Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Too Not Be Boring And Other Important Things To Remember When Conversing

Most people would think that introverts don't know how to converse properly, that we're all socially awkward. Unrelated fact, most people are dumb. Only the most noticeable of the sunlight-challenged stumble upon their words. Most of us, we live among you. We look like you. We talk like you. We walk like you. But we are not you. And yet you don't even know we are there. To you, we are one in a crowd.....

(Dear Pittacus Lore, please don't sue me. Show some love for someone else that's hiding from alien overlords. ~Love Becca)

As a writer: nay, as an introvert; nay, as a person who is easily bored and irritated; NAY as a person slowly turning into a horse right now, it continually astounds me that the majority of people I meet aren't capable of holding up a conversation of any substance. Saddens me, even. Perhaps this is because I am only meeting people my own age these days (and let's face it, as a whole, us newly made adults leave much to be desired) but it seems to me that at this point in their lives they should have the basics of courtesy and the ability to be the smallest bit interesting. So, before they ship me off to the glue factor, I shall endeavor to teach the world (or at least my generation) what our mothers seemed to fail to do.

1) Be engaged.

I put this first because this is the biggest problem I see and, coincidentally, my biggest pet peeve. People aren't engaging in a conversation. No, I don't mean interesting. I mean invested. We as a whole have seemed to forgotten that a conversation is a two-way street. And, let's admit it, we love hearing the sound of our own voices. Me, I think mine has a bit of a blue-jay song quality to it. So we use talking to others as a way soundboard the particular going-ons of our lives without giving any interest to the person we're going too. But do not be fooled, monkeys, for this is not a conversation. It's barely a step up from talking to a mirror. Actually, it's more like a step down. At least when you talk to a mirror it doesn't think your a snob. It thinks something along the lines of Oh dear lord, do I really have that many zits on my pane? I told mom windex would make it worse, but did she-Oh. Wait. That's the person standing in front of me. Never mind ma, you rock. 

Mirrors and their zit problems aside, I can tell you nothing is more annoying then someone who does not contribute to a conversation. Like they end each sentence with a statement about themselves. Example.
A: Ugh, seems like it's going to rain today. Isn't rain the worst?
B: One time it rained where I used to live.
A: Got a busy day ahead of me. You got any plans?
B: Yeah, one time a had a busy day too. It was the busiest. But don't tell me about what you were going to say because I don't care.
A: Making mac and cheese tonight. Want any?
B: Yeah I had mac and cheese once. It was yummy.


My point is this, when in a conversation, remember that you are not the only one standing there. Take interest in what the person your talking to has to say. Perhaps if they take a question, you might ask them one back. Or maybe if they are telling you a story, ask them about details. For the love of God, at least act like you care what they say.

2) Take a breath every once in a while, before you suffocate and die. 

We all know that one person whom we wished had an off switch. And whether it be because of lack of filter, lack of volume control, or lack of a pause button, we find ourselves exhausted after these encounters with little to show for it. This one kinda ties into the last one, but why don't you watch what you say and how you say it? Now, I'm no supporter of censorship, but when it comes to conversation somethings are down right distasteful and cruel at times. Or perhaps you're telling us things about yourself that we'd rather not know. It's also possible that we are concerned for your well being seeing as you haven't stopped talking for the past ten consecutive minutes and your face is turning a bit purple. Or maybe, just maybe, you're causing permanent damage to our ear drums because YOU CAN'T SEEM TO LOWER YOUR VOICE A COUPLE OF NOTCHES AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT THERE'S THESE COOL THINGS CALL MINTS NOW A DAYS, THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO FRESHEN YOUR BREATH. MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO THAT.

3) Act friendly. 

Last but not least, let's dive into the topic of people that always seemed annoyed that you share relative space with them. There are these people out in the world, let's call them "people with issues", and they generally give off the vibe as hating all living things that grow under God's blue sky. When you acknowledge them, they glare at you. When you speak to them, they reply in word worded answers that come with a bit of a bite. When they walk by babies, the babies start crying. I have the pleasure of knowing a number of people like this, so I have something to say to both parities involved in this dilemma. First, to those with a bit more cheerful disposition. Be patient, these people simply do not know how to communicate properly. Behind the scowl and the eyes of the tundra, they are probably thinking about unicorns. And to those without the cheerful disposition, I hate to be the one to inform you of this, but we are all scared of you. That may seem cool now, but in the end, your probably going to die alone because of it. Might I suggest cracking a smile or even mustering a head-nod every once in a while to at least starve off this morbid fate of yours? At the very least, turn up the heaters behind your eyelids, your frozen stare is literally giving me a cold. (P.S. Ignoring me will not get rid of me. I live here too.)

That's what I got for you this time folks. Hope it helps. Now if you'll excuse me, my roommate will not stop glaring at me so I think I'm going to get the snow boot out of the closet.

Stats of the Week
Song:  Seven Devils by Florence And The Machine
Book: The Code Of The Zombie Pirate by Scott Kenemore
Word: Exchange
Quote:  "Keep living Ed...It's only the pages that stop here."
-Markus Zusak, I Am The Messenger

Friday, September 20, 2013


Hello again Monkeys. Yes, as always, it's been a while since we've talked. Forgive me, I've been a bit bogged down, what with all these vampires I've been having to kill lately. But here's a something I haven't talked about yet. And how the heck could I have over looked it for so long?


Ah yes, music. The great escape, the soother of the soul. Surely everyone can relate to music! If they can't....they are lying. And Jesus doesn't like it when people lie so perhaps they should take five in the corner before they read this page.

"Butt Becka, this blog iz be about write stuffs. Wat do music hav 2 do with cpelling?"

SILENCE YOU FOOLISH PRIMATE! MUSIC HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH WRITING! (By the way, you spelled my name wrong dummy.)

Music is a great tool for writers, whether it be for inspiration or for focus or otherwise. Music can take you away from your world and guide you to the great expanse of your mind. Or, given the right lyrics and the right time, can spark inspiration. They're catchy, quotable, and above all, productive. No matter what way you use them they are somehow helping you to achieve a goal, whether it be to rest or brainstorm or otherwise.

So what does this mean to writers? How can we properly use music to it's full potential? What kind of music is best? All great questions, rest assured. And the answers, as they typically are in art, are entirely up to you.

In my personal experience, first thing is to make sure that your music fits your mood. You can't be listening to heavy death metal while trying to write a romantic scene between two fourteen-year-olds anymore then you can listen to a Sara McLachlan song without thinking of dying puppies and feeling manipulated. If your trying to write, or even just trying to hash out a scene in your head, be sure to match the music with the mood accordingly. For example, happy scenes will go with mostly go with music with upbeat flute playing, or cheerful keyboard, intense face-off scenes can and will be matched with a Skrillex song eventually, and as always, romantic comedies will always be sound tracked with Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis.

Also, and this may bum some of you out, but the music you use should at least air on the side of lyric-less. Lyrics can be a big distraction. You could be in the middle of writing and be so focused on the song that you start typing out the lyrics rather then the story. Or you might just stop typing all together because of a catchy tone. Music is meant to accent the writing experience, not overpower it. Think of it as if you're watching a movie. The music will add a lot to the movie as a whole but it's place is in the background, not fighting with the characters or the action for dialogue. What do you want to focus on, Snape uttering his last words to Harry or the slow Lydia song playing in the background.

*Side note: Yes, dubstep does qualify as lyric-less for the most part.

I few suggestions for good writing music for me are:

Music with Lyrics
-Florence And The Machine
-Mumford and Sons
-Boyce Avenue
-Tyler Ward
-The Fray
-Matt Nathanson
-To Kill A King

Music Without Lyrics
-Any Soundtracks From Your Favorite Movies or Videogames
-Lindsey Stirling
-Sam Cushion (He is not on iTunes, look him up on Bandcamp) (Some of his stuff is free)
-High Five Spaceship (Also look up on Bandcamp, some of his stuff is free)
-Hans Zimmer

That's all there is for this week, thanks for stopping by. Now, if you'll excuse me, the undead pirates have broken down my door and my roommates are running low on ammo. They're going to need my golf club. Ta-ta for now.

Stats of the Week
Song:  Lo by Dawn Of Midi
Book: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Word: Melody
Quote:  "Everything we do is music."
-John Cage

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Few Notes On College

First time in my life where I've had nightmares continually.

Can't remember the last time I've been surrounded by so many like minds.

Can't remember the last time I felt so alone.

Unlimited rides on the CTA are nice.

Turns out Chicago is an interesting place.

Dr. Who on floor 12 yet somehow I ended up on floor 14.

Yes, my dorm does have room for most of my books, mom.

First time I'd ever experience heat stroke.

Making friends is not nearly as easy as everyone makes it out to be.


Somehow it's been harder to write.

Stats of the Week
Song:  Car Radio by twenty one pilots
Book: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Word: Faux-pas

Quote:  "Fame is a mask that eats your face."