What I Love about Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas. Christmas is my favorite holiday. What makes me love Christmas Eve? There is a reason why? It does make you excited about the next day. Part of the reason comes from the 10:45 p.m. Candlelight service.

The Candlelight Service is more than a regular church service. In a typical service, you hear just the organ. In the Candlelight Service, they bring in a trumpet and a string section. It makes it more beautiful. At the beginning of the service, the congregation are all handed candles, which are used for a future part of the service. During “Silent Night”, the lights are dimmed, and the candles we were given are helped lit by the acolytes, and the congregation helps lit the parishioners candles, who are next to us. So we sing “Silent Night” with those candles lit. It is quite a beautiful service. Since it starts at 10:45, we leave the service on Christmas.

This year, I am going to the Candlelight Service.

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What to get my Characters for Christmas

This sounds crazy. It is close to Christmas. I began to wonder what will I want to get my characters for Christmas. Yes, they are characters, but it still seems like a fun idea. I do not know what to get all my characters for Christmas, but have figured what to get some of them.

Sparkle- I will get her a 100 pack of colored pencils. I saw these at the store the other day. I saw colored pencils in packs of 50 before, but it was my first time seeing 100. I bet she will love a pack of 100- imagine the fun she will have with 100 colored pencils. She is a drawer, who loves her craft a lot.

Misty- she was tough since she is not that invested in her craft. I decided to buy her a binder. Why a binder? I decided to get her a binder to store her music in. It will keep all of the songs she has written. Misty is a singer, and she needs a better place to keep her songs.

Felipe- I think he needs a belt to store his woodcarving tools. He needs a better way than to always go back to his treehouse.

Darcy- What would I give a sculpture frog? Maybe some brand new tools.

Celeste- I think I would give her an apron to prevent her from getting clay all over herself or I would give her a brand new set of pottery tools. She needs to stop borrowing tools from Felipe.

Tweetsie- Since she is figuring out her craft, I had no idea what to give her. I would just give her an art set or something like that.

I could not figure out what to give any of my toads.

What would you give to your characters?

Christmas Songs

One of the best parts of the Christmas season are Christmas songs. As Elf says “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear”. I love listening and singing to them. They brighten up your day. They are a collection of hymns and fun songs. What are some of the songs I love? I will put a list of the ones I love below.

  1. Do You Hear What I Hear
  2. Silent Night
  3. Away in a Manager
  4. Feliz Navidad
  5. Silver Bells
  6. What Child is This
  7. Hark the Harold Angels Sing
  8. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  10. Jingle Bells
  11. Joy to the World
  12. Oh Holy Night
  13. Etc

Christmas songs are fun, beautiful, and incredible. I love being able to sing to them. One of my favorite moments is “Silent Night” during the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service- the lights are dimmed and the candles we were given at the beginning fo the service are lit, and we sing “Silent Night”. The Christmas songs are one of the reasons why Christmas is my favorite holiday.

A Hay Ride

On Sunday, in my neighborhood there was something special going on. They took part in hay rides- well there wasn’t hay in the trailers, but it still was called a hay ride. There were two trailers- one had two white horses and the other had a white and black white. It took a lot of waiting till it was time for my mom and I and friends to take part. While waiting, I had hot chocolate and a cookie. It felt like I waiting over one hour. The trailer my group ended up with was the trailer with the two white horses. During the hay ride, we got to sing some Christmas Songs. 

Les Mis Tag- Musical Songs to Novel Characters

A couple days ago,  The Story Sponge created a Les Mis tag which uses Les Mis songs to connect to novel characters.

I was nominated by  The Story Sponge, and because I am a Les Mis fan, there was no way I could refuse. She said I can use both my characters and already printed characters.  Plus we are allowed to add new songs if we know Les Mis. In addition, we do not need to answer all of her questions. I was able to answer most of them, and believe it or not, most of them belonged to my characters. I did add some songs for this tag. 

“Valjean’s soliloquy” (a character who’s whole view of the world undergoes a dramatic shift): Interesting how my first thought is a character from my book. It is Norg, who starts out as Sarge’s spy. He actually trusts Sarge at first, and he is aware of Sarge’s backstory. He becomes aware that Sarge wants to break up Sparkle and Marge’s friendship. Soon his view on Cattail Forest changes: it happens when Sarge all of a sudden changes: Sarge just blows up on him- this is around the same time (I think) when the Fairy Frogs begin befriending the Toads. Norg starts to realize just how much Sarge is starting to act more like his father. Norg’s viewpoint on Sarge changes basically- he has a lot of thinking- he realizes he has to warn Aires. He does not understand why Sarge does not see how much happier the toads are. 

He went from being Sarge’s spy to being enemies with Sarge to siding with the Fairy Frogs. He sides with them because he detests Sarge so much at this point. Norg has become aware of who Sarge is- he has to tell them the dangers relating to their plan. Even when Sarge tells him to become his spy again, Norg keeps his ground and says no. He can never go back to him- ever. He does not understand why Sarge is the way he is- he knows of who Sarge’s father is, but why would it cause Sarge to act the way he does. His view of his world has completely changed from the time he spent as Sarge’s spy to siding with the Fairy Frogs. 

“I Dreamed a Dream” (a character who never seems to have any good luck whatsoever)– This reminds me of one of my character’s backstories, who never had any luck growing up- he will show up again in a later question. Sarge’s backstory: okay you are 3 or 5 years old: your mother left you so now you are left with just a father. His father wasn’t a good role model at all. He was cruel toward him both physically and verbally- so Sarge never knew LOVE growing up. Then when he turned 13, his father left him. He never had good luck growing up- no friends, bad family life, and ended up being filled with anger, jealously towards his cousin, pain, and confusion (as in how is that my cousin’s father is treating her better- that is where the jealously comes from). He had no good luck up till 13- all of this would lead him to be the bully that he is an in my book: he clearly had no idea how to control his anger or pain well because he took his anger and pain on others especially towards his cousin. He still has nightmares about what has happened so he is a character that has had a lot of bad luck. 

“Fantine’s Arrest” (a character who just makes your skin crawl)– Voldemort- the thought of him creeps me out and the way he looks is just creepy. He is truly truly dark and evil. He makes my skin crawl more when I actually see him in the Harry Potter films. He is one of the most evil villains out there in literature. 

“Stars” (a villain with a convincing motivation)-  I feel like Sarge in my Fairy Frogs book is an antagonist with a convincing motivation. He never had friends growing up or a good family situation. His mother left him and his father showed him no love. So, his mindset was “if I did not have friends, why should my cousin have a friend”, and then that motivation grew when his cousin and Sparkle decided to see if all the Fairy Frogs and toads can become friends. He gets angrier at this point- he is like “THEY SHOULD NOT BE FRIENDS PERIOD”- he does not want his cousin to have friends period and he is jealous of the fairy frogs. So his motivation is very convincing if you think about his backstory. 

“Do you Hear the People Sing?” (a character who inspires other people)- Hmmm, more than one character in my book do inspire other people. I will go for Marge for this one. This girl is only 12 years old, and she started being mistreated by Sarge at age 8 or 9. Before the events in my book started, she began standing up to her cousin, Sarge. She was telling him to clean up his act or fix up Graysloup. When the book started, she still was standing up to them- she would not let how he treated him break her. She saw how his actions were affecting the other toads- in a negative way. Then when Sparkle, my main character, befriended her, they do not let him get in the way of their friendship. It was Marge that told Sparkle how Sarge’s actions were affecting the toads- so the two of them decided to see if the Fairy Frogs can have a positive effect on the toads by befriending them. 

“Little People” (a little character with a whole lot of spunk)– Proceed for possible spoilers: Yes, using a character from my book again. Tweetsie is the first character that comes to mind. She is only 5 years old, the youngest character in the book. When Sarge told the Fairy Frogs they were nothing special when he found Fairy Creek, Tweetsie was the first one who spoke. Later on in the book, Sarge sneaked into Fairy Creek when my toads were hanging out there- it was night so they were sleeping- Sarge captured all the toads- Marge, Effa, Rudy, Norg, and Claude all were capture. Tweetsie was the one who realized something was wrong. She woke up Sparkle for her to notice. She even was part of the rescue mission- they were found in “The Bog”- mud, trenches, ditches and creeks are the deepest there. For a 5 year old- there is courage found in her. She is not just the youngest character, but the smallest character. 

“Bring Him Home” (a character who is sacrificially protective)– Once again another book character of mine. I don’t think I would call her “sacrificially protective”, but I would call her “quite protective”. Misty and Sparkle are best friends. Misty is protective of Sparkle to the point where she would try not to get her best friend in trouble. If she does not know where Sparkle is, the first people she would go to are Darcy and Felipe (not Aires). She was the first one to notice that Sparkle did break the rules of entering Graysloup (the rule was never go there). Misty would sometimes not tell the truth to Aires to protect Sparkle. Prior to my book, Sparkle got in trouble a number of times: Misty is protective of her best friend.  

The ones below are my added ones

  “Master of the House” (a character that is funny)– I think the trio in Princess Bride is hilarious: Vizzini, Inigo Montoya, and Fezzik. I do not know how they are funny- they just are. 

“Heart Full of Love” (a couple that you love)– the first one that comes to mind is Westley and Buttercup from Princess Bride. They loved each other before they separated. Even when Buttercup was with Prince Humperdinck, her true love was Westley. Westley risked everything to rescue Buttercup from Prince Humperdinck and when she was kidnapped by Vizzini, Andre, and Fezzik. In the Fire Swamp, when the snow sand got her, he dove in and got her out. She was never truly happy unless she was with Westley. One of the reasons why these two come to mind first is because it was one of the most recent books I read. 

“A Little Fall of Rain” (a touching death of a character): So spoilers- this comes from Nicholas Nickleby. Considering this is a death, it will be a huge spoiler. My top two favorite characters in Nicholas Nicklebly are Nicholas and Smike. Up until Smike met Nicholas, he was terribly mistreated. I wanted Smike’s life to improve and have a happy ending- Nicholas was the first person to treat him fairly. Nicholas shows him compassion. Later in the story, Smike comes terribly ill (you probably know who it is going to happen)- Smike does die, but I did not want that to happen- I just loved his spirit, but his death is touching and moving because he had Nicholas by his side.

“The Bargain/The Waltz of Treachery” (a character who is a master of manipulation); “Javert’s Suicide” (an extremely conflicted character), “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” (an impossibly lonely character)- those are the three I couldn’t answer. 

I feel like “The Bargain/ The Waltz of Treachery” one belongs to one of the Nicholas Nickleby characters since there are so many villains and bad guys in that book- but could not think of one. 

I open this tag up to anyone Les Mis fan, and just like the creator of this tag, I will let anyone add any Les Mis song to the pile. 


Stay true to Yourself

Be who God meant you to Be and you will Set the World on Fire

-St Catherine of Siena

This quote to me is the same as “stay true to yourself”. It is important to be who we are. We should not pretend to be someone we are not- the only places I believe that should exist is in the theatre, movies, and playing pretend. Anywhere else, we should not pretend to be someone else. Imagine how much happier we would be if more people stay true to themselves. I truly believe in staying to myself. 

I know who I am. I am determined, smart, curious, funny, big-hearted and unique. I am a musical theatre fanatic, bookworm, college graduate and mountain person. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I have a strong spirit, and that is one of my gifts. I am good at writing. It is easy to be myself- I never want to be someone I am not. I want to always be me, not someone I am not.  

I understand that people want to fit in and be accepted. If you are you, your colors will shine through. Some of your strengths comes from your weaknesses. Stay true to yourself- I am always myself. I will always be the girl who loves musicals, who loves to read, and so on. Yes, it is important to improve ourselves- but make sure we are still ourselves. It is important to learn new skills- still stay who you are. 

My gift in the Arts

The arts are vast in scope. There are so many type. There are visual arts. There are performing arts and etc. I do have a gift in the arts- but not in performing or visual arts- I can’t draw, sing, or dance well. So where is my gift in the arts? 

It is in writing. I am a good writer. I do not know how I realized that. Ever since I was a child, I was a storyteller. I always had this wild imagination. I always told stories to my parents. From 3rd to 5th grade, on the way to school, I told my dad stories. I do remember that some of them were about superheroes: the one I remember the most were “Meg and Emma”, two second grade superheroes, who had a 16 year sister named Pad and two younger brothers (I don’t remember their brothers’ names). Their bedrooms were located in the basement of their house. My parents always told me to write my stories down, but I never did. I wonder if me being a storyteller had the beginning of me being a good writer. 

I realized I was a good writer either in high school or college. It always helps when you just write without thinking. Then you go in and edit. That is how I write. That is a tip I learned in high school: one of the best pieces of advice I was given in high school. 

People do not think writing is a type of art- but it is. Just like artists,  writers have to come up with an idea. They have to come up with their characters, and who they are. They have to write draft after draft. They have to figure out the plot. Writers have imaginations- the imaginations are what allows them to figure who their characters are- basically what their characters’ personalities and lives are like. It allows them to know what the plot is and what the genre is. A good writer does not finish the book in just one draft- it takes a number of drafts. A good writer always needs a little extra help- at times. A good writer allows a reader to fully visualize what is going on.

Considering the fact that I am writing a children’s book, I am finally writing a story down. I was inspired by taking a walk on of Charlotte’s greenways with my family. I was on a boardwalk, and then all of a sudden to my left, I saw a bunch of cattails, and the words “Cattail Forest” came to mind. Interesting how “Cattail Forest” developed into the Fairy Frogs and Toads, their names, the locations, and the story. Originally “Cattail Forest” was going to the name of where the the frogs lives, but soon that got changed to “Fairy Creek”. Now the “Cattail Forest” is where both “Fairy Creek” and “Graysloup” are located. 

Writing is a type of art. Writing is my art I am good at- not the other types of art.