Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sleepovers: Expectations vs. Reality (Collab with Rachel)

Hello, my few readers! So my new experience this week is still happening right now. I'm at a sleepover at my best friend Rachel's house. HELLO! I am Rachel... her best friend... this is my house...I am writing in italics... and taking over the blog... mwahhhahha (evil laughter). Back to you Ariel.

OK, so as you can see from that, she's going to be tagging along on this blog post and putting her commentary and stuff in italics. Now, obviously, I have been on sleepovers in my life before, but I don't think I've ever been on a two-day sleepover to someone's house, so I guess that counts as a new experience. Also attempting to write a blog while I keep stealing the computer, that's a new experience too. Yes. That is an interesting new experience. I hope she keeps getting various texts so that I can get a few words in while she texts people.

Anyway. So the post I thought of (while she deciphered a math problem her brother insisted that she solve) was Sleepovers: Expectations vs. Reality. That's a thing people do on the Internet, right... expectations vs. reality. And our sleepover was kinda weird so I thought this would be funny. Weird is a very nice way of putting it I would probably go with absurdly bizarre. I mean its not like either of us are normal and its not like we are more normal when we are together.

Sleepovers: Expectations vs. Reality

Expectation: Watching movies and eating popcorn
Reality: Not watching movies, eating a huge bag of popcorn while lamenting everything in our lives, then eating a bunch of other stuff. And then eating some more stuff. But it's not like we are DONE eating, okay? OKAY!

Expectation: Doing each other's nails and hair and stuff
Reality: Rachel tries on a shirt she found randomly, turns half her purse into a belt; I continue to turn the blanket into a personal cocoon. Eventually we put on normal clothes, we did... it was less fun than the  made up outfits?!? 

Expectation: Staying up late to tell secrets and talk about boys
Reality: Staying up late enough that my sentences begin to sound like "very like cat... I mean... words! ugh. You know. I hate words?" and then Rachel plays the guitar for a while. And then maybe sleep? No first I read random excerpts from "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" then sleep. True.

Expectation: Laughing at old memories of our middle school selves.
Reality: OK, that one's pretty accurate, except with the addition of looking through our old poetry and old writing in general. (And a folder she had on her laptop with pictures of glittery quotes about friendship... they were amazingly bad... it was beautiful) There were also Harry Potter related photos and quotes because I love Harry Potter and Alan Rickman. Also when she says we read our old poetry she forgot to mention how truly dreadfully dramatic I was in middle school and how painful some of it was to read. <3 There were a lot of <3s in the middle school stage. "A true friend will stay with you when they are gone" <3

Expectation: Waking up fairly early after very little sleep and making pancakes or waffles.
Reality: Waking up super late after an absurd amount of sleep and eating croissants with jam, and then making guacamole. But then! I made a whole bunch of fancy appetizer dishes like it was a party. But the best kind of party- barely any people. So we had lots of extra food... that we ate. Because food is best when eaten by ME.

Expectation: Plenty of activities to take up time, like pillow fights or watching TV.
Reality: Spending an hour dramatically draping ourselves on the stairs and saying "woe is me" and "life is tragedy" and then naming all the paintings in the house with ridiculously pretentious art names. Like "Consumerism" when the painting is of not consumerism. Also woe is me!

Expectation: Talking about frivolous things like... oh I don't know... celebrity lives.
Reality: Talking about ridiculous things like WHAT THE PARALLEL OF A CLOCK HAND IS OR WHATEVER THAT WAS. Do not mention that Ariel! Do you WANT to traumatize your readers? OK, or... analyzing Draco Malfoy's entire life, or Dadaism as an art movement (or lack of movement), or basically just making random noises. Or trying to figure out exactly what summer wind feels like. I say it feels like a warm blanket hugging you! Sure, OK.

Also its ten o'clock do I know where my parents are? Not Really!
Anyway, so yes, we are fairly weird. Again more than just weird! We are like seizure inducingly odd. There was also plenty of (not amazing) singing. My singing was particularly poor but my guitar playing was awesome or not. (The guitar playing was good. The singing... well... tolerable?) And hiding under blankets occupied much of my time. But it was fun.

Thanks for reading! See you on Wednesday,
Rachel Ariel

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ten Fancy Dairy Foods to Try Next Shavuot

Hi! So my blog has sucked lately. Sorry about that. I skipped the last two Saturday posts because nobody reads them except my mom (sorry, mom). And now it's 10:37 on Wednesday so I figured I would make up the last Saturday post here, as my Wednesday post, and if anyone reads it who is not in my immediate family, well, that would be an interesting twist.

So my new experience last week was going to Shavuot services. Shavuot, for those of you who don't know, is a Jewish holiday commemorating when we received the Torah at Mt Sinai religious stuff yada yada, the main point is that we get to eat dairy. If you're not Jewish, you might not know this, but Jewish families insist on eating meat ALL THE TIME. (Update: not because of laws. It's just a tradition thing) And kosher laws decree that you can't eat meat and dairy together. I'm a vegetarian who loves dairy, so most Jewish holidays are a game of eating the side dishes for me. (Not that I mind too much- side dishes are great!) But Shavuot- Shavuot is the best.

The reason it counts as a new experience is because I usually celebrate Shavuot by, like, eating pizza and ice cream, and not actually going to services. But my local Chabad (I don't know how to define Chabad- Google it) held services for Shavuot and they always have great services- followed by amazing food- so my family went this year. It was great.

Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about dairy food. (And the beautifulness of the Torah also, orthodox relatives who might be reading this). Oftentimes, Shavuot dinners, because Jews are so freaking obsessed with meat, are basically a time to sit and lament about how we can't eat meat and then we eat fish, and like, a spoonful of yogurt, I don't know, really lame stuff. (Update: this is sarcasm. Most Jews eat more dairy than that. I just wish we would eat EVEN MOOORE) And I kind of want us to get our act together. As a dairy enthusiast, I think that Shavuot is a time to ponder the many ways that we can eat dairy. Now, there's the obvious stuff- pizza, ice cream, cheese, put cheese on everything- true. But I'm talking stuff that you could have for a fancy meal. HENCE. I now commence a list of ten fancy dairy foods! (courtesy of Buzzfeed Food and Tumblr of course) (also I'm not linking recipes because that is not the point. Suffer)

1. Fried Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine Stacks with Balsamic Glaze

Fried Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine Stacks With Balsamic Glaze 
EXCUSE ME. This is too fancy. Right off the bat and we already got something that mixes fancy and fried cheese. I'm not sure this would taste THAT good together but I mean... worst case scenario, take it apart, and you got balsamic nectarines and some fried mozzarella. That's a pretty good worst case scenario.

2. Fondue... just, in general

Smoky Three-Cheese Fondue 

This particular picture is "Smoky Three Cheese Fondue" but make any fondue you can think of. As long as it has dairy and enough fat in it to kill you. Cheese, chocolate, weird other thing, whatever. Dip bread, fruit, veggies, soft pretzels, other amazing things. Fondue is a perfect food- it mixes dip with gooey amazingness. (I say "a" perfect food because there are many.)

3. Fancy Mac and Cheese

Creamy Brie Four-Cheese Mac 'n' Cheese 
So, mac and cheese isn't exactly cocktail party fare, but fancy it up, and serve it on little plates, and suddenly, it's like... wine, or whatever fancy people eat. Make it with Brie, like in this photo, or with bechamel sauce, like I tried to do that time that failed. Add breadcrumbs. Or just make Kraft and add a sprig of parsley, I don't know.

4. Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon and Basil-Mint Oil

Grilled Halloumi With Watermelon And Basil-Mint Oil 
Something just a wee bit healthy.  I know grilled watermelon sounds weird, but although I've never tried it, countless hipster blogs have sworn that it's amazing, and I trust hipster blogs. They just sound so genuine. Plus, it's basically grilled cheese. Get it? Yeah, I stole that pun from Buzzfeed.

5. Charred Corn with Rosemary Grilled Pizza

Charred Corn with Rosemary Grilled Pizza and Crushing On Naturally EllaReally nice recipes. Every hour.Show me what you cooked! 
Another grilled option! I know I said pizza is like basic dairy food, but this is FANCY pizza. It does look kind of odd, and there doesn't seem to be tomato sauce, which is a bit of a turn-off, but it still looks to have my main requirements- starch, cheese, and herbs. So we're good.

6. Roasted Blueberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Again, I know I said ice cream is kind of obvious in terms of dairy food. However, again, this is FANCY ice cream. Now this is the kind of dessert that screams, I know about dairy. Goat cheese ice cream! Who ever heard of that? It could be terrible! But that's just the kind of crazy risk taker you are. Plus, come on, it's not going to be terrible. There's too many good words in that recipe title: roasted, blueberry, balsamic, goat cheese, and ice cream. All the words are good!

7. Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Other Good Stuff
foodffs:Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado, Goat Cheese, and Candied PistachiosReally nice recipes. Every hour.Show me what you cooked! 
This is my favorite kind of salad. (Note to my mom: "Also Ariel, if you like this spinach salad so much, how come you never eat it? I buy all this spinach and then you don't eat it!" I KNOW) If you don't like raw spinach, put some other kind of fancy green that's "in" right now like kale or some other terrible thing. The main point is goat cheese. Other things to add: strawberries, balsamic vinegar, pecans, candied nuts of other sorts, avocados, apples, other fruit, whatever you like. It makes you look healthy but it's basically a carrier for cheese.

8. Cheesy Yuca Balls with Chipotle Mayo

Yuca, if you don't know, is a yummy root vegetable that's kind of like... some other root vegetable. I'm bad at descriptions. Anyway, this is an example of the kind of fancy appetizer you can make that's a finger food, has cheese, and has a name that will make people roll their eyes when you're not looking because people roll their eyes at foods that aren't major staples of Western cuisine because they think it's hipster when these foods have actually existed for centuries THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR A SOCIAL JUSTICE RANT, ARIEL. Sorry. I gotta stop leaving these blog posts until right before bed.

9. Greek Sweet Potato Fries with Curried Tzatziki

Tzatziki is like this yogurty thing that's amazing, don't question it, just eat it. I know for a fact that my Persian family eats tzatziki-like foods, so they should not be weirded out by this one, at least. This sounds really good and sweet potato fries are great. This should be good for someone who doesn't want the big cheesy stuff.

10. Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

I know, I should have put more desserts. I got caught up in all the cheese, what can I say. But of course, Shavuot necessities (at least in MY opinion) are brownies and cheesecake. And this recipe combines them AND adds a dash of fanciness! These sound amazing and, I'm not saying I'll storm out if I don't see them on at least one Shavuot table next year, but I am saying that, actually. This or straight-up pizza. I'm looking at you, everyone who does Shavuot meals.

Anyway, sorry this post is SO abonimably late AGAIN. Did I spell abonimably right? No, that's gotta be right. I'm not even going to check. Stupid Spellcheck.

HOPEFULLY you get a real Saturday post this week. Well, it's unlikely, but I might try.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Amusing Excerpts From My Old Notebooks, Part 2

I couldn't think of anything to write tonight for the blog, since I'm busy with some other stuff and my brain is all occupied with that. So I figured I'd do a Part 2 to a successful old blog post, Ruthlessly Making Fun of My Past Self. I have plenty of old notebooks full of terrible writing excerpts and dramatic moments from my middle school and high school years. So I'm just going to rifle through a few and let you guys enjoy the cringe-y-ness.

First, a notebook from the summer I turned fourteen. Let's see what I find...
And on the first page I get this:

"[rant about how I don't want to use a spiral notebook but I'm using one anyway] And I just can't waste all this beautiful, crisp, blank new lined paper. Fantastic, the idiocy of spiral is affecting me already. Look at all those adjectives! I feel like Stephenie Meyer, leaning on word padding to fuel my sick career. Maybe I should take a leaf out of ol' Stephenie's book and write vampire fluff. G-d knows writing well hasn't gotten me anywhere."
(I never wrote "God" with the "o" because I thought it was evil)

I would love to explain to you what my deal was with spiral notebooks but I don't remember. I just hated them for some reason. And I hated Twilight, because that was the cool thing to do back then.

OK, a few more pages of nonsense and then... if you're any good at French be prepared to facepalm:

"Aujord'hui en midi, je vais en voiture en bibliotheque. J'aime lire! C'est fun! C'est non fun etudier le francais en ete. Mais, I need to. It's almost the end of July! School is rapidly approaching."


And then my usual excerpt, that appears in like every notebook from this time period, about how special I was:

"Whatevs. I spend my time making bruschetta, listening to Beethoven, and reading about Michelangelo. Whereas the average teen would be partying and doing drugs or whatever."

Naturally after that I don't say anything too entertaining, so let me find something else because I would never want you, my dear readers, to suffer being bored...

Aha! An old notebook from eighth grade that I wrote in school. Fun story about this coming excerpt: I made the mistake of doing a group project with this girl who didn't care about school, and I worked really hard on my part of the project, and she completely didn't even try. The morning it was due, she said she'd done NOTHING, so I took her to the library and started desperately printing stuff and then I saw that she was calmly wasting time on the Internet. So naturally, I decided that I needed to vent my anger in my notebook... In my edgy, cool way...


So, just a disclaimer, I'm not homicidal, nor was I ever, but I thought that the cool, nonconformist way to get angry at people was to threaten to throw them in Tartarus. Fine. However, this girl later read my journal, and gave me this look which let me know which passage she had read. Needless to say, we're not friends anymore.

In the back of this same notebook, I found a token to my writer self:

"My way-too-insane novel idea: Francisco Melezzo, a former Aztec pretending to be a"

And then it cuts off. I guess we'll never know what way-too-insane novel I might have unleashed on the world.

Ooh, this one really relates to my life even now: "Wouldn't it be nice to attend a school with such luxuries as air conditioners?" LOOKING AT YOU, SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE.

OK, last one, and this one just sums up my worldview in eighth grade:

"Today [Mom] threatens dress shopping. Tragic. My planner exploded. Tragic... but expected."

There you go, everyone. Nothing too insightful, but I sure did write some ridiculous things in my eighth grade journals.
See you this Saturday when hopefully I will actually have a new experience post for you guys,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Procrastinate from Studying (Or Celebrate Being Done)

All around the country right now, college students are in the middle of finals week, and high school students are in the middle of AP exams. Of course, we're nearing the end of it all. For me, it is not finals week, because my school doesn't have exams. However, we have an equally stressful period of time called conference week where we finish all our giant research papers of the semester. I just finished my last one this morning, and although I still have a 2-page essay that my French teacher thought it was a good idea to assign, I'm basically celebrating being done.

So, for those of you who need an excuse not to study, or those of you celebrating being done with exams/papers/the school year, I've compiled a list of links and stuff to waste time on. I spent a good deal of the last two weeks avoiding my responsibilities on the Internet, so I have plenty of stuff to do, mostly gathered from Tumblr.

First off, look at this Vine, which I decided was THE CURE OF ALL STRESS for some reason at 1 am a few days ago:

Next, read the Evil Overlord List which is an ancient Internet relic of the 90s but is still very hilarious and relevant. The link didn't work on my laptop but I'm sure that's because my laptop is just kinda picky so hopefully it'll work for you.

And now this amazing Tumblr post about being Arthur Weasley's son in law which I tried to embed but it didn't work :( so just follow the link.

And this video which made me die of laughter, where a bird laughs like a supervillain:

And finally, end by appreciating this Romione fanart by Tumblr user tlpursuit:



Bleh, I tried.

I love your trying, dear. Those freckles are fantastic. The hair and brain scars are spot on and the height difference is fantastic.

I know that's not a lot but I overestimated how much non-fandom stuff I see online (Harry Potter doesn't count; Harry Potter is the default fandom). Anyway you should be studying or, I don't know, sleeping. I should be sleeping, actually. Or packing. My last day of freshman year is tomorrow!

All right, thanks for reading. I'll see you on Saturday,

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Love Letter to Prose, I Guess

So first of all, this week's been pretty crazy. (Long rant about my personal life ahead. Skip a few paragraphs if you don't care.)

First I was rushing to try and finish at least "a part of a first draft" for my French final paper, for Wednesday. Then I wrote my first column for Indie Reader that I'm getting paid for, and I won't link to it because I'm just worried it might not be allowed. Trust me, it's not a fun read, it's just basically a summary of some current events, you're not missing anything. (No offense to my... boss? I think?... who edited it and made it way better haha). Then I started work on my final paper for my class on cultures of India, which is supposed to be 20 pages and is due this coming Wednesday. (Currently on page 9, which is pretty decent, I think!)

And then, because all technology is allergic to me, we had the newest chapter in a long and beautiful story of my laptops in my life breaking. See, when I started college this past September, my grandmother got me a nice new laptop. It started breaking down just in time for winter break, so my dad took it to try and fix it and gave me one of the other laptops we have around the house to take to school. (He's a computer programmer so we have a bunch of laptops just lying around. We are not nearly as rich as that makes us sound.) Then I was drinking water one day and I just HAD to choke and spew it all over THAT laptop. So it broke down. So my dad brought me the previous laptop, which was working OK now, and I used that. Naturally, a few weeks in, it started having difficulties turning on and the screen kept being super zoomed in, but I didn't care, whatever. Then, this morning, I minimize the file with my paper only to see that my Rumbleroar desktop background has been replaced with a message of doom. Literally. My desktop had a ransom letter written on it telling me to pay up or my files would NEVER BE RETURNED!!! *lightning strike*

Luckily I back up my files regularly, so this offer didn't tempt me. I copied and pasted the text of my paper into Gmail and emailed it to myself, then I just sighed and waited for my dad who was luckily visiting today. So now, I have once again switched back to laptop 2. Sorry if all that was confusing. It's just my life with technology.

OK. Time for the real post! I needed to rant, haha.


My new experience this week was attending a performance by various talented artists. There's this thing in Westchester County (where my college is) called the ArtsWestchester's Festival or something, and every year they honor 50 artists in this thing called the "50 for 50" initiative. I really don't know the details. Anyway, so the reason this matters is that 5 of the honored artists were faculty at my school, Sarah Lawrence College. If you didn't know, Sarah Lawrence basically has the best faculty in America. And one of the honored artists is my poetry teacher, Marie Howe, so I thought, why not go? Funnily enough, I'd never read or heard any of her poems, despite the fact that she has read tons of my poetry for class. That is an odd dynamic to have with a famous acclaimed poet. So I was like, I need to balance this out and hear some of her poetry, and see some other good artists, and probably get free food while I'm at it.

Well, the free food didn't work out so well, since none of it was vegetarian except some carrots and a thing of figs and cheese (of which there was only one left by the time I got there, which made me sad). But the art was amazing! Marie's poems were really excellent, all themed around Mary Magdalene. Next was a composer named Chester Biscardi, who played us some opera he'd composed based on poetry. After that, a choreographer, Maxine Sherman, told us her life story and then had one of her dance students perform a piece she'd choreographed. I will never cease to be amazed by dancers. I can't even get out of bed in the morning without grumbling and this girl is twisting her body into beautiful positions without a second thought. Anyway, the last piece was this guy who did this weird and funny multimedia piece about weather reporters (it sounds boring but it was GREAT), but before he went, a fiction writing teacher went up and read an 11-page short story he'd written recently called "Tolstoy and God." I tried to find a link to it but alas, it is not online yet. Which is a shame because I wish I could share it with you all. It was so funny, everyone in the audience was nearly dying of laughter. But it was also extremely well-written and made me sort of light up with happiness after a not-so-great day. (I had spent the day avoiding doing any work, which always gives me stress). It made me feel like my eyes were reflecting the light again after having only been dark for a while before.

The other pieces were very good, too, and also touched me from an art critic kind of perspective. This is not to say that the dance or the poems or the opera or multimedia piece were any less good than the short story. But the short story sort of woke something up in me that had been tired for a while. I think what it was was good prose writing. Prose that made sense, that made people laugh to the point of crying, that made people say, "I get it." Prose that people were probably talking in the car about after on the ride home and remembering a week later and stifling a laugh in the middle of class. The kind of prose I want to write.

There are lots of forms of art, lots of ways for artists to get the "thing" in their souls out in the world and over to other people's souls. The "thing" of light and understanding and whatever it is. I've received that from so many artists in so many ways, through beautiful poems that I read and felt in my own heartbeat, through music that vibrated through my ears and stirred my mind into illegible emotion, through paintings that gave something to me in the light beams reflecting in my eyes. But prose, I think, will always be the form that makes the most sense to me. Specifically, stories. Some people communicate things best with straightforward sentences, some with numbers, some with drawings, some with music, some with their bodies, some with metaphors. But I do it best with stories. If I want to explain how I feel to someone, I tell them, "you know, like when you do this and this happens and then this" and they go "ohhh, yeah," because I just told them a story and they followed the story until they understood how I felt. If I want to make an argument so that someone understands why some issue matters, I tell them a story about someone whose life was hurt by that issue. And when I read and hear stories, the world makes more sense to me. I learned all the things I really know from books, from stories. From prose.

I love writing poetry, and I love drawing. But I miss prose. Not that I haven't been writing it, I just haven't been writing it as much. It's funny, but when I do write, things really do seem to light up. When I feel sad, I pull out my notebook and write until the world is right again. It always works. I wish I would remember that when I spend time doing things that aren't writing, or aren't reading.

So this was a love letter to prose. Of all the things that have kept me alive, stories have kept me alive the most. I'm sorry I spend so much of my time not telling them, and not hearing them.

Thanks for reading my post! See you on Wednesday,

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

TCWT Blog Chain: Weaknesses and Strengths

Hello all! Once again this month I'm participating in the TCWT Blog Chain, which is being hosted for the month of May by Ch1Con. The topic is "What is your greatest weakness as a writer? What's your greatest strength?" Wow. Well... Those are some big questions.

I'm absolutely terrible at deciding superlatives, that is to say, I can never pick things that are the adjective-est. What's my favorite song? Well, I have my official favorite song for formal occasions of people asking me that question, but I would need to pull out graphs and formulas to even pick my top ten, and that frankly sounds like a lot of math. (Graphs? Formulas? A number? Ugh.) What I'm saying is, I'm not going to be able to decide what my "greatest" weakness and strength are, but I can talk about what some of my weaknesses and strengths in writing are.

The first big weakness that comes to mind is laziness. Oh, laziness. I could go on so long about how lazy I am. In fact, my laziness is such a weakness, it's a strength, and it's so strong in its strength, it circled back to being a weakness again. Do you think you're lazier than I am? I have news for you, you're not. I'm the laziest. Deal with it.

Many writers deal with writer's block, writing slumps, wasting a couple hours or even days on Facebook or Pinterest instead of really writing. But they'll always come back. They can't go so long without writing. Even if they're not writing, they're thinking about their book. Me, though? The file of my book hasn't been OPENED since March. Wait, it might have, because I wanted to check what my last sentence was for some Facebook teen writers challenge. But I mean, come on. How many of you have left your book untouched for two months? That's not a slump, that's a... like a life problem. And the longer I go without writing, the harder it is to get back in. You know what, forget what I said at the beginning: procrastination and laziness are definitively my greatest weakness.

I guess what irritates me about that being a weakness is that it's not very writerly. I mean, I procrastinate about everything. But it's one thing to put off a set of French grammar exercises; it's another thing to put off the project that you've been devoting your life to. And other writers are so annoying about it! "Yeah I write 500 words a day *hair flip* you know I just can't like BREATHE without writing a million words a second... I just don't get writers who waste time on such nonsense as YouTube videos of anteaters singing the Phantom of the Opera when they could be doing THE WORK OF THE MUSES" Like... I didn't choose to click that thirtieth YouTube video, or refresh Tumblr for the hundredth time. OK, I did choose it, but do you think I woke up in the morning saying, "Yes! Today I will see a hundred cats with bread on their faces! Forget about my novel in progress, I got memes to click on!" Of course not. It's a compulsion. It's a result of anxiety. The book's so overwhelming and after months of not working on it, it feels like I'm going to come back and get rejected by my own universe. Like it's going to be mad at me for leaving it alone. So I just don't go back, again. It's too hard.

Then of course, when I finally do go back, it is hard, but it's never *too* hard. I know that when I get writing again, it'll work. It will actually be like breathing again. But I still make the choice, over and over again, to put it off.

So I guess my pretty obvious greatest weakness is procrastination. But as for greatest writing strength? That's more difficult to decide. I know I'm pretty decent at spinning poetic words that don't venture into purple prose, probably because I'm as much a poet as I am a prose writer at this point. So where some fiction writers have difficulty describing emotions or setting or whatever, I'm pretty good at that. Not sure if I'd call it my "greatest strength" though.

Another strength of mine is creative ideas. I know that's kind of a necessity for writers in general, but I like to think I'm good at coming up with original ideas. I always hear writers complaining "I think I have an original idea but then I realize someone else did it!" I have seen people do stuff similar to my ideas, but my ideas are usually original and creative enough to not have that worry. Of course, that comes with the possibility of getting so outlandish that nobody actually wants to read your story, because they can't relate to it, or it's too complex and tangled up, or there's none of those recognizable archetypes within it. But I usually manage to restrain the crazy ideas before they get out that far. (Although maybe Esizza was taking it a bit far, despite being a stroke of genius.)

I think if I had to choose a greatest strength- which is obviously not my official greatest strength so no one quote me on this (see above paragraph about being unable to decide on things)- is beginnings. Sooo many writers have difficulties starting their stories. They don't know where to start; they have this great idea, but they don't know how to enter it. But I'm good at diving in. If I have an idea I love, the words usually just come out in a flowing heap, and I find my footing pretty fast. Which sounds like a messy process, but I've almost never had to edit a first scene, beyond tweaking wording and stuff. I think I have all this energy in the idea in the beginning and it fires out, which is why middles of books are the real difficulty for me (though I do love them).

So yeah. Greatest weakness: putting off writing. "Greatest" strength: starting to write. That's a pretty funny match-up there.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses with writing? Feel free to share; I actually want to hear about them.

Thanks for reading! Sorry this is up so late; I was distracted by the Twitter Ch1Con Chat.
See you on Saturday for my new experience post,

P.S. Here's the rest of the blog chain. It's not complete yet so best to check the Ch1Con website if you really want the full list.

Tuesday May 5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t
Wednesday May 6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer
Friday May 8th — Galloping Free
Saturday May 9th — Miriam Joy Writes
Sunday May 10th — The Ramblings of Aravis
Wednesday May 13th — Light and Shadows
Friday May 15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel
Saturday May 16th — The World of the Writer
Tuesday May 19th — Butterflies of the Imagination
Wednesday May 20th — Introspection Creative
Friday May 22nd — Spellbound
Sunday May 24th — Unikke Lyfe
Monday May 25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl
Wednesday May 27th — Against the Shadows
Friday May 29th — Teens Can Write, Too, announcing June’s chain

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Ideal Literary Themed Party

Hey, so, sorry about not posting yesterday. I have no excuse. Anyway. So I had a bunch of new experiences this week, but they were all kind of little. However, they all seemed to fit one of two themes: something literary, or a party. Or both! I went to the release party for a literary magazine on my campus (with free pizza!), a poetry reading where I performed, and I went for about five minutes to my Roaring Twenties themed spring formal and stole some food. Fun.

So it got me thinking about what sort of literary-themed party I would throw if I could throw one. The free pizza of the release party was good. The people paying attention to me of the poetry reading was good. The cool theme and costumes of the spring formal was good. What else would I have at my ideal literary themed party?

Obviously, the most important part of any event or gathering of any sort is the food. I mean, if there's no food, why did people even show up? I think necessary food would of course be free pizza, probably because I'm in an environment (college) where free pizza is always the payment for showing up to things. But also:

-A book cake!

Something cute like this, that probably tastes like fondant and is kinda gross. The point isn't to eat cake, it's to have a book cake and everyone to go "ooh ahh how did you make that."
-An actual flavorful dessert pastry, like brownies or eclairs or something
I always wanted to have butterbeer and it's kinda literary themed, because it's from a book.
-Various savory snacks, like bowls of chips or whatever. Maybe a fancy cheese plate. And make sure that it's readily reachable from the place where everyone's hanging out. Or maybe, one that's readily reachable from the place where everyone is, and then one on a side table. That way, you can have snacks whether you're part of the crowd or you're skulking off to the side.
So of course, I'm not just going to have everyone hang around, because then we have to socialize. Gross. Instead, we'll have coordinated literary themed activities to prevent any actual talking.
-Literary themed Cards Against Humanity. With a good mix of popular YA books and classics. That would be fun. That would be the icebreaker, I think.
-Jeopardy-style book trivia. Nothing better than a bunch of quiet book nerds suddenly becoming viciously competitive to prove who knows the most book facts. Not that I'm like that, of course.
-Crafts! I love crafts. And they require no talking. We can make bookmarks, book jackets, whatever.
-An open mic reading at the end of the night so that everyone who's not a writer can leave and everyone who is a writer can fulfill their dreams of stardom.
I don't really think decorations are all that necessary for fun, but they would make everything seem fancy and literary. So of course, the entire party would take place in an adorable reading nook type place, with tea brewing in the background. Not for drinking, for the tea smell. Unless you want to drink it, I guess.
-Some sort of super cool book art, like this:
And before you start on "how could someone destroy a book" who cares. It's paper. There's probably another copy of this book somewhere anyway. This art looks super cool, OK?
-Cushy chairs. Nobody wants to stand around or sit on some couch that they're afraid to spill food on.
-Hogwarts house flags (this would be a lowkey Harry Potter supremacy kind of literary party)
Music is great because it interrupts people's conversations and then they forget what they were talking about and then you can escape talking to them. On my playlist for this party I'd probably have:
-AVPM songs, because Harry Potter
-Lovely classical music, I guess, for the times when we have to focus on something
-The Paper Kites, which is my favorite band so I'm going to force everyone to listen to all of their songs. Not super literary, but one of their songs is actually about The Picture of Dorian Gray, so there's that. (At least, I think it is. Somebody said it was in a YouTube comment once.)
I'm not sure what else you're supposed to plan for a party, but I think this stuff already sounds pretty great. What would you have at a literary themed party if you planned one? If anyone's still reading this blog. :)
Thanks for reading! Sorry this was a day late. I'd say it's because I was so busy doing my French final paper, but actually, I haven't even started it yet. *cue tears of extreme stress*
See you Wednesday,