-I'm doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the THIRD year in a row! :D My word goal is 35,000 words. Last year was 20,000 (but I wrote a 40,000 word sequel) and the year before that was 10,000. Right now I am at 16,262 words! :D
-My BFF just had a birthday on Friday. She turned twelve. If you want to check out what she did and wish her a happy birthday, go to her blog, Tacos, Dolphins, and Friends.
-My first thought when I woke up a couple days ago: It's 9:00 in the morning and I haven't even gotten up yet. Most kids would be in their first or second class by now in public school. Ah, I love homeschooling! :D
-Speaking of homeschooling, I'm sitting here in my pajamas at 9:50 in the morning. I haven't even had breakfast yet! :D But I have spent the past hour and a half writing my NaNoWriMo novel! :D I'll post an excerpt on here later.
-Ok, I lied. I'll put an excerpt on here now! :D My book is called "A Cherry Pie, an Iguana, a Silver Dollar, and a Spitball Fight". Here's the first chapter.
Who knew that a cherry pie, an iguana, a silver dollar, and a spitball fight could change the fate of the world?
My name is Stephanie Finkle, and yes, I am the reason that the world is now doomed. Well, unless my best friend, Ivy, and I do something about it.
Ivy and I were walking home from school (we’re neighbors and the school is only a couple blocks from home).
“Hey,” Ivy said. “Want to come to my house? My mom just baked a cherry pie. We could each have a slice and watch a movie or something.”
“Didn’t you buy Tangled on DVD?” I asked. Tangled was one of my favorite movies, but my mom said we couldn’t afford ‘extras’ right now.
“Yes!” Ivy said excitedly. She bounced up and down slightly, showing her enthusiasm. “We just got it, like, two days ago. It’s still in the plastic, we’d be the first to watch it!”
“Ok,” I said. “My mom doesn’t get home till nine. But I should get back home around five so I could eat dinner.” My mom works as a real estate agent, and she’s been needing to stay later than usual recently.
“You could stay for dinner,” Ivy said, waving a hand. “My mom always makes more than she needs to whenever she cooks, and she loves you. You’re like a second daughter to her.”
She’s like a second mom to me. I thought. But I didn’t say it out loud. I didn’t want to embarrass Ivy.
“Thanks!” I said. “What are your brothers up to?”
“Max and Charlie? Who knows what they’re up to. Max is probably playing some RPG computer game and Charlie is probably playing with his Star Wars doll collection.”
They were really Star Wars action figures, but Ivy loved to make fun of his collection. She was just jealous because he collected something and she didn’t.
We came to the big farmhouse that Ivy lived in. Ivy turned the doorknob and walked in. The Smith’s always leave their door unlocked. I don’t know why.
“I’m home, Mom!” Ivy called. I followed her into the living room.
“Hi, Sweetie!” I heard Mrs. Smith’s voice coming from the kitchen. “I’m making enchilada soup.”
I did a silent cheer inside my head. Enchilada soup was one of my favorite foods.
We walked into the kitchen.
“Awesome!” Ivy said. “That’s Stephanie’s favorite.”
Mrs. Smith was dumping multiple chicken pieces into a pot of boiling hot water. She turned her head at the mention of my name.
“Oh, Stephanie!” She said excitedly. “How are you?”
She came over and gave me a hug. We were very comfortable with each other. Ivy’s family was practically part of my family.
“Did Ivy tell you we just got Tangled on DVD?” She asked.
“Yeah, she did. I can’t wait to see it again.”
“I can’t believe you’re not sick of it yet!” Ivy said. “You’ve been to it in the movies about five times.”
That was partly true. I had seen it three maybe four times. But I did keep spending my allowance to see it over and over.
“I made a cherry pie last night,” She said. “Feel free to have a slice.”
“Thanks,” I said.
Ivy was already getting out two plates and two forks.
“You can go ahead to my room,” Ivy said. “You know it’s down the hall, right?” She joked. I had been going to her house since I was in preschool.
I started down the hall. Each kid had their own room right next to each other. Charlie’s room was across from Max’s room and Ivy’s room was next to Charlie’s.
I couldn’t resist peeking into Max’s room. The door was slightly opened. I peered into the crack.
Max was talking into a walkie-talkie. There was a straw lying next to him on the hardwood flooring.
“So, a spitball fight in an hour?” Max said. Charlie’s voice came out a second later.
“Yeah,” Charlie said. “That’ll give us time to train and find paper to use.”
Max stood up and walked towards the door. I walked quickly into Ivy’s room and leaned the door shut.
“Hey, Iggy,” I said in a baby voice. Iggy was Ivy’s pet iguana. He was currently in his tank, but I lifted the lid to pet him. Iggy didn’t do much, but Ivy loved him just the same.
The door banged open. I turned around, thinking it was Max trying to make as much noise as possible, but it was Ivy. She had kicked the door open with her foot since she wasn’t able to, with her hands full.
I replaced Iggy’s tank lid and Ivy handed me my slice of warm cherry pie with whipped cream. I took a bit and sighed. Ivy’s mom was such a good cook. I wished my mom had that sort of time. Instead, I was stuck eating TV dinners. That’s why I loved dinner at Ivy’s house so much.
Ivy popped in the disc and the movie started. We watched for about an hour, and then we heard nails scratching on wood flooring and the fork on my plate being moved.
I turned around and gave a squeal.
Iggy was on the ground, eating the remains of my cherry pie. Ivy had noticed too. We were both too stunned to do anything. Iggy had never gotten out of his tank before. He must’ve smelled the pie and wanted to eat it. But how he got out was a mystery.
“How did he get out?” Ivy’s voice was high pitched and nervous. “We need to figure this out. Because if he can get out, that’s not good. He could hurt himself!”
I could imagine someone switching a light bulb on in my brain.
“I was petting Iggy earlier,” I said. “Before you got the pie. Maybe I didn’t put the lid back on right.”
Ivy let out a sigh of relief.
“Thank goodness. That’s probably how he got out.”
“Um, we should probably chase him now,” I suggested as Iggy took off down the hallway.
Ivy jumped up and I followed her. Iggy was already in the kitchen. Man, could that iguana move! Ivy slipped on one of Max’s socks on the kitchen floor (he was such a slob) but got right back up. Iggy was out of sight.
“Iggy,” I called. “Iggy, where are you?”
Max and Charlie ran out of their rooms, each armed with a straw and a handful of small paper balls. They started sucking them and loading them into the straw, shooting them at each other. The spitball fight had begun.
“There’s Iggy!” Ivy said. Iggy had tried to hide under the table in the living room, where Max and Charlie were mercilessly shooting spitballs at each other.
Ivy ran and dived for Iggy, but tripped over a book that Max left out. (Max!) The whole scene slowed down to slow motion right before my very eyes. Ivy fell sideways, toppling into Charlie. Charlie fell backwards into the bookshelf behind him and their mom’s special silver dollar resting on the top shelf rocked back and forth on the edge of the shelf procariously. There was a sharp intake of breath. It stopped rocking and we let out a breath. Then it fell.
The silver dollar fell and hit the ground, at the exact moment Mrs. Smith walked in the room, and broke in two.
Four heads (including mine) swiveled to face Mrs. Smith. Her face was frozen in a look of shock, her mouth hanging open.
“I’m so sorry, Mom!” Ivy said. “It was my fault. I know that silver dollar was special to you.” Ivy’s great-grandmother had given the silver dollar to Mrs. Smith when she was a little girl.
“I’m sure you didn’t do it on purpose, Honey,” Mrs. Smith said. “But it’s not just a special token I got from my grandmother.”
Ivy looked puzzled. I was definitely confused. It was just an ordinary silver dollar.
“What do you mean?” Ivy asked.
Mrs. Smith walked over and sat down on the couch.
“Everyone sit down,” She said. “This is going to take a while.”
I sat down on the chair next to the couch. Ivy sat next to her mom while Charlie and Max sat down on the couch opposite of Mrs. Smith.
“There’s really no other way to explain this,” She said. “So I’ll just come right out with it.” She took a deep breath and said. “I’m a wizard.”
“What?” Ivy, Charlie, Max, and I said at the same time.
“I am a wizard,” She repeated.
“Why didn’t you ever tell us?” Ivy asked.
“Well, kids aren’t normally supposed to know if their parents are wizards, because it’s easier to let the secret slip to someone else when you’re younger. And you can’t let a secret like this slip to anyone outside the family.”
I blushed and shrank back in my seat.
“Oh no!” She said hurriedly. “It’s ok for you to know, I trust you.”
I didn’t say anything but I smiled.
“Anyway,” She said. “That silver dollar was entrusted to me by my grandmother. My grandmother was also a wizard. I got the magic from her. A long time ago, back when my grandmother was a little girl, there was an evil wizard named Wizatar. His plan was to take over the world. But one day, he was defeated by another wizard by the name of Merlin.”
“What?” Charlie exclaimed. “He exists?”
“Existed,” Mrs. Smith corrected him. “He was very old when he defeated Wizatar. 612 to be exact. Wizards can live to be very old since they are magical, but look not a day older than 40. I myself am a 150.”
“No wonder you look so good,” I blurted out. I immediately wished I hadn’t. That was a little embarrassing.
Mrs. Smith smiled.
“You flatter me,” She said honestly. “But we are getting off the subject. Anyway, Merlin defeated Wizatar. Wizatar didn’t die, but his powers were sealed away in this silver dollar. It has been passed down for generations, and I was the most recent one to get it.”
“So, you’re related to Merlin?” Max asked.
“Yes,” She said.
“Sweet!” Charlie pumped his fist in the air. “I’m related to Merlin!”
“Does this mean we’re wizards?” Ivy asked excitedly.
“I don’t know for sure,” Mrs. Smith said. “But it is always possible for the children of a wizard to have magical powers, too.”
“I still don’t understand everything,” I said. “Why is it such a big deal that the silver dollar broke?”
“Well, since Wizatar’s powers were being stored in there, and it broke, the powers have been returned back to him.”
“So that means-?”
Mrs. Smith nodded.
“Wizatar is going to try to take over the world again.”
“Is there any way we can stop it?” I asked hopefully.
“There is one way,” She said. “The only way it can be fixed is to get the magic glue. But that is nearly impossible. Even though Merlin put a spell on it so Wizatar wouldn’t be able to destroy it, it’s going to be very hard for anyone to get it.”
“Where is it?” Max asked.
“On the top of the empire state building.”
“In New York?” Max asked with a strained look on his face as though he was thinking hard.
“No, Max,” Ivy said. “It’s in Minnesota. Of course it’s in New York!”
“Why is it going to be so hard to get?” I wondered.
“Because Wizatar has hundreds of wizard servants working for him. They will know immediately that some wizard is going to try and get it.”
“Couldn’t we get it?” I asked. “Ivy and I could try and get it. If Ivy is possibly a wizard, it would be really easy. She’d have magical powers and everything!”
Mrs. Smith laughed.
“You underestimate our abilities,” She said. “Learning spells and using magic takes years of training and practice. Ivy has had no experience whatsoever in magic. Even if she was a wizard, she wouldn’t know how to cast any spells.”
I hung my head in disappointment.
“But,” Mrs. Smith second-guessed herself. “Wizatar would never guess that two thirteen-year-old girls would go and try to get the magic glue. And I have to alert the wizard world anyway. I could have different wizards meet you along the way.”
She looked back and forth between Ivy and me.
“Ok,” She said. “You two can go and get the glue.”
“Yes!” I cheered.
“What about us?” Charlie demanded, standing up. Max copied him and stood up, his arms crossed.
“Yeah. What about us?”
“You’re too young,” Mrs. Smith said. “Even if you are possibly wizards.”
“How am I going to figure out if I’m a wizard or not?” Ivy asked.
“At some point in your life if you are a wizard, magic will show itself,” Mrs. Smith said.
“You said you would get different wizards to meet us along the way,” I said to Mrs. Smith.
“How are you going to do that, how are the wizards going to know what we look like, and how will we know if different people we see are wizards or not?”
“Very good questions,” She said. “There’s a website online that only wizards can access by typing in a password in on the computer. I’ll put a post there explaining the situation and I’ll put pictures of both of you on there so wizards will know what you look like. Then, if a wizard sees you, they’ll do the special wizard sign for ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’.”
“What’s the wizard sign?” Ivy asked.
Mrs. Smith held up three fingers.
“That’s it?” Max said. “I was expecting something more exciting.”
“Well if it were very exciting, it would be very obvious, and wizards need to be subtle so the secret doesn’t spread. That could be a disaster. You can’t have too many non-magical folk meddling in magic. Anyway, if a wizard sees you, they’ll do the wizard sign. Then they can give you some advice, or help you along your journey.”
“How are we going to get to New York?” I asked.
“I’ll give you two my credit card. You can use it to get cab rides, hotel rooms, and food. Nothing more,” She said with finality in her voice, eyeing Ivy’s malicious grin.
The microwave timer beeped.
“Oh!” Mrs. Smith jumped up from the couch. “The soup is ready. Ivy, go get your father. He’s taking a nap in our room.”
After eating dinner with the Smith’s, Ivy and I talked in her room and made matching necklaces. We finished our movie, and before we knew it, it was time for me to go home.
“Thanks for dinner, Mrs. Smith,” I said as I walked out the door, lifting my backpack higher.
“My pleasure,” She assured us. “By the way, let your mom know that you’re going to go on vacation with us in New York for about a week.”
She winked at me. I winked back.
“See you tomorrow, Ivy,” I called.
I waved an Ivy waved back. I walked five steps down the sidewalk and up the front walk of my house. My mom wasn’t home yet, so I used my spare key.
Exhausted, I trudged down the hall into my room, flopped down onto my bed fully clothed, and fell asleep.
-I'm taking a six week horse class! :D I know how to ride a horse all by myself. I can steer it, walk it, trot it, stop it, groom it, and tack it! :D Kirsten (my BFF) is my horse partner. We both ride a brown and white horse called Rain. She's a trouble maker, but she's SUPER sweet! :D Next week is the last week. :( But we get to go on a trail ride! :D
-I'm trying to turn my NaNoWriMo book from last year, "Fantasya: A Giant Problem", into a play. SUPER tricky! I'm used to dialogue and detail, not shortening a book. Plus, I have a LOT of characters.
-I dressed up as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter for Halloween. Hermione's my favorite character, but I already dressed up as her. I had spectra specs, a wig, radish earrings, robes, a wand, a tote bag, a Quibbler magazine (I made it! :D ), a butterbeer cork necklace, and I even had new sneakers that looked sort of like the Converse they wear in the movies! :D
-Our home school group has an art class we take every two weeks. A month ago I painted a scene with trees in it that can go in and out of a plastic mug. Yesterday, I painted a leaf on a coaster to go with it! :D
-I've been working on drawing Anime. None of them have turned out half as well as the ones my friend, Emily, has drawn.
-Oh yeah, my brother Maxim has been trying too. :)
-We have 20 Things Club tonight. It's research club my mom set up for our home school group. We pick a topic (sometimes it's a certain topic, like an animal or an author), then we look up 20 facts about that topic. Sometimes we share five or ten facts with the group, sometimes all of the facts! :D The topic for this month is a place we'd like to visit. (My friend Jake was going to do 20 things about a street we drive on to get to the park, but he's not sure if he'll be able to pull it off). I have to do a report on Italy for a Cultural Studies project I'm doing with my BFF, Kirsten, and her sister, Avery, so I'm doing 20 things on Italy! :D I do want to go there. All that yummy food . . . *drools*. I'm also making Pesto Pasta for the food to share and Kirsten and Avery are making Ziti.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Randomness . . . AGAIN! :D
I am an 18-year-old homeschooler, author, daydreamer, voracious reader, introvert, feminist, klutz, fangirl, and overuser of tape. I love the impossible (which might explain my obsessions with fantasy novels and Harry Potter) but I dip into the real world . . . occasionally. I tend to get overly emotional over my OTPs and eat sushi or listen to Taylor Swift to soothe the pain. If all else fails, reruns of “Doctor Who” or “Supernatural” is sure to help. I’m a big fan of mismatched socks, Cheez-Its, and bittersweet endings. I believe anything Rainbow Rowell, Felicia Day, or Lin-Manuel Miranda touches turns to gold. If you want to win the way to my heart, help me adopt a baby elephant. Or a llama. Or both. I write to survive and will often yell at my characters if they aren’t behaving, which is always. It doesn’t usually help. I am a contributor to the "Fauxpocalypse" anthology. You can follow me on Twitter at @Magic_Violinist.