Sunday, March 28, 2010

Go Crazy Day #8

Okay, I’ll admit it, keeping a blog isn’t as horrible as I once thought. I like publishing my pictures and writing out my thoughts for all to see.
I only wish more people would come to look at my blog though. More importantly I wish the people who follow me would all comment. And don't  just comment on my latest post, but look around and comment on some older posts as well. I don’t only want more traffic, but I want opinionated traffic.
Right now I feel lonely on my blog. There I have such a small following it’s not funny and I already put out so many blogs. And the number of people who click on my blog just to find out what I’m talking about is small too. And when I tried to change my tactic to attempt to bring more people in, to date it went to 0. I should probably stick to my guns and stay with dragons, because that’s what people were more interested in. They were also interested in my musings about gifts. I could also do some musings on the future and on the prophecy and on realms. I think the notion of a tourje should be interesting But I guess there no way to please everyone.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Critiques vs. Outright Rejection or Approval

Remember in school what would happen when you got back a paper. Unless you were Mr. or Ms. Perfect, you’d usually have red marks all over the page. Your paper would be bleeding to death. There would be marks on your grammar, spelling errors, capitalization,  and/or punctuation. And you would correct them so the next time you’d get a more perfect grade.
Your word processor follows the same method. Only that under a spelling error a red squiggly line appears and under a grammatical error a green squiggly line appears. But the effect was the same.  You would correct them in order to produce a more perfect document.
A similar situation occurred when I was doing my capstone project in college. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we would go up to the front of the class with the projects we had worked on that week and present them to the class. Then with his famous laser pointer, Mr. Rodrigo de Toledo would point out what we needed to work on to make each project  perfect.
But in the world of publishing, the red pen does not exist. There are only two grades for a book: A and F. There are only the books that are accepted and those that get a rejection slip.
We as human beings do not learn that way. By accepting or rejecting whatever we do, we cannot learn without the input. That’s why one of the worst places to be on Project Runway is at the very bottom. The second worst place is in the middle without any input from the judges. The best place, of course, is at the top, but those people get input from the judges and (if they’re the winner) they get immunity for the next week. Even being at the bottom is better than being at the middle  due to the input, just as long as it is not the very bottom.
If a kid got a paper back with only the letter F on top he would ask, “What did I do wrong?” That’s what a rejection letter is, a gigantic letter F that deserves the question, “What did I do wrong?” Take J. K. Rowling and her “Philosopher’s Stone.” She got tons of rejection letter’s and she would ask the same question. Finally, when it was published  in America she got the answer. The publishers didn’t like the name and they changed it to “The Sorcerer’s Stone”. If that was the only problem they had with the first book, then they should’ve said something.
At the same time a kid who got absolutely no marks on the paper would ask, “Did I get a good grade or have you not graded it yet?” There are some books that are published by famous book writers that don’t have great stories. Books that aren’t graded by the publisher, but are given the stamp of approval just because of who wrote it. Take Sarah Palin’s book. I’m sorry Sarah fans but this is a BAD BOOK. I heard the reviews and I decided I wouldn’t buy this book even if it was free.  Over a thousand pages and only five chapters, a PhD would have trouble looking at that much text. Eyes need to breathe. And if the publisher read the finished product they would agree.
So what would happen if publisher’s would take off those beer goggles and pulled out their red pens. Then the publisher’s would be forced to read the whole thing. An they would be able to determine what is good (A’s), what need’s work (B’s and C’s), what need’s serious work (D’s), and what needs a miracle to reach at least a C- (F’s). They’d also be able to lay out to the author’s “what did you do wrong?” Then they would write the author’s an email or at least give them a phone call. After all it takes months to write a book. It takes only days to read it. And it takes only twenty pages to get hooked on a good one.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Avatar: Friday

Besides the Avatar, here's another picture of the cat. His name is Friday. We adopted him along with another cat after the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000. You might remember it as the forest fire that evacuated Los Alamos and made a smoke trail that went to Oklahoma. He was found rummaging through the rubble of one of the burnt buildings. It's funny because when they first looked at him they thought he was a girl. “Black short-haired female cat with one white whisker” was her description. It wasn't till we took her to the vet to get her spayed did we discover that she was a he, a very well groomed he (if you catch my drift). It’s a good thing that “Friday” is fairly gender neutral name.
He's a bit of an escape artist. Every once in a while he’ll sneak into the garage and on occasion the garage door will be open. The first thing he does is roll around in the dirt. He used to hide in the boat (when we had a boat), but now who knows where he goes. One time he was gone for two weeks. We put signs up for him. And the morning after the day we put them up, he came strutting through the garage. He always struts when he’s coming in from the garage.
He’s also the only cat I’ve heard of who eats vegetables. He does not like meat not even chicken. He only eats dry cat food. He also likes to eat zucchini, cucumber, squash, and pumpkin. We once convinced him to try a jalapeño…he hasn’t tried a pepper since.  He rips the veggies apart then licks out the liquid. Occasionally these veggies, that my mom grows in her garden, will have fresh teeth marks. He’s one weird cat.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Issues with my Mom

I have to say that my mom and I usually get along pretty well. But recently she's been making up these rules that I can't follow or don't want to follow.

Because of my Ataxia I can be hard to understand. And my voice was taken away from an encounter with thrush. And I have some emotional issues due to several years of abuse from my father and my peers. The result is that I have a quiet whiny voice that is nearly impossible to understand, especially if the word I'm trying to pronounce has a consonant in it.

So what are the new rules? 1. No screaming. I assume this means whenever I'm close to her, but whenever she's far away I have to because she CAN'T HEAR A DAMN THING. 2. Tell me what you want. I'm trying to, but how do you expect me to make sense when I'm crying with ataxia. Don't yell at me or else you'll make it worse. 3. Stop screaming. When I am screaming that's because I'm frustrated. And by saying that makes me more frustrated. One day I'm going to scream at the top of my lungs. How about "calm down" or "relax"or adding a "please" to rule #3. 4. Assume the proper position. Head up. Toes pointed not curled. Put your feet under you. Sit up. Yes, I know from time to time I need reminders. But if you expect me to be able to do the right thing all the time you better get me a freaking exorcist. But please, stop treating me like I'm 2.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Character Description: Praxel

Praxel is the King of the Western Celtic Realm Dragons (but he shortens it to “King of the Celtic Realm”). He is a grand, dark green, and adult male European dragon with ruby-red eyes. He’s also the father to all the chicks in the cave. His two gifts are apathy or the ability to block out emotions and Prophecy (just like Prag has). He’s also a tester, who uses his cunning wit and authoritative undertone to get chicks in trouble with the Renewal Water without reprisal. He also demonstrates homicidal tendencies toward his family. He tries to kill Prag while he’s in the egg. He has chicks executed when they have their first or second drink of water. I created him based on my opinion of my dad.

Comments really Wanted!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dragon Cave

This is the first setting of my story. This cave only exists in the Celtic Realm so don’t bother looking for it. The cave consists of 6 parts: the large mouth, the main gallery, the bathroom, crystal room, tunnel, and Cemetery Room.

Large mouth is two thirds of a way up on a 200 foot cliff face. It is wide enough for an adult dragon's wingspan and tall enough to incorporate his head. It is also the only entrance/exit to the cave. When it rains they have to coral the water with a dam of sticks and other cavern debris.
The Main Gallery is next to the mouth and is the first room in the cave. It is Large with more than a 30 foot ceiling and enough space to hold three dozen fully adult dragons. But when Prag is hatched there are seven dragonesses and their nest of eggs and only one male adult dragon, Praxel. By the time Prag is about five years old, the floors are littered with gems from hoards, egg shell remains, firewood, nest material, rocks from the cave, and other various items. The main gallery splits off into three rooms: the bathroom, the Crystal Room, and the tunnel.
The Bathroom is a typical two stall bathroom with holes in the floor. One is for number 1. The other is for number 2. Never mix them or else there will be an explosion.

The Crystal Room has a number of stalagmites and stalactites. The chicks like to play with them in a dragon game called musical stalagmites and stalactites. They use their talons against the side of the crystals in attempt to produce harmonious sounds. Often this simply produces cacophony.

The Tunnel is long, fairly straight and is wide enough to have three adult dragons walk side by side. The tunnel opens up to only one room on the other end: the Cemetery Room.

The Cemetery Room is the room seen in the Adventures of Prag. It is large enough to accommodate five adult dragons and becomes the room where the Guild hides to sleep. At first the Room is booby trapped with boulders and there are four graves with each having a headstone. And on one wall of the room there is a cave carving of a bell.
Please Leave Comments

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Review 1

This is my review of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I've tried my best to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but their are some:

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book considering some of the negative reviews on Amazon. I found myself unable to put the book down for hours on end. I kept telling myself I’ll stop at this chapter, but then I’ll go one chapter more. The only thing that constantly stopped me was neck fatigue from having to look down at my book. It was definitely a page turner.
So you have to ask yourself why were there so many negative reviews. Some say he was too formulaic and filled his books with extraneous information. And I bet there were some who didn’t like the BS.
Well, I found that extraneous information very enlightening. And I rather like Robert Langdon. I actually cried when he drowned. And I thought the antagonist was good as a bad guy. I really hated the antagonist. As for the other characters in the story I thought they could be real people. As for the BS, you know it would be cool to find out if some of it was real, but it doesn’t have to be the absolute truth. It’s called fiction for one thing. True the story does end up taking you 360º, but so does life sometimes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gifts that are both Mental and Physical

This list is rather small so I'm going to spell out each of them.

Luck-Is luck Physical or mental or a combination of both?

Healing-This gift can be done on others or on yourself. You can perform healing of the mind, the heart, the spirit, or the body.

Blocking-A  purely defensive gift. This allows you to block anybody's gift, whether physical or mental. There are some individuals who can block whole cities.

Shielding-Like blocking this gift is purely defensive. You probably know what a physical shield is if you've seen either Star Trek or Star Wars. And you would know what a mental shield is if you've read some of the Twilight series (Bella has a mental shield)

Absorption- This gift allows you to borrow anyone's gift(s) and use it as your own. This gift varies on the number you are allowed to have at one time and the time you are allowed to borrow each gift and there is a trade off. For example you can borrow 1  gift for 1 hour or 4 gifts for five minutes. Also the gift that is being borrowed can be blocked, but absorption can't be blocked.

Inheritance-Similar to absorption. Except you are allowed to keep the gifts of others who have died when they die. There are two conditions to this rule: 1. You must be close to that person in distance and in heart when they die and 2. You cannot kill them intentionally in order to obtain it.

Which of these gifts appeals to you the most? Why? If that gift has a multiple options and you could only choose one, which one would you prefer to have? And why?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Character Description: Dae

Dae is the sister of Prag. She is the second-hatched of Praxel and Jazel (which serves no significant status on her part). She is a red dragon with ruby skin and blue eyes. She plays a pivotal role in Prag’s life prior to  him leaving cave. She’s a bit of a worrywart when it comes to Prag. But she does care about him just as much as he cares about her. She’s highly intelligent, but she doesn’t instigate Prag about it much.  She, unlike her brother, is not as brave and does not like mornings. She receives two gifts: Deduction (a Sherlock Homes gift that allows her to access information fairly quickly in her head) and telepathy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Scarlet-antics 2

If you have a dog or are thinking about getting a dog, do NOT do what we did. Do NOT give a dog a complex. We do it all the time at our house. We gave one dog the name of an impregnable force of "Storm". And we dressed another one up to look like a puppy devil.
That overweight lady is my mom. This was her idea. And it was a bad one.


Ever heard of a dog who eats through drywall?


Well one day I was in my room when I heard this strange sound. I looked outside my room  and the dog put a huge hole in one of the walls. So I put her outside. Then I took a picture of the damage and sent it to my mom. Don't believe me? Note the carefully placed teethmarks.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Coming-of-age Ceremony

Thank the water, I have notes already prepared for chapter 10. And they are still in tact.

There are four ceremonies a dragon can have as he/she goes through life. There's the drinking of the water, the coming-of -age ceremony, weddings, and requiem. Chapter 10 deals with the coming of age ceremony, the age in which a chick becomes a dragon (figuratively of course, true dragonhood doesn't begin until the dragon reaches sexual maturity). Here are my notes on chapter 10:

Such an event only occurs on the tenth hatching day (like a birthday except dragons are not born) of the first-hatched. Their whole family awakens the whole brew before midnight on the day prior and they are not allowed to sleep until after midnight on the day after. This 24 hour period window ensures they do not miss the exact moment of their hatching (Dragons do not keep clocks).

First, they have a huge bonfire where they start telling stories in a circle. Some are legends and myth while others are remembrances of the young dragons themselves. And when they’re done telling stories (which could last several hours):

They play music and dance till the sun comes up. Most dragon dancing consists of them walking around in circle, but the dragon cave Praxel picked is large enough to leap on hindquarters and clap their claws together.

Afterward when the sun has risen, the young dragons are allowed to play games (See Dragon Games). They play outdoors and/or indoors, weather permitting.

At noon a human delivers a feast of roast Nile alligator, boneless buffalo wings (duck, chicken, and swan varieties), Kailua pig, de-boned fish of different varieties, and a variety of different meats.

After they’ve spent an hour or two gorging themselves, the females go off into the valley to do wreath-making with whatever wild flower are in season, while the males head in the opposite direction toward the mountains to do some wrestling and boxing (which also consists of having a tail glove).

 A note on the wrestling scene: Prag has just defeated Lore in single-combat boxing. They decided to call it a day when Praxel challenges his son to a wrestling match. Prag refused at first noting the time as an excuse. Praxel ignites Prag’s dragon pride by calling him a coward in front of the others. Peer pressure gets the best of Prag. Praxel is still bigger, stronger, and better trained than his son so he dominates him. Prag was pinned to the ground and he sensed Praxel wanted to bite his head off. Until Jazel came to collect the males and rescued Prag (saved by the bell).

At sunset a priest and a priestess come to the cave to do the official ceremony, which lasts an hour.

And the dragons spend the rest of the evening watching movies on a battery operated HD-TV.

What do you think of the coming-of-age ceremony? How can I add a little flare to it? What stories do you want them to talk about? What songs can they dance to? What movies should they watch?

Beginning chapter 10 with notes
Deadline set for March 27th
Also working on promo piece symbols
so far got my dragons all done.
music: Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
mood: daunted

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mental gift list

Now don't discard these as simple lists, because in the Celtic Realm nearly everybody has a gift. That's how demons are controlled. Because they don't know ahead of time which power/gift someone has ahead of time, they no longer enter the Celtic Realm because their afraid. Now both humans and dragons have inner demons, which is why the water has rules.
Mental: understanding, extravagant imagination (daydreamer), identical memory, discernment, lie detecting, meditative, wisdom, compassion (love and empathy combined), empathy (caring for others), creature detection, proximity detection, power detection, tracking, apathy (lack of emotional attachment), empathic (insight into the emotions of others), osmosis, prophecy, mind reading, Deduction, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairessence, clairaudience, instant sleep, and telepornography.

Now I have no idea what telepornography is, but I laughed myself silly  when it popped into my head so I kept it on the list.

Which of the mental gifts would you want? Which do you already have? And most importantly, what the hell is "telepornography"?

completed chapter 9
on to chapter 10
mood: Very happy

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Will the real Susan West please stand up?

Sometimes it's hard to distinguish me from Sorica. But this blog post is about me in real life.

I'm no longer a very happy person. There was a time when I smiled everyday. But now I find that uncomfortable because now when I smile my mouth twitches. Before when I looked at kids they smiled at me. Now they just give me weird and nasty looks. Why? Because I'm sick. When I was 23, I got UC and my struggle with my butt began. But my biggest problem is with my ataxia (Google it). Now I am in a wheelchair, unemployed. Sad, I know.

But the good news is that right now my UC is under control. And I can still use my computer to type, use illustrator to draw, and use flash to animate. Also all of the images I've posted so far are original Sorica's (Thats my alterego.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pets and Imaginary friends

 I didn’t have much forethought on preparing a blog entry. Then I had an epiphany: What if dragons kept pets. My dragons are social creatures, even though their societies consist of one male dominating and procreating with several females in a cavern. Anyway, I ought to keep to my original topic that was pets. I imagine them keeping small pets that were generally mute such as squirrels, rats, and lizards. And if they do allow such creatures that sing they’d have to be pretty harmonious, like birds. The dragons would casually interact with such creatures and provide natural protection. However, their pets have to supply themselves with their own sustenance (dragons have a reputation to maintain).
Music: Michael Jackson
Words done today: 307
Paragraphs completed today: 3
Chapters completed so far: 8.8
Accidents: 1