Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh Hey, Nice To Meet You 2010..Wait, Where Are You Going? Come Back! COME BACK!!!!

Dear Bloggie,
    Where has the time gone? Can you believe that 2011 is just hours away? I mean, it seems like just yesterday that we were saying goodbye to 2009 and welcoming in 2010! And now it's almost GONE!

    I started blogging about a year ago. Be it, it was towards the end of January, but January none the less. It's amazing how much can change within a a year. What I'm grateful that hasn't changed is that I still have my friends. I was scared to leave eighth grade, but in the end I had to. Years ago, I watched a movie named Big Fish. I love this movie, definitely in my top ten. The title is quite interesting, isn't it? Big fish? What the heck does that mean? Is there fishing? I know you asking your self these question. (OK, probably not; but pretend for my sake please? Thank you.)

     To be a big fish in a small pound means that your expectations and desires in life are higher or larger than where you're currently at. You're meant for more. The man in the movie, was born into a small town, but he was always more then that town. He was successful and he dreamed big. He was the big fish. It been shown in studies, that if you keep a goldfish in a small tank, it will never grow very large. It will stay a small fish. But, if you transplant that goldfish into a large tank, it will grow to be a big fish so it fits it's new surrounding. It will have the room to be more.

     Middle school was that small pound. It was great and I loved it, but I couldn't stay there forever. To stay in middle school forever would be to limit myself to that small tank. I had to be transplanted, like a goldfish. That doesn't mean I'm a big fish right now. I like to think of high school as a medium sized tank. Seeing as I'm still a small fish, the medium sized tank is good for now. It'll give me the room and space that I need to become a medium sized fish. But one day, I will also have to leave this tank. I will make my final journey into the ocean.

     It's vast and seems to be limitless. I can may get lost in it, others sure have. I might find myself running back to my medium sized tank, or even my small fish bowl from time to time. But in doing so I will only discover the undeniable truth; I have grown too big for the fish bowl and medium tank. What seemed big for a small fish, will prove to be tight and constricting for a big fish.

     I believe very much that I will be a big fish. Somewhere out there there lies the key to my ocean, my future. I'll find it one day, but first I need to grow. A small fish in a big pound may very well find that it wasn't ready for it all yet. So I'll wait until my time comes to leave my tank and swim into the sea. I'll say goodbye to middle school and 2010, and all the memories, good or bad. I'll always have them, but I'll have to let go and let them be my past. You can remanis over the past, but you can't live in it.

   So goodbye 2010. I'll miss you. You've meant a lot to me, to all my friends, but I'm sue 2011 will too. Today I was hanging out with Cat. I'm extremely scared of escalators because I almost fell up one and down one when I was younger. It has to have been over five, maybe six years since I have ridden one. Today I did. I owe it all to Cat. She helped me over come that fear. Well sorta. I did have a mini panic attack going down. (Seriously, I was hyperventilating and grabbing on for dear life, but I made it down alive.) In the end, the best thing about moving from one tank to another is having a friend there to help you transitions. Yeah, my friends may not be in my side of the tank, but they are still in it. And the visits are always bound to be fun. Now, because I'm writing this at 1:03am on New Years Eve morning, Happy New Year Eve everybody. Hope you all have a good New Year's Day, and a great year after that.


P.S. I'm tired of going by Libby, time to go by my real name. Hi, I'm Ariana. Sure you were expecting that to be my real name. It's not the most common, but it's nice if I say so myself.

    ~ Ariana

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Title: Withering Tights
Author: Louise Rennison
Series: Misadventures of Tallulah Casey Book # 1
Genre: Young Adult, Humour and Romance
Rating In Kisses:

4.5 Kisses
Synopsis: The misadventures of Tallulah Casey…
Hilarious new series from Queen of Teen – laugh your tights off at the (VERY) amateur dramatic antics of Talullah and her bonkers mates. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed! 

     Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type.

     On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up.

    Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?)
Six weeks of parent-free freedom.
BOY freedom.
Freedom of expression…
cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!

How I Heard About It: I actully first heard about this book shortly after graduation. I had come back to visit SBS and was in the computer room, when I decided to go on Louise Rennison's website. Her UK one, not the American one. The American one really sucks. Even the Australian website is better than the American one. Quite depressing if you ask me, but back to the point. I had gone on her website, when I noticed she had another book coming out in July! Sadly, it has yet to come out in American. Hence the reason my mother had to import it. 

First Impression: I was very sure it would be a lot like Georgia Nicholson series. Funny and bonkers filled to the brim with characters that you wished were your best friends and some characters that were. And of course boys. Lots and lots of boys and snogging. And an owl. Because it's on the cover. (I'm starting to think Louise Rennison has a owl fetish of some type.) With the end of Georgia Nicholson, I expected this book to be as funny if not more. 

Full Impression: Don't get me wrong, I loved this book, but it could have been more. After such and hilarious and utterly mad series that the Georgia Nicholson series was, I had very high expectations. It's not that this book didn't meet them, it just didn't meet them all at the pace I would have preferred. The beginning was a bit slow. The jokes were not the Laugh-So-Hard-That-You-Roll-Off-The-Couch funny that I expected. But, by page thirty-something or forty-something, I was getting really into it and laughing like a mad woman. I know what your thinking, thirty/forty-something? That's pretty far, isn't? Not really, the lettering is big for each page because the book is quite massive in size. Not page size, but height. I wonder if it's just a UK book binding thing. 

    The characters are all memorable relatable. The most unique character to me was Honey, one of Tallulah's new friends. I found myself sorta relating to her. Not because she was the most experienced in the boy department or because she was the most physically matured of the group (I wish I could relate to those things *sigh*). Instead, I related to her because she had a lisp. In her dialogue (and whenever the other characters repeated her words) all her "s" came out like a "th". Example: I don't think I can go a whole thummer without boyth." At times her dialogue can be a bit of a challenge to understand, but it was defiantly funny and made the character. 

    I also love the characters of Cain, the rock star bad boy in town who writes ridiculous songs and has no problem snogging and dumping any girl within his reach; Ruby, a wise ten year old who becomes Tallulah's "fun-sized friend" from almost the very beginning, and very much like a little sister to her by end; Charlie and Phil, two boys sent to Woolfe Academy for Young Men after an incident involving a science lab and a small explosion; and Alex, Ruby's hot older brother who is all hot in his hottie-hot-hotness. 

    And of course we can't forget the our protagonist Tallulah. She's 14.5, knobby kneed, and corkless (I'll let you find out the definition of corkless for yourself). She isn't quite like  Georgia, but as Georgia Nicholson's younger cousin, she wants to be. She considers Georgia to be all mature and wise like. Obviously, just telling you that lets you know that she's bound for trouble. My favorite trait of hers is her crazy Irish dancing gene that she inherited from her Irish side of the family. Whenever she is nervous and in the spotlight, she turns to Riverdance. Very funny, very funny indeed. 

Cover: I love the colors of the cover. Very fun and girly, perfect for the story. Though the owl freaks me out a bit...

Dislikes: The fact that the first thirty or so pages are sorta slow and not as funny as they could be. I wanted to the book to open and end with a bang. I got the funny bang at the end, but not necessarily a bang in the beginning. I WANT MORE BANG!!! 

Final Thoughts: It's a wonderful, light hearted read that relates to a certain part of us all. Louise Rennison has a knack for getting into the mind of a teen and giving us lovable stories that make us think of our own crushes, weird families, and horrible embarrassing moments. Her writing style can be quite simple and is very telly not showy(which is what writers are supposed to not do), but it works for her perfectly with the story and Tallulah.  I would say the level is a bit younger than Georgia Nicholson, but is a great book none the less. I'm looking forward to book two. Oh, and I'll always remember one thing. "A boy in a hand is worth two in the bus."


P.S. I will never be able to think of hiking socks in the same way again. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cover Evolution

Dear Bloggie,
    Today I made a new cover for C.O.A.O.P. I was looking over all of them when I decided to make a post out of it. I'm supposed to be writing a book review for Withering Tights since I finished it last night (really this morning since I stayed up until 6am reading), but I'll do that tomorrow. I promise. Sorta. Now onto the covers!

Cover 1

I know, it's the saddest excuse for a cover. Ever.
Cover 2

This was the first cover I had ever made that I really liked. I had this one up when C.O.A.O.P. first became know around Inkpop.
Cover 3

And OK cover that a girl who goes by "The Beaver" on inkpop made me.

Cover 4
I really loved this cover. It was made by a guy in Inkpop named Kyle.
Cover 5

First full cover I made for this series. At first I really liked it, but as time progressed I started feeling like it was too unprofessional.
Cover 6
Last, but not least, my new cover!

The Coney Island postcard, cotton balls, and silver star are all things that have meaning in the book. The two pictures, I must admit, are not random pictures off the internet. I know a girl named Julianna who looks A LOT like how I pictured Angela Ellis, so I went through her Facebook pictures and ended up finding those. They worked perfect with the story so I used them. She'll never know and in the end it's really no different then if I found random pictures of people I don't know and used them. I had too Add Angela's cat Sheba to the cover, so I put her in the corner, watching quietly, ready to pounce. The character of Sheba is actully based off a cat my mom  had in her 20's that she tells stories about. It wasn't a very nice cat. But it had it's reasons. It's quite a funny story actully, but I won't tell you in my blog, all will be relieved in the story. If I ever get back to it. I will eventually, maybe after the New Year before I start back up on Becoming. Or maybe I'll work on booth of them at the same time. We'll see. 

   That's all the time I have for today folks, but come back tomorrow when I'll have a review for Withering Tights up. Sore sure. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully. 


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Viking Wedding of My Dreams

Dear Bloggie,
    Christmas is almost over. How sad. Poo.
    I know I just posted earlier, but I was reading Wuthering Tights when I thought of something that I decided to post about it. So I was reading it (I’m around page 30 something since I didn’t have anytime to read until I got home from my great aunt’s) when Louise Rennison gives us a description of Tallulah Casey, the protagonist. She has brown green eyes, and dark drown hair. Oh, and she comes from Irish ancestry. Suddenly, just like that, I started to understand this character. Why you ask? Because the description reminds me of Cat!
    I just love it when writers create characters that remind me of people I know. I create characters off of people I know all the time, so when writes make characters that remind me of the people in my life, I feel a bond to them. Like maybe we have friends that are similar. Maybe one day my life will turn out as successful as theirs.  
    Of course, though Tallulah reminds me of Cat in looks, I don’t know yet about personality. I have to read more to find out. Besides, Cat will always remind me of Rosie, one of Georgia Nicholson’s friends. Rosie is the craziest of the group and very funny. In my heart, I will always hold out hope that Cat will find herself a Sven and have a Viking Wedding (the type of person, not the team). Reality wise, even if Cat ends up in England and finds herself a big, tall, Norwegian who has a love for furry shorts, blowing his horn (…), and crazy disco dancing (not to mention a semi-fetish with Vikings; but I was never clear if it was Rosie, Sven, or Georgia that really loved the Vikings thing), I don’t think she would ever have a Viking inspired wedding.
    Imagine if you will, Cat walking down the aisle in traditional white wedding attire, only to meet a fiancĂ© at the altar who is wearing the whole Viking shebang. I don’t think Cat would go for that. But then again, there are women who get married in camouflage. Both the bride and the groom. So I’ll just hold out hope for now.  
    Now back to the story. I’m quite enjoying it. It’s not through diary entries like the Georgia Nicholson series, but it’s still funny. Tallulah is actually supposed to be Georgia Nicholson’s younger cousin. At then end of Georgia’s series, Georgia was supposed to be around 16. Tallulah is 14 and a half. MYAGE!
    I enjoy reading (and writing) books about fourteen-year-olds. At fourteen you think you’re mature, but you’re really not. I only came to this conclusion when I started writing C.O.A.O.P. I had received a comment on inkpop about how Angela (my protagonist) was a bit immature, but that was OK because the person remembered being like that at fourteen themselves. Well it’s no secret that I have given Angela Ellis many of my traits. The more I thought about it, I realized that maybe I wasn’t that mature, but that was OK. At fourteen, life should be fun and goofy. You don’t have much time left to be those things.
    I’m not really a fan of fifteen. You’re no longer in that in between phase of middle school and high school. More is expected of you, but you’re not quite old enough to do much. Can’t drive, can’t really get a job. It pretty much sounds like a poop year. I’m sorta dreading March 13th, my fifteenth birthday. But oh well. I need to be fifteen before I can be sixteen. And that is another of my favorite years.
    It’s two minutes to midnight and I want to read more of Wuthering Tights. Cheers.


P.S. According to my Blogger stats, my most popular post ever is this one. Mainly because the butt sex picture brings in traffic when people Google for things like that. Is it me, or do you think it's a bit odd that soooo many people are Googling "butt sex"? For the heck of it, I'll add two other funny butt sex pictures I found. Because that's just the type of blog I run.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Even Atheists Love Christmas

Dear Bloggie,
    Hope you're all having a great Christmas, I know I am. All my close family (plus my two aunts boyfriends) were over this morning to open up gifts at my grandfathers house (located two floors under mine, seeing as I love in a three story apartment/house). Good news: I received Photoshop and an iPod Touch from my mom. Bad News: I didn't receive Ellie Goulding's CD from my Godmother. Oh well, I'll buy it myself; I'll have to import it from the UK. Oh that reminds me. While I didn't get a British singers CD, I did get a British authors book! My mom imported Louise Rennison's (the author of my favorite series ever, Confessions of Georgia Nicholson) new book Withering Tights! All the way from England! I have a UK version of a book!

    I hope your Christmas is going as good as mine is. I'm going to sync my new iPod then change so we (my family) can head off to my great aunt Madalena's house. That's were almost everyone in my family goes every year. Even though I basically consider myself an atheist, I have always and will always love Christmas. For me, Christmas isn't about gifts (though I do love them and couldn't imagine a Christmas without them), and Christmas isn't even really about celebrating the birth of baby Jesus. No, for me Christmas is about getting together with my family, eating good food, and having a good time. It's about being all around thankful for the people you have in your life and being glad that they are still there. Because trust me, as I learned with my grandmother about six years ago, you don't know how mush longer you'll have them for. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Neena!

Dear Bloggie,

    Today is Neena's birthday. She is the youngest of my friends so she just turned 14. Even though I don't have Photoshop right now (hopefully I'll get it for Christmas!), I decided to make her a picture like I made one for Cat back in June for her birthday. I had to use picnik, but I think it actually worked out better this way.

   Nee-Nee is one of her nicknames for Neena's real name. That's partially why I choose the name Neena to use on this blog. Even though the "Nee" in Nee-Nee does not make the same sound as the "Nee" makes in Neena.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Mockingjay and War

Dear Bloggie,

  Sunday night I finished Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Yes, I know, it came out MONTHS ago, but sadly I have had very limited time to read. Plus, I think there was a part of me that didn't want one of my favorite series to end. But life goes on so Saturday I sat myself down and continued (I had only read about 40 pages into the book prior) reading. Once I started, I could barely stop.


   I have heard a lot of mixed reviews, but personally I loved it. Though I must add, it was a lot older than the other two. The first book was more of the physical side of war (with the exception of Rue and the mutts with the other competitors eyes) which only took place in the arena. The second had hints of  psychological warfare, but still the true danger was in the arena. In Mockingjay, it was a big mixture. What will stay with you is the mental and emotional part of war. Those are the parts that will haunt you far past the last page. Still, the amount of death in this novel is so great that I can't say it's not as big. It's far from that. The book is just one big emotional, mental, and physical journey through hell that expresses what war really is like. Finishing this book, I felt devastated, hopeful, haunted by the ghosts of all who had died within it's pages, and physically drained.

   Still, I understand what people mean when they feel that Katniss was out of character in this book. In the past novels, though angry and resentful could describe her, she had also always been strong and brave. This novel, there were points in which I thought she would never be again.

   While normally you would think this is out of character, you have to take in consideration she is only a 17-year-old. Imagine yourself in her place, still young and already having seen more death and destruction then most will ever see in their life. Your enemy has discovered how to break you and is taking full advantage of it. Countless of people have died because they knew you. Others are being held hostage and beaten and broken for the same reason. All because you are the face of a revolution you never asked for. Both your enemies and your alleys have used/are using you. Besides your family and a select few friends, you don't know who you can trust. This is the reality Katniss lives with.

   This book deals greatly with the reality of war. We send our troops of into the field and expect them to be perfectly fine with killing others, with seeing their friends die. But they aren't OK. Many have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for years. Some never recover (take Vietnam for example; Google it is you don't know what I mean). Some take their lives for what they have done. You have to be pretty messed up not to feel sick after taking another's life. Still, we expect our service men and women to be all peachy.

   In Mockingjay, Katniss serves as a perfect example for what war can do to a person. She is broken to the point that she's numb. Then, when everything is all over, they expect her to move on like nothing happen. How can she when she has seen so many die because of her. She may have not had done it herself, but it makes no difference to her. These people knew her and now they are dead for it.

   Though I am fully aware of reality, I not-so-secretly expected her to win the war, return home to her family and friends, pick between Peeta or Gale (I was cheering for Peeta) and live happily ever after. Instead, what I found was a broken girl who had lost many of her friends, her beloved sister, and was quite happy if she died. Yes, in the end Katniss and Peeta ended up together, but there was a bitter-sweetness to it. After all that had happened beforehand, her finding love seemed insignificant. Still, at the same time, Katniss needed Peeta there. She couldn't rebuild her life alone. As Gale had predicted in one of the chapters, Katniss chose the person she needed to survive.

   Gale, like her, was fire. Though he cared for her and undoubtedly loved her, he had as much fight is not more than her. After all, she had first been recognized as The Girl On Fire. Fight and fire were some of the last things she needed after war. Add in that she would never be able to think of him without remembering the way that Prim had died, it was easy to see that they would never be.

   On the other hand, what Katniss needed was a calm baker. He soothed her, was there to reassure that the nightmares were over -- or at least they were over in the conscious world. They would never be over in her dreams. Like our own soldiers, the war would never be truly over for her. But life didn't need to be all bad, she would live on and move on as much as possible, it would just take some time.

                ~ Libby

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let The Self Loathing Begin....

I've gained three pounds.