Wednesday, February 15, 2012

RTW: Words, words, words

Welcome to our 117th Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.


What words do you absolutely hate? Which ones do you adore?

I have a confession to make. 

I was a spelling bee kid. From fifth to seventh grade, I spent months out of the year studying large stacks of word packets and books. Each night before I went to bed, my Dad would call out ten pages of words to me, quizzing me on the definitions, usage, and origins of each word. 

Life was simpler back then. I word-dropped like crazy. Once, I even read the entire Webster's dictionary. For fun. 

Those days are long past me, but I still get a thrill from discovering new words and using them in conversation or when I'm writing. Thankfully, as an English major, I get to use my words a lot. 

A few of my favorite words are: 

Adroitly
Words have power to destroy or to heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world. BuddhaMalaprop
Ginormous
Nincompoop
Imbecile
Beatific
Alacrity 
Opportune
Magnanimous
Keen
Felicitous
Dimwad (that's one I made up)
Incomprehensible
Indecent
Indelible
Poignant
Astute

Aaaaand the list goes on and on. Sometimes my favorite words are ones that I've made up on the spot. I know I'm not the only one who does that. It's fun. 

Due to the reading I've been doing for my ancient rhetoric class, I've been collecting words like crazy. Or like a crazy person. Whichever. The definition doesn't matter at this point.

I can't say that I hate any words explicitly, but I do have a distaste for certain words, especially if they start with the letter t. Why the letter t, I have no idea; it's just been an issue that I've had for as long as I can remember.

Words I dislike rather strongly:
Titillating
Taxes
Solemn
Purge
A bunch of cussin' words (Although I am rather fond of the s-word.)
Retarded
Toilet
Punctual
Digit

I'm sure there are more, but this is all I can think of at the moment. As soon as I post this I'll probably be hit with a deluge of words that irk the living daylights out of me.

What are y'all's favorite words? Least favorite? First words? Last words? (Haha, just kidding!)

Until next time...

Monday, February 13, 2012

That Little Thing Called Monday

Hello fellow Mondayers! Wow, that salutation took a lot out of me. Unfortunately it's only Monday, which I think we're all pretty aware of, and I'm already running on empty as far as energy is concerned. I'm just now recovering from a horrible cold (I can taste food again!) and the weather has decided for some inexplicable reason to act according to the season. Instead of balmy lows of 50 and highs of 70, last night the weather took a plummeting dive into the below 30's. Not cool.

Please, sir. Can I have just
one more piece of pizza?
So, this morning I froze on my bike ride to class. Thank goodness my parents talked me into bringing my "thick" jacket back with me to school over the weekend, or else I may have been one more casualty of the below freezing temps. If I could feel pity for the squirrels, I would feel horrible that they had to be outside hunting for nuts and granola bars to steal from unsuspecting students. As it is, I do not feel anything for squirrels other than the ever present enmity that rises within me whenever I see one.

I've been meaning to write a book review for Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi, but alas, I haven't even finished it yet, so it really wouldn't be much of a review, now would it? *face palm*

I feel like this is turning into a housekeeping post since I really don't have anything to talk about. Unless y'all want to hear about my 21st birthday? It was fun. I had pina coladas and pizza, and my entire family came over to celebrate. That's pretty much it. What were y'all expecting?

Oh wait.

I hit all PERFECTs. Just saying. I know that dance.
I dance it in my dreams. Or in my head on the way to class.
Or even in class, in my head. 
My friend does have a video on her phone of me dancing to "Apache (Jump on It)" during a Just Dance mini-competition. Not to brag, but I'm pretty good. With that song. Only. For reals.




But that's all that happened. I went to bed at a fairly early hour.

But then I woke up the next morning with a sore throat and a fever. Yes. I got sick the day after my birthday. Some may say I'm lucky that my body resisted for one more day. Being sick ON your birthday isn't fun. However, I still resent having been sick at all. I'm not fun when I can't talk without coughing or when my head is stopped up.

Thankfully, I'm feeling better. Five days of antibiotics have made a difference. Well, now that I've managed to ramble for a few paragraphs, I'm going to go take a nice nap before I get started on all of my work.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

RTW: No Samesies Allowed?

Welcome to our 116th Road Trip Wednesday!


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.


What SNI (Super New Idea) were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?



Honestly, I can't say that I've ever had this problem before, at least not in the way of me knowing it. I typically try not to make things like other things (and this involves a lot of "outside the brain" thinking), but I suppose if I did have to draw any lines of similarity between something of my own and something that had already been written, then it would probably be my story about demons. 

It's influenced by Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters, but only protagonist-wise. The demons are entirely different and I also have a different backstory for how demons were created and how they interact with humans. There are angels involved as well, but not in the same way as in Clare's books. 

The similarities end there. My story isn't nearly as romance based as City of Bones and the rest of that series. I'm still working on it though, so the incidental samesies haven't discouraged me at all. I've found that having some things the same doesn't necessarily mean my ideas should be scrapped simply because that territory has already been covered. 

You can always bring something new to the table. That's what's so great about creativity and imagination. Those traits rise to the occasion and allow us to expand what is known into the unknown regions. It's the only way we can grow. 

We wouldn't have Harry Potter if it weren't for J. K. Rowling's persistence in writing Harry's story despite a lack of encouragement.

Besides, the success of a book is dependent on multiple things: the author, the editor, the publisher, and the readers. And then you have the booksellers and the reviewers. Even if your idea is somewhat similar to another previously published and possibly very successful book, that does not mean your idea won't be just as successful. Who knows, your book may just hit a better chord in the minds of readers. 

And what are the odds that your idea is going to be exactly the same as another one anyway? It's nearly improbable. There's always going to be some variation. And if that happens naturally, just imagine what you can accomplish if you put your mind toward developing differences. Radical idea, right? 

Until next time...


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

RTW: Best of January

Welcome to our 115th Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.


This Week's Topic: 
What was the best book you read in January?


I'm keeping it short and sweet today because I don't have much time; I know y'all understand. I think I've already posted once about all these things i've done by Gabrielle Zevin, but I don't believe I ever went into much detail about why I enjoyed reading this book. And I won't really do that in this post, haha! 

Just to give y'all a little background information, Goodreads' description is the following:

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family. 
Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.

It's all of that and then some. The prose is engaging, the MC is tough but relatable, and the plot does not disappoint. Plus, it's interesting to read about a future world where chocolate and coffee are no-no's. That's just plain inconceivable to someone who has survived off of both of those things more than once during finals week.

I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week and a great RTW!

Until next time...