Just Dance!

(It'll be okay...doo doo doo doo, just dance...)
It's that time of year again. Dance competition has arrived at last.

Yay. (That was sarcastic.)

Okay, I don't hate it. I don't love it, either. Like many things, I'm somewhere in between.
This year I am performing a small tap group, a large jazz, large ballet, and a musical theatre solo. This morning, I performed my ballet group, "Stalia." We won gold!!!
Dance is somewhat weird. During the rest of the year, dance is a hard-core SPORT. Y'know, hair is up in a messy wad, out of your face, sweat off your foundation, tensor bandages, sports bras, knee braces, etc. If the class is working hard, that is. It's hard work!
However, competition. This is where dance is less of a SPORT and more DANCE. It means tedious stitching of ill-fitting costumes, fussing with beige bras and clear straps or beige bodysuits, layers and layers of makeup, false eyelashes, enough hairspray to melt the ozone, glitter. I think there should be a warning sign on the dressing room door: WARNING. THIS IS AN EXTREME ZONE. BEWARE OF HAIR SPRAY AND STAGE MOMS.
My mom isn't a stage mom, though. Luckily. So yeah, it's pretty intense.
I also had to straighten my hair, unfortunately. USUALLY hair is supposed to be curled, but I'm lucky enough to have naturally curly hair, so that means a heck of a lot of less work for me. Yay. But my evil straight-haired friends (fiends?) persisted in their single complaint of, "But we need straight hair for hip-hop!" and stuff. They obviously don't realize how much harder it is to straighten curly hair than it is to curl straight hair. Plus, I think that straight hair looks lame on stage. It looks limp and flat. Whereas curly hair has life and bounce and vibrance. Just my personal opinion.
Luckily, my ballet teacher, Miss Nadine, said that she wanted to change our hair to curly half-up, half-down. Of course the straight-haired gang immediately whined, "But we need straight hair for jazz!" Miss Nadine smiled and said Miss Mandy would change it. Besides, Mandy wanted curly hair in the first place.
I love Miss Nadine. IN YOUR FACE, straight-haired people!
I perform musical theatre (its lip-syncing the words. My song is "My Favorite Things.") tomorrow in the late afternoon. Tap and Jazz are on Sunday.
And oh yeah, we have a day off today. Most people are relishing the three day weekend, while we are like, "Yay, three days of dance."
The worst part about dance competition is getting lipstick in all your food.


Upcoming, Recent, and Present Stuff

UPCOMING: Lanigan Dance Festival. I am in dance. I take ballet, ballet exam (ugh), tap, jazz, and a musical theatre solo. For those of you peeps who are not all up in the dance vocab, the difference between ballet and ballet exam is this. In ballet class, which is one hour, you generally spend about thirty minutes doing universal exercises (plies, tendus, etc.) The rest of the class is spent making up a dance routine, which is completely original. You get the costumes, hair, way too much makeup, and you go to LDF and other places and wait backstage and chew your nails and forget the dance before you go on and preform, showing everyone how awesome you are. You get the costumes and the performance for tap and jazz and stuff as well. Ballet exam is when you do an hour of the stupid exercises everyone hates while you glower at your teacher and feel fat in the leotards. The only reason I am taking ballet exam is so that I am able to take a musical theatre solo. Musical theatre is when you lip-sync. I'm doing "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music. It's fun.
Also way-upcoming: summer camp. We have a cabin, and a lake and a boat, seadoo, tubes, waterskiis, wakeboard, the works (no, we are not rich. Don't get the wrong idea.) so we generally are set and don't often go to summer camp. I went to horse camp once while Landon went to hockey camp. But this year we're all going camping for a week in a city nearest to us and we're all going to camp. Kloey's going to gymnastics camp, Carson and Landon are going to hockey camp, and I'm going to Volleyblast. I love volleyball and so, I'm going to camp and learning some intense skills. It'll be great but its far off.
RECENT: My Catechism class went to the hospital today and visited the unfortunate old people. My sister came with us, as did Kristy's little brother Brady who is Kloey's age (fourth grade.) Kloey played some piano songs and I read some of my poetry and we played board games and took them on walks in their wheelchairs around the halls and chatted. I was somewhat timid at first, but we brought one of my dogs, Shanli, and I loosened up. Shanli was pretty good. She's an irish setter, so she can basically walk over and they can reach her from their beds, wheelchairs, whatever. It was cool. I'm glad I went.
PRESENT: Happy Birthday, Jehsyka. Have fun with your fourteen-year-old list.



I'm pretty happy right now. Well, not so much pure "happiness" as much as contentment. Why?
Mainly because Miriam's Isle is back on track!
I'm trying to write a bit every day, even if I just get, like, a paragraph. That's still something, and it will keep me thinking about it. And, usually, I can't write just one paragraph. Once I get started, I'm obligated to keep going. Just last night I wrote more than ten pages, an important scene that proves as something to both lead up to and work off of. I'm pretty psyched!
For all the novelists working on their first first draft...if you're feeling discouraged...been there, done that. Just keep going through with it, and you'll make it out. I promise.
Just make sure you stick with it! I'm sure glad I did.
Okay, its only been two days of motivation/happiness stuff, but you can tell a lot in two days.
I also signed up for badminton. I beat everyone I played in practice today. Maybe I have a bit of natural talent? I beat Dylan 9-6. Hee hee. I also beat this sportsy guy who usually dominates, but not today!
ER was really good tonight.
Go Life! It's currently amazing. I hope your lives are all really fun right now too!



I had to write a book or movie review for ELA class. Since the books I liked were either a) taken or b) inappropriate, I turned to movies. What movie did I choose? THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Here is my first paragraph:

Beneath the Opera House in 1812, a disfigured musical genius lurks in the dark catacombs, nururing a young girls' voice. Christine Daae is one day driven into the spotlight, and overnight she becomes a star. The Phantom, otherwise known as the Opera Ghost, grows obsessed with her. Meanwhile, Christine is courting the Vicomte de Chagny, or Raoul, her childhood sweetheart. A dark, thrilling tale of jealousy, passion, and mose of all, music, this film will keep you on the edge of your seat while you watch the unpredictable love triangle as the Phantom drives them past the point of no return.

What do you think?
Today we got in two movies we had ordered from some source. Madagascar 2 and IRON MAN. M2 is okay, more for little kids, I think, but Iron Man is phenomonal. Normally I don't have patience for that type of movie, but Iron Man is one of my favorite movies by far. Plus, the guy who stars in it as Tony Stark is incredibly good-looking.
I know the movie Twilight doesn't hit the shelves until March 21st, but apparently they send em out early to movie stores so they can do what they wish with them. In my minitown, the main destination is the Video Stop. Everyone knows Earl, the guy who has watched everything and runs it. Anyways, my aunt was at the Video Stop while Earl was unpacking them, and we got one on Sunday. We watched Twilight Sunday night, and on Monday I watched it again when I stayed home sick. I know lots of people hate Bella/Kristen Stewart, but I for one think she did a great job in the movie. Her voice is kinda mannish, but it's okay.
I recently killed myself laughing watching my dad shoot our cat, Mr. Puddles, with rubber darts from my brother's dart gun. Puddles is begining to flee the room at the sound of the plastic clicking together. I know its kind of mean, but it is so hilarious. Foam darts don't really hurt.
I am still working on my background. I really want a dark navy blue or black or maybe deep violet background with a cool header. I think it makes it look more dramatic.


Writing...What Else?

Arrrrrrgh. I don't know how many times I've said this, but I am stuck.
With Miriam's Isle, I mean.

Maybe I'm not a real writer, because its not like it has overtaken my whole life. In fact, I've barely written a thing in weeks. But its like, "Hey, I'm a kid. I have school and hobbies and extra-curricular activities and..." But the fact is I procrastinate. And when I manage to seat my butt down and pull out my laptop and open up my "Miriam's Isle" folder, I have no idea what to do next.
I've read Laini Taylor's blog, Not For Robots, a bazillion times, but the fact is that not all of her methods work for me. I mean, I got lots of great advice, and things that really helped, and things that I want to try, but her style just doesn't work for me. I'm different. I have to develop my own novel-writing method...but where on earth do I begin?
Here's the thing: I've made outlines. I know, or I think I know, the vague skeleton of the story. I know the begining, I know what the problem is. I know the plot, the climax. But if I know all that, what do I have to put in the middle?
It ain't a book without a nice, fat middle for your reader to wade through. What I just thought of: Once, I made a post about parts of a novel...
Whoa, frick. Back it up. I took a break there, and I had an epiphany.
It's so obvious! Why didn't I see it before? Miriam's Isle has NO complications.
Complications are...well, here, I'll quote from the post I copied from a school info assignment:

What is done to solve the problem makes up the plot of the story. The plot, in its simplest form consists of:
the action that gets the story "off the ground" is called the motivating force or inciting incident.
After the story starts, difficulties are encountered. These are complications that make it more difficult to solve the problem.
when the greatest (and usually the final) difficulty appears, we say the story has reached its climax. It is usually the most exciting part of the book. The solution of the major problem usually occurs here.
after the climax, something usually happens before the very end that's not that exciting. This is the anticlimax. The author may tie up loose ends here.
The novel ends after the antimclimax with a conclusion.

SEE??? I have no "complications". My main character, Miria, basically has no difficulties. She just sails through easy as pie and faces up to her dad's wrath at the end.
How could I have missed that??? Good God!
Sorry to rant and rave like a nimrod dying in the desert on a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but no one in my house currently cares about the novel writing process, so I have no one to rant and rave to. I turned to my faithful "bloggy tribe," as Jehsyka calls it.
I have no clue what to put in for "complications."
Je suppose I will have to resort to brainstorming, whoopdee-frickin'-doo.
But, to be honest, even though I have a lot-- and I mean a lot-- of work ahead of me, I now feel somewhat better knowing I have blindly (blondly? No offense, Goldilocks) worked out this major snarl. I just realized how to really make my novel...well, a novel.
I'd like to describe "Miriam's Isle" to you all, but maybe I can get one of those PDF files instead. It sucks to read long chapters on a blog, unless it's a singular blog dedicated to it (ie--CLARABELLE.) But it mostly sucks to read long text stuff on blogs.
If anyone has previous experiences, advice, etc, on "complications," feel free to share. Thank you all for not groaning and rolling your eyes in annoyance and saying, "Good God, that chick should have been blonde. HOW could she NOT notice THAT?" Well, I guess, maybe you did, sitting there on your computer in Antarctica or wherever the rest of the Internet lives. Just don't tell me that.



Work In Progress.

I started trying to get a new, awesome template for my blog, then gave up, then forgot. Over the next little while my blog will probably fluctuate a lot. Just to give ya'll some warning.