Goodbye to 2013; Hello to 2014

The year of 2013 is coming to a close.

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I have to admit, I am going to miss a lot of this year. I met lots of new friends along the way, and have been through many wonderful experiences—a very eventful year, if you ask me. The people that I've gotten to meet and know this year have never failed to astound me with their uniqueness and individuality. I got to experience my first youth retreat, learn to play the ukulele, and take a chance to retry some things that I have definitely wanted to get the swing back into.

One of the things that I am going to miss this of this year? The moments I had with my friends on Team S.A.B.E.R., all because of a book idea that I just created one school day, and we're still trying to make it into a reality. Team S.A.B.E.R. is, in fact, the working title I have for this book. Some of my friends in our group have moved or will be moving, and next school year, my friends and I will be in all different types of classes. My friends are basically my family, the family at school that I really appreciate. 

In fact, even before the book idea was born, I still hung out with these people, even if they were in my alternating classes. I got to know them in social studies, science and our school's open house. I preferred those classes periods with my friends rather than my two other core subjects, algebra and language arts—whether it was because the people in my social studies and science classes were more outgoing than the ones in my other subjects, I'm not sure.

One of the things that I really love about 2013 is that I have improved my novel-writing skills. In 2012, I still had a lot to learn about how to perfect the art of writing a decent novel, and I had to make up eleven days of procrastination. In 2013, I was able to get into the habit of writing consecutively and keeping track of my schedule and such. Blogging also helped me improve my writing style! Now, I am able to write almost every day, whether it is blog writing or jolting down ideas.

I have a lot of things I would like to accomplish this year. For one, I want to get to editing simultaneously for two of my novels and, hopefully, at the end of the 2014, I'll be able to send them off to agents. I am really excited and nervous for this to happen—I'm getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it! I'm also getting back into acting and singing. In a couple of days, I am auditioning for either Anne of Green Gables or a Camelot/Merlin related play! 

I bet that many of you have many resolutions for the year of 2014; I do, too. Some of us may be having a second attempt on our resolutions that we tried to accomplish in 2013. Before we venture into this New Year, let's look back at the past year and see how we are going to succeed with our goals this year.
The reason why we create resolutions is to improve ourselves, as a person. Before we go and try to accomplish them, we should first see why we want these resolutions to be accomplished, and then put the efforts to try to make those resolutions work. If you are ready to give up on your resolution, remember that you are trying to accomplish this because you want to change and improve yourself.

Some of my resolutions? Well, I want to be myself. I sort of accomplished this in 2013, but honestly, I think I could do better. Another thing I want to do is grow taller. I'm dreaming of that growth spurt, but until then, milk and sleep is the way I am going to grow! My third one is to get back into singing and acting. Singing and acting are two things that I love doing, but I'm really passive to do those activities. My final resolution is to be able to write, write, write, and take the first steps to accomplishing my dreams as a published author! You can reach your dreams, so why wait until you are an adult to accomplish them? Take the first steps to making them into reality!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2014, everyone. I know that there will be ups and downs going into this New Year, but that is how life is.

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(P.S. I'll start up 2014 with the meme inspired by the book Wonder; keep our eyes peeled, and don't forget to choose kind.)

Mini Book Reviews

Hi! Morning here. Here are some of the book review I promised to do (for the record, I am horrible at writing book reviews, so... yup. *runs*).

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The novel is told by Tris and Tobias, who venture out to the world that laid outside of the fence. The books picks up several days after Insurgent, with the city ran by factionless and Evelyn putting people on trial. The switching viewpoints seem to have caught me off guard, because Divergent and Insurgent both were only told by the viewpoints of Tris only.
I was a little disappointing how the novel came out. There was no plot development. The idea with GPs (genetically pure) and GDs (genetically damaged) just went around in circles. It seemed pointless. It seemed like Veronica Roth was busy trying to put lots of information in one book (the Bureau? Tobias not being Divergent?) I almost just went around in my room ranting.
Then came the ending. That was the one good thing that came out of the novel. I've read reviews by a lot of fans saying that they were disappointed by how it came out, but I have to disagree. Tris was Divergent, with an aptitude for Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless. She wanted to make her parents proud. Even if she sacrificed herself for Caleb, who she acted cold to, it felt like she did what the Abnegation and the Dauntless would do in that situation. With her seeing her mother and reaching for her embrace… that was just… wow. I bawled my eyes out.
Tobias' chapters once he finds out that Tris died…. That was painful to read. It seemed sad that a lot of the characters ended up dying in this book and their companions who were still alive mourned, but it mad the book seem more realistic.
Overall, I rate this book five stars. I recommend it to fans of the series, but take it with a grain of salt.

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Champion by Marie Lu
Champion is the third novel in the Legend trilogy, by Marie Lu. The Republic and the Colonies have signed a peace treaty to from fighting against each other. That peace treaty is soon threatened when a new plague rises from the Colonies, and the Republic is taking the blame. Great ending there! Marie Lu wrapped things up quite nicely with the final book in the series. I could not stop fan girling until the end of the book (I stayed up all night to finish the book); now the end was amazing, and not disappointing! Rating it five stars, and recommending it to fans of the series (once again) and to those who are looking for YA dystopia books. Hats to you, Marie Lu.

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Sunshine Award

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Thank you to Les of Beaute Imparfait, who has awarded me with the Sunshine Blog Award! 

"For bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."

The rules are:
1. Thank the blogger that nominated her and link to her blog
2. Nominate other bloggers and let them know on their blogs
3. Answer a list of ten questions
4. The Sunshine Award button must be posted on the blog

The Questions (you can answer my ten or make up your own; I'm doing a mix)

1. What is your favorite Bible verse?
A: "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." –John 8:32

2. Something you are going to try to accomplish next year?
A: I am probably going to try to extend my writing and singing careers. I want to get published before eighteen, and I'm really striving for that. The writing industry is hard to get into, and you have to learn to be thick-skinned and get ready for anything that happens. People also are telling me to try to sing out more in public… I'm still afraid of being on stage, but I'm trying to overcome that fear.

3. Do you have a sweet tooth?
A: Haha, this question just cracks me up. Yes, I do have a sweet tooth. I just love sugar. 

4. One of your best memories?
A: Team S.A.B.E.R. meetings, I suppose. (You hear me talk about these guys a lot.) It may be crazy because of our utter randomness, but seriously, I had a good time with the nine of my friends that I made over the past two years at school. Also, performing my group's choreographed dance for gym. Now that was a fun time, I admit.

5. What are you doing at this moment?
A: Typing this up, while listening to Sara Bareilles' "Gonna Get Over You." For some strange reason, that was the song that was in my mind before I went to sleep and the song that I remembered when I woke up this morning. 

6. Something that made you happy today?
A: Finding out I got the award, listening to music, receiving The Last Present, no pun intended, and this (it's a reference to a nickname I'm also called at school):

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7. Things that you discovered about this year?
A: Blogging, many good books and movies, and meeting awesome people.

8. Can you speak with a different accent?
A: Oh, lovely question! Yes, I love speaking in a British accent. During Home Economics in February, the people at my table group and I had accent speaking competitions. I'm trying to master Irish, Scottish, Australian (it sounds different than British), Southern USA and Jersey accents!

9. Do you play an instrument?
A: The violin and vocals. I can play a bit of piano, guitar, ukulele, recorder and…. Harmonica!

10. Lesson you learned this year?
A: "Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out…" – from the song Brave, by Sara Bareilles.
(If you haven't noticed yet, I listen to her music a lot.)

The Nominees
1. Maiya from Willowy and Wispy
2. kiwiyoungwriter from Aspire
3. Helena from Crafts, Pictures, and All That Craziness
4. TheMusicMe22 from The Best Guide To Being Me

(If you've been nominated, I'll comment it on your blogs a little later.)

Stay strong and wonderful! 
xoxo Morning

Simbang Gabi 2013 Moments.

I just have to share some Simbang Gabi moments with you. In case you do not know what Simbang Gabi is, it means "Evening Mass" in Filipino. What happens is that you go to mass for nine consecutive days in the morning, as early as four, and if you finish those nine days, then a wish that you make will be granted. I don't live in the Philippines anymore, but where I live now, we attend mass in the evenings, and then afterwards, we attend a huge potluck and eat! Here are two of my favorite moments from this year's evening masses.
A tradition my brother's friends have that began two years ago is that they went downstairs earlier than everyone else to get in line first. Anyways, when my church was hosting, I decided (as I did along with them and some other kids the two previous years) to go down and get in line. There were some adults that my parents knew, and they said, "It's time to do the karaoke!" Well, my brother and his friends told these two girls that I should sing with them. For at least fifteen minutes, the three of us girls were belting Christmas carols at the top of our lungs with no one else around. 
The second memory that I have occurred yesterday. There were so many people at the potluck I went to last night that as soon I was finished eating my food, I had to give up my chair for my aunt and uncle. I sat on the low steps of the stage and just wrote inside my notebook. No one noticed me, and that was all right. I did not mind being the wallflower.
Out of all of the people that noticed me, a little girl about the age of seven came up and plopped down next to me on my right, looking at me with her big brown eyes. I turned to my left and saw several other kids sit down near the steps where I sat. I didn't know what to do. I loved the solitude and the solidarity of these kids. The little girl began to look through my notebook, curious, and so I was left with one option: "Want to draw in my notebook with me?"
I got a highlighter from my mom and we drew. "Jill," she introduced herself in a quiet voice.
"What?" I asked. The area was filled with noise, and it was hard to hear.
"Jill. J-I-L-L."
We drew on the stage, and by my side was my little cousin, whispering in my ear, "I got a new friend." Can I just say that Jill can draw, a lot more talented than what I drew at her age? Here is what she and I drew.

The first picture we drew. It's a rainy day with butterflies and fairies.

The second picture we drew! It's the opposite of the first picture, a sunny day.
From left to right: there's a cat, a dog, and a nurse. :)

We're getting into the Christmas spirit! It's nightfall. There is a trail of hearts leading to the sky. The moon above the house has a Christmas hat, if you haven't noticed it yet.

          Once I had to leave, I told her it was nice to draw with her.
          Her response? "Jill. J-I-L-L."
          If everyone was nice and sweet as this girl, then this world would just be a better place. :) Merry Christmas, everyone!

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Morning

The 2013 End-Of-The-Year Recap

1. Favorite Game From 2013?The most favorite game that I discovered in 2013 is Human Knot. What you do is you stand in a circle with at least five or six people, and you grab two different hands from someone in the group. Then, you try to untangle the "knot" without letting go of their hands. During the day of finals in May, my friends and I played this game along with shooting volleyballs through the baskets and singing… though that, my friends, is a completely different story that is irrelevant to this question right now.

2. Best Song You Have Discovered This Year? The best song I have discovered that was created in this year is the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. This song is about being able to speak your mind, and just "let the words fall out." This is a song that definitely relates to me, because I'm shy, but I often have a lot of thoughts in my mind. Often times, I'm just too afraid to try to speak my mind verbally, and this song has really helped me go through this school year being able to contribute to discussions and such. If you haven't heard of this song, I suggest listening to it and listening to the rest of her album, "The Blessed Unrest." Very good choice of songs.

3. Movie/Movie Series You've Watched That You Love The Hobbit movies are just absolutely outstanding! When I was at a hotel, I decided to watch this over Joyful Noise. I'm planning to read the book soon (I know, I know, I've done the evil deed of watching the movie first before reading the book), because my friends have recommended it.

4. Book/Book Series You Read? That's a tie between the Divergent series, by Veronica Roth, and the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. When I read these books, I wasn't much a huge fan over dystopia fiction, but these books have definitely sparked my interest in them. I'll recommend these books to fans of The Maze Runner series, or to newcomers of this genre. Shug, by Jenny Han (great contemporary book for tween girls becoming teens) and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey are books I have read this year that I would also recommend.

5. YouTube Channels You've Found Out About? The YouTube channels that I have discovered in 2013 that are just downright amazing are the channels "itswaypastmybedtime" and "Blimey Cow." I never had any interest on YouTube channels until I found Bubzbeauty in 2012. Those two channels I discovered this year that I seriously love never fail to crack me up.

6. Show You Watch?
Legend of Korra
. When I was younger, I used to be really interested in The Last Airbender. I never became interested in Korra until I watched AMVs and the Season 2 trailer on YouTube, and I've been interested ever since. XD

7. Blog You Have Discovered? Feed Me Books Now is an outstanding book review blog created by Ruby, and I found her blog while searching kid and teen bloggers on the internet. This girl knows how to write book reviews and create graphics. I suggest to go and check it out!

8. 2013 Memory You Would Want To Relive Again My best memory from this year are basically the Team S.A.B.E.R. meetings. Team S.A.B.E.R. is a novel idea I had one day, but I got input from my friends, who most of the characters are based on. Those meetings, which were supposed to be serious, turned into pure chaos. Arguments about chocolate pudding and trying to get the marbles in the Talking Pikachu to stay (now that is a long story). During that time, I just could not stop laughing. Sadly, I laughed so hard chocolate milk came out of my nose.

9. Field Trip From This Year?
The best field trip I have gone to is the youth retreat I had for my church. I loved my time being outdoors and running around in four in the morning. What happened with that was my cabin decided to wake up at four in the morning to have enough time to do their "morning routine". Breakfast was at six, but our cabin was up until two. A girl from my cabin and I basically ran around the campground for two hours, swinging on the swings and playing Uno in the morning.

10. Favorite Person You Met? My favorite person I have met this year is Rivers! Oh my goodness, this girl is simply amazing. I met her at construction camp. At first, I was surprised with her outgoing personality and extending her hand out to introduce herself, but we soon began to run around camp. We sang songs out loud at the top of our lungs, talked about video games, and laughed our heads off. I don't get to see her much anymore because she lives in another town, but we still text each other often. 


I see it.
So now it is
the Christmas Season.
Waving to people you know,
giving Christmas cards to your friends,
scarfing down Christmas cookies and candy canes,
reading comfortably in your room the cards that you have been 
receiving of your friends, where your depicted as Despicable Me minions and Pikachu.

(P.S. I won't be able to post the book reviews until either Friday or Saturday, because it is the final days of school and I have to finish off strong. Plus, Simbang Gabi, which I will try to get some pictures of.)

Christmas Wishlist

Well, this is the time of year when we, to those who celebrate this holiday season, celebrate Christmas!
I've been thinking about what I want for Christmas. Most people would be asking for electronic gifts: "I want an iPad, I want the new brand of that phone, etc." Those aren't bad gift, truth be told, and that comes from someone who wishes for some musical albums.
All I really want though, is to have a pen pal who has the same interests and such to send snail mail to and give/receive little mementos from. I'm not even kidding; that's all I want for Christmas. 
               I think I wanted a pen pal all of a sudden because, one, I missed my pen pal from fourth grade, and two, sending snail mail is a lot more meaningful that a quick text or snapshot that people can send to their contacts on Snapchat. (Um, that is what you do if you have Snapchat, right? I don't have one, but I think that is what you do with the app, according to the people who have one.)
It's also pretty strange though. This is the first in five years I didn't ask for a book.
The only books I'd ask is The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Gone by Michael Grant, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. I've read a lot of good series this year, and my friends have been recommending it to me many good books.
Speaking of books right now, I am planning to do some mini reviews and a meme inspired by the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio!

Until then, stay strong and wonderful!


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Cranky Days

Today, I have been feeling pretty grumpy. Whenever I am online, I try to sound positive because if good vibes sends good vibes to others, then the same affect happens with bad vibes. I don't want to spread bad vibes to others, but today, I felt like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. So, today, I am going to write about how my day went. I am just like everyone else, but, as the title of my blog says, it's, well, not-so-average!

7:45-8:15 AM: I spent my time trying to finish up typing up my short story for Language Arts, when, during this time, I wait patiently to go and grab a lunch pass. I was feeling super cranky when I got there, so I isolated myself from everyone else. I didn't want to explode at them.

8:15-9:00 AM: I had orchestra. I forgot my music, so the people sitting next to me and I, the three of us had to work out a system to play out the pieces. Plus, we had a concert in a couple of days!

9:05-9:50 AM: In gym we were working on our dance unit. Our group originally had nine members, but it got down to five members because the group was split between two over what the chorography was and what song we were going to dance to. At the end, this was super fun, because we got to create poses that were incorporated at the end of our dance.

9:55-10:50 AM: The lesson plan for the day was canceled. I got busy on working on an assignment, which was drawing a comic strip about the Boston Tea Party through the eyes of the colonists and the eyes of the British soldiers. I had a lot of fun trying to make it as straight-forward as possible, but fun at the same time.

10:55-11:40 AM: In class, after the teacher taught the lesson for Geometry, we got to decorate the tree for the door decorating contest! I wish they had agreed to let me bring glitter, though…

11:45-12:15 PM: Lunch. Today was supposed to be a meeting day about a project (Not school related, but just for fun). Then, I was feeling a lot crankier than ever because the lunch line was slow. Now, there is a quote on Goodreads that says this: "My life has a superb cast, but I cannot figure out the plot." This applied to this. My friends and I, got from the subject about book characters to whether Bing or Google was better.

12:20-1:05 PM: Science! As usual, Team Huddle Time occurred, something that my friends and I do before class starts. We have a project before, but I did not expect to have one two weeks prior to the end of school. The project was to write a volcano resume, working in the library. I chose Mount Vesuvius. My friends were—sadly—searching up everyone in our circle friend group's houses.

1:10-1:55 PM: Language arts. The usual—if you count writing a five page narrative essay that we can play around with as normal.

2:00-2:45 PM: Yearbook was the same as normal. I finally got a TIFF down, though! TIFFs are hard things to do.

3:00-6:00: Working on card-making operation!

I didn't expect this to turn out in a diary format of the sort (I can't stand diaries and journals; I don't know why. Blogging is a lot better for me, personally.)

So, what did you guys do today? 

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Like Lucy here, I've been pretty cranky.

Light In the Dark

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In case you haven't noticed, I am an avid Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra fan. I love both shows. I grew up with The Last Airbender, while I found out about Legend of Korra by YouTube, when I found a funny video showing the funny parts of the first season of the LoK. And no, I did not name this after the episode in the same series; I named this after the quote in the picture.

So, in this little screenshot on the second season of Legend of Korra, it is showing Uncle Iroh talking to the kid version of Korra. She is in the spirit world, looking for her teacher's daughter, and she bumps into Uncle Iroh--er, General Iroh. He's one of my favorite characters, because he often gives advice and learns to enjoy the simple things in life!

He tells Korra, "If you look in the light, you can often find it. But if you look in the dark, that is all you will ever see."

This is true. Looking in the light and dark is different for everyone. For me, personally, I'm an optimist, and I look often into the light for things. Also, even if my mood is dampened, I normally keep on smiling-- a reason why my friends keep saying to me, "Keep smiling!" Some who are realists and pessimists-- it can be hard to look light.

It depends on how you look at your situation and the problem you're facing. The reason why you can find light, unlike the dark, is because of one thing: hope. Hope is light. If you watched or read the Hunger Games, then you will know what I am talking about. In the movie, President Snow wants to kill Katniss because she is the beacon of hope that is causing the Districts to begin an uprising against the Capitol. If you look in the dark, it's nearly impossible to find that ignited spark of hope.

Stay strong and wonderful, everyone!


"Who Am I" Linkup (Orignally from j'adore)

Hello! This link up was originally created by Lilly Jackson of j'adore, and I decided to do it! Basically, what you do, is "in which we link up our Pinterest board which describes us, or a picture off google for crying out loud that describes you in a quote or just a picture." Here it goes!

I chose this for several reasons. I love nature, and it shows a girl
with a camera, and I love photography. <3

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It's good to have friends for life, and I wish that the group of friends
I will know for the rest of my life will be from middle school.

I love quotes. Everyday, I go on Goodreads and look at the quote of the day.
Wise words from the people of our past, I like to view them as.

If you have met my friends, they'll tell you that I smile. Especially Brynn.
She'll tell you I smile as I bump the ball into the air during volleyball.

Writing is my escape, and it helps me find my voice! Someday, I'm going to become a
famous best-selling author, and I'm working toward it! You'll see!

This is what I am, most of all. Still finding my identity. :)

Beginning of December!

Guess what, everyone? I've won NaNoWriMo and wrote a 50,000 word novel all in 30 days! I feel so proud. To celebrate, I have been busy watching Legend of Korra AMVs and watching the season finale of the show. To show the proof, I have my lovely web badge shown below.

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I can't wait until December 7th, because I may be going to a "thank goodness NaNoWriMo is over" party with my old writing group! It's been forever since I've last seen them; I have been too busy with school to go nowadays. I am super excited! We may be doing a couple of Word Wars.... hehehe....

Also, today, I saw one of my friends. She and I go to the same school now, but we rarely see each other because we don't have the same classes and we revolve around different circles.

During Black Friday, I received Just Dance 2014, a USB drive, and a new laptop. I am going to miss my old laptop dearly, but at least I know it is going into good hands: I'm giving it to my grandmother. I know Just Dance 2014 may seem dorky, but it is a really fun way to bond with your friends and family! The USB drive is to save my files.

Oh, and did I mention I also got a Starbucks frappe, in six in the morning? I know it seems odd for me to be exciting over something as simple as that, but I

Well, it is December, and there is 24 days until Christmas! I am super excited. Our house is under construction, meaning that we are decking the halls. The Christmas tree is up, but all we have to do is put up parols, which is like a Christmas lantern with very elaborate designs. If I have time, I'll try to post a picture!

Read aloud about the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in the various classrooms to some of my friends is one of the things I am looking forward to. I based a lot of my character's personalities on them. I can't wait! Which, reminds me, my friends and I should be planning a going-away-we'll-miss-you-and-Merry-Christmas gift for one of my friends, who is moving.

I will try to post a lot more! Don't worry. Stay strong and wonderful!