Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

It's the first anniversary of this blog! Well, technically last month was the first anniversary of this blog -- but I was so caught up in vacation and the Teen Writers Summer Blogfest that I completely forgot about it. So happy late anniversary, voices! *gives flowers*

Also, this happens to be the month in which I reached 1,000 twitter followers. Twitter, as I discovered last year, is AMAZING. It is like a constant IV drip of information, opinions, news, and interesting people. Don't get me wrong, I love my Facebook. Via Twitter, however, I've been able to "meet" (tweet?) authors, agents, poets, and other people -- and of course, discover their blogs.

...Which led directly to me winning a blog contest! Over at terribleminds.com, author, screenwriter, and drunken lunatic Chuck Wendig held a contest in honor of reaching 5,000 twitter followers. The terms: comment with a story in three sentences. The prizes: a free pdf or Kindle version of one of his ebooks, "Irregular Creatures," "Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey," or "250 Things You Should Know About Writing," and/or a postcard. Winner gets all four, of course.

As one of the three runners-up, I got to choose an ebook. I went with the short story collection "Irregular Creatures," and began reading the pdf in the hour before midnight. Needless to say, my dreams were peppered with demonic flying cats. Satankitties, as it were. But more on that later.

To read all contest entries, including the winner and the three runners-up, click this link. My own three sentences were:

The dragon was slain, the tower door open at last -- all that stood in her way was the knight.
"Save me," he choked, blood seeping through the rents in his shining armor.
The princess smiled sweetly and stepped over him to freedom.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ambidextriosity

Inigo: "You are wonderful."
Man in Black: "Thank you; I've worked hard to become so."
Inigo: "I admit it, you are better than I am."
Man in Black: "Then why are you smiling?"
Inigo: "Because I know something you don't know."
Man in Black: "And what is that?"
Inigo: "I...am not left-handed."
[Moves his sword to his right hand and gains an advantage]
Man in Black: "You are amazing."
Inigo: "I ought to be, after 20 years."
Man in Black: "Oh, there's something I ought to tell you."
Inigo: "Tell me."
Man in Black: "I'm not left-handed either."

As you can see, a really excellent swordsman can change from using right to left hands at will. They basically make themselves ambidextrous, which must come in handy when you're chasing down the kidnappers who stole your true love and intend to kill her to start a war between Florin and Guilder.

Being ambidextrous also comes in handy when you have carpal tunnel syndrome from playing the cello, and are in so much pain you can't write with your right hand. So luckily, I who have this unfortunate problem was able to switch to my left hand last year when the pain was the worst and still take notes. Typing was a challenge, but the qwerty keyboard is constructed so that you can hit 80% of the keys with your left hand anyway.

This genetic quirk also made me a useful player in soccer, as I could kick with the left foot about as well as the right. They always need strong left-footed kickers on the left side of the field, whether in offense or defense. You think left vs. right foot doesn't make a difference? Take a soccer ball and try it out.

Also, during light-saber battles with my cousin, brother, and various friends, I always use my left hand. I don't know why, but the left feels more comfortable than the right when I'm holding a sword. Or a stick. Or a plastic light-saber. Whatever. I'm planning to join the fencing team at school next year -- they train you for a semester or so, and let you join if you're good enough.

I hope they won't react badly to a left-handed fencer -- because I know if I have to use my right hand, my carpal tunnel will kill me. It's already limited my future as a cellist; at this point, there is no way I would be physically able to practice enough to be a music major. Fortunately, I'm only a music minor. This was my decision, but having it forced -- or rather, reinforced -- by something largely outside of my control is unpleasant. To say the least. Before, I always had the option: it was my choice. Now, even though I didn't intend to be a music major anyway, the loss of that choice has been surprisingly hard.

On the upside, it's given me an excuse to snap at my mom whenever she brings up her opinions on my college and life choices.

Now, no one is truly ambidextrous; there's always one hand that is slightly stronger or that the person favors. I favor my right for writing, but my left for almost everything else. I once heard that left-handedness used to be seen as a sign that a child was a changeling.

Me: I know something you don't know.
Man in Black: What?
Me: I'm not right-handed! (or maybe, Oh crap, I am left-handed...)


In other news, I updated my Writing page to include two new reviews. You should go check them out. :)