Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Where Randomness Ensues

It’s been a busy few days for me, so I don’t have too much to report. The transition to new pen name and blog seems to be going smoothly. Instead of changing my WordPress blog address, I opted at the last minute to purchase a domain name and set up a self-hosted blog instead. I’ve also set up a Facebook author page, along with a Google Friend Connect widget, so it’ll be easier for folks to follow me (links for both are in the sidebar).

In other news, I received the Versatile Blogger award from Angela Orlowski-Peart, who I met through the Writers’ Campaign, as well as charitygirl and glitterlady, friends I made through Lady Antimony’s “Seven Virtues” flash fiction challenge.  I’m honored, as all three of them have blogs that I enjoy and admire. Stop by and visit all three — you won’t regret it!

There are three rules for accepting the award:

* Thank the person who gave her the award and link back to them in the post.
* Share seven random things about herself.
* Pass this Award to fifteen recently discovered blogs, letting them know about the award.I’ll have to ponder who I’ll pass the award to, but in the meantime, I’ll happily share a few random facts. Merry Farmer actually tagged me a couple of weeks ago to share 10 random things about myself, so I’ll combine the two.

1. My three best friends and I made our own “girl band” in junior high. We called ourselves Eclypse and sang in school talent shows, and I wrote amazing stories where we were a multi-platinum band that went on adventures with the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync.

2. I attended an all-girls Catholic high school partly housed in a historic mansion that may or may not have been haunted (that could be the basis of a novel, now that I think about it…).

3. I have a suspicion that my love for Byronic heroes may have stem from my obsession with the musical, The Phantom of the Opera.  My parents saw it when I was 8 and brought home the soundtrack, which I had memorized within weeks. Raoul always seemed a nice sort of guy, but I wanted Christine to end up with the Phantom. A tortured genius who lives underground in an awesome cavern — what’s not to like? (We’ll ignore the fact that he, er, kills people from time to time, and has a penchant for kidnapping young women.)

4. I’ve never lived more than 10 minutes from the beach, with the exception of the time I spent studying aboard in college.

5. Out of all my favorite literary heroines, I’ve always identified with Anne from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables the most. Like her, I love school, devour novels, have the unfortunate tendency to talk far too much, and dream of becoming a famous writer.

6. I love almost everything that can be made out of ginger: candied ginger, ginger tea, pickled ginger (with or without sushi). This is a little strange, since I hated ginger with a passion as a kid.

7. I’m an unrepentant girly-girl, and I love fashion, jewelry, high heels, and sparkly things. Living on a tight budget means that I have to find creative ways to keep up with trends, so I have mastered the art of sale racks, outlet stores, and secondhand shops. If I hadn’t gone into academia, I might have become a fashion/costume stylist.

8. I’m known in my family as the “old soul.” As soon as I could talk, I preferred the company of adults to kids my own age. When I was 15, I fantasized about being 35 because it meant that I would be out of college, through with graduate school, and well-established in whatever profession I would choose, with a husband and maybe some kids. It’s only recently that I’ve learned how to “act my age.”

9. Despite loathing college-level science (I couldn’t stand all of the memorization we were forced to do), I was the co-founder and vice president of the high school science club, “The Far Side of Science.” We ran fun experiments, obsessed over Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone (about the Ebola Zaire virus), and watched movies like Outbreak.

10. I spent the spring semester of my junior year of college studying in Oxford, England. It was a dream come true, and to date, is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I miss England like crazy, and I can’t wait to travel there again.

I’m not going to tag anyone to take the 10 Random Facts challenge, but I encourage all of you to participate, if you so desire. I’ve learned lots of fun and silly things from everyone who has played along so far.

One week remains of Round 3 of ROW80, so go and cheer on our merry band of writers. You’ll find the list here.


  1. Nice new place, Lena 🙂

    Love the random facts. Going to school (and growing up) in an old mansion sound interesting. What a great setting for stories!

    I’m the “old soul” of my family as well, not surprising since I was the only kid at most holidays with everyone else either upper teens or forty plus years my senior. It took having children to get me to act “younger”.

    Have a great week 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Gene. I’ve been kicking around a story inspired by my high school days for ages. If I don’t write a gothic paranormal horror tale, then I might do something fantasy-esque with it. We’ll see where it goes!

      I’m actually one of the youngest in my family, and I was the youngest until my sister was born, when I was 5 years old. Somewhere along the way, though, I became the uber-responsible and serious one. It’s nice to start loosening up a bit — makes life much more fun. 😀

  2. You certainly picked a wonderful part of England to study in. Oxford is beautiful. Were you at the University?

    • I was at a small program for American students affiliated with one of the colleges at the University, which was wonderful. We had faculty from different colleges who came in to run tutorials and seminars. It’s probably the hardest I’ve worked (except for grad school), but we went on field trips to places like Bath and Stratford-on-Avon, and that was a blast.

  3. Nice new site, Lena / Jamila! And the random facts are great fun. Thanks for sharing. Have a great rest of the week!

  4. Yay with the smooth transistion of your pen name 🙂

    Love the tidbits you shared. Especially Anne of Green Gables and Phantom of the Opera – two of my most absolute favorites! I was super excited to visit the place in Canada where parts of the movie (starring Megan Follows) was filmed – some of the town and the train station. I own many copies of the book in all different styles and with various covers.

    Phantom of the Opera soundtrack is my ultimate writing music choice, especially when writing something dark. And yes, I wanted her to stay with the wonderfully tortured soul rather than go off with the nice guy. Dark and romantic…that’s the way to go 🙂

    Hope the rest of your week is fabulous like you!


    • One of my friends and her family just came back from Prince Edward Island, and I died when I saw the photos. My grandmother and step-grandfather are Canadian, though they live in Vancouver. I’ve always wanted to visit PEI, as well as other spots like Hallifax, to see the spots from the movie.

      I love that I’m not the only one who rooted from the Phantom in POTO. This is heartening indeed, because I thought I was just really weird for a long time. :p

      Thanks for stopping by, Marie!

  5. Haunted Catholic girls’ school story needs to happen. : ) What a fun collection of facts, and I can relate to them a little myself, too! I loved Anne Shirley and I half wonder if my parents regret taking me to see The Phantom of the Opera when I was about that age, too, since I would NOT. STOP. PLAYING. the soundtrack for just about ever afterwards. : ) I know I have it somewhere around here; I should dig it out again!

    Have an awesome week!

    • Haha, yes, you must dig out that soundtrack! I randomly popped it in the other day, and it had been months since I had listened to it last. There might possibly be a gala event similar to the start of Act II’s masquerade ball in my next WIP… we’ll see. 😉

      Have a great week, too!

  6. Congrats on the transition. Looks like everything is going nice and smooth. And sounds like you have be very busy. Congrats on the award and thank you for sharing the fun facts. Keep up the good work!

  7. I got confused for awhile until I finally figured out this was you. LOL

    I, too, wanted Christine to be with the Phantom instead of Raoul.

    I wish I had used WordPress as my website with my own domain. I set up a Wix website and have my WordPress blog separate. It’s hard to maintain both of them, so the website gets neglected a lot. LIve and learn.

    • Yay, glad you made the connection! I’ve been crossing my fingers that people aren’t *too* terribly confused by my switch-up. 😀

      Maybe there’s a way to merge both the Wix website and the WordPress? I’m currently using Bluehost, which allowed me to import all my posts and comments from the original WordPress blog, and that was fantastic.

      Have a blast this weekend with Kait and the rest of the gang!

  8. Ah, Anne of Green Gables. I was so happy to find out she ended up with Gilbert in the end. The sparks between those two were so much fun to read. Congrats on the award and have a great final week of Round 3.

    • Yes, I totally agree! There were such a wonderful couple, and even in the later books, when they had their family and whatnot, they always maintained such a strong bond.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jaleh!

  9. Congrats on a smooth transition!

    And I adore Anne of Green Gables. Love, love, love!

  10. So glad to hear the transition went smoothly. I loved Phantom of the Opera as well. We went and saw when came to San Francisco. Love the music. Haunted high school – does sound like there’s a story in there someplace.

    • I finally got a chance to see POTO in 2008, when it returned to San Francisco for a few weeks. It was an amazing experience, heightened by the fact that I saw Sarah Brightman in concert a week or so earlier.

      Have a great rest of the week, Robin!

  11. Glad to know your name change is going well. Have a great final week of ROW80!

  12. Another ‘old soul’ here… Still not sure I’ve caught up with how old I feel to this day. The haunted Catholic all-girls school sounds like an incredibly rich story setting, besides totally making me think of my character Audrey in Lost Girls’ Society! Think you could share any insights that’d help me write a Catholic school-girl? Or stop by my site and just let me know if I’m doing it right or not?

    • I totally have “age-swings” — sometimes I feel like I’m 24, other times I act like a cantankerous old curmudgeon, lol.

      And I am RIDICULOUSLY behind on Lost Girls’ Society! I will definitely swing by and check out Audrey, and let you know what I think. 😀

  13. As a Canadian chick who grew up on Lucy Maude Montgomery, I LOVE you for loving Anne of Green Gables. Actually, my dad is from Anne-land (AKA Prince Edward Island). Also? I, too, think Christine should’ve ended up with the Phantom. Like you said, Raul was a nice enough dude, but the Phantom??? HOT!!!! Music of the Night is one of my fave songs.

    • Eeeks, I have always wanted to go to PEI. It is one of my dream goals.

      I’ve always loved “Music of the Night,” but I fell in love with it even more when Sarah Brightman performed it during one of her concerts that I saw on PBS, and said that it was a love song that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote for her. Like… wow. It is so dark and hauntingly gorgeous. I used to stick it in my romance stories, lol.

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