Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Social Media really worth it?

Recently I read an article on one of the blogs I follow (one of the ones over there on the side), about if it is really worth to put a lot of effort into social media. Does it really help writers?

I simple answer that I've gathered is that it really depends on how you use it, how much, and who your targeted audience is.

It inspired me to write my own blog post but in all honesty, I cannot say if it really does help writers or not. I've never been published, so I can't say if it attracts more sales or not. But I can say is that I know its important to have some kind of internet presence in today's ever growing internet world.

Of course, it also depends I guess on who exactly you're writing to and for. Younger readers may be more likely to follow an author's blog rather then an adult. Not many adults I know actually read or even go look on their favorite author's website.

Personally, I follow lots of writer's blogs, but not a ton of authors' blogs. I could if I really wanted to, follow my favorite authors' blogs, but most likely, I'd rather check out their websites and then check back on those every once in a while. I'm not sure why exactly, maybe its cause I'm too lazy to actually look up and see if they have blogs?

Anyways, another thing I've gathered is what type of social media you use. I use this blog, The Writer's Help Society, and the facebook page to get in contact with my readers (although I'll say that I actually don't use the facebook as much as I could. I just don't use Facebook enough, so I never really post anything on it. If I did, I'd probably ramble in short little clips or post random articles from around the web.).

Another reason I decided to write this post was that I don't know how to use Twitter. I've heard its a wonderful tool for writers, but personally? I've no idea how to use it. I don't follow people on it and I don't even know what I would post. I've thought of joining, but it seems all so confusing. So basically, if any of you know how to use Twitter, would you mind sharing some tips or something?

I've also thought of using that new Pinterest site. Apparently its like a social media site, but with pictures. It sounds cool and I might consider using it so I can post pictures I find. Cause I really do love pictures. I think they're inspiring and I love finding ones for covers.

In terms of social media, how has it helped me? Personally, since starting this blog I've gotten one comment from an actual author on a book review I did on their book, and I've 40 wonderful people who don't mind listening to my rambles and forgiving me when I don't post as often as I'd like to. And even if I don't ever get published, I know that people actually like listening to what I say. And that I've met some fantastic people.

I'll stop rambling now. 
Okay, so basically, here are some tips and ideas of my own on using social media.

  1. Its about giving. I've actually heard this alot. If you want to attract a lot of followers, you should focus on giving people what they want to see. If you like more writing posts, then bloggers should focus on more of those. Contests help apparently too (but since I don't have anything to give away, I don't really do those). Basically, what can you get from me?
  2. It depends on what sites you use. Facebook, Myspace, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, etc. 
  3. It depends on how you use them (and how often).
  4. It depends on who you're writing too. If you're blogging or something more for teenagers, then adults probably won't be as likely to follow you. If you write for authors and writers, people who garden probably won't follow you.
And that's really all the helpful tips I got. But really, in my opinion? Don't make such a big deal out of it. Yes, I'm sure publishers and agents really do love it when you have large followings and you're all over the internet, but if that's not your thing? Don't sweat it. If you don't have a ton of followers, don't worry. It'll come with time and not everyone can generate over 10,000 followers.  

So, do you like using social media? Has it helped you in terms of writing or gaining a large platform? What sites do you use, how often, and which is your favorite?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Aliens are Coming! The Aliens are Coming!

Cults are bad.
An estimated 20,000 New Age believers say that a mountain in France is home to aliens who will rescue them from an apocalypse and have started to flock to the foot of Pic de Bugarach. The group, being referred to as "esoterics" believe that the world as we know it will end on December 21st, 2012. They also believe that the unique mountain is home to a race of aliens that will emerge to rescue the humans and transport them to a new civilization.
Pic de Bugarach has long been famous because rock samples taken from its peak are actually older than points measured at lower elevation. Scientists say that is because when the 1,230 meter mountain erupted its peak flipped upside down before crashing back down upon the mountain's base. The mountain is said to have played a role in inspiring everything from Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," to Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
The BBC says that the French government is concerned about mass suicides taking place and that there have been reports of strange rituals taking place there. Other rumors surrounding the mountain include that both Israel's Mossad and Nazis have both preformed "mysterious" exavation digs there. Over 100,000 people are expected to flock there before the Dec. 21 date.
"The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another," one of the New Age pilgrims going only by the name "Jean," tells the paper. "A new spiritual world. The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering. Bugarach is one of the major chakras of the earth, a place devoted to welcoming the energies of tomorrow."
Eerieely enough, this perticular group reminds this writer of a famous cult called the "Heaven's Gate" where its followers killed themselves, believing that aliens would also rescue them from danger. Personally, I think the whole thing is silly. The world is not going to end in December and aliens would not save you anyways. Remember those end-of-the-world prophecies last year? Yeah, those didn't happen. Somehow, I don't think this one will either. To read the whole thing and watch the video, click here.

One writer for Yahoo has his own opinion. 
I want to talk about this article for several reasons. Not only does the reader detect some serious sarcasm and maybe some anger going on, but the article states some interesting opinions about swearing. Perticularly the F-word.

According to this one article, Garrett High School in Indiana expelled Austin Carroll for using swear words in a tweet outside of school. While I would repeat the transcribed tweet for you here, I feel as if I shouldn't as I have clearly stated that no swearing or profanity shall pass on this blog. Even if the words are beeped/dotted/stared/blocked out. But since I feel as if this is a good article to make a point on, I'll link you to the article to decide for yourselves and I will rant here.

According to the article in one New York magazine, the F word is ""Its grammatical versatility cannot be topped: You can use it as noun, verb, adverb, adjective, or interjection, not to mention in any mood whatsoever, from exultation to rage.""

This is something that I find somewhat offensive. Why? Because I simply hate swearing and believe that not only does it make you sound stupid (when you use it all the time; after all, it is meant to be a strong word. If you use it all the time then it is not so special when you use it when something bad happens), but that it is unneeded except in strong cases. Its things like that that our society uses to justify the use of swear words in everyday, mundane conversations.

I actually took the liberty of looking up the word on and found that it can indeed be used as a verb (used with or without object), a noun, or an interjection. So by the way, according to, you cannot use it as an adverb or an adjective. Sorry to burst your bubble.

 In definition (this actually reminds me of the day when my sixth grade teacher made us all look up the word, "retard" because she wanted to prove a point about how we shouldn't call people that) it generally has something to do with sex or is used as an expression of strong disgust or anger.

In terms of mood? I believe that the word is not fit for "any mood whatsoever". Since when is it okay for me to use it when I'm happy? I can understand if something horrible happened, but in everyday conversations, swear words should not be needed.

Anyways, here's the article if you want to read it for yourselves. And feel free to disagree or agree with me.

Crazy Pilots too now?
A JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas was forced to fly to Texas after the pilot apparently went crazy, or "became incoherent and had to be subdued". Flight 191 which had departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:28 a.m., had to fly instead to Amarillo because of what the airline called "a medical situation involving the captain."
According to citing a federal official, the co-pilot became concerned and "convinced the captain to leave the cockpit and then locked him out." After the captain "started pounding on the cockpit door," he was subdued by an off-duty NYPD officer and an off-duty pilot. The plane landed at 11:11 a.m. in Amarillo, JetBlue said.
Apparently now the FBI is involved. And passengers said that the captian "raced inside an airliner screaming obscenities and shouting about threats from al-Qaida and bombs aboard the aircraft." "He "went to a restroom, then emerged, shouting, 'Iraq, al-Qaida, terrorism, we're all going down," the paper reported."

The pilot's name is unknown and was taken to a local medical facility. Maybe, he was just really excited about going to Las Vegas and got high early? Okay probably not, I don't think pilots are allowed to do that in between flights. You can read and watch the videos here.


Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Write in Elvish the Simple Way.

So I love languages. Especially made up ones or secret codes. So today I'm going to share the simple way to write in Elvish (Yes, LOTR style). The fantastic, simple way was provided from Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes.

This is from the site. I enlarged it so you can see it properly. 
So you'll notice on this picture that it looks fairly simple. It is. Once you learn the rules. As of now, I can read and write it pretty fluently. Sadly, there's no pronounceable key, so I don't know how to speak it. But note the differences between the K & W, M & V, G & Qu, and P & T. My cousin wrote those letters down wrong and got very confused. They're similar, so make sure to point out the subtle differences. 

One of the most important things is that the vowels go above or below the constants You can put the vowels above the letter they follow (Quenya style) or above the letter they precede (Sindarin style). Also note the R,  E, S, Y, and Z alternate forms. Those are important. 

 The site is primarily for writing names, but I figured you can use it for any word. Here's my lesson on it. Provided with pictures that I drew on my white board for you. And yes, I have my own mini white board. I am proud of it.  Here's my first example. Most of these will be in three steps. Sorry for how dark the pictures are, when I took them, I didn't realize how dark they were. If you have trouble seeing any, let me know and I'll try my best to fix them!

Here, I used my name. The first step, you see the name and some lines (in the later example these lines and symbols change to blue.). 2nd step, I place the letters above or below the base letters (the letters you see that fit into a line) and I seperate them into boxes. Later, combined letters will have their own box. And finally, the 3rd step is how it looks like in Elvish. The bottom right example is in Sindarin. But I usually write in the Quenya version.

Most of the time, vowels go above the consonants, but sometimes (in the case of Y and silent E), you put them below. This example uses a new symbol, a straight line uneath the consonant that indicates a double consonant. Use the line for any consonant. For this example, I also used the site's example.

I like using this name for examples because its kinda complicated. Step 1: The lines above the first two vowels indicates that they go up. But the capitilzed Is (sometimes I put lines) below indicates a "carrier". Carriers are for vowels when there's no consonant to put them above. Two vowels usually don't fit onto one consonant or carrier. Here we also see that the E and the Y above and below one consonant.

Here's I don't use a name. But as you can tell in Step 2, the CH is doubled or put together (The __ underneath indicates this) (a list of letters that can be combined is provided beneath this example). You can also see that the Os go above. The first O goes above the combined letters and the second one gets a carrier.

List of combined letters. 
In this list, make sure to note the differences between the RD vs the hard R (red: in the alaphabet [ITA]), TH vs the soft R (car: ITA), NT vs T (ITA), MP vs P (ITA), and the differences between CH and SH. The site notes:
The line above a consonant means that a nasal N or M precedes the consonant in question. In the next example, we use the nasal modifier and we see what to do with vowels when there's no consonant in the right place to put it above. 
Because I'm not sure what they mean by "a nasal N or M" I usually ignore the rule and just use the list above. I also provide the example they're talking about.

In this example, I use the one from the site because its a good one. Unlike the previous example, a line with two dots (._.) indicates a "put together" consonant. The A gets its own carrier and the Y goes below.

 Here I use another site example. The SH and the LD are combined. The E and O are shifted to the left and we leave the N alone.


This time I wrote you a short message with a translation. Underneath the double L of "Hello" we see the line to announce that there's a double consonant. In "Birdes" the E gets a carrier and I use the upside swirly S. I prefer to use the upside one vs the downside one because the downside often looks like a 6 when  I write it. But it doesn't matter which you use.

Here I wrote "I am teaching you how to write in Elvish". The blueish lines indicate where I put spaces, but I only did this on the white board so you could tell where the separate words are.

 And this I wrote on lined paper for you to see how it looks. I usually leave a space between lines so that I don't have to cram my vowels and other odd symbols. It reads: "I am writing this in Elvish. I usually write in Quenya."

Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes. also would like to advise its readers that there are many ways to write English words in Elvish. And that this is the one they use and they tried to make it as simple as possible. If you would like to learn the deep details or just learn more, check out Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes.. They provide more examples as well as the ones I did in more detail. They also give more sources to learn more. But when I tried them, they didn't work.

Happy writing! I hope this was useful.

Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes. 

(And for more names in Elvish, check out Quenya Lapseparma)

EDIT (4/20/2012)- I recently (today) found out how to write numbers and punctuation in elvish, so I've decided to share it here. But because I found them on a video, I wrote them up on my erase board.

So here's numbers. They kinda remind me of roman numerals. (By the way, the lines on 1, 2, & 3 over the little dot-ends are kinda too long, they can be closer together). 

And here's punctuation. I don't know if the comma/apostrophe dot is in the middle of a line or at the bottom but I think you could use it either way.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review- Another Faust

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish - only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.” 

But as the students claw their way up - reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty - the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most 
unforgivable sins. 

At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption. 

This book was really interesting. Its basically a book where the characters literally sold their souls to the devil. And the devil here preys on your biggest desire.

 Each teen in this story struggles with something and wants something above all else. And that desire is something they're willing to do whatever it takes to achieve. 
Belle wants to be the most beautiful girl in the world and loved. She goes so far as to completely change her looks. But it comes with a price, the more beautiful she is, the worse she smells. 
Her twin sister, Bice who wants to be alone and study learn all the languages she can. Her gift is that she can stop time. 
Then there's Victoria, the girl who wants to be the smartest and most talented of them all. Then there's Christian who wants to be the most athletic (he changed his mind at the last minute but there was no backing out as he already made his deal with the Governess), and then there's finally Valentin who's a gifted poet who can rewrite life to his advantage. 

The main characters I felt were very well done. They were my favorite part. They each had their faults and their wants. And the authors (brother and sister no less) did a wonderful job showing how far the characters were willing to go to achieve their goals. I must say though, that even they were well done, I didn't like any of them except for Bice, Christian, and sometimes Valentin. But although the main characters were well done, the other minor characters weren't very well developed. Sure they were good, but they didn't see totally realistic. 

Anyways, the beginning was very good. It showed part of the reasons behind the character's motives. And it showed how the devil likes to prey on innocent minds, just when you least expect it and when you're the most willing to make deals. I loved the flashbacks, they showed how Madame Vileroy preys on everyone. 

The story itself is kinda confusing at times and very creepy. Its also a dark book and doesn't have a lot of humor. It has some light spots, but for the most part, its a book that makes you think. It was very well written, although a little too dark for me. According to my cousin, Faust, is actually an old German legend. But I forgot what he said it was about. 

The biggest complain I have about this book was that the ending isn't very solid. Although it was a fantastic ending in that its open for interpretation and thinking, it doesn't really answer a lot of your questions. Bice, the most interesting character in my opinion, ends up revealing something I totally wasn't expecting. And that's why I think she never got a large role in the story, because in the end, she's the one who has the largest role. 

Will I read the other books? If I can find them at the library I might. I don't think I'd buy them though. There's a lot of great books out there that I've read, although most I'd rather find them at my library then buy them. 

On Goodreads: Another Faust
Website: Daniel & Dina Nayeri


Friday, March 23, 2012

Random Friday- How I got into writing.

So I wrote this for a personal narrative for creative writing. Its about how I got into writing and stuff. I decided to share it with you, cause I thought you might be interested in it. 

I first began "writing" when I was little. I would daydream up fanfiction of my favorite characters from games. Megaman, Jake/Spike from Ape Escape, and other characters. I would make them go on adventures I made up.

I remember when I was little I hated reading and writing. I remember thinking "how could anyone be an author?" I couldn't imagine writing for a living. But in third grade, I wrote three short stories about "Kate the Ham Ham". And then in fourth grade, I fell in love with reading and writing. I loved The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. I became an vicious reader and I played around with story ideas.

Moonstar was my first character. She was an Indian living in east France. My second story was about Destiny, a fairy who had a secret niece. I wrote on and off during fifth grade but I never wrote more than three pages.

I didn't write much in sixth grade since I was just settling into a new state and a new town. But in seventh grade, I finally sat down and decided to write  a book.

My "first" book was called The Secret Fairy. It was about these twins, Hazel and Holly. Hazel was the "secret" fairy because no one had ever seen her. She had to constantly be inside and under guard otherwise, Verriva would capture her for her powers. But the story wasn't very good, it didn't have much of a plot and the characters were undeveloped. I had so many characters and I just threw in whatever I wished. It wasn't very good.

After forty pages, I realized that this story was not good. So I instead wrote about Hazel and Holly's parents- Anastasia and Aaron. Anastasia was a human and Aaron was a Fairy. I wondered, why would a human and a fairy marry?

So I sat down on the Apirl spring break and started writing. This first version was called The Angel's Dream. I began to create this long and complex story. Also with many characters and subplots. I thought it was amazing.

But while I was writing this, I discovered one August, a writing site called Inkpop. Anyways, while I was on the site, I changed the name of The Angel's Dream to The High Prince. After about three years of working on the story, getting to know my characters, sharing ideas and the story with my cousin, and just overall learning about the world my characters lived in, I finally finsihed the first part of their story at over 82,000 words. That was in January 2011.

So like most authors and other intelligent writing people advise, I took time off from the first draft. In February I had this amazing dream. From this dream steamed a whole new novel in a whole different world. And so I began Night Lies, starring seventeen-year-old Xander Fletcher, his thirteen-year-old sister Faith, and Xander's friend, seventeen-year-old Lieu Sparrow. Currently, this novel is over 55,000 words.

Night Lies is a science fiction thriller. It involves mystery, action, and a little bit of romance. Its a novel that deep imerses the reader into a world many, many years into the future.

Then, in May of 2011, I began another novel, The Cursing. I had gotten the idea from a picture of Angkor Wat and I knew I had to have a novel set there. But I needed characters. And so I took the fabled King Oberon and Queen Tatiana- the Fearie King and Queen- and gave them their own story and twist.

The novel has taken many cultural points from the Aztecs, the Incas, the Mayans, the Old Norse, the Celts, and the Indians (of India). During the course of the novel, Tatiana must decide if true love and freedom is worth risking the Curse or if staying locked up in the Temple for the rest of her life is the right choice.

For me, the novel is really deep and explores many issues. Its exciting and I hope that one day it will be able to help people who are struggling with things that Tatiana goes through. As of now, The Cursing, is at over 75,000 words and counting. I'm just over halfway through. It is dark fantasy mixed with romance and mystery.

Now labeled, The Prophecy,( before it was The High Prince)  the story is currently being rewritten as the second draft. It stems three novels and has spun over eight other novels from it. Most are from other minor or secondary characters. These include The Sayari (12k), The Daughter of the Sun, Tainted Love, Nonexistent, The Blessing, The Cursing, Dawn of Twilight, The Forgotten, and The Secrets of Love. Each story starting from The Cursing all the way up to The Secrets of Love tell about the world before The Prophecy starts. And how the whole Angelic Scrolls series came to be.

But besides the novels, I have many more stories planned. Not all of them will be publishable, as many authors write at least six or five novels before they're ever actually published. Banished, Betrayal, Deadly and Missing, Wayru, and Chill, Girl, Chill are several of my other novels planned. Currently, I also write many poems and I have one short story, a horror called In a Tree.

I have currently entered one writing contest, joined a writer's group, started two blogs, joined two official online writing communities, and been published in the my school's Christmas devotions booklet.

From here, I hope someday to publish on of my works. I plan to take the traditional route- find an agent, an editor, and then a publisher. But while I'm trying to do that, I plan to support myself by being a graphic designer or maybe a historian, or something else. Not quite sure yet.

For me, writing is something that can help people. Writing can help improve moods and give people inspiration. Books are very fun and not only that, but they help teach people and help them through difficult things. For me, writing is a way I can make a difference.

I always feel so relieved when I sit down and write something. I feel much more relaxed and happy after I've finally written down whatever my characters want me too. Because if I don't, I can't stop listening and watching their scenes until I put them down. After that, it fades away.

My writing strengths is world building and characters. People often comment how realistic my worlds and charaters seem. In my head, everything plays out like a movie, so I can vividly decribe what I'm seeing.

But my weaknesses is telling vs showing and grammar. I don't have the best grammar or spelling and I'm often unsure of what is proper.

Writing is exciting to me. This is just something so cool about creating stories. But I can decide what happens and although I can decide that, its often my characters that suffer when I make them do something that's not right. And its cool because everytime I plot or daydream of the story, something new appears to me and that's exciting. Finding out something new about the world and the characters that I usually didn't know.

Because I work on several novels at once and often have other stories waiting to be writing, I rarely get writer's block. Writer's block is where its you vs the page and often the page wins. But I don't get writer's block a lot because I always have something I need to work on.

So there you go. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In The News- Would You share your FB password with your boss?

Man guys, I'm really sorry about the lack of posts this month. Only 9. That's a record low for me. I've been busier this month and ever. Last night I did these really big posters for a history project and it took me all night. Whew! Glad that's over though!

Would you share your Facebook with your boss?

Like Justin Bassett, many people are suddenly being asked to let their job interviewers log into their facebook accounts with their password and usernames. These days, where social media often reveals information that employers want to know, these companies are turning to more drastic measures.

Sites such as Facebook, allow users to put their profile on private and so that people who aren't friends with them can't see their private info. So companies are now demanding to be able to either log in themselves, or ask the interviewee to log in during the meeting. Companies also use third party apps to view social media sites.

But unlike Justin Bassett, some people can't afford to say no. For some, that job puts food on the table, like with Robert Collins.
"To me, that's still invasive. I can appreciate the desire to learn more about the applicant, but it's still a violation of people's personal privacy," said Collins, whose case inspired Maryland's legislation.
Companies also ask applicants to friend other people in the company or after employed, sign non-disparagement agreements assuring that the employees won't talk bad about their employer on social media. But asking for passwords is better known in public agencies, especially in areas like law enforcement.

Such companies often look for behavior that could damage a company's reputation. And job seekers should also be aware of what is on their profiles. It is advised to always assume that your profile wil be looked at.
"It's akin to requiring someone's house keys," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it "an egregious privacy violation."
To read the full article, click here. 

Hunger Games recipes?
Yes you read that right. I recently discovered this article stating how to make food from the Hunger Games. You can see them here.

Bans on Skinny Models.

The long debated issue is being settled in Israel. Lawmakers there are attempting to ban ultrathin models.

On Monday, a law was passed that requires both male and female models in Israel to have a healthy "body mass index (or BMI, a measure of weight proportionate to height), no less than 18.5—a standard used by the World Health Organization—or a note from a doctor saying they are not underweight before they can be hired for a modeling job."

Models can no longer look underweight can ads must now state if they use photoshop or a similar program if they altered the images to make the model look skinner. Lawmakers are hoping that these measures will encourage a healthy body image and to help fight eating disorders.
According to a study cited by the Associated Press, 2 percent of girls aged 14 to 18 in Israel have eating disorders.
"Beautiful is not underweight," Rachel Adato, one of the lawmakers who voted for the bill, told Reuters. "Beautiful should not be anorexic."
Contratry to popular opinion, I myself am not underweight. I'm just super short and skinny. Weighing less than 100 lbs and shorter than your average girl, I still have a healthy weight. Although, I'll admit, you can see my ribs if I lift my arms above my head. When I was younger, my doctor told me to eat ice cream every night. I never did. I hated bedtime snacks. But in any case, I could never be a model, so this doesn't affect me. Modeling agencies would not hire someone as short as me. Anyways, to read the full article, click here.

Short Sport?
Jen Arnold and Bill Klein, stars of the hit TLC reality show, "The Little Couple," are trying to get the message out that dwarf tossing is NOT a sport.
"It's basically, where in a bar, if you are partaking of libations, adult beverages, a little person agrees to put a hat on them, a helmet for safety and some padding and they are thrown as far as they possibly can just because they are a little person. As you can imagine, that's not a very safe activity."
Despite being incredibly demeaning and wrong, State Rep. Ritch Workman, a Republican from Melbourne, Florida wants to repeal the law that made this illegal in the state of Florida. 
And for a person who is exteremely short herself (although is not a dwarf) and who actually has dwarfs in her extended family (yes, there's two! The father married into the extended family and his son is short like him. For Halloween one year, they dressed as leprechauns. It was funny, but they're cool.), I consider this offensive. is this considered a sport?

To read more and watch the videos, click right here.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why You Should Cover It!

One of the things I love the most about modern books are the covers. Especially the really pretty ones. Most of the books at my school are really old and don't have covers or pictures on them. Few do. And then its only a small picture. I also love designing them myself. As do many people.

The Short History of Book Covers
Books covers do in fact have a short history. Before the 19th century, books were hand-bound and were covered using gold, silver, or probably leather.

Before the 1820s, books were generally sold without a cover-- just a stack of printed pages. To have one put on was very expensive although well worth it since it would help preserve the book. But by the 1820s, many publishers were selling books pre-bound with covers that were stiffened with a board of some type and covered with cloth or paper. The title and sometimes a block picture could be stamped on the cover.

Because the illustrations were rather basic, they weren't very detailed or useful in deciding what books were about. But then lithographic printing became used and multi-color book covers were available. Then half-tone illustration made it even easier.

In the 1830s, dust jackets were added to protect covers. And these ones were wrapped all the way around and then sealed in place with wax. But during the second half of the century, the current design was adopted.  But because these were mostly thrown away, they are very valuable today.

After 1900, the production of book covers became more practical, economical, and marketing became important. Some of the first modern cover designs were made in the 1920s. People such as  Alexandr Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and  Aubrey Beardsley were highly influential regarding early book cover designs.
Although dust jackets also became more decorative, it wasn't until the 1950s that people began to keep them as an important part of books.

Today, book covers are one of the most important parts of a book. They can help give hints as to the style, genre, and subject of the book. But it also differs from country to country as people's tastes in different places changes.

*Tips on designing your own cover. 

  1. Look at covers you love and decide what they did that caught your attention. What about the book cover do you love? Can you use those same things in your cover?
  2. Decide the main point of the story. Then find or capture a picture that best captures that main point or the idea you want to convey. 
  3. Choose a good font for the title and author name. Slight variations in different fonts, shapes, and sizes can help with the over all cover. If you're having trouble seeing a font, use a border or a background for it. Remember that where you place titles and fonts is important. 
    1. Also note that you're looking for something that not only conveys what you want, but something that is easy to read. Don't use to small or too big sizes. 
    2. I've heard that using fonts where the letters are either all capitals or are all the same size looks professional. 
  4. Play around with colors and color themes. Remember that your colors of your titles and your picture should be different. You want something that will stand out. But also remember that the colors should look good together as well as conveying whatever you want. 
  5. Don't be afraid to play around with effects or something of the sort. Making a picture black or white can be cool. They don't always have to be full color. 
* I am in no way, an expert. Yes, I make my own covers, and these are some simple ideas. I am planning to be a graphic designer and I hope to one day make my own covers professionally. 
** Make sure that whatever picture you're using isn't copyrighted. Its best to use a picture that you took. (Although many covers I've seen are copyrighted, but the people who "designed" the cover makes sure that you know that they didn't take that picture themselves. Or you could use one of those non-copyrighted/stock photos. I think those work too. In any case: give the photographer or whoever's picture it is, credit. 

What I think about covers...
I don't know about you, but I'm getting bored of covers where the girl is in a dress. Its so lame these days! I'm  not saying they don't look good- they do- but its getting boring.

For me, I hate covers that that only one basic color to it. Like Legacies in which the whole cover has this weird blue tint to it. And it makes the girl look like she's sick or something. Other covers with a whole blue theme is the Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong. Those don't look too bad, but its still annoying.

Another thing. The covers where its just one person's face or half of their face. That bugs me too.

Now I love covers where it has cool fonts or something. Like the XVI series by Julia Karr. Those are cool covers cause the covers is the titles. One of my favorite covers of all time is Eona by Allison Goodman. It just looks so epic. Plus, the girl isn't in a dress!

I could go on, but I'll leave you with that.

So, what do you love or not love about covers? Do covers ever sway your choice in buying books? What are some of your favorites? Why? What aren't and why?

Because I feel like I could add so much more about covers, what are some things that you would like to see me add to this discussion about covers? I'll add your ideas into a second post about it Saturday or next Thursday. Thanks!

Ehow- History of book covers 

Ehow- Designing book covers.
Guardian- The history and more in depth review of book covers
Quezi- History of Book Covers
Wikipedia- Book Cover


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing Prompt- Schooling around.

School is often boring, yet exciting. Its the place where for most of our younger years, where we end up learning and growing into the people we'll be for the rest of our lives.

So in tonight's prompt, let's explore how our characters would handle being in school. Would they go to a private school, a public school, an online school, or would they be home-schooled. Would they like big or small classes? What would be their favorite class? What about their least favorite? Favorite teacher? Least favorite?

What kinda of things would happen around them? Would they join sports or clubs? What kind of people would they hang out with? Would they date? Would they be trouble makers? What about lunch?

Write a short story or a scene where you character is at school and deals with these questions and more.  If you'd like, post part of it here or write a brief description of what it would be like. Would you like to go to school with your character? Why or why not? Would you even be friends with them?


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In which we prove that the world is going insane.

No more printed encyclopedias?
The Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. said on Tuesday that it will stop its publishing of printed editions of its encyclopedias for the first time since they were first published more than 200 years ago in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1768. Although they won't be avaible after the current ones run out, the Chicago company will still offer ditigal versions. Apparently the end of the printed 32 volume-set has been on the minds of many officals for a long time now.
"This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google," Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz said. "This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people."The top year for the printed encyclopedia was 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold, Cauz said. That number fell to 40,000 just six years later in 1996, he said. The company started exploring digital publishing the 1970s. The first CD-ROM version was published in 1989 and a version went online in 1994.The final hardcover encyclopedia set is available for sale at Britannica's website for $1,395.
The company will make the contents of its website for free for one week starting Tuesday. The online versions have more than 100 million vistiors around the world.
"A printed encyclopedia is obsolete the minute that you print it," Cauz said. "Whereas our online edition is updated continuously."
Britannica has thousands of experts contributors from around the world, including Nobel laureates and world leaders such as former President Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It also has a staff of more than 100 editors.
You can read more here.

Tallest Man finally stops growing. 
Obviously, the really tall guy.
Sultan Kosen of Turkey is the tallest living person according to Guinness Book of World Records. Kosen, 29, is 8 feet, 3 inches tall, and now might live longer because the University of Virgina Medical Center have been able to help him stop growing. Dr. Jason Sheehan preformed surgery in 2010 on Kosen's pituitary gland.
Kosen's condition is known as acromegaly, or in layman's terms, gigantism, caused when a pituitary tumor causes release of excessive growth hormone. Unusual height in itself does not translate to an automatic link with acromegaly. Heredity also is a factor. None of the famous tall basketball players has been linked to gigantism...Excessive size in the past has led to premature death. Robert Wadlow of Alton, Ill., regarded as the tallest man in recorded history at 8 feet, 11 inches, was 22 years old when he died in 1940.
Kosen walks with the aid of crutches because his condition places a lot of stress on his knees. In 2009 he was able to tour the world thanks to Guinness Book of World Records and appeared on NBC's "Today Show".  Although he had a diffictult childhood, his new medical assistance has given him a better positive outlook. You can read more here.

Band ends up doing more harm than good. 
In Dunkerton, Iowa, high schools students got a anti-gay and anti-abortion rant from the Christian rap/hard rock band "Junkyard Prophet" instead of a anti-bullying message. According to one news source, after the band played they seperated the girls, boys, and teachers into three groups.
 "They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins," said Jennifer Littlefield, whose 16-year-old daughter, Alivia called her in tears after the event. Reportedly, one of the band members led the girls in a chant pledging purity and encouraged them to be submissive to their husbands after marriage. 
The boys were shown images of musicians who died of drug overdoses. A video of the event shows a band member criticizing Elton John and Lady Gaga for encouraging "sexual deviancy" and supporting laws outlawing homosexuality."They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42," Littlefield adds. "It just blows me away that no one stopped this." According to student witnesses, kids who walked out were shouted at and ridiculed. 
Although the Superintendent, Jim Stanton, addressed the students about the band's "anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol" message, he also expressed that what the band told the students does not line up with the beliefs of the Dunkerton Community Schools. A day afterwards, the students signed a petition asking that Junkyard Prophet be banned from making such presentations in the future. Although the band wanted to come back and explain their message, no one is letting them.

For me, even though I am anti-abortion (although I agree that it is ultimately the mother's choice, I also think that abortions should only be done in the case where it threatens the mother's life) I do not agree with many of the things this band reportedly said. As a Christian I am horrified of some of the things they said. The thing about mud on dresses if you're not a virgin when you're married is ridiclous. Although I strongly promote abstience, that statement is just stupid. And the chant whatever-it-was about being submissive to your husband is just also plain stupid. While we should respect and obey our husbands (as the Bible clearly states), the Bible also says that husbands should in turn be respectful and stuff to their wives.

And if you're gay, that does not mean you're going to die when you're 42. Where in the world (or the Bible) did they get that? Jeez. Although the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, no where does it say that! I support Christian bands, but I support ones that get their faith from the Bible and the ones that speak the saving message of the Gospel. Obviously, this band doesn't get their beliefs straight from the Bible. They sound more like a extremist Christian band or something.

You can read the whole thing here.

Coach goes overboard and bites ear off fellow coach. 
An assistant coach of a Massachusetts middle school basketball team attacked the coach of the opposite team when they beat his team.

According to Springfield, Mass., news network WWLP, 34-year-old Timothy Forbes was charged with mayhem, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct on Monday in Springfield District Court after turning himself in to police. The charges follow Forbes' attack on an unnamed fellow middle school basketball coach at Springfield (Mass.) Holy Name School following his Springfield Heat's loss to the Sprinfield Migs in the Springfield Catholic Youth Organization middle school basketball finals.

According to multiple sources, the enraged coach started a fight with the other coach. In the middle of that fight, Forbes bit the coach's ear and removed part of it. The 34-year-old Springfield resident was taken to the Baystate Medical Center and had his ear reattached.

While Forbes was named as a coach in the Heat organization by Springfield police, Heat officials themselves denied that the man was a coach for the team and argued that he was not on the organization's roster.

All I can say is this: ITS JUST A GAME. And that its a middle school game. Those kids should be more concerned with having fun rather then winning. And where in the world did good sportmanship go? I understand being mad, but this? This is insane! Why would you even try to bite someone's ear off? That's weird and gross! You can read the whole thing here.


Monday, March 12, 2012

The US Presidents were strange people! (Part 4)

Here's part four...

  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)- He and his wife, Eleanor, were fifth cousins once removed. Her uncle was Theodore Roosevelt. But besides that, FDR was also related to George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, William Howard Taft, and even Winston Churchill (seventh cousin once removed).
  2. Harry S Truman (1945-1953)- Because the S in his name doesn't stand for anything, there is no period. It was a compromise because his parents couldn't decide between Solomon or Shippe. 
  3. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)- His nickname "Ike" doesn't actually have anything to do with his own name. It was a nickname given to him and his brothers. 
  4. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)- He wrote a book called Why England Slept. Sadly, it was poorly written but it sold surprisingly well...if you count the fact that his dad brought 30,000 copies...
  5. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)- Everyone in his family had the same initials- LBJ. His wife, Lady Bird, and their two daughters, Lynda Bird and Luci Baines.
  6. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)- Elvis Presley collected sheriffs badges and wanted a federal narcotics badge. So he brought the president a gold-plated .45 caliber pistol in exchange.
  7. Gerald Ford (1973-1977)- He remains the only president to work as a model.
  8. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)- He remains to be the only president to have reported an UFO sighting. 
  9. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)- In 1940, the University of California voted this president to have the "Most nearly perfect male figure."
  10. George Bush (1989-1993)- Apparently once at a state dinner in Japan in 1992, he threw up on the Japanese Prime Minister. Bushusuru- "to do the Bush thing"- is slang for vomiting. 
  11. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)- As a child, he was a gift saxophone player, even winning contests, and started his own jazz bands.
  12. George W. Bush (2001-2009)- The first president to have a MBA. 
  13. Barack Obama- Meh, think whatever you'd like. 
And there it is for the interesting facts about US Presidents. You can find even more fun facts by checking out The Secret Lives of the US Presidents by Cormac O'Brien.


                      Wednesday, March 7, 2012

                      Writing Prompt- Myths and Legends

                      So there's a whole treasure trove of myths and legends out there just waiting for someone to either rewrite or turn it into a full fledged story. So tonight, I'm turning to my Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures for some ideas.

                      Busse- According to medieval European lore, this creature had a body like that of a bull but it had antlers and the head of a stag. It could change colors and skillfully camouflaging its self from its hunters.

                      Calopus- Once again from medieval Europe, this was a horned wolf who had spines on its head and body like a porcupine. It often became tangled in undergrowth and therefore, unwary travellers could get away safely.

                      Ch'ang O- From Chinese myths, this creature was the king of snakes. He could change his size from tiny to huge in order to compete with his enemies. He was finally killed at the celestial battle of Mu which was fought between the gods and immortals.

                      Delgeth- From the Navajo people of North America, this carnivorous antelope  ( one of the evil creatures known as the Anaye) who during the time when men and women lived apart, it terrorized people until Nezgani and Thobadzistshini finally killed it and other creatures.

                      Dobharchu- (aka Dorraghow; or the King of the Lakes) The father of all otters in Ireland. He is powerful enough to break rocks and tunnel very fast into the earth. He is described as 6-8 ft from head to tail with short white fur and a dark-brown cross on his back. The otter was considered sacred among the Celts (for the margins of water was considered the gates to the Otherworld). Although ferocious and terrifying, he was held in the highest respect.

                      Eale- (Aka Yale) A composite animal from India. Black or twany, the size of a hippo, and had an elephant's tail and a boar's jaws. He had two swiveling horns which enabled him to fight opponents from all directions.

                      Kaukas- From Lithuania, this dragon is winged with a fiery tail. It often attaches itself to families and brings them good luck.

                      Ngarara- According to Maori legend, she was an atua or divine being. She was a beautiful woman with a long tail like a mermaid. When she wished, she could retract her tail and take on human legs. She may also have been a water-lizard woman with amphibious tendencies.

                      Tanuki- A badger with a mischievous spirit from Japanese folklore. Sometimes he takes on human shape and other times, he appears as a bottle of saki.

                      To see more, check out The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John & Caitlin Matthews.

                      So what kind of stories have you seen from myths? What is your favorite myth?


                      Monday, March 5, 2012

                      US Presidents were Strange People (Part 3)

                      So today we'll take another look at ten of the US presidents and look at some of their weird quirks. 

                      Woodrow Wilson

                      1. Arthur, Chester Alan (1881-1885)- The first president to need a full time valet. He is rumored to have over eighty pairs of pants. 
                      2. Cleveland, Grover (1885-1889)- Not only does he remain to be the only president to personally hang someone, but he married his adopted daughter. His friend, Oscar Folsom, died when his daughter, Frances, was only 11. President Cleveland became her legal guardian. Cleveland was 27 when Frances was born and married her when she was 21. They had a daughter named Ruth who became so popular that the candy bar, Baby Ruth, was named after her. 
                      3. Harrison, Benjamin (1889-1893)- He was the last president to have a beard. 
                      4. McKinley, William (1897-1901)- He was the last president to have served in the civil war and the first to have his inaugural put on film. 
                      5. Roosevelt, Theodore (1901-1909)- On 1884, both his  first wife and his mother died. He never mentioned Alice (his first wife) again and his autobiography doesn't even mention her. He was also blind in the left eye, an injury he received while boxing. 
                      6. Taft, William Howard (1909-1913)- He was the first president to have cars as his primary choice of getting around. 
                      7. Wilson, Woodrow (1913-1921)- He remains the only president to be buried in Washington DC-inside the National Cathedral. 
                      8. Harding, Warren Gamaliel (1921-1923)- He loved playing poker and once lost a collection of priceless White House china. 
                      9. Coolidge, Calvin (1923-1929)- He slept at least ten hours a day and loved riding on an electric horse for exercise. 
                      10. Hoover, Herbert Clark (1929-1933)- He didn't like having servants around. A bell would ring to let servants know to hide when the president was coming near. 
                      The Secret Lives of US Presidents by Cormac O'Brien


                                      Saturday, March 3, 2012

                                      R.I.P Inkpop.

                                      So I'm finally getting to this. Yes, this will be a ranting post. Partly. I don't know. Edit: I didn't realize when I was writing this how long it was, but this post is long. If you don't want to read it all, that's okay, I was venting for the most part.

                                      For those of you who have no idea what Inkpop was, here's a brief explanation: it was a writing site.

                                      Even longer explanation: It was a writing site aimed at teenagers and young adults where you could post your work, get feedback, and talk about writing or whatever.

                                      And a detailed explanation: In 2009 HarperCollins, a big publishing house, started a writing site for young adults. Technically, anyone over 13 could join, but most of the people on there was in their teens or in their twenties. On Inkpop you could submit books, short stories, and poetry in a variety of genres. These projects could be read and critiqued by other members. You could not copy and paste the stories and you could write as long critiques as you liked. If you really enjoyed a project, or if you were one of those people who picked a project because someone told you to or because you were in a pick swap, you could pick a project. That project would then rise in the ranks. Depending on your trendsetting rank (if you picked projects that were popular, your rank would increase) that book would get so many points. If you got a lot of picks, you could eventually get into the Top 5.

                                      Once in the Top 5, your project had to stay there for a month. After a month, HC (as HarperCollins will be referred to from now on in this post) would have one of their profession editors look over your project and critique it. You even had a chance to get published. But over the course of two-three years, HC only published two books out of tens of thousands projects. The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgens.

                                      Back in 2010, HC started telling Inkies (or Inkpoppers. Whichever term you prefer using for a member of Inkpop) that they'd be changing the site. But they ended up pushing the date back further and further. Eventually, they shut down Inkpop in June of 2011 for three days to make changes. Now there was three categories for the Top 5 (poetry, short stories, and books). Instead of the calming green and gray, the color scheme changed to bright orange and blue. And there was many other changes that I didn't like and some I did. Some people really didn't like these changes and either quit or just slowly became inactive.

                                      The Selling of Inkpop...
                                      Then six months later, HC decided that their "online experiment" wasn't worth it anymore. All those changes made, all the projects, and everything else in the site just wasn't worth the trouble anymore. Whatever their reasons for selling isn't clear, but one of the major reasons is money.
                                       HarperCollins officially launched in January 2010 (It was actually 2009), saying it “represents the next step in the company’s overall digital strategy designed to build and expand its direct-to-consumer business. Inkpop will be the anchor of HarperCollins’s ongoing teen strategy.”
                                       Now, HarperCollins Children’s publisher Susan Katz tells the WSJ that strategy hasn’t worked as planned: “Initially we thought, writers are great readers, so we’ll help people with their writing and benefit from that community. But we’re really a business focused on readers, and there are many more readers out there than there are writers.”
                                      According to one of the articles I posted earlier this week about it, HC apparently doesn't think that writers are important enough. Yes, its the readers that  make them money, but who writes the books that HC makes money off of? Oh I don't know...writers maybe? Without writers there would be no books, without books there would be no HC. Simple, no? But apparently having a writing community wasn't doing whatever HC expected it to do.

                                      I wasn't one of the people who saw the shutdown coming. According to other Inkies, a month ago the sign up button disappeared and the reviews from the editors had been coming in late. So when we all found out about it Sunday, I was shocked. At first I thought it was just someone trying to get attention, but when it kept getting replies, I decided to check it out. And true enough, it was real.

                                      Us Inkies actually found out about it from the news. Yes, HC didn't even bother telling us until Monday. And then they basically said, "guys, this has been nice, but we're selling the site. Oh and by the way, you have three days before the site shutdowns."

                                      Yeah. Three days.

                                      Starting Sunday, everyone freaked out. Projects and profiles were deleted, people collected ways to keep in contact and many fled to other sites where they could wait with grief. It was chaos. A Facebook group was started, Inkies on Goodreads banded together, two independent sites were made, and over 100 Inkies fled to Wattpad.

                                      People were, to say the least, were shocked and pissed. Many sent out angry emails (although some were well thought out) and maybe reason that's why HC waited so long to tell us. In return, Inkies received generic copy and paste emails. We obviously weren't getting any help from HC.

                                      Like how this article that I quoted eailer states:
                                      On Inkpop’s forums, users expressed concern about the sale. In a thread with 405 comments, one user wrote, “What’s stupid is that HC and Inkpop didn’t deem it worthy to tell US first and not the stupid Web . . . THANKS SO MUCH HAPERCOLLINS.” Another wrote, “HC, you have hosted the future of writing on Inkpop. The NYT best-sellers and the next Tolkiens and J.K. Rowlings, and you have let them down.”
                                      Or this one where the author takes comments off of the forum (and by the way the title made me laugh. He is wrong though. There were guys on Inkpop even though 95% of the people on the site were girls.),
                                      Starting my ban on all HarperCollins books today. Not because you are selling inkpop BUT because you didn’t have the decency to give the users notice. 3 days? Really? Lucky I logged in. I can go for quite a while without logging in. I won’t be going to Figment. I don’t think many people will. What an awful investment for Figment. Sincerely hope you are happy. 
                                       I cried over the closing of a website today. Let me repeat myself. I CRIED MY EYES OUT BECAUSE INKPOP IS SHUTTING DOWN! My own family can’t deal with me right now because I’m an emotional mess.
                                       You guys couldn’t have told us in advance, not 2 frigging days before this?!
                                      What about those of us who are supposed to get HarperCollins reviews? I heard that the December projects haven’t even gotten theirs. And will Figment be adding a copy/paste disabler? Because I removed my work from their website for a reason. 
                                      Yeah, there were some pissed of people.

                                      How Figment ties into all this.
                                      Inkpop, which apparently had over 95,000 members compared to Figment's 100,000+ members (although I suspect most of those 95k only went on a couple of times or weren't very active), merged with Figment on 3/1/2012. Our accounts and everything was saved (without our knowledge as I found out Thursday after I thought I deleted everything) and if we wanted to see our profiles we had to active them.
                                      Figment will “go out of our way to welcome everyone and message them appropriately.”
                                      Initially, Figment has seemed very welcoming of us. Even offering to put a copy and paste lock onto their site so we wouldn't have to worry about anyone coping our work. But some Figgies (Figment members) have been very unkind to us. (Not all mind you, but there seems to have been much complaining). Apparently there has been a history of trolling between Inkpop and Figment and some Figgies had the idea that we were stuck up (which isn't true). They complained that we were complaining too much (I think its justified, after all, we were the ones who just got kicked off our site without so much of a sorry), that our usernames were weird because most of us didn't use our real names (does it really matter that much?), and and various other things. To me, Figment has this weird Christmas vibe to it, reminded me too much of snowflakes and peppermint.

                                      It wasn't just a site...
                                      I was upset when it finally closed. Actually, I was really upset about it Sunday and Monday and Wednesday when I was reading over the goodbye threads. But most of the time, I was just livid.

                                      You may be wondering why I was so livid and upset over it. Well it wasn't just a site to me and lots of other members. We were a community. We weren't just writers trying to better our work, we were friends.

                                      Anyways, I actually joined Inkpop back in August 2010 on impulse. My pen pal has suggested that I join Teenink with her, but I missed read it wrong and joined Inkpop instead. Back then, I only had one project The High Prince (now The Prophecy) which I had been working on for several years. I thought it was amazing. But then, eventually I learned it wasn't.

                                      Anyways, not only did my writing improve tons but I learned many other things. I learned about the publishing industry, I learned about blogs (I had never really read one before I joined), and I learned about music, books, authors, and tons of other stuff. Before Inkpop I didn't know that you were suppose to end dialogue with a comma unless you weren't tagging it or were putting a exclamation point or question mark.

                                      In fact, I eventually was introduced into the blogging-sphere enough that I decided to start my own. Yes I remember asking other Inkies what to name this blog. The title, Birds of a Writer,  was suggested and I went with it.

                                      Most importantly, I learned that there was actually people out there who are just as passionate about writing as I am. Finally, I found people who I could ramble onto about writing and they would know what I was talking about. They would give me honest feedback. But not only that, these were people I became friends with. Sure, I don't know any of them in real life, but I can be internet friends with people (granted, I try give away as little personal info as possible).

                                      I have friends in real life (you know who you are) who I can talk to for hours, but before I've never met so many people I could talk to for hours at once. When I couldn't find anyone to talk to or I was bored, I went online and talked. These people listened to my rants, understood what I was trying to say, and actually liked me. They gave me a place to vent and get advice. There were people on there who thought I had good ideas and enjoyed talking to me.

                                      We had laughs together. I've had nights on there where I've couldn't stop laughing. I've had heartfelt conversations with some people, conversations and messages that have lasted for weeks, and times spent rambling on about something for long periods of time (once on the Inosamic threads, we talked for a long time about toothpaste and cough-drops).

                                      I remember last year during February there was a day where there was this HUGE glitch. Every time you clicked on something you would get switched to a different person. It was chaos, and people were panicking. Some people were afraid that people would mess with their projects and managed to warn people about it. In the end of the Great Glitch, HC had to shutdown the site to figure it out. And when Inkpop came online, nine people found out their projects were missing. I was one of them, all three of mine disappearing. We were able to restore some of them. But mine and a couple other people's weren't. So we banded together and helped each other out. When I posted my projects again, people picked them so that they rose back in the ranks to where they had been before. It was so nice to see each other helping out another Inkie.

                                      When Inkpop announced that we were shutting down, it wasn't just the critiques I was worried about, but it was the people. I was worried that I'd never be able to talk to any of these fantastic people again. So I'm happy I joined Wattpad with the others who did. I surprised myself actually, I never thought that I could care so much about a site and people I've never met in real life.

                                      Inkpop in a way, changed me. I feel more knowledge about then before, I feel like I've changed since the naive little girl I was two years ago. I will never forget Inkpop and the people I've met on there. I love everything that came with the site. We've argued, we've fought, and we've debated. But in the end, we came out stronger. Our community still held even though the site shut down. Sure some I'm sure dropped off, and others joined other sites and places, but for the most part, we stuck together.

                                      So now what?
                                      Will I be joining Figment like HC wanted us to? No, I already decided that. I requested to have my profile deleted for good this time. One of the reasons that I won't is because there's no copy/paste lock. Maybe when they put one up, I might consider, but until then, I won't even consider it. Besides that, I don't like the overall feel of the site. There's something about it that screams childish to me.

                                      So I've joined Wattpad. Wattpad has many new features. Besides having over 100k members and that its not aimed at teens, it has a copy/paste lock, a bunch of forums and threads, an instant chat, a messaging thing where if you hit the reply button it actually works, and you can customize your profile. One of the things that I don't like is that the site has word count limits on pretty much every thing. And not a lot of people give good critiques or appreciate it when you critique their work (like actually do it. Not just "oh this is good" but you nit-pick it apart). But that's okay, I can deal with that.

                                      I haven't met many Wattpaders yet and I haven't posted any projects up yet. I might post some when I get a better feel of the place. But I'm still adjusting. I've started exploring projects and how the critiquing works. Its confusing but cool.

                                      Will this blog change at all. No of course not. What happens on my online writing sites does not affect this blog (well this week I was all confused and angry so I didn't post much. But I'll post more next week.).

                                      One final thing. 
                                      I'm proud to say that I was a member of Inkpop. Not because of anything that HC did, but because of the people on it. It was the people that made the site great and without them it wouldn't have been so good. I will always consider myself an Inkie in terms of writing sites. Even though I've joined Wattpad, I'm still an Inkie at heart. I still stand up for what the site stood for (in my mind) great writing, improving your writing, having fun, and building a community of great writers and friends.

                                      One day I will be published and one day lots of these Inkies will be published too. I expect them too. I expect to see their books on the shelves and buy them. These writers aren't just writers, we're the future of the publishing world. And HC lost the respect of many of these future published writers. Many of them have already vowed that if they can, do never be published by HC or but their books again (a little extreme, but what can you say?)

                                      I will miss Inkpop, but as another Inkie pointed out- we're writers. We take change and we thrive because of it. Writers continue writing in the good and bad times. And often, its the stuff that hurts that often shows us what we're made of. This is a road-bump, but a road-bump that will cause us to stumble, not fall. We will get back up and continue, thriving and writing. Writing because it is who we are, because it is a part of us, and because its our one great love.

                                      And in the end, I am most proud to be a writer. And one who has been privileged to meet many other fantastic writers. And not only writers, but readers as well. People who love books just as much as I do. And its books and writing that I love the most.



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