I won't make this very long because I have to start getting ready for a party, but here's the short of it: At the beginning of the year, I had a goal of 80 books. I very quickly moved it to 100 and still surpassed it. I read a lot of good books this year and a lot of romances that had the same plot and were just fun to read when I was taking breaks from doing work. Next year, hopefully I'll read more substantive and just plain more books for my own pleasure.
Some of my favorites were (in no particular order):
Based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, The Imitation Game centers on the life of the British mathematician who created the Bombe, the giant machine that broke Germany's Enigma code (or “The Nazi Code”) in World War II. He is credited as the father of computer science. In the movie, the machine was called “Christopher” to be more sentimental and reminiscent of Turing’s first love. When it broke the code in real life, the name was changed to “Victory.” For those who don’t know what Enigma is, it was the supposedly unbreakable cipher used by the Nazis during World War II to encrypt all of their messages.
The name of the movie is derived from Alan Turing’s post-World War II work, mainly the Turing Test, which tried to answer the question of what makes the human mind uniquely human and how closely can artificial intelligence imitate it? The film focuses on three distinct time periods of the genius’ life: his secondary education at the Sherborne School (1928), his work in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park (1939-45), and when he was arrested for being a homosexual in 1952. Bletchley Park (or the code name “Ultra”) was the home to the British Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS) where cryptographers worked on breaking the Japanese and German codes during World War II. Hut 8 was where the Nazi Code was finally broken by Turing and his team. The movie opens with a scene from the latest chronological time period, which was mostly vague with one piece of foreshadowing. It was an interesting decision, but one that seems to distance the audience from the main story before it has really begun. The film is well edited, almost seamlessly transferring between these epochs, though the mental transition was still sometimes a bit jarring.
Although Benedict Cumberbatch shares little physical resemblance to his character, he expertly portrays the complicated and fascinating man. Working from oral reports about Turing’s speech patterns, Cumberbatch created his own type of stutter that was both high in pitch like Turing’s, but not so much that it grated on the audience’s ears and patience. One can easily believe that the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes on BBC’s Sherlock is the brilliant, but sometimes unlikeable man responsible for ending World War II at least 2 years earlier than expected. As Sherlock, he indirectly referenced breaking the Enigma code in one episode (Season 2, Episode 1, “A Scandal in Belgravia”) when he mentions the controversial Coventry bombing.
The ensemble consists of strong actors including The Good Wife’s Matthew Goode, Gosford Park’s Charles Dance, and Mark Strong from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy among others. In the midst of all the testosterone on screen, Keira Knightley shines as her character, Joan Clarke, a brilliant woman working in a man’s world.
2/9/14: Being a high school junior means Second Semester is the beginning of the College Mania. We are expected to complete a ridiculously long questionnaire packet and the Common Application in 1 week before we can meet with our counselor for the first of 4 meetings, go on visits, and have a list before summer. Stressful, right?
Maybe, maybe not. While I'm in no way fully ready to embark on this journey, I know that if I stay organized and keep a level head, everything will work out fine. At least, I hope so.
2/11/14: I've completed the Common App (essay and all), and my questionnaire! Now I can schedule my first meeting with my college counselor early next week! This is really happening!
Today, I read a post with some tips from one of my favorite authors Wendy Higgins, author of the Sweet Trilogy—swoon (I mean soon) to be Quartet once Kaidan's POV book, Sweet Temptation, comes out—and See Me. The top 2 tips had to do with editing, which is no big surprise. It is really hard to get published (traditionally) if your grammar is messy. Even through self-publishing, readers won't trust you if they find a bunch of errors in your sample chapters, and the rest of the book.
I definitely know the importance of good grammar. My grandma, the grammarian, took great care to teach me that lesson at a young age. Also, I'm a high school student whose grades are dependent on writing intelligent and well-written papers. On top of that, I am also currently editing my friend Sierra's book, The Fifth Queen (based on The Nutcracker), and two of my own.
Online, I always use Grammarly to double check everything I do. Even if you don't use their software, the Grammarly Cards are hilarious. Below is a slightly inappropriate example.
Grammarly did a study where they studied the correlation between number of grammar errors and earnings for writing freelancers on Elance. Below is a pretty infographic, detailing the results.
♥ List the rules.
♥ Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their page.
♥ List 7 facts about you.
♥ Give a brief story about how you started blogging, and share some tips.
♥ Nominate 15 other bloggers
♥ Notify your nominees by email or comment
First: Thank you, Adriana Gabrielle for nominating me!
7 Facts About Me:
I started blogging a little over three years ago. I had just started high school, decided I wanted to take my writing seriously, and thought that blogging would get me a lot of exposure. I've learned the last part is mainly true only if you run giveaways, talk about YA dystopian fiction, or are part of a blog hop (or award chain like this one). And you need to share your links everywhere, multiple times.
I nominate (in random order; counting different people as individuals, even if on the same blog):
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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