Monday, March 28, 2011

Being a Critique Partner

I've written previously about how great it is to have a critique partner, but I've never talked about how wonderful it is to BE a critique partner.

I think the most rewarding thing about it is the fact that someone is trusting you with their writing. I am very protective of mine and it takes me awhile to share it with someone I know. In fact, I still only show a few people and even fewer on a regular basis. The fact that someone is willing to hand over their baby to me and let me hack at it with a pen is pretty awesome.

I love editing other people's work- it's one of my favorite things to do. Even if the work is terrible (which my critique partner's never has been), it's still fun to go through and make suggestions. I feel like I'm really doing something. It's even better when it's good and I just have to make small changes.

Recently, my critique partner was getting some writing ready to submit for publication at his college. He e-mailed me and told me that he was submitted one of my favorite pieces of his. This was exciting enough, but then he wrote that he had attached it so that I could edit it one last time- he trusted my judgement. That was incredible.

If you don't have a critique partner- a steady one- I think you should get one. It's rewarding on both ends :)

In other news, my two essays are done, which means that I'm almost done work for the entire school term! I have lines to memorize for a performance, but writing-wise, I am FREEEE! April is full of European exploration starting on the first, and I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I don't know if I mentioned it, but my critique partner/friend and I are working on a collab novel together. At the moment it's at a bit of a standstill, as he's always buried in schoolwork and I am too (one more week of school- and these heinous essays- and I'll be freeeee!) Anyway, this is a bit of our novel that I wrote, and a few of his edits have been applied to it, though I'm not sure how many.

To get you up to speed on what's going on before this moment, let me give you some background. The novel takes place over one day. The MC, Lexi, is a successful interior designer in Philadelphia, and when she goes to work, she finds out that her friend and competitor Carrie has died. This has special weight because all through the scenes before this, Lexi has been pining for an assignment that she really wanted, but was given to Carrie, and she thinks that perhaps if Carrie can't do it for some reason, Lexi might get the job. Then the news is broken, and this is afterwards. (Oh, one more thing- Lexi doesn't use clocks. Ever. She doesn't even allow them in her designs.):

Lexi stepped outside of the conference room, but didn’t go further than that. She couldn’t seem to remember where she needed to go. People squeezed past her, standing in the threshold, and finally she moved forward. Which way should she go? She chose left just to get out of people’s way and to be doing something. It was the correct way, she realized as she caught sight of her desk in the next room. Her desk- if she could just make it to that familiar world, she would be fine.

“Three… four…five…” a quiet voice was counting as she walked, and Lexi realized it was her own. She was counting her steps as she made her way to her desk. It made her look crazy, she was sure, but she didn’t stop.

“Thirty-four,” she announced quietly to no one as she reached the desk’s corner. She looked down at its surface, the row of Post-its, the pencils in their cup, the paperclip dispenser with its neat multi-colored circle arranged in the order of the color wheel, and her laptop open to her designs, all in the exact same place she had left them, and suddenly she couldn’t stand to see it anymore. How could anything possibly be the same as before? Surely something had to change with the absence of Carrie. The world had to stop, at least for one minute, and take in the absence of its former resident.

Desperately, Lexi pulled her gaze from her desktop and it roved around the room, searching for something, anything to anchor her and help her think clearly again. Her eyes did find something- the clock on Taylor’s desk across the aisle, creamy numbers framed by blocks of black, telling her the thing she wanted to know less than ever. The time was 8:03.

She jerked her gaze away as suddenly as it had landed. God! When was the last time she’d actually looked at a clock? Her eyes were caught by the circular analog that sat watching over the rows of cubicles like a task master. Agonizingly, the red second hand crept over the stolid numbers scorched into the whiteness of its face. Somewhere, as if in another world in another office where Carrie Pritcher was still alive and time had no ordinance, a telephone rang. Entranced by the foreignness of the passage of time, Lexi was barely able to move her lips as she whispered, “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone…” But she trailed off.
Seeing this moment in her life— never to be a moment in Carrie’s— reported to her so blatantly shook her. She dropped down into her desk chair, looking for anything except that mark of time.

People in the office were starting to busy themselves at their own desks, their faces set determinedly. Lexi tried to do the same. She glanced back down at her desk and was overwhelmed. Suddenly, there was so much to do. But that knowledge of time, how constricting! When she hadn’t know what time it was, she had felt a whole day stretching before her. Now a mere eight hours ebbed and flowed—a tide washing away her stability, her stamina, her strength.. So what to do first? Those finishing touches on her designs before meeting with Sandy in half an hour. So many more plans to see to, though! To spend precious minutes on something that was already presentable—what waste, what a crime when time is so valuable. And now her half hour trickled away into an ocean of worry. The weight of that ocean crashed its waves against the shores of her consciousness, and her face fell into her outstretched hands. Maybe she should just ask to go home. Twenty four hours away from this would be enough… she hoped. Yes, she’d ask to go home, promise to show up early tomorrow, ready to go.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rejection Numero Dos

I wrote about how my PP play was not chosen for this year's school season, and that same play just got its second rejection. This time, though, I think I know why.

My mom sent me an e-mail almost two months ago with a scanned attachment. It was an article from my local paper at home announcing that a theatre in my home county was taking submissions of pieces by poets, playwrights, and the like for a festival. This was already enough to get me interested, but the article went on to say that this festival's focus was on work that was inspired by other writers' work; the submissions didn't have to fall into this category, but those that did would be given more consideration.

I got very excited. I am a playwright, if a budding one, and my play was a piece directly influenced by J.M. Barrie's novel and play. Perfect!

I sent off the current draft to my critique partner, asking him to get it back to me a few days before I would have to send it off to the committee for perusal. This way, I figured, I'd have time to adjust at least a few things. He complied a few weeks later, I edited, and then off went the e-mail to the theatre.

A response came back almost immediately- I hadn't filled out a form. This was because they hadn't mentioned a form in the advert, but I filled it out and sent it off. Another response came, this time asking if my submission was a full length play. They weren't sure how they'd do with that- they had been looking for shorter pieces, like monologues and poems. What did I expect if my piece were to be chosen?
This irritated me a bit. They hadn't specified what kind of pieces they wanted. If they had only wanted short pieces, no way would I have submitted my ninety-three page script. But I did not show this irritation. Instead, wrote back and said that even a staged reading would be wonderful.

The decisions were made earlier than was expected and I got my "thanks, but no thanks" e-mail on Wednesday. It wasn't unexpected- I knew from the second e-mail, the one that mentioned the length, that my piece wasn't right for the festival. There are also a few other reasons why there would have been small problems. For example, they wanted the playwright/writer to come to dress rehearsals and things like that, which I would normally love to do, but would have been unable, as I'm still in England then. So while it may have been the writing that drove them away, I'm hoping it was one of those issues.

I think my mom was more disappointed than I was that it hadn't been accepted. When I told her the news this afternoon, she started listing other theatres that I should send the play to. I love that she's so supportive, but I know that the play still needs some work. Just as with the school submission of this play, I didn't have enough editing time and had to just send off the copy I had at that moment. To submit it to other theatres, I'm going to need to work on it much more, and I'm happy to do so. I love the play and one day, when it's truly finished, I hope to see it onstage.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I can't believe it's Wednesday again... it's true that time flies when you're having fun- I love it here in England. Unfortunately, this month won't be too fun- I have so many essays due the last week of term, and for one of my theatre classes, we have just one more week before we have to be ready to tech our own original piece of theatre using a ton of different elements. Eek!

But anyway, here are some more random snippets from TOSOL:

Page 63, line 26: I’m joking, but Dr. Philips says, “Yes, a bit like that.” He presses a button on the side of the goggles and puts them into my hands.

Page 135, line 24: I don't nod, just take a steadying breath, but he seems to take this as affirmation.

Page 35, line 5: I have no idea how she knows about Aaron, but I don’t ask her; before I know it, I’ll be in the middle of a game of Never Have I Ever.

Page 26, line 23: I have every intention of following her to the door and eavesdrop, but a board under my feet creaks and when Julie sees me, she gives me a “don’t even think about it” look.

Page 156, line 2: But my mother immediately draws closer to my father, and Aunt Kelly and Julie sit stock still, their faces pale.

Page 153, line 17: "All I can guess is that perhaps because you are not yet the official keeper, the fact that they burned down on your watch has no lasting effect."

Page 13, line 15: Next to him stands a boy of about twelve, who I assume is his brother and who is wearing one of those ridiculous hats that kids seem to think are socially acceptable.

I'm getting very excited for Script Frenzy, but I've had to stop my planning to get these ridiculous essays done. I'm a bit worried that my idea is juvenile, but what better way to find out than writing it in a month? Plus, I really want to write it, so whatever it turns out to be, it'll be worth it, even if I do nothing with it :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Extra Excerpts

The goings-on in Japan are incredibly sad (it's terrible in general, but I've got a childhood friend living there right now. She lives far enough away that I believe she's fine- she blogged about it recently, but I'm still worried.) So to get my mind off of it, I'm going to do the part of WIP Wednesday that I left out this week- line excerpts of TOSOL!

Page 127, line 27: “Good- looking, that one,” Mr. Rampart continues. “And smart, I hear. He would have been a perfect match for you."

Page 6, line 2: In my opinion, she should be less worried about the fact that Julie’s my mother’s daughter and more concerned that Julie is Julie,

Page 73, line 14: Aunt Kelly gives me a look before continuing. “There’s a reason we have to guard the lanterns at all times.”

Page 83, line 29: “Yeah. Important and interesting.”

Page 162, line 9: In the split second before I stop thinking, it occurs to me that this might be the solution I’ve been looking for my entire life.

Page 40, line 30: Synonym… can’t think of any. Now who’s the loser? “I thought, um…”

Page 78, line 1: "You just remind me so much of her," he says, and my internal alarm system immediately goes off.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

So as I may have mentioned, I sent off my second draft of TOSOL to about five readers through the NaNoWriMo website. Two of them also gave me their novels. I have been waiting very impatiently for my manuscripts back, and finally yesterday, I got one!

I will admit to prompting my readers a bit. I sent them my novel on Christmas day, which seems like forever ago to me. I didn't write them an e-mail saying, "Uh... what's taking so long? Gimme my book!" because I realise that people have lives and amateur novels with an embarrassing amount of formatting mistakes (*blush*) are not always at the top of people's lists. But sometimes I forget that people aren't, well... me.

See, writing is my relaxation activity. While it sometimes kills me during NaNoWriMo, writing is what I do for fun. It's also my main procrastination tool. My friend and critique partner have been exchanging a lot of writing lately, and he always asks me how on earth I get his stuff back to him in two days when it takes him two months. It's not because I'm more dedicated. It's because I am a slacker. The reason I get edits back so quickly is because I'm avoiding other work and having fun editing people's writing.
So sometimes it's hard for me to remember that, while I got someone's novel back to them in two months, some people actually do what they're supposed to and leave pleasure reading for last.

Another reason I sent out feelers- last year, I sent my novel off to two people. One of them, a friend, took four or five months to get it back to me, but it was worth the wait- her in-depth edits kept me working for four or five more months. The other girl, after making sure that I got her novel back to her, promptly ignored my following attempts to contact her. I wasn't rude or annoying- I sent her two short messages over the space of about four months politely wondering if she had made any progress. She never responded. It's been over and year and I still haven't heard a thing. This bugs me because it's just rude. If you don't like my novel and can't bear to finish it- okay. Tell me that and I'll know that I need to do some serious overhauling. If you don't have time to devote to it, I completely understand. But don't ignore me. It's inconsiderate.

But anyway- I DID get one of my readers' feedback last night! She didn't give me a ton- she only edited my document grammatically/structurally, and even then marked only fourteen things. I definitely appreciated her answers to the questions I asked, things along the lines of, "Are the characters and their interactions realistic?" "s it appropriate for YA readers?" "Does the plot work as a whole?"
I was happy to hear that she really liked the book, and she definitely brought up a good question about the end, something I'd never considered. I'll have to figure that one out... it could possibly lead me to write a new ending *whimpers*
However, she asked another question about the end that, while it will involve work, made me happy- she asked why Lyddie didn't think about Aaron, her boyfriend (for awhile anyway), right before she died. This pleased me because that meant I did my job in making Aaron important to her, and not in a "I just really always need a boyfriend" way, but in a true, caring for him way. I had actually made sure Lyddie didn't mention him at the end because I was afraid she'd seem too focused on him and not her family, but I like that he was thought of by the reader, and I may change this bit, knowing that it won't garner an eye roll from the reader.

I do wish I had gotten a bit more feedback. Grammatical/formatting corrections are great, but I'd corrected about 95% of the ones she marked on my own, and her other comments were a cumulative few sentences. But it IS feedback, and more than I had earlier on Sunday, so I should probably shut up :p

Now I'm off to Derby, England, which is many, many hours away by bus.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today I Decided...

That I am going to do Script Frenzy this April. I've wanted to do it for awhile- after all, I've written scripts my whole life, why not do it with other people?

But I always made excuses. Last year, I really don't think I could have done it; my classes were eating me alive and I had to focus on writing just a few excerpts of a script for my Children's Theatre class. I'm glad I decided against it last year.

But this year- no excuses! I mean, really, I can't think of a single reason why not. I don't have school for the entire month of April. Yes, I'll be traveling to different places, sometimes different countries, in the last two weeks of the month, but that's what my writing journal is for. Also, it's only 3.33 pages a day. From NaNo, I know that what looks like a meager number in the beginning seems huge when you're in the throes of the event, but I do think I can do it.

Plus, I have a script I want to finish. Last May, I was on the train coming home from an audition in New York when I suddenly got an idea. I had one piece of paper on me- the print out of the audition information- and in about an hour's time, it was completely full. I started typing the rest of my ideas into my cell phone memo section. I'm still pretty excited about the idea, and Screnzy, just like NaNo, is a great way to be pushed into writing something and getting all of your ideas out.
I can't wait to get started!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Catch Me If You Can Blogfest!

I enjoyed participating in the last blogfest so much that I decided to do another one!

This is KayKay's Catch Me If You Can blogfest, where a writer posts 550 words of their WIP (to see more in-depth requirements, go to KayKay's blog here.)

Here's the first 592 (I know, I'm cheating a bit) words of my NaNo '10. Though the novel itself is contemporary, I decided to open it with a history twist.

A very long time ago, a time before most people can fathom, there stood two lanterns. They were hand- wrought out of iron and burned only kerosene. They stood in the window of a large colonial- style house, burning brightly for all to see. Though no one in the small New England town knew what the lanterns were for, or even who occupied the house, all the townspeople soon grew to like the two points burning warmly at the front of the house.

“Have you ever noticed,” an old woman remarked to her companion as they strolled past the house in those early days. “That the lanterns never go out?”

“That can’t be true,” the other woman disagreed. “Just think how costly kerosene is. They must turn them down sometimes.”

“I don’t know,” the first woman countered. “There’s never been a time, day or night, that I’ve passed this house that they weren’t burning away.” At her friend’s long- suffering look, the first woman turned her gaze to the twin lights. “In any case, I find them comforting. Something constant in these changing times.”

“Just you wait,” the second woman wagered. “As soon as those new-fangled electrical lights become available, those lamps will be gone.”

But this did not happen. Electricity did arrive and soon all the other windows on the street sparkled with a power-driven glow. But number 42 continued to emit flickering lamplight. The other townspeople, who were frightfully proud of their new electric lamps, things that could be turned on with just the press of a switch, and so much safer, too, couldn’t imagine why those at 42 did not embrace the invention as they had.

“Perhaps the old lady who lives there wants to live life as she’s always know it,” a young gentleman commented as his carriage lurched past. He did not, in fact, know who lived there, let alone if they were old, but at this point in time, the town had begun to rather romanticize the old house and those within it.

But in truth, there was nothing romantic about the lanterns or the people that tended to them- or rather, person. For just one woman resided at number 42. She was, as the man in the carriage had conjectured, old, but she had not always been. It had been her job and her job alone to watch over the lanterns for the past sixty years. All day, every day, the old woman tended to the lanterns, refilling their kerosene, trimming their wicks, adjusting their flames lower or higher. When not tending to the lamps themselves, she would braid new wicks, tidy the house, and read. They were days spend in tedium, but better that, she knew, than what might happen if she neglected her duties.

She had been told as a girl, when her aunt had assumed care of the lights, that should even one lamp burn down, the world would experience instant devastation. Eventually, the old woman knew her time was running out. She contacted her brother and requested the company of his oldest daughter. The girl would make for fine live- in assistance, as she was single, had just turned twenty- five, and therefore had no marriage prospects. The woman wrote that the girl would assist with housework and the woman’s affairs, but she never revealed to her brother her true plans- to train her niece in lantern keeping so the girl could take her aunt’s place when she died.

Speaking of TOSOL, I got my first edits back, and I'll be talking about those on WIP Wednesday this week, so come visit me then, too!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Knowledge, Or the Lack Thereof

I have lately been experiencing the above conundrum in two of my current works, and it's difficult to work my way out of these states.

First, Knowledge.

I like to research. I am that nerdy girl at school who practically clapped when a research paper was announced. I do super in-depth dramaturgical work when I'm in a play... sometimes for every character or situation presented. Sometimes, my research goes horribly awry, like when I was collecting facts for my 2009 NaNo novel, Remembrance. I sent it away to be edited by a friend, and when it came back, she had noted that most of my research was incorrect. All of my hard work was for nothing, and now I had a very mistaken point of view of English history. Other times, I simply know too much-I research to the point where what I know about the subject can't possibly be worked into the manuscript, especially in a natural, non-info barf-y way. This is an issue I came across recently, when I decided to write my analytical essay for class on my favorite play and its film adaptation, which I also love. I re-read the play, watched the film, collected sources, and wrote ten pages of notes. The essay was only allowed to be 2,500 words wrong and by about 2,000, I had only talked about three of my points and hadn't needed to use a single source because I had so much to say on the subject in the first place.

This latter problem is what is going on for one piece, in a way. When I began writing my Peter Pan play, I waffled about whether to send my main character, Mary, to an insane asylum. As I started doing more research in about February of last year, I came to learn that in Victorian England, seeing things and talking too much about things that people don't want to hear merits you a one-way ticket to a nice padded cell.
I worried that this might be too dramatic and waffled for about six months as to whether to put it in or not. In the end, I decided that she would be sent to the asylum but skipped over the actual asylum part. leaving off when she found out she was being sent away and picking up when he returns. When I presented my semi-finished script to my playwrighting class around November of last year, my teacher specifically requested that I write a scene in the mental institution.
All through this, I had been thinking of doing so, if only for myself, and had been doing research. I learned a lot. A lot, a lot. My entire perception of the medical world in the Victorian era was changed because of the methods they used to cure women of the disease my character was thought to be suffering from (hysteria, the catch-all diagnosis for all inconvenient behavior in the 19th century.) I wrote the scene. I turned it in. I was happy with it.
Then I came to England and started a class called Madness and Medicine in Modern Britain. The class specialised in the examination of asylums in the Victorian era, with a unit devoted to hysteria. I read a dozen articles on it, covering them in highlighter. I took detailed notes during class. I gave my own presentation on hysteria. Then I went back to my script, armed with my new knowledge. Then I realised something.

I knew too much. There was no possible way I could go deep enough into the subject in two or three scenes without making it unnatural and/or confusing a potential audience. I needed to, not dumb it down, but keep it simple, on the surface. Let the audience know what the disease was and the milder ways it was treated (some of the more serious treatments not only shocked me and would be hard for me to write about, but there's no way my fourteen year old character would have been subjected to that... I hope.) However, it's been difficult for me to pull back and see just how much is too much to be dumping on the audience.

Then there's the problem at the other end of the spectrum: too little knowledge. This problem came in when I was working on my NaNo '10 novel, which I've been editing since December.
See, in the novel, my character has a boyfriend. The first time they get together in a romantic way, they kiss pretty seriously to the point where my main character gets uncomfortable and leaves. However, she does let herself get carried away before realising what she's doing.
Yeah... like I know what that's like. Besides not being great at writing kissing scenes- I've only ever written one, and it was more of a very chaste kissing moment- I have little personal experience with the act myself. I've never gotten to the point that Lyddie does in that scene.
I wrote it early in the process and when I shared it nearly a year later, people seemed to think it was realistic. But reading it over this week, I realised that it wasn't serious enough. While the reader knew that she was getting uncomfortable... there were really no details and so they just had to take my word for it, and I don't think that would satisfy many people. That's the problem with this being a novel and not a screenplay. I've written screenplay/play kisses and it looks like this:

(They kiss.)

I can do that (unless I'm the actor carrying out the direction, which I have been. Then I'm just as inept.)
In a novel, especially one being told in first person present like mine... you need more than "he kisses me" (well, at least for this scene. I do in fact have a few more, no-details-given kisses in the book.)
I wanted to add more but what? I didn't know what would go on in a situation like that. So I spent some time on the romance boards of, consulted my favorite book series, and added a bit to the scene.
I'm happy with how it stands right now, but I honestly don't know if it's realistic, and unless I find a lovely English boy who will love and care about me, I don't anticipate getting any real-life experience in the near future that would help me confirm it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Return of WIP Wednesday!

So while I haven't been posting anything for WIP Wednesday for I'm-afraid-to-check-and-see-how-long, I have been writing. A lot. I've been editing The Other Side of Light as well as doing some major revisions on my play.

I've also come across the information that if you post your novel online, it can take away your first publication rights and therefore make you less attractive to publishers. While this isn't a risk for me at the moment- The Other Side of Light is my first piece of writing that I've considered getting published and I haven't posted enough of it here to make it a risk- I've decided not to post excerpts from it here. However, for this week, I decided to do something that my favorite author, Libba Bray, did with her last book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy: opened the book, pointed to a line, and posted that as a teaser. While I don't have an actual book, I do have a word document and access to a random numbers generator, so here are the results of that:

Pg. 127, line 24: “He would have been a perfect match for you. But where is he now?”

Pg. 118, line 26: She walks the few steps to her desk, pulls out a drawer, and removes her wallet, holding it out it my direction. “Here.”

Pg. 72, line 14: This is the first I’ve heard of anyone besides my family being involved in this business. “Who are ‘the ones we’re working against’?”

Pg. 149, line 19: “Oh,” Aunt Kelly says. “Yes.” She guides me inside, never taking her eyes off of my mother.

Pg. 93, line 4: Finally, when I’m outside the school a few days later, digging in my bag for my cell phone and I hear, “Hey.” Oh, no. It’s Aaron. I knew he would find me eventually, and I’ve been trying to rehearse the conversation I need to have with him.

Pg. 13, line 13: The doorbell rings as I’m halfway through my first book. I have no idea who it could be. I mark my place and I open the door. Once I see who’s on the other side, I freeze. Because standing there is Aaron Tves, the guy I’ve had a crush on for the past five months. He is beautiful and smart and well spoken and he is standing on my porch.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


So I've been feeling a bit disconnected from this blog- I'm running three blogs at the moment and it's overwhelming me a bit. But I promise to keep this at the top of my to-do list and start doing WIP Wednesdays and the like again, starting tomorrow!

To reconnect myself with the blogging world, here's a meme I picked up from Hannah, who was my first follower!

How would people describe your personality (if they could only use ONE word)? Are they right?
My friend Megan just said “determined” and I would definitely agree with that. I am a very focused and sometime tenacious person when it comes to achieving goals.

What celebrity/celebrities would create a “Star Struck” feeling if you saw them in real life?
I am easily star-struck (I used to get star struck around leads of community theatre plays I’d be in), so the easy answer is “anyone with a higher coolness factor than I.” But to narrow it down a bit, I would (and have) gotten star struck around my favorite author, Libba Bray, and would around another favorite, Maureen Johnson. I was pretty bad around Keira Knightley when I met her a few weeks ago. Uh… Laura Linney. Emma Thompson. Kate Winslet.

Who is your favorite blogger? Why?
I love reading Hannah and Rachel’s blogs- they always remind me to look on the bright side and see the beauty in life. Libba Bray and Maureen Johnson. And The Struggling Actress, too!

What is your comfort food/drink?
I’m pretty addicted to Diet Coke, and chocolate is definitely my comfort food.

Be brave- tell us something very random and weird about yourself.
I have extremely dilated pupils all the time, so much that people have teased me about it.

Do you have a strong desire to do something you’ve never done? What is it?
I would love to go rock climbing on a real cliffside. I love rock climbing (though I haven’t been in years) and I think that would be so cool. Something that doesn’t jibe with my love of rock climbing, though? I’m afraid of heights.

Movies: Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy? What are your favorite genres?
I would say that I just like smart movies. If I had to choose from the above, I’d say drama, but really, if a movie is intelligent, I’ll probably like it.

Books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-Help, Devotional/Study? What are your favorite types of reading material?
On a broad scale, I love young adult literature. Within that genre and branching into others, historical fiction is my favorite.

Music: Funk, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Film Score, Blues, Classic Rock, Crooner, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Techno? What are your favorite types?
My musical taste is very eclectic. If I hear a song that I like, I’ll put it on my MP3 player, no matter what it’s classified as. My favorite it Broadway music- I love that it has a story and emotion to it. I also love music from the 1940’s and the only band I can say I love right now is ALL CAPS.

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money?
Well, I’d love to go on a shopping spree- I’m a bit of a clothes horse. But I’d also give a large chunk of change to my university theatre department and my arts high school. Oh, and try to pay back my parents for this London trip- even though it’s part of my schooling, I know it’s expensive.

Name one weakness of yours.
I am the jealous type. I never, ever take it out on the person of whom I am jealous, but I get very jealous very easily, and I wish I didn’t. I’m also a workaholic when it comes to my acting, sometimes blindingly so. I gave up seeing my family over most of my Thanksgiving break this year so I could do a play two hours away from my home, and I felt bad about that.

If you could live anywhere at all (and take your loved ones with you), where would you go?
After living in London for two months now, with four more to go, I have to say, right here. I love London, and England, so, so much. Second to that, New York City.

Strange talent? Can you juggle basketballs, put your legs behind your head or perform some other strange feat?
Hm… I don’t think I have any, to be honest. Oh! I can be verbally fed long strings of numbers and letters and then recite them back from memory from smallest to biggest number and then in alphabetical order perfectly. I found this out when I was getting IQ tests done a few years ago. I think it comes from memorizing scripts and book passages from a pretty young age.

What’s something your consider yourself to be good at? (Don’t worry, it’s not bragging. It’s acknowledging a God-given gift.)
Well, I guess I consider myself to be good at acting and writing, though I know I have definite room for improvement in both. I think I take all right pictures, too... I hate questions like this.

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of?
Freshly mown grass- the country girl in me coming out! Also, books. I love the smell of bookstores, new or used.

When you leave a social gathering, do you wish you would have talked more or talked less?
Always the former. I don’t talk much in social gatherings unless I know everyone really well. I’m very shy around anyone new.

If money wasn’t a factor, what stores would you shop in?
Anthropologie- their dresses are adorable, but their prices make me cringe. However, I’d still most likely spend most of my money in Target!

What is your greatest fear?
I guess… not achieving my dreams. I was going to say failure, but if I fail along the way to achieving my dream, that’s fine. But I really don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t do what I want with my life.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My workaholic-ness coming out, but I’m really proud of my acting resume. I’ve worked really hard for the past eight years to get the credits I have, and it’s gotten me into some very exclusive auditions that people my age don’t usually have access to.

What are your favorite animals?

Are you a hopeless romantic?
Absolutely. Although I don’t believe in love at first sight- does that take away that title?

What movie or book character can you most relate to?
Gemma Doyle from the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. So, so much.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be back with a vengence!