Sunday, October 15, 2017

Short Post and a Song #132: No, I don't know what a love prance is any more than you do.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend, and even if you're not it's about to get much better.

Today we begin our second trip down the memory lane of books I wrote as a child with a laminated masterpiece called It Takes Four.

I fucking loved the movie It Takes Two as a kid. My youthful obsession with the Olsen twins can probably be best explained by the fact that I had two older sisters who were much closer in age to each other than they were to me, and so I desperately longed for my own partner in crime in the form of a twin.

It Takes Two is basically The Parent Trap only even less plausible, since the two identical girls in It Takes Two are miraculously supposed to not even be related. 

Ah the good old days of drawing birds as the letter "V".

They're supposed to be identical and yet one is several inches taller than the other. 

It appears that I also chose to call something in this book a "Love Prance". 

Jesus Christ, Child Self, get it together.

I love you, Mom and Dad. Here, have some creepy, misshapen hearts with Olsen faces on them.

We'll pick up with the proper story next week.


"Alive With The Glory of Love" by Julia Nunes

I posted about Julia Nunes a few years back and thought I'd share a favorite video of hers: her cover of one of my favorite songs (original by Say Anything). You can really see here what a fantastic performer she is and her amazing instincts with arranging harmonies.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Short Post and a Song #131: Forrest Gump rough draft

FORREST GUMP: My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." 'Course you could know if you read the inside of the box, but Mama wasn't much for readin', said books were "where the devil was hiding."


"Hobo's Lament" by Larry and His Flask

This song is fantastic. Despite some fairly depressing lyrics, the song is bouncy and fun and head-bopping-y as fuck. It really gets going around 2:54, and the guitar at around 3:58 is just bananas.

Sorry I've been absent (again) in recent history, Velocininjas. For whatever reason my body has been not been doing a very good job absorbing potassium for the past few weeks and, apparently, potassium is kind of an important thing to not be deficient in. So I've been fairly weak and worthless these days, laying around and watching TV. I've started supplementing with potassium and things are already starting to improve.

I've reached the end of my supply of Short Posts and am not really feeling up to writing more, so instead we are going to take another trip down memory lane. This will be a journey through It Takes Four, a book I wrote for my third grade class. 

The back cover

Translation: It takes Two was A very good film. Now the sequel It Takes Four. Two recodnized characters with a double bump. Read it to see what I mean.

Well I for one am very excited to find out what the fuck "recodnized characters with a double bump" means in the weeks to come.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Short Post and a Song #130: The moral of this story is that flip flops are terrible.

ME: It's nice out today. I should wear flip flops!

[roughly five seconds after leaving my apartment in the flip flops]

ME: *sobbing* Why do I always make decisions that end up hurting me in the end?

COP: You need to get up off the sidewalk, ma'am.


"Oslo in the Summertime" by of Montreal

I'm back to working on the second book in the Renaissance Experiment trilogy now, but last week I took a break to clear my head and splash around in a few of my other works in progress. I spent most of the week editing my monster novel, Moorhouse, but I also did some conceptual work on a science fiction project of mine, tentatively titled Tabula Rasa.

Halfway through writing Moorhouse I found a song that I could imagine playing during the opening credits of the movie version of my novel. Despite being a severe case of thinking way too far ahead, this really helped crystallize in my mind what the important themes were of what was at the time an overly complicated story.

For Tabula Rasa I imagine "Oslo in the Summertime" playing right at the beginning of the story's first scene. A group of young adults wake up on a beautiful but deserted island, and no one has any memory of who they are or how they got there. There's something in this song that just perfectly captures for me how unsettling an experience like that would truly be, how a person might almost become sort of numb and just float through it all, because what else could you do?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Short Post and a Song #129: Gotham can be a real dick.

GOTHAM: Fuck off, Batman, you're a weird criminal and we don't want you.

*Batman leaves*

*Something terrible happens to Gotham*

*Batman reluctantly returns*

GOTHAM: What the hell, Batman, where were you? You could've prevented this whole thing, you asshole.


"Love Man" by Otis Redding

"Love Man" is another one of those songs I had to hear randomly on a playlist before I could divorce it from the movie I first saw it in (Dirty Dancing). To be honest I still have trouble listening to it without imagining Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey sway-dancing, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

I'm posting this on Friday since I'm going to Love Dan's family's lake house for the long weekend. "But, but, the alliteration!" you're probably thinking, since like me, alliteration is probably something that haunts your thoughts day and night. But I think Short Post and a Song will survive being posted on a non-S day just this once.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Short Post and a Song #128: Well, we had a good run.

[watching Alien]

Me: You know John Hurt's in this movie.

Danlien: Oh yeah, which one is he?

Me: The one with the alien on his face.

ExtraterrestriDan: Heh, is that how he got hurt?




Danvin the Martian:

Me: Get out


"Call Me" by St. Paul and The Broken Bones

This 2014 song sounds like it came straight out of the 70s, right down to the phone number's lack of area code and use of the term "pick up that telephone", and I love it so goddamn much.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Short Post and a Song #127: right in the brain face

me: got a lot of work to do, better get a large coffee today

brain: you know coffee will only increase your anxiety and actually make it harder for you focus on work

me: *slaps brain right in the brain face* shut up idiot


"Hey" by The Pixies

I first became familiar with The Pixies the same way I get into a lot of bands: I heard one of their songs in a movie I loved. The movie in question was Fight Club, and the song was the wonderful "Where is My Mind?".

Much as I adore that song, this one was the first Pixies song that really shifted me into full "Holy shit this band is amazing" mode. "Hey" manages to sound bluesy, rocky, and punky all at once. And everything going on guitar and bass-wise from 1:15-2:05 is so great it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

This song is also good for writing deeply emotional scenes. I've used it more for pretty passionately unhappy scenes, but it could also work well for a cathartic kissing scene (as it does in this scene from "How I Met Your Mother"). That kind of versatility is just one more reason "Hey" is one of my very favorite songs.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Buy me some jeans then

You might be surprised to see me here on a Saturday. You might be thinking, "What the fuck is this, she only blogs on Sundays anymore." 

I don't know why you sound hypothetically hostile over this. Like many others, you probably have trouble embracing change.

I'm sorry this has been pretty much the "Short Post and a Song" blog for so long; it wasn't intentional. But I do have a few longer things in the works for the blog, which should be popping up in September sometime.

A lot of the online writing I've been doing these days has been telling jokes over on Twitter. It helps me practice being concise and being funny, both things I want to bring to my fiction writing (or at least that's what I tell myself). 

There's also a lovely community of jokesters who are some of the nicest, funniest, most supportive people you'll ever meet through your computer screen. We have joke contests sometimes, and I started drawing my winners' tweets as their prizes. I also drew a few for friends' birthdays

I recently had a tweet I liked do pretty decent, so I decided to try drawing it too, and thought I'd post it over here as well:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Short Post and a Song #126: I'm still gonna practice my wood-punching, just in case.

Watching Kill Bill Vol. 2 makes me nervous about whether or not I'll be able to punch my way out when I get buried alive.

...And then I wonder why I'm so sure I'm going to be buried alive at some point in my life.


"You Never Can Tell" by Chuck Berry

Like "Misirlou" and "Stuck in the Middle with You", "You Never Can Tell" has become a Tarantino song to me first, and a regular song second. It's the song Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace dance to in a contest they later win (or at least steal the trophy to make it look like they won). 

I saw Pulp Fiction at age seven and many, many more times since then, so this song and that scene in the movie are inextricably linked in my mind. 

Still, when "You Never Can Tell" recently popped up on a playlist of mine, I was finally able to notice what a great song it is without John Travolta and Uma Thurman's Twist moves distracting me. This is an amazingly fun song. And just listen to that piano! No wonder all the icons of rock and roll stole their songs from Chuck Berry.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Short Post and a Song #125: What a cute, little boo-boo bear!

Guys! Since we don't have much of the book left, this is going to be the last day of our "Amerex: Land of the Unicorns" adventures. I hope you've enjoyed it, or at least had a kind of "meh" sort of feeling about the whole thing.

Translation: "What a cute, little boo-boo bear!" Then Jenna started to laugh. 

Kindor yelled, "What? No!" And he disappeared. When she got back to the castle Dolly had a huge smile on her face. 

"You've broken the spell!" That night the royal family held a huge banquet in Jen's honor. Then she went to sleep.

So the super funny yet also suspenseful thing the grandma said was "What a cute little boo-boo bear"? I feel gypped.

Translation: She woke up in her own bed. As long as Jenna lived she never had another dream like that but she never forgot Amerex: Land of the Unicorns.

The End

I'm so glad that I said "Amerex: Land of the Unicorns" one last time before the end of the book.

Translation: About the Author

Jill Karger is, 11 years old. She goes to Parkview and has two sisters. She loves acting, singing and dancing. She is very excited about her first hardcover book!

Aaaand it's over! Thanks, guys, this was a fun little trip down memory lane for me. 

You may have noticed that I said in my "About the Author" that this was my first hardcover book. Implying that at age eleven I had already written softcover books. As luck would have it I found one of them the other day, and will regale you with its powerful prose next time I run out of jokes.

The other book is a total rip-off of that Olsen twins movie It Takes Two, only there are two sets of twins. 

The title?

It Takes Four, obviously.


"She's a Riot" by The Jungle Giants

Spotify Discover tracked this song down for me and I've been listening to it a lot while writing, or walking around thinking about writing (something I do kind of a lot). The part of the song I'm most in love is most definitely the guitar line, and it makes me like the song even more now that I know a badass chick with amazing hair plays it.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Short Post and a Song #124: When my eleven-year-old self beats me at writing.

Translation: "I guess so," Jen said. Jenna ate a big dinner and slept in one of the many guest rooms. The next day she took a chariot to Kindors cave. She slowly went into the cave.

"Hello!" She hollered with a shivering voice. Then she saw two glowing, red eyes. Jenna screamed.

"What are you doing in my cave, little one?" Kindor said in a fake sweet voice.

I love that Jenna can just catch a chariot, like a taxi.

Translation: Jenna, sounding braver than she felt, said, "I know what you did to this place and I'm gonna fix it."

"Oh, you are. Well, why don't I just fix you," Kindor said. And he zapped her with his horn. Jenna felt all her happiness flushing out of her. *Obnoxious purple pen in lieu of italics*  Something funny. Something funny, she thought. *Back to equally terrible pencil* Then it hit her. In second grade her grandma picked up one of her classmates and said,

That's right, guys, eleven-year-old Jill stopped in the middle of a sentence and was just like, "Fuck this page, I want a new one".

Unless it's a cliffhanger, and eleven-year-old me was breaking formatting rules to create suspense. If so, well done, younger self. You are probably a much better writer than I am now.


"Montreal -40°C" by Malajube

I am astounded by how much I like this song. Despite the fact that I don't really listen all that closely to lyrics, I still don't usually get into songs in languages I don't understand. (I tried to look up the meaning and this one appears to be about having a big ol' boner for Montreal.) This silly French song is also just not my usual style and borderline obnoxious.

But I can't help it; this song makes me so happy. I can't help bounce-dancing around in my chair whenever I hear it. I think it could work great in the background of an old-friends-having-lots-of-fun-together sort of scene in a movie or show.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Short Post and a Song #123: Scaredly

Do you know what time it is? Do you???

Of course you do, since right now you are either using a computer, tablet, or phone, and all of those things have clocks.

But do you know that it is also Story Time? For the past few weeks I've been posting pages from Amerex: Land of the Unicorns, a book I wrote when I was eleven years old. If you wanna catch up just go back a few posts, I'll wait.




Have your eyeballs recovered from that blast of sheer awesomeness yet? (Or at least partly? Honestly I'm not sure they'll ever really be the same again. I'm not a scientist.) Okay, now let's get back to it!

Translation: Ralph quickly replied, "Of course, dearest. Right away." After the tea had come the four people sat in the parlor talking.

"Do you know why you're here, Jenna?" Hillary asked.

"I really have no idea, but if you don't mind my asking, why do all of you look so sad?" Jenna asked. Hillary's face darkened.

"That's what we wanted to talk to you about," Ralph said "Years ago an evil unicorn, Kindor cast a spell of sadness over Amerex. A daughter of Eve is the only thing that could break the spell."

Translation: "How would I break it?" Jenna scaredly asked.

Dolly answered, "We don't know. We just know only you can break it. Tomorrow we shall take you to Kindor's cave."

Jenna, getting more frightened by the minute asked, "What weapons shall I have?"

"None." Hillary said, "The spell can't be broken by violence. Will you try?"

I used to think I was pretty intelligent kid for my age at eleven. But that's kind of gone to hell now that I know that I believed "scaredly" was a word. But Jenna's quest has finally been introduced: Solve Amerex's depression problem by meeting an evil sadness unicorn.

Just look at that line of ladies there. They look more pissed off than sad, probably since my lack of ability to draw hands forced them into kinda confrontational poses.

Get ready for Kindor the evil sadness dragon in the next installment! Maybe Jenna will throw some Prozac at him.


"The Idea of Growing Old" by The Features

This is an irresistibly sweet song, and one that suits writing romantical-type scenes very well.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Short Post and a Song #122: Mutache

Brace yourselves, guys: Today you're getting not one, not two, but three pages of Amerex, mostly because I feel bad the first two pages don't have any pictures.

Translation: Then she saw the purple haired girl. The girl said,

"We've been expecting you Jenna."

"But this is just my dream last night, isn't it?" Jenna asked.

"I don't know about your dream but this isn't it." she said, confused. "Now lets get you cleaned up."

She washed off Jenna's cut and put a bandage on it.

Translation: After that Jenna realized how beautiful the castle was It had tons of chandeliers and their rugs and furniture had beautiful unicorns on them. The girl with the purple hair was named Dolly.

"Come and meet my parents the king and queen!" Dolly exclaimed suddenly, pulling Jenna into the prettiest room of all, the throne room. Jen saw a man with green hair, a mutache, and nice clothes.

Translation: Next to him was a beautiful lady with purple hair and orange streaks.

"These are my parents Queen Hillary and King Ralph," Dolly said proudly.

"Oh, hello!" Hillary said. "Welcome to Amerex: Land of the Unicorns."

"Mom, this is the daughter of Eve I dreamed about," Dolly said.

"Oh!" Hillary said, "Ralph, order some tea and scones so we can talk to Jenna."

So there's not a whole of note in those first two pages (except "mutache" lol), but that third one, hoo boy. I love how Queen Hillary welcomes her to "Amerex: Land of the Unicorns", like they have to say the whole thing every time. It would be like if someone saw the girl from that terrible Dirty Dancing sequel dancing, asked her what she was doing, and she replied, "Why Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, of course". 

I also enjoy King Ralph's hideously weird proportions:

I lost half my arm in the war and my leg is actually a broomstick.

You'd think being a king he'd be able to afford better pants.

Also good job straight-up stealing "daughter of Eve" from C.S. Lewis, child self, A+. 


"For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder

It feels like a Stevie sort of Sunday.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Short Post and a Song #121: It hurt a lot!

Well Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Velocininjas, because I have decided to give you not one but two pages of Amerex today because I am a wise and generous soul.

Translation: I must be dreaming, she thought. Soon she found herself in a castle, standing in front of the most beautiful girl with purple hair...

"Wake up Jen Jen, time for school!" her mom yelled. So Jenna woke up, got ready and went to school. At recess, she was sitting with her best friend Tommy, talking about the dream.

"Maybe you'll have it again tomorrow, and you'll get to see how it turns out," Tommy replied.

I like the ellipsis after "purple hair". It makes her hair seem so ominous.

Translation: "I hope so," Jenna said. That night she had the dream again but it was different somehow. She soon found out why. At first everything was the same but when she cut herself on the glass, it hurt. It hurt a lot! It started to bleed so she rushed to the castle from last night.

In case you didn't get it, it hurt when Jenna cut herself. It hurt a lot!


"Impossible Germany" by Wilco

The first two and a half minutes of this song are all well and good, but it's what happens after that point that makes the song the masterpiece that it is. I'm linking a live version of the song since I personally get a little bit of a proximity-to-awesomeness high when I watch those amazing guitarists go.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Short Post and a Song #120: Jenna is unimpressed.

We have finally reached the proper story of Amerex: Land of the Unicorns, so let's jump right into it.

Translation of Pencil Cursive: Once Upon a time...

One night Jenna had the weirdest dream. She seemed to be standing on a cloud. She saw tons of unicorns some flying, some walking around. (in obnoxious purple pen) None of them look happy, she thought. (back to hard-to-read-pencil) She saw lots of sharp glass things on the edge of clouds She walked up to one and touched it. She got cut. It didn't hurt or bleed.

My favorite thing is how thoroughly underwhelmed Jenna looks by all of this. "Standing on a cloud? *shrug* Seeing tons of unicorns? I've seen better. I'll just touch some of this pointy glass, I guess."


"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone

I am actually not feeling good at all, due to having been sick with this bug/flu thing that has left me feeling like a balloon overstuffed with mucus and grossness for a full week. But I hope listening to this song might help to jumpstart the recovery process.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Short Post and a Song #119: Hope you're surprised!

Sorry for my absence last week, Velocininjas. A graduation party and Father's Day kept me busy all weekend. But now I have returned for the next thrilling installment of Looking At A Book I Made In "Build Your Own Book" Class When I Was Eleven!

You guys are getting two pages this week, since we still haven't gotten to the real story yet. In case anyone needs a translation for my terrible handwriting, the dedication says, "I'd like to dedicate this book to my two sisters at camp. Hope you're surprised! Love, Jill".

I am 97% sure that neither of my sisters ever saw this book. Their loss, right?

Next week the story shall truly begin. Are you excited, guys? You should be.


"Just Jammin'" by Gramatik

I know I mentioned this track when I featured another song by Gramatik, but I decided it should get its own entry as well. Long songs without words are great for writing (or any kind of work you can do while listening to music, really), and "Just Jammin'" is one of the best songs of that ilk I've come across. You would think things would get repetitive during a six-and-a-half-minute-long song like this, but the melody keeps reinventing itself enough to keep things interesting.