Monday, November 28, 2016

Hilarious Me

Hey guys! NaNo update:
So far, the first line of Jessa & Tiff is: "It would probably be the greatest day of my life, except maybe my wedding day, and Ginny Lee had to go and ruin it." It's going well, except for the whole trying-to-figure-out-the-plot-on-day-28-thing, but I'm definitely not making the deadline. Oh, well, I can finish it afterwards.

Anyway, I decided to post about the ridiculous things I did/thought when I was younger. Trust me, you will laugh your socks off. I make no promises about stockings. They are way thicker. 

(Side note, we had our first snow! It happened to fall during recess and immediately melted away, but still.)

1. Firstly, please realize that a lot of these will have something to do with Taylor Swift. I used to be obsessed with her. Anyway,  you know her song "Mean"? I used to think that it said, "Someday, I'll be living in a big white oak tree, and all you're ever gonna be is mean." I was disappointed when I learned the truth. 

2. When I was really small--oh, around three or thereabouts--I convinced myself that babies enter the world via waterslides, in, I kid you not, "little tiny swimsuits." I refused to believe that babies are born without clothing.

3. I think I read too much, because for a whole day I convinced myself that I must like my nemesis (ah, I miss having a nemesis) because we were "probably" going to end up married. Gee, thanks, L.M. Montgomery. (Don't worry--I got over it very quickly.)

4. Louisa May Alcott convinced me that engagements always last three years. 

5. In Kindergarten, I was introduced to Taylor Swift via You Belong With Me and made up a hilarious dance to it. 

6. Also Kindergarten. This wasn't me, but I had a friend who was exceedingly popular, so she had to have specific days that specific people could sit by her. Seriously. 

7. Still Kindergarten. At the end of the day, we had free time and the girls all flocked to this play kitchen. However, there were never enough purses/wallets to go around, so most of us made do with play food. Anyway, I had stuck a toy asparagus in my pocket and accidentally took it home. (Oops. Sorry Mrs. Falader. I stole from your toy asparagus. Deep apologies.) When I got home and realized what I had done, I was extremely upset. Like, I literally freaked out. I returned it and all was well, but it was still horrible. 

So there you go! A few reasons why I was hilarious as a youngster. So what about you? What funny things did you do or think? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

NaNo Update


I haven't posted in forever.

I'm sorry guys! I know my posts lately have been few and far between. Life just got busy, what with school and NaNo and everything.

I'm sorry.


But obviously I have four half finished posts and no ideas, so how about a Jessa & Tiff update? Okay?

Here's my new blurb:

Jessa Corden is not enjoying seventh grade. For one thing, her only friend has abandoned her. For another, chronic anxiety has not made life easy.

Tiff Lawrence was enjoying seventh grade when all of a sudden she was uprooted to tiny Candace Brooks, Virginia by her scatterbrained novelist father. She's used to it, but that doesn't mean she wants to. Anyway, no one really knows her under her cheerful and daring facade.

When Jessa and Tiff meet, ordinary middle school lives can become intertwined with destiny, fears can be fought, and friendships can be made. When Jessa and Tiff meet, two unknown girls can know each other.

Okay, I'm aware it's terrible, thank you very much. But yeah. That's it.

I've added this sort of "destiny" theme to my story. For starters, my girls have the same birthday, and throughout the story they'll get a little bit of a fateful feeling. Anyway, at the moment they're systematically working through their fears, fighting them one by one. I wrote a very fun scene in which the girls discuss fate, destiny, and all of that while Tiff is suffering through claustrophobia on a Ferris Wheel. I enjoyed it, especially throwing Oedipus into the mix.


At the Library:

Tiff smiled at me. I could feel it, though I didn't look away from my book. I wasn't reading anymore, just grinning to myself. Somehow, I already felt so comfortable with Tiff, as if she was an old friend I had half-forgotten, or I had known her in another life. I imagined myself as an ancient Grecian crone, and tried to think up a suitable reincarnation for Tiff. But it was no use. In my mind she was Tiff, always Tiff, halfways an angel and halfways a clever devil and halfways a broken promise that fit into each; a promise for the angel and broken for the devil.

It was odd that I knew her so well, so soon.
But it would be odder if I didn't.


"Can we make cupcakes?" Tiff asked.
My mother looked at me and I could see her x-raying my soul.

Later in the story...

"Okay, chocolate or yellow?" Tiff asked, literally weighing our options in her hands.
"Chocolate. Duh," I said, forcing fake cheeriness. I could tell it wan't fooling Tiff, but she played along anyway.
"Chocolate it is. Do you guys have any frosting?"
"Yes. Chocolate."
"I'm liking this arrangement."

Meet My/Jessa's Brother:

"Timothy, do you know Amelie, Tiff's sister?"
"What instrument does she play?" he responded automatically. I rolled my eyes. People, to him, were their music,
"Viola," I said.
"What chair?" he prompted.
I turned to Tiff. She said, "Second."
Timothy nodded, putting his headphones back on. "Yeah, I know her. She plays well."

Not. Even. Exaggerating.

Hey, please direct me to your blogs so I can read your NaNo snippets or thoughts or whatever! How do you like Jessa & Tiff? Are you doing NaNo? Has it left you sane? Tell me in the comment section!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Beautiful Books: Jessa & Tiff


big deal.

I mean, it's not like NaNo starts in 4 DAYS or anything.


Breathe, Ilse. Breathe.

Okay. So here goes.

beautiful books

Yeah. I'm too lazy to say anything about what this is. So just go to some other blog or use one of the addresses in the pic if you don't know.

 What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Okay, so I recently started using an idea journal to record thoughts, quotes, and inspiration. I highly recommend this! I have kept so many ideas/quotes this way. I've had this idea for a month or two now. It reminds me of another brainchild I had, which is very unwritten but has the title of "One Mad Crazy Summer". Aaand I just realized that the six paragraphs or whatever I began are set in the school year. Points to me for crazy. (By the way, One Mad Crazy Summer is loosely based on my mom's childhood and best friend, Charlesty. Great name, right?)

Beyond that, this story is close to my heart because the protagonist, Jessa, struggles with anxiety, as does my family, including me. For the first time maybe ever, I'll be drawing on my life experiences with this book and follow it where it takes me.

Describe what your novel is about!

So, my outline's very rough. (It has two entries. Sad, right?) But the rundown is this:

Jessa is a girl with anxiety, so no one fully gets her. Tiff is a girl with spunk and a constant smile, so no one fully gets her. When Tiff moves in to Jessa's sleepy town, maybe two girls no one gets can get each other.

There may also be:                                      
--Awesome parents
--Mean parents maybe??
--Great American Road Trips
--Child psychologists obsessed with dolphins

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

small town//open road//dolphin offices//cozy houses//wooden rollercoasters//yellow

Introduce us to each of your characters!

JESSA: A 7th or 8th grade girl who doesn't really have any friends, not because she has anxiety, but because no one is the right fit for her/it just didn't happen for some reason. She has anxiety and no one really understands that but her parents, until Tiff comes along. I'm trying to add to this but honestly?? I have nothing to say because NOT PREPARED HERE. :(

TIFF: A girl in Jessa's grade who has a lot of outer spunk and chutzpah. She knows how to make Jessa smile and calm down, but really she needs more hugs. She may or may not have mean parents, I don't know. Daring.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I'm a very "jump in this thing" writer. Usually an idea comes to me and I start it...and then I don't finish it. :)
So maybe howling.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Writing it, honestly. Getting past the beginning, meeting my characters, and taking them on an adventure.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

1. Contemporary (WEIRD for me!)
2. Little town
3. Big (state?) fair

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Jessa's goal is to get over her anxiety, but her anxiety stands in the way. She doesn't really understand how something so bad could  be a blessing, or how she can be normal regardless.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Jessa learns to be more okay with herself. She gets some chutzpah and tries doing things that scare her. She worries less.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

1. Friendship
2. Just a can-do attitude. Don't be afraid. Fear doesn't have anything for you. Go out and have an adventure, and if it doesn't work out, you can learn from it.

I want readers to feel connected to the characters and to just feel like they can do anything.

You made it! Okay, I have one written snippet ready for you:

"C'mon." Tiff pointed to the coaster. "Let's go."
"Are you CRAZY?" I yelped. "People die on roller coasters!"
"No, stupid people die on roller coasters."
I gave her a look.
"Look, one out of a billion idiots dies on a roller coaster. And one out of a billion people is that stupid."
I said, "Your numbers are very off."
She said, "Are you coming?"
"Fine, but I"m not putting my arms up in delight."
"Naturally. That would not befit a Jenna."

Note: I do not discredit the memory of anyone who has died on a roller coaster. I think it's sad. Please note that Tiff is just trying to get her friend on a roller coaster.

Yay! You made it to the end! Please link to your Beautiful Books posts so I can read them. Are you doing NaNo? What do you think of Jessa & Tiff? And did you google the word "chutzpah" while reading this post? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hamilton Nicknames

For your enjoyment;

Alexander "Nonstop" Hamilton 

Aaron "Talk less. Smile more!" Burr

John "Sally in on a stallion" Laurens

Hercules "BRAH, BRAH!" Mulligan
(That one was easy.)

Marquis de "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman" LAFAYETTE 

Angelica "it's completely platonic *sigh* Schuyler 

Eliza "too good for this world" Hamilton

Peggy "and Peggy! Schuyler

Samuel "heed not the rabble" Seabury

King George "I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love" the Third

George "The General" Washington

Charles "but there's so many of them!" Lee

Theodosia "Dear" Burr

Phillip "Making my father proud" Hamilton

Thomas "In Love With France" Jefferson

James "Thomas's Campaign Manager" Madison

Aand I think that's all. Have a great day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Story Wars and Holidays and Also Don't Kill Me Because I Keep Procrastinating And It's Been Like 2 Months And This Is A Really Long Title

I post! Finally!

Story Wars is an app you can add to your google (much like blogger) that allows you to collaborate on stories in interesting ways. If any readers are Story Warsers (totally a word.), then go check out Lives and Loyalty. It may not seem like much (my best friend and I wrote the beginning a year or two back and it's very fairy tale), but it has really cool potential, in my opinion. Please check it out! Thank you! Yay!

So. How long has it been since I gave you guys a real post? Too long. I apologize.



Ah, Hamiltunes.



Okay, so I am super duper ultra potato excited for Christmas. Fabulous events are planned that involve snowy places and mountains and family and friends. Last year I wrote a short post on how much I love Christmas.

It's such a magical time of year. You anticipate it, you taste it..,your heart leaps every time you sing a holiday tune in Chorus or you see a picture online of a hastily wrapped present. I love the music, all of it. Santa Baby, Silent Night, White Christmas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, The Christmas Song...all of it. The books on Santa Mouse and the Nativity we keep in a big red plastic box in the attic. Decorating the tree. Plotting and planning and preparing presents. Stockings. Soft pajamas and aebliskiver. (#danishroots) And, naturally, presents. The love that goes into them. The beauty of your brother carefully finding you a present and wrapping it in secret. The letters we get from Santa every year, even when we don't really believe in him any more. Family nativities. Pyramid shaped advent calendars. The cardboard advent calendar box full of those little plastic dolls...what are they called again? The ones you can switch the heads off? The snow scene, with a little plastic doll angel and a little plastic doll Santa and a little boy sledding and a mom pushing her baby in a baby carriage and ravens in a plastic snowy tree...

Needless to say, it's my favorite holiday.

After all, it's the "most wonderful time of the year", isn't it?

But before that, there's Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through.

Speaking of Halloween, I'm being Ellie from Pixar's UP. What about you guys?

Don't forget to check out Lives & Loyalty!

Love you guys!


P.S. I'm a tiny bit stumped on NaNo, but I'm doing it. You guys?

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Okay. So it's been exactly a month since I last posted, which is a teensy bit unforgivable, but yeah. In my defense, it was a really busy month. Like, super busy. As in, starting-school-and-going-on-a-week-long-trip-to-the-States-in-which-you-see-your-best-friend-for-the-first-time-in-over-a-year-except-you-only-see-her-for-four-days busy. As in both-your-brother's-and-your-mom's-birthdays-are-coming-up busy. As in, tons-of-absent-work-from-school-which-I-just-finally-got-mostly-done busy. I think you get the picture.

I'm also really fuming because I finally wrote a second installment for Love and Fate and it deleted. I would post the beginning of a story I started writing, but it's a bit too stupid in some bits.

Gotta go--guests just arrived. I'll post again soon!

My apologies,

P.S. No, I still haven't done that tag, Bekah. Deal with it.

P.P.S. I've gotten even more obsessed with Hamilton. I even converted my mother.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

In Which I Steal A Tag

Hello peoples! I'm stealing the Five Favorite Couples Tag from Olivia, because I feel like it and I'M THE TAG ROBIN HOOD. Olivia was rich in tags, I'm poor in tags, let's call it even. :)

1.)  Pick one couple from each category
2.)  Tagging is optional
3.)  Link back to my site

1.) Period Drama Couple
2.) Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couple
3.) Superhero Couple
4.) Preferred Couple (from a love triangle)
5.) Couple Ended Too Soon

Well...I couldn't find the link to the original site, so I'll skip that. ;)

1.) Period Drama Couple

Image result for beatrice and benedick kenneth branagh

Beatrice and Benedick from Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare totally counts as Period Drama. :) Anyway, this witty couple is such the best. (If I had to pick more of a period drama period drama, I'd do Eleanor and Edward from the 1995 Sense & Sensibility. They're really cute too! I know they both contain Emma Thompson and alliteration. My two favorite movies are extremely similar; what can I say?) I love them SO. MUCH.
"The world must be peopled!" Kenneth Branagh is a genius.

2.) Sci Fi/Fantasy Couple
(No pic, sorry)
Cinder and Kai from the Lunar Chronicles

They're the best. All the other ships in the series are adorable, but Cinder and Kai are the best. If you haven't read the series, do so IMMEDIATELY. (It's technically futuristic fiction or something like that, but you know what? No one likes labels anyway. ;) )

3.) Superhero Couple
Image result for avengers natasha and bruce
Image result for avengers natasha and bruce

Natasha and Bruce from The Avengers

So...Natasha is with Cap for a while? I did not know this. All I know is, these guys.
"You still think you're the only monster on the team?"

4.) Preferred Couple (From a Love Triangle)
(Again, no pic.)
Blue and Gansey from the Raven Cycle (over Blue and Adam)

So this is all kinds of cheating, because I've only read the first book and it is clear that a) Blue and Gansey are true loves and b) neither of them is conscious of romantic feelings toward each other and c) Adam and Blue have romantic feelings for each other. However, despite my love of Adam, this ship is all kinds of perfect. (Also, this question was super hard because I don't read many love triangles, and the only ones I could think of were either super obvious (such as Percabeth, which is forever) or ones I couldn't decide on (Wild Swans by KM Shea).)


5.) Couple That Ended Too Soon
Image result for anita and bernardo west side story
Anita and Bernardo from West Side Story

MY BLEEDING HEART. When Bernardo tragically died, I literally sobbed uncontrollably for the rest of the movie. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this ship--even more than Tony and Maria, actually. While Tony and Maria had a dreamy, otherworldly relationship destined to end in tragic death, Bernardo and Anita had a good, solid relationship founded on good ol' fashioned sarcasm and loving insults.
"I don't know what's thicker, your skull or your accent!" I loved them so. much. I never expected Bernardo to die. I loved these guys. I'm dying.

Spoilers over!

So there you have it, folks. While I have yet to post the tag I was actually tagged for, I stole one. I am as ever a wicked, wicked tag thief. See you later!

--Ilse the Imaginer