Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Happens When I Try to Write a Short Story

I have given up the idea of ever writing stories for magazines. I think it would be a great way to "get my name out there", as they say, but the word count troubles me. 8,000 words is actually pretty small.
This was my attempt at rewriting the princess and the pea. It was a total copy-off of Gail Carson Levine's redo, and it's awfully abrupt.



Once upon a time, there lived a 13 year old girl named Holly who couldn’t do anything right. No matter what she tried to do, she messed it up. There was only one thing she could do with out trying.  It was feed the chickens. It started out one day when she had just tried to do the dishes, and got water everywhere. She tried to mop the water up, but hit her mother on the head with the mop (accidentally of course); her mother, being frustrated, told her to go feed the chickens. She just wanted to get rid of her, but her daughter was obedient and did it. Her mother got into a habit of sending her off to feed the chickens and so she got used to it. One day, when her mother was checking the mail, she handed Holly a letter that said:   To all girls 12-30 years old: The day after you receive this, come to the palace. There shall be a test. those who pass it will take another test. After all the tests, the one who has the most royal blood in her will marry the Prince Darius.  The girls who do not pass will be sent home with five gold coins. Holly’s mother decided she would let Holly go, because at least she would bring home five gold coins. Holly left, to take the first test. 978 girls were  at the palace. The first test was in sewing; the girls were shown two dresses and were told to decide which was finer quality. They were about the same; neither one very fine. Holly passed though, because one looked like something she had done, and  the other looked at least a little nice. 326 girls did not pass. 652 remained. The next test was in looks. The girls had to look like a princess. Holly had a large wart on the end of her nose. However, when her turn came, her nose itched, right where her wart was, and so her finger covered the wart. 238 girls didn’t pass. 414 girls remained. The next test had to do with horses. The girls had to tell by looking at two horses, which was finer. “A princess should know her steed” they were told. Holly could tell because one looked a little like the horse she had raised. 375 girls didn’t pass. 39 girls remained. In the next test the girls had to decide which of two dances would be appropriate at a ball. Holly could tell because one looked like her version of the waltz. 24 girls didn’t pass. 15 girls were still in the race. They had come the the end of the day, and there was one last test. They had to sleep on a 7 mattresses  which had a kernel of corn underneath them. In the morning, the prince would chose one if more than two girls remained or if none of them passed the test. Now, prince Darius was very bad at making decisions, and he figured none of the princesses would be able to feel a kernel of corn through all those mattresses. He knew that in the morning he would say: “ Eenie Meenie Miny Moe, catch a tiger by his toe. If he hollers, let him go. My mom  told me to pick the very best one and you’re not it. “ and he would never be able to decide if ‘ you’re not it’ meant she was it, or simply eliminated her. So he decided to change the test. He couldn’t really change the test; that was his father and mother’s job. But he could tell his servant to put his inflatable beach ball under on of the girl’s mattresses, and remove 6 of the mattresses. Holly happened to be the lucky, random one. I the morning, when all the girls were asked if they slept well, everyone except Holly said yes. Holly and Darius were married, and though perhaps she was not a real princess, they lived happily, though not completely honestly, ever after.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Writer's Correspondence - August 2012

So, once a month, I'm going to have a writer's correspondence link-up. I will provide a theme and one or two questions that you have to be sure to ask your character.
For more information, click here.

This month's theme is general getting-to-know-you questions. Be sure to ask your character if she/he has a nickname, and whether they like rainy days or sunny days.

Oh, and by the way, when linking up, you have to put your email on there, but rest assured that I shall never, never exploit your email with spam or otherwise.

Writer's correspondence

So, last Tuesday night, lying in bed at 10:30, I had an idea. Not just any idea, but an idea that made me sit up and force myself to stay awake until past 11:00.
See, I was trying to figure out a character, whose name is Eleasarine. (eh-LEASE-uh-reen). Before I explain any farther, let me explain something. In our house, my sister and I share a bedroom. Then, there are two guest bedrooms. Because we share a room, we also have to agree on the decorations. So, my mother came up with the idea of havens. We each get a guest bedroom to be our haven. We get to decorate it however we want (within reason, of course), and if we want to be alone, we can go there. It's like having another room, except whenever guests come they sleep in there.
My haven is decorated to be a medieval theme. I think a medieval-times enchantress lives there. I shall post some pictures of my haven soon (probably).
Anyway, on Tuesday night, I found out the enchantress's name: Eleasarine. I read about characters taking over the blogs of other authors, or they argue with the authoress. However, my characters aren't like that. They certainly aren't what I would call MANAGEABLE (Ha!), but they aren't the sort to take over my mind. But I think Eleasarine is.
I normally know who my characters are. I know their personality, and/or what they look like. But every time I picture Eleasarine, I get a different image. I think she likes to be shrouded in mystery.
How was I supposed to find out who she was?

What if, I thought, I wrote a letter to her?

*dramatic pause*

And so, Writer's correspondence was born. The difference between this and Beautiful People is that, in BP, you pull the answers from their mind. They have no choice. In writing a letter to them, they can lie, they can tell you the answers quite rudely, they can tell you to leave them alone.
So, once a month, I shall set up a link-up post for these letters. The only rules are that you link-up to the page, and that you make your character wait at least 24 hours before answering.

I shall post the first Writer's correspondence (terrible name, I know, but it's temporary) subject and linkup in my next post.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Greetings from Crete!

No, I haven't decided to travel to the land of the Minoans (though that would be pretty cool). But, my family has decided to have a new tradition. Once a month, one of us picks a country and we have a themed dinner in the theme of that country. Sorry, that was a really bad explanation. Let me try again:
for instance, this month, I picked Crete, so we had a Cretan dinner.
I picked Crete for three reasons:
One: As you all know, I'm working on a Greek tragedy, titled The Minotaur, which is set in Crete.
Two: We just finished studying ancient Greece (look out, Rome!), so I thought it would be appropriate.
Three: I. Love. Mediterranean. Food.

I think my sister is picking Egypt next, which oughta' be fun.

So, I had a pretty good weekend. On Friday, my sister, mother and I went to a cute little consignment store to shop. They had the perfect combination: great prices (picture $10 to $14 for a nice dress!), great clothes (good condition, colorful, stylish). My oldest sister had an art show (!) that we were going to, so Sister 2 and I picked out some cute dresses. I got a black dress and a blue one, my sister got a mustard coloured dress (and one other). She ended up wearing the blue dress 'cause the mustard one didn't work out and I wore the black dress (!!!). And.... I GOT THOSE AWESOME SANDALS! This year (and last year, too) I had just flipflops, which are not elegant. at. all. But, my sister and I both got a pair of sandals (hers are brown) from the store I mentioned. $3 each!
And, being that they were Greek-ish looking sandals, I wore them for our Cretan dinner, too. :)
The art show was a lot of fun. My sisters are awesome; the oldest is a painter  (and a good one); the other one still lives at home (but she's going to be 16!!! AHHH!!!!)

So, onto Saturday. Well, my sister and I walked to the grocery store (it's not even a block away), picked up some last-minute ingredients, and started cooking (at, like, 1:00 PM). We spent the rest of the day cooking. :) 
This was the result:

In detail, this was our menu:
We had a salad, Choriatiki, which we adapted from here;


1 tomato
1 cucumber
Crumbled feta cheese, enough to cover the surface
½ onion
2-3 tbs olive oil


Wash the vegetables well and cut them into small pieces. Mix on a plate and add the feta, and oil. Season with salt and the salad is ready. A little oregano can also be scattered over the feta, for a stronger flavor.

Then we had Dakos, which we found here; though we didn't grate the tomatoes, we just chopped them finely.

Then, we had Tzatziki, with flatbread (Garden of Eatin' multigrain tortilla chips) to dip in it. That, too, was delicious. We found the recipe from here; by the by, should you choose to use this recipe, 1 kg of strained yogurt means 4.5 cups of greek yogurt. 
This dip made a lot, but it was pretty good!

 The main course was honeyed shrimps, found here.

15 large, raw shrimps cut lengthwise
2 tbsp honey 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon thyme or savory
20 grams butter
1 tbsp dill
½ lemon thinly sliced


Using a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil and the butter. Add the shrimps and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes until they turn brown. We fried them for a bit longer than this. Add the garlic, dill, thyme, lemon and honey.  It sort of spits at this part. Cook together for 3 minutes. We served it with rice, and we just avoided the three cloves of garlic (we ate some of the lemons, but not all of them).

For dessert, we had Kalitsounia Kritis (kah-leet-SOON-yah   kree-teez), found here. I just love all these names! And the food!

The Kalitsounia was pretty easy, though with the recipe we had, we doubled the dough and still had plenty of the filling left!
And instead of using 1 lb. of cottage cheese, we used 1 lb. of ricotta, which I think was better since we were having this for dessert.

This was my first time frying anything without parental supervision, and my sister's first time, too (she did the shrimp) .

We had dinner at 7, which meant that we successfully spent 6 hours in the kitchen. :) But it was worth it.

And, I forgot to mention: Cretans eat "family style". In other words, they don't use serving spoons; they just take their fork and eat right out of the serving dish. I convinced my mother to let us do this; it was a lot of fun. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I have been awarded!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. As I was saying, thank you to the Mad Elvish Poet for giving me these awards. I have never been awarded- but I've only been a blogger for a couple of months.
The first one:

The rules:
1. Thank the person who has given you the award. (check)
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (check)
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award. (check)
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on the blogs to let them know you have been nominated.

1. I can take a 6-minute shower.
2. It takes me just as long to comb my hair as it does to shower.
3. I enjoy all house chores except gardening.
4. My little brother eats my socks (though he is a dog... :) )
5. I would rather live in 850 AD than now.
6. I'm addicted to Lamb Among the Stars (YOU NEED TO READ THEM!!!)
7. I've been trying to cook gluten-free, sugar-free for 6 months.

And a bonus one:
 I've never been awarded!

The rules:
1. Post 7 random things about yourself.
2. Pass the award on to 7 others versatile bloggers.
1. I own a cat who looks like a perfect copy of a Siamese, but isn't one.
2. I am a writer of  a 200 + page story.
3. I brush my hair every day at least once...
4... and I feel guilty when I haven't.
5. My favorite colors are purple and blue.
6. I painted my nails orange for the first time.
7. I know some Elvish.

I nominate for both these awards....
 1. Anne-girl, at Scribblings of My Pen and Tappings of my Keyboard.
2. Sky, at Further Up and Further In
3. Georgie Penn, at Before My Penn Has Gleaned
4. Katie, at Whisperings of the Pen
5. Jenny, at the Penslayer
6. Miss Dashwood, at Yet Another Period Drama 
7. Kate and Mime at Notebook Sisters

I wanted to nominated Jaime Josephine or Katie, but both are them are women in their 20's who I really look up to, and I would feel a little strange commenting on their blogs. Is it alright that I nominated some people that had already been awarded? If it isn't (someone please comment and tell me whether it is or not), then I will do my best to find someone else to award, other than Anne-Girl.