A Work of Fiction…

For my final project in my Advanced Writing class, I am writing the first few chapters of my novel. I just finished the first page or so, and I wanted to know what you guys thought. Let me know in the comments!! 

I darted frantically around the room, grabbing various items of clothing and throwing them haphazardly into the duffel bag resting on my bed. Most of my things have been packed for weeks, but every time I turned around there was something else I may need at school. I triple-checked my bookshelves and pulled out a few more titles to take with me. I glanced around my room again, checking for anything I may have missed. It’s amazing really, how much stuff one can accumulate in ten years. I decided to leave most of my posters behind, all but the Breakfast Club. Most of my CDs were also staying, but my guitar definitely made the list. I hesitated for a moment before tossing my tarot cards and an old spell book into my bag. Now one last thing: the photo of my parents and me on my seventh birthday. It was taken a few weeks before their car accident. I reached up to where it was hanging on my wall, but I couldn’t quite reach it. Slowly the frame lifted off up its hook and floated down into my hand.

“You’re getting better at that Johanna,” Gran said from the doorway. “You remind me of your mother when she was your age. She was always zipping things about.” I looked at the photo in my hands. Aside from her sharp blue eyes and a smattering of freckles across her cheekbones, I didn’t see much resemblance. Mom was tall and beautiful; two things I’d never be.

“Just grabbing some last minute things,” I murmured, stowing the photo safely in the duffel bag on the bed.  “I don’t want to forget anything.”

“Byrne College is only a couple hours away, it’s not like you’ll never be back.” Gran pulled the clothes from my bag and began folding them properly.

I sighed. If I’d had my way, I’d be halfway to the coast by now. But Byrne College was the only school Gran would allow me to attend. In addition to being close to home, the dean was my great-aunt. For years, it has been a safe haven for people with power such as myself. By the time classes started on Monday, there would be more than forty young witches on campus, all of whom know my name, my family, and everything about me. The exact thing I wanted to avoid.

***

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more!!!

I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here

Hello everyone!

It is a beautiful, yet horribly cold, morning here at Doane campus. The line at the coffee shop is stretched halfway across campus, everywhere you look you can see bags from the bookstore or packages from Amazon, and students are out and about before 10. It can all add up to only one thing: Spring Classes have officially started.

I’ve just gotten out of my first class: Advanced Writing. When I first signed up for this course, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As much as I love to write, I hate discussing the technicalities and rules involved, and I wasn’t looking forward to having to write a bunch of  formal essays or papers. I was very pleasantly surprised when I came to class today.

From what I can gather from the first day, this class is going to be awesome. Each student gets to pick a genre to focus on for the semester, be it fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or academic writing. We will write and share and critique each others’ writing in a casual, constructive atmosphere. The theory side of things will focus less on the rules of writing and more on why an author would choose to write a certain way or about a certain topic. I think I’m gonna like it here.

Now here’s to the rest of my classes today (Modern American Literature, Intro. to Fiction, and Choir) being just as awesome. If not, well, at least I will start my day in a good mood. 🙂

Thankful Thursday: MEGA EDITION!!!

Okay, so as you may or may not have noticed, in the last couple months I have not been keeping up with my weekly Thankful posts. Like, at all. To make up for it (at least a little) I’ve decided that this edition of Thankful Thursday will be MEGA SIZED!!!! In other words, I will list 10 things I’m grateful for instead of three.

#1. Christmas Break

Christmas break gave me much needed time away from class work, and I even got to go home for a week over Christmas and spend time with the family. It was really great to see everyone, and I even got to spend some quality time with my dog. 🙂

#2. Christmas at Grandma’s

My grandma hosts a Christmas every year about halfway through January. This year I was able to go up the night before and help her get ready. I found out that I am related to a bunch of famous people throughout history, most notably: Julius Caesar, the Rockefellers, and a handful of Popes. I also realized that this was the first time she and I were able to hang out one on one, ever.

#3. Interterm Class

Doane has done this weird thing where instead of jumping right into spring semester after Christmas break, we do a three-week interterm class. Class lasts about three hours long every day and is worth 3 credits. It’s usually a fairly interesting class that isn’t offered any other time of the year. This was the last year Doane’s having interterm, so I decided to go with the Psychology of Evil. It was a really interesting class. We tried to get into the minds of murderers, thieves, gang members, and all around ‘bad guys’. The focus was to try to determine if it would be possible for any ‘ordinary person’ to be put in a situation that would cause them to commit even the worst evil acts.

#4. The End of Interterm

As much as I loved my interterm class, it was time for it to end. It was at 9 am every day, and I had to have a paper written for just about every class. Today was the last day of class. It’s time for a change.

#5. Vending Machines

Since my class went from 9-12 every morning and we got a break halfway through, my breakfasts have been courtesy of the basement vending machine. Usually a Mountain Dew and a bag of Crunchy Cheetos. Breakfast of Champions, don’t ya think? I actually loved it. Kudos to whoever it is that keeps them fully stocked. You got me through my class. 🙂

#6. Warm Weather

I live in Nebraska, and for those of you who don’t know, this is a magical place where all four seasons can peacefully coexist in the span of a single week, sometimes, a day. This means that in addition to days with a -30 degree wind chill (not even exaggerating), we get the occasional 40-50 degree day. These are the days I am grateful for. They are a small reminder that spring is on its way, and eventually all will be right with the world once more.

#7. Jake’s Family

Jake and I have been spending a lot of time at his house and with his family. They are amazing. I am so grateful for them and their hospitality. We watch Netflix, do homework, or play cards with Jake’s little brothers. It is also so nice to get a home-cooked meal a couple of nights a week.

#8. Reese’s Cupcakes

I found a box mix for Reese’s cupcakes. They are delicious. That is all.

#9. Netflix

Ahh Netflix. Hours of entertainment, taker of souls, thief of free time…

#10. Jake

In the short time that we’ve known each other, Jake has easily become one of my best friends. We keep each other (relatively) sane, and he keeps me on task. He is the voice in my head (or on my phone) that tells me I need to do my homework, or work on my book, or write a blog post. Without him this blog wouldn’t exist and my grades would have been a lot worse.

Top 5 Things I Learned Over Break

Hey everyone!! Hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. Let’s get started!

1. I totally suck at posting when not at school.

I have found that I am very easily distracted without classes to give structure to my day. It may also have something to do with the lack of Jake constantly reminding me to post. Now that I’m back at school hopefully I will get better about it.

2. My name is Emily, and I am a Netflix-oholic.

When I have hours of free time I tend to binge on entire seasons at a time. In the past month I have rewatched Psych, Supernatural, the Gates, Being Human (the UK version, not the US), and a couple dozen romantic comedies and holiday movies. I have a problem. (I may or may not be watching as I type.)

3. I enjoy training people.

I have been able to pick up a few more shifts at work over break, and in some of those shifts I have been tasked with training the new hires. I don’t know why, but I love teaching the new people what to do. It probably has a little to do with the fact that I get to tell them what to and not actually have to do it myself.

4. I’m not a morning person.

Unfortunately I have early classes all week spring semester and I work opening shifts on the weekends. This will be fun.

5. I am fascinated by serial killers.

My school has an interterm class each January, in each we spend two and a half weeks taking only one class every day. This year I am taking the Psychology of Evil. We discuss and study violent acts and the people who commit them. The goal is to take a closer look at why these acts happen, and what makes ordinary people do them.

Quote of the Day: ‘Us’ and ‘Them’

So, I’ve kinda been on a John Green/Nerdfighteria kick lately. (possibly caused by rereading TFIOS and also presenting my final speech for my Public Speaking class on Nerdfighteria) But anyway, this quote from John is just great.

“There is no ‘Them’, there are only facets of ‘Us’.”

-John Green

DFTBA my friends.

A Very Thankful Thursday

Happy Thankful Thursday everyone!!!! And this week I actually mean it! Today marks the end of finals week, and the end of this semester of school. Hopefully this means that I will be back to posting every day. Anyway, here are three of the things that I am thankful for.

#1. Pizza Party

For my last final of the week, my Public Speaking class, the professor decided to surprise us with Pizza Hut pizza. This was already my favorite class of the semester, and it was a perfect way to end the semester.

#2. Supernatural

I have been a Supernatural fan for many years. I have just recently got Jake hooked, and so now I have an excuse to rewatch the entire series yet again. (Not that that’s stopped me before, but still.)

#3. TFIOS

A couple weeks ago I was shopping with my grandpa at a bookstore. I was looking through the John Green books, (sometimes Nerdfighters stick awesome notes in them), when I came across a SIGNED COPY OF THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I am not ashamed to have done a little happy dance in the store. My grandpa bought it for me as an early Christmas gift. It was just about the greatest thing anyone could have gotten me this year. The only thing that could have made it better was if it had been a Hanklerfish copy. (One in which Hank Green also drew an anglerfish next to John’s signature.)

Thankful Thursday: Undead Dead Week Edition

Hey everyone!

If you’ve noticed the lack of consistent posting this week from me, it is because it is Dead Week, the week right before finals. They call it Dead Week because usually, professors give it to you to prepare for finals. At some colleges classes are even optional this week.

Not at Doane.

Our professors can throw new information at us, add assignments, and do pretty much whatever they what right up until we walk in the door for finals.

It is a very stressful, busy, awful week.

Nevertheless, I promised to be thankful all year, and that includes weeks like this. So here it goes:

#1. The library for lending me markers to finish my project a half hour before it was due.

#2. The fact that the fourth book in the Bloodlines series is out! Hopefully I can get it soon!!

#3. Ball in the House, an awesome a Capella group who performed in the coffee shop on campus tonight and made me calm down and relax for an hour.

Good night, and to all my college student readers: Happy finals week, and may the curve be ever in your favor.