Hi! It's firefly114, author from inkpop and fictionpress and owner of the Fire Me Up website! I'm also Mischief1Managed on fanfiction.net and Amortentia Black on mugglenet. Here's my blog, for rambles and updates. If you have any requests (and I love requests) of things you want me to give my opinion on, or questions to answer, shoot me an email at laurel.firemeup@gmail.com or ask on my formspring widget on the lower right side.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hunger Games, Dinner Club, and Earthquakes

Currently listening to:

Many interesting things have happened in the past few days. I've heard a lot about the book Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and have been meaning to read it for a while.

I found it sitting on the kitchen table--my younger brother had bought it the other day--so I stole it for the night and decided to finish it in one sitting. Admittedly, I fell asleep on it after an hour or two, but I finished it the next day. 

I definitely loved the book. The writing style took a bit to get used to, as it was all written in present tense and the sentences were a bit choppy. Overall, the effect was certainly unique and definitely made us feel like we were inside Katniss's head. At some points the writing seemed too simple and minimalist; I wanted more emotion.  Sometimes it seemed that Katniss was thinking about the wrong things--love when it should have been her family, family when it should have been love. It picked up about halfway through the second book, though. The dialogue was sharp and clever, the characters were full, and the narrator had a strong voice. She stated startling blunt truths, and the writing showed a lot of insight into the human condition. The book ended with a few twists (I'm not about to give them away), which I thought were at first extremely predictable, but I was satisfied with the way they turned out and led into the sequel. This afternoon I went out and bought the sequel, Catching Fire. So far so good, I'm two thirds of the way through. Love triangles usually make me angry, and this one is no exception. I'm a Gale person myself. He knows how to fend for himself, he knows where his priorities lie, and he has never changed. His anger is understandable. And I'm a firm believer that, in order to have a successful relationship, the two must be able to sustain a friendship first. Otherwise, there's nothing but PDA, and when you strip away that, there's not much left. The closer the friendship, the stronger the potential of the relationship, and Katniss and Gale were as close as you could be. So we'll see how that ends up. (And yeah, maybe I just have a thing for brooding dark-haired boys.) All in all, I really like the political basis of this book, and I'm no revolutionary, but I think it rings true in some ways in our country. I'll let you all know when I finish the book. 

It was funny, just as I came to the part about the tracker jackers, a HUGE wasp flew into my room! I relocated to outside to finish the rest. And about halfway through the book, an earthquake hit. Now let me tell you, I live on the East Coast, and earthquakes are basically unheard of. So when I was home alone (of course) and my entire house began to shake, at first I thought it was the garage opening. But no, it kept on going. My next thought was that it was a tornado, so I ran to the shelter. But no. It was an earthquake! We spent the rest of the day waiting for the aftershock that never happened, but they say it can take up to a week. 

All of my friends have either left for college or are this week. I'm one of the last to leave, and it's weird watching all my friends move away one by one, literally dropping like flies. My week has been filled with meeting friends for ice cream or dinner before they go off. Two nights ago we had our last Dinner Club. While we were at school, a few of my friends and I decided that we would form a sort of club, and every month or so we'd all get together at someone's house, cook dinner for each other, share gossip, and watch movies. We were all from completely different social crowds, but we all became friends in Calc class. Under different circumstances, you'd never normally see a group of people like us together. Let me just explain who these people are, so you get the full dynamic. There's Collin, the gay indie filmmaker. He wears skinny jeans and plaid scarves, is attached to his iphone, and knows all the ins and outs of the school gossip. There's Noah, the lax bro, who always wears Sperrys, pastel-colored shorts and a lacrosse t-shirt, and always has some funny news about the athletic crowd. The other boy is Jack, the clumsy one who trips over chairs and sometimes falls off them, knows nothing about fashion but works at a clothes store, and is a genius but you'd never know it. The girls consist of Ella, the artsy painter who usually wears huge tortoise-shell glasses and something handmade,  Ava, the singer and fairy princess who is the most whimsical girl I know and probably my closest friend at school, and myself, Laurel, who is just... me. I play some sports, I write and draw, I dress almost exclusively in Free People clothing, I can be snappy and intensely loyal, and people find me pretty hard to categorize. All in all, we're an eclectic, yet very fun bunch. I'll miss them. 

Updates: I'm taking a year abroad before college this year and I leave on Monday. SO much packing to do! I probably won't be physically writing much while I'm gone, but my goal is to finish the outlines for Meridian and my Harry Potter fanfic (I've finished the outline for the first book, now on to the following three!) So I'll keep you all updated on my progress. If there's anything you want to know about... anything, please ask! I never know what to write about in my posts. 

HP Challenge
Day 6: What house would you want to be in? Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart! Every time I take a quiz, that's where I end up. And people tell me I'm intensely loyal to my friends and not afraid to speak my mind. 
Day 7: Favourite female character: Hermione grows up so much, and she overcomes her greatest obstacle: herself. That's very honorable and probably the most difficult thing to do. 
Day 8: What would be your favourite lesson? Transfiguration or Charms. I see myself as someone who would be good at those. Transfiguration is more calculating, Charms is more about effect. 
Day 9: Least favourite male character: Peter Pettigrew. I have no room for a traitor.
Day 10: Horcruxes or Hallows? They're no good, destroy them both. Keep the Cloak, maybe. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

William Blake and Other Assorted Novelties

Currently listening to:
Barrel of a Gun by Guster

New things!

  •  I don't know how you could not notice, but I've got an awesome new layout! A huge improvement on the last one, don't you think? It really fits with the silverware theme. (A very odd theme if you ask me, but I like it.) I'm still working on the design of the blog and the widgets and such, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!
  • Another exciting new addition is the c-box. It's located on the right-hand side, under the post archive. You should still comment on my posts (hint, hint) but the c-box lets you talk directly to me and gives me a chance to respond! It's only a live chat if we're on at the same time, but it's a great way to ask me questions, give me suggestions, or just stop by and say hi! I'll love you forever if you write in it. 
  • I've figured out a way to upload Word documents as a PDF so you can see some of my works in progress before I post. The first one I did is for my Harry Potter prequel fanfic. It's located under the "Harry Potter" tab, and you can see the rough prologue I wrote. Next, I'll probably be uploading a short story I wrote last spring entitled "Devil's Beach" as part of a collection of stories. 
I had jaw surgery last week and I was starting to recover, but I stopped being able to open my mouth more than an inch or so, and the after-surgery swelling never went down, so I have to go back in for a second surgery tomorrow morning. Joy. 

I couldn't really do much this week, so I sat with my big anthology of British poetry and read the entire thing cover to cover. I love William Blake, and I've read Auguries of Innocence before, but the first stanza struck me even more when I read it this time. 

To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

The poem just has such a serene feel to it. If you read it when you're agitated--the whole thing, not just the first stanza--it helps you calm down and accept whatever it is. I first read the poem in British Lit class in high school. It was a whole class devoted to British Literature, and I was in heaven! Well, admittedly, my mother forced me to take the class to get some "real" literature and I was less than happy about it, but my teacher was great and he had a way of getting everyone interested in even the most boring writings. He didn't care if we turned stuff in late, as long as we did it eventually, we never had any tests or quizzes, and we would just have whole-class discussions about our interpretations of the readings. I always imagine his voice reading this poem--it had a slow, low, soothing quality to it. The first stanza is all about seeing the world in different ways--through something tiny, something living (which is also a symbol for love), and to see time as something either ever-expanding or  with a limit.

Anyway, enough of that. I found this wonderful Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge, courtesy of Scandalacious Intentions. It looked like fun, but instead of doing full posts about every question, I'm going to do short answers and post five days' worth of questions for each blog post I write. 

Day 1: Your favourite book: Order of the Phoenix or Goblet of Fire. OOTP because of the places that book has been with me--Italy, camp, Wyoming... and GoF because it's the only book where I felt Harry was truly happy. 
Day 2: Your favourite movie: Prizoner of Azkaban, but only because of the cinematography.
Day 3: Is there any of the films adaptations that have made you angry because they’ve ignored important parts of the book? Deathly Hallows Part 2. It left out so much. I posted about it right after the premiere.
Day 4: Least favourite female character? Ginny, because I feel like she wasn't developed enough as a character. JKR started to, but stopped after the second book. She had the possibility to be a really deep, interesting character.
Day 5: Favourite male character? Sirius Black. He's such a complicated character--a case of arrested development, fiercely loyal to the point where he knows he would die for his friends, yet rash enough to risk everything


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Apps Galore!

Currently listening to:

It's been a while! I've had a really eventful week--jetskiing, tubing, and a Guster/Jack's Mannequin concert! And yesterday morning I had jaw surgery! Yesterday was sort of miserable and I really can't eat anything, which is horrible. I've been having this gross rice-in-water combination and Advil liqui-gels along with my mega-painkillers. Good thing my brothers are away, they'd make fun of me forever. But I woke up this morning feeling a lot better (after the 5 hours it took me to finally get to sleep) and I'm just really sore now. It feels like I have a migraine in my mouth. But I went out shopping with my mom this morning and hung out with some friends tonight (I couldn't talk), so I guess you can say I'm improving! 

I'm going to devote this post to my favorite iPhone/iPod apps!

1) Words With Friends. Of course. What's better than playing live Scrabble against your friends?

2) iMailG is a handy little app for Gmail users. Even though iPhones and iPods come with built-in email, this app has all the features of Gmail, including threaded messages, Google+, docs, calendar...

3) Evernote. It's the same as the website, and you can even sync your accounts. It's really handy for writing, school, just about anything! Evernote lets you record and organize your thoughts in any manner imaginable--lists, pictures, videos, voice memos, anything!

4) iHeartRadio. Listen to hundreds of radio stations from cities all across the country. 

5) Kindle, self-explanatory. I don't use normal kindle, but some free stuff is always good to read when you're waiting somewhere. 

6) Songify. It's just really fun. Speak into the microphone and your words will come out autotuned!

7) Flood-It! 2 is quite possibly the most ridiculously addicting game ever. The goal is to flood the screen all one color by starting with the block in the left-hand corner and changing the selected blocks to the color of a touching block. It makes a lot more sense on screen.

8) Helsing's Fire Lite is a new find and I already love it. "When the implacable Professor Helsing and his assistant Raffton travel to The Shadow Blight, they'll need every weapon at their disposal to defeat Dracula's vampire horde. In this captivating, dark Gothic puzzle-adventure, use Dr. Helsing's powerful torch and tonics to save the world from the demonic uprising!" It's a lot of fun and the graphics are great!

Updates: Still working on Meridian and my Harry Potter prequel! You guys will be the first to know when I post anything. Also, check my project tabs above, because I've changed stuff! Feel free to comment!