Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beautiful People #8: Lili and Alicia


Look how consistent I am, always getting these up within the last couple days of the month. Yes. Of course it's consistency, not forgetfulness or laziness. Never. :-P

This month's Beautiful People topic is siblings! Here you get to meet Lili and Alicia from one of my plot bunnies. It's not really formed enough to call it a WIP.

I literally gave my MC a sister JUST because of this Beautiful People theme. (See Cait? I kind of took your advice...) I always think oh it would be awesome to write a sibling story and then I always forget to give my characters siblings. So here we go! Finally.

These sisters are a conglomeration of my and my sister. I'm seeing mirroring. It's not that I'm one and my sister is the other. We (as a duo) mirror these two (as a duo). Hm.

Let's do a little introduction. Alicia (left) is the MC of what is currently called The Glare of the Spotlight, and she is 18, four months away from going to college. She lives in Chicago with her family.
Lili is 20, and kinda living the life in New York. She's almost done with her second year at Columbia University.

1. What is the first memory they have of each other?
Lili's first memory is when her parents took her and her baby sister to the beach and Lili tried to feed Alicia sand because she thought that babies ate dirt. She clearly remembers thinking that is was an obviously logical thing to do, though now she can't recall her exact 3-year-old logic behind it.

If you ask Alicia for what her oldest memory of her sister is, she'll probably say bouncing on the beds upstairs. But she won't be sure. "First memories" are a hard thing to remember for a younger sibling.

2. Describe their relationship in 3 words.
Deep midnight conversations


"Deep" midnight conversations

Include or ignore the quotation marks as you wish.

3. What kind of things do they like to do together?
They love doing creative things together like planning out parties or making gifts for people's birthdays or anything else they can think up. In the summer, Tuesday afternoons are reserved for ice cream outings.
Some days you may find them shouting (I mean singing, of course) along to the radio or attempting to sing through entire Broadway Musicals. And impromptu jam sessions (Alicia on the violin and Lili on the piano and vocals) pop up every so often too.

4. What was their biggest fight?

They generally get along very well, and their arguments generally die down quickly, probably because Alicia clams up and retreats to her room. Half an hour later all is well again, and they've reconciled.

However, over the course of the book, they are going to go through their biggest fight that kind of leaves them estranged for a bit. The fight arises over a decision that Alicia has to make about going with her boyfriend to Europe, and Lili is against it. Alicia goes anyway. Commence hard feelings - hard feelings that linger because they're miles from each other and not forced to make up.

5. How far would they go to save each other?
Oh, very far. In the story they don't really face that many dangers to their physical being, but they're there for each other emotionally.

Their relationship makes me think of the following quote from Jane Eyre. Of course, Rochester here is referring to romantic love, but it totally works here too:
"I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you--especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly."

6. What are their pet peeves about each other?
Alicia doesn't always appreciate Lili's bluntness. Or how she sometimes looks at the world as very black and white. And Lili can occasionally slip into older sibling syndrome and get a little bossy.

Lili thinks Alicia drives like a madwoman. And does she HAVE to leave her bobby pins EVERYWHERE?

7. What are their favorite things about each other?
Alicia loves (and is moderately jealous of) how Lili always looks put together - approachable and fun, but still professional. She also thinks it's awesome how enthusiastically and wholeheartedly Lili jumps into things when she starts a project.
Lili thinks that Alicia is the cutest. She loves her carefree attitude - but also the pensiveness that Alicia hides behind that. The world sees Alicia as quiet and quirky, and Lili loves how many hidden depths there are to her sister.

8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?
They both share an affection for button down shirts, fun scarves, and generally colorful clothes, but their styles are absolutely different. 
They both have long hair (though Alicia cuts hers super short later in the book), and both have pretty straight teeth.
They both love nerdy jokes and riddles. They scrunch up their noses in the same way.

9. Who has the strongest personality?
Lili has the stronger. She's eager to jump into experiences wholeheartedly.

10. How does their relationship change throughout your story?
I'm really not sure if their relationship drastically changes, since the story isn't really about that relationship (it's actually about Alicia and her fella). 
BUT. They do go through some growth. Lili learns to let her sister go (and not be as big-sister-imposing). And hey, look at that - the string connecting their two hearts didn't snap when Alicia travels miles across the ocean! (Skype might have helped.)
Alicia realizes how much she counts on her sister and how much she really does need her in her life. 

Do you have siblings in your stories? What about siblings just in general? And what do you think of Alicia and Lili?


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Am I a Good Parent to my Book Babies?

I cannot help counting down the days to when my final final lets out and I am a free woman once again.

(It's 12, if you wanted to know. Days. Until my final final.)

In happier news, I've made this month's vlog! You can watch it below. And if you listen carefully, you'll hear my sister practicing piano in the background. :-)

What are your bookish bad habits? How good of a book parent are you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Authors

As always, hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish!

I accidentally deleted a beautiful post I had prepared for today, so all you get is author names and no extrapolation because I am kinda sick of blogger's shenanigans this morning and I have homework to get to.


Favorite authors of all time. (This was tough, obviously. And they're not in any particular order, just how they came to mind.)

 1. C. S. Lewis                                         2. Victor Hugo                             3. Maggie Stiefvater

 4. Elizabeth Wein                5. J. R. R. Tolkien                     6. Jane Austen                      7. F. Scott Fitzgerald

 8. William Shakespeare    9. Arthur Conan Doyle     10. Robert Louis Stevenson

Who are your favorite authors ever? Any on this list?


Thursday, April 2, 2015

March // The Month of Happy

Why is March the month of Happy? I don't know. I'm hoping there will be many more months of Happy (except I obviously won't call them that because I want each one to have a unique title). But March was the first month of Happy since I started having monthly recaps, so that is what it shall be called.

 Somehow, everything in March just seemed to fall into a general state of contentment. Oh, there were midterms and there was stress and there were papers to write - but somehow, it wasn't as bad as February. I didn't have any meltdowns. My parents didn't experience my raging fear of failing.

I think it's the effect of Spring.

This happened:

I am very excited to finally wear my rainboots. I bought them last fall-ish, but then it promptly started to snow, so I never got to wear them. Now's the time!

The weather isn't perfect, but it's not deathly freezingly numbingly cold. It's an improvement.

Though it did snow over spring break because Chicago weather is a fickle little beast and likes to give us false hope. Yesterday was absurdly and disgustingly beautiful, and my sister called it April Fools weather.

Mother Nature: Look, my children, look at this lovely gift of sunny, warm, breezy weather I give you!

It rained today.

Here are some other things that happened this month:

~ I found out what Hogwarts house I'm in... sort of. I took one quiz that looked super legit (this one), and it put me in Ravenclaw. But then I found a quiz that claimed to be the Pottermore one, which, since it was written by JK Rowling herself, should be better, right? So that one put me in Gryffindor. But see, the person who made the Pottermore-not-on-actual-Pottermore quiz only knew the questions, not how they correlated to the appropriate houses... so how legit is it? I'm not planning on joining Pottermore, but it seems that is the only way to officially know what house J K Rowling's original quiz would put me in. Gawsh.

I'm having a minor identity crisis here.

~I made a vlog! Apparently you people liked it. *blushes*
I'm going to make one every month - next one's going up in two or three weeks!

~I had  spring break, and read a few books. It wasn't as many as I would like, but it was a nice break and let me re-energize for the final month of school.

~I made some very delicious oatmeal walnut cranberry cookies. And no one in my household can eat them except for me, because they're all gluten free. And I'm not.


I didn't do that on purpose. Oh no, not at all.

~I discovered that having a non-writer mother can sometimes be pretty awesome, because she gives some really motivating and tell-it-like-it-is pep talks. Because she doesn't know the details of writing life, she can tell me straight up - "You never seem to actually write anything. You are jumping around from project to project and putting post its on your wall and making characters but you never write anything."

I already knew from Cait's writerly quiz that I am SUCH a Plot Bunny Chaser, but the fact that my non-writer mother can SEE this means I really need to work on getting down to business and churning out some writing. This has really been a year of writerly-self-discovery. Gosh.

~I didn't haul very many books this month. I focused on reading the ones from last month instead.

Top Ten Tuesday: FAVES 
{In which I squee about my absolute favorite books from the last three... four... five... years - I kind of cheated on this one}

Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Books
{Oh the nostalgia! I cheat on this one too. It's kind of impossible not to.}

Bookshelf Tour (and Sophia makes a fool of herself on camera)
{The title kind of says it all, no?}

Tell me about your month! How did March treat you?
...Also, which Hogwarts house should I swear allegiance to? HALP (Tell me your Hogwarts houses too!)