Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shamless Plug

(originally posted this on my writing blog but thought, yeah, I should post it here too)

So, as some of you know, I've been involved in writing fanfiction on the side since I was about thirteen. Kid you not; picture little pre-teen, angsty me writing about the Teen Titans. 

It was the best, though, because I was able to connect with other writers, and some of them who were older and better at writing were able to tuck me under their wings and help me improve. Y'know, teaching me things like how to not overuse adverbs (still a problem for me) and how to avoid passive voice (getting better) and how to do dialogue properly (this one I've actually got pretty well in hand, though I could always improve).

During my later years of high school and much of college, I sort of stopped writing it, though. I tried a little in my freshman year of college, and I have to say that the story I started was actually pretty good, but I never did finish it because I got sucked into the whole graduating on time and actually doing something with my life thing, you know?

Anyway, flash forward a few years. During my senior year of college, I had started back into writing fanfiction while I was working on other book projects because it was a good outlet for my creative juices when I hit writer's block for things. Then, it started to become a bigger part of my life, until I was writing huge stories that had hundreds of followers.

It was crazy. Still is.

Anyway, I guess I got on someone's radar, because towards the end of the year last year, I got a message asking me if I'd like to do a collaboration. 

"Sure!" I said, because I love to connect with other writers and to learn from their writing and to improve my own with their critiques.

Flash forward to now, when the collaboration is well under way. It's a huge project, encompassing 24 authors. Each of us is doing our own character, and we're doing a 24 author/24 tributes project in which we take Marvel characters (Avengers, X-Men, etc.) and put them in the Hunger Games universe. Each author gets to write a tribute and their stylist/mentor/friends back in the district/etc.

I'm Kate Bishop, of District 12, and last week, my Reaping chapter finally went up.

So, I thought I'd share it with y'all, because even though I'm not getting paid to do it, even though a lot of people will say it's not "real" literature/writing/whatever, I have put my heart and soul into this project, and I have already learned so much and gained so much in writing experience that I will be forever grateful to be part of this project.

Anyway, you can read my chapter here, though you're welcome to just go ahead and read the whole thing because it's just that good.

Monday, April 6, 2015

General Conference April 2014

So, twice a year, we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints get together so that we can hear our leaders and prophets speak.

It's really pretty cool.

Here are some of the highlights from this year's conference (at least in my opinion):

1. Women's Conference

I liked that this year, the focus was on families "no matter what your marital or parental status." That phrase was spoken several times during the session, and because this was my first Women's Conference since finding out my husband and I can't have kids, it was really comforting to me. I was terrified of going to Women's Conference and having to sit through ten talks about the importance of motherhood, but instead, I received a message of love and welcoming despite the fact that I have so far been denied that highest calling in life.

2. President Uchtdorf is a Rock Star

No, but seriously, he is. First of all, during the Saturday afternoon session, we all sustain the prophet as the leader of our church and as a prophet, seer, and revelator. But for some reason, this year, some people showed up, I guess to make a political statement, and emphatically shouted "no" when President Uchtdorf, who was conducting, asked if there were "any opposed" to the prophet.

Like??? Okay. Whatever. You go on doing your thing; I can't get in the way of your agency. But like, I'm pretty sure when you decide to vocally diss the prophet you get swallowed up by the ground. At least that's how it worked in the Old Testament. . . .

But President Uchtdorf, because he is amazing, took the whole thing in stride: "The vote is noted."

And THEN on Sunday, after we'd just had the chance to hear a speaker get to talk in his native Spanish (up until recently, all the talks have been in English), he got up there and started talking in German and then was like "Oh, sorry." Like, no, President Uchtdorf, we totally know you did that on purpose. You lovable scalawag.

3. Get Your House in Order

That seemed to be the running theme, at least for me. I know there were a lot of talks on family, yeah, but for me, it seemed like there was an underlying message of working to make sure we knew what our priorities are. Are our priorities on things that are "good" or things that are "essential?" 

I know I'm guilty of this, often focusing on my latest writing projects or fanfiction and getting so engrossed that my last thought before I go to sleep is of that project and my first thought when I wake up is still in that zone. Instead of "making time" for Christ, I should be thinking about Him all the time and "making space" for other, less essential things only after I've got the rest of it sorted.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts from conference.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Vlog Now. Vlogging is Cool.

In this video, I tell a ridiculous story and do a lot of talking with my hands.

I Trapped a Wasp in Tupperware