I Got a Tattoo!

Surprise! Yeah, I actually didn’t get one in real life. *parents’ relieved sigh in the distance* I had a dream about getting one. But, I don’t know. A tattoo doesn’t sound like an absolutely horrible idea. *shocked parents gasp in the distance* I wouldn’t mind having a fearless rune etched in my skin. It’s just a form of self-expression.

Anyway, in this dream I could clearly envision what the tattoo looked like and it intrigued me. The way that I used it in my dream feels like I could make it into a legitimate story line. I’ll have to put it on my (long and unfinished) list of stories to write.

Dream

The dream begins with me and Anya at a giant Barnes and Noble. But, you see, this is a special Barnes and Noble. It’s like one of those super Wal-Marts. Only with books. Heheheh. This Barnes and Noble has everything you would need to live on, like a grocery section, etc. It’s like a dream come true (haha maybe I shouldn’t use that expression when describing my dreams). Pfft oh yeah and then Anya’s there. I’m happy about that too. But… books (sorry Anya). Reveling in the gloriousnessss of the super Barnes and Noble, Anya and I show each other our favorite sections, excited to recommend books to each other.

I pick up an interesting-looking book and start reading. When I open it, I get sucked into the story, becoming the main character.

This is what the tattoo under the boy’s neck looked like. The separate line in the middle is what faded. (I drew it on my wrist, so just imagine that it’s on someone’s chest.)

Inside the story, I drive my car to this mini castle that is apparently open to the public. As I walk up towards the castle, this guy with stark white hair comes dashing through the parking lot, looking determined and scared as heck. He is bleeding from his side. He almost bumps into me and we stare at each other, both frozen by surprise. Right underneath his neck I see that there is a tattoo. It has three separate parts- the fletching of an arrow, part of an arrow shaft, and a heart. As he stares at me the arrow shaft part of the tattoo fades. Looking down at myself I realize I now have white hair and a tattoo to match his.

He runs away before I can do anything and I continue to go to my car. Before I can drive away this jerk police officer dude approaches and starts bothering me. He’s after the boy. I don’t know how, but I knew the boy was the good guy and I refused to help the mean officer. I get really angry that he keeps messing with me, so I start spraying him with water. Water is obviously the best way to get him to back off. Within the dream, it is completely normal for me to spray a police officer with a water gun to get him to go away. (Please kids, don’t try this at home.) My water offense is successful and I am free to drive away. Unknowingly I take the injured boy with me, as my distraction allowed him to sneak into my trunk.

Arriving at this park, I remember walking really fast past this open grassy area hoping people wouldn’t notice me. I think it had something to do with the guy. I was trying to hide him. Of course, my family noticed me and I had to stop. They pulled out a computer and I showed them a video I had taken off the police officer harassing me. I wanted him to get in trouble. As I watched the video I was somehow transported back to that moment in time.

In this alternate past, I am back at the mini castle and go inside a connected smaller building. I am once again clueless as to what is going on. I open the building door to find a boy standing over an old lady who is lying on her back. The boy has white hair and a tattoo right under his neck. My dream conscious knows that the old lady is actually a witch, and even though the boy is standing over her, she has the advantage in this fight. In this version of time, the boy turns to see me and gives me his tattoo then. This confuses the witch and allows both of us to escape, although I have no idea what’s going on. We both ran away unstabbed. This time I didn’t film officer, but I did more consciously distract him so the boy could get away. I kept the boy hidden in my car.

This time when I return to my family we have this outdoor theater thingy where we all watch Beauty and the Beast together (my fav!). For some reason, we put the subtitles in, even though my dad can’t stand them. Gaston’s song comes on (when they’re in the pub) and the boy who I’m still trying to keep hidden starts messing with the lyrics. (Specifically the one line where La Fou says “-ask any Tom, Dick, or Stanley” Yeah… the boy kept making one of those words appear over and over again on the screen.) I was VERY annoyed. He was being naughty and I was trying to keep my family from discovering him.

He was doing it to get my attention though. He had been trying to convince me to do something new, but I didn’t believe him. His revenge was to mess with the movie in front of my family. At the end of my dream, I finally realize that the boy I’m talking to is a ghost that only I can see, which explains why he hasn’t been caught yet. Apparently he hadn’t survived after he transferred his powers to me. I now was left to carry on his magical duties using my white hair and tattoo. Ghost boy was there to help me.

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Equality and the Power of Words

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Friday June 26, 2015

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Okay, to open up this website and see a rainbow? To go on Snapchat and see all the happy stories that people have sent? To go on Google and see that they had a link to a YouTube video celebrating marriage equality? I honestly started tearing up. Today is a very happy day. Marriage Equality has finally been attained in the United States of America.

I remember when my mom first told me what being gay meant. She talked about it as if it was a subject not meant for younger ears, something to be whispered about. My mom carefully explained to me how it was possible for a girl to fall in love with a girl or a guy to be attracted to a guy. She told me that it was something that a person was born with and that nothing was wrong with being gay. Yet, even though I fully believed that there was nothing wrong with it, I somehow felt like “gay” was something to be whispered about. I wasn’t comfortable with the topic.

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My books changed that. Thanks to all the courageous, strong authors who were willing to have diverse characters, I learned that “gay” isn’t something to be whispered about. It shouldn’t be an adult topic. It’s a fact of life, as easy to explain as a heterosexual relationship is. The fact that some people won’t accept LGBTQ people as normal, regular people who deserve love as much as anyone else is what is shameful and wrong.

One essential author that helped open my eyes was Cassandra Clare. Not only can she invent an amazing plot, but she uses a diverse range of characters to act it out. Magnus, a bisexual warlock, is probably (it’s hard to choose, okay?) my favorite character of hers. The contrast of his sexual confidence to his boyfriend’s cautiousness and the trials they both face to be together allow the reader to better understand them and others in their situation. I certainly learned to empathize with them.

Another author that goes by the name Rick Riordan (yes, we’re back to this guy) wrote a children’s book with a gay character. Riordan is a prime example of how being gay can be explained and talked about with children. He too helped to change my views. I saw that being gay is a safe topic for children. It can be explained in simple terms and kids will understand it, no problem. Some kids are gay. In fact, a lot of kids probably already know exactly what being gay means. Just because a topic is not discussed doesn’t mean it isn’t real. When someone grows up they don’t suddenly turn gay. Children need to be exposed to topics such as this one. By providing good examples and education, you develop a more understanding confident child. Riordan helped point this out to me.

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An author’s goal is to create characters that their readers will empathize with, to create relatable people. If a reader is able to form a connection with a character, it makes the other experiences and feelings that the character has more believable. This is what makes literature so powerful. The human ability to connect with others and empathize through a medium as simple as words is quite amazing. Words such as Cassandra Clare’s and many others have helped us get to where we are today- attaining equality. Words will continue to affect us in the future, making an impact in our everyday lives. I have faith that we can continue to use the power of the word to change our world for the better. Today is proof of how far words can get us.

Brave Authors

Books I recommend with all my heart. These authors are worth checking out.

  • Cassandra Clare

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  • Rick Riordan

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  • David Levithan

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  • Malinda Lo

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  • Becky Albertalli

  

  • Sarah Tregay

  

Smackacks and the Dream Circus

I’M FREE FROM SCHOOL except for the fact that I have summer school. Woo! As I mentioned before in my Oh! The places you’ll go… post, I  was going to see my cousins. Well, THAT TIME CAME. I am now safely back home attending boring summer school. Before I went, my cousins and I were texting each other all week about how excited we were for the trip. “I can’t wait till you guys get here!” “I knowwww!” and “I’M EXCITED!!!” was basically the extent of our texts.

Conversations with Steve and Aunt Addie are always quite interesting, and since we drove together, we had a whole seven hours to talk. One conversation we got into as we drove to my cousins’ was about the weird dreams we’ve had. This then brought up the topic of the book I just finished: The Night Circus. The actual name of the circus is Le Cirque des Rêves or The Dream Circus in English. (I was pretty proud of myself for translating the title by myself.) After I told them the general story, Aunt Addie and Steve both agreed that it was weirder than any dream they had had. I don’t know about that. Personally, I think dreams can get so much weirder. I guess I’ll let you be the judge of that. I’ll include one of my weirder dreams and The Night Circus summary here.

Smackacks Dream

In the beginning, I went with a group of my friends to the mall. As we were walking around, I received a vision from a dragon. The dragon told me that they were in desperate need of my help in their dragon world dimension. I split up from the rest of the group and went off with Dina to search for the gateway to the dragon’s land.

To find the gateway, Dina and I left the mall and started walking around in the parking lot, passing all these restaurants and stores. We passed this one restaurant that had set out mac and cheese with noodles the size of my head in piles for people to take. It didn’t occur to me that this was unsanitary in my dream.

Dina and I started walking around the mac and cheese mounds. This little boy came and tried to walk past us. We lifted our arms so he could go under them, but he had trouble doing that because he wasn’t short enough. This reminded Dina and I about how easy that maneuver would have been for Parker. (He used to be really short but now he’s finally having his growth spurt. In the dream I guess he was still super short.) Then we got to this one patch of grass behind the people at the restaurant and started looking up at the sky. We began studying comets and the stars, and what made comets show when they came close to earth.

The next part of the dream I remember is about this group of four boys who are trying to outrun this giant NEFARIOUS corporation. These four boys traveled around the world, always on the run to escape the corporation called Smackacks. I was pretty surprised I remembered the name when I woke up. Smackacks finally catch the boys. They are taken to this concentration camp-like place. Two of the boys are separated from the rest and put in this giant bar cage thing. The rest of the three boys (the number changed from four to five) look over their shoulders as they are hustled into the camp naked. They had been told to take their clothing off.

Within my dream, I saw things through one of the boys that were left outside. The two boys were the only ones left dressed and the officials ordered them to take off their clothes. They were wearing these jumpsuit things with belts. The main boy began thinking about how he had become so optimistic while on the run, even though before that he had been very pessimistic. Before the boys had been caught, the main boy had bought a teddy bear at a zoo they went to because he had been so optimistic. It was great until he realized he had to get rid of it because it was from Smackacks. My dream ended there with the boys naked and trapped. Dina and I had vanished. Maybe we made it to the dragon world.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Since they were very young, Celia and Marcus have been raised to compete against each other in a game. Both are taught magic in distinctly different ways by their separate mentors, neither really having a say in the matter. The game takes place in Le Cirque des Rêves, a magical place constructed to embody Marcus and Celia’s imaginings. Le Cirque is open to the public, and as the years pass both Marcus and Celia continue to add more tents. They also begin to fall in love. The two learn to resent the game, knowing that they will never be free to love one another until it is over. It ends with only one of them standing.

As the reader, you not only follow Celia and Marcus’s story but a multitude of different characters who come into contact with the Dream Circus. Taking place in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the book doesn’t go in chronological order, leaving clues for you to slowly comprehend as the story alternates between different events at different times. The format in which the author presented the story is engaging, adding layers and giving it more depth.

In all, it was a magical, unique read, but let’s be honest; it wasn’t out of this world weird. Everone’s heard of magic, but have you ever heard of the evil company Smackacks?