How Were the ACTs, Lena????

So I totally meant to post about this yesterday, but I came home from testing and literally fell asleep until the next morning. I’ve been nursing one hell of a cold/flu sickness for the past few days, and the feeling of death was most certainly upon me. I apologize. I mean, I know you guys were totally sitting on the edge of your seats, wondering how I think I did, right?

I crack myself up. Let me have that one.

Okay, so the test wasn’t actually as bad as I had predicted it to be, overall. The day went as such:

Mother walked into my room, coffee cup already in hand. “Lena, wake up! It’s test day, you gotta get there early.”

I dressed in my laziest of clothes, the required “I CAN DEW” Mountain Dew-sponsored shirt that all the Juniors would be wearing today being tugged over my head without me even remembering to do it. I was in such a sleep, sick daze that I was stumbling through the motions, no thought process included.

I was dropped off at the doors of the auditorium at my school, where I awkwardly walk inside by myself, since my sole friend at the school cannot currently be found. For some reason, I distinctly remember mentally jotting down in my head the way my footsteps echoed as I made my way towards the noise of the crowd, staring at the quote from a philosopher that was engraved in stone on a wall. I wanted to keep that feeling in case I ever needed it for a book.

There was a line of people waiting for me, seniors who forced me to make eye contact as they said, “Good luck on your ACTs!” I tried smiling at them in reply, but I’m pretty sure it was warped and looked more like I was trying not to cry.

The school provided us with breakfast, and since I find it impossible to talk to people (especially kids from school), I kind of just stood in front of the tables, waiting as the students stared at me. Finally, one of them said, “Would you like a sandwich?” I nodded in relief and took it, along with the bag of apples, which were sour, and a bottle of water. I wish they had provided coffee instead. I was already feeling the effects of my morning caffeine wearing off. I sat on a part of the bleachers, trying not to look like I was the tragically alone girl that no one likes and who can’t get along with most of the student body. It was like I could feel their eyes making a physical burn on my neck and shoulders. I tried to eat my sandwich (which I had to take the meat off of) as casually as possible. I’m pretty sure I failed.

When the bell rang and they dismissed us to evacuate and head for the busses, it seemed like a terrifying new young adult novel. Here were all of these children, young teenagers herding on to metal buses like brainless cattle. I started thinking up conspiracy theories, of course. What if this was all a lie? We weren’t really being sent to take a test, they were shipping us off to be killed!

I’m rather ridiculous, I’m aware.

So we finally all got to the hall, where tables were lined up in some twisted version of an alphabetical order. Before I knew it, the test were being handed out. First was the English test, which I wasn’t worried about (I took a practice test in class a couple weeks ago that I got like ninety-nine percent on). The math started out okay, but like the last fifteen questions were all WHAT IS THIS LANGUAGE I DO NOT SPEAK MARTIAN JUST A LITTLE GALLIFREYAN. The reading portion was easy, the science part I bombed (though that may have to do with the fact that I was having a tough time staying awake; by this point one of the monitors had set a tissue box on the edge of my table because they were tired of walking back and forth). It was like a back and forth thing,  apparently. The essay was alright, but it was a question I don’t really know much about so I had to fool my way through it while still sounding well-educated, which actually wasn’t too hard since that’s basically how I get through my everyday life.

Well, it’s over now, and I’m still sick. I guess we’ll find out how I did in a few weeks, and if I have to take it again it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll just be a little more broke.

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When You’re Drowning

By the title, I don’t mean water-wise. I mean I have a horrible cold, and with my breathing issues it feels like I am drowning inside of my own lungs. It’s a great experience, let me tell you. I’ve been keeping myself busy by listening to good music on Spotify and studying for the ACTs (WHICH ARE TOMORROW AND I KEEP HAVING NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS ABOUT IT).

Every Friday, my Enriched U.S. History teacher asks us a question after giving us the rundown for the day.

“More importantly,” he’ll say, “how is everyone doing today?”

Usually, we’ll all grumble. “ErggUUHHH.”

“Well, you should be good,” he’ll reply. “You know why?”

By now, we do, but we humor him and ask, “Why?”

Then he lifts his arms and does this dance as he speaksings, “‘Cause it’s Friday…” This past Friday, he added to this little song. “‘Cause it’s Friday and we don’t have school again ’til Monday but sike we have Monday off hashtag thanks Pulaski and then you guys technically don’t have school on Tuesday because you’re taking a test that will affect your entire lives hashtag no pressure.”

We all went from laughing to hushed as the dark mood settled over after that. I don’t think anyone is prepared, personally. I know I’m not. Also, here’s a fun fact: the writing portion doesn’t show up on your final score, and the English portion is rumored to not really matter at all anymore! Yay! The only part of school I’m good at means absolutely nothing on this huge test that I’m going to fail!!!

Also, I’m going to be sick while taking it. You’ll probably be able to hear me coughing and blowing my nose from miles away, since it will be dead silent in the bingo hall we’ll be at.

Ugh.

In other news, I’ve sent a copy of my novel Worlds Apart (which is on my Wattpad profile, if you’re curious) to my aunt. This should be exciting…. I’m kind of really nervous about it. I’m still trying to get used to the fact that it’s okay to let people you know personally read your work. It’s just so….uck.

How is everyone else doing today?

I’m Back!

SO, a couple months ago, I completely lost my password to get on here somehow. I don’t know what happened, but I just blanked out. This past Monday, though, I played around with different words until one granted me access, so I am back to blogging for the time being. How is everyone? Any major changes since I’ve been gone? Let’s see, I’ve finished three books on my Wattpad account. One of them even got pretty popular! That was exciting. I finished every season of That 70s Show. I dyed my hair (which is already fading), and got asked to prom (spoiler, I turned him down… which was not only awkward but heartbreaking). I even made a few more friends. I have a group now! It’s pretty weird to have people to go to and chat with whenever I feel down and know that they’ll do what they can to get me to smile. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

I also read some amazing books. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell made me giggle more than I care to admit. I’m not doing so great on the whole losing weight thing, but one of my doctors has a theory that whatever my disorder (that nobody can pinpoint for some abnormal reason) is may be affecting my ability to have signs of slimming. Which sucks.  A lot.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in. I’m going to go read Just One Year and finish off this bag of ginger snaps I’ve got.

Well this is… Different

Well, it’s been a while. I think. My sense of time has gotten completely jumbled for about a month and a half.

So, news? Not much happening. I’m looking for an adult to read my finished manuscript because I would really like to have that opinion before trying to do anything with it. I also am completely at a loss when it comes to trying to get the thing published, because I have no idea where to start. I know that I should try and get an agent first, but I don’t even know how to begin doing that.

Ugh.

In brighter news, I’ve picked one of my plot lines to work on as my next Big Project. I have this board, you see, hanging in my room. On this board, I stick post-it notes and little scripts of paper and napkins. What these are are story ideas, and I write them down as soon as they come to me, and usually scramble for the nearest writing source (which is sometimes a napkin from the table of Applebee’s). I store them there for later, when I’m not as busy and need a new project. Since one manuscript has been completed, I’ve moved on to start on my new one. The topic of this new story? Witches.

Yes. I went from psych wards to witches. And it is weird.

I also have this major change of narration. The character is totally different from my previous manuscript’s narrator, and it’s like having an identity crisis. I’m also in present-day on this new one, instead of hundreds of years into the future. I do like challenges, though, so that’s why I picked this plot. Currently, there is a very, very rough draft of it that’s only about 1/8 complete. Hopefully I’ll have a free weekend soon and can stay at an aunt’s or grandparent’s or even friend’s house so I can sit down and just work on it.

Also, I got a twitter account, if anyone is interested: @LenaJax

Hope everyone’s start of autumn is going swiftly!

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I Guess I Should’ve Shared

Throughout the years, I have been an introvert when it comes to writing (I’m sort of an introvert in general, but that’s more of a recent thing). It’s rather rare for me to hand out something I’ve worked on, and if I do I stress out the entire time my pages are in the possession of someone else. What do they think? Am I super pathetic? What if they show someone else? What if they steal the idea and become super famous and everyone loves them? What if they just ignore it?

This past year, I’ve gotten a bit better about that. I care a lot about my manuscript because of how hard I’ve worked on it, and I want it to be the best it can be. So I’ve put my worries to bed and locked the bedroom door for now (the best I can, anyway; I try my hardest to ignore when they start knocking for me to let them back out). I’ve asked friends to read my story.

This has not gone greatly.

I cannot find enough people to be readers. I’ve sent the manuscript to three people who agreed to take a look at it for me so far. One of the readers was absolutely fantastic, though her feedback was compliments, which was nice, but I wanted help for improvement on the story. Another reader is doing well, she’s being super picky (as requested), but with school she’s super busy and I get replies for each chapter about twice a month. The other reader has not opened the email. I would ask my family, but the only readers in my family are busy or scoffed at me when I asked them.

I’m not sure what to do about it all yet. I may just have to proofread it to my best ability and hope that it’s enough.

Out of Mind

I used to think that authors were exaggerating when they would reply, “You’ll have to ask the characters themselves” when a reader would ask them a question about why whoever in the book did such and such a thing.

That was before I started writing a book of my own.

Now, I understand, because whether the writing is actually good or not, I have found that this book takes up most of my thinking space. I’m basically obsessed with my own story, as self-involved as that sounds. Whenever I am writing, I picture my main character sitting next to me on the floor, cross-legged and pleading, “Lena! Please write my story! I want the world to know.” And while at some points I feel like my character is my own person that I created, he’s actually more of a best friend of sorts that I met a month ago telling me his life story, because in a lot of ways he’s his own person. While I like putting bits of my thoughts or emotions or memories into a character’s story, he does things that I would never do. We are separate, and maybe that’s why he is such a vivid figment of my imagination.

So, to those authors that replied with, “You’ll have to ask them yourself” whom I rolled my eyes at, I understand now. Because if I was asked why my main character did such and such a thing or felt such and such a way, the truth is that the answer would occasionally be that he told me that was how things went down or that’s how he felt in his story as he took another sip of coffee on my bedroom floor, and that’s just all there is to it.

I Have Actually Completed Something…. Something to do with Writing!

So….

The other day I finished the first draft of my manuscript!

This is super exciting for me because I’ve been working on it whenever I can (which wasn’t much for a while there, school and whatnot) for about the past four months, and usually if something goes on longer for two weeks (besides a really good television show… but not even then sometimes), I give up on it. It was nice to proceed and actually finish something for once!

Yesterday (the day after I officially finished the draft), I took a day away from writing to regroup. I finished the book I had been reading and started a painting I’ve been putting off for a while. I also got dressed and went outside, which is a huge accomplishment that I feel very proud of, even though the entire time I was out I was thinking about going back home.

This weekend I won’t be doing much writing, because I’m going on vacation from Saturday until Tuesday (hooray for a suburban packed with chatty female family members on a way to a concert), but I’m going to start revising today anyway. Now that the first milestone is complete, I have this rush to get to the end so that I can have a clean and polished final product to hold in my hands. It’ll be nice having something to keep my mind distracted, because lately I have been getting very overwhelmed at random times and I breakdown, and that’s rather annoying/tiring.

So, without further ado, on to press play on Julie & Julia as I begin revising!

What’s the August Rush?

Whoa. How the frex is it already almost the end of June? That’s insanity. You know what’s even crazier? My mind, because I already can’t stop thinking about going back to school. To be honest, I was thinking about it on the last day of my sophomore year. Despite all the happiness and slight freedom I felt as I left the geometry classroom and ran out the school doors, I couldn’t help but feel dread because I knew that all too soon I would have to come back.

This summer is making things even harder. I’m having such a great time! I’m staying in my room, getting up when I please, watching films and drinking tea or coffee or Diet Coke, and I’m writing and reading. If I’m not doing those things, I’m getting up early, but for a good reason. Like, for instance, I got up on Thursday morning because I went to Summerfest. Good thing we did get there early, too, because I saw Pentatonix and MET AND TALKED TO MITCH GRASSI AND IT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS OF ALL TIME (picture below). I also later on got to go see THE LADY GAGA and she was so amazing (despite the long and torturous wait we had beforehand). It was SUCH a fun day. My aunt and I had a blast. I’m also going to more concerts soon, so there’s that. And there are days when my mother will wake me up to go driving, and we’ll just drive around the city playing Fall Out Boy and talking and sipping coffee. I love these days. Sure, I still struggle with some of the same things that I do while in school. It’s not like because school stopped I was suddenly problem free and always happy everyday. There are some days where I get to sleep until I please and that will be around 1 in the afternoon because I can’t bear the thought of getting out of bed and facing reality. Which is kind of pathetic, I know, but still. I am not welcoming August. Let’s hope that this summer drags out!

Enough about me. How is the summer break going for everyone else? What are some of your plans?

Oh, and like I mentioned, here is the picture of me with Mitch (he was so nice too oh my goodness; I would go into details but don’t want to bore you all):

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