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!!!

Thankful Thursday: The Little Things

So the last couple weeks have been extremely busy and stressful for me. But instead of dwelling on the negative, I’ve decided to look for all the little things that make life better.

This first set shows the good things that came out of the fact that I was stuck in Crete for two nights, the first due to a car malfunction at 2 am, and the second due to a blizzard.

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I mean seriously, how does this even happen??

#1. I saved money on gas because…

#2. I didn’t have a commute to school.

Because of this I was able to…

#3. Sleep in (a little) and

#4. Eat breakfast

#5. By the time I was able to leave on Wednesday, I had three different offers from friends to let me crash on their couch until the roads cleared.

 

The rest of these are random things helped get me through the last week:

#6. Kitten Pictures/Gifs on the Internet (Because, adorable. )

#7. People Who Say Have a Nice Day and Mean it (Seriously, this means a lot.)

#8. Warmth and Sunshine (it finally went from -10 degrees to 50 degrees today.)

#9. Girl Scout Cookies (because, Girl Scout Cookies.)

#10. Good Books (I just finished the Divergent series.)

#11. The Sound of a Choir Singing Gospel Chords (This is just beautiful.)

#12. Hank Green Songs (Especially a Song About and Anglerfish)

#13. Pay Checks (I mean, who doesn’t like getting money?)

#14. Mountain Dew (Caffeine. ‘nuf said.)

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.

Top 5 Best Things I’ve Seen in a College Classroom

Here at Doane I have seen a lot of weird things, both in classrooms and out. Here is a list of some of the most awesome things I have seen.

5. Snapchat

We were doing an experiment in my science class where we were measuring the acceleration of a student rolling down a ramp on a wheeled cart. The guy who was supposed to hold the cart at the top of the ramp was doing so with one hand while on his phone with the other. When asked what he was doing he replied matter-of-factly, “I’m Snapchatting.”

4. Yarn

In many classes on many occasions, I have seen multiple students crocheting and/or knitting during class. I have been one of them.

3. Facebook Stories

One day, in a particularly boring Shakespeare class, I looked around the room and saw just about every student was on Facebook, either on their laptop, tablet or smartphone. I got on Facebook after class and saw the following status/conversation, entirely from my fellow classmates:

Student 1: It’s Only Two O’Clock? A play written by [Professor’s] Shakespeare Class
  • Student 2: Memoirs of a Collectively Shared Depression.
  • Student 1: With such rousing essays as “What the Heck is a Construct” and “Can’t We Just Watch the Movies?”
  • Student 3: Along with Walking Out of the Class as a debatable topic.
  • Student 4: Don’t forget to grab a coffee during intermission! Seriously though…you’ll need it
  • Student 1: A monologue entitled “YES I REALLY DO WANT THREE SHOTS OF ESPRESSO”
  • Student 4: And the heart-wrenching scene where the heroine can’t decide whether to hide in the bathroom for the rest of the hour or be brave and return to the hell of CM 02
  • Student 1: Stick around for the stunning conclusion “I Still Don’t Know What’s Going On”
  • Student 5:  I’m just surprised there isn’t a class within a class within a class.

This wasn’t the first or last time this has happened.

2. Sing-Alongs

My freshman year I had to take a music theory class as part of a scholarship. The class was filled with mostly music majors, and the was a piano in the room. On more than one occasion, someone would start playing a song, others would start singing, and before long the entire class was harmonizing and/or drumming along. I lived in a real life musical, and it was great.

1. Machine Guns

In one Stagecraft class, the entire class was going over a test we had recently taken. I happened to look across the room and saw my friend, who was Prop Master for the upcoming play, casually painting the tip of a machine gun, with an entire arsenal at his feet.

Top 5 Songs on My iPod

They say what kind of music a person listens to says a lot about them. I listen to just about everything, so what does that say about me? To give you a taste of what I mean when I say everything, here are my top 5 most listened to songs on my iPod.

5. Populism Yea Yea!

(sorry for the swearing)

Favorite Line: “We’ll take the land back from the Indians. We’ll take the land back from the French and Spanish, and other people in other European countries, and other countries too, and also other places! … I’m pretty sure its our land anyway….”

This is the opening song from the rock musical, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Doane did this show my freshman year, and I fell in love with everything about it. The musical successfully melds punk rock and history, manages to offend every subgroup of people in the process (Blacks, Whites, Asians, Native Americans, handicapped people, you name it) while simultaneously providing a commentary on the current American government. I definitely recommend see the show at least once in your life.

4. Losing My Religion

Favorite Line: “Oh no I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough.”

Yes, this is the Glee version. Yes, I was a closet Gleek in high school. Don’t judge me! I absolutely loved the show, and watched religiously up until they made it to New York. After that they took the plot in so many new places and added too many new people and I started losing interest. Every time I listen to this song I feel a twinge of sadness, remembering that the guy singing is now deceased.

3. Falls Apart

Favorite Line: “She cries, she falls apart, ’til the one that she loves is back again.”

Sorry this song isn’t on YouTube, or it seems, anywhere else on the internet. So here is a link to a clip you can listen to instead.

This is from a Christian rock group called After the Order that popped up around my home town while I was in junior high/high school. They were my first ever concert. And my second. And my third. They played at my school’s “School’s Out Bash”, my town’s annual festival, and a small concert in a local church. I thought it was so awesome, because afterwards, they would just hang out with the audience, chatting, and signing things for hours. They were fairly small time, but they did have a song or two on the radio.

2. Wizard Love

Favorite Line: “I’ll slither up to you, you can be my lion cub.”

Meekakitty and HeyHiHello created this song, and it is one of many wizard rock songs I love. (For those of you who don’t know, wizard rock is a genre that has popped up around the Harry Potter series.) This song tells the unlikely love story between a Slytherin and a Gryffindor, two people who should dislike each other on pure principle.

1. Rock Star

(More swearing, a lot more swearing)

Favorite Line: “There’s no place in democracy for your brand of aristocracy. Take that sh*t back to Virginia!”

Another song from Bloody Bloody! This song takes place during Jackson’s campaign for president. Once again, great musical and I think everyone should watch it if they get the chance.

Other Songs I Love That Didn’t Make the List!

  • Carry on my Wayward Son- Kansas
  • Come Sail Away- Styx
  • Piano Man- Billy Joel
  • The Good Die Young- Billy Joel
  • I Write Sins not Tragedies- Panic! at the Disco
  • BFFF- Bowling for Soup
  • One Week- Bare Naked Ladies
  • Cell Block Tango- Chicago, the Musical
  • Endless Night- Lion King on Broadway
  • A Song About an Anglerfish- Hank Green

Harry Potter, Politics, and High School Speech Meets

Yay! It’s my first My Life Monday! The day where I get to tell you more about me!!

Every day I spend the lunch hour sitting in the campus coffee shop in a circle of couches, surrounded by music and theatre majors.

Theatre (and music) kids, in my opinion, are the best friends you can have. I have found that they are about the most accepting, eclectic, and crazy people (on our campus, at least). Our conversations can range from normal, to philosophical, to ranting, to humorous, to alarmingly inappropriate and back again all in a span of five minutes or less.

Most of us have competed in high school speech, and many are judges now, so today we had a 20 minute discussion on what poems, programs, and scripts work in competitive speech, and which ones should just never see the light of day again. Meanwhile, I was crocheting on one couch while someone else was knitting. Several people were on tumblr and would occasionally interrupt someone to share a particularly funny gif with everyone. People left and people joined, but the flow of conversation never ceased.

And then suddenly we were on the topic of Harry Potter.

I  love that I have the type of friends that not only know exactly which Hogwarts House they are in, but can seriously discuss the pros and cons of each, then seamlessly shift into a friendly debate over the current American political system.

I never know what I’m going to hear in conversations. We are equally likely to discuss the thematic and symbolistic meaning behind a specific character in a play or novel as we would be to have a dead baby joke competition.

I love my lunch hours with my friends, because I know whatever I say or do I will be accepted.