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A Review of Tumblr

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These days, there are so many social media sites out there. Facebook, twitter, WordPress, Blogspot, Tumblr, Pintrist… So many different ways to connect, to share information, and to make new friends.

Authors need to be able to utilize these tools to the best of their abilities. As I said in my early posts, gone are the days where writers could just sit in the corner and work in the dark, being antisocial and only connecting with people through what they write. Nowadays, fans want to have something real to connect to. They want to meet the writer at signings. They want to follow the person’s thoughts on a blog. They want to friend them on Facebook and see the latest news.

I’ve gotten to a pretty good level of using Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of other sites. They each have their own pros and cons, and I use each of them for different things.

But this past week, I’ve been experimenting with Tumblr.

Tumblr is another in a line of microblogging. It’s just a quick sharing of images, lines of text, or a combination of the two. It makes sharing easy, as the predominant buttons on the site are “Like post” in the shape of a heart and “Reblog post”. The great thing about reblogging is you can always see where the original came from.

Tumblr is a lot like any other blog site. Sometimes the people have a theme. They blog only things pertaining to a certain subject, place, or person. Sometimes (and most blogs fall into this category) they’re a conglomeration of every random thing the person finds amusing. Most active Tumblr users are in their early teens.

But that doesn’t mean its useless. I’ve been able to find quite a few entertainment companies with active Tumblrs. It’s another way they connect with their fans and share quick information. Plus tracking their views, followers, likes, and reshares is incredibly easy on Tumblr.

My first introduction to Tumblr was seeing The Oatmeal (an online comic artist) create a drawing for them when they had technical errors. Just as Twitter has the Fail Whale, Tumblr has Tumblr beasts.

While these Tumbeasts made me giggle, I didn’t much pay attention to them here.

It wasn’t until a week or so back, when I noticed that most of the gifs I was looking to use, had originated from Tumblr. Having nothing better to do (the job search still hasn’t picked up), I decided to try it out.

Tumblr is a lot more fun and a lot more interesting than you would think it was. It’s a community, just like any other site. But it’s a community that’s very easy to communicate in. There are always the anonymous trolls, the plague of the internet, but most people I’ve had the pleasure of talking to are incredibly nice.

You can find Tumblr blogs for every interest you might have. I’ve found quite a few successful blogs that mostly use theirs to write little blurbs, ficlets, or poetry. Writing is just as successful as images there.

While I predominantly use mine to follow David Tennant blogs and express my love for Doctor Who (my theme is the Rules of Doctor Who), I can honestly say I’ve found a new site I really love. Once I get more writing stuff to share that isn’t fanfiction, I will start another Tumblr blog for my writing. Who knows? When I become a published author, maybe I can even share stuff like cover art, fan art, and news on what I’m up to. Tumblr is a very useful site for people of any profession, if not just fun. I give it a high recommendation.

Impressions of Graduation



So today I’ve been up and running about since 7 AM. Doing graduation stuff. Because I am now an adult with a degree. And a technical writing certificate.

The general convocation was boring, but what I expected. Except for the part where we had to walk down halls, stairs, and a path lined with professors. We were fairly certain it was a psychological experiment. “Find your way through the rat maze, then you can have your degree.” XD It was nice, just boring. And far too early. Really, the only reason I went is because they promised us a shiny metal for coming to the ceremony. It looks very nice.

Then I had four hours to kill between that and my college’s graduation. Killed time with the ‘rents, went out to eat at a steak house… Then we went back to the school. I was hustled off into a back room of the building where they were assembling and alphabetizing the grads. God, it got hot in there. But then they gave us streamers. Streamers! That was fun. They tried to manage a full room of artistic graduates with streamers! My roommate had wanted to steal my robes to play Harry Potter. I had to send her a text that I had a wand. (The streamers were attached to a small plastic wand.)

Then, once everything was settled, they sent us on in to the funnest music EVER. We danced across the stage waving the streamers about. Mwa ha ha, fun!  The program was full of things like singing, and performing, and the performing arts students went across the stage dancing or on roller skates. When I got to walk the stage to get my diploma cover, I hugged each and every one of the professors that made an incredible difference in my life. I’ll forever be grateful to them.

I’m sorry, this post is a little ADD. I’ve been running around for far too long.

Anyways, the point is, anyone who’s ever said graduations were boring has never been to an arts and humanities graduation. That was the most fun I have ever had. It was the party we deserved as graduates. Oh, I’d go to another one in a heartbeat.

Today was everything I could have hoped it could be. I’m so very glad to be graduated. I’m already starting to miss it. I’ll go back to school for my Masters before I turn 30.

Now I just need to find a job… Hmmm….

In any case, I’m going to ignore the stress of that for now and go back to dancing happily. Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Happy Birthday, David Tennant

I’ve got my two finals today. I’m just on a brief break between them for now. So I’m forgoing today’s post.

I’d like to wish David Tennant a very happy 41st birthday. He’s by far my favorite actor, and quite possibly one of my favorite people on this planet. David, I hope you have a birthday as amazing as yourself.

For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, enjoy these clips.

(A fantastic performance even if they did cut some of the lines from the soliloquy)

WARNING: This clip is not appropriate for work.


And, to bring it back round to a happy note…

The scene that made me love that man forever was the one where Cassandra takes over his body. It takes a lot of guts for a man to play a woman. XD

“Oh my, this is… different. Goodness me, I’m a man! Yum! So many parts! And hardly used… Oh? Oh! Two hearts! Oh baby, I’m beating out a samba! Ooh, he’s slim. And a little bit foxy.”

On that note, I bid you all farewell until Friday. And David? Once again, a very, very happy birthday to you, sir! Continue being amazing.



That one word can make people shudder, strike fear into their hearts.

But I’m not quite sure why.

For me, without deadlines, I would never get anything accomplished. I’m the kind of person that just loves checking things off a to-do list. It fills me with an automatic sense of accomplishment.

There are different types of deadlines. In work and in personal life, most deadlines that people think of are the big, looming, final deadline. If you leave that deadline as it is, of course it would terrify you. It’s human nature. You can’t imagine having to face something so big and impending.

What you need to do is break it up into smaller chunks. For the NCUR program book I was working on, I made a list of every section I needed, what information had to go into those sections, and when I would be getting that information. Based on when I would get the necessary information, I set a due date for each section. I had some curve balls thrown at me, but it got finished, and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the project until the very end.

I have a similar strategy with my fiction writing. I’m trying to keep up with my 500 words a day from Writing March Madness, but I’ll admit to faltering a bit. I have a map of where my plot is going. I’ve set specific times for when each plot point should happen, so I’ll hopefully have the first draft finished by October. If only the MCs would cooperate. Even my fanfiction has a schedule. I’ve promised my readers, a promise I intend to stick to, that I will get a new chapter up at least every two weeks.

The key to getting things done is to set manageable goals. Procrastinating gets nothing accomplished, and feeling like you’re overwhelmed will stop you dead in your tracks. Know your limits, and set your goals accordingly.

NCUR 2012 and the End of Writing March Madness

If you look back at most of my posts at the beginning of the month, I was talking nonstop about a beastly technical writing project I had. I was writing the program book for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. It got sent to the printers the second week of March.

But I still wasn’t done with NCUR. I pretty much sold my soul to them for the weekend. I was running the information table, directing countless volunteers, and being overall helpful. I worked the information table from 7 AM to 5:30 PM on Thursday, followed by class, 7 AM to 7:30 PM on Friday, and 7 AM to 4 PM on Saturday. I also made a few attendees’ days better by giving them rides back to their hotels.

It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun at the same time. I’ve worked longer shifts at previous jobs, but there was usually a point I could shut off my brain and just go through the motions. My volunteers could answer the basic majority questions, but I was the one that had to answer the hard questions. I had to think the whole time. So when I eventually got home, I was a little brain fried.

Unfortunately, this killed my writing buzz. I was participating in Writing March Madness,  if you recall. My goal was 500 words a day. Up until the day before the conference began, I had only missed three days out of the whole month. That was met over the conference. I didn’t write a single word creatively those days. So my final March Madness achievement ended up being 25 days of writing, 6 days of slacking.

The good news is, I definitely did hit over 15,500 words (which is what I would have had if I had written only 500 words a day every single day). When I began, my word count was just over 10k. Now I have just under 24k towards Stealing the Crown, 7k towards fanfictions (don’t judge me), and 5k towards smaller miscellaneous projects.

I will keep chugging along in writing Stealing the Crown because I’d like to have the initial draft finished by October so that I can start on the sequel for NaNoWriMo in November (assuming I figure out a plot for a sequel, not just the opening scene). I will also keep you posted on StC updates as they come in.

Where are you at with your goals?  Writing or otherwise. Don’t you just hate it when life gets in the way? But if it didn’t, we wouldn’t have anything to write about.

My Favorite Fictional Characters

Alright, alright. This is a ridiculously broad category. There are so many fictional characters out there, and I love quite a few of them. I have a slight (lying blatantly to myself here) bias towards male characters, because not only do I get to love them for their wicked awesomeness, I also get to crush on them as much as I like. So below are my favorite fictional characters. I’m not saying these are the best of all time: I probably have some more that I like. But obviously these stand out enough to me to be on my mind without furious digging.

Death the Kid
Soul Eater is not my favorite anime out there. Death the Kid may well be one of my favorite characters. He’s complex, unique, and a BAMF. Kid is the son of Lord Death (in the English dub), the grim reaper who rules over the world and protects us all. Kid has quite a few more powers than the rest of the kids in the show, having inherited them through his father. But he doesn’t take it for granted. Kid works hard at what he does. He decides to go to DWMA (the Death Weapon Meister Academy) to train with the other kids even though he’s more powerful than all of them.

But unlike a lot of Mary Sue characters, Kid is not without his flaws. Anyone who has ever seen the show knows his biggest hang up: He has a debilitating OCD in regards to symmetry. If he comes across anyone or anything that is not  at least passably symmetrical, he will either have a meltdown or fly into a blind rage. The irony gets sweeter with his hair. He has three white stripes across exactly half of his hair, the Lines of Sanzu, which have some relation to his powers (you can do a whole lot of interesting research into the Lines and what they represent). Due to his grim reaper body’s rejection of poison, he cannot dye his hair in any way to get rid of the stripes. He himself is what he hates most: asymmetrical.

He has other unique markers. He holds his guns upside down and fires with his pinkies. He’s got some sick skateboard skills. He’s somewhat pompous and full of himself, but he cares about his friends and will do almost anything for them. He went in alone to a deadly place in order to protect his weapons (weapons in this world are humans that can transform themselves). He wouldn’t let his father hand him anything, including an already-made scythe, because he wanted to create his own path. He’s well-rounded and definitely well-developed, with enough hang ups to bring humor to the show without being stupid.

Jane Eyre
See, I do have some women on this list.

(I am talking about Jane from the book, not any of the movies. I haven’t seen any of them.)

Jane is what I would always like to write as a female character and never can quite pull off. She’s got more girl-power than most of the protagonists in the “feminist” literature we’ve had to read for my early American literature class—and she’s not from a feminist novel. She kicks butt and lets no one tell her what to do or force her around.

Since childhood, she’s been standing up for herself and doing what she wants to and what she knows is right. She has a big heart, but doesn’t let people bully her. Not even the big, scary Rochester. And come on, how cool was it when he asked her if she found him handsome and she answered honestly that he wasn’t? She knows how to find her own way, despite the circumstances and time period in which she grew up in.

L Lawliet
L is an iconic character in the manga and anime Death Note. He was created as an equal in intellect but the antithesis in appearance of the villain and main character of the show, Light. This kid is a genius. He’s solved some of the world’s greatest crimes while not letting anyone see him accept the man who raised him and assists him, until the case of the show comes up. He’s pale, sits oddly, touches everything only with his forefinger and thumb, and has no reserves or any knowledge of social mores. The two characters, L and Light, are so dynamic together (the reason Light isn’t on here is because he’s a narcissistic bastard and doesn’t quite compete with the others listed). They both do things that horrify the men around them in order to win. He keeps in pace with Light, risking his life to expose that he really is the serial killer they’re looking for. The only reason he loses is because Light went farther than anyone ever thought he would. But L trained others who eventually succeed in taking down Light, so he really wins in the end.

He’s got enough quirks and odd appearances to put any normal person off. Especially after we’ve been exposed to the attractive, poised, and composed Light for several episodes. And yet he’s so well-written and executed that he is entirely endearing after three episodes of his physical arrival. L definitely has more fan girls than Light. Both the characters are incredibly well-written. Light’s just too egotistical for my taste.

OK, so I don’t actually have a picture of Valek… He’s from a non-picture book, and no movies have ever been made of Poison Study (no matter how much I would pay to see one).

Valek is an impossible to figure out character. You never can figure out what he’s thinking until he tells you, and that isn’t until the very end of the book. Everything is an experiment to him. Even other people’s lives. He’s intelligent, charming, and deadly. Life is a chess game, and he is always steps ahead of everyone else. His assassin skills are legendary. He helped overthrow the last corrupt ruler of the country.

And yet, with his own power and amazing intelligence, he is still absolutely loyal to the man who spared his life in the beginning of the story. He would even kill his soul mate if the General ordered it, following with taking his own life because he can’t live without her. He’s a fantastic balance of mystery, deadly skill, a good heart, and intelligence.

Captain John Hart
I had to have a villain on here somewhere, of course. And James Marsters is one of my favorite actors. Captain John Hart, only present for three episodes of the second season of Torchwood. For those of you who haven’t seen it, he’s like Spike from Buffy before he fell in love with Buffy and became a pushover.

He’s dastardly, handsome, and a git. He’s worse than Captain Jack Harkness. Jack will flirt with anything with two legs and a brain. John will take anything that moves.

He’s a fantastic villain. You know he’s a villain from the start, the characters on the show know he’s a villain from the start. Yet he still somehow manages to win. Unlike most villains, he’s not a villain because he’s evil at heart. He’s just selfish and thinks he can do whatever the hell he wants. Most of the time, he can and does do whatever he wants. His ultimate betrayal in the end is only fueled because his life is in danger from someone even worse (I won’t give away too many spoilers here). He ends up betraying his threatener and helping the Torchwood team, but only because he’s pissed about being manipulated. No one owns him, and he’ll do whatever he has to in order to do whatever he wants. He’s a well-rounded villain with a clear goal and purpose.

I haven’t read the children’s book, so everything I have to say about Howl is from the movie. There are other things I like about him other than he’s incredibly attractive and voiced by Christian Bale in the English dub, I promise!

It’s early and easily established that Howl is selfish. He uses his magic for himself and does what he wants. He doesn’t pay much attention to others. He’s so vain that he has a dark magic meltdown when Sophie’s cleaning of the bathroom makes his blonde hair go orange. Once it fades to black, he lies in the bed as if he’s physically ill. He behaves like a child.

But as the show goes on, his true character is revealed. He won’t help the king’s war by transforming himself into a monster because it would harm him. After enough times, he won’t be able to change back. He moves around to keep himself out of the grasp of the Witch of the Waste, because she would probably use him to do some truly evil things. While he plays around with women, he doesn’t eat their hearts like he’s rumored to. His favorite place in the world was a cabin he studied in when he was a child. He loves Sophie so much that he gives up all of his freedom and cowardice in order to protect her. The selfishness is not a complete fabrication. But it is only one facet of his personality among a lot of other things. He’s a character that rings true because he’s as three dimensional as the people that we walk among every day.

The epitome of a conflicted character. While I love David Tennant’s rendition of the prince, I refer to him through my interpretations of reading the play.

His goal is clear. It’s fairly easy to attain, too. Destroy the man who destroyed his father. It’s a reasonable and defendable goal, too. But he can’t bring himself to do it. Murder does something to you. It makes you cold and not like you were before, no matter your reasons for doing it. Hamlet is an intellect, a man of diplomacy and solutions. He has to face what he needs to do, but only once he’s absolutely sure.

His hesitation costs everyone their lives. But it’s still understandable. Not right, but understandable. He has a singular goal, but he can’t reach it. Sometimes the barriers we put up for ourselves are the largest and most impossible to cross of all.

Edmond Dantès
One of my favorite characters of all time. I just keep going back to The Count of Monte Cristo. He is one of the most complex characters of all time. I do enjoy the movie this picture was taken from, but the book is so much better.

He is not an inherently evil person. On the contrary, he’s actually an amazing man with a big heart. Even while he’s destroying lives and killing men, he’s still helping other people like the banker, Haydée, and Bertuccio. He avoids destroying anyone’s lives that did not destroy his.

Though he starts out as ignorant, thinking the best of everyone and really only knowing how to sail, he thrives on the knowledge he gains while in prison. He learns to read, learns languages, learns to sword fight, learns whatever his fellow prisoner can teach him, which is a lot. Though they do not get out the way they plan, he’s innovative enough to create his own opportunity on a moment’s notice.

He’s creative, intelligent, and focused on a singular goal. When he actually survives his revenge plot, he doesn’t know what to do; he wasn’t planning on getting any farther. But thankfully he doesn’t go back to his love from before his imprisonment. They are different people; they wouldn’t get along any more. He leaves with Haydée. Thank god for a unique ending!

Here’s another man I have no picture of, because this book has an even smaller fanbase than Poison Study. This was my favorite book back when I was still LDS.

Jess is dark, moody, and suicidal at one point. But he’s still intelligent and kind, once he can get past his… well, past. Jess was a major inspiration for Vedo in A Captive Mind.

He grew up with a good, loving LDS family. But he’s always had an innate need to rebel that I can identify heavily with. He used to do drugs, had a ton of different piercings in his ears, and had long hair. But he got past all of that with the help of a friend. He started rebelling in different ways, like showing up to an informal party in a tuxedo.

His life was destroyed when the car he was driving was hit by a truck in the wrong lane, killing his best friend, and his brother and his brother’s wife, and putting him in a comma for three months. He has a history that drives his self-destructive behavior. Everything he does revolves around his past.

Doctor Horrible
This man… So much love for this man. This character is a composite of the genius of Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris. You read my blog long enough, you will learn I have a high respect for Mr. Whedon, who I think is the best television writer of today.

Anyways! This character is the ultimate in sympathetic villain. He only wants to rule the world because it’s in a terrible condition and he wants to make it better for people. I’m pretty sure there are only two reasons he’s a villain rather than a hero: 1) The resident “hero” in the town, Captain Hammer, is a complete and utter douchebag. 2) It’s frowned upon in polite society to take away the free will of the ignorant masses who are destroying the world anyways.

He’s not the dynamic character that is usually the leader of evil. I guess it makes sense since he’s not a leader. He’s quite, shy, and nerdy. But he knows what he thinks is right, and he does everything to that end (or to get the attention of his crush, Penny). He’s another good example of having a clearly defined goal and structuring a character’s actions around that. He’s got many facets to his personality (aspiring to be evil, terribly shy, wants to rule the world, awkward, intelligent, and full of fail). Mr. Whedon is a genius of a writer who always has my respect.


There are so many more I could go into here, as I’ve already said. Jareth the Goblin King (though I’ll admit, most of my love for him comes out of fanfiction and not the narrow view we get of him in the movie), Raeyn from my friend Alex Harrow’s unreleased SF novel, V from V for Vendetta (don’t hate me, I’m referring to the movie; I haven’t gotten to read the graphic novel yet), the Doctor, Tallahassee from Zombieland, the Hitachiin twins from Ouran High School Host Club, Batman, Satan from Paradise Lost… Not to mention a huge list of more classical characters that I absolutely adore. There just isn’t the space or the time to give all the fantastic characters that I love the credit they deserve.

But the top ten I’ve listed here, I try to take something away from each of them. They all operate in unique and fascinating ways that portray true (if extreme) interactions of human beings. These characters have made audiences of different sizes, tastes, and time periods fall in love with them. There’s a reason for that. If I can get my characters just an ounce as good as these characters, I know I’ll have a decent sized audience for my stories. (Ethan’s trying to crash the party and get a word in edgewise, so I’m going to wrap up before he can.)

What are your favorite characters, and why do you love them? Let me know! But please, there’s no need to bash me for the choices I made here. I have wide and varied tastes, but limited space to include everyone. I just went with who was foremost on my mind. I hope you enjoy the list that is a bit different than anything you’d get in a college literature class.

Lost in the Possibilities

We all have those epiphany moments. Sometimes they’re good. Sometimes their bad. Sometimes they give you writing ideas. Sometimes it’s just a small realization before you move on with your life.

I had an epiphany this morning. It wasn’t one of the happy ones, though.

This is what I realized: What am I doing with my life?

I’m going to graduate this April. Goodie for me. I’m going to get my BA in English with a certificate for technical writing at the age of 20. Yeah, that’s something to feel good about.

But then what?

My progress of my current novel is chugging along well. For only getting into it last month, really, I’m already over 15,000 words. Alright, that’s cool.

But my last book took me five years. It’s still not done. In fact, it got put away in a drawer for a while.

I’d like to move out of this state. But where am I going to go? Seattle, Washington was my original aim. But I’ve been informed that it’s very expensive.

New York has more jobs in editing. But really… New York? Why would I want to live there?

Here I am a month from my graduation date. In one month’s time, 31 days from today, I will be standing there, a diploma under my belt, a world of opportunity in front of me.

But where do I go from there?

Where do I even start?