Monday, August 29, 2011

Hello, everyone! I'm back, with more of my photography!

I took this picture last year, at the Manassas National Battlefield Park, and just recently edited it. It's an HDR, though I tried to keep the colors more toned down than usual. What do you think? I'd love to know!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Week

Hello, everyone! It's time for an update on my life!
  • I've gotten quite a bit of work done on my story, and I plan to get more done very soon. I know exactly (to a degree) what's going to happen next, and I'm very excited to write it! I've also had a lot of ideas for other stories, including a family that makes up an entire town. I've also been thinking about why, in so many of my favorite books, the teenage heroes never seem to say "Geez, I'm just a teenager for heaven's sake! How am I supposed to save the world/defeat the bad guy/etc.?" I think that everyone can guess what kind of scene I'm plotting to put in a story sometime.
  • I recently got to read the Echoes From the Edge series by Bryan Davis. When I read it, I was amazed. Not only did it meet my hopes, it surpassed them. In my opinion, the series is beyond epic, and is definitely the best of Davis's books. 
  • In addition to recently getting to read new Bryan Davis books, I got to actually meet Bryan Davis today! He was doing a book signing event fairly close to where I live, and I got to go with two of my friends, and I got three books signed! Needless to say, I was very excited, and still am.
Well, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hello, everyone! It’s time for an update on my life, since I finally have something to update about.

·        My writing has been going a bit better, though it still isn’t going as well as I’d like. This, unfortunately, is mostly because I’m too distracted to sit down and write. However, I know that it will go much better this week, the reason for which I will explain in the next paragraph.
·        I’m very excited about my reading options for this week. Not only did I get the new Gail Carson Levine book out from the library this week, one of my friends lent me Bryan Davis’s Echoes from the Edge trilogy, something I’ve wanted to read for a long time. I also got out the second book in a new series I’ve been reading, which is interesting, though nowhere near my favorites.
·        How do new books, which would logically be a distraction, help me write more? It’s very simple: instead of them being a distraction, I’ll make them a reward. I won’t allow myself to read any of the new books until I write a certain number of pages in my story.
·        Recently, I discovered the music group Superchic[k], and I’ve been listening to one of their cds, “Reinvention”, a lot this week. Why am I mentioning this? Well one song on this cd, “One and Lonely” startled me a bit when I first heard it, because when I heard it, I thought “Oh wow, this is my life!” How so? The song is about how, even though you know you don’t have to fit in or wear the latest styles and you want to just be you, it’s sometimes hard because you feel like you’re the odd one out, the “one and lonely”.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Escape Part Six

Hello, everyone! Ready for more of The Escape? If not, here’s part five as a refresher. And now, part six!

Part Six
Time suddenly seemed to stand still for Erica. She saw her friend clinging to the side of the ship, her fingers slipping. Alanna’s scream was frozen, and a slithery voice crept into Erica’s head, hissing cruel lies. “Look where your faith has gotten you! You are trapped on a dragonboat, watching your only friend drown. What of your King’s promises now?”
            For a moment, Erica gave in to the voice. He’s right! I tried to follow the Great King and it’s about to rob me of my best friend! Now what? Then, strangely, a passage from the book in which she had learned about the Great King began to echo in her head. “Have I not lead you and given you this command? Be strong and brave, do not be frightened, for I, the Great King, will be with you.” The passage repeated itself in Erica’s mind, and the voice saying it gradually changed into one that was oddly familiar. Erica thought back to when she was a little girl, pretending to go on adventures with a young warrior. The voice was like the voice of her imagined companion, but bigger, stronger, kinder, and real. Erica could tell it was encouraging her, saying “Take the chance, I’ll keep you safe.” Suddenly, Erica realized that it was the voice of the Great King. I am not alone. He has my back. At that moment, Erica knew what to do.
Alanna screamed again as she struggled to hang on to the side of the dragonboat. A harsh voice seemed to scream in the winds, its rough roars forming words. “Your King said he’d help you escape! Now you’re about to die! What of his promises now?”
            No! Alanna refused to give in, and she shouted at the storm. “No! He still holds me, and even if I perish here, he will carry me to his home!”
Her words were cut off by a new wave that washed over the ship, tearing Alanna’s fingers from the side of the ship and dragging her into the sea. As Alanna struggled to stay above water, she saw Erica stand and dive off the dragonboat. “No!” Alanna screamed. What is happening, my King? Is it your will that we both perish here? No offense, but I don’t know if Erica’s strong enough to rescue me!
            Erica kicked at the raging sea. She had often swam in the many lakes, rivers, and streams of the Northlands, but this was rougher than she had ever experienced. Still, she struck out towards Alanna and the other slave, trusting that the Great King would help her.

What will happen next? Will Erica be able to rescue Alanna, or will they both be brought down by the storm? The only way to find out is to check back later! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think!

*Based on Joshua 1:9

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello, everyone! I'm back, with more of my photography! Oh, and if anyone wants to know why there was no update on Saturday, it was because I couldn't think of anything to post about. Anyway, I recently remembered that there were some pictures that I took last September or October that I don't think I posted. So, for the next few weeks, I'll be posting pictures of those. Don't worry, the new Photo Club year starts up soon, so I'll have some new pictures to post because of the contests. Anyway, here's my picture for today!

This is a close up picture of a leaf with a light behind it to bring out the details. Though it didn't turn out as well as I hoped, I don't think it's too bad. This picture is called Gold and Green, probably because I couldn't think of anything more interesting at the time. What do you think? I'd love to know!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hi, everyone! Ready for more of The Escape? If not, here’s part four for a refresher. And now, part five!

Part Five
The voyage went surprisingly well for the first few days. No one bothered Alanna, and Erica was not questioned about where she came from. Captain Olav didn’t make any raids, and Erica began to think that the Great King had granted them with a peaceful journey. She was wrong.
            On the forth day, they were attacked. No, not by another ship. There was no ship’s crew upon the seas crazy or foolish enough to try attacking a dragonboat, not if they had heard of the ferocity of the Raiders of the Northlands. No, they were attacked by a storm.
            It hit in the early morning. As soon as the first huge drops fell, and the huge, dark clouds began to gather above them, preparations began. Everything was made secure, and those on board tied themselves to something sturdy. Alanna and the other slave on board, a small sandy-haired boy, were tied to the mast, and Erica and the rest of the crew tied themselves to their rowing benches. Olav and his burly first mate secured themselves to the huge tiller. Despite all this, Erica did not worry. Storms were not something you worried too much about when you were a raider’s daughter who had never been aboard a ship. However, Alanna grew tense, even though she knew the Great King would protect her. Something about this storm frightened her. And when the full force of the storm hit, she was not the only one a little scared.
            Big raindrops were driven into the rower’s faces by a stiff wind. Huge waves appeared and broke over the ship, drenching everyone with salt water. The crew strained on the oars, and Olav and his first mate struggled at the tiller, all trying to keep the dragonboat under control. Wave after wave rose until it seemed that no more could come, yet still the came. Mentally, Alanna cried out to the Great King. Please, my King, rescue us from this storm! Reach out your hand to calm the waves and draw back the wind and rain! Just do something! Just as she finished, the biggest wave yet broke over the dragonboat, snapping ropes and pulling Alanna and the other slave off the ship, into the raging sea.

What will happen to Alanna? Is she really done for?  There’s only one way to find out: check back soon for more! In the meantime, please comment. I’d love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chaos Review

Author: Ted Dekker

Characters: Incredible! Trapped into an unfamiliar (to them) world, favorite characters from the previous three books spring to life like they never have before!

Location: Ok. The description of Alucard’s lair was fairly interesting, but other than that I wasn’t impressed.

Plot: Amazing! If possible, this plotline is even more action-packed than the previous three books! Chaos features enough mystery, high-speed action, and completely unpredictable plot twists too keep you turning the pages the whole time. Don’t start this book late at night; you won’t be able to put it down!

Other: No other comments.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Treasure

We interrupt this blog to bring you a special poem, The Treasure, which was published in this year's Clubhouse Member's Mag. Please comment and let me know what you think of it!

The Treasure

Before me lies
A book,
With thin crisp pages,
And a purple leather cover.
Some call it a pack of lies,
Some call it a book of myths.
I call it a treasure.
Ancient as time,
Yet with messages as new as the day,
The words within speak through the ages.
The Truth,
The survival guide for life,
I call it a treasure.
Some people scoff at it,
In some places,
It’s illegal.
But nothing,
No persecution,
No laws,
No corruptness,
Can stop the spread of truth.
I call it a treasure.
Sometimes it’s found in a paperback book,
Sometimes a hardcover volume.
Some have fancy ones,
Fine leather and gold-edged pages,
Like something left over from the days of King Arthur.
One of mine is in a cloth cover with handles,
The other is wrapped in elegant purple leather.
I call it a treasure.
A miracle,
A guidebook,
A wondrous tale,
From the lips of the Great King,
The tale of the Prince of Peace,
The word of God,
It is The Treasure.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog posts.

Friday, August 5, 2011

My (Incredibly Uneventful) Week

Hello, everyone! It’s time for an update on my life, or at least on my week!

·        My stories have not been going very well at all. I’ve hardly gotten any work done on them, and in one of my stories, my secondary main character is more interesting to me than my main character. I’m hoping that things will go better next week. I also think that I need a deadline, a different story (at least for a while), or both.
·        Much more cheerful news: I actually got something published! Granted, it’s one poem, in the Clubhouse Member’s Mag for this year, but it still counts for something. If you’d like to read the poem, entitled The Treasure, I'm planning to post it on Tuesday.

Well, that’s about it. Yeah, not much has happened with me. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Escape Part Four

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re ready for more of The Escape! If you aren’t, here’s part three as a refresher. And now, part four!

Part Four
The day after . . .
            “Are you sure this will work?” Erica asked as she adjusted the large helmet that covered most of her long, reddish-blond hair. She was dressed in men’s clothing, and could’ve passed for a young raider.
            Alanna nodded. “Just try to make your voice deeper, and act sure of yourself, not as if you’re an escapee trying to fake her way onto a ship. And whatever you do, don’t act so friendly to me! Remember, if this is going to work, they have to think I’m your slave, not your best friend.”
            Erica gulped, nodded, and strode out of the shadowy alley she and Alanna had been hiding in. She walked over to the dragonboats, the long, low ships of the Northlands, and hid a scowl just in time. Each of the ships was carved with a grotesque dragon figurehead, a tribute to Sirpendiss. May the Prince of Peace keep me peaceful and the Great King restrain my tongue! Oh, how I hate Sirpendiss! Erica straightened up a little taller and called a greeting in the direction of the first dragonboat in the harbor, making her voice deep as she did. “Hail! Are you in need of extra crew?”
            A figure popped up, black eyes glaring out from under piles of red hair. “We don’t need the likes of you, boy. Try the last dragonboat in the harbor, the Dragonstorm. The fellow in charge just might be crazy enough to take you aboard.” The person disappeared, and Erica gritted her teeth.
            Ugh! Oh, how I’d like to punch him in the nose! The likes of you indeed! What I wouldn’t give for a good broadsword! She managed to restrain her feeling, and stalked down the row of dragonboats until she reached the last one. “Hail!” she called once more. “Are you in need of a strong, young warrior to join your crew?” Is that boasting?
            An old raider with ashen hair strode off the ship. It seemed that age had not diminished him in the least. His bare arms were incredibly muscular, and his build was like that of a bear. There was a slightly crazy light in his green eyes that made Erica nervous. “And who might you be?” he asked.
            Erica thrust her chin up. “I’m Eric. Who are you?”
            The old man laughed. “Bold lad, aren’t you, Eric? Well, that’s good. I like bold lads. I’m Olav Beirson, captain of the Dragonstorm. Anything you’ll be bringing with you, Eric?”
            Erica shrugged. “A couple packs and a slave girl.”
            Olav nodded. “I’ll only need you one way, Eric, so once we reach the other shore, you’re on your own. Will you agree to that?”
            Erica had to stop herself form breaking into a grin. “Aye. That’ll be fine.”
            Olav gave a crazy grin. “Good! Be on board by dawn tomorrow, or I’ll leave without you.”
            Erica nodded. “I’ll be there.”

Will Erica and Alana’s plan work? Or will they be found out? There’s only one way to find out the answers: check back soon for more! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Renegade Review

Author: Ted Dekker

Characters: Very good! Favorite characters from the first two books return, along with some new characters! I enjoyed meeting another Roush, as well as learning more about Karas. And although Billos and, to a degree, Darsal, both easily make you want to knock some sense in them, they aren’t as bad as Johnis in the previous book.

Locations: Ok. The locations were a little confusing, and they weren’t as good as those in the previous books.

Plot: Very good! Like all Dekker’s books, this is a fast-paced, action-packed plot that will have you on the edge of your seat with suspense!

Other: No other comments.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Escape Part Three

Hello, everyone! Ready for more of The Escape? I hope so, because I’m posting more now! Need a refresher? Here’s part two. And now, on with the tale!

Part Three
Alanna smiled as she watched Erica climb out her window. She’s an amazing climber for a raider’s daughter. Their friendship was a strange one. Normally, Erica wouldn’t know that Alanna existed. However, once when Erica fell ill, Alanna had been pulled from outdoor work to tend to her.  Now, the two shared an amazing friendship, united by their faith in the Great King . . . and their desire to escape. Alanna wished to return to her family. Erica wanted to sail, see the world, and find a home where her love for the Great King wouldn’t get her in trouble. Erica won’t find any of those things here, in this horrid land of ice and snow! Her father won’t let her so much as set foot on a boat, let alone sail enough to see the world. And with her strong spirit, she’s been lucky to last this long up here without getting in bigger trouble than she’s already gotten in. 
            “Alanna, we need to go.”
            Erica’s voice startled Alanna out of her thoughts. “Sorry. Why do you say that with such urgency?”
             Erica rolled her eyes. “If I know my father, we have maybe half an hour to get off his property if we want to escape. Are you ready?”
            For the first time, Alanna noticed the large pack that Erica carried. She stood and hoisted one of her own, though not as large. “Yes. Which way?”
            Erica looked around, then began walking into the woods around the main house and the slave quarters. “I think it’s this way. Remember, once we get to the city, it’s your job to get us to the port.”
            Alanna nodded. While she would’ve gotten lost in three minutes if she tried to navigate these woods, Erica had played in them as a little girl, and knew the way almost perfectly. On the other hand, Erica had never been to the docks, but Alanna was sure that she’d never forget that road. It had been a last trek to slavery for her, but now it would be her escape route.  “I know.” she said, quietly. She followed Erica, not looking back. And so our escape begins for good.     

Will Alanna and Erica be able to escape? Only one way to find out: check back soon for more! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunrise Shots

Hello, everyone! I'm here, with some new photos! Yep, I finally found something new to take (and post) pictures of.

Last Saturday, the 30th of July, Daddy and I went to take pictures of the sunrise over a nearby river. I'm pretty sure that I got up earlier that day than I ever have in my life, or earlier than I've ever gotten up and stayed awake, anyway. Although I didn't get as many good pictures as I'd have liked, I did get a few fairly good ones.

What do you think? Please comment and tell me! I'd love to know!