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.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Challenge: Generator

I was doing Stats homework with my iTunes playing in the background when suddenly the song Generator ^ First Floor by Freelance Whales came on and I stopped everything I was doing, closed my eyes, and listened. Images, emotions, and scenarios flooded my mind--just the way they do when I'm coming up with a new idea for a story. Listen to it and see if it sparks anything for you!

This song conjured for me images of a Hunger Games-like society where foreign children lived in the basements of rich families to work their steam-powered furnaces. 

What types of images does it bring forward for you? Could you write a oneshot from those scenarios? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hardest Things About Leaving

Currently listening to: this 8tracks mix that I made, called I'm Leaving Home

In just two days, I'm moving 800 miles away to go to school. Name an emotion, I've experienced it.

I started out in denial. I wouldn't--I absolutely wouldn't go to school! Nobody could make me end this perfect limbo of peace between two periods of mind-numbing stress. 

Then, I grew terrified. I'm a writer. Can I pass all the science courses I need to in order to be accepted to medical school? What if I decide I can't? What if I decide too late? What if there's nothing really out there for me?

The anxiety subsided and I fell into a period of lethargy. I went about my days sluggishly, relishing the free time I had to lay out in the sun and walk by the water. 

After talking to friends at my school, poring over the website, and looking at pictures, I filled up with jittery excitement. What was I thinking, wanting to stay at home and be lazy forever? It's time to get out there!

The only word I can use to express my feelings now is "finality." There's something incredibly final about packing up everything I will use for a year and fitting it all into four suitcases, about realizing that although I will still call my house my home, I will only be back for weeks at a time. 

As a writer, the saddest thing was leaving my notebooks and transferring everything to my computer. For Meridian and Brave at Heart, especially (see the tabs), a good number of my thoughts and characters were scribbled into various notebooks that also held things like shopping lists and journal entries and phone scripts that my friends and I used to call boys to ask them to the school dance. 

I know it's time to travel on, and there's not much left for me here. But that doesn't stop the sweet nostalgia from sinking into my every pore. 


Polyvore: Geela
Polyvore: Sandy
Polyvore: Rosie
US Stereotypes: What are YOU?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The 5 Hardest and Easiest Things About A Breakup

The 5 Things That Hurt More After A Breakup. 

1. Seeing pictures. Let's face it. You stalk your ex. What is he up to? Who is he hanging out with? Did he finally get his puppy a haircut? But even though you're deathly curious, more often than not, seeing your ex's new Facebook pictures can feel like a blow to the chest. Especially when there are other girls in them. That girl who posts ten Instagrams of your ex doing ordinary things like eating a taco or tying his shoe--are they hooking up? Do they hang out a lot? Does she like him? Does he like her? No, he couldn't possibly. But now you're not so sure... and here come the doubts. 

2. Physical pain. You catch your earring on your shirt or stab your finger by accident or get a small papercut and all the sudden it's the end of the world and the miniscule pain feels like the pain in your heart and you start to become all dramatic and everything about missing your ex comes to forefront. 

3. Sleeping. Sleeping alone can be one of the saddest things about ending a relationship. There's no warm body to snuggle with as you drift off to sleep. Now, you lay in bed, chatting with friends on Facebook or stalking other guys or watching a TV show, but as soon as you shut your computer, it's just you and your thoughts and a silent room. Again. For that matter, showering can get sad too. There's too much time to think about what you did wrong or what he did wrong or what could have been. Your conclusion: it's best to avoid sleep and showers at all cost. 

4. Your friends. Your roommate says something snappy to you and since your emotional floodgates are already wide open, it feels like she hates you. Everything just hurts more now, and yes it's been over two weeks, but you just stalked your ex AGAIN and you're sad, goddamn it, and she should know to leave you alone! Or better yet, she should know that what you really want is an all-night action movie session with a pint of Ben and Jerry's and absolutely no romance whatsoever. And if she doesn't get that right? Well, she obviously hates you. It's time for some yelling. 

5. Your future. While you were together, you couldn't imagine your future any other way. Now, it's time to carve out a whole new path, which can be both depressing and scary. You thought you had it all figured out, but then you start to realize that this guy of your dreams wasn't actually the guy of your dreams and what if nobody will ever want to be with you again because you're so damaged and what if you don't get into graduate school and what if you never get married and end up alone working 15 hour days and living in a house with empty shelves because you have nothing to put on them? 

The 5 Things That Are Easier After A Breakup.

1. Being on your own schedule. You don't have to carve out three free hours a day to hang out with your ex, when what you really need to be doing is studying or sleeping or running errands. You can go to dinner at 6:30 if you want, instead of 4:30, because you're not worried about missing the football game. You don't have to feel bad about being out the entire day and not stopping back to check on the puppy (or your ex.) 

2. Doing that one thing you love. Whether it be reading, drawing, writing, volunteering, or making artwork out of used soda cans, you're only taking care of one person now, and you just have more time. Plus, now there's nobody who is going to hog your book or tag along on your "me" days or tell you that your soda can art is stupid or smells bad. 

3. Spending time with your family and friends. They know it, you know it. When you're in a relationship, everyone else suffers. One time, while I was in a relationship with a guy who lived kind of far away, my friends confronted me and said, "we miss you." Suddenly, a text from your friend gets ignored, you don't answer the phone when your parents call, or you skip plans by accident because you were so wrapped up in your significant other and your schedule together. You have that time now, and you can start filling up that hole in your heart with a patched-up friendship. 

4. Shopping. There's no one to answer to when you come back with fifteen bags from all over town. There's no guilt in the inordinate amount of money you spent on that pair of heels or the obscene amount of floral shirts you just bought, because it's just you, and nobody else is looking at the price tags. Nobody will laugh at that pair of overalls you really wanted to buy but know looks horrible on you. So you can go ahead and buy that party dress that you know you'll never wear, because nobody is asking why you bought it, and you can own it for one fabulous evening and go ahead and return it tomorrow. 

5. Leading a normal life. In the beginning, everyone feels like their pain is unique. Nobody else has ever felt this horrible, I remember thinking. I truly will never get over this. It's comforting to read articles like this and realize that yes, just about everyone goes through something similar, and it does feel horrible, but the best thing you can do is just carry on, and realize that if all those other not-so-strong people can do it, you can too. The world doesn't stop here. Time is the magic word: you will become happy again, and everything will get easier again. Switch up your routine a bit: go to a different bar, buy a new outfit, do something that makes you feel good. Hang out with old friends. Get a piercing. Watch a new TV show that you can share with another friend. Learn a knew skill, like pottery or German. It gets easier from here, my friend.

I know I benefited a lot from reading an article like this; it was the first time when the thought crossed my mind that maybe my situation wasn't unique and that I wouldn't stay depressed forever. What are YOUR 5 hardest and easiest things about a breakup? Any tips for others? Leave a comment! Send this article to anyone you think might enjoy it.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Voice Attempt Numero Uno

I don't consider myself a singer, but people tell me I don't have such a bad voice and I can at least carry a tune. I've been writing lyrics for a while and I've been active on a forum occasionally, and someone approached me about recording something of theirs, so I decided it was time to start making demos. So I made one. A really rough one. 

You can listen to it on my soundcloud here: 

cover - Little Talks

I sang "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men. In retrospect, it was a really hard song to cover. There are both male and female parts to the song, which meant that there were different ranges, and the band is Icelandic, so some of the lyrics are a bit hard to fit in without the help of their beautiful accent. It just sounded kind of weird in an American accent, to be honest. I should probably record a song where I actually sound good. I don't have any voice training at all, this is all raw. I should also probably sit farther away from my computer next time...

If anyone has any suggestions of songs to cover, let me know! 

Brave at Heart now has three chapters! Woohoo! I've got a little over a week until I move into university, so I'm hoping to crank out another chapter before then. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On Blogs

Currently listening to: Phantom Limb by The Shins
Currently reading: House of God by Samuel Shem (well, I'm starting it tomorrow)

Blogs are a weird thing, really. They all do it: ironic hipsters and self-proclaimed fashion gurus and sports fanatics. You go ahead and you spill your heart out to anyone who happens to read your page and guess what: nobody cares. It takes a good deal of introspection to realize that nobody cares what you're doing every second of the day, even though your latest profile picture change may seem like the world to you. It's like Twitter, in that regard. Okay, so you went to get coffee. Big deal. You read a book. Big deal. But sometimes people pretend to care, or sometimes they sympathize, and sometimes they start commenting on everything you write... and then where does that get you? Now, tens of other people care about the mundane aspects of your day. Is that a feat we should all strive for? I guess, what I'm trying to say is, why do we blog? For some people, they like the attention of strangers commenting on their day-to-day doings. For others, they actually have something to say. For the rest of us, it's probably a therapeutic thing. I'm not attention-thirsty and I don't actually ever have anything to say, so I'd probably fall into that third category. After spilling my heart out to complete strangers over the internet (how much creepier can you get?) I usually feel... clean. Done. And I guess that's why I blog. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thought Catalog

Currently listening to: Spellbound by Doves

I recently came across a website called Thought Catalog, a "place for relevant and relatable non-fiction and thought." Each day, a wide number of contributors post articles about jobs, relationships, family, humor, and overall life. Just as it says, almost all of the articles are somehow relatable to almost everyone, which I find incredible. Now, I check the blog every day for new updates. Here are a few of the articles that have touched me or made me laugh: 
Why I Write
Questions I Have for People In Relationships
Tips For Being the +1 At A Wedding
Where Does Love Go When It Dies
Have a look around the site, I know you'll find something you like. 

In other news, I've been working on Brave at Heart, my Harry Potter prequel, and even though it's slow, the work is steady. I've finished chapter 2 and I'm working on chapter 3! Here's a short excerpt from 2. Definitely not the most exciting part of the chapter, but I still need to work on the wording for the climax. This chapter takes place at Lucius and Narcissa's wedding:

Evidently, his cousins had spotted Lucius, also. “Look at him, won’t you?” Lenore Crabbe said with a look of pure enthrallment. “My father is old friends with Abraxas Malfoy. If only they had waited another few years—”

“You’re talking about Lucius? Well I think he tries just a little too hard,” Regulus said, crossing his arms, which made Sirius smile. At least he wasn’t alone in thinking that Lucius Malfoy was a stuck-up prick. “I mean really, he needs an occasion like this to make contacts at the Ministry?”  

Lenore Crabbe looked sour at that comment, but Evan and Rabastan both nodded.

“You jealous?” Sirius muttered into Regulus’s ear. He knew Regulus fancied Lenore.

Regulus stepped on his foot. “Shut up!” he hissed.

I'm a premed student, and for the past few weeks I've been shadowing a surgeon--one of the reasons my writing has been going so slowly. I come home and I'm exhausted. It's been such an incredible experience, but I think I'll give it a post of its own.

So, did you find anything on Thought Catalog? Comment with your favorite articles! Props for anyone who actually submits anything! I'm working on a short piece that I may or may not submit, about my time at the hospital. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

At A Crosswinds

Currently reading: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Currently listening to: Crosswinds by J. Tillman

This song is dedicated to my (now) past boyfriend. He is a wonderful human being. We were best friends before we were together--I had no idea he even liked me. We were both seeing other people at that point. He had ended things with his girl for a while, but just as he ended it with her, I started seeing a guy who lived near us, and then he got back together with his girl... but eventually he broke it off  and I realized how much he liked me and that I actually might like him as more than my best friend. The story of how we ACTUALLY got together is quite hysterical - although I'm not going to post it here, so comment if you want to hear it and I'll tell it to you over email or some other way :) Seriously, this stuff doesn't even happen in movies, it's so funny and awkward. Anyway, we had to end it finally because of distance after study abroad was over. Both of us wish we didn't have to end it, because we both still love each other, but we knew this was the only way to preserve our friendship. 

Is there someone you think about every day? Is there someone who makes you realize that everyone has their flaws, but theirs is that they care TOO much? Is there someone who forces you to open up, yet makes you feel that you never have to go out of your way to impress them, because they're impressed with you just being you? 

It's been a little hard lately, we've both accepted that we're going to have to move on, at least for a little while (I plan on moving to the city he lives in after college, because a lot of my family lives there) and we can still visit maybe once or twice a year during school, but I think he's moving on a bit faster than I am. I went through this long period where all I could think about was how much I missed him, and I couldn't sleep, I couldn't write, I couldn't do anything. I'm doing better now, I'm keeping myself busy, but whenever I have a chunk of down time, I find myself getting sad over him again. If anyone has any words of wisdom or advice, for me or for others, please share :)

In other news, Great Expectations has been good so far. I'm about halfway through, but the one thing I noticed about Charles Dickens is that he has a real sense for human character. He not only gets physical appearance, but he describes how that appearance is affected by the person's personality and history, and how that affects their mannerisms and role in the story. It's really interesting to read.

The song I posted is Crosswinds by J. Tillman. The lyrics are sparse, but I think it's some of the most beautiful songwriting I've heard. "We'll find each other where we promised." This line rings true to my life right now--that's how I imagine my boyfriend and I working out. In my head, we'll be separate during college, I'll move to his city for med school, where I plan to go as long as I get in, and we'll take it from there. Everyone wants to meet "the one," but it's so awful that I've found that person so soon in my life, because now I know nobody will be able to compare.

Oh, and I shopped away my feelings. I did get some pretty cool finds though, from one of my favorite haunts: the Nordstrom Rack. These Sam Edelman Karla Boots, Born Crown wedges, Cole Haan Air Whitley boots (a little risky fashion-wise, but I think I can pull it off) and Free People hoodie were all at least half off. Not so bad, eh?

Also, I'm pleased to announce that I more or less have a plot for "Brave at Heart," the working title of my Harry Potter prequel, book 1! I'm halfway through writing chapter 2, I should probably actually be doing that right now... but I have it completely outlined up to chapter 7, and then somewhat outlined the rest of the way through. I won't post it here yet, but if you want to see it let me know, I can send it by email. Check the Harry Potter page, because I'll be adding excerpts from time to time. I also added pictures of my characters. Look or don't look, it's your choice!

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to chatting with you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back in Action

Currently reading: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Currently listening to: Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People

I usually try to post a song a little out of the immediate mainstream just so you guys might find some new music you like, but this song has literally been stuck in my head for a week straight now. When I first heard it, I was convinced it was by Peter Bjorn & John. Even though the verses have that mellow indie vibe, the chorus is catchy and infectious enough for the song to make the top charts, and I'm glad! It was even featured in the final episode of Homeland, a one-season show I've been watching recently about a marine sergeant held captive for eight years and finally returned home, amidst accusations and rumors of terrorism and infidelity. It's really very good.
Yes, you read that right, I've been reading Hamlet in my free time. I'm going to be a college First Year in the fall, and if I don't major in English, I'm going to minor in it. Since I didn't get a lot of classic literature at my high school, I figured Hamlet would be a good place to start. And I'm actually enjoying it!
So by the fact that I'm actually posting something real here, you guessed it... I've returned from my world travels! It was absolutely the most incredible year I could ever have had, and I recommend to everyone to do a gap year or even study abroad while still in school. It's just an incredible feeling to get used to living in a foreign place with a different language and culture, and to find yourself becoming immersed. I would go to markets, underground bars, art fairs, and take buses and trains wherever they led me. I felt so free this year, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to literally do whatever I wanted. 
Now that I'm back to real life, I'm also back to writing! I'm working on the outline for my Harry Potter prequels again, and I'll be ready to resume writing soon. I have a few holes I still need to fill, though, before I can do anything. (If you're interested to know more, comment, write in the c-box to the right, or email me at laurel.firemeup@gmail.com! I'd even be happy to show you my outline, maybe you'd have some suggestions for me.) 

I'm so glad to be back! I really hope people are reading this blog. PLEASE, comment if you see this - even if you haven't read the post or don't have anything to say - just to say hi and let me know you're reading! I get kind of discouraged when I think no one is reading, because I still do get some views on here. 
If you have anything you'd like me to talk about on the blog, let me know! I can do anything from reviews of music, tv, movies, books; fashion, advice, personal anecdotes, and I can even share a story of yours! So comment, c-box, or email me with anything! 


Fun links:
The Fresh King of Gondor 
50 Practically Free Ways to Decorate Your Dorm Room
Online Polaroid Creator

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Germany and Czech Republic

Currently Listening to: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Prague and Berlin! Prague is a magical city. The streets remain stone and rocky, with old lampposts and original building facades. The shelter of the country during the Communist regime was very evident. Everyone sounds like they came straight out of Dracula and sometimes they look it, too. I definitely found a lot of inspiration for my Harry Potter prequel. My friends kept saying they felt like they were walking around Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Some of the highlights included Prague Castle, the Astronomical Clock, the Charles Bridge, the Lennon Wall, the Choco-Story chocolate museum, Petrin Hill, the Communism Museum, and the Beer Museum (it was really a bar, where you can taste different flavored beers--including chocolate and raspberry! We tried over 20 flavors during the span of the week.) Traditional foods ranged from goulash, fried cheese, to hot wine, but we found ourselves eating Mexican a lot. Next, we traveled to Berlin for two days. It immediately got snowier and quiet a bit colder! We went to the Olympic Stadium and saw a few different monuments and museums about the Berlin Wall and World War II. I think the coolest thing I saw was the East Side Gallery, which is part of the wall that is covered in graffiti. Most of it is actually artwork, I think. Look it up, it's incredible. This part of the trip was really cool for me because my grandma and her whole family are from Germany, so I got to experience a lot of what she has always told me about. 

In other news, I've been a bit too busy with that stuff to really pay enough attention to my stories. I'm going to an army training week tomorrow, then I'm off for a two week vacation before I finally settle in my new home in the desert. Hopefully, once I get there, I'll have loads of free time to devote to my works!

Two Polyvores for you:

Fun links:
Where Harry Potter and Mean Girls Collide
Fairytale Princes Gone Sexy
How To Overcome 10 Types of Writers Block