Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I am thankful for.

I really should be hopping in the shower, packing my bag, and heading down to my parents house right now, but before I set the gears in motion for my day, I wanted to stop, take a moment, and think about what I am actually thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving is kind of a silly holiday if you actually think about it. You have to eat the exact same foods every single year, there's the whole madness with Christmas shopping starting the next morning, and really - we should be thankful for the things we have YEAR ROUND. But there's something special and beautiful about tradition. It's because we eat the same food each year that makes it that much more delicious. It's getting caught up in ridiculous Black Friday shopping and parades put on by corporations that reminds us that we're human. It's taking a day or a weekend to slow down and spend time with the people we love that really reminds us that we have things to be thankful for.

So I love Thanksgiving, I love my family, and I love the friends I have in my life that have become my second family since I moved out of my parents' house.

Here are the things I am thankful for this year:
  • Candles that smell like pumpkin and cinnamon rolls and cupcakes.
  • Our web series Kickstarter doing so well and getting such great reception.
  • Deciding not to move to LA so things like this web series can happen.
  • Being glad every single day I decided not to move to LA.
  • Knowing some of my best friends live down there but that they'll always be there for me, regardless of how often we see each other.
  • NaNoWriMo being a constant driving motivator in my life.
  • NaNoWriMo almost being over.
  • Colin coming home for Thanksgiving and getting to spend time with him.
  • Liz and I getting to live together after 4 years in different cities.
  • My mom getting to travel and swapping stories with her about foreign countries.
  • My brother getting an awesome job and starting his post high-school education.
  • My dad and I always having the exact same taste in TV and always having a new show to talk about.
  • No matter how busy our lives get, Eia always being the best best friend a girl could ask for.
  • All the stuffing leftovers I'm going to get to eat this weekend.
I hope you guys all have a great Thanksgiving, or if you're not from America, then a great.. you know, whatever. Have a great week. Haha. I'm heading home now to see my lovely family. :)

Flights taken: 26

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two new very exciting projects!

Bet you didn't think you'd get TWO blog posts from me this month, did you?

While I have been fraught with a month-long condition of constant non-negotiable guilt with NaNoWriMo on my shoulders (literally every moment I spend not writing is spent at least partially in guilt), I have also been bursting at the seams with the preparation of exciting projects I couldn't talk about publicly yet. And if you know anything abut me, you know how much I love talking about exciting projects.

Anyway, this blog post is in honor of the fact that I can now openly speak about not one but TWO of the secrets I've been stealthily keeping from you guys. One being the new channel "Answerly" I'm a part of with Hayley Hoover and Joseph Birdsong (we'll be answering your questions and giving our tips and advice weekly about various topics; mine is nerd and gaming). This is awesome and exciting and not in the slightest any sort of replacement for previous collab channels we may have been part of. This is an entirely new project, one I am incredibly pumped about. I'll be posting every Friday. :)

The second exciting secret, however, is a bit more relevant to you guys, as you're a part of what inspired it in the first place. It's no secret that Hayley and I are both absolutely in love with our blog readers and favor you above all other people on the Internet, haha. I am happy to announce that my second secret project also involves her, and that we are launching a website today that hosts information about the NEW BOOK WE WERE GOING TO WRITE THAT ALSO INCLUDES YOU.

The book is going to be called Less Than Three: Stories about Love, Like, and the Internet. You can find out more of the details on our website, but the main exciting part is that it's going to be a compilation of short stories and we're hoping at least a few of you out there (if not lots of you) consider yourself writers enough to want to submit a short story of your own to the collection. We haven't announced this on YouTube or twitter or anything yet, so know that as our faithful and loyal blog readers, we made sure YOU were the first to know about this project. Because we like you and stuff. We'll be taking submissions until the end of January and releasing the book during the summer of 2012. I'm so nervous and excited to be announcing this. :D

Anyway, I have another 2,000 or so words to write today for NaNoWriMo, so that's all for now. But please, if you're interested, check out Answerly and check out the Less Than Three website; we're very excited about both these new projects and we hope you guys like them too!

Flights taken: 26

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Playing "Dread".

I've been avoiding this blog like the plague so I have enough energy to hit my word count goals each day for NaNoWriMo, and I am happy to announce that I am currently exactly on track, hovering around 15,000 words on day 9. Today I am feeling a little bit burnt out on my novel though, so even though I've only written about a thousand words today, I am taking some time off to work on.... other writing projects, all evening. I hate myself.

I wanted to write up a little review of the game I played last night with my friends Tara, Alexander, Forest, Justin and Liz. The game was called "Dread", and was run by our other friend Michael. It was essentially a tabletop role-playing game, but instead of using dice to determine our actions, we used a Jenga set. Depending on what your character wanted to do, you had to pull Jenga pieces. If the tower collapsed while you were up, your character died. It definitely made for a much more intense, pressure-filled game.

Before we played, Michael sent out a series of different questions to each of us to help us build our characters. He made sure to add that instead of creating characters designed to win, we should just create really interesting, dynamic characters. This is how I ended up on a survival based camping trip as a spoiled, rich sorority girl who hates mud. I went into the game thinking my character was going to be the absolute least likely to survive, regardless of where the campaign led us.

The funny thing about role-playing games, though, is that you really never can predict where it's going to go. Despite my character's lack of survival skills, the fact that she slept with their guide (which pissed off a lot of the other campers), and her main concern being that she get home in time for a big frat party, somehow she managed to be the one who pulled off a majority of the most badass things that happened.

She was the one who doused the woods in moonshine to start a forest fire to make a signal to try and contact nearby planes. She was the one who thought to get the crazy werewolf conspiracy theorist to fashion one of her gaudy silver rings into a makeshift knuckle-knife. She was the one who noticed the oncoming wolf in the first place, having to flash everyone (in game) to get their attention (because they were all fighting over some stupid drama). She was the one who ended up mostly defenseless, on the opposite side of the wolf as everyone else, deciding to run forward and stab the wolf in the eye to try and catch it off guard. And in the end, she was one of the only three characters who survived, having killed the wolf and proven better in Jenga than the three losing players.

In the end, it doesn't really matter if you live or die, because everyone got to experience the whole game and it was fun either way. There's something extremely satisfying, though, being a relatively "stupid" character and proving to be the most useful, despite what people assumed by stereotyping at the beginning of the game.

Some highlights from the game include:
-Alexander playing a character that spent most of the game drinking the moonshine that had been smuggled along by Justin's character, and after awhile starting to hallucinate. At one point, he thought he was killing the wolf in a valiant act to save everyone, but in fact was repeatedly stabbing a tree.

-Liz playing a socially awkward character who had met our camping guide online and had lied about her appearance, saying she was tall and blonde. When we got on the trip, the guide mistook his online lover for MY character, since her fake description fit what my character looked like, which is why she in turn ended up sleeping with the guide.

-The body of the guide mysteriously disappearing in the night, and Tara and Liz's characters being upset that the boy's characters weren't keeping good enough watch. Finding out later the boys were the ones who actually dumped the body in the river, for fear of him turning into a werewolf.

We had such a blast playing Dread; I am super lucky that my friends are all such creative and fun people as well, or else a game like this wouldn't be nearly as exciting. Not to mention we went all out, eating hot dogs and making microwave s'mores to really get in the camping mindset. I can't wait to play again. :)

Flights taken: 26