Wordy Wednesday: Interview with Susi Greganova

I’m now in Europe (or, you know, will be at the time this post goes up)–which means this week’s Wordy Wednesday is one of our many wonderful interviews and guests posts for the summer!

Please welcome one of the amazing writers I’m lucky enough to call my friend, Susi Greganova!

**********

Super Susi

What project(s) are you currently working on?
Right now? Managing my exams, planning out my life, and a cliché warm family novel which I´m only writing for myself so I can calm down and concentrate on learning. But the moment I have time, I´ll start work on a psychological thriller (The Shadow People), an epistolary novel dealing with child development (Hi T), and a middle grade adventure novel partially set in the cyber world (The Quest). There are also a lot of poems that I need to sort out and edit.

What are you planning to study at college?
Nooo clue. My dream course is PPE at Oxford, but that costs too much. But I think I´ll still apply for it in October. In the meantime, I´ll probably study “law and economics”.

Any fun summer plans?
Figuring out what to do with my life. And I want to do Camp NaNoWriMo and finish a novel. And…yeah. Have crazy fun adventures. (Or study for my exams if I don´t pass them in June. :/ )

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
England because it´s my favourite place in the world. Or just all around the world so I can see everything.

Favorite food?
Spaghetti

Favorite drink?
Aloe Vera juice

Favorite dessert?
Chocolate mousse (fun fact: I used to be The Official Queen of Chocolate Mousse on a message board once)

Favorite season?
Autumn

Favorite activity outside of reading and writing?
Jazz dancing…or just generally daydreaming/imagining stuff

Favorite movie?
Johnny English

Favorite TV show?
The Green Green Grass

Favorite Youtube channel?
AVByte

Favorite website?
Figment

Favorite board game?
Monopoly

Favorite language (other than your native one)?
Italian

Favorite sport?
Football

Favorite candy?
I don´t know if anyone knows them, but I love Milka Choco Mix bags which are basically little bags full of chocolate drops as well as jelly sweets or mini Oreos.

Favorite instrument?
Piano (i.e. the only one I can play)

Coffee or tea?
Coffee…but I really like tea too

Ice cream or froyo?
Froyo

Movie or TV show?
Movie

Morning or night?
Night!

City or country?
City

Cat or dog?
Dog

Rain or shine?
Rain!!

Camp or hotel?
Hotel

Stay in or go out?
Go out

Casual or fancy?
Casual

Handwrite or type?
Handwrite for poetry, type for prose
**********

Thanks for letting me interview you, Susi!

You can find Susi at the following links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susi.greganova?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
Figment: Super Susi
ask.fm: http://ask.fm/SusiGreganova#_=_

Thanks for reading!
~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Cadence, Chapter 9”)

Hey there. It’s after midnight and I’m still up packing for college, so I figured I might as well give you this week’s Wordy Wednesday now, while I’ve still got internet access and am at least 50% awake (although that percentage is fading fast). Sound good? Good.

[Disclaimer: Reminder while you’re reading Cadence that this is an incomplete first draft of a novel I began writing for Camp NaNoWriMo this past June. It’s had no editing whatsoever, and I wasn’t exactly spending time on making it high-quality (let’s not forget, for example, how I wrote the first 11,000 words in one sitting). It was a NaNo novel, so just be warned about that. There will be typos and awkwardly worded sentences and weirdly dramatic moments and all that fun stuff. I apologize in advance, and thank you, you wonderful reader, for putting up with the errors. You rock.]

Links to previous chapters:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

**********

 

[Sorry this is no longer available–I’m editing Cadence now with the hopes of maybe, possibly publishing it someday. Thanks for the interest, though!]

 

**********

Help decide:

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Cadence, Chapter 7”)

Because we had a three-way tie for what this week’s Wordy Wednesday should be between “short story,” “memoir,” and “a new chapter of Cadence,” and we just had a short story last week, and I didn’t have enough time to write a memoir today… I figured I’d give you more Cadence.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Links to previous chapters of Cadence:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

**********

 

[Sorry this is no longer available–I’m editing Cadence now with the hopes of maybe, possibly publishing it someday. Thanks for the interest, though!]

 

**********
Vote for next week’s Wordy Wednesday!

~Julia

PS. I’m posting this within ten seconds of midnight. I am a master procrastinator.

Let’s Pretend Monday is the Weekend

I’m so sorry I missed doing my usual weekend post! But since I was averaging five hours of sleep a night the entire weekend and doctors state that teenagers are supposed to get eight and a half to nine hours of sleep every night (because that totally happens), I hope you’ll understand; it ends up, hosting a writing conference is a lot more work than just attending one. Who would’a thunk it?

To make up for being a day late, today’s post is going to consist of a selection of pictures from the conference:

Here I’m greeting a couple of attendees as they came off the train. My username on the website we all first met through is “cavyheart.” (Also: I love what the wind’s doing to my bangs. Super attractive.)

The group of us walking through downtown Chicago.

We visited “The Bean.”

It was too hot out to resist getting soaked at the face fountains! (Speaking of which, is there some official name for these fountains, or are they just called “the face fountains?”)

This is from one of the talks I gave at the conference. I’m not sure what the best part of this picture is: my Camp NaNoWriMo swag or the hamster sock puppet that’s lying on the dictionary to the right?

Because our hotel wasn’t in downtown, we spent A LOT of time walking to trains, from trains, sitting on trains, talking about trains, and rushing to make it to trains. In conclusion, I am thoroughly sick of trains.

… And yeah! The conference was super fun, I learned a ton from the sessions other people gave, and overall it was a really wonderful experience. But I’m also glad that it’s over, because now I can start focusing on getting prepped for college, not to mention getting back to writing and editing, again (I’ve been on a hiatus for the past couple of weeks, between getting ready for the play and the conference).

See you on Wednesday!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Cadence, Chapter Five”)

Well, I wasn’t planning on continuing to post Cadence after Camp NaNoWriMo ended last month, but since I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing lately other than working on it, and revising the novel I finished earlier this year, well… here’s more Cadence.

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

**********

 

[Sorry this is no longer available–I’m editing Cadence now with the hopes of maybe, possibly publishing it someday. Thanks for the interest, though!]

 

**********

… Now we’re back to the ever-pressing question of: What next? And just because I’m such a super technical genius (*cough* Word Press is so easy to use), I’m giving you an official poll this time, with options and everything. SHABAM!! Vote away!

~Julia

Movie Reaction: People Like Us

So I wasn’t sure what I was going to do my blog post about this weekend. Drama camp ending? Grad party season ending? Theatre rehearsals not ending (and kicking my butt)?

What about the fact that I should never wear a smokey eye?

(I look like a racoooooooon!)

What about the fact that I never told you guys how I forced my parents into buying me a nasty gas station doughnut at 11:30 at night on National Doughnut Day a while back?

(Note to self: Never buy a gas station doughnut. Ever again.)

What about the fact that — Okay, I’m running out of goofy pictures I haven’t already shown you. (Oh, and heads up: I completely failed Camp NaNoWriMo, clocking in at only 22,766 words… all of which I wrote during the first week. Hurray?)

… So, all weekend I’ve been wondering and worried and unsure about what I should do this blog post about. There were a lot of different topics, but none of them really seemed post-worthy. (I mean, come on: How long can you discuss the weird looks you get from going out to California Pizza Kitchen in the middle of the afternoon with a deep purple smokey eye and vampiricly white skin?)

But, then, I went to see a movie last night with a couple of my friends. And it was called People Like Us. And it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I actually found myself looking for things to critique about it, because usually there’s some really obvious flaw in ever movie that annoys me to no end throughout the entire thing, because I’m a total movie (and book) snob… and I couldn’t find anything on first glance (although, looking back, there are definitely some contrived plot points that take it a notch below perfect).

Watch the trailer:

This movie combines everything I love about big budget films with all the lovely elements of independent films: There are long conversations that teach you about humanity, and artsy camera angles, and great acting — but there are also amazing shooting locations, the image quality is gorgeous (so that was definitely not a cheap camera they were using)…  Overall, it was just a whole lot of awesome, all rolled into one.

I loved the score, and I loved the script. The movie made me laugh, and it made me cry, and it made me contemplate what it truly means to be family… And, in the end, People Like Us felt just like what its title promises: like it was about People Like Us. Real people. Not just a bunch of fabricated characters on the screen, actors reciting lines. (Speaking of the actors — it starred Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, who you can also see as Captain Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie and Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games, respectively, if you’re wondering who those two are. Which you shouldn’t be. Because they are both BRILLIANT actors.)

This film is gorgeous in every way, and I definitely suggest going to see it. It’s the sort of movie that you can chew on and talk about for hours afterward, and I haven’t been so pleased with a non-action-packed movie as I am with this one in years. (Like, probably not since Marley and Me — and you know I enjoyed it if I’m comparing it to Marley and Me.)

I’d give People Like Us 9 out of 10 stars.

(Now off to see The Amazing Spider-Man at midnight this Monday!)

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Cadence, Chapter 4”)

So remember how I was super tired this time last week?

… Well, now I’m sick. Like, I-have-got-the-stomach-flu-and-didn’t-eat-for-two-days-and-got-severely-dehydrated-and-now-must-drink-nasty-Gaterade sick.

And it sucks. And I think I definitely actually preferred being tired last week to this. (You don’t know what’cha got ’til it’s gone, eh?)

Here’s Chapter Four of Cadence for you!

Links to the past three chapters:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

**********

 

[Sorry this is no longer available–I’m editing Cadence now with the hopes of maybe, possibly publishing it someday. Thanks for the interest, though!]

 

**********

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Cadence, Excerpt #3”)

I AM GOING CRAZY RIGHT NOW. I’m currently working at a local drama camp in the mornings, prepping for my grad party this weekend in the afternoons, and attending theatre rehearsals in the evenings. Along with trying not to lose Camp NaNoWriMo too horribly.

I ache all over, I keep snapping at everybody, and I’m basically dressed like a giant five year old today because I couldn’t be bothered to find anything cute to wear.

And I look like this:

I really, really just want to get some sleep, but I can’t, because there’s so much stuff to do, and just… Gah. I can’t take it. I can’t wait until this week is over and everything slows down and I can go back to being like this:

(I know — even when I’m trying, I don’t have my usual perk and verve.)

But anyway, here’s today’s Wordy Wednesday! (To be honest, I’m not even sure today is Wednesday, but I’m assuming it is since this is going to be my third day of torture and it started on Monday… which comes two days before Wednesday. Yeah.)

(Link to Chapter One & Chapter Two.)

**********

 

[Sorry this is no longer available–I’m editing Cadence now with the hopes of maybe, possibly publishing it someday. Thanks for the interest, though!]

 

**********

~Julia

Bonus Post: Six Month Blogiversary and Lucky 7 Meme!

Today marks my six month blogiversary! I’ve been doing this thing for half a year now! WHOOHOO!!!!! 😀

I’m so beyond excited about this, guys. (I can’t believe it’s already been six months!!!!!)

Now, in honor of that — and because, you know, I was TAGGED for it — today’s post is also going to include the Lucky 7 Meme Award, which was given to me by Tania L. Ramos over at New Author Publishing, who’s super cool, and you should all go follow her.

The Lucky 7 Meme Award Rules are as such:

1. Go to the 7th or 77th page of your work in progress.

2. Go to the 7th line of the page.

3. Copy the next 7 sentences or paragraphs. Remember, they must be as they are typed.

4. Tag 7 authors.

5. Let them know they’re it!

My snippet’s going to be coming from my Camp NaNoWriMo novel for June 2012, Cadence:

**********

Lo siento, I’m currently querying this manuscript and thus: no random excerpts online. Thanks for the interest, though!

**********

Below are seven of the authors that I follow!

Hero from Heroic Endeavors

Tatiana from Words into Darkness

Ari from A Fuzzy Mango with Wings

Vicki from Page After Page

Teresa from Teresa the Random

Ariel from Magic Esi Poetry

Monica from Love YA

… Now time to go celebrate some more over my six month blogiversary!!

 

~Julia

Across the Universe

Hey guys, I’m back from college orientation!

Super fun three days spent at the University of Michigan — I made a ton of friends, got a good feel for where everything’s located around there (mainly where the best pizza place is on campus, which is obviously the only thing that truly matters), and registered for my fall classes.

Overall, it was a great experience and I’m actually excited for college now (which I wasn’t before going to orientation), but it was also a very… weird… experience, because there were absolutely no rules there. I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without the need for a buddy system or an adult’s permission. And it hit me while I was there: I didn’t need an adult’s permission because I am an adult now. Which is a feeling I’m not used to AT ALL, because even though I’ve been eighteen for almost two months now, this was my first opportunity to really reap the benefits of that freedom — coming from a city where it’s necessary to have a car to even get to the grocery store without having to walk in the road due to lack of sidewalks, it was strange to be able to walk to not only a store that sold groceries, but also a ton of restaurants and clothing stores and theatres and libraries and just… everything. I went into orientation thinking of those three days being like going to camp, and came away feeling like I’d just gone to Disney World, instead.

Meanwhile, between attending orientation sessions and pigging out on ice cream in the dorm’s cafeteria, I read the young adult science fiction novel Across the Universe by Beth Revis — named for my favorite Beatles song.

(For you diehard Beatles fans out there, I apologize for this being the version from the Across the Universe movie — don’t kill me, but this is the version I always hear in my head when I think of this song. )

I love the lyrics from Across the Universe. Besides being gorgeous (“Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup”), they also really connect with a problem I’ve been dealing with lately, which is that I’m currently in a State of Flux. And it sort of became my theme song for college orientation, as I tried to make sense of this new, much freer and altogether alien world that I’ve been thrown into.

I graduated from high school back in May, but I’m not really gone because I’m still doing a ton of theatre stuff at my school (working at drama camp/performing as a member of the cast in the summer show/going to London next summer with the theatre company/etc). And now I’m supposed to be a college student, but I’m not actually in college yet, and it’s just… I feel like I’m standing between the two, college and high school, and I’m reaching out to both of them, stretching and stretching and stretching, but I can’t quite reach either side. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle instead. This is a problem the characters of Beth Revis’s novel also face, as they travel on a spaceship between our Earth and a new one. And I realized, as I was reading, that the song Across the Universe also describes this sort of lost-and-in-between feeling.

If I remember right, in the movie Across the Universe the character singing the song Across the Universe performs it while on a boat making his way from England to the United States, towards the beginning. (You’ll have to excuse me if that’s wrong; I only saw the movie once, back when it first came out on DVD.) The entire film centers on this idea, of the characters being in a State of Flux as they move from one place and time to another, on and on and on, never quite settling as the world changes all around them.

What it comes down to, in all three of these situations, is that life is changing, and there is no way to avoid that change, because it’s not your own, individual life that’s changing, but everyone’s. It’s not just you, but the whole world thatis changing.

Yet, through all of this, the Beatles sing that “nothing’s gonna change my world.” Up until now, I didn’t really understand that — if the world’s changing, it’s changing. There’s nothing you can do about it, right?

But then it hit me, as I sat in a college dorm room and looked out at the sun setting over the city that I will soon call my own: Not everything has to change at once. While you’re maybe in a State of Flux between being a teenager in high school and being a young adult in college, you can hold onto some things from the past to keep for the future, and it’s those things that can carry you from one place to the next, through your State of Flux; it’s those things that help you hold onto yourself as everything changes all around you, transforming into something that’s new and alien from what you’ve always known. It’s those things that keep you from shattering, from falling apart as you travel “across the universe.”

For me, these things that I hold close as I move from high school to college are simple: Writing. Friends. Theatre.

So even as everything changes all around me, and even as I go through this State of Flux — where I’m not quite one thing, but not quite another… nothing’s gonna change my world. The world might change, but my world — the things that are important to me and that I need in order to be who I am; the things that identify me as me, and no one else… those aren’t changing.

Why am I participating in Camp NaNoWriMo right now, along with doing so much theatre stuff, and trying desperately to keep up with my friends despite it all? Because as everything else is changing, those are the things that don’t have to. Maybe later, but at least not for right now. Those are the things that can carry me.

Those are the things that let me know that even as I travel, from one place to another, and through this State of Flux, and Across the Universe, nothing’s gonna change my world.

~Julia