Wordy Wednesday (“Peter Pan”)

You know, I always have so much I want to tell you, and then the instant I open a new blog post I forget and my brain just goes like, “Blahhh… words… wasn’t there something I was supposed to remember to say… blahhhhh blah blah blah blah… on well… blah… give me a caramel apple… whooo.”

Yeah, I’m blanking pretty hardcore at the moment.

But what I do remember: It’s Wednesday, so this is a Wordy Wednesday post. And this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a song I wrote around the time I graduated high school. I got really nostalgic and sappy my final semester, and this song basically describes what I felt like when I met some of the theatre kids from the class that would be freshmen the year after I graduated (aka: REALLY sappy). Looking at them was like looking at myself four years earlier, and it was the weirdest, most Twilight Zone-ish feeling I’ve ever experienced.

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[C, G, Em, D]

VERSE1

Hey there, little girl, with the braces on your smile

You’re so lucky, don’t you know, you get to be here for a while

I remember you calling my name, like I was a celebrity

Well, being a senior, graduating, isn’t all it cracked up to be

I’ve seen that look on your face before

Like you are waiting for someone to open the door

And you’re scared of being lost, and you’re scared of being alone

But you’re happy now, ’cause you’re finding a new home

CHORUS

Right now you’re at the beginning,

but the pages turn pretty fast

and someday you’ll have to let go

because today’ll be in the past

And I know it sucks, and I know it’s mean

And I know you feel stuck in between

But just remember as much of everything

as you can. Then fall in love with Peter Pan.

VERSE2

Hey there, little girl, just happy to fit in

Don’t forget who you want to be, for the sake of pleasing him

And just ’cause it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s always right

Don’t worry, not for now, it’s not goodbye at closing night

I’ve seen that look in your eyes before

I’ve said the words that you can’t ignore

And I’d give anything, to be in your shoes

You don’t know what you have, until it’s something you will lose

[Repeat CHORUS]

BRIDGE

Those four years are going go by faster than you think

One second you’re making friends, then it’s all gone in a blink

And you’ll cling to the memories, the bad ones and the good

Thinking of all the things you’d relive, wouldn’t change them if I could

[Repeat CHORUS]

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~Julia

Oh, PS. I just remembered one of the things I was supposed to say: THIS IS A BOOK has a new home–it’s very own website! And Mel and I are holding a contest to draw our logo (a squish)! Make sure to check it out and enter your drawing: http://thisisabookthebook.wordpress.com/

Wordy Wednesday (“Novel Inspiration”)

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is going to be an overview of how I got the inspiration for my novels, as suggested by my writing friend Joan of The Spastic Writer. (Check her out!)

I’ve written five novels so far, along with co-writing This Is a Book with Mel, and I’m currently writing a sixth novel. I’m only going to talk about a few of them today, though, because at least two of those manuscripts will never see the light of day (I pray to God). Let’s get started!

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Forgotten

What It’s About: Forgotten tells the intertwining stories of fourteen-year-old Janie Adams–a seemingly normal high school freshman–and fifteen-year-old Kyle Orchar–a spy working for the US government. When Kyle is assigned to track down a young terrorist at Janie’s high school, chaos ensues as Janie develops a crush on him and he decides she’s the terrorist. But who is Janie Adams really?

My Inspiration: I wrote Forgotten my freshman year of high school. At the time, I had never before read a spy book or seen a spy movie or even had any inkling of an interest in spies. But I somehow had gotten this random idea about a teenage boy spy falling in love with a civilian girl with a shifty past, so Forgotten was born anyway. Freshman year was fairly boring–my classes were easy and I didn’t have a lot of friends–so I basically just thought up things that would make my school experience more interesting, and that ended up being Forgotten.

The novel’s shallow and pretty poorly written, but I still love it for acting as my training wheels in the publishing industry. Although it’s the second novel I completed, it’s the first one I queried, and Forgotten really taught me the ins and outs of the process.

*****

Dreamcatcher

What It’s About: Dreamcatcher is about Lauren Brender, a sixteen-year-old girl who realizes she’s in a coma and the past several months of her life have actually been taking place in a dreamworld constructed by her subconscious to try to confuse her out of waking up. With the help of her conscience, personified in the dream-version of her best friend Joshua, she has to fight against her subconscious and the lures of the dream in order to return to reality–but is it worth it?

My Inspiration: This was the fourth novel I wrote, but the first one that I planned very much ahead of time. I wrote Dreamcatcher for NaNoWriMo my senior year of high school (Forgotten was my freshman year NaNoWriMo), and I began working on plans for it around March of my junior year.

The idea for Dreamcatcher came out of the fact that, at the time, I had a really huge crush on a boy who just wanted to be friends. I started having dreams in which we were together, and it made me start wondering: if I could stay in those dreams, which were nice but I knew weren’t real, would I? At the same time, I was in a creative writing class at school and needed to write a short story, so I decided to turn my question into my story. Only–after half a page or so, I realized it was going to be a much longer story than I could turn in for my assignment. So I saved it for a novel instead.

Dreamcatcher was the first novel I put a lot of myself into–writing it in order to help me through some problems I was having in my life at the time rather than just writing it for fun, the way Forgotten had been. It deals with divorce (some people I loved dearly were getting divorces at the time), and grief (I had lost both of my dad’s parents and my great-grandmother in the past three years, and my cat died while I was writing the first draft), and a lot of other stuff.

Although I’ve had to temporarily shelve Dreamcatcher because it needs a lot more work than I have the time or capability to do right now, I still think of it as my baby. I really hope someday I can get it good enough to publish, because it means the world to me.

*****

Cadence

What It’s About: Cadence tells the story of Olivia, a seventeen-year-old reluctant assassin who must work for an underground organization of vigilantes in downtown Chicago despite her aversion to their methods of dealing with people (basically: kill first, ask questions later) or find herself on the wrong side of the gun.

My Inspiration: The story behind Cadence is tricky. If you really want to go all the way back to the beginning, it starts with a novel I never finished called Petra’s Driving School, which was a companion to Forgotten. I got the idea for PDS in a dream the summer between sophomore and junior years of high school, because why not, and it was about a girl from downtown Chicago who gets kidnapped by a spy organization (called, you guessed it: Petra’s Driving School) and trained to become a “driver”–basically, the person who drives the getaway car for the spies of the organization Kyle of Forgotten works for. I worked on PDS for more than a year, but could never get it to work quite right, and I ultimately abandoned it.

Fast forward to the summer after my senior year, and I found myself with a whole new story–much darker and bigger–utilizing all the parts of PDS that I had loved.

When it comes down to it, Cadence and Petra’s Driving School are two very separate stories–they’re more like cousins than identical twins. But Cadence never would have happened without PDS.

Like with Dreamcatcher, a lot of the underlying themes of Cadence I took from my own life, as I worked through those questions and problems. Por ejemplo: where I left of with grief with Dreamcatcher, Cadence picks up.

*****

The End Where I Begin

What It’s About: The End Where I Begin is the story of eighteen-year-old Alexa Dylan, who lives in an alternate dimension in which alternate realities exist linearly of one another (basically: you can hop between them if you want to). When Alexa’s reality self-destructs, the government sends her on to the next reality linear to theirs, four years in the past, in order to prevent the same thing from happening there.

My Inspiration: This is the novel I’m working on right now. If everything goes as planned, it’ll be the sixth novel I finish, with Cadence being my fifth. With everything that’s been happening lately (going to college, making new friends, meeting celebrities, etc) I’ve been thinking a lot about change and how I’m basically a completely different person now from who I was at the beginning of high school. I wondered what would happen if someone who had graduated from high school got to go back to the beginning of their freshman year–What would they do different? What would they do their best to keep the same? That plus a fascination with alternate realities eventually led to the idea being The End Where I Begin.

What else will inspire a part of this novel? I guess I’ll find out as I go.

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So that’s it for today. Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me, here! (Whenever I think of Forgotten, it makes me feel really old.) If there’s a writing-related topic you’d like me to cover in a future Wordy Wednesday, make sure to vote for that option in the poll below and then let me know what you’d like me to talk about in the comments.

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~Julia

PS. Reminder that I’ll be posting more about my England trip soon, so keep watching the blog for that!

Grad Party Season

You know, I always think, “Yay! It’s summer! It’s time sleep in and relax!!! YUSSS!”

— And then I go on Facebook and realize that it’s the Saturday after graduation, actually, which means that I have four grad parties to attend and a birthday party. And the first one starts in less than an hour. And I haven’t showered yet. Or bought anyone gifts. And all I really want to do at the moment is stay at home and read Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket).

But anyway, the grad parties are calling, so I’ll have to see if I can get a real post in later, but chances are that I’m not going to be home for the rest of the day. (Oh, and a head’s up — I’m going to Chicago for part of next weekend, for my cousin’s grad party, and then running around to other grad parties for the rest of it, so I’m going to be swamped again. And then theatre starts up again after that. And yeah… So much for rest and relaxation, right?)

To tide you over, here’s a cute picture of my dog being annoyed at me (I’d just woken her up from a nap):

 

Talk to you maybe tomorrow? (And yes. That is indeed a Hunger Games t-shirt.)

 

~Julia

This Is What TIRED Looks Like

So, a basic overview of what my day looked like yesterday:

  1. Get up at 5:30 to start getting ready for school.
  2. Get to school by 6:45 in order to participate in a flash mob to advertise the spring musical.
  3. 7:10 AM: The flash mob is a complete failure due to the hallway we were doing it in being too loud for us to hear the music we were supposed to be dancing too (so we basically looked like a bunch of off-beat flailing chickens instead of actors doing choreography).
  4. Go to classes. Take impromptu physics test in first hour. Get a really good score on a practice quiz for the AP lit test next week in fourth hour (12 our of 15! Whoohoo!!!). Talk about showering and hand washing methods at lunch (believe it or not, this is one of my table’s more normal conversations) while eating a Popsicle won for third hour class’s participation in the spirit days all week. Sit and do nothing during fifth hour independent study.
  5. Skip sixth and seventh hour to get into costume and practice for the assembly at the end of the day. Perform excerpts from the spring musical at assembly. Have assembly turn into a massive sob-fest when we seniors all realize that this is our last assembly of high school ever. Go take senior class photo while still half in costume while everybody around me’s crying their eyes out (not the administration’s best idea).
  6. Go get out of costume. Go to after-school spring festival and do inflatable obstacle course, get yearbook, fail at a cupcake walk, etc. Leave from festival early to get food from Arby’s because, even after four years of complaining, they are yet to supply vegetarian options at the spring festival.
  7. Come back to school. Get in costume again. Perform spring musical.
  8. Host the theatre company after-party and spend half the night making sure that nobody feeds Sammy, seeing as she is on a diet and allergic to almost as many things as I am, and the other half watching people play Just Dance.
  9. 12:30 AM: Finally escort the last of the company members — a bunch of underclassmen who I either don’t know, or else don’t know well enough to kick out — out of house.
  10. Help clean up from party and talk with Mom while she comes down from her accidental caffeine high until 1:30 (she didn’t realize the pop she was drinking all night was caffeinated, so she was WIRED).
  11. Come upstairs and avoid going to sleep, seeing as it involves effort (washing stage makeup off, getting into pajamas, etc) until 2:30.
  12. Go to sleep.
  13. Wake up at 7:30, completely incapable of falling back asleep again, despite the fact that it was ONLY FIVE HOURS OF SLEEP AFTER EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY.
  14. Look like this while typing blog post:

I’m a lovely human being, you know.

Last week of school before finals, this week! AND PROM IS THIS FRIDAY!!! 😀 I’ll have to get a picture of my dress for you guys!

~Julia

I Am So Sick Right Now.

Okay, so I feel awful not giving you guys a Wordy Wednesday today, because this is the second time in a row that I’ve snubbed you, but I’ve got laryngitis or something going on right now and I’m barely even awake right now, let alone able to go grab a piece of writing to share with you. Maybe I’ll be feeling a bit better tomorrow, so I can do it then?

The timing on this really just sucks, though, because we’re in the middle of tech week for the spring musical (in which I have a principle role), it’s getting towards the end of the school year and I have a couple of A- right now so I need to get my grades back up, my mega 20%-of-my-grade AP lit project is due in less than two weeks, and I have the Future Problem Solvers state finals competition this weekend. And Saturday is my eighteenth birthday.

And, of course, my throat feels like death right now. I AM SO MAD. AND SICK. AND TIRED. AND SICK. AND MAD.

Sorry, guys!! 😦

 

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Homecoming”)

This is a poem I wrote a while back that basically explains how I’ve been feeling all through senior year. I’ve been thinking over everything that I’ve done in my life so far, the past few months, and this is where I ended up:

 

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Looking back on all of You

that I used to know.

It’s funny to think that we’re still here.

Where’d that laughter, that smile go?

 

You I kissed, You I played,

You I felt regret.

And yet it’s You, every one of You,

that I can’t forget.

 

Why’d it end, the stories shared?

We were close as close can be.

Was it my fault? Was it Yours?

Is there an answer, lock and key?

 

Or will I sit and wonder still

for the rest of my life here

how things can change, yet we don’t move,

and Clear fades to Disappear?

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~Julia