Writing exercises!

>> Friday, February 27, 2009

So, I was searching around on the web for some creative writing assignments to do for school.
And I found a fun one. It had 5 steps, and you just did one step, without knowing the the next one was, and then go to the next step. It didn't always make sense when you were doing it, but at the end it all fit together. So it was pretty cool. Anyway, here's what I came up with from the exercise (I did 2).

(This first one was based on my best friend, Esther):

Her hands are soft, a lighter brown than the rest of her skin color. She has long fingers, with perfectly trimmed fingernails, brown nail polish starting to chip off.
She stretches her fingers, and lets them fly, pushing down the ivory piano keys with a good sense of rhythm.
Her hands are birds, racing through the sky and seeing all that is below them- a small island, full of flowers, tropical fruits, and the sand and surf. A snowy day in Switzerland, seeing the small crystals falling gracefully as feathers.
When her song is over, I walk to her and say, “Good job! Everyone loved you. I only have one question- how do you make your hands and fingers do such wonders on the keys? The sound was so descriptive, it was almost as if I was in the places your music was about.”
She glances up from the grand piano, towards me, and answers, “My fingers do move fast, I suppose, but I exercise them each and every day.”

(The guy in this one is fake. I made 'im up.):

His hands are rough, calloused, from so much work lifting heavy things. The color is tan, with a few red cuts and nicks.
He grasps the horse's reigns with these hands, flicking the thin leather strap across the animal's back.
He not only feels the horse, he is the horse, running and stretching his long legs, as he gallops through countrysides and plains, over majestic mountains, leaping over water-filled gorges, swishing his tail in the hot white sands.
Later, I ask him, “How was your ride? I could see the determination in your hands, but in the far-off look in your eyes, it seemed like you were in some other place.”
He turns around, noticing for the first time that I am there beside him. “Oh,” he says, “Yes, the ride was excellent. And I know, sometimes I grip too hard on the reigns. My hands are aching.”


Just stuff. Nothing important.

Yep, just stuff.

The concert on Sunday was amazing, and surprisingly, I'm not deaf! Woohoo for that! Of course, I sat up in the balcony and didn't stand next to a speaker (like one of my friends did). =P But really, it was awesome.

Other stuff that's going on.... (just in case anyone's wondering, if you're not, then just stop reading and skip up to the post after this one.)

-I'm going to a Celebration of Life on Saturday. My best friend's mom died on the 4th. I know that it's a funeral, not some party, but I'm kind of excited for the reception afterward... I think it'll be fun. Unless people are crying. And they might be. =(

-I'm working on filling out my Camp Harlow application! If I get accepted, then I'll be working there this summer!! I'm really really excited, I've wanted to work there since I was a camper last summer. So I'd better hurry up and get that ap turned in!

-On Thursday (the 5th) I'm going to some of my friend's concert at Sheldon High School. I'm looking forwards to seeing my friend Jamie again, I haven't seen her since August!

-I am officially saving up my money to buy either an 8 gig iPod nano, or and 8 gig Zune. I still haven't decided- if anyone has any input on which one to get, tell me! I figured out a way that I can save my allowance so I'll have $55 saved by my birthday (August 1st), and I'm going to be babysitting and petsitting, if anyone hires me, that is. So I'm excited!

And that's what's been going on, besides band and school, of course. TTYL, everyone!




>> Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yay! It's the weekend! I'm happy. =) There are very good things going on this weekend! Today I'm going to LCC to hear some of my friends play in the district solo festival/competition thing. I'm really excited!

But also, tomorrow evening, I'M GOING TO THE KUTLESS CONCERT!!! WOOOT! I'm SUPER excited for that! (If you don't know what the Kutless concert is, then it's your loss).

So, yes, the weekend is a good thing. But isn't it always? I mean, no school! Cha!

Well that's all I can think of to say for now. I'm definitely lacking inspiration. So, bye bye!



The Flight: Part 2

>> Friday, February 13, 2009

Here's the second part:


After dropping off the horses by their watering trough, I walk to Drodon's tent, to await my next command. After pausing at the doorway, he yells to me, “Enter!” And I go in. “Ah, Sharne,” he says to me, “You're back. What in heavens took you so long? And have you seen my man Rolan?” I clear my throat before speaking, and now tell him, “Yes, sir, I am sorry it took so long. We took a longer route so that the enemy could not find the camp.”
“We?” Drodon asks.
“Yes, sir. We.” I say, “Rolan assisted me. We had to cut through the forest.” Drodon seems about to ask me a question, but someone barges in. At first I barely recognize him, but, it is my brother! Horath! He starts telling Drodon something, not paying the least of attention to me. I wish that I could speak to him, ask him where he and Solth are stationed, and so many other questions that I have, but Drodon waves me out of the tent, and I leave. After leaving the tent, though, I linger around, hoping that brother Horath will come out and I can talk to him. I haven't seen any of my family in nearly half a year, and the chances that I will ever get to see them again are almost zero. So, even though I know that I could, and perhaps should, be helping out around the camp and preparing for the battle that is upon us, but I can't help myself. I need to see my brother. Soon, he comes out of Drodon's tent, but without even glancing at me, walks away. I can't stand it. “Horath!” I call to him, running to catch up with his long strides. Now he looks at me, for the first time. I don't think he recognizes me. “Horath,” I explain to him, “It's me. Your sister. Sharne.” His face changed immediately.
“Sharne!” he says, his voice full of surprise, “Whatever are you doing here?” I start to explain my position in the army, but he grabs my elbow, and pulls me along with him until we are hidden behind a hut. Now he again asks the question, and I answer. Now it is my turn for a question. “Where are you and Solth stationed?” I ask hurriedly. He looks at me for a second, before answering, “I am in the 4th division. Solth... haven't you heard, Sharne? He is no longer with this army. He deserted. Ran back home. Pappi disowned him.” I am shocked. My brother, a coward? My brother, who I had looked up to all these days, afraid to fight in the same army I, a weaker and younger being, am fighting in? How could he? How could he not stand up and fight for everyone and everything he loved? The Treka will kill him anyway. No one will be safe without this army. Does he not understand that? The weight of all my question towards him crushes me, and before I know what I am doing, I fling myself into Horath's arms. Like when we were younger, his arms envelop me, and, being kind, he allows me tears for a few minutes. But then he pulls me away and shakes my shoulders. “Yes. I feel the same way about our brother, Sharne,” he tells me, “But there is no time to despair. If you haven't noticed, war is upon us. Breathing down our neck. I must leave.” But no. He cannot leave yet. I have one more question. An important one. I try and find the words to say it properly. “Wait. Horath... I have a question... about out heritage.” He understands, and answers, “No, Sharne. You are the only in our family with the power of the Ithuri, besides Baba (he is our grandfather), of course. But she is too aged. You are one of our last hopes, Sharne. Do not let us down. Now, I must leave.” We say goodbye, and I am holding back the tears. This might be the last time I ever see any of my beloved family again. He leaves quickly, needing to be back at his station. And I should also. So I step out from our place of shade we had talked in, wipe my face hurriedly before anyone sees the tears of which only a couple had fallen, and remind myself to be strong. After this, I simply return to my tent, and sharpen the swords that have been dulled from use. In a couple minutes, I hear the horn of gathering for my group. Surprisingly, it is not a horn of war. But one used mainly in peace times, to gather troops together. I wonder why Drodon blows this one now? Even so, I drop my work and obey, running out to the meeting place. Almost all the men from my division are there, and our fearless leader stands tall in front of the crowd. He is talking already, and my ears struggle to catch the words. But my mind is elsewhere, it focuses on the danger outside the camp. Because it is near- nearer than it ever was before. So close, if someone even put a toe outside the safety of our camp, he- or she- would be slaughtered. So why doesn't Drodon realize this also? Maybe he does. Perhaps that is what his speech is about. So I strain my ears farther, and pick up on what he is saying. And I cannot believe them. He talks of defeat, like we haven't even fought yet. He says that he is proud of us, for coming this far, but if we have any sense we will not follow him into battle. He wishes his men a last goodbye, and tells us we should go home to our families, spend our last days in peace, instead of being slain on a battlefield. Not wanting to listen to this madness, since I certainly cannot understand it, I look around for the reactions of my fellow soldiers. Some of them seem perplexed, a select few are nodding their heads, but then they shake any thoughts of desertion away, but most of the men I see are plain angry. Rolan included. I see him clench his fists together, a sure sign that he will speak up soon. And speak up, he does. Jump up, actually. He rushes forwards and leaps onto the small platform where our used-to-be 'fearless leader' still stands. My friend, with the help of a guard, ushers him off and back into Drodon's tent. Now everyone else gasps, not quite sure what to think, or what to do. This is my chance. I spy Rolan leaving the tent, and run to grab his arm and drag him up onto the platform with me. He looks bewildered, even a little tired, but I ignore it, and begin to speak. “Fellow soldiers,” I shout out, beginning my short speech, “I am sure that our chief has confused you as much as me. Who knows why he said those terrible things? One reason that came to mind was that he wanted to make us angry. So we can fight harder. Because we all know he will fight the hardest of all! So what do you say? We are not deserters! We are brave! You are men, not boys! Stand up now, for your country, if we have no Drodon at the head or not. Because our chosen leader is not a deserter either, I am sure of it! Come now, citizens! Put your blades together, and FIGHT to the death!” With that last statement, I leave the crowd, Rolan still standing there, mouth wide open. Where I go, is to my tent, grabbing my blade and sharpening it one last time. I am not in the front lines, indeed, I am at the very back, which is the safest place for me. In the back I will have time to search out my biggest opponents, and take them down, all with the powers of my mind. The blade is simply for protection, if for some reason, I do not have the time to seek someone out. Which, in the heat of battle, can happen.


Okey Dokey, here goes

So, I decided to post something different on here for now... so here's a story that I've been writing! I'll post it in shifts. Here's the first part:
The Flight.


It seems like just yesterday that I said yes to this mission. Can it really have been a whole month ago? But I don't have time to think about these things. Not now. The danger is too near. It's closer than any of us can imagine. Not even those of us who have had previous experience dealing with the Treka. This is close. It's coming. Nearer and nearer. It is so close now that I can feel the darkness around the camp. Feel the evil, spreading. It has spread so far, and in such a short time. Now, this darkness has spread all the way towards the border of our homeland. We are camped by this border, waiting for attack. We must protect the kingdom. We are its' only hope. I should be frightened, but for some reason of luck, I'm not. Instead, I feel a growing anticipation, like something good is coming. Only, what's coming now is the furthest from good this world has ever seen. I hear a voice, shouting above all the noise the men are making. A command. Drodon turns to me. He shouts, "Sharne, take the horses. We must move back. We will wait above the peak. It is a safer place." I jump up from my spot on the grass, and hurry to obey my leader. If he thinks that the peak will be safer, then where he goes, we will follow. It is a great army that has assembled. Hundreds, thousands, of men, with one purpose in life from now until death. Protect the kingdom. Fight against the Treka. Keep the women and children out of this mess. I scoff at this thought. I am no man. I am a women. And I am as far into this mess as a person could be.

As I rush to tend to the horses, I hear the bustle of thousands of men running like me, and for a moment pause to think if there are any relatives of mine in danger. And the answer is, yes indeed. All of them. My brothers, Horath and Solth, are fighting in this same army. They are placed in a different regiment as I, so I have not seen them, but I know they are there. And I know that all three of us will not survive. I think of Mama and Pappi, so far away, but still too close to the danger. They reside towards the heart of the kingdom, with my younger sister Karkeen. She is only aged 13, three years younger than me- I fear for her. Also I fear for Mama, Pappi, and other numerous relatives outside close family. Cousins, second cousins, aunts, uncles, and now that Horath is wed, a niece and newborn nephew. I am sad for them. To be born into such a world as it is right now. At least, they are children, innocent, with no blame on their shoulders. I hope that they will live a good life up until the day of death. Because who knows how soon that can be. I hear a shout, and my thoughts break apart at the sound of my name. Who could be calling me? I whirl around, quickly, and see the faint shadow of a man sneaking up behind me. I whirl around again, catching him, and there he is- my good friend, Rolan . "Rolan!" I exclaim, saying like a child, "You surprised me!" He laughs, and I blush, hoping he cannot see it in the ever looming twilight. "Yes," he says, "that was my goal. What are you doing over here, anyway, Sharne? Drodon says we are to head north! And this direction is most certainly not north." I sigh, and push my way past him to where the horses were tied. Rolan always tries to protect me. Keep me from danger. Sometimes I think that he sees me as a child still, since I am a girl, and 4 years younger than him. "I know this," I say to him, "And he gave me a task I have yet to complete. The horses need to fall back, too."

"Oh." he pauses, at a loss for words, and I shove a horse's reigns into his palm. I tell him, "Make yourself useful." He smiles again, and we both lead our horses up the hill. There are 13 of the creatures in all that are not being ridden, 7 of them officer's horses who have not been claimed to ride yet, and the others pack horses, cross-bred between horses and the legendary zebras to make sturdy, strong animals, who carry our most important supplies. Rolan and I must take several trips up the hill where we are going to camp, and by the time we take hold of the ropes on the last few horses, our old camp is deserted. "We must hurry," he says in a whisper, "there's not much time left." We go up the hill, as fast as we can, and I think the horses sense the danger that is coming. They seem to be in a hurry as well. Horses are smart creatures. As we half walk- half run up this hill, I look at my companion. I have known him since birth, our families have been comrades for generations. It seems almost ironic that we will still be together at our death. I think that maybe some kind of treaty, or peace offering might have been made between our families, many years ago. What other explanation would make sense? I have known families that have feuded for years, but ours have always stayed peaceful with each other. I really do wonder why. I start to ask Rolan if he knows anything about it, but he silences me. "We cannot say a word," he whispers, so faintly that I can barely hear him. I nod. Now we break into an even run, the horses easily keeping time with us as we labor up the hill. I move silently in my leather boots, and Rolan breathes quietly. The only thing that worries me now is the sound these creatures in our tow is making. I'm sure the Treka, even if they didn't have extra-good hearing, could have heard them from a mile away. I glance over at Rolan again and I am sure he is thinking the same thing. But we cannot give away our camp. We must come up with a plan. But what? And I cannot talk to Rolan- we shouldn't risk even the tiniest sound to escape our lips. And we definitely can't lose these horses. They're important! They carry the supplies, the wounded, and more! I stop in my tracks. What to do? Rolan notices, and he motions towards the woods that lie on our left. I nod, and we sneak in that direction. As soon as we are enclosed in foliage, we turn to each other. He whispers, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" And I pause to think. What I'm thinking is that we have to get the horses back to the camp safely without giving away our position. I say back to him in a hushed voice, "Yes. But how can we do it?" He ponders this a while, and I wonder can he come up with a better plan than I? He has had more military experience. And he is older. So I let him think. As soon as I begin to get impatient, he says, "The only way I can think of is to cut through this forest. The Treka might have an advanced sense of hearing, but their noses are worse than ours. I think it's our only chance. What about you? Any other thoughts?" As usual, I speak before I think, and so I speak too loud. Before the first word gets out of my mouth, Rolan leaps towards me, knocking us both to the ground, his hand clasps over my mouth. I start to struggle to get him off from on top of me, but I realize he's only thinking of our safety. I was foolish. And he's helping me. I am so stupid sometimes! After a full minute of silence, he rolls off me, and I spring to my feet. Rolan does too, only since he is heavier, he doesn't succeed. I reach down my hand to him, and he takes it, now jumping up easily. "Sorry," he whispers, "But be quiet!" I frown. I always hate being wrong. But this was Rolan, who'd seen me being wrong since birth, so I gave in. "Me too." I whisper, not sure if even he can hear me, "Is this quiet enough for you?" He grins again, that special warm grin, and I know I am forgiven. This makes me smile too, and quickly the only thing we are doing is grinning away at each other in silence. One of our animal friends snorts, and we break this friendly gaze. I almost forgot that we were on a mission! And I think he did too. We take the horses leads now, and walk north through the forest. As we traipse along, trying to make as little sound as possible, Rolan whispers to me the plan. "We are going to cut through the forest- unfortunately this means going the long way around. We'll come up, way north of the camp, then cut downwards, and enter the camp from the east. The Treka will become disoriented, as we go in a circle, almost. They will stop listening to us, and listen for other sounds, trying to prove where we are going. Then we make our escape into the camp safely." I nod, and whisper back, "Yes. And after they lose our sound they won't be able to track us, because the forest confuses the smell." Now he nods, and we go on, walking, the only sound being the crunch of twigs beneath the horse's hooves. It is getting dark and I find it hard to see, but I go by touch and feel, touching the fingers of my right hand to the tree trunks, and making sure the hand on my left is always brushing Rolan's tunic. This is the safest way to travel after dusk, with a companion. Since he is on the alert, I decide this might be a time to practice the skills of my people. Rolan is only human, a warrior from birth, but I am of a higher class. The Ithuri is our scientific name, but the common people call us 'The Mind-benders.'.

We are a rare race, not many of us are still alive, and most of those who are, either do not know their skills, or choose to not use them. Also, they are all men- all but one. Me. I am the single female Ithuri.

I have heard of a few men who live as nomads, spending their time in caves, and eating bark and leaves. The thought of any living person, especially one so important as an Ithuri, acting that way makes me shudder. But I take my thoughts off of these sad things, and concentrate. It is the only way to practice the powers of the mind. Pure and complete concentration. I close my eyes, since I cannot see anyway, and clear my brain. Soon I feel a tingling sensation, in my limbs, around my heart, but mostly in my mind. I open my 'eyes of awareness' (as I like to call them) and see the forest moving around me inside my head. My eyelids are closed, yet I can see. I reach out my mind to the tree closest by me, and soon enough, I am inside it. I start to close myself around it, but my concentration is broken, and I find myself falling back into reality. I sit up, somehow I am on the ground. “Rolan!” I whisper frantically, thankfully remembering not to shout. “Where are you?” Someone taps me from behind, and I jump to my feet, drawing the dagger I always carry with me. “Shush!” my friend tells me, “I'm right here! What were you doing, Sharne?” I sigh with relief, glad that he is here beside me. But I cannot utter the simple words to tell him what I was doing. Not with Treka listening. “Skills.” I whisper, and he nods. Rolan understands. He has the horses still, and so we travel on, up the slope, very quietly. Darkness is complete now, but my companion knows the way, and I follow, like before, by my touch. Several times I stumble, hating the dark and damp, and a few times, my finger gets pricked. But I continue on, knowing that Drodon will be worrying, that we should have been back by now. But maybe, by keeping the enemy's eye on us, the camp will be safe that much longer. I decide against mind-bending until light comes again, hopefully we will be in camp safe by then. I am brushing my left hand against Rolan's cloak again, but now he reaches back, finds my fingers, and takes my hand in his. He grasps it tight, not glancing back at me, we just keep walking like nothing has changed. But why does he hold my hand? It isn't exactly the kind of thing that simple friends do. He must have tired of my fingers constantly brushing on, brushing off, brushing on. But now he holds my hand tighter, and I feel his finger tracing along my skin. It feels good, and I throw off all worries, knowing that he is in control, and this must be safer. Still, I have never held hands with a male before, except Pappi, and a tiny little part in the back of my brain wonders if it is wrong. No. It can't be. We both know that we are only friends. Nothing is to come of it. This, I am sure of.

We walk on some more, the horses still following us, until I can't bear the silence any longer, and ask in a whisper, “Are we quite north enough yet?” Rolan pauses, sniffing the wind and looking at the trees, until he tells me, “Almost. It will be soon.” “Good!” I say, and he smiles back at me. I nod, smile also, and start walking again. The animals we lead on to camp are being very good and quiet, I hope they will have some rest before it is time for battle. I shudder again at this thought, and my friend looks back at me. I try to put on a brave face, but he knows that I am worrying again for animals' safety, and he squeezes my hand twice. Such a kind gesture. He really is a good friend. I wonder again about some kind of treaty, a peaceful treaty, between the families, and consider asking Rolan about it. Surely he must wonder too. Sometimes, though, I think that our families were just meant to be friends. You know, fate. All the peoples in out families get along perfectly. My parents, and Rolan's, our siblings, and, well, us two. We have portraits of our ancestors together, even. The connection goes way back. My thoughts are broken once again, by a whisper. It is Rolan, of course. “We're here,” he says, “Time to cut down and into camp. We will have to be extra careful. So watch your mouth, please!” He says jokingly, but I know he means it. I do have trouble staying quiet sometimes. Also, thinking before I speak isn't one of my virtues. But I shut my mouth tight, and promise him silently that I will be quiet.

He creeps down a slope, and I hurry to follow him. The horses hooves start to slip, and I nudge him forwards, then, he jumps! Down off the slope, into a clearing that suddenly appears. I jump to, not being able to help it, and the horses follow, jumping gracefully. We land on solid ground, tents all around, men hurrying to and fro, preparing for battle. I look at Rolan, and he looks at me. I give him a final nod, then rush to put the horses in their place. As we separate, I look back with one last glance, and see him, still standing there, watching the horses go. Because of course, he cannot be watching me.



>> Tuesday, February 3, 2009

above: Eva Above: Angel and me
Above: Angel
Above: Winnie
Above: jenny

above: some kids

Above:me with a Chinese family that I went to the night market with.

Here are some pictures from Taiwan! I'll post more when I get home, too!


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