Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We Have More Hobbies Than You Do!

Our original list when deciding on hobbies / things to try.

I know we have been totally slacking in at least catching everyone up on what we have been doing, so here goes. Well we have an agenda of hobbies; so far it looks like this:

Mondays* – Kickboxing
Tuesdays* – Yoga or Horseback Riding
Wednesday* – Kickboxing or Yoga or Horseback Riding
Thursday* – Blank
Friday* – Sometimes Kickboxing, or Traveling
Saturday* – Blank or Traveling
Sunday* – Blank or Traveling
*Marks days in which we are awesome. Also marks days in which we try to keep up with writing. (Usually at Panera)

Things we are looking to add:
  • Horseback Riding (Alice)
  • Archery (Quinn bought a bow, so now we just need to work on getting that in the schedule more often)
  • Sword Fighting
  • Aikido or some other form of martial arts... suggestions?
  • Rock Climbing
  • Synchronized Swimming (WHAT?! Who put that in there?)
  • Dancing (Just kidding - we are humans)
Keeping in mind that we have a budget, some of these things may have to be rotated around. Plus, we need to do the whole job thing to pay for all these hobbies, and that takes away time from trying new things and adding to our schedules. It sure is a great time though! So far we haven't tried something we don't like, so stay posted for more experiences!

~Alice & Quinn

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Poetry Slammed

 Oh the joys and sorrows that poetry can bring to a person's life... If you can understand it, that is.
Poetry is widely reguarded as one of the most intimate forms of writing, a medium to express feelings and emotions that we couldn't normally convey. Poetry provides truth and meaning allthewhile coloring it in metaphor and exagerated language. Plus, you have to be super cool and deep to appreciate it. #That'sUs
In our efforts to expand our writing experience, we decided to try out some poetry. We figured it would be a good way to practice our writing skills and force us to use more descriptive and creative language. #LetTheCreativeJuicesFlow. Our goals for writing poetry are (for the moment) purely academic. We truly want to push ourselves as writers and give ourselves a starting platform. Maybe one day we will publish everything, but for now, it's just for your amusement.
We have documented our first attempt at writing poetry (of course). And since it is supposed to be creative and we usually hand-write all of our posts anyway (using only the best pens in the coolest colors), we decided to lay out this post a little differently. #TakeAllThePictures!
We perused the internet for a starting point and guidence in our poem writing and found a great exercise! We recommend it for anyone who has never written poetry before and needs a basic place to start. So, read on and enjoy!
How to Write a Good Poem:

This is an important note everyone! We did not come up with these steps! Step 1 through Step 6 came from various websites:,, #CredibleResources
Notice at Step 7 we decided we needed more direction. As stated, we consulted Oprah ( to help us out. #OprahKnowsEverything. 
The 12 steps are designed to get you on the right track and make you think about what you know and what you want to say. Listed at the end are some suggestions on how to get your poem started. These suggestions worked for us. This is by no means the only way to write a poem! But like we said, if you are new at this (like us) or are just stuck and need a little push, this may be a good place to start.

Using the 12 Questions and the Helpful Tips, we both attempted to write our own (coherent) poems. Here are the results!! First up: Quinn.

Quinn's Masterpiece:

Alice's Turn!!

Behold: Alice's Work of Art:

#NailedIt #BothOfUs
So there they are, our first attempts at poetry. I don't think it's too early to say that we have promising futures ahead. Look for us at a poetry slam near you. (That's what it's called, right?) #Whatevs.
Until Next Time,
Alice & Quinn

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why We Want to Write... Because Fiction!

We want to write a novel for the following reasons:
  •    The characters can do anything that we dream of. Their reality can be anything.
  •     We can create technologies that don’t exist, or that we would never be able to make work otherwise.
  •     We can combine any genre into one book, and it will work because it’s fiction.
  •      We want to inspire people, encourage them to try new things.
  •      We want to escape “real life” for at least an hour or so a day. Writing is a good release.
  •    We don’t want to have any regrets.
  •      We want to get all the thoughts and ideas, no matter how weird, bizarre, or crazy, out of our heads.
  •     To take a risk, to start a project that will take a lot of time and effort to complete and not quit.

-Alice & Quinn

What A Novel Idea Part One - Memoirs of Our Imaginations

Hey Friends!  (You guys are our friends, right?)
We have a confession to make to you all right here on the internet.  Are you ready?  We are total and completely undeniable nerds.  Whew, we said it.  We always have been.  More to that point, we love to lose ourselves in books and the worlds that they create for us.  We are going to assume that a lot of you feel the same way and that you too spend countless hours on the internet reading threads about your favorite books in-between actually reading and rereading all your favorite books.
But, dear reader, have you ever thought about writing a book for yourself?  Have you ever created an idea so meaningful and influential (at least to yourself) that you had to share it with the world?  Have you tried to write it down?

Here’s the deal.  It’s a lot of work to write a book.  Forget coming up with a noteworthy idea and writing and rewriting until it resembles something coherent.  There’s publishing to think about, editing, marketing, all the boring stuff (to some) that has to be done for the book to be successful.  And then, after all that work, people might not like it.  And so, we have another confession to make: We (both of us) have let these things prevent us from writing a book.  It has always been in the back of our minds, even before we met each other. 

We are going to guess that this is the case for at least some of you guys, too (we are doing a lot of assuming today, but hey, all of the most complicated engineering problems can be solved if you have enough assumptions).  And that’s completely fair.  There are a lot of questions to be asked when writing a book and sometimes the answers are scary.  We are both engineers and in the engineering spirit, we question everything.  We approach every situation with the same logical, stepwise manner, and we ask questions, a lot of questions.  How much time will it take to write the novel?  What are the steps to get it published?  What is the cost?  Is the idea marketable?  What are the risks?  What steps can be taken to mitigate the risk?  What is the chance for failure?  How large will the failure be?  Where will the failure be, with the equipment, with the customer, with the quality of the writing, with the marketing?  And the list goes on…  

Today we are announcing to the world that we are throwing all the risk analysis out the window.  We are going for something big.  Something bigger than* .  We are going to co-write a novel (because everything is more manageable when you have an awesome team).  There will be no risk analysis, no mitigation, and we may fail.  This could be the biggest failure of our lives.  But we are going to write the novel we’ve always wanted to give to the world (and wanted to read).  The customer might not like it, a publisher might not see any worth, an editor might tell us to scrap the idea and go in a different direction.  These are all things that can happen, but we are going for it anyway.  We will be having many fun and entertaining discussions with each other about the direction, the characters, and the plot points that move the novel forward. There will be plenty of erasing and starting over by our own accord.  One of the perks with being in a great team, we don’t get offended when the other says an idea sucks in so many words :D.  Instead, it can become the theme for comical blog-posts. Lucky for us, the engineering side of our brain helps out with that!  I mean, we’ve written like 6 blog posts so far, so we clearly know what we are doing.

So in addition to all the other random things we decide are blog-worthy, we are now going to provide insight into our book-writing process.  We’ll be sure to share with you all our inspirations, our writing techniques, resources we’ve found helpful, all our frustrations, personal successes, and hopefully some self-discovery along the way.  And then with some insight, hopefully some of you will choose to do the same and follow your creative dreams. 

A Possible hint at our theme for the novel. That and Quinn likes the night vision feature.
So, here we are in another moment of clarity.  Our lives are (once again) taking a new turn that hopefully won’t end with us bruised and battered along the road (although that is very possible considering we may develop over-confidence due to our kickboxing skillz).  We hope you enjoy our adventure through the process of discovery and our engineering mindset, mixed with our bizarre imaginations, of how to write a meaningful story.  If, nay, when, we get to the stage of being edited and preparing to submit to publishers, you all will be the first to get information about the actual story.  In the meantime, we’ll be dropping hints and pieces of the book for you all to sample (we do want this to be somewhat a surprise).  This is our new beginning, writing the Memoirs of Our Imaginations.Description:

Until then,
Alice & Quinn

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Glorious Battle

Hey Everyone!

We’ve said before that the purpose of this blog was to find new directions for our lives, to try new things, and welcome new hobbies (not that we would ask too much out of an internet forum).  I am a firm believer that you can always learn new things about yourself if you give yourself the chance to look.  For example, I have been kickboxing for a few months now (our first experience was detailed in a different post), and even though I knew before that I was a competitive person, there was no way for me to know how competitive I really am until I signed up for those kickboxing classes.  Here’s the story:

I was standing at my usual bag wrapping my hands before class (that’s right, gloves and wrap; my life is pretty hardcore), getting my head in the zone.  The usual 7:00 pm class people were there, chatting, stretching, and doing the same mental preparation.  That’s when a new girl walked into class and took up camp at the bag right in front of me.
I have to step away from the story to detail a few things.  The gym is set up with rows of bags in front of each other.  The two rows are connected to the same framework.  Therefore, the boxers face each other when working out at the bag.  So even though we don’t have any actual contact with the person in front of us, it gives the illusion that we are punching the same bag.  Also, to fully appreciate the story and my attitude about the situation, I’ll have to describe myself for you all.  I stand about 5’7”, about 120 pounds.  Basically, I’m tallish and lanky, and not surprisingly, pretty clumsy as a result.  By appearances I don’t look super athletic.  Like maybe I could pass for a (slow) runner, but I’m certainly not going to be bench pressing any impressive amount of weight.  And while I’m proud to say I can make it through most of the class before feeling like falling on the floor and giving up on everything, I still get that feeling of falling on the floor and giving up on everything.

Now back to the girl.  This girl was about 5’9” or 5’10”.  I couldn’t guess her weight, but her abs looked like they were trying to jump out of her tank top.  Her hair was in a perfect ponytail.  Basically, she was kickboxing Barbie.  She walked straight up to the bag in front of me and got out her gear (This is an important note: She was new, but had her gear readily available).  She had this bored expression on her face and wasn’t particularly interested in any of the chatting going on around her.  Then, while we are all lounging around and stretching, she just starts doing pushups.  For fun.  That’s when people started taking note of her presence, and she was aware of it.  She got up from her pre-warm up-warm up and looked straight at me.  I even think she did one of those menacing I’m-going-to-destroy-everyone half-smiles.  And we both knew.  Today was a battle, and only one of us could walk away victorious.

Then class started.  As it turned out, we were pretty evenly matched.  We were punching at about the same speed, kicking at about the same height.  She was killing me in pushups, but I definitely had her beat in squats.  All was going well, until there were only about 15 minutes left in class.  Both of us were pretty worn out.  We expended all the energy we could up to that point.  We were punching and kicking so hard the bags threatened to fly right off the hooks.  We recognized the fatigue in each other and were starting to call a truce.  But then, the instructor called for an attack round (a round where you do anything you want, any kicks, any punches, whatever you can throw in the time allowed) and neither one of us wanted to be one to back down.  We stepped up to our respective bags and the fight began anew.  She came out of the box much stronger than I did.  There was a wave of fury beaming out of her face.  She was in this to win. And right when I thought she had, her legs betrayed her and she started feeling weak.  In the last 10 seconds of the attack round she slowed down to break and I knew that was my moment.  I gave everything I had left knowing it was only 10 more seconds to victory.  I punched harder than I had ever punched, kicked higher than I have ever kicked.  And when she paused and stepped away from the bag, I knew than I had won.  And with that victory I threw one last glorious punch… missed the bag and uppercut myself right in the face.  I guess you could say we both won that one.

So now I know, I will literally punch myself in the face before stepping away from a battle.  It seems pretty ridiculous (and embarrassing), but it did help me realize that I can push past limits that I thought existed.  So many of the things we tell ourselves to keep from failing are completely made up in our heads.  Sometimes we just need a punch in the face to get some peace of mind.  Lesson learned.  And of course, I encourage all of you to go out there and challenge yourself.  Push past your limits and learn something new.  It’s totally worth it, I promise.

Also, try kickboxing.  It makes you seem so badass.