I Could See
I Could See
Image from Unsplash
First off, let me start by saying, I’m an average reader. I’d say that because reading – outside of the set time in Language Arts (LA) class – is harder on the weekdays because I’ve got activities after school. But having the nice, calm, low energy environment for reading at the beginning of LA class makes it easier to enjoy reading as opposed to the high energy, busy, loud classroom.
I read because of all the stories and worlds people create and share. There are so many great mystery and fiction books (my personal favorites) that get you sucked in and make you envision worlds that you wish you could escape into. Like the Percy Jackson books for example. The reality where both Greek and Roman Deities and heroes exist in the modern world, one of my favorites. And the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. I’m still reading it but it’s one of those books that makes you ask your parents if you can stay up reading after nine o’clock at night.
Deciding what to read is a strategy that always changes all the time. Either someone recommends a book to me, it’s the next book in a series, or I liked the cover. Sometimes I go by the author. Like Rick Riordan, Shanon Messenger, JK Rowling, or Ronald Dahl. I also go by the genre. As I said before I LOVE mystery and fiction books. And I pretty much always read these two genres. This, as I myself have realized, isn’t the biggest problem but it’s definitely something that I would like to do. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s like when you procrastinate on something. Like homework. No, don’t gasp and think, “Oh my stars she procrastinates on her homework.” I know you’ve done it too. But leave a comment on any books that aren’t fiction or mystery. I’d love to have some recommendations.
For this blog post I had to reflect back on a book we read and decide whether it was a mirror or window book. Let me explain further. A mirror book is a term used to say that the book you read had characters and/or events that remind you of yourself or situations you have been in. Furthermore, a window book is a book where the characters and/or events are very different to you and situations you have been in.
I read The Miscalculations of Lighting Girl by Stacy McAnulty for ours school’s book club and I would say this realistic fiction novel is a window book for me. The reason this book was a window book is because the protagonist was in 7th grade, stopped going to public school in second grade to be homeschooled, had been struck by lightning, was an only child, lived with her grandmother, volunteered at a pet shelter, and was a supper math genius. Even when one looks through a window, one may see their reflection. In other words, although there were many differences, I was able to see some similarities. For example, the protagonist had habits that I used to do at a less extreme version and she lived in North Carolina.
Oftentimes I read fiction, mystery, adventure, or a mixture of both. This then leads me to read a lot of window books. Sometimes the only thing I have in common with the protagonist is my gender or the fact that we live in the United States. One detail I have noticed that has stopped more connection is the fact that more well known books have white protagonists and don’t talk about phobias. And I’ve barely read a book with LGBTQIA+ characters. These are topics that would have many more kids relating to books. So even though I’m able to find small reflections in windows, we should encourage writers to write stories that cover different topics that different people can relate to.
Writing in Process
I’m a writer. I want to be a professional writer. You know where I’m not just doing my own cover. I get a good amount of ideas from life and have a bunch of half baked stories in different notebooks and on pieces of paper. This is one of my newest ideas that I put on my paper. The book would be called Battle Grounds. And it’s about two fifteen year old kids in a place based on either ancient Rome or ancient Greece. I haven’t really decided yet. The boy’s name is Callahan and the girl’s name is Nyx. But anyway. Here’s a sample of the second chapter.
I walked around the market with my cloak hood up. Being the city’s champion, I have a lot of names. My real name is Nyx. The one my family gave me. But various people know me differently. MJ, short for Mocking Jay, is the name I use on the street, Ameca is the name I use with the higher class, and my arena name is Athenyx. Part my name and part the Greek wisdom goddess’s. Athena was (is, I don’t know) the goddess of wisdom, battle strat, and war. And these things are my main strengths when it comes to the arena.
As I walked down the dirt road, I scanned the market, remembering the time I had first come here as a runaway.
I looked down at my wrist and played with the gold band that the queen had given me as payment. I twisted it back and forth, watching it glint in the sunlight against my bronze skin.
Another thing that made me different. My skin. I mean it’s not like there’s no one else with a dark skin tone on the streets or in the higher class. But my skin did a weird shifting thing. If I stand next to someone with darker skin, my skin looks lighter than it is. But, if I stand next to someone with lighter skin, then my skin looks darker than it was. This was a thing that I relied heavily on when I lived on the streets having to steal food. I still rely on it when I’m not in the arena, walking around. ‘Allways adapting,’ the Queen says.
“Hey!” I hear someone shout, making me stop twisting my bracelet,“ Get back here!”
I turned my head to the right to see three kids running away with bread and a jug of cider. Half consciously, I smiled and started moving towards them. Honestly I hope they get away. Our punishment system is very extreme. No one steals unless they have to. But before they even make it two stalls over, an officer stops them in their tracks. This makes me push through the crowd of people faster.
“Excuse me officer,” I said when I got over there and put my hood back,“ Is there a problem?”
The officer turned his head to look at me and I saw a wave of shock go over his face. Here’s the thing, no one interfered with officers. Ever. Especially not a girl. It was seen as ‘unladylike’. He cleared his throat.
“These kids stole bread and a jug of cider, ma’am,” he said. His voice wasn’t too deep but it wasn’t the voice of a boy’s weather. He looked to be about fifteen. That’s how old I am. He had greenish, hazelish eyes and light skin. His black hair was short and wavy. He was handsome but I didn’t pay attention to looks. There’s no place for looks in the arena. That only mattered if you were too bloodied up or bruised badly.
“They will be arrested and then- ”, he said, but I cut him off.
“Let them go,” I said, putting power into my voice,“ I’m sure I can pay for whatever they stole.”
“Ma’am, my implore-.”
“Your implore won’t have to hear about this. Will they? Which do you think they’re more worried about? Some hungry kids or the war going on outside these walls?”
The guard moistened his lips in thought.
“Well the behavior can’t go tolerated,” he said turning to me.
“Of course not,” I said,“And it won’t. They’ll be given a warning. And if this happens again, you might not be as forgiving, will you?”
The guard’s gaze went to the children. Only now did I pay attention to their appearances.
There were three kids. One girl (she seemed to be the oldest and the leader) and two young boys. They all had the same freckled faces and blond hair. I assumed they were siblings.
The guard let out a sigh.
“Fine,” he said to me,“I’ll escort you to the shop.”
“Sure,” I said, as if he had asked a question.
“And you are all dismissed,” he said to the children.
The guard turned and the children slowly started to back away.
“Wait,” I called, softly to them. I crouched down in front of them, lowering myself to their height. I took off the golden band on my wrist.
“Here,” I said, whispering , giving it to them,“ This will get you at least another week’s worth of food if you’re wise with it.”
The girl looked at the younger boys and hesitantly took the band.
“Thank you,” she whispered,“ Miss…”
“Mocking Jay,” I said.
“Miss. Mocking Jay,” she said with a small smile on her lips. Then she and the younger boys ran of into the chaos.
Wednesday, August 30th
About 8:45am and about 76˚f – About 8:50 pm and temperatures unknown
Getting on the bus with my pillow and string backpack, I sat three seats in front of the back. As we drove into a hurricane, pretty much oblivious until the last twenty minutes, the bus ride, two hours, had brought talking, laughter, drawing, and so many snacks. For the last twenty minutes my eyes were on the sky looking at the rain and looking behind me where the conversations were. After arriving, in the pouring rain, we were rushed to grab a bag. It didn’t matter which bag we grabbed as long as we got it to the pavilion. We were gathered in a way you would in an amphitheater. Except the fact that this wasn’t an amphitheater and we were in a rectangular space. Group by group we were called by cabin. My cabin, cabin two, consisted of the girls in my advisory group, the girls from an advisory group from across the hall in school, and two girls from an advisory group from across the campus. We scavenged for our stuff and walked into the rain.
The girls’ cabins were to the left of the dining hall if you faced it head on from the front and I later found out that they were to the north. We were cabin two, so not too far from the food but still far enough the walking the path took approximately a minute and a half. As soon as we got in the cabin, I claimed the top bunch closest to the door. While everyone else put their stuff on the floor, I set mine at the foot of my bunk. I slipped off my shoes, made sure not to touch the ground, and climbed up. Only after that did I realize that I had forgotten my sleeping bag at the pavilion. And I had to run back and get it. When I got back I climbed up, same procedure, and opened my sleeping bag all the way open. And I mean the whole zipper. I had my sweatshirt on and my cap. I slung my string backpack over my shoulder, since one of the straps was broken, and sat on the edge of the foot of my bed waiting for everyone else. Oh, and I also went to the bathroom.
When everyone was finally ready, I got down and we walked up to the dinning hall. Our lunch consisted of a turkey sandwich slider, some water, and optional salad. Personally, I liked it. But not everyone did. After lunch, I can’t really remember what we did. We might have gone back to the cabins. Wait, we did. We went back to the cabins and I sat on my perch. I probably went to the bathroom too. Then we went to the flagpole, which was outside the dining hall, and waited there to get the groups we would be staying with for activities. My group was group three and we went to the pool first. Everyone had to take a swim test, that I didn’t take because I didn’t go in that day, and wait for everyone. I sat to the side for a little while until I got bored so I sat at the edge of the pool and got to talk to people. I also got wet (which is a sentence I will use a lot throughout this report) because some people just have natural splash abilities. After the pool everyone went back to their cabins to change. I didn’t need to change but I went back to the cabin anyway. I sat on my perch and waited. After everyone got changed we went to the flag pole to regroup. My group went to the kanga jump, which was this – kind of balloon in the ground thing. It was slick and very bouncy. I probably could have jumped over a person a few times. It was a lot of fun. After that, we left sandy and wet. By then it was raining. My group went to a soccer field and played this game of assassins. I don’t really know what it’s called but the name I gave it pretty much sums it up. We did this for a while and afterwards headed back to our cabins. After that my shoes were wet for days.
At the end of the day we ate dinner and went back to our cabins. After that we had a choice to play dodgeball in the pavilion or watch a movie. Dry. But I chose to do dodgeball. And got soaked doing it. Even after I’d taken a shower. We had snow cones and eventually everyone was huddled inside watching the Lorax. Group by group we were called to go back to the cabins. Lights out was 9:00. And we all fell asleep to the sound of a hurricane outside.
Thursday , August 31st
About 6:30 am, temperatures unknown – about 9:00 pm, temperatures unknown.
I woke up first. * shrugs *I had to use the toilet. After that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I put a towel over my head and turned on my flashlight to read and draw. I did this for about thirty minutes before more people started to wake up. We all got ready and went to breakfast at eight. After we ate we went back to the cabins and then we went to the flagpole. My group did nature lessons first. I can really remember what it was called. We did learn a lot of interesting things about trees, though. After that we played board games in the teachers cabin. And I stacked dominoes on top of people’s heads. After that I think we did orienteering. We probably ate lunch after. After that we did the Kanga jump again and played volleyball. By then the first ray of sun came out through the sky. And we all cheered. I don’t celebrate like sunshine but I love this. Afterwards, we went back to the dinning hall and did team building games. We got to hit tables and send secret codes. And then my favorite part happened. The V swing. The V swing was a clip that went high in the air and you pulled a rope… and flew. The fact that I was last, made it ten times better. Afterwards we went to the pool. I got in late because of some poor decisions, but I got in and floated because I had a life vest. It, was, awesome.
As soon as we got back to the cabin I wanted on the ground to go take a shower. I was not about to get chlorine into my bed. I took a shower and washed all the chlorine off. After we went to the dining hall for dinner and after wards we went back to our cabins. I got to go outside and draw. It was really nice being able to be alone even though I loved being with everyone. It was nice to have some quite.
Afterwards we all headed to the front of the dinning hall to an outside seating area that looked out over the lake. We all saw a very big spider and a legless lizard. Both times people screamed. And I sat there calmly. We were arranged by advisory this time and extended that way as well. My advisory walked back towards the cabin that my group stayed in. We gathered around a small fire pit and talked about our best experiences. We also got to see an owl.
After we were led to eat marshmallows and a fire. Almost the entire time that was happening I was looking at the stars. There were so many. Other than that I was looking across the lake where we had left cabin lights on.
When we got back and almost went straight to bed.
Friday, September 1st
About 7:00, temperatures unknown – About 12:00, temperatures unknown
I woke up later that morning. Still I got ready and packed all my things up. We went to breakfast and afterwards went canoeing. I had to sit in the haul first and it felt like we were going to tip more than ten times before me and my friend switched spots. When we got back, we zip lined over where we had canoed and after that we want to see a small pig named Bubbles. We played ga-gaball and after that we ate pizza.
We were sent back to our cabins to gather our stuff. And after a bit we got on the buses and left.