Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Seventh Day

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 13 has been reposted! Happy New Year's Eve! May everyone have an amazing new year! Hopefully, this upcoming year will be way better than the last!

I feel utterly exhausted - I think I slept at like 5 am yesterday night so tonight's another advanced scheduled posting in case I'm busy elsewhere or I just pass out.

HAPPY 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sixth Day

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 10, Chapter 11, and Chapter 12 have been posted!

SKoW Hall of Fame

I was inducted into the SKoW Hall of Fame yesterday night and they gave me these pretty, spanking new banner and avatar. I think the SKoW staff and the owner, Jenina, have always outdone themselves and their hard work to recognize writers' own hard work (especially since they and us - we all don't get paid) is one of the top examples of how certain members of the online Fictionpress community truly rock my socks off.

In addition, thanks must go to all those readers who took the time to read, review, nominate and vote for their favorite stories. Without them, none of this could have been possible.

Look! Pretty graphics by their special graphics specialist, Cheryl! (You should check out the other graphics she made for the rest of the inductees - some of them took my breath away. If I could, I would put all my favorites up here, but then that's probably dorky and the other writers may not appreciate silly me displaying a row of THEIR graphics like they belong to my own personal harem collection. Pokemon, much? Kickass Author, I choose you!)

But here are mine:

I'm going to miss my equally cool avatar I got from SKoW Round 6, but all the other cool kids are updating their profiles all the time so I guess I should get with the program too.

Also, it's my badge to show that I am antiquated now and my name should no longer pop up again in the nomination process because readers are incredibly sick and tired of seeing me again (Ew, Maeven again? I thought she's collecting pension in Florida by now.) - yah, I joke, but no really, that's how it is. Haha, so keep an eye out for new blood and excellent stories and nominate your heart out! I believe the nomination period for SKoW Round 7 just started, ooh.

One of these days, I should definitely write up entries for stories I feel deserve way more attention. Yup!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fifth Day

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 9 has been posted! This is a scheduled posting so if this automatically goes up tonight, it means I got caught up reading and writing today and didn't make it back to the computer in time for the chance to put up a second chapter. Sorry, I'll definitely make up for it tomorrow.

Thanks for all the reading suggestions, people! Some of them, I read already. Others, I'll be sure to check out next time. It sounds like many of you are fans of Russian writers. :) Interesting coincidence!

I've been reading a lot of YA novels lately, particularly fantasies since I'm working on a novel on the sidelines with these elements. But the genres I read typically range all over - as long as it has great writing and a well thought out plot, I enjoy most novels.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fourth Day

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 are now up!

I've been placing holds for dozens of books at the library recently since I'm finally on break and can relax with a few novels. I'm a much faster reader than writer - when I was younger, I could get through four, maybe five short novels in one day. (I only wish my time rate for schoolwork readings is on par.) When my requests are all here, I'm sending my brother to lug them home for me. He conveniently works part-time at the library. Very convenient.

Any suggestions for good readings?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Third Day

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 have been reposted!

Thanks for the kind messages, everyone! I'm pleasantly surprised that there're quite a few of you who still ask about the revised False Facades version. To be honest, I thought the previous enthusiastic responses were because people just wanted me to hurry with revisions so I could slap the free draft back up on Fictionpress. :) I'm still working on it and I'll let you all know whenever I get around to polishing it up for LuLu.

I have to fork over $255 for anatomy textbooks next term. Eep! I'm broke. Friend brought over most of my books and a pair of scrubs today. It's an XS, but I still feel like I'm swimming in it for some reason. I eat like a pig (it gets embarrassing when I eat outside, especially at Korean restaurants, and people sitting next to us start shooting these glances over at me ever so subtly like they can't comprehend where the food goes. I like to turn my head just so - and then whip my face around really fast to catch them! Their heads jerk away so quickly, I think they get whiplash.), but I think I'm totally unhealthy and can't absorb nutrition or something.

I installed RealPlayer, which came along with this Weather Channel Desktop on my parents' computer. Every once in a while, it'll emit a thundering sound and freak my mom out. She also thinks it might fry the computer, like it somehow absorbs lightning from the air and transmits it through our screen. Hmm.

Oh! And right, I got a few messages from readers both in the past and now about how they don't labor under the misconception that authors with so many reviews will actually sit down and read all of them so they're just reviewing with the idea that it'll hit a blank wall or something.

Um, I don't know about other writers, but I most certainly read every single review! Reviews are like ambrosia to me! If that's the reason why you don't leave me a review, banish the thought from your mind! I sit there 24/7 in front of my computer with my email open, waiting to leap onto a review that trickles in - okay, no, really, I highly appreciate hearing from readers and while I may not get around to answering every single message, I do love reviews and do try to respond to specific questions or F.A.Q.s.

Is there any Fictionpress writer out there who isn't an absolute review whore? We wouldn't be posting stories up for feedback otherwise. We absolutely want to hear from you and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you and you should never lend money to him/her!

Okay, very good, the thunder just rumbled again from my mom's computer so it must mean I'm all righteous and whatnot haha.

Sudden Death
designed by fablefire at shirt.woot!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Second Day

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 have been reposted.

By the way, I've already gotten a few messages again about how the story reminds them of a certain manga, anime, TV drama, movie, etc. Yes, it may remind you of certain stories, but please don't leave a message with this underlying implication that I had somehow plagiarized another story. After I've had my story plagiarized several times myself, I don't take accusations of plagiarism too kindly.

The notion of copying someone's idea was one of my pet peeves back when I first uploaded this story and I'd like to kindly remind readers that just because a story has certain similar elements to another story doesn't mean that the author necessarily plagiarized. Based on your criteria, this would indicate that all cliches are basically copies of each other - all those vampire with mortal girl, best friends falling in love, step-sibling love, rivals-turned-to-lovers stories should all sue each other for copyrights.

Plagiarism is the exact copy or near rewording of the same exact scenes, lines, and dialogue. A post on the non-infringability of plots and/or ideas by published author Justine Larbalestier summarizes points from blogger, Candy, most succinctly: "You can’t copyright a plot or an idea. You can only copyright the specific expression of that plot or idea as recorded in some sort of tangible form. Think about the nightmare of attempting to nail down and legislate a plot or idea for a story. How specific would you have to be before you could declare something unique enough to copyright? i.e. 'An angst-ridden story about a vampire falling in love with a human.' Dude, if you can copyright that and collect a small fee every time somebody published that story, you could have your own giant pool of gold coins to swim in, Scrooge McDuck-stylee."

Please keep an open mind. I can swear on my life that False Facades is an original writing of mine, from its characters to the dialogue, and I will never copy someone else's hard work.

I honestly never even heard of Hana Kimi before I published False Facades on Fictionpress. And to those who have told me that the story is a copy of "She's The Man", the movie came out in 2006, way after I put up the story in 2003.

And I believe that asides from the crossdressing girl, the plot line isn't really the same as these other stories. I think.

But you all are entitled to your own opinions and the more I try to defend the writing, the more I may seem like a snotty know-it-all or something. :) So in the end, I can only say that I hope you'll still enjoy the story as it is. That's all!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 2 has been reposted. Merry Christmas, all!

I went to cousins' (dad's side) place today, had my other cousins (mom's side) with us, ate a lot, had mango ice cream, watched WALL*E, and played Speed Scrabble. (Btw, Pa is indeed a word! I wasn't cheating. Look it up, cousins. Never argue with me again. :)

All in all, it was a pretty fun day as holidays should be - a packed house with loved ones and laughter and of course, friendly insults. Haha, hope everyone had a great day too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

False Facades Reposting

In light of the holidays and the recent deluge of inquiries about False Facades (I'm guessing with winter break starting, people suddenly have more time to kill), I've decided to repost the story on Fictionpress. :) Along the lines of holiday spirit and to make things more festive, I'll be posting up the chapters over the next twelve days, in acknowledgment to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (one of my favorite Christmas carols when I was a child). Twenty nine chapters over twelve days - you do the math. Since it won't be evenly divided, on some days, you'll see two chapters and on some, three.

In regards to my revisions, I haven't completed them yet, but ... oh wells. :) I'm feeling too cheerful this winter break. But once again, I must stress that I highly prefer no one copy+paste my writings. Please don't repost my story anywhere else, even if you credit me. I don't see the point when you could just as easily offer a referring link. I don't wish to see stories floating around on, soompi, quizilla, or even xanga. If you didn't even bother to ask for permission beforehand, that's a double kick in my gut when I find out.

But I trust you guys. I have to believe that there are more good readers out there than bad. As I've written months ago, before I took down False Facades, in a PM to reassure a fellow FP frequenter who expressed her own fears about posting up her work after she noticed my plagiarism issues:

I know how you feel. I would love it if it weren't so easy for people to just click, copy and paste what so many authors here have spent hours, days, months writing. Sure, there's that nice little copyright sign at the bottom of the page, but it's small comfort in a world where so many people are anonymous and can take anything without any regards to the author.

Right now, I comfort myself with the knowledge that I'm showing my work to the world and that hopefully, even with plagiarism, the stories would have already been documented on the site as some sort of a proof that I've had the story here long before.

Fictionpress to me is a hobby right now and a method of motivation for me to finish up a long work, through gaining feedback and constructive criticism. I've long believed that my writings posted here are still in first draft modes and I've been astonished, dismayed, that any person would still plagiarize these pieces, even with their rough sections.

But I like this site because of the community, ease of usage, and feedback. Through the readers, I get to know what works and what doesn't and hopefully, this will help polish my writing skills for the better. In the end, the reason why I've chosen to maintain my works here isn't because I'm brave, it's because of the incredibly nice readers who haven't let me down.

It's scary publishing works online sometimes, but hopefully, there are more good people out there than bad.

So! I lost faith a while back, but now, with the Christmas cheer around us, I want to believe in Fictionpress again. Really. Truly. Deeply do! :)

But even though I had the story up before, I'm kinda nervous. By removing the last 29 chapters, I fear that I've given readers who haven't read the story before super high expectations of the story. I hope this doesn't inevitably lead to disappointment.

Readers should remember that this story is a super rough draft that I dared to put up years back when I was around thirteen, young and innocent. Now, I'm older and more ... fragile haha.

Like I've said before, this story has multiple cringeworthy points that jump out at me now that I look back at it, but at the same time, it's the story I'm perhaps the fondest of. In spite of my embarrassment at certain things I came up with, certain sections never fail to let me smile. It is the story that most clearly documents the changes in my writing style. Readers can literally follow the earlier, comedic, dialogue driven chapters to later ones that get developed more and more. Hopefully, you'll see what I mean. For this freezing winter break, I hope False Facades, fluffy and sweet with a cheerful, over the top sort of humor, can offer some sort of entertainment for you all. For the cynics out there who's hovering in the background ready to bash my writing, I admit ... I'm scared of you. But I also accept criticism full-heartedly since of course, I recognize my weak points. I can only hope though that if you really find that you don't like the story, please just stop reading and move along to enjoy other stories out there; don't let this consume your holidays - if you feel it's not worth it, then simply don't spend any more time on it.

For the readers more willing to deal with my crazy, whimsical writings, um, let the games begin? Haha, I do hope False Facades will be to your liking.

Cheers, everyone. The first day of Christmas starts tomorrow. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Let Them Eat Cake

I had the weirdest dream ever, but it wasn't all that unpleasant.

I was thrown back to this Pride and Prejudice type of setting and I sat in this stuffy gold gown with my sister(? I don't have a sister in real life) next to me and this tall, broad-shouldered guy with dark hair to my right who never looked at me directly, but I knew - just knew he was the Darcy type. Across our dinner table were two girls who were also sisters, one dark-haired and one blonde. My dream self recognized that the dark-haired one was the meaner one while the blonde was the prettier, somewhat nicer girl.

Then things went silly from there.

Waiter took our orders - and we could place orders for special BREAD. (I blame this on yesterday night's search for brunch food. I'm going out for brunch next Sunday with some friends and I made myself hungry looking at menupages. So many muffins, challah toast and bialys, ooh.)

Anyway, so we placed our orders, but when our special BREAD came, silly me had no clue which one was which. There was a longer challah looking type with onions (which was supposed to be mine) which I started to cut open and .... stuff with gravalax but my sister quickly warned me "That's not yours!" (Stupid sister!), so I grabbed the blonde girl's rounder, smaller bread instead and, er, dropped back the other bread into the basket, gravalax included.

Guilt guilt. I buttered the blonde girl's soft bread and was chewing it when Darcytype tilted his head left in my direction and whispered ... something. I forget, but it was something that made me realize "Oh shit! Wrong bread!" and made me feel even guiltier for dropping back my bread into the basket since even though I didn't bite into it, it's not quite nice to have your fingers all over someone's bread.

Meanwhile, the sisters across from us were oblivious and they kept chatting away, eating their entrees while I'm still gnawing at my bread, mouth dry. They finished their entrees and they didn't appear to notice or want the bread, but as the blonde girl turned her face, eyes all shining, to Darcytype across the table, he made a remark "Enjoyed the food?" which had this snarky undertone that I knew was directed at me.

Guilt overwhelmed me and I slammed my bread down onto my plate and leaned forward like a mad woman. "Excuse me! But I ate your bread!" Sounds ridiculous, I know, but in my dream, I was acting as if I was making a noble speech. "I didn't know this bread was yours and I'm sorry but I also sort of buttered/gravalaxed my old bread for you too." Pointed at the challah sandwiche with salmon in between.

The sisters stared at me, revolted. "Ew!" exclaimed the blonde girl. (Not very Pride and Prejudice, no?) "I can't believe you ate my bread!"

I started to stammer. Darcytype went silent and still next to me. I babbled, "I'm sorry - I - I'll make it up to you - how about - how about you have my dessert instead?" At this, while my upper torso's leaning forward to the girls in supplication, I felt Darcytype's shoulder brush against mine, leaning against me as if telling me "No. You don't have to do this."

I'm guessing this must be very good dessert.

The girls' eyes widened and they immediately agreed even though they were still pretending to huff and pout.

This must be incredible, mind-boggling dessert!

I sat back, forgotten, as the girls went back to chatting, and I felt absolutely miserable for trading my heavenly chocolate cake or something for a piece of stupid bread.

But when dessert came and the girl took my plate, Darcytype cleared his throat and subtly shifted his plate over in front of me.

I blinked. "Wh - what?"

His voice was gravelly as he finally glanced over at me. "I don't care for sweets."

Then he dropped his napkin into his seat as he got up and left our table.

. . . Weirdest dream ever! I rarely remember my dreams, but this is the weirdest dream of all time!

They say dreams tell something about you.

I guess mine says I'm a pig that prizes her dessert way too much.

That, and I should label my bread in the future.

Stephenie Meyer dreams of sparkling vampires and I get dreams about cake and bread. Thank you, muse.

Happy Holidays!

Elizabeth: "That's exactly right. I ate your bread!"
Darcy: "And I relinquished my cake to her. Problem?"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Through Me Chapter 25

Through Me Chapter 25 has finally been posted! Sorry about the lateness - I was going to post it yesterday, but I passed out instead. I had to wake up at 6 for an 8am final and then a day's work at lab. By the time I got home, the commute took the life out of me and I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Happy news, finals week is finally dwindling down. I am done!

Next semester, I'm taking Gross Anatomy and while I'm looking forward to wearing the scrubs and getting my white coat, I'm pretty sure I'll be crying by the end of the first week. Friends say that once it all starts, there's no real break until the end of the year. Whoo. Joy.

Recent news in a paragraph: I took my finals. I went to a school party at a club, got wasted because my Asian blood is not equipped for even one Coke & Rum, guy I was dancing with thought I was funny until he realized I was falling asleep on my feet and tried to help me out for water and fresh air, got my water taken from me by the security guards (dazed blink - "Hey! Where'd my H20 go!") because apparently, they thought it was vodka or something and no drinks were allowed downstairs, laughed a lot, threw up during the long commute home, cried a bit and swore never to drink again. Following weekend, went out with elementary school friends and had sushi, got walked home by a guy who likes to insult others too much, friend called this morning to make sure I was alright with him asking her for my number; I said no. I took the train home yesterday and was woken up by a blonde, girl-next-door-college-student-looking-type, opera singer belting her lungs out for change to help pay her rent. Interesting month.

Easy Optimism
designed by sekiyoku at shirt.woot!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Breaking the Law

There hasn't been much going on in my life except for studying and cramming so things have been boring lately. I have 9.5 pages done for the next Through Me chapter, but there are some things to wrap up.

Anyway, I was in the library today in a separate study room/cubicle thing with a friend and I had half a sandwich out on the table, unopened in a plastic box, while I was studying. Most people tend to sneak lunch there while they study in spite of the "No Eating" rules since there's generally no one around to keep track of violations. I've seen people literally demolish a whole McDonalds meal there and it seems more like a picnic area. Not that I'm condoning eating in the library - bad, rats and bugs and all that, bad! But I never thought the rules were enforced that seriously so I wasn't paying any attention when I pulled out my container while digging textbooks from my bag and set it beside me .

But a voice interrupted me while I was reading: "Miss?"

I turned out and a security lady stared me down. Uh oh. "You're not supposed to have food in the library."

"Right, right, I'm so sorry." Now what? I picked it up, unsure about what to do (a.k.a. what I can get away with), and she stared back at me. So I slowly tried to inch it back to my bag just in case silly me could save the poor food, but alas, thwarted. "No, you can't put it away in front of me." (I was tempted to ask if she could turn around for a minute then, but I'd probably get tasered or something.) "You have to either go out to finish it or toss it -"

"I'll toss it, thanks." I nodded, prepared to stand up.

But she stopped me to ask for my ID and then, no joke, she started scribbling notes in this little notepad thing that's reminiscent of what meter maids generally use for parking violations. She kept writing and writing and asked for my ID digits and then kept writing and writing.

I eyed my friend; she smirked.

Finally, the lady finished and was like, "Okay, I'll watch you go throw that out now."

I'm sorry - I know this is supposed to be all serious and official, but I couldn't help but be a little amused. I got up and made my way through the shelves to the garbage pail and tossed it before turning around to head back down the long aisle. The lady literally just watched me, feet shuffling side to side, and when I returned back to the room, she turned around and ambled off with a mumbled, "Have a good day."

My friend burst out laughing. On my book was my ID and this pink ticket.

We studied it and I wondered, "Am I supposed to pay something?"

"No, I think it's just a violation form. Haha, 'Student had food out on table'."

"Oh, wow." I slipped my pink slip into my folder, not quite sure if I should keep it, toss it, or frame it now. "My very first ticket - think this will go on my permanent record? Am I a delinquent now?"

Friend snickered.

Then I noticed that the lady had copied my ID digits down wrong.

Whoops. Criminal on the loose!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

T-Giving & Mario Kart Love

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I got herded over to my cousins on my father's side in Staten Island. Pay toll is now $10 - what is the world coming to?

So I met some of my usual cousins (or cousins-stealers, as my cousin on my mother's side like to not-so-affectionately call them whenever she finds out we have to go to their place instead of hers. I think she'd fight for custody if she could.) and then I found some of my more long-lost cousins.

The first thing two of them said when they climbed up the steps to the attic and saw me and my baby girl cousin was "Oh, hey, um ... I assume ... you're ... girlfriends of someone ...?"

I stared at them. "Are you kidding."

Long-lost cousin #1 looked scared. "Uh ..."

"There are only like two girls in this family, you know, and you can't even remember us?" Seriously, the testosterone of my father's side is overwhelming.

His eyes darted over to baby cousin and his expression was astonished. "Mimi?" That's our pet name for her. "You look like you're in college!" Yeah. Baby girl cousin is no longer such a baby. A freshman in high school, she's wearing make up and has an unhealthy fascination with learning more about drinking games and what drinks she should drink. ("None, BABY COUSIN!") I want to gather her up in my arms and squeeze her back into a toddler.

Then long-lost cousin hesitated over me again. "Uh ..."

His brother jumped in then and was like, "She's the sister of him!" Points to my brother who's in the corner playing a computer game furiously with my other cousins.

I point at the brother, my long-lost cousin #2. "I like him better."

"Highlights" of the Night:

- Trying to stop my baby cousin from guzzling the bottle of wine. Showed her how cool I was by immediately turning into a tomato after taking half a measly cup of wine. Long-lost cousins now think I'm a party girl and an alcoholic. Dude, if I was, I wouldn't be such a lightweight!

- Having three tables for separate hotpots. 'Cause that's how our family breaks it down for Thanksgiving. Even a kiddie table latches onto a new element of excitement with a huge pot of boiling water in the center of the table. ("Call me an alcoholic one more time and I'll shove this pot in your face." - me across the table to long-lost cousin #2. His response: "I always knew you were violent." Damn it. Now everyone knows.)

- Trying to convince baby girl cousin that alcohol is not cool for underaged people. Except she seemed to hold her alcohol better than I did. ("Aw, it's okay. Not that red anymore!" - her to my tomato face.) Damn it.

- Long-lost cousin #2 seemed to found a sadistic kindred spirit in me and attempted to strangle me/lead me around on a leash with my own scarf. And I'm the drunk one??

- Tried to talk to long-lost cousin #1 about medical school stuff since he's a medical student at John Hopkins except we got distracted by cooler stuff - i.e. why his finger is bandaged like a sausage ("So this friend had a dog and warned me not to pet it, but it was so cute and tiny and I was so wasted and I thought 'How nasty can the dog be? ...'")

So in other words, Thanksgiving break came and went too quickly. I went to bed yesterday at 4 in the morning, but I turned in my two papers. Mission accomplished.

Yay, good mail! I got a Sephora delivery today and the journal that published my short story also sent me my two issue copies which are supposed to be my payment of sorts. Dad teased me about holding out for cash, yah right. The copies were nicer than I expected - honestly, I pictured a thin magazine pamphlet, but these were cute glossy black books.

This is a cute song my friend sent me, the "Mario Kart Love Song" by blinktwice4y:


You be my princess
I'll be your toad
I'll follow behind you
on rainbow road
Protect you from red shells
wherever we go
I promise.

Noone will touch us
if we pick up a star
If you spin out
you can ride in my car
When we slide together
we generate sparks
in our wheels and our hearts

The finish line
is just around the bend
I'll pause this game
so our love will never end
Let's go again

The blue shell is coming
so I'll go ahead
If you hang behind
it'll hit me instead
but never look back
cause I'm down but not dead
I'll catch up to you

Don't worry about
Bowser or DK
Eat this glowing mushroom
and they'll all fade away


to the mushroom cup
and the flower cup
and the star cup
and the reverse cup


Creative and hilarious - I wish someone would take a blue shell for me too.

And now! Back to cramming furiously for my finals. :( Sorry about the randomness of this post - my brain is just sluggish now.