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Because my college happens to be a private one, one of the things they make freshman do, besides take a "gateway" class to college is to take the Strengthfinders test by Gallup. It's a really boring test, but the results are really quite accurate. Out of 36 top strengths Gallup has put together it narrows them down to the top five you seem to have based on the test.

When I printed out the pages of info on the results and read it all, it was like someone had looked inside my brain and analyzed it all.

Here are my results. (with a tiny summary) 

1. Harmony: People strong in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don't enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.

Yep, that's me. I even hate watching political round tables or debates of any kind. HATE it. It might be interesting, but I can't past the tension I feel when I watch them verbally fight it out. Although, that doesn't mean if I need to talk to someone about something I will. I'm also one of those people who feels I'm better at mediating a dialogue rather than arguing it out. (So even though becoming a lawyer may look interesting, I know in practice I would probably be awful at it) 

2.Responsibility: People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
(I'm the eldest child in my family. Responsibility is hammered into the oldest child of families. I'm was first to go to school, the first to watch a certain movie, the first to learn how to drive, and the first to go to college.)

3. Input: People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

This is the part where I go: OH REALLY. I never knew that about myself. *sarcasm* But I also didn't know it was a strength of any kind. I just thought I was a little obsessive with adding websites to my favorites and you know, collecting books like it's going out of style.

4.Intellect: People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

I'm an introvert. I like to....think? I guess I do like discussions, but just don't ask me about philosophy. It hurts my brain.   I do however love all these awesome Meta discussions on fanfiction, books, and strong female characters I'm finding on LJ.

5. Maximizer: People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

I'm really bad at math. I avoid any contact with the subject if I can help it. Thus I pour all my energy into other subjects that don't require lots of math. Like English and History. However, even in those subjects I know I have weaknesses. I'm terrible at grammar, I'm wordy, and I can't seem to revise my work. These are things I'm willing to deal with, so I try to improve. I read, I write, and I learn from my mistakes.

Even though I wish I had top strengths on the Strengthfinder list, like Achiever, Leadership, Learner, Communication, or Positivity I know I'm better off being me. Knowing I have these strengths is helpful and gives me a bit of a basis of how to attack my weaknesses, knowing that if I let my strengths rule out everything else I'd become a pack rat who doesn't talk to people. Knowing how my brain works and what I seem to do best of course is great to know, and I'm sure it will help me down the road. I wonder what things I could do with these kinds of strengths and most of all, what I can write with these kinds of strengths.

I'm not sure what all this means but I hope I'll figure it out one day.


Well, I've made some progress. I feel like a writing machine. I write random outlines while pretending to take notes in my Women Studies class while actually listening to what the teacher says. Although she does tend to read fascinating stuff of the handouts she gives us, it does gobble up class time. Just saying.

Anywho. I'm uber excited because tomorrow I have NO classes. Zip. WRITING DAY!!! Time to put down more words down.

Also  I finished my Sisters Fate story. I feel proud of myself for finishing it. Even though it's really a novel and tried to claw it's way out by not ENDING, but then I used brutal force by telling my poor readers how Mr. Abernathy fared later. It was a bit like this little scene from The Emperor's New Groove: 

Yeah. Maybe not quite that exciting, but now I was really tired after writing that, and then writing another chapter of a different story. Go read it. Lots of teeth. (Someone tell it's a novel before I spend time on it, oh dear)


Every once and while I ask my parents where they were when JFK died, or I ask my grandmother where she was when Pearl Harbor was bombed. These are the stories that define them in some way, outline a generation.
I was 11 or 12 when the towers were hit. I had no idea they even existed until that day. The t.v. was on all day, my mom was on the phone calling everyone she knew. My world has never been the same since then. I still remember how numb I felt. How I couldn't process what was happening. I remember watching the second tower burning and imagining the worst thing happening: the towers crumbling. And then they did.
I remember yelling at my sister that night for wanting to watch something else when there literally wasn't anything else, she was too young to understand. I was just old enough.

One of our family friend's sons is in the Marines. He is in Afghanistan right now because of 9/11. He's 19.
I can't help thinking the next time I see him when he gets back he might not be the same person I know now. He's the bravest man I know.

I went to NYC with my family on vacation a couple years ago, and visited Ground Zero. It's a giant hole. Everyone is quiet there. Hushed. There are scribbled messages on the surrounding buildings, and a bronze embossed mural to the firefighters who gave their lives that day. My mom cried when she saw it.

It's crazy that they've now found a ship at Ground Zero, centuries old underneath whatever was left. People forget how old NYC is. I forgot how old it was.

I can't turn on the news today. Just can't. They'll show the footage again, footage I have avoided seeing for years. I don't need to be reminded. I remember all too well.

   Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
---Yeats, from "The Second Coming"

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.
--Anne Sexton, from "Courage"


September Blues

My sisters fate story is probably going to be a day late. I hate not making my deadlines but with the way my homework has arranged itself this week, I might not be able to work on it until Thursday night. Eeek.
I thought I would have time this weekend to get bare bones down, but nooooo.
And it's been bugging me too. In that weird, write me voice that my ideas take on. I have no idea quite how long or short this story is, or what the story is about exactly. All I have is an image in my head that somehow works with the picture Alice gave as a prompt.
You will get a story. I promise. Just a few hours later. :)

How are your stories coming? Any hints for how fun they will be? Any talking animals? 

Pursuits: September

It's a new month and I nearly forgot. Then the cold front moved in, and I realized it wasn't August anymore. Fall is finally beginning!
My goals for this month are fairly simple.

1. Time Management: I need sleep, so I need to do my homework when the sun is still in the sky, not at 4.30 in the morning.

2. Writing: 20,000 words seems a bit high for my fingers, so I'm going to go with 12,000 as the minimum.

     I aim to write two new short stories for sisters fate, (both of which are in my novel(s) idea universe. I'm gonna try the worlds out in a short story before I plunge into a larger tale)  finish my unnamed project(s). I have quite a few, so I think that will be my task this month. To Finish.

3. Health: I have found an exercise video that doesn't have lunge or squat exercises. Yay. I think I'm gonna try and conquer that video this month.

September 9th.

I haven't even started my sisters fate story yet.

And now my Arthurian Legend idea went poof!

Sooo...I might be writing about paranormal creatures. (vague, yes?) 

I promise descriptions of cute things, shoes, and maybe an ugly set of teeth.

Commence with a happy weekend dance of joy.

Only my weekend does NOT include Labor Day. That day I will actually have to go to school and labor. A lot. and grumble. (Private education has it's faults, like never allowing for one freaking day off except for thanksgiving and the fourth of July. But I'm just kidding. We do get a labor day weekend at Fall break) 

My Bookshelf

What it says on the tin.

Full view of my lonesome shelf.

Kinda self-explanatory. Books plus Me equals one full shelf.

The Lee Review is not a book, but my college's creative arts publication. It has a poem of mine in it.
Thus, it gets a place on the shelf.



Goals check

Well, it's September now. Let's see how I did shall we?

1. Writing. Goal: write 10,000 words.

Totally achieved this: with 18,242 words. YAY.

2. Health: start the running program  that looked good and make better, healthier food choices.

I haven't even made it to the gym yet. I'm going to start walking for at least an hour a day. That will help with the stress. (Yes, two weeks into school and I'm already stressed)

3. Procrastination/Time management: make a schedule and stick to it.
I'm doing pretty well, but not as good as I want to with my time. I haven't figured out a *good* schedule that doesn't cut into my sleep yet, but I am making progress, day by day.

4. Poetry: Don't freak out.
I've written two poems so far this semester. They actually make some sense and use similes and metaphors. I got feedback letters back and they all make valid, helpful points usually on the same parts of the poems. I think this class is going to be good, I'm just struggling a bit because I really have to read the poems and pay attention to form and line breaks.


The Internal Book Soundtrack: Tricksters

This is more of the emotion driven soundtrack of tricksters, which is pretty different from the external. It's darker, sadder. I guess that's why I have so many upbeat songs for the Plot (external) soundtrack.

The song above highlights the lives of the trickster gods, and where my MC is at emotionally at the beginning of the book.

This song highlights my MC's relationship with her ex boyfriend and also the king of the trickster gods. It's a fun song, but you can hear the bitterness and frustration.

The relationship between my MC and romantic interest all over. (I should be more worried about them but I'm not, bad author)

The emotional climax of the book is another song by Sara Bareilles, Gravity, which I love so much. It's the moment that keeps me writing this thing. As it should I guess.

Now that I've clogged all of your flist we return to your current schedule.


The External Book Soundtrack: Tricksters

This is a *squee* let's share music post.

Tricksters is my book about Trickster Gods, masks, and the end of the world, and dark wonderful Alan Cummings inspired Cupid.. Yes Tricksters needs a new awesome working title, but its is easy to remember. 

First up what could be the trailer/opening music if Tricksters was a t.v. series. Don't tell me you can't see trickster gods doing any of this.

Next is this song. The other possible book trailer music. Although it's pretty upbeat, it has that right irreverence that the trickster gods have.

Next up is the external plot driven song for my main character who WON'T give her name. Not yet, apparently.

Cupid's theme song. Yeah. (I blame BBC's Blackpool with David Tennant DANCING to this song as the awful inspiration) 

When my MC gets mad and finally does something, she does it with style. A theme song for a fun chapter of vengeance.

Next up, the softer more emotional scenes best of the playlist type thing.