Sunday, January 29, 2012


Some of the first memories I have of reading are in my parents' bedroom in St. Louis, 'reading' books like Are You My Mother? And Oink! The truth is, I'd memorized them. But I was so proud of myself, knowing how to read at three or four or however old I was.

At eight I was reading all sorts of books from our book cases— we'd started ordering books from Scholastic Inc., for homeschooling, and we got boxes of books before the schoolyear started.

It was… amazing, how many books came. I loved reading. I'd go to the library and read there too.

At ten I started reading animal books. I'm talking 'how to train your dog books,' or 'rabbit care' books. I read about gerbils. I read about budgies, cockatoos, cats, horses… most of the books being from the adult section of the library.

At fourteen though, interest in reading started dimming. I couldn't find books to interest me (looking back on that I wonder how). Though I was still reading, it was nowhere near the book or so a week/month I had been reading before.

I had hit a slump. I didn't notice this slump— I was doing school, having projects (I always had projects, whether it was running an adoptable on or creating a breeding system for a creature I'd just designed), watching TV and surfing the internet (PonyIsland.Net was an obsession of a sort, and probably amounted for more than a bit of my non-reading).

At fifteen, I started having 'required reading.' In the first two weeks of school, I read the Iliad and Shogun (James Clavell), and lost interest in reading for quite some time. In fact, I was so burned out from Shogun (it was… okay. And I read it in three days. 1200 pages in three days.)

I think I read about 20 books in 2010— some of them I've reread since then (Sex, Time, and Power I read October 2011).

One of the best books of 2010 was The Importance of Being Earnest. Yes, it's a play. It's bound in hardcopy. It counts as a book.

In December 2010, though, my cousin Ioana re-introduced me to GoodReads. A friend had sent me a link to it years ago, but I couldn't understand the system at the time, and I think it was much uglier than it is now.

And with the 2011 reading challenge came the idea: 

Can I read 100 books in a year?

I decided to.

I started reading Cișmigiu & Co., a Romanian novel about a young man in highschool in the 1940s. It took me a month to finish the two-part book (the volume also contained another novel by Grigore Băjenaru, Bună Dimineața, Baieti!, which is about being a young schoolteacher), but in the end I managed it.

And then I started reading in earnest. 100 books that year meant about two books a week. 

Until May, I was behind schedule. I read three books in January (two of which were more like 100 pages than actual books), one in February, and finished Cismigiu & Co in March. In April I finished Bună Dimineața, Baieti!

And while we were on the road to Boston for the Religious Olympics (which I won, thus saving my parents a lot of money for what was the best summer camp week ever).

I read 9 books in April (including getting conned into reading The Beach by my dad.)

In May I hated Grapes of Wrath and loved East of Eden, devoured Water for Elephants in time to go see the movie (which was lovely). I discovered Russian novels and raced through Crime and Punishment in three days.

I read Graceling, which is a young adult novel about two people who are graced with a certain strength. The protagonist is graced with Killing, and she meets Po, who's graced with Fighting. The concept of rings in this book was what made it memorable.

I read Nicholas Sparks from May until June, read War and Peace from May to June (marking the first "I'm sick of saying I'm still reading this book so I'm going to finish it" read). I loved Anna Karenina, cried over Gone With the Wind (again), and went into July with The Taming of Lord Astor, which had an interesting instance of dresses making men think a certain way.

July also marked reading The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov, both by Dostoevsky. I read The Book Thief, which was… amazing.

Other highlights of the year were reading Ubersleep and Kurt Vonnegut. I read a lot of Lois Lowry in August, gave up on One Day, and adored Juliet and A Comedy of Errors.
I managed to finish Middlemarch, which was another "I'm sick of saying I'm still reading this…" book, and Steve Jobs, which was… interesting.

Some of the best books of this year included The Phantom of the Opera, which made me laugh out loud. Room haunted me.

At some point during July, when I'd caught up to schedule, I decided to read 150 books. And then contemplated 175.

But that didn't happen. So I left the goal off for 2012.

And that promptly fell through the roof. In the first two weeks, I found a storage of Judith McNaught novels— romance (only one of the most captivating genres ever)— and devoured 17 books in 15 days.

Clearly, there was a way to read three hundred books or more on this trip.

And it's been great so far.

I'm at a total of 24 books this year, and it's only Day 29!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some Thoughts on Editing

Up until two weeks ago, if asked whether or not I liked editing, I would have replied with a most definite no.

Now, I'm not so sure.

See… I've been writing Riddle Rose, and when I reached Chapter 9 I realized that there were a few things I wanted to change in the first three chapters before I posted Chapter 9.

And so I went and rewrote all of Chapter 1. I feel a lot better about it now, but I still have Chapters 2 and 3 to edit.

And all of a sudden, I don't want to keep writing until I've hammered out the first eight chapters.

This has never happened to me before. I wrote part of Chapter 10 because I had this lovely idea… but after I finished it I realized it really had nothing to do with the main story line, and that it was probably better off out of the book.

When did this happen? When did my inner editor suddenly get so much power? I don't remember the muse letting him in. I don't remember letting him in.

I never used to edit. Maybe a cursory typo check… but never for real, except when I tried to edit the disastrous remains of what was NaNo'09 (it was so disastrous it didn't have an acceptable title, which NaNo'08 did have). And that was painful. There was no story line beyond following the very strange story of Edward.

But now Riddle Rose does have a story line. It has characters and they have actual motivations now (I think. I was always crap at figuring them out), with a plot that might be somewhat predictable. But I don't care so much if it's predictable— it's fun to write.

It's just that I have this very real fear that if I finish it, I won't want to edit it. It' s happened this way with every thing I've written— I finish and then I don't want to edit.

But Riddle Rose deserves a chance, so I'm editing as I go.

And now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I didn't make the wrong choice. On the one hand… I've finished writing at least six novels, and edited none of them. 

That's going to change in March, with NaNoEdMo coming along, but I'm trying to figure out how I can edit.

But now I'm starting to wonder… editing at the cost of writing? I'm still writing, but does it really work to write so little on a story? I was writing maybe a chapter a week at the beginning, and now I've put even that on pause so I can edit.

Is this normal? Is it just because I'm writing by chapters, with a separate chapter per Scrivener document? Is it because I'm writing so slowly? Is it because I've dubbed it my 'pet project' and I want it to be as good as it can be? Is it because I've decided to 'learn' how to edit?

Or is it all of these things?

Or is it that I'm simply more interested in these sorts of things now than I ever was before?

Whatever it is…

I guess it's quite good— at least I'm finally going to have a proper ending to a story. XD

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Short Story: The Staircase

This particular story was inspired by Kit's Writing Life post on taking the stairs, which you can read here.

Thanks, Kit!


I come in through the back door, like I always do— I never got around to fixing the stick in the front door— and I hang up the key to the ornate silver lock on the nail your father banged into the wall when he and your mother moved out.

"Hello." I say to your picture on the wall, smiling at your smile, looking away when I meet your eyes because it's too painful to remember right now.

I go about my usual routine when I come home from work… pouring myself a drink and then pouring you one, just so I don't feel so lonely. We chink glasses together, though you don't say anything, and I drain my glass and then yours, because you'll never touch a glass again.

I watch the news, flicking the channels because I'm bored, letting the drinks seep in and give me a hazy sense of well-being that I know will disappear the second I start climbing the stairs.

I brush my teeth in the downstairs bathroom like I have since that, because our two sinks in our bathroom have even more memories than the staircase does.

I linger around downstairs, arranging things in an attempt to stall going upstairs, but then the clock chimes twelve and I know tomorrow will be worse if I don't go to bed now.

I think about getting some sheets out of the closet and sleeping on the sofa, but your eyes are everywhere, and the sofa has memories too, and that portrait of you that your kid sister drew and sent to me last week is there, telling me I'm being stupid.

I resign myself to sleeping in the bedroom, even though it's so lonely without you there I can't fall asleep until two unless I take a sleeping pill. It's too late to take a sleeping pill now, though— I have the early shift in the morning.

The staircase looms over me. The door to our bedroom is on the right as one reaches the top of the landing. I take a deep breath, preparing myself.

Climbing the staircase has gotten harder nowadays. Maybe it's the pain in my knees, or maybe it's all the memories we've infused into them, but climbing the staircase each night gets harder every day.

You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you though… you're so practical that way.

The first step always hits me like the first time I saw you across the room. Your eyes crinkled when you saw me staring at you, and your hand raised its drink. I'd never been so infatuated, but I didn't stop to think about the consequences, and in what seemed like years I finally managed to introduce myself. You grinned and stuck out your hand and said, without any sort of artfulness, "Pleased to meet you."

That's the first step. Sometimes it's the easiest, because I can remember you at the beginning, when we had no idea what was coming afterward… but sometimes it's the hardest, because if it weren't for me, you'd still be crinkling your eyes at people across the room.

I shudder today— today the first step will be the hardest— and I move up to the second. The second was our first date. We kissed on this step on our fifth date… the one when your parents were still peeking out the living room to make sure we didn't do anything stupid. The one where your kid sister was looking down from the balcony to see when you'd come up and talk to her. Your kid sister… I can't even talk to her nowadays when I think of this second step.

But I linger… because your lips were always so soft and your breath was always so sweet, and I want to have it near me along with the teasing words you always used to tell me when I said your family was making me nervous.

At the third step things are getting easier. The next few are always easier… these are the good times, the times when we used to laugh and things were such a whirl of happiness I couldn't stop myself from grinning. Not even at work, when my boss was being what you used to call an asshole, without even considering what an asshole I was to the guy in return. You never seemed to notice the bad things about me, though. I always found that sort of strange…

Never mind. The third step is hard too. The third step is our first argument— the first real, drawn-out one. I can't even remember what it was about, except that I wouldn't talk to you for a week afterward… and then you showed up at the door with flowers.

I can't even remember that, to be honest. I can't remember anything but the tulips. I do remember telling you I'd always liked tulips, but I didn't think you'd recall it. It was in a passing conversation, not even an important one, and we were probably dead tired after exams.

You always studied so hard… I never did. You seemed to want to make something of yourself, but I'd always just wanted to be spoiled.

You spoiled me. I remember all the ways you used to spoil me. The fourth step always makes me smile and cry a bit— you used to bring me little trinkets you'd found, or little things you'd made with your hands… I still have them. I have them up everywhere. After… after that, I took them all out of the boxes and the drawers and off the shelves, and I have them all on a shrine.

You'd laugh if you could see it, but it's there. I'll never forget you with that shrine.

Sometimes I'm afraid I will… it's when things get too hard to bear and I get cowardly.

And then I can't remember that little scar you have just above your temple— I scratched you once and I've never been able to forget it… you laughed when it happened, but then the blood came pouring.

I'd forgotten how much blood there can be from a head wound. And then you laughed when I tried to wash it off, and you laughed— you always used to laugh so much… but I can't… don't want to remember these things. I miss you too much and nothing's coming out the way it should any more. Everything reminds me of you, dammit. Everything. Even my breakfast cereal. Even that breakfast cereal you always told me wasn't healthy enough. You were always so conscientious… you always worried about my health…

My family's had a history of early death due to— but enough about death. Suddenly I hate this fourth step. What business does it have reminding me of you? Sometimes, when I get to the fifth step, I want to forget. I want to forget everything that you ever were or ever represented, or all the reasons I loved you. The fifth step is when we had our second real argument… it's when you finally stopped shouting and broke down and told me we were getting married.

I couldn't believe you when you said that— I'd been rushing up these steps, and then you stopped me and said, "Come back down. We're getting married. Today. Now. I can't keep waiting for you."

I thought you were crazy and I told you so, but then I sat down on this fifth step, looking down at you, hating you for making me feel as if you meant it.

"I mean it." You said, your eyes smiling and crinkling the way they did when we met… and it hit me just as hard as the first time.

On the sixth step, after we got married and your parents had moved out— they'd always wanted to move out… this damn house probably held just as many memories for them as it does for me now, on the sixth step you kept saying you loved me, and all I could think of was taking your clothes off.

I wish I could hear your voice now… saying those words again. I miss you so much. I miss hearing your laugh at lunch— you always came home for lunch…

And I miss you when you cry at sentimental bits in movies— even more when you try to pass it off as dust in your eye because you think crying's babyish. You always did think that. Sometimes I watch your favorite movies just to torture myself.

The seventh step is the little things. Your toothbrush next to mine, the hairs in the shower and on the sink. The smell of your deodorant.

That stupid way you had of saying hello when you came from work…

The way you slung your clothes off when you were tired, leaving them haphazardly on the floor. For me to clean up. Sometimes I hated cleaning up after you.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever feel the way you made me feel.

The eighth step is the last easy step. After this… everything falls apart. I try and stand here as long as possible… partially to give my knees a rest, partially to stave off the loneliness that comes with the ninth step. The ninth step is the most painful after the twelfth. The ninth step always makes me shudder and hate everything that's ever happened to us.

But I'm still on the eighth step, and I can't fix anything about what's coming afterward.

Sometimes I want to turn around and go right back down the stairs. I sometimes have… sometimes when I don't have the courage to keep going… but there's pictures of you everywhere downstairs, laughing, taunting eyes that make me keep taking steps, even when all I want to do… all I ever wanted to do, is be near you. 

The eighth step is the bliss when you found out we were pregnant. You couldn't do anything but rush around and tell everyone you knew— "We're pregnant," you'd said, beaming, your arm around me. You always wanted to touch some part of me, especially when you were emotional. 

The baby was supposed to come in May. We spent so much time at the baby stores… you used to pick out everything that you thought the baby would like— yellow, because we wanted to be surprised… you used to laugh at my choices for carriers… always thought they were so pointless. You wanted to hold our baby all the time, you said, and you laughed when I said your arms would get tired.

You made plans, you stopped me from making too many.

It's a happy pain, this remembering, but my heart isn't as good as it used to be— it can't take this as much as it could— and I step up one more step.

We lost the baby in November. I'm not sure who was more heartbroken, you or I, when the doctor came in and shook his head. Your hand was clutching mine, or maybe my hand was clutching yours, and we couldn't believe it, even when the doctor explained that falling down these stairs— damn these stairs!

We didn't use stairs without holding tight to each other for months afterward.

We couldn't, not after the baby. We put away all the clothes we'd bought for our little one at about the same time we stopped clutching hands when we climbed the stairs.

"If we ever try again," you said fiercely, "the new baby won't have this baby's clothes. These are this baby's."

I felt the same way, so I didn't say anything.

The tenth step got easier, and things went along admirably. We went back to work— started saving up for more vacation time for the next baby.

On the eleventh step it was our fifth anniversary. I loved seeing your face light up in the morning. You looked so happy, so sleepy, and I couldn't stop myself from kissing you good morning longer than I usually did.

"Hello." You said, your eyes crinkling.

Sometimes I wish I'd never met you when I get to this eleventh step. If I hadn't met you, I wouldn't be climbing this staircase. My heart wouldn't be pounding like this, and my throat wouldn't feel so raw.

Sometimes I think I should sell the house, but you made me promise in the hospital — I hate that word now — that I wouldn't. And I haven't broken a promise I've made to you yet.

I'm still keeping my marriage vows after— but I don't want to think about that before I have to.

I ascend to the twelfth step.

The grief is still just as bad as it was when we went over the embankment. I was driving. I should have been looking where we were going, but I wasn't— we were both just as devastated as we'd been on the ninth step, and you weren't looking at me very much. Tears were blurring my eyes, but you were in a worse state than I was, and you couldn't drive.

We should have stayed in the parking lot of that damned hospital, but we couldn't stand the place.

We were driving home, and I looked over at you, and all of a sudden the car lurched.

And then I was awake in the ambulance and they were telling me I had to talk to you… and that's when you made me promise I wouldn't give up, and that I'd not sell the house…

 I remember telling you not to talk, trying to make you be quiet with a kiss, but you wouldn't stop talking, wouldn't stop telling me that you loved me, and my brain couldn't comprehend anything at that moment except that your head was bleeding more than it had when I scratched it.

"PROMISE ME," you said in an awful whisper, "that you won't… give up."

I promised. What was there to give up on?

Now I know.

Your hand went limp in mine, and for a second I couldn't understand it.

And then I did and all this grief came crashing down on me.

I was numb.

Then, when I wasn't numb any longer, when I realized I had to go back to work and pretend as if nothing had happened… but it had happened.

And everyone knew it. Everyone was looking at me with these… pitying stares.

I took a leave of absence and I almost gave up.

Your eyes… I covered them all up. The entire house was black. The only color was in the yellow liquid I poured into my glass every night. Sometimes even the liquid was black.

Sometimes I realized that something wasn't right… that this reeked of 'giving up,' but I couldn't make myself stop.

Numbness was better. Numbness was ten times better than that soul-ache.

You would have laughed, maybe, to hear me say 'soul-ache,' and thinking of that made me remember my promise.

I got back to life. I don't know how I did it, except I had this damn determination to do it so I wouldn't break my promise.

I'm on the thirteenth step now… have been since I realized you wanted me to go on without you.

Without you… they're the loneliest words I've ever heard. I turn around to look back at the stairs. At the bottom your portrait is there, only you're smiling at me as if you know I understand now.

I don't want to understand. Going on without you… I want to be with you, even if it's in oblivion. In numbness I can do that, but I sense sometimes that you'd be disappointed if you knew I was numbing the pain.

But then, you never quite understood soul-ache. You always smiled when you heard about it. You never had it. Your parents are alive… your mother has your eyes when she smiles. I don't see your parents any more, by the way. 

Sometimes I wonder what you'd have done if you'd been in my place and I'd been in yours.

Your eyes tell me the answer. You would have let yourself slip down the stairs. I'd have hated you for it. You wouldn't have cared.

I look down at the stairs for a moment, contemplating jumping over the balustrade. My knees aren't good enough to jump, but maybe I can crash down on the carpet underneath.

Then I remember you hated getting that carpet dirty, and I realize I don't have the courage.

It's a dilemma. I don't have the courage to go on living without you… but I don't have the courage to die to be with you.

Maybe some day I'll get out of this limbo… be able to stop contemplating falling down over that balustrade every time I reach the thirteenth step. Every time I reach the landing.

Maybe some day I won't feel so empty.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Battle of the Brains

I do. I really do. If I see something about a book I want to read it.

But I can't read it. I can't read it because I have to write and if I don't write the entire frame of the world will collapse.

At least, that's what my studious left brain thinks. You know, the brain that says, "Hey! You put it on the to-do list, and now it must be finished!"

My right brain thinks, "EH, we'll get it all done. Don't worry about it! LIVE! ENJOY! READ!"





And the right brain usually wins out in the end...

OR... worse... I spend all day surfing the internet because my right brain gives up convincing my left brain to read and just says, "Hey, do whatever."

And my left brain does the same thing.

So I do whatever.

The list of books I want to read grows, meanwhile, and I start thinking,

"But I want to read this too! And that! AND... since I've managed to read 18 books this year, it should be completely and totally possible to keep this insane goal going! Why not read 366 books?"

Then left brain comes in and says, "Listen. You are 20,000 words behind schedule. That means you don't have time, NOT that everything's good and you can keep reading insane amounts of books."

So what does my mind say after this battle of the brains?

You've got time. You can make up all that writing by the end of January... you can read 13 more books... you can get up to speed in Les Trois Mousquetaires... you can do the impossible. But you can't also, so don't get your hopes up.


So. If I actually get to 140,616 words and 31 books by January 31st...

You'll know that I've lost against myself again.

You'll also have irrefutable proof that I'm a machine.

A machiiiine!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Falling Apart

I just lost this entire post.

It is a lovely feeling in a way... a very sad feeling in others. So I'm rewriting it all very quickly with a couple of notes on the side.

Crazy internet. ^_^

The gist of it?

I'm behind in everything except reading. The reason is because I started reading romances.

The catch-up plan is to do it slowly. The logical priorities are Writing, Learning, and Reading. The emotional priorities are Reading, Learning and Writing. The emotional priorities always win out.

I'm 20k behind, a few books ahead (okay, a lot), and behind on learning.

BUT I shall prevail.

Please don't expect any new Riddle Rose chapters-- I'll be editing Chapters 1-8 because I've gotten a few new ideas and I don't want to reveal new chapters without explaining or foreshadowing those ideas. Hopefully within a month I'll have new chapters up again. At least 2 weeks though, because of the editing.

Pirate Prince will probably get a few new chapters within the month. Hopefully.

At the moment I'm focusing on getting a few Paa'nik stories out of my head. (I should change the spelling of that to Paanik, as it's more accurate, but I like the look of Paa'nik more, and I can always change my grammar rules.) So no short stories either. Sorry again... but I have cool things on my mind and those always win out. My self-discipline is not good in creative endeavors.

I had a talk with my mom that setting high goals and not achieving them has a way of undermining your self-consciousness. I don't doubt that, but I'm starting to wonder when that undermining starts. I've been not-accomplishing for years, and either I finish it or decide I don't care about the goal any more. Maybe that's the exception, eh?

ANYWAY... expect real content soon. ^_^

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why You Won't See a Short Story Every Week

Though I'm participating in the 52 short stories in a year project, finishing a short story every week (I'm considering a short story to be 2-30k, and anything shorter than that flash fiction, no matter how incorrect it is), you won't always see the short stories posted on WeBook, the blog, or anywhere else.

This is because they have to do with the world I am creating (and have been creating since Dec 4th, 2009), Paa'nik. The name, for those of you who are interested, came when I was doodling that Friday afternoon with my fountain pen... I was supposed to be doing math homework, and instead I was drawing trees. Some day I'll draw another of those trees and post it... but suffice it to say I had a spark of an idea for a world (which changed completely).

The original name was Pen'n'ink (or something of the sort), and the people were two dimensional and were grouped by colors, etc. They worshiped The Great Tree (which evolved into the name of Tegrete), and basically were very interesting.

By my birthday on December 19th, I'd changed that to three-dimensional humans living on their own planet, (as of yet unnamed), and up to now it's evolved into its own country with countries to the east, north, and south (and one which I'm not sure where to put-- not the west, as of yet). Paa'nik is the most developed of these countries, and one of its most important beliefs is that an unmarried person isn't a whole person. Because of this belief, they have a lot of marriage laws, and because I'm a hopeless romantic, this is the most developed aspect of that world. As such, all the stories I write with the riPaa'nik are romances, have practically no description, weird allusions to various laws, etc. They're written for myself, and though I'm supposed to be posting a short story a week... I care less about posting the short story than about fleshing out Paa'nik and its surrounding countries.

So when I'm writing a short story set in Paa'nik or any other of these 'personal' worlds, you won't be seeing any short stories that week.

Until, maybe, I can figure out some of the other things they esteem highly and come up with something other than ridiculous romances. Any ideas?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

101 Random Things About Me

Since Bouchra over at Pink, Purple and Fuchsia did this… and I thought it was awesome, here's my own list!

  1. I'm a mother hen according to my main Tae Kwon Do instructor.
  2. I'm a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
  3. I'm an Eastern Orthodox Christian.
  4. I speak Romanian fluently.
  5. I was born in Romania.
  6. I was born six days before Christmas.
  7. I get presents August 15th for my name day, which basically means that I get celebrated because the Virgin Mary, who I was named after, has a holy day on the calendar. I also get a lot of calls from relatives. -_^
  8. I'm ridiculously practical.
  9. I'm a stickler for rules. I'll bend them every once in a while, but on my terms only. Seriously, a stickler.
  10. I'm a chronic overachiever and planner.
  11. I get really nervous before big events.
  12. I like Easter more than Christmas.
  13. I don't like decorating the Christmas tree at all.
  14. I love listening to old music like Buddy Holly, The Beatles, ABBA, etc.
  15. Anything with a sweet melody and sweet lyrics will be on my 'favorites' list.
  16. I'm teaching myself French by reading Les Trois Mousquetaires.
  17. I think 17 is a beautiful number, and not just because I turned 17 in 2011, but because 1 and 7 in combination are just… beautiful.
  18. I'm most like my dad's grandmother in a lot of ways. (Awesome fact: she's 97 but looks 80.)
  19. I like spring because of the tulips and the temperature.
  20. I love tulips, but not the red or yellow ones.
  21. From the age of ten to the age of fourteen, I was obsessed with creating genetic strings for made-up animals.
  22. After 14, I became a tad more normal.
  23. I participated in NaNo'08 at the age of 13, won in 19 days, and then wrote 100k in NaNo'09. Both books sucked. The last two NaNos I have not managed to finish by Nov 30. They sucked too. But less.
  24. I've been on an airplane more times than I can count.
  25. I love to read.
  26. I read War and Peace for fun to procrastinate on studying for the ACT.
  27. I got a 35/36 in ACT's reading section.
  28. I used to like rabbits, then dogs, then horses. Now I like cats. They're the quietest and the sleepiest.
  29. My legs are in an 'O' shape. It's annoying.
  30. I drank orange juice almost every morning with a sandwich for years. Then we left America for the trip.
  31. I'm really interested in how the mind works, and what people think about things.
  32. I can't decide if I want to go to college in America or in Romania.
  33. My life plan is going to college to be a doctor (psychiatrist, possibly) or a teacher before getting married to a bilingual and having 3-4 kids and homeschooling them. 
  34. I like getting told what's wrong with my writing by people I don't know. It annoys me when people say it's 'perfect' because I know it's not true. Saying it's 'awesome,' though, bolsters my spirits.
  35. I used to sulk all the time until my dad promised me the game Rush Hour for not sulking for a week. I haven't sulked since, and I played that game for perhaps a week. I lost one of the pieces at a friend's house.
  36. I was a really skinny kid with big teeth and glasses. The days of my bangs were terrible.
  37. I used to have hair down to my hips before my great-grandma told me it was too long.
  38. Whatever my great-grandma comments on about me usually ends up changing (she told me I needed something red, I ended up buying a red jacket… and then an entire red outfit two years later… I got a haircut.)
  39. I once hit 122 wpm. For about one millisecond. Usually, though, I write 50-70wpm. I can hit 80 if necessary.
  40. I was homeschooled from kindergarten to second grade, skipped third, took fourth in a public school (as well as part of fifth), was unschooled until 7th grade, and then was homeschooled from 8th to 12th grade. I taught myself for practically the last two-three years.
  41. I'm the oldest grandchild of my paternal grandparents, as well as the oldest great-grandchild of my parental family.
  42. I have a ridiculous amount of connections in Romania which I know nothing about.
  43. I ramble about things I like, things I don't like, and things which annoy me. I barely talk at all about subjects in the middle.
  44. I need deadlines.
  45. I love romance novels.
  46. I'm a hopeless romantic.
  47. I love reading classics. 
  48. Once I start reading something, it's hell getting me to give up on the book. I only did this three times in my entire collective memory.
  49. One of my goals is to beat my dad's score of 350ish (300-400) books in a year. He was 17 when he did it… I'll be eighteen.
  50. I lose interest in things pretty quickly.
  51. I sold an online adoptable once for $100— I was approached about them and I sold them. I spent maybe $20 ordering the lines… and I've never made that big a profit since. On anything.
  52. I'm frugal. Give me a box of chocolates, it'll be there a month later. Give me $100, it won't be spent for a while.
  53. I love the library.
  54. My laptop was an early sweet 16 gift. I paid for 33% of it without knowing.
  55. I wrote 15k in a day once when I was 14, and I haven't beat that record since.
  56. I don't actually mind bugs until they're within six inches of my person. Ants and ladybugs don't count.
  57. I love groundfighting.
  58. I'm a very 'hug' type of person.
  59. My love language is 'words of affirmation' and then 'physical touch.' I couldn't care less about 'gift-giving' (books are awesome, though!) or acts of service (I am the one who can do it best!). But I do enjoy quality time, sometimes.
  60. I do not understand the allure of video games and don't want to. 
  61. I have trouble giving up control.
  62. I can be suffocating. I'm not sure if that's changed yet or not.
  63. I realized I 'had to be a doctor' when I realized I needed a high-paying job (relatively), and that I could only be a lawyer, doctor, or businesswoman. I couldn't stand being a lawyer (fighting all day!) or a business woman (marketing!), so I realized I had to be a doctor.
  64. I love babies. I could live with a sleeping baby on my chest and a book.
  65. I love little kids.
  66. I'm more comfortable with guys than with girls because of the mean girl cliché.
  67. Guys also seem more socially awkward than me, which is always a plus.
  68. I don't understand Facebook. I wouldn't even be checking FB every day if it weren't for my writing group and going around the world.
  69. I can lose hours surfing things I already know about on the internet.
  70. I want to become polyphasic so badly. So I can read and write more.
  71. I want to learn to cook, but never could because our kitchen is small.
  72. I have a talent for wasting time.
  73. I'm ridiculously practical. My favorite gifts are those I can use for years to come.
  74. If I could be clean without showering… I'd never do it.
  75. The pool isn't very interesting for me.
  76. I used to play Petz 5 all the time. Then I grew up. Sometimes I wish I hadn't.
  77. I'm extremely loyal.
  78. If anyone attacks my family, I get really mean. Not rude… but cutting.
  79. I was a nightmare before my birthday for most of my life. The past few years I've holed myself up before, though, to prevent myself from hurting anyone.
  80. I don't get sick often. When I do get sick it's the runniest of runny noses and the worst of coughs.
  81. I have one sister, 14 (she sings), and one brother, 12 (he… is awesome. He doesn't do much else).
  82. My sister and I are absolutely completely total opposites.
  83. I don't mind talking about normal life processes at all.
  84. I can't stand talking about injuries— I get all empathetic and imaginative and it's… ugh.
  85. If something looks like a human body part it's harder for me to eat it.
  86. Sometimes I start wondering why I'm putting something into my mouth. Like cheese. Or chocolate.
  87. I don't like things too sweet, too salty, too spicy… too anything, really. Chocolate is too sweet. 
  88. I love pickles in brine. I hate pickles in vinegar.
  89. I used to hate jeans, and then I loved them. Now I like my travel pants and my wrap-around skirt.
  90. I could wear a shirt for a week without caring.
  91. I love apples, but only certain kinds. And bananas. I used to hate bananas, but now I don't.
  92. I stopped drinking milk at the age of five when, no matter how much honey I put into it, it still wasn't good. I still remember the incident and my dad telling me to stop and just drink it.
  93. I don't understand the point of dairy any more.
  94. I once ate an entire plate of green tomatoes so sour neither of my parents could stomach it. I was two years old.
  95. I've never had a cell phone. I don't want one either.
  96. I talk a lot when I'm happy. I also bounce and hug people.
  97. I get the urge to tell people I love them when I'm happy. Then I have to stop and not say it because you never know if they'll take you seriously or not.
  98. I tend to criticize people I know before I think about it.
  99. I don't like big changes. I don't like schedule changes. I don't like big changes of plan.
  100. I can't wait to get my own house. I've actually started planning it.
  101. 101 random things looked much smaller to me from the other end of the list. I don't usually like lists, unless they're to-do lists.

Wow… 1776 words for… random things. AWESOME!