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Poetry! (untitled)

I’ve experimented with grudges,
I’ve tried my hand at hate,
I’ve broken a promise willfully
to watch it wither and fade.

I’d given up making excuses -
claiming dust just turns to dust,
and cheerfully defiled the names of those
who’d turned my word to rust.

And still, amidst all the toil,
there is a grace that lasts:
Loyalty is a phoenix, fierce
and birthed from it’s own ash.

Oh my goodness,

Dearest readers, it seems life has crept up on me and kept me away from this blog. I seem to have no time in between pretending to do my homework and pretending to clean my room to actually update. It’s quite sad. However, I promise I will think up a steamy post of goodness to bring you very soon.

Until then, enjoy this humorous photo of a cat:

The “Cool Kids Table”

Everyone remembers it. It was the one place you secretly always wanted to be. Sure, you mocked them and sneered when anyone mentioned any of the few elite who were able to be in such a group. But in your head, you always pictured yourself sitting in the circle, laughing at their inside jokes, feeling like you were somewhere that mattered – even if you did hate all the people around you. It was the acceptance, the inclusion, the sense of community, even if parts of it are fake, that was so tantalizing.

In high school, it was the bane of your existence – taunting you every chance it got, simply because you were a nobody and had nowhere to be. But does the “cool kids table” disappear when high school’s over? Of course not. Just look at yourself, think about a group of people whom you publicly detest and constantly ridicule. Does it sting when you see one of their faces in your head? Can you picture the entourage together, laughing at things you say you don’t care about…but then you wonder what it is they’re actually talking about over there? That’s them. Those are the cool kids. They may not be the skinniest, the richest, the most chic or the most well-known where you’re at, but to you, they are the A-Crowd – the people to either be seen with or be weary of. And we all have them.

Don’t ask why this came on – I could explain, but (as I’m sure you would be, too,) I’m slightly ashamed at who my “cool kids” are. They are a group of people whom I’ve been warned are no good, whom I can see many as being shallow and unbalanced, but whom I still envy with everything inside of me for one reason: They have each other.

Group dynamic is not thought to be too terribly important until you are stripped of it. When we have a bunch of friends vying for our attentions, sure we want our alone time. But when you’re tossed into a place where you have no one but yourself, and if you’re lucky a close friend or two, you wish and wish that you had a backup squad. It’s hard to get through life all by yourself. Or, even if you’re not completely alone, there are limitations on individual friendships. You may be able to talk to Person A about thing 1 yet not thing 2, but you can tell Person B about thing 2 whenever you need to. And both A and B may be no good at a certain task (problem solving, algebra, etc), so when you need a hand there, you turn to Person C. To try and get through on your own is hard — it causes you to start blogs and vent to faceless, possibly non-existent people – like me.

So, who are your cool kids? And why aren’t you one of them? What is the force that stands between you and your A-crowd membership card? This is mostly rhetorical, of course, but think about it for a while. Who are the cheerleaders to your band geek?

Mushy-Gushy

Dear Mostly-Non-Existant Readers,

There are many things in my life that make me very happy at the moment. First, there is my gem of a boyfriend. He is truly a beacon of light in my life. He is my best friend, somewhat of a spiritual TomTom when I need it,  and the silliest, nerdiest, sweetest, most devilish person I’ve ever met, and he loves me to death. I, no doubt, return the same affections. I’ve been love-struck before, but for the first time in my life, I am in a healthy relationship that actually makes me happy.

Second, the spiritual path that I am on these days also has me in a very nice place. While, I do at times suffer from the broom closet blues, that is a subject for another post altogether. I feel at home in a religion that embraces nature, freedom, acceptance and the personal power that exists within every person and every thing. (For fear of crossing tree-hugging territory, I will not go much more into that particular facet.) I spent a good deal of my life questioning and *trying* to fit into a mold of what the religious traditions I was brought up in required of me. But this is a natural fit for me, something that I feel I was born to follow. My spiritual turmoil has settled into peace that now only bubbles with excitement for what I can learn, experience and do from this point on with it.

Also, food is nice.

=] Enjoy that bit of optimism, invisible readers.

- Kailene

An alien concept

Dear readers, if such exist, I have quite a question for you today.

Now, it may seem silly to you that I bring up this subject, but I think it is an important question. But it is something that I believe every human being has pondered at least once: Are we – the inhabitants of this planet, both humans and animals – the only being beings capable of intelligent thought in the entirety of the universe? (And don’t argue with me over the idea of animals being capable of intelligent thought. Observe them for a while and tell me they do not form the same kind of familial and social patterns as we do.)

In simpler terms, are there aliens, or are we alone?

“It isn’t fate that took us all by storm,
it’s just the turn of a card.”

Here’s a nice little subject to go into. Do you believe in fate, or do you think that our lives are random?

Personally, I believe in fate. I can’t bring myself to believe that things happen just by chance. I believe that we die at a time that’s predetermined as “our time.” I believe that we experience certain things in our lives to prepare us for the things that we will face later. I don’t believe in useless suffering (unless by that, you meant the kind we bring upon ourselves) – everything has a purpose, and our lives are not left to dangle in the wind.

But, like I said – that’s just me. What do you believe?

-Kailene

P.S. Here’s the source of that little snippet. One of my personal favorites. =D

Maybe redemption is stories to tell,
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell.
Where can you run to, escape from yourself?

I have always had ills with the current state of the education system in many ways. As this post points out, their teaching methods are often irrelevant and seem to drill into one’s head the importance of matters that hold no bearing on the world in which the students are going to enter. Mind you, when you’re 14 this sentiment may come out as, “Why am I ever going to need Algebra II in real life???” But the point is still the same: They spend too much time trying to *tell* you what to *know* and hardly any time trying to *teach* you how to *think.* (The concept of teaching for an exam, which I have had many teachers openly admit to doing, is a cop-out.)

How long before we begin to hear this refrain?  Maybe from students, maybe from “experts”. Given developments in today’s world, and they keep coming, it’s not far-fetched to think that the present traditional model is simply not up to the task, is outdated, and out-of-sync with the needs to modern life. We have to get our view up to a higher level to see this.  We have to get out of the myopic perspective that is leading us into the abyss.   The … Read More

via Ultimate Prep School

The trouble with POV

Now, considering that I’m still only in the process of writing the first book, this may seem like I’m jumping ahead of myself to some of you. However, it must be understood that since the moment the idea for the story was born, it has always been a three-part tale, and all three parts are just as important as the others. It is nearly impossible for me to single one part out from the other three, especially now in the writing and creating stage, because it’s just that type of story.

All that said, one of my biggest issues when approaching it is POV (point of view). I’m quite accustomed to writing in first person point of view, and have personally always considered my third person to be quite shallow. That aside, when looking at the story itself and how intimate I want certain things to be, there was never really a doubt in my mind that I would tell it from first person. My question was always – “But who’s point of view is it?”

While writing “Emerald…,” we are seeing the story through Valencia’s eyes, because most of the first book is about her discovering the Emerald, learning about the magical world hidden in her backyard, and beginning to use her magical abilities up to the beginning of the War. This one, for me, was a no-brainer. There would be no other way to really tell this story than from her point of view.

Where it gets sketchy is in part two. With Liam and Valencia on separate continents for the entire story, it would exceptionally hard to do justice to this part of the story by giving the point of view to only one of the main characters. So, what I think I’ve decided on is to make the second book be told from both of their perspectives. Letting Liam tell the story for the Pack will bring a whole new depth to his character. Going between the fighting Liam and Valencia trekking across the Atlantic to find him will allow readers to see the whole scope of the War.

Which leads me into the third book. I’d considered the second book strategy for quite some time, but it always seemed off when considering I’d go back to Valencia’s perspective in the third part.  By this point, we’ve already seen Valencia rise and conquer most of what she’s got to deal with. What’s occurred to me now is to tell the third part from Liam’s perspective. Honestly, at this point, it’s going to be his story. He’s the one with the most to lose there. Why this hadn’t occurred to me before, however, I have no idea.

At the moment, I’m quite pleased with this decision. What do you guys think? Do you think this will provide a smooth transition for readers, or is it simply too confusing?

Thanks to XKCD for this tidbit.

Alright, lads, here’s a real question for ya.

At some of these universities, they have this nifty little program where you can design your own major. I think, given the right mix of classes – definitely science, math, and probably even a few philosophies – you could, in theory, design a time travel major. Your assignment, dear readers and students, is to put together a sort of major checksheet as would pertain to a “time travel major.” By all means, have fun with it – express your inner sci-fi nerd, but in all seriousness, include any and everything you think would be necessary to earn a theoretical degree in time travel.

Off with you, then. And report your findings here (or you can email me if you want to keep your submission private til the unveiling.) I will pick my favorite (read: both most practical and most entertaining) curricula and share them. I’ll give you, say – a week. Sound good? Now, allons y!

- Kailene

P.S. If you’re in need of inspiration (and happen to have a Netflix account,) take a bit of time off to watch a few episodes of Doctor Who, or any of your other favorite time travel-related shows/movies. =D

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