Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Biggest News in the Galaxy!

Yes, you heard me!

Okay. I know a lot of people weren't happy with Star Wars I, II, and III, but honestly I loved them. So, you can't blame me when I say I'm OVERLY EXCITED about Star Wars VII, scheduled to come out in 2015.

Apparently George Lucas handed over Lucas Films to Disney. And they're planning not only a Star Wars VII, but a Star Wars VIII and IX.

So yeah.

I'm totally freaking out!

Of course, I can't help being a little nervous. Like, I'm a huge nerd. So I've read a lot of the books (before and after the original stories), and I'm really hoping the movies are just as good.

Not that they would, but I really hope they don't change the casting for The Clone Wars TV series, because Matt Lanter is Anakin Skywalker's voice, and he's such a great actor! (Not so bad on the eyes, either…)

Okay, enough said. I'll let George do the rest of the explaining.

Am I really that nerdy, or are you guys a little excited too? What do you think? Did you like the prequel trilogy? Are you excited for the new ones? 

--Jess has more info.

Oh, also, Happy Halloween! Trick or Treating was moved to Sunday, here, because of hurricane Sandy. It's been raining for three days straight now. Luckily, I wasn't going trick-or-treating anyway, so my mom just bought me a big bag of candy :)

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo tomorrow?

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Stunned.

Oh my gosh.

I can't believe it.

It doesn't quite seem possible, despite how long I've been working on it.

Time seems to have come to a halt. After hours and days, and weeks, months and even years, have I finally finished editing my first book?

The urge to read through it one last time is so hard to resist, but I told everyone else this is the final draft. I keep thinking I should just tell them I was wrong. That it needs just one more read through.

But honestly.

How many read throughs will it take to make it perfect?

Never enough.

It's finally as close to perfect as it'll ever be. So with all it's flaws (I know it has them), I'm starting the publishing process with CreateSpace today.

Oh my gosh.

I'm absolutely stunned.

Any suggestions? If you've self published through CreateSpace, is there anything I need to know?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Please Read This Post!

Lately, I've been having lots of malware problems on my blog. Apparently it keeps blocking people and coming up with a warning that if you proceed to my site, it could download a virus on your computer.

So I think I've finally gotten it fixed.

Although, I'm not sure if it's only showing up for some people, or if it's COMPLETELY fixed now.

If you didn't see the warning when you visited my blog, please comment and tell me! If you did see the warning, well, I guess it wouldn't have allowed you onto my site. Either way, let me know!



If you're having problems like mine, here's a really helpful blogger forum where you can post a question and people can help figure out what's wrong and how to fix it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Excuse My Absence

Dear wonderful readers,

I am deeply sorry for my nearly week and a half absence. I don't know if you've seen it, but for some reason on all of our local computers, my blog shows up with a warning saying it could give you a virus if you proceed to my site. I think we fixed it, but I'm not entirely sure.

So that's why I haven't been around much.

Okay, so here's some exciting news:

I finished my final final draft of From the Ashes and once my mom is done reading through this draft, she'll go through all her comments with me and then I shall proclaim it DONE!

That's the plan, anyway.

Also, in figure skating, I'm going to take my Intermediate Moves test next Monday, along with two Preliminary Dances. And if you're not familiar with figure skating, if I pass those tests it just means I'm one step closer to becoming a gold medalist!

So yeah, it's fun :)

That's pretty much it for now, but I just wanted to let you know I'm BACK!

Happy Monday!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Have a Nice Weekend!

In school, I'm taking a Creative Writing class. And if you haven't guessed already, the class is so much fun.

All of the assignments are really creative, and there are a lot of writing exercises that are giving me so many new story ideas! The one problem is that I'm getting so many, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to write them all :(

Anyway, I'm just over 75% done with my final edits. After that, my mom's going to read it again and depending on what needs to be done, I'll either have my editor take a last look at it (which would probably lead to another "final" round of edits), or skim over it then publish.

I can't believe I'm actually getting this close!

Could it really be only a matter of time before I'm a published author?

Oh and just as a fun fact, I'm learning Chinese this year. Actually, I've been learning it since 6th grade, and I just love it (that doesn't mean I'm any good at speaking it…) Either way, I just wanted to show you my favorite Chinese character.

I think it's the prettiest out of all of them. It's pronounced like: long. But you have to follow the tone up, so you almost say it like a question. The actual pronunciation is: lóng. It means dragon.

(Now can you guess why it's my favorite? :)

(Zhōumò yúkuài)


Have a nice weekend!

--Jess (麥潔思)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Heater Broke (My 200th Post)

As the coldest day I can recall since fall started, today is definitely a bad day for the heater to not be working. Here in Ohio it's cold and windy outside.

Leaves litter the front yard, and every gust of frigid air that blows in your face makes you want to go back inside.

Unfortunately, it's not that much warmer.

So as I write this, I'm sitting at the table, wearing my snow pants over my fuzzy North Face pants, over my leggings, wearing my socks over an extra pair of fuzzy socks, and wearing my bulky sweater over my North Face jacket, over an Under Armor long sleeve shirt, over an Under Armor t-shirt over a tank top.

(Please excuse the run-on sentence.)

All in all, at least I can still get writing done! My fingers haven't frozen (yet) due to my backlit keyboard which actually makes resting my hands on it warmer.

Anyway, the guys who are supposed to fix it are coming tomorrow. I'm just hoping I don't freeze before then.

As far as editing is going… It's going okay. Too slow for my taste, but the credit for stealing my precious writing time goes to school and my dad. (He makes me watch movies to get more inspiration for novels.)

Still working to get published before February, but being only 2/3rds the way done with my final/second-to-last draft… I'm not sure I can make that goal.

We'll see :)

 OH Also, this is my 200th post!

How's your day been?

Happy Monday!


P.S. If there are typos in this post, please ignore them. I'M WEARING GLOVES ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Last week, I realized that I had to take the PSAT on October 17th. So I was freaking out because I had so much to study, and so little time.

I was so nervous, I think the stress was making me sick (literally).

And with so much to study for, I knew I couldn't get as much writing done as I wanted to. It really meant that for the next two weeks, I wouldn't get anything done.

My confidence was low, and my insecurities were high.

Yesterday, all my fears were put to rest, because we figured out that I don't have to take the PSAT until ELEVENTH grade.


Thank the stars.

So now I feel really great because I've got an extra year to study for it! And I think I might participate in Alex Cavanaugh and Ciara Night's Did I Notice Your Book blogfest on the 17th!

Although, I'm not completely "insecure-free". I entered in Deana Barnhart's GUTGAA blogfest. We all had to submit our queries and first 150 words. I'm entry #20 on her site, so if you want to check it out, feel free to comment! (I only have two so far).

Anyway, back to editing before I start my school work.

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Expressions (Part 2)

On Friday, I was having multiple issues with how to show certain expressions without saying the same thing over and over again to describe it. Like "she smiled" to show she was happy. Or "he frowned" to show he was mad.

Once I've used those so many times, it becomes a word that doesn't mean much to the reader. I find that when I'm reading books, the words "he said" are nearly invisible to me.

So how do we make words visible? Well, they have to be different than what the reader is used to. By using creative ways to describe simple expressions, the reader is engaged.

Anyway, here are some other forms of nonverbal communication that may (or may not) help to describe/show your characters emotions.


Despite being based on a persons tone of voice, pitch, volume and intonation, paralanguage is considered a form of nonverbal communication. Paralanguage is important for reading people's emotions, but it can also be misleading.

As you know, people can consciously change their tone of voice to convey an emotion they're not feeling.

Ever spoken patiently when you're actually really angry? What about calmly when you're really excited?

The great thing about paralanguage is that it doesn't necessarily convey the emotion your characters are actually feeling, but it can show what your characters want others to think they're feeling.

Body Language

I guess this one could have to do with all nonverbal communication. After all, you use body language for all forms of nonverbal communication. Yet I consider this one really important.

You can do a lot of showing through body language.

If Liam (supporting characters) is listening to Jaina (my MC), but is deeply hurt by her words, he may grit his teeth in angry retaliation, or clench his fists, yet only make the softest of replies. It shows the difference between what he's feeling, and what he's choosing to convey.

Eye Contact

This one is my favorite. Maybe because the simple act of a glance can say so much with the slightest movement of your eyes.

Eye contact can indicate who the leader in a situation is. In many cultures, it's respectful to not make eye contact with a superior.

Prolonged eye contact tends to make people nervous, especially if it's with someone they don't know well. It can be considered a threat or as a way to show someone that they're interested in them.

It can convey emotions you may not intend to show. Eyes can tell the truth while everything else about a character lies. I think as far as my characters go, the eyes are truly the window to the soul.

I really hope all of this helped! And if you already knew it, I hope it was a good refresher :)

Happy Monday!

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