Let Us Be Your Motivation!

Inspiring Song of the Day: “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey

Hey, all. We hope you had a great weekend. Us? We’ve been revising, revising, getting prepared to move, more revising, preparing to work on our thesis presentation, and revising some more. And, well…we’re overwhelmed. Like, totally. Because we’re feeling so down w/ the load of all of the aforementioned, we motivated ourselves by watching one of our favorite videos. Then we thought: Why not show it to our loyal and lovely followers?

Take a minute to watch this vid, and then try and tell us it doesn’t put a smile on your face…

Are you smiling, yet? We KNEW it!

Okay, now for the somewhat sad part of this post. Once again, we haz to go on a blogging hiatus, peeps. Why, you ask?? Well, let us illustrate:

Working on our thesis presentation (due in August *pulling our collars*).
Revising In Limbo and Faking It, AKA Project J (like scrapping major parts, line editing, re-working kinda revising).
Compiling our FIRST issue of Black Fox Literary Magazine with our co-editor and lil’ sis, Racquel.
Oh, yeah–and moving into a house in TWO WEEKS!

We’re deeply sad to say that something had to go, unfortunately that something is blogging. But, fear not we shall return July 25th, 2011. And we should be able to give you all our full attention πŸ™‚

So, make sure you come back and see us then! In the mean time, what are you guys up to??

Love ya all!!!!


Plotting 101: The Room!

Writing Song of the Day: “In the Next Room” by Neon Trees

On Monday, we mentioned the awesomeness that was Weekend of Awesome. On Friday night, we all gathered around the tube to watch the monstrosity–whoops, I meant “epicness” that is The Room.

Quita and I first learned about The Room from this article by Entertainment Weekly. We promptly rented it, and then stared at the screen like cliched characters in shock: our mouths agape and eyebrows lifted. Needless to say, we were more than thrilled when we discovered some of our WOA peers have also seen this movie. You see, The Room is so, so awful, that it’s deliciously good. It’s the kind of movie that’ll make you look at your POS first draft with pride.

We, along with Erinn, Alicia, and KO, have decided to share what we learned about writing from the cinematic masterpiece that is The Room. And now…

The Three Don’ts of Plotting:
1. Don’t Drop a Bombshell and then Forget About It.
Protagonist Johnny has a skankified fiancee (Lisa) who no longer loves him, as she’ll remind the audience a bazillion times. However, even more irritating than Lisa is her mother–who’s pretty much a prying, judgmental you-know-what. During one of their “heart-to-hearts,” Lisa’s mom reveals that she has breast cancer. Lisa tells her mom to focus on the positive, and the cancer was never. Mentioned. Again.

Um, WHAT??? Sorry, but cancer sucks. You can’t just think good thoughts and will it away. And you also can’t reveal something that extreme to your audience and then abruptly disregard it. Writers, this is why we revise. Make note of when something this HUGE is in your story. But, if you wrote about an element this serious in your first draft and then forget about it, you have to ask yourself: Is this important? Does this push my plot forward?

2. Don’t Create an Unrealistic Climax.
SPOILER ALERT! Basically, Johnny’s fiancee cheats with his best friend, Mark. All throughout the movie, Mark was riddled with guilt for his actions. However, out of nowhere, Mark becomes a jackass–at Johnny’s birthday party no less!

I get it. Johnny needed to learn about the affair in order to make a life-changing decision. That is the purpose of a climax after all. But–HUH?? Why did Mark become a jerk? Why did he all of a sudden not care about Johnny’s feelings?? Writers, remember–character development plays a HUGE part in plotting. Don’t make your characters do anything–well, out of character–in order to move your story along.

3. Don’t Pull Something Out of the Blue Just to Make Your Ending Work.
There’s this creepy kid that Johnny takes care of named Denny/Danny (his name changes depending on who says it), that has a dangerous encounter with a drug dealer.

Yeah, apparently Denny/Danny owes a drug dealer money–but this wasn’t mentioned before OR after this scene occurred. Basically, the gun that Johnny takes from the big, bad drug dealer is significant for the conclusion of the film. I get that–but you want to avoid deus ex machinas, which is a HORRIBLE plot device. Try to find natural ways to lead readers to your ending–or they may not just make it there.

There you have it. The Room in all its horribly decadent glory. If you haven’t checked this out yet–GO. RENT. NOW. I promise you, you’ll want to pat yourself on the back after watching it. πŸ™‚ Don’t forget to check out Erinn, Alicia, and KO’s blogs for their writing tips from The Room.

The Scars Remind Us…

Painstaking Song of the Day: “Scars” by Papa Roach

Road Trip Wednesday is a β€˜Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This week’s topic: What’s is the story of your best scar?

Pam’s Story:
I have so many nicks and holes in me that I pretty much look like a cheese grater. I’ve had two pretty serious surgeries before I even hit 30–one to remove my gall bladder, the other to fix my stupid knee. However, my most unique scar would probably have to be this long, dark scratch I have on my right forearm.

For some reason, whenever Quita and I attempt to share a dog as a pet, we get a spawn from Satan. One of them was an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Skip. He kind of looked like this:

But he acted more like this:

Anyways, as I was fighting to get him in his crate after he chewed on the coffee table/pooped on the carpet/bit my ankle/all of the above, he did some kind of fancy maneuver that resulted in me scraping my arm against something sharp and pointy on the top. So I pretty much had a long claw mark from my wrist to my elbow. Pretty gross. But it’s like he sensed he hurt me, because then he calmly entered the crate and laid down. I don’t think I’ll ever have a pet again.

Quita’s Story: Funny that Pam had the knee surgery since I’m always banging mines up. When I was little, I was running like the wind (but not because I dined and dashed…this time), only to turn around and bang my forehead on a piece of wood sticking out from the bed of a truck. I fell to the ground and scraped my knee pretty badly.

Oh, and just a few weeks ago, I was taking out the trash on the way to work. Thing is, I have to wear nice shoes to work–code word for uncomfortable. I ended up taking a tumble down the stairs and the trash went flying. Once again, I skinned my knee until the “pink meat” showed. Yuck.

What about you, peeps? Any nasty scar stories?

We Gots Us an Award!

Feeling Lovely Song of the Day:

It’s always great to get awards. Especially awards that celebrate things you work really hard on…and believe us, we work hard to keep you all entertained here. So, yesterday after having a loooong day, we came home to this:

Yep, the Stylish Blogger Award from Caroline Tung Richmond!!! Thanks, Caroline- we truly appreciate it!!!! “throws confetti and balloons*–wait can you throw balloons??

So, the rules to accept the award this award is to thank and link back to the person who gave you the award, list 7 things about yourself and pass the award along to ten other awesomtastic, Stylish Bloggers, and finally contact said bloggers.

This, we can do!

7 Things about Pam and Quita:

*We are totes obsessed with the movie, Inception. Pam requested a Blu-ray player for Christmas just so we can watch Inception on it.

*We will murder a mo-fo if they mess with our family. WE can talk about them all we want, but if you speak out of turn, we’ll eff you up.

*Pam: When I was younger I was riding my bike, and one of my neighbors wanted me to chase him. He moved too quick, my front tire hit a curb and I hurt my hoo-ha…but I can still have babies someday!

*Quita: When I was younger, I was hyper. I was playing and ran into a long wooden stick hanging from the bed of a truck. I hit my head and still have trouble remembering things to this day…

*We LIVE for chocolate and peanut butter mixed.

*At around ages 9 and 10 we would write a few pages in our Lisa Frank (or any other) notebooks and read them out loud to each other. (Early on critique partners !)

*Going to the movie theater is one of our favorite past times. Unless of course they are crowded b/c we both have a slight case of agoraphobia πŸ˜‰

YEAH! Now you know seven new things about us and we get to the fun part!!! Here are ten other Stylish Bloggers that we would like to pass this award on to.

1.) Racquel Henry!
2.) Abby Stevens
3.) Glenna Walsh!
4.) Alicia Gregoire
5.) Emy Shin!
6.) Jessica Byam!
7.) Jamie Manning!
8.) Alex Mullarky
9.) Meredith (from Meredith Writes)
10.) Kate Scott

If you don’t know these bloggers, go check them out- NOW! Thanks again to Caroline!!! We will be in touch with our fellow Stylish Bloggers πŸ™‚

Fitness Friday: Laugh it Off!

Workout Song of the Day: “My Third House” by Kings of Leon

Did you hear the one about having a good laugh actually burns calories? Well, it’s true. Not as much as I’d like, though. If I could laugh instead of doing cardio, I’d spend my days watching Judd Apatow movies and “Martin” reruns–which is kind of my idea of heaven. But sometimes we get so tense about this whole getting fit thing, that we forget that it’s okay to just have fun.

The clip below has been prowling around the Internet forever, but it still makes me guffaw. Yes, guffaw. As in throwing back my head and laughing so loud that my coworkers think about committing me. It also warns me the dangers of taking things too literally, which I do on far too many occasions.

So laugh. Burn some calories–and enjoy your weekend!

Need a Laugh?

Workout Song of the Day: “Paparazzi” by Lady GaGa (I may have used this before, but you’ll see why it warrants repeated play)

So, I’ve been a bit stressed lately. I’ve been juggling querying, revising, writing short stories for my MFA program, and trying to appear normal to the human race. Needless to say, I need some fun distractions from time to time–and sometimes there’s no better distraction than watching D-List celebrities on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

If you’ve been watching this season, you know that Kate Gosselin is a contestant. And if you’ve really been watching it, you know that Kate Gosselin can’t really…well, dance. My cousin and I had a great laugh off of this clip. I won’t be posting again until Monday, so take a load off and watch this about two or twenty times.