World Art Drop Day! – September 1st, 2015

So a few days ago, what is ed I was hanging out with my friend Sean, who is an artist. A really good artist. Like, seriously good. You should check him out on Instagram and follow him because seriously, the guy blows my mind.

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Seriously? Doesn’t that just make your jaw drop? Its adorable and it immediately captivates me and makes me want to know more about this little kid. I actually know more because Sean told me but…anyway…

Moving on!

Sean told me about this really cool thing called World Art Drop Day. Apparently it was started last year by a guy named Jake Parker, who does some pretty cool artwork. You can check out his website here.

Basically what happens is this: Jake went on a trip with his wife and decided to do this really cool thing. He would create original works of art, small things, drawings, stuff like that, and he would hide it somewhere, in wherever he was at the moment. Then he would post a hint about where he hid it on his social media pages, twitter, instagram, that sort of thing. Then people could go and find it. He had a lot of fun doing it, and decided to make it a world wide thing.

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And it sounds seriously awesome. Sean is participating so seriously, follow him on instagram to see where he’ll be dropping things this Tuesday.

I wasn’t going to participate because, well, I’m not an artist. I can’t draw in the slightest, can’t paint, can’t do any of that sort of thing. Sean encouraged me to participate as a writer but I thought that was just silly. Until I watched this YouTube video of Jake talking all about World Art Drop Day and he mentioned that writers should do it too, and I thought, okay well…maybe.

I thought about it A LOT and I decided that…yes, yes I am going to participate. I will be hiding FIVE things on World Art Drop Day. I will be hiding 2 snippets from The Awakened, 2 snippets from Benched (which have NEVER been seen before) and hopefully one original work. If I can get it done before then. Hopefully. EEK!

I hope that you’ll be able to follow along on my instagram and find these super cool things. I’m really excited to be participating and I’m hoping that you guys get encouraged to participate too, no matter what sort of art you do! If its drawing, painting, digital art, jewelry making, poetry, writing, photography, I think there’s a spot for everyone to participate!

If you’d like to know more about World Art Drop Day and what to do, how to do it, that sort of thing, check out the post on Jake Parker’s website here.

You can also check out this video as well. It IS a little long but it has all the information you could possibly need and its really what encouraged me to participate in this!

NaNoWriMo 2014: Fancasting for My Novel!

Okay, sale so I was not going to do this post because, well, I didn’t really feel like I needed to and I had other things on my mind.

But I like fan casting. It helps to give me a better background for my characters. When I create my characters, I do have a basis for them in my mind but I do have that sort of blurry image for their face because its hard to create an entirely new face in your head. So I use actors and actresses as basis. Sort of the way I use Santa Cruz, California as a basis for my town, Macon, California.

So I was writing and I was having a little bit of a hard time on something so…I started googling people and fancasting for my five main characters: Evie, Lucy, Austin, Jesse, and Connor. And then because I am so completely perfect at procrastinating in actual writing (damn you, Gilmore Girls!).

So instead of writing 3K words like I planned to do for the day (its 3 pm, I have plenty of time), I’m working on a post about fan casting for my novel.

Let’s jump in!

Elizabeth Olsen as Evie and Lucy Cordova

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Evie and Lucy are really difficult because I made them really unique. I actually based them a lot on my sister, Jessica. My siblings and I are mutt children: two races. There are multiracial kids alllll over the place but I think the differences, the uniqueness that comes from multiracial kids can be skipped over sometimes. I’m half Mexican and half white, meaning pretty much every European country out there. I look like a Mexican kid, just a little lighter, I think. You can kind of tell that I’m a biracial kid but for the most part, people assume that I’m hispanic. I swear, this is going somewhere. But my sister, for most of her life, looked biracial. Blonde hair, dark brown eyes, etc. She has a pretty mix of both of her heritages and I think its awesome and I used that for both Evie and Lucy, who are identical twins. They have dark blonde hair, dark brown hairs, tanned skin, a mix from their Spanish father and their Mexican mother.

But because of this, its a little difficult to fan cast them. I found a couple pictures of Elizabeth Olsen, who is just plain gorgeous, and I liked her look a lot. Her skin could be a little darker and obviously she needs brown eyes but I’m seeing her as Evie and Lucy. I really like this particular picture of Elizabeth because she does look a little more like what I picture for Evie. Lucy would have much shorter hair, and be a little heavier, only because Evie dealt with her eating disorder. But I like this look.

Mike Trout as Austin Young 

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Okay, yes, I know it. Mike Trout is an actual baseball player. Not an actor. He probably would be really really bad at acting. Let’s be real. But he’d totally rock the baseball part. But the whole idea of the story came from the fact that I do have a crush on Mike Trout (innocent, seriously, I ship him and his girlfriend, they’re too cute together), and I did say that I wanted to marry a baseball player for a huge chunk of my life (hey, that’s still a possibility). Anyway, I think about baseball a lot because baseball is basically second to books in my life. I wanted to write a book about baseball and a sexy baseball player and the first person that comes to MY mind is Mike Trout. I mean, look at that face. SIGH.

But being serious…

Matt Lanter as Austin Young

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Hell yeah I picked a picture of Matt Lanter shirtless. Googling people is way too much fun. I like this particular picture but he looks like he could be a little country in this and Austin is a total Southern country boy. Blonde hair, green eyes, tanned from being in the sun all the time, built because he works out so much (he’s determined to make it to the pros), and he’s beautiful. Evie has a firm “no baseball players” rule and Austin’s looks plays a part in her slowly breaking that rule. I first saw Matt Lanter when he went to the Divergent premiere to promote Starcrossed. I thought he was incredibly good looking so I went home and watched the super fun and short lived show, Starcrossed, and was sad when it was canceled. Then I found out that Matt has done a TON of voice work for Star Wars, had Star Wars themes in his wedding and I just think he would work really well as Austin.

Ignacio Serricchio as Jesse Valdez

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Technically, at 32 years old, Ignacio is entirely way too old to play Jesse because Jesse is 19 in the past and 23 in the future. So yeah. But he totally has the look. Jesse is full Hispanic so he needed to LOOK Hispanic. He had to be good looking, like he could just charm the pants off of you, which he basically does and I was googling hispanic actors and this picture popped up, caught my eye and I was immediately in love. I don’t know much about Ignacio since he’s on soap operas and I’m not a big soap opera girl but he’s got the look down pat. Plus, he would look good next to Elizabeth Olsen, who would play both Evie and Lucy and both of the girls are obviously in love with him at different parts of the story so that would work so so SO well.

Dylan O’Brien as Connor Humphrey

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Besides the whole Mike Trout thing…this was one person I had fancasted from the beginning. Dylan O’Brien IS Connor. The way he looks, the way he acts, sort of a mix of Stiles from Teen Wolf and my own little extra bit and maybe a little bit of Thomas from The Maze Runner. I was so excited when I googled Dylan O’Brien and baseball and got a super hot picture, and it totally works. Connor is Evie’s best friend, but the last thing that I wanted to create with that is a sort of love triangle, friend zone thing. Evie and Connor had their thing in high school, got over it and are just friends. Connor is good looking, funny, ambitious, determined and a baseball player just like everyone else in Macon (haha!)

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A.S. King, My New Favorite Author

So, side effects my initiative for the New Year is to read an author that I’ve never read before, viagra buy who I’m not familiar with, price and who is not in a genre that I typically read — quite the challenge for me (because I’m a creature of habit).

I chose contemporary YA author, A.S. King.

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I ended up picking A.S. King (A.S. stands for Amy Sarig) because of Ariel Bissett on YouTube. She raves about King in many of her videos and so I did some research on her books and found them very intriguing. I decided to pick one book that sounded the most interesting to me, which initially was Everybody Sees the Ants. I read it in like a day or two — the book was fantastic! And my A.S. King journey took off from there.

I then read Reality BoyAsk the Passengers, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz — all of which I absolutely LOVED.

King has such a beautiful way of telling stories and making you feel for her characters. Her main characters are so deep and troubled, but they always come out better on the other side. There are quite a few metaphors through a lot of her books, which makes me think that King love to think in analogies, metaphors, and symbolism.

In Everybody Sees the Ants, the ants are a metaphor for Lucky Linderman’s social experiences. In Reality Boy, Gerald Faust’s bowel movements, while very real and very gross, are a metaphor for something as well. In Ask the Passengers, Astrid’s experiences with the passengers — those “passengers” are a metaphor for something else entirely. And finally, in Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Charlie’s countless manifestations are symbolism of a secret that Vera needs to tell.

A.S. King always has a life lesson at the end of her books, I’ve come to find. A lesson that, while meant for the character to experience, also ends up teaching the reader something about his or herself as well.

She even said that she enjoys writing for young adults versus adults because “young adult minds are endless…adult minds are often not so endless”, which is a true statement and is also part of the reason why I love Young Adult fiction so much.

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King’s books have won many awards from the L.A. Times Book Prize awards for Ask The Passengers, 2012’s ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults in Everybody Sees the Ants, and 2011’s Michael L. Printz Awards for Please Ignore Vera Dietz. She is a writer of short stories as well, and believe me, I will get to those soon!

Her fellow colleagues, i.e. other authors, praise her work:

” A.S. King is one of the best YA writers working today. She captures the disorientation of adolescence brilliantly.” – John Green, best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns

“Timely, incisive, compassionate. All of A.S. King’s novels are must-reads.” – Matthew Quick, best-selling author of The Silver Linings Playbook

Overall, this is not an author to sleep on. King’s novels have lessons for you to learn, things for you to experience, and characters for you to fall in love with. If there is one thing that I can say about King’s writing and her creativity, she is not afraid to write flawed characters and she is very good at making us love them as they are — flawed. It’s not about them developing into the perfect person. It’s not even about them getting everything right in the end. It’s just a life experience. King allows us to experience human interaction and everyday life through the eyes of someone who is struggling. And after reading an A.S. King book, I come out of the experience a little different from when I started.

Not many authors have that power over me — but A.S. King definitely does.