Monday, March 27, 2017

My Writing: The Adventures of Emily Hattinkson: A Collection of Beautiful Days

Good Morning, Friends!

This week is an extra week, so here is another of Emily Hattinkson's adventures. Here is her first one, but you don't really need to read the first one to read the second one. Also, here is a link to a picture of Emery's Cross.

Emily, our dear bus-rider, had been riding the bus for many months now. She was accustomed to the new people, and did not miss the old people. Throughout her many bus rides, Emily saw many different days, with many different suns. She liked to keep track of the different days she was fortunate enough to perceive.

One type of day was when, as Emily liked to say, “The sun wakes up.” On this day, Emily paid her fare, and, luckily, got two chairs to herself. Emily pushed her sweatshirt sleeves up and swung her backpack onto the chair next to her. The traffic was flowing smoothly, and Emily could hear the roaring of the noise the bus makes when it is not aware it is making noise, noise too loud to talk to the person next to you. To Emily, it felt as if the noise was trapped inside her ears, echoing and trying to find a way out. Finally, it grew less and less, until it finally subsided.

Just then, the bus came into view of the city. The stretching sun danced over the lady across from Emily's white, pristine, jacket, resting a moment on Charles the Accountant's sleeping face, before running to reflect on the window, then disappearing like the evanescent dew.

Another day, which Emily only experienced once, she christened the “Magical Day.” The sunlight that day was very much like the sunlight when the sun wakes up, but much richer, and tinged with the rose-gold color few are blessed enough to see. The sun danced even more grandly and wildly than it ever had before, and as they entered the city, the sun's rays colored the buildings the colors fairies paint in a child's dream, a color none can describe, and one would only remember in the back of one's mind, the part whispering: “Remember when. . . Remember when. . .”

In the city, a man was locking a garage, still bathed in the beautiful rays of the sun, and people were beginning to stir, to come out of their sleepy night and enter the glorious day. Each person was a small part of a giant mechanism, like each tiny gear that makes a clock run, or each ant in an anthill, working to keep the hill running. And, as Emily said, there was a magic there none can describe, and very few will have the opportunity to witness.

This last day, this day, Emily entitled: “Fairies' Day,” for this day was full of the good neighbors' fog. The fog covered the top half of the buildings, and so densely that one could not even see the hint of an outline. After Emily had been dropped off at her bus stop, she breathed in a deep breath of the crisp, cold, air, full of the heaviness only fog can bring. As she walked to school, it was difficult to see just across the street, that was how thickly the fog had descended. Emily knew the fairies were planning mischief, maybe to punish someone for a bad gift, or forgetting the wee folk last Saint Patrick's Day, or maybe, as her uncle had told her once, they were helping someone along to find their place.

If Emily closed her eyes, she could just imagine the fairies twisting the fog, and then, Emily would open her eyes, and be in a field, or maybe under a tree of Emery's Cross. Or, maybe the wispy tendrils of the mist would slowly, quietly, wrap around her, and bring her to a far-off land. Whatever the case, the Fairies' Day held adventure for some charmed soul.

These days and many others graced Emily's time riding the bus. For, adventure can always be found if one has enough courage.
Spruce Nogard
*Post written on 3/28/17

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Genre of the Month: (Not Really): Themes and Messages

Hello, Friends!

How are you this lovely day?

We are switching the topic for this category slightly, because, well, there are only so many genres and if we repeat them it gets kind of, well, boring.

So, instead, we are going to talk about themes and messages. I don't know if this will be every time there's a post in this category, or if this is just once. . . we'll see.

Anyways, we've all read books that have themes or messages in them. In fact, it's rare to find a book without a theme.

However, why do books have themes (and messages)? What purpose do they serve?

Think of books you've read with particularly strong themes, or not-so-strong themes, and think about this question. What do you think?

Spruce Nogard
*Post written on 3/28/17

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Creative Complex: Character Constructing: Reactions

Hello, Friends!

Today, we are studying reactions.

Everyone reacts differently, depending on their background, age, experiences, etc. The way one person acts to a specific action can be the complete opposite as another person.

For example, someone bumps into two different people. The first person says: "Oh, I'm sorry." (Even though they didn't do it.) The second person starts yelling at the person who bumped into them.

We always need to ask the question: Why?

So, today's character constructing is to think of a few situations where people would react. They could be anything from:

  • Tripping
  • The news
  • An announcement (at school, work, etc.)
    Reaction as in explosion? Nope. Wrong kind.
  • Etcetera
  • Accidentally running into someone
  • A conversation with someone else
  • Etcetera
*Note: These are harder because you are dealing with two (or more) people, which means you have to account for the reactions of both people, not just one person.

Next, pick a character.

Then, decide how they would react.

Finally, ask: Why did my character react this way?
Try to analyze the situation from as many angles as possible, keeping in mind how other characters would perceive the character's reaction.

Another thought: You could also do this with real people. It might help you understand them better. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Spruce Nogard

*Post written on 3/27/17

Monday, March 20, 2017

On My Mind: Beauty and the Beast

Hello, Storybook Characters!

Today, I am excited about Beauty and the Beast. The old Beauty and the Beast movie was my favorite princess movie when I was younger. Actually, it still is. I loved Belle because she was a reader, just like me. Also, I loved the songs, and, well, everything else. :)

I remember when I first heard they were making a live-action Beauty and the Beast, in 2015. I remember thinking 2017 was so far away. But now, here it is. I'm seeing it tomorrow, and I can't wait!

I also am excited Emma Watson is playing Belle. Emma Watson is such a great actress, and seems the perfect fit for Belle. Not to mention, as someone online remarked, Hermione and the Beast's library has got to be a wonderful scene.

Are you excited for Beauty and the Beast? Are you nervous about it? What was/is your favorite Disney movie?

Spruce Nogard

*Post written on 3/27/17 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Recipe: Irish Soda Bread

Hello, Friends!

Sorry I haven't posted in half a month. School has been really stressful. I understand if you're exasperated.

Anyways, yesterday was Saint Patrick's day, so let's do a recipe in that spirit!

I had some Irish soda bread for the first time this Saint Patrick's day, and it was so good! I'm not sure what recipe the bread I had was, but this recipe is from

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Creative Complex: The Irish Stories

Hello, Friends!

As usual when posts are up late, I apologize. (I'm writing this on Thursday, despite what the above date says.)

Next, go dig out your musty volumes of Irish folklore! Of course. It is almost St. Patrick's Day.

If you have the misfortune not to have books of Irish fairy tales, check out these websites.

This digital library is insane. There are so many fairy tales, from so many places. I love fairy tales, but it makes me feel a little overwhelmed looking at them all. :)

This link is a "digital library" of "Folklore, Folktales, and Fairy Tales from Ireland."

This link, however, is another library of tons of fairy tales from everywhere. The ones that say "Ireland" after the title in parentheses are, obviously, the Irish ones.

Now, spend some time curled up somewhere listening to nice music and enjoying a cup of tea (or other drink) and just reading some Irish fairy tales.

After you have read a few, you can:

  • Write a story based on one or multiple of the tales you read
  • Write a story which alludes to a story you read
  • Analyze the tales
    • Find patterns, points of interest, themes. . . 
  • Use a quality of one of the tales in your story
  • Write/draw/compose/etc. a:
    • Poem
    •  Piece of music
    • Piece of art
    • Anything else
  • Anything else you can think of!
Have fun!

Spruce Nogard

Monday, March 13, 2017

Dragons: Features: Scales

Hello, Friends.

First of all, sorry this post is up late.

Second of all, I know I already talked about dragon skin, but now I'm talking specifically about dragon scales. Each substance has a picture attached to it. :)

Types of scales:

Precious Stones:

Other Stones:

Precious Metals:
Are dragon scales a material unknown to earth? What other types of scales can you think of?

Spruce Nogard