Archive | December 2010

Now I’m here; now I’m not.

As someone who cannot drive (and before you jump to conclusions, it has nothing to do with how I’ve driven in the past), and as someone who is currently highly annoyed with TSA, I find transporters to be the perfect solution.  Say I want to visit my grandma in New Jersey while I’m in South Dakota. I jump on the transporter, beam over there, and have a nice cup of tea with her. Then I beam home in time for dinner. It’d be perfect.

Now, obviously, if we have transporters we need to have a few other jobs involved. First, we’ll need some kind of transporter beam blocker, because if we have this transporter where I can transport whatever I want wherever I want,  then what is keeping me from transporting a bomb into the white house? Or my exboyfriend’s bedroom?

Secondly, we’d need to have doctors and scientists thee to prove to everyone time and time again that transporters are safe. It’s just like the cell phones cause brain cancer idea.

Third, we’d start to have groups study and perfect the transporter, very much like cars. We’ll always want a faster, cooler, smaller, or whatever else transporter to make it easier to carry around.

Fourth, we’d need more fitness clubs, because if no one has to walk to get from point A to point B, people are going to need to go to the gym more to stay in shape.

Lastly, we need retailers of the transporters, very much like they sell cell phone plans now.

So all this results in a stimulus to the economy, which is always really good.

That all being said, transporters might not be that far off. Apparently, they have found a way to theoretically transport someone, which raises a whole new bunch of questions, but besides  that, is very cool.

However, that may not be totally strange. Here’s an article from Newsy that explains what scientists did and why they think it is a big step. I’m not sure I follow a lot of it, but it gives some ideas to think about transporters in the future.

So, what are your opinions on transporters? Do you even want to see them?

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To Thank or Not to Thank.

Christmas has come and gone, and with it comes the question of thank you notes. I’ll admit; I don’t write them. This happens for several reasons, but mainly I think that they are stupid, and I am lazy. However, there are bigger problems.

     

    Read More…

    Think about the laws.

    My brother found a blog called The Law and the Multiverse. In a nut shell, James and Ryan (both lawyers) discuss the the legal implementations of being a superhero and how their work impacts society.

    This is awesome actually because a) it’s an easy read about laws that you can apply to your story and b) It’s always fun to think about the what if.

    So I hope you like it.

    The biggest challenge in writing.

    Rewriting is a challenge. All writers know that. The problem is that it takes so long.

    So, I wrote a story in October. Edited it. Edited it on paper. Then I sent it to Critters to be critiqued by a bunch of other writers and asked an English teacher friend of my to critique it too. The English teacher saw it before critters and she thought it was pretty good.

    However, Critters came back with a few comments. And we’re not talking minor problems here either.

    • The character motivation doesn’t make sense.
    • The POV character’s arguments look like straw.
    • The only action is in the beginning, and that hardly makes it worthwhile to read.
    • The POV character doesn’t seem real.

    That’s only a few of them, along with a numerous grammatical mistakes.

    So I started rewriting it. I

    I took all the critiques, highlighted the important things, and fixed those. Then, I made my paper outlines of all my problems and made sure I got bullet points of all the things I want to include and how I knew the characters better.

    However, in order to edit this story in a more satisfactory manner, I basically need to completely rewrite the middle scene. This is hard. I did it yesterday, but it was so hard, because I don’t debate well, nor do I have anything to debate with. My brother’s method of debating is repeating the same arguments time and time again, because he is convinced he is right, until I just get so tired of it that I say I’m done. Although he thinks he knows how to debate, he really doesn’t. Anyone else in my family doesn’t debate.

    So I’m hoping that I came up with a suitable and believable arguments. Unfortunately, this is for the writing contest at my school and I figured out today that I have no chance of getting this sent out again before the writing contest is over. :(

    That’s what makes it so hard. Sometimes, even though you don’t even realize it, the story doesn’t make sense and if you don’t have anyone to check that for you, well, that’s a problem.

    When I began writing, I didn’t have anyone to look at my stories. Well, I only had my brother, but he was so young that it didn’t count. That was okay though; I needed the encouragement to keep writing then I think. But when I got the point that I turned out pretty good stuff, in my opinion, then that is when I need the help of others.

    So what kind of experiences have you had with rewriting?

    Books.

    Christmas break makes me think of books. And speaking of books…

    How often do you read a book as a writer?

    I have to admit that I almost never read books. I don’t have time during the school year, and it takes so much time from writing if I do read. :P I really need to get batter at it though.

    Happy Birthday!

    Doesn't it look so good?!

     

    No, it’s not my birthday. It’s actually Always A Writer’s birthday. One year ago was when I began this blog. I started it before I knew that most writers in this day and age should have blogs and mostly because I just wanted a place to really look at and rejoice with my writing.

    Since then, I have written 276 posts, and 41 pages. I’ve had 155 comments (and 444 spam comments).

    Last January, I had an average of 8 viewers a month. Last month (November), we had an average of 19 viewers a month. 4,164 people have viewed parts of this website, and my busy day was March 31st, with a total of 68 people.

    Maybe it’s not as busy as some people’s blogs, but I’m pretty satisfied. I’m just hoping that this continues to grow.

    So, instead of me rambling on about how difficult it is to rewrite a story (I will do that though. Soon. Since I’m activity doing it right now.), I think that I will give some awards to some posts.

    please know the following terms: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, sentences:

    This is the most popular post by far, with a total of 679 views. I honestly don’t think a day goes by when someone doesn’t find it via google or something.

    The second most common page is on Character Weakness. Sometimes just finding a quick look at possible weakness helps build a character.

    A few other of my more favorite posts include All Writers Have Some Mental Illness,  How to be a Writer in 5 [Marginally] Easy Steps, and Six Tips on the Art of Killing Characters. The mental illness one is just plain humorous, the how to be a writer one is just helpful, and the art of killing characters is one of the more popular one again.

    There are many, many other popular posts and there are just as many posts that got almost nothing, and I still thought would be helpful. Such as Building Religions (Only 9 views since April.), Cultural differences in the MidWest (5 since last December.) The Beneifit of Not Writing Often and even One Sentence Summaries (4 since October 25th)

    So that’s about a summary of this past year. Hopefully, next year will be even better (I keep hoping to get Freshly Pressed to be plain.), I’ll learn more, and maybe I’ll even start doing what would be best for me to do. (Such as write synopses.)

    Anything you want to see change here?

    (And no, I’m not being all stalkerish with the stats. WordPress gives them to me, and I find it helpful to know what people want.)

    Where to find classics.

    So, I say that I think that everyone should read classics. But where does one find them?

    In general, you may want to have an ebook reader. But you have three options about where to find these books. (At least three. There are probably more.)

    1) You can go to amazon and buy them. Either Amazon or Barnes and Noble have classics for sale, and generally at cheap prices. I think that B&N is cheaper, but I’m not sure. And, while researching this, I also discovered that Barnes & Noble have ebooks of classics, some of which are free.

    2) As I mentioned earlier this week, Gutenberg is a great place to go for free, public domain books. (And trust me; almost all the books you want to read is in public domain.)

    3) B + R Samizdat Express. This gives out a free ebook of the week, for both children and adults. Now, the children books aren’t your typical book of, “See Spot run. Run, Spot, run!” These are equal with current adult reading. I am copying the directions here about how to subscribe to that.

    6 — Free Ebook of the Week.

    http://samizdat.stores.yahoo.net/freeb.html
    Just send me an email (seltzer@samizdat.com) and let me know that you want to be added to the list and each week, usually on Tuesday, I’ll send you a complete book as an email attachment. You can see a list of all the books we’ve sent out since March 2004 at http://samizdat.stores.yahoo.net/freeb.html

    Likewise for our free kids’ book of the week (a separate list — you can be on one or the other or both) http://samizdat.stores.yahoo.net/kid.html

    How many people do you know who love books but have never read a book on their computer? I’d be happy to add them to these distribution lists as well. Please spread the word.

    So those are three places where you can go. Do you know anywhere else, preferably to get free ebooks?

    A little bit more about metal.

    My chemistry teacher has some awesome stories.

    Potassium is highly reactive with water and air, as I discussed last week, a scientist must conduct experiments in a highly controlled environment. Well, he knows someone who took a can of potassium, tossed into the lake, and then shot it with a gun.

    This caused a bunch of repeat explosions, for lack of better words, because the little bit of potassium would react with the air, explode, and show more potassium and that would explode, and so on and so forth.

    Another experiment that they would show is  take a cube of potassium and I’m not sure how they did this exactly, but the cube is probably covered with potassium oxide of sorts. They would take this cube of potassium, cut all six sides of it very quickly, and then wait a few minutes. After a few minutes, they would snip off the corner of the cube and pour out liquid potassium. This would happen because the reaction of the air with the fresh potassium would cause it to heat up so much, it melted the potassium on the inside.

    Yeah. Wow.

    Now, we can discuss magnesium. Magnesium isn’t reactive, and it’s light, so it makes perfect sense to make ships out of in. In fact, that is exactly what Britain did during a war with Argentina. This didn’t go too well however, since fires on the ships could not be put out once started.

    Strontium is another fun metal. A certain isotope of strontium, Sr-90, is used in atomic bombs. Well, Strontium can also be used to replace calcium in our bones. Our body needs calcium though, not strontium so this leads to anemia,  and leukemia. If it can replace the calcium in our muscles as well, then we are in serious trouble, because our muscles need calcium to contract.

    What makes a classic.

    A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness.

    ~ Edith Wharton

    Why One Should Read Classics.

    Although I tend to write more science fiction than anything else, and I find that science fiction classes are not always the easiest to find, I have a special place on my inner bookshelf for classics. I actually read enough classics in highschool, and as such, I will never say not to read a classic merely because it is old.

    Because of that, I have come up with five reasons why you should read classic books as writer.

    1) They are all well written.

    That may seem silly, I know, but think about it this way. You go to WalMart or Barnes & Nobel, and you pick up a book that is said to be a New York Times bestseller. That book may be popular, but it was written–what?–two years ago? Who says where it will be in the next five.

    Compare that to we’ll say a Jane Austin book. That book has been around for almost two hundred years.  By the mere fact that it is still read two hundred years after it was written, we can be pretty certain that it is good.

    3) They didn’t waste words.

    Two hundred years ago, they didn’t have computers. They didn’t even have typewriters. All books were handwritten, copy by copy. Personally, if I had to write each copy of my story out, I probably would have given up writing a long time ago. I most certainly would be very careful not to use any more words than I need to. So they demonstrate good writing, while not saying too much.

    2) They have some of the best examples of good writing.

    All writers look to find the best examples of dialogue, narration, character development, ect. At least, all writers should be. Why not read how to develop these from books that are older, and from a time when people spent more with each other? This goes back to the last one, but still stands on its own, because sometimes the best way to see how a character develops the best is to read it from a really, really good book.

    I have done that with The Three Brides, and it actually worked for character development.

    Now, besides that, many of them were written in a time period when it took a lot less to shock people. As such, you can see how to take something small and make it serious.

    4) They’re not all bad.

    This sounds really bad, coming from someone who has been singing about the praises of classics. However, when I first thought about reading classics, I thought, “Boring.” Really! With the exception of Hemmingway, I have found very few classics that are truly boring. And what is better to say?

    “I don’t like Hemmingway.”

    “Why not?”

    “He’s just so old!”

    Or

    “I don’t like Hemmingway.”

    “Why not?”

    “I’ve read two or three of his books and they just didn’t sit with me. Not to mention he’s not that clean.”

    5) They are long.

    This is an added bonus. See, what would you rather read? A two hundred page book where you get friends and then lose them, or a five hundred page book where you can gain your friends and keep them longer before you lose them? Personally, the longer the book the better.

    So where do you find these books? There are numberous itouch apps that have them, so you can carry them around. I don’t know if ibook does (I just downloaded that.) but look around and you can find some.

    Also, Project Gutenburg contains a lot of out-of-print books for free. I’d suggest starting with either the top 100 downloaded books or by starting with one of my favorite authors, Charlotte Mary Yonge.

    Anyone have any other recommendations on what to read?