Going on Hiatus

Anyone know the original source of this?
I'm back from vacation, feeling more refreshed than I was before.

Sorry for not posting on Monday, but while reading through all the books I bought at Barnes and Nobles, and writing/procrastinating in the sun/shade, I made the conclusion that the best way to improve this blog is to take a little break. A hiatus.

Starting now, until June 11th or sooner, I'll stop regular posting. No Weekly Round-ups, Writer's Update, yMusic, or Monday posts.

I might cheat, but don't count on it.

Don't worry though, I'll be taking this time to build up the buffer, create a plan for guest posting, and revise Manifestation Files. Especially the latter. It's the reason why this blog exists in the first place, after all.

By holding off this commitment for a forenight, it might help give this blog the energy it needs to stay hopping for years to come.

So, bye for now! Remember to come back, and don't burn the house down!

yMusic: Review of Kimbra's Vows

Only slightly representative of her music.
Kimbra's album, Vows, is another item I pre-ordered on iTunes, just like Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials.

Ever since I spotted her in "Somebody That You Used to Know" by Gotye, just like everyone else, and YouTube recommendations led me to her "Settle Down", like a fraction of that everyone else, I kept an eye on her. Dad did too, partly because of her looks.

Look at the album cover (to the left)!  The body paint patterns are nicely done, to the point I didn't know it was body paint until a YouTube video of the process was posted.

But regardless, it's worth the $10 I shelled out to Mom.

Weekly Round-up: 5/25/12





Writer's Update: 5/23/12 (School's Out!)


It's official. As of yesterday, school is out. I received my certificate, I made reassurance with my social circle that we'll be seeing each other over the break, and I made sure I brought my backpack home.

Oh, and I kept myself composed during the ceremony by chewing on the program and singing "Shake it Out" by Florence + the Machine under my breath. "It's always darkest before the dawn" and all that. I expected to be a little more emotional, but considering it was the end of the school year, it was enough.

Really, I wished I had done more this year.

But I have summer break now. With school out, I have to create a new writing routine to adapt to the more wild schedule throughout the next three months or so. Summer classes, vacations...

In 750 Words last night, I made myself the most outlandish goal:  to finish Manifestation Files by the first day of school. To be specific, for me to start looking for agents.

Sure, it's a little too much, but's just a way to aim high--and a reminder to pick up the pace. And remember to do one of my online classes.


Since I'll have more time that I can either use or waste, that means there's more time for this. And more time to steer it into the right direction.

Right now, my top priority is to actually get people to visit this blog. The number of comments I got on Monday's survey were less than I expected. Which probably means I don't have enough people in the first place to get a wide variety of questions.

It could also mean some of you are just not interested into contributing to this blog, but hopefully, that's a minority.

In order to get more views and followers, I'm going to consider guest posting .In the next few days, I'll get a spreadsheet, find a ton of blogs in this niche, write 10-20 posts, and start soliciting like crazy. With hope, I'll have a spike in traffic by the end of June.

In order to do this, I might start doing book reviews on Monday also.

NEXT WEEK: I get into the matter of Critique Circle.

YOUR TURN: What are you looking forward to this summer?

EDIT: For clarification, I didn't finish Manifestation Files. I just made myself the goal to finish it by the end of the summer. Sorry if I confused you guys. 

A Survey For You Readers

Instead of having the regular Monday blog post, I'd like to ask a few questions.

For the few months I'd been running this blog, I feel like I've been doing it in the dark. I get a handful of comments every few posts or so, but nothing much about what you guys truly think about Thoughts of a Young Aspiring Writer.

My main goal is to build a community, sort of like what's in the comments at Superhero Nation. A part of this is encouraging discussion, debate--and feedback.

After reading the same tip again and again at other blogs, I'd like to ask you guys your opinions.


(You can answer all or none of these questions. You're allowed to comment as Anonymous.):

  • What do you think of "Thoughts of a Young Aspiring Writer" overall?
  • What are your most favorite and least favorite posts?
  • What types of posts would you want to see?
  • Do you see this as a writer's blog, or a reader's blog?
  • What types of posts do you prefer to see on Monday? Writing craft articles, reviews (Thoughts On), or experiences with writing (Daily Life)?
  • Would you be okay with me doing more guest posts if it means doing less writer's craft articles on this blog?
  • What are your thoughts on the Writer's Updates?
  • What are your thoughts on the Weekly Round-ups?
  • What are your thoughts on yMusic? Should they be posted on Saturday or Sunday?
  • What method do you use to watch this blog? (Blogger, RSS, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Anything else?

Comments Policy

As you probably have seen on the sidebar, I've now spelled out my comments policy. All comments are read and replied to. The latter might now hold true if this blog gains a huge amount of commenters, but I don't see that happening for years.

Comments are one of the main ways I gauge reader's reactions. Even if it's a simple "great post", it's a sign that I'm doing something right.

So if you have anything you want to say,  please comment. Even if you think I'm not doing a great job, please phrase it in a civil way, and I will listen.

I'm still inexperience, but I need your help if I want to provide the best content you want.

Fire away.

P.S.: Even if you discovered this post after the fact, leave a comment. Every blogger, or anyone who writes, looks for feedback all the time. Nobody's perfect, but with your words, we can get closer to that.

yMusic: Nicki Minaj's Right By My Side

Sorry, but as long as Nicki doesn't stop releasing music videos for her latest albums, these reviews ain't gonna stop.

Nicki Minaj's "Right By My Side":

While "Beez In the Trap" was underwhelming and "Starships" was a little too much out there, I think "Right By My Side" hits a uncertain yet appealing amount of bathos.

ba•thosa. An abrupt...transition in style from the exalted to the commonplace, producing a ludicrous effect.
Basically, the music video straddles the line between being "sweet" and "weird". In the end though, "sweet" provides the base, and "weird" provides the icing without globing up the entire cake. Who else but Nicki (or Lady Gaga) can get away with pulling an utterly ridiculous expression right before a standard shot of the full moon?

But on the video itself, it matches the general tone.

The "b-scene" footage of Nicki in a black dress during the first verse actually produced flickers of emotions, due to the passion she put into her lip-syncing. Although buffering kind of defused that, the romance produced a couple of smile-worthy touches.

To admit though, I got Chris Brown and Nas mixed up the first time, since the former barely appears. Also, I expected something bad to happen, (like with Rihanna's "We Found Love"), but this is pretty much straight-forward. More of a fluffy piece of life than a story.

In any case though, "Right By My Side" works visually. It might not have as much of a spotlight as the "Starships" music video, but by itself, fans would certainly love the middle ground established.

Weekly Round-up: 5/18/12





Writer's Update: 5/15/12 (Critique First)

This week I got only a little progress with Manifestation Files done, but it at least is a little progress.

Manifestation Files

A public critique of the first chapter is up today! Basically, I got it through a combination of luck and taking the intitive, both traits that work in your favor in anything.

Basically, Carol Riggs runs a blog called Artzicarol Ramblings. After reading one of her posts (which made the Weekly Round-up), I saw the sidebar and the call for first pages for public critiques.

I simply inquired on the matter. It turned out that the queue was empty. Zero people were waiting in line! She hadn't have any first pages to critique for at least for a couple of weeks. With me starting the revision process for my book, I jumped onto it.

Carol Riggs exceeded my expectations by more than a few notches. I expected her to take more of Janice Hardy's approache (who critiqued an earlier version of my first page a few months ago), and only provide advice within the post itself. However, Carol and I ended up exchanging e-mails about Manifestation Files. Not just the first page, but also some more general elements of the work. Her advice, as a whole, is useful and invogating.

Right now, I'm using her advice to revise my first chapter, and beyond.


Something like this.
First of all, boat-building. It's an end-of-the-year project the grade always work on. Basically, for two days, all core subjects shut down so groups of four can use carbboard and lots of packing tape to craft boats within the classroom. Sure, there are schedule conflicts, but it simply results with the team rotating out.

It's a project that requires creativity, thinking, and ears that are willing to endure the sound of multiple rolls of packing tape being ripped for hours. I got used to the noise somewhere down the line.

Guess what we named our boat? The S.S. Tardis. A couple of us are in the Doctor Who Club.

In the afternoon, we took the boats to the pool to race them in the water. There were two ways the boats sank:

  • Water leaks into the boat, filling it and causing the weight of it to crumble the boat and sink downwards.
  • The boat tilts due to an imbalance, and the above happens.

Fortunately, my team's boat survived. Check DeviantART tomorrow for another photo.

Music Video and Book Competition:

The subject of the subject video, it's almost finished. One problem I encountered was that I missed an entire class period when I went with a team to this book trivia competition. We were the reigning campipns. We didn't win, however. But at least we came home with a minor door prize. And got to eat some Fro-Yo.

Remembering facts from books, especially the spefific facts, can be nerve-wrecking, but thrilling.

But back on the subject of the music video, since that's the thing I had been rambling about for weeks. I got another day of filming in the last seven days. I took all three actors into the hallway to film the second half of the video. I encountered a couple of problems:

People keep passing between the camera and actors, even though it was during classes. I remedied this by adjusting one of my planned angles.
The actors felt a little wierded out by the actions they had to do. It's only ankle-pulling, people! I can have you guys hug if I want to, but ankle-pulling is nothing! It doesn't stop one of my friends snarking about whatever I'm filming a music video or ghost porn.

Heh, ghost porn.

On the bright side, I finished filming today. I'm using tomorrow to do all of the editing during lunch and the period after. Hopefully, there will be time to put in the mandatory bloopers.


P.S. Oh, and I actually forgot about this while typing this! It was my birthday Saturday. Guess how many books and Barnes and Nobles gift cards I got?

And the blog hop? We had six people total. Not a large number, but it could have been worse. Next time, I'll be more organized and get the word out and reap a larger benefit from it all.

Forum Repost: How Hollywood Movies Are Written

For an extra Tuesday treat, here's another Forum Repost! Every once in a while, I either write an especially good post on a forum, or I stumble onto one particular one.

In this case, I found it. Someone else linked it from another thread, which I followed.

Ever watched a movie and wondered what the people behind it were thinking? This post by Some Sort of Troper has some insight in the jumbled process. Not only it is detailed, but it maintains a humorous tone (minor editing was made and links were added):

I believe the way it goes is:
  • Studio Executive needs idea for movie.
  • Executive talks to Film Producer about idea.
  • Producer hires writer to make script based on idea which they do.
  • Producer comes up with more ideas to tell writer. Writer tries to work them into script.
  • Producer starts hiring people
    • Director- he'll want input on the script and will perform rewrites.
    • Big Name Actor- he'll want input on the script and will ask for rewrites.
    • Another Writer- will be hired to do minor touch up at small fee, will get forced into doing major rewrites.
    • Note: these hirings may be done in any order.
  • Director takes over project, work begins on pre-production.
  • Production begins, director takes pet writer friend (Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon etc.) with him.
    • (Optional) Take writer along to fix some dialogue for one scene. When writer is stuck in jungle/desert/frozen wastes with crew as only way out, force them to write even more dialogue.
      • Give writer acting position in cast and then hope that he'll do some writing when stuck in jungle (aka the Predator option).
  • Post-production begins. Director starts to pass on footage to Producer and Executive.
  • Producer and Executive question marketability of creative decisions.
  • Film nearly complete. Film shown to test audiences. Test audiences treat showing as occasion where they have to pass judgement of how the world should work.
    • Rewrites. Scenes reshot.
  • Film shown to MPAA. MPAA demands changes.
    • Option 1: Film is edited to conform to MPAA requests.
    • Option 2: Studio Executive uses huge piles of money and influence to get away with current cut.
    •  Inconsequential changes may need to be done as symbolic gesture.
    • Option 3: rewrites- unavailable due to production crew having moved onto other products (and writer having moved onto a life of alcoholism).
    • Note: These options assume enough influence to actualy get MPAA feedback in the first place.
Can occur at multiple points during process:

And that is why I want to be a novelist.

A Time-Induced Goof-up

First of all, I would like to admit that I had a brain fart when I promised a couple of posters a blog post.

Thing was, I felt it was Wednesday.

Keyword is "felt". I typed the word Tuesday when gathering the posts for the weekly round-up. As you'll see on the Writer's Update (which you'll see tomorrow), school has been crazy. It confused my internal sense of time.

So I was wondering why the public critique for my first page wasn't up, and why Mom was taking us somewhere we usually go on Tuesday.

All this after I promised a blog post on Facebook and Twitter.

To apologize for this, I'll have another post up soon, since the mobile app is a bit glitched. Ivhope I hadn't confused anyone.

YOUR TURN: Have you ever had a time-induced goof-up?

Are You Procrastinating?

He never did.

My estimate is that you have something better to do than to read this blog. Your novel? A homework assignment? Dirty dishes in the sink?

Well, read on if you want to cure it.







Scroll down a little more.









I always wanted to do that!

But seriously, two ways to beat procrastinating is to:

  • Physically disable your Internet, or
  • Type "I am going to work on X."
These are two tricks I have to use more often, but both provides that oomph to shove you away from Refresh Hell or the Social Media Loop.

Now, where was I?


(And please, once you're done doing whatever you need to do, please come back and leave a comment, so I know it's worth sending you guys away).

yMusic: Karmin's "I Told You So" and Maroon 5's "Payphone"

From now on, yMusic is on Sunday. Is that okay with you guys? If not, please comment and I'll consider putting in some more effort Friday.

Funny enough, it could have been Saturday...except I scheduled the blog hop then. And it was my birthday.

Never mind that. First of all, let's start with...

Karmin's "I Told You So":

I first found the music video  for this on When I typed the rough draft of this post, it was yet to be released for the "general public" on YouTube. Sure, there's the lyrics video, but that doesn't count.

Karmin is another rising duo. They're in the genre of hip-pop, although they're more "pop" than "hip". I checked out some of their rap covers online, which are for the most part, great. No wonder they were picked up by a label. And since I heard their lead single for their EP on the radio, "Brokenhearted", they're going to be around for a while.

Now, "I Told You So" is, for the most part, rap. The lead singer has an unique rap voice. Some people complained that it's "talking with an accent", as the inflection seems to recall Lil' Wayne or someone similar than him. Regardless, the lyrics are actually interesting. "I play the war drums, I play the drums." Ignoring that "I was right, you was wrong" is grammly incorrect, it makes for a line that sticks.

Also, the chrous is the reptititious kind of earworm. "I told you so, don't want to brag but I want you to know."

On the music video itself, it's...confusing. I'm not exactly sure what's going on at the end, but it basically shows the lead singer as a patient at some sort of ward being interrogated about...someone. Either her or someone else. Or it is something? As usual, it's inseperated with other shots, including the lead singer draped in front of a lightning background as she spits out the bridge at...lightning speed.

But tell me how you would see the ending. I see a twist ending going on, but I'm not exactly sure what's the deal going on during the music video.

Maroon 5's "Payphone":

This is another music video I found on, although it went up on YouTube Friday.

For the sake of conciseness, I'll be giving you a list of thoughts:

Chihuahua Zero's thoughts while watching music video:

  • Whoa! Criminals bursting in?
  • Guess it's a medias in res video.
  • Oh, they're going to make a run for it together.
  • The love interest's going to die. I know it.
  • Ah, so this is the clean version. At least the substitutions are natural. "All those fairy tales are full of it." Gold.
  • Wait! Why are all of those police cars chasing after him?
  • I guess they mistake him as some sort of killer. Must be overkill though, considering they're in the middle of nowhere.
  • They preserved the original lip-syncing.
  • They're using the warped word version of censoring for the featured rapper.
  • But what does he got to do with anything with the music video?
  • Full-on action movie.
  • But what happened to the love interest?
  • Wait, was he wearing those glasses at the beginning? Or rather, during the "present" or whatever? I must be misremembering.

Okay, now watch the music video and see if those thoughts match up. Or at least, you can spot the spots where they came up.

In general, it's a good story-based video. There isn't much consistency throughout it, like how the girl disappeared half-way through when the lead singer goes on a full-on car chase, and there could have been a little more of a plot.

The Hollywood Reporter summarizes my thoughts in a better way:

"Although it's fun to see such a big-budget clip from the band, the story line doesn't make complete sense. Since Levine's character didn't rob the bank, why does he keep running from the cops? And why does he leave the pretty lady behind?"

From a story-telling perspective, it has glaring flaws that some other bloggers might point out, if they review this. Yet again, music videos aren't aiming for that sort of stuff. They're mostly in it for the entertainment and the advertisement (of the music).

YOUR TURN: What are your thoughts on these two music videos and the music itself?

PS: Don't forget to check out the official playlist for yMusic! In it are all the videos I reference in this weekly series and more.

For example, I added the lyrics videos for "I Told You So" and "Payphone", which aren't linked in this blog post. Check them out. Don't forget to like and subscribe.

TV Tropes Blog Hop: Remember the Noodle Incident?

The TV Tropes Blog Hop is finally here! Although we have a small number of participants, it doesn't mean you can't check them out! Don't forget to visit all the blogs listed at the end of the post. It'll only cost about five minutes of your time, but it's worth it.

For the yMusic post, I'm sorry to say that I'm moving it to Sunday indefinitely.

Keep your eyes out for more blog hops in the future. But for now, here's the post I created for this blog hop:

That's right, Calvin. You never explained it.

Ah, the Noodle Incident, named after one of Calvin and Hobbes' most famous jokes. It's one of my favorite tropes that I wish I can use more often in my stories.


According to its page on TV Tropes, a Noodle Incident:
  • is something from the past that is sometimes referred to but never explained
  • with the implication that it's just too ludicrous for words
  • [with] the reality that any explanation would fall short of audience expectations

To explain it in my own words, a Noodle Incident is a past event that is unexplained, forcing the audience to imagine all of the details.


In most cases, the dialogue which brings up such an incident in passing dodges around the issue, hinting at it. The same set of phrases are sometimes used, liked "remember the time when...?", "let's not go there," "oh no, not again!", etc.

Of course, there's a few variations:

  • A true Noodle Incident: an incident that is alluded to and never elaborated in-universe. Out-of-universe, Word of God might give in or just let the audience know. (The trope namer)
  • A Noodle Incident that starts off with all the trappings of a true one, but is revealed later in a work. (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's bowl of petunias, at least in the novels)
  • A Noodle Incident that briefly happens before the work that has a huge effect on the plot, but it's never elaborated. (The Ed, Edd, n Eddy movie, according to my sources)
  • A Noodle Incident that occurs during the story off-screen, but it's never elaborated in full. (Whatever "trade secret" Kurama used to make Kaito laugh in his no-talk zone)
However, like many similar tropes, many instances of the Noodle Incident don't exactly stick to the audience. It becomes a throw-away joke, instead of being a moment that fans speculate or get frustrated over for years to come.


There're ways to make it stick though.

Here's some factors I have observed that lead to a Noodle Incident sticking out:

  • Give it a name: "Noodle Incident" is a short but memorable phrase that makes discussing it easier than "that one incident with the noodles".
  • Bring it up multiple times: Although Calvin and Hobbes ran for years in a medium that is hard to read all installments, The Noodle Incident pops up enough time that many readers during its initial runs and the years after that hear of it at least once.
  • Induce a reaction: The stronger the characters react to it--whatever it involves dialogue, facial expressions, reactions, or plain old emotions--the more memorable it is. Fleeting Noodle Incidents are rarely remember.
  • Use plenty of humor: The Noodle Incident was written as a joke. The aforementioned "bowl of petunias"   was one of many jokes that stood out in the movie adaptation due to its execution.
A good rule of thumb for seeing if a Noodle Incident had great impact is if a fan at one point wrote a fan fiction around it, indicating that it incited speculation.

Examples From My Own Writing:

Now, in my current project, Manifestation Files, I have one of the "will be explained later" variety, The Cat Incident. Whatever it is, it caused the split between the narrator and his former best friend. And despite the two having quite a lot of conflict between each other, it's implied they were really close before it happened. In future drafts, I'll definitely have it pop up more, with plenty of reactions.

For a "true Noodle Incident", I have one incident in a superhero idea that I have: Spartan Wrestling. Basically, it was the final dare in a Truth or Dare game the protagonist participated it at a teen party. From the bits I thought up in my mind, he gets quite flustered around it, yet it was worth the $500 jackpot he won.

Not to mention it sounds a bit dirty--which it's not, but that's one reason it sticks in my mind.

YOUR TURN: Do you have a Noodle Incident in your work?

Weekly Round-up: 5/10/12

Notice any changes? Well, as an experiment, I moved the sidebar to the right, to see if that draws more attention to the meat of the blog. Please comment on your thoughts about this change.

No Post of the Week (again), but there's a larger list of links as usual. Pick out the ones you like, and leave a comment over at these articles telling the authors that "Chihuahua Zero said hi". Thanks for dropping by!

(Strangely enough, three blogs in this round-up have two links posted. That how the dice falls, especially for those who deliver high quality again and again).





Writer's Update: 5/8/12

Social Media:

I have been obsessing over this a bit.

First of all, I set up a Facebook account, since these Rafflecopter contests have the "Like" button as one of the way to earn new entries. I probably scarred my wall by trying out one of the mega giveaways, but I'll probably avoid those, for the sake of my sanity.

Besides, I already started playing Bejewered Blitz and The Sims Social. No need to get myself more addictive over the game.

Also, I joined Klout, which is a social media indicator. According to it, once I connect most of my major social media profiles, my score is about 38 out of 100. Which isn't too shabby, but I'm aiming for a little more. I'll leave myself a note to not get myself addictive over this and only check it once or twice a day.

Lastly, I also joined StumbleUpon, since a blog post pointed me that direction. Once I put in some of my pages into the system, I'll probably not stick with this. You know something's wrong when you look into the topic of "Writing" and it suggests you a newspaper article based on football. Seriously, I had to block that newspaper. I didn't see anything worth reading there.

Manifestation Files:

Honestly, I'm not sure what progress I made on Manifestation Files. I mostly just did some organizing for the alpha/beta readers, but besides that, I have been slacking off in this project.

Perhaps getting it into the revision stage is harder than I thought. This night, I'll probably try working on working on it actually for once this week, so I can fall into the habit of revising.

One problem is that I'm unfamilar with the revision process as a whole.

Yet again, I can think of this period of inactivity as a brief rest time between drafts, so I have a fresher mind when I approach the work. It also helps that I shifted document editors (from Microsoft Word to Google Documents), which I heard can help with perceiving a story in a different way.


I'm also procrastionating on the music video here. I'm going to work on it Thursday, and perhaps Wednesday if I push all three actors toward working. It's important that I get this done soon, as it due two weeks from now, when school ends.

As we all know, deadlines are closer than they appear. :p

In non-creative news, we're making boats out of cardboard. We're going to be riding them through the pool and hoping that they don't sink. But in the end, it's a science/math matter, along with an excuse to shut down all core classes for two days.

It will also affect music video filming, since all three of my actors will probably want to work with their partners, but there's always next week, right?

In general, I need to push a little more to get this project done before the people that have even less done at the moment. Because as the deadline zooms toward us at high-speed, production is going into hyper drive.


I can't give much details, as it can potentially give away my location, but I went to a book trivia competition yesterday. I'll reveal details next week.

What NOT to Do in Writing (#storycraft)

On Sunday, I dropped into the #storycraft chat on Twitter (which is hosted every Sunday at 6 PM EST to 7 PM). It was a last-minute decision, since I was procrastinating anyways. No surprise. While it was a great discussion, yet I could have been doing some more useful stuff (like writing Sunday's yMusic post), I did got out a few writing tips from myself.

Namely, the theme of the discussion was "what not to write".

While there are exceptions to all of these, all of these are stuff I have a bone to pick with. All but the first one apply to one book I really disliked (guess which one. I dare you), but this is a generally full list I got out from the discussion. All were from my Twitter, @chihuahuazero:

  • Whitewashing the past=big no-no.
  • What not to do: Make the protag unlikable AND boring.
  • ? Don't wait until the end for us to care a little about the protag.
  • ? Make the antag more interesting than the protag.
  • ? Have every character except the protag's little sis [be] unlikable.
  • ? Never solve ANY of the injustices presented in the book.
  • ? Have the protag not have a high point of reference in the beginning of a tragedy.
  • ? Be too risky with a 2nd person story. You're already on thin ice [for most readers].
  • ? Maintain the same kind of mood for most of the story.

You get the idea. There are exceptions, but you'll have to be skilled in order to get away with all of these flaws. Fortunately, very few of us want to write a book where most of these are involved.

The book these were from wasn't written by someone experienced enough. It's appeal was in a more experimental, lit-fic place.

YOUR TURN: Do you have any tips on what NOT to do in writing?

(Note: This post was written in about twelve minutes. I would've done it faster if I wasn't keeping one ear onto "Evanescence").