I Need Your Help

Hey. So, my family and I have lived in our current home for over eleven years now. Our rent, when added with our usual monthly bills and stuff, consumes almost all of my family’s monthly income. My mom is working a lot of hours per week, at two separate jobs, while somehow continuing to be the primary caretaker of my three younger siblings, as well as the person who keeps the house organized and prevents all hell from breaking loose. My dad, who has very severe chronic pain, hasn’t been able to work for many years (I think it’s been more than four…), and often is unable to help out in his already-limited everyday household happenings, like cooking dinner, driving to the store and stuff, or even helping Amanda (eight years old) and AJ (6 years old) with their homework. I have ADHD, anxiety (which causes OCD), and chronic Lyme, and have also just recently been diagnosed on the low end of the spectrum for Asperger’s (which may also be causing ODD and a mood disorder). Although I do my best to pitch in, I’m not always, um, helpful, and typically my attempts to help out… well, they ultimately add to the chaos (I’m always working on that). My uncle also lives with us on weekends, and my family also includes Burban and Popsicle, a cat and a hamster.

We’re doing very badly financially, frankly. I’m used to it, because we’ve had very little money for the majority of my life. However, even disregarding the fact that it’s never been this bad, no one should have to worry about keeping their children warm and fed with a roof over their heads, and I can’t stand to see my parents so stressed all the time. My mom is even having blood pressure problems because of this.

Getting back to our house, it has many problems for us. For one, we don’t fit in it, leaving my littlest siblings to share a room (which is very detrimental to them, especially to their sleep and right to privacy), and my parents to have their bed downstairs in a musty-smelling half-way room with no door, separated by the TV by only half of a half wall. Also, our house is very, very poorly insulated, our basement leaks every time a small drizzle happens, and our appliances break constantly because our landlord only fixes them half-assed every time, and never has an expert or professional come look at it. Adding to this is the fact that our house is home to an unknown number of mice, insects, stupid stupid spiders, and many other unwanted things… including mold. My mom believes this is adding to my family’s health issues, including asthma and allergies, which we all have, some of use very severely (we regularly need to use our nebulizer for asthma, for example). Though we’ve been looking for opportunities to move for years, we’ve had no luck.

Until now.

We’ve been offered an affordable housing option that will suit almost all of our family needs, which is located in a great neighborhood for my siblings to grow up. The only problem is, we may not be able to make it happen. We currently don’t have enough money to even begin paying for closing costs. With Christmas being less than 30 days away, and the timeline for this being we would move in around January or February, we are in desperate need of a miracle. I’m asking you to please help.

Please share this link everywhere and anywhere you possibly can, and encourage your friends to do the same. It leads to a fundraising page to help with the costs of this amazing opportunity. Please consider donating if you are able to do so, as every bit counts. I can’t imagine coming this close and losing it all.

Thank you so much for your time! Bye!

-Sam

TCWT Blog Chain Post: July 2014

Hey! I’m doing the blog chain again! This month’s prompt is: What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started writing?

I started writing when I was in third grade (I think- it might’ve been fourth grade because my school looped, meaning we had the same teachers for two years). The project was to write and illustrate a book to read to the class and the parents. Most of the kids wrote three, maybe four pages. I wrote twelve. Front and back. When I read it, the class decided that it was the best one. And they didn’t change their minds.

I found the little book again a few years later, in sixth grade. I had been going through my ‘memory box,’ which is where my mom and I put special things from my childhood that we want to save. I re-read it and got so many ideas about expanding it and turning it into a novel that I decided to do just that. The Crystal Guardians: Book One doesn’t really look anything like The Diamond Of Light, the story I wrote in third grade, but it has the same characters, and roughly the same goal. Of course, I’ve added a bunch of characters, but the original ones are still the main protagonists.

That reminds me- I really should start rewriting it again….

Anyways, I’d always been good at writing, whether it be essays, letters, or descriptive language exercises, but I never considered putting all of my ideas onto paper before. My biggest regret is that during those years before sixth grade, I never really wrote down any of my ideas. I might’ve wrote down a couple, but many went to waste, lost in the archives of my mind. I’ll probably never get them back. That kills me.

There’re a lot of things I wish I knew when I really started writing in sixth grade. First, I wish I’d known that, more than four years later, I still haven’t been able to stick with a book. Curse you, ADHD and tiny attention span! I bet if I’d known that, I would’ve tried harder to focus. I’m not saying it would’ve changed anything, but hey, we can always hope that it will (because when someone invents a time machine, I’ll totally go tell my sixth grade self to get a move on!)

I also wish I’d known about that promise I made to the bishop in my letter I wrote for Confirmation. You know, the whole I-promise-to-be-a-published-author-before-I’m-eighteen thing? Actually, you probably don’t know about that, because I just looked back through my previous posts, and it’s not there. I guess I never published it. Oops!

Anyways, we all had to write letters to the bishop before being Confirmed. At the end of my letter, I wrote something like, “Just so I can have more motivation, I’ll tell you that I promise to be a published author before I’m eighteen.” So, not only did he read it himself, at the Confirmation mass, he was reading some excerpts of our letters, and he was like, “good luck to this person,” and read that. I was like, face-palm. I’m surprised my mom didn’t just die right there 🙂 Oh yeah, and he also accidentely gave away my birthday, so now the whole church knew who wrote it, because who else has a birthday of September 11 who wants to write for a living? I’m the only one in my church.

I wish I knew about that because I totally would’ve focused a hell of a lot more before I was fifteen!

There are a bunch of other things I wish I’d known, but the last big one is this: I wish I’d known that it’s better to show the draft to people and get advice than to hide it because you’re too afraid that you’ll get made fun of. That’s a big one that I think everyone should know, no matter how old or experienced they are. That is probably one of the golden rules of writing right there. You’ll never get published if you don’t have someone to fix the plot holes, mechanics, plain-old screw-ups, and all the other stuff that’s wrong. You need more than just one pair of eyes. Nine or ten is optimal.

Alright, I need to go write. Although there’s no way I’m winning Camp NaNoWriMo this month (I’ve given up trying to work against the world and find time), that doesn’t mean I can’t just work on my writing. Bye!

-Sam

 

Participants In The Chain

Four Days Down And I’m Already 6,370 Words Behind

Hey! So, I’ve been super busy the last four nights. On Tuesday, I wrote 10+ freaking pages of a Dos quarter project (which, by the way, ended up 18 pages!), reviewed it, and re-wrote the final draft. So, I only got 963 out of 1,666 words done that day. Wednesday night, I volunteered at my school’s freshman (and LEAP) orientation, which was from 6:30 – 8:30. I didn’t get home until around 3:45, either. I only got 928 words written Wednesday. On Thursday, I was exhausted and feeling sick, so I went to bed at, like, 7 o’clock, plus I met with teachers at school until 4, so I got home around 4:30, which left 2 1/2 hours in between, where I did homework, ate dinner, and took a shower, so I only wrote 72 words. Wow. Amazing.

Last night was my sister’s 8th birthday. Which, by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA!!

Last night, as you may be able to tell, was a change of pace, birthday-wise, yet it was the same, word count-wise (sort of- you’ll see why). I left school at noon because I had a doctors appointment, but that ended a half hour before school normally does, so I would’ve had a bunch of time to write, had it been a regular day. It wasn’t. My mom and I ate at McDonalds real quick, then ran to Party City (by the way, I’m very disappointed in you, Party City- iParty is way better. You shouldn’t’ve bought it out!) because we needed party stuff. We spent about an hour there, because we couldn’t find anything we needed except for party favors.

Party City, you’re a lame-o. I mean, Frozen is the biggest movie right now. It only makes sense that you’d carry Frozen themed party supplies.

But noooo, of course not- only napkins and two balloons. So, we had to improvise, and we tried to find any types of goodie bags that weren’t themed. We ended up having to ask where they were, too, since Party City is kinda disorganized, in my opinion.

Anyways, we finally leave Party City and go to Stop & Shop across the street to pick up the cake and get Mina’s card (Mina is Amanda’s nickname because that’s what she called herself when she was little), which, by the way, I picked out. By the time we get home, it’s past 4, so I have to rush to get everything ready. On a side note, I killed my thumb again (I’d slammed it between the upstairs-bathroom under-the-sink cabinets the night before) by trying to use scissors, and when I tried to squeeze the scissors together, the bump on my thumb pressed up against the scissors. I literally screamed. Ouch.

So, we go to my sister’s party. We leave at 6:15 and get home at 9:45. As of last night (not counting the words I’m supposed to do today that I’m probably going to fall short of, too), I only had 1,963 words written total, leaving me 6,370 words behind. At this rate, I won’t finish on April 30- I’ll be done sometime around the end of July!

Not that I’m not trying, of course. Because I am. It’s just, how the hell am I supposed to write about 1,600 words a day when everyone is nagging me to do something else (and the occasional thing I want to do besides write)?

Camp NaNoWriMo is great. I absolutely love it. I just wish my life wasn’t so hectic so I could actually have a chance to win it!

I guess I’ll have to do most of my work on the weekends. Scratch that, I’ll have to do most of my work locked up in my room on a Sunday, since Saturday is ~cough~ hell day ~cough~ excuse me, I must be getting sick or something 🙂 Saturday is chore day. All. Freaking. Day. And if my mom sees me doing “nothing” (a.k.a. sitting on my bed typing) on Sunday, she’ll give me more chores. It’s a lose-lose situation for me 😦

Anyways, I need to step up my game. Not only do I want to finish Running for the sake of finishing it, I want to get to the end because I absolutely love how it turns out. It’s freaking amazing (plus, I have it more planned out then I do now, so it’ll be easier to get more words in a shorter amount of time).

And, besides all that, it’d be nice just to win at something for once. Especially something I won at because of me.

I just wish it wasn’t so damn hard to find time. I swear, during NaNoWriMo months, the whole world conspires against me to make sure I have no time to write.

I came to a realization last night, which was that when I have no time to write, my brain it on idea overload, yet when my computer is in front of me, I’m working slowly (for me- it’s probably the normal person’s fast). I seriously hate that. Like, why?!

One things my ADHD brain simply cannot stand is editing. Which is what makes NaNoWriMo great, because you don’t have to edit anything for that month. I don’t really know why I hate editing so much, except for maybe because it’s a little repetitive, and my personality+ADHD+repetitive=NOT GOOD.

Also, I hate to write a bunch of detail. I hate to read a bunch of detail, too. Like, a little bit is okay, but don’t get all J. R. R. Tolkien on me! I can’t deal with it, partly because of my ADHD, partly because I just have a short attention span in general. I literally have to force myself to write a lot of detail sometimes, like for The Crystal Guardians: Book 1, when I’m explaining all the Reddikan stuff since it’s alien (literally), and people won’t be able to picture it or understand it well unless I explain it with great detail.

My friend had 5,577 words written. As of before 6:30 p.m. two days ago (April 3). And I’m just here like, yeah, today I gotta write more than you have total to be on par.

So, yeah. I’m gonna go write. Wish me luck! Bye!

-Sam

P.S. As usual, the original image URLs can be found by clicking the images, which I do not own, nor do I pretend to own.

The Deeper Meaning Of Me

Hey. So, the title is pretty self explanatory. Today we’ll be discussing who I am. And I don’t mean the boring stuff, like, ‘oh, I’m a 15 year old girl who’s a sophomore at BCHS.’ No, like the title states, I mean the deep stuff. So, without further ado, let’s explore who I am!

Image

This was when I went with Gabby and her family to release lanterns in memory of Carl, one of her family members who died in a car accident.

First, you have to know that I’m ADHD. That kind of shapes my whole life, and not always in a bad way. Sure, it makes my wicked (see my New England heritage 🙂 ) disorganized, but that’s okay, because I can deal with that (most of the time!). It also makes me way more creative. Let me explain. There have been many studies done on ADHD, and a lot of them have found that people with ADHD are more creative than people without it. Also, a funny story. One of the first art classes I had this year, I received a handout with the typical traits of a creative person. Almost all of these traits were typical of someone with ADHD. I almost laughed out loud when I made the connection.

Alrighty then, next up, I’m a good friend. I’m loyal, caring, and if you’re my best friend and you want me to kick someone’s ass, I’ll do it 🙂 Well, as long as that person isn’t my best friend or my family member. And I won’t hurt them badly (I don’t believe in putting people in the hospital), I’ll just give them a few bruises and scare the crap out of them, so they never hurt you again. I’m loyal because I’ll always take your side if I’m involved in something, or else I just won’t get involved. And I’m caring because, well, I care. You can tell me anything, and I’ll help you through whatever it is, plus I won’t judge.

Now, I’m intelligent. I’m just using what other people say about me for this one, plus events that have happened. I got the highest score on the placement exam for BCHS. Everyone says I’m super smart, and I need to actually try in school instead of just coasting along (I HATE it when they say that, but it’s true, I do need to try harder). And when I do try hard, I get awesome, amazing results, like a 98 on a Dos quarter project! Now that’s what I call awesomeness!

I’m dirty minded. I’m not going to go into that one at all, really, because that would probably disgust you 🙂 Let’s put it this way. I once got into a conversation on Facebook with my friend Derek about a picture that had been posted. It said something like, ‘if people heard my best friend and I talking, we would be in a mental hospital.’ I asked Derek what would happen to me and Rebecca if people heard us talking. Up until this point, we had been chatting in the comments. Now, he messaged me. You wanna know what he wrote?

Worse, burned at the stake. –Derek H.

I’m really spiritual. I pray A LOT. I pray every night before I go to bed, even if it’s my own prayers, not prayers that you can find in a prayer book or something. As one of my last posts said, I’m a Roman Catholic, and I have a lot of faith. Even if those reasons that I stated in that post were all proved false, I would still believe because of my faith. It’s pretty strong.

I have anger issues sometimes, but the major ones usually only show when the Lyme comes back. I normally always have some minor irritability, and even when the Lyme is gone, once in a blue moon I’ll lose is, but doesn’t everyone?

If you tease me for my anger issues, or is I see you tease anyone for anything, I’ll kick your ass so hard you won’t be able to sit for a week, because I absolutely HATE any kind of snobbery or anything like it. No. Just, don’t do it. It sucks. As I’ve told you, I’ve been a victim of bullying, and I’ve watched my best friend be subjected to the tortures it causes, and it seriously sucks to experience. Don’t do it. Please.

One more thing: first impressions are EVERYTHING to me. I don’t know why, but once I meet you, I either hate you or love you. There is rarely an in between. I don’t know why this is, but my mom calls it obsessive, like I obsess over the people that I love. I don’t know what to think.

Alright, I think that’s it. Wow, this was a really long post again. Hopefully I’ll get into this habit of long posts. I kinda like it. Okay, I’m done for now. Bye!

-Sam

P.S. The original picture URLs can be found by clicking on the pictures!

Books I Want To Read In 2014

Hey. So, I love reading. It is the best. I am going to choose 12 books to read (1 for each month) in 2014, and tell them to you, and tell you why I chose them. Mostly, I’ve just been meaning to read them, but still. Anyways, here are the books, in no particular order (don’t worry about spoilers- one, I haven’t even read the books, so how could I spoil, and two, I’m not even including a summary, so, like I said, don’t worry).

1. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Well, I want to read this one for a few reasons. First, it’s written by Markus Zusak, who wrote The Book Thief, which was phenomenal. The best book I have ever read, with one of the worst endings I have ever read, seconded only to Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Second, It seems like a good book, period. It caught my eye with the author, and the description made me want to read more.

2. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

This one looks pretty interesting. I absolutely LOVE sci-fi, and this is that genre, so it caught my eye, along with the description. I found it on Barnes and Noble’s The Best New Books Of 2013 For Teens. It is intriguing also because the description is so mysterious- it leaves a lot to be uncovered in the story, and I want to know more.

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This one I have been wanting to read since the 5th grade. It sounds really, really good, and everywhere I look says it’s extraordinarily written and a masterpiece (so I changed the words a little, but they still embody the basic ideas 🙂 ). It sounds amazing.

4. Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Okay, so I kind of cheated with this one a little. I’ve already started this one several times, but for some reason (although it’s an awesome book), I never seem to finish it (or even get more than 3/4 of the way through, for that matter). I don’t know why, but I am determined to find out what happens. Oh, and by the way, it took me a few minutes of scrolling to find this exact cover, the one to the book that I have. Apparently the “Original, Uncut” version has a unique cover. Who knew?

5. Angels And Demons by Dan Brown

I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. It’s the first book in The DaVinci Code, and this cover is the original. Everyone’s been talking about it for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been meaning to read it for as long as I can remember, but I’ve just never gotten around to it.

6. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Okay, I’ll admit it- I just looked at this one because of the cover at first. But I picked it because of what it sounded like. Fast-paced and full of action, which I love. Plus, it’s sci-fi. Well, we all know I’m a sucker for sci-fi 🙂

7. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

This one was also on Barnes and Noble’s The Best New Books Of 2013 For Teens. I do like horror (I saw The Conjuring, Insidious, and Insidious Chapter 2), so that’s why this one’s cover caught my eye. I looked into it, and it seemed pretty interesting, so I decided to pledge to read it in 2014.

8. In The After by Demitria Lunetta

I found this book under of Amazon’s Best Books Of The Year 2013: Teen & Young Adult. The title and the cover prompted me to further investigate this seemingly-interesting book. I really want to read it, for a few reasons. One, it leaves a lot to be answered. Two, it just seems interesting, and it makes me want to buy it right now and sit down and read it. But I’ll wait until 2014. Or at least until after Christmas, to see if I get any of these books (which I probably won’t, but you never know).

9. Dead To You by Lisa McMann

This one I found under Barnes and Noble’s Must-Reads For Teens. It seems very, very interesting, and I want to take a ride to the book store and pick it up right now. It wouldn’t be a problem except for one, I’m supposed to be doing homework, and two, I’m in my jammies….

10. Legend by Marie Lu

I’ve been meaning to read this for a couple months. It looks pretty interesting. I like mystery and suspense (as long as I can keep reading- have I ever mentioned that I HATE waiting and patience?!). It seems to be a mix of sci-fi and suspense, which is usually a good combination.

11. Parasite by Mira Grant

This sounds like an amazing idea for a book, and it’s sci-fi! I found it on Bookish’s The Best Sci-fi And Fantasy Books Of 2013 (yes, I’ve been Google-ing “the best teen sci-fi books of 2013” if you can’t tell 🙂 ). I can’t wait to see if the parasites- oh, wait, I promised no spoilers, not even summaries. Sorry!

12. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

I’ve been hearing about this for a couple of years now, and it sounds pretty good, and I want to see the movie, but I want to read the book first. I’ve been meaning to, but haven’t gotten around to it. I read Twilight (Taylor Lautner is wayyyy hotter than Robert Pattinson, and Jacob is way better than Edward for Bella, too, but don’t get me started), and I like Stephenie Meyer, so that should be a good read.

Wow, this was a REALLY long post. It took me around 2 hours to complete. Of course, I had to wrack my brains to try and remember the books I really wanted to read. You may ask, Sam, if you love reading so much, then why don’t you remember this stuff? The answer is, ADHD. I’m disorganized, which goes along with the ADHD, plus my brain works in different ways than normal people’s do (for that matter, it works different that normal ADHD people’s do! Doctors always call me an enigma!). I can store a lot of information in my mind, and even though it takes awhile to pull it back out, I can do it. Anyway, enough with this post. You’ve seen enough. Bye!

-Sam