Welcome to the Creative Corner!

Hi! Welcome to the Creative Corner! This is going to be a site devoted to book-lovers like me who are always looking for a good read. I am going to do book reviews, recommendations, list off short stories and post some of my own. If you are looking for a good, reliable source for all things book, you've found it. So, again, welcome! Hope you visit my site again soon!

Monday, March 28, 2016

2 Announcements

I have 2 important announcements; the first is that I've decided to stop posting my stuff for 'Starting a Novel'. It's just too easy for someone to steal my story like that. My other note is that you may have noticed that I haven't been writing reviews and summaries about book sequels. This is because, if you are new to my blog and haven't read the first book and read the synopsis for the second one first, it spoils a bit of the plot line for the original. I don't want to ruin any series reveals. Anyways, I just felt like officially informing everyone of those 2 things; don't worry, there was a method behind my madness!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

* * * */Four Stars (almost five, but not quite)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Humor, Fantasy, Suspense, Danger, Romance, Fiction

Elisa isn't beautiful, good at fighting, or cut out to rule a kingdom even though she is a princess. However, Elisa has been chosen for a remarkable destiny by God himself when she was given the Godstone in her navel at her christening. This makes her a valuable chess piece in a political game; but not necessarily threatening. This is why it's so ironic that, when she is wed off by her father and her older sister to a foreign king in a business agreement, she will become the queen of a nation twice the size of her family's. As she travels away from the only home she has ever known to a strange new land with only a few possessions and her servant and friend Ximena, she begins to realize that her sheltered life has kept her from important truths about bearers of the Godstone and that her new acquaintances in the castle are not all that they seem. In an new world where everyone has their own agenda and she doesn't know who she can trust, can Elisa rise above it all and succeed in her magnificent destiny?
I really enjoyed this captivating and somewhat amusing book by Rae Carson. Brimming with adventure, conspiracies, plots, and magic, 'The Girl of Fire and Thorns' is a story that you won't soon forget.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

'The Book Thief' Epilogue

I have always loved the quote from Mark Zusak's novel, 'The Book Thief' that goes something like this: 'In my line of work, I am always seeing humans at their best and worst, witnessing their beauty and their ugliness, and I wonder how those same things can be both.' (This isn't exactly what the book says, just what I can vaguely remember.) So, in my search for the quote, I found the entire epilogue of the book on a random website (CLICK HERE to go there). I have provided a copy without the notes in between the words here:

It has been many years since all of that, but there is still plenty of work to do. I can promise you that the world is a factory. The sun stirs it, the humans rule it. And I remain. I carry them away.
Liesel Meminger lived to a very old age, far away from Molching and the demise of Himmel Street. She died in a suburb of Sydney. The house number was forty-five–the same as the Fielders’ shelter–and the sky was the best blue of afternoon. Like her papa, her soul was sitting up.
In her final visions, she saw her three children, her grandchildren, her husband, and the long list of lives that merged with hers. Among them, lit like lanterns, were Hans and Rosa Hubermann, her brother, and the boy whose hair remained the color of lemons forever.
It took three hours in the police station for the mayor and a fluffy-haired woman to show their faces. “Everyone says there’s a girl,” the lady said, “who survived on Himmel Street.” A policeman pointed.
The girl left her hold her hand on top of the accordion case, which sat between them. For four days, she carried around the remains of Himmel Street on the carpets and floorboards of 8 Grande Strasse. She slept a lot and didn’t dream, and on most occasions she was sorry to wake up. Everything disappeared when she was asleep.
There was also a rumor that later in the day, she walked fully clothed into the Amper River and said something very strange.
Something about a kiss.
Something about a Saumensch.
How many times did she have to say goodbye?
One morning, in a renewed state of shock, she even walked back down to Himmel Street to find them, but nothing was left. There was no recovery from what happened. That would take decades; it would take a long life.
There were two ceremonies for the Steiner family. The first was immediately upon their burial. The second was as soon as Alex Steiner made it home, when he was given leave after the bombing. That day, on the steps, Alex Steiner was sawn apart.
Liesel told him that she had kissed Rudy’s lips. It embarrassed her, but she thought he might have liked to know. There were wooden teardrops and an oaky smile. In Liesel’s vision, the sky I saw was gray and glossy. A silver afternoon.
Finally, in October 1945, a man with swampy eyes, feathers of hair, and a clean-shaven face walked into the shop. He approached the counter. “Is there someone here by the name of Liesel Meminger?”
“Yeah, she’s in the back,” said Alex. He was hopeful, but he wanted to be sure. “May I ask who is calling on her?”
Liesel came out. They hugged and cried and fell to the floor.
When I traveled to Sydney and took Liesel away, I was finally able to do something I’d been waiting on for a long time. I put her down and we walked along Anzac avenue, near the soccer field, and I pulled a dusty black book from my pocket.
The old woman was astonished. She took it in her hand and said, “Is this really it?” I nodded.
I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race–that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.
All I was able to do was turn to Liesel Meminger and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you.

I am haunted by humans.

Isn't that so beautiful and sad? This kind of reminds me of the last bit of the book 'The Emerald Atlas' by John Stephens, in which Emma, one of the 3 main characters, talks to her siblings about the meaning of life and how the best thing you can hope for in your existence is to love someone and to give what you can to keep on moving forwards. (Sorry about this epilogue. It has been shortened a little bit for the writer on the other pages' purposes, and there's nothing I can do about that. However, there is still enough there to give you a good idea of the entire epilogue.)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Unjournal 33

This is the last unjournal that I will be posting. My class is over, but I had a lot of fun sharing these with you guys! I wish that this was more exciting . . . 

Prompt: Write a sentence with every single word beginning with either a or t.

Response: Amy’s tryouts took about 30min.

Unjournal 27

I'm so sorry that I forgot to post Unjournal 27 earlier. Sorry! Here it is now . . .

Prompt: Create a sentence with words that begin with the letters in sentence, in order. In other words, the first word in the sentence should begin with s, the second with, e, the third with n, etc.

Response: “Sheesh, enough now!” Tamira engaged. “Nina, Cari, Elisa, act your age. This is my wedding, and you are my bridesmaids. Pull yourselves together. I am about to walk down the aisle in 10 minutes, and I need you all to be my composed, assuring moral support. And I can’t have that if you all are fussing over your dresses like toddlers!”

Unjournal 32

Prompt: Write a three-sentence paragraph about the view out an apartment window, without using the word ‘the’.

Response: On 3456 Harvard Street, a criminal was lurking behind a lamppost, hoping to see someone walk outside. Just then, someone did; a thin woman with a big clutch unlocked her door and strolled out. “Watch out!” called my sister, who had witnessed this scene and knew what was about to happen to that poor lady; had it not been for our vantage point in our apartment from that window, that woman would have been mugged for sure.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Unjournal 31

Prompt: A friend has a blind date. You know the date. The person is not the most attractive person in the world but is very nice. Describe the person to your friend in a way that makes the person sound appealing. Be truthful, but don't use the word "nice." Make sure that you are appropriate.

Dear Jake,
Natalie is very interesting and is very involved. She is very outdoorsy and loves the environment. She’s very kind and caring. Natalie is great with animals, and she volunteers at animal shelters often. She takes her dog, Boomer, on hikes. Since I know that you are very athletic, I figured that this is a real plus for you. Also, as a vet, I know that the fact that she has a dog is probably a seller.
Natalie is very good with children. She is very compassionate towards others. In addition to volunteering at the animal shelters and taking hikes on the weekends, she also makes food to donate to the local homeless shelter. Natalie works 5 days a week as a English teacher at the elementary school; she knows what she’s doing when it comes to kids. I’m sure that your 7 year old daughter, Abby, will love her.
I know that it’s been hard since your wife, Melissa, died and left you to raise your daughter alone. But Natalie is really great; she’s a kind, athletic person with a stable job that works with kids for a living. She’s literally the female version of you. What’s not to like? Just keep her in mind.

From, Audrey

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Unjournal 30

Prompt: Update the story of Cinderella. These days, Cinderella wouldn't be sweeping cinders. What would she be doing? She wouldn't be riding in a carriage drawn by horses. What would she be riding in? Retell the story for children in very modern times.

“ELLA!” her step sister cried. “Have you finished the laundry yet?! I don’t have anything suitable to wear today!”
“Ella, I need help with this. Where do I put my fingers . . .” said her other step sister, who was struggling with her flute lessons. She was trying to ‘self-teach’ herself, but it wasn’t going so well.
“Is breakfast ready yet? I TOLD YOU I wanted tea with it; how long does it take to boil water? Those eggs better be perfect!” Scolded her stepmother from around the corner. At least she pretends to bother with me, Ella thought. It could be worse. At least she somewhat tries to be civil enough. Ella’s father was a wealthy businessman who had remarried Harriet and taken in her two daughters. The 3 had been nice enough to Ella while her father was alive, but it was obvious that the majority of Harriet’s love was aimed solely towards her father. Remarkably, Harriet hadn’t married Ella’s father for the money, but because she genuinely liked him. However, when her father had a heart attack a year ago, everyone had been stricken with grief. Harriet, upset that her second husband had died as well, vowed not to get married again. She also vowed, silently, that she wouldn’t love Ella anymore. Ella herself looked and acted too much like her late father, and it was more than her step family could bare. Harriet resolved to make life miserable for her, as did her eldest daughter, Drisa. Ana, the youngest of the two, also kept her distance from Ella for the first couple months, but she had come around. That doesn’t change the fact that she is still hopeless at flute, though . . . Ella thought, the smallest of smiles beginning to grace her face.
“I just asked you about breakfast, Ella! I have to leave for a meeting in 5, and I need you to get the food packed up already. And again, don’t forget the tea!” Harriet shouted once more. The smile that had been about to spread dropped from her lips.
“I’ll help you out, I guess,” said Ana, putting down her flute and coming over to the kitchen. “I know that you hate cooking, and that they only ask you to prepare breakfast to spite you. I’m sorry for that. They don’t mean it, you know. They’ll get over it, I’m sure.”
Ella sighed. “You know that they won’t, right? They never will let it go like you did.”
“ELLA! MY CLOTHES!” shouted Drisa.
“Well, maybe not,” resolved Ana. “But don’t give up hope just yet.”  Just then, Harriet walked into the kitchen.
“Where are my -”
“Right here! Have a great day, mom!” said Ana in a sing-song voice as she pushed the bag filled with food into her mother’s hands and shoved her into the garage.
“Thanks again, Ana,” said Ella, gratefully. “I owe you one.”
“Nah, I owe you; I truly am awful at the flute,” she smirked.
“I’ll say this again. WHERE. IS. MY. LAUNDRY?!” Drisa screamed. Ella groaned.
“I’m coming, Dris!”

- later that afternoon -

“There’s a spring formal! I can’t wait to go! When do you think someone will ask me out, Ana? I mean, not that you’ll have been asked so soon, but . . .” Drisa trailed off.
“Actually, I have been asked out. But I said no.” replied Ana.
“Yep. I said I wouldn’t go unless my sisters were going.”
“But I do plan on going, Ana!” Drisa pouted. “Why did you decline?”
All of my sisters, Dris. Ella isn’t a deadweight. I won’t go unless she goes, too.”
“But -”
“And I know that you wouldn’t go alone.” Ana said triumphantly.
“Fine. I guess . . . she . . . can go with us  . . .” Drisa muttered after a moment.
“THANK YOU!” squealed Ana, throwing her arms around her sister’s neck.
“I’m doing this for you. Because you want her there. But ONLY because you want her there. I still don’t like Ella, anymore,” Drisa mumbled, her head buried in her sister’s shirt.

- 6 days later -

The spring formal arrived, and Ella was allowed to come as well. Drisa made a point to stop ordering Ella around for the week, if only to appease her sister. However, Ella still helped Drisa out with the laundry, cooking, and cleaning, even after everything Drisa had done to her. Drisa was starting to wonder if she had been wrong to go along with her mother for the past year.
“You look great!” smiled Ana, bouncing on her heels. Drisa was wearing a bright pink dress, as if she was trying to stand out. Then Ella walked into the room, the complete opposite. “You both look great.” Ella was wearing a faded blue dress, as if she was trying not to be noticed. She hated dances, but was going for Ana’s sake.
“I know i’m underdressed, but this is going to be as good as it gets, okay?” she began.
“No, it’s alright. You look fine, honest,” said Ana. “I’m just glad both of you are going to be there at all!”
“Yeah . . .” replied Ella, who was fussing with her dress again. “It’ll be . . . fun, I guess . . .”
“Fun. Rigghhhtttt . . .” muttered Drisa. “More like awkward.”

- 30 minutes later -

“Wow!” exclaimed Ella. “This thing is awesome!” They were riding in a limo with Drisa’s date. Ana hadn’t been asked out again, but she didn’t mind. Just sitting there with her siblings was enough.
“Yep!” Drisa laughed, agreeing with Ella for once. “The limo is pretty cool.”
“My sisters, bonding!” Ana cooed, teasingly. “It’s a miracle!”
“Yeah . . . bonding . . .” whispered Ella nervously. “Sure . . .”

- at the dance -

Ella and Ana were having fun so far. Drisa and Ella had gotten along rather well up until about 15 minutes ago, when Dria had gone off to the other room with her date.
“I’m gonna go get some punch, alright!?” screamed Ana over the loud party music.
“Okay! I’m going to the bathroom!” Ella replied at the same volume. “See you in 10!” On her way to the bathroom, she tripped on a shoe. What? she thought. It kinda looks like . . . wait a second . . . As she turned the corner, shoe in hand, Ella found Drisa crying on the floor. “Oh!” she said before proceeding to comfort the crying girl.
“Apparently my date just asked me out because I was ‘an easy target’, I guess. My loss for thinking someone liked me . . .” she explained through sniffles. “I’m an idiot, aren’t I?”
“Not at all,” Ella replied softly. “Don’t feel bad. I’m sure he wasn’t worth it.” And, with that, she slipped the shoe back onto her step sister’s foot. “You’ll get over it.”
“Thanks, I needed that . . .” Drisa uttered, a watery smile gracing her face. Just then, Ana rounded the corner.
“I thought I’d find you here, Drisa! Let’s go back in and find . . . oh! Ella, you’re out here, too!” Never mind the last part, then!” Ana chattered, excitedly, oblivious to her sister’s melt down. “What are you doing here, though?” Drisa looked at her step sister with pleading eyes; she didn’t want Ana to worry about her.
“Nothing. I just . . . came out this way because I wanted to see if there were any activities in this other hall! Yep. That’s totally what I was doing,” Ella felt bad for lying (and lying terribly, at that) to Ana, but the relief on Drisa’s face was worth it.
“Should we rejoin the party?” asked Ana, excitement glistening in her eyes.
“No!” yelped Ella. When Ana looked at her step sister questioningly, she blushed and replied, “It’s getting late. It’s almost midnight, and we should be getting home. Besides, who’s to say that we can’t just stay up and watch movies and stuff there? It’ll be like an unofficial slumber party - you know, sorta . . .” She looked at Drisa, who looked back at her with understanding. Ella had made an excuse for them all to leave, and now Drisa had to decide whether or not to take it.
“That sounds great; I’m in!” laughed Drisa, shakily.
“Great!” Ana beamed. “I just knew that you two would come around! My sisters, agreeing on something for once. Who would have thought?”
“Not me, but that’s alright. This will be fun,” Ella awkwardly mumbled, but with traces of sincerity. “For real this time. I want to try being your sister again, Dris.” A small smile blossomed on Drisa’s face.
“I would like that, I think,” she said slowly. Then, a little faster this time, she repeated, “I would like that a lot.” As the girls boarded their bikes, which they had left at the school that afternoon so they they could ride them back home, Ella looked at her stepsisters - no, her sisters - and she grinned. Maybe they could become real siblings again after all.

Unjournal 29

Prompt: Whine. Bellyache. Complain. Moan. Criticize. Create a conversation that uses some form of each of these words. Can you go the non-cliche route with this conversation?

She looked over her family with intense concentration, silently judging their appearances.
“Your hat is too big and floppy; remove it right now!” the woman remarked to her eldest daughter.
“It’s a sun hat!” she said in a shrill, slightly mad tone. “Don’t criticize my choices!” However, her mother had already moved onto the youngest child.
“Honey, go get different shoes on. We’re going on a vacation to the Bahamas, not to the mountains.”
“But the hiking boots are so cool! Can’t I wear them?” pleaded the little boy, Jake, with a trembling lip.
“No. Go change right away.” the mother responded firmly. Jake ran off down the hall, frowning and mumbling as he went to exchange shoes. He sighed loudly, and a string of complaints followed. Her husband was next.
“Why are you taking your wedding ring; you could lose it! And what about your shirt? It’s long sleeve! I swear, you’re just as bad as the kids, some days . . .” she muttered. As her dejected husband slunk off to change his shirt and remove his ring, she loaded everything into the car.
The trip to the airport was even worse than the preparation.
“My stomach hurts! I have a stomach ache!” screeched 6 year old Jake, who was clutching his belly and moaning.
“I have no WiFi right now!” said Alli slowly, the panic beginning to build up inside of her.
“Are we here . . . or here . . . maybe if we turn right . . . no, left . . . oh, sorry, I guess we missed it . . . or did we?” her husband remarked, trying to puzzle his way through the directions.
Finally, she could bare it no more.
“Everyone SHUT YOUR MOUTHS! I am giving up 6 VACATION DAYS to go on this trip and you all are acting like you’ve never been outside the house before! I WANT TO RELAX! It started off bad this morning, but somehow, over the course of the drive, MY DAY GOT EVEN WORSE! Now everyone keep quiet and don’t say one word until we get there! Harold, dear, give me the directions. I will strangle you if I have to listen to one more sorry sentence out of your mouth. You are terrible at directions, anyways.” After that episode, nobody said another word. Dead silence blanketed the car on the way to the airport.
I can do it, I can put up with my family for a couple of days, right? Or my name’s not Linda Wrightly! she thought, somewhat comforted by this knowledge. If anyone could handle her out of control family, she would.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

(Another) Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Fanfic

Hey, everyone! My first MCGA fanfic went relatively well, and since there's virtually no Magnus and Sam stories, I though 'Why not?' So here is (another) Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard fanfiction. Enjoy!

     It had been a normal day in Valhalla. Training, training, eating, training, and more training. Which was fine, but Sam was getting bored of the lack of variety. All she could do in her time visiting Valhalla, it seemed, was drop off new warriors and watch everyone work on their battle skills. It had been 3 months after their quest for Odin, and nothing had happened. Ugghhhhh . . . Samirah though. I don't care if it's another solo death quest. Even a duel against my father! Just please, please, PLEASE let there be something for me to do . . . 
     Her thoughts were interrupted by Magnus, who turned Jack back into a pendant and sauntered over to her table. As he plunked into a chair next to hers, however, he began to look the slightest bit nervous.
     "So, I guess you heard that I told my cousin everything," he began, looking very uncomfortable again. "And I've been meeting up with her every Saturday in the park."
     "Really? Well, good for you, then. I'm glad that you've been able to visit Annabeth again. But why should that concern me?" Sam pondered.
     Magnus scratched the back of his neck before responding, "I told her last week about my friends and how Blitzen, Hearthstone, and you were all like family, and so she . . ."
     "She, what?" Sam said, subconsciously enjoying his discomfort.
     "Just know that you don't have to say yes."
     "What? Magnus, just spit it out already."
     "Annabeth . . . may or may not have . . . you know, invited/told me to bring you along next time I came to visit her. And I may or may not want you to come with us . . ." Magnus trailed off, but Sam wasn't paying attention any more. They want me to come along to their family thing? Why? I'm just a friend . . . it's way too personal of a meeting . . . Sam wondered. It makes no sense . . . 
     "SAM!" Magnus shouted near her ear. The girl jumped back slightly.
     "Good. I thought for a second you had fallen asleep."
     "No," she said, annoyed. "Just thinking, Magnus. You should try it sometime."
     "Nah, it takes up too much time and energy." He smirked. But then his face turned serious and worried again. "So, will you come?" No. Nope. Nada. Zilch. There is no way that I'm imposing on their . . . 
     "Yes," Samirah blurted out before she knew what she was doing.
     "Great! So, I'll swing by your room at around 2pm tomorrow?" Magnus grinned, the relief evident on his face.
     "Sure, why not?" Sam said, a matching grin beginning to spread onto her lips as well. Apparently it was contagious. And, with that, Sam had something else to do the next day.

- Saturday at 2pm -

     Sam grabbed a random shirt out of her closet and threw on some pants. She had just gotten out of the shower and was rushing to get dressed again. She hastily tied her tennis shoes and shoved her phone into a tiny purse, along with $30 and a book. She pulled a jacket onto her shoulders and then fastened her hair. Just then, Magnus walked in. He's on time for something for once . . . 
     "Ready to go, Sam?" he inquired.
     "Yup. Totally." Not at all. 
     "Really? I though you'd be more nervous. You've never met my cousin Annabeth before . . . she can be pretty intimidating when she wants to be."
     "So I've heard," she replied dryly. "You know what, forget it. Let's just leave. I don't want to think about how your cousin is going to destroy my self-esteem."
     "Oh, it won't just be her. Apparently her boyfriend is coming, too. I hope you're prepared to face down him. I mean, it's my first time seeing him, but Annabeth describes him like he's her own personal guard," he taunted. Why did I agree to go to this? Magnus is an idiot sometimes . . . 

- at the park -

     They arrived at the human park at a little past 2:45. As Magnus spotted his cousin sitting on a bench, he grabbed Sam's hand and pulled her towards Annabeth. His hand was warm, and considering it was almost winter there, it was a welcomed source of heat. She cursed herself for not thinking about how cold it would be in Boston. Why had she dressed like this? It made no sense. Suddenly, Magnus stopped running and took off one of his two coats.
     "Here Sam, take it. I can see you shivering through that thin jacket."
     "Thanks," she mumbled gratefully, blushing as he wrapped the garment over her cold shoulders. Just then, Annabeth turned around and surveyed the area as if she was trying to scout out her cousin. Her gray eyes scrutinized the landscape until she spotted them. She wore a grin of triumph as she saw Magnus' messy blonde hair.
     "Finally!" Annabeth called over the wind as she strolled over to the pair with her hand placed in her boyfriend's. "We've been waiting for forever. I can only keep Seaweed Brain here entertained for so long."
     "Hey!" Percy shouted while gripping his chest, faking offense. "I don't need entertainment! How old do you think I am, 12?"
     "You still drool in your sleep like you're 12, Kelp Head," Annabeth smirked.
     "How would you know?"
     "It doesn't take a genius like me to know that you shall always drool in your sleep, Percy."
     "I don't know, Wise Girl. Maybe you're loosing your touch."
     "Sea scum."
     "Water boy."
     "Mrs. Jackson."
     "What was that, Percy?" asked Annabeth, the slightest bit of pink beginning to show on her cheeks.
     "Nothing . . ." he murmured, his face bright red. He then proceeded to bury his head in her hair to hide the discoloration, not saying a word. Sam had to admit, she felt a lot more at ease around them after watching this exchange. They both weren't nearly as intimidating as she had thought.
     "Let's go back to our apartment," Annabeth finally said after a moment of comfortable silence. "It's way to cold out here to have a conversation. My toes are freezing!"
     "Good idea," Magnus remarked. As they walked across the street, Sam couldn't help but notice the way the couple moved together. Percy's arm was wrapped around Annabeth's waist, drawing her in. Meanwhile, her right hand was clutching a purse, but her other one was tangled up in Percy's hair, dangling just above his neck. It must have been uncomfortable, but the pair didn't seem to mind. I wonder who I'll be walking with like this in a few years, Sam thought. Magnus's face came to mind at first, which made her blush. Just then, the winds began to pick up, and snow started falling. Magnus reached down and brushed some snowflakes off of her head. Surprisingly, she didn't care. It felt . . . nice, somehow, knowing that someone was there to look out for you, even over stupid things, like snow.
     As they reached the apartment, Samirah's hair was whipping all over the place and Annabeth's hat was threatening to fly away. However, it never got the opportunity to do so, because just then Percy swung open the door and flung himself down onto the couch with Annabeth at his side.
     "Home sweet home; you know, for now," he said before kissing his girlfriend on the forehead. "Home sweet home, for sure." There was another period of comforting silence as Percy and Annabeth lay there on their couch, legs tangled up. Magnus and Samirah had sat across from them on another couch. It was much smaller than the other one, so they were pressed against eachother. However, neither one made any motions to indicate that they were leaving.
     "So, Sam, how long have you and Magnus been together? You, little cousin, never told me that you guys were a couple!" Annabeth smiled.
     "WHAT?!" Sam and Magnus screeched at the same time. They then looked down at their hands, which were still intertwined. Apparently they had been holding hands since they left the park. The two blushed heavily and pulled away. Her hand felt cold again almost instantly.
     "Even I can see it," Percy smirked. Oh boy. Here we go. This is going to be awkward . . . 

- a few hours later -

     Annabeth was laughing so hard, she looked like she was about to cry. "And then he fell overboard!" Another round of laughter broke out amongst the 4.
    "Stop embarrassing me!" Percy said, trying to look upset, but his chuckling gave him away. He couldn't keep a straight face for more than 20 seconds.
    "You totally deserved it after the last story, Seaweed Brain!" replied Annabeth, starring at her boyfriend. "Eesh, if you can't take it, don't dish it out!" She stuck out her tongue. "Anyways, you're just jealous because mine is better."
     "Am not."
     "You are, Percy, admit it."
     "Nope. Not at all."
     "Fine, I guess I won't be kissing you for the next week . . ."
     "Okay, I surrender," Percy fake-pouted. "Seriously, though, why are you being so tough tonight?"
     "That was a really harsh punishment. I can't believe you would stoop so low as to -" Percy was cut off by his girlfriend, who had leaned over and kissed him. It effectively shut him up.
     "So," stated Annabeth after her kiss. "Magnus, you tell us a story." Sam groaned. Magnus just smiled evilly. Annabeth had literally just dropped the whole boyfriend-girlfriend theory, and she wasn't ready to give her any more false proof of that.
     "Well, it started off with Sam -"
     "Oh, no."
     This went on for several more minutes, which involved Sam practically murdering him with glares, imagining poking his eyes out, and facepalming herself regularly. Percy and Annabeth kept on exchanging private looks throughout the talk, most of which involved some sort of sideways glance at Magnus and Sam. However, she didn't have enough time to decipher what they meant before her attention was snapped back to the front of the room.
     " . . . and that's the end," Magnus finished, standing up to take a cheesy bow. "Sam, come up on stage for a round of applause; you're the main character, after all." He motioned to the spot in the middle of the room. She rolled her eyes, a small smile on her face, and joined him.
     "I would like to thank my family and friends for this amazing achievement," replied Sam, pretending to cry. "Without them, I might never have been standing here before all of you right now. Thank you. Thank you. I know I'm wonderful, thanks!" She blew air kisses to the imaginary crowd and began walking back to her seat. As she did, though, Samirah tripped over the carpet and ended up flailing into Magnus, who was sprawled out on the small couch. As she looked up and saw that her friend's face was inches from hers, Sam blushed a fire-engine red and pulled away. Magnus seemed to be in a bit of a daze after it.
     "So," Percy said, diffusing the tension. "Who wants dinner and cake?"

- at 8pm -

     After dinner and dessert, everyone went to watch a movie. They were only 20 minutes in, but already Percy and Annabeth were falling asleep. It seemed as if everything the two did was synchronized. They walked together, sometimes finished eachother's sentences, and even fell asleep together. Magnus was correct when he described Percy as being Annabeth's personal guard; with a connection that deep and a friendship that strong, she had no doubts that he would do anything for his girlfriend.
     As the movie dragged on, Samirah could feel herself falling asleep. Her head began to feel heavy and hazy, like her brain was shrouded in mist. She began leaning back into something, but she didn't turn around to see what it was. So . . . tired . . . I really ought to pay attention to the movie . . . What are we even watching anymore? I'm too . . . sleepy to figure  . . . out . . . now . . . thought Sam, who was barely hanging on to consciousness. As the scene finished, she snuggled into whatever was behind her and drifted off to bed.

- at 9pm -

     Magnus was so entranced with the movie he barely noticed that everyone else had dozed off. He looked around the room. The credits were playing softly in the background and his cousin and her boyfriend were all tangled up together, asleep already. He then looked down at Sam, who was on his chest. He couldn't help but smile. The truth was that he had a tiny crush on his best friend. But so what? He had just assumed that she'd never like him that way. However, as Magnus gazed down at her, Sam's sleeping face buried in his shirt and her legs intertwined with his, he thought: Maybe I might have a chance with her after all. With that, Magnus brushed the hair out of her face and starred at her until he fell asleep like everyone else.

- at 11pm -

     Percy and Annabeth miraculously awoke at the same time. As they got up, preparing to move to their bedroom, Annabeth looked over at the sleeping duo.
     "Should we wake them up?" she pondered.
     "Nah. Let them sleep; they deserve it," her boyfriend replied. "They remind you of anyone?"
     "Yeah," she smiled back. "Us."
     "Yep. And look where we ended up. They'll be fine."
     As they went back to bed in their actual bed, Annabeth looked at them one more time and whispered, "I called it."

- in the morning -

     "Wha-" Sam said sleepily as she arose from her slumber. "Where am - oh." She blushed gently as she realized that she was on top of Magnus. They were so wrapped up together that she couldn't move without shoving him as well. Yesterday had really confused her. Before, she was confident that she didn't like her best friend at all; not in that way. But now she wasn't so sure. And Samirah hated uncertainty.
     She settled for observing her surroundings. After looking around a bit, she saw that everything was how she left it; except for the fact that Annabeth and Percy had gone back to their rooms. She stopped looking around then and instead looked at her friend. He was so close she could practically kiss him. Wait, what did I just think? She evaluated Magnus's face for the first time. He's actually . . . handsome, I guess. And this is kinda nice . . . 
     Just then, Magnus woke up. instead of getting up, her unconsciously starred at her as if drinking in the fact that she was still there. Then his eyes widened again.
     "Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry Sam! I should have moved you last night, I just didn't want to wake you up, I . . ." and at that point, she stopped listening. For a moment, he looked at her like he liked her, in a way that no one had ever looked at her before. And, before she knew what she was doing, Sam kissed him, straight on the lips. He, shocked but responsive, kissed her back. When it stopped, her whole body felt warm and tingly, all traces of the cold dissolved.
     "Wow is right," she laughed shakily.
     "So, where does this leave us?" he asked, nervous. She simply smiled and held his hand. It answered his question quite effectively.

- leaving the apartment -

     When they left the apartment, Sam had only one request.
     "Magnus," she asked, her cheeks stained pink from both the cold and worry. "I know this sounds stupid, but could you . . . possibly . . . hold my hand?"
     "Of course, Sam," he laughed, and the new couple walked away through the snow left behind from the storm of last night.
     As they left, Annabeth turned to Percy again and smirked after the two. "Yep, I definitely called it."

So, how was it? Good, bad, mediocre? Be sure to let me know!

Unjournal 28

Prompt: If you could create your own animal, how would you describe it? Create a unique animal, take a screenshot and then tell us: the animal's name and then create a ‘wildlife description’ of your animal (what it eats, where it lives, etc.) Try to mimic the voice of a typical wildlife description!

Response: For the first time ever before seen on screen, here is the exotic cheatus lupis, otherwise known as a Cheetog. It has the head of the ever intelligent breed, the Old English Mastiff, and the legs and tail of the swift hunter, the cheetah. Through some mistake of evolution, a subspecies of both the Mastiff and the majestic cheetah was formed. This creature has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to nearly any habitat; it can run free in the sahara, swim along the shores of icy Greenland, and strut through any city as a pet. Its thick fur, thin (yet strong) legs, keen eyesight, webbed paws, and incredible nose provide it with what it needs to be prepared for virtually anything. This animal eats anything edible - and even some thing that aren’t, like shoes - due to its high tolerance for most things that animals would be allergic to; for example, poisonous berries and onions don’t phase the creature. Its temperament is very mellow; it has shown no signs of aggravation, even after being openly provoked in several aggression tests that animal trainers investigating it have orchestrated. The name of this specific Cheetog is Ramesus. This has been Audrey Alspach, reporting live from the North American Plains. Now back to the weather. (Sorry that this screenshot isn't cropped.)

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Knightley Academy

* * * * */ Five Stars

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Suspense, Danger

In a world filled with far off places, hidden kingdoms, princes, and dark secrets, going to the Knightley Academy is every boy's dream. It is where youths learn to become knights and aspire to live lives of adventure and excitement while serving their country. Henry Grim is a servant that has been tutored secretly by a professor at his assigned workplace, the Midsummer School for boys (and snobby ones, at that). When the Knightley Academy test rolls around to Midsummer again, like every year, each boy in the exam fails the admission test. Except for Henry, who solved each problem with flying colors, even though he worked in the kitchens. Henry accepts his scholarship and makes his way to the prestigious school, where he is immersed in a world of tough competition, sabotage, lies, betrayal, disbelief, shocking discoveries, and real friendship for possibly the first time in his life. Will he be able to find out why someone is so determined to stop him from attending before the hunt costs him so much he can't turn back, or will Henry be able to rat out the true saboteur at Knightley before he's kicked out for good?
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Although I expected it to be slow going at the beginning but interesting overall, 'The Knightley Academy' by Violet Haberdasher immediately gripped me and didn't let go. This book is a fast-paced, inventive story that proves that your status and circumstances don't determine your future. If 'The Pennyroyal Academy' and 'Harry Potter' had a baby, this novel would be it.

Unjournal 26

Prompt: The letters tion are very common at the end of English nouns. Write a FOUR LINE poem in which each line ends in a tion word (If you're on a roll, go ahead and make the poem longer than four lines).

It was a call to action,
A scream, a mere rendition,
Of pain; a hero was needed upon elaboration.
They may have not succeeded at first, but through collaboration,
And battling, trying, and winning, they found their vindication.

Unjournal 25

Prompt: Finish this sentence three different ways, creating a different feeling with each sentence: As Antonio opened the door, he gasped to see…

. . . nothing; the room was entirely empty. Strange. He could have sworn that this room was full of furniture.
. . . his dog, Holly, who had been rolling around in mud and was now spreading it around his sheets.
. . . a strange woman dressed in rags and covered in dirt, who was too busy concocting something in a large mixing bowl in his kitchen to notice him.

Unjournal 24

Prompt: Unjournal 24: If you could be any celebrity for a day (living or dead) who would you be and why?

Response: If I could be any celebrity, I would want to be Sandra Bullock. I say this because I think that she’s funny (not always, but still . . . ), beautiful, not insane yet, and that she has a lot of acting opportunities and a job that I would love to have. If I were her for a day, I would totally be enjoying her fame, fortune, and occupation, and I would milk it for all it was worth.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Unjournal 23

Prompt: Describe something that can always make you happy when nothing else can, but don't use the name of it. We will try to guess what it is.

Response: It isn’t exactly big, flashy, or impressive to look at. It has a beat-up cover and a tiny spine, but it means the world to me. I got it when I was 8 at the insistence of my mother. I had a gift card to spend and she kept telling me that I would like it until I gave in. When I opened it up, I couldn’t understand any of it. But as I got older, I realized that it was probably one of the best things I have ever read. It was about space travel, other worlds, family, mystical creatures, mind control, and so much more that rolled itself up into one amazing story. Now, whenever I am upset, I can prop it open, flip through the pages, and begin to feel better. (In case you don't know what it is, the object is Madeline L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time'.)

If you guys want to know what 'A Wrinkle in Time' is about, CLICK HERE to see my summary of the story.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Unjournal 22

Prompt: Your unjournal for today is to go to this discussion board in the link below and follow the instructions. (In other words, go to this page where there are other flash fiction stories from the class and post your own.)

My flash fiction story:
Lani, as a shy 12 year old girl whose mother had just passed, came into the shelter looking for a friend. She found one in Coco, the sweet yet feisty puppy that she saw rolling around in the back of the cage, apart from her siblings. Instantly Lani knew that this pup was a lone wolf as well, and she connected with the little dog.
“I want that one,” Lani proclaimed triumphantly, pointing in the direction of the small black and white dog. Coco practically jumped into her arms. Yep, this one's a keeper! Lani reflected.
When she was told that they would be moving 3 years later, Lani was beyond upset. She cried for hours in her room until Coco came in and just laid beside her like a giant stuffed bear to hug. Lani gripped the dog tightly, and Coco licked her hands. At least my only friend is coming with me, she thought.
Then, at 18, Lani experienced her first heartbreak. Lani was to the point where she had stopped going outside and eating. It was only when Coco tugged at Lani’s pants, grabbed the leash, and shoved her out the door did Lani leave the house. And it was then that Lani stopped feeling so bad.
Lani went to college another year later, and Coco came with her to the campus. Her beloved companion helped keep her awake during studying time by nipping at her heels. Because of that, Lani never passed out or failed a class.
The two moved into their first real house together in the fall. It was a fixer upper for sure, but there was a distinct charm that it radiated unlike any other on the block. Lani would move the boxes and work on fixing up the old home well into the wee hours, but wherever she went, Coco would follow, determined to stay up with her best friend.
Finally, Lani got married at age 23, over ten years after she had first gotten Coco. Since then, they both had grown up. Lani now had a serious job, a child on the way, and a wedding ring. She had moved up and on. Coco had, too. But she had served her purpose. She had given the upset, sad, lonely girl something else to look forward to and to live for. And now she wasn’t needed.
Coco was completely ready to move on by spring. She had lived her life, and it was time to pass. However, she was alright with it, inside of her furry heart. For even death couldn’t break the bond of a dog and her girl.
Tears were shed like Coco’s thick fur upon her passing. Lani was besides herself, distressed that her best friend and protector for all these years was gone. She didn’t know how she would live anymore; she owed Coco a lot.
A year later, Lani went to the pet shop. She saw a black and white puppy in the window, and she smiled.