Friday, November 1, 2013

[Update] Doin' It - NaNoWriMo

Yep. It's true. I wasn't going to, but what the hell? I'm not going to school or working.

Last year was the first time I tried seriously doing NaNoWriMo. I got about 16,000 words into the story and hit a dead end. Didn't help I was swamped with school. I will one day finish the story once I figure out freaking how.

I have so many unfinished novels.  (⌣_⌣”)

This year I wanted to finish writing another novel I started years ago that's set in the '80s, but I figure I should work on book three of my trilogy. I need to get it done done before I try getting book one published just so I make sure I don't have any plot holes. I expect the novel to be well over 50,000 words, so I won't actually finish it. I really don't want to write it though. Something bad happens at the end.

I don't want to talk about it! .・゜゜・(/。\)・゜゜・.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?  Here's my NaNo profile. Add me!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

[Review] Tokyo Heist - Diana Renn

Title: Tokyo Heist
Author: Diana Renn
Genre: YA Mystery
Published: 2012
My rating: ★★

Description: Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she's thrilled that her father's new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt. Her father's client, the wealthy Yamada family, is the victim of a high-profile art robbery. Someone has stolen van Gogh sketches from the Yamadas' Seattle mansion and is holding them hostage until the Yamadas can produce the corresponding van Gogh painting. The problem is that nobody knows where this painting is hidden, and until they find it, all of their lives are in danger. 

Joined by her friend Reika, Violet searches for the missing van Gogh in a quest that takes her from the Seattle Art Museum to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery deepens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to find the painting and the criminals--before it's too late. 

I was excited to read this novel because I have a strong interest in Japanese culture. Yet from the first chapter, I realized I was going to be disappointed. The writing style felt more appropriate for a middle-grade novel than a young adult. The first person present tense point of view didn't help. It felt sugarcoated and there were no gritty scenes, which are what I thrive off of.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

[Review] The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 2010
My Rating: ★★★★

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school . . . or at home. 

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. 

But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face . . . and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. 

I was a teensy bit bored with the novel at first since it starts out as kind of your typical modern fairy tale: normal girl who has trouble in school ends up having to go off and save her brother from the fairies who took him and she finds out she's the daughter of a fairy king. It might be because she's female (I have a tendency to hate them, not gonna lie), but I also didn't really care for Meghan at first. Her self-pitying manner was annoying. She's poor, her parent's don't give her enough attention, and her crush is a jackass. However, once she got into the world of faery, she started to grow on me. Especially since she's trying to find her little brother and will stop at nothing to get him, even if it means carelessly indebting herself to every creature she comes across.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

[Book Signing] James Dashner



Feel free to writhe in jealousy, shuck faces!

It was a fun night. My only regret is not taking a photo with him. I was too shy. When I got the books signed, he teased me about my name a bit, then I told him how I threatened to break up with my boyfriend (who I dragged with) if he didn't read The Maze Runner. I made James Dashner chuckle! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

[Update] 学校が嫌いだぞ

Summer vacation is over. 

・゜゜・(/。\)・゜゜・.

Autumn is my favorite season, yet I can never enjoy it because I'm stuck in school. Luckily, this is my last year of college. Might even be my last semester if I decide to graduate early. Six years is more than enough. And I'm not even getting a master's or a doctorate. Just a bachelor's on top of the associate's I already have. Oh well. Maybe one day I'll go back and get a PhD so people can call me Dr. Harpel. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  

The best part is, I'm only taking one class and that's Japanese Year Four, which is going to kick my ass. A lot of the kids who take it have studied in Japan at some point, so they'll all be super fluent while I'm staring off into space 'cause I don't know what the heck's going on. But at least I only have to go to class twice a week (no school on Mondays, yay!) for two hours. I should have plenty of time to read, write, and revise to study. 

Speaking of writing, I didn't get half as far as I'd hoped to over the summer. I have about ten chapters left of a standalone I am temporarily calling Shadows and Chains. Sounds kinda kinky, huh? I couldn't think of anything else. Still can't think of anything else. Enchanted Shadows? Rogue Princess? Whatever. As for The Kingdom's Champion, I'm currently taking a long-ass break from it and focusing on the second book, temporarily called Death's Champion, which I have four chapters left to write, and outlining book three . . . Something or Someone's Champion.  (^▽^)

Since I didn't get what I wanted done, as promised, I'm committing seppuku. My weapon of choice: 

It's Nerf. Or nothing. 

Anyone else heading back to school? 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

[Review] I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Genre: YA Thriller 
My Rating:  ★★★★★

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field. Except for the body. 

Jazz is the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops only wish they could--from the criminal's point of view. 

Now, with bodies piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod, Jazz must work with the police to prove that murder doesn't run in the family. 

It was clear from the first chapter that Jazz was going to end up on the list of my favorite dark hero characters. Being raised by an infamous serial killer, he knows how to charm, how to con, and how to kill. Brainwashed for most of his life, his worst fear is becoming like his dad. The kid's seriously messed up. And I like it.

Besides Jasper, there's a great host of characters: Senile Gramma, his goofball best friend Howie (who he has an amazing bromance with), and Connie, Jazz's tough, African American girlfriend (which I was totally not expecting, but pleasantly surprised all the same).

Lyga's writing style is phenomenal. The voice was perfect and, since I've been struggling a lot with that in my writing, I'm super envious of him. It read a smoothly as a scalpel cutting through flesh. I couldn't put it down.

Morbid, chilling, and hilarious, I loved every second of it. There's nothing more I can say except GO READ IT. щ(ಥДಥщ)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

[Update] C'est Moi

Hi all! I'm finally able to blog again. I can almost hear your groans of displeasure. *relishing in it* I've had to rely on my Surface Tablet since my laptop started acting up in May. I still haven't gotten the stupid thing fixed, mainly because I don't want to shell out a bunch of money for it (that's a lie, my parents would have to pay) and I'm loath to talk to the idiots at Best Buy (laziness factors in as well), so my boyfriend built me a desktop. I love that he's graduated and has a job now. He spoils me so. :D

Writerly Updates:


I got nothing. Seriously, this summer has been a waste. All I do is sleep and swim. Anyway, I'm revising book one, wrapping up book two, outlining book three, and I've written, so far, eleven chapters of a YA fantasy standalone. I swear, if I don't finish the first draft of it by the end of August, I'm going to commit seppuku. No lie.

So playing Jeopardy has shown me that I am horribly not well-read. When it comes to classic literature, that is. I haven't even read Huckleberry Finn for pity's sake. So I've decided to go through Book Riot's list. Not all of them are classics, of course, but they're pretty popular books that I should still read. I'm a little leery, since 50 Shades of Grey is on the list. I will read everything on it, from top to bottom, except The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson because eff that noise. Poetry can go suck it.

Well this concludes my post. I'll hopefully be getting back into my routine of posting Tuesdays and Thursdays. I've noticed my most popular posts tend to be about anime and k-pop, so my next one'll probably be something along those lines. ^.^

How's life?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

[Update] I'm Baaack

What I'm Listening To: Smells Like Teen Spirit - Scott D. Davis

Guten Tag! Wie gehts? It's been a while since my last post. Apparently I began my blog on May 24th of last year, so I'm a little late in celebrating [Insert Title]'s one year anniversary (you'd think I'd have come up with a name for it by now). Ah, well. I've been busy sleeping in, reading, and, of course, writing. Not to mention doing yoga while having a Friends marathon. So proud of myself for trying to get in shape. *sips Dr. Pepper*

As for my writing, I'm currently 34,000 words into a YA fantasy standalone novel (temporarily titled Shadows and Chains because I can think of nothing else) that I hope to complete either this month or the next. I'm currently getting some feedback on it at critiquecircle.com (there's still a few slots left in my private queue if anyone is interested) and, from what the feedback I've been getting, I feel like it's got some potential, though a few people hate the main character with a passion, which I'm fine with. She's a hard character to like. I'm also getting ready to query my first novel The Kingdom's Champion. I have a few agents in mind, but I'm pretty nervous about sending out my query.

So I finally went to my first writer's conference two weekends ago at the Loft Literary Center in downtown Minneapolis. It was the Children's and YA literature conference. I was really hesitant to go at first and considered backing out until I paid the fee, which thereby sealed my fate. I learned a few things, number one being I don't know how to mingle. I was the awkward one standing by the wall with no one to talk to. I really don't know how to strike up a conversation. Even with fellow authors.

Networking is a bitch.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[Review] Witch and Wizard - James Patterson


Title: Witch & Wizard
Author: James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Pages: 307, paperback
My Rating: ★★

Description courtesy of Goodreads: The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

I'm surprised I finished this novel. I really didn't want to. There were quite a few things that irked me. For one, the writing style was fairly childish, even considering that it is written for Young Adult. Everything felt scattered and the plot was just meh. I mean, it had potential, but nothing was developed enough. It's fast paced, which is nice, but perhaps too much so. It jumps from one thing to the next and doesn't really expand on anything. Everything happens too quickly in the beginning. It's out of nowhere. One minute the world is normal, the next it's taken over by the New Order. Somehow, I think there would have been some sort of buildup.

The character's--Whit and Wisty--names are too similar. I kept getting them confused (you know, when I was trying to speed read through this). Also, I didn't really connect with them. Wisty is supposed to be some sort of smart-aleck who skips school a lot, but I didn't get that out of what was shown. Whit is supposed to be the all-American poster boy or something, but all I really know about him is that he's a quarterback, blond, strong, handsome, and likes to drink. It's told in first person, so we obviously get inside their heads, but I really didn't sympathize with them.

The format annoyed me as well. I enjoy short chapters. In fact, I love them. It makes the reading go smoother. But it didn't work with this novel. Every chapter was like two pages long. There are 104 chapters total. It's only a 307 page book (with huge margins, large font, and lots of blank space). Normally, chapters that end abruptly have OMG moments that make you want to read on. These just seemed to end out of nowhere, for no reason at all.

Whoever likened the novel to Harry Potter needs to have their head examined. The only similarities are that it's from a famous author, is about a witch and a wizard, and happens to be a bestseller. The only reason I can fathom why it is a bestseller is because it has James Patterson stamped on it. 

Witch & Wizard was something I would expect from an amateurish indie author. Not from a well-established author. This is my first time reading James Patterson and I'm not planning on grabbing any of his other novels any time soon. I'm already sad that I spent money on this one. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

[Anime Review] アムネシア Amnesia

Title: アムネシア Amnesia
Episodes: 12
Date Aired: January 7, 2013 –March 25, 2013
Category: Shoujo/Romance/Otome
My Rating: ★★1/2
You can watch it on Crunchyroll for free.

Description: When the unnamed heroine regains consciousness in an unfamiliar place, she loses all her memories that occurred before August 1st.  Accompanied by a fairy only she can see, she sets out in an attempt to find out who she is, and what sort of life she lived.

The premise of the show is pretty interesting. Girl traveling between parallel worlds and having a different boyfriend in each (Yay reverse harems!). However, I could not sympathize with the main character at all. Classic example of a female protagonist I want to beat to death with a rusty crowbar. She was way too passive. One of the guys ended up drugging her and putting her in a cage for "her own protection." And she still was like, "It's okay. You did it because you love me." (You hear that pounding noise? That's me bashing my head into the desk.) I mean, who doesn't like a bit of male domination from time to time? But that's stretching it a bit too far.

The only really good thing I can say about it is it's pretty. Since there are only 12 episodes, they were able to put their all into the animation. Also, it's a shoujo, which tend to be pretty anyway (it's a shame they don't have better plots). My favorite characters are Orion (the adorable little fairy guy) and Shin (the one in red).

I think they could have expanded the anime more. 12 episodes was just too short. Of course, they're following the visual novel (which was apparently an interactive game on the PSP where you can choose one of the dudes and follow that story line), but I just felt everything happened too quickly. If they had delved into it more, they could have strengthened the plot.

For some inexplicable reason, the show kept me entertained, but overall, it was just kind of meh. This is why I stick with shounen.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

[Update]

Konnichiwa! Hisashiburi da naa (Been a while, hasn't it?). I've been pretty busy with school, though that's not the only reason I haven't been posting. Honestly, I haven't felt like blogging. Or reading anyone's blogs. I've been in a meh kind of mood lately.

I guess there's not much point to this post but to let you know I haven't died. Yet. Also, I'm procrastinating. Tomorrow I have a 5-6 page paper due on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean writing systems and how they're considered some of the "worst" and "best" of world writing systems. Naturally, I wait until the night before it's due to work on it. I also have a five minute interview with my Japanese teacher tomorrow afternoon. Basically, we're going to talk about the custom of gift giving in Japan and how it's different than from the US. Should be terrifying.

Spring break is next week, so hopefully I'll be able to get some posts written. However, my biggest goal over break is to get some research done on my 20 page paper that's due at the end of the semester. Depending on how it turns out, I might post part or all of my essay, since I'm not going to pour my sweat, blood, and tears into writing the cursed thing without sharing it with the world. Here's my tentative thesis statement if you're curious:

Buddhism—and to some extent, Daoism and Confucianism—has had a distinct influence on Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion. Most Japanese these days would have no qualms professing they consider themselves both Shintoists and Buddhists and, though we might not easily see it at first, both Shinto and Buddhism play a large role in Japanese people’s everyday lives, their perceptions of gender, and the government. From Shinto’s earliest conception, through the Pacific War, to modern day Japan, this paper attempts to show the progression and influence of Japan’s syncretic belief system.

Actually, I take that back. My biggest goal over break is to finish revising book one of my series, so that I can finish book two by my 23rd birthday in April (holy balls, I'm getting old). I'm having a lot of fun revising it, and I'm smoothing out a lot of the kinks. In some parts, it's hardly recognizable, which is great. I've already cut out about 5000 words and I'm only done revising chapters one through eight. Feels great getting rid of all the excess crap.

Sorry to those on Critique Circle! I'm ashamed I'm so behind on crits. You all must hate me.

Anyway, I hope to post again sometime soon. Perhaps on something more interesting.

How's everyone else doing?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[List] V-Day Special - Cutest Couples in Books

Happy Valentine's Day and junk! I'm surprising myself by making this post, since I'm not a big fan of V-Day. I'm not much of a romantic, I don't like pink or red (unless it's blood), and hearts are icky (unless they're real). The only good thing about the holiday is my boyfriend gives me candy, which I get to pick out. He picks out his gift from me as well. It's a remarkably easy way to celebrate the holiday, since we both hate giving presents.

Fun fact: On Valentine's day in Japan, only girls give guys gifts, which is usually chocolate. Then a month later, on White Day, men who received gifts are obligated to reciprocate.

This was kind of a hard list to make. I don't read romance, so I have to take my characters from fantasy and science fiction. I like partners who are best friends--they know what the other is thinking and can finish each other's sentences. And the best romances tend to be when the couple hates each other at first, are always at each other's throats, and then eventually get along. Love at first sight makes me nauseous.

Here's my list of mushy lovey dovey ick:

Kaye and Rath Roiben Rye 
Great example of a couple that doesn't get a long very well at first.


Tiger Lily and Peter Pan 
And then stupid Wendy messed it all up!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[Rant] Go Suck It Political Correctness

I miss the days when the world wasn't so politically correct. Movies were racist and sexist. But they were good. Nowadays everyone is so paranoid they might offend someone, they clam up and say nothing at all. Why do we have freedom of speech if we don't actually use it?  

There's been a bit of controversy over Volkswagen's super bowl ad. You know the one with the albino Jamaican? I personally found the commercial humorous. What I loved most about it was the inclusion of Minnesota--the land of ten tousand lakes, man.  In no way did I find the commercial offensive. Then again, I'm a pasty white girl from the Gopher State, but I don't think Jamaicans should take offense to it. 

One analyst said she was shocked they would even make the commercial and went so far as to bet they wouldn't air it. But they did! So nyeh! She said it was racist in part because it's saying all black people are happy. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. For one, it doesn't include all black people. Just Jamaicans. And frankly, since they live on a beautiful island and smoke pot, I'm sure they're quite happy. (Of course, I know they don't all smoke hippie lettuce, but still.) She compared it even to blackface. Only with sound. I don't know much about the region, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume there are also light-skinned people with Jamaican accents. 

I mean, the commercial didn't mention fried chicken or watermelon once. How can it be racist? 

(~_~;)

There's a double standard in this country that appalls me. Comedians of any race can say all they want about white people. But if you're white, you can't insult/make fun of black people without becoming the scum of the earth. It's perfectly okay for a black guy to fake a French or a Scottish accent, but it's not okay for a white guy to pretend he has a Jamaican accent? We live in a country where the making of the movie White Chicks is perfectly acceptable, but I bet you'll never see a movie called Black Chicks. 

One of my favorite British comedies, Fawlty Towers, a program that aired in the 70s, recently sparked a bit of controversy in England. You can read the article about it here. The particular episode they censored is actually my favorite. When I first saw it, I believe I had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard. What they censored wasn't intended by the makers to be offensive. It was a joke, but it was cut because the episode was being aired during family time. Also, they only cut the part that could have been offensive to non-white people, but they left the part that could offend white Germans. Seems a bit one-sided to me. 

Maybe I'm just a racist. I don't know. From time to time, I make racist jokes (which are usually about Asians since my boyfriend is Asian) when I'm around my friends and family. I don't do it to be offensive, only to get a reaction out of people. I like making people laugh. Especially at the expense of others. I don't discriminate, and I treat people with the amount of respect they in turn give me. Very simple. 

In my writing, I say what I want, and I don't generally think about how its going to offend people. Someone is always going to take it the wrong way. Why worry about it? (Unless of course, you're criticizing someone's religion. Then don't do it! The crazies will keeeel ya.)

What do you think? Is the commercial racist? Should we censor media like that? When does censoring go too far? Should we strive to be politically correct? Has PC affected your writing? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

[List] All-Time Favorite Novels (So Far)

This is a list of my absolute favorite novels (in no particular order). These are the books I stayed up all hours of the night reading; the books I think back on fondly years after I've read. They're the ones that make me feel all fuzzy inside. And I wish, wish, wish these worlds truly existed.

A great few of these coincide with a previous list I made: Ten Books I Want On The Big Screen 

It was really hard narrowing these down to ten . . .


Artemis Fowl Series - Eoin Colfer 

From a strikingly original new voice in fiction comes the story of Artemis Fowl, a very unusual hero. Artemis combines the astuteness of Sherlock Holmes with the sangfroid of James Bond and the attitude of Attila the Hun. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories. These fairies are armed and they're dangerous. Artemis thinks he's got them just where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules. . . .

Artemis Fowl is such a great character. He's an evil genius with an attitude. And he's Irish, which makes him ten times cooler (Irish pride!).

I have yet to read the last two books. I own them, but I decided I wanted to reread the entire series before I finished it. SO NO SPOILERS PLEASE! Or I keeeel you!

Pendragon Series - D.J MacHale 

Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby.

He is going to save the world.

And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.

If Bobby wants to see his family again, he's going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning . . .


I started reading this series in eighth grade and each year, until the last of the ten books came out in 2009, I waited anxiously for the next to come out. Also, the main characters in this book inspired the three MCs in my WIP The Kingdom's Champion. 


Alex Rider Series - Anthony Horowitz 

They told him his uncle died in a car accident. Fourteen-year-old Alex knows that's a lie, and the bullet holes in his uncle's windshield confirm his suspicions. But nothing prepares him for the news that the uncle he always thought he knew was really a spy for MI6--Britain's top secret intelligence agency. Recruited to find his uncle's killers and complete his final mission, Alex suddenly finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. 

 The action in these books is phenomenal. Once I start reading them, I can't put them down. 

I actually haven't finished the series. I own the last book (I own a lot of books I haven't read. I'm an addict), but have been slacking on finishing it. I just don't want it to end! SO NO SPOILERS! 

The only problem I have with this series is that all the missions take place within a year. I was fourteen when I started reading these books, now I'm twenty-two finishing them, and Alex is still fourteen, goddammit! I feel old.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

[Review] The Maze Runner - James Dashner

Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Published: 2009
Rating: ★★★★★

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is empty. 


But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls. 

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark. 

The Gladers were expecting Thomas's arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up--the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable. 

And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he might have some answers--if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

The Maze Runner has been sitting on my bookshelf for the past few months and I'm disappointed in myself for taking so long to read it. It was absolutely amazing. The tension is thick from beginning to end. I couldn't put it down and ended up staying up until 3:30 two nights in a row reading it (even though I was supposed to be getting my sleep schedule back in order for school). 

Thomas is a great MC. He's smart, brave, and willing to sacrifice himself for everyone else. I think my favorite character other than Thomas is Minho (big shock that I would like the Korean boy, right?). I like his attitude and throughout the book I was desperately hoping he wouldn't die. Everyone else could die. Just not him. 

Though I'm giddy to read the next book, The Scorch Trials, I'm scared of who's going to die next. Minho (and Newt, I suppose) better stay alive! 

Can't wait until they turn it into a movie. 

What did you think of the novel? Oh, and if you haven't read it yet, READ IT! щ(ಠ益ಠщ)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[Update] It's That Time Again

Winter break is over.

。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

I didn't get as much done as I had hoped. My goal was to finish a stand-alone fantasy novel by today, but that unfortunately didn't pan out. But I did write almost 27,000 words (which is pitiful considering the amount of time I had to do it), and I have a clear sense of where I'm going with the novel. It will be done by the end of January. Or else.

Overall, my break wasn't too bad. I watched a lot of anime and K-drama and read a few books, though not as many as I had planned. I even got to go see the Trans Siberian Orchestra in concert. Oh, and I won a couple hundred at the casino this weekend. Just makes me want to go back to Vegas, baby!

Anyway, it's back to school for me. This semester I will be taking:

  • Third Year Japanese (I've already forgotten everything from last semester.) 
  • War and Peace in Japanese Popular Culture (I get to read manga!) 
  • Writing in East Asian Cultures: From Oracle Bones to Tattoos 
  • Major Project (where I basically write a fifteen page paper on a subject of my choosing so long as it's about Japan. Should be interesting. Or painful. Most likely both.)

I was going to take Korean Film as well, but decided I'm sick of taking 17-18 credits all the time, so I dropped it. Now I'm only taking 14 credits, so hopefully I'll have a lot more time to focus on important stuff, like writing my novels. I also decided this might be the last semester I will be taking. I'm getting sick of school and after I'm done with Third Year Japanese, I'm free to graduate.

Aaaand if I get all A's this semester, my boyfriend will buy me a really pretty new bookshelf.

Is anyone else heading back to school? How was your break?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

[Anime Review] Reborn!


Japanese Title: 家庭教師ヒットマンREBORN! (Katteikyoo Hittoman Reborn!) 
US Title: Reborn!
Episodes: 203
Category: Shōnen
Aired: 2006-2010 Stream for free here at crunchyroll.
Rating: ★★★★

Description: Junior High School student Sawada Tsunayoshi fails at school, sports, and socializing, especially with his crush, Kyoko. That is, until a talking baby called Reborn enters his life. Reborn claims to be an Italian mafia hitman who works for the Vongola family, and it's his job to prepare the reluctant Tsuna into become the family's next boss.

Let the spoilers ensue.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

[Rant] I Hate Teens

I have a confession to make. I despise teenagers.

This is probably not a good thing to say since I consider myself a YA writer, and some of my followers on this blog are teens. No offense is intended, of course. You guys are awesome (and future readers of my novels are also amazing *wink*wink*). I just don’t like the vast majority of your peers.

I didn't like teenagers when I was a teen and me getting older hasn't changed anything. Except to make me more grumpy and set in my ways. One of the biggest issues I have with teens (and of course I'm speaking of a certain type, and not all) is they're always trying to act older than they are. The kids at my high school partied and drank and had the sex. I never understood it. Why try to act older than you are? You're a teen! Enjoy your time as one. It's not going to last forever.

Last weekend I was at the Mall of America. Unfortunately, I went the day there was a dance/Cheerleading competition. Why do, like, so many teenage girls, like, feel the need to, like, talk so freaking much?

щ(ಥДಥщ) Whhhhy?

I keep asking myself, why am I writing for teens since I don't like them? Truth is, I like the idea of a teenager. They're young, they're trying to find their way in the world (whatever that means), and they have a unique outlook on life. I love reading from the perspective of teenagers particularly because most teens in YA novels, at least the ones I read, are exceptional and interesting.

However, real teens bug the ever-living hell out of me. And I shouldn't say I hate all teens. I've met a few who are quite intelligent and hardworking (the creator of The YA Dogtown, for example). You know they're going places. I just wish there were more like them because, quite frankly, the future scares me. I suppose every generation goes through something like this though, huh?

The funny thing is I still get mistaken for a teenager. A few months ago, one of my mom's coworkers asked me what grade I was in, thinking I was still in high school. I responded, "Oh, haha, I'm in my fifth year of college." And you want to know what the sad thing is? I kind of miss being a teen. 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

I suppose I could also say the same thing for children too. I like the idea of children. They're cute and fun for a little while, at least, but, really, all they do is suck the life out of you and leave you with an empty wallet. They're the devil, and that's the reason why I won't be writing any children's books anytime soon.

I hate adults too though.

. . . Real people just suck. This is why I read. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

[List] Favorite J-Rock Bands

As a lover of rock and Japan, you'd think I'd be more into J-Rock. Especially Visual Kei, since the costumes are freaking awesome. The music is usually excellent, but the singer's voice throws me off a lot of the time. Either they speak terrible Engrish, or they just have sucky voices in general. It makes me wonder if the vast majority of people in Japan are tone deaf.

The following are my favorite J-Rock bands. Enjoy!

Maximum the Hormone (Death Note anyone?)


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

[List] Top Ten K-Pop Idols

A few years back a friend introduced me to the K-Pop band Super Junior. Thus started my obsession--and really it has become an obsession--with Korea. I'm starting to think I picked the wrong language when I chose Japanese. And what's crazy about my love for K-Pop is that I don't normally like pop music. I'm all about rock and classical. But I made an exception for K-Pop. One, I can't understand what they're saying, so they don't sound retarded. And two, these men are flippin' gorgeous.

TVXQ's Kim Jaejoong

Lee Gi Kwang from B2ST

Lee Kiseop of U-Kiss
I think he would make an excellent Black Knight for when my novel is adapted to film. *nod*

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year and junk! I just put up my new 2013 calendar. Bilbo Baggins is looking at me like I'm crazy. Can't wait until December so's I can stare at Legolas. :B

This year I decided to make a few resolutions. I usually never bother because I don't do what I plan to do. But I figured if I put it out there in public, I'll have more motivation to actually go through with it. So here they are:
  • Get fit. I think this is pretty much on everyone's list. Except for the already awesome people. And I'm not talking about wanting to lose a bunch of weight by starving myself and becoming an emaciated little twig you can snap like a chicken bone. No. I'm talking all muscle, baby. Six pack and everything. Then I'll be ready to kick some ass! 
  • Finish a few books. I want to finish revising The Kingdom's Champion: Book One and start sending it out to agents. I also want to finish the first draft of book two and begin revising it. Lastly, I've started a new YA fantasy stand-alone, which I intend to have done by the 22nd of this month, which is when I return to school. 
  • Get better at multi-tasking/be more productive. I tend to stare off into space a lot. I have a ton of free time, but I never get anything done. 
  • Create more interesting blog posts/ gain a bigger audience. I'm still trying to get into this whole blogging thing. I haven't been very successful so far, but then again I haven't really tried all that hard. I'm still learning. Hopefully this year I will be able to make a stronger online presence and really find my blogging voice. 
  • Get straight A's in school. My boyfriend promised he'd buy me another bookshelf if I did. Heck yeah! 
  • Become super fluent in Japanese and German. I'm getting better, but this year I really want to improve my speaking, listening, and kanji. 
So what are your resolutions?