Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Blogmas Day Eight

Remember how I said I'd be back in the festive mood today?  I lied.  Today I'm going to teach you how to survive a family holiday party! 
Survival Tip Number One:  Just Don't Go
I know this may seem like an obvious, or have you wondering if any of my advice is worth anything (which to be honest it's probably not) but a lot of people don't even think of doing this. If the party is held at your home, stay in your room until summoned or hide the bathroom.  If your family is like mine and insists on going to another location for family parties (seriously if we are hosting the party and ten people are coming I don't think we need to rent a venue) pretend to be sick.  Remember: if you're going to pretend to be sick, be sure to act a bit sick the night before.  Another pro tip would be to act really reluctant about not going (ie "Sorry! I just threw up but I'm sure it was just  some bad food.  I'll power through! Just give me some gatorade I'll do it...)

Survival Tip Number Two:  Blend in
Okay so you have to go to the party... Try to blend in.  Unless your family is very formal, chances are there are going to be three aunts and at least one uncle who are wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. Be sure to not be to flashy though! Recently my school had an ugly Christmas sweater day and since I love to steal the show from the popular girls at school, I was very flashy.  I would try to not look like me unless you want Aunt Susan to compliment you as loud as possible. 

Seriously tho if you do this it's time to stop.
Survival Tip Three: Smile and nod your way through
School is going fine.  Of course I'm passing all of my classes *sweats* Oh no I don't have a boyfriend.  I don't know why not Uncle Steve, yes I know I'm too young Uncle Bill. To be honest, it's simply easier to lie to all of your relatives than to explain your life.  Like it's much easier to tell your Aunt that school's going fine rather than explain your hatred of that one kid and the clique you despise.  If you can't avoid conversation, make sure the person speaking feels awkward and bored.  I know it's hard but it's necessary to avoid social interaction.

Survival Tip Four:  Your relatives do not decide what you can eat
"Well I see why you've gained the weight" chuckles your Aunt Stacy as you look at the plate you've made for yourself forlornly.  People are rude.  You can ignore them, but fun comebacks are better. 

Survival Tip Five: Don't use mean comebacks on your family.
Yes, it's very fun, but it's a very bad idea.  I speak from all too much experience.  

 Survival Tip Six:  Your phone is your saving grace
*insert bad republican joke / opinion here* Oh no your phone just rang.  You better go answer it.  It's probably your friend talking about that school project worth half your grade and they can only talk at this exact moment.  

So I probably wouldn't follow any of this advice but if you want to try, go for it.
Hugs and Virtual Sweaters,
Katniss Stone.

Blogmas Day Seven: Christmas is pointless

I'm going to be honest with you: I didn't actually have anything planned out for Blogmas and now I don't know what to do. So today I'm going to talk about Christmas and ruin the holiday and then tomorrow I'll come back and it'll be really fun and festive again.
Anyways, today I'd like to talk about how Christmas is becoming a pointless holiday.  Between the sales and the need for every single person you know to have a gift, Christmas is becoming less and less of a fun family holiday.  For people who have little money, the fact that it is becoming more and more necessary to get a gift for everyone you know is hard.  Many of these people have a hard time providing a fun Christmas for their immediate family, let alone coworkers and friends.  And don't even get me started on people who can't afford Christmas.  
In my community, we have a thing called the Reindear program where you can choose a child who wouldn't normally be able to afford a Christmas and provide them with one.  Many parents  who enter their children in this program are frowned upon and many of the people who buy the children presents don't put any effort into them.  The other day I was looking through the gifts to be sure that the children had the proper amount of presents and a family had bought a little girl a coat from Walmart and blanket.  I don't understand how you can think of a child who will get hardly anything for Christmas and think 'wow why don't we spend ten dollars on her'.  Many people who do the shoe boxes for children in other countries will spend more money on their coworker whom they sit next to and don't talk to then they will a child who gets nothing but a shoebox for Christmas. 
Another problem with Christmas is the amount of shops that have sales on Christmas eve and even Christmas day!  Workers in these shops would much rather spend time with their family then serving rude customers who are upset because they didn't get the last xbox on black friday and now they can't find one on Christmas eve (also please explain to me why you're doing your shopping on Christmas eve). 
Another problem I have is Christmas parties.  There's nothing morally wrong with them, I just hate having to socialize. 
Hugs and Virtual Cookies,
Katniss Stone

Blogmas Day Six

So today I've decided to do This or That Christmas edition!
also, you may have noticed that this is a week late... i got a bit caught up in family things so sorry!!! Without further ado, let's begin!

1. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Christmas day!  Christmas Eve is great and all, but nothing beats presents and the general joy that comes only on Christmas.
2. Real or fake tree?
Fake.  I've never had  the experience of picking out my own Christmas tree but it sounds like a lot of hard work.  First, you have to go get it, then you have to decorate it and keep it nice the whole season.  My fake trees stay fine from set up in November to take down in January. 
 3. Tree ornaments or tree lights?
While I love Christmas lights more than I love organizing books, Christmas ornaments are so much more sentimental.  I still have Christmas ornaments I made in preschool and the memories that most of my ornaments hold can't be replaced. 
4. Christmas caroling or watching Christmas movies?
Personally, Christmas caroling is a bit outdated as well as inconvenient for both parties involved.  While caroling at a nursing home (in the lovely warm hallways) is great, I'd much rather watch The Polar Express with some hot chocolate.
5. Indoor or outdoor decorations?
Indoor!  I love love love decorating for Christmas but living in Indiana, the weather isn't always kind enough to allow you to do so outside comfortably. In fact, despite the warm weather, we never actually got around to our very limited outdoor decorations this year.  Outdoor decorations are fantastically festive, but indoor decorations are much more personal and sentimental to me.
6. Cookies for Santa or celery for the reindeer?
When I was younger I'd always bake Santa shaped cookies and leave the best one out for Santa, as I got older I began leaving out celery for the reindeer.  One year I actually used food coloring to dye a celery stalk red for Rudolph. 
7. A white Christmas or a green Christmas?
White Christmas!  This year we went to Disney for the Christmas decorations and I  found out that I cannot be my festive self in warm weather.  Bring on the snow!
8. Eggnog or hot chocolate?
So last year I got to try eggnog for the first time ever, and I do not understand the hype.  Now, I'm not really one for eggs in general but I'd rather drink hot chocolate then try to drink eggnog for the rest of eternity.
9. Spending Christmas with friends or family?
While I do love my family, I just love Christmas time with friends.
10.  Giving or receiving?
During the holiday season it's encouraged to be selfish as long as you give a gift or two, but for me giving is so much more fun!  And besides, I love love love wrapping presents.
Hugs and Virtual Presents,
Katniss Stone

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Blogmas Day Five Sample

“Have I ever told you how much I love you?” I ask Olivia as I pull her even closer to me.  The theater we went to had couches instead of seats, allowing us to cuddle. 
“Only a billion times.” She responds as she kisses my cheek.  The play is absolutely horrendous, but it doesn’t matter because I’m focusing on Olivia the entire time.  When the play ends, Olivia and I walk out to the car Sienna let us take. 
“Excuse me!”  A man taps me on my shoulder.  He looks too old to be a regular.  Great, another elder.  “I just need some help moving a bookcase.” Not following elders orders had extreme consequences.   I nod and follow him, Olivia trailing behind.  When we arrive in his apartment, he closes the door behind him before leading us into another room.  It’s large with swords and daggers lining the walls, but in one corner sits a bookshelf, out of place to say the least.  No wonder he wants it moved.  I walk over the bookshelf to help him move it.  Olivia stays leaning against a patch of wall without weapons. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blogmas Day Four Sample

“Andy!  Why didn’t you tell us that there were way more than just one battle between you and the elders?”  Sienna practically screamed as she paced around the training room. 
“I didn’t think it was important!”  I exclaim defensively as I unlace my hand from Olivia’s and walk towards where Sienna is standing.
“Well, it was.  The elders are out to get us.  Do you have any fighting skills?” She’s calmed down a bit, but I’m still too scared to walk closer to her.  “As a matter-o-fact I do.  I didn’t have any control over my fire powers before I came here.  I’ve killed many a mortal.”  The look on Sienna’s face is almost worth it until I see Olivia’s.  I know my past makes her uncomfortable, and I try not to talk about it too much. 
“Okay.  Andy, you’re still allowed to go see the play, but if you or Olivia’s safety is compromised in anyway there will be serious consequences.” 
Later that evening I went to Olivia’s room to pick her up.  She was dressed in a gorgeous black gown and aside from the fact she wouldn’t stop pacing, she was the most beautiful human he’d ever laid eyes on.  “Olivia, are you okay?”
“Yeah,” she said touching her hands to her head, something Andy had discovered she did when she was stressed or freaked out. 
“No, you’re not.”  I stated as I invited her to sit on the bed with me.  She sat down lacing her hand with mine and leaning her head against my shoulder.
“I’m scared.” She finally admits.
“Oh come on I’ll be right here to protect you.”
“I’m still scared.”
“I have fire powers.  You can’t beat fire, especially if you’re an elder.”

She nods and we leave for the play.   

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blogmas Day Three Sample

“Okay Jonah.  Tonight could be the night of your mission.  You just have to do one more thing.”  The woman, whose name is Sylvia tells me.  I’m ready to do anything.  I can’t wait for my mission.  Sylvia opens up a curtain to reveal none other than Mr. Bear. 
“Okay Jonah.  Show us how you’re going to kill that immortal on Mr. Bear.” 
No. I can’t do it.  Mr. Bear is my best friend.  I can’t kill my best friend.  Tears begin to sting my eyes as I pull out the knife I’ve been given.  To kill an immortal you have to cut off their heads and feet.  I start with the feet.  I pull my arm back as far as I can and swing down slicing the bear’s foot off. Red dye begins to stain his white fur.  They put in blood capsules.  Tears stream down my face as I pull my arm back again.  I take a deep breath in, swinging as I exhale.   The other foot comes off.  I take another deep breath in as I steady the body and head of my friend.
“He’s not real Jonah!” Sylvia shouts from the corner of the room.  I slice the head off as quickly as possible before dropping my knife and curling into a ball.  What have I become?
“Very good Jonah!” Sylvia exclaims clapping her hands.   “Your final mission will be to do the exact thing you did to Mr. Bear to Andy Kaltines.  Here’s his picture to help you out.  If you do that, we’ll let you outside forever.”

I can do this.  I must do this.  I will do this.

Blogmas Day Three: Disney!

So recently I went to Disney and I thought I'd share some pictures with you!
*read more for pics*

Monday, December 14, 2015

Blogmas Day Two Sample

“Jonah?” A voice calls to me
“Mr. Bear?” I ask turning to my best friend of ten 22 years. 
“No.”  the voice laughs as brings in a plate with a cupcake.  Of course it’s one of them – I’m not quite sure what to call them, but they always wear the same clothes and they only come to bring me food or clothes.  The man lights the candle and leaves the room.   I pick up Mr. Bear and move him to sit across from me.
                Mr. Bear has been my best friend since I was eight years old.  One day, a woman decided that I’d have a better life if I moved into this apartment so Mr. Bear and I moved here.  I didn’t make any more friends because no one else was allowed in my apartment.   It’s okay though because Mr. Bear is a really good best friend even if my visitors who bring me food tell me they need to take him away because I’m too old to be friends with him or that his hair is ‘matted’. 
Mr. Bear sings me a birthday song before I blow out my candle.  I turn 30 today.  That’s six whole hands.  When I finish my cupcake a women with silver hair and a suit walks in a sits next to Mr. Bear.  “Happy birthday Jonah!” she announces, crossing her legs and resting her hands on her knees.  “I have an extra special gift for you this year.  You get to go outside!” she tells me.

I get to go outside!  I haven’t been outside since I moved in.  The woman who put me here told me it was for my own safety.  “We’re going to teach you how to keep yourself safe and then we’ll give you a mission.  If you can complete this, you’ll get to stay outside forever!”  She opened the door for me and I was so excited I almost forgot to bring Mr. Bear.  

Blogmas Day Two: The Christmas Tag

Today I've decided to do the Christmas tag! Enjoy!

1. What's your favorite holiday movie?
The Polar Express has been my favorite movie since I was a child and the nostalgia makes it even better
2. What's your favorite Christmas color?
My favorite Christmas color is silver because it's ril pretty.
3.  Do you stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas?
I stay in my PJs because it's Christmas and I believe it is a fundamental right as a human to be able to wear pajamas for at least 12 hours every day during a break.
4. Candy Canes or Gingerbread Men?
Candy canes, I don't really know why, but I just like them better.
5. Favorite holiday drink?
Hot chocolate! Bonus points if it's served with marshmallows and whipped cream.

And that's it!  
Hugs and Virtual Sugar Cookies,
Katniss Stone

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blogmas Day 1 Sample

A week later, Olivia comes into my room.  “The new fire-proof training room is eagerly awaiting your presence,” she stated.  Hopping out of bed, I join her in her confident stride to the training room.  “Okay Andy, there is literally no way you can set the whole room on fire, please just set the candle on fire.”
Concentrating as hard as I can, I touch the wick of the candle.  A spark shoots out of my fingertip and I jump back.
“It’s okay Andy just concentrate on the candle.  Don’t let your emotions get to you.”
Putting my focus back to the candle I touch the wick again and it begins to burn.  I did it.  I did it! I did magic!  Pulling me into a hug, Olivia congratulates me. 
The rest of the week goes fantastically.  No one gets set on fire, and I’m able to do more and more with my magic.  Olivia showed me how to light a stove with my magic.  Every time I make pasta or coffee, I laugh thinking about how I set the grass outside of the window above the stove alight.  Of course I still haven’t heard the end of it from Olivia.  Every single time she sees me outside she asks me if I’ll set the grass on fire.  I’m not able to control my magic enough to just set whatever I want on fire.  Candles and stoves are just about all of my capabilities. 
“Hello Andy,” Sienna says sternly as I walk into the training room for lessons with Olivia one day.
“Sienna.  Can I help you?”
“I’m just here to watch and see how you’re training’s going.”
Olivia just shrugs and sets out candles on the table.  Next to the candles is a pot of water, no stove or anything.
“Okay Andy, so you’re going to warm up by lighting the candles.  Today I want to see if you can light them by hovering your index finger over the wick instead of touching it.”
It takes a bit more work, but I’m able to light the candles pretty easily.  When I’m finished Olivia smiles and takes me over to the pot of water.  “Now I’m going to have you boil the water.  Hover your hand of the pot and concentrate on how the water will look when it’s boiling.” I try to boil the water, but it gets a bit hard when I can feel Sienna’s curious gaze on my back.
                “I-I can’t.” I whisper. 
“That’s okay Andy.  We’re done for today.  Thanks for watching Sienna!” 
Sienna leaves, closing the door behind her and I break down into tears.  It’s the first time I’ve cried since I was a little boy.  When my mother left, I vowed to never cry again. 
“Oh my – Andy are you alright?!” Olivia asks sitting down next to me.  I shake my head and she puts her arm around me.  “Andy, its okay – you don’t have to be perfect; it’ll take some time to be great.”  Rubbing circles into my back she hums a tune to a song I’ve never heard before.  It reminds me of a lullaby.  When I’m done crying, Olivia walks me back to my room.  She hesitates at the door before leaving.  “Andy if you ever need someone to talk to – about anything – please ask.  I get a little lonely being the only one here with actual emotions.” 

Blogmas Day 1: Christmas Tree Tips

So, as some of you may know, I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  My personal Christmas tree has been up since November 10th, and our family tree has been up since the day after thanksgiving.  Since I'm pretty sure I'm a decorating pro, here's some tips to have the merriest of Christmas trees :
1. You don't have to stick with a theme
Looking at the trees on tumblr and instagram you may think that having a theme completes a tree, but I don't think so.  My tree is a compilations of ornaments I've made throughout the years and gifts from friends and family.  Nearly every ornament on my tree has a story or at least some sentimental value to me.  Having ornaments that mean something instead of just pretty red and gold baubles can make you feel more Christmassy -- and that's what really matters.
2. Lights OR Tinsel
It is my personal belief that if you're going to have a tree, you have to choose Lights OR Tinsel.  As much as I love lights and tinsel, I don't think that they should both be on one tree.  Personally, I like lights on the tree and tinsel as a decoration on walls and shelves.
3. Diy ornaments are just as cool as store bought
Listen, I don't have money; so when I see that I have to spend a lot of money to get my tree fabulous, I get upset.  However, with just a little glue, glitter, and determination you  can have a similar or even cooler result. (I'll post my favorite diys later this month).
4. Always have the best star
The star is the key part of a Christmas tree and I think that it should be the most glittery thing on the tree.  Personally, I enjoy printing out a star shaped picture of myself, adding glitter glue and christmas stickers and then setting atop the tree to make it fabulous.
Of course, I'm attaching files to printable TriSaraSquad stars just in case you want some extra fab on your tree. 

Hugs and Virtual Christmas Trees,
Katniss Stone

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Immortals Writing Samples!

As some of you may know, this year I participated in NaNoWriMo. (Of course, I went through a writing slump in the middle and ended nearly 40,000 words behind, but 10,000 more than I thought I could get done in two months, let alone one) Instead of bettering Selected -- which I may or may not have thrown out as a 'helpless cause' at this point -- I decided to write a new novel.  Of course, new ideas are easier to write about and what author doesn't like to come up with the background information on so many different characters!  Anyways, the book is called Immortals and I don't even know how to describe it. Because of a copyright problem I had with Selected I've decided not to post it to Wattpad until I can be sure it's 100 percent safe.  However, I didn't think it was fair to give you guys all those character information posts and then not introduce you to the writing those characters are from.  Through December, I will be doing the Twelve Days Of Blogmas  in which a new sample is released every day.  And since I don't feel like making you wait until then (and to hopefully peak your interest) I've decided to include a sample in this post as well.  

Hugs and Virtual Candy Canes,
Katniss Stone
(I'm signing off before the sample, I know it's weird but it's how I've decided to format them)
“Hello Andy!  My name’s Sienna and I run things around here.  We’re so happy to have you here; we just have a few rules that we’d like you to follow.”  The woman across from me droned on and on.  I’m still not sure how I ended up here.  One minute I was killing elders , and okay, I’ll admit, a few regulars got into the mix but there’s nothing wrong with that, they’ll disappear anyways, and the next I was here.  I felt arms around my shoulders and the room was engulfed in fire, apparently that was my magic.  If you had told little six year old Andy that he’d be in trouble for killing and setting fire to things, he’d have told you that you were silly.  I didn’t intend to be like this, it just kind of happened after a while.  Being immortal and having elders know about you is kind of like wearing a sign that says ‘please slaughter me’ and to add to that I’m magical?! Sienna continues to drone on about who knows what and I grow tired of her.  Before I realize what has happened, Sienna’s desk is on fire and a shorter girl with light brown hair runs in and with a wave of her hand, the fire is gone. 
“Olivia, would you be so kind to show Andy around the magical wing -- and maybe get those powers of his under control.”  Sienna nearly shouted.  Olivia nodded and gently guided me out of the room and into a hall. 
“Seriously dude?”  She giggled as she dragged me into a different wing of the building.  Finally, we reach a room full of the mats you’d see in a gymnasium and a wall lined with mannequins. 
“Okay so I’m going to guess you didn’t even know you were magical until today?” she asked as she took a seat in a wooden chair that sat adjacent to a computer.   I nodded.  “Well then I’m going to explain a few things about magic.  You have fire magic.  Fire magic is an elemental magic.  I have healing magic which is kind of the bridge between mind magic and element magic.  I’ll explain more as we go along.”  I understood maybe two words of what she just said. 
“Well?  What are you waiting for?  Get up!” she said as she pulled out a few candles and a few sheets of paper from a cabinet.  I walked towards the metal table she was setting them on.  “Now set them on fire.”
“Set the things I just set down on fire.”
“Concentrate.  Imagine the candles on fire.  Imagine the paper slowly burning.”
I tried as hard as I could and just as I was about to give up, all the mats burst into flames.  With a wave of her hand, the mats are left unscorched.  This whole healing thing was pretty cool why couldn’t I have that 
“Okay.  That was not the candles or the paper.”   Let’s try again.  This time, take your index finger and
                Touch the wick of the candles one by one and then touch the paper.   Rolling my eyes I start to touch the wick of the candle.  It doesn’t burn.  Anger and frustration begin to swell inside me as I take my finger off. 
“I CAN’T DO IT!” I scream setting the entire room, including Olivia on fire.  This time, Olivia isn’t so quick to put out the fire; she slowly runs her hands down her body, leaving her unharmed.  An invisible bubble forms around her as she slowly puts out the fire.  When she’s done, the mats are completely burnt.  The table soft enough to mold into something different and the mannequins are scorched.  As she solidifies the table, I notice she leaves the candles burning.
“That was a bit unnecessary now wasn’t it?” she said running her hand through her hair.  “We’re going to have to get some new equipment, but until then I’m going to have you stay in your room until that happens.  

Quick little author's note, I do realize that the 12 days of Blogmas starts tomorrow but still I'm excited and I want everyone to read my samples because I think they're good.

Friday, December 11, 2015

November favorites

Hello, my name is Olivia/Katherine. You'll probably be seeing more of me if this works out well. Before I dive into my favorites of this month, I figured you'd probably like to know what I'm into.
Favorite Music: Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At The Disco, etc.
Favorite Books: John Green, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, some biographies
Favorite Shows/Movies: Walking Dead, Gravity Falls, Corpse Bride, Disney

Okay, I'll start my monthly favorites for November now. I have 7, but the number may vary from month to month. It's not in any certain order.
1. Neck Deep- One of my friends told me to listen to this band and they're super rad. Check them out here:
2. Watercolor Pencils- I'm not the best artist, but I wanted to add a cool effect to a drawing and it worked really well. You just color regularly and then use a paintbrush and it looks like watercolor.
3. Neko Atsume- This app has been my obsession lately. You basically add things to your virtual yard and watch cats, name them, and take pictures of them. The cats are super cute and I love them.

4. Mockingjay Part 2- This movie was very good and I thought it was pretty similar to the book. I cried, laughed, and felt all the feels.
5. Binge by Tyler Oakley- I'm a fan of Tyler on YouTube and this book is hilarious and meaningful. I love it. Enough said.
6. Grimes- Listen and you'll understand why it's a favorite
7. The Sorcerer's Phone- I ordered a Harry Potter case in August and the owner was really backed up on orders so I got a few weeks ago. It was worth the wait. My case is so pretty. There are many different fandom cases so you can display your fandom proudly. For updates on this business, go to her instagram which is @thesorcerersphone

Quick note from Katniss Stone:  This blog is not sponsored or paid by these companies in any way shape or form but this is Olivia's post so I'll let her keep the links and everything.

Also Olivia forgot to sign off so.... she says goodbye to y'all.