Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Computer Trouble

My faithful laptop has recently... well... malfunctioned. The darned thing still works but, unfortunately, the screen is a freezing wormhole of sucktitude (meaning I can't see what's going on!). This means that I won't be able to make my March 1st deadline for the Sommertales video (which sucks) so I'll have to push that back to March 15th (which sounds like as good a day as any). My Ticket Elsewhere and My Ticket Home, however, will continue on as planned. It is my hope to have these issues resolved by Saturday which leaves plenty of time for us to start causing mayhem all across the land.

I know that there have been My Ticket Home posts going live for a while but that's because I have friends who understand I NEED my computer (although none of them really understand why. They will soon enough!). No worries: We WILL find a way to continue as planned with Elsewhere, even if I have to hole up in the computer lab for the next week or so until this is resolved. :)

Lots of love!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why I Love Ya'll: An Ode to my Faithful Followers

In number, ya'll are twenty-eight,
But in truth, numbers never mattered to me.
Thank God numbers do not equate
The joy I feel infinitely.

You guys leave comments that keep me sane,
You care about me so much it's true!
that you keep me going when I'm feeling lame.
(Which is every other day so I must thank you.)

You put up with my every whim
And I whim a lot; I can't say why.
I tell you, "I'm starting a book blog and then
I'll be posting videos," and you stand by my side.

I guess the thing I'm trying to say
Is I honestly, truly love you all.
I wish I could find some way to repay
The love you've given me from my first call.

We've never met and it's not guaranteed
That we will in the future face-to-face,
But know that I love you and obviously
I'm thankful for you every day.

P.S. I finished DITCHED and the ending really made the book for me. It's one of those stories that is good and I'm glad I read! But I probably won't read it over and over again. I did like it and you will see my official review for it in the second week of March, but if you're planning to read it, too, for My Ticket Elsewhere, know that:
-it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be
-it's one of those cute comedy of errors and is a cool love story once all the pieces are put together
-the order of telling goes back and forth CONSTANTLY from past and present (if you're bothered by that sort of thing)
-but the end really makes it worth it.
Will it go on my favorites of all times list? No. But it WILL go on my favorite YA Romance list. It's a great love story and I still recommend it, but with reservations because I know it won't be for everyone.
Commenting on Comments
Arianna- Yay! I'm glad you're excited! I haven't told anyone about the you-know-what yet, but I am going to be doing short films--- that's what I was referring to. :] Good things ARE happening, aren't they? I promise not to stretch myself to thin. Pinky promise. 

Nicole- Very cool! I checked out Cass, and I agree! Her videos are super cool. The person I was thinking about was Kaley Hyde (oh gosh, I know I'm spelling that wrong!). I'm excited to be presenting you guys videos, too. There will be more than one a month, but there will only be one scripted one a month (if that makes sense). 

Sonal- I AM going to be a busy bee, but you're right! It'll be worth it. Free entertainment is the best kind. And I love the things I'm doing so it's fun for me--- I'm having fun getting everything set up and going. :) Pinky promise to keep you updated! Thanks for all of your support, Sonal.

Maya- Oh Lord, let us not even THINK about the number of blogs I'm attempting to do. Instead, let's think of the AWESOME I'm praying they'll produce. Books and film are important to me so why not, you know? I agree. Butterflies are SO much better! And I got a B on one of them so yay! B for Butterfly! I think it's a sign! :] Hehe! Thank you for complimenting my taste in books! I have this theory: pretty covers make pretty books. Which REMINDS ME!!!! Agh! I MUST show you the cover of this book coming out called SHADOW AND BONE. Look it up, Darling. FALL. IN. LOVE. It's GORGIE, no? Words cannot even express how wonderful I think it is. Love ya! And OH EM GEE, Maya. Sang commented on your blog. SQUEE! 

Karly- Haha! Yes, we can totally share him. I'm so glad you know what I mean. Augustus is... perfect. PERFECT. He is the essence of love. But I know what you mean! He's so perfect for Hazel. I hate to want to rip him from her clutches but DUDETTE--- it's Gus! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Happens Now

I have finally escaped the grimy clutches of midterms. I've weathered the storm of homework blizzards and reading torrents. There is hope for the future, yet, my friends, but now that all the hard stuff's out of the way, I can't help but think, "What happens now?"

Well, as most of you know, in March, that interactive "book blog" My Ticket Elsewhere is going to be a big priority of mine. Sommertales is going to slowly, but surely, get started up, too (but you'll have to get used to that "one video a month" thing I've got going because it's not really going to kick off until June). My YouTube channel is going to get to see a little more action. And, of course, I'm going to keep you updated on all things new with me here on Almost (not quite) There.

The thing I want to say right now is that yes: for the forseable future, things are going to be busy for me. But, no, that doesn't mean I don't have time to talk to you guys. It doesn't mean I'm going to hide in a corner until it's time for me to post something again. Rather, I want this "busy business" to kick start something I've wanted with ya'll all along. I want it to spark a chance for you to talk to me and be excited about things with me. I've always wanted to do something with myself and, for some reason, I feel that HERE is where I belong.

So never fear, my darlings. Desi lives and she is ready to rock the rest of 2012 RIGHT. BY. YOUR. SIDE. She can't, however, be expected to see the future. What happens now? Well... can we take it one day at a time?

Starting March 1st. Be there or be square.

Love ya much,
Commenting on Comments
Maya- I saw your response to the survey and lalalalaLOVED your answers! I've missed you lots, too. I hope you've been doing well and living life to the fullest. How glad I am to hear you still love the middle grade reads, too! It's okay if (or when) you grow out of them, but you're right! You should never be ashamed of the books you're reading. If you are, then you know you have a problem, and if your problem is other people, you need to take a good look at them and think, "Hmm... I wonder if they even read to begin with!" Haha! It's hilarious because the most judgemental people are those who know nothing about the thing they're judging. But 'tis human nature and the way of life. I'm glad you've outgrown it already. :) Yay for TFiOS! Read it. Laugh at it. Cry with it. Fall in love with it. (Please.)

Nicole- Ah! Thank you so much! How glad I am to know you liked le blog. :) The tag was really cute, wasn't it? I was surprised it was all book related! It was really cool to see what kind of a reader I was by doing this and I realize that the people who let me into college must have been mental. I'm also happy to hear you're checking out TFiOS! Who are your fave booktubers? Pricilla from the Readables (who I heard about through Sonal). Or agh! This new girl I found with red hair and glasses... She's really cool and did a review on TFiOS and I can't remember her name but I'm almost SURE it started with a K!

Sonal- My dear, if you loved reading my answers, then I "more than loved" reading yours! You inspire me to read more. Seriously, you do. I've even tucked some of the books you've recommended away in my memory so that I'can find them the next time I'm in Europe (Ha! Yeah right!). But seriously, though, WHY does Europe have all these fantastic books?! And why don't they share them with us, poor Americans! Ranting aside, you don't know how excited I am that you're excited about Elsewhere! I'm nervous because I'm about to take on the DITCHED Mayhem Challenge and I get so terribly frighted in front of A.) a camera and B.) people!!! But in the spirit of spreading the words of good books, I must do what I must do. I am also trying to figure out how international shipping works so you and the other wonderful Europeans won't miss out on any of the prize packs I'll be giving away. Love you much, Sonal! And yes! Your blog looks BEAUTIFUL and it was definitely worth all the hard work!

Friday, February 17, 2012

An Announcement, A Challenge, and Another Thing Too

You know how My Ticket Elsewhere has been "under construction" for a billion years? Well, I just figured out what I want to do with it--- I've made it a book blog! If you're interested in being part of an online "book club," please check out this post like, now! We're going to start reading together in March, but I'm announcing the March Reading List this Sunday, so why not get a head start?

On Sonal's blog (hey, hey, sexy thang! Seriously, have you seen her blog? It's adorable. It made me want to start playing around with blog templates so go! Go check it out!) there's this twenty question survey and I've decided to take part in it. If you want to take part in it, too, do so! Then, leave the link to your responses in the comments so I can see what you guys said, too!

1. What was the first book you remember reading?
I know there were SEVERAL before this, but the book I equate to my being a "reader" is called URSULA'S UMBRELLA, so I'm going to have to go with that.

2. What book do you regret reading?
I am SO cool, I have yet to read a book (recreationally) that I didn't like. Because seriously, ya'll. If you don't like a book here's what you do:
Step 1: Decide you don't like it.
Step 2: Close the book and give it to someone who lives far, far away.
End of!

3. What's your favourite genre?
My favorite age group to read and write for is middle-grade, but my favorite genre is comedy and, while middle grade comedy is great, don't get me wrong!, YA humor is much easier to relate to know since my recent turn into adulthood (*dies*). 

4. If you could be any literary character, who would it be?
Elizabeth Bennett. Darcy? You are MINE.

5. What's your favourite series of books?
Because I live and BREATHE series, I will give you my top five in a very particular order.
5. The Mysterious Benedict Society.
4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
3. The Series of Unfortunate Events.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia.
1. The Harry Potter Series.
*Note: Only one out of five of those are found in the YA section. WORD.

6. What book do you most want to read?
Right now? PERSUASION by Jane Austen. Everybody y sus madres has PERSUASION in their possession. What am I missing?! I CAN'T BE LEFT OUT, YA'LL!!!

7. What was your favourite book when you were younger?
How young? When I was a toddler, young, it was ARE YOU MY MOTHER? by Dr. Seuss. Then, when I started getting older, Narnia and Hogwarts fought desperately for my attention. 

8. Are there any books that you'd like to see made into movies?
I agree with Sonal that SISTERS RED would make a pretty intense flick. But the one book I've been dying to see made into a film is THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW which is the FIRST book of the Narnia series. Filmmakers everywhere continue to skip over this one. Why?! It's my favorite of the collection!

9. If you could date a literary character, who would it be?
Augustus Waters. Read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and you will know why. 

10. Where's your favourite place to read?
The car. Yuuuupppp... Because I'm cool like that.

11. Do you have any signed books?

12. What was the last book you read?
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS which I highly recommend as I'm reading it again this March.

13. What are you currently reading?
MAZEL for my Jewish Lit. class.

14. What fictional place do you wish was real?
Hogwarts. That's a given.

15. Have you ever disliked a book that a friend recommended to you?
Cop out answer: *shakes fist at sky* I don't HAVE friends! 

16. Are there any things that you're fussy about when it comes to books?
Too many to count, but as these are personal things I can't change, I find comfort in being able to whinge about them to my sister via email (and then in a blog post if it's REALLY bad). 

17. Are you fussy about book covers?
Yes. I am one of those uppity schoolgirls who likes her book to look pretty (and have a connection to the material inside!). 

18. Do you read reviews on a book that you want to read before reading it?
Not purposely because I read reviews in order to see what I MIGHT want to read (rather than reading a review on a book I KNOW I want to read, which is different). I like to keep an open-ish mind about books, and I like to know what's out there. So I read reviews with the intention of staying informed.

19. What's the longest book you've read?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

20. Are there any books you own that you haven't got around to reading yet?
Have you seen my bookshelves?! I have a problem. I mean, sometimes I trick myself into THINKING I read some of the books, just to make myself feel less like a book hoarder.

I've been having problems with Blogger today. I apologize, in advance, if there are links that take you to weird places or if some of the posts appear multiple times. Know that I'm not trying to spam you or anything--- honestly, I love you guys. It's Blogger that needs a severe scolding. 

Have a wonderful three-day weekend!
Commenting on Comments
Sonal- You're right! It's never too late. Thank you for being my Valentine, Dear, and I am so glad you're going to read TFiOS soon! It's actually going to be the first book featured on the new Ticket Elsewhere. Perhaps, if you read it by March 5th, you could talk about it conmigo! :] And it's true!!! I DO like grandmas!!!! I just don't like LOOKING like one, that's the trouble. You should definitely feel comfy in your cute specks because mine--- oi vey! Glad to be of service, Love! And thanks for the survey! I enjoyed reading your responses and posting some of my own. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I can never decide on whether or not I want to say "Happy Valentine's Day" (as in, the day of Saint Valentine) or "Happy Valentines Day" (as in, the day in which being Valentines of one another is celebrated). This year, I've opted with the second choice and in celebration of my SEVENTEENTH YEAR of being Valentine-less (because yes! I was Tyler's Valentine in the fourth grade thankyouverymuch), I invite you to be MY Valentine and in anticipation of your saying yes (because you did... right?!), I'm providing you this link that will take you to that special announcement I promised you on Sommertales (my umpteenth blog).

Please don't hate me. It's Valentine's Day!

Lots of love,
Commenting on Comments
Prerna- There definitely is a reason for the hype of this one, my dear, but yes--- with Baby Dearest coming soon, waiting is perfectly fine! That's the joy of a book, though, isn't it? Being able to put it down and pick it up whenever you choose? I hope you've bought it, though, just so when you ARE ready, you won't have to make a trip down to the bookstore and get distracted by all of the pretty new releases that promise action, adventure, and excitement. No, no. Stick with romance. And hope. And excellence. It is Valentines Day, after all. Buy the book in the spirit of love, but read the book when you are ready to feel ALL OF THE THINGS.

Sonal- I'm so glad you liked my review! Honestly, I could have said more and more because I really loved the story. I was surprised by it because it was MY first John Green book as well. But The Fault In Our Stars is... I don't know! It's beautiful, I think. Like I said, I laughed more than I cried. I cried ONCE for real and was teary-eyed through about a quarter of it. But I felt, most of all, HOPE when I was reading it. It made me very grateful for the life I get to live and hopeful that my own Augustus Waters might be within reach, someday. :) I hope you read it one day, Love. And SONAL! I love your profile pic! :] I wish I had glasses that were that attractive. Mine make me look... grandma-ish. Not that I don't like grandmas, of course... 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Recommendation: The Fault in Our Stars

Here is the thing: I haven't really read much upon entering the whirlwind that is college.
Here is the other thing: I have always wanted to read something written by John Green.
And with these two things in mind, I walked into the (only) bookstore in town, and God, in His infinite wisdom, lowered a display of TFiOS from heaven (not really), and I managed to snag a (signed) copy of this beautiful, beautiful book.

Here is the gist: I read this book and am sure I am in love with it.
Here is the snag: I cannot, for the life of me, completely articulate WHY.
I love it. Of this, I am sure! But I guess the thing about any book, great or otherwise, is that one must read it for themselves to figure out what they think of it. And this is why, upon hearing from several reliable sources that this book was the business, I grabbed a copy.

I have a bad habit of mistrusting "hype."

But I read it. And I love it "present tense." And after I fully formulate my thoughts on it, I will write a proper review and then I will read it again.

Because it's that kind of book. The one you must insist your sister reads. And after you're done with her, you hand it off to the rest of the family. And after all of them, the dog. And once he's been greatly edified, you force the neighbors. And when they've come to their senses, you call all of your friends. And you have them call of their friends. And then you all make a trip to The White House and say, "OBAMA! YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!" And when he does, you have him read it on national television to all of these United States. And let's hope Palin and Bush are home to get some proper edification.

My point is, it is that kind of book. The kind that makes you think many, many thoughts. That makes you laugh many times. That makes you dream many dreams. It's the kind of book that, in the midst of tragedy, provides these truths that don't intend to make you sad, but, instead, to make you hope. This book, believe it or not, wants you to hope. To hope that life has meaning. To hope that tomorrow will come. To hope that health will be forever yours. To hope that, even if it's not, you can still live, whatever that means.

I guess I am writing a review when all I intended to do was to make you watch me talk you into watching a poorly lit video of me recommending this book (see Exhibit A below).

Exhibit A

But I am too smart for myself--- too smart to know that, when recommending a book that has changed something in you that not even you can pinpoint as of yet, there is no intention of "just" doing this or that. The only thing one is trying to do once they've put down a book like the afforementioned is to understand. To understand what it is that makes a book this beautiful, and to understand how anyone has not yet "refused to deny themselves such simple pleasures" as knowing what it feels like to have seen a glimpse of such a world, and to have been involved in such a story. 

Go. Read. Now.

You are so, very welcome,
Commenting on Comments
Sonal- Thank you kindly, my dear! They do make me happy, those pesky BrainBooks, and I have this nagging feeling that they always will. Which is why I keep writing them. It's sad how desperately I run after a bit of happiness. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BrainBook 2: Kiwis and Things

After a really hectic week, it was nice to go through my second BrainBook again in order to pick out some things for you guys to see. If I'm being honest, this was probably my favorite one to write because it was the thing that gave me hope after the whole Stage Crew ordeal. It forced me to focus on my dreams and on my stories, and honestly? If it weren't for BrainBook 2, a lot of interesting ideas I had would have been lost. This BrainBook is filled with optimism and it was here that I started analyzing writing as a craft that produced a book as its art. The summer before my senior year, I needed something to keep me hopeful, to keep me going. And between God, my little sister, searching within myself, and writing, I was able to make it through okay. Instead of talking again, I'm just going to post a BUNCH of pictures. Feel free to ask me questions about anything you see and be sure to look for the Commenting on Comments section if you left a response on the last post.
EDITED TO ADD: I've also been adding the Table of Contents so you can see what other pages I haven't included. If you want to see those, just ask! And if they're not too private, personal, or AWESOME BLOSSOM as my sister would say, I'll gladly snap a pic and show it. :)

Lots of love,
Commenting on Comments
Sonal- Thank you, my dear, for thinking my taste in music is lovely! I like songs that have something to say. Usually, positive things, so I hope you love the groups as much as I do--- most of their music is equally amazing. :) Love ya much, and I ADORED your latest post. How inspiring, Love; thank you so much for sharing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Music To My Ears

It's one of those days. One of those, "I have so much to do, but I'm not doing ANYTHING" kind of days. You know what helps me through those? Music. Oh sweet, sweet music--- how I love you so.

I've been up to things. SECRET things. SECRETY SECRET things that I want to (and have already) blab(bed) about because that's just the way I am. But music? It keeps me sane. It keeps me cool calm and collected. So here is some of the stuff I've been listening to, and as always, it'd be awesome if you checked out the artist and supported them if you like them!

1. All things "The Lighthouse and the Whaler"
You guys, I'm obsessed. I absolutely LOVE this group. My favorite songs of theirs are "White Days," "Windows," "The Stars and the Trees," "Under Mountain Under Ground," and "Always for You," but AGH! I love ALL OF THE THINGS! Here's one of their songs. Since I've already shared, "White Days," I'll pick a different one. If you like them, you can buy their album here. :)

2. "Bloom" by The Paper Kites
Keeping true to my love of folksy music, I find The Paper Kites truly magical, ESPECIALLY with this song. It's beautiful, whimsical, and they're an awesome group. You can tell they have fun making music together and seriously, their love for it shows when you listen to their stuff. If you like it, you can buy it here!

3. "Better Life" by Paper Route
Haha! I adore this song. It's different than the stuff they put out for their Absence album, but in a good way. It's... It's so optimistic and bouncy I honestly believe everything they say. I'm like, "YEAH! That's right!" Haha! Seriously, I jam to this song. :) If you like it, you can buy it here.

So hopefully those songs make your day progressively better. If not, I blame my love for folk music. If so, yay! I blame my love for folk music! Haha! Have a wonderful day you guys!

Commenting on Comments
Rose- You're welcome, and I'm glad you're going to start a BrainBook of your own! You're right. A BrainBook isn't a boring journal. It's a chance to get down all of your ideas and a CHALLENGE to write more, to push yourself daily, weekly, or whenever the urge strikes you, to write SOMETHING. Hurray for the BrainBook! And good luck on your journey to becoming a better writer! It'll happen. Practice, though, makes (nearly) perfect. :)