Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Titles and Names...Possibly Harder Than Actually Writing

People tend to ask me: "Gemma, how did you end up coming up with titles like Broken Glass, and Mirrordust, and Reflections, and what not?" The completely honest, and terribly boring answer is: I don’t know! In fact, I don't ever remember them being called anything else, EVER!

It’s funny though, because I had actually had all three titles figured out before I had even written the books, and they fit! Broken Glass was titled because it was sort of that the main characters were looking through a two-way mirror, not really seeing what was going on. Then one day the glass broke and they were introduced to reality. Mirrordust is when their world shatters (into dust), and Reflections is when they mend the mirror and regain control of their lives again, but are still aware of the reality behind the glass.
In fact, for all stories I have ever written, I come up with the titles first!..............................

Except, this one.

This is the first time that I have ever known exactly what the story is going to be about, and not know what the title is! I'll be honest in the fact that the title somehow glues my writing together, it helps me to not stray away from the main point of the story / the overall message. So, I was thinking about cool things like Black Lullabies and Dark Melodies (because it has a lot to do with music and dark magic) but they didn't have that "OMG I SO GOT TO READ THAT!" feel. They were more like "Eeh, that's cool." So then I thought about something spooky and mysterious like "Cinderland", full of fire and smoke (and....Cinderella?) But, for obvious Disney related reasons, Cinderland just wouldn't do.

So, then of course I started this huge quest just find cool words and ideas to help me with the title, unsure of what I really wanted my "behind the line" message to be. Sigh. I'm still working on this...what? MAY 31st? YOU MEAN IT'S BEEN A WEEK? And, I still don't have a title. Joy.

And as for names, I have a terrible habit. In one book, I always tend to pick names with the same letter. For example, when I first seriously started writing Broken Glass I had: Rune, Ruby, Raina, Ray, Robin, etc, etc. And now, I have: Salem, Seth, Snake, Seiki, Symphony, etc, etc. It really is a terrible mental problem. So what shall I do? Go back and re-name characters, making sure that the name meaning coincides with the character personality.

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Sorry, that's what happened when I smashed my head against the keyboard. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go out in search again. If you find any names that you think would suit a dark and mysterious scientist, or names with evil / elegant meanings............or just a name that you think would sound good in a steampunkish novel, please feel free to comment.

Until then....to my last scrap of hope for ideas................SERENDIPITY! http://nine.frenchboys.net/

Enjoy the warm weather! :D

Saturday, May 28, 2011


My mother is the one responsible for finding this, but I am the one responsible for believing every word. (In no way do I own this, I just wanted to share a beautiful piece of writing that made my heart beat just a little bit faster.)

A Girl Who Reads

“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things will come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

-Rosemarie Urquico

Friday, May 6, 2011


I now know what it means to have a great story. I was wrong before, I always thought that a great book, or comic, or movie had to be a certain way...and I shall admit, that I was wrong. I have just (this very moment) completed watching the first season of an Anime (a form of a Japanese TV series) titled "Kuroshitsuji," or translated in English as "Black Butler". It is the first Anime that I have ever loved soooo much, and cried so much in....without being disappointed.

You see, at the very beginning of the series, you know that the main character (Ciel Phantomhive) is going to have his soul eaten by his demon butler (Sebastian), due to a contract they made: Sebastian will help Ciel get revenge for his parents death, and the price to be payed is his soul... You also know, as the viewer, that in the end, (at least the end of season one) that Ciel is going to die...you know that all humans do, and that Sebastian will live on, for he is indeed a demon.

And yet, through this complicated plot of British tea and dark magic, you find yourself constantly yelling at the screen, for Sebastian to come and save Ciel, and for various characters not to perish by means of fire, chainsaw, or cutlery. And still, even in the very last episode, you sit on the edge of your seat, (sobbing hysterically in my case) for some turn of events to occur.

And when they do not, you find yourself amazed at how beautiful the story was. You find yourself satisfied, and awed at how well everything came together. Even though, it was a tragic end for our most beloved Ciel, you really can't think of a better way to end the series, for it is a befitting death....for a Phantomhive, that is. And even though there is a second season, where characters miraculously come back to life, and more exciting and thrilling adventures take place (and where there is a much happier ending for some ;p) in that moment at which Sebastian "hears the final call" you realize that you don't need anything more. (Despite the fact that you know you are going to watch the second season, because Sebastian is just that fabulous, and you don't know what you'd do without more of him.) But, still, all your questions have been answered, and eventually, the curtain must fall at one point or another.

You see, this is what a spine-tingling, heart-racing, mind-boggling, fantastic story really is. In the end, you won't be left wanting more. You won't be unsatisfied. And you'd realize that in the end, it wouldn't matter if it was happy or not, because you would still love the world and the characters, and you would live in that story over and over and over again.

I commend all the authors and creators who have accomplished such a story. I applaud all of those who have left their fans satisfied. And let this be in memory, for all the characters who died for the fate of a greater tale. (Whether they stay dead or not ;P)

Now, I'm going to go look over my own story......with a new perspective, clearer mind, and the hope that I too can write a great story.

Enjoy the rain!