31 July 2015

The Ink Pen Bleeds


Hello, everyone! It has been about two months since I have filled you with words from my beat up notebook. I know that some of you crave my writing, so today, I bring you two pieces for a contest and a tag from two different novels of mine.

The first thing tag that I have is the 777 Challenge tagged to me by the creative and talented Christina! The rules are to share 7 lines from the 7th page of one of your manuscripts. Then, tag 7 bloggers. You can read a snippet of her challenge response here

This snippet is from Of the Bumbling Bees (it's one of my main works-in-progress, as well as a working title) where my rather calculating protagonist attempts to initiate a conversation with someone in the library.
“Can I help you with something?” a voice whispers to me, causing me to bump my head back against the bookshelf. The one place that I wish to seek refuge appears not as private as it seems. I glance up to the direction of him—the voice belongs to a male— whose Adam’s apple has not grown to its full extent. His face is covered by a copy of Fahrenheit 451.

“You seem roughly about five feet, six inches tall and about 150 pounds in weight. I gaze at his stature, I did not pause to curate my thoughts as I continued, “Did you undergo through puberty at a late age?”
Hopefully this gives you an... interesting insight into my character. Now, I will tag:

Kate || Opal || Cindy || Cally || Anyone else who wishes to do this || You!

Next on the list, I have decided to enter in Cindy's writing competition, in the category of, "Your character decides that they have unique powers." I had originally written two pieces to go with this category, however, the other piece ended up being a bit too "dark". 

This piece I am presenting to you right now is from the sequel to my novel Hidden in the Shadows, where a series name hasn't been decided yet because I am quite indecisive on those sorts of things.



"You blockhead!" I snarled. Jack, one who dared calling themselves my friend, slowly began to back to the single leafless birch tree that stood out in a faded naked wasteland. "You insufferable troglodyte! You're supposed to use your powers for good, not for some shallow pranking scheme!"

"Daniella," Sam warned me, "that's enough. All he did was heat it up." I raised my fist. He tried to act as a shield between the perpetrator and myself, but in his eyes I could see he was attempting not to have to grab a hold of the sticky tar encapsulating my body.

From behind the tree, I saw Christina's mouth gaped wide open. "Y-Y-You need to calm down, D-Daniela. Use logic, not emotion. Y-Y-You say what happened to the three of us wh-when--"

"Christina, do you think I care? Oh my-- for goodness sake, you aren't doing anything useful! Always being so passive and timid. Just shut up!" With my last three words, energy pulsed through my wrists. The air around us began to feel tingled, as if pins and needles spread all throughout our bodies.

Then everything exploded loose.

Air surged from my wrists and began to sweep around me. I was inside a weak tornado expanding its area with each second. My brown hair danced violently in the wind, which frantically portrayed my fury and frustration to Jack and Christina. I couldn't see the other members of our quartet. I'm terrified. I screamed, "What's happening?"

No reply.

"What's happening?" I called out much louder. I attempted to clench my fists shut, the power source of this newly created monster, but the force only caused my hands to merely bounce of. From the outsides of the tornado appeared to be blasts of fire, water, and earth, striving to break the swirling fury.

Christina cries out faintly, "Let it go! When any of us let our emotions dictate our actions, our body and soul attaches to our earthly feeling, turning our powers into something we cannot control. More specifically, it becomes--" Another roar of fire muted her words. "Air is the trickiest!"

"You merely overreacted to what I did! If you took it as a joke, we wouldn't be in this mess." Jack said. "You could have calmed down, Larson."

"Overreacted?" The power of the wind from my palms multiplied by a factor of five. "I don't know who you are, Smithen, but I swear, when I get out of this here, I'm going to--"

"CALM DOWN, PIZZA NOSE! IF YOU DON'T STOP SOON, WE WILL ALL DIE BECAUSE OF YOU!"

Goodness, I wanted to throw a rock at Jack for teasing me about my bridge of freckles for the countless time, but I was scared, and my powers couldn't dictate the earth. Oh, how much I wished that my powers were something substantial! Out of twelve months four of us discovered this alternative magical, never once have I realized why I was always told to mediate constantly and not cling onto anything. I blinked. Was it just me, or was the tornado tinted slightly purple?

Close your eyes. Deep breath in, and out. The strength of my body waned. My breaths are getting shallower with each intake of oxygen, and my conscious slowly began to disappear. This had to stop. This was caused because of me. Jack's crazed expression hovered in my mind, taunting me to let my emotions get ahead of myself, but I didn't let it. I used a technique of erasing all of the thoughts in my head.

I let go of everything.

The tornado finally ceased, only leaving dirt skids on the ground of where it once stood. I see Jack, Sam, and Christina, give them a weak smile, and slump to the ground. I was knackered in all the different aspects of which drew energy from me-- physically, emotionally, and mentally.

"Quick, give her some water." Christina pulls out from her knapsack a bottle and drizzled it in my mouth. I felt my bones relaxing. Water had never tasted so good in my entire life until this moment. My eyelids slowly draw themselves close.

"No, Daniella, don't die on me!" Jack drew me closer in a tight embrace. From the corner of my eye, I could see the other two trying to not burst into laughter.

I pushed him away. "Dramatic much?" A fit of coughing erupted, but I managed to point to the other two.

With a second's glance, he scowls. "Aw, come on. But you did good, Larson. You did good."

24 July 2015

The Blog Entry by a Publishing Intern

Back in February, I was crushed when my mom said that my family would be leaving for our Philippines trip smack dab in the middle of February. I had wanted to earn credits by the means of attending summer theatre conservatory, but the time schedule wouldn't work. After spending many hours researching, emailing information and resumes, and conversing with many people, it was settled: I could intern for Summit Media, the biggest publishing company in the Philippines. More specifically, I interned for Total Girl magazine, which is a magazine aimed to the tween age group.

Interning is strange, and my schedule during the weekdays turned out to be very crazy. Every day, I would wake up at five, pack into to the Metro Rail System (MRT) at six, arrive at work at seven, and finally leave work at six, only to get back home at seven thirty and sleep approximately two hours later. 

For once, it never occurred in my mind that there was a good chance that I wouldn't make it in, with the speaking odds against me and age.

The rather awkward part was that, while I entered orientation on my first day, is that I seemed out of place, age wise, in the long halls consisting of cubicles, consistent clicking and the occasional coffee cart that passed along. Most of the interns that I saw and met were all college aged, around sixteen and older. 



The Total Girl team made me feel quite at home, and the events that I got to experience and cover were amazing! My first day there, along with two of the other staff, we got to go to a McDonalds media event revealing the release of the Minions toys and themed desserts a week before they were launched out to the public! 

I'm not much of a fan of the Golden Arches ever since I read a book called Chew on This (when I vowed that I would attempt to limit my visits as much as I could) but hey, you can't argue with work. In fact, while I was in the Philippines, I ate McDonalds about five times. I think I am going to keep watch for a while, gulp.





The next "out of office event" was a pull out at Toy Kingdom, a large Filipino toy store. If you don't know what a pull out is, it's basically a term for taking out items from stores, with permission, to review them. According to what I heard from many, this was one of the toughest tasks to accomplish because we have to review toys that are new and that haven't ben featured in the magazines. During my time, it took us only an hour to find toys. With the task accomplished, we got to go out for lunch.


While I wasn't going out of the office, I ended up doing tons of research for sections of the magazine.
If you think, from the post right now, that interning is simple work, it's not. In the business industry, you must be very professional and quality is always valued over quantity, a lesson that is reminded to me while watching through YouTube for hours for research. If you don't do it right the first time, you would do it again, and it's not a complaining matter to deal with. It's the real deal, and it's something that I have been trying to do with blog posts over the past several months.




The toys that were "pulled out" had their photos taken during a photo shoot. Let me tell you, peeling the toys away from their containers without making any sort of infractions on them is probably one of the toughest jobs that I had to do. I took longer than what was usually expected because I was scared of breaking the boxes!

Once a year, the staff ends up getting their profile photos taken for the magazine, and I arrived in time for that! They also snapping shots for a section of the magazine involving lots of DIYs, and surprisingly, I got to be a hair model for some of those! I don't know how to feel now that I could probably write in future resumes that not only did I intern for an international company, but I was a hair model.

There are so many freebies you get when interning.


My last outside event was on my last day, which was to help with an interview for the model section. I'd love to tell you about the place, but seeing as the issue won't be coming out for another two months and I would spoil everything, I can't. What I will say is this: the place that I visited had lots of succulents and had something that relates to feet.

On my way back on the event, I was trying to show how much of the Filipino language I could speak fluently by translating sentences giving to me in English back to Filipino. One of the sentences given to me was, "Clint Eastwood lives in a house with his wife and son."

I totally blanked out on I was supposed to say. "Um..." I said. "Mabuhay si Clint Eastwood sa bahay nya kasama yung anak at asawa nya." 

What I was supposed to say was, "Tira si Clint Eastwood sa bahay nya kasama yung anak at asawa nya," but instead, what I said translated to, "Clint Eastwood is welcome to live in his house with his son and wife." That completely changes the meaning of the sentence, all together, if you think about it.

Interning is weird, but there are lots of parallels to blogging. Besides the quality vs. quantity scenario, you always have to constantly think of new content and new ways to improve your blog. You shouldn't be shy when it comes to meeting new people, too. Be adaptable

I've also learned so many things, like not being able to eat at your work table and the fact that you should always get to the MRT station thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the rush hour so that you get to work on time. There are also small tidbits as remembering that there is no air conditioning until nine o'clock (a huge trouble for me, since I get to work at eight) or to always being seventy pesos-- the currency-- for lunch.

Some time when this is published, the TG team will be reading this (hi you guys)! Thank you so much for this opportunity; I'm fortunate and lucky to have been able to work with you all! 

P.S. I'm still accepting orders for my design shop!

17 July 2015

Metro Manila: Introduction





There are many beautiful places in the world. Some are obviously quite scenic and photogenic, like on my last trip in Florida; nearly everything is with a splash of color and vibrancy. The sun is always up, and it seems as if Disney World is as it says, another world. There are other places where, if you look with a shallow eye, it will cause you to remain uninterested because it doesn't seem as appealing. Metro Manila, at first glance, appears to be one of those places.

I stayed there for an entire month, and for the duration of the trip I got to know how everyday Filipinos lived their lives. I rode on their jeeps and tricycles and visited the air-conditioned malls. I dealt with the heavy humid sweat that feels sticky on the skin's surface. About half of the time the metropolis was doused in rain and gray clouds. It's not picture perfect pretty, but if you get past it, you can see what lies behind the surface: millions of faces with plenty of different stories.





What did I do on the trip? In a summarizing sentence, I ended up visiting for a family reunion and completing an internship for the Philippine's largest publishing company, Summit Media, so I can earn school credit. The things that I did and experienced are super cool. 

Yes, I know "cool" can be overused, but it describes what I accomplished on my trip. You will both end up hearing about the reunion and the internship in two separate posts! I'm real excited for you all to read about it, especially something Minions related I was involved in.





It feels good to be back, but honestly, I don't have a lot photos to show you. It's not the easiest place to capture photos when camera shooting is extremely rare, but thievery on the streets is common, if you aren't careful. My camera has survived!

As for how I've been doing since I got back home, I've slowly been recovering, health and sleep wise. I didn't get the best amount of sleep on vacation, and, mingled in with the constant rain, I fell into a bad fever but got rid of all of the symptoms on the last day! 

Note: This is not me. Sorry for the confusion.




I've also been working on some things, blog-wise. I have decided to relaunch my design shop newly branded Designs by Morning, which you can view here. I'm ready to take design orders; I already have two designs on my wait list! It's still slightly under construction so make sure to not into the miniature labyrinth there. Besides that, I am working on a brand new blog design for this blog. I just have to convince my brother to take photos of a few things.

Lastly:
Go wish my friend Christina a happy birthday. Even if it is a bit late. 
Go send blog anniversary wishes to my friend Oakstar. First year blog anniversaries are important!
And when Adelaide and Cally return from camp, go and greet them warmly that it reminds them of a warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or better yet, let's go plan a surprise party for them (hehe).

10 July 2015

Into the Woods


"Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." C.S.  Lewis





When I was younger, I used to have quite the imagination. I would have imagined my friends and I as undercover superheroes who got their powers from a secret purple flavor of Gatorade that happened to mysteriously appear from the porch in the backyard. It probably sounds crazy, but with pretty much every other imaginative thing kids have, it was innocent.

Since I had envisioned my superhero counterpart so strongly, with her ability to control the power of the air, it seemed as if though that figment of imagination would always be there, especially on long car trips, when the only scenery to see was slow glazed mountaintops, clusters of trees, or the mud flats.




Do you know how Anne Shirley had names for places in Avonlea, such as Lovers Lane? I did the same thing as well, except there was one place in particular which I don't have a name for where I felt as if I saw my superhero the strongest.

This place was a forest behind a track and field court which, if one knew the path well, would direct towards a neighboring elementary school. After I had briefly visited the place during the end-of-the-year Marvel dance party, I decided to go back several days later.




I don't think the magic in which I had perceived the place never truly faded away, because immediately after I stepped into the woods did I feel a wave of nostalgia welcome me. The wood was slightly dense, but not to the point the sunlight couldn't seep through. There were several tree bases that had snapped off due to violent rain storms.

I said hello to the grass shoots straining to shoot from the ground and the dirt sweeping underneath my sneakers. I gave birch trees a pat as I looked at their peeled bark layers.

The photos I had taken were all in early morning, before noon, but imagine the view as the sun waved goodbye to go to sleep with the moon slowly awaking.



When you're a teenager, you probably don't think of these magical places anymore. You're not waiting for that Hogwarts acceptance letter or go knocking on the back of wardrobes as much as you used to before unless... you're a fangirl. But that's another story. Instead, you are more focused on dealing with what you will endure tomorrow. You're probably thinking about what's showing on TV tonight or when you can finally watch Netflix with no distractions at ten in the evening with a bucket of Ice Cream and Sour Patch Kids your hand.

But know that perhaps someday, that childish wonder will come back. Perhaps as you're digging through your old room of your childhood house or visiting your old town, you will rediscover these places, especially when you have kids. You'll be able to connect with them on something that you used to love.

Goodbye, forest patch. I'm growing up right now and I must keep track of what is in my life right now, but you will see the spirited little girl come back; I will return.

06 July 2015

Guest Post by Amelie // How To Throw A Summer Party

Hello! This is Amelie, from Contented Perfectionist.  I am so excited to be guest posting on this amazing blog.

Morning enjoys writing thoughtful posts (as do I), and she's very good at writing them, but she's been talking to me about how she'd like to have a few more fun posts during the summer. So this is one of those!

Ladies and Gentlemen... HOW TO THROW A SUMMER PARTY!


STEP 1 

Choose A Theme

My favourite parties are dance or casual parties, so I would definitely pick a summer dance theme or a picnic theme.

But...you might be the type of person who likes this kind of party:

Vintage Ballerina Birthday Party - Bella Paris Designs
credit


STEP 2

Choose Activities

This is extremely important for any party. 
Here are some simple ideas:

DANCE PARTY:

  • Eat Pizza or Nachoes (party foods!)
  • Dance ;)
  • Play Minute To Win It games!!

SUMMER PICNIC OR OUTSIDE PARTY:

  • Eat cocktail sandwiches, watermelon, potato chips, fruit kebabs, etc.
  • Do fun races (e.g. Egg and Spoon race, Three-legged Race,  Sack race, etc.)!
  • Play Pass The Package (wrap a present up with many layers of wrapping paper, and put a treat in between each layer. Then get all the guests to sit in a circle  and pass it around. Play music and get someone to stop it every now and then. The guest holding the package when the music stops gets to unwrap one layer, and keep the treat that will fall out! The guest that unwraps the last layer will keep the big present inside.
credit

FANCY TEA PARTY:
  • Eat cocktail sandwiches and cupcakes
  • Talk in British accents ;)
  • Play board games
  • Read aloud

STEP 3

Choose Music!

 

credit


Next, make a music playlist. If you're having a dance party, this is very important, but even if you're having a picnic or fancy tea party, it's fun to have good music playing!

I like happy, up-beat songs for summer parties, but it's completely your choice. It also depends on the theme of the party. Here are a few ideas for an up-beat, can't-help-dancing, summer-y playlist:

1. Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
2. Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone") by Anna Kendrick
3. Classic by MKTO
4. Ugly Heart by G.R.L.
5. Lips Are Movin' by Meghan Trainor
6. Ho Hey by the Lumineers
7. On Top Of  The World by Imagine Dragons
8. Chocolate by the 1975
9. Geronimo by Sheppard
10. Summer by Calvin Harris

Just warning you; some of these are a little explicit or inappropriate. Be sure to check them out before putting them on your awesome playlist! ;)

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT DOES A PARTY NEED TO BE FABULOUS???

Thanks for reading! Please head over to my blog and comment letting me know all about your party! 

Bye for now,
Amelie

03 July 2015

Popping Pikachu -- A Stopmotion Video

Because there was nothing for everyone left to do in my eighth grade year book class, the teacher ended up assigning us with our end-of-the-year class project; create a stop motion video. The one that I made that year started off high in one tangent and turned into crazy randomness mess at the end. I wish I could upload it onto here, but I appear in there several times, so in the meantime, I can't upload it.

I decided to try and make another stop motion again, simply by presenting one of the stars of my original short, my miniature Pikachu, and a new co-star, a smiley face originally used for when my family all decided to go to a Health fair. It's still kind of a mess, plot wise. This was all created to be light, so the video is very simplistic. Enjoy!


Don't worry; I am undergoing some serious filmography projects, one of them which you may be able to preview at the end of the summer season! If you have any tips, questions, or suggestions on what I should make my next video on (note: I still can't show my face) then don't hesitate to comment!

(P.S. I may as well put it here better than any other day; I'll be reopening my design business in about several weeks, specifically, when I get back. Please also don't have a surprise party for that, too. If you haven't noticed, my reaction to surprises are super elated but before I get to that stage... Well, I tend to flail.)