Monday, October 18, 2010

"Beauty is not real. Beauty only exists in perception." -Unknown

At first this was going to be my status message, but what I needed to say called for something bigger: a note here which I'll copy-paste onto my blog as a blog post.

I am sick and tired of hearing stories from my sister in which her friends degrade themselves and call themselves "fat" when in fact they're skinnier than my sister (who's a normal weight for her age and height). And just now she said a four-year-old girl told her big sister (who's friends with my sister) that she shouldn't eat too much or she would get "fat".

NO. That is UNACCEPTABLE. Adults have got to STOP teaching their kids that weighing more than X means you're fat. And mothers who weigh less than I do (a normal, 16-year-old girl) are setting a VERY bad example for their daughters.

These daughters are, at 13, watching what they eat and talking about how "fat" they are on a daily basis. They turn to boys, try to get their attention, wear make-up and become obsessed with what's fashionable and what isn't all in an effort to rebuild the self-esteem that the adults around them have unintentionally destroyed.

I know too many girls who stopped paying attention to their grades and turned to boys all because they thought they were "ugly", "fat" and "worthless".

I can remember this one girl crying at a party because she thought she was ugly. This girl was and still is very pretty: she's short (which is NOT bad thing), has blue eyes and blonde hair and is petite. How on earth could she have thought she was ugly?

I used to be skinny--as in "people thought I was anorexic/bulimic" skinny. And I hated it. Sure, I got to eat as much as I wanted without gaining weight, but finding clothes that fit was a NIGHTMARE. I wished and wished that I would gain weight so I wouldn't need to wear a bloody belt anymore.

Now I weigh a normal weight and I can honestly say I love my body. Sure, I've got a "flabby" stomach (which my little brother points out whenever he can), but I'm not a supermodel--I'm a teenage girl who loves to write and read and who never exercises. Of COURSE I'm gonna have a little fat in certain areas. And yes, there are days when I wish I had a flat stomach, like some friends of mine, but they don't have flat stomachs because they don't eat, it's because they, can you guess?

Yes, they EXERCISE!

So either accept your body as it is or exercise. Or you know, maybe your perception of your own body has been skewed by the adults around you and in reality you're normal/on the skinny side but just can't see it. In that case, take a good look in the mirror--do you REALLY believe you're fat?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I’m baaack!

Originally posted on the 10th of October 2010 (I was too lazy to copy-paste until now)


I knew I was going to be busy this school year, but oddly enough, all I’ve done since going back to school is:
  • go to school
  • do homework
  • eat
  • sleep
  • go to school
  • do homework
  • watch TV
  • a little bit of reading
  • a teeny tiny bit of writing
  • do more homework
  • go to school some more
  • go to ONE party
  • sleep
  • sleep
  • go to school
Notice what pops up a lot on this list?

I guess it’s understandable I’d have a lot of homework–I AM in my before last year of school… But school is so much more tiring this year, and even though I haven’t had THAT much homework, I’m always tired, so my free time goes to waste.

Oh, and as it turned out, there are people in my class I know, namely Naomi (, a very good friend of mine. But because of circumstances, we only have normal maths and sport together. Wanna know these circumstances? I’m sure you do. Here they are:
  1. We’re not in the same Physics/Science group
  2. I take Spanish LV2, she takes Italian LV2
  3. I chose Italian LV3, she chose HIDA (history of art)
  4. I chose maths as my specialty (different from the other maths), she chose HIDA
  5. While I’m in normal French class, she’s in FLE because she doesn’t speak fluent French (for those of you who don’t know/forgot, I’m French and go to an International school in France)
  6. For English, History and Geography, we’re in different groups
What else can I tell you about school? Oh, there are 3 guys in my class. That’s two more than last year. Of course that’s only for the, well, “core class”, I guess you could call it, which is 1ereL1, meaning Literary 11th grade 1 (there’s 2 Literary 11th grade classes).

  • 7  days: Boring.
  • The Godfather: Enjoyed it.
  • Life of Brian: Loved it, especially the end.
  • City of God: Now this one… This movie was MIND-BLOWINGLY GOOD. I HIGHLY recommend it. The actors were unknown/had actually lived in such conditions, so the acting is perfect. It could have been a documentary. And despite having many scenes where kids kill other kids, those are not the most shocking. The most shocking, horrible scene is when one character shoots two little kids in the foot. Just writing that sentence is making me feel sad and horrified again. And this is coming from someone who must have seen at least a hundred horror movies. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I watched it in the original Brazilian Portuguese (with French subtitles) which makes the movie much better than if I’d watched in the dubbed French. Dubbing should be illegal–usually the voices sound so fake because they’re not truly acting; all they’re doing is speaking, they’re not also running through the forest like the real actors were, climbing a tree, etc.
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: I started this book in January and finished it in September. I read it on and off for NINE months–does that give you ANY idea of how well written the book is? Nabokov’s prose is beautiful and vivid, but what truly made it difficult for me to read the novel is Humbert Humbert (hereafter referred to as “HH”) who, by the end of the book, is completely insane, unstable, unreliable. And you could think that HH is the one with the power in his relationship with Lolita, but she’s the one who manipulates him. Recommend it.
  • Fang by James Patterson: Guilty pleasure, enjoy the story and certain character but not the writing. Dialogue is mostly cheesy or immature for characters of those ages. Entertaining nonetheless.
  • Third book I’ve read recently gets its own paragraphy thingy.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Summary from Amazon (UK):

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.
  • Ty: At first, you hate him, just like Gemma does, then as she learns about his past, the way his father never cared about him, the way his mother abandoned him, the way he ended up living all alone at the age of 11, you feel sorry for him, you understand why he is the way he is. And at the end, when Gemma is confused about her feelings for him, so was I. You know you should hate him, but he never truly hurts Gemma.
  • Gemma: I read a one star review of this book on Amazon that calls Gemma boring, and I actually have to agree with them on that one. (They say the whole book is boring–that’s where I disagree.) Based on what we find out about her as kid, I’d say she’s interesting, but maybe as a teen she wanted to blend in, be accepted and liked, so she stopped being herself. But I suppose one thing I can say in her favor is that she tries to escape several times and even when she realizes she cannot escape, she’s alone with him in the Australian Outback with the nearest town VERY far away, she doesn’t give in to Ty. She could have easily given up, completely given up, she could have spent her entire time crying (she does spend some time crying–I mean come on, she’s away from her family, her friends, her home and everything she’s used to), but she doesn’t.
 The word “fuck” in this novel

It was so nice to see the word be used in the book. Most of the time, writers are afraid to use it, but people say “fuck” when they talk, especially people like Ty–he kidnapped a girl, he’s not going to say stuff like “Gosh darn it” or “Frick.”

I, for one, say “fuck.” But I know not to say it in front of teachers, extended family members (I say extended because in my house, around my parents and my siblings, almost anything goes), strangers, etc. But “fuck” is just a word–kids reading it in a book won’t become juvenile delinquents just because of it. Nor will they become juvenile delinquents if they start swearing, or swearing more often.

If you believe this, well…does that make me a juvenile delinquent? Because I get good grades, never ditch school, have never stolen in my life, never smoked, never done drugs, never had sex or even kissed a boy. So I’d say that if you firmly believe swearing leads to bad behavior, you might need to rethink that belief of yours. Ditto if you believe novels in which characters do bad thing influence people, because I’ve read books such as “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess, everything by Ellen Hopkins, “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson, etc.
I have written, I kid you not, 667 words since the 1st of September. Pathetic or what? So I’m thinking of using NaNoWriMo to help me finish writing The Way Wars Are Won, just like I did with Kenna’s Choice. It’ll be the kick up the butt I desperately need.

Denial, how I hate thee…

Posted originally on the 2nd of September 2010 (I was too lazy to copy-paste until now)

So tomorrow I go back to school, and I’m freaking out. I don’t what class I’m in, who’s in my class and if I’ll know anyone who’s in my class. I haven’t finished the summer reading, or started writing my report on my two-week work experience. I also haven’t reached 55 000 words in “The Way Wars Are Won”, which I wanted to do by the end of August.

I also STILL haven’t finished editing chapter 3 of “Kenna’s Choice” or finished reading “Lolita”.

AND I start at 8.30, not 10, meaning I have to wake up at 6.30 a.m. That’s in less than 8 hours people. *gulp* Then again, I never get enough sleep during the school year…


Earlier this week, I truly panicked and abandoned my computer for two days, during which I did nothing by waste time in front of the TV, in total denial of my homework. I also stopped writing.

But tomorrow, after school, I will start reading “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (here’s hoping it’s better than “Dubliners” which is, in my opinion, badly written, boring and each short story never goes anywhere) and do some writing.

Word Count from the 1st of August to today:

1st    Sunday    391
2nd    Monday    65
3rd    Tuesday    114
4th    Wednesday    528
5th    Thursday    33
6th    Friday    672
7th    Saturday    0
8th    Sunday    0
9th    Monday    0
10th    Tuesday    0
11th    Wednesday    846
12th    Thursday    808
13th    Friday    0
14th    Saturday    678
15th    Sunday    859
16th    Monday    160
17th    Tuesday    1405
18th    Wednesday    245
19th    Thursday    1426
20th    Friday    277
21st    Saturday    0
22nd    Sunday    15
23rd    Monday    0
24th    Tuesday    0
25th    Wednesday    1080
26th    Thursday    0
27th    Friday    0
28th    Saturday    61
29th    Sunday    0
30th    Monday    0
31st    Tuesday    0
1st    Wednesday    120
2nd    Thursday    0

Hopefully, September will be a better month. “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” And I will be busy–homework, school, social life (maybe), reading, writing, editing, possibly critiquing for my critique partner as well as blogging and tweeting.

Movies I’ve seen:
  • Mad Max
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  • Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome [I LOVE all three movies, especially the second]
  • Cocoon (meh)
  • The Shining (AMAZING)
And I think that’s it…

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kayleigh fails at writing

I don't know why but lately, well, look at the word count:

18th    Wednesday    245
19th    Thursday    1426
20th    Friday    277
21st    Saturday    0
22nd    Sunday    15
23rd    Monday    0
24th    Tuesday    0
25th    Wednesday   314

As for editing Kenna's Choice... It started out fairly well, but I haven't made any changes since... Sunday? I'm not actually sure. All I know is I've been wasting time on the internet these past few days, feeling tired and doing very little reading. The very little reading=a few pages of Lolita and the 91-page play "Our Country's Good" for school.

Yeah. Maybe it's the heat getting to me, and the lack of sleep. Or lack of leaving the house.
Sometime soon, we're going to see Ondine, which I think will be good for me. Then maybe I should see my friends.

Words behind on goal for TWWAW: 2279

Depressing thing is that some writer write more than that in one day. I guess I could catch up if I had one or two fantastic writing days.

Zombies vs Unicorns giveaway

Jackson Pearce will give away an arc of Zombies vs Unicorns when she reaches 2500 followers on twitter. Even if you don't want the arc, go follow her. She's funny, nice and an amazing writer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Yeah, they'll build monuments to you about this high that read 'Rest in Peace'!"

Flatliners: There are some funny lines of dialogue, one of which is the title of this post, but that's not why I'm in awe of the scriptwriter. The premise of the movie is 5 people who kill each other to find out what's beyond death, then bring each other back. How do you transform THAT into an entire movie? But he managed.

For some reason, I can't find anything else to say about this movie.

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Now this I've got plenty to say, but that's because it's from Joss Whedon and I LOVE anything he creates.

So. Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is in 3 acts and in total is only 42, more or less. I wanted more the second it was over. And they might be doing a sequel!

It's a musical/comedy about Dr Horrible, whose real name is Billy. He wants to join the Evil League of Evil who will be watching him to see what crime he commits. If it's horrible enough, he can join the league.

As Billy, he's pathetic and in love with Penny, who, naturally, doesn't realize this. Standing in his way is Captain Hammer who ends up dating Penny.

Dr Horrible is played by Neil Patrick Harris from "How I Met Your Mother".

Penny is played by Felicia Day—she played Vi in BTVS.

Captain Hammer is played by Nathan Fillion—he played Caleb in BTVS.

Favorite line: "The hammer is my penis." —Captain Hammer

Writing: This is a pretty simple "revelation", but I just found my solution to the lack of plot in my novels. To me, it's all about the characters, so why not focus on creating realistic characters before starting my novel? Then I let the character interact and the plot will form itself. Does this make sense to anyone else but me?

Query Tracker: If you're about to start querying—or going to next year like me—then you should definitely use Query Tracker to find agents. Know what else is your friend during the querying process?

Spreadsheets: So here are the different column headers in my "Agents to query" spreadsheet:
  • Agency
  • Agent's Name
  • Who they represent
  • Address, e-mail, Twitter, website [this works better as one column for me—I use NeoOffice]
  • Genres they represent
  • Notes [such as "include first chapter in body of e-mail" or "only send query" or "any requested material is sent by mail" and the agent's response time if they mention it on their website]
  • Date of Query
  • Date of Partial Request
  • Date of Full Request
  • Offer of Representation
  • Date of Rejection
My long list of goals
  • Reach 55 035 words in TWWAW by the 31st of August 2010
  • Edit chapters 1 through 9 of Kenna's Choice by the 2nd of September 2010
  • Reach 68535 words in TWWAW by the 30th of September 2010
  • Reach 75 285 words in TWWAW by the 15th of October 2010
  • Edit chapters 10 through 17 + prologue of Kenna's Choice by 31st of December 2010
  • Second round of editing Kenna's Choice done by 31st of March 2011 (by then I'll 17!)
  • Write query letter for Kenna's Choice by the 30th of April 2011
  • Third round of editing Kenna's Choice done by 30th of June 2011
  • Start querying Kenna's Choice the 15th of July 2011 (enough time to make sure my query and my manuscript are perfect)

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Spike follows the smell of Willow and we follow the fairly ripe smell of Spike."

The Wolfman 2010: Meh. I started watching it a week or two ago and couldn't get into it. I thought it was because I was tired. Now that I finally finished watching it, I know it wasn't. So why couldn't I get into it? It's not a good movie. The make-up/special effects are really well done, but overall it's nothing special. I don't recommend it.

Wrong Turn: I'd already seen it years ago, but I had forgotten a lot about it, the major thing being it's actually a good horror movie. The characters aren't too stupid and eventually they realize what they have to do to survive. I recommend it.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End: Because it's a sequel, it's obviously worse than the first and way gorier. But it's still not too bad.


Playing with Darts

Wednesday I wrote a measly 245 words, but that's because I was drained from the previous day's writing. But yesterday I caught up and wrote...

1426 words!

Deadline: 15th of October

In other news, I have found the perfect title for "Playing with Darts". Ready?

The Way Wars Are Won

It's from a line in season 7 of Buffy. Good thing I did that marathon, huh?

Kenna's Choice

I've given myself until June to get Kenna's Choice in shape to start querying. Yes, that means I'm going to try and get it published. It's weird—I had no intention of getting it published. I thought that my first novel-length story wouldn't be good enough, but my critique partner said some very good things about it, and I have a list of things to delete (subplot of Kenna's aunt) and things to expand (Kenna's sister's storyline).

Word count for Draft 2:


  • Have edited chapters 1–9 by the end of August.
  • Have 55 035 words for TWWAW