What Happens When Writers Don’t Research

After a long day of looking over the stories of others, I once again find myself frustrated.  This time, not because of their plot holes or horrid grammar, but because I realized that people are writing about things they have no idea about, but not bothering to educate themselves.

Today, one of the stories I looked at featured a plane crash which made no sense.  Another featured kids in the year 3,000 still writing with pencils (and to think that kindergarteners are using IPads in class).  Another had teenagers in the 90s using smartphones.  One from last year had a girl moving into a fully furnished dorm room, completed with a flat screen TV and mini fridge.

But of course, how could anyone forget the many, many college stories written by highschoolers about girls moving into their rooms and not knowing that their roommate was actually a hot guy/bully from the past, or thinking that college students have the same setup as high school classes.  I even reviewed a story once where college students moved from class to class with a school bell like in high school!  Imagine that.

I just don’t understand why people don’t take time to research these things.  Not doing research could completely ruin a book.  I had to completely trash my first novel, Runaways, after actually doing research.  Maybe people just don’t understand that although a story can be fiction, it still has to be accurate?

Why Do Internships Have to be so Difficult?

So now that I am on break from college, I am desperately trying to land myself an internship with just about anywhere. I need the credits for my minor. A few days ago I spent about 3 hours applying for 3 internships. Today I spent almost the same amount of time applying for 2 more internships.

My question for the day: why do these things have to take so LONG? A new cover letter has to be submitted for each one. I have to spend the time exploring websites and social media. Today I worked for almost an hour to create the perfect headshot to send to all the places that require it.

The thing about being a writing major is that finding an internship is far from easy, compared to some other majors. My sister majored in fitness. When she needed an internship, she went around the corner to the gym. No searching. No cover letters.

I suppose this is what I get for picking a major with no clear career path. Oh well. I know that what I hopefully get at the end go this search will be amazing. I’ve applied for 6 virtual internships so far, and have many more to go.

My 11th Book and Shamu Journey

Tonight I have finally finished my 11th book, which is currently titled “The Diary of Shamu.” The book follows the story of Yuto, a captive born orca who is released back out into the wild following a death at his park. Below is a picture of Ulises, who has the same degree of bend to his dorsal fin as Yuto.

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In the height of the Blackfish controversy, I started working in this book last April, after watching hours and hours of documentaries, YouTube videos of shows, and doing my own internet research. Below is obviously Tilikum, who loosely inspired my character Akamai in the book.

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I got inspired after learning about Keiko, the “world’s most famous killer whale” and star of Free Willy, who was released into the wild and died a few years later. I’m completely against all captivity in general, but after hearing about Keiko, some of the people defending SeaWorld may have a point.

My main goal was to debunk the “Free the whales” statement. Mainly for those people who think we can literally, just put captive orcas directly back into the wild like in Free Willy, with no training and they’ll be fine. Below is Keiko in his training sea pen.

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The book in general was hard to write, especially since I’m used to writing in past tense and from the POV of teenage girl. This time my main character was a ten-year-old male orca and was done in present tense. But it was super fun trying something new.

So if you like orcas and want to here a different, more realistic take on the situation, check out my free book on Wattpad. Here is the link: http://www.wattpad.com/story/14803885-the-diary-of-shamu

Happy reading, and goodnight!

My Hate/Hate Throat Relationship

My throat has always seemed to hate me. I’ve come to terms with that, because I hate it right back. After all these years, it’s still giving me trouble.

When I was a kid I had frequent sore throats. As in, every month frequent. Not strep, which went away with antibiotics, but the viral kind, which resulted with many, many awful wasted swabs to the back of my throat and the usual, “Well, it’s viral. Take Tylenol.”

At first, for some reason my mom thought it was allergies. I went to the allergist at 11, had to face many needed and prongs, only to have it all be negative.

Finally in 6th grade I went to an ENT. My adenoids were getting removed, and everything was good until my tonsils got severely infected a year later.

I thought surely, no tonsils and no adenoids=no problems. Guess again. Food started getting stuck in the holes left by my tonsils. It also started coming out my nose.

X-rays, blood tests, barium swallows, nose scopes–no answers. At 16, I went to a world renown doctor at USF (who I will be ever grateful for) who solved the issue by teaching me exercises to strengthen my soft palate.

This past year, at 19, I’ve now been facing a new strand of issues that I can’t understand. I have symptoms for 2 weeks. Mild ones. I think I’m getting sick, but the symptoms don’t get worse. Then, when I do get worse, I’m in severe pain for 4+ days, compared to 1 or 2 like when I was younger.

This has happened 3 times. Each time it’s viral, my school health center refusing to give me anything until I go to a different clinic and get an antibiotic, which makes it finally go away. The first time was a bacterial infection. I don’t know about the other 2.

At this point I’m angry. I’m annoyed. What could be causing this? What could possibly make symptoms happen for 2 weeks? I don’t get it. I don’t understand. I just want my throat to work the way it should. I feel like it never will. Tomorrow I will be making a call to a different ENT. If u get an appointment I’ll keep you all posted.

Taking a Break VS. Being Lazy

Tomorrow will be day 5 out of my 44-day winter vacation from college. Now, I’m type A. EXTREME Type A. But am I the on,y one who sees such a long break as a HUGE opportunity to catch up on personal things/advance my career?

So far, I had big plans for this break. Learning to use my new car, finishing my 11th book, reading something new, trying to work on material for Chicken Soup and Women’s World Magazine, and probably a whole slew of other things that I can’t remember.

Oh right, learning how to improve my blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, and sorority website. As well as completing a new painting.

But so far, I’ve been trapped in my house for 5 days and have done none of these things. I feel like a lifeless blob floating from room to room, watching TLC and Comedy Central to pass the time. But I just had a long semester. If only there was a way I could force myself out of break mode.

Like OMG critique my story! NOW!

I’ve encountered a lot of rude people on Wattpad.com. Most recently with people that I’m critiquing for.

If people don’t get their reviews within 2 days, I start getting rude messages. Because you know, how dare I not have time for them.

Now, I can understand people being impatient. I am an impatient person too. But would it kill them to be polite? What does it take to say, “Hi. It’s been a few days and I just wanted to make sure my story is still getting reviewed.”

Instead, most message say: “Why haven’t you done my story yet?” “Where is my critique?” “Are you getting to my story anytime soon?”

*sigh* and this is not the only time I’ve faced Wattpad rudeness. After giving people edits or not a critique that says “your story is awesome.” I’ve been called lazy, rude, and even a bully. Seriously? What does it take for people to just be nice!

When a Gameboy Kills

Picture this: you’re a college student who has just finished finals. You’re tired from packing and spent 4 hours in the airport.

Finally, you’re on the plane, ready to go home to see family. And just when it’s almost full, you think back to the sign before security that says “no lithium batteries.”

You look down at your bag, which contains a new, “vintage” Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP. Google says it has a lithium ion battery.

This was me last night: having a panic attack minutes before takeoff because I thought my Gameboy was going to explode mid-flight.

All I could picture was crusing at 40k feet in the darkness, then all of a sudden seeing battery acid leaking out of my laptop case, or a spontaneous fire forming at my feet.

I was so tempted to tell a flight attendant, “Hey, um…so I have a Gameboy with a lithium battery. Are we going to die?”

The plane was backing up from the gate. I was rapidly texting my boyfriend even though my phone should’ve been in airplane mode. He told me to breathe and calm down. I told him that me and my stupid Gameboy were about to murder 130 people unless I did something.

Moments later, a thought. “Wait. What kind if battery does my iPhone, (that I fly all the time with) have?” A quick Google search: Lithium ion.

So that was my flight yesterday. In this instance, I am granting you all permission to laugh not with me, but at me as well. Fly safe everyone.

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