11/2/13

Theatre Monologues

For one of my classes this semester [Intro to Theatre] we were given the assignment of choosing a picture [one of the few that our professor sent us] and coming up with a backstory for that character.

Then we were supposed to write a short monologue for that particular person and present it to the class.

This was the picture I chose, and here is the monologue I wrote for my character:


After that day, I picked roses in her memory.  She loved them, you know.  So much.  She loved a lot of things, you could say.  She used to wear this perfume, see, that smelled like—I don’t know, like, sunshine—I guess.  Yeah, like sunshine—and light, and flowers, and her.  I don’t know what it was called.  She never told me.  I never smelled it on any other woman.  Just her.

She loved bright colors, too, and I used to paint her in my brightest shades, all green and pink and blue and yellow in her floral print dresses and cherry lipstick.  That’s another thing; flowers.  She adored flowers.  I made it a point to surprise her whenever I could with a bouquet, just to see her smile.  That smile was like cold water being poured down my back, or breathing in the scent of sun-warm strawberries—exhilarating and sweet and beautiful, all at the same time. 


As I painted her upon my blank canvases in splashes of vibrant color, she slowly painted herself on my heart.


The world wouldn’t miss me the way it misses her…  I miss her.  It should have been me.


Of all the things she loved, though, she liked roses most of all.  I remember that.  So every day since…since then, I’ve gone down Barker to where the wild roses twine through the dilapidated fence.  When they’re in bloom, I pick some for Robbie.

Peach-colored ones.



Not one of the best things I have ever written, I'll grant. But it was a fun assignment.

Cheers.

-RAD

10/5/13

Defiance

I just watched this movie again last night, and it is one of my favorite movies of all time.  Dark, horrific, and full of language, but one of my favorites.

It's also based on a true story.

It's about the Bielski brothers, jews, fighters, leaders.  Hunted.  IMDb summarizes: "Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants."

During the fall of 1941, Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron Bielski escape into the forest, running from those who slaughtered their parents.  Other jews flee there as well, and soon Tuvia takes over, providing a home and food for these refugees.  It becomes a camp of desperate jews, all working together to make a home, a community.

They are trained to fight, even the women.  Moving from place to place, as the Germans discover their whereabouts, they try and succeed and suffer together.


The movie chronicles the Bielski brothers' struggles to provide as more and more jews pour into the forest in search of the fabled Bielski Otriad.  They join forces with Russian freedom fighters, and the group splits up as frictions between the two older brothers (Tuvia and Zus) come to light.

The crux of the movie, for me, is when a German soldier the fighters have captured is brought into the Bielski camp.  Tuvia has stated how they (the jews) are not animals, however they might be hunted like them.  But when the soldier is brought before a group of angry refugees, they start crying obscenities at him, blaming him for everything they have suffered.

One woman starts screaming about her son, how he had blue eyes and was fifteen, and then brings the butt of her rifle down upon the German soldier.  Everyone else starts crying out about their dead brother or sister or parents, all the while hitting the soldier who is now on the ground.

The angry group beats him to death.

And all the while, Tuvia stands there, letting them have their vengeance.  But his face is sad.  

The irony of this scene just strikes me right in the gut.

Defiance is one of the best movies, in my opinion, ever.  It conveys a message, portrays evil and suffering, grim determination and grit, and shows how hope can keep a person alive.  A true, incredible story.


One of my all-time favorite quotes is when Tuvia Bielski says, "If we should die, trying to live, then at least we died like human beings."

Chills all over.


9/12/13

Great Insults


I love a good comeback.  However, I am eternally saddened by the fact that I rarely contain enough wit to make one myself.

I admire people who are able to accomplish this feat.  I don't mean just being plain sarcastic in a rude way, but people who actually possess the mental capabilities to think of clever retorts.

So here is a collection of my favorite insults [that just sounds wrong...]:

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..." -Oscar Wilde.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." -Stephen Bishop.

"I've just heard about his illness.  Let's hope it's nothing trivial." -Irvin S. Cobb.

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." -Forrest Tucker.

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening.  But this wasn't it." -Groucho Marx.

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." -Winston Churchill.

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -Mark Twain.

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" -Mark Twain.

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -Oscar Wilde.

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." -Billy Wilder.

"He had delusions of adequacy." -Walter Kerr.

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my play; bring a friend, if you have one." -George Bernard Shaw (to Winston Churchill).

RESPONSE:

Winston Churchill: "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second...if there is one."

Brilliance.  Pure brilliance.

-R.D.

9/11/13

Go Teen Writers: How to Kill a Character

For any writers out there struggling with how to kill a character [or which character to kill] check this out!  [New poll, too.]


Go Teen Writers: How to Kill a Character: Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fan...

9/11

What was going through your head that day, twelve years ago?

I was only six.  We didn't have TV, so I didn't see any footage of the event...  The only memory I have of 9/11 was going into my Grandma's office sometime later, and seeing a picture of the American eagle with a tear dripping from its eye: a tribute to the twin towers.


I didn't understand.

I don't know if I could have.

That was one of the greatest tragedies in American history, and one we need to keep fresh in our minds out of honor for those who died, who gave their lives, and who are still living with the trauma.

Also, as some know, Benghazi happened on this same day, exactly one year ago.  Coincidence?


Horrific, tragic, and appalling.

Never forget.

Remember.


9/5/13

College

So...folks...I'm back!  Back from Wyoming, back from my job, and off to school!  [Yeah, I know you missed me.]

No.  Actually, I don't know that.  But that's beside the point.

College life, everybody, is more like glorified freedom.  I say freedom loosely.  In this case, it means A) staying up late, B) doing what you want, and C) making new friends.

Of course, you're A) staying up late because you have to study for the test that is DUE tomorrow, or writing that paper that you got assigned, or reading over the syllabus to see what you missed.

And you can B) do anything you want, as long as it involves going to classes, doing homework, and going to more classes.

And C) the friends you make while studying and freaking out about the work that is due the next day will stick with you.

Until you both fail the class together.

I paint such a bleak picture of life.

No, actually, aside from studying and going to classes and eating in the cafeteria and going to more classes and then staying up late to study, I am enjoying college.  My Intro to Theatre class is by far my favorite.  I am also taking Racquetball [had to have a PE class, and you know me!  I also may or may not have a giant red welt on my thigh from an adversary power-hitting the ball unintentionally toward me], and British Lit. [which is hard, but awesome].

Along with that, I'm taking Honors Old Testament and Honors Colloquium since I am in the Honors Program [which is another way of saying I'M SCARED TO DEATH BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY but also excited because I enjoy those two classes and all the Honors people.]

That...is about it.

My life is so exciting.  I know it.  And so do you.

Cheers.

-R.D.

P.S. Trying to find time to write in The Lightcatcher has been pretty much nonexistent.  So, I'm sorry about that for those of you who care.  For those of you who don't care, or who don't even know what The Lightcatcher is, then I am sorry as well.

That is all.

7/6/13

Wyoming

Here are a few pictures of where I'm working this summer!












6/22/13

Photo Shoot:Funky

Went out with the sister today and had a photo shoot, though I am by no means an accomplished photographer.  [Photos taken on an iPhone.]




That one is me.  Not my sister.  [Oh, yes, I'm so photogenic.]



















Kinda in love with this one.





Had a lot of fun, and Mae was a good sport.

-Newsie

Followers

So, dear followers, or anyone who stumbles upon this blog, the Google Friend Connect is going away so as of July 1st you can no longer follow this blog via Google.

However, you can follow me with Bloglovin!  [Icon up on right].  So please do so!  I love meeting new people.

[Current followers, y'all are still fine and will not be removed.]

-Newsie

6/19/13

Travel, Gypsy Soul, and Wishing...

Sometimes, do you ever wish you could just leave the life you're in right now and go someplace else?  Anywhere in the world?  I do.  So many times a day, I wish I could go somewhere, anywhere, and just live an adventure.  

And even more so today, when the central Texas heat is shimmering outside and the air conditioner has gone MIA without leave and my mom has decided to steal my fan and use it as her own.

Right now, what I wish, is to be someplace cool––even cold, maybe.  Perhaps swimming crystal waters, tan and skinny and effortlessly pretty.

Or walking a highland moor.  Or enjoying a cup of chilled coffee in a cafĂ© far from America.

Or perhaps sitting on a cliff, high above the world, looking down on everything spread below me.

I don't know.  They're fancies.  Fancies that become dreams that I will hopefully turn into reality someday.  

Where would you go?

6/18/13

What I'm Doing this Summer!

So.  It's official.  I'm the world's worst blogger.  I haven't posted anything since March!

Sorry about that.  [Oh, yeah, you say...  An apology will make everything better.]  Ha-ha.  Who am I kidding?  I don't have that big of an audience.

So, updates––AKA, what I am doing this summer: Six weeks during the months of June/July/August, I will be staying up in Wyoming [for those of you who don't know, I'm a Texan] and working on a dude ranch up there as a wrangler.

Go on.  Be jealous.


I am really excited!  The ranch itself sits almost in the shadow of the Grand Teton, so the scenery is gorgeous and absolutely breathtaking!  I will have lots of pictures to post here.

[That's a picture of the mountains surrounding the ranch.]



Things I Have Done Since Last Post:

1.  Finished the first part of The Lightcatcher [ecstatic about that!]

2.  Graduated highschool [I like to think I'm ecstatic about that as well, but then I realize that maybe I don't want to be an adult and go back to drawing unicorns in my coloring book and drinking chocolate milk through a straw.]

3.  Finished with all 4-H activities [i.e., State Contests, Fair Week, and NO record book!]

4.  Um....I have an uninteresting life.

So yeah, that's about it.  Oh, and I'm kind of freaking out about packing/what to pack for WY.  If any of y'all have gone on trips and forgot something that you desperately needed, or found something that was useful, LET ME KNOW!  Any advice is much appreciated.  

[Considering that I know almost every person who follows this blog...that question might be counterproductive.  Oh well.]

So long, people!

-Newsie

3/29/13

Interview with Lark McCarthy

If one decided to suddenly conduct an interview with Lark McCarthy from The Lightcatcher, it would go something like this:

Me: "I'm so very glad you have decided to sit down with me today.  Thank you."

Lark: *nods*

Me: "So...first of all, let's talk about Fin."

Lark: "Why?"

Me: "Well, as we know, Fin has been getting to know you more and more lately, hasn't she?"

Lark: "I suppose so."

Me: "And...?"

Lark: "And what?"

Me: "Well, what do you know about her?"

Lark: "Other than she has a good head for heights and should never have scratched her name off the list?  Not much, 'side from the fact she's an artist and that no other idiot would put a scoop of raspberry preserves in perfectly good black coffee.  Oh, and she's a good dancer.  I hear she can't sing a lick, though."

Me: "How do you feel about her?"

Lark: "Feel?"

Me: "Yes.  Feel.  Also known as "affection".  Do you have any for her?"

Lark: "Affection can go both ways."

Me: "Fine.  Romantic affection."

Lark: "Are you asking if I have any romantic affection for Fin Devens?"

Me: "YES!"

Lark: *smoothly* "No, I don't think so.  Can we move on?"

Me: ".....No."

Lark: "Why not?"

Me: "Because you're MY blasted character, alrighty?  You do what I say!  If I want you to like Fin, LIKE HER!"

Lark: *scoffs* "Ha."

Me: "I'll cut you out!  I'm warning you...."  *Draws breath, calms down.*  "Now, let me ask you again, do you have any romantic affection for Fin?" *waggles eyebrows*

Lark: "Why would I?"

Me: "BECAUSE SHE'S YOUR LOVE INTEREST, BLAST IT!  AND YOU'D BETTER GET HER QUICK BEFORE BRIT DANIELS OR SONTY BRANNIGAN STEPS IN AND DOES IT FOR YOU, YOU BLOODY IDIOT!"

Lark: *Unruffled* "I see."

Me: "NO, NO YOU DON'T SEE.  YOU DON'T SEE ANYTHING.  YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY?  YOU'RE BLIND!  YOU'RE BLIND AS A BAT, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, AND YOU'RE DRIVING ME UP THE WALL!"

Lark: "I think the interview is over."

Me: "YEAH, YOU'RE BLOOMIN' RIGHT IT'S OVER.  LEAVE.  AND GO TALK TO FIN!"

So, yeah, folks. There you go.  Lark McCarthy 101.

Cheers.

-Newsie



3/21/13

Character Graveyard: The Guys


So right now I'll be highlighting some supporting/side characters that I would love to develop more.

(I won't mention Warren in the Pyrate Games [co-novel with the bestie] who I killed in the prologue, because even though I would love to give him a story, he's...well...dead.  And you can't really write about dead characters.  Can you?  Maybe?  *Will have to check on that later.)

Oh, I just mentioned him?  Shame on me.

Ren Sharkey: Nineteen-year-old smuggler (not to be confused with a pirate in any sense), Maverick, lives in Salter port.

I would love to expound on Ren so much--give him a backstory, a family, a past, and a reason for his part in the rebellion.  But the book focuses mainly on Scottie and Slate Fletcher, so I probably won't get a chance to flesh him out as he should be.  He is, however, an interesting and mysterious character.

Sid Brooks: Nineteen, soldier, solo balloonist, loner, witty and quick with sarcasm.  Deserter.

I'll be introducing Sid in The Lightcatcher, but I don't think I'll talk about him enough.  The main focus is on Lark and Fin, so Sid will not get the attention he deserves.  I will try, though.

Jakey Riddle: Thirteen years old, pickpocket, thief, lock artist living in the backstreets of Malstan.

So, Jakey.  I think he'll probably be one of my favorite characters to write, since he's just a little spitfire. I introduce him in The Starkeeper's Gate, when Will Russell is thrown into the future and wanders into Cheapstreet and sees a crowd gathered around the local stocks.

But I won't say too much about him here, seeing as his story really gets started in the second book of the Halfblood Riders Trilogy.  ...Which I haven't even started writing yet.

Sep Woods: Fifteen, already a good pilot, works with the Sky Force.

Well, the main reason I haven't thought more about Sep is because he really doesn't have a story yet.  I hope that will change once I finish Flyboy.  But, alas, I don't know if he'll get the thought he really needs, because I'll be mainly writing about Kit and Jacey.

So there...  A peek inside my mind, or more specifically, my Character Graveyard.  On second thought, I think this is really just a post in which I complain about not being able to make my supporting characters the main characters.  But then, I would miss my main characters.  '

So I can't really do anything about it.

Oh, and can anyone tell me why this post has all guys?  Where are all my girls like Skeeta NelarkyMeg LeistonTerry HendersEmmy Lou Brenns, and Natley Brooks?

Perhaps they'll just have to get a post all of their own.

-Newsie

2/8/13

A Writer

A writer is someone who writes, and suffers, and writes some more.

A writer is a person who reads endlessly.

A writer is somebody who stays up late at night, slowly going blind from the glow of their computer.

A writer is a being who understands their own fictional characters better than they do normal people.

A writer is someone who is very esoteric.

A writer means having your stomach growl at midnight because you're still awake writing a scene that has to be finished.

A writer sometimes means being more social with people on the internet than in real life.

To be a writer is to be a dreamer, a reader, and a romantic.

To be a writer means getting injured and thinking, "Now I can write about it realistically."

A writer is a person who draws on inspiration from rainy days, sunny skies, and beautiful landscapes.

Being a writer means listening to copious amounts of music.

Being a writer means downing obscene amounts of caffeine and tea.

Being a writer is explaining to other people that writing actually can be a means of supporting yourself.

To be a writer is to find the small joys in life and capture them in black words upon white paper.

A writer means planning out endless scenes and little pieces of dialogue in your head.


Above all, a writer is someone who writes tirelessly, over and over––discouraged that their writing is horrible sometimes, but pressing on again, determined to make it better.

-Editor

2/5/13

Once Upon a Time


“Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a diamond, a tree, a castle. 

"Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen and he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, and they parted with leaves in their hair.

"Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

-Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

That is so beautiful, I don't even want to think.  It makes me shrivel up inside because I will never be able to write something as gorgeous.  

-Editor

2/4/13

Pinterest

Oh, yes, Pinterest.  Actually, I should probably refer to it as The Black Hole of Procrastination.  TBHP from now on.  It is very effective for getting out of schoolwork and inspiration for my novels.

Yes.  Inspiration.

Most of my boards a chock full of lovely story inspiration, beautiful pictures of foggy landscapes, misty crags, sunny fields...  Oh, the things you can find in TBHP.

So–you know me, putting the pro in procrastination–I made a board for The Lightcatcher.  It has been quite fun, and I am hoping to add more pins as time goes on.  Or as I accumulate more and more schoolwork.

THE BOARD OF AWESOMENESS...sort of

Anyway, thought y'all might be interested.  And if not, then...well, then that's fine too.

Cheers.

1/23/13

Dance

Today I'm really sore from dance last night (and also ashamed that I haven't posted anything in a long while) and I have decided I needed to post something.  I'm very terrible at that.  Sorry.  I'm proud to say that my splits have much improved since when I first started doing them several months ago.  I can nearly go all the way to the ground now.

Also, for tap recital, I get to go as one of The Village People.  How cool is that?  I mean, it's epic.


So today I'm deciding to spam you with some random dance pictures.


Converse


Step Dancing


Stretching




Young Gelsey Kirkland


Dirty Dancing <3


Pas De Deux


Ginger and Fred


Tap


Talent


Billy Elliot

So, there you are.  And I am off!  Will post an update on The Lightcatcher soon.  I promise.

-Newsie