Trying to wind down after a stinking long week (which is why I haven't been on LJ for two weeks).  I've been packing as many hours as I can for my internship so I can be done by the time fall semester is due to start.  I have 17 hours left to go, which doesn't seem like much, but I have to pack those hours around work, which makes my work days seem a lot longer.  But I think I can get the rest done by next Wednesday and then I'm done and everyone is happy.

I had an interesting experience yesterday - one of the places I can go sub is the county jail library.  Obviously, working at the jail library is vastly different from working at the public library.  I had a pretty good time - for being at the jail.  Basically, all I'm doing is Reader's Advisory.  The prisoners fill out a form asking for certain books and we pull them from out shelves.  But if we don't have something they ask for, we have to find something similar.  I didn't get to deliver the books so I didn't see any of the inmates, but some of the notes they wrote on their request forms touched my heart.  Some of them asked for self-help or feel-good books - many asked for religious books.  They can only request books once every two weeks, so I guess they really want to make their requests count.  Some of them did ask for some questionable items (one request form asked for a book about growing marijuana.  Needless to say, I did not fill that request.  I think I substituted a graphic novel), but for the most part, I got the feeling that most of these prisoners are trying to do good and be better people.

I also saw Thor and Captain America this week and I have to say that I am really excited about The Avengers movie next year.   Honestly, I'm really impressed with how Marvel has put this whole thing together.  It didn't seem like a full-on series when the first Iron Man came out, but now they've  I've never really been into comic books - not out of distaste, but because I never could find them - but now I actually want to read some now (oh, and I'm really excited about the new Sherlock Holmes movie - I'm becoming quite the Robert Downey, Jr. fangirl ^_^)

What else - oh, I'm going to start writing for HillBuzz.  Not as a regular writer - just as a Ground Report submitter/correspondent/column-writer-person.  I sent a few in (this is the most recent one) and Kevin liked it and he asked me to send in stuff more regularly.  This will be interesting - I tried to write political columns for the paper back in college, but I was always too chicken to try.  But I think I've gotten better at it - and I give even less of a crap about the hate mail I'm certain to get.  Besides, the commenters at HillBuzz are pretty mature (at least, most of them know how to spell).

Also, one of the librarians where I'm doing my internship has me convinced to do NaNoWriMo.  She does a writer's circle once a month and she's going to sponsor a Write-In event.  Since I've had this idea for a novel for a long time and just haven't sat down to do it, I'm think I'm going to buckle down this November and just get it out.

Well, that's it for me - mostly to let my LJ friends know I'm not dead.
[ profile] arkadelos  posted this and I wanted to save it for my own reference and maybe others will find it useful.

Gotta go - little sis needs a ride to the school dance.  Peace out.
'Tis a rare Monday when Mom and Sibling #5 are out to the ranch.  Little Sis has a day off from school (some kind of budget-reduction-furlough thing the school district is doing).  Luckily, I've been left to my own devices all day and have gotten quite a bit done (not as much as I need to, but enough that I don't feel like I've been totally lazy).  I have to go back to town tonight because I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and then I'm back to the ranch so I can go do yearbook at the high school AND THEN I go back to town on Thursday with the yearbook kids because they're going to go get sponsors so we can pay for the yearbook.  Am I completely nuts?  I think we all know the answer to that...

But here's something funny - yesterday at church, we were all introducing ourselves in Relief Society and I mentioned that I am writing a book.  Another girl came up to me afterward and said she's a writer as well and wouldn't it be fun if we read and critiqued each other's stuff?  Then, today I'm on Facebook and one of the sisters from my mission sent me a message (totally out of the blue) and asked if I was still writing my book because she's writing hers and would I like to do a "trade" with her?  So, I have been getting all kinds of motivation to write (plus, I've been feeling the writing bug this weekend).  My last school assignment is due on Friday, so I have to get that finished, but then I'll have a few weeks off and I can get some more work done!

I just feel like this is going to be a happy and productive week.  As crazy and insane as it's going to be with running here and yon, it'll be fun ^_^
Well, it's done insofar as I have an end in sight for the poor sucker and I have started in on Chapter 2.

Yesterday, over at [ profile] therightfangirl, the subject came up of who is a writer and how do we deal with online writing groups that don't necessarily hold our same views.  It's inevitable - online groups not devoted to politics tend to dabble in the topic from time to time.  And these weasels tend to be uber-liberal (like, so liberal that it would put George Soros and the Clintons to shame - the kind of "krazy-kook" liberal that is beyond any sort of mortal reason).  It gets worse for writing groups where the writers insist that an explicit sex scene and/or ample use of the F-bomb automatically makes for good fiction.  I tend to disagree with that assessment, but that's hard for these nerds to grasp on a common sense level (we have the intellectual level all sewn up, it seems XP).

This is why I have not sought an online writing group.  My attempts at relatively clean fiction were not appreciated in my face-to-face fiction writing class and they would certainly not be appreciated in these less-civilized online circles.  I mean, it's not like I'm writing fiction for five-year-olds.  There's plenty of violence and adult situations to contend with in my story, but I try to keep it PG-13.  There's a tendency for online writers to go the whole hog beyond NC-17.  I've had occasion to think about it - for example: how difficult is it to show that a couple is in love by having them jump into bed together?  It's not hard at all and a lot of writers just fall back on that because they can't think of anything else to do.  But some of us would appreciate a great story more if the main characters didn't jump in the sack the first opportunity, but developed the relationship the way it would happen in real life (well, the way it would happen if real life was the ideal).

Oh geez - I'm getting off track.  Anyway, this lack of a regular group to read and critique my work has led to my being somewhat lax in discipline to write.  BUT - reading the posts and comments at TRF helped me feel motivated again ([ profile] the_rightwriter  where we can showcase our work and critique each other.  Most that are joining T_RW are girls from TRF and I've gotten to know some of them from being on the comm and I think that I could benefit from their experience and darn it, all of them are very, very nice!  And it doesn't hurt that they have similar views to my own (we've already discussed the fact that we don't like the gratuitous sex scenes in fiction).

But, I was looking over some of what some of the girls have written before and a lot of my shyness about publishing online came back.  For the following reasons:

1. A lot of these people have already been published before and seem to know what they're doing, whereas I'm a relative newbie to the online writing world.  I have a great fear of accidentally making a tremendous faux pas and thus making a complete idiot of myself that I will be shell-shocked from ever posting again.

2. My story has a terrible habit of changing dramatically and I'm afraid if I post it that I'll go back and change things and it'll make it unrecognizable.

3. Also, a fear of losing said motivation, especially if a review goes really bad.  What can I say?  I'm a bit sensitive.

Then, I think of George McFly in "Back to the Future" (he's my favorite character in the first movie and I'm sad that Crispin Glover was not in the second and third movies).  He's sitting in the lunchroom writing and Marty comes up and asks to see what George is doing.  George gives him the line about "I can't take that kind of rejection."  But if you've seen the movie (and if you haven't, you should), George gets over his fears and gets published in the end (darn it, I spoiled it for you... oh well...)

So, I am buckling down and doing like George.  I am going to deck the bullies that block my writing process.  Because I can't go much further without some feedback.  And I'm going to take whatever criticism as constructive because that's how we help each other out.  And I have an awesome story to share!

(What the crap am I still doing on LJ? On to the writings!!)
(Re-posted from Blogspot)

**This is meant for any of my writer friends or others who considers themselves an intellectual or creative type. Even if you don't think you are, chances are you'll find an application here anyway.**

Wow - had an excellent Institute class today (given - I've never had a non-excellent Institute class. I've long since determined that, like Apparating inside Hogwarts or outrunning Edward Cullen or the Detroit Lions having a winning season, this is impossible). I gained some great insights that apply to me and quite possibly a lot of people and I feel compelled to share them.

Currently, I'm in a class on the Pearl of Great Price. It's a short book, but it's chock full of great doctrine, if you dig deep enough (oh boy, do we ever dig!) Right now, we're talking about the Creation and how science and religion add up, but that's not what intrigued me today. It's something our teacher said. At the beginning of class, he held up a brick and asked us all to list as many uses for a brick as we could in 60 seconds. So, we did - at the end of the time, he asked us to tell us how many things we thought of - the class average was around 15. To illustrate the point, when he would do this exercise as a student, the class would come up with 30-50 uses.

Conclusion: we are less creative and imaginative nowadays. We let other people be creative and we just be entertained by their creativity.

To tie all this into the Creation, he asked us a series of questions: What does God imagine? What kinds of things does God daydream about (inasmuch as He would daydream - just go with me here)? What does the Greatest Creative Genius in the universe imagine in His free time? And how does that show our potential as His children?

He said some things that really struck me that I want to share. Of all God's creations, we are the only ones that have the ability to imagine - to create literature and art, to build a space station, to develop the Internet, to reason, to philosophize. BUT - what does that amount to in each of us?

And this is the one that hit home: Are you letting someone else's imagination stifle yours?

I had to think on that one. I've been working on a novel since high school that has gone through so many incarnations, for better or worse (I hope better). Sometimes, when I find a fellow writer friend, I will share some of my ideas because I am so in love with this story and the characters and I really, really, REALLY want to write it and I want to have a sounding board. But sometimes (not all the time, but now and then) the person I share it with says "Why did you call your town X? That sounds a lot like the town from book Y." Or even - I'll read a new book and there'll be something in the plot that resembles something I've included in mine, and that'll frustrate me because I feel like I'm the last one to the table and I can't do that now because someone else did. For instance: I picked up a book that retells the legend of King Arthur from the perspective of the women in the story and one of the characters had a piece of jewelry that resembled something I had one of my characters own. And I'd never read this book before - it was pure coincidence! (not to mention, English majors are conditioned to be deathly afraid of anything remotely resembling plagiarism. It's like the swine flu of the literary world).

Sadly, I concluded that I do let others' imaginations stifle my own. And it's not solely reserved for my writing, either. I've wanted to pursue a Masters degree since I knew it was something I could do, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to study - I had a boatload of options and Masters degrees in any field of English are highly specialized. You have to pick Medieval Literature or Studies in 20th Century American Folklore or Literary Fiction or Poetry ... the list goes on.

While I was on my mission, I decided that I wanted to do it in Library Science. So, when I got home, I started researching programs, picked one that felt right and began applying. I am in the ending phases of the application process and I am very pleased with myself and there are others who are happy for me. But - there are a few that give me funny looks when I tell them I'm getting my Masters degree to become a librarian. It's like "You'll have spent six years in school just to be a librarian?"

Honestly - it hurts. And I started to second-guess my decision, just like I second-guess my story decisions. Decisions that I have pondered long and hard on (yes, I think LONG and HARD on my story - I've worked on it this long, it's going to be good, gosh dang it!) And I hate second-guessing my decisions - makes me feel like all the work I've done is a waste and I'm no good at anything. And even though the criticism might not really be worth my time or even energy, somehow it gets stuck. It's something I have to deal with - that's when I go to the people whose opinion really does matter - usually a member of my family or a close friend and they put me straight and all is well with the world.

But the lesson in Institute really helped. It's nice to know that part of my purpose is to be creative (shoot, creation is one of God's hobbies, why can't it be one of mine? Maybe not on the plane that He operates, but I can work in my own sphere. "Worlds without end" "My words never cease" - sounds like a pretty creative God to me).

I have a really creative mind, you know (at least, I like to think so). I don't mean to sound prideful or full of myself, but I'm a good writer and it's something I enjoy (and I love books and nothing would thrill me more than to be a professional bookworm ^_^). I just have to stop taking what other people say to heart as much as I do (unless it's warranted - but that's on a case-by-case basis).

That's my story - hope it helped any of you creative-imagination-driven types out there. What do you think? Let me know! (even if it's bad - hey, if I'm ever going to be published, I need to get used to negative feedback).

And I'm going to post this now before it gets any longer. But it's something good to muse about (ha ha - "muse" - no pun intended ^_^)
Made it home to Callao for the weekend.  I swear - I get lazy whenever I come home (I did practice guitar for a half hour).  Our neighbors have this huge Labor Day weekend picnic every year and it's like Woodstock Revisited - only with rednecks and hippies (proof that we can all get along - at least over a three-day weekend).

I had BIG plans to write this weekend - it never happens.  But I have to mention this: I 'm taking a cue from Stephenie Meyer.  Do you know how vastly inspirational music is to the writing process? (I'm sure certain members of my flist are rolling their eyes in fine "Well, duh" fashion).  Seriously - yesterday as I was driving out here listening to a mix CD of Big & Rich, Creed, Nightwish and Nickelback, I worked out a huge plot element that had been bugging the snot out of me for weeks.  And now - I am quite happy ^_^

[If you follow the link to Stephenie Meyer's website, she has playlists that she listened to when she was writing the "Twilight" books (they're under each of the separate books' sections).  And - just as a point of ironic interest - I'm listening to the Twilight playlist and the popout window for has an ad for The Vampire Diaries on CW. Funny.]
But not me...

Right now, my mom and my sister, E, are on an airplane flying to New York for the weekend.  D'you know how close I came to going on this trip?  Let me put it this way: if I'd called tails instead of heads...

Alas, there was only one open slot in the group and E got it (stupid quarter).  But, I'm not bitter.  E doesn't have class today and she's hasn't been on big trips like this and I went to Nashville with the newspaper a couple years ago, so it's not like I haven't been anywhere exotic (keep in mind, the most exotic place I've been is probably Disneyland - and that was once two years ago.  What can I say?  I'm a homebody).  Besides, my mom will probably have more fun with E anyway (but they were gunna go to a Broadway plaaaaaayy.... *whines*)  Oh well, my new Knight Peter icon can keep me company this weekend. *is a little wistful*

Oh, and I finished the first of my SongFic 100 drabbles last night.  I'm debating whether to post it here or somewhere else or to post it at all.  Though, this is one I could actually put into my story (that was sort of the idea going into this).  Maybe I want to wait until I have a couple more written.  It's amazing what a little success can do for your creative juices ^_^

Ugh, it's only 10:00 and I'm sooo tired.  TGIF.
An update on my car (my stories just never end):

I left work about 3:00 yesterday.  I got out of the city okay and was about ten minutes away from my freeway exit when the fan belt broke and the engine overheated.  I pulled off to the right of the road and called my dad, who said he could be there in fifteen minutes.  I was perfectly calm this whole time (which is a first for me - I would normally have been panicked and freaked out the moment the temperature gauge spiked to "H").

My dad pulled up and told me he was going to follow me the rest of the way and that's when I freaked out.  He was in his truck and I had my hands-free cell phone on and he started talking me through it.  The problem is that my steering wheel was sticking, so I couldn't turn back onto the road.  And I was panicked because I thought my car would overheat and blow up or something (and I had sat in the 100 degree August heat and at the start of rush hour).  So, my dad and I switched - he drove my Explorer and I drove his truck.  I followed my dad about 500 feet when he signaled and turned off the road.  The engine started overheating again and we had to leave my car there, go to town and call a towing company to come get it.

My next problem was getting back to Salt Lake for work this morning.  I ended up taking the old 1993 Buick LeSabre (I call her Dory - she's kind of an old "grandma" car) that I used to drive in college that just sits in the driveway now (well, it goes around town sometimes, but not too far).  I was a little nervous about that because the last time I drove Dory, the engine started smoking.  That was almost two years ago, but still --

Long story short, Dory got me home okay and I'm getting my Explorer back either today or tomorrow.  And I probably should have just gone to a Ford dealer here in Salt Lake instead of risking a 30-mile trip.

The funny part is that, while Dory is reliable at getting me around, she needs some substantial body work  done (she even has a couple of rusty "racing stripes" on the top).  There are a lot of spots where the paint has been worn away and things like that.  So, she's sitting in the parking lot with all these gleaming Civics and Malibus and what-have-you and she looks a little woebegone (I swear I heard a Prius snickering at me this morning).

Whatever.  Dory runs, she works and I'm only going to have her for a few days.  It's better than riding a bike.  At least my parents had something I could use.  I'm not complaining.

PS, Though my day was miserable, I did get some good news.  My dad had a copy of the newspaper in his truck yesterday and I read the opinion page while he stopped at the bank.  Much to my pleasant surprise, a letter to the editor that I wrote a few days ago was printed!  With my name!  With what I wrote!  There was actually more to it, but it's a newspaper and they can't print everything, so they had to condense something (I know how that goes).  It's about some realigning going on with high school regions and which schools play who in sports and things.  It's always been controversial and I have strong opinions about it.  But it was cool to see my name in print when I didn't even expect it to be there (they must not have had very many LTEs yesterday or something).
I have that scene in my head for some bizarre reason, so I thought it would make a nice random subject line ^_^

So has anyone seen those "Fanart:100" projects?  I think they're pretty fun (and if I could draw, I would do it too).  My point in bringing it up is that I was listening to the radio while I was looking at [personal profile] makani's Fanart:100 project and I got this strange idea: What if I made a list of 100 of my favorite songs (I hope I have that many) and wrote a drabble (using my original characters) using that song as a theme for the scene (and actually use the title of the song in the scene - I haven't decided)?

I think I'm going to do it (adding to my ever-growing list of self-inflicted projects -_-' -- but this one's actually me being creative and doing my own thing!)  It's going to take me awhile, though.

What do I call this? Songfic:100?  Eh, it works.  And if you want to try it, go for it.  I'd love to see what you all come up with!

Car update: I called my dad and told him what was going on.  He's got a meeting in Salt Lake today and said he'd swing by and take a look at my car during lunch.  This morning, my car was doing the exact same thing it did yesterday, plus the battery light came on and the steering wheel was a little stiff starting out (I had the battery replaced about a year ago - how long are car batteries supposed to last?) ...ugh... if I didn't love driving myself everywhere I need to go... but the only other option is public transport, which is the spawn of Satan and should be avoided as much as humanly possible (unless you're trudging up Old Main Hill on 8th East in Logan; there is zero parking on USU's campus - probably on any college campus -  anyway).
I've got the office pencil sharpener on my desk behind me and people come up and start using it.  The problem is that people around here have some Indian blood in them or something because I can't ever hear them when they sneak up on me.  As a result, I get shocked out of my skin every time someone needs a pencil sharpened.
If you're going to use the pencil sharpener, a little warning would be nice.  Or just start using mechanical pencils. Save us all the headache.

In other news, I got to see my family over the weekend and I got to talk to my sister, [profile] adjie1026, who is working on a fantasy-manga-type story.  I got her to draw a character for me for my story and we got to discuss writing and drawing and general geeky-goodness :3  I'm going to get her to send me a scan of the pic she did for me and post it here.  She's actually pretty good at drawing and she's getting better.

Well, I have a half-hour before I'm off work and they just now gave me a huge project to do... -_-' I guess it'll give me something to do tomorrow.  Back to the grind.
I was just looking over my notes from my writer's workshop on Monday.  Overall, I'm pretty please with the feedback.  I knew that my ending was rushed, but what I wasn't expecting was for comments about how overly-sweet it was.  I was a little letdown by that comment, but then I was talking to M (a girl in the workshop who has scores of writing talent oozing out of her ears) and she said to consider the source, since the people making those comments are the ones who specialize in depressing literary fiction.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it's going to be a given that some people are going to have different tastes, though we're technically not supposed to let that get in the way of our critiques (but it does anyway).

One thing that made me go nuts was that C, a guy who's into screenwriting, compared the creatures I made up for my story to something Hayao Miyazaki would come up with! *Chibi!Me in a manga-speech-bubble waving my arms, going crazy-happy!* He said that it was cool that it was a seemingly normal place, but with these fantastical creatures around (sort of like in Kiki's Delivery Service where she lives in a completely normal city, but she's a witch and people just accept it.  Same sort of idea in My Neighbor Totoro).  That comment really made my day.  Anything Miyazaki is totally made of win!

Anyway, that's about it.  My mom and sisters are coming up this weekend for Family Day at church (whee!) and they might stay until Monday (whee! again!) I can't wait! (but I have to pack some stuff up to send back with them.  Moving is such a pain.  Good thing my one class tomorrow is canceled!)

Love from,
Jenny Wildcat
I haven't posted in a week?!!  I'm terrible...

Went home over the weekend.  While it was nice to not have to do anything, the five hour drive kicked me in the butt.  Any relaxing I did at home was immediately canceled out by the stress of having to drive home Easter Sunday evening with all the weekend warriors antsy to get home for... work on Monday.  Weird people.

I'm also taking on double dragons this week.  My story for my Senior Capstone class is being workshopped today and it is looooooong.  This is the second time this story has been workshopped.  The first draft was 8 pages long.  After getting feedback from my class to add scenes and taking on some serious revision, it is now... 16 pages!  In my defense, I gave them fair warning.  Give me a chance to add anything to a story and I will talk your ear off.  I'm happy with some parts of it, but not so much with others.  Oh well, we'll see what happens tonight.

The other dragon is that I have a completely different story due in my Fiction Writing class tomorrow.  I've just been working on the ending of it right now.  This one won't actually be workshopped tomorrow, but I have to give it out tomorrow so people have a chance to read it for the workshop next week.  I'm not as concerned about this story as I was about my first one for this class.  I'm actually looking forward to this one being workshopped next week, mostly because it has a political jab as a minor plot point -- that was the most fun to write, actually.  It'll never get published in any literary magazine because it pokes fun at the HIGH AND MIGHTY Algore and his doctrine of global warming -- all I'm saying is that we'd better be careful or aliens are going to take our fetish for creating problems where there are none and kill us all because of it.

Anyway, "24" is tonight!  Woot and stuff.  Jack will pull that bullet out with his teeth, just you watch (and Doyle's still a butthole).

Love from,
Jenny Wildcat

PS, Any arbitrary story ideas presented herein are property of Jenny Wildcat and all of her other aliases, real or implied.  Anyone caught stealing ideas from this journal without express written consent will get a combination of Jack Bauer, the Kraken, Tetsusaiga and Mad-Eye Moody set on your sorry butt.
I love watching my icon transform.  It never gets old ^_^

What a day! First my Prose Fiction class gets canceled, then my Poetry Writing class also gets canceled, which means with my Creative Non-Fiction class canceled tomorrow, I could very well go on vacation right now!  Well, actually I couldn't, because Ted Kooser, former US Poet Laureate, is visiting campus tomorrow.  This is really the reason why my weekend has been unexpectedly extended.  Some of my professors are involved in tomorrow's events and have to get things ready.  Whateve works; I'm not complaining.
The only thing I would be unhappy about is that my poems were supposed to be workshopped today in Poetry, but I suppose it's a small price to pay :)

Also, today is my brother's 17th birthday, but he's here in Logan for the Utah FFA convention, so I got to see him and embarrass him *waves enthusiastically*  If any of you Utah State peoples happen to see a tall blond kid from the Delta group with a jacket that says "Patrick Storvanoff" (or whatever the kid's name is that he stole the jacket from), go up to him and tell him you know his sister.

I'm in such a good mood that, while I ought to be working on my many creative writing projects for school, I just can't do it.  That would require me to be all emo and depressed and morose and whatever else it is that Caffe Ibis does to people.  I have an idea for my Fiction Writing class about a girl who loses her mother in a fire when she's very young, but I can't bring myself to work on it because it's going to be literary and you can't write happy literary fiction (I tried and it turned out to be a "genre" piece and I sorta got slammed for it -- in the nicest possible way you can get slammed, I guess).

You know, that paragraph sounded really stupid, now that I went back and read it.  If I want to write something happy, then by damn, I can write something happy.  I don't want to go through life doing things that will leave me with a Prozac prescription.  That's why I hate reading sad things.  You can have conflict and discord in a story, but I like to read things that leave me feeling good, not like I want to take a gun to my head because the entire world has gone to crap and there's not a thing I can do about it.  I want to write things that say, despite the fact that things may be going bad, there is a way you can be happy and that's what life is all about (try and argue that point with me -- on second thought, don't.  I don't want to be responsible for your feelings of sadness because you lost ^_^)

Random tangent alert! I was watching Spider-Man 2 last night and this sort of relates.  Peter Parker spent that whole movie being sad and depressed because he thought he had be be Spider-Man and he had to push Mary Jane away and he had to deal with all these other problems on his own.  None of it really made him happy, even after he threw out the Spider-Man suit and went back to being regular Peter Parker.  In the end though, Mary Jane tells him that he's basically been a punk and that she's always been there for him, even though he acted like he didn't want her help or anything like that.  The ending of the movie when Spider-Man's off swinging away to fight the bad guys is the happiest Peter is in the movie because he realizes that he doesn't have to do it by himself.   It's the sort of thing that makes me stand up and cheer and wonder why the rest of the world doesn't get the message.

Happiness is a City in the State of Mind.

Love from,
Jenny Wildcat



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