Welcome to my little nook of the world.


Shout out to my secret homies

Shout out to my peeps (wow that sounds too bizarre)

Rose Maitland
Dominique Garden
James Linden

The best club evaaaa. =p
k, no more writing entries like I'm 15.
I haven't written anything productive in months. I started a good story while substituting today, perhaps I'll see where it takes me.


Book Clip #2

So, like I said, I'm writing a book. I've made a lot of progress lately, filling in gaps and holes where there should be storyline, etching and weaving words into some semblance of a plot. I am teaching myself to write in chunks, little sections at a time, and then eventually pull them together. Here's one more clip, and then I will got back to writing other things for a while. Again, my work is (c) me, as per ownership laws, and again, it is completely unedited, without even a read-through of some of it, so forgive me.

Oh yeah, and I haven't decided what to name my protagonist, so she's currently named Marisol, which is a name that kind of has a history in my social life in college. Hopefully I will think of another name eventually. So here's about 1/2 of a chapter, much later in the book than my last snippet, and in a chapter narrated by Ezra, the main male character, who is a manipulator of the elements, a Mage.

6. Ellington

We walked through the gates of Langstroth just as the sun was sinking in the sky. The town was beautiful and tiny; small, square homes lined the few streets, and most homes had a small garden beside them, where crops were flourishing. Every few hundred feet, signs were posted stating various Trigona discipline statements, inspiring to the people of the town, no doubt. It was obviously a town of Warriors – everyone was lean and muscular, taller by many inches than Marisol but similar in their builds.
Every man I walked past had the same perfect posture, and the town was almost silent. Some young people were milling about the roads and the yards, most silent and slow, some tending to the crops in the yard. On almost every front stoop, a grown man sat, sitting cross-legged, eyes closed. As we walked past, their eyes opened, each pair of eyes then locking on our group. Some looked frightened, others concerned. None were friendly.
Strategically I suppose, Marisol let go of our hands and stepped quickly about three paces ahead of us. She held her posture rigid, and her steps became fluid, so that there was no motion up and down of her head as she walked – she moved only forward.
At the sight of Marisol, many of the men smiled, finally dropping their protective facades; some stood, watching carefully, and some even waved to her. When they waved, Marisol smiled gently back at them, turning her head left and right systematically to meet each set of eyes in greeting.
She was a sight to behold, really, and I felt very inadequate behind her, and most of all, very clumsy. Her walking was like a dance, like liquid water flowing. Her hands were perfectly by her sides, her hands still. Her boots were silent on the brick walkway, and her body was so still as it moved that her hair did not even rustle with her footfalls. Trevor and I made so much noise with our feet hitting the ground and our bags rustling it was almost embarrassing. I attempted to mimic Marisol’s silence, and found that with concentration, my footfalls at least were a bit softer, and I blended in better to this silent world.
We passed a discipline sign then, and Marisol stopped, bowing her head at the words. The sign read, “With training comes the will to attempt the unknown. With attempt comes perseverance. Persevere always, and you shall never fail to reach perfection.”
Marisol turned toward us, looking at the two of us in turn. “This is one of Ellington’s teachings. It is important, always, he says, to attempt, at the very least. Never be afraid to attempt each challenge, strive for excellence and try your hardest. With attempting comes the will to continue, to persevere, to strive for that perfection which we all must strive for. Sometimes he interchanged the word ‘Success’ for perfection,” she added. She was speaking in barely more than a whisper, and it was loud and echoing on these silent streets. “This will be what he is likely to tell us. Attempt the goal, no matter the cost, and perhaps, with perseverance, we may succeed.”
She turned away from us after this speech, and continued to walk. We passed the edge of the streets, and approached a building that looked very much like the houses we had passed earlier, only twice the size. A sign in front of the building read simply, “Academy,” and the symbols of the Trigona Arts – stylized hands drawn with bold curving lines – were drawn around the edge of the doors. A tiny sign on the edge of the doorframe read “Master Ellington, First degree, Highest Honors, Most Revered.” It was almost lost among the signs reading the other instructor’s names, but none of the other signs had the same status represented. He was obviously a humble man.
Marisol took a deep breath and it quavered, the only indication I had ever seen up until now of any nervousness. She was nervous to be home, I assumed. I laid a hand on her shoulder, and she surprised me by grabbing it with her hands, pressing the back of my fingers to her cheek. Then she let the hand go, and dropped her hands to her sides.
“Master Ellington?” She called in barely more than a whisper, opening the door.
We walked behind her. Other instructors stepped out of the closed doors along the long corridor, their hand reaching out and brushing Marisol in a strange greeting as we walked. She held her hands low to her sides, palms forward, and met these brushing hands with her own. They all bowed their heads to us, and it was humbling – their silence, and their apparent reverence for this tiny, radiant girl.
She approached a turn in the corridor slowly, her methodical steps faltering once as she walked, and then she quickly inhaled and reestablished her rigidity. “Master, it is Marisol. Are you here?” She said softly. “I bring two guests,” she said suddenly, as if this were vital. “Two guests accompany me, Master, those are the steps you hear. My party,” she said, so softly I could hardly hear the words.
Finally, a voice came from behind the farther door. “You know better than to bring guests and not to announce them right away,” said a friendly voice. “Are you trying to kill your old Master with fear?”
The door opened, and a tall, fragile old man walked forward. His eyes were completely white with blindness, but without that indicator one would never know by his steady steps and perfect balance that there was anything different about him at all. He was tall, lean, rigid, as he walked forward purposefully, and his hands fluttered as he approached.
Most noticeable was the air around him, which crackled and snapped in the same was as Marisol’s. Her aura had been quiet during this journey, but here in Master Ellington’s presence is sparkled and cracked like hot oil, and her face went from it’s usual steady expression into a huge smile of delight. Ellington reached her, his crackling aura blending with hers into a sound as loud as fireworks in my head, and his hand flew up to embrace her face. He leaned down, placing his forehead against hers intimately, and his eyes shut at the same time as hers did.
The crackling stopped with a deafening silence for an instant, and then restarted as their eyes opened again.
“My child, introduce your Master to your party,” he said, but he turned away from us, leading us quickly through the open door ahead and shutting it tightly, engaging several locks before settling. “Such a small party,” he murmured.
He simply stood in the center of the small parlor, and Marisol stood beside him. There were chairs, but they seemed formalities, for they did not seem awkward simply standing there – it seemed very natural.
Marisol stepped forward to him, taking his hands gently. He allowed her to lead him to us. She placed a hand on mine. “Ezra Collette. My primary party, and a Mage in class.”
“A mage?” Were the only words Ellington spoke, as he brushed his hard fingers over my hand once, then dropped his hand back into Marisol’s.
She laid her hand on Trevor’s saying, “Trevor Guar. A scientist, and our secondary party,” she said. Ellington looked up, as though meeting Trevor’s eyes.
“A scientist, a mage, and a Warrior?” He said simply. “My child, you have much to tell me,” he said softly, placing a hand again on Marisol’s face, his fingers brushing over her cheekbone gently.
It was little wonder Marisol touched us all without thought. Ellington’s hands fluttered over her face and hands and shoulders and back as though it were as commonplace as eye contact. It was clear that with his firm hands he studied her posture, her positioning, her breathing, and her emotions. His hands could likely see what my eyes could only begin to notice, I realized, and I wondered if Marisol’s hands, when she touched us, saw things the same way as her elder Master’s did. It was little wonder she was able to fight with her eyes closed – she had been taught by a Master who had no use for sight.
The vision of the two of them together made me feel as though I was interrupting a family function. It was clear that even in the few days they were apart, much was missed, and their brief reunion cracked the air around them with joy. It was fascinating to watch, and I was in awe of their easy relationship.
Ellington was a surprise. I expected a firm and silent Warrior, imposing and terrifying. While he was certainly built as a fighter, his mannerisms indicated his old age, and he was polite, kind, and more talkative than I expected.
Marisol sat on a large chair, meeting my eyes and indicating the space beside her. I sat willingly, allowing her buzzing aura to wash over me as I sat. Trevor filled a seat beside us, a small single chair, and his face was eager as he waited for Ellington to speak. Marisol told Ellington everything about our assignment without hesitation – the morning of that day, when we had been given numbers, our standing before the Apidictor, his words and orders, and even our feelings on the matter. She left nothing out, including the impending slaughter of innocents, and clearly trusted Ellington with every detail. I felt I could trust him, as well, but perhaps that was because of the acute similarities between him and Marisol, who I trusted completely.


Book preview!!

So, I'm writing a novel. It's sci-fi-ish but kind of more just fiction set in the future. There are a lot of magical elements, but nothing crazy.
Anyway I've decided to hold my self accountable for writing by occasionally posting (raw, un-edited) snippets here on my blog, so that the internet world who follows this blog (aka NO ONE) can read them.

p.s. details like "angles" and physical formations are important to the plot as a whole, not fluff, so bear that in mind with the UBER levels of detail. This is the FIRST chapter, and I need my protagonist's stuffy uniformed appearance to be contrasted later in the book with her simplicity, so I wrote a lot of character detail. Forgive me!

*deep breath*
 here goes!
1. Stillness

He stood at the edge of the tiny town, his dark, bare feet in the grass, which was sticky with spilled blood. He knew it was foolish to stand, to be seen, but he felt as though someone should witness this, the end of the world. Around him, smelling salty and musty in the end-summer heat, lay his people, thousands of them. All brandishing any weapon they could find, none were a match for the mysterious creatures who came from below to annihilate them all. There was not a sound, not from any direction. The silence was terrifying.
In the distance, he saw a sparkle of light, as though it were shining off a crystal – the gossamer, wax-paper wings of the beast, beating so fast they were barely visible, save a glint in the sunshine. Suddenly, the beast turned, and sounding a shriek that pierced through the silence, it flew with blinding speed toward where he stood.
He braced himself, taking a deep breath, trying to picture his life as it might have been had he lived past the age of eleven. He felt at peace with his short time on Earth, and shut his eyes.
Seconds passed, then perhaps a minute. The pain never came, and he felt a breeze on his face – the scent of the beasts had disappeared.

            My eyes opened. I walked briskly down the long transport road, toward the center of the Village. It had been almost six years since I had traveled to Brodick, and then I had been just a child, thirteen years old with almost no training. As the transport whipped around a perfect 120° angle, I held my breath, focusing my strength into my feet so as not to topple by the rush of the elaborate conveyor system we used to get around under the Dome.
            Absently, my eyes glanced outward, through the glass wall of the Dome, into the abyss behind the walls. A terrifying sight seemed to glare back at me – the desolation, boiling springs and cracked ground, utter nothingness. I flexed my fingers as I focused carefully away from the scene, so utterly forsaken. Another whip around a corner, and I was heading straight for the center of the Village. Brodick was ahead of me, getting larger swiftly at the speed I was traveling. As the high towers of the modern-day castle stood before me, I felt myself take in a sharp breath, uncontrollably. Fear laced with shock, I suppose, at the grim things I could remember about my last trek to Brodick, the day my mother was taken from me.
            Today was my day of Assignment. I had been training as a Warrior since that day six years ago, and I felt that the secrets I now held were sure to impress the Apidictor, the man who determined each young person’s fate among the Village. Much like the fabled Wizard of Oz, the Apidictor was an ancient man, old well beyond what was naturally possible, and it was his job to delegate and make law. He had supposedly created the Dome when the world ended outside of it, and it was he who kept us safe.
            He was also known to be irrational, overbearing, and very secretive.
            I couldn’t help it – I was terrified.
            I approached the Guards of Brodick, a hundred or so huge men and women, brandishing blades and modern weapons. Everyone hoped to be appointed a Guard, but I knew my peculiarly small size – I was barely five foot five, tiny compared to the average height of around five foot ten – would bar me from this particular Assignment. I bowed my head slowly, and then lifted my chin proudly, as was a respected stance among the Guard. They were notorious for being cruel, and it was rumored that those who looked too meek would be picked off without a second though. My size notwithstanding, I was far from meek.
            My eyes focused around me for the first time that day. I noticed every few feet on the Transporter someone around my age stood – men, women, all dressed in their finest outfits according to their preferred classes, going to face the Apidictor.
I looked down at myself, suddenly nervous that I had forgotten some trinket or bauble with my elaborate Warrior outfit. Carefully checking, I smoothed my hands over the short, pure white sleeves; heavy linen scratched against my fingers. My hands grazed the straps of the brown leather sheath, which held my curved blade, a modern-day dress sword. My two other blades were nestled in the belt around my waist, tucked neatly into sheaths, unnecessary as the first. My hidden dagger was neatly in my brown boots, which were buttoned just below my knees.  Down the entire left side of my body was a long black strip of linen, draped over my shoulder, which held each award and bauble achieved in training. I was of the highest class achievable in Warrior, the equivalent to an ancient Shodan in martial arts - the Martial Arts I perfected, from old Kung Fu to our modern Trigona. My tiny hands were clad in their brown gloves, the fingers worn and cut off from my years wearing them. My very long, stick straight black hair, such a contrast to my snowy-white skin, was pulled away from my face into a hundred thin braids, which took my dear partner hours to complete. I had been lucky, I remembered with a smile. My partner Ariana only required her hair to be pulled into a ponytail. My braids were a mark of my high level of service to the people of the Village. It seemed like I had everything necessary for our dress uniforms, and I relaxed.
Of course, it was behind my bright green eyes I held my greatest weapon, one I hadn’t quite figured out how to control as easily as the formations and movements of the Warrior techniques. It was this weapon that I would keep secret, even from the Apidictor, and this didn’t worry me – I wasn’t sure the secret was of any value at all.


Today's Lesson: Patience

Sometimes in life, and also in dog training, you just have to sit back and be patient. Results cannot happen overnight, they cannot come to you in an instant. There are occasions where waiting for gratification is well worth it.

When training a dog, it takes many days or weeks of patience. Some times the behaviors may even get worse before they get better. So keep with it!

Similarly in life, we've all struggled and hoped and attempted. There is one of those cheesy school posters on the wall of the High School where I work that reads: "It's not failure, it's just 10,000 times of not getting it right." Cliche as this is, it seems like good advice. Life is not perfect and easy, it takes practice and patience. I'm 26 years old as of a week ago, and I learn every day that things simply do not happen quickly. We must practice and wait, attempt and wait, hope and wait, and eventually something will be right -- or it won't be right, and we will be forced to try a different path in order to find an eventual end.

Whether writing a novel, training a dog, teaching a class, looking for friends, or searching for love, it is a dance of back and forth, one step at a time, waiting.

Don't give up! The result will come!


New season, new things

Today I remembered I had a blog, and am going to try to keep up with it.
Things I missed posting:

I am currently training 2 dogs, one pitbull mix with serious aggression toward animals and pre-cursors to aggression toward people, and one pitbull mix puppy who is sweet and hyper. Love them both! My goal is more productive walks and obedience with the puppy... the adult is going to be more of a project.

I am well into my new job as a high school teacher, teaching Biology to 100 freshman every day. It's a blast, and I couldn't be happier.

I just celebrated my one year marriage anniversary to my wonderful husband Matt, and my birthday is tomorrow!

My sister is having a baby, due in late December/ early January. It's a girl... I am more excited than you can imagine.

And finally, it is AUTUMN! My very favorite season, and my busiest time of year. Next week I am holding a Halloween party at my house and I am pumped! I love Halloween!

New dog update to follow.


Something to remember about Dog Training...

I am currently a freelance dog trainer for a few clients, and am building my client list slowly but surely.

I think what is important to remember from any professional you ask to help you with your dogs is that trainers are not miracle workers. I can handle almost any problem thrown my way, but when it comes down to it, that's useless. YOU have to handle it. I have a degree in animal behavior and over 4 years experience changing behavior... of course I can do it! The point of training should be the transfer of control from the trainer to the owner.

I always give "homework" to my clients, and in fact even put in my contract that the owner is responsible for behavior change in the dog. Things like obedience commands, guest training, socialization and problem behavior need to be practiced in small chunks again and again and again until the dog responds the way you'd like the very first time you give a command. The only way to change behavior is with the right schedule of reinforcement and with constant and consistent practice of the correct behavior.

Next time you get homework from a dog trainer, do it! You'll be shocked at how much change you see in only a small amount of time, and soon you'll be the expert!



Today the rain is falling in sheets and lightning is literally hitting our building.
I love the rain almost as much as I love a sunny fall morning.

Have a great day everyone! (aka me, since no one else reads this)