE SENSE.

Also something I learned with this book (and kind of my last one) - Describing settings for me is difficult, because I'd rather just write a book full of dialogue.

I admit it and accept this about myself, and for my next WIP I'm about to get even MORE settings-heavy, so yay for self challenges?  Maybe?

Anyways, back to my MS.

The plot is there.  I know it is.  Besides a few minor changes from when I just started writing (I'm a pantser, so my whole first 50 pages or so was just me spit-balling BUT MY SPITBALLING IS INTUITIVELY AWESOME AND SOMEHOW IT WORKS FOR ME) to make the plot flow a little better, I pretty much stuck to the story I wanted to tell.

So, now, naturally, the anxieties come.

In no particular order:
Is my story too much like Fringe, Lost, and Minority Report?  Am I just repeating story-lines, or did I really create something different?
Will people be able to figure out what's going on too easily?
Or, conversely, will I lose them 50 pages in?
Will people understand/like Sora?  I cleared up her motivations/character early on, but she's just not as easily connectable (is that a word? I don't think it's a word) as Bastian, my other MC/narrator.  
Will people get to the end and be
Is this book about anything?

But, here's the trick friends - throughout all the bumps and bruises (and hopefully high-fives) that are going to happen, I think I need to remember one thing, and one thing only.  Ok, I lied, two things.

Firstly: Anxieties are ok.  Everyone freaks out.  Just calm down, Alex and believeeeeeee you can fly.  Or just believe in yourself.  That might be better than the flying thing.

Secondly (again, am I making up words?)


Now I just have to find other people who love it, too.

I've got about a week to mentally prepare myself.  Let's do this (again!)!!!!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Writer Therapy Blog Hop!

**Just throwing it out is my birthday (I'm 23 - Blink-182 says no one will like me now...oh my).  So, yeah...wooo birthdays!!!**

Well hello all!  This blog post is part of the Writer Therapy Blog Hop!  So, without further ado, my post on MY writing therapy...

You really want to know?

You sure?

Well, here's my answer.  My writing therapy is...

Chocolate.  Dove chocolate, to be exact.
Going to the movies, and the movie popcorn that goes along with it.
Watching TV shows that make me think, that I can't live without, and that can always keep me guessing.
Twitter...I never thought I would love Twitter as much as I do, but there you go.
Grad school in a weird way, because I've know...papers to write that aren't stories.
Avoiding cleaning my part of the apartment (sorry roommates!)
MUSIC.  I can't stress this enough.  Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles pretty much helped me write my book(s).

Now, how do these things help me with writing?

I HATE silence.  So music helps me fill that unbearable gap.
Chocolate is delicious...and the best pick me up a gal could ask for.
Movies/TV shows all provide me with lots of inspiration and more stories/characters to love.  I wouldn't be who I am today if I had never discovered Buffy, or Tracey Flick, or Walter Bishop, or Scar, I wouldn't be who I am today.  Seriously.
Twitter helps me because the whole writing community seems to live on there!  If I need a tweet of encouragement  or want to know what's going on in the writing world, all I have to do is log-in!  Plus, I also now have a penchant for hashtagging haha
Grad school and not cleaning help me whenever I need a distraction from writing...or, sometimes, they provide me with a random AHA! moment that helps me along with whatever I'm working on.

So, yeah, that's prettyyyyyyyyy much it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Rant Against Useless Princesses.

I wasn't planning on blogging today - but, after tonight's episode of "Once Upon a Time" I just have too many feelings to hold in.  I've loved the show since it premiered, and never miss an episode.  But after what they did tonight...I don't think I love it as much.

My reason?

Belle is pretty much the most useless character ever.

Seriously, it's like she's just there to help Rumpelstiltskin change and grow as a character without doing any changing or growing herself.  One of the reasons I loved this show is that it took characters like Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood and made them kick-ass heroines who still had a heart.  They still worried about loved ones/fought for "true love"/did the right thing BUT THEY HAD BRAINS.

And they used these brains quite often.
Well, minus the time Snow let herself get poisoned by King Charles Widmore (thanks, EW, for the awesome moniker).

But still.  They are smart, wonderful heroines for young girls to look up to.

And then Belle comes along.

I was so, so, so excited to have Belle on the show.  Sure, in the original story, Belle and her Dad have a semi-creepy relationship, and the whole reason she ends up in captivity in the first place - her Dad taking a rose from the Beast's garden - can also be interpreted as her, ahem, literal deflowering.  There's also the abusive relationship disguised as a "girls, you can fix any guy if you try your best" message, but that's not what I'm going to focus on today, 'cause it's an entirely different blog post.

Since Disney is ultimately at the helm of this show, I'm going to defer to the Belle from the movie where a talking clock and candlestick sing "Be Our Guest."  I'll wait for you to get that song out of your head before I continue.  Sorry.

Is it gone yet?


So, in the movie, Belle's goal is to go out adventuring - to forge her own path, choose her own life, and not be Gaston's "little wife."  Oh, and BELLE LOVES TO READ.

This is what made her my favorite Disney Princess (before Mulan came around, of course.  My love for Mulan is another blog post).  She loved to read.  She had a mind of her own.  She was smart.

Again, we're skipping over the abusive "You can't do anything unless I tell you to" relationship.

So, somewhere along the way in "Once Upon a Time" that Belle got lost in translation.  She turned into someone who says ALL THE WRONG things because she can't read social cues (hint: if your Dad kidnaps you and tells you that you NEED TO SAY YOU DONT LOVE RUMPELSTILTSKIN  that is not the opportune moment to start talking about living your own life and go all "You can't tell me what to do!" on him).  Save it for after he lets you go.  Seriously.

And this Belle can't do a thing for herself.  When she's about to get her mind wiped on the worst cave-cart ride in a mine ever, what does she do?  SHE LOSES THE KEY TO HER EFFING HANDCUFFS, SO SHE CANT FREE HERSELF.  She has to rely on Rumpelstiltskin to magic his way in and save the freaking day.

Oh, and then when she FINALLY decides to do something with her life and re-open the town library, how does she find the key?!?


I know this was probably a call-back to the Disney movie.  But still.

There's something wrong with this picture.  

Don't get me wrong, I grew up on Disney movies, and I love them.  And I will continue to watch "Once Upon a Time," even though I'm mad at it.  

But let's just think about the messages being portrayed to young girls.

Whenever you need help, you won't be able to help yourself.

Yeah, you may be mad at the guy who lied to you, but if you stick around long enough, he'll give you something awesome like a library.

And, once that gift has been accepted, you'll decide that he is a good project to work on.  That you can change him.

You know, instead of working on yourself.

That's the only thing I'm asking for, "Once" writers - please, please, please give Belle some room to grow.  She needs to start having her own thoughts - thoughts that don't always revolve around "saving/changing" Rumpelstiltskin.  She needs to become her own person.  Make her own choices.

You know, USE HER BRAIN.

There was a moment in the episode where Red Riding Hood asked Belle what she liked to do.  And I held my breath, ready to yell at the TV, because you know what I thought her answer was going to be?


Instead, she said she liked books.  And I sighed out of relief.  But you know what?  I only thought that because so far ALL her character has done is worry about/try to change Rumpelstiltskin while cleaning his house/mansion/castle thing.  I seriously thought all she liked to do was clean, because that's all the writer's have made her care about.

And that is a problem.

So, to wrap up the rant, I hope my mind can get changed about this Belle.  I hope she does grow into her own person and that, yes, maybe she can grow with Rumpelstiltskin.

But she shouldn't just exist as an accessory to his change.  She also doesn't need to become a kick-ass fighter or anything like that.

She just needs to become a kick-ass person - which she can only do by becoming her own person.

Please, Powers That Be, make that happen.