Saturday, February 25, 2012

Writing Prompt: Ant at a Picnic

I found a fun writing prompt. You have to write for at least ten minutes about an ant at a picnic. Here's my story! :D

There were two humans; a boy and a girl. The girl was tall with blonde hair so yellow, it was bound to be dyed. The boy was short and had light brown hair that covered his eyes. He was constantly flipping it around in a very annoying way. They were laughing hysterically at the corniest jokes and feeding each other grapes. It was disgusting.
I darted through the grass, my antennas flying around in the wind. As I got closer to the picnic blanket I crept quietly. The checkered blanket was covered in fruits and sandwiches. This was every ant’s dream. A feast fit for a colony.
I hid behind the picnic basket and watched the humans eat and laugh eat and laugh. It was very boring and I was hungry. When they were making soppy faces at each other I took a chance and dashed for a crumb. They didn’t notice and I ate it right away. I hid behind the basket again and looked for another tasty morsel. I saw a squished grape and sucked the juice to wash down the crumb. And, once again, I hid behind the basket. I probably didn’t need to, though, since these humans were obviously oblivious of their surroundings.
I decided to have a little fun with the human girl. I started to walk as fast as my little legs could carry me towards the girl’s pants leg. I tried to climb up her leg, but she was wearing jeggings, and I knew there was no way I would fit through those tight bottoms. So I went for the boy instead.
I had to keep myself from gagging as I crawled up the boy’s pants. He needed a shower with lots of soap and some tomato juice to get rid of the stink. It was worse as I crawled up his shirt near his armpits. Did he even know what the word “deodorant” meant?
The boy hadn’t noticed me the entire time, but when I got to his neck he faltered in the middle of his sentence and scratched his shoulder a little. I climbed up to his face and he started to scratch his nose. After a little while he started scratching like a giant, stupid, baboon. The girl laughed nervously and stared at him with a strange expression.
“Ant!” she suddenly screamed. “There’s an ant on your face!”
The boy looked down and saw me. I smiled and waved. They both started yelling like crazy as I ran away with a satisfied smirk on my face.

Now I challenge all of you to write your own "Ant at a Picnic" story. Write it, post it on your blog, and challenge all of YOUR friends. Have fun! :D

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The 1930s

Recently we've been learning about the 1930s, so I would like to share a few things that were invented or happened at that time. We made a collage of pictures from the 1930s and I will also put a picture of that here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie: The chocolate chip cookie was accidentally invented in the 1930s. BEST ACCIDENT EVER! :D A woman who ran an inn in Massachusetts was making chocolate cookies but she ran out of chocolate. So she decided to use broken chunks of a chocolate bar instead. She hoped it would melt in but it didn't and the chocolate chip cookie was born! :D She sold her recipe to Nestle in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. But there's another story. A chef who worked with the woman said that her story wasn't true. He said she knew too much about baking to know that the chocolate chunks wouldn't melt in. His story was that he was mixing the batter for sugar cookies and the vibrations knocked a chocolate bar down into his batter and the chocolate broke into chunks. The woman wanted him to throw the batter out but he didn't want to waste it and everyone loved the cookies. :D

Judy Garland: Judy Garland starred in "The Wizard of Oz." It was a big deal that their movie was in color and black and white. We recently watched it again after learning about it.

Jesse Owens: When Germany was hosting the Olympics, Hitler wanted to show off all of his perfect, blonde-haired, blue-eyed athletes, but instead he was humiliated when Jesse Owens (a black Olympic runner) beat his athlete in the long jump. Everyone said Hitler was rude and refused to recognize that Jesse Owens won. Later Jesse Owens said, "Hitler didn't snub me, FDR did." Hitler had sent Jesse a photograph of himself while FDR didn't even send him a telegram. It wasn't until two presidents later that he was recognized for his talents.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Maze of Doom (Chapter 1)

I'm writing a book called "The Maze of Doom." It was partly inspired by The Hunger Games and partly inspired by a dream I had while I was at the beach. It's a post-apocalyptic book about a country that discriminates against women. The leader is evil and every year he randomly selects ten girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen to be put into the Maze of Doom wielding only one weapon and gifts given to them by the weight, agility, climbing, and weapon trainers. Girls are allowed to make temporary alliances, and killing is not against the rules. The girl who reaches the middle of the Maze is granted one wish. But no one has survived yet.

Here is the first chapter. I'll take any feedback. Thanks! :D

Chapter 1

I live in a sexist country.
It is a place where girls do all the working, men do whatever they please, and girls get sent to jail for the rest of their life for the tiniest thing.
But that’s not the worst of it.
Each year, President Hunter has a competition called The Maze of Doom. It’s been going on for twenty years. Let me tell you about it.
The Maze of Doom is a huge maze filled with dangers. Ten different girls ranging from the age of twelve to eighteen race to the end of the maze. Their prize is a single wish. But no girl has survived yet. Girls are allowed one weapon each, provided by President Hunter. Girls can make temporary alliances, but they can also kill each other. It’s a gruesome maze.
Some, if they are in the maze, plan to wish for riches or fame. Others plan to wish for their sisters to get out of jail for not polishing their boss’s shoes exactly right.
I have a different wish.
I have been randomly chosen by the country’s leader to be entered in The Maze of Doom.
Our country’s leader is revolting. He made The Maze of Doom for entertainment. He likes the idea of girls killing each other. For him, it’s just one less worker to pay.
But I have to survive the maze to make my wish. As I said, no girl has survived yet. I plan to change that, too.

Today is the day I say goodbye to my family and leave for “Maze Training”. Really, it’s to see how good each girl is so the country can place their bets to see who will survive the longest.
My mom starts to cry as I pull on my boots. My dad puts his arm around her. He tries to comfort her, but the tears keep on coming.
“Don’t cry, Mom,” I say. “I’ll be fine.” But even I can’t promise that.
My mom hugs me and bawls. Dots appear on my shirt’s sleeve.
“Carrie, she’ll be fine,” My dad straightens his glasses and tries to hide his watering eyes. “You know our Clelia. She’s one tough cookie.”
My mom attempts to talk as my dad hugs her again.
“My daughter!” she cries. “My only daughter! In The Maze! She’s only fourteen.”
“I know,” He says. “I know.”
I hug each of them again.
“I love you guys,” I say in a faltering voice. “But when I come back, everything will be better.”
I hear a knock on the door. My dad goes to answer it.
“Hello,” I hear him say. “Won’t you come in?”
“Actually, I’m here for Clelia,” A female voice answers. No surprise there. All of President Hunter’s employees are female.
I hug my mom one last time and walk into the kitchen. It only took a few steps to get from the living room to the kitchen.
“Ah,” The young woman standing in the doorway gestures for me to come outside with her. “There she is. Come.”
I hug my dad, look around our single floor house (or hut, as I like to call it) one last time, and walk outside. My mom won’t stop crying.
“Mom,” I say. “Please don’t worry about me. Besides, you won’t have to keep wondering what’s going on. You can read the whole thing in The Mazeazines.”
The Mazeazines are magazines all about The Maze. Once The Maze of Doom starts, the entire thing will be watched and typed for the whole country to read. They don’t help much though, since the reporters make everything more dramatic. Even though we can never see what’s going on, I can tell that that’s not what’s actually happening.
“Clelia!” The woman stands by her car, tapping her foot impatiently.
“I love you,” I say before walking to the menacing, black, car.
The woman opens the car door. I get inside and wave at my parents until they disappear from view completely.
I remain silent the entire trip to President Hunter’s main building.
An hour later, the black car pulls up to a towering skyscraper.
“Here we are,” The woman says in a bored voice. “Follow me.”
The tone of her voice makes it obvious that she has done this same routine for quite some time.
I followed her down the hall and into the elevator. I gasped. There were 70 different buttons. The woman had to go onto her toes to reach the 30 button.
The elevator went up and made a ding noise.
The woman entered the big, circular, room. I followed her and saw five different people. I recognized four of them from previous Mazes. They were the trainers. The strength, agility, climbing, and weaponry trainers. The other I knew just from living in this country. President Hunter. The evil leader that started this maze.
“Good,” He said. “You finally arrived. As you know, the contestants aren’t allowed to see each other until the maze begins, so you will be privately trained in this room. The reporter should be here any second now.”
As if on cue, the elevator dinged again, and two women appeared. One carried a camera to take pictures, the other, a notebook and pen.
“If everyone is ready, the training shall begin!” President Hunter stepped back. The camerawoman started snapping pictures and the reporter started scribbling furiously.
There were four sections of the room I could go to. Each section had its own equipment. I decided to start with the worst and work my way up. I’m terrible at physical activities, like climbing, and lifting weights, but I’m good at running and using small weapons like daggers for hunting or building things.
I started at the strength training.
“Hi,” The female strength trainer said. “My name’s Candace. Nice to meet you.” Her leg and arm muscles were very visible. You could tell she stayed in shape. And besides looking strong, she seemed like she could be decently nice, even friendly, unlike most workers here. I don’t blame most of them for being un-friendly, the way they get paid.
I took her hand and shook it.
“So,” Candace said. “Would you like to start with the weights, the sit-ups and push-ups, or bag carrying?”
I selected the bag carrying.
“Come on, Clelia!” Candace encouraged me. “You can do it!”
I had carried six bags of bricks across the room on my shoulders already. Four more to go.
“Almost done,” Candace kept yelling. “Two more! Just two more!”
It was nice that Candace was helping me, but it was a little annoying.
“That’s it! One last one! And, you’re done!”
I wiped the sweat off my forehead and walked back over to Candace.
“That was really good,” She said handing me a towel for my sweat. “Do you need some water?”
I nodded my head gratefully, still gasping for breath. I took the bottled water from Candace and gulped down almost half.
“Let’s move on to the weights.”
Candace handed me two weights. They must’ve both weighed at least twenty pounds.
“I want you to lift one at a time. So raise the right one first with your arm locked, then do the same thing with your left arm. Then lift them both at the same time. Got that?”
I nodded my head again. I’m a girl of many words.
I continued with my strength training. I thanked Candace and moved on to climbing. The trainer wasn’t nearly as nice as Candace was. But it didn’t matter since all she had me do was climb a rock wall about fifty times over. I did horribly. I kept slipping on rocks and I took forever to get up once. Strength and climbing? Not very good at all.
I moved on to agility. I ran a treadmill for ten minutes at a good, steady pace, and then jumped rope for a while. All in all, not bad.
It was time for weaponry.
I had to use each weapon they had and try them out. At the end of the training, I would get to select a weapon for the maze. I had to choose carefully, because once I chose, I couldn’t change my mind.
“Welcome to weaponry,” The female trainer said in a bored voice. “I’m Teresa and I’ll be you’re trainer. Remember never to use your weapon for anything except what you’re told to do, blah, blah, blah. Let’s get started. Choose your weapon.”
There were many different choices; A bow and arrow, a sword, a spear, a mace, a whip, and a dagger.
I chose the bow and arrow.
“Do you know how to use a bow and arrow?” Teresa asked. I nodded. I had used one before, but I was rusty.
“Then try to shoot this target.” Teresa walked over to the wall and pointed at the target. I pulled back the arrow and shot, but I shot way off course. Teresa had to duck her head to avoid getting hit. It struck the wall and stuck there.
“Guess you’re not going to be using that in the maze,” She said. “Try something else.”
I took the spear. Again, she had me throw it at the target. I threw, but not hard enough. I tried again and again, but it would drop on the ground three feet away from me. Again, I am not very strong at all.
I tried the sword, the mace, and the whip, but every single one was a failure.
I took the last weapon. A dagger complete with a small sheath.
“Ah ha ha!” Teresa started laughing. “That is the wimpiest weapon I have ever-!”
I threw the dagger hard at the target. It flew and hit the bull’s eye.
Teresa’s mouth hung open.
“W-would you like to choose the dagger f-for your w-weapon?” She stuttered.
I turned away from Teresa and walked to the target. I pulled my dagger out, and sheathed it around my pants.
I knew everyone was going to hear about my “rage and fury at the weapon trainer”. I knew they would read about me throwing the dagger. But they wouldn’t know anything. They wouldn’t know that I imagined President Hunter’s face on that bull’s eye as I threw the dagger.

I'm not finished with the story yet (I've written nine and a half chapters so far), but if you would like an e-mailed copy when I'm done, let me know in a comment. :D