Once More With Feeling Writing Prompts: Day 4

So, I finished that last prompt almost by the seat of my pants.  For some that read it, it probably posted after midnight.  Seeing as how it was only eleven for me though, I still technically got it finished on it’s scheduled day! Yay!  Well now, this is my attempt at getting these things out in a more timely fashion.  As far as going’s on in my life, well I realized the ring does help me, though I at least need one other sense in constant activity, usually sound, in order to be more productive with my writing.  I realized yesterday when I was writing that I was dragging a bit before I put on my new Inspirering.  Even then, I felt a little off-balance without my favorite Pandora station playing.

Theory confirmed, I enjoy music and having a weird little ring on my index finger of my left hand.  I’m sure that has some sort of psychic significance, that finger does, I’m just not going to go into it just now.  Right now, I have a writing prompt to do or I’ll not let myself get that silly nail-art stuff!  Today’s writing prompt can be found on this list of writing prompts or even more conveniently here: Choose an object that you can see well; something in the room, on your desk, or outside. Describe it to the reader as if they had never seen such a thing. 

Let’s get started, shall we? Read more of this post

Once More With Feeling Writing Prompts: Day 3

So…I was in one of the beauty supply stores the other day, and what would I see but a gold chrome nail kit.  I…um also got myself a snazy new LED light (I swear to God this is a need and not a want, even if it makes me squee that I got it for half the price I was willing to pay, and it came with glitter…what???) and ordered a new brand of structure gel that cures in an LED (again, I need new structure gel and I figured I might as well go with the brand that I’ve heard nothing but good things about…so what if I geek out about it…) BUT I did not buy the chrome kit, nor did I get any of the color-changing gel polishes when I got the new structure gel…but I really wanted to!  I reminded myself that the chrome and the polishes were not Needs, they were Wants, and if I buy them now, I’ll be rewarding myself for nothing, since I’ve only been able to finish 2 days of writing prompts.

Yes, I realize I’m doing this one pretty late in the day.  It’s still Tuesday though! I got this!  Okay, so for those that don’t know what I’m talking about, I decided to do 30 days of writing prompts because I haven’t been successful in completing a single one of these challenges that I’ve set for myself for one reason or another, and I’m bound and determined to do it this time!  Last post I mentioned treating myself to something new and spiffy if I finish this challenge I’ve set for myself and I’m trying to stick to it! You can find the list HERE if you want to join in.  Today’s writing prompt is: What does Sunday feel like? Write a poem or paragraph (or whatever) that explains your opinion of and emotions felt for the seven separate days of the week. Are we ready boys and girls?  Let’s get started, shall we? Read more of this post

Once More With Feeling Writing Prompts: Day 2

So, the last post was good for journal writing in it’s truest form. Not that I have anything against journal writing at all, but I love writing prompts that are more creative in their angle.  However, today is not quite that day. For those of you that have come to this post first, whether it be the first in my series of writing prompts or your first ever Ladybug blog post, I’m referring to a list of writing prompts I compiled from prompts I’d taken from all over the place.  You may even find some previously written into a much larger list that I never managed to finish in previous posts.  If you feel like you’d like to try my list out, you may find it here.  Want to see my other lists? You can locate them here.  You can also find the first post where I provide links to the sites I borrowed my initial prompts from here.

But anyway, the prompt is: Write for 10 minutes about a conflict that involves tulips in some way. This I can tell is going to take on more of an informative style than a story-like bent being that one of my many hats is as a florist.  That being said, I can tell where I’m going to take this prompt.  Okay everyone! Ten minutes on the clock…and…GO! Read more of this post

Once More With Feeling Writing Prompts: Day 1

Okay, I intended on doing this yesterday, but I got distracted by the creation of my new wire wrapped ring similar to my once beloved itchy ring.  I can’t say that it has the sharp wire ends that make my finger want to move, and it’s too new to know whether or not it will help in my writing right now.  Because it’s smoother than it’s predecessor, calling it an itchy ring seems wrong.  However, if it proves to be a success, then I’ll try and come up with some sort of fitting name for it like Inpirering or my Ladymuse..now that i think of it, Inspirering is sort of puny! Yep, I think that shall be it’s name.

This first go, I’m actually pulling out almost all the stops at the moment.  I have Pandora playing a Lindsey Stirling channel, because she’s awesome with a violin and anything related to that sounds pretty awesome! I also have the ring on, just to try it out.  There’s a cup of Highlander Grog flavored coffee in my Death Star shaped coffee mug, and I just lit a Stirling Embers scented Wood Wick candle.  Now that I actually think about it, I’ve realized I’m engaging most of my major senses: touch, taste, scent, and sound!  Can’t engage visual beyond watching what I’m thinking turn into words on a screen, but I guess my recent de-cluttering of my desk could be considered that.  Not that it’s perfectly clear or anything, but I’m not worrying about a mountain of paper causing an avalanche in my lap!

Okay, so adventures in amateur jewelry making and attempts at getting myself motivated aside, I was going to work on one of my writing prompts.  Just got to keep on myself this time!  How about, if I can make it through all 30 days of prompts on time then I can treat myself to a special nail polish I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, a chrome powder to extend my collection beyond silver chrome, or some equally extravagant seeming nail art themed item that I’ve been holding myself back from purchasing because it’s more of a want than a need.  Yes, let’s hold Cici to this and tell her she can’t get the thing unless she does this other thing!

We shall see…Well anyway, as it is day one, we are starting with the first one: Why did you start your writing? Is that still why you write, or has your writing gone in a different direction than you’d planned? No limits on time taken to write this, nor is there a min or max word count, so I’m just going to fly with this one and when I feel I’ve said what I need to I’m going to call it a day and send you all a mental blow-kiss! Read more of this post

Writing Prompts…Once More With Feeling!

Alright, I know I tried this before, but I mean it this time!  My blog had far too little love last year (and the year before that…and kinda the year before that…), and I’m determined to do it this time!  I’m going to select 30 new prompts (except for the prompts I really love!) and am sticking to it this time! I swear!  This is the list of  prompts that I’m going to use for my Month of Writing Prompts…Once More With Feeling! Feel free to join me and send me a link to your work in the comments!  Or not…entirely up to you!

So, without further adeu, the list of prompts!

Read more of this post

WMHB Prologue: A.K.A. Trapped Inside Main Character’s Head…Help!

I was inspired by blogger Jenny Trout who reviewed the 50 Shades Novels.  She posted reviews of each individual chapter with loving snark that brought me to tears with laughter.  It couldn’t have been easy.  I’ve given myself migraines trying to read a really bad book, so I commend her for sticking to the project even when it was obviously painful to do.  She took something utterly horrid, and made something beautiful with it!  It’s because of her that I’m writing this now.  Remember that book that gave me a migraine?  Well I’m giving it to you.  Not all of it, but a general feel for what happens and my personal two-cents on them.  It’s somewhat in the same style as Jenny, with a few quotes and passages from the book itself.  Anything in red italics is a direct quote from the book and is not my own wording.  As a side note the book is only ever going to be referred to as WMHB, (link to a little synopsis of said book there) and the only names I’m going to use are the ones for the historical characters, as everyone else could be called anything under the sun and it wouldn’t change a damn thing.

Why am I doing this?  I just can’t stop myself.  The premise was so promising, and it got ruined so terribly by the author’s own vanity.  If they had just edited, and proofread and edited some more then maybe it would have been enjoyable and I could gladly give them kudos for a job well done.  But I can’t.  I could say congrats on finishing a story, but then I’d feel like I was giving them a participation trophy.  Honestly, there really should have been someone to point out that it needed quite a bit of polish before going out.  Really, they should have.

But all that aside, I also wanted to do this to see if there was a way to salvage it.  I wanted to see if, chapter by chapter, there was any saving it in the first place.  I mean, I can say that with editing it could have been good, but just how much editing would have had to happen?  Would the story even be recognizable in the end?  I post the question to you as I sort of pick it apart here.  What do you think? Will you join me on this journey into literary torture? If you’re still here, I have my answer.  Onward!

Also, in an effort of full disclosure, I was given a free copy by a friend, for an honest review.  Also, to show that I’m not just picking and choosing sentences that have problems, I provide the first paragraph of each chapter to you for free. You’re welcome. Read more of this post

Coffee Crisis

The sound of smooth jazz played over the speaker-phone as Amy dumped out her coffee pot.  Her nose curled at the aroma of hot vinegar, but she knew it was a necessary evil.  She rinsed it thoroughly then refilled the reservoir and ran it again. This time, it ran through quicker, and though there was a lingering odor in the air, she couldn’t detect any vinegar in the water.  After measuring grounds, rinsing the pot and filling the reservoir one final time, she turned it back on.  While she waited, she prepared her mug with three spoons of sugar then glanced back at the clock.

It was now going on ten minutes of being put on hold just so that she could get her taxes straitened out.  She knew it was going to take this long, though.  Yesterday she’d been on for twenty minutes before getting to talk to a real human being.  The coffee maker hadn’t finished brewing before she’d gotten off the phone.  It hadn’t been a good day, but that wasn’t going to fly today.  If she didn’t get at least one cup of java into her system before the run around started, she was going to murder someone.

Five minutes later, Amy had a cup of sweet coffee in her hands and was laying back in her super comfortable office chair humming to the muzac version of a popular pop song.  Her own phone system wasn’t nearly so intricate.  Being a fairly new carpenter and all, her business didn’t require anything like that.  However, she imagined she’d use something similar to Offspring’s Intermission if she had one.

She continued to sip absentmindedly at her coffee while she waited. The jazzy tunes were beginning to lull her to sleep when the sound of a human voice startled her.  Her arms flailed wide as she tried to keep herself from falling out of her chair and onto the floor.  It wasn’t graceful, and she was glad no one was around to witness it.

As she put herself together, she noticed the office had gone quiet.  Down at her feet, she saw the scattered bits of her phone.  Whatever voice she’d gotten, was no longer on the other line, no music would play from the receiver.  She’d successfully disconnected the call by dismemberment of phone.  Frustrated beyond words, she grabbed up the bits and put them back together checking to make sure it wasn’t permanently damaged.  When she heard the dial-tone, she sighed and redialed the number to get back to the jazzy hold section of their phone maze.

Absently she toyed with her cup while contemplating the best tool in her arsenal to hunt down and dispose of the sadistic bastards at the tax office.  When she brought the cup to her lips, she was met with empty air.  She looked down to confirm that she had indeed consumed her first cup.  With a self-depreciating smirk, she got up to refill it.  Crisis Averted.

Reflecting on Life

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Are you having a typical Ft13 too? Let’s just say I had to call my dentist about a possible infection on a tooth he’d prepared for a crown and ended up in his chair getting a root canal.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he had a last minute cancellation, and the work needed to get done so no sense postponing the inevitable.  I mean the faster the problem gets solved the faster I don’t have to live with the pain, right? As loopy as I am naturally, we really don’t need me to be hopped up on pain meds! Seriously people, super-loopy Cici is…well okay it’s pretty funny to see, but I have an image to keep…well okay so my image was always pretty jester-like…fine fine fine I just don’t need to be loopy off pain meds all the time, okay???

My drug habits aside though, I wanted to touch on something a little more serious. Read more of this post

Fated

A little gamer humor just in time for Valentine’s Day. Probably inspired by the gamer story found here. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/f2/d0/61/f2d061d8424072818b98d659c1017ec6.jpg

Jasmine Walls: Comic Writer and Artist

Written by Jasmine Walls, Illustrated by Amy Phillips

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Is Max Landis right in calling Rey a Mary Sue? Warning: this post is filled with spoilers!!!

NO REALLY – I SAY A LOT ABOUT THE MOVIE IN THIS POST – DON’T READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN IT OR DO NOT MIND SPOILERS

You Have Been Warned

Recently a man named Max Landis Posted to Twitter and Youtube that he would have liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens more if Rey hadn’t been a Mary Sue. After much backlash about this, he posted another video in response explaining why he thinks she is a Mary Sue, and also making a note that nothing fans of the movie will say could change his opinion, and vise versa. Still, he was met with more negativity. I think it’s a little bit much for people to be saying things about his family like, “Your father killed children.” or comparing him to the guy that hiked up the price of AIDS medication. Come on people, he’s a man with an opinion, not some woman hating white supremacist! The man had an opinion and it’s valid in his eyes. I can even see his side in it, but I believe he’s flawed in his argument and comparisons. He explains that Ray was too good at everything she did. She could kick butt, she was strong in the force and able to use it too well. But was she any better at things than other characters in the Star Wars franchise? Was she really all that perfect?

Lets look on her ability with the Millennium Falcon real quick. She was familiar with the Falcon, had probably been on the Falcon a time or two to work on it, as well as probably scavanged from a star destroyer and whatever else ships that had found their way to the junkyard slum she inhabited. When your whole life revolves around electronics and spare parts, you get familiar with stuff like that. She actually wasn’t perfect with piloting the Falcon in the beginning, either. She was like a teenager learning how to drive a car the first time, running into the ground, flying horribly, but necessity is the mother of invention and they were running for their lives. She got good real quick. Now, she’d lived most of her life near the Falcon. Just like a kid that grows up in a car junkyard near a garage will learn a thing or two about car parts, she wasn’t unfamiliar with different ships. That she was able to bypass the whatchamajig was very believable. How about her mechanical aptitude in general. She’s been scavenging from a Star Destroyer for who knows how long and anything else that doesn’t move and metal. If she turns in junk, that means she doesn’t get to eat. Wouldn’t you learn what works and what doesn’t quick if it’s a matter of starving vs. being able to live one more day? I bet the girl lives and breaths electronics and ship parts. But she wasn’t perfect either, or do I need to remind someone that she let out the rathtars when she was trying to close a hatch?

How about being able to kick butt? I don’t know about you, but the slums she was in didn’t seem any better than the slums in modern times. Wanna know what happens to a girl that can’t defend herself in those situations? I bet you can guess. You either learn to fight or you die. Now, I admit, she was better with a lightsaber than you would expect a girl that fights with a staff, but she wasn’t amazing. For the most part of their duel, she was on the defensive, and she was fighting a wounded opponent. Same could be said about Finn, but that’s a different argument for another post.

But one of the bigest comparisons Landis used was Rey to Luke Skywalker. However, Luke was just as much of a Mary Sue as Rey. He was a great pilot, a crack shot, and was able to wield the force virtually untrained. You mean to say that you believe a farmboy from the remote planet of Tatooine who’d probably only driven a sandspeeder was able to fly an X-wing with no problem, but couldn’t believe that a scavanger on Jakku could suddenly fly the Falcon dispite being more familiar with the ship? What about Luke’s ability with the force? Remember that the only training he’d had was that brief moment in the Falcon with the remote droid and Obiwan, and yet he was able to use his force senses and reflexes to avoid being hit by Darth Vader in his Tie Fighter without even knowing he was doing it, then shoot down a narrow port to destroy the Deathstar. Later on Hoth in the cave in the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back he was able to force pull the saber into his hand, much like Rey did in her final battle with Ren. Virtually untrained, Luke managed to preform seriously difficult tasks in dire situations. Was he perfect, no. When he tried to lift his X-wing out of the swamps of Degoba, he failed, thinking it impossible. If he didn’t concentrate he couldn’t stand on one hand and stack a bunch of rocks into a tower with Yoda on his foot. But then again, some things don’t come as easily to every Jedi. In comparison, Rey gets force-held (is that the term I’m looking for?) by Ren, then he uses the force to make her pass out. Honestly I rolled my eyes at that part. Really? You make the girl pass-out and kidnap her so the guys can rescue her? Really? But right now it makes the point for me that she was not 100% the perfect badass woman. Even Leia got kidnapped (in each movie). In this instance Rey was not imediately able to fight off the powers of Kylo Ren, and we don’t expect her to. When she tries her hand at using Jedi Mind Tricks on the guard, he doesn’t initially do what she wants, nor does he the second time. We didn’t see her struggling with trying to force-pull the lightsaber but who said she hadn’t been after Finn dropped it? And the battle of Force-Will that happened in the interrogation room (the one that’s sparked a plethora of smutty Fanfiction between the two of them) wasn’t 100% either. He saw things in her memories even though she was resisting him. Yes, he failed in seeing the map, but he wasn’t fully barred from her mind. She turned the tables on him, but all she got was something that would be forefront on his mind, don’t you think? Feeling inadequate beneath the shadow of a great relative is something that would stick with you. That was the only thing she got from him. Although, I won’t discount the theory that she got some hint as to how to use the Force while in his head.

Nor in any of this was she one-dimentional. Yes, she’d spend most of her life waiting for her family to come back, and that was her driving motive for getting back to Jakku so that she would be there when she returned. However, she also showed a sense of honor when dealing with BB-8 and getting him back to the resistance first when she heard his calls for help when the jawa thing was trying to capture him, then when the scavenger offered her enough food for a month for BB-8 and finally when they were at Kanata’s palace and Finn was trying to run away. What about when faced with the visions from the lightsaber? She got scared and suddenly nothing else was important but that she get away from it.

Let me pose a question to you though. If the main character was helpless and weak the entirety of the movie/book, would you enjoy it? Likewise, if the main character was the best at everything would you still enjoy the story? A good wordsmith and director give their protagonist a balance of skill and ignorance. They are good at some things, but not all of it. They also make the acquisitions of those skills believable in the character’s background. After that, it really is just a matter of opinion whether or not they were successful.

My verdict? They were no more or less successful than their predicessors. I sure believed her skill with electronics in her young adult years than Anakin’s ability when he was 9. But that’s just it, my opinion, and I’m just as entitled to it as Landis is. He didn’t intend on coming off as sexist just because he didn’t like how Rey’s character was written. He was just stating an opinion, which he is within his rights to have. His critique won’t spoil Star Wars for young girls that see a role model in Rey, nor should it be taken as some anti-female jedi speech. If the main character had been a man, then his review would have been taken as just that. So, I guess I would just like to end this by saying it’s okay to not like the movie as much as some people. It’s okay to like the movie better than most as well. But going after a guy because you both disagree is not right and perhaps you should chill and go watch the movie again to show your support.

Keep it friendly guys, and I’ll see you on the flip-side!