Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Everyone at Pen, Paper, Priorities would like to wish our very own Bailey a Happy 17th Birthday! Congratulations on finally being able to get your apparition license and use magic outside of Hogwarts! Hope your day is absolutely magical!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Real or Not Real?

So I have been having trouble lately with deciding who is lying through their teeth and who is telling the golden truth. So many tabloids and so many stories. So many friends and wanna-be's. This troubling issue will be my topic for the day. But as confused and angry as I am I will take the high road and put my famous optimistic spin on it.

Don't listen to 100% of what people say. No matter how much the gold from the honey dipped words gleams, take your daily dose of salt with it. And vis-versa (as Train says) "when words keep you from feeling good use them as firewood and let them burn." People will tell you they love your work just to make you happy or to make you go away. People will also tell you how horrible your work is to hurt you intentionally or to make themselves feel better. Very few people will give you the real talk on your work and those are the ones you must sort out from the others. I have my gurrrls in that spot for sure. But you can take the glass half full approach with the other people too.

For the ones who just love love love your work with their pitiful smiles: listen closely to what they say. In my experience people will try to prove themselves worthy by pointing out their favorite parts. I have actually taken this approach and used it myself. But I use it because of the lesson I have learned from it. Usually the parts people remember are your best bits. Maybe try to focus on where to take those or maybe elaborate on them. You can also see how they were written and put that technique into other parts of your writing.

For the ones who think you have no potential: listen closely to what they say. They will point out parts to you that need to be fixed. Go back and work on them. Period.

Finally, the last lesson from both of these situations is don't let your pride get in your way. Don't let people puff your pride up to where you think you are Lord Voldemort and think you are invincible. But also don't let people knock you down so much that you feel worthless and give up. Too much pride and your work will become stale. Too little and you work may end.

Summary: take what people say and twist it to be constructive. It can always be constructive. You have to really look for those rainbows on a rainy day (and that was kind of cheesy so I apologize).

And for Bailey: I have been reading my microbiology book lately! Yay for school. But Siriusly the last book I read that I had a hard time putting down was the Hunger Games. I read the first book in a week, the second in two days, and the third in 12 hours. And my fiance was rushing me so he could read them. But I know you have read that one. So how about Narnia? I know it's a classic and it's been out forever but it's not a bad read. I am reading it now. Between my micro chapters of course :)

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Friday, January 27, 2012

Great Books

I am on time! Soooo... yeah :P haha I made sure that I was going to be on time, just so I wouldn't get criticized. (Love you gurrrls! <3:Dx) Now what to write about...

I suppose I'll write about reading. Oh how creative of me, right? Last night, I started reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (I know Sydney has read this book, I don't know if any of the other Tripppy gurrrls have), and the book had me crying and laughing simultaneously, and that was by page 25. And though it was late, I had to keep reading. After I got past chapter five, I decided I'd put it down so I could get a decent night's sleep. But I wanted to stay up ALL night to finish it. And it hit me how I hadn't read a book like that in a long time, where I didn't care how crabby I was the next day, or if I fell asleep in clas, that I just wanted to keep reading. And so now that is one of my goals in my own writing, is to make those kinds of books. The ones that everyone anticipates, and devours in a few hours. I doubt if I'll ever have the skill to do that, but a girl can dream, right?

So I have a question to my gurrrls. What book(s) have you read recently that have had you hooked on them? Because I'm always looking to expand my reading arsenal, and I'm sure others are too. Also, I am incredibly jealous that Mandy got to go to a book launch :P

My Author: Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Awesome Book Launch

Yesterday, I had the amazing pleasure of attending the book launch of Everneath by Brodi Ashton. I thought I'd share some of the fun experience I had.

To start off, I'll just say that that parking was completely impossible to find and we ended up parking half a block away and walking. We arrived only a couple of minutes late, but we decided to buy the book from King's English, the local bookstore who was hosting the launch. When we got into the launch at the 15th Street Gallery, it was packed with an insane amount of people. We couldn't really see much, but it was fun to hear about publishing experience.

After that, we made our way to the line for the book signing, which was out the door. It took us about ten minutes to get into the small bookstore, where it was extremely claustrophobic. As we waited, we had some awesome conversations and even began to read the book.

There were some awesome treats for us as we waited in line, including a cake that had the cover of the book on it. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a picture of it, but you can imagine. Once we got up to the front of the line, we met a very amazing author. My favorite signings are always the local authors because it's so surreal to know that authors don't live in some mythical world.

The picture above is a picture of my friend Brittany (left) and Brodi (right).

She was such an amazing person to meet and her book is brilliant. I'm only two chapters in so far thanks to work and other commitments, but I'm totally hooked. When I finish the book, I'll post a review and let you know my thoughts.

Check out Everneath by Brodi Ashton!

Until next time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Censor Soapbox

Well this week I really have nothing of my own to talk about. So I will simply talk about Mandy's censorship challenge. My views on censorship are best explained in the same way the Miss Oklahoma answered her question in the Miss America pageant this year. Her question was about what she thought about the government stepping in to control our diets. Her answer was that she did not agree with it. It begins with the parents. If the parents can instill good morals and decision making abilities in their children then the government shouldn't have to step in at all.

I believe it is the same with internet censorship, as well as any other type. The way a child is brought up will dictate how that child will act for the rest of their lives. For instance, I believe I am a good example of this theory. My parents brought me up in church (Southern Baptist). They taught me about the beliefs I have now. Not only in religion, but in tolerance, in etiquette, in basically everything. My parents never censored me, but I know my limits. One specific example is Rugrats. When I was a kid, some of my friends were not allowed to watch the Rugrats cartoon. Their parents were afraid that they would end up like Angelica. That was (and still is) my favorite cartoon. I knew better than to take on her attitude. I was raised better than that.

In conclusion, I don't really believe in censorship. I believe that people have their own minds and choices. It is their problem if they don't know how to control it. People should know their own limitations and should know what is in the world so that they are not blindsided.

Author: Ray Bradbury

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This post has NOT been censored

I know, I know. I promised that my post would be on time this week. And then Friday came around, and I had school, and homework, and a school dance at night. So I'm sorry that I wasn't on time. Now I thought that today I would talk about my viewpoint on censorship, like Mandy. I have always had a viewpoint on censorship, for almost as long as I can remember. My mom, never a huge reader herself, never bothers to "check" what I'm reading. So I've been allowed to read anything I want, from vampire books to wizard books, books about succubi and sex, to books about teenagers and hard drugs. And I think that's made me believe that parents shouldn't censor what their children read. My opinion is that if a child is willing to read, you shouldn't stop them. Because what if, in stopping them, you take away their desire to read? As it is, plenty of kids these days would much rather do anything thats not reading, so its rare, at least from what I've seen, when a kid wants to read. When I started up my school's book club this year, the ASB President said "Who reads for fun?!" I was shocked. But I suppose I shouldn't have been. Anyways, I think censorship, of anything, is wrong. People should be allowed to make their own opinions on anything, instead of being forced to not read or do something because its the law.

In other news [caution, possible rant ahead], as I sat down to write this, my mom came over to the computer and said "What are you doing?", in that tone that means "You're probably doing something that I wouldn't approve of." So she starts reading the screen, and I say "Oh, I'm just blogging," which I know is something she probably wouldn't approve of (she's evil, and crazy overprotective), and she replies "And did I ever say you could have a blog? Oh, no, I didn't. But you don't care, do you? Of course you don't. I just answered my own question." I wanted to say something, but was so angry that I couldn't get anything to come out. It's not like I should have to ask her about everything I do, is it? I mean, I made my email account when I was seven, and she never got mad about that. I don't know. Sometimes (A.K.A. every day) I just wish that I was already in college, living far, FAR away from California, with no one to answer to but myself. Le sigh. Oh well, one day soon. Much love.

My author: Ray Bradbury

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Censorship is *****

As you noticed, there was no post yesterday on the blog. No, this wasn't me being an airhead and forgetting to post. Again. It was decided that I wouldn't post as part of the strike against the Protection IP Act and SOPA. Not only will these laws destroy the internet, but they also violate America's First Amendment of Freedom Of Speech.

Going on that same topic, Censorship *****.

Plain and simple. We know that censorship is part of being an author and life in general. You have to censor yourself with everything you do. Growing up in a very conservative area, I have had to censor myself all my life. It's really a difficult thing to do, but censorship is different from disagreeing.

As a writer, I write about very controversial topics. Knowing I'll have my books challenged and possibly banned is fine by me. The only issue I have with it is that it's forcing your own opinion on someone else. Taking books out of a library means that children can't read a work of classic literacy like Catcher In the Rye or authors from JK Rowling to Laurie Halse Anderson. It's like saying I can't have an opinion.

America is not the only place affected by PIPA. Every social media site like Facebook, Tumblr, sites like Blogger and Wikipedia are threatened. The entire world will suffer if this vote passes. Please, go onto http://americancensorship.org/ and sign the petition. Even if you're not from America, your voice can still matter just by scrolling down a little further and submitting your e-mail.

Alright, my rant is over. Sorry, but this is a sensitive topic for me and I know it is for everyone else as well. For my gurrrls, what's your opinion on censorship?

Author: None for today because Mandy's running late and should already be out of the house while she's writing this.

EDIT: SOPA and PIPA have been stopped thanks to Obama saying that he wouldn't support the bills.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not Late

This post isn't late. It is being written exactly when I wanted to write it. Now, let's all believe that is true.

I don't have a catchy segue or a heartfelt post for this week. I started back to school, I started a new job, my fiance started ball tournaments. Life is crazy right now. And even though I have not written hardly anything all year (haha) I have not given up. I was listening to an old Hogwarts Radio episode with John Granger and he reminded me that J.K. Rowling took a long time to write her book because she did so much planning. So that is where I am at. I have my idea, I have a few details, now I am just planning. If a scene comes to me I write it down, but for the most part I am just trying to figure out how this story will unfold. So I guess my advice for this week never throw anything away. Whatever idea you have write it down or type it out and catalog it. It may not go anywhere or it may develop into a story itself. You can always go back to this list of ideas when you get stuck on another story and use one as a springboard to get going again. Just don't give up or think an idea is stupid. You never know where it will take your story.

Author: J. D. Salinger

Life Gets in the Way... And That's Okay!

First of all, I would like to apologize for the extreme delay in my post. Normally this post would have come on a Friday, but instead, life got the best of me. What exactly I got caught up in, I can't remember, but I'm sure it was important at the time. But while I wasn't on here posting, I came up with a few great ideas for stories that I want to start (see my word goal for the year? It's finally got some numbers in it :P). And the point of my post is that it is 100% okay if you don't write for a few days, or even weeks at a time. Because sometimes, it might seem like a daunting task, or you just might not be feeling it. Sometimes you just need to get your mind off of writing. And sometimes, there are things that need to be done before you can sit down and write for the day. And during the off time, things can become clearer. You can come up with ideas that you might not have otherwise come up with. So don't be discouraged if you don't write for a few days, or even weeks. Because you can always pick up where you left off.

In response to Mandy's question, why all of us gurrrls write, I feel my answer is quite simple. I write to escape whatever thoughts I might be thinking or problems I might be having. Sometimes life just gets to be too much for me, and I'll break down and become an emotional wreck. I've only found two things that will help me cope so far: reading a book whilst cranking music into my ears to drown out all thought, and writing. Writing is the best form of relief that I can think of. And of course, I know I can always talk to my gurrrls, especially Sydney, who seems to know exactly what to say when I'm feeling overwhelmed. So to all of the wonderful authors out there, my computer (or in dire situations, paper), and my gurrrls, thank you, for always being there for me.

My author: Cory Doctorow

P.S. I promise I'll be on time this week :D

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Writer's Block

My gurrrl Mandy asked us all a question in her last post. She wanted to know why each of us write. I don't really have a definitive answer to that. I've also had fanciful daydreams of stories and such. I remember when I was younger I wrote a story about a little boy that turned into an orange. However, it was, I believe, my freshman year in high school when I realized that I loved to write. I'd had a project to write a romantic novella and when I started, I couldn't stop. I loved writing it so much and when my friends and teacher read it, they said they loved reading it. After that, I've just continued writing because I love it. I can just get lost in my writing and I'm just so relaxed. I personally don't think I'm that great of a writer, but I love writing so I continue to do so. So, there's your answer, Mandy!

Now on to my topic...

Each week I face writer's block when it comes to my blog post. Everyday I try to come up my next topic and I draw a blank. I don't usually decide what I'm going to write about until I sit down to actually write about. This week I had a topic a few days ago, but due to my goldfish memory, I've forgotten it. Then, the writer's block was back. Finally, I decided to write about this, seeing as that's what this blog is for: our inspirations and difficulties as writers.

We all have writer's block, but we all handle it in different ways. When I'm faced with a block, I stop writing. Obviously I can't do that with this blog, because I've got my day to post, but I do so with my personal writing. If I can't think of anything and have truly hit a block, I don't like to force myself. I just put away my things and go about my day. Once I let my brain wander, I usually find a way to get past the block. That's my trick: let your brain work it out, instead of trying so hard.

So, readers, what is your way around writer's block? What about you, blog sisters? Tell me!

Goodbye until next week!

Author: Cory Doctorow

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

If you don't write, then you don't know how true this quote is. In my opinion, writing is one of the hardest things you can possibly do. However, each of us on this blog enjoy writing so we obviously enjoy suffering, but why?

My answer to this is because I don't know any other way. Writing is something that I will always do no matter what my day job is. I would absolutely love to be a full-time writer, but that's obviously not the case at the moment. I love letting the words flow onto the paper or the computer and just letting myself get completely lost in another world. Also, I'm an English Major so I obviously enjoy paperwork, right?

For me, I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. I have a main idea written down and with some stories, I have the ending planned out, but I would rather have the same experience I get through reading. That experience is going along with the characters on their journey to figure out the question or defeat the villain. It's something that I've repeatedly been told is a bad thing for a writer, but you know something? I could care less if it's a bad thing.

Of course I tie things up and write down plot points that are loose and need to be tied up or that I can get rid of. Of course I actually do outline my characters so I know exactly who they are and what their motives are. But getting there is half the fun.

If I ever got a book published, that would be great, but I'm not planning to be JK Rowling or Stephen King or any of those extremely famous authors. I just want to share the worlds that I create with the people I care about and if it happens to get published then good for me. If I never get published, it won't be for a lack of trying.

For my other girls on this blog, what's your reason for writing if most people think it's hard?

Author: Cory Doctorow
(For any others, who want to know who they write like, you can check out this awesome site: http://iwl.me/)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Listen To Your Heart...And Head

So as you may (or may not) have read in my last post I was planning to write half a million words this year (no thanks to Mandy). And as you may (or may not) have noticed I also changed my word count goal to a quarter of a million words. Why do I care enough about this to blog about it? I have made the lesson I learned into my advice for the week.

After posting here and posting on Hogwarts Radio and talking to everyone and their mother's dog about their new year's resolutions I realized I am one of the dumbest people on the planet (and possible others). I had been telling people that they need to set achievable goals for their resolutions. Don't lower you standards but don't be impossible either. I even quoted Queen Rowling on my HR posting. She once said

"Achievable goals: the first step to self improvement."
Although she said this jokingly, it is a statement that isn't bad to take to heart and live by. If you shoot too low then you will never grow. If you shoot too high then you'll never fly. By that I mean if you lower your standards then you will never know your full potential. If you constantly shoot for the impossible then you will always be let down and you will lose confidence in yourself. Also, it sounded cool because it rhymed.

So to wrap up my advice is to aim for something that you believe you can do but is just beyond the reach of what you have previously done. Better yourself in the experience. And always constantly save your work. Seriously, I have written this post three times because of careless mistakes. Much LOVE!

Author: Arthur Clarke

PS Here is a link to JKR's speech if you are interested. Enjoy. She really is brilliant :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Let the Sleep Deprivation Begin

First of all, I'd like to start off with an apology for not posting last Friday. Life got crazy, there was so much to do in preparation for the Rose Parade (which was quite fun, by the way), and in all of the craziness, I completely forgot to post. So I'm sorry if you were patiently waiting around all Friday, wondering "When is Bailey going to post?!?"

I'll answer my own challenge to the gurrrls first before I get into whatever nonsense that's about to follow. My new year's resloutions. I sat around for the majority of the day on New Years Eve, thinking to myself What the heck am I going to do about my new year's resolutions? So I started thinking about things that I'd like to do more, or do better. And then I finally decided that I was going to write more often. I love writing, but so often, I have to put it off until another day because I'm "too tired" or "too busy" to write. So I promised myself that I was going to write more in the new year. And as an additional goal, I would like to finish writing at least one book this year. So there you have it.

Now like Amy said, all of the bloggers here have set word goals for the year. And as you can see, Mandy and I have to decided to make ourselves insane all year and are shooting to finish the Year of a Million Words. When I first heard that Mandy was going to do it, I thought she was insane. I remembered how I horribly failed this past year at NaNoWriMo (no winning here), and wondered if I'd even attempt the million. And then I reminded myself of my for this year, and how I wanted to write more. So I figured "why not?" If I don't finish the million words, well at least I can say that I attempted it, just like I attempted NaNo last year. And if I finish it? Well, I'll probably throw a huge party for myself. And by huge, I mean I'll probably make a "Congratulations" cake for myself and eat the whole thing.

So until next time, much love.

My author: Cory Doctorow

p.s. Out of curiosity, I posted my "goodbye" letter to Hogwarts Radio into http://iwl.me and I am pleased to say that my author for that was J.K. Rowling :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bite Off What You Can Chew

Since my last blog, all of your bloggers have set word goals for 2012. An author friend of mine decided to do a Year of a Million Words. A few days later, Mandy messaged me saying, "Hey, do something insanely crazy with me this year?" It turns out Mandy had spoken to this author friend and had decided to do this challenge as well. Not content with that, she wanted to drag me into it, too. As you can tell by our word counts on the side of the page, I am not going to be doing this challenge. I blatantly refused. 

Now, now, let me explain. I have full-time college and a GPA to worry about. Not to mention the two sites I work on, not to mention the podcast I do, not to mention my social life. I also may be getting a job this semester. Last semester I barely had time to sleep. There is no way that I can handle 2400 words a day. It's just not going to happen and I am not going to set this goal for myself when I know I'm going to fail. After Mandy said I had to, I decided to set my word goal at 150,000. It is a small, but manageable number for the year and I know I can handle it. If I surpass the goal, that will be great.  

The point of all this is to talk about how we should never take on more than we can handle. I write because I love it and if I set that million word goal, I'm going to have to force myself to write each day. I don't know about you, but when I have to do something, I don't want to do it anymore. That is what would happen with my writing if that goal was set and I don't want to resent it. 

So everyone, keep that in mind. We all love writing here, but don't feel like you have to force yourself to write. Writing is about you, keep it that way. You know what you can handle. Don't do anything more or anything less. Much love, Amy! xo

Author: Cory Doctorow

Monday, January 2, 2012

So It Begins

New year, new goals, new post, new outlook. Everything seems to start over with the year. My resolutions this year (as challenged by the lovely Bailey) are to get more organized, to write half a million words (thank you, Mandy, for the motivation and the word count), and to just simply be happier.

This year will be no different than any other year in the fact that this will be a year of big changes. My fiance has now graduated from college (a feat that I am extremely proud of him for) and we will be getting married in the next six months. I will soon be taking the dental admissions test and will be applying to dental schools. My cousin and his wife have a baby due at the beginning of April and I am super excited to no longer be the baby of the family. There will be no Potter movies or books to look forward to this year, but we have Pottermore. There will be no more Hogwarts Radio podcast episodes unless they do something special.

Here is my segue: this is a year of changes. Changes are important. A change can send a story in any possible (and sometimes the previously impossible) way. See what I did there? I love segues.

So what about change? Well, I had one thought after reading the Hunger Games that changed the future of my story forever. I will probably have to completely rewrite my entire story. The simple plot that I began with is still there but the details are all completely different. I am excited. So my advice for this week is not only for your story but for your life. Don't be afraid of change. Pretty simple and cliche but very important. I am not saying all change is good, but I certainly believe that it is for the better. Even the bad changes can teach us something. So open your heart and your mind to change. You never know what will happen.

Author: David Foster Wallace

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year Of A Million Words

Alright, so since I completely forgot about my post last week, I'm going to do it today and then continue on our regular schedule.

I thought I'd talk about something crazy that started today and goes through the end of the year. It's called the Year of A Million Words. It's not an official challenge like NaNoWriMo, but it's a challenge none the less and I'm going to do it. It's crazy, it's insane, and I'm probably not going to finish, but I sort of want to prove to myself that I can finish.

So the goal of this challenge is to write a million words in a year like the name says. That equals to 2,400 words each day, which isn't much. I can write about that many in a day with NaNoWriMo and there were even days I went above and beyond that so I know it's possible. The only problem is going to be forcing myself to write every day. It would be easier if I didn't have life to worry about, but what can you do?

I also just got a message from Sydney saying that she's up for the challenge. If you want to keep score, there are word counts up on the side of the page where you can keep track with us.

Challenge for my gurrrls: Join in on the Year Of A Million Words.

Until next time!

Author: David Foster Wallace