Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Art of Baking

I still haven't mastered it yet. I'm not even close to it. I tried making cinnamon rolls two days ago since I was too lazy and cheap to go out in the cold to buy some. A few hours after I baked them, they were pretty good; they weren't too hard, and they tasted okay. But the next morning when my brother and I tried to take a bite out of them, they were so hard. I micro-waved mine and instead of becoming softer, it became even harder. Not too sure what I put in there that I wasn't supposed to O.O

On the bright side, I know how to make really good (and soft) chocolate chip cookies :D But that's sadly all I can do. I even burnt water a number of times, which is really pathetic, especially when someone walks in the kitchen and asks what burnt. I know I sound so stupid when I say "water"-.-

Friday, March 25, 2011

My chicken suit!

No, I don't really have a chicken suit. But remember Aeryn’s list? That really long one that describes her Mr. Perfect? Well, like I said, there’s a back story behind every single point on that list. Some of them are funny, others are just common sense. I’ll only be including about 5-10 of these back stories in the actual book, but I’m writing scenes for most of them in case I choose to include a different one. (There are about 40 points on the list, so it would be pretty impossible to include every single back story).
But like I promised, here’s an excerpt for/back story behind point #29 on the list: Doesn’t own a chicken suit. (It's the longest one I'll post. I haven't decided yet but this one isn't likely to be in the book, which is why I decided to post it. The scene is between Aeryn and Daniel, one of Aidan’s friends. If it makes the cut, it’ll be for a bit later in the book.)

            He looked up from the list and raised an eyebrow. “Doesn’t own a chicken suit?” I nodded, not quite sure what was so outrageous about this point. Of course, it would be a little trickier to ask in the middle of a conversation, but definitely possible. As long as the conversation was already going downhill. “Why would someone own a chicken suit?”
            “There was this guy,” I started to explain, lying back down on the cold, concrete floor. “We went out once and on our second date, I told him how when I was little, I used to imagine myself living on a farm and taking care of animals, especially chickens and horses.” Daniel chuckled and I couldn’t help but smile. “Don’t laugh. I had big dreams.”
“Had? Aeryn, have you seen your list? Even Ken doesn’t live up to it.”
I scoffed. “You can’t compare the guy I’m looking for to a male version of Barbie.”
“You compared my girlfriend to Barbie,” he pointed out, then stuffed a handful of popcorn in his mouth. Most of it landed on the floor, again providing more food for the rats.
I rolled my eyes. “Gaby’s a human Barbie. I don’t see why you’re still denying it. Her boobs are so big that it’s only a matter of time until she topples over and falls flat on her face.”
This time, Daniel’s laughter wasn’t followed by a round of denial and I was tempted to ask if Gaby had forgotten to attach her camera chip to him. He nudged my side. “The chicken suit.”
“Ah, the chicken suit. Well, on our third date, the guy shows up at my doorstep dressed in a chicken suit. I think he thought it was cute and thoughtful. We get to the restaurant and when I order a chicken soup, I think he literally lost it. Still not sure why. He got up from his chair as if being dressed in a chicken suit wasn’t embarrassing enough, and then he did this…” I grimaced, just remembering how embarrassing that night had been. The glances hadn't stopped until he dropped me off at home. Even then, my mother's confused look didn't budge until Chris drove away. “He did this…really strange dance and said it was for Buddha.” Beside me, Daniel raised an eyebrow, a look of complete disbelief on his face; if I hadn’t been at that restaurant myself that night, I wouldn’t have believed a word of this story. I nodded to reassure him that this sad story was in fact true. “When he sat down, I told him that my mom suffered from Alzheimer and that I couldn’t leave her alone for too long because she might wander the streets at night and get lost.”
“Your mom doesn’t have Alzheimer.”
I sighed. “I know. So did he.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Creativity's little vacation

I was looking at the movie listings earlier this week and noticed how pretty much every movie out in theaters right now is based on something - real life, short story, novel, fairytale. And because I've got nothing better to do, I started Googling and saw how most of last year's movies were based on some type of story. There's The Adjustment Bureau, Red Riding Hood, Water for Elephants, I Am Number Four, Soul Surfer, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Rite...the list goes on and on and on.

I guess creativity has taken a little vacation when it comes to movies. Kind of sad.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A few tips

I'm not sure why I subscribed to the Figment blog but I'm way too lazy (or too much of a procrastinator) to unsubscribe. One of these days, I guess.

But they keep clogging up my email account and today I decided to see what their blog is all about and was actually really interested in it. Patrick Ryan, author of Gemini Bites, gave a few tips to fight writer's block and it's the most useful tips I've heard so far.

They're easy, simple and straight forward. My favorite's #6. Check it out:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Waiting...and waiting some more...

The idea for Theoretically Speaking came to me during a conversation with my sister when she visited (I may have already mentioned this - short term memory). A week or so after she left, I found this picture and realized how perfect it was for the book. Too bad it couldn't be my cover :P

But all in all, this picture is true because let's face it, there's no such a thing as the perfect man. Something's always missing :P

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The result of procrastination and lack of sleep

I'm not really sure what came over me but after reaching 20, 000 words for Theoretically Speaking, I decided to post approx. the first 10,000 on Inkpop.

I think my lack of sleep, plus the fact that I've been procrastinating on my homework for writing class (huge surprise there) might be the cause, especially since I'd promised myself another 3 months away from Inkpop.

Oh well, I guess I'll just see how that turns out...

Friday, March 18, 2011

One of those books

Ever read a book, put it down and simply felt like you had to get out your own writing and attempt to write something just as amazing?

I just finished reading one of those books and that's exactly how I'm feeling right now. Even when I was only halfway through Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (at about 3 this morning), I knew that it had topped my list of favorite books.

In this book, Phillips managed to give us a story from three different points of views but the flow was so incredible that I didn't once notice the change in POVs. And for once, I never regretted when the change came and the story was told from a different viewpoint. It was funny, sexy, unbelievably captivating and compulsively readable. Trust me when I say this because I don't ever gush so much about a book.

To give a little idea of the storyline, it's about a sweet little girl from Chicago who's trying to make a profit out of the matchmaking business left over by her late grandmother. She gets a shot at finding the perfect match for a high profile sports agent, and the bantering between those two left me reading their scenes a million times. I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011

I found this challenge on a few blogs and decided why not. I'll even have a page to post all the books I've read, otherwise I'll lose count pretty quickly. I doubt I'll get to 100 but it's worth a try and it definitely sounds like fun.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dear Aidan Huntington... With hate, Signed: Aeryn Taylor

I spent the last few days visiting different colleges and got lots of writing done while on the bus. So I thought I'd post another excerpt as today's post. This excerpt is to give you all a feel of Aidan, who was one of the guys who asked Aeryn out back in high school and she answered by asking him if he had a strong aversion to tampons (he was in the prologue excerpt). The one thing to know here is that Aeryn pretty much despises him.

“Listen Aidan, I’ll say this in one of the simplest ways I can.” I looked at him straight in the eyes to attempt to create a sort of suspenseful moment. “Here’s the thing…hell would have to freeze over for me to ever do any kind of favor for you.” 

In all honesty, this had been the cruelest thing I had ever said to anyone, even to Aidan. Of course, what went through my head – especially about Aidan – couldn't even begin to compare to this slightly offensive comment, but that was an entirely different story. I waited, expecting to be flipped off by a trail of profanity or maybe even to see him kneel and beg me to reconsider, but he seemed to be completely unfazed by my comment. He simply glanced at my apartment door and smiled. 

“Taylor, I need a favor from you. And I’m pretty sure you need me to keep my mouth shut about your obsession over guys with a strong aversion to tampons. Especially around your boyfriend.” Amused by my expression, he paused and grinned. My jaw hung open, and my eyes narrowed accusingly at him as I took a step forward.

“Are you threatening me?” I hissed.

His grin widened. “More like making it impossible for you to say no.” I blinked, trying to suppress the anger threatening to explode at any second. If only he could be turned into a toad, the world would become such a better place. “So what do you say? Up for babysitting?”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Library or Bookstore?

I used to be a library gal, then after an impulsive purchase of every Sophie Kinsella book at this second-hand bookstore, I started buying books and stocking my bookshelves. The only reason I even made that first purchase was because of the great deal for books that didn't even look like they had been breathed on (I got 5 books for $20CAD, which is almost impossible to find since books in Canada are so expensive).

But then one of my friends asked me why I'd buy a book when I could get it for free at the library. The only reason I could come up with is that when I buy the book, it's mine: I can read and re-read it whenever I want to. Downside to buying books? Well, I keep buying them and never actually start reading them. So right now most of my shelves are filled with unread books and I just keep adding to that.

I'm still debating which is more beneficial: a library or a bookstore? O.O

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another excerpt...

After finishing off a chapter that I was having some trouble with, I decided to post another excerpt from Theoretically Speaking. This time it's the end of the prologue. The part right before the excerpt is when Aeryn (the MC) goes to see a psychic at a carnival to ask for a clue about the identity of Mr. Perfect. Even though Aeryn finds the clue to be complete crap, she doesn't seem to forget about it at all. Anyway, here's the excerpt:

A few months after the carnival:

“Hey, I was thinking…” Charles trailed off, seeming unsure of what he was thinking. I looked up from our Health poster, glue in one hand and a picture of a vagina in the other.

“You were thinking?” I repeated, wanting nothing more than to finish the poster, go home and never take another Health class again.

Charles at last met my gaze. “Do you wanna go out? With me? On…a date?” His nervousness was hard, if not impossible to miss. At my next question, all trace of it disappeared and was instead replaced by shock.

I took a deep breath and tried to quickly organize my thoughts, a task easier said than done. “This is gonna sound…um, a bit odd. But…” I braced myself for his reaction. Like a band-aid: rip it off as fast as possible. “Do you…have some kind of, um, strong aversion to tampons?”

Charles barely uttered a single word to me after this incident.

A year after the carnival:

“He asked me out,” I told Brooke, throwing my bag on the floor before throwing myself on her family’s couch, ready to die.

She looked up from her computer, disbelief written on every inch of her face. “Aidan?” she asked, her voice a mere whisper. I nodded, though the halfhearted raise of head couldn’t possibly qualify as a nod. “What did you say?” she almost squealed, somehow missing my lack of excitement over the situation.

I buried my face in a cushion, ready to drown my sorrows in a big bowl of self-pity. “I asked him if he had a strong aversion to tampons,” I mumbled.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My USB = half of my life

I almost lost my USB today (which is attached to my set of keys), and didn't realize until 3 hours later. I almost had a heart attack when I realized I'd left it at a public library in a computer.

And now I'm about to go buy 3 more USB sticks to back up all of my files. Last year, my USB decided to stop working and I lost about 20,000 words of a story I'd been working on. It annoyed me so much that I didn't even try to restart the story yet, although since then, the storyline's changed quite a bit (Book One of The Leviathans' Union Novels: Destined). I'll actually be posting a summary for that book in a few days.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yes, I get good marks. No, I don't like to bore myself with philosophical books.

Today in my Law class, I wasn't in any mood to listen to the teacher ramble on and on about the role of Parliament and judges, so I took out my book and started reading. At the end of class, the teacher comes behind me and sees my book and asks what I'm reading. I flip the book over and he reads the title, The Hopeless Romantic's Handbook, then tells me that he lost every previous notion he had about me (I get good marks, so he always thought I was smart).

I really don't get why people assume that just because they think I'm smart based on my good marks at school, I should be reading some deep, philosophical book that tells me about the nature of life. Is it so bad to be reading a meaningless, very funny and entertaining chick lit novel?
Which kind of leads to a question that popped in my head when I left that class: does what you read reflect who you are?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


A few months ago, I subscribed to to get their Quote of the Day. Big mistake. It filled my inbox and on the few days that I actually read those quotes, I was always left so confused by them. There's one that I read about 4 months ago that I'm still trying to figure out what it means O.o
But regardless, I managed to find a few other websites that gave me the funny quotes I was looking for. At the beginning of each chapter of my book Bad Apple, I have a quote that relates to that particular chapter. Even though I've put the book on hold for a while, I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes that I used for it.

“In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity.” – Konrad Adenauer

“It is not exactly cheating, I prefer to consider it creative problem solving.” - Unknown

 “A woman has a much better chance than a man of acquittal on a murder charge. If she happens to be a blonde, her chances rise up to forty-five percent.” – John McGeorge.

“An alarm clock is a device that wakes you up just in time to go back to sleep.” – Anonymous

“God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.” – Robin Williams  

“I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” – Jerome K. Jerome

“I believe in rules…If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?” –Leo Duracher

Saturday, March 5, 2011

10 pages of description: run!

One of the things I absolutely hate reading are paragraphs and paragraphs of uninterrupted description. It bores me to death and makes me lose all interest in reading the book. On the other hand, pages and pages of dialogue with no description doesn't really work either but to be honest, sometimes I would pick nonstop dialogue over nonstop description.

In Jane Eyre, there's a passage at the beginning of the book that takes pages to describe a red room that contains nothing other than a red chair. It blows me away how the author herself didn't fall asleep while writing it.

Last night, I sat down to read some of Dress Rehearsal (by Jennifer O'Connell) but spent 2 chapters reading nothing other than the MC's internal thoughts about whether she made the right choice letting her ex-boyfriend move to DC without her. I was ready to shoot myself after one chapter.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh, Ken.

 My friends just told me that Barbie and Ken are no longer a couple. I know, shocking. Apparently, Ken cheated on our dear Barbie, left her and went to marry his mistress.

You know that the male race is hopeless when Ken cheats on Barbie.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finding Mr. Right: The Checklist

Most girls know what they're looking for in a guy. Some even have a written list hidden somewhere (don't deny it), while some just mentally check off the boxes while they're right in the middle of a conversation with the guy. There's really no use denying it - we've all been through this at least once :P

In Theoretically Speaking, my MC, Aeryn, is this extremely determined girl who will stop at pretty much nothing to get what she wants. And what she wants right now is to find Mr. Perfect. To keep up with all her criteria, she lists them down.The list is mentioned a few times throughout the book but never does the reader know every single point on this ridiculously specific, crazy and long list.
Here's a little treat: Aeryn's complete checklist for Mr. Right:
(P.S. For every point on the list, there's a little story behind it. I'll post some of the stories another time)

o   Strong aversion to tampons
o   Messy black hair
o   SHORT hair
o   Green eyes
o   Between 5’9 and 5’12
o   2 years older than me
o   Doesn’t have more than 5 ex-girlfriends
o   Knows the difference between a fruit and a vegetable
o   Has close relatives from all around the globe
o   Financially secure
o   No criminal record
o   First name is not ‘Dick’
o   Sister(s) must be good-looking
o   An older sister and a younger sibling
o   Healthy eater
o   Exercises daily
o   Likes baseball – Phillies fan
o   Doesn’t criticize yoga
o   Never wears corduroy
o   Has no aversion to marriage
o   Doesn’t even think of eloping or a marriage in Vegas
o   Light smell of perfume that doesn’t suffocate me
o   Favorite color is pink
o   Shares my dislike for clowns
o   Does not cling:
o Doesn’t have access to tracking devices that may be used to track my whereabouts 
o   Shaves everyday
o   Doesn’t whine
o   Doesn’t own a chicken suit
o   Checks in with his mom everyday – shows that he has emotions
o   Has publicly cried once. No more.
o   No daddy-issues
o   All ex-girlfriends have not broken up with him (otherwise there’s something wrong with him)
o   He didn’t break up with all of his ex-girlfriends (otherwise he’s a heartbreaker)
o   Doesn’t have too many allergies
o   Optional:
o  dimple(s)
o  British accent
o   No crooked finger or toe
o   Knows the use of a mop and other cleaning supplies
o   Knows how to cook well
o   Only wears pea coats

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An alarm clock: my cue to wake up, hit 'Snooze' and go back to sleep

Last year, I used to set my alarm for 5AM, wake up, go write for a few hours and then go through my day. I can only write in complete silence and there's really no better time than when everyone's in bed.
But this year, it's just impossible to actually wake up. I have 6 alarms (because you know, 5 just aren't enough :P) but I keep hitting the snooze button until the very last alarm goes off. The problem's not that I do it on purpose. It's just that whenever I hear that annoying music coming from my phone, my first reflex is to hit anything to make it stop.

But then just a few minutes ago, I found this alarm clock that I simply have to buy. It's a flying alarm clock that only turns off when the propeller (the flying part) is placed back on its base. So the first thing I'll be doing in the morning is chasing my alarm clock around my room.
I think it's just what I need to get my lazy butt out of bed so I can get some writing done.