New Post Every Thursday!

In class, we are doing a big, year long project called the 20% Time Project. We spend one day a week accomplishing anything of our choosing. I decided to publish a book.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Near Future

I have good news and bad news:

Good news first, My TED Talk was amazing. I didn't have a chance to practice as much as I'd liked, which is my fault, and i wasn't too, too nervous and that's what made me do better in my opinion. I remember trying to look at the audience as much as I could and everyone looked mad for some reason, which I knew was from boredom because it was very, very, boring to be honest. The first few were fun but after a few hours I was about to fall asleep. In the audience, it was just our team, so about 50 people, and apparently, a bunch of people watched us online, and I believe that that was about 750 people watching us in total, but that seems like too many. I could rant for a long time about this, but I'll just pop in the video from my teachers' blog instead. 


Bad news: Since the school year is over, I'll still be blogging, but not very often unless I remember. It'll probably only be when the publisher contacts me and the totally executive decisions that I make.

All in all, I'm very proud of my 20% Time project. Yeah, I didn't finish on time, but yeah, It's still an accomplishment. Yeah, I lost sleep, was stressed, and sacrificed time on my phone, but yes, it was worth it. I will admit, writing was terrible, and I was more stressed than I've ever been. On top of homework and sports, I was writing for hours a night, but towards the end, I started skipping nights. I wish I could go back in time and finish earlier, but it was so boring and I needed a break. I regret this so much. But it was all okay because I buckled down, stopped using my phone and watching Netflix, and eventually, I finished. I walked my dogs and showered and ran on the trails for ideas and I logged them in a composition notebook, which is now my Idea Notebook in general, so this started something new for me. I used to just make a document on my iPad and write what the title will be, but now I go in depth with bullet points, character info, settings, and details that I want to add, and now I'm a lot more organized. It's already pretty full and I take pictures of it. After a while, I finished writing and turned it in. They STILL haven't gotten back to me, and I expect an email any time. 

I'm so glad Mr. Eckert and Mrs. Hellwig allowed us to do the 20% project, because I would never be here without them. I wouldn't even try to write a book if they didn't encourage me to. Doing something that actually benefits my future is so much better than learning what x squared is. I'm glad that I'm doing this, even though it was hard. If I publish another with a reasonable time frame, I think that this will be a good project for me. I'm definitely going to go further with this, so be sure to stay tuned. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

TED Talks and video(s) coming soon!

I apologize but I don't have a video of me making the dolls yet. I should have one next week. I've been busy with school finishing up and haven't gotten around to writing much. I hope to make that be my summer project. Also, I still haven't gotten any emails from KidPub yet, but they said three weeks and it's been two. I'm so excited and checking my phone constantly, even though I'm not really expecting anything. Whenever the email notification pops up I freak, but usually it's just something dumb.

On with the point of this post, I'm going to talk about TED Talks. Since 20% time is wrapping up (Don't be sad- my journey is just beginning) we are having our own TED Talks. A legit TED TALK. Five minutes of us talking to a crowd. People from the school, parents, public, and even a class taking a field trip are attending. I'm not nervous about public speaking, but more that I haven't accomplished as much as I wanted. I know that nobody's going to be sitting there judging me, but when I heard about this project I wanted to be the one that was remembered for years. But all I did was procrastinate.

These speeches that are coming soon- THIS FRIDAY-are recorded and I'll most likely have one on my blog this weekend. I've already written the lines and taken bullet point notes on cards, but when I tried rehearsing to the water fountain, my friend told me I look like an awkward mess. I tried rehearsing to her so I have a live "audience" but she still said I looked awkward, mostly because I was wearing rain boots and kept sliding my foot in and out and fidgeting. To be honest, this is how I look all the time (haha, sort of joking) and it's not because I'm nervous. What I do when I'm nervous is rub my fingers together-ask my horseback riding show gloves- but since I know about it, I can hide it pretty well, so I never look nervous. But I'm not the biggest nervous wreck so I can hide it. I'm not scared at all about TED Talks. Anyways, my friend told me that my words are really good so I'm just going to practice in the mirror, not wear wellies, and I should be fine. Also, we get to have pictures in the background and I'm desperately trying to figure out what I'm going to do. I already have one slide and have a basic plan, so I'll be working on it tomorrow.  Also, we get a chance to practice on stage tomorrow and Wednesday after school, so kickboxing can wait. Updates are coming soon, so prepare!      

Monday, May 4, 2015

Handkerchief Dolls

I'll admit that I didn't want to write for a while after this. A whole week, that's a record! I already know what my next book is going to be abut and I just started it. I don't know if I'll get it published when I'm done, but I'm taking my time and more writing this one for fun.

It's actually horrifying how much a sweet girl like me loves to write horror books. I'm better at writing the plot and not as good at describing the feeling when you look out your window in the middle of the night and see someone staring back at you, because, thankfully, it's never happened to me. Horror is my favorite genre to write, maybe tied with realistic fiction.

You may remember that I went on a vacation to New York a while back, and before that I stopped at my great grandma's house to visit. What I didn't include in that post was that her house gave me nightmares. In fact, we had to spend the night in a hotel instead of her guest room because nor my brother or I would sleep. Like all technophobic 92 year olds (May I mention that she is the best person in the world so i'm not hating and I literally call her just to chat, and yes she does have a phone, it's just attached to the wall and is a rotary phone) she has one of those old houses. I thought of a good book idea and my thoughts were scaring the crap out of me. To make things worse, she had hot water heating, and every half hour the walls would growl and though I miss her I don't think i'll be visiting her house for a while.

On with the book idea, she had tons of these rag dolls with no facial features, no hair, and they were purely terrifying. True terror. Of course, I asked her about them. She said that women made them during the Civil War Era when their husbands went off to war. As they became more popular, they began to use them in battle. The soldiers smuggled drugs and weapons in the cloth heads. Curious, I did some further research and found that when soldiers came home after their deployment, the dolls were passed on to their children. They became a popular toy because of their quietness. They were called Sunday Toys because when children dropped them, they made no noise during church ceremonies. Wealthier families began replacing the cotton heads for sugar cubes so that children could suck on them. The name changed from Handkerchief Dolls to Sunday Toys to Sugar Babies. The featureless face was replaced with "Prayer Faces" and as resources became available, bonnets were added. These were popular in their time for being so cheap and easy to make, but now they are popular again. Of course, since everything is monogramed these days, they ACTUALLY SELL THEM MONOGRAMMED!?! Also, poems were commonly embroidered.

You may wonder why my Great Grandma had these. Obviously, they weren't from the Civil War, and she lived in Italy during this time anyways,  so why did she make these? It almost is a hobby of hers and she showed me how to make one, and it only takes a few minutes.  I want to call her and ask if I can record her talking, but she probably won't be down for that. Stay tuned for the next post where I answer all of my new questions including this one, and maybe I'll even make one. That's how easy it is, seeing as my craft skills are at a minimum.

Also, I haven't heard anything from the editor yet, but I wasn't expecting to. I'm worried that my book is too much like the Hunger Games, even though the idea is different. I'm anxious to see what they think but am willing to change anything they suggest.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

GUESS WHAT I JUST DID?!?

You guessed it, i'm sure. This was very stressful for me, seeing as 1) The printer wouldn't work 2) I had to pick a photo of myself and THEY WERE ALL TERRIBLE 3) Urgh!

But it's okay because this was the first step to getting my book published and  I'd go through any amount of stress. I was going to take screenshots but all I did was convert the document into a different format, email it to KidPub and fill out some paperwork, mail that, and pay so there wasn't much to screenshot that didn't have personal information on it.

Off to wright my next book!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Next Step

I'm finally actually getting my book published! I finished writing and my dad is buying me the package because he read it and liked it. I haven't actually submitted my book yet, but I'll probably be doing this once I go to my his house on Tuesday.  Can't wait to write my next blog on how it goes. I know this was a shorter blog but the next one will be full of details.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Someone fed me a Billion Pounds of Sugar.....

First off, I just thought I'd let you know that I got my Vanilla Bean Frappe. And the Birthday Cake Frappe, Oh my!

Also, I'm typing this in my great grandma's bathroom because she's anti-tech, but I want to at least type it now before I forget. I wrote this next post on the plane and you can tell I was psyched. Here it is, word for word. It's long.

I'm on my way to NYC! Personally, I love flying on planes and I also love writing, so this is a perfect opportunity for me to work on my book. I actually wrote a poem as we took off to tell about how much I love the feeling of speed and air but since I like it so much, I tweaked a few phrases and added it into my book. It has a whole new meaning, and if I never told you it was about a plane you would've never guessed. If you read the book, I bet you'll see where the poem is. Yep, that's the reason my book's not finished. I can't stop thinking of new things to add, then I need to change other things and fix this and tweak that sentence. This may seem like a good thing, but I'm basically picking the whole story apart. Late on I regret a change and have to change more things until I go insane! Ugh!

I have more bad news. As you may know, my dream future (aside from being an Olympic Equestrian, which probably-definitely won't happen) Is to be the star news anchor. I want to write and broadcast my own reports. Anyways, the headquarters are right next to my hotel in Times Square, and we were going to tour the set and walk around. BUT THEY'RE CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS!?!

It's hard to be sad when you're in an airplane. I'm crazy right now! I've been humming Shake it Off for the past hour and a half. My poor brother. And all of the people around me. If I haven't said this already, I LOVE flying. I don't know if it's the rumble when you take off, or when turbulence makes your stomach jump. The way the wheels strike the ground. Okay, these are all lines from my poem. I'd love to travel when I get older, and as a journalist I'm sure I will. My third choice for a job is a flight attendant. My second is an FBI agent, and even though people say I'd be good at that, let's be real here, what are the odds of that?



My Sky High writing station. Note my old school handy dandy notebook. I still prefer to hand write short notes, but when I type long stories, typing is the way to go.


I ended up posting this a little late, but it's been in my drafts since Spring Break.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beginning of book, Back Cover, and STARBUCKS!

For the very beginning of my book, I decided to take the last part. So my book goes like this: 

I look around, frantic. We just need that one last shell. You can rest later, I chant to myself. I'm using my last bit of energy to search, then I crash to the ground. Someone pins me down.
"Where are your shells?" He growls, spitting on my face. I shake my head no. “Then say the words or I’ll make ya,” he says, trying to intimidate me. I lay there. He can’t hurt me, just scare me, and I won’t tap out from being afraid. I came to play a game- to prove a point-but the Island has chewed me up and spit me out. I'm done playing. I've gone through too much not to come off the Board a champion.
"I will say them-" I begin. Satisfaction races across the Red's tired face.
"If you do first. I know you want to say it." Mr. Jewell caused problems but was right about The Island changing my hate towards liars- because then I'd be hating myself. The Island changed everything, it's made me a survivor, a thinker, and soon to be a champion. I've come too close to let this opportunity slip away. This is my one shot and I can't let it go. Nothing's on my mind except getting that shell.


Chapter 1
      Welcome to the Stillwater Ranch
CRASH! I jolt up from bed. It’s just thunder. A raindrop hits the top of my head and I look up to see water dripping inside from a little crack in the ceiling. This ranch is falling apart. My parents own a small Guest Ranch and we live in the rooms. Sometimes it’s good, but usually not. It’s a lot of work, and I’m homeschooled so that I can help.

I roll over and the clock reads 5:30. It’s time to get up anyways, so I tap my sister, Avery in the other bed in this room. My parents have a grand room upstairs and Avery and I have a small Standard room. Though there’s nothing grand about the Grand Rooms, they have a dining area, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Standard rooms have a “Kitchen” or a fridge and microwave, two beds, and a crumbling bathroom......
I look around, frantic. We just need that one last shell. You can rest later, I chant to myself. I'm using my last bit of energy to search, then I crash to the ground. Someone pins me down.
"Where are your shells?" He growls, spitting on my face. I shake my head no. “Then say the words or I’ll make ya,” he says, trying to intimidate me. I lay there. He can’t hurt me, just scare me, and I won’t tap out from being afraid. I came to play a game- to prove a point-but the Island has chewed me up and spit me out. I'm done playing. I've gone through too much not to come off the Board a champion.
"I will say them-" I begin. Satisfaction races across the Red's tired face.
"If you do first. I know you want to say it." Mr. Jewell caused problems but was right about The Island changing my hate towards liars- because then I'd be hating myself. The Island changed everything, it's made me a survivor, a thinker, and soon to be a champion. I've come too close to let this opportunity slip away. This is my one shot and I can't let it go. Nothing's on my mind except getting that shell. (
This is the very last page. In the second book, this will be the first page)

On the back cover, I'm putting a summary:

9 Islands. 9 seashells. 2 Teams. And the whole nation watching.

Fourteen year old Lydia has lived happily on a Guest Ranch that her parents own and she enjoys doing the activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and shooting. The ranch isn't doing well, so her mom signs her up for The Island hoping that she wouldn't get picked. Signing up earns 2,000 dollars and winning promises one and a half million dollars and fame across the world. In the competition, there are nine islands, and a little seashell hidden in each one. The team that has all nine shells in their possession first wins. The Island will take Lydia on a journey, and you can come too. Remember, if the competition is too much, just Tap Out.    

Today, I wrote for an hour at Starbucks with my mom. I love Starbucks and go there almost everyday. I'm so excited for Vanilla Bean Frappe season! Though chai is great, you'll see me writing so much more when I can drink those.