Actually Writing From My Heart

Hey everyone! I just finished my third week of seventh grade! School has been a blast. My classes aren’t as fun, its more about seeing my friends, you know how that is. I miss seeing my sixth grade English teacher Mrs. Rombach (her blog is here). She’s a fantastic English teacher. She’s actually the one who got me into writing. I haven’t blogged in a while, I actually feel kind of bad. But I definitely missed it. Just with school and volleyball going on it’s been a little hard. So anyways, I wanted to post a writing piece of mine! It’s one that I’m really proud of so I hope you like it!

 

It’s Not So Bad After All

 

It was a silent day, and a fog drifted over my busy city, Denver in Colorado. Darkness took over the city as a pitch-black cloud passed over, covering us like a blanket. Small raindrops started to fall. My name is Morgan McJohnson. I am eleven years-old. I’m pretty short for my age, four feet and five inches. I have a Great Dane and Labrador mix named Gunner. I have a younger sister named Mallory. It was the first day of the third week in September. A brisk wind blew my brick red hair into my face.  A couple days ago, I found out that I was diagnosed with the deadliest disease on Earth (or so I thought), childhood cancer. Osteosarcoma, specifically. This horrible disease that I’m stuck with is the sixth most leading cancer in children under the age of fifteen. I was glumly hunched over on my gray,raindrop-stained porch with my face in my hands.

“Honey, time for dinner,” my mom called affectionately through our patched screen door.  I quickly wiped the tears off my face and tried to gain my composure again. Ok Morgan, you have to pull it together. Breathe in, breathe out.  

“Coming Mom, I’ll just be a second,” I croaked back.

 

My mom and I were at the Denver Hospital later that same week for my weekly check-ups. The whole hospital smelled strongly of hand sanitizer. My eyes were starting to water when the nice nurse, Mrs. Goldberg, came into the room. “Mrs. McJohnson and Morgan? Mr. Duncan is ready for you,” I stood up and wiped my sweaty palms on my ripped jeans, trying to calm the fluttering feeling in my stomach. I stumbled over a children’s toy as I walked towards the doctor’s office. My eyes flickered over to it for a second. Oh how I wish I could be a kid right now.

 

My family and I got the news through the mail almost a week later. “Morgan, mail for you,” my dad called roughly upstairs.  I stood up off my pink and white striped bed and headed for bedroom door.

“Gunner, come here boy!” I whisper-shouted. Gunner looked at me with his big brown puppy eyes as if to say,

“Do I really have to go?”

“Gunner. Come,” I demanded more forcefully. He jumped off my now dog-hair-covered comforter and with a thud, came trotting over to my side. I scratched his favorite spot behind his ears. “You’re a good boy. Yes you are,” I sweet-talked him.

“Do you want to see your mail, sweetheart?” my dad yelled up the stairs.

“ I’m coming. Where are you?” I replied.

“In the kitchen,” he bellowed from somewhere beneath me.

“I will be right down,” I hollered as I staggered down the creaky stairs.

Mallory was sitting in one of the kitchen stools that were against the island smack-dab in the middle of the kitchen. She glanced questioningly over at me with her winter blue eyes, shrugged, then continued eating her yogurt.  My dad was staring at the long white envelope as if he was having a staring contest with it.

“Oh. There you are, “ Dad said with a startled look on his face. He handed the white envelope that held my life in its checkered insides. My hands were shaking as I took the envelope from my dad’s hands. I opened it with caution, as if it was going to bite if I unsealed it too quickly. In the letter it stated that on September 29th, I would have my first chemotherapy session. All of the other words were blurred in my mind as if the letter was streaked with raindrops. My head started pounding and I stumbled back.

“I-I think I get it, Dad,” I stuttered.

“Ok, Morgan, just let me know when you want to see it.”

“Will do,” I said in a monotone.

 

Three weeks had passed since my first chemo treatment. I was bald already but that didn’t matter, I had to go to school. I wore a hat to cover my tiny patches of hair on my almost bald head. But as I strolled into my first block class, the worst thing happened.

My English teacher, Mr. Trill ordered, “Morgan, you must take off your…um….stylish hat.”

“No s-sir, please don’t make me,” I pleaded quietly. No one knew about my cancer and I wasn’t planning on telling anyone anytime soon.

“Morgan. Let me rephrase that. Take off your hat unless you would like to spending some time in the principal’s office. You are wasting my class time,” he hissed.

“A-Alright,” I squeaked. Everyone in the class was watching my little scene now, and as I took off my hat everyone gasped.

“Nice haircut, McJohnson!” a boy yelled from the back row. The whole class erupted in laughter.

“Where’d you get it, the lawn mower?” someone else commented.

I blushed furiously as Mr. Trill tried to calm everyone down.

“Everyone please settle down. Anyone still talking after I say so will be spending their lunchtime with me,” he thundered. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. I slid into my seat as my best friend, Alyssa, watched me from behind. “What happened?” she whispered as if she was embarrassed to talk to me.

“Nothing. It’s nothing,” I replied with my head down.

“Doesn’t seem like nothing, but whatever,” she mumbled.

I was only ten minutes into first block and still I could tell that this was going to be a long day.

 

The school day was awful. I was sick of everyone staring at me, in the cafeteria, in the library, outside, everywhere! But it wouldn’t have been so bad if my “best friend” had stuck by me. But nope, Alyssa avoided me the entire day. Not one glance, or a small whisper. As I walked home, I saw Alyssa strolling about a couple feet in front of me. I sped up in hopes of catching up to her. As she saw me, she looked around to see if anyone was watching us. No one was in sight.

“Yea?” she muttered.

“Yea what? We walk home every day together,” I questioned.

Alyssa began with a sigh, “Well maybe that should change.” She shrugged like it was nothing.

“W-What?” I stuttered.

“I’m just saying maybe we shouldn’t walk home together every day.” she said impatiently.

“Fine,” I thundered as I stormed off down the street.

 

I can’t believe she had the nerve to say that to me! I thought she didn’t care if I was pretty or not, she would like me for who I am. Obviously, I was wrong. I burst into my house and slammed the green front door shut.”Mom? Does my hair look that  bad?” I called out nervously.

“Sweetie, I am upstairs,” she yelled from behind the doors of her bedroom.

“Okay, I’m coming up!” I yelled back. I rushed upstairs and into her bedroom. Mom was folding laundry and had her back facing me.

“Does my hair look that bad?” I whispered, suddenly afraid of what she was going to say. She turned around and saw me standing in the wide doorway with my arms crossed over my chest.

“Oh no, Morgan! I couldn’t tell the difference,” she said all motherly.

“Seriously, Mom. I don’t want sweet-talking  right now. I just want the truth,” I mumbled.

She sighed and said with her voice filled with guilt, “Honey, let’s just say it looks…what is the word…unique?”

My eyes filled with tears.

“I’m so sorry, Morgan. I really am,” she said in a comforting voice.

My vision started to blur and I could taste the saltiness of the tears in my mouth. I crumbled weakly to the carpet.

 

The next day at school was even worse. People were snickering, not even trying to cover up their laughs. Then, a girl with blond pigtails and bright blue glasses came up to me, “Hey! You’re Morgan, right? I’m in your history class. I am Paige,”

“Uh….hi,” I replied nervously. What if she’s going to make fun of me?

I braced myself as she spoke, “ I was just wondering if you wanted to study tomorrow at my house for the history quiz that is coming up. Would you like to?”

I relaxed.

“Sure! That’d be great! I just need to check with my parents first,” I replied, giddy with happiness.

Paige grinned and walked away. I had just turned around to go to Algebra when she shouted over her shoulder,

“You know what? Truthfully, I like your haircut. It makes you look tough,” she said laughing. I smiled, knowing she was joking.

“You’re not bad, Paige. Not bad,” I replied chuckling.

As she smiled back, I could see her pink and purple-colored braces. Maybe life isn’t about looking good, nor having the most friends. Maybe all you need is one really good friend. I’m going to be fine.

 

Wow. That’s really long. Well, that’s it for now! Come visit my blog again soon!

Alice

 

Summer Smashes

Summer is ending and everyone is getting ready for an amazing school year. School supplies are up and ready at the stores. With summer almost done, I’ve decided to do a back-to-school list. Not for supplies, or rules of the hallways. For best books! If you haven’t noticed already, I’m kind of obsessed with books. So, without further ado, my best back-to-school books! 

 

1. The Fault In Our Stars by: John Green-Yes, this book again. If this book was a Youtube video, it has gone viral. It is a very good book. Full of sadness, sweet friendship, and love.

2. Crash by: Lisa Mcmann- I know I already wrote a whole long post about this book and its series but it is just so well-written! Lisa McMann has me begging for more yet again. I love how action-packed “Crash” is. (I’m ordering the third book in the series “Gasp” off Amazon.com. I can. not. wait!)

3. We Were Liars by: E. Lockhart- This book is bursting with excitement, just like a new school year should be! Tag along with Cadence (Cady for short) as she trys to figure out what happened on that deadly night on the island.

4. Heaven Is For Real by: Todd Burpo-This book made me get out the box of tissues. It touches your heart (and rips it apart) as you follow a little boy and one stunning journey to above.

5. Slated by: Teri Terry- If you like dystopian trilogies like Divergent and The Hunger Games this book is for you. This is one of the books that I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. reading. What happens when Kyla’s memory is erased and the government claims she was a terrorist? But something isn’t quite right.

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher-Thirteen Reasons Why is an emotional roller coaster. One chapter your bawling, the next you’re laughing. Ride this coaster as a boy finds cassette tapes from a classmate (and crush) who commited suicide two weeks earlier.

7. The Night She Disappeared by: April Henry-When a pizza delivery girl doesn’t come back after delivering the late night orders, no one is at ease. Was her fate meant for someone else?

8. Drums, Girls, And Dangerous Pies by: Jordan Sonnenblick- This is another beautiful story about a teenage boy and his little brother. Reality slaps us in the face with this book.

9. Wonder by: R.J. Palacio- A young boy with a face deformation is stepping out of his comfort zone as he takes on the world. I am in love with this story because of its heart-warming characters. It’s a definite 10.

10. Better Off Friends by: Elizabeth Eulberg- This book is down right amazing. It takes you on a friendship adventure, as a teenage boy and girl try to decide if they can be just friends.

A Summer Full of Reading

 

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I hope your summer is going great. Mine is. This summer, I am reading an amazing series by the author of ‘The Unwanteds’, Lisa McMann. The series is called ‘Visions’. I have finished the first book (Crash) and the second (Bang) but I can’t seem to find the third (Gasp). I have checked the library and local bookstores! The ‘Visions’ series is about this girl, Julia, having visions of bad things happening to people she loves. The visions are everywhere, billboards, shop windows, computer screens, just about everything. In the first book, Crash, Julia keeps seeing a clip of a truck barreling into her families rivalry restaurant. Everything would be fine, except that she is in love with the boy (Sawyer) in their family. Then, the vision cuts to a scene with nine body bags, with Sawyer’s face in one of them. Julia keeps looking for clues as it’s a race against time to save the boy she loves, and his family. 

 

I love this series. It’s action-packed, leaving you wondering at the end of each chapter. I would recommend this series to any fan of Lisa McMann. 

 

I have to go find that book ;).

 

Yours Truly,

Alice

Summer Is Finally Here! Time For More…Reading!

 

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Hello, everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far! My school just got out on June 13 so this is my first Monday free of school. Summer is a season of long, starry nights and making fun memories at the pool. At least to me. But this summer, as you may know, I am participating in A Million Books For Hope read-a-thon to raise money for pediatric cancer. I just finished my first book for the read-a-thon. If you would like, you can donate money on my fundraising page. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to funding and support for pediatric cancer. I think it’s a very worthy cause. 

Help make a difference for the brave kids fighting. They need our help. Only 4% of the government funds go to pediatric cancer. Is that fair? 

 

Click on this link to go to my fundraising page. 

 

Reading For A Good Cause,

Alice 

Book Talk (yes, books talk)

The book trailers on Mrs. Rombach’s blog have got me on the edge of my seat. I wanted to make one that would do the same to whoever is watching it. So I did. Enjoy my book trailer on “Blind Spot” by Laura Ellen (by the way, awesome book!).

Reading For A Good Cause

I’m not sure about you, but I love to read! Dystopian, romance, tragedy, anything! What I love even more about reading is that some libraries and cities and even countries/states have people read and raise money for good causes. Now that’s what I call awesome!

The Truth365 (a fund for cancer) is announcing “A Million Books For Hope”, a Read-a-Thon to raise money for pediatric cancer. For the kids still fighting, for the battles lost, I proudly wear gold. I hope to raise $500 in honor of Gavin Rupp, Gabriella Miller, and Mathias Giordano. This cause is very dear to my heart. On July 30 of 2013, I lost a very close family friend to glioblastoma brain cancer. Gavin Rupp was my hero, so keep loving yours because my isn’t here anymore. Please check out their page here. Comment if you are doing it! I would love to hear from you! 

To The Philippines In 5 Minutes

 

 

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Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Storm Crypt via Compfight

Hello everyone! I’ve had a fun day, how about you? Right now, I would love to go to the Bahamas. The sand between my toes, the sound of waves crashing against the shore. Ah, so very perfect. But, there is one place that I would rather go to than the Bahamas. The Philippines. An archipelago (large group of islands) full of fun. Let’s get started. First, off to the airport. Before we board the plane, as usual, our moms will worry about every single (and I mean every single) detail. But we board the plane safe and sound. Off we go!

This trip is going to have some meaning to me (it’s not just because of its GORGEOUS beaches) because my dad’s side of the family is there. 

Though my dad had lost both of his parents to heart attacks by the time he was twelve, most of his relatives and close friends are still there. My dad says that I’m a lot like his mom. Artistic, athletic, creative. I know I can’t and I won’t ever be able to meet my grandparents, but I would still love to meet my relatives. I sometimes imagine my relatives when I daydream (*cough cough* in science *cough cough*). I imagine them (and they probably are) as warm, kind, and happy people! The reason for that is, my dad is all of those! 

Also, I’m going on this trip to the Philippines because it’s beautiful! The white sandy beaches, the dense forests, the rare wildlife. I’m in love with photography and this place, my friend, is a dream come true to a photographer. In the Philippines, monkeys frolic on swinging deep green vines. People idle on the streets near food vendors. The aroma of lumpia (a Philippine egg roll) dances across the neighborhoods. Small, welcoming stores play music that forces your feet to hop up and dance! 

I’m sorry to leave so early but, I need some sleep before landing in the Philippines. After all, there is a significant time difference! *yawn* Well, I will talk to you all later! By the way, click here and here to learn more about the Philippines.

Zzzzzz…

Adios (Goodbye)!

Alice

Memorial Day Isn’t Just About Parties

Hello from the United States! How was/is your day? Mine was alright, a little boring though.

It’s super hot right now! I might melt like Olaf (if you’ve seen Frozen :)). The pool just opened a couple days ago…wahoo!

Speaking of which, yesterday was Memorial Day here in the USA. Now you might think that Memorial Day weekend is about the pool opening and the fun block parties, but I hate to break it to you.

It’s not.

Memorial Day is about honoring the soldiers who fought and died so we could have the freedom we have today.

Though we don’t know all of them personally, if you think about it like this, they gave up their lives for us! Pretty heroic if you ask me.

They are some of the bravest people I know.

I hope that you honored these fearless soldiers who gave their lives for us this past Memorial Day and EVERY Memorial Day to come. 

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Yours Truly,

Alice

Smiles All Around

 I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Thank god its (almost) Friday! Speaking of Fridays…what makes you smile? Smiling is contagious and good for you! It takes 140 muscles in your face to frown but only 6 to smile. We were meant to smile :)! The top 10 things that make me smile are:

1. Playing volleyball, game or practice, either one is fun!

2. Taking photos in my backyard

3. Taking morning and after-school runs. Running relaxes my nerves and clears my mind

4. Baking…my passion. Mixing the batter, smelling the aroma of the cakes, cupcakes, and cookies

5. Writing poetry. I write about my troubles and it helps me figure them out!

6. Blogging. Techonlogy and writing, my two favorite things :)

7. Hanging out with my friends at Dunkin Donuts, the pool, etc.

8. Summer…a season of warmth, the pool, long starry nights, and my birthday!

9. Reading. People who don’t read live one life. People who read live thousands of lives.

10. Last but definitely not least, playing with my dog, Gucci. Yes, she is named after a fashion company and no, we didn’t name her :). Dispite her name, Gucci is in no way elegant. 

What song makes you happy? Comment below! A song that makes me happy is “Rainbow” by Colbie Callait. I love her music! If you know me, you probably know that, too!

 

 

“Rainbow” by Colbie Callait

To All The Adults In The World…

Hello, everyone! Do you ever wonder why kids always complain and say “Ugh, we “hate” school!”? I wish we could pick our own classes in middle school. I would be a lot less bored. I like it when we work on the computers and stuff but still…

To all the adults (mostly school administrators), why don’t you let use choose our OWN electives in middle school?

I bet a lot of kids would stop complaining because they are loving what they are learning!

For example, if I got to learn photography, journalism, volleyball, and writing (which I already do but you know, as in all the time) I would love love love school because I’m learning what I’m interested in.

Scientists say that when kids are learning what they are interested in, they pay more attention and are more focused in trying to do their very best.

Choosing some of our own classes would help us become more responsible and independent. Isn’t that what all teachers want us to do?

Yours Truly,

Alice