31 December 2016

WHERE DID 2016 GO??? + Blogger Yearbook

Where did 2016 go? It only feels like a few days have passed since the first days of January, where I made the mistake of wearing dress pants during a two hour dance lesson. Despite being busy and somewhat incognito from the blogging world (which I'm going to try to change by scheduling a bunch of posts in advance), this has been such an amazing and beautiful year in its own unique way. Let's celebrate the New Year and let's get this throwback party started!

What happened this year?

 Driving to the place where we performed for Grease took about twenty minutes. At least it's scenic.

// Performing in Grease, also known as one of the most intense productions I've ever been a part of. Rehearsals were both physically and mentally demanding, spending hours on choreography and "unlearning" songs because the original Broadway production is raunchy compared its movie counterpart. It was strange to have to listen to tons of High School Musical two hours before call, though, but the cast was obsessed singing, "We're All in This Together."

The awards ceremony for writing also had a ton of art displayed, as well.

// My writing was recognized on the state level, which initially resulted in five minutes of screaming down the school hallway when the announcement was emailed out. This still makes me incredibly happy and want to continue screaming down the hallway yelling, "ASDFGHJKL," because creative writing! State level! Recognition! Besides, the competition is incredibly competitive and only a small percentage move to the next round of judging. I really hope next year, I'll be able to enter more competitions and potentially be recognized on the national level. Who knows?

The ribbon I got at the district level.

// Speaking of the state level, I took state in the language declamation competition! This wasn't something I expected to happen or even had in mind going in as I performed in the Spanish poetry section at the district level, but as the MC announced my name blaring into the speakers, I was in incredible shock. 

Cheering on our team.

// Softball. A lot of people I know say it's boring, but it's as intense as it gets. Despite wearing the wrong glove the entire season, getting hit with the heavy ball a couple of times, and sliding into home plate stomach first which earned a smile full of dirt, it's so much fun! Swinging the bat and hitting the ball-- it's worth it.

WE GOT TO MEET BAYMAX. 

// ATLANTA! And Disney. Georgia is the fourth state my family has traveled to, and it was fun visiting the Peach State (but not when you're going ziplining and it decides to throw a thunderstorm). Besides visiting many landmarks and college, we got to try interstate road driving for the first time to Disney and visit all the theme parks again.

Eighty's Marvel comics. It doesn't get better than this.

// Library volunteering. Many memories come from this summer volunteering: learning how to use the dye-cut machine and doing bumper rolling chairs with the oddest group of young grasshoppers are a few I can recall. The volunteering didn't stop there: helping Anime and Rubix Cube Club, finding the parody book section (don't ask), and running around trying to model books for the library's social medias were other enjoyable tasks.

We ended up using a lot of puns, some that hit a bit too close to home?

// The first time going to homecoming... Sort of. There was a football halftime float competition, and some people decided it would be fun to defy the candy theme by dressing up as Greek philosophers and blare "Chariots of Fire" instead of the conventional songs of "Sugar" and "I Want Candy." I was one of the fifteen or so people who decided to spend all lunch period Friday making Greek puns and getting up early Saturday to (try and fail) blowing up balloons.

Me before leaving to go out and drive again.

// Passing my driver's test! For the longest time, I was so lazy to learn to drive until a firm foot was planted down to learn the task. Every day, over the course of the summer, the car was taken out onto main roads, roundabouts, highways, anywhere that the testers would rationally make you drive through, and several months later, I passed the test in my first try. I know that having your license should be liberating, but it's not because l can't really use it due to the piles of snow and sleet on the road.

Lastly, before leaving to join everyone in the festivities, let me present the 2016 Blogger Yearbook! This has been such a tough compilation to pull together because nearly fifty people joined in, but nonetheless, all of the ladies within the yearbook are gorgeous and ebullient in their own right. A small note: some of you forgot to send me photos or if you did, they were too small, so I had to choose an alternative photo-- hopefully you're satisfied with the choice made. I'm so incredibly blessed to know all of these ladies in the community. Just brava. Feel free to go look through yearbook and let me know what you think!

26 November 2016

In Which Morning Has (Another) Crazy Idea.


One of the biggest traits that strongly identifies who I am is the number of ideas spewing out of my mind daily, and while a lot of them are pocketed away in speculation, some ideas are too big to put aside. Today, an idea—defined as crazy, and somewhat hopeful in the time crunch given by the rest of the year—occurred in my mind.

What if the blogging community decided to create a sort of end-of-the-year yearbook, where all of us collectively organized everything together to place not just a snapshot of ourselves, but of the entire year? The time the project demands and the demands that life calls on us at the end of this year is insane, and while I know that this is potentially the worst time to plan something as grand as this, there is a good chance that we can pull this off. Certain details are still murky, but they mainly pertain to the design aspect.


This is a proof example of what the layout may be like, but it isn't the settled, in place layout for now.

This is where the blogging community comes in.

Below I’ve inserted a form to collect the main aspects each person in the yearbook will have: portrait photo, a preferred first name they are called, blog address, and a section like a senior quote, 150-characters maximum.

CERTAIN FORM SPECIFICS:
// As I know that certain people do wish to have their privacy protected or they're just really uncomfortable with photos (because I'm pretty sure that we have at over one hundred photos where we're caught making awkward faces at the camera). If that is the case for any of you, readers, may enter in a nom de plume that you go by in the blogging community and if you cannot show your face, you may use a photo that does represent you without showing your face, such as covering your face while reading a book.


// Photos must be in color, landscape oriented, and in the highest resolution possible-- otherwise, it may turn out grainy and pixelated. It's also super preferable to have it be a photo from this year, because if this yearbook idea is continued for subsequent years, then it would be neat to see how you have grow.





The one thing I would like to ask the blogging community before closing out this post is to invite bloggers to come take part in this. This is a small idea which can grow big, and for a lot of bloggers, they haven't met the other sides of the community, from the book bloggers to the thought bubblers to those who wish to carry out ministry work. Email blogging friends, share on social media, mention it on your blogs, do what you can to let this idea spread. The deadline call for submissions within the form is December 8th, which is plenty of time. If you have any more questions, ask below!


Ready to take on this seemingly impossible challenge?

24 November 2016

Thankfulness Thursday

Conversations ranging from deep to random
Snail mail and greeting cards
The role of writing in my life
Introverting with introverts
Good books and local coffee shops
Inside jokes and pranks
Candid photos
The Olympics
Math epiphanies that pull through at the last second
Musicals and music contrasting the English language
The people I have come across this year (and matter)

///

I got this idea for a post from Grace Anne, who by the way, is an amazing person despite the fact that our only difference is our preference in breakfast foods. If you're looking for something to post, definitely take part in this. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

///

p.s. Idina and Kristin are the originals, but I like the key change of Lea and Chris's.

12 November 2016

Why Religion Is Personally Hard to Talk About


Several months ago, Livy, the founder of Crown of Beauty Magazine, asked me to review her book Secrets of Royalty, and I was super ecstatic about being able to write a review because one, it's something that hasn't been done on the blog before, and two, this sounded huge!  Amidst all the summer air and the bottles of lemonade inhaled during lunch times at the university where I spent much of my time, the book's message nestled on the surface, but time passed and there I sat at the computer screen, somewhat nervous as to how to write the post.

I'm Christian—but I hardly ever discuss the fact openly on my blog. I feel overly self-conscious, like a book removed of its flap. Sometimes I wonder how Lauren and Clara are just so open to speaking about religion as if it were second nature. The outside world urges me to engage in a place where religion is something that falls next to the categories of name, date of birth, and address whenever pried at for information. As I'm typing this, my mind is literally calling out to me, "Why is this uncomfortable task so freaking hard?"

Life has been kind enough to not belong to a church stifling every ounce of difference that comes around and demanding conformity. I'm not exactly what you'd call the model Christian, though. I attend church, Confirmation, and youth group-- the latter being something that hardly anyone in my grade level does. It's so minuscule than what you're being called to do. I know stories from the Bible, not verses. Never in my life have I been called to do choir or be an altar server. I am so far from living in the image of an ideal Christian. Most pancake breakfasts are left unattended by my family.
Even if one isn't in the same religion as I am or if they don't believe in any religion at all, anyone can relate that there those out there asking more out of what they can manage, sometime.

Is it all right to harbor some feelings of fear talking about one's personal religion? Feelings of self-consciousness? Doubt? Uncertainty?

Absolutely.

If one is spiritual, their spiritual life is going to have both its high and low points. I'm one of countless who ends up struggling at times, asking why certain bad things happen. It's probably the most common question that many Christians who turn away from the faith will ask. "Why did said thing happen to me?" It's completely easy to tumble down a road where the path is too hard to see through, where kudzu vines slap cheeks, mud cakes feet, and everything seems horrible to the point where one may exclaim that they feel kind of let down.

I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go, religious wise. I think that good and bad things happen for a reason. This has been proven countless times, from stories of crying to socializing to slowly conquering my fear of talking to people by the power of the written word, which is a slow problem. I think that everyone's existence means something, that it's valued. Call me a bit of a hopeful dreamer surrounded by a world that likes to showcase the negativity.

Livy's book affirmed that we are all accounted and valued, and that's incredibly important. We are cherished. We are more than what we think we can accomplish. We are royalty, in the eyes of God. I'm not sure if I'll write more posts like this; it all comes down to what calls out to me. However, I'd just liked to thank her so much for opening my eyes and giving me the opportunity to go out and have the courage to say this. I still struggle with my religious beliefs, but at least I'm going to try to understand more.

p.s. heading to a retreat & will lack contact with the internet world until I get back! Will reply to all comments then; wish me luck!

31 October 2016

STOP! Q&A Time.


If you understood what song the title was meant to go to, five points and a chocolate brownie to you!

After several weeks of filming, the q&a vlog has finally taken shape! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, attempting to convey each answer without vocalizing it or showing my entire face. There were roughly twenty of you that sent an average of four to five comments, so to shorten the length of the video considerably, I have decided to answer at least one of your questions. If there is someone who's question wasn't address, don't panic-- answers to questions that require longer responses will be posted during the month of November, while NaNoWriMo is ongoing.



While the video was uploading, I accidentally forgot to answer one of the most important questions by Grace Anne, which was what my favorite musical is. It's a tie between The Magical Adventures of Merlin and Thoroughly Modern Millie, both which were high points in my theatre life because the former was my first official production with a community company while the latter helped me perfect much of what I learned over the course of two years finally showcase itself widely. Please don't flog me with community playbills of an old Fiddler on the Roof production.

Lastly: Walk the Moon is a band more suited towards those of an older audience. Don't listen to "Anna Sun" unless you're over the age of thirteen, and if you want to listen to "Work This Body," listen to the music video version, which isn't as good as the original due to the bass they added but is the clean version. Even though these two jam out songs are for an older audience, Walk the Moon's music is still good.

If you have any other questions that weren't asked or addressed within the video which you want answered (or maybe you had no idea a q&a video was going on and wanted to send in questions, anyways), don't hesitate to ask down below and I'll try to respond to your questions before the huge stress maker called NaNoWriMo takes over and manuscript papers go soaring through the room and descend into a pile of ASDFGHJKL.

16 October 2016

Novel Writes // NaNoWriMo & Rebelling

("Novel" as in interesting + Writes = name of the brand new writing post series!)

("Novel" as in interesting + Writes = name of the brand new writing post series!)

Yesterday, my mind internally panicked at three things bursting into my mind. One: the weakness of “we’re all in this together after a terrible test” mentality cheer in AP Calculus when we got our tests back. Two: my PSATs, driver's test, choir retreat and library volunteer shift all decide to coincide on today, and three: NaNoWriMo is in fifteen days.

Fifteen days! No amount of coffee can sedate my screaming.

It pains me to say this, but once again, another year passes along where the traditional NaNoWriMo cannot be celebrated because of the escalating constraints crushing my poor five-foot bone structure into a tiny ball. Another reason pops up from the surface: my fifth manuscript of Hidden in the Shadows needs to be edited on time for beta readers in January and for the next installment of the series to be plotted by next autumn. Six weeks have passed, officially allowing me to edit, and by no means is the novel ready, with insert spoilers and insert spoilers here.

Instead, I’ve decided to go along with the Camp NaNoWriMo route and rebel against traditional NaNoWriMo as I edit all the pages and rewrite parts of my novel throughout the entire month of November. GASP. I’m not sure if editing at a fast pace will be beneficial, but there are solely editing reasons why NaNoWriMo editing needs to happen.
(As it's like battling a dragon while riding a procrastinating unicorn wanting to stop by an elf diner.)


// It’s usually a hit or miss. When I was younger, around eight or nine years old, I used to think that writing a novel meant writing in your best handwriting all while including verbose, exceptionally lengthy sentences with three adjectives partnered with each character and everything he or she saw, until overseeing the view becomes an imagery encyclopedia for the world I created. It makes me laugh (and incredibly cringe at the excessiveness of the action) every time that popped into the surface. Slowly, this transformed into simply procrastinating during the editing process. Plot holes still ridged the surface, a character’s eye color changes half way across the book… small things like that. Sometimes, I feel the need to edit, but most of the time? Nah.

// The beautiful imperfect manuscript gets torn to shreds. *flails* A huge predominant fear I had when I was younger was editing my own manuscripts because lots of the stuff that was written was so cringe-worthy to the point that ninety-percent of the time, I had to rewrite so many drafts, but with each time, it became better (with less plot holes)! The fear still lurked on the surface, and it still does. After three years of high school which involved editing pieces for a publishing company and pointing out suggestions for essays to my friends, it’s something I’ve slowly eased into. Besides, the pain of the process can be taken away by color coding all the edits.

// I know it’s going to make my novel turn out better. That’s the main goal of editing and rewriting, right? Even a quote by Philip Stanhopein one of my classes affirms this: "Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well." Most of everything we do in the world strives towards achieve bettering whatever we are doing. Artists understand that our creations should be the best they can be, because there is a piece of ourselves within our work that we feel a small protectiveness over, somewhat like a young child. You love it, but you don’t want it to get hurt. The novel idea’s grown with me for over six years. The final product must come out soon.
(Because face it, IT'S A BATTLE REQUIRING THE WIELDING OF SWORDS AND WANDS.)

// The actual manuscript—there’s a reason why the words “Do Not Steal” are initially on the page. One—I’m super paranoid about protecting my craft. The second reason is more of me indirectly saying, “Please do not read my novel until further notice.” A lot of my friends and family members aren’t novel writers, so unpublished novel + person they carry relations to = exclamation points and begging to read the novel after pestering many times, “What’s your novel about?”

// The pens + the notebook highlighting all the major changes and document updates needed before I externally panic from not understanding the neon green pen scribble. Enough said.

// The outline and small notes. I’m a plotter—the novel process goes smoother whenever I plot most of the main points that happen and then just go from there. When I wrote Hidden in the Shadows, the story has been marinated long enough to understand clearly what the whole plot was going to be. Also, so many inconsistencies come up: for instance, insert name here reacts to insert spoiler here differently than they should be.

// Halloween Candy, because why not? It's probably going to come at me anyway since I'm volunteering at carnivals across town. I’m dressing up as Chihiro from Spirited Away, with Soot-Spirits decorating my shoes and Boh in his mouse form on my shoulder. For a group costume at school, I'm either going to be dressed up as a genderbent teachers or a part of the Inside Out crew.

(Books are dangerous lands to tread through if you don't want to ride a FEELS train.)

It’s been a light reading month, but the good news is that four of these were on my to-be-read pile on Goodreads. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been on my reading list and was a gift on my birthday, rendering five minutes of full-on fangirling, while my copy of To the Bright Edge of the World was signed by the author herself, Eowyn Ivey! If you don't know who she is, she's better known for her novel, The Snow Child (which I highly recommend to read ASAP because it's GORGEOUS). She was super sweet when I met her at a book signing, discussing how she wrote her novels while simultaneously giving writing tips. Rick Riordan was here as well, but because of the crazy number of people who went and of that day’s amount of signed homework, I couldn’t go and was distraught by the fact. Another YA author is coming up here soon….


To those who are embarking on NaNoWriMo for the first time: welcome to this insane plot-filled thirty days where most of the time, we writers are in way over our heads for because the procrastination done is because of either laziness, social media, or a good book that just got released, such as Marissa Meyer's Heartless. It can be painful and sometimes the words that are spurred out feel like gobbly goop at times, but you can get through this, and if you need anyone to rant, do a Night of Write, or just engage in a Word War / Sprint with, just let me know because I'm willing to do any of those with you. We can do this, friends!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? 
If you are, what's your novel going to be about? 
If not, will you be snacking on pumpkin pie-- what else will you be doing?


P.S. Posting the q&a at the end of the month because I'm experiencing technical difficulties!

04 October 2016

Dear YA Novels




Dear YA Novels,

Recently I have turned sixteen. Since it has been awhile since the two of us have been caught together amidst the skew of things, I should probably disregard any assumption you have formulating in the back of your mind: no, the world has not yet turned into a dystopia with a surge of technology, ruined coastlines, and egregious systems of government. No fantasy back world has been uncovered along the shadows of the world, with sparkling creatures or runes. Although, if either events occurred, I'm unsure that I'll be able to send you this letter in the first place. Restrictions may be placed on communication at that point, and besides, there won't be enough time to check email since I'll be outside doing, you know, "Chosen One" stuff, with my powers gained at the peak of adolescence. 

Another assumption I want to debunk from your mind immediately: no, I have not been sulking around in my room, mentally crafting long monologues as to how why life ultimately stinks or as to why people don't understand me. I'm aware I come off as quiet, reserved, and on occasion whimsical, (this all depends on how a person perceives). Much times is spent in my room, engaging in introverted activities, but that doesn't necessarily hinder me from being able to talk to people, thank you very much. My life may be small in comparison to your numerous relayed tales, but I have a life that is lived.

Currently, I have been involved with strength training, since the last time we met, you said it's majorly important to be strong. Physical strength is not easily attainable-- in the last softball match, I slid into home place, face first, with sand covering my teeth, and this was one of many attempts at physical training. A softball hardly gets thrown ten feet away, running a mile exhausts all energy. This is not me condemning sports, but rather saying that unlike you, YA Novels, athletic gifts do not ring my bones. My strength is of the quiet kind: strong, resilient, sticking to morals through and through. Athletics are one thing, but another aspect you retain is your impeccable beauty standards you're often so modest about...

Until not one, but two boys come around the corner. The sweet, thoughtful boy and the kick butt no-nonsense guy battle each other out, and for awhile, you were too busy bickering with both of them to actually notice how one of them smells like slightly burnt oatmeal cookies, or how the other's hair bounces perfectly into place to the point you question why he wasn't hired by L'oreal, Pantene, or any other shampoo company. They both tell you you're beautiful, and you finally realize it yourself. Let me spare you the trouble of having to choose between the two boys: usually the first one, or the one who has been more prominent with you life recently, is the one you will choose. No need to thank me-- I just saved you much time.

Anyways, can't wait to hear your response, even if it ends up being roughly three books long.

xoxo Morning

---

A/N: Lately, I've been craving an immense craze about trying my hand at satire, or at least, producing something similar to the craft. Sarcasm and irony have been crazy themes repeating themselves in my life. That, alongside the process of editing my novel (finally, the six-week period wait is over), have birthed this post, which I hope you enjoy. Are there any other clich├ęs I forgot to mention?

22 September 2016

Q&A Call



It has been decided that I will be filming a q&a video + birthday vlog within the upcoming weekend! 

Since I have little idea as to how the weekend will play out, I am asking for you all to send in some questions for me via the comments. Ask me things like what my favorite Studio Ghibli film is, favorite books, show us your bookshelf, etc. Fact-based questions will be so much easier for me to answer, at this point. 

The main two catches are as follows:

// The questions must not require me to show my face or record my speaking voice, and they must not be extremely personal or rude questions. This is going to be an interesting challenge to try to show my answers without verbally communicating. I promise that you all will learn about who I am soon and what I look like, but right now is not the time, partially because it just feels really uncomfortable for me to present myself in public, and the other part is that I'm only allowed to reveal one aspect of my identity, either name or my appearance, and that's something that I need to heavily consider. More likely, the time for introducing the actual blogger behind the blog will arrive when my blog anniversary comes up, in February. Don't feel bad though. In actuality, my online screen name has so much in common with my real life name, and that will somewhat make sense pretty soon.
Other things to consider:

// I may not answer all your questions in the video. I honestly have no clue as to how this is going to play out, questions sent wise-- some questions may require a lengthier answer that I will end up in the video, others may be super short that I can answer them quickly in the comments, and some may just be nearly impossible to showcase without showing my face. It all comes down to what ends up getting sent (please be clean).

// Realistically, this is going to go down in either two ways: the q&a video being under five minutes OR via a game of Twenty Questions, whatever is longer. Mainly because editing purposes and uploading videos, from what I've heard, take FOREVER.

// Have fun with this! Just imagine me sipping tea in my large Captain America: Civil War mug as we're busy snacking on Biscottis and muffins. It's going to be like a warm chat, but an abstract one.

13 September 2016

Wispy Hair & the Roaring Sea







 Any photos taken of me are either by my mom or brother.








Last Friday, my family decided to go visit the coast line and just spend some time to appreciate nature, which is a relaxing activity to help wind down the crazy spirit week and prepare for helping out create a float for the Homecoming game. Our family rushed out of the restaurant we ate out that evening at and fit ourselves into the car. Seat belts snapped into place in a hasty matter, and we drove out. High rise business buildings slowly descended to sixties vibe buildings to tiny airport fields. Oldie songs, such as that of Journey and Creedence Clearwater blared through the stereo as the sun trickled past the trees onto the window panes.

Car doors burst wide open, and I was greeted by a blast of cool, air descending from the low pressure wind build up that would slowly transform into the impeding storm on Sunday evening. My brother and I trampled down the sandy slope, deserting our parents in their shock from the weather for several seconds. Cans of spray paint litter the ground near the recently decorated cement columns, a mutually respective part of the land mark we explored.

The ocean roared. Other individuals crowded near the bonfire several feet away from the white foam, slowly retreating up the beach. My hair tousled in the wind. The red slicker clinging onto my body was too thin to retain the body heat keeping me warm. Plunk. Stones clunked into the water. The game of skipping stones had begun. The world was cold, the wind spread my hair out into staggered fragments, and somehow, here I was on the Friday night, the only quiet moment the eve of a hectic weekend, but sometimes, it's important to keep calm, inhale the salty ocean water, and just feel the surge in my veins.

The ocean water washing the beach line with a gentle caress.
The sunset, ascended above the mountains.
Sea gulls crying.
Children holding hands and stepping on wooden plants.

This is good. This is not like the rest of the day, where so much possibility takes grasp and yet rarely captures your full-hearted attention. This is a sunset, a simple place where we do not have to worry about anything listed in an itinerary and yet can just relax and appreciate life's beauty, even if it's just for a short amount of time.

P.S. Poll on the sidebar, possibly check it out?

04 September 2016

The Wisteria Writer's Tag

This is a notebook which came in an even prettier wrapping box like WHAAAAT.

Hello, everyone! How's your three-day weekend going, for those who are living within the US? Recently, Sunset nominated me to do The Wisteria Writer's Tag, which is perfect timing, considering that I am now trying to make it a goal for me to post one writing post every month. Thank you so much for nominating me. Plus, there's some down time at a small gathering that my family is hosting, although my brother just came into my room and asked me, "Why are you introverting right now?"

If he only understood the negative, depleting energy toll that such gatherings can take on me. There are only two social events that can energize me, but their excessively rare.

// LE RULES
 1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the ten questions
3. Write ten questions of your own.
4. Nominate other people for the 

// What's one thing you struggle to write the most? (Romance scenes, battles, etc.)
Battle scenes are such a struggle for me because they're something that I haven't done much of-- most battles scenes are used to forward a plot, and they only make up a small percentage of the novel. Usually, if I need to write a battle scene, I tend to enact it out, which does raise a few eyebrows in the house, but one, it's fun, and two, it helps the clarity of the moves when actually writing it down.

// Favorite character(s) from your current WIP?
WHY MUST YOU ASK ME THIS QUESTION? This is hard. I love my four protagonists! Sigh. I love all four of them for different reasons, but the main thing I love about each of them is their character arc development. All four children each undergo something different, and they grow in different ways that they each all clash with each other, but still carry a mutual bond and understanding that allows them to respect each other's struggles. They each have their little quirks, as well: Jack has a ten-page fire extinguishing itinerary, Christina sprays color-dyed water onto frogs every morning, Sam is obsessed with iambic pentameter, and Daniella is not flexible.

When you ask me choose favorites, I look like this baby. 
via.

// Why exactly did you begin writing?
When I was younger, probably ten years old, I used to not talk, at all. If you approached me with a question which I was required to answer I'd numbly stutter a response. Anything and everything else would receive an annoyed yet terrified glare. Before that shy phase, writing was something irregularly done outside of school. One day, in fifth grade, the entire class was in the computer lab, writing on a prompt on a computer program, because the school scored terribly within the writing sessions in the class. Meanwhile, I scored the highest possible grade on every one. It seemed like a fluke, but honestly, I had fun writing stories to this prompts, talking about how the characters had to sneak onto the cargo box of a train to outrun the impending storm. Soon, writing became something deeper, more personal, and that's how I continued writing to this day.

// AHHH! The library is on fire and there is (conveniently) only enough time to save three books. Which ones do you save and why?
I'm guessing you mean actual published book? In that case, I'd like to save the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Chronicles of Narnia anthology since they were the two series that pushed me to write, and probably the last one would be The Elegance of the Hedgehog which you all know I adore so very much.

My organization tools for writing are all in my arsenal! Seriously, I find some of the coolest notepads out there.

// If you are currently working on a WIP, give a brief synposis of it below.
A boy with fire. Lost enemies and parents. Shadows. Instability. Anger. Balance. That's all you're going to get, at the moment, unless you look at the long post about my WIP here.

// Which time period do you prefer to write about?
Um... here's the thing: I hardly read any historical fiction, not because I dislike it, but because the novels will often be a hit and miss. I've mainly written contemporary novels (contemporary = present day) but honestly, last year I've been exposed to a lot of time periods from the various forms of media I've encounters: the 1700s (cough cough, "Ev'ryone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!") the Roaring 20s, and the Baby Boomer 50s, and these are interesting to me. I'd love to write about them! But, if you really know me, you would know that my favorite time periods would have to be the decades including the Great Depression and World War Two, because those have been my decade obsessions for a long time.

// First, second, or third person narrative?
Tricky! This answer all depends as to what the story best calls for. For my contemporary novels, I tend to write in first person, because my protagonists are within the natural world, our world, and the story would be more appropriate to view within the eyes of the protagonists. We (referring to the readers) now what an alarm clock is, how it sounds, how we feel, but there are millions of contemporaries out there, and personal character inflections are important to make the novel stand out within the theme sea of love, school, and kick-butt side characters. 

90% of most romances in my novel look like this.

If the reader is being introduced to an unknown world different from what they're familiar with in their everyday life OR if the novel is told within the perspective of multiple characters, it becomes more efficient for me to write in third person (omniscient, usually). This is mainly to keep the various personalities of each character erect-- who wants to write a novel with several points-of-view chapters being relayed by seven different narrators? This is always where I see personal character inflections either distracting certain observations or being too stale to distinguish one character from the other. We just need a reliable narrator. 

// What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received?
It's a tie between, "Buy yourself the biggest possible frappucino once you finish your novel, because you and your brain will thoroughly need it," "Ignore your inner editor while writing your first draft," and, "Don't stop writing daily; writing is a muscle. You've got to train it."

*internally screaming over my printed draft*

// Is diversity an important thing in your books for you? Why? How diverse is your own writing?
Diversity is such an important thing in my novels, especially when people of color, such as myself, are often underrepresented in various forms of media. You don't see much Asians in literature! Some of my books call a great attention to their heritage, thus inflecting parts of their personality, while other books of mine do not have much emphasis on diversity not because I don't want to, but it's not entirely appropriate. For example, for my current novel, their racial background isn't that important because they travel within a fantasy world where labels such as Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Native, don't apply, and it is somewhat hinted that Caucasians are the majority in the children's quaint hometown.

However, in my current work in progress, the world also has areas rich in a mingling blend of various Eastern and Western countries, and I am earnestly trying so hard to accurately portray the best yet realistic parts of these cultures without having to demoting them to merely stereotypical countries. As I enter this umpteenth edit and rewrite, it's one of my main priorities to be able to mix this and create a fresh new blend, such as what I am doing with Germany and Japan, for example (their folklore and stories just mesh well, and DO NOT get me started on their food and how good it is).
 // What genre do you prefer to write about?
Fantasy and contemporary are my main two that I usually write about, although I dabble in sci-fi.

// LES QUESTIONS
1. Take your most despised store. Describe what it looks like and why you hate it. Now, imagine your protagonist and antagonist of your current WIP visiting the store for the first time, separately. How would they react, and what would they buy? ("Nothing," won't be an acceptable answer!)
2. Do you have quirky writing rituals you need to in order to begin writing, such as editing with the door closed and a purple pen, all while wearing mismatched fuzzy socks? If you do, describe them.
3. Which of your characters from your WIP embodies what your entire writing process resembles?*
4. List the top three writing conferences you'd want to visit.
5. If you had to collaborate with a published author, who would it be and what would you two write about?
6. Your sources of inspiration?
7. Quick! You're on a five minute break from editing-- but your first choice of food to snack on ran out! Name your other two brain foods.
8. What's a writing-related question that bothers you when people ask?
9. List two songs that would describe both the good and bad sides of your deuteragonist.
10. Up to this point, what is your current word count for this post?

*Example: if C.S. Lewis's entire writing process was very sneaky, the character closely relating to his writing style would be Edmund.

// TAG! YOU'RE IT! I nominate:

31 August 2016

The First Issue of Paper Comets

Hi! I am extremely excited to introduce to you all a collaborative project that I have been working on for the past several months: the zine, Paper Comets!



The history about Paper Comets and Freckled Minds is this: Ava and I rarely ever interacted in the blogging world, except for the occasional comments every once in awhile. One lazy summer day, the idea of creating a yearbook anthology sort of thing for the 2016 blogging community strolled into my mind. On the day that I was about ready to contact Ava, known for her crazy mad skills in artistic drawing, I received a message from her asking if I would be willing to contribute to her zine.

Great minds think alike, huh?

Both of us decided to collaborate to create a creative hub community, known as Freckled Minds, and since both of us each wanted to do our own little thing, we both created our own zines: hers is Sacred Zine Club (publish date to be determined), focused more towards the visual arts aspect, while I would mainly overlook Paper Comets, the zine focused more towards the word-writing aspect and the idea of artistic vision.

For Paper Comets, roughly fifteen bloggers gathered together to share their artistic talents, and now, we are ready to reveal the final product that has been in the works for over fifteen months! 
The bloggers (besides the founders) who contributed are: HannahAnna, Ava, Bethan, Rose, MackenzieAbbie, Rachel, Sophia, Grace, and Autumn.

So many good conversations came from collaborating on this project: Albion, pizza, Brit-ish accents-- these are things that would not make much sense to those who weren't involved in the project. Even those who had to drop out of working on the zine will understand some of these references. It's such a great community-- I am blessed to be working with all my blogging friends.



Our theme for our first issue was words: words that we felt were important to us.

Tell us what you all think! We're constantly looking for contributors, both in the zine and the Freckled Minds site (which, cool fact: I coded and designed), so if you are a female creative mind over the age of fourteen, looking for a platform to cultivate your personal artistic voice, this is a platform that can potentially bring you out to a larger audience! We're expanding out to more electronic mediums: songwriting and film making are a few to name.

If you wouldn't mind, could you possibly provide us feedback using the form below? And if you would like to contribute, visit the link here.



We hope you enjoy the first issue of Paper Comets (and possibly we will see you contribute soon)!

P.S. Kenzie was here, and she likes turtles. 

26 August 2016

Tweet Tweet! Morning Meets Twitter




Hi, everyone!

Do you know how sometimes, you create snarky or sassy remarks you just want to share with the world, promoting yourself to share it on social media? For some people, there are several options. An example would be tweeting about it on Twitter. Here's the thing, though: I don't have Twitter, nor do I think I will get one in the near future. This is more under the jurisdiction of my parents, and I comply. If there appears to be an account claiming to be me, it may be an impersonator and neither I nor my blog are affiliated with that account.

Sometimes, my brain wanders around and creates these mental-tweets which sound ingenious. These "tweets" become better in quality when bigger events coincide in time. This has been going on for over two years now. It's about time this stepped into the proper light. Now, here is the big question that has been bothering me for the past several months: If Morning had Twitter, what would her feed on the first day of school look like?

I spent time coding a box based off of screen shots I've seen on search engines, which would bear similarities to both the mobile and desktop version. I wasn't able to code in the retweets, likes, and comments section of it, although hopefully you still can enjoy it. The post is also set up to portray the "tweets" in chronological order from top to bottom, unlike Twitter's format of most recent to oldest. In some senses, this can be referred to as a Twitter takeover-- a takeover of the blog!

Then came the difficult part: on Monday, at 5:45am, my alarm clock went off and I had to transform from sleeping zombie to actual functioning human bean sprout to create my "tweets."

Without further ado.

Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
1h
That moment when your teachers wave hello but you’re still tired & accidentally reply, “Hello, my dear children.”


If any of you knew me in real life, you know that I tend to refer to people as "children," even though they're older than me. It does appear like a paradox because I am physically short in real life, but it's something that my friends have gotten used to. So,when I bumped into teachers and they waved hello to me, my automatic response just slipped out of my mouth. Whoops.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
1h
REQUIREMENTS: Coffee, deep philosophical conversation & chill among close friends is what I need today.


Usually, the first days of my high school years often end up involving none of the things mentioned above. Caffeine just causes me to not fall asleep at the end of the day, almost all conversation is pretty shallow, and because a lot of my friends are either on the other side of the school or have classes that reflect mine backwards from morning to the afternoon, it's really hard. This year though, I (still) did not get coffee, but my face got slapped with the question of morality in English and my friend got into the mini learning community I'm apart of, which made me scream and jump up crazily for five minutes.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
3h
Just finally hit me that I’m a junior. Gosh—I’M SO OLD! Meanwhile, all of the freshman I’ve bumped into are a foot taller than me. Great.


My fun-sized height has already been mentioned. Enough said.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
2h
“I just realized the answer. I feel dumber than before. I’m now going to questioning everything in life.” – An AP Calc student.


This year, I am fortunate enough to end up being in the same AP Calc class as several people from my middle school years who often just helped me get through math classes, with the addition of several acquaintances from my underclassmen years. One of my friends found out that they just had to plug in the values into the equation, and it took him ten minutes to finally realize that. But this is literally relatable, on so many levels.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
3h
Teacher: “Here are questions to introduce yourself.”
Me: “’Word to describe you.’” *thinks* *suddenly doesn’t know anything about myself*



Admit it: this has happened to you as well.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
3h
When someone says your name in the hall & all five with the same namesake wave because you don’t know which person they were referring to.


This is also awkward when you know most of the people who share your real name in real life, and will sometimes cluster together in the halls because we all happen to coincide during our passing period between classes.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
4h
When your friends are cheering about the Brazil vs. Germany victory in men’s soccer & someone says, “No, I didn’t watch the Olympics.” O-O


The Olympics are my life, okay?


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
4h
I’ve asked nine people to open my locker, and it still WON’T BUDGE. Urgh. 


At my school, we're required to use our lockers. The problem was that the lock would be inconsistent; the combo would always be entered but would only open once every six times. I had to carry my stuff for three days until the person in charge of locker combinations finally switched my lock out.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
5h
Pressure for AP classes matches the weight & burden one feels heaving their books around the first day of school.


You have no idea about the content length of my APES book (Advanced Placement Environmental Science). You have NO idea.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
6h
I miss just drinking juice boxes and taking nap time hours. 


Don't we all miss kindergarten or preschool? Unless you've been homeschooled all your life; in that case, you can continue to do this all you want. Homeschooling has never been an option for me because my parents are super busy with work, and no one else could watch my brother and I, anyways.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
7h
The bus driver missed our bus oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh.


This gave me MAJOR anxiety on the bus. The bus stop is somewhat distant from my house, so it takes a long time to walk. That, mixed in with so much rain, ended with nearly being an hour late arriving to my house.


Morning Time


@upsanddownsblog
7h
After a stressful day? Time to eat muffin and try to make smiley faces on my graphing calculator.


All in all, while not the best first day (who does have good first days of school), it was quite memorable, in more senses than what was encompassed here: my friend told a joke about a tractor and won the corny joke contest, and walking around the commons area with the painted piano case while waiting for the administration to fill the period hole in my schedule.

I think it's great that I don't have Twitter, because honestly, I already blog. Twitter is able to encompass the little moments that we bump into in our every day lives. There's practically already much sharing on here, that to add on with a Twitter account would be redundant. It will be redundant until other circumstances require me to make an account, as if I get represented by an agent in the publishing industry and need to make an account as a platform to promote my novel.

Now that school's back in the swing of things, I should probably give an update as to how things are pertaining compared to the first day: everything has been going well, although my AP classes have been terrifying due to the workload that has been placed upon my shoulders. At the moment, I'm really unsure as to how to manage the workload, but somehow, I'll manage. In the meantime, get ready for the release of Paper Comets! More on that to come on another post.

In the meantime, tell me using at least one 140-character sentence: how has school or your last couple of weeks of summer been for you? Are any of these "tweets" relatable to you in any way, or I miss anything? How does homeschooling compare to the experience I had mentioned in this post?