Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Update, Finally!

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

·     On Labor Day weekend, we went to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, and to Lexington. While we were in Lexington, we went to the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum, which is near Lexington. I found both places interesting, and I’m not sure which was my favorite.
·     Hero, the novel that I’m doing my best to write, has been going much better. I’ve gotten a considerable amount of work done on it, and have discovered quite a bit I didn’t know about my characters and their relatives. I’ve also found out that even something as simple as a girl visiting her grandmother can be very dramatic.
·     Less enjoyable for me was the fact that school started on the 6th. Luckily, it is going fairly well. Grammar/Writing and Vocabulary are the same as ever, as is my Literature. Surprisingly, my Math is . . . (make sure you’re sitting down) . . . actually pretty interesting! This is mostly due to the fact that I’m doing Geometry instead of Algebra this year. I’m much less excited about my History, but since I’m used to being unexcited about my history, I don’t mind too much.
·        AWANA started on the 11th, and I am once more doing the Trek program, as well as helping out in T’n’T. Trek is the program that comes after T’n’T, and though our church doesn’t have an official Trek club, it does have one or two people who do the Trek books on their own.
·        Last weekend, our church had a 5k Walk and Run and a Fall Fest. Although I didn’t have much of anything to do with the 5k, I did enjoy the Fall Fest, despite the fact that it was rather chilly. I ended up spending most of my time helping out with my Youth Group’s bake sale, which was very successful.
·        Some of you may remember that back in August, I was asking for opinions on which photo I should enter in the HSLDA photo contest. The photo I chose can be viewed here. Since it ended up as a finalist, it will be displayed at Patrick Henry College.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Against Old

Hello, everyone! I finally have more of my photography to post! This picture was taken Labor Day weekend, when we went down to Charlottesville to see Monticello.

I took this picture when I noticed a very new-looking motorcycle sitting in front of a very old-looking church. The contrast was irresistible, so I took a picture! Of course, when I got home and got around to editing my pictures, I had to change it up a little, so I ended up with this picture!

What do you think? Which photo do you like better? Please comment and tell me! I'd love to hear what you think!


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Escape Conclusion

Hello, everyone. I’m finally back again, with the conclusion of The Escape! For a much-needed refresher, here’s part eight. And now, the conclusion!

When the two arrived at the cottage, Erica hung back, suddenly shy. What if they hold what happened to Alanna against me?
            Alanna, on the other hand, flung open the door and almost bounced into the tiny front room, too excited to bother knocking. She was greeted by the surprised stares of her family, then she was immediately mobbed by three smaller children, obviously her siblings. Two of them were young boys who looked to be the same age, though one looked like a male version of Alanna and the other had dark hair and eyes. The third was a small girl who couldn’t have been more than four. She, however, was the most enthusiastic in greeting her sister. Throwing her arms around Alanna, she exclaimed “Alanna! I missed you!”
            Alanna laughed and hugged her little sister. “I missed you too, Brenna! Why, you grew!”
            Brenna’s eyes widened. “I grew? Really?”
            Alanna laughed. “Really.” Then, she turned to her brothers, who had obviously been waiting for their chance to get in unhindered.  “Casey, Connor, did you miss me too?”
            Both boys nodded and attacked their sister. “We missed you, Alanna, especially when we got into trouble!”
            Alanna gasped in mock horror. “You got in trouble without me? I can’t believe that! This calls for tickles!” She vigorously tickled her brothers until they could hardly talk for laughing. Then she finally pulled herself away from the little ones and walked over to her parents, who she greeted with a hug and a kiss for each. “Hello, Da, Mother. I missed you.”
            Alanna’s father, a tall, dark man, hugged her close. “Alanna, we thought we’d never see you again!”
            Alanna grew sober. “I thought the same a few times, Da.” He held her close and whispered something, with Alanna’s mother joining in. Finally, they released Alanna, who had regained her bright attitude. “Da, Mother, there’s someone I’d like you to meet!” She turned toward Erica. “Erica, come meet Da and Mother!”
            Erica hesitantly stepped forward. “Hello, sir, mistress. I’m sorry about . . . what happened to Alanna.”
            Alanna laughed. “Erica, don’t worry! It wasn’t your fault.” She turned back to her parents. “Not only was my capture not Erica’s fault, she helped me escape. And she believes in the Great King!” Alanna poured out the story, wile Erica stood awkwardly beside her, insisting that Alanna exaggerated.
            When the tale was finished, Alanna’s father stood. “We thank you for helping Alanna return to us, and we welcome you to our home.”
            Erica blushed. “I wouldn’t want to impose, sir.”
            He waved her comment away. “Nonsense. Any follower of the Great King and any friend of Alanna’s is welcome in our home.”
            Erica smiled. “Thank you sir, and may the Great King bless you all.”
            Alanna’s father smiled at her. “And may he bless you as well, Erica.”
            Alanna laughed. “You see, Erica? We’re home!” 

What did you think? I hoped you liked it! Thank you for being patient with my forgetting to post; I really am sorry. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Escape Part Eight

Hello, everyone! I have returned, with more of The Escape! Want a refresher? Here’s part seven. And now, part eight!

Part Eight
Three days later . . .
            Erica, Alanna, and the recently freed slave stood at the edge of a harbor. Behind them, the Dragonstorm sailed away. Erica turned to the former slave. “You’re free to go where you wish. Do you have family somewhere?”
            The boy nodded. “Aye. I’ll find them. No need to worry, and thank you.”
            Erica nodded. “Good. Do you want any help finding your family?”
            The boy shook his head. “Nay. I can find my own way home. Thank you both, and farewell.” He set off away from the two, waving. They waved back, watching him go.
            After the boy was out of sight, Erica turned to Alanna. “Now what?”
            Alanna was looking around at the rolling, green hills, a huge smile on her face. “This is the area my family lives in. It looks like Olav finding out your secret was actually a good thing; we were put off in just the right place!”
            Erica shook her head, amazed. “Amazing.”
Alanna nodded. “Come on, I know the way back to my home from here! They’ll welcome both of us; I’m sure.”
Erica bit her lip. “You, maybe. I’m not so sure about me.”
Alanna shook her head. “Both of us. You’re my friend, after all. How could they not welcome you?”
Erica smiled. “I hope you’re right. Well, let’s go.” The two began walking quickly up into the hills, laughing and talking. They were almost home.
            The short journey to the small cottage where Alanna’s family lived was filled with rolling hills covered in springy heather. Erica soon discovered that it made for very pleasant walking except for one thing . . . she was lost. She glanced at Alanna. “You do know where we are, right?”
            Alanna laughed. “Don’t worry; I know these hills like the back of my hand. We won’t get lost.”  
            Erica nodded in relief, though she could hardly believe that anyone could navigate the landscape of one hill after another with such ease and confidence. “Good. So, how much farther is it?”
            Alanna pointed ahead of them. “It’s right there!”
            Erica followed the line of Alanna’s finger. “I don’t see . . . wait! I do see it!” Partially hidden in a grove of beech trees was a pretty little cottage.
            Alanna grinned. “Come on!” The two ran towards the cottage, Alanna eager to be home, and Erica eager to see her friend home at last.
What will Alanna find when she gets home? And will Erica be as welcome as Alanna said? And am I ever going to post the end of this story? You’ll find out all the answers next time, when I post the conclusion of The Escape! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Escape Part Seven, finally

Hello, everyone! I’m finally back with more of The Escape! As you can see, I finally remembered to post this on time, possibly because today is my first day of school and I wanted to make sure I did something right. For a refresher, which you probably need by now, here’s part six. And now, the long-awaited part seven!

Part Seven
As soon as Erica reached Alanna, she yelled “Hold on to me and try not to get in the way!” Alanna grabbed onto Erica’s jacket, and began praying harder. Great King, I know you’re with us, but we need more help! Please just rescue us!
            Erica hadn’t been entirely sure of what she’d do once she got to Alanna, especially since the other person had been carried farther away in the waves. Help! The answer to their desperate prayers became clear as soon as Erica got a little closer.  A rope dangled in the sea, off of the Dragonboat, which had been thrown by the captain when he saw Erica dive off the ship. Erica kicked over to it and said “Grab onto the rope and try to pull yourself onto the ship! Don’t worry about me!” Then, she swam away to rescue the other person in the storm ridden waters.   
            It took Erica more effort to reach the other slave. She had thought about just leaving him and letting him fend for himself, but she knew that she couldn’t just let him drown. So, she pulled him back the Dragonboat as well, then climbed back on herself. The storm abated a few hours later, and that was when more trouble came. Erica’s helmet had been lost in the roaring seas, and now her long, wet hair hung free. The others on the Dragonboat had noticed it before, but had been too busy with the storm to do anything about it. Now, however, it was a different story.
The captain was enraged. “What in the world? Eric, if that’s really your name, what are you doing becoming a girl? I want you off my dragonboat!”
            Erica looked calmly at the captain, doing her best to keep her temper under control. She found it easier than she expected, possibly because she was feeling too tired to get mad. “Sir, if you had known that I was Erica, and not Eric, would you have let me on board?”
            Olav shook his head violently. “No! No girls on board the Dragonstorm unless they’re slaves, and you’re not a slave!” Under his breath, he added “Unfortunately.”
            Erica wisely chose to ignore his slave comment. “Well then, sir, you can put me off at the next harbor, and consider me a bit of temporary free labor. Is that acceptable?”
            Olav thought it over. “Fine. But you’re off at the very next harbor, you hear?”
            Erica nodded agreeably. “Aye. Now, there’s the matter of the slave I rescued. I’d like to liberate him.” She saw Olav’s face begin to take on a mad expression. “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll pay for him, but I don’t want to have rescued him only to have him head into slavery.”
            Olav raised an eyebrow suspiciously. He obviously was skeptical of how much a girl could pay. “How much are you offering?”
            Erica considered, then pulled a small bag from her pack, which had been thrown off the top deck when the argument began. She handed it to Olav. “Would this cover it?”
            Olav’s eyes bugged out at the sight of the gold and gems within. “Aye! He’s all yours!” Then he hurried off, yelling for the crew to make for the next port. 
Alanna looked at Erica curiously. “Where’d you get money?”
Erica grinned. “Father was one of the most successful raiders in the area, and he gave me quite a bit of his loot before we had the . . . falling out. I figured that freeing a slave would be a good way to use it.”
Alanna nodded thoughtfully. “Yes, but . . . was that all the money you had? And what will he do? Will we take him with us, or just let him find his own way home?”
Erica frowned. “I didn’t think of that.” She sighed. “I guess we’ll have to figure that out. But no, that wasn’t quite all the money, though it was most of it.”
Alanna nodded again, wondering how this all would work out.

Well, it seems like Erica and Alanna’s problems are mostly over, but are they? And will Alanna ever make it home? You’ll have to wait until Thursday to find out! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think!