Friday, July 29, 2011

101 Followers!

Yay! I'm so excited!
I'm gonna think of some sort of contest or something I can host on my blog, but until then, I want to thank everyone for following me!! I enjoy all your blogs, and I love reading your comments.

Thank you so much!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Perfect Imperfection

I have a huge problem with the way girls and women are made to feel in this society. I'm taking a class called women's studies and body image because it interests me so much.

I like strong female characters in a book, and just as equally, I like strong male characters. Of course, not all your female characters will be strong; neither will your male characters.  It's nice for both women and men, boys and girls, to read/watch/hear about strong female and male characters. The problem lies, perhaps, when genders make this a one-sided argument. Men deal with body image as well. I have many male friends who have told me so, but let me come back to the whole female body image thing--(because I cannot give you a male perspective). 

When I was little, I use to pray God would make me pretty, because I didn't understand what beauty was, or what it was supposed to be. I fell victim (like many of us) to the imperfections of adolescences. I was quite...round, I had this horrible line of acne connecting my eyebrows, and more acne all over my forehead and chin. I was made fun of...and guess who made fun of me the worst? Girls. Girls who should stick together and defend each other’s beauty. I think that's why I hoped God would make me pretty.

Even though these girls made fun of me, I was somehow naive enough to try and be their friends. Yeah. haha. I never learned. These girls picked up a trait, however, that many girls/women share---being completely and utterly vicious when it comes to other girls and their appearances. I was at fault for this for a while. It stopped one day after something my Daddy said. I made a comment about a woman on the cover of a magazine (like People, or something or other)--something about how she wasn't all that pretty to be in the 1st slot for 'most beautiful people', and Daddy said, "She's not there because of her looks, it's because of all the good things she did."

My outlook on beauty is so different now. I try to base everything on personality, on what is on the inside, like all those children's books I read when I was younger, (and like my favorite Disney movie teaches you--Beauty and the Beast). This process is hard, because human nature is difficult to deal with. What's sad is you still have to face the unconfident girls who, maybe without meaning so, will hurt your feelings and bring you down, because they feel threatened by you. 



It's ridiculous especially from people who don't know you, but I get it all the time. If I have customers who are girls, they aren't as nice as their fellow male companions. And they seem to hate it more if the males are nice. haha. Yesterday, for instance, hardly any of the women who came through my line (who were around my age) said anything to me when I asked how they were. 

Now, just because I can look at others and see their beauty, doesn't mean I can see it in myself. I focus on all my imperfections. I read once that looking at our reflection is like hearing our voice recorded---none of us like to hear ourselves, we think we sound awful. 

Perhaps my problem stems from the years I was made fun of for my appearance. People also wanted to change me all the time--my hair was never right, my makeup was never right, neither were my clothes. Gets frustrating. It wasn't until my Junior year in High School when I finally got some positive feedback. You know those transformation movies? Like The Princess Diaries and such? Yeah. That was me, only I'm not secretly a princess. 

Then people liked me. I was the same person, but I looked different. So people liked me. Now I'm in college, any time I critique my appearance, my boyfriend says, "You're perfect!" or "You're amazing!" (ALL THE TIME). lol. At some point, I'll believe him, right? 


It's something I have to get used to. Even though it's taken well over a year, and I'm still not used to it. 

My point is, no one--men nor women should have to 'get used to such a thing', we should grow up knowing we're all beautiful, no barrier between inside or out. Hopefully that's something we can get across in our books. 


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Update on the Novel!

Well, I have my novel cut down to 117, 200 words! That's 22, 871 words less than when I began. It's kinda painful, but it needed to happen. A friend of mine has agreed to read the entire thing in the month I have before school to check for clarity and such. I am very excited! After this, I must tackle the synopsis. : / Unfortunately, no one can help me with this because the ending must remain a secret!

I have noticed a problem I will probably run into with my pirates. The comparison to none other than Pirates of the Caribbean. So when I'll be thinking of this:
 
Everyone else is thinking of this:


So theirs is prettier...mine can be too! lol. I know this happens all the time, but with preconceived notions that my book is Pirates of the Caribbean, I wonder if people would pick it up? I mean, in my opinion and many others who have read it, no one thinks my book is similar in any way. They also say that, before reading, they wouldn't have been interested in a pirate book...good sign, right?

Once a friend told a complete stranger my book was 'Pirates of the Caribbean fanfiction', I was mortified. First of all, she hasn't read it, and secondly, it is nothing close! 

Does anyone else think of how their book will fair against similar texts out there? I never felt like I was writing Cutlass because I loved Pirates of the Caribbean, or in response to the movies for that matter. I just had a story inside my head. 

Only a few more weeks and I'll be in school! I cannot wait! I'm super nervous to begin my Senior year however. A new car payment, job, and classes (which will include a capstone!). Intimidating! Hopefully along the way, I'll have some nice surprises. Another positive to being back at school--Wifi!!! 

Make sure you guys check out my Twitter if you haven't already! I'm super excited to learn more about it! 

Ciao, Ashley


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twitter!!

Ohkay guys! I have had a twitter for a while, but am now just getting around to using it. I downloaded it on my phone, so my username is AshleymNixon! Follow me! And leave me yours, I'll follow you! :)


This is a post from my phone, I hope it works well!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Ironic Truth?

I read a post today from Lisa Gail Green's blog Paranormal Point of View. It was called 'Should We Write To Trends?' and I have been thinking about this a lot lately because everyone's like "Why don't you write something that's on the market now?" When you try to explain that books take at least two years to even get on the shelf, they still don't get it. Even if agents pick up your 'trendy' book, in two years who knows what will happen!

It's almost frightening.

When people tell me to write what's popular, I also, almost always, cringe. I don't want to be the same. And most of the time when I'm looking at the shelves and all I see are black covers (thank you Twilight), I am sad and I wonder why there's this stream of similarity.

I know why. I just don't like the truth. lol.

I'm not dissing Twilight either. There's no sense in trying to find fault in other writers when we're all in the game together, but agents are all about the unique, the new--and yet the irony is, look at the shelves and all you see is similarity. Maybe I'm wrong...but all the vampire books...? And then all the characters are unbelievably handsome?

This all could be the mark of our society. We're obsessed with beauty. We're afraid of the unknown. Rich is good. And most of it is. For instance, superhero movies are currently quite popular. Why? Because we feel like we need rescued.

It's also a cycle--superhero movies have been popular before, so have vampires. But the world goes in cycles as well. This isn't the first recession America's been in, or the first time gas princes went up. Or the first for anything. People look to books for their happy endings since they cannot see the future for themselves.

What does everyone think about these trends? Do you see think the books published are unique? What is this definition of unique? 

Anyways, I'm gonna go write now. lol...and try to predict trends. :0

Friday, July 8, 2011

I would like to present a Meme. :D

Ekk! I was tagged in the most wonderful, fun meme thanks to Anita Howard. Since I cannot tag her in this, I'm going to take this time to tell you all how wonderful she is: WONERFUL! lol. Her posts are always inspriring to read, and her writing is beautiful. I cannot wait to read her book. :)  She is the one of the nicest people I will ever know, I am certain! The world needs more people like her. Both her and Cherie took up reading my blog the moment I began following them, and I cannot thank them enough for the support. So, make sure, (if you haven't already, which is highly unlikely) you check out Anita and Cherie's blog. They alwasy have great posts!

And now to begin this meme!!

Do you think you're hot?

hahaha. Unless you're talking heat-wise, that's not the word I like to use, I don't refer to myself as 'pretty', 'beautiful', or anything. My boyfriend does, and he's wonderful with lifting my self-esteem. So are my friends who are so wonderful with compliments. I only hope I can return half as many as they do! I'm not very confident with my who body situation, but I'm trying to learn to be comfortable with myself, because societies standards are silly! I try and focus on the beauty (hot is just not a cool word, haha) within people rather than the outside.

Upload a picture or wallpaper you are using at the moment.


Awwwwww....

When was the last time you ate chicken meat?
Last night! But only chicken breasts w/out the bone. I hate chicken on the bone!

List the songs you listen to recently. 

lol....that's difficult..but you asked for it.

Scary Kids Scaring Kids- Degenerates
Red - Never Be the Same
Meg & Dia - Monster
Hopes Die Last - Stuck Inside My Head
Dashboard Confessional - Heaven Here
10 Years - Cast It Out
Paramore - I Caught Myself
NeverShoutNever - Dare4distance
Josh Groban - Hymen a l'Amour
Fall Out Boy - The Gold Standard

And that's my Ipod on Shuffle. lol. I have extreme tasts...screamo versus classic. Man.

What were you thinking as you were doing this?

Lost of things: I need to work on my book!! My room has too much in it! I can't wait to move back to college, I wanna see my wonderful boyfriend.

Do you have nicknames? 

Well, my boyfriend calls me a number of things like snowflake, princess, sweetness, sleeping beauty, honey bun, and whatever else he can make up. One time he called me his scientific princess? He's creative. Lots of people call me Ash. Mom calls me Marie, and little one, and some call me smiley. lol.

Tag 8 people:

(At some point I'll be able to tag Anita and Cherie both! But Alas, they both are doing this meme, lol!)

1. Caitlin Vincent
2. Sophie Li
3. Julie Musil
4. Dawne Webber
5. Steve Whibley
6. K.V. Briar
7. Jennifer Daiker
8. Jeana Watters


Who's listed at number 1?
Catlin Vincent - She doesn't know it, but I love her "A Word for Wednesday", and new words she posts I write down so I can use them later.

Say something about number 5.
He's super funny! His Can You Find the Lie post was epic and fun! I was totally wrong though!! Ninjas were just so outrageous it had to be true! And it almost was. :/ Darn. Also, since all the other things were true, he's seen some pretty awesome things! If you need cheering up, you should head on over to his blog!

How did you get to know number 3?

I followed her, and then she followed me. lol. I love reading her book reviews and posts like this one! :) She's creative, and her posts are always so thoughtful and positive.

How about number 4?
I don't know what it was about Dawne's blog when I found it, but I just loved it. Maybe the colors were soothing, lol. She also likes wine, which is a common like between us both. She manages both humorous and inspiring posts, I can just imagine her speaking in one of those warm, wise voices, lol. She also has a new idea for a book which she will call A Voice Among the Thorns, which I'm excited to hear more about! :)

Leave a message for number 6.
K.V.!! You're so pretty! And I love your blog--you can relate any occurrence in your life to writing. I also love all your book reviews and admire your ability to balance, reading, writing, and your family! If you lived near me, I could have a great workout buddy! I always seem to lose them. :/

Leave a lovey-dovey message for number 2.
To use her phrase, she's "awesome sauce", lol. She's so funny and super sweet! She also hasn't been posting since June 17 because she's getting her certificate in Paralegal, her absence makes me sad because all her posts are filled with so much life! It's like she manifests in her writing--and if she can manage that in a blog post, can you imagine a novel?! Amazing.

Do number 7 and number 8 have any similarities?
Hmm...they are both writers! And I love their blogs, and they are great followers. hehe. Jeana maintains several blogs, while Jen maintains a huge blog Monday-Friday so they both work very hard at that, and they are both amazing at it! :)

Look what I found!! -- Jeana's book on Amazon!! I'm getting it. lol.


Ahhh. I'm done!  I hope I did everyone justice. I must say, when you have to think about reasons why people are awesome, it's pretty hard...you just wanna me like, "Cause they're awesome!" cause it's such an unconscious feeling. Much like when I write, I can't think about it too much or I can't do it.  So, all of you guys are awesome--all my followers are!!

I wanted to take this time to sort of spotlight a blog!

AderuMoro Too Many Ambitions

She's a voice actress and a writer. In fact her novel, The Aviation Waltz, was originally a audio drama in which she acted. She's a recent graduate with a degree in Psychology. Like the title of her blog, her posts vary from book reviews, writing insights, and voice narrations she's done! It's wonderful to see her various talents in play.

And that's it for me today! :)
Ciao, Ashley