Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In which I instigate

I am in a love-hate relationship. If I didn't love him so much, I wouldn't want to fight him. If I didn't fight him, there would be no point in being together. And so, I am trapped in a passionate and violent battle with my dear Thesis.

Please, gentle reader, take pity on him. I am not the victim: I am the instigator. See here:

Thus far, we have been skirmishing well. He doesn't realize that I have been staying up late at night honing my technique, or that I have been trained how to take him down, or that I have the blessing of the Muses on my side. I have devised a plan with the help of my patron goddess, Athena the Laptop: I will type a few tremulous words here and there, and slowly I will take Thesis by surprise. He will wake up one morning with 35 pages worth of battle wounds, and he will wonder how it happened. And then he will look at me sadly and congratulate me for my victory. And I will laugh and probably kiss him and then he will be mine forever.

Sounds like a wonderful ending, doesn't it? I believe that I can do this, and we have nothing if not belief.

Right? Guys?

P.S. I will knight you (with my favorite pen, for the pen is mightier than the sword, after all) if you can point out some of the myriad allusions that I have made here. Good luck!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why I do what I do

While perusing news websites this morning, I found this disheartening article:

Adults don't believe teens are doing better

Basically, studies are showing that today's teens and young adults have developed better morals than preceding generations. Unfortunately, older adults refuse to believe this. The author points out that some adults base their beliefs on a single case where a teen has done something wrong. Others stake their claims in the stereotype of selfish, rebellious teens. This interaction (or anti-interaction, in my mind) is particularly devastating for the youth.

What is there to do when no one expects you to accomplish anything nor accepts that you are already doing good things?

Life gets pretty hard when no one believes in you, especially when you are in the midst of the age-old struggle to identify yourself. This is one of many reasons why I have chosen to study and write young adult literature. I believe in teens and young adults. They can be forces for good if we love and encourage them. My goal is to help them see their potential!

In the current literature, I have found this potential in a variety of stories. For example, I just (as in 10 minutes ago) finished reading an amazing YA book called The Monstrumologist.
It won the Printz Award last year, which is essentially THE award in YA literature. If you're familiar with book awards, it is the YA equivalent of the Newbery. Or if you're not familiar with book awards, it is the YA equivalent of Best Picture. At any rate, Monstrumologist is not for the faint of heart. A compelling combination of historical fiction, science fiction, and horror, Monstrumologist tells the story of young orphan Will Henry, who has been apprenticed to a doctor who studies and hunts monsters. Along the way, he explores the meaning of monster and other intriguing philosophical questions. There is plenty of gore and plenty of heart (in a good way): one of my favorite points in the book is when the doctor stops saying "your services are indispensable to me" and finally says "you are indispensable to me." Will learns what great things he can do (potential!), both on the grand, epic scale and on a smaller, intimate scale. I can't wait to read the sequels!

When I read YA books like this, I often re-learn that everyone has a purpose. Though we are definitely individuals, we are not alone. We are not useless. We each have gifts and talents that we can use to do some good in this world. But these are truths that are easy to forget, especially with our feeble human minds. Sometimes I think that the curse of mortality is forgetfulness. We need to be constantly reminded of the Truth. And that is why I do what I do.

Most of the time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Queen of Posts

Okay, so that's not the most flattering picture of either of us. But look at those cheekbones!

I have lots to share today, so let's start with the most important/most exciting first.

I. My sweet little hometown is getting an LDS temple! Here is the announcement. I could hear my mom screaming in excitement from across the Rocky Mountains. As for myself, I choked and fell off the couch when I heard President Monson say those three little words: Fort Collins, Colorado. Sigh. I will keep you posted as information floods in. I finally feel like I have somewhere to get hitched! Once it gets built, of course. ;)

II. I only have seven days of school left this semester. Always exciting to see the end coming! (wow, take that line out of context and it has intriguing implications about death [leave it to me to get philosophical on so trivial a thing as the end of a semester])

III. I may or may not be going here this summer. My family is going for my baby sister's high school graduation trip. Also, I will most likely be there for this grand opening.

IV. I'm doing a writing marathon this weekend! Basically, all my free time will be spent writing. I will be eating and sleeping, don't worry. Wish me luck!

V. (You'll notice that the next few announcements are less meaningful than their predecessors, but they are fun! Or funny.) I was watching an old TV show this evening, and one of the main characters died. I knew it was coming (heck, she died before I was born!) and I still wept. Like a baby. Like a baby with no way to stop the tears from flowing unceremoniously from her tearducts. More on the old TV show in a future post. (Aren't old TV shows the best?)

VI. Speaking of old TV shows, I have the Doctor Who theme stuck in my head. Get it stuck in your head!

VII. I dug up my old Battle for Middle-Earth computer game the other day and promptly killed Eowyn and Theoden at Helm's Deep. By accident, I assure you. Those words will haunt me: "Lady Eowyn is no more." Shudder.

VIII. Along the same lines (sort of), I have recently become intrigued by a creepy puzzle-based video game called Portal. Words from this game will also haunt me. Imagine a robotic machine gun calling out to you with an automated, young girl's voice, "Are you still there, target?" Before it starts blasting you with bullets. Yeah. Not to mention the powerful gun in your hands, a gun that allows you to create transportation portals on the walls and floor and ceiling. And the eerie messages left on the walls by those who have gone (and died) before.

IX. This post is long enough. Farewell for now, gentle readers! Don't have too many Bwa ha ha.