other bits of blog

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the annoyance that comes with studying

Well, that's what happens! In reading at my school we are doing a civil rights unit (freaky but totally worth the learning), and I started to write a civil rights story. Also, I'm reading 'The Secret Life Of Bees' (not for school), and it might be based a little on that. And for those of you who haven't read this book, you have to do it now, it's really good. So is the movie.

Anyway, this story is called 'Turn Away'. It's about a 13-year-old girl who lives in Minnesota. But she goes to visit the mother that she's never met before for the summer. Her mother lives in Savannah, GA. And Nevada (the main character) makes friends with Harper, who is her mother's maid's daughter (I know, really confusing, but you'll get it once you read it). And I should probably just give you the story, right now...



Turn Away

One
I don’t understand how those men never said sorry. How could they have forgotten? I never will, unlike most. I’ll never forget the day I was stripped and left bare, except for the one person I had never met. Some people try to wipe their memories clean of anything bad that stepped in their path. Some people block it out, but never forget it. And others turn away, and hide the truth.


****

I stepped off the train in the middle of the afternoon in Savannah, Georgia. The day was hot, stifling, and dry. “Do they have snow in the south?” I wondered out loud to myself.
“Snow?” asked a girl, near my age. She was black, with long hair tied up in ringlets. Her eyes were dark green, and the sage colored sundress she wore matched perfectly. “Is snow that fluffy white stuff that falls from clouds like rain?”
I nodded. “Only, it’s cold, like ice. But softer than ice, you know,” I answered, still wondering who she was.
“I don’t know.” The girl smiled, revealing a gap between her front teeth. I wondered if she was as old as me, after all.
“Oh,” I said, confused. How does someone not know what snow is? “By the way, I’m Nevada. I’m looking for Dinah, Dinah Gardener, she’s my mother.”
“Then I’m the right person to pick you up, Miriam sent me,” she said.
“Miriam?”
“She’s my Momma. And she’s your Momma’s maid. Oh, and I’m Harper.”
I nodded again.
Harper liked to talk, but without explaining anything. I still didn’t understand how my mother was here, and exactly who Harper was, and how she was even connected to me and Dinah. I guess I would just ask Dinah when I saw her. But where was Dinah? I just hoped I could trust Harper, ‘cause I did.
Harper picked up one of my bags while I held the other. She pointed towards a dirt road that seemed to stretch on and on forever. I grimaced. I actually had to walk down that thing? Back home, we didn’t have to do that, we could drive Dad’s car.
I missed Dad. But he said that I would be home soon. After all, I was only spending the summer here. I admit, though, that before that day I had never met my mother. She left our home in Minneapolis, Minnesota the week I was born.
Harper broke the silence. “So…” She left the word hanging in the air, trembling on her lip, and about to fall and shatter like glass. I knew I had to answer.
“So, what?” I asked.
“No, silly, just so!”
“So?”
“So what?” she asked, and we both burst out laughing. I could tell that I liked Harper.
But I wondered about Dinah (that was what I called her, since I had never met her). Would she look like me? How would she act? Was her hair red, too? I had no idea. Harper and I talked for the next mile or so. She told me about her mother, Miriam, who was as fat as a cow (except she said ‘roly-poly’), and her jet-black hair, which was softer than Harper's. She said that she would probably be jealous of it ‘till the end of time. I laughed and asked her if she was so sure.
Then Harper told me about Dinah. She said that she knew right from the start that I was Dinah’s daughter. Dinah looked exactly like me, with dark blue eyes and dark, rich red hair. And she was short, but sturdy, as I was. And her middle name was Faith, just like me.
We stopped talking when the road ended. The dirt road, actually. It blended into gray asphalt that ran through a city. A Georgia city, dirty, dry, and hot as heck, but a city nonetheless. Harper ran through the streets quickly, with me trying to catch up behind her. I was never a fast runner, and it was hard to beat someone as skinny as Harper. She looked like a stick. Still, it was nice to feel the wind in my hair and my suitcase swinging at my feet. I smiled.
As we ran through the busy street, I caught sight of shop windows. I read, ‘Groceries’, ‘Pharmacy’, and used ‘Used Clothes’. But I also saw a large amount of bathrooms and water fountains, back to back. One said ‘Coloreds Only’ and the other ‘Whites Only’. Why were there two separate water fountains? I had heard of segregation, but only as rumor. In Minnesota, blacks and whites are together. I slowed down, thinking.
“Harper, is it true that there’s segregation down here?” I asked, scared. Harper stopped and looked at me, long and hard. It felt like she was a hawk, about to swoop.
“You’re sayin’ they don’t have no coloreds and whites places back in them snow states?” I nodded, frowning. “We treat blacks as equal as us,” I stated proudly. “Well down here we don’t, and you’d better just hang low. There’s trouble for them who talk back ‘gainst segregation. Lots of trouble,” Harper whispered, the smile gone from her face.
We walked on in silence. I started worrying. Did people treat Harper and Miriam badly? I didn’t want to think about it. I made up my mind right there and then that I would stand up for blacks’ rights, even though it was dangerous. I didn’t care. I just didn’t want to see Harper get hurt.

Neither do I. I just hope my story convinced you, too. Do you like it? (comment!) And maybe become a follower...

Friday, January 22, 2010

i think i needed to write


Hey, you all! I wrote a couple pages tonight. And I found out that my story is 10 pages long, at least on Word, it is...
You know which story I'm talking about. Oh, come on, how can you not? It's the best one! Diana, Mica, magic. Okay, now you figured it out.
And now you can read the other, um, seven or eight pages. Nope, nu-uh. You can't read this first. Refresh your memory. I want you to get the whole picture! So read, this first, this second, and this third.
Then you can go down.
Plus, I started at the beginning of a paragraph. Now will you agree? Okay, get started!


Dancing With Thieves
Mica sits on a large, black leather-bound chair. When he sees me, he smiles. His coal black hair flops in front of his eyes, and I reach to my neck to play with that amber necklace that I always wear. It brings me luck. I look at him and I get that feeling again. The feeling that I trust him, even though I know nothing about him. The feeling that I could follow him anywhere. The feeling that when I look into his eyes, I see my own.
Three
Diana
She was born on March third, 1921, at 11:11 PM, in Oxford, England. The day, or rather night, was surprisingly mild for the beginning of March, even though it was one of the worst downpours the city had ever seen. The first crocus of the year had just pushed itself out from the ground, cracking the snow, and painting it with colors.
The mother had touched the crocuses that very morning, as she went out for a breath of fresh air. She had bent down over her swollen belly and brushed a purple crocus with her fingertips. It seemed to unfold at her touch, and she knew it was a sign.
At exactly 7:53 PM, the labor began. It lasted only about three or four hours. And at 11:11, she pushed her own way out of the snow. And the mother held her in her arms as she cooed and teased. The father was there, leaning over the mother’s shoulder. And he knew, as he saw this little girl, even before he looked into her dark blue eyes, that she was born to him. She was born to dance with the spies and the thieves and the traitors. He knew.
As the child grew older, her sapphire eyes changed color. They became darker and darker until all that was left was a deep lavender. Her eyes were purple. By the time that happened, the girl had turned five. She grew quickly, as did her hair. The girl’s hair was fire red, and seemed to grow an inch a night. By the time she turned seven, her hair was to her knees. At first she refused to cut it. The young girl couldn’t bear to lose that part of her, that fire.
But she agreed once her father told her what was inside of her. The fire there was even stronger, and the girl was delighted. She cut her own hair the next day, singing of course, while raising her left hand. He father watched and yearned. All his life he had wished to be as his great great grandfather had been. He longed for magic. But he had none.
Then the father remembered the boy in school. He had it, too. But he didn’t use it for a good cause. He used it to hurt others. The father had been one of Edmond’s main targets. He was small, he was weak, and he couldn’t fight back, no one could. So the father had left and for years he had trained himself, so he could be ready to meet Edmond, but he never saw him again.
Time seemed to fly by for the young girl. Her mother was kind and a good cook, but her favorite was her father. The girl’s father taught her all he knew. By the time she was ten, she could pick the pocket of any man even better than her father. But he also taught her mathematics, astronomy, history, and three languages. By the time she was thirteen, the girl spoke them all fluently. That same year the girl stopped being a girl and became woman. One day she woke to find blood covering her sheets. Thinking she was wounded, she showed her mother, who was also a doctor. The mother just laughed and explained the cycle of womanhood to her daughter. At first the girl, a woman now, was puzzled. She didn’t understand why. But eventually she learned to accept it.
When she was fourteen, the girl met a boy. He lived in Oxford as well. But he had moved there the following year. Curious, she skipped over to see him. They started courting. And she kissed for the first time. A month later, he left Oxford. The girl was heartbroken. But she forgot him, by and by, what with her studies to keep up, and now this annoying fault of becoming a woman.
On her fifteenth birthday, the girl was given a necklace from her father. It was amber, shining against her hair. She clasped the cord around her neck, and kept it on all the time.
And that very night, the night that her magic became the strongest it had ever been, it started to pour. It seemed like there was a knock on the door. The girl went to open it. All she saw was rain, then it went black.
The rain was as hard and dark as the night that the girl was born, the night that Diana Wesley was born.

Don, don, don, don. (Hee, hee, I can't help saying that. I mean, it's not really supposed to be dramatic, but, there you go, that's just me.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

a cappella

Sunshine! Sunny days! Warmth! See, even Isis is cold. 


Anything is all I ask! When I say anything, I mean anything, even a cappella. Actually, a cappella is one of my favorite types of singing. Maybe that's why I wrote about it. But who knows, I don't even know why I write. The words just pour out, I guess.
Anyway, you all know what a cappella is, singing without instruments. Are any of you musical, did you sing a cappella, or even sing in high school? Is there even anyone reading this? Oh, well, I hope so. This is one of the better ones (my story, I mean).
You're probably hanging on my every word, waiting to read it, because you know I have a gift. Then again, maybe not. The only thing that could help me know that you do like me, my writing, or my blog, is if you comment! So please, please be kind and tell me what you think. Good or bad, I just can't achieve my goal without feedback! I need it, people!
 And you need my story, my a cappella story, because I've been rambling on, and all you want to do is get to my story. I'll just stop, right he—


Of Notes and Rhythm [temporary title]
Pathways


You have to know about Pathways. Pathways, meaning Niko, Aza, and Paige. Pathways, meaning the soul of this story. You have to know about them. Niko is tall and willowy, with waist length black hair and dark sapphire eyes. Her face is pointed and angular, with a small red mouth, and a husky voice that pours out when she sings. There is an air of sadness around Niko always. Everyone suspects that she just hates high school, which she does, but Aza is the only one who knows her secret. Aza has a round, brown face, and thick, shoulder-length dark brown hair. Her eyes are a bright sage green, the tips of her tall, stocky, and very slightly plump body. Aza prefers to wear dark, earthy colors that blend with her skin, but not her voice, which is liltingly high, like a nightingale. Paige is a little bit short, but not really, with a compact and energetic body, that makes her look much more hyper than she really is. She would rather take a walk in the sun, read a book, or sing with her smooth, somewhat low voice, too much like honey to be real. Her straight, strawberry red hair is cut to her normal chin, on top of a normal body with normal rich brown glasses that match her eyes. But none of them are normal. They are Pathways.



"Bozo," she muttered softly, as a fat, sweaty senior bumped into her. His green basketball uniform stunk of the boy's locker room. How could he have even made it into high school, let alone the basketball team? Then again, I'm not that far from a sucker, either, thought Niko Cherry.

Niko hated high school. She was a sophomore, sixteen, not obsessed enough to be worrying about college, and not stupid like she was last year, too amazed about the fact that she was in high school, when it was really this sweaty, stinking, drab and annoying place. At least, that's what she thought.

"Cherry!" A brown girl ran up to her, smiling. Aza was Niko's best friend. They had been friends since, well, the year before. She was one of the smartest kids in the school, sometimes even smarter than seniors. And she was the only one who could ever make Niko laugh.
"Aza, hey! Let me guess, A plus in Latin?" Today was the day that they got their grades for the semester, since that day was the day they left for spring vacation. Thank God, thought Niko.

"No," Aza answered, her face frowning. "Just an A. A plain, stinking A!" Niko laughed. She knew her friend was happy about her grade. "You?" Aza continued.

"Me? Latin? Um, I got a—a—fine. I got a D," grumbled Niko. She smiled and stopped in front of the many dreary, tan lockers in the hallway. "I have to put my books away, then we can go outside for lunch," she explained to Aza.
"Okay, I'll wait," giggled Aza. She never went anywhere without her books. Unlike Niko, she preferred to study during lunch. Niko would normally sit with her, complaining until Aza gave in and tromped down to the stage, and together hey sang in front of their imaginary audience, bowing and laughing.
Today, though, Niko planned other things. She thought that on the last day at Brendan High (at least until May) should be celebrated.
"No, you should put your books away. I have something special for us to do," Niko told her friend, smiling. Aza walked to her locker and threw her books inside. Then she followed Niko down the hall.
Niko took Aza to the theater, like normal.
“What’s so special about this?” asked Aza, gesturing to the stage, “We go here all the time.” Niko just smiled. Then she led Aza to the stage, still smiling.
“Um, Cherry, this isn’t special at all,” said Aza as she followed her friend.
“Wait, I’m telling you, wait,” answered Niko. She walked up the stairs to the stage, then behind the curtain. Aza, like always, took the shortcut backstage and opened the curtain. When she came back, though, there was someone with Niko on the stage.

“Cherry!” she called, “Cherry, who’s that?”
Niko didn’t answer. Aza was puzzled, but stepped closer until she was on the stage. There stood Niko, and a girl Aza didn’t know. Aza didn’t exactly care about the girl, but something in her brown eyes drew Aza in. They reminded her of hot cocoa with cinnamon in the middle of winter.
“Meet Paige,” said Niko.

Aza pulled Niko aside. “Paige, we have to talk for a second,” she explained.
Once they were on the edge of the stage Aza burst. “Why the heck is she here? I thought it was only us, forever. Only us and Pathways.”
Niko frowned. “But we need someone else. You can’t have an a cappella group with only two people! Look, just listen to Paige’s voice, then you can decide,” she shot back at Aza. Aza grumbled, but walked back.

“Fine then,” she said, “I take it you know all about Pathways, correct?” Pathways was the name of Aza and Niko’s a cappella group.

“Yeah, sure,” answered Paige. Her voice was soft and low.
Niko said this girl has a good singing voice, and it doesn’t sound like it, thought Aza.
“Sing,” she said out loud.
And she did. Paige sang like it was her last day on Earth, every word, and every note perfect. There was no instrument to tell her what key, nothing there. But Paige still sang. Her voice was low and gruff, but it was sweet, like a lullaby. Aza didn’t know what to think. She just stood still and listened, entranced by Paige’s voice.
Niko looked at Aza, smiling. She knew what Aza was thinking; Niko had thought exactly the same thing when she had heard Paige for the first time. Paige had been singing in the hallway, and Niko had noticed. She paid special attention to singing, especially since she thought that she, Aza, and now Paige were the only people in the school who could sing a cappella, and really sing it.
When Paige finished singing, Aza actually clapped, and she wasn’t one to give complements easily, this meant that Paige was in.
Paige smiled. It felt good to be finally noticed by someone. There was only one thing that she was worried about, because they would think she was a hero or something. After all, isn’t that what people do when they find out you have perfect pitch? She decided not to tell them for the time being, but knew they would probably find out. She forgot about everything, though, when Aza came over to her and shook her hand.
“Welcome to Pathways,” she said.

Welcome to the comments box. It’s as easy as typing what you think and publishing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

breathe once

Well, anyway, I was writing more in my poetry journal. And we had to write an autobiographical poem. Autobiographies scare me. I mean, I know I have a blog and everything, but how are you supposed to write about yourself and your personality? How can you even express yourself in words that way? But isn't that why I became a writer? Life is the mystery that is waiting to be solved, but somehow we never want to solve it. The rules, the friends, the cries, they are all part of it. We don't want to let them go. But sometime we need to. Sometime we need to let everything go and forget and forgive. We need to strip down to who we are inside and feel ourselves. That time happens for all of us though, when we know nothing. All we feel is love. I don't remember feeling this, but I know it from photos and stories. And somehow I feel I will travel back there someday. Then I will feel it again, and remember.
The rules: Write an autobiographical poem about a time in your life. Here is mine.

Breathing Once
Water bursts
Screams sound
Squirming
Struggling
Dark places leave my mind
Filled only with love
For her
The curls
Damp and sweet
Her eyes
Brown and dark
And for him
Smiling as he never will
And never has
Teeth grinning
His nose against mine
I taste tears
And gulp in
The warm air
I will do it again
Many times
But for now
I breathe
Once

And then Toby is coming back! Tomorrow! I just hope she'll share her poems with me.
I hope you will, too!

Monday, January 4, 2010

better get started

It's the new year. Many things come with that. A time to change who you are, and make you more you. A responsibility to grow. Resolutions. Sadness, and memories, of good and bad. But the new year also comes with a book. This one is from Mrs. Wetherbee, or, as we call her, "Toby•".



The Aspiring Poet's Journal. It's a new project for me. I feel like Julie Powell (from "Julia and Julia") or something. A poem a day for a year, of course I won't post them all, one a day, I'm an author, too. You can be both. So not every day. But still, I'd better get started.
The rules of today: Write your first poem of the year, using the words write, poem, first, year. Here goes.

A First in Your Eyes
I know this well
Not you
You sit there
Staring at your paper
Not like me
The words flow out
It is your first poem
Not mine
I've written for more than a year
I can't remember it all
Not you
You stare
It's a first in your eyes
Not mine
Then the pencil touches paper
Scratching
Writing
Knowing
It is a first in your eyes
Not mine

Enter your poems. They don't have to be long like mine, but enter still.
Thank you, Toby•, thank you so much!

Friday, January 1, 2010

once in a blue moon

Silence.

It's the only way to know what you really are, and the only way to know what you will become.

Last night was the night that you learned and thought and remembered and loved and cherished.

Last night was the night that you became older, sweeter, and just more of who you are.

Last night was magic.

It shimmered in the air, casting starry light on the newly fallen snow, making it sparkle and glisten.

And of course you know that a night as special as this only happens once in a blue moon.

Last night was a blue moon.

Happy new year.