Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fanfiction Honors!

Banner made by the wonderful Kate of Carlay, one of the moderators over at Starvation Forum. Thanks so much, Kate!
The Clever, Crazy, Completely Non-Canon Challenge was a competition run during the fall and winter by the Hunger Games fan forum Starvation. The basic concept was to write either an AU story (a story with events that deviate from the source material) or a story with a non-canon pairing (a romantic relationship contradicted by/not mentioned in the source material); the winner of each category would be determined by votes. I am honored to announce that my short story "Dark Days" won in the AU category!


Speaking of honors, several stories of mine have also been nominated for the 2011/2012 Winter Hunger Games Awards: multi-chapter story Survival for "Best SYOT" and "Burning Bright" and "Smoke and Mirrors" for "Best Prompt-Inspired" (the only stories even nominated for that category, another honor!) These awards have not been judged yet, so stay tuned for further updates!

A complete list of fanfiction honors awarded to me can be found here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stephen

Our two protagonists, famous composers and lyricists Stephen Sondheim (left; image taken from http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/252/4474907.jpg) and Stephen Schwartz (right; image taken from http://www.glamadelaide.com.au/main/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/schwartz_color-277x300.jpg). To my knowledge, they have never collaborated... yet...
This was written in response to the "An Opportunity For Readers" challenge, for Ninja Dad's prompt: "Sondheim meets Schwartz in a duel of words (using quotes from their songs), starting out as rivals and adversaries but ending as friends and collaborators." I'm surprised I was able to write it so fast, but half of the words aren't even mine anyways...

Disclaimer: Whatever it is, I probably don't own it. Any song lyrics belong to their respective creators. The views expressed in this short story do not necessarily express the views of Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Irving Berlin, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, or Oscar Hammerstein II.


Useful Notes: Irving Berlin is the lyricist for "Annie, Get Your Gun" ("Anything you can do, I can do better"); Herbert Kretzmer reworked the lyrics of Les Miserables into the English language ("Valjean! At last! We see each other plain"); Alain Boublil wrote the original French lyrics ("Enfin! Valjean! Tu vas purger ta peine"); Oscar Hammerstein II was Stephen Sondheim's mentor and father figure.


Stephen

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An Opportunity For Readers

A pretty picture of nature, courtesy of http://www.smashingapps.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/green-nature.jpg and The Internet. It has little to nothing to do with this post.
I like to challenge myself. I also like it when other people are happy, if it's not at my expense. I also like it when I know that people are reading my blog.

I believe I've thought of a fun challenge that fulfills all of those things--and it involves you all!

I will be writing short pieces (100 - 500 words, most likely) in response to prompts that you provide. The first ten of you to comment on this post and fill out this form shall be getting your very own story/poem/creative work, written by me! Sound fun? Fill out this form in a comment on this post:

Please note: I do have the right to refuse a prompt if it asks for material that goes against my religious, political or moral beliefs or material that I would be uncomfortable writing/posting on the Internet.

Name (this can be an alias): 
Prompt:
Genre:
Specific Requests?: 

Here are some guidelines before you get started...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Paper Trail



Image shamelessly taken from http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/7106108800/71061088001005/7106108800100500033/6972810-spilled-trash-bin-full-of-crumpled-paper.jpg, courtesy of The Internet, as always.
This post was originally going to be titled "Failed Starts," but I decided to go for something more optimistic. You know why? Because, when I look at all these so-called "failed starts," I can see how all of them lead to each other. Ideas for one story are borrowed from previous drafts, characters and names are reused, even a phrase or repeated word can hop from one crumpled piece of paper to the next without the author even realizing it.


This leads me to the heartening conclusion that no idea ever goes to waste. It just keeps getting recycled, just like the paper that it's written on is supposed to be. Even if a certain plot is thrown completely out of the window because it just won't work, you can bet that something in that draft is perfectly usable. This is the reason why my desk is such a wasteland: that's where I dump most of my written work that hasn't made its way into a happy home yet. I never know when I might need one.


Do you want proof of this amazing recycling process? Alright, here it is.


The Journey of An Idea

Autobiographical Poems

Image taken from http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/images/Morningsuncrop.jpg, courtesy of The Internet. The picture depicts morning sunlight, the kind that I wish I could wake up to every day.
It's time for a poetry post!

Here are two poems, both written in eighth grade, both results of school assignments, both about creating art, specifically writing, and both autobiographical. Or at least semi-autobiographical. Oddly enough, both of them also have connections to The Hunger Games (a book series which, as you can probably tell by now, I adore): the title of the first, "Mockingjay," references the third book of the series and the fictional creature that book is named after; the second, a work known only as "A pad of yellow paper," has a poetic style similar to an excellent poem, "Brokens," that is a fanfiction of The Hunger Games. I mimicked the style intentionally, and if that offends the author of the fanfiction in any way, then I humbly apologize.

"A pad of yellow paper" was published in the June issue of my middle school's school newspaper.

"Mockingjay" & "A pad of yellow paper"

pronoun (AKA probably the strangest thing I've written in my life)

Picture taken from http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/media/images/aurora_australis_h.jpg, courtesy of The Internet. Image depicts the aurora australis (yes, the Southern Lights exist), as seen from space.
 As the title of this post suggests, the piece I am about to share with you is pretty much the strangest thing I've ever written.

As the tags that I've attached to this post tell, this piece is a short story, fairly literary, a little pretentious and quite strange, and it involves Shakespeare, grammar, and abuse of text formatting.

I'm actually rather proud of it, once I get past how strange it is.


pronoun
(or, Mercutio)
(or, cheshire cat)
(or, Muse)
(or, a pointless piece)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Excerpts from THE OMNISCIENCE

Picture taken from http://www.hungergameslessons.com/2011/11/hunger-games-movie-trailer-teaching.html, courtesy of The Internet. Image is of the Capitol from the trailer of the upcoming The Hunger Games movie.
November is National Novel-Writing Month, in which writers from all walks of life and from all around the globe take on the self-imposed challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. This year was my first year participating (along with the rest of my Creative Writing class), and I am pleased to report that I succeeded! It was an incredible adventure, and even though the book has not been polished yet, I feel like sharing an excerpt with you all.

The Machine known as the Omniscience, or the Omni for short, was created to calculate a person's every need and choose a path for his or her life that not only ensures maximum happiness for the individual, but for society as well. At the age of eighteen, every citizen is obligated to be tested and analyzed by the Machine for a week. The Omni determines one's occupation, social class, probable income, and even location, and is an essential ingredient for a functioning society. But over the last two years, something has been going wrong with the Machine. Matches have been made that are so far off the mark as to seem ridiculous. Teenagers have disappeared--or worse, been found dead--inside. Others have been psychologically scarred beyond repair, so severely that they can't even function.
It's Lilah Ellerby's eighteenth birthday.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Archer

In the interest of actually posting some writing...

Photo stolen from http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Hunger-Games-Katniss-Shooting-Bow.jpg, courtesy of the Internet. The image depicts Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss Everdeen in the upcoming movie The Hunger Games, which I am eagerly anticipating.
"Archer" is a short story that was written in September of this year for my creative writing class. Very loosely based on a reimagining of an unfinished novel that I co-authored in fourth grade, it features sibling dynamics brought up to eleven in a fantasy world. Many a sibling will claim, "I'm going to kill my brother/sister!", but would they really be able to follow through? And what would happen if you were forced to do it?

Beginnings

Ah, a fresh new blog. How exciting!

Hello, my name's Amanda. Welcome to Mapping Out A Sky! I regret that I don't have anything to post just yet, but be sure to check out the "About" and "Links" pages for more information about me and about this blog; some work of writing should be up fairly soon.