District 12

School is in full swing now!  I’ve been pretty busy with school assignments, so I haven’t gotten a ton of fiction writing in lately. However, I have been working on some essays for my online writing class. My last assignment was a descriptive essay, and I chose to write about District 12 from The Hunger Games. It was actually a lot like fiction writing, since I had to describe a setting, which in my case was a fictional place. Anyway, I ended up earning an A on it, and I thought I’d share it today!

District 12 is known as the mining district. Its streets are tinted black with coal dust, and every morning starts with the tramping boots of miners on their way to work. The Seam is an area between the mines and the meadow, where the sulfur stench of coal is mixed with the sweet odor of trees from the forest that is blocked by a long, metal fence. The Capitol teaches everyone that 12 is no more than coal dust and fences. However, if I look closely enough, 12 has more to offer than just coal mines and electric fences.

The small house smells like pine trees mixed with coal dust. It is right by the fence, settled on the edge of the Seam. Long, rough wooden planks make up the only two rooms. One of these rooms is a tiny bedroom, barely big enough for two beds, while the other is longer with a wide wooden table in the center of it. The ceiling is low, and the wooden slats don’t quite line up, leaving skinny patches of sunlight that dance across the floor and warm my bare feet when I walk through them. The mismatched boards creak under the slightest pressure, and the door to the outside whines as it slowly opens on its rusted hinges.

The hum of the electric fence is gone, leaving only the rustle of the trees in the wind. The fence is a high chain-link one, crowned with barbed wire loops. Beyond it, there is a wall of green pine trees, like a barrier to keep the Capitol out. The shrieking of a squirrel on the other side warns me to stay away. I tug on the sharp edges of the broken fence to make a hole big enough to squeeze through. The cool metal rattles as I slide underneath it

Out here, there is only the forest to see, making it one of the few places untouched by the Capitol. The singing birds and sweet air make the woods seem even more welcoming, especially with the warm sunlight on my skin. It sneaks through the vibrant green leaves tinting everything a yellow-green color, making it look a little happier out here. The flowers, nestled on the bank of the winding brook, smell like perfume as I walk through them. I dip my hand in the cool water, feeling it splash up against my wrist as the stream runs along, chattering happily.

Everything in 12 is covered in black coal dust. I can’t escape the grit of it under my boots, the feel of it in my teeth, and the smoky smell of it in my nose. In the forest, that is replaced with sweet, clean air and the song of birds and rustling trees. It is a whole different side of District 12, one that many never see. Outside the Capitol-controlled town, there is an untouched world that is the closest thing to freedom that I will ever find.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Liebster Award

My friend Bessie Lark accepted this award over on her blog, and she left it for anyone who wanted it. Now, I’ve had Liebster awards before, but these questions were really interesting. I thought today I would accept this award and answer the questions. 🙂 Thanks, Bessie!

There are no rules to this award other than just answering the questions. So, let’s get started. 🙂

1. What fictional character do you think you are the most like?

My mom says that I’ve always reminded her of Anne of Green Gables since I tend to have my head in the clouds, and I want to be a writer. I’d have to agree with that! 🙂

2. Favorite musical genre?

Oh, man. This is hard! I listen to everything from Taylor Swift, Owl City, and Ed Sheeran to Twenty One Pilots, Paramore, and Fall Out Boy. It’s impossible to just pick one genre!

3. Which do you enjoy listening to more: piano or guitar?

I really like guitar in songs; however, I think I like piano better.

4. What’s your favorite aspect of blogging?

Probably interacting with my readers!

5. If you got something in the mail, would you prefer it to be a card or letter?

I would prefer a card. Cards are more likely to contain money, anyway. 😉

6. Are most of your friends older than, younger than, or the same age as you (or an even mix)?

Most of my friends are older by at least a year or two.

7. If you had to choose one song to be the theme of your life, what would it be?

If it was a theme to remind me of what my life is supposed to look like, then “In Christ Alone (I Stand)”. It’s one of my favorite hymns of all time. If I got to select a version, I would pick Owl City’s. 🙂

8. What is one activity you doubt you could live without? Why?

Figure skating! I spend a ton of time on the ice, and my life is very much wrapped up in skating. When I had to stay off the ice for 6 months due to my knee injury, I missed it so much! I can’t imagine living without it.

9. What color fits you the best (not necessarily your favorite color)?

This made me think of one of my favorite Studio C sketches on all time:

All videos aside, I think the color that fits me best is purple. It’s artsy and creative and is also my favorite color.

10. If you could choose how many siblings you had, their gender, and their birth order, what would your family look like?

I’m an only child, so I’ve always wanted to know what it was like to having siblings. On the one hand, I’d like to have an older sister and older brother, then a younger sister and younger brother so I could experience the full range of siblings. On the other hand, I’m quite happy being an only child!

11. What’s one thing you would love to do but have never had the nerve and/or opportunity to?

I would love to dye my hair a crazy color. I really like colored hair for some reason, especially blue. However, I’m too scared that the dye would hurt my hair to do it.

I think I’m going to do this award the same way Bessie Lark did it. If anyone would like to answer these awesome questions, go ahead and answer them! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award

A little bit ago, my friend over at Mom’s Princess Writes nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World award. Today, I’m accepting that award! 🙂

The rules are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate four other bloggers and ask them 10 questions.

First of all, thank you to the author of Mom’s Princess Writes for the nomination! Now, for her questions! 🙂 She only gave me three to answer.

A. Who would you love to be, if you had a chance to be someone else?

Well, right now I’m working on researching my NaNoWriMo novel, and my male MC is a very famous celebrity in his world. I think I’d like to be someone really famous, just for a day or so, so I could know exactly what it is like for my novel!

B. One food you need to taste before the world ends…

I’ve always wanted to try crème brulee, but never got the chance to.

C. Your dream job?

Obviously, New York Times bestselling author. 😉 However, if that wasn’t one of the options, I think being a forensic artist or librarian would be really cool.

My questions for my nominees:

1. What is your favorite song at the moment?

2. What is your favorite kind of donut?

3. What was the last book you read?

4. Did you enjoy that book?

5. What is your favorite time of day?

6. Who is your least favorite fictional character? Why?

7. Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?

8. What name have you always wanted to use for a character?

9. Do you like summer or winter better?

10. Would you rather live in London or Paris?

My nominees:

Roomble

Accelerate the Jesus Movement

The Randomness of a Teenaged Writer

The World of the Writer

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Quick Book Review – Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

First off, I’d like to apologize for not posting last week! I caught a cold and wasn’t feeling up to doing much of anything, so I decided to rest up and feel better. 🙂 Secondly, this is the last book I’m posting for my summer reading challenge. I’ve really enjoyed doing this reading challenge and throughout the year as I read, I’ll be posting more quick book reviews. 🙂

Tally is only three months away from turning 16 and pretty. In her world, when someone turns 16, they are turned from an ugly to a pretty and are then able to take their place in society. When Tally’s friend disappears, Tally must make a choice either to turn her friend in or stay ugly for the rest of her life.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

“What could they do to her anyway? In three months she’d be a pretty herself.” – “New Pretty Town”, pg. 7

What I Liked:

1. I’d heard a lot about this book, and it lived up to all the good things I’d heard about it. I really enjoyed it.

2. I liked Tally, and I loved what the author did with the character and how he changed her.

3. The idea behind turning everyone pretty and a society built on that idea was really interesting. It was a world that I could see existing, and it had parallels to modern society’s pressure to look a certain way.

4. I need one of those hoverboards that Tally has. Those were super cool.

5. I was totally not expecting the ending! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

What I Didn’t Like:

1. The story definitely didn’t grab me right away. It took a bit to get into it.

2. I thought Shay and Tally acted a lot younger than they actually were supposed to be.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below.

~ Kayla