Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Hello, everyone! I’m back, with an update on my life!

·        After a week of not working on Breaking Chains, I finally decided (with some help from my family) that if I wasn’t interested in writing it at the moment, I wasn’t going to write anything I liked. So, since I know that there’s no way I won’t write it, I’d wait until I wanted to write it to work on it more.
·        What am I writing instead? The answer to that is a new novel about two teens who end up falling into another world when a summer trip takes a wrong turn. This novel is an idea that I’ve been playing around with since October, when one of my sister’s writing assignments gave me the idea for a random scene. However, I hadn’t figured out enough details to actually start on it until the 17th, when a few final pieces fell into place and it was ready to be written. It’s going very well, though my main character, a girl named Lani, probably wouldn’t agree since she’s currently in need of rescue.
·        On Friday, December 16, our Bible Study had a potato bar, ice cream bar, and Christmas play. I had a lot of fun, and enjoyed both the food and hanging out with my friends. The Christmas play also went well, though I don’t think I’ve ever heard King Herod played with a British accent.
·        I’m very excited for Christmas and the Christmas Eve service at our church tonight. I’m also glad that the sore throat I had all last week went away and that I found my parents’ Christmas cards, which I put in a drawer and then forgot where they were. However, since I did find them, and I finished all my Christmas shopping, I can relax.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks for stopping by. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Conclusion

Hello, everyone! I'm here with the conclusion of The Reason: A Christmas Story! Here's part seven if you need a refresher. Enjoy!

Angel turned away, weeping, as Kayla was carried away. After a while, Dustin came in. He found her curled on Kayla’s bed, sobbing silently. “Are yu alright?” he asked, gently.
            Angel raised her tearstained face. “No, I’m not ok. Why’d Kayla have to go? Things were just getting better?”
            Dustin sighed. “I don’t b’ knowin’ why this happens t’ anyone, Angel. The only things I b’ knowin’ are that she’s with the Great King and we have t’ go on with our lives.”
            Angel shook her head. “The Great King can’t be real. If he’s real, then why were my parents murdered? Why did my aunt turn me out of her home? Why did Kayla get sick and die?” Angel suddenly became angry. “I haven’t cried in years! The last time I cried was when Mother and Father died! I was tough! But if the Great King was real, I wouldn’t have to be tough! I wouldn’t have to beg just to get a few crusts for Kayla or learn to fight so that the bigger boys wouldn’t beat me and take my only food! But all that did happen, so he can’t be real! He just can’t!” She scowled. “I survived by knowing what’s real and what’s not, not by believing in fairy tales. I don’t plan to stop that now.” She sniffled, her anger dying into despair. “Why even celebrate Yuletide? There’s no real meaning in it. It’s just a time for rich people to flaunt their money and poor people to feel worse than they already do.”
            Dustin had no answer for Angel’s rant. He just sat on the bed and held her as she cried, getting out her sadness at everything that had ever gone wrong in her life.  
            Angel continued to mope for almost a week. Although Dustin did his best to comfort her and she could see for herself how Sir Connor, at least, was working to help the poor, nothing could console her. She ate little, and soon became ill. Then the letter came.
            Dustin knocked on the door of Angel’s room. “Angel? Might I b’ allowed in?”
            “I guess so,” came the forlorn reply.
            Dustin opened the door and walked in. Angel was sitting on the bed, her knees draw up to her chest. She wore a simple, blue dress that her hosts had given her. “How are yu today?” Dustin asked.
            Angel shrugged.
            Dustin pulled a letter from his pocket. “This letter came for yu. Do yu want t’ read it?”
            Angel shrugged again. “I suppose.” Dustin handed her the letter, and she broke the gold wax seal and unfolded the piece of paper. Suddenly, she gasped.
            Dustin forced himself to not dash to Angel’s side. “What is it, lass?” he asked.
            Angel just shook her head, gazing at the familiar handwriting. She slowly began to read it, each word seeming like a miracle.

“Dear Angel,
                Why are you still weeping, Angel? I am not dead, or it does not seem that way to me. In fact, I am more alive here that I ever have been. I am with the Great King now, Angel, and while I cannot come back to you, I am not dead, so don’t cry for me. I am happier than I have ever been! I cannot even begin to describe the country here. It’s absolutely beautiful.
                When I was still with you, you once asked me why I thanked the Great King, and I could tell that there were many other questions hidden behind it. I’m sure one of them was “Why do you believe.” Angel, you need to believe in something! The Great King is the One who helped me to stay cheerful in my despair, and were it not for Him, I really would have died. If you now feel an ache, I am sure that it is not only for me but for Him as well. I hope that my letter has brought you hope. Your Friend,

            Tears once more ran down Angel’s face, but not tears of hurt. These were tears of sorrow for herself. Kayla’s simply written letter had made an incredible impact. She was right all along and I thought her crazy! I must be the most despicable of friends. She must be alive. Only Kayla knows what I asked her, and she could not write the letter if she was dead. How in the world was I so blind? Words rose unbidden from her heart to her lips, and she whispered “Great King, You know that I never believed in You, but I do now. Please forgive me, though I am not worthy.”
            All at once, joy flooded Angel’s heart, washing away all the anger, hatred, and sorrow. She felt strangely light, and a strong, kind voice whispered in her heart. “You will never want, my child. I will keep you safe.”
            Angel smiled then, a real smile like she had not smiled in years. “Kayla was right. He is real!” she said.
            Dustin smiled. “Aye. That he b’. The Great King is more real than any o’ the other things people believe in this cold, hard world.” He sat down beside Angel, and she fell into his arms. “And He is the reason we celebrate, Angel. We remember what the Great King did for us and what He is doing for us. That is the reason for Yuletide.”
            As it turned out, Angel became an enthusiastic follower of the Great King. She was adopted by Dustin, and they both were active in helping the poor. Lady Leslie also came around, and she and Sir Connor did quiet a bit, funding orphanages, starting the first soup kitchen in the city, and much more besides telling others about what needed done. But none of them ever forgot Kayla, the little girl who, through her departure for the Kingdom of Light, changed more lives than could be imagined.

Thanks for reading, and merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part Seven

Hello! I’m here again, with part seven of The Reason: A Christmas Story! Here’s part six in case you need a refresher. Enjoy!

Part Seven
Not long afterwards, the doctor emerged from Kayla’s room, a scowl on his face. Angel rushed up to him. Falling into “street talk” in her concern, she asked “Please, gov’nor, will Kayla be alright?”
            The doctor’s scowl softened when he saw Angel’s pleading face. “I’m very sorry. Your friend . . . well . . . she probably won’t make it.” He turned to Dustin. “My guess is that she had weak lungs from birth, and the combination of malnutrition and cold that she got on the streets made it so bad that this happened. I’m actually surprised it didn’t happen earlier. Someone must’ve been taking care of her.”
            Angel struggled to keep back tears. “How’d you know that me an’ Kayla lived on the streets, gov’nor?”
            The doctor sighed. “I’ve seen the symptoms often enough to recognize it.” His scowl deepened. “Someone really should do something about it. It’s shameful how we all seem to ignore them. I do what I can, but running the practice and the home take quite a bit of money, and I can’t afford to do much.”
            Dustin nodded. “Aye, doctor. I’d b’ the first t’ agree with yu. I’m tryin’ t’ do something about it, and it b’ good t’ know that there are others.”
            The doctor nodded. “I’ll agree to that. Let me know if you need help. Good day and the Great King bless you.”
            Dustin smiled. “The same t’ yu, doctor.”
            Angel tugged on Dustin’s sleeve. “May I see Kayla?” she asked.
            Dustin nodded. “Go ahead. Yu go see yur friend, and spend some time with her before it b’ too late.”
            Angel slowly walked into the sunny room where Kayla lay. The younger girl lay curled in bed, shivering despite the many blankets. A tray of untouched food sat on the bedside table. Angel rushed to her friend’s side. “Kayla?”
            Kayla turned towards Angel. “Angel. I hoped you’d come.”
            Angel did her best to smile, but it was more difficult than it ever had been. “I’m here, Kayla. Don’t worry.”
            Kayla’s voice sounded like it was coming from far away. “I’m dying, Angel. I’ll be with the Great King soon.”
            Angel shook her head, tears blurring her vision. The doctor’s words echoed in her mind, and she inwardly vowed that she’d prove them wrong. “No, Kayla! Don’t say that! You can live! I know you can! You have to! Things are just getting better, I can tell!”
            Kayla just smiled. “Don’t be afraid of losing me, Angel. I’ll be happy forever with Him.”
            Angel frowned. “No! Don’t say that! You’re just giving up without a fight!” Angel almost feared how grown-up Kayla sounded. Why is this happening? How can she be so at peace?
            Kayla sighed. “Angel, do you have my Treasure?”
            Angel nodded, and pulled it from her basket. “I have it.”
            “Can you read the passage called “The Shepherd Song” to me?” Kayla requested.
            Angel flipped through the pages. She found the passage near the middle, close to where she had read the circled verse. “The Great King is my Shepherd. I shall never want. He gives me a safe place to lie down, and He leads me beside quiet streams of water. He gives me life.  Even though I walk through danger and death’s shadow is upon me, I will not fear evil. The Great King will protect and comfort me. He prepares a great feast for me while my enemies are nearby. He calls me His child. I have no needs. Goodness and love will always be near me, and I will dwell with Him forever*.”
            As Angel read, Kayla’s face became peaceful, almost blissful. “Thank You, Great King.” she whispered. “I know that I will soon be with You. Please help Angel. She doesn’t understand about You, even though she needs to. I love You.”
            The door opened, and two tall, strong men entered. They strode silently to Kayla’s bed and began to lift her.
            Angel launched herself at the nearest man, attempting to make him leave Kayla. “Who are you? Leave her alone!” she screeched.
            The man turned from Kayla and effortlessly detached Angel. “We are taking her to the Great King. Do not hinder us.”
            Angel redoubled her attack. “No! She can live!”
            The man shook his head. “If she does not come with us, she will die.”
            Kayla raised her head from where she was nestled in the other man’s arms. She looked surprisingly alive as she said “Let me go, Angel. They are warriors of the Great King. They will not harm me.”
            Kayla’s words, so simple, were the only thing in the world that could ever stop Angel when she was upset, and they did just that. Angel let go of the man and backed away, but her eyes filled with tears. “I’ll miss you Kayla. I’ll miss you forever.”
            Kayla leaned down to give her friend one last kiss. “Don’t cry for me, Angel. I’ll be home soon.”

Thanks for reading!
*Based on Psalm 23

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part Six

Hello, everyone! I’m back again, with more of The Reason: A Christmas story! Need a refresher from last time? Here’s part five. And now, part six!

Part Six
Angel sighed and looked around the small shack. Slowly, she walked around, gathering what meager belongings she thought that she and Kayla might need: the food that Lady Leslie had given her, their small stash of coins, and one last thing. That was Kayla’s worn and tattered copy of The Treasure. Angel hesitated as she picked it up.  Should I bring it? Kayla really should give up her fantasy of a Great King. Then she decided. I’ll take it. Kayla might want it for the comfort of something familiar. Kayla said that it was the only thing that she was able to keep when her parents were thrown in prison for debt. For some reason, Angel flipped through the pages. The little book fell open to a page near the middle, and Angel noticed that one passage had been circled. She read it aloud. “I waited for the Great King, and He heard my cry. He lifted me out of my trouble and despair; He set my feet on solid ground and gave me a firm place to stand. *” Angel suddenly felt ashamed. Maybe He is real. That is kind of what happened. She shook her head, startled at her thoughts. What am I thinking? It’s just a coincidence. That has to be it.
Tucking the things she had gathered into her basket, she walked out of the shack and towards Sir Connor’s house.
            The doctor arrived a few minutes before Angel did. He was immediately shown into Kayla’s room. As soon as Angel arrived, she asked “Can I see Kayla?”
            Dustin shook his head. “Nay. The doctor arrived a few minutes ago, and he cannot b’ disturbed. B’ patient, lass.”
            Angel frowned. “What? But she’s my best friend!”
            Dustin was about to answer when Lady Leslie entered the room. “Why was the doctor called?” she demanded. “Is someone hurt?”
            Dustin chose his words carefully. “Well, not exactly. I would not b’ sayin’ that anyone is hurt, but there’s a wee lass who seems t’ b’ quite ill.”
            Lady Leslie gasped. “What? She’s not contagious, is she? That would be just what I need, a quarantine during Yuletide.”
            Dustin frowned. Lady Leslie was beginning to annoy him. “Well, milady, the doctor will b’ tellin’ us that as soon as he knows.”
            Lady Leslie suddenly grew angry. “If my holiday is ruined because you brought some deathly ill and contagious street urchin into my home, then you will not be invited back! The idea! I do believe that you’re trying to ruin my enjoyment.”
            Dustin finally lost his composure. “Lady Leslie! Please! I believed yu t’ follow the Great King, but yu dinna seem t’ do that now. If yu do, please show some compassion! The lass whom the doctor is seein’ has next t’ nothin’! I just b’ tryin’ t’ help her!”
            Lady Leslie quailed. “Very well. I must go.” With that, she swept out of the room.
            Angel bit her lip. “Does she have a problem with Kayla and me?”
            Dustin sighed. “She just b’ gettin’ used t’ thinkin’ o’ others, and t’ the fact that yu exist. Yu’ll have t’ give her time.”
            Angel nodded, but inwardly she wondered How much time do I have to give her?  

What will happen to Kayla and Angel? Will Lady Leslie ever come around? You’ll have to wait until next time to find out. Thanks for reading!
*Based on Psalm 40:1-2

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part Five

Hello, everyone! I’m back, with more of The Reason: A Christmas Story! Need a reminder of what happened last time? Here’s part four. And now, the next part!

Part Five
Angel awoke the next morning to harsh coughs and extreme cold. She leapt out of bed and hurried to Kayla’s side. “Kayla? Are you alright?”
            Kayla turned towards her friend’s voice. Her skin had an ashen look to it that made Angel shudder. Between coughs, she whispered “Help, Angel! I need help!”
            Angel looked around in panic. What can I do? Then she remembered the events of the previous night. Stuffing her feet into shoes, she said “Don’t worry, Kayla. I’ll get you help. Just hang on until I get back.” Angel dashed out of the shack, towards the house where Dustin had promised help.
            “Master Dustin, sir?” said a maid.
            Dustin looked up from his nearly-finished breakfast. “Aye?”
            The maid shifted uncomfortably. “There’s a ragamuffin girl at the door, asking for you. I tried to send her away, but she insisted, saying that you had promised something. Should I tell her that you are unavailable?”
            Dustin leaped up. “No! Where b’ the lass?”
            The maid backed away, startled. “At the back door, sir.”
            “Take me to her.”
            A few minutes later, Angel had been brought inside and given a cup of hot tea. “What b’ the matter, lass?” Dustin asked.  “Something b’ very wrong that was not a problem last night.”
            Angel gulped down her tea. “Kayla’s sick! Really sick. She’s worse than she’s ever been. Please, she needs help!”
            Dustin frowned. “Would Kayla b’ yur sister?”
            Angel shook her head. “No, but she might as well be. We live together, and she’s really sick!”
            Dustin stood. “Finish yur tea, Angel. I need t’ get a friend o’ mine, and then we’ll go t’ see yur friend.”
            Soon after, Angel led Dustin and Sir Connor through the street to her shack. They could hear Kayla’s coughs as soon as they entered.  Angel rushed to her friend’s side. “Don’t worry, Kayla. I’m here, and I brought some nice men who are going to help us.”
            Dustin walked up beside Angel, his eyes taking every aspect of Kayla’s weak condition. He knelt beside the little girl and began to lift her. “There b’ no time t’ linger here. Angel, yur friend b’ needin’ a doctor!”
            Angel followed as Dustin and Sir Connor began to walk out of the shack. “Where are you taking her?”
            Sir Connor replied “Back to the house. She’ll have the best possible care, and we can call a doctor from there.”
            Angel nodded. “If you don’t mind, I’ll be there soon. There are some things I need to do here first.”
            Before long, Dustin and Sir Connor had settled Kayla into a bed back at Sir Connor’s large home. A doctor was sent for with a message to come quickly. Sir Connor paced in the front room as he waited for the doctor to arrive. “Where can he be?” he exclaimed.
            Dustin sighed. “If I could b’ tellin’ yu that, I would’ve. I do hope that he b’ gettin’ here soon.”
            Sir Connor nodded in agreement. “Aye. The mere thought of that poor girl in there makes me upset. Did you see it, Dustin? The walls were little more than boards! And there was hardly a blanket in the place! And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was next to no food, from the look of the place. I really must do something about this.”
            Dustin hid a smile. Thank You, my King. You made things work out better than I had hoped for with Sir Connor. Now, please heal this little lass!

What will happen to Kayla? Will she get better? You’ll have to wait until next time to find out! Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Old and New

Hello, everyone! As promised, here's the photo that won first place in the Grab Bag contest last Thursday, Old and New.

This picture was done by combining a silhouette with a normal picture, lining them up so that the position of the headphones was the same on both pictures. I then removed just enough of the silhouette that the headphones showed through. It was a very educational experience, with the biggest lesson I learned being that I never want to try to do it again. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Past Two Weeks Again

Hello, everyone! Sorry for not updating in forever, but when I can't think of anything to say, it's kind of hard to post. Anyway, here's what's been going on with me.
  • Although I have started work on Breaking Chains (my working title for the sequel to The Call), it isn't going very well. This is mostly because I've been distracted by other side stories and haven't paid much attention to it. In the two weeks I've been working on it, I don't think I've even gotten fourteen pages. I'm hoping that once some of these side projects are finished, I'll be able to get into it.
  • Last Thursday was the grab bag contest that I posted the picture called "iPumpkin" for. Althought "iPumpkin" didn't win, my other picture, "Old and New" did get first place. I'll post "Old and New" on Monday so you can see it.
  • On Saturday the 11th my Youth Group had a Christmas party and a white elephant gift exchange. It was pretty fun, and I enjoyed getting to see my friends. I also learned that I don't much like the movie Elf, which was playing during the party.
I guess that's about all. Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part Four

Read Part Three.

Part Four
Angel walked into the abandoned, run-down, two-room shack that she called home. Although the thin walls did little to keep her warm, they did keep out the snow.
            A small, but cheerful voice called from the inner room. “Angel! You’re back!”
            Angel forced a smile. “Hello, Kayla. Yes, I’m back. How are you feeling today?” She entered the smaller room where two ancient cots sat. A small, fragile girl with mouse-brown hair sat on one of them.
            Kayla, for that was the girl’s name, looked up and smiled a real, genuine smile at Angel. “I think I’m better. I haven’t been as tired, and I’m coughing better.” A sudden spasm of harsh coughs suddenly attacked Kayla, as if to belie her words.
            Angel struggled to keep her fake smile in place. “Well, I’m glad you’re feeling better.” She pulled out the bag that Lady Leslie had given her. “Let’s see what’s in here. The lady who gave this to me was the only one who didn’t just toss me a few pennies, if they gave me that much.”
            Kayla’s grey eyes sparkled, making her look like an angel or a fairy in Angel’s eyes. “Open it!”
            Angel slowly opened the bag and gasped. “A feast, Kayla! She gave us a feast!” One after another, Angel pulled out small loaves of sweet bread, hunks of cheese, and cookies. She handed one loaf to Kayla. “Here. Let me know when you’re ready for some cheese.”
            Kayla accepted the loaf. “Don’t forget, we need to thank the Great King before we eat. He gave us this.”
            Angel shifted uncomfortably and barely kept from scowling. “You do it, alright?” Not that there’s much reason to.
            Kayla nodded, then looked up to the rafters and said “Great King, we thank You for this feast you’ve given us. Please bless the people You used to supply this, and bless Angel, for she takes such good care of me. Thank You for our lives and thank You for our home. Amen.” Kayla tore into her loaf. “Yum!”
            Angel nibbled on her own bit of bread. It was fresh and soft, with raisins in it, a real treat. “It is good. Kayla, why do you bother with that?”
            Kayla looked inquiringly at Angel. “Bother with what?”
            Angel waved her free hand. “You know. Thanking the Great King.”
            Kayla smiled. “The Great King gives us all we have, including our lives. We may not have much, but the least we can do is thank Him for it. Don’t you agree?”
            Angel made no reply.
            Later, after their small dinner had been eaten, the rest of their food was carefully put away, and Kayla was sound asleep in her cot with a thin, worn blanket pulled over her, Angel finally allowed her forced smile to drop. Her face settled into a scowl, and she threw herself onto her cot, ignoring the groans of protest that emerged from it. How can Kayla believe in that old legend? If the Great King is real, then why are we poor? And why is Kayla sick? This illness makes it so bad that she’s always coughing and she’s always tired! Why believe in a Great King when he doesn’t exist? Why even celebrate Yuletide? It was with these thoughts in mind that Angel drifted into an uneasy sleep.
            At that same moment, Dustin stood at the large window in his room, staring into the night. “Why, me King?” he asked, seemingly to no one. “Why must wee lasses like Angel b’ left on the streets t’ beg for their bread? The lass cannot possibly b’ more than thirteen, but I saw hurt in her eyes, Great King. Why, I b’ askin’ Yu! Why?”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part Three

Hello, all! I'm back with part three of The Reason: A Christmas Story! Need a refresher? Here's part two! And now, part three!

Part Three
Angel gulped as the door opened. There’s a lot more people than I expected. As soon as she could, she began to sing.

“Oh, holy night.
The stars are brightly shining.
This is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth  . . .”

            As she sang, Angel could see a red haired man asking a tall, dark haired lady something. The lady summoned a servant. Once the song was over, the lady hurried to the front and gave Angel a mug filled with hot tea. “Drink this.” she ordered, dropping a bag into Angel’s basket.
            Angel drank the sweet, warm liquid eagerly. “Thank you, milady.” she said, and turned to go as the ladies and gentlemen headed back.
            A heavily accented voice called her back. “Lass! Dinna go!”
            Angel turned. One man still stood in the doorway, snowflakes dusting his red hair. Angel fell back into her common “street talk” as she replied “What is it, Gov’nor?”
            The man replied “What b’ yur name, lass? I like t’ address people by their name.”
            “My name is Angel, gov’nor.”
            “Well, Angel, I wish that I could b’ lettin’ yu in, out o’ the cold, but me hostess would not b’ happy if I did, and I b’ thinkin’ I should not annoy her much more this evening. So, can yu try t’ come back on the morrow? I’d b’ thinkin’ I can help yu then.”
            Angel gasped. “Really, gov’nor? You’d help me?”
            He nodded. “Aye. Ask for Dustin. Do yu understand?”
            She nodded. “Thank you, gov’nor! I will!” Angel waved as she walked into the night, her heart light with a new breeze of hope.
            Dustin returned to the party only to be cornered by his host and hostess.  “Why did you stay behind, Dustin?” demanded Sir Connor.
            Dustin sighed. “Did yu not see the lass? Her dress and shawl were more holes than cloth, she had no stockings, and I’d b’ guessin’ that her shoes are far too small. I just b’ offerin’ the lass some help.”
            Lady Leslie frowned. “Really, Dustin, I think you’re overreacting.”
            Dustin shook his head. “Nay, milady. I’ve seen them. Little ones like that b’ needin’ all the help they can b’ gettin’.”
            “And what kind of help did you offer?” Sir Conner asked.
            Dustin looked at his host impassively. “I invited her back for a good meal and a bit o’ warmth.” An idea struck him. “Sir Conner, yu have quite a bit o’ influence in this city, do yu not?”
            Sir Connor raised an eyebrow. “That was the understatement of the year. I’m the most influential man in the city.”
            Dustin continued. “Well, if I can prove t’ yu that there b’ those out there who b’ needin’ yur help, will yu agree t’ use yur resources t’ do it?”
            Sir Connor frowned. “Only if you promise that if you’re wrong, you’ll stop bothering us with this.”
            Dustin nodded. “I promise.” 

What will happen next? Will Dustin be able to prove his point to Sir Connor? And what will happen to Angel? You'll have to wait until next time to find out. In the meantime, please comment! I'd love to hear what you think!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Hello! I finally have some more of my photography to show you!

This photo was taken for an upcoming contest at the photo club. My assignment was to use those headphones in a picture, and Mommy suggested this picture. I hope you like it! Also, if anyone wants to know why I have a strange font, I was bored and started playing around with different fonts a few days ago. It'll probably go back to normal after the New Year. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part Two

Hello, everyone! I'm back, with part two of "The Reason: A Christmas Story"! In case you need a refresher on what happened last time, here's part one. And now, part two!

Part Two
At that same time, a few streets down, a grand party was in full swing. It was hosted by Sir Connor, the richest and most influential man in the city, and his wife, Lady Leslie. There were many guests there partaking of the fine food, music, and company. However, one guest, Dustin, was not enjoying himself. He stood at one of the large picture windows, staring out into the evening, straining to see past the reflection of his brown eyes, reddish hair, and tanned skin. Who’s out there? What opportunities to help am I missing by being at this party that I don’t even enjoy?
            Lady Leslie noticed Dustin’s absence from the festivities. She hurried over, wide skirts flying. “Dustin!” she exclaimed, her refined voice reflecting her carefully attained social status.  “What are you doing? Come join the fun!”
            Dustin turned to her. “Milady, how can I b’ joinin’ any o’ the festivities when I b’ knowin’ that there are others out there who b’ sufferin’?” His voice was strong from years of speaking to large crowds and heavily accented with the dialect of his home, the Moorlands.
            Lady Leslie shook her head. “Dustin, what do you mean?”
            Dustin’s face was grave as he answered. “There b’ many people, even wee lads and lasses, in the relentless cold. Yu dinna expect me t’ celebrate knowin’ that, do yu?”
            Lady Leslie waved a hand. “Oh, Dustin, you worry too much. There are none of them here, even if there’s hundreds in your Moorlands.  Please come join us!”
            Dustin shook his head and did not speak.
            Lady Leslie sighed. She was down to her last card, a card she hated to play. “Please, Dustin. If you continue with this, you’ll upset the other guests.”
            Dustin sighed. “Yu dinna know what yu b’ askin’, milady. T’ not think o’ the poor would b’ disobeyin’ the Great King. Besides, I’ve seen too much t’ not think o’ them.” He fell silent, remembering his own childhood on the streets.
            His hostess frowned. “I should’ve known that you’d bring Him up. Really, Dustin, I’m sure that the Great King wouldn’t possibly mind if you skip one evening of worry! Doesn’t he command you to enjoy life?”
            Dustin sighed. “I’m not skippin’ an evening o’ worry. Most o’ the days, I would not b’ worryin’ right now. I would b’ doin’ something about me worry. And if yu are goin’ t’ persist with this, I will have t’ b’ leavin’.”
            Lady Leslie sighed. “Very well, Dustin. I only thought to give you a night off from your work, but if you’re going to continue with this gloominess, then you might as well leave.”
            Suddenly, there came a knock at the door. Sir Connor, Lady Leslie, and Dustin all hurried to see who it was, each having their own hopes and ideas about their late guest’s identity. Several guests followed and clustered around the three as Sir Connor slowly opened the door.

Who's the guest at the door? What's happened to Angel? And will I ever figure out how to do these attempted suspense-builders without sounding slightly cheesy? You'll have to wait until next time to find out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Diviner Review

Author: Bryan Davis      

Characters: Fairly good. Though still not as good as they could be, they were greatly improved from the last book. I enjoyed the fact that the author widened his focus to include some of the dragons as well as the humans. However, I didn’t feel like I knew the characters as well as I should by the third book.

Location: Not too great. The setting was interesting, but rather confusing, and I had a hard time figuring out where places were in relation to other locations.

Plot: Fairly good. It’s fast-paced and interesting, with what seemed like a new plot twist every other chapter. However, in some ways, the number of plot twists kind of threw me off because they prevented me from feeling like I knew any of the characters well.

Other: While a great improvement over Warrior, Diviner is still not one of Davis’s best works.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Reason: A Christmas Story Part One

Hello, everyone! It's me, with a new story! "The Reason: A Christmas Story" was written last year. Its beginnings were inspired by the song "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and the image it put into my mind. However, it quickly grew beyond that one scene and into the story I'm posting now. So, without further ado, part one of "The Reason".

Part One
Angel rubbed her bare, white feet, trying to get some warmth into them. However, her effort was in vain. The cold air and snow surrounding her thwarted any attempts at warmth. Sighing, the diminutive figure began to work her feet into too-small shoes. She stood and pulled a ragged, grey shawl over her head. Then she picked up a basket from the ground beside her. Angel’s stomach growled in hunger, and she frowned. I wish I had a bit of food. Maybe turkey or ham, and potatoes, and- Angel shook her head, dispelling her dreams of feasts. “None of that, Angel. It’ll only make things worse!” she muttered. An orphan alone in a huge city, Angel often had to beg to get her daily bread, and even though this city seemed to be fairly generous, and the citizens often gave coins instead of just food, there was never enough. Because of this, Angel was extremely small for her age. Now, Yuletide, a celebration to honor the Prince of Peace and a time of great feasting and giving of gifts, was here, and Angel felt the hunger all the more acutely.
            Angel walked silently through the street. Strains of music caught her ear, and she stopped, hoping for a bit of cheer.  However, the bright tune only made her more upset. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” sang the musician.
            Angel frowned. How can you say that? You have no idea of how “wonderful” life is for me. No food, never-ending cold, and no home! What’s the point of Yuletide anyway? It only makes people like me more miserable. She quickly moved on, until she reached the area where the rich folk lived. She turned toward the door of the first grand house, mentally rehearsing her song, her plea for help, with every step. Angel had long ago learned that at Yuletide, the best way to get food or money was to sing carols and look pitiful as she did it. As she lifted her hand, Angel assumed her best “pitiful child” look, a task that was hard to master even with her ragged attire. There was a certain hardness about Angel that was difficult to disguise, and she looked more like a fifteen-year old than her real age. She knocked on the door, and a few minutes later, a tall gentleman opened it. Angle hid a smile. What luck! The master of the house was obviously having a party, which meant he answered the door himself. She extended her basket with a trembling hand and began to sing.

“The Great King rest you merry gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For the Prince of Peace our Savior
Was born upon this day,
To save us from the Dark Lord’s power
When we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy!”

            As Angel continued her song, her grey-green eyes stared pleadingly from her gaunt face. Her shawl slipped down, revealing wavy, golden locks. By the end of the song, there was hardly a dry eye among the gentlemen who had gathered.  Each one dropped a coin or two into Angel’s basket before bidding her a good day and shutting the door in her face. Angel allowed herself a small smile as she transferred the coins into an old leather purse. “Maybe there’ll be food tonight!” she whispered. “At least Yuletide isn’t all bad. People are a little more generous.”

What will happen to Angel? You'll have to wait until next time to find out. In the meantime, please comment! I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Last Two Weeks

Hello, everyone! Sorry for taking so long to give you an update on my life. Anyway, here’s the latest from me.

·        On Thanksgiving, I finished NaNoWriMo, with a final page count of 413 pages or approximately 51,625 words. I was pretty excited when I ended up going over the required number of pages, since at first I thought I’d barely be able to write half that without reaching the end of my story.
·        What am I going to write now? Well, my current plans are to take a little bit of time off and work on short stories and planning Berstru until I feel ready to start a new novel. When I do that, I’m planning to write the sequel to The Call, for which my two temporary titles are The Rescue and Breaking Chains. However, I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head, including a sequel to Gone, a sequel to Elden Adventures, a story based off of “Rapunzel”, a pirate story that I would need to do a lot of research to write, and much, much more.
·        In other news, my birthday was last week, so I’m officially a year older, even if I don’t feel like it. I very much enjoyed it, especially the red velvet cake with white chocolate cream cheese icing that Mommy made. I was also very happy about my presents, which included some of my favorite books and cds.
·        We are officially into the Christmas season now! The tree and decorations are up and I’ve been listening to Christmas music almost non-stop since Friday. I’ve also been debating about trying to write a new Christmas story. If I can think of a plot I probably will, but at the moment it’s not looking good. On that subject, I will be posting “The Reason: A Christmas Story” on my blog starting Tuesday. I wrote this story last year, and I consider it one of my better short stories.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Inheritance Review

Author: Christopher Paolini

Characters: Very good! I don’t have any real complaints character-wise; all were interesting and colorful. I especially liked seeing more of Angela the herbalist, who will never cease to intrigue me.

Location: Very good, though not perfect. I will comment that there’s a lot of description, sometimes too much description. Other than that, I once more have no real complaints.

Plot: Very good! Paolini did an excellent job of tying up all the loose ends from the first three books in this book. The book had plenty of plot twists, far more than I ever expected. I will comment that it moves a bit slowly once or twice, but other than that, it was quite good.

Other: This book, which has been long-awaited by fans of The Inheritance Cycle all over the world, is a fitting end to the series, but is very, very, very long. It’s so long that it makes one of the Lord of the Rings books look short. Once you start it, you’ll be hard-put to put it down, so I’d advise reading it over a weekend.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo and Cupcakes

Hello, everyone! I'm back, with an update on my life!
  • My NaNoWriMo novel has been going very well. I'm over halfway done, and I rediscovered how much fun it is to write dramatic realizations. I also think that this book probably has far more plot twists than most of my stories and novels that I've written, though this is probably because it's also longer than anything else I've written.
  • Inheritance, the latest book by Christopher Paolini, is out! I just got it from the library today, and I'm very much looking forward to reading it. I have one book that I need to read first for a contest, To Kill A Mockingbird, and then we'll find out if I can read Inheritance and stay on track with NaNoWriMo at the same time.
  • Last night, Mommy made some very yummy red velvet cupcakes. These cupcakes were decorated to look like a Narnian shield, like the one Peter uses in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. You can see a picture of them below. The reason she made them is because my birthday is coming up, and we were celebrating with some friends. 
Picture by my daddy
    Well, I guess that's about it. Thanks for stopping by!

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Dragon Rider Legend Scene

    Hello, everyone! Today, I'm posting a scene that I enjoyed writing and thought you might like. To give you a small bit of background info so that certain aspects of this make sense, Dustin and Hunter are brothers, and they are also Dragon Riders, which is why Dustin can manipulate the flames near the beginning of the scene. Now, without further ado, my scene. 

                Dustin nodded. He remained silent for a few moments, then began to speak. “Gaze into the fire and watch its dancing light. Gaze into the fire and listen, my friends, as I take you on a journey to the past, to the time of legends.
                “In those days, Berstru was still young, and many places had not been explored. Even the great ports of Beylend were barely more than small towns. And at this time, there lived a young man in Uldea-”
                 “Hold on a minute!” Hunter had looked up from the fire to frown at his brother. “It was Hoaka, not Uldea.”
                Dustin shook his head. “No it wasn’t. It was Uldea.”
                Hunter crossed his arms. “It’s always been Hoaka and you know it.”
                Dustin scowled. “I’m the one telling the story and I say it was Uldea.”
                Hunter shook his head. “Da always said it was Hoaka, and he’d know.”
                Dustin let out an exasperated sigh. “Da was born in Hoaka. Of course he claims the hero is from Hoaka. Anyone who told the story would claim that the hero was from their region. If someone from Shidu was telling the story, the hero would be from Shidu, never mind the fact that Shidu wasn’t even established at the time. Now, do you want me to tell the story or not?”
                Hunter sighed. “Fine. I still think it was Hoaka, though.” He returned to staring into the fire.
                Dustin shot one last glare at his brother, then also turned his attention back to the fire. He began to speak once more, manipulating the flames so they reflected his words. “And at this time, there was a young man in Uldea who was the only one brave enough to enter the Dragon’s Roost Mountains. You see, these mountains were filled with ferocious dragons who refused to allow anyone other than their kind on their territory.
                “However, the young man was skilled at evading the dragons’ watchful eyes, and he would often venture into the mountains, both for hunting and pleasure. He learned the mountains like the back of his hand, and though he had a healthy respect for the dragons, he did not fear them.
                “One day while the young man was out hunting, he spotted a young dragon trapped at the bottom of a rocky gorge. The dragon’s wing was broken so it could not fly, and every time it tried to climb out, the loose rocks on the sides of the gorge sent it tumbling back down in worse shape than it had tried to go up. Eventually, the dragon lay exhausted at the bottom of the gorge, unable to move.
                “The young man, however, went down into the gorge, finding the best possibly route. He picked up the dragon, which, being young, was small enough to carry. He then made his way back up the gorge and set up his camp not far away. There he tended the dragon’s wounds and cared for it until it was well.
                During this time the young man and the dragon became strong friends. When the dragon was well and able to go back to its kind, both were greatly saddened at having to part. So, in an effort to not loose the friendship they had built, they made a promised to remain friends as long as both were alive and to meet as often as they could.
                They sealed this pact with the mingling of blood, and whether it was the mingling of dragon and human blood or the strength of their friendship or the blessing of Elohim or a combination of all three, something amazing happened then. A bond was forged between the two, stronger than ordinary friendship. The two were given a connection by mind and heart and could contact each other with their minds at any time, much as the dragons could do with one another. In addition, the young man was given a few powers like those of the dragons: the ability to read and communicate through minds, a healing ability, and the power to manipulate fire, as the dragon was a fire dragon. Thus they became the first Rider and Dragon.”

    What did you think? Did you like it! I'd love to hear your opinions! Thanks for reading!