Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An Update

April has been a lot of fun so far. Though the weather fluctuates more than me or my family would like, and I injured myself last Sunday and have been on crutches since, I've loved this month so far. 

For one, I've had to use less layers of clothing to keep myself warm. This means that once again I can walk outside in merely jeans and a t-shirt and be perfectly fine--no freezing or anything.

For twice, the tulips bloomed. Their yellow, red, and orange blooms were a stark contrast against the bleary shades of brown I'd grown so used to seeing this past winter I could see it behind my eyelids if I closed them. Unfortunately, almost as soon as the tulips had opened their petals to the world, a sharp wind and snowstorm blew them to the ground, snapping their stems. 

I took as many of them inside as I could, and put them in a shallow vase. There, they lit up the area above the microwave nicely, until they finally wilted and died a few days later.

For thrice, the aspect of school being let out next month makes me both sad and jumping at the bit for my summer vacation. I will be sad to leave my homeschooling group, because I know that for many of my friends I will not see them again until the fall, when classes resume. However, I am ready to sleep in every morning, because band class starts first hour and all through the cold, dark winter made me rise before sunrise. 

Which I both hated and appreciated. 

On the subject of band, this week we were required to give presentations. Basically, we had to pick an old classical piece and compare it to a modern day song. I've never been good at public presentations (I get a tremor in my voice, I think), and so I was nervous for this assignment. I chose to compare Night on Bald Mountain, by Mussorgsky, and Lovers' Eyes, by Mumford & Sons.

I compared tone and mood. By the end of the presentation the band teacher was enthused, and I had to replay Night on Bald Mountain for the class. Needless to say, I think I got an a. Which is good.

With spring just now warming up for good, I wonder what the next few months will bring: lots of rain, and sun? Or more cold days with freezing wind?

Whatever it is, I'll have to sludge through it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bits and Pieces: April Edition

Picture/Photo Find:

Something I Did:

Yesterday I traveled to Hays, Kansas, for my last ever robotics competition. Because I'm fifteen, I have outgrown the welcome of the FLL robotics team, and so I can't compete next year.

Being with my friends all day definitely kept me from feeling too nostalgic, but at the end of the day, as they dropped me off at my house, I couldn't help but feel a little sad (also, I was emotionally compromised because we had just been watching the saddest part of Life of Pi, when my friend Erin paused it to dump me off).

One of the best parts of the tournaments is that you are surrounded, literally surrounded, by geeks and nerds alike. They crush you with their nerd-dom, something that is both familiar and comforting. You can talk about Loki freely with a group of people who understand his character development. You can show people your Figment page because they actually know what Figment is and are interested in reading your stuff. Really, it was great.

I plan to help my robotics coach next year and maybe attend the competitions with them, but it won't be the same--not only because I won't be part of the team, but also because I won't be competing. I'll be helping.

There's a certain part to growing up that really slays me, and it's that the bigger you grow the more responsible of things you are, and the less fun things you get to do.

A Writer Thing:

The short story: I submitted my first story o a lit mag.

The elongated story: After shuffling my feet and dreaming of the days when I would finally grow some balls and write a cover letter so I could send some short stories out to literary magazines, I finally took the initiative, sat down, and wrote it.

Then, I carefully submitted a short story to a small, online magazine called Lightning Cake.

Their description:

Lightning Cake is a tiny zine of illustrated speculative flash fiction. New electrifying bites published weekly. Cut yourself a slice and chomp in.

I thought it sounded like just my cup of tea, so I submitted. Plus, it does not hurt in the least that I know the editor from Figment, and I am very comfortable submitting my stuff to her. It has been a learning experience, and even when I get rejected I will be grateful for the experience.

A Song for Your Ears:

You may remember a few months ago in this one Bits and Pieces post, where I told you that I watched a lot of these anime movies by a guy named Hayao Miyazaki. Hoping to gain yet another layer from these movies, I started listening to the scores from them.

My favorite is from Howl's Moving Castle. Have a listen; I like the violin parts most of all, because they move and take the melody, but I think the piano bits are especially breathtaking. 

What am I Doing Tonight?

Well, tonight is my high school's prom. My sister Hope will be going with her boyfriend (also known by close friends as "Rhett"), and I will be staying at home, dreaming of the day when I will have a boyfriend--or at least a friend--to attend with. 

Perhaps I will do some reading.