Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cracken of the Sea

So. My life is just being sort of nutty right now. This post will probably reflect that.

  • Essays make me feel...Strangely alive. I had an essay to write for APUSH last night, and while I put it off, the whole thing made me kind of happy.
  • The above is disturbing.
  • I spent all of Art class today talking to Mr. B. Or rather, listening to him talk about me. Because parent-teacher conferences were last night, and my mom asked all my teachers (except physics and APUSH, probably) what carrears they thought I could have in their subject. Mr. B is basically thinking that I should do something that combines history and art and French. Like curating. At an art museaum. Probably the Louvre.
  • But just sitting in the Louvre all day would proably make me really happy.
  • Quiz Bowl, on the other hand, is not going well. At all. Mr. B (different person) thinks up a new way to study things every six months. The problem is, none of these ideas ever get followed long enough to see how they would actually work out, so we have these stunted studying plans. It's just messed up.
  • I got a 93 on my APUSH test. I feel bad about this. That is wrong.
  • My physics teacher told my mom that he expected me to do better in the class than I was doing. Because from my general demeanor, it seems like I should be doing better. Are you remembering what I'm remembering? Because this is too much like first semester of last year, when my English class was terrible. Just terrible. And apparently I seemed like I should have been able to do so much better and it scares me that physics might end up like that.
  • If physics turns into something that's too much like english was, I will probably explode.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Je me parle

So. It's been a week since you posted.
I know. Sad, right?
Well, I have excuses. I was busy. I took the ACT. And I had homework. And I was sick. These things take time.
Uh huh.
And I'm reading David Copperfield. I was telling myself that it was shorter than Anna Karenina, and if I can read that, I can read anything.
Why do you try to do these things?
And then I checked the back of the book.
And it's eighty pages longer than Anna Karenina.
Thanks. I have APUS to do. God, that class just makes me
It frustrates me.
If you took that long to think of it, one would hope that it would be a little more imaginative than that.
Shut up.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Best conversation I've ever had in my whole entire life
Justin: He used to live in that country next to Spain.
Me: France or Portugal? Unless he lived in the Mediterranean Ocean.

What? I knew geography at some point in time? Are you sure?
In other news, I took the PSAT today. It was worryingly easy. And now I'm doing my APUSH homework and realizing that the only way that I'm really going to learn how to write essays is by actually writing them. I'm thinking once a week until the AP test. Fun.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quote of the Month

"If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts." - Kurt Vonnegut

But Kurt, what if we don't have the nerve to go into the arts?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On My Mind

I have three things on my mind right now. They are copyright law, e-books, and primary documents. I could tie them together somehow, but that would be quite the strech, so we're leaving them linked by my lovely comma abuse.
Copyright law
I sort of feel like copyright law is becoming more and more irrelevant in the age of the Internet. I want to watch movies and listen to music for free. But, at the same time, if someone was stealing content that I made and making money off it, I would be pissed. In short, I should get content that other people generate for free, as long as I do nothing that would involve making money off it.
I read the blogs of a couple agents occasionally. One of these agents had a post about the future of e-books. Before reading this, I was not a fan of the e-book concept (even though I've read novel-length works on my computer before) because it always seems to involve buying an expensive device that you can't even read all the books you want to on. I'm not particularly hard on my books, but I'd much rather ruin a four dollar used book than a two hundred and eighty dollar Kindle. However, he approaches it from a different perspective, which makes sense, considering that he's in publishing, not a reader. He thinks that this recession combined with changing technology will result in a rearranging of the publishing industry. This is similar to what I was already thinking, but he applies this to books instead of newspapers. I think that the newspapers that are going to be sucessful in the age of blogs and online news are the ones who embrace and use the changing media to their advantage. He thinks that the role of the publisher may no longer be editing books and printing them and sending them out to booksellers, but it will evovlve into more editing and marketing books. With e-books, one could self-publish very easily, but publishers would still be out there to edit and market a book, and many books would be more sucessful with the help of a publisher. I'm sort of warming up to the concept of e-books.
Primary Documents
Today in APUSH we got to hear about how we should participate in class more often. I participate in class, but during this talk I did my physics homework and pondered the reasoning behind my teacher's strange beard. A students use class time well. Later, we were finishing up this activity in which we read and analyzed a bunch of primary documents. I made a joke about how I was going to go home and analyze another group of primary documents and then write a DBQ. Just for the fun of it. The recepient of this joke thought I was serious, which made me consider actually doing this. If I can't sleep tonight, you know what you'll see on the blog tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I was looking for something that I did last year at school. First, I checked the computer at school. It wasn't there, but I did notice how disorganized everything is in my files. Great. Then I check on the computer at home. It wasn't there either, but there's a possibility that it got deleted during the numerous reloads that computer has been through. I even checked some old stuff of mine, a story that must have been from seventh grade. It was terrible. That was when I realized that there was only one place where this paper would be. It would be in The Bin.
The Bin is where I keep all of the assignments I have done in hi!school (with the exception of my euro binder, because it has been deemed useful on a day to day basis. It's on my bookshelf.) I have this idea that I'm going to pull it out at my graduation party so that people can be in awe of it. I'm not sure why they would be in awe of it, but I know they would be. So I go in my closet, find the bin and open it. What's on top? The certificate from the time Justin and I got married. I failed that assignment. Digging a little deeper, I find my notebook from ninth grade English, a notebook from what must have been geometry, and some more failed assignments, these ones from research writing. Finally, I find it. My inch thick English folder. I open it up and see, to my surprise, more failed assignments. Pulling some papers out, I glance through them. Three copies of pieces of my research paper, the one that I did the bare minimum on. I pull out the paper I need, right behind that. Quickly, I put the folder back in the bin, put the cover on, and put it back where it belongs. Have to keep those memories trapped, or else who knows what will happen.
But they won't stay trapped in there, we all know that. They're going to seep out of the bin, and they're going to come looking for me. They'll come at night, when I'm rolling over and over again, trying to get some sleep. They'll come at school, when I least expect it. They'll come when I'm going for a walk, at random. I can't stop them now.
And what are they going to say? They'll tell me that I should have tried harder, that I shouldn't slack off like I always do. They'll tell me that I'm never going to be enough, never going to live up to their expectations, never going to get what I want. They'll tell me that I'm the perpetual underachiever. They'll tell me that I am impossible to change.
And I am impossible to change. They try to change me, they try to fix me again and again but it never works, and each time I get more stubborn, more set in my ways. Maybe it's just the way it's meant to be, maybe I'm just supposed to be the one who had so much potentional and failed so miserably. If that's true, at least I'll be sucessful at something, which is the status we're at now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

You. Yes. You.

I've been toying with this question for a while now. How do you react to what I write? I get some of it in the comments, but what I'm really curious about is more than that. I want to know what would happen if I asked every single person I know to read my blog and then saw their reactions. I don't want their feedback, because feedback is self-censored and boring. I want their honest reaction, what they really thought about it. I know this is completely impossible to do, but it would be the most interesting thing ever.
What would my brother's reaction be? He would think that I'm concerned with ridiculously dumb things, which is similar to my opinion of him.
What would John Green's reaction be? If John Green read my blog, I would die of excitement. So, if you are John Green and you are reading my blog, please tell me.
What would the people who came here looking for Henrik Ibsen and Gustavus Adolphus' last words think? They would be wondering how I found these last words and when I'm going to tell them. In time, in time.
What would Chris Baty think? He would wonder if this is what all NaNo participants are like.
What would Barack Obama think? He would think that, even if he wasn't really expecting the Nobel Peace Prize, it doesn't mean that the country is falling apart.
What would my teachers' reaction be? Some would think it's interesting, some would think I'm twisted coughdreskecough and need to get a job to occupy my mind. Except that I have a job. And my mind hasn't changed in terms of twistedness.
What would those people who write 300,000 word novels in a month think? They would point to this as why I have to put so much effort into writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. Because blogging can be a timesuck. But a fun timesuck, at any rate.
Did I write this blog post because I don't want to do my physics homework and am at a loss for what to write in my speech for debate? Yes. Go ahead, judge. Have I also been trying to make my characters for NaNo a little more 3 dimensional? Yes.
If you've read the same books I've read, you'd get the reference in this post's title. If not, that's okay. You probably read some perfectly fine books in their place.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jour de la fusée

It was yesterday, and it was pretty awesome. However, not the best day of my life, as my teacher had said it would be.
My school was on the local news this morning for the football game of the week. If I had gotten to school at 5:30, I could have been on TV for having had pep. However, I do not like pep and could find something else to do at 5:30 in the morning. And we lost the football game to the team we've beaten for the past nine years. Oh well.
I have been doing more on the Milton thing today. That doesn't mean that I'm writing a lot, but it means that something is being written. Which is encouraging, but I really just want it to be November already so I can end this novel with "They all died. The end."
There are two blogs all y'all need to hear about right now.
The first is Fred's Blog. Fred is the director of the camp that I go to, and he's one of the most awesome people I know. Right now, he's going to Palestine as part of the Michigan Peace Team, trying to stop conflict without taking sides, very contrary to what our government feels is right. Good stuff.
The next one is ClubOrlov, which I think I've blogged about before. ClubOrlov thinks that the country is falling apart, and while he often sounds like a crazy person, he has a lot of interesting ideas. Today's post, about Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is quite uplifting. Everyone else says "Woah, no one ever gets the Nobel Peace Prize their first year in office! That's great!" and ClubOrlov says "Obama, you get a Nobel Peace Prize as a consolation for the fact that you'r country is falling apart and there's nothing you can do to stop it!"
I've been considering a sign off on my posts. HayleyGHoover has the whole Sexy/Unsexy thing, that one guy has "All the love in the universe." I need something like that. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shiny, That One Is

You know that idea? The one I had with the story every Sunday for a year thing?
It's happening. It's exciting and amazing and it's going to be awesome. And, I need one of you, my lovely readers. I need a volunteer. What do I need this volunteer to do, you wonder? I need an editor. I need someone who can read a story and say "Samantha, that character is a dumbass, and you need to learn how to spell "seriously". The story is tragic."
What would my volunteer get in reward? Well, I would teach them how to bottle fame and brew glory. They would gain my eternal love and adoration. They would get free hugs. They would get thanks in my Oscar speech. I would teach them the ways of the froomla. They would be internationally known as my protege. They would get to make cakes with me for the birthdays of dead playwrights who had amazing beards. They would learn how to say "beard" in French. They would get to listen to me rant about everything and anything.
These are rewards that money cannot buy, my dear readers. If you'd like to gain these sorts of rewards, you really should say so in the comments, and I would be eternally grateful.

Monday, October 5, 2009

...or something

"graduation didn't feel like anything
it's like dying in your sleep"
A friend said that to me today, and it seemed...profound or something. Because we can't live in the past and we can't live in the future, but what happens if you live in the present?
"And what is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaaneous.
"Was there time for her life to flash before her eyes? Was I there? Was jake? And she promised, I remembered, she promised to be continued, but I knew, too, that she was driving north when she died, north toward Nashville, toward Jake. Maybe it hadn't meant anything to her, had been nothing more than another grand impulsivity. And as Hank stood in the doorway, I just looked past him, looking across the too quiet dorm circle, wondering if it had mattered to her, and I can only tell myself that of course, yes, she had promised. To be continued."


I'm at a point where I'm wondering if I love it, or if it's just something that I like right now, but I'll feel differently in a few months or a year. I'm sort of talking about art now, but the question applies itself to everything in my life. Writing? French? Blogging? Running away? They're all things that I'm into (the idea of, in some cases) right now, but I'm not sure about them in the long term.
This goes back to Kendall.
Apparently for Furniture Design, they do let almost everyone in. Because it's all furniture, there aren't very many people who want to go into it. Like Auto Design, that's the only thing you do your entire time in college. I like furniture design. I like it a lot.
But really, I don't love it.
Do I love history? Maybe. Do I love writing? I might. Do I love French? I do right now. Do I love blogging? Sometimes I do. Do I love the idea of running away? I often do.
But do I love any of these enough to spend forever on them? I really don't think I do.
Sometimes, you hear people talk about passion. So and so is really passionate about something. It makes them happy. They can spend all day doing it, day after day. There's nothing that has ever been like that for me, and that makes me curious.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The thing

I just hit 30,000 words on the beast. Please do not comment on the fact that I've written 10,000 words every three months. Please to not mention that it has been recorded of people writing this many words in a day or two.
I'm happy with it.
When I think of my novels, I'm reassured. My first novel was terrible. I don't think I've opened it since December 2007, but I don't need to reread the thing to know that it's bad. I didn't actually reread my novel from November 2008, but I know what was wrong with it. There wasn't enough plot, the only thing I had was a premise, no conflicts. Conflicts make a better story, or rather, make a story at all. This novel is better, but it's still not what I would call good. The story doesn't flow right, the pacing is off, there's not enough actually happening. And it's not, you know, done.
But assuming that this pattern continues (historical patterns!), eventually I'll have a novel that is halfway decent.
And that's reassuring.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do you know what today is?

It's a pretty freekin' big deal. It's October first. Le premier. This means that I am starting NaNoWriMo in a month. And that I have a novel with just under 30,000 words that I feel some sort of obligation to finish or do something with before I start the next thing. I'm planning this thing, and I really like it. It's an awesome novel. I'm not sure that I'm going to have enough to go off of in terms of planning (is this irony striking anyone else?) so I've been doing more of that. I'm in need of some names (male and female, first and last) for characters, so if you have any decent ideas, put them in the comments.
In other news, it's homecoming week. Or rather, it's nearly the end of homecoming week. This was the first day that I actually dressed up, wearing my maroon hoodie. It's class colour day. I do not go all out. Tomorrow's school colour day. I have not yet decided what I'm going to wear, but it won't be too exciting. And I'm going to the dance on Saturday. It'll be awesome. I have a dress. It's pretty. I think I'll even like, put on makeup.
In other news, I have Linux Mint. I love it a lot. It's like windows, only not craptastic. And I got a thing in the mail today about Ferris State. They sound interesting, and so I went to their website and checked out Kendall, which is the art school vaguely associated with Ferris State. They don't require a portfolio to get in to their Furniture Design (or Art History, but I don't care so much about that) program.
Just let that sink in for a second, then ask yourself how on earth they decide who they are going to let into the school. I don't know the answer, I'm going to ask my art teacher tomorrow.
While we're on the topic of answers, I have a story from APUSH to tell all y'all. The person who sits next to me in that class and I are sort of friends. As in, we talk often, but if I was bored on a Saturday, she's not really someone I would call. I would call the group, and they would do something exciting. But anyways, we have this thing to do that is like and unlike a green sheet at the same time, and I have a slight idea about how to do it. She spent half the block asking how to find patterns in history. I tried to explain to her how to do it, but she just didn't get it. Patterns in history are things that you see repeating, or emerging trends, or things that you know will happen again. That's what I told her, but she still didn't get it. In a few years, if I'm trying to think of a career, tell me that this is why I shouldn't become a history teacher.
Also, it's freeking cold here. I need to find a blanket or something.