Sunday, October 27, 2013

" If You Don't Like It, You Can Kiss My Quiver."

 -Michael Yew.
Hey there!

It's been a while since I've blogged. Updated my last post because I forgot to do Question 22. Since exams are finally over, it's been peaceful and relaxing this past week. I've already caught up on past projects which I've put on hold for months. 

The first being spring cleaning. Although it's not (and never will be) Spring here. I do this every year, mainly because I've OCD, and I can't abide messy and unorganized spaces once I've time to clean them up (which is why I tolerate them for 10 months of the year) and also because at the end of the year, there's a lot of junk to get rid of.

Last Friday (Or was it Thursday?), I was looking for my Typo notebooks which I bought at a Cotton On sale for RM 6 per notebook last year. I couldn't find it anywhere, so I ended up tearing apart (not literally) the cupboards below the staircase. And putting it back tidily, of course. Got rid of one whole box of useless papers, bottle caps, used exercise books and all sorts of junk you wouldn't have thought would be there. Also found a long lost umbrella, my notebooks, and a lot of things which I thought were lost. The cupboards are extremely neat and tidy now, thank goodness. Also managed to clean out my piano chair, 2 bookshelves and my craft supply store. (Okay, maybe I am a neat freak)

 (Ignore the chain headpiece. Ian and I spent an hour trying to untangle the damn thing last night, so I'm not taking anymore chances with it)

The last cupboard is Ian's. And it was probably the messiest place I've ever had the opportunity to clean up.
 I've even written up a list for things I'll need when I go back to school next year.
It's best to start preparing early.

 I'm going to start a journal again. Bought some new pens to write in it.
Bought them from Tesco. 
Both sets were about RM 4.90

This Sign Pen 0.7 is awesome. 
Writing with it is really smooth and neat :3 Yay.
 My ultimate favorite pen now. It even beats the MNG pens I use for school.

I've started on an alternate image transfer method on clay, because I don't have a laser printer.
This method is probably the easiest because ,it's like my book charms, just cutting and pasting on the images onto the clay. 
Step 1: Find, edit, re-size and cut out images: It's better to re-size it on Microsoft Word before printing it out, instead of photo editors and such, because the right size can be tricky to print.
 And yes, that's the Percy Jackson cover art.
Step 2: Paste it on slab of rolled out clay with dry glue. If you use wet glue, it will turn out like the SPQR logo below when you glaze it.
On the other hand, it has a sort of galaxy look to it. But that's not what you're going for. Have to remake one :( Also watch out for accidentally painting over the image.
Step 3: Cut out shape with cookie cutter (if you have the right size) or a precision blade. Make sure you smooth out the edges, especially if it's a round shape.
Step 4: (Optional) Use acrylic paint (or poster color paint if you're desperate) to paint the clay whatever color it's supposed to be, if you used white clay.
Step 5: Glaze the charm all over. 

Final results would look like this:
Most of them turned out fine, with the exception of the SPQR logo.
In honor of the Catching Fire movie that's coming out on 22 November 2013 :D

Mockingjay logo, a little too yellow.

The Lightning Thief. 

A while back, I wanted to buy an Athenian coin. But since I couldn't find it anywhere in Malaysia, I resorted to making one instead. This one turned out fine :)

This was a failed attempt, as you could see. 
Uneven image and you can hardly see the glazed layer :/

Heroes Of Olympus logo :)

Failed first attempt. The color was dulled for some reason.

The Last Olympian.

Titan's Curse.

Battle Of The Labyrinth.

Sea Of Monsters. Sort of failed with this one.
Note, if you have furry pets like me, keep it somewhere where said pets will not be able to sleep on and roll about on the charms.

Artemis, The Moon Goddess. 
I made this one because the Goddess of the Hunt is my favorite Greek goddess in mythology.

 I'm purchasing some dotting tools, small notebook (which is crazy, because I already have 23 notebooks/journals at home) and a set of acrylic paint for crafting.
DeoGloriaBeauty formerly known as Nail Polish Malaysia.
They sell nail polish and an assortment of clothes, stationery and paint.

I need dotting tools because I'm planning to make these metallic charms by SugarCharmShop:
Aren't they gorgeous?
She's uber talented, she is.

I'm wiggling my way back into playing musical instruments. 
Learning new songs on the piano, and taking up my guitar again. 
Guitar Goddess on Youtube has some pretty wicked tutorials :)
I downloaded a Chord and Tuner app on to my phone, too.

This is how the rest of my holidays would look like, I guess. 
I think I'll enjoy my hermit-like existence. I'm not very comfortable about being around people at the moment.

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reading, NaNoWriMo, Writing Tips & 30 Day Challenge

Hey there! :)

The Introduction:
So this post will be about writing. A lot of writing. And a little reading, of course :P They do go hand-in-hand after all. Including the 30 Day Challenge :D

 Writing inspires imagination and creativity through words.

I'm getting emotional and rambling on about fictional characters. I'm back on track, started reading the Mark Of Athena (again) after I stopped halfway to wait for the release of House Of Hades. And now, I have to wait again till The Blood Of Olympus comes out.

How? What? Why? :(

 I guess I'll have to start re-reading Percy Jackson and The Olympians and Heroes Of Olympus again and again till the last book is out. (I know other demigods are)

I'm so excited, I can barely sit still! Looking forward to the Norse mythology series Riordan is writing, although I'd have to wait 2 years for that.
 Why does this always happen to me?
 This is what happens every year, when you're a Riordan fan.

 I'm dying to read House Of Hades. I suppose it's my fault it's taking so long, for putting off on reading the series. Ian finished the book in a bloody day, RIGHT AFTER we bought the book! It's not faiirrrr. And he's bursting to tell me the spoilers, fully aware that I'll boink his head for it and hug him at the same time. 

I did heard (by accident of course) that Leolypso (lol whut, Leo and Calypso) is happening. Whaaattt?

So sweet. If you have no idea what 'ship' is, you better google it :P
I'm just glad Hazel and Frank's relationship isn't going to be messed up.
If you know what I mean.
I don't understand why so many people hate Piper McLean. I think she's cool, even for a daughter of Aphrodite. Sure, she might be ridiculously pretty and be all like "Why do I have the looks of a love goddess?" (No pun intended) and hate it, but you're forgetting one important fact. She's the daughter of Aphrodite. Which entails that they usually are attractive, duh. In my opinion, she's way better than Drew Tanaka. Sure, she moons over Jason (Grace) and their lovely-dovey scenes might be a tad too sweet and slightly less realistic than Percy and Annabeth (the beloved ones *wink wink*) But that's what girls typically do when they like a guy, ain't it?
 Cut the poor girl some slack. Don't forget she's fictional,too. She's probably the most irrationally hated character I've ever come across.

Catching Fire is coming out soon! :D

Thanks for sending them to Tartarus, Rick. (Note the sarcasm) Still love you anyways.

Currently attempting to fulfill my life-long reading dream as a kid: Read every single Famous Five book by Enid Blyton. And when I'm done with that, I'll start on the other series. HAHA. It might seem irrational, but it's worth it.
The Rambling:
Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? (Try saying it, it's bound to make you giggle at how odd it sounds) It's short for National Novel Writing Month. I've thought about joining it for years- ever since I found out about it through Wattpad. But due to all the other distractions in my life (cats, craft, books, food, studies, Rangers, shopping, business planning), I always say to myself "Well, you can always join next time." As for now, I plan to participate in it after SPM :) Or next month. Whatever works. Since exams have drawn to a close, I don't see why not..besides the bulk load of birthday/Christmas presents to make.

Writing is about being inspired, and inspiring others.

I was recently contacted by a representative of Grammarly  to write about the latest project they've come up with: GrammoWriMo. This sounds insane, but the project is to "publish a book that boasts the largest number of authors of any novel ever written."  Insane right? It's fascinating really. If you're interested in writing, you should definitely participate. I would too, if my mind wasn't a big fluffy cloud of nothingness right now. I'm too busy being excited about the latest Percy Jackson books coming out, to think straight :P The moment inspiration hits, you can count me in (but by then, it'd probably be too late HAHA)!

I love reading about writing that writes about how to write so people are able to read and understand your story better. (Confused? No? I should try harder) A little explanation on NaNoWriMo: It's writing a novel in a month. And yes, I said a novel, not a novella. A novella is longer than a story, but shorter than a novel. I believe this challenge will help you understand more about the life of an author and managing your time to keep up with the deadlines. Especially for fans who insist on their favorite authors releasing the next book of the series when the latest one has been barely out for a week *Heroes Of Olympus fans, cough cough* It's not easy. Authors aren't robots or speed-writers (even if some of them seem to be). They're humans, who need time to think ideas up and figure out the best way to write a fantastic book out of it. What with the editing, book covers and all the other less significant parts about the story we forget to think about, it's a lot of work. And work equals to force times distance. (Wait what?) A little physics reference, that makes no sense *Nods*.
Eh, got power la! (Bring down to the front). And that was Add Maths. Malaysian style. 

A little info on NaNoWriMo can be found on Wikipedia. I can guarantee that you'll have a lot of fun participating in it! Really. Even if you're a lazy sloth like me, you should try it out. It doesn't matter how bad you are at it. The whole point of amateur writing is to improve with time. Once you start writing, you'll figure out what you're doing wrong. That's step one. Ask yourself, what am I doing wrong? Am I using too many punctuation marks? Is my plot dull? Do my characters lack substance?

Another important thing is: Language. Especially for people who speak a mixture of different languages daily, you'd have to be careful not to accidentally on purpose, write an English story with a heavy accent on it, like I often do in my blog posts. Refer to writing in bold for example. And yes, you are capable of inserting accents into writing, however unintentional it was.

Take this for example:
" Dei ma, okay ah if I go to MPH with Ah Cha, Ali and Mei?" said Dallie. Mum replied, " Aiyah, can can can. But make sure you don't dilly-dally and waste your time ah."

Now that is how we talk in my country on a daily basis. Don't believe for a moment that I speak perfect English, cause I don't :P Maybe it wouldn't be as obvious, but it will have a subtle inflection on your writing. You can choose to use it, to add a certain element of a different culture in your book or obliterate it entirely from it. Don't jump here and there, if you change your writing style every chapter, it's bound to give your readers a headache.

Punctuation. Grammar. Spelling. CHECK. 
Important to note that you should always..ALWAYS double check the items about. Always. With every page, you write..CHECK. It is important. If you can't be bothered, get an editor who will be bothered. FYI, auto correct is there for a reason.

Do not, and I repeat, do NOT:
-Use too many ............., or ??????? or ,,,,,,,,,,,,, or !!!!!!!!! when you're writing. Chances are, your readers will spend more time counting the number of question marks and less time focusing on the story. Also, it's damn well bloody annoying.

- Name your characters with similar names. Example: Alexis and Alexander. And calling them both Alex! Why not Lexi and Xander? That way, people can differentiate between the two characters. Switch it up a bit, why don't you? No one knows who's the girl and who's the guy if you do that (except for you) How are we supposed to know which Alex it is? Imagine a scene in the book where Alex (the girl) is going to a party. And you write in first person's perspective, namely "I" and "We". Confused readers will be scratching their heads and asking themselves "Why is he putting on a dress? Oh wait, it's the she." Never, kay,

- NOT (it's a double not, so it's a yay, do it!) keep your characters true to themselves. This is a mistake I see frequently on Wattpad.  The girl always starts out as a nerd whom everyone picks on and hates for no reason, leaves/dies-turns-immortalite and comes back to town/life, becoming the hottest, sexiest biaaaaaacchhh in the world. NEIN, just NEIN (times a million). That's not how it works! Why is the 360 degree turn about, necessary? It's basically implying that if people don't like you for who you are, you should change to become who they want you to be. Which I disagree with infinitely. If people don't like you because you're too quiet, anti-social and introvert-like, don't give a flying pineapple about it. Just don't. You don't have to turn into a party animal and become someone you never meant to be. Have your character learn to accept themselves for who they are. What doesn't change you, makes you awesome.

-On the flip side, if your character has bad habits (drugs, alcohol, swinging from non-existent trees) or a bad attitude (swearing constantly, disrespecting others, an overtly large ego). Eliminate them. Piece by piece, rip them out of his/her personality as gently as violently possible to make him/her a better person. We want redemption. We want to see that vulnerable, hidden side of the character that makes him look a little less cookie-cutter perfect, cardboard, 2D character. *Ehem, Jason Grace would be a good example of how Riordan changed my perception of Grace by seeing his hidden qualities and fears. It's frankly impossible to say that any character Riordan created is cardboard, even if JG seemed a little too perfect*

Make your plot as interesting as possible, but not too complicated to the point no one knows what's going on anymore halfway through the book. Here, is where most amateur writers fail. They either try too hard, or try too little. Do your best, write naturally. Don't try to fart out every ingenious idea from your head and put it down on the paper. Know what works, what doesn't. What hasn't been written about before? What are people interested in? Greek mythology, an inside look into a musician's life, the boy who got stuck in a washing machine. You can get ideas from anywhere if you look hard enough.

Have a creative title, pen name and description. Toilet Paper That Mummified Everyone? is an example. And also, not a real book (yet). Pen names are important, don't call yourself a ridiculous name like, oh, "Banana Maine" (laughs at self) and have a boring description like "A tale of a boy who used toilet paper to mummify everyone." It's far too short and it gives away the entire plot in only a single sentence!

Avoid two-dimensional characters. Have some wit and humor in it. Don't center the focus on the character's looks instead of his personality. A good way to avoid cookie-cutter characters is to base the character on a real person. Sarcasm is a YES. Do whatever it takes to make your character more real, be it him loosing a loved one and turning bitter, then finding hope in life again or having troubles with commitment and accepting reality. Readers want someone we can relate to, not a person who's so utterly perfect and who has the looks and personality of every girl/guy's dream. It's a dream, keep it that way. If you're writing in first person's perspective, never have him refer to himself as "hot" or "Damn gorgeous". That's just shallow and I'd feel like taking him down a peg or two by "Pah!"ing him. We do not want, or need ginormous egos. Not now, not ever.

Villains. Have them be evil. We all love having someone to hate in a book. And by evil, I mean EVIL. Not petty, bitchy and mean. PURE EVIL *muahahahahaha* is what keeps us shivering in delight and fear. Have a comical villain, if you must, but don't overdo it to the point of making him silly. A little bit of *rubbing hands together in glee*, evil laughter and "The time has come!" will be good.

Never give too much information. Reveal the secrets of the plot, as the story goes on, don't just burst out with the character having some disease, her predecessors of the Coven dying of said disease due to a curse, her boyfriend turning out to be the descendant  of the ones who cursed her coven, her mother being a traitor to her kind by falling in love with Apollo and etc. I don't know about you, but I can't keep up with all that happening at once! Try not to mix all sorts of worlds unless you're sure you can pull it off.

Greek mythology, vampire legacy, angels falling from the sky, and such...should you choose to combine them, make sure you make it run smoothly. Don't try to explain too much, let your story speak for itself. A good example would be Uncle Rick just, ever so casually, mentioning "Oh guys, by the way Mother Earth is evil." You could hear the "Say Whaaattt?!" echoing all over the world when that happened. Don't explain the plot, it explains itself.

More info here:

And that's enough rambling for now. I'm notorious for loosing focus too quickly, so we're on to the 30 Day Challenge!

1.Five Ways To Win My Heart:
  1. Buy me chocolate :) Every time I run out of it.
  2. Be funny and sarcastic. I like it when you make me laugh and want to slap you at the same time.
  3. Be sweet...but not too sweet (no cheese please). I can't handle too much cheese ;) 
  4. Have an open mind to being immature and pulling pranks.
  5. Be true to yourself and stay away from superficiality.
 2.Something I Feel Strongly About: 
-Bullying others to make yourself feel better. There's nothing more despicable than a human delighting in the suffering of others.

3.A Book I Love:
Why can't this be series? :( I'll just say "What Happens In London" by Julia Quinn because it cracked me up. Oh, and every book ever written by Rick Riordan.

4.Bullet My Whole Day:
  •  Woke up.
  • Wondered if there was school today.
  • Wondered if I could miss Chemistry exam to sleep.
  • Decided to be a good girl.
  • Went to take a shower and put on my uniform.
  • Cuddled cats.
  • Wore my shoes and started reading up on Chemistry notes.
  • Cuddled cats again.
  • Ate some Haw flakes for breakfast.
  • School.
  • Had Chemistry exam.
  • Finished paper.
  • Slept until passing up papers.
  • Went home.
  • Ate lunch and watched Law & Order
  • Mandi.
  • Cuddled cats.
  • Tried to draw, failed miserably and gave up.
  • Ate chocolate, tried drawing again.
  • Gave up on drawing for eternity.
  • Went on computer.
  • Checked out latest Youtube videos.
  • Checked emails.
  • Reading movie and book reviews.
  • Blogging. 
 5. Things I Want To Say To My Ex :

- We are never, ever, ever getting back together.
- It's a good thing you're fictional.
- Makes things easier.
- Because I've probably mentally cheated (lols, no) on you with other non-existent guys.

6. My Views On Mainstream Music:
I think some mainstream songs are alright, but I'm getting tired of JB, 1D and what not music playing everywhere and it haunts me in my sleep too. Also, all the sex references and bad words are a little too much for me. Autotune is a nay, and so is repetitive words. I don't want to hear "I'm getting in my car." five time in a row. You're getting into your car, we got it, kay?

7. 5 Pet Peeves:
  1. Inconsiderate buggers snapping, cracking their fingers while 'drumming' with their hands (during an exam!)
  2. Plagiarism. If you can't write a story, don't freaking steal it, brah.
  3. Nose digging, butt scratching.
  4. Sneezing into people's faces.
  5. Touching where you aren't supposed to touch.
8.What I Ate Today:
Chocolate (yummm), Haw flakes (it's a sweet), rice, chicken, vegetables.

9. How Important Education Is:
Here are all the subjects I'm currently taking in school, what's unimportant to me will be crossed out.
  • Sejarah (History)
  • BM 
  • English 
  • Add Maths
  • Maths 
  • Chemistry
  •  Physics 
  • ICT
  • PJK (Physical Education)
  • Sivik
  •  Moral
To be fair, those subjects are fairly useless since it's not applicable in working life.
Sivik and Moral? Same thing. Sejarah? It's ancient history! (quite literally)
The highlighted subjects are the ones I like. Can you imagine? 3 out of 11 subjects? :( You know it's a bad thing once Sejarah seems easier than Add Maths.

10.  Put My Music Player On Shuffle And List The First Ten Songs:
  1. Pretty Eyes - Alex Goot
  2. Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
  3. The Reason Is You - Tiffany Alvord
  4. Your Grace Is Enough - Chris Tomlin
  5. Ronan - Piano Version 
  6. All The Right Moves - One Republic
  7. Nothing Is Impossible - Planetshakers
  8. I Won't Give Up - Jayeslee
  9. Hope Of The World - Hillsong Live
  10. Enchanted - Owl City
11. My Family:
- Perfectly sane, with me being the only exception.

12. Five Guys Whom I Find Attractive:

I refuse to name people I know in person :P
  1. Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson, duh)
  2. Zac Efron (He's everywhere, duh)
  3. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, duh)
  4. Craig Olejnik (The Listener, double duh)
  5. Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl, even if I barely watch the show, it's far too addictive and drives me crazy)
 13. My Opinion About My Body and How Comfortable I Am With It:
- One thing's for certain, I eat far too much chocolate. (A bar of chocolate a day, keeps my sanity away). Which means I'm a little chubby around my tummy and my butt is big enough to squash my cat if I sit on it (I joke, I'm against animal cruelty). But I'm contented with my size, and height. I used to be anorexic a few years back, and I never realized it till I finally grew out of that stage. It's scary when I look back and see all those skeleton-like photos of myself, and never realized how unhealthy I was. My height...I'm not too tall, not too short. Somewhere in the middle, where I usually am.I think I have too many pimples, skin discoloration, scars and blemishes on my body. But I've just stopped caring what people think of them. I might be unattractive, but hey, don't judge a book by its cover.

14. What I Wore Today:
-My school uniform, and now, a pair of exercise shorts and comfy tee.

15. My zodiac/horoscope, do I think it fits my personality?
- I don't really believe in horoscopes, but it is pretty interesting. I'm an Aquarius. It's supposedly a n intellectual air sign, although I used to think it meant water.
Here are some facts I've dug up from Huffington Post and Yahoo .  
Green : yes, Orange : sort of/ half-half ratio, Red: no.
  • Saturdays are said to be lucky days for Aquarius
  • Strengths of Aquarius include being friendly, affable, intelligent, kind, compassionate and practical.
  •  Weaknesses of the Aquarius are being unpredictable, adamant, dislike towards making commitments and hating adhering to conventions.
  •  Aquarius never meet anyone they don't at first glance consider a friend.
  •  Aquarius are always kind and caring and enjoy getting to know new people. Unless you give them reason to dislike you, they like everyone.
  •  Aquarius are generally soft spoken but can demonstrate the ability to change up now and again. They love things that are new and enjoy experimenting with new ideas and concepts. Creativity flows through the veins of individuals with the Aquarius sign.
  •   Their flighty and every changing personality make getting close with an Aquarius next to impossible. 
  •  Aquarius tend to have a large number of friends though normally not many close or best buddies. 
  •  Aquarius can be interested in concepts and ideas. Because of its universality, Aquarius can seem somewhat detached from personal emotions.
 There you go! :)

16. Something I always think 'what if' about:
- What if I'm ADD?
- What if I was adopted?
- What if  I'm actually good at mathematics?
- What if I spoke Mandarin?
- What if I could read people's minds?

17. Something I'm proud of:
  • Finishing a 600-page book in less than 2-3 hours.
  • Memorizing all the prophecies in PJO & HOO.
  • Ability to write a lot of nonsense, and have fun doing it.
  • Shopping like a nutso.
  • Being anti-social.
  • Building a fire and keeping it going.
  • Being insane.
18. A Problem That I Have Had:
  • Eating disorder.
  • Depression.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Distancing myself from others constantly. 
“I want some time without you organic life forms.”
― Leo Valdez, The Lost Hero

 19. Five things I lust after:
- Toga dresses (Greek Goddess dresses)
- Combat boots (knee-length)
- Dip-dyed denim shorts
- Secondhand bookstores.
- Chocolate.

20. My fears:
  • Drowning
  • Being ridiculed
  • Being forgotten or ignored
  • Disorder and untidiness (Isfet - Chaos)
  • Needles and pointed objects
  • Heights
21. How I hope my future will be like:
- I want to study mythologies, have a career in writing or reading (book critic, ja?) and live a peaceful existence.

22. My academics (Which I forgot to do earlier. HAHA)
- Good at: English, ICT, PJK and Chemistry.
- Suck at Mathematics, Add Maths, Physics
- Reasonably okay at: BM, Sejarah, Sivik and Moral

23. Something that I miss:
- The peaceful times of the years gone by.
- Spending time with my friends.
- Camping.

24. Five words/phrases that make me laugh:
  1.   "Dam"
  2. Thermal equilibrium
  3. *wink wink*
  4. "That's what she said"
  5. "This is a pen. This is a pen."
25. Something I'm currently worrying about:
- I was worrying about exams this morning, but not anymore! :D It's finally over.

Maybe a little worried about the results? But meh.

26. Things I like and dislike about myself:
-Nonchalant attitude.
- Love for boots and black clothing.
- Love for mythologies, reading and writing.
-Disassociation with organic life forms.

- Quick temper
- Tendency to annoy people.
- Skin blemishes.

27. Quotes I Try To Live By:
~“You must forge your own path for it to mean anything.”
― Hera, The Lost Hero
~"If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself."
— Sally Jackson,The Lightning Thief 

~“Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible. It just means that you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed.”
― Piper McLean,The Mark of Athena
~ “True success requires sacrifice.”
― Nemesis, The Mark of Athena

~“If I'm going to burn, it might as well be bright.”
― Frank Zhang, Son Of Neptune

 28. Somewhere I'd Like To Move Or Visit To:

  • Greece
  • Rome
  • Egypt
  • Switzerland
  • France
Basically every country I haven't been to.

 29. Five weird things that I like:
  • Eating fries and burger with ketchup mixed with black pepper.
  • Eating seaweed with lemon.
  • Eating Milo powder (yeah, it's weird)
  • Sleeping outside my house, in the shade when it rains.
  • Reading everywhere. 
 30.  One thing I'm excited for:
The upcoming holidays! :D Finally, a chance to read, write, craft, play piano and do whatever I like without disturbance and having to wake up early for school! Freedom at long last.

This post is finally finished!
Till next time!


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