Monday, September 28, 2015

Fantastic Beginnings: A Contest Idea

The other day I was contemplating the beginnings of stories. My stories in particular. Have you often found yourself chewing fingernails over your book's first sentence? It's so hard sometimes to come up with original, creative, one-of-a-kind beginnings when you're working on a story. You always want your story to pull a reader into it within the first couple sentences, and keep them enthralled throughout the rest of the book.
Popular beginnings like the classic:
"Once upon a time..."
"A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
"It was a dark and stormy night..."
Just don't work for stories all the time. And besides, they've been used so much, or for such popular things that everyone would recognize them, that you hate to use them for your own precious book.
However, the great story writers of past ages and even the present age have managed to pull of awesome starts. A sentence, or even part of a sentence, that makes you want to read the rest of their book.
After reading some of them, I decided that a fun game could be made out of their work. I would give you either the first whole sentence, or part of a sentence, of the beginnings of books you should have read. They're all pretty famous, and I purposely added some that everyone would know. To warn you, and give you a hint, one of the options will be the beginning of one of my books. :) I'm not ranking myself with Charles Dickens or C. S. Lewis by any means, but I thought it would probably be an easy one for those of you who have followed my story blog. ;)
So here are the basic rules for you if you're up to this game:

1: Read all story beginnings. (They would be numbered for your convenience)
2: Decide which book you think they came from. (Give a title next to the number of the story's beginning in your comment)
3. Publish your comment. (I would not publish any of the comments until the contest "time" was over.)
4: Each correct answer will be worth 10 "points".
5: Please don't look the answers up until AFTER you publish your comment. It wouldn't be fair, or fun, if all of you get 100% on this. Be honest.

Once about a week or so has gone by, I'll post the answers and how many y'all got right in the order of who commented their answers first.
Sound fun?
Let me know so I can start this game next time I post! :)
God bless you all, and sorry about the length between posts...it'll get better I hope. ;)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Guest Post

This was written by my "big-little" brother, Maxwell. His favorite sport is American football, so when asked to write about it in an essay for school, this was what came out of his brain. :)
Yes, we all have a somewhat peculiar sense of humor. B-)
So go ahead, sit back, and enjoy a taste of Maxwell's goofiness.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF FOOTBALL

Very few thrills compare to that of watching a team (which you temporarily want more than anything to win) roll up the field. (For purposes of illustration we will call them the West Albuquerque St. Bumblebees). With five minutes left in the game, and trailing by three, the Bumblebees quarterback throws an interception. The game now depends on whether your team can stop them from making a touchdown, as another score would bring about certain defeat. They’ve been forced to punt it! The bumblebees are back in the game with 30 seconds left they go for the long bomb. They’ve got it! It’s a touchdown! The point after is good, and the Bumblebees East Mountain Tech 24-20.

Football is played with eleven players on each side, on a one hundred yard field. You have four downs (chances) to get ten yards. If this is accomplished you get four more downs to get ten more yards. Once you reach the end of the field you get six points. However, if you are on fourth down and are close to the endzone you may wish to try to kick a field goal. Kicking a field goal is when you try to kick the football through a goal, similar to a soccer goal except suspended in the air. When you are on fourth down and far away from the endzone then you may punt the ball to the other team. Punting is when you kick the ball as far as you can to try to make it harder for the other team to score.

This exciting game depends on the skill and strength of the players, as well as that of a host of different coaches. The star players are generally the quarterback (the one who throws the ball) and the running back (the one who runs the ball). They each have a private coach; other coaches include the Headcoach, the assistant coach, the Quarterback coach, the runningback coach, the linebacker coach, the special teams coach, and the wide receiver coach (each of these coaches have less important assistant coaches). You think you’re done? Wrong. You still have the offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, cheerleaders, ball boys, water carriers, and, of course, the referees (though they don’t seem to do anything, other than make bad calls, they are essential to keep the teams from getting too proud of themselves ). Oh, and I almost forgot Great Aunt ‘Tilda up in the bleachers. She’s hard of hearing so you have to shout over the crowds for her to hear you. You also have to worry about her sudden attempts (and failures) to stand up. Now, you’re ready to play. Actually you still have to warm up (long pause). Oh; you’re done playing catch on the sidelines, and punting footballs into the stands?  Then now, finally, you’re ready to play! To demonstrate I will give you the basic layout of a game.

                As a general rule the game begins with a lady standing in middle of the field, with a giant American flag, singing the national anthem at the top of her lungs. (Though singing on tune is preferred, as long as it is louder than the drums, it is not required.) Then, it’s time for the kickoff during which one team kicks the ball to the other, and for the first few drives they politely punt the ball back and forth. Though, occasionally one team scores right away. However, if this is the case the refs (who always cheer for the under dogs) will start penalizing them. After this they settle down to scoring. apparently it is harder than it looks, because sometimes they don’t score on a drive. After a few hours, one team will have more points than the other and they are proclaimed the victor. The winning team generally celebrates with pizza or ice-cream, while the losing team walks off the field mumbling something about the dirty refs.

                One reason that football is known and loved in America is that anyone can play it. I love it because it is a way to get exercise while trying to improve your skill. I also play because it is a way to spend time with friends. Another advantage is that you can play it almost anywhere.  Whether you’re in a stadium or in the backyard with your friends, as long as you aren’t paralyzed you can play football.
 
 
God bless!
I'll be back soon! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Something to Laugh About

This is a random post, just for fun, and to make you laugh. I was writing my Circle C Contest story and the Western mood came on. So you get this video. :P Have an awesome week! :) I'll be back soon(ish). ;) God bless!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Exciting News!!!

This may not be news to some of you, but I have officially self-published my very first book!!!
"The Silver Flower" is now available to you all! Go to my own personal webpage by clicking on the title of my book.
I am absolutely thrilled with how my book has turned out! And I have so many, many people to thank for helping it get published.

1. Of course, I thank my Savior. Without him, nothing would have happened.
2. My parents. They encouraged me so much in all my writing endeavors, and cheered me on as I wrote and edited. Mom, thank you especially for reading through my proof copy and giving my advice on it.
3. My oldest sister, Sarah, spent hours editing my book. I really don't know what I would have done without her help.
4. My younger siblings. They were always willing to listen to me read my book aloud, begging for more whenever I paused, and giving my tons of encouragement by saying how much they loved my story.
5. Mrs. Miller. I gave her a copy of my book and asked her to read it and tell me what she thought, but she took my request far beyond what I first intended and also edited it.
6. All my other friends who gave me their advice and encouragement. There are too many of you to name!
7. And last, but certainly not least, those of you who have read my book over on my story blog and given me advice about it and more original ideas.

Thanks to you all so, so, SO much! I could never have done this without you!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saying Goodbye

Don't worry, this isn't going to be my last blog post or anything... but last month, August 18, 2015, a big change happened to our family: my big brother, my ONLY big brother, Andrew, left us to finish seminary at Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, Wisconsin.
We're all going to miss him, and it's going to be so different to have a sibling gone for that long. I've never had any of my family leave for more than a couple months at a time, and Andrew is going to be gone until Christmas, then until Summer, and so on until he finishes.
Long story short, I wrote a poem. Actually, I warned some of my friends at church that I might do this because I'm kind of funny this way: my emotions tend to come out in poetry form. So whenever I feel sad, serious, or simply remembering something that is important to me, I express in in a poem.
I made this poem vague enough so it could be applied to anyone who has someone they love leave, but personal to me as well.
Without further ado, I give you:

When Someone You Love Goes Away:
 
When someone you love goes away,
It's so very hard to say
"Goodbye for now."
And keep from crying somehow,
When someone you love goes away.
 
When someone you love goes away,
To others you might seem ok.
But really inside,
You're wanting to hide,
When someone you love goes away.
 
When someone you love goes away,
You know that you'll see them someday.
But while you wait,
It seems so late,
When someone you love goes away.
 
When someone you love goes away,
From August through April and May,
The question is when
You'll see them again,
When someone you love goes away.
 
 
And these were my feelings on the matter. I love my big bro, and I already miss the special times we had together, but he will be back. I look forward to that time!
 
Love you Andrew, my one and only big brother!! <3 I'll be praying for you while you're away.
 
God bless.