Sunday, September 28, 2014

October Madness!!!

(This will be a short post since it's already 9:30 and I still have a math quiz to study for.)

 I am really looking forward to the next month! 
"I remember it as October days are always remembered, cloudless, maple-flavored, the air gold and so clean it quivers." Leif Enger
Okay, as y'all know, there are only a few hours left in September. Which means that next month is October-- which means:

  • I will have a new baby brother in the next month! (Number six-- poor thing, can he handle being the youngest of so many kids?)
  • There is only one month to NaNoWriMo!
  • We will probably have snow in less than a month!
  • The annual Autumn Glory festival over in Maryland!
  • Hello to hot cider, oversized sweatshirts every day, and sneaking my cats into my bedroom!
  • I take the PSAT test! (Which I am incredibly nervous about!)
  • The annual barn dance!
  • About a million birthdays in my family! (October's our month, apparently.)
  • Halloween! Although at my house, it's Reformation Day.
  • Writing tons of spooky stories to match the mood of this gloomy month!
What about you? What are you looking forward to in October?

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Just Ocurred to Me...

In English class lately, we've been discussing Edgar Allen Poe and his writings. Those of you that are familiar with the story of Poe know that he lived a tragically short life, but the work he accomplished in that time advanced modern writing hugely.

He is known as the father of the short story. Without his work, a lot of horror fiction we know today- like Stephen King, or books about zombie apocalypses or dark, dystopian settings-- may never have come about. Up until his time, most books for young people were very cheerful and upbeat. Poe introduced an entirely new style of writing to the world. For example, The Cask of Amontillado and Telltale Heart are told from the POV of deranged men who both murder someone and hide the body. And the famous "The Raven" is about death.

So I've been thinking, and my friends and I came up with a theory in class today: Poe wrote so much with insane narrators, dark, depressing settings, and death. This makes me wonder if Poe had some experience with these things himself-- of killing people and hiding their corpses?

The best place to hide something is in plain sight. If Poe really had killed someone and covered up his crime, and he wrote stories based on it, no one would ever suspect him.

What do you think about Edgar Allen Poe and his dark, twisted stories? Do you think maybe he could have...? *gulp*

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Thief

The Thief crept softly along the wall, stealing up the staircase. He scaled the steps expertly, without a single oak board creaking beneath him. He paused near the top to smile wickedly to himself. He was drawing near his prize. A blindfold was in one hand, a long dagger in the other.

He is the puff of wind that steals the flame from the row of candles; likewise, he sniffs out the breath of life. He is the chills that run up and down your spine when you think if somethig horrifying. He is horror itself. He is the eyes fixed upon you when you are alone but sense someone watching you-- you turn to face him, but no one is there.
He is shadowy. He is lurid. He is cunning. He smells of the morbid stench of rot. He is the most famous thief ever to roam the earth.
He is Death.

Golden Horseshoe-- September 6, 2014

I meant to post this last week, but I had some pictures I wanted to upload before I posted it. So here it is! (Still waiting on a few photos.)

Okay, so all eighth graders in West Virginia take this big exam called The Golden Horseshoe test to test their knowledge of our state's history. I took it back in March. Well, as it turns out, I placed in the top ten highest scores in the county. So, although I did not do well enough to win one of the actual coveted Golden Horseshoes, I still did pretty good.

So Saturday, I wore a white shirt and a black skirt like the people told me to. Then I showed up at this old Civil War era house, where the ceremony was to be held. Some bluegrass band was playing "Country Roads". Important-looking men in suits were roaming about the grounds. Historic reenactors  in full costume were explaining the history of the house. Farmers were selling vegetables out of the beds of their trucks. (One of them was, surprisingly enough, my old kindergarten teacher. We stopped and talked to her and she said she was proud of me and then launched into a speech about how I should avoid boys until after college. Ah, Mrs. M.)

Here I am, having never really taken a selfie before,
smiling like an idiot because I'm so nervous.

Yup, aaaand still smiling like an idiot.
The parents made us pose for pictures on the porch (it was SO CRUEL of them!), so we lined up between the columns.

Whaaaat? We have to have our pictures taken?
 There were three flags hanging over us: the American flag, the West Virginia state flag, and a violet flag with a very interesting picture on it.
 "Um, is that a picture of a guy stepping on another guy's throat?" I asked, glancing up. It looked vey odd, indeed, especially since it was upside down from where we were standing. The others stared up at it, too, and had similar reactions.
"It's Virginia's flag." said one of the moms. "We used to be part of Virginia, you know. Or at least I hope you guys know that-- you scored the highest on that test out of the county!"
"Yes, we know. But that's still kind of... gruesome, don't you think?" said one girl. We spent the next ten minutes discussing the Virginia state flag.
Then we were lined up two by two and led in a circle around the house.

The ROTC color guard led the procession.
My cape-thing refused to stay up like it was supposed to,
so I had to hold my shoulders at a really awkward angle.
 Before the colors (flags) were put in their posts by the porch steps, we stood in front of our seats. After the Pledge, the Color Guard pivoted, marched towards the steps, and planted the flags in their posts. One of the flag poles was inches from my feet, so during the ceremony, the flag kept blowing back and hitting me in the face. It was draped over my head for a good bit of the talking, because every time I pushed it away, it fluttered right back down onto my face. My parents were laughing and my friends beside me were snickering quietly. I gave them dirty looks-- although the offenders couldn't see them, because the West Virginia state seal was plastered over me.

See, I told you. Right in my face.
Once each of those important guys had remarked on what a great day it was and what a bright future we had with students like these before them, they started calling our names. One by one, the ten of us went up the stairs to shake the hands of the important dudes and be presented with our plaque, as well as a book on West Virginia history.

When they called my name, I skipped up the steps and then turned around to face the "crowd", which consisted of the color guard, the families of my nine fellow winners, and a handful of old couples. And, even in front of that small number of people, I froze. I stood stiff, unable to move, next to a lady as she read something about me from a binder.

"... and Rebecca was homeschooled. Go ahead and get your stuff, honey."

Now out of my frozen stupor, I stumbled over to the men in suits. My fingers fumbled as they tried to grasp the things that were handed to me and shake the men's' hands at the same time. Then I sat back down with a thunk, doing my best to keep from flushing bright red. Grace was apparently not my thing today. (Or any day.)

And then it was over. By some Divine Providence, I managed not to fall on my face on the way down the steps.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Life Right Now in Song Lyrics

Just taking a quick break from my algebra homework, hehe... (I'll finish it tonight, I promise.) These are mostly Taylor Swift lyrics, 'cause I don't listen to much else, but...  :D

Yes<3. A Place In This World by Taylor Swift 

-- Taylor Swift, A Place in This World
The outside

--Taylor Swift, The Outside
Character inspiration
An invisible girl in a cruel, cruel world
Still can find some peace,
When she flies
Out of her mind
To a beautiful place with sunny skies
She's free
When she dreams she's Queen Maybelline.
She knows God don't make mistakes
She believes there'll come a day
When she finally finds her place

-- The Band Perry, Queen Maybelline
She ain't right - Lee Brice<3

-- Lee Brice, She Ain't Right
-- Taylor Swift, Superman

--Taylor Swift, Diary of Me

Taylor Swift, Diary of Me--  google search results
Taylor Swift, A Place in This World--
Picture with "Queen Maybelline"--

Monday, September 1, 2014

Autumn Musings

Happy September, everyone! In the past few years, I'd forgotten how much I love fall. But now that it's here and I'm in school all day, I'm starting to appreciate the things I took for granted when I was homeschooled

For instance, snuggling up under the covers and sleeping in on dreary days when I didn't feel like getting up just yet. Hot breakfasts with my family in the mornings. Sitting on the sill of the big window with a book, watching the beads of rain roll down the glass. Drinking hot cider while doing my school in an oversized sweatshirt. Studying in my room with a purring stowaway cat in my lap who is not supposed to be inside. Going outside during the day.

I don't get to do any of those things much anymore.

The things I enjoy most right now are my early-morning walks to the bus stop. The bus picks me up way at the end of our road, so it's a bit of a hike, but I don't mind. It's the only time during the day that I have to myself.

I like those walks very much. I like the feel of the cold gravel crunching under my feet-- the ratty, discolored tennis shoes that I refuse to throw away, despite my mother's pleadings. The grass, tall and windswept beyond the pasture fence, is dewy and even dusted with a little frost some mornings. Spiderwebs, or "fairy looms" as I used to call them, sparkle like diamonds throughout. Our late-blooming sunflowers nod to me as I pass by. The fog drapes over the hill like a sheet, almost touching the ground, and no matter how close I get to it, I can never quite touch it. The Artist has touched the edges of the leaves with russet and gold. And I just breathe all this in, take out my notebook, and write it down.

It's times like this that I feel sorry for people who don't believe in God. How blind can they be? All these beautiful things didn't just create themselves. They have a Creator, who cares for his creation. And that knowledge, I think, makes nature even more beautiful than it already is.

What about you? What are your favorite things about fall?

(Will upload photos in the morning. We've already turned the computer off for the night, so right now I'm on the iPod which is picture-less.)