What's Happening?

What's Happening?

Coming Soon

Showing posts with label contest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contest. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eclipse Pics for 13 to Life Contest

Behold the crappy cell phone picture of me standing in front of the theater, about to see Eclipse (by far the best Twilight movie so far), reading 13 to Life!

My Eclipse ticket stub being used as a bookmark for 13 to Life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Mini-Challenge Stuffs

This post is for The Eager Readers' Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Mini-Challenge. Check out the post for more information on Once Upon A Read-A-Thon and join in the reading/blogging goodness!
Once Upon A Read-A-Thon

Part 1: Spoilers for the Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
My favorite fictional couple is Victoria Gardella Grantworth and Sebastian Vioget, even though they don't end up together, because their chemistry is so much better than Victoria and Max's. Hell, Sebastian lost his finger for her! What's not to love?

I would've liked to see Victoria end up with a man that didn't deny wanting her and try to leave her behind "for her own safety" at every turn, but I never get my way. Anyways, vampires and slays always make good couples, especially vampires with a bad case of self-hatred.

So, yeah, Sebastian shoulda gotten the girl and then they all could've lived happily ever after without Max Pessaro. That would have been my happy ending, but, quite obviously, Miss Gleason and I have our own separate opinions, and since she wrote the books, I must simply pretend that Sebastian got Victoria.

Part 2:
A crossover couple that I'd like to see is Michael Sanders from Rachel Vincent's Shifters series and Kaia from Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld (Gwen's sister). Michael, the prim and proper, stereotypical control-freak lawyer-type needs a wild harpy like Kaia to help him cut loose. Seriously, how cool would it be, seeing him freak out about every little thing Kaia did? Theirs would definitely be a love-hate relationship, but it would be full of passion and hot semi-bestiality! Imagine the wonderfulness of it. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Brief Essay on Inspirational Teachers for the 13 to Life Contest

An Inspirational Teacher

In 13 to Life, Jessica was inspired by her Lit. teacher, Mr. Miles. I had a similar experience in high school my Freshman year. Most Frosh classes are boring but necessary for graduation, and, with the exception of AP or honors classes, you only get to pick one of them: your elective. Most students at my school picked something easy like Art or Wood Shop. I, being an aspiring author, picked Creative Writing.

Choosing Creative Writing is one of the best things I've ever done for my writing career. I don't think it would have been so influential to me if not for the teacher, Mr. Johnson. He is still the best teacher I have ever had, and his class is what really inspired me to write.
There was just something about the way he taught that made even students who had gotten thrown into the class because nothing else was open sixth period want to write. I'd already been thinking about creative writing as a career choice, but most people I talked to about it had told me that "you have to be really good at that to get published, sweetheart" as if I wasn't, and never would be, 'really good at it.'

Some teachers that I've had, especially English teachers, just sat there and told students what sucked about their work. They didn't suggest ways to fix what was wrong, or point out the good parts, they just said, "That isn't right." What kind of a teacher is that? Not a very good one.

Johnson would wander around the room pointing out the strong points in our stories and offering suggestions to fix parts that we weren't comfortable with, because, in the end, writing is very subjective. He never said that we were 'doing it wrong' like so many other teachers. He even had the class vote on what we wanted to learn instead of teaching what some book written eighty years ago suggested would help us.

Because of Johnson, my writing has progressed so much, and continues to do so as a direct result of some of the things he taught me in that class. It was really great to have a teacher who knew what he was talking about and wasn't just reading from the book.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Brief Essay on Sarah's Book Choices for the 13 to Life Contest

Sarah Luxom's Reading List

All of Sarah's reading choices reflect her state of mind at the time, and her mental condition. As she grows closer and closer to the girl she was before June 17, Sarah's books become darker and more philosophical. In order, the books she read over the course of 13 to Life are: Sense and Sensibility, Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Catcher in the Rye.

Our choice of reading material reflects our state of mind because, obviously, if you're feeling sad because your dog just died, you aren't going to be in the mood for a fluffy chick lit novel; more likely you'll be looking for something darker, with a more reflective tone, like an fantasy or sci-fi, because the tones used by the authors would be, more than likely, closer to the tone that you're using inside your head at the time. Likewise, if you're on vacation in Miami, lounging on the beach, you probably won't want to read a long, thoughtful high fantasy; chick lit and young adult are better choices for the beachy mood because they're generally less insightful and easier reads.

Based on these assumptions, Sarah will probably continue to struggle to reconcile the personality that she's developed since the accident with the one she had before, and as such, will likely have more outbursts like the one she had after riding ATVs with the Rusakovas, unless something happens to change the path that she is currently on, mentally.

As you can see, this essay is shorter than the previous ones. There is a reason for this: I. Hate. Philosophy. This essay has way too many philosophical points for me to enjoy delving deeper into the topic, so instead I'll just keep it short and save my brain's energy for writing something that I enjoy. Yay. At least I got in a good three paragraphs, four if you want to count this one. But hey, it's supposed to be brief, right? I think this is brief.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Brief Essay on Names for the 13 to Life Contest

 What's in a Name?
*Includes spoilers for Great Expectations, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward.*

Shakespeare, through his character Juliet, decided that names aren't very important, but was he right? Subjects like this are pretty much always a matter of opinion, and today I'll be playing devil's advocate to Shakespeare. I'm not really sure what I believe about names since it isn't something I think about often, so this is the only option I have.

Because Sarah read Great Expectations, I decided to discuss this Dickens novel first. If you've read it, you know that one of the conditions of the main character's great expectations (inheritance, basically, while the benefactor is still alive) is that he must continue to go by the nickname Pip, instead of his real name (Philip). Magwitch, Pip's benefactor, wants him to use this name because that was who he was when they met (Pip was a young child), and Magwitch doesn't want him to change. Pip's name is a symbol of the naive child who visualized his parents and siblings based on the shape and lettering of their tombstones.

Another instance when a name is very important to a character is in The Lord of the Rings. I'm sure everyone can guess who I'll mention. Sméagol! After finding the ring and murdering his friend, Sméagol's mind fractures into two entities, Sméagol and Gollum. When Sméagol/Gollum turns completely evil, it is signified by him forgetting the name Sméagol and going by just Gollum, no matter which of the two is in control. Sméagol/Gollum seems to become less evil, although certainly not good, when Frodo Baggins reminds him of his original name.

My third and final reference comes from a PNR series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward, and is much less significant than the other two, but demonstrates the importance of names all the same. When the brother Rhage falls in love with Mary Luce he doesn't think that they can be together because he was told by a very reliable source that he would end up with a virgin. Or at least, he would start out with one. Mary tells Rhage that she isn't a virgin, and his hopes are shattered, but he resolves to be with her anyways. At the end of the book, Mary reveals (not knowing about the prophecy) that, since her mother was a devout Catholic, she was named after none other than the Virgin Mary. Her name was what had been told to Rhage, not her sexual status.

In conclusion, while names certainly do influence how others think of us (ex. Pip), they don't have any real 'power.' In other words, names can't be used to control people (unless they're fae), but they definitely aren't just a collection of letters that got tagged onto you at birth. A name identifies you, it's your verbal definition, and that's not nothing. It's a really big something. Shakespeare got it wrong; while a name isn't everything, it's a big part of it. That's why the government allows name changes for all the Bartholemews and Charmaines out there. No offense to anyone who likes these names.

P.S.: Happy Fourth of July! And happy birthday to me :D

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Brief Essay on "Romeo & Juliet" for the 13 to Life Contest

This is another part of my contest entry for Shannon Delany's Change is Good--Ask a Werewolf Contest. Now that I've carefully chosen the perfect length for a brief essay, I don't think that I'll have to ramble for quite as long before and after the essay as I did for the "Change" essay. So, without further adieu:

Why Pietr Hates Romeo & Juliet, and You Should, Too
 An Essay on the Horrors of Shakespeare and Destiny

Disclaimer: I don't actually hate Shakespeare, just R&J and the concept of fate, star-crossed love, etc. 'The Horrors of Shakespeare' does not mean 'Shakespeare is Horrible.' If that was what I meant, that's what I would've put for the subtitle. This refers to horrors committed by Shakespeare in his works, and does not insinuate that they, themselves, are horrible, with the exception of R&J. I don't think there are any other ways I can say that. On with the essay.

Shakespeare's play Romeo & Juliet is one of those literary works that you either love or hate. There's not a lot of in between ground. I am one of the people who hate it, and so is Pietr from Shannon Delany's novel 13 to Life. I believe that Pietr's reasons for disliking R&J are that Romeo has no trouble getting the girl and that he also has no choice, because their love is fated.

First, unlike Romeo, Pietr has to work to win over Jessica, not because she doesn't like him, but because her best friend does. Juliet falls madly in love with Romeo before even talking to him. They look into each others' eyes from across a packed ballroom and are instantly certain that they want to be together forever. After knowing each other for less than a week, they elope. Pietr would obviously have issues with this easy love since, at first, Jessica rejects him.

Second, Romeo and Juliet don't get to decide whether or not they want to be together, because, well, fate has already decided for them. Over the course of the book, and before it, Pietr has had to make many difficult decisions, without the intervention of fate. If he doesn't get any help, why should Romeo and Juliet? Pietr feels forced into being something different from the rest of the world because he is a werewolf, and the same "fate" that chose to bring Romeo and Juliet decided that he would have to turn into a wolf. How is that fair? Romeo gets the girl, and Pietr gets what? Fur, fangs, and claws. Great. Yes, I do know that both Romeo and Juliet die, but it is their fault, and their families'.

The same issues might irritate teens in today's society because, like Pietr and Jessica, they have to struggle to make things work in their relationships without divine intervention, fate, whatever you want to call it. The point is that they have to make difficult, painful choices to get something good going with their boyfriend or girlfriend, and Romeo and Juliet just had everything fall together perfectly. Then what did they do? They screwed it all up. Just shows what good it does when fate gets involved.

So, reader, do you approve of Shakespeare's obvious deus ex machina? Is fate your thing? Or do you, like Pietr and I, believe that you should have to work for what you want? As you can see, Romeo and Juliet didn't appreciate what was given to them enough to keep it. Do you think it would have worked out differently if they'd had to fight for their love? I know that I do.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Brief Essay on Change for the 13 to Life Contest

I'm not really sure how long 'brief' is supposed to be, so I'm just going to guess. Hope it's not too long or too short. Hm. My English teachers always said that five paragraphs is a good length, but they also assigned ten page essays that obviously weren't supposed to have two page paragraphs. And they liked MLA, so I think that automatically discredits most of them, since MLA formatting is of the devil. Or at least one of his minions. Let's just say it's bad. Well, then, on with the essay!


Changes can be good or bad, but most are a mix of the two. Some are bitter with a hint of sweet, like finding out you have cancer and getting to meet your favorite celebrity; some are sweet with a hint of bitter, for example, going to get ice cream and eating so much of your favorite flavor that you get a stomach ache. Okay, I know that my examples are completely different in that the first is much more major and the second is kind of petty. You get the point. There aren't a lot of changes that are purely one or the other.

Since this essay is supposed to be about a change that I went through that worried me at first but turned out to be fine, I should probably add an example that actually happened to me. The ice cream thing doesn't count. My nice little anecdote for today shall be about my reading choices.

A few years back, I read mostly hardcover mainstream books, fiction and non-fiction both, and they were expensive, to say the least. My local librarian really pissed me off (a story for another time), so I stopped going to the library for anything aside from things I needed for school, and I was spending most of my money on books that only took me an hour or two to read like memoirs and biographies, etc.

My dad, being the control freak that he is, decided that I would no longer like to read such expensive, short books. So, in a spurt of adolescent rebellion, I decided to pick up a book that I thought he would disapprove of more than anything else: a paranormal romance. Sex, vampires, skimpily clad babes on the cover, very trashy. And guess what, I loved it.

I've since moved on to darker urban fantasies with less sex and more plot, and some light and fluffy young adult (and some not light and fluffy young adult), but I still like PNR. These days I rarely read anything without a paranormal aspect, and I love my books. All of this happened because of a change that I was furious and worried about.

And there's five paragraphs, the ideal high school English teacher essay length, except for when they want something else. Which is about fifty percent of the time. Okay, maybe my teachers were slightly off when they said that most essays should be five paragraphs. I kinda like it, though, 'cause it's short, and short usually equals easy. Easy and I are friends. Very close friends, actually; in fact, we're thinking about going out.

Hm. After much deliberation, I pronounce this


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Prologue Screenplay for 13 to Life Contest


          JESSICA is brushing her horse, RIO's mane, and her dogs,
          MAGGIE and HUNTER, are sleeping next to a bag of feed. The
          barn is well kept, but not commercial, and slightly old.

          RIO stiffens and stamps her feet.

                    What, girl?

          RIO shakes her head, jerking the brush away from JESSICA.


          JESSICA keeps her hand on RIO as she walks to the other side
          of the horse to search for the brush. Everything is
          completely quiet. Then MAGGIE and HUNTER jump up and rush at
          the door, barking loudly. Horses whiny and stamp their feet.
          in their stalls. Hay crackles under their feet.

                    What the--?

          JESSICA pets RIO's nose.

                    Shhh. It's okay, girl. Everything's

          JESSICA leaves RIO's stall and walks over to MAGGIE and
          HUNTER. She grabs their collars and looks through the narrow
          opening between the barn's doors. The barn yard is silent,
          but the dogs are still restless.

          Lights bathe the space in white, unnatural brightness.
          JESSICA can hear her father laughing at the television
          inside the house, and he turns the volume up. JESSICA looks
          down at the dogs, knowing that her father can't hear her if
          she needs help, and the dogs won't do much good.

          JESSICA promises snacks to her dogs and notes the absence of
          bats and insects. She sees something out of the corner of
          her eyes and stumbles back, loosing her grip on the dogs'

          The dogs whine and JESSICA grabs a pitchfork that had been
          leaning against the wall.

          A BEAST shoves at the other side of the doors and JESSICA
          can hear it sniffing. Its nose is visible between the doors,
          big and black, with just a hint of reddish fur behind it.
          The dogs cower behind JESSICA. She notices long and jagged
          teeth bared below the nose.

          BEAST snorts and then disappears. JESSICA gasps, looks down
          at the pitchfork in her hands, laughs, and winks at her

                    Probably just old Monroe's dog
                    Harold anointing everbody's fence

          MAGGIE and HUNTER wag their tails nervously. JESSICA
          replaces the pitchfork and tidies up the barn, hesitating
          before she turns off the lights.

                    Come on, Hunter. That's a good
                    girl, Maggie.

          JESSICA walks quickly to the house, flanked by her dogs. She
          closes the door and locks it, and turns around to see HUNTER
          and MAGGIE waiting for the promised snacks.

13 to Life Poem

This is a poem based on Jessica's trip to the fair.


Wandering fun, galloping over colors;
  the sights and sounds watch us with wary eyes
(Desperate to play along, don't you know.)
and wait for a slip.
Two slide away from the rest, eager for silence,
If only tonight, one night together, alone
(So no one can see.)

Whispers, for each other, for pain,
for the times they
could have been

Yes, the teardrop shape is purposeful.

Czech Translation of 13 to Life Blurb

For all the Czech speakers out there XD

Něco divného je v malém městě Junction...
Když se dostane Jess Gillmansen volal z třídu orientační, může se jen domnívat, že pro jednu ze dvou důvodů. Buď už konečně přišel na to, kdo napsal kousavý anti-milenec redakční ve školních novin nebo jsou hostování další zásah pro ni o její maminku. I když zdaleka očekával, to se ulevilo zjistit orientační jen chce ji ukázat nový kluk kolem-ale přichází s problémy jeho vlastní, včetně policejního doprovodu. 
Nejnovější člen Junction školy, Pietra Rusakova má tajemství skrývat - tajemství, která přinese velké problémy do malého městečka tajemství Junction-včetně dramatické změny, že je podstupují, který bude jistě svůj život ukončit dříve.

Rough translation (English):

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

I took the blurb off of Goodreads, so I don't know if it's the same thing that's on the back of the book. And, yes, I do know that I picked the most useless language to learn. Sue me.

Change Is Good--Ask a Werewolf Contest Entry

My contest-related posts are getting really scattered, so I'll be regularly updating this post with links to all my previous and upcoming pieces of my entry.


1. Scene Mini Playlists
2. Small Town America Picture
3. Change Essay
4. Romeo & Juliet Essay
5. What's in a Name? Essay
6. Inspirational Teacher Essay
7. Sarah's Book Choices Essay
8. Poem
9. Screenplay Scene
10. Blurb Translation (Czech)
11. Eclipse Photos
12. Cast the Characters

And a link to my review of 13 to Life, if you want to check it out here.

Comes out to a total of: 3825 POINTS

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another "13 to Life" Contest Entry Thingamajig

As stated in the title, this is another part to my entry for Shannon Delany's contest, and I don't really know what to call it. "It" is a picture taken in a setting that reminds me of small town America. Actually, I had to draw in the scene, because I live in Los Angeles County, and we don't have anything that reminds me of a small town outside of antique shops, which I hate. Anyways, I don't think they would appreciate me barging in and taking pictures with a book, although the weirdness factor might stun them into letting me. Not that that really matters xD

So, here's the picture you've all been waiting for:


Very realistic, isn't it. By the way, that isn't me. It's my dog, Kizzard. And, no, she isn't growing out of the book--it's growing out of her. And that's all I have to say about that.

Enough with the bad movie references (I'm not saying that the movies are bad, just my references, to clarify.), this is small town America! Why did I draw a field and a sky for the background, you ask? Ahem, because I...couldn't draw a house, or a horse, or anything else that reminded me of small town America, or anything at all. My houses and horses suck. Badly. They kind of looked like the mobile suits from Gundam. And not in a good way.

Please, boost my self-esteem and tell me it looks good. It's not really lying if you look at from an art teacher's point of view; mine always said that art is subjective, and therefore never technically bad. She said 'technically' in italics, by the way. Just like that.

So, yeah, just pretend that it's good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Playlists for "13 to Life" Contest

Playlist # 1 is for Jessica's dreams.

Playlist #2 is for Jess and Pietr's first kiss.

Playlist #3 is for pgs. 235-248.

Playlist #4 is for Jessica and Pietr's first meeting.

Playlist #5 is for pgs. 267-275.

These are for Shannon Delany's contest @ http://ht.ly/22Waa

Monday, May 31, 2010

Warm & Fuzzy v. Cold & Dead: Win a Kindle!

I’m on Team Werewolf. Find out more.

After reading all 22 of the blogs up so far, I've realized that, for some reason, people actually like dead bodies. I'm finding this kind of hard to grasp, considering that is necrophilia. Not hot at all. Seriously, he doesn't have his own blood, so he'd have to drink yours just to get it up! Eww. You'd be too drained to have any fun afterward. Yes, that was a pun. Get over it.

In all fairness, the vamp would be muscular. And cold, dead, probably rotting from the inside out, etc. Not that I'm biased or anything. Just telling it how it is, guys! You know you want to come to the werewolves' side. We do, after all, have cookies. And puppies will love you forever.

After reading my great, informative chart, can you really say that vampires are better? Or do werewolves heat your blood like no block of cold, dead flesh ever could? Write about it in the comments for a chance to win a Kindle, then go check out the other blogs involved to get other opinions on the question of the year!

Good luck, to bloggers and commenters, both!

This post is a part of Moira Rogers’ Creature Feature Kindle Throwdown Contest. By leaving a (meaningful) comment, you will be entered to win a Kindle from Amazon.com, or an alternate grand prize of $275 to spend at an online book retailer.  For a full list of rules and more ways to win, visit the contest page.