Sunday, June 28, 2009

Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Challenge #1)

by William Shakespeare

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thy tale so loooooong?

I think I would have given Romeo and Juliet 5 stars if only it had been shorter. The story was suspenseful and wonderful; the side stories, not so much. The play started out with a trivial brawl between servants of the Montague and Capulet households, which was clearly an attempt to explain the feud between the two families. However, it wasn't a very good hook; I had trouble keeping track of the servants (thank goodness for the character glossary!) and they didn't really say anything particularly interesting. In fact, I probably would have quit right then if not for the fact that Shakespeare wrote it, since his plays tend to start out slow and pick up speed later on.

All that being said, I actually enjoyed Romeo and Juliet a lot. The writing was poetic in some places and clever in others. I loved all the wordplays throughout the writing, and many of the scenes including servants were particularly funny.

Although, as I said before, the beginning and middle of the book dragged, the climax and ending completely made up for it. I was practically on tenterhooks trying to figure out what exactly would happen next (I knew the gist of the ending, but not the details). The ending lines wrapped up the story really well and left me satisfied.

What I love about Shakespeare's plays is how I can clearly imagine myself acting out the different parts. Although the stage directions were minimal, I could tell what the characters were doing as they said their lines. (After much thought, I decided that I'd like to act as the Apothecary, because he sold poison.)

And my favorite stage direction:


How comical.

Any suggestions for my next Shakespeare book?

My post on the Shakespeare Challenge
Shakespeare Challenge specifics

Friday, June 26, 2009

Morning Monster

A monster is grumbling in the street
grinding its teeth on broken bits of glass.
It doesn't help to cover my head with a pillow.
The groaning continues,
growing louder and louder
until the monster is right outside my window
gobbling cans in gargantuan gulps,
then crashing them against the sidewalk,
stealing my first morning of summer sleep.

-by Jacqueline Jules

(Poetry Friday roundup here.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Missing Socks

Edge has challenged everyone with a fun writing prompt:

What happens to all the socks that go missing between the washer and the drier?

Here's my response:

The fairies take them.

There are several reasons why they do this. First of all, although the fairies are a highly capable species and can fly up to 700 mph, they don’t know how to make socks. So they take the missing socks and cut and reshape them to create their own miniature fairy socks. They’ve actually opened up seven sock factories around their realm, and all the workers get clothespins for their noses.

Secondly, the fairies love snow. They love to look at it, they love playing in it, and they love basically anything to do with snow. Unfortunately for them, they do not get snow. They get sun, rain, sleet, and sometimes hail or freezing rain, but never snow. So, one day, an ingenious fairy had the idea to manufacture her own snow. Taking the dirty white socks she found between the washer and the drier, she filled them with water and then put them in the freezer for a few days. When she took them out, they were frozen solid and looked exactly like snow. Of course they didn’t feel like snow, but she was still relatively happy with the way her experiment had turned out. She spread the word about the “snow” and opened up eight snow factories in order to spread the joy. All the workers wear Santa hats with jingling bells.

So next time your dirty white socks go missing, don’t bother searching for them. They’re going to a good cause (you do want money under your pillow, right?).

Teehee. I had fun writing that. And if you want to do it too, you still have time! More details here.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I'm currently reading Romeo and Juliet for the Shakespeare Challenge, and I'm in Act II right now. Hopefully, I'll finish the play by the end of this week. And then you can expect a post on it sometime next week.

There was a giant thunderstorm here yesterday with LOTS of hail! (One of the sewers in my street actually overflowed and started spurting out muddy water a few feet high like a geyser.) In mid-June! When does that ever happen???

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Two wonderful artists I recently discovered:

Llana Yahav is a world-renown sand artist. Using only her hands, she draws amazing pictures with sand on a glass table. My description here isn't doing her any justice, so go here and please check out her work under "video clips."

Akiane is a thirteen-year-old artist, or child prodigy. This above painting is one of her works, completed at age 10 (wow!). Go here to take a look at her impressive gallery.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


What time is it?
It's our vacation
What time is it?
Party time!
That's right, say it loud...

(Summertime, High School Musical)

I'm so glad school's finally out! Hoping for a terrific summer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Same Difference

by Siobhan Vivian

"There, her outline is traced on the ground. It's different from the kind you see police draw around dead bodies - there's detail and depth to it. I can see the wrinkles of her clothes, the fringe of her choppy hair, features I never thought possible to capture with sidewalk chalk." (p.35)

"This room, the one down on the page, might as well be a stranger's. There's nothing to make me recognize that it's mine. It's as blank as a piece of notebook paper, and not in that good, full of possibilities way - just in a nothing kind of way." (p.79)

"Across the highway, workers are transforming the old Pizza Hut into a Taco Bell. A new sign is going up, and they've got a guy hanging colorful decals of burritos in the windows. But the actual building is the same tan rectangle, same sloped red roof, same flat top. Fast food architecture." (p.145)

(I love these kind of descriptions in books-- they really add to the overall setting and mood.)

After reading the beginning pages of this book, I was immediately hooked. I had read A Little Friendly Advice a little while ago, and I hoped that this book would match to ALFA's standards. As predicted, Same Difference did not disappoint. It's a touching yet fun read about discovering who you really are, and it made me want to pick up a sketchbook and start drawing. I would highly recommend it, and it's perfect for reluctant artists as well!

Friday, June 12, 2009

ghost ship

I’m so sorry I couldn’t
spell out every lock of black hair

couldn’t make the words dance on the wind.

the scent of melons is washed away by the river, and
all I can smell is spicy apple cider from lunchtime--
you never left any footsteps on the banks.
Even your orange scarf, the one with white dots, is
missing from its usual spot

where are you?
where are you?
where are you?

I’m stumbling
and my hands are grasping for nothing
and I feel like I’m choking--

at the marina, all I can see is lavender

fog and the silhouetted hull of a sunken ghost ship

(Poetry Friday Roundup here.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

buttercups in the grass

Today's cup of happiness:

- My fuzzy orange pencil. No, it's not mold. It just has a velvety cover instead of a filmy plastic one. It makes me want to do my homework.

- School's out in a week!

- Flashlights. For my Humanities final, four of my friends and I are performing a five-part poem with coordinated flashlight movements. It's going to be terrific (if I can just memorize my lines...)

- This song. If you go to the part at the beginning where she's standing in front of the mirror in different outfits, look at what she does in the emo getup during "I'm on the bleachers." It's very fun to imitate.

- Strawberry ice cream. With real strawberry chunks in it.

- Three lovely books from the library. My Sister's Keeper, Same Difference, and Something Maybe. Which one should I read first?? Gratefully accepting any suggestions on this matter.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Northern Light

by Jennifer Donnelly

Living on a farm with her father and sisters, Mattie Gokey finds it hard to manage the farm, her sisters, and her schoolwork at the same time. Her duty to her family and the farm takes up most of her time and prevents her from going to college and becoming a writer. When she takes up a job at a nearby hotel to earn money, she still isn't able to escape her troubles back home. Mattie is suddenly caught up in the chaos and drama of a mysterious murder in the hotel, and she is the only one who knows the truth.

A Northern Light was a wonderful book. The story was surprisingly unique and kept me interested the whole time. I particularly enjoyed the vocabulary words that came at the beginning of each chapter and how they fit into the story. Overall, this book is guaranteed to please anyone looking for an engrossing, suspenseful tale.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Twilight Trailer...version 2?

What happens when you put Miley Cyrus and Twilight together? (God forbid this ever happen...)

Monday, June 01, 2009


Some interesting things I've seen/read in the past few days:

Edge posted a funny quote "about" Twilight and a rant about the New Moon trailer over at her blog.

Miss Erin is going to be in a movie! Congratulations to her!

Sarah Beth Durst describes her experience at BEA on her blog, complete with pictures! Part One is already up.

The Book Muncher is hosting a contest to win hardcover copies of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

Lenore is having a giant giveaway (with Catching Fire included in there!).

And finally, Cuileann posted about goodness at the holly and the ivy. Isn't the picture gorgeous? I can't stop looking at it. :)