Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My top 5 books of 2010

I didn't read a whole lot in 2010, but there were a bunch of books that I fell in love with. I can't narrow it down to 10 but the top five are very clear, I LOVE these books. (These were books I read in 2010, not necessarily published this year but I think most of them were.)

5. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Completely fell into this world, it's so complex and dark and the characters are awesome. It was very fast paced and engrossing.
4. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
This is a hard one to describe, but I think the biggest thing I loved was that it was about a friendship. A complicated and messy and painful and amazing friendship, that was as real as all of mine are. I loved the characters and the writing style and the ending.
3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
A very very powerful book, you saw the main character change so much. The way the plot elements wove together from day to day was amazing, the little glimpses of feelings in each character mattered so much. It is one of the only books I've read with completely real and understandable, if not likable, popular mean girls. I felt so hopeful at the end, it left me with such a good feeling.
2. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
I wrote a review for it already on this blog which is here http://toliveinarainbow.blogspot.com/2010/09/stolen-by-lucy-christopher.html and I'm not going to repeat myself, so I'll just say, WOW. What an amazing book.
1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Stolen fought with this one for number one, but Jellicoe Road eventually won. Not because Stolen is any less good, but this one is a bit less painful and I can remember it without being so sad. Pretty much this is an incredible book. Complicated, emotional, characters and a crazy haphazard plot that weaves together perfectly and just purely beautiful writing. I fell in love with it from the first page (and the characters! All of them! Are amazing!) and it's definitely one I'm going to be rereading lots, I just read through a page of quotes from it to find one to put here and it's just making me want to read it again. And I can't choose one.

So those are my favorite books of 2010, what are yours?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just had to post this...

Because it is so awesome I couldn't resist. I'm sure there are many quotes that say the same thing, but this is just so simple and true. Pretty much why I love music.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guess what?

I FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe Nanowrimo is over. This month has been full of surprises! But I finished at last, my crazy insane plot-stuck-in-on-the-second-to-last-day novel is done. Not really since it ended SUPER abruptly but it's done for now, I'm not looking at it again. I already started a new story. NOT because I don't want to EDIT my novel or anything, it's because I made a goal to keep writing and to write 500 words a day for the foreseeable future so I had to! But I also don't really want to edit it.

Anyways: nano. You know that plot I was so glad I finally figured out one month ago exactly? Yeah. First day of nano I wrote 300 words and decided to switch. I was going to take a risk and face the unknown and all that stuff. I'm actually really glad I did, because while my story is not very good (it's just SO light compared to my past novels and I'm not sure how I feel about that) it was super fun to write, and mostly the funness was how risky and unknown everything was. I've always been a planner and I decided to be a pantser for a month. Partly it was really fun, I had some crazy amazing days where I put off writing all day and then would sit down and BOOM something unexpected and awesome would happen, but I also had days where I just did not. know. what. to. do. The story that I ended up with would never be here if I hadn't done it like that, three quarters would not exist pretty much. A whole character who I LOVE would never have appeared, because he was something random I did for words that turned into the rest of the book pretty much. And that was the best thing, setting out at the beginning of the month with a vague idea of what the book would be and having it be SO different and awful in parts but amazing in other parts.

I will definitely have to see how I feel about it in another month, because while I like it I don't have this love for it like I do the last book I wrote. And most of the time it felt like I was writing a practice novel so I'll have to see if in a while I think there's things I can salvage or not. But either way I'm going to keep writing, and also, I wrote 9 poems in November! Compared to 1 in October, so that makes me happy.

First sentence of nano 2010: The sea was green that day, on top of everything else.

And I just want to say, congratulations to everyone else who did nanowrimo! It's a crazy thing to attempt and like they say, no matter how many words you wrote that's that many more words than you'd have if you hadn't tried. And this video is awesome, it pretty much sums it up. http://blog.lettersandlight.org/post/2053755708/nanotoons-a-farewell

Goodbye nanowrimo, till next year!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This month has been insane

Things I Have Now that I Didn't Have A Month Ago:
My permit (I can drive! It's kind of scary but pretty great, and I needed to get it.)
A plot (Finally. I really like my plot, but I also have a sinking feeling that I'm going to fail nanowrimo this year. We'll see...)
A good stash of candy for nano (I have to have candy, if I get my quota every day I get a piece!)
No time (Driver's ed took up most of it, plus I had to do so much piano because of this sonata festival I was in. This week has been the only semi-non-busy week of the month, and then tomorrow Nano starts.)
The ability to cry onstage (I love acting class, it's amazing.)
The LAST performance of Thumbelina coming up (It's going to be so sad... In a way it really needs to be over since we've been doing spaced apart performances since June, but I love this cast to death and I'm going to miss them so much!)
An obsession with the PBS miniseries of Sherlock Holmes (I'm in love with it *grin* It's so fantastic. They only have the first episode so far on the website but I'll get to see the second tomorrow! That'll be my reward if I write 1,667 words and don't immediately rewrite them.)

And that's all for now. I can't believe Nanowrimo starts tomorrow.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I don't think I have the right kind of brain for keeping a blog, every time I try to write a post it ends up either boring me, or I have no idea what I'm trying to say. So whatever! This'll be short and choppy.

It's fall! I love trees in the fall, but when they lose all their leaves it makes me sad. Right now I'm just trying to enjoy the red and yellow and orange and not think about snow.

It's the last day of September, which means that Nanowrimo is one day and one month away. I am not much farther in having a plot, though I think I've given up on the idea of writing a non-fantasy. The ones I have come up with are definitely fantasy, and I have to decide on one soon and start fleshing out the characters. But I actually finished my first story since last nano! It's very short, about a page, and very dark and sad but I love it.

I've read three books since Stolen. I reread The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (third time if I count it being read aloud to me) which I adore, and I read The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff which was awesome, and How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff which was so good! How I Live Now had a fantastic character voice, it felt like the character was talking to me the whole time. It was the first book where sentences a paragraph long didn't annoy me, they were just like run-on sentences people use all the time while talking.

Tomorrow is Friday which I'm very excited about, almost all of my favorite shows air Thursday night so I watch them tomorrow on Hulu. A good thing about September is all the shows start again!

I haven't written as many poems as I should have this month but here is the latest, the 5th.

A sound is whooshing overhead
the dark is seeping through the walls
and rain surrounds this house
this lonely house amidst the storm.

It's really random, it isn't even raining. Oh well! Tomorrow is October...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

So. Stolen. I think this is the first book that's made me cry (really sob, not just eyes watering) since I read Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles, which I read 3 or 4 or 5 years ago. This book really got to me. It was such an emotional book, everything that Gemma felt was portrayed so well and so truly.

Stolen is a letter written by Gemma to the man who kidnaps her out of an airport and takes her to The Middle of Nowhere, Australia. Her time there is terrifying and awful, and yet the more she delves into the mind of her captor the more she realizes that nothing is simple, not even hate.

I loved the writing in this book, it was so fluid and natural, told from after but never giving away what happens next. And I loved Gemma, she was so relateable and she never gave up. Everything she was thinking and feeling made sense, which was good because it would have ruined the book if the narrator was annoying. And Ty-- Ty was a real person, not just some evil kidnapper. At the end of the book my thoughts about him were almost as complicated as Gemma's. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a while--more than anything I know I'll remember the beautiful description of the Australian desert (and the heat) and how frightening, and sad and overwhelmingly real it was.

Friday, September 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo ramblings and books

I finished Mockingjay a few days ago, which I'm not going to say anything about other than everyone is going to have their own opinion of it and no one is going to read it the same way. But a really good review of it is here which I agree with, but warning: VERY spoilery.

I also read Incarceron, which was awesome!! The world felt real and I loved the characters, and the plot was really complex and it had me skimming to see what happened next. I was completely engaged from the beginning, and even though the world and their situation was dark it never felt like a very dark book (though that might have been because I had just read Mockingjay). I canNOT wait for the second, which comes out in the U.S. in December but came out in Great Britian in 2008.

Incarceron is about a boy named Finn, who lives inside the vast metal prison Incarceron. But Finn is different than the other prisoners there; he believes he came from Outside, and he wants to escape. Claudia lives Outside and is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, as
she tries to untangle the web of mysteries that surround her she helps Finn because she knows he can help her too...

One of the things I hate the most about nano is the first sentence. I want to get it perfect, but I will sit there forever staring at the page and deleting attempts if I let myself, so I have to just pick a sentence and go with it.
Nanowrimo 05's first sentence was spectacularly bad: After my parents died, my whole world started coming apart. *shudder*
And Nano 06's was just plain blocky: Epsilon looked down at the earth.
Nano 07's was alright: The school bus dropped me off in front of the library, and I hurried inside.
Nano 08's was in a dream but that doesn't quite excuse it: I gazed up at the sky, my smile growing till I felt like it would tip me over.
And Nano 09's (which was a rewrite of my 08 novel) was very short: She was running.

Oy. Hopefully this year's will turn out decent. Also I've been really bad this year about writing in general, since last year's nano (other than poems) I've probably only written about 10,000 words. And it's all snippets of stuff, random scenes and starts of stories that never got more than a few hundreds words on them. I think I'll have to try and write a short story between now and nano to get my gears running, I know how awful it is to jump into nano and not even be used to writing 500 words a day.

Now I have to go think of a plot!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Actually reading actual books

A few minutes ago I finished a book... and it so happens to be the FIRST book I've finished since the beginning of July. This is crazy!! So not acceptable, but my insane busy summer left me practically no time to read. And TV shows take up so much less brain space than books, and I need brain space for other things. So in the last week of summer Mom suggested "Why don't you get a book out?" and since I was kind of sick I thought it would be relaxing. I missed it so much!! All the other books I had tried to pick up didn't keep my attention but I loved the feel of 13 Treasures and it was just the right thing to read.

13 Treasures is about a girl who is sent to her Grandmother's house for the summer when her mother becomes fed up with her 'trouble making'-- a result of the fact that Tanya can see fairies and no one else can. At her Grandmother's she finds mysteries at every turn, and her attempts to solve them only lead her closer to the danger hiding at every turn.

Evil fairies, old mysteries, frightening woods... I knew I was going to like this book as soon as I read the flap. I do love my evil fairies. Though there was actually not very many fairies in it other things made up for it, the detailed look into the world of people who can see them was done very well and you really felt for the characters. Something was always happening with the plot and the different threads wove together perfectly. Tanya was 13 and the book had a little bit of a younger feel, but it didn't really bother me. It was Michelle Harrison's first novel and I'll definitely be looking forward to her next-- and I really hope I continue to read more.

One thing that might help is that Mockingjay is in at me for the library! I am SO excited to read it, I'm just scared at what a roller coaster it's going to be. Fingers crossed that no one I love dies!

(Also I have to say, that I love the cover of 13 Treasures. It's so perfect, with those gorgeous gates and the raven, and it's glittery!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

This is where I fail at blogging

So yes, I fail. It's now been more than a month (!!!) since I've posted on my blog. This summer has turned out to be a lot busier than I thought... and I'm a little bit lazy too.

Right after my last blog post I went off to piano camp, which was completely amazing, though different than last year. Last year I kind of assumed that all the same people would come again, but only about half did and half were new people. I really missed some of my friends from last year but it was awesome meeting the new people, even though we all only really started talking the last 3 days. We all decided it needs to be 2 weeks long! That would make it perfect. What with the whirlwind of master classes, trying to snag a room to practice in (and ending up sharing rooms a lot) concerts, and lessons, it feels like it passes in the blink of an eye. It was amazing seeing my friends from last year who did come, and all the teachers, and being surrounded by music every day. The thing I love most about the camp is the atmosphere of living and breathing music and pushing yourself to do the best you can. My new favorite song is Chasse-neige by Liszt, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lZ_52DOXis which you have to go listen to, it's incredible. My teacher said I couldn't learn it though (and maybe not ever) because my hands are waaay too tiny to do the jumps. :( But she said I could start learning the Chopin etudes!! I'm so excited for that, I'm getting the music on Wednesday.

I have to go but I'll leave you with another song that I absolutely love but cannot find the music for, I think I'd have to go to Bulgaria to get it. It's Nocturne by Vladigerov, and I don't think this video quite does it justice but it's the best I can find on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RszzQgTWmPs

Next time I post it's going to be all about theatre again!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


"You know that feeling you get, when you see lovely folks that you used to work with (that you liked), or old friends that you have lost touch with (whom you enjoyed), and you get this deliriously giddy feeling in your soul?
And, just like that, you realize that you missed them, and you didn't even know it?"
(A quote from the lovely blog A Fanciful Twist.)

This is exactly how I felt when I started doing theatre again last month. I hadn't done any since Emma in 2008 (which seems like such a long time ago now) and only got vague wishings to do it again sometime... and then when I started doing it it was like oh my goodness I LOVE this I've missed it so much!!!

This month has been a whirlwind of theatre, and it just keeps getting more crazy and fun. We did two shows in a school, I spent 9 hours at the theatre one day, one week I was there 4 days out of 7 and the next week when I had three days in a row off I didn't know what to do with myself. I was playing piano for a musical for the first time, that was really fun (when people had nothing to do they would come over to the piano and ask to run songs, usually going really fast for fun :D ) and interesting because I was the musical director and had to direct the songs. It was fun but I really missed being backstage, and seeing them rehearse made me want to be acting more than playing the piano. On the last night I actually was in it, they needed someone for the Tinker who was just in the first scene and had no songs, so that was great. I did my last show on Monday night which I'm really really sad about :( but I'm going to be doing more stuff with the theatre in July and August so I'll see most of the cast again this summer. The cast for Thumbelina was awesome, they were all good actors and singers and there were a lot of super nice people. I hope I'll be able to act in a show this fall, and I have a feeling I'll be doing stuff with this theatre for years.

I've been too busy to write many poems though, sadly. It's the first month since 2007 when I haven't written at least 4... maybe I'll get a burst of inspiration this week and write a bunch :D This is the only real one I've written, which I just wrote this moment!

When I go to bed lately
I listen to music
till it calms my mind and my limbs are immobile
soothed into a coma-state
my thoughts drop away
Until this month I'd forgotten what
it feels like to lay awake
busily thinking
for hours and hours and maybe
then sleeping
The ipod trick works
but I'd forgotten, too
how it feels to be so filled
with music and sounds and people and voices
that you never want to fall asleep
you just want to keep
reliving the day

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Something I've always wondered: would I like myself if I met myself? It could go two ways I think, either everything I did would make sense and I'd be able to understand it all and we'd (the two me's) get along perfectly, or I'd annoy myself terribly because I'd be able to pick out all my faults from the outside, for once. I kind of think it would be a mix of the two. I'd find myself frustrating and I'd probably criticize myself a lot because we'd have the same faults, but at the same time I could be entirely myself around myself, more so than with anyone else.

So yes, just rambles :) What do you think?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wordle Awesomeness

I just discovered this site, www.wordle.net that will show you your most used words in any piece of writing. It's so awesome! These are my most used words for nano 09. (I don't know how to make it bigger, but you can click on it to see it full size.) I figured those three names would be the most often used, but apparently I used Went, Looked, Think, Asked, Going, Like, Eyes, Just, Demon (of course) Around, Get, One, Face, Go, See, Back, Vera, and Still the most too. Probably the longest word in there is Enchantment.

I made one for my nano 06 too, and a lot of the words were the same :P Oh well. Also, I LOVE their fonts.

Wordle: Untitled

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've decided after almost a year of not posting that I want to get this blog started again. But it will be different, instead of posting just poems I'm going to be posting about books, music, and whatever I feel like pretty much :D I had gotten bored with posting poems (and I'm not as into writing them anymore, though hopefully that's just a stage and I am still writing them sporadically) so I want a broader range of things to talk about. It'll probably mostly be me exclaiming about things I love :D

Right now I love TV shows. I've started watching a lot more than usual this spring, just in time to get really attached to them before their season ends for the summer. Why do they all have to end at once?? The good thing about summer coming though is that Lie To Me comes back in June! And White Collar will start again in July, so those are two very good things to look forward to. And besides all the shows I watch coming back in September there are going to be a ton starting too, this link has their previews. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-05-13/bring-on-the-new-tv-shows I think Undercovers, Hawaii Five-O, and The Event look really good along with a bunch more.

Another thing I love: the picture at the top of the post. So many colors!