niminogative

food for thought from seventh grade's school lunch

Watch Love

            Beverly was a girl who loved her 153 watches. Especially the analog ones. I swore to myself that one day I’d get her an analog watch with annoying electronic jingles that played every hour and hands that glowed in the dark. Then I’d set an alarm to make sure she knew whenever I’d be up for a moonlit picnic. Or whatever girly stuff she liked to do. She’d love it.
            Yep. I was going to give Beverly Summers a little something to keep the time for her erratic, in-love heart. Well, not in love yet. Soon. Hopefully.
Flash fiction I entered for a blog writing contest. 

Dr. Seuss and Other Wackaroos

Photobucket“…and the little boy who walked into the House of Wonders with the intention of relieving himself stumbled to the bathrooms. And when he was finished, he buttoned his trousers and looked into the bowel of the chamber pot, expecting his feces swirling underneath him. But lo! The waste vanished as the chamber pot gave a deafening roar, and it all but disappeared! A work of magic! thought the boy.”

-From the House of Wonders, a tale from “A Collection of Bean Stories”

Being Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I decided to write a silly tale of my own. And I might even add it into a story. Who knows? Anyways, I wanted to celebrate by giving him his own shrine of silly, fun facts. (And though this may be late, this is Dr. Seuss. He deserves a Happy Birthday everyday.)

 

1) One day we were talking in Social Studies. And my teacher ( I will not mention any names) showed us a Venn Diagram of what it is to be a nerd, dork, and geek. You can see it to the right. No matter what level of geek-dom you are, however, you will always go back to being a nerd. And in retrospective, it doesn’t seem that weird to think that Dr. Seuss might have invented the word ‘nerd’, is it? (Thanks dictionary.com!)

2) Dr. Seuss’ other pen names (Or Theodore Geisel’s, respectively [now, don’t you think Geisel sounds more ridiculous and silly than Seuss?]) include Theo LeSeig, Rosetta Stone, and Theophratus Seuss.

3) My first and favorite all-time Seuss Book (And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street) was rejected by publishers 27 times!! 

4) What really happens when the Cat in the Hat tries to read with his eyes shut? His eyebrows get red-hot and it hurts his hat. (Found that here.)

5) Dr. Seuss had one sister named Marnie. Really just wanted to add that fact for my British friend Laura, who has a sister named Marnie. Now, you guys are practically related!!

And if you still have not had enough of Dr. Seuss, visit seussville.com or go watch The Lorax, which opened this Friday. (Mothers! The burden of them when they do not let you go to the theater!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS! 

Liquid Skyliner: The Epitome of the Hunger Game’s Universe

As you all know, I’m a fan-girl. Well, at least I was since I learned about the release of the Hunger Games Movie, which comes out this March 23rd. And I know all the other people obsessively reading articles and watching interviews were probably converted by this one movie, which I know everyone will be watching all over the world. (Shame to you if you don’t.) I was reading the Hunger Game’s fashion blog (http://capitolcouture.pn/) and I was awed by the creativity put into this Hunger Games universe. To add to the growing fire, Lionsgate revealed three motion posters for the pleasure of those attendees of the 74th Annual Hunger Games who cannot wait for the opening ceremonies. Here they are below!

http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com/capitolads/seneca/poster.swf

http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com/capitolads/caesar/poster.swf

http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com/capitolads/cinna/poster.swf

Drumbeats of Feet’s Try: A Tanka

Drumbeats of feet’s try

On hard packed earth stomping rhythm

All Mother’s heart song

A warm beat beneath the sun

A breath to the dying drum

A tanka is a style much like a haiku, except you add two extra lines that are both seven syllables. My friend and I wrote a tanka together during our poetry class (she wrote the first three lines, me the last two.) You can definitely tell who’s is who (I thought that she was writing about running; in actuality, she was describing Native American tribal dances through prose. Yeah. Definitely different.)

Hope you enjoy!

The Secret World of the Mysterious Island

So, I watched two movies at the weekend. For people who don’t know me, log these bullets into memory:

  • Those movies probably would not have been watched were it not for incessant pleading and the invention of math.
  • The movie theater is my favorite place after the library.

 So, after buying tickets and treats at both venues, we sat down and proceeded to giggle and gossip about what was going to happen next. It was pretty much the same for both movies.

Want to guess which two movies I watched?

You got it? Almost? Look at the title.

Yep. If it wasn’t already super obvious, I watched The Secret World of Arrietty and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Let’s start in chronological order.

(By the way, you will need background if you want to understand anything I’m saying. Clicking on the links should do the trick.)

I was a bit skeptical when it came to The Secret World of Arrietty. I’d heard a positive review about it a few hours before, but I got really confused when someone started talking about Japanese anime. What? Japanese? Anime? And then it registered: Arrietty was a Japanese Anime. And it wasn’t like I hated this kind of artwork (I actually like it, when they’re in graphic novels) but I hadn’t ever watched a movie like it. No Kiki’s Delivery Service for me when I was younger. I grew up on movies like Spongebob Squarepants. And Cinderella.

There’s a lot of things, when the movie ended, that I really enjoyed about it. The symbiosis of nature and people, for one; instead of fade in and dissolves and all those other funky PowerPoint transitions, animals moved the story from scene to scene. I thought that was awesome. And what I thought was even awesome-er was the house that the Borrower’s lived in. If I was tiny and had to borrow things from human ‘beans’ I would LOVE to have a house like Arrietty’s. (SPOILER!!!) I got really really sad when they had to move away. I hate those feelings; like, if they had done something different, would they have had to do whatever whatever? I don’t know. I just hate it. (SPOILER ENDED!!!)

Another was the artwork. The Secret World of Arrietty has converted me. I absolutely LOVED it. It’s not my favorite thing, but it was good.

What was it with all the quiet? Did you notice it too? How everything was just the sound of nature and the sky? At first, the noise was alien; I felt like I was sitting in the park, not at a movie theater. But I soon got used to it, and started to smell the grass and the rain. I started to wonder what the character’s were thinking as they watched clouds blow by or wind carress their flimsy houes.

And that’s it. That’s my review. Don’t think I’m one of those people who go on destroying entertainment’s hopes and dreams. Because I don’t. Hopefully.

Oh! I have forgotten a movie! And, not to discredit Arrietty, but I’ve just been DYING to get to this one.

Okay, okay, okay. Let me start with the basics.

The only reason I was really watching Journey 2 was to see Josh Hutcherson in action before the epic Hunger Games Movie came out. I know we are all waiting for it. If you’re not, shame on you. And man, was he good. He caught every line perfectly, was funny, was smart. I totally expected Journey 2 to be some knock-off show for kids, but it was definitely everything but that. And by the time the movie ended, I had a HUGE celebrity crush on this guy. And that feeling was equally matched by my celebrity hatred toward Vanessa Hudgens. :)

Of course, the movie wasn’t all about him. At least, sort of. I did pay attention to some details, the major one being how similar it was to Journey 1. People find mythical place. Place is about to blow up. People eventually make it out of mythical place. (That’s the cave man version.) It wasn’t that bad, but they could’ve probably upped the creativeness without hurting anyone. I was pretty surprised at the acting by Dwayne Johnson (I love him for being not too shy to accept kid roles like The Tooth Fairy) but, like in the Tooth Fairy, I expected something kiddish, aloof, and directed toward toddlers. That was not the case. He had a good sensitivity being Sean (Josh Hutcherson’s) stepfather. The only ridiculous part filmed was when he was popping his pecs. Actually, I would count that as the most ridiculous movie scenes ever, next to the Outsider’s brother reunion scene. (Now, that was ridiculous.)

As a conclusion, I’ll just say that no movie will ever feel like a movie again until I am finished watching the Hunger Games. Which I have yet to get permission for the midnight premiere. That was how it was for Harry Potter, and I am possibly even more excited for this franchise. I want to see the Capitol. I want to see the chemistry between Hutcherson and Lawrence. And most of all, I want to see the Games.

If I played a sport (which I don’t) Journey 2 and Arrietty are just warm-ups. Hopefully, The Hunger Games won’t get too many strikes.

(I am sooo excited for Josh Hutcherson! As my friend Jade would say:

hormone-induced-teenage-girl-giggle/scream/!!!!

Let the Hunger Games Begin! (With Nail Polish)

THE BEST (AND WORST) FIVE THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK

First, the worst:

1. Learning that one of my favorite TV Shows, the Middle, wasn’t funny anymore. (It was crushing).

2. Watching my first episode of the Cleveland Show.

3. Losing all ten times at Wii Sports Resort Table Tennis. (Yes. Even in video game life, I’m not good at sports.)

4. Learning that Whitney Houston died (Who am I kidding? I didn’t even know who she was. I’m still sad I never got to know who she was, though. :( )

5. Sighing at the fact that Carl Azuz (CNN Student News? Doesn’t ring a bell?) has resorted to music puns.

Second, the best:

1. Learning that Lionsgate has partnered with ChinaGlaze to create a new line of Capitol Nail Polish. LOL.

2. Getting relieved from the school’s MathCounts team. (I’m smart enough to add two and two up; if I’m not good at math, they probably won’t do that well at the competition.)

3. Sleepover! (Usually, I have one like, once a year.)

4. Writing my first fan-fiction (which you can see right here.)

5. Discovering the pleasantries of the YouTube channel Kid History. (Which I will be watching regularly from now on. Now I don’t have a reason for putting down the watchers of Jenna Marbles; I’m as addicted to internet video as they are.)

The Dilemma of the Sports Model

Here’s the scoop: your middle school class is being split into two groups for a debate. Usual literacy fare, right? Wrong. In our class, it turns into war.

The Issue: Should athletes be expected to be role models?

File:Jrobinson.jpg

The argument was inspired after reading an excerpt of Jackie Robinson's memoir, which explained Branch Rickey's motive to let him play on the Brooklyn Dodgers

At first, I was rooting for the ‘no’ side; after all, athletes are human beings, super-human strength and speed or not. They make mistakes. But when my teacher put me on the ‘yes’ side, I started to see the light. Sure, it’s not like we expect them to be perfect, but it’s like that Spiderman quote: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Or whatever.

Here’s the breakdown:

Controlling the variables. That’s what people are doing when they don’t expect sports figures, or any celebrities at all, to be role models. In a perfect world, sure; the general population wouldn’t care and would even dismiss personal insight to your favorite sports player. But the fact is, how much time to do we spend watching them play sports or sing or dance compared to the time we go, “He had an affair!?!?!”

I didn’t even know about a man named Tiger Woods until the public learned about the shinky-dinky things happening in his personal life.

File:Tim Tebow Tebowing.jpg

Tim Tebow Tebowing (Wikimedia)

How many people would break down if they learned Tim Tebow was using drugs? I would, and I’m not even religious. Think about the little kids, six or seven years old, who look up to people like him. What’s going on in their mind when they see something like that happen? There’s stupid people in the world (well, not stupid really, just naive, and I’m one of them) that would probably start doing drugs if Tim Tebow started doing drugs. It’s not a perfect world.

The second thing: responsibility. Likewise as mentioned above, this section is all about morals. Whoever has read the Illiad or Odyssey (I haven’t) you must know that heroism is touching all aspects of the world today. An athlete or superstar should (but might not) have his goals set in mind before joining a major sports league: “You are going to be exposed. Everybody is going to see you for what you do, and who you are. You want other lucky people like you to be able to make it this far in the world. Don’t screw it up.” That should be their mantra before everything to do.

You think that’s a burden? Even normal people should have this chant engraved into their brains; after all, you are touching a group of people, albeit a small group of people.

Besides, in a universe of seven billion individual people and counting, how easy would it be to find an athlete who’s athletic and level-headed versus the athlete who’s great at basketball and uses marijuana? (Alright, maybe not in the scouter’s position so much, but hey; he extra effort should be worth it.) Even in school, coaches won’t let you play if you get two F’s.

File:Justin Bieber April 2011.jpg

Justin Bieber is more influential social-network wise than even President Obama or the Dalai Lama, says The Observer

The third idea can be proved by the clothes you wear. That’s right. Those skinny jeans that make your legs look slimmer? It probably wasn’t your idea. (Or was it? I never know who’s reading this post.) Anyways, your skinny jeans were trend-setted by Someone; and by Someone, I mean capital S-o-m-e-o-n-e. In America, who ever has a voice gets the say, and in America, it’s the pop-culture celebrities that get a say.

 

So when you say that celebrity sport star who’s using steroids isn’t influencing you? Who do you think made him (or her) do that kind of thing? How do you know that you are ever going to be safe from culture’s touch? Bad things done today is because they were presented as bad things in the past, and most likely by famous people too. (One dish of shorty shorts right up for this table of teenage girls.) Not that they’re bad. But they are probably getting the most sales in the clothing industry.

What’s that Justin Bieber forward again? Something like: “If Justin Bieber jumped off a skyscraper, 95% of the girl population would jump off right with him. If you are in the 5% who would laugh their heads off, forward this.” Not that I’m cruel. But I probably wouldn’t be jumping off the skyscraper with him.

The verdict: If you are a famous person, and lots of people know about you, don’t do bad things. At least, correct your mistakes. Like Albert Einstein once said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results.”

The Trolley Lady

*This is my first official fan-fiction. That means it’s not that great. (Especially the plot.) Bear with it, please! :) *

Luela Middlefinks was a great witch. She’d won the Order of Merlin, Third Class, for her work with toads in cosmetic charms, and appeared on Witch Weekly for modifying kitchen spells, which called for more work and less clean. That was, however, so 1950’s. Still young, she’d gone into early retirement from her post as the host of Witching Hour program on Magic Music Radio.

Now, she worked part time as the trolley lady on the Hogwarts Express, delivering candy to the grubby fingers of students on September 1st every year. Her friends from her book club would tell her she’d let herself go since retirement; she’d lot the luster in her hair, the red in her checks, and gained much too many pounds. (She couldn’t bear to admit that it was because of the Chocolate Frogs.) Why, Blenda Bott (the one and only descendant of the great Bertie Bott) even had the nerve to tell her she looked like she was always sucking on a vomit flavored Every Flavor Bean!

That was why, this year, she would do something daring, something worth her Witch Weekly years. On the morning of September 1st, she packed her bags (using an engorgement charm of course, they were much too small to fit all her romance novels for the trip), threw in extra socks, her wand, spectacles, and Basilisk venom (now in an easy-to-use spray can for oncoming predators!) before trundling to her lilac jalopy. Off in the distance, steam rose in pink wisps from the still asleep chimney of the Burrow. Usually, the Potter’s and Weasley’s children could be heard from fifty miles away, all five of them, getting ready for their first day to school.

Luela tucked her provisions in the trunk, and then placed a pink vial snugly between her tabloids. By nine fifteen, she was already arriving at King’s Cross Station, Platform 9 ¾. The earliest children were already there and they waved a hello under their piles of spell books and owls. In the Professor’s compartment, Flitwick was giving his farewell to his wife, who was double his height, and Neville Longbottom was coaxing a plant to life before his first lessons the next week.

The train blew a fast whistle. Outside a steamy window, students clambered into their compartments. The sky was a blazing blue, and leaves twirled out of the air and onto the platform, where they gathered in neat, magical heaps. Luela pulled out the candy cart, which was stacked with as many sweets as you could imagine: Acid Pops, Fizzing Whizbees, Pepper Imps, Sugar Quills, Chocolate Frogs; she was tempted to have a bite herself. Grabbing the pink bottle she had hidden inside her car trunk, she emptied slimy, thick pink liquid over a butterbeer and watched it as it dissolved into the creamy and frothy drink.

She could imagine the headlines now as she rolled the trolley out into the train’s corridors: “Middlefinks Makes Big With New Love Potion”. And it wasn’t any love potion she had just dumped into the butterbeer either; it was the one cure to teenage love. She’d mixed Veritaserum for truth, and Amortentia for love; instead of the often contagious obsession associated with love potions, she’d be making true love, and she’d be a millionaire before the day was over. After all, teenagers were the biggest market today, and she already knew a few customers willing to try the mix.

In the last compartment, she found James, Albus, and Lily Potter, as well as Rose and Hugo Weasley. They emptied their pockets for their knuts and sickles, and bought half the cart before she managed to pull away. She smiled as she watched Rose, with her bushy red hair and toothy smile, pull away with the small butterbeer.

As she moved toward another compartment, she heard a miraculous shout of “I love Scorpious Malfoy!” that led to mad laughter and then grave silence as her compartment mates realized she was serious. Luella giggled. This was all going to plan.

She stopped by a few compartments, each with the same result. It was fantastic, the hilarity of it; she’d fixed all that lovey dovey shyness that children always had; she even saw one girl running out of a compartment to find a handsome Andrew Diggory.

She sighed. One thousand dollars, and counting. Luella helped herself to some butterbeer. She deserved it, after all.

***

Luela woke up in the Professor’s Chamber. Flitwick was there, watching her worriedly, and his wife as well, who’s pinched lips reminded her of Harry Potter’s aunt, whom she’d met once at the train station.

“The rudeness of it,” his wife muttered, “forcing me to stay on the train until we arrive! I am absolutely horrified…”

“I love you, Flitwick,” Luela murmured, quite confounded by the love potion she’d accidently swallowed. “Ever since that one time in the Hogwarts closet, I have absolutely been waiting for your divorce-”

The last thing she saw was Flitwick’s wife beating him to death.

I’m Getting Tense: The Pro’s and Con’s

A dilemma that has boggled the mind for ages: how do I write? When do I write? Who should I write as? Here’s a breakdown of all the ways you can write (and for those ‘rithmetic freaks, you already know there nine combinations you can do any of these. For those ‘rithmetic and writing genetic mutations, you can probably calculate this and figure out what you want to write at the same time.)

First,

TENSES

  • Present Tense: Present tense is one of the most popular tenses appearing in young adult literature. (I don’t know about any other age group, so bear with me). It uses words as if the event is happening right then and there. The advantage can be a more thorough feeling of being in the moment.

Ex. The quick brown fox jumps over the dog.

  • Past Tense: Past tense is personally my favorite kind of tense. You can explore the past, foreshadow, and speak about the present more thoroughly than other tenses. It uses words as if the event has already happened.

Ex. The quick brown fox jumped over the dog.

  • (Future?) Tense: I basically made this one up. I don’t even know if it’s a real tense. But I’ve seen it used in literature before; it uses words like they haven’t happened yet (kind of like you’re seeing a future). I haven’t read it enough to give it pros and cons, but I know that if it is used so rarely, not a lot of people enjoy this kind of tense. But it may work for your project!

Ex. The quick brown fox will jump over the dog.

Point of Views

1st Person: 1st Person tells the story from a character actually partaking in the events. It can be the main character (usually) or a secondary character (rarely) but as long as it is from a character’s point of view, it is first person. (At least I think so.) It’s useful in getting into a character’s brain and learning about his/her insight, but getting into other characters is harder. First person can be compared as being in ‘real life’, as real people can’t know what other people are thinking.

Ex. I’m a brown fox that jumps over a dog.

2nd Person: 2nd person is when the writer addresses the character with ‘you’. It gives a close feeling while still being out of the storyline, but sometimes it becomes awkward when introducing different characters.

Ex. You are a brown fox that jumps over a dog.

3rd Person: Third person is used the most. This is when the narrator addresses the characters as ‘she’ or ‘he’. This is advantageous in the way it allows multiple characters and storylines that don’t have your main character present. However, it is harder to get into a character’s feelings and thoughts as it is in first or second person.

Ex. She is a brown fox that jumps over a dog.

So now that you’re all warmed up in the way of tenses and point of views, which will you pick? Writing in a different tense and/ or point of view can change your story a lot. Play around a little. Find the one you’re most comfortable with or is the most interesting for you. (Unfortunately, nothing is every perfect.)

It’s All In A Name

When you’re writing a book (or short story, poem, screenplay, or even an obituary for heaven’s sake), one of the strongest thing that drives your story is a character. There might just be one or two like in Scott O’ Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, or a whole codswallop like in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. (My favorite go-to book, as you probably all know.)

But what is a character without a name? Sure, there are probably lots of great, classic, books I haven’t read that mention no name at all, but a name defines a personality, and with it, a more diverse world. Like, when I see a Sarah, I imagine big-shot writers who novel stories about girls who have boyfriends than break up with boyfriends then have a boyfriend who is definitely not the boyfriend you thought he was going to be. (Phew.) This is true for all the Sarah Ocklers and Sarah Dessen’s in the world, but it might not be who you think a Sarah is going to be. And then when I see a Drew, I imagine a dark, tall, silent guy who rescues you by stabbing your kidnapper and then leaves without ever saying a word.

What if your whole life was dominated by the kind of name you had!?!?!? (Ding ding ding! Book idea!) Like in the series Monster Blood Tattoo, the main male character is named Rossamund. I would hate hate hate hate HATE to be named Rossamund if I were a guy. (Some other guys might not agree, but these are all opinions, right?) In the end, though, it grows on you. Like onions. Or TV shows (namely, Modern Family.)

So, to choose a name is like choosing the entire course of your book. You can change it but then it will change the whole dynamic of EVERYTHING!

Think about it. Sure, your character’s name may not be as important as the plot or the story, but it sure does influence. Right now, my favorite name is Emma. Charlotte’s right around the corner. And did anybody realize that N.E. Bode’s psuedonym sounds out like ‘anybody’ from her Anybodies series? No idea.

Try out the Random Name Generator. It’s easy to use: you can pick from a scale of 1-99 on the originality of the name, as well as female and male attributes. Using any baby name search engine can give you a name and its meaning. Behind the Name is cool too.

But whatever you choose, choose wisely; you don’t want to be one of those parents who name their child Evensong Sparkling Morningdew. (Or you do, depending on the material). Your story will bite you back in the butt. I’m not kidding.

(And a disclaimer: this is all coming from a seventh grade girl. Probably all material can be ignored because of hormone induced excitement/happiness/rage/hyperness and etc. etc. etc.)

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