Old Beginnings

Good afternoon, friends!

I need help. I’m not liking “The Villain Authoress” as my blog name anymore for a few reasons:

  1. My posts deal with more than just writing. I’d like to leave a little more room for post content without readers looking at them through a writing sort of lens.
  2. I’d like something that can grow up with me (I’d come up with this tag when I was maybe 13 or 14? I’m 17 now and things have changed as they tend to do).
  3. I’d like a URL that captures more of my personality, so when you click onto this blog, you feel as if you’re stopping by to chat with an old friend, not read a post written by some obscure fairy of the cosmos.

Since I write for you to read, I’d like your opinion. Below is a poll and if you wouldn’t mind choosing your favorites, I’d appreciate it. 😉 Suggestions are also welcome.

(You can choose up to 3 options. 😉 )

Meanings behind the names:

1. livingintheshade.wordpress.com

2. everything-under-the-shade.wordpress.com — 1 and 2 are essentially a play on “everything under the sun” but, as a homeschooling redhead, I don’t do “sun.” 😛

3. theskepticeclectic.wordpress.com — I’m quite the skeptic and have many interests.

4. musings-of-a-ginger.wordpress.com — *points to hair* I think this is pretty self-explanatory.

5. legally-ginger.wordpress.com — *twists lock of red hair* This too. And I think there’s a movie called “Legally Blonde,” but I’ve never seen it. Is it okay to do a play on that…?

6. lostinwonderland.wordpress.com — Kind of whimsical and I like that.

7. myfavoriteflavorismore.wordpress.com — I try to do new things, so this can refer to food or life in general!

God bless!

Rana

life, currently

Hello, lovelies!

I hope your week is off to a great start. ^_^ Today, I thought I’d just let you know what’s going on right now. My productivity levels are kind of shooting out the roof and I may be going crazy.

It’s no secret that I’m a nerd. I’m addicted to mental stimulation (just not when I’m trying to sleep). As a result, I kind of made a crazy decision to work my butt off for a couple of months in order to pay for two speech and debate tournaments.

Two.

Not just one, but two.

t w o

And they’re kind of expensive (for a poor student such as myself).

Image from 1001 Downloads.

Image from 1001 Downloads.

So here’s what my daily life is looking like:

Monday – Friday:

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. –

  • wake up
  • sign in for school
  • see what needs to be done by the end of the week
  • sigh
  • check email
  • check FaceBook
  • check Pinterest

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. –

  • eat around 10/11 a.m. or whenever I get hungry enough to get off my butt and find something to eat
  • work on school
  • procrastinate
  • re-memorize parts of speech

1:00 – 2/3:00 –

  • exercise (anyone else work out to Denise Austin? No? Just me?)
  • read Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Freidman + annotate + take notes
  • shower?

3:00 – 4:00 –

  • we try to sneak in an episode of LOST
  • eat
  • try to work on debate here and there

5:15 –

  • sigh
  • leave for work (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday – Wednesday is choir practice, Friday I take off)

5:30 – 9:30 p.m. –

  • work
  • yawn

9:45/10:00/11:00 (it depends on what’s going on after work) –

  • get home/in bed

Saturday:

9:20 a.m. –

  • get out of bed
  • wonder why

9:30 –

  • make some food (if I’m feeling like it)
Recipe from Blue Apron.

Creamed kale recipe from Blue Apron.

Recipe from Blue Apron.

Pan-seared flank steak recipe from Blue Apron.

  • I may or may not try to get in some Free to Choose (I’m on a schedule — it should be done by the end of the month)

11:45 –

  • leave for work

12:00 – 9:30 p.m. –

  • work (I may take a total of 30 minutes to eat when I get hungry)
  • back gets achy from walking around too much

 

So this has been my life and I’ve been tired, but feeling productive, and also creatively drained. I keep telling myself that once tournament season is over, I’ll have time to write (curls into a ball, hibernates).

I’m hoping this is all worth it, really. I mean, if I knew I’d do well at the tournaments, this would be easier to get through, but there’s no guarantee.

I guess I just need to keep the focus on (here it comes, guys! she’s going to talk about r e l i g i o n) glorifying God, not making myself look good or feel good about myself. I struggle with jealousy and try to be happy for the newbies who do better than me, but it’s difficult, you know? You work hard and long for something that some new kid gets.

C’est la vie.

Humility is a lesson I need to learn. And I need to learn to do that gracefully.

I hope everything’s well on your end, darlings!

God bless!

Rana

I’m //that// friend.

So I’m going to do my best to be super honest and accurate without being a drama queen. But, somehow, it seems that whenever someone is totally honest about something not-so-great, they’re just trying to come off as deep and dark and mature.

Whatever.

That’s not me.

This is me:

I’m the friend who laughs at everything you say because I’m not witty enough to come up with a decent verbal response.

I’m the friend who criticizes a lot, but will do my best to never say something that could hurt you.

I’m the friend with the best intentions, but has a hard time verbalizing them.

I’m the friend who has a harder time complimenting you than a stranger because I know you and you’re probably more talented than I am and, yes, I get jealous, but am super happy that you have them.

I’m the friend who doesn’t usually enjoy physical activities and has no problem sitting them out.

I’m the friend who needs you to care about the things I do well in or work hard at. Or, at least, congratulate me in or ask about occasionally.

I'm //that// friend.

I’m the friend who doesn’t like to stay out late (depending on who you are), but doesn’t mind staying up late (also depends on who you are).

I’m the friend who enjoys getting dressed up for a nice dinner out, but doesn’t want to stay too long.

I’m the friend who tries to say the right things, but never really does.

I’m the friend who doesn’t like being in a large group.

I’m the friend who constantly wonders if you like me or not.

I’m the friend who would rather you tell me you hate me than pretend to like me.

I’m the friend who prefers deep conversations to small talk.

I’m the friend who either obsessively cares but doesn’t want to be clingy or the friend who is pretty much apathetic about everything.

I’m the friend who can’t stand the sound of chewing (honestly, I wish I could rip myself apart or tear my ears off my head when someone is chewing anything).

I’m the friend who can’t stand the sound of slurping.

I’m the friend who comes off as quite apathetic if you’re talking to a group. But if you catch me alone and talk about the same thing, I’ll try to be engaged and interested.

I’m the friend who doesn’t get super excited about much of anything.

I’m the friend who tries to see everything from a different point of view whether it contrasts with yours or not.

I’m the friend who doesn’t mind being the only one not interested in that show or film or actor.

I’m the friend who over thinks everything and can’t stop wondering if the hang out might have been more fun if I wasn’t there.

I’m the friend who wants to be in the loop and invited to everything, but doesn’t want to go.

I’m the friend who gets hurt if I’m not invited to something (even if I don’t want to go).

I’m the friend who is happy if you don’t invite me to something you don’t want me to go to (yes, I realizes this is contradictory).

I’m the friend who wishes you could just tell me your exact feelings about me.

I’m the friend who wouldn’t believe you even if you did.I'm //that// friend.

I’m the friend who doesn’t understand how you could like me.

I’m the friend with no clue about pretty much anything.

I’m the friend I’m positive no one wants to take out in public.

I’m the friend with so many thoughts, but speaks few words of importance.

I’m the friend who tries to stay quiet because no one would really want to hear my opinions, right? I mean, I’m pretty pessimistic. Or realistic. Same difference.

I’m the friend who wants to always be there for you and would do anything important for you.

I’m the friend who doesn’t really talk about my problems.

I’m the friend with no relationship status and wonders why but would probably hate to have one anyway.

I’m the friend with the most confidence and the most insecurities.

I’m the friend who think I’m the worst friend and the best friend.

I’m the friend who cares too much.

I’m the awkward friend.

I’m (un)apologetically me.

 

Love,

Rana

 

P.S.

If you haven’t already, go check out my Writer’s Toolbox! It’s a compilation of resources for writers. 🙂

Define “love”

Good morning/afternoon/evening!

I’ve been watching LOST.

Don’t tell me to stop before it’s too late.

It’s already too late.

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the premise: a plane on its way from Sydney, Australia to L.A., U.S.A. crashes on an island in the South Pacific. People from all over the world are stranded. There are Americans, Aussies, Koreans, Canadians, Arabs, Nigerians… A rescue plane hasn’t come, so they need to figure out how to survive. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones on the island and the other people aren’t all that friendly.

You get my drift (when you watch the raft scenes, you can laugh at my pun).

Now, as I was watching, I realized that there are different types of love we can utilize in our novels. Let me share some using the LOST couples as examples:

(NOTE: There may be spoilers.)

Claire + Charlie = Innocent/Naive

I think this relationship is born out of a mutual need. Let me explain.

Claire, a pregnant single mom, is kind of avoided by the other members of her flight once they crash. Why? Because she’s pregnant. She’s a “ticking time bomb of responsibility” I think was how she put it. When Charlie, a drug-addict and kind of self-absorbed “rock god” befriends her, she begins to like him.

Who wouldn’t, right? She doesn’t know he’s an addict. And when you’re lonely/shunned, someone sweet to talk to is not unwanted.

Mutually, Charlie likes Claire. He’s used to being adored by fans. Now, he’s just another one of us. Attention wouldn’t be unwanted when that’s what you get your energy from and are used to.

They satisfy each other’s needs.

Bernard + Rose = Faithful

Rose is religious. I assume they were traditionally married in a church and pray a lot together. They are a very committed couple. And something Rose said early on to Charlie struck me…

“There’s a fine line between faith and denial. What I’ve got is better.”

She doesn’t need Bernard. But she loves him. She’s faithful to him. To me, it’s clear that she loves God more than Bernard and that’s what keeps her sane. She has faith that He will guide her through her trials.

Michael + Walt = Family

Yeah, they’s been through a lot of rough crap. But as the show goes on, we see Walk begin to look up to his father and Michael begin to put his son before himself. They begin to enjoy each others company and look forward to working with each other.

Sun + Jin = Loyalty

Jin begins to put his work before his wife all the while justifying his actions by the fact that he loves her. And she loves him. But when things start to get in the way of your marriage, I would assume it ain’t easy working things out. But what would I know about that, right? My family is perfect.

The bottom line is, they do work it out. They love each other and they learn to do that more perfectly.

Jack = Work/Commitment

Oh, Jack. I really do love his character. He’s probably one of the most consistent characters in the show. He’s constantly putting others before himself and shows that he cares by his actions. He’s also very committed.

Boon + Shannon = Kind of shallow, but hopeful and sort of protective/supportive for a bit

Boone and Shannon are step brother and sister. He loves her. She’s a brat. He wants to care for her because he loves her but he’s kind of fed up with her bratishness. It’s probably not something that would last, but it’s sort of hopeful and, dare I say, cute.

But here’s what’s not cute: love triangles.

Jack + Kate + Sawyer = the wretched love triangle of doom

Kate’s character bounces between interesting and uggggggggggggggh. Her back story is her only salvation really. And if she could choose between Jack and Sawyer, maybe she’d be really awesome. Or maybe, if she could become independent and then choose, it’d be fantastic. But she can’t choose and Jack’s fed up and Sawyer’s in love.

Sayid + Shannon = Mutual need

I think Sayid needed to be whole again and Shannon needed personal validation although I also believe that they did love each other.

I’m sure I missed some couples or types of love, but I hope this helps. And here are some things to keep in mind as you write love (but also keep in mind that this doesn’t come from a professional, so use your discretion):

Rule #1: Some relationships are shallow and should be used only if they’re going to add to the plot or character arch. Love triangles should generally not be used in my opinion.

Rule #2: The relationship you utilize should add to the story plot/a character arch (this is essentially how the character grows/changes throughout the story).

A good rule of thumb for using anything in a novel is if you can take it out and the novel still works, then you might want to consider just leaving it out. 🙂

God bless!

Rana

//le creative rut

Do you ever feel like you need more?

I don’t mean the next big thing. I mean… like you need to do something other than the norm. You need to try something new, go for a run, hop on a plane to Australia (yes, I’m watching LOST), eat some new food, create… something.

But I’m in a creative rut.

I’m stuck in a current novel — well, three actually. Two of which I haven’t touched in months. I don’t feel much like editing The Reset either.

And my sketch book is upstairs so I’m not very inclined to move or find something to draw.

I just feel kind of exhausted. Emotionally, physically, and creatively.

Writer’s block, artist’s block, flipping life’s block…

Right now, I feel the need to relax while, at the same time, the need to explore and do more.

I’m not satisfied with just going with the flow. I want to be more than the average. I’m terrified of being mediocre, I suppose. But the hardest part is not really knowing what I want to do with my life, career wise.

Everyone puts so much importance on that aspect of life.

For a long time, I wanted to be an actress. Then, for a long time, I wanted to be a therapist. Now, being a personal/private chef sounds pretty nice…

But, the thing is, I don’t want to go into something I’ll get bored of, or get a degree I can’t use, or not be able to pay off debts, or be stuck in school forever and not get the job I want, or not earn enough money to live…

Life is kind of overwhelming and I feel as if time is running out. I need to have a decision and scholarships by the end of my senior year or I’ll be a failure. I know that’s not true.

I see pretty much everyone I know who’s around my age being able to stay home (or at least having that option) and just sort of figure things out in their own time.

But I’m different.

So it’s kind of lonely when you’re the only one struggling with certain things and the people you hang out with wouldn’t understand. They might get it in a distant, looking-in-from-the-outside way, but they can’t experience it and that’s not a bad thing.

Essentially, I suppose I’m exhausted and feel pressured to live a certain way, so I’m in a creative rut which means life is kind of blah and that I’d appreciate prayers. 😛

Hopefully all is well with you. ❤

Love,

Rana