In Which I Officially Endorse a Presidential Nominee

“Something something Wall Street.”–Quote from Bernie Sanders, probably.

Otherwise titled: “In which I suddenly get political for no good reason.”

So I’ll be voting in the New York primary on the nineteenth, and things are really heating up. People have been arguing a lot, calling Bernie a communist and Hillary a criminal, and I meanwhile am trying to make sure that whoever I do decide to vote for is the least likely to turn the country into 1984. This way, if another candidate wins and the events of 1984 actually happen in real life, I can smugly say that I, at least, voted for the other guy.

So I’ve been doing mad research, actually paying attention to some of the debates and looking shit up on my own, and I have now officially made my decision.

Admittedly, this official decision is totally subject to change at any moment. If John Kasich were to send me a gift basket in the mail, I’d probably vote for him because, well, gift baskets are cool. But at the moment I’m supporting someone else, and you could probably guess who it is based on the picture above.

I see no difference.

Yep, Bernie Sanders. The guy who looks like Waldorf from the Muppets. Why would I vote for such a man, you ask? Well there are plenty of reasons: he’s refreshingly authentic, I sort of want to pet his head, and I love his accent. He’s been a supporter of civil and LGTBQ+ rights long before it became politically convenient. Plus he’s one of the few people in congress who truly seem to realize just how important this whole climate change thing is. I mean seriously, it’s the most important issue of our time, one that affects literally everyone on the planet, and there are people in congress who still haven’t gotten around to admitting that it’s a thing that exists.

(Fun fact: Donald Trump is on record saying that global warming is a conspiracy invented by the Chinese(?) and Ted Cruz believes it was fabricated by those goddamn liberals. Liberals are pretty sneaky though, so Ted may in fact be onto something here.)

He’s also on board with the legalization of marijuana, which is one of those stances that I feel like he should bring up more often. He may not be winning the minority votes, but I’m sure he’s kicking ass when it comes to pizza delivery dudes and snowboarders.

Oh, and I know this is stupid but I have to share: there is a diner nearby my house that I go to a lot, (usually on late weekend nights with my friends) and Bernie Sanders showed up there this Tuesday. That’s right, Bernie Sanders was at my favorite diner! I wonder what table he sat on. Hopefully it’s the booth in the corner where I always sit. That would be so cool.

But not everyone feels this way, of course. Many for legitimate reasons that I actually agree with. (The dude’s chill and all, but he ain’t flawless.) There are a lot of Americans who don’t think he’d be good for country. Some of these are people who don’t quite seem to understand the difference between communism, socialism, and democratic socialism. (Hint: they’re not the same thing.) And some are people who vote for Hillary because they think she has a better chance of winning the general election, which I don’t really get.

I mean, I don’t hate Hillary or anything, and if Sanders loses I’d easily vote for her over Ted Cruz or Donald Drumpf, but Sanders has a much better chance of winning the general election.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but a lot of people hate Hillary. Like, they really hate her.* She’s viewed as a criminal for the whole Benghazi thing and for the email scandal and for a dozen other reasons, and all the recent polls show that Bernie has a better lead against Trump and Cruz, whereas Clinton somehow doesn’t.

(*I was at a family party a couple weeks ago, and pretty much all of my adult family members said they’d vote for anyone but Hillary. Not saying this is indicative of all of America, but just thought I’d share. It boggles my mind, though, that someone could look at Trump, then look at Clinton, and actually think, “Yes, Hillary’s the one we need to avoid at all costs.” And not, y’know, the spoiled manchild who advocates war crimes and throws a fit every time Megyn Kelly asks him a question.)

Fun fact: Donald Trump is currently the most disliked Presidential Nominee in history, whereas Clinton comes in at second place. The only current nominee who is liked more than he’s disliked is Bernie, who’s supposedly unelectable. That’s just weird to think about.

And then there are those saying that the only people voting for Sanders are gullible college kids who want everything for free, which is fairly obnoxious assumption to make. These critics usually go on about how young people are so entitled and naive. They usually talk about participation trophies for a little bit, then they go on about how millennials don’t understand much about the real world and they’re all too lazy to vote anyway so the whole campaign is pretty much a waste of time. And not gonna lie, it pisses me off.

Stupid college kids, am I right? So entitled for not wanting to have to pay tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for an education that may or may not get them a job in the future. So naive for thinking we could have universal healthcare in a world where pretty much every other developed country in the world has universal healthcare. What a bunch of suckers for thinking that a guy with morals could actually be president.

I’m an incoming college student who’s going to be voting for Sanders, not because I want free things. (Though admittedly that would be nice.) But because I care about the environment, I care about the rights of women and minorities, and I like a president who won’t go to war as anything but a last resort.

And also, uh, because of the whole legalization of marijuana thing. It seems like a good idea.

Ten Things I’ve Done This Holiday Season

20151222_200046.jpg

1.) I bought a reindeer. It looks cute.

2) I watched The Leftovers Season 2, and I’m starting to wonder if that show was written with me specifically in mind. Because it was perfect. It was everything I love about TV and storytelling in general wrapped up in ten hour-long episodes, although episodes seems like the wrong word to describe them. They’re more like mini-movies, except with better acting, writing, and production values than the majority of movies out there.

3) I applied to several colleges. Haven’t heard back from any of them yet, which probably means they’ve decided that, “An acceptance letter isn’t enough for this kid, we need to drive over to his house and tell him the good news ourselves.”

Yes, that must be it.

4) I got in a surprisingly violent fist fight. It had a happy ending to it though, so all is well.

5) I’ve also decided that I’d make a pretty beastly action hero, because during said fight my arm had apparently been clawed at with tiger-like nails. I have quite-possibly-permanent scars on my arm now, and yet I didn’t even notice the injury until a good half-hour afterward.

Hold on a second. Am I Jessica Jones?

Nope. No I’m not.

6) I saw Mockingjay: Part 2, and loved all of it, except maybe the final scene. It seemed a bit too happy and simple, considering the tone of the rest of the movie. This didn’t stop me from getting all defensive however, when one of my peers called it the worst movie he’d ever seen. (Refer back to #4.)

(Just kidding, guys. I didn’t actually get in a fistfight over a movie. It was actually caused by spilled water.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7) I sold my old laptop and bought a new one instead. What type of laptop, you ask? Well, it’s obviously an Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA. Duh. Not to brag or anything, but it’s pretty much the greatest laptop in the world, and that includes all laptops from the past, present, future and any/all undiscovered dimensions/parallel universes. The best part is that the Chromebook cost half as much as my old laptop, and yet it’s so much better in every way. 

And yes: Google is, in fact, paying me to say all this. 

 

8) There’s a Secret Santa sort of thing going on my job, and I have to give a gift to this girl I don’t actually know very well. So I bought her a wooden reindeer sculpture (see above) and some Christmas-themed cookies, because if she’s anything like me, she likes reindeer and she also needs food to live.

9) I’ve found a group of friends to play Poker with every week, which is one of my life goals, so yeah, I’d consider this a win.

10) I’ve found another quality anti-joke. I apologize in advance for the profanity within, but it’s definitely worth it:

A man walks into a control room. There is a big red button labeled “Nuclear Launch Button.” He walks up and presses it.

A display screen next to the button reads “Input password.” There is a number panel below the screen. He searches around the room, and finds a locked desk. He jimmies it open, and rummages around through it. Inside there is a sheet of paper which says, “Nuclear launch password: 7831662”

He returns to the number panel, and punches in 7831662. The display screen says “Code confirmed. Press again to launch.” He presses the button again. “Launching nuclear arsenal.”

He stares at the screen in shock. “Aw shit…. I fucked up.”

So, what have you done in the past month or so? More importantly, what do tigers dream of when they take a little tiger snooze? I would very much like to know. 

My Weaknesses and Strengths as a Writer (This should be fun.)

The TCWT blog chain is back! Admittedly it’s been back for a long time, but I didn’t do last month’s prompt because reasons. But I’m turning seventeen in four days (mark your calendars, people) and I realized that I only have thirty-six months of the blog chain left, so I better make them all count. This month’s prompt is an easy one:

“What is your greatest weakness as a writer? What’s your greatest strength?”

Sorry, did I say this was an easy prompt? Well, by easy I meant “harder than trying to avoid getting spoiled for Avengers: Age of Ultron.” I mean seriously, is anyone not talking about that movie? Even my dog is talking about that movie, and I don’t even have a dog.

Okay, the prompt isn’t that hard. Though I can see how it would be. Most writers aren’t too great at pointing out their weaknesses, which is why they have people like beta readers and random people they find on the street to point them out for them.

Note: I said most writers. I am not like most writers. For one thing, I’m significantly better looking (ladies? *wiggles eyebrows*) and am completely aware of all my strengths and weaknesses. I’m just too lazy to fix them.

The Weaknesses:

  • I abuse semi-colons; like, a lot.
  • I have two default tones: goofy and angsty. Romantic and extremely emotional scenes are always nearly impossible for me to do, unless it’s related to emotional experience I’ve had in my life. (See: The strengths.)
  • I’m still not entirely sure what it means to split an infinitive, so for all I know I’ve been doing this for years and have been driving my reader’s crazy. Don’t get me wrong, people have explained the “Never split infinitives!” rule to me before, but it never seemed like an important rule and I quickly forgot about it.
  • I’m bad at coming up with names. And once I’m set on a name, I don’t like to let it go. For instance, in one WIP (I’m still working my 550,000th draft of it, by the way. There was a minor character named Matthew Black. He was a really smooth-talking guy with nice hair, and was in charge of this mutant training organization. A real stand-up guy. When I was thinking of a pseudonym for this blog, I went with the same name. (The fact that I took a smooth-talking character from my own novel as a pseudonym, make of that what you will.) However, in my latest drafts, the character of Matthew Black has evolved into a significantly darker character, responsible for at least eight deaths and not afraid to commit more if it serves his cause. And I still haven’t changed his name, or mine.
  • Am not particularly good when it comes to writing villains.
  • I don’t write nearly as often as I should. This right here is my greatest weakness. In pretty much any writing guide you’ll ever read, “Write a lot,” and “Read a lot” are the two tips that are always there. And yet I am wildly inconsistent with both of them. I’ll go through long periods where I’ll write a lot but not read, or I’ll read a lot but not write. And then there are those sad little periods where I do neither. I’m in a writing period right now, but I’m not sure how long that’ll last.

The Strengths:

  • I like to think I’ve gotten a lot better at writing female characters. Back when I was like, twelve years old, there’d only be one girl, and she’d be the stereotypical Strong Female Character. But now there are multiple well-written characters with their own agencies and personalities with a proportional effect on the plot. I know, this should be normal and not a big deal, but I think twelve year old me would’ve been impressed.
  • I’m good at writing angsty characters.
  • I am fantastic at portraying the sheer awfulness that middle school students are capable of. While not all middle school students are bad, this is the age where pretty much everyone is at their worst. At best they are awkward and self-conscious. At worst they are a bunch of whiny entitled brats with next to no concept of empathy whatsoever. I know this because I was stuck with the worst kids ever for two years, and their shitty antics always manage to pop up in my stories, one way or another.
  • Also, I’m good at writing middle school kids, the good and the bad.
  • I’m good at pacing.
  • I’m good at writing beginnings.
  • The first third of all my stories are always the easiest to write (and easiest to read, I’m told).
  • “I no longer rely too much on adverbs,” I whispered very very quietly.
  • My comic relief characters have a weirdly high mortality rate.
  • I always manage to resist the urge to plagiarize.
  • I’ve mastered the art of understatement.
  • I’ve been told I’m funny.

And that’s all for this post. There’s probably more to the list, but I’m too lazy to think of them all. And besides, for most of the important parts of writing, I fall somewhere in the middle, where I’m not consistently weak or strong in said area.

Now if you excuse me, the ice cream man is driving by my house for the first time in nine months. I will go and enjoy a sour apple flavored snow-cone.

May 2015 blog chain prompt/schedule:

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

More Than I Can Chew: Chapter 15

In this chapter, the events of next chapter are set up. I wish I could hype you up more, but. . . yeah. Click here for the past fourteen chapters.

Adrien

And it’s him she’s worried about.” Diesel’s words kept repeating in the back of my mind, and I wasn’t even sure why.

“Really?” said Diesel.

“Yes, really,” I said. “This has gone too far for us to just walk away right now.”

“I disagree,” said Wyatt.

“Yeah, so do I,” said Kathy. “Let’s go home.”

Of course, I figured, trying to keep my composure. Wyatt gets to go on a revenge streak and no one asks questions. “There has to be something we could do to them.”

“The money’s fake,” said Diesel. “We don’t have to do anything. Fiona just has to buy something, get arrested for using counterfeit money, and she could say goodbye to the stupid gum empire she was looking forward to having.”

“You know,” I said, “I don’t think I believe you on the whole fake money thing. Why would Fiona even go through all this if the money wasn’t even real?”

“She doesn’t know the money’s fake, dumbass. She thinks she’s getting thousands of dollars, with the help of the super nice guy James, who may seem hard and insane, but really has a deep sensitive side that only she could bring out.”

“We could tell that detective guy that James is dealing with counterfeit money,” I said to Wyatt. “It would completely screw both of them over.”

“What detective?” asked Diesel. Wyatt ignored him.

“No, we’re not involving him,” he said. “Only as a last resort, and not even then.”

“What detective?” Diesel asked again.

“This guy who started questioning Adrien once he got to the hospital,” said Wyatt. “Apparently he thinks I’m selling drugs, because there’s no possible way I could’ve made so much money from just gum.”

“Well, he was right,” said Diesel, shrugging.

“Oh, shut up.” Wyatt turned towards me. “Fine. If we’re going to do this, you still have to call Fiona for us anyway. Otherwise she’ll know something’s up.”

I almost didn’t agree. I figured if I did it perfectly, Wyatt and Kathy would force me into the car with them and drive home, and there would’ve been nothing I could’ve done to stop them, thanks to the splinted shin and the fact that my phone—which had Fiona’s number—was probably still sitting in the urinal in the school bathroom. So I said, “Fine, but we have to come up with something first, and if you don’t go along with it I will Facebook Fiona and tell her everything once I get home.”

“You wouldn’t do that,” said Kathy.

“Yes I would,” I lied, staring her down. We made eye contact, the type of eye contact two dogs make just before one of them attacks. Kathy eventually just rolled her eyes and looked over towards Diesel. “Let him do it.” Then she muttered to herself, “This is so pointless.”

Diesel called Fiona and handed me the phone, and I waited for what seemed like a long time before she finally answered. “Diesel? What happened?” She sounded more than a little stressed out at the moment.

And it’s him she’s worried about.

“Hey, this is Adrien.” I tried my best to sound casual here. “Listen, I’m not mad at you or anything. I know you didn’t want me to get beaten up or anything. . .” I wasn’t sure what to add from here.

Fiona was silent for the next few seconds. She must’ve either put her phone down of have just stopped breathing entirely. Finally she said, in a very sincere sounding voice, “Yeah, I’m so, so sorry about that, I had no idea they would do any of that to you. Honestly, I didn’t even plan the whole kidnapping thing, that was all James’ idea, and he didn’t plan on taking you instead. . .”

“It’s fine. If anything it was my fault for messing things up to begin with.” Fiona gave an awkward laugh at this, clearly unsure of what to say, and then there was an awkward silence as she asked the obvious question.

“So. . . what happened after. . . everything?”

“Oh, they just dropped me off at the hospital—”

“Were there any police?”

“Yeah,” I said, “of course. I couldn’t give them any real information, I didn’t know anyone’s names and I was blindfolded the whole time.”

“Wyatt didn’t tell you who they were?”

I wasn’t sure what to say here, so panicking I looked up at them for advice. Wyatt whispered to me, “I didn’t want to get the police involved.”

“He didn’t want to get the police involved.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well, um, can I speak to Diesel, please?”

“Sure.”

“Once again, I’m really sorry about what happened.” Oh give me a break. I handed Diesel the phone.

“Hey Diesel, if this is on speaker, can you take it off?”

“Yeah, I’ll take it off speaker.” Diesel did no such thing.

“Why the fuck didn’t you take him to me like I asked?” The contrast in her voice startled everyone but Diesel, who just smiled.

“You are an angel, Fiona.”

“Just tell me why.”

“This seemed easier,” he said. “He didn’t so upset, he kept going off about how much he didn’t like Wyatt, so I figured, you know, he wouldn’t be so hard to convince. At the very least, this works better than what you would’ve done.”

(“What would she have done?” asked Sean. Wyatt punched him in the arm and told him to shut up.)

“Fine. Whatever. It’s just. . . I don’t believe him. Bring him over here anyway.”

Kathy and Sean both shook their heads no, but I nodded my head yes. Wyatt was the only one who didn’t seem completely pissed. And it’s him she’s worried about.

Diesel mouthed to me: “Why?”

I looked at him, confidently. “I have a plan.”

___

I usually go through all my posts right before posting them, looking for typos and whatnot. But I am so very tired right now, and I feel like if there are typos in this post, my brain is not in the best place to find them. So feel free to point out any typos in the comments, and to wish me a happy birthday.

Sure, it’s not actually my birthday, but I’d still love it if you said it to me.

Click here for chapter sixteen!

TCWT Blog Chain: Books that Taught Me by Example

That’s right, it’s time for this month’s TCWT blog chain! The prompt is:

What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you?

This is totes a tough question, but I will go ahead and answer it anyway.

(I apologize for using the word ‘totes.’ I also apologize for publishing this late, though in my defense, my leg was bitten off by a crocodile and it took me exactly three days to get over it.)

First off: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. (Along with all her other books that I know of.)

Say what you want about the Hunger Games trilogy, but you can’t say they’re not well-structured. Well, you can, I guess, but I’d have to disagree with you. Well, I wouldn’t completely disagree with you on Mockingjay and Catching Fire, because they were a bit messy, but the first book was mahvelous*, and that statement is not up for debate.

The books are divided into three parts. Part one: the introduction, full of world-building and set-up and all that jazz. Part two: the rising action, where some stuff happens, and there’s usually a twist at the end. And then Part three, where all hell breaks loose. Most books and stories and TV sitcoms (especially TV sitcoms) use this structure, but it never really became apparent to me until I read these books.

Now whenever I write a story, I write it with the three part structure in mind. And it’s worked out perfectly for me so far, with my books becoming New York Times’ bestsellers.

(Forgot to mention: I go by the pseudonym Stephen King.)

Second off is a series that I seemingly mention in every other post of mine: A Song of Ice and Fire.

This is the series that made me a fan of stories with multiple point of view characters and different storylines that are all interconnected, which is the type of story I try to write all the time now, despite the fact that it is very, very hard to do. (I have the upmost respect for epic fantasy writers now, by the way.)

And one of the advantages of having multiple POV characters is that it allows you to be more flexible killing them off. For instance, in my most recent WIP I am honestly considering killing my “main character” a third of the way through the book, because I have three other characters who are a lot more interesting and, with a little tweaking of the plot, can probably easily take charge of the story. I’d never even be considering this option if it weren’t for ASoIaF.

(You could argue that if I could just spontaneously kill off my main character, then he wasn’t very well-written or important to begin with. But. . . shuddup.)

Oh, and here’s a fun fact: George R. R. Martin has inspired me to write a scene in which multiple key characters are killed off with a large portion of the story still to go. You know, just to make those readers suffer.

John Green’s Looking for Alaska taught me that it’s allowed to include swearing in a young adult novel. Don’t get me wrong; I had read books with profanity before, but those were adult books, most of them by Stephen King. Looking for Alaska was in the YA category, and up until that point I didn’t even realize that swearing was allowed at all in books aimed towards teens, and especially not to the extent that it was. (This is probably because most of young adult books I’ve read was stuff like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a series set in a world where “pinehead” and “seaweed brain” are actually offensive to a sixteen year old.”)

Thirteen year old me’s reaction to this was something along the lines of, “Cool. Whatever.” (I was in my angsty rebellious phase at the time.) And then I went ahead and did the same thing in my story, except I went a bit overboard, to the point where there’d be dialogue like this:

“Hey, pass me the *#&$ing bread, you *@$!ing ^&*@.”

“Okay $%&#, just $^^%$#& let me &#*@* and &#^$@, #&$#*@^$^&)(&%# !@!@#$%.”

That’s right: my characters just randomly shouted out symbols. Sometimes they’d even swear.

Anywho, the main reason this post took so long for me to write (you know, beside me losing my leg in a freak crocodile accident) is because I don’t finish most books with a specific lesson learned that I will apply to my own writing. I usually just learn a lot of minor things that is tough to describe, and anyway aren’t important enough to warrant an entire post. To be honest I’ve learned something from every book I’ve read, even the terrible ones. Especially the terrible ones, actually.

So it looks like the moral of this post is: read bad books.

(EDIT: I realize now that I could have easily written a post about books that were so bad, they taught me a valuable lesson in what not to do when writing a novel, and the post probably would’ve been awesome. Well, it’s too late now. But I guess you can expect a post like this in the future. *fingers crossed.*)

And now for the other participants of the blog chain:

5thhttps://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

6thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

7thhttps://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

8thhttp://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/

9thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

10thhttp://kirabudge.weebly.com/

11thhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

12thhttp://randomosityofeden.wordpress.com/

13thhttp://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

14thhttp://www.alwaysopinionatedgirl.wordpress.com/

15thhttp://www.juliathewritergirl.wordpress.com/

16thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/

17thhttp://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://unironicallyexcited.wordpress.com/

19thhttp://theboardingblogger.wordpress.com/

20thhttp://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/

21sthttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

22ndhttp://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

23rdhttp://lilyjenness.blogspot.com/

24thhttp://oliviarivers.wordpress.com/

25th – [off-day]

26thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://missalexandrinabrant.wordpress.com/

28thhttp://www.pamelanicolewrites.com

29thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com.au/

30thhttp://maralaurey.wordpress.com/ and http://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

31st – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

*I spelled it this way on purpose, by the way.

Books I’ve Thrown Across the Room (TCWT)

(Caution: Spoilers for the listed books. You have been warned.)

I’m not doing the November TCWT blog chain, mostly because I couldn’t think of a decent response, and I’d sort of forgot to apply until it about ten seconds ago. But because I’m a total rebel, I’m going to go back in time and try out one of their old prompts. This one was from all the way back in January 2012, back before I even had a blog:

What are examples of books you’ve thrown across the room? Why did you throw them?

To be honest, I’ve never actually thrown a book across a room, mostly because I have a kindle now, and technology is expensive, and also because I’m not the type of hot-head to actually throw a book full-force at a wall. The most I’d do is put the book down.

Also, books are friends, and we should not harm them in any way.

That being said, here’s a few books that made my throwing arm restless:

1) A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin.

I never threw the book during Ned’s death, or the Red Wedding, because I’d been spoiled beforehand on those moments so it didn’t have as much of an effect on me.

But because Arya’s storyline has mostly been disconnected with the main plot, her future was always a complete mystery. I had no idea where she’d eventually end up or what she’d become; I was just hoping that she would eventually make it back to Winterfell to be with her family. Well, what was left of her family, anyway. Oh, how naive I was back then.

So, going into this book, I was so excited to see the eventual Arya-Bran reunion, and to see the two of them fill each other in on everything’s that happened in the since they’ve been apart. (Bran would be able to summarize all the interesting things he’s done in one sentence: “I met a wildling.”)

But then Yoren died, and my hopes were crushed, sort of like the Viper’s skull. They were briefly lifted when Arya and her friends managed to escape, but then when they were captured by the Mountain’s men, and my hopes were quickly then stabbed in the throat, just like poor Lommy.

On the bright side, this led to what some of the most gripping story arcin the entire series, so I can’t complain much.

2) The Long Walk, by Stephen King.

This was one of those books that I picked up one day, not expecting anything, then by the time I put it down I had read one hundred twenty pages without even realizing it. Seriously, this book was fantastic. Addictive, a tiny bit depressing, and physically painful to read, but I mean that in the best way possible. And all of that was ruined on the final page.

It’s not about what happened at the end of the book, but how sudden, rushed and confusing the whole thing was. It was like the author realized he had thirty seconds left before the deadline, so he just quickly wrote the final page and sent it in.

3) Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson.

When I first read this book, I was in fourth or third grade, and I’d never read a book featuring a major death like this. Or at least, not a major death so random and sudden as Leslie’s was.

Keep in mind, at this age I hadn’t had much experience with this whole “death” thing. I didn’t quite grasp the finality of it all in real life, let alone in a happy-go-lucky children’s book about a wonderful fantasy world.* So I spent the last third of the book expecting Leslie to show up, hopefully by popping out of a cake, and reveal that she wasn’t actually dead at all. When this never happened, I was pretty upset and disappointed.

Looking back at it now, I realize that had my wish been granted, the book would’ve never been so successful to begin with.

*Or at least, that’s what I thought the book was. In my defense, the movie version of the book had just come out and the trailers were so ridiculously misleading that the movie’s marketing team should be sued for false advertisements.

(Also, I apologize for any typos in this post. I’m a tiny bit sleep deprived at the moment, so feel free to point any of them out for me.)

Hey, How’s It Going?

You know how I wrote that post in the beginning of the summer, talking all about how I was going to try to avoid the inevitable summer slump? Ha ha, yeah, that didn’t work out at all. I would make a few jokes about it, but I’m afraid it’s too soon for that and besides, I feel really, really bad.

Like, so bad.

As in, badder than Kangaroo Jack.

(Kangaroo Jack was a horrible movie, for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Basically, it centers around these two guys who decide to put a jacket—one with fifty thousand dollars in it— on a kangaroo because they thought it would be funny. Then the audience is supposed to feel bad for them when the wild animal runs away with all their money? Yeah, no. I reject that premise. I reject that whole movie and everyone even vaguely involved in it, and that includes the entirety of Australia. Screw you, Australians.*)

Anyway, I feel like the best way to make this up to you is to give you an idea of what I’ve been doing during these sad, post-less months.

Most importantly, I got a job, almost immediately after the post, “My Quest for a Job,” at McDonalds, and for the most part it hasn’t been completely terrible. The worst thing I’ve done so far was accidentally piss off my gym teacher’s wife. Basically, it was my first day working the counter and she ordered a caramel frappe, which I completely forgot about while trying to keep up with the dozens of other impatient customers in line. Let’s just say, she has a bit of a temper.

Besides angry gym teacher’s wives, my main problem at work seems to be ice cream cones. They are so much harder to make than they look, to me at least. The sheer amount of ice cream I’ve wasted due to botched attempts would make a little kid cry. Also, my experience on the drive-thru was nothing short of a nightmare. It was my second full day on the job, I barely knew what to do, the headset I was given was broken (and I didn’t know it was broken, so apparently people were giving me orders that I never even heard) and my boss was yelling at me to do things in an extremely thick accent the whole time. After fifteen minutes or so, I was taken off the drive-thru and reassigned to cashier. Not sure why.

On the bright side, yesterday I managed to go four full hours without embarrassing myself. I figured out where almost everything was on the menu, I understood how to make the coffee and the ice cream machine was broken so I never had to make any cones. Of course, tomorrow it will probably be fixed and all hell will break loose, but that’s in the future so I don’t really care.

In other news, I am afraid of my AP English teacher. Not because he’s a mean guy—far from it—but because of his eyes. He has full on crazy eyes, combined with a face eerily similar to Jack Nicholson’s from The Shining. He seems like someone who had three wives die from falling down the same set of stairs. Except I should probably put quotation marks around “falling” just to make it clear that they did not fall. He doesn’t give a lot of homework though, so he’s still good in my book.

In other news:

  • I’ve learned how to juggle.
  • I tried crab meat for the first time, and I loved it more than any other food in the world. Then I ended up eating too much of it at once, and now the very smell of it makes me want to vomit. Crab meat is awful now.
  • I did a collaborative review for the Doctor Who episode Listen, on Engie’s blog. You could also check out all the other reviews here, because they’re fantastic.

To end this post, here’s a picture of a frog I drew. Feel free to give it a name.

wpid-wp-1411784898624.jpg*Except, of course, for all the Australians currently reading this. You guys are great. *laughs nervously*