27 March 2014

Can I Ask...

... A favor of you guys? Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up fast—in fact, it’s coming up close in three days! I have a general novel idea in mind with a character I’m really excited to write about, but I want to know what you guys think of her.

Meet Cornelia Beatrice Harvard, or “Bee”, for short.
10th grader, though ninth grade by age, a thirteen-year-old in appearance, and a farm girl by blood.
On the shell, she’s analytical, opinionated, judgmental, and antisocial.
On the inside, however, she’s awkward, eccentric, and particularly ordinary—in the ways that matter.

I know, you all want to read a snippet about her from my novel, right? I don’t normally reply to the comments on my writing page, but I do end up granting requests, which, in this case, is posting more writing! So, without further ado, I’ll present you… Bee!

***
I am a child of the bees.

Ever since I was young, family friends always greet me with a pinch of the check and praise how the blood of the true countryside runs through my veins. After all, why wouldn’t I? My parents are the land, in flesh and blood.

My complexion says otherwise. During the rare occasions I stride into town, there would always be that one person who will question if I am a native to these fields. Compared to Mother’s, my hair is an unbalanced proportion of golden and sandy. Freckles, which I spent my elementary school years to erase with an eraser, sprinkle my fair complexion. My eyes were a rusty hazel.

No, I am not a bright southern farm girl that people expect. I am simply the girl in the background, the one who almost blends into the brown of faded photographs. I doubt that anyone from the high school in town knows how I am.

So, where do the bees necessarily come in? Primarily, I think the life purposes of bees and people are the same. Both strive to work hard and attempt to make their lives sweet. The farm business a hard industry to be in, and you have to work hard to survive.

One thing that sets people apart is that there are some who have life easy. No matter what the task is or how hard it is, they come out as survivors. Heroes. Role models. Some force from up above—whether it’s nature, the world, God—must make it easy for them.

Currently, my parents are survivors. To commemorate and remember their success, they named me Cornelia Beatrice Harvard, or “Bee” for short. I am a product to the sweetness of their success.

Yet, the winds have decided for this course to change.

***
So, what do you think? Please leave a comment and tell me!

24 March 2014

Amity Day!

So, according to this picture, it's National Amity Day. I wasn't whether to believe it or not, but I just have to clear this up. According to this old post n Veronica Roth's blog, National Amity Day is on April 27th, while according to this post on DivergentLife, to honor the movie's release, it's from 224-2/28 (an entire month ago!) but for the sake of it, I am still going to celebrate it. I'm still going to wear red and yellow on that day. Since the movie came out, I'm just going to go with what the picture said (I'll still celebrate it on April 27th, but I won't make a post about it, just like I am doing now). Goodness, I am making this complicated, aren't I?


Inline image 1

So today, I basically went out and dressed up in red and yellow. Those are two colors that I would normally not wear TOGETHER because one, it's too bright for my clothing range, and two, bright colors can make you stand out, in the sense that people will stare. The attention is something that I would only like to endure when I am performing, like during theater groups and such. I've attempted to take pictures of what I did wear via my computer's camera. My camera, on the other hand, which I normally use for pictures, is currently charging at the moment. Please do not take these photos and pin them or share them, etc., for these are mine.



Today, I also acted like the Amity, which wasn't that hard to do. The Amity's behavior is peaceful, playful and kind. The last two were easy to accomplish, because they were things that I did on a daily business and they were traits weaved into my personality. The first one, being peaceful is very hard to accomplish. I am normally one who takes action and another part of my personality is that I'm feisty. Hey, I can't help but express my feelings! 

According to page 42 of Divergent, the Amity's beliefs are "living in peace with one another, against aggression, kind, loving and free." Of course I would want to live in peace with everyone, yet who doesn't? As Marcus Eaton says in Insurgent, "The Amity will have trouble enforcing that policy.... How do you stop conflict without conflict?” The answer is quite simple; trying to avoid conflict is inevitable. You can reduce the chances of conflict, but other than that, there is nothing else you can do except to take action and resolve the problem.

So... what are your thoughts about Amity? Is this your faction that you would choose at the age of sixteen, or does your personality, views, and beliefs clash with this? Post your comments below! 





22 March 2014

We're On Fire This Week!

Hi, everyone! How are you enjoying the first few days of spring? Where I am right now, it doesn’t seem like spring one bit (the three days of heavy snow that weekend before going back to school from spring break is slowly melting, though). I’m feeling so tired, sore, having mixed feelings.

Well, track and field started this week. I was about ready to brace myself for the harshness of training I had to endure last year—full on boot camp training to strengthen core muscles and get in shape—but surprisingly enough, the first week was quite easy. I do admit I can still feel the burn in my legs. The other two pieces of good news is that a lot more of my friends joined this year, and two, one of our meets is at the school of my friend that I haven’t seen in a long time!

That, and we finally completed our "We the People" speeches. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a competition where a group of four or five must prepare a four minute speech answering a civics question about the U.S. constitution and government. It was required as a grade, and we were assigned partners. To be honest, I was a little nervous if my group would pull through because we were allowed to choose our group, but I simply wrote down, "I can work with anyone." I didn't mind working with everyone.

This week was the week that we had to represent our speeches. We all pulled ourselves to work twice as hard and prepared for the series of follow-up questions that were to follow our speech. Our group was on fire, answering these questions and trying hard to stifle laughs under our hands because it was hard for some people to speak without using their hands. It makes me laugh just remembering that.

One of the things that we had to do as a requirement was to dress up nicely. I had to wear a scarf, a lacely striped shirt, black dress pants, and Dansco shoes, things that I do not normally like to wear. Normally, I look like this:

Inline image 1
(image via Tumblr)
'
One last thing: DIVERGENT CAME OUT YESTERDAY!!!

Inline image 2
Look at how beautiful this movie poster is!

~(•-•)~

So close to watching it in the theater... sadly, our family didn't get the chance to watch the movie. My feels, though.... IT'S HARD TO CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT! *squeals*

19 March 2014

"Let Your Memories Grow Stronger"

"Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Til they're before your eyes..."
-"The Call", Regina Spektor

Aren't memories rather sweet?
Most of the sweetest memories are the moments we take for granted and never notice until it's gone.
This song is so lovely, but it makes me feel solemn on the inside, and a little sad.
Singing songs from Disney movies with my friends in theater (theater in general),
the random staring contests I had with my table group,
playing outside with the other eleven kids in my neighborhood that one summer,
receiving my blackbelt,
singing "No One" in the taekwondo van,
the pride I felt when I got complimented for my writing and singing,
these are some of the memories I would like to relive again.
So please, just take this from someone who knows,
don't ever take the moment for granted. 
Once it's gone, it can never come back.
Hold onto those memories forever.
What are some of YOUR favorite and cherished memories?




15 March 2014

I've Been Tagged-- This or That

Hello, everyone! Eve from "Eve of Womanhood" started a tag called this and that, I decided to do it! 

Rules: Answer the questions given to you, give the people you nominate the same questions, nominate three people and let them know they've been tagged.

1. Summer or Winter?
A: Winter. It's not as lonely as it does get in the summer (if I plan to do the activities that I have in mind for the summer and my parents approve, like summer conservatory, then it might change...)
     
2. Blue or Pink?
A: Blue!
3. Frozen or Brave?
A: I love Disney... it's so hard to choose! Probably Frozen, though I do have Merida's wild spirit. :)
 4. Art or Reading?
A: Reading, without a doubt!
 5. Christmas or Birthday?
A: Christmas. :D
 6. Flip-flops or Boots?
 A: Boots. 

7. Roses or Daisies?
A: Daises!
     
8. Cat or Dog?
A: Dog! They're really loyal. I have some friends who have cats and they have lots of scratch marks on their arms because their cats' don't want to take baths...
       
9. Vanilla or Chocolate?
A: Chocolate! (My sweet tooth craves for it.)
10. Europe or Asia?
A: Asia. Sorry, I love Europe, but the natural sights to see in Asia (the beaches, national parks, etc.)
11. Raspberries or Blackberries?
A: Blackberries!
12. Vintage or Modern?
A: Hmm... this is a tough one! I love modern stuff, though vintage looks good.

13. Pasta or Soup?
A: Pasta!
14. Elephant or Lion?
A: Another tough one! I'd have to say elephant, though. Sorry, lion.

15. Long hair or Short hair?
A: Depends. I'll go with long hair for this battle. :)
16. Beach or Water park?
A: This is one choice that also depends, but I'm going with beaches.

I nominate:
D.S. (Moriah)

Even if I didn't nominate you, you're still welcome to join!


Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Morning

12 March 2014

The How-To-Do Guide: Writing A Good Effective Summary


Who is getting pumped up for Camp NaNoWriMo in 2014? In case some of you are unaware of what Camp NaNoWriMo is or what NaNoWriMo is in general, I’ll briefly sum it up. NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month,” and annually during November, writers from around the world write a novel and reach their word count in 30 days—the only catch being that you just keep writing. You lock out your inner editor. Camp NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, is like the annual one, except it occurs during the summer months. Overall, this is my third Camp NaNoWriMo.
               
Last year, some NaNoers and I were give each other our summaries of our novels, and one of them asked how we gave such good summaries. Summaries are one of the hardest things to writing. So, because Camp is coming up and this blog should include some writing tips, I will help guide you and give you the information (or 411) on how to do this.

What exactly is a summary? A summary is “a brief statement or account of the main points of something.” When you summarize your novel, or any writing piece in general, you want to make sure you hit the important main points of your novel so that the readers will have a general idea about what your novel is about. A summary is, after all, a first impression to see if a book is their "cup o' tea". You want to make a strong impression so all of the "why's" of the novel can be answers.

There are really three essentials that you will need in summaries: who the characters are and the general idea/problem of what is happening in the novel, where and/or when the story is taking place. Personally, I think you don’t need to add the third essential UNLESS it is a fantasy novel on another world or it’s a historical fiction novel, relating to a certain time in history. A great example of a summary using these is R.J. Palacio's Wonder:


"I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

See? This summary states that Auggie is the main character, the main problem is that he is trying to prove that he is just like everyone else. If you can answer the three essentials then you have got yourself a good summary.

But there are some things that you can do to make it pop up.


Do: Try to draw your readers in. Use something that grabs the readers' attention, without giving too much away. There are a lot of books out there in the world, so try to do something in your summary that will stand out and make the readers want to find out more of that is in your novel. One thing that you can do is add in a quote, an excerpt from your novel to your summary. You can also ask questions that readers will want to know the answers to. But be careful which quote your choose or what part you use as an excerpt. If you choose the wrong quote or wrong part to use as an excerpt, you may end up loosing readers. Questions are tricky (to see more how to write questions for this and use them effectively, look under the "Don't" section of this post.

Don't: Make your summary sound similar to another book's summary. People want to see and read NEW things, and they want to see YOUR style. Make it count.

Make sure you don't have any grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. This mainly applies to people who write and post their writing on sites such as Wattpad, Figment, etc., but also counts to everyone else. Okay, so maybe your writing is the next thing after Harry Potter or the Hunger Games trilogy. Summaries are previews of what your book is like. If you have a summary with all of these errors, such as this, "so will da 2 <3ers become bf and gf" (translation: "So will the loves become boyfriend and girlfriend?"), then readers would assume that the rest of the novel would be filled with errors as well, causing them to skip over it entirely, equaling to less readers.

Don't ask obvious questions. Using questions in your summaries can either go two ways: helpful or harmful. If you're going to ask questions, ask questions that aren't obvious, such as, "Will he become the King of England after defeating the wicked sorceress Morgana?" Instead, ask questions that aren't as obvious, such as, "Why did Merlin hide the truth about Arthur's heritage after all these years?" 

Questions? Do you want to add onto the "do" and "don't" section of writing an effective summary? Have anything else to add to this post in general? Well, don't hesitate to post in the comments!

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Morning

09 March 2014

"So Long, Farewell" Theater! (Or Is This Not Farewell?)

Theater just ended yesterday. We had an hour and a half between shows, so a majority of our cast went out to the nearby mall to eat lunch and browse around the malls for a bit. These are my photos, please don't steal them. 

A picture I took on the sidewalk.

While we were walking, I stayed in the back of the pack with the girls. Some of the guys walked ahead of us.

One of our cast members said they didn't like Starbucks, so we all went to Starbucks and said that he should try something there. He'd only been there once, after all.


Another smoothie drink I got! 

I went to Claire's for the first time! 

I'm really going to miss everyone from our show-- they have been "the most amazing cast", as one of the actors in our play said, and he couldn't have worded it any better. They've accepted me, the newcomer who wasn't just shy but who also couldn't remember anyone's names on the second day of rehearsal, and by the end of it all, they've helped me come out of my shell and I became the girl who would jump into the group circle for group sing circle. I'm going to miss singing Frozen songs for warm ups and pass time, playing "WAH!" and "Diva" (which is group sing circle), using a dagger and buckler for stage combat (I miss them already!) and every single person there who helped make that play come to life. 

I don't know if I'm doing mainstage theater again (mainstage meaning plays during the school year), and I really hope I do. This was my first time acting for a local theater company, and it was so much fun. Writing and theater are pretty similar. You get to become a character, and you can "see" through their eyes. I never imagined being casted as an evil knight (the complete opposite of me), but I felt honored to play such a heavy role of working for Morgana le Fay and capturing Arthur and Guinevere. Wow. I just realized, I like playing "odd" roles; my first play, which was for school, I was one of the witches from "Macbeth". This was my second play.

I wish I could mention everyone's name who was in my play (because those guys are AMAZING people) and mention how wonderful they are, but I can't. So, I'll just say this: To the entire cast of the play, you guys rock. No, seriously. All of you guys either come from public school, private school, home school, outside of town, the other side of town, etc. etc. and though came from a completely normal background compared to the majority of you guys, you guys took me in as a fresh newbie and I'm really happy for that. You don't judge when we sing at the top of our lungs or when someone hyperventilates for seeing a famous actor or comedian that just came to town and said "Hi" to you while walking down a hallway. (This happened many times to us.) And the people behind the scenes? They're cool beans. I got to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with our in-theater resident, Katie Perry.

Luckily, what I heard is that we're having a surprise cast reunion in a couple of weeks! I know the details (and I'm dying to chat about this with someone from theater, but I don't have any of their numbers! Didn't have enough time!). Who is the surprise for? For the person who is in charge of making sure that our lines, blocking, and stage combat is memorized! I'm hoping the reunion doesn't occur on the weekend of my retreat! That would rather stink. I can't wait, and even just typing this up makes me feel all jumpy on the inside. 


Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Morning





07 March 2014

Thoughts Strung Together (All In One Post)

… While I wasn’t blogging, I was always thinking about what my next blog post was going to be. A majority of the blog post ideas I had were too short, so I have decided just to write them all into one blog post, really.

A majority of my best singing occurs when I’m not really try and when I’m in the moment. In the makeup room, our dance director and the actor who plays Guinevere always plays songs on their iPhones and iPad. In the dressing room, some of the actors were singing the reprise of “For the First Time in Forever” (I love this song!). Coincidentally, the song was playing in the makeup room. 

When the person who had their iPad turned off the song from playing, I was one of the only few who kept on singing. I was singing Elsa’s part of the song, and when it came to the part when she sings, “I CAN’T,” I hit that note and got the volume I wanted for that song. When I normally sing it, it’s hard for me to reach that note! I feel so happy. 

Inline image 1

As for theater, our final show is tomorrow. I am going to miss all of my theater cast. :( I’ll miss you guys!

I’m thinking about making a new blog design for summer, having a new blog title, and also helping people who need blog designs. No, I’m not necessarily saying that I’ll be having a blog design business, but I’ll help new bloggers out with the basics of blogging, HTML, and CSS. 

International Women's Day


Happy International Women's Day!


03 March 2014

Bullet Train Weekend

This is my debate team's papers. The blue one on the left hand side is mine. :)

These last sixty hours that occurred have been rather crazy! I feel like I'm on a bullet train, with how the weekend went. Phew! I took many pictures (though there is only a fraction I will show because a majority of them are pictures of my theater friends and I). I can also understand the song "Friday" by Rebecca Black now because of what happened. Also, the photos in this post belong to me and a majority of this post is about Friday. I will give a brief summary about Saturday. 

Friday:
7:00 AM:
I was awaken by alarm clock, and for some odd reason, I was thinking of the song "When Will My Life Begin" from Tangled (probably the lyrics: "Seven AM the usual morning line up..."). That morning felt a lot like Christmas morning with a jolt of sugar running through me. I had to keep saying, "This is like school, this is like school..." just to get up and go through my morning routine without squealing. 

8:00 AM: Instead of going to school (I had an excused absence), I went to our town's local theater not just for my in-school performance, but for the city spelling bee, which my brother was competing in! 

9:30 AM: Headed toward my theater. See, our town's local theater is not just one, but three theaters all mushed up into one giant building. I was inside the Green Room (the place that us actors are in when we aren't rehearsing or needed on stage), talking with someone from my dance class, the actor for the main character, and the guy we tend to call Gandalf, about not being able to hear neighbors and running away from video games.

9:45 AM: Got my hair, makeup and costume done! I was wearing four layers of clothing, and with the heat of the makeup room, it was HOT!

The "Before" picture was my makeup during the first show; the "After" is my makeup during the second show and possibly what my makeup will look like for the rest of the shows.

10:30 AM: Stage combat call! I was a bit terrified about the part of one of the fights and accidentally hitting Arthur's thumb again (after all, this is during the Camelot era, which involves a lot of swordfights...)

11:40 AM: We (the cast) did this thing at our theater; it's tradition before a show, and that was my first time doing it! What we did exactly... well, that's something that I can't share with you, really, though I will say that we did yell and made arm motions. 

1:10 PM: We performed for some school children! I love working with little children, really; they are really cute (they never fail to make me laugh). At the end of the performance, we got to meet some of them, giving them high fives. This is one of the highlights of being an actor or, like me, an actress (and the same thing applies to authors), is you get to meet some of the people that appreciate your work. 

1:40 PM: I arrived back into one of other two theaters and watched my brother in the spelling bee. 

2:25 PM: This was occurring while I was still watching the spelling bee. So, I saw a picture of some of one of my friends and some of the people from my social studies civics group in a public source (I don't necessary know how to word this without giving away what source it's from), the picture showing them singing. My mom, after searching something up, showed a picture of me from that same event. A little surprising how that appeared. :D

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM: I went to the mall in that area with my family and looked around! I knew that some of my cast members were there, but I didn't bump into some of them until I got into the Apple store and tapped me on my shoulder (and I was jamming to Paramore's "Still Into You"). My mom was kind enough to buy my entire cast curly fries from Arby's (thanks, Mom!).

My drink: boba!

4:30 PM - 5:10 PM: Since I found some of my theater cast, I went walking with them around the mall for a couple of minutes, then we headed outside back to the theater, a couple of blocks away. The guys said that they were heading to this one store that sold stationary and candy, but they left to go to and explore some of the ice sculptures outside of the theater entrance. Our dance coordinator for our show was also at the mall, but hadn't came back yet, meaning we wouldn't be allowed to go in, so we explored the store we were supposed to go to, then headed back into the theater.

5:30 PM: Back to hearing director's notes, stage combat calls, and putting on makeup. The performance was supposed to start at seven, but it was a little late because I was late for the theater "break a leg" ritual and they were trying to find me (I was trying to find them). 

9:00 PM: Finally, we finished the second performance of that day! My parents, brother, and two cousins watched. Posed pictures with my entire cast again. My only problem is that I don't like pictures being centered on me. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do theater ever again, and I don't want to just remember me! I want to remember my entire cast the epicness and awesomeness they all hold. 

9:25 PM: My family and I dined at Denny's! I didn't get home and into bed until around 10:45.

Saturday: The following day I had a debate meet, which was also my first one. It was such a long day! The entire competition lasted for eight hours, unlike my book competition, which lasted only for five hours. I don't know why people think that debate is boring, when it really isn't, because it's pretty fun. We had to debate on the topics of beauty pageants for minors, middle school teens required to do community service, and Our team didn't win a medal or trophy, but some of my friends actually did! Way to go, you three! 

So, what did you all do over the weekend? Tomorrow I have to perform once again, and twice more on Saturday. I'm still going to miss all of my theater friends (I should try to bring in shish kabobs in as snacks)!