Sunday, June 23, 2013

40,000 words and Boredom

Today's blog is going to be another update on my life.

Well, I finished off Spring term at PSU with flying colors. I got a 95% on my term paper for psychology which made me scream with glee. My final grades were:

  • Psych204 (A-)
  • Behavior Analysis (A)
  • Stats243 (B)

(Oh and here's what I've been thinking! Since my aerobics teacher won't be there Fall term I was thinking I should try something I've never done before like karate, self-defense, or tennis. What do you think?)

Summer Thus Far: 
It's been pretty wet and slightly boring lately. Salem has been pouring the past couple of days and it honestly does not feel like summer here. Been watching a lot of Netflix, eating a bajillion tacos, writing, and slowly cleaning my room. I'm going to Disneyland this week, which is awesome! I'm super stoked about this trip to Southern California to hang out with my roommate for a few days.
A totally relevant picture. 
Today I drove my brother nonstop to and from PDX, which was like a 3-hour car ride for me. I normally wake up at 11:30am, but today I had to wake up at 6:50am, which was, not gonna lie, brutal. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at me, but I didn't sleep well that night. My left knee (which pops the most frequently and loudest out of my two knees) was killing me last night. It was a deep sharp sort of pain that kept me up for hours. I took medication before I drove Drew and it went away for a while, but now it hurts and I'm afraid there is something really wrong with it. I swear, I was born with an elderly lady's body!

Novel #2 is coming along very nicely. I've made it to 40,000 words, which is a huge accomplishment. My book is only 10,000 words away from a legitimate novel-length word count. It's just about halfway done, at least I think it is. I've gotten a ton done on it. It's getting to that point where I can see all the puzzle pieces coming together and it's looking more like the image I had in my head.
I've decided something: Dialogue is by far my favorite part of writing a story.
Writing a novel is like being manic depressed. There are days when I want to kiss my laptop and other days when I want to chuck it out into the rain and never write a single word again. I can definitely get moody and it sucks. I think that's when I need to step away for a little bit and take a break.

I have to keep reminding myself that what I write today will not be what's in the final product, so it's ok to suck now because it won't (hopefully) later. But you gotta suck first before you can polish it into something publishable.

I'm also thinking about sending an essay to 17 Magazine. 
This essay. The one that has yet to be published: Pain Reveals You.
What else?
I'm going to try to meet up with my Uncle Scott and his family on their boat in Greece this summer. So, we shall see how that goes. Other than that... not much.
That's it.
Oh! Wait! Actually! I'm getting really excited about Divergent, which I'm pretty sure is almost done filming and my all-time favorite book ever The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which will start filming at the end of August.
Ok, now that's it.

Blog to you later!

The Bad Vet Award


So, the other day our vet called and left a terribly disturbing message on our answering machine that left me in a choking sob. By the way, my horse, Red, is not at my house right now, instead, he's at a barn not too far away, working as a schooling horse.
Ok, so anyways, my vet started with this story of how he was going to float Red's teeth (float, is basically dentistry work on horses, kind of like filing his teeth down) and after he sedated my big guy Red's heart rate dropped to a frighteningly low level. My vet's voice was very sad sounding.
And at this point I was like: Oh my god, he's called to tell me that my horse died. And I started crying.
But then he tells me how he gave Red a shot of adrenaline and how that basically saved his life and that's all he had to say.
Next time you call a person to say their animal almost died, but didn't, please start with: Hey, your horse is fine, but here's what happened. 
I checked on Red immediately afterwards and he looked awesome.

Blog to you later!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughts on Rape and Virginity

Interesting title you got going on there Amanda. What prompted this???? 
As with most of my blog posts... Twilight. 

In the movie Eclipse which is the third installment in the Twilight Saga there is this one part in which Bella and Edward are alone in his house and... well... she tries to GET IN ON!!! She's all kissing him and trying to rip off his shirt when Edward, the gentleman, stops her.
At which point the following conversation ensues.

Edward: Believe me, I want to. I just wanna be married to you first.
Bella: You really make me feel like I'm some sort of villain trying to steal your virtue or something.
Edward: It's not my virtue I'm concerned about.
Bella: Are you kidding?
Edward: It's just one rule I wanna leave unbroken. It might be too late for my soul but I will protect yours. I know it's not a modern notion.

Ok, so it's that last bit (It might be too late for my soul but I will protect yours.) that I have a major problem with. I'm not okay with the idea that one's virginity is linked to their soul. Like if a person has sex before they are married it somehow damages their soul.
Glad Tony Stark approves. 
What if that person was raped?
Is their soul still ruined or do they get a free pass?

*Takes a deep breath and exhales* Clearly this topic boils my blood and turns me into a enormous green rage monster. Oh wait a second, that's the Hulk. Still, it gets me angry.
And it's actually a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately since it is a subject I am currently tackling in Novel #2. 

While waiting to have sex before marriage is a valiant goal, I don't think--in regards to your soul--that it is the most important goal in life. And I think that society is sadly pushing the idea onto millions of young girls that virginity and keeping pure till marriage are contributing factors to their worth as a human being, which is NOT OK.

My personal opinion: Our worth isn't based on our sexuality. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter whether or not we stay pure till marriage. Being a virgin isn't wasn't determines our value as decent human beings. How we treat people and what we do with our lives determines that. 
So when it comes to rape. It isn't something that ruins your soul, what ruins your soul is a failure to continue living despite what's happened in your life. 

 Coming back to Edward and Bella, I think what bothers me the most about this particular scene is that millions of young girls have watched it and many of them may have ended up forming unrealistic expectations about life because of it. I know I did. I used to see the world in black and white. There were good people and bad people, but that's just not true. There are many shades of grey, which is honestly what makes this life so fascinating to live. 

Anyhow, there's my rant. I had to get it out of my brain. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Blog to you later!


And also, if you've missed my blogpost about My Relationship with Twilight you should check it out.

Just an interesting YouTube video I found about "Purity Balls."

And also, you should check out Laci Green's channel. She is flipping hilarious!

My Butterlicious Brain


Today I'm here to tell you some interesting facts about yo brain!

What does my brain feel like? 
Your brain, interestingly enough, is actually the same consistency as warm butter. (I know. Kind of gross. I can't look at butter in the same way now.)

Why is my brain so soft? 
Great question! Well, 10% of this magnificent organ is fat. The reason for this being is that our brain is composed of thousands of neurons. And the part of your neuron that sends messages down to other neurons is called the axon and in order for those messages to be sent down faster is if they are insulated by--yep, you guessed it--FAT! This fat is called the myelin sheath and it is basically like the rubber encasing on a phone cord.

What protects my brain? 
Your skull! But also the fluid inside your skull that cushions that big lump of (hopefully) intellectual butter.

What happens if I hit my head?
Well, hopefully you are wearing a helmet during this metaphorical head-banging event, but if not you might break pieces of your skull which could consequently dig into your brain and tear at all of that beautiful tissue at which point I'd be like: GO TO THE FREAKING HOSPITAL! WHAT YOU CAN'T DRIVE BECAUSE YOUR GRAY MATTER IS OOZING OUT? FINE. I'LL TAKE YOU!

Even in the metaphorical case in which you did wear your helmet, hit your head, and your skull, fortunately, did not break, you could still sustain serious brain damage. The sad thing about the brain or rather the skull is that it has these rough ridges inside of it that can tear your brain if hit just right.

Do I really only use 10% of my brain?
No, this is a myth. Every part of the brain has a known function.

Is my brain really split in two halves?
Why yes it is! You have a right and left hemisphere, which is then connected in the middle by a spectacularly fibrous thing called the corpus callosum.

What parts of the brain are your favorite Amanda? 
Why thanks for asking! I'm really fascinated with the hippocampus (deals with memory) and the amygdala (deals with emotions).

I hope you found this as fascinating as I do.
Blog to you later!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bella Swan Was Right


So, in Twilight--you've heard of this book right?--you'll hear the narrator Bella Swan constantly blurt out stuff like: It physically pained me to be away from Edward. And at this point some of you may have either rolled your eyes at her whiny-infatuated talk or skimmed the pages for more sparkly vampire action. I, however, have a different view now on Bella's statement after having read more psychology books and taken more classes on the matter. 

Studies show that when a person is socially isolated, like kicked out of a group or has suffered a breakup, their cingulate cortex activates. What's interesting is that the cingulate cortex is the part of your brain that activates when you are experiencing physical pain, too. 

Interesting right? 

Alright. That's all I have for today. Time to get working on Novel #2. 

Blog to you later!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waking Up

Question of the Day: Do you wake up to a CD, Radio, or Buzzard?

Answer: I wake up to White Hinterland's "Icarus" on my iPhone. It is now and forever more: the wakeup song.
How about you?
What wakes you up?

Blog to you later!

Goal In Life: Be Nicer

Yo, what up? (This is my gangsta greeting if by chance I just scared you.)

So, a while back I wrote a Facebook post that read: Life is too short to be embarrassed about kindness. 

And mind you, sometimes I write posts on purpose, other times I just pull quotes out of my honorary quote-book that sound good at that particular moment. As you can probably guess, this post was purposeful. I wrote it after having a sort of ridiculous conflict with myself.

Conflict: Should I bother sending this Thank You letter out?

Now, you may find this squabble I had with myself to be pretty darn stupid, but let me go into details.
The person I was about to send a Thank You letter to hadn't done anything specific for me. Over the years she has just shown me a lot of kindness and support and is just an overall inspiring, good-hearted person. And for some reason I really wanted to let her know this. Now, I could have just written her a little message over Facebook, but this voice inside my head that sounded an awful lot like Mr. T said: NO! That ain't okay FOOL! 

So, I decided against it and hand wrote the card.
I sealed it up, scribbled the address on it, but then hesitated when it came to actually sending it out.
Why? You may ask.
Well, I just felt weird about it.
And then I asked myself why I felt weird about sending out a Thank You letter and the ridiculous answer that kept responding in my head was: I'm afraid of being too nice.

Let me repeat that: I'm was afraid of being too nice.
Who the hell says that? At that point, I just rolled my eyes and sent the letter.

Shortly afterwards, I learned about Zach Sobiech and in case you haven't heard of him yet you HAVE TO WATCH THIS: 
Zach is such an inspiration to me! After watching his Last Days I've decided to not be embarrassed about being overly nice anymore because, in all honestly, there is nothing wrong with being overly nice and I have no idea why I was fretting over it.

My friend was thrilled after receiving the card I took the time to write her (it only took 5 minutes) and this made me happy too! I think it's important to thank those who inspire us because life is short and we should all strive to make our lives and the lives of others happier. We need more politeness in the world.

I don't know why it is so difficult or so embarrassing to be kind sometimes. Maybe this is just my personal problem. Here are my goals:

  1. Write more hand-written cards to people who inspire me. 
  2. Smile more. 
  3. Strike up conversations with people more. (Yes, even in the elevator. Just compliment their shoes or something.)
  4. Say thank you more often. 
  5. Laugh more. 
  6. Just basically don't hold back anymore.
I encourage you to take a mere 5 minutes to write someone who has inspired you and tell them thank you. It will totally make their day and your's as well. 

These are my goals. What are yours?

Blog to you later!

Toilet Paper Photo Shoot

Still in the library. About to work on Novel #2, but I was unintentionally eavesdropping (which you may think is an oxymoron, but I can assure you it is not because they were sitting at my freaking table [boy drama]) and I got sidetracked. I'm also listening to film scores people are recommending me. I got an iTunes card for my b-day and I am going to purchase movie scores for my writing and walking playlist (I like to feel like I'm in a movie and something EPIC is about to unfold while I go on walks with my pup). 

Ok. So, what's up with this title? 
I shall tell you. 

Yesterday, we ran out of toilet paper. 
That's a big freakin' deal y'all.
Here was my reaction.

Later, Roomie and I decided that since we only have a mere 2 days left in the dorm, we should just take some toilet paper from the downstairs bathroom. 

And then we got a little crazy with the aforementioned toilet paper because we're actually five-year-olds trapped inside college students' bodies. 

That's it. 

Blog to you later! 

Summer Vacation = More Blogging

Hola! Ciao! Hi there!

So, this sentence is getting redundant, but here I go typing it out again: It's been a long time since I've written to y'all.
Sorry about that. I've been extraordinarily busy with college, writing Novel #2,  concerts, and blah, blah, blah. Life, basically.

The title of this post makes me chuckle. As you can see it includes the word "summer" in it, which I find humorous since it doesn't exactly feel like that right now.
Why? You may ask.
Well, I recently trekked across PSU's campus from my dorm to the library in the pouring rain. Now, it wasn't freezing or anything mind you, but still... rain... summer. They don't exactly go well together unless you live in Hawaii (which, awesomely enough, is where my cousin Ashley is serving her mission now).
Some of you may hate rain, especially during summer time, but here were my thoughts as I hid under my blue sweatshirt's hood, readjusted my bag containing my laptop and disheveled notebooks, tried not to spill my hot chai soy latte, and stomped through puddles with my new Doc Martens:

  1. Rain smells good. 
  2. It's so green. 
  3. Ooooh, shirtless, muscular tennis players! Slow down. 
  4. Clomp, clomp, clomp. My boots make funny sounds when I walk. 
  5. The rain is making my shirt stick to my skin. 
  6. Move-out days = People carrying lots of bulky boxes. 
  7. The sun wants to peak out, but the clouds are being a bully. 
  8. I'm glad I'm an author. 
The last one came to me as I approached the steps of the library. One of the best things about being a writer is that I take more careful notice of life (my roommate might disagree, but I think I'm more observant than the average Joe [poor Joe]) and I really appreciate it. 
Just something I felt I needed to share. 

Hmm, let's see... what else shall I share other than my rambles? 
(More rambling, but) there is a disfigured hand drawn on the wooden table I am occupying in the library. The hand is actually labeled "Deformed hand" which seems unnecessary. 

Well, I am in the library to work on Novel #2, but I wanted to write on this blog as a sort of warm-up because I haven't written in a while and, yeah, I know I promised I'd write 15 minutes a day, but when Finals rolled around, uh, that didn't happen. But now it's summer vacation and I'm SO ready to write and go on adventures!

I just wanted to let y'all know that you'll hear from me more often now and I will update you on what's going on with my books and life. 

Blog to you later!

Ok, so I am on my 8th book of the year. Currently 4 books behind schedule for my GoodReads goal. But I will totally catch up this summer! I've got 17 more books to read for the year. I'll get it done.