A writing blog.

University

Semester One of Year Three

It’s been a while. No excuse really; I had days off during the summer only working nights but this summer I failed in my goal I had put forth for myself. There were a couple of goals actually: finish Everlasting and write something everyday. Yeah I can’t keep to a schedule very well. I keep thinking: “today we’re going to write the next chapter!” and I never do. Life is weird that way.

This semester is going good so far, I’ve finally put my characters (Alexis and Cambria Scott) into a longer work. I’m creating a TV drama with them as the main characters. So far it’s so good. My dialogue is something I strive to make sound natural and I’m very proud of all of my dialogue’s in the last year that I’ve written. I feel that I’ve grown considerably in that area of my writing and it’s something I want to continue to develop because in some stories I’m reading for my classes or online, I find that dialogue is something many people have trouble with.

I have trouble with endings. In my short story classes I have a hard time coming to a full conclusion. Last year second semester I kept writing what my professor called a Chekovian ending. Chekov is a Russian writer that was apparently famous for not fully completing his stories. I haven’t read many of his stories, but I’ve read a few of his plays and those are quite fantastic. I guess I just like his endings so much that I continue to write like that; at least that’s what people in my class have been saying about this recent story I wrote. They say it doesn’t feel like a complete ending, but to me it is. I don’t want to tell the reader what happens; I want them to imagine it. I guess we’ll see what my professor has to say.

1.9 of Minecraft Beta is coming out soon. Unless it has already come out..? Not too sure when it was coming out; I don’t remember if Notch put it up on Twitter. I might have missed him posting that on his Twitter feed. If you don’t know or play that game, you should. It’s amazing. Well, I guess it’s more of an acquired taste as they say. It’s probably not everybody’s cup of tea!

Anyway, it’s time to return to my editing/workshopping of my classmates works. This process is very time consuming. You definitely need to be in the mind frame to edit stories. And you need to be able to set aside a few hours specifically for this.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

❤ Tara

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Women Studies 100 Engaged Project

Hello.

This is an entry to post our one episode only podcast. It features myself (Tara), my project partner Sophie and our friend Mike talking about the women we find inspiring. It was a very enjoyable experience and I hope you enjoy our conversation!

The link: http://www.megavideo.com/?v=ZN4V8ICO

It is posted as a video, however, there is only a picture of a brightly coloured bird. It is purely audio, however, we needed to create a video in order to post it, free, to the internet.

Enjoy!


Reading Week? More Like Gaming Week.

Hello!

Statistics: Feb 15: 2 1/2 hours, Feb 16: 2 1/2 hours, Feb 21: 5 hours (with the girls), Feb 23: 5 hours, Feb 24: 5 hours (Monopoly), Feb 27: 5 hours. Total gaming hours is 25 hours. Wow.

So I’ve got two weeks posted here. I can’t believe how much I gamed. It’s amazing how much time I spent with my friends and gaming. It’s something that we’ve bonded over I guess. Which is weird because the game we tend to bond over is Call of Duty. I think it’s an odd game to bond over considering we swear and curse at each other. Not exactly a bonding moment to most people.

The fifteenth and sixteenth, the days I gamed before the reading break, was Minecraft. I was mostly working on the local project. We haven’t gotten very far. I was going to play some more at home but I unfortunately couldn’t log on in Calgary. It’s understandable; the server was created in Nanaimo so I didn’t think it would work but I had hoped it would work.

The other two days (the 23 & 27) I was playing Final Fantasy X-2. It’s a relaxing game where I can just focus on the game and not think of anything else or I can let my mind wander and conjure up ideas that I turn around and around in my head, trying to decide if they’re good enough to be used or not. It’s a simple game, the storyline is very fun and relatable. I really like to play games that have storyline’s that are enjoyable. FFX-2 is so far the one I like the best. Though the Sims is fun as well since you can create your own, but FFX-2 has so many different dynamic characters that it’s almost like a book or movie. It’s what I like best about gaming.

Works Cited

Infinity Ward. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Activision. USA: 2009.

Maxis. The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff. Electronic Arts Inc. USA: 2008.

Persson, Markus. Minecraft. Mojang AB. Sweden: 2009-2010.

Square Co. Final Fantasy X-2. Square Enix. International/Australia: 2004.


Didn’t Game As Much As I Planned To

Hello!

Statistics: total hours is 3. Feb 8, 6-8:30 and Feb 9 11-11:30. Sims 2 shut down after thirty minutes and I decided to work on homework instead.

It was a busy week last week and playing Sims 2 was a wonderful distraction that took my mind away from the real world for a bit. I was in a bit of a rut and needed a distraction and a way to clear my mind. It was also relaxing this past week to play the game. Maybe it was because the romance section in my genre fiction class was pretty much over and we were starting fantasy. It was actually this that gave me inspiration to start planning a game. I was thinking of a story and was going into the politics and when it would be set and where, when I thought this could be a pretty neat video game. We’re just going to see if the plans will turn out how I’m picturing it.

I find it very interesting to find out where the people that create video games have come up with their inspiration. It’s something that I love to learn about, more so in other authors, but I just started noticing how close video games and novels can be. It can sometimes give me inspiration for my stories when I find where other people have gotten theirs from; it’s also cool to see if I have anything in common with other authors. I’ve started to become more interested in the ways video games are written, like the storyline in the game. I was, at a time, interested in the development of a game but I’ve come to realize while that would be cool I just don’t think I’d be able to do it and would like to stay focused on the story. It’s what I love and what I want to do in life; besides teaching.

That’s one thing I like about Sims 2; you can create your own storyline. Each family will  be different, not just in looks, but their outlook on life, what they do, what they like, where they live. It’s amazing the different possibilities that come from the game. It’s relaxing and you don’t need to think except for what you want to name the characters and how you want their house to look. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in a completely different world.

-wl

Works Cited

Maxis. The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff. Electronic Arts Inc. USA: 2008.


FreeCell – Card Games Now

Hello!

Statistics: They’re a little rough this week but I know I played at least 3 hours of it starting February 3rd and ending February 6th. I played at least five games every time I opened it and to play one game can take anywhere from five minutes to ten minutes! So, if I’ve added it together correctly, the total should come out to 3 hours.

This past week was busy. I didn’t have much time for games, hence why the game this week is FreeCell; played both on my iPod touch and my computer. This game used to always be challenging and I never knew how to play it for the longest time. It confused me because it looked similar to solitaire but when you start playing you find out it’s completely different! It made me discouraged so I didn’t play for quite a few years until I finally learned the rules. I find the game entertaining now because it challenges my mind and allows me to come up with different ways to tackle the game. It’s just like a story; there are many ways to start, continue and end one!

This game allowed me to take a break from the mound of schoolwork I had last week and it was a nice break, not one where you just sit there trying to plan a story when you just don’t want to think anymore. It’s not a game like Minecraft or Call of Duty where you’re immersed into the game and you personify the character as yourself. In FreeCell, you’re just trying to get all the cards from ace to king in the allotted spots. It was a nice break, because sometimes in the other games you have to think. This is just a game to relax your mind and body.

-wl

Works Cited

Buchelski, Pavel. Freecell Solitaire Games Free. PDArt: 2002-2010. iPod app.

Infinity Ward. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Activision. USA: 2009.

Oberon Games and Microsoft Corporation. FreeCell. Microsoft Coporation. United States: 2009.

Persson, Markus. Minecraft. Mojang AB. Sweden: 2009-2010.


The Game of Minecraft

Hello!

Statistics: I played quite a bit this week. I think I was putting off homework… Anyway, 8 hours in total, shocking I know. 3 hours on January 25 (this doesn’t include the time in class), 2 hours on January 26, and another 3 hours on January 29.

I didn’t realize I had played so long this week until I tallied up all the hours. It’s amazing how much time you can waste just playing a simple game like Minecraft. It’s odd how much time I waste in a week. I especially felt that way this past week. The game just felt like a distraction to me, not so much fun anymore. It was weird and I don’t know why. Usually I’ve had fun playing the game but it started to lose my interest. I don’t know if I’m just too distracted by my thoughts and even a video game won’t distract me, or if maybe I just need a small break. Small meaning a day or two. I feel so focused on my stories but I can’t seem to produce enough of them to complete one. It’s driving me nuts!

Another thing I was thinking about was the question: why? I’ve tried to answer it before but then another day passes and I feel that my reasoning has changed. At least that’s how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of days. I’m not sure what has happened. Maybe it was reading those romance excerpts for my genre fiction class or thinking about my own romance that I’ll be writing. I’m sure my mind is just jumbled and even a video game won’t straighten it out. It used to in the past, but maybe I’m just changing. We all do, after all.

Even though this week was weird, I did enjoy playing the game before the weekend. I’m not sure what happened, but I guess that’s a mystery I’ll have to work out myself. Asking questions until finally I can get a straightforward answer.

-wl

Works Cited

Persson, Markus. Minecraft. Mojang AB. Sweden: 2009-2010.


Game – Minecraft

Hello.

Statistics first: a total of approximately 5 hours of Minecraft. January 18, 2 1/2 hours, and January 19, 2 1/2 hours. I didn’t have time to play any other games last week, so it was just Minecraft.

Minecraft is awesome. It’s simple yet very fun. So far I’ve just had it on peaceful mode and chosen to build. On the 19th I started crafting Hogwarts. It’s not going to be perfect because you can’t make the towers round and the rooftops won’t be slanted and come to a complete point. It looks okay right now, I haven’t gotten very far, just the entrance into the castle from the Black Lake, but I’ll get there. I’m a big Harry Potter fan and I wanted to construct something from the series. I thought Hogwarts would be the best place to start 😀

I didn’t expect to play that long on Minecraft; I actually thought I’d just take a peek inside and then play something else. That didn’t happen. The time just flew by. But I had so much fun! I want to try it on a harder level next time, try having monsters in it so I have to defend myself. Though I’ve watched some others play it with the monsters and the sounds they make are very frightening.

I like simple games. To me it gives more freedom to be creative and that’s something that I enjoy very very much. I really like to create new things, as I’ve said before, with my stories and now that I’ve discovered Minecraft, I can build some of the buildings or characters or creatures that I’ve thought up in my mind. It’s really sweet how this works; it’s like I can create my own world and watch it come to life! It’s so rewarding. Almost as much as my fiction professor praising my work!

Well, that’s all for now!

– wl

Works Cited

Persson, Markus. Minecraft. Mojang AB. Sweden: 2009-2010.


The Only Game This Week: Sims 2

Hello everybody!

Alright, statistics first (and I warn you it’s not much), but: January 11, I played Sims 2 with 13 expansion packs (I’m only missing three but the disc needed is from Mansion & Garden Stuff) for 2 1/2 hours. I also play the same game January 15 for another 2 1/2 hours. So, in total 5 hours. I also tried to play Minecraft for a little while on the 14th, but it was all wonky when I was playing it. A friend has offered a solution but I have yet to try it; this week I will.

It’s weird having to ask myself “why I game” because I’m not used to looking into my own life; I tend to only do that with the characters I create for my stories or scripts.

For the first time, well okay maybe not the first time, but for the first time in a while I played my Sims family without using the “familyfunds” cheat. I’m so used to being able to do that that it was weird not being able to. I suppose I always used the cheats because I liked to buy all the fancy and expensive items that could be chosen. It was a different experience this way; having to get the parents a job and saving money that way. It’s pretty cool though, and a different experience when you play it that way. Sure, I always get the parents a job but the house they live in is much more grand and I usually built it myself. Starting with just the 30,000 doesn’t let you build their house (or at least it doesn’t for me) because there isn’t enough money to make it perfect or pretty, as that’s usually what I strive for.

I find that playing the Sims calms me, but not as much as playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with my best friend, Vanessa. There’s just something calming about sitting next to her and cursing at the television screen. They’re also a way to escape the real world and focus on what’s right in your mind rather than what’s real. It’s nice, at times, to be able to do that.

– writingleo

Works Cited

Infinity Ward. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Activision. USA: 2009.

Maxis. The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff. Electronic Arts Inc. USA: 2008.


Media Studies Project

This is a project for my media studies class that I chose to do about blogs. Since this is my blog, I decided to write a blog about it :). This is the information I found:

A quote that I just made up (or at least I’ve never seen it before and it came to my head): “There are as many things to blog about as there are to write about.”
I’m pretty proud of that.

Blogs can be everywhere; they are in fact everywhere. The internet scans the globe which happens to be the home of blogs. This space is transformed into their home by the ones that write them; the bloggers. To the bloggers, or at least to some, this is our home away from home since this is a place where we can post whatever we wish to share with the world.

History of Blogs

Blogs were originally called weblogs back in the 1990s when they first started to become popular. Some also say this is when they first started. This debate has been going on for years. Justin Hall was a student at Strawthmore College back in 1994 when he wrote his first blog. Others argue that Tim Berners-Lee, the credited inventor of the internet was the one to write the first blog since he wrote the first website. The term weblog was first used in 1997 by Jorn Barger, but it was shortened two years later by Peter Merholz to blog.

When blogs first came out there were only a handful of them; about 50. Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress, and others hadn’t been invented yet. 1999 was a big year for blogs since that year pitas.com was invented, creating the first website where anybody could create a blog; you didn’t need to know how to make a website to make a blog. The invention of this website led to others and the influx of blogs from 50 to over 2.4 million 5 years later.

Blogger was the website that changed the form of the content within blogs. Before there had been limits on what the writers could post; there had to be at least one link to another website. But with blogger, those restrictions disappeared, allowing people to post whatever they want.

Blogs became a home away from home where you can vent or post anything that comes to mind at that point in time. Teenagers, and mostly girls, these blogs are used as an online diary to get feedback about their life from their friends on the web.

In the publishing world, publishing companies usually have a marketing department where they set up interviews, book signings, book tours, anything to give an author a boost. This is still going on, but now the internet is making a stronger impact.

The internet allows for publishing companies to post their ads in another medium and reach more people faster. Along with that, there’s also the author taking a stronger initiative to get their book out there. It seems to me that there’s this unwritten rule where authors, or aspiring authors, need a blog to be hear. It does help, I believe, as well as the social network websites.

There are many different types of blogs ranging from personal to informative to political to educational. There’s no limit on what one could write about. There’s also a new trend going around called ‘vlogging’. It’s pretty much the same thing as blogging but instead of writing what you’re feeling or doing, you videotape it and post it on youtube or megavideo.

Along with the different forms and the ways they can be shared comes the supporting systems used so people can read/watch the blog. The internet, of course, is the main one. Then the company, or yourself, needs to get a web hosting support system. Then of course, last but not least, is the device in which you read the blogs from.

For the authors in the world, blogs are amazing! We can post and edit what WE want. There aren’t any restrictions except for our own, which allows our creative juices to flow however they wish. They truly are an excellent way to get information out to the world.

Blogs are also a way for people to connect with others around the globe. They can also be good for therapy. People don’t have to talk to someone; they can vent in a blog. This way, they won’t have to look up and see the look on their face as they’re judged. Everybody does it, no matter how hard they deny it or try to hide it. It’s just something that can’t be avoided. At least in my opinion.

Websites are changing how information gets out there, making us seem kind of like a virtual community. While that’s partially true, I don’t believe it’s fully true. We still have radio, television, newspaper and magazines, as well as gossip that’s travelled the old fashioned way by meeting people face to face. I think that blogs and social networks will work alongside the media.

Another thing is there is no real definition of time when reading a blog. I was reading one from ten years ago. Blogs will be there as long as the internet is. I believe that from blogging, people can realize things about themselves that they never thought of or knew before. I know I did, and so did Rebecca Blood, a blogger I was reading earlier.

Bibliography

http://www.slais.ubc.ca/courses/libr500/05-06-wt1/www/A_Cho/introduction.htm

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2010/why-dont-publishers-market-all-of-their-books/

http://blog.eukhost.com/webhosting/web-hosting-support-systems/

http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1853875/the_impact_of_blogs_on_society.html

Also information from my publishing class which came from my notes.

It was very interesting to write this. I enjoy learning about the history of things.
Until next time!
❤ night hawk