Foriegn Affairs

Exister, c'est oser se jeter dans le monde.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Final Post (For Now)

1. My favorite pieces that I wrote are:
- Look How Far We've Come
- I Know why the Caged Bird Sings
- Flea Market Stories
- Old Stories Turned Reality
I liked these posts because I felt really creative while writing them. Two of my top favorite posts that I liked are more of opinion pieces. During this class, I really came to enjoy looking at Maya Angelou and the imagery she used to explain events and emotional limitations. I also liked writing stories using story starters, even using something as basic as a photo. In Flea Market Stories, I really wish that I knew the person and the real reason why she wrote something on the back of her photo.

2. My favorite pieces that I read over the quarter:
- Maddy's Photo Essay
- Taylor's Giving Thanks
- Laura's Rightness to Our Wrongness
I liked these three authors a lot over the quarter. I also like Katie Gann's work as well- it offered a great variety and I like how interesting the stories were. I think that Laura is a very descriptive and talented writer that describes little moments in perfect clarity. I also liked reading Taylor's posts not only because she is my friend, but because she writes out-of-the-ordinary stories that I find really refreshing. I also liked the stories that Maddy wrote because they were very raw and truthful, something that a lot of stories don't incorporate today.
Also, because of story suggestions, I can now say that I've read Catcher in the Rye and On Leaving Charleston.

3. I had so much fun setting up my blog! I'm really glad that I found the ShabbyBlog site so that I could find really creative backgrounds to make my blog stand out. I also tried to customize it to match the season (notice my blog theme this time)? I also wanted to make sure it was nice and neat so people would want to read my stories.
I came up with the name of my blog from one of my favorite stories, The Audacious Adventures of the Somerset Sisters. Here is the link to the book! The main character reminded me of myself and how I am actually making a conscious effort to try to make an adventure.
In the future, I still see myself using this blog. I don't really know if I'll make it more of a journal type thing or a writing thing or everything in between, but I will definitely let you know when I decide!

4. In my journal, I had lots of different things. I did have a lot of collages and photos and objects that inspired me. I also kind of wrote my thoughts down (random and deep). In the future, I definitely want to invest in a journal that I can write in daily. I don't know if I would write about what I did during the day like the pilgrims, but I could see myself just writing about what I thought about in the world. I'm just not a strong journal-er, but it's definitely something that I would like to work on.

5. This photo is truly inspiring to me. Even though it looks like a simplistic photo, it speaks volumes to me in so many ways.
I love how Vogel carried her rival across the finish line. As a runner and athlete, I know how much one wants to cross the line, to end the race and the hurt. I find it simply remarkable that instead of the title of winning and beating a rival that was hurt; she chose to sacrifice praise to help another out.
Another theme I picked up from the photo was the ability women have to love. I don’t see very many men sacrificing social standings and rankings to help out others.
It reminded me of the photo of the two runners where the woman sacrificed first place and monetary gain to help another runner (he was paraplegic) drink- a simple thing that most of us take for granted. How many times have we, instead of helping, stare at somebody and mock them or choose to ignore them? These women runners have showed what it means to love and serve- something that I am grateful to the photographer for capturing.
I also saw the theme of faith in this picture. Vogel is willing to literally carry her enemy across the finish line, shoulder her burdens with her. The other girl I imagine can’t believe that she is being carried, but has faith in Vogel to carry her, to not drop her or let go. This has parallels to life in so many ways. At some point in our lives, I believe that we will need someone to help us cross the “finish line”, and they will need us as much as we need them.
-I liked this one because I felt like l expressed lots of emotion. Even though this journal entry came about because I needed more pages to turn in, I feel like it is one of the better posts that I did this quarter.

6. Pillow (Talk)
He twists and turns, then wakes up, startled, wide eyed and looking around the black room. The darkness almost threatens to suffocate him. He looks at the clock, it is 2:13 AM. Quietly he tries to remember what military time translates into this civilian time. Next to him lays his wife, so glad that he is finally home, safe and sound. Little breaths are heard coming from the right of the room, his one year old is finally fast asleep.
Trying to gather his thoughts that are consuming him like a fire to dry trees, he tries to repeat what his therapist told him to do, to calm him down.
My name is Taylor Graham. I’m 25 years old and married. I am a father to a one year old. I came home about 5 months ago fro-AAAAAHHHH! Instant flashback to the dream he woke up from, where he is trying to save his comrades from an IED explosion that hit their Jeep. His dream still allows him to remember the dead in the vehicle, already long gone without any hope of revival. He smells the smell of burning flesh, machine fire, and war, hears the cries of pain and desperation. He is drowning in this dream-he can’t escape the dream, he hears and smells and touches and tastes magnified a hundred times in this dream.
He wonders when this will stop. His wife has been so supportive, helping him with his therapy and the daytime nightmares that plague him. His family thought the war was done for him when he stepped of the plane and into their arms.
In reality, the war really started for him then-a quiet war raged in his own mind, silent to any outsider.

 I liked writing this story because it was a cross between and fictional and real story. I wrote it not knowing a specific person that I was writing about, but I know that for many this is a constant struggle. I also felt like I grew as a writer because it was something deep and not something that was very relate able to me personally.

7. Honestly, I don't have a lot of plans for creative writing in my high school career. However, I would like to major in English, maybe double that with creative writing and then get my masters in teaching or English. Throughout the class, I kept telling my friends that I thought creative writing was helping me come up with ideas that I would have never thought before. I looked through different perspectives to write and get inspiration, was challenged to make things up from ground zero, and control how much I was willing to get creative with the story. I also liked how there wasn't a lot of structure and that I was free to choose what direction I wanted to go in with each of my writing pieces.

8. My advice to the class:
Thank you all for inspiring me as a writer, friend, and student. I'm so glad our paths crossed- I will always be changed by your writing.
La fin.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Revision #3 (On the Reel)

In this post, I'm going to be discussing my results from the movie quiz that we took a couple weeks back.
In that time, I've watched some of the movies the recommended for me, such as Harry Met Sally. I also found it so interesting that my movie habits are a direct result to my personality. I found it interesting that most people in this class didn't talk during movies!
Another thing that I found was that most people don't like re watching movies! I love to re watch movies all the time, especially on cold, rainy days. The movies that I most like to watch would probably be ones with more serious content if I have a lot of time. From time to time, I also like to watch movies from my past because I like reconnecting with what made me feel special at one time.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Revision #2 (Old Stories turned Reality)

The vanishing of the up and coming defense attorney of the Buick County was a mystery. Many were questioned and brought in to custody to try and figure out what happened to Jane Vickers. Even after all the evidence had been collected, nothing made any sense to the police department or anyone else who came to the sleepy town and tried to investigate the case. As police or other crime sleuths tried to get a different perspective or another clue, they came up empty. No sign of a struggle, nothing to say that she had prepared for a long vacation or a move. Jane Vickers was truly gone.

10 years later, a new family of two moved into the old house. By getting the house at a next to nothing price, a young, single mother convinced her 16 year old daughter to drop everything in the city and move to Buick County. As they pulled up in the driveway, the daughter could see how the mother was so eager they move. Even though the realtor said the house hadn't been occupied in a long time, the house's appearance looked like someone lived inside. The whitewash of the home was pristine and contrasted against the gray skies that threatened snow fall later in the day. Jacy opened up the door of the SUV and walked to the front door, hand in hand with her mother. As her mother rummaged around in her purse for her keys, Jacy looked around. Out in the distance, she could see one of their only neighbors tending to their garden, a fat barn cat lazily stalking a dead sunflower.
Finally, her mother opened up the door and they both walked inside. Jacey was instantly glad her mother paid someone in town to unload all of their things and set-up their house for them. After traveling the whole day, she was ready to fall asleep in her own bed.
After a dinner of soup and rolls, her mother brought her to her room. Jacey walked inside and was immediately overwhelmed with the sights that filled her eyes. The large bay window caste
the light of the moon onto her new bedspread and room  decoration. Exclaiming with joy, she ran and jumped on the bed, ready to use her new stuff.
After getting ready in her own bathroom (an on-suite!) she quickly headed to bed and burrowed under the covers.
Around 1:30, Jacy woke. She could hear scratching sounds on the door to her room. Thinking to herself that they were just old house sounds, she quickly fell asleep.
It began again.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Revision #1 (Writers Dreaming)

A couple of months ago, I wrote an opinion piece about why I thought the caged bird sang, with emphasis on things that can become a "cage" for us.  I kind of want to elaborate on the piece that I wrote.
I know that people and society tell us more lies than truths most of the time. And I think initially, we don't believe them and recognize them as lies. But what happens when lie becomes repetition and commits itself to memory?
It's almost like those words rewrite our memories and history without our consent. Then, we start to construct our cage almost absent minded and define ourselves by those words.
Now I'm going to rant.
What's up with these ratings and rankings? Rating people (mostly girls) based off of looks superficial things and not things that actually matter- like being smart or nice or kind. Numbers of ANY kind can't define a person or a soul. It's almost inhumane how people can find pleasure in destroying people's identities and lives without a second thought. It's honestly awful. Rankings and defining women by numbers 1-10 is disgusting, and I question anybody who tells me otherwise.
We need to learn how to be kind, nice, and respectful- not fake, artificial plastic. Maybe Angelou was on to something when she said, "We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter their color", or in our case, no matter their outside appearance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cooking with my Aunt

A couple of summers ago, my siblings and I stayed at my aunt's house while my parents and grandparents were at a wedding for my cousins. During this time, we enjoyed so many adventures, but the one I was most fond of was when we made cinnamon rolls.
 My aunt's cinnamon rolls are legend. The recipe for them have been passed down three generations and perfected in that time. Every time we come to visit my aunt, she always makes two batches of raisin cinnamon rolls with nuts for my dad (that's his most favorite thing ever). The best part about these cinnamon rolls are that they are made completely from scratch- something that is very hard to find today. 
 When we made cinnamon rolls, my aunt called us into her kitchen. After making the dough using a shiny red KitchenAid mixer, she threw the dough onto her island and instructed us to roll it out flat. As soon as we were done rolling, we spread a mixture of cinnamon, suger, and other spices on the dough along with lots and lots of butter. Then, my aunt came over to us and used the rolling pin to start rolling the dough into a roll. As she rolled, we sprinkled raisins and nuts (and I slipped in some more cinnamon).
 Along the way, I noticed how dirty her kitchen had started to become. Flour was everywhere along with the other ingredients that we used. Discarded and used egg boxes were stacked precariously on the kitchen counter top. To me, I thought that this was chaos. Even with my OCD personality trying to keep my mess to a minimum, I noticed that I was creating a mess myself.
All of a sudden, a huge sack of flower fell to the floor from where my aunt was ripping it open. The kitchen fell silent as we waited for my aunt's reaction.
She laughed.
We were all shocked. Why was she laughing? Didn't she realize this added even more to the already long list of things we needed to clean up?  
Her response to our shock was profound. "When baking, you're going to make a mess. And you're going to have to clean it up. But that's okay. It's okay to make messes and get messy". 
We all mulled over this in our heads, and we quickly resumed back to baking. Every time I'm in the kitchen now, I always think back to her, especially when messes are made.

Now that I'm a little older, I understand the parallels of that statement between messes and baking and life. At some point, we might make a mess. Big or small, one day it will happen to us if it hasn't already. And we need to be okay with that. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Look How Far We've Come

This photo is truly inspiring to me. Even though it looks like a simplistic photo, it speaks volumes to me in so many ways.
I love how Vogel carried her rival across the finish line. As a runner and athlete, I know how much one wants to cross the line, to end the race and the hurt. I find it simply remarkable that instead of the title of winning and beating a rival that was hurt; she chose to sacrifice praise to help another out.
Another theme I picked up from the photo was the ability women have to love. I don’t see very many men sacrificing social standings and rankings to help out others. 
It reminded me of the photo of the two runners where the woman sacrificed first place and monetary gain to help another runner (he was paraplegic) drink- a simple thing that most of us take for granted. How many times have we, instead of helping, stare at somebody and mock them or choose to ignore them? These women runners have showed what it means to love and serve- something that I am grateful to the photographer for capturing.

I also saw the theme of faith in this picture. Vogel is willing to literally carry her enemy across the finish line, shoulder her burdens with her. The other girl I imagine can’t believe that she is being carried, but has faith in Vogel to carry her, to not drop her or let go. This has parallels to life in so many ways. At some point in our lives, I believe that we will need someone to help us cross the “finish line”, and they will need us as much as we need them.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Flea Market Stories

She is not smiling. Her new boyfriend of two hours is making jokes at her, failed attempts at trying to get her to smile while holding the camera to snap a picture. Nancy’s attitude can’t change with one simple joke- she is thinking of someone far away.
                He wants to capture the memory of their first date and save it forever, thinking that this is the first of many. Meanwhile, Nancy is bitter toward her mother who set up the outing, and is desperately trying to forget today. The flowers he gave her feel like a lead weight in her hand.
                Silently to herself, she rehearses what she will tell her mother when she gets inside. “I told you! I’m not ready. If you love me, stop this” she’ll say in a confident voice.
                In response, her mother will shrug her shoulders and let the complaint slide off like water on a duck’s back. “You’re not getting any younger…it’s time to move on”.
                How could she? It was so much easier said than done. Her mother didn’t understand. Pushing men and money wasn’t going to make Jefferson leave her mind. Somewhere, she knew he was alive. Ever since his family had let her know that they had received a letter saying that he was M.I.A., she held a hope he would return.
                That was five years ago.
                Suddenly, it was all too much. The smell of the flowers, the care-free attitude of her date, and the happiness of others overwhelmed her. Nancy threw the bouquet of flowers on the ground, shouting lame apologies over her shoulder while tears threatened to spill over. Opening the wood door and slamming the screen door shut on the porch she bolted upstairs to her room, blocking out her mother’s concerns shouting up the stairs to her. She threw herself on her bed, crying.

                No, she wasn’t ready. Five years wasn’t nearly enough time to mourn her lost lover.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pictures in Posts

Mrs. Rupke-Wells is someone who makes me laugh. Everyday I come into her classroom I feel at ease and laugh at least twice. She's a great listener and even though she is super young, she has lots of life experience that makes her an awesome teacher, one of the few I can actually count on to make me feel better. #rupkeonpoint

Taylor Marshall is easily one of my best friends. Ever since freshman year, she's taught me so many things about myself and the world around me. We've had so many conversations involving a wide range of subjects, people, places, and things. She has opened my eyes to the world around me, literally. #tellmeajoke

I would love to be more like Mrs. Fraser. She helped me think about teaching as a career choice and something that I may want to pursue in the future. She also inspired me to think about the world creatively and find joy in the little things and to be inspired in everything that goes on around me. #fraseristhebest
I love books! I recently had a referral to books by Liane Moriarty. I think that she is a gifted writer that can spin stories so well that it keeps the reader guessing what is going to happen next. Her plots are also very refreshing and appeals to a wide range of people #secretsmakebooks
This sign (that's a square) reminds me of all of Goddard's thirty minute long speeches and all the countless times that practiced started and all the meetings that we had for cross country. It also reminds me of all the times that we've been kicked out of the locker room is because Goddard has talked for so long #goddardminutes
I found this piece of wood in the science wing. It reminded me of a goal that I have to go to the Redwood Forrest in California. I can't wait to drive my car through a tree stump! #redwoodforrestsrcool
I took this picture for my interesting angle because my OCD freaked out when I saw this chair not standing upright. It was also the same chair that the old orchestra director used. #music
This is a handwritten sign for the district game. It reminded me of the team mindset where no one can succeed without the others. Also, the game turned out pretty great-we won and my friends and I went to IHOP after. #khsfootball
This is my nature picture of a tree and birdhouse. It was rainy and gray and definitely a interesting experience with Taylor. I loved how quite it was and how peaceful the garden was. #artinnature
These knobs reminded me of owl's eyes and the beak of a bird. I searched so hard for a face, and when I saw this one, I freaked out. #orchestraroom
This made me think of what a little kid might find interesting. When I was little, I was so scared of spiders, I wouldn't even touch plastic spiders that I would get in my halloween bag. #thisishalloween
This picture makes me feel nostalgic because this is where I had my first track meet. Ever since then, I have loved running and competing and the general atmosphere of meets. #running
This isn't something that annoys me, but is the exact opposite. Football games and this field was about more than the games and activities, it was about the atmosphere and the people. #Ibelievethatwehavewon
I think that art is so beautiful, so that is why it is my something beautiful. I wish I was better with art and that is why I have so much gratitude for artists. #artandearth
This locker is something that will always remind me of Kickapoo. This is my locker that I've had all through my high school career (hopefully it will continue that way)! Running is so important to me as well as high school experiences #kpoo

Friday, October 30, 2015

Spooky Stories

Madeline’s story was very spooky- I really feel like she could make this into a movie or book! She left me at such a big cliff hanger! I really want to know what happened to the girl and what her parents’ advice would be to her about her stalker/ ghost problem. She created a great story using imagery and experiences we’ve all had in our lives or thought about sometime.
Sam’s story was AMAZING! When I first saw this prompt, I imagined something very different for the story line. I loved how she was able to keep me guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. She also used a lot of themes that somehow fit together perfectly.
Tanner’s story was very haunting. As I said in the comments on his story, I loved how he was able to make the ghost have human characteristics! I also enjoyed some of the themes, such as presumed guilty before any evidence is found.

My Halloween plans don’t have much similarities to the scary stories, but I will be dressing up to pass out candy and go to a party! This weekend might also include watching a scary movie, eating popcorn and candy, and roasting s’mores. Hopefully I won’t have any supernatural stories to tell after the break!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fractured (literally) Harris Burdick Story

The cobble-stoned street was littered with last night’s celebrations. Streamers, party favors, and broken glass still had yet to be cleaned up. Meanwhile, Jean was sitting at a table, just finishing her order of a spinach and cheese omelet and decaf coffee, no foam. She looked upward, her cat eye Gucci sunglasses sliding off the bridge of her nose and pushing towards her forehead. The eggshell blue of the Venetian sky was dotted with the black outline of seagulls from the bay. This sight reminded her of one of her favorite songs, This Is the Life, by one of her favorite bands, Two Door Cinema Club. Being on vacation from school (a normal custom in Europe to go on a three week vacation every couple of months) was a gift from above. Jean knew that even with her workaholic parents and their crumbling marriage and her almost nonexistent social life, nothing could change the fact that this was starting out as one of the best days she had in a long while. She trusted that everything would work itself out.

                However, as soon as she came to this conclusion, she heard screams and sounds of buildings crashing. Jean thought that there was no construction that day, and was pulled out of her philosophical trance by curiosity. She closed her book and saw a huge ocean liner coming toward the quaint bistro she was sitting at. She could tell that even with her mighty engines in reverse, the ocean liner was pulled further and further into the canal. Knowing that she didn’t have much time to get away, she quickly gathered all of her things into her purse and started to run. Jean tripped on a shaking cobblestone and tried to get up, realizing that her new jeans had ripped and a long, bloody gash was appearing on her knee. People flooded the streets, fleeing from the destruction. They created a hole around her, enough room that she could get up and continue to her mint green Vespa. She grabbed the shiny black helmet and sped away, knowing that the trouble had only just started. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Old Stories turned Reality

Growing up with cats and dogs, I got used to the sounds of scratching at my door while I slept. Now that I live alone, it’s much more unsettling.
                When I was little and had to go anywhere in my house by myself, I would rush up the stairs, complete the task, and race back downstairs to avoid ghosts or other things that go bump in the night. In the momentary gap of no light when you flick the lights off, my worst fears would be brought to the forefront of my imagination. My cat would make it worse when he would rub my legs or attack my ankles while I was escaping the dark.
                This memory popped into my head as I heard these sounds around 12:30. I sighed, knowing that my sleep was ruined and that I would have to be back at work in six hours. I slowly unwrapped myself from my comforter and turned on the light, trying to comfort myself about the scratching noises that kept repeating over and over again. I knew that the house was old- I had bought it for its historic charm and legends surrounding the house. Popular stories of ghosts of animals tested by a witch swirled about the town, and once or twice I caught some of the locals giving me a peculiar stare and then whispering to a neighbor.
                I stepped out of bed to brew myself some coffee. I stuffed my feet into my house slippers and put on my terry cloth bathrobe, a gift from my mother for my birthday last year. I crossed the room and twisted the handle- but realized it was stuck. Another oddity hit me-the scratching noises had stopped. Trying not to freak out, I calmly thought of a reasonable explanation for the turn of events. This house is old, old things rust and get stuck, the scratching sounds were probably the water heater (I needed to call first thing after I got my coffee)…
I went to my master bathroom, trying to think of what I had available to me to unlock the door. Since the door could only be locked from the outside, I had no key in the room. Realizing that someone (or something) had to have locked me in, I started to panic even more. Logical solutions were thrown out of my mind as I sank to the tiled floor, crying and all alone.
In the midst of my meltdown, I was startled when I heard the same scratching noises not at the door, but at the bathroom window. I looked up and saw a huge cat with a Cheshire smile and huge, black eyes. Behind him I could tell that there were more animals, but none that I wanted to meet. As I crawled away from the window, I caught a glint of a knife, illuminated by the harvest moon.

I got on my feet and ran to the door, pounding and screaming, hoping that someone would hear me. Instead, all I got was the noise of several ghoulish animals, results of spells gone awry.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Carving and Halloween

Halloween Traditions
Carving pumpkins is a very serious tradition in my household. I don’t remember when it got started or why we started carving, but it stuck. It’s usually me who brings it up, and coerces people to drop their schedules and commitments and to celebrate the season by carving pumpkins. It is also like the season opener to fall and the other holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas which my family loves to celebrate as well, not to mention my mom’s birthday and mine sandwiched in between those events.  To other people who don’t carve pumpkins, they might see me as annoying, but I see myself as the preserver of a Halloween and fall tradition started many years ago.
  Over the years, we have acquired three heavy duty pumpkin carving kits, four stencil books, and lots of memories. Carving pumpkins is not just a cliché thing to do around Halloween, it is the staple of our celebration of the holiday. We set a time that we can all carve pumpkins and usually block out several hours. My mom always tries to find a new pumpkin seed recipe that she can try out with all the seeds from the pumpkins we carve. Since my dad usually joins us right after he gets home from work, the kids have to gather the newspaper, set up the table, print out the stencil, and get all the tools ready for when he gets home. It’s a pretty strenuous process, but it yields great results.
Pretty soon, the only people that are left carving are my sister, me, and my dad. My brothers have usually lost interest but will suddenly come back downstairs right as we are finishing up to “help”. Kind of like the Little Red Hen, we do all the heavy lifting on their pumpkins so they can bask in the finish of their creation that they didn’t have a hand in. Meanwhile, pumpkin and spices waft through the air from the oven, where my mom has been laboring to finish the pumpkin seeds.

Honestly, this is my favorite tradition. I love how my family always seems to find a break in their schedules to enjoy this holiday and to take a step back from the crazy world. I also like all the stories and pictures that are shared of past Halloweens. Even though sticky pumpkin guts get coated on your hands and make a huge mess, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all worth it when you get to set your finished creation outside, with a candle lit inside it that inspires awe in all trick-or-treaters who pass by. I wouldn’t trade my family tradition of carving pumpkins for anything- it might just be the best night of the year.

By the way, if you're looking for cool pumpkin carving ideas or just browsing, click here, here (I loved the kittens one), and here (anyone got an old shirt?).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Keeping it Reel

#10: How involved do you think family should be in your relationships? Your involvement in theirs?

                In my family, we have a very interesting dynamic.  I won’t reveal any confidential information, but I do have to say that having your brother showing interest in one of your best friends is kind of on the strange side. It does come in handy when the other sibling can set you up with one of their friends or vice versa- and if all else fails, they have your back during a relationship. I would fight for any of my siblings if they were wronged in a relationship and would make sure that they were comforted if they were sad or depressed about it.

                I can relate to Dan’s family on a personal level when they are trying to set him up. I can remember trying to set my brother up on a homecoming date or when he tries to subtly remind me of his single friends that happen to be free on the weekend. I think that we are interested in setting up our family members because we know how good and refreshing it is to feel loved and we want them to feel the same positive feelings that we do.
                Another experience is when my sister and I were texting the same guy, kind of seriously, without even knowing. One day, we found out, and as you can assume, contact with that teenage boy was cut off. There’s almost an unspeakable code between multiples about what you can and can’t do in relationships. There’s only two options in  relationships- what’s right and what’s wrong.
                My mother finds that it is very helpful that we are all pretty close because we all seem to know what’s going on in their love life or other relationships. Mostly, my mom comes to me because I guess you could say that I’m a gossip, which could possibly be true. She will grill me for all the latest details and she almost turns into a teenage girl again when I tell her who’s dating who and what’s going on in the relationship department. My dad on the other hand, doesn’t really care. All he says as a joke is that when I go to prom he’ll show all of my “embarrassing” baby pictures.
                In relation to talking about the future earlier this week, sometimes my siblings like to talk about what the future holds college wise, careers, and marriage. We always bet to see who’ll get married first and how they’ll run their future household, what kind of spouse that they will end up marrying. I think that I can safely say that I might be pickier than my mom on their choice of mate!

                All in all, I think that family gets involved in relationships because it make them feel good and personal with the other person.  “Notice the people who are happy for your happiness, and sad for your sadness. They're the ones who deserve special places in your heart.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Reely" good quotes

These quotes come from my favorite movies of all time:
1. The Help
2.  The Pursuit of Happyness
3.  The Imitation Game
4. Age of Adaline

On the Reel

My favorite movie of all time would have to be The Help. I won't go into much detail because I reference this movie in almost all the things I write about, both book and movie version. I really don't care for horror or super scary movies because they freak me out- I have a bit of an overactive imagination! I also don't like movies were there is a ton of violence, I just don't think that it's really necessary.
I usually watch movies on the weekend because I have time to watch the whole thing in one sitting. If I'm by myself, I usually fold laundry or do some chores that don't require lots of concentration. If I'm with my family, I love wrapping myself in a blanket and stretching out on our leather couch. I always have to have a snack, and it's usually chips or something I can munch on.
If my life was turned into a movie, it would definitely be a comedy, probably surrounding the adventures I have with my siblings. I like to think that I'm very funny, and my dad and I could definitely come up with some good jokes that would have viewers using them in their daily lives. The celebrity that would play me would be Lily Collins. I love her hair, look, and everything about her.

The survey told me:
You are moderate in activity and enthusiasm. You enjoy the company of others but you also value your privacy.
You are generally warm, trusting, and agreeable, but you can sometimes be stubborn and competitive.

You are conscientious and well organised. You have high standards and always strive to achieve goals.

You are generally calm and able to deal with stress, but you sometimes experience feelings of guilt, anger and sadness.
You are practical but willing to consider new ways of doing things. You try to seek a balance between the old and the new.
It also said that I should watch "When Harry met Sally" and "Meet the Parents"

Future Plans?

Mr. Odom was awesome! It really surprised me about how many writers clubs there are in Springfield! I was also curious about the critique groups- they seem like a great way to get your name out in the community as a new author. I still have a question about how to get involved in those clubs! Who do we even contact? Is it like a cult?

In a year, I would like to see myself getting prepared for college and just enjoying stuff in my last year of high school. In five years, I would love to be graduating college and starting a job as a teacher or continuing my education to the masters level. I would also like to have traveled to Europe in a foreign exchange program by then. In 50 years, I honestly have no clue. I guess you could say I will go wherever the wind takes me.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Driving in the Country

I turn off of the highway lined with brush and trees to fill up my 1939 Packard 120 in desperate need of gas. I hear the crunch of the gravel under my black tires as I go around the white-washed building to the pumps. The man to pump the gas stands attentively and quietly, the gas pumps his only company during his long days of work, I imagine. I bet when he hears the rush of a lone car speed past this sleepy town, he likes to think the town is almost as lonely as him.
As I turn off the ignition, he says a quiet, “hello” and nods his head towards me.
“Grab yourself a Coke” he says as he grabs the pump to fill my car, “it’s a hot day for traveling.”
Heeding his advice and walking away in the full assurance that he won’t take advantage of me or my car, I walk towards the hypnotic hum of a refrigerator keeping the ambrosia of Coca-Cola cold in their glass bottles. The smell of gasoline taints the air, but only because this is a gas station. I think that if I would walk farther into this town, it would smell like the flowers and trees growing in the distance, untainted by pollution that overcrowded cities seem to be synonymous with.
After depositing a shiny Alabama state quarter into a tin box next to the refrigerator, I walk back to my car, listening to the sound of my heels clicking against the sand and gravel and dings of the gas meter signaling the flow of gasoline. Mixtures of sounds like the old swinging sign overhead and cicadas in the tall grass aid in the symphony of sounds.

My hand grabs the hot metal handle to open up the driver’s door, where I carefully place my half-consumed coke on the floorboard. I finally notice how my gas tank is full and the man who filled it standing as stiff as a soldier, back to the line of gas pumps instead of soldiers. Turning on the ignition, I pull away from the country gas station and onto the highway once again.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Builders

Putting up the frame of a house
We work all day long without stop

No other house in sight
We are truly all on our own

We line up the sides of the house
Almost like putting together a puzzle

The only thing to keep us company is the fire
we made so long ago

The house from the front looks real
But anywhere else, we can tell it’s for show

End of the Day

Walking up the hill covered in snow my footprints discolor the pure, white snow and leave it
dirty, something of a disgrace I’m sure to nature.
Walking up the hill, I look around me as I see others leaving the factory, wages in their pockets or tin boxes of only 5 cents.
End of the Day
Walking up the hill, I think of all the ugly houses lining the road, celebrating our victory march of poverty and despair and ruin.
Walking up the hill, I see other haggard faces with coal and dust etched into their wrinkles greet their families and silently tell their wives that there’s no more money for food.
Walking up the hill, my shadow is slowly illuminated by the shy sun that is trying to peak out from behind the salt and pepper colored clouds
Walking up the hill, I think of my own family and what I will tell them when I get home,
things like sorrow and pain turned into my own gain.

Stopping at the top of the hill, I pray for freedom and the end of the day.

Art Walk

I was having a horrible, no good, very bad day. Just like Alexander from the book, nothing seemed to be going my way. At first, I woke up with a great attitude and plenty of smiles. However, things went south quickly when my sister, who I share a room with, was not having a great attitude. Every little action turned into a debate and everything it seemed was wrong because of me and not the other way around. On the way to school, I slammed the car door to get in, resulting in my coffee staining my brand new white shirt.
Needless to say, my day only got worse.

Tests upon tests were thrown at me, grade checks were a disappointment, and practice for cross country was a disaster! I felt like I had fought a hundred battles only to lose all of them that day. As I walked up the stairs to the front door, I felt worn out-emotionally and physically. I went upstairs to my room after grabbing some goldfish and had a solid cry. Mascara was running down my cheeks, but I felt better. Grabbing some tissues from the bathroom, my brother saw the mess I was in. He offered to talk it out with me, and we ended up laughing and joking, a polar opposite feeling than 30 minutes before. He helped me so much, he was definitely a blessing in disguise.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Charles Burchfield

November Storm
Charles Ephraim Burchfield was born on April 9, 1873 in Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio. He was born as the first child to William Burchfield and Alice Murphy. Sadly, Burchfield’s father passed away when he was only four years old. Because of this tragedy, he was appointed the main bread winner and worked at a young age for W.H. Mullins being a core molder. He was also one of six siblings born to Alice and William. Alice never remarried after her husband’s death.
                Burchfield graduated as class valedictorian and went to the Cleveland Institute of Art to pursue his gift of painting. During this time, his mother had a skylight installed in his room so that he could paint with better light! Upon returning home, Charles married his sweetheart, Bertha Kenreich. The couple had four children together.
   Charles Burchfield had many painters that he used to inspire him, such as van Gogh. His best friend, Edward Hopper, helped Burchfield land many of his paintings in galleries across the United States. Burchfield finally quit his job at a prominent wallpaper company and committed full time to be a painter. However, the Great Depression soon hit, and Burchfield was worried about his family’s welfare. He didn’t have to worry- his paintings were in high demand and he never lacked any funds during this time.
Black Iron
                His work is inspired by many experiences he had that can be divided into three major categories. His first category has his works depicting scenes he saw during his enlistment in World War I. His second depicts American life and industry. His last group focuses back on his experiences as a boy and more of abstract art. Burchfield used watercolor and employed the dry brush technique, which is using as little water as possible to get different textures and colors. His painting style was described by LIFE magazine as “Edward Hopper on a rainy day.”

                Charles Burchfield died on January 10th, 1967 in his adult hometown of Gardenville, NY, a suburb of East Salem.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

6 Word Memoirs

Do you ever wonder what if?
Cats can be the best medicine.
Traveling to cure being a homebody.

What happened to all the memories?
Living with you is a blessing.
You showed me so many possibilities.
Is the past even worth it?

Don’t ever eat the last cookie.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Famous Last Line (and words)

Blake picked up her ringing phone. Still elated from the phone call from her boyfriend earlier that evening, she answered with a cheerful, “hello”!
“Blake…Blake… Justin’s been hit. He’s in the hospital. We would like it if you would come, he would probably like it too…” Justin’s mother rambled on to Blake, grief and worry laced in her voice.
“Okay, I’m coming. I’m coming,” Blake said to his mom. Blake sat there, staring at the wall. How could only a few short hours ago she could be talking to somebody that could possibly be dying? Those things don’t happen to good people, do they?
A voice brought her back to the present. Her mother was standing in the doorway to her room.
“What’s wrong, honey?” her mother asked, “You’re crying.”
Not realizing that she had tears streaming down her face, Blake rushed into her mother’s arms and told the whole story. Pretty soon, both mother and daughter were crying into each other’s arms, tightly embraced. Letting her mother know that she had to leave, Blake grabbed the keys to her ’08 Jeep Wrangler and hustled out the door to the hospital. Driving in a daze, she couldn’t think straight. Cars were honking at her, but that didn’t matter. Didn’t they know somebody’s life was hanging in the balance?
Blake jumped out of her car and headed to the automatic hospital doors to the ER. She burst into a room filled with sullen faces, hopefully waiting for good news. She saw some familiar faces, Justin’s family, and went over to them.
“How is he?” whispered Blake to Justin’s mother.
“Stable, but his condition is fragile. He should be almost out of surgery,” replied Justin’s mother.

A few hours later, a nurse wearing pistachio colored scrubs came to collect them to see Justin. After Justin’s close family members were done visiting, Blake came to Justin’s side on the hospital bed. Seeing tubes and IVs and bandages all over his body, Blake was barely able to recognize him and became overwhelmed with the seriousness of the situation. She sat staring with her eyes shut, into his eyes, and felt as if she had finally got to the beginning of something she couldn’t begin, and she saw him moving farther and farther away, farther and farther into the darkness until he was the pin point of light.

Famous First Line Stories

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. My simple story has a beginning and I’m just going to tell it to you, plain and simple.

My name is Paulina Alexandria Marie Helena Westbrook the III. If you can tell from my name, my family is very southern and very traditional. I, on the other hand, view my name as an idiom. I am a trial to my mother that wakes up every day just to haunt her. I run and play with my other siblings, but they don’t get in any trouble. I guess it’s because my mother has such high hopes for me, being the only girl and all, but seriously, I think I was born the wrong gender, no joke.
Back to my story, it was the day of the county fair. I was expected to enter in my best apple pie, since that’s what “women of society” are expected to do. So, with a prayer to bless my pie that nobody would die from digesting it, I dropped it off to the main judge to be placed on the table. Quickly I skipped away so that I could get in a game of baseball with the local boys before I was caught by my mother.
Long story short, I ended up starting a riot on the field. A couple of boys decided to chase me, and I ran like the wind. I thought that if I met up with my mother, she would get these boys to stop chasing me. I ran to the pie stand, racing to get there before they got me.
The thing is, I saw my mother and those boys did too, but they didn’t stop running after me. I ran right in front of the announcer who was crowning the winning pie. As he bent to pick it up, my foot hit the leg of the table.

R.I.P the pies and my mother’s sanity.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Famous Last Line

“She sat staring with her eyes shut, into his eyes, and felt as if she had finally got to the beginning of something she couldn’t begin, and she saw him moving farther and farther away, farther and farther into the darkness until he was the pin point of light.”
This quote belongs to Flannery O'Connor. O’ Connor was born on March 25, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia and died on August 3, 1964. She went to school at the University of Iowa for her master’s degree and after studying the poem The Geranium, started publishing and working on her own works. Her writing is based in the south and usually has a religious theme in it. O’ Conner drew from her experiences being Catholic in the South.
The book that this quote comes from is called Wise Blood. The book follows a WWII veteran named Hazel Mote who comes home bitter from the war. After seeing and experiencing all the horrors of war, he begins to resent his old faith and resolves to create an anti-religious church. Throughout the book, he meets certain characters and defines them based on if they have wise blood- “an idea that one has innate, worldly knowledge of what direction to take in life, and requires no spiritual or emotional guidance”. Trying to start his church, Mote finally begins to realize what the meaning of life is and that sometimes we wear more than one face.

I am still on the fence about this book. There are some humorous parts in the plot, but there are a lot of serious thematic elements that I don’t know if they would ruin the book. Also, I love the setting that the book takes place in, but maybe not the content that is explored in the book. 

Famous First Line

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
This quote belongs to J.D. Salinger. He was born on January 1, 1919 and died a few years ago on January 27, 2010. Salinger didn’t start off wanting to become a writer; he actually went to school for business. He flunked out of many schools that he went to, and then took a trip to Europe where he found his love for writing instead of business like his father wanted. When he got back, a professor named Whit Burnett at Columbia University developed Salinger’s passion and led him to start publishing his works in big name papers such as the Saturday Evening Post. His career was interrupted when he was drafted into WWII, but resumed when he came back and published Catcher in the Rye in 1951, a novel he wrote while in the war.
Catcher in the Rye is a fictional story about a boy named Holden Caulfield who begins the story as a flunk out. Deciding that he needs to find himself, he goes on a little adventure that teaches him about belonging, identity, loss, and connection with those around him. Many teenage readers love this book because they can relate to the themes of angst, rebellion, and alienation that is portrayed in the book.

I think that I would enjoy this book. Caulfield sounds like someone who I would love to meet. I also am very intrigued on the idea of going on an adventure and having all the experiences to figure out who you are and where you are meant to be.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Don't Quote Me on That

Honestly, if you want to see all the quotes that have made me feel anything at all, please look at my board. It has all words to describe me and to give me that kick start when I need to get moving!