Your Smile On Fire

...from the song Xavia

December 2007 - Posts

  • sorry no post

    Sorry I haven't posted in a while.

    I will soon. Swear.

  • seven songs

         Okay, later I will do a real post. Swear. Because I actually do have something to talk about. (Of course, by the time I get around to it I probably won't feel like talking about it, so there may or may not be a post on something specific coming up.) But anyways. Yesterday I was reading E. Lockhart's blog and I found this, so now it's my turn. And if you don't take the time to click the link, what it is is just a list of seven songs you're into, even if they are embarrassing/weird.


         So in no particular order, here's SEVEN SONGS. (On an unrelated note, seven is my favorite number.) They aren't the songs that especially mean something to me (although some of them do), just songs I happen to like a lot.

    1. Break Anotha by Blake Lewis
    2. White Flag by Dido
    3. Tattoo by Jordin Sparks
    4. New Routine by Fountains of Wayne
    5. Bubba Shot the Jukebox by Mark Chesnutt (Yes, I realize that's really really really weird. But I love this song so much.)
    6. I'm With You by Avril Lavigne
    7. I'd Lie by Taylor Swift (Unfortunately this isn't on her CD... not sure why. But I hope it's on her next one. Oh, and it's really hard to choose just one of her songs because they're all so amazing.)
  • in defense of the human condition of drama

         So today as I walked through the kitchen to get a garbage bag because I was cleaning my room (floor = clean now), I heard like three seconds of whatever talk radio show my dad had on. No idea what the show was actually about, but the snippit I heard was this guy saying, "You bring up an interesting point... is drama part of the human condition? Do we seek drama?"

         And now, of course, I'm wondering... is it part of the human condition? Do we, in spite of all our insisting that we "hate" drama, actually seek it out?


         Maybe. Yes and no, I think. I mean, there must be a reason for television shows like The Hills and Gossip Girl. They have an audience. And audience of people who, whether they admit to it or not, do to some extent, like drama. We all know that some people don't just like drama, but they thrive on it. They were the girls in jr. high (and beyond that) dated a new guy every week and always had brutally public breakups, girls found crying on the bathroom floor every other day over something her so-called best friend did. The guys and girls whose lives are everyone's business, and not because people pry, but because they make it everyone's business. Now, I'm not talking about that girl who somehow gets caught up in a web of drama and wakes up one morning like, how did that happen? I'm not even talking about the people we always hear gossip about. I'm talking about the people who spread the gossip. People who love to be the center of attention, who talk about themselves to whoever will listen, who give their opinion on everything and everyone, and who are always the first to hear the latest news. These are the SPOTLIGHT HOGGERS, the real GOSSIP GIRLS (even if they're guys) of our lives.


          I'm not talking about them.


         I'm talking about the rest of us, going about our day-to-day, only telling our closest friends of our personal dramas, not spreading gossip to everyone we meet. Do we really seek drama? Is it just part of our nature?

         I have a friend who's fond of saying she "hates" drama. And I am fond of quickly agreeing with her. But looking at it... I don't really hate drama, and I doubt she really does either. If we all hated it as much as we say we do, there wouldn't be any of it, because we wouldn't keep it going so strongly.

         I think secretly, everyone likes a little drama. We need it to spice up our otherwise boring lives. Because, let's face it - nobody's life is as busy/exciting/glamorous as we think or pretend it is. I'm not saying I love drama, or that anyone else does either. It makes life complicated and messy and way more ugly than it needs to be most the time. But we still like it, still keep it going.


         And, let's face it, sometimes drama is good. Sometimes it's needed. If not for drama, we would never have the guts to do a lot of really important things. We wouldn't let our friends know when they've hurt us, we'd just keep that hurt to ourselves and let it get way too bottled up. We wouldn't stand up for ourselves and risk rocking the boat when we know nobody's going to stand with us. We wouldn't talk openly about sensitive issues with our friends, or let them know when we think they've passed the line/messed up/whatever. We wouldn't confront anything or anyone. And we wouldn't put our lives, or even parts of them, on paper for the world to read.

         I'm saying it now: yes, drama is part of the human condition. Yes, we seek it out. And none of us hate it as much as we say.


         Any comments?


    PS. CDs? Anybody?

  • click the link

         Just directing anyone who's interested to Ally Carter's (the author of I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU) amazing post on self-publishing. Seriously, it's the best post I've seen yet on this subject... and I've seen a lot.

    Posted Dec 18 2007, 01:36 PM by jordynt with no comments
    Filed under: ,
  • on sending musics to people (and a long list of artists) (i want to make you a mix cd!!)

         Okay. So. I just got this idea. I kind of really want to make mix cds for people. I made one for my grandma a while back and when I was talking to her today she told me she lost it and was kind of upset about it because it's the only cd she has and she really wanted to listen to some music today. (She has cassette tapes but apparantly her tape player sorta ate them.) So I'm going to make her another cd and also one for my parents too (only I should do that soon so I can give it to them before my mom reads about it on here...)

         BUT I also kinda wanted to make mix cds for some other Red girls if any of you want me too (and you too, Amy G!). Because I am so in the musical mood right now. AND I DON'T JUST LISTEN TO COUNTRY!! So... uh... here's the deal. If you want me to make you a cd, tell me what sort of music you like and email me ( with your address (so I can mail them off).

         Some of the artists I listen too... (I'm just gonna make a huge list of them here so you guys can tell me which ones you like if you especially want me to include a particular artist.) (And yes, this is going to be one LONG list.)


    Dixie Chicks (country)

    Faith Hill (country)

    Sugarland (country)

    Tim McGraw (country)

    Rose Falcon (pop)

    Weezer (rock)

    Katherine McPhee (dance, or whatever you call it)

    Drake Bell (techno, kinda)

    Ashlee Simpson (pop)

    Avril Lavigne (rock)

    The Corrs (contemporary)

    Britney Spears (pop)

    Kenny Chesney (country)

    Carrie Underwood (country)

    Gwen Stefani (pop)

    Hilary Duff (pop)

    Alabama (country)

    Fountains of Wayne (rock)

    Lou Bega (mambo? idk)

    U2 (rock)

    Shania Twain (country)

    Coldplay (rock)

    Rascal Flatts (country)

    Savage Garden (techno)

    Mat Kearney (pop? rock?)

    Shedaisy (country)

    Raven (pop/rb)

    Jonas Brothers (rock?)

    Hellogoodbye (rock/techno)

    Miranda Lambert (country)

    Jane Monheit (jazz)

    Sara Evans (country)

    Steve Miller Band (rock)

    Rissi Palmer (country)

    Aly&AJ (pop/rock)

    Taylor Hicks (oldish)

    The Veronicas (rock)

    Sara Bareilles (soft)

    Cheyenne Kimball (rock)

    Feist (indie)

    Colbie Caillat (soft)

    Joanna (pop/soft)

    Paulo Nutini (pop)

    Mandy Moore (pop)

    Smash Mouth (techo? rock?)

    Jason Mraz (rock)

    Tyler Hilton (pop)

    Natasha Bedingfeild (pop)

    Jordin Sparks (pop/rb)

    Daniel Powter (pop)

    KT Tunstall (pop/soft)

    Jack Johnson (soft)

    Taylor Swift (country)

    Rodney Atkins (country)

    Blake Lewis (pop/whatever)

    Rooney (rock)


    Okay, so email me with whatever type of music you like/whatever mood you want your cd to be, and the address to mail it to. If you want a cd. AND HOPEFULLY YOU DO!


  • new name, anyone?

         I really want to change the name of my blog. Any ideas?


         Seriously, I WILL be blogging later.


         Oh, and PS. from now on I'm gonna start spelling my name with an E. Jorden. Heehee, I like it spelled that way. I probably won't spell it that way for long, but for now it's kinda cool.

  • must eat

          I would blog right now. I really want to blog right now.


         But I'm absolutely starving and making hash browns for myself, so everything will have to wait. My life is on pause until I get some food in me.

         Oh, and FYI, I don't actually have anything specific to talk about, I just haven't wrote for a while.

  • on being completely ignorant and condescending

         I used to read the reviews on this site,, because, well... to be honest I just really like reading reviews for some reason. But anyways, I quit reading the reviews on there and I forgot why until I went back today to try to find movie reviews for the new movie Juno, which I really want to see by the way.

         And then I remembered why I stopped visiting the site. Because of ideas like this one, from their review of Jordin Spark's CD. It says, and I quote, "Most of the songs are about love, longing, and heartache -- emotions that many tweens and teens haven't fully experienced yet..."

         Right. Because, what, heartache and love aren't things you can experience until you're grown up? Kids don't actually have feelings? In order to "fully experience" heartache, it has to be a big messy divorce, or at least a particularly nasty breakup in your 20s - not an unrequited 12 yr. old crush or anything like that? Is it just me or does that make no sense? I mean, okay, sure teenagers and pre-teens (I hate the word "tween") haven't had as many life experiences as adults and I'm definitely not saying 12 yr. olds have experienced love or heartache... just that it's a little (okay, a lot) condescending to assume that just because of a person's age they can't have gone through certain things. Not to mention pretty ignorant. I mean, really. I have to wonder, do those people actually remember what it was like to be a kid? It's like when I was thirteen and people who didn't know me better would mention how "nice" it must be to be "young and healthy". I felt like slapping them to reality, yelling, "I'M IN A BACK BRACE YOU MORON!!" But instead, because that would be rude, I just smiled and agreed with them.


         If you haven't noticed by now, I really can't stand condescending attitudes.

  • a very special review, via text, from my grandma

         Okay, so yesterday I emailed Amy (the editor, not the writer) and told her what my grandma said about the book and she asked me to post it on the site. So here it is, a very special review... from my grandma... via text message...


         "Got u book! ur essay, so u! after crying, laughing, I'll continue reading if i can get ur book out of g'pa hands. great job, j."


         So I guess my grandparents are enjoying the book. Hopefully I'll talk to my grandma soon and see what she has to say about some of the other essays.

    Posted Dec 13 2007, 01:59 PM by jordynt with 2 comment(s)
    Filed under: ,
  • on stories and also, if you watch the clip, THE CONE OF SILENCE

         Hilo. (Um, is that a real word? Probably nots. Oh well.) I really should be working on my query or something like that, seeing as how I've officially decided to stop working on the novel I was going to be working on. I just decided... not now. It's too... well, too something, I'm not even really sure what. But it's one of those ideas up in my head just waiting to be written. (Along with these other fantabulous stories, Daniel, Again; Mr. Wrong; Friendgirl; The Year of Ben; Girl #2; Ducky; Coffee Days; Past Perfect; The Bride... and more! No, but seriously, I've got like a zillions of these up there in my head. And they all have titles... I'll just probably end up changing the title like a million times, if I even manage to write it at all.) Point is, I figured I may as well work on the querying process while I'm still in the Ash Creek gear, you know?

          Besides that, I actually don't know which story I'll end up working on next. I'd like to work on Coffee Days, but it's in verse and I really want to write regular prose right now. (Although I did write a novel in verse once. Yeah, it has like 30k words or something sad and small like that.) So I'm thinking maybe either Daniel, Again just because the idea for that one has been brewing for pretty much ever (at least since May of this year).

         I have all these old starts of stories on my computer. Stories and poems and when I read them I think, oh! I should really finish that! but then I never do because it's a big task to take on. I think from this whole Ash Creek experience I've learned that I really just have to stick my nose to the grindstone and not let myself give up on a story in order to finish. Because there's always new ideas, always stories I want to work on, etc. So now I just have to find one, decide which story to write and then STICK TO IT!


         In other news, I think the Get Smart dvds might be coming in stores during 2008. So yay! (Now if only I had a job to pay for them... hmm...). Oh, and click here to see a clip from Get Smart. Hee hee. Me loves this show.

  • on being a liar... uh, er... I mean, making stuff up

         Yes, I wrote a novel about a girl who hates where she lives. And yes, sometimes I'm not exactly on great terms with where I live either.

         But this is the problem with writing fiction... EVERYONE THINKS I'M WRITING ABOUT MY OWN LIFE!!! And I'm not, even if there are similarities. What I am doing is MAKING STUFF UP!! LYING!! (Ha, I was watching the Stephen Colbert show once with my mom and he was showing the NYTimes bestseller list and he said, "these people wrote fiction, they make stuff up. You know what we call people who make stuff up? LIARS!" I thought it was hilarious.)

         Now usually I get the idea for something I write from my own life. Not from the big stuff (okay, sometimes the big stuff), but just one little thing that happens. Like this one time I was talking to my sister and I had one of those moments where I can't believe we're actually related, and I thought, "huh. I should write about sisters who are different." So I did. Of course, the story turned out awful, but that's not the point. (Um... now I'm forgetting what the point was in the first place... oh yeah...) I got the initial spark of an idea from that one moment, but the story wasn't about me and my sister.

         I don't remember where I read this or who said it (it was on 101reasonstostopwriting I think), but it was talking about the fact that it's the fiction writer's job to write the character's story, not their own story. So that's what I try to remember. Sure, all my ideas come from things that happen in my own life, but it's not my story. If it were my story it would be called nonfiction and it would be blithely boring. (Is blithely a word or did I just make that up? Discuss.) (Not that all nonfiction is boring... RED, anybody? But about my entire life, yes, it would bore anyone who isn't me. Or maybe Mich.) So whenever I'm writing something I have to be really careful to not turn it into my story, to not make the characters into me and my family. Which is why I'll probably be stopping the novel I started working on after the one I finished (which still has no name). It's very complicated to not make it GLARINGLY OBVIOUS where I got the idea from. Maybe I just need to wait a while, sort things out before I leap into writing it...?


         Oh, and PS., the ironic thing about the novel I finished (which I'm just going to start calling ASH CREEK until I come up with something more creative), is that the inspiration actually didn't come from my life. It came from a song which bears no resemblance to my life. Anyone heard County Line by Sugarland? I wonder if this will let me embed a video...

    If not, you can click here to hear the song.

  • on foods (yes, this is my third post today)

         I know this is something like my third post today, but I just have to say... I LOVE FOOD NETWORK!! Seriously.

  • random lines

         As Meggo would say, "this is random," but I'm in a slightly off mood (I just had three finals -- what do you expect?) so I'm just posting lines from stories I have started but will probably never finish. Just completely random lines that I like for some reason.


         "My night, however, was different. My epiphany less spectacular. All of it, actually, was pretty sad."


         "I was disproportionately excited."


         "it was almost like I was an after thought... they routinely forgot I was part of the group, one of their friends."


         "I was happy, feeling like finally - finally - I had arrived."


         "Me: the common denominator, the matchmaker, the life wrecker."


         "Maybe she wasn't his girlfriend, but he sure looked like he wanted her to be."


        "We were doomed from the beginning."

  • on being totally screwed up



         In some ways, I know, I am more together, more mature, more grown up, than other girls my age. I'm in college. I'm published. I'm a good kid.

         But then in other ways, I think to myself, I am the most screwed-up girl to ever come out of a functional family. It's true. What is my problem? I mean other than my obsessive analyzing, my constant questioning of everything and everyone around me, my always looking for meanings under the surface (even when none exist), my overwhelming need to KNOW THINGS? Other than that, what's my problem? Right now, for an example, I feel very tightly wound. I'm keeping myself in a bubble - not letting people in. And I'm not even quite sure why it is. Except that I can't deal with things. This is stupid, I know, because compared to people who have real problems, I really have nothing to deal with. But the things I do have to deal with - my lack of a social life, my "invisibility", the way others view me - I can't handle it lately.


         Yesterday I wrote my grandma this long letter, all about this place and the realization I came to in New York, and my whole life. I keep thinking that this time in my life is just something to get through, but... the thing is... besides the fact that this time in my life is going to last about six years (until I get my teaching degree/credentials), what do I have to look forward to after it ends?

         Nothing. Nobody. Nowhere. What am I going to do? I know it's early and seemingly crazy to wonder about this now, but I can't help it. I get excited for the next phase in my life until I realize that the next phase is as empty as this one is and that even if it weren't, it's half a freaking decade away. I try to think of the people, outside of my parents, that really matter to me. The people who are my support group, my safety net, the ones who will always be there for me and vice-versa. I inveriably (sp?) come up with six people. Four of those people are related to me. The other two aren't related to me but live in another state. Aren't I supposed to have some people who live in the same state? Who aren't my sister? I mean, don't get me wrong, I know I'm incredibly lucky to have that many people who care about me so much. I just wonder sometimes... is there something fundamentally wrong with me that I don't have a group of friends here, where I actually live?


         I think I have to accept... this is my life now.



  • on blurbs, pitches, and what needs to be done

         Hi. Today I'm looking at those blurbs on the backs (or inside flaps) of books. Trying to write a pitch thing for my novel, but first I have to figure out how to go about this business of writing what. Like, what are they supposed to sound like? What are they supposed to tell about the story? This type of studying is so much more interesting than the studying I should be doing right now. (i.e. studying for finals) So I have a pile of books on my bed, going over the blurbs in the back/inside flap.


    Book #1 - ZIGZAG by Ellen Wittlinger

         Robin can't believe it when her boyfriend, Chris, tells her that his parents have enrolled him in a summer program in Rome. It's their last summer together before he goes away to college, and now they won't even have that time together. It feels like the worst thing that's ever happened to her.

         Since Chris is leaving, Robin agrees to join her aunt and cousins on a cross-country road trip, in spite of her reservations. She and her younger cousins have never really gotten along, and since their father's death they've become even more problematic than before.

         Soon the four of them are zigzagging through the West on an eye-opening journey. They explore parts of the country Robin never dreamed existed - and she discovers inner resources she never imagined she had.


         When you describe your novel in a query letter, isn't it supposed to be one paragraph? Or am I wrong on that? In any case, this blurb is (obviously) longer than that. The first paragraph sets up the background of the story (Chris going to Rome for the summer), the second paragraph sets up the cause, or the main event that sends the rest of the story forwards (Robin agreeing to go on a road trip with her aunt and cousins), and the third paragraph kind of discusses the effect - what happens because of her going on the road trip (she "discovers inner resources she never knew she had"). I like it. (On a total sidenote, I love the song California by Rogue Wave. The first line is disarming.)


    Book #2 - DREAMLAND by Sarah Dessen

         Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else - her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?


         One paragraph. That's good news for me. The first sentence basically sets up what the whole book is about - Caitlin's relationship with Rogerson. (By the way, this is a really amazing book. Very real. So real I had to stop reading it at times because it got a little to close for comfort.) The majority of this blurb focuses on Rogerson and what he is, but it also talks about the rest of Caitlin's life, the stuff she wants to escape from. And the last sentence is the clincher that made me want to know: what does happen in that sort of relationship?


    Book #3 - AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green

         When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

         On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

         Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to suprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska.


         Ah! Love this blurb! Too long for me (three paragraphs), but it's good. Sets up what has happened (Colin's history with Katherines), what does happen (the road trip) and what might happen (proving that love is mathematical and getting the girl).


         So I guess this is what my pitch (or is it called a summery? Not sure...) needs to cover: the background (what has happened) the cause (what happens) and the effect (what will happen). Basically the beginning, middle, and end of my story. Only very quickly and succinctly. Ha. Wish me luck. Maybe I'll post some possible pitches (summeries?) here to get feedback from you guys.

         In other news, I did start another novel. Although who knows if I'll keep at it or not.

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Oct. 15 [going to work soon] [two school essays due; majorly nervous about both] [remember when i wrote that short story where the girl said "majorly" every other WORD practically? ha]