well done Dinaria. I enjoyed what I read of that story.
OMLOMLOML! The other day I finally finished writing Animika: The Last of The Line! I've started the 2nd one ... and 3rd ... and 4th ... and 5th ... and 6th ... and planned the 7th ... and 8th ... ~:| lolz. In celebration, I'll post up the prologue for the second when I have the chance ;D (I'll just edit this post).
EDIT: here we go :) enjoy!
“You have to go back for her!”
“I’ll do no such thing!”
A man sneered down on a young boy. The boy at once looked confused, as if he did not expect such a harsh tone, or such stern words to come from the man.
“I would, but I can’t,” The man said, becoming more gentle with the boy. The boy looked desolated.
“But … why?” He asked, shaking his head as if his life was hanging in the balance, as if this was the only way to save him from a painful death.
“The others have captured her,” The man explained, turning away from the boy. “I am very sorry for your loss.”
“You’re talking as if she’s dead,” The boy told the man. The man stayed silent and the boy came to a realisation. “But- why? How could she- ? Why would they- ? How do you know for certain?”
“Don’t worry, there’s still a chance that they haven’t killed her … yet. The other side … well they enjoy killing people. When we had someone under cover there we found that only one in any twenty were let to live. I can’t risk the lives of thirty men to try and save someone that may already be dead. She may have been deceived already if they let her live. Any prisoners they keep they force to fight for them.”
“But if she just saw me, if I could just talk to her-“ The boy began, tears starting to drip down his face. “She can’t die.”
“I’m sorry, but she can and knowing them, she probably will.”
That was too much for the boy. He collapsed onto the floor, shaking his head. The man turned back to the boy and patted his back, telling him, “I will send someone to show you around in a few minutes. I imagine you want some time to yourself.”
The boy didn’t appear to hear the man such was his grief. He went through fond memories but that only made things worse.
The man turned away again and his feet clicked on the floor as he walked. Once he had turned the first corner an evil grin spread across his face.
“Children are so easy to deceive,” He muttered to himself as he walked down the hallway.
I love it Dinaria! I only just dug through the pages and found your thread again, so sorry about the 5 month late response. Congratulations on finishing Last of the Line :) You 'll have to tell us when you get it published, I can't wait to read it. I hope the rest of book two is coming along nicely, you've done a great job with the prologue :D
Awesome, Dinaria! Just dug out this thread and read through, it's great! :) Agree with Arwen, have to tell us how it's going along, it sounds really interesting. :D
Aw, thanks guys :roll: I need to go over it and edit it a bit but once I have anything published I'll rush on here and be like 'OMLOMLOMLMOMLMOMLOMLMOMLOMLOML, I JUST GOT _ PUBLISHED!' Lolz. In the meantime I've worked a lot on the fourth, started the last book (but I'm not sure what number that is) and really should probably focus on the 2nd ... or schoolwork :P Lolz.
Oh and btw Arwen, I don't mind that it's late, until the holidays I've been a bit overwhelmed with homework so it's probably a good thing I didn't have more of a reason to procrastinate ... mmm procrastination ;)
Well I haven't given anyone anything to read in forever and now I feel bad so I'm going to give a single spoiler for Animika that no one else (except my friend that types what I handwrite) knows:Volpino, Kitsune's childhood best friend, returns. But I'm not saying when ;)
Anyways, here's a new book I started. Until I come up with a title, it is called 'The Table's Control':
In the year 2123 AD the existing government’s joined together to form the Table. Any government not willing was either bribed or destroyed. Great Britain perished that year, along with Jamaica, Greenland, Iceland, and Tasmania, having just recently signed independence from the rest of Australia.
When 2152 AD came along the Table decided that everyone must learn English. Five years after the law passes, another is made that no other language is allowed. Mutes are the only exception. At the age of sixteen on the day of Legaliation, Table officials give a test. Anyone who does not pass is taken away. They come back for their twenty-first, speaking English but never quite the same. That’s if they do return.
In 2184 AD the Table grew greedy and began to take money from the people. It was only three more years before they stopped money flow altogether. Earth became a form of communism. Everyone worked in his or her chosen field, but everyone worked. According to the table, everyone is useful and everyone is capable. Food and clothing is rationed according to supply and rank. Different jobs get different clothes, food, entertainment items, everything. As do male and female.
2198 AD the Table demands constant monitoring everywhere. They set up cameras, motion sensors, everything they can until a group of people stand up against them. The group is slaughtered and made an example of. They are known as the Monitor Rebellion. Not very original, but is anything? The Table says that they had been planning on a mass bombing and were killed for that.
2213 AD and Earth plunges into a food crisis. The Table declares that every parent’s first child – no matter how many children their partner may have had with another – must work in the food business. Another revolt and another group execution. Another example for the world.
2231 AD was when aliens first contacted Earth. They had learnt English from monitoring our planet. They spoke of planets so beautiful that eight point four trillion people sent requests to the Table for an expedition to these planets. The Table denied these requests so the aliens extended the offer for any human who wished to go to these planets could leave with them. In their excitement, one alien spoke their own language. Another execution.
2276 AD passed with new laws. Every partnership was genetically designed and approved by the Table. When partners were wedded it was decided how many children they had to have, when they would be born, everything. When any child was born a Table official decides their name.
2290 AD. Children are taken at two months old to be placed into a Carer home and looked after with the optional parent visit of once every three months.
2302 AD. A mass suicide of nine billion people. The Table claims they thought they were unworthy of life. Anonymous tips suggest that was not the case.
2324 AD. The Table attacks a distant planet. The planet is no more.
2347 AD. The remaining alien race from the distant planet attacks. Many soldiers sacrificed on Earth’s part with suicide missions. The alien race is extinct.
2371 AD. Someone tries to blow up the Table. Failure.
2375 AD. The group working with the Table Assassin is found. Execution. Example.
2393 AD. A revolt against the Table. Tried to be talked around. Executions. Examples.
2394 AD, September. Woman leads a small army against the Table when daughter is taken. Husband is killed. Woman is killed. Army is killed. First son is killed. Daughter is shunned. No one wants to care for her, execution is considered.
2394 AD, October. An Australian Carer takes the job. Discriminated in media.
2394 AD, November. Three attempts are made on the daughter’s life.
2394 AD, December. Eight more attempts.
2395 AD. Fifty-six attempts.
2394 AD, July. I was born. September army leader was my mother. Australian Carer is my Carer. Luckily she was given army training from her father. Luckily not many else are. Luckily the Table haven’t found technology to monitor what people write. Yet.
This is my journal, my diary, my privacy. At times I shall write, at times I shall record with my Dexi (I hope is wasn’t wired when it was made). I am Venus and this is my life.
Wow, that sounds really interesting Dinaria! 8-| The scary thing is that I can actually imagine that happening. I think it shows a lot of insight, and it's definitely a way to grab the audience's attention before you start your story.
Just one thing - You say that Venus is born in 2394 AD, but you say her mother was also born in 2394 AD. It's probably just a typo, but I thought I should point it out. :)
Anyway, I'm really captivated, and I'd love to read more! :nod:
Thanks :) I think I'll post some more of it (but I've only typed a couple of pages so far, even if I have plans for the whole book).
I reread it and I know how you interperated it that way, I wasn't exactly clear, but I'll edit it :) Thanks for pointing it out. I meant that Venus is the daughter taken in 2394 AD. Her mother was the revolt leader.
It was my fifteenth birthday yesterday. Our local Official presented me with this journal. She’s nice. Not many officials are. My area is a one-of-a-kind. Only my Carer would take me in. Only our Official would speak more than two words to their charges, even if they didn’t have to. I was one of the few people to know how to read or write, though it wasn’t part of my chosen profession. We have to have decided one aspect of our professional when we are six. Just one little specific, but what a decision when you’re only six. It’s so they can start your training. You know what I said?
“I don’t want to work behind a desk thank you, sir,” I told the official, smiling shyly at him. He frowned at me and gave me a dirty look before turning away to the next kid. Then when we needed another specific at nine I wasn’t much better. “Well, miss, I’d really like to be able to work outside, please.”
The lady made a haughty sound and swished her head away so her hair flicked my face. She had long hair. And I’m sure it was on purpose. When I was twelve they needed another specific.
“I think … I think I would like to make people happy,” I said to the official. I was ready to pull back into my emotional shell but the official gave me a big grin and told me it was a wonderful idea. Yesterday I told her I wanted to work with animals.
The first official had changed area after the first five hundred attempts on my life during his work here and the second after one hundred and sixteen. They didn’t like filling the report forms for it. Well they were the first two officials I met for my career. I had eight before them. That was one of the other reasons my area is one-of-a-kind. Well two reasons.
So here’s the reason’s so far:
1. My Carer took in a so-called ‘devil-child’ (aka me)
2. My Official talks to people and is nice
3. I can read and write
4. We have a resident devil-child
5. We had eleven area Officials in fifteen years
6. We had two-thousand-one-hundred-and-sixty-two attempted murders
7. On only six people
8. Four had one and one had three
9. And one had two-thousand-one-hundred-and-fifty-five
10. So far anyways
My Carer is Marguerite and my Official is Zoey. Marguerite is Carer for twenty-two and Zoey is Official for the one-thousand-and-thirty-six people in Area AWP23RD. Really we were Area AWP23 but some areas had extra digits or letters so the Table, officials, or anyone else knew there was something special about the town. RD stood for Rebel Daughter. Just so it didn’t seem odd when forms were filled out by the dozen, all with the attempted assassination of one Venus Desdemona Egan.
I had been renamed after my parents were dead. People often were if they were less than five, often to tribute their dead parents by naming them after them. If they had died helping the Table and the Laws of Earth the child was given a heroic name.
I had been renamed from Belicia Fawn Egan. Belicia had something to do with God and Fawn because apparently I had large eyes, like that of a frightened deer. People tried to sugar-coat what the Table renamed me.
Apparently Venus was a Roman goddess of love and obviously it was a planet. I’d also heard something about the devil being associated with Venus. According to the Table, my grandmother had recently passed away and her name was ‘Desdemona’. I knew it was a lie. My grandmothers were Holly and April. Desdemonia meant ‘Of the Devil’. My name was a big, bright, red ‘warning’ sign.
Come to think of it, that’s all everything is to do with me. Whenever your run out of clothes you fill out a docket. It asks for colour, if you want pants, skirt, dress, shirt, measurements, material, any specifics. Once I sent one in for a dress. I wanted it brown because I was often pushed in the dirt and it was easier if the dress matched. I asked for sturdy material because I didn’t want it to rip. I wanted it to my knees so I could still run around and I wanted it loose for movement. I sent in the docket.
I was four and I felt so proud. It was the first time I filled in one myself. When it came in the mail I was so excited. I unwrapped the paper and put it on immediately. I didn’t care that it was almost bedtime; I needed to see what I had ordered. I was a potato sack with holes for my legs, arms and head.
The next time it took a month to return instead of the usual ‘within a week’. When it did return, all that came back was the docket. I always had those problems.
Once when I received a grass shirt I went crying to Marguerite and she took my to the local Fitters, where all clothes, shoes, furniture, and everything like that was made. She told the docket sorter what they had sent to me and how it was a disgrace. The sorter went red and explained to Marguerite that they had never received a docket from me and they thought I must have still been in her group-order.
Marguerite went to the post and they said they had a request that all my dockets be sent to a certain office at the Table. We realised what was happening but I tried to pretend that I thought it was very honourable that my dockets were specially requested.
The people at the Fitters heard. One offered to make me some clothes just how I wanted, whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, The next week she was murdered.
Here’s the thing about most areas: no murder is gotten away with because the Table always made a big spectacle and any murderer or attempted murderer was executed. No police or detectives or anything are ever posted here. So killing is always easy to get away with here. As long as it’s on me. It’s almost lights out now, so I’ll go.
Secrets for You,
Here's a short story I wrote for English. It had To be based on a social injustice like racism, child soldiers, poverty, disaility, etc. I got a mark of 81% so I'm pretty proud of it.
WARNING: Contains inappropriate content for a PG-13 audience. If you are younger than 13 please do the right thing and not read.
It doesn't contain detail or anything, but violence, depressing situations and words your parents can explain if you don't understand. If you don't understand then you shouldn't be reading though. If anyone thinks it's innapropriate then just say so :) I won't be offended.
I Was Five ...
My name is Serena. When I was five my nine-year-old brother, Jason, was taken to be a soldier in Congo’s army. The soldiers came and asked him if he was ready to join the army. Everyone knew that if you refused you were shot. He chose – more or less – to live.
Papa tried to stop them from taking him. Papa had served in the war and knew it wasn’t a place for children. He was killed. Mama cried, I cried, my sister cried, Jason cried and I’m sure I saw, as he walked away, tears in one of the soldier’s eyes.
Two years later the soldiers took my sister. She was ten. I was seven. This time Mama turned away and walked back into the house. I stood in the doorway, looking out at the soldiers as one pushed my sister along, sniggering. She tripped over and started sobbing so he kicked her. I ran out and stood over her. One child against two men. I told them to stop.
“Serena, just leave me,” My sister whispered. I shook my head stubbornly. A soldier raised his gun and aimed at my head. I started to shake as I stared down the barrel. The other put his hand on the gun and told the man not to. He hit me instead. First a slap. I refused to cry. I couldn’t show weakness. So he punched me. I could taste blood in my mouth as he then kneed my stomach and kicked me to the ground.
When I finally looked back up they were gone. So was my sister. I looked back at the house and saw my mother watching. But she wasn’t my Mama and she hasn’t been since. She was an empty shell without hope. She never smiled or laughed. She never told me stories or sung. I wondered, if the soldiers came for me, whether she would care. I didn’t think so.
“Go get some water,” My mother told me. I silently stood from my seat on the doorstep and took the pail down to the river. Children played there. I was sixteen. I didn’t play. I haven’t since I was five.
“Come and play!” A little boy called to me. I often saw the children and usually they would talk to me. I never talked back. I filled the pail with water and started walking back to my house. A teenage boy stopped me.
I tried to walk around him but he wouldn’t let me. I glared up at him and he just looked back down. I tried again to walk around but he stepped in my way.
“What do you want!?” I snapped. I knew what all men wanted but sometimes the question put them off guard enough for me to make an escape. Or at least they would stop procrastinating so it could be over soon enough.
The boy put his hand on my cheek. It was warm. He moved it down to my chin and grabbed my jaw tightly, turning my head to the side.
“What do you think I want?” He whispered. I kicked him where I knew it would hurt most and he doubled over in pain. I walked quickly away, trying not to spill any water. The boy yelled angrily after me and I saw soldiers approaching. I pretended I wasn’t frightened but the yelling boy gave away that I had done something wrong.
“You think you can just walk away, girl?” He asked me, slapping my face. I didn’t move. I refused to show weakness. That was something that never changed. The soldier used the end of his gun to hit me across the back of my legs, making me collapse forward. I still refused to submit.
“Well?” He yelled. I stayed silent, looking at the ground. I’d have attacked him if there was the slightest chance he wouldn’t kill me in return. With a final kick to my stomach the soldier walked off.
I finished walking to my house to receive a rant from my mother about taking too long. I didn’t reply. I walked outside and climbed the tree that hung over our house. I could have been helping my mother but I would just be in the way.
I could see the river from the tree. I could see the children there. I could even make out the trigger on the soldiers’ guns as they abducted new recruits. I could see a soldier walk up to my house. He asked my mother where her daughter was. She replied that I was probably in the tree.
I quickly jumped down from the tree and began running, my bare feet kicking out sand behind me. I could hear shots ring out. I risked a glance behind. The soldier was now shooting into the tree. He hadn’t seen me. Yet.
Still running, I tried to think of where to go. If I went back I would be killed. If I was found I would be killed. If I couldn’t get food I would die.
I found an abandoned house. I remembered the family, they had refused to let their boy be a soldier so they were killed and the child was taken anyway. I curled up on the floor inside and slept.
The next day I crept back to my house to retrieve some clothes, food and a pail. It was a few minutes past dawn but already some people were up and getting ready for the day. Including soldiers.
How am I supposed to get there and back unseen?
Hoping no one would notice me, I walked as normally as I could to the house. I had to act as if I had no reason to be afraid … well anymore reason than usual. On reaching the door, I heard a shout. I whirled around, ready to make a run for it but the soldier was walking calmly toward me with his gun at his side. Clearly he wasn’t expecting trouble.
“You’re a pretty-lookin’ girl, ain’t ya?” He asked. I tried not to shudder at his horrid breath and instead stared back blankly. He chuckled and called over some other soldiers. He stroked my arm. One of the others went behind me and pulled my hair out of the rag that kept it from my face. I wanted to get away but they all had guns.
“How about you come with us missy?” One soldier asked. I was pulled, pushed, prodded and poked until I started moving. As we walked I noticed the soldier from my house walk past. He met my eyes and gave an evil smirk that said ‘that’s karma [censored]’.
It’s not karma because I didn’t do anything wrong!
I was taken to the river, amongst some bushes. I wanted to scream but no one would come. I wanted to cry but no one would care. I wanted to run but they would catch me. There was no escape.
My name is Serena. I was five when my brother was taken to war. I was five when my father was killed. I was seven when my sister was taken to be a ‘soldier’s wife’, aka sex slave. I was ten when I heard my brother and sister were dead. I was eleven when I was first raped. I was twelve when a drunken soldier tried to drown me. I was fourteen when my cousin shot at me. I was sixteen when I was taken to the war to be a soldier’s wife. I was seventeen when my mother was killed. I was eighteen when I tried to escape. I was eighteen when I was killed.
Hope you liked it ;D
I'm not sure about that last paragraph - it came a little out of left field. The information you gave could be more powerful if you did more with it than list it. Really flesh out the story and put the audience right there as she changes, be in her head to get right into why she is so defiant rather than resigned.
A small thing - there are a couple of times where you use phrases like 'karma' and 'aka' - they seemed a little out of place in the character you were building - we understand the words as shortcuts to ideas - but what are the ideas without those tags? Is she likely to know what Karma is? would she use the phrase aka?
I'm not sure anyone could say that they 'enjoy' reading this story, but it is a good story.
:) Thanks Nef. I'll look over it sometime and see what I can do to fix it. But I agree, I never really thought of whether she would known what Karma was or 'aka' so thank you verily muchly for pointing that out ;D
I really liked it Dianaria. :D
;D Thanks muchly VC! I'll add something else up in a while probably.
That is such a tragic story! I think that everyone should 'know' about things like that, so we can feel sorry for the victims. It was a good story Dinaria but like Nef, i can't say i 'enjoyed' it, but i did 'like reading it. If you get my meaning ~:|
p.s. i used a lot of 's in that XD
Thanx Beth :) Sorry I haven't replied sooner, I wanted to wait until I had something else to put up before I thanked anyone else so I didn't clog the thread with thank yous :roll:
Anyways: This is a Sample OSP (Original Solo Performance) I've made for TEE Drama this year. It is near the end of a new series I started about a month ago. I wrote it about 2 weeks ago. So obviously the plotline might change but I'm pretty sure this point will stay the same so SPOILER ALERT!!! Of course, no one has started reading the books yet so :P
For those of you that don't know, in year 12 drama 2a/2b or 3a/3b, you have to write a monologue which you will perform at the end of year as part of your exam. It has to be your own work. That's all the background info that's relevant for you.
I know the format is currently not that of a script, but I haven't even decided on my characters name yet. Anything in capitals and brackets is someone else talking (as it's a monologue no one can perform that bit), italics and brackets are actions.
Not every action is mentioned (as with any script) so it's better when performed, but I hope you can appreciate the script too :roll:
When I was eighteen my parents told me they weren’t really my parents. They told me … they told me I was ‘born of the Light’. I didn’t understand what they could possibly mean. That was a year ago. They said I was the ‘Destined One’, I would stop the Darkness.
“What are you talking about? I can’t stop the Darkness, I’m one person. Why do you think I’ve been trying to get as many people as I can to join the Uprising?”
They told me a wisewoman had told them on my eighteenth birthday I would set out on my journey, guided by my Protector. My Protector would find me and guide me on my journey. They would explain everything.
So you did. I met you in the forest and we both knew when we saw each other who we were. Do you remember? Soldiers were following me but you got me up in a tree and stopped them. You showed me my magic and my strength. You told me I needed to find the talismans and put them in the ocean together. But you forgot to mention something. Everybody did.
No one told me I would have to kill. No one told me I’d put so many at risk. No one told me my world would come crumbling down around me, that every silent breath would be too loud, that every running step would take too long, that every second I lived would be agony. No one told me I’d fall in love.
And you know the best kept secret? The secret I only just heard? Not from a friend. From someone trying to kill me? The part where I slit my throat over the talismans for them to work! That the only reason I had to do this was so the charm in my blood could bond to the talismans and then release their magic to stop the Darkness.
Yeah, I know about it now. Thanks to the Captain. Don’t worry, I’ll do it when we find the last talisman. I just thought at least you would give me time to prepare-
(THE LAST TALISMAN)
The … talisman? So they’re all here. (takes talisman and puts all before her in the water) I guess it’s goodbye then. (takes out dagger and raises to throat. Hesitates and pulls dagger away slightly) Oh, and Damion, I meant what I said.
I wouldn’t have changed my Protector for the world. Thank you. (leans over talismans, so neck is above. Takes a deep breath to steady self. Closes eyes and brings dagger back to throat.)
Wow Dinaria, I think that'd be really interesting to perform, and you've written it so well that I can just hear it. I hope it all goes well later in the year :)
Your drama piece is written greatly for a performance. I can see it being spoken, and properly acted out to convey the meaning and emotion behind the words. Good luck with the exam!
I also just read the previous piece, I Was Five, and agree that although it wasn't a good subject to read about, the style is nice and projects the darker points so it was a good piece of prose. If you know what I mean...
Arwen: Thanks, that's really sweet :) And thank you for the well wishes :D I hope so too and you too for anything you have going on that I'll feel guilty not knowing about ~:|
Fate: Gracias, I'm glad you enjoyed it :roll: And thanks, I still have about 3/4 of the year before it starts but my drama teacher said we should start practising. I think that applied more to those that have trouble writing or coming up with ideas. Of course a lot of them will be able to act theirs out really well with almost no work (okay, maybe a bit of work) but that's something I'll have to concentrate on :P
And thanks about I Was Five. I kind of compare it to Titantic. Not because it was as good as Titanic (I wish), but because I really enjoyed it except for the hundreds of people that died. Good but sad.
I managed to cry while I was practising that monologue several times now! XD Hopefully if I use it I'll still be able to cry in a performance (usually whether or not I can cry off stage I never do on. It's annoying).
Okay, so I haven't posted in here in literally over half a year and most of my writing has been in notebooks, etc and I'm too lazy to type them up so I get my amazing friend Vivian (who loves to type and frequently asks for more to type as well as is currently my self-assigned 'writing supervisor' during my study period coz writing is studying for English) to type up whatever I write. I am currently mostly working on a book in a journal (which of course I use for stories, not as an actual journal) and am currently up to page 162 or something :P ).
Anyways, something Viv did type up a little while ago is a new book that I started (I counted how many novels I've started and it's over 100, which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't only finished 1 :P ). Anyways, here's the prologue of the story (which currently has no title) ...
Four silent silhouettes slipped through the street as the moon rose overhead. It was late June but with the amount of skin the tallest was showing you would think it was mid-January. They slowed as they approached a deserted shopping centre.
Once they reached the carpark, one split off from the rest. The others waited in silence until the first returned. The figure nodded to the others and they began moving again.
Exactly one hour later, an alarm went off and police sirens sounded in the distance. By the time they arrived, all that was left was a black satin ribbon – shredded at one end – on an empty jewellery case and a lingering smell of roses. No one saw four shadows disappear into a nearby park.
I know it's a very short prologue but I only wanted it to be quick. I haven't actually decided on names for most of the characters so I may wait until I at least have a few of their names down before posting up anymore of this story.
Very mysterious! It doesn't matter that the prologue is short - sometimes something short, sharp and shiny makes the point really well and is enough to hook a reader. I, for one, would be very interested to find out what happens, just from that small segment. And I agree, it's very easy to start a piece of writing - so hard to actually get around to finishing it :P
What's the actual story going to be about? :)
Thanks Fate :D I'm glad your not phased by the shortness of it :) And yeah, plus you get distracted by new story ideas so you forget what you just did :P
btw, lovin' your sig XD I went to see the movie first day it came out and got two of the collectible cups (Pascal and Maximus coz Rapunzel was out) and I got the DVD yesterday for my bday.
The story is about some supervillians and, of course, superheroes. It's focused around one girl from first person point of view (usually if I have a prologue I put it in third person no matter the point of view for the rest of it). I'll try to find some names this weekend and put up some more of the story :)
Lolz, thanx, I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'll put the next chapter up once I've finished the serious editing. Lupa started off in the room then after a few days of writing I forgot she was there so I made her walk in later ~:|
I like writing books where at least some of the dialogue is completely pointless. In a lot of books I find you can pretty much guess what's going to happen because everything the people say has a point. Whether it's foreshadowing, leading up to an event/to get something else to happen, giving some background info or whatever, it's almost never just there like it would be in real life.
The Tangled cups were from my local cinema with a combo deal. Grand Cinema is the company (aka Movie Masters coz the same company owns both). They sometimes have combo deals with cups. I got Scrat and female Scrat when Ice Age 3 came out too. Idk if the company or combos happen over east (I'm guessing you're in eastern Aus coz pretty much no one is in WA).