‘Beauty & the Beast’ (or Bust),’Wonder Woman’ Awakens & Double Up on ‘Insecure’ [Nerd Girl Corner]

 

Hey-lo, peoples!

I’m back again with some nerdy news. I’m certain you guys already heard it because I meant to write some of this stuff as soon as it came out, but life happened in the form of sickness after sickness after sickness and your girl wasn’t here for the shenanigans.

post-37305-krysten-ritter-eye-roll-gif-d-iiws

But guess what, I’m still gonna share it. Why? Because, why not. Also, I’m kind of in my feelings (or lack thereof) when it comes to some of it. So, if you’ll indulge me a little, let’s get the ball a’rollin’…

85594-austin-powers-huh-what-gif-wtf-ytpv Continue reading

Welcome to My Comic Book Collection [Nerd Girl Corner]

Hello, my friends!

It’s Fri-yay and I definitely didn’t want to end the night without writing something new for you guys, as promised. So, I figured for today, I’d give you an NGC post about something new I’ve been doing: reading comic books!
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Apocalypse Has Its Mutants, Korra’s (Temporarily) Back, and Penny’s Been Pushed — Nerd Girl Corner

I’m back, ladies and gents. Yes, I know it’s been almost a month since I last wrote to you and yes, I feel deeply sorry about it. I’m already starting the year off bad, but I promise you — it was not done in vain. I’ve got some pretty exciting projects in the wings, one of which will definitely rock the socks of some of your readers. But, let’s move on to tonight’s post, shall we?

As the title suggests, the upcoming X-Men flick, X-Men: Apocalypse has cast the actors who will play the younger versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm. If you can recall, about a month ago, Latino-Review got its hands on the list of Hollywood yougins testing for the spot and the results are as follows: Continue reading

Burned by Farenheit 451

“You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.”

These were the words that I read in the back of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. And it’s almost as though I cannot escape them. Isn’t this the universal truth about anything that you invest your time and energy into? You either love it or you don’t.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m halfassing my goals because I’m not in love with them. Maybe I’m just in love with the idea and not the action itself … just like those women who love weddings and the idea of love but forget that they have to be in love and in a marriage the next day. Maybe…

After I finished Farenheit 451 I thought to myself, what would happen to us if there weren’t any books? What would happen to us, if we didn’t have a few words on a page to enlighten, to inspire, to sympathize? What if we only had bright lights and sounds to comfort us? Immediately, I thought I’d go insane. Even though I do not read as much as I would like to, the idea of having my face glued to a colorful box 24/7/52 just made me lose it internally. Can you imagine how mushy our brains would become?

But then I thought about the bigger issue … the issue of having a cause to fight for. And I wondered if I was “fighting” hard enough to become what I ultimately want to be. I know that my writing isn’t up to par, and that half the time (well, in the past few months, rather) my thoughts are disjointed … slightly incoherent. But does that mean I should stop all together — or just fight harder?

“They must write you. They must control you,” said Bradbury. “They plot me. I never control. I let them have their lives. ”

Word.

“I just let them speak. I don’t control them; I simply give them a podium and let them talk to me. All my good stories are told to me by the characters. I don’t write my stories. They write me.”

I used to just sit and wait. And then all of a sudden, a wave would wash over me. I would just start typing and typing away and next thing you know, there were characters on a page. And they were doing things. And saying things. And loving people. And kissing people. And killing people. The experience was like … a movie playing in the dark recesses of my mind and my hands were trying ever so hard to catch every moment, every detail so that it was out of my mind and onto a medium that everyone else could see. But it seems as though the movie theater is closed. And No matter how hard I try to pry it open, the boards are nailed down tight.

“You have to believe in that self as a writer, or you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Is it that my belief is not as strong … that I lack the appropriate amount of faith? Three unfinished novels, an unfinished novella and an unfinished book of short stories. People say that stories cannot write themselves, but I believe they can.

Maybe my characters have abandoned me until I am ready once again to give them all their much needed attention. Maybe they’re waiting until I fully believe that I am the one to tell their stories.

The Left Hand of Darkness Made Me See The Light

I completed The Left Hand of Darkness  with about 7 days left in the month to go, achieving my first goal of finishing the epic sci-fi novel before the end of May.

As I mentioned before, the book is slightly dense, and the hardest yet most endearing part of the book dealt with the journey of  the two main characters, Genly and Estraven, across this massive ice land. I didn’t think I would make it through, much like the characters. But I did. And when I made it through with them, it was a quick succession of events that ended with me being very teary-eyed. I may have shed a tear or two.

So … what did I take from the book?

1. To Push Beyond the Envelope
If it’s one thing that Ursula definitely does throughout most of this novel, it’s making you think. From the introduction to the end of the book, this woman had my brain working overtime. First she gives me an an androgynous/sexless/hermaphroditic society, then he poses questions about the consequences of equality, and then she talks about the duality of a person, while weaving in all these sociological and political undertones. It was like:

2. To Make a Story Rich
TLHOD had a lot of vocabulary. At one point I thought I was straight out stupid because I didn’t know half of the words in this book. Then I realized that she made them up! And used them so flawlessly in between actual words that I couldn’t tell the difference. And of course, her story was made all the richer for it because her world was complete with its own words to describe its culture

and last but not least…

3. Don’t Be Afraid of a Long Tale
As I previously mentioned before, I only got into TLHOD after hearing it mentioned in a movie I watched a while back.  It was only after I started reading the book, did I learn that it was a part of a larger tale. One of my fears it to have a story that’s really now and not interesting, but sometimes it does take several tales (sometimes even different ones that interweave in and out) to tell a story, or make it more interesting. Not to mention, I loved the way Ursula changed her narration between scientific findings, to the point of view of one character to the legend of a group people to the point of view of another character for the same event.

That’s about it for now. Oh, I’ve also started on book 12 of 13 in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (aka the True Blood books) called Deadlock.

After this book, it’s Dead Ever After and then we can say goodbye to all the characters that I’ve grown to hate, dislike, loathe, can’t stand, and love. However, I did read somewhere that we can apparently expect an epilogue novel with a follow-up of all the main characters. *shrugs*

Con Amor,
-Alja

Had a Grimm Night With Silas Weir Mitchell!

Hey there!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to try to “blog” as much as possible — even if it’s not book/writing related because there is more to moi than just my book-reading and novel writing. Any who, just wanted to say that last night was such a SPECTACULAR night for me and I couldn’t be any happier that the stars FINALLY aligned in my favor! I, along with a couple other fans, got to speak with Silas Weir Mitchell from my fave show, Grimm!

Actor Silas Weir Mitchell

Yes. I got to speak to Mr. Monroe on a live chat forum on Huffington Post Live. << Click the link to check the video and forgive my awkwardness — I had technical difficulties about a second before the show aired where I couldn’t see myself at all and thus I had a bad camera angle, stared into space and bit my lip a lot…>>

It all started when I was approached on Twitter (probably because of my fanatic live tweeting) to do the segment Monday night. I thought I missed my chance because when I responded I didn’t hear back from the producer, but then Tuesday afternoon I got a text asking if I was still interested. Of course my answer was:

If you’re a Grimm fan such as myself, you can understand the amount of happy that was flowing through my body.

So I and another fan, Courtney Wood of Grimm-fan.com, got all set up and after about eleven minutes of the show’s host getting Silas all warmed up, we were on screen asking him questions! Though before the chat they told us we could get like 3-4 , we were only given two a piece due to lack of time. Whomp.

I really wanted to ask Silas what kind of Wesen baby he thought Monroe and Rosalee would have (Blutbad, Fuchsbau, or a Fuchsbad-Blutbau hybrid) , but I got two questions out — one he said “was a good question” and another where he commended me for using proper Wesen terminology. Of course, I was like:

After showing my sisters (who are also Grimm fans) the segment and hearing my mom squeal at the sight of me on a live streaming show, I came down from cloud 9 a bit to do my live tweeting for Grimm’s season finale. *SIDE NOTE* It took me a long friggin’ time to be recognized by Grimm’s Twitter page up until maybe last month. Then they switched the show from Friday to Tuesday and I guess the Grimm Twitter handler on Tuesday hasn’t recognize my awesomeness yet, so I haven’t been retweeted since.

Any who, I was hoping to be picked up by the Grimm Twitter feed for the finale, but instead I got a favorite from actress Bitsie Tulloch aka Juliette.

Bitsie Tulloch Favorites My Grimm Finale Tweet

Now this isn’t the first time Bitsie favorited my tweet. This is actually like the fourth time. But it shows that girly likes what I say. And apparently, last night she really liked what I said because she tweeted this at me:

Bitsie Tulloch Tweets She Digs My Grimm Finale Hashtag

Yeah, that happened. And then sometime later actor Reggie Lee aka Sgt. Wu favorited my tweet about him.

Reggie Lee Favorites My Grimm Finale Tweet

It’s not the first time he’s done that, but you know it was like Grimm actor overload for me last night and I was loving

EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE.

Oh yeah, *completely off topic* I helped a blind guy off the train yesterday. And I felt really good about doing it.  That’s it for now. Be sure to click the links because they are live and you can see me, tweet at me, and everyone else mentioned in this post.

Con amor,
-Alja

Fantasy Novel Excerpt – Excerpt

So, I’m trying to write a novel, three actually, but not simultaneously. That would be INSANE! But I had to transcribe what can only be described as the beginnings of three seperate “long” stories. I don’t know if they can actually be defined as novels seeing as they’re not complete, but eh, I’ll call ‘e, whatever I want!! =)

Anywho, this is the “fifth” chapter from my fantasy book. It’s still a work in progress, so be gentle with it. lol. So far, it’s the only chapter I think I was able to fully get out of my head. If you need the back story well, just know that it’s a tragic (yes, I know I don’t write a lot of happy endings) story of two elves (I love elves) who meet and fall for one another without knowing the true nature of the other. They still however, defy everything that they’ve known to be together and go on a quest to correct a wrong that might possibly destroy the very world they left behind.

Enjoy!

Chapter Five

~The New Queen~

In a not so distant kingdom, another Princess reveled in her newly appointed position. Sitting in the throne her beloved father sat on but a few days prior, Queen Inviera closed her eyes and inhaled the air surrounding her. With a smirk on her face, she awaited news from her servants of her betrothed Prince.

The kingdom of Terra Arcus was a bleak and dark place. Active volcanoes sat on the blackened cracked earth, sending puffs of charcoal clouds into the sky above. The Black Lake, which sat behind the kingdom, was irrigated into the village, creating veins of rippling, cool, dark fluid through out the lands. The homes were made of blackened timber and charred earth, with windows the shape of candle flames. The air was always warm and sometimes when the sun was high and the volcanoes billowed hot steam, it was as though the water vapor in the air burned at first contact of the skin.

Queen Inviera sat on her thrown, running her fingers along the edge of her ruby chiffon embroidered cloak, draped over her bare shoulders. She trailed her fingers along the red satin dress wrapped tightly around her body, pushing her already buxom bosoms into view.

She was named after the paper white snow flakes that her skin resembled, though her people derived from the Infliories, elves with the ability to manipulate fire and lightning. Her hair, an incandescent glow of crimson waves accented with strands of smoldering embers, was complimented by her arched lips, neatly colored in a shade of scarlet.

“Your majesty, it has been done,” said the male elf standing in front of her. Tall, with olive toned skin and short, curly, honey colored hair he bowed his head in the presence of the Queen.  A few strands of his hair fell onto his forehead and he placed his right arm and fist across his chest in respect of the woman who sat before him. Queen Inviera waved her hand, acknowledging his salute. He looked at her through his cat-like hazel eyes. The square cut diamond earring in his lower ear-lobe twinkled in the dimly lit room. He had a boyish charm to him that made most of the elf maidens at court swoon, but he had his heart set for one in particular.  

He waited for the fiery-headed queen that sat before him to speak.

“Thank you, Lucqí?,” said Queen Inviera. “How successful were we?”

“Quite successful, my lady,” said the female elf that stood next to Lucqí. Luthia bowed her head and placed her hand to her chest with an open palm. She then faced her palm to the sky and moved her hand from left to right in the customary greeting fashion. It was a greeting derived from the reverence the Infliories had for the horizon that held all of the sun’s might in the power of its hand.

Luthìa’s long, loose and cascading curls bounced back and forth as she made the subtle movement. She was Lucqi’s mirror image, having the same cat-like hazel eyes and honey colored mane. And much like her twin brother, she was the desire of many lords and higher nobles. It was said that King Vieron of Terra Arcus showed much favor towards her before his passing. She, however, vowed to never have her heart ruled by any male elf.

“Was there any trouble Luthìa?” asked the Queen without looking.

“It is said that there may have been slight resistance my lady, but we are assured that it is being taken care of,” she said, bowing her head.

“Are we sure?” asked Inviera, who was now rising from her plush throne looking at the twin elves.

“Yes my lady,” said Lucqi, who now could not keep his eyes off of the new Queen. Lucqi quickly stepped towards the lavish chair, placing one arm behind his back and the other hand out stretched.

“Good,” Inviera said placing her palm into Lucqí’s embrace. He closed his fingers around her delicate hand, and looked into Inviera’s eyes as she took proud steps down the brass crafted stepping stool, away from her throne. She dropped her hand from Lucqi’s grip and Lucqi followed the Queen’s fingertips to her side.

“Why majesty, you are looking well today,” said Lucqí is a dream-like gaze.

Looking sideways at Lucqí, Inviera gave a slight smirk. The noble bowed his head. “Why, thank you,” replied Inviera. The pleasantries fed her maliciousness and calmed the rage slowly burning with in. She walked across the floor, with the train of her dress slithering behind her. The Baor fountain, a cleverly crafted structure in the shape of a coiled leopard snake, was erected in the middle of the throne room. The onyx fluid of the land expelled from the mouth of the snake, into the round basin. She stood looking into the small pool, watching the reflection staring back at her.

“Was the letter dispatched?” she asked, without turning her head.

“Yes, my lady,” they responded in unison. She closed her eyes and titled her head toward the opened doors across the hall. There was a balcony over-looking the entire kingdom. On either side of the balcony was a staircase that circled around the palace of Terra Arcus. From the balcony the new Queen could see the world she had lived in, the forests beyond her reach, the volcanoes at her side, and the mountains with ice as chilling as her heart.

“Well then, we shall wait to hear from them. If we miscalculated, we would just have to hasten plans.” And with that said, the twin infliori elves bowed and removed themselves from the throne room, and the new Queen parted her reddened lips, and smiled.

Inspiration: Thinking…

Inspiration for my dark but beautiful Queen.
As of late, I’ve been thinking about what to do with myself, and as much as I want to write, I find myself lacking the inspiration that came to me. Unfortunately I do not have my camera to take out photos of the lush untamed natural life here in Baltimore suburbs, but I did think about this picture I found online, depicting what I think my dastardly queen should look like. I posted the chapter on her. What do you think? Anyone…